Sunday, December 27, 2009

Letter to my Sweetheart

It's been a REALLY long time since I've taken the time to write. But, on the night before my son's third birthday, I'm feeling incredibly nostalgic and compelled to pour my heart out. Hang on to your butts, folks, it's going to be a bumpy ride!

My precious Charlie,
Three years ago tonight, your father and I were about to begin the most amazing journey of our lives. In just a few short hours, you will officially be three years old. Three years ago, my heart began walking around outside of my body. (I stole that from a quote...I'll admit it.) Three years ago, I was young and naive. Three years ago, I had NO idea what was about to happen or how things were going to change. Three years ago, I fell in love, with you, with your dad, with God's amazing plan. Three years ago, I became a mother.
You were born just three days after Christmas. I have a feeling you'll dislike your birthday growing up, but I felt especially lucky to have a baby so close to Christmas. Maybe it was the pregnancy hormones, maybe it was the normal nostalgia people feel around Christmastime, but whatever it was, I felt "closer" to Mary and the story of Jesus' birth. The Christmas story felt more alive when I could feel the movements of my own child inside of me. I could more easily imagine what Mary must have felt carrying that baby boy. I held my belly tighter, thinking, "What if it were me?" There was a new Christmas song that year, Joseph's Lullaby. It brought me to tears every time I heard it. You see, even then, I think I knew how quickly the time would pass.
I look at you now and it's hard for me to remember you as a baby. There's so little "baby" left in you. Your face is that of a little boy (your father as a little boy, actually :)) You've grown so independent lately. I hardly feel needed these days. You love to "snuggle on the couch" and if at all possible, I stop whatever I'm doing and snuggle with you, if only for a moment. I know that one day, all too soon, you'll be to "big" for snuggling. Just the thought of it brings me to tears. Your newest phase is the "but, why?" phase. You ask "why" about EVERYTHING. At bedtime you usually request more snuggle time (an attempt to put off bedtime I'm sure) and ask "why" when we refuse. I'm so tempted to say, "nevermind. Let's snuggle a little longer." I know I shouldn't, and so I don't. But, I want to. I want to hold you close, kiss your hair, smell the sweet boyishness of you. I want you curl up in my arms. I want to hear you say, "Hey, Mama." I want to feel you breathe and remember the nights (the MANY nights) I held you on my chest as baby while you slept and breathed the same way. I wanted so badly for those long nights to end back then, but I'd take one more sleepless night if it meant I could hold you all night long, feel you nestle in further every once in a while, and be the first thing you see when you open your eyes in the morning.
I worry every day that I'm not the mother I should be, the mother you deserve. I'm often so tired, I fall asleep before I finish my prayers at night, but my first prayer is always to be a better mother, more patient, more understanding, more loving. I pray that I'm teaching you things I should and raising you to be the man I want you to be.
These days aren't easy. Aunt Kari told me the other day that three is the new two. In fact, I feel most days that I spend more time reprimanding and fussing than I do being pleasant to you. I treasure the happy moments, the sweet moments, the times when you wrap your arms around my neck or laugh your pure, genuine, angelic laugh. I know this too shall pass and I'll long for these days in years to come, just as I wished those first few months of your life to hurry up and pass so we could move on to more "fun" times. Now I look back and think of all the times I should have soaked up those hours, as hard as they were. Because now, they're gone. Time continues to move on. Days continue to pass. And with each day, you grow older. I can't slow it down. I can't turn back the clock. I can't undo or redo anything.
Know this, my sweet boy, my little man, my are loved. You are loved more than you will ever know, until the day you hold your own little one in your arms. These three years I have felt more than I have ever felt. I've laughed more, and cried more. All because of you. All because you have taught me love...unconditional, unwavering, heartwrenching, life-altering love.

Happy 3rd birthday, Sweetheart.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Genetic deficiency

I have come to the realization that I must have the weakest genes in the history of mankind.

I've known for quite some time (since he popped out, actually) that my son is the spitting image of my husband.

