Friday, October 17, 2014

Welcome Olive Mae

When I was pregnant with Gideon time seemed to fly by.  I was in grad school and student teaching which left me very little spare time and yet I still managed to marvel daily at the changes in my body while daydreaming about what was to come.  Now I am full time mom to a 3 year old which actually leaves me with even less spare time but I still manage to complain almost daily about how much more painful and uncomfortable pregnancy is the second time around while feeling guilty about how my increasing physical and emotional limitations are affecting Gideon.  And that is why I haven't chronicled my pregnancy journey as extensively this time around.  Infertility makes you timid about pregnancy, it is hard to feel safely pregnant, you wait for the other shoe to drop, and getting pregnant our first month trying left me in a state of disbelief for nearly my entire first trimester.  But truly, discomfort aside, this pregnancy, this baby, is very much a wish granted.  

I was in such disbelief over getting pregnant our first month trying that I continued to take pregnancy tests for several days after the first positive.

And now she's here! Right here in my arms sleeping peacefully as I write this one handed on my cell phone. The last 24 hours have been surreal and so different from Gideon's birth.  As we made our way to the hospital Friday morning for our scheduled c-section Mac and I both kept pointing out differences; the drive felt shorter and less bumpy when not in labor, we parked in a different lot, we checked in on a different floor, we were repeatedly asked if we had recently been exposed to Ebola, so many differences.  

I won't lie, choosing to have a surgery for which you will be awake the entire time feels like insanity, my mind rebelled against it and from the moment I put on the hospital gown I felt like I was on the edge of a panic attack.  True, this wasn't my first c-section, but the last one was an emergency after over 12 hours of mostly unmedicated labor.  My fear then was for my baby, this time my fear was selfishly for myself.  What if I hemorrhaged or had a stroke?  What if I ended up in a coma or died?  The thought of Mac having to raise our children without me, of Olive never meeting me, of Gideon missing his mommy, it was unbearable and ever present in my mind Thursday night.

Friday morning came, my mom arrived to stay with Gideon, we took pictures, packed the car, and eventually I found myself in a hospital gown hooked up to machines, answering medical history questions, and having my blood drawn (I was so dehydrated they couldn't get a vein and I ended getting poked several times).  The surgery was scheduled for noon but at 11 my doctor walked in and asked the nurse if we could go early since he had extra time.  Amazingly I found myself being wheeled into the ice cold operating room only a few minutes later.  The unexpectedness of the time change sent my anxiety through the roof and having an epidural put in without my husband there to hold my hand brought me to the edge.  When the anesthesiologist said she had hit bone and needed to start over I went white as a sheet.  Thankfully I had a fantastic nurse who got everyone to take a step back and talked me through my panic attack before they continued.  I have never been so relieved as I was when Mac walked in and squeezed my hand.  Now that he was there I could do this, the time had come.  The next few minutes felt like an eternity but the husbandit says it was only about 5 minutes before the immense pressure followed by amazing lightness that signaled Olive had arrived.  I am tearing up just typing about it, the feeling is indescribable.  I hadn't seen her sweet face or heard her angry wails yet but my emotions blossomed the moment she exited my body.  And then came the unexpected news, our little girl had RED HAIR.  Mac and I had been speculating for weeks about how much hair and what color and we always timidly suggested that it could be red, after all we have lots of red heads on both sides of the family, but I had never quite believed we could be that lucky.  It is a silly thing but for some reason the idea of a little ginger girl enchants me.  And then there she was, out little Olive with a pimento top, a perfect little pumpkin head in time for Halloween.


The rest of the surgery took ages, my blood pressure dipped extremely low and everything started to spin.  I couldn't feel my lips and felt faint, barely able to tell people that I felt like something was wrong.  The anesthesiologist was very attentive but had to dose me three times with medication to get my pressure back to just low and those last minutes of surgery, trying to look at my daughter through a haze, were agony for me.  Finally it was all over and we were wheeled back to the tiny triage room we'd started in.  I was so grateful to have some alone time with Mac and Olive before family came in this time.  Don't get me wrong, it was also amazing to welcome Gideon to the world with a room full of love (people), but I am glad we got to do something a little more intimate this time.  

