Today I Cried

I’ve been wanting a new tattoo for several years now. And by several I mean 8. I’ve been very indecisive as to what I want. Which is funny since the tattoo I have took me all of maybe 6 months to choose and have inked on my body. Over the last 8 years I’ve gone between small simple meaningful ones to a massive back piece (glad I didn’t). But for the past year I’ve been focused more on a remembrance piece. I decided I wanted a piece that showed what meant the most to me. My family. Including the children we lost. I decided upon a tree branch and birds. One to represent each of us. Dan, Finley, Caelan, Eleanor and I on the branch and our lost babies flying away. You might have seen something like this. Being pregnant I put it to the back of my mind and figured I’d consider getting it done in a few years. Well today a page I follow on Instagram was doing a give away of that exact piece I wanted.

Today, as I held my youngest who was fighting his nap and listened to my oldest in his room mad he couldn’t watch tv, I cried. Seeing that picture and knowing it’s meaning made me sob. Almost three years ago we lost our first baby. I felt a pain that I cannot fully describe. It was as though my soul was being shattered and all the air in my body being sucked out. Three years later, when I think back on that day the doctor told us he couldn’t find a heartbeat, I still feel that pain as it I were being told it once again. Later that year the same thing happened again, more traumatic that time. I remember just laying on the floor for hours in ball hoping the earth below me would swallow me up. That pain hasn’t gone away and I don’t think it ever will. I know I’ll cry again over our losses. Three in total. I often think about how old my children would be today. What they would be like. Who they would have grown up to be. I am very open about our miscarriages because I know so many others who have hurt in silence thinking that the world didn’t need to know what they’ve gone through. But if you’ve lost children, no matter how small, it’s okay to grieve. They are a part of us. Loved, wanted and so deeply missed.

So…Today I cried. For the children I lost and so desperately miss. I cried for my friends who are struggling to get pregnant. For my friends who have also had miscarriages. And for the ones I know who have have stillborn so. Today I’ll let my emotions take over and let the tears fall. Tomorrow will be another normal crazy, probably sleep deprived, day. My emotions back in check, as best as they can be at 28 weeks pregnant. Soon, I know something will stir up all those emotions again and once again I’ll cry. And that’s okay.

As my baby drifts off to sleep I’ll hold him a bit longer and think of my babies I never got to hold in my arms. Think of all the woman who have empty arms and hearts full of emotion. I will see my children again but until then I’ll do all I can to remember them and bring awareness to pregnancy and infant loss.

Here is the link for all of you who would like to browse around and purchase one of these amazing pieces. https://www.abeautifulremembrance.com/collections/all-products. She offers so much more than just the one piece I mentioned. She also has an amazing blog and pray list! https://www.abeautifulremembrance.com/blogs/news.

Mirror Mirror

I’m not sure what y’all see when you stand in front of the mirror. But if your like me, and just about any other woman, as soon as you see yourself you start mentally listing all the things you dislike about your body. I know I’m not the only one.

I’ve spent 18 months pregnant in the last two years. That’s two babies during COVID. Long before that though I stopped actually looking in the mirror. Only to quickly do my makeup because well doing that blindly is damn near impossible. I hated what I saw. Stretch marks, flabby arms, fat clinging to my legs, hips and back, scars and flaws. I saw a body I could control or seem to take care of. A body that I felt had failed me as I had failed it multiple times. Something I wanted to hide from everyone, even my husband. I would envy the woman of Instagram and their diets and workout plans. I’d be frustrated trying to eat right and workout and still see no results. I hated the body in the mirror. What I though was flawed and ruined. I longed to have my body back from my college days. When my husband would compliment me (which was and is daily) I would say things like “but you missed the attractive body I had before kids. The one with no fat or stretch marks. Glowing skin and breast where they should be not resting on my belly.”. I’d even pull up old picture to show him as if I needed to convince him I was pretty at one point even though I wasn’t currently. I would constantly promise him I’d get healthy and attractive. I say would but I’m pretty sure a few days ago in one of my pregnancy hormonal meltdowns I told him I wanted to look and feel attractive again and not like the always pregnant lockdown quarantine troll that I currently was. Hair always a mess. Oversized baggy clothes. My 3x sweater hanging off my shoulders. No makeup. Hair back to its natural color (brown with a streak of black right at the top of my forehead). Baby snot all over me. Random food stains from both kids. Dark circles under my eyes from not sleeping. And that oh so attractive pregnancy waddle I do when I have to shuffle up and down several flights of stairs and long hallways to do anything and everything.

We have a full length mirror in our room. It’s still wrapped up in brown paper and taped closed from when the movers packed it two years ago. Our bathroom mirrors show just my face and that’s enough for me. I don’t want to see what is below my neck because neck up is bad enough, in my opinion. I put on maternity jeans once a week, maybe. Just if I’m doing groceries. I hate them because they are too big or too small so I’m uncomfortable. I haven’t seen my feet in a few months but know I could use an intense pedicure.

What I see daily as a sad sloppy exhausted mess… my kids don’t see. Cae couldn’t care any less how I look. I could have makeup and jeans on or my pjs. He just wants held and someone to snuggle up on. At first my growing belly annoyed him but now that his sister is kicking him he just repositions himself when I hold him. At night when he’s falling asleep in my arms and she kicks or moves he rubs my belly. Almost as if he’s trying to comfort her. Or maybe to tell her to knock it off. Finn doesn’t even notice my appearance. He just wants someone to listen to him talk about anything and everything and someone to spend time with.

