First Child vs Third Child

Having three kids is amazing and all sorts of special. It also all kinds of crazy. It takes parenting to a whole new level when the kids out number the parents.

One thing that amazes me is the difference between when my husband and I had our first child vs our third child. Granted they were born 7 years apart. So there is a bit of an age gap there. But I chalk up the differences to upping my parenting level and having been around the block already.


Our 1st: Nursery was fully decorated and set up by 24 weeks along. I’m talking full bedding, bumper pads, lamp, all it matching.
Our 3rd: After she was born I bought a crib and we painted her room pink. In my defence she had a pink blanket. Different shade, but still pink.

Our 1st: Sterilized EVERYTHING. Over and over again. Every day. Every bottle. Special bottle sterilizer. Boiled things, twice.
Our 3rd. Throw it in the dishwashers, its all good.

Our 1st: We had two baby registries. We had new everything. Spent WAY too long comparing things, useless things.
Our 3rd: Do you have any idea how awesome hand-me-downs are?! Do you have idea how fast a baby grows?!

Our 1st: Special baby laundry soap.
Our 3rd: Throw all the laundry in together, who has time to sort things?!

Our 1st: If the pacifier or bottle touched the ground or went within inches of the ground, that thing was getting sterilized.
Our 3rd: Sweet found a pacifier in the car, score.

Our 1st: Leaving your child with grandparents, you packed enough bags to last a week, even when it was only for a few hours, you had a list of phone numbers to give them, you called every 5 minutes to check.
Our 3rd: The grandparents know what they are doing, they are pros! Have fun! (But I still call to check, just not as often!)

Our 1st: Nice changing table. Wipes warmer. Some diaper thing that was supposed to stop the smell, it never did.
Our 3rd: Change where you are, floor, bed, it all works.

Our 1st: Falls down. Rush over, check him over 10 times, call husband at work tell him that he fell down – translation he fell over on a pillow while sitting up.
Our 3rd: Falls down. No blood, we are good to go.

Our 1st: Our child won’t eat fast food.
Our 3rd: Gives you directions to fast food.

Our 1st: Professional photos.
Our 3rd: I can take a pretty awesome picture on my cell phone.

Our 1st: My child won’t see a screen for years. Educational toys only.
Our 3rd: Knows how to use my phone better than I do.

Our 1st: New everything.
Our 3rd: Hello second-hand store, you beautiful thing you.

Our 1st: Take birthing classes, breastfeeding classes.
Our 3rd: We’re cool, we got this.

Our 1st: Send child to lessons. Its important.
Our 3rd: Impressive when did you learn that?!

Our 1st: Document everything, write it all down.
Our 3rd: Its all good, I will remember.

How many kids do you have? What differences have you noticed in raising your kids? I would love to hear!

~ Michelle

Starting Your Morning Off Right And Organized

Last week I showed you pictures of what my desk and floor looks like.  Now I am showing you what my mornings look like. Every morning I have multiple things I need to check, and lists I need to write out, and calendars to check.
This is what happens when you have a husband, three kids, a blog, a Handmade Business and a Handmade Sea Glass Necklace business.

This is how I start my day, every day.
My binder, it contains order forms, blog calendar, and other house hold related paper work for me. The pink notebook is where I write blog posts when not near my computer. Next up is my day timer and family calendar, then a note book for work ideas and thoughts. Next is my “Self Care notebook”, basically motivational quotes I found, little pick me up messages, doodles, and such. The green notebook is my prayer notebook. I Like notebooks incase you haven’t noticed. I may have a slight addiction. I love putting pen to paper. Next is my Journaling Bible, pretty self explanatory. Last is my little devotional book.
After I go through all of these, I write out a To Do List for the day.

Not in the picture: coffee. Lots and lots of coffee!

How do you start your day off right and organized?

Happy (not so) Wordless Wednesday! Have a Wordless Wednesday post? Share it in the comments!

~ Michelle

The Time I Turned Down A TV Show

I want to tell you about the time I got an interesting email, it was from a tv production company and they wanted me to be on their show. Um, say what?! I checked it out, it was legit, I had my husband check it out and it was still legit. So crazy. Someone had found my blog, loved my adoption story and my birth mom story and wanted me on their show. Crazy!

