It’s 5:34 and the sun is meandering towards the horizon, taking its sweet golden time during these long summer days.  I’m sitting outside on our front porch, listening to the traffic noise filtering through the trees from the highway two streets over, a mosquito buzzing my left ear, languid children’s laughter preceding them as they turn the corner.  It’s been an abnormally cool and wet summer – par for the abnormally cold and snowy winter, and long wet spring that have made up the last year.  July in Alabama is scorching hot, dry brittle grass turning brown, dusty roads and water restrictions.  This  — this does not feel like July.

All three of them are inside, napping.  Does it make us bad parents to put our kids down for nap at 5 pm on a Saturday night at the end of summer?  School is lurking, and it feels like we are stealing the last of this time together before, even though they are technically only starting pre-k together this year.  Late birthday for him, early birthday for her – they’ll go off to big school in back-to-back years.  So now I let them sleep in too late, and go to bed even later, a protest against the more rigid schedule that will be on us all too fast.

I turned 34 on Thursday.  It’s a passing birthday, not a milestone, not worth a big party.  Facebook messages, calls from my parents, a few cards, a trip out for ice cream after dinner.  We got a babysitter last night and went out for sushi and decaf coffee.  Compared to her birthday in a few weeks, for which we are already planning, buying favors, and sending invites.  34 feels like a placeholder – that last year before I turn …. da da dunh … 35.  Because 35 is the middle of my 30’s, after which I’ll be closer to 40 than not. 

When I was growing up, all the adults in my life seemed so … adult.  Grown up, like they had it together.  Somehow foreign and mysterious, knowing all the answers to all the questions.  Were they faking it?  Am I faking it well enough for my kids to think I know what I’m doing?  Cause I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing half of the time.  When my mother was my age, she had an 11-year old and two under 3. Maybe she wasn’t as different as I think she was, after all.

My 29th birthday, I was pregnant and we went out for dinner with my girlfriends at a restaurant that isn’t open anymore. My 30th, I threw myself a barbeque party and we had guests til 1:30 in the morning.  My 31st, I was hugely pregnant with Smaller, and I got an oreo ice cream cake to compensate.  My 32nd, we had a family dinner party where my sister-in-law gifted me a german chocolate birthday cake and we all got to meet Manly’s little sister’s new boyfriend. Last year, we went out for a beer tasting, only to find out that we were a week early – so we sat there and tried two new ones with the guy who runs the store.  

I’m getting older.  I know it, and I feel it.  My hair is as much grey as it is brown now, there are crow’s feet at the corners of my eyes, the creases in my hands showing now instead of plump, unblemished skin.  And yet, I am so young still.  Realizing that I might not retire from this company after all – the founders will be retiring in 15 years, and who knows what it will be like then.  I will be 49 in 15 years, my children not yet out of high school.  I will still have 15 years or more left in my career after that.

7:22 now.  The sun is settling into the edge of the world, its light a soft illumination tinged with orange over the treeline.  The lights along the sidewalk are starting to glow, echoing the green-gold pinpoints of lightning bugs drifting aimlessly through the warm, wet air outside.  I wonder what lightning bugs eat?  The kids are up and watching a movie in the next room, giggles floating through the doorway.  The baby is swatting at a toy – I can see her head bobbling out of the corner of my eye – grunting and chirping while she plays.

We’re going out for milkshakes now, and I need to find my shoes.  Make sure everyone has pottied, that bags are packed, hands are clean.  It’s life.  In it and watching it from afar, examined and lived-in, and lived-through.  Mine.


Happy Birthday to Me!

It’s my birthday, again.  It seems like I just had one of these last year! (I know, terrible joke.  You should expect nothing less by now.)

As I do every year, I’m asking for just one little present from you – just drop me a comment letting me know you’re here.  I love to see who is stopping by each year!

One Week

It’s been one week since you looked at me …

One week since she joined our family.

One full week.

How did that happen? But a week ago, at this time, I was sitting in a hospital room, drinking a Starbucks brought to me by my darling Becky, watching Manly’s parents meet their latest grandchild.

She arrived, as both the other two did, with her own little drama – deep decelerations in her heartbeat that required us to “assist” her arrival with manual dilation. But after that was resolved she came right out, perfect and angry and oh so LITTLE! A seven-pound copy of her big brother – a mini Mini, if you will.

She’s beautiful and silky-soft, with the tiniest little seashell ears and dimples when she laughs after she fills her diaper on us. Again.

And we’re head over heels in love, all of us, again.


…and I’m still here.  Baby has today and tomorrow to decide to make an appearance on their own, but on Monday we head in for an induction.  And I am *very* ready.

