Thursday, March 31, 2011

American Idol Predictions

Each year, my husband and I try and pick the top 10 finalists and put them in order.  But this year, it's so tough! I honestly think that they are all so good, but if I had to choose...

I'd say that Scotty will win.

Pia will be the runner-up.

And Casey will be 3rd.  

But it seems that anything is possible this season.  

Do you watch American Idol?  Who's going to win? I was about to have a heart attack tonight when Paul was in the bottom 3.  He's too good to go home already! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Where Did Spring Go?

Spring.  I saw glimpses of you and I thought you just might be here to stay.  You began to make promises of warmer days, but it's back to rain and sunless skies.

But I'll remember those nicer days and keep looking forward to the warmer, drier days because I know you're worth the wait.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Daria's Birth Story

In light of my pregnancy, I'm sharing a birth story every week until I deliver.  At that point, I will have a new story of my own to share!

This week, Daria from Mom In Management, is going to be sharing the story of her daughter's birth.

Surprise! It's a... It's a... It's a GIRL!

My daughter turned 9 years old in December. She has been Jaeda and a girl for so long that it should be difficult to remember the months that I spent anticipating what she would look like, what we should name her, and if she would be a he or a she. But it's not.

Maybe it's because she was my first and the excitement and nervousness about being pregnant burned those memories in so deep they'll never fade. Maybe it's because I didn't have "mommy brain" yet so I can still remember those days. Who knows. But I do know that it seems like yesterday that we were continual front page news in the family gossip mill.

Why were we the center of so much speculation? Well, we didn't decide to find out the gender of our baby.

I say we, but that is not exactly true. I decided that we would not find out. I needed something to look forward to as incentive to make it through labor. People used to be shocked when I said that..."You're getting a baby. Isn't that enough incentive?" Nope. I had this vision of my husband holding a baby and saying "It's a xxxx."

Maybe I read too many romance novels or made for TV movies, but I wanted that moment, so no sneak peeks for us!

Guessing the Gender

So while we were waiting, we took guesses, speculated and considered old wives tales to try to guess the baby's gender.

It was fun to hold our wedding bands on a piece of hair and see how it spun. Apparently circles mean a girl and back and forth means boy. Our ring spun kind of egg shaped.

Grandma was convinced we were having a boy. She said my belly was shaped like a basketball which means boy, versus spreading the weight all over would mean girl. Grandma had correctly predicted the genders of the past 14 grandbabies, so we were pretty sure she was both psychic and that we were having a boy.

My husband had two boys already from a previous relationship. He was convinced that he was a boy maker. U - rah! I have manly sperm hon, I can only make boys. Hmm, be sure to take that up with them won't you?

The topper though was that we spent a weekend in New Orleans when I was 7 months pregnant. In Jackson Square, there are a handful of palm readers set up that will tell you your fortune for a few dollars. We didn't stop (although I've always been curious) but as we were passing by, one of them yelled out to us - "You're having a boy!" My husband likes messing with people and retorted with "The doctor says it's a girl." That palm reader came back and stated quite definitively - "I don't care what that doctor says. That right there is a boy baby."

After that it was pretty much a done deal. We were both pretty convinced that all the omens pointed to a boy.


Two months later, after 22 hours of labor and nearly 2 hours of pushing, our baby was born. I looked expectantly at my husband as the doctor held the baby out for him to see. He just stared, wide-eyed with a dazed look..."It's a....It's a...."

Apparently he was in such shock he couldn't actually spit it out. Maybe he was feeling badly for this son that had such a small penis?

The nurse finally took pity on him and said "It's a GIRL!" I swear he then nodded his head and said, "Oh yeah, that's what that is."  He denies it of course, but his mother was in the room and she said she'll never forget the look on his face.

To this day, I love to tease him about that moment. I didn't get my Made for TV vision, but I wouldn't trade the laughter we've gotten over that moment for any scripted version. It is life and it is ours.

