Saturday, May 30, 2009

so ... where was i?

also entitled ... where the hell has she been?

and yes ... i realize that it hasn't even been a full week since i last posted ... but holy granola. it kinda feels like this week has been about 16.2 days long.
or maybe it's just me.

and honestly ... the last few posts? kinda surprised that anyone has stuck around.

so ... i have a challenge for myself ... and for you if you are interested. a little something to put a smile on my face after this last week ... and to get me through the next 4 days of school. (and if anyone wants to come by and run a few meetings for me ... or complete the kid's summer folders ... or help me pack up my room and say goodbye to these kiddos that i've seen bloom over the past few years ... feel free.)

i am going to tell you 3 things that i can't wait to do this summer (thanks kelle for this idea! i am completely aware that i stole it from you ... but i needed a pick me up ... i hope you don't mind!)

... and i want you to do the same in the comments ... tell me 3 things that you are looking forward to ... and ... and ... and ...

for your troubles ... i'm gonna do a giveaway. i will (randomly - probably from a hat or a bowl ... or hell maybe i'll waterproof the names and throw them in the kiddie pool and have the girls catch it with a fishing net ...) pick a name to win a hand stamped personalized necklace from yours truly.

i've been fooling around with these necklaces for a little while ... and i'm actually going to be selling them (hopefully!) at a local farmer's market this summer. wish me luck. i'm kinda excited ...

comments will be closed on midnight, friday may 5th ...

if you are the winner (yippee!) ... we can chat via email to see what names or words that you would like on your necklace ... i've typically done a name and a birthstone ... but i'm sure we can come to some compromise if that's not what you want ... oh yeah ... and i'm going to limit the number of discs to 4 in the giveaway ... sorry to get all specific and technical on y'all.

my hand stamped necklace is the only piece of jewelry that i wear on a daily basis. it's simple. and i love having my girly-girls names next to my heart when i can't be with them.

so yeah ... onto my 3 things i'm super excited about ... besides the farmers market.

one ... spending more time with my girly-girls and husband ... the summer schedule of a school based slp is so worth the less pay.

two ... a bit of traveling ... at the very least a family trip to arkansas, a few camping trips up north and (hopefully) a visit out to see my best(est) friend with the girls.

three ... walking around barefoot ... my toes love to see the light. even if they aren't pretty at the time ... mama sure needs a pedicure.

so ... tell me ... what are you looking forward to this summer?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

i {heart} faces ... silhouettes ... challenge.

by the way ... thank you all for your kind wishes and prayers and warmth upon the news of my aunt's passing this weekend. your thoughts are greatly appreciated ... she's truly missed ...
last night, my family and i spent hours pouring through old pictures that my grandmother had ... scouring them for pictures of my aunt to display ...
in the midst of tragedy ... it was a wonderful way to come together with family members that i don't see often enough. there were tears and laughter.
thanks again.

and speaking of pictures ... (if only there were a job such as segue-ologist, i could totally rock that position!)

at i {heart} faces this week ... we were challenged to practice silhouettes ... given a fine tutorial ... and sent away to find and share our best capture.

i LOVED this. i love the idea of shooting into the sun. when so many others turn their back towards it with their cameras.

but it didn't come without challenges! i live in a very VERY tree-filled area. in fact ... it once was a tree farm back in the day. and the entire state? has quite a few trees. hmmm ... guess where the sun goes at just about the time that i could actually throw the girls into it?

you guessed it! behind the gigantic oak trees! however, fate has a way of stepping in ... we happened to be at my mom's one afternoon ... when the sun was setting ... and she has a huge boulder in her yard ... and the sun was going perfectly behind it - into the trees ... i had a three minute window in which to throw the girls on the boulder and start shooting. (thank goodness i've started bringing my camera EVERYWHERE.)

this is my favorite result.

i had plenty of pictures of the two of them ... but cora was easily bored ... and wanted to jump off the rock ... (thank you mom for catching her!)

