Throwback Thursday: P is for Pregnancy

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I love recycling old posts! It gives me a chance to re-read what I wrote and see if my feelings or emotions have changed about the subject. My husband and I are still trying to get pregnant and I’m very optimistic about it happening. If I believe it, think it, and know it to be true, then it has to happen, right? I have had my months where I’ve broke down in tears and wondering if this will ever happen. I’ve changed my diet and my lifestyle around to make my body as healthy as it can be. It just takes time and patience. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. 

 

 

 

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Pregnancy, something most girls and women try not to have before a certain age or marriage. Pregnancy is what I have avoided my entire life before marriage, and after we got married we had a .01% chance of getting pregnant. The irony, right?

The reason for the .01% chance is that my husband had a vasectomy after Little Miss was born. That was almost seven years ago. About three months ago he had a vasectomy reversal. This was something we have wanted to do for years and now it’s just a waiting game with when or if I will get pregnant. I mean, we went from a .01% chance to a 75% chance. That’s a HUGE difference, but we just have to wait and see.

I want to be a biological mother more than anything. I want to watch and feel a baby grow inside of me. I want to wear cute maternity clothes and take “bump” pictures galore. I want a gender reveal party and have adorable themed baby showers. I want to play those ridiculous baby games, and I totally don’t even care that I can’t have a sip of alcohol for nine months.

I want to hear a child call me “mommy” and I want to introduce myself as their mother and not their step mom. I’m not ashamed of being a step mom, but it’s not the same. The responses you get from parents aren’t the same. Everything is really different when you have a biological child verse having just step children.

I want to hear little footsteps running around the house again. I want to watch the munchkins hold their new baby brother or sister. I want to watch my husband hold our baby. I want a rocking chair so I can sing lullabies to him or her when they are fussy. I want to hear their first words and watch them try new foods for the first time. I want to be able to make parenting decisions with JUST my husband. I want to be able to parent and not worry about upsetting another household.  Most of all, I want to watch our amazing family grow.

I know there is no guarantee we will get pregnant, but we have a chance. Now we have a chance like every other married couple does. Our chances are 75%, and we will take that 75% over that crappy .01% any day of the week.

Throwback Thursday: E is for Evil Stepmother

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Who doesn’t love a good Throwback Thursday? Thursday’s I will write a post with a picture and a story attached or reblog a post I wrote awhile back! This week I chose to reblog a post I wrote during the A-Z Challenge! 

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Growing up I watched every single Disney princess movie made. I LOVED princess stories. I was my daddy’s little princess. So obviously I associated the word Stepmother with something wicked, scary, and EVIL. It was just embedded in my brain that if I ever had a stepmother, she would be evil. She would be horrible and I would hate her, because that is what happened in every fairy tale I read or watched.

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Think about it. There is Cinderella, she had her evil stepmother, Lady Tremaine, who was just flat out awful. Then there is the Evil Queen in Snow White, she tried poisoning her step daughter because she was jealous of how pretty she was.  Then there is Hansel and Gretel’s step mother who made her husband leave his kids in the middle of the woods with nothing more than a piece of bread, because well, she was a selfish bitch too.

In Chinese fairy tales, it is actually pretty common to find stories about evil stepmothers. There is one called Classic of Filial Piety, where an evil stepmother had two sons of her own and would make sure they were fed and clothed with warm winter clothes, but her poor step son, who lost his mother when he was young, was neglected and left to freeze.

There are Danish and German fairy tales where stepmothers hated their stepchildren just because they wanted the family inheritance. The creepiest of them all is a Korean folktale called Janghwa, Hongryeon. The step mother actually kills her two step daughters. It’s an actual MOVIE that was made in 2003. It’s called Tale of Two Sisters.

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I mean, come on people. Not all stepmothers are evil. We don’t ride on broom sticks and we aren’t going to make your life a living hell on purpose. All of these fairy tales weren’t really helpful when it came to meeting my munchkin’s friends when they were little. Can you imagine the look on their faces when they said “This is my stepmother.” Their friend’s eyes would be as big as saucers and just stare at me as if they were waiting for me to do an evil laugh.

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I’m not an evil step mama and the evil stepmother stories don’t really bother me anymore. But when I use to read the fairy tale stories to the kids when they were younger, I usually always skipped those ones. No need to fill their heads with ideas LOL.

