Zero.

Zero..jpg

I’m sitting here struggling with what I want to say. I am still trying to process all of the information that has been dumped on me in the past few days. I feel like I’m still sitting in the infertility office hearing my mom tell us (she’s a medical technologist and works with IVF patients, reversal sperm count patients, etc.), “This doesn’t look good, I don’t see anything at all.”

My heart sank right into my stomach and the tears began to fall down my cheeks. This terrible gut wrenching feeling was starting to take over my entire body.

Not one sperm was found. Not one. Nothing. Zero. Zilch.

How I pictured this year to go was just crumbled up like a piece of paper and tossed in the trash. All of my hopes and dreams were crushed in just ten words. Everything my mom and Matt were saying to me was going in one ear and out the other. My body felt like it was shutting down and all I could do was cry.

My life is not over, my family is healthy, and way worse things could be happening. I understand that, prepared myself for this, but still didn’t know I wasn’t going to have any control over how my body responded to this news. My emotions and feelings took over my entire body and I cried harder than I have in years.

Life isn’t fair. THIS isn’t fair. I have raised two kids as my own for the past seven years and put everyone else’s life before my own. Why is this happening to me? It’s not fair. I’ve done everything I’m suppose to do. I jumped hurdles that I never thought I would ever be able to as a step parent and a second wife. I overcame jealousy and resentment issues with my head held high, not letting it control me anymore. So why can’t I have the one thing I have ever wanted, a baby.

“It doesn’t mean they can’t figure it out and fix it.” I could hear my mom say to me, “I believe there is a blockage that they can find with an ultrasound and go back in and fix. There are so many more ways they can figure this out. We know his body can produce sperm, he has two kids already. It’s just finding out where the problem is.”

Yes, he does have two kids already. Every one of James and Jordan’s parents have kids already, except me. I’m the only one with no kids of my own. No one understands how this is making me feel right now, but me, because I am the only one that knows this feeling. I now again feel like I’m on a deserted island, alone.

Matt held my face, looked at me and said, “We are going to figure this out. You know that, right?” I nodded my head yes but to be honest, right now, I’m feeling extremely skeptical.

It didn’t help that every single person on my social media news feeds is pregnant or just had a baby. I swear every commercial, movie, and television show I turned on had a story line of a woman pregnant, struggling to get pregnant, or giving birth. It’s like the universe is laughing at me.

So here I sit wondering what this year will have in store for me, because as of right now it looks like I’m starting from scratch.

#StepMomWin

stepmomwin

There was freezing rain this morning. FREEZING rain. The news was on and the ticker on the bottom of the screen was reading off school closings. One by one all the major schools in southeast Michigan were closing.

I love the kids. I love when they are here and I don’t think I should feel bad for praying they had school today. They were off yesterday and just had a two week break from school for the holidays. While I understand we didn’t have them the full two weeks, they are still two elementary aged kids itching to release energy, at all times.

The kids are doing their snow day dances and hoping for another day off of school and I’m over on the couch, in my pajamas, with a list of things to-do, praying to all things holy that they have school.

Sure as shit. They have school.

1 point Mom

0 points Kids.

They were so mad about it. Oh they had angry faces on walking out the door and I kissed their little faces and told them to have a fabulous day at school! I was able to get the things on my to-do list done and laundry is in the process of getting finished. This is a total win for me today.

The big day is tomorrow. Indiana here we come. Before we told the kids about going to Indiana and explaining why we were going, Jordan told me she had a dream about me. “I had a dream that you were pregnant with a baby. It was really weird. One day you didn’t have a baby when you picked me up from school and the next time you had a baby with you and you said it was my baby sister.” I thought that was so strange. She had no clue about us going and that’s not a topic Matt and I talk about in front of them. I don’t know why but it gave me this positive feeling that things are going to be okay and everything is going to work out. Positive thoughts brings positive things into my life. I’ll take any positive vibe I can get!

