"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thursday Thirteen: Ooh! Lucky Number 7!!

November is Prematurity Awareness Month as you may already know, and for me, this month has been a time of healing and many thanksgivings. I've begun stashing away some of my sadder memories in return for some of the happier ones that we've been making all year long, and the ones to come this holiday season. So to bring this month of reflection to a close, and because this is why my baby came early.. I wrote about:
1. Absolutely no one knows why it happens. Because of this, there is no cure.
2.I gained more than 20 pounds in the last two weeks of my pregnancy in water weight alone. I could only fit into flip flops because my feet were so puffed up, and I had cankles. I had bought a pair of heels for my shower (I know, that was silly), and my feet looked like swollen muffin tops overflowing on top of the tiny stumps that were my shoes.
3. I learned about high blood pressure, and that the bottom number should never be over 100. My blood pressure was ridiculously high. I was actually scared.
4. Did you know that when a woman goes through complications with her pregnancy, her body and baby both know it, and the baby's organs mature quicker? It's true. It happened to us. Poops' lungs were perfect and he was off a breathing tube within 6 hours. The human body is fascinating.
5. I was on bedrest at 32 weeks and my water broke and I delivered at 34 weeks.
6. To this moment I secretly envy women who had healthy pregnancies and 10 pound babies.
7. I'm scared to death to get pregnant again even though doctors are "sure" it won't happen a second time.
8. A week and a half in the NICU is a week and a half too long. Right now I'm mentally hugging all moms who have to go through it for any amount of time, even if it's just a day. Right now, there are mommies and daddies sitting in the NICU with their babies. Right now, some are getting dressed to go home. I'm praying for each one of you.
9. I guess the bright side is that I've never experienced the "get this thing out of me" discomfort of the latter part of the third trimester.
10. I secretly want to.
11. I was overwhelmed with guilt for months about why it happened to me and even more about why it happened to my little guy.
12. It happens to way more people than I ever knew. And it happens to way more people *twice* than doctors acknowledge.
13. But ha ha, preeclampsia! I won. We won. He is healthy and wonderful and lovely. And that's all that counts.
*Please feel free to share your experiences here. You can also read about our story. There are also several great websites about preeclampsia, and how and why women get it, and what it is and what it means for women and their babies. They are: the official website, http://www.preeclampsia.org and a great support website here on blogger: http://preeclampsiasurvivors.blogspot.com. And please remember, especially when people are coming to you for pledges in the spring for the huge walk, to support the March of Dimes. Happy holidays to you and your family! God bless!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Finger Foods

Sweet! We're on finger foods! And I really thought they'd be a shoe-in. I mean, he eats everything. My hair, my hands, he tried to eat my foot this morning, he eats all his toys, his bibs, his burp cloths, blankets, absolutely everything he can get his hands on. Except finger foods. It's the funniest thing. Everything else he picks up goes straight to his mouth, but with finger foods, he has no idea what to do with them. If I put it in his mouth, he'll gum it to death. I'm impressed by his chewing. But he won't pick them up himself. So all the broken pieces of carrots that we've tried fall into his seat and they mush all up and get caught in the cracks of the high chair. He looks at me like I'm crazy. And maybe I am. Maybe he secretly knows that feeding himself will eventually make way for wiping himself and bathing himself. Maybe he's smarter than I think. Hmm.


Where did Sunday and Monday go? I feel like Rip Van Winkle. I went to sleep on Sunday morning after dropping my sister off at the airport and I woke up this morning when my husband left for work. OK, I did wake up a few times to eat and pee and to hear Poops in the other room playing and cooing and laughing and I longed to play too. I even showered, but only to return to pajamas and let my hair dry by itself which means a curly frizzy mess that I just stick back into a ponytail. But mostly I just slept because I felt like I got hit by a bus and the past two days are just like a faint memory. Lovely. I kicked off the holiday season with a nice, big, fat flu. Poops had a smaller version of it last week. His first cold and thankfully it wasn't that bad. Just a little congestion and a runny nose. The adult version seems much more harsh. And we've given it to my parents and sister but I think Evan may have warded it off because he hasn't gotten it yet. Hopefully he won't. I had it this same week last year too now that I think about it. I've never gotten the flu shot because I was never entirely convinced it would help. But I think I may get in line for it next year.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Sitting Up

A friend of mine said to me how funny it was that one minute babies can't do something and the next day they can. It's so true. Last week, Poops could only sit up for a second before wobbling and falling over. I'd sit him up between my legs and he'd teeter and collapse. The next day, he would sit for a few minutes longer. Now, he doesn't fall at all, he just hangs out looking at the world from this whole new point of view. And he never wants to lay down at all now, he's way too interested in everything sitting up. This is cool for me too, I'm excited about the whole new world of high chairs at restaurants, sitting up in the shopping cart, and hopefully ditching that infant carrier soon! That thing's getting heavy.

