Friday, April 27, 2012

Pardon the mess

Okay, okay, I know I've been MIA this month. One post a week is kinda pathetic. But I've got a ridiculous amount of work to accomplish before next Friday at 9am. I've been at it full blast since a week ago.

Here's my list so far, with what I've done yesterday and today crossed off.
  • write a 3-5 page paper
  • attend a parent panel 
  • grade 12 four-page argument essays
  • grade 12 portfolios
  • grade 54 44 three-page Beowulf essays (10 down!)
  • grade 54 sets of two discussion questions
  • grade 54 final exams (I don't get these until Wednesday)
  • calculate 66 final grades
So, yeah, I'm kinda going crazy with the grading right now. I have to have final grades up next Friday, but we're heading to Florence that weekend, so I'm actually hoping to get everything done Thursday night. I've got my mother-in-law coming to babysit Thursday afternoon, and the hubs will take care of G after that. I think 11-10pm will be enough time to grade those 54 exams and calculate final grades... I hope. I'd rather not stay up later than that, thankyouverymuch.

Plus, there's a lot of this going around:

G was nursing a cold yesterday. He seems to be in better spirits today, but I've had a sore throat since I woke up. A cold is just what I need while I'm in the home stretch of finals!

(And yes, my almost two-year-old still uses a paci. Normally, he only uses it for naps and bedtime - and we're strict about that. But he was so pathetic that I offered.)

However, after Friday, I'll be off on break until summer classes start up at the very end of May. So I'm going to be starting up another blog-a-day event for the month of May. I want to get back into the groove of it. NaBloPoMo, it is! I did NaBloPoMo back in November and had a blast. For now, though, I'm burying myself in Beowulf essays.

I'll be back on Tuesday to start NaBloPoMo. May's theme is "play." Not sure how much I'll stick to that, but we'll see.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

a toddler's love

Grayson has always been opinionated, but lately he's hit a whole new level of how he expresses his feelings. He stomps his feet when he gets frustrated - this cracks me up so hard. He will scream if he's very angry. He's started doing this thing when we ask him to do something he doesn't really want to do; he scrunches up his shoulders, leans back, and saunters over in a very "what, mama?" sour attitude kinda way. My kid doesn't talk, but oh boy, he let's you know how he's feeling.

Best of all, he's by far much more affectionate than I ever thought he might be. He's always been a happy and studious kid, but he didn't exactly like to hold hands until lately. Now he likes to hold hands wherever we go. Oh, the hand-holding - I love it! He'll hold my hand when we walk to and from the car. When we go to the park or the zoo, he doesn't like to go far without me in hand. As a baby, he didn't like having his hands touched, but now he asks me to rub lotion on them or likes to just sit with his hand in mine while we're on the couch.

The last time Dave and I took him to the zoo together, he insisted on walking everywhere with each of us on a hand. You wanna see a puddle of goo? I was a total puddle of baby-loved mama goo.

The kid loves to get hugs, but now he'll throw an arm around your arm or shoulder and actually squeeze back. He'll lay his head on your shoulder or lap for a brief moment. When we're reading or playing with a puzzle, he has to be touching: sitting in my lap, pressed against my side on the couch, or even just sitting there with a hand on my knee.

And the kisses! My favorite has to be the kisses. He'll turn his cheek out for a kiss and peck you one if you ask. Sometimes, after kissing one check, he'll whine and point at the other, wanting to kiss you on the other side too. The kid has no sense of personal bubble space, so if he's standing close to me and I'm sitting on the floor, I'll often end up getting kisses like he just can't help himself. And every so often, he'll grab my face and plant one on me again and again, and I'll laugh and push him gently away, because dude, I don't want to make out with you, okay?

I love how, every morning after he finished his sippy of milk, he slides off his daddy's lap and runs over to me. He climbs the couch and throws himself into my arms, laying his body against mine for a brief moment of cuddles. And if you try to stop him from doing that, he pitches a fit. He's gotta have that mama moment, every morning, just like that.

I have no doubt that he won't always be this cuddly. Because, you know, I don't think it's appropriate for a 14 year old boy to curl up in his mama's lap. Ha. Eventually, he'll stop wanting to hold hands. Even now, sometimes I'll let go of his squishy little hand and prod him forward, because the kid's gotta make it out on his own eventually.

I feel his love for me stronger than ever. He can't say "I love you." Not yet. But he shows it every day. And hey, most of the time, I don't mind if he feels the need to have me right there. Sooner than I will like, he'll let go of my hand on his own.