Yesterday, I did my makeup and got dressed to run errands and it wasn’t until we were getting gas to head home that my husband even noticed I had makeup on. And by notice I mean he grabbed my mask by accident put it on while starting the gas pump, brought it back and said “oh you put makeup on? That’s why my mask smells like makeup. It’s not mine it’s yours.”. Seriously!? I spent all day with the man and he didn’t even notice I put makeup on. That made me realize that the makeup was more for myself then anyone. He didn’t care what I looked like.

Once again that night I scrolled though countless flawless pictures on Instagram. Annoyed with woman who were doing the #nofilter thing and still looked amazing. Rolling my eyes at the mom who brags constantly about how she just did 20 miles on her peloton (not knocking peloton) with several little kids running around looking like she never was pregnant all because she is eating all natural organic homegrown food. Frustrated at everyone’s progress to lose weight since quarantine or the new year started.

I can’t say I won’t be online getting frustrated or annoyed with my appearance again because I know I will. As woman we compare ourselves to others constantly! How other moms parent, dress, have schedules, how their kids behave, how they eat, how their houses look, how they exercise and look, how they are dressed and caffeinated in the drop off line at school sending their kids off with a smile and looking sad they are gone for a few hours. It’s what woman do. Compare. We shouldn’t but we do. It’s hard to tell ourselves that the perfect pictures don’t reflect how that persons life really is. I try to remind myself and other moms of that constantly but sometimes it’s all so overwhelming we get lost in the comparison game.

So what I realized after my scrolling last night was:

First, My body has stretch marks all over. My hips. My legs. My stomach. My breast. Why? Because I carried 6 beautiful children. That’s right 6! Each time my body showed the world sooner and sooner that I was pregnant. We lost 3. Two early on and one later into the pregnancy. But my body has brought two beautiful boys into this world safe and healthy and will soon bring a little girl into the world. I was able to nurse both kids for several months. Not as long as I wanted but I was able to do it for as long as my body allowed. And my body is once again preparing to nurse a third time. That’s where all my deep stretch marks come from. Growing humans! I mean that’s pretty dang amazing! Not all woman get the opportunity to carry children! I was and am beyond blessed to be able too and my body is showing off what an amazing thing it did, repeatedly. Though some ended in loss and that is heartbreaking still. My body did an amazing thing. Created life. I see stretch marks and am embarrassed. My husband sees marks showing how I carried our children

Second, I gained weight after Dan and I met because my time with him and Finn was more important then going to the gym all the time and we also enjoy good food. We both worked crazy times and extremely busy jobs where we couldn’t always cook the healthy meals at home. But we were happy with our time together. Part of my struggle to loose weight was finding time to go to the gym because I worked so far I left at 5:30 and got home at 6 or 7 at night. I wanted time with my family not at the gym then walking into the house to put our son to sleep and not spend time with him until Saturday or Sunday. My body also was constantly pregnant. Then not. Then pregnant. Then not. Then pregnant 38 weeks with a delivery of baby Cae. Then not pregnant a few months. Then pregnant again. Then not. Now pregnant again. That alone takes a toll on your body. I did lose weight while pregnant with Cae then was able to keep losing after delivery but then we moved and we were quarantined. Next, everything shut down again and gyms closed. Now I’m 27 weeks pregnant and the winter has been freezing cold and everything closed. My body has been through a lot since we got married. But at no point has my husband ever said a negative thing about it. He tells me daily how much he loves me and how beautiful I am. I always say no I look a mess. To which he says well to me you’re beautiful. I wish I could see me through his eyes.

Next, My scars. I have many. Several from stupid stuff I did as a kid, like whip a hose so hard it flew up and cracked me right in the temple. Other scars are not so stupid, like donating part of my liver to a friend who needed it more then I did. When I volunteered to donate the doctor kept asking me if I’d have a problem with a massive scar down my stomach. I kept saying no but he was relentless. Went as far to ask me if my boyfriend (now my husband) would like it if I had a massive scar because he might find it unattractive. My response? If my boyfriend didn’t like it he could easily be single but I knew for a fact he didn’t care if I had a scar. I never had issue with the scar. But I wonder what people think when they see it on the rare occasion in at the beach or now that I’m getting sonos done constantly. The massive scar along with all my stretch marks sometimes make me self conscious of my middle area. To me, somedays, I think what a mess that area is. But reality is that’s pretty much the best part. My middle half has given life. In more ways then one way! My middle isn’t a wreck it tells a story! Each scar and stretch mark a different chapter in my story. Of love and joy and heartbreak. Of life and loss. On my comparison days it’s just another flaw. Something to compare to others but to many in my world it’s the best part of me I could give. I don’t regret anything. I’m just a woman who plays the comparison game too often.

Lastly, the dark circles under my eyes are from several things. My youngest who never sleeps alone. Since he was born just wants to be held by momma. All night some nights. Like last night where he wanted held but wouldn’t be still so he wouldn’t sleep but also would flip out if I put him in his crib. This means I don’t sleep sometimes for days on end. Also on the nights I can sleep I’m up using the bathroom constantly or baby girl can’t stop kicking my ribs. If you’ve had more then one kid you know what that’s like. No bladder space but yet you’re supposed to double or in my case triple your water intake. I’m suppose to drink 3 Liters of water a day. You know what that means? The bathroom is my best friend currently. Which is hard during the day with a one year only who is an escape artist/ daredevil. So he has to come with me. No. Privicy. My dark circle are from caring for two of the three children all night. Sometime all three because Finn sleepwalks every few weeks. I choose not to wake my husband because I feel he does so much for me already and still has to go to work I don’t want to exhaust him more. He gets up to help if I ask! He’s amazing. I just don’t ask because in my mind I’m suppose to be doing all the home and kid stuff because I’m not working currently.