**By the way, my husband loves having daughters. We now have two girls and a boy together and he is wrapped around those little girls' pinkies like you wouldn't believe. Regardless of the surprise factor, I don't want you to think either of us were disappointed. My only disappointment is my diminished belief in psychic powers. I always wondered if palm readers were for real. I suppose this doesn't necessarily hold true for all, but I know of one at least that doesn't have a clue.


Thank you for sharing your story, Daria! If you'd like to hear more stories like this, be sure to visit Daria's blog and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Daria from MomInManagement

Twitter: @mominmanagement


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Like Father-Like Son

Nate loves basketball, which isn't surprising since his dad is a basketball coach and has a genuine love for the game.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that he went to over 25 games during his first year of life while Ryan was coaching.  Or maybe it's because we watch a lot of basketball on TV.  Or maybe it's just in his blood.

Yesterday, we went to a neat park that had a lake with a designated swimming area, baseball fields with lots of little kids practicing, swings, playgrounds, little rock walls to climb-basically everything a kid needs to have a good time.  I would have loved this park when I was a child.

Anyway, we put Nate in his stroller and started walking through the park looking for a restroom, because I'm pregnant and am always looking for the nearest restroom.  It's annoying at times, but what am I going to do about it?

As we were walking through the park looking for a restroom, Nate spotted a small basketball court.  2 boys were shooting around and Nate instantly wanted to be there.  He pointed. He kept saying, "ball" and insisting that we make our way to the court.  I think he thought that we weren't seeing what he was seeing.  Why would we ever walk away from a basketball hoop?

After finding the much needed restroom, we grabbed a covered table.  We had packed a picnic lunch, and although we very much intended on taking him to the basketball court, we wanted to eat first.  It took Nate a while to calm down and focus on eating lunch and less on playing basketball, but his eye was on that court the entire time.

So when we were done eating lunch, we took Nate to the court and he was a happy boy.  Even though it was raining, he didn't care.

So I embrace Nate's enthusiasm for the sport.  I put a basketball game on TV when he asks for it (even if it's an old game still on our DVR), when he runs to get his basketball before leaving the house, I let him take it, and when he wants to run around on a court in the rain, we let him. 

Are we creating a monster? Probably. Do I find it absolutely adorable? Yep.

Friday, March 25, 2011

{This Moment}

In Soule Mama’s words:

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I love to go for walks.  Long walks, short walks, you name it.  They make my day feel more complete.  My husband, lovingly of course, says that I'm like a puppy when it comes to walks.  I get so excited.  If I'm having a blah day, a walk can easily brighten my spirits.  The last few months have been pretty cold. We've seen weather in the 20's, 30's, and 40's.  But yesterday, it was in the 50's (today it's in the 60's!).  So, we went for a walk as the sun was setting.
We live right next to a lake, which provides plenty of wildlife for Nate to look at. Yesterday, he saw ducks and a crane.

He was excited to stop at the water and look around although he protested when we decided to head home. 

We also live right next to the Interurban trail, which is great since the majority of Seattle is sidewalk-less, which baffles me. I'm not sure I've been to a city with less sidewalks than Seattle.  Going for walks can be a dangerous endeavor if we don't make sure to plan our routes based on streets with sidewalks.  Anyway, the Interurban trail is free of cars, miles and miles long, great for walks, bicycle rides, running, get the point.  It's a great resource to live so close to.

Yesterday was just a taste of the warmer weather soon to come, but I can't wait.  Walks around Green Lake, flip flops, and tank tops are just a few of my favorite things that have been neglected during the winter months.

But not for much longer, because Spring is here! 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Go-To Muti-Purpose Cleaner

I was very excited when I was presented with the opportunity to review and sample Simple Green again.  After receiving a very generous package last year, I have become attached to Simple Green for a variety of reasons.

1). Multi-Use: Simple Green can be used for most of my cleaning jobs.  Just this week I have used Simple Green to clean all my kitchen counters, wipe down any dusty surfaces, clean the bathroom cabinets, the bathroom mirrors (just had to go over it with a dry towel to avoid streaking), cleaned the kitchen table and granite breakfast bar.  Being able to use it in multiple situations allows me to not buy so many different cleaners.  One cleaner can do the job of multiple cleaners, which saves me time and money.

