Thursday, August 14, 2014

Out of the Woods

110 hours.

That's how many hours we spent in the Palm Beach Children's Hospital.
That's how many hours I spent wondering if we would ever come home.
If he would ever get better.
Wondering, why him? Why me?

It started off as a stuffy nose, that escalated into a slight fever, that turned into a high fever and a baby that wasn't responding to my voice. I made the decision to take him to the ER, and then I doubted myself when we were sitting there for hours and he seemed perfectly fine. But over the next few days, his fever got worse, some nights going above 103. Tylenol only helped so much and we were starting to exceed the 5 doses per day maximum. I didn't know what would happen once we reached that point.

But we never found out, because his fever disappeared overnight, just the same as it appeared in the first place. I though, that's it. We're going home. Then he stopped being able to breathe. Nurses came in and other, more specialized nurses were called, and words were thrown around like rapid response and PICU and intubation. I cried. I was confused. We were getting better! I said, though no one was listening. I was convinced they were exaggerating. But watching Rory struggle to take a breath convinced me that everything was not okay, that maybe it never would be. There were breathing treatments and steroids ordered, respiratory therapists visiting every three hours of the day and night, nurses checking his temp and status every hour. No sleep, no privacy. A baby that would cry and cry and couldn't nurse and therefore couldn't be comforted. Me, completely unable to soothe, to help. My mom, strong for the both of us because I sure as hell couldn't be.

Blood was taken everyday, numbers coming back too low or too high and meaning absolutely nothing to me. A blood transfusion was suggested, and I agreed, because what else could I do? Except his IV started leaking and they tried to find another but his veins were so small inside of his tiny little body and there wasn't one single nurse in the whole hospital who could find one. We know- they all tried. While I paced the halls and listened to him scream, I cried, and I'm sad to say that I didn't pray- I yelled at God, inside of my head, of course. I asked him why he couldn't just cut him a break. As it turns out, that night was the best night in the hospital. Despite the fact that his arms and hands were covered in failed attempts for an IV, we got to snuggle together completely wire free. We had a whole 9 hours with nothing between us. He slept on my chest, in one of those terribly uncomfortable pull out chairs, but it was the most peaceful sleep either of us had while there.

Then morning came, and it was time to try for an IV again. An angel nurse got it on the second try and all I could think was, where were you last night? I was prepared for a bad day, for more of an inconsolable baby, but at some point during the night, Rory had made a turn for the better. I didn't want to get my hopes up- it had happened once before and we were thrown back into the fire quick. But he seemed to stay better all day, and the transfusion only helped him even more. Then I heard the words I'd been wanting to hear all week.

"If he stays stable, you can go home tomorrow."

I almost didn't believe them. Even the next day, when the discharge papers were in my hand, I still didn't believe it. I was afraid that I'd step out of them room and into a trap- just kidding! We need more blood! But we made it downstairs and outside, and we both got our first breath of fresh air in five days.

And I thought to myself, It's over. We made it.

Simple as that.

Except, I can't help but be afraid that we're not out of the woods just yet. I'm full of fear- afraid that he'll get sick again, afraid to let anyone touch him or hold him or get too close. I'm afraid to leave the house with him. I sleep with one eye open, afraid that he'll stop breathing. I don't know when I'll be able to get over everything, or if it's as easy as that. I can't help but wonder if maybe this isn't just a one time thing. If maybe we'll spend our lives worrying about Rory. I don't know how to convince myself that he's okay, and I don't know how to stop seeing him the way he was in the hospital.

Sick.
Tired.
Defeated.

After we got back to the house, the skies opened up and covered everything in a sticky, warm fog, and as the sun broke through the clouds, it set the world on fire. The clouds were glowing in hues of orange and pink, gliding across the sky in puffs and swirls. We went outside and breathed in the wet air, the four of us finally together. I could still feel the fear inside of me- I think it'll always be there, festering, begging to be remembered, but Aubrey was running in circles around me and Rory was snuggled up in his daddy's arms and I thought to myself,

It's over. We made it.




Monday, August 11, 2014

Be Alright

Today while Rory and I were sitting in a wheelchair, being pushed from one end of the hospital to the other, I could feel the stares. I could hear the whispers.

That poor baby. 
Such a little thing. 
I wonder what's wrong. 

I don't blame them. When I saw sick babies or children, I would try to out myself in their parents shoes. I would think, I don't know what I would do. Well, now I know.
I know that I would cry, a lot. I would hold my sweet baby and touch his little cheek and ball my eyes out because it just hurts. I know that I would be angry and say, why me? I know that I would think about the what if's. I would think about how people pray for their babies to get better all the time and sometimes they just don't. I would wonder if we'd be them, or if I could believe everyone when they say he'll be just fine.

