Motherhood Meltdown: The Day After

Ever had a Motherhood Meltdown? You know, when all of the pent up everything finally comes flowing (exploding?) out and you scare your husband and children half to death with your dramatic outburst and huge alligator tears?

Yeah. That. When you find yourself needing a paper bag to breathe in and out of, curled up on the closet floor because the bed in your room just felt too exposed. Your husband comes in and tentatively rubs your shin while you gag and cough and sob into your pillow. He asks, “What do you need?” and you choke out, “I … don’t … KNOW!!!!”

Your four year old comes in and stops in his tracks and says, “Oh … Mama’s having a bad day?” and the two year old pops her blonde curls in to say, “Oh … Mama not happy now?”

You spend an hour on the phone with your mom or some other female confidant, and you are reassured that this is totally normal, every mom has done it, we just need to “get it out,” and tomorrow will be better.

You rub at the smeared mascara, blow your grossly congested nose, and shuffle sheepishly downstairs to see how everyone is faring.

And guess what–they’re fine. The kids are a little concerned, but once they see you walking upright, they assume you’re okay. And your husband pretends he understands (though he and I and we all know he never really will, since we barely understand it ourselves).

The Day After. 

Isn’t The Day After the best thing ever? Filled with renewed drive and determination to make small changes (baby steps people, baby steps), and feeling quite “light” with all those emotions spewed over the walls and floor of the closet the night before, you’re ready to rumble.

Setting schedules, finding verses, getting advice, chanting mantras like “I AM capable. I CAN do this. God HAS gifted me,” you go about your day.

And it’s a great day. As long as you don’t throw up your hands in defeat the first time something normal happens. You know, like spilled milk, fighting kids, a whining four year old, an unexpected bill, burned oatmeal, subzero weather. As long as you don’t feel defeated the first time something doesn’t go perfectly, as long as you can roll with it and maximize The Day After the Motherhood Meltdown, it’ll be a great day.

I had a great day. 🙂

And, I chatted with another mom of two with one on the way, also due in April, and she laughed and said, “Yep! I’ve spent a lot of time sobbing in the closet. Works every time! I feel so much better later.”

So, mothers, go have your Motherhood Meltdown. You might feel a bit sheepish, but you’ll get some great hugs from your kids, and seriously–The Day After is totally worth it.

Posted in On Being a Mom | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Have a preschooler? Don’t hold a grudge.

This started as a Facebook status update, but I realized it’s a little bit of a blog. So, I’ll log it here, even though I rarely blog anymore.

I love bedtime conversations with my son. He was a bit of an emotional mess after a full day at preschool. But once I got over myself, and stopped being annoyed at him, I was able to talk him through his day, and then received some sweet smiles, and questions about Jesus, and requests to pray to Jesus and ask “to be strong and brave, sleep good, and have silly dreams.” So we did. 🙂

One of the best tips I ever read about dealing with toddler/preschool years is DON’T hold a grudge. It’s so easy to let their attitudes cause me to be grudge-y and angry and withdrawn. But I am an adult, and need to rise above. And I’m always glad when I do! It’s not easy; I have high standards that I don’t even realize I have, and those standards appear quickly and usually a little sarcastically when my children aren’t being happy, go lucky, and obedient. I get quite frustrated when the unreasonable emotions flair, especially when moments before or after, said-preschooler is just fine. Happy, even. But me holding a grudge, and growing, building, festering, stewing grudge, throughout the afternoon and evening is SIN in me as a mom. So I’m working hard to let it go, ask Jesus to help me “be brave and strong” and be the mom I know I can be.

Posted in On Being a Mom | 1 Comment

Joseph, Dreams, and Getting Out of a Pit

I haven’t been blogging much in this season, but here’s something my husband wrote a couple weeks ago that I thought I’d share. Enjoy!

