My husband wrote a book!!

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My amazing husband, Wade Wingler of Fathers Over Forty, has just completed his first book!!  For anyone interested in learning more about God Plays Trombone, purchasing his book, or borrowing the book for free (for Amazon Prime members) click here.  It is available as a Kindle book, which means you can read it on your Kindle device or any device which has the Kindle app installed.  

This book was born from a dream that Wade had a few weeks ago, and in his dream God appeared to him as a trombone playing hippie! God Plays Trombone is the awesome story of his spiritual journey that has included many different religions and practices.  It’s a very enjoyable read, and I know that everyone who reads it will find at least one relatable topic! 

I’m so proud of my husband for writing this book.  He’s an amazing author with a wonderful story to tell.  Pick up God Plays Trombone today….like RIGHT NOW! 

 

The Fast & Furious Home Birth of Eleanor Evelyn Wingler

I suppose every good birth story begins with this line: “A few days before I gave birth . . .”.

So, a few days before I gave birth to Nellie, I was feeling somewhat discouraged and incredibly ready to get this show on the road, so to speak.  Our birthing tub was set up in the living room, our basket of supplies was ready and waiting, her clothes were all washed and awaiting their chance to be worn.  I was ready to have an itty bitty squish in my arms again.  With Jake, I went into labor in the middle of the night on a Sunday.  I was 39 weeks 1 day pregnant.  Well, that marker came and went in this, my second pregnancy.  Wade, my husband, and I were definitely convinced that I was going to go earlier than my due date of November 8th.  On Halloween I went for my prenatal appointment with my midwife, Penny Lane.  I had been having some minor “birthing waves” (contractions in Hypnobabies talk), was starting to lose some mucus, and without going into too much more detail we had other reasons to believe that I was making some progress.  When Penny was feeling around for baby, she thought that she felt her head near my ribs again, which would have been pretty bad news for me and my planned home birth at that point.  A few weeks earlier, Nellie had been breech, but after frequenting my awesome chiropractor she finally flipped.  I was distraught thinking that Nellie could be breech again so close to my due date, and Penny was explaining what my options would be if she would not turn head down before labor.  As she continued to feel my abdomen and pelvis, she thought that maybe she could be head down after all but asked if she could do a vaginal exam to be sure.  I agreed and was actually kind of excited to see what kind of cervical change, if any, was happening.  Upon examination, she confirmed that Nellie was indeed head down, and I just had a deep pelvis which made her head a little more difficult to feel.  She also shared that I was about 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced!  WAHOOO!!!!  Wade and I vowed to take some serious walks and partake in as much intimate time as possible in order to move this process along!!  Fast forward to the weekend . . .

Saturday, November 3rd, was a pretty uneventful day.  In fact, I don’t even remember what I did.  But BOY OH BOY, Sunday (November 4th) was a different story.  I was sooo darn sick to my stomach on Sunday that I could hardly function.  I was queasy, had indigestion, and just felt awful overall.  I felt so full of baby that I could have just exploded.  I was not in a good mood at all, and I should have realized that this was a sign that labor was getting close.  Thinking about Wade having to go into work the next day while leaving me home alone with Jake and a baby who could come at any moment sent me into panic mode!  Inside I was thinking that there was NO WAY I could take care of Jake while feeling this way.  Was I ever relieved when, on Monday morning, Wade came into our bedroom not to get ready to go to work, but to tell me that he was going to stay home and help me with Jake.  He’s such an awesome husband!!!

When I went downstairs to eat breakfast, I was feeling better and made a vow to myself that I would not overeat because I didn’t want to feel like I had felt the day before.  This particular morning was a very chilly morning in Indiana, but despite the temps we had already set our minds to taking several long walks around our neighborhood to see if we could get our little girl heading in the right direction – OUT!  I distinctly remember not even being able to zip my coat up because my belly was so large.  After two loops around the ‘hood, I felt a little crampy and definitely had to use the restroom, but overall I felt awesome!  That afternoon, Jake and I played, took a nap, ate lunch, and then around 2:30 p.m. we all decided that another walk would be a great afternoon activity.  Who knew that this loop would be the one that would pretty much trigger my labor process! About halfway around our mile long walk, I started feeling extra crampy, and it was slowing me down some.  I’m sure if any of our neighbors were looking out their windows at that time they may have been tempted to either come out and help or to call an ambulance.  There I was, hugely pregnant, rocking back and forth, and bent over with my hands on my hips.  By the time we got home I had an awful stitch in my side – you know, the feeling that you get when you’ve run too far too fast – and when Wade asked me to go another time around, I said “maybe in a bit.”  I went inside to use the restroom and noticed that I had some blood.  Ohhhhh baby, this was the beginning!!

