Monday, October 31, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Steve Jobs' sister wrote a eulogy.  It's posted in the New York Times and in reading it I cried.  I cried because I remember getting the call from my step-father that my mother was going home.  There was no more attempts at savior left from the doctors, that she was going home in peace.  That we needed to come home for her, for our last days as family.  That she couldn't call us to tell us yet, but he was disobeying her and thought we should know and she'll call us later.  But to pack, and to plan to be there tomorrow.  I remember the year she'd been fighting her cancer expecting that call.  I remember accepting it, pushing "end", sitting down, and realizing that my face was full of tears and fear.  Not fear of death because I know my mother had none, but fear of losing her.  Who do you call when your only parent left is not on this earth to guide you?  The person who held you when you were small enough to fit in her arms and even when you weren't.  

I was still missing my father, 15 years after his death.  I couldn't start anew with my mother. 

Those last 2 weeks as we waited were full of lots of laughter.  But every night we'd go upstairs to bed, my stepfather would sleep on the couch next to her hospital bed in the music room, and I'd pray she would be there in the morning.  I learned how to give her pain medicine, how to give her a shot as best I could.  I learned how to begin to sustain myself while feeling completely void.  I also learned to love my little growing baby with more appreciation than many people may ever understand.  I learned how to really love someone in those last few days of letting go.  I loved my husband more. My family. The little life inside me.

I held her hand those last few hours. I saw her receive peace after her priest came.  I saw her drift away.  I cried for my mommy like a little child.  Yet there was a peace in the house after she left us.  We ate and talked without fear, we laughed a little and waited for it to all begin.  This new life without her.  

I saw her face in my dreams and woke constantly seeking her out, hoping it wasn't true.  My sister held me when I woke panicked each time.  I listened to my baby's heart beat to calm my own.  His little rhythm inside of me, beating wildly while we mourned.  

It's been 317 days since she left us.  I never expected to miss her this much or think about her this often.  Losing her during this time in my life when I need my own Mother has perhaps been more difficult than watching her go.  I cannot believe it's almost been a year.  

It's hard for family to watch the life leave someone.  I hope to never do it again.  I'm not sure what is worse, losing someone with no warning or having so much warning you are waiting for the sadness to hit.  But I wish neither had happened.  I think about how different my life would be.  But I wouldn't have my husband, this beautiful and challenging marriage, our lovely and amazing son.  I wouldn't even know how to appreciate all of that and how lucky we are.  I have regrets.  But I want none of those regrets to be not loving my family enough, not being there, or not showing them I care.  I will sacrifice everything to look up at the sky during my final breaths and know that I gave all the love I had within me to those who matter most.  

Because that is a life worth living and dying for.  That is remembrance.  

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Quilt #2

So I know I said I'd never make another quilt. But this one was easy.... WAY easy.  Not even in the same ballpark as the quilt I made for little Lloyd.  And it was only 7 weeks late as a baby gift for my friend from work. Woops.  But I was super happy with how it came out.  Cute baseballs for the perfect weather changes during the World Series (GO RANGERS!).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mommy Diary: Week 19


Developments This Week:
  • Our first tooth came in!!
  • Vastly improving hand-eye coordination
This week we also had his 4 month checkup.  He is 16 pounds and 2.5 ounces putting him in the 78th percentile for weight.  His height made the doctor laugh, apparently 28 inches is not even near the growth curve for his age.  Looks like he's taking after my side of the family.  Both Caitlin and I are over 5'10 and our dad was 6'5.  Coach's family, while taller than average, doesn't have much extra height so I guess he's getting that from those strong Gilmore genes.  Which, since he's proving to look like me at this age, doesn't necessarily surprise anyone. They're supposed to slow down around 6 months, but at this rate he'll be in his 12 month clothes by then (heck, he's already rocking his 9 month clothes).  It's all in his torso, which is definitely me since Coach has longer legs.  Ah kiddo.... no matter how tall you get, you will always be my little man.

