Sunday, September 30, 2007 kidding

High-Priced Student Loans Spell Trouble

And my thought?

I finally found someone who owes more than I do!

Welcome to the world Baby Talitha

Talitha Koum Rebekah arrived safely at 6:45 pm yesterday weighing 9 lbs 2oz and measuring 21 3/4 inches long.

Congratulations to Dana and the entire family!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

For the record

Third trimester starts today.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Miscellaneous thoughts

There are days when blogging seems pointless and silly. Like the day after I post that a baby has died...or a friend has died. The best I can do is adjust the format so that the next post doesn't appear on the same page. It still seems wrong somehow...
I don't mind saying that Lisa's death has shaken me to my very core. She was only two years older than me. And she's gone forever. This has made me face some very scary questions this week about myself and my family. I was all gung-ho to have a c-section at the end of November. Now I have concerns. The few people I have confessed this to have basically told me I'm being irrational (which sits well with me, as I'm sure you can guess). But the fact is that you never know...

We have an ultrasound scheduled for Tuesday and then I was supposed to have an appointment with the nurse midwife in the practice. I think I'm going to reschedule the appointment with the actual doctor. It's time for an honest (and most likely, tearful) consultation.
I tie-dyed for the very first time in my life! What prompted such a daring event to take place in my guest bathroom? Why, purple day at my son's school, of course! Take that, you nasty teacher!
Speaking of the nasty teacher...
I MUST remember that everyone knows everyone in this county (which I find amazing, since we have a population of over 100,000 and my office mail keeps ending up in the strangest places). I was doing a bit of mommy-commiserating in the office and one of the older secretaries says, "Who is Sam's teacher?" When I told her, she said, "You mean Jim X's wife? She has always been so nice." Open mouth...insert foot...
Steve has been working in his new job for two weeks and other than being crammed into a cubicle in the corner, I think he likes it. Today they're having an office carnival where managers will sit in dunk tanks and employees will get to take their shots...proceeds to the Humane Society. There is nothing about that that I wouldn't like.
I have recently been in a funk. I'm not sure exactly why...I think it's a combination of things. But there are things said (and people who say them) that are really getting to me. I'm too tired to say anything and I feel as though there's no point to saying anything anyway because if these people were inclined to be nice...they would...but they're not. I just don't understand why people can't have a teeny tiny amount of respect for other people. Why are people so interested in alienating others by ignoring how their actions affect those around them? I don't understand why people have to be so damned self-involved that they just say and do whatever they please because it's "their right" to do so...

OK...I'd better stop before this turns into a full-on vent. :o)
I am perplexed by a phenomenon that emerges when someone dies, regardless of age or circumstance. How do we, in good conscience, claim that someone else's life (and death) existed as a means to teach US a lesson? Doesn't that reduce the value of their life and death...their very existence? Are we really that self-important that we can only find value in someone's existence as it relates to me?

It is odd to me to think that my children only existed (and died) because I was in need of some lesson. Likewise, I do not think my son, Samuel, exists because of anything having to do with me and my life lessons. What about the inherent value in simply existing? I don't believe I have the right to lay claim to that. I simply can not think that much of myself and I am befuddled by those who do.
Ever feel like you're preaching to the choir? And when you direct your voice elsewhere all you meet is resistance and irritation (and stupidity)? Yeah. Me too. I must just be the stupidest person on the planet because everywhere I turn, someone knows "better." Gah!
Whatever entertainment value I found in the insipid America's Next Top Model is now gone.
My son cannot rhyme. No matter how much Dr. Seuss we read, he simply cannot understand. *sigh*
I want to take my son out to dinner tonight at a restaurant where a friend is singing. I'm not sure it's worth the hassle. It's times like these I wish I knew some high school student I could trust to babysit for us.
I have had to adjust the template on this blog because my last one freaked out. Inspiration is not lurking at the moment. Maybe Monday when I'm at work and desperate for something to do to distract me from the insanity that is my job...
A dear friend sent me a gift in the mail...the most darling pair of sterling silver dragonfly earrings and a lovely book that reminds you on page one that "Success is getting up just one more time than you fall down."

Thank you so much Kath! I love you!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sleep sweet dear friend


I am so sad to inform you that our Lisa passed away last night at 7:45. She passed peacefully with all of her family and myself present, so she was not alone. I have a lot of arrangements to make, so once I know details I'll email you back. Please don't call as I won't really have the time today to talk, as much as I would like to.

I so appreciate all of the positive energy and prayers you sent our way. Unfortunately, it was not enough to save Lisa. My heart is broken and I'll never be the same. Lisa was my best friend, and I'll miss her so much words cannot describe.

