Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Stolen Christmas Meme

With all the worry over money at the holidays and changing work schedules at work (seriously, after 8 years they're changing my guaranteed day off. I may be changing jobs, a post about that soon.) I haven't really put much thought into posts (okay, that's a lie... I think about them all the time, but I just can't muster up the energy to put together a coherent thought). So, here's a meme that I stole from, well, just about everyone I think. (But, I saw it over at Swistle, Incubation Nation and Clueless but Hopeful Mama so I'll give them credit.) (Also, I like parentheses.)

Eggnog or hot chocolate?
If I have to pick one I'll take the hot chocolate, but I'd much rather have a big cup of hot tea, preferably Orange Pekoe.

Does Santa wrap the presents or leave them open under the tree? This year Santa will be leaving unwrapped presents and a stocking for Alex. When I was a kid he left one big present unwrapped, a stocking and several wrapped presents. We were allowed to play with the unwrapped gift and anything in the stocking while our parents were sleeping. All unwrapping had to wait until Mom and Dad were up. We plan to do it this way with Alex, as well.

Colored lights on a tree or white? I like white, Jym likes colored. So, we have both and no one is completely happy with the way the tree looks, but no one hates it either. They say that marriage is compromise.

Do you hang mistletoe? No.

When do you put your decorations up? Decorations go up the day after Thanksgiving. If something happens and we can't get them up that day it makes me grumpy and hard to live with. I need my holiday cheer!

What is your favorite holiday dish? The ham rolls that my mother-in-law makes on Christmas Eve. She always makes twice as many as we'll eat so we have plenty of leftovers to help us over that post-holiday slump.

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? When I was a kid we always opened one present on Christmas Eve. Jym's family opened all of the presents. Now we open the stuff from his side of the family on Christmas Eve, over at his mom's house and my family joins us at our place on Christmas Day. Now that Alex is getting old enough to understand what a present is we'll continue with the same, adding Santa gifts at our house on Christmas morning.

How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Most of the ornaments are Disney. If you know me in real life you completely understand this. My dream home will have a room dedicated to nothing but Disney collectibles and memorabilia, that's how much we love Disney. Other ornaments are family antiques, some that we've picked up the few years that we didn't go to Disney and a few that I bought on school trips when I was younger.

Snow: love it or hate it? Love to look at it, would love to have a white Christmas, but hate the cold and am willing to never see snow again if it means I can be warm all the time.

Can you ice skate? Yes... sort of. I took lessons as a teenager and I can still get around the rink, but this body does not perform the way it used to.

What is your favorite holiday dessert? Chess Pie. I know its not a traditional holiday dessert, but I love it so much. And the only time I bother making it is Christmas. (So I guess in our family it is a traditional holiday dessert.)

What is your favorite holiday tradition? Reading The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve

Candy canes: yum or yuck? Well, I'm allergic to peppermint so yuck, yuck, yuck. This actually causes a lot of problems around this time of the year, with all the candy cane items that everyone eats all the time. I can't even be around the stuff, so it puts a major crimp in the holiday candy at work since no one can eat it around me.

Favorite Christmas show? A Christmas Story Best Christmas movie ever.

So, that's it. A little insight into the holidays at my house. If you haven't already done this meme, feel free to steal it from me so I can peek into your house.

Just in case I don't summon up the energy to post on Christmas, Merry Christmas to everyone!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks - The List

1. For Alex, the joy of my life. Healthy and thriving, joyful and filled with an infectious giggle; I wonder every day what I did to be so lucky.

2. Jym, world's most patient man. He puts up with my snits and foul moods. He tolerates my penchant for leaving crumbs on the counter and dirty dishes in the sink (and dirty clothes on the floor and shoes in the middle of the hall and books on every available surface in our bedroom and... well, you get the idea). He makes me laugh when I am angry and smile when I am sad. He is my strength.

3. My parents. They both have health problems and I am so grateful that they are still with us. We don't always get along and there are plenty of problems in our past, but I love them dearly and don't know what I'll do when they're gone.

4. My mother-in-law. She comes everyday and takes care of Alex while we work. She loves him so much and he adores her. I am blessed to have this woman in my life. She helped us buy our house and started Alex's college fund. She helps us in a million little ways and our lives would be poorer without her.

5. Leftover Halloween candy. I know, its not deep or meaningful, but damn... I do love some mini Reese's Cups.

6. My job. Less and less everyday, though. I'm burned out and in a place that offers no challenge or room for growth. It does provide a paycheck, however, so I can't argue with that.

What are you thankful for? Do you love Reese's as much as I do?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Words, Words, Words

Can I just say that it completely boggles my mind the amount of words that Alex can say?

off and on (both sound like "ah" but he uses them in the right context)
boom! ("boo!", whenever he falls down)
pull ("puh")
hat ("ha", a less cute, but more intelligible version than "tah", which he used until recently)
cheerios ("che-os")
truck ("tuck")
binky (bi-ee")
yum ("um")
nose ("no")
tongue ("tuh")
book ("buh")
up ("uh")
down ("dow" - used often in conjunction with "boo!")
door ("tor")
blanket ("bla-ee")
light ("li")
shoe ("zhoo")
tickle (one of his first words, it still sounds like "dooka")
pot ("pah")
ball ("bah")
that ("tat?", when he wants to know the word for something)
dragon ("dah-on")
block ("bah")
computer ("poo-uh")

I know there's more, but this list just amazes me. Yesterday (I swear that it was last week, at the most.) he was just a helpless newborn, bleating out his needs with crying. Today he pointed at the top of the fridge and and said cheerios. It blows my mind.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Not Mine Anymore

My family recently went on vacation. We spent a lovely time in Walt Disney World, showing Alex all the things that we love about the place: the rides, the shows, the fireworks, the food (OMG, the food. Don't roll your eyes, Disney has tons of gourmet restaurants.) We love the place so much that we spend at least 2 weeks there every year and more if we can swing it.

