Thursday, December 24, 2009


Well last year didn't feel much like a traditional Christmas should feel. We checked out of the hospital sometime after noon after spending 4 nights there delivering Avery. I'm so excited for a Christmas when Avery can get caught up in the Santa fun of things. Right now she just loves bows on gifts but maybe in the morning she will be thrilled to see brand new toys sitting under the tree from Santa. The holidays seem like they will be so much more fun with a baby/child to enjoy them with. I am now starting to understand why so many people look forward to seeing their families during the holidays.

It is hard to believe that this is Avery's SECOND Christmas. Time just flies...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pre-Teen Years already...

Laugh if you want to, but I swear I am getting a taste of the pre-teen years. Yes, she is only going on 11....MONTHS...but still...she has that sass going like there's no tomorrow. All day and night for the past 2 days...we get a shrill, ear bursting, rage-provoking, scream. And for what? Heck, we don't know. For now, if we shake our heads "no" she stops. (Why is she listening to us?)

We have yet to determine what she wants. At first we thought it was only when I talked. We tested that out...nope....she did it to Stephen too. She has a few words in her vocabulary but so far none of them are helping resolve her issues.

Onward we trek- how many years is it until they pass the teenage phase?

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Germs and nasty weather! Yick! I was always an easily grossed out person but now...I'm extremely paranoid. I'd be happy to spend the rest of the winter in the house. Stephen and Avery may go crazy doing this but I'd be absolutely fine. I cannot hear anything but sick people coughing and all I see when I look around me at the store are germs. I'm pretty sure I would be fine with people pointing and laughing if I started wearing a mask and a HAZMAT suit. I don't care.

Poor little Avy finally has a real cold and it has been a humdinger. Seriously- it is now day 29 of the nasty little thing. Well, technically she's had one cold after another but they blend together after a while. Now she has the croup cough to go with all that. Luckily she is still a really happy baby. I don't know how we grew to be so fortunate but she still giggles (and then chokes and rubs snot everywhere) all day long.

Check out Avy's Kloakedoke. I'm obsessed with this awesome thing! We put it on a 4 year-old too and it still fit. It was so cute too!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Clearly a Goofball!

Babies change so fast! Everyone knows that. For the first 6 months of their lives they are pretty much impossible to figure out. One minute you know EXACTLY what they need, how to read them and when to do whatever they want you to do....and you do it perfectly for a day. Then in the middle of the night they change and you have no clue anymore. This is frustrating but time flies so fast you don't remember the past few days...instead you focus on the moment.

Well, right now I feel like things have slowed a little bit. Avery has been the "same" for about 3 weeks now. She gets up before the sun (this varies between 3:30-6:30am), plays for a few hours and MAYBE takes a nap once a day. She goes to sleep between 7 and 7:30pm. This isn't an absolutely concrete schedule...but it is the closest to perfect that she has ever created for me. Man- when you aren't spending time figuring out what to do for your baby- you get to know their personality so much more. Avery is an absolute goofball! She does things on purpose to be funny...I didn't even think at 8 months a baby had that type of intelligence. She sure does! When you tell her "no" or try to stop her from doing something (usually very dangerous stuff she is attempting) she lifts her chin really high, raises her eyebrows and goes "huh?" I swear in her head she is saying "what are you doing to do about it?" Then she laughs at you and stops. My favorite thing is when the neighbors dog barks (which it does CONSTANTLY). Avery crawls to the front door and looks out. She usually says "uhh" whenever the dog pauses. She squeals like a maniac on our walks when she sees a dog (and she can see a dog coming before I can).

I hope these type of days last....I know eventually she will start some new phase and the "slowness" will be gone. For now I'm recording every second of it on film, paper and photos. This is the start of her personality...I feel as if I am learning all about this new little human every day. It is absolutely amazing to watch a baby develop literally over night!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Brock, B-Rock, Brock-lee, BuhBuh, Brotha Brock

I haven't hurt like this since my Grandma passed away 3 years ago. And it is "just" a dog! I feel so many things right now. I'm angry at myself for buying a dog from Petland- when I knew it was a bad idea. The damn cute puppy face sucked me in. Why did I think Brock would be different from all the stories you hear about Petland? DUMB!

