Still Chugging Along….

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I’m still alive! I appreciate all of the emails and messages of concern from those of you missing my posts. I am definitely slacking lately. This isn’t because I have lost interest or have become too busy, this is simply because I am stuck in a state somewhere between numb and anesthetized. My blog page says we have 66 days to go but my heart hasn’t realized what’s coming yet. I’m still trying to figure out how to raise a pregnant child, I am certainly not ready to raise a mommy. The dynamics in our home is not just a little off, there has been a total train-wreck and I feel as though I have been left to pick up the pieces and try to hot-glue said train back together.

(If any of you happen to know of any books on the subject or maybe even the name of a good therapist, I could greatly benefit from either.)

So, what’s been going on in our world? Well, not much. We have a much bigger belly now. We have felt kicks and jabs and the push of a toe or two up under the ribs. Charli had her first case of the hiccups the other night. Alana is still working hard, overtime most weeks, in hopes of saving up enough to take 6 weeks off after the birth. I still spend time in my pity pit. I still worry about the future. I still spend time thinking of what might have been. But, most of all……I’m still a proud momma.

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Who’s In Charge??

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I made up my mind a couple of years ago to take each of my kids on their own weekend trip with mom before they moved out. I knew with a grand-baby on the way, this was the last opportunity for a sunshine vacation without a stroller in tow so I asked Alana where she’d like to go. We spent a nice, long weekend walking the beaches of Jekyll Island. We both love nature so this was a perfect trip for us to take. We spent our days visiting the turtle hospital, bird watching, and trying our best to save the hundreds of sand dollars that washed ashore. We had an amazing time…. except for that one brief moment of terror….

We were on day 3 of our trip and had decided to spend the day on Driftwood Beach. It is an absolute gorgeous place with so many fallen trees that provide excellent photo backdrops. So, we grabbed our phones to take pics and headed down the beach. I knew from research before the trip that the tide rises quickly and it is easy to get yourself so far down that it is impossible to get back. I kept this information in the back of my mind. We walked and walked in awe of the gorgeous driftwood. After taking several pictures and accessing the tide, we dropped our shoes and continued on our way. At some point during our journey, we found a wallet washed ashore and was distracted by our Good Samaritan ways as we plundered through the wet-sand-filled leather looking for identification. After some time with no avail, we gave up and decided to move on. This is when we realized that we had overstayed our welcome. The tide had risen far enough that we were almost trapped between ocean, trees, and the tall sand dunes. We knew we had little time to make it back.

We picked up pace and headed back towards the entrance to the beach. About half way down, we came to the spot where I had left my shoes…. the only pair of shoes I had with me. They weren’t there. The water had covered the tree that I had place them under and the waves had carried them away. No problem, right? I could buy new shoes! We needed to keep moving.

Now, I know I promised terror and losing a pair of flip-flops is hardly terror…. true. The terror came with the question Alana asked next.

“Where are the car keys?”

I stopped, looking over at her as her eyes displayed more faith in me than I deserved.

“I laid them on my shoes.”

Alana turned towards the ocean as calm as could be and I watched her lips form the word, “uh-oh.”

I could not hear this word though. All I heard was a loud buzzing in my ears and the crashing of the waves which sounded like laughter from the ocean gods.

I turned toward the direction of the car, away from the direction of the keys, mind you, and I ran… and ran…. and ran….

I was in full fledged panic mode- hyperventilating, running down the deserted beach, crying. I ran for what seemed like forever, away from my pregnant daughter, who had started sweeping her feet along the ocean floor, watching with confusion as I disappeared out of site running full-speed.

Lack of oxygen stopped me in my tracks as I bent over, dry heaving, trying to catch a breath, and considering the fact that we only had one set of keys somewhere in the ocean, no money as it was locked away in the car, and two cell phones that didn’t work on the island. And I knew that I only had seconds before I passed out from no air.

I stood up and looked out at the ocean that had caused my demise. Less than 50 yards out I saw dolphins. Not one or two- more like ten or twelve. They were jumping and diving together, playing like children. I watched as they did back-flips and crashed playfully into one another. They went on for the next couple of minutes and I stood and watched- absolutely mesmerized. As I snapped back into reality, I realized that God gave me those dolphins that day. Why, you might ask? The most pertinent reason was to distract me from my own crazy long enough to get me breathing. However, I think God needed me to understand just how much control He has over His creation. I began walking back to Alana- praying…

God, you are in charge of the ocean. You are in charge of the sand. You are in charge of the waves. And God, you know where my keys are. And He did know- He knew that they were in Alana’s hands, right where He put them only moments after I bailed on her and ran half way to my own death.

