Monday, September 20, 2010

food for thought...

a man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle. -benjamin franklin

i like this quote.

makes you think...

Friday, September 10, 2010

changing frames

it's been a while. i admit. things have gotten in the way!

i was changing out picture frames today. we are overhauling things in our home, and we couldn't be more excited. out brand new siding got approved finally! so now we have a new roof AND new siding. it will make our house look great. and with the new driveway that is scheduled to go in this!

anywho....changing out the frames to put in new pics of our beautiful new baby, i found older pics that had just just been moved to the back of the pile. it made me think of all things i have been before, and made me so very thankful.

there was a picture of me as a student, getting my college diploma. i have been a college student, having the feverish experience of choosing a university, any one that i wanted, and moving in. having my parents waver in the doorway, not sure whether to stay or go, and hugging them goodbye. the feeling of being alone, in a city i knew nothing about, in a state where i knew noone. learning to trust only myself. spending holidays alone. i got to be an all-american college freshman. with every opportunity at my fingertips.

there was a picture of my husband and i, engaged. the happy smiles and sparkly diamond as we planned for our future. i got to be be the fiance, planning my wedding. to a man whom my parents adored, supported, and loved from the first day.

there was a picture of us at our wedding. the beautiful dress, the incredible flowers. the gorgeous day, surrounded by all of our family and friends. the cake, the food, the photographs. the happy, happy memories. the remembrace of the loved ones who were not with us that day, either because they had passed from age, or simply had gone too soon. i was walked down the aisle by my dad, and i remember the tight grip he help on my fist, and the tiny pats he gave me as we wiped his eyes. i remember the first time i saw my husband cry real tears. i got to be the bride.

i put in a picture of my sweet little girl in that frame. i thought of how lucky i am, to be the mother to two healthy, gorgeous children. a boy and a girl. sweet and perfect as can be. we were able to welcome them into our lives, send birth announcements, enjoy them each and every day. i haven't had to work a traditional job, and have had them by my side for almost 4 years. i've been able to witness thier firsts, the lasts, and the in-betweens. i got to be a mommy.

i've been wondering what else will go in that old, dollar-bin frame. i can't wait to see all the things i will get to be.

i'm a lucky girl, who truly appreciates every opportunity i have been given. and i can't wait to give those opportunities to my children.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

the elephant in the room

well, i will blog about it. i know some of you are waiting. however, it will be broken into various posts. it's too heavy, too hard, too much for one entry.

mattie, our niece, has been sick for quite some time. marc and i have anticipated her passing for quite some time. she made it to her 5th birthday, and while that was a miracle in itself, we feared she would pass away while i was in the hospital and i would not be able to be there.

the birth of our daughter came and went, and my mother in law left mattie's side to be here with me, because i thought i needed her.

claire was 16 days old. i took her to bed with me and took a nap while MIL watched jack. i woke up after 20 minutes and heard the dog barking horrifically. i screamed at her to shut the (#&@%) up and she stopped. not normal. then i heard a man's voice. not normal because MIL certainly does not have gentleman callers. i grabbed claire and headed down the stairs.

i found marc sitting on the bed and MIL's belongings packed. i heard her saying that she just needed to leave. i asked what was wrong - was everything okay? marc shook his head and MIL told me mattie was gone. i didn't understand....i asked if she had died. they said yes.

i sat down in the middle of the stairs, holding my brand new baby, and burst into tears. i shouted "i am sorry you were here with us and not with her!" and MIL told me not to be sorry, that this was a relief. it didn't feel so releiving to me. it felt as though my heart was being stepped on and my back was on fire. i asked who had been there with her?

as it turns out, mattie had been having a good day. she had no pain, which was very uncommon, ate a ton and did arts and crafts. she asked her daddy for a nap, and her mom decided it was safe to go shopping with her best friend. she left and mattie went down for her nap. duane, mattie's daddy, went to check on her and could tell immediately that she had gone.

when i learned that mattie's mom had missed her passing, i sobbed even harder. as a mother, i simply cannot fathom that feeling.

marc and i made some calls. some i could muster out, some i cried so hard i choked. we sent out texts, and updated facebook. the calls started pouring in. marc and i decided to go out for mexican, in honor of mattie's favorite restaraunt, and almost got caught in a tornado....and lost our brand new patio set in the madness. normally i would have had a FIT, but it paled in comparison to our new reality.

the worst part? jack would wipe off my tears and say "mama, no tears. mattie is coming to play."

