These pics are slightly mortifying so please excuse me while I get sentimental. This was me and Mom just two Easters ago. I was 8 weeks preggers, still not believing that Wade and I would have another person in our house in a few months. Easter Sunday 2009 was spent in Houston, TX with Mom, Bert, Lindsay, Wade, me, and my in-laws. We spent it with Wade's best friend from college, Anthony, his wife Katie, and their adorable son, Andrew. You see we had just started treatment for Mom's cancer. She was so incredibly weak and pale, a shell of my Mom just a month prior. Some days it was hard to look at her without crying. However, if we did that, she would quickly question what the problem was. She didn't want to end up "gray like the other MD Anderson patients." No one told her then, but she did turn quite a morose gray color.
Easter Sunday, Mom and I woke up early so that we could catch the service at the hospital prior to her chemo for that day. Cancer doesn't take Sundays off. I loaded her in her wheelchair and wheeled her down to this strange chapel, surrounded by people I'd never seen. Almost everyone in attendance was accompanied by an IV pole, some beeping straight through the service. Most churches give a glance to "that" Mom that just had to bring her fussy baby to church. At MD Anderson, you could dance on the pew and scream out and everyone there will just turn a blind eye and resume with their prayers of thanksgiving for living one more day.
We sat on the outside seat of the first row in a circular chapel so that I could pull Mom right up to the pew next to me and, if she got sick, we could get out quickly. I could tell that Mom wasn't feeling good but when I questioned if she wanted to go back to the hotel and lay down, she stated quietly and slowly, "I'd rather feel crappy in a chapel on Easter Sunday than good in a hotel. I'll stay right here." Seeing as she's as stubborn as me, we hunkered down for this (hopefully quick) worship service. It didn't take long before Mom started dozing off. Chemo does that. It just sucks the energy right from your bones. I pulled her over to me and let her sleep from the first hymn until the final prayer right there on my shoulder. I sobbed the. entire. service. What had our life become? Whey did THIS have to be my last Easter with my Mom? Why did she have to hurt so much? I would never liken Jesus' suffering to Mom's, but I sure was questioning why anyone so good would have to suffer so much? In addition to the ignoring of beeps at church, the congregation also turned a blind eye to those weeping in the pews, unable to stop the tears (and snot. ewwww.) A sweet lady just quietly walked over and handed me a box of tissues. The church service concluded and I woke Mom. We headed upstairs to fight the damn cancer again. I must say that I was having quite a pity party. I watched as the poison dripped into her veins. I was bitter at those that I knew were eating lunch with their families. I tried to be grateful but I just couldn't find the energy.
This year, this is us. She wears the hat, not because she's covering a bald head, but instead because it looked fab with her outfit. I cannot believe where we are today. I cannot believe our blessings. So many people are not as fortunate. I let myself go back to that day when I woke Easter Sunday. I shed ONE tear, then I got up, took my baby to his Easter basket, and texted Mom that we'd see her at early church. I, then, finished preparing the lunch that I was going to be eating with my family. Thank you, God. For my Mom's health and for your suffering for me.
Well, Easter has come and gone. This was the first big holiday we got to spend in our new house and what a fun one it was! We had lots of church, family, food, and laughs. Also, I gave up all candy and sweets for Lent so LET.ME.TELL.YOU, there was some chocolate eaten in our house yesterday. Since I am short on time (Shoog is napping and didn't have MMO today), here's a summary of our Easter in pics...
Shoog had his first Easter eggs hunt(s)
A couple of these
A little of this
And thousands of these (my boy has finally mastered the "pucker"!!!)
Also, I can't leave you without our Easter card craft. Last year was a bit easier since Shoogs was younger (read: more cooperative). However, I am a sucker for a snail mail card. I swear if I knew anything about technology and ever wanted to quit nursing, I'd go into graphic design. Here is a sampling of our Easter card from last year... With a little of this enclosed to up the cute factor. Well, this year, his feet/ears were too big and his thumb isn't big enough for those adorable chicks. Thus, we improvised. I painted his index and pinky fingers with paint and we started stamping. Notice the bunnies are on a separate sheet of paper. That's because it took about two hundred tries with a wiggly toddler and I didn't want to waste my cards. Cute factor upped with this... I haven't downloaded the pics from yesterday so I'll try to do that on the next nap!