The worst part of it all is the not knowing. The well, it could be this, but it could also be that. When you don't know the problem, you don't have a solution. Right now they're just throwing everything at him and hoping something works/gives us answers.

Heel pricks
Blood draws
Urine samples
Antibiotics
Steroids
Breathing treatments
Oxygen
Ultrasounds
X-rays
Blood transfusions

There's talk of PICU's and pulmonologists and hematologists and all of these words that I don't quite understand. There's information on top of information and so many possibilities that it's hard to wrap my mind around one single thing.

And then, at the end of the day, there's the chance that it's just the biggest, nastiest cold on the face of the planet. I'm praying really hard for the latter. And thank you everyone for your prayers and thoughts. I've honestly felt them, even though this whole situation feels helpless. His fever has gone down and stayed down, which was one of our main concerns, but then a wrench was thrown into the mix when he stopped being able to breathe properly. Then something like this happens

.

And even though this is far from the way he's been feeling, the rare smiles are made all the more precious because of it. But this is the picture I'm choosing to show you because to me, it means hope. And I have to hope everything is going to be alright.

It just has to be alright.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Baby Story

I seem to have a lot of ideas in my head that very rarely pan out the way I envision. You'd think I'd have learned my lesson by now, but I guess I'm kind of hard headed in that sense. My plan all along was to bring the computer to the hospital with me so that I could jot down Rory's birth story right away. That didn't happen. In fact, I hardly thought about anything other than how tired I was and how in love I was. Now here I am, boxing 3 month clothes because they're too small, and I still remember his birth like it was yesterday. It went a little bit like this...

I had been having intense Braxton Hicks contractions pretty much from 30 weeks on. It was the same with Aubrey. But unlike with Aubrey, my due date came and went and I was still pregnant. Cue the violins. I was big, it was the end of May and scorching hot, and I had a toddler to run after. Despite all of that, I was comfortable, okay with the fact that Rory was still cooking. I didn't feel the need to rush anything.

Until I went into actual labor.

My birth plan was to go natural. No membrane stripping, no drugs, no water breaking. Just let him come when he wants to come. Sunday the 25th, as I was sitting in the newest X-Men movie with the husband and having intense contractions every ten minutes, I whispered into the packed theater, "This is it." I could barely pay attention, shifting every so often to try and relive some of the pressure my too tight maternity pants were creating. They stayed consistent until we got home...and then I went to bed. Twenty minutes apart. Thirty minutes. I woke up the next morning with nothing to show for it.

So Monday, the 26th, when it happened again, I tired not to get my hopes up. I went to bed expecting to wake up not in labor. What I did not expect was to wake up at 1am and still be in labor. The contractions were five minutes apart and strong enough to keep me from sleeping. "Babe, this is it." I poked him until he woke up and talked until 3am, too excited to go to sleep. When I realized that they weren't getting any closer together, I let Todd go back to sleep and ate a peanut butter and jelly. Around 5am, still awake and very much in labor, I moved myself into the living room and sat on my exercise ball. I was tired, literally falling asleep sitting up, and I was in pain, the contractions getting stronger but not more frequent. At 6am my dad comes waltzing into the living room to leave for work. He looks at me, looks at the ball, and says, "Guess I'm not going to work today?"

We sat together for the next hour or so, him periodically rubbing my back while I tried my hardest to breathe through each wave of pain. Still five minutes apart at 7am. The husband finally wakes up, joins me in the living room. 8am we decide to call the midwife- no answer. She always answers her phone. We call her again at 9, and again at 10. Still no answer. Still in pain. Tired and hungry and nauseous and just so tired. 11am and she finally calls back, tells us to head over to her office to check me. And you know what she told me? 2cm dilated, 90% effaced, baby's still high. So discouraging to hear after 10hrs of labor.

And so I made a decision that I thought I would never make, but that I realized I was at peace with. We checked into the hospital at 12pm and told the nurse we would be needing an epidural. I was nervous, but okay. When I gave in to the epidural with Aubrey, I felt like I had failed myself and failed him. Even after the 30+ hrs of natural labor, I felt I hadn't done enough. But this time I had the feeling that I was doing what was best for us. I labored for another hour on my own, per my request, before the nurse checked me. I told her not to tell me how far (or not) dilated I was, but Todd told me anyway. 4cm, effaced, baby's still high.

So she sent for the anesthesiologist and we waited while I tried desperately to keep my hands and body from shaking with nerves. A little side note- I hate needles. I hate the idea of that giant needle going into my spine, which was almost enough to keep me from getting one at all. But as each contraction became more intense and more frequent, I knew that I'd throw aside my fears for comfort. And I'm so glad I did.

