Friday, October 1, 2010

Not Happily Ever After

I am human. Moms are human. As much as we'd love to be perfect for the sake of our babies, it's just not possible. I had a few of those less-than-perfect days last week. Allergies + a sore throat + chronic insomnia = one cranky mother of two. It was bad. My poor babies had to put up with my mood swings and my very short fuse. It got so bad at one point, I had to lock myself in the bathroom for a few minutes and just let it all out. When I came out, my eyes were red and my ego was shattered, but I managed to pull myself together and apologize to the little people for being a jerk to them.

"It's OK, it was an accident" Julian said as he threw his arms around my neck.

We have good days, we have bad days. That's life.

There is no such thing as happily ever after . Happiness comes in moments. Sometimes it may last a few days. Sometimes a few hours. Sometimes only a few minutes. But it goes as quickly as it comes. The trick is recognizing it when it arrives and savoring every precious second of it.

We all have troubles, bills, traumas, pasts, problems, things/ people who annoy us, etc... but there is no rule or law that says we have to dwell or focus on them. Life is short.

I think about the many years I wasted depressed. I got the professional help, I took the meds and I was still unhappy. I wished to die more times than I can count. I had to get sick and feel like my life was coming to an end for me to realize how amazing life is.

I spent many nights thinking about what my babies would do without their mother. I cried for all the times I actually thought their lives could be so much better without me and I begged Him for a second chance.

I had a hamper full of blood-drenched clothing, which sat their  for several days. After I came home from my second D&C, I didn't even think they'd be worth washing, because I thought the blood stains had surely set in by then. I threw them in the washer anyway, hoping to save a few things. To my amazement, every single stain came out. And it's not like these were little spots or anything. Half my wardrobe (the bottom half) was completely covered in blood. And they were all gone......I didn't even pre-treat!!!

Thank you Tide, for washing away the blood. Not only did you save me a whole bunch of money, but you gave me hope.........................................Hope that everything would be OK.

 I still have bad days, like every other human on this earth, but at least I don't dwell on it anymore. I take those moments of happiness and I engrave them into my soul. Whether it's something funny the kids said or finding a dollar in a dirty pair of jeans, I savor every second of it. I let it run through me and purify me, before it runs off and 'life' happens again. And when it goes, I don't say goodbye, I just say see you later, because I know it knows where to find me and that I'll be waiting with arms wide open.

Beauty is everywhere.

 You just have to pay attention. Look closely. Smile.

It's funny how the more susceptible we are to life's constant ups and downs, the more ups it seems to bring. Don't get discouraged when life brings you a whole bunch of downs all at once, though. Cry, think, sob a little if you need to, but as soon as that up makes an appearance, grab it!

Remember, life is short. Don't wait for a reminder from Him, to make every day count.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I Am Happy, Because...

Look at what I got in the mail on Saturday morning-

It's my notice to appear at my local ASC on October the 12th at 9am to have my biometrics taken. Yay! After that, it's one more interview to prove our marriage is legit (which should be quite obvious) and then I will be a legal permanent resident!

I am happy, because...

I decided to challenge my craftiness and try this super cute, baby shoe pattern found *HERE* and look what I made-

I love my boys, but sometimes I just have to do something that feeds the girlie side of my soul. Plus, I have a lot of girlfriends with baby girls, who probably wouldn't mind a pair of these.

I am happy, because...

I made these little felt strawberries and didn't know what to do with them afterward, but they sure look lovely around my pumpkin scented candle on my favorite Party Lite candle holder. Plus, they make great photo props. (see pic above)

I am happy, because...

I got sick of graham crackers and bought some Gourmet Maple Cream Cookies instead. Twice the price, but worth every penny. And they get extra points for being so darned cute! The boys loved them too!

Too bad they are 170 calories per serving (2 cookies).

Ah, it's the simple things in life that give me joy :)

Happy Blogging!


