Sunday, October 28, 2012

Some Eliza Quotes

"I can hardly handle all my muscles, Mama!" (while doing a bridge yesterday in tumbling class)

"It changed out I like spicy!" (she says "changed out" instead of "turns out")

"No deal, mama" (this is a line that she uses when she doesn't like what I'm suggesting)

"When I am three I'll be done with milky.  It makes me a little sad, but I'll be okay." (aw, this one sort of breaks my heart.  We are working on weaning by age 3 and have been talking a lot about it.  I'll post more on that another time!)

"I heard my baby's heartbeat! It's a floaty baby and it goes SHHHHHHHHHH!!!" (this is apparently what she thinks the doppler sounds like when we listen to the baby's heartbeat)

"Breakfast is far away, it's hard for me to wait." (she says this at night when she decides she's hungry.  Sorry kid, you had a chance to eat at dinnertime!!! :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

This is Hard: Part II

Part Two was the realization that your family and friends do, in fact, still love you and support you even after you quit grad school.  

Huh.  Imagine that.

There may be a Part Three... the psychological fallout of leaving behind such a huge part of your life - especially when the majority of it happened in your 20s and/or early 30s - should not be discounted.  I know it's there, the fallout (Mama Nervosa discussed this recently).  But, let's just deal with one thing at a time, shall we?

For now, I'm happy, at peace with my path, and excited for the next chapter of our life as a family: P2!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Perfect Fall Day

After going to bed late last night and waking up early, I suppose it's fair to say we didn't have high hopes or lofty goals for our Sunday today.  But, ever the optimist that he is (especially on the weekends), my dear husband dragged our lazy bones out of the house for some pumpkin pancakes this morning.  That turned out to be the beginning of the most awesomely awesome Fall Sunday ever!

After breakfast we drove to the farmer's market.  It was one of the last weekends of the "summer" market, so we had to stock up.  We bought ten (10!) bars of soap to last us the winter, and our usual purchases of meat from our favorite farmer, Bar 5.  Then home for nap.  Eliza slept from 10:30 to 1:30 (!), and I joined her for most of that time - it was amazing.  I've decided that any perfect day includes a nap. :)

While hubby and Eliza watched some football, I meal planned and then went to the store to stock up on food for this week's meals.  I've recently tried to be better about meal planning and it's saved me so much stress/hassle, time and money.  I don't know why I didn't do it sooner!  Ever since I withdrew from my Ph.D. program I've tried to become more productive/efficient at home and this is one of the ways that has made the most impact.  I think we eat more healthfully overall, and we definitely eat out less (one of our achilles heels!).

Anyway, it was unseasonably warm here today, so when I came home, Andy and Eliza were in the backyard raking and cleaning up the yard.  I joined them and it wasn't long before yard work was replaced by jumping in leaves, burying each other in leaves, leaf fights, and other fall-like shenanigans (like naked sand-box playing, apparently).

Then hubby started the grill and I learned that while I was gone he and Eliza had made both a spice rub and glaze for the pork chops we bought this morning.  He proceeded to make an amazing meal for us of smoked pork chops, baked potato and roasted carrots.  It was so yummy!

After dinner, it was bed time for the girl, so hubby took her upstairs for bath, teeth brushing and stories.  It was a great day.  Perhaps not the best blog fodder, but just something I wanted to write about here so that I'd remember it.  We are so lucky to have each other.  I love this family of mine.

Friday, October 19, 2012


My mom wrote this post on her blog the other day (yes, she has a private blog all about Eliza and being a grandma. She writes each entry in the form of a journal/letter to Eliza), and I thought it was incredibly sweet and poignant.  I wanted to share an excerpt here. 



You won't remember this day but your life will never be the same. As a "little sister", I can speak with some authority. There will be times that you feel great joy that you have a little brother or sister (you tell us it will be a sister!) and then again sometimes you will wish profoundly that you were an only child. It's a relationship that is somewhat fragile, not filled with the unconditional love of parents. You will have to earn his or her respect and there will be many ups and downs. But your parents are giving you the best gift they can give - someone to share your early life with, someone to share your family memories of home, friends, trips, fights, group hugs, even some crises. When you are older, your sister or brother hopefully can be a support person and someone to help when your parents seems "hard to handle".  I did not discover this until much later in my life, but my sister is a connection to my mom and dad long after they are gone. Looking into her eyes, I see my dad. I see his Irish temperment, his love of poetry and reading and I see my mother's love of language, her fierce independence and intelligence. Talking to her, I get to verify family stories and history and to see if we feel the same about our life before marriage and children. Marriage and children changes you and it is good to remember earlier and very different times.  I hope you enjoy such a relationship and even go beyond it in later years.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Hi My Name is: P2

To P2.

