Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Season of NEW

{The Hank Man on Christmas Eve with my brother}

Christmas is past, so let the New Years posts commence.  Much like everyone's frantic New Year's Resolution flock to the gym, it is my duty as a blogger to write a New Years post, amiright?  I figured I needed to get this post done sooner rather than later, since one of my New Year's Resolutions will be to be more on top of things.

Done and done.

I not-so-secretly HATE New Year's Eve.  For some reason, I find it extremely depressing.  I don't know if it is because high school and college were filled with some pretty crappy New Year Eves.  Whatever the reason, I despise it.  Henry kind of gives me an excuse to maintain my low-key ways.  I am hoping we can get some take-out, rent a movie, and go to bed early and perhaps Henry will start the 2014 off by sleeping through the night.  A new mother's dream.  :)

It's also not a secret that the last couple of years have been nothing short of a challenge for Phil and I. 2011 was filled with trying to have a baby and then trying to find out if I had cancer.  2012 was the year I dealt with cancer.  2013 made me a mother and we lost Phil's dad.  I don't hate the last few years for being hard.  The challenges made me grow as a person and helped to build a strong foundation for Phil's and my marriage.

However, I'm hoping for a low-key year.

I'd like a year with few major life changes.  No health crises.  Perhaps a year of not meeting my insurance deductible.

I'd like a year that we aren't functioning in full stress crisis mode.  A year where we can sit and relax and enjoy this life we are building together.

I want to sit and play with Henry without feeling major life events looming over me.  I want to find the joy in taking care of my husband, son and puppies.

But I think what I am most excited about, is I want to discover what I'm about again.  I used to LOVE doing so many things.  Cancer and pregnancy helped rob me of my motivation to do the things I love.  Now I'm not even sure what those things are anymore.

Because I am not the same person anymore.  The last few years have REALLY changed me.  Part of it is that I am emotionally different now.  I deal with things a lot differently now.  But I am physically missing my thyroid.  I have heard horror stories from people post thyroidectomy that their energy levels never get back to what they once were.  I need to find my new normal.

For the first time in a few years, I am hopeful.  I have a sense of peace about this next year.

So Phil and I are preparing to say good-bye to 2013, and cheers to a happy, healthy 2014.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Grieving Christmas Gift

So I am pretty sure that recent events have earned me a little slack when it comes to a lack of blogging.  In addition to dealing with the loss of a loved one, Henry got an ear infection, Phil got a really bad cold, and I got even more exhausted after we returned from Virginia.  Throw in trying to catch up with work and prepare for Christmas and we are lucky that we have clean laundry.

It helps that Phil and I seem to have an unusually large amount of clothing.  And don't mind re-wearing jeans multiple times between washes.  But I digress...

In the midst of the Christmas cheer, this has been a time of great sadness.  I'm not even sure what the next few days will look like as our family prepares for not only Henry's 1st Christmas (YAY!!), but the first Christmas without Ed.  Bittersweet doesn't even come close to describing.

{Our Elf on the Shelf}

{Watching Christmas Lights while waiting in line for Santa}

It doesn't just seem to be our family that has suffered loss lately.  There seems to be sorrow and sadness in so many places.  Perhaps it is just in our little corner of the world, but we know several people who have either be diagnosed with cancer or lost their battles with cancer/illness in the last couple of months.   My good friend's sister was just diagnosed with breast cancer.  Our pastor's 3 year old granddaughter is fighting a reoccurance of brain cancer.  Just last night, one of our employee's father-in-law passed away.  A couple of weeks ago, another one of our employee's mother passed away.  One of the contractors we worked with passed away about a month and a half ago.

Then this morning my dad said, "I think God decides to bring some of His children home right before Christmas on purpose.  He has decided he would rather have them celebrating Christmas in Heaven with Him, than suffering on Earth."

I think he's right.

Everyone knows that life is a gift.  Each day and our health are not things we are guaranteed.  Most of us take our health and time with our loved ones for granted and it isn't until we lose someone close or have a health scare that we begin to really value those blessing we have brushed aside.  But there are no promises of tomorrow for anyone.

