It’s a Christmas Day Miracle

21 Dec

I don’t know if it has to do with the holiday season, the end of me being on-call until at least mid-April or the impending Mayan apocalypse but…

I think I’m finally okay and ready for this baby to come!

Now I just need to finish my to-do list. I finally watched some instructional videos on how to fix the clothe diapers and I’m feeling pretty confident. But emotionally, I think I’m finally ready. We have it narrowed down to two names/three name combinations, so that’s a plus. Of course, I’m still open to suggestions.

Let’s enjoy this actual moment of happi/content-ness. Everyone come over! Emberly’s getting sugar cookie mix with a snow man cookie cutter in her stocking from the elves tomorrow. She can wait on us while you help me finish up the list!

My twelve days of Christmas

13 Dec

To get this blog in to the Christmas spirit, I figured I’d take some time from perusing random gifts online to share with you twelve “gifts” in my life at this point. Don’t worry, this isn’t a post about how great everything is, it’s more of a place to count down some of the stuff that’s been going on. Enjoy. (Also, no ‘true love’ gave me all of this sh*t. Let’s just stop that over-romanticized commercialization of fantasy love end right here 😉 )

12 loads of laundry. (thanks to my awesome sis for giving me 7 boxes/bags of hand me down boy clothes)

11 to-do items (left to do before the baby arrives)

10 more videos to upload from my phone! (Trying to get that accomplished before Emberly’s Christmas concert…TONIGHT! Hurry up YouTube!)

9 times I use the restroom(per two hour time frame)

8 blog posts in my head (half started but no where near completed)

7 tabs open on my Firefox (Let’s consider it multi-tasking, shall we?)

6 pounds gained since last two week appointment (oopsies. You know it’s not great when the doc asks, “What happened?!”)

5 weeks left til my due date! (Holy f*ck)

4 diapers that need replaced (While I’m not huge in to gender stereotypes, I can’t bring myself to put the pink clothe diapers on to my son’s bottom.)

3 nights of on-call left! (tell maternity leave mother f*ckers! End date of maternity leave from on-call position TBD)

2 more family members for which to buy (most likely going to be gift certificates. I’m unique and thoughtful like that)

1 boy’s name to decide on! (yeah, no rush. Hopefully this kid is named before we leave the hospital)

What’s going on in your world? Wanna help me with my things?!

 

The magical world of grieving through a 3 year old’s eyes.

23 Oct

My last remaining grandparent has been fighting a good fight these last few years. Worsening dementia and the loss of my grandfather over two years ago had put her on a downward spiral. Of course, she’s a feisty little thing, and refused to go down with out a fight. She’s been under the care of hospice for over 6 months now, always keeping the caregivers on their toes.
Sunday afternoon I received a text from my mother. For the second time in over two weeks, hospice felt that it was her time and she’d be passing shortly.
Sadly, this whole scenario had almost become old hat. We’ve gotten similar texts or calls where hospice had felt that she was going down hill and it wouldn’t be long. Of course, each time we responded believing it would the this time.
Emberly and I had gone to the park Saturday with some cousins, and had a great time. Since I knew it would be difficult to get Emberly to leave willingly, I had to come up with an errand. We were going to go to the flower store across the street from Gma’s assisted living facility.
We pulled up shortly after 12 and the shop was closed. A little upset we weren’t going to be taking flowers to Gma or seeing the koi pond at the flower shop, we were still determined to visit and have a joyous afternoon.
As per the usual, Gma was laying in bed sleeping. She awoke quite easily though, but told us she was feeling lousy. This was not the usual with her. She always put on a brave face and most likely didn’t remember how she was doing. Still, we had an enjoyable visit even with answering the same question 4 times. God love dementia.
When I left Sunday to be by her side, Emberly was a little concerned that she didn’t get to go with me, but playing and nap time overran her desire to steal Gma’s candy that day. She was in bed when I finally came home. The next morning, Emberly was up earlier than usual, in greater spirits than normal. It was a very welcomed surprise. Luckily it was too early for her to remember why I was gone the afternoon before, so I did not have to deal with the dreaded questions.

Yesterday was rough. My sister and I went in to town to take our mother a much needed caffeine fix since my mother spent the night with Gma. We had planned for a short visit followed by picking up lunch for our hubbies on our way back to work. Upon our arrival, we were greeted with Father giving Gma her last rights. Apparently it was serious this time. From 11:30 on, the hospice nurse was positive that it would happen very shortly.  Minutes turned in to hours, which led to B picking Embers up from daycare and doing the nightly routine, having conversations well beyond her years yet not over her head of which I would soon be learning. After a few hour battle with horrid congestion, Gma finally took her last peaceful breath at 8:30 last night.

