Monday, July 23, 2012

sweet sick b

I'm so tired I wasn't sure I should be driving B to the doctor's office this morning.  I think J may be even more wiped out than I am and he has to do really complicated things at work. I'm pretty sure his job involves physics and other echelons of higher math I don't pretend to understand.

B is sick.

Coughing, sneezing, congested, labored breathing - the works.

I've been calm about it, which proves that months of weekly counseling is doing some good.  I've been Miss Casual: kids get colds, he'll be fine soon, no big deal.  I'll just take him to the doctor Monday morning so we can make sure all is fine.

And it is fine, let me assure you in case you're feeling a rising sense of panic.

I just didn't hear what I expected to this morning.

I expected a quick look over along with a "everything's fine, be on your way."

I did not expect his doctor to say, "this looks like first presentation of asthma."

Ah, shoot.  Seriously?

It's really hard to diagnose one so little with asthma so we're doing the watch and wait thing, but the fact that B is a very allergic baby makes a future asthma diagnosis likely.

I knew asthma was a possibility if we didn't get his allergies under control and heal his gut.  I thought keeping him on a strict diet - no dairy, no wheat, no eggs, no nuts - would prevent this.  I guess this is another lesson in how little one can control.

B received a breathing treatment at the doctor's office.  I hope it helps.  I can hear him coughing in his crib right now, but he's not waking up or crying.  I don't know how I feel about the breathing treatments.  We researched expectorants last night because we assumed that was the path the doctor would take this morning.  I'm so tired I'm willing to use the breathing treatments for now and once I have a second to think (life is so busy right now) I may take B back to our naturopath and get her opinion.

Honestly I'm having one of those days where I'm just glad he's alive.  Inhalers and breathing treatments don't matter so long as B is here to wail and protest when they are given to him. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

online support group

I'm done in.  B is congested out the wazoo.  I don't know if it's because he's teething or if we've been served a double whammy of evil via teething and a summer cold.  Last night J and I alternated sleeping sitting up with him in arms.  He choked and coughed if we set him down.  It was awful.  And tonight is looking like more of the same.

This afternoon J's family and I spoke to his sister via Skype.  She and her husband, along with their two little ones, are serving as missionaries in Papua New Guinea.  How crazy is this life that we can talk to someone, and see their face while doing so, who is something like 4,000 miles away?

It got me to thinking about an online support group.  Wouldn't it be great to chat with a few people - and see who they are - about grief and loss every month?  Now to do this would require a bit - to video conference with more than one person costs a bit whereas the basic Skype package is free, but it's only a few dollars a month.  And only one person has to own the premium package - i.e. me.

Before I go much further with this idea, what do you think?  Would you be interested?  Or is this one of those sleep deprived ideas that sounds good only because I've slept far too little in the past two weeks?

Friday, July 20, 2012

boots part two

This morning I went to Nordstrom's because they were having their anniversary sale.  I fell in love with a pair of boots.

Deep, mad love.

I told the sales clerk I was looking for a tall flat soled boot in brown.  Then I picked a mid calf boot with a bit of a heel.

They were marked down to $147.00 from $225.00 so I bought them.  Then I came home and stared at these boots online (mentioned by b. wilson, thank you!).

I wanted to try them on in store but they didn't have them because they are "last season and not even floating around the stock room anymore."

Same company.

But the ones online are flat, which is what I originally wanted.

But I LOVE the ones I bought today.

I want them both, which would give J a coronary (um, I may have bought a pair of skinny jeans today too).

Which would you choose?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

boot money

J has been asking what I want for my birthday.  In 16 days I'll be 29 and I haven't been able to come up with a thing I want.

Until this morning when I thought of boots.

Guys, I have wanted boots for forever.  Every girl has a pair of boots in her closet right?  It's an essential item and I've never found a pair I love enough to buy.  And I've never felt ready for boots, but with all my dress wearing this summer I think I'm ready.  Boots seem so simple but I am a really, really boring dresser.  Let me put it in context for you: I have ONE pair of heels, okay, and they're black.

I've been talking about buying boots for years.  When J receives my "I want boot money for my birthday email" he is going to smack his head repeatedly on the long desk in his office.

So why am I bothering to write all this out?

Because I need help.  I want to buy the perfect pair of boots that will last a long time and go with everything I own.  Including the pair of skinny jeans I am SO buying this fall.  And I am blessed with a little boy who won't let me shop for five hours straight as I hunt down the perfect boots.

I'm thinking brown, not black.  Tall, definitely tall.  None of this ankle business.

I kinda like these:

What say you?

Side thought: I hope I'm not giving you guys whiplash with this blog.  One day I'm writing about Bennett, the next Charlotte, the next both of them, followed by a recipe, followed by a house project followed by complete fluffiness (see: what I wrote today).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I discovered that B is really good at independent play yesterday morning.  He didn't sleep well last night, he wouldn't nap and I was frustrated.  After putting him in his crib for a little while (he talked for a bit and then began screaming at the top of his lungs) I brought him into the living room to play, but I ignored him. He crawled all over playing happily by himself while I put my feet up and watched a few minutes of the Bachelorette (seriously, mom of the year award).