Hard to believe for both of us that our little baby is 4 months old. The time has seriously flown by.  I remember those first weeks wondering how I was going to do it.  If I could even keep up with all the breastfeeding, if he was getting enough food, living on no sleep, wishing he would give me enough quiet moments to even breathe for a minute.  All those tears I shed trying to not fall apart (ironic) from sheer sleep deprivation, everything about that first month doesn't even seem real. I think you are sleep deprived so you can't remember.  Because you don't want to.  It's bad enough living it much less trying to remember it. And now I've made it to 4 months with a healthy, smiling, beautiful son who even when he's not feeling good is still a happy little boy for the most part. I didn't give up on breastfeeding and I'm so glad I didn't, I'm still in love with it and I still have another 2 months before we introduce food but even that seems so quick considering it's almost November.  

Before I know it he'll be going to college! ack!  But for now, we're sporting our one little baby tooth poking through:
My little man.  Already growing up so fast.  But just remember Lloyd: no matter how big you get, you will never be taller than your momma. :)


Monday, October 24, 2011

Refinished Kid Furniture

Many Many Moons Ago....

My mom sent me home with our kids furniture.  After a bazillion military moves and then living in the garage or attic for 15 years to say they were worse for wear is being kind.  

So I got around to priming and painting the table a long time ago but just a few weeks ago finished painting the rocking horse.  So you can appreciate their grimy glory, before:

you can't even see all the finger paint, glitter, craft remnant glory on this photo
And now the after:
And that horse even saw some action over the weekend at the surprise party my awesome hubby threw me.  Sneaky bastard. :)

Glad to check a few things off the ol' DIY To Do List.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mommy Diary: Week 18


Developments This Week:
  • Blowing lots of raspberries and bubbles
  • Lots of holding our feet and legs
  • Our eye-hand coordination is getting really good
It's amazing how quickly he can see something, grab it, and get it into his mouth. He now reaches for your face and likes to touch your cheeks when you smile. He also grabs your hands to pull a toy you are holding closer.  He also rolls over and grabs toys that used to be out of his reach.  His control is amazing. I bought another set of play keys because he loves them so I have different ones for him to grab and drool all over.

Speaking of drool, holy moly.  I'm having to put Vaseline on his face during his naps and at night because it's causing a rash.  He also wears bibs now because otherwise his shirt would be soaked.  He must be teething. he bites everything and chews anything that is rigid he can put his little hands on.  It doesn't seem to bother him if he is though.  But man the drool is intense!

My Aunt (my Dad's only sibling) came this weekend to visit and my Uncle even flew in.  They were only with us for about 24 hours on their way back to Raleigh but it was so nice visiting with my family.  I feel more and more like I have so little family left that I need to see them more often, but unlike Coach all my family lives far away.  It makes missing them even harder.  But we were going through really old photos (she's doing the genealogy of our entire family) and in the process we found a bunch of photos of me as a baby. And sorry Coach, but that baby looks a lot like his momma!!  Which is funny because everyone from his family says he looks like Coach but then you see my baby photos and you go "well.... never-mind".  Which only makes it that much clearer that I have so little family.  So it's like a tic with me when someone says he looks like Coach I fly back with "no not really, he's more like me."  It makes me miss my mom.  There is so much about being a mom that makes me miss my own.  

Well my back is killing me from playing with Lloyd on the floor today and then bending over the sewing machine.  Finally finished my second quilt, this one was super simple but technically still a quilt.  I started it a while ago for my friend's son Levi who was born on September 1st. Oops.  It's really cute.  I'll have to post photos later. I desperately need a self-healing rotary mat.  Already asked Coach for it for Christmas. :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mommy Diary: 4 Months Old


Developments this month:
  • Rolling over
  • Found our feet
  • Seeing almost as well as an adult
  • Grasping things and rolling over to get things on purpose
Someone didn't really get the purpose of the pumpkin patch.  But that's ok.  We still managed some cute photos.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Giving Thanks #6

Because I can watch his movements, even when he is sleeping.  Even when he is sleeping on his tummy, which scares me even with our Angelcare monitor. Because it's not every day you get to see your sleeping baby hike their booty in the air and cross their tiny little feetsies.... and then let out a HUGE toot.  :)

I Am The Face

Tomorrow, October 15th, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  I am 1 in 4 women who have lost a child.  I, unfortunately, know more women who have had a loss of some kind than those who never have had.  It's not discussed, no one wants to hear about it, but it happens every day.  Every day 2,000 women lose a child.  And I don't care if you are pro-life or pro-choice, losing a person inside of you is one of the hardest things many women will ever go through regardless of ideology, religion, or social status.  It changes you.  

