Sunday, September 30, 2012
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
First, a few fun facts about me:
(1) I cry at weddings. Every single one. I honestly do not think there has ever been a wedding I have not cried at. Lest you get all comical and insinuate I'm crying because I'm sad for people..let me just cut you off right there, DAD. I just think it is the sweetest, most vulnerable time in a couple's relationship.
(2) I want to get remarried. To the same man, of course. If I could live my life planning weddings (but only the fun parts), I would do it in a heartbeat. Of course, if I could somehow figure out how to be the one getting married over and over again - it would be a dream come true (minus the everyone-looking-at-you part. I didn't love that).
(3) Weddings are about my only excuse I get to dance anymore and I forgot how much I love it!!!
On Saturday, one of my best friend's daughters got married. Mr. Howard and I got a sitter (thanks Nana! You're AMAZING!) and spent the evening talking with friends and dancing!! My former boss, the man responsible for hiring me, was the officiant (he was the bride's principal for kindergarten through 5th grade - how sweet is that?!?) at the wedding and he did such a fabulous job. I leaned over part way through the ceremony and told the hubby that I want Ed to do a vow renewal for us. He's just so sweet and so genuine. He is one of those people that you meet and just fall in love with because he has SUCH a sweet heart. My sister was also their photographer and she just did the most amazing job (as always). That sounds so funny...my boss was the officiant, my sister was the photographer, and my best friend was the mother of the bride! Ha!
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Friday, September 21, 2012
This probably won't interest anyone but me and the grandparents, but Connor is starting to really speak - I mean, in sentences, with details, and hand gestures. It's amazing, isn't it? I mean, I grew him. In my belly. I held him in my arms when he was seconds old and nursed him when he was hours old. Okay, I know I'm going off on a tangent. But HOW is he three plus years old?!?
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Last Wednesday I got the following email from BlogHer.
They featured me on Blogher's front page. I don't think I'm the best writer ever, but I hope that I write some of the things that you all are thinking and feeling. Whether or not you're a mom, I hope you can relate to the exasperation one might feel with trying to fit it all in. Whether or not you're married, I hope you can relate to the amount of work a relationship takes. And whether or not you've lost a child, I hope you can relate to the grief that a person feels when they've lost someone they love. At the end of the day, I write because it's cathartic and I love the community I've discovered in the process.
Monday, September 17, 2012
I've written this and rewritten it a million times. How do I say everything I want to say?
Two years ago, today, at exactly 5:43am I delivered my beautiful sweet second son - my precious baby boy - you, Cole. We held you in our arms and kissed your sweet head. We prayed over you and cried over you. Your Nana and Aunt Katie came to the hospital to see you and love on you and all our other friends and family sent warm wishes, texts, and prayers. We dressed you in a beautiful gown that some sweet person made especially for tiny babies like you. We took pictures with you and then had pictures done of you - for us to keep and cherish forever. We counted your perfect ten fingers and kissed your sweet, perfect ten toes. We held you and rocked you and sang to you. We even fell asleep with you in our arms. It seems like it was just yesterday.
Cole, I miss you every day, with every waking breath I take. I know that you are up in Heaven playing with all your friends and our family, but it doesn't make me miss you any less. You may have only been 9 ounces; we may have only held you for a few hours, but you made a huge impression on our hearts. To say you changed who I am, is probably one of the biggest understatements of my life. You made me the mom I am.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
The backstory. Several months ago, I noticed that the babies weren't meeting their milestones. They'd meet it a month or two late and I'd feel a sense of relief, but then the next milestone would come along and again they wouldn't meet it. It was enough to make me worry (the worrying is nothing new), but I worried ENOUGH that I emailed our pediatrician. He confirmed my fears and referred me to a pediatric development specialist, who sent us surveys. After answering questions like, "when giving your child a pen/crayon/pencil, does he/she try to scribble on a paper?" and "does your baby balance, while holding onto a wall or table and bend down to pick up a fallen object?", we heard back that the babies were behind - but didn't qualify. I had this Mama gut feeling that I needed to pursue other resources and so I contacted ALTA regional services (our early intervention services provided by our state). Not only did they confirm that the babies were delayed, but also that they qualified for 2-3 hour weekly therapy services and 2-3 hour monthly OT services. I can't tell you what a sense of relief it was. Up until then, I felt crazy. More specifically, I felt judged. I either got the "you're being a crazy, over-worrier Mama who won't let her kids just do things at their own pace," reaction or the "Oh, goodness. Your kids aren't walking yet?!? Mine have been speaking in complete sentences fluently in English and Mandarin Chinese for months" reaction.
So, finally after a month of trying to coordinate schedules, the babies had their first therapy session on Tuesday. The provider we're using is under-staffed and it's been difficult trying to find a day and time that will work. (I don't know how parents do it who both have inflexible jobs!). We're blessed in that Mr. Howard has some flexibility with his schedule and can work nights on the days when the babies receive therapy, but it's going to be a bit of a challenge to figure it out. We feel wonderfully lucky, however, that the services are there for kids who need a little extra boost!
We really like our therapist and so we're confident that this is going to be a good fit for us and our family.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
For my birthday, my sister gave Mr. Howard and I a gift card to see a movie AND babysitting. Does she know me or what?!? The best possible gift you can give me, at this stage of my life, is an hour or two to recharge with my hubby! =)
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
I've sung the praises of my husband in terms of his handiness a time or two on this blog. I am so lucky. When my break pads go out, he knows how to fix them. When our toilet is leaking, he can spend an hour or two investigating and rig up some sort of fix. When we want to build something (like a raised patio), he can custom design it and build it!
