We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are." ~Marjorie Pay Hinckley~

Loehrmann Family Favorite Recipes

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Flashback to April: Sometimes Life Gives you Lemons.Orchards Full. And then you open a lemonade factory.

I've debated whether to write this, but thought that for posterity's sake, my child should know that not everything was Pinterest, Butterflies and Sunshine.

To recap my life in the last eight months:
I nannied two boys, ages two and newborn. The idea was that I would feed, entertain, teach German, do structured pre-schoolish activities, establish napschedules and play outside, etc. As opposed to his previous nanny who let the boy just watch tv and do whatever. And I'd get the projectile vomiting baby to boot. All for the same low price of 7.50 an hour. Total. Boy was I a sucker. After two months I couldn't handle it. There were too many major changes for the 2 yr old (all the above mentioned, plus becoming big brother and losing mom going back to work, and getting a new babysitter/nanny for 11 hour long days. Oh and let's only speak German to him. Elders in the MTC cry. And she thought he would "just adjust". Oh my, Crazy Mom. Oh my!)  Every morning when the boys would get dropped off, it would begin with a major emotional meltdown of 2 yr old flesh in my doorway. And to this screaming, Lukas was awakened every.single.Monday through Thursday. And the increased amounts of laundry from vomit. So awesome since I have no washing machine in my apartment. Never have yet. I put in notice after 2 months because we needed sanity again.

Conveniently I had a great reason to quit on top of my non-hacking it with over-the-top child whose mom wasn't getting it. Sharlynn said she was pregnant and would have a baby in 12 weeks. And that if she would place she would place with us, and that she would have to keep if the birthdad stepped in. I googled him. There was no way he would willingly want to pay child support, nor would he gain custody with his wrap sheet. Which was on the internet. Which was how they met. But she didn't know any of that. Even though they met on the internet.  But hey, at least it sounded better than saying, "I actually don't want to place this time because I'm in need of feeling loved and it would be too hard a second time around." So we really thought it could happen. We jumped through a lot of hoops quickly, paid a bunch of money for multiple background checks, doctor visits, etc. We would have to very quickly get approved by LDS Family Services ahead. We hadn't financially planned to adopt right then, so didn't have money saved. Finally, three weeks before due date, we call her to get the final decision, since it would involve not only us but Lukas. We did tell him of a possibility of a mother placing a child, because with such short notice one way or the other, it would be crazy emotionally, so we'd wanted to prepare him, based on the odds we felt we had- based on her only keeping if birthdad stepped in. Probably should have never told him. But would have been hard to conceal all that was happening. All the classes we had to drive to an hour away, and all the babysitters he was getting. Which was also emotionally hard. And was all for nothing. My favorite (not) quote from her is when she said her mom said that "Jared and Jessica are strong kids. They'll get over it." Great. What a jerky insensitive thing to tell us. She must have no idea how hard it is to see totally irresponsible people get babies while we are trying so hard to obtain ourselves such a blessing. She hoped she hadn't led us on. Riiiight. Anyways, there were months of emotional battles to follow with Lukas, lots of hitting me, and screaming "I hate mom and all moms of the world."  Really awesome. I would just respond with "I love you anyways" and move on, but felt MAJOR resentment for this woman who dangled a sibling in front of her own flesh and blood then denied him what he wishes most of all, a sibling. But of course, even other people's stupid selfish decisions are supposed to be "all part of Heavenly Father's plan" so yayyyyy, there's that.

I got to go to VA with Lukas, and have an less-than-uplifting-for-me visit full of stone walling, policing, and awkward moments. At least I could clean more of my own crap out of mom and dad's house, although they were insistent of looking at each thing I was cleaning out. Heaven forbid I put a student handbook from Joel's middle school in the trash. Oh my. Jared wasn't there since he was still in Germany with his HS students for a non-paid three week exchange program. I had to convince Lukas that Grandpa likes him since he wasn't sure. Heck, I wasn't sure, but I lied for the sake of future family relationships. That's what honoring father and mother has come to. I saw my mission president and his wife and my childhood best friends, and my brother and his wife and all their cute kids, which was awesome. I was SO glad Lukas got so much bonding time with Ben, who he keeps in contact with through pen pal letters now and again. We haven't sent one in awhile due to my constant emotional breakdowns over the last months. I didn't realize how much a hole I have in me due to super strained parental relationships in my life, but have come to see some major dysfunction in myself and it makes the present situation even worse, because when I see these traits emerge I feel hate for myself and them. So since I write this blog as a means of connecting to family, and making it into a book, I no longer get public high fives for clever posts, or take concern about the number of comments I get on my blog anymore. Because frankly, it's mostly always zero. Yet I feel vulnerable for letting people peek through the windows of my life so often without much in way of emotional return on the investment, so I closed the bank for awhile and stepped back. Waaaaaay back. I no longer called other people unless really necessary, updated blogosphere, etc. And nobody really seemed to notice. But I did. And it was relief. The less investment in a non-returning stock, the better. I needed time to sort out my life. My seemingly perfect life to some, but hell for me. Here I was angry, and totally in no control of so many situations I was in. Except to keep grinning and baring it and I wasn't willing to do that anymore. So there it was. And when I meet people with ultra close, supportive parents I have a pang of sorrow for myself. Even when i can still feel happy for those people, because I see how much it affects their lives for good. Generally being disconnected from chaotic relationships is a blessing right now. I have no desire to deal with arguing, etc., especially with people who cannot even entertain any point of view other than their own. But they're family. So I am not giving up, just giving myself major room to come afloat again. I am sinking.

