in june 2010, our lives got turned upside down in the best possible way: the birth of our awesome kiddo, john. in october 2013, brother charlie charged into our life to change the status quo again. and june 2016 brought us brother ben to round out our trio.

i'm proud to have "mom" at the top of the list of titles on my resume, but i'm also still a hard-working professional. how does a working mom juggle work and family? ride along with me and see if i can figure it out!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

bittersweet moments

brothers. ain't it great?
i will write this blog or some variation probably a thousand times in the next few years -- or 18 years, or 50 years, or maybe however many years i live to watch my children grow.

this afternoon, my husband put john down for his nap while i was in the other room. i came back to the living room and he was already in bed, presumably asleep. and this is awesome, right? he's learning to do that without his mommy having to be there, he's not fussing when daddy is the only parent there to help, and he's listening and doing what he is told. he's going down for a nap peacefully and without stalling and arguing, and he's doing it without me there. that is a parenting win for us for sure.

but ... but. it made me cry. john didn't even come to say goodnight to me. he didn't want to hug me before his rest, or tell me sweet dreams and he loves me. he didn't need me.

i cried. i told my husband how bittersweet this was for me, because my first baby demonstrated in a small but significant (for a three year old) way that he didn't need me.

and then i checked myself. one of the core pieces of how my husband and i aim to parent is that we want to raise our boys to be strong, independent, and to live beautiful lives. i've often said that the day our children move out and begin their own families, the day they are functional adults doing amazing things in the world -- that will be the day we know we've been successful as parents. (and just to be clear, amazing doesn't have to be big. they will find their own amazing and live it, and we will proudly support and cheer for them.)

so a nap without saying goodnight to mommy is just one step toward that goal. (and a small step at that, since it's quite likely tomorrow he will utterly refuse to sleep until mommy reads to him, hugs him, snuggles him, tucks him in, etc.) and it's a triumph, too, and a necessary one. with a new baby, my time is divided. it is wonderful and awesome (and natural) that john would lean on daddy more. and it's good for daddy, too, and it's overall great. 

intellectually, analytically, i know that this is good news. i'm proud of our little family for adapting and growing.

but i still cried.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

we make this so much harder than it is

thank god for a daddy who helps so much with the
airplane and the infant. couldn't do it without you, babe.
the very title of my blog (not this entry but the blog itself) says so much: johnsmomworks. i have always been a working mom. this (temporary*) stay-at-home mom phase of my life has been a new adventure for me -- and for john, of course. with the addition of charlie to the picture, we're flying by the seat of our pants and figuring things out as we go.

i split my time between chasing an airplane around the house to assist with in-air refueling (john) and sitting oh-so-still on the couch using my own body to refuel the airplane's little brother.

this combination of activities has me simultaneously more excited about mommying than ever ... and more uncertain about mommying than ever. am i doing john a disservice by not having more structured learning time? is he bored and in need of more activity? is charlie getting enough milk to grow big and strong? am i eating/drinking the right things to provide top quality milk?

i thought that i would have fewer doubts with nursling number two, not more. after all, i've done this before -- and though certainly every child is different, there are some mechanics, some basics that remain the same no matter what.

part of the problem, i think, is my own tendency to overwhelm myself with too much information. and with smartphones and wifi connections, we have access to too much information 24/7/365. baby squeaking during his 3am feeding? google it as you try to stay awake. worry about the shallowness of his latch. realize that maybe that's why you've had a little more soreness this time around. google reasons for shallow latch. worry about whether baby has a lip tie. try to get a look at the inside of baby's lip. piss baby off -- he just wants to eat milk. remind yourself that baby is gaining weight like crazy so he's getting plenty of milk so even if he has a lip tie it's no big deal. take a deep breath. google "why do my shoulders ache when i breastfeed?" realize your posture is terrible. try to adjust posture. accidentally disrupt the baby ... which pisses baby off. settle baby down. google "breastfeeding positions for back pain."

but then, there are little nuggets that you find that make all that oversaturation worthwhile ... like laid-back nursing. it's what it sounds like: mama lays back, unclothed baby on her chest, and baby's instincts kick in to propel him for the source of the milk he wants. better, deeper, easier latch using gravity, nice skin-to-skin time for mom and babe, awesome snuggling. it's another option for problem nursers, and sort of nice for adequate nursers as well.

but larger than the mechanics of this specific technique, i was struck by the philosophy behind it: since mom and baby both are biologically programmed for this whole process -- (am i talking about breastfeeding or parenting? i don't even know!) -- sometimes just laying back and letting instinct take over is a really powerful option.

sometimes, we make this so much harder than it really is.

sometimes, we overthink and over analyze and create reasons to worry.

sometimes, we invent problems where none exist.

sometimes, we beat ourselves up for things we aren't even doing wrong.

sometimes, we need to stop with the damn googling and snuggle our babies (and our three-year-olds) and remember that we can DO this. not perfectly, not without mis-steps, but we will raise our wee ones to adulthood and they will do great things on this planet and we will know that we didn't ruin them. maybe we even helped them realize the awesomeness that is potential in them from birth.

and of course, by we, i mean i. i need to do those things. i need to take a deep breath, lay back, let charlie find the milk, let john run amok and vent his energy, hug them both and know we're fine.

* the sahm part of my life is drawing to a close before too long -- i've already begun looking for marketing jobs here in the dallas area. it's a strange feeling, both the fact that i haven't been working and the fact that i soon will be. i'm trying to just absorb it all and not worry. i'm trying to ... lay back.

Friday, November 1, 2013

hallowe'en and the e'ens before

'how much noise can i make with this here bell?'
'i may look cute and innocent. but you'll
pry my pumpkin from my cold dead hands.'
my heart in two bodies.
i'm taking advantage of a double nap here - two boys snoozing in an otherwise quiet house equals some unfamiliar quiet time for this mommy. i probably ought to nap myself, right? but these pics ... these pics inspire me and i just had to write.

(and a quick credit to our neighbor and friend - who i will only identify as m.l. because she hasn't agreed to let me write about her or her beautiful daughter b. - for taking these beautiful pics of my boys!)

we had a great trick-or-treat night last night with m.l.'s family. b., who was dressed as cinderella, is only about six months older than john, so they enjoy playing together and had fun getting candy last night. we stopped by the firestation to visit our favorite firemen uncles and got some awesome pics of my little fireman with cinderella on the engine.

once the kids had more candy than they will ever need, we went back to m.l.'s house and had dinner while we handed out more candy to the older trick or treaters still out in the neighborhood. it was a really nice evening that felt remarkably normal considering how much transition has been going on for our family in the past six months or so.

i couldn't help thinking back to last halloween, when we had a similar sort of night with our dear friends the russells in a neighborhood in baton rouge. how different our lives were back then! john, a year younger, didn't really understand the nuances of trick-or-treating, though he certainly didn't object to getting candy. i'd just had a miscarriage earlier that month. i still worked at the mall. 

