Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2012

food: mostly dinner

My prayers of late have focused on serving my family with love and joy.  Bah, I'm not very good at it.  I've been on the computer and my phone less, watching less "My Fair Wedding with David Tutera" (why did no one tell me of this show?!), reading less, sitting on the couch eating chocolates less, and doing more housework, cooking, laundry, and cleaning. The other night I made  J made a new recipe.  I just found it online.  It was really good and J was so happy I came up with something new he fell to the ground and wept.  Not really, but I think he wanted to.  I'm so lucky that he is willing to cook after working all day.  And that he is patient with my cooking skills, or lack thereof.  We eat a lot of the same, because I don't like making new recipes (usually involves a meltdown) and I have no kitchen confidence. I'm content knowing I cook with few processed foods, but I think J would like a week where I don't prepare spaghetti.  Speaking of proc

photos and a laughing baby video!

Three Two   Loves hanging upside down. Lots of tick, tock, baby clock around here lately. This darn rash makes me itchy. He looks so old here! Redhead? Current favorite onesie. One of those hat, sock, shirt, no pants moments. We all have those days, right? Let me out, mama, please. I slept for thirty minutes, I'm good to go! Bid for freedom. Removal of sock done by self. Chasing B


Struggling with writer's block a bit.  Counseling on Wednesday did a number on my head, can't figure out how to get words out anymore. There is a new post up on Among the Circle and it's fabulous.  Spread the word about this wonderful site, please.  I am working on my first post, hope to have it up within the next few days. Had my second round of injections yesterday.  No head shots this time, just back!, abdomen! and thyroid.  Maybe that's what's doing my head in. Best blackout curtain suggestion: tin foil.  A little low class, but I bet it works. Bennett rolled from back to tummy twice before bed last night.  This morning he did it again, looks like he's mastered a new skill. The itching is out of control.  That is the most likely reason I can't write.  Bennett is sleeping with me most nights now.  I have to pin him down so he doesn't itch.  You try sleeping while holding a baby down, it's not easy.  Friday is last round of injections f


Blogging while B sleeps next to me, haven't done this in a while!  Usually I'm out, out, out until he wakes.  I brought him in bed with me night before last because he scratched his sweet forehead to pieces and I wanted to prevent him from doing more damage. He slept well, probably because we kicked J onto the futon he slept on in college which he refuses to get rid of.  If I could drag that thing down the stairs and to the curb I would.  That one good night netted me lots of sleep, and B did well last night too. Found out B was exposed to pertussis, no maybe about it anymore.  I'm so glad I went to the doctor as soon as I suspected he was sick.  Even though he is vaccinated he hasn't had the full course and pertussis is not something to mess around with. B is two months away from six months old.  Six months seems so big, too big, half a year already.  He has mastered shrieking, goodness has he.  He shrieks for every emotion: happy, sad, mad, frustrated.  Our

I Will Carry You Giveaway

I've been waiting for the winner of the book to contact me, but haven't had any luck.  I did a redraw this evening and the new winner is kate with this comment: What a beautiful thing for J to say to you. I love that. I also love the words of this book...the sacred dance of grief and joy. Joy is definately filtering through my grief now and there's alot of guilt associated with that. If I don't win the giveaway, i'll buy the book myself! Peace be upon you Angela. Please send me your address - - so I can put it in the mail!

oh, this cracked me up

I'm having a week of hating natural products.  Last night I told J, "I bought diaper cream at the store, like real stuff, not just some herbal mix.  I'm done with herbs, I want his diaper rash to go away!"  Add in antibiotics and I''m pretty far from where I like to be parenting wise.  Before too long I'll be serving Kraft Mac n' Cheese for dinner.  I don't know why J hates it so, it's the best processed food out there.  The fluorescent cheese, which may not actually be cheese, the strange consistency of the noodles, the bright orange end product ... But then this afternoon I put black tea bags all over B's face in an attempt to control the irritation and itching.  It didn't work.  Natural remedies, I just can't quit you. I'm sure many of you have seen these videos.  I'm really sorry there's a bad word in the title, please ignore it. Laughed so hard I cried while watching these.  Enjoy!