After lots of joyful hugs, baby snuggles, and storytelling my mom left to get back to Gideon.  Later my dad and Debbie arrived and Mac's parent left to give them some time with the new granddaughter.  Finally we were moved to a larger room with cell phone reception so I could finally overwhelm people with texted pictures of Olive from different angles.  

It was extremely frustrating for me not being able to get out of the bed, or feel my toes, or stop the shaking that was constantly rippling through my body.  The side effects of surgery are no joke.  But Mac made it so much better for me as we laughed about how quickly one forgets about changing tiny diapers and trying to burp a tiny tummy.  It is absolutely true that you should marry your best friend.  There is no one else in the world who I would be able to do this with; all of the gory, gross, and uncomfortable bits are so much more bearable just because he is there to make me laugh or reassure me.    

Finally it was time for Gideon to come to the hospital and meet his new sister.  He, GG, and Grampa Rock arrived at the same time as my brother Jeremy and I could tell as he walked in the room that he was overwhelmed by the people, machines, and lights.  I wanted desperately to pick him up and hold him but I was still unable to walk and he was afraid to touch me.  I am sure I was a scary sight for him with the epidural, IV, catheter, and leg cuffs.  But as always Gideon is a trooper and fell in love with his sister immediately before he asked to go home.  Kids, lol.  

Not long after everyone left Mac and I began to feel the adrenaline in our systems dissipate and give way to exhaustion.  We turned on some mindless television, ate some dinner, and settled in for the first of many nights as a family of four.  It was amazingly peaceful compared to our first night with Gideon.  We were so scared then.  Scared to fall asleep, scared to be too rough, scared to do everything wrong.  This time we feel confident(ish) and ready to take this on.  Our family finally feels complete.  

Friday, September 19, 2014

Ninja Exercises

Gideon:  Look at me, I doing ninja exercises!
Me:  Wow buddy
Gideon:  It weally hard
Me: Can I take a picture for daddy?
Gideon:  No, a video.

X Ray Vision

Gideon:  I have X-Ray vision mommy, I can see the baby inside your tummy
Me:  Oh, what does she look like?
Gideon (Peers closely at my baby bump):  A blueberry with long legs, like a spider!
Me (not at all creeped out by that image):  What's the baby's name?
Gideon:  Let me see again (stares at bump)  BlahBlahBeepBeep

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Tale of Three Ellies

When Ellie was lost in Portland a couple of years ago, Mac and I scrambled to find a replacement online as quickly as possible. I won't lie, it was like we looked into the future and saw a world where, having lost his friend, Gideon never slept again which meant we never slept again.  It was terrifying.  The problem was we found a couple of options ebay but couldn't quite remember what word was stitched on our Ellie's blanket body. Finally the only solution was to buy two Ellies, ($30 each) one with "hug" and the other with "love" and hope that one of them was right. When they arrived (express overnight) one was blue, and big, and like Ellie's older cousin instead of Ellie so I put it (her?) away in a drawer with the intention of giving her to another deserving child someday/blocking out the entire memory of this expensive ordeal.

Well today Gideon was looking for some undies in a drawer (yep, that drawer) and found the last of the Ellies. He was pretty indignant at first, like "Ummm excuse me, what is this Ellie doing in a shipping envelope in the back of my underwear drawer, MOM?  Can you explain THIS?" And I'm pretty sure he is going to start searching every drawer in the house for treasure (wouldn't you?).   But he also fell instantly in love, named her Blanket Ellie, and now they are all quite happy together. So much so he is carrying all three of them around and won't put them down. 

