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Babies on the brain

31 May

Babies, babies, babies.  Lately I’ve found myself thinking about babies and pregnancy more and more often… but probably not the way you’d think.  Everyone… friends, family, stranger… has been asking when we’ll have another baby, and I have surprised myself by saying that I not only don’t know when, but I don’t know IF…

I have always said (and believed) that I wanted to raise two children for sure and maybe even three.  Now that I’m in the process of raising one, I honestly can’t say that I want another.  I find this especially odd since I really like my daughter.  She is fun, easy, well behaved, and always in a good mood.  If having such an easy kid doesn’t immediately make me want to have another, am I broken?  Sometimes I worry that my past experience has soured me on it all.

In all fairness I do have a lot of issues and concerns that other women just aren’t dealing with most of the time.  On top of the weird emotional scarring of losing Aodin, I also have to face the very real possibility that the last half of my pregnancy may be spent on bedrest.  If that happens, it means a lot of complications.  If I’m still working from home I could likely continue working… but who will watch Evi?  How will we afford a full time childcare situation?  Once another baby is born, we then have to face the extremely prolonged healing process (for me) that results from bedrest.

Besides all of that, which is of course the most significant of my concerns, there is the simple fact that I already feel stressed out or overwhelmed sometimes, even though I am raising the aforementioned Best Kid Ever.  If things sometimes feel like too much when I’m bringing up the world’s easiest child, how will I deal when the next one is much harder?  Things will be significantly more difficult with another child to raise even if the next one is just as easy, simply by nature of the fact that two is a bigger number than one.

For the most part, I’ve tried to say that I will just wait and see.  After all, there is no reason we have to decide now.  We don’t have to know in advance what we’re going to do, and all of the well intentioned questions are easy enough to answer with an honest “I don’t know.”  So why do I feel so much pressure to know?

The truth is that right now, this minute, if I were forced to decide I would choose to be done having children for a lot of reasons.  I worry about potential bedrest/childcare issues and about the potential detrimental effects to my personal health.  I worry about extending our finances even further when they are already dangerously close to the breaking point.  I worry about not being able to handle more children.  But then I worry about making the wrong choice.  I worry about denying Evi the chance to grow up with siblings.  I worry about what the best choice is for her, and I worry about whether or not having another child secretly means more to Aaron than he’s telling me.  It’s not his style to lie about something like that, so I know I SHOULD believe him when he says that he is totally fine with being done, but I worry… and I also feel pressure thanks to my age.  By no means am I old, but in a few years I will have reached “advanced maternal age,” and I feel pressure to know what my decision will be so that I have my mind made up before that happens.  I’ve already got enough pregnancy related risks and issues without tacking on age related problems as well.

It’s just something that’s been heavy on my mind lately.  What if I go with my current instinct to say we’re done, and then it’s the wrong choice?  There are some things, like changing birth control, that might be different if we’re sure that we’re done.  What if we decide to have another child and it’s the wrong choice?  It’s just such a monumental decision… or at least it feels like one from where I’m sitting.  Am I allowed to not choose?  Does it really matter?  Is it alright to let the decision sit around, unmade and uncared-for, until one day I wake up certain about the issue in one way or another?  What if that never happens?

When did I become utterly and completely neurotic?


More from me:

30 Day Slimdown, Day 1


Zoo Weekend

10 May

This weekend was crazy and wonderful.  My parents came up from Florida and arrived at our house with my brother on Friday night.  I made some awesome, slightly hilarious animal cupcakes and we made things easier on all of us by ordering pizza for dinner.  Saturday morning we all got up, had a quick breakfast at Starbucks, and loaded up the car with drinks, cupcakes, snacks, and party supplies for our fabulous zoo birthday celebration.

The weather was… alright.  The temperature was a little cool, so perfect, and the sun was out, but there was a super high pollen count and a lot of wind blowing the pollen and dust around.  We made it to the zoo right on time and met everyone at the pavilion for a super casual lunch.  Everyone sang Happy Birthday to Evi (she cried!) and then we all enjoyed some animal cupcakes before heading out to see the animals.  Evi took a nice long nap, and then woke up to enjoy the sights.  She didn’t care too much for the big cats or the gorillas, but she loved the elephants, the golden lion tamarins, the cheetahs, and especially the flamingos.  She was also really happy to watch three alpacas chasing each other around the pasture.  She was great all day and took a nice long nap in the car on the way home.

