The Lowdown on This Little Blog

I'm an unapologetic hugger.

I’m an unapologetic hugger.

Apart from a post I shared on Scary Mommy that seems to have resonated with a whole bunch of people, things have been pretty quiet around here. If you found my blog as a result of that post, thanks for stopping by! If you were here before that, I’m sorry I’ve been slacking on publishing new posts in the past week.

Good news: I was promoted at work. Bad news: I haven’t had a ton of time to blog because I’m still figuring out my new role. ‘Figuring out my new role’ is my nice way of saying, ‘working a crap-ton of hours.’ I expect I’ll get around the learning curve soon and be back to my regular publishing schedule here…Not that you’re waiting on pins and needles to hear about my life. Or maybe you are, in which case I’d love to give you a hug! That’s another thing you should know: I am a hugger. I hug family members, friends, and random acquaintances. If a stranger on the street held up a sign that read “Hug Me!” I would totally do it, assuming they weren’t naked or covered in bugs. I do draw the line somewhere.

In case you’re new here, I thought it would be good to give you some background about my blog. This little corner of the Internet is a friendly place filled with mooshy and funny stuff. I’m a huge sap, and I love writing heartfelt things about my life and my two kiddos. I figure that I want to remember the sweet moments above all, so why not write them down? For me, sharing stories here is about personal connection. If one of my life experiences resonates with another person in some small way, I feel I’m contributing something valuable as a human being. Plus, half our family lives a few states away, and I know they like reading this stuff. (Hi, Family!)

I also like writing funny things…Or I try to write funny things. Let me rephrase: people tell me that some of my posts have made them laugh, but they could simply be trying to preserve my fragile blogger ego. (I’m talking to you, Mom!) My sense of humor tends to be on the dry/sarcastic side, so if you like that sort of thing you’ll probably be amused by some of the content that lives here. That being said, I also share lighthearted stories about my kids and my life in general. Seriously, sometimes you just can’t even make this stuff up so it needs to be written down!

What I’m trying to tell you in a not-so-direct way, is that my blog content doesn’t follow a specific format or formula. If you are here for information on high-energy kids or posts that provide advice on how to raise spirited children, I can’t promise I’ll be able to deliver that stuff consistently (or at all!) But I can promise you one thing: I will tell you a good story. (I might also hug you if we ever meet in real life. Consider yourself warned!)

A Stranger Delivered My Baby

Newborn baby picOur youngest daughter was born in March 2014, and she was delivered by a stranger. Before you go assuming that I gave birth on the side of a major highway during rush hour or while stuck in an elevator of a downtown high rise or in some absurd, disgusting place like the family restroom at my local Target store, I can assure you that she was born in a hospital. Things just didn’t go exactly as expected…Because like all babies in the history of humankind, mine entered the world with no regard for my birth plan.

My baby’s due date was in mid-March last year. One of my oldest friends was also pregnant and due to give birth on the exact same day. We’d talked back and forth throughout our pregnancies, and spent the week leading up to the special day complaining about how huge we felt and discussing how excited we were to meet our tiny people. When she went radio silent on our shared due date, I knew something was up. Several hours later my friend shared her wonderful news: she had delivered a healthy, perfect, squishy little baby girl.

Feeling excited for my friend and slightly envious because her baby arrived on schedule, I had a conversation with my little one. I gently informed her that her new friend had entered the world and it was time to get moving. She probably responded by rolling over and giving me a swift kick to the bladder, liver, or lung. By that point, there was so little room in there that it was impossible to determine which of my interior parts my baby was crushing, pushing, or kicking at any given moment. My organs, which once resided comfortably in their respective spaces in my torso, had become a sort of strange (and probably mooshy) ball of uni-organ. Gross but true.

Four days went by…Or it could have been four hundred years. I’m not sure because time is a relative concept when you’re a million weeks pregnant. I went in for my 41 week check up, and the nurse practitioner confirmed that there was no baby action happening. Not even a little bit. No dilation. No effacement. Nada. My cervix was all like, “What do you mean you’re 41 weeks pregnant? There’s no 7.5lb human in here! You so crazy!” Feeling discouraged and convinced that my child would live inside my womb until her twelfth birthday, I discussed the possibility of medical induction.

Now, I understand that medically inducing labor isn’t the ideal situation. Induction is typically a long process, and there can be complications for baby and mother…But there can also be complications with every other birth scenario ever. Some of you may disagree with my choice. To those that do: I can assure you that my baby and I were healthy enough to handle the induction process. There is no shame in my birth game. My tiny human would be born at a hospital, with the help of some labor-inducing drugs, alongside a highly trained team of medical professionals.