Everyone was in bed when I was finally able to return home after helping hospice tend to Gma’s body, and the funeral taking to prepare her for the next step. So, it wasn’t until this morning, after I had long been cried out, that B told me of his conversation with Emberly last night.

“Where’s mom?”

-She’s visiting Gma.

“I wanna visit Gma. Can I go?”

-No sweetie. Gma isn’t feeling very well.

“Well, I could give her a hug and a kiss. That would help.”

-That’s very nice of you, but Gma’s really sick honey. You can’t go over right now. Gma’s on her way to heaven to be with Hoss and Jackson.

“Oh, well, I could pick her up and carry her to Hoss and Jackson. I can help her!”

-That’s very nice of you honey, but we can’t carry Gma to where she is going.

I’m so glad that she and B were able to have that amazing conversation…and glad that I wasn’t the one stuck with those questions. I just wish I could face death with the same naive misunderstanding. At least I have her to make things brighter.

A few weeks ago, while taking my mother out to dinner, I pointed to the TV in the restaurant showing stock puppy footage. Emberly asked when we could get another doggy. I told her not until after the baby comes.

“Well, so, after the baby, can we have a puppy in your tummy?!”

Um, no. We’re not going to do that. Although, sometimes I wish the world were as magical as they perceive it to be.
RIP Gma. I hope to drink a glass of wine every night until I’m 89. You are an amazing woman and inspiration. We love you and will miss you deeply.

People survive having preschool aged children?

19 Oct

I mean, I know they must other wise none of us would be here and they wouldn’t have elementary, middle, high school and college. But, I need to know their secrets!

How is it possible that a face like this

can spend the entire first hour of the morning doing nothing but whining, crying and screaming, in turn making me cry and yell? It makes no sense. Thank god we get these moments of adorableness or I’m not sure any of us would be surviving.
It’s mornings like the one from Monday that I just described that really make me question whether or not I’m cut out for this whole parenting thing. Which, really, I should probably figure this shit out since we’re nearing the arrival of #2 and it seems as 75% of my blog posts are about how tough parenting is.
Occasionally, a brilliant blogger will post about some of their miniscule trials and tribulations with their children and I’ll get a fleeting moment of contentment knowing I’m not alone. The remaining 360 days of the year leave me wondering who the hell thought it was a good idea to let me parent.
I feel like more and more, my patience’s Low Fuel light has been on for longer than allowed. When I am able to fill up my tank, thinking I’m good to go for the next 347 miles, the surge of fresh fuel seems to burn out as quickly as the flame of a lighter run through the washing machine. I fantasize about how happy and breezy my life would/will be if I quit my second job, but truth is, I’m only slightly less maniacal dealing with the whining on the days I don’t have call. Maybe I can still blame it on PTSD from the on-call phone. Once that obnoxious ring is completely out of my life, maybe the tin-y sounds from  mindless commercials won’t trigger a sense of impending phone call doom.

Until we can test that theory, anyone have suggestions on keeping my sanity while limiting, if not eliminating, the whining of a 3-2/3 year old? 4 gets better, right? Just an FYI, alcohol removed wine doesn’t seem to help…stupid pregnancy and fetal-alcohol syndrome awareness. How long does your patience tank stay at a happy level? Do I need to check my hose for a leak? (hehe, you know there’s an inappropriate joke in there. You’re welcome.)

Tuesday Ten

25 Sep

Okay, I’m having a bit of an irritating day which was brought on by annoying people and just topped off by my post disappearing 8/10 of the way through. Needless to say, my original post idea is still very much needed. I’m going to STILL try and focus on the positives with 10 things that are making me happy lately. I will also be saving this damn one every other sentence so I don’t have to start over for a third time 😀 Please bare with me as I’m still a bit tired from staying up way too late watching the Seahawks game. Sorry to those of you who are still in an uproar about the last play of the game, but it made our house happy 🙂

1. Emberly had her school picture taken yesterday. It was so adorable. There is nothing more smile inducing than watching a bunch of elementary school kids all dolled up, anxious to put their feet on the painted outlines and smile their biggest, cheesiest smile to be forever aww’d upon by their parents and grandparents. And really, who didn’t love missing 20 minutes of class to get their picture taken?

2. Emberly brought home her first Scholastic Book Club order forms. I can pretty much guarantee that I was more excited about this than she was. I just loved the feel of that thin paper and the ability to circle unlimited amounts of books or posters I wanted. It always thrilled me that my mom let me purchase almost everything I wanted. Of course, I had no idea how inexpensive the books were compared to at an actual book store. Still, I went crazy and order $36 worth of books from Emberly’s forms. Hey, you can’t beat $1 for Charlotte’s Web! I also loved helping my mom separate her classroom’s orders when their shipment arrived. It felt so grown-up and librarian. Maybe I should work in Amazon’s stock room.

