S’now more snow, I’m begging!

First off let me just tell you that wearing an elegant open toe orthopedic shoe in a snowstorm sucks more than being forced to watch Dinner for Schmucks on repeat for 24 hours. So then, what does one do when there is a huge snow storm of fabulous sledding and snowman building snow and one has a two year old who cannot.wait.to.get.out.there.and.play? Well if one is like me, one industrial strength wraps ones broken tootsies and crams them into an appropriately named UGG boot and heads out with your Love Bug anyway! Darn you broken toe I will not miss my baby playing in the snow!

And that’s just what I did. It was so worth it! Last year he was a mite bit too little to enjoy the big snows but this year he loved it! Next year will be even more fun. He pounced, he fell, he laughed, he had a grand time taking a tour of the neighborhood in the sled while TOTT patiently pulled like an ox. 35 pounds of toddler can get pretty heavy in the snow!

Me? I hobbled behind enjoying the giggles that floated by on the cold wind and snapping pictures are quickly as I could trying to memorize it all. To us the snow is a big ol pain in the booty, but to the Boss? it is magic!

We even the wild Arctic Puppy Bear frolic for a bit, until his fragile little paws said let me inside in front of the fire and give me a chewie!

Thusly my toes have turned such a beautiful color of plum that I have half a mind to take them down to Home Depot and ask them to color match it. It would be a great color for an accent table. I never really fancy purple, but  this shade of plum should really be preserved. It’s gorgeous! (and painful)

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accidents happen and randomness.

I accidentally dyed my hair red.

A week ago Tuesday TOTT took me to the ballet at the Kennedy Center and it made my toes hurt because they can’t help but point the whole time and I believe I once kicked the chair of the woman in front of me during a particularly impressive jump one of the dancers performed.

Sorry lady.

I can’t help it! I still dream that that could be me, even though hello? It cannot. I spent many hours after school in junior high at Boulder Ballet Ensemble practicing and dreaming. Well, really more dreaming than practicing since I was not too big on actual work and commitment as a young teen. Can someone tell that to my toes? {none of which were broken at that moment} Toes! You do not belong to an actual ballerina! You haven’t been on pointe in ages! Also you are wearing boots and are almost 5 months pregnant! So stop pointing, and longing to dance. So I says to TOTT during one of the intermissions “TOTT” says I, “once this bambini arrives I shall take  ballet class!” And TOTT smiles ever so sweetly and then says”Absolutely baby!” and then my thighs rubbed against one another as I crossed my now sausage legs and all those old body issue reared up and said BALLET THIGHS! And so I says to TOTT “TOTT, let’s start going to the gym” and TOTT says “Absolutely!” {And when I fell down the stairs TOTT says “you really want to get out of going to the gym don’t you!” and I said ” I swear I want to go! Do you know I won’t be able to wear cute shoes for ages now?” and then I silently thanked God that it is ten below and it’s the season of the Ugg boot and asked God for a quick healing toe and an early spring…and cute shoes. My testimony of shoes is strong.}

But my hair…I dyed it. Red. Accidentally. Well, auburn-y. And no one noticed. No one. So, I guess it’s not all that different than before but I sure thought so. And it was in my “no one notices me I’m so shlubby and pregnant and invisible and can’t fit into anything and will surely never look cute again or wear cute strappy sandals” funk that I finally threw in the towel and gave up on the ellusive center part I had been attempting. I guess it’s side part or nothing for this gal. I did manage to stop myself from cutting bangs. Barely.

Even Baby Boy #2 says NO MOMMY NO BANGS!

And lastly, and possibly most importantly…my quest for red lipstick that won’t turn hot pink on my big ol’ lips continues. Loreal FAIL! I want RED lips. Not hot pink. So very frustrating! Anyone have a great reccomendation, because a good red lipstick is a thing of beauty and power.