Usually we come home with tons of pictures (and we did), lots of T-shirts (less this time due to the crappy economy), a new Christmas ornament (got that, and it's adorable) and a boatload of stuff for my scrapbooking. And we leave with a sense of sadness and satisfaction intermingled; bittersweet and worn out.

This time, however, was different. We were eager to leave, the bittersweet skewing sharply to the bitter near the end of our trip when my car was stolen. We parked it one night, right outside our room, carried an exhausted, sleeping Alex inside and went to bed. The next morning we packed up the diaper bag, got everyone dressed and stepped into what felt like unreality. We looked where the car was parked, and then we looked again. I asked Jym to be sure that I hadn't forgotten and then we both looked stupidly around the parking lot, as though the Jeep might have gotten bored and gone for a drink in the middle of the night, returning to a different space in its confusion.

The cops were called and Disney stepped up, giving us a stroller and providing transportation for the remainder of our stay and the return trip home, 650 miles away. We waited, hoping that the car would be found and also hoping that it wouldn't (because who doesn't want a reason to go get a new car?). The Orange County Sheriffs called us on Halloween; my car had been located at an industrial park about 20 miles outside of Orlando. I felt a sense of relief and then one of disappointment when they told us that the radio and stroller had been taken. But it was no big deal; everything was covered by insurance and stuff can be replaced.

My car finally made it back to town today. We went to the shop where they're checking it out to get some things out of it that I had been needing. I opened the door and then I couldn't stop crying. My things, all the little things that accumulate, were scattered everywhere. There were papers in the floor, all over the backseat; a CD was discarded in the passenger floorboard, the only remnant of the dozens that I kept in the car. Jym's Air Force sweatshirt was thrown over the backseat, but mine was missing. The change jar that I keep in the console was gone. Jym's Zippo was gone, taken from its place in the ashtray.

And it finally hit me, what seems like such a nothing on paper. It was just a car, just some stuff and a handful of change. But it was mine. These things, this space, it was mine.

And now it doesn't feel like mine anymore. I sat in the driver's seat; my feet didn't reach the pedals and it was leaned back at an uncomfortable angle. I felt like there was someone lurking over my shoulder, but of course I was alone, sitting in a car and crying in the bright afternoon sunlight. Jym came up behind me and I leaned into him; crying out the loss that I thought I hadn't felt.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Moments in Time

He toddles down the hall toward me, grinning, arms out wide. I walk to him until, with a not quite audible thud, he collides with my legs, wrapping his arms around my knees and burying his face for a hug. I scoop him up and toss him above me, reveling in the sound of his giggles.


He sits quietly on the floor, engrossed in his toy truck. Turning it over and over in his small hands, examining each detail before cramming it into his mouth. He gives it a good gnawing and looks up at me as if to ask if I'd like a taste.


"Tah, tah!" He points and I follow the line of that chubby finger to see a ball cap lying in the floor, dropped last night as we were getting ready for bed. I lower him to the ground and he rushes over, triumphantly grasping his find and trying to put it on. He struggles, but still grins. Moments later I am the proud wearer of one NY Yankees tah (hat) and he grins before snatching it off my head and clutching it to his chest with joy.


We sit in the floor, me stacking blocks and him pushing them over. With each crash the laughter peals out, giddy with glee and excitement, and the "Boom!" he receives from me at the latest demolition pushes him over the edge. He falls backward, rolling from side to side as he shrieks his delight.


He crawls away from me, giggling. I chase after, "I'm gonna get you, I'm gonna get you!" Into his room, onto the soft blue chenille rug that he loves to lie on. He drops to his hands and knees, crawling now as I give chase. Into the corner he goes, breathless with anticipation. "Gotcha!" And he flings himself down onto his back, giggles and grins washing over me as I claim my victory with a tickle.


He sits in his high chair, spaghetti sauce in his hair. The tray is coated with smears of sauce and squished noodles. He reaches for my plate and I put a few more noodles in front of him. He picks one up in his right hand, poking at the dangling end with his left. Then, leaning over and keeping an eye on me, he drops the noodle over the side and onto the carpet, thus signaling an end to dinner.


He cries out in the middle of the night, a bad dream or a lost binky disturbing his rest. I go to him and he cuddles into the curve of my arms, wrapping himself around me and drifting back to sleep without effort. I breathe in the smell of him and sit, absorbing the small shape of his body pressed to mine. He sighs and I lean in closer to kiss his cheek, listening to the soft sound of his breath and the faint squishy noise of a well loved pacifier. Reluctantly I stand, walking to his crib. I lay him down and he rolls onto his belly, sound asleep. Covering him with his blanket I gently stroke his hair and whisper my love.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I Haven't Forgotten About You, Internets

Wow... so, its been awhile since I posted, huh? I'd like to blame busy-ness, but truthfully, I think its because I'm lazy.

Don't get me wrong, we've been plenty busy. We've moved into our new house, gotten unpacked (mostly), installed a brand new dishwasher (complete with cutting the cabinets apart since there was no washer in the kitchen before), replaced the bathroom faucet and made plans for several more renovations.

Lets see, there's something that I'm forgetting... what was that?

