The Big, but totally unsurprising announcement

I have not been around these parts much in the last several months. My last entry was a somber tale about the loss of a distant loved one, intend to memorialize and to encourage people to take the opportunity to catch up with old friends at reunions. It was just a few months ago that I was writing here regularly about the chaos of our lives, but eventually I had to step away. Things really started to pick up, and I couldn’t keep with with everything and muster the energy to write about it at the end of the week.

So I thought I owe an explanation. Or at least a worthy update.

Its summer here, meaning that school is out and I am home taking care of two little boys who want nothing more than to eat all of the sugar in the house and go swimming every single day. I don’t really like swimming, especially with two little ones who can’t swim. I’m not sure I am a strong enough swimmer to rescue 2 little ones if the need arises. I am trying to restrict their sugar intake, but it is not always easy, especially when they won’t eat much else. The good news is that in one month I’ll be back on my original schedule of waking up entirely too early to get my  big boy to school, and having most of the day to try and manage the house with just one needy toddler, who still needs potty training and to learn to sleep in his own bed. That arrangement won’t last through the end of the year because…

We’re having another baby!


Yes, it’s another boy, and he is due November 27th, which is Thanksgiving here in the US. If his last ultrasound is any indication, he will come out a little butterball just like his older brother Archer and his daddy. Hopefully he won’t stay in there roasting and fattening up for too long after his due date, because Mama is planning a med-free delivery at a free-standing birth center. Please little Bean Bun, cooperate and make things easy on me!

After having gone through 2 losses, I feel very blessed to have this little one growing and thriving inside of me. It wasn’t easy in the beginning, as I was pretty sick starting from the end of week 4 until almost week 12, by far the longest time I have been sick during a pregnancy. Sure, I might have thought “wouldn’t it be great if it were a girl this time?” but it really doesn’t matter. I’m blessed to have been able to make three beautiful little babies. Besides, I have known since I found out about this little bean that it was more than likely a boy. I make boys. Vance, with his giant, glorious, red beard, makes boys. We make amazingly sweet, devastatingly handsome, charming boys. Somebody has to, right?

I am now 5 1/2 months into this pregnancy, and I am mostly just exhausted. That can be at least partially attributed to the other 2 little ones I chase after all day long. Right now we’re doing our best to ready the house for the new addition by repairing holes left in the walls by rambunctious little boys, and painting the walls in their bedroom and playroom. We aren’t decorating a nursery. We have learned from the last 2 babies that co-sleeping and breastfeeding work best for us, so having everything available right next to our bed is the way to go here. We aren’t even bothering with a crib, but with a pack n play, and some small pieces like a rock n play, a swing, and a travel system. We have obviously not needed to buy much in the way of clothes, as I am an expert in the ways of organizing and storing potential hand-me-downs. He is pretty much set for his first 6 months of life.

There is so much more to talk about besides just the excitement of waiting for our newest addition, like how Deven blew through kindergarten like it was nothing, and will officially be a first grader in a month! And then a couple of weeks after that, he’ll be turning 7 years old.   He finished a season of baseball earlier this year, and is now hoping to attempt basketball in the fall. As we await the arrival of a new boy, we watch another continue to grow. Its completely bittersweet. Honestly, I worry about how I’ll feel watching my youngest grow. I am not sure I’ll ever not want to have a baby either on the way or in my arms. Eventually I’ll have to stop, but for now, I’m in the moment, enjoying my fertility.




Beyond memories

Are there people in your life you remember so fondly, and then somehow you drifted away from them and the two of you became completely disconnected? You move forward, go about your life, and you get the occasional update about how they’re doing; they graduated college, got married, got a huge, fancy house in some Houston suburb you are completely unfamiliar with, then oh look, a new baby! Maybe you run into them at some large family function. You barely recognize them in their new form, but somehow you recognize the look in their face, something in their eyes. But its been too long. You live too far away. You exchange pleasantries, but its never the same.

When I was growing up, I spent a lot of time with my Aunt Patti, in particular, in her swimming pool. They lived in the house where my dad and his brother, my Uncle Frank, had lived as kids. They had the biggest, deepest, most amazing pool installed when Uncle Frank and Aunt Patti inherited that house. Sure, there were huge gatherings at Christmas and Thanksgiving inside the house, but you couldn’t swim in the fall and winter.

One of those people always there during the gatherings and in the pool during the Summer was Sarah. She and I weren’t cousins exactly, but we were to my Aunt Patti. She had a niece and some nephews through her husband, and she had Sarah and her brother through her sister. It was complicated for us, but simple as could be to Patti. She had us all together during the Summers because to her, that’s how it was supposed to be.

Sarah was younger than me, but I had no problem playing with her. She had a big imagination and the cutest little southern twang. We would spend hours together in the pool, pretending to be dolphins, and then we would gather around my Aunt Patti’s large and varied collection of toys she had gathered for her nieces and nephews.  We would play for hours, until it was time for either of us to go home. Sometimes that would last until the next day, as we frequently slept over at Aunt Patti’s house.

