Tuesday, December 27, 2005

whew! That's over. Back to normal now, at least as normal as it ever gets around here. The Boy is back at work today. KittyCat is back asleep after getting up way too early this morning. I'm awake after getting to go back to sleep for a heavenly half-hour. It would have been longer, but I had a very Strange Dream about frozen chicken...

I think this is a sign that I need to quick cook up all the chicken out of the freezer. I'm almost out of chicken stock in any case. Also, it smells really Yummy when it cooks down, and I haven't been able to play in the kitchen for a while.

Today is slated for laundry. There's a small mountain of it that threatens to topple and start an assault on the bedroom floor. If that happens, there's going to be no way to contain any of it. So, off to the laundromat! This may take a large part of my morning. At least I can get a good start on it while KittyCat's napping.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Blessings Be. Whether you and yours be christian, jewish, anything or anyone at all. Blessings be with you and your house today and in the coming year. Rejoice, the darkness of winter is beginning to end. Today the days will start to get longer again. Winter solstice, holy day, whatever you care to call it- it's still the same.

Today we come together as a family. We'll have a good time watching DVD's and eating popcorn. KittyCat will continue laughing and growing. I'm going to shelter in my husband's embrace, storing up warm memories for the long absence ahead of us in the coming year.

I've listed a preemie blanket for sale on my etsy site: Check it out, and don't forget to click one of the ads found on this page. Remember: it only takes a moment, and it would really help us out.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

It's Christmas Eve. A year ago I was pregnant and waiting for my husband to come home and spend Christmas Day with us; a new family. A year ago I wasn't even supposed to be able to get pregnant. I very nearly lost my baby, both in pregnancy and after in those first stunning weeks in the NICU.

Miracles happen at Christmas. I was sitting in church this afternoon holding my wiggly little girl on my lap and I started crying. She's so happy and healthy and perfect, and her warm little head tucked up under my chin made me grateful and aware what a miracle she really is.

All the odds stacked against us- one functioning ovary, a stunted uterus that was drastically although not obviously affected by radiation treatments decades ago, malfunctioning hormones that misfired over and over again. The whatever it is that made my mother's and her sister's pregnancies so risky and nearly cost their lives and sanities. Offset that with my husband's military career that made medical treatment available to me. That ensured proper and above-average prenatal care. Which led to them finding my pre-eclampsia before I had a seizure and the fetal distress before we lost the baby. The level 3 NICU where my baby was nurtured to term.

I shouldn't be alive, and neither should she, and tonight I am counting all of my blessings that we have many years ahead of us.
It's been a long, long, week for us here in Paradise. My husband got a new computer. We're in the middle of setting up a lot of new stuff- both baby oriented and family oriented. Also trying to settle things for the upcoming deployment. As a result I haven't spent much time online, even to update this page.

KittyCat is getting more and more mobile. It takes more of my day to follow around after her. A good thing. I love watching how happy she is when she discovers something new. Exploring her world... I told the Boy last night that this is becoming less National Geographic and more Wild Kingdom.

I love her so much. She's smooshably cute.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


I'm too tired to sleep, and I've got that tingly restless-stretchy feeling in my shoulder. You know that one, where you want to stretch one specific muscle/nerve bundle constantly. Do they even acknowledge restless shoulder syndrome? I don't care, as long as I get to go to bed at some point.

This is especially critical since my husband's got duty tomorrow, and I've got to do the baby-wrangling solo. But then comes Monday, and the rest of the week, and most of it he has off with me.
I woke up this morning in my husband's arms, warm and safe. I woke up with his hand over mine. I felt his heartbeat in the night. When I moved to get up, there was a sleepy protest as he tried to pull my hands back down under his chin.

Our daughter is sound asleep in her crib, curled against the side of the crib bumper and I can clearly recall the way her face lit up when her Daddy came home and lifted her up. It's a gray and foggy morning here just like it's been the past several weeks. Winter in Paradise. When the sun comes up it'll burn off the fog to shine brilliant sunlight through the house.

Except this morning we're not waiting anymore. My family is safely sleeping and under my roof. I am content. I want to bask in this peace for a long, long time.

Friday, December 16, 2005

My husband comes home today. Outside I feel all demure and proud of the way KittyCat has grown since he's been away. It hasn't even been that long, really. Two and a half weeks. One pay period. Half a month. And yet it still seems like a longer time than that.