Thursday, June 10, 2010

(may 17)

on may 17th, 2010, we arrived for my c-section at 6am. my mother had flown in a few days before to hang out with jackson, and my mother in law was in town to help.

we arrived and i was prepped and ready. i was so nervous, but excited to be done - i ad been so swollen and had the heartburn of the devil!

i had a TON of anxiety surrounding the spinal, and when they took me out to get me ready, i took one look at marc and burst into tears. i was really crying hard by the time i was sitting on the table (which, by the way, was about 6 inches wide) and i was crying HARD. as in, sobbing into a towel. it took them over 5 tries to get the spinal in and my crying was putting everyone on edge. i was so terrified.

finally marc came in and i was throwing up really, really, really bad. they gave me "something to calm me down" and i continued to throw up. they gave me some anti-nausea meds, but they didn't work. they made me really tired and i started to nod off. i felt nothing but a slight feeling of someone tapping on my bellybutton and my whole body shook back and forth as they took her out.

he came out and SCREAMED. they brought her over and all i remember is telling marc "she looks like jack." and she did. and then she peed on the floor.

i fell asleep shortly after seeing her and was in and out of consciousness for the next 6 hours. i remember bits and pieces of the rest of the day, but not the majority.
i had some new pain relief methods and didn't need anything by the time i left to go home. i was walking with no pain by the 3rd day in the hospital. the nurses were incredible and i became friends with several of them. they hung out in my room a lot! i sent claire to the nursery every night...except she didn't make it there. the nurses kept her at their station! i stayed an extra day and it was 100% worth it. the extra time to recover was priceless.
jackson is doing so so so well and we couldn't be more proud of him. he is truly the most incredible little boy i have ever met.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

needing to exhale

i need to exhale some of the things that are heavy on my chest.

i am worried about baby claire's arrival. i am worried that i just.won' as much as i love jackson.

i am worried that his life will be turned upside down, that he will be hurt, that he will be sad. so i know that he is the 120954355 trillionth kid to have a sibling? YES. does it make it any easier on my heart? NO. i am scared to hurt his heart.

i am worried that m's family won't love her. they are very distant from jack, and always have been. that hurts too.

i am worried that i will have ZERO patience with my mother while she is here. she can be a tough one to get along with.

i am worried about the finances. granted, we have saved and planned for this baby better than we have ever done before, but with our mortgage and insurance premiums being almost equal, with an increase due to happen upon her arrival, it scares me. because we just won't be able to afford it. something will have to give.

i am scared about mattie. everything about it. talk about poor timing.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

progress...i guess

the shelves are up. don't tell marc, but i secretly like them. :) the doors are up, but no knobs yet, as the holes in the doorframes where the knobs would close are at a different height, thus making more work and delaying the project. sigh....such is life for the A team. i still need to paint them and the entire hallway and stairs...but it will happen. i will post pics soon after the job is done!

i have been eyeing some nursing accessories i would like to have. i need all new bras, and would like to try a cople nursing tops/tanks this time around. last time i had no need, as our ventures out of the house were well-timed and i always nursed before we left or once we got home. i didn't work and had no other obligations other than jack. this time around i will be working (very very part-time, but working nonetheless) and pumping at work. i will also be out and about with activities for my busy jackson, and i want to feel comfortable so i don't deprive him of having fun because i have to nurse claire.

we have been cashing in our mail-in rebates and doing some focus group studies and have been buying my items with that cash. it's been really nice. i was going to buy a new manual hand-held pump, but found out my insurance will provided one of these as lond as my dr. prescribes it. score!

medela sent me new tubing and i cashed in some reward points with my bank and got a 25 dollar gift card to BRU. bought a few baby items with that, and a coupon from buybuybaby and hardly spent anything. nice!

we get paid 3 times in april, so we will have a nice chunk of extra money to keep for extra a few months of a higher insurance premium until we switch our plan, diapers, and whatever else we may need. i can't even begin to say how nice that is to have.

marc has a work person who has offered to replace our shower/tub/hardware for an insanely cheap price, and we just may take him up on that before the addition arrives. we would just have to buy the tub/shower and the fixtures. plus we would replace the laminate and possibly the sink. the total would still be under 1K, start to finish, so i may have to see just how much we can pinch to come up with that. it won't be easy, but....i would geek out to have it done. it would change my life.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

9 weeks!

