Our little family

Our little family
Wife Woman, Husband Man, Catcher and The Hoskinettes.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Life as we know it

Today I went through my normal morning routine. Got the babies their bottles, fed the big kids breakfast and then retrieved the babies from upstairs to come have their breakfast. Somewhere in there I found a moment to take a few bites of my cereal. After breakfast we all stayed in our pj's for a bit and adjourned to the living room. The babies played on the floor, happilly sharing toys and giggles, the big girls read stories and serranaded the babies with primary songs. I sat on the couch cozy with one or another child on my lap at any given time, and enjoyed two hours of pure bliss. I sat there for the whole time in awe of these beautiful blessings in our lives. These children who each have their own unique personality and gifts to bring to the family, they are all ours (well soon to be ALL ours.)

Darla: She will officially be ours as of July 1, 2011 (8:15am). We've signed the adoptive placement forms so she is in adoptive custody and will be in permanent family placement as of our final court signing on July 1st. She is starting to crawl, mostly in an army crawl fashion, dragging herself with her arms, but she certainly gets where she wants to go! She smiles constantly, nearly every second she is awake she is happy. Darla has FINALLY discovered the joys of eating! The kid wouldn't swallow anything that wasn't a bottle until just recently and now she can't get enough of the real stuff! Currently she LOVES sausage for some strange reason, it was hillarious watching her eat it for the first time, grinned everytime it was in her mouth. She is about to be 9 months old and has a mouth full of 8 teeth that she shows off with all her happy smiles. Here are a few recent pictures of her:

Catcher: Our handsome little Catcher Man, or "The Baby Man," as he is often called (the younger version of "The Husband Man,") is now 15 and a half months old. He walks (finally) and climbs up on things. He is known for his snuggling and kind nature....as well as his slight obsession for cleaning and organizing. His mood is often indicative of the state of the room he is in, in a messy room he is often fussy and upset for what appears to be no reason, however after a few moments of clean up he turns into a happy happy boy. He loves neatness and order, hates to have messy hands and if I am feeding him with a spoon he freaks if food gets ON his lips or chin, he likes things clean, and that's fine by me!! He is an amazing big brother to little D and likes to share toys with her. current favorite toy? Sunglasses, on again, off again... Here are a few pictures from his tiny days to remind you how much he's grown, the last is a recent picture of him with a "mona lisa" type smile, which perfectly tipifies his gentle nature:

(this picture is also a good representation of myself before weight loss as well)

Katie: "Katie Kat" is the typical middle child, combined with the typical 3 year old...all rolled into a cute and sweet little package that makes it hard to be mad when she can be so frustrating! That being said, the tough side is opposite of her 'oh so sweet' side which loves to sing songs and make up stories and has the imagination of ten children combined. A few days ago in the car I heard her playing, acting out some kind of story between two characters, I looked back to see what toys she was playing with, and she had none. Each of her hands was a character, and later a foot was added to the show which made it quite interesting. While easy to anger and frustration (comes with the age) she is quick to laugh and giggle and be silly to make others feel happy. She loves the babies and is always trying to be helpful with them, she knows Catcher likes this clean so she'll often clean up around him just to make him smile. She loves to cuddle with anyone who'll let her and always has to have 'blankey' included in the snuggle. Her long blonde hair has gotten even longer and is near to being sat on her by own little bottom, she hopes to grow it as long as Rapunzel, which is of course because her favorite movie and character is Rapunzel from Tangled. Again here are some pictures of her, a few memorable young ones first:

Maggie: "Maggie May" is going to be turning 6 in August, which is also the same time as the anniversary of her adoption 4 years ago. She completely kindergarten this last year and is excited to start 1st grade in a homeschool program through a local charter school. Maggie excels at nearly anything physical, which is why she'll be getting to start up gymnastics again in the fall as well. She used to do it a few years ago and was getting good at it but during my pregnancy with Catcher we had to drop it for a while to simplify things but we are excited to be starting it again for her soon. Maggie loves being a big sister and enjoys helping mommy, espcially with sweeping which she has become quite good at. At least twice a week she volunteers to sweep the whole bottom floor of the house, which is no small task considering the nearly 1300 square feet of the bottom floor are all either tile or wood, aside from a small rug in the livingroom. We got a new dog a few months ago and Maggie's animal skills have continued to amaze us. She has what I call "Animal Charisma"....animals are drawn to her and will listen to her and obey her commands quite well for such a small child. we look forward to seeing this talent grow as she does. Here are some pictures of her, the first is of the day we got her, at 6 weeks old still only weighed just over 6 pounds, this is my mom holding her, then a few more of her leading up to a current picture of our Magdalena May:

Elaine: "Lainey Bug" is 7 and still...of course....loves ballet. She just finished her fourth year of ballet and third recital with Juline School of Dance in Modesto. Elaine is ecstatic about the opportunity to try out for Central West Ballet's production of "The Nutcracker" this holiday season, she has dreamed of being in a 'real' ballet for as long as she knew they existed. She keeps hoping if she practices hard enough she'll get to be the sugar plum fairy, while trying not to totally burst her bubble I had to remind her that it is a part for older girls who have been on pointe for years and that she'll have an opportunity to try out for that part in years to come, and she is NOW looking forward to being in it in any part she gets. She is, as ever, the sweet and gentle oldest child. She, like Catcher, likes things to be in a certain kind of order and does get frustrated with things (such as siblings) who upset that order, but all in all is quite easy going
and usually the first to compromise when it is needed (daily with this many kids!) As an oldest child I couldn't have asked for anything better than a sweet and loving example to the younger children as she is. I recently came across several old pictures, so here are a few of Elaine thru the years ending with the most recent:

(this was her 5th birthday party, with a REAL ballerina, a day she'll never forget)

Well I guess that only leaves The Husband Man and I (which makes me The Wonder Wife). For anyone who follows us thru facebook or anything, you are surely aware of my weight loss, but did you also know that The Husband Man lost even more than I did??! Seriously! Adam has lost 60 pounds and I have lost 50. We have found a healthy balance and maintenance plan that is working well for us. Losing weight together was so much easier than years of trying and failing alone. We celebrated our 10th anniversary last month and I am elated to say we are both the same size we were when we got married, i even tried on my wedding dress just for kicks and it totally fit! Which the kids loved, getting to see mommy as a princess again :)

I had a breast reduction following the completion of my weight loss, something I've wanted for years and finally was able to have, thanks to my insurance. That was the icing on the fat free weight loss cake! It made my weight loss seem so much more dramatic over night! it was a difficult adjustment for me at first but I healed quick and am back to normal life, as a new version of normal sets in. My dr told me after only 3 weeks post op that I looked nearly fully healed, like someone would at 6 weeks out, apparently I healed twice as fast as the average person...hence my title, Wonder Wife!

The Husband Man continues to work as a Police Officer (official title of Senior Special Agent) with Union Pacific Railroad, he takes his work very serious and we are so glad he's out there keeping things a little safer for everyone. This job has been a blessing for our family in so many ways and we are looking forward to many more years to come with the comapany.

Life as we know it is busy and beautiful, stressful and superb, wild and wonderful.... When I look back at what just the last year alone has brought, it only makes me sit in wonder as to what amazing blessings the Lord has in store for our family, through miraculous and sometimes unimaginable means....

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The things they don't tell you....

****Warning, this blog is about my breast reduction surgery, NO it IS NOT graphic in nature at all, but you should know the topic incase you're uncomfortable with it, this is my life and these are the things I'm going thru and here's what I have to say about it*****

Why is it I keep coming across times in my life where I suddenly realize, there is a LOT "they" never told me about this. For example I remember when i graduated from high school, i did NOT know my diploma wouldn't be in the nifty little diploma holder they gave me when i crossed the stage, why didn't anybody tell me that before? And when I got married, why didn't anyone tell me that despite looking like a princess all day, i was so uncomfortable in my dress and veil and super-armored underwear that i spent the whole day looking forward to ripping it off and never wearing it again (my husband probably did too but for slightly different reasons). Seriously, the whole time i was getting ready for my wedding, nobody bothered to mention that? And when i got pregnant and did the math and realized pregnancy is more like 10 months...not 9, 40 weeks, that's 10 months, not 9. All the women out there having children and not one could spare the time to prepare me for that one? (my babies were all born early anyway so why should i complain eh?!) But the point of this whole thing is the amount of information NO ONE told me before having a breast reduction. SOOOOO if you're thinking at all of ever having it done, or know someone who might, or even someone who might consider any kind of radical alteration to their appearance, then read on my friends....read on. (if not feel free to stop reading here :)

My doctor never saw me for more than five minutes at each of my pre-surgery appointments, told me what the surgery entailed, asked if i was serious and ready, and that was it. I read all the information made available to me by Kaiser, which consisted of a pre-surgery (generic to most kinds of surgery) information sheet of what not to wear on surgery day and so on, as well as post-op care information (again rather general to all surgery) how to change a dressing, and take meds and relax. That was literally ALL that was made available to me. Now on Facebook i had taken every opportunity to update about my surgery, and all along the way I had several people privately message me to say that they'd had the surgery or known someone else who had and that (and I quote from EVERY person who messaged me about it) "it was the best thing I ever did!!!" So at this point i was excited, people with experience were that happy with it, than i would be too...right?!

On the day of the surgery i found myself worrying i wouldn't like the results, what if they made me feel fatter because as a comparison the rest of my body didn't appear so small now that there weren't two giant bolders on my chest to compare them to? and religiously, was it right to be changing the body God gave me? It all began to hit me that morning, and i began to almost look for reasons not to go thru with it. I actually am not terribly afraid of surgery, i've had several in the past, knee surgeries, tonsils out and of course the three c-sections, so it wasn't really the surgery i was worried about, just the results of it. Again all i got from people were confirmation that i would be so glad when it was done, and even when i prayed i had a sense of peace so i knew it was the right thing to do....so i had went ahead with the breast reduction surgery.