I’m diffusing Frankincense today. I really needed a calming and relaxing feeling. I’m nervous and excited all at the same time. I need to find some level ground and keep my head from going into any negative thoughts. So we will see what kind of magic my essential oils can muster up today. 😉

Another Day in the Life of a (Step)Mom

stepmom

It’s quite the dreary day here in southeast Michigan. Cloudy skies with a mix of rain and sleet. It kind of makes you feel, blah. The kids helped me out this morning at work, well, they really helped everyone out. They were turning on the televisions and filling up all the ice bins. I’ve seriously never met any other kids who are as helpful as they are. The second they see someone doing a list of tasks, they always go ask if they need help. Every time I am cooking dinner, they wrap their arms around me and ask if they can roll up their sleeves too. It’s amazing and it’s one of the things I love about them. They are very aware of the help they can give to others.

I’m reminding myself of all those things because Jordan is really pushing my buttons right now. Like really getting in there with her pointy little fingers. Ever since I was finishing up at work she has been begging me to go to an arcade place. “Paaaaaahhhleeeaasseeeee can we go to Chucky Cheese or Dave & Busters?!!!? We NEVEEERRRRrrrrrrrr get to go there!!” After the 10th time of being asked I said, “Jo, we went to a lot of places to do fun things over break.” — Two minutes later, mumbling under her breath, “That’s still not fair.” Which of course makes my head snap back and look at her like, girl choose your next words very carefully. I mean, I just took them to AirTime, roller skating, to the movies, brunch, and out to dinner once. Like GUYS, I just spent most of my Christmas money on you over break, STOP and be APPRECIATIVE. Did I mention they have a double basketball arcade game and ski ball game in the basement that they got for Christmas? So I’m looking her dead straight in the eyes and ask her if there is anything she has to say since clearly she is mumbling under her breath. Her response was, “Well, Nana (their mom’s mom) is taking us to see a movie on Friday.” My immediate assumption (as a step mom) is that this little seven year old is trying to throw this in my face. All I could muster up was a smile and said, “That’s great, I hope you really enjoy that.”

Related image

James quickly came to my defense and told her that wasn’t very nice of what she said and all Jordan could say was, “Well it’s true.” Which I understand, it is true, but I felt like she was comparing me in that moment. Like Nana will take her some where fun and I won’t. I think if she was talking about my mom I wouldn’t be so jolted by this, but because she was talking about her mother’s mom, it stung a little more. After the conversation drew silent, off she went to her room and started blaring Taylor Swift “We are Never Ever Ever, Getting Back Together” while singing it through her microphone. I get it girl, you’re pissed at me. This isn’t the first or the last time something like this will happen. These are one of those feelings and emotions that come with being a step parent. I just have to let it go. Let it roll off of me like water off a ducks back. (gotta find the humor somewhere)

I remember seven years ago I wasn’t taking things so calmly. I would get so bent out of shape and start crying because they would say something that hurt my feelings, half the time they didn’t mean to, but other times I really believe they knew what they were saying in that moment. One time Jordan told me she hated me, she was like three and it made James and I both cry, which then made her cry, and Matt walked in wondering what the hell happened to the three of us. That was the only time though, but I know those years are coming and I need to start preparing myself now. As a mother, in general, you know your kids will always love you, as a step mom, things can be a little different. You never really know and at the end of the day, they don’t have to love me, they choose to love me. I hope over the course of their lifetime they continue to choose to love me. Even when I have to tell them no when they are older or take away their cell phones or car keys. I hope they know I am just being a mother and they can’t hold that against me. Oh if teenagers were only that understandable, right?

So here I sit on this dreary day listening to my daughter belt out angry Taylor Swift lyrics at me from her bedroom. I can’t help but giggle now though because she is so damn dramatic and maybe just to break the tension I will go blare and sing some Frozen in my room. That should make at least ONE of them laugh.

 

 

Reblog: Why I Can Never Show My Face at the Gym Pool Again.