9 weeks is all we have left until claire arrives. i can't believe it.

i have been busy preparing and planning. it's so hard to plan when you have other tings looming overhead.

anyhow...marc is installing the new door on her room and in our room as well. he is also building MONSTER shelves in the garage to house all of our holiday decorations and his tools. this will free up MUCH needed space in the basement. once that is done i can paint the doors and the upstairs hallway claire's trim.

i need to exchange the rug in claire's was voluntarily recalled. it's a quality issue and once it was in the room, i didn't love it anyways. so that's a good thing!

i got an extra costco coupon and bought 2 boxes of wipes and will buy 2 more next week (that will be close to 2k wipes! eeek!). i also bought a giant bottle and refill of stain spray to keep by each laundry chute. i plan on grabbing another one of those (or 2) as well.

i plan on using a gap friends and family coupon this weekend and getting her coming home outfit. i changed it. again. it's super plain but more functional.

i ordered her a hat too. the etsy seller was FAB and made me 4 little round doilies to send as samples and i am in love. the hat should be shipped today. (swoon!)

and to add to the list of things i said i would NEVER do, i may buy some baby legs. ugh. we will see.

Monday, March 15, 2010

here it is

i havent wanted to write this entry. the following photos are hard to look at (for us, at least) but they are true. (sorry they have so much noise and the composition is off...but i am not editing them today).

we arrived in t-town on monday night and stayed with MIL. the next day, i dragged my feet in going to see mattie. we got there, and she was in bed in SIL/BIL's bed. marc walked in and saw her and walked right out. jack told me "that's not mattie" and ran away. so i sat with her in bed and talked about umizoomi.

she soon cried out to play with jack, so her dad carried her down the stairs. jack was hesitant at first, but was gentle. mattie was very grumpy due to the steroids and had a bit of a hard time, but they played well together.

although a special lunch was made for jack and mattie, my child insisted on goldfish. go figure. mattie has a morphone IV that was, of course, decked out for easter. can you see it?

mattie grew tired, and struggled, so jack tried to console her and tickle her. but it didn't work, and it was soon time to head to the car.

it was rough. i made it to the car before i completely lost it. it was really hard and i have a lot of feelings, but they are too personal to be published and judged. some of you have already heard them out loud, and that was hard enough.

Friday, February 26, 2010


i filled the van with gas today. it was bittersweet.

i filled it because on monday night, we are leaving for f-town. we are headed up to see mattie and i fear it will be the last time. her pain is so bad that she has a pump, which is hooked to the wall. she hates being hooked to anything. she has spent her life hooked to machines. it's so unfair.

i am feeling anxious because i know what is coming, but at the same time, i don't. i don't know how i will handle myself seeing her. i don't know how i will handle jack when he is puzzled because she can't get up to play. i don't know how i will handle my husband's emotions, as he keeps them bottled up inside. i don't know how i will swallow my vomit when jackson says "mattie is sick."

i know i will cry. i know i will take photos. i know i will force smiles onto my face and i know i will bite my tongue. i know i will cry the whole 4 hour drive home. i know i will look at my child in a new light, and let him get away with anything for the next few days. i know i will cry on the phone with my best friend. i know i will thank the universe for this little girl, crossing and uncrossing her legs in my tummy. i will call my mom and she won't be able to say the right thing. i will repeat the phrases "what are they going to do?" and "how are we going to handle this?" and even "can you imagine if this was us?" to my husband...over and over.

but that is next tuesday. and today is friday. so i have until then.

and that is how i have to live these days.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

old barn rescue

i had this custom decal made for baby claire's room. it's been custom made by they were FANTASTIC to work with, and super fast. as in...i paid them via paypal on friday morning and it was shipped and reached me on monday.
if you order, tell them i sent ya :)

kiss off!