That idea kind of freaks me out.  I want so badly to have decades left on this earth with the people I love.  And hopefully I will get that.  But in the meantime, I will hug my baby a little more, a little tighter.  And kiss my husband one more time.  And invite myself to dinner with my parents more often.

In this Christmas season, I am so grateful for a healthy family.  It wasn't that long ago I faced my own health scare.  Just 2 years ago, I prepared for my first thyroid cancer surgery, not knowing if it had spread or what the future would hold.  I am so grateful that my ultrasound and bloodwork are still coming back negative for cancer.  I'm so grateful that my baby is healthy and happy (even if he won't sleep through the night).  I'm thankful for a husband who, even though he is in grief, is still kind, loving and a good father.  And I'm so thankful for a Savior who promises eternal life free from pain and suffering in Heaven where we will be reunited with those who have gone before us.  That's the best Christmas gift ever.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Livers are Important: A Final Update

On Monday, November 18, Phil's dad passed away.  I hate to say he lost his battle with non-alcoholic Liver Cancer, because that sounds strange to me.  When the doctors only gave him 6, maybe 12 months to live, he lived over 3 years.  He definitely gave Liver Cancer a run for its money.

Ed's diagnosis came 2 months after Phil and I were married.  I barely knew my in-laws at all.  And here I sit, 3 years later.  I know them a lot better.  But I never really got a chance to know Ed outside of his cancer.  I realized when we were with family in Virginia that Ed was so much more than his cancer.  So many stories from his sister about when they were little.  Or stories from Phil about when he was younger.  In fact, most people who came to the viewing and funeral mentioned they didn't realize he was so sick.  Because he didn't mention it to them.  So much more than cancer.

The last couple of months have been especially hard.  When he got sepsis in July, we flew back to Virginia in a hurry.  We honestly didn't think Ed would be coming home from the hospital.  We debated packing funeral clothes, just in case.  But he had to defy the odds again.  And he survived 2 more bouts with sepsis.  But I have thought several times over the last couple of months how hard the whole process must have been for him.

He didn't talk a whole lot.  One of the few ways I was able to have a conversation with him was to talk about Virginia Tech football (which I started keeping track of for that very reason).  But he was a very proud, stoic man.  And I can only imagine that knowing he would be leaving his wife and son behind must have been really hard for him because you could tell he liked taking care of his family.  And he did.  He did so much to take care of Faith, even after he was gone.  You could tell from the way he tried to get things organized, so it would be as easy as possible for her.  Still taking care of her, even after he is gone.

To Ed, that's just what you did.  You took care of people.  It was just the right thing to do.  And that was evident at his funeral.  One man came to his viewing that hadn't seen Ed since high school.  He came up to Phil and told him about how he was picked on in school and Ed was the only person that was nice to him.  And I'm sure Ed didn't think twice about it.  But for that man to show up at his funeral after 40 years... that says something to me.

While I am glad his suffering is over, I am also really sad.  My heart hurts.  I'm still struggling with the fairness of this whole situation.  None of it seems fair for this family.  Faith and Phil already lost Phil's brother, Nick, in a car accident.  And now they have to lose Ed as well.  It is just so unfair for them.  My heart hurts for Faith.  Even the idea of losing a son and then husband so early makes me want to run into the corner and cry.  I'm sad for Phil, that he doesn't get more time with his dad.  I'm extremely sad for Henry and any future siblings he may have because they won't get to know their Papa Ed.  We will have plenty of stories and I have a few pictures of Ed holding Henry from our visit in July, but it won't be the same.  And I honestly am sad for myself.  I'll never get to foster a relationship with my father-in-law.  And I'm mourning that loss.

Thank you to everyone who prayed and supported us during this process.  We honestly think all the prayers helped give Ed more time.  And we all needed that time.  How do you possibly prepare to lose someone from your life?  I still don't know the answer.  I don't think that there is one.

Now we will all try to navigate through the grief.  I just hope I can continue to handle this grieving process and be there for Phil.  Because that's what you do... take care of your family.

Friday, November 15, 2013

5 Things Friday

Hooray it is Friday today!!!