Baby Jack Jack

Poops playing Super Hero at my Godson's birthday party (pictures finally!)

Baby Candy Frenzy

Friday, November 24, 2006

HAPPY BIRD DAY! The floors need mopping.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday EVER. Of course because it gives me time to reflect about what it is I am thankful for. But mostly because of dinner! And the opportunity to have "the perfect bite". Yum. I live for this. You can probably file this under "too much information" but at dinner, I take a little tiny bit of every one of my favorite Thanksgiving Day foods, and arrange it all on my fork for the perfect bite. Every time. And I can never deviate from our traditional menu that dates back to my childhood, for fear of compromising the perfect bite. That would be horrible! Then I'd have to wait a whole nother year! My sister used to refuse to sit next to me at the table because by the end, my plate would look like a pile of mush, but all of my favorite foods would be mixed together and it would look like paradise to me. I still do it now, but I make it look a little less sloppy. It was Poops' first Thankgiving, so we pulled the high chair up to the table and he had his first taste of turkey and he gagged and spit it all out. Oh well. Maybe next year. Anyway, I just love Thanksgiving. All of it. I spend pretty much the entire month of November sifting through magazines, watching Martha Stewart and the Today Show and pouring through websites looking for decorating and drink and food ideas. My mom came over a couple days early to help me (kind of like last year). We made place cards out of tiny pilgrim candles that we put in the tiniest terra cotta pot you'd ever seen and I wrote everyone's names on their little pot. Last year, I cut slits in tiny pumpkins and put name cards in them. For centerpieces this year, we carved out pumpkins and used them as vases for flowers. We shopped. For a couple days. And even then, Evan still had to make five trips out for stuff we forgot including cream cheese for the pumpkin cheesecake I was making. What a guy. My sister came down and at dinner, we were in hysterics over jokes that we couldn't explain to other people because it wouldn't be funny. She's the best. My dad flew in after a week of hunting up north, just in time for dinner. We had two small turkeys, one we baked, and the other that Evan fried in the driveway. I was scared for his life until my uncle showed up, who I knew had previous experience frying turkeys and I was relieved. It was an exhausting day of cooking and today, I am still trying to clean. There is a pile of china in the sink waiting for me but that's okay. Probably the funniest part of the day was Evan dropping his coke all over the floors I had just washed and then our shoes sticking to it and tracking it all over. But that was just the beginning of the series of floor events. Evan flooded the newly post-coke-washed floor with the water from the dirty mop bucket when he knocked it over. Then at some point, my mom, sister, and aunt, all kicked over the cat's water dish. I have decided it's time to move it. The floors were jinxed yesterday. Anyway, I'm thankful that the family was together and it was lovely. But we are seriously missing my sister's husband, though, and we can't wait for him to get back and start taking part in our family holiday madness. We miss you, Old Man! The holiday season has officially begun, and I know this because the smooth, easy favorites radio station has started playing only Christmas carols and I'll keep that radio station on until December 26th. Yay Christmas!

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Family Suitcase

I've learned a lot of things this weekend. The most useful is that the "family suitcase" does not work. At all. We were headed to Atlanta for my Godson's birthday party and I thought it was a great idea to pack one huge suitcase full of mine, Evan's and the baby's stuff instead of packing three bags. Plus I thought it would save space in the car. I couldn't have been more wrong. By the end of the first night, we didn't know whose clothes were whose or where anything was at all, so it looked like our suitcase threw up on the floor. Then, we start yelling at each other because no one can find anything and we feel like we're in complete disarray for the whole weekend. And of course, I pack it all up the day we leave and hope for the best that I'm not leaving anything behind. And of course, I do. Anyway, the birthday party was the cutest thing ever. It was a superhero party at an interactive kids museum, that looked like a village inside with all sorts of shops and everything is hands on. A grocery store with stocked shelves (boxes only and plastic fruit, and I look over and see my Godson packing up all his own "groceries". So cute.) A hair salon complete with wigs, a dentist office with chair and tools, doctor's office, even Tom the Turkey (an older guy wearing a turkey outfit and tights and when he didn't see any kids looking, would sit and drink his coffee and read the paper.) All the little kids had capes and superhero masks, and Poops wore an eye mask and looked like Jack Jack from the Incredibles. I would have pictures posted, but guess what I forgot in Atlanta? The cable to hook up the camera.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #6

