Thursday, July 29, 2010


This is my grandmother, also known as G-ma.

She was born 110 years ago today. She died at 98 while I was pregnant with Savannah, her namesake.

Whenever I would be on my way out of the house, to work, to meet with friends, or just go to the store, she would always have the same offering...

"I have a dollar in my purse. Do you need it?" And if her purse was sitting next to her, she would be reaching in for her billfold before I had a chance to say no. When she died my aunt gave me one of G-ma's billfolds. I put a dollar in it and tucked it away.

There's another memory I have that reminds me just how deep her love ran. I was in fifth grade when my parents separated. My mother drove us to the Piney Woods of East Texas where we lived with G-ma and my Aunt Peggy for the next nine months. That first month was rough. Daddy would call most nights to check in with me and by the end of the call he was struggling to keep his composure. I would hang up bawling. G-ma would draw me a bath and sit on the commode while I cried, my head resting on the edge of the tub. Afterward she would sit beside me on the bed and rub my back until I fell asleep, no matter how long it took.

Thanks, G-ma, for getting me through the rough patches...

And being a bad ass domino partner.

Happy b-day.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Confession of a Bad Mother

We all know I have parenting…issues, shall we say?

I don’t watch my mouth much. My two-year-old’s cussing can attest to that. I do have one good thing to report, though. She’s stopped saying shit. Although she did say dammit yesterday. Hmmm…not much better.

I also don’t pay much attention to my kids, seeing as how my tween fell and split her head open just seconds after I dropped her off to school LATE and hauled ass out of the parking lot.

I've come to accept that I'm not your average, good natured, attentive, saintly mother. I mean, sometimes I give my kids gummies for a serving of fruit. Oh stop your sneering. Welch's gummies are made from real fruit. It says so on the box.

Anyway, I follow the blog of a woman who had her son two weeks before I had Pace. He's cute as can be. She appears to be big on swaddling. This lady even swaddles her son on the beach!

I just let Pace hang out; arms dangling, legs hanging. I also heard you're supposed to watch the neck, but I figure what the heck. I bet it feels good to roll all around like that and let it pop back from time-to-time. (You know I'm kidding, right?)

My babies have all felt so warm I've actually been afraid to swaddle them. Not to mention the claustrophobia they must feel with their arms tied down by their sides.

I feel your pain, son.

I was told about a book called “The Happiest Baby on the Block” by Dr. Harvey Karp, which I obviously haven’t read since bad mothers don’t read books like that. According to him swaddling is key to having a happy baby.

Pace… the unswaddled baby…the boy who has never spent a day swaddled…the one with the clueless, unattentive mother...looks pretty happy to me.

Look at him hanging all out there. Be free, my son! Be free!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Erased Memories

I had a scare this morning. Pat called to tell me our desktop computer at home crashed. This is the computer that houses Pat’s music for his students, my various writing trials, and most importantly, pictures of our kids.

I’ve been working to back up these photographs, but I haven’t made it all the way through yet. And the really sad thing is that this happened to us previously. The hard drive crashed and took Savannah’s first and second grade years into a black hole with it. Why the hell do I not back up my photos on a daily basis?

Maybe it was the fatigue or the rough weekend I'm still trying to get over, but the thought of losing all those pictures broke me. The tears streamed while I quietly cried into a napkin trying to keep my co-workers from hearing my sobs.

Thankfully, Pat called back in a little while with the good news that he was able to turn the computer on again. “Don’t touch it!” I barked as I dried my tears. I want everyone’s hands off of it until I can get home this evening and get those photos saved elsewhere.

We’re talking about this one…

And this one…

Oh! And this one…

Yes, memories stay with us in our hearts and minds, but there’s something about viewing them on the screen or holding them in your hands. Seeing the light in the eyes, or just how the hair curled, or how the hand rested on my shoulder, brings it all back so much more vividly.

And warms my heart just like this one that sits beside me at work for those days when I miss my kids so much it hurts.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Le Artiste

I do believe we have an artist in the family.

Last week we were all stunned to see Sarah's drawings.

Pretty damn good for a two-year-old, right?

Or are we all just that bad? I mean, that picture above looks like my Frankenstein drawing from when I was ten or something. Ok, I was younger than that, but I certainly wasn't two!

Sarah calls this one Me-Tow (like "ow!") I have no idea who Me-Tow is.

This one is a drawing of me! A little thick around the middle, but she got the bird legs right.

