Sometimes I Just Need a Victory

Have you ever experienced the kind of day where nothing you do seems right?  The kind of day when you try your very best at everything, but your efforts are rewarded with the proverbial “pie in the face”?  Perhaps this pattern hasn’t only lasted for a day.  Maybe you’ve been feeling this way for days or weeks – or heaven forbid – months!  I’m certain that everyone reading this can relate at least a little bit.  I’ve been in this “pie in the face” mode on and off for a few weeks now.  And here’s why:

Goobie.

Little Jake, or Goobie as he’s commonly referred to, is a FRIGGIN HANDFUL! He just turned one last week, and I swear to you, that kid is soooo strong, sooooo stubborn, sooooo picky, and soooooooo intense!  He’s heavy, demanding, non-sleep-needing, and teething.  Throw in a cold, and he’s the best birth control I could ever imagine!! I love him with all of my heart and soul.  Every second of every day I love him.  HOWEVER, there are times when I just can’t take another fight from him.

Parents of kids of all ages, you know what I mean.  Right now he’s resisting with great force diaper changes, clothing changes, meals that include vegetables, lying down for naps, going into his “cage” (the fence like thing in our living room to keep him contained while I use the restroom or unload the dishwasher), staying in my arms (have I mentioned he is SO STRONG?), staying out of Winston’s water and food bowls, etc.  Since he’s been sick, he’s resisting me sucking out his nose (we have a love/hate relationship with the NoseFrida), using the inhaler, rubbing lotion on his face or body, wiping his boogs, and anything else related to his face.  God love him.  I know that he feels miserable, but COME ON!!!!!!  Child of mine, mommy is just simply trying to help you all of the time.

On certain days, typically the ones where I’m home alone with him for over 12 hours without seeing another human being, I get a little discouraged.  I become weary.  I get incredibly overwhelmed with the fact that I feel like I can do nothing right with him.  On those days, I can’t wait for Wade to get home, so I can say “I’m DONE. Your turn”.  These are the days when I wish I had a job outside of the home.  Days like these make me want to get in my car (alone, of course), turn the radio up LOUD, and drive somewhere where I can spend tons of money on frivolous things for myself, preferably this place would be Target.  Then, I’d like to sit outside with a coffee, a cigarette, and a good book while the wind blows around me!  Don’t worry, I am not a smoker nor will I ever be one again, but I can’t deny that in years past I indulged in this nasty habit. Doesn’t that sound like a pretty cool pity party – minus the smoking part?

So because I can’t just get in the car and go, I have had to find other escapes.  Sometimes I read a book.  Sometimes I go outside and sit on our patio without any other stimulation.  Sometimes I cry.

But here is the little gem in this story.  Yesterday, I realized, as I was on the brink of a breakdown, that I just need a victory every now and again.  I just need a small victory to keep me going.  A smile, a giggle, a hug and kiss, a diaper change that doesn’t involve tears and scratches, a meal that he likes and enjoys, a successful nap, etc.  I don’t need all of those things each and every time or every single day, but I do need them.  I need these victories in order to make me feel refreshed and to justify my efforts as Jake’s mom.  I need victories to keep me going for another minute, another hour, another day.

Sometimes I just need a victory. Like this smile:

Big Toothy Grin

Jake’s big toothy yogurt smile….heart melts.

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Here, There, and Everywhere!

What a week it has been! WHEW!

I think I need to say that again: WHAT A WEEK IT HAS BEEN!!!! <Big Deep Breath>

This post is really just going to be an update post about everything happening in the world of the Winglers and some follow-ups about previous posts.

Last week Wade was on vacation, and we had a lovely, albeit busy, “staycation”.  Some of the highlights of the staycation (besides the obvious one of having an extra set of hands to help ALL WEEK) were taking Jake to a sample Kindermusik class, going to the Indiana State Fair, and completing our first Hypnobabies childbirth education class.  If any of you listen to my husband’s podcast, Fathers Over Forty, you’ll get to hear all about our state fair adventure! This week is also a busy one since Wade went back to work yesterday, Katie begins her sophomore year, and I am planning Jake’s birthday party that is happening this weekend.  Along with those things, I am trying to get this gestational diabetes situation under control and go to several appointments.

