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Luck be a lady…

Me and my progeny...

Me and my progeny...

Sometimes it hits me – I have a toddler. AND I have a 20 year old. AND I’m in my 40’s. AND… if Luck be a Lady and I’m that lady… I’ll be knocked up again, soon.

That’s right, glutton for the punishment that those small packages of little humans can dish out, I’m not feeling “done” yet in the producing progeny department. I’m scared, because of all the statistics out there… yadda yadda yadda… I heard them all before during the last go around with pregnancy. I was scared then and I’m scared now, but regardless, with the support of my partner in crime (shout out to Scott) we’re going to try for another one. I feel incredibly blessed to have this 2nd chance at parenting younglings. I’d forgotten how much I love being a “mommy”. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a “MOMMMMMM!!!” (usually accompanied by an eye-roll.) And I take a lot of pride in the fact that I’ve been able to get one amazing daughter to the age of 18 without too many scrapes and bruises to her physical and mental self. In fact, I think getting her to that “finish line” gave me the courage to try it again. Sort of a, “I didn’t screw it up too bad the first time, maybe I’ll get even better with practice….”

All ready I see that I’m a different mom in my 40’s than I was in my 20’s. My 20 year old parental self would sanitize all that was within a three feet radius of my little Sonora-nora-bug. If another kid touched her toy, I’d discreetly place it in my diaper bag, segragate it from the “clean toys” and hand Sonora a new toy (from the clean toy section of the diaper bag, duh!). Sonora never touched the carpet in her early non-crawling months. She was always on a blanket. Only ONE SIDE of that blanket ever touched the floor… and I could go on and on like this. Oh, but I could… I will openly admit I was a bit of a freak.

Jump ahead 20 years and I am happy to report that with my 2nd child I am no longer a super freak, not super freaky. In fact, recently I was doubled over laughing having just witnessed Dublin offer the dog a baby biscuit and, after the dog already gummed it, reneged on the deal and stuck it right into his own mouth. Doggy germs and all. Also, if that’s not enough to point out how far I’ve come, I even allow Dublin to sit… in…… without putting him in a protective bubble first!

All of this makes me wonder where I’ll be in another 20 years, because there is no way I would have guessed 20 years ago that I’d be here!

The Mean Reds… Alternately titled: Depression Sucks King Kong’s Yoo-hoo

Even dogs can get the blues

Even dogs can get the blues

The other day I came across a pretty powerful video blog. In the video, several bloggers described their experience with depression. It struck me how brave it was for them to come out and openly describe, so honestly, what it is like to struggle with depression. (Click here to see the video yourself)

What is it about mental illness that has people wanting to shy away from addressing it… or owning up to grappling with it? When filling out a questionnaire form at a doctors office, I’m quite comfortable to list all of my ailments– from high cholesterol to any of the surgeries I’ve had. In fact, after going through gallbladder attacks, it’s like a badge of honor to say, “yeah, it’s the worse kind of pain you can imagine, made me faint against a tree once…blah blah blah blah…” Hell, I’ll even get into the nitty gritty of the childbirth experience: natural child birth, rips, and the burn-baby-burning pain! Again, it’s like a badge of honor. You go through that much pain, you earn the right to tell your war story.

Ripping from yin to yang during childbirth… yeah, lets discuss. But depression? Um, no… not going to talk about that, that’s personal!

In the video, one blogger talks about the pain that a depressed person feels. For anyone who has experienced depression, you know that the pain is as real as pain caused by any other sort of physical condition. When you think about it, all pain is invisible, right?? So why is it harder to believe that someone is having pain from a mental source, rather than a physical one?? Yet, for some reason, it’s easier to accept… in fact, it’s more socially acceptable to have pain from a broken arm or a ripped va-jay-jay. Okay… maybe NOT a ripped va-jay-jay. But nobody is going to get denied insurance from having had a ripped nether region!

Now is ze time on Sprockets vhen ve dance!- Dieter

"Now is ze time on Sprockets vhen ve dance!"- Dieter

Most depressed people (unless you’re Dieter, see photo) would do anything NOT be depressed. But it’s not as easy as “SNAP OUT OF IT!” Also, just like every other medical condition out there, it’s not a “one size fits all” scenario. When I had my gallbladder attacks (see what I’m talking about, watch me brag!) it took two years… TWO YEARS for them to find out what was wrong with me. Why?? Because the pain was not in the usual location. It was all,“I want to be an individual and you can’t put me in a box… I’m gonna be smack dab in the middle of your stomach, where people will think I’m a Hiatal Hernia…. I’m gonna be around a while BEYOTCH!” Yeah, it was nasty like that. My point being, depression comes in many shades, there is a whole spectrum. Regardless–Depression is real. It’s nasty and mean… but, IF acknowledged, it is totally treatable and can be kicked in the arse.

