Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Inspiration, aspiration, consternation

Nat is 23 months old. Tomorrow, actually. I can't believe he's almost 2. Maybe if I don't think about it it won't happen, and he'll stay my sweet boy forever. Poor baby has a bad cold. Both kiddos do, but he's especially cute because he's so stuffed that "mama" is coming out "baba." Yesterday, he was pleading, "Baba, fix duffy dode." Translation? Mama, fix stuffy nose. Cute.

I'm in a bit of a state of confusion lately, hence the title of this post. From the day I found out I was pregnant with Nat it was agreed upon between Hubs and I that I would be the primary caregiver, the one who would forgo furthering a career to stay at home to take care of the children. I planned to return to work when Nat was in school full time. Getting pregnant with Savannah delayed that plan by another year or two. I have days on which I long for the opportunity to return to work. I don't have a specific job to return to because I've not worked since we moved to the Buffalo area, but on the occasional rough day I would run back to an office and try to mend the hearts and minds of troubled youth in a flash. Until recently.

My children are inspiring me to become a better person. I am told that this is not uncommon. They've inspired me to become reacquainted with and more involved in the Catholic church, and in doing so I've become even more inspired to be the best wife and mother that I can be. I love circular effects.

I've had many aspirations over my lifetime. When I was a little girl I wanted to be a ballerina, a nun, and a teacher. When I was in high school I wanted to be a psychiatric social worker. Once I was in college I wanted to change the world. When I hit graduate school I just wanted to make a fat amount of money. It wasn't until I became a mother that I realized just how much I wanted to be a mother. To raise a baby to be a good, well-rounded, honest, loving, faithful, and caring person. Having a second baby doubled this desire and cemented the fact that I was put here to be a mother, specifically a mother to these two children. In the first few months of being a new and first time mother, I lamented over not having gotten as far as possible in my chosen field. I had given up on thinking that I'd change the world. Oh, how I was wrong. I realize today that I'm changing the world in the best way possible - one heartbeat at a time.

I love staying at home with my children. I get looks of pity and disgust at times when asked what I do and respond that I'm a SAHM. They've chosen what's best for them, and I've chosen what's best for my family. It means not having our own home right now. It means having debt. It means not wearing fancy clothes. I wouldn't change it for the world.

I aspire now to be the kind of mom who is always there for her children, physically and emotionally. I'm sure I'll get eye rolls and "OMGs," but are you familiar with Annie Camden, the uber-mom from 7th Heaven? That's what I want. That's what I want to be. Supermom, I guess. Soccer mom and PTA mom and best-bake sale-mom and cool mom all rolled into one. Would my kids love this or hate this? Would they resent me for not working? Would they be embarrassed? I can see it now. Hey Nat, my mom's a doctor or Hey Savannah, my mom's an aeronautical engineer. What does YOUR mom do? My own mom will tell me about my peers who are in the process of becoming doctors or this and that, and after a fleeting moment of wondering if she's as proud of me as those mothers are of their children, I sit back and remind myself that I endured two awful pregnancies and gave birth to two beautiful children, and am doing my darnedest to ensure that they grow up feeling and knowing that they are loved, cherished, supported, and protected. That has to count for something, doesn't it?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Isn't there ANYTHING for worrywarts?

It's no secret. I worry. I worry a lot. Also? I'm a big what-if-er.

I think I've always been a worrier. When I was a little girl, I used to pray hard every night before bed that my parents wouldn't die. Morbid, no? As I got older my worries were typical for my age. Would I ever get a boyfriend? (I did.) Will my skin ever clear up? (It did. Thank you, Proactiv.) What if I don't get into my first choice for college? (I did.) What if I DO? (I hated it.) What am I supposed to do with the rest of my life? (Still trying to figure that one out.) Am I marrying the right guy? (Pretty sure I did.)

Peanut butter just made me gag. Last time that happened was when I was pregnant with Savannah. Those damn tests better have been accurate!

But I digress.

