Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Christmas, New Years and a Wedding

What a whirlwind Holiday Season!

Both Meghann and her family and my brother Adam came home on Thursday before Christmas to spend the long weekend/vacation week with us. Adam was staying until Tuesday morning, and Meghann, Jared and the kiddos until Thursday, and we were all so excited to have them here for the Holidays! On Friday, we got some alarming news that Joshua was losing his health insurance and would be without it until our wedding in April. 4 months would have been a minor situation had to been for myself or Chris, but with Joshua, the Lord only knows what is going to happen in the next 5 minutes. So we had Christmas with both of our families as planned, and on Tuesday after Adam had left, Kellie, Justin and their 3 kids arrived from Massachusetts. Kellie is Chris's Aunt, and her husband Justin is an ordained Minister. We had originally planned on him doing our wedding in April, so we were planning on using our

Christmas get together to gather some rough plans for the April service. well... instead, it just so happens that on Wednesday evening, gathered by our immediate families, in the comfort of Chris's parents family room, we were joined by God and all those witnessing, as husband and wife :) I really cannot express how excited I am about being married to Chris, and about being Mrs. Hitchings. He is the love of my life, the root of all the happiness in our family, and the reason I am where I am in life today. He is an amazing father, provider, and best friend. I couldn't be happier where I am in my life right this moment :)
2008. 2009. 2010. 2011 :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Holiday Season

Every year around this time I sit back and think to myself where did the time go? It seems like 2011 was a serious blur to me, and that it moved so fast I wasn't able to actually enjoy the events as they occurred, and that my friends, is the worst feeling ever! Time for a 2011 re-cap!

In February of this year Chris finally asked me to marry him. We've been sitting in this amazing relationship for 3 years (2 1/2 at the time) and just kind of going with the flow of the situations we were thrown into. We started out dating as he was going through the legal formalities of his divorce, and I was a single mom to 4 month old Joshua. I've found that in a relationship involving children, things seem to move much faster. Around Christmastime we decided that instead of Joshua and I driving the 20+ minutes to get to his apartment from my mothers in Waterville, it would be best for us to just move in with him. We moved in the week of Christmas, 2008, and I was able to leave my job at T-Mobile and become a stay at home mom to "our" beautiful boy. It's been a whirlwind ever since - from our two families growing together, to adding Lucy to our bunch, to our engagement, it has been crazy!

Shortly after, I had to go see my doctor for my endometriosis. I hadn't really had problems with it since Joshua was born, but it seems that after Lucy came, all of my problems returned. I met with my doctor and my surgeons, and collectively we
decided it would be best to attempt to alleviate any and all problems as quickly and effectively as possible - but without causing me serious recovery time or future issues. Because of my age, a complete hysterectomy wasn't recommended. We researched some methods and decided on a few combined simpler ones to have done. In April, I had to have my tubes tied and other female parts had to be made "not useable" for future reproduction. While they were in there, they checked on my ovaries and scoped all of the endo that was in the way out. I came out of it a much happier person, and since the surgery I haven't had ANY issues with my female parts. It's the first time since I was 14 that I can really say I feel "normal" inside. I'm so blessed to have such great doctors, and family, that were willing to stand by me to figure everything out and get it taken care of immediately.

May was my birthday, and June was a big month. In June we had Chris and his mothers birthdays, and then at the end of the month (24th) Joshua turned 3 and (28th) Lucy turned 1!

At her first birthday party, Lucy had no teeth. By the middle of August, she had 6. Poor girl had a rough summer. Over the summer I almost had a chance to switch jobs. I went from working overnights at Lakewood (as a CNA) to working for a traveling nursing agency. Although the shifts aren't always the same, and I work in numerous different places throughout central Maine, the pay is amazing and the ability to be home with my children 90% of the time is what makes it worth it. Now that we are approaching the Holiday's, yet again, I am reminded of what I am thankful for

in this life.

