Monday, October 31, 2011

Suck It Sears!

We can't afford professional pictures right now. Trying to make it on one income and all. Besides when Nora was 4 months we had a horrific experience at our local Sears Portrait. I swore I would never go back. And I haven't! I used some old sewing scraps to make a background and used Lucy's cloth diapers and hats.
Suck it Sears! Who needs your portrait specialist when you have a motivated momma?!?! HAHA! I win!
I'm not bitter or anything.  PS. NEVER get photos done at the Westminster Sears, call me instead! 

A big thank you to Marta who is letting me use her beautiful Cannon while our Sony camera was sitting in a FedEx Mailbox for 20 days!!! It was never picked up!!! We finally found it after lots of phone calls, accusations and tears. The camera is on it's way to Texas to be fixed. Hopefully we'll have it back for Thanksgiving. (Just to clarify, I was the one being accused and crying. Damn FedEx! They have a BBB complaint coming their way!)

Pictures of the defiant one will be posted soon. She hits two and a half and BOOM! "No pictures Mom!" Thank goodness for the hairy one, she doesn't know any better yet!

Friday, October 28, 2011

My Little Pumpkin

I've been a wee bit obsessed with putting Lucy in a pumpkin and taking oodles and oodles of pictures. It hasn't been all fun times though, make sure you check out the last picture. At least this little princess has somewhat cooperated with my schemes. The other little princess will have nothing to do with pictures or cute little pumpkin hats. Sigh. Breaking my heart.

LOOK! A baby in a pumpkin!

I might have a little too much time on my hands.... or I've become an expert at procrastinating. But come'on it's a BABY! IN A PUMPKIN!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lucy's Tale

Today brings us to the story of Lucy. Why? It's a very special date with special meaning. So allow me to start at the beginning:

October 11, 2000.
The day your father and I met. I was an innocent 19 year old student at Towson University. Your father was the experienced almost 27 year old manager of the local Jiffy Lube. I applied for a part time job at his Jiffy Lube since it was only about 3 blocks down the street from my dorm. We met, he hired me and shortly after we started to hang out after work having margaritas with limes and generally enjoying each other's company. One night soon after we began dating, your father turns to me and says "I don't want this to be anything serious or become a long term relantionship. I'm really just looking to have some fun." Being the college freshman, I whole-heartily agreed.

October 11, 2010.
Ten years to the day we met, Lucy was conceived. Here is her birth story that I wrote for her a few weeks ago: (pardon the length and I am only publishing it so it is saved. Please feel free to skip to the bottom)

"Your gestational stay was not as smooth or easy as your sister's. You made me quite ill from day one. I spent the entire month of November deathly ill. I projectile vomited all over my work parking lot. Twice. I couldn't shake this feeling that something wasn't right. I kept having this sense of immpending doom. I became a worry wort and thought of all the possible things that could go wrong. I had anxiety about everything. We kept your presence a secret from family and friends until January. I went to the OB for my 14 week check up. I took your sister and went to their easy to get to satelite office for an early morning appointment. My OB couldn't find your heartbeat. Of course the satelite office didn't have an ultrasound machine and off to the hospital (where the main office is located) we went. The drive there I was convinced you had died. I cried and cried and couldn't get your father on the phone. I kept talking to you saying that I was sorry we had not annouced your presence and I was completely thrilled with you taking up residence in my uterus. If you were still alive I would celebrate and tell everyone about you. I had to wait almost 2 hours for an ultrasound. Poor Nora had nothing, not even a diaper since I had only planned on a 20 minute trip. She dug through my purse in the waiting room and found a crumbled candy cane from Christmas and a light keychain from Hart, MI. These kept her entertained and I found the keychain as a sign from Mrs. Juska that everything was going to be alright. I didn't even know it was in my purse. The keychain was one we had purchased when we took Nora to go see Mrs. Juska's grave in summer of 2009 in Hart, MI. I knew Mrs. Juska was sitting with me then and no matter what, she was watching over me. Finally, an ultrasound tech was was available. None of the techs wanted to scan the woman with a possible dead fetus. I sat on the table with Nora praying hard and the machine turned on, the cold gel and wand slabbed over my belly. Not even 5 seconds passed when the tech said, "the baby is fine! It's right here." She grabbed my hand and I cried tears of joy. You had apparently burrowed your face into my spine and fell asleep so your little heart was hard to hear. Your father finally called when I was walking back to my car from the hospital. I had to go through that entire ordeal alone. He was in a panic from my voicemails and about to drive to the hospital. We told our families and celebrated the next day.