Oh yeah! Alex is walking! I'm talking real, no shit, look ma no hands walking! He's so proud of himself. I came into the room today and he just made a beeline for me, all grins and giggles with his arms held out for me to pick him up. I've been spending the majority of my time (when I'm not at work, blah) down in the floor with him, wearing various objects (toy trucks, books, blocks, etc.) as hats and just reveling in the little boy-ness of him.

He is so much fun these days. He's into everything and I feel like I'm constantly saying "no touch", but he just laughs and pokes me in the nose, so I guess he's good with not being allowed to shove his finger into the X-Box.

His moods have been mercurial, one minute laughing and grinning, the next crying brokenheartedly because I've dared to move more than 3 feet away to refill his sippy cup. Then, back to giggles once the full cup is presented in all its glory.

The whiplash speed of his emotions is dizzying and (please don't judge) so funny! He freaks out because I'm standing on the linoleum, in the kitchen, but as soon as I move six inches to be on the carpet again he's fine. He goes to his bedroom and wants to shut the door, then he's mad because the door is shut! He holds his arms up to be held, but as soon as he's curled into my lap on the couch he wants DOWN! DOWN! NOW!

Its exhausting and exhilarating all at once. I hope for it to never change.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Big News

So, its finally official. We are moving into our new house on Thursday! We will no longer be renting and the money that we pay every month will really be going somewhere. I feel this incredible sense of financial freedom and fulfillment knowing that we won't be pouring hundreds of dollars down a bottomless pit known as the landlord's pocket every month.

The house that we bought, though, is smaller than the one that we've been renting for the past year. We've been going through things and Goodwill has received quite a few of our belongings that have been gathering dust. My mother-in-law has offered part of her garage as storage, so the things that I'm not ready to part with are heading up the road to her place, within easy reach if we need them.

I'm both exhilarated and terrified by this move. The responsibility that comes with home ownership is a weighty matter but when I walk in the door of the new place all I can think is "Mine, mine, mine... all mine," and then I do a little happy dance.

And then Jym gives me the look that lets me know that he thinks I've lost my mind and that he thinks its pretty cute. You guys know the look, that one that says you're crazy and he loves you anyway. Its a look that I receive on a fairly regular basis.

Anyway, we have lots of plans for the new place. Its an older house, built in 1953, and there are lots of things that we want to do to it. We've already painted Alex's room, but we still need to paint pretty much everything else and there's wallpaper in both bathrooms that has got. to. go. I hate wallpaper and who puts it up in a bathroom? All of the seams are peeling and it looks horrible. Once it comes down I will be a happier person.

We will eventually remodel both bathrooms, but that's pretty expensive. It'll probably be awhile, but when it happens we'll be replacing the vanities and the tubs, putting in new linoleum and hopefully (fingers crossed) installing heating under the tiles in the master bath.

A kitchen remodel is also on the list, hopefully with an expansion. The current kitchen is small, but workable, so that's a very long term plan. Kitchens are insanely expensive and expanding the space will make it even more expensive. But I'm already dreaming about the changes that we'll make. I'm practically giddy with the realization that I don't have to ask permission to make changes to my home. Yay! No landlord!

Does anyone out there have any stories (good or bad) about remodeling? I'm both looking forward to and dreading the process and I'd love to hear about your experiences.

Friday, July 31, 2009


There's been a fair amount of talk around the blogosphere lately about how our babies came into the world and the feelings that invokes in us. Linda over at All & Sundry and Julie at A Little Pregnant both wrote wonderful eloquent posts about it.

Its a topic that is often on my mind. Every time a woman a work gives birth or announces that she's pregnant I can't help but look back on the experience that I had and mourn the way that I thought it would be. I wanted to try an all natural birth (please note the word "try") because I didn't like the idea of bringing my son into the world with my body full of drugs (Also, I know that I would feel like a total bad ass if I managed to do it drug free). I wasn't closed to the idea of medications, but I was firmly on the side of "Give it my best shot."

When I was told, in my 30th week, that my amniotic fluid was almost gone and that Alex wasn't growing I still held out hope that things would work out the way that I wanted. My doctor (who is wonderful by the way, if you live in Knoxville and want a recommendation for an OB/GYN shoot me an e-mail) put me on bedrest at home after my Thursday appointment, with another ultrasound scheduled for the following Monday to check on things. By Monday, thanks to the GALLONS of water that I had consumed, my fluid had come back up enough that I was allowed to return to work on light duty, sit-down tasks only.

A little less than 2 weeks later I was back for another appointment (I had a lot of appointments and ultrasounds because I was high risk). Another Thursday, June 26th. This time there was so little fluid that the ultrasound tech couldn't even measure it in most places that she tried. And worse news, my placenta was in full blown deterioration mode, failing to supply enough blood to my son. I was sent immediately to Labor & Delivery, hooked up to monitors and an IV and placed on bedrest. I was allowed to get up to use the bathroom and for 15 additional minutes each day (trailing an IV pole around... fun!). The neonatologist visited, my doctor consulted with a bunch of other doctors and I spent a lot of time crying in that hospital bed.

I was told that unless everything fixed itself by Monday morning that I would be having a C-section, that my son would need to spend weeks in the hospital. I hoped, against all hope, that things would get better. I was on IV fluids and drinking as much water as I could stomach in order to get my fluid levels back up. I urged my body to fix my placenta (it doesn't really listen to me, but I had to give it a try), I begged the universe to make Alex grow so that I could stay pregnant longer and give him a better chance of being born healthy. I received my steroid shots, but not happily, because once you get those you pretty much know that you're having a preemie.

