Friday, June 29, 2012

Yum, It's Thursday

Awkward ahoy!  It's been a strange two days over here.  Lets start with the cute, little, sweet Samuel and his first ever real food!  He cried with confusion at first.  He didn't understand why we were spooning goop into his mouth.  But then he had a eureka moment and realized this was FOOD.  He was happy.  In fact we couldn't shovel that stuff into his pie hole fast enough.  And he screamed with great fury when it was all gone.  He is truly our son.

And now for the awkward.  My MIL.  Late Thursday night we got an email from Morgan's uncle (he didn't have our phone #) letting us know the police were looking for MIL.  They didn't have many details other than it involved a hit and run car accident and the police could not find MIL because she has not switched any of her ID's over to Maryland since she moved there in October.  And MIL had her phone turned off, so no one could get a hold of her.  But they wanted to let Morgan know that the police were on their way over to her apartment.

Oh Joy.

The next morning we kept calling her trying to get her on the phone.  Trying to make sure she was okay and didn't need any help.  Her phone was still off.  10am rolled around and her phone was still off.  1pm and her phone was still off.  3pm and her phone was still turned off.  Morgan was scared.  His mother has threatened to kill herself just about every week for the past 8 years.  She doesn't handle confrontation well.  She freaks out very easily.  And she had already had a really, really bad week leading up to the apparent car accident.  He didn't know what to do.  I loaded the baby up in the car and we all drove over to MIL's apartment to check on her since there was nothing else we could do.

45 minutes later we are standing on her front porch knocking on the door.  No answer.
Knock again much louder.  No answer.  We looked at each other with worry and Morgan fumbled in his pocket trying to find his key to her place.  Then we heard the faint *clink clink* of her walker on the other side of the door.  Morgan's shoulders slumped down with a big sigh of relief.  "At least she's alive." he whispered to me as we waited for her to unlock the door.

So yeah.  She's fine.  Or at least as fine as she can be after it was obvious we were there to see if she was still alive or not.  There is no damage to her car.  The man she tapped with her car while in line for the McDonald's drive thru is just as crazy as she is and reported the accident as a hit and run even though they stopped and exchanged information and all that jazz.  Everything was blown out of proportion and MIL got a stern talk from us about not turning off her phone for ridiculously long periods of time.

Monday, June 25, 2012

4 Months Old

What a great age.  I'm getting the feeling that every monthly update is going to start with that phrase.  Being someone who knows nothing about small children I constantly find myself amazed watching him learn and grow.  Sometimes it's like I can see the wheels turning and the smoke pouring out his ears as he struggles to figure something out.  His biggest accomplishment to date is rolling over.  He can do back to tummy, but can't do tummy to back at all yet.  At least he now tolerates tummy time cause he gets there on his own terms!

What He Do:
Eats 5.5oz every 3 to 4 hours.  He sometimes goes longer, but not often.
Takes short naps after all his meals, takes a 2-3 hour nap in the early afternoon.
Sleeps thru the night (9:30pm to 5:30am usually) same as before.
Loves the swing SIL got for him.  This makes it easier to get free time from him for tasks such as making dinner.  This is a good thing.
Smiles and laughs all the time, especially at his dad.
Babbles, coos, squeals, and blows raspberries.
Grasps toys, shakes rattle ball, throws things (already?)
Can stand on his legs and support his weight, doesn't do this often
Likes to sleep on his side when on the floor, thankfully not in his bed.
Fluctuates weekly as to if he's going to enjoy bath time or not.
Has within the past week started getting fussy when other people hold him (stranger danger?)
He has started grabbing at his clothes and tugging them, which results in some funny photos.
He loves to sit up.  Either propped up on your lap, in his swing, bumbo, or just propped up on the couch.  He's a looker.  He likes to look around.
CUTE - when fighting sleep it helps to put one ring in each hand so his hands are busy and less likely to rip his binkie out of his mouth or smack himself.  Freak.

Look at my belly!

He's started doing this also.  Covering his eye(s) with his left hand when falling asleep, usually palm down.  Not sure if this is a Sam thing or just a baby thing.  But it makes me smile when he does it because my dad used to do this.  I didn't even remember it till the first time I saw Sam do it.

