Back, again.

The past few months have been difficult. My family lost another family member, my cousin Bette Anne. She died at the age of 33 from cervical cancer. Fucking cancer. She left behind a 10 year old son and my aunt and uncle and her sisters who all adored and worshipped her. In some ways, her death has me way more shaken up than my dad’s. To be fair, I hadn’t spoken to her outside of Facebook for a while, but we were really close our entire childhood. We are the same age and had a lot in common. Especially music and movies and boys. In the summer of ’95, I flew from my home in Florida to spend the summer in New Mexico with my grandma and cousins, as usual. After that, it was decided that I would go spend some time with my cousins at their lake house (that sounds a lot fancier than it really was) in Arkansas. They had no air conditioning, so we spent our days swimming and listening to music in front of a floor fan. We were 14 and thought we were really cool, but we still loved the New Kids on the Block. With each other, we could let our NKOTB loving flags fly high and proud. Sure, my other cousins teased us relentlessly, but we did’t care. After Arkansas, we somehow talked our parents into allowing her to come spend a couple weeks with me in Florida before school began. Earlier that year, I discovered the Beatles. I found a cassette tape of Abbey Road in the kitchen junk drawer. With nothing better to do, I popped it in my cassette player and put on my big headphones. As corny as it sounds, that was a life changing moment because I’ve been a Beatle fan/freak since. Now my love for the Beatles is just like a nice, warm constant. Back then, it was the new, fiery, obsessive kind of love. So I told Bette that I had some music I wanted to share with her when we got to my house. I remember her being polite, but not really excited. I knew how to get her though, I had a secret weapon: a VHS copy of Help! and A Hard Days Night. I showed her those movies and that was it. She was now a Beatlemaniac with me, and she’d remain that way until she passed. I might even go so far as to say she loved them more than me. When that summer ended, I very distinctly remember getting on the bus to begin the first day of school and thinking, “1995 might just be the best year of my life.” She probably didn’t know it, and it’s entirely my fault if she didn’t, but she was one of my most favorite people. One of those people that are in your life for a reason. That make an indelible impression on your heart forever. That was her. I wish I could go back to the summer of ’95 one more time. She and I had a lot of great times in the years following, like a graduation trip to Boston. Oh man, that’s a whole other post in of itself. I’ll write that someday. And the Paul McCartney concert in Las Vegas. Dancing with her at my wedding. But I think for now, I’m going to remember that happy, sweaty, musical summer and sing Beatles songs at the top of my lungs in her honor. I miss her. —– There’s more stuff going on that I’ll write about soon. Basically, I’ve had my laptop stuffed under the couch for months because when Henry sees the glowing screen, he goes insane. But now, it’s under my bed and I’ll pull it out and write when my anxiety is peaking or I feel it bubbling up, which is almost always these days. I need to write. It’s always been my release. And with this new chapter in my life, I will be starting a new blog in the next couple of days. I’ll post the link when it’s up and hopefully all of the two real people following me will bookmark me over there. I promise to not always be so sad-sackey.

Chef Henry saves the day.

I’ll be honest, I’ve come online to post something several times recently and every single time I’ve had to close the laptop and walk away because I had a physical reaction as I began to type. As soon as my fingers touched the keys I’d become nauseous or light-headed. Psychosomatic, much? Yeesh. Actually, the other day, even after I walked away, it took a lot of water and deep breaths to feel even a little better. Thankfully that was the day Henry took a mega epic 4 hour nap and I had time to regroup before he woke up.

So instead of talking about my dad this time, let’s just talk about fun stuff: Henry!

My kid is super into cooking/watching me cook/pretending to cook. He barely cares about cars, he’s just now kinda getting into his toy train, but his play kitchen? ALL. DAY. LONG. I pull him out of his crib in the morning, and he goes straight for it. He really likes to make me “soup.” He doesn’t say “soup” but I call it that because he just puts a little of everything into a pot and stirs. I’ll say, “Henry, can you go make mama soup?” And he’ll run in there and throw some things in the pot and bring it to me.

