Sunday, December 31, 2006

Saturday, December 30, 2006


When I lost my son to shoulder dystocia back in 2002, I thought I had it the worst of any person the planet. The pain was unbearable and I had doctors and nurses blaming me. Every day was such a tremendous struggle. My dad reminded me it could be much worse, I could have no husband or be a teenager with no support and a dead baby. Now, I know of 3 more women who are suffering the same nightmare & for them it is so much worse. One blames the doctor and is dealing with a major complication of her own health related to the birth. One has a mean husband who is blaming her for the birth. One is very young and has no idea of what happened to her and thinks it might not happen again.

I am very lucky to have a husband who knew it was a complication that wasn`t caused by me or anyone. I had a very skilled practioner who I do not blame at all, she knew exactly what to do and what order to do it in. I have a family who believes in me and knows loss too (my sister died when she was the same age as my son.) It could be so much worse, but I really miss my little boy at Christmas and it really never gets all that much easier.

Since Teeny was born I`ve lost 43 pounds. Too bad I gained more than 60, I don`t know how much but I stopped looking after 60 lbs. If only I did pregnancy in a smaller way I`d be looking pretty svelte right now.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Teeny asleep and a happy Christmas creature. We had the classic Latino Christmas Eve celebration with husband`s fam and then up early to see what Santa left & then over to my parents` for the classic Gringo Christmas day family freak out. It was awesome.

You know, I`d love to write more and be really witty and fun, but my brainpower is really lacking. I think there`s an intense postpartum period for like 6 months where its all about survival, baby and mama. My brain and deep thoughts are gone for awhile as I make milk and chase the boys around. Its not PPD, in fact I feel blissful everytime I look at the baby, its just that I do what I can and I don`t do a lot extra. I go to bed tired every night, the good tired I had when I was a mover in college.

Merry Christmas

It was so hectic, so fun. I wish we
could do it all over again.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Monday, December 18, 2006

"I'm still nursing," she says, "and I think it gives you superhuman powers."

Quote of the day by cool mama Gwen Stefani.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


We`ve all been sick and lucky me, I was the sickest. This is how I`ve spent most of my time in bed, cuddling with my little cuddle bunny. It could definitely be worse, (but let`s not try for that, Ok God?:)
There is so much Christmasy stuff to do and parties to go too, Yay!! Now, I`m trying to be well and get it all done.

Friday, December 01, 2006

We`re not spending any $ this week, so I`ve been cleaning, sometimes with Teeny strapped on. Here`s baby & mama, here`s a happy Creature in the living room & a cleaned up basement. I`m scared to have a cocktail hour because my basement is always the first casualty & then the boys rooms get trashed.

I`m also struggling this week with the decision of how to educate my oldest. Should he be homeschooled or do I continue to keep him in his public school up the street? Do I try private school or maybe the school my mom teaches at? It is such a tough one, he is starting to hate school , the one size fits all teaching style is not interesting him at all & yet he loves to learn.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

We went to cool Uncle Mike`s town in Pa and spent the day with him last Sunday. 2 meals, a visit to his apt, an awesome ride on a steam engine thru the countryside, a state park and a tour of his TV was a packed day! And the boys loved it, only one mood swing. Here`s a 6 year old pretending to be a sports anchor like his uncle & a Creature at the state park.

Erika, the baby pic is for you. :)thanks for the shirt.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


An ad in American Baby magazine.
Finally a mainstream magazine with an anti-circumcision ad.
If only every expecting couple would educate themselves fully on this subject, the risks are so much higher than any "risk" of being left the way God created. Seeing one done, learning about the history of circ in this country, would lead to routine non-religious circumcision going away forever, like it has in every other "civilized" country.
-The rates are dropping every day so there is no more locker room issue.
-The new circs are done differently to save more nerve endings, they don`t even "look like daddy" anymore.
-in the beginning of this century, both female and male circumcision were done rountinely in this country, only one caught on. If they had both caught on, we`d be carving up girls too. Lucky for us, we`re safe here.
-Every 10 years a new reason to do it is given and it is shot down every time. I wonder what excuse will be next?

p.s. because I can`t resist--circumcision totally violates the Hippocratic oath of First do No Harm. And altering a person permanently without asking them first, pretty harsh.

Monday, November 13, 2006


My little baptized cutie and his big baptism with 4 other babies.


