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Tag: children

A leap into less than happiness?

This morning my eyes slowly opened and I looked over at my sleeping husband. I smiled through my sleepy blinks at him lying there next to me. I pressed myself up against him and breathed deeply, taking in his smell of shampoo and sleep. He didn’t notice me this morning because he was in too deep of a sleep. That’s fine, I let him sleep a while longer.

I rolled out of bed and went to my computer to catch up on whatever happened while I was away sleeping. While browsing through Facebook I came across this article: If parenthood sucks, why do we love it? Because we’re addicted.

I’ve heard it before, parenthood actually decreases your happiness. According to this article the only reason people keep popping out babies is because of the occasional high you get. Most of the time parents with young children are miserable.

Yikes.

The thing is, I suspected that all along. It’s a huge part of why I’ve waited and resisted all the pressure to start adding more humans to the planet so far. I’m so happy with my life as it is, am I really ready to screw that up?

Will I ever be ready?

Who is ever ready to be less happy?

Joel and I have what is my idea of a perfect marriage. We love each other fiercely. We fight but we do it fairly. We forgive each other and move on after making mistakes. We have long afternoons filled with passionate sex and intimate cuddling. We take trips to exotic locations on a whim.

All these things and more make me so happy. When I lie in bed staring at Joel I can’t imagine doing it through bleary, sleep depraved eyes that haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep in months. Will I be able to stare at him in those last moments of sleep or will I desperately be trying to catch every last second of shut eye before I have to return to my motherly duties?

I know myself. I become a grumpy monster without good sleep. Not sleeping makes me miserable. Naughty, whining children drive me crazy. I’d love to believe that I’ll be such an awesome parent that I’ll produce perfect children but we all know that’s not the case. My kids will have my DNA which means they’ll almost certainly be stubborn, creative, little evil geniuses.

When I remember some of the ways I acted towards my mom, dad and babysitters I cringe. I once convinced a babysitter to play a game that involved tying her hands to a doorknob. Then I convinced her to sit down. Then my sisters and I ran giggling out of the room leaving her unable to stand up. From the time I knew how to talk I knew how to manipulate things so they went my way. I never took no for an answer well. I got in a good deal of trouble but was very good at talking my way out of my punishments.

Then of course there was Joel. The stories he tells me about jumping off roofs, climbing trees and doing flips down steep hills on his bike terrify me. He basically poked his eye out when he was 6 and is now blind in that eye. Frankly I’m shocked that that’s the only major injury he ever got. He was such a dare devil. If we have a child like him I don’t know that my nerves can take the experience.

But then again, I look into Joel’s beautiful blue eyes and wonder what a mini version of him would look like. I see my beautiful sweet nephews and wonder if I could be as good at raising kiddos as my sisters have been. In the end I want to be surrounded by my children and grandchildren. I want a big happy family.

However, taking that leap into years of less happiness kind of feels like jumping out of a plane with a questionable parachute.

Games and songs

If you missed yesterday’s post you should definitely check it out for more pictures and stories about the village we visited. Today Joel finally put together a short video of the actual activities I did with the kids. Like I said, I didn’t really have a plan when we got there because I wasn’t aware we were going to be in charge of doing an actual program. I knew we were going to spend some time with them but no one informed us of exactly how until we were in front of them. Then it was basically:

A – “Hey, I’m going to leave now. You’re in charge

Us – “Uuuuummm….

I ended up just picking random songs and games to teach them. Next time I’ll definitely have several activities planned out for them to do instead of just winging it, if for no other reason than the stress of feeling put on the spot was less than fun.

However, once I got in a groove I had all kinds of fun…

I think the kids did too.

Elf feet at fifty percent off

I have mentioned before that I have freakishly small feet. It’s a problem. Not for walking and all that because they function just fine. It’s the buying shoes for my peg feet that is the problem.

What. A. Pain.

Seriously, apparently I am a rare breed. Because it is sooo hard to find shoes in my size. As much as I love shoes, I detest shoe shopping because it usually ends in frustration. I find plenty of shoes I think are adorable but they’re all in normal human feet sizes instead of elf sized. Lame.

