Thursday, November 25, 2010

Black Friday memories

First of all Happy Thanksgiving! I have so much to be thankful for...I don't think it could fit in a room.

So, as we had some friends over for Thanksgiving we were talking about how now Thanksgiving is overshadowed by the commercialism of Christmas. We can hardly enjoy a day to be thankful because we need to rush out the door to buy more stuff. We can't even enjoy the day now, because some stores are opening tonight at 10:00 pm for deals that cannot wait another few hours. (I don't know what our world would come to if we didn't have yet another cute pair of shoes, jeans, jewelry...)

Before I was married I didn't even hardly know about Black Friday. I just enjoyed the long weekend home with my family. Then I got married and my husband introduced me to the joys of finding a deal at 3:00 in the morning.

The most memorable Black Friday I went to was nine months pregnant with my first son, which truly should have cured me of it. I was introduced to the "thankful hearts" of many that pushed me around and made me stand in line just like everyone else. I guess I should say thank you to all of them, because I was in labor the next evening and gave birth to our son 12 days early for the love of a good deal.

I should have learned my lesson, but the deals reeled me in another year...a laptop for $200 or something like that. We snatched one of the prized possessions only to find out our brother-in-law scooped one up too and was hiding the the clothing section to get away for the angry mob until it was safe to purchase. He bought the one we needed and we were able to gift ours away to a kiss giving Billy Bob Thorton look-alike. It was magic!

Well those two years and moving to a town an hour away from Wal-mart have almost cured me of Black Friday. Part of me wishes I could wake early and stand outside just to feel the rush of buying something for a smoking hot deal. But I think the smarter older side of me will win this year, the one that wants to stay in bed until my kids force me out for another day filled with gratitude.

Happy shopping to all those who brave the madness!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I called...

So today I finally called and set up our IVF consult. It was crazy again to hear that I was calling an infertility clinic. It is still hard to believe that we cannot achieve a pregnancy on our own. I feel normal, until friends talk about wanting another child, and I am snapped back into reality. Oh yeah, the baby thing, of course we want more children, it just isn't as simple for us to achieve. A baby for us is an immense amount of planning, not only during the pregnancy, but long before the pregnancy begins. It begins by setting up an initial consultation, followed by tests, drugs, shots, more drugs, and of course doctors looking at parts that you would rather not be showing to them every other day. At times I feel robbed of the excitement, fun and desire that comes with achieving a pregnancy on your own. Instead of getting baby fever and seeing what will happen in the next few months; I get baby fever and have to push it aside, knowing that only chance at another baby comes with a huge price tag, and that is before it is even in my uterus.

Do I want this baby? Yes, with all my heart. Do I want the next six months to a year trying for another pregnancy? No, not really, but I will do what I need to to hold another precious child to my heart, and know that he or she is mine.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A decrepit

So the other day I was helping our almost six year old son make his top bunk bed. I climbed up on the bottom bed and was reaching and helping him smooth the sheets and covers. He was on top frolicking from one side to the other, trying to make a smooth bed.
Just then he looked over at me and declared, "Gee mom, you are getting really old!"
Realizing that I am not a bouncing teenager anymore, I didn't quite know what to think about his comment. Really old to me is my nearly ninety grandparents that have a hard time toddling around their small house. Surely I am not that old to him. In fact I have always looked very young for my age; for example, when I went to high school people almost directed me to the daycare center, because I surely couldn't have been old enough to be a student. When I received my driver's license, the poor lady almost passed out in fear that a girl could look so young and still be sixteen. We won't even talk about how it was to walk around as a co-ed in college.
So to be told I am getting really old unnerved me. Are my wrinkles showing up? Will my uterus be shot by the time we have money saved up for our next IVF? Do I need to start covering my gray? My poor kids are the ones that will be embarrassed to be seen around me because I look more like a grandma than a mom at school.
All these thoughts rolled around and bounced in my head, when the thought occurred to me that I should ask him what he meant by me being really old.
He replied with a grin the size of Texas, "You know, you are too old to climb up on the bunk bed. That makes you old"
PHEW!! Maybe I am not "really old", just about the right age. Too old for a bunk bed, but just right to be a mom.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