I have two kids and one on the way. I don’t have time to workout. Technically, I’m not allowed to workout right now because I’m pretty close to being put on permanent bed rest. I’m 27 weeks pregnant and feel like a beached whale. I haven’t gained weight this pregnancy which makes my Doctor yell at me at each baby appointment. Don’t get all concerned! I do eat! I eat a lot most days. My focus isn’t losing weight it’s just to have a healthy pregnancy, delivery and baby. After that? I’ll be two dang exhausted with a newborn, 1 year old and 8 year old. Eventually, I will get back to workout out. Eventually, maybe, I’ll even slim down to a size I want. But right now that’s not something I can do or even want to do. And that’s okay. My body is perfectly fine the way it is.

I share all this to remind all the amazing woman out there to take a second look in the mirror. This week focus on the good in yourself and your body. List all the things you see as flaws then turn it around and look at it as a positive. Ask your spouse what they see. Tell them first what you see in the mirror. Then ask them. I bet their answers will be the opposite of yours! I bet everything negative you point out they list as one of the many things they adore about you!

Also do what I do sometimes. Hide people on Facebook. If looking at their pages make you compare yourself or dislike something about yourself then hide them for a bit! I do this constantly. They aren’t there trying to purposely upset you they are just sharing their life. But if you find yourself annoying or frustrated at what you see then hide them for a bit. Doing that is OKAY! 30 days without seeing posts that constantly upset you will seriously change your life. Sometimes I don’t even realize someone’s stuff is back on my feed until I keep complaining to my husband. He then says, after a few days, hey why don’t you hide that person for a bit their post aren’t helping you. Woah reality check right?! He’s so right. Why sit there and complain and compare when with a simple click I can remove that which is causing negativity in my life.

Right now I’m in the trenches of motherhood as are some of you. When Finn started school things were finally getting “easier” but having little ones is tough! It’s mentally and physically exhausted. By the end of the day I’m so exhausted I can’t think straight. Let alone go jump on our treadmill. One day will get some energy back but not anytime soon. Two under two means ima ride the struggle bus for awhile. Knowing that doesn’t stop me from somedays putting on makeup while the baby naps and putting on my less crappy leggings and a nicer shirt for when my husband arrives home. I enjoy looking nice and I enjoy dressing up for him. If you have little kids I know how hard life is right now. It’s going to be for awhile. So cut yourself some slack. Enjoy motherhood. Your kids don’t care what you look like! Don’t take that as well I guess I should just give up and not have any me time. No way. Somedays you might have energy to go to the gym or for a run. Somedays you may feel like getting dressed even though you’re staying home. Do it! Do what makes you feel happy. Just know that in the end what you see as daily flaws the one around you either don’t notice, don’t care or love that part about you. Your kids and husbands love you no matter what. Mess hair or perfect curls. Ratty leggings and oversized T-shirt or jeans and a nice top. Makeup or not. Winkles. Stretch marks. Scars. Your kids arent going to look back 20 years from now and remember the extra weight, scars and tired eyes. They will remember the mom that held them in her arms. The mom who stayed up late rocking them and making them feel safe and loved. The mom who did everything she could to keep them safe and happy. Each “flaw” makes you unique and you. Each thing tells a story. Records the life you are living! What a beautiful life that is?!

I think instead of flaws they are really story lines. Etched on our body. Telling the world what an amazing moms and woman we are!

🦠Momming During A Pandemic🦠

Being a mom was hard well before the pandemic but being a mom now is even harder. I can only speak from a stay at home mom perspective because that’s my life right now. I can’t imagine trying to also teach during this past year. Being a pregnant stay at home mom with sever anxiety has made this past year very hard!

When I was pregnant with Caelan I was sick and exhausted for 34 weeks out of my 39 weeks of pregnancy. Dan was gone and I stayed in bed most of the 9 months I was pregnant. I delivered Cae in March right when the States began shutting everything down. After having him we were stuck at home for months until we left for Germany. Finn left school and never returned before we left. We arrive in Germany and had to quarantine for two weeks. Finally, get a house and our things arrive and I begin to get excited to get out and meet other moms and begin socializing. Then boom! Shutdown again! Oh and surprise we are expecting again. Finn home from school for the foreseeable future. Pregnancy hormones. Caelan having skull surgery and still not sleeping. Cold and snowy. Home alone with the kids every day. Can’t go anywhere. Can’t see anyone. We go get groceries once a week and that all the time we get out of the house. Dan goes to work every other week and honestly I’m jealous. He gets to interact with people. Adult people.

My days have begun to blur together. Same thing everyday for months. I’m mentally and physically exhausted. I know I’m not the only one! This shutdown has taken its toll on everyone. Anyone who says they have made it almost a year without being affected is lying! The isolation alone is killer. For someone like me the anxiety drives me crazy. I can’t be the only one ready to absolutely lose their mind!

