Thursday, October 31, 2013

Nerves.

I'll cut right to the source of the nervousness buzzing around our house tonight- Henry goes in for surgery tomorrow morning.  His tonsils and adenoids are coming out, and ear tubes are going in.  We have had numerous visits after months of concern and have come to the decision that this is the best plan for him.  We didn’t reach it without huge waves of nerves and second, then third-guessing ourselves.  Overall, he seems fine.  Yes he snores and breathes a little strangely while sleeping, gulps on his tonsils here and there throughout the day, and has had consistent trouble with his ears.  But he never complains of pain, and is a happy, overall healthy little boy.  So sending him in for the procedure was a tough choice but for various reasons seems to be the necessary one for his long-term health.   After rescheduling numerous times, tomorrow is the day.  Finally here.
I know that this surgery is very common, and to many seems like no big deal.  Realistically I know this, though when it’s my actual child facing it, it has become terrifying.   I also know that I have a tendency to be dramatic and jump to worst-case scenarios.  But in this case, when it comes to a not-that-small surgery on my little guy, who is younger than they were hoping he'd be when this happened, the fear feels pretty darn real.  I hate that he has to do this, that he has a very limited understanding of what will actually be happening, that he'll be sleeping tomorrow in a hospital instead of his own bed.  And I so badly wish that I could just do it for him. 

I should count my blessings instead and send positive energy his way, but it's hard.  I've had so many reminders lately of how much worse it could be.  We are so lucky he isn't sick, he's not having an emergency surgery, we have a specialist we like and trust, and we are taking care of the issues while he's still little which should make it easier for him.  But it just doesn't change the fact that my little boy will be on an operating table having surgery while we are rooms away waiting anxiously to be with him again.  I have felt some guilt over the fact that he'll be walking in feeling relatively normal, and leave in pain.  I can only hope that once he heals, he'll recognize that things feel better.  I have nothing else to say other than, I'm nervous. 
And also? Stay off google because I can assure you it makes things like this far more difficult.  Like stomach-ulcer type of fear. 

My own mom keeps telling me that "I'm the mom now" and that will be something I repeat to myself over and over tomorrow.  I can't remember a single time where I could sense my Mom's fear when I was young.  Now that we are both adults I am aware of her nerves when she's stressed, but I never could tell before and I know that I needed her to be that rock.  It's still so wild to me that I'm that person to two little babes now, and I need to be calm tomorrow, for Henry.  

I will be sure to post an update, and hope that it reaches someone else in the same position some day.  I know that I was eagerly searching for experiences on the internet when thinking about this procedure, and I hope to have a positive experience to share tomorrow.  


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Moving forward.

I wish I wasn't in this never-ending writing rut.  I'm trying to be patient with myself because there has been so incredibly much going on, and I know my priorities need to be my family.  But I truly do crave writing here, and yet when I find a few minutes of spare time to do so, I just stare blankly at the screen.  I think part of it is just being exhausted and not knowing where to start again after such a long break, and I think part of me doubts that I have anything to share since I write infrequently enough the past few months that every time I do it's just catch-up and nothing more.  I grow frustrated with myself when I realize that's what is happening.
I have been working on Violet's birth story, so that will be up in the very near future.  And a few projects I'm working on in the new house.  We moved into a much smaller space than we've been in before, and my desire to make it cozy and colorful and inviting is ever-growing.  I'm obsessed with making it feel like home, even though it's only our home for a year.  I think due to the sensitive timing of it all (Vi was only a few weeks old during this whole process) I'm becoming obsessed with settling into it quickly.  For everyone's sake, I want it to feel like home as soon as possible.  What the place looks like doesn't really matter, I realize, but I also think that when a place suits your personalities and makes you feel good, your level of comfort and happiness all around grows too.  I feel stressed when things are cluttered, and calm when not.  So there's that, just trying to unpack and keep up, and do work on the place.  We have also been wildly busy at work the past couple of weeks.  Eric is working on a number of projects that are due in a short period of time, which means very full days and some weekends too.  And on my end, our lactation consultant has been out of the country for two weeks which has made me doubly busy as I stand in.  I am so glad she's back this week since she teaches me all that she knows, but I am so grateful for these past two weeks of pure experience.  I think that is so important in learning, and it just confirmed (not that I needed more confirmation, but it's always nice) that I have absolutely found the right career path for me.  I have loved every moment.  It has felt great to be busier at work, but has also had me feeling like all I do is rush.  I think it's just still just adjusting to getting both kids up and ready and out of the house on time to get where we need to be.  I have had to remind myself on my days off to really slow down and just enjoy our time together and not rush everyone.  The days are going so quickly and the weeks even quicker.  Looking at Violet and pictures of her over the past few weeks are proof of that.  I feel like she's so brand new still when in reality, she's nearly two months old.  That's brand new in the big picture,  but there's a big difference between a very newborn and a two month old.  So much changes so dang fast.
I'm trying to slow myself down, but life itself isn't slowing whatsoever around here.  We have appointments for the kids this week, and next week Henry will be having a very big day that we're all nervous for and anxious about.  I'm sure I'll be writing about it during the week, but I now feel like I've updated enough that I hope from here on out I can move forward here.  Write more, connect more, be more present, share more, and therefore remember more.  A tired postpartum brain isn't so great for remembering special little moments days after they've happened.  But that's what photos and written words are for.  Telling stories here will fill in where my tired memory is lacking.  I love that.