By Saturday night I was starting to come to terms, in a very superficial way, that I was having a C-section. I hadn't even begun to process the emotions, but the realist in me was gearing up for action. I knew that a healthy baby was all that mattered and my head was ready to deal with that.

Sunday morning, very early, I woke up with a blinding headache. They gave me Demerol; it didn't work. They gave me more Demerol; it didn't work either. My blood pressure was spiking so they hooked me up to a magnesium sulfate drip; it didn't work. I was in too much pain to panic and the drugs made me stupid, so I didn't really process what was happening. At some point a nurse came in and gave me a bunch of consent forms. She read them to me because I was too far gone to comprehend the written word at that point and before she would let me sign them she asked me if I knew what was happening. In the only funny part of the morning I said "You're going to cut me open." In response to her horrified look I informed her, "To get the baby out, duh." In my mind she was obviously confused about what was happening and I had to set her straight. My mom, who was with me at the time, laughed her ass off.

Shortly after I was was wheeled in my bed to the OR, in my bed (Just like on TV, yay!). My spinal was put into place, they laid me back and I got a catheter (which is just as much fun as you can imagine). I remember that I kept asking for Jym, but not much else. Then Jym was there, with his hand on my arm. Finally the spinal had me numb and they began. I'm told that it was very fast, just a few minutes from the first incision to Alex's birth, but I couldn't swear to that in court because I kept going in and out of consciousness. I don't remember his first cry, I didn't get to hold him, I didn't get to nurse him. I didn't even get to see most of him. One quick glimpse after he was cleaned, weighed and swaddled and then they took him to the NICU and me to recovery.

The rest of the day is a blur. I know that Dana came and saw me because there are pictures. I know that I was taken in my wheelchair to see Alex (catheter, IV and all), because there are pictures. A picture of my hand cradling his tiny head, seeming to engulf it. A picture of his perfect face, dwarfed by the pacifier laying next to it. A pacifier that looks like it was made for a giant baby, it covered half of his face, but it was the smallest that the NICU had.

I spent many hours next to his isolette, staring at him, memorizing his features. And all the while, regret and grief coursed through my body. I knew that this was the one chance that I had to do this. My health is not conducive to making babies. My doctor didn't really expect me to make it out of my first trimester and when I did I really began to hope and dream about the experience I wanted to have.

I still grieve over the loss of what I wanted. I know, we all know, that the end result is what's important. The baby at the end of the process is what matters, not how he got here. But...

But I look at my beautiful, perfect, happy, healthy son and it just doesn't seem all that important.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

No Cool Spots On My Pillow

Is there some law of the universe that causes all babies, upon turning one year old, to become deranged monsters, intent on destroying the home they live in and their parents' sanity?

Alex was always such a laid back baby (except when he first came home, but that doesn't count, he only weighed 4 pounds). He was content to lie on a blanket, to play with his with his toys, to explore the areas of the house that we deemed safe (i.e. no litter box or sharp pointy things). I could go to the bathroom, eat a meal, check the mail, make a sandwich... no problems. He slept through the night, except for a few peeps that quickly passed. He ate everything that we placed in his general vicinity (okay, this is still true, but it seemed like this list needed three things... you know, to round it out.)

No more easy going baby. He has left the building, replaced in the night by this active, mobile, curious, loud, demanding, angry child.

Put him down: wails and teeth gnashing along with noodles for legs that leave him crumpled on the floor in a pathetic heap.

Leave the room: howls of outrage and despair and possibly even betrayal (How can you go to the bathroom!! Don't you love me anymore?!?!).

Try to give him the milk when what he wants is the banana: look of disgust, cries of anger, cup to the floor and an attempt to hurl himself from the highchair.

The sleep, though. That's what's killing me.

He wakes up and howls sometime between 2 and 3, but settles back to sleep with relatively little trouble. The trouble come about 6:30. He wakens, realizes he's alone and turns on his music box. This amuses him for about 0.3 seconds. Then he gets bored and since he's still exhausted (he went to bed at 11, after all) he starts screaming. Immediate satisfaction is demanded. My sleep fogged brain is yanked from slumber, adrenaline pumping. Is the house on fire? Did someone break in? Did someone break in and set the house on fire? Did someone break in and set Alex on fire?

The answer, of course, is none of the above. He just wants Mommy and Daddy. I stumble to his room, pick him up, cuddle him and dry his tears. He is now content and sleepy once again. They I try to put him back in the crib. This is a huge mistake, as I should know by now. He switches back into full blown panic mode, so I pick him back up and make my way back to bed.

Alex collapses on my chest and immediately passes out; I do the same. Jym has slept through all of this. Sounds good, right? Everyone's asleep so it should be good?


Jym is a furnace. Sleeping with him is like sleeping next to a campfire... in the middle of the summer... is equatorial Brazil. Alex has inherited this trait. What this means, for me at least, is sweat, and overheating and NO SLEEP! I wake up, over and over again. I try to switch to a cooler spot on the pillow. Sadly, it turns out there are no cool spots left on the pillow. But it is damp with sweat, so that's a great bonus!

Jym and Alex sleep on, blissfully unaware of the heat wave under the sheets while I doze fitfully until Alex wakes up for good, around 9:30 or 10. Then its time for breakfast and to start the day. Zombie Mommy strikes again.

This gets better, right? He will start sleeping better before college, right? Right?!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Alex - One Year

Alex turned one on Monday, June 29th. He had his one year check-up today.

Birth Stats
3 lbs, 7.7 ozs
16.25 inches

One Year
19 lbs, 9 ozs
28.25 inches

What a difference a year makes.

