Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Getting pregnant with Rowan was a miracle. Glorious, fabulous. Amazing. So wanted. Of course, it happened right when we didn't expect it, when we'd given up, when we were too busy to think about it. We were so lucky that everything went as well as it did (well, I consider a torn ACL, surgery, 4 months of puking, awful pain, physical therapy, and 29 hours of labor to be not so bad).

I'm hoping we can get lucky again.

It took me a while to get to this point. No, we're not pregnant, and haven't started trying again, but I finally got to the point where I think I am ready.

Then some bad things happened.

I'm not talking about the kids of other bloggers who died randomly and unjustly and so tragically. That was and is awful, yes. I wasn't a reader, so I wasn't invested myself, but the echoes were heard around the blogosphere.

No, but that same week, just after I had the realization that I was "ready", my friends lost their baby, just days after his official due date. He died in utero, and she had to go through labor and bury her child. This child that she didn't think she wanted to try for, until after she held my new baby for the first time. The child he had always dreamed of, a perfect son.

Then, another friend, someone from my high school class, wrote to me. He and his wife found their baby had severe heart defects and Downs Syndrome during a sonogram. They chose to end the pregnancy.

Dear God.

I've been trying to wrap my head and heart around this for weeks. I've thought, I've prayed, I've thought some more. I've talked with Dr. B. I've rejoiced in the healthy births of friends' and family's children. And then I looked at my little girl.

And I so want for her to have a brother or sister. She deserves as much love as we can give her in this life.

I am fearful. I am scared. Worried, anxious, you name it, I am feeling it. My age, the history of PCOS, my doctor's questions. The first pregnancy, gone in miscarriage. The months of grieving for our baby. The months of trying, the disappointment.

The ultimate question: what if that was it?

There are many things going on in our lives in the near future. Big trips coming up, plans, exciting things. These things I could use as excuses to put it off. But then I remember my birthday coming up, and I know I can't.

Soon, I think we'll start down the path to trying again.

Please, God. Please.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Danny Evans Is My Hero

For parents, DadGoneMad.com is required reading. (Well, at least for those who don't mind or better yet totally love inappropriate, swear-word filled rantings that make you laugh until stuff comes out your nose while your heart is being torn into little tiny pieces.) Danny is an amazing writer, and he recently got a book deal. His book, Rage Against the Meshugenah: Why it takes Balls to go nuts, comes out August 4. (It is available for pre-order on Amazon, and will also be carried by Target, Borders and Indie Bound.)

I'm a Danny fan. Big-time. I read every post, comment on a few, and have even forced him into a game or two of online pseudo-Scrabble. His honesty, forthrightness, and courage inspire me. His anger and fear and discussions of gross bodily functions make me feel normal. And he likes hockey. Bonus.

So I asked, he approved, and I started a Facebook fan page for him and his new book. If you're a Facebooker, please join and invite your friends.

Help Danny become more respected and famous than Chuck Klosterman. (Please.)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I'm taking it as a sign.

It's a busy weekend here in Academicsburg. Dr. B's department has 2 banquets (Friday and Sunday), and his Solar Decathlon project another (Saturday), plus a ribbon cutting. Rowan went to one banquet and stayed with a friend for another, and will again join that friend tonight as we finish what is every-so-affectionately known as "Hell Weekend".

Saturday was a busy day. She was tired from the night before, but the Solar house was here and the ribbon-cutting ceremony was at noon. As I've done before, I asked her if she could play alone in her room for ten minutes while I showered, and then I'd give her a bath. She looked up at me with big, solemn eyes and repeated, "Good girl. Promise!"

She tried. I give her that.

I stepped into the room, clean and fresh-smelling, my hair dripping water down my back, and found her. Naked, sitting in the middle of the guest bed. Hands, chest, and bum--brown.

"Poopy!" she said, upset. Distressed. "Poopy! Uh-oh. No no no!!!" Nasty, funny-colored, and foul-smelling. I don't know what she ate at our friend's house, but she sure didn't like the feeling of its return.

I'm hoping this means she's getting closer to potty training days. She's a helpful little tyke, but diaper changing is really something I'd rather she didn't help with. Ew.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Baguette Envy

Once upon a time, I lived in Paris, with my husband and our dog, who lived for the baguette.

One day while waiting for my girls outside their school on the Boulevard Arago, my dog licked a baguette that was poking out of a woman's tote bag. I was embarrassed. She was cool about it. She broke the end off and handed it to Lucy.

When Lucy would see bits of baguette on the street, she'd eat them. She'd veer unexpectedly into boulangeries, and puddles of drool would form by her feet when a warm, crackly baguette was too close to the edge of the dinner table.

We moved back to Madison, looked in vain for really good baguettes, and had a baby. Then we moved here.

Somehow, bread-snob genes are now crossing species.

Today, at the grocery store, my daughter licked a baguette that was poking out of a basket.

(Yes, I bought it. Only about a month until we return! I can't WAIT!!!)

Sunday, April 12, 2009


I was so excited. The perfect dress. Adorable shoes. Little, ruffly socks and a pink hair bow. I planned to curl her stick-straight hair and take lots of pictures. The bunny's visit at home, the church egg hunt and games, service, then dinner at a friend's. A perfect day, to help me forget this day eleven years ago, the day my mother entered the hospital, never to leave again. I was ready, to wipe the slate clean and lay a new memory over it.