ERIK LINDEEN

josephI’ve been thinking a lot about Joseph this past year or so. Not Joseph, the adopted dad of Jesus. No, I’m talking about Joseph- the arrogant, young leader who had a vision from God.

You probably know the story: Joseph shared his God-given vision with those closest to him and what happened? He ended up in a pit. That’s when his dream died. Then things went from bad to worse.  He was falsely accused and he ended up in prison. I would bet all my guitars that he started questioning God’s plan and started doubting the vision that God had given him. He was in a dark place. A hopeless place.

But you know what? God was there. God was there in the pit. God was there when he was falsely accused. God was there in the dark place of that prison. And God had a plan.

You know…

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Now I Understand the “Oops”

For years, as a woman who struggled to successfully conceive a child, I struggled mightily with “The Oops.” I just didn’t understand how someone could have an oops, cry over an oops, be shocked by the oops, possibly even regret the oops.

I have a better understanding now.

Our third baby, which is wriggling away at 16 weeks inside of me, was a classic “Whoops!!” Of course, we embrace this baby as a miracle. A gift. An unexpected blessing that we simply weren’t planning on but will love and cherish and thank our good God for daily.

But man, do I now have a better understanding of the oops! I actually wrote a blog after my 4th conception (3rd miscarriage) that has turned out to be kinda prophetic: The Luxury of an Oops.

See, this time around, we miscarried an unexpected conception in July. For some reason, every couple of years, we have an “oops” in the summer time. 🙂 But if I’m not on rigorous prenatals and baby aspirin, I miscarry. It’s just what my body does. So, as we expected, we lost that baby at 6ish weeks. It just happens; it’s what, sadly, we’re used to.

But then, I actually had the luxury of an oops. Like I thought I never would. Like we thought we never COULD. While we grieved the loss of that little one, our 4th angel to go to heaven way, way early, while we hugged tightly to our two precious kiddos here on earth, and while we looked ahead to a big move, the vast unknown of our current lives, and while we debated ever even having a third child, God planned for us an “oops.” A miraculous, perfect little oops. He plopped it in our laps and said,

“I know it doesn’t make sense to you. I know you can’t see how this will work. I know you didn’t think you were ready. I know you thought you’d weren’t sure. I know you are surprised. But I KNOW this is good. And right. And, so, here you go.”

For the first time ever, I took a pregnancy test alone.

IMG_0088On the road. I was in Oklahoma for work, and I grabbed a test at a WalMart. I woke that morning, alone in a hotel room. In stark contrast to the other times when I’ve always tested and raced to Erik, usually still in bed, and told him the news. This time, when I got the positive test, I kept it to myself. I tried to think straight, and I went to work, and shared QBQ! with 50 some teachers. Then I flew to New Orleans. Slept. Woke. Went to work an shared QBQ! with 30 some high level execs for a travel company. Then I flew home to packing central and didn’t tell my husband. What a difference, this “oops.” I wasn’t sure how to feel, I wasn’t sure what to do, I wasn’t sure who to tell. Until finally, while having a “discussion” about some circumstances with my husband, I blew up and said, “… well and I’m PREGNANT!” and he said, “Well, I sure thought so!” (As if to say, I know you’re not NORMALLY this crazy!!)

It was the first time we got to share with family with JOY instead of nervous trepidation. It was the first time I could respond with “Yes! I’ve seen a heartbeat! The little Baby #3 seems okay!” It was the first time it was FUN to share our news.

IMG_0089

I had my sisters who still live at home print this photo and place it on the fridge next to a picture of the three current grandkids that read “Buddy, Bug, Boo,” which are the three’s nicknames. 🙂 My parents were surprised, to say the least!

There are days I still wonder, I still question God’s timing. But I can now say that I have been blessed with the luxury of an “oops”–the decision was made for me. I didn’t have to officially decide; He took care of that for us. And ready or not, on or around April 7th, Little Lindeen #3 will enter this world and change our lives for the better!