Funny how things work out…. I am the momma- I am supposed to be the calm, rational, responsible one. But now- she’s a momma too. 

The Bitter Truth

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Today, I struggle……

Yesterday was okay, who knows where tomorrow will be, but today- I find it hard to take a breath without tears filling my eyes, threatening to fall while I sit at my desk trying to work like nothing is wrong. No one knows my struggle here, I hide that well. That’s what moms do, right? We put on our happiest smile and continue doing what we do to keep our world spinning.

You know what else moms do? We give a crap. That’s why life hurts. We don’t just raise our children- we pour our heart and soul into our children. We fight tooth-and-nail for our children. We teach them right from wrong and we spend countless hours on the floor, face-down, praying for those children. And what do we get in return? Hurt….

Told you I was struggling today……

But, through my struggle, I have learned two things.

  1. We’ve got to stop sugar-coating everything.

    I put a positive spin on every word that I speak to my children.
    You argued with a friend at school? Think of how great your friendship will be after going through a trial!
    You flunked your science exam? Now you know where to focus during study time.
    You dropped your sandwich in the dirt at the park and now the ducks are eating it? At least you still have potato chips and you’ve kept a duck from starving.
    You’re pregnant? Having a baby is a blessing and everything will work out just fine.

    What????

    Here’s the truth; the sugar-free, low carb, no fat, doesn’t taste very good truth. Your life is a complete and total mess right now. Babies, while a blessing, are a bunch of trouble. They are selfish and needy, they cry and they poop, they don’t care when you need a break. They cost a lot of money. They dictate when you sleep, when you eat, and you will forevermore base your toilet time around their sleep schedule or you will have an audience. Everything will not magically work out just fine. You will work from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed to keep things running. You will fight them on issues that you never expected to fight about like wearing high heels to soccer practice and why it is socially unacceptable to take food off of a stranger’s plate at a restaurant. They are rotten and stinky and will still steal your heart away faster than you can imagine. They will cause you to fall totally in love and leave your heart open and vulnerable. And then they will hurt you.

  2. One day you’ll look back at all you’ve been through and wish you could turn back time and go through it all over again. Because we’re moms and that’s what moms do. 

And So It Begins…

1:28pm….that’s when the mail runs at my house. I love mail time. I will oftentimes hang out at home, even though I have errands to run or kids to pick up, just so I can grab the mail before I go. There are many different surprises that come from that box. I do a good bit of freelance work so on a few different days of the month, a check comes out of that box. I am also an avid reader…and I buy more books than I actually read so several days a month, a new book comes out of that box. AND, have you heard of WISH? Lots of fun little surprises all the way from China coming out of that box too.

So, you can imagine my delight when a fluffy envelope appears on the counter after someone grabbed the mail for me. If you’re like me, opening a package is a 10 minute deal. First, you feel around- smooshing all of its contents in an attempt to guess what might be inside. Then, you check the sender info. You take a moment to think back of things you might have purchased, using the business name as a hint to your new goodies. Then finally, you can’t wait any longer so you carefully flatten out your package to determine the right point of entry before tearing right through the front, usually spilling the contents out onto the floor.

So, here I am. I have worked through the process and I am thinking that since it is such a smooshy package, we might be talking clothing of some sort. This means I will have to open the package with careful consideration to keep from cutting through the cloth. I get my package open to discover….

-not a fun t-shirt with a great catch-phrase or a picture of Daryl Dixon.

-not a new pair of neatly pressed BoHo pants to match some of the Piko shirts I bought in weird colors.

-not a cute newborn sleeper or a pack of ‘I love my MiMi’ onsies.

Nope, this package contained my very own sample, with a great savings coupon included, of TENA Overnight Protection Panties.

 

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Let me first say, that I am not beyond wearing said protection panties, but who- JUST WHO- decided I needed them? Is there a universal “I’m a grandma now” sign on my forehead? And that’s not all. AARP has been showing up in my mailbox a lot lately too. And, when I ordered at McDonald’s the other day, I swear that the cashier almost offered me a senior discount! I narrowed my eyes just in time for her to realize her mistake.

So, all of that to say….I can pay full price for the Big Mac meal that I won’t be able to finish so I will ask for a piece of foil to take it home in…And, I am just fine with carrying around an extra pair of my own panties (just in case)…And, I don’t know what AARP is but I’m not interested in saving money on travel arrangements since you can’t go anywhere without young people being too loud and ruining your vacation anyway…..wait….AARP offers discounts on books through Amazon? Maybe I’ll hold onto that piece of mail.