2). Good for the environment: According to their website, Simple Green is "an environmentally-sensitive non-toxic cleaner/degreaser that really works and can be economically custom-diluted for many, many different uses." I love that Simple Green can be diluted to fit the job at hand.  If I am going to just use it to wipe down surfaces, I include less Simple Green in my mixture.  However, if I need to do a heavier job-like remove grease from a surface, than I make a stronger solution.  

3). The smell.  If you've ever used Simple Green, then you know what I am talking about. It just smells fresh.  There isn't any of that toxic smell that accompanies so many other cleaners.  

I'd love to know which every day cleaners you use? Do you have any experiences with Simple Green products?

*Although I did receive a product to sample, all opinions are solely mine.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ashley's Birth Story

"A Speedy Delivery"

In light of her own pregnancy and upcoming delivery, Shondra asked me to share my birth story with you today. I've chosen to tell you the story of my son's birth. It was quick and included a few surprises, including a doctor who was MIA! Enjoy...

David, born at 9:27am on 9-27

 All of the times (except my son’s time of birth) are approximate, but not exaggerated.

7:45 am – I woke up in intense pain. I knew I was in labor. I called my husband who was at work and told him that I’d gone into labor, called our friends who would be watching our daughter, and got in the shower to get ready to head to the hospital. After 4 weeks of bed rest and 1 week of waiting, it was time!

8:20 am – My husband arrived home from work, and I pushed him and my 21mo daughter out to the car. After a quick stop to drop our daughter off with friends, we arrived at the hospital shortly after 8:30 am.

8:35 am – I was stubborn and refused to let my husband drop me off at the door. I insisted on walking from the car to the Labor & Delivery department. I barely made it three steps before I doubled over in pain. But, I made it inside without assistance, and made my way to registration.

8:40 am – I told the nurses to call my doctor right away. He had told me he only needed 10 minutes to be in delivery. I told them to have him hurry. (My mom had two hour labors with each of us, and my first was about two hours, so there was a 99% chance I'd be two hours or less.)

9:00 am – Dressed in a hospital gown and ready to push, no doctor had arrived.

9:20 amNot willing to wait any longer, I told the nurse I was going to push, and she gave me the “OK.”

9:25 am – The first push broke my water as the nurse grabbed a random doctor from the hallway.

9:27 am – My son came flying out with the second push – the doctor barely grabbed him.

My first moments with him
9:35 amMy doctor came strolling down the hall to “check” on my progress only to find the nurses cleaning the baby up and me taking pictures while my husband called the grandparents.

A precious gift from God

My doctor explained later that he had accidentally turned his beeper off, so he didn’t get the pages until the nurses tried calling him at home. Then, he had decided he had enough time to shower. He didn’t realize that they’d been paging him for 20 minutes already!


Ashley Pichea is a wife and mom (2 year old boy and a 4 year old girl), as well as being a blogger, an online student (pursuing an MA in Ministry), and actively involved in her local church's various ministries. Her blog, L.I.F.E: Living Intentionally By Faith Everyday, has become a place of ministry to women with a purpose of encouraging women with the Word of God, and she is the co-founder of the 3 in 30 Challenge. Ashley strives daily to find her identity in Christ, and she encourages you to connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks for sharing, Ashley! Your son shares a birthday with me. :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Photo Challenge: Green

I'm entering this photo into Paper Mama's photo challenge.  Her theme this week is green.  I chose this picture, not because of how cute Nate is in it, but because I love this green lizard.  We bought it from a lady in Bozeman, MT (while visiting family) who painted some pretty funky patterns onto these lizards.  She then sold them at a Farmer's Market where we bought ours.  It is now one of Nate's favorite bath toys. 

The Paper Mama

Friday, March 18, 2011

When Things Go Lost...