Since I'll be out of town Friday, I'll do a combo platter early-weigh-in-slash-Thursday 13. So, HURRAH!! I'm down 2 more pounds, which brings me to a grand total of 10. Sweet! Almost to a new decade of numbers! Anyway, ever wonder what people are thinking about while they're on the elliptical? I wonder if they're as weird as me. My mind tends to completely wander. So I figured I'd do:
Thirteen Things I Think About While Working Out At the Gym

1. Ooh. Yikes. Spandex and a muscle tee. Not a good look. And it's always on that older guy trying to look buff and cool. Why is that?

2. My underwear is inching up. No, underwear, no! Stay where you are! Stubborn underwear! Ah, there. (Sure hope no one saw that.)

3. Something's wafting and it's not good. Shoot. Is it me? I put on deodorant. Didn't I? (inner panic setting in.)

4. I have to remember to call my mom back.

5. I wonder if I have time to get my eyebrows waxed after this.

6. I remember being 18 and looking like that. And I didn't even enjoy it! I thought I was fat! Boy to know then what I know now. Curse you, younger self!

7. Ugh. Five more minutes. Five. More. Long. Minutes. OK, that's only like one more song. Maybe a song and a half. OK I'll go till the end of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. It's "B". Jumbo Jet. I can't believe he didn't get that! Must. Keep. Going. Legs burning. Hey! You on the elliptical! Focus! Get it together! No one's going to work out for you! Dig Deep. Don't be a loser. Wimp! Work it. Work it! Work itttt!

8. I wish Poops wasn't born early. I always see this March of Dimes commercial and get choked up on the elliptical. Must look away. No crying during the workout! Margaret Thatcher naked on a cold day! Margaret Thatcher naked on a cold day!

9. Someone left the cake out... in the rain! I don't think that I can take it! Cause it took so long to bake it! And I'll never have that recipe againnnnnnnn! Oh nooooooooooo! This song really rocks out! After the slow part.

10. Mamamia, I wish my thighs didn't rub together. Mine could be siamese twins. Look at hers. They look like they've never even met. How can that be?

11. Did I pay my student loan this month?

12. Ooh, next week I can do 13 of my favorite words. Or I can do 13 books that should never have been movies. Or 13 reasons I love the holidays. Or 13 things that will be on my Thanksgiving table. Yipes! I'm addicted to Thursday 13! All I do is think in terms of lists!!!

13. This feels good. Got a good sweat going here. I should definitely do this more often. I'll come back tomorrow. And the day after. And the day after. I'm motivated, now, baby. No one can stop me! I'm even getting up early on Thanksgiving to workout. (Picturing husband laughing in my head). Well maybe the day after. After shopping of course.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Places, everyone!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Poops' First Selfless Act

Poops told me that he wanted to send his trick-or-treating candy to his uncle in Iraq. Only seven months old, but already capable of random acts of kindness, it's amazing! Who needs him to start crawling or sitting up when you got that! So I told him, boy that's a wonderful idea! And it's getting colder over there, so the chocolate won't even melt! He'd rather eat the container than the candy that's in it anyway, so he won't be missing much. Anyway, if you're reading this, Old Man, some candy's comin your way! I think there's even a little thing of Play Doh in there for you and the guys. We miss you!

My Heroes

When my mom loves a TV show, she takes ownership of it and says things like "I have to watch 'my house' tonight". Meaning, of course, the show House. Recently, she fell in love with the show "The Unit", so she says very matter-of-factly "Oh, I have to watch my Unit tonight" . Which leaves me and Evan to snicker on the side like Beavis and Butthead, "Ha Ha, she said unit".

