Sunday, November 28, 2010

sigh...

So I'm not a very good blogger-er. I've made a few changes...went back to a job that I loved but the schedule wasn't very good but now they have made adjustments so I can be semi-parttime (3 days a week) which is great because now either myself or my husband, or both, is home all the time eliminating the need for child care. I weaned the baby, which was sad but my 11 year old breast pump died, bless her heart. I had decreased the amount I was pumping to just 2 sessions a day so it wasn't tooo painful. He is adjusting well, so that's all that matters.

I'm starting to feel that holiday panic. I really don't like holidays anymore. When I was married the first time, I remember two of my divorced co-workers groaning about how much they hated the holidays and both attributed this feeling to their divorces. They both had children, so the holidays are divided equally, and both of the attested to loving Christmas and going all out for the festivities prior to the divorces. I really just thought they were being overly bitter. But now I know there's something to it. Because although I am divorced and I do have to share my girls with my X, I do have a very loving husband and now a brand new baby boy to ease the sorrow of missing the girls (though nothing takes their place) but I really haven't noticed too much more merriment on my part. I think divorce really takes so much more from you than you realize. I was so relieved when it was over, and I wouldn't go back and change anything for certain, but it does rip you into pieces and even if you put those pieces back together, you can still see the globs of glue holding it in place.

I'm just holding out for that Christmas Eve candlelight service because that's what Christmas is about to me. And this year I will get to share it with my amazing husband and that new baby boy. And the girls will be there in my heart and I'll just tell myself that whatever they are doing with their dad, it's probably good for them in some way (even if it just makes them appreciative of their lives with us). And Christmas is a day on the calendar, but it's the Christmas spirit that makes it special and that can happen on any day, so we will create that when they are back home with their family here.

xoxo,
luvy

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Post partum depression

I think I have post-partum depression. I hate to even say that, I'll be honest. Maybe that's sending the wrong message to other mommies but I feel weak just putting that out there. I thought that after high school, my early 20's, and getting rid of an abusive ex-husband, my self-esteem had recovered. Apparently not the case. I should be happy. My baby is a healthy chunk of lovin'. My husband is amazingly supportive. My girls are doing great in school and in spite of their pre-teen hormone surges, are usually pretty entertaining to be around. I am about to start a promising new job that will allow me to be home more without putting a financial strain on my husband. And I have lost all but 5 pounds of the weight I gained in pregnancy and my son is 11 weeks old (which after all the sausage I ate during my pregnancy, that is quite an accomplishment!!). But doubt creeps in. I don't feel skinny enough, pretty enough, young enough, energetic enough, fun enough, happy enough, ENOUGH, ENOUGH, ENOUGH!!! And what do I do when I feel insecure? Oh I usually do something really flattering and try to attack someone else! (I'm being "startastic" as Autumn would say). Which makes me feel even worse! I'm not a big supporter of medication so this is my plan:

1. Get outside more
2. Go for a walk at least 3 times/week
3. Think of something nice about my next target when I want to lash out
4. Pray more
5. Surround myself with goodness
6. Breath in and out slowly
7. Drink more water
8. Eat more fruit (cause it makes me feel good and happy)
9. Hug my children more
10. Thank God for the many blessings I have

And enjoy a glass of wine on the patio with my husband

xoxo,
luvy

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

working mom

Why is it so hard to be a working mom? Why is it that the dads can go to work and fill fulfilled that he is doing the right thing for the family without a twinge of guilt but I start to feel like crap the minute I back out of the driveway, if not before. From the second I wake the girls up and start rushing them along and cursing under my breath the tangles in their hair and why can't Autumn just go one day without struggling with me over her clothes, shoes, getting her planner signed the night before...to the moment I lay them down at night and say their prayers (also rushing because I still have things I need to get done before I can go to bed so that maybe, just maybe I won't be so rushed the next morning). Speaking of needing to get things done...I pause this blog for a moment to text the babysitter begging her to watch Eli on Thursday because I don't think I will be able to work from home as I had hoped AND my husband has a work obligation that he will do guilt-free.

{Insert elevator music here}

Ok, I'm back. Now please don't think I am bashing my husband in any way because he is the best at what he does. I'm sure his boss would clone him if he could. Chase is also the best dad I've ever known. Not only does he take care of our son all day long, toting him to Lowe's, Wal-mart, Papa-Ro's house to mow the lawn, etc, but he also takes care of the girls that aren't even biologically his AND he smiles the whole time AND still puts FABULOUS meals on the table every night. (Don't even get me started on the homemade chicken pot pie he made last night! I am salivating just thinking about it!) I am just jealous how men seem to know their place in the family without self-loathing for having to sacrifice this or that.

I have always felt "called" to be a nurse and I know that I have a talent for my profession. And I was definitely called to be a mother. But I haven't found that happy balance between the two. Maybe I never will. Maybe this is some curse because of Eve and the damn apple right there along with painful childbirth, menstruation and hairy legs! I don't know the method behind the madness but I know the frustration I feel almost every night when I think I could've been better to my children than I was that day. That I wish I had taken just 60 more seconds to tell them that they are my life. Maybe tomorrow...

xoxo,
Luvy

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tales from the Back Seat

Today after picking the girls and Eli up from the sitter, I heard this conversation in the back seat of the car:

Bailee, matter-of-factly, "I asked you to pass me my cleats, Autumn. Oh, and stop eating your boogers."

Autumn...not a single word.