First of all, Kindermusik.  What a great time we had at this class.  I believe that the instructor for our area does sample classes every now and again to try and drum up new business.  I learned about one of these “try before you buy” classes at our county fair, and we signed up.  Most of the kids in this class were older than Jake, some by a few months and some by several years.  He loves music and singing anyways, so to get to sing, dance, crawl, explore and use various toys while being around other children was pretty much the most fun he’s ever had, I think!  The best part of the entire class was watching him watch the other toddlers and decide that he, too, wanted to be mobile like them.  Up until the day of that class, he had only taken about three steps at once.  Well, during the class as he was watching the others, he stood up and took at least 9 steps in a row!  Wade and I were thrilled to see him interact in this setting.  It instantly made me want to enroll him in classes so that he has this type of interaction and learning experience every week!!  He does have a birthday coming up, so perhaps Grammy & Pops will send him to Kindermusik! 😉

Since we did an entire podcast about the Indiana State Fair, I won’t go into too much detail about it.  I will, however, say that we had a really good time!  Anyone who lives in Indiana knows how absolutely miserable this weather has been so far this summer.  July was the hottest month on record in YEARS, so we didn’t get outside much.  But on the day we chose to go to the state fair, it was beautiful!  We took our nieces, Katie, and Jake and basically did the culinary tour of the fair.  The only downfall to this big, exciting day was that I could not indulge like I so desired because I have gestational diabetes again.  BAH!  As hard as I tried, I could not quit feeling sorry for myself, and I pouted quite a bit.  I’m not proud of it, but it is what it is.  One thing that I have got to start working on is thinking more positively about my situation and about how STINKING BLESSED I am all of the time to even be alive!  My life is a cakewalk compared to many other people, but yet I get stuck in the vicious cycle of self-pity and dispair when things aren’t going exactly as I want.

Speaking of the GD GD, I have news about our birthing situation.  Wade has made the financial piece of the “home birth with midwife” puzzle work!  YIPPIE, right?  Well, yes and no.  I wanted to jump for joy when I realized that we were going to be able to afford the cost of the home birth, but at the same time I could not help but feel weighed down by the fear of how having gestational diabetes.  I was actually able to meet with my midwife this week, and she referred me to St. Vincent Hospital for a gestational diabetes class.  A few days later I was able to meet with a nurse educator and a dietician to plan out my meals and to answer some of my questions.  I felt like it was super informative, and I have been able to keep my GD under control since taking the class.  Our first actual appointment with our midwife is next week! NEXT WEEK!  So, it seems like we’re actually going to, barring any other complications, have a home birth.  I’m thrilled, but still hesitant to get too excited!!

Hypnobabies class is tonight and every Friday night for the next 5 weeks.  We’re super thankful to Jake’s Aunt Mandy who comes over and watches him while we’re gone.  She even gets him to bed!  What a woman!!  As far as the class goes, we’re really enjoying learning the deep relaxation techniques that Hypnobabies employs, and it’s just fun to have a few hours together doing something as a couple.  Kerry Tuschhoff, founder and director of Hypnobabies, has done an excellent job of creating this program which includes the birthing techniques, as well as nutritional and exercise education, and lots of positive birthing affirmations.  This morning, when Wade went downstairs to eat breakfast, I turned on my Hypnobabies Deepening track, which takes the basic level of self hypnosis to the next level.  Talk about such a great way to relax and get back to sleep!  I would highly recommend this child birth education to any woman who wants to learn not only techniques to help ease the discomfort of child birth, but also to any woman who desires to learn a lifelong technique for relaxation.

Katie started school this week.  You may be able to tell that I began writing this blog post on one day of the week and am finishing it on a totally different day!  I just haven’t been able to sit down long enough with little Jake buddy running around so much right now.  He is SO BUSY, but that’s another topic.  Back to Katie: I think it seems like she has a better grip on how important school is this year.  Granted it’s only the first week, and motivation is stil high. However, I think over the summer she really had some time to think and reflect the importance of this year and of her efforts in making school her number one priority.  I’m hesitantly hopeful that her motivation will continue to run high, and we will see her blossom into a very successful sophomore!  On a side note, she is going to her first home football game of this season tonight!  I was a WEEEEE bit jealous when she mentioned that to me because I used to be a die-hard high school football fan – I was a cheerleader!!  It was so much fun to cheer for my friends and classmates.  I hope she has such a fun time tonight!

I’m sure I’m missing something, but the big task for today is to get the house cleaned and straightened for Jake’s FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY that we’re hosting tomorrow.  I’m freaking out because there is soooooo much to do before 1 p.m. tomorrow afternoon.  We have cleaning to do, shopping to complete, food to make, decorations to hang, balloons to blow up, and a piñata to fill – and that’s just for starters!  I’m a nervous nelly about these kinds of things, and I’ll never feel like my house is clean enough or ready enough for the party.  But, I’m sure once Jake starts to see all of his visitors and gets to dig into some birthday cupcake, my insecurities about not being enough of a mom/housewife will fade!  I can’t wait to see his little teeth stained with icing!!  GAH!!!  Plenty of pictures to come, don’t worry (or maybe you should worry a little bit)!

