Monday, June 18, 2007

So Tiny, So perfect, My blessing, my WILLIAM!

I have a ring that was given to me by my husband on the Day that Ben was born. It is an abstract gold molding of a mother and child. In the center was one small and beautiful birth stone showing the month that Benjamin was born. When I had Kyle...we added a September birth stone to my most favorite piece of jewelry of all time! And the months flew was June and we were just days for welcoming a third little Mongold Man into our family.

Now I had a June stone and a September stone....I wanted another color? I mean come on - I'm a woman...who knows the value of great "bling"! So I needed Will to come in July (when he was due) in order to properly place and display my trophy ring and its rainbow of colors!!

"Can we please hold off one more day?"...that is what I asked the doctors when they said that Will would be induced on June the 30th - 2005. Ben has a June birthday and I was hell bent on giving William his own MONTH of the year for his special day. "ok...and a color of his own...but that sounds so vain!) But no matter - the answer was no and so we began out journey to being "the 5 Mongolds" - on June 30th at 3 or so in the afternoon! (Steve would know the exact time, but he is at sea!! ha ha ha ah)

Oh how easy Will came into this world. I went into the hospital at 7am - they broke my water and we started our wait. Doctors said it would most probably take all day, so I should get some sleep and relax while I still had the chance!

Steve decided that since I was going to be laying there for quite some time, that he would head to McDonald's across the street for some lunch and to get a break from the four walls of our room. Not much on TV at 2:30pm, and since we had already napped - he needed to break the madness with a trip of some sort!

Not one min after he walked out the door I started to feel an tremendous amount of pressure in "that" area? I called the nurse. She rubbed my arm and said..."don't worry honey - you have hours to wait...just try and relax." She was so kind and I wanted to believe her loving eyes. But I could not shake the feeling that something more was going on? So I asked her - in my wimpiest, most pathetic voice - "can you just check for me so I can relax?" She pulled back the covers and I could just see the change in her facial expression. As much as she was trying to hide her panic. She reached over to the call button and said "I need a doctor in room #$% right away please."

She said, in the same soft voice "Now...I want you to sit still and make sure that you don't push. No matter how hard that seems. OK?" Well...all at once I realize what is going on. I have a little head already creeping its way out of my body...and my husband is at McDonald's! Dear God...of all the reasons to miss the birth of a child...he would forever know that is was a quarter pouner with cheese! Crap...I have to find him!

So as I am breathing and about to hyperventilate...I pick up the phone and try to call him. Voice mail! So I try again. Voicemail! The third time I choose to just leave a message! "Will is coming now! Run!"

The doctor comes in and is already set to deliver and we go right to it. I am holding back the tears because I know that Daddy is not here and would be different if he was at sea or saving in world in some day - but come one...he is eating fast food!

Just then - the door opens and it is Steve. Oblivious to all that has happened in the last 15 minutes. He is looking down at the wrapper of a large brownie that he has obviously obtained from a snack machine in the hospital and he says, "Dear God Renee...there are enough calories in this one heavy brownie to sustain a human being for a month!"....and then he looks up - processes what is going on...and comes to my side!

He said that he went to walk out of the hospital and just thought better of that idea and so he grabbed a brownie and came back! I guess it is not just mommies who "know" when it is time!!! :)

And in a matter of 5 min - I had baby will. That fast....that easy...all but pain free. He was with us. So tiny - so much smaller than the others - but beautiful and perfect. Silent - content - and YELLOW! (so very jaundice) we sat in wonder of how a mere 20 min of time could produce something so wonderful. Just amazing! No matter how many times you have a child - it never becomes ordinary or less surreal. We had Will! I knew then that my life was a better place...and after two years of loving my little man...I know 10 fold how special and necessary he is in our lives!

My Gift From God! My Love! My Ben!

Could it have really been 5 whole years ago that my life changed forever? It seems like yesterday in many ways...and at the same time I feel that i have been a mother forever! Maybe because all of my life I looked forward to having my own children and being a "mommy"! But no matter - it all started on June 18th 2002!

Steve and I had our nightly walk on the beach, to dinner at a local restaurant and then our walk home. I was starting to think I would be pregnant forever! Doctors said that they would induce in just a few days if nothing happened. And so we went to bed - yet another night - wondering if I would still be pregnant when I awoke in the morning.