Your difficult uterine-stay did not end there. When we went for the big 20 week anotmy scan I was excited to find out your sex and make sure you were growing. Your father took off work, we got a babysitter for Nora and even went out to lunch. But just because we made it into a big day did not mean that you did. When the tech was doing the ultrasound, you did not want to move. We couldn't get the measurements that were needed or find out your sex. I like to think you were either going to be a slug or a diva because I had to return for 5 more ultrasounds until the techs could get all the measurements they needed. You were so uncoorporative! Most of the time it seemed like you were asleep but a few times it just appeared like you were spiteful and purposely not moving. Even on the last ultrasound at 36 weeks, the tech only said "probably a girl but I can't really see; she isn't being very coorporative." Your father liked to say, "Of course she's a girl! Only a girl would be this diffcult!" Silly Daddy.

Your name was also decided about 12 hours before your birth. I had fallen in love with the name Edith Elizabeth. I would call you Edie. HOWEVER, after loving this name for months and even calling you Edie, your father finally admitted he did not like the name Edith at all. This was about a month before your birth. He did not want to name you Edith because all he could think of was Edith Bunker from a TV show called 'All in the Family'. I found this to be a riduculously stupid reason why to not like a name. Gwendolyn (my second choice) he said he could live with but wasn't crazy about . I became very annoyed and said to him "THEN YOU COME UP WITH SOME NAMES!" Of course your father being your father said, "Oh no, I don't come up with the names, I just have veto powers." Typical. Frustrated I went on the social security adminstration top 1000 names and went through all 1000 writing down any that I sort of liked. I had a list of about 20 names and I sat your father down and said "Ok I am going to say a name and you need to immediately say YES or NO." I wanted his first reaction. I began with: "Lucille." I waited and waited. "YES OR NO?!?" I yelled impaitiently. Your father finally said, "I really like that name." Now I was dumbfounded. "WHAT?! How can you like Lucille and not Edith?!? Don't you just think of Lucille Ball? Like Edith Bunker?" Your father looks at me like I'm the insane one and says, "No. I think of B.B. King's guitar." And that's how we decided on Lucille.

I was never able to shake that feeling of doom, even after the scare with the heartbeat and the constant stream of frustrating ultrasounds. My OB and I decided on a repeat scheduled c-section. We differed on when to do it though. She said 39 weeks around June 27th. I said to give you 40 full weeks and take you at 40 weeks 1 day. I won since it was my body after all. We sceduled a c-section for 9am on July 5th. I didn't really win since you decided to make your own entrance on your own terms. At 2:30am on July 4th I woke up went to the bathroom and lost my mucas plug. By 3:30am the regular contractions had started. It was your due date. Ironically, the same thing happened with Nora, the morning of her due date Wednesday, March 25 around 2:30am I lost my mucus plug and by 3:30am I was in labor. Coinsidence? I have no idea but it sure is weird. Nora was picked up by Nonni and Nonna and off to the hospital we went. The hospital was dead. It was a holiday afterall. In fact, only 3 babies were born at the hospital that day and you were one of them! This is a pretty large hospital too. The next day, July 5th there were at least 14 babies born! Anyway... the intake nurse did not think I was in labor and thought I was just dehydrated and cramping. I was trying to tell her otherwise when I was hit with a bad contraction. You know you're in labor when the contractions make you stop talking. I was already caught off gaurd about going into labor and kept feeling like something was off. I laid down on the gurney so the intake nurse could take my vitals and yours. I did give her at least 90 seconds to find your heartbeat before I freaked out. And when I did I really freaked out.  I started to yell and scream for your father to go find Dr. Kesler. I began to panic and start to cry. I knew this was it. You had died. You had died in my tummy and I would have to give birth to a dead baby. I was horrified. Barking orders at the intake nurse to go and get a doctor or her supervisor. She and your father were trying to calm me down but I was inconsolable. Finally the supervising nurse came in from all my ranting and I shouted: "We can't find the heartbeat!" Please HELP!" Needless to say my complete and utter freakout was for nothing. They found your heartbeat shortly after. I felt slightly foolish. Once the drama was over, my doctor determined I was in labor and almost 4 cm dialated. There is some rule about a c-section patient, since I was already in labor the hospital only had 30 minutes from the time of intake to get me into the operating room. WHOOSH! Thus began the most insane whirlwind of doctors and nurses into this teeny tiny intake room. I had at least 10 people swarming around me putting in central IV, catheters, tubes, ultrasound to determine position, anthesologist, pediatrician, nurses all decended upon us. At one point I started shaking in fear telling your father I couldn't do this. My doctor grabbed my hand and said "Everything is going to be all alright."

