Wednesday, September 19, 2012

NYC '12!

(Yes, this happened in July, so what? Judgey McJudger.)

Russ' happy place? The gyro food trucks.
My happy place, Brooklyn Bagel. I spend more time here than anywhere else in the city.
Same brick wall, different day. Weird? (@Brooklyn Bagel, um, again.)
It turned into a cousin party on Sunday of our trip. Russ' other cousin Jess lives up in the northeast for the summer so she and her hubs joined us as we headed to Coney Island for the afternoon.

Russ, Jess, Kendall and I rode the Wonder Wheel on Coney Island. Duh.

Had to drop Jess and Kendall at Grand Central so made it priority to find the whispering corners archway. It was super cool. I highly recommend it, then you could be as cool as us.
Monday Russ had meetings during most of the day and evening so Joy and I walked around the city (including the Highline) and ended up at The Frying Pan and Maritime 66 for lunch. It was an absolutely gorgeous day and we had much to catch up on without Russ as our third wheel (just kidding? honey? I love you?) so we stayed there until dinner. Russ eventually met us there and we stayed til sundown.
(It was a plaid skinnies kind of day...)
Joy took me to her fav French bakery. Cuz she loves me, duh.
We had such an amazing trip. I truly love that city. Not sure if it's because of my time with Joy each time I go or if I just really love that city. We'll say both. It really is a win/win.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Seven Habits of Highly Infertile People

I've spent a lot of time in waiting rooms. Not real ones with magazines and the standard greenish-blue carpet and matching chairs. Not the one with the mall or Jimmy Johns on the other side of the glass.

I've spent my time in the proverbial ones. Ones with a calendar or clock constantly in your face. One with timelines that never get respected. One with my future on the other side of the glass.

As I mentioned a few posts ago, my inbox is increasing with questions about infertility. One of the main questions is "how did you get through the wait month to month?"

Having paid my dues in both the fertility and adoption waiting rooms, there's some differences. This post is focusing on the waiting room with fallopian tube posters on the wall. I also pulled up a panel of attractive other ladies who've sat in this same place and the patterns were pretty evident. That leads me to numero uno:

1. Have people on your team. Besides your hubs. There's a gazillion online communities you can join for support. Find at least one friend who's either going through it at the same time or has gone through it. God was gracious enough to give me Lisa. We even went to the same doctor. She was honest and vulnerable with me and I with her. We also found mutual hobbies to distract us. Which leads me to...

2. Get a life. Fertility stuff can be so absolutely consuming, you have to have something to distract you. As Lisa says, "I am not my uterus." Lisa and I took up running, even trained for a half marathon. Which was a total win/win since we were distracting ourselves as well as getting supa hot healthy. For me, distraction was key. Unlike adoption, there's a limited number of days you have to be distracted until you know the conclusion. Find an addictive tv show (Friday Night Lights, LOST, One Tree Hill, whatevs.) Read silly memoirs or great fiction. Start a new workout program. Lisa took classes toward her masters. Clean out your basement. Take up photography. Get involved volunteering somewhere. Something, anything that has NOTHING to do with children/pregnancy/parenting. What is that hobby you always wanted to try? Go start it.

3. Hide. The general rule for anyone going through infertility treatments is that YOU WILL BE SURROUNDED by the most fertile people ever. It will be a constant stream of "I can't believe I'm pregnant AGAIN! We weren't even trying!" and "Don't drink the water at that church!" And honestly, people don't mean to punch you in the ovaries with their lack of understanding. But all of that means a constant stream of baby showers. Buying cute little soft things for friends can accentuate the lack of it in your world. My advice? Hide when you need to. Pull back and recluse when it's just simply too much to handle. Don't stay there though, you need community but IT IS OKAY TO SKIP STUFF. I didn't do this enough. I was too worried about hurting people's feelings and wasn't protecting my own.

4. Date your husband. Fertility is so hard. It can either strengthen your marriage or it can drain it. Sometimes both. Make sure that you're not only creating hobbies for yourself but that you and the hubs have things going on TOGETHER that have nothing to do with hormone levels and sperm counts. And speaking of? Make sure you're having sex just for fun and not just during "the homework" 3 days. For reals.