Eventually I stopped hanging out at Aunt Patti’s house. Things got really complicated between my parents, and I saw less of my dad’s side of the family. I stopped coming around for Christmas, I stopped coming over to swim in their pool. I was a teenager, and I barely noticed. If I could, I would have spent every waking hour with my friends.

I became completely disconnected from that life entirely. My mom passed away, I was bouncing from place to place just trying to figure out that whole survival thing. I eventually found my way almost 4 hours away to Austin, and to the life I live now. I would make the trip to my dad’s house 4 hours away for holidays, and while I was there, I would drop in to my Aunt and Uncle’s big holiday gatherings. There were so many people there, it was so hard for someone like me to feel completely comfortable. I would recognize some of the faces, but for the most part I hung out the people I for certain knew, like my brothers and my grandpa.

One of those years, Sarah and her brother were there too. She had grown very tall, but still had the same face, the same glowing skin, and the same sweet disposition. She and I were both shy to a fault. We never got around to even exchanging pleasantries. We could have reconnected and become great friends.

Several years later, my dad has moved to another small town closer to Austin, so we stopping going to my Aunt’s holiday gatherings. Those relationships had been reduced occasional Facebook conversations.

A couple of months ago, my brother shared a link on Facebook advertising a fundraiser for my sweet not-cousin Sarah Bailey. She had been in an accident and broke her neck. She was paralyzed from the neck down. Her family and friends were trying to raise money to move her from hospice to home-care so she could be with her family.

That’s how I found out what happened to her.

She had given blood during a blood drive at a Pizza Hut. She was walking to her car when she became dizzy and fell. Her neck hit a curb, paralyzing her. She was 25 years old, and about to graduate from college with a degree in entomology.

Her family refused to believe that she would be  unable to move or speak for the rest of her life. They held out hope that she would heal enough to be able to have some of her life back, so that they could have some of their daughter back. For a little while there, things were hopeful. She could be put into a reclining position and communicate via a computer that could detect eye motion. They could at least talk to each other. They’d miss that sweet voice and adorable twang, but she could tell them she loved them all the same.

This morning my dad messaged me, telling me that Sarah had passed away and that her funeral is tomorrow.

25 years old. About to graduate from college.

There are some things that happen that are just so fucked up, they are beyond any understanding. Sarah didn’t break her neck in a high-speed car crash, she didn’t go on a 36 hour meth-bender, she gave blood so that she could help some nameless, faceless person in need. There is no moral or lesson at the end of this story. If there is a God, and if “everything happens for a reason,” I’d like to his/her know the logic. Someone please explain this to me.

The only lesson I take from this is we tend to look upon those graduation photos, new baby pictures, and updates with amusement. We don’t bother trying to connect beyond that.  I know a lot of people who would have given anything to see the pictures from Sarah’s graduation, and down the line, pictures of her first house, her wedding, her new babies. Who would have given anything to hug her and congratulate her.

We all grow, and we usually become different people, but we should try to be more than just memories to each other.




The best part of waking up is the belligerent rage

I am SO ANGRY in the mornings. Seriously, as I am walking my son into the school cafeteria in the morning, I am entertaining elaborate fantasies of beating the shit out of strangers who don’t thank me for holding the door open, or for walking to slow, or for just existing in the same space as me. That isn’t healthy. It can’t be.

And I wish I could say that is where it begins and ends, but that would be a lie. I am so short tempered in the mornings from the minute that alarm goes off at 6 am, and poor Deven is the one who most of the rage is dumped onto. If he takes a second too long to get dressed or brush his teeth or do anything, you would swear by the volume and tone of my voice that he just set the damn house on fire. But he didn’t, and that’s not right that he has to deal with this.

This morning Vance got up late and spent 40 minutes in the bathroom taking a shit and I screamed at him so loud, I swear the neighbors down the street could hear it.

I have an idea of what is going on. For one, I haven’t been myself since my last bout of faulty fertility, and that has definitely made things worse. (I can’t wait for this cycle to end so I can figure out what is going on with my hormones.) But I can’t deny this has been going on for a while. If you go back a few posts  I talk about the link between my recent depression and my early mornings. I think the depression I’ve been experiencing  has, in fact, become worse. I obviously need to address this problem before everyone around me rightfully decides to leave.

Its not just that I am morning-intolerant, its also that I have lately been feeling I am just stuck here in this house all day just waiting for something neat to happen. Like I stare at the sink and the stove wanting them to do tricks. Since Vance started this job, I feel like my time has been taken away from me. I used to be able to go and out and experience things and people, and now those moments have become so few and so precious. I love my kids and being home with them, but being around them all the time is stressful and exhausting and often times not fun.

Its especially been tough because for the last several days I have spent a good part of it awash in Goo-B-Gone used to clean fresh crayon markings off the walls.

So I guess today I am going to call my insurance company and find out what kind of coverage I can expect for treatment. I was hoping to be spending my money and time on prenatal visits, not this.