Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Blasted Pop Tarts!

This morning I informed Jesse that once this box of Pop Tarts was gone I was not going to purchase any more. Dan wanted Pop Tarts on hand so he could grab a quick breakfast on his way out the door. But since I started buying them Jesse has insisted on having one every morning. He eats his breakfast in the car on the way to preschool so it is convenient and I get him the organic ones, but they are so full of sugar and I don't like him starting his day that way.

Anyway, in true 3 year old style, he decided to try to convince me. "Mama. I have an idea. How about instead... You just go buy more Pop Tarts at the store?" he suggested from the back seat in his sweet little voice.

I chuckled to myself since I expected him to put up a fight to try to save his beloved Pop Tarts.

"You are one crazy Pop Tart fiend, you know that don't you, Jesse?"

He paused for a few seconds to think about that one. Then he laughed and said, "Nooooo. I'm just a person, Mama!"

God, I love that kid.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

How does your garden grow?

My Mother's Day gift (well, besides the Dennis DeYoung concert) this year was a day of gardening. I thought it was too early to start, but Dan argued all the seed packets say "plant after May 10" and it would be the perfect activity for us on Mother's Day after church and brunch (my two Mother's Day requirements). So that's what we did!

Dan tilled the spot I chose at the edge of our back lot and put up a fence. On our way back from brunch we picked up my plants and seeds and then we got to work. I wish I was able to work in the dirt and take pictures because the boys were so adorable with their little shovels and tools. Of course, it wasn't as cute when Simon would pull plants right out of the ground as soon as I put them in, but we had a really good time together!

And I got a lovely garden out of it. I have no idea what I'm doing (as evidenced by the ridiculous number of broccoli plants I put in) and who knows how it will all turn out, but it was fun to plant and we are enjoying watching things pop through the ground and grow. This year will be our learning experience. Next year we will know more and hope to add berry bushes around the grounds also.

We planted: tomatoes, sweet peppers, green peppers, green beans, wax beans, two kinds of sweet onions, two kinds of podded peas, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, lettuce mix, carrots, corn, broccoli, broccoli, broccoli, broccoli, and did I mention broccoli?

My garden

Two weeks in, I took the camera with me to check the progress. I was surprised at what was coming up. I think I expected a complete FAIL in the back of my mind - a Peter Rabbit ravaged lot or birds all fat and happy from digging up and eating my seeds. Instead I found sprouts and plants that were bigger and healthier than when I put them in. Despite two killing frosts and one freeze (and a stubborn husband who ignored the news forecasts and my pleas to find something to cover my garden with) it survived!


Broccoli (with yet more broccoli in the background)
My Uncle Howard, gardener extraordinairre who wins a blue ribbon for his peppers every year at the Westmoreland County Fair, says my peas are putting his to shame. So yay!

Amazing to think this will be "knee high in July"

Our little gardening crew

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"I want to marry you, Mama!"

Oh, what a sweet boy I have.

I've heard about little boys asking their moms to marry them when they grow up, but let me tell you how it melts your heart when it happens to you.

Last night Jesse and I were laying in bed watching the Biggest Loser finale when he blurted out, "I want to marry you, Mama!" Before I could say anything, he added, "And Samantha." Samantha is a little girl at his preschool who he must like. He then went on to tell me that Samantha wanted to marry Todd and Todd wanted to marry Ada. When I asked who Ada wants to marry, he said Todd. And he added that Samantha wants to marry Todd too. Way to go, Todd! He must be quite the ladies' man.

Jesse told me it is ok that he wants to marry Samantha but Samantha wants to marry Todd because "I know you'll still marry me, right, Mama?"

"Of course, Jesse."

This morning he told me he'll marry me when he's "all growed up - like maybe 7 or something."


Monday, May 11, 2009

A little we time, a little me time, and a lot of time with my boys!

My Mother's Day weekend was wonderful! Usually we don't even celebrate the so-called "Hallmark Holidays" but Dan needed an excuse for us to go see Dennis DeYoung in concert so he labeled it my Mother's Day gift.

The concert was Friday evening at the Pepsi Roadhouse. Our neighbors, Dan and Laura, went with us and we had so much fun! Every seat in the house was an awesome seat! Dinner was great, Billy Elmer did a standup routine before the band came on, and Dennis DeYoung sounded absolutely incredible! I drank a little too much, stayed out way too late and never even called home to check on the kids. It was perfection.