Mother’s Day was a beautiful day, if oddly cool for this time of year.  We had a great breakfast at home with turkey bacon, blueberry muffins, friendship bread, and eggs… plus McDonalds coffee because our coffee carafe is broken.  After some time laughing and talking at home, and a comfy nap with my beautiful little girl, we said a reluctant goodbye to my brother and parents.  They were all headed back to the airport, where my parents were already flying home.  There’s never enough time with family, is there?

Aaron and I took Evi to see his grandmother for Mother’s Day.  We spent a few hours with his family, Evi played the piano for us all, and then we went out for a quiet dinner on our own.  It was nice to sit down at a nice restaurant with my husband and daughter and enjoy good food.  Evi charmed everyone in the restaurant and enjoyed lots of bread and mushrooms.  The drive home was fast, and Evi went to bed easily and slept well all night.

This morning I’m adjusting to life without coffee (until I can find the right carafe to replace our broken one) and hanging out with Evi, who is going through something (growth spurt? teething? slightly sick?) that is making her a little cranky and extra EXTRA sleepy.  We’re taking it easy at home today, going for a nice morning walk, and then spending the afternoon working…

My weekend was busy and chaotic, but wonderful.  Here’s a look at the food/exercise for the weekend too.  My Mother’s Day was celebrated with my mother, Aaron’s mother, Aaron’s grandmother, and (most importantly) my amazing daughter.  My children are what this day is all about.  And so, this little letter is for them.

To my sweet babies:

Aodin… you were my firstborn, my sweet son, and it was you who made me a mother.  You taught me my own strength, showed me the power and meaning of real love, and made me realize that a family is made up of love and laughter, joy and pain, hope, and surrender.  You helped me see the strength of my marriage and my own worth.  You are always in my heart and I  miss you every day.

Evi… oh, my sweet girl.  You are a beautiful miracle and you amaze me every day.  Thank you for being such an easy baby, for being fun and happy all the time, for making this mommy thing so easy.  I hope you know how much I adore you and how utterly you complete our family.  Thank you for helping me take control of my own health so that I can teach you the best way to live.  Thank you for always waking up with a smile for me, even when you’re feeling bad.

My family is so perfect, so ideal, so clearly a manifestation of the love and laughter and joy that make up the best of life’s moments.  Without my amazing husband and beautiful children, I would not be who I am today, and I like me a lot… so thank you to my amazing family.

Thank you too, to all of my friends and family, for all the birthday wishes, adorable gifts, and generous contributions to Evi’s college fund.  She’ll be especially thankful in seventeen years or so!

Six Wonderful Years

24 Apr

Six years ago today, just at this moment, I was rushing out of the hair salon and making a mad dash for the wedding site.  I was supposed to be there by 10am, and here it was 9:50am and I was only just leaving the salon.  I was at least fifteen minutes away from our ceremony site, and I still had to get dressed.  I was going to be late for my own wedding!  I managed to get to the site only a few minutes late, and I let go of the stress… since it’s not like they could start without the bride!  I guess most brides are nervous on their wedding day, but I felt so excited.  I was so ready to marry this amazing man, this fantastic guy who I’d been dating for six years and who I was so ready to make a new life with.

I was surrounded by women I adored… my mother, my sisters, my mother-in-law, and some beautiful friends.  They helped me get dressed, made sure my makeup was done, and encouraged me to smile and relax.  We’d decided we wouldn’t take pictures together until after the ceremony, so I had some time with the photographer, my family, and the bridesmaids.  It was a fantastic morning, and then we lined up for the procession into the ceremony.  The facility managers were fantastic at keeping everything ordered.

I so clearly remember walking through the doors.  I remember seeing my handsome, smiling husband standing at the end of the aisle (amusingly juxtaposed with our super short officiant) looking nothing short of dapper in his tuxedo.  I walked down the aisle with both of my parents, came to the end, and took my soon-to-be husband’s hand.  The ceremony was short, casual, and perfect, and at the end… we still weren’t married.  Wait, what?

Yeah.  After our photo session with the photographer, the officiant pulled me aside to let me know that our wedding license was technically issued for the city next door.  We had to get in her car and drive over the city line, where we were technically married at a city bus stop with a city cop as our witness.  It was totally awesome.  We came back to the site and enjoyed a wonderful reception with relatively good music, fantastic food, and great times with friends and family.