Posted in Life Observations, On Being Infertile, On Being Pregnant | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Plaid Pajamas

My mom is wise. I’ve learned much from her (and my dad) on being firm and consistent in my parenting. I’m of course still learning, but I’ve got great examples!

Journey On ...

It wasn’t suppose to take long. Surely no one would see me. Everyone runs out to get their paper in their pajamas or those sweats they wouldn’t want anyone to know they owned, right? Thing is, I wasn’t just running to grab something off the driveway. I was dashing out to feed my horses.

In my plaid pajamas.photo

Back in December we invited an abandoned little horse named Pearl to live with us. The owners of the facility where Pearl was housed did their best to take care of her after Pearl’s owner just stopped coming around. So, she needed a home.

Much to my husband’s dismay, I like to rescue things. In this case, an eating and manuring thing! John sighed and let me take her in.

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“But that wasn’t the PLAN!”

Marriage to my husband Erik, and parenting have taught me two truths ….

Not at all the evening I expected … I expected a family dinner, playing at the park with my kiddos while Erik was at band practice, early bedtimes and some time to myself just chilling.

Instead, Erik got trapped at Guitar Center for WAY longer than expected on the far West side of Madison, so I had to scrap dinner, drive 30 minutes, scarf down food with the kids and hubby, then haul the kids back to our side of town, get the promised McD’s 50 cent ice cream (since they were delightful angels at the guitar store for over an hour … ), work off the sugar in the playroom by dancing and doing headers with a mini soccer ball, wrangle the toddler to bed, and convince the 4 year old that, no, he doesn’t need any more water, and yes, Jesus told the robber on the cross that He’d see him in heaven, and no, Becca wasn’t dead before she was born, and yes, we can get Mac ‘n’ Cheese pizza tomorrow.

Two truths that plague me: Plans change, and flexibility is essential. Good thing I’m a work in progress, because those two truths throw me for a loop!

I’m working on responding better to unexpected changes. In the grand scheme of life, I handle those big changes okay. At least, I’m learning to. But on a daily basis, when we’ve set a plan–for child management, for fun, for cleaning, for work, whatever–it’s hard for me to change it. (Unless of course I’m in the MOOD for spontaneity … good luck, poor husband, figuring that one out. :)) 

I’m trying to respond with a pause, a listening ear, a deep breath, and a humble heart. I don’t always succeed; in fact, I most often don’t. But I’m trying. 

How do you respond when day-to-day plans change?

Posted in Life Observations, Myers Briggs, On Being a Mom, On Fun with Family, On Parenting | 1 Comment

Can you handle this 24 hr challenge?

Love this idea … and it WILL challenge me. Are you with me and Leigh?

Absorbing-Grace

fbpic*image found on facebook

Happy Monday!

Usually on Mondays I like to write something encouraging for the week ahead. I found this picture on my Facebook news feed and the ideas started flying for my blog.

Instead of just going the next 24 hours consciously aware that I’m about to make a 24 hour commitment not to complain, I will document how this challenge will play out! (This will be posted tomorrow, so make sure you come back to see how I do!)

Do you think it’s possible to go 24 hours without complaining on a Monday? 🙂 It’s a Scary challenge!!!

I promise you that I will be honest and if I do slip up, I will let you know.

To prepare my heart for this challenge I will mediate on these words from Philippians 2:14, 15 NIV
“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become…

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Dealing With Loss

My husband’s heart echoes my own ….

ERIK LINDEEN

Last week, my wife and I experienced the pain and loss of our fourth miscarriage.

To be honest, I’m still coming to grips with it.  I was just starting to get excited about the idea of child #3 and then…and then my wife tells me she is spotting…and since we’ve been down this road before, I know exactly what that means.  Then the doctor confirms that the HCG levels have dropped dramatically and that dream of a third child is gone.  For now.  I still cling to hope that God will bless us with another child.  I also know that we are incredibly blessed with two amazing, beautiful, funny, strong willed children.  And if our family continues to be just the four of us, I will continue to thank God for the wonderful blessings he has given us. But man, it still hurts.  It hurts so much.

