Monday, December 8, 2014

Seems Like Without Tenderness

I was sad today and it didn't even start out being about Blue. But then I ended up being sad about him and everything too.

If I were taking the standard 10-week maternity leave from work I would have gone back today. And I just do not want to go back to this job. Even if I liked my job, I would not be ready yet. Sleep is still too fragmented and I have to drag myself from bed every morning unless Mr. E lets me sleep in until 9 or 9:30 or even later. I have not been pumping to build up a store of milk. Not that that absolutely needs to be done or that I wouldn't have done that over the past week or two knowing I would be going back to work today. But I really don't like this job. I don't have enough responsibility, I don't have enough interesting work, I don't make enough money. After more than two years you would think at least one of these areas would no longer be deficient. I don't even want to be a lawyer. I'm not sure that I ever did but it sounded like a good option a number of years ago and really it's not all bad. But I can't stop fantasizing about what else I would rather be doing with my life.

And I guess that's how I started being sad about Blue because I was thinking about what I might have done differently with my life if he had been born healthy. There is no question that my life would have been completely different, but it is the imagined permutations of that different life that I find difficult to avoid. The questions about that life appear randomly in my thoughts. Would Chris and I have become the guardians of his friend's little boy? What would have happened if we didn't stay together? When I left him, why did I never hear from her? I guess she was always his friend and not mine, but I had thought she was my friend too. When would I have gone back to work, i.e. gotten a job, after Blue was born? What would his name have been? Would we have hosted Chris' family for Thanksgiving when Blue was just a week or a few weeks old? Would we have moved out of Chris' 800-square-foot condo into a house with a garage and a yard? Would we have lasted that long as a couple? Where would I live now? Had I stayed with him, would I be miserable or would I have had an affair?

It was a beautiful cold day yesterday and I went for a run in the nearby park that stretches along the banks of a small river. I stopped on a bridge and stared at the water, feeling an old familiar unsettled-ness about my life. It wasn't the same urgent purposelessness, if there is such a thing, that I felt in my early 30s once I realized how much I wanted to have a baby. To meet a man with whom to have a baby. I was having a really great time in my life, if I think about it, but I felt an intense lack of purpose and direction. Now that I have a family, it doesn't hurt so bad that I don't have the kind of job or career or work life that I want. But thinking about having to go back to work today made that feeling more acute. That feeling that I want to do something really great but I have no idea what that is and how I will get there. Usually I think it's something creative, or something entrepreneurial, but sometimes I think I would rather do nothing at all. Not that I would do nothing, but that what I did was not so much about a career and making money but about how I touched people's lives or left something better than I found it. I suppose I should admit that sometimes I think that "doing nothing" could also look like moving back to a ski town and working in a restaurant and chasing powder days.

It doesn't surprise me at all that I have a family, a house, a career if I want it, and still I feel like there's something missing. That something missing that I'm talking about, it's not Blue, but anytime I think of something missing I am missing him too.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

All These Anniveraries

Today is Blue's due date. All these anniversaries are adding up. I didn't fell particularly sad today. No, actually, I didn't feel sad today. Like at all. I had some sadness yesterday. I had some sadness last weekend. Come to think of it, November has been more of a sad month than not, just not today. November is sad because of Blue's due date, because there's Thanksgiving and I always remember that three years ago in November there was supposed to be a baby on Thanksgiving but there wasn't. The days get shorter. The days get colder. November is just not the greatest month for a lot of reasons!

But today was OK. Today was a fuzzy morning because LJ fussed from 3-something until 7-something, when he finally fell into a sound sleep...and Sprout woke up. Workmen arrived at our house to start basement demolition and mold remediation--yay? Boo moldy house, but yay to fixing it. Sprout went to school today, and LJ, Mr. E and I went to the barn where I ride my dad's horse. We came home and after feeding LJ I went for a run. It was sunny with some wind and pretty cold, but I love sunny and don't really mind cold so it was good. I thought about how I was not that sad and it was Blue's due date today. I took a long, hot shower and then my aunt came to meet LJ and visit with us and the boys. We went to Starbucks for soy mochas and we chatted and looked at Blue's picture of his name in the sand but I did not mention that today was the day. Sprout was totally friendly and adorable with her even though he has not seen her in months. Mr. E took Sprout to get burritos for supper and on the five-minute drive home I guess Sprout almost fell asleep. He was such a delight at supper, we three ate together while LJ slept and Sprout ate well, didn't make a mess or spit out his milk--one of his favorite things to do--and I thought we were right on track with our planned early bedtime.

I did his bath--OMG, he totally took a dump in the tub, for the first time ever! WTF?--and stories and turned out his light and he was playing and talking in his room a bit as he often does and it wasn't even 7:30 and I'm thinking this is good. Until about 30 minutes later he banged his head on his door, according to Mr. E, harder than ever before. So Mr. E went upstairs to help him fall asleep and almost 2 hours later he is still there. I need help with this! This is the third night in a row that Mr. E has waited in Sprout's room until he fell asleep. I know this is terrible for us and is not even helping Sprout get more sleep. When he bangs his head it is just awful and we don't know what to do. He does not do it rhymically to fall asleep, he does it against his door when he doesn't want to fall asleep. We had to move him to a toddler bed a few months ago because he kept climbing out of his crib and a week of "silent return" did not train him back into his crib. I do feel like he is too young for a bed and free rein in his room, but we have removed everything but a few books--seriously, it is like a jail cell in there. We have to close his door so he's not out wandering about, which he can't open himself. So he bangs his head to get out. If we go to him because he banged his head very hard, he will bang harder if we try to leave him in his room again before he falls asleep. I guess we will try leaving his door open and closing all the other doors upstairs and hope that he doesn't bang on the other doors. Likely he will close his own door and not be able to get back into his room so we will have to battle it out with him anyway. Until this week he was going to bed well, without banging, most nights. Maybe once per week he would have a hard time. Also until this week we have not lay in his room with him except one night when he was sick and one night when he awoke from a night terror. I do not want to become the parents who dread bedtime--but I already do--because they have to spend hours in the child's room each night. Ugh.

OK, LJ, now crying...more later (like in another two weeks).

Thursday, October 16, 2014

October 15

I suppose that Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness Day will always be overshadowed by Sprout's birthday. But it's still an extra special day when I will think of my birthday boy and my boy whose birthday never came to be.