My two beautiful children.

My Parents, and my In-Laws, and their amazing bonds with my children.

The Entire Hitchings Family // My relationships with my siblings and my best friends

Friday, October 14, 2011

Mommy Minds.

As mommy's, I know I myself, and lots of others, are guilty of one terrible this: judgement. Not only are we feeling judged by everyone outside of our immediate home, but we are judging. Most surprising is the first person we judge every time we leave the comfort of our own home: ourselves. We try not to do it, we even vow not to before we become a mommy, but it's almost inevitable, like the devil sitting on your shoulder telling you not to eat the extra cookies after the kids go to bed.

I've judged just about everything I once said I wouldn't. It doesn't matter if it's the boy at the playground whose mom is too busy on her Blackberry to watch him across the monkey bars the first time, or the little girl who gets dropped off at soccer because mommy has errands to run, or the mom torn between her infant child and toddler running all around. I used to take too long to realize that it is because each of them have a different story, and I don't know what underlying causes have made it so they are absent in certain aspects, but I seem to take no time wondering what I would do to make the situation better if they were me. It wasn't until Lucy was born that I realized there was so much more to life when you expand your family from one child to multiple children. I suddenly felt like my heart was being torn, and I was stretching myself thin between two beautiful babies that I created myself. I didn't realize before this that it would take time, and probably lots of it, before we adjusted and were used to sharing our love, sharing our time and sharing our space. Joshua had grown so accustomed to having our full attention, but he adjusted the best! So needless to say, the time stretch and share is no longer something I judge on other moms. I no longer wonder why that boy is alone on the slide while mommy feeds the baby, or why mommy (or daddy!) are sitting in the car with their little brother during soccer practice. And a constant thing I have to remind myself as well, is that I am being judged by other moms, and other non-moms too. This was proven to me on my first trip out of the house from having my first child, I remember it like it was yesterday: I was craving ice cream, it was July, so why not drive the 500 feet down the road to the ice cream shop? Sure! So I got in the car (and left my D.S. with my mother) and enjoyed the minute drive in silence, no screaming no diapers no bottles just me and my car. The moment I got out of the car, I was spotted. The prettiest girl from my high school was in front of me, and of course, I had always envied her, maybe even more this day when she was standing there 110 lbs in short shorts and a tight fitting tank top. What was I wearing? My maternity pants that still fit my 165lb baby making body and a loose t-shirt, hair a mess, not remembering the last time I had showered. Pleasantries were made, congratulations on the baby, and for her in her quest for a degree in something Psychology related... and off we went. Did I mention we were best friends from age 8-13. It felt like two strangers meeting in a bar, and I walked away from that moment feeling so little and so judged. I guess that was one of the first moments I vowed to change my point of view.

Another thing I find myself constantly guilty of is exactly that... Guilt. I feel guilty when I do anything for myself that doesn't create a positive outcome for the kids or my significant other. Getting my nails done doesn't make anyone happy but me, so why do I bother? A haircut, why worry, it's just going to grow back! And more recently... a concert with my girlfriends in another town, an hour away. Of course I went anyway, but the amount of guilt I felt leaving the kids at a babysitter (which would be followed by dinner and playtime at Nana's) was unexplainable. My S.O. golfs 2 days a week and works out of the home, so why don't I deserve a day or two away as well? I just can't explain the reasoning for the guilt, but it's there. Even though my kids are happy when they get to enjoy an evening with my mother, why do I still feel guilty for having fun while they are?! This mommy stuff is confusing!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Fall.. Winter.. Summer...

