Archive for the ‘Weirdness’ Category

  • The Surprise: Part 2

    Date: 2014.11.03 | Category: Baby, Family, Health, Home, Life, Love, Mark, Me, Pregnancy, Weirdness, Whoops | Response: 3

    I wrote this post about a week after we found out we were expecting twins. I know that this post may sound a little doom and gloom, but rest assured we are very happy and excited now… nearly two months after the fact. Still though, it never hurts to keep us in your prayers. Many of these worries still plague us!


    After we learned that we were unexpectedly expecting again, Mark and I settled into a state of disbelief and shock that manifested itself in a few different ways.

    I had to start acting pregnant again for one.  After previous progesterone problems with Sarah and Norah, I immediately had to have blood work done and schedule my first appointment. And then there was that whole not drinking wine thing and heating up my lunch meat again. The blood work came back and confirmed the pregnancy and things started getting real.

    Mark and I battled with worry. How would we provide for an additional child? We needed to get bunk beds for the big girls. Norah was only ELEVEN MONTHS OLD!  How was I going to tell work after not even a year back from maternity leave?

    All these questions continued to bounce around in our heads when we went in for our first OB visit. After filling out paperwork and saying hi to all my “old friends” at the office, we went in for our first ultrasound that would both confirm the pregnancy without any doubt and give us an idea of the baby’s due date.

    As we prepared for the ultrasound, I told the tech how I had always wanted three children, but we just weren’t prepared for it to happen so soon. She stared at the screen and said, “Well, what about four?”

    My heart dropped and I started to shake. Sure enough, up on the screen were two very distinct little babies, each in their own yolk sack with little heartbeats fluttering away.

    Our first ultrasound

    I cannot adequately explain the shock that went through my body. I yelled, “Holy shit!” very loudly and I think I scared the tech, though she laughed good-naturedly.  Mark sort of half laughed and we held hands and stared as she checked each baby and explained that they were fraternal twins (not identical), which is the very best situation for twins because they each have their own nutrition sources. There was a chance, of course, that one twin could dominate and we could lose one, but they both were the exact same size and both had good heart rates and looked very healthy.

    As we left the ultrasound room, we were the last people left in the waiting room. The ladies at the front desk were joking a little about “seeing us again so soon,” when I told them about the twins. The news drew a massive crowd of nurses and workers. “How old is your baby?” “How old is your oldest?” “Oh my gosh that’s going to be a lot of work.”  I continued to shake.

    We went to see our doctor from there.

    I love our OB. She delivered both my girls and has a very good sense of humor and is very direct about everything. She has been a great fit for us and knows us very well.

    She came in, turned the lights off and in a very calm voice said, “It’s going to be ok.”

    “You say that so calmly,” I said. “That’s because I don’t have to take them home,” she said and smiled.

    She then started explaining what we are looking at as far as the pregnancy goes. We would be getting an ultrasound every doctor’s visit and going to the doctor a lot more frequently. We would be seeing a high-risk pregnancy doctor. We went over past pregnancy history and she took a big sigh of relief.

    “I know you probably don’t want to hear this right now,” she said, “But you’re the perfect candidate for twins. You are tall, which will give them more room to grow and hopefully allow you to carry them longer. You’re young, you had two healthy pregnancies before and you have a stable family environment.” She was right, of course, but I just couldn’t process it all.

    We got home and told Mark’s mom who didn’t believe us until we handed over the ultrasound picture. She picked up congratulatory dinner for us. I could barely eat a bite, but Mark managed to eat like six pieces of chicken, all the sides and two biscuits. During dinner Norah started this fake choking thing she does to get attention. It completely freaked me out. Then she started laughing at me when I panicked and I broke into a horrific sob right there at the dinner table… and then ran to the bathroom and hurled.

    The number of emotions racing through me were unbelievable. I was terrified. How in the heck were we going to pay for childcare for FOUR children? Would we need to get a bigger house? We definitely needed two bigger cars… and then two of EVERYTHING – two carseats, two cribs, two highchairs and OH MY GOSH I would have FOUR children ages four and under.  I was a shaking, rattling mess. I called my family later that evening and they were amazing. They lifted my spirits and reminded me of the awesome support network I’m surrounded by in town. My mom and my youngest sister are both teachers and don’t work during the summer and they will be ready and willing to help.

