Love

My Heart In 365 seconds

Just like the first year was indescribable, the second was even more enigmatic.  But thankfully a few days before Heston’s first birthday I discovered the app called 1 Second Everyday.  And that’s just what I did.  For Heston’s second trip around the sun, I filmed him, every day; and with modern-day magic, I turned it into a 6 min and 14 second video.

I wasn’t sure how I would feel at it’s completion, but a project like this is just up my alley.  (A daily commitment, but just a tiny dose.)  Sure, it’s a little creepy to think that I have an actual video of my child for every-day-of-his-life (hello future therapy problems!); however, I can’t believe how accurately it captured all the changes that occur from months 12-24.  I get to see his first plane ride, first art installation exhibit, first word (Da-Da), first slide, first step(s), first emergency room, first play date, first lemon, first social protest, a few tantrums, tears, and so many giggles.  Oh, and getting to watch that hair grow… *love*  To my surprise (or not) I didn’t feel any nostalgia.  Rather, I felt so much PRIDE and HOPE.  We’ve come SO FAR!

I’ve boo-hooed my eyes out and still can’t stop watching.  If you need a little 6 minute  break, go ahead and boo-hoo right along with me and watch my son grow from 1 to 2.

 

 

The First Year

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How do you put into words the first year?  Nearly impossible.

Heston’s pediatrician danced with me in her office as I said, “It’s not Happy Birthday, baby! But CONGRATULATIONS Mamma & Papa!” She vigorously agreed and added, “the banner should end with, ‘and we’re still married — sort of!'” #truth #preach

Right now our little monkey has 3 teeth, but according to his 1 year check up yesterday, he has FOUR more sprouting any second!  His weight is in the 64th percentile, his length the 57th percentile and his gigantic, watermelon head is in the 93rd percentile!  Ha, ha! But for a baby that was once ONE OUNCE away from being labeled “failure to thrive” (at 16 weeks old) this is basically a miracle.

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My Birth Story

Prologue:

I don’t have the “Pinterest Perfect” images I thought I might capture during my labor and delivery (you know, a la Kate Middleton).  But these images are invaluable to me and was all thanks to my amazing doula for being able to multitask.  They are raw and real and capture the energy of the experience. What I’ve written here is not everything I remember from that amazing day; I could write more about expectations, conversations with my nurse and the choice to encapsulate my placenta. But those are stories for another time.  

Day 1

Well, I should clarify, this is not MY birth story, but rather, my son’s!  *insert some serious side eye*

Like any lover of good stories, I love me a good birth narrative.  It’s got great story structure built right in: an obvious beginning, middle, climax, and then an end.  Even when I adamantly didn’t want children, I still loved this narrative. And it’s time I add mine to the history books.

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It’s A Boy

Eight weeks.  We’ve survived EIGHT WEEKS!  And I’m still in “survival” mode.  So many things I want to blog about.  My (great) birthing experience, my declining health in the first week of postpartum, my difficulty breastfeeding, colic, tongue tie, and mostly how much I love this little boy.  I cannot believe I have a little BOY.  Bananas.  The only time I seem to have is when I’m sitting at the pump, and hopefully I’ll soon get to process this whole thing with words, but in the mean time you can see me process visually on Instagram.

Baby Heston Birth Announcement

The Day Is Near

Waiting

How do you describe the day before you know you’ll meet your child?  I am being induced tomorrow.  My mom texted me today and said that today feels different for her; for me it feels the same as the last 39 1/2 weeks — completely normal and completely surreal.

My last post at 34 weeks seems like yesterday and 100 years ago.  Maybe this is the entirety of being/becoming a parent: a constant paradox.

Ironically, since my shingles has cleared up, I’ve never felt better.  Really, these last 2 weeks in particular have been the best of my entire pregnancy.  Don’t get me wrong, my pelvis is about to completely fall apart and I walk like a 2,000 year old person, but mentally I’m finally there.  I’m finally ready to say: #letsdothis!

When I went in for my 37 week check up the doc told me, much to my surprise that I was 2cm dilated and 70% effaced.  The adrenaline kicked in.  At my 38 week check up I was 3cm and 80% effaced.  The adrenaline really kicked in and I thought for sure I would be meeting my monkey over Memorial Day Weekend.  So last Friday at my 39 week appointment I wasn’t sure what to expect; however, my progress has stalled and I’m still the same (3 & 80).

The emotion of it all manifested at the 37 week check up.  My sis came over that weekend and helped us set up the guest room baby’s room.  She and I and B nearly all lost it a few times, but especially during another Target run when I realized that I lost my mucus plug.  It was “gettin’ real in the whole foods parkin’ lot” if you know what I mean.  But we’ve all had time to settle a bit and now I just feel calm — a really weird calm.

I feel really fortunate to have gotten a little staycation weekend with the hubs over Memorial Day weekend.  We thought for sure it was our last together as a family of two so we made the most of it.  We watched like 5 movies (even went to the theater for one of them!) and cleaned the house, played cards, cooked almost all our meals at home together, limited phone calls, slept a lot; it was magic.  Then nothing.  I was all geared up — or rather zen-ed out — and then, nothing.