I can imagine Eli just sat there wide-eyed as if to say "somebody get me outta here! these chicks are crazy!"

xoxo,
Luvy

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

more "If Eli Could Talk"

TODAY If Eli Could Talk...

he would say "I had a feeling I better be a really good baby tonight cause daddy is at work and I'm getting the vibe that mommy had a very bad day. Oh and that big girl they call Autumn is getting in a lot of trouble and that doesn't look like very much fun so I'm gonna sit here in my bouncy seat and look as cute as possible..."


xoxo,
Luvy

Saturday, September 11, 2010

"If Eli Could Talk...", a sub-blog from Luvy

This is a little sub-blog that I'll call "If Eli Could Talk..."

Today if Eli could talk he would say...

"Why does that furry thing running around here keep eating my pacifiers? He doesn't even hold them in his mouth right. It's kinda hard to hold them in your mouth right, but I think I'm getting the hang of it. Speaking of my pacifier...where is it? I WANT MY PACIFIER!! WHHHAAAAAAHHH!! MOOOOMMMMMMMYYYYYY! WHHHAAAAAAHHH!!"


That concludes tonights segment of "If Eli Could Talk..."

xoxo,
Luvy

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dedicated to Malorie Bullock

While driving home from picking up the girls at their dad's this past weekend, Chase and I were almost side-swiped by a car travelling in the lane to the right of us as they attempted to come into our lane and apparently did not see us. Both cars were travelling at about 70mph and it was on I35N as it comes into south Dallas, so the damages would have been significant if not fatal. This lead to a discussion we had about our own immortality. I shared with Chase the following feelings I had been having.

A few of the latter months of my pregnancy, I began to feel very apprehensive about driving. This is not normal for me. I have always loved driving from the first time I got behind the wheel of my grandpa's ford truck at the ripe old age of 3 and "drove" it across his pasture while sitting on his lap (because of course I couldn't reach the gas pedal AND the steering wheel). I couldn't wait to get my driver's permit and would much rather drive than fly anywhere. But something changed and I began to wonder every time I got behind the wheel if this was going to be the day that I would die as the result of a car accident. Would my children be in the car with me? Would they be able to get me to the hospital in time to save my baby if not me? I even talked to Chase about what he would do if that happened. Would he please make them try to save the baby even if it meant that I died instead and he raised him on his own? I made him promise. What if only I died and the girls had to go live with their dad? How would they grow up? What kind of teenagers would they become? All of these thoughts every single time I drove. And I do ALOT of driving with my job. I was relieved when I began experiencing signs of pre-term labor and the decision was made that I would only see my local patients.

After talking to Chase about this and wondering where this sudden fear was coming from, it dawned on me. Malorie. I never met Malorie. I have lost people very near and dear to me more than once in my life to sudden death or illness and even suicide that leaves so many lingering questions. But for some reason that I really don't understand, Malorie's death has probably impacted me the most as far as instilling the reality and finality of death. At the time of her accident (for those of you who don't know, she was killed when the motorcycle that she was riding on the back of and was carelessly driven by her boyfriend lost control) I certainly liked my boss, Melissa, who is Malorie's mother and my co-worker, Natalie, who is Mal's sister. But I can't say that at THAT time I was terribly close to either of them. In fact, earlier that day I had my first one-on-one discussion with Melissa about some work happenings. I've thought to myself, maybe it's because her death was unexpected or because she was still so young with so much ahead of her (she was 19), but as a nurse I have seen plenty of young people pass away unexpectedly. I have pumped on their chests myself. I even manually pumped the heart of one young man with my gloved hand in an attempt to keep blood moving enough to get him to the operating room table, where he ultimately died.

After all of this pondering, I still don't have a rationale. I know that her passing has brought me much closer to Melissa and especially Natalie. I feel like I need to be a sister to Nat in some way. And I feel like I need to be more of a friend to Melissa and do my job so well that she can relax in her role and feel confident that things will be taken care of. I wonder why the big finger of God pointed at her daughter that night and not mine. The only answer I have to that is that our children are on loan to us by God. He never meant for us to keep them here forever. He carefully chose me to mother Autumn, Bailee and now Eli and obviously my work here is not done. Perhaps Malorie would impact more lives dead than she would've had the opportunity to alive. (I hope that doesn't sound harsh for lack of better verbiage). I don't know.

I have always believed in God and over the last 3 years it has become more and more obvious to me that He is working in my life and providing for me in a way that I would've never imagined possible. I had never feared my own death. I know that I'm not perfect. But I know that He created me in His image, which means He must have a temper! (joke) But now I find myself afraid of dying. Chase thinks it's because I have more depending on me, more to live for. Maybe it's because I have finally learned to enjoy life. That was almost impossible outside of my role as a mother before my divorce. Maybe so. But I think it has something to do with the untimely death of a beautiful, bright young lady that was loved by so many.

I wonder if she knows how much she has made this stranger to her regard her own life.

I think I'll go kiss my babies. Again.

xoxo,
Luvy

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

working mom

Today was my second full day back at work and I must say I was a little bit energized by the mental stimulation. I was very frustrated...but I won't elaborate on that. Eli went to the baby sitter for his first full day. I think she loves him. I think he will love her too. Tomorrow he's back with his daddy all day. I am jealous and relieved at the same time. Jealous, of course, of the time the two of them will spend together. And relieved that he has such a "hands on" dad that is willing and excited to take on the challenge of caring for him all day long, without complaint or agitation. I am also relieved every time I get a text or phone call asking me a question about Eli's care because it lets me know that I am still the expert caregiver...for now.