I have to admit that the days are going by fairly quickly.  Between getting Henry up, to daycare, picked up, home, fed, dinner made, eat, bath and bed the day kind of FLIES by.  So I really am not surprised it is Friday already.

Here is this week's randomness.

1.  Somebody is getting really good at sitting up.

And it is changing his world.

Of course sometimes you just get tired of sitting up.

2.   So I started posting more regularly again and you know what... I lost 2 3 followers.  Apparently once I started writing again, they didn't like what I had to say.  And as any blogger would tell you, it shouldn't bother me but let's just say... I did notice.  Whatever... my friend Rikkie told me she appreciates the posts.  :)

3.  Somehow, Phil agreed that we could decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving.  I used the logic of "they don't have Thanksgiving in other countries, so they are already decorating" along with "Thanksgiving is late this year".  However it happened, he has agreed.  In preparation, we will be doing a lot of cleaning this weekend.  And when I say cleaning, I mean lots of cleaning.  I started last night by cleaning the kitchen floor and our upstairs bathroom.  It is amazing and disgusting how much dog hair collects on those floors and how quickly it happens.

Of course, I am going to try to add in some coffee dates with my guys, maybe a night or two of not cooking, and some relaxing.

4.  After kind of a rough week (between headaches, running late, work issues) I decided I needed to start my Friday off with a Peppermint Mocha (soy of course).  Because as of right now, they are my happy place.

5.  Babies R Us is having a "Babies 1st Christmas" event all this month.  I think the general idea is you go on a given day, between certain hours and they give you a $10 gift card.  Henry's date and time is Saturday between 9 and 10 (it's based on birth month).  I've had it on my calendar because I'm cheap and not one to turn down a free gift card.

Since I seem to be making a habit out of 5 Things Friday, I might as well join this link-up.  Why the heck not, right?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Diaper Change

This happened the other day during a diaper change.

He was super cute.

And really happy.

And kind of silly.

Honestly... I just can't handle the cuteness.

I don't know how I manage to get to work every day.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The night I cooked fancy

I like to think I am a decent cook.  I'm not like my friend, Karla, who can whip up delicious meals off the top of her head from scratch.  I need a recipe.  But if I have a recipe, I can usually follow it, no problem.

The other night, I got fancy.  There was a recipe in the local paper for a mushroom and caramelized onion tart with goat cheese.  After looking at the directions, I thought, "I can do that."  So I did.

It was DELICIOUS!!  And here's the recipe below.  My notes are in italics.

You are welcome.

And don't be fooled... at some point this week, we are having hot dog wraps and tater tots for dinner.  Just keeping in real.

Oregon wild mushroom tart with caramelized onion and goat cheese
{courtesy of the Statesman Journal}
Serves 4-6

Ingredients3 tablespoons olive oil
3 sweet yellow onions, sliced into very thin rings (make sure they are sweet or you will want to poke out your own eyes from the onion fumes)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter for tart plus 2 tablespoons for tart pan
1 pound golden chanterelles and matsutake mushrooms or any other fresh mushrooms, coarsely chopped (I used the pre-sliced white button mushrooms and just left them sliced)
1 teaspoon garlic seasoning
2 teaspoons dried thyme
½ cup white wine
2 cans (8 oz. each) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner roll dough
2 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
1 egg for egg wash, beaten
Chopped chives for garnish

DirectionsPreheat oven to 375 degrees and butter a 10-inch tart pan.
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet and add onions, stirring occasionally until they caramelize and begin to turn translucent-brown. This will take about 30 minutes. (It took me a LOT longer than 30 minutes)
Add 4 tablespoons butter and chopped mushrooms and stir occasionally until mushrooms soften. Add garlic seasoning and dried thyme and stir until mixed in, then add white wine. Stir occasionally until liquid reduces until it’s almost gone.
Open crescent roll cans and gently unroll dough. Drape the dough from each can over half of the tart pan. Where the two dough pieces meet in the center, gently press to seal the seam. Using kitchen scissors, trim excess dough, leaving about 1 to 2 inches draping from the edge of the circular tart pan. Add mushroom mixture and distribute evenly on top of the dough, then fold the outer dough edges into the tart pan, covering part of the stuffing.

