Friday, November 25, 2011

Everybody calls the baby Bubble now, Ramsay named him that.
Bubble's fat tummy is the joy of my life. He is such a chubs & so cuddly.
All of my boys loving the same music & dancing around my kitchen is what I love.
So much fun to be with them in the mornings.
I love waking up to sweet fat cheeks in the morning!
As I deal with a tight budget at Christmas, its OK, the real riches are here at home.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Right at this moment I am blessed beyond belief. I have a mother's helper who is holding my baby on the playground & watching my toddler as I steal a minute away from laundry to write this!! I have been taking walks every morning after dropping the Middles off at the bus stop and have 30 lbs left to lose, hahaha. Its all complicated and its all easy, we have love, a roof & most of the time, the gift of patience.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sep 11. 10 years later

I heard the plane screaming down Columbia Pike, going towards the Pentagon. I sat right up in bed, " was that a fighter jet? It was SO LOUD!" Then we heard it crash.
I was reminded of the scene in La Bamba when the plane crashed on the playground, except we didn't see it, but we just knew we had heard a plane crash, a big plane. It was the loudest thing I have ever heard & then silence.

Larry & I looked at each other & said nothing for a minute. I was nursing 18 month old Jakob and pregnant with his brother Alistair. We had been enjoying a rare moment of the three of us sleeping in and lazing around in bed. We had one of those old fashioned answering machines where you could hear people leaving messages. My friend Tamela called & said " The World Trade Center was hit by 2 planes!!" Call me!!" My Dad called next, "There is some kind of terrorist attack, are you guys OK? The Pentagon just got hit!!"

Larry didn't have to work until 3 that day so we were trying to sleep in, plus I still had bad morning sickness. We stumbled out of bed to have all of it sink in at once, all 3 buildings hit & a plane still in the air! Where was that plane? Was it headed to DC? Would it be shot down now, over us? We were only a mile from the Pentagon.

I couldn't get my head around all of the death. People got up and went to work on a beautiful day and died in their offices with no warning. Some people jumped and none of us who saw the jumpers will ever be able to shake that image of the ultimate act of desperation. Unbelievable. I just don't have words for the horror of that day.

I went outside with my Jakob. We saw the smoke at the end of the street. All of my neighbors were outside of their apartments and everyone was talking & nervous. We actually didn't know what to say to each other, we were just shocked. Everything looked different.

I went back inside and took a shower and looked out the window at the most beautiful blue sky, my mom & I still think of it as sept 11 blue when we see super blue skies. I saw fighter jets flying by & I still had no idea where the 4th plane was, I was so scared. I wondered what kind of world my son would be living in now? What would be different in 7 months when my second son was born?

Larry came in & told me he was going to go to work later. Who goes to work on a day like this? I remember thinking. It was so scary being home alone, but I knew as the day went on that no more planes were in the air. The plane coming down in Pennsylvania was just overwhelming to me, I was just stunned that this was actually real.

Every single restaurant was closed and I was so nauseous, I could only eat a few things. I did what I did almost every night when I was on my own, without Larry. I grabbed my toddlers hand and took him for a walk. I sat and watched him play on the playground in my complex, I watched him chatter with new friends and I saw the painfully blue sky finally turn black. If I wasn't pregnant I probably would have brought a beer outside and drank it on the playground on that sad night.

Seven months later, the world felt safer than I thought it would when I tried to picture the future, back on Sept 11, 2001. But then it all went dark again.
My newborn son, Alistair was born very sick after a very hard labor. And then he died. He was 7 weeks old when he died in the summer of 2002. It seemed like every single day that I visited him in the hospital during his short life I had to walk through the same bright sunshine, the same blue blue sky as Sept 11. Everything in my life up until then had pretty much worked out fine for me. Now I felt you couldn't trust any moment not to change everything for the worse. It was June 11 when we found out that for sure, Alistair wouldn't stay.

When I think of Sept 11, I think of being a new mother, being pregnant with my second baby & still learning about my first baby. Now, the first baby is huge and the second baby is gone. My tragedy in my mind always connected to that terrible year. I have had 4 more babies since then. I am not a sentimental person, but when its that same day and it even looks the same, I remember the sadness I felt about all of the tragedies endured by so many families that day and then, having no idea that my own tragedy was about to unfold. Every one of us who was alive then has strong memories of Sept 11, these are mine.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

I can't believe my Joaquin just started kindergarten this week! He was such a sweet baby just the other day & now he rides the bus & goes to school with his older brother. Its really cool when they both come home at the end of the day together. I love hearing about their days at school.

I meant to write about our summer, but it was too busy to stop & write! I am in an action mode, not a reflection mode. But..we had a great time at the lake this year & here is a photo that shows how sweet our house is, its right on the lake & so relaxing! Its just not completely relaxing because there are lots of kids to keep track of. Considering though, that a year ago at the lake I worried a lot about the baby I was pregnant with after contracting 5th disease, it was really amazing to have him here & healthy. And my nephew, the handsome little Max, whose mom also had 5th's is also here & healthy...2 good reasons to really celebrate.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

One of my kids (guess who) had been expected to attend summer school because he has academic needs & is not at grade he is quirky as hell. Does whatever he wants to do! So, they recommended at his current elementary school that he attend an extended school year (free) summer school. I took him on the first day, walked him to his teacher, got attitude the whole way for doing that & he still smiled and hugged me good bye. He was ready for anything & he was open to it. When I picked him up he was upset, two teachers were manhandling him for leaving the line and looking for my car. I didn't like what I heard the more I asked him about it. I didn't like the atmosphere, it just seemed like babysitting a lot of kids with IEP's so I never brought him back. He does have to work with us to catch up, but no more summer school! I love when I find I still have the strength to protect my son from situations that would just kill his spirit. I'm sure many other parents will find the program wonderful & their kids will probably thrive there, but that was not the place for us!!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