The other morning I was out for my walk with my friend and two year old son. It was frigid, all of 34 degrees, and we could see our breath. We were layered and my son sat bundled in his stroller as we power walked our way down the sidewalk. We were just about working up a sweat and had began to feel warm when we heard a horn beep at us. Now I have to say, usually we ignore the horns of passerby's mostly because they are men trying to pick up on us. (as if the stroller with a baby in it didn't give you a clue, we are not interested.) So we continued walking as the horn kept beeping at us. "Gee, they really never give up, do they," I thought.
Well out of the corner of my eye I saw the over-sized passenger van slowing and I realized it was the local bus beeping to get our attention. She pulled over and opened the door and asked, "Do you ladies need a ride?"
We looked at each other quizzically and back to her and replied, "Oh, no thank you, we are out exercising."
She gave us the most perplexed look as she drove away. I guess in our little town exercising still hasn't quite caught on, especially in 34 degree weather.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


No that is not our weekly salary, but we can dream...
It is actually the number of calories in ice cream my hubby and I have consumed over the course of three months. Sick, right? Long live shakes and chocolate lava cakes. :)

What infertility has given me

Lately I have been reading post about what infertility costs, both emotionally and physically. I have been there, both my heart and my pocketbook have shown a loss, but today I don't want to focus on what it has cost me, even if the costs have been great. Rather than focus on my losses, I would like to focus on what it has given me.

First of all, love and compassion: I do feel that I have always been a loving person, but sometimes I haven't always been able to express it. Infertility has opened a whole new world of people that have struggled with loss. I feel great amounts of love for them in their struggle. I can empathize with the pain and loss in a way I never thought possible.
In addition to the love I feel for others, my love for my family has increased. The love I have for my husband and children have deepened commensurate with the struggles we have been through. I appreciate a husband that can cry and laugh with me. Our love has been strengthened as we long for more children. I truly believe that I have been able to love my children more and appreciate the true gift they are to me. I know how fast a baby grows and changes, and I have been able to heighten my sensitivity to their changes. I appreciate each day they are with me as a gift from God, and the things I do for them as a way to share my love with them.

Second, I have been able to love each stage more intensely. If I had been able to have my children they way I would have wanted, I would have never been able to fully appreciate the terrific two's or the tremendous three's. I would have had another baby to fill my time instead of being able to focus completely on each stage of wonderment and discovery.

Third, pregnancy was not as big as a pain for me. I get incredible sick when pregnant, so sick I hardly am able to enjoy the wonderful miracle growing inside of me. When we had our first child without any struggles I bemoaned each day of morning sickness, and could hardly imagine putting myself through all of it again (even though I planned on more children.) My second pregnancy wasn't without the toilet hugging, but I appreciated it more. I was so in love with the fact I could achieve another pregnancy the inconvenience of being sick, gaining weight, stretch marks, etc. became welcome blessings instead of horrible nuisances.

To say my perspective has been broadened by infertility is an understatement. Would I wish it on anyone else? Not a chance. We all have our challenges in life to overcome, I believe that is why we are here; to learn, grow, and become someone better than we could ever imagine. Am I there yet? Not by a long shot, but I am grateful for a Father in Heaven that is willing to work with me.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Christmas madness...already?

Yesterday in the mail I received this:

Now I know it looks innocuous, but to a mother of a six year old it states danger if opened by said six year old. I quickly concealed it between the seat and the center console of the car thinking that I could dispose of it later.
Well I didn't dispose of it while I had the chance and today old Eagle Eye spied the catalog and asked, "What's this, mom?"
I was caught. "Oh that," I said innocently. "Just a Lego catalog."
"What!!" he cried. He began pouring through each page asking what each set was named and promptly saying, "Ooo that is what I want for Christmas," after each item was scoured.
Not that I am a scrooge, but I really didn't want him to find the catalog. I knew the items he would want were far out of our price range, and I didn't want to disappoint the poor guy. "If only I had disposed of the catalog yesterday while he was at school," I kept saying to myself.
After he combed the catalog several times he came up with the mother of all presents to ask for, a Death Star from Star Wars. Not that it isn't cool, but the price made me close to pass out...a mere $399.99.
Quite the wish list in the making. Now how do I break it to him that Santa doesn't have that in his budget?

Friday, October 29, 2010

between the sheets...