Savannah thinks Grandpa Ralph taught Sarah how to draw when he visited her in my dream.

I think that's a pretty cool thought.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The End of Privacy

Privacy no longer exists in our house. Sarah can now open doors.

God help us all.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Dreaded D-Word

Yes, I’ll say it. It may hurt, but here it goes...


More specifically, Postpartum Depression.

There. It’s out. And it didn’t hurt too bad.

I thought I was fine, but I think it keeps creeping up like the co-worker you try to stay away from. You dodge them every time you see them coming and then while you’re getting a Diet Coke from the machine you turn around and there they are staring you right in the face. I think I’ll call her Debbie Downer from Saturday Night Live. That seems appropriate.

Except Debbie Downer isn’t staring me in the face. She’s hiding out in the dark corners of my mind. I don’t think about her until I find myself tearing up for no reason at all.

Or I realize that I’m snapping at my kids for no good reason.

Or Pat and I fight over the most minute things and can’t seem to get along.

I keep telling myself that it’s the fatigue. I’m tired, therefore I’m cranky and eating all kinds of crap to comfort myself, therefore I’m gaining weight instead of losing it, and therefore I feel even worse.

I think it’s more than exhaustion, though. I have feelings of despair, then it turns to rage, and a little hopelessness comes in for good measure. There’s some light, too. Pace melts my heart frequently, Sarah makes me laugh, and Savannah gives me these great bear hugs. Maybe they should call it Postpartum Bi-Polar Syndrome.

I feel so hot and cold, up and down, and all around. Three kids with a full-time job has turned out to be a little daunting. I’m also aggravated that I can’t be home with my kids. I had really hoped that I would have worked out a work-from-home plan by now, but it just never came to fruition. And here come the feelings of hopelessness.

I really don’t want to be Debbie Downer... I’m working out a holistic plan, rather than medicinal, that includes a little yoga and meditation, a grateful list most nights along with more blogging, and cardio with a baby strapped to me – that will at least help with the weight issue. Maybe I can pop myself out of this. I know my family will be happier.

I’ll keep you posted.

If any of you ladies have any suggestions for me that worked for you, I'd love to hear them.

Monday, July 19, 2010

He’s Definitely a Boy

Pace will grunt and grunt and roll himself into a ball while grunting and then there’s a long, loud….


Then he smirks.

Yep, he’s definitely a boy

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dr. S.

Eight weeks ago yesterday Pace came into the world. Eight weeks, and I still haven’t said anything about the man who delivered him.

Dr. Schermerhorn has been my doctor for 20 years. He’s the best. Really! He’s been voted the doctor with the best bedside manner (or something like that) several times. And he knows his stuff. Pat has said, “I’m not worried about you if I know he’s taking care of you.”

He’s encouraging…
When the complications during my pregnancy began to ease up he kept saying, “You’re doing great. Just keep doing what you're doing.”

I was beating myself up in the hospital the next morning for getting an epidural. He sat with me and explained why, in a way only Dr. S. can, I shouldn’t worry about it. “That transition period’s a bitch.”

After I lost the twin he took the time at every appointment to make sure I was dealing with it okay, including my postpartum check up. He likes the fact that I’ve named him and even wrote it down in his file so he would remember.

And funny…
“You’re a champion pusher!”

He’s the best and I’m proud to say he’s delivered all three of my kids.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Monday was D-Day, or more commonly known as my first day back to work.

A little melodramatic? Maybe.

I’ll tell you, though, when I walked in that building I felt the weight of the world on me, or at least the weight of a new mom re-entering the workforce. I had my lap top bag on my left shoulder, my breast pump on my right shoulder, my lunch bag hooked to my left arm and my purse hooked on my right. Plus, I was dragging my feet because I had been up since 4:30 that morning and don’t forget….I REALLY did NOT want to be there. I was sooo not ready to go back to work and leave my kids behind.

The fatigue didn’t help at all. I was sitting in a meeting at 9:00 – Can you believe they had me in a meeting by 9:00 on my first day back? Geez, people. Whatever happened to bring’er back in slowly? – So I’m sitting there trying to focus and listen and someone says, “What do you think, Yvonne?”

** YAWN **

And it was a big one.

“Huh?” was my response.

A bad omen of things to come.

Afterward it was time to pump a little breastmilk. I returned to my desk, took out my pump and realized it felt different. I open it up and what do you know? No accessories to do the pumping. I rolled my eyes at my forgetfulness and then let out a slight smile. I got to go home for lunch!

