Mommy's Juice!: November 2011   

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Oh Happy Day!

Continuing the story of Trey’s gastroschisis diagnosis.  For details from the beginning click here.

As the date for Trey’s c-section came closer we finalized our arrangements for Jackson.  My mom flew out a few days prior to the surgery to adjust to life with a two year old.  My boys are her only grandchildren and she doesn’t get to see them often.  She would have him for a week on her own while we were in Denver for the birth and I wasn’t sure she had a clue what she was about to get herself in to!   But within minutes of her arrival, my very excited child, had her giving him his bath, making his dinner and tucking him in.  It was as if mommy was no longer in the room!

We had to drive to Denver for the delivery and because the forecast was calling for snow we decided to leave early the day prior and relax before the big day.  Although relaxing isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do when you know you are having a baby the next day and that the baby will be going into surgery immediately after he is born.  Not to mention you’ve just left your two year old behind, on the week before Christmas, and he has no understanding whatsoever about what is going on.  Oh, and let’s not forget you are also having contractions already!  Not exactly the most “relaxing” situation.  Yet, somehow I actually managed to get some sleep that night.  Not much, but some.

Early the next morning we awoke in our hotel room and checked out to go have a baby.  I had an amnio first thing so they could make sure that the babies lungs were developed enough to handle the surgery.  Piece of cake!  Then they started prepping me for my surgery.

It wasn’t really until after Trey was born that I realized I had a surgery too.  I guess I just thought of the c-section as a minor procedure with no real side effects.  I can tell you this, having had Jackson naturally and then Trey as a c-section, I’d take the natural delivery over surgery any day of the week! 

When we went into the room where the c-section was to take place, Travis in his scrubs, me in, well nothing from the neck down, we were greeted by a MULTITUDE of people that I must say I wasn’t expecting to be around while dressed in my birthday suit.  When Jackson was born there was Travis, my doctor and a nurse.  I specifically remember how easy it was to throw all modesty out the window.  This was different!  There was my doctor, the anesthesiologist, multiple nurses, Trey’s surgeon, and the surgeon’s nurses.  My doctor actually asked me, as I lay there for the world to see, if I would mind if one of her doctors in training sat in on the procedure.  “Why the hell not, everyone else seems to be here.”

During the c-section Travis sat on a chair by my head with a big sheet in front of us so we couldn’t see the procedure.  The anesthesiologist was on my other side, distributing drugs and giving us a play by play of the surgery.  At first I thought the drugs must not be working, but then he started telling us about cuts.  What cuts?  I couldn’t feel a thing.  In fact, the only thing I felt was a tugging of my stomach at one point which was followed by him telling Travis he could stand up and look, and that’s when Travis saw our son for the very first time.  Tears fell on both of our faces as he told me how beautiful he was.  It was as if we were in our own world all of a sudden, even with all of the nurses shuffling around getting Trey’s intestines covered to avoid infection. 

Once they had him prepped and ready to move out for his surgery they allowed Travis to go over and take another look while I got stitched up.  On their way out of the room they held Trey up for me to see.  I could only smile my biggest smile while crying tears of joy and fear.  He was beautiful, intestines and all.

Travis went with them to the surgery room and at some point I passed out.  When I woke he was beside me with news that the baby was in surgery.  Shortly after, the surgeon arrived to tell us that everything had gone perfectly.  His intestines went back in with ease, she was able to go through his belly button in order to avoid too much scarring and he was in stable condition in the NICU.  I may not have had a chance to hold my baby yet but for the first time since hearing the word gastroschisis, I knew that I would!     

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Deviled Egg Tour

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not exactly what you would call a good cook.  In fact, I’m terrible at it.  I try to leave the majority of cooking in my husband’s hands, who is actually quite good.  But when it comes to the holiday’s I feel somewhat obligated to roll my sleeves up and put together a dish or two. 

This Thanksgiving was no different.  We always spend Thanksgiving with friends and though the exact friends may change from year to year, the dishes basically stay the same.  My husband for instance, has made broccoli casserole every Thanksgiving since I have known him.  That would be eleven broccoli casseroles and counting.  These are only made at Thanksgiving and no other time of the year.  I on the other hand, have a different trend going.  When I make a dish that actually turns out good (which isn’t often), I stick with it.  Not just for Thanksgiving, but for every event I’m ever asked to bring a dish too.  Until the inevitable BAD dish comes out.  All it takes is one bad showing and the dish of the moment is history while I begin new attempts at something edible.

