She’s Gone

October 22, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Posted in Love and all that other mushy stuff, The Others | 1 Comment
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She stands up immediately when she sees me.  HEY BABY she says.  She wraps her arms around me, tight.  She grips my arms and pulls me away from her so more of me is within her frame of sight.  I can see more of her in that moment too.  She’s smiling.  She breathes effortlessly. 

She regards me in the way I’ve always been used to… pride, concern, loving, hopeful.  She takes in my light and flicks my dark away in a look.  Everything wrong with me is an opportunity to do something brilliant.  This is how she looks at me.  I roll my eyes. 

She turns away and I follow her through the airport terminal.  I am forced to jog a moment to catch up to her.  She turns her head towards me and a meaningful smirk is lighting up her face.  I’m panting.  She’s carrying all of her luggage.  She’s graceful and agile.  Her heavy bags are not hampering her.  She offers to carry my purse.  She needs me to hurry.  She’s late. 

She hands over her luggage to an uninterested guy behind a counter.  She takes my hand and spins me away and suddenly we are at her gate.  No one else is there.  I offer to help her to her seat.  She scoffs at this as usual.  I’m strangely not distressed.  She’s not tired or sitting or bracing herself for air.  In fact she breathes as if the air around her is inconsequential.   

She tells me that I can’t go any further.  I can’t get on the plane with her.  She says she’s leaving and I’ll see her later.  I know it will be a while; our visits are few and far between.  We have a great distance between us.  She forces a twenty-dollar bill into my hand.  FOR GAS MONEY she says.  I slip it back into her purse as we hug.  She starts to walk away but continually turns around to wave as she goes.  Each time I try to burn the image into my brain.  This is what I do every time we say goodbye at the airport.  Is this the last time?  I stain to record another glimpse.  She turns and waves once more.  I stiffen and breathe in and try to capture every detail at once.  She’s gone.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

Then I was awake suddenly like cold water was thrown in my face.  I smiled with relief.  Then I cried.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

The Second

September 8, 2010 at 10:48 am | Posted in As the Months go by..., Baby Weight (Evan), Love and all that other mushy stuff | 1 Comment
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It’s his birthday.  Today my son turned two.  Two.  That’s all.  It’s such a cozy little number.  There’s nothing big about it.  But, of course, it feels huge. 

It’s been longer than two years since I’ve loved him.  I’d spend evenings talking to him while he was inside, still growing.  Sometimes, no doubt, before he even developed ear drums.  I’m sure I looked like a crazy person, chatting to nothing.  Thank goodness no one could see that I was picturing him nodding along with my dialogue in my head.  I do the same now and he does nod along and he does answer me.  It’s normally in his style of gibberish or his fall back answers: Yeah-ess, No, or Whyyy. 

My goodness how he’s grown!  His father and I look at him, astounded.  At the same time we high-five each other for another year of giving him enough nourishment and care that he’s still around.  His life being a round track for us… the finish line marking a milestone in his journey which we celebrate but run right though to continue around the loop.  Dizzy and tired without a longing to rest.  Eager to see his next step.

Also mourning what has now come to pass.  It’s one of those things I hadn’t anticipated as a mother (you know, along with the eleventy thousand other things)… a sadness that we’ve reached another landmark in his life.  You know it from all the mothers crying after leaving their children at the bus stop or the school’s entrance for the first time.  So very freaking proud; so very freaking sad.  It’s my son’s birthday… Imma throw me a pity party now.

This is my favorite time yet.  Although, I said the same thing last year:

This year I told Evan that it’s my favorite time yet and he asked me “Whyyyyyy?”.  I laughed so hard I produced tears.  He looked confused.

We threw a party for Evan Sunday.  He had a good time all day long.  He was a little too eager to blow out his candle on his cake.  He also was very meticulous about gift opening at first.

Soon his friends showed him the real way to tear open presents.  Evan got into the swing of things real quick. 

So there it is.  A two year old.  Flying further away from needing me and growing a little too heavy to carry. 

Even still?  This is going to be the BEST YEAR YET!

Birthday, Doctor, Roseola and LAS VEGAS!

April 14, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Posted in Baby Weight (Evan), I shouldn't have even posted this, It's OK to be confused... I am, Love and all that other mushy stuff, Me myself I and me again, The Others | Leave a comment
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Here is your last few week’s summaries of stuff that has been going on because for once things have been going on and I haven’t been here to tell you and I’ll try not to ramble on and on and on.  (Damnit.  I fail.)

April

1st – The first of the month is a hectic time at work for me.  It’s delicious.  I have a big fat list of things to punch out and I love playing the work horse.  Also the first was Evan’s daycare Easter party and I had a dozen little eggs ready to go.  I should have known the night before that we were in trouble.  Evan was fussy and started getting feverish and Wayne called at about 8 or 9pm to tell me he got a flat tire on the way home from fishing.  So while my husband was on the side of the highway changing his tire in the dark, I was struggling with bedtime and an ill toddler.  The next morning, Evan’s fever was at about 103 so I had to call in ‘Kid Sick’ to work.  I miss the 1st of the month and Evan misses his party.  I did get a lot done around the house.  Eventually however, Evan was getting ultra-cuddley.  Like, I would be standing on a step stool and he would climb up just to wrap his arms around my leg… or I would be washing the baseboard and he would lay his head in my lap.  Finally I took him to cuddle on the couch and he fell asleep.  I went back to cleaning and when he woke he was ON FIRE!  Well, not literally kinda, but his temp was over 105!  Panic Mommy in me wanted to run him to the ER or something but Level-headed Mommy saw that he was not acting sick… just a little uncomfortable.  All night we were dosing him and making him sip water and trying to cool him off. 

