Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Easter 2014 Recap...

Banner's first dyed Easter Egg.
Easter 2014 was very similar to Easter 2013.  There were multiple egg hunts, good food and lots family.

Easter Part I was at Brook Hollow on Saturday.  Just like last year, the club hosted a brunch with pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, kid-friendly buffet - the works!  The event is a lot of fun, and always ends with a big Easter Egg Hunt on the front lawn. 

Banner had a blast!

He was excited about the giant bunny for about 10 seconds.

Waiting for the hunt to begin.

His loot!

Happy Boy!

Easter Day started with a return visit to Brook Hollow for Easter lunch with the family.  I apparently forgot to document the occasion because I do not have a single picture.  Banner was a bit of a mess during the meal - mainly because he was convinced the pony and train rides from the day before were still there (they weren't).  This didn't keep him from trying to find them any way.

Then, after a brief nap, we had Easter Part III at Gran's house.  She bought him an adorable (if you can describe that balding alien as "cute") Yoda Easter Egg basket, and he had another egg hunt with his step cousins in the backyard.  Of course, the older boys' eggs were harder to find and had actual candy inside.  Banner's just had crackers and goldfish.  It didn't take long for Banner to figure out that he was getting screwed in the candy/sugar department, and all the adults laughed we watched him stealthily "trade" his eggs for the older boys' eggs when they weren't looking.  It was hysterical.

The only downside to all the Easter festivities is that Banner keeps asking to go on another egg hunt, and we've had to hide all his candy.  Until next year, little man!  ;P

Ranch escape...

We had been planning on going to the ranch the first week in April for awhile.  But then I miscarried, and the trip turned into a much needed escape. 

The weather was cold and rainy, which seemed oddly appropriate.  My brother and his girlfriend were there, as was Trevor's brother, Spencer.  Together, we spent a lot of time eating, sleeping, drinking, fishing, watching TV and just hanging out.

It may be cliché, but it was just what I needed.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from earlier this month:

Fishing with daddy.  It only lasted five minutes, and they didn't catch anything. 
But my heart melts every time I see the pictures.

The guys...

A day out with Thomas...

My son?  OBSESSED with trains, and has been ever since he was bitten by the Thomas bug back around his second birthday.  So, it was a given we would attend this event in the springtime. 

The funny thing is that I used to have to work this YEARS ago.  It was a partnership thing, and my museum hosted an activity table with arts and crafts.  Believe me, this event is much, much, MUCH better as a mom than an early to mid 20 something surrounded by HUNDREDS of very excited train-loving little people. 

The best part of this event, was that it got me out of the house.  This was our first real excursion post D&C (we went on March 30th).  It was hard, but seeing the look on Banner's face as Thomas pulled into the station made it all worth it.

But enough from me, I'll let the pictures do the talking:

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Why Trevor is no longer allowed to have plastic money...

It is time to start trying to get back to business as usual, folks.  And what better way than with the latest (and possibly greatest?) Trevorism?  Because, you guys: That man.  He kills me.

It all started with the Stars game on Wednesday, April 9th.  A friend of the family randomly offered us AH-mazing tickets at the very last minute, which worked out fabulously because we had a sitter that night and nowhere to go.  Even though Trevor sort of had to sell me on the whole thing, because a hockey game isn’t exactly a candle lit dinner for two.  And, let’s face it.  I’ve had a hard time lately NOT being an antisocial hermit.  So, he offered to be my sugar daddy for the evening.  Dinner, beer…even t-shirt.  All I had to do was say “yes”.

First world hockey problems:  Being so close to the ice that
you can't see the actual game because the coaches are in the way.

So off to the American Airlines Center we went.  Except things didn't go exactly as planned.  Mainly the whole Trevor-is-my-sugar-daddy for the evening.  Because Trevor left his wallet at home.  Supposedly “by accident”. 

(Yeah, I didn’t buy it either.)

In short, I paid for dinner, beer, parking at the AAC (OMG, that alone was $25!) and the babysitter.  And I didn’t get a shirt because apparently they don’t make them with Trevor Daley’s name and number, and he is my favorite player.  It is like my name mated with Trevor’s and produced a professional hockey player.  What’s not to like?  Plus, Trevor Daley is a total bada$$ and not only took a puck to the face, but scored the Stars only goal that night.  Seriously, why doesn’t this man have a shirt?!  I'm looking at YOU, #DallasStars!

But I digress.

