Blessings

Several things happened today to remind me just how blessed I am. And how extremely lost I would be without my God to rely on. It started out as I was playing around on the internet and stumbled across someone’s blog sharing their own preemie story. Their baby was born 14 weeks early and from the few things I read experienced so much more trauma than my own sweet one did. Surgeries and scares and many more problems than Baby G. I know in the world of preemies, 31 weeks isn’t anything compared to a 24-26 weeker. The odds for those babies are so drastically different from where we were. As bad as our experience was, so many families have it so much worse.

While reading that blog I saw that they mentioned another little girl and then saw a link on their page to another blog. I started reading that blog and ran into a scenario I can’t imagine. I know that I would be devastated, but there is no way to imagine just how terrible it would be to hear that your 4 year old child has several brain tumors and then spend the next year waiting to know if she will make it or not. I won’t lie. I sat there with my sweet baby cuddled up on my chest and I cried for this family. And for the sweet little girl who is living that nightmare.

Then, when Husband came home today he reluctantly told me that one of the younger men that works with him called him tonight to tell him that his wife went into labor. She was only 6 months along. The baby didn’t make it. The little boy was their first child. I looked down at my own little boy and told my husband it reinforces just how blessed we are. That could have been us very easily. Only a few small changes in our day and I would have felt that pain. My heart breaks for them. I have cried for them. It has been on my heart and mind all day.

As I read one of the posts about the little girl, the mom mentioned that someone commented on the blog saying that the family should “have had more faith in doctors than God.” That the doctors are the only ones with saving powers. I feel a profound sorrow for that person. I feel more sorrow for that person than I do for any of the others I read and heard about today. Let me explain. For while there is sorrow and pain in losing a child or dealing with a child that might leave you before you are ready, how much more sorrow is there for someone who has no light in their life? No hope? For there to be no purpose or no relief? To believe that the doctors are the only ones that can help? To not know that your precious child is safe and whole again with their Creator? How do you handle death? How do you look at your loved one who is fading away and not know that they will soon be happy and whole again? Or know that there is always another answer if the doctors, like in the case of this little girl, had all but given up?

I am blessed. In so many ways. I am blessed that God has gifted me with this precious little boy to raise and protect. I am blessed he chose to guide us and the doctors who attended us that day. I am blessed that my parents raised me to believe and trust in the power of our Heavenly Father. I am blessed that God has given me a heart that overflows with love for people I don’t know. I should remember more often that this love needs to be felt for everyone – not just those in pain. I am blessed with an amazing family of people whose fates I already know. I am surrounded by love and warmth, forgiveness and acceptance. I have a God who listens and answers.

I believe in prayer. I have seen God answer my prayers. And not just in the case of Baby G. He is actively working in my life. So I will pray. I will pray for the little girl, Lucy. I will pray for the couple who lost their son. I will pray for the girl whose story I ran across on Facebook a few weeks ago who has the same name as my own little sister. I will pray for my sweet Grandfather. I can’t change what has already happened, but I can pray for peace, for health, for healing, and for understanding. I can pray for others as so many prayed for us.

I am so blessed. And I hope that you will take a few moments to count your blessing too. And to say a prayer.

I’m not ready

Dear Little One,
I’m not ready. I’m not ready for size 1 diapers. I’m not ready for 3 month pajamas. I’m not ready for you to sleep upstairs in your bed. I’m not ready to go back to work.

Everyday moves too quickly. The time I have with you is never enough. I’m trying to savor every moment but the moments seem to happen so fast.

I worry our bond will weaken once I go back to work. I worry that I will become less important to you. I worry I will miss too much. I worry I won’t be strong enough.

I’m not ready for size 1 diapers or 3 month clothes. Those things mean you are growing up. They mean that you are getting further and further away from being my tiny baby. I know you must grow. I know you must get bigger. And I know I must go back to work.

But I’m not ready.

Happy Birthday Sister

Today is Sister’s birthday. She may or may not be 21 anymore. She is a little sensitive about the impending 60th birthday she will be having in 38 years. We’ve already had a conversation about it. You can read about it here. The DQ thing is a sore spot in our family.

Anyway.

Sister is 8 years younger than me. I’d love to tell you I was the greatest big sister EVER but then lightning would strike me and I can’t have that as I’m holding my baby. Truthfully I haven’t always been the best sister ever. There was The Incident when she was about 6, which I shall not elaborate on, which I’ve never forgiven myself for, and numerous other times I was mean to my sweet adoring little sis. I suppose I was jealous. I had been the baby for over 8 years until she came along with her little mini-me self. I mean, can you blame me? She stole my look! And then, horror of horror, she wanted to be like me! Come on! How conniving and terrible was that?? She was trying to take over my family and my friends and all the things I liked!