I'm so mad at Petland's new owners and the old owners. I don't understand how it is legal to sell an animal with a "Petland Warranty" but then deny someone the warranty because of "new ownership". My warranty only says "Petland Warranty" NOT "Petland Owned by Tim Mohrfeld warranty". {Oh and by the way, the former Assistant Manager, then General Manager is NOW the "new" owner of Petland. So guess what? He's just as guilty as the previous owner and management team. Remember The Holocaust? Stanley Milgram's study on obedience...especially when it conflicts with your morals? Yeah- just because you weren't the owner still dod the deed when you were the Asst. Manager and General Manger. Also, by the way, I have your card where you crossed off "Asst. Manager" and wrote "General Manager". The best part...when I first came into the store in tears because my dog was extremely ill 5 days after taking him home- the Asst. Manager is the person that sent me home stating nothing can be done about my dog being sick. Now when I went into the store the guy doesn't even recognize me and acts as if he spied on Tim Mohrfeld and helped put him away. Yeah- I don't believe you!}

Anyway this is about Brock...not Petland really. He didn't choose to be in any of the situations he is in. I didn't choose to have an amazing dog that is too sick for me to care for. I now feel as if I am one of "those" irresponsible owners that give their dog up after realizing how much time and money it takes to care for the pet. I really did expect to spend some money on him...but thousands...and I literally mean THOUSANDS in 15 months is more than any person can expect. With a pedigree touting "champions" in the bloodline and reputable, small breeder, one would never expect to have a dog with so many health problems from birth. A bit of allergies may be expected in this breed- but Brock has yet to be normal as long as I have known him.

I miss him to death already. I know he wont be eating for a few days out of stress and sadness. He always mopes around the house after we board him. My living room looks funny without his stuff in it. It seems strange not to hear his snorting and crazy loud breathing. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself without him.

I know one thing for sure- I will be joining the ranks of many people coming after Petland and their poor policies. Thanks for offering me a free dog to get me off your back...but that isn't going to take away the pain of losing my companion. I worked hard to get him to be a lifelong pet...and for what? A great deal of regret because I spent as much on him as normal people spend paying on a really nice car in one year? The feeling that I should never be allowed a pet again because I gave one up? Extreme sadness for abandoning my dog...and knowing that he is going to be sad?

I just hope he can get better and will be put into a home that loves him as much as we love him.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Poor Brock


It is so sad for me to write this but it truly is time for Brock, our French Bulldog, to hopefully find a new home. After many many nights and days of pondering, arguing and stressing we have decided that we really cannot keep him with us. As many of you know, he has severe allergies. The good shelters are full and I honestly can't bear to just drop him off. Please let me know if you know of anyone that understands Brock's cost and is interested in taking him in. We do not know what else to do at this point. He is as healthy as he is ever going to get. With a new baby and plans for another one in the future he is not getting the care he deserves and in the past two months we have spent a total of $1000. While these were one time charges to help get him fixed up we just can't have a dog that requires so much special treatment while our daughter is beginning to get around the house on her own. Even though the past 3 months have been complete hell for our family in trying to give him medication and deal with all of the symptoms of his allergies, he is doing extremely well. We have been tempted to keep him but we feel we have decided as a family that if he were to incur more costs in the future that we could not justify them with a new baby to provide for as well. We do realize we are one of "those" selfish dog owners that got themselves into a mess. We have tried to go after Petland for forging Brock's pedigree but we have not gotten anywhere with that. He most likely is the result of inbreeding and may have future health problems that no one can predict.

His allergy medicine is $98 per 30 days
His food is $57 for about 3-5 weeks depending
Shampoo for minimizing his bacteria/yeast from itching is $37 every 3 months or so...

He also has folliculitis right now and requires antibiotics and a steroid (these are about $25 for the dosage).
At his next birthday he can have an allergy test done ($250) to determine exactly (hopefully) what he is allergic to.
His allergies may be under control with Atopica/$98 med but we can't tell due to the folliculitis.
There may be cheaper medications to try that will help but we were just trying to get him stabilized before switching medications again.

I know this is a total shot in the dark because of his cost and problems. I can happily report that the only true signs he has now are constant scratching and he is losing quite a bit of hair every day....but he doesn't have any bald patches anymore. He is able to eat the prescription diet now and hasn't had any problems with it. He is an extremely social dog that gets along with all sizes of kids and animals. He does need a refresher course in obedience as he has gotten a little more rambunctious these days.

