Thursday, October 31, 2013

trick or treat

my nephew (the swamp monster), my daughter (Yoda), my son (Darth Vader) 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

ten months is...

  • crawling at warp speed
  • climbing stairs (also, at warp speed)
  • waking up quite a bit in the middle of the night, often times inconsolable for an hour or so...
  • teething (teething is a bitch)
  • reaching/searching for favorite toys and books (she has some distinct preferences now)
  • staying up late with the babysitter (after a rare night out together, we arrived home to baby and babysitter hanging out on the floor watching syndicated Modern Family)
  • mimicking (facial expressions, rudimentary animal sounds, trying to repeat words)
  • afraid of the foam roller (as if it's the monolith from 2010 or something; if the black foam roller is standing upright on the floor anywhere, forget it...tears and confusion, make it go away!) 
  • not putting leaves in her mouth anymore (everything else, however...)
  • spitting & blowing raspberries
  • standing up every chance she gets (while holding onto furniture, her brother, the back door, her activity table)
  • tentatively "cruising" along furniture, letting go with one hand
  • waving to everybody and everything
  • clapping hands (yaaaaay!!)
  • damn close to one year old

    I've noticed that our son has become intensely more protective and engaged in his little sister...he loves to show her off at the bus stop and always asks to push the stroller or her little car. Of course now that she weighs as much as a toddler, he wants to hold her and pick her up all the time (kid's going to throw his back out before he's nine). Thankfully, he's always admonishing us for leaving doors open or policing the area for potential choking hazards...Maeve's lucky to have such a great big brother.

Friday, October 25, 2013

goodbye for now (to my brother)

Last Sunday, my brother and my nephew joined us for dinner at our home.
Sunday dinner.
Our kitchen table was crowded with seven place settings (my parents, me, Bill, my brother, and our two boys) and the high chair crammed into the corner.
We had ridiculously huge steaks, mashed potatoes, and soup...for dessert, Jell-o instant pudding per my brother's request (vanilla and chocolate).
My brother's been going through a rough time...aside from his legal troubles, there is some serious personal sh*t that I am only beginning to comprehend.
Basically, he's living the ultimate blues song (and the irony wasn't lost on me the last time I saw him play, a few weeks ago...it was truly a gift to hear him play that night).
Last Sunday, we didn't touch much on his struggles...we did talk loudly over one another, we did laugh.
We laughed a lot.
Last Sunday, we had no way of knowing exactly when my brother would be going away (to prison)...we knew it was imminent, but we didn't know exactly when.

Yesterday, Rob told me, "I have to turn myself in tomorrow at two o'clock..."
I didn't sleep last night.
I'm past wondering if I could have helped him more (and he thanked me today for helping him as much as I have, for being here for him)...I haven't judged him because I've never felt like it's my place to do so.
He's my brother and I love him unconditionally.
No matter what, I'm on his side...it's always been that way (even when he drew a picture of me on his wall and threw forks and butter knives at it...even when he popped the heads off my Barbies and drew around their eyes with Sharpies...even when he drooled/dumped a can of chicken broth on my high school sweetheart in an effort to scare him away...I digress...this to say, good or bad, I'm on his side).
I can't even say we've had our differences...because, we haven't.
While I've disagreed with choices he has made and rolled my eyes or shook my head at plenty of his transgressions, he's never hurt me and he's always been here for me.



I'll be buying stamps by the roll for the next few years.


We weren't able to spend much/enough time together today which made it that much harder to let him go...
I hung onto our parting words all day long and I'll hang on to them every day until he comes home.

And I am so, so thankful for last Sunday...



    

Monday, October 21, 2013

next year

Over strong coffee and peanut butter Pop-Tarts* this morning, my dad said we should do Iron Cross next year.
Yesssssss!
I've been wanting to do this race forever.

