Category Archives: I have Family

Happy New Year!

It’s 2014, did you hear?  It’s kind of not been real to me because we didn’t watch any ball drop on New Year’s eve, we forgot to watch the Rose Parade on New Year’s day, until it was in reruns in the afternoon.  Everything just kind of went into a tunnel for us… we’ll call it the stomach flu tunnel.

It started on the 28th of December, the day we went to LegoLand.  The times we’ve gone to Legoland with William this past year have been focused on visiting their amazing waterpark, so this time we went just to see the rest of the park.  Not surprising that it was all decked out for Christmas, even Miniature LegoLand.  So much fun!  William loved seeing LegoLand Santa and their Frosty the Snowman.  He adores Miniature Land.  He loved running on their fake grass.  We had such a great time!

 

We got home and put him to bed for the night and he woke an hour later, restless.  After ten minutes of him rolling around, I sent Tony in to see what was bothering him.  After a few minutes, William threw up all over Tony’s arm…and that’s where the stomach flu tunnel started.  William threw up 6, maybe 7 times that night.  I lost count and he became a pro at getting it into a bucket (instead of all over his bed sheets, or Tony, or the floor, or me, for instance).   The next day, he seemed to be feeling a bit better, but then on the 30th, he had a relapse with the vomiting and then the diarrhea started. On the 30th, Tony also came down with it.  I had a bit of nausea but, in all honesty, it might have just been in response to all the nasty smells in the house.

So New Year’s eve found us all on puke watch.  New Year’s day found us gingerly trying various bland foods.  It really wasn’t until yesterday, the 3rd of January, that we all started feeling somewhat normal again.

The sickness aside, it really was nice to have all that time with family.  Tony’s job, since he’s no longer working in the commodity business, alloted him more holiday time than he’s had in years.  William and I are continuing to nurse, so that meant a third Christmas filled with sweet nursing snuggles.  I was able to organize some of the areas in the house that have amassed clutter.  The clutter is kind of overwhelming, and I guess that’s kind of an ongoing project that I don’t want to give up on this year.  I learned early on when lap swimming that even the slowest stroke is faster than stopping at each end of the pool, and that’s something that I’ve tried to apply to my life… just keep swimming, even if you’re going at it slowly.

What is something you’re planning to work on this year?

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Merry Christmas!

We’re hanging out this morning… William’s gift to us was sleeping until 7:20 am.  Tony’s biggest gift to me was letting me sleep until I woke at 7:45 am.

Our gift to William was a shit-ton of Cars.  A gingerbread cookie in his stocking.  And his very own camera.  He is one happy little camper.

So blessed.

Merry Christmas!

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William’s 2 Year Pictures

I purchased a Groupon early 2013 with a company called Portrait Scene.  We’d never done a professional outdoor photo shoot before, only indoor with Sears Portraits.  The nearest Sears Portrait Studio closed down, though, so I wanted to find something else.

I was a bit concerned, doing a photo shoot outdoors in November… you just never know.  Especially since it was booked months in advance. But everything cooperated.  The weather, the park, even got a great photographer who claimed to have a little boy about William’s age… so he interacted well with him.  <—That makes things SO much easier!

The only issue I had with them was the delay in getting my order. They had some technical difficulties uploading the proofs to their website, they don’t allow downloading once purchased, and I placed my order on 11/14 and received the CD of printable photos on December 7th.  That’s a long time.

But worth the wait.

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Letter to our 2 Year Old

Dear William,

On 12/8/2013, you turned 2 years old. As the days trickled by this year, counting up to your birthday, I visited my journal from two years ago and reminded myself of the anticipation I felt then, but also the concern I had every day that you would go beyond your due date. My doctor had warned me you were a big baby, and I didn’t want a c-section, so I trained like I was going to the Olympics! I speed walked to and from Disneyland, I swam for hours every day, I took the stairs, up and down, to all of my OB appointments (6 flights) and at work (2 flights). And then, the amazing labor and delivery we had, like a finely orchestrated dance… I sensed from the start that you were a good boy, and funny. Turns out, both of those are so very true… and you even came a day early!

STATS/TEETH:
You are 37.5 inches tall, weigh 34 pounds 14 ounces. You are wearing size 3T in shirts and pants and size 4T in footed sleepers. You wear a size 8.5 in shoes.

