Happy Rambling 2021

I haven’t blogged in over a month. I’ve been all over the place. I feel scattered – everywhere at once. In an effort to “get things done” I start one task and then pause that and start another until I’m simultaneously trying to do several while none of them get finished and I end up forgetting what the first task was. Indeed, I started reading an article and then decided I should blog.

I feel lost. Every day is the same, and now that we’re past Christmas and New Year’s here in Oregon, it’s all the same gray, wet shit. My therapeutic happy light used to combat SAD needs to be, like, turbo charged cuz it’s not cutting it. I often don’t know what day it is. I have a million nitty gritty things to do that are made harder by Covid restrictions and trying to not get sick. Returns to retail stores. Repairing my car’s tire (AGAIN!). Relying on whatever substitutions our grocery store pickup offers us, which is sometimes bizarre.

The political junk is unreal. I told my husband the other day that I had the vague thought about needing to finish that one book about the attempted coup because I wanted to know how it ended before I realized…oh yeah. Not a book.

And then Oregon schools are just now moving in the direction of opening up and I’m pissed. We’ve been in lockdown more or less for 10 months now, and we have several vaccines in the pipeline (if you follow Oregon news, our government is slow as fuck getting those needles into people’s arms for some reason) and the government, school boards JUST NOW are making decisions to open up. Hey, I know! We’ve waited 10 months to try and flatten the curve and that didn’t work so you know what we should do?! Open the fuck up so that we can perpetuate community spread at the height of Oregon’s case numbers and deaths after the holiday surge. High five!

Oh, and I’m doing Whole 30 again so there’s that. All this fucking rabbit food had better kick in and make me feel better because it’s a goddamn miracle I didn’t reach for the mint chocolate chip on January 6th.

One good thing to end on – I randomly decided to mention a lifelong dream of mine to the members of my moms group – that I want to learn the piano at some point. I have zero musical experience. I don’t know how to read music. Never owned an instrument. I sing a lot and was in choir once, but I learned the songs by ear. Aaaaanyway, what comes up on my Facebook feed just days after I make this comment? A local piano teacher offering zoom classes for adult beginners. THAT’S ME! There was no way I couldn’t not NOT do it. So the teacher actually helped me spend a chunk of my Christmas money to buy a used keyboard and I signed up for the class……and it starts in two days!! I’m super excited and intimidated and nervous, but hey. It’s Covid and it’s zoom so it’s convenient and I’m not doing anything better besides drooling at Amos’ abs on The Expanse (ANYONE ELSE?! Dear lord don’t get me started.)

So there you have it.

Happy rambling 2021, you guys. May you feel safe and loved and relatively sane. Ish.

Stuck Inside a Potato Sack

This year, I introduced my kids to Sinterklaas! Sinterklaas is the Dutch version of Santa Claus, and comes with an extremely amusing, sometimes confusing, occasionally racist narrative and backstory.

I’m a quarter Dutch (my paternal grandma was born in the States, but her parents immigrated from The Netherlands) and I spent one semester in college studying abroad in Utrecht. I was there in the Fall of 2005, which meant that I got to introduce many Dutchies to Halloween, and in turn they introduced me to Sinterklaas, celebrated on or around December 5th.

I’m going to recreate the conversation I had with my kids explaining the holiday which was based on memory alone, and so the details may or may not be true. Read this before you go look up the facts. Trust me, it’s funnier that way.

My son looked at our weekly calendar and saw what I had written for Saturday the 5th.

Son: Hey Mom, what’s…sin-der-class?!

Me: Ooh, it’s Sinterklaas! It’s the Dutch version of Santa Claus! Dutch people live in a country called The Netherlands, where I lived for a few months before you were born.

Son: So he comes and we get presents?!

Me: Well, Sinterklaas knows that we also celebrate Christmas, so I think he’ll just bring a small treat. The fun part is that you get to leave your shoes out and he puts the treat in your shoes!

Daughter: In my shoes?! YUCK!

Son: Yeah, YUCK!

Me: That’s not even the best part! See, Sinterklaas doesn’t live in the North Pole, he lives in Spain, and he comes to The Netherlands each year on a giant boat. And then they have a parade to welcome him.

Daughter: Ooh, I want a parade!!

Me: Well, the parades don’t happen here. And instead of elves, he has…helpers…named Zwarte Piet which means Black Pete because they’re all sooty from going down people’s fireplaces. (I chose the less controversial explanation.)

