Friday, January 20, 2012

We don't know...

So my A&P lab teacher talks A LOT and tends to get off topic and throw in a lot of irrelevant information that she says may be used for bonus points on tests/quizzes. (Like did you know in ancient ----* they used to decapitate people for drinking caffeine because they thought it was like cocaine.) * don't remember where or why she even brought that up and I have my doubts that it's even true.* (I get off topic a lot/easily too, so I can't say much, but it's annoying when class ended 5 minutes ago and she's still talking and we didn't even cover most of the stuff that the quiz next week is supposed to be over.)

Anyway, as she was going over some of the basics of the body, she talked a little about the liver, and then mentioned some condition that usually happens to people with MANY health issues- like someone morbidly obese, with hypertension, high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes. This disease comes on fast and severe and destroys the liver, and usually by the time they figure out what it is, it's too late for a transplant. She said that rarely but sometimes, this happens to someone who is/was otherwise healthy. They'll go to the doctor not feeling too well and a month later be dead. (Fun class, right?)

So then she says, I know it seems like we have the human body all figured out, but there is so much we don't know still. 

And I was thinking, ain't that truth.

Brooke just posted about how hard it is to be pregnant again when she has no answer why her daughter Eliza was born still or what they can do to prevent it. Even though we know that I got sick quickly (and my liver nearly ruptured) and they think it has something to do with the placenta, they have no real idea why or how to treat it besides delivery.And we may have just gotten lucky with Lucas, or maybe the lovenox and aspirin helped, but either way, if I get pregnant again, there's a strong chance I could get sick again but hopefully not super early and maybe not at all. They don't know, so my risk will be the same as it was with Lucas. And that freaking sucks. We can fly people to the freaking moon and make atomic bombs but we can't figure out how to treat/cure/prevent pre-eclampsia. And we can't figure out why babies die in utero, or some in their sleep, but science could get Octomom pregnant with eight babies at one time and save them all. (And I'm not saying that I wish one of octomom's babies had died, I just don't understand how she had 8ish* placentas inside her, yet didn't get pre-eclampsia while my body couldn't even take care of one baby and placenta.) *8ish b/c some of them probably shared placentas*

Anyway, all the stuff we don't know really pisses me off sometimes especially when I look and think about all of the stuff that science can do. (And do not even get me started on my "breast cancer awareness" rant.)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My American Idol baby

In case you missed it, American Idol is back again. Thank goodness because that means baseball and spring aren't far behind.

A few years ago, my first year teaching, my co-worker talked me into doing an American Idol pool with some people she did fantasy football with. You picked who would be in the bottom 3 each week and going home, got a certain number of points for your picks, and the winner in the end won money. Neither of us won, but we spent a lot of downtime and even some phonecalls discussing who would go, who should go, etc. It made the winter and school year go a lot faster, even though I did get a little burnt out on AI. (I think I'm the only person in the world who does not get why everyone thinks Adam Lambert is so great- blech.)

The following year, Olivia had been here and gone, and Joe lost his job at the beginning of December, and I decided not to spare the $30 since we weren't sure how long it would be for him to find a job. Then last year, they had new judges that people didn't like, so they decided not to do the pool. I watched anyway while Lucas was growing in my belly. I thought of my pregnancy in terms of AI, even, thinking if we could just make it till they were down to the top 10, he'd be early but okay. And every time AI was on, Luke would kick and move around like crazy. We made it all the way to the end of April, I forget how many they were down to by then, it must have been about 4 or 5 people left. And I spent many hours nursing newborn Luke on the couch watching the end of the season play out. Joe grudgingly usually watches along too. (He acts reluctant about it at least, but last night he started watching it while I was in class so I think it's mostly an act.)