i feel like that is what the boy is saying to me lately.
it's hard to parent when you don't feel like you are on the same page as your partner all the time...especially when you're sure the other has never even cracked the book. it's a hard transition to let it go when you are the one home with your child and you know what works and what doesn't. and it's frustrating when the unhappiness is obvious in your child.
we had an easy baby. quite possibly the easiest ever. when my sister came to see him at 6 weeks old, she frantically called her husband, in a 3-hour time difference to tell him "todd! you would NEVER beleive this baby! it's unfair!"
we are encountering some struggles. and the worst part? they are things that are 100% my fault, and i can admit it. myy bff tries to be reassuring and tells me "it's a learning experience!" but i still feel awful.
but at least i can admit it....but it doesn't make me feel better.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

to jackson on his third

dear jack,

today you are three years old. there is no doubt about it, you are no longer a baby. this year has brought us so much joy. we watched you become potty trained (almost 100%) and began using full, run-on sentences. we watched you play with your cousin mattie and form a strong bond with her. it seems like you know when she is having rough days, because you look up from your toys and say something about her. you have even told me "mattie has bad booboo" but the scary part is, you don't even know she is sick...or what the word "bad" is.

you continue to abuse the dog, and i do nothing to stop it - i think i appreciate it sometimes. you love the garbage man like he is a parent, and you continue to make friends wherever you go. people often tell us you are the cutest little boy they have ever seen. you remember everything...i think you get it from your aunt nea.

you are a shopper. you often tell me i need to pick something up from the "gwocery stoooore" or the "fish stooooore" and you give the best cuddles after your nap. you have been asking me to rock you and i don't mind it at all.

you have given us challenges this year, and we struggle in maintaining our discipline. i sometimes feel as though we fail you in this department, but we are trying....i promise you. our ability to parent like normal parents has been affected by your beloved mattie and her illness. we don't sleep when you are sick, and i can feel my heart beat a little faster any time you come down with a cold, or even have an "off day." i am so sorry for that, but i don't know that it will ever go away. loving you so much can be scary for me.

you seem to be excited about your little sister, claire. you helped build the shelves in her room and tell everyone it's your job to get her diapers. you love books and to count. tom and jerry are heroes in your little blue eyes, and you often tell us tales of their adventures. you adore your daddy's tools and talk about going fishing this summer. your daddy is counting down the days until he can take you. your daddy loves you so much.

thanks for making me a mom. thanks for making me a happy person, and to see the important things in my life. thanks for sharing your snacks, and patting my back when i get terrible morning sickness. and for understanding me on the days when i just want to hold you a little longer than necessary. and for holding me, too. you always seem to know when i need it most.

please don't stop being my alarm clock at 7am...those little hands in my hair are some of my most treasured moments....when i keep my eyes closed because i know the longer i do, the longer you play with my hair - trying to wake me. please don't stop reminding me to appreicate the small things in a new box of crayons or the genuine laugh of a little boy having fun.

my hope for you is that the world continues to treat you with the genuine love and sweetness that you express into it, each day that you breathe. i couldn't have asked for a more perfect child because i had no idea a person of your calibur could exist.

i love you so much.

love, mommy

Monday, February 15, 2010

3 years ago

3 years ago today, there was the beginning of a huge snowstorm. marc and i had what we refer to as "the last supper" at our favorite restaraunt.

the following day i was to be induced. and our lives changed forever...


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

cancer blows

for various heart hurts today. as in, aches.

the worst is that it's only a small amount of pain compared to what's coming.

how does one bury a child? how does one know their little baby will never go to kindergarten, never learn to read, never ride a bus? never have another birthday, holiday, go trick-or-treating? how do you deal with that? how do you cope? how do you move on?

how do you go on living? i can't even imagine.