Where was I? Ah yes. Worrying. An art form I've perfected. My worrying didn't hit OCD levels, though, until I had a pulmonary embolism 5 years ago. Then it hit a high, and drugs and CBT didn't do a damn thing for it.

I have a mysterious health issue right now. It scares me. I sought out a new neurologist, and was directed to a man who appears to be the best, in the best practice. I only wish I started out with him. He seems to have an idea of what may be going on. He's running extensive tests - bloodwork and MRIs of the head and spine. Where the other neurologist was only hearing "headaches" and automatically jumped to the conclusion of migraines, this man took nearly 2 hours on our first visit going over my total health history and wanted to know every nook and cranny of my current symptoms. At the end of our visit, he took my hand in his, looked me in the eye, and said, "I don't want you to worry. We'll figure this out." He's got a few suspicions of what this all might be, and while it wouldn't be great news, I am beyond confident that this doctor will take care of me and help me to live a long and healthy life, long enough to hopefully see my babies have babies.

What about when it comes to your babies, though? When is it okay to worry? How much worry is okay? My Nat? He's tired. He's tired a lot, despite his solid night's sleep and 3-4 hour nap. He occasionally has swollen lymph nodes in his neck. We've had him checked by his doctor who wasn't concerned at the time but wanted to keep an eye on him to make sure they don't change. But it's hard for me not to go....there. I know that growing is a tiresome process. Kids get tired. But I know what excessive tiredness and swollen nodes could mean, and it's hard for me not to get into a panic. Hubs gets annoyed with my worries and then makes "promises" that things will be okay. I'd go on, but he reads this blog and I don't have the energy to fight. But it's on blah days like this, though, that I wish I had some real-live girlfriends to sit and chat with, to cry with for a few minutes, and then help me put my happy face on and pretend like I don't have a worry in the world. I've gotten pretty good at doing that lately.

I hope I don't pass my worries onto my children. I'd never forgive myself.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Size 5

Is it bad when your 4-month-old and 22-month-old wear the same size diapers? Eek.

I feel like crap today (hence the pregnancy tests). Going to see a new neurologist tomorrow. Need to figure out what the hell is going on with my body. Prayers/good thoughts would be welcome and appreciated.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A collective sigh of relief, please

2-pack of Target brand pregnancy tests - $7.49
Finding out that I would not, in fact, be a mother to 3 under 3 - simply priceless.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I'm afraid he'll be carrying Binky down the aisle with him some day. This picture makes my heart ache. I love you, Natty, more than you'll ever know.

4 months old

Sweet baby girl, how can you be 4 months old already? Weren't you just locking your foot into my ribcage for the first time? Weren't you just a tiny dot on the ultrasound screen? Slow down, would you? Don't be in such a hurry to grow up. And while you're at it, make sure you tell your brother the same thing. At this exact moment, four months ago, you and I were most likely being wheeled to the recovery room from the OR, sharing our first moments together, having the opportunity to size each other up.
You are an amazing little creature to experience every day. You love your daddy. You love your daddy so much, and it's evident in the way your eyes light up whenever he walks near you. You have a special goofy smile reserved just for him, and I have to admit that it makes me a bit jealous. You also love your big brother. You think he's the greatest thing ever and you love to watch him and make faces at him. You can't have your precious blanket out of your sight. It's funny how attached you've grown to it already. You'd rather do anything in place of sleeping. You don't fancy sleep much, unless it comes to nighttime. A solid 8 or 9 hours is a great gift from you to mama and daddy, and we thank you. But I hate to break it to you, kiddo - you have to sleep in your crib eventually. You're outgrowing the pack 'n play! You're not crazy about the pacifier - you'd much rather have your hand or my fingers, or, I imagine, a steak in your mouth. Your two little teeth need some buddies, cutie - it freaks mama out a bit that you only have fangs. You find my rendition of There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly to be the cat's meow, and you're even more amused when I run out of air singing it. You adore being sung to. Maybe you'll grow up to be an opera singer? Or the first female president? Look out Sarah, here comes Savannah!
I love you lots, Savannah. I can't wait until you're a bit older and we can start having lots of mama-daughter fun, but please - stay my baby girl a little bit longer, okay? I know you're in a hurry to be a big girl, but slow down, just a little. You might not want to hold onto being an itty bitty, but I'm not ready to let it go.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Love you. Miss you.

