23w2d (Nursery Post)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

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I'm still kind of reeling from what I posted about yesterday.  Please add this little guy to your prayers. :)  It makes writing happy-go-lucky, fluffy pregnancy posts seem really... heartbreaking.  I know this is a daily occurance.... Babies die or are born way too early, but it still hurts.  And it hurts so much more knowing that this family has had a hellish journey and all we wanted for them was a nice, easy route.

So, my heart is hurting, and in some ways, I need to write something happier to bring me into a good headspace.

On Thursday night, we took the kids to Holy Thursday Mass and, near the end, I started feeling uncomfortable.  By the time we got home and Peter started doing their bath, I had changed into PJs and was resting in the overstuffed nursery chair.  It dawned on me that I was having Braxton-Hicks contractions. 

I'd never had these with Bobby and Maya (or any of my other pregnancies either), so I was both surprised, excited, and terrified.  Were they really BH?  Was it something else?  I silently recounted how much water I'd drank (a lot) to make sure I wasn't dehydrated.  Had I done too much?  Was going up and down the stairs to the playroom too much?  Kneeling at church too much?  I told Peter I was going to lay down to make sure they passed (which they did).  Within half an hour, I'm timed that they were very irregular, werent painful, didnt cause any cresting (just a light tightening in the uterus), and didn't last.  Thirty minutes after laying down, they were gone.  While I still had to pee a half dozen time over the night, there was nothing else going on.  I ran Friday morning, and all seemed (and seems) fine.

But, the nursery.... There are still a few things I'm waiting for, namely the picture my dad is sketching, but, for the most part, it's done!

My nursing chair sits by the window and in front of a blanket that I made for our first baby, 13 years ago.

changing table area

changing table area

closet.... Maya helped hang up the clothes :)

crib with the painting of an elephant that my dad painted for Nicholas and Sophia way back when...

rocking chair, which was Peter's grandmother's and where Yaya rocked generations of Haytko babies :)


It's been a lovely time getting the room ready, and the kids love.hanging out in there.  They like to crawl up in the chair, grab a book, and either get snuggled and read to, or they will read it outloud (I like to think, they are reading to Michael in the womb!).

***
I have to reorder my P17.  It seems kind of nuts that I'm now on the 'refill'.  I mean, wow...  And I realized the other day that I really only have 6 prenatal appointments left (24w, 27w, 30w, 33w, 35w, 37w)  and then the delivery at 37w6d.  It seems kind of insane to think that I've done the majority of my appointments already.  Add to it, yesterday's marker of 5 years since Nicholas and Sophia had their Memorial Mass, and life seems to be moving at such a whirlwind pace.  Bobby and Maya are on the flip side of 3 and a half, moving closer to 4 years old every moment, and as Maya is always reminding me about their birthday party, I wish I could just slow down a few of these days and hold onto them.  Before I know it, the kids will be in college and it will just be Peter and I in this house.

Where is all of the time going?

5 years ago

Friday, March 29, 2013

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5 years ago, I'd finally figured out what to wear.

5 years ago, a luncheon was set up and ready to go, although I had no idea how I would manage to eat a single bite.

5 years ago, my mom was here and she gave me a hug.

5 years ago, a small marble box was placed in the center of our (then) church and people walked by, touching it, crossing themselves, looking at the two black and white photographs that sat on either side.

5 years ago, our priest delivered a touching homily about saying goodbye too soon.

5 years ago, our friends choked up as they read scripture and prayers, and comforted us in our grief.

5 years ago, Peter said words I'll never forget, about how blessed and lucky we were... about how one day, we'd hold our children again.

5 years ago, to the moment, we had Nicholas and Sophia's Memorial Mass.  As I said to my mom this morning, it feels like a lifetime ago and yet the memories are so clear in my head that it could have been yesterday.  As I watch Bobby and Maya living the boy/girl twin life, I can only imagine what Nicholas and Sophia would have been like had they stayed on earth with us.  Not a day goes by that I dont think of them.  Not a second of my life passes that I'm not loving them and clinging to the faith that one day, I will get to hold them in my arms again.

You are mine...

Baby Prayers

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A bit ago, I became aquainted, through a mutal friend, of a family who lost a beloved and very wanted daughter and sister, shortly after birth.  The birth had been traumatic and, sadly, the hope for a happy ending here on earth faded quickly.  Their little girl joined the stars a few days after she was born. 

Shortly after I came out on Facebook with Michael's pregnancy, this mom announced that she too was expecting and due in the summer, a short time before me.  I was so happy for them, as I knew that they were hopeful to continue adding to their family.  Her pregnancy seemed to be going well.

She delivered her little one pounder at 3am today.  Little Jude is on a ventilator and they are asking everyone to pray for a miracle.  Please, please, please hold this sweet little guy in your prayers, and ask for strength for his parents.  Back to back traumatic pregnancies are not picnic and the words "aren't fair" dont begin to describe the emotions.  I've been there; many of you have been there.  And when you are walking the road of another pregnancy and that road seems like all is going well, this is such a kick in the gut.

I feel so sick to my stomach.  This morning, I was going to write about how I had my first bout of Braxton Hicks contractions (ever) last night.  It was both amazing and terrifying, but they ended as easily as they'd started.  While I was taking a 3am potty run and marveling about the dancing little guy in my belly as I still mentally count down to 24 weeks, another mother was laboring a baby that she knew was coming too soon.  It brings me to tears to write this.  Yes, technology has helped micropreemies in a way that even a decade ago was impossible to believe.  But statistics like 15% here and 50% there are still statistics that no one  wants to think about.

***

Great Spirit and Divine Parent, who knit us together in our mother's womb and knows every breath of our life, please watch over baby Jude who left his mother's womb very prematurely.  Loving God, please watch over Jude as he grows in the hospital, watch over the staff caring for him, and give his parents the strength for this journey before them.

St. Jude, namesake of this baby and patron saint of desperate causes, come to the assistance of this family and intercede with your prayers on their behalf.   Apostle and martyr, pray for this family and espectially for baby Jude.

So please, I beg of you, keep Jude in your thoughts and prayers.  Hope for a miracle, the miracle that we all would want if Jude was our baby.

A Bottled Up Day

Thursday, March 28, 2013

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If I could bottle up this day and keep it forever, I totally would.  It's been one of those days, in such an awesome sense of the word.

We planned to go the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa today.  Since Maya picked out the paint for Michael's room, we told Bobby he could pick out the crib cross.  So, after breakfast, we headed out.  First, we stopped by the candle chapel, where both wanted to do candles, so we did (red and blue) and both prayed. Then Maya asked me to pray another prayer, so I prayed for all the kids. Then we went to the religious store. Bobby really liked a very heavy wooden cross but it was more of a house cross than a room/kid one, so I showed him the crib cross area. The cutest thing happened. There were 2 types. One package had a guardian angel circlet for the wall and a silver crib cross.  Then there were ones that just had the circlet. You could get either with blue, pink, or white. Well, for Michael, he picks up the dual pack in white.