I didn't remember to light a candle at 7pm last night. But very shortly after, we lit the candles on Sprout's cake. I have to admit I was not really thinking about his older brother, but was instead worrying about the junk-drawer-esque quality of the background to his blowing-out-the-candles photos. Maybe in my sleep-deprived state I just do not have enough brain capacity to think of more than one thing at once. I am feeling some remorse today. I forgot about Blue yesterday. I forgot about the other babies who were here and then they weren't.

I don't have the energy today to be sad...or remorseful. It seems inappropriate then to segue into lighter topics, but, onto lighter topics:

Sprout is 2! We took him to story time at a local bookstore for a treat. His cousins often go and all three were there yesterday as well. His cousin M, who is a month older, was sitting quietly, paying attention, while Sprout was pulling books off the shelves, pretending to read them, casting them aside, getting up, whining and crying, sitting down, wandering around, etc. etc. There were 2 unrelated children (1 boy, 1 girl) there who were also generally behaving. I was thinking my kid will be slapped with an ADHD diagnosis before pre-K, but the nanny said that yesterday was the first time that M actually paid attention. That was a relief, but I'm also pretty sure that after story time Sprout annoyed the crap out of the dad of the girl, who was reading her a book at a small table in the kids' area while Sprout stacked Frozen-themed notepads and a wind-up toy on the same table. It vaguely occurred to me that the dad found Sprout's behavior "inappropriate," and that I should have told Sprout to find another place to play, that he was too close to their space and was being disruptive, but I really didn't see the value in that. I suppose I should start looking into alternative schools now.

Oh yeah, so thanks to sleep deprivation, this happened while on the way/at the bookstore:
Me: [looking in console of Mr. E's car] Oh good, we have quarters for the parking meter.
[10 minutes later; it starts to rain; all exit car and enter bookstore].
[40 minutes later] Mr. E: Did you put quarters in the meter? Me: No, did you? Mr. E: I thought you were. Me: I totally forgot.
[5 minutes later; exit bookstore to feed meter; find ticket on windshield; do not feed meter; walk to bagel store for snack to keep Sprout awake in the car on the drive home; Mr. E opens mouth to speak] Me: I refuse to be angry about this. Do not talk about it.
[15minutes later; Sprout falls asleep for TWO SECONDS in the car holding onto the bagel; refuses nap]

Eventually Sprout had a late nap so I could bake his birthday cake and feed the baby in peace. I made Monkey Cake because I call Sprout "monkey" a lot and because he loves bananas. This cake is FOR REAL, and I highly recommend making it. It's also pretty easy because it calls for oil instead of butter, so you can mix it by hand, which is great for me with my missing-paddle-attachment stand mixer (that was somehow lost in our old apartment and not actually during the move). When I asked him what kind of cake he wanted--of course he wouldn't really know what he was asking for--he said he wanted "happy" cake. I'd never heard of Happy Cake, but figured the Internet had, so I googled it and found a disgusting recipe calling for boxed yellow cake mix, vanilla pudding mix, Cool Whip, and some other offensive "food" items. (Not to say I don't actually love all of those things.) Sprout loved the cake, and especially the cream cheese icing, so I was glad to have spared everyone from the atrocity that is Happy Cake (OK, it's really not that bad.) If you want to make cream cheese icing, the Internet is abound with recipes with all sorts of varying ratios and amounts of ingredients. Here is my recipe that was quite a hit: 2 8-oz packages plain cream cheese, softened; 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened; approx. 1 tsp vanilla (just free-style it!); powdered sugar to taste and desired texture, but in this case about a pound. The recipe I was working from actually called for about 2 pounds of sugar! This made more than enough to frost a 2-layer 9-inch round cake, so I now have an additional baking responsibility this week. I'm thinking carrot cake with the Asian pears that I do not like for some reason, and the one over-ripe banana that has a really brown spot where Sprout ate the peel (WTF?).

Anyway, around 5:30 we had my brother and his family--the same cousins from story time--one set of friends and their baby, one set of neighbors, and three sets of parents over for pizza and cake. The kids ate each other's pizza, drank from each other's cups, ran around like maniacs, but were generally pleasantly unsupervised. Since I baked the cake too late for adequate cooling time, I quickly frosted it while everyone finished up eating and we put on some star-shaped candles that said happy birthday because though I had been at the store for an hour the night before I did not buy a "2" candle. When it came time to blow out the candles Sprout was very serious, and even cried a little at the end, but I was impressed that he was actually able to blow out his candles without much prompting or instruction. Everyone but my mother in law left by about 7:30, and she helped clean up and give Sprout a bath while I fed LJ again. Since it was his birthday, we let Sprout stay up a little late and watch 10 minutes of Frozen (he has requested to watch it, along with Yo Gabba Gabba, every day, and it's so cute they way he says both titles that I have a hard time saying no). Then Mr. E, my MIL and I opened a bottle of Prosecco and watched Ridiculousness on DVR. Not a bad way to end the day. (Did I forget to DVR the Teen Mom 2 Reunion? Damn it!)

Finally, some photo evidence:

See what I mean about the junk?
My little GQ is 2!

I continue to refuse to cut his hair (even if it casts a shadow on his face, making him appear to be wearing makeup a la a Kiss band member).
A few days prior, with an expression that resembles a smile.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Best Laid Plans...

...Just don't matter at all when you end up with this:

Welcome LJ, born September 27, 2014 at 1:37 a.m. 7 pounds, 15 ounces. The nurse measured him at 22", but I have to say after putting him in a few outfits I did not agree. I measured him the other day and came up with 20.5, which was confirmed at the doctor's office last Thursday.

I love my sweet, sweet, new little monkey. He has probably spent at least 50% of his life so far asleep on my chest (or Mr. E's), and I wouldn't change a thing. Sprout, who will be 2 on Oct 15, gave LJ a kiss on the head today that was not followed by an act of violence. He's a little, um, NOT NICE to babies smaller than he is. We have to keep a sharp eye on him. But today he was pretty good overall, didn't pay too much attention to LJ and hasn't been throwing extra tantrums, really. He helped Mr. E mow the lawn today and it was just the cutest thing.

I've heard people say they couldn't imagine loving their second child as much as their first, until the second child is born. I feel like I need to be careful to love my first (second) as much as my second (third). I have always loved the baby stage, and I am not as much a fan of the toddler stage, so maybe this has something to do with it? Maybe because my first born was here and gone before I got to experience the love you feel when you stare at your sleeping baby, and yet I still loved him more than anyone else? Do I really love Sprout less now that LJ is here? Of course not. But I can't help thinking how nice it would be to not have to chase after a toddler, or watch him like a hawk around the baby. You know, having your first baby is really hard...until you have your second baby and the hard part is still the first baby.

