Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mushy Kisses

If this doesn't make you smile, I don't know what will?!

family is FAMILY

I recently took a little trip to WV to visit some family. Let me just say, this trip wasn't easy, but I wouldn't trade those sleep deprivation filled days and nights for anything!

It was complete chaos. I flew out of Chicago Ohare (with little Brady) early Friday morning on a tiny commuter flight into Columbus, OH where my mom, sister and her 3 little ones picked me up in a rental van. We had 4 car seats jammed into this thing! I'm sure you can imagine what kind of noise and craziness might have occurred, but let me share a little with you anyway.

Although we used to drive from WV to Columbus (and vice versa) all the time to visit my cousins, mom decided to get directions from the guy at the rental car place, which turned out to be a HUGE mistake. We ended up driving across the entire state of Ohio the WRONG direction...with 4 children under the age of 4 years old!

I can remember asking at the 1 hour mark how we were doing on time. My mom was like, "Wait a minute, I don't remember Dayton being on the way to Parkersburg (WV)." "Well, mom, that's because it isn't on the way to Parkersburg. Please, don't tell me that you just drove over an hour the WRONG direction...please...."

Meanwhile, Jacob (4) is arguing with Grace (2) about sharing her blue marker for his picture because his blue marker was out of ink. Of course, Grace ONLY wanted to use the blue marker for her picture once she realized it was the only color Jacob didn't have and so desperately needed to complete his picture.

They ended up in a kicking and screaming match, which woke both Liberty (10 months) and Brady (4 months). Did I mention that Liberty HATES being in the car in her car seat? Did I mention she screams until she forces herself to vomit on herself and fall asleep? Well, yes. That's precious Liberty!

Six hours later, we arrived in Parkersburg at the Comfort Inn, a very plush Parkersburg hotel (well, okay...probably motel). We always stay there when we go for a visit. My great aunt Sarah has been living there for the past 10 years! They're really kind and helpful to her there.

I think I've failed to mention that it has been 10 years since we've had ALL (or almost all) of the family in town to visit at one time. Sadly, the last time we all there was for my grandmother's funeral. Sure, we've all been back for a day or two since then to visit grandpa, but never all together. He is approaching 90 years old (Sarah is too)! So we thought it would be really nice if we could all find a way to be there TOGETHER to celebrate moving into their 90's. Not to mention, grandpa has 4 great grandchildren and he has only briefly met 2 of them as babies.

From beginning to end, it wasn't easy. I had a joined room with my mom, sister and her 3 kids. Grace, Liberty and Brady don't all sleep through the night yet. Grace has night terrors, so she wakes up randomly screaming at the top of her lungs, which is AWFUL to wake up to. It's very difficult to wake her and soothe her after that. Then of course, the babies wake up afraid and decide, well, yeah...they're hungry too.

We packed a lot in those few short days. It was intense and exhausting. It was sad to see how they've aged; how lonely they are for family.

It made me realize, family is FAMILY. The good, the bad, the ugly; sacrifices are worth making to be there for one another. Memories of time spent together (even the stressful or sad times) are so worth making. We're all busy people in this day and age. We all have our priorities and immediate families to attend to, but I can say with certainty that being there to love and support family that's far away, aging, struggling, lonely or falling on hard times...WE are the ones that can truly make a difference. There's nothing like the love of a family.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I swear, I'm being PUNKED!

What kind of message am I supposed to be getting when I find myself asking, "Uhhh, am I being punked..." at least three times a week; sometimes three times a day?

Well, today is one of those days.

I was really looking forward to today. I had big plans to meet up with a friend for a fun "masterminding" session, then I was scheduled for a 3:00 massage and a 5:00 personal training session. Can't beat that!

I swear, the universe laughs at me when I actually schedule my day.

Of course, the minute I start to make my lunch, Brady is suddenly starving too. My friend called to see if we could meet two hours earlier. Being the people pleaser that I am, I started rushing around to make that happen.

I jumped into the shower with Brady screaming in his chair. I just fed him, so it has to be gas or teething that's making him so fussy. I hurry out to give Brady his bath. I leave the water running to fill his little tub, took him to undress him and take his diaper off. What does he do? Poops in my hand. Awesome!

I hear this barfing sound, turn around to see which pet is hurling on my carpet and actually step right into the mess my pug just regurgitated. Wow, can this get any more disgusting? I'm thinking, "Flip! I'm in a hurry! Throw me a frick'en bone here!"

As I'm bathing Brady, I hear the pug throwing up again in the office. Really?! The only two rooms in the house with carpet; the nursery and the office. I decide to just keep moving. I get Brady out of the tub, get him dressed and all packed up.

Now, it's my turn to finish getting dressed and pulled together. We need to leave in 15 minutes to have a prayer at being on time. I hear the pug AGAIN in the living room. Where? Oh, On the area rug underneath the coffee table. Seriously? He can't just puke on the wood floors?

Then I have a moment of compassion for him. He has obviously gotten into something that's making him crazy sick now. Crap, should I take him to the vet now? By the way, Brady is still crying. The chaos makes it so hard to think about what still needs to be done and what I should do.

Maybe I need to cancel my exciting day. In the process of trying to decide as I scramble around to get ready, the power goes out, the pug pukes a few more times in the living room and now in my bedroom.

On top of all that, my keys are missing. I've never lost them like this before. They are literally no where to be found. Now, I don't even have the option to go anywhere. (Turns out, my husband left them IN the car in the center console, which never happens. No wonder I couldn't find them!)

I called my friend to cancel. Hearing Brady scream in the background, she laughed a little and said, "Don't worry about it! Sounds like you have your hands full. I better let you go." I know she had to be thinking "Better you than me!"

