The worst fail thus far.

Ryan was off to S.E.R.E School for 3 weeks with no contact with our family.  During this time my mother and I planned every minute with the boys to keep us all busy, to get out and have adventures. We also had lots of visitors during this time. First my Aunt and her family came to visit from Florida. They stayed at a cabin here and base and we had so much fun just spending our days together. Next up, Ryan’s brother and his wife were coming to visit. The boys were all worn out from their time with my family and we only had one day to refresh the house and replenish the fridge before the arrival  of our next guest.

Forrest had gone to school that day and come home a little cranky. He was tired and out of sorts but there was no time to argue, we had to go to the grocery store. Now Forrest is my predictable, well behaved, mild mannered child. Even a grumpy Forrest is generally tolerable. I had my purse loaded with bribery tools and set Forrest and Walker in my moms cart with the OddBods playing on my phone with I loaded my own cart with supplies.

Just as my cart reached capacity, Forrest lost his patience and began whaling on Walker in the cart. I swiftly pulled him out of the cart, stood him on his feet and told him firmly that he would have to walk now. Then some demon spirit took over the body of my sweet boy and in the dairy aisle of Walmart he grabbed me by my braid and began hitting me and kicking me in the shins.

I was burning inside. I was well aware of all the eyes on us and I knew I had to act fast to calm the beast. I scooped him off for a time out in the bathroom while my mom stood shocked with two full grocery carts and two kids. Forrest is big for 4. He’s 4 ft and 40 pounds and I don’t work out. Never liked lifting weights. Carrying a tantrum throwing Forrest through Walmart was not an easy task. I have said it before and I will say it a million times over; if there is one thing I wish someone would have explained to me before I had kids, it would be how much such a small person can hurt you physically.

The restrooms are right in the front of the store near all of the check out lines. The acoustics are incredible. Unfortunately, Forrest was not signing A Capella, he was screaming like I was ripping him limb from limb. I remained calm. I tried talking softly and saying things like “I know see that you are upset. I know grocery shopping is now fun. ” The beast raged on. He threw every roll of toilet paper into the toilet. I tried bribery. “If you help me check out I will let you pick a piece of candy out.” He threw a great right hook to my cheek and began pulling at all my clothes. I got a little firm “This is unacceptable behavior. We are finishing our shopping and you are going to bed tonight without tv time.” He attempted to break the baby changing station. I gave him a warning “If you continue this destructive behavior I will spank you.” I did NOT want to do this. There was a constant buzz of activity inside the restroom and I knew everyone was waiting to hear what I would do. The behavior continued and I gave him a swat to the rear. The response was just as I had imagined. It was like watching a volcano erupt.

This had gone on for what felt like eternity but I am pretty sure was about 20 minutes. I could not rack my brain enough to find the right answer. I was in complete shock. He had never behaved this way.  I gave up. Exhausted I dragged him through the store in search of my mom and other two children. I had two employees stop and ask me if I needed any help. I am certain they were concerned I was trying to abduct this child the way he was thrashing about, but I was more concerned about my own safety.

When I finally found my mother she offered to take Forrest to the car while I took the other two boys and two carts and checked out. As Walmart lines usually are, it was slow moving. Walker played on my phone while we waited so I did not realize my mom was trying to call me until he started to complain that his movie wasn’t working any more. When I finally answered she was completely panicked. “Forrest is gone” she said.

I remained completely calm while I got out of the check out line and met her. He had run off in his tantrum and she lost site of him. It had been at least 5-10 minutes. I was confident that he was in the store and we would find him. Everyone has a story like this. I used to hide in the clothing racks from my mom. She took Walker and started shouting his name down every aisle. I stopped every employee asking if they had seen a tall 4 year old in a neon yellow t-shirt. They put an employee at every entrance to make sure he didn’t leave the building. We searched every aisle twice. I started to panic. What if he made it outside before there was an employee at the door to see him. I took Leo out to the parking lot to search around. The realization hit me. If he made it out of the building, there was no telling where he was. I thought to myself I would have to call and pull Ryan out of S.E.R.E to ell him I had lost one of our children.

When I came back in the building hysterical, a manager told me it had been over 20 minutes and it was time that I called the police. I dialed 911 and spoke to a dispatcher who told me to stay on the phone until the police officer met me at customer service. I silently prayed while I waited. Finally an employee came running and shouting that they had found Forrest.

I was so overwhelmed when we were reunited. I have never felt so relieved in my life. I was also in complete shock and honestly, a little angry with Forrest. I scooped in him up in my arms and told him I was glad he was ok, thanked the nice people of Walmart and ditched two carts of groceries for Little Ceaser’s Pizza and drove home.