. . .

OK, so here's what happened. My due date is actually October 11. I thought it would be kind of cool for the babies to share a birthday. Not cool for them, maybe, but for me. But I also kind of felt like this one would be a September baby, and that that would be nice for the kiddos because they would have their own birthday month. Call it mother's intuition. My water broke last Thursday night about 8:00. I stood up from the couch and just felt something funny happening. Mr. E was at the store and I was trying to get Sprout to bed, a little late that night (not sure why). I went to the powder room and thought I just lost the mucus plug. But then I realized that my pants were wet in a little spot too. So at this point I kind of know what is happening, but I wasn't aware that it would KEEP HAPPENING for the next few hours. I knew better than to call the doctor. I just wanted to eat dinner, take a shower and sleep in my own bed, rather than spend the night in the hospital having my vagina unnecessarily probed. I assured family members I would call the doctor in the morning. I obliged and called in the morning, and of course they wanted me to come into the office immediately to "get checked," i.e. unnecessarily probed. I rejected the probe repeatedly until the nurse said that if I was not further dilated, she would let me go home for awhile and check in hours later. So I relented, and no, I was not further dilated, because duh, I did not have ANY contractions, and before I could leave we had to check fluid levels via ultrasound and have a non-stress test. Apparently my fluid level was really low, because the tech was quite serious while doing the scan and then opened the door to tell the nurse that I was at 1.8. I did not--and still do not, really--know what that meant, but to the nurse it meant go immediately to the hospital. If your water has not broken, fluid levels are normal within the wide range of 7-24. I think this is centimeters, so the amount that might be sitting in the bottom of a glass if you could measure that way. What I sort of understand from blogs and such, though it was not fully explained to me, is that under 2cm is not so good for the baby. Oh, yes, and the whole time I lied to the nurses and doctors and such, telling them that my water broke around 10pm, instead of 8. What is two hours, really? I just wanted to make it seem more plausible that I would not have called the doctor the night before.

I agreed that I would get to the hospital "in about an hour," and then I went to work for an hour to tie up loose ends (so glad I did that, actually), and then went home to spend some time with Sprout, pack a bag, have some lunch, and finally head over. It's a five-minute drive to the hospital, so I suppose that was also comforting to me, knowing that I would be there in moments when it was time to go. Still not a single contraction, but I could feel the baby moving quite a bit, which was also reassuring. I should also point out that from the time my water broke I was keenly aware that the baby was still moving well, that the fluid was clear and odorless, and that I was GBS negative. So aside from the low fluid issue, I do not see that I was at risk just because my water broke early. Of course at the hospital they have other ideas, which is why I didn't want to go until I absolutely had to. We arrived at 1:00, about 2 hours later than I promised the nurse. Actually, my plan for initially calling the doctor was going to be to wait until 2:00 that day (Friday), since that would be 18 hours after water breaking with no progress. I guess in the end I simply lost an hour and increased the risk of infection by having one unnecessary probe (the one at the office, which would not have changed anything if we had just checked fluid and had the non-stress test first, which I now know to do should there be a future repeat occurrence). Skip to the end, no one got an infection.

So where are we? The hospital was expecting me, so I went right to a delivery room and started the admitting process. The anesthesiologist came to go over all the releases in case I opted for the epidural. He asked when I ate last and said "of course you did" when I replied "right before I showed up." This was not my first rodeo, yeah, of course I did because you people are going to starve me for the next 17 hours. Unfortunately I had had three bites of Sprout's leftover hotdog and a handful of grapes. But I packed snacks, and let me tell you, I was sneaking them up until we started the--spoiler alert--induction.

Basically, I asked to go home to wait for labor to start on its own, the doctor was very serious and said I would have to sign a waiver that would read that the baby could die and since that didn't seem like a worthwhile risk, I finally said, let's start the pitocin and have a baby! And at that point I also said to bring on the pain relief. Which by the way, arrived a little late and I was not prepared this time to go through so many painful contractions. We started pit at 7:30, so about 24 hours after water breaking, and LJ was born 6 hours later. The contractions started picking up about 11, and were really hurting at 11:30, and I don't think I got the epidural until midnight or even after? Who knows? I feel like the anesthesiologist was barely out of the room before I was pushing and delivering the baby. Apparently that is what a good epidural is supposed to do. I could feel and move my legs the whole time, I felt enormous pressure and was unable to keep from pushing a little bit with the contractions, but the cervical pain was not there. I still needed a lidocain shot for the stitches, though, so maybe the epidural didn't quite go far enough? Again, whatever, I much preferred being able to feel and push than with Sprout when I could detect the contractions but that was basically it. Also, I thought you weren't supposed to tear the second time around? Same spot.

What else? Ah yes, there was some drama. I guess when it was time to deliver everything went so fast, the doctor was barely scrubbed in and they did not have time to break the bed, i.e. lower the lower half and put up stirrups. So when LJ's head popped out unaccompanied by the rest of his body, they had to quickly break the bed so the doctor could wiggle his shoulders out. I confirmed with the doctor, who I guess was working the entire weekend because she did the rounds on Sunday morning, that he was without oxygen for only about 20 seconds. But in the meantime they were yelling about breaking the bed, and then yelling at me to push, and I think at one point I didn't even push but I thought I was, then quickly got it back together and just pushed even though there wasn't a contraction and there he was. They placed him on my naked chest, blue and silent, but after rubbing him with the blanket and suctioning his nose and mouth he was breathing and crying and back to being perfect in a matter of moments. Also, in the midst of this, Mr. E shouted "I see balls!": his way of saying, "It's a boy!" What a class act. Makes me laugh though.

I think that covers the birth story. I have a whole new appreciation for intervened-upon birth. I mean, was it really that important that I sit around waiting for labor to start on its own? Clearly my body was not doing it right--only 10% or so of women have their water break before contractions, and then the median time to active labor is 16-17 hours after water breaking. I don't feel bad about this. Sometimes things don't go "right," and that is what medical intervention is for. I do not feel weak that my body didn't it "do it right" this time, I do not feel like something failed me, I do not feel like I should have done something differently. I think I personally could have waited longer for labor to start, and maybe could have avoided the epidural, but again, for what? Healthy mom, healthy baby is an outcome that is hard to have second thoughts about.

. . .