It was one of those end of the rope moments.  It was either let him skip his morning nap and limit my interaction with him or go crazy trying to settle him down.  This is a LONG week with J working late two nights in a row and the people I have in place to help me stay sane and break up the day are either out of town or sick.

B's second set of teeth are coming in which is making life miserable for all.  I'm struggling with my patience and attitude right now.  I really want another little one, but I feel like I can barely manage B and his business most days.

This morning we got lucky with a trip to the library for story time with friends.  While there we heard a puppet show was starting just after story time so we hustled over to check it out.  We didn't make it through the whole show, but it was fun to watch for a few minutes.

Standing, waiting for story time to start. Pardon my Toms

I can't believe B is almost a year.  I can't believe this is where we landed after all this time.  As we were waiting for the puppet show to start a mom sitting in front of me asked how old B is.  I said, "10 months."

She responded, "Mine's 11 months!  Is this your first?"

I smiled.  "Yes, this is my first."

B is not my only, no, never that, but he is the first baby I am raising.

I don't bring Charlotte up like I used to.  I don't feel the need to declare my status as a mother to one who is gone like I used to.  She has settled into my bones.  I can feel her.  I know she's there.  I don't need every person on earth to know about her.  The ones who matter do.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

encouragement needed

image from here

This afternoon I received an email from a fellow loss mama.  Quite frankly, it broke my heart.  This line in particular made my heart hurt:

The truth is, I just really need to hear from others that it's ok to be sad at 3 months and that there is no timeline. (I believe that, but it's hard when so many people think I should be just fine now).

That right there is why I wrote a book on what to do after your baby dies.  I wish it was done (we're close) so I could send it to her.  I hate that people feel so alone and isolated after their baby dies.  I hate that we are expected to be over a loss so huge it's incomprehensible; to sit and think about it breaks one wide open.

I want her to know the following:

There is no timeline.  There isn't a right or wrong way to grieve.  Three months out is a very, very raw time still and sadness is appropriate and understandable.  You will never be over the loss of your son.  He will always be with you.  Your grief will change, your sadness will wax and wane, but you will never, ever be over it.  Over it doesn't happen when your baby dies.

Will you be the others?  Will you join me in lifting this mama up and coming together as a community to reassure and love her?

Here is her blog address if you want to read more about her story and see pictures of her sweet Samuel.

so good

This is going to be one of those annoying I'm gardening!! posts.  Apologies in advance.

But first: Yes, @Hope's Mama, this is the Pacific Northwest summer.  We wear jackets and sweaters sometimes during the summer because the weather isn't always warm.  And we spent our weekend away on the Washington state coast, which is quite chilly (it didn't get above 70°F (21°C) during the day).  This week our warmest day is predicted at 83°F (28.3°C).  And it nearly always cools down enough at night that a sweater or jacket is required.


We have SO much food in our garden right now.  I love selecting our food for dinner from the backyard. When I did the weekly shop J asked, "is that really all we need?"  And I was able to say, "yep, everything else is outside."  Oh my stars, it's exciting!  I know I'm a little bit (a lot?) lame for finding gardening so exciting, but I've never watched food grow.  I'm learning a lot, some of which I probably should have known before I was 28 (almost 29 - yikes!).

For dinner I've been serving a main dish as well as lettuce, carrots and zucchini from the garden.  Last night we harvested and ate the first potatoes.  I season the carrots, zucchini and potatoes with whatever spices will go with our meal (suggestions: olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary or olive oil, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning or olive oil, salt, pepper, smoked paprika) and then bake or grill them (oven at 425°, bake 20 minutes then broil until crispy if you like, for the grill 15 minutes or so does the trick).

I haven't had great luck with the zucchini but the carrots were amazing in the oven and on the grill and the potatoes were perfect after a fifteen minute stint on the grill.  It's simple and easy and good for us.  I love it.

A year ago I said I would never garden, that it just wasn't for me.  Now I'm gardening (with lots of help from J) and making a lot of what we eat from scratch.  Last night I made pulled pork sliders on homemade whole wheat buns.

It was easy and really good.  You should try it!  Here's the recipes:

Pulled Pork - the great thing about pulled pork is that I can make a big batch and freeze portions for later use.  The pork we ate tonight was originally made three months ago.

Homemade Hamburger Buns - also makes great rolls.  I used whole wheat flour instead of all purpose.  And I just used water instead of making an egg wash.

And if you don't have a garden, use veggies from the store.  And if you would rather not make the buns, buy them from the store.  It will still be delicious.

I am starting to believe cooking should be fun.  I am starting to say I hate cooking less.  And I love that B is growing up playing on the floor at my feet while I cook and bake.


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