Monday, September 13, 2010

The Heebie-Jeebies, Life and Crochet

Last night was strange. Stranger than usual, I mean. I was struck with insomnia and a mad case of the heebie-jeebies. Mind you, this is quite normal for me, but last night was worse. I started torturing myself with irrational thoughts of random acts of violence against myself, my kids or anyone else closely related to me. I started thinking about how "dangerous" it is for me to go out jogging all by "myself", even though there are always at least a half dozen joggers running about. Then my mind shifted to natural disasters and the thought of the next big one. How would I get through that? how would I ever find the will to survive if any of my loved ones was suddenly gone?

It didn't stop there. Then I went into my gotta-figure-out-a-way-to save humanity/ promote world peace/ end global warming/ end terrorism/ save the whales etc.-mode, which led to crying. Yes, I cried, alone, in the dark.

For about an hour, I was afraid of the world. I was afraid of living. I wanted to take everyone who was important to me and put them in a little magic box where nothing could ever harm them. Then, I figured if I took the people who I care about and put them in my box, and then they took the people who they cared about and invited them to come along, and so on, the entire world would end up in there and it would be much too crowded. It makes no sense! It's impossible to protect everyone from everything.

Last year, this would have kept me from getting any sleep at all, but not anymore. I can't live this way. I choose not to. I took my worries, my anxieties, my fears and offered them to God. I told Him I trusted Him, even though I don't understand Him sometimes.

There are so many things I want to do. I don't want to get to the end of my life without doing every single little thing my heart has ever desired. I subconsciously started on a few things last year. I had always wanted to learn to knit, but I'd always manage to convince myself I wasn't the knitting "type". I would tell myself "I'm just not patient enough, I'm not creative enough" over and over.  I was my own obstacle. I haven't exactly started knitting yet, but I did learn to crochet. I've gotten pretty darned good in the past year, if I do say so myself. And like so, little by little, I plan on following my heart wherever it takes me, because I want to LIVE in more ways than one.

Crochet opened up a whole new world for me. It reminded me of the artist inside me. The one who loves colors and patterns and designs, but was afraid to come out and fail at something she's never even attempted. I've been crafting up a storm these last few days, in hopes that I will eventually become good enough to open my own Etsy shop.

Here are a few things I've made. Took the pictures with my phone, so they may not be the best quality, but you get the point.

Felt Barrettes-

Crochet beanies: 

I made my own patterns for those, so if they look a little odd, it's because I'm a newbie at this crochet stuff. I'm also working on a shawl and a few other beanies. And I'm going to be having a few giveaways soon, so stay tuned!

Tonight I will only allow myself five minutes of fear, because yes, the world is a scary place, but it is also a wonderfully unpredictable place full of God's beautiful creations.

Happy Blogging!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Molar Pregnancy

During the summer of 2009, my husband and I were thrilled when we learned I was pregnant. It wasn't exactly in our plans, as we were still adjusting to life with two toddler boys (thirteen months apart), but we celebrated the news as if we had been trying to conceive for years. We immediately started discussing names and daydreaming about what life with three kids would be like.

We were happy.

So when I started spotting at twelve weeks pregnant, we panicked. I had never bled while pregnant before and that terrible word started flashing in my head: Miscarriage!

It was late, so I couldn't call my OB, and I knew that it wasn't all too uncommon to spot during the first and last trimester, so I did what any modern day woman would have done- I googled it.

I took comfort in the fact that it wasn't heavy bleeding and that I hadn't passed any clots. I read and prayed and researched and prayed, over and over again.

The next morning, the bleeding was gone. I called my OB, made an appointment and prayed some more.

I spotted lightly during the next several days before my appointment. I must have read a thousand different stories about women who spotted and went on to have beautiful babies a few months later. I was trying to keep the hope alive. I remember reading a few things about bleeding and molar pregnancy, but I would skip through it thinking that could never happen to me. For one, it's rare...and two, those types of things don't happen to me, only to others! [sound familiar?]

I went to my appointment hoping they'd be able to detect a heartbeat. They couldn't. So they gave me orders for an ultrasound. I couldn't quite see the screen as they were doing it, but I could see the confused look on the radiologist's face.

He wouldn't tell me what he saw and informed me I'd have to wait until my OB talked to me the next day. This should be illegal. I'm surprised I didn't lose my mind.