cataloging worry

I've been told by my counselor to write out the worry, the moments when the baseline anxiety spikes. It seems to me I am the most anxious when I can't see Bennett. When I'm in the shower while he bounces in his jumper in the doorway. Sometimes he likes to hang out, watch the dog, listen to the shower, observe life, so he goes quiet.  I worry he is gone, that someone has walked in the house, picked him up, and walked out.  Two seconds later he starts bouncing again, feet slapping the hardwood as he babbles away, and I stop listening, finish my shower. At night when he is snuggled in his nursery, sleeping soundly, I worry he will die in his sleep.  He likes to be warm when he sleeps, and we want him to sleep soundly, so we wrap him in two blankets.  I worry he will suffocate, that it will be our fault if he dies because we wrap him in blankets.  He is older now, able to turn his head well, we keep the blankets wrapped around him and well below his shoulders, bu

whooping cough?

Pertussis has possibly inserted its evil self into our lives.  My mom and two of my nephews are on antibiotics for possible, but not confirmed, infection.  I was feeling fine about the issue since B has had two of his pertussis vaccines. Then he coughed twice last night.  This morning he was sneezing and coughing within minutes of waking.  I called his doctor immediately, doing my best not to panic about the fact he may have whooping cough.  We are to go in tomorrow morning for a nasal swab, but the culture won't come back for 72 hours.  The doctor said antibiotics are not necessary yet, we will have a better idea of what to do after our appointment tomorrow. J is coughing now, as am I.  Not much, but enough for J to say, "We all have pertussis!"  We're not sure if he should go to work tomorrow or not, it's all very confusing.  Pertussis isn't very common anymore, but there have been outbreaks all over the valley this year. I'm trying to stay calm.

weekend fun

This is going to be one of those helter skelter random posts. ** I am very excited to be part of Carrie's new project: Among the Circle . Among the Circle is a website for those who are expecting after a loss.   Go check out the first post .  I am excited to be one of the regular contributors. ** B is doing fine despite his dive for freedom yesterday.  I'm still mad at myself, but have to remember it happens to every parent at some point.  He doesn't even have a mark on his sweet head, even though the way he flipped ensured he hit the top of his head rather solidly on the hardwood floor. ** This morning we went to a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese's.  Oh my good gravy.  I absolutely understand why parents would pick this place for a birthday, or why kids would.  I's fabulous, they have a great time, it's perfect for little ones, but I'm in need of a good strong drink after spending the morning there.  The parents were super smart, they booked the

B's first fall!

I don't think watching two babies is in the cards for me anymore.  I was over at my friend's this afternoon watching B and her little one, who just turned one.  Her boy was getting into the electrical cords so I set B down on the couch to move him to a different area.  I sat B up in the corner - WHAT WAS I THINKING? He flipped off and hit his head.  Oh my goodness, it was terrible.  B screamed and cried, the other baby decided to join in.  At one point I had both in arms, walking and shushing and praying. Every baby falls, I know.  Every parent does things like this, but the first time is just awful.  I feel horrible about it.  B doesn't have a mark, so far, and he stopped crying after ten minutes.  I'm sure he's fine, but it's going to take me a while to feel better.


B has mastered screeching.  In one week he has learned ba, da, and screeching.  My very verbal boy is now in overdrive.  He talks all the time. When we go out people comment on how mellow he is.  You should see him at home, people.  We drove to my parent's house a couple weeks ago.  It's a solid fifty minute drive, if not a full hour.  B talked the whole way there. We are having a lazy day at home.  This week we had somewhere to be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday AND Thursday and we have plans Saturday and Sunday.  I needed some time at home today to do some cleaning and sleeping. Every day I dress Bennett as soon as he is awake.  I like to have a really consistent bed and morning routine, I think it helps him know the difference between night and day.  I could be totally wrong about that.  Anyway, B has been in his pajamas all day and now I'm wondering why I insist on dressing him everyday.  Jams are so easy! J has spent the past few evenings working on raised beds