Some moms I’ve talked to, especially second time moms, say that they kind of neglect the fact that they are in labor.  They sort of go about their business thinking that the things they are feeling surely cannot be actual labor.  I was the same way.  When Wade was saying “let’s call the midwife”, I was saying “uh, I don’t know if this is it yet. I don’t want to call too soon.”  It’s a good thing that my husband has sharp instincts, because it DEFINITELY was time to call our midwife.  It was also time to start packing Jake’s things so that he and Katie could go stay with Aunt Mandy.  This was the part that stressed me out the most.  I’m an overpacker.  I wanted to be absolutely certain that my little buddy had ALL of the conveniences of home while he was with Aunt Mandy.   Also, his routines are important to me (maybe not as important to him as I think they are but…), so I needed to be sure that he had his lotions, certain blankets, plenty of binkies, clothes, snacks, etc.  As I was busy trying to gather everything my little boy needed, I began having contractions that made me stop and totally focus on getting through what my body was doing.  It was nearing 4:00 p.m. at this point.  Aunt Mandy had been called, Penny had been called, and Jake’s things were almost packed.  I told Wade that I wanted to go listen to some of my Hypnobabies tracks while I took a shower to try and relax.  I was having some POWERFUL contractions at this point, and in all honesty, I was thinking to myself that having a natural child birth was just crazy.  What in the heck was I even thinking???  I had had plans to blow dry my hair and to AT LEAST apply some mascara (vain, I know, but I wanted my post-birth pictures to look pretty), but those plans went right out the window by the time I got out of the shower.  I said a hurried goodbye to Katie, Jake, and Aunty Mandy in our bedroom before I was able to finally climb into bed and listen to my tracks.  I remember thinking that I just needed to ride these contractions like waves.  Don’t try to swim through them, just ride the wave.  It was serious business time.  I remember feeling incredibly flushed and hot after I got out of the shower, so I turned our bedroom ceiling fan on high and laid down on our bed with the Hypnobabies tracks playing in headphones.  I’ll be honest, I thought that I was going to do better at relaxing and focusing than I did, but I just could not seem to ignore the intensity of the pressure that I was feeling.  Wade was right behind me rubbing my back, softly stroking my skin, applying a cold washcloth to my neck, but despite these comfort measures I could not help but just simply get through from one to the next.  I’ve never felt my body do such mighty work before.  At one point, I felt like I was just going to throw up.  I should have realized that I was already in transition, but again, I was kind of in denial that this was happening, as I was totally convinced that I was going to have a really long labor.

Around 4:45 p.m. I asked Wade if he could help me get downstairs so that we would be closer to the birthing tub.  I tried to make it down the stairs without having a contraction, but that just didn’t happen.  After one contraction halfway down the stairs we finally got me settled on the couch.  I was on all fours with my head and forearms hanging over the arm of the couch.  We weren’t timing my contractions, but they felt like they were coming one on top of the other.  Penny had not yet arrived, and I was starting to get a little worried that Nellie may arrive before her.  I remember the contraction that really scared me – I felt like I was either going to have a bowel movement or that I needed to push.  Right about now Wade encouraged me to get into the birthing tub.  He first helped me get into the tub, and he got in with me.  When the next contraction happened and I started screaming like he’s never heard before, he got out of the tub in a hurry to get the sheet that we were given titled “What to do if baby comes before the midwife”.  He was prepared to bring Nellie into this world solo if necessary.  At this point, I was frantic.  The contractions were so strong that I felt like my body was controlling me, and not me controlling my body: I was on auto-pilot.  I was simply surviving.  Wade was knelt down in front of the tub, and I was hanging on to him for dear life when I began to have another contraction.  I was literally screaming in this strange animalistic way that I also could not control.  I don’t know if I’ve ever been more relieved to see someone as I was when our door opened and Penny walked in.  I will never forget her first words as she was walking in the door: “How long has she been pushing?”

