We aren't traveling anywhere this summer. Job transition for hubby, high-risk pregnancy, lack of funds all contribute to us staying home. However, I have been reading like crazy this summer. My evenings are filled with me turning pages, and some of the times Buddy is napping and I cannot sleep, I find myself escaping into someone else's world. Currently I have traveled to late 1940's England/Guernsey Island. What a great place to visit!
There is nothing like a good book. Engaging characters, plot lines with a twist, interesting places.
The last couple of days I have been making my way through The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It is not a difficult read, but I am really enjoying it. I am almost finished, attempting not be my typical speed-reading self because I love the characters in this book. Every single character I want to have as my own friend. I hate to finish and bid them good-bye. And that is the true sign of a good story - hating to say good-bye to it, yet wanting to hurry up and finish to see how it ends.
There have been so many times in my life I have asked God (or the ceiling if I was so mad that I was not speaking to God), "Why me?!" Feeling betrayed by people, suffering the consequences of my own bad decisions, suffering the consequences of others' bad decisions, losing valuables, losing loved ones, losing a baby, having a baby spend several weeks in the NICU,...
But lately I have been asking God, "Why me?" in a different way. Why have I been given the chance to stay home when others I know would love to do so and have been told no? Why is my son doing so well, even with his early start, when there are others with children dealing with diseases and difficulties? Why have I been blessed with the gift of reconciled relationships when others have done everything in their power to restore relationships and find healing only to be wounded time and time again? Why have I been given another season of pregnancy when others desperately want a child - by any means possible - and yet they still have to wait? This one is the hardest for me right now because there are several people I love who have had such a hard journey to parenthood, who would be AMAZING parents, probably better parents than we are, and yet they wait, they wait, they wait. And my heart has been aching for them lately more than usual because I do not understand. I cannot explain why things are the way they are. And cookie-cutter answers are not enough.
What I am learning is I have it pretty good. The waiting, the questions, the worries I have feel like so little in comparison to what others are going through. I must remain grateful for everything I have been given, big and small.
67. coffee with an old friend who was in town - great conversation and catching up
68. reminder from the Rob Bell DVD that nothing I can ever do will make God love me less - NOTHING
69. ah-ha moment during a conversation about the prodigal son's older brother
70. mint chocolate chip ice cream
71. another Friday night watching another Hitchcock movie with my hubby
72. a dishwasher unloaded by my hubby the day after we talked about how much we both hate unloading the dishwasher
73. watching Buddy learn how to make huge splashes in the tub
74. an hour alone at McAllister's with my Beth Moore study
75. the fuzzy-stand-up-hair on the back of Buddy's head after his nap
76. a two-hour-plus nap on a Sunday afternoon
77. Cheryl's cranberry almond muffins
78. books, books, books loaned from the library and from friends
79. diaper box rides
Hubby and I discussed whether in about nine weeks when given the opportunity at the ultrasound we want to know the gender of Mac 2.0.
Pros of knowing:
Easier to plan/buy what we need
We only have to figure out/agree on one name
Won't have to have the "you're not finding out?" discussion with family, friends, and complete strangers who will undoubtedly give us their unsolicited opinions, as people tend to do about almost anything pregnancy/parenting related, haha
Pros of not finding out:
Anticipation. Buddy's birth was anticipated just on the fact that he was #1. It would be fun to have some added anticipation with this pregnancy.
The joy of hearing, "It's a ______!" during an already emotionally charged moment
Keeping the guessing game going for an additional (God willing) 20 more weeks after the big ultrasound
Physical therapy continues to go well. He is scooting (creeping) all over the place. He is especially motivated to get somewhere if it involves him being allowed to play with technology or eat Mommy's food.
He is doing better each day on the sippy cup. Yesterday he took a grand total of 9 oz - the most he has taken in one day yet. Today just for morning snack he already gulped down 6 oz, so we are definitely making progress.
Some new things he is doing - patting/finding his belly, calling the dog by patting his own leg or my leg (that is the sign for dog), signing "more," and attempting to kiss us - which is usually more like a lick/slobber attack than an actual puckering up.
Me/Baby Mac 2.0
As I mentioned previously, I am on some hormones and a mega-prenatal vitamin. I see my doctor every other week. I am between 10-11 weeks right now.