Have an awesome weekend everyone!

The GD GD

I’d love to write something more profound, but the only thing on my mind right now is the fact that I think I may have Gestational Diabetes again!  BLECHHHH!!  I warmly refer to it as the GD GD (feel free to interpret that as you wish…I typically say the “Gosh Darn Gestational Diabetes”).  Any who, this whole thing could put a serious kink in my plans to have a natural child birth.  If any of you have experienced GD or have any great low carb, high protein, high fiber recipes I’d love to know!!  

A filling in the otherwise pearly white smile of our relationship…

Buddha Tattoo

 

When I met my now husband, Wade, I have to admit that I was more than a little bit intimidated by certain aspects of his life.  Before really getting to know him, I knew these few things about him:

1.  He has tattoos.  Lots of them.  Really beautiful, well thought out ones.  One is of Buddha.

2.  He likes to ride bikes for long distances (and I haven’t been on a bike in Y E A R S).

3.  He has a teenage daughter.

4.  He is incredibly handsome and a total brilliant geek.

5.  He is in the process of reevaluating and redefining his faith and beliefs.

Okay, so you can see why I was see why I felt intimidated, right??  After our first few flirty emails and text conversations, I knew that we had chemistry.  After our first date in September 2010, I felt like I had seriously just went on a date with the man I was made for. I mean CLOUD NINE, GIDDY TO THE CORE, CAN’T-STOP-SMILING-IF-SOMEONE-RIPPED-A-TOOTH-OUT, sucker punched by fate kinda feeling.  You know that feeling, ladies?  Well, despite him having a 13 year old, being recently divorced, living right next door to his mother, and being in management at my place of work, the only REAL thing I was freaked out by was his faith – or lack thereof.

You see, I am a Christian.  I believe in God, Jesus, salvation, Heaven and Hell, right and wrong, faith, the Bible, etc.  My faith journey has been a rocky one, and when I initially began dating Wade I felt like I was finally settling into my fairly new faith and LOVING the way it felt on me.  Wade, on the other hand, had just gone through some earth-shattering, life re-defining events that had left him rocked to the core.  He was redefining what faith meant to him and for him.  For instance, he doesn’t believe that Jesus is the only way to Heaven (GASP!), and he doesn’t believe that the Bible is a divinely inspired text or that it is the only divinely inspired religious text (hmmm…okay tell me more), and he does not believe in Hell and condemnation (oh gosh, there goes our relationship, or so I thought).  Well, I fell in love with him despite his beliefs.  I respected his journey and thought that maybe there was a chance one day that we could find some common ground between my beliefs and his.  In fact, a lot of the things he said made total sense to me and really made me question what I believed and why.  However, through it all, I knew that the most important thing for me was to just be a good example of a Christian and what it means to me to be a Christian.  Love others, be kinds to others, and respect others.

Fast-forward to December 2010.  We got engaged on December 24, 2010.  TIRES SQUEALING – BACK UP – PUT THE CAR IN PARK.  I forgot to mention that on December 20, 2010 we found out that we were expecting a baby!  Talk about being rocked to the core!!  Now we can move forward!  Anyways after we got engaged we began having discussions on faith, church, family, how we would incorporate our faiths into our new family, etc.  Wade attended a Unitarian Universalist Church, and I went with him some.  While there were aspects of it that I enjoyed, I left in tears more than a few times because I felt like it was difficult to be a Christian in that church.  I felt like many of the attendees of this church were “recovering Christians”, as I liked to say, and I just felt really out of place a lot of the time (not with the people but with the messages).  I didn’t know of any churches out here where we lived, and we said we’d “shop around” for a new one together.  Katie, his daughter, wanted to try Kingsway Christian Church.  It’s one of those mega churches that put on concerts every Sunday morning.  It’s the kind of church you can attend and get lost in if you’re not intentionally seeking out ways to get involved.  After a few tries here, we knew that that wasn’t it for us either.  We really didn’t have any good answers except that we wanted and needed to be together as a family and that any way we went, one of us was likely to be missing out on something important unless we found a better fit for both of us.  Nearly impossible, I thought. Our final answer to this was to pretty much put church on the back burner until our lives calmed down some.  Little did we realize that our life together would not calm down, and that it would take something a little more divine to encourage us to make a move.