And God said HA! {at least I had just painted them}

Hello. Once upon a time my friend Anne told me that when first we met she was not sure we could be friends. You see, I was one of those girls. You know, hair always done, nails perfect (and long…oh! Remember that?) cute anthropologie-esque outfits paired with groovy shoes and purses that cost more than four months worth of diapers.

Yes, I was one of those girls. I assure you, the those girls of me was borne out of extreme and total insecurity and self reinvention as  I was not one of those girls in high school! Anyway, back to Anne who is brilliant and amazing but unsure about being my best bud. Aha! A stunning turn of events she witnessed me open a cabinet and a box of cereal showered down upon my noggin and I responded, well, not at all. As if I frequently am spilling cereal. And I am. SO yeah, Anne decided to be my friend. And I continue to prove worth of her friendship with my klutziness. (although the those girls of me is gone with the toddler)

Friday The Boss woke at 5 with an insistant I want to get out, Mommy open the doooooooooooooooor! I attempted a little cuddle and boo to try to steal a few more minutes of shut eye because five am is simply unacceptable. Alas, I was thwarted by a molar and all he did was chew on me for a few minutes until I decided ouch! and also breakfast. About 9:30 I tagged TOTT in WWF style and collapsed into the bed. Wake me at lunch, I said as I fell down the rabbit hole. In the blink of an eye it was time for me to get up and at em and I carried my sweet Boss down the stairs to make the daily Macaroni and Cheese and change a diaper.

And I slipped. While carrying The Boss I slipped down the stairs. Oh, no, not the big stairs…you know the terrifying scary tiny three step stairs.

And I broke my toe. I tried to protect the Boss and the fetus as I slid down all three steps. I screamed and The Boss screamed and TOTT came flying down the stairs and as soon as I managed to get my leg untwisted from beneath me I knew that my big toe was a gonner.  And my ankle perhaps has been cracked too.

So yay! Back to the ER we went. Hoo. Ray. I was not at all quickly confirmed that yes, indeed my toe was in more pieces than God intended. Luckily my ankle was banged and bruised but not broken and so I left with two toes taped together, one ace bandaged ankle, one sexy shoe and two crutches.

And oh yeah…lots and lots and lots of pictures on the littlest member of the family who was happily doing the merengue in my belly. Whew. We were scared about that! But all is ok on that front and we did learn that this little one follows in line with the big brother….baby showed off the goods right away.

And so….it’s BOY!!!!!

So now I limp about, from bed to couch to chair and pop M&M’s instead of the percocet I would be popping if I weren’t with child. I’d rather be with child…but my kingdom for a pregnancy safe strong pain pill!

Am I the only klutz??

Wit or Wallow?

This is a post full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

Do you wallow? Sometimes I do. Right now, for instance,as I write this I may appear to the outside world to be kicking it on my comfy bed but really I am wallowing in a crock pot full of wallow stew. Vegetarian, natch. But still, I wallow.

Perhaps it was admitting out loud my obsession for little chairs and the desire to have a place to put them and tiny bottoms to fill them. But now? I wallow.  Here I am nearly halfway through this pregnancy and I accept that Angelina Jolie can rock 19 weeks with twins and look as if she ate half a hoagie whilst I smile tightly as people say”Wow! Look at you! Another month to go?” TOTT has trained me to just nod and then wait for my unconcious revenge as those hormone driven pregnancy dreamy dreams of screaming at them and then punching their slag faces in take care of it.

I’m not violent awake. I promise.

I also suffer dreams of SNL Stardom and being married to Will Forte.{who I would indeed be married too if I hadn’t met my TOTT first. The fact that he’s never met me and has no idea who I am is immeterial. Also? So what if he cross dresses and runs around nekkid with celery in his bum…it takes all types and that apparently is my type.}But then Jason Sudekis steals me away and it’s a whole SNL soap opera. Ah, pregnancy ain’t it weird???