Saturday, after swim class, Jesse and I painted terra cotta pots for the grandmas and spent a lovely afternoon together while Dan and Simon napped the day away. I assisted Christy with a photo shoot in Schenley Park in the evening.

Sunday we went to church then brunch then to the nursery for my gardening supplies. We spent the rest of the day planting 16 different vegetables in the awesomely huge garden Dan tilled for me in the back lot. Peas, beans, broccoli, quashes, corn, peppers, tomatoes and so much more went into the ground with the help of Jesse in his Cars boots and Simon with his little spade. Jesse stepped on plants and Simon tore them from the ground mere seconds after I planted them, but we all had a wonderful time together. Toss in a little Sir Pizza for dinner and my perfect day was complete.

To my mom, my sisters and sisters-in-law, my mother-in-law, my mama friends, and all the other moms out there - Happy Mother's Day!

I'll leave you with the blessing prayer spoken at my friend, Katie's, church on Mother's Day. It is too beautiful not to pass on.

Blessing Prayer for Mother's Day

God of Love,
listen to this prayer.
God of Holy People,
of Sarah, Ruth, and Rebekah;
God of holy Elizabeth, mother of John,
of Holy Mary, Mother of Jesus,
bend down Your ear to this request
and bless the mother of our family.

Bless her with the strength of Your spirit,
she who has taught her children how to stand and walk.

Bless her with the melody of Your love,
she who has shared how to speak, how to sing
and how to pray to You.

Bless her with a place at Your eternal dinner table,
she who has fed and nurtured
the life that was formed within her
while still helpless but embraced in her love.

Bless her today, now, in this lifetime,
with good things, with health.
Bless her with joy, love, laughter,
and pride in her child/children
and surround her with many good friends.

May she who carried life in her womb
be carried one day to Your divine embrace:
there, for all eternity, to rejoice with her family and friends.

This blessing and all grace, we pray,
descend upon the mother of our family:
in the name of the Father,
and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I could blog a thousand times a day, everyday, on the subject of brothers. I don't think I can come up with anything cuter than two little boys loving up on each other. Well, maybe if you toss a few more boys in there to love up on their brothers... Alas, Dan is quite adamant that he is done as far as having more kids goes.

So anyway, I'll enjoy watching the two I have. Just this morning Simon was cranking away because his teeth (or maybe it's his ears, or maybe I'm just paranoid again) are bothering him and there goes Jesse, running to make sure Simon is going to be ok, "It's ok, Soimon!" in his sweet, little voice.

Melt my heart.

It's just lovely to see how much they enjoy each other. Even when Jesse says that Simon is "on him" or being a pain, he says it with a twinkle in his eye. And when Simon is pinching Jesse, he's usually smiling away when he is doing it. Wait, maybe that's not the same thing. Hmmm...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Just a reminder...

We all let our kids do things the experts say not to. Popcorn before age 4? Whole grapes when they're sitting still at the table? Toys labeled "Ages 3 and up" for your 2 year old? I know, especially since Jesse is so mature in so many ways, I have done all of these things and more.

The pictures on the grocery cart (and common sense) say not to let your kid ride in the basket part of the cart, but Jesse is very well behaved and sits still on his bottom when I ask him to. Simon is too small for most of the carts at Target with the seats in the bottom so we always let Jesse ride in the basket part of the cart when we shop if he doesn't feel like walking.

This past weekend, Dan worked and I had a conference to attend so Jesse stayed with my parents Friday and I took Simon with me to the conference (it was the La Leche League conference before anyone wonders what kind of person I am for taking a baby to a conference).

Anyway, I came out of the last session to 7 voicemails on my cell phone. My mom had Jesse at Home Depot and he told her I let him ride in the basket of the cart and she let him. He sat still on his bottom the entire time like she asked, but when she got to the car he stood up in anticipation of getting out and he lost his balance and went head first out of the cart onto the parking lot. It was about a 4 foot fall directly on his head. I was almost an hour away when I got the message. That was a horrifying drive.