It's October, but the weather in Maine really isn't sure what it wants to do right now. Two weeks ago, it was 80 degrees and beautiful, with some rain and thunderstorms looming every night. Last week it was 50 and frigid, getting down to 28 degrees F at night, leaving frost on my windows and causing me to scrape my car before my Thursday class. This weekend, as of right now at 914 AM it is 46 degrees and sunny, but the weekend forecast says 75 and sunny. I'm used to winter lasting too long, or fall coming too soon, but this flip flop forecast has my sinuses all screwed up, and my kids clothing choices slim! I put away the summer clothes, shorts and tank tops and light t-shirts, mid September, thinking it was almost time for sweatshirts and fleece pants. I love fall, fall in Maine is beautiful. The leaves all change colors, Joshua finds reasons to want to go outside to "collect things" like pine cones, pine needles and maple leaves, we go apple picking, Halloween comes and it gives Meghann and Jared an excuse to come up for a long weekend before the Holiday season begins.

I love watching Joshua learn new things, so far this fall we have accomplished potty training, and writing our name. We have been blessed by a week long visit from my brother, Joshua's best friend Uncle Adam. Adam was here at my mothers for a whole week and 6 of those 7 days Joshua spent every moment possible with him. Both kids are really captivated by Adam, and I couldn't be happier in the role that my brother plays in their life. I'm also enjoying this fall because it's the final fall I have with my baby boy before he can start pre-school. Technically he could have started this year, but we were unsure of our living situation and didn't want him to sign up for something we couldn't follow through with. So we are staying home at 3, and starting him at 4. So far this fall as a 3 year old he has gone through 1 session of gymnastics, and started session 2 this week, and is IN LOVE with it! He is having so much fun spending Wednesday mornings with 4 other kids his age, running around, doing "moose rolls" and silly dances. He is so independent, I'm really glad we've allowed him to chose his own activities and only hope he continues to chose what HE really wants in the future.

Lucy is growing so quickly. It's so strange to imagine that Joshua was her age when we found out we were pregnant with her. She is my baby, and she seems to be growing too fast. I don't think she realizes she is the end of the line for mommy and daddy! She, like her brother, is the most independent little 16 month old I have ever known. She wont let you feed her, no matter how much of a mess she makes, and she has grown 8+ teeth in 4 months! At her first birthday, we had 0 teeth in that little mouth of hers, and now it's like they just keep coming!

Chris and I are busy planning our wedding, April 21 2012. It seems crazy almost that we have waited this long. My friends son turned 3 today, and I remember that day so well because Chris and I went to the hospital to see them together. This month was the beginning of us, 3 years ago, and I wouldn't trade a moment of it for the world. I really can't wait to be his wife. Along with that, we are also starting to gather the information needed for him to adopt Joshua so he can legally be his father. The next 6 months are going to bring so much joy to our little family I cannot begin to explain how excited we are for the future :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

3 year olds and the D word... death.

Joshua is 3. In my eyes, a 3 year old should be naive to the painful truths of life, most importantly a few things : Death, Divorce, and Hate. I want my son to not understand any of these situations until he is old enough to spell the words and use them properly, and I want that for him because I want him to maintain his innocence as long as possible. I think these are normal wishes of a parent of a small child, but already at 3 years old, he understands and knows the meaning of all three of those words, and until I sat and contemplated this, it scared me. Then I remembered, when I was 3, my parents had been divorced for 3 years, my mom was already remarried, I already had a half brother, and my father was getting remarried that year. Then I also realized I'd lost my grandfather, and my grammie Ellie wasn't too far behind him. It hurts to think that at such a young age I became comfortable with death, divorce and hate, yet it somehow relieves me now that I realize Joshua understands them, is not afraid of them, and knows why they happen.