Take care,

You touched so many lives during your short time here.
You are loved and we will miss you forever.
Give your babies all those hugs and kisses you dreamed of.
Until we meet again...

Lisa's visitation will be on Saturday and Sunday 2-4 and 7-9 at Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home; 301 Curry Hollow Road; Pittsburgh, PA 15236. Phone (412) 655-4501. The funeral will be next Monday at Christ United Methodist Church in Bethel Park at around 11:00 am. You can get more details about the funeral from the funeral home. Memorial donations can be made to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 333 E. Carson Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Welcome to the world Baby Oscar!

Oscar has arrived, safe and well, weighing 8lbs. Mama says he "is gorgeous."

Congratulations Denise!

Monday, September 24, 2007

I finally started a baby blanket. It's a simple stitch and I can work on it with my eyes closed (good for when I want to watch television). It's just a plain acrylic yarn, but I've found with Sam that plain acrylic holds up the best to little boy shenanigans.

And now that Michelle is off having her baby, I can show off the sweater I made for her little Natalie. A hat is soon to follow (should be a quick stitch...but it's a new pattern for me, so you never know).

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Not sure what this says about me

I don't remember due dates anymore. A very dear friend in my animal rescue group remembered it for me...and I had to look it up to be sure.

I tend to think Travis got the short end of the stick in the grief department. I cried, but not like I cried (still cry) for Alex. I don't visit him at the cemetery like I did Alex (every day for the first few months). If he weren't born so close to Alex's birthday...if his birthday wasn't the start of a hellish week...I probably would forget that date too.

And yet, I don't feel guilty. Sure, I still feel sadness and emptiness, but I can't tell if that's a leftover from Alex or if it belongs to Travis.

How sad.

He'd be a year old if he had stayed with us...

How very sad.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Welcome to the world Natalie Rose!

Weighing in at 6lbs 12oz and measuring 19.5" long, she made her debut at 2:09 this afternoon. Congratulations to Michelle and the whole family!

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep
Annual Fall Gala

Join us as we celebrate the precious gifts of portraiture that we have provided for families across the country and in eight nations thanks to the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep Foundation network of professional volunteer photographers.

Thank you photographers for your countless hours of volunteer work.

When: Saturday, November 3rd at 7pm

Where: The Atrium at South Denver Cardiology Center at 1000 SouthPark Drive in Littleton, Colorado

What: Silent auction, dinner, multi-media presentation and more!

Why: To raise money to help with numerous projects including the following:

* Training & education materials for photographers
* Support with mailings, shipping of NILMDTS materials, etc
* Overhead & payroll for NILMDTS employees
* Costs associated with our move into our new complex in 2008

Tickets: Individual tickets are $100 each. We will provide a discounted rate to our member photographers. E-mail your ticket requests to or call 720-283-3339.

NILMDTS consists of more that 3000 professional VOLUNTEER photographers. And honestly, through the photographers volunteer services, their $25.00 yearly membership fee (yes they pay a membership fee to be involved) and generous random donations from families, this is how NILMDTS has survived. This year we have recently incurred expenses by moving the foundation out of Maddux's bedroom in my home to an office space. We hired an executive director, Mrs. Jessica Roe, and two part time assistants, with a donation from White House Custom Colour. [WHCC] These three ladies have done wonders with the foundation, and are taking NILMDTS to levels we only dreamed about. They have been feverishly writing for grant requests, and until those are approved and come through, your support is still needed.

With that said, how can you help?
We are looking for items for our silent auction.

* New sporting equipment. (His and her golf clubs, snowboards...)
* 2 night Hotel packages
* Airline tickets
* Spa gift certificates
* Themed gift baskets
* Health Club memberships
* Jewlery
* Gift certificates to national chain restaurants and retail stores
* Art and sculpture
* Unique one of a kind items

And any other ideas that you can come up with.

One idea we are doing here in Denver is delivering large 'Themed' gift baskets to our local hospitals. One for L&D and the other for NICU's. Asking the nursing staff to become involved and purchase the items needed for the basket, and auctioning that basket, acknowledging the department and hospital it is coming from.

If you are able to donate any of the items above, please contact either Jessica Roe at
or Cheryl Haggard at
If you can get larger items, but think that the shipping might be a financial burden, please CONTACT US! We will come up with a way to provide the shipping for you.

As always, thank you for your support.
May you be blessed as you reach out to those suffering the death of a child.
Cheryl Haggard
Co Founder NILMDTS

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I hate these posts

I hate reading these posts..."where I've been"..."why I haven't been writing." Generally, I don't care why my favorite bloggers are having trouble writing. I just want them to write so I'll have something to read. I'm selfish that way. So I won't blame anybody if they really don't care about my reasons for being less-than-interesting these days. But I promise this isn't one of those posts. This reason for not more than a lame is something that gets to the very heart of me and my emotional well-being these last couple of weeks. (If you are particularly sensitive, you may not want to read about this.)

