Wednesday, August 12, 2015

I'm Back!! Times are a Changing

Times are a changing.... This has been at the forefront of my mind lately. Life is ever changing, constant like the tide. Right when I think I've got things down it turns.

This past year was a LOT of change. New home (area), new job for Justin, new baby boy. A crazy year, and sadly the stress of it all took a huge toll on me. The diagnoses of graves disease was a relief and a burden. A relief to know what's going on and try to get it under control. A burden of a life long disease that constantly has ups and downs and affects me even when I am level. It's tiring, literally. It could be worse, It could always be worse. God has me in his hands in my weakest moments he gives me strength. I'll hope for remission in the future.

I sadly let go of my church choir job to lessen my stress. I love the job, love the people, love the connection to Christ I get from being there. We moved so far south that the drive one way is 45 mins. Not the biggest deal to me, but it's the kiddos. As Justin is in residency I never know if he will be off on Sundays or home on Thursdays. I drag 3 tired kids back and forth and it just ends up stressing me out more. I need them in bed at night to conquer the next day. It's just come to a point that stress directly affects how I feel day to day, and if I don't lessen it I feel sick. God has been telling me to slow, slow down. I am listening.

It's not financially the best decision, as we are hurting right now. Making it, barely. I think what keeps me strong in these times is knowing that financially better times are coming. Not having to worry as much. Being able to give back to god and to pay it forward for all the blessings we have received. Paying off the extreme amount of medical school debt. HA! It's coming, and the process is making us better, making us appreciate it more. I am choosing to listen to slowing down. Lowering stress of being busy will help my health, so I'll take poor and happy to better off and sick :)

This year though, times are a changing. I already feel loads lifted from my shoulders looking forward to this year. (sadly I still base a year on school years, haha) Caleb wanted and asked to go to full day kindergarten. Originally we planned half day, but he asked and we qualified for reduced lunch and kinder payment. He couldn't be more excited. Every day he asks me how many days until school. I know it will be good for him. This kid can go non-stop 24 hours, 7 days a week. He's always been that way, I have to help him to slow down (not sure where he possibly got that!)

Today though is the last day of "summer" as he says, haha. He officially starts Kindergarten tomorrow. I never really got why it was such a big deal for parents. Like most things you never get it until you experience it. It is a big deal though. Time flies, days, months, years. They fly and you look up and you're done having babies and they are growing, doing things themselves. Starting their journey into the world by themselves! This is the start. I hope I have prepared him thus far and the years of continued preparation for life are just starting. Pretty sure tears will swell in my eyes as I say goodbye tomorrow and my heart will wonder all day how he is. How is he feeling? Does he need me? This is the start.

It's also a different chapter for me. Corinne and Collin are home with mom. Corinne starts preschool. Their bond will grow this year. Corinne will start to develop into her own little person away from mom and dad. Collin will be placed in a bubble to prevent serious damage to due his climbing habit, haha. My photography business is growing, making me very excited about where it will continue to grow and about the things I want to add in the future. I'm excited for this year. I am excited for it be be new and slower, and to soak in all I can. You can't get it back, it's constantly changing and if we don't stop to see it we will wonder how it happened.

So goodbye "Summer" and hello to a new year!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I am still here

I am so behind in blogging. It's the time, and the fatigue and the little people calling out my name all day. Mainly though my biggest excuse is the pursuit to slow down. I have wanted this and been trying to achieve this for quite some time, however there are distractions. There are desires to DO things, and then there is just plain life that requires it.

Recently I was diagnosed with Graves Disease. It is an auto immune disease that affects the thyroid gland, causing it to be overactive with a slue of symptoms... it's really no fun. Back in 2010 after having Caleb I was diagnosed with hyperthyroid, however the endocrinologist thought it was due to pregnancy and said to give it time and it should resolve. I guess somewhere a long the way I must have gone into remission. Thinking back now to years of health issues I believe I have had a it a long time. Anyway, I think this time stress and pregnancy made it flair up. I was constantly sweating during my pregnancy with Collin, thinking it was due to pregnancy. Finally about 2 months ago I had to get the blood work done right away. I came to a point that my heart was racing, feeling like it was beating out of my chest. I was sweating in 12 degree weather, and my hands were shaking all day. I was so exhausted I could barely keep my eyes open many times of the day. After a few blood tests and seeing my doctor it was confirmed. Graves is not curable, but you can get into remission and around 30% of people can live on with no further flare ups. I am hoping that to be me eventually. I am on medicine right now for my heart rate and for the thyroid. I have changed my diet and have a daily vitamins regimen. The next part was stress management. I need to, I want to slow down.