(Note: If you look at our YouTube channel, that is not me or my husband subscribing to Elmo or Surprise Egg channel. Henry’s latest obsession is stealing my phone and YouTubing it up in a corner. I have no idea how he finds this stuff. I swear I’ve never helped him search for anything.)

We got a learning tower for the kitchen because I could no longer carry his 27 lbs of love on my hip as I tried to prepare dinner. Next to the play kitchen, this has been the second best purchase we’ve ever made. I let him help me cook his dinner tonight, stirring the noodles and adding the vegetables (holding his hands so he didn’t accidentally touch the burner) and he ate that meal with more gusto than I’ve ever witnessed. I kept stressing to him that he made it, what a good job he did making it, etc. I’m aiming to having the next Gordon Ramsey here, guys. I love food (obviously) so if he can start taking over cooking in a few years, then yes, I will nurture this interest.

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For Halloween, we bought him an Elmo costume. He fucking hated it. I had to add that expletive in there because 1) he really fucking hated it and 2) it was a fucking waste of money. Ahem, sorry. Can you tell I’m a little annoyed by Elmo the costume right now? So I bought a chef’s play uniform. At first, he hated it. I seriously almost canceled Halloween. I was sooooooo fed up. But then, all of a sudden, he loved it! Even the hat! I tried to take it off and he made it very clear that no, he did not want me to take off the hat! I couldn’t believe it.

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He was the cutest chef ever and OMG. Once he got the hang of trick or treating, he was in his element. I thought he’d get freaked out by the crowds and going to people’s doors. NUH UH. He was as cool as a cucumber and SO HAPPY. Holding his Elmo bucket (at least we could use that) in one hand and a death grip on his Tootsie roll pop in the other, he strutted up and down those streets like a pro. This town does Halloween right. I mean, they go all out. So some houses were super crowded at the door and I’d hang back at the street while Chris took Henry up there. I would hear “Awww, what a cute little Chef! Chef Henry!” (He had a name tag that said Chef Henry). And then I’d hear from my child, “GAGAGAGAGA!” or “CACACACA!” or “YAYAYAYAY!” He likes to mix it up. Which I think is his way of saying “Thank you” or “This is awesome, I love candy.” I can’t be sure. Anyways, it was a blast.

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His talking has improved a little since then. When we were driving today, he was pointing out of the window “tee…tee” which I’m pretty sure he meant “tree” since there were some of those all around us. And I’ve been able to understand a few other words here and there too. His signing has improved and picked up drastically. Tonight I put him to bed, but he kept breaking out in nasty sounding coughs, which usually means I need to give him some albuterol. So I brought him out here with us to hang out for a little while and do his breathing treatment. After, he ran to the kitchen and signed “more crackers, thank you.” THREE signs together. That was a first. I was so proud that he took it upon himself to high-five me. HA!! My kid is cool.

We’ve been thinking a lot about baby number 2. It’ll happen (hopefully) but not for a while still, I think. I’m still not fully recovered postpartum-wise from this guy! I want to get back 100% and then see what happens. But also, this kid has been so wonderful and joyful and EASY (how many toddlers do you know that runs to the bed while laughing like a maniac when I tell him it’s nap time?) that I just know the next one will be a challenge. And that’s fine, I like challenges, but for now, I just stare in amazement at this little dude, who is growing up way too fast. I snapped this last pic in Target the other day. I actually had a list of things to get and he was so patient. I let him hold the list and I’d ask him what we needed next and he’d pretend to look at it and tell me in his language that no one but he understands. He also didn’t want to let go of the first aid kit I bought to keep in the car. The Terrrget lady had to scan it while it was still clutched in his baby death grip.

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Things are pretty bad right now, I’m not going to lie. I cry a lot. I can’t sleep. I feel like I’m failing in many ways. But that kid up there? Well that just proves that everything will be ok. That I didn’t fail at one thing. That love is all around me. My dad lives on through us.

I’m blessed.

See you later, Daddy.