My husband and I have slightly different approaches to looking for lost items.

Nate has a Hot Wheels toy that he loves.  He puts two cars on the top, pushes a lever and the cars race down the track.  He plays with it every day and even looks for it when we put it in his room.  The only problem is the cars.  Nate is usually pretty good about not getting them too lost.  Most of the time, they can be found in his bucket of balls, bucket of blocks, on his bookshelf, or behind the entertainment center.

Yesterday, however, was a different story.  The cars were lost.  Ryan and I searched in every possible place we could think of.  We were going crazy.  Where were those cars?? We kept asking Nate who would just look at us and smile. 

Usually in these situations, when I've looked in every spot I can think of, I quit looking.  I figure that whatever is lost will turn up eventually, or I'll finally get smart and figure it out.  What's the point in searching the same places over and over again? Ryan, on the other hand, will search and search and search.  It drives him crazy not to know where something is, which winds up driving me crazy.  I just want to stop searching and think about it for a bit.  

I wound up finding the cars a while later.  After thinking about where the cars could possibly be, I remembered that I had left my camera box on the couch and then put the box away long before I started searching for the cars.  At some point, he had put both of the cars in the box.  When we were asking him where his cars were, he was probably looking for the box. 

My question: How do you deal with lost things? Particularly toys that your toddler may have misplaced? Does it drive you crazy? Do you have to search non-stop until you find the missing item? Do you search for a while and then take some time to think about the possibilities before resuming your search? Or do you just let the missing item turn up eventually?

{This Moment}

In Soule Mama’s words:

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

I love the days where glimpses of Spring can be seen. Those days where the air is still crisp, but not freezing. And the days when the sun shines all day. While we may not be experiencing weather in the 70's yet like some places, I know that the wait is well worth it because summers in Seattle are beautiful. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

One Lucky Birth Story

Today, my sister-in-law Sarah, is sharing the birth story of her second child who was born on lucky St. Patrick's Day.  Luke is a very special and sweet nephew.  Besides having a bit of a special connection with my husband, he has also proved himself to be a very good cousin to my son, Nate.  Happy Birthday, Luke! 

From our hospital window you could see the Catholic School across the street.  It was lunch time and all the children were running, singing, and playing St. Patrick’s Day games. A large Leprechaun mural was the backdrop.  I never thought it would happen, but it’s fitting that we would have a child on St. Patrick’s Day. We have quite a bit of Irish in our family. My husband’s family still has land there.  They are huge Notre Dame fans. And now we’ve got our lucky baby boy to make it all the more special.

Luke is our second born, so I knew what I was getting myself into. With his older brother, I had a very drawn out 23-hour labor with 2 hours of pushing and an un-anesthetized episiotomy. To say I was a bit concerned with the amount of pain coming my way would be fair.

Luke was due on March 14th. His brother had come early (by one minute!) so I never really thought about Luke being born after his due date. St. Patrick’s Day never even crossed my mind. Let’s face it: by 8 months along I was praying fervently that he would come just a bit early. Not so early that his lungs would be underdeveloped, of course, but please, soon, God, soon.

So, when a few days before his due date I started having contractions, I was elated. But, Luke was just messing with me.

“But Doctor,” I said, “I know what real contractions are!”


False labor.

Really? Hadn’t I done this before? I felt so stupid.

Then, two days later, more contractions. This was it!


Are you kidding me? My baby and my body had betrayed me.  I had a minor meltdown.  The doctor and my husband reassured me that he’d have to come out sooner or later, and I waddled out of the doctor’s office for the second time. I bought a green onesie just in case he decided to wait THAT long.  Surely, I wouldn’t need it--I realize now that the 5 days that take place in this story are not, in fact, a long time, but try telling that to a 10-month pregnant woman.

Early on St. Patrick’s Day morning contractions started coming again. This time, I knew it was real.  Good thing I bought that green onesie. We got to the hospital around 6 AM. I was definitely in labor this time, but only dilated to 3.5 centimeters. I worried I had, like last time, another 23 hours ahead of me.