 He also requested we make a movie about the Ellies

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Join the Battle For Net Neutrality

I don't usually get political or causey on this blog but I think this is important, certainly for this generation, but more so for the next.  I want my kids to enjoy the same amount of internet freedom (or more!) as I have.  So, if you, like me, want to stop ISPs from having the power to slow down and break your favorite websites (ie, control what you can and cannot access on the internet) in order to increase their profits join the Battle For The Net!

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Gideon has been struggling with naptime for at least a week now.  I can tell he is growing, both physically and mentally, and turning off his little brain in the middle of the day has proven extremely difficult.  I was sitting in his bed, talking to him about how popcorn is made (he was very excited about helping me make popcorn after rest time) and he asked:

Gideon:  How do you go to sleep?
Me:  Well, you have to lay down and close your eyes.
G:  That hard.
M: I know baby, sometimes when I close my eyes I like to imagine things in my brain, like spending the day with LaLaLoopsy or being a superhero and flying over my city.
G:  But I can't close my eyes, they too bouncy, see (closes and opens eyes rapidly).  They bounce. back. open. (said with great frustration)
M:  Then how about we lay down with our eyes open?
G:  (sighs and lays down) okay.

I have struggled with sleep my entire life and had high hopes that Gideon would inherit Mac's ability to sleep, literally, anywhere (seriously, anywhere, anytime).  Fingers crossed that this is just a phase.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Brain Explosion

Before bed Gideon told us:

"A bad guy alien has a plan to get in my brain and explode my brain and all the ideas will come out and I will have no ideas!!!"

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

First Day of Preschool - The Verdict

Another mommy milestone today: the pick up line

I am extremely fortunate that they have organized afternoon pick up in such a way that there are only about 14 kids to be picked up at a time.  I have experienced the public school car line and it was much more stressful than this.

When the teacher walked up with the car in front of me's child and the mom got out and gave her daughter a big hug I was so relieved.  I didn't know if I was going to have to stay in the car (I respect boundaries to a fault) and I really wanted to jump out and grab my boy as soon as possible.  Ellie was also feeling pretty impatient about seeing her boy.

Then, finally, it was our turn!  I leaped out of the car and his teacher said "Gideon had a GREAT first day!"  I thanked her, gave Giddy a hug, and helped him take off his backpack before grabbing Ellie.  He immediately proclaimed "Elwie!" and watching him hug and snuggle that little elephant I was genuinely not sure which of us he was happier to see.  Seriously, it was adorable.  Best of all, as I strapped him in his seat he said "I like my new school mommy!" and I had a How the Grinch Stole Christmas moment as my heart grew three sizes.  I asked him what he did at school and of course he said "I don't memember."  I don't memember is the bane of most parents' lives and the only solution we have come up with is telling Gideon that if he can't remember something than he doesn't get to do it again.  Under threat of no more school Gideon was suddenly able to recall the following:

- He played with Playdoh and dolls
- He did not play with Legos.  Someone told him he would but he did not.
- He went outside to play and he did NOT (stress on the NOT) get in trouble 
- They sang a song in circle time, he has sung it many ways at home since but it always involves singing "swimming, swimming, swimming" over and over again and ending with "they were all fish!"
- He does not remember his teachers' names
- He made new friends, he does not know their names

When I went through his backpack later I found this picture that is now hanging proudly on the refrigerator.  He still says he has no memory of making it but I still like it.

And so the first day of preschool went about as well as I could have ever hoped.  Tomorrow it is back to speech therapy and then Thursday he gets to go to school again (I am so savoring these moments of school being a treat and not a chore).  From now on daddy is going to take Giddy to school on his way to work while mommy stays home and probably eats donuts while watching Good Morning America, umm I mean does the dishes and folds laundry.  It's a good life.

First Day of Preschool

Shout out to the husbandit for writing this awesome sign freehand this morning (because I completely forgot to ask him to do it last night) with me yelling from the other room "we are running late!  we are going to be late!"

