Saturday, January 31, 2009

a first's birth story.

my stella. i've wanted to write this so much. and for so long. but it never seemed like the right day. and i never thought i had enough time. and there is so much that i want to tell you about the day that i held you for the first time ... i've always thought it would take too long.

but i've come to realize that ... i need to make the time. and if this takes me months of hitting *save now* before i finally hit publish ... then so be it. at least it's out there. for you.

(note ... talk about babies and being born and blood and placentas and stuff ... you can leave now if you need to.)
once upon a time ...
(i knew that would grab your attention ... you are definitely a once-upon-a-time kinda girl) ...

daddy and i found out that we were going to have a baby the same week that we were in the process of buying our first home. to celebrate ... we thought a crunch cone was in order ... but alas ... the nearest dairy queen wasn't open that early. figures. instead ... we planned how we were going to share the news. we decided that after we (finally) got the keys to the new house ... we were going to invite all of our family over to see it. in the room that was going to be your nursery ... we hung a sign. simply stating ... "baby's room".
your boppa was the first to get there ... and walk through. the smile on his face immediately upon seeing the sign was, for lack of a better equivalent ... the same smile that he gives you whenever he sees you still today. a few of the family members (not naming any names ...) needed more obvious hinting as to your invisible presence at the party.
i was very excited. but leary.

we had just lost a baby ... a few months prior. and i wasn't sure if my heart was ready to break again. i spent a lot of time worrying about you. singing to you ... and talking to you ... and begging you to stay.

on september 5th of that year ... i had my first midwife appointment ... with kathryn. who ... at the time ... was just the midwife that i had an appointment with. but, who ... now ... is one of the most amazing people in my life. it all started that day. (that will make more sense when you hear cora's story.)

daddy was on a trip ... so auntie summer came with. i had spent all day feeling like there was something i needed to do ... but couldn't figure it out. turns out ... it was my previous due date. i just hadn't remembered until kathryn started asking questions. well ... emotions were stirred a bit and kathryn immediately brought all of us to an ultrasound. where she found you. and gave me a glimpse of your heart. all four chambers. beating strong. truly ... at that moment ... i fell in love with you.

we never did find out if you were a boy or girl. we wanted the surprise. but, i wavered constantly. a coworker that was going to school to become an ultrasound technician did some practice runs on me. she knew.
but was amazingly good at keeping the secret.

during the pregnancy ... my clinic got rid of their midwife program. i was in my 6th month of pregnancy ... and i had to find someone new. kathryn was determined to start her own clinic ... but had no idea when that would become a reality. she gave me her email address. which i utilized. i never fully trusted ALL of the new midwives at my new clinic. and i often checked in with kathryn to find out if she was up and running ... even the week before you were born. (she wasn't.)

on sunday, early morning ... march 28th. i awoke with a start. i jumped out of bed ... literally (we have a high bed - i use stairs). my water had broke. and there was a lot of blood.
enough that i was scared.


i remember sitting on my birthing ball in the living room ... kinda frustrated that daddy was getting sleep and i wasn't. i also remember that i was hungry for raisin bran. so i woke daddy up ... and we went to the store. full on labor. and i bought raisin bran and got home and to be honest ... i'm not sure if i even got to eat a bowl of it.

i called my doula, alena. and the clinic. everybody thought i should come in.

daddy and i went in to the hospital ... alena arrived. and gave me a foot massage. doula ... best money spent ... ever.

at one point ... they had me in a wheelchair to take me for an ultrasound ... the guy that was asked to take me there ... walked ... no ... ran so fast ... daddy and alena couldn't keep up. i was almost sick ... he was so speedy. (but it really was just kinda funny ...)

the midwife on call ... mary (my favorite - thank you so much for picking that birthday, stella) ... convinced the doctor that i needed to stay. the ultrasound was showing that you were doing seemingly ok. but that the fluid around you was decreased ... from my water breaking. he thought i should go home and labor for awhile longer. she asserted that i needed to be there and they needed to put me on pitocin to speed up labor. primarily because they couldn't determine where the bleeding was coming from. i had planned on a drug free birth ... i kept up my end of the bargain. but the pitocin was deemed necessary.

so they started it. summer, my friend, arrived and we called boppa and asked him to bring a game over. not knowing how long we were going to be there.

as soon as boppa came ... things shifted. boppa left in a hurry. i'm thinking that ... as excited as he was to meet you ... seeing his baby in pain was a little much for him.

we never played cribbage that day.

this is kind of where ... i don't remember things much. your mama went off to labor land. my body took over. i'm told that summer kept me cool (or hot ... per my request) with compresses. alena did massage and allowed me to practically break her fingers with my squeezing. daddy supported me and held my hands. i'm told that i was really good at following directions. but i didn't say much.

this is what i do remember -

i spent a lot of time on the birthing ball ...
i remember that someone remarked that i should move a little. maybe to the tub??
i remember trying.


and i immediately remember remarking that you were falling out. and that i needed to push.

i also remember them telling me not to. seriously? don't? that was hard to do.
but i guess for our own good. they needed to (secretly) call in the back up.

there was a lot of bleeding going on. and apparently ... they were really worried.
i remember opening my eyes at one point and seeing a lot of people in the room. i asked daddy and he told me not to worry.
apparently ... they were all keeping a secret that there was a team ready to do an emergency c-section if i didn't get you out in 12 minutes ... 10 minutes ... 8 minutes ...