In all of this, Jared had leg surgery, was working as a German teacher, and the High School soccer coach, and the German Exchange Program Coordinator. AND the Principal of a German School where we BOTH teach on Saturdays, even when we are sick because there are no subs. I started my first Saturday with a fever and aches. So awesome.  Oh yeah, and he's the Elders Quorum President. And I'm in the YW Presidency.  I thought we were taking on too much, but agreed that it was a means to an end. Money to pay off debt we took on while Jared got his credentials at Sac State and couldn't work for a whole school year. That's life. Except it left no room for me going off the deep end.

Then my kid was lost for almost 3 hours with police looking for him. That was an awful day, to say the least.

Then the new year has come and I have been a total basket case. I almost left the church, due to the feeling of being overworked and feeling waaaaay under-blessed, and jerky judgemental people who love to claim the church's trueness but haven't yet grasped the living it outwardly part I suppose.  I know that we don't get blessings in a direct relationship to the time, money and effort we give, but seriously feeling gypped in this life sucks, especially when it feels like "everyone else" is being blessed. Yet at the same time people look at our good boy, loving husband, and this fun wife who can "get fun things done" in yw and envy the life we have. And through all of this my visiting teachers were absent, only to find out months later that they are somehow intimidated by me. Yes, the woman who runs marathons, lives in a beautiful home that they own, and has multiple beautiful children, dresses very stylishly and is pretty, is intimidated by the woman who runs 7 loads of wash to a laundry facility each week, has one kid, lives in an apartment and can't run a mile without wanting to die, gets her clothes from swap meets and Goodwill, and is scraping to make ends meet, and gets asked to do things because I have "so much time" on my hands. Ohhhhhhh, the fools who envy what they don't even know. LOL.  And I say to Jared, who has dealt with some seriously disturbed people in our ward: "At least I am not stabbing my husband, or shooting myself. I am awesome." But I have yelled at my kid, yelled at my husband, completely lost control, and have considered getting medicated to deal with my life. Of course, one could say that I should just "look at the bright side" but I've been waiting for the sun to come up to see it.

And in this time a friend  here said that her husband mentioned our family on a needs list at an EQ meeting where Jared couldn't make it, to which was replied, as do most people I'm sure, "Oh, it's the Loehrmanns. They're fine!"  Bwaaaah ha ha. Riiiiiight. We're just fiiiiiiiine!

We have been plagued with colds and bronchitis for months, but we're fiiiiiiiine. I felt really fine just two weeks ago at church with Devil Pink eye in one side and cough drops going to keep the coughing from interrupting.

And we're now paying off the extra bills accrued from months of failed fertility treatments. It feels like a huge "waste" of money, even though it finally offers closure to the end of a chapter of trying to change our number of family members. We are who we are. We have the jobs we have. The circumstances we are in don't allow us to do more. We will move forward as the three musketeers, and give this boy every opportunity and ounce of sanity we can afford, and try to not be bitter (me) about the last months.

So here I am, back from wanting to ditch the faith of my youth, although its past is ridden with trivial weirdness, has better investment options than my bank account ever will, and houses such interesting people that one is forced to 'deal with' through assignments,callings, and otherwise trying to make people feel "included", ironically. And I'm trucking along, hoping for some happiness in the world around me. I know I have to make it myself, so sometimes I do. Other times, I'm just too worn out to try. I hope that church will finally be uplifting this week and know that people will step up and do things I'm no longer going to jump in and do. I prefer to let it go.  And take sick days and not show up for some activity for once. Or twice. Nobody is irreplaceable in the Church.

And I'm coming back to calm. And laugh hearing epic stories about funny family gatherings and feel so grateful for those who reach out to our family. Like the ones who see a need we have a help us fill it instead of just offering sympathy. I feel humbled by the generosity of my brother, and am excited to get to go see Jared's family in Germany this summer. His dad isn't doing well health-wise and they all haven't seen Lukas in three years +, except for their Skyping efforts. The whole family was going to convene at a place together for two weeks. Florian has a wife now. Steffen is bringing his girlfriend. Our son is going to be FIVE years old!!! There is a LOT of catching up to do and lots of Phase 10 to be played. They were so upset when we told them the exchange trip got cancelled and Jared was no longer travelling there through his school, and we just didn't have the money for tickets. They understood, since none of them have tons of money either.  But out of nowhere, we are going. Jared's mom was shocked, and laughed for joy and disbelief. She said she'd have to go take a shower to make sure she wasn't dreaming. And we cannot wait to see all of them, and feel like we are living.

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