No this doesn't involve our infertility, but as my husband says, "It doesn't hurt to keep trying!"
My son loves our bed; he jumps, skips, plays, runs around, laughing at every moment. Not to destroy his fun, I usually let him play a few minutes. Eventually, he gets hauled off kicking and screaming because he is not done, even if mommy is.

The other day I was in the process of making the bed after washing the sheets, and he came in the room. Not wanting an empty bed go to waste, he climbed up and proceeded to make the bed in his own little way. He rolled, twisted, scooted, and slid all over in our sheets. (Quite the romp in the bed if you ask me.) After a few pics he was carted off flailing his arms and legs in protest, so I could finish. Got to love the two-year-old tornado!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

To start all over again

Yesterday I called our reproductive medicine clinic just to get an idea of what we would would need to expect for our next IVF/FET cycle. It is a hard decision. I do want more children, yet there are so many factors to consider. It is so much stress to go through another IVF/FET cycle. Am I ready? That is what I am trying to decide.

Some of the problems that keep rolling around in my head are the following:

Timing- My hubby is finishing grad school in May, and I want to be settled before I have another baby. (Both of my boys' births were surrounding moves, not recommended, but doable.) I am also looking at age, mid thirties can bring more challenges in the IVF pregnancy/parenting world. I am looking at calendars and datebooks, trying to decide when I will have 7 weeks to focus on pills, shots, doctor appointments, bed rest, and waiting, and have come to the conclusion that maybe no time will be perfect. I may just have to go out on a limb and do the whole process anyway for the hopes of a tiny bundle of joy to join our house.

Guilt- Sometimes I feel guilty wanting another baby. I have two wonderful boys, when so many are not blessed with even one. Plus the guilt of having frozen I let my possibilities of other children remain frozen?

Money- Do we really have the money to do this process right now? We will have plenty of student loans to pay, and we hope to be able to have a home again (we sold our home to be able to come to school.)

All the other ideas that float around your head when you consider expanding the family- Believe me, if there was a problem to consider about having another child, I have thought it.

Plus all the challenges that pregnancy can impose, I know a few, both pregnancies were not without their challenges. We are not ready quite yet, but hopefully we can get the process going in the next six months.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thrifty me!

So the other day I pulled out my favorite black skirt only to find that the zipper was broken. I had just worn in a few weeks ago, and I was disappointed. Here is my favorite skirt, and I don't have money to replace it. So instead of tossing the skirt, I bought a zipper for a buck and sewed in the new one. Only I don't have a great history with my sewing machine. I know how to sew, and I have made a few things in my day, but the memory of last year lingers in my thumb.

Last year I got the brilliant idea to make my kids Halloween costumes. I say brilliant facetiously, because it ended up to be my worst nightmare. As I was sewing Yoda's hood on his cape, I placed my left thumb too close to the machine. (I do have to preface that this machine is not a fancy Bernina, or Singer, it is the low-end model bought at a mass merchandise store, not at a sewing store, and to boot it was a hand-me-down.) Well that awful machine bit my thumb. Yes, I was home with my two boys, and had a needle broken in my thumb with thread coming out the hole.

I did what I could, I called my mom. Now I know my mom lives almost 2,000 miles away, but I needed her. She told me to call the doctor, and the doctor told me to go to the emergency room to meet her there for her shift. So I went to the emergency room and sat for several hours; apparently a needle in the thumb is not quite life threatening enough to do something about. Long story short; I was sent home, (needle still in thumb) scheduled for surgery the next day, surgery was not great, (still left small part of needle in the thumb that surfaced six weeks later) and had three nasty stitches for two weeks. Even today, my thumb is not quite the same, but I can live with it.

Well, in so many words, I am not friends with my sewing machine, but I won. I sewed in the new zipper, and even though it is not perfect I can still wear my favorite skirt! Yippee for me!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Generation Gap

So my darling mom called today and was so baffled to know that everyone on facebook knew her birthday yesterday. She couldn't believe that over 50 friends wished her happy birthday. "How did they know?" she questioned naively.
I replied, "Facebook tells everyone your birthday."
She incredulously said, "No way, where?"
I had to talk her through the homepage and tell her over the phone where to find all her friends birthdays.
Here she thought all along that everyone remembered her birthday. Sorry to burst your bubble mom.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Take two of these and call me in two weeks