Around 3am I woke up to a feeling of "yuck" and the knowledge that the hospital was about 10 min away and we needed to get there right away! The streets were dark and the weather was very very warm. It felt like Steve and I were the only people in the world who had somewhere to be at that moment. The only people on the streets and the only ones moving in the hospital parking lot. Yet there we were - the two people with the BIGGEST purpose in the world...excited and scared to death about what was about to happen to our little family!

And then the wait began. Lots of walking, and praying and waiting, and WAITING! It was not until June 18th around 7:30pm that Ben finally came into this world! With Uncle Brian and Daddy and a super nurse and doctor looking on - Benjamin Charles Mongold was born into this world at 8 pounds one ounce and just as long as a baby could possibly be! He was my little sting bean alien! And I just knew that he was the most beautiful baby that had EVER been born!

It truly could have been the happiest and most important moment in my life! My first baby - my first time as a mommy, our first time as a family of greater than two! Who can remember pain or sickness....all I remember is knowing that my life was perfect and it was due 100% to a little tiny wrinkly man and the husband that sat and started into his eyes with me!

5 years later I have Ben. My best friend. My helper, my soul mate, the love of my life! Ben, you are kind and funny, and serious, and smart. You make me laugh and cry and most importantly, you make me a better person. A mother with such intense purpose in this world. Because of you and how perfect you are - I wanted as many children to follow you as i could muster! You alone changed my world in ways that you may never be able to understand! Thank you Ben, for being my first baby, my true gift and the love of my life!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Before I had William....

Before I had William, these photos would have said nothing to me but "BATH TIME"! And now that I have Will in my life they mean something so different. They mean "experience", "trial an error" and "freedom". They mean tenacity and the ability to keep up with the neighborhood kids that are some "three times my size"!

William loved his ice-creme bar from the crazy ice-creme man! And while he wore 2/3 of his bar and half of his brothers fudge cycle (that you can see dripping down the middle of his forehead) - the look on his face during our "creme on the curb" party two nights ago just screamed - I AM THE HAPPIEST BOY IN THE WORLD!!! :) We love you William!!

Friday, June 8, 2007

The kind of person we want to create...

I went pick up the kids at school yesterday. It was a normal day. We rushed to get out of the house so I could get the kids to school - make the YMCA for a workout and then get to work by 11am to start my day at the pottery shop. Will took a nap while I cleaned and accomplished "pottery" things. At 2pm I headed back to school to pick up Ben and Kyle. and that is where my day became extra special!

Kyle's teacher took me aside and with tears in her eyes told me the sweetest story that I have heard in a long time! There is a very special little boy in Kyle's class. I will call him "Jack" so as not to use his real name. Jack suffers from multiple disorders, down syndrome being one, and a bone density deficiency being another. He is extra small and shaped differently than the other children and has a many things about him that make him different. Now Jack could be the nicest and sweetest little boy I have ever met. He loves to play and hug and say I love you. Just a special little man.

As Kyles class moves from the age of three into the realm of are starting to test boundaries and notice things that they have not thought to take note of in the past.

A child made a derogatory comment to Jack and told him that he looked silly and the he did not want to play with Jack. Now Kyle - who is the youngest child in his class with his end of September birthday - Said with a loud voice "That was Nasty to say, Come on Jack - let's go play."

With tears in here eyes, Miss Arla said ,"Renee...Kyle took Jacks hand and lead him to the sand box and played with him and only him for the rest of the time outside!" When she told Kyle what a good boy he had been Kyle said, "Why did you say that?". Miss Arla just hugged him and pressed on.

Kyle sees no difference in people. He has always been this way. He has helped host my special needs classes at the shop and traveled to the High Shool OHI programs with me and he never changes personality or gets "weird" or "scared" when he is faced with a person who is slightly or more than slightly different than him.

Kyle is a boy that just loves everyone and includes everyone and is praised so often for it. Yet he just tells you to "stop it" when you give him praise...he does not even get why you are doing it?!