I learned in important life lesson that day. I am now the parent of a four year old. He has his own mind and makes his on decisions and I can guide him but I can NOT CONTROL another human being. This is a terrifying thing to accept.

Some of you may be reading this and judging the decisions I made that day, that’s ok. I am new to being the mom of a four year old and every day is trial and error and I go to sleep each night knowing that I tried my best. Also, I bet that means you have never been in this situation and for that I am thankful for you. If you have any advice for me I happily take kindly directed constructive criticism.

Some of you may be reading this and reliving some similarly horrifying experience that you have had with your own children. Know, that you are not alone. I hope this is like chicken pox and once we have lived through it we do not have to repeat it. I stressed over and over to Forrest that evening how scary it must have been for HIM to be lost and alone. I make him repeat the story to others and tell them how scared he was , hoping that what he remembers most was how he felt and how he never wants to feel that way again.

What is most important at the end of the day is that Forrest is safe and sound with us at home and I am once more reminded of how precious my children are and how thankful I am to have them. God is great at keeping that in the forefront of my mind.Children are a heritage from the Lord Psalm 127

“Children are a heritage from the Lord”     Psalm 127 

Love Loss and Life in Alabama

I met Ryan 12 years ago and life has been a whirlwind ever since. It’s gone by in the blink of an eye. I thought finding the right person and getting married was called settling down but we have never been in one spot for long. Ryan likes to chase big dreams and I like to chase Ryan. 


Twelve years with one person, especially when meeting so young is not without its difficulties. Add basic trainings and deployments and job changes and typical life changes, school and financial struggles, and then there’s starting a family and you’re bound to have some less than happy times. I’m not going to sugar coat it, we have been in lots of high stress times and I don’t handle stress well, but just when I think, we could never get though this, we do and I love him all the more! There is no one else I’d rather go through this crazy life with.

2017 has been no different than the past 12 years as far as that whirlwind norm. We started the year renting our home, living with the inlaws, moving to a whole new state and starting flight school. Our plan was to ride our flight school without any surprises and head back home in 2018 as a family of five. God has other plans. We were shocked, but nevertheless thrilled, that 3 days after moving into our new home in Alabama we discovered we were pregnant!

It’s amazing how quickly a body recognizes new life. I was nauseas way before that line turned pink. I instantly start eating everything in sight and throwing it all up. My kidneys kicked into over drive and I was up 3 times a night to pee. I needed naps when the kids needed naps. If the body reacts to new life this quickly the heart and mind are right on track! I loved this baby instantly! And just one week later we were shopping for minivans to fit our growing family. Ryan stayed up all night reworking our budget and I put together a plan to work until the baby came so that we could save. I shared the news with family and friends immediately because I like to share happy news and I like all the support, prayers and good vibes that I can take during a pregnancy. 


I went for my first OB appointment a few weeks later and she used a hand held ultrasound machine in here office and told me I was measuring 6 weeks but the baby was too small to get exact dates and to come back in two weeks for a full scale ultrasound. At my 8 week ultrasound the gestational sac measures 8 weeks but it was empty. There was no cute little baby bean inside. Just a big black empty hole. The Doctor came in and told me that it looked like I had miscarried but that she was conservative and would check another ultrasound in one week just to be certain. 

In the mean time I grieved over a baby that I lost. Then I got angry that my body still FELT PREGNANT! What a betrayal!!! Why was I hungry and tired and emotional? Why did I pee and puke all the time ? For nothing! Then I was hopefully full of denial. I wasn’t cramping or bleeding. I had gained weight and I had all the signs of pregnancy. I filled my brain with online blogs about women who were told they had miscarried early on but it turned out at a later ultrasound that they were just wrong about their dates! If I was a couple of weeks earlier than I thought the baby might not yet be visible on an ultrasound. It could happen! 

At my repeat ultrasound one week later there was still no baby. The Doctor explained that the baby likely had a chromosome abnormality and stopped developing so early on that its little body wasn’t even visibly on the ultrasound. My body did not recognize that there was no live fetus and continued to grow it’s home. I grew a gestional sac measuring ten weeks for no baby. I gained 6 pounds. In the 6 weeks that I had known I was pregnant I built a dream, a life, revolving around my family of six. Now that dream and that life were gone. 

