Category Archives: Single Mom

Big Sister Love

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Having siblings is definitely a gift.  There is nothing quite like having another human in the world that comes from who and where you do.  No one in the world could possibly understand things in quite the same way or share your world view the way a sibling does. For me, I won the sibling lotto with my BigSister, Anita. She is ten years older than me which made for a unique bond for us, one that became stronger as time passed and our age difference became less significant.  I was only 8 years old when she moved out of our family home and started college. I remember sitting in her room the day after she moved out and crying, my mom came in and she was teary eyed too.  I just knew that I would miss her, I could not have possibly understood the emotions my mom was feeling at the time, but I knew that something was now missing and it was sad.

As the years passed my BigSister continued to be awesome in every way. Always making  a point to celebrate me in any and every way that she could. A ten year age difference meant that she was older and wiser and crossed every bridge before I even knew they existed. What a challenge for her to witness someone she loved so much making so many of the same mistakes that she might have made and/or making all new ones that she could most certainly have helped me avoid. She definitely shared her wisdom with me, but she did so knowing our shared inherent stubbornness would mean I would be choosing to disregard good solid advice in order to learn my lessons my own way aka THE HARD WAY! She accepted this dynamic with grace and just chose to make sure I knew that she was always available for listening and love no matter how things unfolded. Having unconditional love in ones life from even just one person is the ultimate gift and I most certainly have it with my sister.

This past year my life unraveled in a multitude of ways and in times like that, your support system becomes your lifeline and your gratitude for your tribe starts to become the most important driving emotion.  It’s reassuring to know that you must have done some things right thus far if you can have everything fall apart and still know that you are loved and taken care of by those that you were blessed to be blood related too and also those that you have chosen to keep in your life. I am so fortunate to not only have all the incredible aspects of sisterhood in Anita, but also the gift of friendship.

Mothering a toddler is hard work, mothering a toddler whilst 9 months pregnant is VERY hard work, mothering a newborn whilst recovering from a c-section and mothering a toddler is INSANELY hard work…. Thanks to my sister, I only had to tackle two of those three on my own.

Some times the greatest gifts in life aren’t things that can be wrapped up and tied with a bow, they look more like, love, loyalty and TIME. My sister, without me asking or expressing need decided that I needed her and she was right. She set her life aside, her job, her husband, her home and her holiday season to be there for me for the birth of Holden and for the first month of his life.  A month that included the birth of my second son, the 2nd birthday of my first son and all things Christmas! This month would have been crazy intense even without the birth of Holden but it whizzed by with so much more ease than would have ever been possible without her help!

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Help doesn’t really even begin to cover it, but here are just some of the things that she handled for me while she was here, many of which had nothing to do with just helping with the babies but also helping me to get my life and home together!

she….

Helped to organize years worth of baby clothes, installed a hanging rack, helped me get ready for my hospital stay, was there for the birth of Holden, stayed with me for the entirety of my hospital stay helping me with pain management, diapering and feedings, installed car seats, drove me home from the hospital, chauffeured me to all of mine and the babies appointments for the month and anywhere else I needed or wanted to go, grocery shopped, cleaned house, cooked, did laundry, stayed up and helped with 16 hours of consecutive hourly feedings which helped us keep Holden from being admitted to the hospital for jaundice, woke up with Harvey in the mornings and gave him his morning bottle and fed him breakfast while I either slept or nursed Holden, middle of the night/morning diaper changes and baby delivery for nursing sessions, cooked every meal, retrieved polar pops and any other cravings I might have had (Christmas Tree Cakes, Starbucks, Publix coffee cake etc…), helped me give Holden his first bath, helped me purge excess stuff around the house, organized my pantry for me as well as my linen closet and kitchen cabinets (no small feat!), wrapped ALL of my Christmas presents for me, helped me give Harvey a happy birthday and Christmas, changed out batteries and repeatedly repaired broken toddler toys, gave Harvey his baths and got him up from and down into his crib and in and out of his car seat every day since I wasn’t allowed to even pick him up, made me freezer meals before she left so that I wouldn’t starve, she got me a new grill and had Chris assemble it for me and an outdoor storage chest for Harvey’s toys so that I can spend more time outside with Harvey and Holden while getting dinners made, helped me figure out how to get my double stroller up and moving, made sure I was hydrated and fed which I certainly wouldn’t have been able to keep up with on my own, updated friends and family when I was too tired to get to it myself, helped me get two boys through the Santa line, found a staple at the mall for a last minute repair of Harvey’s birthday crown, helped me to get a live Christmas tree into the house and decorated, took out the trash and recycling, helped me shoot a newborn photo session of Holden, listened with an open heart and mind to all of my feelings as they came up (of which there were many!), wiped my tears when they came and gave me pep talks at every turn.