My dad passed away last week. October 2, to be exact. I don’t like acknowledging that date because it’s so final. He now has this start and end date for his life, but his life was so much bigger than that. He’s always going to be a part of me. So, for me, his end date will be my end date, really.

I could write a literal novel on my father. He lived a truly full life. He was more sinner than saint, I won’t lie (because that would annoy him) but man, did he have a big heart. And he loved hard. Especially his kids and me, his little girl.

I will write more about my dad specifically on another blog I have yet to set up. Just one where I will write stories and invite those who knew him to participate. Since his passing, I’ve heard the CRAZIEST stories about him and I soak each one up. I can’t get enough. I want to know it all.

But for now, I’ll use this space to help me grieve. If that’s not your bag, I understand. I don’t want to be a downer. If you stick around and offer a little support though, well, I sure could use it.

Thursday morning, I woke up at 5:30 to use the bathroom. When I walked back into my room I made the mistake of looking at my phone. I noticed several missed calls and voicemails from “Dad’s Cell.” I knew it wasn’t my dad, he was in the ICU still, but due to be released the next day. Obviously, this was not a good call. To avoid waking Henry up (I’ve been co-sleeping again because that’s the only way I could sleep with the anxiety I’ve been feeling the past month of my dad’s hospital stay), I checked Facebook. I knew my brother would post something because he always did. “Things are stabilizing,” he wrote. “But we’re not out of the woods.” That was written like 4 minutes before I saw the message. So I laid back down and somehow, went back to sleep.

A little back story: my dad has been sick on and off since 2011. He had pneumonia and didn’t go to the doctor until it almost killed him. That really jacked up his lungs and heart. Last year, he went in for a cardio ablation that went horribly awry and he ended up in a medically induced coma and hospital bed for SEVEN WEEKS. He got a pacemaker and felt better, but lately, he just wasn’t doing well. He would call me and say, “Katy, everything hurts. Everything.” So when he ended up in ICU this time with sepsis, I was worried, but I knew he’d pull through. And after a couple weeks, his doctors were optimistic too.

But, the day before we was going to be released to a rehab clinic, his blood pressure just dropped and dropped and then went back up and stabilized…and then plummeted. And he was gone. Just like that. My brother Merritt called me and said, “he’s got minutes, Katy. Minutes.” And minutes later, he called me back and said, “it’s over.” I had to ask him what that meant because I couldn’t comprehend that my father was dead, never coming back. I still can’t.

My brothers and step mom were there, and I’m so grateful for that. An offer to fly me and Henry out there 2 weeks prior was put on the table but I didn’t want to go all the way out there when he was going to be released soon. No, I’ll wait til he’s home and then bring Henry out. My dad was crazy about Henry. My brother showed him a video I sent of Henry play cooking on his toy kitchen and my dad smiled really big. He couldn’t talk and he was miserable, but Henry made him smile.

Chris asked me if he should stay home from work to be with me and I said, oh no. Of course not. Go. I’ll be fine. I cried a lot but nothing major to freak out Henry. Just a little when my back was turned. Until I looked at my phone and thought, hey. Maybe there’s a voicemail or 2 from my dad. Should I look? I did and there was. One in July. Henry was napping and the apartment was quiet. I just froze, staring at it. 21 seconds long. I pressed play. There was his voice. “Hi baby. Just calling to see what’s going on. Call me back if you want to. I love you.” My knees buckled and I fell to the floor. I was in Henry’s room, holding the rails of his crib, sobbing and screaming “Daddy!” Yes, it was not my finest moment and certainly the first time I’ve ever had a reaction like that. Henry was still napping in my room (so grateful for a deep sleeper). I stood up after a minute and I ran to the bathroom and threw up. That was also a first. That’s when I knew that this grieving process was going to be a long, hard one and I better ask for help when I need it. So I called Chris and asked him to come home. I needed him.

He stayed home with me on Friday too. It was so nice to go in my room, put on music, look at pictures and cry. Henry was in the living room playing and laughing with his dad, so I had no worries there. I was allowed to just cry and think and talk aloud.

