Friday, February 25, 2011



They say it speeds up the older you get.

And for the most part, I agree.

But then there are those random instances where you think of an event, and go, “there is no way it’s been ____ day/months/years/whatever.”   I had one of those this week.

We traveled to Ohio this past weekend for a family gathering, and while out and about on Saturday, Jim popped in Daughtry. Released just before Thanksgiving 2006, this album was played constantly in my car that winter.

A crystal-clear memory is driving through (read: getting lost in) the middle-of-nowhere-west-central Ohio on the way to my sweet friend Melissa’s baby shower, with track 4, “Over You,” on repeat.  (Why?  I dunno.  I just really like the song….)  I eventually made it to the shower, which was so special and so much fun, and handed Melissa a card that said “so glad you’re doing this first; I’ll need all the help I can get in October.”

Melissa was the first – and only – person I got to share the sweet news of my first pregnancy with.

The very next day, I miscarried.  Sitting in the West Auditorium of Westgate Chapel with my dear friend Lisa, I just knew “this isn’t my period.  This is something altogether bigger and I’m just so sad.”

That was four years and an entire lifetime ago.  Naive little twenty-six-year-old me.  If only you’d know what heartaches and joys were ahead….  But that isn’t how it works, is it?

I’ve been in a ginormous funk for a few months.  I needed to revisit this place – February 2007 – this past week to gain some perspective.  I needed to realize that I will have a similar “moment” in February 2015 (holy cow, that is weird to type!) when I think, “naive little thirty-year-old…..if only you’d known…”

Tick, tock, tick, tock.  Time is gonna keep passing, Monica.  Stay in the moment, and suck all the life out of each day that you can.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: 2.23.11

I actually took this a week ago, when Spring peeked her head around the corner for the day.  Thank you, Spring.  Don’t be a stranger.

seth mad slide 2.17.11

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

On a cold and windy night…

Ice-laden branch from my in-laws tree,

oh visit ice storm 035 

… meet the hood of my innocent Flex:

oh visit ice storm 031

I know it’s hard to see.  That’s not the point.  The point is, while the temperatures in Tennessee crept towards the 70-degree mark, we enjoyed an ice storm and 8” of snow on our Ohio getaway.

I am SO over winter.  And now my car is, too!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mr. President(s)…

Since we are iced in – yea!  Ohio winters!!! – I’m having the opportunity to spend ample time wandering around the blogosphere today.   I thought I’d put up some random (but awesome!)links I think are too good to keep to myself.

Happy President’s Day! (I hope yours is warmer than mine!)

Denise at Victory Road shares a dangerous time-shaving shortcut to chocolate decadence with her Waffle Brownie post.


I’m pretty sure I have my inspiration photo for where I want my laundry room to end up, if we ever decide to tackle making it look, well, like a prettied-up laundry room:

Thank you, Cyndy, for such a great jumping off point.  I love your blog!

And, on a deeper note, I’m totally enjoying reading about Chrissie’s journey to adoption over at her sister’s blog:


Again, Happy President’s Day!

Now, I’m off to bundle up against the elements to go photograph the dent in my Flex hood.   Yep, dent.  Welcome home, indeed.  Here, here’s a tree limb in your car as a souvenir of your presence at the February 21 IceFest.  Boo!

Mirror, mirror on the wall…

yea spring 017

The whole “who is the fairest” is kind of a no-brainer, don’t you think?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The cat on my mat

“Jim is not a cat person” is a gross understatement.

“Jim would like to run over the stray neighborhood cats with his car” is probably more accurate.

Therefore, you can imagine Jim’s dismay that Seth has formed a healthy attachment – shall we even say deep love? – for an orange tabby that (according to our neighbor Ashley) lives in the viaduct (read, sewer) that empties out at the edge of our property.

(Sadly, we’ve determined that this is not Mandie’s dear Ralph, who detoured to Tennessee via Wisconsin in a futile attempt to find Texas.)

I often find the friendly feline gazing into the kitchen.

stupid cat 001

Sometimes, she gets brave and starts to beg to be let in.

stupid cat 002

But it is only recently, as our weather has taken a much-welcomed turn towards warmth, that Seth has been able to adequately show just how his love for the cat has grown.

Upon spotting Bella, as Seth has insisted she be called, we ventured out for a closer look and a brief conversation.

yea spring 050

According to Seth, Bella has confessed to him that she is searching for her mommy, and she is very sad, and needs to live in our house and eat our baby food until she is reunited with her mother.

yea spring 052

Ahem.  If you say so, buddy.  
 yea spring 055
Ugh.  I know I shouldn’t really let Seth play with this cat – we don’t know anything about it, other than she seems to love people, has a collar (but no tags), and now responds to the name Bella – but he loves her and now asks after her whereabouts each morning.

yea spring 053

So, despite that we aren’t cat people (and, I guess, despite the fact that she may well indeed be a “sewer cat”)….it appears we have a pseudo pet for the time being.

Bella, welcome to the family.

Or at least the backyard.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rounding third….

9 mos framer edit frame

Thanks to a  week of tending to Erin’s double ear infection and pneumonia, you’d think I’d be nothing short of ecstatic to come out of the pediatrician’s office with a report that she is “perfect” and “completely healthy.”