But the luck of the Irish was with me. By the time my contractions were really uncomfortable I was able to get a spinal block. By12:15 it had worn off, and I was ready to push. At 12:35 our beautiful baby boy was here. Only 20 minutes of pushing! The reward for my patience.

The first thing I said to him as he was laid on my chest was, “What a good little boy!” My labor had been beautiful. Not easy, grant you, but beautiful. And even more beautiful--my St, Patrick’s Day baby.

Thanks for sharing, Sarah!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Vincent's Birth Story

In light of my pregnancy, I'm going to be sharing a birth story every week for the next 20 weeks.  Hopefully, at that time, I will deliver and have a story of my own to share with you.  

This week, Vincent from, is going to be sharing the story of his daughter's birth.

Over this past weekend, my wife and I threw a party for our two children to celebrate their birthdays. A small army of kids were invited with a seemingly even larger contingent of parents in tow. My wife was wise enough to rent a facility with an open space for the kids to run and play including a giant inflated play castle which allowed our tiny guests to jump inside with reckless abandon. The flurry of activity that passed before my eyes triggered a flashback to another event filled moment in our lives. The day my daughter was born.

My son was barely 2 years old at the time when my wife was carrying my soon to be born daughter. The pregnancy, relatively speaking, had gone smoothly up until that point in time. My wife and I knew what to expect and consequently felt more confident as the due date drew near. At about 4AM in the morning, my wife gently nudged me awake ( more like a loving right cross to the arm) announcing it was time. We grabbed our stuff, drove over to the in-laws to drop off our son, then headed to the hospital. It turned out our baby girl was still in rehearsal for the big show which at best guess would not be debuting for several hours. My wife and I went for breakfast followed by a nap at home. Once again I was awakened with a love tap (a soothing shot to the solar plexus) with the news break “We need to go!…but make me sandwich for the ride, I’m hungry.”

As we drove to the hospital, my wife would oscillate between writhing in pain from the contractions to taking ferocious grizzly bear bites of the sandwich I made her. It was quite comical to witness, especially since that sandwich I prepared was a gargantuan hero meant for the two of us. My beloved extremely pregnant wife, barely able to sit comfortably in her seat, found the presence of mind to devour every single bite of that sandwich while barking orders at me the entire journey. Unbeknownst to us, our baby daughter had other plans having canceled her matinee performance to prepare for the evening show instead.

Fast forward several hours of labor pain, the day had been encompassed by breathing exercises, walks in the hallway, and finally capped with an epidural treatment to ease my wife’s pain. All of sudden, in an alarmingly quick pace, our daughter emerged to greet us. Yet there was only silence. Her tiny lungs were filled with fluid which needed to be drained. Remarkably professional nurses cleared her lungs and suddenly our little lady’s first cry graced the world. “Daddy, I want pizza.” “What?” “Daddy, pizza! PiZZA!” “Oh. Okay.” My baby girl, now 2, tugged at my hand to hasten my pace. We had a party to attend and the food was ready.

Life moves in a flash. Savor every moment if you can. Challenges await parents every waking moment, and still, the little miracles we’re so privileged to witness remind us of why life can take us by surprise and shape us in ways we’ve never imagined. Never take that for granted. At least that’s what I remind myself every day.

How about you? What have been some of your most memorable moments in the early years of parenthood?

Bio: was founded by Vincent Daly in 2009. Vincent is a graphic designer, writer, actor, artist and most importantly a husband and father. The mission of is to provide a resource for Dads with young children.  

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A New Camera And An 18-Month Old Baby.

Have I ever told you how much I love my husband? He's the best. After talking non-stop about getting a new camera, he got me one.  And I love it.  It's perfect.  Exactly what I wanted.  So I've been experimenting and forcing myself to only shoot in full-manual mode.  What's the point of getting an SLR if I'm just going to use it like a point and shoot?

Here are some of Nate's 18-month photos that I've taken during the last few days using my new camera.