Throughout this experience, as I’ve said before, I could not really believe that I was actually experiencing the stage I was in at the moment, probably because I had not experienced a natural birth before!  Penny asked Wade if there was a head yet, and he said he did not know.  So, like any excellent home birth husband, he reached down to check whether or not Nellie’s head had emerged.  Since it had not, Penny ran out to her car to get a few more bags.  When she came back in I was having another contraction, and I remember her telling me that I had nothing to fear and that what I was feeling was incredibly normal.  For some reason, hearing her say those words really calmed me down (at least as much as I could calm down as my baby’s head was coming out of my body).  God love Wade, he was so supportive throughout the entire process, and he was saying some of the most beautiful things to me.  But, I felt like I couldn’t calm down until Penny, another woman, mother, and my midwife, said to trust my body.  BRILLIANT!  On the next contraction (OHHOLYMOTHEROFGODGETTHISKIDOUT kind of contraction), Nellie’s head emerged.  It was seriously the strangest and most interesting sensation to feel her little body moving down and out of my own body.  Things are pretty blurry for me from here, but I remember feeling a pop next and hearing Penny say that my bag of water had broken.  Then, with another push, Nellie was born!!!!  The relief was immediate and so welcomed.  She was down in the water between my legs, and as Penny was lifting her up she realized that her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck twice.  She calmly and swiftly unwrapped the cord and brought Nellie up to me so that I could hold my sweet girl. However, Nellie wasn’t breathing.  I was instructed to keep her down in the water while patting her back and keeping her close to me so that she’d stay warm.   Later, Penny would say that because she was born so quickly her little system was shocked and probably didn’t even realize that she was born yet.  Neither Wade or I know how long she actually was not breathing, but as we were patting her on the back and talking to her trying to get her to “wake up”, Penny was reaching for the ambu-bag to give her some assistance.  She clamped her cord, and Wade cut it.  Penny gave her a few puffs from the bag, and before we knew it Nellie was breathing on her own and turning the most beautiful shade of pink that we’ve ever seen!!  I DID IT!  WE DID IT!!  I actually gave birth, without medications, in the water, at home!!  WHEW!!!

While I was still in the tub, the other birth assistant, Jess, arrived.   She helped me transfer to the couch for the third stage of labor, which is delivering the placenta.  During this time another assistant, Sarah, and our birth photographer, Joelle, arrived.  It was funny to hear Wade say to our birth photographer, “Come on in and meet our daughter!”  I had NO IDEA that delivering the placenta would require me to have more painful contractions!  Don’t you mamas wish that that darn thing would just fall out?  So, with Nellie on my chest, I had several contractions and finally birthed the placenta.  What a RELIEF it was to know that that part of the process had come to an end.  At some point during this process, Nellie was able to latch on for the first time, too!  She nursed on and off for around two hours.  Those first few hours after giving birth went by so quickly, too, and are also somewhat fuzzy.  I know that I passed out twice when getting up to go to the bathroom.  Luckily, my birth team was AMAZING, and they caught me every time.  There is nothing like being able to tell anyone who visits that I was catheterized and given fluids via IV while laying pretty much naked on my kitchen floor!  Okay, okay, I don’t really tell visitors that part.  Now, the only thing that stood between me and rest was getting upstairs to bed; however, I couldn’t walk unassisted.  Instead of being helped up the stairs on my own two feet, the team put a blanket underneath me and 4 people drug me up the stairs while I was lying on the blanket – what a memory!  I was laughing so hard, sure that these women couldn’t drag my groggy butt up our stairs, but they certainly did!  See, this would never happen in a hospital!! <wink>

The rest is history.  While Penny and the girls worked to clean up the downstairs (laundry, dishes, disassembling the tub, etc.) Nellie and I were snuggling peacefully in bed.  I remember being absolutely exhausted but not able to sleep because I just couldn’t take my eyes off of her, my sweet daughter.  I couldn’t believe that she and I had just accomplished something that I had dreamed of for years – a home birth.  She is an amazing little baby. Period.

Now that I’ve had some time to think about Nellie’s birth, I am SO THANKFUL that I was able to birth at home with such an amazing team.  I have zero regrets and would do it again in a heartbeat.  I read a post on a Facebook birth support group a few days ago from a sweet momma who had gotten so close to a natural birth with her first child but gave in to the pressures of getting an epidural when the pain got really intense, and she was experiencing terrible epidural remorse because she had so wanted a natural birth.  My heart went out to her because I felt the same way with Jake’s birth.  It’s an indescribable feeling to have a vision of the type of birth you want and then not have it happen the way you had hoped.  I remember thinking only days after Jake was born that I wanted a “do over” and given another chance I was sure I could do it!  No one really understood how I felt and hearing the words “well, at least you have a healthy baby” weren’t comforting to me.  Certainly I was so happy to have had a healthy baby, but it wasn’t the only thing that mattered to me.  The only thing that has healed those wounds was actually doing it again the way I wanted.  I’m so overwhelmingly blessed to have had the education, care, and support of Believe Midwifery Services – Penny Lane & the team and of my husband!