but my midwife ... mary ... bless her. she knew i wanted minimal interventions and she trusted that i could do it.


and i did. we did.

you came out. at 4:28 on 3/28 ... all 7 pounds 11 ounces of you.
a girl ... daddy said. her name is stella.

which is apparently good ... because your auntie wasn't fond of the boy name we had picked out ... kian.

stella.

a little girl ... named after a grandmother ... and a grateful dead song.
though ... to this day ... no one really knows which is the stronger influence.
but you were in my arms ... not a great nurser initially ... it took you a few days of drinking pumped milk from shot glasses ... cheers! but you were there. where you were meant to be ... and i wasn't worried so much anymore. up to that point ... there was always a overlying worried-ness.

the bleeding, we found out ... was from a bifurcated placenta. weird. two placentas, kinda, that were connected with large veins. (too much information? i warned you.) one of which had broken. apparently it got passed around the hospital for the doctors to see. more weird. afterward ... my midwife remarked that we were very lucky. that we were both ok (and alive). the bleeding was that significant. scary.

our anxiously awaiting families eagerly bounced into the room to meet you. my mom remembers me saying ... "she really came out mama."

i guess no drugs and an influx of adrenaline will do that to a woman.

my star was born. and i am the luckiest woman alive ... to be your mommy. thanks for making my days (and nights) brighter.
... and they lived happily ever after.

Friday, January 30, 2009

help.

anyone have any amazing ideas for getting prescription medicine into a 21 month old??

we are at the final straw ... i have to get the steroids in her (with at least a 12 hour window before tomorrow morning) ... or she will potentially end up hospitalized with pnemonia. i have to get her antibiotics in her ... or we will end up having to do antibiotics in the form of a shot tomorrow morning.

she is gagging on and throwing up everything. and i'm kinda at the end of my rope. i finally gave up and put her down for a nap.

does anyone know any good suggestions for getting meds in them?

help me!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

life lyrics ... spin cycle.

jen over at spriteskeeper asked us to spin cycle a song that is meaningful to us in some way. this is the first one that came to mind ... and i plopped the lyrics in here at one point this week when i actually had time and wasn't dealing with a (still) sick baby. (yes ... we are going back in to try and figure this out today ... poor girl can't breathe well - very rapid very shallow - and is still running a temp. send back up. funny how crap like this always comes at a time when there isn't any back up ... for a whole week. ugh. but he has so offered to come home. i haven't taken him up on it ... but love that he is more than willing. love you. come home soon, though ... mmm-k?)

so basically ... you aren't getting much of an intro to this post.

it's a song ... that's how you know it's love ... by deanna carter.

one of my best friends sang it at our wedding ... but i continue to sing it to the girly-girls. 'cause it still applies.

love.
that's really what it's all about.

-------------------------------------------------------------

if you ...
get out in the drivin' rain
stand in the eye of the hurricane
and never think twice

if you ...
turn your back on selfishness
and your thoughts are for someone else
'cause they changed your life

that's how you know it's love
that's how you know it's meant to be

when the span of forever
just never seems long enough

that's how you know it's love

when your heart
insists that you give it all
when you no longer
fear the fall

and you just let go
when the past
is finally dead and gone
fate leads you somewhere
to the one

that has your soul

that's how you know it's love

that's how you know it's meant to be

when the span of forever
just never seems long enough

that's how you know it's love

no part of you questions
no part of you doubts

you're only sure this is what love's about
nothing and no one can stand in your way
or keep you from sayin' what your heart is dyin' to say

that's how you know it's love

that's how you know it's meant to be

when the span of forever
just never seems long enough
that's how you know it's love

poor baby.

my poor baby ...
lil' miss cora is sick. again.

should've known ... we finished the antibiotic for the last ear infection yesterday ... and not two hours after ... she was running a temp of 102 and was breathing really yucky ... i gave her a quick nebulizer ... and got her down for bed.

she moaned and tossed and turned ... all night long.

therefore, mommy didn't sleep much at all, either. (i worry about my baby when she's not next to me and is breathing funny over the monitor. so i eventually brought her into bed with me to get a little rest.)

we woke up in the middle of the night and her little body was boiling again ... i called the dr. and they scheduled us for an appt. i was worried about another ear infection ... or pnemonia at this point. argh.

so ... back to the dr. we went. i had to cancel my dr. appt in order to get her in. (sucky ... now i have to reschedule that. we, mamas always put the babies first though, don't we?)

all in all ... another ear infection. and a sick bebe. her breathing is really tight ... so we have to up the nebulizers and try to keep her airway fully open.

i hate the feeling of holding a weak - boiling - listless - little girl in my arms.

but ... i love when the advil kicks in and she finally smiles back at me.

-- off to sing more baby beluga and attempt to convince my body to keep up the milk supply. baby always wants to nurse more when she's ill. unfortunately ... my body didn't get the memo! ah well ... we don't have much longer with the nursing ... mama has a cut off age of two years ... and we're getting close.