My doctor ordered a TON of bloodwork a few weeks ago to try to figure out why I had Buddy so early. Two things came up to keep an eye on through those tests. I am suseptible to bloodclots. This announcement scares me, but at least I know. So far they (she and the high-risk doctor) aren't going to put me on a blood thinner. The other thing that came up is I have an autoimmune disorder which doesn't allow me to properly process B-vitamins. This often results in pregnancy loss, so perhaps this is why I have lost a pregnancy and delivered Buddy so early. Neither of these things are a guarantee of why I have my history, but at least they give us some information.
I am not as sick as I was with Buddy, but I am queasy all of the time and tired all of the time. I am throwing up 2-3 times a week, but compared to doing it daily for about 16 weeks with Bubs, this is much better.
We still haven't heard from the job in CA. We have had no other calls from any other V.A.'s about the other job openings. Praying the right door opens soon.
He was going to be transitioning into an in-home counseling job at the end of the summer. The paperwork from the state took forever (as does anything the government is in charge of), but almost all of it is done now. Just waiting on a number so he can get paid which should be here soon. And because of some changes in scheduling at his current job, he will not be able to build a client load while he is working at his current job. So... he will be changing jobs (God willing) at the end of next month instead of mid-August. Not a huge change in the plan, but we won't have as nice of a cushion for the transition period. We are taking a step of faith in this because we feel it is the best decision for our family as we wait for an even better job to come our way.
I've been thinking about a childhood friend the last several hours off and on. He would have turned 29 yesterday. I know this because I remember as a kid him always talking about how his birthday was on the longest day of the year. I also remember because I can visualize the birthday display our second grade teacher had over our classroom lockers - I think I still know about 1/3 of my second grade classmates' birthdays - or at least their birthday month.
I am not going to mention his name or talk about the circumstances of his death because that really isn't anybody's business. If you know him, you probably know the details.
Instead, I want to remember what a neat guy he was. We were in the same carpool and same class from 2nd-6th grade, and had several classes together in middle school and some in high school. He was the kid in elementary school who when given a project while the rest of us were making a presentation with poster board, he was writing, directing, and starring in his own movie on the topic. I remember we had this annoying girl we carpooled with who always left her trash in our cars, so my friend devised a plan that all of the rest of us should save our lunchbag trash on the day of her mom driving and leave our trash in her car. I remember us yelling out the car window at middle schoolers walking home thinking we were so funny and cool. I remember spending hours at Future Problem Solving Bowl with him and our two other teammates. I remember that even though we weren't in the same crowd during our teenage years, he was never too popular to say hi in the hallway, and he didn't complain when he was placed with me and another guy for a project instead of his friends.
He was funny, creative, and an all-around nice guy. I wonder what he'd be doing now if he was still here on earth, what kind of career he would have, and what type of family he would be starting. I wish I would have told him he was a good guy and a great childhood friend. I hope I never look back on other friendships and think, "I wish I would have told them..."
55. Some sippy cup success ... hoping for even more this week
56. Air conditioning
57. Prayer from friends, family, and even strangers
58. My new OB
59. staying up late watching a Hitchcock movie with my hubby
60. hearing my husband read stories to Bubs - he even reads with the voices - makes my teacher heart and my mommy heart burst with joy
61. not being in the NICU this year on Father's Day
62. anticipating seeing college friends when they are in town this summer
63. being told my baby is a sweet boy by one of last week's nursery workers
64. a late nap today - better late than never
65. coming home from grocery shopping to the smell of the baby after his bath
66. a husband who vacuums on Father's Day
My facebook status today reads, "Happy Father's Day to all the dads in my life. Especially my husband, daddy to Buddy and Baby Mac 2.0 'scheduled' to arrive January 14 2011."
More details to follow this week. For now I will just say please do keep us in prayer as this is a high-risk pregnancy with my history of miscarriage and preterm-labor/birth. I have a new OBGYN who has been VERY proactive so far. I have had three ultrasounds already, am on progestrone, have met with the high-risk doctor, and will qualify for progesterone shots about halfway through the pregnancy. Things are going well so far. We are nervous, but excited.
The people who looked at our house this week are interested, BUT they are also interested in another house, too. So they are taking some time to think and pray about it. Our biggest deterent for them is our location. That has been our problem the whole time selling this house. The location. People like the pictures of our house, but then they see where we live. It is very frustrating because we can't do anything to change that.
But we are praying they like enough other things better about our house that they pick us. Feel free to pray with us/for us.