WELCOME TO THE WORLD, SWEET NELLIE!!

Jen and Nellie

Nellie nursing shortly after birth

Picture on phone

Wade’s photo of Nellie’s arrival

***Please note that I am telling my story because it is so joyous and wonderful to me!  I am in no way discounting or disrespecting other women and their births.   I completely respect the fact that women have to make informed and educated decisions about the type of birth experience they desire, including whether or not they have a natural or medicated birth at home or in the hospital.  I want everyone who reads this post to realize that natural child birth was a completely personal choice for me, and I don’t think my experience was “better” or “superior” to any other mother’s story.***

To My Son, My Firstborn:

Our lives are getting ready to change in a huge way.

Since you are so little, only 14 months old, I haven’t really found a good way to share with you just exactly what is getting ready to happen.  Your daddy and I talked about getting a baby doll to carry around to show you how to be nice to a baby – just like we’ve had to teach you now to “pet Winnie nice”.  But, we never did get a doll.  That’s okay because you haven’t seemed to notice mommy’s ever growing tummy or swollen ankles, and that is apparent by the way you launch yourself onto me after waking up from our (almost) daily naps.  You haven’t given us too many weird looks when we’ve spoken of this “Nellie” character who will be making her way into the world any day now.  You certainly haven’t slowed down or held back when it’s come down to the things you’re learning, like walking and running, and being incredibly active.  You also haven’t stopped wanting me to hold you, hug you, read to you, pick you up, or sing to you.  We have a special relationship, you and I.  And tonight as I was watching you fall asleep in my arms, I realized that our relationship is heading into a new season – a season that I’m not certain how either of us will handle.

Since I’m uncertain about what the future with another little baby is going to look like for you and me, I want to make sure that you know exactly how I feel about you and our relationship right now.  Jakob Maurice Wingler, you, my sweet baby boy, are my firstborn and will always be.  You were the little seedling who grew in my tummy for 39 weeks and made me a mommy for the first time.  You changed my heart in a way that I never would have experienced before becoming your mommy.  It is because of you that I know that I can love Nellie, too, and be a decent mom to her.  It was you, little boy, who made me sick for the first 17 weeks of your pregnancy and who kicked around in my tummy every night until the evening you were born.  It was you who I fell in love with instantaneously as soon as your daddy and  I knew about you.  And the moment I saw your sweet face for the first time was a moment that forever changed me.  I don’t remember ever being more excited, relieved, overwhelmed, and emotional as I was at the moment you emerged from me.  Our first few weeks together are kind of blurry because of the lack of sleep, but I do remember telling your daddy that I felt like it was Christmas morning all of the time when I woke up to you!  You were real.  You were warm and cuddly.  You were right next to me.  You needed me to give you everything, and I loved (and still love) you fiercely.  You were the babe who helped me hone my mommy instincts that, I swear, are incredibly right on when it comes to you.  I breastfed you for the first 6.5 months of your life until my pregnancy took a toll on my milk supply.  When I couldn’t breastfeed you anymore, I was devastated.  I was not prepared for another life growing inside of me to take the nourishment that I was giving to you.  But, little man, after some ups and downs, we settled on a new routine of formula, and you did just fine.

In fact, you’ve done just fine in every area of your life thus far.  You are an amazing little boy who is curious, active, silly and funny, tenacious, vibrant, and sweet.  You have given me innumerable moments of joy and delight.  You have also been the source of some stress and frustration, like when you wouldn’t sleep for the first nine months of your life or when you couldn’t be put down for more than a moment without crying out for me to come get you.  It’s been hard for me at times to remember that you are only this little once.  As I was rocking you to sleep tonight, something that has actually been awesome lately because you are putting yourself to sleep at night, I felt a bit panicked because I realized that the days of you as an infant are through.  You are a toddler now.  You are a big boy.  While you need me some, the days of you needing me for every single need and desire are slowly going away.  I want you to know that when Nellie comes, you’ll probably find even more time to be independent, because mommy will have to spend a lot of time focusing on her the way I focused on you.  Please know that my love for you is not fading, and you are not less important to me in any way.  Our time together will just be a little different.  I pray that you learn to love Nellie in time.  I know that for awhile you won’t understand what is going on and why mommy is holding a little baby so much.  I promise you, Jake, that my arms will always be open for you.  There will always be enough room in my arms for you.  We may have to do some baby-juggling, but I will never let you feel ignored.

