Thursday, July 29, 2010

Family Size

Expanding our family is something Michael and I have been talking about a lot lately.  Michael was ready for a second child way before I was.  Since Evie turned one, actually.  It was me--the woman who said she wanted four children--that took forever to wrap my head around the idea of a second child.

Finally, while Michael was at Basic Training, I decided I was ready to start considering the idea.  I saw my cousin juggle her newborn and toddler the same age as Evie, and it didn't freak me out.  I actually started to get excited about the idea of having another person to love.  Michael and I talked about it and decided to start trying this fall. 

Fast forward four months, and we're fast approaching fall.  And now I'm freaked out again.  I know we've gone through a lot of changes lately with the move and all so if we push it back a few months due to stress, that's no big thing.  But that's not really the problem. 

It's not the timing that I'm concerned about.  It's the second child altogether.  After having Evie and realizing that my need for order was never going to happen if I had four children, Michael and I decided we'd only have two.  Once he joined the Air Force, it made even more sense to us because we'll be moving around a lot, and it would make trips home a lot cheaper.

Now--and I can't even believe I'm even thinking this--I'm considering not having any more children altogether.  I hate the idea of Evie being an only child, which is the biggest con on my "having only one child" pro/con list, but it's becoming more and more appealing.  Never having to deal with sleepless nights or teething or baby-proofing or breastfeeding for 12+ months sounds great.  I hadn't minded those moments so much at the time, but now that those moments are in the past, I'm not totally opposed to keeping them there.

Go figure that now that being an one-income family is not an issue, and I can stay home without guilt, I'm so confused on the baby issue.

Some of my reasons for not wanting any more children seem a little selfish (even to me) or goofy, but they are valid enough reasons to have me totally confused on what to do.  I love that I've finally started getting my pre-baby body back, and I dread the idea of having to do this all over again.  I like that I can have a guestroom catch-all room in my three bedroom house.  What do people do with their junk when they have more than one child?

I relish the thought that I could start using my degree or get my Masters Degree a lot sooner than anticipated.  As long as I have babies/toddlers/preschoolers, it's important to me that I be a stay-at-home mom so going back to work now and putting Evie in daycare is not even an option to me.  I love staying home, but I hate that I spent so much time and energy on a degree that I'm not even using and may not use for another four or five years.

But one huge reason for not having another child is that I love my family just the way it is.  I know that I have enough love in my heart for more than one child, and I know if we decide to go that route, I'll run with it and never look back.  But to us, Evie is perfection.  Why mess with a good thing?

Reading through this, it seems like I'm leaning towards stopping with only one child.  But that's really not the case.  There are just so many pros on both sides of the decision, and it's confusing me so much my head spins every time I think about it.  One day I say "no more, we're done" and the next it's "okay, I think I want to try for one more". 

I know we can put off this decision for awhile, but we both do agree that if we are going to try for a second, we want it to be soon.  I don't want my children to be too far apart in age, and for all the "pros" to having one child that I listed above, soon or never are pretty much the two choices I've got.  It's not like we'll take away the option to have another in the future if we decide not to now, but I just don't see that happening.

I really needed to just sit here and organize my thoughts on the issue.  And now that I have, I'm asking something of all you parents out there.  Leave me a comment (on here or Facebook) with your thoughts on family size.  I know I'm not the only person in the world to have trouble taking that step from one child to two.  Every parent has made the decision, falling on one side or the other in the end. 

Although this is a personal decision that Michael and I have to make by ourselves, I need some perspective and some lived-through-it-advice.  Thank you!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I went back home to Wisconsin this past weekend to be a part of my sister's wedding.  I was the Matron of Honor and Evie was the Flower Girl. It was a long but fun weekend.  Thought I'd honor them with my "Wordless Wednesday" that is proving to be not quite so wordless.

The bride and groom--Amanda and Matt

My sister and I--I'm the shortie in the family

Evie and I

My BFF Mandie and I

My someday sister-in-law, Promise and I

Friday, July 23, 2010

Just Checking In

I know, I know.  My blogging has been pretty scarce lately.  Between getting our new house (yeah!), unpacking and then driving back home for my sister's wedding this weekend, life has been beyond hectic.  It's been a complete whirlwind.

So we got our house on base on Monday.  I have to say, it's growing on me.  I wasn't thrilled with living in a duplex after owning our own home for the past couple of years, but there are a lot of things I really like about it.  Like the fact that it's only one story so Evie can play in her bedroom during the day and not clutter the living room with all her stuff.  Well, too much of her stuff anyway.

I also love the beautiful hardwood floors and the privacy-fenced backyard.  I love that I have the time and resources to make our house look more like a home.  I can't wait to get back after the weekend and starting decorating!

We've only lived in Kansas for two weeks, but Michael and I are already certain we'll like it here.  Although the city is big and has a lot of resources that make living in a big city appealing, it's still very mid-western and easy to navigate.  It's familiar because a lot of the city's amenities are the same as we have back in Wisconsin, but there are enough different things to make it exciting.