So. Sometimes I say to God, “God! I’ve grown, I’ve learned…do you think I could have a place of my own now?” And God says “PATIENCE WOMAN! I’ve got a plan and if you trust me, I’ll tell you!” And then I say “You’ll tell me the address of my new place?” And then God throws his arms up, shakes his head and walks off to get a stromboli, because hello? food of the gods and thus: food of God.

I never really got to do a nursery for The Boss. I got it kinda-sorta together and then we moved when he was mere weeks old. The boxes hadn’t even been unpacked in Ohio before we were off and running to the safety of The American Dream. I seriously feel that this is an injustice I cannot live with. I feel like crying and screaming in a very seventh grade way: NO FAIR!!! Other people get to have nurseries, and houses {townhome, apartment- whatever!} I find myself really upset about this. And it’s trivial, really. I am so blessed. But I really want to be blessed with somewhere to make tissue paper pom poms and hang them over a crib. And make a kick ace rock and roll room for The Boss.

{HA! I know where I got this one!}

Doesn’t seem to much to ask. So I wallow today. And try to be patient, and listen to God who says quietly and with his mouth full of strombloli:

“Patience, Minks. Patience.”

Obsessions.

There are a few things about me…obsessions perhaps? I just say it’s my innate Virgo-ness, and I get to keep that thankyouverymuch since the whole suddenly I would be a Libra-ness is relagated to those born post 2009 and while I may shave a year or two off the old birthday candle count, not even I think I could pull of being born in 2009! Espesh since ye old Boss man was born in 2008.

Anyway, I have to make the bed. Right away. Every morning. Doesn’t matter what shape the rest of the pad is in I cannot relax, concentrate or breathe until the bed is made. I am not in control of a great many things here at the American Dream (what with my mother in law being the woman of the house, which is rightly as it should be) but my bed? I CONTROL YOU, BED! I mean, I do control it as long as the Great Catsby or Puppy Bear are no wheres to be found. Why do I get pushed to the very edge of a king sized bed to accomodate a combined 13 pounds of animal? And also, when will they learn to let me finish making the bed before they settle in for a long winters/spring/summer/tuesday nap? Sigh, life would be easier if they would just WAIT.

Also, obsessed with tiny chairs. Small people chairs. Boss sized chairs. I only have one Boss thus far, with a new one (assistant manager perhaps?) on the imminenet, but the idea of tiny chairs all about thrills me. I buy them at thrift stores and TOTT makes me get rid of them because:

a. we don’t have that many tiny people to need chairs

b. WE DON’T HAVE A PLACE OF OUR OWN!

I have to contend that he is correct on the second point. Point b, as it were. Alas, that stops me not from staring at this picture and thinking “someday…SOMEDAY!”

{if anyone knows the photo source for this, please let me know! I saved it ages ago, pre-blogging}

Don’t you love? Or maybe you don’t. But I do. I mean I lurve-love the wee little chairs and the idea of many chubby bebes racing about. Of course, they need not all  be mine, since I don’t think I can handle another first trimester.

{I think this is from House of Turquoise}

I am full on in the mode of nesting now. Which is most inconvenient as perhaps I may have mentioned that we have no nest of our own for me to feather. And though my darling mother in law has said many time I can paint or decorate anything I like here, let’s be honest that’s not a good plan. Y’know since it’s her house and all and should reflect her not me. Harumph. And so I obsess and ruthlessly steal moments of time on teh internetz saving a billionty pictures of inspiration room and again, not saving where they are from.

i SUCK cause these people? Are just real peeps and they design and create the most amazing stuff.

And thus it makes perfect sense that I clearly need to learn to crochet. Duh. So post nap the Boss and I are heading out for supplies. Because I WILL make a blankie for new baby, and one for The Boss.

Whether he wants it or not.

I also resolve to save pictures with links, y’know so I am not a design criminal. I’m not cut out for a life of crime and I really don’t look good in prison gray or prison lighting, for that matter!

On Gratitude.