    I’m not going to lie, it took me nearly a full week to be truly happy about the news. I found myself driving Sarah to school and simultaneously freaking out and then sobbing with joy.

    Here I was, the girl who was suppose to need help to conceive children, accidentally pregnant with twins while I had a 3-year-old and 11-month-old at home. It was insanity. It was a blessing.  It was a miracle.

    I can honestly say now that Mark and I are overjoyed. Yes, we are still worried about paying for four children and providing all that they need. Yes, I am worried about their health and welfare already. But, I truly believe that after all the trouble we had conceiving Norah, that the fact that we’re having twins is no fluke. Our babies may be a surprise, but they are a gift from God and we are ready, willing and excited to take up this gift and do our absolute best.

  • Norah’s Birth Story

    Date: 2013.09.24 | Category: Baby, Family, Health, Life, Mark, Me, Norah, OMG YAY!, Weirdness | Response: 16

    Norah’s birth story actually began almost a week ago. Last Tuesday evening I was feeling bad and achy all over. There was pain and pressure in my lower abdomen, and I wasn’t sure if it was being caused by baby, or by contractions. My memory of contractions, after all, are of ones induced by Pitocin – aka contractions on steroids. These were uncomfortable, but not unbearable. I started texting and then talking on the phone to my friendly baby birthing expert Cassie. Together we decided that yes, these were indeed contractions. I waited and timed them over the course of about three hours before deciding to go to the hospital and get checked out. As these things often go, shortly after I got to the hospital, the contractions slowly tapered out until they came to a grinding halt. My cervix wasn’t progressing and it ended up being a late night for everyone involved with no baby to show for it.

    My body stayed pretty calm on Wednesday and most of Thursday. Then Thursday evening things started feeling weird again. My extremely happy mood that had lasted all day and into a cleaning spree that evening, suddenly tanked. It felt like baby had balled herself up into the bottom of my pelvis and was trying to roll herself out. A storm was rolling in that night and the moon was full. Sarah was restless too. Normally a great night sleeper, she came into our room three times that night and, for the first time ever, ended up sleeping in the bed with us cuddled up next to me.

    Friday morning, I had my regularly scheduled OB appointment. I went in and told my OB of all that had gone on that week. I told her I was “cramping” a lot. She asked me if I was sure I wasn’t having contractions. I wasn’t. She wanted to get me hooked up to a monitor and see what was going on. Before she did that though, she checked my cervix. Afterwards she looked at me and said, “We are going to have a baby today.” Sure enough, I was dilating and contracting and baby was on her way.

    Because I had to have a c-section, I left her office and went straight down to labor and delivery to get prepped while Mark went home and packed a few bags. They started the IV and did all they needed to to prep me for surgery. I waited about another hour, enough time for family to show up, then was wheeled back to the OR.

    It’s weird. I had been fretting and nervous about this c-section for 9 months, but when it came time to do it all my nerves and fear were gone. Even moving myself onto the OR table, I was ok. I attribute my unexplained calm to getting my nerves out during my test run on Tuesday night, the anointing I had at church prior to the surgery, the awesome people working at the hospital and a lot of prayer.

    To have a c-section you have to have something called a spinal block – they essentially insert a needle into your back and block off all feeling from the boobs on down. Apparently since I’m tall, I had to have a big dose. It is such a strange feeling. First my legs got super warm, then tingly and then they were nothing but dead weight. They lowered me down, raised the sheet, and then I started feeling like I couldn’t breathe and was going to puke. I let the anesthesiologist know, and then I suddenly had oxygen, anti-nausea meds in my IV and a fan on my face. Just like that I was back up and going again.

    It was a surreal experience being in the OR awake. All the doctors were talking about music and their kids. Mark walked in all suited up and ready to go and they told him that they had already started – which was news to me! I had no idea! The only thing I could feel at all was the occasional tugging up near my ribs. No pain or pressure at all.

    Turns out we were so unprepared to have this baby that both the cameras we brought had dead batteries and both our phones had been left back in the room. Our anesthesiologist, who was amazing, was razzing us about being a computer guy and a photographer and not having a functioning camera for the delivery of our own child. And then she obligingly took some photos for us with her phone.

