Thursday, March 31, 2011

let this cup pass

It was just an ordinary afternoon, though the two olders were with Nina.

Sun sliding through the living room window slats onto your perfect baby hand, downy with the reminder of new life.

So really, it was just you and me, and a bottle, and my favorite song.

I started singing it to you, and you grinned up at me and grabbed my wrist.

I'm sobbing again as i write this. I didn't bother wiping my tears from your cheeks because I felt they belonged there.

You know me as Mama. I kiss your tears away, I love you at 2:38 AM when I'd rather be asleep, but for you, I'd be up for the rest of my life at 2:38 AM. Even when I'm 88 and in the nursing home and my hips break when I go to warm up your bottle.

I knew this cry was coming, I knew it was just being held at bay by my stubborn unwillingness to let the knowledge that you may someday leave go from my head to my heart. That knowledge, it trickled down like boiled blood through my veins into the steady pumping of your Mama's ticker.

I always referred to myself as "Foster Mama," as if that pathetic attempt at keeping your sweetness at bay would make the separation easier.
Who do I kid?

Not me, not you. Oh, certainly not you, little downy-headed baby boy with the huge brown eyes and the smile I want to eat.

I am Mama. Humans make attachments and I am yours.

"Oh, God, how could I let him go? How could I ever let him go? Please, I'm begging you, let this cup pass from me. I want to take him to his first day of kindergarten, tell him how babies are made, call his friends all around town to locate him to get the heck back home and do his homework."

I want all of those things, and I may not get them. I may not. And I fear that everything everyone ever said about foster care will ring true...and that everything people warned us about will cause them to say, "I told you so."

But there's that little spark in my heart that tells me that you, God, creator of the heavens and earth and carer for little ol' me, gave us this baby just when we needed Him. And if we can't trust you beyond that, it's not worth much.

But still, the sobs rack the body and the keyboard is a mess. I needed this good, cathartic cry.

I love you, Little Man, I always will. And no matter what, our family got these months with you. We saw your first smile, your first coo, the way you grab Sissy's hands when she snuggles up to you. We love you and you love us and for now that has to be enough.

And the weakness in me says, "Lord, let this cup pass."

"Let this cup pass."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

best one

Things are, um, looking more and more promising regarding Baby Man staying with us.

Repeat after me: "I will not think about Baby Man staying with us. I will not think about Baby Man staying with us. I will not think about what Baby Man's new middle name would be. I will not think about Baby man staying with us."

That's kind of like telling yourself not to think about pink elephants.

See, what are you thinking about now?

He and Asher fell asleep the other day after playing on our bed:

I didn't say we were perfect, but we're a family.

Happy Birthday to me today, #32.

Best. One. Yet.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happy Anniversary

to the guy who makes me spurt milk out my nose.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Dear Baby Girl

Dear Baby Girl,

I love looking at you:
 You seem to have an affinity for the placenta (and why shouldn't you?), and are constantly kicking me...much more than Lucy or Asher ever did.

I constantly have to pinch myself that you are real, that you are in there, that you are a girl, and that you are alive.

Instead of counting down the days until I can see your face and worry about a whole new set of worries, I am committed to enjoying you every day. Talking to you, listening to Lucy tell you good morning and to Asher telling you good night.

Your Daddy tries to feel you but alas, I've eaten too many jelly donuts in the past for him to be able to just yet.

I love looking at your sweet face, and can't believe you are ours, today:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

the dash

We went up to Minneapolis to see family at Scott's aunt's funeral:
 There's something about a funeral that snaps the frame into focus, something about it that makes you think, "What exactly am I doing with this life? Does it matter? Am I making it matter?" Or, more appropriately, "Am I allowing God to make it matter?"

My friend Emily talks often about the dash between the numbers on a headstone. These last 4 days have given me pause in thinking about my own dash. What will people say about me after I'm gone?

We were sitting in the food court of the pit of despair that is the Mall of America and I said to Scott, "Man, it's pretty dang depressing, when you think about how short life is." and he said, "Well, either that, or extremely motivating."

So true.

Scott's aunt Noreen's was a life well-lived. There wasn't a person or an animal that didn't like her, and she had a strong faith and a spirit that never complained, through some TOUGH stuff. She was one tough jean-jacket-wearing chick.

