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The Marshalogues

A blog about cancer, motherhood, theatre, the politics of healthcare and life in general.

Updated: 2015-05-29T16:03:53.121-05:00


Two months as a family of four.


Wiley is two months old now and is as good a baby as I have ever met.  He sleeps.  A lot.  In bed at 7p.  Doesn't wake up at night most of the time.  Up at 7 am.  Naptime by 9 am til 11ish.  Afternoon nap between 1 and 2.  He is awake maybe 6 or 7 hours a day.  That is all.  And when he is up, he is pretty calm and happy.  Doesn't like wet diapers.  Wants to eat a lot.  Gets cranky if you try to keep him awake.  So long as he gets put into his bed when he is tired - about two hours after the last sleep - he is content.  allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />Wiley is a sweetie.  He is very different from Jackson, who is a spitfire ball of energy.  Even as a baby he was intense and high maintenance.  Wiley is opposite.  I often have to go in and wake him in the morning or from a nap because he has been in there for hours without crying out.  And I'll find him in there looking around, sucking his thumb and enjoying his own calm company.  Perhaps the waking world is too loud for him.  Perhaps he is avoiding the overwhelming attention of his 5-year-old brother who loves him to distraction.  I don't know.  He slept almost all day on Thanksgiving.  Of course I had 18 people at my house including 4 children enjoying each others company.  So it was loud and chaotic and maybe Wiley just prefers his quiet room to being amidst it all.  He is perfectly engaging when it is just me and him in the mornings.  But if you come over, he may just decide to hide out in his crib and sleep till you decide to go home.  Or maybe he'll stay up so you can see him.  But I can't promise.Also I want to share these photos that I took today.  David and I took the boys for a walk around the neighborhood and Wiley decided he didn't want to ride in the stroller anymore.  So David carried him wrapped in his jacket.  I love these pics.  You can really see David's calm personality mirrored in his two-month old son.  So freaking sweet I can't stand it.  I love my boys so much.  Here is a couple of Jackson trying his best not to make a doofy camera face.  We are working on this because I have so few pictures from the last year or so when he isn't making a doofy camera face.  He sees a camera and his face automatically assumes "cheese" face, which makes me laugh like crazy, but leaves me with picture after picture of him that doesn't capture his sweet face as it is in reality.  But I do have enough of these for a doofy-face album to embarrass him with when he is older.[...]



Wiley is 6 days old and is such a sweet baby.  Very chill.  Barely cries.  Sleeps a lot.  Just a joy.  He is a cuddler.  When you pick him up, he fits himself into the curve of your body and just snuggles.  I have decided that he is little David.  Jackson is little me, Wiley seems to be taking after his Dad.  I am really enjoying him.  As precious as my Jackson is, he was not a cuddly baby.  Too much physical stimulation made him crazy and restless.  He wouldn't sleep on you, didn't want to be rocked.  He didn't want to be held til he learned what affection was all about in his second year.  Wiley is a snuggler.   I may write more about the c section when I have more energy.  I'll just say that it went as well as it was supposed to but was not a fun experience for a person who is terrified when out of control.  You can't get more out of control than submitting to surgery while awake.  But it was a perfectly executed procedure resulting in a healthy, safely-birthed baby boy.   Don't know why this pic won't turn the right way : ) His cord was double-knotted like a pretzel.   Not dangerous, not tight, but my doc says he sees maybe one in a hundred babies with one knot and has never seen two.  I thought that was interesting.  The doc was able to hold off cutting the cord for a full minute so Wiley got a good dose of his stem cells and that meant a lot to me.  He came out crying and sounding so loud and healthy, there was no doubt he was ready to be born.  He was a full 8 pounds at 39 weeks.  A full pound larger than Jackson was at 41 weeks 2 days.  We had a few set-backs in the hospital that lead to a 4-night stay.  First, Wiley was born tongue-tied, which means he couldn't stick his tongue out very far.  Which means his latch while nursing was very shallow and he couldn't get enough to eat and made me very sore.  The tongue is very, very important to breastfeeding.  So he couldn't do it very well and he lost a good amount of weight.  He got down to 7 pounds 1 oz and his bilirubin was high so he was getting pretty jaundiced.  They asked me to supplement with formula (oh horror for a breastfeeding mom!)  so I did a supplemental nursing system by which I taped a tube to myself and he got formula while also latched to the breast and getting what milk he could from me.  He perked  up pretty quickly and gained enough that they let us go on Tuesday AM.  Wednesday morning we saw an ENT who fixed Wiley's tongue-tie with a super-quick frenulectomy which immediately fixed his latch.  He is now able to get all the milk he wants from me and is busily nursing as much as he can and gaining weight.  At the pedi today he was 7 lbs 10 oz, so he is doing great.We are getting decent sleep for having a newborn in the house.  My sister was here for a couple of nights and she helped out a lot.  But this baby is so chill and mellow.  I am suspicious of how easy he has been - besides the whole breech thing, failed version, c section and tied tongue...hmmm.We have had friends bring by food for a few days so we have been well-supplied and cared for.  My pain has been decently controlled.  I have some weird numbness, pain and tingling in the area of my incision that is uncomfortable and disconcerting.  I feel like I have a lot of healing to do in there.  I'm swollen and sensitive and need to keep taking it easy.  I've lost 20 pounds already and feel pretty good about it.  Have about 15 pounds to get back to where I was before.  Seems like a lot, but I am not going to freak out about it.  I'm going to try to be as laid back as Wiley.  He just takes it all in stride and is always happy to get another shot at the boob.  (See, he does take after his dad :)[...]

Big Day


Ok, so I guess this is it.  Jackson came into my room about 5:45 wanting to know if it was time to get up yet.  I let him crawl in with me for half an hour.  So that was nice to hold him for a while and give him some attention this morning before I will be gone for a few days and come home with a new baby.

I'm nervous.  I guess I shouldn't be.  I've been through lots of medical procedures;  cancer and chemotherapy that both almost killed me.  This should be a piece of cake, right?  Hell, other women keep telling me that it is easier than actual labor and delivery.  Course I am the freak that enjoyed the endurance test of a midwife birth without drugs.  I never really wanted to be spared from the pain of labor and delivery.  I always wanted to be spared the creepy factor of a needle in my spinal area.  Shiver.  But here we are. 

Here comes David.  The entire family is up now.  Gotta get Jackson ready for school in a few minutes then shower and get ready to go to the hospital.  Bags are packed, I am taking way too much I am sure.  And I wish I had another nursing gown.  I have several two-piece jammy sets, but I didn't count on a section and wonder if I am not going to want to wear pants with the incision.  But I guess that is what hospital gowns are for. 