stella was acting silly ... and looking generally bored ... which i find funny because this girl would do anything to be in front of the camera. i love that i can see just enough of her face to see her emotion ... but i can still see the silhouette that i was going for.

i'm also kinda proud of the minimal editing. just the addition of the frame. it turned out just like i had wanted.

and i can't wait to keep challenging myself to shoot into the sun more often ... does anyone have a beautiful beach with pink sunsets i can borrow?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

forgotten memories.

my aunt passed away today in a car crash ...
i know very few details.

which is fine, i suppose.

details won't change the outcomes.

but i find it ... funny? perhaps? ... that the memory that i have at this very moment of her ...

was riding in her car when she would pick me up and bring me to spend the weekend at her house. with her and my cousin (s).

and every time that she would step on the brakes ... she would put her arm out in front of me. as if to catch me from flying out of the car.

even though my seat belt would always protect me first.

i wish that someone would have reached their arm in front of her today.

** rest in peace, auntie pat. you are sorely missed. **

Friday, May 22, 2009

jeremy and jen ... plus 10 ...

sounds like a great title for a reality show, doesn't it?

we're a little concerned with how all the publicity would affect the family, though ... so ... it's probably not gonna happen anytime soon.
i mean ... there are definite pros and cons to living the life of jeremy and jen +10 ... we've weighed our options ... believe me ...

my hair would always be styled ... jeremy would have more hair ...

i would end up sounding bitchy which i would blame all on editing and jeremy might end up cohorting with a younger woman ...

we'd take the best vacations and the pets would bask in the best pet hotels that our city has to offer.

we could be on oprah.

we could actually afford the house that i drool over EVERY. DAY. in which every member of our family would have their OWN ROOM. (in addition to their own bedroom).

i (i mean) our faces would be plastered ... all over magazines and newspapers.

but ... alas ... the poor dog and cats and bird and fish ...
and girly-girls ... of course ...
would be stuck in the middle of it.

and all the drama that would be sure to ensue.
there are definitely pros and cons in the life of a reality tv star.

{insert perfect transitional segue here.}

there are also pros and cons to each member of our zoo (not including jeremy, jen and the children) ... let me introduce you to all of them in the zoo ... that were introduced once already when very few(er) people read this blog (in a sort of pet bloggy takeover style) .

tequila ... (aka quila-b)
pro: put up with us during our college years. hence the name.
con: never realized how much it would scar my children when daddy asked a friend if he would like to go and shoot some tequila.
pro: gives kisses.
con: screams. i never thought about naptime when i purchased him at the age of 20.

jazz ... (aka jazzical, jazzy, punkin)
pro: cuddle bunny.
con: hair balls.
pro: sweetest meow.
con: sometimes all night.

jet ... (aka zhet - that would be a french accent, jet-man, freak-out-city)
pro: stays with stella while she falls asleep.
con: nudges her hand so that she keeps petting him ... thus keeping her awake.
pro: hides when company is there.
con: has been known to hide in a white sink.

skye ... (aka skye-dog, skye-bear)
pro: watch dog
con: snores
pro: totally awesome with the girly-girls
con: eats hot chocolate mix and pukes up hot chocolate (once)

rain ... (aka rain-man, rainy, the biting cat)
pro: soft and cute
con: hisses at people he doesn't know
pro: (it's hard to come up with two, this cat was brought home in a moment of total maternal pregnancy hormones overdrive - big mistake). ok ... um ... i think he's related to jazz (and before you get all "listen to the crazy cat lady" while circling your finger around your ear ...) they are from the same farm ... and you all know those promiscuous barn cats ... he looks like jazzy's daddy exactly ... so i'm pretty sure they are related ... anyone care to pay for the dna testing to see if i'm right??
con: which is why i had to have him. even when i thought he was a she. thanks beth.

fish (1-2-3) ... (aka fish)
pro: goldfish are so pretty
con: goldfish poop a lot
pro: one died
con: we had to incorporate another fish into the 3rd fish slot for the never going to be picked up by ANY network reality tv show.

jeremy and jen ... plus ten ...