Anyway, that's a sidenote, and has nothing to do with my new favorite show in the whole world "Heroes"!!!!!! Which is now "My Heroes" to me. Can I just say how much I LOVE that show with a capital LOVE? Earlier on, I hadn't really decided what I thought of it, I knew it had potential but as you may remember, I had quite an extensive lineup already and I wasn't sure if it was worth the add-on. Since then, quite a few shows have dropped off my radar and I've been able to seal off a spot for Heroes, and rightfully so because we had been taping it and I accidentally had the TV on during the 3rd episode when I decided right there it was a keeper. So I caught up. And now it's starting to move and really get good and I'm so gleefully excited that we're soon going to find out if the cheerleader's dad is actually a bad guy or not, and what is the deal with the single mom, I guess she's an evil character after all? And what about the guy who makes things combust? This show is so cool! Anyone watching?? SAVE THE CHEERLEADER SAVE THE WORLD!
NBC has the episodes online if you want to check it out.. Here's last weeks: (Hiro also has a blog on nbc.com, it's pretty cool)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Don't Mind Me

Don't mind me, I'll be fooling around with the templates over the next few days because I'm so darned bored with the one I have now. I'll still be posting, so please don't mind the dust while the construction crews are working, so to speak.

Friday, November 10, 2006

King Midas

It's been quite a week. I feel like King Midas. Except everything I touch turns into the opposite of gold. Isn't that life though? I've found that when you have a lot of good non-eventful weeks back-to-back, stuff tends to happen in a big combo-platter so you can have a few more good non-eventful weeks before stuff happens again. Like today. Got my keys now, as you know, after I threw them out earlier this week. Went out to the car this morning. Won't start. Isn't that just great. Dead car in the driveway. I'm sure it's probably battery related and probably no big deal. Just convenient, you know. Then, I'm opening up low-fat cheese slices to put on our veggie burgers and I notice all these little specks of something. So I pick one out. Hmm. Clear. Hard. Unusually sharp. Glass? Yep, tiny, tiny shards of glass sprinkled throughout all of the slices. At least, I'm pretty sure it's glass. I melted one slice just to see if maybe it's some weird hard fat or something in the cheese, but the specks survive the heat and don't melt and they're still sharp. Anyway, I've already eaten two slices so who knows what that means. I'm hoping they're too small to do any damage. I called the company. They're sending me coupons. Yippee. Even though I told them I won't be buying that particular brand again. Hopefully we will have no incidents related to my find, but it's funny how now that I think I may have consumed glass particles, I have all these imaginary pains because when something gets in my head that I can't seem to forget about, I have all these crazy thoughts of what could be happening. Hopefully, me and my insides will survive the weekend (haha), and I'll have a car to drive keys and all. I'll just hit "refresh" and start over on Monday. Till then I'll just sit here and make cinnamon buns for our new neighbors. The good news is, it's date night. So we'll be taking our minds off any of our little annoyances with a good bottle of wine. Sweet.

Friday Weigh-In

One lonely solitary pound at a time. Sigh. I've lost one pound since I last weighed in, which was 2 weeks ago. There was no change last week, so I made some changes to my workout and my diet and that's when the one pound came off. We'll see what happens over the next week. At this rate, I'll make my goal by next summer! Wah. But I mustn't get discouraged. At least I'm not gaining anything, right?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Thursday 13 #5

  1. He brought me back some cool stuff like a tea set and some awesome looking chopsticks. The ones I have are from the dollar store (but they were cute! they were a find!) . I know. I'm cheap.

  2. We got to snuggle and watch The Biggest Loser and Dancing with the Stars together when he got home. Tonight we get to snuggle and watch The O.C. and The Office and Earl. I missed our tv watching rituals.

  3. The bed is so much bigger without him.

  4. I hate being the "man of the house." He's so much better at beating up (potential) bad guys than I am. (Though I can pack quite a punch!)

  5. I miss his kisses and holding hands and did I mention snuggling?

  6. He's so much better at taking out the trash and cleaning the litter box than I am. I threw out my keys. See? I suck at taking out the trash.

  7. Especially on days where Poops is screaming all day and I can't figure out why...I can get some "time off" to do girly things and unwind when he gets home from work. Like pedicures. My feet are also happy he's back. Trust me on that one. Or just shutting myself away in a room. Alone. Or just getting out of the house. Alone. It's the little things.

  8. The house is also so much bigger without him. Now it's complete again.

  9. He can go to the Welcome Committee meetings in our Homeowners Association with me. He signed us up. Then went away and I had to go by myself! Thanks!

  10. Date night's back! We go out once every week just the two of us, so we can reconnect. It has really helped, especially right after Poops was born. But while he was in China, we had "date night" over the internet by doing what we used to do when we were in a long distance relationship. No! Not that, potty minds! We played backgammon. For like 2 hours. It's the funnest. I know that's not a word but I like it.

  11. I get to share the art of poopy diapers with someone. Although the Grandmas shared some of it with me when he was gone. Thanks Grandmas!