My husband came home from class and complained that his neck was extremely sore, painful and stiff. We decided he needed to see a doctor, but with his classes and his doctor being an hour away, he went to an after-hour clinic, not to his PCP. After an exam to rule out anything life threatening they ordered x-rays and sent him home with muscle relaxers. He felt off and on better and we didn't think too much about it. (Maybe his class was so boring he fell asleep and he got whiplash!!) No, just kidding, not really. We got the results and come to find out he has degenerative arthritis in his spine. I about cried, we are only in our mid thirties! This happens to old people, well I guess not really old, but much older than us...right?
We had a follow up appointment with his PCP, a doctor he hadn't yet seen, and she seemed very apathetic to our concerns. I guess she didn't realize that this was our first diagnosis with the disease and it really bothers us. My husband is young, at a healthy weight, and he eats fairly well. He really doesn't have the risk factors for arthritis, yet he is diagnosed with it. What bothers me the most is the doctor's blasé attitude toward his condition. She seemed almost annoyed by my questions concerning his health. I felt shoved aside like an old pill bottle as she pursed her lips and retorted, "hopefully he feels better in two weeks." I thought well isn't it nice that it is not your body, or your husband that is going through pain so young. Isn't it nice that you don't think he needs more test to rule out other problems, or other more serious types of arthritis. She gave me a look as if to say I am the woman who went to eight years of school and four years of residency, don't question my thought or diagnosis. I do respect doctor's hard work and diligence, I am related to several doctors, however the apathetic attitude (at least as I saw it) was enough to drive us crazy.
"Well," my good-natured husband said, "Ritkiss sweatie, (sweatie=a term of endearment, for another story) guess we'll see how I feel in two weeks."

Thursday, October 14, 2010


So we are sitting at story time in the library when the librarian asks what each child is going to be for Halloween. One darling girl says that she is going to be a witch.

My son promptly blurts out, "All girls are witches!" in his raspy voice.

Daggers and glares shoot across the room in my direction from all the ladies in the room, a few giggles, but mostly glares.

I am sitting there dumbfounded. Why would my son say that? Where would he hear a phrase like that? Something I have never uttered. Maybe dad is the culprit, or is it school?

Innocently after story time I ask, "What did you mean when you said, 'all girls are witches' bud?"

He says, "you know, boys can't be witches, only girls."


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

To decorate or not

Well I decided to decorate a little...sometimes it is hard living in an apartment that you know you will move out of in a few months, but I did. I had this lovely orange vase that I love, but doesn't always go with everything, so I decided it would be perfect for fall. I bought some simple leaves and placed them in it, because I couldn't find decorative stones around here and had to wait to go to Wal-mart to find some. After I placed them on the table I was pleased, it had been some time since I had placed out a centerpiece, and I thought I was doing good. Well, I forgot that the two year old tornado eats at that table. Only a few days of sitting on the table and it was target to a cheese attack. It is hard to see in the picture, but his string cheese was planted on the stem. I had to get a picture of my thwarted effort. Maybe one day I will be allowed to decorate.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Feet in Mouth

So have you ever said something that you meant one way, and it was taken completely in the wrong way? Well if your like me, of course you have. Are apologies necessary?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Little Artist

Our two year old is quite an artist. Just the other day I caught the above image as I was uloading groceries out of the car. I ventured to believe that he was inside and would not create a mess as I quickly ran back and forth from the car to the house. I obviously was wrong. He found the markers (luckily they were washable) and proceeded to draw on the window to our screen door. Not a big mess, but I have recently been more aware of the location of our art supplies.

Today I gave him the paper and pen to draw. It was so fun to watch him lay on his stomach, kick his feet up in the air and scribble to his heart's content. His concentrated effort displayed on paper not on windows or walls made me proud, so proud I couldn't help capture this wonderful moment on film.

He just came to me with his masterpiece proudly displayed in his chubby fingers and held it up to be praised. As far as I am concerned it is magnificent.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Genius me?

So I finally realized a way that my son won't make such a mess with food. Portion control. No he doesn't need a diet, he needs to have less food to toss, throw, pitch, hurl, flip, and chuck; I am sure you get the picture. I am now only giving him a few spoonfuls at a time, and then letting him ask for more instead of serving him the whole meal in one bowl. A little more work in the beginning to save me tons of time cleaning the scattered food particles all over the dining area. Gee, I almost feel like a genius figuring out that one. :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Ok, so I will preface that I was totally sicked out today. If you don't want to read on I don't blame you, I gagged and barely kept my dinner down.

