Best Mother’s Day Card Ever

He could not have picked a better card this year.

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Even more charming is the fact that he forgot to write “Day” and and just wrote “Happy Mother’s Love, Gideon”.

I love that kid.

Growing Up—Four Years

Dear Gideon,

Today you turned four years old. Which kind of seems impossible because I swear it was just the other day that I was in labor with you wondering what motherhood would be like. I can honestly say that thanks to you, motherhood has been fantastic.

DSC01576March 27, 2007—One Hour Old

You are an incredible human and every single day I get to spend with you makes my life more fulfilling. I cannot imagine it any other way. Day after day, month after month, year after year you keep getting more amazing and I am so proud to be able to say that YOU are MY son.

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You are the best thing that has ever happened to me and I love spending my days, afternoons, and nights with you. I feel so blessed that my job permits me to work just two really long days most weeks of the year so I have the other five days to hang out with you.

You are so smart. So handsome—strangers still stop me on a regular basis to tell me how beautiful your red hair is when they see you. You are funny—especially with your new found appreciation for knock knock jokes. And your laugh? Completely infectious.

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As fast as you are growing up you will always be my baby. And you will forever be the one that made me a mother. I hope you always remember that you made me something that nobody else had ever done and nobody else will ever be able to do. You changed who I was to my very core in the most remarkable way. Nothing can ever change that fact and I am so very thankful for that you gave me that opportunity.

DSC01847April 3, 2007—One Week Old

IMG_1415March 24, 2011—Four Years Old

Love and a million kisses,

Mommy

Alien Life Form

Yesterday I hit the 12 week mark. Do you know what that means? It means I’m almost out of my first trimester. Almost sort of a third of the way there! Wowsers.

I haven’t thrown up in a week and a half—which is good even if hovering over the toilet had been incredibly reassuring to me. I do have the occasional twinge of nausea and an ever increasing sensitivity to smells but the nothing like past 7 or so weeks. My boobs however have decided to go from tender to OH MY GOD super sore. If JQ looks at them the wrong way they swell with pain. Pregnancy is so weird.

Oh…and there is this.

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Pictures from the 11.5 week ultrasound that I had done this past Friday. My little 3-dimensional alien. The one G-tot has taken to calling his baby. “Dad, I’m going to save some of my toys for my baby.” “Mom, since I’ve outgrown this shirt we can save it for my baby.” LOVE.

Hopeful

Even with hope comes fear.

Some days I’m down right terrified.

Every single time I pee I have to look at the toilet paper.

Every cramp and twinge of pain leaves me clutching my stomach and hoping it is just growing pains.

As much as I dislike vomiting, the days that I do it—one, two, three times a day—are oddly reassuring. And the days that I don’t puke make me hope I just ate the right combination of food that day and nothing else is wrong.

Plus, I stopped taking my Prozac which I’m sure add to my anxiety. But I just don’t feel comfortable taking it right now.

After a bunch of blood work following my second miscarriage last November I was diagnosed with MTHFR (which aptly looks like an abbreviation for Mother Fucker to me). MTHFR stands for Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase and is a “rare genetic defect that can lead to complications in pregnancy”. I have the heterozygous mutation which means that I have one copy of the mutation as opposed to the homozygous which has two copies of the mutation. To help offset the affects of MTHFR my OB-GYN has me taking 2400 micrograms of Folic Acid with B-12 along with a DHA supplement and a pre-natal vitamin. I need one of those pill sorters.

All of this leaves me scared.

I’m afraid to tell my son the news because I don’t want him to suffer if I would lose this baby. It was too traumatizing for all of us the first time.

But…I’m trying to be optimistic.

I’ve heard the heartbeat.

I’ve made it to week 10 which is twice as far as I made it with my last two pregnancies.

So there’s that. And that’s a good thing, right?

Stolen Secrets and Broken Hearts

I clutched my secret close to my chest and reminded myself day after day to keep it hidden.

Just a little bit longer.

Just until I was sure it wouldn’t be snatched away the moment I revealed it. My husband was the only other person that knew. Turns out it didn’t matter if we kept it to ourselves.

I kept it a secret and it was still stolen from me.

I knew it the moment I saw the first drops of blood.

My husband knew exactly what I meant when I walked down the basement steps, met his eyes, and said, “I’m bleeding.”

Our secret no longer needed to be kept.

It would never get to be revealed.

There would be no excitement.
No fawning over sonograms.
No baby.

JQ asked me the other day if we should tell G-tot our secret. I shook my head no, “not yet”. If…IF…if things went wrong, I couldn’t bear to have to explain that to him. Not again. I couldn’t dangle the prospect of a sibling in front of him and then snatch it away. He doesn’t deserve that—not now. Not ever.