(it has a certain ring to it, no?? sounds kinda familiar ... but why?)

pets. the topic of this weeks spin cycle ... head on over to sprite'skeeper's place to see more pet stories!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

five ... (which is seriously big).

my perfectionist ... don't try so hard to make it perfect, baby ... it's funny how sometimes when things AREN'T perfect ... they're better.
verbalized by the mama that is so NOT perfect. and completely aware of it.

my fashionista ... who gets so frustrated when her clothing doesn't match or isn't exactly what she wanted or doesn't match her friend ~a~ for the day.
said the mommy that wore purple birkenstocks today because they were comfortable. and she had forgotten how comfortable they were.

my monkeybar accomplisher ... yippee! you did it! and you keep doing it ... even when it's a new set of monkey bars that haven't been tried before!
i must say, though ... it still seems kinda funny to watch you zipping across them.

my wanna-be-a-16-year-old ... no - sixteen is not old enough to have a boyfriend or a baby ... and 16 is going to come fast enough ... let's just sit back and wait for it.
your mama who thinks you're growing fast enough.

my listener ... you don't miss a beat ... do you? when you heard daddy and c. discussing the finer points of miss california and same sex marriages ... you were concerned that c. would be mad at your friend's moms. there are times when i wish you didn't understand all of this ... it makes it hard for your mama to come up with answers.
reluctantly says the mommy that explained that ... if c. knew your friend's mommies ... she probably wouldn't feel the way she does. and even if she still did ... we know that families can be different ... and as long as the kids are loved ... it doesn't matter how your family is comprised.

my daughter ... said with a sigh. i hope that i can help you become the best person that you can be. which is a cheesy way of saying ... i hope i do good. because you are so worth it. and i just really want you to be a confident, openhearted, caring, loving, independent and easygoing woman. in the end.
i'll do the best i can to get you there ... ok?

two ... in all it's glory.

the remarker ... constantly saying ... "i two."
to anyone that will listen.

the realizer ... that when you hold up two fingers (while remarking "i two" of course) ... that this coordinates with two nostrils and if you bring those two fingers up to your nose ... they fit ... perfectly.
much to the demise of your mama.

the giggler ... who thinks it's funnier to say "i toot" or "i burp" ... instead of "excuse me".
which your big sister thinks is TOTALLY hilarious.

the book-wormish reader ... with always a magazine or book in tow ... "i read" you tell me.
to the delight of your book-lovin' mama.

the pretender ... who after putting her baby to bed ... yelled ... "baby seeping ... be qiet!" and then slumped your chin into your palm and sighed. which occured just before you asking me to "watch my baby pease." when i inquired where you were going ... you told me you had to "go ride in a peese car".
from the praying that this will never come true grandmommy.

the peanut butter and jelly lover ... self explanatory.
but the 2 am request for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich can't happen all. the. time. ok? (i still can't believe how fast you ate it though.)
wow ... can anyone say apparent 2 am growth spurt?

the wanna be like my big sister-er ... yes ... i totally agree. your big sister rocks. she's awesome. and you will be too. so ... don't try to hard to be like her, ok? be yourself. 'cause you are pretty awesome too.
said the mama that loves you both.