The rest was smooth sailing- Rory's heartbeat was strong and steady, my contractions were consistent with the help of pitocin and I didn't feel anything until I needed to.

8pm- 9cm, water still intact. Midwife asks if I want my water broken, since it's most likely the cause for the baby still being so high. "Let me know if you feel the urge to push," she says after it's done. I'm so nervous/excited I can't stand it, and when just ten minutes later I feel the urge to push, I almost chalk it up to impatience. "I really need to push!" I finally decide, and sure enough, it's time to push.

But of course, it's not that easy. Rory is posterior and does not want to come out. A half hour passes, and I decide I can't do it. I'm tired, I'm hyperventilating. There are too many people in the room. I kick everyone out and keep trying to GET THIS BABY OUT. I give up, more than once. I yell at the midwife that she's lying, that I'm not almost there and he's stuck in there forever. I JUST CAN'T DO IT. I see the look the midwife and nurse pass between each other. Todd's hand tightens around mine, they give me oxygen. Another half hour passes and still he's not out. I fall asleep between contractions, so physically and mentally exhausted that I don't even care what happens at this point.

And then finally, finally, I feel his head break free and then the emptiness that follows the release of his body, and then he's on my chest and everyone's back in the room and I'm crying and he's crying and my mom's crying and he's finally here. I have two babies. I hold him and I squeeze his slippery body and I cry some more because, let's face it, I cry watching Lifetime movies. And all the pain and the waiting and the pushing was totally worth it because his little body fits perfectly into mine and he latches right away and when they take him to do baby stuff I keep my eyes on him the whole time, unwilling to let him out of my sight for one second.

When he's back on my chest and Todd is hovering over both of us like a big snugly papa bear, I realize that I am whole.






Friday, July 25, 2014

Borrowed Prayers

2 MONTHS OLD





13.4 lbs -- 24 in long

I always dread going to the well visit appointments. For most people, it's not a big deal. For me, it's nerve wracking. I hate having to tell the nurse that we're not vaccinating- I hate having to explain myself and my decisions. But I tell myself to buck up and stand up because it's one decision I won't back down from. We were able to find a doctor that's accepting of it, thank God. And so each visit is just that- a well visit.

They say things like, "He looks healthy," and "He's gaining weight perfectly" and I smile and agree because I notice those things, too. But no one ever expects the doctor to say something negative, something like, "I feel a fullness here that shouldn't be," and "His soft spot isn't really there." So I walked out of their office today with a referral for an abdominal ultrasound and so many questions. I didn't know that his big ol' belly could be more than just too much milk- I didn't know that a non-existent soft spot could be a bad thing. 

In some ways, I feel like I've failed him. I feel like I should have known to look for certain things.

Maybe we'll get the ultrasound and it'll be nothing. Maybe I'll keep an eye on his head and it'll end up being absolutely normal. Maybe it won't, and that's what's scary. Being a mom is scary.

For now, he's doing everything he's supposed to be doing and more. "Don't borrow trouble," is what my best friend told me. And I know she's right. I know that it doesn't do any good to worry. But praying? Praying I'll do. And maybe you can too.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Before and After

I had this idea that I would write so much more after Rory was born- that I would document all of the funny, the sad, the boring. I wanted to remember those first few weeks of being a mom of two. I was right about one thing- they are so, so special. But I was disillusioned to think that I would actually have the time to write with a newborn and a very jealous toddler.

So here I am, almost two months after Rory was born, and I'm here to tell you what it's like.

It's exhausting.
It's frustrating.
It's ungrateful.
It's wiping two butts and feeding two babies.
It's a lot of TV and a lot less sleep.



But it's also two times the love.



It's remembering things forgotten and quiet midnight feedings.
It's watching eyes light up and bonds form.


It's heart melting.
It's making memories.
It's learning.

I can't tell you that I've got it all down- that we're back on track, back to our scheduled programming. But we're getting there. Every day we get one thing right, even if we get three things wrong.

It's been a completely different experience this time around. After having Aubrey, I felt misplaced, alone. I felt like I was the only twenty year old on the face of the earth with a newborn and a baby pouch that, unfortunately, didn't disappear over night. The years that followed, although full of love, were also full of struggle. A constant battle to balance my new life- motherhood- with my old life- freedom. That's not to say that being a mother comes with shackles. I just had to learn that my new life was my son, and that was absolutely okay. Fulfilling, even. Basically, I had to have a change of heart, and that change came in the form of two pink lines.

