Saturday, January 31, 2009

Little Man is sick

Took him in to be seen by his pediatrician yesterday. The cause of all his pain and discomfort? A double ear infection. Yea us! It's his first ever ear infection and of course he's gotta make up for that with infections in both ears. He was put on amoxycillan and we're hoping he starts perking up here soon. At this point, though, he's worse than he was before yesterday. I laid him down for a nap yesterday around 1:30 (after coming home from the drs and the pharmacy and drugging him up). I left the house at 6pm to go to a scrapbooking crop. He was still asleep. Jason told me he woke Matthew up at 9pm, changed him, gave him his meds, and tried to get him to eat something. He barely ate and went right back to bed. I woke him up at 11 this morning! He looks like he got run over a truck and he's still running a high fever. I tried to get him to eat something and he looked at me with the most pathetic looking stare. My baby boy looks so horrible. He refused all food, and just wanted to go back to bed. So that's where he is. He was awake for all of 10 or 15 minutes so far today. I really hope that his antibiotics start working soon.

As for his overall 18 month doctor's appointment yesterday? Well Dr. Carlson isn't concerned about the amount of sleeping he's been doing (prior to his illness). She said that toddlers sometimes just understand the needs of their body and his needs sleep. She said that as long as he is generally happy and active when he's awake, things look good. She is a bit concerned about his speech (or lack of). Actually its more that he lost words rather than that he's not talking much. She suggested I call the local early intervention group and have them evaluate him to see if he qualifies for some extra help. I'm happy about that. Jason and his brother both had speech problems when they were younger and I don't think they had EI back then. So if we can get Matthew any help out there as early as possible, all the better for him. I put the call in to EI yesterday afternoon but got voice mail. Hopefully they'll call early next week.

Finally the size of my little moose. He actually lost a pound since his appointment at the beginning of the month, probably due to his illness and the fact that his appetite has been nil. He "only" weighs 28 lbs and is 34 3/4" tall. HA! He's at the 75% for his weight and the 96% for his height. The boy is gonna be TALL!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I'm at a crossroads. I'm thinking about returning to school so that I can finish my degree and apply for medical school! It's been on my mind a lot (especially since the Letter to yourself at 17 post). The biggest regret I have is listening to my college Chemistry professor who told me that I'd never become a doctor. I believed him, and since then, deep down I've been miserable and my self-worth has suffered.

Last night Jason and I had a huge heart-to-heart. I finally confided in him about my low self-esteem issues and how it almost all goes back to my freshman year of college. How I feel like I am worthless because I have never had a "career" and that the only jobs I'm qualified for are waitressing or $9/hr crap jobs. I've felt trapped for the past 14 years. I've used the kids, family and money issues as excuses for why I haven't become all that I've wanted to be. So now I'm thinking that the best thing for my family is for them to have a wife and mother who feels good about herself; who feels successful and validated.

I AM good enough. I AM smart enough. I AM determined. I CAN do it.

So tonight I'm going to apply to the local state university to begin classes in the summer or fall. And then after that, well, medical school. Am I crazy? Am I too old? I'll be 33 in the fall when I plan to return to school. I have about 2 years worth of pre-reqs to finish for my degree. So that would put me at 35-36 or so when I would apply for med school. Add in 4 years of that so then I'm 40 (with a 20 yr old, a 16 yr old and a 9 yr old).

Has anyone done anything like this? What was your experience? Do you have any regrets?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ugh I'm exhausted

It was a long night. A very very long night. A night where only two people in this household were awake all night long -- me and Matthew. It was horrible. He couldn't sleep. He was having these coughing fits that were so bad he was almost puking. He couldn't get comfortable. He was running a fever. I felt so bad for him. I felt bad for myself 'cause I was exhausted too. I slept on the couch so that I could easily get to him without waking DH who had to be up for work at 6 this morning. Thankfully he finally was able to fall asleep and stay asleep from about 4 am until 9. I've been giving him Advil every 4 hours today. He's back in bed for his second nap for the day. His cheeks are flushed, his cough is yucky, and he looks like he got hit by a truck. He's go that "sick look" in his eyes. Poor baby.

But we're hanging in there. Today is not the kind of day where you want to be out driving around unless you absolutely have to. So we're gonna tough it out unless he gets any worse. He's got the Vicks Vaporizer running in his room all day/night. I'm keeping an eye on his fever and his fluid intake and output. If things turn ugly, we'll be at the doctors. Unfortunately, I'm thinking my Punky Boy has the flu.

It's gonna be a long night

It's after 1 in the morning. Matthew has been up off and on all night long. He's practically hacking up a lung. And now he's running a fever. Earlier this evening it was 101.3. I just checked him a few minutes ago and it was 103.0. Lovely. We're having a snowstorm right now that is to turn over to all rain and ice during the day. My van doesn't do well in the snow, and it does even worse in the ice. I don't know if I should call his dr and have him seen tomorrow (Wednesday) and risk the weather, even though he'll be back there on Friday, or if we should just hang tight here at home and get through this on our own. Ugh. Normally, if it were one of the other two who were sick like this, we'd just tough it out unless I really felt that it was absolutely critical that they be seen. But I never know what to do with Matthew. If you are so inclined to do so, please pray for us. Pray for Matthew's comfort and healing and rest, and for me to have the wisdom to make the best decisions when it comes to him and to have peace. Thanks.

I'll update later on.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

So am I just a paranoid Mommy or is my Mommy-Radar working?

I can't shake the feeling that something is wrong with Matthew. I don't know if its just that I feel it is to be expected, or if I'm super-paranoid, or if I just know what others don't. Matthew and I have a strong connection. The two of us have been through so much since before he was even born. I always get those feelings that something's not right, and unfortunately, I've been right so many times when it comes to him.

For those who don't know much about Matthew, we started off having problems with his pregnancy right at about 9 or 10 weeks along. I had placental abruptions straight through until delivery. I went into preterm labor at around 29 weeks with him. Was put on hospital bedrest from 30 weeks until delivery at 36 weeks (with a week of bedrest at home). After Matthew's birth, he had jaundice, then lost a pound and a half of weight during the first 5 days of life. He had severe reflux almost from day one.

At 6 weeks, I took him to the ER because I knew in my heart something wasn't right. He screamed a scream I had never heard before, was ashy, and unconsolable. At the ER it was determined that he had two incarcerated inguinal hernias that needed to be repaired immediately. That next day, before being prepped for surgery, he had an apnic episode in my arms. I thought he was going to die right then and there. It was one of the scariest moments I had ever experienced.

During the next few months, he was slow to gain weight, was refluxing everything he took in, and just wasn't thriving the way he should. By the grace of God, and the fact that his pediatrician actually listened to me and my concerns, she ordered an upper GI test for Matthew the week before Christmas 2007. The UGI found something that they weren't looking for. It showed us that Matthew had a birth defect called Malrotation of the Intestines. Its a life-threatening birth defect that usually is only found out after the child becomes very sick or dies (the intestines wrap themselves around the mesenteric artery, stopping blood flow to the intestines, causing them to become necrotic and die). We were so fortunate that Matthew's defect was found before there was any damage. Matthew had his surgery last January to repair his intestines.