But then, neither do we.

And yet…once again…it is my reality.

Once again I would find myself fighting off the pain and wiping away the endless flow of tears as the blood poured out of me.

Then just before dinner on Halloween I would feel it leave my body. This time I wouldn’t call my husband into the bathroom. This time I would just stare into the toilet myself.

Say may goodbyes alone.

And flush my dreams of another child away.

Turns out crime fighters dig chocolate

This week was the Toledo Zoo’s Little Boo at the Zoo event. The zoo hosts this mini trick or treating event complete with treat stations, bounce houses, toys, and all sort of goodies. This is the first year we attended and G-tot had a blast. I have a feeling this will be one of those things we find ourselves doing annually from here on out.

IMG_0764Waiting

IMG_0768Watching

IMG_0813Listening

IMG_0785Unmasked

IMG_0828Caged

IMG_0824Escaping

IMG_0797Exploring

A short tale of days and numbers

Saturday was 9 months since the miscarriage.
Sunday marked day 42 since my last cycle—nearly 2 weeks late from a “normal” start date.
Monday I picked up a pregnancy test to try to answer that nagging question, am I pregnant or is my body still just broken.

One pink line.

Still just broken.

Maize Maze

Earlier this week we went to a corn maze. It was a first time experience for all 3 of us and it was super fun. We went in the late afternoon and were pretty much alone in the maze—which may have made it a little more difficult to navigate. But we made it through and then played in the giant tractor tires full of dried corn until we had to drag G-tot out to head home. Man I love the Fall.

IMG_0657Stalking

IMG_0663Checkpoint 19

shot_1285877793877Corn Angels

shot_1285878095970Golden Kernels, Golden Eyelashes

shot_1285877885848Fistfuls of Corn

shot_1285877766909Dusty Soles

shot_1285877759219Corn Blanket

Family fun thanks to 1985

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Personally I don’t remember this game at all from my childhood. Peng Win is one of those Milton Bradley gems that JQ played with back in the 80s. Somehow his parents hung on to it for all these years.

Now it has come home to us. And although nobody in this household fits the scant 4 year age range of 4–8, we all had fun kicking penguin ass.

Anybody else remember this game?

When you flush the toilet does it fall onto the tracks or is there a storage car for all the crap?

The alarm went off at 4:40 Thursday morning.

Which is really fucking early when bedtime doesn’t come until just 4 hours earlier. A wake-up call made worse by the fact that I tossed and turned during those measly 4 hours. But I had a train to catch and I was not going to miss it.

I had never been on a train before. Well, other than the one at the zoo and that hardly counts. I mean come on, I can walk faster than that train and it only really goes in a circle. That would hardly meet Amtrak’s standards.

The train I was getting on was the late train of the day. Set to leave at 6:15 a.m. I was excited about the new experience, nervous because I didn’t know what to expect, and absolutely hating the fact that I had to be up so early for the ride. But that’s as late as they run. So after a shower, half a blueberry Eggo, and not nearly enough coffee we left for the station.

Not much is going on at the Amtrak station at 5:45 a.m. in Toledo, Ohio. Everyone is noticeably tired and nobody says much of anything. We got our tickets from the ticket counter,  found a place on one of the leather benches, and waited for our train to arrive. G-tot and I were heading to Union Station in Chicago where we would be picked up to spend the weekend with my mom and step-dad. I was driving back home at the end of our trip so along with our bags I had to bring a car seat. Which, it turns out, is a giant pain in the ass.

In an effort to keep minors with their guardians, families with kids under 15 got to board the train first. G-tot and I were at the front of that line. Let me paint you a little picture.

Me.
G-tot.
One small piece of carry-on luggage.
One backpack.
One laptop bag.
One purse.
One car seat.

Very early in the morning (which is not known to be my most pleasant time of day).

And you know what the first thing the assistant conductor said to me when she took our tickets as we were getting ready to board the train? Not “Good morning”. Not “Welcome aboard.” No, instead she said in a accusatory voice, “Why didn’t you check any bags?”

Blink. Blink. I have not had enough coffee for this.

“Umm…I don’t know. I’ve never been on a train before.”

“That wasn’t very smart.”

What? Well screw you too lady. Way to be helpful. And you can kiss my ass as I drag my crap—that is within the range of number of acceptable items—onto the train.

She managed to piss me off and we hadn’t even stepped onto the train yet. Add to that the 2 extra hours the trip took to get to Chicago and I was so ready to get off that train by the time we arrived. Especially after sitting just outside the station for a good 20 minutes. So close but yet so very far away. I’m crossing it off my list and making no plans to board another one any time soon.