I needed a pair of sandals for India. I have plenty of flip flops and a couple of cute but not comfortable pairs already but, I really wanted something I could walk around in all day. I certainly didn’t want to pack a backpack full of socks in order to wear tennis shoes.

I checked out a couple different outdoor stores but didn’t see anything in particular I liked. I’ve been sort of kind of looking for awhile but put off any serious search because of the size issues. Then suddenly today is here, my trip is in two days and I still have no shoes. Oops. Off to R.E.I. Joel and I went.

I was really excited when I realized that it’s the end of sandal season so they were all on clearance. Still not all that cheap but at least more reasonable. I searched through dozens of shoes and started to get sad when I realized I had very few options. I’m not really into the hiking sandal look as it is. Kind of reminds me of my dad. Only he’d wear them with knee high black socks. Oh yes he did. Anyway, when it’s narrowed down to three or four choices it’s even harder. I decided to try a couple on hoping they’d look better on my feet.

And then I found out R.E.I.’s shoe sizes run a little big.

That’s a size 6. Yeah. See my problem?

At that point I about burst into tears. I looked at Joel and bemoaned my itty bitty feet.

Why oh why am I cursed with child sized feet?” I asked.

And then, basically as a joke, I walked over to the kid section and picked up a shoe and said that I bet it’d fit me. So I jokingly tried to put it on my foot….

And, like Cinderella. the freaking shoe fit.

I then started giggling hysterically and as the salesman walked by I pointed out the fact that I fit in a child’s shoe.

He just shrugged and said,

Hey, they’re cheaper.

Holy crap! He’s totally right! In fact, they’re about 50% less than adult versions of the same exact shoe! Jackpot!!!

The only problem with kids shoes is they’re so…. childish. Bright colors, silly patterns. It’s as if they expect children to wear them instead of full grown adult women with circus freak feet.

The pair I picked is brighter than I would have preferred. I also am not super crazy about the color pink. But it’s better than frogs or hearts or no shoes at all so I’m not going to complain too much.

Plus they were way cheap. Not too shabby, huh?

Childfree days

I look forward to having kids, I really do. However, after weekends like these I feel like I won’t mind putting it off just a while longer. This weekend my days went like this:

Thursday

Stayed out and had a few drinks with coworkers. Lots of laughing and talking. Good times.

Friday

2am finally collapse into bed

10am wake up, grab a bowl of cereal and hop back into bed while I poke around the internet on Twitter and such.

11am catch up on a few tv shows I missed over the week. Fight with CW.com’s online player. Stupid CW.

1pm feeling sleepy. Decide to lie down for a bit and take a nap before work.

3pm wake up feeling drugged. Must. shower. before. work.

3:30pm leave for work

11pm off work. Back to fooling around on the internet. In bed by 12am(ish).

Saturday

10am wake up, starving. Joel is not up yet so I move around a lot and “accidentally” bump into him.

10:30am release Phoebe on him. “oops”

11am make pancakes with apple butter. So freaking delicious.

12pm big breakfast made me sleepy. Decide to lie down for a nap. Enjoy some heavenly cuddles with Joel and the puppy.

2pm up for work. Thankfully don’t feel so drugged this time.

3:30pm leave for work.

10pm done with work. Joel and I run to Blockbuster to exchange our movie mailers for free in store rentals.

11pm munch on a caramel apple and watch two really lame movies. Still fun to cuddle on the couch though. In bed by around 2:30am.

Sunday

7am kiss Joel goodbye. He has to work. Lame.

12pm Joel gets home from work. This wakes me up. Nice.

1pm catch up with my mom and some others on the phone. Shower, get dressed and decide to go to a movie.

3:20pm Watch Devil. Not too bad but the clueless girls in the theater? Hilarious. Hearing them gasp as they got it ages after the movie made things obvious made Joel and I laugh hysterically.

6pm dinner. Possibly another movie but most likely we’ll just head to bed soon since I have to wake up at 3am for work.

I know that having kids has it’s rewards but the thought of giving up lovely lazy weekends like this is not something I’m ready to rush into.

It’s official

We have our visas and as of today Joel and I both have plane tickets.

We really are going to India.

Oh my gaaaah!