I am currently on the 2010/11 Deviled Egg Tour.  I busted these tasty numbers out for a shower last year to rave reviews.  Since then my eggs have hit every holiday table, super bowl party and shower in between.  Prior to the deviled egg tour we had the sweet potato tour, spinach salad tour and a summer fill-in: the black beans and rice tour.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  And when it does break, replace it!

So off to Thanksgiving my deviled eggs, Travis’ broccoli casserole, and a store bought pecan pie went.  The dishes mingled well with the other traditional holiday fare: green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, turkey, gravy, dressing and biscuits.  And although everything was absolutely delicious, shortly after we ate I began feeling ill.  Within an hour I was in the host’s bathroom vomiting up every bite.  Luckily it wasn’t from anything I had eaten, but actually the start to a 24 hour stomach bug (just one of the lovely side effects of having kids in daycare).

I was out of commission for the rest of the night and the entire day on Friday.  Depressed I wasn’t able to truly enjoy the holiday, I tried to focus on the positive side: at least I wouldn’t have to worry about losing those extra holiday calories!  On Saturday, as I began to come back to life, I searched the refrigerator for what little leftovers might be waiting for me.  As I opened the Tupperware that made its way home with us and looked those deviled eggs in the eye, I realized their tour was coming to an end.  Though they tasted wonderful on Thanksgiving night, after their reappearance I just couldn’t stomach another.  And so I begin my search for the next “dish,” to join the Beard tour line.  Farewell deviled eggs, you had a great run!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The "Three"

On a trip to North Carolina last summer, my husband and I went to my best friend’s house for a cook-out.  As we were sitting around having a few drinks an Eminem song popped up on the radio.  At one point during the song my best friend says, “I love Eminem, he’s totally one of my three.”  Confused I have to ask, “what do you mean one of your three?”  She and another friend now begin to explain to me that the “threes” consist of the three people that you have your husband’s blessing to sleep with, should the opportunity ever arise.  My first thought: how have I never heard of this??  My second thought: really, Eminem???

Well of course my mind immediately starts running through back issues of People Magazine as I try to determine who my three lucky fella’s would be.  As I'm dreaming another friend announces that George Strait tops her list.  WHAT??  Isn’t he like, old?  And, I don’t know, old? 

As distracted as I was by this new revelation, I was still able to decide on my number one, which I was proud to announce: Johnny Depp!  Simultaneously both of my friends say, “yuck!”  Yuck?  Johnny Depp, two time People Magazine Sexiest Man Alive, gets a yuck, but Eminem and George Strait are acceptable?  I think not!  Shocked I of course demanded explanations for their stupidity.  “He’s so dirty looking,” and “he just seems scummy.”  Oh, and Eminem seems like a good choice for the clean-cut All American? 

My second choice, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, was met with similar disdain.  Not until my third choice, George Clooney, did I even get a “yeah, I could see that.”  Well duh, I think most of our children, parents, uncles, aunts and husband’s could see that.

I was truly baffled that three women, who have known each other since high school, who have very similar backgrounds and interests, could be that spread on our “threes.”  Hell, we’ve even dated some of the same guys, and yet when given the world’s buffet of men to choose from we range from white rapper, to a grungy actor, to a singing cowboy?

After hours of analyzing this conversation in my head, I finally came to the conclusion that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.  It’s obvious that each of us is attracted to different personalities and lifestyle traits in others, but I guess I had always just assumed that good looking was good looking, no matter whose eyes are viewing.  After this conversation I realized what one person is visually attracted too can be completely different than what another person is visually attracted too.

I decided to ask my husband who his three would be.  I was anticipating answers like Giselle, Scarlett Johansson and Jennifer Lopez.  What I got was, “I don’t know, probably Drew Barrymore.” Don’t get me wrong, I think Drew Barrymore is gorgeous, but I never would have thought that would be the person my husband would choose to sleep with if given permission to sleep with any woman in the world.  Hell, she doesn’t even look like me!  Then again, as much as I love Travis, he and Johnny Depp wouldn’t exactly be confused as twins  either??? 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sex Education Lesson #1: Don't Grope!

I was sitting on my couch last night reading a story to Jackson, when I noticed his hand running along the side of my boob.  Hmm… I quickly moved it away and continued to read when right back to the side of my boob he went.  “Jackson, what are you doing,” I asked my three year old.  To which he replied, “what’s that?”  He then moved his hand to reach under my shirt while repeating, “what’s that under your shirt?”  By this point my husband is literally on the floor laughing his ass off as shock appears on my face and I begin to ponder exactly how to answer this question that has appeared out of nowhere. 

