Lianne and Shad

Friday, July 29, 2011

It's that time of year...

Summer tends to be a very busy season for the Cole family. Not only are the kids out of school and vacationing plans are in full swing, but it is also the season in which two of our children have birthdays a week apart: Solomon July 22nd and Kaidyn August 3rd. Because of this, I refer to this time of year quite commonly as the season of "birthday madness". For those of you who do not have children, or even for those of you who do but haven't reached this stage in their childhood, let me enlighten you on why this period often becomes my own personal version of hell.

Don't get me wrong, I love my kiddos and am more than excited to help them celebrate the day that they came into this world. As a new parent, the first few birthdays your child celebrates are filled with feelings of joy and celebration. Pictures of your little bundle of joy taking his first bite of cake, and subsequently wearing most of it, are proudly displayed on fb posts and alike for all your friends and family to see. Birthdays really don't start to become complicated until small gatherings of friends and family turn into larger gatherings of your child's school friends.

This is also usually the point in time when your child becomes very opinionated about the type of birthday party he or she wants to have, aka the party's theme. This can be the initial source of anxiety for many party-planning parents, as sometimes little Jonny's request is all but impossible to find. We've had some very unique parties in the past, including Winnie the Poo, Dora/Diego, Spiderman, Wolverine, and Under the Sea. More than one of these parties involved some creative online google-ing by yours truly in order to find select party supplies that just did not exist at the typical party supply store.

The second source of anxiety of party planning parents is the RSVPs, or the lack there of. I'm not real sure when it became acceptable to not RSVP to any party, let alone a child's birthday party in which numbers are typically needed for things like food, goodbags, etc but sadly, this has been the case in the past years. Summer is the worst time for parents to not RSVP, and because of this, I have spent countless amounts of time in the past calling each individual parent (at one point 20 parents!) to ask them if their child was, indeed, going to attend. In the end, many "yes" parents don't show up, only adding more fuel to my ever-growing frustration and irritation with said parent.

For all of these reasons, birthday madness becomes a point of my summer that I could go with out. So this year when the idea surfaced for our family to go to six flags over Georgia instead of having a large, anxiety-producing celebration, I was the biggest advocate. Luckily, the kids were more than happy to for-go a large party for the opportunity to go to six flags. Instead of a large party with themes and friends involved, they got a small, family celebration this past weekend. Presents were received (ipod touches- they were lovin it!). Cupcakes were eaten. There was no theme and RSVPs were unnecessary. The kids were happy. I was ecstatic. A simple party with zero stress= perfection. My only question is why don't we do this every year?

Monday, July 25, 2011

And so it begins...

For those of you who were not clued into to my recent cryptic fb post, yes, Shad and I are expecting a baby next March 2012. Are we excited? Yes! Nervous? You bet. A little shocked? Well yeah.

It's not that this particular baby was not planned. We always knew we wanted another child. The question of when was never far from our minds as each year past us by and we decided, a las, it was not the right timing. This year was no different as we contemplated growing our family to a party of six, which would include four children under the age of 9. As we weighed the decision, certain fears inevitably crept in: Do we have enough money for another child? Is our house equipped to hold 4 children? Certainly, we would need a bigger car, right? Can we both really work full time and give the children the love and attention we would want to give them?? Along with this anxiety, however, also came anticipation and excitement for the possibility of another child. We thought through the positive aspects of having a child right now: Our children would be closer in age than they would if we waited. We are both at a good point in our careers to have a larger family. Do we really want to be in a position where we have a teenager and a baby? And most importantly- is money really the most important factor when it comes to having a child?

We weighed the decision carefully, but in the end, we decided to let "fate" decide. We had decided a while ago that the next child we had was to be born in the spring. If it was indeed "fate" or God's plan for us to have another child this year, we would try for two months to ensure the baby would be born in either March or April. If I did not get pregnant, however, we would take this as a sign that it wasn't the right timing and wait until the following year. Thus we embarked of the adventure of trying to conceive. If you have ever been TTC you will relate that it has to be the most anxiety-filled period of time you will ever go through. From the time you ovulate and possible conceive to 10-13 days later when you actually find out if your pregnant or not, all you can wonder about is whether you are pregnant. This will drive you crazy! For me, this led to some overly obsessive web browsing on every possible pregnancy symptom that could occur and some over speculation that these symptoms were actually happening to me. Fast forward to that fateful day when I could actually test to see if I was pregnant. Both Shad and I had our doubts that we had indeed conceived, so when that + sign did happen to appear, all I could do was laugh. Fate, it seems, was with us all along.

So we begin the journey of pregnancy, and although we have been here before (twice), everything seems just as new as the first time. We are excited. We are nervous. We are trying to get over our shock that this is actually happening. But overall, we are just happy this is the direction our lives have taken us.