Monday, January 26, 2009

(almost) five.

it's hitting me really hard lately.

i am the mommy of an (almost) five year old.

and i don't know why that title feels so seemingly miraculous or noteworthy or even the slightest bit heartwrenching. but it does.

looking back - the first birthday felt extraordinary. so much more anniversary-like. the whole one-year-ago-today-i-held-you-for-the-first-time emotion tumbling forward and outward.

her second birthday ... felt a bit more rushed ... but more her's. i was less a part of it. it sped by. so quickly. i wanted more than it gave.

third birthday ... definitely belonged to her. so significantly less about mommy at that point. she was a total and complete separate person. exploring on her own. becoming her.

fourth birthday ... i begged for it not to happen. it felt too old for my baby. i wanted three back. but it came ... and went. and she was still my baby.

and now? this fifth birthday is sending my heart reeling back to my memories of holding this little tiny being and feeling so overtly unprepared for what life was going to become.

because all of the preparation i had in waiting for you gave me ... no idea i could love this much. and without abandon. and wholly.

and five is all about growing up and school and meeting new friends that are separate from your family.

it's about trusting someone new with my child. allowing this new member of team-stella introduce my baby to ideas and concepts and learning. without the ability to interview him or her first to make sure that s/he's cut out for the team. it's about breathing when you realize that your baby will be going into that bathroom by herself ... and on a school bus ... and possibly eating lunch ... and you can't be there.

it's about watching my first born make decisions about what to wear and realizing that i should never try to control or harness that creativity. because if she thinks that pink and green match the pink and green polka dots on her tights ... because ... hello? ... they are pink and green ... that it is totally fine. it might become all the rage.

five is all about the realization that 2 + 3 + 5 is 10. and so is 3 + 2 + 5. and even 5 + 3 + 2 equals 10. really it does! and did you know that mom upside down is wow. and pink is spelled p . i . n . k . and the word top can be like at the top of something ... and it's a toy that spins around! isn't the world amazing, mama? it's all intertwined and stuff.

the world gets so fucking big all of a sudden ... when you have a gonna-be-five-year-old. china is all the way on the other side of the world! did you know that the sun is going to come up over there? right now?? so many people go to washington dc to see the president! where is daddy tonight? what time is it there? how far away is daddy? and how can we talk to him on the phone? how does it work??

and yet. right now ...

she's still four.

she still cries when someone hurts her feelings. she pouts when she doesn't get her way. she gets time-outs when she needs to learn that she did something ... not right. she still wants to be carried when she's tired. she saunters up and closes in when she needs hugs and lovin'. she glows when you talk about how wonderful she is. she starts to make horses have triangle shaped ears ... only because you mentioned it one time - and she wants to be right.

so, darlin? when you see mama's tears rolling down her cheek as we near this birthday ... don't worry. they are a good mix of happy and sad. mommy is pretty much ok. she just misses her baby a little bit. but she really really loves this big girl too.

so ... stay tuned if you like a good birth story. because of this girl and this girl and this girl and a friend that let me put my hand on her tummy to feel her new little one moving saturday night ... i'm feeling a little more like getting the story of stella's birth out there.
but maybe on saturday ... when the girly-girls go down early and i can invest in a couple of glasses of wine. and more tears. because i so know that the tears will flow with that one.

hasay ... week 14? 15? ... who cares?

hasay ...
casey ...

so anyways ...
how are you all doing? i'm great. just great.
what's new in your neck of the woods?
oh.
you don't live in the woods?
or in a neck of anything?
how about you? over there. you don't talk much, huh? you never say anything when you come to visit ...
and you? what's new with you??
oh ... hi over there!!!! can i get you anything?
anyone want a beer?? or a glass of wine??
oh yay! ... expecting!!!! can i get you some water or a cup of tea??

(read. stalling.)

because i don't want to tell you that weight loss sucks big time.
as soon as you feel like you are going somewhere and making progress ...

a plateau in weight loss bitch slaps you across the face.

in other words.

nada.

maybe up one. and my wii fit tries to make me feel all better by saying ... oh! did you know that in a single day your weight can fluctuate + or - 2 pounds? yeah. thanks. doesn't make me feel any better.

damn thing also says ... "ooo" whenever i step on it. jerk.
and now that i think about it. the girly-girls refrigerator-fun magnet (that is supposed to be there to keep them busy while i attempt to create delicious and easy meals ... but never manages to fulfill his job accurately.) also moos and oinks at me.
what the hell? is the electronic equipment in my house ... attempting to tell me something that my mirror tells me everyday ... without being all uppity about it?

little do they know ... they have batteries! oh yeah. i can take out your batteries ... i am the one in charge here!

but i am SO not taking the batteries out of my wii fit ... 'cause i am a yoga master!!!! i might have a baby belly ... still. but apparently ... my yoga skillz are undeniable.

and i love to box my husband whenever possible. especially when we are having some sort of disagreement. it is the perfect way to get your frustrations out.