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Your 2 year molars are currently coming in. Your left side molars have broken through the gums and your right side upper molar is a bulging mountain of swollen ouchy pink tissue. So is my index finger, because I went exploring but forgot to tell you not to bite. All I can say is, these molars must be truly awful for you, little one. Sleep has been rough and sometimes, even day time playing, you’ll just stop playing and start crying while grabbing your cheeks. Poor little guy.

THINGS YOU SAY:
Ice-crean is Ice cream. Balicious is delicious.
Lightming is “Lightning.”
You love to ask, “Hey! What are you doing?”  And then you answer your own question by tattling on yourself.

NURSING/FOOD:
You don’t like sitting in high chairs anymore, and much prefer to sit in regular chairs, just like the rest of us.
You love to nurse and request to nurse often. It is one of my most treasured relationships in life right now and feel beyond blessed that I will get another Christmas of nursing snuggles from you.

SLEEP:
OMG… baaaaaaaahahahahaaa

SLEEP, REAL UPDATE:
The first part of this past month was an awful nightmare in the sleep department. One night in particular, you were simply unable to sleep. I nursed you for hours on end, and finally in desperation, I put you in your crib and laid down on the floor next to your crib and held your hands through the slats. You simply couldn’t sleep unless you were holding my hand, and I guess we finally must have slept for a few hours. You woke at 3am, crying. I don’t know if it was your teeth or the congestion you had and could hardly breathe, or very likely a combination of the two. It was awful and I swore you were trying to kill me.

It was the trigger for something that I’ve been thinking about doing for awhile now, and that was to have the bed your grandpa H. built you lowered, and used as a functional bed for you now. I thought long and hard about it, trying to think of alternatives, but I kept returning to the fact that we should be using that bed now, not have it in your room collecting dust and outgrown clothes until you’re 10 years old. So the bed was lowered a few days after Thanksgiving, and on that very day you took the most epic nap you’ve ever taken in your whole almost two years of life. Three hours and fifteen minutes, and I woke you up because otherwise you wouldn’t be able to sleep that night. It has been that way ever since. This has been a learning adjustment for you, because the bed is much larger than your crib (e.g., a Twin Extra Long) and you can now reach your window shutters from your bed and your room has the best view in the house of all the Christmas lights in the neighborhood, but overall you’ve done very well, with long naps that you hardly move at all, even sleeping through the garbage truck coming by in all his noisy glee. This has been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.

I know I’ve spent a lot of time on this part of the update, but I’m really astonished by this and am wondering if you’ve simply never been comfortable in your crib?

THINGS WE DID/PLACES WE WENT:

11/16 — last visit with your cousins, Huck and Milo for awhile (they moved to the east coast)
11/28 — Thanksgiving at home (Grandma & Grandpa H., Grandma D., Uncle Al)
12/6 – Disneyland/California Adventure Park with my work, and your grandparents came along, too.
Library on Mondays and Wednesdays
Music Class on Tuesdays

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PLAYTIME AND CHILDREN INTERACTION:
One of the things we do before your bath is to let you run around in your diaper for about 15 minutes. You adore being Diaper Baby! In fact, I’ve started using a timer to help you transition through the bath time routine. When it goes “beep beep” it’s time to get in the tub, or out of the tub, or get of of froggy potty, etc. It really seems to help.

Mid-November, we celebrated an early Thanksgiving with everyone — Steve, Marigold, Huck, Milo, Grandma H., Grandpa H., Grandma D. — we celebrated early because your Uncle Steve & Aunt Marigold, along with your cousins, moved to the east coast. All the rest of the month, you requested to see Huck and MIlo and then responded to yourself, “They moved away, it’s so sad!”

You are best friends with our cat, Tug. You love him to distraction and treat him like a brother. You show and share your toys with him and attempt to play with him. You give him hugs and kisses and tell him “You’re my kitty cat!”

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When we go to Chick-Fil-A, all you want to do is be the doorman for the play area… given that, it shouldn’t have surprised me that you are now able to open the fridge door and handily cart anything in there to the counter and request it for dinner.