Good for you Kyle...for being a great person in your sole! You don't know how you got this way, and you just kind of assume it is the norm...but you are special in so many ways because of this wonderful personality that is growing within you. I was so proud when I picked you up from what seemed such a normal school day yesterday and I thank you for making a hum drum day so special!

I have no cares about my kids being the smartest or the cutest or the best behaved in the lot. As a parent I strive to make the best people that I can make. I want happy, Healthy, centered, grounded and energetic kids. That is all I could ever ask for. Every parent questions their ability to parent on a regular basis? We ask ourselves what we could do better and what we can is the hardest job that there is, and comes with such anxiety and uncertainty about what is around the bend.

And on a few days - a few special days - something happens to make you know that your efforts have paid off ten fold. And yesterday was one of those days!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The end of an Era...

two years and two months ago, Ben, Kyle and I walked into Potts n Paints pottery shop in Great Bridge. Only to find out that it was closing? How sad. It had only been opened for 9 months and the owners just did not have a love of the hobby or of owning their own business.

I was 7 months pregnant with the little man that we now knows as Will! And somehow, even with a 1 and a two year old, I had this overwhelming feeling that running this shop was my calling!

And so I made the call to Steve - who was just getting ready to head away from home AGAIN. I said...I know you are leaving and I know you will think I am nuts, but I need a loan for a significant amount of money and I want to buy a Paint your Own pottery shop - THIS MONTH!

And the funny thing is...he didn't laugh at me and he didn't say Hell NO!....he said - "well...if you think it is something you want to do then call our financial guy and get it set up!"

So it little group of three...and a hubby at sea...set out to run our own business!

And is 2 years and 2 months later and that time has flown by in the blink of an eye. It has been hard, fun, rewarding, challenging, fun, and an all around SUPER experience. Our little pottery shop that was given no hope in the beginning is now a thriving part of Great Bridge culture! And it is time to pass the torch.

Our date to move is slated for the first quarter of 2008 and next month, with the help of myself and our current employees - another eager family will embark on the journeys of owning their own business. They have vowed to continue to grow our little "Paint Shop". (as Ben calls it!) and to keep the arts alive in Great Bridge.

I am sad to lose the store that has become my fourth child, but excited to have a new adventure with my family and to go where ever life takes me! Bitter Sweet in the end here and the change will be strange, but positive!

Good luck to our new owners! And best of luck to my little pottery shop! I can only hope that life throws another opportunity my way that has been as tremendous as owning Potts N Paints!

Monday, June 4, 2007

A weekend with the family...

I spent Memorial Day weekend with my family. The whole family. Every sibling in once place. It was truly a blessing from God that we are all healthy and happy and able to spend 4 days in one place.

The amazing part to me is that each one of us grew up with the same parents, in the same house, and would never know that we were all related if it were not for the ability to take blood test and our own proclamation and we are all brothers and sisters!

Here is what I have learned about my family over a few beers and a few late nights of gabbing. This blog is mostly for my college roommates and high school friends that have known my siblings over the years. I am always asked, "What is Patrick up to?" And in times where months have gone between visits I am forced to say, "About 6 feet 4 inches!" Simply because that is all I can know for sure without some real solid face time!

Brian: Now Brian lives here with me in Chesapeake, so I am able to give the best consistent answer about his wear abouts. Brian brought Laura with him to Pennsylvania for the weekend. This is the FIRST girlfriend that Brian has EVER brought to a family weekend event in his life. Now if that does not speak volumes about their relationship then nothing does! Brian is quiet and reserved about his personal life and he always has been. We fish for info from him and he is undoubtedly on to us in the first few min of our fishing and therefore will crack a joke and tell us about his last Kiaking trip!! Having Laura with us for the weekend has helped everyone to not only know her better, but it helped everyone to know Brian a litte better as well. Laura is fun and pretty and energetic and she was one of the family in seconds. She helped Brian to pick on Patrick, she helped me to cook and do dishes, she helped my Mom to gain comfort in the fact that Brian is in good hands, and she helped us to have super, upbeat and meaningful conversations until the wee hours of the morning. Thank you Laura.