Anyway, last night I came home from class and we watched the AI first auditions while I sat on the floor and played with Luke. And I watched him walking around (holding onto stuff, not independently yet though he will sometimes let go and not lose his balance), laughing, playing, crawling onto my lap and then off again,  and remembered this time last year, laying on the couch and feeling him move all over and wonder what he was doing, what he would look like, when he would be born. I never could really let myself imagine it turning out *this* well, and I can't really imagine what it will look like at this time next year, but oh, I am so glad to watch AI this year with Lucas roaming the floors.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Back to school

Hooray for me, I've already completed all of my work for my online class for the week and it's not even due till Friday. And I read the chapter we are supposed to be going over in my first class tomorrow night.

But ugh. I don't know whether I should be glad or bummed that I'm not having to read a novel a week (or mostly pretend to) and bs my way through an essay about it. I mean, I was good at that. But I'm pretty good at science too. It's just not what I'm used to anymore, it has been *so long* since I've taken a science class or a class that wasn't English or teaching. (Although when I was teaching at the alternative school, I technically sorta taught science. Scary thought.)

Thank goodness for community college. I can't remember the last time I was in a class when the teacher dropped your lowest quiz AND your lowest test grade for the semester, but since I have my plate a bit full with a nine month old who is determined to eat dog food (daily) and is on a sleeping strike, volunteering twice a week, class twice a week and online,  I am not going to complain about that one bit. I don't think even in my high school/college credit A&P class we got to drop anything, but maybe I'm not remembering because high school was forever ago. Anyway, taking medical terminology (online class) with A&P turns out to be a pretty good idea because the first chapters are pretty much the same so as long as I memorize all of the stuff I need (in my case, re-memorize), it's the same for 3 classes, at least for this week. And it's all stuff I've learned before so hopefully it won't take too much to stick. Unlike English classes, this stuff you can't really BS your way through.

Anyway, speaking of being back to school, this is the first time I've been in class since we had kids. And just like with my other online classes from years ago, they have a first week "introduce yourself and tell us 2 things about you" assignment. (Unlike my other classes, I don't have to go and respond to 5 people's introductions. Hooray for that.) Everyone is saying stuff about their major and family, pretty much, and I'm a follower. So I mention that I was a teacher and am going back to school, and that we have two dogs, a baby boy, and a daughter who died. Yep, I totally did. I kind of feel trapped into it, because I feel like I have to mention that I have a baby at home in case something comes up related to him (although it shouldn't really be an issue with my online class really, except I could just see him coming over and smacking some keys on my laptop and messing up my test or something while I'm trying to take it.) And then if I mention him, I sorta have to mention her. And I guess I could have nonchalantly just said "I have two kids." So anyway, I debated on what to "say" (write), if I should say it, how to say it...for much too long. And in the process, I was thinking, why is this taking me so long, I've done this a million times, I took online classes fulltime for over two years...and then I realized, oh yeah, that was before.

In the end, my intro went "My name is x , I am studying diagnostic medical sonography after teaching a few years. I have two big annoying dogs (husky and german shepherd), and a nine month old son and a daughter who passed away shortly after she was born." As matter of factly as if I'm saying I'm wearing a blue shirt today. And I guess I didn't have to, but I so rarely mention Olivia to strangers anyway, in this online environment at least, I felt like I needed to. So there it is.

I am really hoping that we don't have to do introductions in my real person classes tomorrow and Thursday, though.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

An Olivia present

Maybe about a month ago, Franchesca (who made my blog pretty) posted on Facebook that The Sufficient Grace Ministries was doing a calendar giveaway, for a calendar with quotes (from various people) made by either her or CarlyMarie (from the "To Write Their Names in the Sand" website). So I entered, and didn't give it much more thought, I usually don't even enter giveaways but I figured I didn't have anything to lose.

A few days before Christmas, I got an email from the Sufficient Grace Ministries telling me that I had won a calendar and asking for my address, of course I was very excited and emailed them back immediately, though I never really expected to receive the calendar before Christmas especially with the post office probably very slammed right before Christmas.