**Knowing this a monthly roller coaster and you're getting pumped with horomones, some months or days you want to do the opposite, to lean into it. In that case:

5. Journal. For obvious reasons, it's just a great outlet.

6. Meet with mentors. Especially if you don't know anyone currently going through it, find someone who has experience that can meet when you need/want to talk to someone other than your hubs.

7. Be honest. First of all, with God. If you're angry or confused, He can handle it. He's not so happy about infertility either. Question Him, His sovereignty, His goodness. Push back on His promises. They will prove themselves.

Secondly, be honest with family and close friends. You need people in your court. You need community. I'm not saying you should post details of your treatments as your facebook status (PLEASE DON'T) but we've always been blessed, not burdened, by people knowing our story. Be honest with them about how to love you, which sometimes means leaving you alone and other times means girls night. I'm reminded of this scene:

You need friends, fertile or infertile, that won't run from your honesty.

Thirdly, be honest with yourself. If you're angry, be angry. If you're pretending you have control and have mental timelines, quit it. If you're putting on a happy face but dying inside, stop it. If you want to cry, do it. If you want to take a month off because your body is all jacked up on hormones and your emotions are out of whack, do it. You're not going to miss THE ONE MONTH GOD WAS GOING TO BLESS YOU because you needed a break. I'm pretty sure God doesn't work like that.

No matter if you've been TTC for 3 months or 5 years, it sucks. It is a hard road unlike many others. Please feel comfortable emailing me with questions or just to vent.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Living with other moms in Guatemala taught me something about myself. Well, two things if you count not being able to make good conversation while wearing teeth whitening strips.

Some people's standards are too high.

My confession: I'm not a baby person.

Now, before the wailing and gnashing of teeth starts let me explain myself, eventually ending with proof this is a good thing.

I first noticed it when shopping for a card to take to a baby shower and caught myself looking through sympathy cards. (that didn't really happen)(maybe)

At another baby shower, while we were eating cute little sandwiches and whatnot, the hostess asked us all to share the one item that we couldn't have lived without when our kids were infants. I blurted out, "Wine!" thinking everyone would commiserate. It took me a solid minute to realize I was the only one laughing. (Mental note: set aside a dollar for the awkward jar.) But really? That was a way better answer than a good butt paste.

*Editor interruption* If you found my blog my googling "good butt paste", welcome. Everyone is welcome here. No matter your need.

Back to my confession: I would sometimes talk to other moms about my frustrations in mothering infants and their reactions were different. They cherished what I couldn't deal with. While they couldn't wait to have another, I couldn't wait for this stage to be over. When people sign up for foster care and say "infants only" or I hear stories of foster moms taking 0-3 year olds only, I shudder a little. It's just simply not for me.

Foster care? Yes. Motherhood? Yes. Babies? No.

God's given me the cutest, most amazing 2 babies on the planet and I'm still the worst version of me for a solid 12 months. Arguably 12-18months. The worst.

It's taken me years to not only figure this out but to feel comfortable saying it out loud. I LOVE being a mom. I could not be more in love with my children. There's just something about those very long days with an infant that makes me feel not like myself. Saying it out loud though? I felt guilty. Everyone knows how hard we fought to create a family and now they'll think I don't even enjoy them.

The thing is, I DO enjoy them.(perhaps you've noticed my obsession with taking their pictures?) I DO think they're crazy cute and super squishy. However I DO NOT enjoy myself in that season.

So, why is this a good thing? Because we don't add to our family the way most people do. And if you ask any person working in adoption or foster care they will tell you there are waiting children. "But they're older" is always added with a hesitant expression, assuming you want a baby.

So, as soon as we're ready, (this is not an adoption announcement) we can figure out what's next and walk confidently knowing we don't want to be put on the infant adoption waiting list.

Turns out my quirky not-normalness is actually meeting a need,thankyouverymuch.