3. My on-call schedules are figured until I deliver. I am actually really excited about this. I only have three more 5 day stints and one more 4 day stint until just before I give birth. I still have my regular shifts, but those are the longest stints! Plus, I will have all of my shifts completed BEFORE Christmas. That means I can finally have a stress-free holiday. I haven’t had that since before 2007. It’s definitely needed. Sure I still have Thanksgiving to cover, but we can survive that.

4. My maternity leave is mostly covered. I have enough PTO and Extended Leave with my on-call job that I will continue to get a full paycheck through March! I’m so excited about that. It will definitely help supplement the loss from taking leave from my full-time family-owned job. Now I just need to finally decide whether or not I’ll be returning to take call in April. I’ve really been leaning towards no, but I’m sure I’ll end up freaking out about money and decide to take call again with a 3 month old breastfeeding. Plus, if they ask, I AM DEFINITELY coming back. Don’t want to get screwed out of my earned leave pay!

5. Halloween candy. Need I say more? Sure I just threw out the years worth of random holiday candy this weekend, but FRESH NEW HALLOWEEN CANDY!!!! Ems and I picked out two jumbo bags of assorted candy. I chose a Kit Kat variety pack, she choose a collection of Reese’s Pieces, Jolly Ranchers, Whoppers, Blow Pops and Milk Duds. On a related note, why do they always put one crappy kind of candy in each jumbo bag?! If you need to get rid of the shitty candy, STOP MAKING IT. It does NOT belong in my jumbo bag of cavities! I’m earning the dental work, the last thing I want to do is pay for a non-enjoyable candy AND dental experience.

6. Halloween decorations. Let’s just have full-disclosure here and note that I am not at all crafty or decorative. Hell, I haven’t logged in to my Pinterest account in over 7 months…not like I was going to do any of those things anyway. Emberly and I put up our limited Halloween decorations this weekend. She’s still trying to scare everyone with the giant spider I hung on our wall. It started out with me pranking her, then she pranked her dad, and now everyone must know about our spider! She even tries to scare me about a big spider on the wall at least three times a day, and I’m the one that put it there.

7. Pumpkin spice. Lattes, candles, pumpkins. I love it all. There’s just something magical about fall with all the falling colors, cool breezes and warming smells. It makes me happy. I can’t lie, it also made me happy when we stumbled upon the Christmas section at Target after making our way through the Halloween section. Bring on the holidays!

8. True friends. I have lots of friends. Many great friends who I adore and for whom I’d do anything. I, on the other hand, tend to not trust them. It’s not them, it’s me.I have a fear of letting people know how I truly feel, what’s really bothering me. What if I don’t want to hear their advice? What if I don’t follow their advice? What if they remember every single detail and throw it back in my face months down the road? What if they won’t take my other problems seriously after hearing about something else? These types of worries have always held me back. I’d rather suffer through the pain for longer, than deal with the possible ramifications of telling a “friend” something that would be used against me later. I finally let go of some of those feelings last week. I was having a minor crisis that really no one outside of my house knew was happening. I held it in for a day or so and finally broke in. I told one friend, and she was amazing. She listened to me vent, she bitched with me, she cried with me, and she made me laugh again. She understood how I was feeling, she knew exactly what I’d do and not do. She never pushed me and always listened. Every time we talked, it wasn’t all about me and my crisis. It was just two friends trying to make it through life. She changed my outlook more than she’ll ever know. I love her immensely, and have since before this. She knows who she is and I hope she knows how amazing she was to me. Even when one person has made me feel like I may not be able to trust again, she was there to show me that people can be amazing. I just need to let them close enough to see it.

9. Fall Premier Week. I am so excited that shows are starting up again. Now I can start getting anxiety about the DVR filling up and wondering when we’ll be able to fit in all of the shows! It’s a good problem to have, I think. Of course, I’m a little bummed I had to cancel recording Bones last night to watch the damn football game. What do they say? “Happy husband, happy…” shit, nothing good rhymes with husband. That must be why they stick with “Happy wife, happy life.” I’ll miss me some David Boreanaz this week. Let’s keep our fingers crossed Fox decides to re-air it in the near future!

10. What’s inside me. I never actually updated from my last post, but we DID find out what we’re having. Britt is beyond excited and I’m happy that we can prep Emberly for the arrival of her little baby…

Image

brother! Sure it may be inappropriate to post pictures of my son’s penis on the internet, but nobody said I was appropriate. I’m still undecided on if it’s better finding out the gender, as we have with this baby, or waiting until delivery like we did with Emberly. They’ve both been amazing moments.

