Friday, May 29, 2009

Just as he is and will be

That's an $8 balloon. A giant Elmo head balloon. I have an unreasonable fear of balloons, but only the latex ones, so this one, although it made me slightly nervous, came home with us today after our visit to Sesame Street Live.

Little Bird and I sat on the front row for the show. I figured he would either love it, or it would scare the wonkers out of him. He loved it. The only part he didn't like was not being able to get up and dance. He made do kicking and dancing in my lap though, and we had a wonderful time. He even loved it when the characters came off the stage into the audience. The Count got a high five, and I thought Elmo might have to shake Bird loose from the bear hug he gave him.

There is nothing like watching your child enjoy himself and have a good time.

The family sitting next to us was doing the same thing. They had brought their son, and they were having a blast watching him enjoy himself. He was probably in his 20's, and he was in a wheelchair with multiple disabilities. When we sat down next to him, he greeted us with some verbalization and reached out for Bird. His father pulled him back and apologized. I told him it was just fine; that we appreciated the warm welcome.

When his mother came and sat down, she had practically cleared out the souvenir stand. She was grinning from ear to ear and showing her son all the things she had found, not the least of which was a spinny thing that lit up. Bird liked that too.

As much as Bird wanted to dance, the young man sitting next to us wanted to dance even more. He shook his wheelchair each time the music started. His parents had to hold it steady even with the brakes engaged. He was having a fabulous time.

I thought about all the activities and places to go that I try to find for Bird. The playgrounds, parks, children's museums, the pool, shows, whatever. I want to have these experiences with my child and watch him enjoy them. I know that there will soon be a time when he has outgrown these things.

But the family sitting next to us, they are stuck right there. Sesame Street Live has been and will continue to be awesome. There have been and will continue to be diapers to change. There has been and will continue to be a very limited amount of communication.

And I started to cry, but not because it was so incredibly sad, but because I thought that mother was so incredibly amazing. So what if it was the 10th year in a row she sat through Sesame Street Live? She loved every character who came to greet her son. She loved every clap and kick he gave to the music. There was pure joy in her face as she watched her son enjoy himself.

As different as our sons were, I felt like I understood this woman - this mother. If Bird did nothing but get bigger, if there were no more developmental changes, I wouldn't love him any less. I would take him to see Elmo year after year. I would change diapers for the rest of my life. I would still love being his mother.

The flip side is, of course, that barring unseen events, Bird will continue to develop. I have a few more years to enjoy Elmo with my son, and then he will be on to whatever comes after Elmo. He'll be off to little league, elementary school, and everything after. Maybe that makes it easy for me to say that I would still love being his mother, but I say it sincerely.

I sincerely believe that we love our children just as they are, just where they are, and just how they will end up. Mothers love their children. It is just what we were meant to do.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Brain sucker

I still pee on sticks. Can't help it. Just have to make sure those lines aren't fading. They aren't. It's not that I don't feel good about this or have hope. I do. I just need to see those lines popping up faster and faster. It's beautiful.

Yesterday, no - Wednesday, Little Bird and I went to the Farmer's Market. We tasted every strawberry there was to taste and bought four quarts of our second favorite. Our first favorites were being sold by a man who got mad at me when I asked if the fruit had been sprayed or just the flower. Too bad. They were good berries, but I'm totally willing to go with second best if they weren't loaded down with pesticides and fungicides.

We also bought sweet onions that look like the onion weeds in our yard on steroids. We found our favorite Mediterranean squash, zucchini for bread, purple and green asparagus, more herbs to pot, pork chops, and milk. I love the Farmer's Market.

I loaded up the back of the Jeep with all of our spoils and turned to see Bird stuffing an entire strawberry in his mouth, stem, leaves, and all. I tried to extract the leaves from his mouth, unsuccessfully so. In the meantime, I had dropped the keys to the Jeep in the back with the produce. I slammed the hatch closed and wheeled Bird around to the back seat only to find that the Jeep was locked.

Good news: Little Bird and my cell phone were not in the locked car. Bad news: Diaper bag and all of my purchases were, and Bird was wet and hungry.

He began screaming as soon as he swallowed the last strawberry. Kevin works way too far away to come and rescue me from the Farmer's Market, but that didn't stop me from leaving him pathetic voice mails. In the end though, it was wonderful Cyndi who saved me. I called her to ask her to look up numbers of a car thief for me. Instead, she reminded me that USAA would help and gave me their roadside assistance number.

They had someone at my car in about 20 minutes. I love USAA.

Later that day, Little Bird and I went to the park. I was very careful not to lock my keys in the car. In fact, I left the hatch wide open. Completely forgot to close it after I got the sand toys out of the back. Just left the diaper bag, gps, and everything in the Jeep wide open. Luckily, nothing was stolen while Bird and I romped obliviously around the playground.

Really, if you think about it, I suppose I don't need to keep peeing on sticks. This little embryo is already sucking my brain dry.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


This one is sticking around. I hope for a long time.

HCG is climbing, and I've been told to stop worrying. It's possible the nurse who told me that is not a mother.

Next stop, ultrasound in a few weeks. Until then, I have a few other things to keep me occupied.