And to end, here are his 4 Month Owl photos!


Update from Dr visit:  Weighs 16 pounds, 25 inches long, healthy.  Given info for PT for his slight Torticollis.  And we can start real food!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

This Time Last Year, again

June 24th, 2011 was the day I found out I was pregnant.  It's also the day we all gathered for the Mid Summer's Eve Feast last year.  It was a crazy amount of fun.  So was Mid Summer's Eve this year.  Err, last night.

Bumbo King

Dinner, dancing, drinking.  The 3 D's that make this feast a very special one.  Last year Ryan set the yard on fire.  This year Matt almost exploded the fire barrel.  Last year I didn't dance because I was freaking out over my positive pregnancy test.  This year I danced, pranced, and wrestled my husband to the ground.  Last year it was a fun gathering of adults.  This year there was a squirmy little pink baby stealing all the smiles.
Uncle Ryan

"Wait, when do I throw the flowers into the fire?"

"You watch child, must drink beer."

Sam was once again a very good little boy.  Although he would get upset whenever someone else would hold him for more than a couple minutes.  I guess maybe the "Stranger Danger" phase is starting?  He fought his nap while at Uncle Matt's place because there was so much going on and it was stopping him from settling.  But by 9pm he passed out in his travel bed till it was time for us to pack up and go home at 1am.  Good baby continues to be good.  

He is my squishy and I love him.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Hmmmmm. . .mufffffinnns.  Really, next to pie, is there anything better than a muffin?  I mean, pie is the ultimate food form.  No doubt about that.  But a muffin?  Please.  Yes, please.

Make that Shit:
1 3/4 cup flour
2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 T cinnamon
1/3 cup shortening or butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups finely diced apples
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

Make sure you dice those apple bits nicely to ensure even and thorough cooking.  Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, adding flour and apples LAST.  Divide evenly into muffin cups.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Makes 15 muffins.

If you have ever made a boxed apple muffin mix you know that the biggest problem are those little dehydrated apple bits that are few and far between.  Not here, my friend.  Tons of apples.  Sweet slivers of apple joy in every bite followed by that wonderful cinnamon smell and taste.  Couple this with a cup of coffee and you have a "I found my happy place" breakfast.  Also - 5 Weight Watchers points per muffin.  Word.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Meatless Mexican Stuffed Peppers

I've been trying to find healthier things to eat for dinners.  Healthy, not tasteless.  Nothing makes me run screaming back into the arms of processed yummies faster than gross healthy food.  'Nuff said.

You will need:
2 bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup diced tomato
3/4 cup rice
3/4 cup black beans
1 cup shredded cheese
salt, pepper
red pepper flakes

What you do:
Half peppers and remove seeds/core.  Prepare rice in small sauce pan with 1/4 t red pepper flakes to put some heat in that bland rice.  Now you are going to make layers in the peppers.  Thin layer of rice, thin layer of tomatoes, salt & pepper, layer of black beans, layer of onions, top with cilantro.  Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Top peppers with cheese and return to oven for 3 minutes to get things all melty bubbly good.  Makes 4 servings.

This recipe is fat husband approved and really good for you!  In fact a little bird told me each pepper half is only 5 points on the Weight Watchers plan.  Making this an excellent side item for you dinner.  Heck, it can even work on it's own as a great lunch!  Even with the red pepper flakes in the rice this dish is not spicy at all.  At least I don't think so.  If you, like me, like a little heat just add hot sauce as a layer or put some chili powder in with the salt & pepper mix.  Perhaps even a little squeeze of lime if you're feeling fancy.  It is Oh So Yum.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Updates and Father's Day

1.  The month of June sentimental stuff continued.
2.  I visited my friend in Cleveland, just Sam and I, for an entire week!  Sam was a good little traveler.  It was more than good to see Aud and have a great visit.
3.  Morgan had his first Father's Day.  Gifts of ladybugs for his garden and a digital picture frame for his office.