And by the way, I cannot believe that Nate is 18 months old.  Where does the time go?  My little bundle of a boy that I brought home from the hospital is now a talking, funny, always-on-the-move, little guy with a wonderful personality.  He tests us at times, doing things he knows he shouldn't and then looks at us with wide eyes that are asking "what are you going to do?" I hope to get a picture of that face soon because I don't want to forget that look when he gets even older. Other times, he does something funny just because he knows it will make us laugh. I love that. When I ask him if he can sing, he makes a high-pitched "lalalala" noise that melts my heart, and he knows it.  I ask him, "Who's Mama's baby?" and he replies, "Na-na!" (translation-Nate).  

He is a complete Daddy's boy and I love that too. They are so cute together-watching ball, reading books and flipping through the latest installment of SI.  

Gosh, can he just stop growing for a few years. It's happening too fast!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

{This Moment}

In Soule Mama’s words:

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

I love this picture because I feel that it perfectly captures what life is like with a toddler.  
Independence is everything to them, and while we want to let them explore the world, we also want to be able to catch them if they fall.  

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ultrasound Results!


We found out what we're having.  Bows and tights or more basketballs? 

Well, now we have our answer. 

It's a BOY!

Before we know it, Nate will have a little brother chasing him on the soccer fields and at the playground.  

I hope he's ready, because, judging by the amount of movement in my belly, this little guy is going to give Nate a run for his money.

Everything else looks great.  The baby is measuring right on track at 20 weeks, was very active, and had a perfect heartbeat.

We're still tossing around a few names, but we have until July 25th-ish to think about it. Any and all name ideas are welcomed. Ryan likes Tyger Woods or Tom Cruze.  ;)

Monday, March 7, 2011

We're Excited!


Because, hopefully, we will find out whether we are having a boy or a girl tomorrow.

We will know if Nate is going to have a little brother or little sister.

When I was pregnant with Nate, I had this gut feeling that I was having a boy.  Despite an inaccurate Intelligender Test, I always maintained that he was a boy.  This time, I have no idea.  I'm not really leaning one way or the other.  All I know is that this baby moves so much more than Nate did.   Even though I am only 20 weeks along (halfway already!), sometimes I literally feel this baby doing somersaults. At times, there is constant motion in my belly.  

Oh, and here's another little bit of trivia for ya.  At about 9 weeks pregnant with Nate, I developed a little layer of peach fuzz on my chin.  It was pretty interesting to say the least. Ryan and I always chalked it up to the extra testosterone roaming my body.  But this time? No peach fuzz.  

So, what's your guess? Boy or girl? 

I'll be back tomorrow to share the news. :)

Marissa's Birth Story

In light of my pregnancy, I'm going to be sharing a birth story every week for the next 20 weeks.  Hopefully, at that time, I will deliver and have a story of my own to share with you.  

This week, a good friend of mine, Marissa, is going to share her story.  Thanks for sharing Marissa! 

I wish I had a great labor story to tell my son about his birth.  I wish I could tell him that his father and I were trapped in a cabin in the middle of a snow storm in the dead of winter and that I went into labor at the peak of the blizzard, requiring his father to harrowingly and bravely deliver him on the floor, cut the cord with a Swiss army knife, and wrap him in a spare blanket while we waited for the paramedics to arrive, staring out the window at our own private Winter Wonderland while we gazed lovingly at our little miracle baby.

I wish I could tell him that, but that's not the way it happened.  He was born in the middle of California, not in the middle of a snowstorm.  In fact, it wasn't even winter; it was the middle of April.  And I didn't even get to go into labor, nor was I induced.  He was a scheduled C-section, because my doctor was concerned about how big he was getting while I was still only 36 weeks along.  My "little" guy was measuring 9.5 pounds on an ultra sound at that point, and my belly was measuring an astonishing 47 cm from breastbone to pelvic bone.