For anybody who might be reading this and in want even more information, here are a few great links I’ve recently bookmarked:

Help for Depression

AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention)

To Write Love on her Arm

Baby Center- PPD Help

Postpartum Progress

Progeny on the move…

Recently I went house-hunting with my daughter. I know it’s uber cliché of me to say this, but it truly DOES feel like just yesterday I was bribing her to eat breakfast… Just yesterday that I was braiding her hair and picking out her clothes… just yesterday that I was wondering when the hell her feet would stop growing and bugging her about whether or not she finished her homework. And now… we come screeching to the present, where I’m helping her find a new place to move into with her… with her… with her…boyfriend!

I leave the little one with Scott… and off Sonora and I go to inspect this potential new abode.

First off, I notice, it is NOT on the beaten path- score, 1 point.
Second, it’s a water tower – score, 10, points.

Water Tower House

Water Tower House

It seems as if we drive over the river and through the woods to get to the water tower. We arrive and the second she sees it, she’s in love. (I will take a brief moment to gush at how much she is like me. I too would have loved this very weather-worn house.) I see the house through her eyes and with all my heart I immediately send out messages to the universe that this NEEDS to be my daughters first house. It’s so full of character, I can almost see the creative energy seeping through the nooks and corners of the interior.

We are greeted by the grounds keeper and he’s like a character out of a book. He too is weather-worn and full of character. He shows us into the house and we walk into a very small bottom floor. There is a small kitchen and small (as in micro-mini) bathroom. The bottom floor can easily be taken in with a glance. We then climb a small staircase, to the middle section of the house. It has been labeled as the bedroom, but only out of necessity… because no mattress could venture up beyond this point. This small area has a mini-gas-stove stuck in the corner. A double sized mattress would engulf the entirety of this room. Then, there is a ladder that leads you through a hatch in the ceiling to the third, and final, level of the house. On the top story, there is a closet and views of the surrounding rural area… oh, what views!

This room longs for shabby chic!

This room longs for shabby chic!

She’s in love… and I’m in love. That’s when it hits me…. I’m unemployed. The funds that I have to help furnish any new place have suddenly become very limited. Last year, when Sonora lived in Florida for a couple months, I sent many-o-care-package. That’s what moms do. But now, this time around, I’m unemployed and I need to conserve my spending and remember that my savings needs to remain dormant for a while.

This unemployment is a bit of a fart in a quiet room… it stinks!

What to do, what to do… Thank gawd I was poor in a past life. I’ve totally got this. I know how to decorate on a dime! I’m having flashbacks of my first apartments…. and suddenly I’m having an epiphany moment: I’m going to give Sonora the ultimate gift for those who need to decorate on a limited income– a high temperature glue gun! Though it may just be the espresso talking, and not an actual epiphany, I’m feeling like I’ve got a plan. And I always feel better when I have a plan. All hail the mighty glue gun, making 2nd hand objects look all funky and new!

Now I’m all excited and raring to hit garage sales… but I need to pull back the reigns and acknowledge that the espresso has hit my blood stream, because I’m getting way ahead of myself. After-all, I suppose I should let her turn in the application first…

The Awakening…



When you bring a baby home from the hospital, it’s all “ooh’s and awwww’s” to any twitch or wiggle. You look at your new little addition for any spark, any sign that the little lump of cute-leach-ness begins to merge into the personality you can feel simmering beneath the surface.

And so it was with Dublin. The boy chuckled in his sleep from the get-go. CHUCKELED, like a knowing old man. He stared, as if casing us all out. I felt like he was studying us, like if he could grip a pen, he’d probably have been taking secret notes.

I could feel the awakening starting early, like he was trying to get the slip on us. But I’m a watcher too and I could see his moves. First came the sly little smile, then the following us with his eyes, and progressed to where we are at today, with the grabbing and mouthing everything.

A couple weeks ago the screaming started. Shrill. Stop. Smile. Shrill. Stop. Smile. This made me realize that he’s just like my first born, Sonora… and I inwardly shivered “Gawd, this one’s going to be loud like me too!” Poor Scott.

The Doctor says that a babies personality starts to show at 6 months, but I think it’s a bit like an awakening. There are clues from the day they’re born, letting us know what we’re in for. I think Dublin is going to be a bit of a flirt and good with the ladies. I also think he’s going to be sensitive and a music lover.

