Update: My Life Right Now

Last week, my husband went away on a business trip leaving me to hold down the fort with my toddler and pregnant self. Needless to say, I was less than thrilled because I knew how much I would miss him and how much more I would have to step up my game around the house because he really helps me out in all avenues at home. With my sciatic nerve, especially during pregnancy – I can be left pretty immobilized at times so I was really worried when he left. Some days, just slightly bending down to pick up toys can leave my lower back in excruciating pain.

Well, it hasn’t even been a full week since he’s been gone and me and AJ already miss him so much. You don’t really realize how much your other half does for you until you are left to do it all yourself. Like throwing out the trash, or picking up your toddler when he escapes your grasp and runs off. There’s only so much a pregnant belly can handle!

I’m sure I’m amusing our neighbors when I make 5 trips up and down the stairs with arms full of groceries and a toddler on my hip. Ah, the strong will of motherhood! Honestly, I don’t know how I’m doing it. I’ve never been so exhausted and grateful for all that my husband does for us, without even having to ask him. I know I have one of the best ones in the book, which makes it so much harder because missing him is not easy.

Every time I open the front door, my son screams out “daddy” because he’s used to him coming home from work so he knows he’s usually the only one coming in the door. That’s the hardest. AJ misses his rough play and nightly shower times. He is so smart for such a small little guy.

I guess what I’m trying to say here ladies is, if you have a good husband – make sure they know how much you appreciate them. I know I always try to. I truly give it up to military wives who have to hold down the fort for months at a time while their husbands are deployed – I know it must not be easy! Thank goodness for technology and video chatting through cell phones! I can at least see his handsome face from time to time.

Expectation VS Reality

As a mother, you deal with your fair amount of disappointments and failures. You battle with who you used to be before you had children, and who you are now. I like to be somewhere in between the person who I used to be and who I am now. Although I truly admire who I have become, sometimes I miss who I used to be. A go getter, an entrepreneur, a singer, a project coordinator, etc.

Some days I feel like a failure. I’m not as energetic as some of these mom’s out there, I’m not always as friendly – sometimes hiding behind my sunglasses shielding my bare face that has no touch of make up. I’m not the yoga and Pilates preggo mother that I thought I would be. I don’t have a lot of mom friends in my area so as far as setting up play dates for my son, I definitely feel like a failure.

I think, I can at least rule at managing my home because that is my “office.” But reality sinks in, that no matter how many schedules I make, how many planners I own – life will happen. I can schedule laundry day, or grocery day or this is when I sit down and finally write my blog post day but life will happen and then I’m left with what I feel is nothing to show for.

In between trying to get the dishes done, chasing my toddler from playing with the electric chords, making breakfast, wrestling my son from swinging the dog from her tail, prepping for lunch, putting my pots back in the drawer from when my kid pulls them out to play, etc. Nothing ever seems to get done. I can schedule in between his nap times, IF he decides to nap today – life is as unpredictable as wintertime in southern California, you just don’t know what you’re going to get.

An unpredictable schedule can be so disappointing when you have a desire to meet expectations. I am the type of person who, as soon as I get an idea – I like to test it out right away.

Expectation: I want to open an Etsy shop!

Reality: It actually took me about 6-9 months to finally put my idea into reality. My son was a newborn when I WANTED to start but I had to wait MONTHS before I got the ball rolling because I had no one to help me with him and it was really difficult working one hour at a time, in between his naps. Especially because he refused to sleep on his own until he was about 9 months.

Expectation: I want to start blogging!

Reality: I didn’t get to fully dive in to blogging until about a year after wanting to do it. I started with a journal, story telling about experiences in my life as a way to maintain my sanity. I have to say, I just re-started this venture maybe 3-4 months ago when my son was finally able to play independently. I still have to chase him around, mid paragraph to make sure he didn’t jam a toy in the DVD player. And on most days when I get on my laptop to write a post, he likes to psych me out and play with the power chord, occasionally pulling it out of its outlet and then laughing. -_-

In the end, as long as it gets done – you’ve still reached your achievement. I think its natural to try and put a time frame and deadlines to certain personal goals that we have in life, but its important not to live by them.  I think most successful people have experienced a fair amount of failures and met their own expectations in later times than expected – but they at least got there. You will get there, I will get there. It might not be at the time that I expected, but God always pulls through. He gets me there when it’s time for me to get there. You have to take the positives in life or else, you’ll constantly feel like a failure. You have to remember that YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE! You are just going through another hurdle, so keep on persevering and finish climbing that mountain!