What I would really love is for there to be fairy tales about the awesome step mamas. Like ones called “The Step Mama Who Saved the Day” or something along those lines. Hmm…maybe I’m on to something here!

So throw out those Evil Stepmother thoughts and forget what you were taught when reading those fairy tales. Not all step mothers are evil, all we really want is a little love and support. We are just as afraid as everyone else entering this blended family lifestyle.

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Throwback Thursday: School Edition

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Throwback Thursday is here! I love combing through my old photos and reminiscing the memories that come with them. Thursdays are dedicated to just that!

First Day of School

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The picture on the left is from two years ago when James was starting 2nd grade and Jordan was starting Kindergarten. The picture on the right is from last year when they were starting 3rd and 1st grade.

I can’t believe the first day of school is in five days! Looking back at these pictures of them makes me smile. Probably because who knows how much longer we have of these two being this close to each other with smiles on their faces long enough to take a picture. As you can tell the picture on the right says it all. His arms are pinned to his side and she’s all about the hug. This perfectly sums up their relationship.

Every year since James has started Kindergarten (preschool even I think) we have traditions we do as a family. It is something we all look forward to every year and I’m glad this year will be no different.

I remember both of these mornings so clearly. The day Jordan started Kindergarten I cried the entire way home. I had tears of joy. Our youngest, my little cuddle buddy the past two years since her brother started school, was off becoming a big girl and didn’t need my help one bit.

One of these mornings Jordan walked up to her classroom door and saw a little girl standing with her mom (petrified) and not in line. I looked over at Jordan and she was already walking over to the little girl. “Hi! I’m Jordan! Want to come stand in line with me? I really like your shoes!” A smile spread across the little girls face and she took Jordan’s hand and waited in line with her. Kids….us adults should take notes from the kindness that comes from children. So innocent and pure.

I’m excited for the new school year ahead for both of them! James is a 4th grader in a 4th/5th grade split class and Jordan is a sassy second grader with the same teacher her brother had two years before. I can’t wait to watch their minds expand and grow this year!

Throwback Thursday: Extra Credit

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Thursdays are dedicated to throwback posts or pictures I have found that triggered a funny, happy or even sad memory. It’s always fun to recycle old posts or to tell a story that I might not have told yet. Who doesn’t like reminiscing over old photographs?

Extra Credit

James is our oldest (8) and he is one smart and witty kid. He is mature beyond his years and loves to be a jokester. (I say this now, but ask me next week and I’m sure I might retract my statement) Over the years, his teachers have always told us what a pleasure he is to have in class and he quite the character in class. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or if the teacher is just sugar coating it, but that’s besides the point.

This past year he had a lot more homework and tests than the other years. He obviously kicked schools butt and did great, but he didn’t fail to amuse us along the way.

James is brilliant at math. Seriously, this kid loves numbers and figuring out math problems. I told him that writing and English class is more my forte so whenever that stuff comes around, I’m all his — but math…go ask your father.

Throughout the year the math tests would come home and I began to notice his teacher was adding on extra credit to the tests. I asked him if he knew what extra credit was and he said yes and I explained how important it was to do the extra credit, even if you didn’t know the answer. He asked what he should do if he didn’t know the answer and I told him just guess, but don’t ever leave it blank, because you just never know.

I was going over one of his tests one day after school and when I got to the extra credit, I couldn’t stop laughing.

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I mean….those are both true statements, right? AND he didn’t leave it blank!  LOL “I will not blow up.” “I will not get shoved in a locker.”

Well done, my son. Well, done. I see my sarcasm has rubbed off on you. I hope it doesn’t get you into too much trouble in the future!

Throwback Thursday: Make Up With Daddy

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Thursday is dedicated to previous posts or throwback pictures with stories. Some stories are serious, some are emotional and others have some humor to them. 

Make Up With Daddy

Jordan has always loved playing with make up and dressing up. When she was really little she would always ask Matt to play make up with her and he would tell her no every time. She would walk away with her head hung and ask me if she could put make up on me. I would say yes and that would usually perk her up a bit.

One evening I talked to Matt about the make up and dress up with Jo. “You know,” I told him, “she won’t want to spend time with her daddy in about 10 years, she will think you aren’t ‘cool’ anymore, if I were you, I would just embrace it all and just go all in — make up and all.”

He sat there and thought about it for a minute, acknowledged I was most likely right and said he would give in to some of it.

