Thursday, April 17, 2014

Nine @ Nine

I can't believe you're nine months old today... While pregnancy felt like it was dragging, with the fearful first trimester (heck - fearful entire time!), these past 9 months have flown by with the blink of an eye...

1. You love scary voices and zombie noises - so the zombie apocalypse should prove wildly entertaining for you...

2. you rock hats like no one's business (and seem to prefer your "old man" look to the "preppy beach bum") (also, you seem to prefer Mommy's shades to the baby specs...)

3. You sleep with your little baby buns in the air (and it's all I can do to not nom on your tush and cheeks!)

4. You absolutely (still) love going on walks in your stroller - your back never even touches the seat as your eyes roam around the neighborhood.  And we've added to our entertainment repertoire - you love your new swing!

5. You're a toe-eater... (just like your Aunt Mac - who we'll be seeing next week on our big vacation!)

6. You have the fluffiest little duck-down hair, which Daddy wants to cut - even though he says you've got Daryl's haircut, which is so bad ass... (speaking of loving zombie noises... lol)

7. For the first time, we had all the NextGeneration cousins together from Daddy's side.  (None of you boys seemed impressed...)

8. You are an Official Crawler, and you're unstoppable - you plow right through the dogs if they have the misfortune of being in your path!

9. You light up when Mommy or Daddy walk in the room, which melts my heart every time... And you're beginning to get a touch of - I guess it's stranger anxiety? When Aunt K babysat you the other day, you wailed and pleaded for Mommy, twisting and reaching over her shoulder to me - while I secretly loved that you wanted me so badly, it broke my heart to leave and go to work...

Your 9-month appointment is tomorrow - we're excited to get your stats and ask about starting cow's milk!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


No, not the famous burger chain on the West Coast...

At 272 days (or 38weeks6days), Ben has been "Out" for as long as he was "In."

Remembering to Writing

As Easter arrives this year, I can't help but remember two years ago: the first Easter in our new house, a new life beginning (and then ending... we had no idea what was yet to come).

And then I remember Easter last year - in the midst of The First Round of Holidays without E's grandfather; when we were 4 days shy of viability - new life growing, but not quite yet in our grasp...

And this year, we will have this little guy crawling (no more army crawl - he does proper OnHandsAndKnees now!) all over our Easter:

This year, I want to introduce a new series (and no, I haven't forgotten Tour Tuesdays - the first post - our master bedroom! - is merely waiting for a clean picture of a nicely made bed.... It's been waiting almost 2 weeks...)

No, this new series is for you readers who have always wondered how good of a book your life would be... I'm going to bring the past to life (as much as I never want to relive the time after that Easter two years ago, I don't want to ever forget.)
((I'll be mixing in some fiction with fact, blurring the lines - maybe this will eventually turn into something publishable (HA))).

I took a creative writing course in high school (elective English class) and while I failed miserably at the whole "Draft, Redraft, revise - rewrite, redraft AGAIN" aspect (I always wrote the best when shot from the hip... Off the cuff... flying by the seat of my pants...) I sincerely enjoyed writing. 

So this will be my attempt to get back at it. (And hopefully I'll help future-Kate out by pre-writing a bunch when I'm in the mood/setting/environment to write and then I can just schedule-post them...)

Without further ado... (still trying to think of a cool moniker for this series... lol any suggestions?)