While I'm home I decide to call our insurance company to see if they cover nutritional counseling. When the guy came on the line I couldn’t think of the proper words to ask my question. What came out was, “I need, uh…do I have…I mean, can I….um…Nutrition. Talk. You know, food help.”

Ok, I’m exaggerating a little, but I'm not far off. I was completely embarrassed and tried to explain why my use of the English language was at a pre-school level.

“I just had a baby, you see. I’m tired.”

“Uh-huh,” was his response.

After I finally managed to get a logical question out and end my call I had to quickly feed Pace so I could get back to work for, yes, another meeting. This is where the heartbreak of a working mom comes in. Instead of eating he wanted to smile at me. And smile again. And smile some more. It was so sweet and I had to keep rushing him. Sarah overheard me saying I needed to go and she then sat next to my feet and said, "No, no go, Mommy." And my heart broke some more.

And now that I’ve written all of this out I realize that I've combined the past two days in my head.

Good grief. I need a nap!

And totally off subject, Pat was able to catch Pace smiling with the camera. Here's a pic to brighten your day...and mine.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Seven Weeks

Pace turned 7 weeks old yesterday.

He’s smiling now and trying to coo. Sometimes he’s successful.

My little man is growing up and it’s going way too fast.

Pretty soon it will be the first day of school

And then we’ll be going to his football games…

or baseball…

or basketball…

or maybe to watch him dance???

Just kidding, Pat.

Then he’ll be leaving for college and Pat and I will have a lonely, quiet, empty house since Pace will most likely be the last to go.


And I go back to work this Monday. The time has gone way too soon.

Does someone know how to stop time for a while?

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Meeting

I lost my father to cancer the morning of October 24, 2000. My oldest daughter Savannah was just 18 months. There was 180 miles between my and my father’s homes, but when we realized that previous January that the cancer had come back with a determination to win, I made every effort to visit my dad every other weekend with Savannah by my side. She doesn’t remember “Grandpa Ralph” today, but I'm glad he was given time to be with her during those last few months.

Seven years after his death I had my second child. A couple years later my third came along. It has disturbed me that I have two more children that my father has never met.

That is.....until now.

Stay with me here. I’m not necessarily a believer in the paranormal, but my husband and his sisters shared a common dream after their grandmother’s death that gave me chills. I myself had a dream of my father a couple years after his death. I walked into the convenience store I stopped at each morning on my way to work for my AM caffeine hit. I stepped up to pay the same lady who was there every Monday – Thursday and then I heard his voice behind me: “Hi, Sugar.” I turned to see my daddy smiling at me. I threw my arms around him and we hugged each other tight. To this day I believe that was him coming to say hi.

And I believe he came to meet Sarah last night. It was another vivid dream. I walked into the living room to find him sitting with Sarah on the couch. They were drawing together. (Daddy had a talent for art. I have one of his paintings hanging in our family room.) Sarah was chattering away while she colored. Dad looked up and smiled at me. I took the drawing pad from him. He had drawn a field with one tree, but it was blurry. I said to him, “Daddy, this isn’t how you usually draw.”

And that was it. I woke and couldn’t hold it back. I sobbed. I knew he had come to see the granddaughter he had never met. It was good to see him.

Now I’ll just wait for his meeting with Pace.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dose of Reality

I opened up my Facebook page today and was smacked with a dose of reality. A friend of mine from high school announced that she just turned 40. I thought, No way. Tiffany can’t be 40. And then it hit me…

Oh yeah! I’M 40!

I don’t feel 40 at all. I feel like I’m somewhere in my twenties. I wish the grey in my hair and my ever growing middle would agree.

I scrolled down further and was hit a second time. Laura, my best friend in high school and for several years after, posted pics of her oldest son GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL.


Nick’s going to college in a few short months and I’m still trying to figure out who I want to be when I grow up.

I still remember Nick like this –

(Who are those hot chicks anyway??)

And this -

Now he looks like this -

Happy Graduation, Nick! Here's wishing you a life filled with laughs, friends, love, and great satisfaction.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Six Week Gift

Pace is six weeks old today and last night he decided to give me a gift. He's already such a good boy - giving his mother a gift instead of expecting one from her.

Last night at dinner.....he SMILED at me. A big, beautiful smile. It was brief but it took my breath away. I actually clutched my chest.

And he did it again this morning after I fed him. See, I told you he was a good boy. Thanking his mother for giving him such a delicious, nutritious breakfast

Have I already told you I'm in love?