At dr’s appt last week (38w1d), I was 207 lb, BP down to 110/68 (much closer to my normal), baby’s HB ~ 129, 2 cm dialated, and “very soft.”  That excused me from having to go in tomorrow night for cervical ripening; I now have to show up at L&D on Monday at 6:00 am.  I am highly confident that I will be dilated to more than 2 by then – the mucous plug has been breaking down and I’ve had bloody show for several days now.

I had a bit of a breakdown the other night – l&d is scary, knowing that there is a definite possibility that I could die during this experience and there’s not a whole lot I can do about it.  I just have to go through with it and trust in the care providers we have to keep everyone as safe as possible.  Side note – my birth plans have always been the same: everyone comes out of this alive.  For the other two, I also noted my desire for continued ability to have more kids if possible, but that even got dropped out of this one.  I haven’t been very emotional about this being my last pregnancy, it still feels like the right thing to do for our family.  I did almost start crying at the last heartbeat check since that’s the last time I’ll hear a baby’s HP from inside of me, but that’s counterbalanced by this also being the last time I’ll have to wake up multiple times each night to roll over in bed.  Good things and bad things about every situation – and you can’t have one without the other.

I’ve come through the scared part now though to being more excited – I’m ready for this one to be out of my ribcage and snuggled up beside me.  I’m also very excited about my hips and back getting to a place where they can start to heal so I can move around comfortably.  It’s obvious at this point that baby and I are two separate people with two separate ideas of what is comfortable, and I think we’re going to be better off with a little more space between us.

Two more days!  It is almost unreal that this is almost to the end!


WIPocalypse 2014 – April

Another full moon checkin post.  Measi’s discussion question for this month is “how do you keep your stash organized?” I have a multi-layered process: my threads are all mounted on DMC stitchbows and kept in two big 3-ring binders.  I also have a tabletop craft organizer with 3 drawers that sits on the bookshelf.  The top drawer has packages of aida and linen; the second drawer is tools – hoops, scissors, needles, pins, etc.; third drawer contains patterns, small kits, beads, and empty stitchbows.  I keep a bunch of pdfs of patterns that I keep on my computer – I’ll print them off as needed.  I actually don’t keep a huge stash, mainly because I don’t have a lot of room.

The past month I was able to make some progress – the Fire Fighter sampler is *this* close to being finished.  There was enough of the “border” red to finish both the border and the fire extinguisher that I started in the wrong shade.  So one more square to fill in, and then I can get the framing process started.


I was also able to finish the owl bib for my friend, but I forgot to take a photo afterwards!  I decided not to start the second bib for friend #2 – I’ll try for it next month before her baby is born, but I just didn’t have the energy to push through it in the two weeks I had between the showers.

Speaking of baby, I’m still *very* pregnant – induction is scheduled for Monday if baby doesn’t arrive on his/her own before then.  Five days left!




I went hunting for a particular set of photographs today and ended up falling down the rabbit hole of my archived pictures from the last 15 years.  Part of it is my own worry about this baby – leading me to chase down pictures of myself right before the other two were born, and how BIG they both actually were after they were delivered.  I remembered that she was that big – 10 lb is hard to forget – but even him at just over 8 lb was large.  My memory has been distorted by all my friends having 6 or 7 lb babies in the last few years and what size they were as I held them in my arms.  Then of course, I had to flip through years of photos and family vacations and holidays to watch them grow into the children they are now.  When did he get so big?  And how did I not realize that she has had the same smile since she was only a few months old?

In another folder, I stumbled across the photos of my group of girlfriends at all our weddings.  How on earth were we so young and fresh looking?  That tiny baby at her wedding, how did she turn into a little girl turning 9 next month?  Did I really wear THAT to a sorority ball?  What WAS his name, that random guy that used to hang out that summer when I lived in the sophomore dorms?  We were all so young and naive, the girls in those photos – not knowing what the next decade and a half would hold for so many of us.  Miscarriages, infertility, divorce, betrayal, aging parents.  Older, wiser, thicker skinned and more scarred – that’s who we are now.  Some of it showing on the outside more than others.  The initial thought of “I should share this on Facebook so we can all laugh together” over-ridden with “But I don’t know if their spouse/family/friends now would understand the history behind that shot, so maybe not …”

What am I going to see in another 15 or 20 years when I look back at these pictures again?  Babies grown up, left home, maybe even with babies of their own by then.  Friends lost and gained over the years, some held close and some slipped away as nameless faces in a scanned pic from a party I don’t remember any more.  The inevitable march of time, documented in so many pictures of my life, showing how much has changed – and how nothing has changed at all.