I work as an assistant prosecutor in the civil division of a county prosecutor's office. I do any legal work for the county/townships/departments/agencies/boards that isn't legal. It's generally a good job and the emotional investment is minimal. There are some cases that take more out of me than others, but they are, thankfully, kept to a minimum.

I am in "the old courthouse" ancient building that has the remains of a cinder block jail in the basement and the old courtroom with the vaulted ceiling that we use as a conference room. My boss...the elected official with the title of "county prosecutor" has his office in the same building. When he has a big trial, he works at the big table in the conference room. Such has been the case for the past month or so. And this one has us all more than a bit rattled.

A father stood trial, accused of shaking his four-month-old baby girl to death. He was on trial for the second time for the crimes...murder and child endangering. The first trial resulted in a mistrial (Because a juror lied about his ability to be objective during jury voir dire and reportedly made statements during jury deliberations about how the prosecutor's office "railroads people" and "there are too many innocent people in prison." Yeah. Love the jury system.).

The allegations were that the father picked the baby up at the babysitter's in the late afternoon, stopped at the grocery for beer, went home, and drank himself into a stupor. When the baby's mother arrived home that night, she found daddy drunk (he admits to drinking eight beers that evening and taking three more with him to the children's hospital) and she immediately knew something was wrong with her child when she found her with a “fixated eye” stare, making a “moaning sound." The mother testified of trying to get the baby to drink milk, then noticed the “soft spot” on the baby’s head was bulging. She took the baby to the hospital. The baby died several days later at a children's hospital. The autopsy report found the death to be a homicide. Medical experts testified that the cause was Shaken Baby Impact Syndrome. The father denied any wrongdoing and his defenses included blaming the babysitter and claiming the child had a stroke. Creating reasonable doubt.

The carseat was sitting in our conference room for the past month with an evidence tag on it.

I can say the obvious. I can say it over and over and over. But I just don't have the strength in me. It took all I had to just walk past that open door and see that carseat sitting there each morning.

During the trial, I would see the mother around the courthouse complex during breaks. She has that look about her...even though this happened more than three years ago...she still has that look. I recognize that look as my own. We smiled at each other and I saw the fleeting awkward looks toward my belly. I "ran" and hid in my office, not knowing exactly how to react.

Wednesday the jury returned a verdict of not guilty on all charges. Everything remains the same...but (hopefully) at least the carseat will be moved from the conference room.

Mommy torment

I find it incredibly frustrating that I can find Disney Cars lawn furniture, bath accessories, lamps, and underwear...but cannot find a Disney Cars jacket in my son's size.

Welcome to the world Baby Joey!

My friend, Tracy (frequent reader and sometime commenter here), welcomed her son, Baby Joey, into this world on Monday afternoon. He weighs 7 lbs. 11 oz and is 20" long. Congratulations Tracy!

(This post was delayed for statistical information. Advanced technology gave us pictures before information...or maybe Tracy just wanted us to be patient and wait for the info.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I think he's trying to make me look bad

The kindergarten teacher sent a note requesting we send an apple to class for a special fall activity.

I put Sam's apple in his lunchbox and said, "I'm putting this apple in your lunchbox for your special project in not eat it for lunch."

"OK mommmy."

You can imagine my surprise when he gets in the minivan after school, opens his lunchbox, takes out the apple, and starts munching.

"Uh, Sam...wasn't that for a class project?" I questioned.

"I decided I would save it for the ride home. Besides, Ms.P. had extras."

oy! I figure I already have enough "bad mommy" points to last me the rest of the year.

Monday, September 17, 2007

See! You are appreciated!

One of my public service clients sent me this beautiful yellow/orange/red rose with the above note.

It's nice to be reminded every now and then, don't you think?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I'm probably breaking some rule of etiquette

I only know Lisa from her blog and our email conversations. Not much, really...but I still feel like she is a sister somehow.

That is why it hit me so hard this morning when I received an email from her husband saying that she is really really sick. She is on a ventilator in the Intensive Care Unit...and he is very scared. I don't have any more details.

Lisa has always been so kind and thoughtful in the blogosphere. Even when life deals her crap, she finds it in her to leave kind words to inspire and motivate the rest of us. She has faced "more than her share" of the bad stuff and is entitled to some good. This is NOT fair.

I can only guess at what her family must be feeling right now. If Steve got sick... I feel physically ill at the mere thought.

Please, please, please keep Lisa in your thoughts, prayers, good vibes, or whatever it is you believe in.