Just to be totally honest... it's not my recipe.  It's from the newspaper.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Henry's 1st Blazer Game

Friday night, we took Henry to his first Portland Trailblazer Game.  He LOVED it!!  We kind of knew he would.  See, he is already quite the little sports fanatic.  Anytime Phil has Football on, he is glued to the screen.  He does the same thing with my dad and football.  He will sit and watch it for the longest time.

He finally fell asleep about 5 minutes into the 4th quarter.  Didn't really fuss.  Just closed his eyes and went to sleep.  And he was sound asleep too because he didn't wake up until we were putting him in the car seat and took off the ear muffs.

I'd say all in all it was a nice little family outing.

Oh... and the Blazers won.  :)

Monday, November 11, 2013


I've discovered something about myself.

Ever since Henry was born, I haven't had a lot of time for myself.  Between a baby, work, Phil and his dissertation, Phil and his dad... I don't have a lot of extra time.  Or any.  And any spare time I have, I try to sleep.  Or do laundry.  More than likely, SLEEP.

But I feel like I am needing something.  While I LOVE being a wife and mommy more than ANYTHING.  But it can't be all that I am.  And now that Henry is starting to have a slightly better sleep schedule and I feel like I am starting to get mommy-hood figured out, I think I have the time to do some more things.

I feel like I need something.  An outlet.  I have been doing a lot of thinking about what exactly that should be.  I want to create.  I want to learn.

My day job constantly requires me to learn.  The more I learn, the more I know there is to learn.  But I need more than that.

I used to have so many outlets.  I used to blog almost everyday.  I would take pictures, sewing, crochet, cook, exercise.  I miss it.  It's time to do a few of those things.  I can't do all of them as much as I did before.  And I am ok with that.  Henry's kisses are so much more fun than sewing.  But after he is sleeping, I need to do something.  For me.

I need it.  It's time.

I have a few ideas.  I have started a list.  Here are a few things from my list:

-  Do an online photography tutorial.  Brittany recommended this one.  I want to be able to take good pictures of my family without it costing an arm and a leg.

-  Learn Spanish.  I got the Level 1 Rosetta Stone for my birthday a couple of years ago.  I never went through it though.  You wanna know the reason?  I was embarrassed to have Phil hear me pronounce things incorrectly.  The guy has seen me through a couple of surgeries, through being extremely hypothyroid, larger than life pregnant (I almost weighed more than he did at one point), give birth, and postpartum.  But I still get self-conscious around him.  I don't get it.

-  Do a sewing project.  I have one in mind.  I don't want to share the details until I actually get it done though.

-  Run.  I know this isn't creating or learning, but I have had this HUGE desire lately to just RUN.  I know this would be EXTREMELY painful, since I haven't exercised in who knows how long.  I'm thinking I might start going to the gym on my lunch break.  I wouldn't go to run.  That would be gross.  But a little weight lifting would be a step in the right direction.

I know these things will take time.  Especially since life is REALLY up in the air right now.  A terminally ill parent, grad school, and a baby have to take top priority right now (not in that order).  But when I can, I think I will start working on my list.

Friday, November 8, 2013

5 Things Friday

Are you keeping track?  This makes my FOURTH post THIS WEEK.  That's like a post-Henry record.  When I was driving to pick up Phil last Sunday, Henry was sleeping peacefully in his carseat and I had something VERY relaxing playing over the car radio (*cough* Harry Potter *cough*), I was able to really relax.  And it got me thinking about some things.  One of which was that I wanted to start blogging more again.

So lucky you!!  4th post of the week.

Here are some random things to wrap up the week.

1.  Last Friday, my dad and I continued our tradition of going to the Dad's Weekend Oregon State Football game.  We have gone every year for the last 10 years (well the first 2 years, I was on Dance Team so we didn't technically go to the game together and then my senior year of college I was in England) so it is fun to continue the tradition.

It was a little different this year though since I had an extra duty I needed to perform a couple of times during the game.

Pumping.  You know... your usual Father-Daughter activity.

My dad is VERY understanding and not at all weirded out by it.  Even when I decided to go ahead and pump in the stands.