Okay, no problem there. Then he picks up one of the blue circlets and says "Maya" and gives it to her. I was going to say "No", but then she takes it and says "Thank you, Bobby. I love you." He says, with a smile. "Love" then picks up a pink circlet and looks and me, then says, "Bobby?" with the inflection of a question.  Sort of like, "I picked one for Michael and just couldn't leave out Maya... Do you think I could have one too?"  It was written all over his face.  I think if I'd said No, he would have been sad but more because Maya loved hers.  I caved (clearly).  How do you say no to your kids at the Catholic bookstore?

The woman at the register was so nice, too. I expected something like "Oh pink for the girl, blue for the boy" (which is somethign we are constantly going through since Maya loves blue and Bobby loves red, or pink if he cant find red) but when Maya brought hers up, she asked, "Is this for you?" and when Maya said yes, she said, "Is blue your favorite color?" So Maya tells her yes and that Bobby's favorite color is red but they didnt have red. So when Bobby gives her the pink one, she says, "Oh pink! That's almost red. I'm sorry we dont have a red one." Bobby just smiled and was happy to have his back. It was adorable. So sweet. Brotherly love, thy name is Bobby. He was on top of the world to pick out Michael's and to give Maya something. My heart overflows.

Afterwards, we stopped by our local orchard shop (which is also a combo bake shop and cafe) for their snack (cookies) and mine (coffee!).  So much fun and just an enjoyable visit.  Afterwards, we came home and I asked the kids if they wanted to try out the new playroom.  Clearly, this was a yes!

We decided, sadly (and this was really my choice... Peter didn't push it and even tried to give alternatives to keep the studio) that, from a space perspective, it made more sense to convert the studio back to the playroom of our original living here.  The kids have so many things, we host playgroups, and honestly, with a new baby, if I'm teaching it wont be at home, it will be at an offsite studio.  So, I opted to list the things I didnt want sitting around (mats, blocks, straps) on Craigslist (and think I may have a buyer!) so I'm not losing the money I spent on those (they are only a year old) and I boxed up the other items that I'd never dream of getting rid of, then Peter helped me move things out of storage, we moved the pool table, and, over nap times, I've organized while bringing nursery things upstairs (that will be another post...  it's almost done!).  While there are still things to do (we need to get an integrated toilet seat to make the potty easier for kiddos), a lot is done (as far as toys coming out, Peter putting lockable handles on all the doors, gating off the bar, etc) and it is okay for kids to be down here.  So, without further ado...




I have laid out it (although, right now it is a disaster, so you'd never know it!  They've had fun the last hour and a half!!) in 'centers' so that, eventaully, we can work on the kids keeping certain toys in certain areas (which is how their 4 year old preschool class is organized).  This morning has been a piece of perfect.  They are having fun, playing together and doing so very nicely.  Already, I love this room so much because they love it so much.

In other fun news, we had Maya's first haircut last night!  Bobby's first haircut came around 14 months old, but Maya hasnt wanted hers cut (nor have I!).  The other night, it was clear she needed a trim, so I took her to a local salon and did the deed last night!




Initially, I'd wanted to do it, then take her out to celebrate with her grandma, aunts, pals, but with my MIL out of commission due to her knee surgery, we just celebrated, the two of us, with frozen yogurt instead.  I dont think Maya minded!


Well, I'd better start spearheading the clean up project in the playroom so we can have our lunch in the next 15 minutes or so... I think we'll be back down here later!

23w

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Wow... 23 weeks.  1 week shy of the "big" 24 week mark, when, on average, 50% of babies born can survive (after a tough NICU stay, of course).  If Michael were born today, he'd have a 10-35% chance at survival; another site, lists roughly a 17% chance. Of course, so much depends on being delivered with a level III NICU staff on standby, gestational weight, and whether or not lung developing steroid injections were received prior to delivery.  Clearly, a 23 week delivery is nothing that any parent wants to consider.  But, that being said, it is absolutely amazing to me that we are at this point.  I am actually, finally, within the realm of possibility of this baby being born and coming home with me.  That's just mind boggling.  (Note to Michael: stay put for 14w6d and don't even think of coming earlier, regardless of what Maya is begging you to do!)

23 weeks
(I'm happy to report that I finally cleaned by bathroom mirror.... Can't you tell!)

Speaking of Miss Maya, on Tuesday, she curled up in my nursery chair and covered herself up with the crib blanket, informing me that she was waiting until Michael arrived.  When I reminded her that Michael wouldn't be coming for another 15 weeks or so and that she'd have to wait until July, she gave me that intense, "I want my way" stare and asked if she could go in and get him.  Just for a bit, of course; she'd put him back in time for the doctor to get him in July.  Yeah... sorry... no.

Waiting for her baby brother
All is well on the homefront.  Still active, still feeling great.  Finally (pretty much) fixed the downstairs playroom (hoping to try it out on Monday morning with the playgroup folks).  Nursery is pretty much done (a post with pics coming soon).  I'm getting excited for vacation in April (as are the kiddos).  And life is, well, pretty much normal.  Not what I ever would have expected for 23 weeks pregnant, but I'm totally not complaining!  I can't believe that we are less than 4 months away from a full term delivery... less than 5 weeks from when Bobby and Maya were born... and within that realm of "he-could-be-okay". 

Mind boggling...

Fiat

Monday, March 25, 2013

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(pregnancy mentioned)

In theory, today, March 25, is the Solemnity of the Annunciation, or, in layman's terms, the celebration of the day that the Archangel Gabriel announced to the Virgin Mary that, should she be down with it, she'd be the mother of God.  (Get it... March 25... December 25... It all works out.)  However, today is the last Monday in Lent and is part of Holy Week, so the celebration of the Annunciation is postponed until Monday, April 8th (since April 1st is Easter Monday).  Much to Maya's dismay, we will not be going to an Annunciation Mass today.  (The kids both really love Church... Bobby has now accurately memorized the Eucharistic Prayers and prays them- in their entirety- along with the priest, including the mimicry of his movements from lifting the chalice or host, to kneeling before the altar... I actually will be a bit surprised if the religious life isn't an option for the two of them...)  That being said, in my head, March 25th is the Annunciation and it's what I've been thinking about, so...  That's my post for today.  I'm sure I'll have plenty to chat about on April 8th. :)  (And, just as am interesting note, the Orthodox Churches do not change the Feast of the Annunciation based on Holy Week, etc; there are accomodations made and, as a major feast, it is always celebrated on the 25th.)