At that point I had convinced myself that there wouldn't be a baby and that something was surely wrong. I cried in my husband's arms and demanded an explanation, as if his guess would be any better than mine.

The next day, my OB told me he wasn't happy with the quality of the ultrasound and gave me orders for another one at a different lab, along with orders for a chest x-ray.

A chest x-ray???!!

A few days later my doc had me come in and confirmed the molar pregnancy. Then he told me they had found a nodule in one of my lungs. He explained the risk for Choriocarcinoma that comes with MP, that it's highly treatable, how chemotherapy is sometimes necessary, that I'd be ok...blah blah blah. At this point, I just wanted to fall on my knees and cry. I couldn't believe this was all happening to me.


I was scheduled for a D&C a couple of days later. By that time, I was about 14 weeks 'pregnant'. It definitely didn't feel normal by then. I was extremely nauseous, my stomach was huge, I could only eat a few bites before feeling full... I was just altogether uncomfortable.

All the nurses and doctors were amazing during my stay at the hospital. I was only there a few hours since it was an outpatient procedure, but everyone was so incredibly sweet and understanding.

I'll never forget though, only one person actually ever told me sorry for the loss of your pregnancy and he probably has no clue about how much that still means to me. Thank you, Dr. Weller -for being the best, most funniest, most sweetest anesthesiologist in the whole world [who was also my anesthesiologist when my little Tyler was born, by the way]

I was supposed to have my HCG levels measured every week until they went down to zero. They decreased during the next couple of weeks, but they started to rise again on the third week, sending me on, yet another, 'why me, why me?!!' rant rage.

I kept having nightmares about dying in front of my kids and watching them as they helplessly cried for me

My OB officially referred me to an oncologist after my HCG levels continued to rise for the next three weeks in a row.

The first oncologist was a jerk, so I asked to be referred to another, but before I could meet with the second oncologist, I ended up in the ER. I had been bleeding heavily and passing giant clots off and on for two weeks, and my mom decided enough was enough and made me go to the ER. [God bless her motherly soul for doing so]. They took me in right away and scheduled me for a second D&C the next morning. I slept comfortably knowing that if I bled anymore, I'd at least be in good hands.

The next morning, when I got up to go to the bathroom before my procedure,  gravity did it's job and I left a giant pool of blood [much to my roomie's amusement] leading all the way into the bathroom and back, right before passing one more giant clot. A nurse said she'd never seen one that big. I may hold the Guinness world record, for all I know...

Anyway, I had a second D&C and my HCG levels went back down to zero, several weeks later. My oncologist told me the nodule wasn't a big deal and that it wasn't uncommon to see them in chest x-rays.

.I am now working on a research survey that I intend to publish soon. There isn't a lot of information out there about what causes a molar pregnancy and ignorance isn't always bliss. At least not to me.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy Place

I don't, by any means, live in the lap of luxury. With two kids and only one income, it's hard to make ends meet and sometimes that means having to go without a few things here and there. Truth be told, I don't mind.

We have a small, yet spacious, one bedroom apartment in a lovely city with schools, parks, downtown and the library nearby. We take long morning walks through it's beautiful, tree-lined streets about as often as the weather permits. I took the picture on my header during one of those walks.

We've only been here about four months, but I've truly loved every minute of it. We used to live in a two bedroom apartment, which was nice because the kids had their own space and I liked having a space for Joe and myself to catch up at night without worrying about waking a kid or tripping over a toy truck, but we needed to save some money on rent so we 'down-graded' to a one bedroom.

I will shamelessly admit that I live with an 'everything happens for a reason' state of mind, but every once in a while something will happen that will make me believe it 10 times more than usual.

Like when Joe took a 20% pay-cut due to the crappy economy and I realized we'd have to make some changes just so we could keep up with our bills and I kept telling myself 'Well, [grunt] everything happens for a reason.....[grunt, grunt, gripe, grunt, grunt]!!! ^%@$%&*&*!!!'  and then that same pay-cut brought us to a 'smaller' apartment in a beautiful city, only to have Joe's boss tell him he was un-cutting his pay-cut a few weeks after we had moved.

If that's not an 'everything happens for a reason' kinda' situation, then I don't know what is...........

