Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Domestic bliss...

...is when, after tossing and turning for well over an hour, my husband (who has suffered from insomnia as long as I've known him) turns to me and says "Sorry I'm keeping you awake. I'll go lay on the couch so you can get some sleep." And, although I desperately need the sleep, I feel with every fiber of my being... NO, STAY.  

Friday, March 26, 2010

To my friend, The Clinic

Dear CF Clinic,

It makes me very happy to say that we'll be seeing each other again soon! Though it's not even been a full three months since our last visit, I've missed you terribly. That's strange to say, since until very recently I had always dreaded our visits. For a long time I was under the delusion that you were unnecessary; nothing more than an inconvenience in my life. Perhaps I wouldn't be in the position I'm in now if I'd paid more attention to you before; if I had been willing to visit you more often. But, being human, we all make mistakes. Although it's regrettable that such drastic measures (a DREADFUL hospitalization plus an ENORMOUS decline in lung function) were necessary to get me to this place, I can now promise you that I'll never neglect you (or myself, for that matter) as I have in the past.

You have become a dear friend of mine...along with TOBI, Pulmozyme, Exercise, and various members of the PEP family, just to name a few. By the way, if you happen to run into Exercise, please tell him I'm sorry I've stood him up two mornings in a row now. I fully intended on meeting with him, but my child had other plans that demanded my full attention. To make up for it, however, I've planned a pretty intense session for tonight.

Our last goodbye was a little daunting for me. I was happy to have had your support and was unsure exactly when I'd have the chance to see you again. Just as our relationship was becoming strong, some issues arose that threatened to drive a wedge between us (wretched insurance!). But, I'm happy to say that, for the time being, those issues have been resolved. I must admit, I don't look forward to the three hour drive or the fact that I'll most likely have to face the trip alone this time. But, I promise I will be there with a smile on my face.

Since we last saw each other, I've been doing some things that I think you'll be quite pleased about. I've continued doing my treatments regularly, I've implemented some natural health remedies that I'm pretty sure are doing wonderful things, and as far as Exercise... I may have been a bit misleading when I mentioned before that we've become "friends". The truth is that we've entered into a love affair and have been courting quite seriously for a few weeks now.

With all the effort I've been making, I'm hoping that you'll be WOWED by my PFT scores! I have three weeks before our reunion, in which I'll continue working hard to be the best I can be when I see you.

Until then,
Your pulmonarily challenged friend,

Thursday, March 25, 2010

An early lesson in bargaining

Shylee: Dad, when I finish my dinner can I have some candy? (Robin Eggs)
Adam: You can have three.
Shylee: How about five?
Adam: I said three.
Shylee: Four.
Adam: Two.
Shylee: I think three will probably be okay.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Since I became a Mom...

-I've learned that showering is a luxury.

-I appreciate my own mother on an entirely new level.

-I've become completely comfortable with saying things like "That smell? I'm pretty sure it's the regurgitated breast milk in my hair." and "Oh, this spot on my shirt? It's just a little snot. It'll fade as it dries."

-I've discovered that there is no such thing as too many pictures.

-I've successfully cut the time it takes me to get ready in the mornings by more than half.

-My capacity to love has grown exponentially, right along with the piles of laundry.

-I've learned that things like poop and vomit really aren't that bad when they come from your own kid.

-I now laugh, and cry, more than I ever thought possible.

-I've lost contact with certain people that I should have banished from my life years ago.

-I've learned to accept and, more importantly, appreciate my body.

-I'm discovering that, no matter how many times I vowed not to, I'm becoming my mother. I'm also discovering that maybe it's not such a terrible thing.

-I've found more strength within myself than I ever would have guessed was hiding in there.

-I've learned that a baby's laughter can heal the soul.

-My relationship with God has improved considerably.

-I've realized that I didn't ever know as much as I thought I did, and that this learning experience (the journey of parenthood) is really just beginning.

-I've never been more excited about the future.  