2nd – He woke up fever-less.  I took him to daycare and went into work.  Mid-day, I got a call that he was getting the fever back.  Bummer.  Wayne’s sister got in town that day from West Virginia and we were really excited to see her.  I picked Evan up and we went to Wayne’s Grandmother’s house.  He still had a fever and he was cranky, but OK.  Right before we went to leave, he started looking really unwell.  I picked him up and as we were saying our good-byes, Evan became a fountain of vomit.  3 times.  Right after a bottle.  All over himself, me and Grandma’s kitchen.  Wayne changed Evan, I changed me and Grandma & Sister cleaned up the kitchen.  I felt awful for everyone. 

3rd – My birthday.  I turned [inaudible] on this day.  Evan’s fever was down and Sister was still in town, so we went shopping and out to lunch.  I spent the day fearing that Evan would become a fountain again.  He did not. 

4th – Easter Sunday.  Evan’s fever was gone and when he woke up we sent him downstairs to inspect his Easter basket. 

He had a little rash on his neck.  I figured it was from the fever or something along those uneducated lines.  By the time we got to Grandma’s house the rash was really kicking in.  It covered his belly and back.  He didn’t seem bothered by it.  He was still cranky.  A cute little sourpuss.

 

 

5th – Back to daycare, back to work.  Evan still had the rash but Ms Di was OK with him hanging out.  Mid-day she calls and thinks it may be Roseola.  I call the nurse and she says to come in for an appointment.  Sure enough: Roseola.  Too bad it’s one of those ass backwards viruses that are all contagious but completely UNcontagious once any sort of symptom appears. 

6th – The rash is still hanging out.  I’m stressed because we are leaving in 2 days for Vegas.  As in LAS VEGAS but with child.  My bestest fabulous friend Stephanie is getting married on the 9th and we are all flying out to join her.  Packing, or more-to-the-point OVERpacking.

7th – Evan is being a complete asshole  butthead  boogerhead.  A cute asshole  butthead  boogerhead that I adore and love and is my pweashus! wittle! baybee!… but a temper tantrum throwing, inconsolable baybee as well.  Ms Di says the word EAR and I place the word EAR with AIRPLANE THE NEXT DAY and call the nurse AGAIN.  Nurse says EAR and APPOINTMENT and we head to the Doc’s office AGAIN.  Evan’s mood is improving by then and by the time the doctor walks in the room Evan is ready to great him with a full on smile.  “So, what’s up?” Doc says.  (As I’m editing… HAHAHAHHAHAHAAH!!!!1!! ROTFLMAO!!  What’s Up Doc.  I SLAY me)  “I’m here because my kid is super grumpy” I deadpan.  Evan giggles.  My god.  Sure enough his ears might-just-be-looking-a-little-pink so let’s-get-him-on-antibiotics-right-away because of the airplane situation, you know, TOMORROW.  I spend the evening packing up the last of our stuff as my husband is out buying stuff he needs last-minute, which is good because if he didn’t I would wonder what the aliens did with my REAL husband.  Wayne’s last-minute like that. 

8th – I work until noon and head home to load the car and button up the house.  Then I go to daycare to pick up and pajama-clad Evan.  He gets strapped in and we drive the hour and a half to Wayne’s work.  We pick him up and quickly dash to the airport.  And it’s a damn good thing we did because I would hate not to arrive 3 hours before the flight takes off.  SIGH.  Evan runs UP the terminal and BACK to DADA over and over and over. 

The flight goes OK and I have to switch this over to the

9th – because we are landing in Vegas and it’s now the 9th.  Just to sum that up for you.  We get checked in and get up to the hotel room.  And Mandalay Bay has no milk located in the miles and miles of its sin city acreage and I would say that they shouldn’t… they should have vodka and NOT milk because it’s VEGAS and not DISNEYWORLD but you would be SHOCKED at the amount of children I saw there.  Even that late.  Half of them weren’t even drunk.  Wayne ended up walking across the strip to an AM/PM for a gallon of milk and a cooler.  It worked.  We sleep.  We wake. 

We get together with THE BRIDE.  We pool.  Evan hates the pool.  I get ready.  I taxi to THE BRIDE’s hotel.  She get’s ready.

I capture gorgeous bride.

Stranger takes picture of us.