Welcome to the world Baby Callan!

A friend from my June 2002 mommy board had her baby last night at 12:35am.

Baby Callan is a 7lbs 9oz and 22" long beautiful baby boy.

Congratulations to the whole family!

Friday, September 14, 2007

25w 6d pregnant

99 days to go (less if you figure on an early c-section).

Just keep breathing...

I may not survive kindergarten

So...after the great first day fiasco and the we must wait in the gym lecture of last week, I was hoping this week would be smoother. And it started off ok. Tuesday was relatively smooth except for the "reminder" note that our student would need a paint shirt for art class...when this is the first either of us have heard of it (and no, it wasn't in the handbook materials either...I checked).

And then there was yesterday...

...when I walked into the gym only to find it completely and totally EMPTY. No kid. NOBODY.

I wasn't late...there was still a line of children waiting for their bus on the front sidewalk. And yet, my child was nowhere to be found.

I looked a second time in the gym and there was NO-BODY.

I left the appointed place of the gym, as I think any rational person would do, walked into my son's kindergarten room, looked at the teacher and asked, rather curtly, "WHERE is Samuel?"

The teacher-of-the-many-rules looked startled, pointed at the gym, and ASKED ME (I kid you not), "You mean he's not in there?"

This woman had NO IDEA where my child was!

I believe I showed the appropriate amount of irritation and exasperation when I said, "NO...NOBODY is in there."

She looked like a deer caught in the headlights. And I was JUST about ready to run her over completely when another mom happened to overhear our exchange and said, "You know, there is a little boy sitting outside the office." I thanked the mom, didn't give the teacher a backward glance, and practically ran up the stairs to the office.

That teacher is SO LUCKY it was Sam sitting outside that office.

I think we're on track for a little "sit-down" together.


And then, there was the envelope incident this morning with Samuel. Did you know that lunch money must be sent in an envelope with the child's name on it? Neither did I. Now I do.

I have always been a rules kind of girl. Give me a rule and I will follow it. But ya gotta actually GIVE ME the rule in order for me to follow it. And I guess I'm finding that I'm not so much about rules as I am about REASONABLE rules that SERVE A PURPOSE (other than driving first time kindergarten moms insane, of course).

Edited to add:
The school secretary tells me that "the last couple of kids are taken from the gym to wait outside the office." I'll be moving up my arrival time by five minutes to avoid this in the future.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Very Neighborly

So this is what I came home to yesterday afternoon...

I know they say fences make good neighbors...and this is a pretty nice fence...and we didn't have to pay for it...but I can't help but feel a bit insulted. I mean, this is down the property line...right between our though we've been encroaching on our neighbors or something.

I think it hurts a little extra because we've been, in my opinion, pretty good neighbors.

It's not like our animals or our kids run loose on their property (except for the ONE time our horses were let out of their pasture when we weren't home). OK...maybe our cat runs loose and gets into their garage (but this fence isn't going to stop a CAT).

We generally haven't used their driveway at all outside of the six months last year when we had a giant dumpster parked on ours and no way to get around it. Even then, we only went around the dumpster and right back onto our driveway as quickly as possible so as not to tear up their driveway.

They haven't said anything...and to our knowledge, we've never had any "issues" with the neighbors (except for the damn cat...but really...we live in the country...get over it already). And our efforts to be quiet and respectful neighbors haven't always been reciprocated.

Up until last year, when we finally moved our bedroom upstairs and to the front of the house, we would be awakened at 4am as his eighteen wheeler would sit idling in that part of his driveway. But we never said a word...just closed our windows and slept with a fan on to block out the noise.

When he uses the industrial vehicle lift and very loud air wrench in his garage (literally ten feet on his side of the fence) at all hours of the day and night, we don't say anything.

When he tore down an adorable little red storage barn and replaced it with the trailer from one of his trucks, we didn't say anything.

When, each winter, he parks THREE trailers in the very back of the property, we don't say anything.

Up until he staked out the property line for this particular fence project, he was burning his barrel of trash ON OUR PROPERTY...and we never said a word.

This fence is also certainly going to cause snow removal problems for us...since we're talking large amounts of snow like this...

Yes, the snow last winter was deeper than I am tall (and that's 5'5" for those keeping track at home). At this point, it's doubtful we'll even be able to plow our driveway without knocking down our friendly neighbor's fence.

I don't know...maybe I'm just being overly sensitive. Steve did approach the neighbor about the fence and was told that the neighbor intends to have his Alzheimers-afflicted sister live with they need a fence (to keep her in?).