He is an INDOOR dog, neutered and has a great relationship with the Jordan Creek Animal Hospital vet, Pam Erdman. Here are a few photos below.
I'm sorry for rambling. I have wanted to stop writing and delete the email so many times but his expense and time requirements are causing too much conflict in our home. Thank you for your time,

The Harding Family

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Its About Time

I feel so dumb! I know "time flies" and all that but I spent today in a real funk all about time. I swear a bazillion new projects fall into my lap...literally FALL into my lap all at the same time. I've learned to turn a bunch down over time. I'm a lot less busy than I once was but I'm still TOO busy.

Anyway- I thought I found a few things that would really make a difference in my schedule. Things that would allow me to spend more time with my family. Then I realized I would have to leave my daughter with someone other than myself. This could be a caregiver or it could be her dad. Regardless, I was sad. So sad I cried off and on at just the thought of it. Maybe this is normal but it lead to something else that made me more upset. Our wedding anniversary is coming up soon and we have spent more time apart than together.

This is not how I envisioned life as a family. No matter how many hours Avery is unconsolable, leaving her with someone else still seems unbearable. All I really want is to have my family home together for dinner. Even though Stephen is home in the morning until after lunch it isn't the same as coming home from work for dinner. The morning is a busy time with everyone getting ready for the day. It doesn't leave much time for just being together or even going off to play at the park.

I hope this time issue works itself out but for now I'm going to work on holding onto mine!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Too Hard to Resist....

That is what got me into this predicament to begin with...Brock, my French Bulldog, was too hard to resist. We only went to Petland to LOOK at puppies and then buy from a reputable breeder. Yeah right!! Once you see their puppy-dog eyes and smell their puppy-dog breath you are in deep doo-doo!

I've owned dogs before and I know better! Still...pregnant and living alone...I could not say no when my husband bought our little Frenchie to keep me company until the weekends. Aargh...just a year has passed and the vet bills and frustration has piled up. Our Brock has allergies beyond belief! The cost to maintain him at a manageable level of discomfort is more than $200 per month. I'm not sure I'm ready to give up frivolous spending to keep my dog somewhat happy. Maybe if he didn't smell from the yeast that wont leave his body or if he didn't scratch so much that he has no hair in a lot of places then I would consider growing my roots out and not picking up every cute dress/outfit in Avery's size at every store I walk into. I wish it wasn't so black and white. He's either unbearably sick or perfectly healthy. When he is perfectly healthy he is on medication that he can't be on long-term due to more side effects.

So we are faced with a few black and white decisions. Keep Brock-Don't Keep Brock, Give him to someone who will keep him medicated-Put him to sleep, Stop medication and live with it-Keep medicating him and hope he doesn't die from the side effects of the major meds he is on.

Then...when I went back to Petland to find out what they were going to do about his warranty I was told nothing could be done because the store owner was new. This makes sense in a tiny way but at the same time- Petland is still a corporation and they should uphold the warranty if the animal they sell is still alive.

Well today I was called and told that I could choose any replacement puppy I wanted. So I have to decide if I want another puppy to raise- and if so what kind? Do I want to stay with the Frenchie Breed or let my husband choose? I really only like Frenchies and Boston Terriers.... If we get a new pup will we really feel better about getting rid of Brock? Do we keep Brock and have the new pup as a back up in case Brock dies? There are too many scenarios and not enough guaranteed outcomes.

The biggest issue is that a replacement puppy is too hard to resist....OH MAN...there it is again...too hard to resist...

Sunday, June 28, 2009


During pregnancy I was confused by the whole- 9 months but really it is 40 weeks-which is 10 months thing! That concept is nothing compared to me trying to figure out how old my daughter is. She was born 12/22 so on 6/22 that would be 6 months old. However, if you count the weeks she will be starting her 28th week of life tomorrow. So 28 weeks is 7 months. Ugh...I don't get it!

Today she was acting weird- she would be sitting totally happy with a toy and scream out in pain with tears. Well- Daddy stuck his finger in her mouth late in the day to see if she was teething and there was already a little tooth poking through! Wow! We can't believe it. I can't even imagine what she will look like with a little tooth in her smile. Awww...but she's changing so fast every day.

We are preparing for our first big trip away from home. We will be heading to Little Rock, AR (9 hours) and then to Keota, OK. I will be driving through the night so we don't change Avery's routine. YIKES! I'm normally not too afraid of crime or strangers but with Avery going to Little Rock I'm worried sick! We are staying near the River Market....