All that to say, if you're a mom of an infant, whether it's your first or fourth and you're taking a few extra deep breaths to get through the day, but your friends aren't, it's okay. Or maybe it's not, I'm not totally sure. But at least you know of one person who said it out loud. If you and I were sitting at the park and I asked you how motherhood was going and you broke into tears, I'd sympathize. I wouldn't remind you to cherish these beautiful fleeting times, I'd pull a bottle of wine out of my diaper bag. Cuz that's just the kind of classy friend I am.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Forced Affection.

Geesh. Parenting is tricky.

The end.

(what if that were my post? ha!)

Over the summer a friend was telling a story about her elementary age daughter at school. Some classmates (boys) asked her for a hug. When she said no, they told her she was "mean." My friend was, of course, sharing from the mother-of-the-girl perspective.

I started thinking about Eliot.

He's shy, reserved, gets easily overwhelmed around a lot of people and shuts down. Russ and I are not like this. In fact, Russ is probably the exact opposite. As rookie parents we started early on "Eliot, give so-and-so a hug." Historically, he retreats upon given that instruction. "Eliot, stop being rude, go give them a hug." We know he has sensory issues and still we persist.

*By the way, we NEVER do this with strangers or people he doesn't know and love. We taught him early to say "No, thank you" when people ask him for affection that he doesn't know. This is typically a scenario that plays out with people he knows, loves, and trusts. Extended family included.*

We are communicating over and over: these people are safe, therefore, they get to demand your affection when THEY want it, not when YOU'RE comfortable giving it.

Let's fast forward, add some hormones and a good ol' fashioned awkward stage and flip it. Eliot could easily be one of those boys from that story. Even out of innocence, he could create the same situation because of what we're teaching him inadvertently. We've told him countless times that HE'S BEING RUDE by not giving affection whether he's comfortable with it or not. We've taught him that he doesn't get to be in control of when people do or don't touch him. And that's not okay.

And why?

Honestly? I get embarrassed. My pride gets offended that MY kid doesn't respond like everyone wants him to. Because I'm a people pleaser. Card carrying member, actually.

So, in the last couple months, we started retraining ourselves on what we say and expect of Eliot. As it's come up, we've been honest with family and friends about letting him decide when he wants to give affection. We've stopped forcing him to give affection when he's not comfortable, no matter who it is.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

First of First!

(Yes this was a week and a half ago, but we haven't even celebrated Desmond's birthday yet, which was in May. So by those standards, this post is way ahead. Thankyouverymuch.)
We're officially here. First grade.
Side view was pretty important. Clearly.
It was actually also Russ' first day of a new job! I never got around to telling you about his old new job. Maybe I'll post about the new new job soon. Keep those fingers crossed. Unless, of course, you need to use them. Then don't do that.

We are nothing if not committed to all high calorie traditions.
Aaaand the out-takes...

"Eliot, show me with your hand that you're in first grade!...oh! Um...maybe a different finger?"

"Dez, what are you going to do now that you're not following Eliot around all day?"
Mkay then.

To see Eliot's cuteness from Kindergarten and 2 years of Pre-K, click ye ol' links below...

First day of Kindergarten

First day of pre-school, (2nd) First day of pre-school

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fall jumpstart?

We missed strawberry and blueberry picking seasons. #parentfail #droughtfailactually

However, I'm writing today to announce that we, The Mohrs, did NOT in fact miss apple picking season.

I know how important this is to you all. Thank you for praying us through such a difficult time.
Good ol' fashioned funny.
Our girls! (They live with us. Surprised they're not on here more often...)

I'd like to introduce you to 14 year old Eliot...geesh.
Our new friends, the Millers!

As soon as we got home, Eliot begged us to make carmel apples. He talked about the whole time we picked apples, asked in the car, etc. So that's what we did. For the next hour, we figured out how to make these dang things. After they'd cooled and set, Eliot and I sat down to eat some. Eliot got about 4 bites in and said, "Mom, do we have any without this stuff on the outside? Like with just the inside and skin?" I said, "you mean just an apple?" and he got so excited and said, "YES!!"