I’m so excited and a little in shock and nervous at the same time. This never would have been possible without the amazing people that donated. And our guardian angel who offered to donate his airline miles for a ticket to India. I’m blown away. Really I am. The amazing generosity of people. I wish there was a way for me to show how grateful I am.

I wish I could come over and give each of you a giant hug.

But even that wouldn’t seem adequate.

But yeah. I’m going to India.

In two weeks.

Wow.

Now that it’s 100% official I feel almost overwhelmed at what I still have to do. Suddenly all these things we talked about if we get to go have to get done and fast. But everything has worked out so far so I’m not stressing too much. Yet.

I need suggestions and input though. We’re flying out a couple days before the actual mission work is supposed to start so we can do some touristy things. I want to try and make it up to see the Taj Mahal (because, seriously how often will I get a chance to go to India?) but it seems kind of complicated to get there. If anyone has any suggestions on how to get there easily I would appreciate it.

That’s the only touristy thing I really want to do though. My heart is to go and help the children. I’m planning some fun activities to do with them while we’re there like face painting or games. If anyone has any suggestions on good cross cultural games that would be awesome too. I’m expecting them to speak no English so it should be interesting. I’m sure some of you teachers/parents have some good ideas on games that don’t require verbal communication though. Right?

Oh! I also need clothing suggestions. I have a hard enough time dressing myself every day as it is. With it being a completely different culture and climate I’m completely clueless. HALP?!

So yeah, it’s always on my brain now and I’m finally allowing myself to get really excited about the trip. I was afraid to get my hopes up before since we didn’t raise all the money that we’d hoped to so it seemed iffy on whether or not we’d actually get to go. But we are. We’re going. We’re really seriously going.

It still doesn’t feel real. No matter how much I say that. I guess I’m going to have to wait until we’re actually on the plane to India before it sinks in. Or maybe it won’t happen until I actually get there. Who knows. I can be kind of slow sometimes.

Whether it’s sunk in or not, we’re going. We. Are. Going. To. India.

Finally.

Stamps in my passport

I have quite a few of those. Before you think I’m bragging remember when I was stuck in The Netherlands? And then I ended up getting home via Brussels? Yeah, that added a whole lot of stamps. The rest are mostly from Germany because they’re very picky about knowing exactly when you entered and left the country.

One time, as a working crew member, they apparently didn’t stamp my passport. I found this out as I was trying to leave because the customs officer starting yelling at me about the fact that I didn’t have one. I wasn’t aware I was responsible for supervising German immigration. ::eye roll:: Thankfully he let me leave since I was standing there with a crew badge in uniform. And I said I’d only been there for 24 hours. Likely a liar would say slightly longer. I assume. I’ve never lied to immigration. Really.

Since, in my first six months of working, I was assigned trips to Frankfurt no less than 9 times you can imagine how boring it is to look through my passport. A whole lot of AMS and FRA, a French and Chinese visa and a few US stamps just for good measure. This has left me with very few pages left. Thankfully I have just enough room for my Indian visa which I will be applying for next Wednesday.

Yep, you read that right. I’m 90% sure this trip is actually going to happen. I’m in shock and shaking from excitement at the same time. Despite the fact that I’ve been hoping and praying to go on this trip since I was 12 years old I still feel completely unprepared. That probably has a lot to do with the fact that we didn’t raise enough money to buy tickets from the US to India. We’re going to have to fly standby to Europe and fly out of there.

Considering my last standby experience to Europe that kind of scares the crap out of me.

The cheapest tickets we found were out of Frankfurt which as I mentioned earlier is a city I’m quite familiar with. The only concern I have is I realized it’s right smack in the middle of Oktoberfest. Now, Oktoberfest happens in Munich but it still worries me that we might not be able to make it.

Our next option is Amsterdam which should be a breeze to get in and out of. The only problem is it’s going to cost like $700 more. ::sigh::

We have to decide soon but we need to get visas before we buy non-refundable plane tickets because the last thing we want is to be denied visas and just throw money away.

And now you can see where I’m stressed.

Not to mention I have barely any room in my US passport.

There’s plenty of room in my Swiss passport but something about the fact that I live in the States means I can’t use it. Lame.

We thought we could get extra pages put in but it turns out it costs almost as much to do that as to get a new passport. Super lame!

But we’re going.