Ok, I am going to focus on the excitement of meeting this baby and try to forget about my nerves about surgery.  Thank you to everyone who has been sending me good thoughts and wishes over email and facebook.  I think the hospital has Wifi, so I should be able to post something while I am there.  And I am sure David will post on Facebook in near real-time as the baby makes his debut. 

Two Days til Baby!


I am scheduled for a section on Friday at 11 am.  Baby is not interested in turning over, in fact he is often lying diagonally.  So we have to go in after him.  I am excited and anxious and nervous.  I am not really excited about being cut open while I am awake and numb.  But I am more than ready to have this boy. 

I've been off work since Thursday last week.  And I've been doing some serious last ditch nesting and retail therapy.  Redecorated a bathroom.  Rearranged my bedroom to create a nursing station.  Tried to keep the house clean and laundry under control and tried to nap every day.  I have one more full day left.  I need to hit the grocery store and might possibly get my toes done since they are in sad shape and I can't reach them at all to fix them. 

At my doctor visit today there was a lady in the lobby waiting for her 2 week postpartum check-up.  She had her new baby boy with her and he was the perfect little tree-frog baby.  My fingers were itching to hold him .  I can't wait to get this boy on the outside so I can cuddle him.

I just hope my post surgical pain doesn't make it too hard to move around. 

Man this is so different from last time. 

I went to the hospital today to do paperwork and get some lab work done so I don't have to do it all on Friday morning.

I asked my doctor about the few things that are important to me to see if I can have at least a couple of things my way even though I can't deliver naturally.  It means a lot to me to not have the baby's cord clamped and cut immediately.  With a section, I feared there was no way around it.  But I decided to ask anyway.  See if the doc could maybe just give the baby a minute or two to start breathing on his own, suction him before cutting the cord.  Let him get some of his own cord blood before being cut off.  To my surprise and pleasure, my doc agreed that unless I am bleeding too much and/or the baby is in distress there is no reason he can't delay clamping and cutting the cord for a minute.  So that makes me happy.  I understand that I will be open on the table and there is risk of infection, but people have 12 hour heart surgeries.  I will assume the risk of a couple more minutes if that means my son gets his cord blood. 

The other thing is not as big a deal.  But I don't want them to put the antibiotic ointment in his eyes before I get to see him.  I know they are going to want to do all the little things they insist on doing to brand spanking new babies while I am being sewn up in the OR.  But I do not want the first time he and I get to look at each other to be blurred by goop in his eyes.  They can wait to do that, if they really need to do it at all, until he and I get some time together.  My doc says that is fine too.  I just have to be very vocal and remind him about not cutting the cord and make sure David, who will go with the baby, keeps them from putting the ointment in his eyes.  He is also supposed to make sure that I get the baby in my arms at the first possible moment. 

So yeah, I am having some control issues to deal with.  I am going to be strapped to a table and can't control every aspect of the delivery and have to let the baby leave my side.  I have to submit. But I don't have to like it, and I know enough to be the annoying squeaky wheel to have some of the important things my way.  And I have a doctor that I trust to carry out my wishes as long as it is safe to do so.  I guess that is all I can control.

Aversion to a version


No dice on the version.  Baby likes where he is and isn't interested in turning over.  We only managed to aggravate him and make me sore.  But I am not really sorry we tried.  I am resigned to having a section unless he turns over on his own, which is very, very unlikely.  So the version.  I'd heard it described as uncomfortable to excruciating.  I'd say it was somewhere in between.  Painful, but I've had worse - bone pain during chemo could kick external version pain's ass.  Heh, it kicks labor and delivery's ass, as I have said before.  Childbirth is nothing, I have been through chemo.  I doubt c-section recovery can touch neulasta bone pain.  But I'll let you know.We checked in to the hospital at about 7:30 and I filled out paperwork and answered a billion questions that had nothing to do with my version or even having the baby.  Do I live in a house or an apartment?  Ok.  Let's waste an hour on demographics.  Whatever.  They put me on the monitor to get a baseline reading on the baby.  The infamous monitor.  I have seen and heard much about the electronic fetal monitor.  It is one of the many reasons I avoided delivering my first child in the hospital.  And it was everything I expected it to be.  Two transducers, two belts velcroed to your bare belly sending readings every second to the computer.  Itchy and uncomfortable and limiting your movement, I can see why it would be so damned difficult to labor without drugs while hooked up to these things.  In the birthing center, the midwives take fetal heart tones every half hour as required by regulation just like they do in the hospital.  Except they come to you wherever you happen to be laboring - the tub, the birthing ball, walking around - and they place a hand-held doppler to your belly, listen to  tones and then chart it.  The technology doesn't interfere with your ability to move and actively manage your labor pain.  I can see how hard it would be to lay in the bed strapped to the monitor and cope with labor.  I guess that is one good thing about me having a section - I guess I don't have to attempt to do just that.  When my doc came in he did an ultrasound to determine that the baby is indeed still breech.  Then he fetched his little brother, which I didn't expect.  They are in practice together, both OB's and apparently they do versions as a team.  And what a team they were.  They are both very upbeat, jolly dudes.  I like them a lot.  They just seem to love what they do and do it with joy and humor.  So in comes my doc's little brother, John and they start discussing who is going after the 'booty' and who will go for the head.  And together they pressed and pushed and tried their best to lift baby's butt and guide his head around.  his head would move pretty well, but they couldn't get his heiney to come up.  After two tries, they decided to give me a shot of terbutaline to relax my uterus and give it one more try.  Terbutaline felt like taking about 6 puffs of my asthma inhaler.  Speedy heart rate, shaky, a bit high.  Then they tried one more time to the same effect.  Nope.  Not going.  It was time to let it go.They put me back on the monitor to make sure that the baby was still doing well and once they got a reassuring reading they sent me home, very tired and drained, but glad to be done.  I wish he had turned, but none of us were willing to keep pushing the issue when it wasn't working.  So two weeks from now, unless he turns on his own, we will have to have a section.  Not really what I want to do.  But I am not in control here, and I can't dictate this.  I can only educate myself and ask questions and make requests that seem to be in my and the baby's best interest.  Such as, I want to nurse t[...]

Turn, baby, turn.


Tomorrow at 7 am we are going to the hospital to try to turn this baby.  After visiting with the doc on Tuesday, we decided to give it a shot.  He made it sound pretty easy.  He says that in his experience, the baby either turns easily or he doesn't and we stop.  He doesn't try to force him to move if he doesn't just easily go, thus lessening the risk and the percieved violence of the procedure.  So we felt it would be ok to try.  So we'll see how it goes.  There is the slight chance that it could break my water or something so I'll take my bags with me just in case we end up birthing him tomorrow.  Probably won't happen, but it is possible.  I am not getting my hopes up that the baby will turn, I am just going to go in and try to relax, let the doc try and see what happens. It is pretty much a 50/50 chance of him actually turning over.  But if he does then I can avoid a c-section.  And if not I can feel that I at least tried. 