I see now, in my aged wisdom, that “imitation is the highest form of flattery” never quite occurred to me then. She loved me and adored me and looked up to me so much she wanted to be like me. I wish I could have appreciated that back then. It’s a little late but I appreciate it now.

Don’t get me wrong. I still loved Sister. I just didn’t always show it well. But thankfully as we got older we I moved past jealousy and moved into friendship. I love her to death and have so much fun when we’re together. We have a closeness now I wish we had shared many years ago. But I guess now is what matters.

In some ways I wish I could been like her. And in some ways I’m still jealous. But she is my sister and I wouldn’t trade her for the world. There was a reason she was my Maid of Honor. And there is a reason she is coming up to be my son’s Nanny. The reason is love. My love for my sister is great. It is made up of trust and compassion and familiarity. It is liberally injected with hilarity and silliness but always makes time for support and a listening ear. I am lucky to have such a sister.

Happy 21st (+1) Birthday Little (as in younger – she’s actually taller than me) Sister! I love you with all my heart. Hope you have lots of fun on your underwater adventure and forget your troubles for a day.

My Wedding – March 2009

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – September 2010

Nephew’s First Birthday Party – January 2011

Sister’s College Graduation – May 2011
(She’s not THAT much taller… She’s wearing heels)

Downtown Disney May 2011

It can wait

Today is laundry day. In order to keep my home from being overrun with dirty laundry I have deemed Mondays to be laundry day. I wash all the laundry on Mondays. This way Husband has clean underwear and work shirts for the following weekend. {Edit: I just realized this might sound as though the clean underwear were specific to weekends. The work shirts are specific to weekends. The clean underwear is a daily requirement.} As it is laundry day I also swap out the covers on the changing table and the Boppy.

Today I have managed to get one load of laundry washed so far. As in it’s still sitting in the washer. The other laundry is sorted and waiting patiently.

But it can wait.

I also bought two big packages of chicken breasts, having a stroke of genius, that I planned to clean, cut, and preportion into meal sized servings. I managed to get one of these cut and packaged. The other is sitting in a bowl waiting to be cut up.

But it can wait.

My bed needs changing, the rogue loads of laundry from last week need folding, dinner needs making, and the kitchen needs cleaning. Several other projects throughout the house also need attention.

But they can wait.

My little one isn’t feeling so hot today. He’s been fussy and clingy and sad. He cries so pitifully and can’t seem to get comfortable. He hasn’t napped well and only wants to be cuddled and held. He’s nursed more than normal, finding comfort in the milk and the momma. He’s finally starting to brighten and I hope whatever was bothering him won’t return. But until he feels better, everything else can wait. Dinner can be microwaved or picked up. There is clean laundry that can be worn. The sheets, kitchen, and projects will wait another day.

My baby is hurting. Nothing else matters.

A Letter of Love

Dear Son,
I love nursing you. I love watching you wag your head back and forth in order to find the milks. I love how excited you get when you realize the milks are getting close. I love how, when you finally latch on and get your first draw of milk, your little body relaxes and your eyes roll back in your head. I love when I can see your tiny tongue at the corner of your mouth. I love the little sounds you make while nursing; sweet little sighs and hums. The growls, grunts, and honks are pretty cute too. I love your sweet hands as they slowly open and close; such a graceful and gentle movement. I love when you turn to look at me with your bright eyes as though you just need to see my face. I love to cuddle your tiny little body up to me as you nurse, knowing you won’t be so tiny or dependent for long. My sweet one, I love that I can do this for you; providing comfort and nourishment only the way a mother can. This is our special time together that no one else can match. I love you my sweet.
Your momma

Don’t press the snooze – You might get an eye-full.

I miss sleep. I haven’t had a great night’s sleep since before Baby G was born. In the last few weeks I was pregnant, not only did I wake up every 2-2½ hours to pee, I had also developed a snoring habit. Which kept ME awake. Husband’s snoring keeps me awake. Not him. It wasn’t fair I couldn’t even sleep through my own snoring. Then Baby G was born and it was pumping ever 3-5 hours at night. Then he came home and it was feeding him every 2-3 hours. Now that he has started to sleep a little longer I’ve been able to get anywhere from 4-5 hours at a stretch. Sometimes Husband wakes me up when he heads off to work and sometimes Baby G will wake me up and then go back to sleep before I can get to him. Last night none of those things happened. Last night Baby G slept NINE hours. That is the longest he’s ever slept! But no, not me. I only got to sleep 6½. Know why?