 
So, the word "Fiat", which is what we normally call Mary's response to Gabriel, "Let it be done to me according to thy word," is basically a fancy way to say "yes".  The Biblical reference to this is  taken from the Gospel of St. Luke (1:26-38).

This has me thinking a lot about my recent year.  I try to take time to meditate especially on the Annunciation each year.  In 2008, I was dying.  Nicholas and Sophia had died the month before and I remember sitting in church, just sobbing.  A piece of my soul was missing; how could I possibly go on?  How could I possibly say yes to anything?  In fact, as shameful as it may be to admit it, I was slightly jealous of Mary.  (And, keeping in mind we have the foresight of knowing exactly the price of her yes- to her, to Jesus, to the world- was, I think it's kind of awful to be jealous of the pain and suffering that was to come, even in light of what I was feeling at the time.)  I mean, an angel was announcing the joy of a new baby!  There was no infertility, no fear of miscarriage, no baby dying...  It was just joy.  (Clearly, the rantings of someone bereaved since being a pregnant teen who was engaged to someone who was, definitely, not the father of the baby, back in those times was a death sentence...)  As I said, I was dying inside. 

In 2009, I was newly (like 11dpo  newly) pregnant with Bobby and Maya.  We'd lost Alexander just before the previous Thanksgiving, I had more miscarriages under my belt, and I was feeling a bit anxious.  It's no wonder, but my post conveyed just how much I was hoping to have my own fiat moment.

This year, with three and a half (where has the time gone by) year old twins and twenty two and a half weeks pregnant (again, where has the time gone???), I am once again brought as a fly on the wall to Mary's encounted with the Archangel, a time and place where this young girl- the age of my own birthmother- is given this extraordinary news.  It's news that she can accept or decline.  Her yes or no will change her mark on history forever.  Clearly, tradition and sacred scripture tell us that she accepts, and with a poet's grace: "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord... for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant." (the entire response can be found in the Gospel of St. Luke, 1:46-55). 

And so we are back to that yes... that 'let it be done to me'...

The monk who is one of the namesakes of our newest one, Father Michael, was mentored by a nun, whose favorite saying was "Always say yes.  No will present itself."

In the fall of 2011, when we were struggling with what to do with ourselves following an unexpected 2010 miscarriage and the knowledge that we might actually be able to conceive on our own without help, it was the excellent counseling of priests, a barrage of reading materials that deepened our faith and our marriage, and a lot of prayer- along with meditating on Sister Gabriella's words, that led us to the decision to have the TAC placed by Dr. Haney at University of Chicago.  It was our own little fiat.  Our saying yes to whatever would come, be it another pregnancy, no pregnancy, a miscarriage, or a full term birth.  It was the only choice that, at the end of the day, we felt we could live with. 

2012 brought a lot of running and marathon training and, although we discussed whether we'd ever get back on the trying to conceive train, we also felt a great deal of peace with just being us.  It was, I suppose, another 'yes', another 'let it be done to us', another 'we're open to life, even if we are infertile'.   But even with that, the positive pregnancy test last November left me with shock and, quite honestly, fear.  More than any other year, I think I identify with what the Virgin Mary may have actually felt in those moments when Gabriel uttered those unbelievable words. Me? Pregnant? You must be kidding...

As my pregnancy has progressed, through my miscarriage times, out of the first trimester, quickly through the second trimester while leaping over losses and milestones, and now as we approach the less-than-100-days-to-go mark and viability in a week in a half, I am constantly reminded of how our yes back in 2011 changed the course of our history, of our family, of our world.

There are no guarantees- I know that.  But this?  This is a yes and a path that I didn't see coming.  It's something that, although I knew was possible, seemed like such a long shot at best.  And yet... And yet, here I am.  Belly protruding out, baby moving and kicking, an almost done nursery to remind me, every time I walk by, that we are 15 weeks away from a baby being here.  Every time Bobby runs up to me and says "hugs", then wraps his arms around my belly (he hugs my neck when he wants me) and says "Michael" or, his new one, "brother", tears spring to my eyes as I realize what making that single decision to follow Church law and our own beliefs has done.  When Maya begs to hang clothes in Michael's closest or goes on (and on and on...) about how she will give him baths/change his diapers/feed him, etc, I am amazed at just how much our fiat has become a "yes" for her, too.

Each day, I find myself amazed, afraid, joyous, terrified, and looking forward.  Like Mary, I have no other way except to find a deeply held faith, a faith that at times I didnt even know was buried inside.  Without it, there is no way to believe that viability will come... that we'll have a fun (and very active!) vacation without fear of whether or not we will need to find the closet Level III NICU to our resort... that we'll hit the third trimester without concern... that the biggest problem I'm going to have is what to pack as we go to the hospital on July 10th.  There's fear and anxiety, but the only prescription for them is a deep breath and a prayer; we've already said yes. There's no going back.  And that yes embraced all the possibilities, even the ones that include outcomes no parent wants to endure.

I find myself constantly repeating those words of Mary.  Not just the "Let it be done to me according to thy word", but also the opening lines of the Canticle, "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant... the Almighty has done great things for me and Holy is His Name."  I find myself believing that this time, this time, things will be different. 

This time, no matter what, there will be a different ending to the story.

I'm Dreaming Of...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

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What do you dream of?

Ever since I finished painting the nursery (and, um, then went a bit crazy and painted the half-bathroom too...), I've been dreaming of painting all the rooms in the house: bedrooms, living room, bathroom (okay, in my defense, the main level's full bathroom NEEDS a serious do-over, like really), kitchen...  I just want to have some idea of "This would be perfect for Xroom" and be able to put it all together.  As it is, with the aforementioned half-bath, I'm trying to figure out what to do now that I've painted it.  Get a cabinet?  Rehang the old fixtures?  Take the time to find some nice ones that match?  Fashionista and designer, I am not.  I'm convinced the nursery colors look so nice because Maya picked them out!  I'm the child of artists, but I didn't inherit any ability to design.  (A close look at the chair rail, baseboards, and ceiling of the nursery can prove my painting skills or lack thereof...)

And I have absolutely no skill whatsoever when it comes to crafting things... I actually wrote an article for a magazine entitled, "I'm Not Crafty" years ago, which addressed just how un-crafty a girl can be.  Holidays that use craftiness tend to fall on deaf ears (well, useless fingers, I guess).  I can dye eggs for our Equinox egg hunt (canceled this year, due my getting over a cold), but could I make Silk Tie Dyed Eggs?  No...(and honestly, I dont like crafting so I wouldnt really want to... I know... awful).  But, knowing how crafty you guys are, I bet you could!