Monday, February 8, 2010

baby c

i forgot to mention.....

the baby's name is claire. :)

we love it!

missing my weekend

well, the snow has ceased to fall...for now. a guess they are saying a few more inches over teh next few days. meh.

we had a great weekend. i ordered the decals on friday for baby's room, and they were shipped on friday afternoon - talk about fast! we will see when they arrive...

went to a birthday party on friday night-it was fun! jackson had a great time and marc was able to help out in a crisis. who knew geotracks were so complicated?

saturday we cleaned and got some things done...we now have a new playroom and office and craft space! woo hoo! SUCH a huge difference. huge. we will be able to stay organized and i can finish working on some projects. we will now have a space to host overnight guests, too. i worked a short shift and my new store (LOVE it!) and got some really cute maternity clothes. also picked up a new diaper bag, a gift from my mom. i love it already!

sunday i headed to joann's and got some fabric. some is going back. TODAY. it's totally wrong. finished a few new style burp cloths and a cute cute onesie for baby. i still have to make a shirt for jack's birthday party next week. and finish up a few loose ends for a shower i am helping out with.

whew! a busy but very productive weekend. :)

Friday, February 5, 2010


it's snowing here.....and totally beautiful. big, fat flakes that are creating puffy mounds on the trees, plants, railings, and the deck.

hopefully i can get some pictures this weekend. it makes me really homesick for beautiful new england.


Thursday, February 4, 2010


so this morning i worked hard on some craft projects i have been putting off. i sewed 2 burpcloths for a dear friend who is expecting twin boys on the same day as my girl :) and swed 2 burpcloths for my little one! they are cutey!

i also used an awesome tutorial to make a changin pad cover for 2.0's room. it came out adorable and was SO SO SO simple. i am going to make more....this time with a little more flare! i can't wait.

i feel like time is approaching so fast, there are so many things i want to do!

color samples came in the mail today for 2.0's wall decals. the etsy seller is fantastic so far, and i will be sure to update when we order.

hopefully m will hang the door(s) this weekend and then i can paint them. i also scored a playmat from a friend for only $10 this week (i felt like i was robbing her, but that is what she asked for it!) and another friend mentioned that she read on here that i was looking for the crib soother. low and behold, she has one, new in the box and is giving it to me at a hefty discount. thanks, amber and miriam!!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

{our} boy

we loves him.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

{getting} ready

we are trying to get ready for baby 2.0's arrival. we have lots leftover from jack...but some things that we need to replace. this time around, the finanaces are different, so we are trying to spend less :) we have to buy:

play mat (have one from a fellow nestie that is on hold for us! score!)
light-up thingy for her crib (i always call it an aquarium for lack of a better term...)
i really want a snap-and-go for her stroller, her stroller is trashed (we will see if i get vetoed)
finish decorating her room (it's a nightmare!)
hang her new door to her room
paint her trim
window treatments. ughhhh (however we located some white ones from PBK from jacks first room that we thought were lost. score!)
a nursing cover (or 3) - will make
bibs - make

is that it? goodness!

Friday, January 22, 2010


well, it's no secret that our niece is sick. it's no secret that we live in a culture in which others think they are entitled to, and should, give their opinions on such things...all.the.time.

i am tired of people telling me not to feel guilty about this baby. i am tired of people saying "oh, the family will see it as a new beginning" or "you shouldn't let the tragedy get in the way of your happiness." you know what? we don't feel that way. and it's okay.

of COURSE we are overjoyed with our healthy baby girl. we are FOREVER grateful for our healthy boy. but we have a huge feeling of guilt and sadness...and i think we are entitled to that. once you become a parent, and see the world-changing way a baby makes you the view life, you put yourself in every parent's shoes when tragedy strikes. people make a face and shake their heads and always say "i couldn't even imagine." well, some people HAVE to imagine...because it's their reality. it's going to be ours....theirs...the family's.

we don't ever want to cause more pain to them then they have already gone through. it's M's sister's only child...she is not going to have any more. and to those thinking "oh she will have more"'re wrong. she won't. so stop saying it. it hurts. we fear that seeing our kids, or any kids, will hurt them. we fear that the extended family will continue to push us away more than before. because it will hurt them too much to love our kids. i am not saying that from a selfish standpoint, but from a standpoint of fear for the family's feelings of pain and for our kids for not getting that love.