I've already very nearly given up on photographing the two of them together.  It's nearly impossible.  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Where We've Been

We moved...again.  This time only across town, but it was still a bit unexpected and took a toll on each one of us.  It seems that stillness is just not in the cards for us these days.  I think both Eric and I sometimes crave a quiet consistency in our day to day lives, but at the same time, all of these changes that seem to constantly head our way keep us on our toes and part of me doesn't mind.  We are becoming pros at packing up and moving, though we hate that part equally.  I should clarify, Eric is becoming a pro at packing.  I have been considerably less helpful in that department as I was pregnant and exhausted in March, and had a newborn constantly on my chest during the move this last week.  We are ready to make this place feel like home until we actually choose one to be our own in the future.  I have to say, packing up and moving your family and life just a few weeks after having a baby is quite a drag, in my opinion. We are running ourselves ragged trying to make it a smooth transition, mostly for Henry, while keeping up with all of the changes.  We are lucky in that he handles the change well, but I can safely say this move has come with a bit of guilt for adding to the already enormous changes in his life.  Cross-country move, me going back to work, a new sister, and then another move to a different house.  The first two days here he kept asking to go back home, and cried once that this isn't "Hessy's house".  He has since adjusted and likes going to "the new house" but it's still just what feels like a million boxes and piles closing in on us.  It's not home yet, but I'm confident that it will be cozy with time.  Moving aside, we are well and happy.  I hate that I have yet to write Violet's birth story, yet to write about life's changes since she's been here, and even had intended to write one last post about the end of pregnancy that obviously didn't happen.  She is 7 weeks tomorrow and it's simply hard to believe that these weeks have flown as fast as they have.  It almost feels like my window to type all of these things out has passed, though I know I'll kick myself if I don't.  So, I will.
Our time has been so full, but not all of it stolen by the hassle of moving.  We have also gone camping and dip-netting for salmon (which H loved), had grandparents visit, and have both been very busy at work. We spent an alarmingly small amount of time just resting and adjusting to life as a family of four, but it's well and good because Violet has just blended right in and it feels natural to be the four of us now.  In a hormonal haze after having her, I was for whatever reason bummed that things seemed so "normal".  I kept saying it was like nothing huge had just happened, because things did seem so natural.  It was like she was most definitely meant to be here with us, right now.  As the hormones settled I of course realized that it was a good thing that life went on like normal but with another little love to enjoy.  I think things were just different the second time around.  More on all of that later.



Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Very Overdue Introduction

I cannot believe how the time has passed, but our smallest love is here and turning six weeks old already.  I feel like most people reading here have probably seen on facebook or Instagram long ago, but it is past time that she gets her own little welcome here.  We have SO much to catch up on here, so much that my fingers are craving to put down right here, and now that my laptop is finally alive again after three months, that can happen!  For right now though:

Meet Violet Evie.
She was born on June 20, 8lbs 8.5oz.

Five things we know so far about baby Violet:
-Her eyes are very bright and alert.  From the moment she was born, her eyes were open wide, and she stared us deep in the eyes far before we expected her to.  It seems like she's trying to pay attention to the things around her.
-She has a silly (and very loud) squawk that she does in place of a cry. Just one yell at a time, it's so strange.
-She comes to work with me as one of two "office babies". We went back at two and a half weeks, which was easy since she gets to be there.  She bounces around from person to person, or gets worn in a carrier most of the time.  I was nervous about having another baby at work with me (H did this until he was 4 months) but it has been so much better than expected.
-She has the same eyes and lips as Henry
-She's a mellow baby, and is happy in the mornings when she wakes up.  She has been smiling right when she wakes up all week.
I can't believe she's already 6 weeks, and I'm just now getting to this.  But it's a very busy season in our lives, as all seem to have been for the past few years.  I'm happy to come back here.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