A year ago he was lying in the hospital, impossibly small. Today he grins at me and squeals with delight when I make one of his toy cars flip over. He pulls up on anything that will hold still (furniture, grown-ups, the cat... poor long suffering cat). He climbed up into my chair today, pulling on my pants leg and hoisting himself up with just the strength in his own body.

A year ago he had his first meal, 3 milliliters of expressed breast milk. Today he ate oatmeal,carrots, cereal puffs, most of a banana, what seemed like an entire zucchini and squash, mashed potatoes, juice, milk; I had to stop giving him the zucchini because just because its veggies doesn't mean its not overeating.

A year ago we had to weigh his diapers to make sure that he was peeing enough, checking that he was getting enough fluid from his IV and the milk he was tube fed. Today... well let's just say that we're no longer concerned about whether or not he pees enough.

A year ago I was crying in my hospital room, recovering from an emergency C-section, knowing that I would go home without my baby. Today we popped him in his car seat and took him to Pizzeria Uno (where he ate most of the previously mentioned veggies), just that easy.

He's strong and he's healthy. The heart murmur they picked up early on has vanished. His umbilical hernia has healed itself. He has eczema, but so do I, so no biggie. We'll put some cream on it and thank the universe for sparing us.

He's a normal one year old, this close to walking. He has several words and he actually listens to me when I tell him to put something in his toy bucket or to bring me something (I don't expect this to last long).

This year has been terribly hard and wonderfully easy at the same time.

Breastfeeding was hard, so hard. Milk that never came in, nipples that were bigger than his mouth. Giving it up was painful, but necessary for my sanity and my relationship with Alex. Feeding was never easy in those first months, but letting go of the guilt about my "failure" made meals a pleasure again. A time to smell his sweet hair and nuzzle his cheeks. Now, he eats like a champ and will even share with me (i.e. forcibly shoves food in my mouth when he thinks something is especially tasty).

Co-sleeping, once I gave up on the bassinet, was sweet, lovely and hard to give up, even when the karate chops to the throat and the kicks to the crotch made sleeping difficult. Snuggling Alex to sleep at night is still one of the greatest pleasures in my life. Sometimes I get him out of his crib when I go to bed just so I can wake up to his sweet smile.

He is an active, sweet, demanding, generous, sometimes cuddly, all-boy kind of boy. I can't wait to see what happens this year.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Looking Up

Tuesday was a hard day for me. I was feeling overwhelmed, beaten down from the inside. Today... well, I feel a little better. I'm certainly not happy-go-lucky, la-la-la, but it wasn't such a bad day.

I saw something that moved me, made me think that maybe someone's keeping an eye on me. When I got out of my car at work on Wednesday afternoon I spotted an odd shadow on the hood of my car. Glancing up at the antenna I saw a butterfly perched on top. It was slowly batting it's wings in the hot summer breeze. It's wings were torn, battered. They didn't look capable of achieving flight. But, there it was, keeping on, slowly fluttering. Glancing back on my way to the door I saw it take flight, spiraling into the sky, soaring away.

I don't know if its a sign; I don't know if I even believe in signs, but I think that I'm going to keep fluttering along. Maybe someday I'll soar again, too.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Missing You

How is it possible to miss someone you never even got the chance to meet? My heart has been heavy lately. I cry at unexpected moments and Jym is helpless to make it better. My sadness breaks his heart and baffles him. It hurts me to know that I'm hurting him, but I can't chase these feelings away.

Tonight, to myself at least, I finally let myself say the things that I needed to say.

I miss you. I want you back. I never got to meet you, and I never will, but I miss you like an open wound in my heart. If I could go back and change it all, I would do it in a heartbeat, but I know that nothing can change. You would still be gone and I'll always wonder who you would have looked like and think about the name I would have given you. I can only hope that there really is a place beyond this world, somewhere where we can meet and I can hold you in my arms.

I love you, precious baby.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

To Jym: loving husband, gentle father.

You will teach our son all of the important things in life.

You will show him what it is to be a man, to take care of your family, to make the sacrifices that are necessary to create a better life for us. He will see what it is to love a woman, to treat her with respect when all the world around us is showing him that its okay to put a woman down and treat her like a slut and nothing more than an object.

You will teach him baseball and math and hopefully how to hit the toilet when he pees. So many things that I can't even put into words. So many things that add up to being a dad. Everyday you will be here and he will see that.

Thank you Jym for making this surprise addition to our family a joy, for showing me that you are the father that I always thought you would be.

Friday, June 12, 2009


The amount of love and trust that my son gives me everyday is almost overwhelming. He knows that I will feed him, that I will give him kisses and cuddles, that I will play with him. And most of all that I will catch him.

He throws himself at me in the mornings, when we're lying in bed. I catch him in my arms and cuddle him close, only to have him struggle away so he can climb on Jym. Then he throws himself at me again, smiling the sweetest smile ever to grace a baby's face.

He climbs up to my shoulders when I'm standing in the bathroom, eager to get to the highest point. Then, with what I would swear is a maniacal glint in his eye, he flings himself to the side, grinning as my arms raise up to swing him around.

He sits on my lap, poking my nose and teeth. Then he slowly leans back, waiting this time, for me to grab his hands and hang him upside-down. Up and down, upright, upside-down. Over and over I catch him and keep him from smashing his precious little noggin on the hardwood that lies in wait.

And the joy on his face when I toss him above my head, the squeals of laughter as he flies through the air and again lands safely in my arms, it makes my heart feel as though it will burst out of my chest.