If we put a gate at the end of our driveway, we'll have our own little compound and we'll be sure the horses will be contained if they ever get out of their pasture again. So I guess there is a bright side...even if I am a little insulted by the sudden appearance of the fence.

At least it's a nice fence.

***Edited because I always feel an irrational need to defend myself...

This is the country. Nobody has property line fences like "in the city." So it makes me feel...odd. Like we stand out. Like our neighbor is making a statement about us (even if it has nothing to do with us, it FEELS like it). to the sister with Alzheimers...
We live on a state route...with HEAVY traffic. We also have a ravine to the back of both our properties. Unless the neighbors put a fence along the front of their property (with a locked gate) and a fence along the back of their property...the fence serves no real safety purpose. And that would essentially say to me, we would rather she have these life-threatening risks than the risk of wandering onto your property.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Good thoughts

I don't like to do this because it can seem cheesy. But our friend, Lisa, who is raising money for her Light the Night walk, is in the hospital. Please think good thoughts for her.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

My dirty little secrets

This has been like a pebble in my shoe and I'm going to try to shake it out here in a way that won't make me come back and delete this post later. I never want to regret what I write or what I say. But, for a while now, this has been a place for me to get the ugly out...and now it's time to take advantage of the space.

We were done. We had given most of the baby stuff away except for the stuff we thought might be "heirlooms" for Sam (or the stuff that had been recalled for safety reasons). I can't speak for Steve, but pregnancy was the LAST thing on my mind that fateful April Fools Day. Yes, April Fools Day was our conception day. Quite the hilarious joke, no?

I love this baby and have done my damnedest to "bond" with this baby. I dream of holding him (alive) and rocking him and nursing him and adding him to our family. But the simple truth is, this baby was not planned. This baby simplest accident. In fact, I think I might go so far as to say I didn't want this baby at first.

So when people tell me how "brave" or "strong" I am, I feel like a complete and total fraud. It wasn't bravery or strength that got me here...It was an accident of biology and timing. But I'm not supposed to say that, am I? I'm supposed to be sensitive to all the women who would love to be in my shoes...finding themselves unexpectedly pregnant (even facing an uncertain future). I'm supposed to honor the memories of my two dead babies...and be excited at the prospect of expanding my living baby's future by adding a little brother to his life existence. I'm not supposed to say that the thought of facing this pregnancy, on that morning when the digital said "pregnant," made me want to run in front of a very large bus.

Let me be clear...I never contemplated hurting myself in any real was just that feeling that ANYTHING would be easier (and more worth my time and effort) than another pregnancy. Also let me be clear that I never wished the BABY away. If I could have had a magic fast forward button to the finish line at that very moment, I would have pushed it without hesitation and welcomed this new baby without a doubt or a moment of hesitation.

But the truth is there is no strength. Just me accidentally pregnant and maintaining my breathing every day because I love my son and my husband and this baby in a way that means I have no choice. I wake up every day and check to make sure the baby is still alive, I do my kick counts faithfully every day, I stick myself with injections and lancets in an effort to "do something..." But there is no bravery or strength here at all.

In all truth, it hasn't been that hard. Maybe it's BECAUSE I didn't make the choice in this? Maybe it's because I figure I know how to deal if it all goes to shit? I really don't know. I expected to be a mental case by this point on this roller coaster. And I do admit to having my irrational moments. But for the most part, I have distracted myself with normal things like eating and shopping and actually dreaming about a happy ending.

Another blogger friend of mine wrote about her mantra during her subsequent pregnancy...

"Most babies live."

I've sort of taken it as my own and repeated it so many times I think I may have convinced myself that it is applicable to me. Maybe I'm just fooling myself and I'll wake up tomorrow in another nightmare. But for now, it's easier to live in the happy dreams. I have to wonder, though. What does that make me? I mean, in all honesty, I SHOULD be a mental case. History shows this is the risky part of pregnancy for me. But yet I go shopping and buy little baby clothes and talk about Thanksgiving as though things will go according to plan and this baby will be here with us...alive and healthy.

The doubts do creep in as I write this. As if I have some universal power to jinx things by simply giving voice to the thoughts in my head. I know better. But still...I might have to delete this post anyway.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Miscellaneous thoughts