I had a D and C two days later. The Doctor had suggested there was too much “tissue” to pass at home and likely I would need to come in for the surgery even if I tried to pass it naturally. Honestly, I didn’t want to pass it naturally . I have 3 children under 4 and I can’t even pee alone. I did not want to go through this painful, emotional , medical, rollercoaster with them at home. I wanted to be asleep. Even though I had never had any type of surgery before and the thought of being “asleep” also terrified me.  The night before my surgery I cried to Ryan asking him what his plan was if I spontaneously died on the operating table, even though I am a nurse and I know that a D and C is a very typical outpatient surgery. When I finally fell asleep I dreamt of one of my favorite people my Aunt Debbie. The next morning I woke up and my daily verse on my Bible app. was a verse I had shared with Debbie before she checked in to hospice. When I arrived at the hospital the sweet nurse who checked me in was Bettie, a nickname my children had given to Debbie. I knew everything was going to be fine. 


So now I am in the healing process. I feel physically fine. Most of the time I feel emotionally fine. I think I’m currently feeling more grateful than ever for the 3 boys and 1 man that God has already blessed me with. Some times I am not so fine. Strange things bring on breakdowns, like a jar of Prego spaghetti sauce in the grocery aisle.  I know that God has a purpose for everything , even heartbreak, and I know that his plan for me and my family is good, so I go on. 

And going on we have been! I want to end this post on a happy note! We have been celebrating the life we do have here in Alabama by exploring the world around us!  Here are some of the fun things that we have been doing! 

Playing with chickens and donkeys at Landmark Park
Ice cream from the old time Soda Shoppe
Breaking in to Two By Two Petting Zoo
Montgomery Zoo
Forrest’s first day of Pre School
Gator watch at Lake Eufaula
Ice cream celebration for poop on the potty
Scooter ride around Beaver Lake
 

No matter what the plan is I am thankful for my family and friends and this current life here in Alabama. Thank you all for your love and support! 

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (‭Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭6-7‬ NLT)

The war on puke poop and snot

The soldiers around us might be prepping for the Russian Invasion but here in this house I am battling a different enemy. We have seen the flu and some crazy GI malady and for a week Leo has been flowing a steady fountain of snot from his nose. In the midst of all of this I am trying to potty train Walker. He is doing a stellar job with the #1 portion of this. However, the battle of pooping on the potty wages on. I feel as though I have done nothing other than clean up other people’s body fluids for two weeks now. This soldier is running low on ammo and energy. I’m calling for back up. 

However, I have been blessed in the fact that it seems to hit one child at a time. This is a blessing and a curse because inevitably that means the two well children are stuck in the house and often lacking a little attention. 
There have been times of reprieve where we have been able to enjoy the beautiful weather and our new surroundings. There are two lakes here on post. Beaver Lake has some beautiful paved hiking paths. My fail of the week occurred when I decided to not look at the map before I set out with my mother and 3 children under the age of four on a 2.5 mile hike. It was a fun adventure that last about 3 hours but thankfully everyone held it together until we were five minutes from the car . 

I’m learning a lot about myself in the two weeks we have been here. I seem to have some self esteem issues and this weird need to be accepted. Not sure where that comes from. I feel very out of place here. Definitely like everyone is looking at us like we don’t belong. I feel like I’m constantly breaking rules that I don’t know exist. Ryan assures me I am being paranoid. I also feel a little trapped. To go anywhere off post takes 20-25 minutes. This is not a quick trip to and from with three kids. So we haven’t really left other than our exciting trip to urgent care where Forrest was diagnosed with the flu. 

Ryan’s schedule has been nice so far. He leaves before 6am and comes back to shower and have breakfast after PT then he heads backnout for classes. He gets to come home for lunch and is home by dinner. We have a nice little routine going now. He says that he will be home less as he progresses in his classes so I’m mentally preparing myself for that. Nothing we haven’t done before! I plan to take advantage of his less hectic schedule and start venturing out for fun day trips !

I’ve been staying up late working on my Younique business in effort to avoid getting a nursing job while we are here. In the mean time I am applying for a temporary liscense to nurse her in Alabama. Also looking into sending the big kids off to preschool. Every day the school bus stops right in front of our dining room window while we eat breakfast and they run to say goodbye to the kids headed off to school. Forrest is very excited! 

Isaiah 12:2 I trust you to save me, Lord God, and I won’t be afraid.

Adjusting to Army life

Getting adjusted has had its ups and downs. We have all been battling respiratory and GI infections. Our new house is big and beautiful and also covered in puke, poop, and snot. Walker has even christened the playground. I’m beginning to wonder if they would just give us a new house.

