My awesome mom, my dead fridge, and Darcy’s book pillow

My mom is better than yours. She just is, and she drove 5 hours to save the day last weekend because her name is Mavis and that is how she works. You see, Ben left the country because he’s not pregnant and still maintains a fun lifestyle. I, however, am something akin to a beached whale, who has contractions if I sneeze, lift a pillow, or roll over in bed. Lifting and chasing after Darcy full-time could seriously send me into pre-term labor (again), so my mom drove 5 hours and stayed with me to help. She cleaned my house, did my laundry, cooked, shopped, and took care of Darcy all while I planted my fat ass on the couch and watched new episodes of “Call the Midwife.” It was glorious, and if you haven’t watched that show, you are totally missing out. I hope I’m half the woman my mother is one day. Seriously that short, little woman can accomplish anything in small timeframes AND do it better than anyone else could. Also, while Ben was gone (side-eye to Ben), Darcy decided to cut 4 teeth at once, and our refrigerator died. Like dead, died. Luckily my in-laws quickly got us a new fridge. In the meantime, Ben’s twin brought us his mini-fridge, and Ben’s younger brother brought us food. So, even though Ben was all la-ti-da “I’m going cliff-diving and climbing volcanoes,” while the world fell apart (exaggeration, but have you HEARD my daughter whine while teething?!), his family stepped in with greatly appreciated replacement fridges and Newk’s pizzas. That Mavis, though? She’s the real MVP for life. Darcy agrees and is in love with her. She’s known as Mattie by all of her grandchildren, except Darcy. Darcy calls her Mammy and cried whenever “Mammy” left the room. Last night she saw one of my mother’s diet cokes in the fridge, snatched it, and ran for the front door screaming for “Mammy!” It was cute, but Darcy was pretty disappointed when the Diet coke didn’t work like a genie lamp and produce her doting Mammy.

Anyway, Ben returned from his Central American adventures, my mom went home 😢, and this past weekend we transitioned Darcy to her big-girl IKEA bed (see previous post) and moved the crib into baby Clark’s new room. Darcy is doing fairly well-ish with going to sleep, but has been waking up at around 5:30am on the nose, screaming. It’s not very cool, but at least she’s sleeping through the night in her bed. Sunday morning, Ben crawled into her little bed with her when she freaked out, and we all got another 1.5 hours of sleep. Success! So, it’s not perfect, but we’re working on it. For instance, tonight she decided to act crazy and keep climbing out of bed while screaming hysterically. So, we let her scream (I’m a member of the cry-it-out-within-reason camp. Not sorry) for about 5 minutes and wander around in her dark bedroom. After 5 minutes, silence. We go and check on her and she’s fallen asleep face-first on her books on the floor. It was hilarious and kind of tragic at the same time. But, because we are not stupid, we let her continue sleep on her books for another 15 minutes, so she would be in a deeper sleep for the transfer back to her bed. It worked like a charm, so judge away if you so feel inclined.

Andddd, we had another depressing doctor’s appointment today. I’m not even going to share details on it right now because I’m already sad enough, and I don’t feel up to rehashing the particulars. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve felt better about Clark’s situation. I feel hopeful that he’s going to be okay and that the “potential issues” could be nothing and that everything will be fine and he will be healed. I want to chalk it up to having faith, but in all actuality, it’s probably just a heaping dose of denial. After I recover from an appointment, I blissfully live in my growing faith-bubble (denial) for a couple of weeks. Then, I have another appointment and the hope I had been growing is dashed and destroyed in about a 2-hour time span. I cannot possibly convey to you how absolutely wretched these appointments are, I can only tell you that I would not wish the “gift” of this pregnancy’s anxiety to the person I hate most in this world. I’ll be 32 weeks tomorrow, and I’m thankful that this pregnancy is drawing to a close. I genuinely hope this baby comes early. Not *too* early, but early. So that this part will be over, and we can move on.

School continues to be unimportant. I ignore it as much as possible because I have very healthy coping mechanisms called: 1) avoidance and 2) eating all the things.

I’m sorry if you’ve called me, sent a text, or left a FB message, and I haven’t responded. I fully intend on responding to each one, and your reaching out is so appreciated. I’m just buried in my feelings, and I’m feeling fragile lately. You see, I used to think I was kind of badass and could handle heavy and uncomfortable things, but I was stupid. I am not very strong unless you count waiting until I get into my car to fall apart when leaving my hellish appointments. My faith is shaken, and I’m struggling to find the good in things right now. I don’t want to be anyone’s rain cloud, so I’m retreating to my safety bubble (the couch–lets be real), and I’m waiting for Clark to get here, so that I can come up for air. Love to all of you beautiful people.
 