 All morning, her heart had picked up its pace, with every THUMP THUMP the blood growing to a pounding crescendo in her ears - and would then, with a few shallow breaths, slowly meander back down to a regular tempo.  Her throat would constrict with giddiness and excitement, fingers trembling as she re-aligned, for the third time, the laid-out silver.  
There was only a few minutes until they all started to arrive and, while the turkey may or may not have been completely and hopelessly overcooked, the brown paper-mache nests (that took all of the Elmer's glue and patience she could find) were sitting pretty, with pink, purple and light green foil-wrapped Reese's Easter eggs set precariously within.
"Are you sure the batteries are charged?" She called out again to her husband.  Darren had a tendency to zone out when she was on a request-rampage, and that morning was a typical rager... Had he covered the turkey after ONE hour of cooking, or three?  Had he charged the batteries for their camera?  Had he gotten the extra folding chairs up from the basement? 
She would have preferred retrieving the chairs herself rather than rely on (and wait for) Darren, but given the two little pink lines she saw almost three weeks ago, she would have to remind him again about the folding chairs...
Her fingers stopped on the family silver - her thumb pad tracing the heirloom pattern - and daydreamed, as she lately was so prone to, about the baby.
A baby...
Still such an intangible concept, when it was currently just the size of a sweet pea.  She felt bad thinking of the baby as an "it," but wasn't sure how else to refer to, well, to it.  The past three weeks went day-by-painstaking-day, and while it still hadn't sunken in that their family was expanding, it had felt eons ago that she had peered down at the fresh pregnancy test in her hands:
       Oh my god, please don't be a chemical pregnancy, was her very first thought at the two lines.  A terrifying thought - one that seemed to happen to "other people" except - a recent cold weekend in March had brought her best friend a longed-for positive;  Darren and she had celebrated with them, a bit subdued themselves after a flashy camera-phone picture of their big blue plus sign... After all, she and Darren had been trying since the prior November...
     "So you've been to the doctor yet?" Grace asked her friend.  Because, surely, Grace thought, her friend knows that one must wait until the magical second trimester arrives, when you slide feet-first into the safe zone, before you spread the cheer and good news. 
    Her friend told her that she had just taken a test the night before; an appointment was set for first thing Monday morning.  And despite the laissez-faire attitude that made Grace wince, and the easy-to-achieve pregnancy that she would face down every minute with her friend, she hugged and congratulated them - smiled as the husbands high-fived and toasted to his manliness and super sperm.
        And when her friend started bleeding the very same day that she received a negative test standing in the doctor's office, Grace got the message "It was a chemical pregnancy; " it was something she had to go research. 
      An early miscarriage.
      "A Really Early Miscarriage" according to the friend and her physician.  An event that occurred in something like 1 in 4 pregnancies, when the embryo failed to implant.  WebMD informed her that "most women don't notice anything but a period that's a few days late."
And so, when Grace found herself in her own bathroom, staring down at a pink positive test days later, her first thoughts were not of baby shoes and strollers, but of fear.  And each day was filled with dashes to a restroom - while out to eat, while at work, or while in the movies - to see if there was any blood.  Each morning was a slow trip to the bathroom, please please please - a repeated plead with every step, only to find blood-free panties.
Each day began with another pregnancy test, with each day's line darker than the last - surely a sign that everything was progressing well.  But the darkening lines only went so far to assure; the day of the first doctor's visit, the minutes crept by like a school-clock of the year's last hour before the longed-for summer vacation.  She had spent more time researching the previous night - things like "beta levels" and "blighted ovums."  She felt armed and ready to request, no - demand - the best tests.
The hour finally came, and Grace arrived at the doctor's office with minutes to spare - and so sat in her car for some last-minute cramming on "progesterone."  Again, when it was finally time, she walked up the stairs, repeating the mantra from the past two weeks Please please please have everything be ok... Please let it not be a blighted ovum...
Grace abhorred the pants-less wait at every OB-GYN visit, the butcher paper sticking to the backs of her thighs, as with every footstep down the hall she wondered if it was finally her turn... Finally, the physician's aide arrived in the exam room; and after applying a dropper of the urine sample to the clinic's pregnancy strips, informed Grace casually, "Well, you've got a Barely-Positive here..."
Did it matter how positive? wondered Grace - all of her research had generated the "a line is a line" answer... And so she pulled out her next arsenal - "I'd like a blood test, please - a Beta and Progesterone." 
It was only as she was checking out at the desk, scheduling the next appointment where they would (hopefully) see a teeny little heart beat on the ultrasound, that she overhead the nurses in the lab room adjacent, wondering who this "barely pregnant patient was, requesting bloodwork - what exactly did She expect to see at just four weeks!?"

With no point of reference for pregnancy appointments, aside from the not-so-stellar outcome for her friend, Grace brushed off the momentary embarrassment - she didn't care if they laughed at her.  She felt reassured that she was on the right path, already feeling the responsible mommy-to-be.

The dogs barking in the next room pulled Grace out of her reverie.  She shook her head at her freshman foolishness, requesting a beta... the results of which were never given to her, she only realized now as she pulled herself up from the dining room chair.

A quick glance told her that Darren still hadn't set up the folding chairs...

Monday, April 7, 2014

too tired for teeth-brushing...

This weekend was literally packed, end-to-end, and because Mommy's too tired to remember to brush* her teeth, here's Ben:

I got to watch Daddy play in the park! with some big stick - and some little ball thingy, kind of like I've seen the doggies chase!
Ben - that's called hockey - Daddy is excited to start training you as soon as you can stand! (And no, you can't bring your fun walker on the ice...)

I got to swing for the first time with Mommy and my paparazzi my aunts at the park

Mommy wouldn't let me chew on the fun rubber... waaaaah!
I guess that meant it was time to go - I got put in my sleep-chair -Ben it's your carseat, it's for you to
travel safely in!  (Can you guess who fell asleep on the way to Michael's?)

