Sunday, November 22, 2015

The third and final Girl or the first and only Boy?

The third and final girl or the first and only boy? It is the question of the Glenn household right now. We could know right now but because I only had to hold off a week, and not the rest of my pregnancy like he wanted last time, and technically we'll still be finding out almost two weeks earlier than we would have, I agreed to my husband's idea to have the gender concealed in an envelop and dropped off at the town baker.

Last Wednesday night we went and had a 3D ultrasound, something we never even considered with the other two, because we really wanted to share the news of the gender with family over Thanksgiving. The place we went to, My Little Bo Peep , also had a Wednesday evening special, so we lucked out and were able to squeeze in an 830 appointment. The girls won't go with us to the anatomy scan in December so we also figured this was a good chance for them to see their little brother or sister.

We closed our eyes and looked away, when she went to check for the gender, in which she was successful in seeing. We got a ton of pictures of course, and the tech sealed the gender picture up in an envelop. The next morning my husband dropped it off at the baker. They are to dye the inside of the cake pink or blue so when we cut into the cake with family on Thanksgiving night we will all find out together whether this last baby is the third girl or first boy.

We'll pick the cake up Wed evening on our way out of town. In which case we have all ran through the ridiculous Glenn moments that could occur with trying to travel 6-8 hours with this cake. We've imagined dropping it and the gender being revealed all over the pavement, someone accidently planting their foot in the middle of it in which the gender would be revealed all over the bottom of their foot, we can totally seeing our Great Dane finding it and eating it when we stop for dinner on the way up. In which case the gender is revealed in the smeared cake all over her face or in which there is not a lick of evidence left to reveal the gender. With us it's kind of comical to imagine all the ways it could go wrong but let's just hope the cake makes it up there in one piece without revealing the gender until we're all ready to learn it together Thanksgiving night.

Many have also asked how are we going to tell everyone else? Originally the plan was just to send a text message to those we're closest to and then share an announcement on facebook. But friends suggested trying to video tape it, send the text to let them know we're getting ready to post the reveal online, and post a video of the actual cake cutting rather than just pictures. So I think that's what we'll try for so if  you're not on the Glenn baby #3 text message alert, and you are one of the ones anxiously waiting to know what this baby is the baby reveal video (or picture announcement if the video fails) will be posted around 7 Thanksgiving night.

We can't wait!

Also a few people have started asking me to share my baby need list. My sister is hosting what I'm calling a diaper/hand me down baby shower since it's baby #3 back home over winter break.  Whether it's a boy or girl though there are more things than I would have imagined that I need so below is the list for those that have been wanting our list

Baby monitors
extra crib sheets
diaper cream and powder
diaper bag
baby towels and burp rags
baby book
baby health kit thingy
nursing pads

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Politics and Religion

The hypocrisy that exists in our world of politics and religion and people's blindness to it amazes me. There are outcries that we should not allow Syrian refugees to escape into our country. Yet, we want to blast social media with #alllivesmatter. Because African American men occupy a large amount of our prison space our black boys walk around with a target on their backs. Because terrorist are of the Muslim descent we want to deny them all on the potential they're terrorist. We have an epidemic of mass school shootings across our country typically lead by young white males; yet I don't see a target on every white male's back. White Catholic priest are way too frequently guilty of molestation, but we don't deny them all their sainthood and their place in our churches because of the guilt of a few.

So why do we put the sins of a few on all in the case of minorities but for whites one is only guilty of their own actions, not the actions of their race or culture. And if you tell me that's not racist then please feel free to explain to me what is?

I'm not saying I'm not guilty of my own judgments or my own sense of hypocrisy. I'm all for promoting a new world of peace and love; yet, I completely support the rights to bear arms. I know that's hypocritical. The truth is in our world today we're a long way away from that idea of peace, but I also believe my chances of actually needing that gun for something besides killing dinner is pretty slim. But as fear and hate continue to breed like an infestation of mice I greatly fear how much worse the violence will get before it gets better.