I like it here! The boys are still young and don't mind sharing a bedroom with us....yet. I love crawling into bed at night and being able to hear them breathing nearby. I love how Tyler crawls into bed with me in the morning and says "wake up, mom! I need ceweal'. :)

I'm not fond of mullets, but I love my living room.

Huh? lol

Business in the front

Party in the back!

Some day, I will have real cows, and I will learn to milk them and make cheese, and then I will make them dresses and bonnets and name them Coco and Betsy. Oh! and then I will feed them chocolate, just to prove the whole 'if you feed a cow chocolate' thing........but until then, I will keep as many toy cows as I possibly can. 

 The best part about this apartment? This super cute little, vintage Hardwick stove that came with it.

Took these with my little Casio cam, so not best quality.

And the snowman on the right, well, I keep him there year round for a little summer time Christmas cheer while I cook. Plus, it reminds me to sneak a little cinnamon into everyone's food. It's good for your blood glucose levels, you know?

So, I may not have a great, big house with a big backyard and swimming pool, and that's OK. I have everything I need right here. Joe, my boys, my cows and my snowman are all I really need. It's my happy place. :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Day My Best Friend Died

I'll never forget the day I found him lying there, lifeless.
No blood, no mess, no clue as to what had been the cause of his death.
I assumed he had been laying there for a while, because there was a trail of ants leading right to his corpse.

He was usually very playful and vivacious. That was part of the reason I enjoyed being around him so much. He always knew how to lift my spirits. So, when I saw him looking so tired and feeble, I panicked. He wasn't being his usual self and I knew something was wrong. He was weak and frail. The last time I saw him, I made him lunch and I left him alone to rest. That would be the very last time anyone ever saw him alive.

We'd been good friends for at  least 18 months and I'd see him almost every single day. Sometimes, he'd disappear on me for several days at a time, but I'd always find him again. I'd never ask him where or why. I just thoroughly enjoyed his company and his safe return was all that mattered to me.

I moved about 11 times during the coarse of my childhood. Up and down southern California, across the Mexican border and back, here, there, everywhere, blah... Just thinking about it makes me nauseous. I'd never been anywhere long enough to make a friend like him.  I liked him because he was naturally sweet.  It just came naturally to him to be gentle and caring. He did have a wild, crazy, playful side, though. Oh, man! we had some of the greatest tickle parties. He was a great tickler, especially when he'd go down into the belly area. Oh! I'd never laughed so hard in my life. But when it came down to being serious, he was always there to listen. No matter what I had to say, he'd listen without being judgmental.

Still, to this day, I ask myself why...? of all the things to take from me, why him? Why did a good, kind, gentle being with so much energy and zest for life, have to go? I was but a mere child, who didn't truly grasp the concept of death at that point and I had to find him, draped across his little bed, stiff. Spiritless. Breathless.

I cried myself to sleep that night. I kept thinking about how I'd just seen him alive, and, he was gone. My mom tried to calm me down, but the pain was just too deep.

"We'll get you another one, baby", she kept saying.

"Another what?" I kept thinking. "Another best friend?" How would she replace that? How could she possibly replace the profound connection, the friendship, the memories, by getting me another one?

I wanted to kick and scream, and I did for a while.

I was heartbroken for several days.

You see, to me he wasn't just a hamster. He was a wiggly friend. A furry companion. The reason my room stAnk like rodent piss, but I didn't care. He made me smile. He never had a name. He had several. Gilbert. Juan. Clara. Sunshine. Benito. I was always changing my mind, because that's what kids do...

I'm not even sure if he was really a 'him', I just decided to call him that for the sake of this post. I had to choose a pronoun and "he" was the lucky chosen one.  I'm not too familiar with rodent genitalia, so I hope you won't mind too much. I know I don't...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Glass Half Full, Thank You

There are days when you just have to force yourself to stay positive. Even when all you want to do is lay in bed, crying, wondering why all the bad things always happen to you, you have to gather the strength to put yourself together and remember that life goes on.

Yes, this unpredictable, unstoppable, incredible, yet beautiful, wild journey we call life, goes on.