Except that it already has, and its crawling around the house, climbing on the furniture. All I can do is chase to keep up with my heart, to keep my baby boy safe. To make sure that he knows that he is loved. To catch him when he falls.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Alex let us sleep in today. When I woke up, about an hour or so after I usually do, my first thought (Okay, my second thought. The first one was "I'm not tired. How'd that happen?") was to wonder what was wrong. Alex never lets us sleep late anymore. He's all "eh, eh, eh" and come get me mama as soon as his eyes open in the morning.

So, I went to check on him. As soon as I opened the door he started to stir, so I picked him up and took him back to our room. I figured I could get some cuddles before he started to throw himself recklessly at every dangerous object in the house. I laid down in the bed with him and he let his head sink to my chest. I buried my nose in his hair and took a big deep breath, looking for that elusive baby smell that seems to be disappearing at an alarming rate. I did not find the wonderful baby smell. What I found was... less pleasant.

Sometime in the night Alex puked on himself. And I let him sleep in it! Because I am clearly a candidate for mother of the year. His hair was crusty with it, the sheets were covered, even the side of the crib had ick all over it. And his beloved dragon, the one that my mother bought for him the day he was born, the one that he has never slept without, was coated in the stuff.

He seems fine now, but ick indeed.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Late Nights

I am an idiot.

Its late and I should be in bed, sleeping. Alex gets up late, around 10:30 or so (please don't hate me; he also goes to bed late), but I should still get to bed at a reasonable hour. Instead, I sit on my computer reading blogs, poking around Facebook and endlessly checking my e-mail. This is not the type of responsible behavior you expect from a 32 year old woman with a small child.

My husband doesn't help. He too sits on the computer until the wee hours. When we are computing together, side-by-side (okay, actually in separate rooms, but its the feel of thing, you understand) it feels as though we are doing something, as opposed to staring mindlessly at the TV. I have mentioned my television addiction, right? So we sit, and we stare at separate screens. Occasionally, I send Jym an IM on Facebook. He thinks this is strange behavior, since I'm only about 15 feet away, but hey, I get my fun where I can.

I've got to get out of this rut, staying up late for no reason. The real problem though is that I have trouble falling asleep. I'll lie in bed for what seems like hours, Jym snoring merrily beside me, until my body finally gives it up in exhaustion. I just can't seem to turn off my mind. My thoughts spiral endlessly:
  • Alex will probably wake us up in about 6 hours. I should go to sleep now
  • I have to work tomorrow. I should go to sleep now.
  • I should go put a load of laundry in so I can throw it in the dryer before I go to work.
  • I forgot to clean the litter box. Jym will be unhappy. Maybe I'll go do it now. No, I should go to sleep now.
  • I wonder if Swistle posted anything tonight? I'll just check on my phone. No, put the phone down. Go to sleep now.
  • I need to pee. I think I'll go do that and then I'll go to sleep.
  • Fuck... the toilet flushing woke up Alex. Maybe if I lie very still and breathe quietly he won't know I'm awake and we can all go to sleep.
And that's usually the point where I fall asleep. Once Alex has quieted down, of course. Occasionally he doesn't, and his sleepy cries turn into frantic howls. On those nights he comes to bed with us and I am forced to sleep so he can too. Maybe he should just sleep with us every night? Okay, that's probably a bad idea, but I'm getting desperate! Anyone have any ideas on how to turn off my brain so I can get a decent night's rest?


Jym stands, holding Alex in our living room, discussing plans for the day.

Jym: So, I should be back by 2, so we can eat lunch.

Me: I still need to get a shower before I leave.

Jym looks at Alex, Alex looks at Jym.

Jym: Alex thinks you're clean.

Me: Well, he puts oatmeal in his hair... maybe he's not the best judge.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Outing

Okay... I know you're all dying to know what happened at the library. Sorry I took so long to get back here. There was work (not fun) and taking Alex to the pool (lots of fun) and then some more work (again, not fun). But! I'm back now and since I can hear you calling for the details of our library excursion I will not make you wait any longer.

We got to the library right as story time was starting. This means that I did not have a chance to locate any of the other moms from the group I was meeting. This made me a bit anxious. As I may have mentioned, I am not good with strangers. We sat and listened to three books that the library lady picked for us (a very interesting lady, with a face painting of Elmo and clothes that seemed to have been acquired at a bohemian flea market... not that I can judge; I run around in jeans and T-shirts all day, so when did I become the fashion police) (wow, was that the longest parenthetical ever?) There were two books about potty training (a little advanced for Alex, but he listened politely) and one about Elmo, who is evidently not the brightest bear in the woods trying to get back to Sesame Street. He lives there, right. So shouldn't he know his address? Maybe get a cab or something?

After the books most of the group broke up (There were about 25 moms and kids there). I gathered up our stuff (bottle and Gerber puffs) and then stood around awkwardly, trying to figure out how to approach the few women remaining. One of them finally took pity on me and introduced herself. After that the kids all played for a little while, climbing up and down the steps and trying to eat various things off the carpet.

Alex picks up dead bug using his close to perfection pincer grasp (damn you developmental milestones!)
Mommy: eeeewwwww! Give me that. icky icky
Alex: Wahhhh!
Alex then notices bright yellow tape on floor and all is forgiven.

After some stilted conversation (again with the not being good with strangers) and much admiring of everyone's little ones we headed out to Chik-fil-A. For those of you not in the south, this is a fast food place that serves... wait for it... chicken. Nothing but chicken in it's various boneless forms. Chicken sandwiches, chicken wraps, chicken soup, chicken nuggets. I'm surprised the desserts aren't made of chicken. We had a filling lunch, made a little less awkward by the need for me to supervise Alex's meal and then everyone headed to the play area. Alex was a little young for this, so it mostly consisted of me keeping him from eating everyone's shoes while making more small talk.