I almost feel like I am a Christmas package that someone at a fancy department store got all ready because it had something really spectacular inside of it. Like a really, really nice gift bag. Because I feel like I am the wrapping outside of this amazing little gift that I was able to give my husband. It almost feels like what I can imagine a surrogate mom feels. Of course, he is MY baby too but I feel like I had him just FOR Chase. And the other thing I feel that is completely unique to this child that I did not feel with the girls (possibly because neither of them were really "planned" or because I never had the kind of spousal love for their dad that I have for Chase) is that Chase and I were brought together just to have this little man. Believe me, I loved our life before him and I never had a sense of being incomplete in any way and I really don't feel like he "completed" us. I just think that he is going to grow up to be amazing and that it was our responsibility to get him here. I know that is sooo cheesy but there's something about this one. I love all three of my babies more than words and none more than another but each of them have a distinction about them. Bailee is very poised and really always has been. She carries herself well and presents herself very well. Autumn is the free-spirit that is smarter than she actually gives herself credit for. She is also the one that I feel I need to protect the most. And sweet Eli already has this old soul look about him when you look at his little eyes. My friend Regina said when he was two weeks old that "he already looks like he is somebody".

This really wasn't the direction I thought this blog would go but oh well!

xoxo,
Luvy

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The magic of breastmilk

While Chase and I were driving home from a lunch date in McKinney today, we were discussing the magical powers of breastmilk. We discovered it was more than just nutritional for our son when he was only a couple of weeks old and developed a clogged tear duct. My friend told me to squirt some breastmilk in it and it would clear it right up. And to our amazement, it did!! So since then we have been making little jokes about how powerful my breastmilk is. I'll give you an example:

me "what if I gave Andy (our dog) breastmilk and he started talking!"

him "what if you gave him breastmilk and he started running really fast!"

So today I was thinking about my wilting, on botanical hospice, hydrangeas and I said "what if I put breastmilk on the hydrangeas and tomorrow they were huge and blossoming?!" Chase says, "if that's the case we are going to add it to fertilizer and sell it and make millions!" I said, "oh great! I'll be the only 90 year old woman still hooked up to this pump expressing breatmilk!!"

We had a good laugh. Hope you did too.

xoxo
Luvy

Friday, August 27, 2010

My Guys






These are my guys. MY guys!! I have Chase and mini-Chase. Everyone I know who has a son told me while I was pregnant, "little boys LOVE their mommys" and "there's just something special about my little boy". I didn't really understand how special until I held him in my arms for the first time. I definitely felt bonded to him during the pregnancy but it really clicked after he was here. I love the way he looks up at me while he is eating and how I can quiet him when no one else can and how when someone else is holding him and he hears my voice his eyes seek me out and his head bobs around to try to see where my voice is coming from. I am smitten.

And his daddy is absolutely head over heels for him. I don't think Chase really understood how much he was going to love this little guy. Sometimes Chase is so confident about things that he thinks he already knows what something feels like, even if he's never experienced it first-hand. I think Eli caught him off guard. He has taken care of children through his job, he takes care of the girls, he has dated other girls before me who had children and his mother had a childcare business in their home but NOTHING compares to having your own little creation, flesh and blood in your arms. And it is so inspiring to watch him learn how to be a daddy to the little guy. He just LOVES him. And Eli was mesmerized by his voice in the hospital. Chase would talk to him and Eli would just look with wide eyes and get so still.

I love my life. It is complete. All the holes are filled. This is my family, my past, present and future. And I could not ask for more.

xoxo,
Luvy

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'm baaaaaccck!!



"I'm bringin' Luvy back! Yeah! Those other bloggers won't know how to act! Yeah!"
That is what I told my friend Jamie when she asked me where Luvy had been. Except I broke a promise...I told her Luvy would be back last night but I am about 13 hours late. Sorry Jamie!

What can I say? I have a newborn! I gave up blogging during the last trimester of my pregnancy because A)I was exhausted and B)I was becoming a negative, self-loathing pregnant person so I figured I would spare you. But now I'm back! With a new, very handsome man in my life to talk about!

Eli Chase Schriewer arrived Wednesday, July 21 at 11:44 am via c-section (insert bad word) at WNJ in Sherman, TX. My compliments to my doctor, Sandmann, through gritted teeth for slicing me open and Dr. Cogswell (anesthesiologist) and Regina Sweetin (CRNA/Angel sent from Heaven), a host of L&D nurses, my husband and last but not least, one of my dearest friends, Jamie Brawner who held my hand when my husband couldn't (he went with the baby) and made sure everyone was doing their job to the best of their abilities when I was snockered (thanx again to Regina!). Eli weighed in at 7 lb, 8 oz (just two oz off from the dream I had early on in my pregnancy) with apgar 9/10 (his first A+) and was 19 1/2 inches long. He had a little dark hair and newborn blue eyes and beautiful skin. He also had his male equipment intact, which my husband took a picture of first thing when they laid him on the warmer! He came home two days later and was greeted by his sisters the next day. Autumn is happy not to be the youngest and thinks he is the cutest thing since the Littlest PetShops and Bailee (who I was a little worried about) is completely head-over-heels in love with him. Like Autumn thinks he's cute and cool and all that but Bailee loooooovvvveesss him. And of course his daddy is amazed that he created a little human being. Almost daily I hear "we made that! He's our creation!".