Monday, March 22, 2010

How To

-Pretend that you know exactly how this healthcare reform is going to affect the country, and more specifically, how it will affect me personally.
-Tell me I have an adorable little BOY, and then ask how old HE is.
-Ask how my family is doing, then cut me off by telling me what a jerk your husband is.
-Break the silence by saying "I've been having some testicular problems lately". And then proceed to tell me, in detail, with pencil sketches and everything, how something went terribly wrong with your vasectomy 10 years ago and things haven't been the same down there ever since.
-Tell me you've chosen a name for my nephew, but I'll have to wait until he's born to find out what it is.

-Tell me you've chosen a name for my nephew, but I'll have to wait until he's born to find out what it is. (On second thought, I LOVE the element of surprise!)
-Meet me in the driveway when I get home from work and ask if I'd like to take a walk with you to enjoy the sunny afternoon.
-Get the baby out of her crib when she wakes up crying and bring her to me before I even have the chance to get my sleepy bum off the bed.
- Don't get upset with me for taking an extra long shower and using up all the hot water.
- Give me slobbery, open-mouthed, baby kisses followed by blowing slobbery raspberries on my cheek.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Life as a Pregnant CFer: A Novel

PREGNANCY, in and of itself, is a complete unknown. It's impossible to predict how any woman's pregnancy will play out. Things don't always happen the way we think they "should". Each woman has an experience of her very own.

Kind of how CYSTIC FIBROSIS, in and of itself, is a complete unknown. It's impossible to predict how one person's symptoms will play out. Things don't always happen the way we think they "should". Each CFer has an experience of their very own.

Now, add the two together and what do you get? An insane amount of uncertainty, to say the least.

I've recently received quite a few questions regarding CF and pregnancy , so I decided to write a post about MY experience. Please understand that this is just ONE PERSON'S experience. I can't possibly know what pregnancy might be like for anyone else, regardless of whether or not they have CF. If, by sharing my story, I can answer anyone's questions or give just a little insight on the topic, or if reading this gives even one person something to do other than watching Jerry Springer while eating day old macaroni and cheese straight out of the pan, then my work is done.

Consider this your FAIR WARNING: I'm totally comfortable talking about things like boobs, vaginas and the consistency of cervical mucus. So if you're the extreme conservative type, you may want to stop reading this here and now.

First of all, I've never ovulated or menstruated regularly. I'm not sure if this is related to having CF, or if it's a defect specific to my body. In a typical year I have six or maybe seven cycles. Even though it's always been completely normal for me to be "late" or to skip a period or two entirely, any time I ever thought there was the slightest chance I might be pregnant, I took a home pregnancy test. I'd taken so many by this point that I'm pretty sure I'm solely responsible for getting First Response throught the recession. But each time the answer was the same, a big fat NEGATIVE. By early December (2008), I hadn't had a cycle for over three months. My boobs were a little sore, sure, but that wasn't really out of the ordinary for me, either. As I was cleaning the bathroom one day I stumbled upon a couple pregnancy tests that had been pushed to the back of a drawer. Yes, a couple. I was buying in bulk by this point. I looked at them in my hand for a few second and figured WHAT THE HECK, and peed on one.

A few minutes later I sat on the bathroom floor staring at those two pink lines through tear filled eyes. There were so many things going through my head: excitement, disbelief, fear, disbelief, sheer happiness, disbelief. After the initial shock passed, I gathered myself up enough to pee on the second test, just to be sure. Still positive. But because I still wasn't convinced, I had to be sure it wasn't a faulty brand (because how likely is that?). So I drove to the store, bought another test-of a different brand-quickly drove home and peed on that one, then waited. But the answer was still the same. Still POSITIVE.

The next few hours consisted of countless tears of happiness mixed with phone calls to Adam, my mom, my sister and even my pharmacist. He had to reassure me, multiple times, that the label of a medication I was taking that read 'MAY ALTER URINE TEST RESULTS' applied only to drug tests, not pregnancy tests. Over the next few days (after two more trips to the store for more pregnancy tests) things started sinking in. I was going to have a baby!