Okay is it just me or is the snake population exploding right now? Last year we lived in a neighborhood that was very urban, few trees, no lakes, etc. This year our hood is very wooded and has a fairly big lake. You guys think it's just the location or has everyone else seen tons of snakes already this year? I've seen 2 alive and about 5 dead in the last week. The other day Homet and I were riding our bikes on the trail behind our house and, I kid you not, I almost ran over a copperhead that was sitting up, mouth open, tongue flicking, ready to strike. Thank God we were on bikes and went by fast. I was terrified Hom (who was behind me) would get bit and wreck his bike with Shoog on the back. Luckily, the snake decided against it and slithered away (ugh, I even hate the word slither. On a side note my mom used to wake us up by saying, "Come on kids. Hop up!" Who hops in the morning? By the time we were teenagers we told her to quit saying that as she was acting way too perky in the morning for our hormonal little attitudes. She changed it to, "Come on kids. Slither out." from then on out.) Anyway, two minutes after the snake-about-to-bite episode, we passed a dead copper head in the road. Then, fishing a few days later, one swam by our boat. Ugh. I can't even count the number I saw today dead on the road while I was out running around our neighborhood. Then, as if I'm not creeped out enough, I look at my friend's blog only to find this... http://tocaya365.blogspot.com/ Yep, that would be another copperhead.
My sweet Yankee neighbors asked if we should tell the homeowners association so that they could "do something about all the snakes in the woods." I giggled and told her, "Welcome to Mississippi."
We're all about no traumatic brain injuries around this house. However, if you've ever seen me trying to pump that bike up a hill with a 30 pound boy on the back, nothing's a sure bet. Just sayin. (In my first "draft" of this, I accidentally put '30 year old boy' instead of '30 pound boy'. Now, I can't quit laughing thinking about me hauling a 30 year old man up a hill strapped to my bike. Just picture that. If you don't at least smile, there is something bad wrong with you.)
Know what makes me crazy? Well, even if you don't care, you're reading my blog so you too bad. What makes me crazy is that my boy has figured me out. When I pull out the camera and start making strange sounds, he doesn't even glance in my direction anymore. It used to really work. You know the scene. Baby is doing something cute. Mom pulls camera out. Mom starts jumping around and making monkey noises. Baby looks over and SNAP! the picture is taken with the baby glancing happily and curiously right at the lens. Not so much anymore. For a few months now, I can hang from the ceiling and E won't look at me. It's like he knows. Ugh. I get many pics of him looking away, running away, and many in his high chair as I have found his head turning radius is severely cut down when strapped into a seat. For that ONE good shot, I end up with a whole lotta nothing.
Someone got into the toilet paper. Yeah, that someone's little head is in the foreground. There he goes! Anyone want a Ritz? (and a view of a half-chewed apple.) Very interested in the ceiling at the Children's Museum. I imagine I will look back at these outtakes one day and laugh at my busy toddler. Until then, I'm going to keep working on my "attention getters."
Now that we've survived winter and spring is in full effect...is it time for training camp yet?! I don't want to wish time away or anything as I can't wait to sit out at a pool this summer but come on already August. I'm ready to see my boys play!!!
So sad that with the exception of ole Drew here, none of these fab guys play for the Saints anymore (though Freddy Mc is on staff!)
So I went to a pediatric orthopaedic seminar the other day and learned a few things. Most of the things you really won't care about (I REALLY tried to care since it pertains to my profession.) However, there was one point that I got out of this thing. Research has shown that incorrect swaddling (also "bundling" in Native American cultures) made hip dysplasia diagnoses sky rocket.
Hip dysplasia typically requires multiple surgeries and therapies to correct. I don't know about you guys but, in addition to swaddling my babies at work, I swaddled Ev almost daily. Now, I need to clarify. There is a correct way to do it. The main thing to realize is that baby's legs, in a resting position, are frog-legged. You know how their little legs stay drawn up to their belly? Well, let them stay that way. People were swaddling babies with their legs straight and hip dysplasia started to grow in numbers. The people were educated and numbers started decreasing. Turns out, babies need their legs to stay in the "drawn up" position to develop properly. Anyway, I just thought this was important info to pass along to you moms or soon to be moms out there. It's okay to swaddle just make sure their little fat legs are relaxed and not constricted down. Sorry this was a long, boring post but when I googled "How to Swaddle a Baby", most of the videos showed people swaddling with legs down. I'll leave you with a pic of Homet trying to learn to swaddle prior to Ev being born. This is what I found when I walked in our living room after work one day... Yes, he's practicing on a sock monkey and, yes, I just wrote a post with "Research has shown." Who the heck am I?!