As in, Little Bird has decided he knows how to match pitch. Maybe this seals my fate as a complete music geek, but I totally shed tears of pride and happiness. He isn't even 16 months old, and he can sing back three pitches accurately to me.

Be still my heart.

My oldest is singing, and my youngest is hanging in there. I am a lucky mama.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sticks and lines

Obviously I'm distracted. I wrote this earlier today and accidentally hit "save now" instead of "publish." This is my 627th post on this blog. You would think I knew the difference in the buttons.

Monday morning. There are still two lines.

On Friday afternoon, the nurse told me my progesterone looked "fantastic." This morning, I'm going back in to see if that is still the case.

That's about it.

I'm a little preoccupied.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Can you hear me in there?

Dear little squishy block of cells,

I think you have a fighting chance. Your due date? The same as your brother's. That means that you are still so tiny, without much form yet and with so much uncertainty.

It's strange though. As Little Bird and I hung out in the kitchen today watching the "vroom vrooms" in the backyard pouring concrete, I felt your presence. You were real to me. So I picked up the phone and called the nurse. I laughed off how I had peed on a stick too soon, but that it was definitely positive.

Two lines.

Tomorrow morning I go bright and early. We'll look at drops of blood and ask them to make sure there are things there to keep you stuck right where you are for the next nine months. You have a fighting chance. I will fight for you.

That is a promise. I got them to agree that if I show up first thing, they will rush results so that if needed, I can start meds over the weekend. No chances, Baby. You fight the good fight in there, and I'll fight it out here.

I sure would like to hold you one day. So stick around, okay?


I know the risks. I know what might happen. I also know that it doesn't hurt any less when I try not to attach. It's my choice, and I'm choosing to start loving right now.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ditto junior

At church, we pass a dignified attendance pad in which everyone on the pew writes their name, and we all pretend not to be too interested in it as it comes back down the line. If you are too interested, you are nosy, but if you don't look at all, then you are aloof.

Damn Presbyterians.

I always look. In a church with 4000+ members, I want to know if I'm sitting next to visitors or not so that I can speak to them appropriately. I would hate for someone to visit and not be spoken to at all, even if I'm not currently the most active member. I can still say "hello."

This past Sunday, two men sat down to our right. When the attendance pad came back down the pew, I peeked at it and noticed that the man on the end had entered ditto marks for his name, followed by, "Jr." I laughed out loud, which was incredibly inappropriate, but whatever. It was funny.

It immediately made me think of Little Bird.

As his mama, I have the extraordinarily difficult task of caring for him day to day. I have to make sure that he is learning as much as he can learn, being nourished, resting, developing social skills, and that he stays safe. A mama's job is a hard one and is the most responsibility I have ever borne.


Bird wants to be exactly like his father.

Bird wants to be the ditto marks that follow his daddy around. When Kevin was installing the baby gate at the top of the stairs yesterday, Bird sat mesmerized by him. He picked up a screwdriver and began trying to "help" Kevin put the screws into the wall. He mimicked Kevin using the drill, and he tried his very best to pick up the exact same screws that Kevin picked up.

I think that Kevin has the much more difficult task when it comes to parenting. If he trips and yells, "shit!" then the next word that Bird will learn is, well, you know. It is not unlike the unrelenting paparazzi where if you do that one very uncouth thing? They are going to catch it on film. That is what Kevin's life with Bird is like now.

It is a huge responsibility, and I can tell that it is already weighing heavily on his mind. Kevin wants to be the kind of man that his son can model. He wants to be someone that Bird can learn from and imitate to become a good man.

What he doesn't realize is that I have always known that he was. It is one of the many reasons I fell in love with him in the first place.

If my son can learn to be half the man my husband is? I will be so very proud.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Final Halelujah

There is something I promised a friend several weeks ago. A promise made over the phone as I was parking the Jeep at the mall.

"I want to see that picture with the Easter Bunny!" she said.

"I promise!" I replied as I hung up in order to park within the lines.

I fell through on that promise. On the one hand, you could say that my friend is probably used to that. She has been let down a lot. She is honest and forthright and expects nothing less from others. People haven't been kind to her. Plus, she has essentially thrown herself in front of semi trucks in order to keep peace and to make other people comfortable.

As much as I love that about her, it is hard to watch. My momma has always said that I'm loyal to a fault. The loyal friend in me has spent a lot of time banging my head against the wall when I've been unable to help her. Sometimes all you can do though, is be there. Listen when there is something to hear. Reach and reach back.

Today we are saying goodbye to her blog. I'm not saying goodbye to her. I'll stalk her until she takes legal action. But I know how it feels to feel pushed out of your own space. I know how it feels to shut down. It may be "just a blog," but it was her blog. Her words. Her space.

And it was beautiful.

So, for what it's worth, Girl, here's your photo. You'll love it because it's horrid. It's dark and the rabbit was ridiculously tiny, so they used the dollar store footstool to prop her feet, and just wow. It's bad. Professional photographers. They're everywhere.

I'll miss your space, your words, and your photos.