However, I've been holding out hope that my little girl might resemble me just the slightest bit.


I spotted a baby picture of my mother-in-law at their house yesterday and did a double take. I actually thought it was a picture of my Little Ladybug hanging on the wall. I mean, the resemblance was unCANNY!

Suck. All I have to show for my two kids is a few extra pounds (Ok, QUITE a few extra pounds) and some stretch marks.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

In just a moment...

It's amazing how quickly life can take a sharp turn. This morning, all was generally well in my life. I could have used a little more sleep, but other than that, I was doing quite well.

About an hour ago, my mom called to tell me that my dad's PSA levels were on the rise. Everything came to a screeching halt.

Four years ago, my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. They removed his prostate and felt pretty good that the cancer had been contained and they'd gotten it all. However, it now appears they did not.

In six months, his PSA levels have doubled. They'll check again in six months to see where his levels are. Until then, it's kind of a waiting game. A miserable, frightening, confusing, unknown waiting game. It could be years before anything serious develps. Or, it could be much, much sooner.

My first instinct is to pray, but I'm not sure what to pray for. For my dad to be healed? For patience while we wait? For answers? For all of the above?

I'd really like to ask God to turn back the clock a few hours...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Picture day!

Baby N

It turns out my little girl's heart murmur is an "innocent" one, and there's nothing to be concerned over. She did SO well at the dr.! Harldy a peep! She just layed there and smiled like a little angel. :) We're very relieved at the good news.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Because I am an idiot...

I feel compelled to post my feelings/reactions to the season finale of Grey's Anatomy. I try very hard to not be completely obsessed with the show, but I fail miserably....

1) Bailey should TOTALLY be leaving her lousy, no-good, unsupportive husband! He knew what he was getting into when he married her...

2) Sloan certainly has done a 180...I think I liked him better when he was the sex-crazed womanizer... Much more believable. Although it could just be that I never like it when every person on a TV show is paired off nicely into a relationship...

3) Yang and Owen...not sure about them yet. I seriously doubt that going to see his mother would have ended his nightmares...and I still don't think I could ever sleep comfortably next to someone who tried to strangle me in his sleep.

4) Meredith and Derrick...yay...whatever... You know SOMETHING has to happen...

5) Alex's rant to Izzie was the most believable part of the show last night...although heartbreaking I must say.

6) Poor George...Poor, poor George. I really don't want him to die. I really like George.

7) I dislike Callie Torres, however. Never had a use for her...

8) I can't believe I have to wait like 4 months to find out what's going to happen!!!!!

I so love this show...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Second Power

Let me preface all of this by saying just how much I love and adore my little boy. I couldn't imagine my life without him. He's a beautiful, blond-headed, chubby-cheeked angel (sometimes disguised in a devil-toddler body). However, he was not an easy baby. In fact, my pediatrician says she often uses him as an example of how every once in a while there's a baby that NOTHING works for. He's made her list of the world's worst criers. I, having little to NO experience with babies, had a rude introduction to motherhood. In fact, for quite sometime, I did not like being a mother. If somebody had offered me an "undo" button, I probably would have pushed it.

Not only did I have a child who screamed day and night, who puked constantly for the first year of his life, who required surgery at 5 weeks old, who never made cute, cooing baby noises, who preferred my mother-in-law to me, and who offered (and still does) his best smiles to his daddy, but I had a difficult time recovering from delivery. It was long, painful and eventually required a D & C to end the 4 + months of bleeding I'd endured. Add to this that I'd had about the worst pregnancy EVER... I threw up for about 20 weeks (not just once in the morning--all day, every day.) I actually had a whole blueberry come out of my nose at one point.

At any rate, it took about 7 months for me to eventually be diagnosed with post-partum depression. Prozac is now one of my dearest friends and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

I digress... What I'm getting at is that I never experienced that euphoric new-mama high. I could not say that little C was the light of my life at first. I felt like a failure as a woman and as a mother. Sadly, I think I passed on some not-so-happy words of advice to my mother-to-be friends. I was more worried for them than happy.