There is so much more to write about...the house, leaving the hospital, maternity leave, a 39-week bump picture (haha)...but I've got to save something for future posts. And, while Sprout still naps, get back to this:

P.S. I totally splurged on this lounge chair ($215 on Wayfair). I couldn't imagine nursing outside in warm and dry fall weather without a comfy place to lounge. This is where I spent most of September 28.

Monday, September 15, 2014

#Microblog Mondays: Yes!

I haven't been dedicating much time to blogging lately, for various and sundry reasons. Tonight as I begin a side project, i.e. paid work, I discover this microblog concept. How perfect! My thought today was that it's true that towards the end of pregnancy I have stopped giving a crap about my job. I didn't bill enough hours today, or last week, or last month, and you know what? I don't care! I'm having a baby in four weeks! (Or fewer.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Somehow three years have gone by since Blue died. He was born August 10, 2011. Two days after he died. No one remembered his birthday this year, and I think I almost forgot, too. Of course that's not really true. But August 8 went by without my really realizing it, and on August 9 I remembered that the next day was Blue's birthday. On August 10 I woke up and immediately started thinking about him, about things that happened that day three years ago, and following, and I cried loud and hard for the first time in a long time. I still miss him so much. I still can't believe how much I can miss someone who was never really here.

And then there's the other three...the third baby inside of me that makes me smile everyday. This baby is so active, more active than Sprout. I see Sprout with his boundless energy now at almost 2 and hope that Three cannot actually be more active at that age! That might put the kibash on having another kid. The third/fourth child that I am already planning, so I am hoping this one is a boy because then I won't have to convince Mr. E to have another. I also think Sprout would like a brother. Then again, I also think it might be wise to just go one at a time here. So a girl would be nice. I love the feeling that either way I do not care, since with Sprout I might have had a hard time with a girl instead of another boy. Although I guess I do care, if I want a boy so that I can have another kid. It would be nice and easy to have two boys born in the same month though. Then we could aim for a spring/summer baby for our girl. Though after three boys, would the odds of a girl still be 50/50? Could we time intercourse? Douche or not douche with household products or whatever?

This pregnancy has been so much less stressful than the last. I am actually enjoying being pregnant, though I have to admit I am not really enjoying being pregnant while parenting a toddler. This shit is exhausting! On top of that, for the past week I have had a cold, with a sore throat and terrible cough. I was waking up at least 5 times per night for a few nights. I am finally on the mend and starting to feel "normal" again--whatever that means at 32 weeks pregnant, with an active toddler, with an underpaying job that I now hate, and with a moldy house that will presumably need a lot of money to fix. Seriously, why do people buy houses? Why did I do this? And why do houses have so many issues when you actually own them, but seemingly none when you only rent them? Once we get the recommended repairs report on the house, we will be talking to a real estate lawyer about the never-any-water-in-the-basement "disclosure" made by the previous homeowners, who were here for 8-9 years. All I know about them is all the ridiculousness we inherited here, and that they moved down the street to the part of the neighborhood with the huge new homes. Today we also received a piece of mail addressed to their "family trust" that was established in 2001. Very. Interesting. So you sell me a mouse-infested, moldy house with probably literally rotting walls, after you cheaped-out some renovations and, for example, called the laminate cabinet doors over the original 1970 cabinets "new maple cabinets," you never cleaned the filthy garage, never refinished floors that had pockmarks and even a decal stuck to them, and never noticed there was water in the basement but somehow it was there the DAY AFTER WE CLOSED...and you have a family fucking trust?

Can you tell I am a LITTLE stressed out about this house situation? And a LOT angry? And feeling somewhat naive, definitely disappointed, that I bought a moldy house. I knew about mold, and I can smell everything. But I never smelled the mold here until we moved in. The house inspector mentioned that the basement crawl space under the house, where there is just a dirt floor with the foundation around it, had high levels of moisture and some evidence of deterioration and "minor" mold. I just thought every basement in Pennsylvania had some "minor" "moisture issues." Basing my opinion on the other houses we were looking at, it was true. But as I was recently told by the construction defect lawyer that I actually do work for (again, what was I thinking here?)--where there is smoke there is fire. So anyway...we are still waiting for the repairs report and I think the waiting is the hardest part because of the uncertainty. I am trying to focus on the fact that we have a beautiful-looking house, with tons of windows, with a great back yard and a fence that actually isn't falling apart, and a great layout, and a two-car attached garage, and four great bedrooms, and lovely wood floors (because I had them refinished) in the entire house except the bathrooms, and a neighborhood with other beautiful houses and big old trees and shade and a park a block away with a playground and basketball and tennis courts and a huge resident red-tailed hawk that I also love. I just wish we had tons of money to fix all the stuff we want to fix, and clean all the stuff we want to clean (without doing it ourselves), and then this wouldn't be so bad after all. Should I open the family trust statement?

The silver lining right now is that in this pregnancy...I just saw the OB on Tuesday and apparently...I did not gain any weight over the past 4 weeks. Which the nurse said is fine and I agree. But ya know, just in case, I just had two Magnum infinity chocolate bars, and I am considering having a third. (Coming full circle with the title of this post--three years, three babies, three ice cream bars.) Yeah, the name of a frickin' ice cream bar is Magnum Infinity. I'll let you decide what you think that name is better suited for.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The 25-Week Challenge

My due date with Blue was a Saturday, and it is a Saturday again this time. Today is the Wednesday of my 25th week, which means it is the exact day of the pregnancy and same day of the week that I delivered Blue. I am only intellectually aware of this...I'm not especially sad today. I had to drive a bit for work today, which is when I often think and cry on any regular day, but today nothing happened. I even thought that maybe I could forget his birthday, and said the date out loud. August 10th. It is still strange to me, after almost three years now, that I really never know when grief will "visit." This is the word used by others, and seems to be a theme on the blogs this past week, like we are all hitting a grief milestone in our pregnancies at the same time, no matter how different our original stories are. So yeah, I'll be having a perfectly good day and suddenly sob, sob sob. Or days like today come and go without a tear, and I only remind myself that I ought to be quite sad.