So maybe through speaking out, we can change this stigma and this lack of dialogue.  Because anything that can hurt your sister, your friend, or yourself should be discussed.  And you shouldn't have to hide.  

So I am the face of miscarriage.  I am one of many.  I hope you never become one, but if you do find someone who can and will listen.  I am here. Many are willing.  And many more are probably hiding their pain.  You are not alone.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mommy Diary: Week 17

Developments This Week
  • He found his feet! He also found his man parts during a bath one night.  That shiz starts early.... gross.
Things We Have Learned This Week:
  • Excess drool equals facial rash.  We're dabbing up a lot of drool.
  • Breastfed babies can go up to 7 days without pooping apparently.  I knew up to 3, but when I called the pediatrician yesterday to say it'd been 5 days they said to try a few things but they don't see you or get concerned until it's been 7 days.  Apparently breastfed babies have digestive systems that are very very efficient but like to ensure they have every molecule absorbed from the milk.  Who knew? I guess I should preface this by saying they see you sooner if your baby is uncomfortable, fussy, vomiting, or something like that.  
Last Thursday my in-laws watched Lloyd while I went to his baptism class.  He wouldn't eat out of the bottle.  I left him with Coach Saturday for 3.5 hours and he also refused the bottle.  He's taken the bottle in the past!  I haven't been super great about giving him one, but I never thought he would outright refuse it.  I even tried giving him the apple juice (one of the remedies the doctor recommended trying before they would see him, 1 ounce of apple juice might make him poop).  I've been trying to give him a bottle for 3 days now.  Coach has been trying too.  The only way we could give him the juice was by putting it in a cup and he totally will mimic you and drink.  It's messy but it works.  I still need to get him used to it again. Damn it.

This Saturday we're taking Lloyd to the pumpkin patch down the road. I'm excited! Cute baby photos!!! And his Halloween Costume came in, I can't wait.  Ridiculous spending that much on an outfit he'll wear so shortly but it's his first halloween..... right? :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Baptism Outfits

Lloyd is getting baptized next month.  Caitlin and I had a beautiful Christening gown that we were both baptized in--it is no where to be found.  We've been looking for it since February.  So I have to find something that is suitable but not vomit-worthy.  We thought about sewing something ourselves but needed inspiration. And after seeing the prices for our inspiration, damn.  Expensive!

This 3 piece set is my favorite so far. But it is $90 from FineHandmadeClothing
Plus how cute is this photo? 
Linen Romper, for a ridiculous $75 from BloomersAndBows

This adorable idea is from TigesAndWeice and $30
I like the first idea, a cute little pale seersucker suit.  Which, technically, wouldn't be that hard.  And considering it'll be cold, a more practical option rather than the traditional satin romper. Which I hate by the way, so pretty much everything in the stores makes me want to gag. I'm totally at a loss of what to do.  I basically have no option but to try and make my own since I hate everything out there that is even remotely reasonable considering he's wearing it for just a few hours. 

Is it ironic that this is the most stressful part of the baptism?


Monday, October 10, 2011

Dairy, I Miss You

Since Lloyd was born I've been watching what I eat extremely carefully.  Not just because of my health but because whatever I eat, he eats. And sometimes what you eat can make your kiddo very very unhappy.  Unfortunately, something I love was immediately on the "no-no" list: milk. I had a glass with dinner, which I used to have every night (I love milk) and the subsequent gassy, fussy, screaming, inconsolable baby was totally not worth it. I had cheese on a sandwich and some ice cream another night, and ditto although not to quite the extent as that first time.  So bye-bye dairy. 

What we learned in our breastfeeding class was that if you find a food that upsets your babies tummy to remove it from your diet for 3 months and try again.  Their little digestive systems are so sensitive and they grow out of most things.  Strawberries also make the little man fussy.  I tried those again last week and blammo, gassy baby (and by the way, old man farts on an infant while hilarious mean something is up).  Now the milk products, I am much more nervous to try. 