A lot of things change when you're pregnant- your body, family dynamics, friendships, relationships in general. Some dissipated while others flourished. I embraced the changes, focused on growing a healthy child and raising a well adjusted toddler. And I feel as though those efforts have paid off. This time, when Rory cries all day, I find myself falling even more in love with him instead of handing him off to someone else. This time, I'm okay with missing out on the fun. I choose sleep over a movie and the park over the mall.

That's not to say that I don't crave me time or a girl's night. I'm still my own person, but I'm their person first.

That's what it's like with two babies- whole.

Before, I thought I had everything I needed. And after, I know for sure that I do.



Friday, May 9, 2014

Bumpy Road

I guess it's kind of cliche to write a post about being a mother on mother's day weekend, but I'm feeling a bit cliche these days. It was exactly three years ago that I was hoping for a mother's day baby, so pregnant I couldn't stand it any longer. This time around is different. I don't feel the rush or the anxiety that accompanies a major life change. I don't feel the need to walk thay baby out, as so many suggest.

Sure, I miss sleeping on my stomach. And yes, it'd be nice not to have to pee every two minutes, but I know that everything will be so different once he's here. And while I feel prepared for the changes, more so now than with Aubrey, I still feel the need to cling on to my family of three and settled routine.

Anyways, it still amazes me that I'm a mom. That there's a little person walking around outside of my body that needs me to feed him and bathe him and tuck him in at night. He calls for me when he's scared and yells at me when he thinks he can get away with it. I have to discipline, teach, learn, love, give... So many roles to play and so many shoes to fill.


A lot of the times, I feel incompetent. Unable to provide all of the things he's looking for and needs. Especially these past few weeks, with him being sick, and everyone insisting I take him to the doctor. Was it wrong of me to be hesitant, to hold back until he felt better and let the virus work it's way out? I don't think I'll ever know- some may say it's cruel to let their child be sick, others may say I did the right thing. But it's those decisions in motherhood that make us what we are- mothers. We're not given a rule book, guidelines, tips and tricks to follow. What may work for one mother may not work for another. And so we're flying blind through this trial where, as it happens, we're responsible for a life other than our own.

No pressure or anything.

Those moments of uncertainty and insecurity are far overshadowed by the immense amounts of love and fulfillment, and not necessarily the love that's received but the love that's felt. How I can look at Aubrey, even after he's been given a lollipop and demanding another with tears streaming down his face, and love him despite his ungratefulness and his full blown toddler temper tantrum. It's the feeling of possession during the midst of his getaway in the middle of the mall. It's the insistence that my own child is smarter and cuter and better than any other.


As mother's, we're expected to be above par. More patient and more kind and more loving, and while those things may be true some of the time, we're still human. We still get frustrated and annoyed and angry and yell. There are still times when I wish it was legal to shove him into a dog cage with a bowl of food and leave him to fend for himself. There are days when I have to remind myself that others don't get the opportunity to be a mom and wake up at the butt crack of dawn to a toddler in their face demanding that "the sun is up."

I've come to terms with all of these emotions, including the feelings of self doubt and failure. I've learned to accept the fact that some days I will feel like supermom, the house will be clean and dinner will be cooked before 6 P.M., and other days I'll still be in pajamas when Todd comes home and my biggest accomplishment will have been finishing the cheesy romance on my kindle.

I've finally figured out that MOM doesn't equate to PERFECT. They are not one and the same, no matter what the pictures or words say. Anyone who tries to tell you different is a big, fat liar. This road is as bumpy as it gets and the only thing we can do is wear a helmet and pray to God we all come out of the other end intact...

Oh, and remember to be thankful for the easy breezy days, because there will be some***


***But only just a few.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. I hope you know that you're a winner, even when you feel like a loser.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Fragile

We had a scare today.

A moment where everything could have changed, and even though it didn't, even though we came out on the other side mostly scratch free, I cried. I cried long and hard and couldn't stop crying because I knew that my heart could never handle a hurt like that.

Here's the story, and even as I begin to type it out, my eyes mist over and my mind begins to wander to the possibilities of how it all could have ended.

Before Aubrey went down for a nap this afternoon, I promised him we would go in the pool when daddy got home. So of course, as soon as he was up, he was ready to go. I brought him into our room to change him and started a conversation with my sister. Normal things. Aubrey had his suit on and left the room -- I thought he was going into his room to get a towel like I had suggested, or maybe even chasing my sister's dog Jade, since she had just been banished from my room. Either way, I didn't think anything of his absence. He wanders the house quietly all the time.

