Dear Fellow Mothers and Fathers or Friends (with good advice and wisdom),
I have a few questions I need help answering and think maybe you can help. I'll give you more background information than you'd ever care to know, but might help you better understand my dilemma.
While we were dating, Josh and I often talked about the number of children we'd like to have. Each of us came from large families (7 kids in his family and 5 in mine)so our plan always included having a big crew of our own. We felt settled with the idea of 5.
Life didn't go as we had planned. Shortly after we were married, we realized that we had little control over our own fertility. (To this day, we still don't know why becoming pregnant takes so long for us...) It took a couple of years, fertility treatments and countless doctor appointments to finally conceive Jacob. Likewise, Kaylee was a product of medical intervention and heartfelt prayers. For those of you who struggle with infertility you can appreciate the absolute discouragement and deflation that comes with each failed pregnancy test. It is an emotional journey to say the least. One full of questions, few answers, countless needle pokes, tests, charts, doctors visits and tears. On the flip side of that, with each positive pregnancy test comes an indescribable joy and true understanding of the word "miracle".
Following the births of Jacob and Kaylee, the next two pregnancies seemed like literal miracles to me. I was just starting to get that inkling that it was time to begin the pregnancy "process" when I discovered that I was already expecting. It was a welcome relief from all of the anxiety-filled months and/or years of "trying" that I had become accustomed to in the previous pregnancies. Nevertheless, the years of trying and waiting and disappointment meant a longer child bearing phase than we had anticipated.
So here we are, prepping to become parents to our 4th and possibly final child. I have mixed emotions and feel conflicted. So, what is it exactly that I'm conflicted about? I have felt the last year or two that maybe 4 children (not 5 as previously mentioned) was the magic "Carver Crew" number. I was feeling pretty settled in that feeling until I learned that baby #4 was a boy. (FYI, I love boys...and girls!) For some reason, however, I always imagined having 2 little girls in my family. I was sure that this last baby would be a girl, and I could then move forward confidently in the decision that we were DONE. I could clear out all the extra baby stuff and finally have some space in my garage. I could focus a little more on me and truly getting back in good shape. I would be able to designate more permanent living arrangements for my children, knowing our family was all here. I could commit more time to helping in my children's classrooms, encouraging them in their talent development. I could start to prepare for the future that happens after the child bearing stage. So many reasons for wanting that DONE feeling. None of which are really that important when considering the grand scheme of things, I know.
If I'm honest, part of me wants that DONE feeling because I doubt my own abilities to be a good mother to more than 4. I already feel inadequate and am not sure that with all of my shortcomings I would be able to provide the loving, peaceful, positive atmosphere a 5th child would need. I wonder if the stress of 5 would do me in. (I personally don't want to occupy a bed at the local mental asylum, but think that could very well be my fate.)
I know baby #4 is not even here yet which makes this conversation so premature, but when you are trying to decide whether to make an "investment" in a new stroller system and crib and which things to save or to get rid of, the question of more children weighs heavily on one's mind. Every time I get the urge to go get rid of the baby girl clothes and accessories, I stop myself. The thought of selling them or giving them away makes me sad. However, the idea of a possible 5th child freaks me out. It's something Josh and I have talked about often lately. I'm making it a matter of prayer. I just wish I knew...
My question to all of you out there is this...How did you know? And when did the DONE feeling come? How did you know that it was Heavenly Father's will and not just your own desires or fears?
Conflicted in WA
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Posted by Jen at 9:14 PM
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Run for your lives. Lock your food cupboards and toy closests.
Oops. Gotta run. I hear the winds beginning to pick up. Destruction is near.
Posted by Jen at 10:16 AM
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Posted by Jen at 11:25 PM
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Josh is constantly asking me throughout the year for gift ideas. "Your birthday is coming up," he'll say, "What do you want?" Or, "I have some ideas for our anniversary, but want to add something to it. Is there anything special you would like to receive?" Usually, I can't think of anything and let him do his best to surprise me. However, with Valentine's Day around the corner and our 12 year anniversary approaching in a few months, I gave my "wish list" a little more consideration.
Generally, I'm a very practical girl. However, as I'm getting closer to delivering our 4th child, I'm thinking it's time that I finally get a thing or two with some lasting quality.
Here are some ideas, Josh, just in case you happen to need some. (Haha.)