That being said, with my new desire to put my mark on the house (and only 2+ years since we bought it!),  I am finding the ideas for dressing up and recreating old furniture (like this table or this cabinet) interesting.  I prefer my furniture au natural, but I like the idea of distressing and creating something new.  Years ago, I stripped a cedar chest and returned it to its natural glory.  Took freaking forever and I both loved and hated every second of it.  (And the smell- UGH!)  But I still look at it and think "Wow... I did that!"  Sort of like looking at the nursery walls.  (And the half-bath...)

Deneen, the woman who writes Dreaming-n-Color, is one of my mom's best and oldest friends (they met in high school) and I'm amazed by the things she does with old, saved-from-the-trash finds.  Since my mom is quite handy with gardening and working with her hands, it's no wonder they have things in common!  While I might just stick to cooking and baking as my "crafts" of choice, I do love a good rags-to-riches tale... which I suppose is what happens to these shabby chic items!

22w

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I went back and read my posts from around 22w with Bobby and Maya.  Talk of discharge that might be pPROM, dilation of 2cm above TVC and 1cm below, ultrasounds with sacs bulging, Trendelenburg, showers every other day (finally), bed pans.  Wow.  Not exactly the 22 weeks of today.

Today, I finished painting the nursery!


I really love the colors and the new floor.  I still have to finish painting the closet (which, I'd have left white except the previous owners painted it to match the room- butter yellow- and it is NOT staying yellow when the rest of the room is done).  Peter suggested the walls as the lighter color (the plan) and the shelves the darker color.  We'll see, but I like the idea. 

I had only planned on doing belly shots on the 'monthly' weeks, but I couldn't help it. :)  I'm actually wearing one of my larger (non-maternity) running shirts, and I still can't believe I can fit into regular clothes!  (Dont worry, the pants are cinch waisted, so they don't count...)
22 weeks
  2 more weeks until viability, 6 more weeks until the third trimester.  Time is flying by!

Review: Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

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I was contacted by the author of the children's book Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs and, although she didn't ask that I review the book, after downloading it and reading it just now (and then rereading it with Bobby), I wanted to pass along both a review and a special offer.  Through today, you can download this book to your Kindle (or your phone with Kindle, if you are me) for free.  That's right... a nearly $18 book for no charge.  And, if you're like me, you'll decide that you need to own this book with its touching message and beautiful illustrations for the little ones in your life, and you'll go back and buy the print version.  (It's the librarian in me... I actually need print books.  Really.)  I only wish we'd had this before I left for TN or Chicago, or before Peter went away on his business trip.

Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs
written by: Susan Schaefer Bernardo
illustrated by: Courtenay Fletcher
Copyright: Inner Flower Child Book, 2012

Click here for the hardcover book
Click here for the digital version, available free through 3/20.

***

This touching tale is a back-and-forth between a child and a beloved adult who are unable to be together.  As the child misses their dear one, they are lovingly reminded of all the walls that they can be connected even when they are apart.

"The sun will catch your kiss and use light speed, to forward it right on to me."
"Love is in each sttar twinkling in space and every frostly snowflake licking your face."
"Each grain of sand means I'm in reach..."

The book ends with the a final message of hugs and kisses, telling the precious child "I'll always love you, Little One."

While I think that this book would have been a wonderful read for before (and during) the times Peter and I have been away from the kids, I also think it can be used to explain when someone has passed away.  From a librarian's point of view, it was always difficult to find books that worked well to explain how, while death separates us it doesn't mean we can't be together in other ways, for smaller children.  I found 2 or 3 that I kept on hand that used common images (like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly for instance) to explain death and leaving, but it wasn't easy to find things that explained and comforted without placating or being too cutesy to really help.  And, especially with picture books and the under 6 years old crowd, it's a careful balance. 

This book hits that balance.  If a parent, grandparent, or sibling dies, it can be hard to explain to a young child that, although this person they love is no longer physically with them, there is still a way to connect: hug a tree and feel your loved one hugging you back, look up at the moon and see the smile of your dear one returned, kisses sliding from heaven down the rainbow.  Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs strikes a delicate balance between being a cutesy read and a heartwarming story that both comforts and gives a smile to the little one reading it.  Bobby loved it and restarted it (twice) on my phone; I have a feeling that Maya, who often talks about Nicholas, Sophia, and Alexander living in heaven, will also enjoy it.

Long story short, I highly recommend this book, for kids under 6, who either are dealing with a separation of some reason (long term like divorce or short term like a business trip or deployment) or for the death of someone close to them.


This review, in similar form, was also posted on Amazon.com, in the product link.  No goods (other than the free Kindle download available to everyone through 3/20) was exchanged for this review.

21w6d

2 comments
This unchartered, normal territory.. So crazy at times.  T-16 weeks until Michael makes his appearance.  2 weeks (well, 2w1d) until viability at 24w; 6 weeks until I'm more pregnant than I've ever been before (B&M were 27w5d or 6w from yesterday) and 6w1d until I hit the much longed for 3rd trimester.

We finally decided to conver the playroom into a nursery and move the playroom completely downstairs (while keeping some of the toys upstairs in our more-than-ample living room).  Maya, who will inherit the nursery as her bedroom once Michael moves in with Bobby, chose the nursery colors.  We have a chair rail, so she chose a very deep blue called "night watch" for the lower wall
"night watch"
and a more slate color called "bellflower" for the top. 

"bellflower"
I've started painting, but dont anticipate being finished until early next week. 

As we were going through the basement and starting to unpack some items, Peter gave voice to things that we both have been thinking.  It's so strange to actually be preparing for a baby.  Whenever we began before, it was the start of the end.  We recieved the crib for Nicholas and Sophia... a few days later, I delivered Nicholas at home.  We had the nursery underway... and I went into labor with Alexander.  The nursery was done before we were even pregnant with Bobby and Maya, but shortly after my birthday, I bravely ordered their stroller... and dilated to the stitch; I was in the hospital a week after the stroller arrived.  Getting ready has been synonymous with things starting to go to hell.  "It's strange to get ready," Peter said, his eyes betraying the hurt.  I had to acknoweldge that he was right.  It is, indeed, strange.  Strange to unpack things, strange to buy things, strange to get things ready by painting.  Even with the adoptions, it seemed like getting ready meant the tide would turn.

And yet.  This journey is just so different.  I know it sounds  nuts to people when they ask how I'm doing with the 'stress' and I just say that I've given this pregnancy over to God or that I have no worries.  It's not that I dont wonder about the what ifs... I'm a typical, post-loss pregnant woman.  Of course I realize all of the things that could happen and that, regardless of how good today is, tomorrow might mean Michael is no longer with us.  And it isn't that I dont care.  I know that it would hurt.  I know that it would mean a world of pain not just for Peter and I, but for Bobby and Maya, and all of our family and friends, too. 