Today is Gideon's first day of preschool.  Last night Mac and I were all smiles as we picked out school clothes with Gideon and read "The Night Before Preschool" before tucking him in (I bought that book a month ago and Gideon has been DYING to read it but I made him wait).  I asked him if he was excited or worried about preschool in the morning and he said he was worried.  I asked what he was worried about and he said that "something would happen."  We hugged him and assured him that if anything bad did happen his teachers would be there to help him and if things were VERY bad they would call mommy and daddy and we would come and get him.  He asked if Ellie could go with him and we told him that she could not but that mommy would bring Ellie to school to pick him up and he could tell her all about his day in the car on the way home.  This seemed to do the trick because, for once, Gideon went right to sleep.  I went through the stack of paperwork from meet the teacher again, found a form I had forgotten to fill out, remembered we needed to give his teachers a family picture, labeled the new backpack and change of clothes with "Gideon Mack Edwards" (he wants to be called Gideon Mack), and put the carpool map and tag in my car so I wouldn't forget before going to bed myself.  Mac stayed up late and did everyone's laundry.  It was like we all were starting school in the morning and Mac and I were both a little on edge all evening.

We all actually managed to wake up on time this morning(!).  Gideon started out in an odd mood as he instructed me firmly to leave my pajama shirt on while he played in his diaper (normally he wakes up and happily changes from a pull up to undies by himself first thing).  But his grumpiness soon passed and he was his sunshiney self as he ate biscuits and jelly before getting dressed for school.  I was a little bit of a mess having forgotten to ask daddy to write out the chalkboard sign (I have terrible handwriting) or to actually print the family picture for his teacher.

Forgetfulness aside, we made it out the door on time(ish) and headed off to school.  In the car Gideon kept saying something to me and it took me a moment to figure out he was saying "I so excited mommy!"  and we had the sweetest little conversation:

Gideon:  I so excited mommy!
Me:  That makes mommy really happy Gideon!
G:  I excited for school and my classroom
M:  There are lots of fun things to do in your classroom
G:  Yes!  dolls, food.
M:  And your teachers and new friends
G:  Will we all be together mommy?
M:  Yes, and then I will come pick you up
G: I so excited, are we there yet?

We got to school and were greeted at the door by the secretary who impressed me by remembering Gideon's name from back when she gave us a tour.  Surrounded by all of the kids and parents Giddy started to get a little shy but we walked him over to his classroom where one of his teachers was waiting outside.

bonus belly shot
After putting his name on the board outside the door he walked confidently into his class and was basically completely over us as our presence was no longer required.  Miss Gina told him that they start their day every day by washing their hands (you know I love that) so Mac walked Giddy over to the sink and helped him wash (which he can do by himself but I think Mac was having some trouble letting go) while I put his backpack in his cubby and gave the teacher our family picture and nearly forgotten form.  And then we were done.  Giddy gave us a hug and we left.  I won't lie, it was weird.  When we got to our cars (we had to bring both so Mac could drive on to work) Mac and I hugged and asked each other how we were feeling before getting in, buckling up, and driving away.

Getting down to business 
I was trying to convince myself on the way home that this isn't THAT big a deal, he is only there for 3 hours at a time and only twice a week... but maybe it is.  This is the start of a journey he is going to take without me.  A journey that will enrich his life with problem solving and reading, independence and confidence, and a million experiences that will help him define who he is.  But up until now if his body or feelings were hurt one of us was there, giving him our full attention as we made sure he was okay.  Now it is up to his teachers and other caregivers to nurture him and his classmates with divided attention.  And that is good, he shouldn't be the center of the world, but he is the center of my world and this is hard for me.  Hard but good.  Good for us both.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Princess Liyah

A princess graced us with her presence this morning.  Her mommy, the queen, had a date with GG (the dowager) to go kayaking so we got to entertain royalty.

Cousins in the kitchen

This is one princess who does not need a prince (because she stole Darth Vader's lightsaber (with his hand still attached))

Having a chat with Lord Vader, I assume about the hand situation

I was informed that this is a princess and a prince in a castle.  Later it would be a princess and a crocodile.