A few months later, we were concerned that Matthew had food allergies because he wasn't eating well and was reacting to almost every food he ate. He was tested and at the time all things came back negative. His medication was upped for his reflux, and it was like a switch with him. All of a sudden, he was eating everything in sight. He was thriving and gaining weight. It's been amazing to see. And yet, in the back of my mind, and in the deepest parts of my heart, I have these bad feelings when it comes to him. Like I just expect that there's going to be something else. Like the shoe is going to fall off the other foot. And I can't shake it.

So my latest concerns? There's a couple. The good thing is that Matthew goes in for his 18 month well child checkup on Friday. I'll be voicing all of my concerns with his doctor (who I love love love and would follow her literally to the ends of the earth - or at least within a 45 minute drive from here!) but I thought I'd write them down here too.

Concern number one is the amount of sleep Matthew gets, or I should say requires and demands. He goes to bed every night between 6:30 and 7 pm. He sleeps straight through the night until anywhere between 7 and 8 in the morning. So about 12-13+ hours each night. Okay pretty normal. But within an hour of waking, he's ready for nap number one. He tells me he's ready each time. He'll be sitting there playing or whatever and then BAM, he fusses. If I ask him if he's ready for night-nights he grabs his cup or blankie or paci (whichever is in the room with him) and runs to his bedroom door. He stops at the door and just waits. As soon as I open the door, he runs to his crib and waits to be picked up and put in. He starts singing as soon as he's in his bed and is asleep within 10 minutes. He's an angel that way!! Love it. However, he'll nap for anywhere between 3-5 hours!!!! If I wake him before he's ready, he's miserable and will scream the rest of the afternoon until he's put back to bed. So after his nap he'll get lunch (which lately has been around 2pm because he's been sleeping so long). He eats lunch, plays for an hour or so and the cycle repeats itself. Fussing, running to his bed, singing and sleeping for another 2 to 3 hours. Count them all up and he's sleeping anywhere between 17-21 hours a DAY!! That's not right. It's not normal and its scaring me. His crazy sleeping schedule is also making me feel trapped in this house. We can't go anywhere because he's always sleeping. And I can't wake him before he's ready or I'm dealing with a Grizzley Bear. But this isn't about me. It's about him and like I said, I'm nervous and think something is wrong.

Concern number two: Matthew's cough. He's had a cough since before Christmas. Our pediatrician doesn't recommend cough medicine for toddlers his age. She's recommended Benadryl in the past. For the first week of his cough I used that on him, but it didn't make much of a difference so I stopped. We made it through the holidays. He still had the cough though it was mainly just at night. On January 8th I brought him in to see her, told her about my concerns with the cough (as well as his sleeping patterns). She listened to him. Lungs sound clear, no signs of sinus or ear infections, throat looked good. Sent us for a Chest X-Ray just to be sure and recommended we give him Claritin to clear up the cough. Chest xrays came back normal. We used the Claritin and the cough cleared up within a few days. Stopped the Claritin. Well guess what's back? Cough, mostly at night and when he's napping (which is I started him back on the Claritin today.

Concern number three: Matthew's speech, or lack-thereof. He doesn't talk. He used to talk. From 12-14 months he was talking, not much but some. He'd say Mama, Daddy, uh-oh, hi, hello, Sunny (the dog), Riley, Austin. At 15 months he started walking (yeah, a bit late). Once he started walking, he stopped talking altogether. I expected that, ya know the whole learn a new motor-skill, forget about focusing on others thing. But he's now a running, climbing fool. But he's not saying anything. He doesn't say any of the words that he used to except he'll occasionally call out Austin and Riley (comes out souding more like "Autty" and "I-yee"). We don't talk for him. I don't baby talk to him either. I'm constantly saying "Matthew, tell Mommy what you want" or "Say more please" "thank you mama for the cup", etc etc. I point to things and tell him what they are. He doesn't respond, doesn't try to repeat the sounds. He understands me and can follow simple directions - go get your kitty cat and bring her to me, show me your belly, can you find your sock. He babbles and has a full conversation with me but none of his words even sound recognizable. Its just a bunch of nonsense, with the same sounds repeated over and over.

I dunno. I don't think these things are all related. They're just three separate observations about him that make me think, "Hey things aren't right". The sleeping thing has me worried about anemia or horrible things like cancer. The cough? Probably allergies. The talking? I don't know. I get scared with all the talk about the number of cases of autism being reported in kids.

But the truth of the matter is, I'm deathly afraid that he's not going to be with us for very long. I've had that fear ever since he was a few weeks old. I've had dreams about him dying. I just have this deep feeling that we'll lose him before we should. Like he's not going to make it to adulthood. I hate this feeling. It scares the crap out of me and makes me even more paranoid. Its horrible but I just can't shake it. I don't know if its just because of all the things we've been through with him. I don't know if its just me going crazy. I don't know if it's because I KNOW. I dont' know what it is but I hate feeling like this. The only good thing about it all is that it makes me very proactive when it comes to his health. At the slightest sign that something isn't right I take him to see his doctor. And for the most part, I've been right about things. Mommy radar works here. Which, unfortunately, just scares me even more. Because if I was right about things not being normal which lead me to take him to the ER and find out that he needed surgery, then maybe I'm right about things now.

I can't lose another baby. I just can't do it. I'm not that strong.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I think I'm finally getting my Scrappin MOJO back!

This past week I rejoined a group of ladies that do border/page kit swaps. I had been a member of their group for a few years until Matthew was born. I missed swapping with them, missed the wonderful creations I got back, missed the wonderful pages I would create, and missed the whole creative process. I have been scrapping for the past 18 months, and my pages look good (for the most part) but they just don't have that POP or that WOW factor. I've been bored with them. I've been bored with what I'm creating and for the most part had that "git-r-done" type of mentality with the pages. Last night I decided that I was going to work on a swap that is due at the end of April. I have plenty of time but just wanted to do something different. I spent a couple of hours perusing the internet, trying to find some inspiration. It's a toddler themed swap and I wanted to do something fun. I decided on monkeys and came up with an adorable set entitled "Monkey See, Monkey Do". It's really cute. I'm about 90% finished with the set. I'm going to order some ribbon to go along with it but I'm just so excited about swapping again and creating. Once the entire thing is done, I'll post it. I have another swap to do which I may work on tomorrow - a kids spring theme. Got any ideas to get the wheels turning in my head??

Want a chance to win a Digital Rebel package and bring a baby home?

Shelley is having a raffle to help pay for expenses to bring their baby daughter, Claire, home from Korea. Donate a little and get the chance to win a fabulous prize! Go to to find out more!

Who doesn't want a new Canon Rebel!? And to know that you are helping to bring a family together? Wow!

Best wishes Shelley, Robert and Joshua.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A letter to Me at Seventeen

Alright girl, sit down and pay attention because I've got a few things that you need to hear. They may not all make sense to you now but keep them at the back of your mind because eventually they all will.