We also like the base so far.  I think for a first duty station, McConnell worked out well for us.  The base isn't very large so it's easy to find everything.  For me--the worse navigator ever--this is a huge plus.  I'm disappointed in the small selection at the base library, but this just means I'll have to check out more of Wichita to find a better one.  The base gym offers free classes which will hopefully motivate me to get my butt in there!

We've also met some great people already and retained a few friends.  It worked out well that two of Michael's friends from Tech School were stationed with him because it helped us both feel less isolated right away.  I met an awesome spouse who has a daughter for Evie to play with which has helped make the days fly by.  Her living only a house away was fate, I think.

I promise once things start settling down a tiny bit, I'll be blogging regularly again--and do more than just post pictures!  Though I will be blogging around my sister's wedding and sharing pictures of our furnished house soon!

PS: How much do you love the new look of my blog?  I'm getting craftier!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

This one won't be quite so wordless as I need to explain a few things.  This is our new home on base.  We don't move in until early next week, but we've at least gotten to walk through it.

These next pictures are of our temporary lodgings on base.  We are staying here until we can get into our house.  It's more than a one bedroom apartment than a hotel room.

We went to the Zoo on Saturday.  Evie absolutely loved it.  It's a great Zoo, and I know we'll be going often enough to make buying season passes a good idea.  Michael hasn't been to the Zoo with her before, so it was a great day for all of us.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

There's No Place Like Home

In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy stated repeatedly that "There's no place like home".  She's right, of course.  There is no place like home.  When you're home, you're surrounded by family and friends who love you, and by places and sights you're familiar with.

Tomorrow my little family of three heads off to that home Dorothy spoke so fondly of--Kansas--in hopes of calling it our home for a little while.  We don't know anyone, and the miles and miles of flat land will look nothing like the hilly river valley we're used to. 

But as long as we're together, home is where we make it.  For now, the Air Force says Kansas is our home.  Two years from now, that home will be some place different (hopefully with a beach). 

After a long few days watching the movers pack and haul away our stuff and cleaning and closing on our home, I am so ready to be starting this next leg of the journey.  I'm not ecstatic about living out of a hotel room for a couple of weeks, but I am ready to call Kansas home.

I am not sure what my internet connection will be like in the hotel so if my blog posts are scarce, sorry in advance.  Once we're settled in our new house, I'll start up Wordless Wednesday and Hey, It's Okay Thursday again. 

Monday, July 5, 2010

My Beautiful Family

Today we had family photos taken at JC Penny Portrait Studio.  Evie was in a great mood, the photographer was fantastic, and everyone smiled.  What more could you ask for of a portrait session?

We decided to go with an Independence Day theme since it's the holiday weekend.  This is our first Independence Day as a military family, so it just sort of fit.  They turned out so great that I had to share!

This is my favorite shot of the three of us.

We so rarely get a picture of the two of us since I'm usually the one behind the camera.

We got some great shots of Evie with her Papa. 

Michael is so photogenic, we couldn't pass up on this photo.

And of course, little Miss Evie needed some pictures all by herself.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Going Away Party

Michael's best friend Wil and his brother Stan threw us a Going Away Party on Saturday.  It was a beautiful day, and so much fun!  It was a great way for us to see everyone before we leave since Michael has so few days here before we move to Kansas.  We all took a lot of pictures so I thought I'd share a few with you!

Michael with his friends Max & Wil.

Me and my best friend, Amanda.

Michael with his sister, Carla.

Michael and I.

Michael with most of his siblings.

Happy Independence Day everyone!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Yep, I'm Still Alive

Hey, folks!  In case you are wondering, yes I am still alive.  It's just been a very busy week, and the internet wasn't working very well.  I haven't gone this long without blogging for quite some time so it was bound to happen.

Really, it was probably for the best that I didn't blog throughout the week.  We had some problems with our upcoming move--they didn't schedule it!  We were told a few different things--some of it obviously lies--but someone finally decided to intervene and help, and now it's all on track again.  We may not get our stuff for two weeks, but it's better than the alternatives they tried presenting us.

We did get something shocking this week, though--good news!  Throughout this entire moving process, we've never received good news.  It's always been "well, this was screwed up" or "this happened, so now you owe this amount of money" or something else along those lines.

So, the good news.  We thought we were going to lose about $5500 on the sale of our home.  In this market, that's not really all that bad, but it was still a little depressing.  Well, we got word from the organization that helped us with renovations when we first bought the house, that they were reducing the amount we owed them by almost $8000.  Not only are we no longer losing money on the house, but we may actually make something off it.  Amazing.

And of course, the best thing from this week?  Michael is home!  He arrived home early yesterday morning.  Our days between now and when we leave for Kansas on the 8th are going to be busy, but it's so great to have him back.  Six months apart was just too long.

I have a lot of catching up to do in blog land, but I may be a little behind for a while.  My sister's bridal shower and bachelorette party were last weekend so I plan to blog about that soon.  And today we have a going away party with Michael's family and some friends, so I'm sure I'll blog about that too.