P.S. Just in case you want to see the first time I admitted to stalking Girl, here's the post. We've come a long way from me stalking her from afar.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Love and attention

It's been an awesome day. Not only did both of my boys go to church with me this morning, but Kevin even watched Little Bird so that I could take my time getting ready. That meant a date with the flat iron and complete eye makeup. That meant moisturizer, Avon Magix, AND foundation. That meant painted toenails. I felt like an actual woman.

After church, Kevin made brunch, including hollandaise sauce. From. Scratch. He even fashioned a double boiler our of one of my stainless steel bowls and a pan. Aside: I guess I could unpack that box of kitchen stuff now that we aren't moving. Bird was being particularly grumpy today, and had refused his nap, so he joined us for brunch and had an English muffin with peanut butter. After brunch, he went down like a champ.

I came back downstairs to find Kevin sitting on the floor - which I had cleaned yesterday - scrubbing the fronts of our kitchen cabinets. He had already finished the dishes, so why not, right? Sweetheart.

For the rest of Bird's nap, Kevin and I lay on the couch and watched The Business of Being Born, which I think was a good Mother's Day selection. Bird woke up in the middle, but we brought him downstiars and finished it anyway. He loved looking at the babies, and when they would nurse, he would point at the TV and say "nuh-nuh," which is what he says for "nurse."

After that we went to North Hills, which is a fabulous outdoor mall less than a mile from our house, and had some Ben & Jerry's before we hit the Target for some baby forks and some other random stuff.

Following our outing, we came home, Bird rode in his new car and I planted some Hybiscus, some parsley, and tarragon. It's a good day that ends with dirt under Mama's nails and a baby with dirty knees.

There was a card, and a hand soap & lotion set for my kitchen sink - just what I asked for - and as much as I appreciate them both, the day would have been complete with just the company of my boys. Their love and attention is all it takes to make for a fabulous day.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Yard sale happiness

Momma and Susan have delicately pointed out that I'm a slacker blogger these days. Of course, that's not at all what they said, but that's how I'm going to think of it. It will help light a fire under me a little better.

I would love to get back up to a post a day, but I'm not promising anything. It's so much harder now that Little Bird is GOGOGOGOGOGOGO all the time. During nap time, there are so many other things I need to get done, and well, Twitter. I blame Twitter.

Today's news isn't horribly interesting, but looking through my archives, that never stopped me before, so here goes.

We loaded up Little Bird and went down to Glenwood South to an open air crafters market. Why is it that these markets are 90% jewelry these days? And not even very unique jewelry, although most of their names include the word "unique" somehow. Unique boutique. Beaded Uniquely. Unique Creations. If you can't come up with a more clever name than that, I'm thinking you aren't very creative anyway.

The only booth I found interesting was a quilter. I thought that I was totally uninterested in quilting when I started sewing. Then I started saving my fabric remnents. Then I joined a fabric co-op. Now, I'm thinking I had better learn to quilt or my home is going to become overrun with fabric.

On the way home, I spotted a yard sale with a faded Little Tykes car near the driveway. I asked Kevin if we could check it out. Bird loves the trucks with steering wheels at Marbles, so I had been thinking of getting him a car for outdoor play. This little car needs some tlc. It's faded and dirty and the steering wheel is loose, but it was only $5. For another $5, they convinced us to take home a tricycle.

The trike is missing the pushbar, so I looked it up just a minute ago to see if I could order just the pushbar. I can, and it's $18. Turns out the tricycle new is $180. Seriously. I had no idea. We came home with a Kettler trike for $5. I'm not believing it. Probably helped that it was almost noon. Everything out on their tables was priced really high, and I can imagine that several people were interested in the trike, but they were asking too much early in the morning.

Score for us. Bird lurves his new car so very much, and I'm going to order the pushbar this afternoon so we can take walks on his "new" trike.

It's a good day.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Little Bird makes friends

We've been in sunny Florida. Kevin's aunt/godmother lives near Sarasota. Little Bird and I had never met her, so it was high time for us to make a trip.

It didn't look good last week. First I realized that I had booked our flight for PM instead of AM. That put us in Florida a little past midnight with our 15 month old. How fun does that sound? Then I couldn't remember which car rental I had reserved a car with, and we hadn't received an email confirmation. So after many frustrating phone calls last Tuesday, we decided to try and get on standby in the morning and I found we had a reservation with Alamo.

Flying with a 15 month old in lap is an adventure. You really need 2 laps for said 15 month old, so I was glad Kevin and I always had seats together. Also? Still nursing that 15 month old was a lifesaver. That "neh-neh" really kept Little Bird happy on take off and landing.

For the most part though, Little Bird was an excellent traveler. He has this really cool mix of wanting to be with Mama and Daddy, but at the same time, being very curious about the people around him. He will smile at a stranger, play peek-a-boo with them, or keep waving until they just have to smile back. It doesn't matter what they look like or how old they are.

The older hippie sitting across the aisle from us on one leg of the trip became fast friends with Bird. Saying their goodbyes, Bird waved enthusiastically, and Professor Surf told him, "Goodbye little dude. Go doing something great one day."

And considering how my child can draw a smile out of everyone he sees, what I wish I had said to him was, "He already has. He creates joy."