So, when my sister needed her break pads changed, it was a no brainier. He quickly asked her how long had it been since she had changed her oil and planned to do that at the same time. During naptime on Sunday, he went and bought her front break pads and oil so that he could do it when she met me for book club (she left her car at our house and I drove her to book club). I checked in with him at around 8pm and he said he had fixed them, but just needed to test drive the car (which he couldn't do until we got home because the babies were sleeping).
When we got home, he took the car for a test drive and realized her rear break pads were completely gone! Gone, gone, gone - so he hurried to AutoZone before they closed. The top is a picture of what her break pads looked like; below is what they should look like.
After my mom came and got her, Mr. Howard finally got it all fixed. He was just finalizing a couple things (it was 11:30pm at this point) and started to get tired and sloppy. He made a sharp move and sliced open his finger pretty badly. I was about 99% sure he would need to go to the emergency room - but I was mostly scared about him because he was so lightheaded. The thought of him passing out petrified me. How on earth would I get him to the car?!? Thankfully, after being on hold with an advice nurse for a while, we got the bleeding to stop. (After Mr. Howard's accident a few years ago*, we have to be very conscious of staph infections - so that's the concern now). I am actually kinda shocked he didn't need stitches to suture the cut - because it is pretty deep (as in, I-really-try-not-to-look-at-it-because-it-makes-me-queasy-because-you-can-see-things-you-shouldn't-see-inside-his-thumb deep). You'd think I'd be an expert after having to pack the wound in his foot with gauze for 7 weeks. But, I'm not.
My sister felt so bad, which was silly because she had nothing to do with it breaking or Mr. Howard getting hurt - but thankfully, it's done and her car's all taken care of for a little while. =)
*For those who don't know, Mr. Howard crushed his foot in between a pallet jack and a wall and couldn't get it out, five years ago. His foot swelled so big, it was the size of his thigh. The swelling caused his skin to actually rip open and he had a 1.5 inch diameter wound at his ankle and was out of work for several months. It was right before our wedding and he was actually using a cane the day we got married (he did not use the cane in our ceremony). On our honeymoon (after beaches and sand and all sorts of adventures), we finally went to urgent care and it was determined he had an infection. He took antibiotics for weeks and it didn't fix it. Initially they told him he did not have staph, but then after about 6 weeks of antibiotics, they finally did diagnose him with a staph infection.
Monday, September 10, 2012
What a crazy weekend! On Saturday after the zoo, we went grocery shopping at target (and met the hubby's coworkers), took the kids out to lunch, and then went home for naps. After naps, I ran around trying to find a dress for a wedding I'm going to in two weekends. I haven't bought a new dress since before having kids and it was time to get something new! When I finally found something, we hurried home for dinner, bath, and bedtime. After putting the babies to bed, we watched The Lorax with Connor. Such a cute movie!
Then, Sunday we had to go back out to get more groceries (they were losing it after a long day at the zoo on Saturday and we only got half the things on our list). We came home and played for a bit. I made P.F. Changs Lettuce Wraps using this recipe for lunch. I didn't think they tasted like the real thing, but it was a nice change from what we normally eat for lunch. Afterwards, I put the kids down for a nap while Mr. Howard ran to Auto Zone to get oil for my car and then came home and did my oil change. I sat on the ground in the garage with him while he did it and we talked and talked (without any three-year-old or one-year-old interruptions!). Once the kids woke up from their naps, we played a little while and then I got changed and ready for book club. I thought since I was dressed nicely, I would try to get a picture with the kids. Ha!
Sunday, September 9, 2012
It's 5:30am in my house. It's pitch black and completely silent, aside from the occasional motorcycle I can hear go past my house. "Why are you awake before 6am on a weekend?!" I can only imagine you are thinking, rather shouting, to the screen. I had a horrible nightmare. One involving my kids. And no matter how much I stayed in bed willing myself to go back to sleep, convincing myself it was just a dream...it was just a dream...it is not working. I am up. And now, it's taking everything in me not to go scoop up Aiden (he was the prominent one in my nightmare) and cuddle him on the couch. I know, however, if I do that, he will wake up and be miserably off schedule all day.
So, while I'm up from unfortunate circumstances, I thought I might as well try to distract myself from nightmares, and scooping up children, and all the other stresses and worries I start to think about whenever I'm already upset.
Yesterday, we went to the zoo again. It's so funny; growing up, my parents rarely took us to zoos, aquariums, and kid museums. My dad hated the zoo...thought they were boring. He loved museums, but felt like taking us to the real thing was better than taking us to a kid one. I don't know if it's on purpose or if it's just what my husband and I like to do, but we go ALL.THE.TIME. We have annual memberships to the zoo and go maybe 20-30 times a year? I just think there is something so refreshing about getting out of the house, being active (walking, skipping, jumping, climbing...) and watching animals in all their beauty. It's especially fun right now for Connor because he's starting to figure out the names of animals, what they look like, and why one animal looks like another. The questions that come out at the zoo remind me of why we go: spending time being inquisitive is essential to growth. I just adore watching him make connections.