But worrying about the what ifs arent helpfuld and dont change things.  There is something about believing that I've done all I can possibly do and am doing all that I can do to have a normal, healthy pregnancy that gives me a lot of peace.  Yes, there is a part of me that feels even getting pregnant was a miracle, but getting pregnant with all of my kids has been miraculous, just in different ways.  Their losses werent negated by that.  I guess there is a part of me that feels our lives are just what they are, for long or for short, and I've come to accept that, while it isnt what I wanted, my older children's lives were meant to be short in this world.  Still hurts, but their lives were- and remain- perfect. I wish Bobby and Maya had made it full term, but for whatever reason, there gestational journey was meant to only a second trimester path.  They are here with me, and I feel so grateful and lucky for that.  With Michael, my life just has a different point of view than it did with my older kids; I am grateful for every single second that he is within me and, regardless of when his life ends- whether it is tomorrow, 50 years from now, before or after I am dead- I would always wish it longer for him.  Placing that fear in the hands of the Divine and just walking away from it, and finding peace in that, is a nice feeling.  I wish I'd been able to do it before; I know that, part of the reason why is the journey I've had with N, S, A, B, and M, but still... How different could their pregnancies have been if I'd not been so afraid?

So, as we prepare, those feelings- those what if thoughts- still make themselves known at times, but we still get ready.  We still paint walls and plan furniture layouts.  Come next week, when the painting is done, we'll put the crib together and start getting Bobby and Maya acclimated to the new room in the house.  Already, they want to help get things ready and they want to love on their brother.  Bobby is less verbal about it, but several times a day, he'll say "hug" and when I go to hug him, he'll hug my belly instead and say "Michael... Hug."  He's kissed my tummy a few times and said "love" as well.  Both of them love to snuggle, and their baby brother will move when he feels them or hears them reading him a story (which they both like to do).  Maya will also tell me about how she wants to help make Michael's bed (what she calls both the crib and creche), how she wants to help me wash and hang up his clothes, etc, and how she will take care of the baby when he's born.  There's a lot of love.  Our preparing, I think, gives them a focus for that love, too.  There's no fear that would make me want to give that up.

Does the TAC make a difference?  I'm sure it does.  From a physical standpoint, I know now just how broken my body was before.  There was, literally, a piece missing.  We didnt know that, and we inadvertantly put our children at risk by thinking other things, like bedrest or the TVC, would work when things looked faulty.  But having the TAC surgery and knowing just how badly my cervix was damaged has given me a peace.  I know now that I have the best possible medical fix.  It doesnt mean preterm labor will stay away (but I'm hopeful the P17 will keep that as a non-issue).  It doesnt mean there arent risks for preeclampsia or anything else, but my primary issue is now a non-issue.  That definitely takes a weight off my mind.

Does the fact that I got pregnant without intervention make a difference?  From a psychological standpoint, I know it does.  Infertility makes you feel like 'less than'.  Less of a woman (or man), less of a normal human being.  You have those awful thoughts, like "crackheads and hookers can get knocked up without even thinking about it, but I can't make love to my husband/wife and create a baby".  You become judgemental and bitter, even as you strive not to.  Loss adds to that.  Even when I got pregnant with medication, I felt like I was less than the other mothers-to-be.  I wondered if they were able to suprise their husbands with their news or, if like me, the positive came via a conference call and constant monitoring.  I wondered if there was shock with a +HPT or if they were monitoring ovulation times and temps and when to go to the RE for bloodwork and days post ovulation.  This round, even though I suspected I was pregnant, I was shocked as hell to see two lines on a pregnancy test and even more shocked by my beta numbers.  As this pregnancy has progressed, in so many ways, it is like a 'first' pregnancy because it is the first tyical pregnancy I've ever had.  That definitely changes my perspective.  It doesnt make me less knowing of pregnancy loss or stillbirth, but it keeps my head in a different space.

Being active is also, for sure, making a difference.  Being able to do things, like rearrange the downstairs for the playroom (which required Peter and I moving the pool table- dont worry! it had sliders on it!) and being able to cart (light- dont worry!) furniture down and up stairs, being able to paint and do household stuff, being able to run and do yoga and handle my kiddos... All these things are positive for both my physical health and my mental well being.  I tire much easier than usual and sometimes crash on the couch by 7:30, but I can still do things.  I know Peter is more than willing to step up and take over if I ask; I know that I have a huge network of supportive people who are willing to play with the kids when I need a break or help me if I need to do something and just, for whatever reason, am not up for it.  Knowing that makes me feel like I have a good back-up plan, but being able to do for myself, especially with the memory of not being able to do anything for the majority of my pregnancy with Bobby and Maya, is huge for me.  Just getting out for a run- even if it is slow and only a mile or two- is a moment of joy.  It's nice.

So, here I am.... 16 weeks- less than 4 calendar months- from Michael's scheduled delivery date.  A mere 6 weeks (give a day!) from the third trimester.  Feeling really good, and just really, really lucky.  I cant wait to finish the nursery and post pictures! :)

St. Alexander of Jerusalum

Monday, March 18, 2013

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Today is the Feast of St. Alexander of Jerusalum.  Happy Name Day, Alexander!  (Funny enough, July 10th is also a feast day for a St. Alexander... Kind of makes me think that our little saint is looking over his youngest sibling's c-section date!)

St. Alexander was a philosopher and librarian (score!), as well as doctor of the Church.  He was the first Bishop of Cappadocia and was imprisioned for his beliefs.  After surviving several rounds of torture, he eventually died in prision.   Known for his words and his holiness, he is considered a model for all, especially philosophers, priests, and (yep!) librarians.  In all tactlessness, he was a big mouthed guy who now watches over other big mouthed folks. :)  Seems fitting that I like him :)

Thinking of how St. Alexander went through several tortures but still came out on top makes me think of our little saint.  He struggled first through his amniotic sac and feet moving through my cervix... then, his water breaking (which, got him above the cervix)... then placental abruption... and yet, he stayed.  He kept on fighting until his birthday, when he came out kicking!  Tough little guy.  Just like his tough patron, I suppose.

Happy feast day, Alexander.  You are always with us.  Always.

St. Alexander of Jerusalum and my own St. Alexander, pray for us.

Happy St. Patrick's Day 2013

Sunday, March 17, 2013

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May the road rise to meet you...
May the wind be at your back...
May the sun shine, warm upon your face...
May the rain fall softly on your fields
And until we meet again,
May you keep safe, in the gentle, loving arms of God.

Happy St. Patrick's Day from our lucky charms to you and yours!


