Thursday, July 9, 2015

Survival. Or perseverance.

This is what most of our month of June looked like. June was actually a little crazy. We started it in Arkansas on our way back from Missouri. We were able to stay with good friends and see many more while there for a few days. The girls and Rosa did a lot of playing. Blanche was just talking about Rosa today and was saying she was the tickle monster. Rosa liked to tickle Blanche. The only problem was Blanche didn't really want to be tickled. The three girls together were almost like sisters from the start. But we didn't have much time there for them to really get the rhythm of being together and getting along. Plus I'm sure it was hard for Rosa having a whole family invade her space and all her things. There was fighting, but also sweet moments of playing. Blanche seems to really miss Rosa and her momma Joy. We listen to a song that has lyrics that say, "Love brought me here. Joy brought me here." Blanche loves that part and always says, "Like Rosa's momma!" Our time in Arkansas was similar to our time in Missouri, too many people we really wanted to see and not enough time. Plus my tiredness and exhaustion seems to follow me from state to state.

Even when returning to Texas my tiredness has stayed more than I have wished. Of course we moved across the city the week after we returned. And maybe I did have more of that second trimester energy than I realized, but I used it up pretty quickly each day with trips to the park and cleaning around the house.

I love our new house and living in south Austin over the more northern suburb where we had been. Hopefully soon I can do a post of a few pictures and describe our space more for my friends and family that are far away but curious. But I will save those words and pictures for another day.

When I looked back at the pictures on my camera from this last month, I just saw it as the girls and I making it, just one day at a time. I am officially now in the last trimester. I am still measuring a bit big, but from what I was told from our recent sonogram, "baby is growing and looking fine." So, I am preparing myself to carry this baby boy through all of July, August and September. Even though this week I measured 31 weeks instead of 28. Every time I think through being pregnant for that long period of time I almost can't believe it will be possible. It isn't that I am so huge or in so much pain that I think I have no more room to grow... I just can't even fathom what I will be like come mid September. I guess I'm not even really waddling that much yet... so that will happen. But I already feel like I am slipping into a coma every afternoon. When we go outside my hands start to swell, and I just get grumpy because I don't feel like myself or very strong for the girls.

Grumpy is the word. Grumpy is how I have felt the last couple of weeks. I really feel that for the most part with this pregnancy I haven't been over emotional or super short with my family members. I give credit to the boy over a girl in my belly. But lately more tears are coming without warning and my patience is so much shorter. I think a big reason why this happens, and always seems to really be an issue at the end of my pregnancy, is that I am just tired of being tired. I get tired of heartburn from eating cheese... yes horrible heartburn from cheese the other night. I want to be myself again. I hate not having enough energy or how bad it hurts to squat down so many times in one day. I hate being short with the girls and feeling like a crazy hormone driven pregnant woman. I want my girls to have this brother, and I know the time of pregnancy really is short. I just want the girls to know I love them and really do try. And not to see me as scary mommy. Although sometimes I think that if I was really that scary maybe they would listen to me better...

Either way, all of this boils down to survival. I am surviving summer, and pregnancy, and motherhood... just one day at a time. Sometimes those days are spent with good friends in the sunshine, or at Gigi and Showpa's house, or at home while the girls and I desperately try and get along.

I don't think I'm a bad mom. Andrew tells me that I can't be everything for all of my children at every moment. And I know that. But sometimes I feel overwhelmed. I told Andrew there are just days that doing just the regular acts of the day are almost too much for me. Sure I could just put on four hours of shows for the girls in the morning... but I know that getting outside to the park is going to help our day. It will help me just as much as them. But at times it feels like I am using every little ounce of energy to stand and make lunches for the park over sitting on the couch. And I keep pushing uphill to get everyone dressed and out the door. But then by mid afternoon or dinner time I am just so exhausted. I have nothing left to give. I am short and tired and just want to scream or cry or go to bed at five pm. So the perfectionist in me feels that no matter what I do... I fail them a little. There literally isn't enough of me to preform in the ways I wish I could.

I am still reading and meditating on thankfulness. It has really been the only spiritual thing I have focused on for a few months. The other day though, I was reading about how thankfulness can take away the anxiety of the day. And I know it should have hit me harder than it did at the time. It does make sense though. The only way I can feel like enough is to not focus on all my shortcomings. I can't look at the ways I am not doing enough... but just stop and be thankful for what I am able to do. I am not on bedrest. That's something. Because I surely wouldn't be bringing them to a park or splash pad if I was. And maybe we eat out too much, but we are still eating. And we are all eating things we like. Just yesterday after a long day, Andrew brought burgers and fries home for dinner. We all sat and ate in the back yard with the girls in their swimsuits. They had been playing in their little pool while we waited for daddy. Just a couple months ago we didn't even have a yard or a place for a baby pool. The girls and I would have just been inside our apartment waiting for Andrew to drive his over hour commute home. Now it only takes twenty minutes. We skipped bath that night (hose water is almost like a bath just minus soap...) and we all laid around on our beds and played "don't wake the sleeping troll" and an Animal Memory card game.

There are reasons to be thankful. I'm not perfect. I have things to work on. But we all do. My kids are human and so am I. We will get through this. I need to pray for strength and my kids will learn that sometimes life is more difficult or more tiring in some seasons than others. I can choose to remember each day that no matter how many times I have been short or done something based off my hormones or tiredness... that I can always say I am sorry when I am wrong. And there is always time to encourage and uplift my children in what things they are doing right. No those good things doesn't erase or change the difficult moments... But it can still show them that I am trying. And that I do love them.

I may have cleaned up diarrhea from a baby pool on the night of the Fourth of July all by myself. And poop off the patio. And dealt with Blanche trying to learn to wipe herself tonight... while Rosemary was screaming about a baby doll that was in the washing machine. I was hit in the face with a cup during bath time, and a jump rope less than thirty minutes later. I wasn't listened to and have done what feels like forty loads of laundry. There are days I want to just say bye and go swim at Barton Springs alone. But I stay. And I learn more about patience and love. And we all grow. I learn to ask Andrew for help. And then he put Rosemary down to sleep two nights in a row. He laid her down "sleepy but awake" in bed, and I came in ten minutes later to find them both fast asleep.

Hardship brings perseverance and growth. This isn't something new. It is just new for me sometimes.

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