Being a mom to a newborn again hasn't been without it's challenges. I will say that aging 10 years has settled me about some things. Like if something doesn't get done today then Oh Well! And when he cries I'm not jumping through hoops instantly because God forbid my baby cry! But I will tell you one thing that is really kicking my tail...BREASTFEEDING!! I know it's all natural and believe me, I am a granola girl at heart, but if it's all so natural then why do I know so many moms who have production problems and are taking herbal supplements (like me, but so far not working) or even using prescription meds like Reglan! It may have been natural back in Biblical times when women's sole responsibility was the home and the children. But I swear if they had to take kids school clothes shopping and to soccer practice they would have brought a goat along to feed the baby for them now and then and get some reprieve! It's hard work! That bottle with that "horn" attached to it is what my life revolves around these days...and nights! Speaking of which, it feels like glass is shattering in my chest now so I better go heed the call!

Glad to be back!
xoxo,
Luvy

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Eli





So my last blog was a little heavy...things have been a little heavy around here for the last few weeks. My boss lost her daughter in a tragic accident (did I mention that already) and we have done some re-design at work that is good but a little stressful and my girls have been somewhat attrocious and my ex-husband has been extremely attrocious and I am growing very tired of watching a very good friend continuously make mistakes. So I am going to get all of that out of my system quickly so I can get on to the absolute best news of the entire day....my son's first "real" picture.

Malorie, 19, died in a tragic motorcycle wreck almost 2 weeks ago. I attended her funeral/memorial service. It was a beautiful service. The most beautiful I have ever seen. I thought about my life. I thought about what my memorial service would be like and how it would reflect on my life. I thought about the things that I make important in my life that really aren't. For example, not once in the memorial service or in hearing anyone talk about Mal or how she lived her life did anyone comment about her weight. She was a normal sized beautiful girl but I thought about how obsessed I have been with my weight my entire life and what a tiny detail that is in the grand scheme of things. I mean, as long as I am "healthy" what difference should it make? And I decided that I want to be cremated. Without a doubt. No casket for me. Chase can spread my ashes in the back yard and at our friends the Jackson's property in Bandera. The happiest times of my life have been spent in those two places. And if anyone takes the time to put together a slide show of my life, I would like them to set the pics of Chase and I to the song "feels like home" by Chantal Kreviazuk. I will have to think about a song for the kids because until this little boy was conceived I would've said "in my daughters eyes" by Martina McBride but now I have to incorporate my son. I would also like to donate everything that they can. And I don't think my husband wants to be cremated so they can have a double headstone for Chase & I and bury some of my ashes there.

Work...I don't feel like elaborating on that right now. It's actually going really good.

The girls...they are getting better...just had to remind them who is in charge.

The ex...not wasting two seconds more on that subject.

The friend...it's like watching a friend do drugs or something. She binge drinks then hates herself for it. She can't drink without losing control. It's frustrating to watch. And she asks for advice but never takes it and I am getting tired of giving advice that is falling on deaf ears.

Now to my handsome baby boy...he looks just like his daddy...at least in the sonogram picture today. And he is apparently a big boy. Already 2 lbs 2 oz and measuring almost 2 weeks ahead of his due date. His legs look long. I wanted a little mini Chase and it looks like that's exactly what I am going to get. I will post pictures comparing them.

xoxo
luvy

Sunday, April 18, 2010

religion

For the last couple of weeks I have been given much, much thought to religion. Maybe because Easter just passed, maybe because my boss and co-worker just lost their daughter/sister at a very young age, maybe because I have gone through some personal trials lately. Don't know, but here goes...

I consider myself to be a religious mutt. I was born into a family that consists of a pentecostal mother and great-grandmother, another grandmother who was strict southern Baptist, and a grandfather who was a primitive Baptist preacher. All very, very strict religions who took more of the hell, fire and brimstone approach to winning sinners into salvation. There was no tolerance of any kind of music except for gospel and even contemporary Christian was criticized for sounding "too worldly". At my church camp through the pentecostal (Church of God, not United Pentecostal---that would've been even worse), the girls had to walk all the way around campus to get from the dorms to the pool area because we were not allowed to walk in front of the boys dorms with our swimsuit cover-ups on. In the middle of summer at the Weatherford, Tx campground we wore cullottes instead of shorts in fear that we might show too much leg and appear too sexual. Dances were forbidden, although my parents did allow me to participate in school dances. Of course, no foul language of any kind. Even "dang it" or "darn" were considered what my grandmother called "by-words" and should be avoided. They definitely taught parents to "spare the rod, spoil the child", with the rod being anything from a clothes hanger, switch, belt or anything else within reaching distance. We were taken to church every Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night and every single night there was a revival. And at the end of each of those services there would be an alter call where you were expected to go down and confess your sins though not always audibly it became a very public confession with the rest of the congregation sat speculating on what you could have done wrong. If you did not travel willingly to the front of the church for prayer then you risked the chance of someone coming back to where you were sitting (especially if you were sitting on the last 3 rows of the church which were considered the "back-sliders" pews) and physically taking you by the hand or arm and leading you to the front because they insisted that God asked them to pray for you because you had something you needed to repent for. The God I knew was one of fear and intimidation. I attended this church from infancy until I was 16 years old and could drive myself to church and still was made to attend there by my mother or else suffer the guilt-trip and wrath that would ensue afterwards.