Next thing I knew, I woke up in my favorite place - all kinds of fun things to look at and grab off the shelves!
Little do you know Ben - we loaded up on DIY stuff for your birthday party!!!
Supplies to make these:
and our version of this:

Then, after another trip in my sleep-seat, where I didn't sleep at all, we played and played and... zzzzzzz....

And good thing we all got a little rest period in... we had a Battle to fight, and it all started innocently (and appropriately) enough with a bath...

E's adopted sisters M & J were staying with us for the night Saturday, and so I enlisted their willing help  (honestly - they love everything-Ben!) to prepare him for a bath...

As I'm running the water, M is stripping down Ben and I hear a choking gasp/giggle/dry heave and she squeals - "THERE'S POOP ALL OVER HIS SHIRT!"

And there was... and it was all over his back... and the towel...

and yup - look closely - IN HIS HAIR.

When M unknowingly pulled his onesie off, it smeared. 


I didn't even know where to start - good thing M & J were there to run for plastic bags for his clothes and HOLY-HELL-WHAT-HAPPENED-IN-THERE diaper...

Yup - that's more poop smeared on the edge of the bathtub - something I didn't notice until I put my elbow in it.  Awesomeness.

We used paper towels to wipe off the chunks as Ben tried to climb out of the tub (and in doing so smeared even MORE poop on the edge of the tub...)

And then I had to rerun a whole 'nother bath for him - because, you know, it's kind of gross to have poop chunks floating by as you splash and play...
(Meanwhile, M and J were respectively: trying not to puke, and taking pictures...)

We started Sunday well-rested (and well-cleaned)... and decided to go to a local street fair (where I found an awesome dress - wearing it now at work! - for $8!!)
Ben played his first fair-games and won a money/koala (we didn't realize it wasn't a monkey until we got home... lol)
And because he just rolled that way this weekend ("that way" being NoNaps - he struggled to keep his eyes open the whole ride home, then proceeded to shake the bars and wail like a banshee from his PNP until he was collected, one tear-streaked sleepy little boy) 
we barely made it through dinner before this:

*literally.  I got to work today and realized I forgot to brush my teeth.  and put on deodorant. 


(good news is I remembered tampons for lovely CD1 - it's a 13-day LP and confirms that I can tell whuck's (a new phrase for "WhatTheF*ck") going on with my body and ovulation!) 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Not April Fools

No, no - there is no big announcement I saved for today, thinking if I told you yesterday you'd be all, "pshaw - APRIL FOOLS right?!"

In fact, I'm celebrating that it's officially not April Fools.

No more "We're expecting!!!" announcements in news feeds - expecting a big tax return, expecting a new promotion at work - how about expecting a big punch to the throat?!

No more insensitive, and (mostly unintentionally) cruel "jokes."

(of which, actually - I thankfully did not have any in my newsfeed - either that, or I just didn't see them... either way, it was an a-ok April Fool's Day.  Including when my assistant got me by "calling out for the next three days" - during payroll, billing, month-end, quarter-end, and insurance renewal... I called her very colorful names when I got her call-out message... don't worry, I was at home - and thankfully, Ben can't repeat what I say yet!)

Anyways - I was thinking about "The Buggy List" the other day and the transformation it's gone through the past 1.5 years...

And realized something - it is now a glorified To-Do List.

Instead of keeping little itemized post-its on the fridge, I write it here because what - I think writing about dermatologist appointments are good entertainment?! =P

Regardless, I have settled on a mini Buggy List, and a goal for myself of May 1st:
  • schedule dentist appointment (for *ahem* a root canal I was supposed to have done 2 months ago...)
  • call dentist for claim forms to submit to Aflac (because I owe a lot of money to the dentist, and again - it's from months ago)
  • schedule dermatologist appointment (if you'll recall, I had a mole removed - for asthetic purposes initially, but the mole turned out to be irregular and had unclear margins, and so I had to have more removed... so it's about time for an over-all skin check, given my mom's side of the family and their history of skin cancer...)
  • REALLY start training for July Mud-Run (I started a work out (very loosely) based on the Fab-Ab challenge, which I have somewhat altered, amended and added to; elliptical use, and cardio, has been so far intermittent, but I ran yesterday for the first time this spring (is it officially spring yet?!), and it's time to kick it up a notch!)
I think I'll cap it there - I know me, and I want to give myself a chance of actually meeting my goal!

And because you got this far in my boring Glorified To-Do List:
How YOU doin?