Looking back, it’s been a fantastic six years.  Somehow, despite having told each other every story one hundred times, having spent nearly every day together, it just keeps getting better.  Even though everyone told us that time would make it fade, that in five or ten or twenty years things would sour between us a little, things just keep getting better.  I fall in love with him a little bit more every single day, and we keep learning new and amazing things about one another.

We survived the loss of a child.  Anyone who can get you through something like that, who can keep loving you on the dark days and keep trying to make you smile so the dark days seem less dark, anyone who cries with you and laughs with you is a keeper.  He is such an amazing man, such an exemplary husband and father.  I could ask for nothing more than our lives to just keep going, just keep giving us new days to spend together.

Oh, and by the way?  Hello, Onederland!

If You Know Me Well

12 Feb

Inspired by Bleeding Espresso

If you know me well, you know…

  • I miss my sweet son every day.  He is always with me, and I am so touched when friends and family are thinking of him too.
  • I love every second of staying home with Evi, even the frustrating days where she is sick or fussy and I have too much to do.
  • that I adore all things vampire, even if they are meant for teenagers, and that I still happily watch reruns of Buffy and Angel on cable.  I also watch Vampire Diaries and genuinely mourn the loss of Moonlight.

  • I will drink a good cappuccino at any time of the day, even if it means not sleeping well.

  • I love spending half the day in my pajamas, but I rush to make sure I am wearing real clothes and have brushed my hair before Aaron gets home from work.
  • I love to cook, I wish I was a better baker, and I would love to put out a cookbook one day… once I’ve gotten a little better at coming up with my own recipes.
  • I will consume massive amounts of Crystal Light if available.
  • I hate to exercise, but I love the feeling of knowing I did it.  I also enjoy bragging about it.
  • Uma Thurman gives me the creeps.  I secretly love Kate Beckinsale.  I can’t stand the old movies that Aaron likes watching on the weekends.
  • I am super liberal when it comes to social issues.  I firmly believe that everyone has the right to live and love the way they want to, making the obvious exception for anyone whose idea of fun involves human sacrifice or kicking puppies.
  • that even though I don’t have time anymore, I love to read and would ideally devour books all the time.  I’ve written two, and one is off at the editor’s right now.
  • I am afraid of spiders, snakes, sharks, and the ocean in general.  I have a horrible fear of heights, and I don’t particularly enjoy small, dark spaces.  I hate being cold almost as much as I hate being too hot.  I love the way snow looks as it falls, but I often wish it would immediately melt because driving and functioning once the snow has stopped is a pain.
  • I love office supplies.  LOVE.  I am sad that working from home and doing online classes leaves me with no excuse to buy more pens/paper/notebooks…
  • I hate taking showers.  Really.  I feel like they are a huge waste of time and I am irritated that I have to continue to take them just to stay clean.  If I could remain clean and unsmelly without them, I happily would.  The only time I find a shower genuinely enjoyable is right after a workout.

  • I frequently want to cut my hair short, but every time I do I hate it with the fiery passion of ten thousand suns.  And yet, every so often I find myself thinking about doing it again.  When I get really tired of my hair, I tend to do crazy color things to it, like add chunks of purple (which I miss!)

  • if I had my way, I’d move to Rome right now and find a way to make it work.  I am so in love with that city, with the language and the people and the food, oh the FOOD…

  • I genuinely adore wine.  I love the way is tastes, and it has nothing to do with the alcohol since I never have more than two glasses at once, and rarely more than one.
  • I could happily spend ALL DAY on the internet… so let me log off now before this becomes the Longest. Post. Ever.


3 Dec

I’ve totally stolen this word from Miss Zoot.  The other day, she posted about how she has been having a hard time lately maintaining her patience with her kids.  I think this is something every parent goes through, and any parent who spends most of their day at home with their kids probably has a bigger issue than others.

This morning, I read her new post about how much better her day was when she managed to stay patient with her kids.  She said that she just concentrated on taking deep breaths and, when all else failed, giving a good zerbert to the belly.  There is nothing so satisfying as the deep down, belly laughs I get when I give Evi’s belly a good zerberting.  Raspberrying?  Whatever word you use, I’m guessing you know what I mean.  I was so enamored of Zoot’s word (zerberting) that I’ve co-opted it.