Now in more detail:
Sam and Del

Sam sleeping at the Cleveland Zoo

Back home and practicing his rolling

Father's Day craft time, decorating his giftwrap

Finished product

Inappropriate humor is a must for a Daddy gift

Grandpa G. visited and Sam passed out

We finally got video of Sam laughing

Whew!  What a busy week!  Glad to be home, even if I do miss having my bestie with me.  You never really know how boring your house is till you visit one with 2 kids and 8 kids living next door!  My God.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My Craptown Diary

I've been wanting to do a "sum up my thoughts on that subject so I don't have to speak of it again" kind of a post about my infertility journey.  Well, this seems as good a moment as any.  Especially since this day last year I was on a table in a Dr office while my husbands gentlemens relish was being squirted up my lady bits.  Yup, today is the one year anniversary of our successful IUI.

Lets start further back than that.  Way back.

Morgan and I followed all the rules the older generation stresses are so important.  "Make sure you are financially secure before starting a family!  It's better to be living in a house than an apartment when you have a baby!  Don't have a baby out of wedlock!  Enjoy your youth and worry about having kids later!  Trust me on this, you don't want to have a kid before you're ready!"

Oh, if only I could go back and pat myself on the head and give a gentle warning of what would be the most difficult time of my life.  I would have let myself know not to waste all that money on birth control.  I would have reassured myself that getting pregnant before all the planets have aligned and you have achieved that mythical "I'm Ready" zen is perfectly fine.  I would have done anything to avoid the heartache and self hatred that is infertility.  But even in the youth of my mid 20's it may have already been too late for me to have children the old fashioned way.  I'll never know.

Oh, but surely I'm exaggerating when I say it was the most horrible thing that has ever happened to me.  Right?  Being the victim of abuse at a very early age had to have been worse.  As so many people know, the pain of teasing and bullying in middle school and high school had to have been more trying.  The heartache of a really bad break up is pretty hard to beat.  Surely taking care of a dying father and then burying him when I was 15 was harder.  With a little bit of shame (at least on that last one) I have to say no.  All of those things helped shape the odd person I am today, but none of them had me questioning what I would be reincarnated as if I hit a tree on my drive home from work.  The 3 years that I waited, from the day we started trying to conceive to the day my son was born, were the darkest I've ever experienced.   I shall hence forth refer to them as "The No-No Years."

The thing is, there's no way I can really express to you just how bad it was.  There is no way you can know how I died a little inside every month unless it's something you have also experienced.  Just as only other cancer survivors can truly appreciate and understand what another is feeling.  Only a recovered alcoholic can really know how hard it is to walk past a liquor store.  Those are two experiences I hope to never be able to relate to.  And I would not wish what I went through on anyone.  'Cause that biological clock thing is a bitch and a half.  No lie.

The endless Dr appointments, medications, injections, and blood draws were the easy part.  The mental anguish and slow break down of your psyche is what destroys you when dealing with infertility.  Month after month of failing, grieving as you menstruate, and then trying to build up a positive outlook for the beginning of the following month is exhausting.  The ache of carrying around an empty womb when all you see around you are friends, family, and perfect strangers taking for granted what you would move heaven and earth to get.  The comments, mostly meant to be helpful or encouraging, that cut you to the bone.  Making things even more complicated, my job often involved working with small children and families.  I longed for a puppy or a kitten.  Something small and warm with big eyes that I could snuggle in my arms as a temporary fix.  It was an all encompassing sadness that even my husband doesn't fully understand because I wouldn't let him.  I hid just how bad things had become for fear that he would stop the fertility treatments.

And from that rock bottom it only got worse.  Miscarriage.  Stab me in the heart.  Kick me when I'm down.  Throw dirt in my face.  Beat that dead horse, give it mouth to mouth, and then shoot it in the head.  Silver lining - at least I had proven to myself and God that I could get pregnant.

About a week or so after the miscarriage I went to visit a friend in an attempt to get away from the hell for a while.  I have a very vivid memory of laying on her couch in the middle of the day.  She was exhausted from months of sleep deprivation, due to her adorable infant daughter, and had passed out on the floor only moments before the baby started to fuss.  I put my hand out to the tiny creature and she wrapped her fist around my finger.  I laid there and cried silently so my friend could get the scant 20 minutes of sleep she so desperately needed.  I don't have to explain to you the thoughts that raced through my mind, just that there was a tone of hopelessness behind them.  My friend, who's heart is bigger than her head, is really the only person I confided in about all this darkness.  And even she didn't know it all.