I have had to start saying no, even though I want to say yes.

YES, I want to continue to direct my church choir! I LOVE it so much and I adore my choir members, but the drive, the time, the little people I need to be getting in bed, the shoulders that raise  on the days I have to figure out how to do it all by myself. I've had to say no and let it go.

YES, I want to say to all those mother meet ups and play dates and MOPS meetings, but the constant go, go, go, leaves the kids and I feeling like we are in the car more than we are at home. Hurry and get your clothes on, hurry to eat, hurry to brush your teeth, "We are going to be late!" I've had to say

YES, I want the kids to be in gymnastics and soccer and dance and bible study and, and, and.... is it really good for them. I mean really, to be in a million activities, missing valuable playtime and the opportunity to learn how to just be. To relax and look around them. One activity at a time. I had to say no to more.

See I want to say Yes to so many things. I like saying yes, I have always been able to do it all and do it well. But I'm not anymore, and I'm not sure it was good of me to be anyway. 

Slow down Erin. It's an art form that will take time. Slow down and see God, that's even more important. How can I see him through the busy craze, the stress, the fatigue. I mean really see him, spend time with him. Serve my family and their needs and serve my own. I too need peace and recharging.

YES, I want to see the beauty around us and thank god for all he has created. Yes, I want to teach my children that there is more value in spending time together, and looking around than there is being on a constant roller coaster of society expectations. Yes, I want to sit outside, smell the air, turn off the TV, iphone, ipad and just be. Imagine, let them and I be free. It's an art I am working to accomplish. So if it seems I am not blogging as much, or you don't see me as much it's because I am taking time to live. Taking the distractions down and seeking god in all I do. I am still here.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Number 2 in the Series - What do Mom's do all day?

What do Stay at home moms do all day?

What a ridiculous question.  Seriously.  I stayed home with both my daughters for 3 years before going back to work full time and I tell you what,  I might cry if I had to go back to staying at home with the kiddos. For REAL.

I think it's easy for people to pass judgement on SAHM because they don't see something that they produce; that is tangible like money or flow charts.  Or there is a guilt because for whatever reason, they can't be that for their kids, so they have to justify their choices by putting down the choice they didn't make.  Right or wrong, I think people do that with anything, not just child rearing.  its in our nature to want to make our choices look like the best ones.

With my first child, born in 2010, it was easy in hind site but i didn't know any better...and suffering from postpartum depression for the first year of my firstborns life didn't help so it seemed REALLY HARD.  My second was born in 2013 and it got interesting managing sleep schedules and potty training.  Then I went back to work when they were 3 and 7 months old and it all got jacked up. I'm currently debating if a third is in our future...HA! 

Ive decided to make this easy though, about what SAHM and WM do...i'm a chart person. I need to see a list. Then I need to see another list to compare it to the first list. then make a pros and cons list :) list list lisity lists!!! So here you go, ad step by step of my day as a stay a home mom (with and without depression), and a working mom. 

Morning routine:
SAHM w/Depression - Hear crying baby in monitor and close eyes pretending you don't hear loud sobs of MA MA!! Realize its not stopping and go get baby.  Feel nothing. just tired. horribly tired. was up every two hrs last night with baby. feed baby. Made hubby lunch. Shoot daggers at hubby for not saying how amazing i am or how much he appreciates for later to come back at him in our normal evening "discussion" No breakfast. Just gonna stay in the pjs today I think

SAHM    -  Hear crying baby in monitor and go get baby.  Horribly tired... was up every 3 hrs last night with baby. feed baby. Possible breakfast. Made hubby lunch. Clean baby, do dishes, kiss hubby goodbye for work. Get dressed; workout clothes baby! 

