31 December 2011

This is what being a Work at Home Mom looks like


He finally fell asleep just as my shift ended at midnight :-).

24 December 2011

Merry Christmas, 2011!


May all your wishes come true this Christmas eve.

[Click here for previous Window photos]

06 December 2011

Today is a Better Day

I love my sweet boy, who asks to wear my favorite shirts to bed. Thank you for all the kisses and snuggles tonight...

...and for letting me spend a little time playing with my new computer :D.

30 November 2011

!@#$%^

Thanks to whomever hacked or reported my facebook page, causing it to be disabled. This is extremely annoying to me, especially since I had lists of friends' addresses there and no where else. And I've still no word from FB regarding WHY I was disabled with no warning, or WHEN IF EVER I will get my account back.

And yes, as of now I'm suspecting YOU, you narrow-minded, holier-than-thou b*tch. I know you probably don't read this, but still...it makes me feel better to write it anyway. I don't care what you believe, I am NOT a murdering Nazi for aborting my ectopic daughter in order to save my life. I'm here today for my son, my husband, and my cats (because, frankly, who else could possibly love them?)...and I'm happy to be here! I think about her every day and it still hurts like hell, the thought of what I did...but I made the right decision. And who are you to judge me for it? I hope you never have to walk a moment in my shoes.

And yes, I had a crappy day and I'm taking it out on my blog. This is about the time of month (fairly frequently) that my body likes to pretend it's pregnant, even though I know it's not. It's freaking annoying and getting awfully old. Plus, it's a reminder that, maybe had I had been given an OUNCE of compassion, or just a little support here and there, that maybe I'd have had the strength to try one more time. But never had I felt so alone and terrified, and ultimately I did what I felt was necessary for the good of my sweet, sweet little boy...who needs his mom healthy. I'm sure it was the right decision, but it still hurts.

No, I'm not over it. Yes, I've forgiven you (most of you). No, I can't just forget and act like it never happened. I can't because SHE DID HAPPEN. She existed, for a short time, no matter how much you'd like to forget about her. She was alive inside of me, and I felt her presence.

And this body of mine is still obviously trying to fill a void it can't.

And probably never will.

27 November 2011

Belated post on our NJ trip

Long ago...(in October)


...Aidan and I got ready for another trip to NJ. He gets to use his new passport!


We flew from MSP to JFK, then took the A Train into Manhattan. This was the first time either of us has seen the Freedom Tower, and it is much more impressive in person. It MIGHT even be growing on me. From Manhattan, we hopped on the PATH into Hoboken.


My good friend Laura and her fiance, Alex, were kind enough to host us for the evening. It was nice to see Mink again, and to finally meet Sable!

After a fun day at my 10th MKA high school reunion, (where, amazingly, I took no photos), and dinner with Tatjana and her sweet family, my dad and lil bro came to pick us up. Aidan LOVES his Uncle Carlos.

Aidan thinks his Grandfather is pretty fun, too. Love the white beard, Dad. Thanks for saving it for me!


Mimi, you look so beautiful when you laugh.

We took a Hay ride with more family...here is my awesome cousin, Katie!


Aidan loves his Nena. I love her, too.


Nena cooked me my favorite meals, and Grampa showed Aidan how to fish. Aidan remembered this pond from last time. Unfortunately, he also remembered how to fall in...again. This time, it was only one leg, and Grampa wasn't around to see it. I laughed. If there is water, my son will find a way to fall in. Every time.


AND after 3 years, I FINALLY took my son down the shore! Aidan kept calling it a lake - such a Midwestern boy. The waves kept him from temping the waters, for which I was grateful. *I* had no intention of swimming in the Atlantic in late October, thankyouverymuch.

Oh, and thanks to Ari for driving all the way down to the boonies in order to have a drink with me (my first time in a bar in over four years). It was so nice to see you again, and I enjoyed meeting your girl friend. We need to take pictures next time, because you have a lot more hair and a lot less ink in the most recent ones I have of you.

19 November 2011

18 November 2011

Remember What's Important

My sweet boy couldn't make it through Chuck tonight, and fell asleep cuddled on my lap. He's never done this before and I was loving it! So, I relaxed and finished watching Chuck and Fringe before moving him to his room so that I could get to work. Sweet boy didn't wake up until almost 4am, at which point he went potty and then brought his Blankie and Elephant to come sleep the rest of the night with me. Being a Mom is awesome!

<3

06 November 2011

Taking care of Mom

Sweet boy,
I wasn't feeling very well today. For the last week, I've been up late either working or organizing, cleaning, and decluttering the house, and the lack of sleep is wearing on me. And, the migraine isn't helping.

This morning when you woke up early, (the whole "fall behind" = more sleep memo being totally lost on your 3yr old self), instead of demanding breakfast, you snuck into my bed, gave me a big hug and kiss, and cuddled with me for over an hour. Every once in a while you'd give me another kiss and whisper, "I love you Mom.". After I told you my head hurt, you tried so hard to remember not to yell or make too much noise. You were gentle with me all day, never whined or asked for treats, and we spent the day playing puzzles, blocks, and watching movies. You even took turns choosing the movie. Without me even having to ask, you brought me my slippers when you saw that I was cold, and brought me a drink of water when you thought I was thirsty. You helped me pick up the toys, helped me make soup, put away your clothes, and were generally sweet and pleasant all day. You never once complained or whined.

