Sunday, November 22, 2015

Banner's book...

I'd be lying if I said I had not been waiting for Banner to start bringing home art projects that he had  created (more or less) on his own.  This is all getting me one step closer to (hopefully) obtaining my very own macaroni necklace one day.

Although, this latest project pretty much made my day (despite the obvious lack of macaroni).

So, this kid wrote a book.

Front cover

A tribute to me is inside the front cover.
Because, of course!

Followed by this fabulousness.
I mean, I'm totally with him when it comes to the dog being a pet.
I'll even go along with the penguins.
But the hot dog?  Totally Trevor's kid.

And then it just ends.
Trevor is upset there was no mention of him.
Me: 1, Hot dogs: 1, Trevor: 0

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The kid cracks me up...

Because sometimes you need to be ALL the superheroes at once.

On driving past (what we hope will be) Banner's new school starting next fall...

Trevor: "Banner, would you like to go to school here one day?"
Banner:  "Yes.  But I should probably move my cubby first."

Thursday, November 12, 2015

On miracles, Part I...

A little over a year ago, on October 13, Trevor and I went in to see our baby for the first time.  There was no heartbeat.  No fetal pole.  So much excitement, love and hope…all snuffed out in an instant.

I had found out I was pregnant on September 22, 2014.  It was unexpected.  Not because we didn’t want another baby, but because I had experienced a whole host of health problems after the D&C at the end of March 2014.  Apparently, a lot can go wrong after/because of the procedure, and I was starting believe that having more children was not in the stars for us.  In fact, I had gone to the doctor that day because my period was more than 50 days late.  At first, in early September, I was optimistic this meant I was pregnant, but three negative pregnancy tests over the course of next few weeks put a damper on that idea.  I was distraught and desperate for answers.

So, imagine my surprise when a routine test at the office suggested that I actually WAS pregnant.  I was floored. 

Still, my doctor was very guarded, and warned me not to celebrate too soon.  The results from my initial blood work weren’t promising, and there were several indicators that suggested this pregnancy wasn’t viable.  I was devastated, and couldn’t even bring myself to tell Trevor what was going on.  I have a very vivid memory of driving north on Abrams Road bawling my eyes out.  I honestly didn’t know if could emotionally survive another miscarriage.  It felt like drowning.  Like I couldn’t get enough air no matter what I did.  Nights were the worst.  I couldn’t sleep, and spent hours weeping about the babies I’d never meet on Earth.

Over the course of the next ten days, I had a lot of blood drawn and tests run.  At first, nothing looked good, and I kept waiting for my body to miscarry naturally.  Then, out of the darkness, a glimmer of light, but – being the catastrophist that I am - I refused to put any faith in it.  I just couldn’t get my hopes up, and have them dashed.  I was in survival mode.  In fact, it took my Gynecologist announcing that she was releasing me to the care of my OBGYN to even start to consider that this pregnancy might actually pan out.  Somehow, despite blood work that initially indicated that this pregnancy wasn’t meant to be, everything magically rectified itself and – ten days later – looked perfectly normal.  My Gynecologist said it was a miracle, congratulated me and asked that I send her regards to Trevor.  Only then did realize that Trevor had no idea anything was going on.  I mean, he knew I had gone to the doctor and that she was running tests.  But that I was pregnant, he had no clue. 

I ended up writing him a letter because I couldn’t figure out how to tell him in person. 

Our pregnancy confirmation appointment was scheduled for October 13th.  I finally allowed myself to relax and feel excitement.  And then…nothing.  For the second time in six months, an ultrasound failed to register a heartbeat where one was supposed to be.

I don’t remember much about that appointment except crying and feeling extremely angry.  I was so mad at myself for being stupid enough to believe this time was going to work out.  For getting Trevor excited.  I remember hating myself, my body…everything.  I remember thinking that there were now going to be two babies in Heaven that I would never get to see, hold or rock.  For some reason, my doctor wanted to redo the sonogram in a week just to make sure before ordering another D&C, which just made me even more furious.  Why?!  Why make me wait?!  It made no sense.  So what if my HCG levels were over 90,000?  I thought he was torturing me.  He did a Total Loss Panel, gave me written instructions for what to do if/when I started to miscarry naturally, and then told me he wouldn’t medically intervene for another week pending another sonogram…just in case.