  12. I can get in touch with him. When he was in China, I had to pretty much wait for him to call because he was out of pocket a lot. This is so much better.

  13. $400 later, he wasn't mad at me for throwing out the keys! (I had to tow the car to the dealership and get the keys re-digitized). He even took some of the blame for not having a spare to the car. What a guy! Happy TT everyone!!!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Wordless Wednesday: My Favorite Tiny Dance Partner


I think I threw out my keys. Isn't that magical? And I didn't even know it until I was all ready to go, bag all packed, baby in the infant carrier. Water bottle. Snack for later. No keys. They're not in their usual spot. Huh. Two hours and a screaming baby later, still. No keys. OK, backtrack. I came in last night with groceries, the diaper bag and the baby. I dropped it all near the counter (except the baby who I gently placed on the floor, removed from said carrier and placed neatly in swing so I could consume greek salad I bought for dinner because I was ravished.) I threw out the leftover salad, along with the bag it came in, put away the groceries, played with the baby. Then I put the baby to bed, went on a garbage frenzy because it was garbage day in the morning. Kitchen trash. Bathroom trash. Office trash. Kitty litter. Everything garbage went out the door and to the curb. And I think my keys went with it. I can't think of anywhere else they'd be. I scoured every single crevice and surface and bag. Twice. Three times. Fed the baby, did it again. I am still hoping that they'll magically appear somewhere. Frantic. Sweating. I take a break. Call the dealership, which went like this.

Me: Hi! I was wondering. If one happened to lose the only existing key to one's car, how would one go about replacing it? Hypothetically.

Service guy (obnoxious with deep voice): Tow it here and we'll electronically configure the lock (blah blah), but you have to bring proof that it's yours (blah blah words and more words).

Me: Oh. And how much would that cost? Hypothetically.

Service guy: Anywhere from $100 to $300 dollars depending on the lock.

Me: Crap.


For at least the first year of a baby's life, his world consists of straps. Straps on the swing, on the bouncy seat, on the high chair, on the infant carrier, on the stroller. By far, the grossest of these straps, I've come to find, are the ones on the thingys that you strap the infant carrier into in a restaurant. It could be one of those new handy high chairs that the top flips open to accommodate the seat, or the nifty sling. Cracker Barrel has a cool board that fits across a chair. But no matter where you are, the strap always looks like it's covered in a green filmy pond scum. And I guess the reason why my attention has recently turned toward straps is because Poops loves to eat them. They used to go ignored. But now, he finds them and lunges toward them ferociously and that's mostly okay if it's our own straps, because I keep them pretty clean. And besides, it's his own pond scum, not the pond scum of all the babies in the world. So I've come to notice straps after a series of straps scares in our life over the span of just a day. The other day, we sat down at a restaurant and put his infant carrier in one of those fun high chairs where the chair flips back and you put the strap across the front of the infant carrier real tight. I turned for literally just a second because that's all it takes and there it is, the pond scum strap is in his mouth and I'm gagging as I'm freaking out trying to get it away from him. EW. Then the next day, we're at another restaurant and he's just about gets his mouth on the strap from the sling that his infant carrier is in. But just before he does, I swoop in like the flying guy from Heroes, or the one who suspends time, and grab it first. Victory. Then, just a mere two hours later, I hear this wet gagging sound, and there he is with the strap from the stroller jammed into his mouth. I don't get it with the straps. I guess it's probably because he's in the phase of putting everything in his mouth, which I've found actually is a phase that lasts through adulthood, because a couple months ago, my husband picked up this little crumb or piece of lint and asked me what it was, and before we both knew it, he put it in his mouth. Gross.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Mom Jeans