Friday, April 13, 2012

I was put under 8 weeks ago

It's been 8 weeks since my D&C.

I'm not even sure what I say about it that I haven't already said. It's the first major loss I've ever experienced, and I find it so odd how life is in the aftermath of death. Robert Frost said it best: "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." Preach it, Frost. It goes on. And the weird thing is, it does.

At least, for everyone around me. I feel kinda stuck in one place, even though I'm going through the motions of continuing with life, even though I'm taking care of my toddler like normal, going to class, teaching my students, and everything in-between, even though I'm working on losing weight so I'm healthier for third-baby. Even though, I feel like I haven't moved on yet. Maybe everyone else has. People definitely don't willingly bring it up anymore, almost as though they're relieved time has passed enough that maybe it is just the past now.

I go running by myself every other day just so I have time to think about it. And I need that, that calm space to let second-baby flow into my thoughts. It's our moment together that I yearn for. It's all that I feel I have left to offer my angel-baby.

I start my second post-miscarriage period any day now. After that, we start trying to get pregnant again. I'm rather nervous about it, mostly because I don't know how long it will take. My luteal phase (the phase of your cycle post ovulation) was very short last cycle, and I need it to be longer in order to get or stay pregnant.

Maybe getting pregnant again will help me reach that life goes on threshold. Or maybe my life will go on, but my heart never will.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

baby, you has style!

At my father-in-law's wedding on Saturday, G was in top form in both attitude (he handled everything like a champ) and in cuteness (he charmed everyone). And oh my gosh, that bowtie and hat slay me with fierce amounts of adorable.

Monday, April 9, 2012

those pictures of us

I'm wishing, at this moment, that I had taken more pics of me pregnant with baby #2.

My father-in-law got married to a lovely lady on Saturday. I'll post pics soon, especially of G because he was so stinkin' cute in his bow-tie and hat. My mother-in-law was the photographer and she asked me to be a bit of a second shooter for her. A few hours before the wedding, I cleaned off my SD card to make room.

As the photos, about 800 of them, were deleting off the card, I caught a glimpse of me pregnant with baby #2. I was 10 weeks at the time.

A huge wave of panic hit me. I thought I had copied all of the photos off my SD card, but I knew I had to check for my own sanity. I pulled up my folders, scanned through the past three months, and found only one from that photo session, the one I had used to blog that I was 10 weeks pregnant.

I had been meaning to take another maternity photo of myself, especially after I hit the second trimester mark a few weeks later. But I never did. There are no photos of me earlier along than that.

In a blink, I had deleted all of the rest of those photos from that 10 week session. There were a few others, a few of me with G as well. The lost of those hurt the worst. How stupid was that of me? Tears immediately glossed over my eyes. I didn't want to lose it, knowing I had to soon get ready for the wedding, but I could feel the grief welling up inside me all over again. One photo. That was all I had of me pregnant with baby #2. I already had an overwhelming sense of having nothing to remind me of second-baby, especially the lack of a body to bury. This was just one more heart-wrenching kick-me-while-I'm-down moment.

I took a deep breath and traveled further back in my stored photos. To 2011. To Christmas.

Here, here is a picture of me pregnant. The morning of Christmas Eve.

And here, another one. The evening of Christmas Day.

I was 6 1/2 weeks pregnant on Christmas and already showing, my belly bloated and swollen, my face already filling out.

And here, on my 30th birthday. Four weeks pregnant and I knew.

I knew so so early in that pregnancy that there was a new life inside me. I tested positive on a pee stick 8 days after ovulation, when I was only 3 weeks and 2 days pregnant.

There may be others, other photos that other people took of me when I was pregnant, and I cling to these photos because it's all that I have left. I have my hospital bracelet sitting on my jewelry box. I have the scar on my wrist that may never go away, one inch to the left of the IV scar from G's birth. I have second-baby's first ultrasound pictures, and a morbid part of me wishes we had images from the ultrasound that diagnosed the miscarriage. Second-baby had been so utterly beautiful to me at that moment.

I hate so badly that I deleted those photos of me 10 weeks pregnant, except for the one above. I wish I had taken some when I was 13 weeks pregnant, a week before all of that baby was lost to me. I promise myself that I'll do better with the next one, but that doesn't erase the heaviness that always lingers on my chest.

It's been almost 8 weeks since the day we found out about the miscarriage. Sometimes it feels like it never happened, especially as I sit here in my very not-pregnant body. Sometimes it grasps at my running heels as though it was yesterday.