We wait for non-english-speaking limo driver that is lost.  We hop in the limo and head to the LAS VEGAS sign.  Wayne is there with a passed out Evan who is awesomely so cute in a little white shirt and tie.  We push through the masses and I listen and watch as THE BRIDE becomes THE WIFE.  It was beautiful and I know she’s so happy.  Then we are all back in the limo and smushing and drinking champagne (well, except for me cause its icky and Evan because he was asleep.  I’m kidding, he was awake but I didn’t have his sippy cup.  I kidding, I had a sippy cup with me but I was too lazy to take it out, so no champagne for him.  I’m kidding for fuck’s sake.  I’m not lazy.)  We arrive at dinner and are greeted with MEAT on a SWORD.  I casually grab a diaper and some wipes to go change Evan and find no changing table.  Restaurant is attached to hotel/mall – walking everywhere to find restroom with changing table – back in my seat lots of minutes later.  After the noms on a stick, Wayne and I and Evan head out to catch a cab.  Did you know that you can’t catch a cab on the strip unless it’s at a hotel?  We did and yet we started walking anyway.  OMG.  Ouchy-foooty-ouchy.  Hubby crying about shins in his splints or something.  Evan chillin’ in the stroller accepting hooker cards being handed out by non-english-speaking over aggressors.  We walk from the Planet Hollywood hotel to Mandalay Bay.  OMG. 

10th – By today we make it back to our room.  We pass the hell out.  We eat.  We pool.  Evan still does not like the pool.  We meet up with THE WIFE and THE HUSBAND and THE BEST MAN.  We go eat.  (Did I mention that Wayne has a couple in him?)  Wayne is kinda drunk.  We go to a restaurant that has a GINORMOUS BURGER that they will give you for free if you can eat it in 5 minutes and 20 seconds.  Wayne is down for it.  I am mortified.  Evan’s getting cranky.  I leave early to get Evan situated and eating.  Wayne comes back all WHOA BIG BURGER and falls asleep.  I meet THE WIFE for FROYO and wish her a pleasant flight home.  I go to bed at a decent hour.

11th – Our last day in LAS VEGAS.  We eat and do touristy things. 

We head to the airport.  4 hours early this time to shake things up.  Evan falls asleep and

12th – we are mid-flight home.  Wayne is headed right into work so I am on hold EVER HEAVIER baby during flight and don’t let him kick neighbor and baby is only comfy if you are not.  I turn into ZOMBIE.  We land in Metro Detroit and I drive Wayne to work.  I drive Evan to daycare.  I drive my ass home and sleep.  Sleeeeeep.  Opps.  I mean, Bwaaaaaains.  Eh, I’m so confused.

Things are all sorts of normal now.  Getting prepared for the March for Babies walk.  Then 4 days later flying to Arizona and then 4 days after I get home from that flying to Florida.  On Mother’s Day.  Without mah baybee.  Again.  Something to whine about on another day.

Hey there, thanks for reading the whole way through, you one person you!  I have a unicorn for you.

Save Little Lives

March 31, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Posted in Baby Weight (Evan), I's for reals, Love and all that other mushy stuff, Putting on Baby Weight (Pregnancy), The Others | 3 Comments
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“We don’t have time to induce you.  We have to take the baby now.”

Those are the words that I heard 10 minutes before my son was born.  It wasn’t like a hospital drama or my favorite show, House.  They didn’t tell me that “We don’t have time” meant that I didn’t have time and that I might have a seizure and die before the medication to induce labor kicked in.  They didn’t pull Wayne aside to tell him how dire the situation was or how sick and drugged I would be for the next few days.  They didn’t explain what HELLP Syndrome was and they didn’t tell me the risks to our son.  They didn’t talk about the risk of bleeding out during the c-section due to my non-existent platelets nor did they tell us what to expect from our preemie son and how he would be wisked away immediately. 

“We don’t have time to induce you.  We have to take the baby now.”

We nodded while trying to get the million questions we had bombarding our brains in single file.  Before that could happen, Wayne was handed scrubs and told to get them on and I was prepped for surgery. 

Then a little baby was born.  4 lbs, 14 oz.  First apgars were low, the second ones were better.  He got some oxygen, he got an IV, he got a heart monitor.  But he was fine.  He was almost fully cooked.  I got to hold my baby right away even if I couldn’t room with him for four days.  He was well enough to go home before I was.

We were lucky.

Sometimes, a TINY baby is born.  1 lbs, 6 oz. First apgars non-existent, second ones are low.  ventilators and feeding tubes and monitors.  Incubators and unpronounceable drugs.  These babies are not fine.  Not cooked.  They can’t be held.  They can’t come home.  Some don’t ever make it home.

That’s not fair. 

I walk for March of Dimes every year because that thought takes my breath away.  Take a couple weeks of gestation away from Evan and that could have been him.  It could be any of our babies.

What would I do without this in my life?

The March of Dimes looks for ways to make sure all pregnancies are full-term pregnancies.  They support these preemies and their parents.  They research treatments for vision, heart and lung defects.  They support NICUs.  The March of Dimes started back in the day to find a cure for Polio.  Guess what they found?  That’s right, a cure for Polio.  And when that happened they didn’t celebrate and go about their merry ways… they found a new mission.

I found one too.

My family and I walk on April 25th, in Grand Blanc, MI.  Come walk with us!  We have a new person or two (!) walking with us this year and I am so excited!  There are walks all over the nation, go here to find one.

Donate.  Click the button below or click here and sponsor my family and our cause.  Every dollar brings tears to my eyes because I’m so thankful to be surrounded by such wonderful people.  I’ve been tearing up a lot.  I try to act hardcore about it but it’s not working.