Early this morning I dreamed I had a job in New York that I had to fly to once a month. Each time I got on the plane I worried that it would crash so I had the same ritual, saying a prayer right when I got on and staying pretty calm once we were flying.

It was time for me to go back and I had to get on the plane, but this time I was reading a book instead of saying my prayer. My book was actually religious and I remember in my dream feeling awkward about openly reading such a religious book, but it was really good, so I was reading as the plane took off. The pilot was talking, the plane was a small commuter plane & we were flying low. I looked up from my book and saw that we were really really low right over the Potomac. Then the plane just slipped into the river. I saw the water rising over the windows and I couldn`t believe it actually happened, my greatest fear. For a second I looked down at my book. Then it hit me that I had a very limited number of breaths and I was alone. Because dreams are so random, now my section of the plane was like a fighter jet. It was just me, in a bubble of glass, praying that somebody would notice as I slid further underwater. It was sunny and there were leaves all over the water.

I woke up right then and I couldn't catch my breath for the longest time.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


A happy guy and a beautiful fall day in my neighborhood. That was last week. This week has been a real challenge. more later...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

2 ghosts & an adorable baby bat

Ghost costumes made by their dad, who obviously belongs on Project Runway with his mad skillz. Halloween was awesome, especially for the Creature---old enough now to really enjoy it.

It took me 2 babies to do it, but I finally figured out my didymos sling!!

I`m so proud of myself!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Finally, back to wineries!

We had a great day yesterday where everybody was well rested, husband wasn`t working nights, I felt good, baby wasn`t too little and we went back out to the country and explored 2 new wineries. The second one had a 200 year old manor house and it just opened last month. They celebrated Halloween by dressing up all the employees. One was the Grim Reaper, to the delight of my 2 morbid sons. As you can see somebody was thrilled to get his Grim Reaper photo op. Some kids like to have a pic taken with Mickey Mouse, my 6 year old likes darker characters, ha ha.

OK. Blogger is being a butt right now & won`t let me post pictures. I`ll try again tomorrow...

Monday, October 23, 2006

We survived the wedding!

The couple was beautiful, gracious and overjoyed to be marrying each other. It was an impeccable October afternoon, really flawless. My darling husband was a groomsman, so I sat alone in the outdoor ceremony with my 3 boys.

One nursed, spilling milk all over me, one ran away in the direction of the Potomac, the other one followed. It was an advertisement for not bringing kidz to weddings. As soon as I got inside and had my whiskey & ginger ale, things were looking up. It turned out to be a great party, for everybody. They even had goody bags for the children. The dancing was great, all the folks there were friendly.
Here`s a glimpse of the perfect day from where we were sitting in the ceremony

how else would I spend most of my time that evening?

father & son

Little dumpling had a new mommy most of the night. The groom`s sister was loving him.

Friday, October 20, 2006


What I`ve been up to this week; showing a good friend how to wear her baby (I never wanted to put her down!) and walking in the woods as much as possible before October gets away.

Mini muffin

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Grateful for even the down & up days

My nightgown was covered in baby poop down the front, upchucked milk soaked the back & I wasn`t even out of bed yet this morning. Then I see myself in the mirror, I have blood red eyes from a raging sinus infection. When I finally get it together to go to the doctor, the van`s battery was dead. After a jump start I get there and wait forever, I lay fully down and shut my eyes on the exam table with the baby strapped on and my 3 year old sitting sweetly beside me ( for once!!)I get my prescription, lunch, deal with a massive tantrum and then at 3 pm I am again graced with baby poop on one side, vomit on the other.
But ...I got my first authentic smiles from my littlest boy!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

More Pumpkin Patchness


A beautiful Sunday afternoon with the Creature`s godfather in a low-key, cheaper pumpkin patch. It was very basic but absolutely perfect for the kids. Not crowded and very friendly, with animals, treehouse, swings and slides. The only thing I`d add would be wine!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

See this look? This is the Creature in top form. Refusing to stay clothed, wrapping himself in cloth & telling everyone he`s a ghost. Then he gets his eyebrows to stay like this and he doesn`t listen to anyone until his eyebrows straighten out again. He is a challenge! I started this blog to remind myself of all the fun I could have as a stay at home mama and I try to keep it positive, but its Wild America right now with messy floors and constantly nursing little Teeny. Add to that my dear husband working nights & sleeping all day, its just me alone in boyland. My favorite month of October is not going to be quite as rockin' this year.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

If you don`t love the gruesome details of surgery as much as I do, then don`t read this...