Just been thinking about the dash...not in a depressing way, but in a motivating way.

Thought about that much lately?

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I am a moron.

Yes, her heart looks perfect. She's just facing the placenta and they had a hard time looking through her ribs, so it took a LONG time to get the pictures!

I'm good at not being clear, huh. SORRY!


News flash: If you're lying on an ultrasound table and the sonographer says, "I can't see all four chabmbers of the heart," and "I'm not seeing an aortic arch," turn your head to the side, grab your purse and swig some Diet Coke with lime.

Two sonographers and then a doctor had trouble getting a good look at her heart. It literally took them one hour between the three of them, taking pictures and video.

"I'm really calm," I thought, as they asked me to roll onto my left side for the fourth time that morning. Thank you, Xanax. It was nice, sort of like I was sleepily watching these doctors scramble around.

He went on to take me to his office to discuss the implications of my having one copy of Factor V Leiden. He said he could see me back in 6 or 8 weeks to check her growth and check on the placenta. Growth is perfect now. The Factor V Leiden does not seem to be an issue and he's a little annoyed I was even tested, as early miscarriages don't even seem to be related to having heterozygous Factor V - so much of the population has it and wouldn't know it were it not for overextensive testing.

He gave me a huge study about it all and went over all the parts pertaining to me. LOVE him.

Anyway, if she were any bit behind on growth she will be born then.

I told him 8 weeks was fine; I don't want her coming out any earlier
than 30 weeks.

This is happening quickly.

Love you baby girl!!!!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

the pacifier fairy

Today my sister in law came to visit. She graced me with an offer I couldn't refuse: a trip to Aldi ALL BY MYSELF while she watched my 3 munchkins.

I was stopped at a stoplight, thinking things through, when I glanced down at the center console. I started to smile. Baby things have inundated our house of late. I have a bad pacifier habit. I buy a pack every so often when we probably really don't need any. I have a friend who brags she's never lost a pacifier in her baby-rearing days, and I must say, sadly, in the last 3 months I have lost five of them.

All the little reminders of him, all the ways he's changed and touched our lives. And I decided then and there, sitting in my little mini van on a spring day, I decided this: that even if he goes home, even if my heart aches and I feel like I've been playing forward on the soccer team (is there such a position?) and the wind's knocked out of me and I just want the pain to stop, I'll never, ever

wish those pacifiers away.

Friday, March 18, 2011

she won't be named...


I keep wanting to have a DEFINITE name for our younger daughter, but I don't get much feedback from my husband. He just keeps saying, "Write them on the list, we'll decide at the hospital! Don't we have to look at her to see what she looks like?"

Yes, this is true, and it also keeps people from giving their unwanted opinions, but I want to call her SOMETHING.

 Love Lyla, but it reminds Scott of Lyla Garrity from Friday Night Lights and she wasn't so nice. So, no go.

What about Astrid and Sigrid? He thinks, though Norwegian and go with our last name well, too many manly-sounding "d's" at the end of the name.

Lupita, I love, we would call her Pita, too close to Lucy. Lucy was almost Lupita until someone made fun of it. Honestly, if we could name her anything, I would name her Lucy. Still my favorite name. Guess that is good. Lucy #1 pointed out, "but we wouldn't know which Lucy to call to come to time out."


Rosaria, love, he doesn't.

Love Annika, already have a cousin and friend with girlies with those names. Too confusing.

Love Corin, too close to Carina, my niece's name.

Love Ivy, it IS my niece's name.

Right now I am calling her Evelina, which is Lucy's name of choice.

Got any ideas? Two syllables, starting with L or A?


Tell me your funny name stories.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

the day

has only gone downhill.

The yellow I tried in our bathroom?

Not right.

The new paintbrushes I bought for the occassion?

Destroyed by grubby little hands, painting the walls with water.

Recipe I thought was going to be so yummy and spent alot of time on?


My favorite perfume?

Gone. All over the slide in the backyard. Thank you, Lucy.

I asked her what she was thinking as she did it and she said,

"I wasn't thinking about it."


Scott took the kids to the park.

I needed a break.

a fun afternoon

I had an awesome recipe involving prosciutto (don't even know how to spell it) and parmesan.