* Don't believe a word Dr. Lacey says. You are smart enough to become a doctor. You'll regret believing that you can't do it. And you'll spend the rest of your life just wishing you would have stayed a bio/pre-med major. You'd have made one hell of a doctor!

* Better yet, don't take Dr. Lacey for Chemistry your second semester of freshman year. It's just a bad move and there are plenty of other Chemistry professors out there. Find one who will encourage you, not pull you down and make you feel worthless.

* Stay away from Hector. He's not worth it. He may be separated but he's married and he's taking advantage of you.

* Apologize to Leigh and Sarah now. They were great friends and you hurt them badly. You need to realize that "the guys" were not friends with them just because of you. They were friends with them DESPITE you. You messed up.

* High school isn't as important as you think it is. It's just the beginning of your life.

* Whatever your problem is with your self-image, get over it. You are fine just the way you are. You will marry a wonderful man who loves everything about you and thinks you are sexy just the way you are.

* Ignore mom when she puts you down. She's just trying to make herself feel better because she's got low self-esteem. You're better than she makes you feel you are.

* Do not take that sinus medicine on the morning of November 28, 2000. DON'T TAKE IT!! It'll cause you to have a brain hemorrhage. You'll also scare your husband to death. You'll miss the first year of your daughter's life because you won't remember anything because of all the pain killers you're on.

* That crazy annoying guy in photography class? He's the one you're gonna marry. He's wonderful. You'll really like him. And he makes cute kids!

* Do not buy the basset hound. You can still propose to Jason without her. She'll only cause problems. She'll bring the two of you close to the point of divorce. She's the devil. Oh and don't put your favorite baseball cap on the dining room table. Devil dog will get up on the table and crap on it!

* Go to the XGI fraternity party when you're 19. This will sound crazy but you'll get pregnant and even though it seems like the end of the world, you'll be blessed with the greatest gift ever. It'll be hard, but you're strong enough and you're a wonderful mom.

* Do not fill out that application for the credit card in college. A large package of Twizzlers given to you to entice you to sign up is not worth the problems that credit cards cause you. Buy things you can afford.

* And for goodness sake, girl, pay your bills when you're young. What did you think was going to happen to the Saturn if you didn't pay the car payment? Don't act surprised when they come to repossess it (but get the CDs out of the car before they take it! You'll miss them.)

* Hold onto Ian for a little bit longer than you think you should. And kiss the top of his head like you want to. Do it! Bring your camera and take pictures of him. Realize that Jason is hurting just as much as you are. Don't let this cause you both to drift further and further apart. He loves you and he hurts too. You guys will work through this and eventually you'll be stronger than you ever were before.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Blah, blah, blah

Today is just one of those days. The kind that has you unmotivated and not willing or wanting to do a thing even though you know you have to. One of those days. Today. Oh and it was like that yesterday too. Hmm... come to think of it, it was the day before as well. So its one of those weeks. I guess I have myself in a bit of a funk. Gotta get out of it. Maybe tonight after dinner, when Matthew is in bed, and Jason is over at his friend Sean's house, I'll scrapbook for a little bit more.

I'm trying to finish up my 2007 family album so that I can begin working on Stacey Julian's Library of Memories system for scrapping. I so wish I could afford the money to take her class which begins in the middle of February. I'd give just about anything to take it. But unfortunately, things are tight around here. We had a bathroom remodel in December that cost us about $1500 more than we were originally quoted and we have to come up with the rest of the money by the 30th. Don't know where that money is going to come from, so there's obviously no way I could pay for the LOM class. That's okay. We'll figure it out.

In the meantime I've read both of Stacy Julian's books and am part of a Yahoo message group for the Library of Memories. They're a chatty bunch with lots of great ideas. Some of the members have already gone through the class and have given lots of valuable information so far. I'm hoping that I'll gain lots of info from them after the class begins and they start really talking about it. I feel like a fly on the wall with them. I don't think I've posted a single message but I've read all of theirs! Haha! Perhaps next year though I'll be able to participate in the class. I hope.

Hmm. So let's see. What's new going on around here, besides the fact that Mommy has been unmotivated to do anything? Surprisingly, the house isn't a total mess. It's not beautiful, Good-Housekeeping-cover-material, but its not a total disgusting mess either. It's got that "lived-in" look. Its comfortable, though it could use another decluttering.

I'm thinking about purchasing a potty for Matthew. He's 18 months now, and though I don't expect to have him potty trained anytime real soon, I think it's time to at least introduce him to it. He's got himself on a pretty regular schedule and I'm finding him staying drier longer and longer. I never attempted something like this this early with Austin or Riley but then again, I wasn't a stay-at-home mom with either of them either. I'm here with Matthew I've got the time. I might as well try it. Anyone have any helpful advice or links online to help me out?

Oh I checked out the latest edition of People Magazine at the grocery store the other night. They ran a story about Matt, Liz and Madeline Logelin in it. It was so exciting to read. I've been following Matt's blog since a few days after Liz passed away. I read it every day that he has it updated. You should check it out. Prepare yourself first with a box of tissues for the very beginning. And before long, you'll find yourself laughing out loud, nodding in complete understanding, and enjoying watching little Maddie go from a tiny little helpless newborn to this beautiful baby girl who is so full of life and joy. She looks so much like her mommy which must be hard and wonderful all at the same time for Matt. That man has a heart of gold and you can see just how much he is hurting but knows that he's gotta keep on keepin' on for Maddie's sake. Maddie is very blessed to have such a loving daddy looking out for her.

Crud. Riley is about to get off the bus which means the busy part of my day is about to begin. Gotta start dinner since Jason will be home in less than two hours. Ah, the routine of a stay-at-home mom.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Beauty Day 13

I miss my son, Ian, terribly. The ache and the pain is still so real after over seven years. Today is the anniversary of his due date. Seven years!! My baby boy should be a first grader. I should be planning a birthday party at the bowling alley or the skating rink. I should be wrapping the latest video game he so desperately wanted, or a bike without training wheels, or a new basketball. He should be learning to read and excited about losing a tooth. He should be playing with legos and looking forward to trying out for spring baseball or soccer. He should be here. He should be 14 months younger than Riley. He should...he should...he should.

But he's not. And he never will be. He's gone and that's all there is to that. No amount of begging or pleading to God will bring him back to me. I know that. Trust me, I've tried. I've spent hours upon hours pleading for God to return him to me. To have one more chance to kiss his tiny head. I've begged for the chance to watch him take a breath. To hear him giggle. To wipe a tear from his eye. To sing and rock him to sleep. I want to be able to take him into my arms and never let him go. But I can't. And I have to learn to live with that, no matter how hard it is or how much it hurts. I need to keep on keepin' on.

So what is the beauty that I find in a day that is so sad and hurts me so much? Oh there is so much beauty. So much to be thankful for. And I need to remind myself of that. Of how blessed I am. Of how thankful I am. Where do I even start? What is the gift that Ian and God has given me? How can I be so thankful when I have lost so much?

Losing Ian was the worst thing that has ever happened in my life. The worst. And yet, in so many ways, it was the best thing that has ever happened to me. Seems very contradictary doesn't it? You're probably thinking I must be crazy. What is so great about losing your baby?

