Maybe Cross-Country Running?

My parents put me in sports as a kid and I loved it. I played three sports in junior high and high school and continued to play for fun through college. I made lifelong friends, learned the importance of working together, stayed in shape, and had fun.

I know sports aren’t for everyone, but I want M to be exposed to different sports and other activities so she can find something that she loves to do. So far, we’ve tried gymnastics, dance, and now soccer. I thought she would like soccer because it’s fast-paced and requires lots of running around, so I signed her up for a 5-week soccer camp.

After the first three weeks, these are my observations:

  • 50 minutes is too long to expect 3 and 4 year old kids to pay attention.
  • Splitting the kids into groups and expecting them to stay with their group the entire time is insane.
  • I think she’s bored out of her mind.
  • The coaches change each week and only some of them seem to know how to “coach” little kids who’ve never played soccer before.
  • My kid is the only one running (and I mean RUNNING) around the park away from the class. She runs toward the street, or past her soccer field to the huge open fields furthest away from her class, or to the bathrooms, or the parking lot. Really, anywhere except where she’s supposed to be.
  • I’m the only parent yelling “stop! come back! stay here!” (on repeat) and it’s embarrassing.
  • I’m also the only parent getting any exercise at this camp because I have to chase my kid and bring her back. I get in about 30 minutes of sprints each week, especially when she heads for the road.
  • My 3-year old is FAST. I am not.

I know she’s only three. I know this her first exposure to soccer. I know I shouldn’t expect her to pay attention the entire time. But holy hell, I am so tired of chasing her. I’m thinking maybe she’ll be a track star or a cross-country runner in the future. I’m also thinking maybe we need to get her back to dance class because at least she’s contained in one room for that activity! :)

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This Is Three

IMG_1324My daughter turned 3 last week. I cannot believe we have a 3-year old! Where did the time go? She’s an amazing, caring, stubborn, independent little girl and I can’t get enough of her. I decided to interview her tonight just for fun. Some of her answers made me laugh, some were completely expected and some I’m still trying to figure out. Here is a quick recap of our interview.

  • What do you want to be when you grow up? A mermaid
  • What’s your favorite color? Purple
  • What’s your favorite toy? Trains
  • What’s your favorite book? She said something that I couldn’t understand. Even after 10 minutes of trying to get her to repeat it, guessing, and asking her to bring the book to me, I still have no idea what she said. I’m assuming it’s a book she read at school because she couldn’t show me.
  • What’s your favorite tv show? Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Bubble Guppies
  • What’s your favorite movie? Monsters (Monsters, Inc.)
  • What’s your favorite food? oranges (I expected cheeseburgers or cake pops, but she actually picked a healthy food!)
  • What’s your favorite animal? Piggy!
Posted in Celebrations and milestones, Just for fun, Parenting | Leave a comment

You Are Not Alone

2015-niaw-homepage-image

April 19 to April 25th is National Infertility Awareness Week. (Read more about it here.) I’ve never participated in the conversation around this week even though infertility is part of my life. However, this year’s theme is You Are Not Alone and this theme is so so so important to me.

Roughly ten years ago I was sitting in a pizza place with one of my closest childhood friends. We were talking and laughing and catching up like old friends do. Somehow – I can’t remember exactly how it went – I told her that we were trying to have a baby and it just wasn’t happening. I will never forget the look on her face. It was her words, however, that shocked me more. She told me she was facing the same thing.

I remember how we both cried when we realized we’d each been holding on to this secret and feeling so alone when we didn’t have to. I remember thinking how awful it was that she was also experiencing the sadness and the disappointment, but also feeling relieved that I had finally told someone and she understood.

So often, people suffer through infertility in silence. It’s insanely personal and the pain is raw. I realized that day just how alone and isolated I had felt.

As soon as we were married, everyone wanted to know when we were going to start having kids. We were repeatedly asked personal questions about our plans to have a family. While these friends and family members meant well and were clearly excited to welcome a baby to the world, their questions hurt. Every comment about when I was going to get pregnant was like a knife being pushed deeper and deeper into my heart.

No one knew that we desperately wanted to start a family but that things just weren’t happening the way we’d planned. No one knew how every single month I cried when my period showed up, dashing our hopes yet again. I suffered in silence and tried to provide non-committal answers and blow off the comments.

After talking to my friend, I decided to stop being silent. If people were going to ask personal questions, they were going to get personal answers. I got a lot of shocked looks when I responded with statements like “we’re having a hard time getting pregnant so I don’t know when or if I’ll ever have a baby, but thanks for your excitement.” You know what? It felt GOOD to put it out there. It was like a weight had lifted off my chest and I felt free.