I wonder if anyone has ever taken a picture of a babies eyes, every day, for the first year of life. I bet that would be an interesting experiment. At what point would you see the shimmer of understanding staring back at you?? Things that make you say, “Hmmmmmm….”

For anyone who thinks that’s an interesting idea, you might find this video interesting. It’s an experiment done by Deb Roy, a MIT researcher who set up cameras all throughout his house and filmed his son for the first year of life to document the birth of his vocabulary.  You can view the video by clicking this link: The Birth of a Word

Riding a bike in traffic…

Week before the layoff...

Week before the layoff...

I started this entry a billion years ago, or so it seems. I had it open on my laptop, vowing to finish it THAT day, then the NEXT day, then the next… but there it sat.

Eventually, it became a bit obsolete.

What I planned on writing was: “Having a baby again after so many years has been just like riding a bike… except this time around it’s like riding a bike in traffic.”

And that was to start a colorful bit about how I was doing great as a mom, but had a bunch of extras going on at the same time. And that’s true… I did pile on the extras. And on and on and on.

Not only did I have my 2nd child after 19 years… but I decided to change my job of 15 years and my town of 25+ years. Yup, we up and moved, so I could start a brand new exciting position of an assistant to the president of a winery in Sonoma county.

I was very nervous… what if things didn’t work out? How would I feel leaving Dublin behind, when I left for work every day? How was I going to find the time to move… to pack… to unpack… to nurse…. to sleep??

And that’s when you just sort of jump, both feet, into the deep end and go for it.

Alas, yadda yadda yadda… the job didn’t work out. A month and a half in, no notice, I was let go. I worked my arse off for my boss and BOOM… one morning I have a job and that evening I didn’t.

I got a real taste of the rat race. The 110mph kind. And I didn’t like it and it showed. It’s not that I have an aversion to work… absolutely I do not. However, 110 mph is where crash and burn happens… I’m more into going the speed limit!

So here we are, having moved to Sonoma county for a new job that is no longer.

All of a sudden, I’m a full time mom, by no choice of my own. But here’s the thing: I’ve WANTED to be a full-time mom…. it’s just that financially it wasn’t an option. Now that it’s forced to be an option, I’m really conflicted. I’m excited to be at home, but at the same time I feel horrible that I’m not going to be able to financially contribute more than unemployment. I don’t even know how much that will be, never having been on unemployment before.

To review: new mom, new town, new job, new termination, new unemployment…. new challenges.

My brain is still whirling from being let go from a job that I was trying so hard to master. I’m depressed, I’m happy, I’m anxious. I don’t know if I’ll try and jump into another job full-time, or just go part-time. I don’t know if we’re going to move out of this area, since we were only here for the job. I don’t know how I’ll live without my weekly Starbucks (costly) treats. I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself…

Don’t expect me to become an extreme couponer anytime soon… but I do need to figure somethings out. Meanwhile, I’m going to try and write more.

B is for Baby…

Meet Dublin!

Meet Dublin!

I’ve been trying to write this blog for the last 9 weeks…but I’m finding it hard to write with just one hand! Why one hand?? Because the other arm is busy holding my new little man!

Yes, my beautiful bundle of joy has arrived. Packaged in a 7 pounds, 8 ounce, package. I’m too tired from every two hour feedings to process that I am now a parent again! No time to think, only time to do!!

My little bundle is taking a nap and I’m going to test the bounds of how fast I can type, in order to fill in the gaps of the past 9 weeks:

After hearing the statistics regarding “maternal advanced aged” placenta’s falling short on the job past the 40 week mark, I was going to take no chances and agreed to the advantages of being induced at 39 weeks. I set the date for October 28th, because it was a Friday and would be convenient for grand parents to visit. Though, I truly believed he’d show up before the scheduled date. He didn’t, I was induced.

October 27th I went to work, as usual, came home… and packed for the hospital. I went to bed early, but sleep eluded me. I couldn’t believe my journey was finally coming to the finale, that the finish line had arrived.

To recap the crazy journey that lead up to this date: I’m a sorta cougar. I met and fell in love with a man who is a decade younger than I. On our first date we discussed the fact that he wanted kids in his future and I had my tubes tied. After celebrating a year together, we decided to pursue starting a family together. We met with a doctor to discuss our options… IVF was touted as the best option, but a tubal reversal was also brought up. Tubal reversal was the cheapest option (though, by no means cheap!!) and though the statistics said that having a tubal at my age didn’t put the cards in our favor, we decided to roll the dice and go for it. I had the surgery and month after month we tested negative for a pregnancy. We heard about a study that offered “free” IVF (though it really was to cost around $4000, which compared to the normal $20,000 of IVF makes it feel sorta free) and decided to try for it. After having to go through several testing procedures, we were accepted into the program. I made arrangements with my work to take off the necessary time off and we were at the start line, just waiting for my cycle to start, when I ended up with a positive pregnancy test.