1. "Big Star": Maddie jeans from Buckle . (These could serve as some post-partum weight loss incentive come May...)
2. Juicy Couture Perfume (My current bottle is almost gone...I'm sure you want me to continue to smell good, right? Wouldn't want to be the stinky kid in class.)
Posted by Jen at 10:30 PM
Monday, January 11, 2010
Transitioning my barely 2 year old (who is currently too afraid to attempt climbing out of his crib) to a "big boy bed" is not my idea of fun. I like having a place I can put Landon for "time outs" when needed. However, in a little less than 4 months we will need the crib for the new baby, and thus the transfer process had to begin.
Here is Landon sleeping in the trundle of Jacob's bed. I came in late that night to check on him and thought it was so precious to discover Jacob snuggled up to Landon. Oh how I love those boys! (Sad to say...the next few nights were not as successful. Landon was uncooperative and constantly came out of his room.)
Posted by Jen at 8:38 AM
Friday, January 8, 2010
Posted by Jen at 11:07 AM
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Invitations: We decided to send a Hogwarts acceptance letter as our invitation. And of course, it had to be hand delivered via owl post. Each envelope had an official wax seal bearing the letter "H" for Hogwarts. Because they were hand delivered I was able to use the Harry Potter address: Cupboard Under the Stairs, 4 Privet Drive etc. which the kids thought was fun. (For the paper bag owl pattern, go here . )
Platform 9 3/4:As all Harry Potter fans know, the only way to catch the Hogwarts Express is by accessing it via Platform 9 3/4, which is invisible to Muggle eyes. It is a brick wall found in between Platform 9 and Platform 10 at King's Cross Station. Would-be wizards must run through the barrier to hop aboard the magical train that will take them from London to Hogsmeade. Here is a picture of Platform 9 3/4 from the Harry Potter movies.
We knew the new students attending our special session of Hogwarts would need to catch the Hogwarts Express by accessing it via Platform 9 3/4 so construction of our own brick wall began. (It's amazing what a cheap shower curtain from Ross, a sponge and some red paint can do!)
An outside look at King's Cross Station.
All Aboard Hogwarts Express:
Diagon Alley is the hub for all wizard shopping needs. We decided to take our little wizards shopping so they could pick up their much needed school supplies, prior to arriving at Hogwarts.
First stop: Gringotts Wizarding Bank
Here, our wizards were given pouches of gold with which to buy their school supplies.
Next stop: Ollivander's Fine Wand Shop
To make the wands, Josh bought dowels from the craft store and made a lathe out of his drill and carved each wand by hand so that they were unique. He then stained them with various shades of stain and sealed each wand with a clear spray paint so the stain wouldn't rub off on the kid's hands. They turned out fabulous, and the kids were so excited to pick out their wand, or rather, have their wand "choose them" (as all wizards know, it is the wand that chooses the wizard).
Next Stop: Flourish & Blotts
Here, students picked up their potion jars and Spell & Charm books.
Other Shops passed along the way:Quality Quidditch Supplies
Eeylops Owl Emporium Madam Malkins, Makers of Fine Robes
Snape's Slime Recipe:
2 oz. Elmer's White glue mixed with 1/4 cup water (in one bowl) Add food coloring of choice.
1/4 tsp. Borax mixed with with 1/4 cup warm water (in separate bowl) until majority of Borax is dissolved
Combine two mixtures and stir quickly. Use hands to form slime ball. Squeeze out any excess liquid and discard.
Store in air-tight container.
End of Birthday Session Cake & Presents:
Students returned to the Great Hall for the end of term birthday celebration complete with Hedwig Owl Cupcakes and Butter Beer (Cream Soda) while they enjoyed watching Jacob open his Muggle-inspired gifts.
Surprise Trip to Honeydukes Candy Shop (Party Favor Bags):
If you've seen the movies or read the books you surely know about Honeydukes and some of the most famous Harry Potter candies: Chocolate frogs, Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, Ice Mice, Droobles, Acid Pops, Blood Pops as well as Albus Dumbledore's favorite muggle candy, Lemon Drops.
For some reason these candies are impossible to find locally & are insanely expensive online. However, a few trips to the Dollar Store & some creative labeling and we came up with our own line of Harry Potter worthy candy.
A few final pictures:
Posted by Jen at 11:56 AM