**(don't worry, honey. i won't tell anyone that you have yet to beat me in boxing. or that i knock you out ... often. usually before the 2nd round.)**

Thursday, January 22, 2009

a poem ... spin cycle.

spriteskeeper asked us to spin a poem this week. bah. put me on a schedule to come up with something creative ... and i often choke.

this is what transpired (from my potential choking session).

a memory of an old man that my 6 month old stella and i met in a grocery store. well ... a man that she met. i wasn't really involved in the conversation. and funny thing is? cora just met an old man at the clinic last week ... that completely talked to her ... and ignored me. maybe it's the blue eyes. they capture people.

old man.

in the middle of life.
that day-to-day shit that steals too much time …
the (supposed to be) quick stop at the corner store to grab the (of-course-we-don’t-have-it-on-hand) ingredients for a quick dinner for 3 … "nope make that 6 … did i mention that i invited so&so&so over for dinner?"

in the middle of life.
that quick trip became a … a … mind altering moment …
the old man (that was frightening me a wee bit) as he followed us from aisle to aisle. pausing and staring and staying rather close behind. not too close … but, close enough.

in the middle of life.
that grocery store … i still remember which aisle.
next to the ketchup and condiments … the jellies and jams. just past the canned fruits and vegetables. third aisle on the left. just before reaching the crackers.

in the middle of life.
that man … an older black gentleman.
a man that had noticeably seen more years than many. a man that was at the very opposite end of the spectrum on his road from you, my baby … who had very much just begun her life.

in the middle of life.
that whisper of a voice … scratchy and worn.
he caught up to us. he bypassed me and moved in your direction. he leaned in close. he looked into your eyes. he told you that you were a wise and beautiful soul. he told you that you would live a long and blessed life.

in the middle of life.
that missing tooth smile … directed at you … my little one.
you smiled back. you cooed and giggled. you said (in your very own way) that you understood. you said (in your very own way) thank you.

in the middle of life.
that soul of a man … that truth-filled and wonderous soul.
he taught me to forget about that day-to-day shit that wastes too much time. through you … he showed me the importance of the journey. it’s not the destination or the potholes or the turns. it’s the journey and enjoying whatever it is … even as you stumble along.

in the middle of life.
that day … and still today.
i wish i would have said thank you. because that old man gave me something more powerful than money, more important than advice and more magical than a bunny in a hat. he gave me something that i cannot even find a name for. but it envelopes my heart. and opens my eyes. and i couldn’t be more thankful for the gift.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

dreaming ...

last night, as i was snuggling stella to bed ... she inquired about the previous day's holiday.

"mama? what was the special name for yesterday?"
- well, baby, it is called martin luther king day.

"why is martin luther king special, mama?"
- he was a very important man that wanted everyone to realize that it doesn't matter what color skin you have. one time he gave a speech ... a very special talk ... to lots and lots of people ... and he said "i have a dream ..." and he wanted people to know that his dream was that the only important thing is who you are ... what you do ... and how you do it. he wanted to see little boys and girls that have different colors of skin hold hands and be friends. he wanted his little kids to grow up in a world where the color of your skin doesn't matter.

"did he die?"
- yes, honey, he died.

"how did he die?"
- well ... someone that didn't like him ... hurt him.

"how?"
- they shot him with a gun, baby. it was very mean. it's not nice to hurt or make someone die, just because you don't feel the same way they do about things.

"did he like barack obama?"
- yes, honey. i'm sure he would have. they never got to know each other ... i would guess. but i think that martin luther king is happy that people in our world decided that the color of skin doesn't matter. today is a very special day too. because today we have a new president ... someone that makes a lot of people very happy. we've never had a president before that has a different color of skin ... kind of like we've never had a president that is a girl ... today was a day to see that anyone can be anything.

"yeah. 'cause girls can do anything boys can do. and boys can do anything girls can do. boys can even be speechathologists and teachers ... and girls can be pilots and presidents."
- yep, baby ... anyone can be anything. and i'm pretty sure that you will see a girl president in your lifetime. isn't that awesome? now you go to sleep honey. good night, sweetheart. sweet dreams.

"there was thousands and thousands of people watching the new president, mama."
- yes, honey ... there were millions of people.

"is millions more than thousands and thousands?"
- yep ... it is.

"that's a lot of happy people, mommy."
- you are so right. good night, baby. i love you. sweet dreams.

and with that?

i left my growing-in-front-of-my-eyes baby ...

i left her with the realization that there is a new hope and a newfound confidence in the world that we live in.
i left her with the understanding that she can be anything.
i left her in her warm bed ... and wept in front of the television ... watching the new president and his wife dancing and smiling and twirling ...

and i hope that i left her dreaming of all the things that she can do and be and see in her lifetime.

because i have a strong feeling that my ... no ... our world ... is changing ... for the better.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

hasay ... week something or other.

short and sweet.

hasay? half as good as you - group of bloggers ... trying to lose a little of ourselves ... together.

casey? the girl behind it all.

me? down another 1.5 pounds.
it's something ... little, but something.

how i am doing it? watching myself and what i'm eating, using the wii fit for yoga/balance(especially) and dancing with the girly girls around the house to music turned up a wee bit too loud.

how i could do better? get on my elliptical machine more often (maybe do that instead of cleaning while the girls are playing? hmmmm.) and dancing with them more and more ...

because as i'm getting stronger and more fit (and not breathing so hard while being crazy active with them) ? i've realized the smiles on their faces when i am more silly and less mommy ... is the most priceless thing i have encountered.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

what if ...

again ... we were given an assignment this week.

(look here if you have no idea what i'm talking about ... spriteskeeper ... spin cycle ... moving on ...)

i was mentally stewing (believe it or not ... i edited ... i had written ... mentally stewing in my mind ... really jen? in your mind? crazy ...) what action or decision in my life that i wanted to question.

did i forget to mention the assignment (for those of you that are too lazy to click on the links...)???

what if ...

ok ... back to me thinking about what to write ...

i noticed a phone message from my husband.

"hey honey ... just wanted to make sure that you knew that the plane crash that you are bound to hear about soon ... wasn't me. i'm safe. i love you. bye."