So let me just tell you. First off, losing Ian brought me to God. How incredible is that?! What a gift! Prior to losing Ian, I didn't know God. When Ian died, I was angry. Oh I was so angry. How could such a so-called loving God take a baby from a family that wanted him so much? I hated Him for doing that to me. Hated him. As the weeks and months passed, I was sitting in my darkest of dark days, feeling alone and helpless, feeling as though my world was falling apart, separated from my husband and heading towards divorce. My pain was too heavy for me to carry alone. The thought of my son laying in a cold grave, never for me to see him again, made me seek out this God of Comfort that so many people told me about. I began to read my Bible. I began to pray. I began to see that this God had made so many promises to me. That He was holding a place for Ian. That one day I would be reunited with him. He showed me that I was blessed to be the mother of a son that knew only pure love for his entire life. That he was taken from my womb and carried into the arms of God, never knowing pain. My son was chosen for this! He had learned everything that he needed to learn about life in such a short amount of time, never having ever seen the sunlight or felt the wind on his cheeks. I was the lucky one because it was my son who was special enough for this.

Climbing out of my grief and despair, with the help of God, allowed me to renew and strengthen my relationship with my husband as well. We are stronger than we ever were. We are happier than we ever were, and I can't say that would hold true had we not gone through what we did by losing Ian. His death also threw me into membership into the Club. The club that no one wants to be a part of, but that every member is so thankful for knowing that there are others out there that understand the gamut of feelings we go through. I never knew anyone who had a loss prior to my loss. Losing Ian changed the woman I am, the compassion I feel. I have made some wonderful friends through this grief journey. I know that I have also helped a few others just by sharing my story about Ian. What a wonderful legacy Ian has left.

Finally, it is because of Ian that I am the mother of Matthew. Ah, Matthew John, the newest light in our lives. My little Punky, Chunkamunka, and Punkster McMunkster. After Ian's death, I prayed and prayed for another baby. I needed that other baby. And God made me wait. Five long, heartache-filled years. But I know now that I needed that time to grow and learn and to heal. And when the time was right, as God always knows the right time, I became pregnant with my miracle boy. The boy who put us through so much just to safely get him here safely. The boy who had two major surgeries before he turned 6 months old. The boy who had medical issue after medical issue and who is now, by the grace of God, the healthiest little man. Matthew makes our lives so much more full, so much happier, so much more tired (that boy is busy busy busy and never stops!). Matthew is exactly who we needed as a family to recover from our loss and to complete the Halters. He's perfect for us. Perfect.

But he wouldn't be here if Ian was here. How do you live with that? I yearn for Ian. I miss him so much and I want him back. I'd give anything to have him here. But if he was here with us, Matthew wouldn't. I'd give anything, but would I give up Matthew for Ian? How do you choose? The baby that you have grieved for for 7 years or the new child in your life who is only 18 months? The good thing is I don't get to choose! God has made the choice. I get Matthew. I get to pour all the love I have for Ian onto Matthew. I get to watch him sleep. I get to kiss his head. I get to hear him giggle. I get to wipe his tears. I get to rock him and sing him to sleep. I get to!

And one day, God willing, I'll plan Matthew's 7th birthday party. I'll wrap that video game up for him. I'll hear him read his first book and I'll get to see his big toothless smile. I'll take him to baseball tryouts. I'll do all the things that I wanted to do with Ian, and Ian will be right there with us, tucked safely in my heart. Matthew is a lucky boy. And I'm an even luckier mommy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This post is specifically for Amelia

Good morning sweetie. Here's your Matthew fix for the day. Now have your mommy wipe up the drool from your chin. All the girls dig a bald head and a fluffy bubble butt! Matthew has a message for you.

Dear Amelia,
When can you come over to play? I want some real contact with you, not just pictures and messages back and forth between our mommies. Please baby, I'll make it worth the 1000 mile trip! If you came here we could:

Play on my train table. Mommy tells me to get off the table all the time but it makes a great dance floor. I've been practicing my moves. Can you see my big ol' booty?

Or we could just sit in a box. Do you know how much fun a box is? We've got lots of boxes and laundry baskets. We could pretend that it was a big plane taking us on a romantic weekend getaway! Or we could just pretend it was a box. Either way, I'm happy.

I've got lots of movies. Wiggles are my favorite. I just love to dance to them, especially on the train table. If you don't like Wiggles, I've got Elmo, Dora, and Thomas the Train. I think we have a few stupid Princess Barbie movies from my big sister. You're a girl. You'd probably like that dumb stuff huh?

I like bananas in the morning, so after you get here we can have a snack. Mommy just went grocery shopping so there's more to eat here than just dry cereal and water. Bout time!

Well Amelia it was nice writing to you. Hope you enjoyed my letter. I'll be sitting in my hallway, holding the remote and just waiting for you to arrive.
Forever yours (or at least until I start preschool when I get to meet all kinds of little ladies),

Brought to you by the Letter "D"

I was reading Lindsay's Blog and she had a fun little quiz on it. She assigned me the letter D so now I have to list 10 of my favorite things that begin with D. Thank goodness she didn't give me Q. Can you imagine? Queer quirky quarantined quadraplegic quints covered in quartz from the quarry and quilts made by the queen, quietly quarreling over taking quizzes full of questions, quotation marks and quadrilateral lines, feeling queasy while trying to quickly qualify for the quarterfinals and yet, quenching their thirst with quarts of milk that they bought for a quarter. Phew!!

And so now, my top 10 D things:

1. dSLR camera (my new Nikon)
2. Dimples
3. my Daughter, Riley
4. Drinking Turkey Hill Iced Tea
5. Driving on vacation
6. Daily fix of Scrapshare
7. My 2 darling boys, Austin and Matthew
8. Daytime naps
9. my Dad
10. my DH, Jason

If you want to play too, drop me a comment and I'll assign you a letter too!

Beauty Day 12

Knowing my limitations and being able to admit them.

So here it is. I can't blog every day. Or at least not yet. I can't keep up with this challenge. I went from no blogging whatsoever to trying to blog daily for this challenge and it is just too much for me right now.

And that's OKAY. I shouldn't feel stressed about getting this blogged No big deal. I'll blog as often as I can and take a rest if I don't feel like blogging. No biggie. I'm not being graded on this challenge. It's not like I get paid for how often I blog. This blog is for me (and whoever is out there and wants to read this) and I shouldn't feel like I HAVE to do anything.

So there's the beauty for today. I am not superwoman. I don't want to be superwoman. I'll write when inspired and when I have the time. And that's it.

Ahh... I feel so much better!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Beauty Day 9

What is beautiful around me right now? Contentment. Satisfaction. Peace and quiet. The dishwasher is running. The kids are asleep. Jason is downstairs finishing up a video game. I'm sitting here at the computer for a few minutes and thinking "ya know, life is pretty okay right now". I'm happy. I've got a great husband. Three beautiful healthy wonderful kids. A nice home. The bills are paid. Things are good today. And that makes for a happy mom and wife.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Snatched this from my buddy Sarah's old old old blog (check out her regular blog here) and thought I'd revive it and plop it here on my blog.

