Sunday, December 28, 2014

Her heart

If I were writing here anymore, you'd likely hear about how challenging things get. In particular JJ. She's a tough kid. She is (too) smart, a character, funny, charismatic, impatient, kind, selfish, giving, loving, whiney, the list goes on. A loved, adored, magnificently trying on my last nerve, kid.

But her heart? It's her heart that is most incredible.

Santa brought the movie Maleficent. I was nervous on how scary it might be for JJ. Dragons, fire, battle scenes, Maleficent in general with her magic. At first the plan was: watch it without her. But I researched it a bit and found that it wasn't as scary as the trailers made it seem.  Maybe we'd give it a go, during the day...

Battle scenes, fire, fighting, an army coming out of the ground, a dragon / serpent made of roots & wood - not a blink of the eye. But this scene? Where Maleficent comes face to face with baby Auroa?

Straight. Tear. Breakdown. The first 30 seconds broke her. I found it on YouTube titled "funny scene" - because it's cute. But to her? To not love on this little baby was pure evil. And that's my girl.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Coal {of} mine

Since (almost) last I wrote here, there were just sonogram photos I thought I would share his announcement. 

His arrival has been oh so very exciting for oh so many reasons. It's been over 3 months. It feels like we've known him forever and yet I can't believe how fast these months have gone, even when it feels like it's going slow. If that makes any kind of sense.  

To follow (our web friendly*) birth announcement. The front side is fairly traditional in terms of what information is provided. 

Side note: Why the hat?  Short(ish)** story: when he was born and we announced his birth we weren't I wasn't 100% on the name. 

It went a little like this: 

I posted the first picture 4 hours after he was born. I had hoped we would come to a decision before we posted anything, but word on the street (texts) was that it had been leaked. The baby was born, that he was a he & how (very) much he weighed. It does sound of so very Kimye, doesn't it? I mean, sure, I don't take naked selfies and the ball & chain doesn't talk about himself in the third person - but there were people scooping us on our own son's birth before we were ready.  (In hindsight I probably could have used another celebrity couple. Cause now you are thinking, wait? Does she have a sex tape? Does he hate on Taylor Swift? And other terrible things about the couple I chose. But you know what I mean, right? I digress...)

Since it was on an instant message circuit I figured, I'll deal with the stress of not knowing (for sure) the name. I didn't want anyone to hear that he was born and we were still silent. If it were me? My mind would go to something possibly being wrong, and it hadn't.

Baby BOY G. He's here. And he means business. 11lbs. 10oz. 22 inches.
and no name other than "oh my god" & "he's HUGE!"

And when I finally got myself together, a day later:

Name official: Coleman Bennett > nickname: Coal. Or Moose.
Or "yes. I know how big he is." #whatsmymotherlovinname
The moose comment was strictly random. I threw it in: an animal, known for it's size to make fun of a situation that was stressful (you'll see a watered down version of why to follow). And it stuck. And it makes me smile. 

The back was a (very necessary) FAQ because holy hell were there questions asked frequently (edited for the world wide web). And because I know this might come up (surprisingly so): 
  • No, we don't spell his name C-o-a-l.
  • Yes, sometimes I do call him Coals. 
  • No, not after the store either

A closer look of the back: 

Q: What took you so long to name him?
A: Coals was always "the" name. We had other name options: 6 for girls, 3 for boys.  I always feared without having options, the baby could be nameless if he or she didn't look like "the" name. You could announce the baby's birth but then not the name. And no one liked that! There would be phone calls asking, "when will we know the name???" Nurses coming in every few hours asking "And... who is this???" Messaging asking, "Do you know the name yet?" or "What about now?" or "What about now, do you know now?"  With both girls, we looked at them and knew.

When our doctor said "Oooh Bubba!" and we were officially shown our son we went into shock. A baby boy! My shock lasted longer than the ball&chain's and Bubba or Baby Boy Guarro was nameless. In addition to being shocked he was a boy, did he look like a Coals?  The ball&chain always knew he was our Coleman, but I wasn't sure.  He could have been a Coals or a Ben. He could have been a Jack, Gus, or Tony (insert a full day of revisiting 7-10 name books).  I finally caught up with the ball&chain and Coleman was officially named.

Q: Where did the name come from?
A: Coleman is my maiden name.  Bennett means blessed, and we are blessed to have Coals join us. His initials are CBG, the ball&chain's initials are CBG.  Elle's initials are Nana Lu's and JJ's initials are Poppa's (Guarro).