Friday, May 15, 2009

fix it friday ... little beauty ...

at i {heart} faces ... yes ... i'm doing it again ... here i go again with the picture stuff on the not-so-picture blog o' mine ...

they have a fix-it friday ... where a picture is provided and professionals (aka NOT ME) are encouraged to fix it ... edit ... transform ... improve ... blah ... blah ... blah.

then they give us mere mortals amateurs an opportunity to play around ...

and this is what i did when given that opportunity ...
note ... all edits done with picnik.

ladies and gentlemen (are there any of you out there?) ... this is the original ...

and my first edit ...
and my second edit ... which is basically the first edit letterboxed with text ... and maybe a few tweaks ...
i think it turned out kinda cool ... if i do say so myself.
then again ... when you have a beautiful model ... it definitely helps!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

looking back ... prom.

it was prom night ... my senior year ... class of 1995 ...

the girls had spent uncountable hours preparing for this night ... securing the boy-date ... searching for the perfect dress ... applying manicures and pedicures (possibly french?) ... sweeping their tendrils into an updo ... making sure that "the boy" had acquired matching corsages and suits ... reserving a table at a favorite restaurant ... capturing the moments in photographs ...

and me?

i was fishing with my dad.

it's not like i didn't TRY to go to prom ... i had a group of friends going with friends ... and i attempted to secure a date ... dates that had other dates already ... so i didn't ... couldn't ...

and i gave up.

i didn't want to go by myself ... i didn't want to be the fifth wheel ... and i sure as hell didn't want to be THAT girl that came by herself.

so i didn't.

i (pretended) that i didn't really care. i'm sure i mentioned that i didn't like being all primped and dressed up, at one point or another. and i'm pretty positive that i used my "busy" schedule training and riding horses and getting ready for a horse show ... as an excuse.

i think i was pretty good at providing excuses ... because no one (that i remember) really urged me to change my mind.

so i spent hours helping two good (still really good) friends find dresses that were just the perfect amount of vintage and fun. i helped them decide what they were going to do with their hair. i watched them make plans. and inside ... i sulked.

eventually ... my dad ... said we were going to go fishing that weekend ... just daddy and me. we were going to spend time at the cabin ... on the lake ... in front of a campfire ... on the boat ... eating breakfast at the diner ... waking early ... because that is what i loved to do.

and i realize ... today ... that this was one of the most amazing things that my daddy has ever done for me.

i don't think he even realizes how much that fishing trip meant to me. we've never talked about it ... (so if you are reading ... dad? thanks. a heaping lots. and don't forget to pick up the girls from daycare tonight. see ... he still is amazingly wonderful and helpful.)

and the prom date passed. i have a memory of being with my dad. just us.

which i think ... is a far superior memory to hold.

well ... that and my friends said it wasn't any fun anyways ... they left early and went and hung out at someone's house ... which we did ... all. the. time. so i guess i didn't miss much.

eventually ... when i met jeremy - the husband - ... in college ... his fraternity hosted several formals ... i got plenty o' opportunities to dress up and primp and look pretty and drink and feel like crap the next morning ... so ... i guess i was just waiting for the right date to come along. (we were supposed to provide pictures ... so maybe i can find one of these.)

and until that perfect "boy-date" came along ... i had my daddy. (and luckily ... i still do.)

posted in response to spriteskeeper's spin cycle ... where we were obviously supposed to tell about our prom experience. does this count? check it out on friday for more ... prom-ish experiences, i'm sure.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

how cool is this?

just came across this site ... with the most retro-awesome looking bikes ... and yes ...

i would totally use this to ride to the farmer's market in my matching skirt with my perfectly beautiful manicured children in the bucket.

(except ... obviously ... it would be two girly-girls) ...

(and i would add blonde hair 30 pounds and 20 years to the mommy model) ...

(ok ... 10 years) ...
(and maybe 40 pounds - but if i had this bike ... maybe it would only be 20 pounds?) ...

check out this company ... madsen cycles ...
(CLICK here ... yeah ... that button right there ... please ... oh please ... oh please ... if i win this contest ... i will take you -and you- for a ride in my bucket seat... promise) Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

i {heart} ... laughing ... faces ...

here we go again ... with the photography posting ...
sorry out there to everyone who doesn't enjoy reading about this part of me ... although i can't imagine why you wouldn't! ... maybe these qualify more under my 365 challenge photo site ... i just don't know.

it's just that ... i {heart} this new site ... and i'm LOVING the contests and the information and the critique that i get from it ... i really feel like it's helping me improve how i look through my lens.

so ... this week's challenge was ...