A year and a half ago, my fathers cousin passed away from Hepatitis. I was pregnant with Lucy, and Joshua was 19 months old. I had no babysitter, and took Joshua with me to the viewing hours, as I wanted to pay respects to my family. He obviously didn't understand, but he also didn't do what I tried to at my Grammie's hours (jump in the casket with her, I wanted to nap with my Grammie!). He took in his surroundings, noticed it was quiet and calm, and acted accordingly. I was hoping at this point that this was the last time we would have to deal with this until he was older. Now, just last month, my Pepere passed away. With this Pepere passing, Joshua gathered the death AND divorce in the same timing. Pepere was my mothers second husbands fat
her. He knew that Pepere was Uncle Chris's grandfather and not mommy's anymore, and he knew that Uncle Chris's father wasn't married to Nana. My mother has been married twice, and is engaged again, so Joshua has many grandparents on my side (Nana and Papa, Grammie and Grampa, Memere Poirier, Memere Hamel [Uncle Chris's Memere]) and in my opinion, there is no thing as too much love.

When Pepere Hamel was taken to the hospital, I braced Joshua for the worst. He knew that Pep had been in a nursing home, and was sick, but none of us saw death anytime soon. When Pep got sick enough to go to the hospital, I sat Joshua down and we talked about Heaven. We talked about how when people are old and sick, God takes them to a better place where they wont get any older or sicker, and get to have fun. Joshua seemed to understand and immediately asked me if Pepere was going to be with the goldfish from Nana's work, which I responded yes, and then asked if Pepere was going to get to golf again, and I couldn't help but laugh through the tears. Joshua seemed to understand exactly what was going on, but looked for the good in the loss. He said he would miss our weekly visits to Pepere at Lakewood, and hoped that we would still get to see Memere Hamel often, but that he was happy he could golf again, and didn't need h
is wheelchair.

Now Joshua's great grandmother on his dads side is sick and suffering with ALS, and probably only has days left of her life. Last night I sat Joshua down and asked him if he remembered the last time we went to see Mimi's Grammie. He said yes, and asked if she was still sick. I told him at that point that Grammie was probably going to Heaven soon, and again, like he really understood, his response was this : "well, if she goes to Heaven she wont be sick anymore, and that is good. Will Grandpa still be there?" ... again, I chuckled at his honesty and compassion with the situation. He truly amazes me everyday.

I wanted to leave death hidden from my children for as long as I could, but since they have been shown the worries so young, I can only be thrilled that they are so understanding, caring, and compassionate about such deep life subjects. I truly have been blessed with amazing

Lucy with Grammie, Spring 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

March, and Rain...

It's raining so much lately
it's starting to depress me. Maybe if this rain was making the grass green or the flowers grow, and not not just melting the 4 feet of snow outside my back porch, I'd feel a little better about it... Maybe.

Is it sad that I have started getting excited over 40 Degree weather, and when the forcast calls for overnight RAIN and no longer overnight snow accumulation? I think it is quite pathetic. So much of me cannot wait for this snow to melt and be gone, though it is a beautiful sight in November and December, but now that it is March, I'm ready to be able to explore the outdoors with my two growing, beautiful, curious children.

Lucy is crawling. Joshua is currently flashing me his stomach saying "look at this mommy", with a huge grin on his face, and I couldn't ask for anything more. It's going to be such a fun, eventful summer, even though gas is almost 4$ a gallon, and the weather doesn't seem to be getting any warmer as of yet. I can't wait to show Lucy the playground, push her in a swing, watch her swim [or at least try to] in the kiddie pool at my mothers house. It'll be so much fun to watch her learn to walk and run and follow after Joshua throughout the backyard and chase Sophie, Cedric and Liam at Chris's parents house. It'll be so exciting to walk to the playground with all 5 of them, and watch them learn from each other. It's so wonderful to have all of our children around the same age, so that they can play together and learn and grow all at once. Watching Lucy and everything she understands and gathers from Joshua's actions is one thing, but when she has Sophie around I'm almost positive their attitudes are going to rub right off one another! It will be absolutely thrilling!

We got the kids Easter pictures done last week, they are so precious. I love my two kids more than anything in this entire world. They make our perfect little family complete and whole. It makes my day to see them with their father, and with each other, and to see how much they love each other and us and to know that they have a love in them so deep they hardly understand. Our family is truly a blessing <3