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

James 1:12

 

Surviving The First Trimester: What They Forget to Tell You About Pregnancy

When I was pregnant with my first son, I went through a lot of physical challenges. At the time, I was working full time with a rough commute – had severe morning sickness for about 6 months, suffered through dizzy spells in my second trimester, and was severely underweight. Knowing all of this, I never planned on rushing into another pregnancy. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to have a second child yet as I don’t feel I had much time to give it much thought. I did want to give my son a younger sibling so I prayed about it for months, not thinking that I would conceive any time soon however.

Then, surprise! I was pregnant for almost two months already before I had even found out. This time around, I feel God had a little more mercy on me being that my son can be very high maintenance. I went through the normal morning sickness phase, the food aversions, the relentless fatigue, etc. Now that I am hitting the second trimester and thankfully most of those symptoms have pretty much subsided – I have been able to pay attention to the other wonderful pregnancy symptoms that people forget to tell you about:

Breathlessness

During pregnancy, as your uterus grows – it pushes all your organs up. You may experience breathlessness, as I do. Some mornings, after I attempt to have something for breakfast, I experience severe breathlessness. I feel like someone is literally sitting on my chest, preventing me from taking full breaths so my body has to work a bit harder to get that oxygen in. It is very uncomfortable and can be a bit debilitating especially when combined with pregnancy fatigue.

You Get Hairy

Now, I’m not sure if its the prenatal vitamins or what not – but when I get pregnant, it seems as if my hair not only grows faster but it grows thicker. I especially notice this thickness on my growing baby bump. Although it’s really embarrassing to admit, my growing baby bump looks like a monkeys belly. Ah, the joys of pregnancy!

Bleeding Gums

If you don’t already develop a distaste for your tooth paste during pregnancy, the bleeding gums are definitely not something you want to taste on a daily basis. My gums get so sensitive during pregnancy, just a simple brushing session makes my gums gush with blood. Its not only disgusting tasting, but looks like a crime scene when you spit it out. Overall, terrible feeling. Don’t even get me started on flossing! And then the paranoia of using mouthwash because it has a certain percentage of alcohol. Why does keeping good dental hygiene have to be so hard during this time?

Swollen Hands and/ or Feet

Now, this may differ for some people but for me – when I am standing for too long (washing dishes, taking a shower, etc.) my feet get extremely swollen. Not only swollen, but red and uncontrollably itchy! This can get really challenging when trying to get things done around the house, especially when you have to take care of another child.

You May Experience Morning Sickness For Longer Than Expected

Most pregnancy resources say that morning sickness usually subsides at around 12 weeks or so. Whoever made this statement makes me quite angry especially being that I experienced morning sickness for about 6 months with my first son. This time around, it subsided at around 4 1/2 – 5 months. It’s still really uncomfortable to eat, even though most of my morning sickness is gone – it seems that with a growing bump, there’s not much room for a lot of food.

There may be other symptoms that I am leaving off the list, what are the pesky symptoms that you struggled with during your pregnancy? Leave in the comments below.

Till next time!

~G

Trusting in God’s Timing: My Mother’s Day Story

Three years ago, I was sitting in church during a Mother’s Day service. The Pastor wished all the mother’s a Happy Mother’s Day and went on to state how we should be so thankful for all the loving mothers out there who sacrifice themselves to their families. I remember that morning so well, I remember the hot tears that flowed down my face. Embarrassed because I could feel people turn around to look at me, I tried to wipe them away but they just kept coming and I just couldn’t stop. My eyes were like a leaking faucet, and my pain was quite deep and noticeable.

You see, a few months prior I had lost my first child. The pain was so unbearable to me that I didn’t know what to do with myself, always feeling like I was missing something. I had lost a part of me that I felt I would never gain back. Every time I saw a child hold on to his or her mother’s hand, I would loose it. Every time a child spoke out “momma’ it was like a dagger to my heart. I wanted to be a mother more than anything in this world and I felt like this would never happen for me.

I miscarried at 10 weeks with no explanation given, no one told me why this happened…it just happened. For months, I questioned everything that I had done. What could I have done to prevent this? What did I do wrong? Was I being punished for something? I was hurt and angry at God that He could allow something like this to happen, even though I didn’t want to admit it – not even to myself. I wondered why for months until I just tried to let it go and give it to God but I wasn’t whole heartedly giving my burden to God.