We spent 6 hours in two different ERs on Saturday (my mom originally took him to UPMC Braddock because he fell asleep in her car on the way to the ER and she was worried so she went to the nearest ER and then later we transferred him to Children's) and went through the hell that it is to strap a 3 year old to a table for a 2 image CT scan.

That alone was a heartbreaking experience. Absolutely awful. I have never been unable to calm him. Not once in his life. My presence and reassurance has always been all he's needed. I felt so helpless. I actually stood back for a while and cried while the CT Tech tried calming him. Eventually, I had to lay on him and go into the machine with him after he screamed for 45 minutes straight and would not calm down enough to get the test. He has petechial hemmorrhaging all over his face, neck and chest from screaming for so long.

He must have asked to nurse two dozen times while we were in the ER. I just held him close and rocked him, my heart breaking because I couldn't let him have the comfort he desperately needed. If he would have had a bleed he would have needed immediate surgery so he was not allowed to eat or drink anything until he was cleared. Nursing Simon in front of him made me feel like I was betraying him.

Fortunately, he did not have a slow brain bleed like the ped originally suspected and he is going to be just fine. My mother feels absolutely awful even though I told her a thousand times it could have happened to anyone. I've never had a problem with Jesse riding in the basket and if she had called to ask me I would have told her it was ok to do so.

I will not let him do it again after this though. Please, even if your child is an absolute angel in the basket, know that this is something that can happen. I don't ever want to be scared again like I was on Saturday.

God had His hand on Jesse. He could have had a brain bleed, he could have broken his neck, he could have broken his shoulder or arm or landed on something that could have impaled him. He didn't come out completely unscathed, but a nasty goose egg on his head and some awful memories... I'll take it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Very Pleasant Surprise!

This afternoon I received an email from a friend who is thinking of entering the wedding photography business. She had some questions about what I looked for in a photographer, what I paid, etc. As silly as it may be, I actually have my wedding planner in my office at work. It's been shoved on a bottom shelf collecting dust for years when I brought my planner to work to have my information accessible for a special I was involved in and never took it home.

Anyway, I flipped through to find the photographer information and then kept looking through the other folders when suddenly I spotted a simple piece of white paper with black type on it. I gasped and then squealed! I knew immediately what it was!

We had a very large wedding in 2002 and received many wonderful gifts from our guests. Beautiful china, personalized Christmas ornaments, crystal and many things to fill our small apartment as we changed it from "my place" to "our home." Mixed in with all the gifts and cards containing monetary gifts was a plain white business envelope with a simple, typed letter from a young firefighter we had become friends with in the few short years since he had joined our fire company. I remember lounging on the bed at the Holiday Inn, surrounded by flowery wedding cards, opening that envelope and wondering what was inside.

What was inside was a gift of money accompanied by the most amazing letter! Insightful and tender - from such an unexpected source. We read it with tears in our eyes... and then we read it again. I loved that letter immediately and knew it would mean something to me forever.

I tucked it away for safe keeping and, as I am prone to do, completely forgot where I put it. For years, when that letter has crossed my mind, I have looked in the places where I keep small treasures, always hoping to find it. I never have. Until today.

I was almost afraid to read it again. I worried that the letter that once meant so much to me when I was embarking upon my new life with my new husband would now seem laughable or irrelevant almost 7 years later...

It didn't. It doesn't. This letter is still as wonderful today as it was on November 23, 2002, when I first read it. I don't expect it to touch all who read it the same way, nor do I expect others to be impressed by it the way I am, but I will share it anyway before I take it home to find a frame for it so I can hang it on my wall. I want to read it over and over again and remember the truths contained within when I need to remember them the most.

Who would expect something like this from a young 20-something computer nerd who is into Japanese animation and the Smashing Pumpkins? Never in a million years...

This isn't a very good gift. It really isn't meant to be a good gift, because what's included isn't a gift. It's a start. A couple needs more than gifts to start a life together and love is but a part of life. So hear the ramblings of a young fool for just a bit, because I know you are going to hear the ramblings of much older and wiser fools over the days, weeks, months and years to come.

Be kind to each other. Laugh when it's funny, but remember there is always something to bring you down. Cry when it's sad, but remember there is something better to brighten the day. Scream when you are mad, but that will pass and be replaced with other feelings. Fight if you must, but you will eventually run out of energy and all that's left is acceptance. Life and love have their ups and downs. Remember you chose each other and life, love and time will continue no matter what you feel or do. Or so it should.