You, Nellie, and I are going to have some adjustments to handle, for sure, but I’m certain that my overwhelming love for you both will make this time of transition as comfortable as possible.  Plus, you’re going to have your daddy and baby sister (as we call KT), to show you extra love and attention until we’re all settled into the new routine.

So, as we move into our new phase, please always remember how much I love you and how you will always and forever be my first baby love.  Always.

Jake - 14 months old

My sweet baby is growing up!

Time: why can’t it ever be just right?

clock with pendulm

For me, it seems like I spend a lot of time these days dwelling on the concept of “time” – too little, too much, not in the right areas, etc.  Time is one of the hardest, yet most important, areas of ones life to get right (or close to it).  Everyone goes through various seasons of life, and in these seasons refinement happens.  As a wife and a mother, I find myself longing for “me” time – time by myself to do anything, “we” time – time with my husband to reconnect, and “us” time – time together as a family focusing on only family.  However, finding the space in the ever-busy-getting-busier-by-the-day schedule of the Wingler household is a next to impossible task.  It’s discouraging sometimes to realize that things aren’t going to slow down any time soon with the addition of Miss Nellie into our world in the next six weeks or less.  While I’m anxiously awaiting her arrival, I’m also wishing I could push it back a few months (or a few years) till I feel more settled into my life and routines.  I’m sure most of you reading this can certainly relate to this issue of time!!

It’s funny to me to think back on the past several years of my life because I was ALWAYS busy – working two jobs, going to school, and going through a divorce were the big items on my plate.  At the time,  I thought about how I could not fit one more stinkin’ thing on my plate!  But even though my life was busy, it wasn’t “full”.  I still found time to have dinner with friends, relax in my apartment with my cats, do homework, etc.  I even found time to start dating again!  But over the course of the past two years since Wade and I met and began our family I have never felt busier and my life has never been more full.

I’ve talked to several of my close girlfriends who are now SAHMs after having careers prior to becoming mothers, and they all express that they can’t believe how time consuming the job of being a mother actually is.  There are a few other common threads:  we are lonely, we are exhausted, we miss our husbands, we long to be better moms/wives/friends, and we never have enough time to do the things we wish we could do.  Isn’t this so interesting?  So what do we do?  How do we have time to shower AND do laundry AND teach our babies new skills AND find time for meaningful adult interactions?  How do we save enough of ourselves throughout the day so that at the end of the night when we’re in bed with our husbands we actually have the energy and desire to have intimate time?  How do we find the balance between missing our former professional roles and embracing our current role as “mom”?  How  do we respect our instincts as mothers while trying to find a few minutes in our days to ourselves?

Yesterday, one of my dearest friends voxed me, and she started off by telling me that she missed me and missed our time together while I was interning at her place of employment.  It was such a sweet message, and it touched my heart to hear her words.  I could only think of one response – “I MISS ME, TOO!”.  I miss me.  I miss who I was and what I had time for prior to becoming a mom.  That simple fact is one of the hardest struggles in my world right now.  When she voxed me back, though, she seriously said something incredibly profound that has stuck with me.  She said, “Jen, I know that you feel like you are only a mom right now, but you’re more than that to others around you.  The pendulum has swung and stuck so that you are mostly a mom right now and that’s where you’re most needed, BUT there will come a time before you know it when the pendulum swings back towards the opposite side of the clock and you will regain a lot of what you’re missing so much now.”  WISE!!!!  What a beautiful analogy of life and time.  While I’m longing for my pendulum to be more in the middle, I also need to embrace the fact that I will only be a mom with small babies for a short period of time, and before I know it Jake and Nellie will be in school.  I’m sure that I’ll miss them like crazy when I’m not the person attending to each one of their needs on a daily basis.

So, until my life is a little more balanced, time will feel stagnant and fleeting at the same time.  I’ll feel lonely and tired and spent while feeling thankful and important and strong.  This season of my life as a mother of young babies is refining me and every relationship I am in at this moment.  It is defining me now, but it is not the only thing that I am.  The challenge has been and will continue to be living in the moment and appreciating as many of the minutes of each day as I can because before I know it my children will be grown, and I’ll be wishing I could turn back the hands of time.