Mark flew in from Washington State. He is our mystery man and we were so happy to see and hear of his crazy west coast life. Mark is a lover not a fighter and he played with my kids for hours with no sign of dwindling patience. Uncle Mark was a hero in Ben's eyes. I think he pitched that Ball for 2 hours at at time while Ben swung and missed!! Mark is newly single and in a place of uncertainty about his life. I think if nothing else, talking to all of us helped him to know that everyone is in some place of uncertainty about their lives - no matter what picture the events of our lives portray! Mark is seriously considering moving back to Pittsburgh - the east coast - and we could not me more excited to have closer to us. He is in school and working towards his degree while he works at the Yellow pages to pay his way to his end goal. He is still handsome and sweet and just the man I saw one year ago.

Alyssa is a nut. Still a nut! She was ready to drink a beer at 5pm each day and ready to hit the bars as soon as night fall rolled around. She and Ben bonded yet again and he asks about her daily. Alyssa and Ben are two peas in a pod. They talk non stop, always have something crazy to report, and they wear their emotions on their sleeves from morning till night! Easy to get to know both Alyssa and Ben because they are so willing to share their inner most thoughts! Somehow I gave birth to my sister? And that helps me to "get" her much better than I did 5 years ago. I know she and Ben are going to be best of buds for their whole lives to come! I can't imaging life without Alyssa. She cares beyond belief and would be there for any one of us when needed without questions asked! Alyssa is a case manager for special needs children in the Harrisburg area. She starts her new job with the city this week and is really looking forward to the difference she can make in this world through her job!

And Patrick? Patrick is the most handsome of the lot. He is 6 foot 4 inches with long crazy hair that he keeps in a dew rag! He is built like a movie star and has a smile that will charm snakes. His new girlfriend Sarah fit right into the family and I can tell how taken she is with Patrick as she just stares at him from across the room. I am sure many women feel the same way about our hottie little brother!! Patrick has his own apartment in DuBois and works for a roofing company. He seems to be a hard working just based on his build and the muscles on top of muscles that comes from his heavy lifting each day! Patric turns 21 in just a few weeks and our troubled youngest brother is really coming into his own. He truly played with all three of my kids for at least 1/2 of the long weekend. He showed no favorites and no lack of patience. He played whatever they wanted, stopped fights, kept them from harm, made rules for their games, and the kids just worship him. I know Patrick is not an Internet guy, but if you ever read this Patrick - THANK YOU. While we have not lived in the same house since you were 3 - I felt like I got to know you a little better this weekend! You are turning into a really great man and I am so proud of you! My kids talk about you daily and you - and Sarah - have left quite a solid impression with all of us. We can't wait to see you again! It can't be too soon so get in a car and get down here!

And Mike...our adopted brother! Seeing you always makes my week! You are so handsome and fun and your personality never waivers - you know who you are and it is so comforting to know that we can see you once a year and still have the same bond that we had when we were kids! Your marriage and new life make you a happy person and I could not be more happy for you!

So that's the deal. We had drama, gossip, laughter, beer, and lots of food...and we had a weekend to remember for the whole year. I value my time with my brothers and sister so very much and it leaves an empty place in my hearw for weeks to come when I have to leave you all. Maybe some day we will all live near each other and until that happens - I can't wait till our next time together!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Freedom a Year Can Bring

For the past two summers, I have felt a bit tied down. Three kids that could not swim - one adult? Seemed as dangerous in my mind as it sounds in this blog.

But a year can make a big difference. My boys are growing so big. Ben can now swim pretty well, Kyle can swim a little, but is old enough and mature enough to know his limits and make good decisions near the water. Will is another story with no real fear and no realization that he can't swim! But...with the other two so much more managable - I can handle one little Crazy Will! Amzing the difference a year can make!

One year ago the Mongolds put up their big, blue, obnoxious, pool! It is 12 feet across, 2 and a half feet deep - and the perfect place for three little boys to cool off during the summer. This photo is of the boys in week one of their back yard swimming pool experience last year!

We will set up the pool this weekend and begin another summer of fun! I'll grab a photo and pass it along when the project is complete!

Our array of summer activities has expanded this summer of 2007! We can all walk across the sand dune and are in no need of a tent for Will to nap! I can carry a few chairs, and toys and food alone! Now that rocks!! Whoo the beach will be a regular occurrence!