The next day I discovered my debit card was missing, and I realized that I hadn’t seen it since Trevor borrowed it for the all-important beer run before the start of the 3rd period the previous evening.  So, I called him at work to inquire as to the card’s whereabouts.  He *thought* it was just in his jeans pocket, so I didn’t cancel it right away.  He even made it sound like he found it on Thursday evening when he got home, which made the Friday morning, “Oh, yeah.  I’ve been meaning to tell you.  I never found your card,” conversation all the more frustrating.  Luckily, the damage was minimal in the form of a $3 mystery charge late Thursday night (24+ hours after I last saw the card at the game).  I didn’t think much of it, but – according to the Customer Service Rep at my bank – it very likely could have been a Test Charge (where thieves test to see if the card works before draining the account).  So, obviously, it could have been a lot worse.

As punishment or retribution, I again declared Trevor to be my sugar daddy until my new debit card arrived in 7-10 business days.  This sounded like an awesome plan until said sugar daddy left his credit card at Ozona’s Saturday morning.  I guess it is lucky I have credit cards as backup? 

Then, Thursday evening (April 17th), Trevor had a boy’s night downtown and lost his entire wallet.  He noticed it when he got home around 9 PM, and drove back to Chase Tower to see if someone had turned it in.  They hadn’t.  He also scoured the floor and parking garage to no avail. 

Defeated, he started driving home.  He was merging on to Central Expressway when he saw something that looked a lot like his wallet lying in the middle of the road.  He pulled over, and – sure enough – it was.  Minus his ID, concealed handgun license, credit and debit cards.  Because, OF COURSE.

Trevor wasn’t going to cancel anything that night because he was “tired”.  No.  Not kidding.  That is what he said.  AND HE WORKS IN FINANCE.  FOR A GINORMOUS BANK.  It is times like these that I’m glad we never got around to merging our finances; save for a single joint banking account.  An account, might I add, that I had the debit cards canceled and reissued before Trevor got even pulled into the garage that night.

And because there was no way I was going to allow that man to go to sleep without canceling everything in his wallet that had been stolen, I looked up websites, dialed numbers and did everything in my power to help with the process.  Because I’m nothing but paranoid supportive.  Trevor wanted to quit after cancelling his cards and concealed handgun license, but I pointed out that he had to file a police report before he could request a new driver’s license.  Poor, silly man thought this could take place over the phone and was dismayed to discover that it required a visit from an officer.  This, of course, is how a very annoyed, tired and whiney Trevor ended up opening the door for a uniformed officer at 11 PM that evening.

The officer, bless him, backed me up on the whole you-really-need-to-do-this-now bit; especially since whoever took the wallet now possessed two forms of state issued ID.  He also encouraged Trevor MULTIPLE TIMES to put a fraud alert on his SSN, but the man didn’t get around to it until I called and pestered at him about it around 3 PM on Good Friday.  Trev’s excuse?  “I’ve been busy”.  My response?  “You know what isn’t going to matter if someone steals your ID?  That you were busy.”

I won.

But I digress.  Again. 

The officer was about to leave when the evening took an interesting turn.  The cop started asking Trevor where he went to school, and before I knew it the two had discovered that they knew each other.  Apparently, they used to work in collections together six or seven years ago (at that ginormous bank I mentioned earlier) before the officer left to join the force around the time of the financial crisis in 2008.  All of a sudden, they were gabbing like teenage girls about who was married, who had kids, who was divorcing and all sorts of related water cooler-type gossip. 

Meanwhile, there I was on the couch staring at them and wondering what had just happened.

While the cop seemed to regret his decision to leave the financial world for the Dallas Police Department, Trevor was THRILLED to learn that he could have a backup career in law enforcement.  I’m not going to lie.  The whole situation was a little weird.

Because all this happened the evening before Good Friday and the long Easter weekend, I got to be Trevor’s sugar mama.  This was only made possible by the fact that I received my new debit card in the mail on Thursday afternoon.  Still, because I’m a meanie, I made Trevor take his lunch with him to work on Friday and Monday.  You should have seen his face when I told him where the cooler lunch sacks were stored in the kitchen.  You would have thought I smacked him in the face.  Poor, poor Trevor.

Trevor never did get around to going to the DMV, which just about drove me crazy because there is no way to notify the State of Texas that your license is stolen until you show up with a police report number to get a new one.  And because I am a catastrophist, I was busy envisioning all these horrible situations involving The Bad People using Trevor’s ID for evil things.  But Trevor?  The man could not have cared less no matter what ridiculous completely realistic scenario I tossed his way.  Why?  Because he had “his passport”.  A comment I found very confusing.  Mainly because a passport isn’t a driver’s license.  But for whatever reason, having a passport was very calming to Trevor, and removed all need for any sense of urgency.

And, tragically, all his procrastinating totally paid off because some Good Samaritan in Rockwall, Texas found his license and mailed it back last week.  So now he doesn’t even need to go to the DMV at all.


In other news, Trevor nearly lost all my wedding rings on Easter Sunday and left the diaper bag at Frontiers of Flight on Saturday afternoon.  I fear we aren't out of the woods yet.