All pics in this post taken with my little pink Casio Exilim 7.2 Mega Pixels

We spent the last couple of days out and about with the kiddos. Our "weekends" usually consist of mommy and daddy trying to combine errands + fun + adult time, as we are a one car family and my husband's days off are during the week and not the weekend.

So, we took the boys to splash around at Victoria Gardens and Julian dove right in. He's our little social butterfly, you know? Tyler, on the other hand, decided to pass on the water play and sat with mommy and daddy eating left over pizza from our lunch at Yard House. I kept asking him if he was ready to join his brother, to which he would simply reply "no, thank you, I'm fine".

 Meanwhile, behind the scenes, momma was trying to give poppa a pep-talk. He was a little down, and I don't blame him. I would be stressed /pissed /annoyed /upset too, if my employees were causing me enough drama to have to call an emergency meeting with the big bosses. On my day off!

But, the show must go on, and after daddy got done with his meeting [to which we tagged along on, of coarse] we went for a walk through downtown.

The little people ran up and down the sidewalk, while poppa and I took turns going into antique shops.

They ran up and down, stopping only to see the Metrolink go by.

 Then we stopped to get ice cream :)

We came home thinking the worst was behind us and that things would return to "normal" at work and at home.

Boy, were we wrong!

When it rains, it pours! 
who ever came up with that phrase was not kidding.

Joe woke up to find that the catalytic converter on his truck had been stolen. Poor guy. He had to wait for the police to show up and make a report, then he had to hitch a ride to work from his sister, who will be kind enough to pick him up from work today.

I had to give him another one of my pep-talks [I'm getting pretty good at this stuff!], we said a prayer, I massaged his shoulders and then we realized that it's really not that big a deal. 

Our kids are healthy.
We have a roof, food,water, clothes...and all the essential things that many are not fortunate enough to have.
We have awesome friends and family who we can count on. 

This is just a minor setback... and we all know a SETBACK is just a SETUP for a COMEBACK, right? :)
Of coarse, we can't help but get pissed off that some people like to be jerks and take away from those who actually work hard for they've got, but hey! sh*t happens!

Life. Goes. On.

 Smile. Count your lucky stars. It could be worse. And while it rains, pours, tornadoes, apocalypses, whatever....

My glass is still half full, thank you very much.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sweet Tyler

 I remember when I went to have my gender-identifying ultrasound, with a big round belly and a very young, almost-big-brother, Julian in tow [thirteen months apart!], secretly hoping they'd tell me I'd be having a little girl, so that I could immediately run to the mall, right after my appointment, and buy everything PINK.

They didn't tell me I was having a girl, but I went shopping anyway. :)

  Tyler- My delightful, darling boy. 

 He's special, you know? He say's things like "mommy, I'm hot-cold!" and asks questions like "are you happy-mad?". He loves animals and always says "please" and "thank you" and "thank you, please". He likes to eat salads with ranch dressing, and extra  "mee-moes" {more commonly known as tomatoes). 

 He is easily angered ...oh, and those tantrums!'d think the child was being physically tortured if you stood outside our door for a day.

I love the way he is naturally gentle and compassionate. Unlike his much rougher, older brother, I rarely have to remind him to be careful with Sadie. 

He is needy, affectionate and is constantly going around asking for hugs, especially when he is out of his element. He can be terribly shy and would rather cling on to me or daddy and dig his head deep into our shoulders, than to meet new people. He always cries during sad movies or even commercials <~click on that to see what I mean.
I love him.

He makes my life so wonderfully interesting each and every day and there is no amount of PINK on this planet that I would exchange my boy for. 


Saturday, June 5, 2010


I always knew I'd be a mother. Always. I remember being five years old and  playing house, swaddling all my baby dolls, feeding them, burping them, putting them to sleep and feeling like it just wasn't enough. I wanted a real baby. I wanted to be a mommy more than anything and I'd play it all out in my head.

 The way I'd hold my babies, the meals I'd cook for them, how I would dress them and the things I would teach them. Everything.