 
 
Want to enjoy some delicious recipes?  Here's what we're feasting on today!
 
 
Who was St. Patrick?



Daddy's Little Princess

Saturday, March 16, 2013

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As I wrote the check, my fingers shook.  I'll admit it... I'm just not ready.  I'm still trapped in the days of wordy onesies and making babies coo and (even) changing stinky diapers.  Writing a check for Maya's first Father/Daughter Dance at school isn't something I was prepared to do.

Princess that she is, she's already decided she'll wear her princess-like Easter dress (a gorgeous handmedown from her cousin, J, that I've been DYING to get her in since J's mom sent it last year!) with her handmade pink sweater.  Girl has a plan!  She talks about it constantly (or at least everytime she remembers!), telling me that she will dress up and Daddy will dress up and they will go in the green car (what she call's Peter's Subaru; Bobby, funny enough, calls it the Subaru) for the Daddy/Princess Ball and they will dance and... it goes on and on and on.  (I hope Peter knows what he's in for!).  Regardless, 3 weeks from today, he will learn!

First it's a Christening... then the first Father/Daughter Dance.  Before I know it, I'll be sending out First Communion and Confirmation invitations, before picking out my dress before her wedding.  Where has the time gone?  How did my pipsqueak of a baby girl become a three and a half year old?

(Of course, princess that she is, what does she choose to wear every single time it is clean and hanging in her closet- regardless of if she wore it the day before?
"Go Eli!"  regardless of whether it is football season or not!
That's right... Her Giants shirt.  Princess indeed!)

Angry With a Side of Sad

Friday, March 15, 2013

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Originally posted here

First, let me applaud companies that give outstanding insurance benefits as part of their employee packages. I am grateful- beyond grateful- for having that luxury and for knowing that, if one of us becomes gravely ill, we will be taken care of. Peter has a good job that he enjoys and this is a part of his benefits package that has a heavy weight in his satisfaction with his pay, etc. So, lest anyone think I am bashing insurance coverage, I'm not, not in any way.

But I'm still pissed.

Since Bobby began speech therapy in September, we've been going back and forth with our insurance (which is administered via one of the big names in medical insurance) about paying for it. Yes, speech is covered... but ONLY if it is the result of an illness/disease/etc, not if it is a developmental delay. Initially, before his official Autism diagnosis, our doctor had 'prescribed' speech as a result of extreme prematurity. This was denied by our insurance because, ultimately, they felt that any speech issues resulting from his prematurity could be overcome with time and, thus, it was a developmental delay and not covered. With the Autism diagnosis, however, a new can of worms were opened and all his speech appointments were resubmitted with the codes for Autism as the diagnosis.

We learned yesterday that, once again, the panel denied the claims as a developmental delay.

Now, whether or not I believe Bobby meets the criteria for Autism, is autistic, is on the ASD, or anything else, is beside the point. At issue is whether or not Autism is a "developmental delay", which is defined as a chronological delay in the appearance of normal developmental milestones achieved during infancy and early childhood, caused by organic, psychological, or environmental factors.

As I'm writing a letter to appeal the decision, filling it with medical jargon that explains genetic causes, brain synapses firing differently, and a slew of other explanations for Autism and why it can impact speech so drastically and then am citing numerous organizations that compare Autism with things like Schizophrenia, Fragile X, and Alzheimer's because, like those, it is considered a neurological disability, I was overwhelmed with so much anger and sadness.

Disabled? I'm arguing that my son- my perfect, sometimes quirky, sometimes quick to lose it and often hard to understand because his language is poor, son... my perfect, wonderful baby boy- is disabled? That he has a complex neurological impairment? How do you, as a parent, say that your child- a child that you adore and who is perfect to you in every single way that he could be, in spite of (or maybe at times even because of) his challenges- is impaired and disabled? I've taken the Autism diagnosis and accepted it because I believe that, should it be that Bobby is on the ASD, it means nothing more than the color of his eyes or the tone of his skin... That it is just part of his genetic make up and part of what makes him who he is. And then there is this... This argument to try and convince our insurance company to cover something that he so drastically needs as a result of his genetic make up... At what cost? At the cost of the $125/hr a pop therapy? At the emotional cost of saying that my son is disabled?

If they deny the claim, we can appeal to Peter's employer. They are self-insured which, on the bad side, means they don't have to follow the PA law that states that services and therapies related to an Autism diagnosis be covered, but on the positive side means that a refusal of the insurance company means that we can go to the company directly. But that means more red tape... and a stoppage of speech services for Bobby. At this point, we owe over $3000 to his speech therapist if our insurance doesn't cover the appointments he's already had and we will have to stop taking him because we wont be able to continue to cover the cost completely. (He does get an hour of speech through the IU, so he wont be completely without help, but we've found that the private therapist we work with has made huge strides in his functional use of language versus what he is receiving from the IU.) It kills me... It kills me to know that the options are either argue that he has a disability and needs the services covered, or to not and know that we will have to stop his therapy.

I've read a number of things written by people on the ASD and they simply want to be acknowledged as the unique individuals that they are, people who struggle the same way neurotypical people struggle, albeit in different ways. They dont want to be called diseased or disabled or compared to people who are impaired by different medical issues. Would anyone compare Temple Grandin to someone with Fragile X Syndrome? Of course not, because they would be two very different issues. And yet... For the purposes of medicine and insurance, there seems to be no other option. It weighs so heavily on my heart.

Current research is pointing to something happening in the embryonic stage to cause neurological development to change in the autistic child. If this is true (and they are still researching soooo many avenues, who knows when we will find out), then this is who Bobby has always been... It's just who he is. And that is my perfect little boy, whom I wouldn't give back or change for anything in the world. I want him to have a life without struggle- as I do for Maya and, now, for Michael, but that comes with the knowledge that all of us struggle. There is nothing I can do, except give him the tools to mitigate his own unique struggles and to support him as he gets to his place of happiness. I want to do that. I want to give him the stars and the moon and the sun. I want to give him the therapies that allow him to coexist in a neurotypical world full of stimuli and speech and lights and sounds. I have to do that.

The question then becomes: at what cost?

21w

Thursday, March 14, 2013

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And so the countdown continues...  16w6d until delivery day.  4 months.  4 short months until this little guy will be in my arms.  And I really do believe that we will hold out until our summer baby. 

This week has been a big one, from an emotional standpoint.  Although my 20w ultrasound went great (and the baby was estimated to weigh 350g, or about 12.5oz, which is normal (average is 331g or 11oz); length of body and bones were also deemed perfect for gestational age), it was at 20w5d when I went into the hospital with Bobby and Maya (my 20w u/s with them was later, obviously).  As Tuesday came and went, my mind was constantly there: 20w5d... 20w5d... 20w5d.... Would that be the day?  Even though I was fine 5 days before, would we get through this unscathed?