This is the first time I've blogged about you, P2!  Welcome to my blog.  I mean, I've mentioned you before, in the abstract sense, but now here you are, with your own label and everything - and this time, you actually exist!

Anyway.  Hi!  I don't have all that much to say about you - I mean, I don't really know you yet.  I know that you're the size of a kidney bean, and that your tail has finally disappeared (well thank goodness for that, right?)... OH, and that you must be famished in there, because you are making mama feel like she has a tapeworm or something.  Just like your big sister before you, you are in there, stealing all mah foodz.

We heard your heartbeat for the first time on Saturday.  That was... perfect.  The feeling of relief that washed over your mama and daddy was priceless, and worth the wait.  We celebrated by taking your sister to ride some crazy toddler rides at the MOA (which almost made mama lose her lunch - won't be doing that again soon).

So, you just keep on keeping on, okay?  Grow and grow and grow, and don't stop believin'... and all that.

I promise you lots of fun on the outside if you make it to the end of May.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

In Which I Get All Sappy On You

Eliza is nearly three years old now.  We will be celebrating a birthday in just five short weeks!  This girl has changed so much in the last year, it is really remarkable.  I've been so caught up with my own drama, that my girl hasn't gotten much attention on the ol' blog lately.

So what's she been up to?

Questions.  Oh the questions!  She is naturally curious about everything.  The 'why?'s, that started nearly a year ago now, have blown up exponentially and are never ending!  It often reaches the point where her 'why?' questions no longer makes sense, and we've started to try to help her rephrase her questions, challenging her to think about what she's really trying to ask.

She is NOT a morning person.  Mornings are... rough, to say the least.  It doesn't help that I am also not a morning person.  The two of us do not make the most enthusiastic or good natured duo between 7 and 8 o'clock in the morning.  That's usually when an episode of Mr. Roger's is watched while we try to wake up (or sleep a bit more, in my case).

Fears.  Fears are creeping in - she is learning and sort of experimenting with them.  Figuring out what other people are afraid of, and "testing" them out.  Most recently, she's not quite sure about the radiator in her room, which she can see at the end of her bed (our new house has radiators, our previous house did not, so they are new to her).  "Cover it up with a blanket, mama, so I can't see it", she requests each night before bed.  But then the next morning she'll say "I'm not scared of the radiator, he's just a nice guy who keeps us warm.  He's a silly warm guy!".

Nakedness.  Oh boy, does this child like to be naked.  She takes any opportunity.  When she has to pee?  Why not do that completely naked?  When she doesn't want to spill on her shirt during breakfast? Meh, Imma just gonna take off all these clothes, Ma.  Who cares if it's 50 degrees outside?  Let's go outside naked too (she did do that once and immediately came screaming back inside the house).  And then, when it's time to get dressed again (for the 30th time in a day)?  She needs an entirely new outfit.  Of course.  Why not?

Friends.  She has made so many new friends lately (primarily thanks to our move - we live in the best neighborhood that is FULL of kids!), and she loves it.  I love watching her develop relationships with other kids.  It's so sweet and innocent.  Let's be real, though, there are times when she can be equally as UN-friendly as she is friendly with her friends.  The normal preschool relationship stuff, I guess, nothing out of the ordinary... the occasional violence, difficulty sharing, etc.  It's definitely there.  But then she reaches out and wants to hold their hand, she shares a toy or snack, gives them a hug and kiss, talks about them randomly when they aren't there ("Isaac is my favorite friend!", "I want to draw a picture for Ingrid", "I love my ECFE friends!")... and I know that the makings of an amazing friend are there - somewhere inside, developing quietly, waiting in the wings.