... laughter ...

and this is my submission for the children's category ...

my just-turned-five-year-old-stella and her best friend ... ~c~ ...

at ~c~'s 5-year-old birthday party ...

... i love the pure happy ...
... and the pizza sauce covered faces ...
... giggling in front of 5 candles ...
... on a quickly melting princess cake ...

laughter ... joy ... sunshine ... elation ... giggles ... friends ...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

on being a mommy.

the day after mother's day.
a mother's day in which i woke up at 2:45 in the morning with a sobbing cora ...
pulled her into my bed ... to snuggle and fall back to sleep ...

woke up ... several hours later ... four ... (to be exact) ...
with stella holding a painted picture frame ... full of muted primary colors ... in front of my face ... perfectly framing her bed head ... see what i made for you mommy? happy mother's day!
reached out and pulled her in to join us ... cuddled for approximately 3 minutes before everyone (else) wanted out of bed.

i wanted a bit more ... cuddles. and shut eye.

cora wanted to give me her frame.
stella wanted to give me my other present. a photography book. awesome.

i made coffee ... and breakfast ...

i threw everyone in the bathtub and was happy that i had decided to shower the night before. why ... yes ... ponytail ... i would love to have you join us today ...

we rushed to the nursery to purchase a last minute mother's day gift ... which was planned to be purchased as a last minute gift ...
... a tomato plant for my mommy for mother's day ...

the cashier? ... gardener? ... random guy with overalls? (isn't anyday that you randomly run into a guy in overalls considered a good day?) ... remarked ... how come you have the kids today? isn't it mother's day? shouldn't you get the day off?

(insert typical pilot wife response) ... yeah, well ... daddy is an airline pilot ... there is no such thing as a holiday in the airlines ... but he comes home tonight ... so maybe i'll get a break later ... (yeah right - he was getting in at 9 ... or maybe 10).

realized during the drive ... that honestly ... these two girly-girls (and the one that got away) ... allow me to proudly hold that mommy title ... i wouldn't want to spend my day with anyone else ...

but did.

had brunch at grandma's assisted living facility ... blech. there was a salad bar ... basically lettuce and fruit ... with a buffet of bacon, french toast, beef tenderloin, teriyaki-ish salmon ... and several other meaty choices. apparently the elderly were in desperate need of protein.

delivered stella and my mom to a previously scheduled play ... the paperbag princess ... wished that i would have dressed stella in a paperbag.

ran home ... cleaned ... sorted through cora's clothing ... did laundry ... emptied the refrigerator of all things oldy and moldy ...

picked stella and grandma up ... received a bouquet of white tulips.

came home ... played ... outside ... grilled hot dogs ... inside. ate quietly with my girls. (ha.) ate rambunctiously with the girls.

the girls fell asleep on the couch in various positions, while reading books ... but both anchored to me through at the very least a hand or a foot ... with various shades of pink and purple blankies between us ... and a nuk. of course.

a mama and her girls.

i slipped the girls in their respective beds ...

and then husband came home ... at 10-ish ... interrupting a documentary about this crazy carnivorous little fish in the amazon river that lodged itself into ... um ... some guy's junk. and he wished me a happy mother's day. (my husband and not the guy in the documentary).
in other words ... a day like any other day. with a few extra cards and gifts and flowers (besides dandelions) thrown in there ...

and i realized that ... i don't need fancy days at the spa (although they are wonderful too) ... i don't need to be on my own today (although sometimes me time is nice) ... i don't need cards with sparkles and songs (i really don't need those) ...

i just need to feel appreciated as a mommy.
i just want people to see that i'm trying to do my best ...

even though sometimes i yell more than i whisper ... and i say no more often than yes ... and i get frustrated when the milk spills ... instead of giggle and decide what the milk looks like as it pools on the table. (which is totally washable ... i know.)

i just want to feel a connection to mothers around the world.
i just need to feel wanted and needed.

even though i guess i'm fully aware of the little's need for me ... in the midst of screaming "MOMMY!"s from the basement playroom and in needing a kiss to a scraped knee after falling from a trike ...

so i guess i don't really NEED anything ... now do i? but i do appreciate all of it.
here's to hoping that your day after mother's day leaves you feeling just as cherished as your mother's day did.

wishing you a happy day after mother's day ...