Love is not always happy. It can be sad, angry, frustrating, desolate, uncaring, even hating. Love is something that should never be taken lightly. I think you chose love for the right reasons. Remember that love isn't what anybody ever expects it to be. Depressing as that sounds, there are the food things about love. Love can be happy, curious, overwhelming, sappy, complete, and even just as good if not better than any poet, author, musician or artist could ever convey. Love should be unconditional. Love accepts the good with the bad and learns from both. Love exists whether you are near or far. Love shines through when you need it the most. Love pokes at you when you think you don't need it.

One last note on love. Be VERY honest with each other, even if you cannot be honest with yourselves. Work with each other, even when you can't see why the other is doing what they do. Take the good and learn from the bad. And there will be good, and there will be bad, but such is life and love.

So, Why the non-gift you ask? Because a couple has to start somewhere, with something. I would like to think in my very small way, I helped start that something, somewhere. It isn't much, but every little bit helps. And I know you will survive and grow and love no matter what gets thrown at you.

Take this note for what it is. I AM young. I DON'T know love well. I AM still a little weird. But it doesn't matter, life does. So take the note for what it's worth. The note is my gift to you. The other goes to the start of a very wonderful life you will build together.

Care Always,

T. F. B.

What a different person I am from the person who first read that note, tanned and young, still dressed in a fluffy ivory gown with tired feet from dancing all night. With my new husband by my side, my world was wide open. The good in this letter is about all I paid attention to, most likely. For the bad would never befall us.

Yet here we are, almost 7 years later, and - believe me - we've seen many of the down sides mentioned in this letter. We've screamed, fought, at times even thought of giving up. We are different people now. Yet this letter - its good and its bad - still ring true. This letter still touches me the way it touched that bride. I am more aware now, maybe even more cynical and in some ways even bitter, but I know the truths this letter holds. We are not always as happy as that couple hoped to always be. But we are still here and we still "survive and grow and love no matter what" just like our young friend hoped we would.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


April's issue of the AAP News, the official magazine of the American Academy of Pediatrics, included an article officially recommending parents keep their children rear facing in their car seats to age 2, not to age 1 as previously recommended.

It's about time!

For years pediatricians have been recommending parents turn their children around to face forward once they reach 20 pounds and 1 year... while the statistics have shown that children are 5 times less likely to be injured or killed in a car accident if they stay rear facing until they outgrow the seat's rear facing limits (between 30 and 35 pounds for many convertible seats). I've even heard stories of some pediatricians foolishly telling parents they can turn their children around earlier, like when they hit 20 pounds before 1 year.

Many parents take their pediatrician's word as gospel. I can only hope that pediatricians embrace this new recommendation and push the families of their patients to take it seriously. Extended rear facing saves lives!! No child should suffer an injury that could have been prevented had the child stayed rear facing in his car seat. Just ask Joel's grandfather.

We had done the research and didn't want to take any chances so we chose to keep Jesse rear facing through the limits of his Britax Boulevard. He didn't know any different so it wasn't really an issue. Sure, it was inconvenient at times. He screamed a lot as a young toddler and it was difficult to comfort him from the front seat when he was facing rear. He went through an awful phase of being afraid of the dark in the car. That was almost unbearable. As he grew, his legs bunched up and his shoes destroyed the back part of our seats. But we knew that in the case of an accident he was as safe as we could make him. When he reached 33.5 pounds at 2 years 9 months old, we turned him around. His seat's limit for rear facing is 35 pounds and with a winter coat, snow boots and full sippy cup, we knew he was close to the limit.

We don't know when Simon will approach 35 pounds. But we know that until he does, he will remain rear facing in his car seat. He might not think it's fair because his big brother is facing forward, but we'll know it's the best we can do for him.

Jesse on his last day facing rear - December 2008

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Take a compliment

Mark Twain said, "I can live for two months on a good compliment."

What's the best compliment you've received lately? Ever?