Q: Wait. Coleman? Isn't that a last name?
A: Yes. Last name for a first name, with the exception of the fact that Coleman is actually a first name.  We typically call him Coal vs. his full name. We'll reserve that for when he's in trouble, like everyone else.

Q: Did you know he would be this big? Did you break any hospital records?
A: No & not that we know of. We knew he was big, but no not this big. We were told by countless hospital staff, nurses and doctors it's the biggest baby they had seen all day / week / month / year or career - but no official word on record breaking. He broke our record, good enough for us.

Q: Can you believe it?
A: No, I don't believe it. It was certainly a déjà vu moment to be in yet another operating room and have the entire staff mouth or say "Oooh my G O D! He is HUGE!"  

Q: Was it a c-section?
A: What kind of question is that?  Yes.

Q: Were your other babies as big?
A: Yes & no. Elle was 10 lbs 14.8 oz and 22.25 inches. That's where the déjà vu of "Oh my GO D! She's HUGE!" comes in. JJ was 7 lbs 6 oz 20.25 inches.

Q: How are the girls?
A: Amazing, they love their little brother something fierce. Elle is so grateful to get her wish - a baby brother. JJ loves her baby, very much. Both are more loving than one heart can handle.

Q: How does it feel to be outnumbered?
A: Controlled chaos is still chaos. For example, family photos? We are going with majority rules to measure success. If most people are looking and almost smiling? It's printable.  We don't anticipate any peace, any time soon. But it's wonderful, all the same. A chaotic wonderful. We are happy, feel blessed & beyond lucky. With a health side of "what did we get ourselves into" & a deep appreciation for sleep.

*I updated some of the details / names / references it isn't the exact image word for word.
**Fine, it wasn't a short story & could have been shorter. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

20 questions - JJ v1

I once said I would interview L yearly, that was 2 years ago. I haven't interviewed her since. It was just JJ's 3rd birthday. And let's not discuss how much of her 2nd year I missed out on here. Um, I just looked. Turns out? I missed her entire 2nd year. Pretty much. So why not interview her? 

  1. What is your favorite color? Pink.
  2. What is your favorite toy? Umm... Ariel. (I asked for clarification: which kind) Dolls.
  3. What is your favorite food? Hot dogs.
  4. What is your favorite fruit? Umm.... hot dogs.
  5. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Umm... pamkakes (pancakes).
  6. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Umm... hot dogs.
  7. What is your favorite snack?  Umm... bananas.
  8. What is your favorite drink?Umm... Nanas (Bananas)
  9. What is your favorite tv show? Umm... a show. Like something.
  10. What is your favorite outfit? Umm... this. (points to mismatching PJs that she has never worn before)
  11. What is your favorite game? Umm... wipes. No not wipes... books! And baby!
  12. What is your favorite animal? Umm... lions.
  13. What is your favorite song? Umm... ABCs
  14. What is your favorite book? Umm... library
  15. Who is your best friend? Umm... (L interrupts for the 4th time and says "Rachel" she is sent to time out, as she was told 3 times prior to not prompt JJ) Rachel
  16. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Umm... kitties.
  17. What is your favorite holiday? Umm... bugs.
  18. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Umm... my tiger (she doesn't have a tiger)
  19. What do you want to be when you grow up? Umm... get my tooth out!
  20. What's your favorite thing about school? Umm... paints!
  21. What makes you happiest? Umm... you! (points to me & wins)
  22. What are you scared of? Umm... mermaids! (Which is one of her favorite things... did she understand the question?)
  23. What is the one thing you want to try this year? This! (Points to book that has a picture of Sponge Bob.)
  24. Where in the world would you like to go? Splash park.
  25. What is the best thing about being 3? I'm FREE! (how she says 3)
  26. What makes you excited about being 4? Umm... babies.
  27. What is your favorite thing to do? Umm... babies. No not babies. I wanna sing! (back and forth on what she is actually saying - turns out she says "ONE THING!" and then decides she likes to paint.)
  28. What do you like most about our family? Umm... baby.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Picture day

A few weeks ago I took the big kid to a sonogram. She doesn't remember going with JJ & she remembers everything. Frankly, I didn't think she had ever gone before either, but lately I forget everything. I thought I'd take her out of school a little early and we'd go have a big girls day out.  

Side note: it turned out she got invited to a play date that afternoon so while she did still choose to come with me for the appointment she ditched me shortly there after for a girls night in at a friend's house. Pizza dinner and a movie with a few girls from her class. Because she may be 6 on her birth certificate, but apparently she is really a teenager. 

Little known fact: the pictures of yore are out. Creepy 3D Sci-Fi is in. I did get one good ol'standby.

