Saturday, August 30, 2008

First Buckeyes Game

"Aunt" Angie was kind enough to invite us over today so that Aiden & Rachel could watch their first Buckeyes game together. We had a great time, but I think that Aiden & Rachel were more interested in just staring at all the red around them! Cute stuff. The game was a bit of a blowout, so I don't blame either of them for sleeping during a good portion of it. They'll learn soon enough. :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Staring at Papa

My parents visited last night; they'd been to the house for our move-in, but now that it's looking more like a home, it was time for them to see it again. Well, that and I had volunteered my mom to alter the living room curtains (they were a bit long, but they were 90% off at Linens N Things going-out-of-business sale--I just couldn't say no!). Luckily, Dad is on vacation this week, so they came down, did the alterations, we all had pizza, and then they went home.
While mom was sewing at the table, Aiden couldn't take his eyes off my dad--probably because he was wearing an OSU jersey (Aiden LOVES red). I set him on the table closer to my dad, and Aiden started to reach for him! I hadn't seen him do that before, so it was really cute! The photos don't really do it justice.
Other than that, we're just living life and looking forward to a three-day weekend--complete with the first Ohio State game of the season! GO BUCKS!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

We've Been Busy!

The move is just about finished--FINALLY. We still have a few things at Mike's folks' house, but they're not items we'll need in the immediate future. Otherwise, we've been spending the past week and a half painting, unpacking, and decorating. See below for a virtual tour of our new home!
The Living RoomMore Living RoomThe KitchenMore KitchenOur BedroomSpare BedroomAiden's Bedroom (my favorite!)
I'll post more pictures of the basement (it's a work in process) and the outside of the house later (all our grass is dead due to lack of rain, so it's not very attractive. Other than that, we're continuing to settle in, and we can't wait to start have folks over to visit!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

FIve Months Old

Another month gone by, leaving me scratching my head yet again. Where is the time going?! How on earth do I have a five-month-old child when it still feels like I'm not that far removed from being five months pregnant?! And yet here Aiden is, in all his adorable baby glory. He's getting more personality everyday, almost to the point that I want to tap his little nose and say "Slow down! Mommy's not ready for you to grow so fast!" But at the same time, I'm so proud of all his accomplishments.
A snapshot of Aiden at five months:
--He LOVES to hear himself talk! We'll lay him on his mat or in his bouncy chair, and he'll start chatting up a storm, oftentimes getting quite loud. Very entertaining--not just for him!
--Aiden's got a few new nicknames; since his hair has taken on a bit of a copperish tint, Daddy has been calling him "Penny Head". I, meanwhile, have been calling him "Scooter" since in the mornings he always ends up at the opposite end of the crib than where I placed him the night before. We still call him Buddy & Monkey as well.
--He had a few weeks there where he kind of back-peddled on the amount of formula he would eat (we were lucky to get him to take 20 oz. total some days), but he's back up around the 30 oz. level again. He also didn't take too well to being spoon-fed the rice cereal, so we've been mixing it into his evening bottle to get him used to the texture--we hope to restart the spoon feedings in the next week or so.
--Aiden absolutely LOVES when Daddy gets home from work; the second Mike walks in the room, those eyes get huge and he is all smiles & giggles. Makes my heart happy. :)
--Along those same lines, he loves to play "Boxing" and "Airplane" with Daddy, while he's a big fan of "This Little Piggy" and "Shake Your Baby Booty!" with Mommy.
--We're definitely starting to see more thumb-sucking out of this little guy; we're on the lookout for those teeth to start popping.
--Aiden is getting more interested in touching faces and such; I almost melt when he reaches for my nose or mouth with that goofy curious look on his face.
--I've had to store more of his smaller clothes away; he's hovering between 3-9 months (!) depending on the brand. It's great to seem him in some new outfits, but it's really hard to let go of the smaller ones!
I almost had a bit of a meltdown this morning--I planned on taking Aiden's pictures after I got home but before I headed over to the new house, but then I realized Mr. Bibbly was already at the new house! Luckily I left in time for work this morning to stop by and pick him up. Another crisis averted :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Ultimate Injustice

I’m one of “those people”—the folks that like read a friend’s blog, then click a random link and end up on another blog, then click on another random link to end up on still another blog, and on and on. Call it boredom, call it lurking, call it what you will—it passes the time when I just need a break, and it allows me to see just what else is going on out there.

Recently, I’ve ended up on blogs of couples suffering through infertility. A few of the blogs have had happy stories, where the couples end up with beautiful children after years of medical intervention. Others have not been so lucky; either medical intervention hasn’t helped, or the ultimate injustice has occurred—they finally got pregnant, only to suffer through a miscarriage.

When I read some of these blogs—especially the miscarriage blogs—I’m reduced to heaving pile of sobs. There is nothing more unfair in this life than having the knowledge a miracle is taking place inside you—and then suddenly it’s gone, leaving all your hopes and dreams in a shattered pile on the ground. I know. I’ve been there.

Early last January, I went off the pill. Mike & I had not overtly decided to label ourselves TTC; we weren’t trying, but we weren’t NOT trying. So imagine our delight and surprise when only a month later, I ran downstairs with the little pee-stick in hand, saying, “Does this look positive to you?!” Mike looked it over, looked back at me and nodded. “WE’RE HAVING A BABY!!!” I yelled. I was so excited I couldn’t eat the Chinese dinner he had brought home (along with the aforementioned pregnancy test). We called the doctor the next day, and they scheduled our first appointment for the next month.