'cause my husband is an airline pilot based out of the same airport on the same airline.

and i know that we all have a job or a life that require us to drive or fly or boat or bike or hell ... even walk ... and something could happen to anyone of us at anytime.

but sometimes ... those well publicized moments hit a little too close to home.

and i don't even want to think about the what ifs ...

in fact ... more importantly ...

i don't want my children to see or think about the what ifs. i refuse to talk about the fact that planes can crash. i never let a television channel linger on a show documenting a plane crash. today, as desperately as i wanted to know how all of those people were doing ... i could not force myself to turn on the news in front of them. because that plane sitting in the middle of the hudson river ... had a man in it ... that was a lot like daddy.

and i just want to keep the naivety a wee bit longer.

there are plenty of years to know that bad things can happen. it's hard enough knowing that your daddy leaves every week and you won't see him for 3 to 5 or so days. i don't want them worrying that it might be ... could be longer ... or even forever.

'cause that's a lot of worry for a little heart.

and as much as he drives me insane occasionally ... i cannot fathom the what if.

so ... not tonight, spriteskeeper.

i'll think about a what if ... some other day.

what happened today? is a great reminder of how well these guys are trained. the ones that i know rather well ... their minds run like a checklist (note - husband driving me insane occasionally) ... they are trained to stay calm and respond appropriately ... it comforts me. more than you would ever know.

to the loveofmylife? get home soon. i miss you. and i love you. life feels better when you are here.

to fulfill the request(s) for photographic evidence.

well ...

y'all are a bunch of photo hounds, aren't ya?
following my last post ... there were several requests for photographic evidence of the hairstyle from hell.

please note. it's kinda starting to grow on me. (yes ... i giggled as i wrote that. i crack myself up.) especially now that i'm in control of how it gets done ... (for the record? you don't need all that gooey stuff)!

and i'm not about to post some hideously awful pictures of me on the internet ... i'll leave that up to my paparazzi. (have you heard how much pictures of blogging mamas are going for on the internet? oh wait ... not much.)

but ... these aren't much better then the paparazzi could produce ... i'm sure. unless they were to find me in a bikini ... brrrr.
side note? (because i get sidetracked too easily ... ask my husband.) it was f-ing cold here today! when i got up? 20 BELOW. with a 35-50 BELOW wind-chill. 100s of schools closed or delayed start ... except for my district. 'cause we're tough like that. or dumb. idon'tknow. funny thing is ... next week we will have a high of 30 possibly. that is a 60 DEGREE difference from the low expected tonight. HEAT WAVE!
... that paparazzi may just get that bikini picture they've been waiting for. doubtful.

for your viewing pleasure (or not.) ...


and proof that little piggies are possible.

so there ya have it.

be nice.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

three requirements.

i had three miniscule requirements. i'm not a hard-to-please person ... not at all.

saturday ... i went in to get a haircut. i'm horrible with keeping up with a ~hairstyle~ . really really horrible. in fact ... i think this was the shortest amount of time that i've gone BETWEEN two haircuts ... a mere 4 months.

**collective gasp from the reader(s)**

i am so far from high maintenence. so so far.

and the thing is ... my hair grows superdupercalifragilisticexpialidociousfast. which means i should probably get MORE haircuts.

but to me ... they are a little like torture. you mean i have to sit and talk to someone that i don't know? because dear god ... my misfortune is that if i LIKE a hairstylist ... they tend to move to another unknown unreported location. and i swear, this has nothing to do with me. but it affects me. as you'll see.

i loved my last haircut. she cut it just a slight bit shorter in the back than in the front so that it didn't lay funny on my shoulders. it was a perfect length (but grew out a little faster than i would have hoped). i could pull it back or wear it down ... perfect when working with kids and being a mommy. and it was disaster-proof. i couldn't mess it up. i didn't have to do anything. i didn't even have to dry it if i didn't want to.

so ... i called to schedule with her again.
but she quit. imagine that. and didn't leave any information about the cut. of course.

so i proceeded to see someone new. i'll just tell her my three requirements ... it'll be fine. she can't screw it up!

my requirements.

1. i don't DO my hair. i'm lucky if i get a shower everyday. sometimes ... the girls are entranced by the television i get time to blowdry it. sometimes ... my husband is home i get time to use a straightening iron. these carefree moments of me time ... are few and far between. don't expect me to do anything to it.

2. i must be able to pull it back into a pony or piggies. i can't stand having my hair down when i sleep. i have students that will (gladly) grab any stray hair and pull. hard. i don't want to have any stray hairs to pull. 'cause it really f-ing hurts. the ponies and piggies don't need to be long ... but they need to be AVAILABLE.

3. the last girl gave me a cut i loved! slightly longer in front than in the back ... my hair actually laid nicely on my shoulders after that cut ... i LOVED it. she didn't do many layers ... 'cause they tend to look funny on my hair after a few weeks. and she used that funny scissors to "thin" it out. i have very thick hair, yo.

i thought that was sufficient, efficient and made sense ... without seeming all too demanding and opinionated.

oh dear god was i wrong.

i had my first inkling that something was going drastically wrong when she whipped out a razor and did a "djjjjut" against my neck ... just below my hairline ... before i could say a word.

i breathe. in and out. in and out. in and out.