When I was 16, I had been in a relationship for 3 years with my high-school sweetheart, Chris. Chris was raised in and attended the First United Methodist Church in Paris. It was one of the largest, most ornate, beautiful churches in town with one of the wealthiest crowds. I actually found myself loving the predictability of the services and the pretention of the congregation. I loved the story-telling of the minister and the tinkling handbells as opposed to the loud booming drums, saxophones, tamborines, etc at my mom's church. I have to say that I didn't have a huge emotional reaction to any of it but I could breath. I could relax. And for the first time I didn't feel God looking down on me in shame. I was 16! I was a straight A honor student! I had yet to have a taste of alcohol! I will admit that I was sexually active but had only been so with my steady boyfriend of 3 years, whom I continued to date and became engaged to after another 4 years together. With the exception of sex outside of marriage, what did I have to be sooo ashamed of?

After my relationship with Chris ended and I had moved out of my parents house, I attended a few different churches. I learned a few things about myself...I love Christmas Eve candle light services. We never had those at my mother's church. I love contemporary Christian music. I still love the order and repetition of the Methodist church but could not exculsively attend a Methodist church. I love the way my friends that are Mormon always look like they have a light around them, although I could never be Mormon because of some of the teachings. I had a patient once in the recovery room immediately after her significant orthopedic surgery who woke up to me smiling, gracious without any complaint whatsoever of pain. She wore a red string necklace and I asked what that symbolized. She said she was Buddhist. I had been taught that Buddhism was practically a cult because they worshipped "Buddha" and not "God", but this woman was at complete peace and love was emitted from her very pores. When I took her to her room post-op her sister was there to greet her. Her sister had the same glow about her and they embraced each other with kisses on each cheek and warm hugs. I wanted what they had!

I have read three books that have changed my life spiritually. The first is called "the five people you meet in heaven" by Mitch Albom. Until I read this book I hadn't given much thought to what heaven was like. It was drilled in my head what hell was like but other than streets of gold and mansions and Jesus at the right hand of God, I really didn't think about it. The premise of the book is that when you die you first encounter 5 people that either you have affected and changed the course of their life or vice versa or both. Each of those people helps you to find answers to your life questions that burdened you on earth. So you obtain some sort of peace and then you become one of someone else's 5 and pass into heaven. I'm not sure if that is exactly what it's like but I do like the idea that I will have an understanding of things that I can't wrap my human brain around now. Like why God put Mike Pelton in my path and we conceived children that I feel endure a great bit of suffering because of him or because of the relationship that he and I have now as divorced parents. Or the pain that the Bullock family is going through now after losing daughter/sister Malorie at the age of 19 in the prime of her life.

The second book I read was called "Tuesdays with Morrie" also by Mitch Albom. This is more of a documentary about a teacher/student relationship after the teacher was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gherigs disease. The teacher knew death was inevitable and his mind was completely unaffected by the disease until the very end when he was no longer able to sustain a high enough level of oxygen to prevent brain injury. The student, a sports writer at the time, cataloged Morrie's thoughts about life and death and continued to learn from this great teachers experience. I didn't realize it at the time, but reading this book became a catalyst for me to finally seek the divorce that I knew was inevitable. This book and the death of my grandmother who I knew would be disappointed in me for getting divorced even if I had every biblical reason to support it. (I would also like to make a note here that after my divorce, I took my two little girls to a Baptist church on a Sunday morning and was asked not once, but twice where my husband was. I was not wearing a wedding ring and gave no other indication that I had a husband except for the fact that I had offspring. I thought to myself, do I have a scarlet "D" on my chest?)

The last book I read that probably had the most impact on me was "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. I read this book six months after my divorce. The first chapter was good, but it was the second chapter "pray" that I was finally able to see and feel the presence of a loving God. This was achieved by reading about her experiences in a yoga retreat. Not yoga the exercise but yoga the meditation and prayer practice. I learned that the happiest people in the world are those who serve others selflessly, without reward or even payment. Even though I had heard it a billion times throughout my many church experiences, I finally learned that God made us in his image. Each one of us. And think about how different we all are. Of course He gave us free will but His seed is planted in us all. And some of the things that I have hated about myself might actually be my biggest gifts that someone else might need. Many times I have seen other people and thought "I need to be more like her, I need to be more meek and mild and less animated or dramatic" but I was made in His image just like that girl. And maybe He needs my loud mouth to accomplish things that miss meek and mild doesn't have the strength or will to accomplish. He gave me a new husband that only sees the good in people and I tend to be more cautiously optomistic and judgemental. If we were both looking through those rose-colored glasses we might be taken advantage of or trotting though life whimsically where I keep us a little more grounded and a little more aware of our surroundings. We balance each other. And He knew we would. We are both a little better because we are together.

I attended a Lutheran church for Easter and was not impressed. Not because it was Luteran because I have said I do like the ritualistic services sometimes, but because of a message that the minister gave. He showed a clip of a commercial that was about quitting smoking. The catch phrase in the commercial was "quitting sux. Quitting with nicorette sux less." He said this is how we need to approach people when we are witnessing to them. He said "being a sinner sux. Being a sinner with Jesus sux less." He also said that we need to be more "current" with our witness and use terms that the population today will understand. Basically to get down on their level. If I hadn't been there out of respect for my father-in-law and with my husband in tow, I would have leapt out of my seat right then and there. First of all, we were created sinners. That's why we need Jesus. Second of all, while Jesus did go into the sinners habitat where other so-called Christians felt they were too good to go, he DID NOT lower his standards in his witness. He set the standard and sinners were DRAWN to him. Just like I was drawn to know what the Buddhist patient had that I didn't have. Just like I have to respect the glow that my Mormon friends have. I do not believe that only one religion will be taken into heaven. I do not believe that you must be publically baptized to go to heaven. The thief on the cross next to Jesus accepted him into his heart right there and died moments later and Jesus promised him he would be with him that day in heaven. I picture heaven for me more like fields of flowers with abundant sunshine than any gold streets with mansions. I have my own convictions. I do not think that FOR ME drinking alcohol is bad. Getting out of control with the potential to harm myself or others is bad. I have relatives (one in particular) that takes numerous prescription mood-enhancing medications. For me, I feel convicted if I take a tylenol pm to go help me sleep! That is my personal conviction. I am a more conservative dresser. That is my conviction. I watch my language, especially around my children. That is my conviction.