We went to the grocery store tonight to pick up a few things. When we got to our car we couldn't quite slow down our child fast enough as he ran right through some chaw, actually it was a small pond of chaw.

Now we are somewhat accustomed to seeing wads of chew in the parking lots around here. (The use of tobacco is unusually high in the area). It is not foreign to us to see a small amount of chewing tobacco spit on the parking lot. What we were fully unprepared to see was large chunks of chaw swirling in a vortex of watery substance not out of the way, but right in front of our van sliding door. Either the person who so distastefully deposited it there was sick and threw up, or was the most inconsiderate fool I have not have the pleasure to meet.

Our son had no clue to the disgusting, vile, pond and stepped right in it unaware of our adamant warnings. We sat him down on the van and took off his shoes and kept them as far away from the carpet as possible after wiping them off with a paper towel. Of course I was gagging and choking right there, and the lady in the car in front of us was giving us a strange look.

Maybe it was she that left the unpleasant surprise in our midst. I guess we will never know.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cost of Raising a Child

Cost of Raising a Child

I read this article and have to agree, it doesn't have to cost a fortune to raise a child. We are on a limited budget while my husband finishes grad school, and have learned many ways to save money. In addition to buying in bulk and making your own snack bags, you can eliminate many low nutritional items. Who said that children need crackers and juice for a snack every day. Most of the so called snack foods are a gimmick just to get you to buy. If you read the labels most are full of high fructose corn syrup and other garbage that I cannot even pronounce. I would rather put some nutrition into my child's snack foods and some money in my wallet. Most of our snacks consist of cheese, fruit, or vegetables. Who says children need expensive pre-packaged food. Not me for one. And for the record juice boxes are a waste...high sugar, high calorie, and high waste, that is in garbage and money.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Food wars

Our two year old will eat just about anything, salad, green smoothie, beans, rice, and of course the rare occasion of McDonald's cuisine. We are somewhat surprised to see that he enjoys these foods and even asks for them. We actually count ourselves lucky that he enjoys such a variety of foods. Amazingly enough our battle is not over eating food, but keeping said food on the table when the meal is done.
The other night he must have been in some sort of funk, because the food fight began before he even took a bite. I set a bowl of Indian Butter Chicken before him and he freaked out, screamed, and before I knew it the bowl ricocheted across the room off our TV stand landing right side up. Some might say that was lucky, but I think not. That meant the food that should be in the bowl was allowed to fly with force to every available surface in the vicinity. We surveyed the damage to find food in every imaginable place. He smirked with glee that he caught our attention as we proceeded to clean the mess. We wiped down the TV, the DVDs, the CD case, the hanging pictures, and the walls. As we wiped the walls we noticed that even the ceiling was speckled with pink dots from the meal. He stayed in his booster firmly strapped until the mess was clean. Since he had not started his meal I told him that he was now going to be fed by me instead of being a "big boy" and being able to feed himself. He resigned and ate his food that he so rapidly expelled off the table ten minutes earlier. My question now is: will my kitchen ever be clean??

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sand Angels

My sons were at a soccer practice tonight having a blast. As we were getting ready to leave we noticed unusual amounts of dirt all over our five-year-old. He wanted some fruit leather so we washed off his hands. We commented on how dirty he was, and he replied, "I was making sand angels!" Sand angels? Really? That's nice.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The problem with haircuts

Our five-year-old is terrified of haircuts, or should I say completely mortified. If we even mention the word haircut, even in hushed tones, he begins a blood curdling scream. He totally freaks out at the thought of razor sharp clippers coming anywhere near his head, ears, or neck. We bribe, promise the world, and ultimately just about tie him down as he flails his arms and kicks his legs in utter protest to our desires to have a son with short manageable hair. (which he tells us is what he wants) It’s about all we can do to not scream as his hair climbs down his neck during the weeks between haircuts. It feels like we just cut his hair, and he begins to shag out with unruly sideburns and mullet worthy locks.