As the day wore on and I felt the same as I have for weeks, the last weight of the next few months was lifted, and when I woke up yesterday, at 20w6d, ready for my appointment, I felt light and easy.  I knew the appointment would be fine- to the point that I told Dr. B. that I was fine without an ultrasound!  (He didn't buy that...  He had the 20w report, but said he still wants to make sure we miss absolutely nothing.)  We've crossed the next to last milestone of pregnancy; once we hit 27w5d, there will be nothing left for me to compare this pregnancy to.  It will be completely uncharted territory. 

20w6d


We joked at my appointment yesterday, and it was very lighthearted.  Dr. B. said he's not worried about my weight gain and that, as long as my 1 hour sugar challenge comes back normal, he told me to gain as much as the baby wants (so long as I'm still staying active).  Regardless of how little or much I gain, he said he thinks that my being active will pay off and I'll drop the weight easily.  Not what I expected to hear!  I also was shocked when he looked at my cervix and said "I'm really liking this cerclage."  Although he was supportive of us from the start, he felt that the TAC wouldn't really give us much more support than a Shirodkar TVC.  I think that, seeing how easily this pregnancy is going, that I've had no bedrest at all, and that my cervix is holding without issue (and with a lot of activity), he's impressed with it.  I'm happy about that.  While a TAC isn't needed for everyone and, in his experience, he's only had 2 TVCs not work (mine among them), I'm glad he's seeing this work out well so that he can recommend to patients who need it.

Going forward, it looks like there's not a need for steroid shots at 24w.  (WOO HOO!)  If I start to go into preterm labor for some reason, he feels that we'd have time to get the shots since my cervix would hold and they could use stronger tocolytics to buy us time, but he honestly doesnt think we're going to need to troubleshoot that.  So, other than the P17 shots each week (#6 of 20 tomorrow!), we're good! (and my butt is thankful for that!).

Other than my continuing love of cereal, things are pretty stagnant.  The whole cereal and milk thing... So weird.  One day, I'm working through a box of Mini-Wheats; the next day, Lucky Charms (they are magically delicious) :).  For someone who isn't really a cereal person (and definitely not a sugary cereal person) , I watch myself with funny awe.  Not to mention cow's milk!  If I eat cereal, it's with almond milk.  Not now!  I need to hit the farm store twice a week to keep up with my milk habit! :)  And, in spite of weight gain (about 1-2 pounds every 3 weeks or so), it's pretty much keeping itself in the belly area.

In house news, we had our carpets stripped.  We took the plunge and had the bedrooms and hallway done in laminate and the living room recarpeted.  It all looks nice.  We're happy with it.  We've also prepared the kids that their playroom is moving downstairs and that the playroom will become Michael's bedroom (until he's old enough to share Bobby's room, at which time, Maya will move into that bedroom).  We're arranging things downstairs, and cleaning out the nursery and, as soon as that is done, we'll paint.  (Thanks, Aunt Sarah, for offering to be my painting buddy).  I took down posters and washed walls yesterday; I still have a fair amount to clean out (which I'll be doing shortly) and then need to clean the closet and one of the smaller walls (that I didnt get to yesterday).  Once that's done, it's paint buying time!  We're hoping to get the nursery finished as I finish out the 2nd trimester.  No rush; we've got time.  Part of it is that we want to make sure the kids have enough time to get used to the idea, and part of it is the realness of having it done.  I can't believe we're actually at this stage though!  Still early, but getting there!

20w

Thursday, March 7, 2013

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Here we are... halfway to a full, 40w pregnancy... 17w6d from Michael's delivery date.  I can't believe it.  The weeks are just flying by and, well, things are pretty normal.

I may have a slight addiction to cereal... This wouldn't be too big a deal except that I dont really like cereal.  But my days include a few bowls: breakfast, snacks, sometimes dessert... We usually had 3 boxes in the house: one for the days I might want to eat a bowl (usually whole grain cheerios, which the kids like a lot too), one for Peter, and Panda Puffs (Bobby and Maya's fave).  Right now?  We have seven boxes on top of the fridge and countless in the garage pantry.  Yeah...  I bought (I'm not joking) 9 boxes of cereal at the store this last Sunday.  I had coupons so I **needed* to buy that many, but in reality, I was thinking these will last me a few weeks... sweet!!!

It's just another reason that somehow having out with Sarah has shifted some of her genetics my way :)  She loves PB&J, bananas, and cereal.  She also is the one who turned me on to Greek yogurt and cottage cheese, the latter of which I should buy stock in this pregnancy.  And water- she is a wateraholic, and I drink way more water (and with ease) than I did previously.  It's funny, the little things... Of course, this baby really digs fried chicken (Sarah doesnt like fried food) so maybe not...

20w belly... there's a baby in there!
Michael is quiet the mover and shaker!  From Peter's trip onward, he's had a dance party in my belly in the early morning hours and as I wake up, I have such a fun moment just putting my hand on my stomach and feeling him kick.  No longer are we feeling the rushes  of a tiny baby flipping; now, we are beginning to feel isolated movements, like a tiny little foot jutting up against our hands.  When Peter got back, he laid down near me and just marveled at each movement.  We've got another soccer player on our hands!  Maya also loves just snuggling my belly.  She thinks it is so neat.  And Bobby has begun to run up to me randomly, hug my belly, and say "Michael."  It's adorable.

For the longest time, Peter and I went back and forth on nursery planning.  He wanted the crib, etc, in our bedroom (we have a larger bedroom so this is possible); I wanted the creche in our room but to convert the playroom into the nursery with crib, etc, with the understanding that once Michael was 2, he'd move into Bobby's room and Maya would move into the nursery as her bedroom.  The biggest downside to the baby in our room is noise; the biggest downside to a nursery (because, the baby will sleep in the creche or we will coseleep when he is a newborn) is that we lose the playroom.  When Peter came back from his trip, we started discussing again, though, and an idea he presented was converting the yoga studio/man cave area into the playroom (which is how it was when we moved in).  It's a huge space and, he reasoned, I could still teach, simply by keeping the screens up to cordon off the (former) man cave (turned playroom) (which is how it is now), and keeping all the really difficult to move toys there, and then covering the posters, etc. with tapestries.  It could work, I'm reasoing, and, truth be told, I dont teach enough hours to warrant keeping that space as nothing else.  Of course, the fire marshall would have to approve teaching with the playroom down there too, so we shall see.... But regardless, I've been throwing around the idea of that space.  It is substantially bigger than their current playroom, has the bathroom with changing area down there, and is easily accessible to the outside via stairs and an outside egress... So, maybe....  We have decided to fully attack whatever we decide after vacation.  We'll be approaching the gestational age that I delivered Bobby and Maya, so crafting a nursery is a nice thing to look forward to, whether it is in our room or in the playroom.