Friday, May 8, 2009

constructive feedback friday - i {heart} faces ...

here it is ...

(and a sidenote for the rest of you out there!) ... i'm looking for some constructive feedback from the i {heart} faces crew ... if you haven't checked this site out ... and especially if you enjoy photography ... check them out ... but stick around here for a minute - please! ... you can always use your lunch hour to visit them ...

i've asked for some constructive feedback on this picture ... which was also on a post 2 days ago ... so sorry for the repeat ... deal. (and note ... by constructive feedback ... i'm asking for people to say more than ... cute girl!! ... or nice shot!! ... i want feedback folks!)

here is the original version ...

and here is my edited version ... also known as extra crispy.

i'm happy with the simplicity of it ... but i don't feel like i have a firm grasp on skin color (it feels grey to me) and the pop of color (that true oceanic blue) that i want to see within her eyes ... i love how the bokeh turned out ... but i'm also in desperate need of figuring out where exactly to focus my picture (where exactly to focus ...) and not partake in the cutting off of heads ... it's apparently my specialty. also i have a need to get away from my automatic settings ... help!

(i use the site for editing ... but i'm thinking of investing in photoshop ... eventually ...)

my exif information ... Nikon D50
Exposure: 0.001 sec (1/1000)
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 200 mm
Focal Length: 201.6 mm
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: No Flash

thanks for the feedback!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

big girls drink from cups.

so ... it's over.
cora is finished nursing ...

her cut off age was two years old ... which i know seems oddly late to many of you ... go ahead ... judge. but ...

oh ... never mind ... no buts. i don't have to explain myself, do i?

but i probably will ... to some extent.

i was blessed with two girly-girls that never wanted to wean. they never decided that stopping nursing was a choice of theirs. and both times ... i've had to enforce the decision to stop nursing at the age of two. for that last year ... they both only nursed at bedtime. or when they were sick. and there have been moments in their last year of nursing where i was so glad that i stuck with it. both had a rough patch of illness ... where their only means of nourishment came from mama.

and i don't know if it's this whole guilty feeling working mama thing ... but i felt ... proud that i was able to give them that ... when i often feel like there is so much that i can't and don't give them.

in the end ... stella was a breeze. she was just done. no questions asked. she was ok with it.

cora is ... well ... cora is herself. she's not yet totally thrilled with this new method of rocking to sleep.

two nights ago ... she pleaded with tears in her eyes. i told her that she's a big girl now ... and big girls drink from cups ... she said, "oh." and closed her eyes.

i watched a tear slowly etch it's way down her cheek.

my heart. broke.

i realized that i miss it too. maybe even more than she does.
nursing her into a sleepful oblivion felt maternal and warm.
this feels so ... detached.

maybe it's the wildly out of control hormones ... with that time-of-the-month impending (hi dad!) and the hormonally out-of-whack end of nursing.

or maybe ... i think i miss it, too ... because i have no firm idea if that is going to be how i'm going to end my baby-time. my husband is pretty solid in his idea that we aren't having any more children. but cora doesn't feel like my last baby. i absolutely don't feel done.

and it's oh-so-much harder when you have a little in your lap and the lights are low ... and she asks in a pipsqueak of a voice. with a tug on my shirt ... and a please at the end.

the end of this nursing era ... is breaking my heart.
please excuse me while i go and cry in the corner for awhile. and now that i hit publish ... and took a look at the blog ... and her face popped up just below this post ... i just have to say ohgod i love that girl ... we'll be ok baby ... we will.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