So Buddy had some success with the bottle today. This afternoon he actually used it semi-correctly instead of chewing on it/just letting it slowly drip. At one point he was guzzling quite well, but then the bottle ran out of milk, and Bubs became quite irate. I refilled it, but he was inconsolable. The moment was gone. Hopefully tomorrow he will remember how to use it.
So tomorrow morning someone is going to come look at our house, and it sounds like the most interested person yet.
Of course, if you have been to my house over the last couple of weeks you know I have completely not kept up with things.
Say a prayer for us.
It's summer and lately I have seen posts about homemade ice cream and fresh picked raspberries. Thinking about these two items instantly takes me back to my summer days during my childhood at Mimi and Papa's house. The green house on twenty-first avenue. There was a large raspberry bush in the backyard behind the garage, and Papa would take us, the grandkids, to carefully pick without being pricked by the thorns. And there was homemade ice cream that seemed to take all day to get done. I remember going to the garage and checking Papa's progress with the cool treat. The best summer days were the ones when we sprinkled the raspberries on the vanilla dessert as we sat at the kitchen table in that green house where a white rotary phone perched on the wall.
Mimi and Papa moved out of that house a long time ago, I think between the end of my childhood and the beginning of my adolescence, but I close my eyes and can see it so clearly. Croquet playing in the backyard where if we hit the ball too hard it would roll down the blacktop alley on the side of the house. Red and white swingset that I vaguely remember falling off of at one point. Cousins visiting from Nevada, which meant organizing skits and dance and song routines to the Everly Brothers tape to perform for our parents. Sparklers on the Fourth of July in the front yard. Papa in a holey white t-shirt sitting in a lawn chair in the front yard carving something.
So when I purchased and devoured a blackberry concrete from a local ice cream place last week, it was an attempt to time-travel to homemade ice cream with raspberries on a summer day at the green house on twenty-first avenue. I didn't quite get there, but I was pretty darn close!
I missed a couple of weeks with being out of town or having someone in town, but I'm just going to pick up where I left off...
40. time with family over the last couple of weeks either here in town or up in IL
41. sweet tea
42. Buddy scooting around
43. phone calls from faraway friends
44. blackberry concretes
45. more table food and less baby food for Buddy
46. time spent with a great friend
47. summer heat - I'd much rather have it hot than cold
48. voting in local elections, even when the results don't end up how I want
49. lightning bugs - and seeing my West Coast husband happy to see them each summer here in the Midwest
50. cookout with the cousins - bocce ball, burgers, and Otis trying to lick the baby
51. grocery shopping in the morning hours before the store gets crowded
52. little kids and elderly folks who stop and smile at my little boy
53. a single rose from my hubby last week to celebrate the day we started corresponding six years ago
54. the fact that Buddy slept from 8:15 p.m to 5:00 a.m. last night - glorious!
Buddy is really making progress scooting around. I think crawling is just around the corner. I am pleased that the physical therapy has given us some tools to help us know how to best help Bubs. Family/friends - there is video of Buddy moving around on our YouTube site, as well as video from his birthday party.
We are still not making progress on the bottle/sippy cup. He has just adjusted to being on a hunger (thirst?) strike during the day, and then taking advantage of my tiredness at night. Tonight when he wakes up around 2ish, he is only going to be offered the bottle. It could be a lonnnnnnnggggg night for us.
The other day a friend had posted on facebook about her baby pooping in the tub, and I thought to myself, "I am so glad my son hasn't done that yet." Until today. After church, he came home smelling like a lot of the lovely ladies who volunteer in the nursery. I am pretty sensitive to perfume/lotion smells, and Hubby doesn't exactly like our son smelling like a woman, so we put him in the bath. Near the end he got THE LOOK, so I called for Hubby to come help me get him out of the tub. Oh my! I will not describe the situation, but we had to tag-team the tub and the baby. At least we went an entire year without having to deal with such an event!
I have been thinking about friendship lately. As a stay-at-home mom this year, things sometimes get a little lonely with lack of adult-female conversation. 97.2% of my friends are either from the work world or live scattered across the country. So I don't get a lot of hanging out time, not that I have a ton of free time and money anyway. This isn't a complaint, just a fact.
But the adjustment in this new way of life for me has made me realize how much I value friendships. The times I get to go out for lunch or the moment I actually can have a decent phone conversation are like little gifts helping me through the sometimes monotonous days I have.