My grandmother passed away exactly 9 years ago. I can remember getting the call from my mom like it was yesterday. It was the first time I had experienced a loss of a family member. She had been sick for a while, so we were all expecting it, but still, it hurt and it made me sad. She died about a week and a half after I moved away from home for my first job after college. I moved almost 4 hours away from my hometown for a job I really didn't want so that I could live in the same town as my then-boyfriend (now my husband). I went to my grandmother's home on the night before I was to leave. I went to say goodbye, but I didn't realize that my goodbye would truly be my goodbye. The last thing I had said to her was, "Bye, Gram. See you soon!" I didn't even tell her I loved her. I hope she knew.

On the night that my grandmother died, my mom went to her home and found a dragonfly on the ledge directly outside of my grandmother's window. The dragonfly was dead, but it was still beautiful - completely intact, light green-pearlescent body whole and unharmed, and its wings still spread, looking as though it was simply resting a spell. My mom took that dragonfly and saved it, and I like to think that it was a sign from my grandmother letting us know that she was okay. You see, my mom and I, at the time, were big into collecting all things dragonfly, and I'm pretty sure Gram knew that. I think my mom found some peace in finding it. I know I did.

Every time since that day that I've seen a dragonfly, which isn't often, a mere handful of times, I like to think it's Gram saying hi and letting me know that she's looking out for me.

This morning, Nat and I were playing outside while Savannah napped. It started out a perfectly blah, grey day. Cloudy, overcast, and a light drizzle, but muggy enough that I was comfortable with him playing outside. As we started walking onto the grass in our back yard, a huge mosquito buzzed by my face and I swatted it out of the way. I hate mosquitoes. They give me the creeps, especially the big ones that look like they could suck the very life breath right out of you. It came back, and I swatted it again. Persistent little fellow. It wasn't until I approached Nat's Little Tikes castle that I realized I hadn't swatted a mosquito. It was a dragonfly - a beautiful dragonfly with translucent wings and a green-pearlescent body, and it had landed directly in my line of sight on the top of the castle. I called to Nat to take a look, and as we walked closer, the dragonfly fluttered its wings once and took off, flying right by my face, and went up, up into the sky until it could no longer be seen. It was only a moment later that I remembered.

I've read that dragonflies are attracted to water, particularly running water (lakes, streams), flowers, and things that are shiny. We don't have any of that in our back yard - just grass and the muted colors of several oversized outdoor toddler toys. So was this just a coincidence? I don't know. I'm not a big believer in signs, but I haven't seen a dragonfly in years.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Hello, Anne Rice?

Savannah, at 3 1/2 months old, has cut her first tooth. Two, actually, only they're not the teeth that most babies cut first. They're not even the second most common teeth. Nope, not my baby. Her fangs top two canine teeth have broken through the gums. Last night they also broke through the skin on my finger. I'm scared.

We are also officially beginning potty training today. My goal is to have him fully day-trained by his second birthday, so this leaves us two full months, as his birthday is on Halloween. My reason behind this has nothing to do with wanting to rush him out of his babyhood. It has nothing to do with being sick of changing diapers (I'd rather change diapers than scrub poopy undies). It has everything to do with the fact that a box of Size 5 Pampers Cruisers now costs $39 and change. And yes, I do know that there are other brands out there, but we have tried EVERYTHING and Pampers, while draining on the wallet, are the best fit for him. So -now it's big boy underwear during the day at home, diapers at night and when we go out. Progress so far? Pee in the potty once. Pee in the underwear once. Poop in the underwear twice. Dry heaving as I scrub the poop out in the bathroom sink - continuous.