I tried on a pair of "Mom Jeans" the other day. By accident. If you've read some of my prior posts, you'll know I'm not the skinny, young chap I used to be before Poops came along and I'm working feverishly to change that. So every once in a while, even if the scale has moved only one tick, I grab a billion pairs of Levis and try them on, just to see if maybe I've dropped a size even though it didn't really show up on the scale. You know, maybe I've lost inches. By the way, I love Levis because they fit me really well as a short person. So that's what I did the other day. I picked out 5 or 6 pairs of jeans in "Boot Cut" "Short", all in size huge, but not in size huger, because remember I'm convinced I've dropped down to just a size huge. So there I am, in the fitting room, with all these jeans, trying one at a time. It's always so darn hot in there. So now I'm sweating too. And I notice in one particular pair, they're really, really high above my waist. And I feel funny and I'm looking in the mirror with my head sideways, thinking, "Why are these so high???" They were wayyyyy under my shirt, it was like pregnancy-jeans but no stretchy material, just all jean. Then I look at the tag, which says "sits at waist" but really what they mean is "sits right below your boobs". And I realize in horror, I'm wearing "Mom Jeans." And there was something about that moment, that made my worlds collide, like I was somehow destined to try those jeans on because of the phase of life I now am in. Like the world of "Mom Jeans" was somehow reaching out to me, trying to lure me into their world and that next I was going to get the "new mom" haircut that you don't have to blowdry and stop caring about wearing cute shoes. Was this where I was headed? Was the world of housecoats next for me? I shuddered and took them off immediately in violent protest. Then I looked at the other jeans that I grabbed and breathed a sigh of relief when I read "sits below waist" on them. Which, let's face it, really isn't below the waist, it really just means, "sits where you would want it to if you're single or married without kids". Which is the fit I prefer for now. Even with a kid.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Tiny guy in a big ol' swing

The swing looked so much smaller before I put him in it and it swallowed him whole.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Bathmat Awareness

So my parents, husband and I were dropping my sister off at the airport a couple of weeks ago after a short visit. We had our normal rounds of hugs and kisses, then the four of us watched as she turned, waved bye, went into the tram, and the doors closed and she went off into the security unknown. Aidan was howling so we sat down in a group of chairs and fed him. As we got up to head toward the garage my dad remembered he had something for me, a bathmat, and I should drive to where they parked and get it from him. OK. A bathmat?

About a week before that, my dad was on a business trip when he slipped and fell in the shower. Not funny. Ever since then, he's had a headache and something hasn't been quite right with his back. He's gone to the doctors, gotten a CT scan, and nothing seems broken. But he's still in pain. So we're still kind of waiting to find out what's wrong. The funny thing is, the unusual "cause" that came out of it. Bathmats. I pulled around that day, and sure enough, a clear/gray bathmat from Bed, Bath and Beyond with lots of little round bubbles that look like a version of bubble wrap that won't pop. It's actually pretty comfortable. To my surprise, and I'm not a bathmat kind of girl, (mine's actually still in the bag they gave it to me in, sorry!) they're cushiony and puffy and you're not going anywhere while you're standing on that thing, I can tell you that much right now. The other day, we spent the night at my parents' house and I pulled back the shower curtain in the guest bathroom. Sure enough, same bathmat. And I just found out they didn't send my sister a bathmat. But they did send her a gift card to Bed Bath and Beyond, for what else? A bathmat. Just in case. Makes me laugh.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Finally burying the hatchet.

November is Prematurity Awareness Month. So I'm going to finally get this off my chest and I hope that I will be able to move on from here. For most parents, the birth of their child is one of the happiest in their lives. Not for me. My child is a blessing and a miracle and I never thought that I could be so in love with such a tiny little being. But when I think about his birth, I cry. I had a very hard time with it and I still do now, and I hope that now I can accept it for what it was and move on.

Aidan was born at 34 weeks, after my water broke suddenly one night. He was 4 pounds, 11 ounces. I didn't get to hold him after he was born and peer down at those little wondrous eyes and bond with him. Evan didn't get to cut the cord. We didn't have that loving, crying, hugging, wonderful, "Baby Story"-type beautiful new family moment after Aidan was born. I am bitter when I think about that. I can't help it. Aidan didn't sleep in the little baby bed in our hospital room and we didn't have a grandious happy homecoming. Instead, I remember a tiny, limp, purple body being whisked away to the corner of the room where a team of neo-natologists were standing by to help him take his first breaths, and I remember a subtle, but horrified look on my husband's face and I remember being so scared that my insides felt like they were ripping out of me and every time I think of it I cry. Still. That's why I want to set it free into the cosmic cyber void and let it go forever, and move on.