a short list of the things that have happened in our lives since then ...
  • pregnant again! yay!
  • blood type conflicts. not so much yay.
  • i got laid off from my job. not yay at all.
  • baby is an ok blood type - yay!
  • found a new job - yay!
  • john turned three!
  • my husband found a new job in dallas. yay? yay! scared. but yay.
  • my husband moved to dallas.
  • i packed up the house while 6-7 months pregnant. (with lots of help. YAY!)
  • i unpacked the house while 8 months pregnant.
  • we started finding new friends and connecting with old friends here in the dfw area
  • i delivered a baby in an ambulance - family of four. yay!
  • baby might be sick.
  • baby is not sick!
  • big brother, little brother, mommy, daddy, and doggy keep on keeping on
that's a lot for a year. and it has been a wild ride, and sometimes very difficult. but sitting here in my temporarily quiet house, looking at one beautiful sleeping boy and thinking of the other sleeping in his room, starting to look for a job for myself, having just sold our house in phoenix (YAY!), waiting for my husband to come home so we can spend a nice weekend together as a family ... i gotta just say, damn am i blessed.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

new 'uncles'

the station 8 b shift guys who helped me deliver charlie
for 12 days now - do the math, that's as long as charlie has existed on this planet! - i've been meaning to bake cookies and bring them over to the fire station for the guys who came and got me and helped me delivery charlie. there's this weird fog, though, around the first two weeks or so after having a baby, and since that's just finally clearing, grammie and john and charlie and i headed over there to mckinney fire department station eight this afternoon.

i knew it would be cool to see these guys again, but it was even cooler than i expected. they were SO amazingly indulgent of john, giving him the tour of the station and letting him see, touch, ring bells, check out flashing lights, and generally explore the whole engine and ambulance. they each took turns holding charlie, and they were so genuinely excited to have been a part of that crazy day for our family. 

it is really very cool to know that our first responders around here are not only proficient, compassionate, and helpful, but also just very nice, family-oriented guys, who shared stories of their own children and told me that charlie's got a batch of uncles over at the fire station who would love to stay in touch.

what an awesome afternoon ... makes me grateful all over again that i had their support back on october 10, and makes you feel good to know that your local fire crew is so cool.

(maybe tomorrow i'll post of john's temp tattoo that is probably his highlight of his life - all evening he kept telling me, "it was like a sticker, mommy, but now it's not a sticker, it's a tattoo!")

Friday, October 11, 2013


so first of all, i am typing this on my iphone at the hospital at 549 am, so please forgive the inevitable errors! next, the most relevant facts:

as john would say, the real charlie is here! born at 324 pm on thursday, october 10, weighing 7 lbs 7 oz and 19.5 inches long, charles robert made quite an entrance. he waa born on the same day of the pregnancy that his big brother was - 38 weeks 2 days. i delivered him fully naturally without any pain meeications. and yes, he was born in the back of a racing ambulance! 

here's the whole story - and this birth story is relatively free of medical detail so even the squeamish among you should be ok!

i woke up at my normal midnight, one am, and two am pee times wednesday night, but when i woke at three something was different. i just couldn't get comfortable and back to sleep. by 5 am i could identify actual contractions. i called melissa, my doula, and we decided that since contractions were irregular and not too intense, i would just wait, rest if possible, and we'd see how things progressed.

it is worth noting that while my husband went to work, john and i just hung out at the house. there was a new roof being put on our rental house so we dodged the banging and i did some laundry, cleaned the house a little (was planning a birthday party for my husband for friday night, so just in case labor stalled out or anything i figured we'd try to get ready!)

throughout the morning, the contractions never got less than about 10 mins apart, and sometimes theyd stop altogether for as long as an hour. they weren't ramping up in intensity either, so we began to wonder if this was really IT after all. (melissa still suspected we'd have a baby that day, but figured it might be later in the evening, etc. i wondered if labor was going to stop entirely and we'd wait more days!)

around 130 pm, john finished his lunch and, despite the roof banging, went down for a nap. i updated melissa, my husband, and a few friends and family that nothing had changed, and at 145 pm
i laid down to rest myself. the contractions still happened every 10 minutes ish but i closed my eyes in between and rested on the couch.

at about 240, i had a bigger contraction that ended with a gush of fluid. i hustled to the bathroom, saw some blood, and promptly called melissa to discuss. we decided i should call my husband and all meet at the hospital quickly - a feat as the hospital is in downtown dallas, 40 minutes from our house without traffic. hustling but not overly concerned, i started to get up to get dressed.

and suddenly, was having contractions every minute. by 3 pm, i called melissa in a panic because i needed to push. he talked me off the cliff and told me to call 911, as this baby was coming fast.

my husband beat the paramedics to our house by a few minutes, as i stood in the empty bathtub, talking to a 911 operator who wanted me to lay down and wait for the firemen - i only wanted to push. when the paramedics arrived, i probably could have birthed charlie right then and there but understandably they wanted to control the delivery a little more.

i was totally naked when the ambulance arrived, so they threw a sheet over me and raced me out the door past curious neighbors and the crew of mexicans working on our roof! they asked me what hospital i wanted to to to and i told them it didn't matter - they were delivering this baby in their ambulance.

on the 5-8 minute ride to the hospital, i was contracting every 40 seconds. and the urge to push was so intense, even strapped to the board, that i couldn't have fought it if i had to. two intense pushes and one of the firemen caught charlie as we raced down the road, sirens blaring. we arrived at the hospital with the baby resting on my chest, and we're joined there not too much later by melissa, and then my husband and a sleepy john, who had slept straight through all the excitement.

what is truly amazing to me is how cold and scary a delivery this could have been - i was home alone until my husband's arrival, and then in the back of an ambulance with strangers and none of my support team. but thanks to the amazing compassion of that crew, and the amazing capacity of the human body, it was still a beautiful and incredible experience for me. not at all what i had planned, and i think we're all still a little shell-shocked, but i am so grateful to those strangers who shared one of the most intimate moments of my life, and my support team of melissa and my hubby who helped me through from afar.

what a day.

ps my husband took john to a drop in play place for a little while last evening so that john could play off some energy and husband and i could spend some quiet time with charlie. when my husband brought john back to the hospital to say goodnight, john was so sweet and gentle with charlie and only wanted to snuggle mommy and his little brother. i feel so very overwhelmed with love for my little family, and so blessed to have all those boys - daddy included - around me.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

my, how we've grown.

my little super hero eating his favorite meal

as i write this, i am listening to the sounds of train-table pieces banging together in john's room. i'm sure he is creating quite a fantastical disastermess for us to clean together later (again) but i hear happy vroom vroom noises and giggles so how can i argue? we'll pick up later.

as i write this, my husband is back in baton rouge packing the last of our furniture into a big yellow truck so he can bring it to our new home. no, the house in baton rouge hasn't sold yet -- so if you know someone who is interested please let me know, it's a wonderful house that i can't wait to get rid of! but given that i'm 36 weeks 4 days pregnant, this was the last weekend that we felt comfortable with me being home without my husband, just in case!

as i write this, i am considering how 11 days from right now will be the time that john chose to arrive when i was pregnant with him. and of course, who knows if charlie will arrive before then or after then or wait until after his due date or whatever, but it's crazy to think that in not so long we will have a second child. amazing and beautiful and awesome ... but crazy!