I guess I am distracted. The house...It's a mess. And not just because half our stuff is not put away. We have mice. And ants. And I almost positive mold, but have not done anything about that yet. This is why I never wanted to buy a house before I was 37. We have to do some remediation in the finished basement, where we know there is moisture damage to the old paneling in the utility rooms, and I know there is mold because when the AC kicks on the house smells musty on the first floor. Darn pregnancy nose. I hope this is extra-strong, extra mold-like-smell-detecting nose, because I hope it will not always be the case that I can barely breathe in my dining room. The lawn is a jungle of grass and weeds. Mr. E bought a push mower, but hasn't put it together yet. He borrowed the neighbor's gasoline mower last weekend and it took him an hour and a half to mow the lawn. We're not sure how he's going to come up with like eight hours a week to mow the lawn twice right now since the grass is growing like crazy. Also, I think I need to weed the curb line? No one else's curb has weeds. Seriously. We should have thought twice about buying a house in this perfect little neighborhood where only a few of the wives work and people pay others to do the major upkeep tasks. Oh, except the prior homeowners to our place. The guy was a lot less capable than he thought. We had a painter redo the entire interior (I actually love this part--our colors look fantastic), we have a plumber to reinstall the kitchen faucet that is crooked and leaks out the bottom, we need an electrician to fix the shoddy electrical work (should I be worried about the risk of fire?), oh and we also had the plumber install a saw pipe on the water heater because there was no pressure release outlet. If you don't have this your water heater could explode and damage your house in a major way, which is exactly what happened to a co-worker recently. So we paid $125 for a guy to spend 30 seconds attaching a pipe to the place where the pipe goes. But we couldn't quite figure it out ourselves, so oh well. Anyway, there are so many great things about this house and the yard and the neighborhood. Last night Sprout went over the fence to play with the next-door neighbors' visiting grandkids who are 6 and 8. It was really cute. These are the same neighbors who lent us the lawnmower and who brought us homemade chocolate cookies and a book for Sprout the day we moved in. This place is really great, I am just overwhelmed with the magnitude of the problems we have discovered in just the first week of living here.

I need to be more positive generally but I am just so exhausted all the time. I don't know how to be pregnant, work, take care of a 20-month-old, be a wife, eat regular meals, unpack shit in the house, literally clean up shit (mouse turds in my silverware drawer--awesome!) in the house, call the exterminator, call the plumber, call the electrician, call the basement demo/mold guys, PAY FOR ALL OF THIS, and still have a modicum of energy or sanity remaining. Work has been a bit crazy lately, which is a good thing and keeps me more positive there because I don't have time to think about the crappy parts, but it's been more demanding recently and that is just not good timing. Also, Mr. E turns 30 and we can't just do nothing for such an important birthday so we are somehow hosting a BBQ on Saturday with about 20 adults plus kids. Mostly family and a very few, very close friends who are lending us a grill, bringing a dish or drink to share, and will all forgive us if they have nowhere to sit but the ground. I want to bake cake for my husband's special birthday, but he said "don't do that to yourself...don't do that to me." Ouch. I love to bake and I am good at it, but he is right that life is just too crazy right now to add more extraneous activity. And the only thing I can think of is that I only have one kid, and whatever will this be like when there is a second, or what I am hoping for eventually, a third, or even a fourth.

OK, so week 25 has been challenging in many ways. I didn't even take the 25-week-challenge picture until today, which is three days late. Did my belly grow in the past three days? Probably. The photo evidence:

 Oops, wrong side.

 2012 with Sprout:

2011 with Blue:

(This photo really isn't fair, it looks like it was taken from slightly behind me. How could I be 25 weeks pregnant in this picture?)

Let's compare 3/4 and front views, now and with Blue:

Geez, Louise! I am sad again about not being first-time-tiny pregnant lady. Of course I wanted to look pregnant so much sooner with Blue. I am also getting kicked in the ribs already, which was definitely not happening the first time around, so it's true there are things you just can't help. It's also still true that I haven't gotten a wide-ass this pregnancy, like I did with Sprout. I can actually wear the green pants again at this point. I even weigh a few pounds less than I did with Blue. (Mr. E pointed out that difference is probably due to less muscle mass--what a dick!--although looking at the pictures I think I have to agree with him). My point is that I am probably the most pregnant-looking yet most petite this time--the cutest of my pregnant mes at this point. Let's just leave it at that!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Catching Up, Sort Of

Fine, everything is totally fine! We are just closing on our new house, trying to figure out what the heck to do with a new house, then moving into it, my job still sucks and I actually have to work this weekend--hence I am finally blogging about the past six weeks--and, etc., etc.

There are a few things, and by that I mean thoughts, emotions and serious topics, that I would like to adress, but I am actually trying to work right now and need to get back to that and we were at a wedding last night until 1 a.m., which was totally fun but I am really beat except I am up on the computer at 10:34 on a Saturday night and trying to write legal documents and I really needed my Friday afternoon to work on this legal document except we had to go to the wedding and then this morning we were participating in a yard sale and we finally got our crap on a table like two hours after the yard sale started and after our friends dropped off their six-month-old for us to watch for the day and the kids only napped at the same time for 6.35 minutes so I didn't get to work during the day and have to do it now so I didn't get to go to bed at 8:30 like I really wanted to and by now you probably get the idea on why I have not been blogging recently.

So, anyway, let me just say this:

OMG, the camera totally lies, you guys! I did not actually look like this at 20 weeks:
Wait, I am actually sucking in in that one. Here's another one:
The fact that they look almost the same proves my point. I do not look not pregnant. (And yes, I know, hotel bathroom and selfies should not be used in the same sentence. But for the sake of tradition, I didn't want to miss 20 weeks to the day.)
TTYL...maybe after my glucose test...

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Not All the Neurosis Is Gone

I'm 16 weeks pregnant. I did a bow pose in yoga this morning. Did I smoosh my baby? (Like, to death?) After the belly sequence the instructor said if anyone (ahem) was pregnant and he didn't know it, she probably didn't want to do bow pose. But I practice yoga frequently and I know the variation for bow pose is camel--which I hate usually--and honestly I just listened to my body and it felt fine and so I did a bow pose for 5 breaths. But now I'm kind of freaking out. I THINK I've felt the baby move since then? I have been feeling little jabs for a little over a week now, typically about once or twice per day. So not regularly. Not reliably enough to say for sure that I felt the baby move and everything is fine. But if I stop and think about it...I know it's fine. I'm barely showing and again, I didn't feel a speck of discomfort while getting into, out of, and while in the pose. I found this on Yoga Journal:
"In the second trimester, when the energy often feels enhanced by the pregnancy and the body, although swollen, is not uncomfortably large yet, stronger backbends may feel expansive and juicy. If you practiced Ustrasana (Camel Pose), low lunges, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose), or even Urdhva Dhanurasana (Backbend, Upward Facing Bow Pose) before you became pregnant, they can now be incorporated into a sequence."