We are down to the last few boxes inside the house to unpack. We finally got the internet up and running. Ryan has been hard at work hooking up our $125 dryer (we had to buy an electric, couldn’t hook up our gas one from home). He has also been hanging all my home decor and organizing our garage. Our garage will likely be for storage and instead of cars. I blame this on a certain someone who decide to bring 400 wooden blocks, 1000 Lincoln logs and a huge wooden train set. Hint, this wasn’t me. I also blame the person who packed 3 of the largest availabale cardboard moving  boxes with shoes . Hint. That was me !

We are also adjusting to the sites and sounds of living on post. We are very near the landing field so you see and here the helicopters all day and night. You can also here gunfire and mortar rounds. That takes a little more getting used to. It’s not normal to go to sleep hearing those things. I feel like I should be taking cover !img_0295

I have a lot to learn surrounded by all these men in women in uniform. I’m not sure who is who and how to address anyone so I really don’t talk much at all and try to avoid eye contact. Anyone who knows me knows this is highly unusual for me. Maybe this would be a good exercise in restraint. That and the fact that we are right on top of our neighbors and the weather is nice enough for windows to stay  open so I yell at the children a lot less. Speaking of children , the boys have a lot of learning to do here as well. I feel like it’s definitely frowned upon to have your 3 year old running amok hiding in the aisles of the commissary. I foresee a sideways glance a two when my 4 year old shouts “you idiot!” At his brother. From here on out it’s all yes ma’am, no sir and parade rest! I’m getting these kids squared away!

But I haven’t just yet. This weeks parenting fail is brought to you by Walker

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Why does he think the microwave is a good place to store this baby doll?

Baby steps I guess. The first step is getting this house in order, the next adventure is navigating Tricare Insurance and the on post health clinic. Stay tuned!

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Car trips and chaos

     Tuesday morning Ryan and I woke before dawn to finishing packing the car and prep the kids for take off. Ryan insisted on starting the trip off with a healthy breakfast so he made eggs and bacon while I ran around like a chicken with my head chopped off. 

     Once my mom arrived we were ready to go. I thought I was so ready to be in my own home again but the goodbyes with my inlaws were way harder than I had anticipated. After living with them for nearly one month we had gotten into such a wonderful routine that I couldn’t imagine how I was going to bathe the kids or who was going to watch Curious George with us before bed. Who would take the boys to breakfast on the weekend? After a few tears were shed and hugs and kisses doled out we were one our way.

     My mother and I drove the truck with the 3 boys and Ryan drove our Edge solo. While he listened to pod casts on how to be a billionaire I listened to a lot of whining. We had a great first 3 hours! We set a timer for every 30 minutes and when the timer went off the boys got to unwrap a prize. We stopped in Columbus Indiana at Kids Commons to left everyone  get the crazies out. It was a blast! Walker loved the bubbles and Forrest liked getting flushed down the big toilet by the older kids.

     After Kids Commons we hopped on over to Zaharakos for lunch. I just love old soda shop feel and the mechanical music. The ice cream is heavenly and all the wood and marble decor is gorgeous! We enjoyed lunch, a little museum tour, some music and a sundae before we hit the road again. So far we were NOT failing this trip! 

     The next leg of the trip took a more challenging turn. We had to make 3 stops within the first hour or so because a certain passenger was experience some digestive issues. Actually, one child in our car and also Ryan. We persevered and continued with prizes and watching our mascot Speedy bounce around the dash. 

     Less than one hour from our hotel destination for the night in Nashville Walker started vomiting. I was certain he was carsick. He has been in the past. The noises were monstrous and the smell horrendous. Walker was puking and Forrest was screaming “It stinks! I’m gonna puke!” And Leo was wailing because was over it all. We pulled over at a gas station and this is where the failure kicks in. I was not prepared for vomit. Ryan was miles ahead of us and I had no clean clothes or cleaning supplies. Just a screaming crying half naked child in the parking lot of a gas station. I noticed a couple of cars drive slowly past to assess the situation. I am sure they thought we were kidnappers.

     Eventually ryan made it back to us and he helped clean up Walker while my mom and I scrubbed and sanitized as best we could with wet wipes and hand sanitizer. Almost an hour later we were back on the road only to have Walker puke in the parking lot in front of the hotel. But we all made it safely and we were all together.  

Day two: The home stretch

     Day two was slow moving because it turns out Walker was not carsick but SICK sick. Up all night with fever and chills moaning. We finally got on the road and drove to Birmingham without major incident for a lunch break. We stopped at Chick-Fil-A to let the kids play and eat. The weather was beautiful and sunny and nearly 70 and I stuck out like a sore thumb in my all black leggings shirt and knit ugg boots. I was surrounded by southern bells with accents and I was in a state of culture shock. We rolled on. Next stop

Sweet home Alabama:

     Or not. My frugal husband booked us a room in a seedy motel outside of our new home location. I was beyond distraught. The place wreaked of cigarettes. There were burns on the furniture. Our barefoot baby and black soles and the pack and play they provided was covered in stains and I’m pretty sure mold. I tried to keep my cool. Forrest was no running a fever and complaining about his stomach. Leo and Walker ended up sleeping in bed with me. I tossed and turned.