At least she got her tooth out of the way for now...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Made the Switch to Cloth Nappies!

So I'm not from England or any of the other places that seem to call diapers "nappies" but I've been aching to use the I did! :) Nappies!

Let me define a few terms for those of you new to the cloth world
AIO- all in one (means the diaper looks and acts like disposable but its cloth)
Pocket- you have to stuff an absorbent liner into the diaper
One size- the diaper should grow with your child and you wont have to get a different size
Prefolds- are what you imagine when you think of old fashioned cloth diapers

For the past 21 days Avery and I have been trying cloth diapers out. Here is what we did and the results:

First we ordered a 21 day trial for a deposit of $121 (upon completion of the trial we return all items and get $111 back) from We received the following items:
Thirsties Fab Fitted $13.95
2 Chinese Prefolds $2.00 each
1 Fuzzi Bunz Pocket $17.95
1 bumGenius V3.0 Pocket One size $17.95
1 Thirsties Pocket AIO $16.95
1 Snappi Diaper Fastener (used in place of safety pins) $2.49
1 Thirsties Cover (used to go over the Thirsties Fab Fitted or Chinese prefolds) $10.95
1 bumGenius Organic AIO $24.95

Avery is long and lean so her "best picks" may be different from a chunkier kid. She is also a super and night!

Thirsties Fab Fitted are bulky. They fit nice around the legs and belly but her bottom looks like J-Lo's! We sent this one back

Chinese prefolds- did not even try! I couldn't figure out how to fold them and I did not want to clean up any leaks. We also didn't use the Snappi...the directions were not easy to follow on that silly thing.

Fuzzi Bunz- this diaper didn't leak and it was pretty soft. I felt like it was really bulky too but we kept it for night time. She wont be able to wear pants over this one but it has extra room for long nights of sleep.

bumGenius Pocket one size- overall this was the best one we tried in the bunch from this trial. It is supposedly pretty trim compared to other brands. I didn't have much trouble with leaking except once at night. The liner doesn't lay down correctly or maybe I don't put it on right so she leaks at the top of the diaper. These liners take forever to dry but it is worth it for their super-absorbency.

Thirsties Cover- hands down the best leak proof item I tried. However, it fits over the already bulky Thirsties Fab Fitted diaper so we sent these back. (We kept the Thirsties pocket diaper)

bumGenius Organic AIO- ok so I was torn on this one. It takes forever and then some to dry because of all the "all in one" parts. I also felt it smelled horrible when she peed in it. I washed it 10 times before using it and I washed it immediately after she soiled it. It came out clean and smelling fresh but within minutes of urinating...I could smell a terrible odor...and not of pee either! We did keep this one for nights because it is super soft, organic and it is very trim. I would not stock up on this one for the price.

During my trial I washed the heck out of these diapers. I washed them EVERY day! I wanted to see how they would hold up, plus I wanted to use them a lot and with only this small amount of diapers I had to wash often.

I was pretty sure I was switching to cloth so I started shopping around Des Moines to see who carried what.

I found bumGenius at Simply for Giggles. I bought one diaper and paid $21.99 plus tax. If I were to purchase 6 or more I would pay $17.99. This is a competitive price as long as I buy 6 or more. Online I can pay less but in most cases there is shipping. (Jillian's Drawers offers free shipping on your next order after the trial). So at this point I wont be buying 6 of the bumGenius diapers because they still aren't "perfect" for Avery.

I stopped at Little Padded Bottoms in Valley Junction. What a GREAT selection of products. I had no idea about this store and was in love the minute I walked in. I purchased the following items:
Wahmies Pail liner $16.50
Wahmies wet bag (regular size) $15.50
Grandma El's diaper cream (suitable for cloth diapers) $10.95
1 Swaddlebees Nappi (in super cute chocolate and pink!) $28.95
3 GAD Pocket Diapers $15.95 each
3 Knickernappies LoopyDo Inserts $6.95 each

I love the Wahmies pail liner and bag- I wash them every time I wash the diapers.

The diaper cream is nice but it doesn't compare to Desitin- which I can't use with a cloth diaper! :(

The Swaddlebees diaper is rather bulky but it is so cute that I just don't care! It is very absorbent but overnight, Avery woke up with wet skin and a slight diaper rash. The Velcro is extremely strong.