All in all it was not as bad as I expected. But, I don't think that I'll be going back. Maybe to story time, but probably not to lunch again. I'm just so bad with new people and to be honest, these women were a little too strongly about the religion for me. I mean, that's great if it works for them, but I just haven't figured out what its all about and having it that strongly in my face was a little off-putting.

So to sum up, we were not banned from the library, Alex did not throw a tantrum about his socks and the ladies were nice, just not for me.

Maybe next time I'll just take him to the mall for some retail therapy quality time.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

An Outing!

Alex and I are going to the library tomorrow (well, later today). This will be his first "social" outing and I'm nervous about how its going to go. He's been out in public, of course, but tomorrow is a trip to attend story time and lunch with a mom's group that I found in our area. I've never met any of these women and my anxiety is rearing it's ugly head.

Its very hard for me to be social and meet new people. I always worry that they won't like me (I know, how middle school could I get?) and that I'll do or say something stupid or offensive. Not that I'm naturally stupid or that I normally offend people, but to say that I have butterflies in my stomach at the thought of introducing myself to a bunch of strangers is an understatement. It feels more like a herd of elephants churning up everything.

My fears for my own social success are now compounded by worries over Alex. What if they don't like him? What if he steals some other kid's toy and won't give it back. What if he pitches and fit and all the other mothers give me "that look". You know the one... it says "Thank God that's not my kid." I know that Alex is sweet and smart and adorable. He makes me smile and laugh and everyday I am amazed at the things that he can do and how fast he's growing. But...

What if he cries in the library... I mean, seriously, in the library! That's the quiet place, right? At least that's what was drilled into me when I was a child. Will all the other patrons hate me? My overactive imagination is now picturing us being banned for life due to the fact that I made Alex wear socks (which he hates) and that he got angry and ruined the story for all the other happy, quiet children. Help! This is crazy talk!

Okay... deep breaths.

I'm gonna go have a glass of wine and get a grip. The trip will not be a disaster. Alex will not hate me for forcing him to wear socks and the other mothers will like us.


Thursday, May 14, 2009


Alex is into so many things these days. He crawls like a pro and its scary how fast he can get into things that we would rather he not. Like the bathroom trash or the power cord to my laptop (which is evidently extremely tasty, as he whines with disappointment whenever I pull him away from it). He has some favorites that aren't so dangerous, and here they are, in no particular order.
  • Lil' Crunchies Zesty Tomato flavor - yes the box says for toddlers, but they're exactly the same as the ones for younger babies, just a much better flavor. He would gladly eat nothing but these all day if I let him.
  • Moose A. Moose from Noggin - this is the little guy that shows up in between programs. He plays games and sings songs. Every time he shows up on the screen Alex squeals with laughter and grins. When he goes away Alex loses interest in the TV again. He is definitely getting a Moose doll for his birthday.
  • Anything that Mommy wants to throw away that makes an interesting sound. He currently has an empty water bottle and an empty formula can (with the scoop inside) in his play yard. He squishes the bottle to make a crunching noise and bangs the can on the hardwood floor, thus producing a two-tone effect as the metal rim of the can pings and the scoop inside bangs around. (and also making little bitty dents in the floor, don't tell our landlord.
  • Yellow milk jugs with red caps. The milk that we normally buy looks like this. Whenever he spots one he wants it more than anything else in sight. He spent about 30 minutes on Mother's Day gnawing on the cap of an empty jug and banging it on the table.
  • Spinach and Carrots baby food. We're working on getting him to eat more "big boy" food, but he does not want to give this one up. He once went through 2 jars in a sitting!
  • Music - he falls asleep to it, it calms him when he's upset, it stops a tantrum in it's tracks. I hope that he never outgrows this love.
  • Windows - We have floor to ceiling windows in our living room. Alex loves to stand with his face pressed up against the window and just stare at everything outside. Also, the curtains are fun to play with.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


I am not a religious person. I never have been. Even in high school, when I went to church 3 times a week I was really just playing at it. I had friends who went, so I went along for the ride.

Since my son was born I have been questioning, more and more, what all this stuff called life is about. Is there a reason for us being here? Is there someone up there watching out for us and guiding us?

Christians say that God has a plan for everyone and that He never gives you more than you can handle. There are times when these thoughts seem comforting. When it feels cozy and safe to know that all the pain that I experience is part of something larger. These feelings have intensified and deepened since Alex was born.

Alex was born 7 weeks early, on June 29, 2008. I have diabetes and although my blood sugar was well controlled it seems that it still caused problems. My placenta was failing and Alex wasn't getting the blood supply that he needed. My amniotic fluid was disappearing. The doctor doesn't know why, but that combined with the placental insufficiency caused Alex to stop growing at about 29 weeks gestation. I was on every other week visits because of my diabetes and as soon as the problem was discovered (about 30 1/2 weeks) I was put on bedrest at home. I rested for 4 days and my amniotic fluid came back up, the blood flow seemed stable. So, I was allowed to return to work on light duty. No lifting, no standing, no walking except to go to the bathroom. If it couldn't be done at a desk, I wasn't allowed to do it. After 3 days of light duty I returned to the doctor. My amniotic fluid was almost gone. My placenta had further deteriorated. The blood from the umbilical cord was no longer providing sufficient blood flow to Alex's organs. His body was shunting blood to his brain, a last ditch effort that the body makes to protect the most important organ. I was immediately admitted to the hospital.