the inadequacy of words

What a day. My mom and I were driving to my doctor appointment this morning, talking about various things, when she mentioned a friend of hers who recently found out the baby her daughter is carrying has a condition not compatible with life. This evening my phone rang as I was finishing B's bath.  It was a friend whose husband is close with someone who just found out their baby has a condition not compatible with life. The twenty week ultrasound is about so much more than finding out the sex. My friend asked for advice, what to say, what not to say etc.  I gave her a few bits of advice, but was mostly lost on what to say.  What I wanted to hear may not be what someone else wants to hear. I suggested contacting Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.  I recommended the usual grief sites, provided my email address, but I wasn't sure how a birth at twenty-one weeks works. Do they get to hold their baby if they want to?  I hate to use that word - get - it's their child, but I


B ends up in our bed between 4 and 5 am every morning. 7 am: B: "Baaa Ba Baa BA ba ba SQUEAL!" Me: "Why are you awake?  What time is it?" He kicks his feet, sticks his fingers in his mouth. Me: "You must  sleep better.  Mama is tired, I don't want to get up." B: Giggle Me: "I'm serious." B: Baa ba ba aaaaa." He has just learned how to make the baa sound.  He is fascinated by it. Me: "Would you like milk?" while using sign language.  I want him to stop trying to pull my shirt off in public when he wants to eat.  I told J, "It's like us going to the fridge because we're hungry.  He's doing the same thing, but his fridge likes to keep covered in public."  My analogies (I'm not sure this even qualifies as one) rock when I'm running on a few hours of sleep. B looks at me like I'm crazy.  I make the milk motion with his hands.  He laughs. Nursing ... AND "baa baa ahh


J broke the no gifts rule.  He does it every year.  I never buy him anything.  It works.  Strange as it seems, this is our balance.  Someone at his work has a second full time job (!) at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, so he asked her to put together some chocolates for me. There's a lot of how we met stories floating around the blogosphere today.  I thought about writing ours up, but I don't really feel up to it today - a bit of heart ache is slowing me down - so thought I would give you the short version. - We met at university. - He was friends with my roommates, but didn't actually attend the university anymore (dropout!) - Love at first sight for both of us. - First thing I said to him: "Hello, would you like some cheese?" - But then: nope, guess I was wrong, not interested. - Interrupted my studies - he picked up my pencil, threw it in the other room and said, "Ooops, dropped your pencil." - Would not leave me alone. - Banned from

day of hearts

Valentine's Day: we don't do anything, never have, which is why two years ago my baby shower was on this day of hearts.  We had the shower early, because my sister was going to be living out of town closer to the day. I think I have two choices here: fall apart because two years ago she was alive and my sister threw me a beautiful shower, or remember the day as a good thing, a time when friends and family celebrated Charlotte and my pregnancy. I'm hoping for the latter.  I'm trying to call the goodness of it forward, even though looking at pictures of the four pregnant women at my shower makes me shiver.  One in four women lose a baby in the US - or so the statistics say. That picture illustrates it all too well. In three months we will celebrate? mark? live through? her second birthday. This morning I told a friend I don't want to lose myself on that day, or for all of May.  I want to be the best mama possible to B, and I can't do that if I don&#


During worship at church this morning we sang one of my favorite songs: I Have a Hope .  My faith brought me through the time immediately after Charlotte's birth and death, my pregnancy with Bennett, everything in between, all that's come after. It's hard to maintain faith sometimes, hard to believe in a loving God when I don't have Charlotte here with me. I don't understand, there's no reason, no why for her death.  When I spoke to the counselor on Thursday she said, "No autopsy then ..."  I responded, "Yes, we had an autopsy done.  There is no cause of death." No cause.  Cause of death unknown.  If I think about it - stop all other thoughts, focus on breathing and that one idea I feel overwhelmed.  In our modern world how can we not know?  How is that possible? In the nearly two years since her death I've learned I can't lose myself in the why.  I believe there is meaning and reason, I just can't see it yet.  Yesterday I

