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Friday, September 28, 2012


Sometimes I catch my kids in moments, when they don't know I'm looking.  The other night I was putting my daughter to bed and had to step out of the room for something.  When I returned, she had a huge book in her lap, and was "reading" it out loud.  I sat on the floor quietly and just watched her for a minute or two until she realized I was there.  As I watched her, in my mind I could still see the baby in her cheeks, but I could also see the teenager she'll become before I even know it's happened.

I love these moments.  I watch them, and it's clear that they are learning something or realizing something, or just storing a tiny moment of their own in their minds, which they may never consciously remember, but is already helping to form the person they'll be.

I believe that as a mother, I do a lot of things well.  Admittedly, however, one thing I could certainly improve upon is being more present when I am with my kids.  Too often I am thinking about all that's left to do before I can go to bed, planning the next day, or stewing over something already done.

So when moments like the one in my daughter's room the other night occur, it is a great reminder to me to slow down and just be with them.  If I don't, I'm going to miss something!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Random thoughts

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was pretty naive.  I sincerely had no idea that there were such intense debates regarding so many very personal decisions.  I knew there was always going to be the breast vs. formula feeding argument, but there's so much more!  Co-sleeping vs. crib, circumcise or not, cry-it-out or asleep in the arms....the list goes on.

What I also did not realize is how much emotion - anger, sadness, guilt - is behind these debates.  I became a part of an online community when I got pregnant with my son.  I "met" many women from all areas of the country (and some outside the country), from all walks of life, with varied histories and stories.  It became apparent very quickly that these issues would become sources of tension and in some cases hurt.

I have no problem with healthy discussions, and I have learned SO much this time around.  In fact, I was pretty clueless with my first.  But that's just it: I was clueless, but so far she's turning out pretty well!  If I was concerned about something, I asked the Pediatrician and did a little of my own research.  I talked to my parents (after all, they got two of us to adulthood!), I talked to other mothers I trusted, and most of all I used COMMON SENSE.

At the end of the day, we all love our children, and we are doing what we believe is best, based upon the information we've gathered.  Being a parent is tough.  We all need support.  I hope we can continue to learn from one another, grow as people and parents, but stop putting each other down for our choices.

Happy, healthy children are created in many different ways!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


There are some people you never hoped you'd meet.  Not because of who they are, but because of the circumstances under which you did meet them.  The two wonderful people holding my son in this picture fall into that category.  They are Dr. Michael Gallant, and his nurse, Cricket.

During an ultrasound on August 4, 2011, I learned that the baby I was carrying was a boy.  My husband and I were delighted, as we'd (perhaps not so secretly) been hoping for a boy.  About 2 minutes after learning that, we were told he likely had a cleft lip, and possibly a cleft palate.  Now, of ALL the things you can learn in an ultrasound that are "wrong" with the baby you are carrying, this is one of the best possible things to hear.  However, it was still devastating at the time.

I was devastated that this little man I hadn't even met yet would have to endure painful surgeries and undergo anesthesia at such a young age.  I was devastated that he'd be teased on the playground.  I was devastated that.....on and on and on.  I wish I could go back to that day and tell myself how "ok" everything would be.  But I digress.

We began learning more about clefts, the challenges he and we (his parents) would face, and the process by which we'd go about "correcting" it.  Enter Dr. Gallant and Cricket.  We met them while I was still pregnant.  We got a plan, which we would adjust when he was born and we knew the exact extent of what we were facing.  Dr. Gallant very patiently showed us photos, explained procedures, told us personal stories, and stopped it all to comfort me when I began crying in his office.  He spent over an hour with us that first day, without ever having met his patient.

He performed our son's first surgery, to correct his lip, back in March of this year.  He and his staff and the amazing staff at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL took wonderful care of our son - AND of us.  He smiled when I cried tears of joy when he first re-introduced us to our son.

I took this picture this morning, when I met again with Dr. G and Cricket, to discuss the next surgery.  We'll be going in again in October, to correct the palate.  Once again, Dr. Gallant took the time to answer all of my questions today, tell me exactly what we're facing, and was honest but gentle when he told me this is likely the worst one for our son.  Again he was patient and kind when my eyes teared up, and explained how they would help him - AND us - through this one, just like they did the last one.

When Dr. G walked into the examining room this morning and saw our son for the first time in about 5 months, his face lit up.  He told me how lucky he is to have this job.  It is so obvious that he loves what he does, and I believe that's why he is so brilliant at it.

So....I'm incredibly grateful that these two people are in my son's - AND our - life...even if I never hoped I'd meet them.

Monday, September 24, 2012

To Blog or Not to Blog (and a Flower Girl!)

I never had an interest in blogging.  Frankly, I never thought anyone would be interested in reading one I wrote.  Then I began to think of all the friends and family we have spread all over the US (and a few in Canada and Europe).  I enjoy keeping up with all of them, and though FaceBook helps a lot, it's nice to get a few more details from time to time.  So, here I am.

I'm a wife and a mommy to two young children.  My family means everything to me.  It's taken me a long time, and a lot of bumps in the road to get to this place, with these people.  I'll tell anyone who'll listen about them, and that's what I plan to do here.  If you have any interest in knowing what's going on in our world, check back!

Official Blog Entry #1:

My daughter was a Flower Girl in a wedding this weekend.  She was so excited about it for so long.  It was all I could do to keep her out of her "pretty white dress" until the big day.  We watched video after video on youtube, preparing her for the task ahead.

After a little nap on the day of the wedding, she went to the salon to get a big-girl hair style for the first time ever.  She was a little intimidated, but a trooper!
When we finally got her into her "pretty white dress", I think it's safe to say she liked what she saw!
She did a fantastic job at her duties.  I heard at least a dozen times that night how cute she is and what a wonderful job she did.  And as we walked away from the church, this sight had a little lump in my throat and tears in my eyes:

What a lucky lady I am!