Friday, December 21, 2012

A Sweet Impatience

After dilly dallying with the needles and yarn that Meg left for me, after spending an hour or so in Oliver's room watching him chew on his plush toys and asking him several questions that he wouldn't even know how to answer as an adult, after combing down his hair and watching each curl slowly pop back up, we decided to make pancakes. I miss my days in the kitchen so I pulled up an old recipe. There were some slight variations for this morning's brunch meal, which include using strawberry cake mix and a little bit of strawberry flavored Nesquick. I think the Nesquick made them creamier and so smooth. Man, I love Pancakes. I hope Oliver loves them just as much.

I love wearing Oliver in the kitchen. He likes to watch me do everything. I think I will incorporate him into my baking and cooking when he is three.  That's what I did with Dylan and she was so good at it. I know she can't wait to help me teach Oliver how to bake cupcakes and pies and special dinners just because I love them both so much. I can't wait for it either.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


It isn't a secret that my father and I haven't spoken in over three years. We had gone through a tumultuous few years of disagreements toward behavior, wellness, fitness, depression, etc. and when my hair literally started to fall out, a decision was made to just go away for a while. My best friend at the time let him know that I would talk to him when I was ready.

Three years later, I had a baby boy. I have a baby boy. I went back and forth in my head as to how we were to strike up our relationship again. I knew for sure that I wanted to get back in touch with him, at least before the holidays. I wanted him to meet Oliver and Shane. I wanted him to be a part of his grandson's life. My father was always amazing with children (attentive, silly and loving) so of course I wanted that for Oliver, and for myself. It took me several conversations with myself to muster up the courage to break the ice until one day, one Saturday, I decided to track down his email and send him a message.  It was simple, not very sweet, but I mentioned that I had a son, and that I wanted him to be in my son's and my life. It took me a while to sign it. 


Love always,


or Normita?

I chose Normita; this was a childhood nickname he had always called me by. 

I waited very impatiently for him to respond and the next day, after I had run around the house with Oliver doing chores and playing games, my older brother called me to tell me that my father passed away on vacation in Mexico. 

My heart is forever broken. I kept my child from my father and he never got to meet him.

I will always struggle with this pain and regret. If I had just messaged him a day earlier. Or if I had had the courage to call him instead of sending him an email...

This post is a jumble; seemingly unorganized and not thought out well. My brain seems the same with everyday tasks and even though loving my family is perpetual instinct, I feel as though I am falling by the wayside. I feel like I let them down.

Today is Thanksgiving. My brothers and my mother will be in my home in a few minutes and we will all be thankful for each other, for the love, and for the silence that we will share.  My Shane and my Oliver will never know my father, and that breaks me to pieces. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

I am really just so interested in Oliver. I love listening to his noises and watching him learn new things practically daily. It isn't like anything I've ever experienced, even when I was taking care of my infant brother or my goddaughter. I cared about the milestones, but I never realized how much goes into a baby's development. They learn to focus with their eyes, with their ears and with their mouth. Oliver will eat anything near him. He will reach for it, grab it and drool all over it.

He's rolled over, grabs things with his hands and holds onto them. He can even transfer them from one hand to another. He laughs the most amazing and intense laugh. He turns when you call his name. He recognizes certain voices. He follows my every move when I make coffee with him in the ring sling. He is learning everything and I can tell he loves it. He's going to be a school nerd just like his mother, except I won't let him beg his siblings to let him do their homework. Somebody should have slapped me.
Oliver "Bones" Gray

Today is Halloween and we have three different costumes for him.

King Max

Tree Frog

Lost Boy

My favorite one is the Lost Boy Skunk. He's had it for a while now, and has worn it on every rainy day of his life. It's perfect; it's warm, it's adorable and it's a Peter Pan reference. You can't go wrong!
So far he's worn all three. Right now he is in his King Max costume and is asleep in my arms. 

I can't ever express how much I appreciate that I get to stay at home with him, and raise him the way Shane and I want him to be raised. I get to experience every new thing. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

I'm Crazy. Crazy In Love

Spending all day alone does things.  It makes you hesitant about going out alone. It makes you wear shoes without plans to use them for walking outside. It makes you read from room to room until you find yourself on the edge of the couch, perched there, kind of uncomfortable but unable to stop at the natural breaks between chapters.

Now that I have an infant child to keep me company during the day the loneliness seems to dissipate. It's different, because he isn't much for conversation or even paying attention, really, but he looks at me with those gorgeous blue eyes and I'm certain that he knows what I am blabbering off about. You know, because I'm his mom I can pretend that he is already, at 1 month old, understanding my every word. My son is perfect. Isn't your son perfect?