My days consist of no sleep, having one kid talk nonstop for hours while trying to complete school work, one that cannot be away from me for a second, laundry (because the washer is so small and never ending), make dinner, get kids to bed, go to bed, up constantly with the baby or peeing because pregnancy! The only adults I talk to are my husband, parents and in-laws. We didn’t get the opportunity to make many friends here so there is no one to talk to. Do you know how lonely it is to have no one to talk to? I have my kids yes but that’s not a conversation. I have my husband when he gets home. But no one to call and chat with while I drink my coffee. I can’t meet up with woman I walked with when I arrived because families aren’t allowed to get together and the kids have school all day. It’s just me and my thoughts. I don’t even want to imagine what the elderly must feel like. I have small children so I have a reason to get up and function everyday. But not everyone has a reason to get up. Yesterday I couldn’t stop crying because I was so alone and exhausted. My husband asked what he could do to help but…there is nothing much he can do when we can’t leave the house. We can’t even go to the bigger villages to walk around. Everything is closed and only one person from a family is allowed out and now must have a medical mask on or you will me fined. I feel like a caged bird locked in a dark room. Everyone keeps saying it will all pass now that there is a vaccine out but right now I’m not seeing an end. I’m seeing myself slowly lose my sanity one sleepless night at a time. I spent hours crying last night because I feel so lonely. Normally I pretend I’m fine and have it together for my family and cry when no one else is around. But everyone saw me cry multiple times yesterday. This year has been tough on me as well as everyone else I’m sure. I know I’m not alone in this but I feel very alone as I’m sure many other people do.

I’ve had my anxiety under control for the past few months. But this week has been one panic attack after another. I can’t sleep even when Cae gets a good hour or two. I can’t shut my brain off to every thought or concern. I worry what the next few months will be like. What it will be like with another baby in the house. Delivering once again during this pandemic but this time in a forgin country with nurses who don’t speak English. Will our families be able to visit us at all? Is this going to last another year? Is Finn going to miss another year of school? How will this affect him in the long run? How can we socialize without socializing? Can we even go to parks in the summer? Will I have a breakdown if this continues? How do I get me time when I’m stuck inside with 3 other people?

Pray for your friends and family with mental disorders. Depression. Anxiety. PTSD. OCD. Bipolar. I can tell you they are struggling right now during this pandemic. Breakdowns and suicide are at an all time high. Pray for your stay at home moms. They are feeling isolated and alone. I know some states are still open and not shutdown like we are over here. If you’re a SAHM make sure you get out and about. **If you can of course.** Go to your favorite stores. Treat yourself to lunch. Get your hair or nails done. Taking a shower is not gonna do it. Drinking a cup of coffee while the kids run around and scream is not you time. If you can read a book. Watch a favorite show.

Get. Your. You. Time. Momma!

I’m going to spend this weekend figuring out what I can do each day to get some peace in my mind. I encourage you to do the same. We can do this together.

If you’re struggling make sure you reach out to someone. Talk to a friend or a parent. Reach out to me if you need! I don’t sleep so it’s very likely I’ll respond. We can talk about how this year has sucked but also what we hope for the future.

I have no doubt things will get easier but right now it sucks. And it’s okay to say it all sucks. Don’t let others tell you to always be positive because sometimes things suck and pretending they don’t doesn’t help. Pretending everything is fine for the sake of my family is what has brought me to my peak. I couldn’t hold in all my fears, stresses and worries any longer. I had to acknowledge it. But also don’t dwell on it all.

Sending you all love, prayers and hugs. ❤️

Lockdown in Europe

Parents look forward to having their kids go back to school after the holidays. But once again we are back to distance learning.

Distance learning was easier when we didn’t have a loud 10 month old crawling around making pterodactyl sounds. Mix in the husband working from home every other week. Add in a pregnant, sleep deprived momma and we have quiet the interesting environment. Germany had extended their lockdown until the end of the month which sucks but we just heard that they are considering another 8-10 weeks after the end of the month.

So let’s talk about this momma going stir crazy! I enjoyed when Dan went to work and Finn was at school. It left me and Cae to do our own thing and mostly I could get quiet me time while Cae napped. But now I’m playing entertainer with Finn while Cae naps and trying to keep one or both kids somewhat quiet while video conferences or meeting are happening. Someone is always needing me when I try to get a moment to myself. On the rare occasion someone doesn’t need me I’m extremely exhausted or throwing up because pregnancy is a thrill ride. We are also still unpacking. 🤦🏼‍♀️ We are just about done and honestly it’s just those last few random boxes we can’t do much with because we have nowhere to put it’s contents. Oh, I’m doing this all without…coffee. No coffee because apparently my pregnant body has decided coffee taste just like burnt dirt. I still enjoy the smell of it just can’t drink more than a sip or two.

It’s been awhile since my last post so let’s start with the kids.

