- I have a lot of different emotions for a Friday. There’s no doubt that my hormones are still out of whack, but putting them aside, I think it really has more to do with what happens around me. I almost feel like I’m in the vortex of a tornado, and the forces surrounding me are moving much faster than myself. I often feel like my life is a race right now. If it were a NASCAR race, it would probably be the track in Richmond. It definitely feels like a short track, for I’ve been speeding all week and I’m back at Friday already. I have 5 days off every week, but they go by so quick. I can’t help but feel a little melancholy over going to work in the morning. I pray not to feel that way, but I can’t help feeling a bit sad about leaving my babies. Or sometimes I feel like my life is a circus. I’m certain it looked that way to the crowd of eyes watching the fiasco that was me bringing my kids and bags into Kroger and trying to secure a suitable cart. I certainly felt center ring as Chloe screamed shrilly that she didn’t want to sit in the basket and I muscled the infant carrier into another buggy. A teenage girl actually looked at me with disgust and said “Do you need help or something?” Glad I could prevent another episode of 16 and Pregnant. So there’s one emotion for you; melancholy, dipped in self pity.
- Don’t worry. I never let that one hang around for long. How could I? I’m usually so steeped in joyful amusement, I don’t have a chance. Bailey had her 2 month appt. yesterday. She had grown a lot. The chubby cheeks, pot belly, and Michelin Man legs had given me a clue. When you have to move fold after fold to clean the poopie, you’re doing good. 90th percentile in weight. Chloe is on her 2nd day of wearing panties with zero accidents. Ben and I are exhausted, but pleasantly so. Chloe kicks Ben all night. Bailey keeps the whole house awake with her grunting in her sleep. Ok, actually, she just keeps Ben and I awake. Chloe sleeps on, kicking away in her dreams. Ben said Bailey sounds like she’s climbing Mt. Everest. I suppose Chloe is running the Boston Marathon. Glad someone has the energy and physical stamina. So there’s another; joy intertwined with amusement and a side of exhaustion.
- I always feel pride for my girls and my selfless man, but today I got an extra measure of pride to add to my emotional pocketbook. I went to visit my baby sister. She is home now with a baby of her own. I really enjoyed watching her hold her son, so gentle, yet so natural. He seemed so comfortable with her, as only a child can feel in their Mother’s arms. She knew how to soothe him. We exchanged conversation on breastfeeding and I offered any meager tips I’ve picked up along the way. I brought her a quick meal I fixed. It felt nice to pay forward the generosity others had given me in the way of advice and food. I didn’t want to leave, but knew well enough that my children needed naps. As I drove away, I prayed for her and her son. There’s another; pride swaddled in love, with a cushion of nostalgia. As our day winds down here, Chloe watching cartoons, and Bailey napping in my lap; I feel one of the best emotions of all: peace, saturated with blessed contentment.
That is all 🙂
- Valentine’s Day is actually a special holiday for me. It’s not so much the actual day, but rather the memory it stirs in me. I returned back home to Mississippi in late 2007. It was a difficult time for me. I was suffering reverse culture shock after having been away from home so long. I was also going through an unexpected divorce. I won’t go into details about this past relationship other than to say, I didn’t seek God in the beginning or throughout the relationship. That in itself should not make its failure seem so unexpected after all. Either way, I was suffering from depression and found it difficult to reach for anything that brought true happiness. Within a short year of my return, my Mother passed away. This event only added to my already gloomy approach to life. I think a part of me felt like I thrived in this darkness. I would often jot down morbid poetry that Ben admits now frightened him at the time. 2. My dearest Ben was there with me through it all. Like the poetry, there were things I did he didn’t approve of and vice versa. The February after my Mom died I went card shopping for Valentine’s Day. It was only natural that he would be my Valentine, even though our relationship status was questionable. I had been pushing him away. I knew he still loved me, but was allowing me my space, perhaps because he wasn’t sure what else to do. I had cocooned myself into my living room, smothering in my own solidarity. As I stood in the store aisle reading through cards, I found one I rather liked. It had a silver heart attached to it that read “love always.” It hit me then, or rather God hit me. His voice in my head said, “Brie, if you’re gonna give him this card, you owe it to him to really mean it.” I stood there thinking it over and realized, I really did. I always had.