Daughter: EW they’re DIRTY!!

Me: And so, if you’re good, Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet will put treats in your shoes, and will sometimes throw these little hard cookies at you called pepernoten. But if you’re not good, then Zwarte Piet will catch you and put you in a potato sack and take you in their boat back to Spain!

I finished with a big, excited grin on my face.

My kids looked back at me kinda horrified.

Son: I don’t wanna be in a sack full of potatoes!

Daughter: I want to go to Spain!

Me, laughing: Well, the sack is empty. They take the potatoes out first so your body can fit, but I’m sure they know that you’ve made good choices this year. And maybe someday we’ll go to Spain…just not in potato sacks.

Son: Does the boat come all the way here?

Me: Hmm, I don’t know. Maybe as far as Portland, and then – oh yeah I forgot! – he rides a white horse! He’ll probably take the horse the rest of the way.

Son: Won’t our shoes make the treats stinky?

Me: I’m sure the treats will be wrapped.

Then, the night of the 4th at bedtime, my son blurts out: Goodnight! I hope I don’t get taken to Spain in a potato sack!

I hope I haven’t scarred my kids…oops.

So I had introduced this holiday to my kids a few days in advance and then promptly forgot about it. Oregon leadership is urging us not to leave the house unless we really need to, and so I’m trying to do all Christmas shopping remotely. We’ve been doing school and getting our tree and decorating and researching, ordering, and making presents. In the middle of the day on the 4th, I remembered that in a fit of foolishness I had made extra work for myself by introducing yet another holiday to my beloved children. Shit! I thought. We didn’t have any Christmas candy in the house yet and we haven’t done any baking. I rifled through my kids’ leftover Halloween candy, wondering how I might be able to repurpose it.

I ran upstairs and interrupted my husband working on important plane business.

Me: WE DON’T HAVE ANY TREATS FOR THEIR SHOES SHIT!

Husband: What?

Me: For Sinterklaas. I told the kids he was coming, and then forgot about having treats ready for it.

Husband: What traditionally goes in their shoes?

Me: Honestly, I’m not really sure.

Husband: Well, let’s see… He googles what to put in their shoes. We find lots of pictures of carrots. We come across one picture of shoes with a few stroopwafels inserted. (My absolute fave Dutch treat)

Me, gasping: OMG that’s right! I bought stroopwafels a while ago and never opened them!! I THINK WE STILL HAVE THEM!

(I often do this thing where I hide tasty treats in the pantry so that I won’t be tempted to eat them. Unfortunately, this often means that I completely forget about them.)

Husband: Define a while ago

Me: Uuuhhh, you know, a couple years. I run to go dig them out of the pantry. Look! They only expired last year! AND THEY’RE STILL SEALED AND TOTALLY FRESH!

Husband: Totally fresh.

Me: Sinterklaas is saved!! It’s a Sinterklaas miracle!!!

Hopefully, next year I’ll have my act together a bit better, but I’d say Sinterklaas 2020 was a success! And by success, I mean that it happened. My husband forgot to have the kids set out their shoes, so we did that and wrapped up their delicious, not-at-all-too-old stroopwafels and placed them inside.

The next morning, we slept in and our kids found the treats, unwrapped them and dutifully waited for us to get up to inspect further. While they waited, my son had written us a hilarious note asking why Sinterklaas had left him a bath bomb. My only guess is that he thought the tissue-wrapped item looked like it contained toiletries.

For brunch we made the kids tea and had them place their wafels on top of their cups to warm and melt the gooey caramel, as is the custom. To my absolute horror – the kids declared that they don’t like them. My son said they tasted like caramel and worms and made him want to barf.

After all that. Just be thankful that you’re not stuck inside a potato sack right now, kids.

I’ll Eat When The Cheer Is Complete

At the beginning of this long holiday weekend, I was all I’m gonna turn a corner in my life. We’re gonna bring in some Christmas cheer and I’m gonna stop watching scary movies that prevent me from sleeping and I’m gonna get gift shopping done early sos I can kick back and enjoy watching this yule log of a year burn, baby, burn. Or something like that.