Friday, April 6, 2012

escapism, part 2

I'm picking back up with my Escapism series, as I talk about the various ways I fill up my time to try to avoid dwelling on our loss (over seven weeks, ooh my god). My husband has been bugging me about this, so here you go. You can read the first part of my Escapism series here.

My name is Alicia, and I have a boyfriend. And no, I'm not talking about my husband (sorry, honey).

He's kinda my flavor of the week, except that week has turned into a few weeks and now I'm heading into that "a few months" category of crazy. I'm afraid I'm stalking him, too. Yeah, that kinda crazy.

It all started when I caught a glimpse of him on TV in a new show, all CGI'd and spiffed up. The hubs wanted to record more episodes, and at first I ignored it, but then he kept turning it on when I was around. And really, it was all rather pretty.

Optimus Prime in the new Transformers: Prime show. Hubba hubba.
And it hit that little girl part of me that thinks fondly of what I loved as a kid. I have a brother, you know, and we often mixed our girl and boy toys. One of my favorites was an Optimus Prime figurine that could turn into a truck. It blew my little girl mind. I loved it. Of course, I still loved my Barbies and my My Little Ponies, but this, this was a man who turned into a truck

Optimus Prime is the ultimate good-man. He's a leader to a fault, putting everyone else before himself even though he's so important to protect himself. He thinks before acting... usually. He's a hero you can actually look up to and admire because he's always seeking to do the right thing. One of his biggest faults is probably the fact that he's too good and doesn't take as tough of a stance on the bad guys as he ought to (the endless fighting of Megatron, anyone?). That, and his supreme lack of a sense of humor. A big stiff-upper-lip, that one.
Optimus Prime a la the Bay movies
I don't remember a whole lot about the old Transformers G1 episodes, but the knowledge and love of Transformers has always been there in the back of my head. The live action movies rekindled that love, and the new CGI TV show has solidified Transformers as one of my favorite franchises of all time. Really, if you're at all interested in Transformers and enjoyed the old cartoon or the live-action movies, give Transformers: Prime a try. The writing alone is fantastic, not to mention the art.

And the humor:
Star - why does it all go WRONG? - scream
And the cute:

Well, I'd show the cute, if I could find a decent screen-cap of Bumblebee.

Anyway, I'm a bubbling mess at this point. The point is, I owe Transformers a lot. It gave me something on which to focus that wasn't related to my baby's death or the way my body changed afterward. Instead of haunting my ovulation chart like a boss, I was reading bits of the long and detailed history of Transformers and watching various incarnations. In the quiet moments of the night, I had something to entertain me and draw me away from my grief.

Thanks, Optimus. I owe you one.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

22 months, 2 more until 2!

Dear G,

You are 22 months old as of yesterday! Only two months to do until your second birthday. We are very excited to celebrate, and your mama has already been planning like a crazy lady.

More and more you're acting like a toddler rather than a baby. We get treated to a tantrum probably at least once a day as you try to figure out how to express your anger or disappointment over something. Sometimes we just leave the room, sometimes I try to talk to you. You kept throwing blocks at me, so I finally had to put you in your first time-out. You cried and cried until I went and got you a couple minutes later. But, well, you haven't thrown a block at me since! We're still wading our way through these bursts of tantrum as we figure out how to deal with them together.

Even though you're starting to show those terrible twos, you are more affectionate than ever. You give hugs and kisses all of the time. You love to sit on my lap facing me, put your little hands on either side of my face, and kisses me several times in a row. Sometimes, when we are reading a book or playing with blocks, you'll randomly stop, smile at me, and lean in for a kiss. My heart just melts. You love to run across the room and dive into us - I love it!

You still aren't talking. You seem to use "dada" and "mama" with more purpose, and we think you might have said "biok" for "block" this morning but that's it so far. Depending on how you do over the next two moths, Early Intervention is pretty sure you'll qualify when you hit two. You learned some more signs, so now you know mommy, daddy, more, all done, book, milk, and diaper. We're also working on the sign for water. I'm trying not to feel too upset that you aren't talking. I know it'll happen eventually, but it's difficult to not feel responsible for your delay.

I still feel for you on the playground. We're trying to make an effort to get you to socialize with more kids your age because you definitely seem out of sorts with them. You try to play with the adults at Gymboree but pretty much ignore the other toddlers. I want you to gain more confidence, but I also know that you've always been one to think first, act second in new situations.

You're just a joy to be around, G.

(oh, and we totally still haven't cut your hair. maybe we can at least make it to two years?)

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