I was scheduled for induction on a Friday, and told I’d need to wait until a nurse called before going to the hospital. Finally, my phone rang around 3PM. The woman I spoke with told me they couldn’t induce me until Monday, and it was as if she’d just informed me that I’d be 41 weeks pregnant for a million more years. Cue the hormone-driven, visceral emotional reaction and the subsequent meltdown in the Target parking lot. *Attention shoppers: today we’re offering an exclusive viewing of a sobbing, cursing, beached whale outside next to the carriage corral. Grab a bag of kettle corn from aisle 14 and a Coke to enjoy during this one-of-a-kind show.*

Two hours later, the hospital called again. I don’t remember exactly what they said, but it was something along the lines of, “Just kidding! We can take you today, come on in!”  I called my doctor and my husband to tell them the news, waited for my mom to get home, kissed my two-year-old, and grabbed my hospital bag that I’d packed three weeks prior. John was still at work so he met me at the hospital.

My birth plan (for basic moms) had three steps: 1. Go to the hospital. 2. Go with the flow. 3. Deliver baby with the help of my husband and my doctor. There was no special soundtrack created for the occasion or vivid description of my ideal labor experience. We didn’t bring along any calming scented candles or focus objects like ultrasound pictures. John did put some movies on the iPad, though, so I guess you could say that watching Quantum of Solace or Harry Potter was part of my birth plan.

That night they started the induction process, and I went to sleep feeling pretty comfortable. Twelve hours later, I was in active labor. I chose to have an epidural. Birth warrior goddess I was not. Twelve hours after that, I was ready to push.

If you recall, step three of my complex birth plan was that my baby would be delivered by my doctor. I’m a simple woman with simple needs. But when the time came, my doctor was handling an emergency with another mother, so our nurse pulled in a random dude from the hallway…I guess he was an obstetrician. I’m not sure. But I was past the point of caring and my baby wasn’t waiting, so this guy would have to do. We shook hands, and nineteen minutes later my daughter was born. To this day, I wouldn’t be able to pick that doctor out of a lineup, and I cannot recall his name. But I will remember our Labor & Delivery nurse for the rest of my life. She was the greatest. (Libby C. from L&D at Lowell General Hospital, if you ever read this: you’re wonderful. I hope you got the thank you note we sent!)

My youngest daughter was born 9 days after her due date. She weighed 7lbs 8ozs, and was 21 inches long. A stranger helped welcome her into the world and I didn’t even care…Because her cries were loud and strong and she was right there resting in my arms.

The Story of a Year

A year ago, life was chaos.

We had just brought our newborn home from the hospital, to my parents home, not our own. We were living in my old bedroom, amidst boxes, bags, and remnants of my childhood. Eight years-worth of furniture and stuff was splayed across my mom and dad’s attic, a storage facility that we’d rented when we moved out of our condo a month prior, and our new house which was still mostly empty. Our two-year-old was reeling from all of the transition, confused about the presence of this new, tiny person and unsure of where home was. My body felt foreign and sore after birth, and my husband was hanging on for dear life championing a move while trying to maintain some sense of order and normalcy.

The changes were all good, and I was (and still am) grateful beyond measure. We welcomed our new baby into our lives and closed on our forever home. Who wouldn’t be grateful? But when you do both of those things in a span of twelve hours, some of the joy gets replaced with overwhelm. An abundance of major life changes all at once will do that to a family.

We moved into our new home in early April last year, with the help of our beloved family and friends. The toddler’s room was painted and put together first, so that she’d have a place which felt familiar and comfortable. Afterwards, we shifted our focus to the rest of the house. We painted the bathroom and living room while the baby napped and the toddler “helped.” Jordan’s Furniture came by eventually and unloaded a truckload of furniture…Backing out of the driveway with all special occasion date night dinners, professional hair color appointments, family vacations, and other luxuries we can live without for the next five years. Slowly, we replaced the moving boxes, so carefully labeled and piled in the appropriate rooms, with their contents; unpacking, arranging, and reliving some of our favorite moments from the past along the way. The excitement of our wedding. The homecoming of our first baby. The year we got our dog.

A year later, we are settled.

The house is still a work in progress, and our plates are full. But it’s the best kind of full…Not the kind which left us struggling to keep our heads above water just a year ago. The house is our home now, our little ones are comfortable and happy, and what was once new feels familiar. John’s out in the yard with our three-year-old right now raking leaves and working in the garden…A garden which will be much more fruitful this year because we’re not pressed for time, throwing seeds in the ground haphazardly and hoping for the best. The baby is napping, and I’m here writing and working. We are busy with babies and projects most of the time, but it all feels so much easier.

There’s still some evidence of the chaos from last year; like the three full boxes under the desk downstairs which we still haven’t unpacked. Wires and random stuff. Every time I walk by, I fight the urge to toss them in the garbage. We haven’t needed them in over a year so they mustn’t be important, right? We’ve got a stack of paperwork on the fridge which still needs to be sorted and filed. Our living area is half-painted that perfect yellow color, and we’re making slow progress. It’s not done but we know it will be eventually…Our mantra for all home projects. We plan to be here a while and the kids won’t be this little forever.

The last year of our lives was life-altering, filled with big change and even bigger adjustment. The days were some of the longest of our lives, but the year itself was short. And today, with my family close by and a roof over my head, my heart is full and I am grateful.

1 2 3 33