My pregnancy was considered high-risk from the very beginning. However, I chose to be seen by a doctor here in the county which meant, because the county I live in is so small, I was treated by a Family Practitioner. We don't have an OB-GYN in the entire county. My doctor had recently delivered two of my nephews and both my sisters-in-law were very satisfied with the care they received. I'd also seen her in the past for minor things, and had become very comfortable with her. The bottom line was that I trusted her. Although she had never treated someone with CF through a pregnancy, so it was a learning experience for her as well as for myself. She kept very close contact with the high-risk specialists and a pulmonologist at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, UT. Should I have been treated by a specialist? Probably. If I were to do it all again, would I choose a specialist over a family practitioner? It's hard to say for sure, but most likely, yes.

My first appointment was very routine, and things appeared to be fine, which was very encouraging. But, just a few days later I started bleeding heavily. I was told that I was most likely miscarrying and that, quite frankly, there was nothing I could do about it. However, my blood tests the next day revealed that the pregnancy hormone (hCG) in my body had continued to rise, which was a good indication that the fetus was alive and well. An ultrasound later that day confirmed that was the case. Baby was fine. I wasn't miscarrying.

I bled regularly from that day on, often times passing blood clots that ranged from the size of a pea to the size of a quarter. Each bleeding episode was followed by more blood tests and another ultrasound. Since I was bleeding at least once a week, that means I had...well let's just say several...ultrasounds. There was never an explanation for the bleeding. All of the common, and several not-so-common causes for vaginal bleeding during pregnancy were investigated and eventually ruled out. At 13 weeks, it appeared that I had a very minor case of placenta previa (where the placenta covers all or part of the cervix) but it resolved itself within two weeks. However, the bleeding continued. I was put on "pelvic rest", which meant that I was still allowed to go to work but couldn't do anything that required any kind of physical labor: vacuuming, dusting, carrying groceries into the house, etc. In all honesty, pelvic rest wasn't half bad. We were hoping that by taking things easy for a while, whatever issue my body was having would resolve itself and the bleeding would stop. My doctor was threatening me with bed-rest if it continued much longer.

Early one morning, when I was about 19 weeks pregnant, I was getting ready for work when I suddenly felt a warm sensation running down my legs. I figured I must be experiencing that urinary incontinence I'd heard so much about, but as I looked down I realized that it wasn't pee...it was blood. I watched in horror as the blood soaked my pants and continued running down both legs until even my socks were saturated. In reality, it only took a few seconds but I felt like it was happening in slow motion. Adam wanted to take me to the ER, but I insisted he go to work. Looking back, I'm not sure why, but at that moment I just knew things would be alright. Not necessarily that everything would be okay with the baby, but that whatever were to happen, I'd be strong enough to handle it. I called my doctor and she immediately ordered another ultrasound.

Although I'd seen our baby through ultrasound several times before, there was something remarkably different about it that day. Suddenly there was more than just a little peanut in there. I could see functioning arms and legs, delicate fingers and toes, a mouth and tiny little ears... there was suddenly a BABY inside me. A beautiful, perfect baby. And my heart was suddenly filled with a kind of love I'd never felt before. A mother's love. I called Adam as soon as I left the hospital to tell him we were having a BABY GIRL.

After that day, just as unexpectedly as it had begun, the bleeding stopped. The threat of bed-rest was thrown out the window and I was slowly able to resume my normal activities. It was like I was finally able to take a deep breath and relax. For the next three months, I was able to REALLY ENJOY my pregnancy.

The fatigue that had plagued me for months was replaced with an insane amount of energy. Morning sickness, which was never a real issue for me (I can count on both hands the times I felt nauseated and on one hand the number of times I actually threw up) was completely non-existent by now. I'd spent the entire first trimester of my pregnancy with some kind of cough or cold. I'm always prone to catching whatever is going around, and since the immune system takes quite a hit during pregnancy I was even more susceptible for a while. But, I had finally kicked that cough and my lungs were feeling great! I was slowly gaining weight, although I did have a hard time hanging onto the pounds. I'd gain a few, then lose one or two, then gain two more and lose another. Overall, I gained 16 pounds. Not as much as we'd hoped for, but since gaining and retaining weight is such an issue for someone with CF, we were pleased with whatever extra I was able to pack on. I was regularly tested for gestational diabetes, and although I was borderline the entire time, my levels were never high enough to be considered an issue. Aside from a bout of dehydration that landed me in the hospital for a night, getting pumped full of IV fluids, things were going well. I was loving being pregnant!