Katey is a hilarious mommy blogger who wrote this horrific yet humorous post! Check her out! I’m really loving The Mother Octopus!

The Mother Octopus

I’m warning you. It’sa true story and it’s pretty gross.

I’d pretty much blocked out this entire incident until a friend asked for some info about my gym, including a question about the pool. And then I remembered. That pool. That goddamn pool.

It brought me right back to Spring 2010. My son was about 5 weeks old and I joined the local Gold’s Gym to train for a half marathonI’d signed up for that fall. I figured it’d be a great way to burn off the 40 lbs I put on while pregnant. It was a new gym, close to home, with daycare. Sign me up.

giphy Oh yay. I love exercise. Not an avid swimmer, I had no real intention of ever using that goddamn pool. I could swim as a means to NOT DROWN but there was no actual technique or grace involved. Regardless,a couple of weeks into…

View original post 1,036 more words

Betting on Me

betting-on-me

Essential Oils Diffusing Today: Joy (fresh cotton linen scent), Frankincense (woodsy with a hint of sweetness), and Purification (fresh and citrus clean).

Over the past week I have had a number or emails, comments, and messages from followers. I wanted to say thank you, thank you for your kind words and encouragement this past week as I revamp my blog. Your support means the world to me 🙂

A year ago tomorrow, I began blogging. I began this journey into finding my voice and work through my feelings and emotions of becoming a stepmom. I was six years into the stepmama gig and I was getting to a point where I felt like I was all alone. No one understood what I was going through. No one understood the different emotions I was experiencing, but the worst part was, I didn’t even know how to explain it to anyone else. I couldn’t get out in words how I was feeling. So instead, I alienated the people around me.

I signed up for the A-to-Z Challenge. If you are not familiar with the challenge, it is a fairly simple concept. Every day in the month of April (except Sunday) equals a letter of the alphabet. The 1st is A the 2nd is B and so on. Each day you write a post that begins with the letter and goes with an overall topic you pick for the month. (example: Last year my topic was Being a Stepmama, for B I did, B is for Beach and wrote a post about how our family loves to go to the beach). I planned for this challenge. I had a specific notebook dedicated to the alphabet each day and my ideas for every letter. This opened up the door for me to express my true feelings and explore the emotions I was going through with little prompts to help me.

I realized that I had felt unappreciated. I felt like I was being taken for granted and most of all I felt like I was constantly walking on egg shells with the kid’s mom and nothing I was doing was good enough. These were all feelings I had put in a little box and locked away, but what I didn’t realize was that it was going to continue to eat away at me until I confronted all the issues. Little by little I began to stand up for myself. I would say “No” instead of always saying, “Yes.” — I read a quote that made me stop dead in my tracks and think long and hard about how I was viewing the world around me. “Worrying is literally betting against yourself.”

worrying.png

I mean, it really is isn’t it? You worry you aren’t good enough to get something done. You worry people will be judging you. You worry if things will ever seem to fall into place. I had to change my way of thinking. If I was constantly worrying, how was I even living? Like actually LIVING life and enjoying life. A little after all of this realization is when I began with essential oils and like I’ve said before, they have changed my life in more ways then I thought they would. I researched the oils that would help ME with MY issues. I found new ways to meditate and relax with using oils. I found oils such as Frankincense and Joy that have changed my entire mood around by just applying a single drop behind my ears and inhaling them cupped around my nose. I began to relax and let things go. I didn’t sweat the small stuff and you know what…no one died, everything was okay and the world didn’t fall apart just because I had to relinquish control.

crankypants

Packing Up Christmas

Packing Up Christmas.png

In the diffuser: R.C. (woodsy blend with hints of ecualytpus) and Lemon

Today was the day we took down all of the Christmas decorations. When we do this we usually dedicate the day to pajamas, cleaning, and relaxing. I usually make it a point to do it right before they go back to school. Kind of like a clean fresh start in the house equals a clean fresh start to the new year at school.

