Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Daze days like these

Today was a long day. Not because Charlie felt miserable and was out of commission, and not because our house was torn apart due to new construction we have taking place in the kitchen.

Today was a long day because it seemed that everything that could go wrong ... did go wrong. It is now very late, but before I go to bed ... I decided that rather than focus on the challenges of my day - I need to focus on the positive.

The highlight of my day was not when instead of making dinner and getting our children ready for bed, I took all three of them with me to run errands at 5 PM. When I arrived at our first destination, I realized that I had forgotten all of their snacks and sippy cups at home.

The highlight of my day was not when I arrived at the post office and thinking how lucky I was to get a parking spot right by the door - unloaded the children in their huge stroller, pulled out the big boxes of hand-me-down clothes I'm sending to my brother for his 15-month old twins, got to the door and realized that because it was Columbus Day ... the post office was closed. Ah, yes. That would explain the empty parking lot.

The highlight of my day was not when I drove to the grocery store and was unable to snag one of the fancy buggy shopping carts that securely holds all three of my children. Unless I wanted to pull the big Peg behind me through the whole store, I was forced to put one in the seat and two in the basket and then walk around the store, partially leaning in to the cart to hold all three down.

The highlight of my day was not when I realized that Trick-or-Treat snack packs of Reese’s Pieces are not necessarily the ideal treat for (almost) 2-year olds. Unless you don't mind leaving behind a trail of Reese’s Pieces through the entire store. You wouldn't think 100 Reese’s Pieces is a lot ... but when they are littered along the shiny white floor at the grocery store it certainly looked like we were summoning E.T.

The highlight of my day was not when I was quickly picking out some apples, that my son who was perched in the seat of the shopping cart - casually leaned over and grabbed a lemon off the produce stand. A lemon that would be the foundation for the 5,000,000 lemons that were precariously perched on top of it.

The highlight of my day would not be when I navigated my shopping cart between the narrow checkout aisle and as I was unloading my groceries, helplessly watched as Elizabeth and Carolyn, just out of reach, attack the candy display and magazine display, simultaneously.

The highlight of my day would not be when I asked the bag boy to put all of the groceries beneath the cart or else the kids would throw them out. And then, as I was walking outside of the grocery store and down the ramp, all of my canned goods rolled out from the bottom of my cart and in to the middle of the road.

The highlight of my day would not be when I was leaning down to pick up my canned goods in the middle of the road, caught a glimpse of my feet and realized that I had gone out in public wearing my purple fuzzy slippers. Ah yes. That must explain all the looks I was getting in the store - as I was standing in the middle of 5,000,000 lemons.

The highlight of my day was not when I got home, unloaded all of the groceries, brought all the children in to the house, checked on Charlie, made a Rigatoni dinner and when I was draining the noodles - missed the strainer from all the steam - and dumped more than half of them in to our dirty sink.

The highlight of my day was not when after I tucked all three of the children in to bed after their baths, Charlie asked me where the Ginger Ale was that he had put on the grocery list. It was then that I remembered like the snacks and sippy cups, I had forgotten our grocery list, too. The most important item on that list - Ginger Ale for Charlie's upset stomach - was the one item I had missed.

The highlight of my day was not returning to the grocery store at 9 PM to pick up a bottle of Ginger Ale (after plucking all three children out of their cribs and changing dirty diapers), only to be greeted by at least 15 other shoppers in front of me, that had cut out and were using every single coupon from the Sunday paper, in the one line open, with enough food in their carts to last through Thanksgiving.

It might seem like any one of those scenarios above might constitute the highlight of my day. But no...

The highlight of my day did not come until I was driving home from the grocery store. I thought about the date ... October 9th, 2006. Three years ago tomorrow (now today), was our first attempt at IVF. It certainly doesn't seem like three years ago that we were going through our first cycle. It certainly doesn't feel like three years ago I was so full of optimism and hope that Charlie and I would soon be parents.

Three years ago - when our first IVF cycle failed, my heart was broken and my dreams were crushed when we learned that getting pregnant, if we were so lucky, was going to be a lot more difficult, and expensive, than we ever imagined.

Two years ago - I was pregnant and about to deliver our long awaited children.

One year ago - We were preparing to celebrate our babies first birthday.

I reflected on my day, today. I thought back to dinner time and how, for the most part, our children play so well together. I thought about the baby babble and the belly laughs. The words that are just starting to emerge from their vocabulary and their senses of humor that are beginning to sharpen. I thought about their little faces, their little eyes, noses, mouths, hands and feet. I thought about how with three little kids and the massive messes that they create, our house finally feels like a home. (Because I now know how to upload videos ... there will probably be a lot of them on our blog.)

