Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A slacking blogger returns...

...and vows to do better in the coming days.

It's been a little hectic (okay, downright "I have so much to do I can't breathe" kind of hectic) in our tiny corner of the universe.

As our vast readership now knows, offspring #4 (of the two of us combined! Sheesh! Give us time...) came into the world on Valentine's Day. LCS seems to be doing quite well--no stress on her end, either--let's see: husband takes new job; family moves to new area; family buys a house and moves into it on *Saturday*; baby comes on Tuesday. No problem! Refrigerators--who needs them? :)

While I'd love to be out there entertaining #1 son, holding #2, and lining up bon bons for my sister, I'm stuck out here, knowing that many, many other people get to put their hands on him before I do. Sniff. Which kinda leads to my next point:

We're moving this summer!! We've *loved* it here in the middle west, although the winters do get chilly and the landscape's a bit flat. We've just very much *not loved* being a long plane ride (or two, usually) from family. It stinks, basically. And, as the kids get older, it gets trickier and trickier to fly. So, we'd agreed this fall to start looking slowly and deliberately at the job market--getting a job works somewhat differently in academics, which I can explain in another long boring post someday. But anyway, I interviewed in ...let's see, Mountain West State...in January, was offered the job, and we finally made it through a few weeks of negotiating. So, we're on our way west. Yippee! I simply can't wait to be a day's driving distance from family.

So now we're on to the busy-ness of finding a realtor (anything specific we should look for, anyone?) and touching up things around the house, and so on. We're happy to report that we'll likely be keeping our record going of always selling our houses in a buyer's market. Our previous Western City house *doubled* in the four years after we'd sold, while barely covering our costs in the 5 years we owned it. Ah well.

Hopefully some more consistent posting is in my future...

Monday, February 20, 2006

Wonder of wonders...

It's just amazing (and yes, a bit sappy) how they steal your heart from the minute they arrive. For nine months, we only wanted the best for the growing baby, and I thought I was connected to (what turned out to be) him... but then he's born, and it's a connection and a love on a whole new level.
Everything went well, but after he was born, there was concern about his breathing so he went to the NICU for observation. All I can say is, there is no sweetness in parting... not sweet sorrow, not sweet anything. It was the most un-scary thing to happen in many ways, everyone was very calm, no one was running all around or getting crazy about him. But all I could think was that he was alone in that incubator, no one could hold him, I couldn't offer him comfort or fix what was wrong (which turned out to be nothing, but could have been something). It broke my heart that I had to be separated for his first hours in this world... and I knew (intellectually anyway) that everything was going to be fine. I have new respect for people who have to say goodbye to their babies for many days in the NICU because that would just about rip my heart out... it's one of those things, even though you know it's for the best, it's just scary and sad and not how you'd hope it to go. Anyway, needless to say our sweet #2 is amazing. He's perfectly formed, and perfectly alive, healthy and safe. Sigh. Makes me feel full to overflowing.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A Happy Heart Day!

Yes, it's true (and I've been cleared to announce this): LCS's darling #2 arrived on the 14th. All are healthy and well; birth went smoothly, and he's an adorable little mouse. I'll leave the details to her.

Let's just say that this is yet another example of a time when it stinks--and I mean really--to be so far apart. Sigh.

Can't wait to meet the new little nephew!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Purses, because I can't write about anything else right now

Here is my totally cool, custom-made bag!! That is, the backpack on the left...it has this cool quilting stiching and all sorts of nifty details. I bought the other two for gifts, but I don't really want to give them away. I love these bags.

I bought them through Libby. That people can make things by hand so well totally floors me. Of course, this is from someone whose seamstress abilities ended in 4th grade 4-H with an elastic-waist skirt...

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Poor poor baby #2

So today I spent my first dime on baby #2, who is set to arrive... let's just say, soon. I'm sure I'm not the only parent to go through this, but I'm starting off this poor child's life feeling terribly guilty about not giving him/her the attention that baby #1 got. Not that I had the nursery decorated and faux painted or anything, but I did have a few more things than a hastily-purchased pack of onesies, socks and a hat. I'm starting to wonder what is wrong with me. In my disorganization though, I think I did myself a favor. I lost a book. Last pregnancy I was going to read this book called *Prenatal Parenting* about the bonding you do with your baby in utero. You know, the importance of reading to, talking to and otherwise connecting with the unborn babe. The importance being if those things aren't done, you are sure to have a baby stuck in the NICU for at least 6 months due to neonatal depression. I guess they too can express suicidal ideation... hmm? Anyway, I'm glad I hardly cracked the cover because I think I would feel like I've just set #2 up with a life of Remedial Reading Group (yes, that is what our elementary school called it in my day). In my defense, we've had a TON going on this pregnancy and it hasn't felt like the single most important thing happening like it did with #1. To be honest, I also have a lot more anxiety about this one than the last one. There are a couple of women I know who simply do not enjoy baby #2, or at least that's what it seems like to me. I know that motherhood isn't just fun and games, but I guess I am hoping for more than drudgery and resentment. I feel like those women who question the wedding as they are walking down the aisle... There's no turning back at this point, it's going to happen soon, and I'm just not sure how I feel about it. At least this baby has a hat.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

a little more compassion

I have a renewed compassion for people with misunderstood diseases now. I'm the lucky winner of a mysic diagnosis myself, that of intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, or obstetric cholestasis. It occurs in .1% of pregnancies in the US, and is pretty misunderstood and not too well studied, simply because of the lack of people who get this lovely thing. The only symptom is itching. Itching until you think you are losing your mind. Sounds minor, right? No big deal, you could be on dialysis or lose a limb if you had another disease. And that is true. I'm not here to say I'm a martyr or anything. But the other little issue I have with this disorder (which ends after pregnancy with no lasting side effects) is that the still birth rate goes up to 10%. That's one in ten for the mathematically challenged such as yours truly.
My doctor didn't really know much about the course of this disorder upon my initial diagnosis (I have had this before with another pregnancy and a different doctor, so I had a few clues.) I can't imagine now facing a whole lifetime of a stream of doctors who don't understand what you are going through, or don't understand the intensity of your symptoms, or don't take the time to come to understand any of it. At least there is a light at the end of this tunnel, and I know it can recur in another pregnancy, but it's not going to be a part of my life forever. I just think about all those people with MS or lupus or other chronic disorders that are crippling, misunderstood and not recognized for the havoc they wreak on one's daily life. So I guess if this experience makes me have a little more compassion for others, it's been worth it, right?