My initial instinct is to simply say, “these are mommy’s boobies,” but I realize that probably isn’t the best answer.  With a child in the phase of repeating everything he hears, the last word I want to expose him to is “boobies”.  Which of course leaves me with “breasts”.  I can’t even begin to explain how much I hate the word breasts.  I prefer to only use that word when letting the cashier at Kentucky Fried Chicken know what peices I want in my box.  For me it falls in the same category as “intercourse,” “bowel movement,” and God forbid: “ejaculation” (I actually get the chills just typing that one).  Some words were just meant for slang. 

Knowing I had to tell the kid something I came up with, “that’s part of mommy’s body, girls have different body parts than boys,” continuing with, “just like you and Daddy have a penis because you are boys, mommy doesn’t have a penis because she is a girl.”  At this point his hand goes directly to my crotch, elevating my husband’s laughter to a new level.  Jackson seems to be shocked not to find a penis there which I find hard to believe considering he has walked in on me in the bathroom at least three hundred times.   Our conversation now turns to why it isn’t polite to touch people in those areas. 

Yes, I'm aware there are plenty of books out there that I could read which will tell me exactly how to handle the “sex” talks from ages 3-30.  There are probably even classes I could take for $99.99 where an instructor will walk the group through the precise words to say.  But frankly, I can think of about 2.5 million other things I would like to do with my time. 

Thank goodness my husband finally came to his senses and was able to direct Jackson’s attention to another subject, relieving me momentarily from what had just happened.  Momentarily…  because today as I write this I’m sitting at my desk imagining my child walking in to daycare and immediately grabbing for his teachers crotch to determine how she pees.  

Monday, November 14, 2011

To My Friends

I spent my Saturday night hosting a Going Away Party for one of my best friends.  She, her husband and their daughter moved to a small town about two hours away on Sunday.  This is an occurrence that unfortunately happens way to often in our neck of the woods.  Living in a resort community we see friends come and go on a regular basis, and though its never easy to say goodbye, I feel very fortunate to have met so many wonderful people from all over the world in this place we call home.

Webster’s dictionary defines friend as:
1. one attached to another by affection or esteem
2. one that is not hostile
3. a favored companion

My personal definition for friend is a little more detailed.  To truly be a good friend here are just a few of the qualifications I'm looking for:

1.       One who holds your hair back from your face as  you revisit whatever that pink juice in the bathtub was at the party
2.       One who truly lets “what happened in Vegas, stay in Vegas”
3.       The person who has made you laugh so hard you’ve peed your pants
4.       One who actually assisted you in making sure your hair was as high off of your head as it could go, then switched seats so you could return the favor
5.       The person sitting beside you in the car on the way to Myrtle Beach minutes after graduating high school
6.       One who never brings up your “deep” conversations after a bottle (or three) of wine
7.       One who stops by your house supplying that wine when they know you’ve had a tough week
8.       One who had your mom as a substitute teacher but hung out with you in High School anyway
9.       The person who walks into your dorm room freshman year, right after your parents have left and you’re feeling a little scared, and invites you to go on a walk
10.   The person who remembers the stories you don’t and brings them up at just the right time to make you laugh
11.   The person who pops to mind whenever you hear the song “Oh What a Night”
12.   One who leaves with you, regardless of how much fun they are having, if you are having a bad night
13.   One who lets you know when you have food in your teeth, instead of just laughing whenever you smile
14.   The person who agrees to go to the prom with a less than ideal date (as in, yuck!), just so you’ll have a friend to double date with
15.   One who has the other half of your Best Friends Forever charm, tucked away in a jewelry box stored at their parents house
16. One who loves your children as if they were their own

I’ve been more than blessed to find so many wonderful people who meet my “definitions” of friends.  You know who you are.  Thanks for always being there.  I love you!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Fall of Fears

Today’s blog is the continuation of our experience with Trey’s gastroschisis diagnosis.  To read the full story click here.

It was around this time last year that we finalized the date for Trey’s delivery.  I was given the option of a vaginal birth but chose a c-section.  Gastroschisis is a condition where the baby’s intestines are actually on the outside of the body, requiring immediate surgery.  For this reason I felt the c-section was the safest option. 

Trey’s due-date was January 7th.  Our first son was two weeks early, so we knew the possibilities of Trey coming earlier were great.  Knowing he would need to be born in a hospital three hours away was also a factor in selecting the date.  If I was to go in to labor at home I’d have to be air-lifted to Denver and that wasn’t something I wanted to risk.  So we scheduled the c-section for December 20th

Adding to my anxiety about the baby around this time, was a pretty serious situation at work.  I work for a non-profit organization that had just had a difficult year.  Out of nowhere my salary was cut by 50%, and believe it or not, that was actually less of a cut than some people took.  We had no idea what the organization was going to do to get out of difficulty, much less if I would even have a job when the baby came. 