I have had some fantastic summers as a stay at home mom, filled with sunshine, meeting friends at the pool, dinners al fresco & all that jazz :) We have also had some hellish summers, most notably 2002 & 2008. In 2008 all of the kids had whooping cough & I had a kidney stone drama that lasted from June through December. The only good thing about that summer was the unexpected addition of Ramsay to the family. Otherwise I can't think of a single good memory! So...this summer I am aiming high, to have adventures in ordinary places & give my boys lots of good memories. One of them wants to pray the rosary every day, another one wants to be read to; books about the Founding fathers are his favorite. The other 3 are content to just see neighborhood kids & play outside. The littlest just wants to nurse & cuddle.

This Friday I have my first lithotripsy procedure where I will have a few bigger (but still small, thankfully! blasted & I am nervous but very excited. If it goes well, I will be living in significantly less fear than usual! If it really does go well, I will throw a party! I will try to document as many days of fun & not so fun outings as I can!

Fun times at Burke Lake

The kids rode the little train through the woods, my awesome mom was there & so were our cousins. It was actually one of our more successful outings but you wouldn't think so from these pictures. I even handled a complicated cell phone number porting drama while pacing the forest floor & keeping toddler Ram in line!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

My 2 oldest started aikido this week. It was cool to sign them up for something they could do together, but at their own pace. One of the boys, the one formerly known as The Creature!, got way more attention from the teacher than the other one.

On the wall were lots of articles about aikido & one had a great lesson in it about the importance of not being a planner, or getting too attached to our plans. We are much more likely to see ourselves as failures or to spend energy blaming others for thwarting our plans when they go awry. Instead, if we just appreciate where we are & the lessons in it , it benefits our development much more than a plan working out the way we wanted it to. This can be applied to daily life with a new baby (or any age kid!), birth not ending up how we wanted it to, a vacation from hell etc. etc, anything that didn't work out how we hoped it would. When the kids are in class I am going to keep studying the articles. So far I like the whole approach of aikido & I hope the boys like it.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

I had another kidney stone drama. 3 days (non-consecutive) in the hospital. Its a weird & creepy health problem to have, but there are worse things. The sad truth is I still have a bunch in the kidneys, but this time I have decent doctors, who are smart & know women & kidney stones too, awesome! As their patient I will never have to wait & explain my history, I just get sent straight to dilaudid land where I will live until its out.

Dilaudid is the drug in the movie drugstore cowboy, that Matt Dillon's character & his wife robbed drugstores for, its 50 x stronger than morphine. It is really a nightmare the week after, especially if you've had the misfortune of spending days on IV dilaudid. The next few days are really bad. At first you are elated that the stone is out, then everything seems vaguely challenging, then it all seems impossible & your will to live is just sapped by the narcotics. Finally, you slowly re-emerge, digging deep to get your mojo back. Music helps. a loving husband & really cute kids helps too. Man drugs suck, but its a necessary evil. I did avoid surgery & for that I'm super thankful, and I did every urine/blood test I was asked to do, so now I wait & see why I have this problem & get ready to end this process!
A powerful blog post on why routine circumcision of newborn boys defies all logic.

Monday, May 02, 2011

I used to wish I had an easier life, but today I am grateful for every challenging minute.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

"Grief is a teacher. It tells us that we are not alone; that we are interconnected; that what connects us also breaks our hearts — which is as it should be. Most people who allow themselves to grieve fully develop an increased sense of gratitude for their own lives. That’s the alchemy: from grief to gratitude. None of us wants to go through these experiences, but they do bring us these gifts." Barbara Platek

Friday, January 28, 2011

Rafael Vicente!!

The night I wrote the last post, the 9th of Jan, I went into labor and had my little guy in the morning by C section. It was smooth & peaceful, although I didn't have the dr I planned it with, the one who delivered the last 2 babies, it was still good overall. Pics of Rafa's first days ...

Sunday, January 09, 2011

I got this quote from this blog,
"I am left with the sense that I didn't so much give birth as I did give way to birth, and I am feeling far more humbled by nature than I am empowered or heroic."

She had her baby in a little more than an hour & was shocked by the intensity. So many birth stories, esp. home births are about women feeling "empowered" by their births. I like that she admits its humbling rather than empowering every time. As someone who had a challenging birth, then a horrific birth, followed by 3 very peaceful & beautiful C sections I came to birth already empowered. I didn't expect anything fulfilling from birth, I just wanted it to go smoothly, I wanted to be heard & I wanted to be able to do it again if possible.

The whole "trust birth" movement really rubs me the wrong way. I just attended the VBAC trial of a dear friend and I felt, more than ever, that birth is really luck. If you believe in it so heavily and it goes awry, then what? Did you not trust birth enough? Trusting birth is like having a kidney stone and trusting your ureters to get the stone out without surgery. Or trusting your digestive system to always work. Birth, like everything in nature, is bigger than us & doesn't always care about us. I am completely at peace with getting my babies here anyway I can & I am humbled by meeting my newborn no matter how he got here. However it works out, I am not in control & its the only birth he'll have.

About Me

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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.