I'd been told from my very first appointment that under NO circumstances would I be allowed to carry past my due date. In fact, the plan was to induce labor before I reached 40 weeks. After visiting the perinatologists (high-risk specialists) at Utah Valley for a "good once-over" and brief genetic counseling, they decided that a sample of my amniotic fluid would be taken at 37 weeks to assess the development of the baby's lungs. As long as they were mature enough, my labor would be induced as soon as possible in order to relieve the pressure on my lungs. Although I wasn't experiencing any lung discomfort at the time, they expected that as the baby grew I'd eventually notice a change. But this was all more of a back-up plan because nobody expected me to actually make it to my due date with the baby still inside me. It was a popular opinion that all the bleeding I'd experienced, plus the simple fact that I have CF made me a prime candidate for pre-term labor.

At 30 weeks I ended up getting sick again. But this time, it was more than just a cold. I had all the hallmark symptoms of a lung infection. To make matters worse, as expected, the baby was now big enough to greatly restrict my lung movement, so I was unable to get enough air behind the mucus filling my lungs to cough it out. For the first time in my life, I was put on oxygen. During this time, I noticed something interesting: as my coughing increased, the bleeding returned. Although my doctor kind of disregarded it, I began to suspect that the cough I had during my first trimester was somehow related to the bleeding I was experiencing. Was it a coincidence that the bleeding returned when my cough did? I suppose we may never know.

To ensure that my lack of oxygen wasn't affecting the baby, I was sent in for weekly non-stress tests: a test where they monitor the baby's movement and heart rate for 20-30 minutes to assess fetal well-being. These tests indicated that all was well, until the baby stopped growing at 37 weeks. My fundal height (a measurement from the top of the uterus to the top of the pubic bone to determine fetal development) actually got smaller, and the baby's estimated weight by ultrasound stopped increasing. The non-stress tests became twice-weekly.

The plan to induce labor at 37 weeks was put on hold for a few different reasons. One of them being that I wanted to avoid a c-section if at all possible. Because the drug used to induce labor (Pitocin) often causes harder, more intense contractions, there is often more fetal stress. There is also the chance that because the mother's body isn't naturally ready for labor, the contractions may be very hard, but ineffective. In this case, the cervix refuses to dilate and medical intervention (c-section) becomes necessary. My doctor felt that for me, recovery from a c-section would be much harder than recovery from vaginal delivery. She also felt that the risk of infection at the incision site was a factor we needed to consider. There's also risk involved in the procedure used to sample the amniotic fluid to determine the baby's lung development. Add to that, the chance that something could go wrong if, for some reason, something hadn't developed as fully as we thought and she wasn't actually ready to be born. At this point it was a toss-up between my own health and the best interest of the baby, which is difficult for a mother to choose between. My doctor and I both felt that it was best to wait and hope that I went into labor naturally before the infection in my lungs got much worse.

Because I hadn't gone into labor and the baby still hadn't grown any more, at 39 weeks I was sent in for a biophysical profile. This is a non-stress test, combined with a detailed ultrasound where five things are analyzed: fetal muscle tone, breathing rate, movement, amniotic fluid levels, and heart rate in relation to movement (it's supposed to increase each time baby moves around). Two points are possible for each of these things, so if your baby falls into a normal range for all five you get a score of 10. I left the hospital in tears that day after getting a score of 4. As in 40%. As in, that's worse than a failing grade. As in, C-SECTION OR NOT, LETS JUST GET THIS BABY OUT! My body had given her all that it possibly could.