In November I took Jesse for a haircut. Simon tagged along. Jesse sat so nicely draped in his racecar robe while the girl trimmed his hair. Meanwhile I sat in a chair with an overhead hair dryer chatting with the stylists while I snuggled, kissed and munched on Simon. About 10 minutes in, the owner of the shop stopped working on the head of hair in front of her and said to me with a huge smile, "It's obvious you really enjoy your children."

Wow. What a compliment.

When Jesse is on my last nerve and Simon's whining seems unending, I remember that compliment and try to enjoy my children as much as I do on a good day when everyone's happy and full of smiles.

What have you been complimented on? Take that compliment to heart. Next time you're frustrated or pissed off, next time you screw something up or feel like nothing can go your way, when that moody friend stops talking to you for no apparent reason, your husband acts like a total dolt, your mother gets on your nerves, your boss is a pain... Think of your best compliment. Take heart! You are good at something, you are a good person, you do something well.

Take a compliment.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"But I AM three!"

So says Jesse. He's been insisting he's three years old for months now.

Well, today it is official. My boy is three. My baby, my first born, my "best boy"... three years old. How did this happen?

Maybe because the details surrounding his birth are always present in the front of my mind even though I choose still not to face them all, it seems like it wasn't so long ago. March 18, 2006 was the most frightening, traumatizing, and heart wrenching day of my life. It was also the most glorious day. It was the day I became a mother. The day I stepped into the role I believe I was born to fill. The day my gorgeous red haired, blue eyed boy was pulled from my body. He did not breathe, he did not cry, his heart did not beat. God had his hand on Jesse Daniel and He breathed life into him and protected him and here we are three years later. Happy, healthy, full of energy, love and life.

Jesse is an amazing child. He takes my face in both his hands, pulls me toward him and says, "I love you, Mama," and gives me a squinty eyed smile and my heart melts every time. He's so grown up in many ways, yet still like the baby I recall in others. He wants to be independent and do it all himself, he speaks like an adult at times, he comes up with thoughts and ideas that blow my mind. He loves to snuggle in close, asks "Hold me like a baby" when he nurses, cries when he doesn't get his way. He challenges me and keeps me on my toes. I have learned to love in a way that was new to me, I've been more frustrated than I knew was possible, I have found patience within I never knew I had. He taught me how to mother, he led the way as I learned, as he grows I grow along with him.

I am blessed. I thank God for the miracle that is Jesse every day of my life. I love you, Buddy. Happy birthday!

First time meeting Jesse in the NICU - 14 hours old

Jesse's first dentist appointment - February 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I did it. A while ago, actually. But I realize I never updated here.

In January I got a tattoo. My "first tattoo" as Dawn, the woman who inked me, told me to refer to it as. She said it is hard for most to stop at one and I can see that. It was easy to do and I absolutely love my tattoo!

It all started last June. Scratch that. It actually started in June 1993. I went on a trip with my girlfriends to Ocean City, MD after we graduated from high school. I was 17. That trip was a blast. Wow, to be young again. But I digress... While at the beach, I considered getting a tattoo on my ankle. We went to the tattoo shop and I looked around. I had no idea what I wanted to get, I just wanted to get something. I was young, tanned, free, on a crazy summer trip with good friends, I needed to do something wild!

Then I thought about it. Did I really want Tweety Bird on my ankle on my wedding day? Or for the rest of my life for that matter? I was thinking no. So I decided to wait 6 months and if I still wanted the tattoo then I would get it. If not, then I would skip it.

Needless to say, once I returned home from the beach, I knew immediately I definitely did not want a tattoo. To be honest, I've never really been a fan. And then there was my mother to deal with. She actually told us girls to come home pregnant before coming home with a tattoo. She's not a fan either.

Fast forward 15 years to June 2008. My second baby boy was just 3 months old and I had been lamenting the fact that I was done having babies because it was practical and not because it was what was in my heart. Somehow this feeling worked its way into my head so deeply that I awoke one morning after dreaming that I had gotten my boys' names tattooed on my left wrist. The dream was so real that I started to consider getting a tattoo for my boys. While I am no longer a fan of Tweety Bird, will there ever come a day I will regret my children? I think not. The seed had been planted.

Still, being me - deliberate and practical to a fault - I decided to follow the same 6 month rule I observed as a teen. When I told Dan about it all, he suggested I get my tattoo as my Christmas gift if I decided I still wanted it in December.