The kindergarten teacher issues are my issues...Sam seems to like I'm going to keep my mouth shut and see how it plays out...for now. I'm more than aware that part of my sensitivity is due to the fact that I've got hormones racing around inside me that make me more-than-slightly insane (just ask my husband). And really...I don't have to like her as long as she teaches my kid the appropriate things and doesn't make HIM miserable.
I sent my sister's birthday card...and her birthday isn't even until the 10th! That's right...I'm EARLY! I'm hoping it makes up for the entire month of lateness surrounding her husband's birthday (hangs head in shame).
Sam has been in kindergarten for two days and has already been programmed for three fundraisers. He actually looked at me yesterday afternoon and asked, in his sweet little five-year-old voice, "Mommy...will you help my school?" Seriously. We are not amused.
I took a big leap of faith this week and changed my doctor schedule to once every two weeks (instead of once a week). Dr. A said he was comfortable with it and I'm tired of driving the hour to the hospital just to pee in a cup, have my normal blood pressure measured, and be reminded that I need a pap test done before delivery (a conversation I have had to have EVERY week now for more than a month). We're not doing it now because I don't think it's wise to stir things up in there when I'm prone to freakish infections of the uterus. Dr. A agrees and the nurses "are just doing their job." But it's still annoying to have to repeat myself. I just hope I don't freak out before the two weeks is up.
My gestational diabetes numbers have been fabulous. Here's hoping they stay that way for the duration.
Sometimes it's so easy to forget. To get all wrapped up in the daily business of living that I can leave the pain and the sadness behind without thought. And then there are those moments...I'm not sure anyone who hasn't experienced can understand it. It's like a door opens up under your feet and you fall in...hurtling toward the ground at a speed that takes your breath away.

Yesterday morning while driving Sam to school, Tim McGraw's, "If You're Reading This," on the radio, Sam eating a poptart and rocking out to his McDonalds Happy Meal mini ipod toy, the sun shining, Baby Myles starting up the morning calisthenics in my belly...

If you're reading this, there is going to come a day
You move on and find someone else and that's okay
Just remember this
I'm in a better place
Soldiers live in peace and angels sing amazing grace

I couldn't help but feel that now too-familiar pang of what might have been. A tear fell, and the bottom dropped out. Like a giant roller coaster.

But it was weird. Somewhere along the fall into the pit I found something to grab hold of...and was able to keep myself from hitting the bottom with the spectacular splat I am so accustomed to. It came and it went so fast...
After two weeks, the air conditioning in my 200+ year-old-used-to-be-the-courthouse-and-jail-office-building is FINALLY fixed. The pregnant lady is happy tolerable to live with again.
When Baby Myles is born (see...positive thinking), I want flowers...and flannel pajama pants...and wine. I want people to make a fuss and I'm afraid they won't. Then again, I'm afraid they will make a fuss and it will feel wrong. I hate that it's not simple anymore.
Steve's got ONE MORE WEEK before he starts his new job and he finally had an epiphany yesterday when he realized he doesn't care if the remaining staff "transitions well."

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Nope, I just don't like her

I tried to like the kindergarten teacher. I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt. She's a kindergarten teacher after all...we're bound to have different personality types, her and I.

But today was the day I realized it's not just that our personality types don't mesh. It's that a genuinely do not like her (and where else can I say that openly but on my blog?).

See, after the fiasco that was Tuesday's pick up from school, I made sure to deliver my son to kindergarten this morning with a note...saying that I would be dropping him off and picking him up from school...he is not to ride the bus. When I arrived this afternoon for pickup, she smiled and overly sweet smile at me and said, "I've got him in there, don't worry." I don't THINK I looked worried...I THINK she was just being condescending. But I brushed it off.

I walked into the building while the teacher led several students out to their waiting buses. I stopped in the doorway and smiled at Samuel, whose little face lit up when he saw me. He would have walked right out the door to me, but the teacher's aide said something to him and his smile fell and he sat back down. Now, I vaguely remembered something about parents waiting in the gym for their children, so I walked the three steps from the kindergarten room door to the gym door. I was about to enter when I was almost run over by a large tattooed burly man pulling a giant speaker on a cart. There was apparently some sort of assembly today (which is a WHOLE other post) and he was breaking down the equipment.

As soon as the man passed with the equipment cart, I was faced with a STREAM of small children...none of whom minded shoving into my protruding belly as I attempted to enter the gym. I waited patiently outside the gym door with several men who I identified as fathers waiting for their older elementary children. We stood along the wall and waited for the stream to pass (me, holding my belly as best I could to protect myself...if you ever get caught between a second grader's head and your unborn child's head, you will understand the pain it can cause...I hope you never have that experience...OUCH!).

So here's the thing. The teacher leads several children, including my son, by the hand PAST ME in the hall, shoving her way past small children going the other direction, smiling a smile directly at me that I am sure was intended, in her kindergarten teacher manner, to shrink me down to size. She gets the children into the gym, turns Sam around, and practically marches him back out to the door where I am still waiting amidst a sea of little people. She smiles at me and says in what is quite possibly the most condescending tone I have ever heard, "In the future, if you wouldn't mind waiting in the GYM for pickup." I mumbled something about not getting run over by the equipment and the children, grabbed Sam's hand (my other hand still protectively shielding my belly), and we finally walked out of there.