You know what would make all this better?
A Trevor Daley t-shirt!
(Not letting this one go!!)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Sometimes you just need a change...


My hair, y'all.  Out of control.  Of course, it doesn't help that my last hair cut was sometime in October of 2012.

Anyway, when you haven't had a hair cut in a year and a half, you kind of need to cut your losses and start over.  And, really, after everything this spring, I needed a change.

Here I am a little over twelve inches later:

OMG, I totally suck at selfies.

Hair was donated to Locks of Love, as always.  I'm so glad there is a nonprofit that can consistently benefit from my general lack of hair maintenance.  Now if I could only commit to things like makeup and grownup clothes I could (almost) be least until I have to wash the new 'do in a day or two.  Then it is back to business as usual.  Lord only knows what I'll do when the number of white hairs start outnumbering the brown ones, and I'm forced to start dying it.  I'm not sure I can donate hair that has been color treated.

Plus, I will probably also have to commit to going to the barber more than once every year and a half.  But I can't think about that right now.  My commitment-phobia won't let me.

Speaking of my barber, he doesn't know what to do with me.  Mainly, because I keep calling him my "barber".  Apparently, women have "stylists" or something ridiculous.  No wonder I'm such a mess.  I'm 33 and don't even have the terminology straight.  What chance does my hair have?!

(Choosing not to think about it.)


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Two steps forward, one step back…

"Knowledge is knowing that we cannot know."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

One of the bouquets of Easter flowers that decorated the alter of our church on Sunday was in memorial to “the little life we lost”. It is silly, but doing so really helped. Our tribute was printed in the service bulletin, and – for me – attending church Easter morning was as close as I’ll ever get to having a funeral or memorial service; even if no one was aware of it except for me. Trevor squirreled away three of the programs in the pink folder that we received from our doctor during our first prenatal visit back in February. That thin folder now holds all the details of our second baby from being to end; a tiny life unrealized.

Since then, I’ve been asked twice about my pregnancy from well-intentioned people who simply hadn’t heard that I miscarried. I was so proud of myself for not tearing up when I told them what happened. Not because it didn’t hurt to have to explain, but because I didn’t want these individuals to feel awkward for bringing it up.

Make sense?

Then this morning happened, and it was like March 24th all over again.

My doctor’s office called with the results from the D&C. There were no chromosomal abnormalities; no reason science can give me to explain why that little heart ceased to beat.

Also, the baby? It was a boy. Banner would have had a little brother.

I was prepared to hear that there was some sort of genetic cause that explained why my baby died. And in some ways, that may have been easier. At least then I would know it wasn’t my fault. But now I find myself (again) agonizing over every drop of caffeine, every elevated heart rate during a run, every slice of brie that I had between January and March, and I simply fall apart.

I know I should be glad to hear that there was nothing wrong chromosomally. That means there isn’t a history of genetic issues. That we supposedly have less to worry about if/when we decide to try again. But, really, you never know what may happen when you roll those proverbial dice. And it just about kills me that they can know enough to determine the baby’s gender, but not enough to be able to tell me why his little body failed to thrive in my womb.

Knowing is bittersweet. While I’m glad to have some answers, they only lead to more questions. I’m haunted by the empty daydream of what could have been, and – for twelve, short weeks – almost was. A life full of brothers, bunk beds and being a boy mom. So close and yet...

...if only, if only, if only.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Puddle jumpin'...

Because I promised, and because it never fails to make me smile...

(I just wish I had the HD version that was shot on Spencer's phone!)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Thank you...


Been awhile, huh? Yeah. Sorry about that. I sort of crawled in a hole a couple of weeks ago, and I’m not quite sure I’m ready to leave. The rational side of my brain is all like, “OMG, GET OVER IT ALREADY”, but the other side is still an emotional puddle of gloom and doom.

On the plus side, I haven’t cried in days (today doesn't count because I had to go in for my post op check up). But, then again, I’ve also actively avoided even thinking about “that subject” to the best of my ability. Denial and I have been BFFs since childhood.

But since I’ve ignored pretty much everyone for two weeks, I figured it was time to show my (virtual) face again…if only for a moment to let people know that I’m still here. I don’t think I would classify myself as anywhere near “fine”, but I’m working on it.

That's something, right?

I want you to know that I’ve read every single one of the sweet comments, emails, Facebook messages, texts and wall posts you have sent to me. I’ve heard from people from high school and college that I thought I had lost touch with years ago, friends who – unbeknownst to me – had suffered miscarriage(s), museum peeps, family friends, other mothers from church and even a few empathetic strangers. You all have no idea how much your words, thoughts and prayers have meant to me.

And I mean that literally. Because, again, I don't think I even acknowledged a single one. With the exception of the person that told me that they would gladly drive to Dallas and poke the eye of anyone who told me that "God just needed another angel". To that person (and you know who you are), you made me smile.  We should hang out more often.