Last night I went shopping with a friend and we bought special homecoming presents for our husbands. She has a pretty new outfit. I bought something slinky and pretty- one piece that I can wear often in regular life and one piece that I'll save just for him in intimate moments. The sun hasn't come out to burn off the fog here yet; I wish it would. In a way it's like how I've felt these past weeks. Without his presence here, my world is foggy and gray and just a little overcast. When I go to the pier to bring him home this afternoon, the sun will come out and I'm going to stretch my arms to the sky to try and hold the warmth just that little bit closer. Over the past couple of years, I've learned that this is the way a lot of navy wives feel. I'll expand that to encompass all military wives, though I can only speak for navy... we don't wither away and die without their presence in our homes, because we never really let them go. Our Husbands (and Wives) are still here; in our memories, in the ghosts that roam the house in the middle of the afternoon when the babies are napping and we remember how it felt to have our Loves holding us. Once I related it to a giant Him-shaped hole in my life. If we had broken up, it would have been a simpler matter of filling it with something or someone else. Since we hadn't broken up, and since we still loved each other LOTS, I had to hold that place ready for him to step back into when he returned.

Emotions are tricky things. When people ask me what I'm going to do during the next Long Deployment, now that I've got a baby, I tell them the truth. "I'm going to love him, and keep his house, and raise our child." That's really not that far off from what most women do.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

My day off. Wow. It was incredible. It was fantastic. I didn't have to leave the house once, to get in the car and drive anywhere. I did do two loads of laundry, but I don't count that. So now we're doing the dance of the Sleepy Baby, where I spend time alternately feeding her, burping her, and tucking her into bed. Then I will get into my jammies and climb into bed, and get some much-needed sleep.

I keep thinking this week is going faster than it is. It's been Thursday for two days now. Maybe tomorrow it's actually going to be Thursday, because my Boy comes home Friday. I'm looking forward to seeing him again. I'm looking forward to a hug and a kiss and the strong shoulder that will share these burdens.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I'm still struggling with depression today. I would have thought that it would lift a bit for the holidays. There's so much going right, right now. My husband is home. My daughter's first Christmas. We're together as a family this first year, and we'll always have that to warm our hearts.

Maybe I should go back to the doctor and get my antidepressants changed. Maybe I should take up a new hobby, or do something more physical with my life. The plant that I bought nearly a year ago is almost dead for good this time; I can't seem to ever keep a houseplant alive. What does that say about my ability to parent? I can't even nurture a potted plant...

My friends think that I'm too hard on myself. I don't think I'm hard enough on myself. Here I sit, whining about things that I could control if I'd just expend an effort. It's just so hard to keep getting out of bed in the morning. Easier, now that KittyCat has begun waking me up with happy laughter and smiles. My depression moves to the long evenings when she's gone to sleep and I'm left alone in this apartment with the chores and the internet to help me pass time. It becomes a struggle to stay out of bed at 6 o'clock. I just want to crawl under the covers and hide. Please, God, let me sleep and not know any of this until the baby wakes me again to sunshine and laughter.

I'm in a Black mood tonight. Don't look at me. I don't want them to know how bad I feel right now.

Monday, December 12, 2005

So no glider was bought yesterday. I meant to, but I just ran out of steam and motivation, and the KittyCat was sleepy. And okay, I was sleepy too. The past two days I've alternated between sleepy and wired, and maybe soon that will pass and I'll either get some real sleep or learn how to maximize the sleep I do get.

Not to imply that I didn't enjoy the reason why I had lack of sleep. Definately not. She's cute and giggly and having so much fun playing with her toys and laughing that I start laughing just to see her. It makes the depression this weekend easier to handle, because when the Black set in I could remember the joy in her. I was able to keep in mind that this is temporary, this will pass, and that all I have to do is to wait it out.

Still waiting. Lather, rinse, repeat until the desired level of anti-depression has been reached.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

because you love me I can move mountains
your faith in me gives me strength in the dark times
when I cannot seem to move for the pain
my heart bleeds and I do not know why
but I remember that you love me
it gives me the strength to lift my arms
to finish my chores and to rest
at the day's end
I remember that you love me
it makes me pretty
seen through your eyes I'm not ugly
not stupid for this stubborness
without you I would never know the joy
that I've known
that does not fade with time
only grows stronger
Going shopping for a glider rocker today. It seems that every time my Boy's been away recently I move furniture around. This time at least I have help.

I'm also considering picking up a bunch of individual formula bottles. Yes, they cost a lot, but I'll be able to tuck one in her diaper bag when we're out and for those unexpected emergencies she'll have something to eat. Also, when we're next traveling I'm probably going to get them for the plane. Very convenient, no mixing of bottles while schlepping through airports.

Yesterday I set up an shop to start selling some of my crafts. So far I only put up some scrunchies to sell, but I'm planning on listing more soon. Take a look, and help support crafters!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Motherhood really does change everything, you know. A year ago I wouldn't have been up half the night and still eager to see the sun come up or hear that little giggle from the nursery. Even two months ago, I don't think that I'd be this happy to be awake now after waking up every two and a half hours all night long.

It's that little giggle that makes all the difference. When I go in to see her in the morning, and she's so happy to see me. Always happy to see me, so full of joy. Better than anything else I could imagine. As good as seeing my husband again after several weeks or months apart, and burrowing my face in his shoulder as his arms wrap around me.

With this in my life, who has time to be depressed?