Okay, breathe.  It gets better, I promise.  In fact it gets better right. . . now!

June 12th, 2011.  Our 4th and last IUI.  The Rockville office of Shady Grove Fertility was the setting, mid morning was the time, and I don't even remember the person who performed the IUI aside from she wasn't very gentle.  Frankly, the only thing I was really concerned about that day was where we were going to eat after the appointment.  I was trying not to think about the IUI too much.  Pancakes or crab legs?  That was the big question on my mind.  Crab legs won.  Turns out that was Sam's first meal.  A nice dose of mercury right off the bat.  Go Mom!

It wasn't long before I could tell something was different about my body.  I had a case of the rages that could put a war lord to shame.  I took a pee test a couple days before my scheduled blood test and it showed positive.  Happy panic is pretty much all I can say to describe that moment.  Happy panic and a husband who forgot how to breathe.

Pregnancy, the second time around, was pretty easy for me.  Which was not at all what I was expecting.  I kept waiting for the next bomb to drop, but it never happened.  The worst symptom of my entire 9 months was indigestion.  That's pretty awesome.  Even more wonderful was feeling that dark veil of misery lift away.  Feeling my baby boy move inside of me.  Feeling that womb full that was empty and rotten for so long.  Slowly feeling like I could trust my own body again.  Knowing that this shitty journey was almost over.  Feeling normal, hopeful, and excited.

Having my little boy, now 3 months old, here with me is the best thing ever.  Imagine your most favorite moment and multiply it by 12.  Yeah, it's that amazing.  The years of struggle are now replaced with a child more perfect and quirky than I could have hoped for.  Even on his worst days, when the growth spurt cries are at bleeding eardrum level, I smile and kiss his forehead knowing that he is mine.  My worries are of the normal variety now.  "Does he have clean bottles?  Did he poop today?"  I love changing diapers 'cause I get to see his little belly!  I get to listen to him sleep and watch his face spasm with smiles caused by mysterious baby dreams.  Best of all I know he has two parents who both love him endlessly.  I have no idea if I will ever talk to Sam about what we had to go through to have him in our lives.  I don't know that I would want to burden him with it.  But I certainly hope he appreciates how badly he was wanted and how much he is loved.

And there you go!  I guess I have that "closure" thing done.  I have what I needed and I can put that chapter of my life on the back shelf to gather dust.  The No-No Years seemed like an eternity of purgatory, and yet I know 3 years is a relatively short infertility journey.  I don't think I could have survived a 5+ year struggle, as I know so many have.  Hats off to them.

Nowadays my crying is reserved for when I have to pack up and retire the clothes he has grown out of.  Each little outfit lovingly folded and kept just in case he has a little brother.  Yes, we have already started talking about it.  What can I say?  Glutton for punishment.  Besides, there's plenty of love here to go around and the world needs more ginger babies.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Over Here!

Mom!  Mom!  Look!

MooooOOOoom!  Look at me!  I wanna show you something!

Okay.  Keep watching.  This is like, so cool.

Okay.  Ready?  Ready?  You watchin?  You too, Dad!

Did you see me?  Did you see me?  I rolled over!  I did it!

Dude.  I am so spent.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Samuel Chase Reality Tour

Seinfeld reference.  For those who got it, I hug you.

Friday morning we dropped off Sammy Chase with my SIL.  He gave me the biggest pout lip in the history of pout lips and proceeded to cry for his bottle and his kisses.  It was so cute.  We left quickly.