And, no.  No one has said that particular little ditty to me.  But I have heard other remarks and comments that make my head spin.  Not because they are cliche.  I can handle cliche, because I know the person who said it - deep down - meant well.  Maybe they just couldn't find the words?  The comments I'm referencing are insensitive or just plain mean.  For the record, implying that must be hormonal because I just had a miscarriage is the big, ugly, cracked-out-on-PCP version of "is this your time of the month".

But I digress.

I am simply overwhelmed that so many people took the time and effort to reach out. I've saved every last word - mostly because I've always intended to respond. I just don't know how. Saying "Thank You" doesn't even begin to cover it. Honestly, I do not think I'll ever be able to adequately explain what all those notes, emails and texts have meant to me. They've pulled me through the last couple of weeks...cheesy as that sounds.

(And, wow, does it ever.  Please know I mean it sincerely.)

I feel very guilty for ignoring you. The emotional puddle part of me is just doesn’t feel super worthy of anything right now. The rational side of me knows I did nothing wrong, but I just can’t seem to shake this overwhelming sense of guilt, shame and embarrassment. I always thought it would help if people knew I was pregnant so if something happened they could be there to lean on. But, now...I dunno. It is ridiculous, but I feel like I jinxed it somehow. I like failed somehow. And every time I try to write back to thank those that have tried to be there for me, I feel like I need to apologize and ask for forgiveness.  Which is one of the biggest reasons for my silence, and I'm not even sure it makes any sense.  Because I KNOW I have no reason to feel guilt, shame or embarrassment.  Well, that is, until the next time I have to fess up to someone else, "That I lost the baby."  Me.  I lost it.  Not Trevor.  Not bad chromosomes.  Me.  That entire sentence implies I did something wrong.

Also, did you know the medical term for miscarriage is "Spontaneous Abortion"? 

I’ve been told that my letter to my baby was powerful. That it helped others. That it moved people to tears. But honestly, my only motivation was to pay tribute to a tiny little heart that only beat for three weeks. I almost decided not to post my letter, because it was so personal. So many tears were shed in the simple act of writing down what few precious memories I had. But, at the end of the day (and with Trevor’s blessing and encouragement), I felt like making the whole thing public was the only way to recognize and acknowledge that little life. Keeping it to myself wasn’t an option. I needed to let it go. It was immensely healing. Just knowing that my memories were out there - and that nothing on the internet can ever really go away - was such a comfort. I’ll never get to know that little life here on Earth, but I can make sure – in my own trivially insignificant way – that it is never forgotten.

But don't let any of that fool you.  I'm not strong.  My OBGYN told me he and his wife lost ten babies. 10.  That's strength (he is also the only person that can tell me that all of this is God's plan).  Me, though?  I lose one, and I'm questioning things I've never even thought to question before.  And I absolutely hate the emotions that well up inside when another friend announces she is expecting.  I want so much to celebrate and be happy for them, but all I can do is think about what I lost.

If it makes any difference, the rational side of me is well aware of how lame the emotional side is.  Because last weekend was all about me acting out and doing things I couldn't/wouldn't do while I was pregnant.  Mainly, drinking (I got drunk, y'all.  Off of three glasses of wine.  Because that is all it took after not drinking for three months), drinking Gatorade and chewing gum (artificial sweeteners, you guys!), and schlepping tables and heavy things before getting clearance from my doctor.  I've also completely binged on caffeine and momentarily considered smoking a cigarette.  Because I've never smoked a cigarette (as in ever), and gorging myself on soft cheeses and raw fish just doesn't have the same rebellious ring to it somehow.

(Don't worry.  There was no smoking.)

In related news, I must be the most boring/pathetic person on the planet if the mere thought of smoking a cigarette makes it a "wild" Friday night. 

But I digress.  Again.

One last very special thank you to those very select few friends who know me well enough to KEEP calling, texting, showing up and forcing me to see and hang out despite having busy lives and dramas of their own. My personal favorite was a friend who realized that I’d answer the phone if she called me at work. She even called from a number she knew I wouldn’t recognize just in case I had caller ID. It is times like these that you realize who your true friends are.  Like my high school roommate of three years.  She has called and/or texted me almost every single day since she found out and tried to make me smile.  Yesterday she SANG on my voicemail.  Twice.  For absolutely no reason at all.  And my childhood friend who just showed up on my doorstep with flowers, casseroles and chocolate pie.  And my PhilUP picture compliments of the amazing CJ.  My friends, you guys...both the emotional and rational side of me knows I'm very lucky.

I promise, the next time you hear from me it will be less sap and emotional diarrhea and more Banner jumping in puddles and sassing Trevor.  Until then...thank you.  From the bottom of my heart.