Every bit of the 9 months I was pregnant I didn’t take for granted the fragility of it all. Every day I worried that we wouldn’t make it to the finish line. And even once that wonderful day arrived, I was still nervous and feeling anxious.

It had been 19 years since the last time I was in the maternity ward. The last visit, I woke up in labor, my water broke at home and once I arrived at the hospital it was only about 3 hour before my daughter arrived. This go around I knew it wouldn’t be so fast. I arrived on schedule at 8 a.m. By 9:30 they gave me the little pill that was supposed to get things started. My doctor arrived at some point in the morning to let me know what to expect for the day. I was told that I was probably going to start feeling things in a few hours and could hopefully expect the arrival of my son sometime that night.

My daughter, Scott, his mom and his dad were my visitors for the day. I forbid food to be eaten in the room, because I wasn’t allowed to eat any solids (in case of C-secion). I spent my time walking in circles around the halls of the maternity ward and peeing (he was resting on my bladder until the very end).

Sometime around 6pm-ish my doctor walks into my room and after I smiled and said, “Hi”, he replied, “Tis isn’t what I wanted to see… “

I guess I didn’t seem like I was in pain. But I was, I just hide it well. In fact, the nurses didn’t believe that I was really in pain either. They said that even though my external monitors showed my levels being really high, the contractions were probably measuring less severe. They said they’d put an internal monitor to more accurately monitor my contraction levels. Once the internal monitor was put into place, they found that my contraction levels were actually measuring more intense than the external.

Ha-ha! Boo-YA!

After that… all hell broke loose! My contractions intensified and next thing I knew, they were scrambling saying that they didn’t know if the doctor would make it on time. He did. Though, in all the excitement, the room hadn’t been prepared.

All the while, I am busying myself with pushing. Pushing. Pushing.

While pushing. Pushing. Pushing. I felt EVERYTHING. The song “Ring of Fire” (Jonny Cash) played in my brain. And the thought “I’m NEVER doing this AGAIN” occurred to me more than once.

I pushed and pushed and pushed. Believing the doctor when he said, “you’re almost there… “ And he wasn’t lying, because I was almost there.

At 7:25p, on October 28th…. our son, Dublin, arrived. He weighed in at 7 lbs, 8oz, and was 20 inches long.

He’s wonderful and beautiful… and healthy. I feel like I have won the lottery. I’ve never been so tired in my entire life… but I’m also over the moon in love with him.

Life is a crazy journey. Who woulda thought I would try to have a baby at 40. Who woulda thought I would succeed!! YAY ME!

Waiting Game…

Baby Bump!

Baby Bump!

Almost one week ago I officially hit full-term. I was fully convinced that, because my daughter made her arrival shortly after hitting 37 weeks, this little guy would follow in her footsteps. Nope, that’s not the case at all. Tomorrow I’ll be 38 weeks and I am getting antsy to get this party started!!

While I’m so-over-the-top ready to have him, each day past that 37 week mark has brought with it a little bit of panic…. Dare I say, TERROR. I’m going to have a baby. I’M GOING TO HAVE A BABY!!!! I am seriously having a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that this is really happening. I know I must be crazy to have just past the finish line of an 18 year journey with my daughter, only to start up again. As my daughter keeps telling me, “Just think mom, you get to do back-to-school nights and parent teacher meetings all over again….” Yeah, not to forget, terrible twos, terrible teens and getting this new little man to eat his veggies. Instead of hitting my 40’s in search of travel deals, I’ve traded it all in for Boy Scouts and soccer.

I’m ready. I’m terrified. I’m ready…
I’m thrilled. I’m petrified. I’m thrilled….
Every time I have a Braxton hick, that has even the tiniest bit of pain associated with it, I’m giddy with excitement and anticipation. It doesn’t even feel like I’m starting a new chapter in life… it feels more like I’m starting a new book; a sequel. Fortunately for me, I am a book lover…

That was then. This is now….