To kick off the holiday season right, but also so I could move on with my life, my husband and I watched our last 3 hours of The Haunting of Hill House right after the kids went to bed on Thanksgiving. Tis the season!! This show scared us so badly that we were dragging out the time between watching each episode and I just needed to rip this bandaid off right quick. Overall, I did enjoy the season even though I felt like it stole a few days from my life and they are now residing in the Red Room with everyone else.

The next day I asked my husband if he wanted to watch this one random movie I got from the library and he said foolishly said sure. I picked it up and showed it to him, and I have a disease, you guys. True to form, I had chosen a zombie flick because it had the word pandemic on it. It was called Alone, and it came out this year – how did I manage to miss this?! The movie was just okay, and it involved an interesting take on the classic zombie genre. Because my nerves were still fried from Hill House, I jumped way more than I should have, but I persevered, my friends. I don’t expect my family and friends to associate with a quitter.

So today – today – was for sure the day. We were gonna create some motherfucking cheer, goddamnit. We got up and had pancakes, which never fail to make my kids happy. We attended a surprise birthday car parade which was lovely and joyful. To continue the cheerful momentum, I hesitantly asked my husband not to freak out, but that I wanted to decorate for Christmas aaaaaand – gasp – play Christmas music. This, this is simply not done in our house. My husband has this thing where he won’t celebrate a holiday until the first of the month of said holiday. Lately, I’ve been asking him ever so sweetly to stop CRUSHING MY JOY when we see Christmas lights go up in the neighborhood or hear sleighbells on the television. Today, he graciously allowed me to usher in some gaiety after I shouted at him that THIS WAS ALL THE HOPE WE HAD LEFT.

I started getting the bins out and my kids actually helped put up some decorations. I left the fake, lit garlands I usually wrap around the banisters until last. I was getting a little peckish but I was determined to finish the job and so I pranced over and decided to plug them in – just to make sure they worked, you know, as a formality – before I strung them up. First one lit up the room. Excellent. The second – crap. Suddenly, my empty stomach felt cavernous. The dull, annoying headache I’d had pounded up my brainstem and beat me behind the eyes. Oh yeah, was it that time of the month too? WHY THE FUCK NOT?!

Not to be deterred in the slightest, I proceeded to expertly wiggle and jiggle each and every bulb, all while muttering devil-words under my breath. My husband could sense a change in the atmosphere in the house, and gingerly suggested I take a break and get something to eat. I’LL EAT WHEN THE CHEER IS COMPLETE was my rabid response.

Knowing my limits as a rational human being, I screamed at allowed my husband to take over to troubleshoot the light issue. Then, for reasons still unknown to me, I decided that only fools eat food or take breaks, and I proceeded to organize the liquor cabinet. This only enraged me more when I: 1) couldn’t reach the back of the cabinet and had to ask for help, and 2) couldn’t open a jar of 10 year old homemade booze that we’d never drink and had to ask for help, and 3) banged my head so hard on the open cabinet door that I had to stand there for a good 30 seconds to let the pain pass. Sigh.

After I Marie Kondo-ed the booze (it all sparked joy, save for the 10 year old Baileys that had chunks floating in it, may you rest in peace), I had enough good sense to make and eat some noodles. By that time, my husband had exhausted all options with the lights and he promptly ordered some new ones on the internet because he loves me and he effectively saved Christmas!!


Day 28

Christmas Gift List Negotiation

Y’all know my preference for Halloween over most things, and that’s just my personality. Contrary to popular belief, I do genuinely enjoy the Christmas season. I do. I love the decorations and the fun, cheesy movies and I love Christmas carols even though I’m not religious. I love spending quality time with friends and family and the giving spirit.

What I do not like is how gift giving has morphed into a really robotic rat race in my family. I don’t entirely know how it got this way and I don’t know how to undo it. It irks me every year and this year it’s irking me even earlier.

What happens is this: in my family and extended family, it’s customary for each person to send out their Christmas list to everyone else. Excellent, nice. Then what happens is that some family members go out and buy up all (or almost all. or a good chunk.) of the items on said list immediately, leaving little else for others to get. What also happens is that there is this flurry of a million emails from various family members calling dibs on items or just informing us that items have already been bought for so-and-so. There is often another flurry of emails from folks asking if such-and-such was already bought for so-and-so? and if not, can I buy it? thaaaanks. This leaves me with an inbox full of emails from family and a whole hell of a lot of anxiety.