I just got home from the Palace.  I went in after dinner to do some work on the next playbill which is due next week.  I have a hard time leaving things hanging.  I wish I could be finished with it now but I did at least get the pages set and planned out and figured out what pieces are still needed.  So if I can't go back to work, Sonja can see exactly where we stand on it.  I didn't go in during the day today.  Went to leave and my car wouldn't start.  Battery issue.  This afternoon I called roadside assistance to come jump me so I could go get Jackson from school.  It worked and the car is running fine now.  Maybe I left the door cracked with the light on or something.  I hope that is all it is.  But it meant I didn't get playbill work done today and felt the need to go in tonight. 

So now I am tired.  And ready for bed.  Which is good since I have to get up early to have the version attempted.  Just hope I manage to sleep tonight and not lay awake thinking.  I always get hungry when I do that and I can't eat anything after midnight.

Man, I can't compose a proper sentence right now.  All these little choppy ones.  Guess you can tell I am tired. 

Ready now...


I am so ready to have this baby.  Physically I feel at my limit and I have potentially 3 or 4 weeks to go!  I can't imagine being this uncomfortable for another month.  The previous statement could probably be repeated verbatim for nearly every woman this close to her due day, I am sure.  I don't remember being quite this miserable with Jackson, but I remember it being hard.  And he was 8 days past my due date and I know I was really ready for him to be born.  But 5 years ago I was walking around the neighborhood in the evenings trying to get things going and doing exercises and things.  And I don't remember it being this hard to accomplish daily tasks.  Like picking things up off the floor.  I don't remember feeling so limited in what I could and couldn't do.  Maybe I have just forgotten.  Or maybe I am 5 years older.  And have had cancer.  And have a baby sitting breech, which means he is all up in my diaphragm making most movement difficult, whereas I carried Jackson very low, which was heavy, but didn't really interfere with my breathing, picking things up, or cause the awesome nightly heartburn.Whatever it is, I am ready to have this baby now.  And if he wants to come a few weeks early and not be an 8 1/2 pound giant baby that would be fine with me.  As long as he is physically ready, that is. Pretty sure he is big enough.  Just want his lungs and such to be ready too.  Course I was on steroids for a few days so I bet he is ready too.  Heh, if he were head down as he should be, all these braxton hix contractions could be putting me into labor anytime now.  But without the pressure of his head down there helping things progress, I wonder if natural labor will take a while to happen.  Sigh.I have an appt with the OB tomorrow morning.  We'll discuss trying to turn him from breech, but unless the doc is seriously gung-ho and confident and expresses it is a no-brainer and a piece of cake, we are leaning toward not attempting it.  We just kind of feel like it might be too stressful on the baby and on me and that perhaps we ought to just leave him alone.  He may still turn on his own.  Or not.   But we'll deal with that as it comes.  I just have these awful visions of wrapping the cord around him weirdly or causing the placenta to tear.  I dunno.  I guess I'll talk to the doc about it tomorrow.  But I just feel a little unsure about the risks.  Guess I'll see what answers tomorrow brings.And I know that no matter what kind of birth experience this turns out to be, I will always have the precious memories of Jackson's birth, when I had pretty much everything my way.  The birthing center was so calm and private.  And the midwives supported me without any feelings of me being the odd one who didn't want pain medications.  Jackson was born in a gorgeous Victorian room on an antique queen-sized sleigh bed with my mom and husband on the bed with me.  Andrea was there and when Jackson was born, he was placed on my chest and we met him and held him without cutting the cord immediately.  I don't think they even weighed him for an hour or so.  And we all went home 6 hours later.  It was awesome.  And I have such a sense of accomplishment from the experience, like I imagine marathon runners must feel.  It was a test of endurance and though it was very hard, it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.  I'll be at the hospital this time.  My situation is different now.  And if I am able to have a low-intervention birth once again, I will be very grateful.  I know there are some serious pros and cons to delivering in the hospital.  And I am trying to focus on the pros.[...]

Pharmaceuticals and huge breech babies


I had an appointment with the perinatologist today and discovered that this baby is breech.  Still.  Or again.  Cause I swear he turned and was riding low for a week or two.  But he is definitely all up in my ribs again.  Estimated to be about 6  1/2 pounds now at 36 weeks.  Still measuring a week older - 37 weeks and they estimate him to be around 8 1/2 pounds if I go a full 40 weeks by dates.  That is fricken crazy.  That sounds huge to me.  Jackson was 7 pounds and he was a week late.  This is a huge baby!  I can't imagine birthing such a big baby. 

Course if he doesn't turn over I'll have to have a c-section. 

So it is just about decision time about whether we want to try to manually turn him over.  On Tuesday I see my regular OB and we'll discuss whether to attempt a version or not.  It would be done in the hospital because there are risks involved and they would need to be ready to do a section if something went wrong - like the placenta tearing away or the baby not liking it and going into distress and other complications all of which are reportedly pretty rare.  I understand having it done is either mildly uncomfortable or really painful, depending upon who you ask.  And the chances of success are 50 to 60 percent.  And there is also the chance that if he does turn over and I go home that he turns his little heiney right back breech because that is just the way he wants to be. 

Course if successful and he stays head down, then I avoid major abdominal surgery.  So I don't know what to decide.  My friend Google says that a lot of women who have it done are bruised and sore afterwards and the ones who were successful say it was hard but worth it and the ones who were unsuccessful say it was painful and hard and they wish they hadn't bothered trying. If any of you out there have had a version and want to share the experience, go for it.

Blech.  So I dunno what to decide.  I'll talk to the doc on Tuesday and see what he says.  I'd sure like to avoid a c-section.  But not sure if the external version is the right thing either.  Hey, I know.  Maybe this baby should just turn his little ass over all on his own.  That would work too, right?

So the perinatologist isn't happy about my coughing and wheezing either.  I have been on the Augmentin for 7 days and the prednisone for three.  He says they would have worked by now if they were going to.  So I can stop them both and he is switching me to azythromicin to see if that will help.  So third antibiotic trial begins tonight.

He also sent me for a chest x-ray.  He says that pregnant women make internal medicine docs like my pulmonologist very nervous.  And that he has absolutely no problem ordering a shielded x-ray on me to take a look.  Said it would take 100 x-rays to give enough radiation to affect the baby.  And that at his gestational age, they x-ray babies at birth all the time without a problem.  So I did the x-ray this afternoon and they already reported that it looks fine.  No evidence that the lymphoma is coming back.  Just have some resistant gunk in there that may just take some time to clear up.  So that is good news.  Sort of.  It doesn't fix my cough, but at least we know now that it isn't the cancer recurring. 

So the folks at the pharmacy are getting to know me by sight now after our summer of pharmaceuticals.  Between me and Jackson we are buying out the place.