 My mom used to babysit a lot to make extra money and she would always let me participate as much as my age and knowledge would allow. As I got older she'd occasionally ask me if I wanted to cover for her and I would enthusiastically accept every offer, even going as far as canceling outings with friends, just so I could babysit. I still talk to a few of the kids I used to watch and it makes me so immensely proud to see that they have grown into beautiful, smart teenagers. One of them still leaves comments on my MySpace from time to time that simply say "Babysitter!". He has no idea how happy that makes me. :)

Now that I'm a real mother, I wake up every morning feeling like I've won the lottery. Sure, I have my fair share of bad, lazy mornings, but who doesn't? and what better way to deal with bad days than having a tiny human with sparkling, round eyes and a high pitched voice call you "mommy". It makes me melt. :)

Today I woke up a little bit sad, thinking about how big my boys are getting. I don't have infants anymore [and I kinda' miss it]. There's something about a droopy, warm newborn sprawled across your chest that just makes you want to sit there endlessly, savoring every second and engraving every moment, every breath and every curve of that tiny face into your brain, because you know that before you know it, they will have grown and memories will be all you have left.

Then I realized how we have left that stage and entered a completely new one which will be filled with just as much, or perhaps even more, fun. We have entered the stage of books and colors and fairy tales and trains, pirates, dragons and sword fights. I love having conversations with them, even if I get incomprehensible gibberish as a response to my questions. I love to hear them babble and act as if they just poured their hearts out to me only to have me smile, nod and pretend I know exactly what they said.

 We had a blast after my little epiphany. We pretended the couch was a great big boat and everything below it was a cold, choppy ocean filled with sharks. We gathered a few toys in a container and pretended it was our treasure chest filled with gold coins and precious jewels. Even Sadie, our puppy, joined in on the fun, and got to play a dangerous, wild crocodile for a half-hour.

We had so much fun and in between every "argh!" and every giggle, all I could think was how lucky I am to have them. I am in love with being there mother. They have no idea, but all my life I just wanted to be their mommy. And now I am. And everything makes sense again.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

We've Got The Blues...And That's A Good Thing!

I'm a girl. I mean that. Which also means I don't like dirt, bugs, sports or any sort of messy messes. But sometimes you just have to let lose and go with the flow. Especially when it comes to little boys who love to make messes.

 And so, that's exactly what we did.

The boys were thrilled when mommy pulled out her perfectly organized and clean bottles of paint for them to play with.

Paper wasn't good enough. We had to push the limits a little.

I just let them be....And I didn't even have a panic attack. 

I just kept reminding myself that it washes off... and when that didn't work, I thought about my own childhood and all the times I wished I could play with paints only to have my mother tell me I wouldn't be any good at it if I tried. I'm sure she meant well, she just didn't know any better, because her parents used to tell her the same thing.

For an entire afternoon, right in between lunch and dinner, we explored with liquid colors. Orange. Red. Yellow. But mostly blue.


Blue doesn't always equal sadness, you know? You can be blue and be happy! I have photographic evidence of that.

Blue toddlers are super cute.

I want my boys to know that it's OK to get messy.
I want them to unleash their creative sides every chance they get and I will provide those chances as often as I possibly can.
I want to break the you-can't-do-that cycle that my mother's family has carried throughout many generations.

You only live once and my boys deserve to live their little, precious lives to the fullest. 

Who ever doesn't like it can go....

Paint themselves blue.

'Cause we don't give a hoot!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Through A Child's Eyes

I love watching my kids discovering the world around them.

I love the way they trust the earth, and the way they don't fear the unknown. They just explore and discover their surroundings with a an innocent spark in their eyes.

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The way they don't need expensive gadgets or toys to appreciate God's gifts.

I love their enthusiasm for life and nature.

The way they love the little things.

I love the way they unconditionally love their mommy and daddy, even on bad days.

And the way they decorate our lives on particularly crummy days.

I love how they can get a "booboo", cry for a minute, then get right back up and start smiling all over again.

The way a hug and a kiss makes everything better.

I love their silly-hearted nature.

How making funny faces is a hobby.

And how everything is a reason to smile.

Even dirt.

I wish we could all see the world through child-like eyes.

With Passion.

With gratitude.

With love.