Although I do not attend church on a regular basis, which I will say that I feel like I should for my childrens' sake just to get the knowledge base of the bible, I have a really great relationship with God. I am almost constantly in prayer. And especially since my divorce He and I have been closer than ever before. He has had His hand on me guiding my path every step of the way. I hear His voice more than ever. He has answered every prayer tho not always in the way I imagined he would. I have always had what I needed. And I am the happiest and most at peace than I have ever been.

This was my journey. I think everyone should have their own. It may not look anything like mine. And that's ok. As long as we all get there!

xoxo
luvy

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Eli's habitat...20 weeks


My body has been taken over!

OK, so today I have been a little bit melancholy (Bailee loves that word) about the massive changes in my body with this pregnancy. I first of all do not remember being this huge this early with either of the girls and I definately do not remember being this HUNGRY with the girls. I guess those boys start eating you out of house and home in the embryonic stage! So I am getting big and gaining more weight than I thought I would have at this point and it is depressing. What's more depressing is that I am nearly pasty white (for me) and my handsome husband is all brown and trim from all of his honey-do's that keep him running around like the energizer bunny. Speaking of the energizer bunny, I think that's exactly what's in my uterus because this kid is ACTIVE!! And I do love feeling every little twitch. I have to say that he already has me very much wrapped around his hungry little finger and I am already in love with him. So I decided to list some things about this total body transformation that I am thankful for instead of harbouring on the negative.

1. My boobs are huge. Which my husband thinks is awesome, but more importantly I hope that it means that I will have no issues producing enough milk to feed my little man.

2. My wedding ring still fits. I love my wedding ring. I can't tell you how emotionally attached I am to it. I want to keep it on my sausage finger as long as possible.

3. My pre-pregnancy jeans still fit...with a fantastic elastic button configuration that they sell at motherhood maternity.

4. I am actually craving healthy stuff like lots of fruits and vegetables.

5. My belly bump is pretty cute in the right light and editing. :)

6. The bigger I get, the bigger my son is getting.

7. My husband tells me I am beautiful all the time. Which really helps. Honestly.

8. Summer is almost here and I can wear my flowy dresses and flip flops that I love so much.

9. I will deliver at the end of summer which gives me all fall, winter and spring to get back in shape before swimsuit season.

10. This is my last baby so I WILL enjoy it. And for now rubbing my ever-growing tum is the next best thing to holding the little guy.

xoxo,
luvy

Monday, March 1, 2010

My son

Dear Eli,

I guess I can address you formally now since I have scientific evidence that you are, in fact, a boy. I am no longer relying on my "hunches" or dreams, etc. But you and I both know that it was more than that. God knew you were going to be my son the minute your dad and I first talked about having you. And I knew you would be Eli a mere two weeks into this journey. It's like we already know each other. I dream about you almost every night. Sometimes you are still in utero. Only once have I dreamt of you being born. I have lots of dreams with you as a young toddler/preschooler. Several of you at our house, playing in the driveway while your daddy works in the garage or of him helping you out of his truck that's sooo big to you. Most of the time you have sandy blonde hair. Only once did you have a little darker brown hair. But your eyes are a different color almost every time. Sometimes brown, sometimes blue, sometimes more green. You are always determined and mostly serious. Like your dad when he is cooking or working on a project. He is an amazing man. You are really lucky to have him as your ultimate role model. I can't wait for you to meet him. And I know he can't wait to meet you. I don't think I have ever seen him as excited about anything as he was today when he saw he was having a son. Son. I love that word.

You have been giving me horrendous headaches of late. But tonight I am peaceful. As I sit here in bed with the laptop gently pressing against my tummy, I can feel you pushing against it on the lower left side. That's where you always are these days. Your daddy's always on my left side too. And there you are snuggling in as between us as you can get in utero.

You are going to grow up to be amazing. Just like your dad. You have made our family complete. Now we just wait for you....

love,
mom

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Another year older...

This weekend I will turn 34. Wow! I remember when that was reeeeally old! I was 15 when my mom was 34. I have a 10 year old and an almost 8 year old. And a -23 week old! Birthdays used to thrill me beyond belief. I think the fact that my birthday is an usual "special" day, further contributed to my enthusiasm. Now birthdays are more of a calm reflection of what has gone on in my life and how far I have come. Especially in the last 3 years. My life has done a 180 and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I am so proud of the family that I have created, and am still creating! I am proud of my health habits (although I did have an entire creme brulee at pappadeaux by myself last night in lieu of birthday cake). My husband gave me a beautiful flower arrangement yesterday woke me up this morning by snuggling up behind me and whispering "happy birthday" in my ear then rubbed my blossoming belly sweetly and kissed my cheek. I am going today to pick out a new fancy watch to go with my new career that I started last week. What better birthday present than the gift of time?! I have a bright new year ahead of me with a new addition to our family, watching my girls grow, making beautiful improvements to our home together and a new job that allows me to be more present with my family both in body and spirit. And while I haven't graced the doors of an actual church building in several months, I can actually feel God's grace and presence more at this time in my life than ever before. I hear his voice more and more every day and know that he has placed all the right people in my path for all the right reasons. My life is truly a charmed one.

xoxo,
luvy

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day 2010





Valentine's weekend started out a little dismal with about 9 inches of snow falling all day Thursday until after midnight into Friday morning. I didn't have to go to work and we took advantage of having the day together as a family and did some Valentine's day shopping. I got a new comforter/bedding for our bedroom which is very romantic and I LOVE it! I picked out new decorations to go with it on Saturday, which topped it off. Then we all went to dinner at Luna Azul, which was fabulous, except that Chase said the margaritas were really good and I couldn't partake. We saw the movie Valentine's Day and while it wasn't my favorite movie, it did succeed in getting me in the mood for V-Day.