Get learnt.  Be a voice.  Mention HELLP Syndrome to your pregnant friends and family.  Know for your wife or for yourself.  We all know of at least 3 pregnant people at a time.  It’s not as uncommon as you might think.  I know of two dear woman personally that had HELLP as well.

H (Hemolytic anemia) EL (Elevated Liver enzymes) LP (Low Platelet count).  Basically means your red blood cells are being destroyed and not regenerating, your liver is failing and the goop in your blood that clots your wounds is low.  All of this eventually shuts down your liver and kidneys.  Seizure.  Coma.  Death.  It can be related to pre-eclampsia but there is some debate on that.  Personally, I didn’t present with pre-eclampsia symptoms (high blood pressure, protein in urine) but most women do.  I was also much sicker after Evan was born.  The fact that I didn’t “look” like a “normal” HELLP patient makes me appreciate my doctors even more.

My symptoms were a pain above my pregnant belly which I associated with heartburn and a backache.  (It was my liver and kidneys).  I felt nauseous and had a headache.  Some women also have blurred vision and tingling in their hands and feet.

Walking. Donating. Being a little HELLP expert.  You’re saving lives.  THANK YOU SO MUCH.

My 18 Month Old…

March 4, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Posted in As the Months go by..., Baby Weight (Evan), Love and all that other mushy stuff | 2 Comments
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(AKA: My One and a Half Year Old for those who aren’t into the whole month thing after Year One.  I’ll be over the whole month thing after Year Two.)

(I’m going to pretend that I haven’t been absent for 3 months, do you wanna do it with me?  AWESOME.)

… has words.  They are his own and some mean different things and some mean the same thing.  His favorite word is MAMA!  This is great, no?  Umm: NO.  Mama doesn’t mean Mom, it means MINE.  This is what gets screamed from the top of his lungs when we take something from him.  As in: MAMA BOOK!  MAMA BOOK!  As I take MY book away from his page tearing little fingers.  At first I thought he was saying it was MOMMY’s book, but he’s saying, “MY BOOK! GIVE ME BACK MY DAMN BOOK WOMAN!”  So some other words: Baba and Eat (They mean the same thing), Book, Ball, Dada (interchangeable for Mommy and Daddy), Dog, No (another favorite), Uh oh (used for all purposes) and some others.  He says most everything we ask him to say and he seems to understand every word we utter.  I can say, “Let’s change your butt!” and he will walk up to me with wipes. 

… is still a Yo Gabba Gabba freak.  If he wakes up in the morning before I’m ready for work he watches Yo Gabba Gabba (Or “GaGa” Evan-Speech) with his bottle.  He tries to make “Funny Faces” when that segment comes on and attempts to answer when they ask a question (What color is a fire engine? “Ehh!”).   Baby Einstein DVDs are a close second.  If you don’t know what Yo Gabba Gabba is, you are a pure soul and don’t go YouTubing it because it hurts bwainz.

… has 6 and two halfs teeth.  Four top and center and the adorable little bottom two.  He’s currently working on 2 molars and he’s crewing on his poor hands and tongue night and day.  (Also: if you like your fingers, don’t stick them in his mouth)

… has a new smile for when the camera come out.  SQUINTY-EYE-MOUTH-WIDE-OPEN SMILE!  (This crushes my photographer soul that has gone into hiding and won’t find its way out until I get my BRAND!NEW!CAMERA! hopefully sometime soon – I want to see those big blue eyes!)

(OK so he’s pretty effing cute with this smile too.)

… still gets rocked to sleep kinda.  He doesn’t need it.  I can put him to bed tired and awake.  It’s for my sanity.  I like to rock my wittle boy!  Problem is he’s not so little anymore.  He can barely get comfy on me anymore.  I get lots of just-put-me-in-my-crib-already looks.

… will eat more if you let him eat like a big boy.  Give him a spoon, fork and bowl.  Let him eat anywhere but the high chair.  Have him eat whatever you’re eating.  Or give him Mac ‘n Cheese… he’ll eat more that way too.

… walks, runs, jumps, climbs, falls and does it all over again.  He has little fear and if he has seen you or some of the “big kids” at day care do something he must do it as well.  He was practicing standing on a toy and jumping off but he didn’t have the jumping part down yet.  So he was just stepping off and falling.  He thought it was hilarious.  I wondered if his bones were made out of rubber.  Between some “No, Evan.  Stop!  Get down.”‘s he “jump”ed off the toy and his jaw hit the floor just enough to hurt his sore gums.  He stuck his hand in his mouth and whine-cried.  You know the whine-cry.  I said, “I told you so” like I’m supposed to and tried not to run over and baby him.  Finally, he came over to me and wanted to be picked up and comforted.  After he was all better (a good 45 seconds) he calmly walked over to the toy AGAIN!  Seriously, Evan?  You’re going to get hurt again!  But he didn’t climb on it… he hit it as hard as he could and walked away.  Wayne was in hysterics!  Sometimes he has a laugh he can’t control and his face turns all red; I call it “A State”.  I told Evan he put Daddy in A State.  Evan laughed along with him.