 

 

 

 

Beaching, Not sleeping, and rocking family T-shirts

A couple of months ago, Ben and I decided that after our summer school classes, we really needed a break. Like a beach-trip break. So, I scheduled it for the second week in August and we booked a 1-room condo on the beach. We talked it out and decided to stay only Monday-Friday, so that we had a weekend to get our life together before the following Monday. We figured we needed at least 1 bedroom, so that after Darcy went to bed at 7:00pm, we would be able to enjoy time together and watch movies, etc. So, the magical Monday comes and off we go to the beach! No work, no school, no extra stress.

We stopped to get a few groceries once we got into town, so that we wouldn’t have to come back to the store after we checked in and got settled. Darcy was pretty good on the way, but was pretty over it by the time we got to the condo. We decided to just eat a frozen pizza the first night because putting Darcy back in the car to go out to eat was going to be miz for everyone, other restaurant patrons included. That night, we put her to bed, made cookies (I brought homemade cookie dough—it’s the best, I’ll post a recipe later) and sat on the balcony listening to the waves.

Then we went to bed. Not sleep. Bed. Oh and it’s not what you’re thinking. Get your head out of the gutter. It’s because sharing a room with Darcy is something I have not done since she was 2 weeks old with very good reason. I kind of remembered it was awful, but I was also knee-deep in postpartum blues/overwhelming “omg”-ness, so I didn’t REALLY remember. My memory has now been refreshed. She is so freaking loud when she sleeps, and is pretty much the crappiest roommate ever. I swear. See, she sleeps all soundly, but MY GOD she moves constantly. You know what movement in a pack-and-play sounds like? Do you? Allow me to enlighten you if you don’t know. It’s like this. Swish, swish, swish. SWISH, SWISH, SWISH. Scratch Scratch. SWISH SCRATCH SWISH. On top of that we have typical Darcy noise. So to mix it up a little it was: Swish, Cough, cough, sniffle, Scratch, SWISH, ALL THE NIGHT LONG. Oy vey.

The following morning, she woke up laughing at 5:20am, ready to tackle the day. Thank god for Ben. He grabbed her and took her away, so I could sleep until 6:00am. Sleeping didn’t improve (for us), but luckily Darcy really did enjoy the beach. She got worn out after about 2 hours and needed an indoor break, but did well overall. Except the following night at the restaurant when she ran away. Yes. My 16-month old hit the deck and speed-crawled under 4 tables stopping only under some random lady’s chair. She then screamed as Ben pulled her out from under the chair. It was very special, and we totally flew under the radar at that restaurant *snort *.

We got loads of people-watching in from our balcony, which is awesome and my favorite. Ben and I mostly made fun of all the families that dressed in all white for beach pictures with their kids. They were trying SO hard, and the children wouldn’t look at the photographer, threw sand at each other, cried, etc. It was hilarious. I’ve already written of my disdain for constant photography, and I just feel like beach pictures for the annual Christmas cards are so DONE. I also don’t send Christmas cards. I’m sure that doesn’t surprise you either. Sorry, not sorry. Don’t take it personally if you love white beach pictures. Most people throughout the South think they’re adorable and totally get you because they do the SAME thing. I don’t get you at all, but I’m just a person with weird thoughts and a blog to discuss them. Ignore me and carry on with your white-linen ways. You see, Ben and I love to make fun of ourselves, because we have more fun like that. We totally want to be uncool and Griswoldy. So, as a part of a new vacation tradition, we had custom airbrush T-shirts made for our family. Oh yeah. Complete with a sunset background, palm trees, and dolphins. Hell. Yes. We got baby Darcy a matching airbrushed onesie, and it is just hysterical.IMG_4860-2

Here are the rules to the family T-shirt:

  1. It must have “Rayner Family Vacation” written on it.
  2. It must be tacky and scream, “I am absolutely a tourist in this city!”
  3. It must include the name of the city in which it was bought.
  4. It must be worn proudly all day. Even to restaurants.
  5. You must not tell anyone that it is a joke, so if someone says, “Nice shirts,” In a total, “That’s a lame shirt,” kind of way, you have to brightly respond, “Thank you!” Refer to #4.

I guarantee you our family beach pic in our airbrush shirts are way cooler than the white linen crew. Also, there was a gorgeous rainbow that appeared just before we took pictures, so I’m fairly certain that Jesus loved those bad boys, too. I’m so proud, I may have to do a Christmas card after all just to show them off. Love to all. Even all you classy linen people 😉

Thoughts on turning twenty-great

Yep. As of tomorrow, it’s here once again. My birthday! I used to be such a firm believer in birthday weeks and celebrating every last minute of the 24 hours of my birthday. This year, well, I can’t say I’ve even noticed it creeping up. This summer I’ve been super busy with school, and a new job, and Darcy, and getting food poisoning, and being pregnant, blah blah blah.