I think it was the stress of dealing with both the reality of the baby’s condition and my employment status that had me waking up on the Saturday after Thanksgiving with what I knew were contractions.  I immediately called my doctor who had me go to the hospital where my fear was confirmed.  I left with medication to stop the contractions and an appointment with the Denver doctors on Monday. 

More medication was distributed at that appointment, advice to start taking things a little slower, and the clear message that the chances of the baby’s survival if he was to arrive any earlier than our scheduled c-section date would be much, much slimmer.  He needed time for his lungs to develop to be able to make it through the immediate gastroschisis surgery needed. 

We had still only told a handful of people about Trey’s  condition so I didn’t have much of an outlet to talk about my fears, therefore I just held them all in.  At least as long as I could.  That night it all came out.  I cried hysterically while my husband sat beside me, offering whatever words of comfort he could.  I hadn’t cried like that since the initial diagnosis was told to us.  And after it was over, I didn’t cry like that again.  But at that point I needed to cry, I needed release, I needed my husband more than I had ever needed him, and he was there.  It was then that I realized how much stronger our marriage had gotten in our darkest hours.  Funny how God works like that isn’t it? 

Work became a second thought, we’d get through it.   The contractions continued, sometimes frequent, sometimes a few days apart.  By December I was having ultra sounds twice a week.  Through those frequent visits with my baby on a screen I feel like I came to know him.  He was no longer the gastroschisis baby, but my son, who I was watching go crazy in my tummy.  The nurse commented more than once, “you’re going to have your hands full.”  A year later I can tell you she was exactly right.  I do have my hands full, and I love every second of it.

More to come…  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dear Diary

Wow!  Have I ever been off track lately.  I can’t believe how long I have gone without posting.  Needless to say, my world has been a little crazy and time hasn’t exactly been on my side, but I still wish I had made more effort these last few weeks.  God knows I have the material, what with Halloween, a stomach bug, snow storms and a newfound infatuation with the word “idiot” (thanks so much 101 Dalmations!). 

This blog has become quite important to me.  Not just as an outlet to let the world know how crazy each day can be, but to give myself somewhere to store all of these memories that I know one day will bring me such joy. 

I have a terrible memory.  Maybe it’s the gallons upon gallons of beer I drank in college, or maybe it’s the multiple concussions suffered while pretending I was an Olympic snowboarder for years.  Either way, most of my high school/college years are forgotten.  If it weren’t for photos and my dear, Dear Diary, I’m not sure I could tell you much about what went on back then.  It’s sad, but unfortunately a reality I live with.

For years I was as dedicated to a diary as a girl could be, finally trailing off as I left college, got a real job, met my husband and began parenthood.  Hidden in the back of my closet are multiple journals filled with my youthful handwriting.  For years they were just books that I boxed up with every move, pages I knew were filled with silly stories of adolescence, first kisses, trips with girlfriends, graduations, a young girls goals for her future and more. 

Shortly after Jackson was born I pulled each of those journals out and began the journey of remembering.  It wasn’t far into the pile of words when that journey took a turn from remembrance to utter humiliation!  All this time I’d imagined all the wonderful tidbits I had collected over the years only to be face to face with memories that should have been buried with that whack to the head on Snowmass Mountain back before helmets were cool.

I literally couldn’t believe I had skipped writing about all the wonderful classes and things I had learned in college, to instead write about sneaking guys into our dorm, using fake id's to get into clubs, and many other forms of debauchery.  The memories came back alright, and I was going to make sure they didn’t make it any further. 

So black sharpie in hand I began to delete my past.  Granted there were many pages I wanted to stay intact.  I did write about my love for my grandparents, how I felt when leaving home, poems and songs about life, things I would want to be remembered for.  But as for which football player I might have gone home with after the kegger, time to write that off! 

Don’t get me wrong, I was by no means a trashy gal.  For me “hooked up” was as simple as a French kiss.  But imagine if my boys read this five years from now, when “hooked up” has more connotations than even I will probably understand.  Times are different, and so is language. 

I’m sure there will come another day I’ll pull out those journals and be angry at myself that I can’t remember the memories those black lines contain.  So I’ll fill in the holes with the good stuff, what I write here, and will continue to write, regardless of where life takes me.