But my doctor insisted that an induction at this point would very likely lead to c-section, something she still wanted to avoid. So I began attempting to induce labor naturally. Every wives tale that exists on the topic, I put to the test. But nothing worked. I ate spicy foods, I walked, I jumped-rope, I bounced on a birthing ball, we had sex--LOTS OF SEX, I visualized and meditated (attempted to, anyway), I drank red raspberry leaf tea, Adam took me to the park and pushed me on the swings, I walked some more, I started using evening primrose oil, I'd been using acupressure for a couple weeks, but I doubled up on the time I spent stimulating those pressure points. The only thing I didn't do was drink castor oil. My mother in law insisted it works, but I've heard too many stories about it posing risk to the baby and although I was getting desperate, I wasn't willing to put her in harm's way.

In the end, I was induced at 40 weeks 3 days. My doctor was unwilling to wait any longer for the sake of my lungs and also, out of concern for the baby. Luckily, the induction was a success and labor was awesome! The things a woman's body is capable of doing are absolutely mind-blowing! My body was perfectly strong enough to handle the delivery and my lungs, even being sick at the time, were not at all a factor in my ability to give birth.

Despite all the concern she caused while she was inside, when little Morgan made her appearance she was perfect. Literally. Her APGAR scores (a possible score of 10 given at one minute, and then again at five minutes after birth, to summarize the newborn's overall health) were 8 and 10.

My pregnancy was full of ups and downs, but I don't necessarily think that was because of my CF. I think it may have played a role in some of the things that happened, but because the very nature of pregnancy is full of uncertainty, I can't guarantee things would have been much different if I were completely "healthy" to start with. My pregnancy was a fun, sometimes frustrating, sometimes difficult, but most of all BEAUTIFUL experience.

One I'll never forget and am so grateful to have had.


Part II of this story would be My Life as a Mom With CF, but that will have to be another post, another day.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Last night...

Because we were at our nephew's birthday party when we would normally be home bathing Morgan and getting her ready for bed, I had a feeling that our usual bedtime routine would be thrown out the window. That suspicion was confirmed when, after sleeping the whole way home, Morgan woke up and wanted to play as soon as we pulled into our driveway at 8:00.

After two unsuccessful attempts at putting her to bed, instead of being sound asleep in her crib like she should have been, by 9:00 Morgan was sitting on the living room floor playing the screaming game. A game where she screams, then I scream exactly like she just screamed. And we continue to take turns screaming back and forth, louder and louder, until Adam interrupts our fun by screaming profanities. (Okay, so that last part only happened once.) Except, I didn't want to encourage her bedtime rebellion by participating in her game, so she was sitting there happily screaming all by herself. She couldn't have cared less that it was way past her bedtime. She'd just taken a power nap in the car which, in her seven-month-old mind, meant it was TIME TO PLAY!

Eventually, Adam gave in and laid next to her on the floor. She was so excited that someone, anyone, was willing to play with her, that she nearly hyperventilated. After wildly flailing her arms and legs for a few seconds, she then proceeded to use Adam's face as a jungle gym. After watching them for a minute, I conceded that there was NO HOPE of getting that baby into bed any time in the near future, or the next two weeks for that matter, so I plopped myself on the floor next to them.

At one point, Adam put his arm around me and pulled me into his chest. As we sat there together, Morgan continued pinching our faces, jabbing her thumbs into our eyesockets and laughing. But, then she paused for just a moment, leaned directly into Adam, put her nose to his forehead and smiled.

And that's when I realized THIS IS IT. This is why I wanted to have children so badly. This is what being a family is. And this feeling? It's the best feeling in the whole world.

And even though it was another two hours before Morgan had calmed down enough to go to sleep, and it's just going to be that much harder to get her into bed tonight... I'm so incredibly grateful for the memory we created.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

"Nice Pills"

Morgan often gets mistaken for a little boy. Usually it doesn't bother me, but it's happened SO OFTEN lately that I've become very annoyed by it.

I think that became apparent when someone in the grocery store parking lot mentioned what a handsome little boy I have, and I answered with "SHE'S A GIRL, ASSHOLE!"

A lady I know takes an herbal supplement that is supposed to help with things like PMS and improving your overall mood. She calls them her "nice pills".

I'm looking into getting some.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Am I alone here?