Blossoming Foodie.  The girl eats everything - well, okay, that's an overstatement.  But she'll at least try anything.  It seems she favors international foods more than anything - especially mediterranean (well, except for the general food group known as carbs.  Oh the love this girl has for carbs is astounding... sorry honey, but you didn't get that from me!).  We were at a housewarming party the other day and she loudly announced "I WOULD LIKE MORE OLIVES AND HUMMUS AND PITA, MAMA!".  She also likes Vietnamese food (above!).  A family favorite is Pho, and she's been eating at our favorite Pho place since she was a teeny tiny baby (and in fact we went there today for my dad's birthday!).  It's nice that we can take her anywhere and know that she'll be able to eat what we order, and that she'll be relatively well behaved at the restaurant (let's just say she's had a lot of practice).  We are trying our best to raise her to appreciate not only good food, but the culture of food and how it can bring people together.  How we relate to each other via food, over shared meals, etc.  Sharing meals together is as important to us as healthy, balanced food choices, and we hope that Eliza will grow up and feel the same.

Sleep.  As I mentioned before, she sleeps.  God Bless America, this child sleeps.  And we are so happy (and rested).  Not only does she sleep, but bedtimes are a lovely, easy experience for everyone involved.  Daddy gives her a bath, brushes her teeth, reads her books/sings her a song, and then it's "mama time": five (or so) minutes of milky in her bed, followed by singing "Simple Gifts".  I stay with her for a few minutes (or as she says, "lay with me in a minute, mama"), and then I tuck her in and say goodnight.  She is awake when I leave, and she falls asleep on her own.  This may not sound like much to some, but here in this house? It's nothing short of a miracle.  We are so very proud of her for this.  She really is turning into our big girl.

Teh Sweetness.  She has her moments, but oh is this girl sweet.  Just so so sweet (when she wants to be!).  She expresses real, genuine love for her family and friends quite often.  It's so cute.  And the way she's already so excited about her baby brother or sister?  There is nothing sweeter than hearing her talk about the baby in mama's belly.  She slays me.  This afternoon, I wasn't feeling particularly well, and I finally told her that (previously I'd just been trying to power through, but couldn't do it anymore today). She immediately told me to "lie down mama!", and she brought me a pillow, put it under my head, and then asked me if I'd like a blanket.  Then she brought a pillow to put over my belly, "for the baby" (uhh, yeah, we'll have to make sure she knows that's not cool once the baby is out!), and then sat with me and cuddled.


Okay, enough sap (and length - geesh!) for tonight.  Guess I could write a novel about that girl of mine.  Don't worry though, another day I'll write about those moments, those oh-my-god-get-me-out-of-here-before-I-scream moments that we all feel as parents.  Because believe me, they are numerous around here!!!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thank You

September was a big month around here.  I had wrestled with the decision to leave my program all summer and finally made it official at the beginning of September.  Then, literally three days later, I found out I was pregnant.  That's some crazy timing right there, folks.  It was a lot of emotional up and down in the span of one week and I can honestly say I don't feel the need to go through that craziness again anytime soon.  But, it made me grow and stretch; uncomfortable spaces make that happen, and it's when I learn the most.  Perhaps the universe was trying to tell me something?

Thank you all for your kind comments, texts, and emails following my last post.  It was definitely the right time to start blogging again; little did I know how soon or how greatly I would need this outlet and all of your support... but I sure do!  So, thank you.

Hopefully we can return to regularly scheduled mommy blogging and move past all this excitement for a little while.  A drama-free, boring pregnancy would be lovely!  

Oh, and to answer Dawn's question, I'm about 7 weeks along and due the end of May!  Still early... still plenty of time to fret and obsess.  My first appointment with my midwife is in 3 weeks.  After that we'll schedule the 1st trimester screening for around 12 weeks, when we'll get another peek at the bean.    

Hoping and praying until then.  

p.s. Does anyone else wish they were as wealthy as Tom Cruise and could buy an ultrasound machine for  home use????  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mind Games

(I saw two lines a few weeks ago...)


Those two lines have lost all the energetic, happy meaning they used to hold.  That they still hold for other people jubilation and relief and happy tears is something I am aware of, but it's a concept so foreign to me that I can't even really imagine it anymore.  It's an out of focus picture, a blurry image I can't make sharp in my mind.  I know that I was that girl once, who took pictures with the positive test, who told her husband excitedly when he came home from work, who skipped around the house because I was going to have a baby!  


