Monday, November 7, 2011

On Eagle's Wings

Is it just me, or has this fall been one of the best in a long time?  Beautiful days, pleasant evenings, some rain, lots of sun and gentle breezes, great colors in the trees and no early snow.  It really has been nice.  

We sang the song, On Eagle's Wings, at church Sunday and remembered loved ones who have died in the past year.  We sang this song at my dad's funeral.  It's an emotional one for me, and I was not dry eyed at the service.  Just another reminder that dad is gone.  As always, I miss you pops, hope you can see Patrick and know that I tell him about Uncle Brian and Grandpa Roger often and tell him the tales I remember from working at the bakery.  Making the donuts in the night with you.  I keep your memory alive.  I think you'd like Patrick, and Lucas and Emily too.  Your girls love you and miss you.   

"And He will raise you up, on eagle's wings, bear you on the breath of dawn.  Make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of His hand." 

Saturday, October 22, 2011


I'm enjoying a small cup of coffee this Saturday morning and a brief Internet session while Patrick sleeps.  I took these mornings before Patrick came for granted, and now look forward to the hour or two after PJ lays down at night and the 30-60 minutes I can catch in the weekend mornings. I think it makes me a better mother, or at the very least, a sane one. (c:

I'm trying to think of something non-Patrick related for this update and non-hormonal worry wart stuff.  It's harder than I realized.  Children really do take over your life completely.

Joc and I have pretty much decided we're going to put new windows in the house.  We have one company coming today and a second on Monday evening.  We replaced our back door and french doors and were really amazed by the difference in the cold floor and the cold air leaking in.  Our bed is under our windows in our room and we have a running joke that one of us says, "can you close your window?" pretty much every night because the draft is so bad.  Joc has done the clear wrap stuff that you hang every year but it always pulls off the paint on the sills and it's time consuming.  I think we're ready... it will just depend on the price I guess.

I keep second guessing my new job but I'm actually pretty content... it's just the damn 5 days a week shit.  I'm getting used to it.  I am actually the coordinator of our new simulation lab.  We purchased two SimMen 3G that do pretty much everything a human does (except each is a mannikin).  I'm talking these guys talk (pre-programmed or I can talk for them), they sweat, they cry, they froth, they seize, they code, they have occluded airways, they can be criched (i don't know how to spell that), they can have needle decompression, you can put chest tubes in them, they have heart and lung sounds, you can intubate them... I'm telling you they do it all!  I've been going to a few other sim labs around here, getting ideas, organizing crap and setting up the first simulations at Saint Mary's.  It's been fun and stressful and exciting and all so new.  I'm really enjoying this part of the job a lot.  It's a great resume builder, not that I'm looking to build my resume but everything helps, right?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Nothing much...

It's about every other day that I second guess my decision to take an educator job and then go full time after having a baby.  I miss the bedside more than I realized I would.  I think I'm in the right place, Mondays are just harder than the other days because we have to pack up Patrick and send him to Sara's and I spend the morning wishing I could stay with him.  5 days a week is hard, it's tiring and excessive really.  Why can't I work 3 days a week?  ugh. What a pain.

There's not much to write about right now.  Patrick has a cold and he went to bed early tonight because he was so tired and stuffy.  Poor guy.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The wrong choices

Lately, I've been worrying. A lot.
I worry about Patrick, about the choices I make (we make) for him. I worry about myself and who I am becoming or have already become. I worry about life and if I can handle more children (I'd like 3). I worry about sleep and when I'll be able to get enough but then I worry when Patrick does sleep too long or too much. I worry about working full time and seeing my babe for 3 hours in the evening and for two days on the weekend. I worry he won't know me, although I know he does when I pick him up and he smiles so big. I worry he'll question Joc and my decision to conceive. I worry that I chose the wrong job change and I should have stuck to the bedside. I worry that I'll never be able to leave the job for fear of "sticking" my job on other people. I worry I'm not doing a good job at work. I worry I won't be able to maintain breastfeeding until Patrick is a year old. I worry that Joc and my marriage will erode from the energy it takes to raise a baby. I worry that I'll never get back to my fitness level I gave up with my pregnancy. I worry that I worry too damn much.
I was never a worrier before being a mom. I just rolled with life's ups and downs but not anymore. I'll still roll, I just worry while I roll.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Help

So, I finally read The Help.  It's about time, right.  It's a great read and reminder of what went on in this country not that long ago.  The voices of the women in the book were inspirational, heartbreaking, heartwarming, irrational, irritating, smart, funny and about a million other words.  If you haven't read it, I recommend you do.  I'm leery to see the movie, so many times the movies don't live up to my expectations but many people say it's a good movie too.  I suppose I'll have to find out.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

10 years ago

It's September 11th again.
So, the ever present question: Where were you 10 years ago on 9/11?
I was in Spain, had just arrived a few days earlier (I think we flew in on the 3rd or 4th) for a semester of studying in Malaga (southern city on the Mediterranian coast).  In fact, with the time change, I recall we had all just left our classroom, it was 12 or 1, and were walking, about 5 or 6 of us, to the Internet cafe to check our emails and write home.  A fellow classmate who beat us home called one of us (we had cellphones before they were popular in the States) and told us, "a plane just flew into the World Trade Center".  My first thought was that I didn't know exactly what the WTC was but I knew it was big so I said, "whoa, that's a lot of people".  At the time of the phone call, the classmate told us that the news was reporting it as a a personal passenger plane.  We all just briefly thought, wow.  Then as we passed a dinner/restaurant/bar we saw that everyone in the bar was staring at the TV so we went in.
Now, we were obviously Americans (if you've been to Europe you know that we just don't dress the same as Europeans) so when we walked in, the people looked at us all sadly.  We turned around and saw what they were seeing on the TV and I think my mouth fell open.  We rushed to the Internet cafe, trying to get information that was understandable (Spanish was our second language afterall and we'd just arrived so we weren't great at it yet).  The Internet was slow and we couldn't get much.  We had emails from family members asking if we were okay, a boyfriend from home finally (he said he kept getting network too busy signals because of so many people making calls that day) got through and told her and us how bad it was at home.
I sent an email to my mom to let her know we were fine and I'd keep her posted on what would happen next.  Then I walked to my apartment (where I roomed with 2 other Spaniards, in their 20s) and they were watching the news and the image of the planes flying into each tower over and over and over.  They looked at me and said, "Lo siento Jenn.  Lo siento." (translation: I'm sorry Jenn, I'm sorry)  We sat and watched the news for a while.
I don't remember it clearly, I know our professor called us all together, back to the classroom and we were informed that there were no planes flying in or around the US and that was indefinite.  We were staying in Spain, there was no reason to get us home, we were safer in Spain.  We just had to band together as a class.  I remember one girl knew an Uncle who worked in a tower but he miraculously hadn't gone into work that day.  It was just all too real but not real at all.  I was too far away to truly understand the magnitude, still to this day I'm awestruck by the devistation that I just didn't grasp that week.
We were told to not walk around in big groups (we were a group of 20) and not to speak English loudly or when in public.  Basically: don't be obvious Americans.  While at home you were all banding together in patriotism and brotherhood.  (This is one of the reasons I came home and was irritated with the massive amount of American flags everywhere).
Our semester went on, we went to class, we traveled around Europe, we learned Spanish and we talked about different things we'd heard from loved ones: gas prices went way high, songs were banned from radios, etc.  We knew nothing more than the rumors we heard.
Watching shows now and old video clips is wierd for me now, I wasn't here for it and can't fathom it.  Your worlds stopped and you became strong Americans.
The culture shock was almost worse coming back home in December.
I respect this day, I shake my head at the devestation.  I can't say what it was like being in America when it happened, but being in Europe was unfair in many ways.  We got back to the business of living though, much faster than anyone at home.
As always, life goes on.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Well, I ran my first 5K in a year.  In fact, the 5K I ran on Monday was the exact 5K I ran last year that was my last race since Monday... did that make sense?  Anyhow, it's been one year since I've competed in a race... was I ready?  Nope.  Was I in shape?  Nope.  Was it unseasonably cold?  Yup.  Did I walk?  Just for a few moments while drinking water at the aid station.  Am I sore today? Yup.  Did I get chaffage?  Yup.
The problem:  finding a routine to get back into running/biking.  While Joc and I were home for 8 weeks, running was not a hard thing to find time to do.  I just had to feed Patrick before going out.  Now that I'm at work 5 days a week, I'm having a hard time finding that time.  I realize I'm full of excuses, let's just say that right off the bat.  "I'm tired"  "I'm not a early morning (5am) runner" "I want to spend as much time with Patrick since I don't see him all day"  "It's too hot"  I've used them all so far.  Bottom line:  I have to make time for running or exercise- it's my mental wellbeing we're talking about here.
I have a jogging stroller, many people say I can't put PJ in it until he's 6 months old.  Lord! I don't want to wait that long!  I get out of work and home by 5 or 6 everyday, I would like to start going out after work.  After I post this, I'm going to google my jogger and see if they have a recommended time that it's "okay" to put a baby in the jogger.  (I don't live on dirt roads, and I'm not a speedy runner so it's not like he's going to be jerked around!)
All I know is:  I ran that 5K in 33:14, that's the slowest 5K I might have ever done... I need to get moving again and feel good about myself again.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Grandpa Roger