as i write this, i am so very grateful that i feel well -- very pregnant and slow and big as a house, but healthy and capable and mostly more comfortable than i ought to be. i have some work to do today to make room for our furniture to arrive tomorrow (nothing too strenuous, don't worry!) and i feel 100% up to the task. if anything, the nesting is kicking in stronger and stronger every day. which is probably good because charlie's room is still currently a disaster zone.

as i write this, i am also so grateful for the strides we're already making settling into our new life here in the dallas area. we knew we had some friends and family here when we decided to move, of course, and they've been wonderful to see and to know they are around. what i didn't count on was 1) the surprise that my college roommate and lifelong dear friend has a cousin who lives less than a mile from us with her family. and that said cousin and her family are awesome people, too, who i think will be friends here. what are the odds? and 2) that i would "randomly" meet awesome ladies at the neighborhood pool, or a local mcdonalds, or the indoor jumping place, who not only have children that john loves to play with but are also amazing women in their own right and have the potential to be real friends. so slowly but surely we're already creating a nice little social world in which to operate. 

as i write this, i am dumbfounded by the amazing transformation in buddy (the dog) in recent months. this might sound trivial, but when you consider how very fearful he used to be and how outright normal and awesome he has become -- and without the aid of medicine, as he is weaned off of his xanax except for during storms -- and what a pleasure he is to have keeping john and i company around the house, well, dang. it's remarkable.

as i write this, i am even more awestruck by our amazing kiddo. we have whole, real conversations, all day long. he helps me out around the house. we play together, we visit parks and other places to play, but he also entertains himself at home when i need to get things done. the past several days he has shown remarkable independence -- not in the form of stubborn-headed insistence that "i can do it" but in actually DOING it. he has put himself to bed all by himself the past 3-4 nights, including getting a nighttime pullup, picking on pjs, pottying, brushing teeth, "reading" himself a story, turning off his light and tucking himself in. he drew himself a bath, got in it, and starting washing himself while i was in the shower the other day -- of course i reprimanded him and explained that he can't take a bath without a grownup, but i can't help but be silently impressed that he got the right amount of the right temperature of water and didn't make a mess and safely climbed in and behaved himself. all of this is bittersweet, of course, because i get less snuggle time and he "needs" me less ... but i am so proud of how much he has grown and how willing he is to be "grown up."

as i write this, i am so proud of my husband, who has been making serious efforts to eat well and exercise and generally be healthy so we can have him around for a very very very very long time. and even as he's traveling this weekend he has a plan for how to do the very best he can to stay on track. and he's been working so hard at his new job and is doing so well there. how can i be anything but impressed with this man who is my partner in this whole wild ride?

so we are well, is the long and the short of it. we are well. we are growing in so many ways, and i think we're managing the chaos with something that roughly approximates grace. it ain't always pretty -- ask me tomorrow and i may break down in tears about how i just can't do it! but today ... today, i am impressed. go team!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


appropos of nothing, here is a pirate.
because he's cute, that's why.
if you are facebook friends with my husband, you've probably heard the news:

our little family is relocating to dallas next month. actually, my husband will be leaving a little sooner, to start his new job, while john and i pack up the house to get ready to move.

i have never felt so very ambivalent about anything in my life.

i am so excited for the opportunity -- my husband will be working at a job he's really excited about, in a field he really loves. dallas is a big city, so there will be opportunities for me as well -- tho i will likely not job hunt til after the baby arrives in october. because let's be serious: would YOU hire a six-months-pregnant lady?

i am excited about the quality of public schools in the area we will be in. i am excited for the overall well-being of our family, because we certainly wouldn't choose to move if it weren't going to be an overall boon for us.

i am excited.

but i am also very sad.

i am so sad to leave my family, by whom we have been so blessed and who we've so enjoyed living near here in baton rouge. i will miss my grandmother, who at 91 years old i still get to visit regularly and chat with and learn from. i will miss the aunts and uncles and cousins who are also our friends, who have been our support and our network and have meant so much to us.

i am sad to leave our house, which has been such a wonderful home for our family.

i am sad to leave my job -- my NEW job, at which i've only worked for two months. i so love the people, so love the company, so love my work. i have been excited about what i can do here, the difference i can make. and i feel bad that i am leaving them so soon after we've begun what i thought would be a long-term relationship.

i am so sad to leave our church and our sunday school class, which has become another family for us and has taken so much care of us this past crazy year or so.

i am sad to leave our friends, who have loved us so well in our time here.

i am even sad to leave the lsu tigers. i had visions of my husband taking the boys to their first football games at death valley, and teaching them the fight song, and there is just nothing cuter than john yelling, "go tigers!"

and some days, the sad wins -- after all, i am a hormonal preggo with a lot on her mind. but i told my husband as soon as we made this decision: please don't take my tears as any equivocation on this change. this is the right move for our family.

the goodbyes will be sad.

but i am so excited about the future.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

a letter to my firstborn: on your birthday

these looked so much better in my mind.
dear peanut,

it's 21 minutes into your third birthday, and i'm awake. i just finished making cupcakes for your class tomorrow. they're not as beautiful as i thought they might be but know i iced them all with extra love to make up for their imperfections.

three years ago right now i wasn't sleeping either. i was up walking around the house, and i couldn't get comfortable. i had a feeling -- and i would prove to be right -- that you were letting me know that you were ready. you were ready to come into your daddy and my life: to change everything we knew, including ourselves and each other.

as i was icing those cupcakes tonight, your baby brother was kicking around inside my belly. and i remember when you were kicking around in there, and we were just waiting to meet you. we loved you already, you see, but we had to meet you to understand how very much. now i can't wait for you to meet your baby brother with us, so we can all love him and love each other even more. you're going to be a great brother.

twelve hours after i paced the living room, it was finally time to head to the hospital. and just three hours later there you were, in our arms, so little and amazing and beautiful and awesome.

three years later, you are only more awesome possum.

your daddy and i, we are so very proud of you, our little man. you are sweet, and determined, and smart, and creative, and fun, and inquisitive. you have excellent manners and are learning all about how to behave respectfully. you work so hard to be a good boy, even when it is tough. you are growing and learning so much every day.

and when you laugh, that is the most wonderful sound your daddy and i have ever heard. you have an excellent laugh and i hope you will always use it, loudly and often, and share your joy with the people around you.

tonight, it's time for your mama to go to sleep, john. but first, i might just crawl into your big boy bed for a moment, and feel your warm snuggly sleepy self next to me. i want to be the very first to wish my baby john a happy birthday.

sleep tight, my baby. i can't wait to celebrate with you tomorrow.

love forever,
your mommy

ps. here's an important lesson for you: sometimes mommies cry when they are happy. so if you see a tear or two in my eyes tomorrow, don't worry about me, just keep on laughing.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

my child is cooler than i am

oh, those socks ...
yesterday morning, john put on his socks and promptly pulled them up almost to his knees.

"silly boo," i said, "put your socks down!"

"no, mommy, i want them up!" he said emphatically.

so up they stayed.

*   *   *

in the kitchen, i talked to my husband.