You all know that girl is long gone.  Oh well, I say.  I wouldn't want to be that girl again anyway (okay maybe just a little bit).  Since then, I have learned so much, grown as a person, met incredible people, done amazing things... I'm more me now.  Does that make sense?

(Gah, I'm very tangential right now. Sorry.)

It's an interesting mind game that is played when one who has a history of RPL and has also successfully carried a healthy baby to term learns she is pregnant again.  

Hmmm, she thinks.  I've done this once... this worked once before... why not now? Why not again?  Maybe this one could just slip in under the radar all sly-like, mmkay?  Pretty please?

Oh that Hope, it is a feisty, determined little devil.  It never gives up, even when the odds are not in its favor.  Even when - hello, Ella - this is your, what are we up to now?  FIFTH?  Pregnancy?  Yes, yes that's right.  Good luck with that one (ah, there's the other player in this mind game, loudly filling my thoughts with doubt, efficiently tainting any hope that was (is?) there).

Ah well.  Each player has their say, and yet all we can do is trudge on.  And so we do.  Appointments are made, prescriptions are filled, and once again, The Business of Pregnancy-After-Loss commences.  No one is particularly excited (why would they be?) - except your mother and very best friends who hold on to that hope for dear life when you simply cannot allow yourself to go there.  My husband and I don't talk about it, we avoid discussions about baby names, nursery decor, May 2013 in general.

The unspoken words between us become so loud they are deafening.  It builds and builds, that silence, those unspoken words, to the point that I must say something to someone.  It bubbles out - once in a while - some little whisper about May (what a lovely time it would be to have a baby... to feel the warmth of the sunshine as I walk to the park with a baby nursing in a sling, holding Eliza's hand...).  I do it just so I can remember that this is happening.  That this is real.  At least for now.  And then I bottle it back up, praying that I can just save it for later, when we know.  When we know we have a chance.  October 1st is that day.  The day when it will be or it will not be.


October 1st arrives and it is a stunningly beautiful and warm fall day - Minnesota at its finest, truly.  It is a day full of friends and family, of rest, of play and of course some work, and I am reminded how lucky I am.  How grateful I am for what I have.  I hold on to this.  I carry this in my mind as I drive, hands shaking and stomach in knots (is that nausea or nerves?), to the clinic to meet my husband.  I arrive, step into the cold ultrasound room and see the exam table, the stirrups, the ultrasound machine and immediately have a mental conniption. "Nope. Nononononononono I can't do this.  Why am I here?  They are going to see nothing, why am I even here? I'm gonna be that crazy lady with the psychotic pregnancy aren't I?  Yep that's me, folks, right here!".  Hope, once so cocky, runs screaming from my mind and that other player celebrates its win.  Right then and there I am convinced that I will leave crushed and broken and barren (I can be very dramatic sometimes, it's true).  My husband tries to calm me, but really, he's equally as unsure and scared.  We both just want to be anywhere else at that moment.  So we quietly hold hands and steel ourselves for the next 60 seconds.

And then, a dark round circle appears on the screen.  It's empty, Ella, it's empty, I think.  At first it is, and then a split second later it isn't.  It isn't.  Holy @*&! it isn't.

He points. "Perfect cardiac activity, right there."

...yolk sac... embryo... perfect... normal... 

My breath returns to normal and I am free.

Eliza's Stats

Birth: 8 lbs 5 ozs
Going home: 7 lbs 10 ozs
5 days: 7 lbs 13 ozs
2 months: 12 lbs 6 ozs
4 months: 17 lbs
5 months: 18 lbs 12 ozs
6 months: 20 lbs 13 ozs
9 months: 24 lbs 3 ozs
12 months: 26 lbs 13 ozs
15 months: 28 lbs
18 months: 29 lbs 3 ozs
2 years: 32 lbs
3 years: 34 lbs

Alice's Stats

Birth: 8 lbs 11 oz
2 Months: 13 lbs 10 oz
4 Months: 17 lbs 15 oz
6 Months: 20 lbs 4 oz