So thank you, my dear sweetest boy, for such a wonderful day. You took excellent care of me and I am so very proud of you.

Love,
Mom

09 October 2011

Life, Un-Photoshopped

I really don't have anything to say that is either productive or kind, so instead of ranting and whining, I will share some snapshots instead. Enjoy!

Clara still doesn't quite know what to make of my make-shift photo studio.

These boys can be so sweet, especially when there's a promise of ice cream afterwards for cooperating...Meanwhile, Clara is actually loving all this attention. Really.

More kisses, because sandwich kisses are the best!

I really can never win when it comes to outdoor photos. This time my camera wasn't cooperating and everyone was cold, so this is the best we got. Oh well. Life, un-photoshopped!

11 September 2011

Ten years later



Ten years ago today, I was walking out of my morning class at NYU, cell phone in hand, a call to mom on my mind. I'd been in the city for about 2 weeks and had just started classes, so of course, like most college students, I was broke and needed money. Scowling down at my phone, I noticed it wouldn't connect, and I was mildly annoyed. Abruptly, I found myself face to face with a stricken, "older" woman who proclaimed, "Your phone won't work because we're being attacked by terrorists and we're all going to DIE!". (Note: In retrospect, she was probably all of about 40yrs old, but the world looks just a bit different at 18 than it does now at 28.)

I've met my share of unique individuals in the city, so at the time this woman's statement was amusing at best. I walked on, cursing my phone, when all of a sudden I looked around and realized that I was the only one not staring, dumbfounded, at the sky. You know in movies when the main character suddenly realizes something everyone else already knows....the slow motion realization...well, that was me. I had barely enough time to register that one of the Twin Towers was on fire when the second plane hit. At the time, I didn't even realize it was a plane; all I saw was the explosion, and I remember thinking:
1. Could that crazy woman have been right?
2. Where is my father?

CNN recently published a series of articles called Small Choices, describing some of the many "near misses" of 9/11. We've all heard those stories and many others. Possibly the most famous story was that of Howard Lutnick, head of Canter-Fitzgerald, who arrived late to work that day because he was taking his son to his first day of school, thus missing the fireball that blew through his office (that company lost ~75% of its WTC employees). One story that you won't hear on national news was that of my Dad.

At the time, my father worked for Credit Swiss First Boston. Though his office was on Madison Ave, it wasn't uncommon for him to be at WTC because CSFB had offices in Building 5. I never really paid much attention to his schedule, but that day I felt such a sense of dread as I gazed alternately between the burning towers and my dead cell phone. It took me ages to find a functioning pay phone, and when I did I couldn't reach my dad. I did get a hold of my mom, who told me dad was safe on Madison Ave, and that I should return to my apartment and stay out of the way. The line went dead.

But my dad was safe.

Unfortunately, someone else's dad wasn't. My dad was, in fact, due at the WTC that day at a tech conference to be held at Windows-of-the World. It was an exclusive and expensive invitation - normally something my dad would have jumped to attend. But this time he had more important things to do, and declined. The man who went in his stead was the only member of CSFB to perish. Ten years later, and I still think about him and his family.

Small choices, big consequences. Life, and death.

And here we are, ten years later: Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein are dead, along with thousands of other men, women, and children on both sides in a war that can never be won. We've blamed the entirety of the Middle East for the work of a handful of fundamentalists acting of their own accord - and shame on us for being so narrow-minded. I maintain, just as I have for the last decade, that we never should have gone to war. Ten years ago today the world wept for us Americans. Today, most of the world does little more than scowl. We were the world's biggest superpower on that day, and we could have chosen not to retaliate. It would not, as some have claimed, shown weakness. Instead, it would have shown class, grace, and maturity. Not to mention, with all the money we've spent on "The War on Terror" in the last decade, we could have completely weaned ourselves off foreign oil and pioneered green energy. You can build a lot of windmills for a trillion dollars! We could have certainly done a lot more "damage" in the Middle East by simply declining to purchase their oil - and without the bloodshed! As China (who, probably, would likely have been more than willing to pick up where we left off), is quickly reminding the rest of the world, there is more than one way to conquer a country.

We've spent 10 years retaliating against innocent victims, claiming we are right because they fought back. And what scares me the most is that, lately, it seems to me that this war has become more a fight between Christianity and Islam than about towers and terror. Both sides are being pushed to further extremes, fostering hatred, misunderstanding, and intolerance. This can't possibly end well. When, in history, has a holy war EVER ended well?

And what did they even expect to accomplish? Do you feel safer? I certainly don't, and I shutter to contemplate what this is teaching our children.

Shame on us.


29 August 2011

Look Mom! No Training Wheels!

This is what pure joy looks like to a 3 year old...


It took him less than 20 minutes to learn how to do this.

MAJORLY PROUD MOM!!!!!