I’m officially two weeks away from being full term. My doctor even said so, thus making it law. I’m so excited and petrified! I can’t help but think how they’re so much easier to take care of when they’re still neatly packaged within the womb! Soon there will be crying (or, let’s be more accurate, screaming!) accompanying his wiggles. Soon there will be feedings that don’t’ just involve me helping myself to a seconds at dinner. And soon there will be poopy diapers, in all their stinking glory, helping to bring the reality home….. We are not longer pregnant; we are zombie-tired parents at the beck and call of our little boy.

I feel like I’m in a state of limbo. I feel that I’ve read myself out. I can no longer read ahead in the “What to Expect While You’re Expecting” book, because I’m near the end stretch. I HAVE read it all, so much so that I can practically recite what I should be feeling during this week, as well as the next 5 weeks, or tell you that, “YES, peeing every 10 minutes is normal behavior at this stage of the game.” So instead of reading, now I just mainly stare at a calendar. I’m so ready to get to the finish line and exhale. …

I never worried while pregnant with Sonora. Probably it was because I was 21 and had that feeling of invincibility, not so in touch with the fragility of life. It never even occurred to me that I had anything to worry about. This time around …. GAH! I’ve been holding my breath the whole time. I would get to some milestone, like 12 weeks, only to hear of someone else sadly having a miscarriage. Then I would get to 20 weeks and again, hear of another of tragic loss. I would go online and read statistics of survival rates of micro-preemies, just to give myself some sort of comfort that my baby WAS viable if the worst case scenario would have happened. Someone should have seriously taken my internet access away!! I have been pretty masochistic in my surfing behavior.

Epiphany! The internet hadn’t been a household item when I was pregnant with Sonora, otherwise… I probably would have been holding my breath back then too!!

While the internet has been feeding into my worry-wart-ways, it has also been a blessing. Back when I was pregnant with Sonora, if I wanted to shop for baby items, I had to *gasp* go to the store! The only super highway I was traveling on, was the one leading south to a bigger city. And that highway was anything but super, seeing how it only had two lanes…

Yup, things have changed a lot in the past 19 years. When I gave my daughter her first bath, I pulled out the “What to Expect the First Year” book and propped it open by the sink. This go around, it will be my laptop with a Youtube video sitting just out of splashing distance from the sink.

34 Week Update

And here we are, fast forwarding a month since my last entry…..

I’m now 34 weeks and the big day is racing towards me. I’m both excited and terrified, a mix of :“I can’t believe we did it!!” with the terrified part of me asking, “what have we done?!?!?” Meanwhile, in the last month we’ve completed a birthing class, had a wonderful baby shower and have started trying to figure out where all the baby stuff is going to go in our very tiny house.

It all still seems so surreal. I can’t believe the tubal reversal worked. Even with my little guy squirming about like he’s religiously practicing Taekwondo, I am still in shock that I’m actually pregnant. And even more shocked that we’re approaching the finish line of the pregnancy.

I’m still stuck in this “I’ve been struck dumb and speechless” mode, thus the lack of blog entries. I don’t know if it’s still that feeling of “don’t move and scare it all away” that’s going on with me, or I’m just scared. Either way, the words are like pulling teeth.

So it’s with a stunted peck-peck-peck at the keyboard that I am attempting to write and it’s just not working. So I will just conclude with this thought that keeps circling round and round in my brain:

Things are about to change in my life and the next 18+ years will never be the same….

The Big Exhale….

Hello?? Hello?? Anybody here??

I feel like I should be going to some writers confessional: Forgive me, for I have sinned… it’s been four months since my last blog entry….

My only explanation for my lack of writing is that I’m still holding my breath. I’m still so in awe of being pregnant, that a part of me still views it as fragile. It’s like I don’t want to move, for fear of jinxing it.

So far, everything is going great. My biggest pregnancy complaint? That would be regarding my emotional state of mind having been a bit volatile. You just don’t mess with a pregnant woman. Her hormones will smack you up and down!! I think there have been moments where Scott has been scared of me, very-VERY scared! I’m surprised he hasn’t got a stash of holy water to pull out and toss in my face when my hormones take possession of me…

I have 11 or 12 more weeks left, depending on who you believe. My level-2 ultrasound dated the pregnancy as being a week farther along, but my doctor’s sticking with his original due date and is convinced that I “just have big babies”. That’s not something a pregnant woman wants to hear… that I’m destined to have a big baby! AWK! I want to have a nice 8 pound baby boy… and a FAST delivery! Oh, and as long as I’m putting in an order, it’d be nice to walk out of the hospital in pre-pregnancy sized jeans! Hahahah….

Did I mention I’m having a boy?? Yup, it’s a boy!! :)

To be continued (I promise)…..