    Norah came roaring into the world at 12:38 p.m., and I do mean roaring. That girl has got a set of pipes on her that had everyone in the room laughing. She was all wrapped up in the umbilical cord – from her neck on down to her waist. She also had a firm grip on the cord and refused to let go, much to the humor of the OB’s working on me. Her screams immediately sent me into a wave of tears and continued unbounded as they brought my girl around the curtain to meet me. She was big and healthy and beautiful.

    She weighed in at a robust 7lbs, 13 oz and was 19 inches long – nice and big for a baby born nine days before her due date!

    The doctors stitched me up and took me back to the recovery room where they finished cleaning up baby and brought her to me. One of the first things I noticed was how different she seems to look from her sister. They have common features, like their lips, but overall they look so different. The general consensus is that she looks like me, but babies change quickly and often in their first couple of months.

    We stayed in the hospital two nights, and it proved to be a much better experience overall than my first stay when I delivered Sarah. The nurses were great, the hospital wasn’t overcrowded and it was a weekend – which meant  our family members could come visit without the stress of work. Sarah got sick over the weekend, so she didn’t get to meet Sister up close until we brought her home – but that’s another story for another day. For now I’m enjoying my super laid back baby girl, Baby Norah.

    Welcome to the world my girl, we love you.

  • First Hair Cut

    Date: 2013.09.19 | Category: Family, Life, Me, Sarah, Toddler Time, Weirdness | Response: 3

    So, as I’ve mentioned before, Sarah has gotten really bad about this hair twirling thing. She twirls and twirls until the left side of her head is a giant collection of tiny little knots. One morning she managed to fashion her hair into a sort of beehive that would have put many an old lady to shame. And while I can manage to untangle some, we have had to cut equally as many out and it breaks her hair in the process.

    Needless to say the left side of her hair looks absolutely terrible. Not only is she now balding on that side, but all the hair had been trimmed or broken off, making her look lopsided.

    When Sarah’s pediatrician dropped by to check on me in the hospital last week, I asked her about it. Apparently some kids twirl to relieve anxiety or stress, which could easily be caused by the impending arrival of Sister. She said most kids grow out of it by the time they are 3 or so. Mark, however, was (and still is) a hair twirler, and it’s worse when he’s tired, just like Sarah.

    Saturday I finally had enough and texted my friend Kelly who cuts my hair. She advised me to bring Sarah in so we could trim up her hair, cutting off the thin ends and making it less likely to knot.

    So Tuesday I took Sarah to the hair salon for the first time. She wasn’t thrilled with the idea of sitting in the chair by herself, but she was willing to sit in my lap, so we went with it.

    She did a really great job and was thrilled that she got to play with Mrs. Kelly’s different colored hair brushes and clips.

    When it was all said and done, we ended up bobbing her hair so that it looks more even all around. It’s also a lot thicker now that we cut all the thin, nasty stuff off the bottom. And while I was anxious about getting it cut, I ended up really loving it. And she does too!

    Sarah got a certificate for her very first cut, complete with a lock of hair tucked in it.

    For being such a good girl I told her she could have any treat she wanted. She opted for a cupcake, so we went to Julie Anne’s Bakery and enjoyed.

    And while it totally looks like she’s taking a selfie in that last photo, she was in fact trying to poke me in the eye with a plastic fork. Kids.

    She looks like such a big girl now!

  • The Accident

    Date: 2013.09.13 | Category: Baby, Family, Health, Mark, Me, Pregnancy, Sarah, Weirdness | Response: 18

    What a wild ride the past 36 hours have been.

    Wednesday evening I was driving home from work. I made a right turn and several cars were stopped up ahead of me on the street, waiting on another car to turn. So, I came to a stop and waited as well. I sat watching the cars in front of me, waiting for them to go so I could move on. Needless to say I wasn’t watching my rear view mirror, so imagine my surprise when I was suddenly catapulted forward after being hit from behind. It was a loud hit and I felt the impact radiate through my lower back and into my very pregnant belly. I pulled over and immediately tried to squash the rising panic that was growing inside of me.

    The lady who hit me pulled over as well and immediately started apologizing, then quickly hopped back in her car and sat there. Satisfied that she couldn’t drive off  because her car was destroyed, I called the police. The whole time I kept trying to get baby to move. About that time, my coworker, who was driving on the road going the opposite direction of mine, saw me and called out to me. She came over to sit with me until Mark arrived.

    The cops showed up in the mean time and were very concerned about my pregnant state as well. The police officer convinced me to let them call EMS and get checked out. The accident happened right near a fire station, so within minutes the sirens of a fire truck and ambulance were blaring up the street. They checked out my blood pressure and pulse immediately and were concerned about my back, hip pain and lack of baby movement.

    While all this was going on, Mark showed up with Sarah in tow. Sarah was completely terrified by all the lights and noise and just wanted her mama. After talking to my OB’s office, it was agreed that I needed to be transported to my hospital’s labor and delivery unit. Cue my first ambulance ride.

    I refused to be strapped to a board (can you imagine at 9 months pregnant??) But I did get loaded up into a stretcher and hoisted into the ambulance. I was so impressed by the kindness and professionalism of the EMS staff. The guy who sat with me in the back kept me calm. On the ambulance ride I finally felt baby move and he and I both relaxed some.

    The ride was a short one, but we had to go up the busiest street of our city during rush hour. That was entertaining. I heard them radio ahead to the ER, and the ER told them to go straight to labor and delivery. Once I got to L&D, Sarah had had enough of all the hooplah and jumped out of daddy’s arms into mine and got to ride on the stretcher with me the rest of the way, clutching to me like a little spider monkey.

    They took me straight into a room and hooked me up to a baby heart beat and contraction monitor. Once I heard baby’s heartbeat, I was finally able to let the anxiety go and the emotion of everything came crashing down around me.

    Baby was ok. I was ok. It was all going to be ok.

    Sarah was fascinated by baby’s heartbeat. She asked me what the noise was. I told her it was Sister’s heartbeat and she gave my belly a big hug. The nurse was so sweet and spoke to Sarah so kindly that Sarah relaxed too.

    After talking to the OB on call, they decided to keep me overnight for observation. We got the full workup with an ultrasound and got to see baby super crammed into my body. Her head is so low now that they couldn’t see it all fully, but they registered that the placenta, lungs, heart, kidneys, etc. were all fine.

    I spent most of the time in the hospital resting and dealing with the terrible soreness that was all over my lower back and hips. They gave me a muscle relaxer, which helped for about 4 hours and let me have at least a little bit of sleep.

    While I was there my OB came and checked me out, followed shortly by Sarah’s pediatrician who happened to see my name on the chart and asked my doctor if I was ok. She came in just to visit and make sure baby and I were both ok. The nurses were amazing too, always checking on me to make sure baby and I were ok. Mark brought them a big box of donuts in thanks. He’s already wooing them for when we go back in 10 days (10 DAYS) to deliver.

    I saw my doctor this morning and everything is fine. I think we were both surprised that the whole thing didn’t throw me into labor, but there are still no labor signs. Her husband is a lawyer and made her promise to share some sound legal advice with me on how to handle the insurance companies, etc. I took note and told my husband.

    And my car? Well it doesn’t look so bad from afar, but the bumper, back part of the car, hatch door and some of the steel underneath will have to be replaced to the tune of over $5500. It’s driveable at least, which is more than I can say for the other lady’s car.

    I am so thankful that Baby and I are both ok, and I am so thankful for the EMS team, the labor and delivery nurses, my doctor, my husband, my mom and my sister (who courageously tackled Sarah’s knotted up hair on picture day while I was in the hospital). I’m so blessed to be surrounded by so many caring people.

  • All is Out of Whack

    Date: 2013.09.04 | Category: Baby, Family, Health, Home, Life, Mark, Me, Pregnancy, Sarah, Weirdness | Response: 10

    The stress of Baby R.’s impending arrival is taking a toll on the whole family.

    I’m obviously at the most uncomfortable phase of this pregnancy. I can’t breathe, bend or be on my feet for any length of time. The ligament pain has gotten more frequent and worse, and insomnia has reared its ugly head. During the night I’m wide awake and restless, wanting to get up and run around the block a few times. Last night I wanted nothing more than to get up at 3:30 a.m. and pack our bag for the hospital, but I knew that would wake my husband up. I think the next time I get that compulsion to “get up and do something,” I’m going to finish organizing the nursery. Why not, right?

    And then during the day I’m exhausted of course. I’m sure this is all nature’s way of preparing me for baby, but dang it I want a normal sleep schedule!

    My stomach is completely squished now too. I feel sort of nauseous all the time now and I’m going back to my first trimester ways of not liking food at all – something that is completely out of touch with my normal way of life.

    And to add to all these fun things, I am HOT. I knew being 9 months pregnant during the hottest part of our year was going to be hard, but I didn’t expect to feel like I heater pointed at my entire body 24/7. I would be completely happy to walk around in my underwear all the time, but that might raise some eyebrows at work. This morning I gave up, stripped down to my undies and laid under the fan only to have Sarah come in the room and say, “Mama, where are your jammies?” She was very concerned.

    As a consequence of my physical limitations, Mark has been really picking up the slack – cooking, cleaning and taking care of Sarah. My pain was so bad Saturday that I gave up, retreated to the bedroom and just let him handle it. Sarah would come in and check on me every 30 minutes or so and say, “Mama ok? Mama all better?” It broke my heart!

    Sarah’s way of dealing with all of this is to twirl her hair into terrible knots all day and night. They are so bad sometimes that we end up pulling a ton of her hair out to get them out. She is now balding on the left side of her head and it looks terrible! The hair that’s left is all broken and short. We’ve tried pulling it up and keeping it away with no luck. She’s even taken to calling herself “knot head.”  I’ve researched it and apparently it’s a relatively normal way for toddlers to express anxiety and worry – one of the leading causes of which is a baby coming.

    It’s like we’re all sitting around on a time bomb now, just waiting for it to go off.  And while we’re all ready to just have the baby already, at the same time I’m nervous about how her arrival is going to catapult us into further chaos. But hey, at least then I’ll be so tired that any desire to run blocks around the neighborhood at 3 a.m. will be long dead.

    19 days guys, 19 days.

  • Squirrel Hunting

    Date: 2013.01.16 | Category: Home, Mark, Weirdness | Response: 14

    We get like five mornings/evenings below freezing in Louisiana. Two of those have happened this past week.  One of those nights we were in our living room, when we heard an awful scratching sound coming from the top corner of the room. Mark went outside and made sure that we didn’t have a low hanging tree branch – nothing. The scratching continued and we figured a critter had taken shelter in our home. Eventually the scratching stopped though and I forgot about it… until last night.

    As Mark and I both finished with a late night of work, we crawled into bed around 11, ready to for some much needed shut eye.

    We laid down, listening to the light pattering of sleet hitting the roof, when suddenly we heard the familiar SCRATCH SCRATCH coming from the general direction of our closet. Mark and I looked at each other.

    “No way that’s a tree branch, huh?” I said.

    Mark replied, “No that’s definitely a squirrel. I hope he’s not digging his way through the sheetrock.”

    At which point I had visions of the following:

    • The squirrel bursting through the sheetrock as if propelled by a spring and landing on the bed.

    • The squirrel busting through the sheetrock and then quietly climbing up the bed and me waking up with him sitting on my chest.

    • The squirrel bursting through the sheetrock followed by a contingent of two barking dogs and two angry cats, tearing up my house and waking up Sarah.

    Our first option was to try to scare the squirrel away. This involved Mark shouting and banging on walls, Leela barking and me throwing my boots at the ceiling of my closet. All of these things stopped the noise just long enough for us to settle back in bed and hear the scratching start all over again.

    The scratching was loud though and the thought of waking up with that critter on my chest was enough to entice us to take the next step.

    Mark has been working on replacing the eves of our house, so there is an open spot by our fireplace. We can see it from our backdoor, so he stationed me there with a flashlight to watch while he crawled into the attic in an attempt to flush the squirrel out.

    Now, I could see the spot by the fireplace from inside the house, but it was killing my back to look at that angle. I opened the door to get a better look, but it was sleeting and the thought of there being no barrier between me and a scared squirrel flying out of a hole was enough to make me stretch and bare it.

    While I was waiting, I suddenly heard Mark’s murmured voice up in the attic, words coming in quick succession. I kept waiting and peering, but no squirrel. So I went to the attic opening to find out what was going on.

    In my mind, I just knew we were about to have one of two Clark Griswold situations happen: Mark was either going to fall through the attic and have his legs sticking through our ceiling, or the squirrel was going to come flying out of our recently packed away Christmas tree and land on his face.

    As Mark and I hollered back and forth through the attic door, I found out that he had spied our furry little friend, but the squirrel freaked and ran out of the attic back into a remote corner, into the eves of our house… in the exact opposite direction we thought he was coming in through.  But, he hadn’t reappeared, so we both gave up and went back to bed.

    The good news is that the scratching stopped after that. The bad news is that we obviously have another hole in our roof somewhere and a squirrel who knows how to make good use of it.

    Much to the credit of our southern friends, I’ve had a couple offer up their squirrel traps for our use (yes, people here obviously keep them stocked in their homes), but despite being the well bred southern girl that I am and the fear of that squirrel breaking into my bedroom in the middle of the night, I don’t want to kill him. He just wants a warm place to sleep after all. I’m just going to hope the sight of Mark ambling after him in the attic in the middle of the night was enough to scare him away permanently.

  • A Problem with Textures?

    Date: 2012.12.12 | Category: Family, Holidays, Sarah, Weirdness | Response: 17

    About a week ago, I decided that I would make homemade clay ornaments. And with that clay, I was going to get each of the dogs’ paw prints and a hand print from Sarah. After the ornaments baked, I had visions of sitting Sarah at the table with a paintbrush and letting her decorate her perfect little hand print, while I inscribed dates and names on each ornament, strung them up and hung them from the Christmas tree.

    With this perfect holiday image in my mind, I went to town making the clay. I somehow managed to coat my entire kitchen in cornstarch, but I was undeterred. I dug out the rolling pin, measured Sarah’s hand, and used cups to create the perfect oval for her to press her hand into. I sat her in her high chair, brought the clay over, grabber her hand… and she flipped out. And by flipped out, I mean she screeched, tears pouring like I had burnt her, when her hand had yet to even touch the clay.

    At this point, my husband said, “Just leave it, she obviously doesn’t want to do it.” But dang it, I spent all that time making that clay and visualizing how perfect this was going to go that I wasn’t going to give up so easily.

    So, I took her out of the high chair and put her on the couch with a video. Surely, I thought, that was going to distract her enough to let me get the desired hand print. But as soon as she saw that little clay oval coming towards her, she went into inconsolable hysterics. So, I showed her how Leela could do it. No luck. Then Bonnie. Sarah only cried harder. Finally, I, being the mean mother that I am, pried her hand open, and made her do it… only to have her hand fold up in a fist and destroy the ornament.

    I tried salvaging it and baking it anyway, but all I got was a broken piece of clay with something resembling finger prints on it. So much for that vision of holiday fun.

    I’m a little nervous, because I bought a groupon to the painted pottery place in hopes we could do a Santa plate with hand prints. I know paint isn’t clay, but I have a feeling her reaction will be the same.

    At school they do hand print art all the time, so I asked them how she does with it and her teacher immediately replied, “Oh she HATES is, she curls her fingers up and wants nothing to do with it.”

    So my next thought is, well maybe we’ll try and do foot prints. But now I have visions of her smashing plates in an attempt to get away.

    So, do I settle for letting her paint her own plate?

    I’m not sure if this is just a texture issue or what is going on? She has no problem playing in mud or bubbles. Maybe it’s just making her do something against her will? Now that I can understand.

  • Plans = fail.

    Date: 2012.08.06 | Category: Baby, Family, Life, Mark, Sarah, Travel, Weirdness | Response: 18

    I’m a planner to a fault. For the most part it’s an extremely good thing. I run a magazine and keep it on deadline, so that planning part of me is essential to what I do. Baby shower? Bridal shower? I feel bad if you’re planning with me because I tend to take over the plans.

    So when this weekend’s plans got turned on their head, I quickly reformulated a new and improved plan! Mark decided we needed to go to his cousin’s wedding in Weatherford, Texas, which is about four hours away. I knew we would be taking Sarah, so round trip in one day was out of the question. Instead I called my uncle, who lives in Dallas, and made plans to stay the night with them. After that, we would hit the Dallas aquarium on the way out of town because I’d wanted to take Sarah there for a while.

    Plans, done!

    We left on time Saturday morning, met up with Mark’s parents along the road and stopped at Dairy Palace, a Texas food institution. We didn’t realize, however, that Canton Trade Days were going on and the line was crazy long. Between waiting in line and waiting for food, we were there an hour and half and had to book it to get to the wedding on time.

    Hanging out at Dairy Palace

    The wedding was nice. Mark’s cousin was beautiful and he had a great time catching up with family. It was during the wedding that I discovered I had brought my camera along… and left my battery at home on the charger. I was furious with myself, but figured we could hit Best Buy up before the aquarium and get another one.

    Wedding lights and grandaddy.

    Dinner that night in Dallas with my uncle was also nice (despite wading through the busy Dallas restaurants to find one where we could feed the baby quickly).

    Hanging with Uncle Al

    I should have known that night we would have the standard traveling-with-Sarah problems. She wasn’t in a familiar place, she was sleeping in the room with us and woke up all night long.

    At one point, around 4:00 a.m. she woke up, cried, and when we ignored her, happily started singing on and off until we finally got up with her at 7:30. Despite that, I was determined we would go to the aquarium.

    Upon arrival at the aquarium the next day, Sarah was asleep. And not the just-wake-her-up-and-let’s-go sleep, but bobble-her-head-around-with-no-reaction sleep. We debated for about 5 minutes before Mark convinced me we just needed to go and let her get some rest on the way home. I was disappointed and tired, but he was right.

    Conked out.

    And then about 45 minutes into our drive home she woke up angry. Not enough sleep and she refused to go back to sleep. At one point we stopped at a truck stop and got her a caterpillar neck pillow which entertained her for about 20 minutes.

    Gas station souvenir!

    We tried Youtube videos, but between Sarah repeatedly pushing the home key and turning them off and screaming, hitting low signal areas and buffering videos and screaming, and my car phone charger dying it was miserable.

    When we finally made it home, we fed her, put her to bed and immediately bought an in-car dvd player for our trip to Austin at the end of the month.

    Plans = fail.

  • In Which I Nearly Take Out the Colts New QB with a Stroller

    Date: 2012.06.29 | Category: Baby, Family, Friends, Health, Mark, Sarah, Travel, Weirdness, Whoops, Work | Response: 10

    Our first two days in Indy were fantastic. Despite recovering from the Shingles, Mark was super dad (or as he referred to himself, the Traveling Nanny) and took care of Sarah while I oh-ed and ah-ed over all the things I was learning about page layout, social media and InDesign at my conference.

    I should have known things were going too well. On day three, I came back to our hotel room at lunch and Mark was in a miserable daze, and because I’m obsessed with my child running fever, I carry a fancy ear thermometer with me at all times. Mark was running 102 and barely functioning. We put a call into the doctor’s office.

    Not to be outdone, Sarah took a spill of the bed and injured her wrist. She kept grabbing at it and I was convinced she had broken it. After about 30 minutes of watching her move it though, I hoped it would be ok.

    In the mean time, I had to figure out a way to get Sarah out of the room so Mark could rest. I looked at the map and saw that the Indianapolis zoo didn’t look too far away, so we packed up and started walking. It was a long, hot walk to the zoo, but we made it and Sarah loved it, especially the underwater critters.

    I could do a long post about the zoo, but there is so much more craziness to tell you.

    You see, after my long walk to, through and back from the zoo in the 90+ degree heat, I came back to an even more miserable husband. The doctor’s office finally called back and was calling in a prescription for what we all thought was a sinus infection. After frantically calling Tammy and having her track down a pharmacy in the vicinity, they call in the script to a CVS about 10 blocks away. I called in a pickup order to California Pizza Kitchen so I could pick it up on my way back and have food for everyone.

    So take a moment to picture this in your head: I’ve been walking miles and miles in 90 degree temps all day and I’m exhausted. Mark can barely function, so I have to load up Sarah in her stroller and take her with me. I know the general direction of where the pharmacy is, but I’m not exactly sure and I know they will be closing fairly soon.

    So out we go and I start power walking it to pharmacy, baby in tow. Somewhere along the way, I start noticing everyone is staring at these three guys walking in front of me. They look like they have athletic builds. Then people start saying, “Welcome to Indy” to the tallest of the three. Finally I hear some Jr. High aged kids say, “That’s Andrew Luck!”  I have no idea who Andrew Luck is, so I nearly mow the poor guy over with my stroller because he is in my way and I need to get to the pharmacy immediately.

    I run into the pharmacy and literally have three minutes to spare before they close. Whew.

    Exhausted, I made my way back to California Pizza Kitchen, where they have royally screwed up my order. Apparently they let me place an order for something they don’t even have on their menu and it got lost in the kitchen. I wanted to cry, but the hostess there was amazing, and so was the manager. In no time flat they had free drinks for me and Sarah, took half off our order and then volunteered to carry it back to the hotel for me because they felt so bad for my pathetic, sweaty self and my tired, hungry baby. California Pizza Kitchen gets a hundred gold stars in my book for making it right.

    I make it back to the hotel, get Mark his meds and food.

    I then say, “Mark, is there some sort of sporting event in town or something?”
    Mark: “Probably, why?”
    Me: “Well I almost mowed this guy over with my stroller, he looked like an athlete and everyone was telling him ‘Welcome to Indy.’ I think I heard someone call him Andrew Luck.”
    Mark: “You’re kidding me. That’s the Colts new quarterback and number one draft pick.”

    Can’t you just see the headlines now: Saints fan takes out Colts QB with stroller for bounty.

    I was exhausted, hot, and stressed. I wanted to cry. But in texting Cassie all this I took a step back and realized what a heck of a story it was. I mean, you don’t go to the zoo and bump into NFL quarterbacks every day.

  • Shingles and Lightning

    Date: 2012.06.12 | Category: Baby, Dogs, Family, Health, Home, Mark, Pets, Sarah, Travel, Weirdness | Response: 14

    It started with thunder and lightning that looked like the paparazzi was stationed outside our windows at 4:00 a.m. this morning.

    Within a minute, the dogs, who we pressure gate into the living room, had taken the gate down with the force of two raging bulls, making the gate scatter across the hard floor, before running full steam down our laminate hallway (toenails clacking) and jumped into our bed in shivering balls of fear.

    Shortly after that, the dog noises lead to a screaming baby and the dogs themselves had managed to wedge themselves under my shoulders in the bed.

    It was a fun night.


    Not to be outdone, Mark has been complaining about his shoulder being sore the past three days.

    Me: “Like muscle sore?”

    Him: “No, like my skin hurts when I touch it.”

    There were no marks or rashes, so I didn’t think much of it. Then today he sent me a photo of the back of his neck and it looked like it had been attacked by an angry poison ivy wielding spider. I freaked and told him to call the doctor.

    By the time I got home for lunch and looked at it, I was surprised to see angry welts that started at the back of his neck and formed a line all the way down his right shoulder. I knew what it was immediately thanks to my poor friend Lori – The Shingles.

    So in he went and the doctor confirmed my suspicions. He told Mark he better thank whoever made him come in early (win for me!).

    I then quickly called the pediatrician’s office to make sure Sarah had had her chicken pox vaccine. The answer was, “No, and she can’t until she’s 15 months old.” (For those keeping count, Sarah is currently 14 months and some change). Instead, the nurse told me to just keep them separate. Yea, that’s easy, especially with six plane rides scheduled next week for the three of us. Oh yea, and Mark will be her primary caregiver while I’m in a conference three days next week out of town.

    Fortunately, the pediatric nurse did put a note in to the doctor who had them call me back and schedule Sarah to come in tomorrow morning for her shot.

    In the mean time Mark has to take three horse pills a day and keep his shingles covered up. Fortunately, since they caught it so early, he should be fine in a week – but I’m still not going to let him hold my friend’s new baby when we visit.

    I’m trying to figure out what it is about traveling that makes our family come down with all different manifestations of the plague. Maybe we should stop planning trips and spontaneously but plane tickets instead.