Once all of this happens in rapid succession, I have some choices to make. I have to decide if I want to try and open family members’ lists right away in an effort to beat other people to the “good gifts,” whatever that means. I have to decide if I want to send those emails asking if this gift has already been bought or not, and to do that I’d have to wait for responses before being able to just buy the damn thing. I have to decide if I want to then be the sender of the email saying hey I just bought such-and-such for so-and-so FYI ok byeeeee. And once I start getting those emails from others, I have to decide if I am going to go through them all so I can keep track of what has already been bought and what is still available.

Do you see how quickly the innocent sending out of Christmas lists has morphed into something so…yucky? It’s ridiculous and it stresses me the fuck out every. damn. year.

I struggle with it because I don’t see my extended family very often and I want to get them gifts that they want and will genuinely enjoy, and so we tend to rely on lists for those reasons. I, in turn, enjoy getting gifts from my list. Do they all need to be from my list? No. But some I’d really like.

I’ve experimented with opting out of different aspects of this Christmas gift list negotiation over the years. I’ve tried completely ignoring the flurries of emails and just bought from the lists what I wanted. That meant that some people got duplicate gifts and I included return info just in case. Less than ideal, but okay. There’s been a few years now where I’ve gone completely off the reservation and – gasp – got gifts for people that, gulp, weren’t on their lists! Did they enjoy them? I honestly don’t know. Was that Christmas season way less stressful for me? Hell yes. Were those gifts given from the heart with each recipient in mind? You bet they were.

A part of me would like to just do completely away with the gift giving. Just get rid of it. While that would definitely be easier, I do enjoy giving gifts and I’m not gonna lie, I like getting them as well. Just not this way. Not like this. Somehow the Christmas spirit got lost and I have no idea how to find it again. What’s the number for Hallmark?!

Soooooo here I find myself at the dawn of a new fa-la-la-ucking Christmas season and I have those same decisions to make. Maybe, for 2020, we can all agree that the adults get booze (their favorite kind of booze!) and the kids get candy (again, their favorite!). Or maybe we could all just take a fucking peppermint chill pill and settle down with the damn emails.


Day 16

Only a Hippopotamus Will Do

Today, I did something that I am pretty sure I’ve never done.

I listened to Christmas music way early.

I know, I know. Some people do this all the time and some people are chipper and some people can bite me.

It’s not that I don’t like Christmas music – I do! It’s just that I love Halloween more, and I respect doing holidays in order, and I don’t want to make Christmas music feel less special by overplaying it. You know?

At any rate, today I was daring to feel thiiiiiis much more hopeful about the outcome of the election (I kid you not, I’ve literally been breathing more easily today. I’ve felt lighter.) and I started working on Christmas lists for myself and my kids. I asked my daughter what she wanted for Christmas and, without hesitating, said “a car.” She’s three.

From there, I got “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” stuck in my head and so then I needed to hear it, and after that YouTube took it from there. I was dancing and singing and shaking my butt and it felt so wrong and yet so right.

As an afterthought, I’ve also begun to realize that I’ve been doing things early (for me) and speeding things up in an attempt to try and make time pass faster because, in my mind, if time passes faster, the sooner this pandemic will be over and I can hug my friends and family again.

Usually, I’m the type of person who lingers. I like to savor moments and try to stretch things, wringing out all possible enjoyment. But this year, the day after Halloween was a Sunday and I…just found myself cleaning up the decorations. I never do that. But I had decorated early in the first place, and it was a weekend day so I had the time and I just…felt…done. Like it was time to move on.

Just like now, where I’m so done. We’re heading into winter and dear lord I need some cheer in my life. So if that means extending the Christmas holiday, so be it.

Also, a hippo would either trample you or eat you alive. Zero stars, do not recommend.


Day 6

The Last Day

You guys, this is the last day.

I did it!

I’m actually genuinely super impressed with myself, because almost every single day this month I was able to generate original content, and some of it was actually kind maybe good-ish.

And, the fact that I was actually able to write about my daily life without too much trouble, means – wait for it – that I actually have a life! Actually!

Before, when I had tiny babies and was largely housebound and unable to string words together to make coherent thoughts, let alone get pants on my ass, I didn’t feel like I had much to say. It was the same shit, different day. Literally. At least now, my kids are growing and changing rapidly and I’m running to catch up and I have some time to myself to collect my thoughts. We’re also able to go to better and more interesting places, have more lively conversations.