Night time is the hardest. I don’t want to fall asleep. I don’t want the nightmares to come. I don’t want to have to wake up the next day and face that reality again. I take a couple Tylenol PM and try hard to stay awake. I only fall asleep when my body involuntarily does it for me, but I fight til the last second.

When I wake up, it hits me again that he’s gone. I can’t just call him and ask him about his crossword puzzle or the latest book he’s read or what Stephanie Miller said on her show that day. He was a Stephanie Miller super fan, almost to a scary degree, and I loved teasing him about it. A world where I can’t talk to him is just not a world I ever imagined and it’s not one I care for too much to be honest.

But I try to think of my dad and what he’d say to me right now if he could. He’d tell me to buck up, live life, laugh, love on Henry, be happy, be successful, if not for me, then him. Honor him in that way. Cry, grieve, scream, kick, get it all out. And then get over it. That’s exactly what he’d say, probably with a expletive thrown in here or there. So that’s what I’m trying to do, and it’s hard, but I’ll get there.

For now, I have pictures and that voicemail, which I have listened to several more times, and his emails to me, and all of the wonderful memories. I was lucky. I had a dad who walked me down the aisle at my wedding, who saw me graduate college, and always supported me. Sure, I would have liked to have him around longer than his 65 short years, but we don’t always get what we want. We have to cherish what we had.

Rest in peace, Daddy. I’m always thinking about you and I love you forever.

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A little bit of whine in wine country.

I have written several posts since arriving in California, and I end up typing a looooong diatribe of nonsense and whining and I scrap it.

There is so much good in my life but I’m having a really hard time getting over the homesickness and worry. I think that’s just part of my personality. I will always and forever be worried about money and always and forever miss something and/or someone. Anxious and nostalgic, that sums me up. Sounds like a party to be around, right? I’m sure Chris just loves coming home to this mess every night (he’s very sweet to me).

I miss my mom. I miss my friends. I miss everything. I’m super lonely. But here’s the thing that’s been getting me lately: I’m INCREDIBLY SUPER DUPER LUCKY. I have a healthy, happy, funny, amazing toddler who is my world. I’m blessed enough that I get to stay home with him every day. Sure, money is tight. Like, stretched to the penny, but we make it work. What set off a panic attack tonight was getting health insurance for myself and Henry (Chris’s is 100% paid through his new job — again, grateful). But just looking in our already tight budget and trying to fit that extra necessary expense is stressful.

So anyway, this town is beautiful and I love it. I just need to put on my big girl panties and get out there and discover more of it. I’ll get on that after just a little more wallowing, ok?

In the meantime, here’s a little bit of what everyone comes here for, pics of the kid and other misc. I promise I’ll get back to normal soon.

BiscottiSharing some really great biscotti with chocolate mousse and hazelnut whipped cream with daddy. My inlaws took us to a great little italian place for Mother’s Day.

MD FlowersMother’s Day flowers. Our allergies have been going insane but they’re too pretty to throw away yet.

CarouselCan you see us? Henry looks unimpressed, but lemme tell you, the kid had a blast. There were very vocal protests when it was time to get off. This was at Pier 39 in San Francisco.

mmmm yeahYESSSSS!!!!

mom san franLunch with a view. I miss my mom.

Henry ThroneHenry on his new couch. Yes, his. We’re allowed to sit on it sometimes (like when he’s asleep).

Henry SlidingMy big boy. 

 

California living.

We’re here. Our new home just north of  San Francisco. If I’m totally honest, I kinda like it here. The area is beautiful, the people are great, and our little apartment is really cute. But…it’s not home home. It’s lacking things like my mom, my friends, my job, green chile, etc etc. I am giving myself a couple more days to mope and then I’m pulling up the big girl panties and moving on.