Fast forward over a year.  It is now July 2012.  In the past year we’ve gotten married, had a baby, lost Wade’s mom, struggled some with Katie, moved, and gotten pregnant AGAIN.  I’m a stay-at-home mom, as you have read in previous blogs.  Sometimes, when Jake is preoccupied with other things or while he’s napping, I get online and check out Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets.  One day, I was playing with Jake in his room and checking FB at the same time (I know, I know, I need to put down the electronics in front of my kiddo).  Anyways, I stumbled across a post from Momastery.com.  A wonderfully inspiring woman named Glennon writes this blog, and her particular post that day was one that she had originally written and posted 2 years ago about, you guessed it, FAITH.  When I looked at it, I thought about how long it looked and do I really have the time to read this entire post, but I am so thankful that I did.  Basically she proclaimed her intense, passionate love for Jesus Christ, as well as her love and respect for all other human beings – God’s children.  Anywho, she said some really inspiring things that rung so clear to Wade and me.  She mentioned that she believes there are a lot of overlapping truths confirmed in other sacred texts like the Koran and the Bhagavad-Gita.  She tells her children about Buddha and other important spiritual figures.  She doesn’t judge others for their beliefs, sexual orientation, political persuasions, etc.  After reading this blog, which I felt described how I’ve always wanted to explain my faith and feelings but could just never seem to translate from head to hand to paper, I sent her post to Wade and shared it on Facebook.  Wade read it, and we were INSPIRED!  The “cavity in the otherwise pearly white smile of our relationship”, as Wade likes to describe this process, was about to get a serious drilling and filling.  The search for common spiritual ground was back on!!

Fast forward a few weeks later.  Today is Sunday, August 5th.  Today we went to a new church for the first time.  Today we found some common ground, and now we both feel like we’re heading in the right direction with our search.  Prior to going to the church, a Quaker church down the street, we didn’t know exactly what to expect.  However, it was pretty much the best first-time-at-a-new-church experience that we’ve ever had!  The service ended up being outside in a little pavilion much to our delight.  The weather was a bit overcast and warm but with a gentle breeze that was just enough to keep it comfortable.  The pace was incredibly relaxed, a little unorganized, and the people were soooooo friendly and welcoming.  The nice thing is that Wade knows a lot of people who go to this particular church, and they were happy to see us!  I felt like the way the pastor shared the message and the things he had to say were right on.  My heart felt fed for the first time in a long, long time.  We left feeling like there wasn’t one thing we would have changed or wished were different.  We’re actually LOOKING FORWARD to going to church again next week.  Seriously, we are EXCITED about going to church together!!!!  As Wade likes to say, “the cavity in the otherwise pearly white smile of our relationship” is about to get a serious drilling and filling.  I feel like prayers have been answered and something absolutely ground-breaking is on the horizon for the Wingler family.

CAN I GET AN AMEN!?!?

 

 

The Most Important Thing Question

On one of the first occasions when I spent time with the little girls who would become my nieces, they were asked a question by my husband, Wade, affectionately known to the girls as “Gunka”. He was sitting on a chair in the dining room, and he gathered them into his arms and asked “Girls, what is the most important thing?”. They answered, “Family and the people you love. Then, tacos.”I remember thinking how sweet it was that no matter who asked them that important question, they knew the answer, and it was always the same.

Throughout my life, I’ve been pretty close to my family, although like most families we’ve endured ups and downs, times of greater closeness and times of separation. But through it all, I know that family absolutely IS the most important thing. When my first marriage failed because we both chose other priorities besides our marriage, I knew that I wanted to eventually find a man who valued me and valued his/our family above the things of this world, material possessions, hobbies, etc. I’m not saying that those things don’t play an important role in one’s life, but they can’t take the top spot or else the stability of the family is likely to crumble. That’s the thing about family: it is solid at its core but can easily crack if neglected.

I once heard a man speaking about marriages and love. He made a comparison to love being like a plant that requires water every single day. He said in order to make a marriage work (or a family, or any worthwhile relationship), you cannot go even one day without “watering” it. How often is it, though, that the world and its pressures suck us all dry, so to speak, and we have such little left to give to our families and those who are most important in our lives? How frequently do we hoard this most important gift, afraid that if we give too much away we wont have enough for ourselves? How often do we not receive this life giving gift from our own loved ones, and we start to feel dry and brittle? It happens quickly. When hearts and great loves are not watered, they quickly fade. My challenge is to be a watering can FULL of life-giving and love-sustaining water for my family and those I love the most. I can’t think of any greater gift with such an incredible return on investment!! I also want nothing more than to be a living, breathing example of this to my children and to everyone around me. Sure, this way of life comes with lots of challenges. We all fall short, at times, and we’re all guilty of letting selfishness, self-centeredness, pride, exhaustion, self-pity, etc. take priority over sharing our gift with our families. Can you imagine how much stronger our families could be if we made sure to love them harder and more intentionally every single day?? If we were honest with ourselves, I bet we’d all find that we have so much more to give in this regard, and isn’t that the most important thing?

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