Adult Survey:
Tired of all of those stupid Survey's made by High School kids who really think its neat to Sneak Out and Sleep in a bed with the "opposite" sex well I am too.Here are some questions for some people who are a little more mature than the average MTV Generation Retard.

1. What bill do you hate paying the most? Mortgage
2. Favorite Place to eat a romantic Dinner? Well it would have been The Meritage where I used to work, but they have since closed. We haven't been out to eat for a romantic dinner since before Matthew was born!!
3. Last time you Puked from Drinking? Unfortunately it was this summer. But that was the first time in probably 6 years or so.
4. When is the last time you got drunk and woke up in a strange place? College?
5. Name of your First Grade Teacher? Mrs. Hahn
6. What do you really want to be doing right now? Sleeping
7. What did you want to be when you were growing up? A doctor
8.How many colleges did you attend before you settled on the one you graduated from? I've attended three, but haven't graduated yet.
9. Why did you wear the shirt that you have on right now? Because it was longsleeved and is comfy.
10. Gas Prices! First Thought? I'm thankful that they're finally down below $2.00 again.
11. If you could move anywhere where would you go and who would you take? Somewhere south and warm (probably Texas) and I'd take Jason and the kiddos.
12. First Thought When the alarm went off this morning? No alarm on the weekend. Matthew is my alarm.
13. Last thought before Falling asleep last night? I wondered what time Jason would end up crawling into bed
14. Favorite style of underwear? comfy cotton bikinis
16. What Errand/Chore do you despise? Putting away laundry
17. If you didnt have to work would you? I'm a stay-at-home mom who has to work part-time out of the house. Wish I didn't have to.
18. Sex or Sleep? Sex and then sleep
19. Your Favorite Cartoon Character? The Smurfs
20. Favorite non-sexual thing to do at night with the opposite sex? cuddle
21. A secret that you wouldnt mind everyone knowing? Don't really have any secrets
22. What happened to this question?????? you tell me.
23. Your Best Your Mamma Joke? Don't really have any.
24. Your Favorite Lunch Meat? Ham
25. What do you get everytime you go into a WAWA? No WaWa's close by. But there's plenty of Turkey Hill's and I buy gallons and gallons of their addicting tea.
26. Beach Or Shore? Beach
27. Do you think Marriage is an outdated ritual that was invented by people who died at 20?Nope not at all.
28. Who do you Stalk on myspace? nobody
29. Favorite Guilty Pleasure(s)? Taking a nap in the middle of the day.
30. Favorite Movie you wouldn't want anyone to find out about? Titanic
31. What's your drink? Turkey Hill Tea
32. Cowboys or Indians? Cowboy
33. Cops or Robbers? Cops
34. Do you cheer for the bad guys? Nope except for Dr. Gregory House
35. What Hollyood Star do you think resembles you best? Uhh don't think anyone is as gorgeous in Hollywood as me! HA!
36. If you had to pick one which cast member of Lost,who would you be? Don't watch Lost.
37. What do you want when you are sick? Peace and quiet and lots of sleep.
38. Who from High School would you like to run into? A bunch of my old friends
39. What radio station is your car radio tuned to right now? FM 97
41. Stifler or Oz? Oz
42. Norm or Cliff? Well, I am married to a mailman. You figure it out.
43. The Cosby Show or the Simpsons? Cosby
44. Worst Relationship Mistake that you wish you could take back? None
45. Do you Like the Person who sits directly across from you at work? I don't work
46. If you could get away with it who would you kill? I could never kill anyone.
47. What Famous person would you like to have dinner with? Eric Clapton
48. What famous Person would you like to sleep with? No one
49. Have you ever had to use a fire extinguisher for its intended purpose? yes
50. Last book you read for real? Can't remember. It's been a while.
51. Do you have a teddy bear? No
52. Strangest Place you have ever had sex? In a field
53. Strangest Place you have ever wanted to have sex? hmm
54. How many times a day do you text? None. Dont' have a cell phone
55. at this point in your life would you rather start a new career or relationship? Neither
56. Do you go to church? Not as often as we should
57. Pencil or Pen? pen
58. Describe your favorite Day? sleeping in and then reading the newspaper followed by a day of scrapbooking with friends and ending the day cuddling with DH (copied word for word from Sarah)
59. Personal best record for number of times you pleasured yourself in a day? Umm... uhh...
60. How much money would it take for you to have sex with someone of the same sex? Would never do it.
61. What time do you normally go to bed at night? Usually around 11 or 12.
62. Where is your next vacation going to be? Hopefully to New Hampshire to visit Sarah and her family
63. How did you meet your last or current signifcant other? I met Jason in Photography class in college
64. If u could change one thing in your life right now what would it be? Just a little more money would be nice
65. since we are all adults here....... bar/club or dinner and a movie? Dinner and a Movie

Beauty Day 8


Not what most people have in mind when they think of beauty, but really, it truly is a beautiful thing. I'm not great at organizing. Well that's not entirely true. I organize in my own way which Jason says is ridiculous. It's Meg-anized which Jason sees as just a bunch of piles that don't make any sense -- to HIM. But usually I can find what it is that I'm looking for. I always have good intentions when it comes to organization. I buy the organizers, figure out how I want to do things, start the project and then BAM! Something else catches my attention or I just get tired of it, which leaves me half organized on a lot of things. Going back to finish the organization is a daunting task, and I tried to do anything but go back to it. Which just leaves even more that needs to be organized. And so the vicious cycle is created and repeated.

About three years ago I raided my parents' house and took all of their photos. Over 40 years worth of photos! Crazy of me, huh? But they were a mess at mom and dad's house. There was no organization to them. And my mom doesn't really scrap. So they would never be put in any sort of scrapbook album. I wanted to be able to make albums for them, so that one day, when they are no longer here, I can have them back for my children and future generations. So I grabbed the huge box of photos and started a rough sort. Basically I sorted them by decade and threw them in gallon sized ziploc bags and threw them back in the box. And there they sat. In a box by decades for a year.

Later, I grabbed the 70s and skipped to 1976 (when I was born) and started organizing the photos. I created Volume I of my childhood album 1976-1979. And then I puttered out. I got busy with other projects. I had a baby and had to work on his album and keep his photos organized.

So the photos that I took three years ago from mom and dad were partially organized (okay okay 3 years were organized and scrapped) and the remainder 37 years worth of photos were in ziplocs. In November I started to read Stacy Julian's "Photo Freedom" and decided that I wanted to begin my own Library of Memories. Great aspiration, Meg, but did you remember that you're not great about organization and in order to accomplish such a task you need to organize!! Luckily for me, I've scrapped all of our family photos up until 2008 since Austin was born in 1996. So I've got 11 years worth of photos in albums already and 2008 is on the computer, organized by month. I'm ahead of the game, right? Umm, no, 'cause I'd like to use some of my photos from my childhood.