The kids are currently in our bed watching some kid shows. We don’t usually let them in our bedroom to watch TV but I thought why not! It’s the last day of their break before they head back to the grueling world of 2nd and 4th grade, so why not spend it divulging in television in bed?!

This break is coming to a bitter sweet end. In years past I have been dying for them to go back to school, but now that they are older, I’m gonna miss my little sidekicks all day. I guess it’s back to conversations with the dog! Well, maybe not so much. It will be back to work for me once they go back to school.

I took the kids to brunch yesterday! We’ve never done brunch together because we usually aren’t together on Saturday or Sunday, but this week we were and it just so happened to be the first weekend World of Beer started serving brunch. I was amazed at how many kids were in there! Kind of makes you not feel so bad taking your kids into a tavern LOL My excuse is “their Dad is the General Manager/my husband” 😉

I’ve been on my Instagram a lot this past week! I’m really loving how easy it is to use. If you aren’t following me yet, take a look at my social media icons and give them a follow!

socialmediapost

Well, looks like it’s back to movies and cuddling before the day is through. I don’t have to worry about dinner because I have the crockpot going with Chicken Taquitos. Mmmmm! Happy Sunday!

Goodbye Toxins, Hello Healthy Living

goodbye-toxins-hello-healthy-living

Every day the kids are here they argue over who gets to pick out the essential oils and put them into my diffuser. James usually goes for the calming oils like Stress Away (lime and vanilla), Frankincense, Thieves, and Lavender. Jordan goes straight for the citrus and fresh smelling oils like Lemon, Joy (reminds me of fresh citrus linens), Peppermint, and Tea Tree. I think the oils they pick really says a lot about who they are and how they feel, and if you knew these two you would totally get why they like the smells of each one.

eos

Essential Oils. They have been around for centuries but not in the way we are seeing them now. I personally use the Young Living brand of oils because they just work better for me and my family. I have never been a real believer in all natural remedies or “riding out” a sickness. My mom is in the medical field and medicine was how all our sicknesses, aches, and pains were solved. I had been eyeballing essential oils for the past year and for Mother’s Day I got my very first starter kit with 13 different essential oils and essential oil blends (Blends are different single based oils all put into one bottle). I was more stoked about how they smelled. I really didn’t think too much into how to make them help our family in our daily lives.

I live in Michigan and the winters here can get extremely cold. Which in return gives me a massive headache. I would pop three tylenol or advil every few hours to subside the pain. It just became a routine of mine every winter. My girlfriend who sold me my oils told me to try Peppermint oil on my temples and behind my ear when my headache would start. The next time a headache came on I put the Peppermint where she told me to and within 10 minutes my headache was gone. Poof. Like magic. You’ve got to be kidding me. I couldn’t believe that a simple oil could take away my headache faster than a pill and not to mention I’m not putting toxins in my body.

I started to read about each of the oils and did research on what they could do to help me and my family. I found out that my Thieves oil that James loves so much kills 99.9% of bacteria and can be used as a cleaning disinfectant. The Joy oil that Jordan always picks out helps lift your mood and kick the cranky feeling. The list goes on and on but essential oils can pretty much be substituted for all toxic products that you use.

everyday

A month ago we had an instance where Jordan had lice. We didn’t know she had lice and her mom and I both thought she just had a dry scalp. (It is winter and all) When we got home from dinner that night I decided to do a coconut oil and tea tree oil treatment on her hair for the dry scalp. I went downstairs to switch over the laundry and when I came back up I looked over at Jordan and she had tiny bugs crawling down her forehead. I screamed. (of course I screamed, I know, real grown up Jessica) Which in return made Jordan scream, Matt about lost his mind, and James started to inch further away from his sister on the couch. We got a magnifying glass and looked at the bug close up. It was lice. But wait a minute. What made the lice start running out of her hair? Low and behold it was the Tea Tree oil mixed with the coconut oil. I called my girlfriend and she was amazed at how quickly the Tea Tree oil worked. Come to find out, Tea Tree oil suffocates lice and kills them within minutes.  We continued with the essential oil treatment until the morning, then I bought the lice shampoo with the comb. When I began to go through her hair I couldn’t find anymore live lice. I think I found like one more, but that was after combing through her hair for THREE hours. The Tea Tree did it’s job and I didn’t HAVE to dump the lice shampoo on her head but per everyone else’s request, I did. After that instance, not one person in this house questions the powers of Mom’s essential oils.