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This barely scratches the surface but you can get the idea. She served as my partner in every way and helped me enjoy and cherish one of the most special times in my life. Without her there it would have been easy to slip into a sad and lonely place and instead I was lifted up and supported and allowed to enjoy every moment.

Watching my sons get to bond with and fall in love with my sister was such a sweet experience and I know that this time spent together has created a magical connection between us all. These boys are so lucky to be so loved by such an incredible Aunt.  She champions them and loves them with an intensity that rivals mine and that my friends is what its all about.

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There will never be enough words to truly express my intense gratitude for this sweet gift. I am eternally grateful and know that while I will try I will never truly be able to repay her for such an incredible offering but, in the end, thats the best part. No repayment is needed and I know that. This was a selfless act done solely out of unconditional love for her sister. My heart is full and I am as lucky as anyone can be to have someone as wonderful as Anita as my BigSister.

Here’s a quick recap of our CRAZY but INCREDIBLE December together!

Thank You Sister. I love you.

Jen

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Dear Harvey//2nd Birthday Edition

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December 17, 2016

Dear Harvey,

Today at 4:01am you turned two years old. This year on your birthday at that time I was up in my room nursing your baby brother Holden back to sleep while you slept peacefully in your room. What a difference a year (or two) makes!

This past year has been without a doubt the most difficult as well as the most enjoyable of my 35 years of life. You will never truly be able to comprehend just how much you have done for me, simply by existing. Being your mom has saved me in so many ways and for that I am and will forever be incredibly grateful.

Watching you grow and learn this past year has been a magical experience and one that will always hold a special place in my heart because even though my heart was broken, it kept beating and my love for you kept increasing but mostly because this year was the last that you would be my only child.  The last year that I would only have to worry or wonder about you and only you. Although I will now worry and wonder about you and your baby brother, I can make you this promise my sweet boy, I will ALWAYS love you with the same intensity as I did when you were my only one, ALWAYS.

This past year you have grown into such an incredible human being.  You have a sense of humor that is developed well beyond what your 2 year old mind should be able to comprehend.  You have mastered walking, running and galloping and you do it in THE MOST entertaining way! You are a sturdy toddler weighing in at 36 pounds and measuring 36 inches tall at your 2 year check up!

You have mastered the balance bike and it is incredible to watch.  You LOVE LIGHTS! ALL OF THE LIGHTS, ALL OF THE TIME!  Seriously kid, Times Square has your name written all over it, HARVEY + LIGHTS = ALL OF THE LOVE! You also love: all things with wheels, ICE!, cheese balls, stroller rides, slides, The Allen Family, your grandparents, your Auntie Anita and Uncle Chris, your Auntie BESTFRIEND Valerie, CARS!, yogurt melts, pacifiers, morning and evening bottles (STILL!), your sock monkey blanket, the movies “UP” and “The Polar Express”, you have about 40-50 words which you love to say but you’re a fan of using them once and then tucking them away, helping with cooking, cleaning, LAUNDRY, diaper tossing, locks, doors, handles, door slamming, “Beep-Beeps”, key fobs, pacifier plugging for your baby brother, the carousel at the mall as well as all of the toy rides, your Grandaddy’s sautéed mushrooms (you are DEFINITELY your mommy’s baby!), cheese (all kinds except Swiss…), and most heartwarmingly, you have shown love for your baby brother already, giving him sweet kisses and gentle pats, holding him on the daybed and sharing your people with him with little to no fuss. Seeing the two of you together makes me feel complete, no small feat considering the state of my life at the moment, well done boys, WELL DONE!

Everything about you amazes me, EVERY day.  In the last month or so you have started babbling your vocabulary constantly which is absolutely adorable and awesome.  You also smacked me upside my momma head with the trifecta of “Mommy/Mom”, “NO!” and “WHY?!?” all at once! Whoa buddy, WHOA!  In all honesty, I love it, its funny most of the time and it’s such an honor to be the one to answer your “Whys?”.  I promise to do my best to answer them all and to answer them in the best way I can, while I’m at it, I promise to continue to learn for the rest of my days about any and all of the things that you might happen to wonder why about! I can’t wait to explore, adventure and discover ALL of the things with you and your brother!

Thank you Harvey, it has been an honor and a privilege to grow another year older along side you and witness you transforming into an exceptional tiny human. My momma heart is swelling with pride and my life is filled with happiness because of you.

Happy 2nd Birthday Harvey!

Love,

Mom

 

 

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