I like to think I recognize how my judgments may be wrong and a result of fear even if I can't necessarily change them.  When we make these judgments against groups of people because of their race or culture based on the action of some, we are either living our life uneducated or in fear. That's what racism is. Fear and ignorance of what we don't understand. Both fear and ignorance lead to hate which in turn just leads to a continued cycle of violence.

You can tell me I'm naïve, but don't stand there and claim to be a good Christian and condemn all those not like you. Only one gets to make that final judgment, and that one is not you. We always want to bring God and religion into our political reasoning, which again nothing says hypocrite like claiming to be a good Christian but only deeming those worthy of  love and acceptance to those like you . I don't consider myself a Christian, Jew, Muslim, or with any religious affiliation anymore because unfortunately I feel they all push their own agenda when it suits them. Religion is also one of the leading causes of war; therefore, death. This group has fought that group throughout history all in the name of God.  Really?

Because the God I believe in loves us all the same way we each love all our children. Religion to me is more about traditions, but it's enforcing again that our traditions are the only acceptable ones by God and therefore the right one for society. Is God really going to send someone that lived a good, honest, loving life that believed in a higher power and purpose than themselves to hell because they practiced Jewish traditions over Christian ones or Muslim ones over Christian ones? I'm sorry I just don't believe the God I believe in would do that to a good, loving person. Doesn't Christianity teach we're all God's children. You want to do something in the name of God? We want to serve God? Love, accept, and help one another no matter their racial, cultural, economic status, sexual, religious, political affiliation. Be a voice that teaches love, not hate. Fight and pray for humanity, fight and pray for the world, not just the people we believe worthy because they're most like us.

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Sunday, November 15, 2015


To My Baby Girl,

I can't believe it's already been four years since we first met. It may have been a rocky start with the two of us spending too much of our time crying together, but look at us now. We're like two peas in a pod. Not only do you have my crazy unruly hair and hazel eyes but you are a mini me through and through with your personality.

Whereas sometimes people of the same personalities don't get along our similarities have made you quite the mommy's girl, which I love. People like you and me and your Aunt Te are quick to react with our emotions. Just as I had your Aunt Kel as my voice of reason, my place to seek for calm, I like to think I'm that for you. When your emotions are sparked whether it's anger or tears you immediately gravitate towards me, even if I'm the cause. I'm sure as we enter the teenage years our bond will be tested because just as you have my high emotional tendencies you also have my stubborn streak so I'm sure those moments of conflict between us will come, but this special connection we have will see us through it.  You keep that strong will, stubborn streak, little attitude of yours because remember even though it may give you difficult moments it will serve you well too. When I see the little girl you've become I so look forward to knowing the wonderful young lady I know you'll be in the future.

I love the joy you have in the way you live and play now. You're such a happy little girl now, and your love for us and your sister is so evident in the way you comfort your sister when she's upset, stand up to us for her when you think that's what is needed to fix the problem, and your random hugs are just the best. I know you're a little anxious about not being the baby anymore here in a few short months, but I know you will be an amazing big sister to your little brother or sister. Even if you're not the only baby girl as you say; there's only one you, little girl. You and I have our own special bond that no new little sister or brother is going to change.

Love you, baby girl!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Conceding to Christmas after Halloween

I was never a start the Christmas festivities before Thanksgiving kind of person, but after the last few years I'm throwing in the towel this year and surrendering to the craziness.  Christmas the last couple years has stressed me out so much I'll be honest aside from the traveling to see family and enjoying seeing the girls' excitement it's been one of my least favorite holidays. The stress of saving for Christmas right after exhausting our savings for the summer has kind of killed my holiday spirit.

If this refinance we're waiting on to go through underwriting doesn't go through soon I'm going to be stressing about the Christmas expense again especially after spending $1500 to get the heat in both houses running again, but I'm trying to work on not stressing about things I need to patient about and haven't even happened yet. But aside from that this is also the year I go home to Missouri for Christmas and some of my mom's family will be headed there as well so I tend to catch the holiday spirit a little earlier.