My friend Amy mentioned that PJ looks a little like my dad and ever since then I do see glimpses of him in Patrick.  Tonight I saw it too and I was left a bit breathless.  I wonder what kind of grandpa he would have been, what would the grandkids think of him?  We do talk about grandpa Roger with Lucas, I'm not sure he quite understands who it is but someday he will.  And I do plan on telling PJ about grandpa Roger.
Thinking of you and Brian, Dad.  Miss you evey day.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A few good books

So I was able to read a few more books in the last couple months, thought I'd share my thoughts and the titles with you.

"One Day" A book that is now a movie, follows two people from their meeting in London on one day and then where they are and how they grow up/change as the years go by.  It follows that day as the book progresses.  It was a decent read, interesting concept.

"Long Drive Home" by Will Allison.  One their drive home, a father and daughter narrowly avoid an accident only to come in contact with that driver again.  This time, father tries to teach the reckless driver a lesson resulting in an accident that changes all their lives.  A quick, easy read that leaves you shaking your head at the decisions the father makes over and over.

"Lone Survivor" by Marcus Lattrell.  Oh man, oh man, this was a great read.  True story of a 4 man team of Navy Seals who head out on a mission in the mountains of Afghanistan.  As indicated by the title, the mission goes very very badly.  I was in tears, let's put it that way.  The book also explains the process of becoming a Seal and man, those guys work hard!  This was an eye opening book and it still stays with me.  I think about the three guys who gave every last bit of themselves... woa, highly recommend.

"Stories I only tell my friends" Rob Lowe (yes, the famous guy).  It's an interesting perspective into the world of celebrity.  Rob tells his story in a cleaver, easy and flowing way.  I enjoyed the look at his life from a young boy living in Dayton OH dreaming of becoming a movie star.  He had what I'd call amazing luck as he encountered multiple famous people along the way.  And the look at The Outsiders and The West Wing was pretty neat.  He was also friends/neighbors with the Sheens (Martin, Emilio and Charlie) and the Penns (Sean).  Just sort of a fun, easy read.

Next up: The Help

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Is he a good baby?

First, what kind of question is this? Is any mother or father going to say, "no, my kid is the worst kid ever."? Probably not. Second, how can you quantify how your baby is? What defines a "good baby" from a "bad baby?" and really, should we label a baby as "bad"? Aren't we setting them up for issues in their near future? Thirdly, if it's just a question to pose to fill the space, similar to those top things never to ask me when I'm pregnant, then why ask it. What's your response when the parent says, "no"? Pity? Or are you looking for a chance to offer your not wanted advice?
My baby, little Patrick, is sweet and smiley much of the time but like every baby, he has to cry to get his needs expressed. So what if his crying fits generally happen when we are out with him or around other people? So what if he doesn't sleep "through" the night yet. My babe needs his naps to make him happy and if that makes him high maintenance then so be it. So, I'm just adding that to a list of things i'll never say or ask a new mom or dad cuz really, every baby has their moments, no matter how "good" or "bad" they are.

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, August 13, 2011


My friend Rachel is in Afghanistan fighting in this war that just seems to keep going. She was home in June to meet pj and when we said good-bye I cried like a child. She's a medic and she'll be there until next June. I keep thinking about what will happen if she gets killed over there? Who will even care?
Obviously me and Joc, but I more mean what will she have died for? What is the point of all this killing. I mean, 30 navy seals one day then a soldier the next, then another. Why?
It seems like a pretty reckless disregard for precious life. It makes me sad to think of the families who have lost kids and husbands and wives.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sunday, July 31, 2011


Today, a 2 month old baby died, his name was Joshua.  I didn't know him, I barely knew his parents but my heart was instantly saddened.  I look at how alive Patrick is and how everyday he interacts with us more and tears flow freely.  I don't know if it's the hormones or empathy but I'm holding my baby a little tighter today and everyday.  I take every day of Patrick and I cherish it.
Say a prayer for baby Joshua and his parents, Leah and Scott.

Friday, July 29, 2011

the 90 minute plan

I thought I'd take this quiet time to write one last post before I go back to work and I'm not sure what my life will be anymore.
Today, savoring every last minute with our Patrick has been so important.  He's really smiling now and I was feeding him just a little bit ago and we were gazing at each other and he cracked the biggest smile.  As milk trickled down my stomach, it warmed my heart and made me giggle.  He also has found his voice recently and will coo and make noises back at Joc and I when we do it to him.  Especially when he's chilling on the changing table and flailing his limbs around as he does.  We just love him so much.
We are trying a new sleep thing- trying to get PJ to sleep for longer during the night, called the 90 minute sleep program.  Basically, we pay close attention to patrick after he's been awake for 60-90 minutes and see if he's acting sleepy.  We then swaddle him or sooth him and he almost always falls asleep and naps for about an hour or more.  This "program" tries to get babies the sleep they need to grow their brains.  It's supposed to help with fussiness, and help them sleep "through the night".  We've only been doing it for a couple days... it's not that hard since Patrick is usually starting to get tired after he's been awake longer than an hour... so we just help him take a nap.  Gradually, over the next month (since he's 8 weeks today) he should have longer awake times and be a better nighttime sleeper.  Whatever, it sounds logical but I've been asking myself repeatedly how long should he be sleeping during the day?  Do I keep him up so he gets better sleep at night?  Any place I looked basically said he should be sleeping 15-17 hours a day... I mean, what is that?!  And many people you ask with kids say, "i don't remember how long my kid slept for... he was awake a lot."  (Not helpful!)  So, when a co-worker told me about this book and I've skimmed most of it.. it makes sense and while PJ isn't sleeping through the night, he's getting better daytime rest and he's still awake and interacting with in between those naps.  And really, I'm savoring the quiet night feeds that are time spent with Patrick in a way that he will soon grow out of (hopefully).
Being a mom is hard work!!  And I thought picking a name was challenging. (c:

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Back to work

Joc and I head back to work in a week... I'm actually looking forward to it, let me tell you why. Before I had PJ, I started a new position as staff/nurse educator. You might recall the drama I experienced with full vs. part time, well about 3-4 weeks into my maternity leave my boss leaves me a message that another educator has resigned and she has a full time spot to "play" with. Which translates into me and the other new hire part timer getting full time if desired. My immediate response was, "hell yeah!" I wanted it before, te cost of benefits are half as much (especially with PJ on mine now) and I can get more done and get that pay increase that makes the job switch more worth it. Still, my feeling is strong toward full time, it's just I've never worked 5 days a week in my life so now I'm leaving my boy 5 days a week. It might be tough to get used to. I just didn't feel like after all the drama of the original position and me gripping about part time, that I should turn down this opportunity for full time, especially when I'm not sure when or if it'll ever come up again!
I am excited to be around more grown ups, who can take care of themselves and speak to me. I'm excited because I'm coordinating the simulation center that the hospital is starting, I have lots of new hires who are working on the unit and I'm looking forward to meeting them and getting to know the new population of nurses in our unit. I'm also taking on another staffing area, that is hasnt had an educator, so I have a lot to work on there. So lots to do, and time is ticking away! That's why I'm excited to return to work.
Joc and I have spoken about her dropping back a day so PJ would get an extra day with us. Will he know who we are? Will he start to favor Sara over us because she's with him every day we aren't? I have to believe it all works out because we aren't the first parents to wok full time and have kids... It just worries us a little.
I guess we'll see in another week.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

When I'm a parent, I would NEVER...

Before Patrick, I had many parenting opinions, not that I shared them with too many people it was mostly thoughts I formulated about how I would handle (or planned to handle) different situations.
One thing I've learned: it all goes out the window when you are really a parent.
#1.  I'll never let my child sleep with me.  Please.  It's 4am, PJ has been up every hour and I'm so tired that when he falls asleep on my chest while burping him I lay back and close my eyes.  When we wake up 3 hours later I now know that yes, yes, I will occasionally allow PJ to sleep with me.  (for now, I know that once he gets just a touch older it will form a bad habit and I really don't want a toddler in our double bed as Cooper takes up enough room as it is.  But, for now I will break my rule.)
#2.  I'll never buy a minivan.  I'd like to have three kids, God willing. (I know, I know, get through one first!) A mid-sized car (mine) and the Escape (Joc) will not handle three child seats not to mention any friends the kids may have... so while a new car is hopefully a few years away, I think a minivan might be the most economical instead of the extended SUV that might be more hip.  Joc and I will have to decide when we need to cross that street... but a mini-van may be in our future... oh man...
#3.  We'll be a mobile family, able to travel no matter what, we won't stay at home just because we have kids.  Man oh man, is travel more challenging that I thought.  This baby, this 6 week old dude, has so much crap!  And what will he need while we're away?  How many outfits should we bring?  How many diapers?  Do we bring his vibration chair and his swing and his pack n play?  He has to have tummy time, so his activity mat has to come (because he's too good for a blanket on the floor!) and toys, we have to bring toys (even though he doesn't even know he has two arms and hands to play with them) and books, and PJ's stroller... and we haven't even packed for us yet!  And don't get me started about this child who needs to eat every 1-2 hours, so if he wakes up (if he sleeps) then he's screaming and we have to pull over to feed him (even if I pack a bottle, there are times he won't take it unless he's being held) and now our 1 hour 15 minute trip to Cadillac is more like 1 hour 45 minutes...  not that we just won't travel but man, we gotta get a better routine down or a trailer... (c:

This is my list and PJ is only 6 weeks old... life is definitely different with a little one.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


I'm having a hard time with these hormones. I feel irritated, worried, tearful and angry often. Last night I was informed I have become a pretty negative person. Which leads me to the question: who am I now? Am I becoming an unlikeable person? Are these hormones forever gonna make me this way or maybe it's not the hormones and I'm just becoming this negative, judgemental and angry person.
I don't think it's postpartum depression, it might be the blues or it may just be me. Either way, I'm not into it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Charlevoix and other things

We have ventured north for a week away from Grand Rapids into the waters of Lake Charlevoix. Okay, we're not really in the water but we're next to them at Grandma Judy and Grandad's lakehouse.  Patrick seems to be adapting well to the new place, I was of course worried (I worry a lot these days) he'd have trouble sleeping or be disoriented, but he is doing well.  We've only been here going on our second day but the sun has been out and it's been perfect.  Yesterday we were down by the water most of the afternoon, Joc and I even went for a run/walk yesterday morning.
Speaking of exercise, i've been anxious to get back into working out now that i have my figure back (ha!). So, like a good nurse/patient, when my doctor said to start run/walking after 6 weeks, I decided now (4 1/2 weeks post delivery) would be the best time.  (c:  At least I didn't go all out and run a 5K ok?  Joc thought she'd like to try running again, I'm a touch skeptical as she finds running "boring", but I'm supportive in her efforts.  I'm encouraging biking though, as she enjoys that activity more, but maybe she'll learn to love running like me.  Who knows?  My back has been really sore too, from holding the ever growing PJ.  So I threw in some ab and back exercises yesterday.  I feel a touch sore in the legs today so I know it was ok and everything else seems good too.  I find my posture is horrible these days and when I'm feeding PJ I'm hunched over.  I need my muscle mass back, pronto!
My baby is growing like a weed!  I was uploading photos to shutterfly and facebook and looking back on his birth photos... what a pudge he's becoming!!  He's filling out everywhere.  I love it!
On another note, the crying is better.  Taking the advice of many people, I'm feeding him almost every time he's crying and it's cut back on his screaming spells.  I'm living by the "you can't spoil a newborn" mantra for another month or so.  I'm nurisng him to sleep and making sure he sleeps much of the day so he's not overtired.  So, it's improving.  Thank you for the help!
Finally, I'm trying to decide about a type of electronic babybook for the little dude.  I saw a commercial awhile back where a dad set up an email account for his child and sent him emails along the way of life so when he gets older he has many of his memories.  Joc created the blog but I want one where I can write to patrick about his growth and development.  So, I'm either creating an email account or a blog that I'll write to him and maybe in a few years, create a book... I probably won't link it to this blog as it'll just be for PJ but it's something I'm tossing around.  We did buy a babybook for him but in the digital era, for a digital native baby... I say, why not?