This…

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Posted in God, On Being in Ministry, On Being Infertile, On Faith and this Life, On Learning to HOPE | Leave a comment

Marked with Infertility

Bear with me, it has been a while.

My Trying to Conceive history:

Easy conception in December of 2006 and then a 10 week “missed” miscarriage. D&C. Doctor discovered a septate in my uterus. Nurse incorrectly advised me to “go home and make babies!”

Spent over a year operating on that ill-advised statement and endured another early miscarriage in August of 2007.

Finally implored a midwife for her opinion and after she heard my history, age, how long we’d been “TTC,” she said, “oh YES dear, you qualify for a fertility work up. Get yourself to a specialist!”

The specialist advised surgery to remove the septate. Surgery was completed a little over one year after the original miscarriage.

From there, we tried rounds of low dose drugs to regulate my cycle, and one half hearted insemination before switching to a well known, very successful reproductive endocrinologist. It was not a pretty time for us, emotionally. Relationally.

He had me do the standard fertility blood panel work up and discovered I have a blood disorder (MTHFR–double mutated genes causing my blood to be too thick to help early embryos implant and live) and prescribed a regimen of blood thinners and extra folic acid to combat the blood problem.

We tried on our own one cycle, and then opted for another insemination. This one stuck, and now we have Joshua.

With Joshua, I had bleeding at 6ish weeks that took us in the ER late at night.
And at 24 weeks that landed me in the hospital for 3 days.

Joshua was born April 22, 2010. Our baby we waited so long for and fought so hard for. Prayed for, cried for, dreamed of…

July 4, 2011. I had traipsed all around Manhattan, abnormally cranky and HUN-GRY. Turns out, I was pregnant with an “oops!!” We lost that one at 5ish weeks.

Then Becca … Conception was a breeze. We “tried” for her, so I was on baby aspirin and extra folic acid to combat the blood problem, and she “stuck!” Thank God.

With Becca, I bled for my 7th and 8th weeks. When I saw that heartbeat, strong and obvious, in spite of the sub chorionic hematoma causing me to bleed, I was SHOCKED. And she stuck!

And then, on 9/21/12, well, we all know the story of Rebecca’s birth.

So why do I share all of this?

Because again, right as we come upon the July 4th holiday, we have had another “oops.” (Something must happen to me and my body in May/June. 🙂 This is too coincidental!)

Last week, I was pregnant. And for 5 days, we attempted to wrap our minds around this unexpected blessing. We definitely weren’t trying, but it wouldn’t have been horrible. We were hesitantly hopeful, thinking perhaps that, in spite of all the unknowns in our lives right now, God was blessing us, in His good timing, with our “Number 3.”

Instead, this baby became our “Number 4”–my fourth miscarriage.

Truly, honestly, we are okay. We really are. We have two perfectly beautiful bundles of joy in our arms, and we trust that God sees our desires for another and knows our future.

So, why do I share all of this?

Because I’ve come so far. And I say that humbly, as humbly as possible, because it is only by the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit that I can hold these babies so openly in my hands.

I now have four babies…four!…in heaven. Four little angels who simply weren’t able to make it into this world. I am forever thankful that, while it sucks that my body miscarries, it miscarries early. If all of these were later term miscarriages….well I just don’t know how women cope with that. And their husbands too.

I’ve learned so much.

I’ve learned that as much as we think we can, we cannot control the conception, carrying, and delivering of our children.

I’ve learned that a miscarriage–even one of a pregnancy we didn’t plan for, try for, and have only known about for less than a week–can still make my husband cry.

I’ve learned that while I’ve come to terms with my body, and how it seems to need these “practice runs,” other people hear “miscarriage” and are sad for me. And I need to be gracious enough to allow them to offer condolences and comfort, instead of brushing them off with “oh no-I’m fine.”