Besides the expense of Christmas, the to do list to tackle just in the few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas is kind of overwhelming sometimes. In the next six weeks between now and Christmas we are traveling three times with a trip to each of our families and a special holiday trip to New Jersey with a group of friends of ours. That doesn't leave a whole lot of time for Christmas shopping, wrapping, decorating, baking, addressing holiday cards, on top of the two Christmas parties we have on the only two weekends we're home in between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I want to enjoy all the holiday cheer with parties, the music, the tree lightings, the Christmas tree farm, and of course time with family and friends. So my goal is to actually have my shopping completed by Dec 1, and as of tonight I have my Christmas village and snowmen set up, leaving us just the tree to decorate the weekend after Thanksgiving.

I never really understood the crazy fuss about getting ready for Christmas before Thanksgiving. Again, it's just another one of those things where it's just personal choice so what does it matter. Whether it's a year I do or don't decide to jump on the Christmas before Thanksgiving bandwagon, it doesn't change the fact that we will still celebrate Thanksgiving or make Thanksgiving any less of a holiday.

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Saturday, November 7, 2015

This is What I Left Childhood Looking For

One thing that I love about teaching older teens is that I think it keeps my own memories of that time close. I was just telling them the other day how in less than the two years their childhood will end and they will embark on one of the most exciting times in their life.

We leave childhood behind, excitedly and nervously anticipating all the great things to come. There are so many things. Think of all the amazing things many of us experience in just the first ten years from closing that door on our childhoods. We leave home, experiencing college with an independence and freedom we spent our adolescence dreaming about. We fall in love, we get married. We travel and try new things. We start our careers. We buy our first homes. Just as those first ten years away from our childhood are ending many of us experience the birth of our first children.

As most of us hopefully experienced this is one of the best, most surreal moment of those dreams from our childhood. Those moments are definitely some of the best of my life, but it wasn't just the babies I envisioned but more so this. My dad always said the best years are when they're older, and I'm starting to see where he was coming from. It's not that they're necessarily easier or less time consuming because whereas I use to spend my afternoons cuddling on the couch with my two year old watching Bolt five hundred times now it's running her to girls scouts, soccer practice, after school events, or going out in the yard to practice riding her bike or hitting the ball. So much of my time is their time as much if not more than it was when they were a completely dependent infant and toddler. Our time commitment to them doesn't end as they gain their independence but in many ways I think it becomes even more important as they get older.

It's exhausting and some days I feel like there's no time for anything else besides work and them but this is what I left my own childhood looking for again in the future. It wasn't the being on my own, it wasn't the freedom that comes with adulthood, it wasn't the career, the buying dream houses or cars, or even traveling to places I've never been. It was the family of my own. It wasn't because I didn't have that as a child but because I did. I saw what my parents had, I saw what my parents did, I saw who they were as parents.  Even though at some point around 18 I slammed that "rent" check down in my dad's hand and told him "there I pay rent to live here so now I can follow my own rules" I knew that what I would walk out that door someday to search for myself was exactly what they showed me for the last eighteen years of my life.

Until I became a teacher I really didn't know there was any other way to parent. All I knew were my own parents, aunt, and friends' parents who left no doubt in any of our minds that love for family wasn't just first priority but that it was everything. Now I understand why my parents left work early, why they gave up their evenings and weekends, why they rarely went out on dates. Even as a kid my parents would constantly say how this time flies, how it would be over before we and them knew it.

I've known it. These are it. These next 18 years with the last six and half are some of the best days of our life. Those early choices of how we birth our children, if we breastfeed or bottle feed them, cosleep with them or not, and the zillion other supposed right or wrong parenting choices are really pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things. To me the ones right now as they embark on the school and athletic years of their childhood are the ones that really count. Our presence, our time, our commitment to them and family will be the strongest block to building the foundation of their childhood. It's the greatest role we'll have in this life; it's the biggest factor in whether we lived this life well or not. It's not about how much money we make, how big the house is that we buy, how nice of a car we drive, but about what we teach the kids we raise about life and love. This is what I left childhood looking for: this moment of my life, and it's still just the beginning.