My favorite experiment with essential oils was adding Cedarwood oil to my shampoo. No matter how hard I try I cannot grow my hair out. I have very fine hair and it ends up just looking stringy when I try for a long do. I read on Pinterest that if you add a few drops of Cedarwood oil to your shampoo when you wash it, it will promote healthier hair growth. To me, this was the ultimate essential oil test. A month went by and my hair not only felt healthier but it felt thicker and was growing! It usually takes a full year to see a difference in my hair length and within a few month my friends were commenting on how amazing my hair looked. They were right too, my hair had a total transformation and I owed all the credit to my Cedarwood oil.

cedarwood

I’ve been wanting to write a post about essential oils for awhile now. I have seen them work right before my eyes and I honestly can’t tell you the last time I took a pill or medicine for a headache, body ache, hair growth, cold, or even cramps. I use my essential oils religiously, and they work! I’m not trying to sell you anything but I wanted to let you in on a secret I feel like I know about.

Does anyone else use essential oils? What oils are your favorite? What are your testimonies?! Have you been on the fence about oils but don’t know where to start? Tell me more!

 

Seven Years Ago

seven-years-ago

Seven years ago, I met a man who had two kids. Two little kids. Two little kids under the age of three. I was 22 years old and I had NO idea what I was getting myself into. When I think back to those early years I remember all the different emotions I was going through. But most of all, I remember the anxiety.

I literally had no idea what I was doing. There was no handbook or crash course on how to raise kids that aren’t biologically your own. I was in my early twenties, head over heels in love with a man I couldn’t imagine my life without, and I had no clue where to begin on raising little munchkins into upstanding citizens of the world. Talk about instant anxiety.

I remember the first time I drove the kids in the car without Matt there. I was taking James to preschool which was literally a mile and a half from the house. I strapped in their car seats, which was like figuring out rocket science, and triple checked my work. Forty five minutes later everyone was buckled, clipped, strapped, and tied in for the mile and a half ride. “Now I actually have to drive…with them in the car….alone.” Well what if something happened in that mile and a half drive? What if I get in an accident? What if someone slips out of their car seat? What if they both start screaming, I lose concentration and slam into a telephone pole?! Not only would I be devastated, but Matt AND Stephanie will kill me. I was honestly terrified. Thinking back on that now, I laugh at how anxious I got over such a little thing because look at how far I have come. But at the time they were legit fears and I did my best not to let it show.

I had anxiety ALL the time. I worried if they were eating the right foods. I worried if they took a long enough nap. I worried if they were feeling okay and not getting sick. I worried about diaper rashes and how to fix it when it happens. I worried about if they were going to like me, heck I worried if they would ever LOVE me. I worried about their mom. I worried about what she thought of how I was raising the kids. I worried she thought I would fail or I was failing. Every night before I went to bed those thoughts would begin to rush through my head. Pretty much I was a big ‘ol worry wart and I needed to find some common ground fast. Which is exactly what I did.

Image result for anxiety cartoon

I started Googling stepmom blogs and stumbled across a few blogs that I connected with. I thought, “What an amazing thing these women are doing. They are sharing their stories and helping other stepmoms through these difficult and hard times. I wish I could do something like that.” So here I am, seven years later, starting my journey helping out fellow stepmoms on navigating their way through this crazy, beautiful, and blended life. I won’t have all the answers but I hope that through my experiences and bits of advice I can help just ONE fellow stepmama out there who just realized she has no idea what she got herself into.