Sunday in the Park with Cal

LC’s schedule has been changing a bit as of late, which has adjusted our weekend schedule.  It does allow us more time for things like early morning trips to the dog park.  This morning we headed over to Magnuson Off Leash Park to let everyone enjoy the sun, the chilly temps and some fellow Seattle dog lovers.

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First things first.  Nothing happens before Momma gets her coffee. (Embargo lifted on November 20)

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Beautiful view on our way to the park (Lake Washington and the Cascades)

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It was very chilly this morning, we had to snuggle for warmth.

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A and Cal find a friend and head off on the trail.

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Puppy fun for all!

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Cal takes a break for ear scratches.

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All this excitement can really take it out of you.

Aged Like a Fine Wine

I am 32 today.  Another year older.    I’m not sure if I am wiser this year, but I am so very different than I was last year.  A momma this time around.  A little rounder and softer in some places.  A lot happier in many ways.  Awesomer in almost all ways.

Off to celebrate with A.  And not just to celebrate my birthday, but to celebrate how amazing this past year has been and how many, many things we have to look forward to in the year to come.

Now is the moment

There is a moment that comes, usually on Friday night.  The baby is in bed, the pets are finally calmed down.  A and I are enjoying television on the couch, not worrying about work or what needs to be done all weekend.  Just enjoying the weekend in front of us.  And then the moment comes, when one or both of us will realize that it is 10:30pm and we are old and the baby will be up at 5am no matter whether it is Saturday or Monday or Thursday.  In this moment we will look at each other and wonder why the heck we didn’t go to bed at 8:30 when the baby did.

World Prematurity Awareness Day

Like most expectant mother’s in America, I anticipated my baby’s arrival in the “normal” ways.  I read the books, I planned the nursery, I registered for the “perfect” baby items, I took classes and I wrote a birth plan.  Not in any of my planning or envisioning of how it all would happen did I think it would end up like it did. 

I was 33 weeks when we took a tour of the hospital where I would deliver.  As we waited for the tour to begin, I took my blood pressure at the “do it yourself” machine by the gift shop.  It was high.  Really high.  We ignored it.  At 34 weeks, I took my bp again, this time at Safeway and it was even higher.  We chatted about it, I called the on call line, convinced I was being a ridiculous first time mom.  I was surprised when they asked me to come into labor and delivery.  I didn’t pack a bag.  I didn’t bring a change of clothes.  In fact, we were supposed to meet someone two hours later and I figured we would be out in plenty of time.  In reality, I left the hospital 3 weeks later and with a premature baby. 

LC is nine months and I am still in shock of how it all played out.  Not with my perfectly packed hospital bag.  Not with my explicit birth plan.  Not with an exciting and dramatic drive to the hospital after my water broke.  I still get angry thinking of the moments I had so looked forward to after delivering – holding my daughter for the first time as she took her first breaths, having her first “skin to skin” contact on my chest, working to breast feed her immediately.  The reality was she was grabbed from my doctor by two NICU nurses who immediately began to check her vitals and ensure she was healthy.  A long, stressful delivery; a tiny baby born too soon. 

But the story ends well.  The surprise arrival at the hospital, the bed rest, the inducement and labor complications, the NICU nurses and the ensuing stay in the NICU?  It is all over.  We survived it and it made us all stronger for it.  (B-Cat included.)

Today is World Prematurity Day and while I never expected to be the mother of a preemie, I am lucky to have such a success story to tell.  LC is one of the 1 in 8 babies who was born prematurely.  She is one of the 13 million babies worldwide born prematurely every year.  And thankfully she was not one of the victims of premature birth – the number one killer of newborns.  And now LC and I are two of the millions of people working to reduce premature births and support families who face the same (or scarier) situations that we did. 

From the March of Dimes: Honor the million babies worldwide who died this year because they were born too soon, and the 12 million more who struggle to survive. November 17 is World Prematurity Day and when we focus everyone’s attention on the serious problem of premature birth. “Like” World Prematurity Day on Facebook. Read stories from around the world and share your own. Help spread the word by updating your Facebook status with a message on premature birth. Together we can raise awareness of this serious problem and help more babies start healthy lives.

Magical Moments

I was nursing LC tonight before she went to bed.  She is so quiet at this time, she doesn’t fidget and worry about missing things like she does when I nurse her throughout the day.  She presses her little finger to my lips and smiles a little, rubs my shirt with her hand.  Sometimes she is too sleepy to keep her eyes open and just nurses contently, her heavy lids shut. I love this time with her every night and treasure the cuddle time.  Each day she wants to sit still less and less and I love her quiet moments.