- I thought of a song this morning as I thought of my forever Valentine. Its lyrics go “Who will love me for me? Not for what I have done or what I will become?” My husband truly exemplifies Ephesians 5, loving his wife as Christ loves the church. After you’ve been rejected in life, you can often be afraid of love, especially a love that is non biased and unconditional. We love each other this way. Every Valentine’s Day I remember when I chose to not be afraid, but rather to love and be loved. Happy Valentine’s Day to my sweetheart of all times, my rock, my companion, my help mate, my lover, my best friend, my husband. I love you more each day.
That is all 🙂
- My little independent thinker, aka notorious toddler, otherwise known as Chloe, has made the decision that she is ready to potty train. If I were trying to potty train her, I wouldn’t even bother to mention it. I would realize that any vain attempts by myself to try and sway her towards doing something to make my life easier would only result in a dramatic crash and burn, punctuated with many crying spells. In this instance though, upon waking this morning, she proclaimed, “I wanna wear panties today.” So she has. She peed in the potty all day. One part of me is surprised. Another part of me finds it completely in line with how she does things. All of me is proud of my ever growing baby.
- Since Ben and I are like two big kids who can’t wait till Christmas morning to open our presents, we started celebrating Valentine’s Day today. Some will state it a silly holiday, saying you should show love to your significant other every day. I can agree with that, but when you never buy anything for yourself anymore and spend all your money on your kids; it’s a parent’s dream holiday. I try to not wait last minute to shop. In fact, I bought Ben’s gift last week. I realized I had forgotten the card, though, as I put my items on the conveyer belt. I bought a heart shaped pan and the ingredients for Chloe and I to make and decorate a cookie cake. First, Ben informed me this morning he was swearing off sweets. Then he came home from break with a very elaborate gift for me! Even though it was last minute, I have to admit I enjoyed shopping for gifts for my sweetie. As for the card, most stores were sold out except for ones for your three year old nephew. I ended up finding a suitable one at Kroger. He liked his presents and that was the best gift for me. Well, on second thought, the iHome dock I got was the best gift.
- I was planning to spend some time with Chloe this week anyway, but the potty thing made me want to even more. I told her we were going on a date. We took Bailey to my Mother-in-Law’s and we were off. We went to Gooseberry and enjoyed yogurt complete with toppings. Chloe chose sprinkles and gummi bears for her chocolate yogurt. She then ran circuits around the drug store aisle, which I allowed for a short time. She helped me pick out her Dad’s gifts. And by help me, I mean she ran through the store hiding in between racks, climbing on displays, and forcing me to drag her by her arm across the floor as her little limp legs dragged the ground and she screamed “let me go!” I suppose I thought it a brilliant idea to go shopping at 6 pm after no nap all day and a gummi bear sugar crash. We kept going. In K-Mart, she donned a hat she called a “giddy-up hat” and sampled every item she could get her hands on. I had told her she could get something for peeing in the potty. I tried the keep walking trick. I circled around and followed her as she wandered aimlessly in that silly hat saying “I’m looking for my Mommy.” She was too enthralled by neon pink nail polish to be truly scared. She finally settled on a huge Dora coloring book. Our date had come to an end. My heart was happy when she stated in the car, “I don’t wanna go back to Nonnie’s. I wanna keep playing with you.” Before I could respond, she was asleep.
That is all 🙂
- I’ve been trying to get back in the swing of things on the Gowen home front. It’s almost like my brother was right about the hospital waiting room being the Twilight Zone. I certainly felt like I was returning from an alternate reality last night. The absolute blackness on the highway at midnight only added to my exhaustion. Bailey took some time to be convinced to fall asleep for the night. I longed to stay awake with my sweetheart and tell him the excitement of my day, but the rhythmic motion of rocking the baby lulled me away as well.