Saturday Chase had to work so the girls and I had a girlie day complete with mani-pedi's, new clothes for all of us and baked a red velvet cake with chocolate cream cheese icing died the perfect shade of chocolatey-pink.

Today the love of my life came home with the most perfect card and made all of us girls pink heart-shaped pancakes with the topping of our choice (mine had blackberries) with a side of bacon (that was for Eli/Avery). We spent the day cozy at home with the kiddos until our sitter came and we went to a very romantic Italian dinner where I got to basically wet my lips with a tiny taste of some very good wine and ate lots of very, very good pasta. We sat right next to each other and cuddled and talked and not once did we have to argue with anyone about whether or not they could order chicken strips...AGAIN...for dinner or tell anyone to sit still on their bottom or not to fight with their sister. It was relaxing and perfect.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Role Reversal

I am in a new, different kind of situation than I would say about 95% of women, at least American women, are or have ever been in. I, sort of, play the role of the husbnd in my household. Let me explain...my husband works 24 hour shifts, but then has 72 hours off in between. I work Monday-Friday mostly daytime (very early daytime) hours. Since Chase has so much time off, he takes care of most of the cleaning around our house. He is here most mornings to get the girls ready for school. He cooks every meal (he's really good at that). And he waits on me hand and foot if I let him. Before I became pregnant, he would usually have a cocktail waiting on me when I came in the door. Now, I on the other hand, go to work very early in the morning. I am on my feet most of the day. I listen to all kinds of noise all day long, i.e. monitors beeping, people crying or moaning, laughter, griping, doctors yelling or play some horrible music in their procedure rooms...you get the idea. So, when I come home, especially now that I am pregnant and exhausted, I don't really like alot of noise. I really just want to eat and do nothing else. I want to eat alot these days. And I want to do nothing else alot these days! Oh, sure I help the girls with their homework and I do usually some sort of laundry every day but the rest of my house is always clean because Chase maintains it so well and there's not much else to do.

Most women would really love that scenario, right? And I do love it but I am starting to feel a little useless or at the very most, like a paycheck. Of course no one inflicts these feelings on me. But as a female, it's really hard to give up control over so many "female/wife/mother" roles in the house. Especially when I was responsible for all of it myself for soooooo long without any help whatsoever. At first it was great. Like a vacation. But now I am finding myself grumpy because I don't feel as important, that I am replaceable, and I can now identify with many husbands out there who complain about their wives and kids! For instance, if Chase and the girls have had some issue to resolve such as getting up in the morning and getting dressed and to school on time, I wasn't present that morning so I don't know what's going on and all I hear is Chase complaining to me about it or Chase and the girls complaining to each other about it and I just want to sit down and have dinner in peace and quiet! Doesn't that sound like most of your husbands?!! It's crazy! I feel like my first marriage taught me how to be a good wife (too good) and now this marriage is trying to teach me how to be a good husband! Next thing you know, my family will be looking for me at the bowling alley after work!!

Now I said all this at the risk of sounding completely ungrateful for all of the blessings I have in my life. The truth is I wouldn't trade one second of it for anything else in the world. And maybe I am just emotional right now because I am pregnant. Maybe I have valid points. Probably a litte bit of both is the truth. Chase and I actually balance each other out and compliment each other quite well. Maybe I am just worried because we are having a baby and I am afraid that I won't mean as much to this baby as I did the girls because it's dad is going to be so much more involved than their dad was. It's awesome that our baby is going to have such an amazing father and there won't be a child more blessed in that aspect as ours will be. I just want to be there for our family too.

Why is it always so hard for women to balance a work life and a home life?

xoxo
luvy

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

what you missed this winter

Here are a few pics from December/Early January, mostly from when our computer was on the blink and I couldn't post...in order from most recent to oldest only cause I am still learning how to do this blogging thing!


We are about 90% sure Baby Schriewer is a little boy

Chase and girls at Bass Pro in Grapevine before going to Great Wolf Lodge

My sweet husband and I celebrating our first New Years Eve (first without the kids anyway!)

The girls playing in the snow on Christmas morning after opening their presents

Bailee celebrated her 10th birthday with friends at a sleepover at our house

Chase reuniting with a patient at the new base's Homecoming celebration

Saturday, January 16, 2010

oh, boy! oh, boy!

So I have even more concrete evidence that we are having a little boy. Friday morning we took a test called Intelligender that professes to over 90% accuracy in the lab and 82% in real-life, human error testing. It very clearly said that our baby is, in fact, a boy. But the weirdest part is what happened in the couple of hours leading up to the test-taking.