{my view during the pump session}

This might be the weirdest place I have pumped/breastfed.  But I gave myself a little pat on the back for not letting breastfeeding run my life.

2.  I found a new sewing project online that I am SO EXCITED to do.  I went to Jo-ann's Fabrics at lunch yesterday to buy my fabric.  When the ladies asked me what I was making, I showed them the picture and they were all so excited about it, they are thinking of using the project for one of their sewing classes.  Made me even more excited.  That excitement helped when I needed to cut 192 squares.

Since the time change has Henry falling asleep by 8:00 at the latest, I decided to getting my cutting done while he slept.

Cutting stuff out for a project is my least favorite part. But it is DONE and waiting for naps during the weekend so I can get sewing.

3.  While we watched the Oregon Ducks get beat against Standford (GO BEAVERS!), Henry decided he needed to wear Daddy's hat.

All the pictures are blurry because somebody wouldn't hold still, but I can't handle the cuteness.

It is rare that Phil doesn't have a hat on.  I think Henry might be a hat guy as well.

4.  The dogs have had a Freaky Friday body exchange or something.  Cotton used to be the naughty/annoying dog.  Now Taylor has taken his place.  I find myself turning to scold Taylor and the words, "NO COTTON!" come out.  For once, it isn't Cotton's fault.  Weird.

5.  Henry still comes with me to work one day a week.  This will be the case for at least a couple more months.  Not sure how long exactly.  It depends partially on when a spot opens up for the 4th day at his daycare.  For the time being, this is my view:

Can't say that I hate it.  :)

6.  Here's an extra one for you.  Someone found my blog this week with the search words of "knock the bitch up".  Awesome.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Skipping Thanksgiving

Things have been really hard around here.

We are into November now.  Phil is home (YAY!) but with being home comes a big dose of reality.  We don't know when his dad will pass away, although we think it will be sooner rather than later.  Phil's feeling stressed about his dissertation.  Can't say that I blame him.

The change in time and change in the weather has made it darker, colder, and gloomier around here.  It takes me back to a couple of years ago, when we were trying to get my thyroid nodules figured out.  The phone call at 4:55 to come to the doctor's office.  The LONGEST 5 minute drive with my dad, in the dark, while it rained.  And all that followed.  Even though things turned out alright, the fear still feels real and current.

So many hard things coming up and hard memories from the past, all at the same time.

It is making being thankful at Thanksgiving seem like an impossible challenge.

A combination of everything kind of makes me want to just skip Thanksgiving.  Can we start focusing on Christmas?  I want to decorate.  Christmas lights.  A Christmas tree.  Cider.  Presents.  Scented candles.

My baby's 1st Christmas.  I want to just bask in that.

But I think Phil might not go for it.  Doesn't mean I can't start preparing.  Part of the preparations includes STOCKINGS.  Henry needs a Christmas stocking.  A proper one, with his name.  I'm thinking something like this:

Even though he won't remember this Christmas at all, it is time to start the Christmas traditions.  And when the dark, cold nights start to make me remember scary times from the past or sad times yet to come, I will try to remember that this is Henry's 1st holiday season.  And I am grateful and excited for that.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Because I am a shameless parent who thinks their child is a genius and is the cutest baby in the whole wide world (not at ALL bias), I entered Henry in the Gerber Baby Photo Contest.

You can vote for Henry HERE.  His entry ID is 255674.  Or you can look him up under his name (Henry) and the state that we live in (OR).  Or you can look him up under my name (Natalie) and the state was live in (OR).  You can vote once a day, every day until December 4th.  And i would encourage you to do so.  Because look at this face:

How could you not vote for that?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

We survived

Phil came home on Sunday.  He was gone 10 days.

Henry and I survived.  So did the dogs.  Although we did have a couple of rough moments.  Like Saturday morning.  Henry woke up at 5:20 am.  I got him back to sleep and in bed by 5:40.  When I put him in his crib, he woke up and then I realized he needed his diaper (and jammies) changed.  So I changed them and by this point, he was AWAKE.  So I started rocking him to get him to go back asleep.  At 6:00, Phil's alarm starts doing off (cause he accidentally left it on when he left).  So I put Henry in his crib and went to turn off the alarm.  At this point, Henry is starting to put himself back to sleep so I got back into bed thinking I could get a little more sleep.