- Chloe had not stayed awake as long as the rest of us. So she was understandably ready to roll this morning. Oh how I had missed my little tornado yesterday! She apparently missed me too. She greeted me this morning as I sat on the commode by saying, “I can’t stand it any longer. Take off your boobie so I can have it. I haven’t played with it in days and days!” No, you didn’t misread that, and yes, it’s a direct quote. Bailey has napped a lot, allowing Chloe and I time together. It apparently isn’t enough, though. Even as I sit here rocking Bailey to sleep in another room, Chloe keeps coming to the doorway screaming “watch me!” As she dances to Dora. Every time, I say “Shhh… Good job” and she screams back “oh thank you, thank you!” It’s a wonder the baby ever naps at all.
- Earlier I watched old episodes of Downton Abbey, with a sleeping Chloe on my lap. There was a part where a young maid said to a lady of the house, “You all are raised that way, to believe that every dream you have is within your grasp to be accomplished. We are not taught to believe that.” It made me think about how opinions on that differ between a believer and non-believer. If your faith is rooted solely in your own abilities, it may be quite easy to believe you can’t do something or that your dreams cannot be accomplished. But when you place your hope and trust in a Loving Father God, He gives you the strength, endurance, know-how, and confidence to see your dreams realized. When we rely on our own devices, we are almost like a lower class, incapable of achieving greatness for lack of resources. But as a child of God, we have been bestowed a great inheritance, that once realized and claimed, makes us capable of obtaining many great dreams and achieving many great heights.
That is all 🙂
- It’s a boy! My baby sister had a baby. I feel so many emotions right now. I held her when she was a baby, and it seems almost strange to me that she is now having her own. Before we could see her, they sent a video of her holding little Jaxon. Her profile looked exactly like my Momma. I pictured Momma holding her 21 years earlier and I almost fell apart.
- We were at the hospital about 12 hours. It made for a long day. I had Bailey. I was proud she did so well, but nursing all day on the calories derived from a bag of Doritos and Reese’s cups left me drained. I don’t know what people did in waiting rooms before smart phones. We all took turns sharing one charger. Thankfully my Dad didn’t electrocute himself using his pocket knife to remove the child proof device from the outlet. My brother said a hospital waiting room is like the Twilight Zone. After watching 13 hrs of The Weather Channel, I have to agree. I saw a proud new, young daddy in there. I smiled as he told someone on his phone, “Sorry dude. I gotta go. I got a baby to take care of now.”
- When I walked into the delivery room, I was surprised to see my baby sister had been replaced by a woman. Her countenance had somehow changed. Her eyes showed a wisdom that had not been there before. I cried as I put my arms around her neck. “I’m so proud of you.” I said, pointing at her son, “Look what you did!” Already sounding like a Mom, she told me calmly, “Don’t cry.”
That is all 🙂
- There are challenges to anything you do. If the benefit is greater than the challenge, you go with it. If the pros outweigh the cons, you proceed. Such is deciding to breastfeed your child, for me. As I sit here and allow two vacuum type devices to grab my breast and yank my nipples back and forth; I think on my baby’s face. Only a woman can put herself through such a thing. Imagine feeling akin to a dairy cow. Nothing is more delightful than being away from your baby while you work and becoming so busy that your breasts fill with milk to the point that you fear a needle stick would make them pop like a balloon. Insert sarcasm here.
- When I lay in bed last night, all I could long for was sleep. Conditions weren’t favorable though. I had my infant daughter suction cup attached to my right breast (she had missed me terribly and needed Mommy’s flesh pacifier). My other daughter was cuddled in my left arm with her hand on my left breast. She still sees my breast as a security blanket in times of fear or when she’s exhausted. My poor husband sat in the corner looking sad, no doubt wondering if it would ever be his turn again.
- I started these facts with saying when the good is better than the bad, you go with it. That is breastfeeding for me. It is challenging. It’s not always easy. I sometimes feel confined or chained to my baby. I can’t really diet. I still have to watch what medicines I take. The thing is, when I can look down on the angelic face of my baby, when I see her little fingers curl around my shirt, when I realize I am giving life and nourishment to my baby, when I experience the beautiful bond between us, and when she smiles back up at me; it is then that I know I wouldn’t have it any other way.
