Saturday, July 30, 2011

One Year Pictures

Yes, I know they are really late (6 months or so). Thanks Becky for your help with these!

Friday, July 29, 2011


So many of the people I know that I was pregnant with are starting to welcome their babies. Still others are nearing their final month of uncomfortableness, waiting restlessly to join the ranks of the sleepless and exhausted yet again.

Me? I'm not sure where I'm at. I was warned that approaching the due date, the sharpness of my grief would reemerge and it has. Choking, aching grief. Deep sorrow at never being able to hold my baby, hear him laugh. A brother for Gus that he doesn't even know to miss. Another son for a proud papa. Another piece of our hearts walking around in a scary, dangerous world. Instead, he sleeps in a tiny heart shaped box. Forever safe, forever pure. Leo, we will miss you forever.

Through everything though, God has had his hand on our lives. He led us and comforted us through the initial shock and disbelief. To the doctor's surprise we were able to tell he was a boy so we could name him. He healed the raw edge of my grief. He took away my crippling fear over this new pregnancy so that I could rejoice in the new life growing in me. I may not be innocent anymore, but I am joyful over this new life.

What I am the most thankful for though, as September 13 approaches, is that there I am already, at nine weeks, visibly pregnant. I'm not sure how how difficult that day would have been without tangible hope for the future. I know that faith is the evidence of things not seen, but sometimes I think God knows that a visual goes a long, long way towards settling our fears. I know it isn't past yet but God is preparing me for that.

And then today, when I was laying there being thankful that I could see evidence of the baby, I felt the baby move. Unmistakably. I know it's really early for that, but I did not imagine it and it was exactly what I needed this week to help me through the renewed grief over a child that died while I carried him.

Even though Leo's death was God's plan for us, he did not lead us to it alone. He has been with us, comforting us every time grief threatens to overwhelm.

Faithful friend and father
I've called you through the years.
You've been great physician when sickness lingered near.
Through distressing moments your name is new and sweet
You've become comforter to me.

You are comforter that's who you are to me.
Comforter a name that fits so perfectly.
Peace that passes all understanding
Comforter is who you are to me.

To the grieving family who weeps for loved ones gone.
The pain of separation consumes another home.
On the waves of sorrow
You walk with perfect ease
Comforter is who the whole world needs.

You are comforter that's who you are to me.
Comforter a name that fits so perfectly.
Peace that passes all understanding
Comforter is who you are to me
-CeCe Winans

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Went to School for This?

Gus is sick...again. Some sort of generic intestinal distress. Practically this translates into about ten poopy diapers a day and a moderately disgruntled toddler. We've been quarantined...again. Nothing to do in the house but read, and read, and read, and read. Oh! and watch a million episodes of Thomas the Train. I think that the new baby should be one right now so he has another playmate (besides me). On the upside, he is very snuggly. On the downside, he is constantly getting his tears, slobber, milk and other less fun things all over me several times a day. He stinks, I stink. We are both in tears about half the day, him because he's miserable, me because I'm tired, oh...and pregnant and now apparently cry for NO GOOD REASON! I forgot about that part.

Today's schedule: 2 renditions of "How to catch an elephant" 3 readings of "I love you stinky face" One reading of "The lorax" "Sneetches" and "Bulldozers" a couple chapters of "Prince Caspian" and about a dozen times through "Freight Trains." Try to force a toddler to like toast. Change a million diapers. Change both of our clothes three times. Try to convince Gus not to chuck his blocks at my head. Give up on trying to keep him from throwing toys and decide to watch Backyardigans and Thomas the Train till bedtime.

Weeks like this make me feel that my education is being wasted.

I just keep reminding myself...this is a noble calling, right? RIGHT?!?!?!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Da Da Da DAH!

Rob and I are pleased to announce we will be welcoming a new baby in late February, early March.