And that's when it happened.  I took a couple of sniffs.

Dog poop.

Cotton had pooped in his bed.

By the time I got everything cleaned up, I had to light candles in my room to get rid of the smell.  I couldn't fall back asleep with candles burning, so I folded laundry.  And never got to go back to sleep.

The next morning, Cotton threw-up.  Twice.  Because he couldn't get to one of his toys.

So like I said... we survived.  All four of us.  But I was extremely glad to have Phil home.  Apparently Cotton requires about as much attention as Henry.

Part of what happened while Phil was gone... Halloween.

In case every other blogger didn't let you know.

 My brother, sister-in-law, and nephews let Henry go trick or treating with them.  So that's what we did.

And we are SO GLAD Daddy is home.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Livers are Important... Another Update

Do you ever just not know how to start telling a story?  That's where I am with this post.  There are all the vague things that I could use like "Life is crazy" or "So much has happened" but that just doesn't seem to do justice to what has happened in that last week.  I guess I will just start.

There are so many details, it is almost hard to know where to start and what to share.  For the sake of respecting my in-laws and their privacy, I guess I will just give the gist.

Here we go...

Last Tuesday, Phil's dad went back to the hospital.  He has drains that help drain his liver and after the tube change, he developed another blood infection.  This is at least the 3rd one he has had since July.  But things were looking really bad this time.

At one point last week, they thought his kidneys might be failing.  He had a seizure.  His sodium levels were dangerously low.  He was sleeping all the time and seemed confused when he was awake.  They even had to intubate him at one point.  And the only way to treat this infection was to put in more drains.  His dad had very clearly said NO to more tubes.  They were afraid to let him go home because they thought it would kill him.  It looked like it was a matter of days before he would pass away.

With that in mind, Phil left for Virginia last Friday.  We bought him a one-way ticket because we didn't know how long he would need to be back there.  But we knew he needed to be there.  Henry and I stayed behind, thinking we would be following in a couple of days to go back for the funeral.

But his dad started doing better.  They had given him some IV antibiotics which he responded well to.  At this point, they started talking Hospice again.  In the past his dad wouldn't even entertain the idea of Hospice.  This time he listened.  By some small miracle, he agreed to Hospice earlier this week.

Now they are preparing to send his dad home.  All the durable goods (like a hospital bed) are being delivered Thursday morning and his dad should come home, which is what he wants.  

The nurses and doctors have told Phil they think he has a matter of week(s) to maybe a month, assuming the infection doesn't come back.  Nobody knows if/when the infection will come back, since Hospice doesn't do antibiotics.  Phil is staying a little while longer to make sure his dad gets settled and his mom has what she needs.  But I think he will come home in a couple of days, baring his dad taking a quick turn for the worst.

One of the biggest challenges during this time has been deciding what Phil should do.  Where he should be.  Last week, it was a matter of deciding when he should go back there.  Now that he is there, when does he come home?  I know he wants to be there with his dad and mom and I can't blame him.  But I know he misses Henry and I (probably Henry most) at the same time.

I'm a little afraid Phil will come home and his dad's infection will come right back.  At the same time, Phil can't be gone for a month.

Losing a parent really hard and I think it is even harder for Phil since he is so far away.

So that's what is happening at the moment.  At least on the east coast.  

Ed was diagnosed with Liver Cancer in August of 2010.  They gave him 6 months to live, maybe 12 months at that time.  He has made it over 3 years.  It's been a long, hard fight and it looks like we are facing the end of it.  Please pray for Phil and his family as they go through this crazy difficult time.

Midnight Shopping

It's been a long week... and it's only Wednesday.

The other night, Henry woke up at 11:30 for his first of what would be 3 night wakings.  I nursed him in a daze and put him back in his crib.  After I put him down, he started to stir again.  Rather than rush in there and pick him up, I stayed in bed.  I am trying to give him the opportunity to put himself to sleep.  I know it will help me in the long run.  However, it meant I couldn't just fall back asleep, since his half-asleep pseudo-cries were coming through the baby monitor loud and clear.