cousin time & pictures

My nephew needed time with his mama today so I headed over to watch my niece (my back isn't hurting as much).  Oh my goodness me, there is a reason one cannot have babies too close together.  Spending the afternoon with a five month old and eleven month old was exhausting!  And fun.  At one point I said, "stop trying to eat each other!"  Never thought I would hear that come out of my mouth.  Proud of myself for taking this on today.  Baby girls make my heart sad, but it's easier now that I have Bennett. After hitting up a play my nephew's fun day continued with a trip to his favorite place: Applebee's.  We made it super exciting by joining in.  We walked in with a five month old, five year old, eleven month old and two adults.  They seated us at a table.  Booths are a bit easier with young ones.  I told my sister we need a banquet room, preferably one that seats fifty.  I understand why people with little ones often prefer to stay home. ** I have a l

Are you always this tense?

Today was not my day.  I wrote that earlier post - at 9am - and then it crashed. I was playing with Bennett upstairs while getting ready.  Bent down wrong, stood up wrong, breathed wrong ... I have no idea what happened, but I threw out my back.  I had to be in a town forty-five minutes away, so hoped it would improve as the day went on. When J came home shortly after I did he said I should call the chiropractor for an emergency appointment.  I was all whiny, it's almost 4, I don't want to drive over the bridge to that part of town at this hour ..." and now I'm thinking I should have.   J is always right .  It makes me crazy. My appointment was with Dr. B's husband, the other Dr. B if you will, was at 12:45.  I dropped B off with my in-laws, settled him in, and went to my appointment.  I didn't see the doctor until 1:40 and the appointment only lasted fifteen minutes.  Infuriating. He didn't know why I was there, I had to explain why I was seeing h


I almost  made it up the stairs to ready myself for my doctor appointment this afternoon (needle in the throat!) while Bennett is napping.  But I had to email J some information, and then I started catching up on blogs, and now I'm here. First counseling session yesterday!  Shew.  (I meant that as an exhalation or exclamation, apparently it means "to prove").  I came away with the distinct impression that she does not think I need counseling.  When I mentioned my anxiety issues she asked if it was normal first time mama anxiety.  I don't think so - but maybe? Giving it a bit more time, a few more sessions, see what comes of it.  Next week Bennett is coming with me.  I do appreciate that I can bring him along, I'm rather attached to that boy (even though I dream of shopping at Target while someone else feeds him). Last night I asked J to take me out to dinner.  When I do something I don't want to do, or dread, I want a reward.  I think my mother programmed

Five months!

Bennett's time in the womb seemed to last two years, but his time as an infant is speeding by.  I'm tired and there's a lot happening in the next few days here so no long paragraphs about how amazing Bennett is this time around.  He is wearing a three month onesie in these pictures, time to clean out his closet - again! Just for fun, one month old


While in the bath with my boy this evening we had a nursing moment. (Thank you for the bath ideas, getting in with him is helping a ton!).  He stopped splashing like a mad man, turned his head and made the noise he makes when he wants to nurse.  So I picked him up, settled down in the warm water and let him nurse away. He hasn't held that still while nursing since he was a newborn.  He stretched out, belly to belly, his feet almost touching the tops of my knees now *sob, sigh*, relaxed completely and nursed.  I asked J to bring me a towel to drape over him so he wouldn't get cold.  He almost fell asleep, it was the sweetest thing. And of course I thought about the water birth I've never achieved.  I almost had it with her, not allowed with him.  I envy those pictures of blissful mamas with newly born nursing babes, towels or blankets draped, big smiles, tears of joy and relief. If I had another baby how much would the desire for a good birth factor in? Tried it with

sleep deprived dream

Would you let someone else nurse your baby?  I had a dream last night that I lived with all my friends and we all had nurslings - most of us do! - and babies were fed when they needed to be fed by whomever was around.  It sounds like a commune, but there were televisions and access to Target in this dream so that's not too commune like. This is what happens when I don't get enough sleep.  I dream of going to Target by myself while someone else feeds my baby. I love breastfeeding, I love that I am giving Bennett a good start in life - though my immune system is faulty, so I may not be giving him the BEST start possible - but it is tiring.  I am his sole source of food.  It's daunting to think of it like that. He slept great last night, down at 7, up at 10:30, down at 11, up at 3:45, down at 4:15, up at 7:30.  Ideal night.  But I'm coming off days of less than ideal nights and at 10:30 when he wanted to nurse I thought I was going to cry. (Going to bed at 9 did not