Last night I decided to bite the bullet and begin the organization process of the photos from my parents. I grabbed the two full bags of 1980s photos. I took 5x7 index cards and wrote on the top of each card the season and year, from Winter 1979/80 until Winter 1989/90. I covered my 6 foot scrapping table with the cards and then began the sort. 90% of the photos have been sorted. Mom is coming over tomorrow to help me with a few stragglers that I can't seem to figure out when they were taken. I started putting the photos in Pioneer 3-Up albums and its been so awesome to see the progress. It has also brought back such great memories of my childhood. I've found a few photos of me that are spitting images of Riley and Matthew. I've already planned out a few pages I want to make in the near future.

I'm feeling inspired and relieved all at once. The great part is once the 80s are finished, I only have 4 years of photos to organize that will get me through to my high school graduation. I've already scrapped my senior year as well as my college years and then in 1996 my son was born. And like I said, everything from 1996 until December 2007 is scrapped! I see light at the end of the tunnel and it just makes me feel so good!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Beauty Day 7

I hate winter. I've always hated winter. I hate to be cold. I hate to drive in snow and ice and freezing rain. I hate that the days are short and that there is never enough sunlight. I hate that everything is brown and dead around me. I long for spring and summer.
However, despite how much I hate winter (and I mean I really really hate it), I am able to find beauty in it. Yesterday we had freezing rain all day. I noticed that the bushes were covered in ice so I threw on my coat and grabbed my new camera (a Nikon D40 which I LOVE) and decided to capture some of the beauty amid all the dreariness of January in Central PA. I captured what I believe to be a beautiful picture. I love the way the ice looks around the branches and how there is just a bit of red showing among all the brown.
The purpose of this month's blog challenge was to find beauty around us, which I think is necessary for me during the winter months. I'm one of those people that lose all energy in the winter. I have no motivation. I veg out just longing for the warmer days. Its necessary for me to see that there is beauty surrounding me.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Beauty Day 6

Gotta post something. But today it's going to be short and sweet. Beauty for today is going to bed before 11 pm. Woohoo! For the past several weeks I've been having problems getting myself off the couch (or computer) to go to bed before 1 a.m. Today? Today I'm exhausted. It's finally catching up to me. All those days of running on only 5 hours of sleep have come to attack me and

I can't keep my eyes open any longer. So today, at 10:18 p.m., I'm signing off this computer and crawling into my bed so that I may actually get 8 hours (or more if my husband is sweet enought to get up with Punky tomorrow morning).

Meg needs her beauty rest. Trust me, I really really do. So tomorrow I'll be refreshed and beautiful and ready to start my day on the right foot!

Update on A Step Away from Babyhood

Sippy cup was full this morning. I'm thinking that we might be able to just hand him a cup of water before naps/bedtime. That's the agenda for today!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

One Small Step Away From Babyhood

Matthew will be 18 months old on the 19th of January (where in the world did the time go!?) Matthew is slow to change. It took us from 6 months old until 12 months old to get him to drink from a sippy. And he'd only drink water from the sippy. He doesn't like juice and he refused formula in the cup. I have tried a few times since his first birthday in July to get him off of the bottle. First it took us about 2 months to get him to stop the formula and start on milk. But he wouldn't drink milk cold - it had to be warmed to formula temperature (YUCK!). We got him to switch but he wouldn't drink the milk from a sippy cup. Now at just about 18 months he was only drinking warm milk from a bottle (before naps and bedtime) and only water from a sippy.

Today I put my foot down. I'm tired of the bottles. So I told Jason that today was the day we'd just give him a cup. I prepared myself for a battle of the wills with the Stubborn One. The boy usually doesn't let up until he gets what he wants. He'll scream for hours if I put him down for a nap and he thinks he doesn't need one. He'll continue until I've finally had it or until he collapses in pure exhaustion. I still win because I make him stay in there for an hour anyway.

So this morning when he was ready for his first nap I told him that we were going to use a sippy. I grabbed one of the Nuby brand cups that most resemble his bottle. It has a soft silicone spout similar to the nipple on his Avent bottle. I poured the milk, warmed it to his ridiculous temperature, and gave it to him. Now don't yell at me about the drinking of milk when going to bed. I know I know. It's bad for his teeth, yada yada yada. But one battle at a time here ladies and gents. Let's get this under control first and then we'll tackle that next. Anyway, he laid down, took a sip like usual, furrowed his brow, pulled the cup out of his mouth, looked at it and promptly handed it to me as if to say "What the F mom? Where's the bottle?" I told him that he could drink his sippy but no bottles today. I promptly turned around and left his room.

He fussed for a bit, then started to scream. I waited about 10 minutes and then went back into his room. I picked up his blankies, stuffed animals, paci and cup off of the floor. When he's upset or frustrated he'll throw everything out of the room and then scream hysterically because he doesn't have all of his stuff in his bed with him. Silly boy. Once I handed everything back to him, I told him night-nights and said he could drink from his cup if he wanted milk. Then left again.

I didn't hear from him again for 3 hours (told you he loves his naps). When he woke up I saw that he hadn't drank any of his milk. Okay that's fine. That might just make it easier for me to get him to not take any milk to bed at all. Victory number 1 for the day. No bottle. Refused to drink milk in the cup, but at least he napped. Mama - 1. Matthew - 0.

A few hours later he was ready for his short afternoon nap. Again, I grabbed the cup for milk. Again he fussed for a bit, but eventually took a nap. This time, however, he drank some of the milk. Victory number 2 for the day. No bottle. Drank some milk from a cup. Mama - 2. Matthew - 0.

After his nighttime bath I got him ready for bed. Gave him his medicine, got his blanky and paci and filled a hard-topped cup with warm milk. This would be the real test. I laid him in bed, handed him the cup. He took a sip, furrowed his brow, pulled the cup out of his mouth, looked at it, handed it to me and again gave me the "What the F" look. Again, I said, "No bottles" and handed it back to him. Then turned around and left. I never heard another peep out of him. Victory number 3. Mama - 3. Matthew - 0.

I'm interested to see tomorrow morning if he ever drank any of the milk from the cup tonight. If he didn't, I'm thinking the transition away from milk at bedtime will be much easier. I'm hoping tomorrow goes as smoothly with the cup...

Beauty Day 5

Have you seen pictures of my daughter Riley? She just turned 8 in November. The girl is beautiful - inside and out. She's very outgoing. Very thoughtful. She cares about other people. She's a great help with Matthew - always the doting and loving big sister. She wants to please people and wants them to be happy. Not to say that Riley doesn't have her moments when I'd like to string her up and hang her from the ceiling fan by her toenails. 'Cause there's a few times like that every day. She can talk your ears off. She bounces nonstop. The girl cannot sit still. She can get mouthy and throw temper tantrums and has already begun having those little pre-adolescent mood swings. But overall, she's just a good, sweet, beautiful girl.