And don’t get me wrong; I’m ridiculously thankful for that opinion of her doctor.

But man….

9 months?

9 months means we lowered her crib mattress because she is valiantly trying to pull herself up to stand, and I’d prefer to not have her first success land her over the edge of the crib railing.

9 months means vigilant introduction of the sippy cup.  Which just goes against all that is in me, because, hello, she is a baby, and babies use bottles, and, um, no, she is not allowed to be creeping toward the ::gasp:: toddler stage…

Even her nine month picture mocks me with the threat of growing-up-before-my-very-eyesness: she still only has her front two bottom teeth, but the way she had her tongue curled and the way the light hit her face, the reflection makes it look like she has two top teeth, too.

9 months means we are only a quarter-turn around the sun from her turning (nooooooo!) ONE, and that just doesn’t seem possible….

Oh, well.  At least her stature is in my favor.

At only just over 15 lbs, she is in the whopping 3%, holding steady in 3 and 6 months clothes/onesies.   I tell you what, we are getting our money’s worth out of her clothes…it seems like she’s been wearing the same things since last summer!

I know watching my children grow and develop is all a part of being a mom.  But, man, does it do a number on the heartstrings.

And so that I can finally throw away the post it from the doctor….on 2/4/11, Erin weighed 15,4; her height was 27”; and her head circ was 16.75. =)  Oh, and she is supposed to take poly-vi-sol with iron (1 ml daily).

Monday, February 7, 2011

It’s a SIGN!

If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know that I liked was pretty much obsessed with Kim Wheeler and her Small Words art throughout the duration of putting together Erin’s nursery.


Here she is (and only 3 months after actually getting the canvas! sorry!), in all her glory.  Kim’s first Erin painting to date:

erins completed sign 001

erin sign

Some detail shots (and yes, those are hand-applied crystals along the inner border):


details border       erins completed sign 005

I’m pretty sure I’m way too neurotic to go through this process ever again (giving an artist “free reign” yet still being asked for input….), but I am happy to report that I’m 100% satisfied with the way this canvas turned out, and how perfectly it fits in Erin’s room.

(Though in my most honest moments, I can admit when I saw the first photo of the completed painting, I was a little deflated.  But by no fault of Kim’s – only because I’d somehow envisioned something else, and, well, we all know how often reality kicks the butt of expectation.)

Kim is wonderful to work with, ridiculously talented, and the quality of both her creativity and her medium/materials is top of the line.  If you’re in the market for something for your little someone’s room, or perhaps a baby shower gift, you might want to consider getting in touch with Kim (though, I may have to eat my words, as I’m not sure she is taking new orders yet…)


Oh, and in case you are wondering, I did NOT intentionally dress Erin to match her room/sign for these pictures.  I’d just been waiting FOREVER for a day where the lighting was decent enough to snap some shots.  Her pink-and-green-ness is a mere coincidence. ;)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Sometimes, it’s like it never happened.

Sometimes, it’s like it was yesterday.

I’ve been having a lot of “yesterday” days.

Every few months, I go back and read his story in its entirety.  I don’t know if reliving it is a help or hindrance, but either way, I’m accepting it as just another step in the process of grief that is, surprisingly, still ongoing.


Can I confess something?

I know I’ve said before that I write for me.  Not necessarily for you, and not necessarily to get comments (though, duh, validation is, well, validating).

But when I return to the series of posts dedicated to him at his first birthday, and I realize only 33 people commented….it hurts my feelings.

Not so much because it’s a reflection of my writing.  I know in my heart that those posts are probably some of the best prose I will ever pen.

But because my mommy-heart feels that the recognition given is symbolic of the value of his life to others.  And therefore, the lack of recognition (as measured by posted comments) equals little value.

True or not, remember, I’m a mommy here.   To think that only 33 people were moved enough by his life to tell me so in the comments…..well, it hurts.


aug - nonna visit 020

You haven’t forgotten him, have you?  Erin didn’t take his place.  Please tell me that from time to time, you think of him, too….

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Baloo, baloo, my wee, wee ones

We have ushered in February with blow-out diapers and drippy green noses.  Bubble gum Amoxicillin and cherry Tylenol flow with tedious regularity.  Foreheads are dampened, humidifiers and filled, sheets are changed, hands are washed and washed again.

Lullabies welcome the breaking dawn, and prayers for healing and peace are whispered over my babies as they drift back into restless slumber.

I don’t foresee us getting out of pajamas any time soon, and that is okay.  My primary concern right now is just comfort and care.  So we heat up soup, and fill sippy cups and bottles with orange juice and Pedialyte.  We set up train tracks yet again, and we far surpass the “recommended” allowance of TV watching.  We snuggle and sneeze and share a smile.

And in the midst of the fatigue – through the haze of sleepy crud in the corners of my own eyes – I think, this is what I’m supposed to do.

Being a mom is so much harder than I ever would have guessed, both physically and psychologically.  Lately, there have been so many more “I hate this” moments than “I love this” moments.

But as I wiped up a face-full of snot off Erin this morning, she grinned up at me.  And Seth stood at my side, waiting patiently to have his nose dutifully wiped, too.  And then he smiled at me, too.

And while the February sky is colorless this morning, in my heart and in my home, sun shines bright.  I can do this.