… is in size 4 diapers and almost out of his 18 month clothes.  I have a complete 24 month wardrobe as well as a complete 2T wardrobe and the more I look at the two the more I think they are the same size.  Also Evan has more 24 month short sleeve polos than he can wear while he’s that size.  I’m not even going to have to wash them.  Hooray!  No laundry!

… loves to dance and clap.  If someone else is doing either he will join along.  I’m trying to get him into singing.  He can Doooo-doooo-dooo with the best of ’em.

… is going to LAS VEGAS in about a month.  I told him, “No drinking, no gambling, and no picking up ho’s” and then he told me he didn’t want to go if that was the case.  We’re going for Stephanie‘s wedding!  GLITTER SHOWERS!  Wayne and Evan will be at the pool a lot while there.  We were sure to get a hotel with awesome water holes.  I will be sitting in the shade in jeans and a t-shirt.  I might wear flip-flops.  Maybe.  We get to take a 4 hour plane ride with a 19 month-old on our laps.  yay.  I think I’m going to try to get back to Arizona to see my Grandmother on her birthday (April 30th).  I don’t know if I can bring Evan or not.  He was a handful at 9 months by myself.  I can’t imagine another 10 months added on that.  That’s like 10 months of pounds and stubbornness and back talk he’s learned.  I don’t think I’d be able to stop the other passengers from killing me if that were the case. 

… has too many toys!  I never understood that statement until now.  Cripes.  I’m buying PJs for all birthday presents from now on.  I don’t want to add to another parents misery!  This of course doesn’t stop me from wanting to buy every toy I see for him.  I try to remember the 3 rooms of toys he has and the thought usually goes away.

… had a cough for MONTHS.  So mysterious.  Mostly at night.  I didn’t know if it was allergies or asthma or nothing or we were imagining it.  A second opinion doctor refered us to a pediatric pulmonologist.  A couple weeks before the appointment Evan got pneumonia.  (It crushes my heart to even remember it.)  After the illness the cough disappeared.  We even cancelled the appointment.  So the cure for mysterious cough is pneumonia!  Tell your friends!  (No it’s not you people who got to my blog from looking up “Cure for mysterious cough”, see a doctor or two.)

… has a Mother with a theory.  I believe that as time goes by you love your child even more.  I’ve noticed this in myself and I’m terrified it’s true.  Is this a fact??  I can hardly stand it right now!  Will him coming home with a tattoo or getting detention counteract this at some point?  He owns me (is it proper to use “He pwns me” here? I’ve never got that one).  I am so screwed.

What a difference a year makes.

LAS VEGAS!

December 1, 2009 at 10:56 am | Posted in I have unleashed the crazy, Love and all that other mushy stuff, Rewind, The Others | 3 Comments
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AKA: Picturey-photo Spectacular!

AKA: The Post Where Stephanie Gets Pissed Because She’s In Too Many Photos

Two years ago on this day my husband and I were wed.  We opted for an “easy” wedding in fabulous LAS VEGAS!  JAZZ HANDS

(From here on in, you must do some mental jazz hands every time you read LAS VEGAS to get the full effect. 

Let’s practice:

LAS VEGAS! 

You guys are awesome.)

Our final plan was to meet everyone at our hotel.  Take a limo about an hour north to the Valley of Fire state park and get married among the red rocks.  Then we were going to trek back to LAS VEGAS and have some dinner at Battista’s Hole in the Wall.  Then it was everyone for themselves.

Let me first introduce you to Fancy. 

Fancy was my kinda gal.  White, cheap and in the need for some lovin’.  We found her on the clearance rack at a local wedding dress boutique.  Her zipper was dodgy and she had some loose strings but she fit and $59.  $59.  Fifty nine frickin’ dollars!  EVERYTHING ELSE I purchased for the wedding was much more expensive than her.  So she was christened Fancy.  (After the Reba McIntyre song, Fancy.  “Here’s your one chance Fancy don’t let me dooooowwwnnn.”)

MOH4L* Stephanie went dress shopping with me.  I’m sure she saw more skin than she cared to.  I think she took it well… look how happy she is here:

(*Maid Of Honor For Life – because I read somewhere that once she’s in that position she has to do defend me forever.  The trip to LAS VEGAS sealed the deal.  She’s easy.  Don’t tell her I said that.  Don’t worry… she doesn’t read my blog.)

Wayne and I left for LAS VEGAS with a foot of snow on the ground and my little Civic that had a slow leak in one tire.  We were way prepared for that and brought a tire-blower-upper thingy that plugs into the cigarette lighter.  What we were NOT prepared for was the dead battery we came home to but I digress.

We made our home in the Paris because I stayed there before and liked their bathrooms.  Wayne made his first ever wedding decision and asked for a smoking room at the front desk.  Eww.  I went out and bought candles immediately.  I whined about how Fancy was going to smell like smoke.  I may or may not still bitch about it to this day.