We're also debating ripping up the carpet in our main level and replacing it with wood (or wood laminate).  We shall see...  We know that we have to have the carpets seriously cleaned and that, let's be honest, with little kids, they need to be cleaned more than we have (which is zero... I vacuum, but they've not been steamed, etc); that's not cheap.  At the least, we want them done before Michael is born; so, a lot is just weighing the cost benefits.  I prefer sweeping and mopping to vacuuming.  I loved our wood floors in previous homes, so, we'll see...

But things are great!  Still active, still moving and shaking, and I have my 20w level 2 u/s very soon!!!  Like 7am soon! :)  4 more weeks to viability, and 1 more week until my next appointment with Dr. B.


UPDATE:  My 20 week scan was PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  My cervix measured.... wait for it... 6!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The tech is one that I've worked with before (nearly 2x/wk with Bobby and Maya once I was in the hospital) and he suprised me with a 3D view of Michael's face at the end of the appointment. I couldn't stop the tears, looking at this beautiful little face.  I think he has Alexander and Maya's nose, but Peter thought it looked more like Sophia's.  Regardless, he's perfect in every single way!
20w at 3/7/13

19w4d

Monday, March 4, 2013

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As each day brings us closer and closer to Michael's arrival, I find myself just amazed at how utterly different this pregnancy is in just about every single way. There is an optimism and a hope that replaced the hopeful anxiety of Bobby and Maya's pregnancy, the fear of Alexander's pregnancy, and the naivete of Nicholas and Sophia's pregnancy.  As each day passes without issue, the belief that July 10th will be here before we know it (in 18w2d, actually), and the journey there will be, by far, the most normal of any of the kids- from Michael's conception to his birth.

It catchs my breath to think about it, and brings tears to my eyes to think that, finally, after what will be fifteen years of trying and trying and trying, years of heartbreak and loss and just hoping beyond all things certain that our children would be alright, we are breezing through a pregnancy that we never thought would be possible, experiencing things that I never thought were part of my future. 

It's amazing and wonderful and bittersweet, all at the same time.  It's a gift.  Truly, a miraculous gift.

***

Our house is starting to resemble the house of people getting ready for a new baby.  We're talking about plans and things to do and when.  There are baby items here and there: a running stroller in the garage... gifts from the kids on the ottoman in our bedroom... a little elephant Peter brought back from his business trip for the baby... and our recent purchase- clothes.  TONS of clothes.  I found a great steal on Craigslist of 0-9 months clothes and bought them over the weekend.  I've only unpacked from the car the 2 huge bags of 0-3 and the small newborn bag and bag of socks and hats; the remaining 4 large bags are actually, truth be told, still in my trunk.  They'll go to basement storage soon... a storage area that needs to be sorted so that the baby stuff can be made easily accessible.

Maya, Bobby, and I looked through the NB and 0-3 stuff; what an experience.  The kids were picking out "favorite" outfits for Michael.  It's no suprise that Bobby's faves were mostly red things, and Maya's faves (with her love for the Madegascar trilogy) included lions, hippos, zebras, and giraffes.  But to see them enjoying that experience, and wanted to touch the items and talk about 'when the baby comes'...  It was really quite the morning.  (And the 15 minute event turned into over twice that, but hey! We all had fun!)

Sunday had its own fun when Peter and I finally settled on the booster seats to order for the kids.  We wanted something that had a wide weight/height range so that Bobby and Maya could have the same one (the more things are identical, the easier!), something with a high back (but could convert when the kids get much older), and something that maintained the 5-point feature (versus the traditional booster's 3-point).  I wanted something LATCH compatible, but that was just a side benefit, and we needed something that was vastly different, width wise, from their current Evenflow Titan seats.  With those seats, the infant seat would fit in the middle, but it was reeeeaallly tight.  Since we dont want to put the kids in the third row seats yet, we decided to go ahead and upgrade to a booster, if we could find one that we liked and that the reviews were good on.  After what feels like a forever of searching (but was really only a few weeks... I think we started looking in December), we settled on the Safety First Go Hybrid Convertible Booster.  They were considerably more expensive than we wanted to pay, but they go from 20 pounds to 100 pounds (and 57"), were high back and 5-point (up to 60 pounds), and had good reviews.  The Evenflo seats will go into Peter's car, which will be convenient since he drops them at school (and then we have to switch cars so I can have mine back).  While we wouldnt be able to put a third seat in the Forester, it will be nice for Peter to be able to take Bobby and Maya without us having to switch seats out of my car then worry about getting them back in.  Their new seats arrive tomorrow or Wednesday (by Wednesday but Amazon has them being delivered tomorrow), so we'll try them out for the Thursday school run. We dont spend a lot of time in the car, so I'm not too worried about the cons of the seat; we take a hanful of trips where the kids would fall asleep annually, so we'll make sure to have extra pillow supports for them when we go on vacation in April or to New England (possibly) in May, but otherwise, for the time we spend in the car, they'll make three across a comfortable possibility.

Three across... an infant seat.... Wow.  We're having a baby in four and a half short months, there is a baby due in our house.  Just wow.

Homecoming

Friday, March 1, 2013

2 comments
Peter is coming home today!!!! He is currently in the air over the Atlantic Ocean, probably enjoying a drink and in fight entertainment. :)  According to the airline's page, which I dutifully stalked this morning, he is on target to land 45 minutes early!  We shall see...  But I'm psyched! :)  Then, it's a train to Philly, and the local rail home, and I.CANT.WAIT.  Neither can the kids.

Speaking of the prince and princess of the castle... We had a great night.  We went to our favorite gourmet pizza place for dinner (which went off well), then to the local dairy farm for ice cream for dessert (another good outing), and finally settled in for half of Madagascar 3.  Then it was bath, bedtime ritual (which was NOT screwed up this time, AMEN!), and night-night after I sang them an Irish blessing (Peter sings them a Spanish lullaby, I sing them an Irish blessing if I do nights; it's kind of comical, I guess... They get an Irish pub song before nap...). 

And....

Perfect.

We were all in bed by 9:05 and alseep by 9:15 (well, they were... I was looking at Facebook on my phone).  Maya woke once at 3am, unable to find her bear (a less-than-1minute intervention), then Bobby woke at 4:30am for a change, which took me all of 5 minutes, and then... immediately, both were back to sleep.  Amazing.  Of course, it was our last night in this different routine, but still... Absolutely awesome!

Well, I'd better grab my shower before the monkeys wake up...  Because nothing stands between those two and their breakfast!  Not even a stinky mama!