I like it--expansive and juicy. Oh wait, that says upward facing bow pose, i.e. wheel. Damn it! Although regular bow pose "can feel invigorating" in the first trimester, which was only 3 weeks ago. I know there are many instructors who recommend no inversions while pregnant or menstruating, and frankly that just doesn't resonate with me at all. Headstands feel awesome when pregnant and can be done safely when they have been part of your practice for a long time. With my first pregnancy I was still lying on my belly and doing belly poses, albeit NOT bow pose, until 24 weeks. So anyway, here I am going on and on and on and f'ing on!

Would I be this neurotic about it if I hadn't lost my first baby? Although not because of yoga/activity/falling off my bike at 18 weeks (true story). I guess it's the thought that I could have done something wrong? But I really think all is well? If I could be sure that would be nice. Should I invite myself to the hospital for a very expensive heart-rate check? I have an appointment on Monday morning thankfully. Sigh...this is exhausting! I'm going to confine myself to bed rest and a feeding tube for the next 24 weeks. Right after I eat the raw milk cheese I bought today.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sprout Photo Dump

Aaaand, cue the high-pitched screaming part of toddlerdom. My perfect angel baby has gone to the dark side. But you'd never know it based on these pics:

These are now (and probably always will be) unretouched. Sorry about the boogs. Sprout already takes after his dad when it comes to posing for a picture--uhhh, OK, look awkward and creepy...cheese?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Officially Acting Like a Grown Up (Not My Kid, Me)

Darn "beautifully formatted" chart! I give up. I'm sorry the last column is illegible because of the graphic arrangement on the page. I'm just saying no to perfection here. Anyways, I need to update the number of puking episodes with this pregnancy. I randomly threw up after dinner last night. Maybe it was the Easter candy, but I didn't think I was overdoing it. Feeling kind of crappy again today, but we are out of all sodas except diet 7up and the diet thing isn't sounding good right now. And does 7up have sodium benzoate in it? Crap! I just checked...potassium benzoate. No more citrus sodas for me until the total cessation of my childbearing and breastfeeding years. :( Anyway, almost all past episodes across pregnancies were true morning sickness, which is way less gross, as it turns out, than having something to throw up. Sorry for being graphic, but Mr. E was out playing poker last night and there was no one to commiserate with me.

Not that two weeks between blog posts is abnormal for me, but I actually have a good excuse this time--we bought a house!! I possibly NEVER thought I would say that. I don't like being tied down. Yes, marriage was a HUGE and in some ways unexpected step as well. I don't like having to let go of fantasies of moving all around the country and even the world to live in new places. I feel like such a grown up. I wish I were feeling a LITTLE more stable in my job, but I am cobbling together more hours and it's highly unlikely that I will be staring down a lay-off by the end of this year or early next year. I also have this grand idea for Mr. E to start a food truck, so maybe there will be that.

Here's a picture of the house. I totally, totally love it, which was something I could not say during months of house hunting, until we found this gem:

2910 Fairfield Drive, Allentown, PA You can't really tell from the picture, but it is vinyl siding, which is also something I never thought I would say about a house I would say that I loved. I'm an all-brick kind of girl. Also, the front yard is really not as big as it seems, and it's in a city neighborhood, even though it looks like it's all along in the country. In fact, the interstate is very close. And very loud. But you can't see it. Everyone tells me we will adapt to the constant whooshing noise within a week. It's 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, all wood floors in every single room (when we started looking at new construction--which this is not--the most bitter pill to swallow was all the carpeting), and has a fabulous fenced-in back yard with new Trex deck and brick (hooray!) patio. I'm so excited we found something older and I'm proud of us for not succumbing to the suburbs. No judgment there, I totally see the advantages, it's just not the right place for us. We were pretty close to choosing suburban new construction though. I'm so excited! We close June 20 and will move that weekend. Now, the big question is, professional movers, or pizza and beer bros? Then the next big question is, crap, how are we going to pay for all the new stuff we need????? Lawnmower, grill, deck furniture, new baby furniture (Sprout's crib, which I suddenly hate and which he has scraped all the finish off of with his teeth, will become his toddler bed), area rugs, a bigger TV of course, furniture for an extra room and guest bedroom, the list goes on. Seriously, how do people do it? Oh, I forgot to mention the best part, aside from the attached garage and laundry that is not in the basement...we are two blocks from a huge park. We're talking tennis courts, basketball courts, ballfields, of course a playground for the kids. I am in heaven! If only I could ride my bike to my favorite yoga studio. The house we were eying in that part of town sold two days before our showing. I feel better knowing that we probably did the same thing to people eying our new house. (Just kidding. Ish.)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Then, Then and Now (New and Improved)**

We got fabulous news last week: MaterniT21 results came back negative! The little bean--who remains un-nicknamed--is A-OK when it comes to chromosomes. We have decided not to find out the sex of the baby this time, but in that moment on the phone with the genetic counselor, when I could know, I was suddenly DYING to know! After a few minutes, a few hours, a whole day, a whole week, I do not need to know again. It will be fun this way. And we can always change our minds with a simple phone call.

It amazes me how different this pregnancy is from the other two, while at the same time being similar in many ways as well. I've prepared this comparison chart for your reference:

  1. Blue 2. Sprout 3. Baby 3
Pre-pregnancy weight 141 136 136?
Maternal weight at 1st/2nd appt. 141/140 138/138 138/137
Maternal weight at birth 150 (25 w, 3 d) 160? 162? (38, 4) hoping to keep it under 165 again
Nausea, on a scale of 1-10 8 3 7
Puking, # of episodes 3 10? 4
Latest puking episode 9 or 10 weeks? 22 weeks 10 weeks
Fatigue, 1-10 6 5 8
Food aversions? don't think so yogurt not really
Food cravings? sour & salty sour & salty sour & salty
What? lemonade, rye bread, pudding lemonade, bagels, grapefruit juice, potato chips lemonade, labne,french fries/chips, gummi bears^
Boy or girl? boy boy ?? #
Zits? no no yes
Wide ass? no yes no
Moodiness? no no yes
Headaches? yes no no
Started showing/ getting funny looks at my belly      
22 weeks 17 weeks not yet
Capable of wearing normal clothes at 25 weeks?      
yes shirts, but not pants we shall see
Anxiety that something would go wrong in pregnancy, 1-10      
  3 10 5
Anxiety over life changes generally, 1-10 10 1 4

Suggestions? What would you like to see in the (now beautifully formatted) chart?