It took me about a year to see why people had more than one child. I finally realized the beauty in being a mother. It took me another 6 months to decide I wanted another one.

I had another hugely unpleasant pregnancy, and I prayed every night for God to give us an easy baby. I just didn't think I could handle another baby like C-bear.

I was blessed with my baby girl. She's not "easy," per se. She has had her fair share of issues, namely reflux. But, she's such a happy girl for the most part. I had no idea that parenting a newborn could be so enjoyable. The toughest times I've had since she was born have been dealing with C adjusting (or not adjusting I should say) to her taking some of our attention.

Little N just makes me SO happy. She such a smiley girl. I think I actually made her really laugh today. :) This is why parents have lots of kids.

(By the way, I'm convinced that the Duggars haven't had a baby like my C yet!)


Sometimes I want to knock the ever-living snot out of my children... I know...I'm a horrible mother. But, there's only so much I can take!!! I would never actually knock the ever-living snot out of my children, but I daydream about it sometimes...

Monday, May 11, 2009

2 month check-up

Little N went for her two month appointment today. She weighed 11 lbs., 7 oz. (75th percentile) and measured 22 in. (40th percentile). She was just as sweet as she could be, sleeping through the whole visit except for the shots. Who could sleep through that??? We're still working on figuring out her tummy issues, but it's nothing compared to what we experienced with big brother C. The Dr.'s one concern was a murmur she heard while listening to her heart. It's probably nothing, so we're trying not to worry, but we're being sent to see a cardiologist for an ECHO just in case. Say a prayer for my baby girl if you get the chance. :) If you didn't know, C had surgery at 5 weeks old, so we're a little skittish in the medical department when it comes to our babies. :)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mama Giggles

C just ran into the kitchen requesting that I put his socks back on.

I said, "Sure, Sweetheart, let's go find them."

After noticing he had a funny look on his face, I began to think something was wrong with his foot, so I asked him.

He said, "Who's that?" (His way of asking what something is.)

I checked his toe and realized he'd picked his toenail and it was now pointy and jagged. I told him it was alright, that'd we'd fix it, and went to go get the "alligator clippers." (Somehow toenail clippers are less scary when they're mini alligators...)

Anyway, C repeated, "It's OK. It's just a piece of toe."


Friday, May 8, 2009


This morning I got my first glimpse of why we decided to have our children closer together. I left the room with baby N in her bouncy seat and C watching "The Wonder Pets" on TV. He was ignoring her very existence when I left. A couple of minutes later, I walked back in to find my precious little boy perched right next to his sister's bouncy seat, finishing up a sweet kiss on her head. He had, at some point, decided he wanted to say hello to his little sister and to show her that he loved her. In return, she stared up at him with the sweetest smile on her face. She knows who her big brother is, and she loves him dearly already. Every tantrum, tear, and miserable moment the past eight weeks just melted away when I saw this unprompted display of brotherly love and sisterly adoration.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I "heart" Flannery O'Connor

Thanks to my "new" buddy Lauren, I'm reading a fantastic column by family psychologist, John Rosemond. She cautioned me that some of his ideas are a little...wacky...but his latest piece really struck a chord with me. He referenced an essay by Flannery O'Connor in which she states that the likes and dislikes of children should always be balanced by the wisdom and experience of their parents.

You see, lately I've begun to see a difference, a VAST difference, between "teacher" Alisha and "mama" Alisha. This bothers me.

I consider myself to be a pretty "progressive" person, except when it comes to education. I like the saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." And, in my opinion, traditional education isn't "broke." All we've done in recent years is lower the bar. We've adapted teaching methods to fit kids instead of teaching kids to adapt to our teaching methods. We've begun to accept an average standard instead of realizing that some children are more capable than others. I'm sorry that this leaves some children "behind." It doesn't make them any less valuable; it simply means they may not be bound for high levels of academia. It takes all types of people to make the world go 'round. We can't all be "doctors and lawyers and such." (Thanks, Waylon.) Somebody has to be the "cowboy."