 WM - Get up before baby/kids wake up. Horribly tired... was up every 4 hrs last night with baby. Hear baby wake up feed baby. Fix your lunch, hubby took care of his own, and pull the lunches you made for kids the night before. Hear crying baby in monitor and go get baby.  Feed kids. Feed yourself, maybe. Get dressed, dress kids, pack car with lunches, backpacks, diaper bags, medication, work computer, pillows, stuffed animals, water and milk sippy cups...and did I forget anything else? OH GOD MY PHONE!

Pre-lunch/lunch time:

SAHM w/Depression  - watch baby play by itself while you sit on the couch doing nothing. Still SO TIRED.  Someone called earlier, but you didn't feel like talking to anyone. Praying for naptime.  Feed baby lunch and NAPTIME!!!!  

SAHM - Throw a load of laundry in the washing machine.  pack the stroller with some snacks and walk to the park and let the kid(s) play while you hover over them for an hr. Run to the gym for 40 min and take advantage of the childcare so you can get some weight training in! Hit the grocery store and have at least 3 items opened at the checkout because the kids were getting hungry and fussing and at that point you had no issue with opening and eating food right there in the store.  Get home and fix lunch for the kid(s) and start unloading the car with the groceries as they eat.  Start nap time routines which can take anywhere from 5-50 min depending on kid and quantity of kids. finish putting groceries away and take a bite of something, maybe actually sit down and look at FB while you realize you're STARVING.

WM - Drop kid off at school, then drop other kid off at work. ( my work has in house childcare!!!!) Make sure with both they grabbed their backpack, toys, water etc needed.  Briefly touch base with teacher/Childcare worker. Then i GET TO WORK!!!! GLORIOUS WORK!!! I get to talk to people I like..ADULT CONVERSATIONS!!!! I get to feel productive because I am producing things like inventories! Event Schedules! WONDERFUL DATA SHEETS!!!!! lol I'll pop into the nursery and peek in at my little one just to say hi for 5-10 min.  I might go out to eat, or eat my pre-made lunch, then go pick up the older kiddo from school at 1pm and bring her back to work to go into her other classroom. I might even go shopping or GROCERIES with out children on my lunchbreak!!! so wonderful...sigh....

SAHM w/Depression  - While baby is sleeping, you play video games or watch a show...maybe put a load in the laundry or take a nap.  when baby wakes up....UGH why can't they sleep longer?!?!?  get on the computer and have baby play next to you so you make sure they don't hurt themselves...but you really don't want to touch them. Get annoyed when the baby wants you to pick them up or play with them...or have any interaction with them.  Still So tired.

SAHM - While baby/kids are sleeping, you know you should take a nap, and you might, but instead you try to get some things DONE around the house! check on laundry and transfer wet laundry to dryer and maybe put in another load.  Clean up floors, maybe clean a bathroom, check your blog, check your etsy site, check your pinboard....start pinning ideas for activities for 2 year's up.  Read to them, play games with them, teach them numbers, letters, colors, manners, sign language....plan dinner in your head with current choices in the fridge.

WM - Still at work!! WHOOP WHOOP!!! stop in to check in on the kids again.  Feel bad when they cry for you as you leave...(guilt pangs) Go back to whatever work you have left for the day. Realize 10 min before closing that you needed to do something "important" and end up getting the kids 15-30 min later than you meant.  Gather all their crap and impersonate a pack mule as your try to only make one trip carrying everything including a child in your arms...this counts as working out right?!? Car management. it take me 25-30 min to get home so since i was late, I have to appease the masses with snacks, or music or conversation about the day.  Get home and hubby is there already. Unload everything and everybody.

SAHM w/Depression  - Told hubby to pick up something for dinner because you don't feel like cooking.  Husband comes home to a messy home, crying baby and annoyed/tied wife.  I hand hubby the baby and go lay down on the bed for 30 min. Didn't help.  Go and grab baby to feed it then start the bedtime routine of books/ songs/ prayers.  baby is asleep so me and hubby eat dinner in front of the TV and netflix something.  We don't really talk.  He asks how I am...I lie.  we get into an argument and I go to bed early because i know I will be getting up in a couple hrs anyway. Just so so tired and no amount of sleeping will make me feel better. I take it out on my husband.  We are not in a good spot.