(short-er is a little ok ... remember how fast your hair grows? it'll be fine.)

then she whipped out those funny scissors and my hair started flying around the room. i looked down and say a piece about 8 inches in length on my lap.

slight hyperventalition.

hair was flying everywhere. i couldn't move with edwardia scissorhands on the loose. i was worried i might lose my nose or an earlobe.

i went to my happy place. breathe.

as she started blowdrying my hair ... she gave me directions.

D-I-R-E-C-T-I-O-N-S.

remember when i mentioned ... i don't do my hair?????

the directions involved: a medium to large round brush, a thingamajigy on my blowdryer, a straightening iron, some gooey stuff and some polishy stuff.

problem? i only own one of those things.

when she was finished ... i had a style similar to that english chick that is married to a soccer player and bought some hugeass mansion for her and her family ... even though they weren't in america yet ... (this memory brought to you courtesy of late night tv ... when baby wouldn't sleep.) please note ... the ENTIRE time i watched that show ... i kept thinking about how much i did not like her hair.

note: if you have hair like hers and you really like it! i'm so happy for you!
it's just that i could never pull it off. hair like that requires high heels and short shorts. or fancy white pants and a leather jacket. or at least red lipstick.

i cried a little on the inside as she spun me around to see the whole effect.

but here is the "minnesota nice" in me ... i couldn't tell her how much i hated it. but i couldn't really say i liked it either.

i think i said wow.

and left. after paying AND giving her a tip. (why the hell do i do that?)

today? it's not so awful. i still don't own 3 of those gadgets and gooies. but i made do.

and if i pull it really hard and use cora's hair bands ... i can get two little piggies. very little piggies. but ... piggies. i'll survive. i just have to keep reminding myself that my hair grows superdupercalifragilisticexpialidociousfast.

and next time ... well ... she will have probably quit. so it's fine. i just hope she didn't write any specifics about the cut down for the next chick.

Monday, January 12, 2009

hasay ... week 12 ... recipe

(don't know what hasay is?? head on over here ... casey will explain ... )

recipe for weight loss

1/8 cup of wii fit fun with family
1/8 cup of eating whatever the hell one wants (or can)
3/4 cup of stomach flu

mix it together ... and over the course of 4 days ... you too!! ... can lose 6 pounds!

(results not typical ... please consult your physician before attempting this - or any other - weight loss program ...)

yep.

that's what i got for my birthday last week ...

(besides the wii fit ...)

the girly-girls gave me a present (and didn't even make daddy pull out the wallet!) ... the stomach flu! yippee!

for me??? for my birthday??? you shouldn't have!

husband brought them to daycare ... and i slept ALL!!! DAY!!! LONG!!!

no joke. i woke up at 9, went back to bed at 9:30 ... woke up at 4:30 ... took a nap at 6 ... woke up at 8 ... helped get kids to bed ... went to bed by 9:30. somewhere in there ... i ate a popsicle and a handful of cheerios.

i'm pretty sure THAT is what caused the weight loss. but, i haven't gained it back ... that's worth something, isn't it??

my goal for the week?

keep the number moving down ... although i'm not expecting any 6 pounders again soon! ... and keep up with my work outs. wish me luck!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

a guest post ... and a birthday.

i asked my mom to write my birth story for me, for my birthday.

i always think about how much i want to record life happenings for my own children ... and i wanted something ... recorded ... for me.

i had no idea what she would come up with ... and i had, virtually, no idea how much it would make me cry... (the slobbering ugly cry, mind you.)
and i couldn't change a thing. i have no desire to edit for colors ... or increase and decrease fonts ... to make it look like my blog.

the way she wrote it ... is the way that you will see it.
(note ... the color changes in there ... were her thing).

i highly recommend doing it too. it made me feel really good and happy and ... loved ... blessed to have a mom that would do that for me.

introducing ... my mommy.
---------------------------------------------------------
Dear Jen,

Where do I start with the story of an incredible woman -- my daughter Jen -- of course, you are not only MY daughter, you are your father’s daughter, a big sister, a granddaughter, a niece , a wife and a mom.

For your birthday, you asked me to write your birth story which is a story that has been told now and again over the years, but never written down. I may ramble a bit, having drunk - oh, a half glass of wine so far, (not too far from the tree huh?!) but I’m sure the story will come together at some point and evolve into a cohesive, and hopefully not lackluster (due to my story telling inexperience) account of your birth.

Being pregnant with you, my first born, was in itself a life changing event. We were young parents, by today’s standards, enjoying this awesome transformation of our lives. For me, my body went from I guess thin to what I like to call “well-padded“ all for the protection and growth of the baby. (My OB/GYN actually said that I was developing fat pads on my hips that I had never had before!) Well I didn’t stop there, I happily gained 60 pounds (I was young & na├»ve…and the docs didn’t worry about it like they do now). We were very much into Mexican food (the hotter the better) and Margarita’s at Chi Chi’s in Bloomington, GuadalaHarry’s in St. Anthony Main, and I think it was called Del Coronado which was downtown on 3rd and 7th or something -- it was across the street from the Butler Square.

Moving on with the story…Jen’s EDC (Expected Date of Confinement--do you believe they used language like that!!)--was January 9, 1977. I was working full time, but planned to take 3 months off and return to work full time again.