I went to the store to get it (Costco) and the parmesan came in 2 pound blocks, at only $13.99 a pound.

They didn't have cabbage and I forgot the ziti shells.

Asher was driving me bonkers.

I love that child.

He is my strong-willed child.

We'll leave it at that, and I won't describe the scene at Costco where he fell off of the side of the cart straight onto his forehead.

I didn't feel all that sorry for him, to be honest.

I had told him 367 times to get off of the cart.

Now he is spending time in his room, complaining about his forehead and lack of snack and time at the playground.

I don't feel sorry for him.

I kept hoping I wouldn't see anyone I knew at Costco.

Of course I did.

Two people I hadn't seen for a year.

The baby slept the whole time.

Guess I won't be napping.


you're strong

I've been thinking lately about the comments from people such as, "Oh, I could NEVER in a million years be a foster parent. I could NEVER give a baby back to the parents."

We get this comment once a week from a lady at church. Aside from being highly annoying for repeating herself over and over again, it's given me cause for pause.

You know, I was talking to my friend this weekend and we were saying that we both must be exceptionally strong. You have to be careful who you say that to because it almost sounds like you are bragging. But I think it must be true.

There must be a lot of people who would buckle under this kind of pressure...being pregnant after so much loss WHILE having a newborn foster child and an older child with some special needs.

Guess it just took me awhile to realize, and I think it's OK to realize the ways in which you have persevered.

This weekend just really made me think about it.

That's OK if you could never foster...or never watch your child go through lots of surgeries...or go through four miscarriages...or battle depression every day...but with God's help, I can.

I've always let those "You're so strong, I could never do that," comments annoy me.

But why should they?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

nothing terrible

has happened. I went away for the weekend and realized that while I am away I will be away from Baby Man for the first time...

which led to thoughts of "what it will be like if he goes home"...

which led to thoughts of, "This is going to be really hard,"...

which led to thoughts of, "I'm feeling really exposed on the blog, everyone's going to know I'm sad if he goes home and I'll have to pretend I'm not..."

which led to thoughts of, "What if I've written too much?"...

which led to thoughts of, "I'm going to password protect for the weekend" and not think about any of it.

I only invited me to the password protect party.

But you're along on this journey, aren't you? And I am ever grateful for your support. I will need it, regardless. Somehow those words on a screen do more for me some days than I can express.

Just so you know.

So, just in case you were wondering, it was a random moment of emotional upheaval.

Ever have any of those?

Better now.

The virgin Margaritas, awesome food, awesome friend, maternity massage, and lots of kicks from little girl made the weekend great.

And my perspective is alot happier.

The end.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


This weekend I am going on a girls' weekend with a dear friend. She planned it awhile ago and I cannot tell you how READY I am to go!

The place cooks for us, Tex Mex the first night with vir*gin drinks, chocolate, all sort of yummy stuff. And the whole weekend we'll just pamper ourselves. Honestly, it's going to be divine.

Maternity massages, too! She is 32 weeks on Saturday and having lots of contractions so it's going to be a verrrrrrrrrrrrry laid-back weekend. (Or maybe not - ha!)

I visited with the new doctor yesterday; she said that if I come to the hospital in labor and all is going well she will let me do a VBAC after 2 c-sections. This made me feel good. I may end up deciding to go with a c-section, but at least if I SHOW UP laboring, she isn't going to cut me open just because I've had previous c-sections.

I get a little nervous with the increased risks of c-section after c-section.

Anyway, not much else to report. I hosted a party at my house for a friend's birthday and here is a picture of that, because I like pictures. Lucy says this picture is "freaky" because of Baby Man's, uh, cosmetic enhancements. This is when it would pay to know how to Photoshop:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

old pictures will do that to you

I was going through pictures taken during the holidays, and I came across several of Scott's illustrations for our family game of Scattergories.

The first was supposed to be a person with an idea, or something like that:
The second was supposed to be Italy...
both look rather phallic and all everyone could think was "pen*ises".