Also, we will be swimming with our friends Benjamin, Bradley, Alexander, Hamilton and Logan and Andrew in Kevin and Erica's COOL POOL!! And if there is any time left and we still have not had enough water - we have joined the YMCA pool and will spend time there with our friends.

But most importantly and the reason for my blog is to state the following: I - Renee - Now feel like I can actually take all three kids to a water filled basin without fear of losing someone! That is a feeling of freedom that extends beyond words! Our summer will be a blast and I look forward to building memories that will last a lifetime!! Time may make wrinkles, but it works in our favor as well!!

Can't wait to swim with you!!

Friday, June 1, 2007

The Call to Independence

Erica said it be a military wife involves a certain level of independence. In fact...I takes so much independence sometimes, that when our husbands are home and we are able to give up some of that independence, and share the work and responsibility etc. etc. - we don't even remember how to do that!

I woke up this morning to another person in my bed. I woke up early because for the first time in months I have another person moving, breathing, and making sounds. In the past month, the silence of my room has become what I am used to and now these small sounds and movements sound like a carnival and sleep seems almost impossible to achieve. So I am up and blogging at 5am.

We had a going away party yesterday for our dear friends Suzi and Mike. Our family was to depart the house at 4:30pm to start our trek down to Virginia Beach to begin our night of fun. At 4:45, the kids still don't have shoes on, there are so many toys on the floor that I could not walk without risk of injury, there were dishes in the sink, the dog had no food or water, and I could not find a sippy cup to same my life?

Now last week - when I was a single mother and responsible for every single aspect of this house and of the kids etc. - I was early for absolutely every event that we attended. Why is it that with the help of another adult, a father at that, that I feel like I am constantly heading backwards and that I will never catch up?

I ask these questions in a somewhat rhetorical way, yet I suppose hearing of another's similar experiences may help me to not feel so ungrateful. I sometimes do wonder if there are other military wives who have experience similar feelings in their world.

Is their another person who waits for months for their husband to rejoin their family, only to have feelings of anxiety when they do return? A person who writes e-mails each and every night about their day in hopes that "daddy" comes home feeling like he has not missed a thing in the lives of the ones he loves and then when he does come home, the fact that their perfect house is somehow an uncontrollable disaster area is an obsession that outweighs any happiness that this homecoming should bring.

Is there anyone who lays in bed each night with a small feeling of loneliness because they have a great marriage, yet they are somehow alone, and then can't sleep with their prayers have been answered and they share their bed once again with the person they love? Is there a person out there who feels all of these things and then at that moment when the love of their life pops back into the daily routine....they feel like all they want to do is be alone again?!?!?!

I know that the answer to all of these questions is "yes". I have been a military wife for long enough to know that there has been a time in most of our lives that we finally get a moment alone and we have a lump in our throat of sadness and guilt and just plain fear....a lump that may lead us to cry...but probably not. We will sit alone and assess our anxiety and our anger and then just come to a place of acceptance about it all.

This is our life. We truly DON'T want to be alone with our children and the full responsibility of all that our lives throw at us. We DO want to have a partner to be a daddy, to play with our kids, to watch TV with at night and to sleep with! We do want that..."I" do want that! So why is it that i can feel this way again and again? Well....I have no answer for that, but what I am 100% secure in is that I will come to terms with this sudden change in my live - this sudden input of another living, breathing person into my world.

I was asked to be a rock for the past month, handle it all, do it all, and never let those kids see me sweat! I had a good month, and I did it - without sadness and with gusto!! My kids having a great life and our overall happiness far out weights my sorrow for a few lonely nights!

But in the end...I missed my husband...the father of my partner in this crazy life of ours. Missed him and I am glad he is home. I will find a way to detox from my life of independence and to become a family again! And I will find that way soon! It never takes all that long! I am sure of that because I have done it before and I find comfort in that because I will do it again!

And anyone reading this...please accept this blog as a out pour of recent emotion, not a complaint about a life that I have chosen! I just know that my feelings have been felt by others and I want to be honest so that maybe someone can say "Wow...I have felt like that and just never shared feels good to know I am not alone!". And if on the other side of the fence - you find that I am NUTS!! Well...YOU ARE RIGHT THERE TOO!!! ha ha ah aha ha

Happy to be back in blog land! More soon!