This blog isn't intended to be a List of My Grievances, but lately I feel like that's what it's becoming. And I'm sorry for that. But, because I appreciate having a place to vent and because writing has become a sort of therapy for me, I feel like this is a good outlet. I apologize that often when something is weighing on my mind, my posts are long and not very organized. I'm sure they could be better if I put more time into them, but when something is bothering me I just need to get it out there: write about it and then move on. I promise that if you bear with me through this one, if you want I'll tell you about something really interesting when it's over. Like that time my dog ate four of her puppies. Or that time the cops interrupted a father's day celebration at my in-laws house because they were blowing stuff up...again.

Recently someone close to me, whom I've always considered a huge support, said some hurtful things about me regarding my health. I truly believe this person's intent was not to hurt me, and they certainly didn't plan on the things they said making their way back to me. But they did. One of the things that was particularly upsetting was when this person said they just don't think I'm as sick as I "claim to be". Not that it's the most atrocious thing that's ever been said about me, but it still stung a little and I'd like to explain some of the reasons why.

First of all, I don't "claim to be sick". In fact, I spent a great deal of my life trying to deny the fact that I have a terminal illness. It's only been very recently, and mainly through this blog, that I've been able to open up about having CF. Now, that's not to say that I try to hide my illness. It's not something I'm ashamed of, I simply don't feel the need to advertise it. It's not like I stop random people on the street to give them a rundown of my various physical ailments, or introduce myself  by saying "Hi, I'm Jenny. Oh, and I HAVE CF." Outside of my family members and you, here in Blog Land, there are only certain people that I actually discuss this disease with. As far as most people know, I'm "healthy". Although I have my moments, which I think we're all allowed to have, I usually maintain a very positive attitude about things.

Secondly, when I do get sick, I'd like to think I handle it with at least a little grace (again, with the exception of those few moments). I try not to complain. I don't pity myself, and I certainly don't ask others to pity me. In fact, the opposite is often true. When I start feeling run down, I'll push myself even harder and try to pretend that I feel good to prove that I'm capable of leading a "normal" life. (Before you chastise me, please know that I realize how ridiculous that is and that I'm working on it.) I've shown up to work on multiple occasions when I should have been home in bed trying to get well. Last fall, right before I was hospitalized, I had pneumonia and quite possibly swine flu (although I wasn't aware of either at the time) and I was still coming to work every day. Without complaining.

Besides having CF, I guess you could say I'm just unlucky in the health department. A couple years ago, I had recurring episodes of viral conjunctivitis (pink-eye, essentially) for several months. On another occasion, the infection in my body decided to manifest itself in one of my toes--I woke up one morning with a swollen, purply-red toe that was so sensitive that I couldn't wear a shoe for several days. Among other things, I had unexplained, heavy bleeding for most of my pregnancy. Then I got that spinal headache after labor. Just last week, I became so violently ill after eating at McDonalds, I was absolutely certain I had food poisoning. Random things like this have plauged my life, but again, I try not to complain. Sure, I use quite a bit of sarcasm to get through, but ultimately, I do pull through each trial and then I laugh about it later.

The things that were said have caused me to question a lot of things. Am I as positive as I try to be? Do I handle things as well as I thought? Do I complain more than I should? Do people think I "claim to be sick" for attention? Is opening up about my health a good thing if the people who don't understand this disease just think that I'm making up stories? Has anyone else had similar experiences or am I alone here?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March 2010 Newsletter: 7 months

Dear Morgan,

At this point, it's a little predictable and boring for me to start your letter by saying 'I can't believe how much you've grown'. But seriously, Morgan, I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW MUCH YOU'VE GROWN! As I was buckling you into your carseat the other day, I thought back to the first month of your life when you hardly filled up the very bottom of that seat and the little chest buckle was as big as your entire upper body. Now, all the belts are adjusted to the largest setting, and you barely fit in it. You've always been in the higher percentiles as far as height and weight (between 75-90%) but recently you were measuring at 99% for height! Some people say you're a big baby, but I prefer to think of you as a HEALTHY baby. A beautiful, healthy baby.