*Peanut butter Pop-Tarts...yes, they are a thing. My dad and I don't typically "do" Pop-Tarts, but how could I resist this variety? (well, I couldn't, apparently...and all I can say is Mind. Blown.)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

getting out


I've been housebound all week, recovering from round three of Meningitispalooza.
Like a good patient, I've been dutifully heeding my doctor's insistence that I take it easy and rest rest rest...
After days and days of 24/7 pajamas and all that rest rest rest, I made a case for a little jailbreak.
For a few hours yesterday afternoon, we escaped to a nearby farm where my cabin fever was alleviated by a short (and gentle) hayride to the pumpkin patch and a quick visit with some goats.
Although our little adventure wore me out, it was so great to be outside, breathing that crisp October air. 



  



Friday, October 18, 2013

once again, thank you

Thank you for taking a moment to send a message, leave a comment, write a note...
thank you for stopping by, for your company...
thank you for the amazing hospital survival kit stuffed with both useful and frivolous items (not to mention, Gummi cola bottles, necessary sustenance)...
thank you for the flowers...
thank you for the provisions (thus, making my husband's life incrementally easier, too...he is taking care of all of us without missing a beat)...
thank you for helping me with the baby when I'm too tired or too out of it to handle her, myself...
thank you for stepping in, stepping up...
thank you for getting my son on the bus, for having better after-school snacks than we have here (slacking on the groceries this week)...
thank you for making the time, when there are a million things piling up on your own plate...
thank you for just doing, without waiting for me to ask...
thank you for checking in and thank you for reading.
I'm so touched and overwhelmed with all this kindness lately.
y'all are making me blush...and feel a little better, too

Thursday, October 17, 2013

stood up (and soup)

A friend was supposed to come over today to help out with Maeve and keep me company (she insisted and I was all too happy to not have to ask).
What happened?
I got stood up. {insert embarrassed/blushing/sad face here}
I'm not incapacitated or bedridden, but I feel unsteady...
I feel like a new mom...home with an infant by myself for the first time (I know how to do this, but I don't want to be alone...that's what this reminds me of).
I feel like I have a foggy hangover, but the party I got blitzed at was weeks ago (and it was a lame party)...it doesn't make any sense, but that's my best attempt at explaining this.
I'm antsy, yet I just want to get in bed in sleep.
I'm wondering when I can taper off the pain meds, when the headaches can be abated by just Advil and an ice pack...
I'm wondering when I'll feel normal and confident about just going through an ordinary day.

My aunt called last night to ask what kind of soup I like these days...her soup is the best.
Any kind, all of it.
I hung up the phone, nearly in tears, and Max said, "Aunt Linda is, like, the nicest person in our family,"
followed by a long, considerate pause, then, "Besides you and dad and Bill and Grammy and Grampy."
(lest he hurt any of our feelings...but, he's right...she is the nicest) 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

home again

just another (illin) hospital selfie
So, recurrent (aseptic) meningitis is a thing and after another stay in the hospital (just three days, this time), it was determined that I have it.
I don't know why I have this syndrome or where it came from, but it it will be a while before I am "all clear" or "out of the woods."
On the one hand, I'm glad there's a valid reason as to why I've not felt like myself since this all began.
On the other hand...shit.

There's more for me to find out and learn about when I follow up with a specialist in a few weeks. If we know where the virus came from, it can be treated more effectively and hopefully I can avoid becoming a regular at the hospital.
While I am very grateful for the excellent care I received during my stay, I'd like to get healthy and be away from there...for, like, a long time.
I'm beyond worrying about my fitness or getting back on the bike...I just want to to be present and not counting the minutes between my baby's naps or how long I have until my son gets home from school. 
While I'm dealing with this, I don't feel like a great mom and I don't feel like doing much.
Relying on family and friends in a way I'm not used to ("can you please occupy my children for a few hours so they are worn out and sleep for me?") has me feeling kinda like a jerk.

I'm happy to be home, but I'll be happier when I feel like myself again.
   