Friday, December 09, 2005

There's a tree in the courtyard
Reaching up arms to the sky
Prayers I can't say
Stand in the dark by the window
I watch the tree
Pray for serenity to fill me
Give me time enough and peace enough
Strength to be the mother they need
If I close my eyes I'll come up
Dream that one day I climbed the tree
Sat breathing apple blossoms
Tuck white petals in my hair
Reach up my own arms to pray
Serenity, I whisper
Let it be
Peace, tonight, and my family safe in bed
Only this matters

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

KittyCat has bronchitis. This involved a very long trip to the hospital yesterday, and x-rays to rule out pneumonia. I could have done without that little scare, but am pleased to report that all is well. She's well hydrated, which helps, and doesn't have a fever. She is right now happily playing on the floor while I'm sipping hot chocolate and wishing that I could crawl back under the blankets for another couple of hours. Such is a mother's lot in life; the child is the main reason that I get out of bed in the morning. Especially before the sun comes up. Even more especially when I'm still feeling the aftereffects of yesterday's little adventure.

I've got a list of things that I want to get done today. I somehow feel that half that list is going to be ignored. Hopefully it won't be; if I can get all that done today than I can probably take most of tomorrow off to sit around and play with the KittyCat.

Oh well. That's life. Excuse me while I go and live it!

Monday, December 05, 2005

KittyCat is curled up on my lap right now, one little hand playing with my fingers on the keyboard and the other tucked comfortingly under my breast. She's all warm and cozy, with a full belly and heavy eyelids. A short while ago we were sitting in the rocking chair after her breakfast and her head was tucked up under my chin. She was fine where she was, and definately did not want to move.

It's the new baby smell. The soft little downy head snuggled up to my chin. The warm body pressed against mine and manuevering her way into my oversized sweater. It's the chubby little hands and the bright wide eyes that tell me: "This is Right."

I never dreamed that I'd be so happy being a mother. I never dreamed that this level of peace and happiness could be so sustainable. Despite the depression that's come into my life with a new intensity over the past year, I've been blessed with an equal level of joy to overcome it. The highs balance the lows, and all is well with my universe.

I want another one. I want another little blessing in my life. I want this feeling of love and trust to last forever. How could anyone not want this joy? It's incomprehensible to me.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Today is going to be a List Day. Maybe I'm running out of ideas this weekend, maybe I'm just bored this morning. But really, what it probably is, is that I'm using most of my writing energy to edit a few ideas down for my current Project. The working title is "Through the Night", and it's a collection of poems and essays that I've written in the months since KittyCat was born. Some of these have appeared on this blog, some have never before appeared anywhere. I'm trying to make it about two-thirds (or more!) new content, so when it becomes available for purchase I'm hoping my faithful readers will pick up a copy.

Hell, pick up two copies, and give one to a friend! Help me keep the KittyCat in diapers and cute onesies.

What I'm reading:
Flag in Exile, by David Weber
Field of Dishonor, by David Weber
Alexandra: the Last Tsarina, by Carrolly Erickson

What I'm making (currently working on, not the pile of UFOs in the cupboard):
preemie blankets -for the NICU
embroidered pillowcases, in 'Butterfly and Ivy' pattern
flannel bags for breastpump kits -to donate to the NICU

Five things that I need to throw out of my fridge:
half a cup of chopped onion, 1 month old
two slices of low-sodium spam, 3 weeks old
mostly empty tub of ranch dip, 1 week old
little bit of milk, spoiled, don't remember how old but it doesn't smell anymore...
barbecue sauce bottle, expired 11 months ago

...who says that being a housewife is dull? I could be creating my old mutant army in the fridge, if I just put off cleaning it for another couple months.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Motherhood: The New Frontier...

Our intrepid heroine once again tackles fussy baby, the evil archnemesis of KittyCat. Her evil twin, Skippy, as it were. Having brought my car into the service center to get fixed, I had arranged that she spend the day with the downstairs neighbor, who is preparing to move out soon. All was well when I left the house. A blissful two hours followed, in which I ate doughnuts on a cushy chair in a nicely appointed waiting room. Then came the call. The neighbor needed me to come and get the KittyCat, because Skippy had decided to take over.

So I let the service people know, and arranged that they should come back to pick me up after the repairs. The neighbor lady picked me up, and KittyCat was reunited with her Mommy. Back home she slept the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon. Skippy was vanquished. Yay!

Onto the sadder news: my 4-wheeled baby will require some major repairs and certain parts that have to be special ordered from Tennessee. Hopefully they'll be here tomorrow, otherwise I'll have to wait until Monday to get my babies back together again.

Sigh. At least my thrifty ways these past weeks have ensured that we have enough diapers, wipes, and various accoutrement to survive the weekend without the car. I just feel so naked without it sitting in the parking lot.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Advise me!

I'm once again shopping for a digital camera. What's your favorite? Which model is easy to use and durable (likely to survive a small child)? There will be prizes for good answers.