You guys…your comments, your emails, your messages on facebook and twitter. I cannot tell you how they soothed my heart. I knew that everything would be okay. I knew that I would love and accept this baby, no matter how this soul is packaged. You all reassured me that you too, would accept and love this baby as well.

The world seems much less scary having read your messages. I am so grateful. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And then after you’d given so much peace and reassurance to our little family you all reached deeper and gave more.

{blue toes – red rash}

While we were busy worrying about the tiny one giving my tummy bubble pokes to say hello, big brother The Boss went and scared the bejeezuz outta us. After ten days on an antibiotic for double ear infections he developed a rash, and his knees were swollen and hot. We gave him some benedryl and vowed to call the pediatrician in the morning. The rash was small and he’d had a reaction to penecillan previously, surely this would be the similar?

How wrong we were. By the morning his knees and elbows were huge. The rash had over taken his body and I waited impatiently for 9 am to roll around the doctor’s office to open open open! By 9:30 we were being seen and here is where it got scary…I was cool, no problem. But when the doctors and nurses begin to act a bit funny? I don’t know about you, but that’s when  I got my freak out on. Then the words “transfer him to the pediatric emergency” were spoken.

Transfer him. Transfer means ambulance. F*CK! The Doc headed off to call the Emergency to tell them we were coming and give them all the info. I called TOTT and then begged my mother in law to meet me at the hospital, and she vowed to ditch work and meet us there. But then, a repreive! The doctors made the decision that his reaction which included Serum Sickness, was not affecting his heart or breathing so we had some time. They edict was steroids at home with a list of  ‘if this happens take him in IMMEDIATLY”

Of course those things happened and we ended up in the hospital. Again, seeing doctors panic about your kid is utterly terrifying. The Boss? Was a rockstar. My little boy who cries and says “the doctor hurts me” when we pull into the parking lot of his (extremely gentle) pediatricians, allowed his ears, eyes and then his throat to be poked and prodded. I was so proud, while terrified.

His throat did show swelling, but his heart and lungs were good, and so after several hours the decision was made to send us home, continuing the steroids and pumping his tiny body full of vast quantities of Benedryl. Vast quantities. I cannot say enough good things about the pediatric emergency wing and Shady Grove. The doctors were kind and quick to see him. The rooms were clean and had tv’s to distract the little ones. I wouldn’t say it was a pleasant experience, but if you’ve got to be there, this is the place to be. I am grateful to them for taking such good care of my angel.

They even called to check on him, as did our pediatrician.

I’ve never dealt with a toddler on steroids, but it’s a bit like having a tinyhulk in the house. No exagerration that while he skipped the turning green bit, he did have several tear his clothes Hulk SMASH tantrums. Mornings were the worst, but then Saturday afternoon we started seeing glimpses of our sweet, sweet boy.

He is still itchy. Benedryl is still on board. We’ve finished the steroids and so hopefully the roid rage has seen it’s last hurrah, but we are so, so grateful.

Grateful for Shady Grove Pediatric Emergency. Grateful for a smart and caring pediatrician. Grateful for a hospital staff that willingly went along with the Boss’s claims that the pulse ox was a “Super Spy Finger” and the thermometer was an iPhone. Grateful for Benedryl and those awful steroids. Grateful for all theLittle Pookie books which I can now recite by heart. Grateful for Scooby Doo on demand. Grateful for snuggly sweet 2 year old boys who patiently take their ‘yummies’ and want their mommy.

And grateful for you. So very, very grateful to you. Grateful for your prayers, your supportive tweets, your checking in on us…. so very grateful.

Heavy Heart. Light Heart.

 

The ultrasound tech got very quiet and then nervously laughed, this baby is so active, she said, I can’t get a good measurement.

She meant she couldn’t get one that we would want. It’s not my first trip to this dog and pony show, and heaven knows I’ve been on enough message boards to know a good measurement versus one that means something is wrong. The nuchal fold measurement, one that lets you know what the chances of Down Syndrome are and ours was high. Not terrifyingly high, just high enough to warrant a subdued mood from the tech and a call to bring the doctor in to speak with us setting up more tests and genetic counseling.