For months I searched the internet for ideas, drew pictures, looked at photos of other tattoos, asked for opinions and ideas. And then one day, there it was. As soon as I saw it, I knew that was it. The symbol I wanted to honor my boys with. It's from some Australian organization - Barnardos - for a Mother of the Year award. I don't know the specifics, but when I saw the symbol of the mother gently cradling her babe against her breast, it made me think of nursing my boys, of holding them close, their warm body snuggled against mine, eyes locked in that gaze... That was it. That was what I wanted.

So in January, I did it. Dan came with me. I went to Dawn at Art Fx and got inked. It didn't hurt the way I thought it would. It felt like bee stings. A lot of them. It was less bearable when she didn't let up for a while, but it was mostly just annoying. I ate a lot of Dum Dums while she did it. Within 20 minutes of sitting down in the chair, it was done. Immediately, I loved it. I couldn't stop looking at it or touching it. It took a lot longer to heal than I expected or was told and I think it actually scarred a bit on one end. But it doesn't change how it looks.

I'm past the stage where I'm constantly touching it or looking at it every 13.5 seconds. Jesse hasn't asked for weeks when my tattoo will come off. Now it's just a part of me. Part of who I am. Just like my boys.

No regrets.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Boys and boobs

Jesse's 3rd birthday is a week from tomorrow. I wish I could make time stand still.

Jesse is nursing. The boys loves to nurse and nursing meets his needs and I'm happy to continue so we're not considering weaning at this point. Sometimes I ask Jesse how long he will nurse though. Just to satisfy my own curiosity.

Usually when I ask he tells me "Forever!" and then as I go up the chain of boys/men he knows he says he will nurse when he's that old... Landon (4), Joseph (6), Brandon (10), Chris (13), Daddy... he says yes to all of them.

Last night I asked if he liked to nurse and he told me YES! Then I asked how long and he told me, "For a while." That was different so I went up the line. "Will you nurse when you are as old as Landon?" "Yes! Yes, Mama!" "What about when you're as old as Joseph?" He thought about this for a little bit and then answered, "No. I think I'll stop nursing before then."

That's different. And I'm ok with it. I guess he's set his weaning date (for now) sometime between 4 and 6. Works for me!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Three years ago

I've been so sentimental lately in this month of birthdays. Simon's was 5 days ago and Jesse's is in another 9. Today I came across an email I sent out to loved ones on March 9, 2006 while I was waiting for Jesse to arrive. I remember those days, going stir crazy on bed rest, enjoying most of being pregnant (the crushing pelvic pain and PUPPPS I could have done without), but getting antsy to go into labor to experience the birth I had dreamed about my whole life and to meet the little man who kicked me while I tried to sleep at night.

Motherhood is more beautiful on this side, but I did thoroughly enjoy having that little life all to myself, growing inside my body like my own little secret relationship, the only one to know what he was doing at any time, imagining what kind of child he would be, what he would look like, etc. Pregnancy was a wonderful time in my life. I thank God I was able to enjoy it not only once but twice.

It is March 9 and our official due date was March 4, so I figured a little update was in order since some of you might be wondering if you missed the news.

You didn't miss anything. Little Jesse is being stubborn and doesn't want to come out. I am ok with that because I rather enjoy being pregnant and know I will miss it when it's over soon. I feel really good and relaxed and, though I want to meet my son so badly, I am ok staying pregnant a little while longer.

I have had pregnancy induced blood pressure issues for a while now and have been home on bedrest for a few weeks. Because of that and some test results on the baby's heartrate when I have contractions, there was talk of inducing me last week and then again this week. Luckily, they ran more tests which we both aced and they are allowing us more time to go on our own like I hope to go.

So we spend 5-7 hours at Magee having tests done every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We don't mind even though getting someone to drive us there and back is a pain sometimes. As long as we keep doing well on the tests, they will allow nature to take its course. If anything comes back with a less than favorable score, we will be induced.

So please pray for us to go into labor on our own soon, while we are both healthy and before my midwives start talking about induction just based on the calendar (they usually don't let you go past your due date by more than two weeks).

If you are on this list, you are on the list that I gave to my best friend, Amanda. She will send out an e-mail letting you know that little Jesse is here once he makes his appearance!