After doing a lot of research, I figured out why milk and dairy is such a tummy issue for baby and why they tell you to be careful because if your baby has a problem with anything it'll probably be dairy.  I also figured out that even when you discover what it is that's causing all that gas, it takes cows milk 2 weeks to get out of your system. 2 weeks!  So you can see my fear.  And let me tell you, you do not realize how much dairy you eat until you can't have it! I even went so far as to order a shake while out with Coach one night and by the time they handed it to me I figured out I couldn't drink it. Talk about super disappointed.  

But last week I accidentally ordered a hamburger while out with Coach at our regular Football Friday dinner (aka, he gets home between 1-2am friday and misses his kiddo so we meet him for an early dinner before his game).  The hamburger had 2 slices of cheese (ah the glory!).  Which would have meant that 12 hours later, we would have had super gassy little man.  We didn't and he wasn't.  Now I'm not saying I'm going to drink a glass of milk (supposedly the biggest culprit is milk, cheese and other products are often fine in your diet), but you bet your tush I had some ice cream over the weekend to test my theory.  

Let me tell you: after 3 months of no dairy, to have vanilla ice cream on anything was like the ultimate decadence.  I didn't even care if Lloyd turned into Senior Crankypants.  Yum.

So basically, I'm easing myself back into the occasional diary product to see if we're all good.  I'm still sticking to my fake sandwich cheese (the pepper-jack is actually quite good), but for now I'm excited that there might be a glass of milk in my future within the next year! Holy jeeze I miss my glass of milk at night. And oreos with milk... gosh those sound amazing.  And no, soy milk is NOT the same. :(

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

I've been baking a lot. I enjoy it but it's also nice to have something freshly baked in the house.  So I modified my mom's wonderful banana bread recipe to make some pumpkin bread and boy is it tasty.  

Pumpkin Bread
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
dash of sald
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 eggs
1/2 cup of oil
1 cup of pumpkin puree (or spiced apple pumpkin butter, this is what I used)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix dry ingredients in mixing bowl, incorporate wet ingredients until mixed.  Pour into greased loaf pans.  Bake 45-60 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.  

Friday, October 7, 2011

Looking Back On Lloyd's Birth

Looking back on our birth story I wonder what I would change. Obviously there are a few things I regret and should have stuck to my guns about (visitors in L&D shouldn't be allowed through hospital policy to make Mommy's feel less awkward about telling family they can't come or to leave).  I think for our next baby I won't allow anyone but Coach in there (unless, by some miracle, my sister can be there but I doubt she'll be able to be).  After reading Joanna's husband's take on the whole birth experience over at Cup of Jo, and also knowing Jon shared some of these "new dad" confessions, I know we would have done much better if it had been quiet all day with just the 3 of us (plus our awesome nurse).  And, hindsight being what it is, I'm sure I would not have stalled out if I'd been given the chance to rest like I tried to do (but was unsuccessful at because of the number of people that showed up unexpectedly and then parked themselves in our L&D room after what was supposed to be a "quick hello"). 

I also know for a fact that Coach would not have a huge regret over not watching Lloyd come out because he was so overwhelmed and tired.  If he'd been able to nap on the couch while I was napping (instead of 800 people being in our room and us both being awake), I think he would have had the foresight to look down while counting and see what he still wishes he hadn't missed.  You never want your husband to tell you in the hours following your son's birth that he wished he had thought to watch his son actually slither into the world.  

Oh yeah, and that whole no bellow the belly looking rule I had? totally broken within 1 second as my sister is making the most amazed expressions at me between pushes.  Which helped me get the strength to push harder to get him out.  Coach saw him crown (I felt it when my OB told me to touch him, and that did not motivate me as his head just felt strange and creepy).  And ironically, no regrets on that front.  :)

So yeah. While publishing my birth story somewhat unedited was hard and took me a long time to do, I'm still glad I did it.  Because it's the truth and it happened and it's how my beautiful son came into the world, for better or worse.  Even if I do have some still-fresh regrets because I didn't stick up for what I wanted and just let everyone else take over my experience.  I really do wish I could go back and kick everyone out when they didn't leave like they said they would (especially the family who showed up completely uninvited), it was too much and they should have known better too since I told them what I wanted before and had really thought about it.  But I guess some people just can't see past their own wants to see someone elses.  Which is hard to say, but true.  I'm just going to have to let it go and get it right for the next time.  