That is all 🙂
- This morning as I was getting ready, I had a moment of good ole nostalgia. I flashed back to my teenage days of trying to sneak into the house past curfew. All the tiptoeing I did this morning brought it to mind. I had 4 people asleep in 1400 sq ft of space, so I was going from here to there, shutting doors, walking softly, and trying to mask loud noises of getting ready for work. I’m not sure which was scarier, waking a baby now, or waking my Dad back then. No disasters this morning; unlike as a teen when I turned my headlights off coming down the driveway and drove onto a metal culvert, splitting my tire in the process. It was definitely worse waking my Dad that time.
- On Monday, I shared my plan to cut down on carbohydrates in my diet. You may not believe it, but this here Cookie Monster has adhered all week to no carbs. It seemed to work fine all week at home when I could make eggs and sausage for breakfast. Fast forward to today. 2 pm rolls around and I still hadn’t eaten. I felt dizzy, weak, tired, and my milk supply when I pumped was down. Finally ate a late lunch of meat and veggies, but I still had a headache and generally felt like garbage. Walk onto any nursing unit break room and you will likely find a box of donuts. That’s right. I fell off the wagon and it felt good!
- Being a Nurse is always about helping people, giving care and compassion, and offering emotional and/or spiritual support. Often, as a Nurse, you can become so busy with the physical wellness, that the emotional and spiritual wellness are easily overlooked. Today I was super busy with the physical aspect of a patient. Family was present at the bedside and quite emotional. I felt God urging me to pray for them. So I silently did. But I still felt the urging. I asked them if I could pray with them and they agreed. After I finished and again before they left, the family thanked me for giving them spiritual support at the right time, just when they needed it. It felt good to encompass all aspects of my profession and life as a Christian. It made the carb withdrawal seem not as important after all.
That is all 🙂
- I’m sure most of you are familiar with Murphy’s Law. It basically states: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. For example, if you get a flat tire; it’s going to be in a remote location, raining, and you’ll be wearing your best, yet least functional shoes. Nothing shows off Murphy’s Law better than parenthood. If you want to sleep in, as I did this morning, your children will wake early, and nine times out of ten, earlier than usual. This morning I felt sure I could coax the little ones back to sleep if I cuddled them next to me, one on each side. Bailey (swaddled in pink and resembling a frantic caterpillar) was grunting and rooting my shoulder in search of more milk. Chloe was jabbering to my left with requests to watch Dora in the living room. I told her she could watch it in the bed and even put in on in a vain attempt to gain a precious few more minutes. Ever tried to sleep through a Spanish rendition of twinkle, twinkle?
- Bailey turned 2 months old today. I gave her a bath and put on a cute outfit. I was thinking photo shoot! Once I got her all set up, Chloe crowded into the shoot in true jealous fashion. I took some of them both to make her feel special too (like Chloe’s entire existence isn’t a photo shoot already). Then Bailey really started grinning. So I started clicking away with joy. Then I discovered the root of her smiles. On her white onsie I spotted a liquid brown spot spreading up to her nipple line. Photo shoot complete. Back in the bath and a new outfit. I laughed. This is a perfect example of parenting at its best under Murphy’s Law conditions.
- Yesterday I had something that was concerning me. To be quite honest, I was worried. I couldn’t see how it could work out really. I prayed about it. I spoke to my husband about it. I decided after I spoke with Ben, to just let it go and have faith that God would work it out. You all know this is something this control freak struggles with. Today I discovered it was taken care of. There’s no explanation that can logically explain why it turned out like it did, but miraculously, it did. God is faithful to right all wrongs. Remember when I’ve said He has our best interests at heart? I still believe it to be so. That being said, I suppose you could say I don’t really put much stock in ole Murphy’s Law after all. But, dang, kids will sure try to prove that theory true!!