And it was. I had a wonderful c-section experience with you. The anthelologist was German and absolutely hilarious! Your pediatrician was too, hilarous, not German. The nurses were kind and the surgeon assisting my doctor was compentent, really talented and a girl! The drugs were lovely and I was alert and calm the whole time. You were born at 11:06am on July 4th. We checked in the hospital at about 10:40am. Yeah, it was quick. The whole operationg room ran like a well oiled machine but it was light and cheery too. Good conversation, competent people who clearly enjoyed their jobs. I felt great and was taken very good care of. The staff were clearly concerned about my well being and yours. Overall, it was a joyous experience. Once they opened my uterus my doctor exclaimed, "Oh my! This kid has a lot of hair!" In my 'la-la' state from the friendly German anthesliogist, I just said, "Yeah, my other one had hair too." I had no idea. You were soon extracted from my belly. I heard "Yup, it's a girl!" "She's healthy! Over 8lbs! Everything looks good!"  You cried immediately, sooner than Nora did and I began to cry when I heard you cry. I had an overwhelming feeling of relief since my pregancy was plagued with a pesky ominous feeling. I didn't see you until they had cleaned you up, put a hat on and brought you over to me. All of the nurses commented on your hair I saw a strand or two sticking out from beneath your hat. Even the pediatrician said something about your hair. I kept thinking, "Yes, yes, I know. Nora had hair too." I wasn't prepared for what I was about to see. Your father wheeled you into recovery and the doctors finished up in the O.R. with me. I met you both in recovery a few minutes later. Finally, I was able to hold my little bundle of joy. All swaddled and warm with that cute pink and blue newborn hat. The hat began to slowly slip off your head. For the first time I was able to get a good look at your head.
 Everyone in the room, the nurses, your father almost in sync said, "We TOLD you." I responded in shock, "I didn't think it was THIS MUCH hair!!!!"

 How we celebrated your 4th of July birth. Grandma got to see you within a half hour of birth in recovery, Grandpa shortly after. They were able to attend your first bath in the nursery as I was puking from all those lovely drugs. Nonni and Nonna, Aunt Katie and Uncle Kevin and Aunt Molly all came that night. And of course Nora. She was so excited to meet you and hold you. But then she was just as excited to go eat dinner with Daddy in the cafeteria. Go figure. Your father and I spent a week in the hospital, well 4 days just being with you. It was our special time together just the three of us. You were a champion eater and pooper. Boy did you poop. You were really healthy and fun. Most days you slept, most nights you slept. Now we know why it was so hard to take an ultrasound scan, you were always sleeping!!!! We ate, went on walks through the hallways and visited with friends and then ate some more. I will always treasure this time in the hospital because it was just us without any pressure from the world. You were so new and so lovely. We came home on Thursday night, we were able to sneak out of the hospital a night early since it was my second birth. I would feed you in the middle in the night and sometimes we would fall right back asleep together. Your little body still on my chest. One of the first nights at home, I woke up to this tickling feeling on my cheek. I open my eyes to find you on my chest brushing my face with your tiny fist. Your eyes so awake and wide staring at me. It was like you were trying to memorize my face and gazing at me as if to say, "This is what you look like! I have been waiting to see you."