My brother added to the fun with his trademark plumber's crack:
Scott's mom and stepdad were not sure what to think of the fam.
My mom was laughing so hard she was sobbing:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

why I stink at returning phone calls

2:30 AM wake up, husband just coming to bed after helping some guy in India with his computer problems.
3:35 AM wake up, Asher calling for me to turn his "church bells" noise machine back on in his room.
4:07 AM wake up, Baby Man calling for a bottle.
4:28 AM Baby Man finished, dirty diaper changed, Baby Man ready to play. big smiles.
4:30 AM sigh, turn on the television, watch "Who's the Boss" and then decide Baby Man can play by himself
4:38 AM return Baby Man to crib - falls asleep in 10 minutes (BEST BABY EVER)
6:57 AM wake up, hit snooze
7:08 AM wake up, move finger I sliced with a kitchen knife the wrong way, feel wound open
7:10 AM take a deep breath, get out of bed to wake Lulu
7:12 - 7:57 AM continually remind Lucy to eat breakfast, put on shoes, change under*wear, get homework
8:03 AM send Scott and Lucy out the door, wait until they are gone to shut the garage door because I lost the opener.
8:15 AM wake Baby Man up to eat, set him in swing, make Asher 3 pieces of toast and a bowl of Cheerios
8:30 AM make myself Chai Tea, gear myself up for meeting with the doc who I hope will do a VBAC
9:12 AM arrive at Doctor's office with 3 minutes to spare, fill out 9 years' worth of paperwork
9:42 AM meet with OB coordinator, discuss my desire for a VBAC, have her tell me YES, we definitely do those, rejoice a little inside
10:20 AM realize my doc will be out of town until March 14 and I am due for an appointment
10:24 AM OB coordinator takes blood pressure, looks for heartbeat
10:26 AM OB coordinator continues to look for heartbeat, I start to freak
10:28 AM OB coordinator finds heartbeat, it's only 124 BPM
10:29 AM I freak, so does she, just a little.
10:33 AM She tells me to move to my side, I do, Baby Girl's heart rate shoots up to 159, I thank God
10:50 AM Out of doctor's office, off to pick up Lucy. Wait in school driveway
10:52 AM don't make eye contact with anyone, wonder if I look like a jerk.
11:10 AM Lucy bounds into the car, we head to Pier One to pick out presents for Grammy's birthday
11:15 - 11:54 AM Kids fight over what to get Grammy, we nearly break half the glass in the store
11:56 AM Check out, the lady is trying to be nice but I just want to get the hell out of there
12 PM arrive at a restaraunt to do a secret shop
12:15 PM Marvel at my kids' grown-up behavior and Baby Man's lack of crying
12:20 PM suck down so many Diet Cokes that the waitress makes jokes
12:55 PM leave restaurant, head to park
1:07 PM watch kids play at park while Baby Man has his 9th bottle of the day. Decide he needs bigger bottles
1:09 PM Look at the wreck that is my mini van
1:15 PM Watch Lucy bound over and exclaim to me that there is a lake next to the playground.
1:18 PM Follow Lucy, find a huge creek over a hill, thank God that the kids didn't try to jump in.
1:28 PM Baby Man poops.
1:35 PM Lug everyone to the public park restrooms, only to find that they aren't open yet.
1:42 PM Use the port-a-john with Baby Man on my lap. EWWWWWWWWW.
1:46 PM Come out and watch Lu step in a huge puddle. Decide there's no time to change shoes.
1:47 - 1:59 PM Lucy cries about her shoes, stepping on the tan minivan seats while she does.
1:59 PM Arrive at Doc's office for Baby Man's two month appointment.
2:23 PM Leave Doc's office. Thank the stars for fast appointments.
2:25 PM Decide AGAINST going to the health department for vaccinations today.
3:00 PM Arrive home. Return neighbor's call, meet her outside while kids ride around on their bikes.
3:12 PM Baby man poops, neighbor nearly vomits.
3:13 PM I notice my kids' dirty faces.
3:15 - 4:04 PM Neighbor and I try to talk while calling instructions to kids. Asher and her son lock themselves in her house.
4:04 PM I start this blog post.
4:24 PM Lu asks to watch tv. I start her on her ene*ma and realize the catheter bag is broken. Search for another one.
4:28 PM Baby Man cries.
4:30 PM I realize my house is a disaster area and Scott is going to wonder what I did all day.
4:31 PM Tell myself that "leftovers" are just great.
4:36 PM Wonder why I feel so tired.
4:37 PM Decide I'm going to punch the next person who says, "So, you just stay at home?"