Finn is home full time doing school. Every morning is a fight because he feels if he’s not at school he doesn’t need to do school work. I’m sure he’s not the only kid thinking this! Luckily, he doesn’t have an overwhelming amount to do. He does a bit, takes a break, does a bit more, takes a break then finishes for the day. We are able to time his breaks when Cae naps so he and I can play board games during the first nap and the second nap he gets to play on a device. I will admit he almost failed music because well here they still so specials online (we didn’t in Erie) and I got the email about it while at the hospital with Caelan so I forgot he had to actually logon somewhere and do assignments. Talk about a massive Mom Fail! They also don’t email the parents they email any issues to the students email account. Which makes no sense for 2nd graders. Kids can’t remember to brush their teeth but you want them to check their email?! Then I’m emailing teachers saying this is Finns mom…could you just email me if something is wrong? I mean seriously. I got two kids at home and I can barely remember to shower let alone add into my crazy life checking an email that really should be sent to me anyway! As a teacher I’d NEVER email a kid about an issue. Why? Because the parent should be made aware! I know parents with 3 or more kids and I can’t imagine trying to keep up with all of their stuff! A friend with a kid in Finns class did miss the Music assignments too so it wasn’t just us! But his music class requires me to sit with him and navigate through YouTube and other sites with him. Try doing that while holding a wiggly baby!! Like what are some of these teachers thinking. I’m sorry but not all parents can just sit on a computer assisting all day. It is nice that Finn is old enough to go outside in the back yard alone. Most of our driveway is on the side of the house and fenced in(and locked). So when he’s getting a little crazy I just send him out to play in the snow or to play on his scooter he got for Christmas. The windows here either open fully or can be pulled inward at an angle. So all I have to do is angle the doors or windows so I can hear him (he’s not quiet) and let him have at it while Cae and I chill inside and watch him.

Brother love! ❤️
Finally got to make a snowman!

Next up, Caelan. Cae has been healing so well! The glue from his surgery is completely off and his incision is all healed up. You can definitely feel that soft spot now and no ridge down his face! He is his same curious crazy self. He is into everything. Seriously. Everything! We can no longer leave him alone in a room for 10 seconds. He is always trying to get something he shouldn’t. The transformers, Christmas tree, climb the baby gates, anything plugged in, the TV and of course anything left in reach he thinks is his to eat. He’s trying to stand and walk. He will stand alone when he gets super into playing or when he thinks no one is looking. He has walked once but since then he will take a step then just sit down and laugh. Why walk when someone can carry him. We are working on saying more than just Mama, Dad and Daddy. Cae is also starting to try more food. Since he stands and cries at my feet if I eat and don’t share it with him. Yet when I give him his own food in his high chair he throws it or gags. So slowly working on that! He also loves having a bath in the big bath with his new toys he got for Christmas. He had mixed feelings about his first snow but loves bundling up and going for a walk in the woods. At least I think he loves it. He laughs a bunch then falls asleep.

Mixed snow feelings
That’s so good bread from the Bakery truck!

Newest baby is growing well! At our last sono we were told again we are having a baby Girl! We are all so excited to have a little girl joining our crazy little family! But after this one we are done. Three is enough. I got my little girl and pregnancy has sucked. Finns pregnancy was so easy and enjoyable but everyone after has been rough! First trimester was super rough. Just like with Cae I was super sick every single day multiple times a day. Luckily since the second trimester that has eased off quite a bit. My doctor keeps telling me to eat and stop losing weight but I lost weight with Cae and it wasn’t an issue so I’m really not worried about it this time. I am 18 weeks already and honestly I still don’t fully feel pregnant even though I’m definitely looking pregnant!

Rocking a little bump

I believe that’s about it. We are stuck inside and can’t really go anywhere or do anything. Parenting during all of this craziness is tough. Moving to a different country, I think, makes it tougher. If we were stateside we’d be able to see family easier, especially while school is online. Our goal when getting here was to make friends we could enjoy our time with while so far from home but because of lock down we can’t meet anyone. I love my family but I’d also love others to chat with. It’s very isolating right now. Add in no sun, icy weather, and the same thing every day. It’s been very tough for all of us.

We do enjoy our walks outside when we can. It’s been pretty ice this past week and a lot of massive trees are down blocking the trails. Hopefully those get cleared soon so we can Get back to walking more. We are one of the few spots that get snow that sticks but we are on top of a mountain so that’s expected.

Well that’s all I got for now. Not much because everyday is the same right now!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas all! I know I’ve been pretty absent since Caelan’s surgery. I had originally planned to do a post on our experience at the hospital with the surgery but things changed. I joked in the hospital that I was going to be traumatizing after all that happened but I didn’t realize until I sat down to type it all out how traumatizing it all actually was. So I will probably not be writing it all out any time soon. I have a panic attack every time I go to write or talk about it. It was not a horrible experience but was rough enough to seriously affect me.

Surgery with Cae went great with no issues! Which is wonderful and doctors were able to preform the endo surgery which was way less invasive and was a much smaller surgery. The whole experience was traumatizing for Caelan as well. The week after we got home he would not sleep on his own and wanted held most of the day. Dan and I would have to hold him all night which was exhausting. This past Wednesday we saw his pediatrician on base and he said we are good to start sleep training again. So last Friday we started that and you know what? Cae hasn’t had any issues! For the past 9 months if we laid him down in his bed already asleep he’d wake up and scream. Now? We lay him down and he wakes, looks at us, and then falls right back asleep! He’s even been putting himself back to sleep when he wakes up at night. Most nights we don’t even have to give him a bottle in the middle of the night. So that’s been wonderful.

We will have a follow up appointment at the end of January then again this summer. Just to make sure his skull is growing properly and doesn’t need a helmet in the future.

As you can see he is his happy smiling self once again.

We are so thankful for all the prayers and love sent to us while we went through this! I pray we don’t ever have to do this again! We are so glad to be home and have Caelan recovering and healing. We pray everyone had a wonderful Christmas and 2021 is a great year for all our friends and family!