And thank you to Strider Sports for making a bike that so effectively taught my son good balance on a bike. We bought Aidan's Strider bike in May of last year, and I highly recommend them.

14 August 2011

Terrible 3s and Laundry Baskets (v4)

Aidan was never a "terrible" two year old. For him, he was most challenging from about 14-20 months. Back then, all he wanted to do was GO! GO! GO! and, with limited vocabulary, he was often described as a completely irrational little devil by his otherwise doting and loving parents - who, really, were just trying to keep him safe before he got himself killed or further maimed. Did I mention we had THREE trips to the ER during that time for stitches on his face? Enough said.

After that, his vocabulary picked up and he turned into an even-spirited, cooperative child who was really a joy to be around. I waited with baited breath for the "terrible twos" to begin, but they never came. Instead, I found myself raising a well spoken, miniature human who was easily reasoned with and generally happy to please. As I take my rosey-colored glasses off, I admit he wasn't "always" an angel...but for the most part, we sailed threw the past year - and I loved it. Best yet, I was aware that I was loving it.

And then he turned 3.

And, dear God, deliver me from this argumentative, pouty, if I ain't happy, then ain't nobody happy attitude. Who does he think he is? A teenager? Sorry buddy, but you need another decade on your shoulders to earn the right to torment me thus. I don't know what I need to do to get through to him, but I just hope he realizes that agreeableness will get him so much further than pitching fits before...before...before...oh, who am I kidding? I love my little man.


I just wish he'd stop fighting me at seemingly every turn. I know I'll look back on this time with a smile, but in the meantime, I need to find a new behavior modifier that works. I feel awfully silly arguing with a three year old.

More patience wouldn't be amiss, either. Yeah, lots of that, please.

And finally, as it is August, I give you our yearly Laundry Basket photo.

August 2011

(Click for 2010, and 2009 & 2008)

03 August 2011

Hair Progress

My last real hair cut was in December 2008, and I've been growing it every since. The last time I had really long hair was in the 6th grade. Back then, I was capable of little more than a pony tail, so when I decided to grow my hair this time, I vowed to learn to do more with it. My biggest triumph thus far as been learning how to French braid my own hair. Enjoy the progress!

2009-12-04
2010-11-26
2011-07-09

28 July 2011

Lost Souls and Cassette Tapes


Aidan took this picture of us, and it pretty much sums up what our life has been like over the past few months: Aidan and I playing on the floor while Chad researches building materials and such for the house we hope to build next year. What Aidan didn't get a photo of was me napping on the couch while he and Chad romp around the living room. THAT happens frequently, too. I'm not quite sure why the hot weather so effectively drains me of all energy, and I certainly don't remember being so affected in previous years. All I know is I'm quite ready for some cooler temperatures. I wish I could live in a perpetual autumn.

As July comes to a close, Chad and I also take a moment to remember a life largely forgotten by the rest of the world. It was July 25th, 2007 that we discovered that our first child had died. Emotionally draining but not nearly as traumatic as our ectopic baby, my miscarriage plunged me head first into the world of infertility and high risk pregnancies - a world of belly injections, blood, fear, and mercy. Four years later, and the pain of my first loss has dulled considerably. I didn't cry on Monday, nor did I feel particularly moody or detached. What I did feel was simply an overarching sadness that I was one of only two people who bothered to spare a moment to remember her. I often feel that what really holds me back from healing from all of this is that I'm dealing with it largely alone. No one wants to talk about dead babies, and certainly not to their grieving parents. Some even have the audacity to claim I shouldn't mourn a life that died so quickly after conception. But whether you like it or not, that life was real to me, and she was real to my husband, and we will never forget her. And, most importantly, we remember her sacrifice: were it not for her loss, we would never have this wonderful little boy...

...whose 3T pants from winter are already several inches too short...

...and who still loves chewing on his favorite blankie (thanks Mimi) and hamming it up for Mommy's camera. Er, excuse me, Mom's camera. Somehow in the last few months I've become *Mom* instead of Mommy. Surprisingly, I rather like it :-).


Seeing this picture always makes me laugh. Aidan loves having his hair done, usually in "bunny ears" or "horns", but sometimes a lone "whale spout". In anticipation of an 8hr drive to Chicago (thanks to Grandma & Grandpa for babysitting) in a car without a CD player, I found my stash of old mix tapes and decided to bring them along and see if they still work. Aidan was fascinated by the tape, and I couldn't resist the photo op. Now I just need to introduce him to Grandpa's eight tracks :-).

Included in the bunch: various mix tapes from friends, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Blink 182, A Perfect Circle, 3 Doors Down, Ani DiFranco, my beloved high "Escape from Bad Radio Music" Mix from high school...

...and the famous "CTY Mix" with such stars as They Might be Giants, REM, and Dr. Demento. I even found a Trance mix made for me by Ricardo. I wonder if he even remembers? Great songs...all made me smile, and singing them made me feel happier and more carefree than I have in a long time.


Make a little birdhouse in your soul...

14 July 2011

Look what I got to do on Wednesday!


Thanks so much to Heather for taking me on such an awesome ride, and Borkur for being such a good boy for me!