Wanna hear about the 1,100 mile road trip with a toddler? It was actually ok. So here’s what you need: an iPad or DVD player (we had an iPad); snacks; sippy cups; books; my iPhone; and another pair of hands (aka my mom). For serious, if my mom hadn’t come, I would have been screwed. Majorly. She reset the Daniel Tiger episodes on the iPad, handed out snacks, sang him songs…you get the picture. And if you have hang ups about your kids watching TV, you will get over that hang up about 2 minutes into a late-April snow/ice storm in Northern Arizona. That damn Tiger possibly quite literally saved our lives. I love the child more than life itself but that high-pitched scream he belts out when he wants something is enough to fray even the steeliest of nerves.

Another thing that made it doable was stopping every evening for the night. My preferred method of travel is usually “get in the car and don’t stop until you need gas.” That’s just not feasible when you have a toddler who loves his routine. Speaking of which, he stayed on his nap schedule in the car. Fell asleep at nap time, awake for the rest of the day until bed time. Henry even took to his time zone like a champ. I am lucky that he’s transitioned seamlessly into his new California life. I was dreading the long nights and messed up schedules, but nah, it’s the same (if not a little better, really).

On Sunday, we drove the half hour to the City. The trip brought back all of those feelings of love I have for San Francisco. It’s an amazing place. But it felt surreal that I wouldn’t be going home with my mom, back to New Mexico. I know I’ll get used to it soon and I really am excited for all of the fun stuff we are going to do as a family here. Really, I am. Lucky you will get to read all about them, too!

My mom stayed until yesterday. She helped me unpack and organize our apartment as well as teach her culinary-challenged daughter a few easy recipes. Dropping her off at the airport yesterday was SO SAD. I basically moped around feeling sorry for myself for the rest of the day. It’s kinda pretty pathetic. But driving over the Golden Gate Bridge twice on the way and way back was pretty awesome. And coming over the hills into Marin and Sonoma Counties is really spectacular, too. Imagine lots of green, rolling hills and cows. And some trees. I’m an awful writer, but believe me, it’s really pretty.

Now, I’ve got my laptop set up at the dining room table, all ready to get to work tomorrow. My awesome boss/friend Derek has let me continue my employment from home, which is good because babysitters. We don’t have ’em.

There are pictures, but I am too tired to get them on this computer tonight. Don’t panic though, I’ll be back with lots and lots of pics soon. I am sure you were just rife with worry until I reassured you. (smiley face) Also, sorry for the jumbled thoughts. I’ll try to get my act together quickly.

Goodnight!

Getting closer.

We have an apartment. It’s in a little town called Petaluma. On one hand, I am so relieved we have a place to move into on April 29, even if it is tiny. It’s got a washer and dryer. I’d forgotten all about California and how most apartment complexes do not have a washer and dryer in unit. In LA, our apartment had a garage parking spot and a w/d. We thought we hit the jackpot! In ABQ, you just kinda expect it. And parking is never an issue here. So after a couple weeks of searching and finding larger places for the same price sans washer and dryer, we settled on the smaller place with them. There is no way in hell I’m dragging Henry to a laundromat. That’s my idea of hell.

Anyway, we leave on the 26th and embark on a fun little road trip with a toddler and a U-haul. My excitement level is negative 100, if you can’t tell. I know it’s going to be great eventually, but I’m still sad about the whole thing.

On Saturday, my husband and I got out of the house for a couple hours after Henry went to bed. My BFF Natalie had us over to her new house for food and games. We had so much fun, but I cried almost the whole way home because I’m gonna miss her so much. Gah, I’m crying now, so change of subject.

Henry had his 15 month well baby check last week and he screamed the entire time. Well, from the moment the nurse tried to take his temp and all the way through the shots. If you have a kid who loves his naps, don’t schedule things at nap time, k? But, regardless, he’s perfect and right on track. Also has some healthy lungs on him.

Henry will be up from his nap soon, so I’m gonna go to the bathroom in private while I still have a chance. Later.

Real problems.

Chris got the job offer, we’re going to discuss is over the weekend but really. I mean, option a) take good job in the Bay Area but be a little broke on one income for a while or b) stay here and be unemployed until unemployment runs out and then do….what?