2nd birthdays and 2 reasons why i love her ...

hey baby ...
{ahem} ... i mean ... big girl.

wow. two? already?

i do have to admit that at the tail end of one ... i was starting to tell inquiring strangers that you were two. it was easier than saying one ... and you weren't much like one those last few weeks.

holy buckets, child. you are quite the girl. a handful. a busybody. into everything. a screamer. a lover of life. my giggle girl. my comic relief. a bossy bessy. a shy girl. (at first). a talker. a counter. a singer. a helper. a cleaner. (i have no idea who you got that from). but still my baby. always ... my baby.

and i can hardly stop at the two things that i love most about who you are at this very moment. two doesn't sum it up. but i can try.

i love ...
your sense of humor.

you love to make us laugh. all day long. today (on your birthday) you would change your age when i asked you how old you are. but this took so. much. concentration. ... i could practically see your little brain trying to deduce another number that was anything but two. it made me giggle. every. time. your laughter and your humor show me ... on a daily basis ... that i'm doing ok at this mommy gig. that if i can have such a happy child ... i'm obviously not failing ... even on THOSE days.

i love ...
how much you love.

because, honestly ... even though stella gets a wee bit pissy that you are copying her every movement and sound ... i know that deep down inside she loves that it means that you love her and you want to be like her. maybe not as much now ... (she is five going on twentyfive, remember) ... but i'm sure that someday she will love to hear about it. i love that i was able to give you two a sister. and i love that you guys like each other. someday ... in high school ... that might change ... but let's cherish it now while we can ... mm-kay?
and that daddy of yours. you can spot an airplane ~hairpane~ darting in between clouds from miles and miles away. and you instantly say "hi daddy!" and "come home daddy!" ... and then you cling to him and hug him upon his return.

thank you for being a ray of sunshine in our lives.
we love you baby girl. happy birthday.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

the birth of my sunshine ...

i'd like to take this opportunity to thank cora for sleeping through the night AND napping. just for that ... you'll get your birth story via the internets ... before your second birthday ... even though i should be vacuuming or doing laundry or making a cake or something.

dearest cora ...

the coming of your birthday was slow and tedious. i remember having contractions every 15 minutes for ... about 3 weeks. constantly thinking ... today's the day ... it has to be.

but then ... nighttime would roll around and you would settle down for the night. as i tossed and turned with uncomfortableness ...

during one of those not-having-a-baby-yet-nights ... i had a dream that i was on a rooftop with my yoga instructor ... fully pregnant ... (i did mention the dream thing didn't i?) ... she told me that you would come on a thursday ... after the full moon. (and if you don't believe me ... not sure how else i can prove this ... hmmm ... check here ... although that won't lead you to the validity of my dream ... just trust me on this one.)

and you did.

wednesday morning, may 2nd, i received a phone call that daddy's sister had her baby overnight. mama was a wee bit pissy about this news. not that i wasn't excited to be an auntie again ... but i was sick of being pregnant and working ... all while having contractions every 15 minutes. t'was a bit sucky.

so i suffered through my full of contractions day ... had lunch with my mom and cried about still being pregnant. we visited auntie E and the new baby later that afternoon. cuddled him and smiled. mama was a bit snarky on her way out the door and casually mentioned ... "well, at least we'll get to sleep through the night!"


i tucked stella in bed after participating in mama clingyness to the nth degree. climbed the stairs into my side of the bed ... closed my eyes ... and ... pop pop pop ... (apparently there can be a popping sound when your water breaks? good to know.)

instant contractions. fast. furious. heart stopping. quick call to boppa to take over stella duty.

a call to kathrine the midwife. she told me to take a shower. if things eased up ... no need to rush in. called her back and couldn't talk. i couldn't get any words out without another contraction speeding through my body. that warm shower didn't last long. and we were out the door.