A few days later when the kids were back over,  Jordan asked Matt if he wanted to play with her, he said “what about dress up and make up?” Oh boy did her eyes light up like a Christmas tree. “ALL my make up?!” she asked, “All of your make up.” he responded.

They were in her bedroom at her vanity for a good 10 minutes and out emerged my glossy, sparkly husband with Jordan proudly walking behind him.

“Look how pretty Daddy is!”

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Her face is priceless. I think she was just as shocked as the rest of us were that he agreed to it all.

So fathers, play with your daughters. Play dress up, make up, belt out the lyrics to every Taylor Swift song with her and enjoy every second you get together. One day your little girl will be all grown up and “playing with daddy” will be a memory of the past. Soak it in. Show her real men play dress up and make up with their daughters. Show her that even if it’s something you DON’T want to do, you do it for her.

Now, these are times I’m thankful he doesn’t read my blog every day, because if he knew I posted this picture of him he would most likely kill me LOL.

This story is just another reason of why I married this man. He loves his children and he is a fabulous father. How many dads do you know would let their daughters put make up on them? Well, I’m lucky to be married to one of them.

Throwback Thursday: The Magic Wand

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Thursday is dedicated to throwback posts or pictures that have a meaning and story behind them. Over the past few weeks looking for old pictures has been a lot of fun because the memories have come flooding back like they happened yesterday. 

The Magic Wand 

About four years ago, Matt got a phone call from Stephanie (the kid’s mom) saying Jordan was in a lot of pain because her knee hurt and wouldn’t stop crying or screaming. Steph and Paul decided to take her to the hospital and would keep us updated. They released her shortly after and told us to ice her knee if it hurt and to walk around on it so it wouldn’t get stiff. No serious injury, but now that I think about it, it was probably just some major growing pains.

When the kids were dropped off at our house their mom mentioned that Jordan was favoring her opposite leg and limping. I began to assume Jordan must of loved all the attention she was getting from her “hurt knee” — being waited on hand and foot — having one on one attention from mom all weekend. So Jo waddled in and started complaining about her knee. I looked over at Matt and could see his patience with this was going to run thin since we all knew she was perfectly okay, she just needed to walk around normal on it.

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Jordan sitting with Matt on the couch, icing her knee and coloring with her daddy (2012)

I remember pulling Matt in the bedroom and telling him to just go along with what I was about to do. I told him to go out and distract her for a bit while I looked for the necessary objects I needed. I was knee deep in Jo’s dress up box, covered in glitter and feathery boas, when I found exactly what I was looking for!

I popped back out into the family room and whipped out a glittery magic wand. “Do you know what this is?” I asked her. “My magic wand!” she said. “Do you know the kind of magic powers this special wand has?” She stared at me with her eye bugging out of her head, “Well…I actually know a few magic spells that can make anything disappear, like how your knee hurts…I can make it magically go away with this wand right here!” She studied my face for a minute and I let her hold the wand to examine it, then she said, “Okay Jess, you can try now.”

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Thinking about it now, I’m sure I looked ridiculous spinning around in a pink tutu with a glittery wand, but I wanted to show her that it was all in her head. “Abra Ka Dabra Disappear!” I twirled the wand in a circle and bopped it on her knee. I picked her up and stood her on her feet and she began to walk normal. “You did it, Jess! It disappeared!” I looked over at Matt who was just looking at me jaw dropped. I gave him a quick little smile and went about the rest of the day, feeling like a freaking champ.

I remember not too long after that Jordan was back at her mom’s house and something happened to where she needed “the magic wand Jess has and the magic words.” Stephanie texted me and explained to me the situation and asked what the exact words I used because Jordan was demanding the exact words. LOL When she told me that, I had a smile plastered across my face. Again, this was four years ago, two years into me being a stepmom, so that was a huge victory in my book.

Now if you ever talk about injuries or getting hurt, Jordan never hesitates to remind all of us about the time she “broke her knee” but “Jess fixed it with her magic wand.”

Throwback Thursday: The Dark Side

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Thursdays are dedicated to previous posts or pictures with stories attached to them. Some serious, some happy and some funny — a little bit of everything!

The Dark Side

Every Spring Break (Easter Break) we take the kids down to Florida to visit Matt’s family. Some times extended family is there and some times they aren’t, but whatever the case may be we always have a great time together. A few of his family members all live in the same condominium complex, which makes it a lot easier for everyone to spend time together!