So what was I to do to keep myself awake?

Online shopping, of course.

After all, we needed more size 2 nipples for Henry's bottles.

And I had accidentally melted the piece that connects his pacifier to the string.

So off to the Amazon app I went.

I tracked down my items, added them to my cart, went to check out only to find out that they were "add on" items.  I needed to spend at least $25 for these items to ship.

So I thought to myself, "What do I need that I could get from Amazon?"  I didn't want to waste money.  I didn't want to get junk.  And I have to be able to ship it with PRIME.  And I drew a blank.

Somehow, I managed to fill my cart for a total of $30.  I checked out and will have my items by tomorrow sometime.

The only problem?  The next morning, I had NO IDEA what I had ordered.  Thankfully, I got my confirmation e-mail when everything shipped.  So what did I purchase?

The pacifier nipples

The pacifier clips (those things always disappear when we are trying to run out the door)

This pop-up toy (Christmas present)

A loofa

And some soft blocks

Can we say random?

No more midnight shopping.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dang teeth

Oh teething...

{Do you think he might be teething?}

My new arch-nemesis.

And I'm pretty sure it is Henry's biggest current enemy as well.  It's either that or having to wait 3 seconds for food.

I'm not sure why God made teething so terrible for babies.  If I had a guess, it is probably Eve's fault.  Since teething also makes Henry need to nurse every hour or so, I'm sure it is a part of Eve's punishment.  I'm still mad at her for contractions.

Poor little guy is having a hard time sleeping.  And since he can't sleep, he's fussy.  Lack of sleep and fussy baby... oh man I'm tired.

Like so tired I'm angry about it.

I know teething is temporary.  And my sweet sister-in-law said with her boys, teething got easier with each tooth.  Oh please let that be the case.  I am keeping my fingers crossed every day when I pick him up from daycare that I will see a little pearly white sticking through those puffy gums.

Until then, we will have frozen wash clothes, teething tablets, lots of bibs for a champion drooler, baby Tylenol, and a constant tongue sticking out.

{His bib says "Who Needs Sleep?".  Answer: I DO!}

And I'll be rotating between drinking coffee and wine.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Oops... Did I say that?

I don't know about anyone else, but when I am tired, it definitely affects my communication.

I get tongue-tied.

I lose my filter.

When typing, words come out spelled at crazy ways.  Or sometimes in the wrong order.

Since Henry's teeth are greatly affecting the quality of my sleep, I am even more afraid that I may make a communication blunder while at work.

Here are a few things I am afraid may happen:

1.  I desperately afraid I will accidentally tell someone "I love you" when leaving a message or getting off the phone.  While this might be forgiveable if a woman were on the other end of the line (women tend to be more understanding of mommy-hood sleep deprivation), I usually only speak with men.  It could make for some awkward meetings if I have told everyone in the room I love them before I get off the phone.

2.  Public... without the "l".  Not sure that one needs much explanation.

3.  In my engineering reports, I have to report some things in units of time i.e. feet per second.  But it is common to eventually abbreviate seconds to "sec".  The "x" is really close.  I'm a little afraid I will start reporting flowrate in terms of cubic feet per sex.

I think I will have to start searching my documents for inappropriate words before I print and send them in.  Nothing says professional like sexual references, amiright?

When it comes to being overly verbally affectionate, I know it is just a matter of time.  Seriously.

Until then...

Love you.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Did I have Cancer?

Before I knew I had Cancer, I purchased an Aflac Cancer Policy through the office.  My thinking was this:  if I have it, I won't need it.  Murphy's Law and all that.  And since I have had cancer, I have put off actually filling out the paperwork for the claims.  I don't know why.  I guess I am afraid they will deny my claim (I had a bad experience with some travel insurance).

I finally decided I need to fill out the paperwork and file the claim.  In doing so, I needed to make sure I had certain dates right for the forms.  So I went back through my calendar to double check and it was the strangest thing...  To think back about everything that was going on.  And I still remember how scared and anxious I was the whole time.