So when will you see me on TV? You won’t. I turned it down. I know what you are thinking… UM WHAT? CRAZY!


Yes, it was a once in a life time thing, probably, who really knows for sure! Yes it would have been an amazing experience. Yes it would have been great to be able to talk about adoption on such a large platform. But was it right for me and my family? No.

After much thought and many many conversations with my husband, who kept telling me to go, I decided it wasn’t right. As much as I would have loved it, as great as it would have been, as fun as it would have been, and scary and totally worth it, it wasn’t the right choice.

Saying yes to this would have meant time away from my family, as I would have had to go alone to the states. Is my husband capable of running the house on his own? Yes, of course he is. Would my boys been totally ok with me gone? Probably. Would my 3 year old have been ok? No. This happened right before my daughter was scheduled to have surgery a few months ago. She wasn’t in a good place her health and her sleeping.

It came down to, was it worth it the amount of stress this would cause on my then 2 year old before experiencing the added stress of surgery? Would this have been worth it for the added stress that would have caused on everyone else? No. Not right now.

I have to believe something better is coming. When one door closes, another opens. And any other cliche things you can think of.

Sometimes the hardest answer to give is the best answer. Sometimes a no is needed when you really want to say yes.

Now to look out for the next great opportunity.

~ Michelle

What Does It Mean To Be Productive?

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

The sun is shining. The windows are open. Oh how I have longed for this day! Despite my best efforts the weather plays a big part into my moods. The fresh air is very much needed right now. Now if only I can tear myself away from the singing birds long enough to actually do something productive.

But really what does it mean to be productive? Are you only productive if your house is spotless, everything is cleaned, washed, put away? Are you only productive if you go to work every day? Is it strictly based on what others can see? Can you only really be productive if your actions can some how be measured? Who decides what is productive?

What does it mean to you to be productive?

This past weekend I sat outside in the warmth of the sun. I listened to the birds. I played outside with the kids. I watched the kids play in awe of how much they have changed since last year. I did a lot of sitting outside. Just being in the moment. My house didn’t get cleaned. Laundry is way behind now. My living room looks like some supernatural event happened.

So did I have a productive weekend? What do you think? My answer; Yes. Yes I did.

I did what I needed to do. I did what my heart and soul needed. I was in the moment. I relaxed. I watched my kids. I played with my kids. This is what I needed to do. For my own mental health, my psychical health, I needed a break. I needed to be in the moment. I needed to laugh. I needed to feel the sun on my skin, the wind in my hair.

If you looked at the state of my house you would not think it was a very productive weekend. If you looked at me you would know it was.

As far as house chores go, I am behind. In terms of my spirit, I am ahead of the game! I am refreshed, relaxed, and ready to take on this week. I am in much better shape to handle this week than if I had been inside cleaning all weekend.

So Monday, this week, bring it! I’m ready for you! Right after I finish my coffee and listening to do the birds sing, then I will get up and rock this thing!

~ Michelle

 

When Your Husband Gets The Big V, The Snip Snip.


My husband got a vasectomy. I have never been so conflicted about anything before. I have also never been so at peace with something. Life is strange like that sometimes.

After our daughter was born, even during my pregnancy, we knew this was it. Our baby would complete our family and we were done. Our family was done. When we finally held her in our arms, we knew without a doubt, we both felt it, we both knew it. She would be our last baby. We were finally done.

The truth? I know I don’t want more kids, I know in my heart that I am done, I also know that I sometimes ( a lot of times) I miss pregnancy, I miss the newborn stage. Yes the person who has had 3 high risk pregnancies, 2 pregnancies on full bed rest, scary stress filled pregnancies, misses pregnancy. I miss feeling a baby kick. I miss the little itty bitty new born baby. Do I honestly want to go through that again? Not really.

Motherhood is a strange thing. I sent my husband off to get the big V done, to get the final snip, and yet as soon as he was gone I cried. I don’t even know for sure what I was crying over. I suddenly felt an empty hole appear, a void if you will. Knowing that we will never, ever, again welcome a small itty bitty baby into our family as parents. It hurt. It still sometimes does hurt. I sometimes feel like I’m missing out. Other times, most times, I am so happy and content and most importantly – I am complete.