We tried to conceive again, over and over and every time my period came – it was a new kind of pain and disappointment. I felt like I would never have a child, I would never be a mother. These thoughts would torture me and sent me in a depression where I would find myself crying all the time alone, to myself. I felt like I had no purpose and I couldn’t shake off the feeling that I was being punished for some reason.

The months kept rolling by, and still no positive pregnancy test. It had almost been a year and I was only 24 years old…what was wrong with me? I had myself tested, and the Doctor’s said I was perfectly healthy. I started reading Genesis and got really into the story of Jacob and how he married Leah and her sister Rachel. Because God saw that Leah was unloved by her husband, He made Rachel barren so that Leah could bare a child for Jacob, and then this specific verse got me:

Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and enabled her to conceive. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son and said, “God has taken away my disgrace.”

-Genesis 30: 22-23

I started balling like a baby, this verse convicted me and at the same time gave me such incredible hope. It was as if God was reaching out to me to tell me, “trust me.” It wasn’t until that point where I finally surrendered to God. I prayed to him during the whole painful process but I didn’t let my wall down until I finally just gave Him the burden. I asked for forgiveness and begged and pleaded to Him. I prayed to God, telling him I would try to be the best mother in my power and how much I would love that child. That weekend, I got a positive pregnancy test.

I was thrilled, but still scared because I had just had a miscarriage with my last pregnancy so I approached everything with caution. Now I have a healthy, rambunctious little boy named Alijah and he is my world.

You see, with my first pregnancy – me and my husband were not in a situation where we could properly provide for a child. We were renting a room in a house and were trying to save up to purchase a home. We didn’t conceive until we were actually in that home. But God had another plan for us: we were relocating to a new state. As per a previous post, we moved to Washington state when I was 7 months – almost 8 months pregnant for a job opportunity that my husband had. We are still here and are now in a position where the Lord has blessed our family and I can stay home with my child. Something I never imagined I could ever do. Also during this time opened an Etsy shop and also worked part time from home.

God knew what He had in store for us and although I suffered through a tragic loss, God not only blessed me with a son – He has blessed my womb once more and I am pregnant with my second child. Something, again that I never imagined I would achieve. All I can say is that, whatever you may be going through right now may be very painful. But you don’t know what lies ahead, God has something for you. He has a plan for each and every one of us:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

-Jeremiah 29:11

Once I stopped trying to take total control of my life, stopped worrying and started to let go and “let God”…that was when I gained everything. Trusting God can be a scary thing but I guarantee that once you do it, the blessings will overflow and you will be healed. God will bless you more than you can ever imagine.

 

Mom of Boys!

So on Friday we confirmed that baby# 2 is a boy! We are ecstatic! I never imagined that I would be a mom of boys but I am so excited for this adventure! My mind wanders and I can imagine myself being that sporty mom that takes her boys to their athletic sport team events. Going on family sporting events and signing up for those mud runs. Now that I think about it, I feel like I would be the perfect mom for boys, being that I am quite sporty and tom boyish since childhood. I was the girl that would play sports with all the boys in the block and even played co-ed football in high school.

I feel that God chose this for me because He knew how I would thrive guiding my boys. Sure, there will be moments where I fail because I am not perfect. Sometimes, it scares me to think that I am going to have two rambunctious little boys tearing up my living room, but I am so excited for the love that we will share, and the future memories.

Being a mother, for me has brought out so many different emotions. It has been a time where I have doubted myself the most; my actions, my feelings, my existence. I second guess the decisions I make because I want to make sure I am making the best decisions for me and my family. Always thinking back to myself, “Was that the best decision for my boys?” And I’m sure all mothers feel this way sometimes.

To think, only a few years ago – I was so hopeful to be a mother. I didn’t think I would ever get the chance to be. Then I was pregnant with my first son, and when he was born I felt myself so blessed. I never thought I would ever receive another gift so amazing. Then little Jackson surprised us and emerged in a very stressful time. But I believe he was gifted to me to bring me not only extra joy – but I feel it was a way for God to reassure me that I was right on track. He was reassuring me that I was doing a good job, even though I had been feeling like I was failing at life- He was reassuring me that I was doing just what I was supposed to be doing.

 

Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.

-Psalm 127:3

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