Friday, July 15, 2011


Yesterday was one of THOSE days. You know, the days where if a miniature person touches you one more time you are going to burst into tears. Gus was clingy, and whiny, and tugging on me, and wanting held, and wanting down, and clumsy then crying every time he fell down.

He's teething. I get it. He's miserable. Three canines making their grand entrance in unison. Apparently the show is more impressive in slow motion. This act has been building for weeks and yesterday, the crescendo peaked and broke. Well...two of them did anyway.

I went to the garage to get him a Popsicle from the Popsicle shelf (yes we have an entire shelf for Popsicles) of the freezer in the garage. He followed me out there (because there isn't a way to lock the garage door behind me). My pantry is stashed in numerous places till I get off my exhausted bum and finish the shelving in the laundry room so Gus went through the stash in the garage while I searched for frozen delights. I turned around and saw him pick up a bottle of soy sauce.

"Hand that to me."
"Give it to mommy, now!"
"No!" and he turned and threw it at the garage door. It, of course, shattered on impact.
Popsicle forgotten, I yelled "Don't move!" I felt myself morph into my father, screaming at the kid not to move. I didn't understand how he though a teenager was stupid enough to run through broken glass. I get it now Dad...instinct.
"No!" Gus runs right into the middle of the mess.

My garage and child smell like Chinese takeout. Gus is screaming while I'm picking shards of glass out of his bare feet. I'm crying, shaking and a little overwhelmed. I give him a bath, stash him in the crib while I clean up the soy sauce (and a melted Popsicle).

Once freed he resumes his drive mommy crazy agenda. Whiny, crying, touching me, touching me, touching me... He refuses to eat anything, is pulling everything off the counters and shelves and emptying laundry baskets, holding down the water dispenser on the fridge. His diaper rash is only marginally better and every diaper change involves me pinning him down by a leg across his chest and dangling him from his ankles while he shape shifts into one of the torments of hell. Spinning on his head and everything...

He's been awake for two hours and I'm over it. In the interests of consistent discipline, he has been corrected...a lot.... By eleven A.M. he is in trouble at least every five minutes. I'm furious, shaking in rage, he's angry, hurting and acting out. We are testing each other's wills. I get the brilliant idea that we should go for a walk or something, get out the house, change of scenery and all that.

I go upstairs to change my clothes (again) and hear shattering glass. And screaming...

I run downstairs and see that he had been banging together little glass ramekins and one had shattered. He has glass in his feet (again) and about twenty pieces embedded in his forearms. We sit in a chair and pick all the glass out of his arms and feet. I strap him into his high chair while I sweep and vacuum. He screams and attempts to shake the booster seat off the dining room chair. In his rage he grabs a bag of potato chips sitting on the kitchen table and pounds it with his fists reducing the contents to crumbs.

I. Have. Had. It.

We do NOT smash potato chips in this house!

I lost my mind. I stood rooted to the spot, clenching the broom. I wanted to chloroform him, put him in a ventilated box and ship him to his dad in Alabama, throw him against a wall, cry. So cry I did. I left him in his chair, sat on the stairs and cried. How did I get here? How could a one year old have enough power that he could completely break me? I was supposed to be a great mom. I have been so patient, kind and firm with discipline up till now. And now? afraid to touch my kid because I don't think I can do it in love. Angry with my husband for having the nerve to have a job. Terrified. What if he gets deployed? This is us after one month of Rob being gone, how could I ever think I could do a year?

I called my cousin and told her I was coming over. I needed help. On the hour drive there, I prayed. Gus and I held hands, he sang to me and I prayed for me, for him. I apologized for being angry and losing my temper. I apologized for not being patient and yelling. I explained that his behavior had been bad and that it wasn't appropriate destroy things when you didn't feel good. I promised to do better as his mom, not a perfect mom, but a good one.

He just smiled at me, blew me a kiss, patted my hand and made train noises until he fell asleep.

I think I'm forgiven.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Man that fish was "This Big!"