What’s making you happy lately?

The Predicament (in my head)…worries of a second time mom to be

4 Sep

There’s been something different about this pregnancy from the beginning. Sure there was immediate, long over-due excitement upon confirmation of conception, but it’s just felt different. With Embers, I was concerned with how our lives would change. We wouldn’t be able to just off and party out of town for the weekend. We wouldn’t be able to spend copious amounts of money on ridiculous non-necessities. This pregnancy, it’s filled with different worries.

I often catch myself already mourning the alone time I have with Ems, knowing that soon our focus will be on the baby. I know that this is really a great thing for all of us. The benefits of a sibling will far outweigh the time she has to split with us and the new baby. Yet, I’m still saddened to look at her joyous face and know that soon enough her excitement for the baby in mommy’s tummy making its debut will be overshadowed by mom and dad’s lack of time to play mindless tickle games with her.

When I was pregnant with Emberly, there were the constant worries that something would happen. The unknown. The unknown was generally put in to the back corner when the excitement of what a child will bring to our lives would shine through. All the tiny infant diapers and clothes, the crib not yet slept in, the changing pad with it’s freshly laundered cover not yet marked by the uncontrollable squirts of a baby, all of the new things that seemed impossibly small and wondrous gave peace to a sometimes waning heart.

Now, the stress of work, raising a preschooler, a marriage fraught with tribulations, it all seems more melancholy. The weekly belly pictures give way to once a trimester. The much needed afternoon rests are put on hold for a work phone call or book read. The anticipation of the gender scan ultrasound is now just another errand to run on an already packed Wednesday morning.

I’m at a loss and I don’t know where to go. I long for winter nights and holidays. The smell of fall and pumpkin spice permeating my senses. I can’t decipher if my longing is for a time of joyous occasions, the impending birth of this baby, or the possibility of being completely done with on-call work. Sadly, I think the anticipation of maybe, just maybe, being able to break free from the hell that is on-call is what I’m most anticipating. The unknown damages of how my stress about this job are potentially affecting this baby just propel the endless cycle of worry. Mere weeks before Christmas I will start taking my maternity leave from the on-call position. I think that’s what’s tying all of this together, the holidays, the newborn smells, the quick sigh of relief before life changes again.

Can you call it antenatal depression when you know what’s causing it?

And then the baby kicks and punches inside of my expanding uterus, and I’m brought back to the reality that I have an amazing human being growing inside of me, dependent on my every breath. A person that will hopefully be an amazing addition to this earth, a contributing member of society. The sadness takes a quick backseat to giddiness, and then guilt.

It’s said that even though you feel you won’t be able to love another child the way you do your first, it happens immediately. This bond, this love, never the same nor greater/lesser than the first. I yearn and fear for that. It feels almost selfish to want to love someone as much as I love Emberly. It forces me to wonder what the hell I’m doing? Do I think I can improve on what we’ve already created? Do I really want to start over with an infant? Hell, we’ve been diaper free for over a year and a half. Now I’ll be back to washing diapers, worrying about midnight feedings, when the last time was that I pumped, nurturing another human, praying that this one little fight or misstep doesn’t scar them for life or become the turning point in what would have been a promising abundantly peaceful life! Who makes this possible? Why was I agonizing for months to get this pregnancy that now has my mind riddled with greater fears?

Is it my indecisiveness holding back my excitement for my ultrasound? Do we not find out the gender, staying true to how we felt with Emberly’s pregnancy? Do we use this time to find out and help prep Ems for the impending sibling? Does any of this really even matter? Why should we be judged on whether or not we find out the sex of OUR child? And yet, everyone has an opinion. everyone but me.

It will get better. This baby and Emberly will be loved the same. I just need to make it through tomorrow.

A hard lesson learned

16 Jul

Jackson was a great dog. Sure he wasn’t the brightest.

Even with that adorable look, he could still be a little shit, loving to dig more than his Husky brother, Hoss.

But he was ours and we loved him. Even after we moved him from being our house dog to being our work dog, he was still happy and loving. It was impossible to move an inch at the office without him getting up to tag along. It became a game with he and B. See how often Jackson could get comfortable before you move and get him to follow. An endless game of follow the leader. He was very adventurous and loved being out in the fresh air investigating his new playground. Unfortunately he went beyond his playground this weekend and was hit by a car.

The second hardest part after having to see him lying along side the road motionless, was having to tell Emberly that her friend was no longer going to be there for her to check on and play with.

He was a great friend and a good big brother.

You will be missed deeply, but have served an even greater purpose. You are a constant reminder to Emberly, whenever she asks why she can’t see you anymore, that it is never safe to play in streets.

We love you Jacks.