Until then, take care! :)

Here are some other bits I came across:

It's been a roller coaster, but I am glad they are allowing us some time to go on our own. The thought of a 3 day inducement (that's how long they said it might take since I was making no progress on my own at all) with all that medical intervention really didn't appeal to me even though I am willing to do whatever it takes if little Jesse is in any danger at all. I stayed up the night before my induction and prayed and prayed and the last minute tests were perfect! Now I am just praying to go into labor and for the strength to get through it naturally like Dan and I have planned for so long.

I talked so casually about the "3 day induction" my midwives speculated about. My Bishop's Score was low, my body was not ready to be induced, my baby not ready to come out on his own. Little did I realize at that point that it would indeed be a 3 day induction that would not even end in a vaginal delivery. I was still so hopeful and confident.

No clue how much he weighs. I don't think he'll be too huge though - he has room to stretch his little legs out at night when I am in bed. I can't wait to meet him!

Hopefully, I won't have to keep up the appointments too much longer. I keep taking walks hoping to get something going before time runs out.


I laugh when I remember being convinced he was going to be about 7.5 pounds. I was 7lb 5oz and Dan was 7lb 9oz and I had it set in my head that he would be 7lb 7oz, right in the middle. Hilarious the way my pregnant, deluded brain worked then.

Yeah, nothing has worked yet. I have been threatened with induction three times now and every time it's imminent, the next test comes out fine and they send me home. Today, his amniotic fluid is really low, but his non-stress test was excellent, so I am home again. I am scheduled for induction on Friday if I don't go on my own before then though.

I had been scheduled for an induction that Friday, March 17. At my appointment on Wednesday, March 15, my amniotic fluid was dangerously low and we returned that evening to start the induction. It was another 3 days before my beautiful boy was pulled from my body, blue and limp. Sometimes it seems like a story that happened to someone else. I'm blessed that it was me and that he's a gorgeous almost-3-year-old today.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Happy (almost) birthday, Baby!

Wow. Where to start?

Today is the anniversary of the day that was supposed to be Simon's birthday. Our favorite midwife, Shannon, wasn't working that Monday so we moved the date of my cesarean to Tuesday, March 4, 2008, so Shannon would be there to be with us in the operating room with Dr. Kaminski to welcome our baby boy into the world. It seemed fitting also that Simon would be born on his brother's original estimated due date. We had looked forward to March 4, 2006, as the day around which we would become first time parents, never expecting for two full weeks to pass after that date before Jesse came to be with us.

It's hard to believe an entire year has passed since Simon's birth. It has been the fastest year of my life. Time started flying once we became parents, but the two years it was just Dan and me and Jesse definitely passed much slower than the time does when you've got two little ones to chase after. What a year it's been though! Simon is so different from Jesse. He's changed my few expectations over and over, teaching me - yet again - that I am no longer in charge and life is better when I follow the lead of my children.

I still carry many scars from Jesse's birth. It's not something that I will ever "get over" and move on from. I changed too much over the course of those three days of labor and I have yet to completely face my feelings regarding his entrance into the world. But I started my path to healing on the day Simon came to be.

Leading up to Simon's birth was agonizing. I had many fears. Would he cry? Would his lungs work? What if some freak accident happened and we came close to losing another baby? Would I be able to handle more? What if he ended up in the NICU like Jesse did? How would we make that work, could I go back to the NICU again without all those memories of Jesse's start rushing back in?

And then he was born. And he cried. And it was as though the sun was rising for the first time. Everything was going to be ok. I was going to be ok. I wasn't going to be defined by Jesse's birth anymore. It wasn't going to have the same hold on me that it did before. It's still there, still a part of who I am, nothing will change it. But Simon's birth lifted a fog of sorts that I had been in for almost two years. It was a new beginning.

And here we are one day away from the anniversary of that date. Simon joined our family one year ago. How can that be? It seems he was only born a few short months ago and it seems we've known him forever at the same time.