I felt nauseated Thursday night, so Chase talked me into taking a phenergan and going to bed. So I did. I only woke up once to potty (usually I wake up AT LEAST 4 times) and I was able to fall quickly back asleep. In those 3-4 hours before my alarm went off I had another dream. In this dream I went to our bathroom at our house, took the intelligender test and sat it on the counter to return in 10 minutes and it was an olive green color with particulate floating in it (the test medium, I presume) and matched the color of the strip that says "boy" to a T. If it had been a girl it would have matched the orange strip on the opposite side of the test bottle. Now I have never seen this test used before. I don't know anyone who has used it who could describe what it looks like to me. There are a couple of pictures on the website that show the different variations in color (the boys range from green to brown, girls yellow to orange). So at 4:30 when my alarm went off I jumped up to take the test, got back in bed and waited for the 10 minutes to pass. I went into the bathroom halfway expecting it to say "girl" just to prove all of my superstitions wrong. But it didn't. It looked EXACTLY how it looked in my dream. Spitting image. So I smiled and told Chase (who was, of course, up and waiting the 10 minutes with me) that it says "boy". He said "does it really?" I told him yep and he looked at Andy, our dog who was laying on the floor next to the bed, "Andy, we hit a home run buddy!" And we just smiled and cuddled and laughed.

I hope our son grows up to be just like his daddy.

xoxo,
luvy

Friday, January 8, 2010

remorse

My Autumn has finally, at the ripe old age of 7 years and 10 months, experienced true remorse. She admitted whole-heartedly that an incident that almost led to a trip to the emergency room for her sister and extensive bathroom remodelling (to a bathroom that has already been almost completely remodelled) was completely, regretably her fault. She actually just sat down next to me and said she has a surprise in her head that she wants to write herself. So here goes...

"i love you very much and iiiii am vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvveary sorry i broke it."

There you have it. What a great feeling when you can actually see your children absorbing the lessons you have spent so much time and energy trying to teach them. Right before my very eyes!

xoxo,
luvy

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

becoming a man

I am just wondering how I am supposed to feel all beautiful and blossoming and radiant when how I am really starting to feel is like I am becoming a man. Here are my symptoms:

1. I have a beer belly. Not a hard little uterine "bump" but a full-fledged, keg-tapping gut.

2. I have hair growing at lightening-fast speeds all over my body.

3. I can belch big enough to make even the biggest trucker in the room tuck tail and run.

4. I have gas. Alot.

5. I actually woke myself up snoring. Like a huge SNORT-like snoring. Like an ogre.

6. Number six is too embarrasing. But it is very man-like. It involves testosterone. Figure it out.

7. See previous post regarding my red meat intake.

8. I am ambivilant to almost anything anyone tells me right now. About anything. Except maybe what my next meal will be.

9. My whole body itches. And I don't mind scratching it. Especially in the morning when I wake up and at night before I go to sleep.

10. This blog is about the only girl past-time I am enjoying. I don't even feel like shopping. See symptom #1. That's why.

xoxo,
Luvy

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Baby Schriewer


It's been a while...computer was out of commission, holidays, etc. But now I am up and running and can share the good news about Baby Schriewer. He/She is growing by leaps and bounds now and is, according to my latest sonogram yesterday, coming in at 9 weeks, 1 day which puts our due date at August 8, 2010. Which would be pretty cool because then his/her birthday would be 08/08/10 and our anniversary is 05/09/09. (It doesnt' take much to amuse me.) And I learned yesterday that 8/8 is my friend Elizabeth's birthday and one of our favorite girl names right now is Elizabeth and she is gorgeous and smart so that's kinda nice. That's IF it's a girl. BUT...I kinda think it's a boy. Here's why (feedback from expert boy moms is desired):

1. From the time I was about 5 weeks pg, I have wanted nothing but red meat. Every single meal, red meat. With a close second being pinto beans. And cheese.

2. Until about a week ago I wanted nothing sweet at all. No cakes or cookies and I can't tell you in 33+ years when the last time I turned down cake or cookies.

3. My mother has all of her friends actually praying for a boy. I'm not sure if God thinks this is acceptable but, hey, if you don't ask for specific things, you won't get specific answers!

4. Bailee and Autumn thinks it's a boy.

5. When I had a rough day a couple of weeks ago, I spent ALOT of time in tears and praying and I actually had a name on my heart (Eli) just as if I were praying for Bailee and Autumn. If it's a girl, I guess we will have to call her Elizabeth to validate this.

6. Nancy told me it was a boy. I believe everything Nancy Droese tells me. If you knew Nancy you would too.

7. Most of my friends who had boys wanted pinto beans, refried beans and cheeseburgers when they were pg.

8. I had a dream about a week ago that I was in labor in the hospital and Chase was sitting behind me in the bed and I told him to get the nurse because the baby was coming but he couldn't get out of the bed and I looked down and saw the crown of it's head with a little light brown hair and said "it's coming out now!" And the next thing I was looking at was his little package and I started laughing and crying at the same time and said "YES! It IS a BOY!". Then the nurse came running in and acted mad at me because I had the baby without her, threw a cord clamp on his cord and Chase cut it. Then she took him over to the scale and he weighed 7 lbs, 10 oz. She asked me what his name was and I said "Eli Chase". Pretty vivid and specific, huh?

9. Some uh, appetite, and not the one that has to do with cheeseburgers, has increased, if you know what I mean. Oh, I really hope my parents don't read this one.

10. Last, but not least. At least 4 people who saw the latest sono pic swear they see a penis. Now, realistically, 9 weeks is a little early to see parts, but Chase thinks this just gives him more bragging rights. All I can say is after this one, if it is a girl, she is gonna have major issues. Like Chastity Bono issues!!

So...take a peek and tell me what you think!

xoxo,
luvy