I'm not sure how much time passed- maybe five minutes, but probably no more than two. I was hunting down my own bathing suit when I heard the cry. The I'm-hurt-or-scared cry that sends me into a run no matter how pregnant I am. In a matter of milliseconds I was running through the house, trying to find him and already imagining the worst. Jade bit him. He fell and busted his lip again. He slipped and broke an arm.

But I couldn't find him, and I began to panic. Again, only a few seconds passed, but it felt like a lifetime. Then I noticed our German shepherd Odin standing at the patio doors freaking out, and I knew where Aubrey was.

I ran out into the backyard and found him standing in the pool, choking on water, soaked from head to toe. As I mentioned in a previous post, Aubrey hates water on his face. He won't go under unless we force him and we haven't done that since he was young enough to hold his breath when you blow in his face. And so I knew, in that instant, that Aubrey had gotten his bathing suit on and went outside to swim. ON HIS OWN. Whether he fell in or not, I'll never know. How long he was under, I'll never know. All I know is that, by the grace of God, he was able to find his way back to the steps and keep from drowning. But he was scared, and he was choking, and I grabbed him and shook him until I was sure that he was alright and real and alive.

And I couldn't stop crying.

And praying.

And crying.

In a mater of just a few minutes, the world shifted. It could have exploded and it hit me right there how very fragile life is. How precious and wonderful and scary and heartbreaking. So while my tears were tears of fear and what if's, they were also tears of relief and realization. I looked at my boy and his quivering lips and I held him close, felt his little heart beat against my chest and felt his feathery lashes flutter against my neck. I reassured him instead of punishing him, hopeful that the scare would be enough to keep him from wandering outside on his own again.

Maybe life is full of these scares, these moments where we realize how one small second could change everything. Maybe, without them, we would continue to take things for granted, like our safety and our convenience and the very breath in our lungs.

I know that, from now on, I'll be more careful. The gate around the pool is going back up and the doors leading outside will stay locked. I'll be more aware of where he is and try to remember that, even though he's independent and smart, he's still a curious, mostly sometimes disobedient three-year-old boy.


And, of course, I'll remember to hug him a little tighter, just because I can.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Just a Phase

I'm pretty sure aliens came into my house in the middle of the night and switched out the toddler version of Aubrey for some sort of man-child version.


He's always been a pretty big kid. Tall for his age, chunky even though he's the pickiest eater, and more verbal than most adults. But lately, I look at him and I think to myself "He's not a baby anymore." I was worried that he had lost weight when he got sick since he refused to eat anything for almost two whole days, but it seems that he's bigger than ever. Maybe it's the new skinny jeans or maybe it's the long hair. Either way, I'm beginning to look at him differently. Longer and harder, watching the way he moves and interacts and lives.


A friend of mine asked me the other day if I was sad about Aubrey not being our only baby anymore. I answered quickly with a resounding No, because I wasn't. I wasn't at all. But then I started thinking about it- thinking about how, right now, he's my best friend. I don't like to go places without him when I know he can come too. I don't want to leave him for however many days and not see him until Rory is here. I don't want to come home and have to turn on the TV for him just so I can nurse a baby. I don't want to tell him we can't go to the park because Rory is sleeping.

I know it won't last long. I know that once we get adjusted I'll wonder how I ever lived with just one. I know that my heart will be so full of love that it won't matter that we've sat in the house all day in our jammies, or that Aubrey has been watching cartoons for the past 3 hours straight.

I'll have to remind myself that it's just a phase, that it'll pass and I'll miss the days when they were both little enough to be entertained by TV and wooden toys.


On Friday, we left the house for the first time in more than a week. It was invigorating. Even though it was hot as Hades and Aubrey was semi-cranky and I forgot to bring a water, it was nice to be able to get out and see the world (aka Royal Palm Beach/Wellington.) We went to Target, where I actually bought what I needed to buy and nothing more. We went to the park, which was strangely empty and I thought would be mildly disappointing to Aubrey. Turns out he doesn't care who's there or not. There were structures to climb, after all! We stopped by Chickfila because I eat it more often than I should and PEACH MILKSHAKES. I'd like to blame it on the pregnancy cravings, but the fact of that matter is I have a sweet tooth the size of Texas and no self control.

After a long, much needed nap (for the both of us) Todd came home and took Aubrey in the pool, which was finally warm enough to enjoy. It sits unused for a majority of the year, despite the heat, but once it's usable, it's good. It becomes a daily ritual to jump in in the late afternoons, when the sun is still out but not as deathly penetrating as the early hours. And its strange because Aubrey has this really weird thing about water in his face or touching his face with wet hands. He HATES it. Like, gets anxiety he hates it so much. But in the pool? It doesn't matter. It's a whole different playing field out there.