Trevor took the whole “just in case” nonsense as a reason to hope.  So, I turned to Google.  And while there were instances where heartbeats appeared after the seven week mark (when, previously, only an egg sack was visible), many of the stories were much more depressing.  So I called my OBGYN’s nurse and asked her what she thought.  Being a nurse, she couldn’t say one way or another, but told me to prepare myself.  No heartbeat and no fetal pole were not good signs.  That said, she made a point of telling me about the miracles she’d witnessed after years of working in an OBGYN’s office.  Babies that weren’t supposed to live, pregnancies that weren’t supposed to be possible.  She had seen one earlier that week, and encouraged me not to lose hope.  At least not yet.

I wasn’t sold.

So, I called my regular Gynecologist and asked her what she thought.  After all, she had been involved since the pregnancy was first discovered nearly a month earlier.  She had run all those blood tests and knew my history.  She also knew that things didn’t look right with my initial bloodwork, and started telling me about molar pregnancies, blighted ovums and genetic mishaps that sometimes just happen.  I’ll never forget the way she gently explained that – while miracles do occur (she had been a practicing OB for years and had seen her fair share) – too many things weren’t adding up with this pregnancy.  “I’m so sorry,” she said.

The rest of the week was spent in a fog.

The following Monday (October 20th) my follow up ultrasound was scheduled.  I wouldn’t let Trevor go with me because I assumed my body would not miscarry naturally (it didn’t before) and another D&C would be necessary.  Knowing I would need him home with me for a few days post-surgery, I figured the most responsible thing would be for him to work up until it was scheduled.  That way he would be away from the office as little as possible.

Trevor hates to miss work.

I arrived at the appointment, sat alone on a bench and waited.  Even though I had ordered Trevor not to come, part of me secretly hoped he’d be there waiting anyway.  The office was running behind, and time seemed to be moving abnormally slowly.  Finally, Erin, the sono tech, called my name and led me back into the offices.  When my OB’s nurse, Deandra, saw me, she asked where my husband was.  I shrugged and responded with something along the lines of “what’s the point”. 

“Yes, but you shouldn’t have to go through this alone.”

I wanted to tell her that I couldn’t bear to see the light and excitement leave his eyes again.  When we lost the other baby earlier in the year, I remember that moment.  That horrible moment when Trevor realized what had happened.  He was so happy.  We had just been joking around five minutes before in the exam room, and then it was just…just over.  Our baby was gone.  Trevor has always wanted to be a dad; always wanted a bunch of children.  And even though I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to be a mother before becoming one, Banner was such an amazing blessing.  I was hooked.  I wanted to become a mother for a second time.  I wanted Banner to have a sibling.  I wanted Trevor to have the family he always dreamed of.  But my body wasn’t cooperating.  The idea of disappointing Trevor for the second time in a year - because of ME…because of my dysfunctional body – made me physically sick.  He tried to be so strong for me when we lost the little boy in March.  I never even saw him cry (although he later admitted to breaking down once when he told him mother what had happened).  Knowing that I was about to disappoint him all over again…well, it was awful.

But I said none of those things to Deandra.  Just blinked away a few tears and continued to follow Erin down the hallway.

I walked into the sonogram room, undressed from the waist down and got on the table.  The tech did her thing, and for one last fleeting moment I allowed myself to hope.  But, sadly, I saw nothing on the screen and heard nothing on the speakers but silence.  And so I started to cry.

It was happening.  It was really happening.  Again.

“Everything looks great!”


“The baby.  Good, strong heartbeat.  152 beats per minute.  Everything looks perfect.”

“Wait.  What?”  I started to sob.

“Here, let me turn on the sound.”

And suddenly that amazing whoosh, whoosh, whoosh sound filled the room.  Erin pointed out the now visible fetal pole and a rapidly beat heart.

“My baby?  My baby is alive?”

“Yep!  And measuring just over seven weeks. I’ll print out some pictures for your husband.”

Sometimes emotions can be just as jarring as gees on a rollercoaster.  Even now, as I think back to that day, I remember the jolt.  It had a noise; like a deep thump from within. Like a train stopping suddenly and reversing directions.  First you hear the squeaking of breaks.  Then the first whomp as the wheels begin to turn in a new direction.  Except, instead of a train, it was my heart.  My physical heart.  I swear it stopped beating that day, if only for a moment.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Banner Quotes: Summer/fall edition...

Banner: "Mama, what's this?"
Me: "A raisin, buddy."
Banner: "No, it's a jellybean!"
Me: "Sure it is."
(Note:  it was a raisin.)

Banner (On first Friday's): "That was really fun. I had a good time tonight."

Trevor: "How do you know that's Haskell?"
Banner: "Because he's fat."

Mr. Garcia: "Who know what month starts on Wednesday?"
Banner: "Saturday!"

