Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Momma said...

Don't let the perfect temps and gorgeous sunshine fool you. Something is afoot.

Today started out innocently enough--a small carpool hiccup, but nothing unmanageable. I coached my sister who was coming to watch the boys for the morning through the nuances of the kindergarten pick up and headed into the office ready to check things off my list like a woman on a mission. Yeah, that lasted for all of 30 minutes.

A quick call from my slightly panicked sister informed me that Preston had hit his head on the sofa table while chasing her dog around the house. Oh the perils of bring your pet to babysit day!

Her side of the conversation went something like this:

"It's bleeding... a lot."

"I don't think it hurt his eye."

"Yes. It looks deep."

The thoughts in my head went something like this:


"It better not be his eye."

"So glad I wore my white pants today--perfect for consoling bloodied boys."

And with that the mad hatter's party of a day began.

Fortunately, the pediatrician's office does do stitches. I say fortunately because, if you remember, they do not do concussions. They don't even look at concussions. Not even if you're standing right in front of them with a puking child you suspect has a concussion. Good for me I'm over that little incident (can't you tell I'm so over it?) because now I needed them to do stitches. I mean I really needed them to do stitches. I selfishly could not think of something I rather do less than spend the entire day in the ER at Primary Children's again (because that's who does concussions).

I did think it odd when I called to give the pediatrician's office a heads up that we were coming in they asked if I thought I could hold Preston down by myself. "Me hold down a writhing four year old you are trying to sew up," I wondered out loud. "I'm not sure. I've never tried," I answered. Her answer? "Okay, we can just grab some of the medical assistants if we need to, go ahead and come on in." Really?

Maybe it's just the PR side of me, but who are these people? Isn't possessing some fraction of a calming bedside manner a prerequisite to entering the medical field? If not, it should be because at that point all I could think was that I had a choice to make--Preston was going to be scarred either physically if I chose not take him in, or emotionally if I did. It was a gamble and I do not enjoy gambling.

Fortunately, calm and rationality took over when a new doc we had not seen in the office before introduced himself to us as our caregiver of the day.

He said: "Hi, I'm Kevin."

I thought: "I'm sure you mean Doctor Kevin, right? Who goes to all that school and doesn't demand a proper title at least 50 times a day?"

But I said: "Great. Can you help my little man?"

A few punny doctor to four year old jokes later, a promise from me of some new Star Wars Legos for bravery, and some serious human glue and Presto and I were both relieved the ordeal was over without any further scars, seen or unseen.

One child mended. One child properly carpooled. One work day shot to--well, just shot. Now it was time to ready the newest for his first physical therapy appointment.

Yes, according to some well qualified professionals it seems McKay is lagging a bit behind his peer group these days when it comes to moving his mass in age appropriate ways. Me? I've been skeptical. I think he's just smelling the roses, and half expected the PT to agree with me and wonder what the heck she was doing in our living room with such a strong kiddo. Wrong.

His initial evaluation has resulted in a recommendation for twice weekly appointments with physical and occupational therapists for the next six to 12 months. Hmmm. I wondered what we were going to do with our abundant free glad that problem is solved. Whatever. We always find time to squeeze everything in, right? Here's to enjoying some private coaching that will put Mr. Mac ahead of the pack and ready for his next round of downtime without missing a beat.

The grand finale? The day ended with Matt passing out from a blood draw at his yearly physical and him coming home eerily drained of any sort of energy and color. He spent the rest of the night sipping OJ, drifting in and out of sleep, worrying me that he had driven home in this state. Let's hope the results of the blood test are far less dramatic than the actual blood draw. For the love!

I'm sure tomorrow morning will bring improved circumstances to our little abode. I'm having the windows cleaned, however, and whenever you pay good money for crystal clear views it's a sure bet it's going to rain. No matter. After today, I say bring it on. For now I'm glad momma said there would be days like this; not weeks, months, or years. Days I can take. And tomorrow is a new one. Hallelujah.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Across the Miles

Around the world and back again. Okay it was only Boston. But it was the first time I've been away from McKay for more than a few hours. Because I somehow landed the most amazing part-time gig a baby momma could hope for, part of my duties include traveling four or five times a year to interview clients and attend conferences. There has been, however, quite a dry spell for independent globetrotting since Mac burst on the scene. But life has found a steady pace and things are good for now, so Matt and I agreed I'd better get while the gettin's good so I can keep said fab job.

In addition to meeting with seriously impressive clients, one of the perks of my time away from home is usually a dark, quiet hotel room with fluffy pillows and a wake up call with a time that although usually early, is determined entirely by me. So are you waiting to hear how I slept, slept, slept my night away, woke rested and ready for the next nine months of restlessness? So am I.

Just like the crazy mommy I've been trained to be, I woke every three hours and worried about how the boys were doing at home. I pumped my way out of lactation misery and then laid in bed mad that I was not sleeping. I know. I'm insane.

The next day brought adventures navigating Boston which over the last decade put their interstate under ground so as not to mess with the aesthetic of the city. It's a great idea, but not so great for Debbie Directions who sternly told me from the confines of the GPS system she runs that I must turn LEFT now. LEFT now. Re-calculating route. My dearest Debbie, there is no longer a LEFT turn there. There is a wall. In any event, we found our way to the client and had a great day meeting with the big wigs and touring their ice cream factory. Yes. There were samples. Peanut-butter-smothered-in-their-own-hot-fudge samples. Did I not say I have the best job EVER?

Back again to the hotel where a dream of mine for a while now met reality when I saw heart baby Luna's mom waiting for me in the lobby. We've been fast friends separated by far too many miles as we journey through our kid's heart adventures. It was amazing to look her in the eyes and share stories and worries and plans. Yes, many, many wonderful plans. Stay tuned.

Then it was home again, home again lickety split to find a nine-month old on the verge of a good cold and ear infections. A couple of quick trips to the pediatrician, pharmacy and home again and we are still trying to return to normal. I was reminded how great our slightly-less-than-optimal is at lunch with a couple of dear friends on Friday. These ladies both have babies who have finished their battles, but left their mommas trying to find their lives again in all that's still here. They are truly glorious and special people. Ear infections? Sniffles? No complaints from me.

So it's Memorial weekend. It's stormy. I'm home with a not-so-cheerful McKay and the boys are in "Vanilla" (as Preston says with such delight because it shares its name with his favorite ice cream) or Manila as the rest of the world knows it, enjoying a muddy Flaming Gorge with their grandparents, aunt, uncle and daddy. And a Sunday morning at home with no one tell on me means I've had three cookies and one poached egg for breakfast. Carb. Protein. Sounds complete to me.

It's a quiet house with just one baby. I think I'll follow the advice that is so incessantly offered to first-time mothers but becomes increasingly comical with each subsequent birth--"Just sleep when the baby sleeps." After all, it is nap time. xoxo.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Whew. Has it been a week? Really? This week has been a bit like driving my car somewhere only to realize I'm not really sure how I arrived safely. Truly our lethal weapon of a life has been in the fast lane on cruise control while we're somewhere in the back enjoying the ride. Oh well. The wind feels good in our hair these days and we're together.

So I guess I should begin this week by saying there is absolutely no way I went an entire week without keeping up this crazy journal of a blog. Not me! The shame.

I also did not leave a lovey voicemail of gratitude for my hubby on a particularly cheerful Wednesday afternoon thanking him for our life only to find out later that he deleted it without even listening! I did not in the never-to-be-listened-to message praise him for the fact that his hard work allows me to lay barefoot in the sunshine in our beautiful backyard with three loves of my life and teach them how to enjoy a spring day. I did not gush about how everything we do is better when he's there. No, I did not marry a man that would delete a message like that only to say, "When I heard it was you and we had talked already, I deleted it. Why?" Ahem.

I did not get visibly shaken when my Wasatch Back team reassigned my three legs of 24-hour run to begin with a 7.1 mile uphill run on a dirt road over Avon Pass. Really?! Did I not just have a baby. Okay he's nine months old, but you can say you just had a baby until they're two, right? I am, after all, still nursing. Let's see you run up a dusty mountain carrying two gallons of milk. For the love. (Really, I'm just glad my great group of running buddies invited me back in the sandbox to play. I'll do it, I'll do it!)

Oh well, maybe if I really do not complain about sucking dirt for 7.1 miles while I try to find my stride and my breath I will win my old backside back from the universe! In all seriousness I'm not sure what happened to my body with baby number three, but nothing seems to be in the right place anymore. Of course, I would not question if this is part of what it means to be thirty something and would not secretly wonder if I should make a pact with the devil (or a good trainer) to fix it, replace it, or rearrange it. No, not me!

I also did not give birth to the most adorable kids ever. EVER. And I would most definitely not ask you to look at far too many pictures of them (again). (These are also not from McKay's 6 month, Ty's 6-year, and Preston's 4-year old photo shoot done three, yes three, months ago. I would definitely not be that late in getting them ready to share!) Nope! Not me.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Late? Not me. I am a terribly punctual person. I'm always, always, always on time (it's hard to even type that with a straight face!). One, two, three kids? No problem. Bring it on. No matter the challenge, I am NEVER late. Not me!

That's why I was not amused to learn that when I made a huge extra effort to make sure the boys would be at their baseball games on time Saturday and was not feeling quite smug with myself and the genius of my plan which involved two cars and a staggered exit from the house, to then receive a phone call from Matt which did not let me know that although they were early, I had NOT sent the correct child. What? Apparently is not good enough just to get a child there--it needs to be the one whose team is playing at the time. My bad. The entire incident made me so not scared out of my mind wondering how I will actually manage three little schedules in the years to come and two boys at two different schools next year. The teachers just need at least one warm body there, right? Late? Wrong kid? Not me!

Not Me! Monday is the brainchild of a fellow heart momma. You can head over to her blog if you'd like to read what she and everyone else have also not been doing this week.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Motherhood is not for sissies.

Motherhood is not for women
with weak stomachs,
strict routines,
or wall-to-wall white carpeting.

Motherhood is not for women
unable to juggle three things at once,
read between the lines,
or face fear on a regular basis.

Motherhood is not for women
too quick to use the word "impossible,"
or too hesitant to say, "yes, you can."

Motherhood is not for women
who refuse to believe in miracles,
or tomorrows, or themselves.

Motherhood is for
caring and courageous women
who make a difference.

(Loved this poem in a card I received today from my darling Grandma Charlotte.)

The truth? Mother's Day is a lot of work. Good, fun work, but work. Brunches. Dinners. Gifts. But it is all so very worth it. It is what I consider to be the first of the glorious summer holidays; the sort you celebrate outdoors where people you love tend to linger a little longer, laugh a little louder, share a bit more. It was a good day.

So here's my Yea! for all the moms in my life--biological and not. Yea! for all the moms that care for, teach, and otherwise "village" my little ones. And a big Yea! for being a mom--it-is-a-deep -down, earn-it-everyday, paid-in-moments privilege of which I think I have only begun to learn.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New Eyes

Have you noticed a change in pace lately? In your life? In the world? Over the last few months I’ve felt a quickening; as if this small, hurdling piece of rock we're all living on has begun to spin just a bit faster.

Everywhere I turn it seems so many I know are facing the impossible. Young mothers (and by young I mean my age of course) hearing the word cancer from a doctor; couples longing for just one (or just one more) child; sick, sick babies; physically, spiritually, and emotionally broken hearts; working mothers who wish they didn’t have to; jobless fathers who wish they could lose the “less”. It seems everyone is fighting a battle.

I find myself asking where has all this trial and challenge been until now? Is it really possible that in my former happy-go-lucky life I failed to understand the depth of others’ struggles? Is it really possible that I assumed we were all living different versions of my intensely blessed existence?

I remember apologizing to some close friends following McKay’s birth. It was two days before Thanksgiving and we were in the waiting room receiving hourly updates from the surgical staff about McKay’s second heart surgery when a dear friend stopped by to offer support. No basket of goodies, no cards, no pretense. He was just there to sit and be with us.

Something in my heart broke when I saw him as my mind flooded with memories that not so long ago his newborn son spent a good deal of time in the ICU due to some complications with his lungs following birth. Of course, I made the standard visit to adore the precious babe and applaud his brave mother, but never called again. Honestly, I didn’t even know how long his son was made to stay until I spoke to them over a month later. Even then, I did not feel the weight of my neglect.

In that moment, in that simple and Christ-like visit from a friend, my eyes were opened to the opportunity I missed. They too had come home with empty arms. They too wondered if the night nurse would know exactly how to comfort their son. They too were torn between nurturing children at home and being beside one in the hospital. I cried. I asked his forgiveness. All I could offer by way of explanation for my inaction was that up until McKay, I didn’t understand. I’m so sorry, I truly did not know.

Now I know more. I feel like someone has turned on radar in my soul that was previously unused. I sense more heartache. I understand pain. I relate to helplessness. But at the same time I also know vastly more about joy. I have an intimate relationship with trust. Now, more than ever, I am reaching beyond faith and feel as if I’m getting to know my Savior as a friend. I no longer bargain with him or leave my verbal dribble of an offering at His door and run. We are in constant conversation and my life is different because of it. I want to be better. Do better. And, surprisingly, that doesn't always mean more plates of cookies, more gifts. The more I look back on what I needed and the needs I now see in others it is just giving that person time and opportunity to talk, to debrief, to process. Less about me--what I'm giving, doing, being-- and more about them.

I am not entirely thrilled about leaving my blissful ignorance, but I am amazed at the others I am finally being made to see. Sometimes the lessons others are made to endure are heavy and hard to watch. However, I am always left with the reassuring feeling that none of it is random. There is an order to things. Even when they are hard things—there is order. Yes, my world is spinning a little faster these days, but certainly not out of control. My experiences have given me new eyes, an increased awareness, and I am learning how to use it.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Not Me! Monday

What have I not been doing this week you ask? Well as a tenured mother of three small boys I would definitely not give my 8 month old a dangerous toy. I would have sorted those all out of our stash at this point, right? I would not foolishly assume that because he has not yet sprouted any pearly whites that he is incapable of biting off part of the toy and nearly choking on it. I would not, of course, let this all happen as I was driving, panic when I heard him choking, swerve dangerously off the side of the road at rush hour, turn on my flashers and began frantically sweeping his mouth for the missing horn of the appropriately styled "monster" with which he was entertaining himself. No, I would definitely not do that.

And to top it all off, I would most definitely not let this all happen when my mother-in-law was in the car. Because if she were in the car to see me panic, swerve, and then say in a determined voice to my darling babe, "You have pulled through two open heart surgeries, you will NOT choke to death dammit." Because at that point she might not ever ride with me or leave me alone with my little Mac again. No I would never let that happen, not me!

(I did also not spend the next three days searching little McKay's diapers for the one monster horn I did not find in his mouth. I still have not found it. Maybe I did not let another child eat it long before this wonders.)

Not Me! Monday is the brainchild of a fellow heart momma. You can head over to her blog if you'd like to read what she and everyone else have also not been doing this week.