I like to sneak out there and watch them, so caught up in there own little world that they don't even notice I'm there. Todd pretends with him, listens to him and teaches him. He pushes his boundaries without freaking him out and without getting frustrated when Aubrey refuses to comply. He shows him things he's not supposed to do in return for trying something new.


And everything I know to be true is reinforced. That Todd is an amazing father and that he will continue to be nothing less with the next however many babies that come along. It's good to know that some things never change, that some things are not just a phase. 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Restless Nights

The last week has been pretty rough around these parts. It's been a while since any of us were sick, and I knew that the "bugs" flying around this time weren't going to skip us. Call it mother's intuition. And whether it was the play place at the mall or the nursery at the church, I'll never know. But Aubrey woke up one morning looking like death and I began to prepare myself for sleepless nights and unproductive days.


He never sleeps in our bed. Not for nap time, not for bed time, not for anything. And it's not for lack of trying. He's just not a cuddler, and I came to terms with that long ago and began to appreciate the fact that Todd and I had our nights to ourselves, from 7:30 till the sun came up. But that first night he woke up coughing and I knew. I knew things were about to change, if only for a little while.

"Mommy, can I sweep wif you?"

I put myself in the middle with the hopes of letting Todd sleep, since he actually had to get up and go somewhere in the morning, and I got my first dose of toddler feet in the back that I hear all you moms talking about. I understand now. I'm sorry I ever laughed at you.

This only went on for two nights, thankfully, and then he was back to his I like my big boy bed self. But the afternoon naps continued, and I'm not sure it's something I'm ready to let go of just yet. I loved inching the door open to check on him and finding all of the strange positions three year olds get themselves into. It's a king size bed, after all. The possibilities are endless. Some days I joined him, and I found that it's much more comfortable with just the two of us- him on daddy's side of the bed, me on mine. There was one time when he woke up before me and nestled into my side, his not-so-baby-breath shifting the hairs on my forehead and I had to hold my self incredibly still just to make sure he didn't move. He stayed there for a solid twenty minutes, his finger half way out of his mouth and his lashes fluttering in some unseen dream.

And speaking of firsts, we got to experience the dreaded pink eye. I'm surprised and thankful that it's taken us this long, but his poor little body couldn't catch a break, and so began the experimentation.


Those are tea bags on his eyes, and even three year olds aren't immune to the power of a warm compress and a soothing song. He fought and screamed until he was red in the face but once he succumbed, he was out within two minutes. Oh, and if you're wondering if they worked- the answer is yes. But you have to be consistent and 15 minutes is a long time if he doesn't fall asleep.

Through all of this, Todd and I had somehow managed to keep not only our sanity, but our health. We thought we were in the clear by Friday night when Aubrey had been sick for three days and we had yet to experience even a slight soar throat. "The Vitamin D3 works!" I exclaimed to him, feeling stronger and smarter than some silly bug.

Until Saturday night.

And Sunday morning proved to be the assurance I needed- I was sick. 36 and a half weeks pregnant and I couldn't take a damn thing. Swallowing feels like the lowest level of hell and forget about breathing.

It's interesting how things change- just a week ago I was telling Rory that he could come anytime after 36 weeks (because, you know, they listen to things like that) and now I'm praying he waits until all this sickness is gone. Bringing a baby home to pink eye and strep throat isn't very ideal.

If this week has taught me anything, it's this -- The amount of new will never end. Just when you think you think you've got this motherhood thing down, you're given a dose of never been there and then laughed at. Because I definitely don't think God is above laughing.

I'd like to say we're on the mend now, but I don't want to jinx myself. Either way, we'll have a new baby in the house soon, so maybe this was kind of like a test run of no sleep and slightly miserable days.

But I think it's safe to say that I'm ready, that I've handled myself pretty well and little Rory can come knock our world around if he wants to.

Hopefully soon. Cause this big as a house stuff is getting old...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Home of Our Own

I realized something really important the other day. I guess you could call it an epiphany, that moment when the light bulb overhead turns on and everything is crystal clear.


Well, not crystal clear, but much more understandable than before.

Todd and I have been looking at houses for a while now, much the way one would window shop at a mall.
"Oh, that's nice." "How cute is that?" "I could see myself wearing that." 
But you keep walking, because you don't have the money to spend or the time to try it on. Well, we were never really in a place to own our own house, or we were just too comfortable with our current situation to figure it out.


There comes a time, though, when you want to take that next step, when finding your own place means solidifying your freedom and your family and becoming a real, live adult.

In the midst of house searching, we've had to ask ourselves several questions- what are we willing to spend? How far are we willing to go? What are we willing to sacrifice? The answers- As little as possible, not very far, and not very much.