Then, Good Friday hit with a vengeance.

I went to Target and Wegman's, filling the cart with fresh fruit, chocolate treats and 4 kinds of sorbet for the terrine I was making to go with homemade cookies I'd bake on Saturday, a contribution to the grand Easter meal.

We got home, planning a dinner out, but Rowan was tired. I suggested ordering in, and Dr. B said, "that's just what I was thinking." She had leftovers, we ate Bell's Greek Pizza, and I put her to bed.

Then my tummy started rumbling.

I decided to go to bed early. Unfortunately, I didn't get much sleep. I spent the next 12 hours retching everything that had entered my body in the last day into an ice-cream bucket, and wishing I could keep a spoonful of water down long enough for some Advil to take effect.

Dr. B was fine. It wasn't the pizza. Turns out I picked up more than fruit and sorbet at the store.

Saturday I stayed in bed all day, canceling with our friend for Sunday dinner for fear of getting everyone sick, and forbidding Rowan to come close to me. It killed me to see her standing at the door, "Mommy? Seeping? Jammies?" Her dad laid her down for a nap, and when she woke up, she stood in her crib, taking off all her clothes and her diaper and shouting loudly, so she would be sure I could hear her, "Mommy! I yow you! I yow you, Mommy!"

By 8 PM, it had been several hours since I'd last thrown up, I'd kept down a little applesauce and some toast, and things were looking up. I went down to kick off the Easter Bunny's visit. And was met with a mountain of unwashed dishes, food-spotted counters, and no clean diapers.

I guess I am needed around here.

I finally got to bed around 10:30, and as Dr. B tucked me in (after "fixing" the messed up bed for me, and turning down the covers), I said, "if I can't sleep, I'm taking an Ambien because I'm exhausted and I need some rest." He just smiled.

The next thing I knew it was 8:45 AM. The egg hunt started at 9:30. I felt, surprisingly, OK.

I could do it. I could make it!

I rushed her downstairs, shoveled some oatmeal, applesauce and toast in, and slugged 1/2 a cup of coffee with no signs of nausea. We ran upstairs while Dr. B walked the dog, and showered her, then me. He dressed her in her perfect outfit, but there was no time for hair curling. I blasted my hair enough so it looked sort of dry, swept it into a ponytail, and grabbed my makeup bag for a quick maquillage in the car. We were a few minutes late (but only missed the instructions she wouldn't have understood anyway), but we made it. Her hair looked really dorky*, but we made it.

A young girl quickly took Rowan under her wing, helping her decorate her Easter bag with stickers and crayon scribbles, and making her Easter Egg magnet with puffy crosses and fish on it. Margaret led Rowan around the grounds, helping her to find the eggs that were scattered about, beneath trees and tucked into the mulch. They played games and had treats. She loved it.

We went in for church, and she stayed just as long as her favorite church buddy Elena did, then she was ready for the playroom with her where Daddy was helping out.

I breathed in the strong, sweet scent of the hyacinths on the altar, thankful that the smell didn't make me want to chuck my breakfast. I greeted the people I see every week, and a few new faces. I got a hug from the pastor. I listened, while they shared the wonderful news I'd heard so many times. I shared a hymnal with a friend.

I sang, and felt it all go.

We have a new start. One I can't control, can't make perfect. But I can enjoy it.


*I tried to trim her bangs after church. Then Dr. B tried to fix it. I keep telling myself it will grow out.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Milking It

Yep. She's figured it out. Not even 2, and she's already a little manipulator.

She's recovering from her cold. Still an occasional cough, a bit of a runny nose. The fever is gone, she's got plenty (WAY TOO MUCH) energy, and she's no longer dropping gross yellow solid snot bombs on my shoulders. She's eating better, and no longer needs to spend the entire day in my lap.

But this morning, she would NOT sit in her own chair to eat her breakfast. She wanted to sit in my lap, again, and have me feed her every bite. It's her favorite way to eat, and occasionally we indulge her, but try not to let it become a habit.

Well, I guess I indulged her once too often during the whole pee and snot fiasco. Woops.

But I won. YAY. (It doesn't happen often, so I'm celebrating.)

"Rowan, NO. No. You either eat in your chair, or you GO BACK TO BED."


"Fine. Back to bed."

I picked her up, and she clung to me, convinced she'd won. (Heh. Fooled her.)

I took her upstairs, set her in her crib and walked out.

1/2 a cup of coffee, 2 pieces of bread sent on the journey to Toastville, and one moment of please, please, please let this work later, I went back up.

"Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!"

"Do you promise to eat your oatmeal like a good girl, in your own chair?"

"Promise! Eat! Oatmeal!"

I took it. And she was as good as her word.


Thursday, April 02, 2009

Mom will have hairy legs for a while.

Awesome., originally uploaded by MrsBinParis.

She woke yesterday sneezing, coughing, and trying to resist the urge to be cranky. All day we went back and forth between giggles and grins and random short-lived screaming fits. Most of the day was spent in my lap, leaving snot trails over each shoulder. Today, I lifted her from the crib and noticed the heat coming off her. She cried as I changed her diaper, in pain just to be awake. Advil brought the temp down, and gave her a little comfort while she ate breakfast, colored some pictures and caught up with Chicka on the Sunny Side Up Show.

We headed upstairs for her bath and a nap, but I could tell she needed a little something extra. So I gave it to her.

It was worth a whole can of shaving cream, just for that smile.

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