The GAD diapers are by far THE trimmest diapers I have tried. The inserts are great but my super soaker needs a little more. We will be heading down to the store again this week to add a second insert to her diaper. Even if we add another insert I think these diapers will continue to be super trim. The snaps hold well too.

Finally, I ordered a 3-pack from for a total of $45 including shipping. The features of these diapers make them my all time favorite. They hold well, they absorb exactly like the bumGenius diapers and they are extremely trim. The colors are pretty basic but they do have some added flair here and there. They are easy to wash because the liner comes out on its own in the wash!

I'm going to order a few more bumGenius from Jillian's Drawers with my free shipping, a flushable liner that goes on top of the inside of the diaper (so you can just flush the liner with any poo!), and maybe a few extra absorbent inserts to "beef up" my other nappies.

I'm ordering another 3 pack from because so far I love these diapers.

Little Padded Seats is such a cute once I get the inserts I need I will try to stay away from the store! :)

My total spent so far on diapers is just under $275 and I have enough for 1.5 days. (meaning I do laundry every day). My goal is to spend about $75 more and have enough for 2 days and a morning.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Crying Out Loud!

Oh man I am throwing in the towel! I've asked dozens- and I really mean dozens of mom's what they do to get their kid to sleep. I get an entirely different answer from each one. My poor girl used to do the same thing every night- sigh, yawn, look off into wonderland...I'd put her binky in and drop her in the crib. Within 5-10 minutes she was out for 9-12 hours.

Now...I spend no less than 3 hours per night listening to her cry. I find myself sitting at the bottom of the stairs or outside her room crying right along with her. I don't know what to do! I pick her up and she falls asleep right away so I know her needs are met. I put her back in the crib. She will either cry right then or sleep for 5 minutes and then wake. Well I have been trying to let her "cry it out". I let her go for 2 hours and 35 minutes tonight and she starting choking on whatever she started spitting up from crying. I felt soooooo horrible.

So this last time that I picked her up she clung to me as if she was fearing for her life. Then when I started talking to her- telling her she really needed to go to sleep- she started laughing at me. I just broke down. WHY!?!?!? This is just insane. I feel crazy. I go from laughing at her and thinking she is cute to crying. Am I letting her down? Why wont she sleep- what does she need from me?

The past 3 weeks have been so unproductive. I have so much to do and no time to do it because of my little munchkin. I love her to death but the crying is killing me!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Reading Between the Lines of Baby Talk

I've read plenty of research that says the first year of parenthood is extremely hard on a marriage. So far at nearly 6 months through I would have to say that we are doing just fine. We haven't had any "fights" or weird arguments so far. However, we do speak to each other through baby talk!

This sounds funny but I'm sure everyone has noticed it before. Instead of telling Stephen I am annoyed that I had to get out of bed and take care of Avery when it is his turn I will say to her, "I guess Daddy didn't want to help you this time so I will". Other comments have been, "I know you are starving but mommy doesn't think so", "Tell Daddy to pick his dirty shoes up so you can have room to play".

Anyway- instead of actually speaking negative things to each other we have put our complaints "between the lines" of baby talk to our daughter. Maybe that isn't any healthier than just arguing, but for now it works.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Phase II-Title Deed Ceremony

Well Phase II of Christ Life is finally over. I say finally not because I'm tired of it but the 3 hour time commitment every week was kind of annoying. I was so busy today that I didn't have time to think about what I would contribute to the ceremony. So I arrived hoping to be inspired.

Describing Christ Life to anyone that hasn't been through it is a bad idea. So let me just say this- I arrived scattered brained but when I left I felt strangely calm but drained. Part of these feelings can be attributed to the days tasks but the rest I think was the ceremony.

Tonight we were to write down the issues we struggle with from Phase I and Phase II and nail them to a cross (meaning we give them to God to work through). Once we finished explaining to our peers what our issues were we then took them down and burned them outside. This sounded really crazy and pointless to me prior to actually doing it.