SAHM - The kids have successfully destroyed anything that might have resembled that you cleaned up. You get the oldest to "help" you cook dinner while the other one plays on the floor or watches something.  You check on the laundry again and fold the dry clothes while trying to show your kids how to fold as well...which just creates more work for you in the long run!  You have to discipline the oldest for hitting the younger one...for the love your sister is not a trampoline! SHARE! Hubby calls to let you know he's coming home and you scramble to try and get the house re-cleaned. You start singing the clean up song to the kids in hopes they will start putting things away as well...hubby comes home and the house is still messy but not as bad as it was. Welcome him home with a kiss, and the kids give him hugs because they missed him! you let the kids play while you both talk about the days activities. Dinner time. You feed baby first then rest of you eat after baby is put to bed. Hubby puts the older one to bed and you clean up the kitchen.  You then veg in front of the TV after cleaning up the rest of the toys that were left out. and you both fold the final laundry that was still in the dryer.  You and the hubby are in a good spot.

WM - Hubby is annoyed with you because you are so late...and it's been the 3rd time this week. Kids are tired and hungry so you put together one of your quick go to meals that take 20-30 min to make so you put on a tv show or movie for the kids to watch while you make it. Everyone eats dinner together.   Start bedtime routine with youngest, oldest plays or finishes the show you put on earlier.  Play ponies with oldest for a little bit or do a quick coloring page. Hubby does bedtime routine with oldest. During that time you clean up dinner, pack lunches for kids for the next day and then check social media.  You don't blog anymore except for rare occasion. Hubby gets back and you talk briefly about the day that wasn't discussed during dinner. Then Veg in front of the TV and watch a show or movie. You and the hubby are ok. Could be better, but it's a little stressed sometimes.  You feel like the job and your family fight each other.


This is my personal experience with the different life stages.  I know that this can be SO DIFFERENT based on kids, job, spouse...etc!  Bottom line though is that its all hard, it's all worth it, and you will never get your sleep back until the kids are older. It's just a season, and that will change to something else!  Be encouraged! It's crazy, and you know what is best for you and your family.  I love working, but it may not be the best thing for my family. My hubby loved me staying home, but it wasn't the best for me. And who knows, I might go back to being a SAHM in the future, but Im sure that wont be like what I experienced the first time i stayed home. 

Me SAHM w/depression with my firstborn @9 months old  

No more depression! Me SAHM and my first born @16 months old 

Me SAHM and my girls, 2 yrs & 7 months old. 

Our family now as a WM. Girls are 20 months and 4 yrs old. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

"What do we do all day?" A series of blogs from mothers around the country

Let me introduce you to my blog. Mainly used as a family blog to archive our journey and share a ridiculous amount of photos of our kids doing things we are sure is cuter than any other child alive. I mean come on, they are adorable! Sometimes however, I write something Witty, or something of great value to all of mankind! Go ahead and add my blog now and you will see what I mean. :)

This time it might be a little of both. Over the next few weeks I will be doing a series of blogs answering the age old annoying question of; "What do we do all day??" I have enlisted the help of moms across the nation, both working and stay at home moms. Real moms, not reality TV moms.  Now I imagine our working mothers might not get that question as much, but I am sure they get some equally annoying questions about motherhood and balance, etc, etc. I also wanted to do this series because lets face it, motherhood is difficult. Extremely difficult. I'm not going to say that being a father is not equally difficult, or not of the same value as motherhood. It is. They are different. Whether you are a full time working mom or a stay at home mom, or part time working mom, the intensity and responsibility of raising little people can be draining. Worth it, and a privilege, but also draining. I hope you enjoy the stories and a day in the life of the women raising the future generation.

