Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sister Cookie, Brother Cookie

I took a break, I think. I took a break from my life to bring my baby to life, while guiding my preschooler in life. But I'm feeling back, again, now. So hi! I'm back. At least for today.

Our family has changed so much with the addition of our little boy. He is just joy. Not joyful, not happy, he's just made of joy. He is giant and sweet and cuddly and I am not his favorite person. Nope, not me, not Chad.

Grace is Colm's favorite person. She can make him laugh with a single glance. And then they giggle and giggle and giggle and it's astounding to watch.

I worried about that--my kids' relationships with each other. I still worry about it. I only had sisters and I know how deep and profound and devastating and effortless it is to have a sister. So I wondered when Colm arrived, what the sister-brother relationship would be like. I'm sure it will take many, many forms as they grow, but so far, it's been just astounding to see their love and how palpable and honest it is.

I know part of that is their age--how can a baby and a preschooler be anything BUT honest and real--but watching them love each other makes me love them even more; love them as a pair, love their love for each other, love what they'll tackle together, love what they'll grow to understand about relationships together, love that no matter what, they will be sister and brother forever.

Yesterday in the car Grace said:
Mommy, remember how you told me a girl can marry a girl and a boy can marry a boy?

And I said: Yes, you can marry anyone you love.

Grace said she wanted to marry me, and I told her that while I'd love to marry her, I couldn't because I already married Daddy. So she said:

Then I'll marry Colm. But in a REAL wedding, not a pretend one. So he'll need to learn how to walk first.

I agreed with her and let that small "illegal" detail go for now. It's not important when there's giggling to do.

Wagon Ride. August 9, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

Government Issued Cookie

So I've decided to take a stab at writing copy for the next FMLA (or MMLA) brochure:

Goooooodmorning, Momma! Today is the last day of your twelve week, no-expenses-paid vacation! You're ready! C'mon, you're not really bleeding anymore, and your nipples probably have healed so you don't scream on latch anymore, and you're even getting three whole hours of sleep in a row! Not only that but your baby can now actually hold it's head up! Sister, it is TIME to go back to work. It's time to drive around like a maniac to arrive to work and daycare on time. Twelve weeks is an eternity! Rome wasn't built in a day but it certainly didn't take twelve whole weeks, now did it? 

You don't want to be lazy now, do you? After all, the best way to raise a productive citizen is to be a productive citizen and let the productive child care industry take care of the child. That's the way! We won't be here for you if you need anything but I'm sure someone else might be.* 

Hope you enjoyed your stay! You can't come back again this year but maybe next! 

*Actually every other country in the world will be there for you except for Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, and Lesotho, so you could always just move....anywhere else that has electricity. But shhhhhhhhh! Don't tell!

So. Can you tell we've entered the most excellent phase of babyhood and working motherhood, where I now have to be at a certain place at a certain time in the morning? Can you tell I'm only slightly losing my mind? Oh, and cosmically my baby knows this, so when I set my alarm for, say, 5:30am, he wakes up at 5am. So I set my alarm the next day for 5am AND HE WAKES UP AT 4:15AM. This is, as they say, living the dream.

Really, though. This is how it goes. and you may be thinking--well, 4:15am, he'll go back to sleep, right? And yes, he will. But I won't. Nope, siree. 4:15 means I have a little more than an hour before I need to shower and if I go back to sleep I will most likely, in my extreme fatigue, keep hugging the shred of sleep that I have had for an hour instead of getting up to shower. Which would be a big, big, mistake, since that has happened for the last two mornings.

And that's really all I can muster right now, since I have meetings with clients today and I should save some energy since I didn't get three hours in a row last night. (But I did get 6 hours the night before...I guess that's something.)

Stay tuned. I hear it gets better.

(Especially with this face to look at....)

PS: I really do love and respect the women taking care of my children all day. I couldn't do what they do. They are amazing. Except they're not paid enough and I'm not paid enough for the amount of guilt. Soooo....yeah.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Six Whole Cookies

This day always feels like my own personal Thanksgiving. I am so thankful for the love in my life, my family, my friends, my health, and most importantly, the ability to keep this very thankful perspective every day.

It's been six years since my MVD, since I woke up without pain. The amount of life Chad and I have lived since then is almost staggering. The thought that I can now take my two babies for a walk along the same path in Salem Common that Chad took me on my first post-surgery walk, the walk where we talked about the fact that now we could have babies, is staggering. The six years that I lived with indescribable pain gave me the gift of perspective that I am thankful for every day. It means that the exploding washing machine is just an exploding washing machine, the dentist is just the dentist, the big life decisions are daunting but in an exciting way. Problems are just fixable things to just...fix. And we can fix them, which should be celebrated.

As long as we are here, we should celebrate that. As long as we love each other we should celebrate that. As long as we can, we should celebrate. Happy Sixth Nervesary.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Our New Cookie

Our little one has arrived. "My baby," as Grace says, is a boy!

Colm Robert Cotter arrived on December 7th, 2014, at 5:55pm. His arrival started and then stopped, started and then sped forward. After a false start on Friday, it was Sunday; I was reading to Grace before her nap. And then it was on.

Unlike Grace's birth, it was afternoon. But like Grace's birth, it was a Sunday, and it was beautiful. We arrived at the Birth Center around 2:30 pm. The sun was beaming on us, and I watched it set as I paced around the room. The Birth Center was empty except for Karen (the midwife), Chad, and me. I was able to talk and joke a bit between contractions, and I had a popsicle that I think was the best popsicle I've ever had in my life.

Colm's birth was intense. Once it really started, it went quickly. There were a few times I didn't know if I would get through it. There wasn't time to relax between contractions. There was time to just catch my breath and get my bearings. But then, then, he was here; he was in my arms, not even crying so much as just looking. Karen asked me to see if he was a boy or a girl, and I heard Chad's whoop when I said he was a boy--a truly, genuinely elated Daddy.

He was calm in our arms when we relaxed together for the next few hours. We got to talk to Grace before she went to sleep. My mom sent a little video of Grace saying "Goodnight, my little brother," which turned me into a puddle. It still does.

We brought him home on a stormy morning, in sheets of rain. He is a squeaker. He's noisy and sweet. His cheeks beg to be kissed. He makes a ruffley sound that sounds like chuckling. His hands are my hands. His head is Chad's head. He is so loved. His sister has not an ounce of jealousy--she just wants to take care of him. Chad wants to constantly cuddle him. He's growing so, so fast. He's already a month ahead of his big sister in size.

It feels like the beginning of an incredible adventure. I have absolutely no idea what is on the next page but that doesn't matter. What matters is what--who--is in my arms.

Welcome, Colm. You have made us complete.

Colm Robert Cotter
December 7, 2014
7 lbs 11 oz
21 inches