This past Spring Break we were down there the same time some of his family from Wisconsin was going to be there. Matt has one brother who is married and they have two young kids (my niece, just over a year old and nephew who is four). One night while Matt’s brother and sister-in-law were at work we were watching the kids over at their aunt and uncle’s condo. There was about eight adults and five kids ranging from baby to 8 years old. They were all settling down and busted out some Star Wars wash off tattoos. All the kids wanted one so we got them all tatted up. The only one missing a tattoo was my niece who is the baby. We all kind of joked around about putting one on her…then the joke turned into actually doing it. We picked out two pretty hilarious tattoos and popped them right on my niece who enjoyed every second of it.

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“The Dark Side” — we couldn’t stop laughing for a good 30 minutes. The kids all thought it was funny too, except Jordan. She actually cried and got very upset with us, telling us that Anna couldn’t defend herself so how would we know if she really wanted one or not?! I give her props for standing up for her little cousin, but this was more of a joke geared toward her aunt and uncle when they pick her up later that night.

Let’s just say we all had a good laugh about this and it’s a joke we still talk about with friends. This was probably hands down the funniest joke we’ve pulled on his brother. That’s what they get for getting the kid’s all those crazy toys for Christmas every year! LOL!

Throwback Thursday: The Letter to the Tooth Fairy

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Throwback Thursday is dedicated to posts I have written in the past or maybe a picture of something from awhile back with a story attached to it! 

The Letter to the Tooth Fairy

Over the past couple years the kid’s teeth have been falling out like crazy. Seriously, for awhile it felt like every other day at least ONE of them was losing a tooth. And it wasn’t like they were falling out at home, they were losing them at school. I have a nice little collection of those plastic tooth holders they send kids home with now a days. Anyways, one day Jordan comes galloping out of school with a smile plastered from ear to ear with an extra hole missing in her mouth. “Ahh..another tooth bites the dust huh?” — Without skipping a beat she told me all about how it fell out and yada yada. “Well, looks like the Tooth Fairy will be making a stop at our house tonight!” As I’m saying this I’m digging through my purse to make sure I had a dollar handy, and I do, score.

We get home and the kids get their folders out and Jordan hands me the plastic tooth holder from her backpack. “Here it is!” she said to me with another one of her big smiles. I opened up the container — and there wasn’t a tooth in there. She began to panic. “If I don’t have a tooth for the Tooth Fairy how will she know to stop here tonight?!” I told her to calm down and to retrace her steps and double check her backpack. After doing all of those things and still no tooth she sat on the couch with disappointment for a few minutes then got up and went to her room.

I felt horrible for her, but what was I going to say? “Hold on Jo, I have a few spare baby teeth you could maybe reuse with tooth holders to go with? And no I’m not the Tooth Fairy?!” — As I’m finishing up dinner Jordan walked into the kitchen and said, “Mom, I figured out what to do about the Tooth Fairy.” and she handed me this letter:

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Now, I don’t know about you, but I was impressed. This clever little six year old (at the time) came up with a solution to her problem all on her own, but none the less, it was hilarious to read. “but can I please still have something” — at least she didn’t say “can I have some money still?” AND she said please. How could the Tooth Fairy turn that down?

The next morning she woke up, came running out of her room, waving the dollar in her hand shouting, “IT WORKED!”

Moral of the story: When it doubt, write the Tooth Fairy a letter and make sure you use your manners.

TBT: Successful Co-Parenting Tips

My first Throwback Thursday post is of one of my previous posts. I compiled a list of successful co-parenting tips and by the end of it, I was very proud of my result. Enjoy!

Not the Average Mama

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Co-parenting is a tricky world to navigate around. There are a lot of people who love this child and want what’s best for them. Over the past six years I have learned different techniques and tips on how to be a successful co-parent. I may not be the biological mom in this situation, but I am a parent involved in helping raise two kids, so my voice and my actions matter too.

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Putting the Child’s Needs First:

You will be in awkward situations with the other parent at times, and tension might begin to rise, but look around you, the kids are watching you and they can feel that tension too. Check your ego at the door. Put your emotions, anger, and resentment aside and focus on what is best for your child. In the end this is why you are co-parenting in the first place, because this is what’s…

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