An aside: We decided not to go to visit my parents for Easter that April (bear with me, this part of the story becomes relevant later on) we bought a brand new Volkswagen Beetle, lime green with a sun roof that we purchased approximately a week or so before I knew I was pregnant. The VW got rear-ended on Lyndale Avenue sometime in the wee hours of the morning, and I woke up feeling hung over from a party the night before, and a different kind of nauseated and dizzy feeling (first inkling I knew I was pregnant), plus the sinking feeling of seeing my new car smashed up! We fixed it up, but it was never the same.

Sorry, I went to get caffeine because I was droning on and on, this is getting long so let’s move up to January 6th between 8 o’clock and 12 midnight, lost the mucus plug (it did feel like a “pop”) and had some mild labor, it seemed to increase and become steady so we left for the hospital which was 40 minutes away and downtown, it was also very cold outside, and we heard there was snow on the way. Got to the hospital, continued in labor for a bit -- then it all but stopped. At this point the weather worsened and we were having a blizzard, so we were kept there -- also due to the fact that our VW had become unreliable (for some reason I thought the car played more of a major role as I was remembering it earlier!).

Anyway, We walked and walked the halls, the contractions continued, by the way, your dad was a very enthusiastic and supportive coach throughout this period of labor. He took notes in a booklet that I still have. We were very anxious to have this baby, but things were progressing very slowly and I was eventually hooked up to an IV. This went on for 12+ hours, and they began to talk about “helping the labor along“ with pitocin. They explained that the contractions would be harder, but it would shorten the labor time. So after a round of pitocin and hard contractions, they hooked up a fetal heart monitor which consisted of a tight belt that was strapped around my waist and over the abdomen that constricted with every contraction. There was talk of fetal distress. Another round of pitocin was injected, and there was talk of c-section or a forceps delivery. Then, I finally had the urge to push and they told me not to (why do they do that??!!). After 29 hours, on January 8, 1977, we were finally taken into the delivery room, and I was given permission to push, and with the help of forceps you were delivered at 8:02 a.m.!! The doctor then handed the scissors over to your dad (who had a look of disbelief on his face) for the honor of cutting the umbilical cord, and you were placed on my tummy and in my arms

-- Now that, --

was an amazing moment -- that is the moment in my mind that has not dimmed over the years, and that was the moment of your birth. I believe I bonded instantly looking at your perfect tiny face and eyes, your sort of pointy head and forceps indentations at your temples (sorry about that punky), all your ten fingers and toes, and all 8 pounds 13 ½ ounces of you. You were perfect to us!!

We both somehow knew you would be a special little person, and you did not disappoint! Everyday you were such a joy, such a happy, sweet baby. You made us laugh and made us look at you in wonder and awe. To this day, you continue to surprise and amaze me. As special and amazing as your birth story was to me, your life story has gotten better and better with each passing day. I am so proud to be your mother and I love you with all the breath, the smiles and the tears of my life.

Happy Birthday Jen!
XOXO


Love,
Mom

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

whee!!! we can wii!!!

yesterday ... mid-day ...

i talked to the husband ... (remember ... winter break is OVER. i'm back at work. sucky.)

who happened to be at home ...

ahhh ... the life of a pilot.

sick.

apparently he ... the one who slept through children puking on two separate over-night affairs ... is the one who got the sicky germs (that'll learn ya.)

but anyways ... this post is already off in random thought land ... sorry about that.

so i call him.

and say ... oops. silly me. i completely forgot that in september i agreed to attend tonight's ptsa meeting. so i'm gonna grab dinner with two friends and then go to that and i'll be home around 7.

he didn't sound pleased.

and in my head ... i was thinking ... what? i should be allowed to run out for a good dinner with friends and you can take care of the children for a few hours. i'll get home sometime, for goodness sakes (note ... this was BEFORE we knew he was ill ... i'm not that awful.)

when i found out (a few hours later) that he wasn't feeling well ... i asked him if he needed me to change my plans. he said they would be fine. so i proceeded with my plans and got home about 7:30.

and find my husband (looking slightly more green in the face) and my girly-girls ... singing happy (early) birthday with a lit candle aboard a mini cheesecake (with fruit on top ... ).

and a wii.

and a wii fit.

my husband (although i won't kiss him ... for at least 5 days) is the best man ever.

and not just because he got me something that i've really been wanting ... but, because he got it knowing that it would make me happy. and he is always wanting me to be happy.

and i am.

because i have a terrific husband and two amazingly wonderful little girls.

(and also a little sore ... because i hula hooped until 11:30 last night ... he was sick and in bed and the girly-girls were sleeping ... it was quiet ... and damn! that is too much fun!)

also ... note ... my wii fit might verge into my blogging time. i'm sure gonna miss you guys.

kidding. but tomorrow ... on my real birthday? look for a guest post. 'cause i'm probably gonna be on the wii.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

marriage potential.

belly has decided that she would like to marry my good friend's little boy - big T.

i told her to hold out. there is no knowing at this exact moment in time ... what he will be like when he gets bigger. (not that he would be awful ... he has a pretty amazing family!)

i told her ... you just have to wait.

someday ... you'll meet someone that likes the same things that you do, a guy that has the same interests ...

her response?