I can remember camping with my family, feel of anxiety about meeting with the endocrinologist the next day.  I remember travelling to Virginia to see Phil's old roommates, taking Synthroid in hopes my nodules would shrink.  I remember the half-marathon Phil and I ran, hoping that we would be finding out the next week that my nodules had shrank and therefore I wouldn't have cancer.  I remember the complete and total frustration when my endocrinologist cancelled my biopsy an hour before it was supposed to happen and the extreme anger I felt with it took 3 more attempts before she would actually perform the procedure.  I remember the way my heart sank when her nurse called me, asking me to come in and discuss my biopsy results with the doctor.  And how the 5 minute drive from my office to her office seemed to take forever.  I remember sending text messages to Joanna and my brother because I couldn't think about calling them and getting the words out.  I remember going to my parents house, having Phil meet me there.  I walked in and didn't get any words out, just tears, and my mom started crying too.

Having a baby, which was the only thing I wanted, was on hold for who knows how long.

And now I get to sit and hold and feed and cuddle with my little boy.  I take my thyroid pill every day.  And I see my endocrinologist every once in a while.  I find myself running my hand across my scar almost daily.  But I am still overwhelmed by the fact that I actually had cancer.

Just the other day, I turned to Phil and said, "Can you believe I had Cancer?!?"  It just doesn't seem like something that happens to seemingly healthy people in their mid-20's.  But I did.  And I still remember how terrifying the experience was.

The truth is, having cancer has changed me.  It made me more empathetic for other people and families going through their own Cancer battle.  It made me more aware of the people and the hurt around me.  And it made me more grateful for my health and the health of those I care about.

And it has made me a thousand times more grateful for this guy:

Henry, I didn't know if I would ever get to meet you.  I thank God everyday that I get to be your mommy.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Hank the Tank


I kind of always knew Henry would be a giant baby.

I have 4 nephews and while I can't remember if Daniel was a big infant or not (because I was 13 when he was born), I do have a very CLEAR memory of the other three and none of them were what you would consider "petite".  I guess that's just not how we grow them in our family.

Or maybe it was the radioactive iodine.  Let's not forget how the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were created, ok?

Anyway... You know you have a bigger baby when the nurse says upon walking into the exam room, "He does NOT look like a 4 month baby."  He is sticking with his trend of being a big guy.

4 Month Stats

Length: 26.5 inches  (93rd percentile)
Weight:  18 lbs (90th percentile)

Perfectly in giant proportion.

Perhaps I should be bottling and donating my breastmilk to NICUs or something.  I promise I do not take steroids.

His 3 month pants that I have been shoving him into have basically become capris, so Phil and I decided we should be putting him in bigger pants.  While I have a boatload of bigger onesies, I had like 2 pairs of bigger pants.  How is that even possible?  I don't know.

So I went on the Carter's website and looked in the size chart.  According to their clothing, he should be in 9 month clothing.


And I've been forcing him to wear 3 month clothing.  Mother of the year.

Not to mention that the cloth diapers kind of make you have to use even bigger pants.

Needless to say, we headed up the Carter's store Friday night and bought our Hank the Tank some 9 month clothing.  And 12 month because at the rate this kid is going, we will be there before you know it.  His 3 month clothing has been retired.  :(

During the process of swapping his clothes, I realized I have a bunch of 6 month onesies that technically he is too big for that he has never worn.  So basically for the next 2 weeks, he will be in slightly too small onesies and appropriately sized pants.  He needs to get through at least each onesie once.

{He has his first cold, but still manages to smile}

We have had several realizations since discovering how much Henry really weighs:

1.  He probably shouldn't be wearing size 2 diapers anymore (we use them at night).  It's no wonder he has woken up with a few leaks.  And on the cloth diaper front, we can probably undo the first set of snaps.

2.  We have a hard time getting him into the Bumbo.  But that makes sense because 9 month olds typically don't need the Bumbo.  They can sit up by themselves.

3.  He is probably going to outgrow the carseat sooner than we would have liked.  And we are thankful we bought the giant carrier that we did.  It should get us a couple more months.

4.  I should probably start saving up now for how much food he will consume as a teenager.
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