I have alarm clock boobs.

Yup, you read that right. My boobs woke me up. Milk production is a supply and demand situation. My body will make milk based on what Baby G eats. Normally during the day he eats every 2-2½ hours. If he goes too long, say he’s in the Moby for an extended period of time, the milk will build up causing discomfort. The more milk that is there, the less I’ll make. So it’s important to feed him pretty regularly during the day. He demands, I supply. At night things work a little differently. The hormones slow while I’m sleeping so that the milk comes in slower. But since Baby G doesn’t have a set routine at night yet, my body has to produce milk for the eventuality that he will wake up sooner than later. Nine hours between feeds is a lot when his average is 4-6. Hence the alarm clock boobs.

I did ignore the first alert. It wasn’t very loud yet so I woke up, acknowledged the alarm, and then went back to sleep. But an hour later the snooze went off and I could not ignore it again. To do so would have been detrimental to my health.

I’ll try to explain the feeling the best I can. For those of you without boobs it might be a little hard for you to really understand. Actually, for those who have boobs it might be hard to understand. Unless you’ve been there. Then you know my pain. Hmmm… how to describe it… Ok. Imagine there are two… boulders… on your chest. Hard and lumpy boulders. Which are so full of… water… that if you bump them they will spring a leak. And the boulders are painful. Like big hard bruises. They ache. Now try sleeping on those boulders. Or do pretty much anything else. Exactly. Soooo even though my sweet one was sleeping (and I wasn’t going to wake him, are you mad??) I got up and expressed enough milk so my boobs wouldn’t explode. We will discuss milk expression later. Or never.

Don’t worry. I kept the milk for a rainy day. We don’t waste the stuff. It’s liquid gold.

Then I went back to sleep. I managed to get another hour in before Baby G woke up. I ended up having to express a little more so that he could latch a little easier (super hard boobs = very little flexability = shallow latch and screaming nipples). Plus, when they are overfull they leak if you look at them funny. Don’t even think about touching them. You might end up with milk in your eye. Gavin’s had that more than once. But it’s sterile so it’s ok. Also I’ve heard it can clear eye infections.

There’s nothing to fear but fear itself. And spiders.

I wrote this post a year ago but never published it for some reason. This was in the other house and gives a nice understanding of my deep aversion to arachnids. 

I almost didn’t make it to work today. I was all ready to walk out of the house; I even was leaving a few minutes early. But as I was heading to the door I noticed a  big hairy spider on the window of my front door. Now, I am terrified of spiders. So terrified that I contemplated calling work and telling them I would be in after my husband got home and killed the spider. But I decided that I was a big girl and could take care of the horrifying creature myself.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “Silly, they are more scared of you than you are of them.” People say this to me all the time. But no… no, that’s not true. I am much more terrified of them.

Because of the molding on the window at the top of my door, I didn’t think hitting it with a shoe would work. Also, if I missed, then it might fall into my house and I’d have to move. Going outside and closing the door was not an option because I would not have been able to get back in while it stayed on the door. So I went to find some spider spray. Now, I despise spiders so very much that I don’t even like to look at the spider spray can.  The silhouette of the dead spider on the front has the ability to fully creep me out even if there isn’t a live one anywhere around. But I persevered. I decided to roll back the rug in front of the door just in case the creature should fall into the house when I sprayed it. I wish you could have seen this, I really do. I open the door a crack and, as fast as possible, squirt the spider and slam the door. Now I have a problem. The spider has fallen but I don’t know where. Great. So I open the door again and see the spider mid-door. I spray it again and slam the door as it falls. Poop. Now what. If it’s on the threshold it could run in when I open the door again. If it’s on the mat in front of the door I won’t be able to see it as the mat is also black. I do need to make sure you know that at this point I’m hyped up on adrenaline and my hands are shaking. So I open the door again and check the threshold and mat. Nothing. So I peek out a little farther and see the spider on the porch trying to crawl up the siding. I used enough of the can to turn it white but it still didn’t feel the need to die. So I took a deep breath and tried to step on it. With my shoe. The one I was wearing. I don’t think I even got close before I squealed and jumped back a few feet. Realizing that wasn’t going to work I ran inside and got a bigger shoe and (squealing the whole time) flailed the shoe at the spider until I got close enough to smash it. This all took about 6 minutes. At this point, I was ready to come back inside and go back to bed. If nothing else, I deserved a brownie for my harrowing experience. I didn’t get one, but I deserved one.