Happy July friends!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

It's not all roses

Patrick has been doing a lot of crying lately.  We haven't quite figured out what causes it exactly but we're troubleshooting it.  These are the times I wish he would just come out and tell us what's the problem.
Last night, as he screamed so hard his face turned red, his cry was silent and he was sweating from the exertion I thought I had it figured out- overtired.  He's a decent nighttime sleeper and he usually sleeps until about 8am, which is really to say we sleep until 8 am.  But he has been staying awake much of the morning, we try to get him to sleep around 9 or 10 but if he falls asleep it's only for 10-20minutes.  Then he has a breakdown (crying/screaming/hard to console) around 11 or 12, once we get him to sleep he will sleep soundly only waking to eat then going back to sleep through most of the afternoon.  This is why I thought he was overtired, thus the breakdowns.
On facebook, someone recommended ColicCalm and after reading about it and seeing it's all natural and soothes gas, colic, GERD and hiccoughs I thought, "what the hell?"  But so far, I'm not convinced it's any of those problems.  It's not like he screams for hours... maybe 30 minutes to an hour... we take turns, Joc is excellent at rocking the screaming baby.  I'm a sucker, I give him the boob and it soothes him to sleep but he only eats for a short time before falling asleep.  So he's essentially using me as a pacifier... which I'm borderline okay with until he's a little older.
Basically, I haven't figured my baby out... he's 4 weeks old and I still can't determine why he gets screaming like he does.
Other thoughts I've had:  overstimulation (we put him on the activity mat and let him stare at the toys), milk supply (but he's gained 3 lbs since birth so I know he's eating plenty and many times I have just fed him and then he gets to screaming), boredom (but from what I read, this should subside once we pick him up and talk to him), frustration (maybe he's ready to move and he's not able to?), gas (but the simethicone and the ColicCalm are for this and I can't say I've seen a direct coorelation between giving him the stuff and him calming down), illness??? (We took him temp once because he was so hot to the touch but it was normal... could he have an ear infection at this age??).  Above all, maybe he's just in a fussy stage right now and needs to cry... I shouldn't complain as the books I read on uncontrollable crying talk about a baby who cries for hours, yes hours, at a time.  I pray, hope and cross every finger and toe, and knock on every wood surface in my house, that he never screams for this long.
So, this post is to basically tell you that Patrick, as much as we love and adore him in our lives, can drive me nuts too.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A few pictures

PJ makes the funniest mouth faces, I can hardly wait till he can smile and interact more. 

Just having some play time on the activity center... he does tummy time but usually starts crying after a few minutes... I would too if I couldn't quite pick up and hold my head, soon very soon!

Just me, Patrick and Cooper chilling.  Cooper used to be a staple on my lap, and for a few weeks she didn't sit there at all.  But most recently, she has resumed her lapdog status, especially when I'm feeding PJ.  She's warming up to him, they'll be best buds I just know it!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

oh baby!

Patrick is 3 weeks old as of tomorrow, he's getting bigger every day.  His face has filled out, cheeks starting to plump up, his legs, arms, hands and feet are even pudgier.  He's also fussier and cries easier these days.  Yesterday, I was reading about how to sooth a baby- the 5 Ss according to a pediatrician who made a video and wrote a book and is retired and wealthy I'm sure.  (swaddle, shake (but not as in shaken baby), shhh noises, suck and one other that I can't quite recall...)  It's hard to listen to his cry, but sometimes I think he's just learning his voice and letting it out feels good.  He's also very good at fighting sleep and he's not the biggest pacifier fan, especially when I try to give it to him.  I can almost hear him saying, "i know that's you ma, i can smell the milk on you!  Now, whip it out and let me calm myself down".  I'm a sucker, I usually comply.  Which makes me read about babies who use their mom's breast as a pacifier.  From what I can gather, it's up to the mom whether that's the role she wants to take on...apparently I am a willing participant.  My nipples are complying for now... Joc can get him to take the pacifier... I can't stand to see him gag and scream for those precious few moments before he takes it and falls soundly to sleep.  Then, you have to look at the consequences to the pacifier.  Again, from what I read (because sometimes that's all I have to go on people!), it's safe to let your babe use one (as long as breastfeeding is going well) until 4-6 months of age.  That's the key time to remove it from his life and he "shouldn't" care (according to these nice folks who write all these books).  So, for now, we'll use it when he can stand it... so that we can sooth him.

And then I sit back and think about life for Joc and I now.  I mean, look at this blog.  It's become all about the baby.  Is this what my life is now?  People drop by to visit and Joc and I talk about Patrick the whole time... he does this, he likes this, labor was like this, breastfeeding is good... We try to ask about them, to remember what made us friends in the first place... but we always come back to Patrick.  A few of our friends are coming in from out of town over the 4th, we were gonna get together at a house here in GR and have a cook out, bonfire, hang out.  Now, the plan is to go tubing down the river (sounds like a ton of fun, would love to do this, it would be great to get some Vitamin D... I can almost feel the river pulling my tube down stream, the cold beer in my hand, the sun warming my face and arms... ahhhh) and then have food then go out downtown.  "Can't you get a babysitter?" ummm.. for my 1 month old child who eats about every 30-45 minutes?  Probably not a good plan for us, even though I'd love to.... We passed on the tubing, but  they are going out Friday night instead, so Saturday we can bring the pack n'play, and hang out till later.  Still, it's the stuff you have to think about like, even if I have a babysitter, my boobs are still gonna need to be pumped... not sure how that would work on the river (c: even if I get a babysitter and work out the pumping on the river, I have a few too many beers, and get home a little too late, I'm still gonna have to wake up with PJ over night and in the morning and function... which I haven't had a few too many in about a year now so I'm not sure how I would recover... I can tell you Joc takes a half to full day to recover from a stupor.  It's just not a good plan...
Maybe in 3 months, when P's into a schedule and eating more consistently and he's older and leaving him will be easier because we'll be back at work.  Maybe in 3 years... but then I might be pregnant again or have another newborn...
Is this what life has become now for us?  It's good, we are very much enjoying this life... but sometimes, just sometimes, I miss the freedom that we had when it was just us and Cooper (who I can throw in the kennel for half the day without worry).  But then the other days, I don't miss the freedom, I don't miss spending the money on ridiculous amounts a food or drink at a restaurant.  We just have to get to know this life a little better and appreciate and recall what we had... but love what we have now.  I wouldn't trade Patrick for anything, not even that delightful trip down the river. (c:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

He's arrived!! (finally!)

I won't bore you with all the gorey details, but Patrick Jude Gable Hodack has arrived!!  We were induced on Thursday afternoon, it was a long and drawn out and often times painful (anywhere from 2/10 for the little, early contractions, to 8/10 for full out labor... and that was with an epidural!)  I was on a pitossin drip for the majority of the time, off  here and there when there were heart rate decelerations on the baby monitor.  I had my water broken, multiple attempts to place a catheter through my cervix to open it, and too many hands up my vagina to check my progress.  It wasn't the funnest thing I've ever done... but the end result is pretty great.  And, it's sorta true what they say, you forget the bad to remember the good.  (I can still easily recall the bad but it's still pretty fresh, give me a few months.)
So, the official statistics:  born 6/3/2011 at 23:40 (everyone in the room thought he'd arrive after midnight but once I got down to the business of pushing, it just progressed nicely), he was 8lbs, 3oz, 23 1/4 inches long (he had a cone head that has since gone away and we think that gave him the extra 1/4 inch so we don't even report it usually).  He has been a pretty good baby, we had some latching issues on the first night but now we're getting by fabulously.  He already had his first pediatrician check up, was back up to 8lbs (had discharged at 7, 14) and is doing splendid.
I'm feeling pretty good.  Someone asked if I missed being pregnant, and I said, "heck no!"  I can wear my old clothes (pretty much... i'm still deflating but I can wear my comfy clothes...), I can see my feet (which have deflated as well from a +4 or 5, seriously, edema to scant of none), I can shave my legs by bending over completely without any discomfort, I can lay on my belly (although my breast now are too full and tender to do this just yet).  I wasn't the biggest fan of pregnancy but I'd do it again for the little guy.
So, I'll try to update the blog with occassional pics and events... life should get even more exciting from here on out! (c:

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Please stop asking me...