I took Gus to the botanical gardens today in an effort to get some cute pictures. That was a complete failure. He did, however, really enjoy running around...and throwing his shoe at the fish...and attempting to jump in the pond himself.

Luckily the shoe landed on a ledge out over the pond, but out of reach over a rickety railing. As I was trying to figure out how to retrieve it, a really nice giant wandered up, took off his shoe and sock and retrieved it with his toes. Gus (and mommy) were very impressed.

After that fun episode, we wandered to the other side of the pond where Gus dropped to his belly, shimmied under the railing and had his head and arms into the pond before I managed to catch his feet. There I was, holding a squirming, dripping toddler by the ankle and briefly debating if I should hand off my camera to one of the other people there and ask them to take a picture of me and my 'catch.' He sure is longer than any fish I've ever caught!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Gus has a new word--


Most of the three hours back from Indy (in addition to most of the last two days) he tugs my hand points at something "Look!" Then I give whatever it is its name and he finds something else for me to name. I feel like Adam in the Bible.

Mama! Look!
That's a tree...
That's a truck...
That's the carpet...
That's mommy's toe...
That's grass...

It's a feeling of great power, being the namer of things. The up-to-no-good part of me wants to tell him something incorrect and laugh while Rob tries to figure out why Gus calls shoes flamingos.

The Land of Frozen Bounty

As much as I wish it were not so, I do not cook when Rob is away. Not even for Gus. Until he can demonstrate that my cooking can be consumed with as much gusto as Desitin or toilet paper, the hassle of attempting to grocery shop and later cook with him underfoot is just not worth it.

After three days in a row of PB&J for dinner I bit the bullet and went to Walmart yesterday to stock up on staples for bachelor cooking Sarah-style. First, I stopped at the gas station to buy a 16 oz bribe for good behavior. Gus was so proud going through Walmart with his blue slurpee. He held it up to show most of the people we passed with a loud declaration of "UMMM!" I was incredibly pleased with how easy his cooperation was to purchase until three blowout diapers later. Apparently blue slurpee doesn't love Gus as much as Gus loves blue slurpee.

Anyway, back to the food. My bachelor cooking stock up looks something like this:

Frozen chinese stir fry dinners
Frozen veggies for easy sides
Boxed pasta sides
All the fixings for eggs Benedict (because they are amazing!)
Frozen waffles
Fresh fruit for waffles, smoothies and snacking
Jimmy Deans breakfast bowls
Breakfast sausages
Smoked salmon for salmon Dijon butter on Italian bread (yum!)
Frozen pizza
Fish sticks
Frozen lasagna
Frozen chicken fettuccine
Fresh veggies for quesadillas

Add to this my holiday weekend stock up of meats (ribs, pork chops, chicken, hamburger, hot dogs, brats) and little man and I are set till Rob gets home. I plan on not going to the grocery store for anything other than milk for the next month.

Ah, elective laziness!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sarah Vs. the Black Thumb (part whatever the second)

After returning from Indy I wandered to my back yard to water my plants that had been neglected for four days. Apparently there was a really windy day at some point because the umbrella from our patio set had been whipped from its stand and the main post wrenched in two. Seriously...the metal just sheared off...I'm amazed.

Anyway, it landed on my garden. My heart stopped when I saw it. Rob has sincere doubts as to my ability to successfully grow a functional garden and I saw another year's efforts flash before my eyes. I peeked under the umbrella and dropped it in stunned amazement. Apparently it acted like a greenhouse. My tomato plants that I purchased at a farmers market three weeks ago at less than six inches tall are over four feet tall. Of course they weren't that big when I left so they are a sprawling undisciplined mess right now. And I have no idea where Rob stashed the tomato stakes and cages post move. Actually I'm not sure I have tomato stakes taller than four feet as it has been years since I had a plant get that tall.

So instead of trashing the umbrella or letting Rob fix it, I may mount it on a pole and plant it in the middle of my garden.