1 in 110. Those were our chances. Once the blood test came is we were moved to 1 in 256, a relief but still my tears flowed. My mantra of  ‘we will be okay, the baby is okay” repeated like the rosary. Every day since the test I reassure myself we will be okay, the baby is okay.

I’ve no idea if this baby is a boy or a girl but I do know that it is loved. Oh, yes I have visions of a beautifully dressed little girl, soft focus pictures of The Boss snuggling her, showing her a bug or teaching her to play the drums. Having tea parties together before he gets too cool to play with his baby sister. If it’s a boy then the snapshots in my mind are two smiling monkey boys leaping mid air, bouncing on the bed. Water gun fights,car races. The laughter and joyous screaming ringing through our household.

I never pictured a baby with Down Syndrome. It will be okay. I know this. We can handle it, if this is what comes our way…we can do it. Not a heartbeat of love will be skipped if  this baby does have Down Syndrome. But I will mourn the dream…The Boss is,well in my eyes he is perfection. Utterly perfect.

Yesterday he turned to me, a red Sharpie in hand and said “Did you say no to this, Mommy?” before he uncapped it and set to decorating the brand new art tablet which lay pristine before him. {I had said no and he sweetly put it back and chose a crayon instead}

Can I dare to hope that I will be blessed with two perfect babies?And yes,  I know…I KNOW that this baby will be perfect no matter what. Perfect for me.Perfect for our family. Perfect in our eyes. And yes, just perfect. Down Syndrome doesn’t lessen perfection.

But I hope….

Then I read this birth story. And I sobbed. And I read the whole blog from begining to end. Sometimes sobbing, not just little tears, great wracking sobs, small soft tears of joy, tears through laughter, every kind of tear that could be wept I wept it. And while I continue praying; now I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we will be okay. More than okay.

Our family will be perfect.

please.

Help for Breast Cancer patients.

It’s no secret that I had a hard time adjusting to life here in the DC area. I cried in my Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf over leaving Los Angeles for a long, long time. Except it wasn’t CB&TL because they DON’T HAVE IT HERE!  Slowly I met people and slowly life got better.

{the lovely Sue from Laundry for Six and the amazing Susan and her kick ass sleeves from Toddler Planet.}

One of the people who has made my life infinitely better is Susan from TODDLER PLANET. I always joke that Susan is made of Alpha Waves and awesome. Being around her is like being at a spa. Just her voice and manner relax me, she’s witty, fun, has adorable boys and oh yeah, has cancer.  Cancer is not what I think about when I think about Susan. I think about her grace…I mean Grace Kelly grace, Elizabeth Edwards grace. Real old fashioned hard to come by GRACE. I also think about science, because Susan is a brilliant scientist. In fact if I had a science teacher as cool as Susan I very well might have gone to class! Or even someone as cool as her IN my class, then I might have gone. Although maybe there was someone as cool as Susan but I just don’t know it cause I got to mitosis and was all whaaa? and then never went back.

{I don’t endorse this plan of action by the way.}

But that’s not really what this is about. {although science is important, kids!} It’s about Susan and her amazing-ness. In the midst of healing from a 3rd, yeah you heard that right, 3rd reoccurance of breast cancer and the news that possibly there might be something shady happening in or on around her lungs she isn’ thinking of herself. Not Susan… I’ll let her explain how it happened.

From Susan:

Last month, I was lying on the table having my arm worked on as my lymphedema therapist tried to reduce the swelling in my arm.  I try to zone out a little, as it’s not all that comfortable, but we got to talking about my pretty lymphedema sleeves, which you guys have seen me wear around town and at BlogHer.