I sat with my pen in hand and didn't know what to write. Even after 26 weeks of working on this I had no clue what to put down. I think this was me being stubborn. It was my head speaking for me instead of my heart. So I just wrote down GUILT and traced it over and over. Then stuff started coming to me. My biggest issue that I can't resolve on my own is GUILT...Guilt for things I shouldn't even feel guilt for. When I stood up to explain my issues I said I was putting the guilt I feel for keeping my mom out of my life and Avery's life on the cross, and that I was wiping the slate clean with my dad since he is making a minimal effort to be a part of Avery's life... and something came up that I hadn't really felt like was bothering me... just attempting to say it aloud made me shake and feel weak. I've felt guilt for the way my brother was me. I know I've admitted this to myself before but tonight I threw it out there to let it go. My brother turned out just fine. It was never my responsibility to take care of us and especially not to take care of him. I should never have had to do it. I should never have had to feel the guilt of him struggling through life because he didn't have a strong role model to guide him. He's doing great now and it wasn't ME who got him where he is. He did it on HIS OWN! He turned out ok. His struggles were tough and can be attributed to the way I parented him/lack of parenting but it is ok-I am not going to feel guilty anymore- I don't need to feel that guilt! I did the best I could.

Now that this Phase has ended I'm ready to move forward...which I have already started to do. Phase III will be hard as it will require discipleship like I've never known before. I'm ready to serve others though so bring it on!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Come Back to Love by Rachel Scott

I want to give you reason to love, an example to pursue. Your dad and I are doing our best to love each other and love you. I know there are times, I know there are trials. But we've always come back to love. I want to give you reason to trust, to believe what you can't see. The lesson of my life has been, learning how my God loves me. And though I am weak, and I have often failed, The Lord has always been faithful. Oh my child, the love of my life. It is my heart that I'll always do right, in your eyes. And if I ever let you down, please know my love for you in this song. My baby I want to do for you more than I could ever do. If I could have a prayer for you, please don't walk in my shoes. Just cling to the one, who calls you by name, and remember how much He loves you too. And He says, "You are the love of my life. It is my heart that you'll know why I died with you in mind. And if you think you've let me down, please know, please know, please know my love for you in this song." And always know that you can come back, back to love.

What a fabulous song! I wasn't expecting such a powerful message at the concert tonight. This just brings to mind how much responsibility I have as a parent to ensure that my daughter's Christian journey begins earlier in life than mine- and that she is a stronger Christian earlier in her life than I have ever been.

Monday, April 20, 2009

It is Not about Me!

This blog is about me...but the main focus of our Christ Life discussion tonight was that our life is not about us.

This is probably a hard pill for everyone to swallow- myself especially. I found myself saying in my head- I'm not trying to be selfish- but I do want to live a fun life. I can understand how our lives are being consumed by chasing the dollar and whatever other materialistic/social/professional gains we obsess over...and that is SELFISH. However, what if we are focusing on how to simplify our lives in order to be focused less on ourselves?

I don't know- I get lost in here somewhere. I know the gifts I have- but how do I use them now and what ones do I use? If every day I am only taking care of my daughter, studying the Bible and taking care of our household responsibilities am I making my life about ME and not God? What does it look like to live a soulish life instead of selfish? Our facilitator said that everything we do should bring glory to God. Ok- I can totally appreciate the fact that He deserves it and that we should do this as often as possible- but this makes me feel like getting a latte is selfish. Does it really go all the way down the ecosystem- as in- God made cows-which make milk- and are a part of God deserves glory for this- but what does that mean?

Ha ha. I had to get this out of my head. It is just as confusing out as it is in my head. At this point I'm pretty sure my life is more about me than it should be but I don't know any other way to live life. I have no clue what to do if I were to wake up tomorrow and say everything I do will be about God. I do feed a dog, a baby and my husband so I'm taking care of God's creatures.

I'm thinking too hard and feel drained. I thought I was done trying to figure out my "purpose in life" but I guess not.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I think I'm afraid of the dark...

Have you ever watched a scary movie and then been "afraid of the dark" as an adult? You know- where you pull all the blinds and turn on every light...but you really have no reason to be scared?

I've read about the death and resurrection of Jesus MANY times in the Bible but now that I'm actually "studying" as I read I got myself all freaked out. I feel like an idiot saying it (typing) aloud but I'm going to put it out there and hope it goes away now....but yeah... I'm afraid of the dark now. It is completely unreasonable and beyond crazy to be so scared but I literally jump into bed and throw the covers over me because I'm scared. I tried to visualize what it was that was making me feel scared but I can't. Am I worried God is going to show up and scare the pants off me or what? I have no clue. I just know that every time I get done reading my daily assignment I feel like I just watched a scary movie.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Bible needs a Google search feature

Those of you that know me (or have spent even 10 minutes with me) you know that I'm a know-it-all...the annoying kind too! Well I'm in Phase II of Christ Life ( and I feel stupid. I really feel like asking the facilitator to dumb it down for me (I apologize if that is an offensive way to phrase things). I've always been a good student and I'm quick to learn new things. However, this part of the Christ Life series is not sinking in. I don't know if it is technique or my own lack of effort.