"he's too young for his friends to make fun of him for his socks, right?" i asked.

"yeah," my husband replied, "i think he's got a year or two."

i just nodded.

*   *   *

when i dropped john off at the school, i said to his teacher, "please forgive john's socks ... i know they look ridiculous but he insisted!"

she laughed and said, "actually, that's how they wear them these days."

dismayed, i walked out to my car. apparently john was more in touch with fashionable socks than i was. for the first time, my three-year-old was officially cooler than me.

*   *   *

there's more to this story, though, than meets the eye. why exactly am i so concerned that john will be made fun of for his socks? why is my first thought as he puts on silly socks up to his knees, "oh gosh, can't wear them like that -- kids might laugh?"

the real answer lies unflatteringly in my own insecurities. in my social anxiety that leaves me driving around the block so as not to be the first to arrive at an event ... or worrying desperately on my walk in if i've chosen the right mode of dress, fearing that i've grossly mis-estimated the degree of formality or casualness demanded by the occasion.

john is beautifully, awesomely free of any such anxiety, as well he should be at his age. even the most worldly of the almost-four-year-olds in his class doesn't really go in for full-on making fun, yet. they don't yet know the power of a cutting word, a snarky laugh, a pointed finger, to make someone feel small.

it is incumbent on me to work hard not to pass my insecurity on to my son. he will learn, unfortunately, that people can be ruthless and mean. he will come to us crying because of something one of his friends said to him. and we will hold him and console him, and remind him that we love him so much and are proud of him for being who he is.

until then, though, i need to work on my mommying. i need to learn not to think, "the kids will make fun of you," and instead train myself to think, "how awesome that you feel confident in your tall socks, kiddo." i need to be proud that my son wants to walk his own path, not worried what others will say as he walks it.

so, get on with your bad self, john. wear tall socks if you want to. show up your mama in her fashion senselessness. know i'm here to hold your hand when someone's mean -- but don't let the possibility of someone being mean stop you from being just exactly who you are.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

how john met some firemen

a day that started out as silly hair day got
 somewhat more interesting after school.
today was silly hair day at school. because he is a rock star, john wore a mohawk - and wore it well, i might add.

the view after school, was a little different. here is the story of how john met some firemen.

when we ran out of school this afternoon, john climbed into his seat. he insisted on helping buckle himself, as usual, but it still took both my hands to get him strapped in and cinched down.

realizing i had neglected to get the list of names of kids in his class, i told john, "i am going to run back inside real quick, i will be right back!"

he said, "ok!" so i closed the door.

and realized i left my key on the seat next to him when i buckled him up.

i tried to open the door. it was locked.

another parent was there with me, and i turned to her and said, "who do i call for something like this? the sherriff's office maybe?" as i ran inside.

"mrs. dawn!" i called frantically. "please call 911 - i locked john in the car with my keys inside."

(did i mention it was a hot louisiana day? like 93 degrees hot.)

"go back outside and stay with him," she said, "we'll make the call."

so i went out and talked to john through the window. "can you reach the lock, baby?" i asked him.

"no, i can't reach," he said. i was fighting off panic. i told him to try to reach with his foot.

still no luck.

some other moms and daycare workers came to the window to check on him. john was laughing and giggling and being silly. i could see, though, a little bit of sweat on his upper lip. even though i'd just driven the car to the daycare, it was already pretty hot in there.

i am not going to lie: i was clinging to the edge of freaking out. i knew, on some level, that this was a small-scale emergency, that the fire department would respond quickly and we'd get john out. i knew that i did not care one bit what they had to do to get into the car to get him. i knew he would be fine.

but at the same time, that was my baby. trapped in a car, heating up in the louisiana humidity. and it was all my fault that he was in there. i'd locked my little man in a metal can in the heat.

the daycare manager assured me that this has happened before, that the fire company would quickly respond and all would be well. but the five minutes or so before their arrival passed so slowly.

we heard sirens, and the truck came into the driveway. mrs. dawn ran inside to get some cold juice for john and came back with a cold water bottle she pressed into my hand and insisted i drink. the firemen looked in at john and said that he looked like he was ok, although he was by now pretty sweaty. they started to assess the doors and windows, and said a rescue truck was on the way that would be able to break into the car. meantime, one fireman told me, they would monitor john through the window and if he showed signs of distress they would just break the window.

a few minutes later, the rescue truck arrived with all the tools needed to break into my car. john was showing a little upset-ness by now, but was still quite calm. first they tried to jimmy the back door, but once they got their wire in they realized the unlock button on the back door wasn't responding, so they had to try the front door.

by now, i was thinking, "just break the damn window."

fortunately, once they got the front door jimmied, it was only a matter of moments before the door was unlocked. they opened it as the alarm went off. i waited for them to press the unlock button again so it would unlock all the doors and i could open john's door, but since the alarm was going off it wouldn't let them do it. finally i said, "let me just get the key out so i can turn off the alarm."

the fireman sitting in the driver's seat trying to unlock the car didn't hear me, so i said it again - he got out of my way and i lunged through the front door, over the console, and across john's seat to grab the key and unlock the car. one of the daycare teachers opened john's door while i unbuckled his seatbelt, and she pulled him out of the car and over to the crowd of parents to give him some juice pronto.

i thanked the firemen profusely. they piled in their trucks and walked away. i sat on the pavement holding john in my arms, drinking our cold drinks and just oh so thankful that this was such a small blip. a scary blip. but a tiny one.

i still feel terribly guilty about the whole thing. i know, stupid accidents happen all the time. and i realize that even small emergencies like this one are reasons that the fire department exists. but i can't help feeling like i endangered my child, and i also pulled rescue resources away when they could have been needed for a "real" emergency. i realize that no good will come from beating myself up, and i even realize that before too long this will be a great story to tell john about when he was a little boy and mommy locked him in the car. but right now, i am still shaky two hours later, and i have never hugged that little monkey harder than i did tonight before bed. mom of the year nominations are flowing in from all sides, i assure you.

i am so very grateful to the firemen who were patient and calm and reassuring, who helped get my child out and gave him the once-over to make sure he was none the worse for the wear. they did a bang up job, and were very kind to my little bug. i am always happy for an opportunity for john to meet first responders, these heroes who save people's lives every day.

but i hope i don't soon have to hear him say again, "mommy, the firemen came to the rescue and saved me today."

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

fighting the good fight

i forgot to mention last week that i published another article on yahoo. this one's actually about john, so you might enjoy reading it.

bad mommy: how my 3 year old became an ipad junkie.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

a million dollars

my little benefactor counts his dollars.
from time to time, when john gets a case of the "i wants" -- you know the drill, "i want to go outside. but i WANT to. i WANT to go outside." -- i have a stock answer for him. i will say, in my most empathetic voice, "my love, mommy wants a million dollars but we can't always get what we want. i'm sorry."

this morning's case of i wants wasn't too bad, and it passed with barely a blip in my brain. within moments it was in the past and soon forgotten.

or so i thought.

when john woke up from his nap, he was in a particularly cuddly mood. nana and jean jean and daddy were all at the store (nana and jean jean drove down from tennessee to visit this weekend) so it was just me and the bug, and we snuggled in his chair for some time.

then his eyes lit up. he looked at me with big bright serious baby blues and said, "mommy, you want a million dollars?"

i said, smiling, "well, yes, baby, i sure do."

he climbed off my lap and walked to his closet, where he pulled down his snowman piggy bank.