She just didn't start out that way. Riley was an ugly newborn. Uhhhh-ggggly! Ugly ugly. That's horrible to say but its true. Good thing for you all, I don't have any of her newborn photos scanned. You're welcome. But really she was not an attractive baby. She had a big bald head, a teeny-tiny little nose (a nose way too small for her face), huge ears that stuck out of the sides of her head (that would be her dad's genes to be blamed for that), and these blue eyes that were the size of half dollars and took up most of her face. She also had a red stork's bite on the back of her neckas well as on on her forehead that became very prominent when she was screaming bloody murder because she was hungry or wet.

But as she grew, she grew into that big head of hers. Her eyes are still huge and a very prominent feature on her face. But they're beautiful and perfect. Her nose is tiny but it fits her. The ears? Well her hair is long enough to cover them most of the time and they seem to lay flatter against her head than they did when she was younger. She's tall and lean. She's going to be stunning as a teenager and young woman.

Jason has already purchased the shotgun and its hanging prominently on the the living room wall. We're also looking into permanently locking her into her bedroom until she's 40.

WARNING: Don't come to my house and eat homemade cookies

I've been found out. Jason caught me

So I'm going to confess to you all. This is a tough one for me but I've gotta be honest. It's because I love you all that I'm sharing this with you.

When you come to my house (be it to hang out, scrap with me, or to claim a plot for your significant other in my burial grounds) don't eat any cookies that I may make. Wait that's wrong. Eat the cookies or the cakes or anything else ONLY if it doesn't contain sprinkles (jimmies). If there are sprinkles (jimmies), politely decline. Trust me on this one.

I have a problem. And the best way to overcome that problem is to admit it. Step one.

Hello. My name is Meg. (Hello Meg!) I lick sprinkles directly out of the container, just like they were on an ice cream cone.

Phew. I feel much better.I bought two bulk containers of sprinkles from our local grocery store in the beginning of December. One container of green and one of red. The plan was that I was going to make cookies with the kids. That never came into fruition. So they've been up in the cupboard for a while. But every once in a while when I'm craving something sweet I bring the container down and sneak a lick.

Jason caught me today. I've now made my confession and hope to be forgiven. But I can't promise that there won't be a "just one more lick, I'm strong enough" in my future.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Beauty Day 4

I'm really enjoying these blog challenges. It's making me think outside of the box and I am recording thoughts that I wouldn't typically write about. I can post about how beautiful a flower or my daughter or a sunset at the beach is but there's so much beauty in all of the little things that is going on in my life too. So today I posted a picture of Matthew laying on the floor last month. Doesn't look all that beautiful huh? The carpet is grungy looking, the jammie-jams he's wearing are too small on him, the blanket isn't one of his favorites and his paci is upside down in his mouth. To the normal person, beautiful it is not.

However, let me tell you what is beautiful about this picture. It can't be seen in the picture. It's something only I would know. This picture is taken an hour and a half after Matthew woke up that morning. What's so significant about that? Matthew has himself on a schedule. He runs like clockwork. Now the schedule isn't perfect. He doesn't always wake up at the same time every morning. He varies between waking up anywhere between 6:30 am and 8 am (though yesterday my baby boy slept in until 9 which would have been awesome for me if I hadn't had to get up early to watch Dominik). The clockwork comes in starting from the time he wakes up. Without fail, that boy is ready for his morning nap EXACTLY an hour and a half after he wakes up. This morning he got up at 8 am. At 9:30 he fussed, grabbed his blankie and paci and told me it was time (without using any words). It never fails. He's playing and is happy and that internal clock of his his strikes after 90 minutes and BAM! "Night-night time. GET ME TO BED NOW!!"

The same thing happens for him at night. Between 6 and 6:30 the clock strikes again and you better get that boy into his jammie-jams and throw him into bed. I love it. He's a wonderful sleeper. I've been blessed with three kiddos who loved to sleep as infants and toddlers. We've never had any issues with bedtimes or naps for any of them. Riley was still taking an afternoon nap until she was almost 6 years old! I'm thinking that Matthew may follow in his big sister's footsteps.

Naptimes, sleep, internal clocks. It's a beautiful thing.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Beauty Day 3

Ok so I'm running a bit behind on this post for Day 3. I had it started but yesterday didn't pan out exactly the way I wanted it to and before you knew it the day was over. I babysat Dominik for the day and usually he's a pretty quiet, calm kiddo. Yesterday was not so. He screamed from 11:30 until his mom picked him up at 3:30. It made for a long day. A day where I didn't get to spend much time on the computer. And then it was dinner time. After dinner, I helped Riley clean out and organize her room. That was quite the challenge and we still have more to tackle tonight. Yea me. Okay so on to Beauty Day number 3...

Our front and back yard in the spring. Look at how green and beautiful it is. We just bought this house in July and honestly it was the yards that hoooked us on this home. We have an acre of land and we're in a wooded area. We're only 4 miles from the center of town but it feels like we're living in the middle of nowhere. It's awesome.

Today its cold and blah outside. The leaves are all gone. The trees are bare. Everything is dead. I long for the days of spring and summer again. Life is around us. Everything smells good. The animals are stirring. The plants are blossoming. We can open our windows and air out the 3 months of stale winter air that we have been breathing.

I can't wait until Matthew can run and play in his back yard. We've got little bikes and ride on toys for him. His grandma bought him a water and sand table for Christmas. He's going to have so much fun and it'll be a blast to watch him explore his new world.

It's January right now. Only about 4 more months until it's warm enough to play outside without a coat. I can't wait!! In the meantime I'll just look at the pictures of my beautiful green yard and hope for the days to pass quickly.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I'm not the only idiot living in my house

Remember in September when I broke my foot egging my husband and neighbor? Remember how Jason wouldn't let up about me being such an idiot to run in the dark after throwing eggs at him? And how if nothing else, I should have at least been drunk while doing so? Well guess what? This idiot is married to an idiot, and oh man do I love him!!

Today Jason, Austin and said neighbor went to neighbor's cousin's farm to play Airsoft and Capture the Flag. I'm not a big fan of Airsoft guns but Jason and Austin always roll their eyes at me so I keep my mouth shut. I'm also not a big fan of Jason running around acting like a 12 year old boy when he's a 32 year old man. But whatever. Well today Jason had the flag and was running and ooops, his foot fell into a small ditch and rolled. He continued to play but when he came home limping I told him to let me see his foot. He told me that he just twisted it a bit.

Umm. No. It's purple and bruised and swollen in the exact same spot as mine was in September when it was broken. His is just the other foot. Big Dummy. He's on the phone with work now taking a couple of days off for medical leave. He's going to the doctor and will get it x-rayed tomorrow.

Well off to play nurse to my sick patient. Got the ace bandage out and some more frozen peas and a pillow. Poor guy.

Is it wrong of me to laugh at him anyway even though I know how bad it hurts?

Beauty Day 2

Ask just about anyone and they'll tell you that there is nothing more beautiful than new life. And every mother will tell you that their child is the most beautiful. And of course they are right. However, I have to tell you that these pictures of me with Matthew just minutes after his birth truly reflect beauty. I felt love and pure joy after the birth of Austin and Riley, however, the feelings of relief and gratitude in addition to that love and joy that I felt after Matthew safely arrived is unparalleled. These pictures warm my heart and bring me back to the first time I held my beautiful, healthy, living son, Matthew.