i waited in the lobby ... pounding my head against the wall and attempting to breathe and listening to the escaping moans from my body while daddy parked the car. the guy at the service desk brought me our name tags and passes ... marked with the childbirth floor ... without a single word being communicated. i guess he just knew.

they attempted a check in. i couldn't get on the table. contractions were spilling on top of one another. i remembered being able to breathe with stella. i remembered calm. i remembered feeling in control.

i didn't feel calm ... i didn't feel in control ... i didn't feel like i could even breathe.

kathrine saved me. she told them it was absurd to try and check someone that was this far and she ushered us to a birthing room. stopping a few times during our down-the-hall move to breathe through a contraction. which were clocking in at 30 second intervals. our doula, alena, arrived quickly thereafter.

i tried to sit or lay down or rest in the tub. nothing would help. i begged kathrine for drugs. (i had sworn i would have another drug-free birth ...) all while pounding my head against the bathroom wall. i whispered to her that i didn't think she was listening to me. after moving across the room and pounding my fists against the cabinet. i needed her to listen to me. i begged her for something.

she told me that she had to check me before she would give me anything.

i was just under a 10. damn close enough.

45 minutes after arriving at the hospital.

we pulled in a birthing chair and started pushing. several minutes later you were born. without the drugs that i had begged for. kathrine and alena knew me better than i knew myself in those moments before your birth.

you were the beautiful full cheeked baby that i had been waiting to meet. i could breathe again. my heart stopped racing and started expanding to accomodate this new love. all 8 pounds (on the dot) of you.

i immediately wanted to see stella. to introduce you to her. but i had to wait for her to wake up. so i stared at your face and nursed you and loved you ... but never went back to sleep. i waited for her.

the next morning ... bright and early ... stella woke up and walked back to my room. i wasn't there. she found boppa on the couch and realized what must have happened. boppa tossed her in some clothes. (why didn't i lay something out and teach him how to insert ponytails first?? no one ever told me to think of that when packing my hospital bag.)

daddy walked the halls the next morning and ran into a high school acquaintance. he asked which birthing room we were in. daddy told him. and he mentioned that his wife was pissed at me ... they had been in that birthing room for HOURS ... and the nurse casually mentioned that some other mom had come in and had her baby 45 minutes later.

sorry 'bout that other mama. i don't highly recommend the fast and furious birthing technique, to be perfectly honest.

but every single second. every tumbling contraction. every pound against the wall. was completely worth it to have you in my world.

happy birthday baby girl.

Friday, May 1, 2009


spriteskeeper asked us to write about mistakes for her spin cycle this week. i've ... made a few ... somewhere along the line ... i'm sure.

but ... honestly ... the lack of sleep is getting to me. and i'm having trouble remembering things. what was my last name again? how many children am i responsible for? what was her temperature last time i checked? when did i give her the last nebulizer? albuterol?? pulmicort???


so i'm posting something that i posted over at my other place ... my picture blog ... for those of you that have been there ... sorry about the repost ... i'm adding a little something at the end ... so not totally the same.

here goes.

distorted ...
/dɪˈstɔrtɪd/ –adjective
twisted; deformed; misshapen.

... after seeing this picture pop up on my camera and being completely unable to delete it for some unknown reason ... i tucked it away ... and then over the weekend i read a little photography article ... and this idea stuck with me ... there is a fine line between a mistake and beauty ... occasionally errors (movement during the click of a camera button, perhaps?) taken one step further actually lend themselves to the beauty of a photograph ... and maybe that's why this picture needed to be documented. there is a certain quality about it that shows a flurry of activity around my little birthday girl ... but at the same time shows her relishing in the chaos surrounding her. whoa. deep ...

and i think that's really how it is with all mistakes ... of all sorts ... they provide us with some amount of beauty and insight into our life. you just may have to look more closely for it.

now ... i'm off to cuddle a sick little cora ... and hope that i can make her second birthday as wonderful as she is. ohmygoodness. sunday ... she will be two! where did that time go?