During the next few weeks, my mind would race with anticipation and excitement—was the little ball of cells multiplying inside me a boy or girl? Would he or she have Mike’s blue eyes or my frustrating curls? How were we going to afford all this? We told more folks that we probably should have, considering it was so early. In our bliss, we started researching baby names; we settled on Josephine for a girl because I’d always loved the name Josie, but were never able to agree on a boy’s name. No matter, though—for some reason I was positive that our little miracle was a girl, so I just went with it.

In early March, I started noticing some spotting. Of course I freaked out and called the doctor immediately; she said to keep an eye on it and try to stay off my feet. Doing so was not much fun; being off my feet meant thinking about nothing but something going wrong. I looked up web page after web page detailing the symptoms of miscarriage, and my heart started to sink as it seemed like I was reading a detailed explanation of what I was experiencing. We called the doctor again when the symptoms did not alleviate, and they scheduled us for an appointment the next day.

At the OB’s office the next morning, I can remember sitting in the waiting room, watching the soon-to-be mothers with their beautifully-round bellies go in and out of the office. I prayed that I was going to experience their same joy soon and tried to focus on that instead of the impending doom that seemed to be clouding my mind. Finally they called us back to the exam room, and before too long we were looking an image on the ultrasound screen. Our doctor said that our miracle was measuring about six and a half weeks, and the heartbeat was strong.

I can’t express in words how I felt at that moment; the stress and worry left me as I stared at the screen, amazed at how blessed Mike & I were to have created that fuzzy little blob. Our OB brought us back down to earth, though, saying that although things looked fine, up to 40% of first-time pregnancies end in miscarriage, and that we should just try to stay positive. We left the office feeling much better—we even had ultrasound pictures to share with the family & friends we had let in our secret. The future seemed rosy once again.

That calmness quickly dissipated not even 48 hours later. I was still spotting, but now it was brighter and more frequent. Another call to the doctor and I was at home, staying off my feet once again. They told me I shouldn’t worry unless I started to notice cramping. I prayed and prayed that the cramps wouldn’t come, but I woke up a few days later in a lot of pain. We went back to the doctor’s office, and again headed back to the ultrasound room. This time, when we looked at the screen, there was no fuzzy blob. There was no beating heart. Our little Josie, who we had been so awestruck to see only eight days before, was gone.

I tried so hard not to cry in that office (I’d never been a crier before that day), but as I turned to Mike and saw the pain in his eyes, I completely broke down on the spot. I guess I never realized how badly I’d wanted to be a mom until we discovered we were pregnant, and now my hopes had been destroyed. Luckily, Mike was there to hold me in his arms, and the OB gave me a strong embrace as well. After we’d all settled down a bit, our doctor said that a good thing we could take away from the experience was that we could get pregnant—we could even start trying again as early as the next month. Mike & I looked at each other, and I knew that wasn’t an option. We were going to need some time to heal.

The next few days after that are a bit of a blur (you always hear about how emotionally difficult a miscarriage can be, but no one tells you how physically painful they are), but I do remember the wonderful support we received from family and friends. I know a few folks felt pretty awkward—honestly, what do you say to someone who just lost a child, albeit a soon-to-be child?—but any expression of sympathy was deeply appreciated. A few weeks later we had the opportunity to escape our sorrow by going on our belated honeymoon cruise to the Bahamas, and after we returned home, things pretty much got back to normal.

A few months later, Mike & I discovered once again that we were expecting (and once again, it was immediately after I had stopped taking the pill). We didn’t tell as many folks this time as I was pretty much terrified of miscarrying again. I was counting down the days until I reached my second trimester like a convict counting his days to freedom. Not all of my fears receded when I reached that magical day, but most did. When we began to discuss names, a few folks asked if we were still considering Josie for a girl’s name. I told them no—we’d already used that name.

Miscarriage is an agony that you can’t completely understand until you experience it. It is as though someone is playing a cruel-hearted prank with your heart, tempting you with all the excitement of starting a family, and then swiping it all away with something as impersonal as a blank ultrasound screen. But it is something that you can move on from, and I’m proud to say I was able to do that. Little Josie may never have made it into the world, but she’ll always be in our thoughts and in our hearts.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Baby Shower & New Furniture!

I had the honor of co-hostessing a baby shower for my sister-in-law Sara on Sunday. We had a great time! I am definitely becoming a pro at these since this was my eighth baby shower (so far) this year! We had delicious chicken salad croissants, a veggie tray, fruit salad, and my specialty--cupcakes! Then we played a few games and Sara opened her gifts. Everyone was very generous--Christopher will be ahead of the game when he comes into the world! We can't wait to meet Aiden's newest cousin when he arrives in October:)
After the baby shower, Mike & I headed out to Ashley Furniture to look for a couch and loveseat set. Someone was looking out for us because we just happened to be shopping there on a day they had a sale they have only offered once in the past three years--we had no idea! So we didn't have to pay taxes OR the delivery fee and ended up saving $200! LOVE when that happens! And they'll be delivered on the Friday before we move in! Things are definetly starting to come together.
Had to include another goofball Aiden picture--this guy knows how to ham it up for the camera!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Seriously, how cool is this toy box?!

Mike's dad has been working on this toy box for Aiden for a few months down, and now it's finished! I ABSOLUTELY ADORE IT! I am sooooooo excited to see it in his room in a few weeks! I love that it's handmade by his grandpa, too, so we'll definitely remind him to take good care of it as he gets older. We've already got a matching bookshelf "on order."