We sat down tonight and did a spreadsheet of our bills vs income. It’s doable, but tight. I don’t know why that panics me so much seeing as how we’d done the exact same thing here last year. I guess it’s because I won’t have a support system at all. Maybe that’s the root of all my anxiety. I can’t just run over to my mom’s with the baby to watch Real Housewives and eat dinner. I can’t go to Natalie’s house on the weekend and paint my nails while we chat. And any part-time job I get will have to be on the weekend, meaning I’ll never get to see my husband.

I’m being too negative aren’t I? There are much bigger problems in this world, I know. Oh, poor me, my husband got a great job in a beautiful area but I might get lonely sometimes. Drones are blowing up people in the Middle East and I’m crying about moving two states over. I need to get over it.

So I’ll start looking at it as a new adventure, a fresh start, and I know everything will work out for the best.

Someone in New Mexico better send me green chile though.

Henry break! This is his “Daniel Tiger is doing what?!?” face. If he’s not watching the show, he’s carrying around this book. Obsessed is an understatement at this point.

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Oh! And after doing baby sign with him forever, he can now do “all done,” “more”, and “fan.” I’m really working on getting “food” and “drink” down. Those would be super useful.

Side note: after he finished eating tonight, he did the sign for all done. He had pasta, so it was straight in the bath with him. As he approached the bathroom, he turned around, did the sign for all done again, and ran in the opposite direction. We had a good laugh over that.

Night guys.

Saturday night is alright for blogging.

Ugh, I’ve had my Dexter fill. I’m actually super excited for the series to be over. We’ve committed to it now, no turning back, but c’mon! End already!

That’s why I’m blogging on a Saturday night. After this, it’s the first half of SNL and lights out. That’s if I make it that far. I postponed a much needed girls night with my bestest and her homemade cookies because I am so exhausted. Stress will do that to you.

I just realized that I haven’t given a Henry update in a while and now is the time when he’s actually starting to do things. Here’s the low down for this 13 1/2 month old:

  • He can point to nose, toes, tongue (his favorite), hair (or ear, they sound similar), and belly button. The kid is a sponge. We have a body parts board book that he brings to me every day, so we’ve been practicing and he picks it up so fast.
  • Climbing. I think he’s a little behind in this area because I have friends whose kids were terrorizing them with their climbing skills much earlier. I actually felt blessed that Henry showed no interest in climbing. NOW IT IS THE MOST FUN THING TO DO EVER. Especially after he gets up onto something and then does a fake cry to help him down so he can do it again. I try not to let him see me laugh so he will know that no, mommy does not want him on the coffee table, but it’s pretty hard not to.
  • He has a new word: “bear.” He’ll say “bear, bear” when bringing me his other favorite book (ok, alright, he brings me ALL of his books all day long. I think that’s pretty typical toddler behavior, but I like it.)

henryreadingAn old classic.

  • Elmo has taken a back seat to Daniel Tiger. I wish I liked anything half as much as this kid likes Daniel Tiger. I know kids aren’t supposed to watch TV before 2 or something, but it’s on PBS, so it’s ok, right? Actually, it’s really educational so I let him watch a couple episodes a day on Netflix. “If you have to go potty, STOP! And go right away,” is a little ditty that should not be stuck in my head 24/7 but is. Anyway, it brings the kid joy and brings me some down time, so I’m all for it.
  • The fine motor skills are getting better. We let him draw with a pen or crayon and paper (which he loves) and I give him a spoon or fork with dinner now. He prefers the latter because it’s much more fun to stab food repeatedly until it’s sufficiently stabbed and ready to eat. Also, I taught him all about the joy of stickers today. All kids needs stickers in their lives.

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  • He’s still super snuggly and super clingy to mommy. It’s like WWIII every time I need to use the bathroom for 30 seconds. That’s ok though. My biceps can use the workout from carrying those 22 lbs of love.
  • He laughs every time he sneezes. Not really a milestone, just insanely cute.

There’s a lot more, but it’s probably more boring than what I’ve already listed, if you can imagine that. He’s my kid, so of course everything he does amazes me. When we have baby number 2, I might not be as amazed. Or maybe I will, I don’t know.

