Monday, October 22, 2012


When I wake up in the morning, love
And the sunlight hurts my eyes
And something without warning, love
Bears heavy on my mind

Then I look at you

And the world's alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it's gonna be
A lovely day
Lovely day, lovely day, lovely day

Parents are famous for saying that they wish they could freeze frame a moment with their children to travel back to it again and again.  Last night was a moment like that for me and Jack.

The kid wouldn't go to sleep.  Sunday nights are always challenging since the day typically consists of no routine and no set schedule.  We had two wonderful friends come to visit us which made Jack exceptionally excited and he ran around the house accordingly.  So by the time bedtime came and went and he was having nothing to do with sleep I gave Trevor a break and went upstairs to pick up crying Jack from his crib and attempt to rock him to sleep.

With only the soft green light of a nightlight to illuminate our faces I held Jack in a rocking chair while I wiped the tears off of his cheek.  We sat there slowly rocking cheek to cheek until his soft pudgy hands made their way around my neck and he turned and kissed me.  I sang Bill Withers' "Lovely Day" and we rocked and rocked together.

It would be truly "lovely" if the story ended there.

It does not.

Jack began to squirm and squirm until I threw in the towel and took him downstairs.  I gave him some dry cereal, but quickly realized that the change in scenery was perking up his energy again.  So into our bedroom we went.  Trevor was downstairs with Aunt Bean watching TV so Jack took Trevor's side of the bed and we just laid there together.

9pm on a Sunday night is quite possible the worst time of the week.  9pm on a Sunday is when you reflect on every piece of clothing that didn't get washed, the work you didn't get to and the dishes that didn't get put away and the fact that they will be waiting for you on Monday.

When the day that lies ahead of me
Seems impossible to face
When someone else instead of me
Always seems to know the way

Then I look at you

And the world's alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it's gonna be
A lovely day

But Jack doesn't understand the awfulness of Mondays yet.  He just looked very content to be laying there next to me and so I allowed myself to be content too and not worry about everything that didn't get done.  I turned the lights off and turned on my Nook to find Richard Scarry's "Colors" book.  Now our faces were illuminated by Lowly Worm, Huckle Cat and Bananas Gorilla.  His tiny finger pointed out the "app-ulls", "tucks", "cawrs", and "titties" (that's kitties, I promise you).  After we had gone through every color from Red to White we shut off the book and laid there in the darkness.

And this time, the story ends there.  Jack's hands found my face and just explored it for a minute until the rustling of his legs against the sheets slowed down and his breath steadied and he fell fast asleep.  At some point I must have turned my back to him because the next thing I remember was the feeling of a little body spooning me.  Trevor came up and after getting ready for bed himself, scooped him up and took him back upstairs.

There was nothing magical about last night, no earth-shattering revelations about my boy.  There was just me and Jack holding space together for a little while in ways that won't always be possible for us.   I do wish I could always remember the way his tiny hands feel and how soft his cheeks are.  Even though I'm living those things right now, they can be easy to miss when focusing on his loud screams, how hard he can throw things when he's mad and how stubborn he can be.  So I need to remember the lovely times too.

Then I look at you
And the world's alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it's gonna be
A lovely day


Friday, October 19, 2012


For almost 12 weeks I have not known how to talk or write about this pregnancy.  Any initial excitement we had was quickly brushed aside by an emergency room visit and hospital stay and then weeks of unrelenting nausea and sickness that haven't subsided.  It's been easy to forget about the baby growing inside of me when so much feels so wrong.

So when I walked into my appointment with my midwife this morning and she said "How are you doing?" I didn't quite know how to answer that.  I am all at once grateful, sick, sad, excited, anxious, nauseous, and tired.  In a word- it's complicated.

This morning on my way out the door to take Jack to daycare, a huge wave of nausea hit me and I found myself hunched over the kitchen sink puking up everything but the kitchen sink.  Jack just stood there holding his graham cracker watching me with a worried look on his face.  In between heaves I looked over at him and said "It's ok buddy, mama's ok".  He smiled and just stood there until I was done.  I feel guilty for all the time I haven't spent with him these past few weeks and I hope he understands.

I know there are women who love being pregnant, who glow and cultivate perfect bumps, who don't puff up or feel and look like zombies.  God love those women, but unfortunately that ain't me.  

Let me be super clear- the issues I'm dealing with pale in comparison with what I know other women have suffered through to carry their babies.  If you haven't yet watched "Call the Midwife" on PBS, do it!  I offer up all of this pain to the pregnant women featured on that show.  I have incredible support at work, world class insurance and a network of family and friends to help me when I need them.  There is no woe-is-me here, but right now, in my own little corner of the world I'm feeling very frayed at the edges.

My midwife had me lay on the table so she could listen to the baby's heartbeat.  Up until now I haven't had the chance to hear it.  I lifted up my shirt to expose a belly full of bruises from the shots I have to give myself each day.  She pressed the Doppler machine firmly onto my pelvis and all of a sudden, there it was.

woosh woosh woosh woosh woosh woosh

"There it is!" she exclaimed.  "170!  Nice and strong."  The sad tears I fought back earlier in the appointment became happy tears as I listened to the sound of my baby's beating heart.  Underneath those bruises lies a teeny tiny baby.  None of this is his or her fault, but it's been incredibly hard to find my baby in the midst of this never-ending whirlwind of illness.  