So, I only get two more years in my twenties. I’m not particularly sad about that, but it has made me somewhat reflective on where I thought I would be 10 years ago at the ripe age of 18. If I look back 10 years when I was about to start my freshman year at Delta State, I can honestly say that my life IS different than what I had expected, but also not. I figured or hoped I would be successful and finished with any schooling, happily married to the man of my dreams with child(ren?). So okay, 2/3 ain’t that bad. I had also hoped I would be living in a city bigger than my small hometown and have my own dog. Check! Check! Oh and I *really* hoped there would be lots of money. Let’s just take a minute to laugh about that one. LOL

So as you can see, my goals have kind of been checked off, but I never really thought about the journey I would take to see these things to fruition. I didn’t think that choosing to major in nursing would impact my life as much as it has. That it would wholly influence my perspective and outlook on life. For instance, if you have ever witnessed a child dying of cancer and seen the absolute devastation experienced by her parents, the important things in your life will forever be exponentially highlighted. Small stuff is small stuff, and it’s usually stupid, too. Nursing has changed my life. Before I married my husband, I never considered the hearts I would break, or even my own heartache I would experience along the way. *Sidenote–he was totally the cause of a lot of my distress at one point* Just putting that out there. I never knew that having a miscarriage would be one of the most heartbreaking experiences I would face thus far in my life. I didn’t know the JOY a healthy baby could bring into my life, either! I didn’t know that the traffic associated with “city bigger than my small hometown” would steal large amounts of my time and happiness, THANK YOU FOR THAT, BATON ROUGE. Anddd I never anticipated the amount of “inedible” crap my dog could eat and survive. I have a sudden vision of Libby dressed in camouflage, running to the sounds of Destiny’s Child “Survivor”. She’s eaten: 2-3 pair of underwear, too many to count socks, a bottle of ibuprofen, a tube of mascara, an entire bag of Hershey kisses, at least three roaches that were poisoned, and god knows what else. She’s seven and never looked so good, although I wouldn’t recommend this tried and true anti-aging diet of hers to anyone else.

The point of my ramblings is that I’ve already “met” the goals that I think mattered most to my 18 year-old-self. My sweet family is everything to me, and adding my husband and his family and our daughter to my list of people to love on has been one of life’s biggest blessings. I say blessings because considering this gift an accomplishment of mine just seems so wrong. God so lovingly sent my husband to me, and has continued to bless and grow our family. School and career and money are all important things, but they pale in comparison to the Big Stuff. And one day I think I’ll have all that other stuff, too. But without them, my life still feels full and exciting. Without my family and the loves in my life, I don’t think I could get out of bed.

So at the end of the next ten years when I’m pushing forty (now that kind of hurts), I have a few different goals in mind; some material, some not. I want us to build our forever dream home. Where? I’m not sure yet. I want to be DONE with school. Whether I finish NP school or not, I just want to be done. I want to finish up my family. I have no idea what that means at this point. I want to grow in spiritual maturity and live a life reflective of loving Jesus. Maybe that will mean less cursing or more praying or not honking at people who ruin my chances of catching a green light or because they are just generally stupid drivers. Or maybe not. Honking is rather satisfying, after all. Love to all you people out there.

So, I’m starting a blog

Hello any and all readers! I’ve been urged by multiple friends and family members to write a blog for several years now. Why? I don’t really know their reasons, but the more people asked about it, the more I thought I might like to start one. About 3.5 years ago, I decided to do it! I had just gotten married, moved to Virginia, and all these awesome adventures would NEED to be documented. I thought of the perfect name, “Rayner Shine” because my new last name was Rayner, and how cute is that?! I told my husband, he agreed it was a good idea, but here’s the thing–I am a major procrastinator. SO. Almost 4 years, 3 moves, 4 job changes, and 1 baby later, here it is! I will backdate some blog entries on some of the more interesting occurrences in our lives, but first we have to agree on a few things.

  1. I am not a professional writer, mmkay? I say things, I write things, but I doubt you’ll see much symbolism,creativity, or special enlightenment that makes your head explode. So seek that on a different blog. Sorry.
  2. Grammar Nazis:  go away. I’m going to write in a conversational tone, end sentences with prepositions, use made up words and contractions because it’s a free country, and you can nitpick elsewhere.
  3. Weird stuff happens to me that doesn’t happen to normal people. I’ll write about it here, and I swear I’m not lying. You’ll have to just believe me.

Now that we’ve crossed that off our list, I’ll have to tell you that my life is chaotic. I know, I know, whose isn’t? But you see, my husband is in school full-time for engineering. Part-time he works as an engineering intern. I also am in school full-time to be a nurse practitioner. WHILE WORKING FULL-TIME AS A NURSE. Also, I have a 15 month old tyrant toddler. Help me, Rhonda! No, seriously, send help. I would say send wine, but I am also pregnant. 17 weeks to be exact. Anddd, I start a new job on Monday. Life is busy, time and money are short, but Ben and I laugh a lot. If you’re game to read along, I’ll gladly share our crazy with you. Love to all.