** This blog post actually IS both new and improved. Contrary to what Chris Rock believes, it is possible in certain contexts. 
*10 is not HG, but the most severe of "normal" nausea
^ I have repeatedly craved gummi bears and I bought some but have yet to actually eat them
# twice as I have been filling out this chart I wrote "boy" for Baby 3, but I don't really have a "feeling" either way

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Coming Clean

I should probably admit that my zen-like state about not getting pregnant when I wanted to was actually achieved by getting pregnant.

I am sorry to spring this on you if you are not in a good place. The only thing that makes me feel better about other people's pregnancy announcements, still, is being pregnant myself apparently. I've attended a baby shower, made up with my SIL, and listened to stories about my secretary's three pregnant nieces without losing my mind. I still stare at the bellies of visibly pregnant women and get pissed when I read tabloid headlines about "Baby Joy." And I realize that as other people's pregnancies are grief triggers for me, so are my own pregnancies. When I first found out I was pregnant, I thought about Blue a lot, and had some very sad times. Wishing so badly that he were here too. The grief has subsided again a bit, but I still think of him a lot more than I had been before getting pregnant.

I am 11 weeks now and just had the NT scan in which everything looked good. We caught the little bean cuddling his/her umbilical cord and we got some really cute 3D pictures. I had the MaterniT21 test and will get results later next week. I really don't even want to hear the results, but I suppose I will have painted myself in a corner if I say I terminated for the sake of the baby the first time, but then didn't give another baby that same consideration. It's much more complicated than that, I know. And of course, my breath will be bated until the baby is born alive and kicking and screaming anyway. BUT, it's really not that bad this time. I am NOT THAT SCARED this time around. I am not naive, like I sometimes wish I were, but I don't freak out every day about what could be going wrong.

So there you have it. I will be blogging more about this pregnancy, but not exclusively about pregnancy. If the past few weeks are any indication I will not be blogging much at all.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Back in PA

We survived a week without Sprout! And so did Sprout, and so did our parents! We spent a week driving around Colorado to see friends and ski/snowboard. Mr. E has now spent 7 days on skis and can respectfully go down groomed black trails. I spent a day and a half on skis, with that first half day spent futilely trying to uncross my skis. I hadn't skied in two years, and it showed. I just need to be competent enough to ski with Sprout next year. Forcing my way down a blue trail is good enough, right? Luckily I am good at snowboarding and there was no new snow so I didn't feel the urge to ditch Mr. E. Much. Actually, fumbling around on skis reminded me of how difficult it was for me to learn to snowboard, and I can't even believe that I stuck with it long enough to actually learn how! I am also one of those intense people about sports who has NO FUN until some level of mastery has occurred. I took a few surfing lessons in summer/fall of 2010, and one day I had a "substitute" instructor who just wasn't as good as the guy I usually had and who didn't really understand my learning style. There weren't a lot of waves that day, so we sat around talking a lot about rock climbing, but every now and then he would push me into a wave and I would get all pissed for not catching it. At one point he asked me, "Well, are you having fun?" And I just gave him this look of death, thinking, "I'm trying to learn how to surf, I'm not here to have any fucking fun." I mean, really, who has fun learning hard sports?

Anyway, it was great to catch up with friends and spend some time outside and not think about work, except for the daily "check the Blackberry," which required only a handful of responses and no panicking. Apparently we are due for another snow storm and I may not have work on Monday again. I will have to go in this weekend to pick up some things to do from home. I guess.

Oh right, so we got home late last night and Sprout was sleeping. I wanted to peek in at him but it was too dark in his room of course and I kicked a few toys that made noise so I just ran out before he could actually wake up. I was disproportionately disappointed that I couldn't see my sleeping baby for another few hours. This morning we went into his room together and Mr. E took a video. Sprout looked at us confused for a few seconds, then cried kinda hard, then let me pick him up and hold him for a minute. He didn't want to go to Mr. E but then he warmed up and scrambled to get down and do his normal toddler thing. He was a little more affectionate today I think. He had to go down for a morning nap, which apparently my parents did not give him but I don't know how because he was already super crabby by 10:00 or so. I guess he will be catching up on sleep now that we're back. Fine with me.

.  .  .

In other blog news, I feel the need to clarify how I went from obsessing about getting pregnant again to meh-no-news-is-not-bad-news-at-least. I just lost the energy to be so anxious about it all the time. I put myself in the position to feel bad about stuff when I really should just brush it off. Like a month ago, I was at the hair salon and it was like Pregnant Lady Day at the salon. And every pregnant woman there was asked about her pregnancy of course, and her last pregnancy and how quickly she got pregnant again and how the next kid will be more spaced out and on and on about perfect little pregnancies. It just reminded me that I still have these feelings of grief that sometimes manifest as generally "icky" feelings. And once I feel that way, especially about conversations I would seek to avoid but were rather imposed upon me, I just start to feel worse and worse instead of recognizing my grief as what it is, and allowing myself to honor it and honor Blue but not let the ickiness take over. So here's to a reduction in ickiness!!! Who doesn't want that?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Somebody's Bakin' Blondies

What a horrible title for that last post! No wonder hardly anyone has read it. I had to write again sooner than I may have wished, just to redeem myself as someone with at least a modicum of something interesting to say! Not that I should be raising the bar of expectation for this or any forthcoming posts.

Snow day, again! Guess who is at work today and who is not? Right, I'm at home, and Mr. E is working at the hospital. I have a pile of work to do, which I thought I was going to do because Mr. E was going to pick up my mom this morning and bring her over to watch Sprout while I worked. You know this plan goes awry because I am blogging (and baking blondies) instead of working while Sprout takes a nap babbles in his crib. The whole reason why Mr. E works one weekday a month instead of two weekend days is so that I'm not home alone on weekends with Sprout and feeling like I never get a break. So maybe today is not really like that, since I am home as a bonus, but I am so annoyed that Mr. E's workday has to collide with another snow day!!! So! Annoyed!!! There are still hours to bill, there is still shit I need to get done. Which I can't, and won't today, because my mom didn't come over at 9 like she said she would when she declined to get picked up at 7:30 this morning. Actually, I'm just really bummed that I am here and Mr. E is not. He works two days a stinkin' month! I wanted to have family day. And French toast for breakfast. (So I didn't really want to work...the truth comes out.)

No real news to report...glad I am cycling...sad I have no news to report.