I have realized that it's ok to be incredibly grateful for your ability to have a baby while simultaneously hating being pregnant.  You can loathe every minute of the puffiness and puke while relishing the thought of holding your newborn baby in your arms.  

I have to believe that all of this has not been too easy on this little baby either.  Jack came 11 days before his due date at the tail end of what was a pretty nasty bout of bronchitis for me.  It was a 7 hour labor and delivery.  I swear he pulled the emergency escape hatch and got the hell out of there because he was over all the coughing.  I might not always be the most glowing or gracious hostess for these babies, but I sure do love them ferociously once they're in my arms.  I just need to try extra hard to find this baby again.  She or he has had to compete with a myriad of distractions including an older brother who needs a lot from me right now.

But find this baby I will.  There's a little woosh woosh woosh in there.  It's a little piece of me and Trevor and Jack and with each woosh this baby is making its way into our lives.  And baby, we can't wait!

9/19/12- Baby's 1st ultrasound w/ heartbeat at the bottom

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Aunt Bean & Uncle Cris

My sister Mary AKA Bean dances like no one's watching.  And if people are watching, they are probably at a concert because that's where she spends a great majority of her time feeding her love of music.  She does that arm flailing full of joy-I was born 40 years too late-Woodstockian flower-child dance and I marvel at her spirit.  Marvel and laugh at her because I'm her older sister and we do that.

Last year, at 20, Bean decided to be a grown up and work full time, attend school full time and in an act of sheer love and selflessness, watch Jack two days a week (her only days off of work) so we could ease him into day care.  They bonded over the Beatles and blankets strewn across the lawn while dappled sunlight danced in Jack's eyes through the lens of Bean's ever present iPhone.

This year, at 21, Bean decided to be a kid for the last year you can truly be a kid.  She doesn't come around as much, but when she does she greets her beloved Jack with a "PEANIEEEEE" our affectionate nickname for our little peanut.
Aunt Bean & Peanie at Indian Lake

This pregnancy has not gotten off to a blissful start.  I've been plagued by constant nausea which is worst at night plus a quick trip to the hospital with blood clots in my leg.  It's hard to not feel like I'm missing out on this precious time with Jack while I lay curled up on the bed trying to talk myself down from another wave of nausea.  Trevor has essentially become a single father in the evenings taking care of dinner and bath every night, but now he's in rehearsals for a play he's directing and help has become imperative. 

Last week, the side door burst open to the sound of "HI PEANIEEEEE!" and there was Aunt Bean wearing slipper socks, yoga pants and a hoodie sweatshirt- her standard visiting uniform.  I was in my standard position, curled up on my bed while Trevor was getting dinner ready.  Jack jumped into her arms and she gave him a huge hug.  The 3 of us sat on my bed talking about important things- the finale of Honey Boo Boo and the most recent concert she attended- Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.  

Then, the most wonderful thing happened.  We turned our cable to the music stations and she held an impromptu dance party with Jack.  "Wide Awake" by Katy Perry was playing.  The #1 song on the day Jack was born was "Firework", so Katy Perry has sort of become Jack's homegirl.  I sat on my bed feeling sick as a dog while my beloved sister danced around the room with my beloved son.  She swung him around while his little hand rested gently on her shoulder.  He laughed and giggled and smiled and I saw all of the things I wished I could do with him before my eyes, but he wasn't missing out on any of it because of Aunt Bean.

Uncle Cris is Trevor's younger (and only) brother.  He is a cheeky monkey who has shared more than 1 crazy adventure with Trevor and they have scars to prove it.   Cris can be incredibly elusive and we may go a few weeks without hearing from him.  He keeps busy with work and friends, but he is the kind of person who will drop everything to help you when you need him.

Uncle Cris & Sparky- 1/7/11
Cris found out we were expecting another baby while I was in the hospital for the blood clots earlier this month.  It was a "good news/bad news" phone call from Trevor to his brother from the hospital room.  Cris assured us he would help with anything we needed.

For two nights in a row this week and for as long as we need him to, Cris has come over at 5pm to wait for Jack (who he has called "Sparky" since the day of his birth) and I to return home so he can play with him and give him lots of attention during what is a very difficult and nauseous time of day for me.  He stays for dinner and gets to know his nephew better.  He has shown him the magic that is a cardboard box and has made promises to build complex (read- incredibly dangerous) obstacle courses and stairway slip 'n slides when Jack is older.  Yesterday, uncle and nephew, Cris and Sparky grabbed a soccer ball and went out to the backyard to play.  I could hear Jack's excited cries of "ball! ball! ball!" as Cris ushered him outside.

Trevor is adamant that Jack will call Uncle Cris "Uncle Luda".  Get it?  Luda-cris?  And while Jack hasn't mastered the word Cris, last night he did muster a Looo-a.  Trevor might just get his wish.  When we do ask him to say Cris, he puckers his lips and makes a kiss instead which I think is just about perfect.

Bean and Cris shared maid of honor/best man duties in our wedding.  Those titles weren't just captions in a wedding program, they have maintained that place of honor in our life as a couple and now as a family.  Does it take a village to raise a child?  Yes, I do believe it does.  It certainly takes a village to support two working parents.  I love our little village people Bean and Cris.  Jack loves them too.  

Someday Jack and his younger sibling will go sledding down the basement stairs on a cookie sheet while blasting The Beatles' "Helter Skelter" and I will know that the legacy of Bean and Cris lives on in my babies.