Prednisone & A Showered Baby


I started the prednisone today since my breathing hasn't been much better.  And the good news is that it definitely helps my breathing.  The bad news is that the side effects are no fun.  Shakiness, the jitters, muddy thinking, tripping over my words...feels like I am on drugs.  Cause I am.  I have to take it in the morning so the worst of the effects wear off before bedtime.  And they have.  Leaving me ready to sleep, for sure.  And hopefully I will be able to breath better tonight leading to better sleep.  I only take it for 5 days.  I just hope that when I am done with it my cough doesn't just come back and leave my breathing the same as before.  We'll just have to see.  I just can't imagine trying to labor with a spasmadic cough and crappy breathing.  Blah.

The ladies at the Palace threw a baby shower for me on Saturday and I now have just about everything this baby needs and more.  I was almost embarrased by the amount of love and presents that were showered on us.  Several ladies even brought a few presents for Jackson.  We are lucky people.  Some people in the world are dealing with devastation, famine and flooding.  We are surrounded by people who love us and even if my health is not exactly perfect, we are in good hands and in good shape to bring another baby into our lives.

So bring it on.  I'll even take the prednisone if it will help.

Kindergarten has begun


Jackson is now a Kindergartner.  He has a backpack and sorta knows where his classroom is and seems to be doing pretty well.  Except he really seriously doesn't care for the whole getting out of bed and immediately getting dressed and ready and leaving the house.  He was in tears this morning, not because he doesn't like school, but because he is used to getting up, spending and hour or so leisurely curled up in a blanket watching his cartoons, having breakfast, maybe a bath then heading to pre-school.  He kept saying this morning, "It's not time to brush teeth, it isn't tiiiiiimmmmmeee!"  And I totally agree.  I would rather school started at 8:30 or 9 instead of 7:45.  But it doesn't so he has to get up, get ready and get out the door.  Morning cartoons are now a weekend thing.His teacher just called to say that he was doing well and that he got two orange stars today.  According to the handout on the rules we got, that means he set a good example for others.  We asked him what he did to earn the stars and he doesn't remember.  But at least we know he is doing ok.He did have a pretty decent breakdown this evening.  I think he is starting to understand that he isn't going to be spending nearly as much time with me anymore.  Not going to the Palace, not spending half the day at home with me several days a week.  He curled up on my (non-existent) lap and started to cry.  He said he wanted to live with me forever and he didn't want to move out when he is a grown-up.  We have talked in the past about how when you are a grown-up, you go and live in your own house with your own family.  Well, he decided tonight he wasn't ever moving out and that if he did, I would have to come with him.  He needed all kind of reassurance that I would still hold him and give him love forever.  I totally lied and told him he could live with me forever.  He can't.  He has to move out when he is a grown up, but by then he will want to.  I hope...A blurry wave goodbyeI tried really hard not to tell him that I would be here with him forever.  Cause you just can't promise that.  But it is really hard not to lie and say it when your child is crying in your arms.  Shit, besides just being human and sorta likely to keel over at some point, I am a cancer survivor and about to have a baby.  I can't promise to be here next week, let alone 30 years or more.  I told him that as long as I had the power to do so, I would be with him and hold him and love him.  I guess I have seen too many Hallmark movies where a parent dies and a little kid reacts with anger saying "Daddy said he'd never leave me. He lied to me!"  Probably doesn't make a difference, he heard what he wanted to hear, I am sure and not what I actually said.  But I tried.  I went to the pulmonologist today to see about this cough that I have had for about a month.  I am about 35 weeks pregnant now and I really don't need to be hacking and coughing while I am trying to deliver a baby.  I need air to labor, I think.  I wish I could get a chest x-ray or scan of some kind.  But this doc isn't comfortable doing anything while I am pregnant.  I've been on amoxicillin since Saturday because Jackson had strep throat and I was having symptoms.  The doc was going to suggest just that, but since I've been on it for five days and it hasn't done anything, he is putting me on Augmentin, a stronger antibiotic.He also wants me to take prednisone for five days. This makes me very uneasy.  Prednisone is a steroid and was one of the drugs I was on during chemo.  I have bad memories of prednisone.  Ravenous hunger, extreme moodiness, weight gain, bloating, jitteriness,[...]

Kindergarten and baby countdown


Jackson starts kindergarten in a week and I am so nervous.  It is such a big change for the two of us.  He will be at school all day five days a week.  No more 3 half-days a week and the rest of the time with me.  I am starting to feel some separation anxiety here.  My baby will be out of my control most of the day, 5 days a week.  Breath, I can't breath...I think I need some Lamaze technique here...Ok.  I know we will both survive.  I know so many kiddos who spend that much time and more in daycare from birth and they are just fine.  So a 5-year-old should be able to handle kindergarten.  Not sure his heavily pregnant hormonal mommy can handle it, but he should be fine, right?Tomorrow evening is the elementary open house where we get to visit his classroom and meet his teacher.  We'll take his (huge amount of) school supplies there so they don't have to deal with them first day of school.  And I'll get his school lunch account set up with some money.  I found out his school is one of six in Round Rock ISD giving all kids free breakfast in their classrooms every morning.  That is pretty awesome!  I have no idea how that is being funded and if it is eventually going into all the schools, but I am glad Jackson will get that benefit.  I am getting rounder and feeling more ready to have this baby every day.  34 weeks now.  6 weeks to go.  It sounds like an eternity to me with this heat and the ankle/foot swelling.  I almost have the nursery ready.  I am washing my cloth diapers right now and getting them ready to use for a second kiddo.  I used cloth on Jackson for 10 or 11 months before they got too bulky to fit into his clothes and he got to physically combative during diapering to get them on him snugly.  But I enjoyed using cloth for most of that time and am actually looking forward to doing it again.  Just something about a clean, soft, cotton diaper.  And washing them is really not such a big deal.  When he gets bigger and graduates to the larger sizes I will probably invest in a different style of cloth diaper.  They have several less bulky styles that go on faster than the pre-fold style I have now.  I have several friends who used a different style and were able to use cloth all the way to potty training.  So I am giving it another go and feeling happy about it. We have a change-filled few months ahead of us in the Sray household.  Jackson starts school and we are adding a family member.  Starting over with a baby after 5 years.  What were we thinking?  Kidding.  Sort of.Jackson has been so excited about the baby since he learned about him.  I know he is going to be a great big brother and will love him very much.  But it isn't going to be easy.  I think it has started to sink into his mind about how much attention the baby will be getting and how needy the baby will be.  He has started to ask whether I'll love him (Jackson) the most and if he will still be my favorite boy.  I've tried to deflect by saying that he will be my favorite big boy and his brother will be my favorite baby boy.  But he isn't satisfied with that.  He wants me to tell him I'll love him more than the baby.  Tonight he was upset and crying a little at bedtime saying he didn't want me to help the baby more than him.  And he didn't want his Omi to bring the baby presents instead of him.  Poor guy is starting to get that though he really wants a baby in the house to play with, he doesn't want to actually share his mom with the baby.  I don't know how to reassure him.  Or even if it is possible.  He's right.  The baby will take a lot of at[...]