I am blessed to have a few friends that I can pick up a conversation with, after weeks of not being able to chat, and we don't miss a beat. I have a small but significant list of ladies with whom I can vent my frustrations, share my secrets, and be transparent with my garbage without fear of judgment or betrayal. This same list would also include the gals I want to share my celebrations with. And I know a few of my readers right now are laughing at the phrase "celebrations," and I laugh as well. I know I could call some of my closest friends in the middle of the night to come bail me out of jail - not that I am planning on needing that anytime soon - and one or two of these friends might be part of the reason I would end up in jail in the first place!
I don't really have a closure for these thoughts today, and that is bothering me. Everything I type to end this post seems cheezy, like an essay I had to write in college that ended with the phrase, "...no greater joy!" Seriously. ugh! But maybe I can't think of a closure because I am not ready to the have the topic finished. Stay tuned...
I have had thank you cards from Bubby's first birthday written for days now. Days. But they are not addressed nor stamped. I must get that done today.
I also am owing people phone calls or emails.
I have been in bed by 9:00 lately. And during the day I am entertaining my one year old, except right now while I am typing this as he eats his Cheerios next to me.
So although it may seem that I must spend my day endlessly watching Oprah and Days of Our Lives... I don't. I have a lot to get done today, but Bubby was wonderful and went back to sleep this morning until 8:00 - which meant I got to enjoy a summer sleep-in day, too.
I have no idea what the point of this entry was. Perhaps to say....the thank you cards are on their way...almost.
I wonder what Miss Manners would say about all of this?!
Buddy boy started scootching/crawling backwards yesterday on our hardwood floors. I think it is because he can't roll/scoot on his sides like he likes to do because it is not so comfortable when he is not on the carpet. I mentioned this to the physical therapist today, and she said that is a good sign because a lot of kids crawl backwards right before they learn to crawl forwards. Then Buddy boy decided to prove he could do it, and when he got mad at the therapist for making him "work," he crawled backwards to get out of doing the activity. So he can crawl backwards on the carpet, too.
Here's to hoping I am chasing him around the house very soon!
We are trying to get Buddy to take a bottle or a sippy cup this weekend. It is time. I have attempted this for several weeks now with absolutely no success. I have tried every sippy cup known to man; I have used his old bottle - the one he hasn't used for months now. I have tried all baby-friendly forms of liquid. Today I bought another type of sippy cup and another type of bottle. Babushka was nice enough to drive down for a very quick trip this weekend to try to help me in the process thinking that if the baby didn't see me when it was time to drink, he would have an easier time.
And he did a little better for her today than he has done for me.
But my child is STRONG-WILLED. Go figure. He would rather be thirsty than give in.
Pray for us. We only have a couple of days with Babushka as an extra pair of hands to get Buddy to do this.
Oh - and update on Buddy's 12 month doctor appointment...
30 1/2 inches (50th-75th percentile for 1 year olds --- this is in the 90th percentile for 10 month olds, which he technically is 9 1/2 months old)
19 lbs 8 oz (5th-10th percentile for 1 year olds, 10th-25th percentile for 10 month olds)
head circumference 18 inches (25th-50th percentile for 1 year olds, same for 10 month olds)
He did great with his blood test - no tears at all -for iron and to check for lead poisoning, and he wasn't too out of control when he had four shots.
Well, I was trying to upload some pictures to compare this year and last year, but my computer is giving me problems. Perhaps tomorrow. Instead...
Bubby's first birthday party/weekend went by incredibly fast. We drove up to Illinois to celebrate with my side of the family. There were about 25 people at my grandma's house for the party - and I can't emphasize enough that it felt like it went by in a blur. I didn't get to talk to anyone for very long between the cake and present festivities. And man, oh man, did our little guy get presents! We are set until at least Christmas. :) Lots of books, clothes, puzzles, and fun toys. I am so glad because quite honestly I was getting bored playing with the same toys every day with him, haha.
Bubby didn't go crazy with his cupcake. He wasn't really into smashing it, but instead he would use his pincher skills to take it apart. In the end though, he became a frosting-coated,cake-crumb-covered one year old.
I can't believe my baby is one. This time last year we were just starting our NICU journey - seven weeks of driving back and forth to the hospital several times a day, praying that everything would be okay and our little boy could come home soon.
I am reminded once again what an amazing support system we had - with phone calls, prayers, emails, visits, meals, gift cards, etc. I look at the pictures from last year and then from this week, and I am overwhelmed that my three pound baby has come so far!
Thank you for sharing in our journey, for celebrating our miracle, and for continuing to pray for us.