We were in the labor room for about 6 hours after Aidan was wheeled away and we were left to wonder what was happening. American Idol came on. Bucky was voted off. I slept through it. I was finally able to see Aidan for the "real" first time when the nurses wheeled me on the stretcher through the NICU when they were moving me to my new room. I didn't get to hold him yet. He was hooked up to all sorts of wires, and he was small. Very small. He was breathing on his own. His tiny hand grabbed my finger. I cried. They wheeled me away. The next day I finally got to hold him, wires and all. I cried. And for almost two weeks following, I needed permission to see my tiny son. Permission to feed him, permission to change him, permission to hold him. Many times permission was denied because the NICU was too busy. And I would wait. And then the one second that I would leave to go get a cup of coffee or pee, I would miss that small window to see him and I would have to wait some more and it was gut-wrenching. I cried some more. After I was discharged, I couldn't bear to leave the hospital and go home without our baby. So we paid each night for a hospitality room, which was a hospital room that wasn't being used that we could stay in, hoping every day it would be our day to go home. Each hour was the longest. I would pump every couple hours, even through the night, and afterward I would bring the milk to the NICU and sit with Aidan in hopes that I could feed him. I remember feverishly pumping, hoping my milk would come in sooner because I knew that it was the best thing for him and it would help him to get better sooner. Besides visiting him and staying at the hospital, that was the one way I could help him and I was obsessed. I didn't mind waking up in the middle of the night and schlepping down to the NICU in my pajamas. The nurses would tell Evan and I to go home or get some sleep. I didn't listen. I would open up one of the arm-holes to the incubator, put my face near it and whisper, "Hi baby boy, momma's here now, momma loves you" and I would rub his little arm and his body and I swear he would hear me and understand that he was okay and that it would all be okay. He would stop crying when he heard my voice. Sometimes the nurses would allow me to feed him, but not hold him that long because he would have to return to the incubator so he could sit under the lamps that were helping his jaundice. Each time that our time was up I felt like he was being taken away from me. The nurse would take him and he would cry. I could pick his cry out of a whole room full of babies. With my heart heavy and full of guilt, I would return to my room and wait, maybe sleep, until the alarm woke me up at the next 3 hour mark. Evan stayed too, and sometimes we would trade off visits in the middle of the night, but the long hours and no sleep would weigh on him. And even though I was exhausted, I knew I could only keep going by focusing on the task at hand.

I was sad because my little boy had to spend his first days being poked and prodded and examined and naked and alone in a bright, loud, alarm-filled unit with all these strangers and all these needles and all these wires. No mommy. I knew they were taking care of him, but still. I wanted to. That was my job. I was sad because what did I do wrong? I was on bed-rest because of my preeclampsia since 32 weeks, but did I do too much anyway? Why was he born so early? Should I not have been around the paint in the nursery? Did I weigh too much during my pregnancy? Was I too stupidly stressed out about the nursery and our house getting done? Why did this happen? How could I have prevented it? Was this my fault?

I would watch new mothers come into the NICU to see their babies. Some of them were even tinier than Aidan and had been there much longer. Others were full-term and there for observation, and they would get to go home soon after they arrived. I watched the moms come and go and I wished it were me. Us. And when it was my turn, I knew other mothers wished it were them. I hurt for them like I hurt for me and I wish they knew. And we were actually lucky, because it could have been months like other babies and it wasn't, but that doesn't comfort me for some reason and the memories still live heavy in my heart. I am scared for my next pregnancy, whenever that may be and though my doctors believe there's little chance I'll have preeclampsia in the next pregnancy, I am not so confident. I will place my faith in God's hands.

When we got home, it was just the three of us and our house swallowed us up. No one was there, but that was ok. We needed the time to let it sink in, to let us be home, to let us be us. No advice, no instructions, no permission. Just us. It was quiet and it was natural and it was like not a day had passed that we had not been in our home as a family. It was pure heaven.

I have a disconnect in my mind between Aidan then and Aidan now. I can't even picture him as the same baby. That fragile skinny little body with wrinkly skin that was almost transparent has long since caught up in life and he's meeting all the milestones that he's supposed to at his age and we're lucky for that. He's chubby and smiley and the cutest thing I've ever seen in my life and when I look at him I melt all over the floor. I could stare at him all day. And since this is also the month of Thanksgiving, I thank you God, for making my precious little guy healthy and happy and for helping us complete our family. I thank you, family, for standing by my side, especially you, Evan, who was there every difficult step of the way, and Mom, who picked me up when I needed it and even spent the night with me in the hospital when I was inconsolable. And I thank you, friends, for visiting and calling and for sending us so many warm thoughts and beautiful flowers. Goodnight, dear void. May God watch over all the tiny little early babies and their mommies and daddies, and may they soon be able to sleep in their own beds, in their own homes, with unlimited hugs and kisses. No permission needed.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Thursday Thirteen #4