I would find the perfect house, only to find that the area was terrible, or that it needed a re-haul, or it was out in the middle of nowhere. It was too small or too dark or just too something.

Always something.

I ran across this blog the other day at three in the morning, and was reading about how their family just up and sold everything, jumped on their 1950's trailer and traveled the country and I thought to myself  "We could totally do that!" So naturally, I woke Todd up out of a dead sleep and explained to him our new adventure. He agreed it could be done, until we both came crashing back to reality --- we have nothing to sell. We don't really own anything of monetary value except our car, and if we sold that, then we'd have nothing to pull the trailer. We had a good laugh about that, in the early hours of the morning, Rory rolling around inside of me and Todd squeezing my hand as he fell back to sleep.

And that's when the epiphany happened. That's when I realized that everything I needed I already had. That it wouldn't matter if the house we bought was big or small or near or far or ugly or pretty. I realized that I could live in a studio apartment, all of us stacked onto one bed, and be perfectly content.



So our search has changed. We don't look at the square feet or the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. We don't worry about updated appliances or if there's a bathtub in the master bathroom. We're not really concerned with the details, so long as we can call it our own.

A home of our own.

In other news, Aubrey had his very first Zumba class today. The class is supposed to be for ages 4 and up, but since Aubrey has been doing Zumba since before he could walk, we figured he would get along just fine. And he really, really did.


I will admit, I got a bit teary eyed. He's just growing so fast- he'll be three one month from tomorrow, and there are so many things he doesn't need me for anymore. But then I look down.



I can barely see my feet these days, much less put on a real pair of shoes, and I'm reminded that while Aubrey will be three in one month, it's very likely that I'll have a new squishy baby to carry me through his I don't need you phase.

Full circle, I guess.

And life continues to change.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

It's Been a Long Time Comin'

This post has been in the works for weeks now, sitting prettily in the draft section, along with a few other posts that have yet to see the light of day.

So many things have changed in the past month(s) since I've written that I don't even know where to begin. It's not the first time I've had to type those words- so many things have changed. If there's one thing I can say about my life thus far, it's that it is constantly changing. But I've learned that it's not a bad thing; that certain shifts and adjustments are made to allow better things to move into place.

Todd is no longer at Target. He's been with a new company for a little over a month, and he loves it. It has answered so many prayers and solved so many problems that it seemed like a miracle that had fallen from heaven. For the first few weeks, we were waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the too good to be true to kick in, but it's continuing to be everything we had hoped for, and we can only pray that it keeps going strong from here on out.

I have decided to try and start a photography business, and while it's still something I am very much pursuing, it's not clicking (get it, get it?) like I hoped it would. I still take pictures, don't get me wrong. I still sit in front of the computer for hours, editing and watching YouTube videos about how to do certain things, but it's hard to find people who want your services when they don't know you from Adam.

As far as baby news, there is none. I'm still pregnant, and it's still going extremely well. So well that I've already picked a name for our (one day) third baby. I've been able to enjoy this pregnancy so much that I can't imagine not doing it again. If you had asked me how many kids I wanted after Aubrey was born, I would have told you one. As in, the one I already had. Now I imagine a house full of curly-haired, brown-eyed kids and all of the blankets I could sew, and I can't wait until the time comes to have another. 

It's funny how things in life just click. How one day everything can be going so horribly wrong you think the sky might fall and crush you to bits, and the next day it's as if someone came in and hand painted a rainbow over your cloudy day. Or how, just when you think you can't take anymore, and you decide to let go and let God, everything goes back to standing right side up and you can see the end of the line much clearer than before. I've learned to just wipe my hands of my worries and sit back and watch. It's not like I don't stress or wonder how things might work out. It's not that I'm prefect and so is my family. I just got tired of being tired. I got fed up with standing on my tip-toes trying to see over the hurdles in my way. 

Now I focus on the things I enjoy- taking pictures, sewing, exploring with my little love. I've accepted the fact that my best friends are Todd and Aubrey and the days of the week are Laundry Day, Vacuum Day, Bathroom Day, Room Day, etc, etc. I don't care about who's going where or why I didn't get invited. I've learned that buying a steam cleaner and using it for the first time is almost as exciting as finding that perfect pair of jeans, and I'm more than okay with that. 

My life has changed, and it's taken me this long to to accept that. It's been a long time comin', but better late than never, right?

Oh, and here are some pictures I took the other day, just because.



Our man-eater being man-handled.. Ironic.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sunday Review: Randomness

I missed a Sunday Review, but for good reason. I didn't have a lens, and so I didn't take pictures, and a blog without pictures is like a unicorn without a horn. Anyway, I finally got a new lens, but just this past Friday, which means I didn't get the chance to take many pictures.