P.S. Joanna even asked the question of "who do you want" to her readers, some of the answers are pretty funny.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mommy Diary: Week 16

Developments this week:
  • He is definitely seeing further.  A lot further all of a sudden.  yay developing vision!
  • He has massive control over his arms now.  He wants to touch your face? he can.  He wants a toy? Not only can he roll to get it but he picks it up and can clumsily put it in his mouth.
  • Everything goes in his mouth. 
It's really been a quiet week around here.  I finished up painting the cut-ins in the living room over the weekend and that was really nice.  I didn't get to remove the rest of the wallpaper but I'm hoping soon.  I think I'm not in a rush considering I still can't decide on a wall color.  Our guest bath is smack in the center of the house, and while it's mostly Lloyd's bathroom it's also where guests use the facilities.  So although I would love to decorate with duckies, I won't because I want it to remain semi-normal (although the bath toys will probably give it away regardless).  I'm thinking a blue or green but I haven't found one I'm thrilled with.  Which is why I'm in no hurry to get the last 1/2 of the wallpaper down.  Once that's done I need to get the painter in to texture and paint, then we have to replace the mirror with 2 small ones (which I also haven't settled on).  When you only have 1 extra bathroom you have a lot of storage and usability to consider.

also made gnocchi last night, hadn't done that in a while and forgot how much it makes. Yipes.  Also made the pumpkin butter for the pumpkin macaroons I'm going to try.  I've been wanting to try making macaroons for a while and it seemed like the perfect fall recipe. Only now I have a TON of pumpkin butter, so I'm thinking pumpkin pancakes are in store for the weekend and maybe some pumpkin bread so I can use it all up before it goes bad. Yikes it made a lot. Although plus side: the house smells GREAT. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Birth Story

It's taken me a lot of time and thought to put this together.  I was nervous about posting it and I've left some of my negative feelings out, but if you know me you can tell where I'd probably get irritated and toned it down.  I'm finally posting it because exactly a year ago today I took that pregnancy test and it came back positive. So it seemed time.  Enjoy. :)

On Monday, June 13th we had an appointment with Dr. Wiley to make sure everything was still ok. We had a sonogram and stress test, which we passed but at 40 weeks and 5 days I was miserable and ready to be induced. I had been having contractions on and off for weeks and had lost faith in my body’s ability to start and finish labor on its own without some encouragement. Plus the sonogram was measuring Lloyd at 8 pounds 6 ounces, plus or minus 8 ounces—so we were wary to let him keep baking in there knowing they gain an ounce a day. We scheduled the induction for the following morning at 7 am.

Coach and I got to the hospital a little after 7, checked in, got our room, and met our amazing day nurse Dawn. She got me all hooked up to the pitocin at about 7:45 and we waited for Dr. Wiley to arrive to break my water. She showed up around 9 and once she broke my water the contractions starting picking up intensity. At 11 the contractions started getting really strong, by 11:15 I was just hoping to make it to 1pm when Dr. Wiley came back to check my progress, I didn't want the epidural to stall my progress. Right before Noon I was in so much pain I could barely breathe, couldn’t talk, and knew I was going to need the epidural as soon as they could give it to me. We called the nurses’ station and the anesthesiologist showed up in record time (he was right down the hall getting ready to do a c-section). Coach was told he couldn’t watch or hold my hand; he had to sit on the couch which was all the way across the room. He was not happy about this because he wanted to watch and see the procedure, and I wanted him to hold my hand but oh well. I just wanted the man to finish and get some relief! I don’t know why, but getting the epidural was almost (in itself) more painful than the contractions. I was crying through the whole procedure and then had to wait another 15 minutes for it to kick in. But once it did, oh thank goodness. It was great.

 Dr. Wiley came in after lunch and I was over half way dilated and almost completely effaced. Coach’s parents came around lunch time and my sister showed up a little later. More people showed up and although they just stopped by to say a “quick hello” they stayed, and our room turned into a zoo. I was just trying to rest (pretty hard when everyone else has somehow forgotten you’re in labor). They kept increasing the pitocin and things were going well. Around dinnertime I was completely effaced and 8 centimeters, with only 2 more to go. Coach was taking bets on when Lloyd would arrive, how big he would be, and how long he would be. I got really nauseated and threw up, which finally caused everyone to leave the room but Coach and my sister for the rest of the night. Finally some peace and quiet!