In short, life is getting more interesting. And I’m thankful.

I hope, for those of you who stopped to read this thing, that you enjoyed it. I hope it was amusing at the very least, and at the most I hope it made you laugh, made you think, and made you get to know me better and want to be my very best friend. I like warm hugs.

Also, THANK YOU. If I didn’t care about anyone reading my stuff, I’d write in a private diary. So thanks for stopping by; I really appreciate it.

Now I am off to decorate my house for Christmas and then redo everything my kids try to decorate. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season. Stay warm. Stay sassy.

Stay psycho.

 


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A Year Ago Today

A year ago today, we went shopping for shoes.

I took Dylan and you, of course, and we went because I had a refund giftcard thingy to use up before it expired. I got shoes for Dylan, and also cute pink shoes for you.

I had been having a few contractions for a while now, but nothing really serious. I knew it could be any day now.

We went home and went about our day. That outing was the last thing on my to-do list before Christmas, and before you (it was also the last time I left the house before you were born). The presents were all wrapped, the cookies all baked, everything all decorated. Baby things all washed and set up. We. were. ready.

A year ago today, I went to bed only to wake up several hours later with contractions. Excited to get to use my app, I started tracking them. They were quite tolerable but became increasingly regular. Textbook. I woke your daddy and we called Labor and Delivery.

The nurse wasn’t convinced it was in real labor, because I didn’t sound like I was in enough pain. (All too true…) We called my friend to come over to watch Dylan just in case everything quickly ramped up. Were you ready?

Not yet.

A year ago today wasn’t your day.

Almost, though. Almost.

Baby It’s Cold Outside

I thought of this post because each and every time another famous man is fired for sexual misconduct, I am reminded just how disgustingly prevalent rape culture really is.
Reading this post back again, I’d change two things: such a gentleman would never even own roofies. And, in a world where men and women are truly equal, she wouldn’t need pepper spray. And he wouldn’t call her the b-word, either. So three things.
At any rate, Merry Christmas everyone, and a Happy New Year free of rape culture and rampant sexual harassment.


NaBloPoMo Day 29

Psychobabble

I hope everyone’s holiday season is shaping up to be better than mine, which shouldn’t be too hard since I spent mine battling food poisoning and watching the entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  They really should have just taken those damn eagles all the way to Mount Doom, btw.

Speaking of Mount Doom, I like me some Christmas tunage around this time of year, and I’ve always liked Baby It’s Cold Outside, but I never really paid attention to the lyrics before now.  Previously, I assumed it was all cutesy how a man and a woman were singing about how cold it was outside and how happy they were to be all warm and snuggly by a fire.  But now – whoa man, this song is downright creepy and bordering on abusive!

Now that I’ve been forever robbed of the pleasure that comes from listening to this song, I…

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Best Present Ever

Today is my birthday, which means I usually: 1) get a massage, 2) go to Starbucks, and 3) write a blog post.  Today is no exception.

So far, today has been fabulous.  My little girl started sleeping through the night about 3 days ago, which has been a godsend because everyone in the family (including her, poor thing) is sick.  Today, my babies let me sleep in til 9am.  NINE. In the MORNING.  Best birthday present ever.

We snuggled and breastfed and ate breakfast and danced and sang.  I tried on my pre-pregnancy jeans (always a gamble) AND THEY (just barely) FIT.  Let’s just take a moment to glow in that last sentence.  Aah.  As if that weren’t enough, I saw a rainbow on the drive here.  Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw a leprechaun today.  Or maybe Bigfoot.

So.  Since last year I blogged about my own birth, and since then I’ve given birth, so let’s talk about that one.

The two times I’ve given birth were extremely different.  For my first, I was induced, labor took 32 hours (including 2.5 hours of pushing), and ended in a vaginal birth aided by an epidural.

The short version of my second L&D is as follows: labor was so fast that it only took 3 hours and ended with me giving birth on my bathroom floor while my baby was delivered by firefighters.  It was the most physically painful and intense experience of my entire life.

Allow me to back up.  Because I was induced last time at 41 weeks, I was determined to do everything in my power to try and go into labor naturally.  I asked my OB to sweep my membranes on Tuesday, December 20 when I was 39 weeks +1.  Initially I had some cramping, but nothing major.  At 2am Thursday morning, I woke up with contractions.  They were mild, but strong enough to wake me up, and I found that they were coming at regular intervals once I started tracking them.