we don't want them to hurt any more. we don't want mattie to have cancer. we don't want to keep explaining our feelings. we don't expect anyone to understand, because we hardly do ourselves. our feelings are valid, they are true, and to tell us how we should be viewing it/dealing with it/processing it is just plain ignorant. because if you have NOT been in our shoes, then you have absolutely no right to offer advice. advice is given from someone who has experienced it. many have exprienced death with a an elder, a distant relative....but a CHILD is a whole different ballgame. there is no explaining it away..."oh they lived a good life" or "she was old." no. not the same at all.

we are simply angry.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

almost passed out!

our neighbor came over with her itty bitty new baby. marc and i discussed that in no way was our baby EVER that small (even though little james was 8 oz bigger than our jack) and today i came accross these pictures (plus MANY MANY MORE) and i almost died right here on my floor.
how quickly we forget. how desperately we try to remember....

Monday, January 18, 2010

please keep me accountable

and by having a baby NOT let me put those bands with bows/flowers/large obnoxiousness on her head. they are just silly.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


so...i have majorly been slacking. MAJOR. but it's okay, lots to touch base on.

we are proud to announce we are expecting a baby GIRL in May. she will arrive via c-section, which i am NOT pleased about, but it will be okay.

i was told shortly before christmas that the store in which i have been employed for almost 2 years will be closing. at this time, i am being told that i am being transferred to the other store in columbus, but we will see...

that being said, baby 2.0's room is going to be freaking adorable. a generous discount, combined with a store closing discount = good deals for the A family. she DOES have a name, which we changed in the past few days, but we are not telling. stay tuned!!!

we are preparing to say goodbye to our little niece. we are not sure when, but we know it will be sooner rather than later. we are not sure how we will handle this, but we will get through it. it's like a heavy rain cloud that is looming on the horizon. it clouds our joy, regardless of whether we should let it or not, of our upcoming arrival. because we know that the 2 things will be very close in timing and we are just unsure of how to deal with that. i have a few things to say about the comments we receive, and the advice, but that's a post for another day...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


this is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. i am watching dr. phil and there is a mother of a (adopted) child and she is talking about strangers' comments. it really hits home.

i do have/have had people make comments about it all of my life: do you think your parents treat you differently because your sibs are adopted? do you think that's because they aren't your real siblings? does your brother/sister wonder about his/her mom or dad? yeah, but they aren't your REAL siblings....

it's just so rude and coldhearted. my mother may not have given BIRTH to my sister or brother, but they are still my siblings. i don't look at it any other way. none of us do. we are so much alike it's uncanny.

it's almost like i would like to respond by saying "do you feel that way/is that because your sister is so much better looking/more successful than you/is smarter than you?" but i don't - because it's inappropriate and just one of those things you dont say.

in the words of dr. phil...don't assume adoption is a second choice. for some, it's a first choice.

there is more to being a parent or a family than blood relation. and those comments and inuendos really hurt the loved ones of an adopted child.

quote of the day!

Character is what you are...reputation is what you try to make other people think you are.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

kingdom of bounce

we went.

we saw.

we conquered.

we are SO going back!

a good quote

i love quotes. i think it re-affirms what you are thinking, and it's refreshing to hear your thoughts echoed in the words of someone else.

one that echoes in my ears lately is "when someone shows you who they are the first time...believe them." my own personal spin? especially if it's that person's spouse! ha!

Friday, January 1, 2010

onto 2010

it's january 1! happy birthday, my dear marc!

2009 was a good year, in the importance of all things.

marc, jack, and i were all healthy, and remain healthy. i got pregnant, and we are expecting our baby girl in may 2010. we shall call her aubry 2.0. my brother was married adn we had safe travels to NH. my parents visited and they are in good health. my sister and her kids are in good health, as are her in-laws. my bff nea came for a visit and although i only got to see her for a few hours out of the week she was here, it was wonderful.

on the not-so-great-side, we learned that our precious niece has terminal cancer. she is beginning to struggle on a daily basis and all we can hope is that she makes it to her 5th birthday in april. i was laid off a few weeks ago but was lucky enough to be relocated to a new location. sadly, not all my friends made the cut.

we have worked hard this year to stay out of major debt, and we were successful. we have a tiny bit left, which is highly annoying, but it will be paid off in a few weeks.

i have some resolutions and goals for the upcoming year but will blog about them is to update my blog mroe often! lol.

have a happy and healthy new year.