Bits of what I heard tonight and my response are as follows:

Jesus will come down riding a white charger and we (if we are dead then) will be following. In my mind I just kept saying "Huh uh". So does that mean I don't believe in Jesus and all that has been explained in the scriptures? The whole mental picture that was being painted in class just made me say "no way...not true..I don't buy it!" Then I tuned out for another 10-15 minutes.

Jesus lived the law perfectly and thus because we were baptized in Him then so did we. Wait...what? I'm still sinning today and every day...we all are!! So how does this work? I don't even know the law well enough to know how I sin every day. I'm that far behind!
So Jesus is the second Adam because he did as the first should have.
I get this part. But is this true? Does that even matter or did someone just make the connection and think it was cool? So Jesus was perfect...I get it. The facilitator responded to this whole situation as if she were really moved...I don't feel that way.

Somewhere within the two hour class we were talking about how the Holy Spirit works and how we have to listen and see spiritually to recognize it. I posed the semi-hypothetical situation from my small group: A guy and a girl break up. He sees the girl in places where she normally never goes and sees her there more than one time. He takes it as a sign from God that he is either to talk to her or maybe they are to get back together. So I pose the question- just how is a person to know if that is God's intention or that it is just their own mind willing it to be so? The response I get It is in the Word. So read it and test it. WHAT? How...what page? Where is Google located within the Bible? I understand that we are to be "in the Word" daily etc. However, when faced with a situation that is live and going on at the moment what does one do if they don't know the Bible enough to just pull the right verse out of their brain? I'm not cool enough to have flashcards with themes on them to yank out whenever I need it.

Ugh..I don't know. I don't think I've ever felt so dumb or struggled to understand a topic before. The class's purpose is for us to identify the false things that we believed in the past (i.e. that we are worthless, unlovable etc...whatever our problem may be from growing up). Once we identify those then we are to replace them with truths from the Word. It is just not working for me. I'm spending a lot of time in this class trying to figure stuff out and it isn't adding up.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Married Single Parent

I'm so frustrated right now. I've been trying really hard to just let things be but I'm so ready to freak out. Stephen's job is consuming all of his time. He leaves the house around 4:15am and gets home anywhere from 5:30pm to 7:00pm. When he gets home he is so tired he falls asleep within 30-45 minutes. Avery is always hungry at this time so I'm busy feeding her and trying to throw dinner on the table. He eats and then falls asleep while I am putting Avery to bed and then I eat dinner.

Tonight he got home and turned on the t.v. He started to talk to me but then got distracted by the show. I asked a couple of times if he would finish what he was saying but I got no response. When the commercial came on I asked again but he forgot what he was saying. Avery screamed for 3 hours after dinner for no reason at all. She finally fell asleep but it was too late- Stephen was also asleep. He had mentioned going in to work will be Saturday. We made plans to go to the mall so Avery could see the Easter Bunny and then go to lunch. Two of my friends (one of which has not met Avery yet) have finally settled on time to hang out. I feel torn. I have not spent any time with Stephen for weeks so I don't feel like I should go out with them for a couple of hours. At the same time, he wants to go in to work anyway so if I don't go with them he will just work longer. If I do go with them he will be home with Avery for a while but then will either go to work or fall asleep from going in to work really early.

I just hate it. I know he wants to be a big part of raising Avery but he is too tired. Money isn't worth this. I don't care if someone comes and takes our cars and our house...I really seriously don't care. What is the point of having a baby and wife you hardly see or spend time with? I feel like I'm a married single parent.

When he first started the job I complained about him working too much. They had him travel out of state for 4 weeks straight. Luckily my brother was home on leave or else I would have gone crazy spending 4 weeks alone with a 4 week old. Stephen said I made him feel bad by complaining so I stopped. I try really dang hard to just say, "oh, ok" whenever he tells me he is working late (every single night). There is no point to complain to him as it wont change. I just don't know what to do. His schedule says 5am-3:30pm and no one is telling him to get in to work and stay this late. He just takes it upon himself as he doesn't think he is getting enough done in his normal day. The more hours he works the less his pay per hour at this point he could be working just about anywhere with less responsibility making the same amount per hour as he is right now. That is stupid!