I’m learning to say, “thank you” when strangers (i.e. Nurses in Iowa who have to give me a shot to keep my body from producing antibodies against positive blood type that may attack and expel future pregnancies [seriously nothing with me is simple] or give my next live baby a sickness) pause and say, “Oh you poor dear–I’m sorry.”

I’m learning the truth that when it’s time, it’s time. When we had our second miscarriage before Joshua, Erik and I prayed fervently that I wouldn’t have to endure a miscarriage again before a child. And we didn’t–and we also didn’t conceive again for 2 whole years. Because it wasn’t time.

I’m learning that though I’m a blessed mother of two rambunctious and precious children, I’m still marked with infertility. That journey shaped me-it SHAPES me. It doesn’t define me, but it has helped to make me who I am.

I’m learning to be grateful FOR the journey. For the pain. For the scars. For the wisdom and the peace that increases every single time I endure a loss. Every single time my body fails me and that tiny little embryo. Every time I bleed and still succeed in carrying my child, despite the odds. GRATEFUL. Because it makes me reach into the depths of my soul and rest in Jesus. Rest in the Hope of The Lord. Gather up my children and squeeze them so so so tight and remember how hard we fought. How hard we prayed. How hard our friends prayed when we were spiritually and emotionally drained.

I’m learning, to let go. Will I try to avoid “oops” pregnancies that my body’s not prepared to sustain? You betcha-I don’t stupidly leave this chance open very often. But for whatever reason, we had an “oops.” And that precious life is now with Jesus and it’s three other siblings. And this grateful mama is enjoying a glass of wine, and thanking God for my babies, and trusting that if I am to be honored with the opportunity to carry, bear and raise another Lindeen baby, it’ll happen at just the right time.

Posted in Infertility, On Being a Mom, On Being Infertile, On Faith and this Life, On Miscarrying | 2 Comments

I Used to Be A Quitter

I officially finished my P90X3 challenge today! 90 days! Man, when I started on March with Accelerator and Warrior and those crazy workouts … I never thought I’d finish. I thought I’d give up. But I DIDN’T! Today I completed my “Victory Week!”

Now, did I do 90 workouts? Nope. I definitely had my days (and sometimes days at a time) where I didn’t get to it,
was lazy,
chose other things,
or was simply unable to squeeze it in (though most times it’s a choice)

BUT I did a LOT more intense, varied, crazy workouts than I would have done if I hadn’t joined a Facebook challenge group with my Mom (Karen Miller, who is a BeachBody coach). I know I am stronger, slightly more flexible, and down a couple pounds. 🙂

One of my favorite quotes that my Mom posted during the challenge group was this one:10325801_10202975744289128_5484885190514489203_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So many times, I’ve told myself on a Sunday night, “Okay, this is it. NOW you’re going to be consistent. NOW you’re going to be healthy.”

Not to be skinny, or to rock a bikini (please–a bikini? In the toddler pool with Josh and Boo? Please. That’s crazy.)

Not to say I’m at the size I was when I was in college. Not to be the most in shape in the room.

But to be good to myself. To be a good steward of the body I’ve been given. To show my kids that physical activity is FUN (Joshua has a blast trying to keep up with me during P90X, and Becca loves to sit on me during Yoga), and ENJOYABLE, and WORTH DOING! To strengthen my muscles, and add flexibility as well, so that as I age (which is definitely happening) I am in better health.

And I finally did it. And this time, I didn’t give up, and I WON’T, because man, was I tired of starting over.

So thanks Mom, and Erik, and everyone in the challenge group who spurred me on. And to anyone who’s out there who needs a boost? Join a challenge group! We’re all busy people who don’t necessarily LOVE working out all the time, but who do it because it’s good for us, and we always feel better when we do.

Contact me or my Mom for more info!

Posted in Loved it., On Staying Fit | Tagged , , | 2 Comments