Poor Sam was so confused. He could see me, he could smile at me, he could walk past me...he just wasn't allowed to actually leave with me until I was standing in my assigned spot in the gym. I hope nobody is offended if I say how absolutely nucking-futs this seems to me.

And to top it off, the MEN standing there in the hall weren't told to move. In fact, looking into the gym, I noticed that it was ONLY women...that the men were either in the hallway, standing outside the door, or waiting in their pickup trucks in the parking lot.

Now I know I'm going to have to adjust to the soccer mom rules. And that's ok. But I NEVER imagined I was going to have to adjust to THIS...this...I don't even know what to call this...

Nope...I just don't like her...and I doubt I ever will.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

For our friend

See that Light the Night balloon over there? ---->

Click on it and donate...for our friend, Lisa P.

Here is the email Lisa sent out...

I need your help raising money for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - Western Pennsylvania & West Virginia Chapter. Greg and I will be participating in the Light the Night walk on the North Shore on October 4, 2007, and we would appreciate your sponsorship. We are hoping for donations in the $10 to $20 range, but anything you can give would be greatly appreciated. When you donate, you will be helping to fund lifesaving research and provide help and hope to thousands of families. To make an online donation, simply click on the above secure link. You will receive a confirmation by email detailing your donation. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is a great organization, and we have benefitted directly from their generosity and support. This is now our chance to help give something back. Please contact me directly if you wish to donate, but are not comfortable with donating over the Internet. I appreciate your support very much.

I see that she is almost to her goal. But I'm making it my mission to motivate all of you to help her pass her goal in grand fashion.

Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

F is for failure...mommy failure

I forgot to send a note saying that Sam was going to get picked up from school...that he was not to ride the bus.

I didn't bring something for Sam to drink in the car on the ride home.

Upon arriving home, I was screamed at..."I want DADDY!"

I asked him how to fix it and he said, "Just leave me alone." He stormed up to his room and slammed the door.

And it all came crashing down on me...all the failure...all the inadequacy...all that facade I've so carefully built over the last five years...

I haven't cried like that in quite a while.

But the self-indulgence of a good cry was cut short by the call of the dirty laundry and the knowledge that I needed to feed Sam a snack before soccer practice.

Maybe I can redeem myself and end the day with a passing grade...a D is good enough, right?

Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.

You know that saying? You don't know what you've got until it's gone? Yeah, well, I've never had to even step aboard the mommy separation anxiety train until now. Really. Five years and four months and I've only had the experience of crying in a parking lot a couple of of which was this morning. I feel as though I should say thank you to my husband...and say something profound about being a mother to the amazing creature that is my son. But all I feel right now is raw emotion.

You see, my baby boy is officially a kindergarten student. He went with smiles and excitement...and forgot to kiss me goodbye.

I went out to the parking lot and promptly started to cry.

Wha...??? After all this time, I'm going to cry?!?!

At fifteen months old, Sam started going to a daycare run by a mother-daughter team that I knew from my childhood neighborhood. In fact, I used to babysit the daughter when I was in high school and she was just a wee elementary school child. It was our good fortune that they decided to open their business at just the right time so that I never had to face the dilemma of mothers all around the world...leaving their baby with strangers. It was, for me, like leaving Sam with extended family I knew I could trust.

And, of course, I rarely had to face the dreaded drop-off at daycare. That was Steve's territory since his work was geographically closer to the daycare. Since Sam was 15 months old, Steve has dealt with all the little quirks of the morning drop-off routine. The days when Sam cried...the days when Sam ran off without a backward glance...the days when Sam gave him a big kiss and told him, "I love you Daddy. I'll see you tonight," with more certainty than we adults had on some of our rougher days.

I have been spoiled. I realize it now. I mean, Steve would tell me all about it, but I didn't REALLY understand. (Thank you my love. You have made so many of our dreams a reality and I can never adequately express to you how much you mean to us.)

As I drove from the elementary school to work this morning, I could feel Baby Myles kicking and rolling in my belly as if to say, "Hey, I'm still here...I'm still a baby (or, at least, the promise of one)." The past and the present and the future all together this morning in one little kindergarten drop-off. I feel as though I'm Alice and I've just fallen down the rabbit hole...

I wonder if I've been changed in the night? Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is 'Who in the world am I?' Ah, that's the great puzzle!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Thanks to my son's racing obsession...

Tonight, I was watching NHRA Mac Tools US Drag Racing Nationals with Samual and saw this car...

Naturally, I was curious about the design. On the "doors," it says, "Eric Blake Faulkner...In God's Hands...May 24, 2007."