My Life - I am a Kansas City mother of three, Olathe Kansas to be exact. I have an almost 5 year old, Caleb, a Just turned 3 year old Corinne, and a 5 month old Collin. Yes I am aware they all have C names... we are that family. A year ago I quit my college teaching jobs with the surprise of becoming pregnant with baby number three. A beautiful surprise that I badly wanted. I now am mainly a SAHM. I direct a choir at my church and have a photography business. The majority of my time is spent raising the little people in our home.

Here is a typical Monday for this Midwestern family:

I get up between 6:30-7:30am looking something like this! Beautiful I know, and I drink coffee until the cup, cups are empty. I let them enjoy a few cartoons while I make some breakfast.

 It looks something like this, but really depends on the day


Here's some of the Shenanigans that go on while I am trying to run around to get them and me ready for the day, and feed Collin, and feed Collin again, and again, because he nurses about every 2 hours!!!

"Corinne, Caleb, come get dressed."

"Corinne, leave Toby alone."

"Collin, stay right there and be cute!"

I take Caleb to preschool that starts at 9am, it's about a 15-20 minute drive, but the best preschool around! While he is in school Corinne, Collin and I usually run errands. Grocery store, target, etc. Pick up is 11:30am. 

When we get home around noon we eat lunch, I feed Collin again :) and they have a little more play time before we have quiet time, my favorite time of day. 

Quiet time..... ahhhhhh. Sadly the only child that naps is Collin.... If the the other two take a nap they won't sleep until 10-11pm. I prefer them sleeping at 7:30-8pm. So sometimes they lie in their beds and rest for an hour, and most times I let them watch a few shows or a movie. I also lie down for a little bit to regain my strength for the afternoon / evening marathon. 

By this time its around 2:30-3:00pm. The kids have a snack. When the weather is nice we go for walks, or to the park, except in the winter when the flu is everywhere!!!!! We stay inside and play. I try to get some kind of cleaning done and the kids actually ask to help... uh, sure! I might bathe Collin at this time because it's one less thing I have to do after dinner. 

Around 4:30 or 5:00pm I start dinner. Collin has eaten several times, and taken a few naps. Now, this part of the day, for some unknown reason young children all seem to loose there minds! I am trying to make dinner and it is the witching hour. I think it is a combination of being tired, hungry and overwhelmed from the day. This is usually when fights between siblings, or temper tantrums happen. Good times! 

Most nights my husband is home for dinner which is really nice, however, he is a family medicine resident so there's never a guarantee, and some nights he's not home until they are in bed. After dinner, the kids go straight to bath and the marathon begins. Scrub little people, lotion little people,  find pajamas, put them on little people, little people brush their teeth, they clean playroom, Corinne to bed, Collin wants to nurse, Collin to bed, Caleb to bed, Collin wakes up, Collin back to bed, Pick up house, Clean the dishes, fold laundry........Collins awake again :)

About 8:30 or 9pm I might sit down with Justin for 30 mins before passing out from pure exhaustion! 
Tomorrow I do it all over again

This is an example of what this stay at home mom does all day. It's wonderful, and exhausting, and some days it seems to go on forever, and other days I look at my children and wonder how it is going so fast. See, I view my choice to be home with them as extremely important. I feel privileged and blessed to be able to do it. This is a crazy time in our families life, but I wouldn't change it for the world. 

***** Next in the series Jessica Keys Luttrell talks about being at stay at home mom, a working mom, and a SAHM with postpartum depression. You don't want to miss it!


Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 Highlights

2014 has been a wonderful year! Mainly filled with ups, a few downs here and there, but that's life!
Here are the highlights from the Legris Family of 2014

An amazing year with the man I adore and the family god has given us

Justin had a birthday and Caleb turned four!


 We moved to Olathe Kansas


My Tummy Got big! 

 We got to see family and Justin Graduated from KU Medical School!  

My tummy got BIGGER!! 


Dad built a swing set, Corinne started dance, and we did a lot of swimming!

 We added to our family!! July 23rd 2014 Collin Michael Legris was born

 We saw the sunflowers in KS

 Grandpa came to visit and we had a wonderful Fall

We had one small snow before Christmas! 

We saw a croc on the way to the beach in Florida, and spent some time on the sand

Sand snowman for a Christmas in FL

 A nice way to wrap up 2014 with my family