I will just share what I am baking today:
Blondies from Amy's Bread. This wouldn't be my baking experience without a few modifications. I use pecans instead of walnuts. They are so much better. I served toasted pecans as a snack to my father-in-law one time and he kept saying, "These walnuts are so good. I didn't think I like walnuts, but these are delicious!" That's because they were pecans. Use them.

* Need a 12 x 17 inch pan. This is called a baker's half sheet.

4 Cups unbleached All Purpose Flour
2 1/4 TSP Baking Powder
1 TSP Kosher Salt
2 Cups unsalted Butter, melted
3 1/2 Cups Dark Brown Sugar
4 Large Eggs
1 1/3 TSP. Vanilla Extract
2 Cups + 2 TBSP Semisweet chocolate chips
2 3/4 Cups toasted walnuts pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 12 X 17 inch pan with softened butter or vegetable shortening. Cover with parchment paper.
2. In medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk together. I never do this, I just add to the big bowl when ready.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter and brown sugar, stir to combine then allow the butter to cool slightly before continuing. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla. I whisk the eggs and vanilla together, then stir into the big bowl.
4. Fold the flour mixture into the sugar mixture and stir until it is almost combined then add 1/4 of the chocolate and walnuts pecans and fold them into the batter. Sometimes I put all the stuff into the batter, instead of sprinkling on top.
5. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips evenly on top of bars. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 325 and bake for 16 – 21 minutes, turning half way through front to back. This whole temperature switch never seeemed to make a difference, and I find that these have to bake way longer in your home oven than a commercial oven. Watch for golden browning on the top and edges. They are usually best baked when I think they've gone a little too long...but they haven't. If you like gooey, uncooked centers (what are you, a barbarian?), then you don't have to worry about extra baking time and the time stated in the recipe may work for you.
6. Allow the Blondies to cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into 25 bars. Cut the bars into any size you want.

Today I do not have enough brown sugar, so I am using the rest of my brown and then using white. I also use a scale to weigh instead of measure my ingredients and I highly recommend this practice!! I may not have enough eggs but I haven't checked yet. I don't have pecans, and though I do have walnuts, I think I will leave out the nuts this time. I would have walked across the street to the grocery store that is literally across the street, but I can't today because nobody came over to help me take care of Sprout and I am somewhat helpless alone with a toddler all day.

Happy Baking!!!! And eating. That is the real reason why I love to bake sweets.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Death and Travel

Lately on my mind is how the significant and memorable events in my life have involved death or travel. Sometimes both at the same time (my grandmother died while Mr. E and I were in Lake Placid for our honeymoon.) I first dealt closely with death when two close friends, Audrey and Jon, died in a car accident. It was Audrey's 14th birthday. Jon died the next day. He was pronounced brain dead at the hospital and his family removed him from life support. I was at the hospital that day. I saw his bloated body, practically unrecognizable, living and breathing only thanks to machines. I sat with his sister, whom I knew separately because we danced together. On Audrey's golden birthday--September 14th--she was a passenger in a car driven by her older brother, a car that crashed into a tree going 90 miles an hour on a windy country road. I always wondered what that was like for her parents. How could they not hate their son for that? Which is also a terrible thought to have.

My mom thinks I started to engage in risky behavior after Jon and Audrey died. I guess she didn't recognize that I was already starting to do that. Sometimes I agree with her though. Maybe there was a correlation, if not causation. At any rate...this is something that I remember so well. The experience of seeing death so closely at a young age, and losing friends so young as well, changed how I saw the world and how I dealt with death. Certainly I recognize how this has made me more compassionate to others experiencing the death of a loved one. I get so emotional at funerals, even if I was not close with the decedent, because I see and feel the pain their loved ones are feeling. I will never forget what it was like to see Audrey and Jon's parents after the accident. Even seeing them years later...and knowing that hole in their lives was still there.

I've noticed since Blue's death that the people who have lost a loved one are much better at witnessing and talking about death and grief and losing a child. They didn't need to lose a pregnancy or a living child themselves. But if they lost a parent or a sibling, they knew what to say and what not to say. I'm sorry for their losses and their experiences, but I am grateful for their support and understanding. Blue's death has been by far the most difficult experience I have had, and sometimes even now I can't believe I have survived.

When I think of what's happened to me in my life, the next thing that comes to mind as significant in my life are road trips and plane trips and sites and sights seen. Croatia and Peru are the two trips I've taken recently (2009 and 2010--been busy with other important things actually recently!) that were so awesome and of which I am proud. Proud for going there and planning everything on our own and making the adventures happen. In 2003 I took a road trip of the Canadian Rockies and Pacific Northwest for two months on my own. I lived out of my VW Jetta, camping and staying with friends along the way. I think that trip shaped the way I see the world today as well. I have so many amazing stories from that trip. After that I lived in the mountains in Colorado and while visiting a friend in Utah for a few days, made a new friend with whom I traveled to Hawaii for three weeks the following autumn. That too was an awesome adventure that produced great stories. I miss it!!! If I could change anything about now, it would be putting travel back in my life, even with a 15-month-old and desire for more kids. Although I think I feel more held back from traveling by having to work in a meaningful job that makes me enough money, than by having a toddler. Any advice? I don't especially love being a lawyer, but it does pay the bills better than living out of your car.

My parents are going to Africa in July to visit friends in Namibia, and they have invited all of us kids and our kids. Such an amazing opportunity but I don't think we can swing it. Damn job and billable hours requirement! For now Mr. E and I have planned a ski trip this month, just the two of us, while Sprout hangs with his grandparents. (Maybe if this hadn't already been planned before we knew about Africa, we would have gone to Africa without Sprout instead of Colorado.) I am nervous about this though! Sprout knows them well and doesn't cry when they watch him and put him to bed (unlike what he does for the babysitters). But I worry about them paying enough attention to him, being able to pull him up out of the bathtub, feeding him when he's being fussy. He's such a good little guy and he won't give them any extra trouble...but 16-month-olds are a lot of work for 70-year-olds, right?? Just for now I am regretting not having kids my parents could be younger. I'm just hoping no one ends up scarred from this experience! We are already planning on taking Sprout on the 2015 ski trip. Since 2-year-olds can ski. :)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Painting Rainbows

I haven't been pregnant now for 15 months, and I think it's time get Sprout's tattoo. It will go on my inner upper left arm, close to my heart. Blue's tattoo is on the inside of my right wrist, on the pulse point.

Yesterday I painted rainbows...Which one should I pick?

Congratulations and welcome all the new rainbows and rainbows to come in 2014...especially the little brother of Blue Sunday.