This is the best picture I could take of my haircut and I felt like a loser as I tried to get a good one. I really should be doing laundry right now!

Anyway, I loved the article in the New Yorker about "How Childbirth Went Industrial". Dr. Gawande is a great writer and the kind of surgeon who really thinks about all aspects of medicine. Its a fascinating and scary history of modern birth. As a former homebirther turned surgical birther I can truly see all sides of the issue. Here`s a link that you have to paste yourself since I can`t get blogger to get it to work:

I`m pasting the description of the C/s birth because as much as it is not the best situation to have a surgical birth, it is still a birth & still very amazing.

"The Cesarean section is among the strangest operations I have seen. It is also one of the most straightforward. You press a No. 10 blade down through the flesh, along a side-to-side line low on the bulging abdomen. You divide the skin and golden fat with clean, broad strokes. Using a white gauze pad, you stanch the bleeding points, which appear like red blossoms. You slice through the fascia covering the abdominal muscle, a husk-like fibrous sheath, and lift it to reveal the beefy red muscle underneath. The rectus abdominis muscle lies in two vertical belts that you part in the middle like a curtain, metal retractors pulling left and right. You cut through the peritoneum, a thin, almost translucent membrane. Now the uterus—plum-colored, thick, and muscular—gapes into view. You make a small initial opening in the uterus with the scalpel, and then you switch to bandage scissors to open it more swiftly and easily. It’s as if you were cutting open a tough, leathery fruit.

Then comes what still seems surreal to me. You reach in, and, instead of finding a tumor or some other abnormality, as surgeons usually do when we go into someone’s belly, you find five tiny wiggling toes, a knee, a whole leg. And suddenly you realize that you have a new human being struggling in your hands. You almost forget the mother on the table. The infant can sometimes be hard to get out. If the head is deep in the birth canal, you have to grasp the baby’s waist, stand up straight, and pull. Sometimes you have to have someone push on the baby’s head from below. Then the umbilical cord is cut. The baby is swaddled. The nurse records the Apgar score.

After the next uterine contraction, you deliver the placenta through the wound. With a fresh gauze pad, you wipe the inside of the mother’s uterus clean of clots and debris. You sew it closed with two baseball-stitched layers of stout absorbable suture. You sew the muscle fascia back together with another suture, then sew the skin. And you are done."

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Ahhh, a few minutes to myself as the 3 boyz sleep. I cut the heck out of my hair yesterday and I`m not sure about it. Here I am with my same old long stringy style I`ve had since high school. Tomorrow I`ll post a photo of my fierce new shorter do, except it looks nerdy to me. I don`t feel good unless my hair is long, and then it always looks too long & messy.

So,I`m using my time wisely, first I cleaned the kitchen & got the schoolboy`s gear in order. Then I sat down at the computer with a glass of wine and ordered cloth diaper stuff. Then I read almost the entire blog of a woman who lost a baby to a cord accident. The baby was a beautiful girl and I feel so much for her mother right now.
I can read that utterly painful blog and see where I`ve been, in the darkest part of grief, and then I see where I am now, in a wholly different place. Its very weird to think I could ever feel almost normal again. The loss is still permanent and I still sometimes think Alistair is here and then I remember he`s not. Although I`m changed, I can have fun and stay in the moment. Alistair really taught me a lot about staying in the present moment. What`s really weird is that Joaquin looks exactly like Alistair when he`s asleep. They have almost the same face, but I`m glad about it.

Friday, September 29, 2006

I`d love to have something to say right now, but its all a blur. Little teeny is 5 weeks, almost 6, and time is flying by.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The littlest boy

About Me

My photo
I'm just a mom in the world. A crunchy Catholic mama of 6 trying to make sense of it all and stay positive. 5 boys here & 1 in heaven. One awesome man who I get to grow old with. I help new moms breastfeed. I`m happy. I don`t go to shows or dance clubs every night but I would if I could. Where`s the nanny? When I see her she`s SO fired! One of my boys is super sweet and sensitive, another one is a holy terror. I learn a ton from all of them daily. Like Nigella says, as any parent of small children knows,there comes a point in the day where you can`t go any further without a drink! I love cocktail hour. I`d like nothing more than to be with my family and some good friends surrounded by tropical plants drinking a margarita listening to the Eagles. I don`t care about trendy, I like that grungy 70`s vibe.