At about 10 P.M., the doctor was getting concerned I wasn’t progressing any more. This made me really nervous because we would have to have a c-section, which I did not want at all. A little later my epidural started to wear off and I was in an extraordinary amount of pain very quickly. The medicine had run out and it took the anesthesiologist FOREVER to come and change it. Even after they put the new bag of medicine in they had to come back and give me a boost because it wasn’t taking and I was back to crying—I was so ready for Lloyd to come out. Because of the pain I started throwing up again, which made the pain so much worse—especially since you cannot move when you have an epidural and your legs and lower body are numb so you’re just leaning over at a weird angle and someone has to hold the barf bag for you pretty much. Awful. Also, an epidural can make you really itchy so I got some Benadryl to help relieve the itchiness. I managed to take a nap for about an hour after they gave me the medicine at midnight.

When I woke up our nighttime nurse checked me again and I was fully dilated! I was ready to start pushing! Dr. Wiley came by and I pushed a few times with the nurse while she went to check her other patients. I could feel Lloyd pushing down and getting closer and closer to being here. So with every contraction I had to push or it was very uncomfortable and sometimes painful if I didn’t. Lloyd was slowly coming and Dr. Wiley left the room again to check another patient. While she was gone I threw up again and it was excruciating. But when she came back, Lloyd was crowning! I pushed for another few minutes that flew by (Coach says it was about 30 minutes but it felt much shorter) and everyone looked at me telling me he would be here with the next set of pushes. I’ve never worked so hard or with such determination in my whole life. On the 3rd push his head came out and Coach and I were looking at each other with such intensity, Caitlin was about to come out of her skin she was so excited to see him, and the Doctor told me she needed one more push so he could be here. All of a sudden I felt a huge relief and a big gush, and I could see his little body squirming in Dr. Wiley’s arms. It took him a few (breathless, on both our parts) seconds and I heard him cry. It was so quiet at first, but his arms and legs were failing all over the place.

They put him on my belly and started rubbing him off and clamped his belly button. Coach was handed the scissors and cut the umbilical cord—he was so nervous to do it wrong.

Then they pulled my gown down on one side and slid his little body onto my skin to keep him warm. All his crying stopped and mine started, he was so precious. His cheeks, hair, little hands grasping at everything, he was here! I kept saying “oh my gosh” over and over again, and those first few minutes were so overwhelming and didn’t feel real for a very long time.

They took him over to the warmer to get his footprints, measure and weigh him, and make sure he was doing great. Which he was (he got perfect results on both his apgar tests). Coach and my sister were with him the whole time taking photos and counting all his fingers and toes while Dr. Wiley fixed me up (I was VERY lucky and had minimal problems, only needing 3 stitches). When they announced how much he weighed I think everyone’s eyes got wide, no one thought he’d be that big! 9 pounds and 2 ounces! What a chunky little boy! He already had massive rolls! When the nurses were done, Lloyd was wrapped up like a little burrito and Coach held him for the first time. I have never seen him so happy and so awestruck. He was so afraid he was holding Lloyd wrong or doing anything incorrectly, but I couldn’t take my eyes off either of my beautiful men. For 9 months I had been waiting to see Coach hold his child in his arms and it was here—and it was 100 times more beautiful than I could have imagined. We had our first family hugs and both of us couldn’t take our eyes off Lloyd, our beautiful son.

Monday, October 3, 2011

I've Thought About It

...and tomorrow I will be posting my birth story.  There were a few things that happened that were holding me back should a family member read it, but I don't care.  Mostly because I really do have some major regrets and issues with what happened that day and it has nothing to do with my care, my hospital, Coach, or anything like that.  It's mostly with not sticking to my guns and not being the bitch I usually am in order to get what I want.  

So it'll post tomorrow.  Deep breaths.  

Luckily the experience was good enough that I'm still willing to do it again, much more willing now than I was before the labor! Ironically!  :)