I went home (after shedding a few tears in my doctor's office) and began to fret over my impending surgery and the earlier-than-anticipated arrival of our little one.  I passed a very fitful week, and I secretly did a lot of walking and started eating a lot of pineapple (someone had actually told me that eating pineapple in your last trimester can cause contractions), hoping and praying that I would go into labor and that my doctor would not have a chance to perform the C-section.

Much to my disappointment, all I experienced were some mighty uncomfortable Braxton-Hicks contractions and some severely swollen cankles, the result of too many trips up and down the mall in the hopes that I would begin to experience labor pains.

The Big Day arrived all too soon, in my opinion.  My husband and I were both terrified and excited.  My surgery was scheduled for 5:00 that evening, so aside from being nervous and on edge to begin with, I was one cranky soon-to-be mama all day, because I couldn't eat anything after 5:00 that morning.  I checked into the hospital at 3:30pm and begrudgingly lay there in my hospital bed and my ugly blue hospital gown, feeling embarrassed because said gown made me look just like the blueberry girl from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  I was poked and prodded, shaved, had all my jewelry removed, and then had to shove all my hair up into one of those papery surgical shower cap-things (and if you know me, you know what a feat this is--I have enough hair to replace a Shetland pony's tail if it ever loses it for some unforeseen reason), and then...

The anesthesiologist came in.


Well, hello there, frail little apparently-eighty-five-year-old Asian man whom I can't understand well enough to glean a name from and whose hands are shaking like you're having a nasty case of the DT's.  How do you do?  Of course I'd be perfectly comfortable with you sticking a huge needle into my spine, why ever would you ask me such a silly question?  

By the time the 12th try came around, I was holding on to one of the nurses and dutifully hugging my pillow so as to be in the exact right position for the needle to enter the space between my vertebrae.  I was also sobbing freely at this point and begging my doctor to just put me out and wake me up when the baby got here.  I'm not ashamed to say that I begged.  I may have even tried bribery, I honestly don't know.  I do remember my doctor coming over to the side of the table and, holding my hand, saying, "You don't want me to do that, trust me; if I do that, your husband can't come in here, it will be harder on you and the baby, just let's try this one last time, okay?" 

I remember sucking in all the air I could and holding my breath, screaming at myself in my head to not move, just let the needle find the right place this time and to not move, even if there was an earthquake and the floor opened up and swallowed me whole, and I begged god to help that anesthesiologist find that magical and elusive spot in my spine where that needle belonged.  I felt the needle pierce my skin.  I heard one of the nurses tell me that it was in and remind me not to move, and then everything from my armpits down went mercifully numb.  I was still crying when they laid me down on the operating table and someone finally went to fetch my somewhat-frantic husband, about an hour late.  He immediately rushed to my side and, seeing my tear-stained and swollen face, gripped my hand.  No one had given him an update or told him what was going on.  They just left him sitting there waiting for close to an hour. 

It took almost an hour to get that spinal block in.  It took less than 10 minutes for my doctor to cut me open (while a fountain of blood, I'm told by my wonderful husband, sprayed up out of me, all over the floor, threatening to splatter the shoes of my operating team) and introduce my son, Ethan, to this world.

I actually didn't know that he was out at first, and I didn't find out until afterwards that it was because he didn't cry right away.  All I remember is someone bringing my precious baby boy around to the head of the table and showing him to me; all I remember is seeing his beautiful little face, kissing his cheeks (my cheeks!) and touching his nose (his daddy's nose!), and holding his tiny, tiny hand; all I remember is crying happy tears and thinking,

"Oh, yes, my little love...for you, I would do this all over again." 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Photo Challenge: Simple Beauty

If you aren't familiar with The Paper Mama, you totally should be.  She takes awesome photos and hosts photography challenges on her blog every week.  This week the challenge is Simple Beauty.  When I took this photo, Nate had just gotten out of the bath and still had tiny water droplets around his eyes.  The drops of water combined with those blue eyes made my mama-heart melt.  Isn't it interesting how the silliest of things can do that to us when it comes to our kids?

Stop by The Paper Mama's blog to see lots of other awesome examples of Simple Beauty.

The Paper Mama