Tonight we cut his hair, with the usual protest. We had him climb on a stool and we allowed him to watch any show he wanted as the clippers edged close to his ears. He was so worked up that he was extremely sweaty and the hair stuck all over his body. I had to hold back a chuckle when he lifted a leg that had hair so thick he looked like a bear, or at least a grown man. We survived the horrendous affair, for the most part unscathed, with only a hairy back and hairy legs.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Two pink lines

So...I had a crazy dream last night about two pink lines. In light of my last post, I better explain. I hope that I haven't offending anyone by my cries of bitterness toward my maternal woes. I really did have some of those feelings, as awful as they were. It was my grieving process. Luckily with the help of a wonderful husband, prayer, and faith in a God that infinitely knows me, I have worked through my gnawing feelings of despair.

Well back to my dream. I have two friends that have been trying to conceive for some time now, and they both are pregnant!! I couldn't be happier, like I said, I have worked past my awful feelings that I had about our predicament. So in my dream one convinced me to take a pregnancy test, which I knew would be a waste, only it wasn't a waste. I saw the two pink lines. I couldn't believe it! So of course I rushed over to my RE and they did test on both me and my husband. They confirmed we conceived. I was elated and couldn't wait to share the news...then I woke up.

At least I can dream :)

Friday, September 17, 2010


We had our first son without a hitch. That is in the getting pregnant part, the whole being pregnant and giving birth part is another story for another day. We readily wanted to have more children, both of us come from very large families and we never considered having an only child.

Our oldest was a year, and we had not been using contraceptives for at least six months. I went to my doctor for a routine check-up and mentioned the problem. He looked at me and said, “We know he works,” pointing to my husband, “let’s get you working.” So a series of clomid was prescribed. I hated clomid, the mood swings, the timing of the medicine and the cycle testing. According to the tests I was clearly ovulating, but I showed up not pregnant.

My husband went to his doctor for unrelated symptoms and casually mentioned we were trying to conceive. He promptly said, “That’s an easy test,” and sent him home with a specimen cup in a clearly disguised paper bag.

He did his test and we didn’t think much of it. I was still on clomid, and it was surely to work our next cycle. It was close to Christmas and we were busy with all the festivities. A week before Christmas we received a phone call from the lab with my husband’s results. A chipper nurse informed him that they saw nothing there and to make an appointment as soon as possible with all the medications he was currently taking. My husband was taken back…all of my medications? if there was ‘nothing wrong’ why did the doctor need a follow up appointment, and why did he need to bring the medications he was taking with him? He asked, “Wait a minute, what do you mean there is nothing there?” His mind raced as he realized the true meaning of her words “nothing there”. She must have meant there was nothing there, not nothing wrong. The test revealed that there were no men in his se[a].

The next few days were dark, dreary and clearly without joy. Here it was Christmas with our little boy, and the furthest thing from our mind was celebrating. Our dreams of a house full of “pitter-patter” and joyful play from siblings were dashed and torn into little pieces of nothing. I could not find joy, I tried, mostly for my little boy, but I couldn’t. My dreams had been ripped away, without even a warning. We conceived so easily with our first. Why wouldn’t other children come?
This was only compounded by my husband’s job loss six months earlier. The news of no more babies and having to work full-time (while my husband returned to school) threw me into a spiral downward of despair and awkwardness. All I could see were round bellies and cheerful stay at home moms. I was neither. It felt like more than I could bear. Friends would excitedly announce the forthcoming births of their children and all I could do was stare.

Then the questions started coming; “when are you two ready to have another?” “don’t you think your son would love a little brother or sister to have around?” or “don’t you think two years is the perfect timing between kids?” All well meaning inquiries, but how do you tactfully say, “Our chances of conceiving another child are zero, did you hear that, zero”. And when I would explain things to well meaning family members, they would look at our son and say, “if he is here, another miracle can happen.” I would come home after family gatherings and cry, rant, rave, or scream. I know everyone was trying to be kind, but how can they understand how I felt when their children were running around and their bellies were swollen with the next child on the way.

The worst part were the “oops” stories. I loathed the stories from mothers that
talked about how they were now pregnant with their second “oops” baby. “We forgot once,” or “we just thought about another baby” rang in my ears. Everyone was getting pregnant but me. It was a cruel joke, and I felt as if everyone was laughing at my empty womb.