Whats done is done, and I am happy. I know we made the right choice for our family. I couldn’t imagine our family any other way.

But still, the hole, the void still lives and thrives at times. I’ve come to terms with it. Its voice isn’t as loud anymore. It doesn’t rip open as often anymore. I wouldn’t change anything. I am happy with the fabulous, wonderful, amazing children that I have brought into this world. I do make pretty awesome kids if I do say so myself. I know I was very blessed to be able to carry 4 beautiful babies to full term. But my time is done and over with.

Besides my daughter is 3, and still doesn’t sleep all night, I would for real go crazy with sleep deprivation if I had another baby, especially if that baby slept anything like my daughter.

Right now, I am just dreaming of more than 4 hours of sleep at a time. That would be nice. Sweet, sweet sleep.

~ Michelle

Inside Out

My kids love the movie Inside Out. I have to admit, I do too. Its a very cute Disney Pixar movie. Have you had a chance to watch it?

Basically it is about the different emotions inside everyones head, especially focusing on the main character, a little girl.

Every time I watch the movie it makes me wonder, if our emotions were set up like that, what would it look like? Who would be in charger? Would there be one in charge or would they all just be fighting like crazy? How many would be fighting to control and how many emotions would be sitting the corner rocking and crying?

Sometimes it feels like an on going battle in my head. Anxiety and Depression are not the easiest to get along with. So I imagine Anxiety and Depression are big giant bullies trying to take over the controls while joy sits in the corner rocking back and forth crying. Fear is their little side kick. Sadness just floats over head on a cloud of sadness raining down on them.

All of it is so exhausting.

It is hard to explain it to someone who has not experienced it first hand.

I try to hold my head high. I try to put on a happy face. I try to get through the day in one piece while a battle rages on in my head for control of my emotions.

Monday and Tuesday of this week I accomplished so much. I worked out, I worked hard, I left the house, I wore make up. Today? I’m still in my pjs and have zero motivation to do anything. This is what happens. I’m beyond exhausted, and not in the way that any amount of sleep can help. I’m worn out from trying so hard, I’m worn out from putting on the brave face. I’m worn out from fighting. I’m not giving up. I just need time. I just need a day to take care of myself. I’m not being lazy. I’m taking care of myself. I’m doing what I need to so I can make it through another day.

Today, even though I am worn out, it feels like Joy has pushed her way to the front and is in charge of the controls.

Its the small things that mean so much and can make me happy, like having the freedom to stay home and do what I need to so I can take care of myself. Even if that means staying in pjs all day and playing with my kids.


~ Michelle

Progress Not Perfection

Hello New Day.
Hello New Week.
Hello New Adventure.

HelloMonday

Two weeks ago I was on a roll. I was working out every day, eating healthy, had so much energy, I was getting so much done. It was great. Then March Break happened. My boys went away for the week with my parents and my husband decided to take a week off work. It was just my husband, my toddler, and myself for a whole week. I didn’t work out. I didn’t eat the most healthy items like I could have. I didn’t work. I honestly didn’t do anything that I had planned. I even threw out the to do lists that I wrote.

Do you know hat I did for the week? I was present. I was here. I was on the floor playing with my toddler. I was sitting on the sofa cuddled up with  my husband talking for hours. I was in the moment. And you know what? It was the best thing I could have done. Productive it terms of work? No. Productive in terms of self care?! YES!

Progress not perfection.

If this had happened before, if I had an entire week off from working out, eating healthy and work, I would completely flip out. I would fall into a deeper depression. I would think I ruined everything. But now I am finally learning that none of that is true.

Yes, I needed to do things, things had to get done. But the things I did do, spend every minute with my husband and daughter is also what I needed, what we all needed. My husband and daughter have never had that much time together to just play. It has been years since my husband and I have had so much time to talk. I don’t remember the last time we got to talk so much, have such deep conversations, discover new things about each other.

This past week went nothing like I planned, but it was everything I needed. I feel refreshed. I feel better. I feel more focused. I feel more at peace with myself, my husband, my life, with everything.

Things don’t always go as planned, slowly but surely I am learning that that is ok. Sometimes that we think we need is actually what we need.

~ Michelle