"you open the top for me?" he asked. so i popped the top hat off.

he reached inside and carefully pulled out three crumbled dollar bills, the only bills in a bank full of change. he plopped them carefully in my lap.

looking up at me with those melt-worthy eyes again, he said so earnestly, "that's my million dollars for you, mommy! it's for you. here, take it!"

i am not ashamed to say that i cried big fat pregnant-lady tears of appreciation in that moment, as i held him close.

"thank you, baby," i told my generous little man, who would give me the only dollars he owned, "that is definitely worth a million dollars."

Saturday, May 18, 2013

a 'summer' day

chocolate face? check.
good music? check.
sleeeeeeep eyes? check.
today was one of those days that just felt like summer vacation.

it could be because it was over 90 degrees for probably the first time this year. 

but i prefer to think it is because of what an awesome family hanging-out day we had.

we were up pretty early, but it was a snuggling kind of morning (my favorite kind) and my husband made us a delicious breakfast. eventually, we made it out to a local produce market that was having a "louisiana food festival" and tasted all sorts of delicious goodies (including the fudge that is smeared all over john's face in the picture above). there was a band playing great music, and john and i just sat and enjoyed it while my husband made our produce purchases.

it was hot as blazes, so we stopped for a snowball on the way out. it was john's first-ever snowball, which is no major surprise, but somehow my husband had never had one either. (i know, i was BAFFLED to find that out!) sticky, multicolored messes, we made our way home.

we tried to put john down for a nap - his droopy eyes belied his low energy level - but unfortunately he just fought and fought and never really did go to sleep. i think part of the problem was that he had fallen asleep in the car on the way to the produce market, and even though he only snoozed about five minutes i think it sort of reset his wakefulness.

finally, we gave up on nap. and since it was so hot and sweaty out, we decided to break out the swimming pool:

what was mind-boggling to me was how small that pool looks this year -- last year, it looked enormous with my little teeny boo sitting in it. now, with a three-year-old wildman bopping around in it, it just looks like your average tiny backyard play pool. i guess that's what happens when kids grow? i'm still not used to it.

after the swim session, my husband took buckets of water and watered some of the plants around the yard, so john decided to 'help' by taking water by the cupful and watering things around the yard himself. he was so excited to be helping his daddy out, it was great to watch.

when we came inside and dried off, my husband decided to install the fancy-schmancy new toilet seat we got for john's bathroom -- it has a built-in child seat that flips up and sticks inside the lid when it's not in use. and of course, john wanted to help some more. so daddy showed him how a socket wrench works, and john "fixed" his step stool with a screwdriver. i just stood by and took pictures -- never have been particularly handy -- but this was my favorite picture i managed to snap:

the hard hat was at john's suggestion.
john kept asking my husband if he was bob the builder. i'd say that's pretty high praise from a kid his age.

the rest of the evening wasn't so hot, to be honest; a very sleepy, nap-deprived john broke down, failed to listen, yelled, screamed, and fought pretty much everything my husband and i said for the rest of the night. he was mostly inconsolable, though we got some food in his belly and he went to sleep with no fight once bedtime came around.

but despite the less-than-fabulous ending, this was one heck of a day. happy "summer"!

Monday, May 13, 2013

mothers day weekend, of course

just chillin' on the trike.
i wouldn't be a self-respecting mother if i didn't do a little blog entry about mother's day weekend, right? that's what the latest polling shows! so here it is, the requisite mother's day blog.

one of the coolest parts of the weekend was that it started so early - and that that's going to be the new normal for me at my new job. leaving the office at 11am on a friday felt like cheating. i felt like i was playing hooky all afternoon. i think i'll get used to the feeling pretty quick, but in the meantime, it's a little odd! 

but my husband and i took advantage of the time since he's off by noon on fridays too. we went out for a celebratory new-job lunch and then we took naps. it was wonderful.

then we went and got john, who wanted to ride his tricycle in the driveway - or more accurately, to sit on his tricycle in the driveway and talk to mommy and daddy, but that was fun too.

after some hard playing and some fun "under the tent" (a blanket thrown over their heads, here's how my boys spent part of their evening:
i can't even handle the amount of adorable cheese in this
particular daddy-son pic. and take note of that position -
it'll come back later!
saturday we slept in a tiny bit - i don't think we were up until 8, which is downright luxurious. then we headed over to my new company's family day, which was an outdoor party at a nearby park. it had stormed like crazy overnight, so everything was sopping wet, but the rain held off while we were there and we got to meet some of my fellow employees and their families, eat some tasty food, and john got to jump in the bouncy castle. (he was actually too afraid to go in the big jumping castle, so he stuck to the little one.)

john also had plenty of fun jumping in the mud puddles and had to come home just about naked because he was soaked to the skin.

i can't even remember what we did with the rest of saturday afternoon, to be honest with you. i know john took a nap. did we just hang out at the house? maybe i took a nap too? it was just so low key i can't even remember, and that doesn't bother me a lick.

for mother's day proper, john woke me up before 7am. i was a little disappointed, having hoped to sleep in a little ... but then all john wanted to do was snuggle on the couch, and what kind of mommy would argue with that? so we snuggled until daddy woke up, and then the boys went and got donuts from the little bakery around the corner. stuffed with donuts, daddy and john headed off to church while mommy ... laid around on her butt. hey, it's mother's day, right?

by the time the boys were home, we packed up and headed to auntie c's house for a big family gathering. i have to say, if you can't be with your own mama on mother's day, a big extended family crawfish boil is a great way to go. got to celebrate with aunties and uncles and cousins and, of course, the matriarch of the whole bunch, my grandma. john played in more mud and ran around like a crazy man. he used uncle's truck as a jungle gym. he rode his little non-motorized quad around the yard making "monster truck" noises. he chased dogs. and we all stuffed our face with lots of delicious food. could a pregnant mom BE any happier???

when we left to head home, i knew john was exhausted. he hadn't had a nap, and he'd played HARD all day. heck, i was exhausted just watching him. but i figured, as usual, he would talk and keep us company the whole drive home.

nope. this is john three minutes into the drive:

we hadn't even made it to the interstate yet.

when we got him home, we tried to scoop him straight into his bed even though it was about an hour earlier than usual. it almost worked ... but then he woke up and was extremely cross at us for trying to put him to bed. a little more food and some snuggles later, here's what i found on the couch:

recognize that pose?
but despite falling asleep in our arms every two minutes, john refused to happily go to sleep in his bed. we finally found a compromise: he would sleep on the floor, surrounded by his stuffed animals. and moments later, you could hear a faint snoring from his room.

not too many moments later, there was probably a snoring coming from our room too. we were one tired family.

but i was one happy mama.