At any rate, I've started to realize that I'm adopting the "No Child Left Behind" attitude in my parenting, bending and conforming to my kids' need instead of teaching them to adhere to my way. I realize I may not always be right, but I do think that my 27 years of life experience has better prepared me to parent than my son's two years of experience. I do realize each child is different and that their individuality should be taken into account to some degree, but not when it comes to right and wrong. What's right is right for everyone. What's wrong is wrong for everyone. Children are not born knowning what's good for them although anyone who's spent any time with a toddler knows that they are indeed opinionated. These opinions are just that, however. They are not based on any knowledge of what is truly good or bad.

I became a mother 28 months ago, and I still have no idea what I'm doing most days. But, as I often find myself in a battle of wills with my toddler, I know this much is true...Mama knows best. (Ok, I'll let Daddy have some credit, too...)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Last night marked the beginning of Spring Football Practice. I'm not happy about this. I'm doing all I can to make it three more weeks until school gets out and my husband will be home to help with the kids. Spring Practice means he's home later than he normally is. Spring Practice means I'm home alone with two very demanding children for 12 hours. Spring Practice means trying to feed dinner to an infant and a picky toddler at the same time. Last night, Spring Practice meant watching aforementioned picky toddler refusing to chew his ravioli before swallowing thereby causing him to throw up all over himself. Spring Practice meant having to change a poopy diaper and in the process of trying to stuff said poopy diaper into an already over-filled diaper pail, precious, un-potty-trained toddler proceeds to "tee-tee" all over himself and the carpet. However, when asked where one SHOULD "tee-tee," precious, un-potty-trained toddler replies, "In the potty, Mama." THEN FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY, DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's Cinco de Mayo, right? Doesn't that require a margarita or two???

Monday, May 4, 2009

I've been "got"

I was tagged... However, I can't really use that as an excuse. I'm hopelessly obsessed with these survey things...have been since high school.

1. What is your current obsession? Hm...blogging I'd have to say....or blog-stalking. I'm beginning to think that blogging is a learned skill. For anybody who knows me, I talk...A LOT. But, oddly enough, I can't usually find anything to write about on my blog. I'm going to keep at it though, because I love to write. Plus, it makes me feel mildly intellectual, something that I don't feel very often these days when I've spent 10 hours reading books with only 10 pages, playing with play-doh, or making car or helicopter sounds all day. And don't even get me started on the baby talk...

2. Which item of clothing do you wear most often? My gray or black yoga gauchos I got at Target about 3 years ago. Yes, I realize gauchos aren't hugely popular anymore, but these things are SO COMFORTABLE! I've always been a t-shirt and jeans/shorts/yoga pants/track pants kind of girl. And flip-flops...definitely flip-flops.

3. What's for dinner? Ravioli and garlic bread sticks.

4. What are you listening to? My washing machine spinning/draining and Charlie asking me to "play wit da tractor, Mama?" (Yes...I'm putting him off to finish this...I'm horrible. I know.)

5. She's become invaluable to me recently. She's a fountain of knowledge about all SORTS of things.

6. Favorite vacation spot? Charleston (which reminds me...I intended to give Lauren a hard time about a comment she made about Charleston not too long ago... I was born in Charleston, my dear, and still consider it home... And, I'm OFFENDED! :)) I also have wonderful memories of Ashville with my husband, but I don't think it was so much the place as the company that made it so special. :)

7. What are you reading right now? Lots of blogs. I haven't had much time to read since Nora was born. But I'll get back to it...have no fear.

8. 4 words to describe yourself: Sensitive, scattered, spiritual, sleepy. (I started w/ the "s" thing and just decided to go with it...)