Once in the maternity ward, more than 7 weeks before my son was supposed to arrive, I was hooked up to an IV and almost immediately given a steroid shot for Alex's lungs. The IV was for hydration, to try and restore my amniotic fluid. I was confined to bed for most of the day, with continuous monitoring of Alex's heartbeat and my own heartbeat and respiration. I was allowed to get up for 15 minutes a day, including bathroom breaks. I spent three nights in the hospital, receiving IV fluids and being monitored. My doctor was not optimistic about my chances of carrying to term at this point, but he wanted to keep me pregnant for as long as possible.

On my second day I received a second steroid shot (its a 2 shot series) and several visitors: my OB, the hospital's neonatologist and the hospital chaplain. The hospital that I was in is a Catholic hospital. They have nuns and offer mass. A chaplain visits all the rooms, and is available for counseling at almost any time of the day. I was uncomfortable with the conversation at the time, and relieved when a phone call interrupted it.

Looking back I wish that I had taken the chaplain up on her offer of support and assistance. Since Alex's birth (on the 4th day of my hospital stay, 33 weeks gestation exactly) I have marveled so many times at the miracle that he is. All of the things that the neonatologist and the NICU staff braced us for never came to pass. He wasn't on a ventilator (he never even needed supplemental oxygen). He started feeds through his NG tube as soon as I was able to pump for him (3 ml at his first feed, the little pig). He didn't have any of the typical preemie problems. No brain bleeds, no ROP (a condition of the eye that often affect preemies), no heart problems, no digestive issues, no breathing issues except for one episode when he was trying to breastfeed, a very stressful time for both of us due to the fact that his mouth was smaller than my nipple. He would open as wide as he could, but it just wouldn't fit.

Looking back on that time, and all the months in between make me question my place in this world. Makes me wonder if there is someone up there that has something in mind for my family. Would the universe have given me such a perfect child if there wasn't some purpose to it?

Friday, May 1, 2009


Is it sad that I'm addicted to television? Jym and I watch so many shows that we don't actually have enough space on our DVR for all of them. At the beginning of the fall season we have to prioritize what we really want to watch and then weed out any of the shows that we think will be canceled. Sadly, we are not very good at this. For example, we were convinced that Lost was a stupid idea and that it would never make it through the first season. HA! That'll teach us!

So, there is a point to this random thought. One of the best shows of all time is about to be canceled! The show is funny, well written, captivating in fact, and it provides me with a relaxing hour every week after Alex has gone to bed.

You're intrigued, aren't you? You want to know about this ideal of television dramedy. I can practically see you itching to Google it so you too can join the cult fan club. “Tell us,” you cry, “what is this wonderful program called?” The show in question is Chuck. "How could NBC possibly cancel such a paragon of perfection," you gasp with horror. (Too much drama? Let me know if I’m pushing it.)

I don't know if anyone is actually reading any of these posts, but if you are then we have to do something! Call, write, send a pigeon (or whatever method of communication is your personal favorite). Let NBC know that we love this show. Let them know that we can't live without this show! Let them know that the devastation to our lives will be insurmountable! (Did I go too far there?)

Thank you. I will now return to my addiction. Castle is playing on the DVR.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sleeping Baby

Alex is sleeping. He is always asleep when I get home from work, and I hate that. I feel like I'm missing out on something essential in his life by not being the one to tuck him into bed at night. I tried for awhile to make his bedtime later so I could be the one to give him his nighttime cuddles, but we ended up with a tired, cranky baby. So, now he goes to bed earlier and I don't get to see him until morning. Morning seems awfully far away.

Monday, April 27, 2009


I'm sitting here at work. According to everyone we are incredibly shorthanded today. Someone quit with no notice and nobody was available to cover for him. Everyone was quite concerned about whether or not we would be able to get everything done. There were many phone calls made and a lengthy discussion about today's show schedule. Teeth were gritted, frustration was vented. We all resolved to just do what ever we needed to do to get through the day.

So why is it I'm sitting here with absolutely nothing to do? Live television is a bitch.

Getting Started

So my mother told me the other day that she thinks I should start a blog. As much as I hate to agree with her on anything, I'd been thinking along those lines for quite some time. I spend a lot of time reading others' blogs, and the urge to get some of my creative energy out in the same way has been building for some time.

So, here I am. To anyone who is reading this, welcome! Be warned, however, that I am famous for my lack of follow through, so don't be too disappointed if my charming personality and sparking wit disappear from the internets.

Since you've stumbled on this post somehow, I have to assume that you're interested in hearing the details of a complete strangers life, so let me tell you a little about my family.

I'm 32 years old (and it still sounds strange to me that my age starts with a 3), I've been married to Jym (age 40) for almost 9 years and we have a son, Alex, who will be 1 in June. We hadn't planned on having kids, so when I came up pregnant in December 2007 it was a bit of a shock to us both. I'd like to say that after the initial shock wore off that we were both thrilled (isn't that how these stories are supposed to go?), but we had both placed parenthood in the "things that other people do" category, so some major adjustments had to be made by us both.

Happily, adjustments were made, and we're now a pretty happy family of three. And three it shall remain, as I had the Essure procedure done earlier this month. Alex will be an only child. Hopefully, this won't stunt his social development as so many people seem to think it will (Thanks for your opinions, people at work who I barely know!)

So, that's it for now. It's almost 3am, and morning comes quickly with an almost 10 month old. I'm pretty excited about this blogging thing. Here's hoping that I can muster up some "follow through."