Long time no see...


Haven't felt like writing in a while.  Has it really been since February?  Those who know me in real life know that I have a baby due in 8 or 9 weeks.  I figured this was as good a time as any to start updating here as the countdown to baby begins.Baby boy number 2, who is still nameless, is residing in a breech position causing much discomfort at this time (think 'kicks aimed at the crotch area', ouch). I would also really like him to turn over now to give my last weeks of this pregnancy some peace of mind.  I know it is too dangerous to deliver a breech baby.  But I sure don't want to have a C-section.  I'll do what I have to do to have a safe birth, but be sure that I will be doing all the contortions I can find on the internet that claim to encourage breech babies to turn over.  Jackson is very excited about having a baby brother.  He asks me almost daily when the baby will be here and he talks about the things he wants to show the baby and teach him.  It is pretty sweet.  I know there will be some jealousy when the reality of a needy, crying baby is living in the house where he has reigned as King for five years.  But I really think he is going to love being a big brother.I can't believe he is starting Kindergarten in a month.  I am so nervous about it.  It is such a helpless feeling - not knowing what to expect, sending him off to a big elementary school for the first time.  Can he negotiate the cafeteria and keep track of a lunch account card on his own?  What if he gets picked on for being small?  Will he be smaller than everyone else?  He has grown a lot this summer, but in May at his pre-school graduation he was the smallest child in either class.  And he will be young, at 5 years and a month.  I know he will be fine, I know.  But I am nervous and I am a person that likes to be in control.  And I can't control this as I would like and I don't want to be one of those terribly annoying helicopter parents that teachers hate.  And of course, being as pregnant as I will be when he starts in August, I simply won't be able to hover.  I'll be busy being hugely pregnant in August in Texas.  I assume that will make me a bloated, flip-flop wearing, uncomfortable, physically self-absorbed, crazy lady.  And I will most likely be focused on an attempt to control my labor and delivery experience.  I had Jackson with midwives at a birthing center and I was so comfortable with my level of power to labor how I felt best with their help.  They don't dictate like hospitals do.  It is just such a calming experience to know that they are on the very same page with me and will help me deliver safely the way I want to.  I was able to deliver Jackson without any pain medications or epidurals.  I don't have a problem with pain, I have issues with the loss of control that comes with narcotics and epidurals.  And like running a marathon, it left me with such a sense of personal accomplishment and satisfaction.  Jackson's birth remains one of the most positive experiences of my life.But after my miscarriage last summer and my experience with cancer, chemo and being helplessly sick, I have lost some of the trust that things will go exactly as they naturally should.  And without that trust, I felt that delivering in a hospital was a safer choice. It has been painfully proven to me that my body is human and that bad things can and do happen to me.  Some of my chemo drugs cause heart damage, and my right lung has enough diminished capacity that my breathing is noticeably affected by the extra blood volume, weight and stress of pregnancy.  I c[...]

Smart Boy


Jackson instinctively knows his dad is a dork and that the things his dad says are sometimes goofy. He just gets it.

As I was getting him into his pj's tonight he said, "I'm keeping my sockoos on." Then he stopped, looked a little embarrassed and said, "My daddy calls them sockoos." I laughed out loud. So did Jackson. Then he said, "Daddy also says underoos and pantalones, isn't that funny?"

Yes, son it is.

Let's see, some other Jackson bits of wisdom lately...

This weekend while David was at rehearsal, Jackson and I lazed around the house, him playing with his toys and I was reading a book on the couch. Jackson sighed loudly and proclaimed, "Sometimes doing nothing is the best thing, isn't it? I'm enjoying doing nothing."

He also understands his own emotions. The other night after several failed Lego building projects he was so mad and upset and started crying. David asked him what was wrong and he replied, "I'm upset because nothing is going my way. Nothing is working out the way I want it to."

I'm sure there is more. The child is continually talking, asking questions, demanding answers, making up jokes that make no sense and keeping my ears working overtime.

He is a gem and I can't imagine a more precious boy.



Over the New Year's holiday David, Jackson and I flew to Pennsylvania with my Dad to visit his mom and siblings and my cousins.  It was Jackson's first flight on an airplane and he was seriously excited.  I worried he would be restless on the 3-hour leg of our flight, but he did a really good job.   Snacks and coloring supplies along with the window-seat helped keep him occupied.  And he got very excited when he could look out the window and see the city below.  "Look, we're on top of the world!" he would say.

It snowed heavily the entire three days we were there, which meant we didn't get to travel to my Uncles house as we had planned, but we luckily got to see many relatives at the New Year's Day party at my Aunt's house before the weather turned colder.
Jackson really took to the snow.  It was 15 degrees outside and the snow was up to his knees in places, but he played outside an hour at a time, several times a day.  David was a great sport and spent a lot of time playing in the snow with him.  I spent a lot of time inside reading a book and watching the picturesqe scenes of snowplay and fun in the picture window.  I did go out long enough to play a bit, get my picture taken in it and get really cold.

I enjoyed the few days in the snow, but can see how hard it would be to navigate life day after day in that mess.  It would not remain picturesque for long. 

Course it isn't easy here in August either.  So we all have our weather to deal with.

(What happend to blogger spellchecker?  Where have you gone, oh hider of my horrid spelling...)

What is this thing called blog?