The epic lightsaber battle that happened in the living room, kitchen, office, stairs, and bedrooms of my house

Even Jedi need a break for peanut butter crackers.
 My niece is, in a word, awesome.  I was so glad we got to hang out this morning and really sad when it was time for soccer class and Giddy and I had to leave.  Hopefully we will get together again soon!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Men in White Shirts

We convinced our friend Craig to come over for dinner tonite by promising burgers and bacon ranch pea salad.  The husbandit pointed out while we were eating that children born the day we (Craig and I) met would be celebrating their 13th birthdays now.  Mac and I were kids who changed schools a lot growing up so knowing someone for that long is mind boggling for us.  It also probably explains why these guys have all have started dressing alike.

Gideon is a big fan of Craig's.  Last year we mentioned he was coming over and Gideon declared that Craig was his best friend.  Tonite at bedtime Giddy came downstairs to tell Craig goodnight and added "see you in the morning!"  We then explained that Craig would be leaving tonite, which was disappointing but Gideon took it in stride.  After Gideon went to bed the guys decided to watch True Detective while I went upstairs to work on new baby's mobile.  At some point Mac opened the front door and Gideon, who we all thought was asleep, yelled "Good bye Craig!"  Apparently the little guy had been staying awake in an effort to say goodbye to his best friend.  He's pretty awesome.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Meet the Teacher

Gideon is starting preschool next week.  You read that right,  NEXT. WEEK.

Today we got to go meet his teachers for the first time.  It was hectic, I had a lot of paperwork to fill out and due to some contractor related surprises Mac didn't get to come with us like he had planned but in the end Gideon enjoyed it so much he didn't want to leave.  My mom was also a great support, filling out forms in the car as we drove to the school, asking the teachers good questions, signing up to volunteer in Gideon's room, and basically being a pro at this whole getting ready for school thing.  We are really lucky to have GG so close.  As we were leaving she suggested we go ahead and get pictures with his teachers now since the first day of school would be pretty crazy for everyone.  I mean seriously, my mom is a genius.

One of his teachers and I share a due date

Pretending to be docile

Monkey boy!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Getting Some Rest

So I am fully into the entirely uncomfortable stage of  pregnancy now which is pretty hard on my pride and mommy guilt.  I hate not being able to do stuff for myself, especially when that stuff involves playing with Gideon or helping around the house.  Luckily Gideon is usually pretty content to join me in bed in the afternoons and even Mac keeps me company from time to time.  I love these guys.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Dinner AND a Tournament

A few weeks back I bought a deal online for Medieval Times.  Our trip to Scarborough Fair back in May revealed Gideon's love of knights and jousting and I have fond memories of a trip my old high school theater class took to Medieval times over a decade ago.

Luckily my husband has a better memory than I do because when I woke up this morning he proposed we actually USE the deal I bought instead of letting is expire.  So we called and got our tickets worked out and then waited on pins and needles for showtime.

We didn't really know what to tell Gideon other than that we were going to a castle to see knights and eat dinner; I have no idea what he expected but it was quickly apparent that he was not disappointed.

We got there pretty early so the wench (yep) who sold us our tickets suggested we try out the Torture Museum.  I asked if it was too scary for little kids and he assured me it was not.  That probably should have been a red flag.  It was pretty lame, and dark, and slightly stinky, and definitely not something we would do again.  Gideon thought it was fine but it turned out to be a long line of people basically waiting to get to the exit.

Gideon really liked these masks, I am sure they have some sort of horrific purpose, I stopped reading the wall plaques.

After the museum we walked around the atrium of the castle waiting for the show to begin.  We let Gideon choose a souvenir because we are souvenir lovers and he picked a little dragon that roars and named him Super (or Wuper in Giddy speak).

"He Wuper"
Then finally it was time to go inside the tournament hall.  We were assigned the black and white night when we walked in and I was pleased to discover that he had a long mane of luxurious ginger hair.  Mac found a flag peddler and we settled in to being the best damned residents of whatever made up place supported the ginger haired knight that EVER existed.