So I’ve tried to keep that level of internal calm for nearly another two weeks.  I’ve tried to be present to every opportunity — including junky tv, a random breakfast date, “long” walks, watching B cook for me, listening to music and meditations, and just sitting in the quiet of the house staring at my budding lemon tree.  I know that there will never be a time like this again.  As melodramatic and cliche as it sounds, I know life will never be the same again.

But I am ready.  I am ready for this new journey; a chance for renewed self-discovery and connection with my husband and the world.  And mostly, I’m ready to get this squirmy creature out of my body so I can squish it pieces!

Wish me luck!

So Many Things 2014….

I didn’t think things could get bigger than 2008 or really 2013… but 2014 proved to be a doozy.  Hence, my absence from my longest running hobby.  I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for SEVEN years.  I hope to pick up this practice again as there is more to document and a creative muscle that has atrophied a bit.  Maybe I’ll talk about all the changes that 2014 brought, and maybe I won’t.  Regardless, tomorrow begins the clean slate I love so much: day 1 of a brand new year.  And (clearly) 2015 is sure to be quite memorable…

New-Years-2014

Soon to follow: a new house (and subsequent remodel), a recap of a trip to Spain, and thoughts on being pregnant…

Weekend Scene

The hubs and I continued to celebrate our 10th Anniversary with dinner at our new favorite restaurant, Sparrow Bar + Cookshop.  I Suwannee!  It was delicious…which doesn’t adequately describe it.  But it wasn’t just the food; it was the entire experience.  We enjoyed a perfectly paced 5-course meal (over 2 hours!) infused with curious combinations and unexpected epicurean creations and upon being seated our waiter brought us a bottle of champagne — a gift from two very-classy, thoughtful friends.  I can’t wait to pay that one forward — what a fantastic surprise!

It seems like B is back in school again because he is spending so much time studying these days, but did you know in order to become a licensed architect it’s not enough to complete a degree you then have to take an exam for licensure.  Oh — or S E V E N exams.  He’s passed one already and has his second scheduled for two weeks, thus his nose being stuck in a book his computer.

We continued celebration on Sunday with a quick lunch with my Pop.  Good times.

And now on with the week…

Weekend June 15

Celebrating 10 Years Together

We kept tradition alive and did our annual anniversary photo-shoot yesterday on the actual day of our anniversary.  And tonight we’ll celebrate with a proper dinner date!  I think we should celebrate all weekend…

10th Anniversary

10th Anniversary

This year’s location was an easy choice; it’s our favorite Thursday date-night location.

And you can see a few outtakes after the jump…

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Staycation — Zoo Date

First of all let me preface this by saying it had been over 15 years since I had been to the Houston Zoo.  I wasn’t quite sure what my expectations should be.  Secondly, I have really mixed emotions about zoos.  The animals always seem so depressed… but that could also be because I tend to anthropomorphize everything.  I know that a lot of conservation, preservation and care goes into the animals welfare, but it still tugs at my heart strings.

Shoving all that emotion into a deep pocket — it was so fun!  It helped that we visited on the most amazing weather day ever (76 & sunny) and we went on a Tuesday prior to school being let out.  We felt like we practically had the place to ourselves.  It was so lovely strolling hand-in-hand, cool breeze in our hair, comforted by the familiarity of being married to someone for nearly 10 years — commence vomiting now! 🙂  We did get pretty googly-eyed when we saw any two animals carrying on with the natural order of things by grooming one another snuggling.

Of course, to no one’s surprise, our favorites were the big cats.  We were quite fortunate to hear the very vocal Jonathan.  Did you know that a lion’s roar can be heard up to 5 miles away?!  See the zoo is great if anything to help with fun facts that can be used at awkward dinner parties!

Clearly, I highly recommend giving the Houston Zoo a visit — but only on a non-crowded, spring day!

Zoo Date

smitten in the mitten

I’ve been a little MIA from this space (and my other one).  I’ve been wrapping up a couple of time-consuming clients and making a quick trip back to Michigan.  We just returned home (late!) Sunday night (actually early Monday) from a 48 hour trip that felt like we squeezed in a months worth of  activity.  The main reason for our visit though — to meet our nephew.  And we are hopelessly smitten with the little guy.  We caught him at just the right baby stage: 10 weeks.  Old enough to not be too floppy, but not yet teething or squirming.  He was perfect.  I tried to keep my cool around mom & pop, but really this is all I wanted to do!!!

I won’t be posting any pics of the little dude in this space (or any other public forum) respecting the wishes of his parents.  It’s actually a decision I highly respect.  Some time ago I (and his dad) read an article on a child’s digital footprint that they have no control over and subsequently how disturbing that can be for someone.  (If I can find it, I’ll footnote it later.) So darling nephew, you will control your on-line fate once you are old enough (and your parents are ready).  But it’s tough because that little nugget is SO CUTE!  For now though, I’m just glad that we all have iPhones so that we can have our own private photo sharing with stream sharing.

I miss him already.

New Family