Another positive note…we are expecting! We are very excited/terrified. It’s been very hard keep this a secret for so long but we wanted to make it the second trimester before sharing our news. We have had our share of losses before and didn’t want to share too soon. But all is good and we will know gender in two weeks! At our last sono at 13 weeks the doctor gave us an 80/20 on gender but we want a 100% before sharing. So get to guessing what we are having! Another boy to drive me wild or a little girl who will drive Dan crazy! 💗💙❤️

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Third Time Is The Charm?🤦🏼‍♀️

Our appointments for Cae earlier this week were to be as follows. Sunday- Covid testing. Monday- blood work and meeting with the team. Tuesday- surgery. Well if it all went as plan then it wouldn’t be our family. So here is the newest update. And by update I mean massive ball of confusion.

Sunday we went to the hospital for Covid testing. Pediatric was super confused why we were there. They looked at the paperwork we had and began running around trying to find someone who knew why we were there. **Remember no one speaks English. ** Eventually they tell a security guard (who speaks little English) to tell us to go to Neurology. We asked why because they told us to get it done at pediatric. It’s so hard getting information when you can’t listen to them talk to each other and help explain what’s going on. We headed to neurology and they were even more confused why we were there. Again we explained the doctor told us to come Sunday for Covid testing because it had to be 48 hours before surgery. The head nurse kept asking why because they always do it with the blood work on Monday. We kept saying I don’t know why they said to do it Sunday when they usually do it Monday but that’s what the doctor and the paperwork says to do. She eventually said we had to wait for the Neurosurgeon on call to get out of surgery. Surgery last minutes to hours and they had no idea how long he’d be. So we all sat for 2 hours. Eventually the doctor came out and looked at our paperwork the nurse gave him and he turned around and went into another room for awhile. After a few minutes he came back and told us he has no idea who told us to come in Sunday or why we were scheduled for surgery. He had just called the head doctor and he said we are not to be seen by another surgeon and that he was doing the surgery but couldn’t until next week. My heart sank. Dan and I stood there baffled. What did he mean Caelan wasn’t having surgery this week. It was all planned. We sat in the office when they scheduled it. We had the paperwork with when you arrive. Tuesday, December 8, at 7 a.m.. We kept asking why we were told to come in when the doctor who we met with wasn’t even suppose to do the surgery. Why did he take over? Why was the head doctor just now being told about this. The doctor we spoke to said was he didn’t know but the head doctor was who we wanted preforming this surgery and if it were him he’d wait until the head doctor could do it. Which I’m fine with. We want the best. I just wanted to know where the flip this other doctor, who scheduled the surgery for this week, came from?! Did he just see that Cae was a baby and decide since he was pediatric that he should do it? Was the head doctor ever told we came for our last appointment? What the hell was going on! And I couldn’t yell at anyone because no one would understand me!

Now it all just gets better. So hang on to your butts!

The doctor proceeds to apologize for the inconvenience. Yep. Huge inconvenience. We have a car pack for the week. A hotel booked and just drove two hours here! No groceries at home because we were suppose to be gone all week. He then said someone would call us tomorrow (Monday) and officially schedule his surgery but plan on being there Monday for testing.

Well here comes Monday and no call. So Dan calls. He’s then told ohh someone was suppose to contact you last week that your surgery was moved because the pediatric department had to close off an entire wing of 20 beds due to something Covid related. He was then told that all the calls to reschedule surgery would be done within the next two hours and we’d get a call back. Did we get a call back? NOPE!!

Dan got ahold of them Tuesday and scheduled Cae to come in Monday. Monday he will have all the blood work done, meet with the team and then he and I will be admitted into the hospital. Surgery will be done first thing Tuesday morning.

So once again we ask for prayers. Dan and I have been waiting for months now and surgery keeps getting pushed. We mentally prepare to have surgery then it’s canceled. All this back and forth is taking its toll on us. Cae has also been sick almost a week. So we aren’t sleeping and he’s not sleeping. We are all exhausted. Physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. We wanted to be home by now having Cae recovering in time for Christmas.

Once again if anything changes (which at this point I’m sure they will) we will keep y’all posted. We love all the text of love and prayers. If we do not respond it’s not because we are ignoring you we just don’t always get text so feel free to message us on Facebook. ❤️

Always getting into trouble!

100% Perfect…Lunatic

You ever wake up in the morning in the worst possible mood? Then proceed to become more angry because you’re in a bad mood for no reason? Then quickly more annoyed you’re annoyed and mad. Then you realize your spiraling in annoyance, frustration and eventually anger. But knowing all this won’t stop you from yelling at your kids, snapping at your husband and becoming irate at the dirty dishes covering the kitchen. So after everyone’s left for school and work you cry because well you’re a ranging lunatic who in the moment couldn’t control her emotions. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this.

If you read that and are are thinking “ wow this woman is insane. She needs her head examined. What kind of mother is she!?” Then I’m not sure what magic mushroom you’re on but please share because if your a mom, heck a woman you’ve more that likely had moments like this. Bonus point if your husband asked if you were on your period and he’s now missing.

Now there are three types of people reading this. The ones who relate and are breathing a sigh of relief they aren’t alone. The men (I know I have men who read this). And lastly the liars, who have everyone convinced (even themselves) that they have and would never act this way. If your the lier then there is no reason to keep reading. Carry on in your mythical world. Pet a unicorn for me.