I won't lie, some of the show is boring, but that's okay because you just spend that time eating.  Also they have a full bar in the castle now which I am sure would have made the show waaaaay more interesting if I were not with child.  I am a genius and remembered before we left the house that you are expected to eat half a chicken with your bare hands and thus brought silverware for Gideon who loved the chicken, bread, and potato while letting us eat his soup, ribs, and apple turnover (thanks kid!).  It was so much food we ended up getting a to-go box.

The husbandit went to the bar for a beer and also brought this wonderment of whip cream and strawberries back for me.  Obviously he is MY knight in shining armor.
But MOST of the show was actually pretty thrilling.  I can always tell when Gideon is having a good time because he starts asking if it is time to leave, " Is it over?  Time to go mommy?  Is it time to go bye bye?" followed by a look of relief when I tell him there is still more to see.  Our knight won all of the pre jousting games and would cockily toss his beautiful locks as if to say "no big deal" with each win.  I'll admit, I was feeling pretty confident about his chances of winning the whole thing.  Of course that means he lost in the first round of jousting.  But that's okay, as each new pairing was announced we would choose a new knight to cheer for... who would them promptly lose.  I was pretty proud of our kid, he took all of the losing really well, cheering hard for our knight anyway and basically being entirely entertained by the whole spectacle, especially with the introduction of what he called "the bad guy knight".  If too much time went by between sightings he would turn to me and ask "Where the bad guy knight mama?  Where he go?"

They had his complete attention
 All in all it was a great night, so great that discovering my car completely dead in 100 degree heat afterwards didn't even bring us down.  Luckily the guys who parked next to us had extra long jumper cables and Gideon loved getting to go back in the castle to meet the king who he said "thank you, bye bye!" to.  With little sister less than two months away I am anxious to get in as much Giddy funtime as possible and this dinner and tournament was definitely fun.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

These Kids...

Our good friend Michelle and her awesome family recently moved to a new house that is sadly farther away from us than the old one.  This makes us sad but she actually moved closer to our good friend Emily so at least we all still get to have awesome playdates, especially since Michelle's new house has a POOL!

I am so glad that these kids have the opportunity to grow up together, and that I am getting to raise my children with the helpful advice of these two great moms.

Yesterday was our first visit to the new house and the kids had CRAZY fun.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Scardey Daddy

Last night after bedtime Gideon asked me for some ice water.  Knowing how difficult the stairs are for me these days (hello 31 weeks pregnant!) daddy went to fetch the water.  Then this conversation happened:

Gideon:  I want some ice water.
Me:  Daddy went to get the water for you.
G:  No, you go get the water.
M:  Daddy can get the water.
G:  No, he can't, its too spooky downstairs.  Daddy is afraid of monsters and ghosts!
M:  Daddy isn't afraid
G:  Yes he is!
M:  Why do you think daddy is afraid?
G:  When I pretend to be a monster daddy say "AHHH!!!"
Daddy (walking in the room):  I got the water!
Gideon:  Raaaaahhh!!!  Monster!!!
Daddy:  AHHH!!!!
Me: sigh.

Bridge Man

Said to me today:

"I Bridge Man!  I make Bridges! (lays on floor)  Time to Bridge away!"  (runs away)

Monday, August 18, 2014


It was cloudy when we woke up this morning so I decided to pretend it was fall and make little biscuit donuts. Gideon helped me with the cinnamon sugar/ate all the little donut holes.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hero Costumes

I heard rumors about awesome superhero costumes at Costco so I sent Gramma CC to check it out for me (someday we will have a Costco membership).  She found some GREAT costumes and Giddy is pretty thrilled about it.   He made a very fierce Wolverine before switching to his beloved Iron Man. 

I wasn't home but Mac said that the only way he could get Gideon to take off the Iron Man suit for naptime was to convince him that Tony Stark doesn't sleep in his armor. Then they had to lay it out next to the bed so it was ready to put on the moment he woke up, which is exactly what he did before settling down for snack.