I woke my husband and we called L&D.  The nurse asked me a bunch of questions but she wasn’t convinced I was in labor because the intensity of my contractions just wasn’t there.  She advised to call my childcare person to come over but to wait another 30 minutes and see if the contractions ramped up at all.  Her guess was that this was false labor and they’d go away and she was right.  I felt horrible for getting my friend (who was also pregnant) out of bed for a false alarm, but we all went back to sleep.

That day I took it easy and had a few wimpy contractions here and there, but nothing out of the ordinary.  We went to bed.  I woke up at 3am Friday morning with contractions again.  This time, as I tracked them, their intensity increased but their frequency was all over the place.  Around 5am Brian woke up and I told him what was going on and we talked about what to do between contractions.  At 5:20 we decided to call L&D, so I said I’d get up to pee and then we’d call.

I stood up and quickly discovered that I couldn’t walk as the intensity of my contractions rapidly increased.  I turned around, grabbed the side of the bed and instinctively swayed and moaned to get through the waves of pain.  Brian was still quite groggy and wasn’t grasping onto what was happening so I finally barked at him to get up and help me walk to the toilet.  As we moved I started to panic because my body no longer felt like it belonged to me; some force had just taken over.

As soon as I sat down on the toilet, my water broke.  I turned to my husband and told him (screamed at him) to call L&D.  Immediately, my body was rocked to the core by a contraction that started pushing my baby out of me.  I couldn’t believe what was happening.  My instinct was to try to suppress the urge to push because there was no way my baby was coming so early.  In hindsight, this probably made things all the more painful.

My husband couldn’t hear what the nurse was saying over my screams, but she could most definitely hear me scream that I needed to push, I need to push!  She told him to hang up and call 911.  By this time it was 5:40am…and my baby was born at 5:57am.  It took the firefighters 9 minutes to get to our house, and Audrey was born 8 minutes after that.

The dispatcher told my husband to get me flat on my back and to get some towels.  It was only then that it dawned on me that they were getting me ready to have the baby right there on the bathroom floor.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so terrified in my entire life.

My husband started grabbing our good towels we got as wedding presents and, in true form, I was still able to scream, NO!  NOT THE GOOD TOWELS!  GET THE OLD ONES! because I’m a freak.  And bless him, he got the old towels for me.  The dispatcher continued to ask questions, one of which was, Do you see the head?  He looked once, no.  He looked again, and yes, yes he could.  YOU CAN SEE THE HEAD?!  I screamed in reply.  I was still in shock and denial about what was happening.  Contractions were back to back at this point and  I was screaming pretty much the whole time.  In case you’re wondering, my two-year-old was down the hall and slept through the whole thing.  Like I said, my kids (angels) are sleepers.

We could hear the firetruck arrive and B ran downstairs (still in only his boxers) to let them in.  They had trouble finding me at first but I think they just followed the screams.  I immediately asked them for pain meds – ANYTHING! – and they sadly shook their heads and said they couldn’t.  I was devastated.

Pretty soon her head was born (worst pain of my entire life) and they told me to keep pushing to get the rest of her body out, and I remember thinking that I just couldn’t.  I needed that 15 second rest between contractions.  I pushed again and she was out.  She wasn’t crying right away and I held out my arms for her, but it felt like an eternity while he rubbed her back, suctioned her mouth and got her properly breathing.  Once it was apparent that we were both just fine, the 6 firefighters who were crammed into my bathroom were overjoyed.  They proudly announced the time of birth and her Apgar score.

They had B cut the cord and gave us the shears to keep, joking that they make great cigar cutters.  One firefighter asked for our phones and started snapping pictures.  She was here.  My little girl was in the world.  I couldn’t believe it.

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We were carried downstairs and into the ambulance and taken to the hospital.  A few firefighters even stayed behind at the house to wait for my childcare person to get there.  Later that day, she brought my son to the hospital so he could meet Audrey.  We came back home the next day – Christmas Eve – to start our lives as a family of four.

Best Christmas present ever.

Baby, all I want for Christmas is you

Hey, guys.

I don’t mean to brag (yes I do), but I got the best Christmas present this year:

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Her name is Audrey and she’s perfect.

I’m so lucky and grateful and full of hope and excitement…and I’m also a completely sleep deprived hot mess.  Wee!

Happy New Year, everyone!