We're having sleep issues, forgive me if this post isn't coherent.  I have a lot of questions, thought I would ask you smart people rather than google. * Bennett is very, very interested in food, but I am trying to hold him off for another month.  I give him carrot sticks to gum, which keeps him interested at the table, and the other day I gave him a chunk of banana to play with.  He did not want to give it back, he gripped it in his little baby fist and licked it like a popsicle. Playing with baby spoons. When we start solids how exactly does it work?  Do I nurse, and then give food, or give food and then nurse?  Do we start with one meal a day, or go right to three?  When do I start giving him water to drink? What do you mean I have to eat with this?! * Thanks to Bennett's skin issues we have to give him a warm water bath every day.  This issue is so confusing: some say bathe every day, some say don't bathe very much.  Our doctor said the latest r

heart of grief

A couple days ago I wrote about contentment, wanting more for this space, for my life.  This morning I received an email that shattered my heart, left me crying for a mama and family I'll never know or meet.  These emails come in waves: one a week, three a week, a week without and then four.  And that is where the contentment lies, I think, in knowing that people can say whatever they like in an email to me.  I won't judge, I won't blame, I won't criticize.  I will take your baby, your story, your tear laden words, and place them in my heart next to my sweet girl.  I am blessed when I receive these stories, when people choose to sit before their computer and craft their pain into words to send to me.  Yes, these stories make my heart ache, but what is life without some ache?  This morning I've been reminded of the women spread across this world with empty arms and teary eyes.  Hold your babies close.  Tuck your lost ones in tight, down in that corner of your heart


The Super Bowl is my favorite American holiday - if it can be called a holiday.  I could take or leave the fourth of July - though I do love our independence - it's usually hot and loud, but the Super Bowl warms my heart.  Food, football, family, friends, what's not to love about the Super Bowl?  It feels so American to me too, almost more than hamburgers on the grill and apple pie with vanilla ice cream melting on top. This is our third or fourth year hosting a party.  If we had a big enough house we would invite a lot of people.  As it is we cram quite a few into our little space.  I make chili and cornbread, others bring chips, candy, veggies, soda, and we eat the entire time the game is going.  It's better than Thanksgiving, I think. Two years ago, when the television was upstairs and we made people hike up and down for food, I patted my belly and said, "Well, Charlotte ..." before looking at my sister to see if she caught the slip.  She did, but she kept


Talked J's ear off on the way home from a family event this evening.  I've been praying for guidance for this space, for my writing, for my future.  I've been turning a few questions over in my mind: Do I finish the book I've been working on?  Can I? If I do, what then? Do I seek a place to write that will give me money in the bank? I want to feel content (writing wise) but I don't, so maybe there is something grand on the horizon? Will what I want come to me, or will I have to find it? I explained to J that her death gave me back a love of writing.  I don't want to waste that. I see others who succeed in this world of blogs and my jealous heart wonders why I've been left out in the cold. Though I really haven't. I feel lucky to have a blog that people read.  I feel blessed to have so many comment.  Perhaps this is enough, these wonderful connections I make with people all over this planet.  Perhaps a feeling of contentment is on the h


I talk about Charlotte around Bennett.  I point out her picture, say her name, mention what clothes and things we bought for her and use for him.  When he chatters at the ceiling I ask, "are you talking to your sister?"  Right now he has no idea what I'm saying, who I'm speaking of, but when he is older he will. How do I incorporate her into his life?  How do I explain Charlotte to him?  Do we continue to speak of her casually, so he grows up knowing he has a sister somewhere, not here, not alive, but somewhere?  Do we have a serious sit down discussion?  I know there's a book, but it seems tacky to me (no offense to those who have it/use it). Maybe it just needs better artwork. Children are perceptive.  I think they often understand heaven and the idea of death better than adults.  Maybe if we say, "you have a sister, she was born before you, but she's in heaven with Jesus now," it will click, he'll just understand.  Maybe believing in