News on our situation: we will probably most definitely be moving out of here at the end of February. Unless Chris gets a job in the next week or two, we are moving in with my mom temporarily. They are graciously giving us the master suite so we will have lots of privacy and room. Chris has some pretty good opportunities he’s looking into (some out of state – eek!) and I know one of those will work out. If we can get through this period without draining (or even touching) our savings, then it’s worth it. And that’s what we’re on track to do. Honestly, we are pretty lucky to even have the option. Plus, my parents have cable, so there’s that.

Alright, I apologize for the late-night blathering. Please come back later for more though, ok? Ok. Goodnight!

 

 

 

33

Today is my 33rd birthday. I still can’t believe it. I was thinking last night about how 17 years ago, I was 16 (seems like yesterday, really) and 17 years from now, I’ll be 50. What the what?! I’d say that I hope the next 17 years go by slower than the last, but we all know that’s not how it works.

Anyway, I had a GREAT day. Slept in a little, Henry wasn’t in teething pain and spent most of the day dancing and sleeping. After his morning nap, I snuck out and went shopping BY MYSELF. My dad sent me a very generous visa gift card. I spent most of it on the baby/things we need. I know, I know. My mom did the same, and I’m saving that for a pedicure and something else just for me next week. I also received some nice gifts from friends, which was a total surprise.

Tonight, my mother made me a great meal and cake from scratch. She broke out the real cloth napkins. And had proper place settings. The tv wasn’t even on. Lights were dimmed. Ambiance was very calm. Guys. That’s a big deal in our house. It meant a lot, all of that effort to make me feel special. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it forever. I’m a lucky girl.

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I like how she even set out Henry’s own iced tea (his favorite beverage)

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Blurry photo of Henry eating cake. Like I said, lights were dimmed.

Also, today was a huge day for my very dear friend Natalie, who has overcome so much in the past few years, only to close on her own house today. HER house. No one else did it but her and I’m very proud. What an accomplishment. Really. Also she will now live 5 minutes away from me so that’s also cool. I’m so excited for her!

Alright. Dexter and bed. Goodnight!

Just words.

I still haven’t written my letter to Henry, even though his birthday was 3 days ago. I’ll get to it before Christmas. I hope.

I love the holidays, but it’s tough when you’re struggling financially. I want to be able to get my parents decent gifts. Or my husband. But that’s just not going to happen this year, and it bums me out. We need every cent we have in the bank in case Chris is unemployed longer than expected. Or before one of us gets a job, I mean. It might still have to be me, even though I’m not really ready to leave Henry yet. It kinda breaks my heart to think about it, but I also know that he needs things like food and shelter soooo…yeah.

Anyway, now that he’s a walking pro, Henry is starting to talk more. He’s into Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on PBS right now and can say “tiga” and “grrr.” We actually found this out as we were strolling him around Toys R Us and he spotted a Daniel Tiger doll. I showed it to him and he said “tiga grrr.” So we bought him the doll. Other words in his limited vernacular (besides the basics): cack-a (cracker), nigh-nigh (night night), and mo mo (elmo).

On Thursday, we took him for his one-year well baby check and he did excellent. The doctor said he couldn’t be happier about his growth and development. Seeing Henry walk around the room with a sippy cup in his mouth, then stopping to “talk” to the doctor really tickled him. He sees a lot of babies, so I’ll take that as a good sign. I got a little emotional at one point reminiscing with the doc about this time last year, when Henry was losing too much weight and I was panicked. It’s not a pediatrician’s job to calm a crying new mother, but he did, and he told me we’d be alright, that  I was doing all the right things. So on Thursday, when he looked at me and said, “You are doing such a good job, mama.” OH MAN TEARS FELL FROM MY FACE. Being a mom is hard. Being an exhausted new mom is harder and I’m glad I chose him to be our pediatrician/my therapist.

Chris and I have started Dexter on Netflix. Only about 8 years late to that party. It’s good. So time to go do that before passing out. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE who has sent well wishes and prayers and love galore to me and my family. You make me all warm and fuzzy.