Friday, May 10, 2013


i'm a monster, coming to get you, mommy!
we're adjusting to a whole new routine at our house -- or, if i'm honest, we're figuring out what the new routine is and then how we're going to adjust it.

my new job requires me to start my day at 7am. that means i have to be up at 5 to have time to get ready, eat breakfast, get john up at 6, and drop him at the daycare at 6:30am when they open. (on the plus side, on fridays i am done with work at 11. so i am currently sitting on my couch listening to birds tweet and considering a nap. so the tradeoff is a good one, i think!)

what that means for our family, though, is some major adjustments. john will be waking up a full hour earlier than normal. (tho he does often wake up earlier anyway, so hopefully he will be ok!) it might actually be harder for me - i'm truly not a natural morning person, and will probably have to start going to bed earlier to have any hope of being a functioning human being at 5am.

the way i see it, we've got a good five months or so to get into this new routine before the new baby comes and we have to figure out what routine means all over again! and of course that's assuming that life doesn't have any other changes in store for us between now and then.

but you know what? it's all in the name of growth, and that's pretty awesome. 

and if john keeps waking up like in that picture up top, i don't think we'll mind mornings at all. i walked into his room, gently shook him away, and while his eyes were still closed he said with a smile, "i awake, mommy! that thunderstorm woke me up. but it's morning. can we go to school?"

i'm sure that won't be the norm, but it made my short friday start out with a grin.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

big brother/little brother

how did my first baby get to be this big?
you might have seen our "announcement" earlier -- that this baby i'm baking right now is another little boy! we've actually known for a little while. when we got the blood tests back that told us about the blood type, the dna also said it was a boy. but we sort of just wanted a visual confirmation before we made it public ... and this morning, we got that confirmation at the specialist's office.

a boy! a little brother for john. two boy puppies chasing us around the house in not to many years.

i'll be outnumbered, for sure. even our dog is a boy.

but you know what? i couldn't be happier. a house full of boys just makes my day. (not to mention the relief i know my husband feels -- he was sweating the possibility of a daughter to protect!)

so my mom-in-law will have two pair: two sweet little girls from my husband's brother and his wife, and two dirty stinky boys from our family.

and we'll have to let my grandmother know that apparently, her predisposition to birth boys (besides the baby of her family, of course!) has been passed on to her grand-daughters: this baby will make the fourth boy great-grandchild. that's a lot of boy cousins running in circles around the house in a couple of years!

i will leave you with this little anecdote. for weeks, john has insisted that the baby in mommy's belly was his "little sister." but he was totally ok when we told him it was going to be a little brother instead. last weekend, though, as we drove around town, my husband and i were discussing possible names. john was listening and playing in the backseat, until he suddenly interrupted us.

"no!" he yelled. "his NAME is JENNIFER!"

don't worry, we won't be taking that name suggestion to heart.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


seriously? every time i look at this picture
i start giggling all over again. that hat!
his pose! he looks like he's SINGING!
sometimes just when i feel like i am stuck in a rut, suddenly there's ACTION.

i've been officially unemployed for a month tomorrow. and if you've ever been unemployed and job searching, you know it's a pretty craptastic process. you send out a million resumes, hear back on maybe three, two of which tell you "we've already found a more qualified candidate," repeat ad nauseum.

i've been exceptionally blessed to find that i know some amazing people willing to go to bat for me, so i have that going for me. but as the days poured into weeks, the initial onrush of possibilities slows down and ...  you ... wait ... and wait ...

and then. last week i had a couple of interviews. i have a second interview for one position tomorrow. i have an interview with another company monday. slowly but surely, this process is working itself out. hopefully it won't be too long before i've got a new professional home. (and today i actually believe that. some days ... not so much.)

but through it all, here's the one thing that has helped me keep my momentum going: my family. we've kept the routine for john by keeping him in daycare, and lo and behold, that means routine for mommy, too. and of course my husband's daily life hasn't changed, so we get up in the mornings and have breakfast and go about our business.

and all of that has helped me keep my momentum. it would be so easy to fall into a slump ... except that my awesome family keeps me afloat. i have my icky days, believe you me ... but mostly, these boys buoy me up and keep me smiling, and the fact that they love me makes me know for sure it'll all be ok.

(besides, with a kid who randomly runs into the room wearing that hat above and proceeds to dance around talking about the "cat-a-pill-ah" on his shirt, how could anyone fall in a slump ever?)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

may i have this (happy) dance?

captain undies insists on wearing not
one but two pairs on his head.
last night when we were heading towards bedtime for john, he suddenly became enamored with what had just come on the tv -- dancing with the stars. he immediately wanted to dance with daddy, asking, "where's my tutu, daddy? i need my tutu!"

daddy convinced him no tutu was necessary, and they danced around the living room to the end of the current song. then i got a little spin around the room with my favorite little dancer, too.

maybe the kiddo is psychic, because today we got some news worth dancing about!

a little over a week ago, the maternal fetal specialist sent my blood off to a lab in wisconsin to do a test that is uncommon enough here in the u.s. that only one or two labs do it -- in fact, the hospital didn't even have the protocol for sending a sample to this lab, so they had to research it to figure out what to do, and i went back a couple days later to have the blood drawn. the test looks for free fetal dna in my blood, and can tell if this baby is rh negative without having to do any invasive testing.

and the great news is -- the baby IS rh negative, so there is no chance of antibody complications for this pregnancy! 

basically, we now know that my husband's positive blood type is made up of one dominant positive gene and  one recessive negative gene. john got the positive gene passed along, so his type is positive. this baby got the recessive negative passed along, and combined with my negative that means that this baby's blood is totally compatible with mine.

so now, NOW mama is dancing. we'll still see the specialist at least another time or two, just to keep tabs and make certain all is well, but this test is highly accurate and we couldn't be happier.

would you care to dance with me?

* * *
appropos of nothing, here is a video john made for grammie last night. he's just singing, but for some reason it makes me want to eat him up. enjoy, but please refrain from eating my child.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

john's mom might be crazy

sleeping peacefully despite the MASSIVE
quantity of animals in his crib.
and the santa pjs. shush, they still fit.
reasons i might be crazy: #1
i love to take pictures of john when he's sleeping. don't get me wrong - i don't interrupt him in the night to creepily snap stalker pics of my sleeping love. but if he's sleeping late in the morning, and it's about time for him to wake up anyway, i might just surreptitiously mamarazzi my way into his room for a little peek. he's so peaceful and sweet and still, i just can't stand it.

reasons i might be crazy: #2
since i've been unemployed, i've been seeking out all sorts of ways to save money. one of the obvious places to look was at my cosmetics -- if you've known me a while, you know i use an awesome botanically based product line that's amazing for my skin and that i love ... but like most things, you pay for that quality. "so, self," i thought to myself, "maybe there are some other alternatives out there. let's google."

and google i did, and i stumbled upon a most unlikely solution. it's called the oil cleansing method. you can google it too, if you want -- there's lots out there. basically, it boils down to using extra virgin, pure oils to wash your face. that's right, oils. like ... i'm currently using a combination of olive oil, sunflower oil, and pecan oil. and as crazy as it sounds, it seems to be really doing great for my face. i'm a week in, i've not used any moisturizer (!!) since i started, but my skin is not oily and a lot of my "hotspots" seem to be clearing up. crazy? maybe. but super cheap and so far so good. i'll keep you posted as time goes by.

it doesn't stop there, though. apparently i now make my own shampoo. or at least, i partway make it. inspired by a high school friend whose family makes their own laundry detergent, i went down the rabbit hole and found a castille soap based shampoo recipe with essential oils. and my husband and i have been washing our hair with it for a little over a week, too, and you know what? i think i love it. it'll be a little bit of an experiment for a while, getting the right thickness, etc, but it works really well and again, it's cheap.

and then ... then i found a recipe to make your own castille soap. it's based on oils, too, mostly. so i think that might be the next experiment. make my own castille soap, use it as a base for shampoos, body washes, hand soaps ... 

next thing you know i'll be building a bunker in the backyard and designing a rainwater purification system.

ok maybe not. but this is sort of fun, so we'll see where it goes.