Anyway, I am ashamed to admit that I sometimes lose my temper with Evi.  I never yell or take it out on her, but sometimes I just get really frustrated and cranky and I frequently speak to her more harshly than I should when that happens.  Then I just make myself feel worse because I feel like an idiot and a big, mean bully for getting frustrated with my seven month old.  I mean really?  Who’s the adult here?  Oh yes, me.  When I get frustrated with her I feel like the dreaded “bad mother.”

Now, for clarification, I do know that I am NOT, in fact, a bad mom.  Actually, at least when I am caffeinated and relaxed, I think I do a pretty good job.  But in those moments when I’ve just uttered a cranky “oh, come on” to my infant daughter, I feel like a total waste of parenting space.

So today, if I feel cranky, I will stop and zerbert a baby belly.  I will NOM on her neck or hands or feet, which always makes her laugh out loud, and I will wallow in the musical sound of my daughter’s laughter instead of in my own cranky-faced weirdness.  Just writing it down makes me feel calmer, more prepared for the day.  Because really?

Evi goes in this morning to get her flu booster shot, and to have her head remeasured.  When we were there last time, her head measurement jumped to the 90th percentile after having always been at the 50th.  I am willing to bet that it is either nothing or a measuring mistake on someone’s part (though they did measure three times) but since she was coming in anyway for her flu booster, they figured it couldn’t hurt to remeasure.  I am hoping they weigh her again too, so I can relax a little more about her food intake, which has admittedly improved a lot lately.

After her appointment, I will be headed to an afternoon at my friend Nicole’s house, and I am super excited to see her and her awesome boys!

Maybe when I get back I will feel prepared to tackle the big blog post about my weight, my lack of motivation to exercise, and my seeming incapability when it comes to getting back on track with weight loss….

P.S.  I was just going through my tags to tag this post and I saw my “Little Sushi” tag.  Sometimes it makes me so sad to think I only use it now for memorials and memories.  After two plus years and a beautiful baby girl, sometimes my heart still breaks at the loss of my sweet man.  You are heavy on my heart today, my sweet Aodin.


6 Nov

I’ve been in a bad mood.  I’ve been cranky thanks to the uncomfortable process of drying up.  I’ve been less than motivated and, as such, having trouble balancing work and life and my possibly misguided entry into this year’s NaNoWriMo.

And then I read this on Mrs. Flinger’s site.


You can click on the postcard to head to the blog where the whole story is located, but in short it is the story of a beautiful little girl whose life was cut short by a simple act, something that could easily happen to any of us.

I know what loss feels like.  I know what it is to wake up without someone who ought to be there with you.  I look at my sweet daughter, here and healthy and so full of life, and I choose to let go of all of the grumpy.  It slips away too fast and, in some tragic times, too soon.  I cannot afford to let a momentary discomfort, a worldly stress come in and put a shadow over our sweet world.

I won’t do it.  I will honor every lost child by treasuring mine more every day.  I am only human, but I can choose to let the grumpy go and enjoy my day with my beautiful daughter!


17 Oct

Today we had cheese fries for  lunch.  I ate them, I enjoyed them, and I still don’t feel guilty.

This is new for me.  I am the queen of major food guilt.  But no longer, and I have my daughter to thank.

Near the end of my pregnancy I gave myself the green light to eat whatever I wanted.  I didn’t go totally insane, but I indulged every craving.  It was fun.  I gained forty five pounds, and within a week of giving birth I lost all but fifteen of it.  I told myself I would work on better eating slowly and without pressure, and I have done just that.  For the most part, I eat well, and  I treat myself on special occasions, which include rainy days, weekends, and days when I wanna.

I am still holding on to fifteen pounds of baby weight, but today I realized that taking my time with it and enjoying life (and life’s myriad foods) is so worth it.  A cheese fry lunch will not end the world.  Ice cream every night will not make me a bad person.  Food is fun, snacks are fine, and my body may not be perfect but it is certainly a miracle.  Aodin and Evi, miracles in their own right, are my proof.

Dear body: I love you.  We’re going to have our ups and downs, our disagreements and issues, but we are friends.  Thanks for all you do to keep me and my family taken care of.  One day soon I promise to figure out how to dress your new shape.  🙂