Around this time I also discovered the power of social media. I found several bloggers who wrote about infertility and their struggles with building a family. I found a community on Twitter who felt the same things I felt – alone and broken. The online community was amazing and helped me through some of the darkest times of my life.

One in eight couples experience infertility. I am one in eight. My friend Erin is one in eight. Both of us went on to have beautiful children – her through IVF and us through adoption. Wherever you are at in your journey, please please please remember that you are NOT alone. There are so many of us who’ve been there. Who understand. Who get it. You will be okay. You are not alone.

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Distractions

April is the busiest month for my family; we basically celebrate something new every week. My brother kicked things off with his April Fools Day birthday and then a few days later we celebrated Easter. The day after Easter was our 13th wedding anniversary. This weekend is Miss M’s birthday party and next week is her actual birthday. My birthday is about a week later, and a few days after that is my dad’s birthday. Plus, this year we have a bar mitzvah thrown in the mix, too.

This means LOTS of family time, lots of parties and lots of celebrating. It also means I have several distractions from the never-ending wait to become parents again.

I desperately need all these distractions right now because I’m having a difficult time sitting around just waiting for my phone to ring. I’m going to be 38 in a few weeks and I’m struggling with the fact that I am going to be another year older and still not a mom again. It sucks. And it’s out of my control. I’m not a patient person and this wait is starting to wear me down. I guess the bright side is I get to eat lots of cake this month while I wait for my phone to ring….

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Froop Loops

"I'm a pirate!"

“I’m a pirate!”

Potty training is one of the most stressful things I’ve experienced as a mother. Ever. We tried to potty train M on several different occasions within the past six months. Each time, she seemed ready, but for whatever reason it just didn’t click. She was inconsistent and sometimes flat out stubbornly refused to do something she had been doing for weeks already (because she’s that stubborn and doesn’t like to be told what to do). We tried m&m’s, stickers, a chart, bribes…nothing worked.

Well, we seem to have found the magic trick. “Froop Loops.” (Well, froop loops and peer pressure, but hey, whatever works.)

Last week, M’s daycare told us we could bring her in underwear and they’d try it out. Brave, brave teachers.

She had a few accidents (as expected) but, overall, she did great. When I asked her teachers what they were doing (because we tried everything at home), they said they give the kids two fruit loops every time they go. Really? Cereal? It helps that M is around other kids who are already potty trained and she wants to be like them (peer pressure at its best). However they did it, it worked.

Unfortunately, the first few nights at home were rough; she would throw a major tantrum if I even mentioned the word potty. But by the middle of the week she seemed excited to go. She even told me that she didn’t want to wear diapers anymore because they are for babies and she’s a big girl. YES! She also kept asking for “froop loops” so we had to go to the store to get some. She gets VERY excited to pick out two colors each time she goes potty. If only I had known sooner that a $4 box of cereal was all I needed to bribe her. :)

She’s doing such a great job and I’m one proud mama!

Posted in Celebrations and milestones, Growing Up, Parenting | Leave a comment

Clean Up, Clean Up

The snow is finally melting!  But with two medium-sized dogs and after a very long winter, my yard is a mess.

Sunday afternoon my husband took on the task of cleaning up the backyard while I kept the kiddo occupied. It was too nice out to play indoors, so I took her out on the deck to play with bubbles. She saw her dad picking up dog poop and asked me what he was doing, so I said he was cleaning up the yard.

She excitedly ran over to the steps of the deck and started singing in her loudest voice “clean up, clean up, everybody do your share! Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere!” Then, she decided to help and began pointing and yelling “there’s more poop over here daddy!” over and over as she pointed out all the dog poop in the yard. He was not amused. I, however, had tears streaming down my face from laughing so hard. I’m sure the neighbors were amused, too.

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15 YEARS!

15 years ago I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Zimbabwe. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done (and also one of the most difficult). An experience like that creates unbreakable bonds with people and builds friendships for life. The majority of the people I served with are truly some of the best people I know.

I had the opportunity to reconnect with a handful of them this weekend at our 15-year reunion in Boston, and it was awesome. With the invention of FB, we all know more about each others lives than we ever did before; it’s easier to keep in touch, but it’s not the same as in-person conversations and shenanigans. :)

We spent the weekend reminiscing about old memories and creating new ones. I can’t even tell you how wonderful it was to spend a few short days with people who get me, who understand what I went through, who experienced similar things that no one else in my circle of family or friends can even begin to fathom.

Now I need a week of vacation just to catch up on sleep.

Posted in Just for fun | 1 Comment