So many happenings since I last blogged. My 2 year-old laptop bit it before Christmas. And I had to wait two weeks for the computer guys to diagnose it dead. Then a New Year's trip to Pennsylvania. Then computer shopping. Geez, and you wonder why I haven't blogged. Not only have I been busy and lap-topless, every time I have sat down to blog I open with an amazingly boring-ass paragraph like the one I just wrote. I can hardly stand not deleting it for sheer mundane crappiness.Let me tell you what killed my blog. Facebook. Facebook killed my blog. For two reasons. The first reason is laziness. Why write a six-paragraph semi-entertaining essay about what you did on your trip to PA when you can condense it into a one or two-sentence witty status update that might make your friends smile for 20 seconds as they go about their day. Facebook is the lazy-man's BlogSpot. It is also a forum that is making me share way, way less about my life. Because every day, twice a day, (at least) I scroll down the news feed reading the one or two sentences that my 300-plus "Friends" choose to post for the pleasure of anyone they have ever met and all I can think about most of the time is how stupid it all is. Really. I am not talking about the handful of truly witty real-life friends that I have. And if you are reading this blog, of course I am not talking about you : )But I just want to comment all the time in ways that are really not appropriate, though I think are very much called for. Here are some generic things I would like to say on facebook. 1. If your job sucks that much, please attempt to get a new one. 2. If you join every application sent to you, fine, just don't effing invite me to join too.3. You're a fucking conservative, really? I wish I wasn't your facebook friend so I wouldn't have to know that. I was blissfully ignorant before and happy to stay that way.4. If you are so melancholy and depressed that every status update is a cry for help, I feel for you, but seriously wish you would get some medication and at least pretend to be happy sometimes.5. If you don't have anything to say, please for the love of christy, don't post a status update.I could go on and on. Which is interesting when you consider how addicted to loitering on facebook I am. I love it. I like looking at pictures of people I knew in high school and seeing how they turned out and comparing them to the way I turned out. I love how extremely funny and apt so many of my real-life friends are. They make me laugh and I am constantly reminded why my dearest friends are my dearest friends.  And I love being able to send a message to people so easily. It helps me out in my work. If I need to get a message to a Palace actor or techie and I don't have their number or email, chances are they are my friend on facebook and I can easily connect with them. But I don't say much. My status updates are not frequent. I am inundated with so much worthless noise that I simply don't want to say anything for fear that I will add to it. Unless I truly think I have something to say or simply can't stand not posting my mundane doings - such as posting about the delicious bowl of ice cream I might be having - so I don't. Unless I am in a show and want to bug all my 330+ dear friends to come.And at the same time, I stopped blogging.  The fear of mundane narcicism carried over to this forum in my mind.  And I have so many acquaintances reading here and I don't have a set topic. And I don't feel like writing a self-absorbed, non-offensive entertainment column. Like I am writing an endless essay entitled "What I did today"  and it must be entertaining and can'[...]

Good times, Piano and Spongebob Art


Annie is going well at the Palace. Ticket sales are good and the audiences are really enjoying the show, no matter which of the three casts they see. I am having a good time playing my two very different parts. And this is my first Palace show in which we have an actual dressing room. Counters with rolly-chairs, mirrors with Hollywood lights, costume racks with character assignments, the whole shebang. The only thing lacking is the monitors in the dressing rooms are not working yet. When those are hooked up we will be able to hear the show in the dressing room so we don't have to guess how much time we have left for a quick-change. It is a nice change from a curtained-off corner of the dirty shed with only a hand mirror for make-up. And clean bathrooms! Need I say more? There are still tickets for Annie available, especially on the weekday shows. See my last blog entry for my show dates if you want to see me and my "electric smile." Heh, that is what the Williamson County Sun said about me. David laughed and said, "That's code. The reviewer thinks you're hot." Lol, I love my husband.**************************I grew up in a home with a piano and while I never became any kind of pianist, I spent countless hours messing around on it. I could read music because I played in the band at school, and I was able to figure out how to play some of the sheet music my mom had hanging around from her youth. I took a few piano lessons as a teenager, but the teacher tough out of a hymnal and I lost interest. But to this day I can plink out virtually any Christmas song you can think of. I want Jackson to grow up in a house with a piano. He can take lessons to see if he likes it, though it might prove difficult for a left-handed child. But it also would come in handy to plink out our vocal parts when one of us is cast in a musical. So I mentioned to Dad on Thanksgiving that I was looking for a small used piano. Dad, the master of Craigslist, found this one here in Round Rock. It is a 1938 Kimball that was owned by a 78 year-old woman who got it for her 6th birthday. Her son's job has been transferred to Korea for a number of years and they are selling everything for the move. They were very sad to see it go, but are happy that it goes to a local family who will treasure it. It needs tuned, but other than that it is a real find. I came home from work today to find it sitting in my dining room. My Dad broke into my house (ok, he used the garage code) and brought it in. Jackson has already pounded out a tone-deaf version of jingle bells and I have already fallen in love with having a piano in my own home. Thank you, Dad.*****************Jackson took David's IPhone and took a few pictures around the house. When I looked at them all I found these abstract pieces of Spongebob Art. I love it. I should have prints made. [...]

Chemo, Annie and Jackson Spider


Two years ago today was my final round of chemo. You can read about the debut of the Chemo Queen here. Seems so bizarre that I went through all of that and am now living a fairly normal day-to-day life. Preparing to open another show, fixing up my house, thinking about another Christmas.

Of course I become more wistful every day when I see all the families with multiple children. I see the siblings interact at Jackson's school and I really want that for him. And I am beginning to really understand that I may not be able to have another baby and I feel cheated somehow. And it seems like everyone has a new baby when you want one so badly.

But it is two years post-treatment and I am still here to worry about it. That is something. And I had a CT scan this week and got the good news yesterday that all is still clear. NED.

Annie opens on Nov. 20th. Rehearsals are a crazy circus with two of three casts rehearsing each night, one on the stage and another on the rehearsal stage. So many of us are in more than one cast and end up running back and forth all night to determine where we should be and what we should be doing. I don't envy the stage managers their job of working all this out.

I don't think I even blogged that I will be playing Miss Hannigan for 5 shows. But Mary Ellen determined that she needed a third Hannigan to swing a few shows and offered it to me. So I am playing Lily for 14 shows and Hannigan for 5. Here are the dates:

I will be playing Miss Hannigan on Nov 29, Dec 12, 20, 23 & 29. And I will be playing Lily (Rooster's Girlfriend) on Nov 20, 28, Dec 4, 11, 16, 19, 22, 26, & 27.

This will be at the Palace Theatre in Georgetown. you want to see me, get tickets in advance because this show is going to sell very well. It is Christmas-time and there are so many kids involved so tickets will sell well in advance.


I have had requests for Jackson Halloween pictures. I will confess that I didn't get great pics of him. Cause it was low-light and he wouldn't sit still. But this one at least shows you how cute his spider costume was. He really was adorable, raising his arms and saying "raaarr". I think he must have been one of those rare rain forest roaring spiders. or something.

And here is one of us at Andy & Renee's Halloween party. I am a ghost bride of some sort, David is the Emcee from Cabaret and Jackson is 15 minutes from falling asleep in the guest room.

Talking With...


Talking With opened Friday and it is a good show. I am really enjoying, not only the performance part of it, but the fact that we work as a crew together, changing sets and helping each actor get set for her piece. It is really a lot of fun and very bonding to have my individual monologue, and then change into my black clothes and become a member of the backstage crew. Working with such a talented group of women is not something you get to do all the time. And they are all so much fun and there are no personality issues or egos to contend with. Just cool ladies and a good show. I am going to be sorry to see this one end. It is such a short run. Only 4 more shows. Tomorrow through Sat at 8 p.m. If you are in the Austin area, you should definitely come out and see it. Austin Live reviewed us and seemed to really like it. I was pleased to even get a favorable personal mention! Check it out here. And make reservations to see the show here.