CLERMONT, Ind. (August 24, 2007) - Mike Ashley, driver of the Torco Racing Fuels Dodge Charger R/T, will drive a special tribute car at the US Nationals designed by legendary Chip Foose and painted by the team at Illusions Custom Paint and Body. The car is part of a fundraising campaign for the Eric Blake Faulkner Foundation and, after its single-race campaign, will be sold to the highest bidder at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, January 12-20, 2008 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Losing a child is possibly the most tragic event a parent could ever face, and Donnie and Hollie Faulkner know that pain all too well. Their son, Eric Blake Faulkner, was stillborn on May 24, 2007, and the experience pushed the couple beyond their limits. Were it not for the angelic support of the St. Vincent's Perinatal Bereavement Program in Little Rock, Ark., the couple said they would not have survived with their sanity. Determined to turn tragedy into something positive, they created the Eric Blake Faulkner Foundation to help others faced with a similar situation.

The Faulkners are the proprietors of the traveling Oakley merchandising trailer that covers the 23-race NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, and are an integral part of the family-centric experience of NHRA drag racing. Support throughout the community has been immense, and Evan Knoll, owner of Torco Racing Fuels and a father himself, sought to find a way to help his friends Donnie and Hollie. It was late one evening when Donnie Faulkner's phone rang, and on the other end was Knoll, asking, "Donnie, how can I help?"

With planning, the vision started to take shape, and the next call was to Mike Ashley who was chosen to drive the tribute car at the biggest race on the NHRA schedule - the Mac Tools US Nationals.

"There is no greater loss than to lose a child," Ashley said, "and it's truly an honor to be able to support this cause with our car at the US Nationals. When Evan approached me about this, his first thought was to give his sponsorship of the car at the US Nationals to help raise awareness and money for the foundation. He's such an incredible, caring man."

Knoll said, "It's just terrible, and I want to help. We're all drag racers, but we're people, too. I'll gladly give my sponsorship on Mike's car to help such an important cause. It's the least I can do, and I'm sure we'll raise a lot of awareness for the Foundation as well as a lot of money when the car goes to auction in Scottsdale."

In addition to Knoll, support for the project includes Ashley, who is donating a rolling chassis and coordinating the project; Jim Jannard, founder of Oakley and Red, a sponsor of Ashley's and longtime friend of the Faulkners; Chip Foose, the legendary auto designer who has directed the design and worked with Mark Adkins and the team at Illusions Custom Paint and Body of Bristol, Tenn. to create the one-of-a-kind paint scheme; Valspar, who has donated all the paint for the project; MOPAR, who has donated a 2007 Dodge Charger R/T body specifically for the project; Phoenix Custom Apparel; and MAC Tools, the title sponsor of the US Nationals, who has donated a complete rolling toolbox painted to match the original FOOSE design. Other contributors to the project include Phoenix Custom Apparel and Impact Racing Products.

After the car is run at the US Nationals, it is headed to the auction block at the world famous Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, to be held January 12-20, 2008 in Scottsdale, Ariz. The auction is known as for being a strong supporter of children's charities, raising $4.16 million for charity in 2006.

"Barrett-Jackson is pleased to be a part of the process and is looking forward to working with Mike Ashley and the Faulkners. We are presented with so many requests to help during our auctions, but this car rose to the top and tugged at our hearts. We really want to spotlight this car to help get the word out," said Gary Bennett, Barrett-Jackson's Senior Automotive Specialist.

Bennett said he is working to feature the car in the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company booth at the SEMA Show, Oct. 30 - Nov. 2 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Donnie Faulkner said, "I can't change what happened, but I can help others get through it. Hollie and I have made it our purpose to remember Eric and help other couples that suffer the way we have. It was the most terrible thing we ever went through, but both Hollie and I believe that everything happens for a reason. We don't understand it, but we can make something positive come out of it."

Faulkner said all donations and funds raised will go to support the St. Vincent Perinatal Bereavement Program in Little Rock, Ark. According to Faulkner, a new hospital is being built close to their home in Little Rock that will have a bereavement area separate from the standard delivery room area named after Eric Blake.

The Tribute car will be officially unveiled before Ashley's first qualifying run on Friday, August 31, and will be campaigned only at the Mac Tools US Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park just outside of Indianapolis, Ind.

For more information about the tribute car, visit Mike Ashley's racing website at , Torco Race Fuels Inc. at or Barrett-Jackson Auction Company at .

I blame Steve

We were watching two baseball games on split screen tv...the Cubs on one side and the Indians on the other.

Steve wanted to take a nap.

So now we're watching The Wonder Pets on one side of the split screen and Thomas the Tank Engine on the other side of the split screen.