Except for this one.


I took a few more, but it was my first time shooting in a "studio" setting, and so not all of the pictures were that great. Actually, most of them weren't. There's a lot of stuff to learn and I feel like my head might explode just thinking about it, so it's kind of a trial and error thing right now. Hopefully, one day, maybe soon, I'll be taking pictures like a pro. And then become a pro. Just an idea/possibility I have floating around in my head right now...

Among many other things. It seems like everything is just floating around in there, because thoughts come and go like bursts of wind- felt one moment and forgotten the next. 

The point is, I'll be back on track next week (hopefully) and will have more words and pictures! Until then, Happy Monday! And don't forget to kiss your favorite person on Valentine's Day. 



Sunday, January 26, 2014

State of Now

Did you know that there are only 940 Saturdays between your child's birth and him leaving for college?


Kids have what I like to call the right now mentality. When they want something, or get an idea in their heads, it has to be right now; not later or in a minute. There is no such thing as I'm busy or I'm tired in their world. When they ask "are we there yet?" and you answer, "Not yet" it's usually followed up by "are we there yet?" three seconds later.

You can call it impatience, or an inability to understand time, but I've begun calling it living in the moment. It's a state of now.


And it's taught me something supremely important. There are some things I talk about starting and doing, so many times when I catch myself saying, "Yeah, I was going to do that, but..." I didn't have time, or we'll start it another day, or we're just waiting for...

There's always an excuse, a reason. And while it might be a good reason- money, lack of opportunity- it's most of the time not good enough.

We can strip it down to something even more simple than that. Aubrey asks me to take him to the park, and I tell him, "Not today, baby," because it's too hot or I'm tired or I have other things to do, like laundry or cleaning the bathroom. Yeah, those things are important, but they can be done when he's sleeping, or not when it's prime park time.


So I tell him we can go another day, but before I know it, another Saturday has passed and I'm down to 800.

Then 500.

300.

50.

1.


Before I know it, I'm filling out last minute paper work and packing a car and watching my baby drive away to start the beginning of the rest of his life...without me.

And I'll say to myself, If only I had one more Saturday.

It's hard for me to remember that my time with him underneath my wing is limited. I'm a stay at home mom who gets to see his gap-tooth smile every second of every day, so when I see something about the limited amount of Saturday's we have, my instinct is to question how many Monday's and Tuesday's and Wednesday's and... You get the idea. But it shouldn't be about counting the days. It should be about making the days count, however many you have or don't have.

I think, as a whole, we've gotten it in our heads that there will be a tomorrow. That there will be more chances and do-overs. I'm always assuming that another day will come.
It sounds kind of bleak, but it's not always a guarantee. Today could be the last time I'm woken by a whispered, "Mommy, I'm awake." It could be my last chance to pull him into my bed and snuggle him while he's still semi-asleep. 


I want to be more like Aubrey and live in the moment, in this state of now. I want to be so wrapped up in the time being that, when the end comes, I can look back and say that every moment was consumed with a memory, big or small. 

Whatever it is that you want to do, whatever better you're trying to achieve, you'll never be more ready than you are now. 

“It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.” - Hugh Laurie



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Winspirations

There's always a lot of Pinterest searching going on in my house. I don't go on it as often as some people, but when I do, it's never a quick visit. But whereas before I would pin something and never see it again, lately I've been finding myself actually referring back to some pins. Whether it'd be for dinner or for sewing projects, I try to fill each week with some sort of Pinterest inspiration. Maybe that sounds lame, but then you've never been on Pinterest. I swear, some of the stuff on there...genius.

I figured that each Wednesday, I could make a collective post of what has inspired me recently, and thus I have created Winspirations: Wednesday Pinterest Inspirations. Clever, right? Well, I thought so.

Photography Inspirations:

Left to right: Pic 1, Pic 2, Pic 3, Pic 4

DIY Inspirations:

Left to right: Pic 1, Pic 2, Pic 3

And this was my latest food adventure- Salad in a jar. Here is the original picture/idea:


And here is my attempt:


If you're wondering, they turned out pretty okay. The only thing I would have done differently is to NOT include the dressing at all. My cucumbers turned out kind of soggy since they were swimming in it, but Todd said they weren't. Maybe it's just my preggo pickiness, but if I'm at home anyways, I'll just add the dressing the day of.

If you're on Pinterest, you can follow me by clicking the Pinterest  button over there ---->>>
If you're not on Pinterest, then get on it! It will change your life!
(Whether it's apositive or a negative change is still to be determined...)