Archive | September, 2009

Keep it Together, Momma (aka A Birthday Post)

15 Sep
Whine: Just trying to keep it together. Man, who knew birthdays could make you this happy/sad?

Cheese: Apple. Fritter.

Just one quick question: Does Aerosmith make you cry? Huh, maybe it’s just me.

So we’re sitting in the Walmart parking lot the other day and “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” comes on the radio. You know the one from Armageddon, with the tearful/cheesy scene with Liv Tyler and Bruce Willis on the tv screen? Anyway, I decide to sit in the car until the song is over because actually Aerosmith is my favorite band in the world (I know this makes you seriously question my taste) and I for some inexplicable reason have a crush on Steven Tyler (which should make you question my taste even more, really).

So Steven is scream-singing away, my kiddos are sitting like little car-seat prisoners in the back waiting for Mommy to release them, and the next thing I know, I’m cry-singing.

I don’t want to close my eyyyyeeeees, I don’t want to faaaaaaalllllll asleeeeep, cause I’d miss you, baby, and I don’t want to miss a thiiiiing. 

I don’t know what happened, but every time the song came back to the chorus, I thought of my two sweet baby girls sitting back there and how they keep growing and changing and moving toward independence. And I love ’em so much, I really, really don’t want to miss anything. Until they drive me bonkers, then I ship ’em off to Grandma’s.

I’m sure all my doctor-friend readers out there are writing out prescriptions for Lexapro right about now, but I’m fine, I swear. It’s just that every once and a while I have these moments where I can see above all the daily details of mommyhood and into the people they are becoming, and it just kind of, well, makes me cry.

So you can imagine how well I’m doing today. The day my oldest baby girl turns four. Four years ago yesterday, I was in so much misery waiting for this gigantic (8 lbs. 11oz.) overdue baby to come out that I was seriously considering a do-it-yourself C-section. And four years ago today, I was the happiest woman in the world. I was so happy that I couldn’t even call my friends and family to tell them the news. I’d start to say it, then as soon as I had to say her name, I got all tangled up in my tearful happiness and had to pass the phone on to Mr. Dad.

Her name is Sophia Joy.

And she has been that from the very beginning. Joyful and bright. Enthusiastic and warm. And not only is she a picture of joy (most of the time) she has been a joy. And not just to her adoring and admittedly-biased parents. She has brought joy to so many others from the time she was just a little thing. Her kindness and generosity, her willingness to consider other people’s needs. Her contagious giggle. Even as a baby she seemed to know that sometimes people just needed to cuddle her and make silly faces at her; she never fussed at being passed from one  person to the next (and I didn’t fuss a whole lot about getting a break.) To this day, she is uniquely considerate and gentle (unless Lil’ Sis is involved, of course) and loves to celebrate with anyone–planning parties, giving (and receiving) presents, singing the happy birthday song.

I told her today while we were out on a special birthday date that every day of her life she has been loved. Every day. She just kept licking her ice cream cone and started talking about bees or something, but I hope she does know that. And I’m not sure what Sophie will be when she grows up. I don’t care if she’s an event planner or a geographer or a refrigerator mechanic or a cheerleader.  What I do hope for her is that she will always know how loved she is. But not just so that she can save it up inside of her heart for a rainy day (although I hope she does) but so that she can be someone who really loves other people. Not everyone gets to hear how loved they are all the time, so I’m hoping to give Sophie enough to share. And if the first four years are any indication, I think we’re on the right track.

 

Sophie, 6 months

Sophie, 6 months old

 

First Day of School 2009

 

(I’m very sorry about the formatting of this post. Apparently WordPress is feeling quite temperamental today, so you’ll have to excuse it, perhaps it’s been crying listening to Aerosmith, too. )

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Quick! Somebody call the Waaaaambulance!

12 Sep

Whine: Just got my bill(s) for last month’s trip to the ER. If I’d known how much it was going to cost, I would’ve shoved a straw full of salt water into my arm myself. Then gone out and bought a new dining room set. Seriously.

Cheese: In 27 or 28 or 29 (hopefully not 29) weeks I get to have a baby. Yay!  After all the trouble this one’s put me through, s/he better be one good baby. (Oh yeah, I’m gonna milk this rough trimester for the rest of this kid’s life, believe you me.)