Monday, April 22, 2013

lullabies again

ingenuity: fitting two crackers perfectly
between the tines of your for so you can
eat them at the same time.
john has recently started singing songs with us, instead of just by himself or wanting us to sing them. i think the first one was the til-then-obnoxious "i love you" song from barney. i've always hated that song. but somehow, delivered in a sweet little sincere boy voice, it suddenly is pretty freaking great.

we progressed to the alphabet song, which john can now sing just about perfectly. he sometimes skips t-u-v, but he mostly sings it along with us beautifully. same with twinkle twinkle little star (tho in john's rendition, it's twinkle little little star).

but just the other night, something happened that was pretty amazing for me. john requested, and then started singing along with, one of the lullabies i wrote for him.

it shouldn't surprise me that he has learned these songs, since i've sung then to him almost every single night since he was born. he hears my lullabies at least as much as wheels on the bus and the bumblebee song.

but there was just something dumbfounding to me about hearing the lyrics and melody i wrote, a creation from my brain, sung in that sweet angel voice. 

i'll tell you what: i'm a pretty mediocre songwriter, and my singing skills are decidedly lackluster. but that duet that we sang - which has encored each night since - is the most beautiful music i think i've ever heard. it's awesome.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

i have an idea

mommy, i have an idea!
john ... john is a talker. it's pretty much a running dialogue everywhere we go. he's got something to say, or ask, or point out, about everything. it's actually pretty awesome, and as his vocabulary gets bigger and bigger, he gives us some pretty awesome insights sometimes.

and sometimes less so.

the last time we took john grocery shopping, it was a looooong trip. we bough a ton of stuff, we went all over the store, we doubled back, and he had to be good for SO long. he was a trooper, only a little bit of fussing, and we made it through almost entirely unscathed.

then we were in line at the check out, waiting for the two people ahead of us to get finished so it would be our turn.

very enthusiastically (read: not quietly), john exclaims, "mommy, i have an idea!"

somewhat exhausted, and hoping for a fascinating commentary from the not-quite-three point of view, i asked,"what's your idea, john?"

he lit up. he was so excited! he grinned and looked at me and said QUITE loudly, "TURKEY!"

his idea was turkey. 

i just started giggling. so did my husband. john was delighted. the lady in line ahead of us and the lady working the check out both started giggling too.

"well, i think turkey is a great idea, john," i managed to respond.

"thank you, mommy," came the earnest reply.


Monday, April 15, 2013

while we're at it

while we're at it, how 'bout a little baby #2 update?

we saw the maternal fetal specialist on thursday of last week. first we visited with the ultrasound tech, and it was actually way cool - they had brand new fancy ultrasound equipment, so the company's reps were still there showing them how it all worked ... soooooo we got a million pictures of this little babe. i was at 12 weeks 2 days when they did the ultrasounds, so i didn't expect to see much - but with the new equipment, which is apparently pretty high fallutin', we could see all four chambers of the heart beating, we could see the sections of the brain, we could see the bones in the hand and the long bones of the legs and arms. we counted two hands, two feet, and two kidneys, among other cool stuff. (no gender yet, be patient!)

(i am interrupting this baby report to tell a very awesome story: john just came to get me, brought me back to the big boy room - which is still not his room yet - and said, "you play the drums and i play the piano!" and we had our first ever jam session. we played the boat song, the train song, and the car song. i am a terrible drummer but it was freaking awesome. what a cool kid.)

back to the soon-to-be-also-cool kid #2. we even got to see a 3d ultrasound because they were playing with the machine to test it out. the ultrasound tech kept saying things like, "i've never been able to see this on a 12 weeker before!" it was really pretty cool, and pretty reassuring to see the baby developing exactly as he or she should. 

then we met with the doc, and he gave a great "8th grade" version of what we're dealing with in terms of the antibody stuff. seems like our understanding of the situation was pretty much right on. the doc did say he doesn't anticipate that we'll have any significant problems, but that we'll monitor closely and keep tabs on everything.

they aren't going to do an amniocentesis to find out the baby's blood type, because there's an awesome newish blood test that can test free fetal dna in my blood to detect the blood type. it's new enough that they don't even have a protocol for it yet, so they had to get it all set up and i go in tomorrow to give my blood for that test.

so every four weeks we'll see my doctor, and the week after each visit to my doctor we'll see the maternal fetal specialist again for more ultrasounds and more blood tests so we can monitor the titre levels of the antibodies in my blood. basically if the titre number stays under eight, we should be in great shape. (if you care how they determine that titre number let me know and i'll explain it the best i can!)

and just today we got the results back on my first round of blood tests. the titre number was zero, which is awesome news. it means they detected the antibodies in my blood, but it isn't at all at an elevated or reactive level. while this can and very well may change during the course of this pregnancy - that's one of the things we'll be monitoring closely - i think it's a pretty awesome sign that we're starting at zero.

so that's the haps on the new little one. 13 weeks tomorrow and feeling great -- should have more news early may after the next round of appointments!

school days

one cool cat in his daddy's sunglasses
today, i thought i'd give you a glimpse at what school mornings look like for john. we're going to do this in a series of pictures. right off the bat, though, i am going to cheat: that picture above is actually from on the way to a class at church, not technically school ... but the sun was bright, and he asked if he could wear daddy's sunglasses. and then he just looked too ridiculously adorable for me to not snap a pic. so there's john, SORT of on the way to school, looking like the coolest cat you've ever met.

nothing like a little doc seuss to ease
the morning commute
one day last week, john woke up, took a shower with me (a prospect that used to terrify him but he did great!), and then spent the rest of the morning while i got ready not watching his iguy (or fussing to watch his iguy), not playing with his train table or other toys, but reading books in his room. it was so quiet i went to check on him right before we left, and i found him sitting in the chair in his room with a big book on his lap, quietly flipping the pages and studying them intently.

when i told him it was time to go, he said, "i bring my book, mommy?" so of course i said yes, and he "read" all the way to school, too.

but the very bestest school day pic is this one from this morning:

kermit-dee-frog here, reporting from john's
brand new backpack

you see, today was john's first day in the next class up at his daycare. the daycare just accepted a few new infants, so everyone had to shuffle around - normally, john would have stayed in his class until the school year change in august or so.

but last week i got a call that they were moving john and two of his classmates on up to the three-year-old class a little early, if that was ok. and actually, i was really excited about it. i think it's great for john to be in a class with older kiddos. and especially since a couple of his buddies are moving up with him, it should be an easy transition for all of them. we'll miss his teacher ms. meka like crazy, she was awesome, but i know he'll do great.

the hardest part for mommy was, this weekend i had to go buy school supplies. like, big kid school supplies. a backpack, a crayon box, his own paper and glue. so when i put that backpack on him and walked him across to the new building where his new class was, there were tears in my eyes ... my little kid is rapidly becoming a big kid! 

and when i picked him up today, he gave me a big hug and said, "mommy, i had a GREAT day today!" before i could even ask.

so it looks like we have some good school days ahead of us at this rate.