Christmas Eve day found me on one of those "down" moments. Too many pictures on Facebook of little girls in pretty Christmas dresses by their decorated Christmas tree just hit me a little too hard when I was not expecting it. Joe was puzzled as I sat on our loveseat watching Luke play on the floor below me with tears streaming down my face, trying to figure out what was wrong and how to fix something that is not fixable.

I also happened to be anxiously watching the mail because I had ordered some breastmilk storage bags from Amazon (they have the best price, FYI, and free shipping.) I was out of bags and had some milk in bottles in the fridge that *had* to be frozen within the next 2 days or would have to be used or get thrown out. So I was going to run out and buy some overpriced bags at the store if they didn't come that day. Amazon had estimated the arrival on December 26th, which wouldn't have worked at all, but I had watched the tracking info and they were supposedly in our city the day before, so I was hoping that they would show up. As soon as I heard the mail truck, I ran out, and not only were the bags here, but something else. I was puzzled because I really didn't remember what it could be (I'd done a lot of online shopping this year), then I saw the return address label, and there it was, the "Lost For Words" calendar right when I needed that little pick me up the most. (Some people might call that a sign, I'll just say it was awfully nice timing.)

I ended up winning CarlyMarie's calendar. It is beautiful and all of the quotes are fantastic, it is on nice heavy cardstock paper and I wouldn't have regretted buying it if I hadn't won it. Although I like it much more, the way the events unfolded. It is now hanging in our kitchen, and this is the January quote, which I can relate to all too well...

I never welcomed Winter into my heart, though she has been there since he died. The Summer of my life sometimes feels like a distant memory. Although it may have dimmed and faded, my light is eternal and like his soul and mine, they will burn and stay alight forever. 

-Carly Marie Dudley

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas in pictures/video

(These are not all his presents, they are all the presents in general- we actually only gave him a couple.)

Here he is "helping" me wrap presents, the night before Christmas Eve.

"walking" with my dad on Christmas Eve

2 of many Olivia ornaments, Lucas's only ornament so far. (For a moment I felt guilty that we have 5 or so Olivia ornaments and only one for Lucas, but then I realized it's our third Christmas without Olivia and only our first with Lucas, he'll catch up.)
(I never did find stockings I liked for Lucas and Olivia, then found the last 2 super cheap the day before xmas eve . I've since had a much much nicer Lucas stocking made by pottery barn kids after xmas with his name on it, they were out of the angel stocking that I plan to have made with Olivia's name next year. I made Joe's stocking our first year of marriage, pretty pathetic, I found the Santa and reindeer as a suction cup window decoration, took the suction cup off it, glued it with fabric glue to the plain red stocking, then put his name on it with glitter glue/paint. It has held up amazingly well, I'd say.)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 in review

This is one of my favorite surveys, though apparently I didn't do it last year (I did do it in 2009 but that was a pretty depressing year, I think last year I was too afraid to jinx anything.), here we go for 2011:

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before? Had a healthy baby, did the stay at home mom thing, volunteered at a hospital, registered at community college. Participated in the SHARE walk.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don't think I made any last year. This year I want to de-clutter bigtime (and make straight A's, though that's hardly anything new.)

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Uh, me, does that count? Also my good friend Jackie. And my cousin in law and second cousin (all welcoming boys! Luke is going to have a lot of kids his age) and I now have several pregnant friends.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Thank goodness, not this year. It was the first year in awhile.

5. What countries did you visit?

We stayed in the good ole' USA. (Doctors tend to discourage you from leaving the country when you are pregnant after having a 23 weeker, and traveling out of the country with a baby is not my idea of a good time.)

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
I feel very lucky that this is a tough question because 2011 was pretty good to us. I was pretty darn neurotic in 2011 though, between being high risk pregnant and then parenting a rainbow maybe I would like to have sanity and calm?