I am still here.


When you don't blog for a little while, it becomes a habit. Do people really want to hear about what I am doing on a daily basis? From the comments of friends and family complaining about my blog silence, I suppose for some reason they do. So here I am. Blogging.

My life at this time is full. I am working on two different shows. Talking With is a monologue show with North by Northwest Theatre company. There are six of us and we each have our own pieces to memorize and perform. Mine is a bizarre and awesome monologue about a baton twirler who finds religious ecstasy through twirling. I have borrowed batons from Andrea who, of course, took twirling lessons as a tween and my flag twirling skills from marching band are coming into play. Baton twirling and flag twirling are not exactly the same, but they translate enough to make me credible enough for the show. And I am hoping not to look too bad (and exposed) in the twirler costume. Dance tights are my friend. Talking With opens October 9th at the City Theatre in Austin and runs for two weeks. Posted is the publicity shot we took. It is missing Jen Coy who was sick the day of the shoot.

I have also been cast in the Palace Christmas Behemoth, otherwise known as the musical Annie. There are 27 scheduled performances which means that Mary Ellen needed almost three full casts to get them all covered without killing her actors at Christmas-time. So I said what the hell and threw my hat in the ring. If I am ever going to get better at musical auditions I will have to keep doing them. I get so nervous and can't sing my best. I did pretty well this time, though and I will be playing Lily, Rooster's girlfriend (the Bernadette Peters part from the movie). So I will be starting rehearsals for that immediately and anytime I am not needed at Talking With Rehearsals. Annie doesn't open til November 20th, so I have plenty of time after Talking With closes to catch up on the rehearsals I will miss while off doing the other show. I think it will be a fun part. It seems the last few shows I have been cast in have been for character roles. I have to shift my thinking some, because I am used to thinking in terms of the ingenue roles. But it seems my skills as I get older are evolving and I am being challenged to do characters that are quirky; different. I think this can only be a good thing and as I get older can only serve me well. So I am tentatively excited to play the trampy, blowzy, over-the-top Lily St. Regis from Jersey City.

So that is what I am up to. David has good theatre news, too. The list of B. Iden Payne nominations came out last week and David's show, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, was nominated for 4 awards including outstanding cast performance and outstanding production of a musical. In addition, the Austin Circle of Theatres folks asked the cast to perform a number at the awards ceremony! I am so excited for him. I was so proud of his performance in the show last year and I wanted to see it way more that the three times I managed to see. And now he is being recognized for it and it is so well deserved.

Enough for now. If I blog to much my first time back I might make myself sick - having lost my blog tolerance and all that.

Floor project!


The last week and a half has been very full of physical labor. We ripped the carpet out of all but the bedrooms in my house and are installing laminate floors. My house is a complete mess and I have been going to bed totally exhausted, but content. David's parents came this weekend to help get the majority of the floor layed. We had the house mostly prepped when they got here - carpet out, baseboards off, furniture out. We worked in the evenings all week last week to get it done. And while we had the office empty, we took the opportunity to paint the dirty eggshell walls two shades of vibrant blue, which is getting mixed reviews from the peanut gallery. We like it though. If you are going to make the effort to paint, I say paint big. Andrea came over to help with the painting and Jackson enjoyed helping us paint as well. Though I will say that painting a room bright blue with a four-year-old's help is a lot of work. Especially since we were painting two walls darker blue and two walls lighter blue. Making sure he kept the right color on the right wall was tough. He desperately wanted to mix the colors. He managed to survive the chaos of the weekend with no furniture by carrying around his little folding chair. Unfortunately, he broke out in ugly hives all over. We think he must be allergic to the cement dust and general yuck that we stirred up by tearing out the carpeting. Benadryl cleared them up mostly but we are keeping an eye on him since the floor isn't quite done and we still have a hallway of cement till the weekend. The cats wandered around all week wondering what the hell was going on and why we were moving all the furniture they like to sleep on. They were so bewildered and funny. Of course as soon as the first boards in the living room were installed, Sarah cat took up residence on them and stayed there all afternoon as the work progressed.While David and his parents worked on laying the floor Elaine and I prepped and repainted all the trim baseboards. I had no idea how nasty those things were till we took them off the walls and I got a close look at them. They are going to look so nice with fresh paint and a new floor. And here are a couple of pics of the floor in the living room and office. They are both still a mess and these pics were taken before we got the baseboards back on. But you can see what a nice job David and his parents did laying the floor. It looks great. I will post finished product pics when we get all finished and the house put back a few weeks...or months...however long it will take to put the chaos to rights.The last two evenings have been spent putting back baseboards and caulking the gaps and putting some furniture back. We are already so beat from the prep and actual floor laying that we are taking our time and working as we can. We feel pretty productive and proud of how our first major home project is turning out.[...]

Planet Cancer Retreat This Weekend!


I am excited. This weekend I am attending my second Planet Cancer Retreat. I am so lucky that PC is based in Austin and has its retreats here each summer. I don't have to spring for airfare! My friend Becky, whom I met at the retreat last year, is flying in a day early tomorrow and will hang with me for a night and a day before we both head to The Crossings for the retreat on Friday afternoon. I am taking her to dinner at Threadgill's and then to Andrea's production of The Vagina Monologues. Maybe a trip downtown after or on Friday to show her a little bit of Austin.

Then the retreat this weekend where we will meet and connect with cancer survivors from all over the country ages 25-40. It is a really neat weekend and I am happy I got accepted to go a second year.

I'm pretty weary tonight from working hard this week so I can take Thursday and Friday off, and then tonight getting the house ready for a guest. I have a little more to do tomorrow, but I have done most of the cleaning I wanted to do. The kitchen is the last thing and that can be done tomorrow. Now I just have to keep the small child from destroying all my work before she comes tomorrow. We may have to tie him up and sit him in the corner. (KIDDING! REALLY!)



I had a good birthday today. David and I took Jackson for his first dental appt this morning. Not what you would expect us to do first thing on my birthday, but David scheduled it a few months ago, overlooking the fact that is is my birthday. But no biggie, I might have wanted to stay in bed longer, but I wanted to be there for his first visit.

He has been nervous about it for a few days, asking me to please not make him go. I have been telling him that the dentist just wants to look at his teeth to make sure they are strong and healthy. So he says, "What if she says they aren't strong and healthy? Will she make me stop brushing my teeth?" So there has been some anxiety leading up to this visit.