That is all 🙂
- For those of you shock factor seekers out there, I encourage you to try out babysitting a two year old. Much of what comes out of there mouth will surprise you, amuse you, and possibly leave you wondering, “where did they get that?” I suppose, though, that the shock factor could go for any child. For example, I certainly didn’t expect the baby just now to spit up right down my cleavage. And I was definitely awed when my 9 year old step-daughter cleaned her room without being told and then said to me, “You looked like you had your hands full. So I thought that might help.” Wow. But I think these talking toddlers really surprise us because we don’t expect half of what they say to come out of their mouth, especially at such a young age.
- Sometimes they catch you off guard and you have no idea where they get their material. This morning while watching one of her favorite shows, the character made a joke and Chloe said, “Ha. That’s a good one.” Or this morning when I woke up she wanted me to pick her up, but I had to go to the bathroom first. Trying to teach a lesson, I said, “Mommy has to go pee in the potty because she doesn’t wear a diaper. I wear panties and pee in the potty cause I’m a big girl!” She replied quite indignantly “You’re not a big girl!! You’re Mommy!!” Or when we’re brushing her teeth and she wants to do it. I say “Let me do it first.” And she replies, “I wanna do it first too!” Or when she bumped her head and I told her we were out of band aids, she coyly said, “A Popsicle would make it feel better.” It’s all day, every day, nonstop entertainment.
- Other times, you know exactly where they got it from. You. Chloe has taken to consistently telling me when I complete a task, “Good job. Good job Mommy.” I suppose I should be grateful for the much needed motivation. So pleased she can return the favor. She has also started using nonsense words a lot. There’s tons of them. Pooka, too-too, bumka. This morning I realized she only says them when being corrected. Well, that happens a lot! She also says them with force behind them. Then it occurred to me that since she’s gotten older and able to understand and repeat, I’ve worked to filter my language. If I drop something or burn dinner I will bust out with some made up word instead of using a curse word. So apparently, my kid is using bad words, but only she and I know it. Ahh. My little mimic.
That is all 🙂
- My sister sent me a text earlier today that had a video of my little Chloe, and I do mean little. The video showed a bald little baby who could not crawl or walk. She was sitting on the floor at my brother’s house, bouncing up and down to an old record. Yes, I said record. My Mom left behind an extensive and very cool record collection. Chloe was so tiny. Seeing her so small, made me think about yesterday. I had gone to put the baby in the swing. I was surprised to see her feet slightly hanging over the edge. My first thought was “she’s already that long?!” My second thought happened to be a memory of Chloe as a baby, newborn, so tiny in turquoise pants, laying in that very swing, without her feet touching the edge. I recall a commercial for a soap opera. “Like the sands of the hourglass; so are the days of our life’s.”
- So often, a small child can say something and you’re like “what?!” So many nonsensical things escape their lips. I’ve begun to discover that just because it sounds like nonsense, the majority of the time, it is not. Sure, when she says “pooka, pooka”, I can be pretty certain that’s a made up word, but even that may mean something to her. Earlier she said, “Mom, I want twinkle, twinkle hairbow!” What?! I repeated it back to her and yes, I had heard it right. I could have let it go as nonsense and said “Okay baby. In a minute.” We’re all guilty of that, right? But after further investigation and questioning, it appears UTube on my phone was what she desired. As I searched “twinkle, twinkle” there was a video with a singing star (literally), complete with a smiling face and a pink bow on her star head.
- This got me to thinking. How often are we like this with life? How often do you look at where you’re at, then think about where you want to be, and have no clue how that’s gonna happen for you? Do we mistakenly and unintentionally see God’s will for our life’s as nonsense? When He speaks to us, do we say “Ok. In a minute.”? The verse that came to me then was Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares The Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” Maybe if we can slow down with the task at hand, open our ears to His voice, and then investigate (think on and meditate) what it is He’s trying to tell us; then, maybe then, we will not just think our life’s are nonsense. Perhaps with open, non biased, non preoccupied ears, we can hear and more importantly understand the meaning and will for our life’s. They may seem like sands in the hourglass, but the eternity for which we are preparing is not.