Thursday, October 10, 2013

not so tapped out after all

Last night I ran angry...like, enraged angry.
I'm not used to feeling those kinds of emotions so strongly and when I suddenly found myself privy to some really unsettling bullshit, I didn't know how to handle it.
So I ran.
It had been nearly four weeks since I broke a sweat doing anything physically taxing, so I expected my legs to feel like crap and my lungs to fare only slightly better.
I was wrong.
As soon as I hit the pavement, I felt stronger than ever.
Adrenaline is amazing fuel.
After thirty minutes of running, I felt clear.
Not calm, not better...clear.
There was a little more space to breathe, a little more room for contemplation.

I am so thankful that I have this outlet.
It seems like such a small, basic idea...but, I am just so thankful that this is how I handle shit.
I get outside and move.
It always helps.


(everything here is fine...I'm fine, my children are fine, my husband is fine...we are okay...phew)




Tuesday, October 8, 2013

a (happy) list

inspired by one of my favorite blogs, here is a smattering of random things that made me happy the past seven days (and their accompying instagrams)...Thankfully, I'm feeling much better (and happier, too):
candid, unsolicited brother & sister hugs

insanely huge lily pads right now...all that's missing is a giant frog 

trivia with Sara (our team name was totally lewd and innappropriate because we are twelve)

perhaps the last Friday that felt like summer for a while

took Maeve to visit these piglets, just four weeks old (sigh)

Saturday evening picnic at the fountain near the courhouse (takeout tacos from the new place)

lastly, pumpkinbutt...as if this needs any explanation as to why it makes me smile
 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

friends


She lives what seems like worlds away now, but when Sara does venture back, we easily fall right back into the awkward/not awkward at all rhythm of our nearly six year-old friendship (which, really? only six years?).
It was really sweet, really delightful, to watch her little girl, Sylvie, push Maeve around the lily ponds at Longwood Gardens on Friday. 
Spending (not enough) time together this week made me want to hold onto this friendship a little tighter...(and start saving up for a family trip to Texas).


  

just like that

It's been three weeks since the last time I rode my bike (or ran or walked further than the park at the end of our street).
My little hand weights are dusty. I forget what the annoying background music on Tracy Anderson's DVD sounds like. 
Time to start moving again...
Tasks like sorting laundry or climbing the stairs have left me tired all week.
I've only cooked one meal for our family (and it was kind of a fail) because I just haven't been feeling it (I did manage to make some good pancakes for the kids at least).
Like I said, time to start moving again.
I listened to my body when it said calm the eff down...
Now I'm heeding its plea to move your lazy ass! 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

foggy

I'm having a hard time writing...
Every day, I feel better and better, but still not quite like myself.
If I get up or move around too quickly, I get very dizzy.
Tilt-a-Whirl dizzy, which is pretty disconcerting.
I'm kind of  moody and impatient, but apparently that's normal and part of this.
My doctor kindly reminded me that aseptic meningitis, though not as serious as bacterial meningitis, is "no joke" and that the "fluid surrounding your brain was infected"...
So, the fogginess, the (extra) moodiness is normal and expected and I'll be fine.
Bill filled in many of the blanks I was trying to piece together about the week I was in the hospital and the following week at home...I have such a fuzzy, vague recollection of the whole chain of events and barely remember what even happened.

I still need to "take it easy" and for once, I'm not struggling with that notion at all.

I won't be on my bike this weekend, but I will be moving around outside...hopefully walking in the woods.
This weather is unreal.
Crunchy leaves underfoot, yet feels like late June.


Quick baby notes:
  • crawling like a boss
  • pulling up on people and sturdy objects
  • climbing over and onto her brother
  • waving hello/bye-bye
  • reaching for us
  • standing in crib (sh******t)
  • babbling/"chatting" like crazy these days
  • "sings" along to ABCs, twinkle twinkle, Scooby Doo
  • in the 90th percentile for height...she looks like a toddler and wears 12-18mos clothing (she's only 9 months)