To Henry, At Two

Here we are nearly three months after you turned two, and I am still only starting this little note because I can barely come up with the words for you these days.  You have changed so much, and your personality has become so incredibly big, that it's hard to sum it all up.  It's hard to even get straight in my head most days.  How quickly you've changed, how fast you learn, how much you understand and how neat it is that this vibrant personality I get to know is unique to only you.  I still can't form a concrete thought or summary of what you're like at this incredibly awesome age, but I desperately want to make note of some of the fun and special things about this stage, no matter how random, right now, before your baby sister comes and things change.  I know they're going to change in amazing ways but I still want one last note while it's just you.

The biggest changes you are making these days are verbal.  You have always spoken quickly, and now you string together the longest thoughts and sentences that come out so fast they can be hard to understand.  But I love that I can still get you 99% of the time.  I love the fast way that you enthusiastically chat all day, every day. We understand each other's humor perfectly, as I think we learn it and get that sense from each other.  Your daddy, too, that is.  Just nights ago I laid my head beside yours as I tucked you into bed, and as you chatted you paused for a few seconds to think of what you were about to say, going on to tell me that you pulled your friend's tail at the park.  You and I both immediately started giggling at the idea of it, and it just hit me that you know how to joke now.  Five seconds ago you were barely a toddler, just starting to talk, and now you speak in sentences and make jokes.  Sometimes you even follow them with "no way" just for added effect.  You say things now like "Watch me! Wait for me! Look at Henry!" and I have to giggle each time because it sounds so sweet coming from your little voice.

Some of your very favorite things are still reading, eating, things that "go" like cars, planes, trains, and now superheros.  How that happened, I have no idea.  You don't actually know much about Spiderman, Superman, and Batman, but you love them still and it makes you seem like such a big boy to me.  A tiny part of me wants to just keep encouraging you to love things that are not such big boy things, but the way you light up when you put on a superhero shirt makes me want to get you an entire wardrobe of hero costumes and clap for you as you run around yelling "Henry ('hessy') run super fast like Superman!!"  I, of course, don't really want to hold you back from growing up and liking big boy things, I'm just baffled by the speed at which it's happening. Your favorite foods these days are bananas, applesauce, fruit leathers, breakfast food, roasted broccoli, fish, rice, etc.  You still eat like a grown up but haven't gained weight in months.  We always suspected it, but it's become clear you're going to be tall and lean like your Daddy.  You sure didn't get those legs from me, and no matter how much you eat you just keep springing upwards.
You adore babies, and singing, playing soccer and throwing footballs through basketball hoops. You love to make believe, and your most recent favorite activity is watching Mumford and Sons "I Will Wait" on youtube while dancing like a crazy boy "playing bass" on your hockey stick.  Many mornings you wake up singing this song, and usually you haven't come close to having enough until I've hit replay for the fifth time.

We've reached our last few days with you as our only baby... Well you're not the only one, but the only one on the outside.  I would be lying if I said it wasn't a strange thing to get my head around, but I am so excited to see how things change for our family.  I am sure we will have tough moments of adjustment ahead of us, moments of mom- guilt and frustration, moments of pure joy and anything in between.  We are both one thousand percent confident that you're going to be an amazing big brother, love.  Sweetness and affection literally pours right out of you. You are always giving hugs, kisses, sweetly touching our faces, kissing my forehead if we bump into each other, etc.  You can have a downright sour attitude like any toddler of course, and sometimes we are stopped in our tracks just staring at you wondering what on earth happened, but you go right back to being the tender little guy that you are.  You seem to be getting more cautious about a lot of things, but overall you're still quite the outgoing boy. I have no doubts your understanding of the baby is solid.  But I do wonder if you realize that she'll be here for good, and taking so much of my time.  Your life is about to change in such a big, big way and I hope I'm able to guide you through just fine.  Having a sibling will be so special for you, and you'll be lucky to have each other.  As a mama of two it's my goal to be sure you never lose sight of how special you are to me.  To our family. You made me a mother and have filled us up in countless ways. You are so full of good, and I love you so.

Here's to new adventures, my sweet boy.  