FOR YOUR 2ND BIRTHDAY:
We kept it low key this year… for your actual birthday, we had your grandparents over and had a crockpot of beef stew, salad and bread. We had gingerbread cake with cool whip — gingerbread is your current favorite kind of treat and a few presents. For your birthday party, we’ll be having a small get together next Saturday (the 14th) morning at your grandparent’s house. I think you’ll enjoy seeing everyone and hanging out.
THINGS I WANT TO REMEMBER:
How darling your developing sense of humor is. You put your train on top of the garbage truck and say, “Oh, that’s funny!” Or you put Lightning on top of Tow Mater and inform me that Lightning is stuck. One morning I was lip synching the words to your favorite song, Trot Old Joe. You watched me for awhile and then looked at your father and said, “Mommy’s being funny.” The way you grab Froggy, shove him in your mouth and fake cry. Then you hand me Froggy and expect me to fake cry into it, then you hand Froggy to your father and request that he cry. One night you had been eating strawberries and burped. You immediately said, “Excuse me.” Then, a moment passed, and you had an odd look on your face and then you said, “That was a strawberry burp!”

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You have started singing songs… with actual tunes and rhythm. You also like to hum songs, particularly Twinkle Twinkle Little Star while nursing. You love B-I-N-G-O. Your favorite of favorite songs right now is “Trot Old Joe,” which is on your summer album of Music Together. You also love the “car song” and “train song” that is on the same album. Other songs you know or are learning the lyrics to are Christmas songs — Jingle Bell Rock is a favorite and Let it Snow.

You have started to pick out what clothes you want to wear. You love a train shirt that was handed down to you from your cousins, in fact, you pulled it out of the laundry basket one day and carried it around with you. You also have a penchant for requesting to wear specific colors of shirts.

How this month you have been obsessed with Christmas lights and Christmas trees and Christmas music. As mentioned under the sleep update, we rearranged your room and now you have access to your window. One evening this month, you spent a half hour in your bed running back and forth to the window, opening the shutters and looking out at the Christmas lights down the street, saying all the while, “I see Christmas lights, mommy. I do. I see Christmas lights!”

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How when you really want my attention, you’ll come up to me and say, “Up, please, mommy?” Then you move your head until you’re eye-to-eye with me and you look in my eyes and say “Mommy?”.

The way you catch my eyes sometimes and just grin at me because you’re happy.

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How I came up the stairs one night and you and your father were up there playing in the hallway. I asked what was going on and you replied, “We’re having a man party!” Your father claims he didn’t prompt you to say that, so you must have remembered it from when you were watching the Cars movie together and i said that to you guys. Oh, and when you watch a movie, you have to eat grapes, because … that’s what you two did the first time you watched Cars. And the other night, when you were watching the movie again, I brought you some rinsed grapes and you turned at me and grinned, an inside joke… but you obviously needed grapes to go with your movie.

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The evening of your birthday, I realized that when I nursed you to sleep that night, it would be the last time I nursed you as a one year old. Nostalgia reminds me that you have literally grown from a helpless, newborn baby into an independent, loving, impressive little boy, right there in front of my eyes on my nursing pillow. Your entire body used to fit the length of my arm, I could pick you up and put you into your crib with one arm. Now your back is longer than my forearm, your legs hang off the chair when you fall asleep, and I have to use both hands and arms to lift you up, all the while I strategically leverage my body to get you into your bed.

You really love to help us in the kitchen. You press the button on my coffee maker (after I’ve put water and coffee grounds in), and then tell me, “I made mommy’s coffee…. yay!” You grab a kitchen chair and haul it behind you into the kitchen so you can climb up on it and help. I let you lick the beater when I make your banana cookies, and you really own that beater, your tongue wraps all around it and it gets all over face. These rites of passage, a child licking the beaters, a child running the upstairs hallways before bathtime, a child melting in my arms as he leans over and gets right up in my face and whispers, “I love you, mommy.” These are the kinds of moments I had hoped for, and I hope these are the moments you’ll remember fondly for the rest of your life.

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You are a blessing times a million.

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Love you forever, Mama and Daddy

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A Birthday, Mine.

This past weekend, on the 1st, we celebrated my 43rd birthday.   Tony, bless him, gave me the greatest gift any man can give a woman who is the mother of a toddler… the gift of a nap.  The gift of a nap when said toddler failed at taking his, by taking the toddler away and on a drive that then turned into a car nap for the toddler.