Hour or so later we were walking around the streets of Annapolis celebrating our anniversary and some baby freedom on a drop dead gorgeous day!  It was a wonderful day.  An amazingly sunny day that wasn't too hot, yet you could feel the sun soaking into your bones.  Can you tell I was happy?
Gardens of the William Paca House

Fountain at the Naval Academy

Flag hanging in the Capital Building dome

Chapel at the Naval Academy

The Chase-Lloyd House

We chose to spend our day in Annapolis for obvious reasons.  It's where we got engaged, it's a coastal town we love dearly, and it's full of the awesome.  It's also where Samuel Chase, the man my husband named our son after, lived and worked.  He was a lawyer, a Supreme Court Judge, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and had the nickname "Old Bacon Face".  He had me convinced our son should carry his name after the "Old Bacon Face" comment.  How can you go wrong with that?
That's right, Old Bacon Face

We did a lot of walking, a lot of talking, and had so much fun!  Dinner at an Irish pub.  Ice cream by the docks.  Only slightly embarrassing Morgan when commenting on the Paca house tour that I would want a man servant with big hands.  Best anniversary ever.  Maybe next year Sammy Chase can come with us.  Maybe.
Creators of Nerd Spawn

Update:  Guess who decided to roll over today without help.  Yup.  Stink pot has gained the tiniest bit of independence as of today.  Now he just has to figure out that scooting thing and he can conquer the living room.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

4 Years Ago Today

6-7-08 we got married.  I wanted to elope.  Morgan didn't care.  His mother threatened my life.  "He is my only child and there will be a wedding!" she warned.  Odd, considering she didn't want us to get married at all.  So Morgan suggested we get married at a lighthouse since that seemed to be one of my favorite things.  He's a smart man.

At Concord Point Lighthouse in Havre de Grace, MD we sealed the deal.  It was one hell of a hot day.  As in almost 100 degrees.  Everyone handled it the best they could, even the Best Man who looked like he was going to pass out mid ceremony.
My lovely little flower girls!

Reception was at a Victorian mansion turned Bed and Breakfast.  It was lovely.  The woman who runs the place, as it turns out, is absolutely insane.  We'll skip over her and the lawnmower of doom.

The cake was as pretty as it was delicious.  Luckily no one noticed the spider web that had been built between the window and the cake in the 3 hours between cake delivery and serving.  Doh!  I think the photos around the cake of Morgan and I as children was my favorite of all the decorations of the day.  Too bad he wouldn't let me use the picture of him lounging on the couch at age 3 wearing nothing but socks and a t-shirt.  Love that picture.

The boys all wore top hats, tails, gloves, and carried canes.  That was Morgan's only request.  

Morgan's favorite picture in the whole world

As much as I wanted to elope instead of going through the stress and expense of a real wedding, I rather liked it.  I like that we had a non traditional wedding with lots of tid bits of our personalities thrown into it.  I like that we did things as cheaply as possible while still making things fancy pants.  I like that those who came to the wedding were introduced to a new place and were forced to visit a lighthouse.  I liked it all.  Especially that bath tub in our honeymoon suite that could have easily fit 5 people.  I want one of those so badly.

Cake Cutting

Getting cake dropped down my bra to find later that night.

Bubbles were a good choice.

And that concludes yet another chapter in my June sentimental ramblings.  If Halloween happened in June it would be an unbeatable month of awesomeness.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

6 Years Ago Today

I've been feeling really sentimental lately.  June is a big month for me.  There will likely be quite a bit of this kind of stuff going on.

6 years ago my boyfriend picked me up at my apartment and started driving.  I didn't know where we were going.  Over an hour later we arrived in Annapolis, one of my favorite MD cities.  He parked and I thought we were going to do our usual Annapolis thing of walking the entire waterfront enjoying the boats, shops, and eateries.  Especially that candy store with the amazing cookies!  Instead he led me to the dock where The Woodwind II was waiting to board.  He had booked us a tour on a 74 foot yacht to sail around the harbor.  I was overwhelmed.

This was all a surprise, so I didn't have a camera with me other than the crappy one on my cell phone.  Pardon the poor quality of photos, but it's all I have.  (look how skinny he is!)

I didn't think to get any poorly arranged photos of us together.  Hindsight.  But it was so beautiful.

Turns out, as I had suspected, he had the ring in his pocket we had purchased together a few weeks earlier.  He wanted to propose on the boat.  But his nerves got the better of him and he was afraid he would drop the ring in the water.  Instead he waited till dinner.  Between dinner and dessert I got up from the table to use the restroom.  When I came back to the table the ring was sitting on my plate waiting for me.  I started crying, which if you know me is horribly embarrassing for me regardless of the reason.  He asked me to marry him, I of course said yes, and the rest is history!