"maybe i should just marry daddy ... 'cause it's gonna be hard to find another boy that likes to play with barbies."
-------------------------------------------------------
the next day ... playing polly pockets ...

she was a princess ...

i was the prince (basically the cinderella minus the hair ... and a bad outfit ... and sneakers ... *he* always has to wear the sneakers ... weird.)

anyhoo...

she saw me at the ball and decided we should get married. actually ... she told me we were getting married.

i said (in a low husky voice), "well ... it's a good thing you want to marry me ... not many girls want to marry me because i like to play with barbies."

she said, "that's terrific, 'cause i like barbies and singing and dancing and taking long walks."

at least she didn't add, "on the beach at night."
-------------------------------------------------
all coming from a girl that several months ago, thought the furnace repair man was handsome ... because he dresses nice.

jeans and a t-shirt.
-------------------------------------------------
where does she get this stuff????

Monday, January 5, 2009

hasay ... clean slate small plate.

so yeah.

hasay again. (crazy, isn't it?? i haven't updated the hasay stuff in awhile.)

but now ... on mondays! i'm conforming to the rest of the group. i was feeling a little out of the loop, off the bandwagon ...

but i'm back. new year. and i'm starting over with a clean slate. week 11 ... is kinda like my week one.

(and i would just like to note ... over break ... i bought a pair of jeans two sizes smaller than my previous size. thank you very much. there was no way in hell i was gonna leave that store without them. i did not care how much they cost. lucky for me - and my bank account - $19.99 - but they were two ... TWO ... T!!!W!!!O!!! sizes smaller. so, it's not really like i've been slacking ... just slacking in the blogging about it department.)

so that's where we are.

and i'm planning on ... trying to find a wii (because i want to), using my elliptical more, eating salads for lunch and upping our fruits and vegetables. (i think we all need to eat healthier ... and i think i need to set the best example i can ... those girls are my mirror of self.) i'm allowing myself a cheat day (because i hope it will help me stay more focused the rest of the week). this week ... it's on my birthday (january 8th ... 32 ... ack!) and i'm working out ... EVERYDAY. no slacking there. too many excuses if i don't.

(and by the way ... even though i've slacked blogging about hasay ... casey had me guest post on her blog today! and i wrote a pathetic excuse for a guest post here. poetry is NOT my cup of tea. but i was desperate and had puking kids. and i already noticed a typo. argh. i meant - "hasn't" updated - note first line. blech. i should remember to edit at least once...)

oh yeah ... and the title. i've heard that using the smaller plate ... helps you to eat less. but i'm sure ALL of you ... knew that already. for me? anything is worth a shot ... right?

Friday, January 2, 2009

i know i shouldn't have laughed. (alternately titled: how many times can i say 'puking' in one post?)

but it was three am.

and i hadn't slept. yet.

and i was feeling a wee bit punchy.

stella was sick. some kind of a stomach bug.

(which is why i couldn't write "belly had a stomach bug" ... because unfamiliar readers ~hi!~ would be all ... a belly with a stomach bug ... big deal. moving on.)

so ... after about 5 hours of quarterly puking and 2 hours of hourly puking ...

i was tired. (and going crazy from reading all kinds of blogs in between puking episodes ... those of you that i know and love just don't post enough new material in between the hours of midnight and 3! get on that people!)

yes. mom. you read that right. i was reading blogs in between my daughter's puking. there was no sense in going to bed ... when i knew i was just going to be woken up 10 minutes later.

so ... yeah ... back to the original intent of this post ...

i know i shouldn't have been laughing at her. but she is the epitome of a drama queen.

insert pathetic sounding vocal action on these next few lines ... with a dramatic sigh following each.

"i just don't know if i can do. this. any. longer. (sigh)."
"my puke is stuck in my body and i just can't get it out. (sigh)."
"oh mommy, i promise i won't ever eat too much licorice again. (sigh)."

and several other things that i promised myself that i would remember in order to tell them to you ... but i can't. because there is not enough coffee in this world for me today.

i know i shouldn't have laughed ... but that's what you do when you are faced with the fear of what a four-year-old drama queen will be like ... in her teenage years.

lord, help us.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

goodbye. hello.

...

thank you 2008.

...


you gave me first steps and first words.

you gave me letters - for reading and writing.

and numbers for counting and adding (with fingers, of course).

you gave me a one year old and a four year old.

you gave me pigtails on my two girly-girls. (two sets of hair to do each morning.)

you gave me a quiet picture book looker.

you gave me a silent coloring queen. (that stays in the lines ... when she wants to.)

you gave me a crazy screamer ... that enjoys hearing her voice ... out LOUD.

you gave me more glimpses into my thinker ... that takes in and absorbs everything.

you gave me realization that minimalized camping trips are as wonderful as extensive vacations.

you gave me hope for my country.

you gave me far reaching friends.

you gave me my family ... and helped me to remember that i should never take them for granted.

you gave me the ability to reflect and write about my life.

you gave me more time with a best friend (and her new daughter and her husband) than i have had in years.

you gave me rememberance that i have a husband that loves me. completely.

you gave me so much. and so much more that i don't have time to describe here ... because i am still in the midst of soaking it all in.

thank you, 2008.

welcome 2009. we eagerly await what you have to offer.


happy new year to all of you out there.
i wish you loads of love. and laughter. and life.

and the ability to never take any of it for granted.one down ... three to go.

(i'm sure someday she will hate me for the fact that i take pictures of her when she's asleep. poor baby. but it's nice to catch her in a peaceful moment ... since most of my photos of her look like a streak of pink and purple.)

note to self ... continue to read about how to adjust settings on my new camera.