So you see today is a very special day in our family. I had no idea 11 years ago that I would be sitting here in a house of my own with a husband, 2 daughters, 2 dogs and a cat. I had no idea 11 years ago that I all really wanted in life was love from my family. And it would be this incredible love which would nourish my life and not an endless stream of parties, friends, nice material things, travel experiences and fun expeditions late into the night. Ok, I still have expeditions late into the night but now it involves a nursing infant and diapers. I had no idea I would give up my professional life to be a stay at home mom. 11 years ago today, my life changed forever when your father and I crashed into each others' lives and the universe decided that a hairy infant would eventually bless those two wild kids at Jiffy Lube and make the world smile.

I love you Lou.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Winning Moments

Don't judge. I still haven't committed to any changes or a new blog. I have played around but mostly I waste nap times on Baby Center birth boards or prowling Facebook or perusing the Internet for dairy-free recipes that is if I'm not doing an endless list of chores or napping myself. Have I not mentioned the hairy one appears to be dairy sensitive? Sensitive meaning not life threatening just massive amounts of puke. Of the projectile variety. Yummy. We caught it fairly early at 2 months and I have been dairy free b/c I'm the only food source for her. No more cheese or ice cream or milk chocolate. BUT! The projectile vomit is a thing of the past. Win!

Last weekend we celebrated Aunt Molly's 21st birthday. We kept it ultra-classy with a massive McDonald's dinner on a table cloth on the floor of Molly's 300 sq ft efficiency in Takoma Park with the entire family. Yep, all 12 of us consumming Mickey D's with sparkling apple juice. Classy Win! Please reference the pictures for a more accurate illustration of events:

We also got to play with TEDDY! Another Win! I think last weekend was the first time Teddy and Lucy even realized the other existed. I caught the moment of recognition with a photograph that says to me: "Hey! Another thing that looks like me!"

And since we were down in the College Park area we had to stop by and take our favorite college student, Becca out for lunch! Oh what fun we had at the diner together! Higher Ed Win!

Go ahead and judge... the only way I can feed myself and children if I allow them to watch TV while I prepare a meal. It's either that or the drive-through for every meal. We begin and end our days on the couch, in front of the boob tube. Lucy loves to watch TV. On a more serious note, Lucy has some eye issues that we are dealing with. Anyone heard of Marcus-Gunn Jaw Wink? She has that along with astigmatism in both eyes (abnormal for infants) and a left eye that doesn't want to stay open when the right one is winking. Complicated? Yes. We are going for regular eye appointments until she needs glasses at 12 months or the problems resolve on their own. So I allow her to watch TV since her world is more blurry than it should be and we don't know for sure how much she can see yet. So when she shows interest in that HUGE light 8ft in front of her (Nels has a 60in TV. Excessive? Yes!), I let her stare all she wants, which in turn allows me to cook a meal. Wins all around!

"Mommy! I can see a something bright and moving!" Yes, Lucy, one would have to be blind not to see that monstrosity of a TV. But I'm glad you're enjoying yourself!
 Finally, an experiment. Would Lucy still be cute without her hair which is her signature piece? The answer: Absolutely! Although it takes a hardy hat to contain all the hair and this one only lasted about 10 minutes before her hair won out. Hair-1 Hats-0.

I broke our camera (Loose!). It's off to be repaired by Sony... on their dime so that sort of takes the sting out of not having the camera. Maybe without my photo-taking obession, I can focus on getting my mommy blog off the ground. Or maybe I'll just spend the time snuggling with the two of you on the couch. Double WIN!