More than those stories were the headlines about Brittany Spears and other less than perfect celebrities sporting their extending middles and the on again off again boyfriends. How come they were pregnant? (I knew that answer) Why couldn’t I get pregnant? Didn’t I want a baby? Wouldn’t I make a good mother? Wouldn’t we love and provide for another child? Did my son really have the future of an only child, destined to walk alone after we were gone?

I couldn’t shake my frustration, anger, fear and guilt. It was wrong of me to feel this way, but I did. I would be so angry about the situation, and then the wave of guilt would hit. I had a son, so many didn’t even have that. Why did it bother me so? Couldn’t I be grateful?

And one morning, a morning so dark and dreary I couldn’t bring myself to get out of bed my husband leaned over and whispered, “Ritkiss.” I turned and looked at him and said, “What?” He leaned in, “Ritkiss, baby.” “What do you mean?” I asked incredulously. It was a nonsense word that couldn’t possibly help me out of bed. “Ritkiss, R, T, K, S …remember to keep smiling.” “Remember what?” “Remember to keep smiling,” he said again. “Life has its way of getting us down, but we can’t let it.” “This is part of our life and we got to keep going” “I can’t live my life without your smile.” He poked and prodded my sides until a smile and a giggle came unwillingly across my face. “We can’t let this get the best of us, Ritkiss.” I got up, got ready, and headed out the door with a smile on my face for the first time in weeks.

Fast forward four and a half years and we can look back to that phrase, “Ritkiss” as a turning point in our lives. All of our pains, struggles, and longings are encompassed by this phrase; a determination to continue forward despite our struggles. We eventually did conceive our second son, after arduous attempts with in-vitro (a story for another day). So when our two-year-old empties a sack in two seconds flat, or hits his brother and grins, we think of our journey and realize our two-year-old tornado is our love, joy, and greatest miracle. So as I tell the stories of his shenanigans, understand we love him and wouldn’t know what to do without him.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The problem with hand washing dishes…

Most of the time I don’t really mind washing dishes. We have been without a dishwasher for two years and counting. I have got a system and for the most part it works. Wash all the dishes at night after dinner and clear out the dish drain in the morning for the day. That way I don’t let dishes pile in my sink.
This morning I did not to clear the dish drain, mostly because it wasn’t very full. The few morning dishes would fit. After they were washed the drain look a little loaded, but I was in a hurry to get a shower in after my morning run. I darted upstairs, hopped in the shower, and was getting ready when I heard a pop, and then the tinkling of shattered glass. I ran down the stairs to discover my fear…a tumbler that I set on the side that is supposed to hold glasses had toppled out of its place and fell to the ground. Shards of glass of every size were scattered across the old worn linoleum. I carefully whisked the larger pieces away, hoping to avoid any cuts. I started sweeping the smaller pieces when my darling son appeared on the scene. Somehow broken glass and the two-year-old tornado do not mix. This could get ugly. He screamed as I whisked him away to the connecting living room. He darted back into the picture several times to offer unsolicited help, but was slung under my arm each time for a return trip to the connecting living room area with his feet kicking all the way. Amazingly enough I managed to clean the broken glass, not get cut, and keep a small whirlwind of a boy at bay.
Unfortunately there are no pictures of the mess, (the two-year-old and safety made sure of that) but hopefully you have an image of the fun I had this morning.

Monday, September 13, 2010

He’s at it again…

Well our darling two year old is at it again… we are in a big hurry to make it to a meeting and rushing frantically out the door when I hear the crinkle of the Doritos sack. OK, it isn’t really a crinkle, but a crunchy, metallic rustle that everyone with kids recognize. My husband is the closest to the scene, and instinctively he shouts, “no, no, no!” It's the garbage scene all over again a la Doritos supreme.

I shout, “don’t say no!” As both of us are shouting, it is almost as if we have hit the fast-forward button on our son, because his mischievous grin grows and he flings the bag back and forth quickly expelling the remaining cheesy chips across our short industrial carpet. He grins one last time as he throws the empty air-filled bag and giggles gleefully as it slowly flutters to its previous contents.

“Nuts,” we are late again…

At least our little man likes to help clean up!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I'm not sure I got the message earlier, and my wife has been wonderful to help bring it to my attention lately. When did I have to start worrying about trimming my eyebrows?!? Thank you sweetie, love ya tons!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

no, No, nO, NO, NO!!

