Friday, August 6, 2010

I love these summers off.
We've been enjoying our local pool membership - Sullivan starts swimming lessons next week.
We enjoyed an extended visit with family from the West Coast - always bittersweet....but fun.
We had our final post-op visit with the cardiologist. All is well - Sullivan has grown more than 3 inches in the past 3 months, which is pretty outrageous. As Dr. R puts it, the van is packed and we're ready to start our journey living with CHDs. The past 3 years have been spent getting his heart ready to do what it is able.... it's kind of strange to think that he won't be cured from this. It's not "all better." It's just better equipped to work without having to work too hard, which starts to cause other problems. When you look at this kind of crazy 3 year old, it's amazing on a daily basis how much he's endured already in his short life. You want to remind him how brave he is and how he doesn't need to cry over the TV having to go off because he laid on a hospital bed for more than a month of his life hooked up to wires and breathing tubes. C'mon kid!

Anywho...we are anticipating the return of fall and the return of our not-so-relaxed lifestyle. Trying to savor these last few weeks.... enjoying the freedom and fun of these (HOT) summer days.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

We celebrated Sullivan's third birthday this weekend.
I'm not sure I can really put into words how relieved we have felt this spring - but it was just amazing to be able to celebrate with him.
He had so much fun hanging out in the sprinkler with cousins and friends, and the pure joy we witnessed was unbelievable.
His laugh is pretty ridiculous - if you haven't heard it you are missing out. Really.
Not to gush about my own son, but after this journey of his, he deserves some kudos. It was the start of a new chapter for us. Putting surgeries and extended hospital stays behind us - moving forward and enjoying this kid that we have been entrusted with. Our big guy!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Oh my.
This month (April) has ended.
And what a month it has been!
April concluded our round of open heart surgeries...we knew when Sullivan was born that it would be a challenging first three years of life.
Not even for him...but for us. Anticipating three consecutive operations, sitting by his side for days and days in the hospital. A grand total of 29 days in 3 years...I guess that's not so bad...
Lots of sleepness nights for mom and dad....
Let's just say we knew it would be daunting.
Anyway, I am glad and relieved to say that we have crossed through to the other side.
Not completely unscathed...
one of us has an 8 inch scar running down his belly
two of us have significantly more gray hair...
but I can look ahead and say that we are done with this part.

Maybe not surprisingly, the hardest transition has been S's emotional state. He's had a really hard time since being home from the hospital. Waking up frequently with nightmares - to the point that he doesn't even want to go to bed.... he has an intense fear of being without Mommy, in particular. You would think I'd have dropped him off there and returned a week later, tan and in shape. Doesn't he remember I spent every waking and sleeping hour by his bedside??

Anyway, the month is over. We return to normal life tomorrow. In another 6 weeks, I'll be home for the summer. It's going to be a good one. :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I think ideally, you always want to be able to look at your child and marvel.
Let's be honest - not always the case.
Temper tantrums? Not cute.
Yelling, "Go away mommy - go to the kitchen?" Also not cute.

A little perspective helps. It's hard to balance just appreciating the boy and being fatalistic about it.
I don't think I want to elaborate greatly upon this.

It's funny in a situation like this - not to let fear guide your relationship. This feeling that we have to get in some family time before surgery - make sure he visits the relatives.... JUST IN CASE.
Just in case what?
David advises that the only option to be prepared for is that Sullivan will have a quick stay in the hospital and will be back home before we know it. To entertain any other possibility is unfair. To voice these fears....yikes. It gives a name to something you don't have to and don't want to name.
So the question. How to coexist with these fears? How to show the 3 year old that we all will be brave? That there's nothing to worry about and that we'll all be home soon?
Well, that is the question. Mommy may look peaceful on the outside, but keep that heart far from him just now.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A year ago, my mom and I started taking a weekly yoga class. It's been great - at first it was just a way to get some exercise and hang out, but I have to say that after a year, it's turned into something else as well.
There's something about spending an intense 90 minutes focusing solely on your body and getting it to do things you didn't think possible. Our teacher is always saying that so much of our resistance is just our mind not allowing us to take risks - I think that both of us, although we do spend a great deal of time groaning and giggling, have stopped telling her, "There's no way I can do that..." She also encourages us to make the pose work for us - meaning that as long as the alignment and positioning are right, it's okay if you can't entirely grab your big toe or get your heel on the ground.
We've progressed, too! My lovely mother, in particular, spent a great deal of time receiving some hands-on encouragement from Paulette - but last night? Not so much! She actually asked me to demonstrate a pose AND referred to us as, "Experienced Yogis!"
It's funny - I've been so grouchy and tired all week, but after our class last night, my mood is totally improved. That 90 minutes a week to only think about yourself is seriously restorative. Good for the body and the mind. I can feel my muscles more acutely than I did yesterday, and I find myself "leading with my heart" as I walk around the classroom during the day. (again, the alignment).
I'm grateful that I have this time each week - time to hang out with my mom doing something kind of unique, time to have all to's just lovely.
Granted it's all taking place in the wrestling room of my dear old alma mater, Cheltenham High School, but even that's fine. I can remember our "___ of steel" workouts in the there during gym class - the TV is still hanging in the corner...and the walls are covered with plaques honoring former classmates' achievements. So I guess in some ways it helps me reconnect with my inner teenager?
Who knows....
Anyway...I forgot my point. Except that I encourage parents everywhere to find even a small sad little 90 minutes a week where you can get away and be more of yourself.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The point -
Underneath all the bitterness and jealousy, there was a point to my previous post and here it is.
I feel like we're all (myself included) nervous about letting others into our messy lives. So the blogs we read are all shiny and sweet and cozy. I'd love to see a picture every once in a while of the bookshelf that hasn't been dusted in 3 years or hear about a child throwing a tantrum. That's all.
I know that authors have a point. Some people blog specifically about ideas for creative families...that's fine. Some people blog specifically to share recipes or food critiques...
I'll just have to be a bit more selective, and not take everything so personally.
We all love our kids and families - and if every family looked the same, it would be rather dull anyway, so I guess it's time to start appreciating the diversity in our parenting and housekeeping skills.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I decided you're either two types of mom these days -
are you a Dooce or a SouleMamma?
I prefer Dooce - this morning, instead of talking about her latest embroidery project or the wonderful home baked goods she worked so hard on, she wrote about how at breakfast when she poured the bacon grease into the plastic bowl, it melted. YES! I've done that...I get it.
I have to be honest, I'm about to permanently block the latter....
It's not her specifically, but it's the whole idea of what a "good mother" is and does.
If I read one more post about snuggling with her kids in front of the fire while they all work on their respective knitting projects, I'm might vomit.
I don't mean to pick on her.....she offers a lot of great ideas....she and her little creative genius brood. (note heavy sarcasm...)
Where are all the moms posting about messy houses and kids who are in daycare?? About how they've had the same project sitting in their sewing box since 2008?? That's what I want to hear about. Good ideas aren't inspiring anymore - they're downright depressing. When did we all become so self-involved and vain? Where are all the real people?

Hey - I'm not complaining here - I have plenty to be thankful for - I'm just under the impression that there's not much support out there for moms who aren't creative wizards. Or who don't have the time to be creative wizards.
I've chosen to go and do what I do - D and I both work full-time. We haven't figured out how to fit exercise into our weekly schedule and we pretty much rely heavily on leftovers. I let my son watch Curious George on occasion when we both come into the house grouchy and tired from long days. The thing is, I'm willing to bet that he'll grow up to be (hopefully) just as (or even more) self-adjusted and interesting as the kids knitting in front of the fire. It's all the imperfections in our lives that make it just perfect for us.