But he was so good. Didn't get too upset this morning about going and went into the exam room willingly, although apprehensively. The Dentist was great, taking time to really connect with him before getting into his mouth. She had a large stuffed frog with a full set of human-looking teeth that she pulled out to show him. Together they counted the frog's teeth and then Jackson let her count his teeth. She did and exam and polished his teeth and took x-rays. Jackson enjoyed seeing the x-rays of his teeth. All in all it was a good visit and a great first experience at the dentist for him. I am glad we went with this doc. She is not a pediatric dentist, but a family dentist that does kids too. But I think the calm environment of this office and the exemplary care of this dentist was the right choice.

(image) Tonight, my mom came over and watched Jackson and David took me out to dinner. He set it up. I didn't even know where we were going till we got there. He took me to Fogo De Chao. Very, very good if you are a carnivore. Neat place. They bring skewered meats to your table and cut hunks off for you. Endlessly. Until you can't possibly eat anymore. And they have a first-rate veggie/salad bar. I am stuffed and content.

I have been starting to feel a bit better. My hormones are much lower which probably helps with my moodiness. Hopefully this will continue and I will be back to my old self again soon.

Miscarriage take two


I am doing my best to recover from my miscarriage. It has been three weeks and you would think I would be getting back to normal, but I had not been feeling anything close to normal. On Thursday last week I woke up in the morning with severe cramps and bleeding. Enough that I had to go to the ER to get checked out. Seems I had an incomplete miscarriage three weeks ago and it took this long for my body to figure it out. So after a day spent in the ER and some IV morphine, I think I finally may be nearing the end of the physical ordeal of losing the baby.


I had a check-up today with the OB Doc who saw me in the ER. He is checking my hormone levels to make sure they go down this time. Thursday they were still high, explaining the feelings of still being pregnant that I have had for the last three weeks.

I am hoping the hormones will drop quickly and that I will be on a more stable level. I am so volatile lately. I get so mad so easily. Little things make me cry or curse and I am having a hard time just getting by without lashing out about stupid things.

Everyday life is hard. We all know it. Bureaucracy reigns and you just have to deal with it. Shit happens and you have to keep going. You have to go to a doctor's appt to deal with a miscarriage from three weeks ago instead of taking your son to a Kindermusic class.

So what is a girl who is emotionally unstable and kinda depressed to do? You know it. Nice and Easy. Hair color. I am now sporting dark, really dark, brown hair. I like it. It made me feel slightly better.

I am hoping to get myself under better control soon. Maybe when I am truly physically recovered from all of this, I can.

It just seems like everything has to be hard. Trying to make an appointment for Jackson to get a rash looked at is hard. It shouldn't be. I called the doc around 3:45 to get an appointment for tomorrow morning while I am off work. They wouldn't make an appt for him for tomorrow. Said they only make same-day appts. I would have to call back at 8 am tomorrow to get an appt for tomorrow. I could come in today though. Their last appt was at 5. I had my own appt today at 4. It was possible I could make it, if my own appt ran on time. So I took the chance and made the appt, knowing it was a long shot. Alas, my 4 p.m. appt didn't happen till 4:30. I got out at 4:50 and tried to call the pediatric office to tell them I wasn't going to make it. But they turned their phones off. Said office hours were 8 - 5. So they turned off their phones early and I couldn't even leave a message.

So I sat in my car and had a two-minute breakdown. My mom had taken Jackson to his music class that I had to miss and I was waiting for her to bring him to me. And I am sitting there in my car wanting to weep with unhappiness because I can't cope with all the tiny bullshit that you have to wade through day after day. And I was upset because I am upset by all of the stupid little shit that you are supposed to let roll off your back. It isn't rolling off me. It is sticking and building up and making me crazy.

I guess it would be easy to say this is all hormones and disappointment and I will feel better soon. And I hope it is. I am ready to be myself again and not flying off the handle and yelling at the guy at the post office for bureaucratic bullshit he couldn't help.

Floods suck


I'm a little sad tonight. I have managed, for the most part, to go about having a normal life for the last two weeks. Working, taking care of Jackson, normal stuff and keeping busy. But in quiet moments, I am still sad and disappointed that I lost the baby and I wonder how long it will take before it doesn't hurt anymore.

My pants fit tightly from the 4ish pounds I gained in two 1/2 months of being pregnant. Doesn't sound like much but its all in my belly and is enough to make me uncomfortable in my clothes. They don't fit well and I feel self-conscious about it.I feel like I look pregnant, but I am not anymore. I was just on the verge of buying some bigger pants when I lost the baby. Now I refuse to. Now I just need my hormones to go back to normal so I don't feel so bloated and I need to eat better and lose it. I want it to happen overnight, but things don't work that way, I know. Weight gain for nothing really sucks.

We had a water emergency at my house today. The pipe that connects the water line to the toilet burst and flooded my bathroom, closet, part of my bedroom, a hallway and seeped under the walls into my kitchen. It couldn't have been running for long before it was discovered, but it ran long enough to cause us to spend almost the whole day in water clean-up. I am grateful it was clean water and not sewage or something, and that we were home to catch it before it flooded the entire house.

My sister has taken Jackson for a few days. She is taking him with her boys to see my Dad in Santa Anna. My brother's girls will be there too so Jackson will have the opportunity to play with all his cousins. I know he will have a good time. He was playing with Cam and Eli and could barely be bothered to say goodbye to his Dad and me. He will be back on Wednesday and I will miss him. But it will give us time to finish cleaning up and drying out the house.

Marriage already?


I really shouldn't watch the news anymore. Top three stories: a double murder of a 22-year-old couple at UT, a drowning at Town Lake and dude fell from the 360 condos downtown and died. And this is Austin. Wonder what it is like in truly crime-ridden cities. This is why I read the news online. You can scan the headlines and click on the news stories that affect you and skip some of the terrible accident reporting.

It rained a bit this afternoon and Jackson & I sat on the swing out front watching it. He ran onto the sidewalk and got wet and squealed and ran back to me to get warm. Such joy. I love this small boy.

I was holding him and he started to play with my wedding ring as he does sometimes. So I asked him, "Do you know what that ring means?" I told him it means that his daddy loves me. That daddy gave that ring to me because he loves me and that daddy wears a ring too, that says that I love him. I realized my mistake almost immediately when he turned to me concerned, "Where is my ring? I want a ring too!"

Oh shit. What do I do now? Do I get him a ring that he will lose? Do I get him a plastic gumball-machine ring and hope that satisfies him? Hmm...

I decided to tell him that you get a ring when you get married. It went down like this:

HIM: What's married?
ME: It is when you promise to love someone forever.
HIM: I want to get married!
ME: Ok...who would you marry?
HIM: (thinking very hard) Not cats though, right? (Sarah cat was sitting next to him).
ME: No, you don't marry cats, you marry people. (Notice the gender-neutral language)
HIM: I can't marry you?
ME: No I am married already to your Daddy.
HIM: I love Aunt Elaine forever, I'll marry her.

So Aunt Elaine, Prepare to be wooed. Jackson wants a ring.