We were real nice and planned the wedding for December 1st and let everyone know about it in October.  We’re thoughtful like that.  Even so we had most of our important people fly out to be with us.  Wayne even had HIS BOYS:

The day before our wedding it rained.  In LAS VEGAS.  It’s a desert.  No fair!  I spent the night with Stephanie in the hotel room watching the Weather Channel.  Religiously.  My internal clock woke me up every hour to get an update.  S-T-R-E-S-S.  It was in the 60’s and it might rain.  On my outdoor wedding.  With my 73 year old grandmother in attendance.  ARG! 

Morning of: No rain.  Wind.  HELLA WIND.  Whoa doggie.  I had my hairs did at the salon upstairs and he promised the curl would hold.  He wasn’t kidding.  My hair was still curly when I woke up the next day. 

Grandma and Uncle Mark arrived from Arizona in the nick of time.  Grandma of course had some time to take in some poker machines downstairs.  Priorities People!  We’re in LAS VEGAS!  They were heading right back to the airport after dinner.

The whole gang was there.  We were off to the beautiful park!

Then Oh My Fuck.  No one told me we were walking up a canyon.  That my grandmother with COPD and Stephanie’s flip flops on was going to have to walk up a canyon.  But of course, she did with no bitching and was the first one up there.

Then suddenly.  It started.  Our wedding.  After 6 years of “patiently” waiting we were getting married!  And the officiant could not be heard above my inner dialogue.

“OMG, we’re getting married!”

“Shut it Amber.  You’re in the middle of the ceremony.  Concentrate!  What if you’re asked a question?  I think there’s a question that gets asked in there!”

“You’re still inner dialogue-ing, Amber!”

“Who knew I’d be thinking these thoughts as we were getting married?”

“STFU AMBER!”

Also the pastor kept addressing Wayne as Don.  I almost stopped him to tell him he had the wrong info before I remembered that my in-the-process-of-being-married-to husband’s name is Donald Wayne.  I’m on top of things.

Wayne’s wedding ring could have easily fit around my wrist.  If there was a Big and Tall department in the jewelry store, he would have had to shop there.  The ring you see here (not his wedding ring) is his late grandfather’s Teamsters ring.

Everyone was on their feet.  People thought they were successfully hiding beer cans.  No one sat in the seats for which I picked this place out for because who wants to stand the whole time?  My peeps do, that’s who. 

At last!  It was done.  Wayne was hitched.  That wagon would be me.  You know, a skinny wagon with sparkley wheels.

It was beautiful there and Fancy done good.

Here are all of our lovely guests that ended up being prettier than me. 

Then we all piled in and headed back to LAS VEGAS!  To celebrate, we popped some bubbly.

Which I can’t stand.  Then off to dinner!  I ordered spaghetti and ate none of it.  Between being nervous and wearing white I just sipped water and then gulped down the cappuccino they serve at the end of the course.  That has crack in it.  Seriously.  Go here next time you’re in LAS VEGAS if only for the cappuccino with crack.

Then we had the cake to cut.  In the middle of a crowded restaurant.  We had lots of onlookers.  I felt GLAMOROUS.  That was until Wayne shoved cake UP MY NOSE.  I got a little twinkle in my eye and got a little cake on his chin and he gets all revengey so I got buttercreme UP MY NOSE!

After emptying a tissue box, we walked about LAS VEGAS.  And my feet hurt.  So I walked around barefoot.  It was wonderful.  In Cesar’s Palace some chicks waiting to get in the club told me I looked beautiful.  We were spoiled by the staff when we sat down to gamble.  They wanted to load me up with alcohol.  I’m a lightweight.  A featherweight!  And it’s icky.  You heard me.

Later, my husband took me back to the hotel room, helped me out of my dress and… dropped me off.  I was exhausted.  What?  We’d been living together for 6 years already and we were in LAS VEGAS!  He went out to enjoy the night with his friends and family.  I soaked my poor funky feet in the bathtub.  I think he got in at 4am. 

Later we had LAS VEGAS to ourselves.  We did all the touristy things and we gambled and we ordered room service and movies. 

It was done.  I was Mrs. McNamara.  42 days later I would be with child.  Insta-Family!

w00T!

This Is My Brain On Metaphors

November 10, 2009 at 12:29 pm | Posted in Baby Weight (Evan), I have unleashed the crazy, I shouldn't have even posted this, I's for reals, Love and all that other mushy stuff, Me myself I and me again, Rewind, The Others | 2 Comments
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Years and years and years ago my mind was a mess.  As you remember I’m Bipolar.  I was always depressed and never consistent with my medication (if I was even taking it).  Like a lot of people with similar issues, I had what some call “suicidal ideation”.  I had an out.  I had a plan.  It was like my morbid little teddy bear… if things got hairy I could snuggle up to that.  Things weren’t so bad if I always had thatThat was also my little secret.  Not many knew of my plan and those that did never knew about my back-up plans.  I could tearfully confess that my teddy bear was there, destroy said teddy bear with the confessee and proclaim absolution, smile and grab other teddy bear out of hiding.  Safe. 

You might not understand how safe it feels to have a plan.  On the outside looking in, things may not seem that safe at all.  Life is precarious on a hair trigger (That would have been HILARIOUS a few years ago).  You spend days terrified that something will set off your loved one and the plan gets carried out.  It’s terrifying to think about.  But to me… it was safe.