Friday, April 5, 2013

friday dances

i love a kid who, before his third birthday, recognizes that fridays are cause for dancing.

this morning we put one of john's "toddler tunes" cds on and he was listening in the living room, but he got tired of it and brought me another cd - the "anxious dog music" cd we tried for buddy back at the height of his craziness.

"mommy, i want to listen to DOG music!" said my gleeful little bug.

so i put it in the cd player, and the twinkly "calming" piano started. and john said, "i want to dance, but i need my red tutu!"

you know i am not a mom built to deny a boy his tutu. so pjs and tutu and all, we danced around the living room for a while. we did spins, and leaps, and bows.

after a little while, i looked at the clock. "mama's gotta go get ready, my love," i said reluctantly. "we have to get you to school."

he looked at me innocently and said, "i wear my tutu to school?"

i talked him out of that plan and into some clothes, and we were off to start the day.

and no matter what this day winds up holding, a day that starts out with a dance in the living room can't be a bad one.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

what a difference a day makes

chipper little fellow.
when i got john out of bed this morning, i asked him if he would hold me for a minute. he said, "but i awake, mommy!" i said, "yes, baby, but mommy just wants to sit in this chair and snuggle for a sec, even though we're awake, is that ok?" and he snuggled up on me and said he loved me. and i knew, right then and there, that thursday would be a better day.

and better it was. first of all, john was in a reasonably good mood in the morning, which is not a given with our not-a-morning-person family. he was a little grumpy to daddy but they made up before daddy had to head to work.

then our ride to school was full of singing songs and talking about what he would do that day (intermixed with requests that ms. meka give him a poptart when he arrives at school). he plonked down for his breakfast with a smile and a goodbye kiss and mama was off to the doctor.

i was oddly nervous going to the doctor - there was no reason to believe anything was wrong, but i guess it's the lingering artifact of the miscarriage that i feel a little short of breath and overwhelmed when i am walking up to the building.

fortunately, though, the news was all good - the baby's heartbeat sounds great, my blood pressure and weight and all that jazz are "perfect," and all is well.

i talked a little bit with the doc about the antibody stuff, and she was very reassuring -- they'll just monitor me closely, it's good that we know this early so we can be on the lookout, and the specialist i'm seeing is THE best when it comes to intrauterine transfusions, so if it reaches that point we're in the best possible hands.

but the most important part came when i said that i knew there was a likelihood that if there were complications, they might want to induce pretty early. my doctor nodded understandingly, and said, "yes, and that's pretty problematic for us." 

what she meant, of course, is that given my goals of natural childbirth and no epidural or medical pain mediation, that's problematic for me. but she didn't say for me. she said for "us." which just reminded me of why i adore my doctor so much. i've never been so convinced that a doctor was so looking out for my own interests, and willing to do her very best to see that i have as close to my ideal delivery as we can medically do. what a blessing she is to me. i assured her that if she felt there was a medical need i wouldn't fight her on interventions, but that my hope would be to lean towards observation -- that i'd come in every day if i needed to! -- and she said we were absolutely on the same page.

so today i was reminded that i have a cheerful kiddo, a wonderful hardworking husband, a healthy baby, an awesomely supportive doctor, and some wonderful friends and family who reached out to me, too. and then i came home and spent 8,000 hours applying for 8,000 jobs and dangit, just one of those is going to wind up working out for me, too.

i'm a lucky lady ... and much happier than i was yesterday. thanks for all the love!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


had a little too much fun at the zoo.
normally, i'd lead with a too-cute-to-stand picture of john instead of a face-screwed-up-fat-tears picture, but that pic sorta sums up my mood today so i'll run with it.

i haven't written in so long because, frankly, there's just been a lot going on. last tuesday (a week ago yesterday) i went into work to be told that the new owner of the mall had eliminated my position. i had about 30 minutes to clean out my office and i was gone. i had sort of seen it coming -- in my interview with the new company a week before, the lady consistently referred to "whoever handles the marketing," which hardly inspired confidence that that would be me -- but i thought i'd have a little more time before they made any big changes. 

so on a random tuesday morning, i found myself with a lot of free time on my hands.

and surprisingly, i felt pretty ok about the whole thing. i am sad, sure, to leave a place that i've invested a lot of myself and my talent and my time in. and i will miss like crazy the wonderful people that became a part of my life while i was there. but i was promptly inundated by support from personal and professional contacts who were more than willing to reach out to me and help me make connections to find a job. i spent most of last week pounding the pavement, as they say, reaching out to everyone i know and asking them to keep me in mind. and i got more than a few real, solid leads that i've put myself in the ring for. i have mostly felt certain that i will land on my feet, quickly, and in a much better place than i was before.

then we had an awesome easter weekend. how could it not be awesome -- three uninterrupted days of hanging with my family, culminating in a kid who looked like this:
dapper john.
... when we went to church for easter service and then to the camp for an awesome day of crawfish, friends, family, and dirty camp fun.

and i even managed to keep my spirits up through another day of job hunting on monday. busy busy, filling out apps and sending resumes and looking for new listings.

and yesterday was an awesome trip to the zoo with awesome friends and their awesome kids. three mamas brought a total of six boys ranging in age from just a few weeks to not quite six. it was like herding cats, but it was wonderful, to have good company and fun with my little bug, and of course to check out the critters which i love so much.
about to get on the choo choo train, and of
course he has to hold his own ticket.
he's a big boy.

which side of the glass are the monkeys on, anyway?
(not pictured, the littlest boy, who was gobbling
a bottle at the time.)
but today. oh, today. it's grey and rainy and i didn't sleep well, because a certain thunder-phobic dog kept mewling and i had a hard time falling asleep. and i've sort of exhausted the initial on-rush of the job search -- there's more out there, i'm sure, and i'll keep looking, but it will require more digging and creativity and less likelihood of a quick solution. and the reality of filing for unemployment is sinking in, and the tiresomeness of sitting in my house alone all day with little human interaction, and the likelihood that this process will take a little while -- all these things are sinking in and frankly, i feel like crap.

so, to paraphrase my mom, today i am allowing myself to be a bit of a poopoohead. today, i am feeling grey, and i am trying to be ok with that. i won't allow myself to wallow, but i will allow myself to feel it, and to know it's a natural part of this process.

today, i might cry a little bit. but i'll be better tomorrow, i'm sure.