    Bright and early Ryan left to sign the lease, get the keys, and meet the movers. We stayed back with the kiddos because they were not feeling well and we wanted them to get some rest. We enjoyed some cable tv , the only good thing this place had to offer. 

    That afternoon we made it to our new home for the next year or so. It will definitely be an adjustment living on an army base. As I am writing this there are helicopters and gunfire I can here. Early this morning I heard loud humvees driving past my window. I think it’s beautiful here though. The woods and the weather. I hope this will be a good experience for my boys, seeing all these role models walking around in uniform. We are in a neighborhood with lots of other children and every time we step outside Forrest says hi to everyone. It will be so great for him. 

     Ryan has some down time to help us unpack and get settled. We are on the hunt for a dryer (we cannot use our gas dryer from home) and a microwave. Unpacking is fun and tideous all at the same time. This house feels much bigger than our home in Indiana and I told Ryan he will have a difficult time getting me to live in anything small next time. 

     We had a neighbor introduce herself right away and I clammed up. This is all so new to me. I’m nervous I don’t belong because I’m not a full time active duty army wife. I don’t know ranks and abbreviations and all the lingo. I’m learning about things like Revelry and Retreat and I know I’m bound to screw something up. But hey every failure is an opportunity to learn something new. So here’s to new adventures in military life! Wish us luck! 

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.

FAILING.DAILY.

Welcome! My name is Sarah. I am many things. I am sometimes a Nurse (at least that’s what I have a degree in), I am a makeup junkie and Younique Presenter, I am the daughter to an amazing woman, mother to my own brood of boys, and striving to be a supportive military wife.

Here is what I am not. I am NOT talented. I have a husband who succeeds at everything he sets his mind to. I have a sister in law who has a way with words and writes superb short stories. I also have a photographer sister who actually had to set this site up for me so that I could “just blog”. I fail at a lot of things in life but I am learning not to take myself so seriously. In fact, lots of my daily failures are pretty humorous. So humorous that I wanted to take the time to document them as memories and share them with others. So here I am, a blogging woman!

So today, like most, I failed at parenting. It’s a daily occurrence. Proof of my failure as a parent was that these were things I had to say :

  • “Don’t put candy on your penis”
  • “You have a finger nail caught in your arm hair”

These were things my children said to me:

  • “I have poop on my finger”
  • “I peed in the bath tub”
  • “I want the chocolate applesauce” (his way of making pudding sound healthy)

I also failed at being a good house guest. For the past 3 weeks we have been living in limbo with my in laws. We moved out of our home in the beginning of January so that we could rent it out while we were in Alabama while Ryan, my husband, goes through flight school starting February 1st. It’s tough, living with someone else. I am not sure what is worse, living in someone else’s personal space, or having someone live in yours. My in laws are practically saints and I am a hot mess 24/7. No denying it now. Over the past 3 weeks they have seen my true colors. It’s not pretty.

I have learned that a mother is a mother forever and I am blessed with the greatest mother in law on Earth. I believe this because I feel we have so much in common. However, it’s hard to BE mothered at 31 and often I think my need to be independent could be misconstrued as ungratefulness and  therefor I failed at being a grateful house guest. I hope my in laws can look past this chaotic time and love me still. Perhaps a little distance will make the hearts grow fonder again.

Tomorrow we start our road trip to Alabama. My own mother will be traveling with us and staying for an undetermined amount of time. I am praying I don’t fail her as a gracious hostess during this stressful time. Another thing I fail at continually, coping with stress. Our current travel plan is to wake up early, drive 3 hours, break for lunch and a few hours of play, drive 3 hours and stay at our halfway point over night. We will repeat the following day until we reach our final destination.

My mother and I have prepared small wrapped gifts for the boys to open every half hour in the car to keep them entertained along the way. There are also lots of snacks available. There will be a cooler full and Diet Coke and Snickers bars to help me maintain my sanity as well. Praying I don’t fail as a good driver tomorrow.

Speaking of prayers. Here is the thing about failing. I believe in God who blesses me with a new day, every day. No matter how I fail, God’s grace covers me. I am incredibly thankful for my failures. Failures make memories to laugh at and experiences to learn from. I am excited to share them with you along the way!

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“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning” Lamentations 3:22-23