Thursday, May 30, 2013

35 turned 36 turned 37 Week Update

I have been trying to write an update for the past two weeks, but the time keeps slipping away.  Here we are though, at a big milestone and, well, this is the part where I can safely say I'm pretty much over being pregnant.  I know that sounds harsh and I feel a little bit of guilt in saying it because I am ever so thankful for a second opportunity to carry and grow life in my body.  It's been a good road.  However, I'm at the stage now where I just want to be done, to hold this baby girl in my arms, and move onto this next stage of life that is so hard to wrap my head around, but so fun to imagine.  I'm ready for that part.  I am still enjoying a lot of aspects of the pregnancy, but there are bits that make three weeks seem just too damn long. My belly is a different shape this time, more compact in that it's growing further out, and less like a huge round beach ball.  I keep thinking I look smaller than I did with H, but apparently that's just my own perception.  I am feeling just uncomfortably FULL.  As if because I didn't get quite as round, things are more crammed? I have no clue, maybe it's in my head.  But the extremely tight feeling and new stretch marks tell me that I am in fact, out of room.  Even my maternity clothes are feeling disgusting now, as my pants are continuously sliding off of my butt and my belly sticks out the bottom of my shirts.  It's a pretty nice look.  Those complaints aside, I'm feeling lucky to be feeling so well at this point.  I am growing more and more tired of course, but still have a strange amount of energy.  I have zero desire to stop working, and have been given the go ahead to take call in the birth center until 39 weeks as long as someone else can back me up.  They don't seem to think I'll be much help to a laboring woman if I'm in labor myself! The rest of my energy shows up in my attempts to still run around, crawl, and dance with Henry (we had a full on dance party the other night which was the perfect kind of fun I always imagined as a new parent), and in a less expected way: cleaning. I can. not. stop. I always wondered about the nesting instinct when I was pregnant the first time, but it never came.  Of course I wanted to set up his nursery, and have things packed and organized, but that was only baby things.  This time, not only have I finally started obsessively preparing for baby V, but I have the urge to clean everything else with a gross amount of energy and attack.  I vacuum constantly, including couch pillows and cushions, and anything else I can get my hands on.  Clutter and mess literally drives me crazy, and I can't say that is my usual way.  I always like things to look nice and put together, but I don't always have the drive to do it. Now I get home, and I don't stop until it's time to go to bed.  I probably drive Eric up a wall with the hatred I have for any small mess, but he's been going along with my desire to have things clean.  Which I appreciate, of course.  My ankles tell me maybe more time should be spent resting (the swelling has bumped it up a notch during this week of wonderful sunshine and heat!), and a little less racing around tidying, but I can't stop.  I kind of hope this continues for the rest of time, long after pregnancy! The sense of accomplishment and relief when things are in order is huge.
I'm happy to be here at 37 weeks, though it's hard to believe.  I am now "legal" in the birth center, as of midnight tonight!  So it's a waiting game from here on out.  We cannot wait to meet this little girl, and it could happen any day now.  I think I'll be a bit closer to my due date which is the 21st, but just the thought that it could be any day is a fun thought to entertain.  My goal is to keep her in until the 19th, when my mom and stepdad come for two full weeks. I can barely wait!
Until then, it's business as usual but with an enormous list of small projects to feed my neurotic-nesting self.  It finally looks like a baby is actually coming to our home, but there are still handfuls of things I've come up with that I would love to do before she does.  Onto more busy days!



Thursday, May 23, 2013

Who Needs Sleep?

Ah, the days of 2am blog  check-ins begin again.  I remember them so well with Henry... these are the hours where I would get up and come down to the computer and browse through blogs. It was at that time in my pregnancy that I really learned what this blogging community was really like.  I had written here and there since moving to Alaska for family to read, but I had no idea what was really out there. All of the wonderful blogs provided me with much company in the middle of the night.  This pregnancy, I have tried my hardest not to get out of bed and such in the night, and rather try to get the sleep I know I so badly need.  But tonight, with the baby/bladder duo that just won't quit, I give up.  Henry had an unusual meltdown at midnight that took an hour to get over, and I'm hungry for breakfast five hours too soon, so I am up before I ever fell asleep, and plan to try again after checking in here.  I've been missing the blog, and have numerous posts in my drafts file just waiting to be posted.  But things have been busy to say the least.  So much so, that my posts at this point are all half written as I've had no time to complete a thought.  I need to though, because there isn't much time left before life changes in a huge way, and I either have less time, or a foggy sleepy memory, or who knows what that pushes writing back even more.  If you're still reading along though, despite my sporadic posts, thank you. I hope you know I so appreciate it!
Since I'm still on call and tired from a busy ( but wonderful!) day at the birth center, I'm off to attempt sleeping again.  I will try to post my 35 (now turned 36 as I'm 36 weeks Friday) week update in the next day or two.  I would love to get a weekly one in now, as the pregnancy is almost over!