Well, I was that mom yesterday. I was up all night with Caelan and when I did get to bed I couldn’t fall asleep. I had another migraine starting and my back had been in constant pain for over a month. I had Cae in bed with me hoping he’d fall back asleep like he sometimes will do but Finn had other plans. He decided after being woken up he’d play…. loudly. I yelled (great at helping babies fall back asleep) at him to get dress to which he said “oh right. I need pants on!” Yes, pants would be a good thing kiddo. Then Cae wouldn’t go back to sleep (can’t imagine why) and I wasn’t feeling well. I then walked downstairs and saw Finn watching tv while he was suppose to be eating breakfast. I snapped at him again. Then noticed he had homework to do but forgot to do it. So I yelled again. All while Cae is whining to be held. He cried and whined all night and I was at my limit with it. I yelled at him to knock it off and then at Finn to get done. He and Dan had to leave early because we had snow and ice that night. Dan asks if I was alright and what was wrong. I promptly told him. Loudly. Okay I yelled it at him. He didn’t do anything wrong I was just a raging psycho. Finn then proceeded to act like he was blind knucklehead who couldn’t see anything in front of him and had no clue what a normal school morning consisted of. They all finally left and I just cried. What a horrible mom and wife I was. I yelled at the baby for crying which is what they do. I yelled at Finn for well being a 7 year old boy who didn’t want go to school. And I yelled at my husband who did absolutely nothing wrong at all. What was bothering me? Not a single thing. Nothing of significance triggered my rampage. I was just mentally and physically exhausted. I’m also very sensitive to noise so Cae crying and whining is physically draining. As I cried I kept asking why can’t I be the perfect mom. The moms who seem to always have a smile on. Who never raises their voice. Who’s kitchen is always perfect. Floors clean. Toys all in their place. Only one load of laundry waiting to be done. Why? Well I’ve never been good at lying and I’ve always been a bit of a mess that’s why. I can’t fake a perfect home when we are all a mess here. My kitchen is a mess because we are busy spending time as a family and I’m exhausted by the time the kids are in bed. I have a million loads of laundry because my washer and dryer are the same as the ones the come in Barbies dream house and it’s in German and for some reason my three boys wear a crap ton of clothes.

We all have days like this. Well woman do. Not sure about the men. They weren’t blessed with the joy that is female hormones. I’m not gonna lie by 6 p.m. I was done. Dan had to take the kids so I could take a long bath with my stress away bath bomb. And honestly I was sitting there rocking Caelan, who was asleep, and I was still annoyed. And annoyed that I was annoyed for no reason. Which made me more angry and frustrated. No reason. Somedays are just like that.

So to all you lunatic mommas out there…hang in there. It gets better, at least that’s what I’m told. I think it was getting better when Finn turned 5 and now we are starting all over again. So maybe in 5 years it’ll get easier. 5 is when kids go to kindergarten so I guess that’s why it gets easier. 🤣 That’s also when the mouth starts running more often. There are no perfect mommas out there. Social media helps the lier mommas lie a bit better. But ignore those pages and find some mommas that tell it how it is! You don’t need to have a perfect house ready for the president to visit. You don’t need to follow your kids around cleaning up toys. Yelling once and a while is normal. We all lose it and that’s okay. It’s okay to let your kids watch tv so you can take a break and just sit for a moment. Being a mom is hard! I don’t want to be a mom that people say “you make motherhood look so easy!” Why? Because it tells all the soon to be mothers that motherhood really can be easy if you just follow all these steps to perfection. When a new mom asks me what it’s like I tell them straight. It’s great somedays. Other days it’s hard as hell and you want to ship your kids to their grandparents and sail off in the night. Somedays you feel like a super mom, accomplishing so much. Other days you feel like your beating your head against a brick wall. I love my kids but somedays they are exhausting and honestly sometimes irritating. Ever been woken up by someone strumming a guitar and yodeling at the top of their lungs at 5:30 a.m.? It’s not enjoyable. It’s annoying! Ever been head butted and had your nose broken? It’s a bit irritating. Ever trip over dirty clothes to then step on Legos to then fall onto a pile of books? Not fun. Ever have a baby grab a poppy diaper and chuck it at you to have it explode everywhere!? Kinda makes you wanna lose it. But despite all of that we love our kids. The good the bad and the dirty/stinky. Being a good mom doesn’t mean being perfect. What a boring world it would be if everything was perfect. What would us mommas do if we couldn’t get together with our screaming kids while drinking wine and vent about how annoying our kids and sometimes husbands are! Sit and crochet and talk about the weather I suppose. Sounds boring to me.

I fail daily as a mom and wife. But my kids and husband still love me. Just as I love them. Annoying habits and all.

❤️ Here is to a better tomorrow morning that starts with a bit less insanity and yelling.

Baby Caelan Update #2 👶🏼

Yesterday, Dan and I took Caelan to get an ultrasound done on his head. And by Dan and I, I mean Dan drove and was quickly asked to leave the hospital because only one parent was allowed in the building. So unfortunately he had to wait outside in the freezing cold. Cae and I waited two hours past our appointment to be seen. We were sent to the wrong waiting area despite me asking several people where I needed to be. Eventually, after me pointing out that they sent me in the wrong direction and we needed to leave soon, they got a doctor to so the ultra sound. Caelan was not happy to have gel all over his head so he promptly freaked out. The doctor said he was hoping he’d be asleep to which I kindly said “well he was asleep when we arrived for our appointment at 9:30. It’s now almost noon so that’s on y’all”.