Blowing Off Steam

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Alana finished school earlier than most kids her age and decided to test for her GED. She planned to stay local and attend Georgia Northwestern for a degree in Early Childhood Education. She planned to work a part-time job so that she could pay for her schooling as the need arose so as to keep from acquiring mounds of student debt.

Baby daddy graduated last year. He planned to leave for school the second week of August to attend school in Athens.

Then comes baby…

 

I need to pause here to provide this disclosure: Today’s post is a rant. It is a jumbled mess of angry words from a momma that is NOT a happy camper….

It happens, right? We all lose our cool at some point and can fake a smile no longer! I am going on day three without seeing my child and that smile is gone!

Alana had to find a job and she did. So, now she works- All. The. Time.

With our work schedules being polar opposites, we haven’t seen one another since Sunday night. This is much different from life pre-baby. It was probably bound to happen anyway; she is 17, and she does have her own life now, but the circumstances are just too easy to place the blame on.  

Today I want to introduce you to father-of-the-baby, one of my least favorite people at the moment. Dad played it cool for a while. He transferred schools to be closer to home, went to doctor’s appointments, and agreed to support mom and baby financially. I stuck my neck out at work and hired dad for a nice, air-conditioned, $17 an hour job. All was as well as it could be. But all was a lie.

Dad quit his job recently, without giving a notice I might add, so that he would be freed up to travel to Athens for school later this month. His reasoning….”this is his time to have fun.”

That’s reality. It’s not a fair reality but I refuse to live anywhere else besides facing what is truth. She is stuck.

Stuck with a growing belly that aches while she works nine and a half hour shifts at Burger King.

Stuck with invasive doctor’s appointments where she sits alone in stirrups with her mommy in the waiting room.

Stuck buying a crib and diapers. Stuck with $400/ month doctor bills that her minimum wage paycheck barely covers.

Stuck with the worry of what to do now when faced with the task of raising a baby alone…or at least until dad has had enough ‘fun.’

 

But, when it is all said and done, she will be able to hold her head high knowing that while she made her fair share of mistakes, she also did what was right and what had to be done. She can feel proud knowing that she accomplished things and put her entire heart into giving a beautiful life to the child who is no mistake. God makes no mistakes.

 

***On a happier note…the gender sonogram was done and I know what we’re having!!!! Gender reveal party August 13th. You can watch my fb page @KarliLandWrites for gender reveal pics!!! Leave me a comment with your guess….cupcake or stud muffin???

Baby, Don’t Cry

Land_Cover1  I was 18 when I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I was a strong-willed teenager, hell-bent on making it through life on my own without the help of any pesky know-it-all adults, especially my parents. I listened to any and all advice given and took NONE of it to heart. I wanted to do things my way because I knew what was best for me. So as I prepared to leave the hospital two days after giving birth, I was ready to tackle the world. I did not realize, however, that I would be tackling the world with a baby on my hip. Literally….my mind did not comprehend that when I left the hospital that day, I had to take the baby with me….and I had to keep her forever. I just kept thinking, “I don’t know what to do with it.”
I had a hard time with post-partum. I was sure I was going to really mess this thing up. She was so perfect, everything about her was perfect. She was the perfect baby and I was not the perfect mommy. I was clumsy and she was fragile. I was scared to death to put clothes on her for fear that I would smother her or break her arm. I just knew that one day bath time would become a tragedy as a soapy baby is a very slippery baby. I even had to read the directions on her baby swing to make sure I had her strapped in there right. I couldn’t imagine how to make sure my baby was a happy baby.
I quickly learned that unhappy babies have no problem letting you know they are unhappy. They will scream at you, and get louder until you listen. So, as long as she wasn’t crying, we were probably okay. That’s when I wrote my first book titled “Baby, Don’t Cry.”
Fast forward 17 years. I published that book recently and now my first baby is expecting her  first baby. I am sharing all of my advice and she is probably taking none of it to heart but, at just the right moment,  when she needs me and my advice, I will be there just like my mom was. And as I am waving my oversized “I told you so” banner, I will do whatever it takes to ensure that my baby is a happy baby.

GIVEAWAY….
This week I am giving away signed copies of my book “Baby, Don’t Cry” to the first 5 people who share my Blog on social media. Share away and let me know where you’ve shared it by commenting below.
Thanks for your support!!!!