Tonight she was awake after nursing and snuggled into my shoulder.  She started talking, mouth still pressed against my sweater.  She nuzzled my neck and started blowing raspberries, giggling as she did it.  Tears welled in my eyes as she tickled me and I both loved and hated how she grows up more each day. 

She laid her head on my chest and started making soft sounds, starting to get sleepy.  She turned her head side to side, as she does when preparing to fall asleep.  She lifted her head to look at me again and then she spit up all over me.  Down my still open shirt, collected in my nursing bra.

It is the magical moments like these that don’t allow you to take yourself – or motherhood – too seriously.

To Each Their Own

While out to brunch with friends this weekend, LC threw her froggie rattle on the ground and our friend asked if we wanted to wash it off before giving it back to LC.  The answer to this question 9 times of 10 is no, for many reasons.  1) LC will sit happily if she has something to bang on the table, 2) she throws the froggie rattle on the ground every 30 seconds or so and 3) we are not germ phobes.  LC was a preemie, though very healthy one, but a preemie just the same born during cold and flu season.  That didn’t stop us from taking her out to places, inviting friends over with their children and yes, even letting the dog lick her.  No chasing people around with hand sanitizer or locking ourselves away for weeks.  We just don’t freak out about germs. 

Maybe part of that is survival – LC goes to daycare and they have a very generous sharing policy there (lots of licking toys and then sharing it with friends who also like licking the same toy).  If we worried about germs all the time, we’d probably sleep even less than we already do.  Maybe it is just that germs aren’t our “thing.”  We worry about lots of things (like how many kids will have the same name as LC or whether she will spend her whole life correcting people on how to pronounce both her first and last name) but germs aren’t really one of them.  Sure LC has gotten colds but her first one came around 5 months, right on schedule according to all the books.  The day care plague is passed around, but she is just building immunity so she can have perfect attendance in kindergarten.  Our lax attitude towards germs has worked for us so far, so I figure why change it now.

So for now we still won’t let LC play in the cat’s litter box, but we will probably let her keep playing with froggie even after it falls on the floor. 

Perhaps I am still 14

I enjoy reading, but somewhere along the way I decided that reading so that I don’t have to think very hard is a much more enjoyable way of doing things.  Young adult fiction seems just the thing for this type of reading.  You may be familiar with my Twilight phase.  But perhaps not my more recent Hunger Games phase.  Oh yes, I know all about the Fire Starter and the Arena and the odds ever being in your favor.  Which is why I may have been caught watching this at work today.

I may not be 14 anymore but that doesn’t mean I can’t read (and watch movies) like I still am.

Is it Sunday. . .

if there are not pancakes?

Probably not. 

(And if it is, that is not a Sunday I want to be part of.)

Enough to want to marry another (or, how I ended up with six boxes of chocolate covered candy cane Jo-Jos)

I am pretty sure I would leave my husband if it meant I could marry Trader Joe.  The guy knows a few things about food.  Delicious food.  Today after running errands but wanted LC to nap just a little bit longer in the car, we decided to make an unscheduled Trader Joe’s run.  I knew we needed a few items and figured it would be a good way to kill some more time and let LC sleep in the car. After fighting through the parking lot and lucking out with a spot, I pointed out that my running into the store without a shopping list could be dangerous.  A told me that he wanted “chocolate covered peppermint Jo-Jos and chocolate covered pretzel things.”  I suggested I would need more guidance and he said “just grab one of every third thing that looks good.”  If you’ve been to Trader Joe’s before, you realize this is not good guidance.

So, I ended up with 6 boxes of chocolate covered peppermint JoJos.  Trust me it makes sense, since you never know when something you love will disappear form TJs and since this specific item is very popular, you need to stock up when you can.  There were also chocolate peppermint wafer cookies (which I have determined to be the most fantastic cookie ever), peppermint covered pretzel thins (in addition to dark chocolate covered ones), frozen Thanksgiving in a box, avocados and bananas (for LC), wine (a lovely $3.99 Sangiovese), and a lovely Spanish olive oil.

And so, as I enjoy a glass of Sangiovese and some delicious wafer cookies, I am sure of two things.  I would marry Trader Joe and I should always prepare a list.

Thoughts for Veterans’ Day