Banner: "But why do I have to have quiet time?"
Me: "Because we were out late last night and mommy needs to do some things before we can go to the splash park."
Banner: "Like what?"
Me: "Like mama needs to bathe the dogs and feed your baby sister."
Banner: "And daddy needs to watch tv?"
Me: "Yes. Exactly."
Banner: "Oh. Okay."
Trevor: "Well that's unfair."
Me: "Hey, truth flows from the mouths of babes, Trev."

On how I dress:

Banner: "Mama, I don't like your shirt."
Me: "Thanks, buddy."

Banner: "Mama! You are wearing a dress!"
Me: "Why are you so excited?"

Banner: "Mama, you no like jeans anymore?"
Me: "I just wanted to wear these pants today, buddy. They are very comfy."
Banner: "Oh."
Me: "Do you like these pants?"
Banner: "No. I actually like your jeans better and I no like jeans!"

Banner: "Whatcha going to wear to dinner?"
Me: "What do you think would look nice?"
Banner: "Honestly, a blue dress."

Banner [horrified]: "Mama! You left the house with your jammies on?!"
Me: "These actually aren't my jammies, but thanks buddy."

Scene: I was pumping. Mimi arrived and opened front door. Alley ran out front door. Haskell chased Alley. Banner chased Haskell.  Mimi chased Banner, and Rue Anna chased Mimi. Then all returned in reverse order.  It was awesome.

Banner: "Mommy, I love you."
Me: "Aw, thanks, buddy. I love you too."
Banner: "Daddy. I tell mommy I love her. Can I watch tv now?"

On Chewbaca:

Banner: "Chewbaca no turn into a mermaid anymore."

Banner: "Who's that?"
Trev: "Chewbaca."
Banner: "Mr. Chewbaca lives in a cave?"
Trev: "I think he lives in a tree."
Banner: "No! Mr. Chewbaca isn't a monkey."
Trev: "Well, he isn't a bear either."

Watching Harry Potter.

Text to Trevor: "FYI: banner sat on my lap this morning, grabbed my hand, pulled my finger and tooted on my leg." Boys...

Banner: "Mama? You sad?"
Me: "No, baby. I just hurt."
Banner: "Here I sing you a song to make you feel better: row, row, row your boat...
Feel better now?"
Me: "Yes, baby. You fixed everything."
Banner: "Ok. If you hurt more later, I'll sing you the abc song."

Banner: "I thirsty."
Me: "Go to bed."
Banner: "But I'm thirsty."
Trev: "Buddy, the last time we gave you water after bedtime, you wet the bed."
Banner: *after long pause* "Oh. Okay. Goodnight daddy."
Trev [to me]: "He couldn't refute that argument."

Banner: "Mama! I want Santa clause to go trick or treating at my tree house and bring me a present."
Me: "Buddy, it is summertime. Santa only comes when it is cold outside."
Banner: "Last week?"
Me: "No, in December."
Banner: "Maybe the mermaids make it 'cember because Santa say 'ho ho ho'?"
Me: "I don't know, bud."
Banner: "Why?"
Me: "I'm going to start with 'it is July'."
Banner: "Oh, okay."

Banner: "That's CEO but Burp calls her 'coo-coo'."
Trevor: "Coco."
Banner: "Whaaaat?"
Trevor: "Coco, not coo-coo."
Banner: "Oh."

Me: *coughing fit while driving*
Banner: "Mama, stop singing!"

Banner: "But it is never my birthday! My birthday has slowed down!"

Banner (to lady in locker room at swim class): "Come look at my baby sister because she so cute!"

Banner: "I like this song!"
Me: "Me, too, buddy. I like Tom Petty."
Banner: "I like Thomas the Train and Charlie Bacala!"

Banner: "Mama, when I go to sleep, can I dream about coffee?"

Banner: "Mama, there are three girls and two boys."
Me: "Good job, buddy!"
Trevor: "How about Haskell?"
Banner: "Three boys and three girls!"
Me: "Don't forget Alley and Gypsy!"
Banner: "Three boys and a whole lot of girls!"

During the opening theme song for Sunday night football of the 2015 season...
Me: "Banner, who do you like this season? The Cowboys or the Eagles?"
Banner: "The Eagles!"
Trevor: "Hey!"
Me: "That's my boy!"
(At least she is amused by us!)

Banner: "Sharing is caring, mama."

Banner: "Mama, I need to bring something for fall day. Like a leaf. Or a coconut."

Banner: "Mama. Everyone's car is working. Except yours."

Me: "I think you and your sister are the best."
Banner: "We are awesome."
Me: "Totally awesome."
Banner: "Probably awesome huge, too."
Me: "Probably."