"I give in, Universe. You win! Can I at least have a glass of wine and a deep breath? Is that too much to ask for?"

Friday, October 9, 2009

One Year Ago...

Isn't it amazing how much happens AND changes in just a year?

One year ago, my husband and I had been married exactly four months. We were settling into married life and making plans for our future. I can remember coming home from our honeymoon to Jamaica and discussing how we would love to start saving so that we could finally travel. We had been living on such a tight budget saving for our wedding over the last 16 months.

We were so excited at the thought of going to Greece in the summer of 2009. My husband, Chris is in sales and was aligned really well to win the President's Club seven day cruise. He watched the preview video more times than he would probably like to admit. It was his motivation to continue to work hard and go the extra mile.

One year ago, I can remember being really stressed out at work. I was working for our local Chamber of Commerce. Our director of events was out on emergency medical leave and I was asked to step in without any training or knowledge transfer of her role. This Chamber had roughly 6 - 8 big events a month! I knew I was in for a ride.

I can remember feeling really nervous at the first event I was running. We probably had a little over 100 people there. I couldn't eat (which is rarely a problem for me). I even got sick a couple times during the breakfast, which was really out of character for me. Was I getting the flu or something?

A few days later, I went to see my colleague after she was released from the hospital. We ordered pizza for lunch. I love pizza! On the way back to the office, I got sick again walking down the stairs in the parking garage. I thought, "What the heck is going on with me?"

I knew I was really stressed and felt the pressure. I wasn't sleeping very well. My anxiety was pretty high, but man, I've never been the type to get nauseated over this kind of stress.

I'll never forget, my co-worker/friend, Lisa said, "Kelli, you're pregnant. I suggest you stop by Walgreens on your way home tonight to confirm it and get yourself in to the OBGYN soon!" My mouth dropped. I thought she was completely crazy. No way was I pregnant! I have to admit though she had my wheels spinning a little bit. The vomiting was kind of strange to explain.

I took her advice and stopped by Walgreens. I remember joking to Chris that night over dinner, "Wouldn't it be crazy if we were pregnant right now?! That would be crazy!" I remember him saying.
"What makes you say that? Why would you bring that up? Are you thinking you're pregnant?"

"Slow down Killer," I thought! I told him that Lisa told me I was pregnant today and we both kind of just laughed it off. We totally let it go...until the next morning.

I got up around 6:00 a.m. to get in the shower for work. It was Tuesday, October 7, 2008. I remember thinking, "Oh, I have a pregnancy test under the sink. Let's just go ahead and rule that out." Without really thinking about what I was about to do, I peed on the stick.

It pretty much went down like this: "Umm, wait, that's a plus symbol! I'm pretty sure that means positive. Holy crap! Really? Wait...seriously? Uhh, what does this mean? (Counting on my fingers) May or June? Oh no, Greece. He's not going to like that. Okay, just get in the shower, wake up a bit and think about what this means. Well, at least I know I can get pregnant. Doctors told me I might have a tough time. Hmmm, WOW! Well, when my sister, Emily told me she was pregnant in April, I cried unexplainably. I think I was unknowingly jealous of her, so that must mean I want this. Every child is a blessing! This is our little miracle, right?! I guess this is just God's plan. Wow! Oh, crap. Did I shampoo yet?"

I remember getting out of the shower and deciding that I couldn't go through the day without telling Chris. I'm just not the type of person to carry that kind of news around all day at work and pretend everything is normal. I knew I needed to tell him right away, get his reaction and then, of course, tell my parents!

"Hey, babe! I need you to wake up." Of course, Chris didn't need to get up for another hour, but I told him we needed to talk.

"Now? What could possibly be so important right now? Let's talk later."

I told him that he better wake up because I needed to know how he would feel about being a daddy!

I've never seen the covers thrown so fast! He sat right up and looked at me with big eyes, then squinted and laid back down. "Why would you say that? You're messing with me. Nice try!" I said, well actually, I just peed on a stick, so no; I'm not messing with you. The stick says we're having a baby. Um, how do you feel about being a daddy?"

"Holy crap! Shut up! No way! Oh my God! ...Wait...let me see that stick. Are you sure? (Grinning)"

"No, seriously, I just peed on the stick right before my shower. It's positive. We're definitely having a baby. It turned positive right away."

"Wow! Let me see it. Oh, and grab the directions. Did you do it right? Maybe you did it wrong. You should go to the doctor and get tested. This is crazy! Wow, I thought it was going to be really hard to get pregnant. Geez, maybe this is why you've been feeling so awful. Holy crap, really? We're having a baby? So, when would we be having the baby? (Counting on fingers) Oh! Wow! So, like May or June. Our Greece trip is planned for beginning of July. Hmmmmmm. Wow, babe! We're having a baby!"

Two days later, we went to the OBGYN and saw our little pea size baby. It was amazing! And what's funny is that Chris asked the OB if she tested me again since I used one of those tests from Walgreens. Of course, she laughed. She decided that the ultrasound was necessary not only to determine a due date (since we weren't exactly planning and tracking for a pregnancy), but to also show Chris there is actually a little life growing inside of me. If you could have been a fly on the wall at that appointment, you would have been peeing your pants!

When we left the office, Chris decided it was actually real and we should probably go ahead and announce the great news to his family as well. Our lives AND our plans have been forever changed.

I believe that EVERYTHING happens for a reason. Whether or not we have an understanding of the meaning and the long term impact, I'm confident in knowing that His plans are always a blessing.

Today, I look at my 4 month old son and smile with tears in my eyes. He's perfect. He is a true miracle, a blessing.

We may not have gone to Greece over the summer, or be saving for future travel opportunities, but I wouldn't trade my precious little family for anything in the world. I'm so grateful and blessed for the gift of our precious son, Brady!