I think.

I want this so bad it makes my heart ache. I wish we had raised enough to buy our plane tickets all the way from ORD but I guess that makes it even more about faith.

All I know is I’ve already heard about the children we’re going down there to help. And it makes me want to cry thinking about them. I can’t wait to play with them and read them stories and make their home a better place.

We’ve already sent money down to the home ahead of us. Today I found out what they’re using it for.

Toilets.

They’re putting in toilets so that they’ll have them when we arrive.

I told Joel I don’t need a toilet! I’ve used a squatty-potty before and we’re going to be in the middle of the jungle, I honestly didn’t expect anything other than a hole. Joel said it was already part of the improvement plans so I don’t feel guilty.

Imagine being exited about getting a toilet.

I can’t tell you how badly I hope to make it there. They are anticipating our arrival already and I know they will be very disappointed if we can’t make it for some reason. This is one of my biggest life dreams and it just seems unreal that it may actually happen.

Please send good vibes as we apply for visas and finally purchase plane tickets.

I’m so nervous but I’m starting to think we’re actually going to make it.

As always you can find out more about our trip at our HelpSend.Us site.

Yet keeps moving

One question I get asked a lot is “When are you going to start having kids?” Is it just me or is that basically asking about my sex life? Like, why don’t you just ask what positions are our favorites? Or what kind of birth control we use. Or how often we do it.

While I wish I had the nerve to come back with “I’m not sure. So how’s your sex life?” I generally say something along the lines of  “We want kids eventually. We’re just not ready. Yet.”

When Joel and I got married we knew we didn’t want kids right away. We wanted time to really get to know each other better. To laze around the house in all states of undress. To go on a weekend trip on a moments notice. Basically we wanted time to be a fun, young married couple. We said we wanted to wait three to five years.

We’ve been married almost four and a half years.

Ho. ly. crap.

I love, love, love kids.  However, if I’m being totally honest I love kids less now than I did in my late teens and early earlier 20’s. Don’t get me wrong. The little kids in my life? Adorable. Love them to death. Can’t imagine my life without them. But there’s always the option to send them to their mother when I don’t want to deal with them.

What will it be like when I’m the mother?

Freaky.

Then there’s the whole sleep issue. When I don’t get enough sleep? Frankly, I’m kind of a bitch. What if I can’t handle the lack of sleep?

What if I don’t like my kid?

I love my freedom. I love having days of doing absolutely nothing at all. Once I’m a mom that’s gone, mostly likely forever.

Am I ready to give that up?

Will I ever be?

Anyway, this is on my mind lately. I definitely want kids. In fact, I kind of want a lot of kids. Now that I’m grown up and close to my siblings I want to give my children the same kind of experience. I’m pretty sure I don’t want 8 like my dad but definitely more than 2.

Actually, I’ve joked that we’ll just keep having kids until we get a bad one. Then we’ll stop.

I’m mostly kidding.

But seriously, I’m scared of having a colicky or difficult baby. Or getting postpartum depression.

I’m really scared that I’ll be a bad mom.

I’m so selfish. Not just sometimes. Most of the time. Growing a baby doesn’t magically change your personality does it?

I mean, even now I get so hurt and frustrated when my mom doesn’t have time for me. I hate not being able to get a hold of her. I’m twenty-freaking-four. Once you’re a mom, you’re always and forever a mom.

I’m just not sure when I’ll ever be ready to go from Me to Mom.

Since we hit that magic we’ve-been-married-for-three-years milestone we keep setting future dates to start trying. When the date comes we get cold feet and push it off further. There’s just so much I want to do.

I want to:

  • run a marathon
  • pay off our credit cards
  • buy a house
  • have some money in savings
  • get sexy pictures taken of me so I remember my awesome pre baby body
  • get in shape enough to where I feel like I have an awesome pre baby body

And ya know, a million other things that always seem to come up. I just don’t know if there will ever be a time that feels like it’s right. I’m afraid if I just keep waiting around to be ready it’s never going to happen.

Someone please tell me how you knew that you were ready. Did you wish you would have waited longer? Not waited as long?

It’s worth it right?

I want to be a young, fun mom. I just keep saying I’m not ready yet. But yet? Just keeps moving.

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