He's my chunky, lovable, adorable boy. I love his dark eyes and light, wispy hair. His whispering "dat dat dat" and light squeals welcome me every morning, reminding me that I am beyond blessed with yet another gorgeous boy to love and hold. Even overnight when I am exhausted from nursing every few hours, I thank God for the warm little body snuggled up against mine, his grunty little sounds as he feverishly sucks for more milk, his sweet smelling head and little chubby fingers holding tight to mine. I have been blessed with the most precious gift again.

In one year, Simon has gone from being a skinny little spider monkey with long chicken legs to a solid big guy who steals hearts wherever he goes. In his early days, when I was convinced he'd never latch to nurse and I was pumping and finger feeding him with a syringe, barely sleeping, frustrated, exhausted, discouraged... I never looked forward far enough to see where we'd be today. I plugged through one minute, one hour, one day at a time never realizing a year later he'd be a happy, healthy, beautiful boy, fed for 9 months exclusively by my milk, passionate to see me at the end of a work day to reconnect, content to lie snuggled against me as he sleeps.

Simon, you are my precious boy. I love you more than I can ever express in words. You've turned my life upside down again in a good way. You're a joy to be with. A pleasure to mother. My life is complete with you in it. You are my second born, but you are never second in my heart. I love you, Bubba. Happy birthday.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Good morning! Let's eat!

Simon suddenly woke up the other morning and decided to eat. Well, he really didn't decide to eat until dinnertime, but when he did, he packed it away! For a while we've been offering all kinds of foods. Sure we waited until he was almost 9 months, knowing breastmilk is best for him and he doesn't really need any other nutrition. But we didn't expect him to decide that breastmilk was all he really wanted. He had gnawed on a graham cracker or two, but that was as far as his interest in solids went.

The other evening though was a different story. I put some steamed broccoli in front of him and you would have thought he met his soulmate! He couldn't get it in fast enough. Blueberries were a hit also. More graham crackers... then we stopped. The fear of the unknown diaper to be got the best of me and he sure was a mess anyway. He's been doing really well getting his sippy of water to his mouth also.

Like we did with Jesse, we went with the Baby Led Weaning method of introducing solids this time around. No purees, no spoons, no Mama Led Feeding. It's all up to Simon to decide if he wants to eat and how much he wants to get into his mouth. He's in charge and it's going really well.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I'm back, Baby!

Ok. So maybe "back" isn't the term for it. But it's been a while since I've written here. And here I am.

After the car accident in October, I was in a fog of sorts. The pain in my neck and shoulder made it very hard to concentrate on anything - at home and at work. I was irritable, short-tempered, tired, pretty miserable. Around the 8 week mark after the accident I started to be able to use my right arm to open doors and hold the baby without wincing. It was a bit of a turning point. From there the headaches started to be less persistent and slightly less crushing. My shoulder and neck started to improve. Dr. Matijasic cleared me to go back to the gym, only lower body at first. It was hard to get back into the groove. It's amazing how fast what little conditioning I had achieved was lost. For the most part I was stretching and walking/running the treadmill and nothing else.

Last night I decided to attempt Zumba again. I've missed it so much! It was hard. Probably harder than the first time I ever tried Zumba. I couldn't do most of the arm routines without pain. That's not good. But I did well with the lower body songs and had a lot of fun! Some of the songs are new and Julie has mixed up the routine a bit since I was there last the Thursday before the accident, but when the familiar songs came on I got right back into the sambas and cumbias I know so well.

I made a new friend too! New Year's Resolution #4 in action - Put Myself Out There More. I ran into Zoe at the water fountain when we both ran out of water at the same time during class. We talked about the previous song, a little Russian-inspired mix, that was hard hard hard!!! After class we talked for a while. She has a hell of a handshake. I liked her immediately. When she asked if I was a college student, I liked her even more!

It's a start... back to Zumba, back to blogging, trying to get back to life as it was before. I still cannot wear Simon which breaks my heart. He was 7 months old when I stopped wearing him - prime time for babywearing fun and convenience! It's a shame. I wonder - if I am able to wear him again - if he will not want to be worn since we've been out of it for so long. I hate to think that my babywearing days are over forever and I can't even remember what we did the last time he was snuggled up tight against me in the ring sling. I'm trying to hope for the best.

I still have pain. When I attempt things that were taken for granted before to get back into the swing of things like Dr. Matijasic recommends (like Zumba), I have more pain. I guess I am not ready for some things yet.