Why the hell am I talking about suicide?  Well, because things have changed for me.  And things have not changed for a lot of other people.  Things may not have changed for you.  But it can.

This was my mind during the time of the teddy bear:

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Confusing and loaded.  There was nothing in there that told me, “Ya know Amber, that’s kinda fucked up.”  And anyone that would say that (and many people did)… it just wouldn’t get processed.

Then Wayne came along.  My husband is NOT a bullshitter and he certainly isn’t going to tell you what you want to hear.  ESPECIALLY when it comes to this.  He told me that if I committed suicide he would not go to my funeral but he may drop by later to piss on my grave. 

The hell?

At first I was kinda pissed.  I’m fragile, damnit!  Kid gloves, sir!  His view was that he loved me.  He wanted me around as did a couple other people (heh), he said it would be selfish to do such a thing.  And then I thought about people being pissed off at me after I was safe and felt like shit. 

At long last my teddy bears were gone.  Not forgotten, but not there.  Wanted, but not an option.  At first I felt trapped.  Then I felt safe… with him.  He became my Permanent Marker.  He covered up some of the confusion and disaster in my mind.  It was still there, but I really couldn’t get to it:

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A few more years crept by and my biological clock was ticking JUST! LIKE! THIS!  Then this guy came into play:

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I knew that of course there would be no more thoughts.  No more plans.  I “knew” it like I “knew” getting cut in half for him wasn’t going to hurt.  I convinced myself of it.  I was a big fat FAIL if not.

Evan came along and suddenly things changed again.  He was my Eraser:

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Poof!  It was gone.  ALMOST not even there.  But there’s some residue left behind and I’m glad for that.  I need to remember what it was like to feel that way.  I need to try to recognize those souls that are cuddling with that teddy bear when I’m not looking.  And, I guess, I had to tell you.

(There’s HOPE and HELP.  This is a good resource: http://www.preventsuicide.us/hopeline-new/)

(Will you find a Permanent Marker or better yet, an Eraser?  I don’t know.  I hope so.  That’s what you should do too: HOPE.)

Steps

September 3, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Posted in Baby Weight (Evan), I's for reals, Love and all that other mushy stuff, Me myself I and me again, Putting on Baby Weight (Pregnancy), Rewind | Leave a comment
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Our home was built in the 1970s.  Due to this fact, we have a “mirror corner”.  It covers the corner of our living room from floor to ceiling.  You can kinda see it in this photo in the upper left corner:

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 You can watch yourself in this mirror as you go down the stairs from the bedrooms.

I remember walking (ok, waddling) down those stairs about a year ago with my big pregnant belly.  I’d catch myself in the mirror and unconsciously place a hand on my tummy. 

Then a short time later, Evan was born.  Wayne and I would so very carefully tip toe down the stairs.  We would clutch the hand rail in one hand and hold not-even 5 pound Evan in the other.  We would place ourselves in the exact middle of the staircase… careful not to accidentally bump his head into a wall on the way down.  We’d search the area for our little dogs, not wanting to trip on them and hurt the baby.  I remember pausing on the steps.  I remember seeing a small fold of blankets in my arms as a gingerly inched down the stairs after my c-section.  He was so tiny.  You could scarcely see his face poking out of the swaddling blanket.

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Soon after I was walking confidently down those stairs as I watched how natural it looked for me to be cradling an infant in my arms.  I didn’t need a handrail.  Even the dogs knew to run down the stairs if I shouted, “GO!” 

Months would pass I would see myself walking down those steps as I had Evan on my hip, tickling his side while we bounced down the stairs.

And again as I clutched a heavy sleepy Evan against my chest with his arms around my neck.

I pause on the steps and look into that mirror and realize that in a year Evan will be crawling up and down those steps on his own.  I can see myself waiting and watching at the top of the steps as he slowly makes his way down. 

I know in the future I will see Evan running up those steps to his room to go play.  I can see him running up those steps to slam himself into his room because he’s mad at me.  I can see him rubbing his eyes as he stumbles down the steps in the morning for breakfast.  I can see him missing a step one day and me kissing his boo-boo as he cries.

It’s not easy to swallow the fact that this baby is going to be a kid one day.  A kid that can walk and run and talk back to me.  It’s hard to imagine that one day I won’t have to carry him down those steps.  One day he won’t want me to carry him down those steps.

One day I won’t be able to carry him down those steps.

Unnecessary Promises

May 28, 2009 at 12:43 pm | Posted in Baby Weight (Evan), I's for reals, Love and all that other mushy stuff, Putting on Baby Weight (Pregnancy), Rewind, The Others | 1 Comment
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I remember back when you were just a little glob of cells forming in my womb.  I remember clasping a hand to my belly days after that faint pink line appeared and promising you that I would love you.  I would love you like no mother has loved her child before.  I would love you in a fierce way, a ravenous way, a way that would consume me.  I promised you that my life would be for you from that moment on.  I made a vow that I would be a rock for you, a never ending source of strength and love and support.  I wedded you into my life in such a way that divorce from you would be impossible and ridiculous.  A separation from you would null my existence.  Losing you would negate me.  I told you these things to convince you that I would be the perfect mother for you.  I told you these things to convince myself of that too. 