Something I have to mention again this month is your TEETH. They sure draw a lot of attention. We'll be in the grocery store and strangers will look at you and smile, but when you smile back at them they gasp. I think it's a little unsettling for people to see such a little thing with a whole mouth full of teeth. (For as many teeth as you have, I must say, it's difficult to get a picture of them. The only ones we've been able to get good pictures of are your bottom ones. But trust me, there are plenty more in there!) It seems like every couple weeks another one pushes it's way through. And, to your credit, I don't usually know one's coming until I actually see it poking through. You handle teething so well and rarely fuss about it. Something like dropping your bottle, on the other hand? Devastating. Having to wear a bib? The worst thing ever. But things like double ear infections or getting multiple teeth in at once? No big deal. You're hilarious that way. Sometimes small things totally set you off, while other things that I think will really bother you, you don't even seem to notice.

Like a couple weeks ago when I, regrettably, became that mother who lets her baby fall off the furniture. We had been playing together on the bed and when I got up, I decided to let you continue playing while I got dressed for the day. But before I knew it, you starting rolling right towards the edge of the bed. You rolled so quickly, in fact, that the pillow which was supposed to be a barrier acted more like a launching pad. You totally catapulted off the bed and landed right on your tummy. I completely lost it, but you...you just looked around for a second, and then you LAUGHED. I'm thinking this is the worst thing that has ever happened, and you're thinking it was a total blast and that you'd probably like to do it again sometime. Needless to say, we don't play on the bed anymore.

You aren't crawling yet, but that's not to say that you aren't mobile. You roll like a pro! In a matter of seconds you can roll from one end of the living room to the other. You also spin circles on your belly and have started kind of dragging yourself forward with your arms, just a little bit at a time. Your dad is anxious for you to start crawling, and although I'm not nearly as excited about it, I don't think he'll have to wait much longer before you're crawling ALL OVER THE PLACE. And when that time comes, I have a feeling that I won't get a moments rest...ever again.

You've recently started to grasp the idea of object permanence. I used to be able to take an object away from you and replace it with something else, no problem. But, now when I take my cell phone away from you and try to give you one of your toys instead, you give me this look like YOU'RE KIDDING ME, RIGHT? And then the screaming starts. Because even though you can't see it anymore, you know you had that cell phone and you WANT IT BACK. You also know where the vaccuum is and that the cord is just waiting to be chewed on. Just like you know if you roll around long enough, you'll eventually run into Dixie and maybe, just maybe, you'll get to pull on her cheeks for a minute.

A few days ago I decided to give you a taste of my ice cream. At first you were surprised and even a little upset by how cold it was. I thought for a second that you might spit it right back out. But you gave it a moment to melt in your mouth and when you discovered that cold stuff was actually PRETTY DARN GOOD, the look on your face turned from shock to pure excitement. From that moment on, you would watch intently as I took each bite, staring at me with your mouth wide open, like a baby bird... just waiting. Never had you tasted anything so good! It was like you couldn't believe that we'd been holding out on you for so long. And if something that good existed and you had no idea, what other kinds of delicious things have we been keeping from you? I believe you'll be expecting me to share EVERYTHING with you from now on.

I'll tell you what, kiddo. I promise to keep sharing my ice cream with you as long as you promise to keep nuzzling your face into my chest when I hold you and twisting my hair with your fingers while you nurse. 


Tuesday, March 9, 2010


There was a little girl who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good, she was very, very good
And when she was bad, she was HORRID.

My mom regularly said this about me when I was growing up. I also had a doctor who once said something to the effect of "Life isn't always a bed of roses; sometimes it's a bed of Jennifer Roses." (Rose is my middle name.)

What's that saying about how someday you'll have kids JUST LIKE YOU for payback?

I have a feeling we may be in trouble...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Guilty Pleasures

I'll admit it... I'm a reality TV junkie. It's a guilty pleasure of mine. I have an affinity for television that exels at being really terrible. I find something especially irresistible about The Bachelor and/or The Bachelorette.

Two days after this season's finale, I'm still finding myself thinking... Vienna, seriously?


I mean, I even wanted to marry Tenley, she's just that sweet!