Not to be outdone by that gift, he also took me to our mountain cabin for a couple days.  Where we did our usual tour of our favorite breakfast place where I was serenaded with the Happy Birthday song by a fellow there singing, a surprise was that, I’ve never seen anyone there singing before, so that was a perk.

We also visited the candy store in town, where I bought my favorite candy there…  a dark chocolate caramel apple, a dark chocolate covered pretzel stick and a dark chocolate peanut butter cup.  Tony then bought us ice cream.  Never mind that there was smatterings of snow and ice in town, residuals of the storm that had moved through there earlier in the week.  Ice cream doesn’t need warm weather to taste good.

Then there was the birthday cheesecake and sparkly numbers atop it.  Well, more like birthday cheesecakes, and since it was my birthday, I sampled each and every one of them… and, being in a generous mood, I let Tony sample them, too.  They were delicious, indeed.

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Finally, there was the moment as we drove down the mountain, our time there enjoyed immensely… and we held hands, as we drove we entered what I call our magical forest.  When it snows and the trees are heavy with it, the light sparkles it turning it to frozen diamonds.  It looks like something out of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  It was there several years ago that it was where I realized that the love Tony and I had for each other was too much, and that we needed a child to hold some of the love… and wasn’t that a good idea to start a family with?  Too much love?  And this time, as we drove, our child chattered at us from his seat in the rear seat, happy and content, smiling and singing and yelling, ” Boo!  Mommy and Daddy, boo!!”

P1160426For as much as a child’s birthdays marks the years passing like mile markers on a freeway, so does my birthday mark the passing of time of my happiness in the family we’ve made.  There is no gift in the world that I want, for I have all I could have ever dreamed… and more.

I am so very, very blessed in this, my 43rd year of life.  Happy Birthday to me.

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Owning Motherhood.

At last night’s early morning nursing, William was super sleepy and got the initial let down and then backed off his latch and intermittently pacified.  After a few minutes, I switched sides with him, and the same thing… so I unlatched him and his breathing deepened and I lifted him back into his crib.   He laid there for a second and then sat up and said, “Nooo-hoo-hooo!  More Nah-nahs, please?”  So, I lifted him out and he latched again, but didn’t nurse, and instead went back to sleep.

All those times when he was a newborn and the world went silent when he was placed on my chest, all he wanted was just to be near me or on me, that’s what I was reminded of.  So, as tired as I was, I willingly held him close and treasured this blessing that I held in my arms.  This blessing that I used to fervently pray for when I woke in the middle of the night, and every waking moment when my mind rested on the desire for a child.  I devoured the Bible, searching for stories about infertility and the promises God made to those families.  I searched the Internet for answers, countless times.  I became a self-made expert on infertility.

And now here he is.  In my arms.  I still can’t believe it.

I thought about how his arms and legs have magically lengthened from scrawny baby frog legs to chubby baby thighs to sturdy toddler legs.  How is he in his twentieth month of life already?  As I think about that, he pulls his legs up to his tummy, so now it feels like I’m holding a 33 pound newborn in a nursing position.  I smile to myself.  He sighs in contentment.  I stroke his hair, shortened by a recent hair cut.  This comfort that I give him is free to me to give.  The only cost is sleep.  I can sleep in a few years… when his need isn’t urgent.   So, I waited and thought about all these things.  Eventually, I gently unlatched him, and then lifted him back into his crib.

The choices that I make… a willingness to comfort someone over sleep.  I feel like I am owning motherhood.  That makes me happy.

**Note: Please disregard any ad that WordPress displays in my posts.  They want $30/year to discontinue it. Not going to happen.

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Weekends are the Best.

There really isn’t much more to add to that title, except that it seems that weekends just keep getting sweeter and sweeter as the days go by.  This past weekend, we had been planning to go out of town but I canceled at the last minute just because I was feeling a little overwhelmed by life.  So, we stayed home.  I’m glad we did, because while it would have been fun to get away, but there’s so much preparation and strategy involved.

We stayed close to home, instead, and visited the Irvine Spectrum.  They have a ferris wheel and a train that we’ve been meaning to ride.  We also visited the splash pad, and having our own kid was great, because we didn’t look like a couple of creepsters.

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After a meal at Ruby’s Diner… holding his tummy.