What he wears to grocery shop.

Upon walking into class and seeing all the girls dressed for dance class...
Banner: "Mama, I can't turn into a girl, right?"

Banner:  "Mama, I no going to be a gangster when I grow up because I no have the right clothes."

Banner: "Daddy, you are so shady."

Banner: "Mama, I can't find my cape!"
Me: "Have you looked for it?"
Banner: "No."
Me: "Well, we've identified problem number one."

Banner (randomly): "Mama, I will always love you."

Banner: "Daddy? You like milk?"
Trevor: "Yes, I like milk."
Banner: "Mommy no like milk. Mommy like wine."
Me: "Wait a minute."

Me: "I love you, buddy."
Banner: "I don't like yellow pickles."

Me:  "Good to know."

Overheard while the Nick Jonas song "I still get jealous" was playing on the radio:
Banner (singing his own version of the lyrics): "I'm still in trouble..."

Saturday, October 31, 2015

On Halloween...

The trick-or-treat crew 2015

Banner:  "Can I please have some candy?"
Me: "Uh, Ban.  Those are pumpkins, not people."
Banner:  "Okay, but can they please give me some candy?"

Me:  "No more candy."
Banner: "But it's not all gone yet."

Friday, October 30, 2015

Sticker of shame is no more...

Schafer has been rolling around since early September, but wasn't showing her teachers at school. So, the sticker of shame remained on her crib.

Trevor and I comforted ourselves with videos that proved she really could roll over.

But, finally, she showed everyone her skills by rolling in a complete circle this afternoon.  And then, just to highlight the fact that she could do it all along, she proceeded to do it four more times in ten minutes.

Ms. Vivian:  "Yeah, Schaf.  We get it.  You can roll."

That's my girl.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

For all those that think Schafer only looks like her daddy...

My mom on the left, me in the middle and Schaf on the right.

You see it, right?  RIGHT?

Someone lie to me.  ;P

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Quiet Game...

Banner talks.  A lot.

Mostly, I enjoy my little Chatty Cathy.  But it wears on Trevor on occasion.

Like the day we took the kids to Central Market to grab dinner and a few groceries.  Banner talked THE ENTIRE way there in the car.  Then proceeded to talk my ear off while I pushed the cart around the store.  Trevor, who had Schafer in a different cart, met up with me at the checkout and asked if Banner stopped talking at any point during the outing.

"Haha!  You are kidding, right?"

So, Trevor decided, before getting back in the car for the ride home, to teach Banner to play The Quiet Game.  Because, sometimes, silence really is golden.

Banner said he understood the rules, and immediately started talking smack.  Our overly confident three year old told us in no uncertain terms how he was going to be "the quietest ever" and "beat us all" because he is a big boy and "the best a being quiet".

Yeah. He lost before we exited the parking lot.

We heard about it the whole way home.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

On School Pictures...

Last year, we dressed Banner in a button down shirt and dress pants for school picture day.  He looked sharp, and yet I had instant regret because getting him dressed that morning was such a struggle.  The kid wanted to wear what the kid wanted to wear.  Which, not surprisingly for 2.5 year old Banner, involved a superhero shirt and his rain boots.  It is a fine line between wanting your kid to look good on picture day, and wanting him to look like himself.

My lil weirdo this time last year.

This year, learning nothing from last year's regret, we dressed Banner in another button down shirt and khaki pants.  We even parted his hair.  The kid looked amazing.  I almost didn't recognize him.  See, 3.5 year old Banner is into matching.  He dresses himself in the morning, because apparently mama doesn't understand that you can never have too much of one color.  Which explains why my kid looks like this most mornings:

Mr. Color Coordinated, right?

Anyway, I wanted him to look nice in his school pictures mainly to prove to the other parents and teachers that my kid CAN clean up on occasion.  I mean, who are these other people that can get their kid to dress in collared shirts and chinos on a daily basis? I'm just lucky we have pants on when we leave the house most mornings.

So, I was a little confused when the pictures came back and my kid looked like...well, a giant tomato:

My favorite is the red wrist band with the red shoes on the red scooter.
Because OF COURSE.

Apparently, something happened on the day he was supposed to take his picture and it was postponed.  It was probably a day that Trevor picked up, because - clearly - I had no knowledge or I probably would have attempted to intervene two mornings in a row.

At least this year's photo is a more accurate depiction of what he looks like on a day to day basis, and for that I am grateful.  Plus, he looks happy and relaxed which is much more than I can say about last year's picture where he looks uncharacteristically spiffy and slightly deranged: