Ugh Days

It’s been one of those days. I’m sure you know the type. A blah day. An ugh day. A day for which you wish you could call “do over.” Well, that is if you’re at all like me. I am a die hard “I can do it myself” person. My attitude gets so skewed that I even kind of resent people who offer help as if they’re saying I can’t do something on my own. Well today was one of those days. Trying to control everything around me…all day long. And what do I have to show for it? Nothing but disappointment & exhaustion. 

I try telling myself that if I didn’t care so much or love so much, I wouldn’t try to make everything right and good. But sometimes, when it boils down to it, there’s no reason other than a loss of focus. Satan’s pretty sneaky & quick to find the diversion away from Christ that I fall for every time. You’d think by now I’d be on guard enough to see it coming…maybe not stop it but at least see that wicked train coming. Nope. Fail. Every. Time.

Well at least there is a big fat goodness moment waiting for me. My crap day that I’ve created for myself can be turned around and only by the grace of God. His Son, Jesus, took my self-centered, know-it-all attitude and nailed it to the cross so I wouldn’t need to be in control. Jesus gives me the gift of being able to say that I can stop, breathe, relax, and give it up to Him. What better place to lay all my worries, disappointments, & frustrations? Not one that I can think of. 

So since I took a big dump on my day, I am going to smack my forehead and have a duh moment. I am going to stop & realize that today is done & be thankful for that. I am going to praise God that He knows what’s best and I don’t have to have all the answers. I’m going to trust fully in the promise that He gives us in Jeremiah 29:

11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, β€œplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”


A List (Oh Hubsy Wubsy, I’m sure you’re delighted!)

I don’t like lists…at all. Well I should specify. I loathe to-do lists with an unholy passion. But today I was playing with my little LL and being my ever-so-reflective-self I was thinking about how much she has changed in a short nine months. So here’s a non-to-do list!

Ten Things That Rock About My Nine Month Old:

  1. LL genuinely thinks I’m funny. She giggles & cracks up at the absolute silliest & dumbest things I do. If I could get paid for her giggles, I’d be a millionaire…I’m that good. πŸ˜‰
  2. LL thinks bouncing and jumping is one of God’s greatest gifts. She loves her Johnny Jump & would bounce it in for hours if I let her. 
  3. LL actually reaches for me now. She wholeheartedly loves her scraggly, sleep-deprived, stinky & sweaty (hello, I live in Florida) mommy so much that even when I’m totally gross, she reaches for me. Sigh…one of God’s gifts to me.
  4. LL mimics what she hears now. She is the definition of a chatterbox. I have no idea where she gets that from πŸ˜‰ She even repeated “Go, go, go!” in the car the other day! I better watch my road rage. 
  5. LL is a singer & music lover. She joined in the Hallelujah Chorus on Easter Sunday & frequently sits up while I’m rocking her at bedtime and “sings” along. It’s HILARIOUS. I do wonder though when she reaches up & shuts my mouth while I’m singing…..hmmmmm…..
  6. LL gives kisses now. Granted we usually get slobbered on with her mouth gaping open but still…a baby kiss is a baby kiss!
  7. LL is definitely starting to develop some real personality. Scratch that…she’s found more ways to show the personality that has always been there. Since day one, this kiddo has been doing things on her own. She held her head up in the hospital the day she was born for goodness’ sake! Now she only wants to eat from her bottle if I let her try and hold it first.
  8. LL loves to eat veggies, lots of veggies. The fact that I have a baby old enough to be eating real food is mind boggling but I love that she is already I better eater than I ever was.
  9. LL lights up when her daddy comes in. She truly adores that goofball. Since he started working from home she looks out her bedroom door for him as soon as I get her up from her naps. *Melting my heart*
  10. LL hugs & snuggles more than ever. She has never been the lay on mommy’s chest type of girl (see point #7..yeah that strong-willed, determined personality one…;) Now at night time I get legitimate snuggles. She lays her head on my shoulder & presses her cheek to mine & even goes forehead to forehead with me like she’s got some big secret to share.

Goodness I am totally in love with a nine month old & not a bit ashamed of it! πŸ˜‰ 

Things change…a lot!

If you would have asked me two years ago what my life would look like as a mommy, I’d tell you that I would be a working mom and completely confident in that fact. I’d tell you that I’d be a breastfeeding mom. I’d tell you that I would be managing all of it beautifully. 

Well, things change.

After Laura was born I couldn’t breastfeed. I tried…to the point of losing my mind, literally. A month after Laura was born I was diagnosed with severe Postpartum Depression. We even had to fly my mom, Grandma Debbers, back down because I could not get out of bed, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t stop the irrational anxiety-ridden thoughts. Never in my life had I felt so helpless and crazy. I’ve had issues I’ve dealt with in counseling but never to the point where I needed medication. This was an entirely different ballgame…things change. Going back to work was a necessity for me, not for financial reasons, but for my mental health. Some may never understand that but I firmly believe it had to happen. I needed to have something familiar and tangible that engaged the part of my brain that was solid, my academic side. I’m so eternally grateful for my part time job as a preschool teacher. It was one of the things that brought me out of the depths and I believe God put that job there for that reason.

Fast forward eight months. I am weaning off my meds and feel phenomenal. Back to my grounded, confident, non-anxiety-ridden self! Things change. I have told my wonderful preschool that I won’t be returning next school year. The very thought that used to make me sweat, unable to move or speak, has now become the only thing I want to do…stay at home with my sweet Laura-love. I, Katie Visaggio, will be a stay at home mom starting in June. Things change. I cannot wait for days at home playing, going on walks and to the park, battling my stubborn Mini-Me LL on the daily things I am sure we will “disagree” on, and cooking dinners, yes, even cooking dinners! THINGS CHANGE! πŸ˜‰ 

I have changed. I become the gentler, softer person I’ve always prayed to be. (Ok, I still have my snarky, quick-mouthed, stubborn side but at least it’s taken a back seat! Baby steps, people, baby steps!) My goals have shifted. Yes I still want to teach elementary school and finish my Masters degree but the priority is being there for my daughter, spending time with her, and watching her grow in God’s grace.

I can grow and change and shift without fear or caution as I have this year because of my never-changing, ever-constant God & Savior. He carried me. He put my amazing support system in place. He gave me the earthly tools possible to climb out of the depths and become the stronger, gentler, more confident Katie I am today. He never leaves or forsakes. He plans and directs things for my prosperity to His glory. I want to be a good stay at home mom out of thanks for the fact that He saved me eternally & blessed me with this incredible responsibility of motherhood. 

Things change. Jesus remains. Goodness…all goodness.

_________ versus _________

I’ve learned in a very short time how many decisions a parent needs to make. For the past year+, the hubs and I have been bombarded with information, opinions, books & articles from experts, nudges from well-meaning family & friends…enough to give me an ulcer, make my head spin, & literally cause me practically a nervous breakdown at the same time. Here’s the short list of the things that we as first time parents have “had” to think about:

  • obstetrician or midwife
  • hospital, birth center, or home birth
  • find out the sex or let it be a surprise
  • natural birth or epidural
  • breastfeeding, formula feeding, or combo
  • get LL vaccinated or wait and see
  • co-sleeping or bassinet & crib
  • no cry or cry it out sleep training
  • baby-wearing or allow LL independence
  • stay at home mommy or working mommy
  • in-home babysitter, small daycare, or larger center
  • disposable or cloth diapers
  • rice cereal or oatmeal
  • pureed foods or baby-led weaning
  • homemade baby food or store bought
  • conventional or natural & alternative remedies for LL’s ears

And those are only the items I can list at this moment! For the longest time I agonized over these decisions….until the other day at LL’s 9th pediatrician appointment in 6 weeks. She had just received her second of three horribly painful Rocephin injections in an attempt to beat this awful, seemingly never-ending double ear infection. I was emotionally, mentally, & physically drained and was pleading for her to be better. But, she needed yet another injection. I fought back tears as my sweet baby girl was holding her breath in pain & then let out a wail that still causes me to cringe & choke up when I think about it. I couldn’t think of anything to soothe her. No matter what I tried I felt helpless as she just screamed in agony. By God’s grace I began singing “Jesus Loves Me,” the KV version:

Jesus loves you this I know
for the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
they are weak but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves you!
Yes, Jesus loves you!
Yes, Jesus loves you…the Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves you, He who died
heaven’s gates to open wide.
He has washed away your sin
letting little Laura in.
Yes, Jesus loves you!
Yes, Jesus loves you!
Yes, Jesus loves you…the Bible tells me so.

Amazingly she calmed almost instantly & began to smile. I could have cried for joy. A few days later as the hubs (& in my opinion the best daddy around!) was singing the same song to LL, he leaned over and said: “and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).

In that single moment I realized that the only decision that has eternal importance for LL is that we teach her who her Savior is…that she know Jesus. We had her baptized the day after she was born. We pray with her. We sing “Jesus” songs & hymns to her. We take her to church with us to hear God’s glorious word. Of all the things that we “need” to make sure she knows, our single most important mission is that we raise this precious gift of God as a Christian doing everything we can to ensure that she will spend eternity with God. None of the rest of it is worth losing sleep over. While we will use our God-given intelligence to make the best choices for our family in our circumstances, in the long run, the only choice that I will always rest peacefully with is teaching her God’s word every day. There is an indescribable calm and strength like none other as a parent when you realize that simple truth.

That, my friends, is goodness defined.

LL’s favorite book! How I love watching her smile as she sings along in her beautiful baby babbling!