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The next day, I spent some time out in our back yard cleaning up my plants, getting rid of some of the pots that have rotted from sun exposure, rescuing and repotting some plants, trimming back others, pulling weeds (who knew that potted plants get weeds, too).  Sometimes I just have to stand there, turn around a few times, walk to that corner, walk back to the middle, and wait for a vision to come together in my head.  Or as my former boss used to simply say, “I’m thinking.”

After I figured out what I wanted to do, then I let my little helper come out and assist me.  I was worried that he would come out and rip up all the plants, or start digging the dirt out of the pot, but all he wanted to do was swing the fairy, play with the pinwheels and clang the “Cat Crossing” sign on the ground so I would say, “YIKES!” and he would laugh.  Oh, this sweet child of ours.  I am constantly blessed by his sweet, laughing spirit.

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Thank you, God, for this sweet blessing.

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Happy April First.

Two years ago at 7am I had my blood drawn to find out if our 2nd IVF cycle worked or not. It was, ironically, to the minute, one year prior to that that I had miscarried the baby we conceived naturally (link). After the blood draw, I sat in my car and sobbed. I was convinced the cycle had failed because I was bleeding just as I had been one year prior. That cycle was it. It was our last shot at having a baby.

When my doctor called with the results (5 hours and 22 agonizing minutes later), I accused him of pulling an April Fool’s joke. I couldn’t stop shaking and sobbing. I told him to call Tony with the medication instructions because I couldn’t write it down… I was shaking too hard. Turns out, Tony couldn’t hold it together either, so I had to call the doctor back later, twice, when I had sort of calmed down. I couldn’t believe that I was pregnant.

This morning at 7am, I held the results of that pregnancy and nursed his warm, sleepy self in the darkness of his room before work. And I cried.

We are so very, very blessed.

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Sunny Sunshine Shining Green.

Yesterday Tony took William with him to his parent’s house, so I had three hours to myself.  At first I felt bereft.  I miss that kid so much during the week, I like to spend every spare moment that I have with him.  But then I realized, I’ve been meaning to get my hair cut.  Last time I got my hair cut, I had William with me and I wore him in a carrier on my chest. I stand anyway during the process because my hair is so long it makes it easier for my stylist to work with it.  But it was a little challenging, because he was Mister Nosey and wanted to know what she was doing with his mommy’s hair.

So, yep, you guessed it.  The second they left I hustled down to see her and got that taken care of.  Then I had two hours left… and GUESS WHAT!!?? Even though it’s not April, my community’s pool is heated.  Early.  Mid March.  Even better, the weather here is sunny and warm.  So I went had myself a swim in the pool. Outside. In the clean water that is not over-chlorinated.  It was glorious.

Could the day get any better?  Yes.  Yes, it could.

Despite all odds, William took a 2 hour 35 minute nap.  Which is good because he got a measly 30 minute nap on Friday, and he’s molarizing and had a beastly cold this past week.  Poor little guy.  He needs his rest.  Even better, I got an hour or so of a nap myself.

Then, THEN!! Last night was Green Dinner (aka St. Patrick’s Dinner) at Tony’s church.  Such a good time we had.  Even though we didn’t get to see the Irish Dancers (they came on after 9pm), the food was delicious, the bagpipes were entertaining and, you know, family was there.  Oh, and did I mention the food was delicious?  I think I might have.

When we were leaving, one of the men of the church asked me about my hair.  Now this is truly novel as no one ever notices when I get my hair cut.  I told him I’d spent all morning in the salon getting my hair done just for last night.

He looked at me, in all seriousness and said, “I sure hope you saved your receipt.”

A little miffed, I replied, “Yes, I did.  I know, they got it a little short, huh?”

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

There are so many things to be thankful for this day.  Every day really, but today especially when thankfulness is the topic of the day.

I’m thankful for those of you who still read here.  I’m thankful for those of you who still comment.  If you read here and don’t comment, I really wish you would.  Authors of blogs love comments and I’m no exception!

I’m thankful for my husband who really is one of the most amazing men I’ve ever met. Not a day goes by that there isn’t something new that I appreciate about him.  I really need to be better about telling him.  He does so much around here and does it without fanfare.

I’m thankful for my mom who cares for William during the day.  It is so special that she is able to have a relationship with him and that I can trust that he’s being well-loved and well-tended while we go to work.

Topping my list is the miracle that is our William.  There are moments that I still can’t believe he’s here.  There are also moments that I still can’t believe he’s ours.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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