 

Before we left on vacation in July, I was suspicious, but there was no proof. 

I spent the vacation eating whatever I darn well pleased and not throwing it up. I jetskied and waterskied. I imbibed large quantities of lake water (which, incidentally, coincided with the waterskiing) and Diet Coke. I pranced around the lakefront in my tankini with my flat(ish) tummy, like someone who is definitely not host to a teeny-tiny alien.

Then we came home.

I kid you not, on the car ride home from the airport, things began churning and burbling in my stomach. Things that ought not be churning and burbling. And, finally a day’s worth of Diet Coke paid off and I had my proof.

As if I needed it. My stomach began waging war with any and all food substances I had the gall to introduce. “What?!? A popsicle?!? How dare she?!? Get it out, troops, and I mean NOW!!!” 

So next thing I know I’m in a hospital bed in the local ER, just begging someone, anyone to hit me over the head with a heavy object. Instead they pumped a couple of liters of salty water into me and gave me more of the Zofran that I’d already been taking that CLEARLY WASN’T WORKING SINCE I WAS IN THE HOSPITAL FOR VOMIT-INDUCED DEHYDRAYTION. Then, finally, some beautiful, glorious nurse gave the doctor what for and got me some phenergan. That stuff was so good I lost my ability to speak and move my limbs independently, but hey, I wasn’t throwing up anymore, so what did I care?

A few days later, I found myself curled up in a ball on the floor of my entryway. Apparently my ex-medicine, The Evil Zofran, causes certain parts of your body (i.e., intestines, etc) to stop working properly, and so I had quite the stomach ache. The pain could only be compared to what it must feel like to have a very large giraffe elbowing you in the abdomen. I couldn’t move, but found solace in the fact that I had left some beach towels on the floor nearby, so that when I threw up from the searing pain, it ended up in the towel and not on my floor. Although my kitchen floor was not so fortunate.

For a week or two after that, I functioned more like a zombie than a Mommy. My daily activities consisted of moving from the bed to the couch and back to the bed again. I “ate” chicken broth and popsicles, which miraculously began to stay down, thanks to my new BFF phenergan (take that, stupid Zofran).

And finally, little bits of normalcy began to return. I began bathing, again, for example. And standing upright. And eating foods that required chewing. I was (and still am) not quite fully-functional. Episodes of Making Dinner! and Washing Clothes! around here are celebrated for the rarities they are. But eating food and showering and acknowledging the existence of my children are definite improvements over my previous condition.

But before you all start composing messages of deepest sympathy, and drafting me as the  first pick in your Fantasy Crisis League, I want to put all this into a little bit of perspective. As much as (or mostly) for myself as for you.

I have never been more sick in my life. Or more cared for.

Who took me to the ER? My mom. Who took my kids while I was grossly overpaying for unnecessary medications in said ER? My mother-in-law. Who dragged my drugged, semi-lifeless body home from the ER? My husband. (Whose fault this is anyway. Am I right, ladies?)

Who came to my rescue when I was writhing in pools of my own, well, nevermind…? Who cleaned up after me? Dragged my sorry carcass to the bathtub? Stopped me from giving up halfway to the potty when I said “I can’t go any further, I’ll just pee on the floor.”? (Thanks again for that one!) My sister-in-law and superstar in a crisis, Rachelle, who always seems to be around when I am at most humiliatingly worst and still likes me.

Who took everything all in stride? Never complained about the lack of eggs and bread and clean underwear? Who assumed role of father and mother? Who let me disappear into my bed every evening at 7pm? Who encouraged me that I wasn’t, in fact, losing my mind and that I would eventually feel human again? Mr. Dad, of course. Although you’d expect at least a little sympathy from him, since I’m the one doing all the work of growing this kid. 

Who made dinners, fielded sobbing phone calls, washed my clothes, watched my kids, said lots of prayers, bought groceries, sent encouraging cards/texts/FB messages and CLEANED MY KITCHEN?? You, my friends, you did.

And that gift, the gift of true friends who stick around when all you have to offer is vomit and stories about vomit, that is one I’ll never regret receiving. Ever. Even if it means stumbling through a few months of unshowered oblivion. You mean that much to me. Shoot, now I’m crying. Better call the waaaaambulance. Again.