Monday, July 16, 2012

I Almost Wrote A Book Once

There was a time, when I was 23-ish, when I was really poor.  A peanut butter sandwich for every (once a day) meal poor.  No heat in the wintertime poor.  Relative to most people in the world, I feel compelled to say, I still had it pretty good, but since I've never lived in the slums of a third world country, it felt rough.  Luckily despite having no money, I was happy and sort of perpetually drunk on youth (and, well, alcohol, if we're being honest).  I made friends with baristas, barroom and tavern tenders who would slyly top me off or slide a filled glass of an "accidental pour" my way with a wink. I eventually extracted their stories between chapters of books I'm now embarassed to have loved so deeply: books whose spines I'd crack to tent on the table or counter top while I asked, "where are you from?" and "do you have any kids?" I thought, then, about how funny it would be for my own parents to be baristas or bartenders, but now I think about myself putting on running shoes, taking the last bus, tying on the apron each night and wondering whom I might 86, and for what.  Whom I'd tell, sympathetically, to sit down for goodness sake, be quite while I called a cab.

I worked at a coffee shop and hotel then.  The late night/overnight shifts.  I'd taken the jobs because I thought it would be closest to learning something about the human condition.  Also, for the money. Instead, I did what one might expect a barista or 3rd shift hotel auditor to do: I remade specified nit-picky coffee drinks for people of the same type; I mopped up vomit from the elevator floor and walls; I removed perverts and drug dealers from their rooms and refunded cash money for drinks that were made correctly and were almost 3/4 of the way finished before the "mistakes" were noticed.

All of my paycheck went to rent, bills, food and tipping the aforementioned baristas and bartenders.  The one perk of working at a hotel was giving away free toiletries to the homeless and other people in need, giving good folk a warm place to sit or sleep while the nighttime wandered by, and enjoying good conversation with people from all over the world. I made good connections at the coffee shop as well, but less time was spent with each customer.

I cashed my last paycheck, and a majority of it went toward my last month's rent, food for the new place and my new life.

Becoming a mother is always something I'd wanted, but for a huge chunk of my adult life, was something I thought wouldn't happen. Here I am, a mother, almost married and completely settled down. One of my biggest worries for my postpartum period was depression. I'm still in my post partum period.  It turned out to be unfounded.  I didn't have any "baby blues" so to speak, though I did have some decent crying jags resulting from some inaccurate accusations and wanting to not cry in front of anyone (though most of all my newborn boy) only made me cry more. I don't have suicidal thoughts, nor do I want to kill my child (how awful that some women go through this, and some children as well!) What I didn't bother worrying about, because it wasn't something that I was warned of, was the crippling pain from recovery.  The fatigue is something S and I are handling quite well, due to having worked the overnight shift for years, but the pain isn't something we were ready for.

In any case, our little Oliver Gray is well worth the pain and discomfort. We love him, more and more each day.

Oliver Gray, 6 days old.

Friday, March 30, 2012

When You Go Away, I Go Away, Too.

The dreams are resurfacing. Yesterday, during an afternoon nap, I dreamt that I was merrily cutting cheeks, like carving the tops out of pumpkins. I woke up with a stomach ache.

At least my dreams aren’t about having a baby die and rot inside of my uterus anymore.

I’ve been feeling terribly lonely lately. It might be the culprit for such strange dreams. I crave stimulus and conversation as strongly as I would hunger for food. Feeling the baby hiccup inside of me and push out (almost as if to escape) is my company and unfortunately, it’s no company at all. Just a rumbling stomach that moves every now and again.

I've felt my emotions in short, high waves over the last few days, the spectrum mostly negative; cresting in sobs, tip-toeing in numb trances.

I like to analyze my brain and emotional highway as a means to solving an elaborate problem. I theorize that the cure for loneliness is to be completely alone, so as to avoid the phantom ache of one who should be there, but isn't.

I am 26 weeks and 3 days pregnant today. The baby thinks it is funny (or probably doesn’t realize what he is doing) to kick at my rib cage. This is the equivalent of a knife tip breaking and being lodged beneath my ribs. It can no longer injure me, but I feel it when I breathe.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Way To My Heart

Music and literature have always been very important to me. The closest relationships I've had were with songs and books. I have a large collection of both. So large, in fact, that it is almost an annoyance to some. I used to say that I wanted to be buried with them, but now that I am going to have a baby I'd like to just pass them on to my kid (or kids).

I grew up with CCR, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Jimi Hendrix playing in my house, among others. My dad taught me to love the talent of musicians, not just the music, and it opened a new world to me. I've taken several music history classes, read several biographies, and have collected and listened to several thousands of records on repeat.

I've probably read over a thousand books in my lifetime, and have written over 100 poems and haikus, not to mention this journal that I've been writing in since 2001. I am an English major. I have a love affair with every story I read.

So here's to reading aloud and playing music to my unborn child.

Listening to Tom Waits with his daddy.