As with all surgeries, my part was easy, i went to sleep and in the blink of an eye woke up and it was done. It's somewhat disconcerting to wake up in what felt like a second and realize HOURS have passed, and my whole body was altered. I had a HUGE bandage on so i really didn't feel much smaller at that point, which of course made me worry that they didn't take enough off. That fear went away the next day at my appointment when the bandage was removed and i saw my new self for the first time....

After years of looking down and seeing nothing but the top of my large chest, i looked down and felt like there was no longer ANY chest, none at all. My new chest was so swollen and tight against my body that i honestly felt like i had NO breasts at all!! I cried, i began to feel i'd made a huge and awful mistake. Thus began a downward spiral no one told me would happen. Everytime i looked down at myself i cried, I felt like my husband would no longer find me attractive, i honestly felt i looked like a man. What I saw didn't resemble breasts at all, mutilated pieces of meat were my exact thoughts on the matter. How could so many people have gone thru this and come out thinking it was the best decision they'd ever made and not stopped to mention a period of mourning the loss of your previous identity?? That's totally how I felt, I'd always been "that girl with the big boobs," not that I found this flattering or anything, but it's just who I was, for as long as I could remember, I mean I had to start wearing a bra in 4th grade, despite being stick thin everywhere else, and by 8th grade i was a DD! I did not realize how much of my personally percieved identity was wrapped up in my overly large bust. I cried for several days, over everything, over nothing, I felt depressed for the first time in my life. I had never gone thru post pardum depression with any of my babies, but my husband said that it was like i was going thru post-parting depression with the loss of my breasts, while humorous it very accurately described how I felt. It's like shopper's remorse, you buy something at the store, even though it's more than you meant to spend, and when you get home you just decide it wasn't worth that price and you take it back....only I couldn't take it back. All those people couldn't takea moment to tell me I might feel like this???? Or to tell me they wouldn't even resemble breasts at first???? At this point I was worried I would feel like this forever and they would look like that forever.

And then a breakthru came....

About a week after surgery Adam and I took the opportunity to go shopping while the older kids were at school, we broght the little ones with us and went to the StoneRidge Mall in Pleasanton. I tried on bra's for the first time to get an idea of what size I was. The pain during this week had been easy to deal with, I only took pain meds on the day of surgery and after that If I hurt I laid down, because my pain was near gone when i laid down on my back....again, no one told me i wouldn't be able to lay on my side after surgery. So by this time a lot of swelling had gone down and my breasts were beginning to outwardly (thru clothing) take on a more normal shape. Upon trying on SEVERAL bra's I found that my new size was happilly a D, which was exactly what I'd wanted, I guess I just didn't realize how much smaller a D was in comparison to my previous size I. It was like an instant change, now realizing i had what I wanted, and generally feeling better because I was shopping which is the ultimate cure-all for me , i left that mall with a new found freedom. I no longer feel depressed and am quite happy with the results, and went in to my next appointment a whole different person that I'd been the week before.

My doctor said I looked to be feeling better and asked how I felt about the results.

"Well, I am happy with the results NOW, but I have to tell you, last week I was quite depressed about the whole thing, I didn't like how small they were and I didn't realize how much of my personal identity I had attatched to my large chest."

"Oh yeah," he says," I could tell even before your surgery you were going to have that problem."

EXCUSE ME???!!!!!!!!! He spent all of five minutes with me at each appointment, (2 total before surgery) and in that time he could tell this about me? Ok that is totally possible, but if it was true, why didn't he tell me???? SERIOUSLY!! I mean if you think i have the potential for depression after surgery, you don't think there's something you can do, but at least bringing up the topic during an appointment, letting me know i might feel this way, and what to do about it, or how long it could last...or for heaven's sake give me some reading literature on the topic!!! I was so infuriated by the non-challant attitude that it was just something I would have to deal with, and since I was better now why did it matter? You want to know why it matters, and why I'm telling everyone this?! Because during those days, I felt like the only person on the planet who'd had this surgery and was unhappy with it, during that time i felt so alone (which does not help when you're already depressed) because everyone else said "it was the best choice i ever made!"

Now it has been over two weeks since my surgery and honestly at this point I can say "it was the best choice I've ever made," as well, but if I were really telling someone who was considering this surgery, i would not forget to mention that it's a HUGE adjustment to change that drastically in a matter of hours, or what to me felt like the blink of an eye. It will take a serious period of getting used to the way you move and the way clothes fit and the way you look when all is said and done. And being confident in yourself when your a whole new self is a little hard to come by in the beginning. And that all of that....is OK, and normal. That's the main thing I wish someone would have told me, that feeling that way, is normal, and that it will pass.

I won't apologize for the bluntness of my blog on this subject, as you were forewarned and if you chose to read this far that's your own fault, but I would like to say that I hope more of us take the time to be honest, to be truly honest with our answers to all questions, because sometimes people ask those questions looking for the whole answer, not just the 'right' one.