After all the waiting and of course Caes crying the doctor told us pretty much the same thing the neurosurgeon told us. His frontal plate are completely closed. Which you can see because of the very visible ridge. But the soft spot is still open. Once we finished there we went to see the neurosurgeons. They said they should be able to do the surgery endoscopically but it’s possible when they get in and they may not be able to do it and will have to switch to the more intense surgery. We are anticipating the more intense surgery but hoping for the endo. The endo will just be a small incision right at his hair line. If it’s more invasive then the incision will go from one ear to the other.

We also met with a new surgeon. He is a pediatric neurosurgeon and will be doing Caelans surgery. Unfortunately that means he is not having surgery today. He is now having surgery December 8th at 7 in the morning. Onto the days before surgery. Now remember it’s a 2 hour drive there and a 2 hour drive back home.

December 6th the four of us need to drive to the hospital to get rapid Covid test done. Then go home. Caelan and I will go back again December 7th for bloodwork and meeting with the entire surgery team. That will be the doctors, nurses, anesthesiologist and so many more. Then Dan, Caelan, possibly Finn and I will go back December 8th for the surgery. This new doctor said the recovery in the hospital will be 4-7 days. As long as Dan and Finn have a negative Covid test they will be allowed to visit after surgery. I will check into the hospital with Caelan and technically be considered a patient along with Caelan. The doctor also said that Caelan will not need a helmet. Which makes me a bit nervous because in the states after this surgery kids need a helmet but he kept saying they just don’t do helmets very often here.

So lots of prayers for us all. Waiting two weeks in not ideal. I’d rather just start the surgery and get it done with. I hate anxiously waiting.

Caelan Update 🦕

Yesterday we met with Caelan’s neurosurgeon. By looking at Caes head he determined his frontal suture is completely closed and where his soft spot is suppose it be is just about completely closed. He said Cae has Mild Metopic Craniosynostosis which means it has to be fix soon but Caes skull isn’t bulging anywhere which is good. He is having Cae get a sono next Tuesday to see if the frontal suture is soft enough to fix endoscopically but doctor is not optimistic for that. He’s pretty sure he’ll have to do the more invasive procedure and Cae will be in the hospital for 4 days. Usually to have the head fixed endoscopically it needs to be done by 6 months and Cae is 8.5 months. So we shall see Tuesday. The doctor then said Caelan will be having surgery Wednesday no mater what the Sono determines. He and I will then be admitted Wednesday while he has surgery and recovers.

It’s all moving so fast which is good in a sense because I don’t think I could sit for another month waiting to see what will happen next. But on the other hand I feel like a train is rushing at my full speed and I’m frozen in one spot. I have lots of questions for our next appointment. This past appointment I was just trying to hold it together I couldn’t even think of questions to ask after I heard surgery was needed.

So please continue prayer for our family. This has been very hard on all of us and of course Caelan is clueless. Pray for steady hands by the doctors and caring nurses. Also prayers for some nurses that will speak English. It makes it ten times harder to remain calm when you can’t understand what is being said. Prayers for Finn as well because he’s worried as well and having to miss school to travel to all these appointments. Prayers for safe travels back and forth. Lastly prayers that there is somewhere for us to stay close to the hospital so Dan and Finn do not have to drive back and forth everyday because thats 4 hours a day.

🍋2020 Can Suck A Lemon🍋

As I stated in my last post Caelan had a doctors appointment Friday. At his 7th month check up the doctor noticed his head was measuring small and he had no soft spot. We were told to come back in a month to have it reexamined and see if his head is growing at all. It is growing a tiny bit but there was a bigger problem.

Friday the doctor confirmed that Caelan has Craniosynostosis. Which is a fancy way of saying the plates in his skull have began to close and fuse together. That’s not suppose to happen for a long time. Over the last month we have noticed he has a large intent where his front plate fused but also he has a pointed ridge going from his nose to the top of his head. Had it just been the front plate the doctors would have just continued to observer him over then next few years and see how it develops. But because he has the ridge there is more concern. This is not something monitored or fixed at our base because the base is so small. So we have to be sent 2 hours away to a Germany University Hospital. His appointment was made for Mid December but after talking to the neurosurgeon they want us to come in Monday. The neurosurgeon said he wants to see Caelan as soon as possible so that he can evaluate him and get moving on different test that need to be done.

We will know more Monday, I hope! It is all very overwhelming, scary and emotional for both Dan and I. Craniosynostosis apparently is very common. Sometimes requiring surgery sometimes not. With Caelan they are leaning more towards needing to do a surgery then having him in a helmet for a bit. Common or not it’s terrifying for us.

You can see Caes ridge pretty well in these two photo

I’ve been crying on and off since the appointment. The thought of my little baby needing surgery on his head scares me to death. I know God has it all in control but this momma is still scared.

Finn is having a very hard time here. He hates Germany, his teacher and his class. A lot of kids are picking on him on a fairly regular basis and his teacher is not doing much to help. Finn is very emotional and upset on a daily basis. We are working on getting him a counselor and having him meet with the school counselor. Finns been to 4 schools in 4 years, had Dan gone for a year, a new sibling and a massive move away from family! Then to not feel welcome at school, a place he’s always loved, is extremely hard on him.

So PLEASE continue to pray for us! It’s been a rough week on all of us. 2020 hasn’t been kind (we know we aren’t alone in feeling this way). I’ve held it together all week but I think tonight might be my breaking point and lots more tears shall be arriving soon.

Being a mom is so hard…but when people are picking on your kid and he’s miserable and your other kid has a big medical issue you reach a breaking point. I want to protect and shield my kids from all the hurt and pain in the world as I’m sure every mom does.

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