I think it's the hormones, really I do.  I'm not usually this irritable and pissy... at least I hope I'm not going to be forever.

Most people mean well, I know they do, and I laugh it off because that's more what my personality is like.  But why do people feel they need to give their 25 cents?  Have I been like that in the past?  It makes me wonder what I've said to people...

Here's my list of Things to not say to a 37+ week pregnant woman: (and my responses or internal thoughts to their comments)
1. still no baby? (yup, I had it just didn't tell anyone)
2. you must be miserable (well, I'm not horribly miserable but I'm done with this abdomen and not seeing anything below my gut)
3. still here? (yes, yes I am.  Can you stop asking me this now?  If you see me, you can pretty much assume that 1. i'm still pregnant 2. i haven't had the baby and 3.  i'm not in the mood to answer your well-meaning questions.)
4. you haven't dropped, with your first, you have a good 2 weeks after you've dropped. (This said to me on my due date... I was so ready to jump across the table at the woman.  hormones, right?)
5. are your feet swollen?  (no, they usually look like this)
6. aren't you cute? (i'm not a cute person, never have been, never will be.  It's life, and I'm 30 years old so I think I'd know if I were cute.  It's the same way I feel when people call old people "cute".  I do not wish to be called cute as an adult nor as an old woman with wrinkles and a sense of humor.)
7. when's your due date?  (fill in my date here) So are you having a C-section? (not that I'm planning on).  So how do you know that's the date? (ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME???!!!)
8. you should eat something spicy, i ate some jalepeno's with my first and went into labor right after that. (Right, I'll take that into consideration... the heartburn is not worth it!)
9.  Sex, you should have sex.  (right, because sperm is what is the most helpful part of sex and since we paid some decent dollar amounts for the sperm that met my egg in my fallopian tube, I'm just gonna wait it out here... and no, I'm not taking volunteers for sperm donation!!)
10. Do you want to know what made me go into labor?  (no, I don't because I'm a nurse and I read research crap and I know that there is absolutely no scientific evidence to support any of those old wives tales about what causes people to go into labor.  What I need is prostaglandin and uterine contractions... which the baby has to secrete in order to start dilating this damn cervix.)
11.  Do you know what you're having?  (nope)  You don't want to know? (Well, yeah we do but we also wanted to keep it a surprise) So are you gonna find out?  (hopefully in the next few FUCKING weeks you idiot!)
12.  You should go for a long walk. (yup, been walking this whole pregnancy..)
13.  When's your due date?  (may 26th) I sit back and watch as pure confusion crosses this person's face.  So, what does that make you?  (stupid for standing here, talking to you still) (this one also drives me mad when people I work with or people I speak to frequently, have asked me this multiple times through the pregnancy.  I know it's not their job to remember nor do they really care what the date is... then stop asking me.  AND when I tell them, end of May, then they say, well what day?  I've taken to saying, you won't remember anyway so I'm not telling you again.  It's mean, I know... but what can I say?!)

I'm laughing here as I write all these, because I know people mean well but I think it comes back to my comedian friend, Bill Engvall, who says, "stupid people should have to wear signs that say 'i'm stupid'.  That way you won't ask them for anything.  You'd be like, 'excuse me, oops, never mind, i didn't see your sign'".  I mean, do they hear the words as they come outta their mouths?  Again, it comes down to my hormones, my emotions and the overall feeling of "This is a big prank.  I'm not really pregnant and there's never going to be baby that comes outta here."  So, I usually smile and answer their questions without making them feel badly, although I'm getting worse at this as the pregnancy progresses.  And really, I'm just bitchy.  I can blame it on the baby, hell, he or she is hanging out in my uterus overstaying their welcome so I think I'm entitled to feeling a little irrational at times.  

Please, don't feel badly if you've said or asked any of the things above... really, it's me, not you.  (c:

***Actually, this has been a helpful decompression... hopefully you chuckled as you read this and didn't take it personally.***  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Identity Theft

My sister called me at the end of April, reporting a collections notice in my name at her address in Columbus OH.  She called to inquire with the company and found that someone had opened an account in my name, with my social security number and date of birth, then hadn't paid a bill of $160.  I mean, if you were going to do some damage, wouldn't you choose something a little bigger?  Well, in filing reports and complaints and paperwork and calls, I've thoroughly reviewed all 3 of my credit reports (because there are 3 agencies.. the things I'm learning!) and found 2 additional breaches in my identity.  For the love of mike! That measly $160 is now a measly $2,271 for a US Cellular account and another measly $254 for, get this, an Ice Mountain Spring Water account.  If this weren't so irritating, it'd be funny. Today, as I called the Federal Trade Commission to update my identity theft affidavit, the nice lady on the phone casually says, "in reviewing the thefts, it appears that the person may have attempted to open a small business in your name and SSN". WHAT?!!  Is that freakin' possible?!  After chatting it up with the IRS, there have been no new businesses opened under my name, so thank goodness for that!

I've been to the GRPD twice, have to go again tonight to get an officer's signature for the first of possibly three fraud packets I have to complete and mail in to prove that I did not in fact, live in Chicago in 2010 but in Grand Rapids MI.

What a pain.  All for a cell phone account, a U-verse account and some water.  What's wrong with these people?  Why can't they get a job, use their own shit and leave mine alone?

I haven't been stressed about it all, it's just tedious and my butt hurts from the hours, literally, sitting in front of my computer and on the phone.  I have pages of records of who I spoke to, for which company and when and what they said.  There have been tears when US Cellular wouldn't release information about this alleged account and the collection agency wouldn't either... I mean, it's my freakin' SSN, and I ain't paying just to pay!  The good news is once I complete the police report and the paperwork, I can have the collections off my credit report and I won't owe any money... but there's always that looming chance they'll use it again.

Moral of the story:  check your credit reports occasionally.  Mine have 3 addresses in Chicago where I've never lived... see who is doing credit inquiries and call them to see why if you haven't authorized it.  If Michelle hadn't gotten that notice, I wouldn't know anything about it and who knows when I would have... maybe when I apply for a new credit card or loan... it's good to be in the know.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Extended Profile

I'm donating the baby's cord blood after delivery, so anyone who may need access can have it.  (You can pay to store in "just in case" but lord knows if we'll need it and frankly, it's too darn expensive.)  In the process of signing the consent and writing out my past medical history, the blood bank asked that I get an extended profile of the donor so they could have a more thorough medical background.  Joc called the sperm bank that the baby daddy is from and she said the person on the phone was so excited that we were pregnant, she didn't make us pay the $20 it costs for the profile.  She emailed it to us and told us we have "priority" over V413's sperm in the future, even if it's not listed online in the list... for more kids.
The profile was 12 pages long, it's waay more detailed than the quick image they give you in the online list.   It was like getting to know the guy, he says he's attractive and has a good sense of humor.  It was fun to read through the pages of information and imagine what the baby will look like when he or she comes out of this womb.
Speaking of getting out... I'm full term now.  37 weeks, can you believe it?  The doctor checked my cervix on Wednesday (she was doing a strep B test so since I had my pants off anyway I asked her to check me), and she said the baby is still pretty high in my addomen and the cervix is only a tiny bit soft.  So, as I thought, this kid probably isn't coming early.  But, that's ok.  I also read though, that a person could get checked in the morning and not have any signs of labor and could still deliver that day or some people walk around dilated to 3 cms for days.  I haven't had any contractions, no mucous plug loosing, no water breaking, just feeling round.  I'm getting so many boy guesses these days, when previously people were guessing girl more than boy.  And I've been told by many people that "pregnancy suites me"... I'm not going to agree with them because I'm ready to have this body back, but would they tell me I'm fat and miserable?!  That'd just be mean. (c:
I'm on the countdown... but trying to not count too loudly as this 3 weeks could easily go through 5 weeks... just praying that everything happens as it's supposed to and the baby comes out healthy and happy.  And that breastfeeding isn't too miserable and that pushing this baby out of my vagina isn't too horrible and... ok, i'll stop voicing all my fears. (c:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The new job

Well, I've been at the new job for a week now.  I started last Monday with a 4 hour "orientation" to the job and it's broad and very non-specific requirements.  I was excited but honestly, a little bored.  I have to sit down with about every "white coat" (as I call the leadership, non-staff persons) in the hospital to introduce myself and see what their job is and how it relates to my job.  Yippee.  (insert sarcasm script there)  I'm lucky though, I'm working in critical care, amongst the people I know and love working with and around.  Many of the people I have to "introduce" myself to already know me, so it'll be quick.  Kristy, the gal who they hired as the other part timers, has ER experience and she's in the Oncology area of the hospital.  She knows minimal people, although she was on committees and knows people from those, and she has that friendly, easy to talk to personality.  But she doesn't even know her way around the hospital at times.  So, she has a bigger learning curve than I do.
I like the job, so far.  I'm just trying to get organized really.  And find stuff to do.  Yesterday, I voluteered to coordinate orientation for new nurses... but was told I shouldn't as I'll be off on maternity leave for 8 weeks.  Ugh.  This kid puts a cramp in things.  Luckily, Kristy voluteered and said we could work together  so I could take over when I come back if I wish to.
Another thing is the old critical care educator had a candy dish that she kept filled pretty much all the time.  I bought three bags of candy last week and it's all gone!  Woa.  I can't keep this shit up!  Not to mention, I'm sitting by the candy dish... I'd love nothing more than to eat it all day.  Jeez.  I don't know if candy will stay high on my priority list, that's for sure.  (c:

The baby shower was excellent, the thank you's are still unfinished.  )c:  We got new french doors and a new back door, and the house is warmer already!  It's freakin' amazing.  And we can have a door mat now!  Our old back door was warped and dragged across the kitchen floor when opened, this one actually fits in the frame correctly and doesn't move the mat when opened.  I was so excited when I saw it!  So worth the money to replace the doors.  Love love love them.  If we decide to stay in this house, you know windows are back on the top of my wish list. (c:  I haven't told Joc though...
About a month to go until the due date.  This countdown is annoying but inevitable.  I'm anxious to see what the baby looks like, how labor will be and what life with a child is like.  Soon, so very soon we will see.  It just feels like a long time away still.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Shower time!

The nursery is almost complete, thank you Jocelyn!!  Joc has done so, so much in that room, who am I kidding, she's done pretty much everything... I think I weighed in on when it was time to take the spare bed out and helped move the furniture a little but really, that's about it.  She painted a row of sheep on the wall that she made by drawing and cutting out cardboard stencils, she made our old TV armoire into a mini closet (the doors and drawers need one last coat of paint and should be installed by the end of the weekend), she unpacked the crib and put it together in record time, she took an old dresser put a fresh coat of paint on it and changed the knobs for fancy brushed nickel knobs and built a changing table topper for the baby to have diaper changes.  She bought some nice baskets for blankets, and organized the clothes, she's rearranged the room (a few times) so it flows perfectly, she installed a dimmer switch for the light, and bought a nightlight to keep on for the baby.  She's been the perfect helper for this baby momma.  I am so blessed and lucky to have her around to help us prepare and most days, I think she's more excited than I am to meet this dancer that's grown to about 5 pounds now in my uterus.  (I call him or her a dancer because he likes to back his butt up into my right side... I've taken to singing that song, "back that thing up" all the time... I rub my side and say, "honey, there's no more room over there!")  She rubs my feet after a long day at work, is sensitive (most times) to my hormonal needs, and is constantly rubbing my belly and talking to our baby.

I took some pictures of the nursery last night but Joc wants to wait until the doors are completed and on the closet before sharing them on facebook and on here.... so you'll have to wait a few more days, it's very cute and very baby.

We have our big and final shower Saturday, we are excited to see our friends and family and to hang out with them to celebrate the baby that will join us soon (thank goodness!).  We'll wash the clothes, pack the diaper bag (thanks Rachael!), and start thinking about our hospital bags (although really how can we pack that bag when I might need to wear those clothes yet... and my toiletries are used at least 2x a day... those might be the last minute things we grab along with a meal, when my water breaks or labor begins).

It's getting closer and closer.  It's getting real and yet still so unbelievable... there's a baby in my belly.  I know it's true but I'm not sure I believe it just yet, not until it comes out and omg... there is it.  Gulp.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Solution to my previous dilemma:  the boss lady agreed to 24 hours a week in the salary position, so I officially (over the phone and email) accepted the job.  The offer letter is "supposedly" in the mail, I start Monday the 18th but have no clue what my schedule will look like.  I'm not even sure how flexible it will be or if I'll find myself at the hospital 5 days a week but for different amounts of time each time.  Regardless, I hope I've made the correct decision and that I enjoy the new role as much as I hope.  It's bittersweet, as my shifts on the unit will be significantly less, I hope to pick up at least one 12 a month but depending on my workload for the new job and how I feel in the last couple months of the pregnancy...  I have said since graduating nursing school that I would only work as a bedside nurse for 5 years, here I am at 6 years and I'll be sad to leave it behind.  I'm praying this is the path I am supposed to go down and I will still have opportunities.  I will mostly miss my co-workers and friends, but will still seem them, at least the ones I am truly friends with.  

Another issue I've brought up on this blog: religion.  Our struggle, well Joc's more than mine, with the Catholic faith not accepting our relationship has come to a head... but not a big nasty one, a nice and hopefully peaceful one.  One of the nuns from Aquinas that Joc spent a semester in Ireland with, Sister Alice, was at the Ireland reunion that we attended a few weeks back.  Sister Alice has a gay niece who lives in CO and just had a baby with her partner.  We didn't really get into a deep convo with her at the reunion but Joc decided to go to mass at the Marywood chapel (where the Dominican nuns live, whom are affiliated with Aquinas and we were told by a neighbor has an accepting congregation and a more liberal approach to the faith).  She ran into Sister Alice at mass but it wasn't until a few days later that Sister Alice emailed Joc to welcome her and let her know how happy she was that Joc had decided to come to mass there.  Joc then took the opportunity to express her frustrations with the Catholic church and Father Jim's outright refusal to baptize our baby.  Sister Alice's response was lovely.  She pretty much disagrees with the stance and hopes that the church moves forward soon (which I'm not holding my breath for but whatever) but she also let her know that there are multiple gay couples who attend mass at Marywood and she's pretty sure there have been baptisms for gay couples there too.  She encouraged us to come again and speak with another Sister, who later also emailed Joc to welcome her.  It felt nice, and I know Joc was pretty pleased with how it has played out.  We'll have to see how it all goes and hopefully, we've found a nice Catholic home to raise our kids without changing our faith to fit our needs.

Monday, March 28, 2011


I have a dilemma... is that even spelled right?  I keep messing with it but according to the spell check gods it's right... don't judge me. (c:

So, I was offered the PDS (professional development specialist or nurse educator) job at work.  Here's my dilemas, yes, dilemas as I may be getting an ulcer.  I do get about a $4-5 wage increase BUT it's a salary position, so I think y'all know what the means, I'll be paid for 20 hours a week but probably put in more along the lines of 30 hours.  Coming from an hourly position, with compensation for every minute I work, this ends up being a decrease in income by about $900.  For us (joc and I and the bambino), this might not be the worst case scenario, but I've been itching to get more hours, in fact have been picking up at least a 12 a week, if not a pay period over the past 3 months.  I will not be able to work consistent hours on my unit if I take the job.  Due to the hourly and salary positions, it violates fair labor laws for me to do this and therefore the HR department could get in trouble and therefore they won't allow it.  My new boss and her boss won't let me be hourly in the PDS role either as it would be unfair to the other PDSs who are all salary... so they'd be mad at me in return, which makes for a great work environment.

Now, I've been parttime for the past year now, maybe more than a year now, and paying part time benefits.  Yes, they are more expensive and I'll still be looking at the same in the PDS role... plus a new dependent with the bambino since thank you to the prejudice and ignorance of people in power, I can't let Jocelyn put us on her benefits but I digress into another issue.  So, basically, I'd be paying more in benefits and making less a year.... seems like an obvious choice doesn't it?

Well, there in lies my problem.  PDS roles do not come around often, seriously, people who are in an educator role seem to stay there forever... the people I'd be joining have been in their positions for longer than I've worked at the hospital and I haven't seen a position posted for this ever at my hospital.  It's a nice job, I feel very passionate about taking it and having a fun time working with the new grads and orientees and trying to get education crap out to my staff nurses.  And to be humble for a moment, I think I'd be really good at it.

I spoke to the CNO (chief nursing officer) today on the phone, and she offered me a possible solution:  there's an admission coordinator job that I could work one 12 hour shift a week at, in a salary position, so I get more hours.  I think it consists of answering the phone, coordinating patient admissions... sort of a boring desk job that I wouldn't love but it'd get me 12 hours more a week to supplement my income.  I countered asking for a salary position at 24 hours a week (instead of the 20 hr/week), which would then increase my yearly income by about $6,000.  She is crunching her budget numbers and will let me know by the end of the week.

I'm torn... does it come down to money or enjoying your work?  What do I choose?

Friday, March 18, 2011


Hello there!  Just doing a great job procrastinating my thank you's from my work babyshower.  I was supposed to do them Tuesday but I found something (I don't even remember what) to do instead then I worked the last few days and now here it is Friday.  We have another babyshower on Sunday, a small one with Joc's work people and another shared babyshower as we are both working with someone who is due in the beginning of April.  I am so gonna get them done today!  Otherwise, the pile will just keep growing, like me!

Speaking of growing, I feel like I'm growing bigger everyday, I haven't shaved my legs in months (not something new for me) but I realized that it's going to be a challenge to shave them well in the next few months.  We are 30 weeks today!  That means this kid could come in the next two months!  That's crazy.  That means I need to start worrying about grooming as I'm not sure how much time I will have between onset of labor and preparing to get to the hospital.  We have our birthing class in April but I'm not sure that's going to be too useful really.  I'll have to wait and find out.  So, that's all the details I'll go into but I will say I can't really bend over well/easily anymore so I might have to devise a plan B!

In non-baby news, I got the new job!  It was changed from a full time spot to two part time slots... the only thing I'll say is I wanted full time and now we are running into snags of how to get me full time combined with staff nursing.  I haven't started, in fact it's been a little bit of a fubar so I hope it's not foreshadowing of what the job will be.  I'm also in email talks with Ferris to possibly do clinical teaching in the Fall with them, since they do it locally (I could probably go back to MSU but with a new kid, the commute and a different job, I'm not sure how it would go for me).  It sucks that we are waiting on deciding on daycare until I can have a more solid schedule... but that might not happen before the baby even comes!  I'm happy about the new job, it starts in the beginning of April, but it hasn't been the smoothest transition.  Let's hope it plays out better in the next week or so.

Friday, February 25, 2011

15 years later

As you all pretty much know now, my dad died when I was just 8 days past my 15th birthday.  In a few short days, I hit the 3-0 milestone, making it half my life without my dad.
Half my life.
I can't quite put into writing what that means to me.  It hurts, yes.  It surprises me.  It's not like everyday is spent thinking of my dad, in fact I'm ashamed to say there are days that pass without him crossing my mind at all.  
Sometimes I still look for him in people and around me.
Last week, I was walking out of work to my car and as I walked around a corner the wind was blowing and the smell of a bakery consumed me.  Immediately, I was in the bakery standing infront of the rack of freshly made donuts.  I had on my white apron, my dad was at the fryer and the music was playing.  A smile crossed my face and I said simply, "hey dad.  sure do miss you around here."  And as soon as it was there, the smell and the memories were gone.
I never had the opportunity to get to know my dad, only in the way an adolescent knows their parents.  I look at my mom differently in my adulthood, I know her differently.  I respect her difficult choices she made when we were young and I love her in a different way.  I wish I could have a glimpse of who my dad really was.
I suppose this is just another milestone I must pass in my life and the next one will be my 44th birthday.
If you think of it on March 9th, stop a minute and say a prayer or think of me, my dad or my family.  15 years can feel like an awfully long time.
Miss you and love you pops, see you on the other side.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Who knew this kid would suck the life outta me?!  Well, I guess pretty much all of you who read this blog did.  Just off a weekend of work and dang, was I tired!  Both days were so busy, my legs were tired, my body was tired, my mind was tired.  I really am suffering from pregnancy brain... even a doctor asked me about it... I officially feel dense.  ugh.

Well, my interviews went well.  I don't want to jinx myself by saying it's in the bag... because honestly, I'm not certain.  I know the other three candidates well enough, and all but one would do a great job.  (is that mean, I just know one of them and I'm hoping her interviews didn't go as stellarly as mine...)  I'm not even sure when we will hear.  There is probably one more interview though.  It's like, make the decision already!! Gollly!!!

I have today off, my only plans are to go grocery shopping and for a walk.  It's great!  Cooper shares my sentiments as she is snoring on the pillow next to me.  Is that spring in the air?  I sure hope so!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Feed me

Oy, February already, seriously people! What is this?!
Lately, all my posts have been pregnancy updates and I'm not sure that's what I wanted this blog to be about... but it's becoming about that, I suppose my life is becoming about that.

Non-pregnancy front:
Did you know I'm interviewing for a different job? It's still at my current place of employment, just as a Professional Development Specialist. wew, all that to just call myself an educator. (c: I have my interview on Friday, actually got the schedule about 30 minutes ago. Three 45 minute panel interviews, with directors, managers and other educators, jeez. Is this all really necessary?! I mean, really. It's about 2 hours and 15 minutes of interviewing, I'm a little nervous, not really sure what the hell they are gonna ask me about for 45 minutes x 3 but whatever dude. I think I'm going to have to get an outfit though... my belly is rounder than ever and sticking out like never before! I'm hoping this is a full time, Monday through Friday gig, no weekends or holidays but I have a feeling they'll take two part timers. Which might be okay as well.... what with day care and such. I'm not getting too worked up really, just taking it in stride. Wish me luck!
This isn't to say I won't be doing anymore teaching in clinicals... I'm just not sure I have a job in that just yet and since I'm not really gonna work this summer (as the kid is due at the end of May), I'm just taking it in stride... remember?!

On the pregnancy front:
I'm having the weirdest dreams. I mean weird guys. Like, I birth the baby in the middle of the store, wrap it up and say, "it's too early!" then I shove it back up my vagina. Yup, weird. The other night it was that I was sitting at the table with a bunch of people (did I know them?) and I looked down and my belly is see through and the baby is floating around waving at me. Ha! Seriously! Weird. Or I'm being chased by sharks... Speaking of sleeping- my hips are killing me. I might develop a stage I pressure ulcer, and I keep waking up on my back... which I'm not supposed to sleep on (as it can occlude the blood flow to me and baby) but I can't help it! It's probably because my hips are screaming for relief. I feel badly for my patients that are stuck in bed turning every two hours... they must be sore!!! And did I mention I'm just getting more and more round? Lord, today I put on my shirt and sweater and was like, "what the hell?! this thing is huge!" And I'm only 24 weeks (and a 3 days). I'm going to be as big as a house by May aren't I?!
I need a beer!
Take it in stride, take it in stride, take it in stride... (I'm like the little engine that could)...

Monday, January 24, 2011

I can feel it...

Well, I'm definitely feeling this child kick around... and maybe even felt some hiccoughs today. It's the weirdest feeling, I like to describe it: it feels like my bowels are alive and the gas has a major attitude. The first couple weeks of feeling baby Gabe kick around I only realized it after it was over... just too fluttery. But now, for sure there is kicking and poking going on. And when I feel it on the inside, not on the outside, it's weird. Like the other day, I'm pretty sure my bladder was kicked, it wasn't full so no worries there. And Joc can feel baby Gabe kick around, it's nice that she can share in the pokes.

Officially, we've registered. Target and Babys R' Us. That trip to Babys was a long event, I think we were there for 3 hours. ugh. Why does there need to be so many damn colors, brands and types?! I mean, what's a receiving blanket for vs. a blanket vs a burp cloth. I mean, please people! And then we're scanning things and I'm like, we aren't sticking to one theme here, which is 100% fine with me but I worry about Joc and her anal ways in decor and matching. Whatever. I'm not sure we registered for enough... but I think we're ok and we can always add stuff at any time...

I have some belly pictures but they are all on my phone so once I upload them to my photobook, I can add one on here for my non Facebook friends. I can honestly say this pregnancy thing hasn't been the greatest deal, I'm enjoying it and I'm glad we are pregnant, I'm just saying there are lots of things I'd give back. Like gaining weight, feeling large and having people say "you don't even look pregnant" and me wanting to say back, "my gut does NOT stick out like this on any other given day... please". But the people who do let their gut stick out in tight shirts ruin it for us tall pregnant women! It's been hard for me to let myself gain weight. People always laugh at me when I say that, but it's true. To watch the numbers climb on the scale every month at the doctor's office is not easy for me, who has always been a large person this is getting ridiculous and from what I read, I'll be packing on the poundage in the next couple months. And having a May baby might be "the best time" according to so many people, but being pregnant during the winter hasn't been the greatest. It's cold and so getting outside for walks and playing is hard, the sun rarely shines around this city so if I wasn't depressed about getting fat, I'm depressed about not seeing the sun. Ugh. But, anyway, I am looking forward to picking a pediatrician, finding a daycare and going to birthing class. Also, meeting this kid and watching him/her grow up, eventually talking to him/her like adults and becoming grandparents. I mean, I have plans man! I just have to get through the fat months.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


It sounds weird. It feels weird. We are officially church shopping, God shopping if you will.
Just before Christmas, Joc and I saw a lawyer about how to secure Jocelyn's rights as a parent for our child. We are having our lawyer draw up DPOA paperwork for financials and healthcare, we are doing a living will, an "if we seperate in the future this is what you get and this is what I get" document, and a domestic partnership agreement. Which we were also informed, could be thrown out in a heartbeat in any Michigan courtroom. Sigh. Wouldn't it be easier to just let us get married? (Ironically, if we do end up seperating in the future, Joc would have no rights, etc to the kids but she could be forced to pay child support. Right, you won't let us get married nor make her a legal gaurdian but you will force her to pay child support on a child that she can't legally claim is her own... What the hell?) Sigh. We are doing it anyway, at least the DPOA stuff will hold up in hospitals and if either of us die. Joc will always be "mom" in our house but to the courts she's just a friend of the family.

Then, Joc decided if she couldn't legally be "mom" then she'd religiously be "Godmother". So, she made an appointment with our local Catholic priest who dutifully informed her that no child from artificial means could ever be baptized in a Catholic church. And technically, we aren't Catholics anymore because of the way we choose to live (the Catholic church says we can be gay, we just can't be practicing, i.e. sexual relations). Joc, of course, was tearful and heartbroken. I was pissed, irritated, hurt, judged, etc. We aren't that nieve, we knew the stance of the Catholic church on our relationship, but I don't think either of us expected to be told we aren't Catholic because of our committed, loving, monogomous and caring relationship.
We have in the past, talked about attending a church that is more inclusive, less judgemental and more accepting but ultimately, didn't want to leave the Catholic faith. Because of this, we haven't been "good" Catholics, we think about going to church every week, we just never make it. Can you blame us? Would the priest look at us and refuse us communion? Now, we are looking at different churches. And it feels weird. I have to shop around for a church that says, "oh yeah, you're relationship is fine with us! God does love you... well our God, maybe not the other God." Isn't there one God? Isn't he all loving and caring? Doesn't he love us, no matter what?

I told Jocelyn that I don't believe God hates our relationship, that He sees us in a sinful light. Back when Joc and I were just dating and she was living in Chicagoland and I in GR I was out on a walk one evening and I said some prayers. It's not an easy thing to admit to oneself, let alone others, that you are gay so I was talking to God about it. I asked Him if it was okay, if I was supposed to be in this place, with this person. I said, "if this is where I'm supposed to be, if Joc and I are supposed to be together, just let me know." The next week, Joc was offered a job in Grand Rapids (and she had not submitted any applications, her resume had found it's way there from a job search years ago). I took that as a pretty strong sign.

The second reason I don't believe God is against us is this. We went through the artificial insemination process three times. The first two times, I can say I wasn't praying at all, Joc was as she always prays. The third time, as we waited in the office for the sperm to do their swimming thing, Joc and I joined hands and I said, "let's say a prayer". She said simply, "may God's will be done". One month later, we're pregnant. I don't take those signs lightly.

So, hopefully God is pointing us toward Him, maybe not in the way we've always known (the Catholic church) but in a new place. I'm pretty sure we'll be going the Episcopalian Church route, as they are very similar to Catholicism with the gay acceptance piece. I look forward to the path He is setting us on. And hey, if you have a moment, say a prayer for us and our family.
Thank you.