I thought venting would make me feel better but it doesn't. I'm so sick of going to bed alone while he sleeps all crippled over on the couch where he fell asleep in the middle of whatever he was doing. I feel sorry for him as I know he is so tired but he is doing it to himself at this point. I don't understand how he cares to be around for Avery so much yet he wont stop working extra hours so he can actually see her.

If I don't get a break from her sometime soon or at least spend some time with my husband I don't know what is going to happen to my mental state. I love taking care of her and I want to stay home with her but I need a break once in a while. Even if it is just so I can go for a walk alone. Anything at all.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

She's not so tiny anymore!

Avery wasn't really tiny to begin least not compared to most babies. :) She is growing so fast. It's crazy that something can change and grow right under your nose and unless you think about the past you can't tell. What I mean is- if you don't purposely think about two weeks ago then you wont realize how much your little one has changed. I am so torn between being sad that she is growing out of the "tiny" baby stage so fast and wanting to see her walk and hear her laugh. She's so alert an interested in the world around her. Sometimes when I see that she is mesmerized I find myself mesmerized by the same thing because I am trying to understand what might be going through her little mind. Life seems so much better through her eyes. :)

When visiting friends this weekend we finally had the courage to take her to church. We've been a combination of apprehensive and too deliriously tired to make it. I'm glad we finally took her. Before she was born she would kick like crazy during the entire service and especially during the music. She loved listening to the music and "sang" along by cooing to the female vocalists. It was good. Life is pretty good right now- especially in Avery's eyes!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

2008...what a year

I waited for my emotions to calm down before writing this but I've had a lot on my mind. 

First- many people tell you that the minute you actually have a baby you change. This seemed unbelievable to me but I now know that it is true. Literally, moments after taking care of my daughter for the first time I felt entirely different about a ton of things. The way I thought I would take care of her, raise her and who I would allow to be a part of her life prior to her actual birth are completely different from what I have in my mind now. I think part of that is instincts and another part of that is the strange happiness that overwhelms you. Ugh..its tough for me to say things like that but after spending my first day with Avery I had a change of heart about a few things. One of them was whether to let my mom meet Avery or not. For months prior to her birth I had made some black and white resolutions about my parents. Within a few hours of her birth I had changed my mind. For my mother this was a good thing...I decided that it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to allow Avery to know her grandmother...under strict guidelines and supervision of course! I realized that my mom wasn't going to actually hurt Avery. Instead, the real problem would be making sure that she showed me respect in front of my daughter...or else she would no longer be allowed in Avery's life. We haven't had this conversation yet but it is coming. 

For my dad things have changed in a negative manner. I wanted so badly to have a normal relationship with him and to drive the 1 hr and 15 minutes to his house so Avery could hang out with her grandpa and grandma and uncle...but his response (or lack of) during my entire pregnancy (and life for that matter) confused me so much more now than ever before. When I felt the way I did when I met Avery I was hit in the chest so hard I couldn't control my feelings. I know Stephen felt the same way. Instantly my mind went to my could he have avoided the feelings that I was feeling for Avery..the day that I was born? I was his first kid. He went on to have another kid with my mom so he must not have been too unhappy YET. If he did feel that strong did it go away? If he didn't feel it...why did he have more kids? Anyway- there is nothing that would keep me from Avery no matter what life brings. So I just don't see how my dad can stay out of my life the way that he does. I've sent him a letter explaining some things but I'm done making any effort to include him in my life and in Avery's. 

On a more positive note...2008 was probably THE most messed up year of my life. Everything that could go wrong did....and yet the "wrong" was perfectly right. I somehow managed to quit everything I was doing at the start of the year and start doing things I never dreamed I would do. At this very moment I have no clue how life lead me to this point...and so quickly. I know there is no way I had anything to do with it. To get from where I was on 1/1/2008 to where I am now would seem impossible. I mean- how do you get from living with an ex, going to school, working a job that eats up your life to being married, having a baby, working from home and being happier than you could ever imagine? I think that is what surprises me the most. I've been working so hard for so long to achieve this happiness....and all I really had to do was stop trying so hard. In fact, I had to make choices that were not the most responsible and well-thought out in order to arrive where I am right now. 

Hmm...  so much changed for me in 2008. I think 2009 will be the first year that I actually  live my life...