The words I futilely repeated over and over…why did this happen right before I needed to leave. I looked at the clocked 8:18, just enough time to wash the remaining glasses before heading out the door to drop off my son for kindergarten. I washed a glass, 8:19, I picked up the last glass when I heard the rustle from the garbage sack. Not the garbage I just set out after I emptied the rotten contents from my fridge. My reaction time was too slow. My two year old was shaking the remains of the garbage before I could swoop him away. I saw the water bottles bounce and roll against the small hallway, and the limp, tired lettuce leaves weighed down by the dressing flop back and forth against the hall, the cupboards, and finally the floor. Wet diapers from the diaper pail dropped to the floor with a thud. The tissues from the bathroom garbage my five year old son dutifully emptied this morning floated by the old paperwork from school that was no longer needed. The entire contents laughed at me from the freshly mopped floor, “thought you could get a little more done before you left this morning, well we will show you… ha!” To make matters worse, my dreadful son would not stay planted in the connecting living room area, he had to gallop through the sloshy mess. He slipped and fell on the reeking ranch dressing, further spoiling the already past due morning. I stashed the contents back in the sagging sack and carefully stepped by the slippery disaster to beat the 8:30 bell. I would have to duel with the putrid film of discarded leftovers slicked across my floor when I returned.

At least we can finish the day with ice cream.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Green Smoothie Gripe!

An older man went to dinner; if it weren’t obvious to his party that he was not a vegetarian, it would be. When the waitress came to him for his order, he said I want a steak (I don’t remember the cut, although I really ought to) very rare. The little waitress then asked what kind of vegetable the old man would like with his meal. He leaned in as close as he could to this little waitress, and said “little lady, vegetables are what you feed food.” I love meat, although admittedly, perhaps not as much as the guy in the story, but there is no doubt that I am a carnivore.

My wife is on his little vegetable kick in the last couple of months. I can’t be too upset about it though because I have agreed to the madness that it has become. We have this “ritual” of sorts in the morning where she makes us what is called a “Green Smoothie.” I thought at first maybe this was just some fancy name for a drink somebody came up with to jump on board the green movement bandwagon. While the name may sound as though this is what it is, trust me it is nothing close to that. The idea behind the green smoothie is pretty simple. Get all your vitamins for the day, and then some, in one sitting before you step out your door. Do this and before you know it you will feel better. Sounds simple enough… right?... Well if there was an infomercial for this product, I would hate to be the one to have to drink it over and over again to get it right. First of all, it appears as though it is something that would come out of a baby bottom rather than something I plan to drink in the morning. While I have to admit it has helped me feel better in the last few months, if you were to see me drink these things in the morning you wouldn’t know it.

A green smoothie is a few fruits, perhaps some yogurt and/or juice, and as many “greens” as you can smash into the blender; all blended together in this great looking, make me feel like I’m changing my sons diaper, concoction that you drink. The fruit is the easy part to swallow, what is more difficult is the mixture of vegetables. To get the full benefit, and to be as cost effective (after all… I am a family man in graduate school; and anybody with a family that has ever been to graduate school knows; having a family is a “lifestyle choice” so it is near impossible to get extra money) as possible, you don’t use the same vegetables every day. There are days she mixes in a spring salad, other days where there is an avocado or two. There are other days still where there is raw cabbage. I think I have some of the bad drink days nailed down to when there is raw cabbage… yes you heard right… RAW CABBAGE!!! in the mixture.

I haven’t yet decided what makes it such an “awesome” drink to try to stomach, but there are days I am pretty sure it is the cabbage. To watch me partake of this glorious drink, you would think that it was about to kill me, and that my body was doing everything in its power to expel this vile putrid disgusting liquid from its bowels, and spew every single stinking vegetable back into the depths of the blender from whence they came. To compare it to something that is familiar to some; think about the gallon challenge (where you have a contest with your friends to see how many people can drink one gallon of milk in about one hour and hold it down). Inevitably in that game your body wins out, and you loose the sour milk festering in your stomach. I keep telling myself that my body will eventually concede that I am trying to do something healthy for it, but I am starting to believe that that will NEVER HAPPEN!!