What the weather has done

I am one of those strange people who loves precipitation.  I love rainy days (just like my momma) and always have.  Clouds?  AWESOME!  Couldn’t be happier!  But most of all, I love winter.  Seriously.  Bring on the snow, the ice, the cold.  I’ll take it!!!  Winter makes my heart happy because my second most favorite season comes right before it, and all of my beloved holidays happen in the cold weather months.  Watching snow fall outside while I’m snuggled safely inside with all of my people and fuzzy creatures around a glowing Christmas tree is probably the best visual of how winter makes me feel inside.  My husband and I are self-proclaimed Christmas FANATICS (the lights, the trees, the songs – THE SONGS, and the warm fuzzies that are all around).  We even played Christmas music in the hospital while I was giving birth to Jake last August.  AND, in a Hypnobabies class participants are instructed to imagine their “special, safe place”.  Mine just happens to be in a beautiful cabin in the middle of nowhere, decorated for Christmas, with a ginormous fireplace, and snow falling outside.  Told ya, I love winter.  It just makes me feel good, ya know?

It most likely goes without saying, then, that I am not a summer lovin’ girl.  This past summer in Indiana (where we live) was almostunbearable due to the high temps (some of the hottest ever recorded) and an intense drought.  We moved into our home in early May, and it didn’t take long before it was brown and dying. Even our salsa garden and hearty hosta plants that I was soooo excited about having faded quickly despite long nightly waterings and lots of TLC.  Since I’m a SAHM I like to get outside a little bit and explore other scenery because, let’s face it moms (or dads) who stay at home, looking at the same walls and rooms day in and day out make me want to pluck my eyeballs out!  Jake, our now 1 year old, gets antsy, too, as does our dog, Winston.  Not only that, I crave interaction with other humans, even if it is just someone waving to me from their car as they drive by Goobie and me taking a walk.  The weather was so unbearable that I didn’t even like to get in the car to go anywhere to have interaction with other humans or a change of scenery.  I was pretty much stuck inside what has lovingly become known as “THE PIT”.  The nickname, “The Pit”, is an old joke that goes back to when Wade and I moved in together, and basically he said that he was putting me in this pit and never letting me out.  It used to be funny until it became REAL.  Who’s laughing now, I wonder. . . ha.

Goobie and Grams

Jake and my momma outside of our house during the hot summer of 2012. You can see the lovely brown grass, too!

So, imagine my delight when around mid-August the weather breaks for a bit, and we have some b-e-a-utiful days!  It was especially nice to have Jake’s 1st birthday party, a fiesta themed “I am Juan year old” party, on a fantastic Saturday afternoon.  Moods around the Wingler household changed drastically with the change in the weather.  The windows opened up to let some cooler, fresher air circulate and the desires to be outside and more active opened up as well.  We were suddenly taking walks again almost every evening after dinner, and Wade had to mow our grass for the first time in at least 6 weeks.  Color began returning to the yard and our little salsa garden that we thought was a goner started taking off!  We even bought a perfect little red wagon for Jake as an early birthday present because what little boy doesn’t want to be pulled around in a Radio Flyer ATW on a beautiful day?  After breakfast, Jake and I began taking walks around our neighborhood, and sometimes it was chilly enough for us to wear jackets.  One evening while playing on the swingset, I commented to Wade that “the weather makes us better parents”.  It really does.

Nice weather = happy, more active family.

Green grass = happy Winston.

Cool breezes = excitement for autumn (and beyond).

Since I continue to be hopeful that the weather will stay bearable, I start to think about the upcoming months and all of the wonderful things that will be coming my way.  Obviously, the most pressing thing is this baby in my belly will be arriving into our lives in November.  But before that we’ll be celebrating Halloween with Goobie again this year, and we’re also hoping to get away for a few days for a “Babymoon”.  After Nellie arrives, it will be Thanksgiving, then Christmas, and then the New Year, and all of those holidays to me mean FAMILY.  I’m hesitantly hopeful that the weather will continue to lift my spirits and gently encourage me to keep putting one foot in front of the other -even when I would rather just lie in bed for a week – while bringing our family closer together.  There is just so much joy to be had in the next few months, and I’m so blessed that I have the love of my family (and the cooler weather) to experience it alongside me.

 

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.

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!?!?