Matthew and I had a rough start from almost the moment we found out we were expecting him. We had had two losses prior to his pregnancy, one being the stillbirth of baby Ian back in 2001. After losing Ian, we had 5 years of infertility. I had prayed daily for five years for another baby. A few weeks after we knew of Matthew's pregnancy, I began to bleed. I had episodes throughout his pregnancy of bleeding, abruptions, pre-term contractions. I spent 5 weeks on hospital bedrest. I was given Magnesium Sulfate and Procardia to keep Matthew from coming too early. We had a few scares. And yet, Matthew thrived.

In the middle of July 2007, I began to have more and more placental abruptions. My doctors were torn between keeping Matthew on the inside to bake a little more or bring him into this world with the chance of having medical issues due to his prematurity. But the more and more that I bled, the more and more the doctors came to realize that we had to take our chances and that Matthew would most likely do better to be born early than to risk the chance of another stillbirth due to abruption.

It was so scary. Yes, I was tired of the bedrest. I missed Austin and Riley and Jason. I missed my own bed. Me being in the hospital put a lot of stress on our family and our friends who were helping to take care of the kids. I wanted to be selfish and say "Just get the baby out" but truth be told, I'd rather lay upside down on my head for 5 months if it meant that I would have a healthy baby in the end.

On July 18, 2007, at 36 weeks along, my doctors decided to start the induction of my labor. The first day went slow. They gave me cervadil to soften my cervix and then let me sleep overnight. The "real" induction began on the 19th with pitocin. At a little past 11 pm I began to push. At 11:26, Matthew John entered this world. He was silent and I held my breath. Flashbacks of Ian's birth came to me. The silence after delivery. The pain of knowing my baby wasn't alive. Knowing all the memories we wouldn't be able to share together. No birthday parties, no first Christmases, no first steps, first days of kindergarten, no smiles or hugs or kisses. I began to tear up a bit, reliving all of that pain. I couldn't survive burying another child. I knew I wasn't strong enough.

And then I heard him. Oh the sound of that first cry. It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard because it meant that we didn't have a repeat of Ian's birth. I began to sob, uncontrollably. The pain of losing Ian combined with the pure joy of having another chance with another son. It was like I literally opened the floodgates and all that emotion just poured out of me. I couldn't control the emotions. I thanked God over and over again for my little miracle. For giving me another baby. For allowing me to once again shower pure, unconditional love on another human being.

One Word

I snatched this from a Scrapshare blogger (michellekcm). You have to answer each question with just one word. Sounds easy enough. Truth is, it's harder than you think!

1. Where is your cell phone? nonexistant
2. Significant other? Jason
3. Your hair? unwashed
4. Your mother? ugh
5. Your father? awesome
6. Your favorite thing? sleep
7. Your dream last night? work
8. Your favorite drink? tea
9. Your dream/goal? happy
10. The room you're in? kitchen
11. Your hobby? scrapbooking
12. Your fear? death
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? school
14. Where were you last night? work
15. What you're not? athletic
16. Muffins? blueberry
17. One of your wish list items? scrapcrap
18. Where you grew up? Lancaster
19. The last thing you did? sniffled
20. What are you wearing? pajamas
21. Your TV? newer
22. Your pets? dog
23. Your computer? slow
24. Your life? content
25. Your mood? tired
26. Missing someone? Ian
27. Your car? van
28. Something you're not wearing? bra
29. Favorite store? Target
30. Your summer? moved
31. Like someone? lots
32. Your favorite color? green
33. When is the last time you laughed? yesterday
34. Last time you cried? dunno

Saturday, January 3, 2009

January Monthly Blog Challenge - Day 1

Traci posted a new blog challenge on Scrapshare. I figured that today was as good a day as any to jump on in. Here's the rules for the challenge: The Challenge for January will be a Search for Beauty. This beauty can be a combination of both inner or outer beauty and will include a photo contest too. The rules are as follows:

Part 1: Blog daily about the people/places/things you find beauty in. A post can be a tribute to a special person that is or was beautiful to you. Or a post about something beautiful in the world around us. It could even include a beautiful plate of cookies that you bake, or a drawing hanging on your fridge. The challenge will run from January 3rd - January 31

Part 2: Post 3 pictures each week showcasing beauty. I'm not going to give you weekly categories this month because I want you to feel free to snap and post photos as you search for beauty.

I can do this! So let's go!

Beauty - Day 1

My son and my father. Everytime I see the two of them together I get warm fuzzies inside. Austin and his "Guh" have a very special relationship. I was 20 and single when Austin was born and my parents took me in and allowed us to live with them until Austin turned 3. Austin's biological father had nothing to do with him. My dad became Austin's substitute dad.

My dad always wanted a son. He only had two daughters. So when Austin was born, there wasn't a prouder moment for my father. And just to add icing to the cake, I gave Austin my dad's first name as his middle name as well as my father's last name. My dad was the last male in his family so the line would have ended with him since he had two daughters. Now the name continues with my oldest son.

I'm so thankful for the three years that we spent living with my parents. No, it wasn't always easy. But the greatest thing was that my dad and my son had the chance to form an incredibly strong, incredibly special relationship. They are best buddies. My dad adores Austin and has all kinds of special things set aside to give to Austin when he eventually passes away.

They have special names for each other. When Austin was a baby he couldn't say Grandpa. So he called him Guh. The name stuck. Everyone calls him Guh and Dad loves to tell everyone that Guh spells Hug backwards! Aww! Dad calls Austin, Cheese. It's so funny to hear him say "What's up Cheese?" or "See ya later, Cheese".

My dad has great relationships with my other two children. He adores them. He loves them both very much. But it's different from the relationship he has with Austin. Austin is very blessed to have such a relationship. I was never close to any of my grandparents. I hope that my dad will remain a part of Austin's life throughout his adolescence and into his adult years.

The relationship between a grandfather and a grandson. Is there anything more beautiful?

Gotta get ready for work

Ho hum. Not looking forward to it tonight. Thankfully this will be my last night at this restaurant. I hate working there. I have a job interview on the 14th for a new, fine-dining seafood restaurant that is opening up in April. I'm hoping I get it, though to be completely honest with you I'd rather not have to serve anymore. But let's be real. I only have so many options. I have no education. I can only afford to work part-time because of the baby and the kids' and hubby's school and work schedules. Where can I make the same kind of money in such a short work week? There isn't anything else for me. So I'm stuck. I'm gonna be a waitress forever... or at least until I can get my butt back into school to finish my degree and get a REAL job.

So I better get into the shower and get ready. *Sigh*

Friday, January 2, 2009

Time for a Blog Makeover

I haven't blogged since I was pregnant with Matthew. He's now almost 18 months old. It's 2009 lady! Get with the program. Stop reading everyone else's blogs and start writing yours! So rather than start a whole new blog, I figured I'd just keep this one, send it to the salon to get its hair and nails done and Voila! A fresh new face.

I feel better already.

So here we are. January 2009. A new year. Out with the old and in with the new.

This is going to be fun! Stay tuned. This will get better, I promise!