I pleaded to nothing and everything that I could live up to that promise.  I begged that your father and I could love you as much as we wanted to.  We built a wall to protect you even while you were still protected within me.  We threw out convictions left and right, solid principles, unmovable stances on subjects we knew nothing about.  We were clueless.  But it didn’t matter.  It was all or nothing.  We were in it together.  You were going to be loved and cared for to the fullest come hell or high water. 

As time ticked away and you grew I held my breath prayed that I was strong enough to be your mother.  I was hoping that I would slip into motherhood like an old sweater: so comfortable, so right… nothing you had to think about or stress over.  Because it was too late to back out now, I was going to have to fight to the death… if I wasn’t going to win at this, you were going to lose. 

I needn’t worry.

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You exploded into my life and then the dust settled and the shock wore off I didn’t have any choice.  There wasn’t an option to try to love you as best as I could: you demanded it and I couldn’t help it.  I was so caught up… I was overwhelmed and loving it.  I couldn’t have backed out on my promise if I tried.  I wanted to need you, but I didn’t know that you would be my air.  I didn’t know that you were going to consume me.  I didn’t know everything was so dark; I didn’t know everything could be so light.

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I never realised that it would be so easy… strike that… so natural and thoughtless to be your mother.  So weightless.  I never wanted you to feel like a burden, but it turns out that there is no effort to hide.  Sure… I’ve lost some sleep, you’ve cried for no reason what-so-ever, your kicks and pinches are getting so strong that it hurts mommy… but did I ever have to look and you and try to be everything for you?

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Never.

And then I look and see your father and know that there is someone else here that is as embarrassingly hopeless as I am.  I knew that, if there is ever a reason to, there is someone that I’m going to have to contend with if you ever need protecting.  Someone else that needs you as much as I do. 

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What’s the future going to hold for you, Sugar?  I don’t know.  All I know is that I’ll be there, in any way shape or form you need me, I’ll be there.  I don’t have a choice.  And you should know that you don’t either. 

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You will always have us… a Mother and a Father, watching over you, protecting you, helping you, raising you and loving you.  We will be your home base and your defender.  And one day when you break our hearts for whatever reason children do, we will be patiently steady… waiting for you to grow and learn.  You will never see our backs facing you.  And we will constantly worry, (as we already do), and you will proceed regardless (as you already do).  And I will know that my promise was kept, however unnecessary it was.

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Corrupting and Ditching the Baby Weight. All in One Week. Ask me how.

May 5, 2009 at 2:22 pm | Posted in Baby Weight (Evan), It's OK to be confused... I am, Love and all that other mushy stuff, Me myself I and me again | 4 Comments

(Also, Hugh Jackman’s ass.  But more on that later.)

I’ve been corrupting my poor son.  I dress him up; I take him shopping.  I show him off like he’s a doll.  Hubby lets him gnaw on a XBOX controller.  Secretly, I think he like shopping more.

Evan and I packed up and headed northwards to a Mom 2 Mom sale.  He spent the time hanging off of me in a “crotch dangler” (that’s what moms who don’t like Baby Bjorn’s call them) and making very successful attempts at grabbing other people’s hair / clothes on the tables / other babies in Baby Bjorn’s.  After we were done walking around I took him for a quick change in the back of the car and a bit of bottle in the front seat.  Then we did more shopping.  He was all for it.  I swear.

hardcore

The next day I snuck off and went to see a movie.  I’m a going-to-the-movies freak.  There was I time when I went to a movie almost every Saturday morning, by myself, and sitting my butt down in the middle of the third row.  This Sunday I saw Wolverine.  It was awesome because here is my inner monologue:

Ohhh… ‘sploshuns!  Awesome.

Ha ha ha.  Ryan’s so funny.  Awesome.

Bang bang!  Slice slice!  Awesome.

Hugh Jackman’s ass!  Awesome.

Is that…? Ohh!  I LOVE him!  Awesome.

Yup, it was a big ball of awesome for me, ’cause I like me some ‘sploshuns and one-liners and impossible fight scenes.  After the awesomeness I went and bought Evan’s convertible car seat.  “sniff”  He’s getting so big!  And damn that car seat’s huge too ’cause it’s box is taking up my entire living room right now.

So, I wish I could say that I when I say, ‘ditching the Baby Weight’, I was talking about seeing a movie Sunday.  I was not.  I’m leaving my pwehshus wittle boy Sunday.  For 5 ENTIRE days.  I leave ON MOTHER’S DAY.  MY FIRST MOTHER’S DAY.  AND YOU KNOW THIS IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE I’M USING ALL CAPS!  I’ll be in Texas, learning my brain off, with tissues in my pocket and pictures of Evan taped to my binder.  I’m a terrible mother for leaving my infant for 5 days.  I know it and now you know it.  Don’t you worry, I’m leaving ketchup formula and the remote a cold teether for him… he should be fine.  (Oh!  And his daddy.  His daddy will be around too.)

(And cold teether reference?  Because he’s officially teething… 2 on the bottom.  EEEK!!!)

This thing’s gonna be 23 by the time I get back.  This is gonna be hard.  (Oh!  And his daddy.  I’m going to miss his daddy too.)

 smiles

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