9. Guilty pleasure? Oh my...I have a lot of them... Naps. Peanut butter M & M's. Naps.

10. First spring thing to do? Take a Claritin. Seriously...pollen gives me migraines. If I'm not religious in taking my Claritin, bad things happen. After that, bust out the flip flops.

Tag Chris! OOOH, Lori, you're following me now, too. TAG!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Little Blessings

That's what my children are...big blessings in little packages. Honestly, somedays it's all I can do to make it through the day. But, the sight of one of my sleeping angels is enough to bring me to my knees. (Notice I said "sleeping" :))

I read a cheesy quote once about having your heart permanently walking around outside your body once you become a mother. It's so very true. The love you have for a child is so intense, so deeply a part of your soul, the very thought of anything bad ever happening to them can paralyze you with fear. I've never prayed so hard as I have now that I'm a mother. I used to pray for things that were important, sometimes life-or-death matters. But, my daily prayers are desperate pleas now that I'm asking God to keep my little ones safe.

Sometimes the fact that my "mommyhood" is so all-consuming of my life makes me a little sad, even resentful (although I'm ashamed to admit this...). Sometimes the selfish part of me wants so much to not have to bear the burden of being "Mama." But then C laughs or makes ME laugh... Then little N looks at me and smiles the most genuine, "I'm so happy to see you" smile. Or, I find some piece of kid evidence laying around like a smushed goldfish or a missing marker top or an errant paci and I realize that my life before my children was good, wonderful even, but it's SO MUCH BETTER NOW. Harder, yes. But so much better. I'm not just Alisha anymore. I'm Mama. It doesn't get any better than that.

Hump Day Humor

C says the blessing at dinner. Last night, this is how it went:

C: "God is great. God is good. Lemeemenemen for our food. Aaaaaamen." (Amen pronounced as "Ah-men".)

He then continues... "Swiper, no swiping!"

I reply, "Swiper? What?"

He says, "Just like Swiper the Fox. Aaaaaamen."

--Commence hysterical laughter from me and J.--

Now, for those of you not familiar with Dora the Explorer, Swiper the Fox is always trying to "swipe" whatever Dora is looking for. In order to stop him, you must say, "Swiper, no swiping!" Swiper always replies, "Ah, man!"

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Recent photos of my adorable kiddos

Do NOT attempt this at home...

Ok, you can if you want, but I'm warning ain't easy. What, you ask? BEING A MOM! Today is the first day in about 2 weeks that I haven't heard the pitiful wails of my two-year-old, C, from upstairs and the angry cries of my 7 week-old daughter, N, downstairs simultaneously at naptime. I'm not going to count my chickens before they hatch,'s still early...

I've made a previous attempt at a blog, but just couldn't keep up the energy or desire to maintain it. However, as the days pass more and more quickly, and my brain is able to retain less and less (or so it seems), I feel compelled to try to keep a better record of our day to day life. There are so many things I hope to remember in the coming years, but I doubt my ability to do so given the hectic nature of things. Little things C says or does, the milestones that N reaches, the lessons I learn as a mother...these are things that are important for me to remember. So here I go...

Seven weeks into my journey as a "mother of two," I find myself more confused and feeling more incapable than I did on day one. I suppose at some point we will all "adjust," but I'd really like to know when. The sleep deprivation is catching up with me, although my husband, bless his soul, has lost more sleep than me. (Thank you, honey.) The stress is catching up with everyone, including poor N, who appears to not be able to take a decent nap anymore. Why? Who knows... Newborns are next to impossible to figure out. I know this now, but it's no consolation.

At any rate, I feel incredibly blessed to have such an amazing family. My husband is the love of my life. My two children are healthy and beautiful and generally speaking (tee hee), happy. My biggest struggle these days is trying to live in the moment, for both the good and the bad. I often find myself wishing away the difficult times, but in doing so, I am also wishing away some of the best moments of my life. So, my goal is to take each day, hour by hour, smile by smile, tear by tear, laugh by laugh, small miracle by small miracle... Afterall, it won't be like this for long.