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
January 23rd, Olivia's due date (a year later) and the week I was 23 weeks pregnant with Lucas. April 26th and 27th, the last day before Lucas was born and his birthday. September 28th, Olivia's second birthday.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Keeping Lucas alive and well.(Not an easy task with his newfound mobility and affection for cords, bags, and outlets.) Breastfeeding for 8 months and still going, reaching our 9th year of marriage, getting the guts to make a major career change and go back to school. Letting Luke sleep in his own bed was a pretty big deal for me, too. (Not that he stays in there the entire night, ever.)

9. What was your biggest failure?
Housekeeping and cleaning. Also, we did not go to the cemetery/honor Olivia as much as I would have liked, but I'm not sure that I'll ever feel like we do enough.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Thankfully no. This has been a pretty healthy year for me (aside from an almost broken toe.)

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My Dodge Journey, I've warmed up to it, although I still wish it was a minivan.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Joe not having a cow when I decided not to teach and go back to school to do sonography/ultrasound school. And my mom, when on vacation and asked if Lucas was her first grandchild, she answered no and told them about Olivia.Also, I think the Cardinals winning the World Series counts. (Remember when I predicted that?!? Damn me for not putting money on it.)

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Eh, I don't feel like talking about it.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Medical bills ($$$!), baby stuff, 2 new vehicles, (Joe says) eating out. Our vacation and trip to PA was pretty expensive since we stayed in hotels.

15. What did you get really excited about?
Babies, mine and all of my pregnant friends. My friend Maggie visiting from St.Thomas.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
I agree with Brooke, Adele's "Rolling in the Deep".

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

happier or sadder? Happier. There's still bittersweetness always lingering, but Lucas makes my heart happier than I ever thought it could be again.
thinner or fatter? Thinner. Not pregnant this year, and hooray for breastfeeding-weight loss with no exercise.
richer or poorer? Financially poorer, thanks to things listed above and also I didn't work a single day of 2011. The important things though, much richer than we were at this time last year.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

 Just enjoying the moment.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

 Worrying, but I'm not sure that would have been possible given my personality and the circumstances.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
We went to the cemetery, and then with family. (More on Christmas later.)

21. Did you fall in love in 2011? Oh yes.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I watch so much crap tv this is another tough question. I think The New Girl is my favorite *new* show this year, but I've watched a lot of Storage Wars lately too.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Um, not that I remember at the moment, but probably. I think I have less patience for people that get on my nerves, although I'd probably not say "hate".

24. What was the best book you read? Nothing that I'll admit to...

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
 Um, Adele? (I am a music follower, not a leader or discoverer.)

26. What did you want and get? A healthy living child.

27. What did you want and not get?

28. What was your favorite film of this year? Oy, I have only seen Redbox movies this year and none that were especially great. (Not impressed with what I saw of The Black Swan.) I was really looking forward to Rabbithole but found it pretty disappointing.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 28, we went to Friday's with my family.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Olivia.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011? I-don't-care/always between sizes. Is this comfortable?

32. What kept you sane?

 Joe. Lucas. My doctors. My friends.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Hmmm...David Beckham and Gordon Ramsey...I love British accents.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Hmm, I've been pretty mellow this year. Not political but I still cannot believe Casey Anthony was found

35. Who did you miss?

Olivia, always.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Literally "new" person: Lucas. Only new to me- Brooke and some other really great people from Heartprints.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

Life goes on, even after The Worst, good things can still happen. While there will always be a huge hole in our hearts and lives where Olivia should be and all the things she should be doing now, her little brother has given us so many reasons to smile and laugh every day. I didn't think life would ever be this good again, but it is. Not that we are "over it", we won't ever be, but cuddling up with a warm squirmy baby whose face lights up when I walk in the door (and cries if someone tries to take him from me), makes my heart smile.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

The Band Perry song, "If I Die Young"

Lord make me a rainbow I'll shine down on my mother,
she'll know I'm safe with you when she stands under my colors
Life ain't always what you think it ought to be
No, ain't even gray but she buries her baby

I hope 2012 is an even better year for everyone.