Last week I did 13 things I couldn't live without.. so to make it fair and balanced I figured I'd do:
13 things I'd REALLY LOVE to live WITHOUT.
  1. Those gross Lamisil commercials. I've become a letter writer in my old age and I've actually written a strongly worded letter to the makers of Lamisil because of those gross little fungus cartoon men digging underneath a dilapidated nail. They always seem to come on during breakfast. Why, Lamisil, Why???? I gag at the very thought. Of course, they never got back to me, but I can sit here and think that I've stood up for myself and other grossed-out viewers in some small way.
  2. Campaign commercials. Sigh. I'm so sick of these things. They have no purpose and there's no way one can possibly find the "truth" in any of them. Thankfully, less than one more week of them. Till next year, anyway.
  3. B.O. I guess it would be nice of me to think of this as "natural". Some people even think it's "beautiful". But I can't lie. I don't. I go through great pains to ward off B.O. I use deodorant, perfume, lotions, bath salts, body wash, etc etc. and I wish everyone did.
  4. Someone's dog pooping in our yard. Our neighborhood has a lot of dogs, so I can't pinpoint the culprit. But it's happened three times now, and I'm on the lookout!
  5. Confrontation. Oy Veh do I stink at this. If I know in advance that I may have a confrontation, I get all stressed out and I get a headache and I get nauseous. And if the confrontation is a surprise, I spend the rest of the day thinking about what I should have said. Confrontation makes me so uncomfortable and my whole day is ruined after one.
  6. Presents. Believe it or not, (and husband, this isn't one of those things that I am saying that I don't really mean, I swear!) I don't need any presents. I've got my music (I-Pod), my family, my health, and as Jack said during the hoity toity dinner in Titanic "the air in my lungs." My family and I keep talking about doing something fun and skipping presents altogether for Christmas, and I really think we should follow through on that one year. That would rock. Memories are the best presents.
  7. My cell phone. I wish it were acceptable to use only in emergencies. I don't answer the phone when I'm with spending time with other people or when I'm doing something, and it really pisses people off. (Sorry!) But I try to spend as little time on it as possible, even though I don't do as good a job of that as I'd like. But I remember the days when it was actually considered rude to talk on the phone while other people were around and my mom would yell at me, "Get off the phone you have company!" And I remember when you couldn't be reached, except through the answering machine and you could return phone calls when you got a chance. I miss that.
  8. Spiders. My all-time biggest nemesis and would you believe we moved into a house that once had what one might call an infestation of them!? We've had the bug man come out and we have since taken our house back from these eight-legged intruders. But I get the heebie jeebies just thinking about them.
  9. Scary movies. I stress out a lot in my life just on my own, so purposely inviting stress into my life is something I don't like to do, i.e. watching scary movies. Some people live for them. Like my cousin. I watched Scream and couldn't shower with my eyes closed for a week.
  10. Lack of motivation. Wouldn't it be so great if motivation came in big jars that you could buy an endless supply of? I guess some people could theoretically call that "coffee."
  11. Wallpaper. Our house was covered in it when we bought it. The doors, the light sockets, the walls, everything. I truly believe that if we ever wanted to get our children back one day when they inherit our home, we will cover it in wallpaper. (MWAHAHAHAHA) (evil laugh.)
  12. Unhappy people or negativity. I love having a good time. I love laughing so hard my stomach hurts and I almost pee. My husband reduces me to laughing fits and that's one reason I love him so much. There are just too many things that are "Debbie Downers" in life to be around miserable people too, so I love to surround myself with people who can find "the funny" in life, and take it all in with a smile.
  13. Hangovers. They can ruin a perfectly good buzz.

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Switching Gears

OK, I can hardly stand it. I'm shaking in my elastic-waisted pants. Now that Halloween's over, that means (I'm cheering inside) THANKSGIVING! My favorite holiday EVER! I love the classic Turkey Day line-up and I can't deviate from it or I'll die. One year when I lived in New York City, a bunch of us who didn't go home for Thanksgiving got together and made our own, and we bickered like little kids about what would make it into the menu because we were all stuck on our own traditions. Everyone ended up bringing pie. So we had tons of pie and wine. And a little turkey. Anyway, the traditional line-up in our family is turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, cauliflower with white sauce that we call "gookagollie", mashed potatoes, yams and I have to have a bit of everything on the fork for the perfect bite every time. And it's not the actual items, but the way they're cooked every year that I love. And then there's the pumpkin pie. But one of my favorite things, besides the food of course, is the fact that this year, we have a lot to be thankful for. Like the one more place setting that we'll have at the table this year, for a tiny little guy who'll have ground up turkey and yams and smear it all over his face in his high chair, as part of his first Thanksgiving ever. I'm very excited. Can you tell?