Apparently, I’ve been living with my head under a rock, as I was surprised to hear her say, “so many of my patients can’t afford lymphedema sleeves, and their arms are so much harder.  The tissue actually changes, and their arms are stiff or puffy no matter what I do.”

(I asked everywhere and searched in vain for a program for medicare patients (they’re not covered by medicare or most insurance plans) or others with financial need.  There weren’t any.  The only one I found is open only to NLN members seeing an NLN therapist – a small percentage, and they have a $25 application fee!))

A few days later, Sue (Laundry for Six) sent me an email from a foundation offering wigs, prostheses, bras, and relaxing massage to cancer patients/survivors, asking if I needed anything.  Well, I did.  I needed to help these other patients that my therapist sees.  So I made a few phone calls.

As it turns out, both the foundation (Crickett’s Aswser for Cancer) and my favorite lymphedema sleeve maker (Lymphedivas) were founded in honor of thirty-something women (one a blogger!) who had breast cancer (and then died).  I made an earnest plea to each of them, told them about the women that each other were honoring, and then held my breath and made the ask.

Would you, could you, please consider working with each other to provide lymphedema sleeves to women in need?

They agreed to talk to each other.  They liked each other, and a few weeks later, box upon box of lymphedema sleeves and gauntlets (like a glove without fingers – you can see mine in Monday’s post) arrived at the foundation.  Sue’s friend Carole, the foundation’s VP, unpacked them, totaled it up, and found that she had received over $12,000 worth of lymphedema sleeves and gloves to give away.

Of course, that’s still only a drop in the bucket.  But what a drop!

And that my friends is Susan in a nutshell. Always, thinking of others and taking action. Please read Susan’s post on it, and if you or anyone you know needs help, don’t hesitate! You can contact Crickett’s Answer for Cancer here. And if you can donate even a buck or five…please do. This is a small thing that is a HUGE thing.

To quote Susan: I wore the recommended sleeve and glove everywhere, but I was often greeted with looks of dismay as friends and former associates asked me, “What on Earth happened to your arm?”….From the very first night I wore it (the Lymphediva sleeve) out with the girls, I’ve been greeted not with “Oh, no, what happened to you?” but with “Oooh, that’s so pretty!  I love it!” and smiles.

And that my friends, can make all the difference in the world. Please, if you’ve got a minute share Susan’s post on Facebook or Twitter. Thank you so much!

The Ballad of the four dollar bra.

I was at Target {quelle surprise} looking for something to cradle these aching milk makers of mine during the fleeting hours where I am able to be unconcious. I had a gift card so extra happiness was in the air – PLUS the fetus is letting me have coffee these days so even more happiness was surrounding me and The Boss as I sipped my latte and he chowed down on his way too sugary chocolate milk.

After visiting the toy section and picking up so much needed diapers and wipes, we made our way to the unmetionables department.

And there it was….the perfect bra, I mean it was purple and I am not a big fan of purple, but I have reached the function over fashion stage. It was padded just enough, no wires, looked comfy as all get out and it was even my size! {read: miniscule. The boob fairy has never visited…not even once.} Checking the price I saw that this lovely little article of awesome was only $3.99. I’d get several!

But, sob, there was only ONE. I searched high and low while The Boss charmingly explained with a sweet little smile to anyone who walked by “those are for boos!”

There was not another one to be found. Anywhere. I took my one purple ‘boo holder’ and made my way to the check out. After a wash I discovered that it was in fact the answer to a prayer. Even if it was purple. Comfy. Fit perfectly and oh! how it helped me to sleep! I longed for another one.

Yesterday at Target, another gift card in hand {thanks Christmas!} The Boss wanted OUT OUT OUT! of the cart, chocolate milk could not contain him. He took off like a shot, racing through the girls section and heading to the toys.

And there they were. Amongst the Dora the Explorer and Twilight panties. Tons of them. With hearts, polka dots, pink, green, yellow and purple! My four dollar bra.

My four dollar training bra.

I bought five of them. I’m not proud. But I am comfortable.