Even on days like today, time goes too fast. In four days, our babies will be two. From what I've read, the behavior that they are exhibiting is perfectly normal for a two-year old. So, I suppose it makes good sense that the feeling I have of falling in to a black abyss, is perfectly normal for the mother of 3-2 year olds. (With that in mind: If you ever see a crazed looking woman with purple fuzzy slippers in a pile of lemons, that would be me. I'm just trying to make lemonade.)

The highlight of my day today - and everyday for that matter - are our three beautiful and healthy children ... that a mere three years ago, I feared would never exist. In truth, they are more magical than I ever imagined.


  1. Oh Jen, you made me cry. Good cry.

    *hugs* and happy birthday a tad early to your beautiful three.

    And thank you for reminding me to make lemonade.

  2. i love william's screaming fits!

  3. That was absolutely beautiful! Your posts are so amazing.

  4. Jenna-
    Thank you for this Blog! No matter what, I can escape from my desk at work and really appreciate all of the good things in life! We are so lucky to have such beautiful children! Hope Charlie feels better! BTW- what's the deal with only one aisle open after 9pm at the grocery store? Shop at Albertson's, where 3's a crowd!

  5. thanks for putting it into perspecive for us! I'm glad you got your babies!!

  6. Wow! Trips! I'm glad you commented so I can visit you. I'll be back for more!

  7. Oh, what a day! They are totally worth it.

  8. It's all about perspective, isn't it? Hope Charlie has a good perspective right about now . . .

  9. Oh... the phone conversations you and I could have!!! :)
    That post was so wonderful and very emotional. I have found myself so emotional lately. I know its that the trips turning 2 is so bittersweet. I absolutely love (most of the time) watching them learn and do so many new things everyday. Its never dull thats for sure!! I feel so lucky that I am able to have these experiences with them, but I also feel like a chapter of my life is coming to an end. The babymaking and babystage is ending. We worked hard and long to get them here and it was so all consuming for so long and then it came and went so fast. I just don't know how to grieve for that. ????

    3 years ago at this time we started the training and background check for the foster care program and were going into our last few fertility treatments with little hope.

    2 years ago sunday we delivered 3 healthy 34 week girls after 14 weeks of bedrest- almost 12 of them in the hospital, 2 cerclages and lots and lots of drugs.

    1 year ago we were planning our girls 1st birthday....We did a baby einstein theme. I sat and watched their birth video that morning wondering how the heck those 3 ever fit in my belly!!! LOL and missing those tiny faces.

    This sunday the girls will be 2 and are healthy, beautiful little people. I am so proud and honored to be their mommy.

    I am so glad I was introduced to your blog!! I so enjoy reading it.

    Happy 2nd Birthday William, Gracie and Elizabeth!!!

    Mom of Eryn, Maya and Kyra-almost 2

  10. Hi Jen:

    Your children are the most adorable I have ever seen - I'm glad to be here and will be thrilled to get up with them tomorrow morning at 6 AM so you can sleep in.

    Love, MOM

  11. That video was sooo cute!!! You make it look easy and fun to have trips!

    In the other video, with the stroller derby, I didn't see one bit of clutter! You have a beautiful home.

    Btw, it is so funny b/c yesterday morning BEFORE I read your blog about clutter, I was going bonkers in my house about the clutter. I started (but of course didn't finish) organizing stuff...Now I'm left with several stacks and bags of stuff that are no closer to their proper spot! But I felt better when I read your blog.

    Hugs to the fam,

  12. Jen..Jen...Jen,

    Where is your mother?????? Okay, that shopping trip was like deja vu for me. Yes, the children are completely normal. It gets way harder when they are three. I hate to tell you this, but it's all I hear. All the veteran HOM moms love to lay this on me.

    Can you imagine it any differently? Even on the bad days, I can't either! Hang in there and I hope Charlie is up and about soon.

  13. Dad and Kathleen10/11/06, 3:31 PM

    Dear Jen:
    We love the videos...almost like being there. God bless you, Mary, for being there. Our turn next.
    Charlie, Kathleen has you on her morning distance Reiki list and you will need to take extra special care of yourself with such an active family. Easy Does It.....But Do It.
    Two years old in a few days! Time is going by too fast....enjoy each moment, even the ones that aren't easy.....K wishes she had her little girls back in the kitchen with their strollers running around.
    We hold you in our hearts and will see you soon. Hugs to all....
    Dad and Kathleen



    p.s. we have to meet--DONT' WORRY, i'll bring an extra gate for dj----he's a wild man but, you knew that already :)

  15. Ohhh that is sooo amazing and sweet..a rough day and yet you can still comment on the amount of love you have for your hard fought for family! I only have one little boy that's almost three months old and he's a handful but wouldn't trade him for anything! You should write a book...in your spare time..lol If i were you i would have left the kids at home to make the second trip to the store for ginger ale. Daddy should be able to handle the little of a time even if he's sick and hopefully the kiddo's were asleep or close to it.but that's just me =o) God Bless you and your family!