I took a look back and all the kids look the same, though to be honest - I can't find a good pic of JJ's sonogram. Middle child, she was born and her fate was sealed.  Remember when we called JJ, Kevin? This kid I've been calling baby Z since the beginning. Z for zombie because (s)he's eating my brain. That said? Now (s)he's taking the life out of me.
In looking for whatever we called L when I was knocked up and knocked down with her I found this post. Where I took tests and it told me she'd be a girl. I took the same tests. This is what they said. 
  • 75 % chance of having a girl 
  • It's a girl!  (Chinese Age 35 at Lunar month 5).
But I digress. 

The truth is I was afraid of what this appointment would kick up for her. She has asked me twice about babies - how they get into one's belly. She's super specific and asks a lot of detailed questions that there is no broadly answering something with her. If you are too general you are met with follow up questions. The first time she asked, I was pregnant with JJ. I was able to get out of it. More recently she remembered I'd never asked this question (2+ years later, people). We were talking about the baby and she said, "You never told me, HOW did the baby get INTO you? HOW DID it get IN there??"

I punked out, again - "Oh, why don't you get that book we have about it - we'll read it together."
That book does exist. It has super specific photos but doesn't actually explain how the baby gets in there. It talks about how the baby lives in there. But that bought me time. As I had her sift through 100s of books looking for the one, I then found a TV show she likes and since TV is a major treat? I dangled it in front of her like a dealer to a junkie. Her curiosity killed by the drug of TV.


I knew, if she asked again, I had to do it. I had to figure out a way to tell her - but the truth is I still don't know what I'll say. 

Luckily? She was more curious about what she was seeing.

The sonographer was a peach, let's call her Suzy Sunshine from here on out {sarcastic font}. I mean, here is this adorable kid, so excited to see her baby brother / sister and NO interaction is provided. I'm not saying you have to keep her entertained - but a little guidance as to what we were looking at would have been lovely. Because instead it went like this. 

Me: "Look, L - I think that's the baby's belly!"
Suzy Sunshine: "That's the head." Said in super condescending tone as if DUH. HOW do you not know this. 

And it kind of went like that for each region of the body. These appointments are about an hour due to the amount of testing that has to be done so it was super fun {sarcastic font}. Besides needing to take measurements of everything, the baby tends to be super disagreeable on these things. On more than one occasion I have had to get up, shake around or lay on either side. Sometimes, without warning the sonographer will shake my belly like a god damn Magic 8 Ball. To which I want to to say, "Concentrate and ask again."

Probably the best one went a little like this:

Ball&chain: "L, look the baby is waving to you! I think that's the hand!!"Me: "I think that's the foot..."

Suzy: "That's your mommy's right ovary."

Suzy wasn't fun. She did not appreciate the adorableness that was the kid and asked me approximately 3 times if I was sure I didn't have gestational diabetes.  As if one forgets that information. The test I proudly (once again) and against the odds passed, unlike tests of yore

But she didn't get the best of the experience. This kid did. Both of them.

Big sister, can you see the resemblance?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Grand Finale

For awhile I felt that that there was two more babies out there for us, but perhaps in the cards it will be one final blessing. One grand finale. I had visions that our grand finale would come with a surprise encore in the form of twins this last pregnancy.

The first two times I got pregnant, it came easily. The pregnancy itself wasn't always easy, but the whole conception piece was. HEY OH!  This pregnancy has not been easy. The pregnancy itself has been fairly easy, getting here has been a challenge. Little known fact: we have been trying for just about a year. Far beyond our first time a charm babies the first two times.  It's hard to want something so badly and for it not to happen. It's hard to complain when you have two beautiful and healthy babies already, who are we to be so greedy?  Who is it to say it's greedy to try for more children and be beyond disappointed it isn't happening.

Part of my absence recently has been coming to terms with giving up on our plan. Or maybe it's that I haven't been able to come to terms with giving up our plan that has kept me away because I don't know what to say. That seems to be a theme this past year, I don't know what to say here. Except to say, I feel like I can't get back to my regularly scheduled snark without trying to get out as much as I can of the truth.

And the truth is, this year has sucked. I'm happy for where we are today but getting here was the worst. Lots of tiny reasons, insignificant reasons, matched with life changing, story changing reasons.  But here we are, weeks away from the arrival of our grand finale.  Excuse me while I get my cheese on: perhaps this will be the start of a new story - that's my hope.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

{insert nonsensical title - much like this post}

I have come back to this place, thought of this place - for months. I have logged in and started this post more times than I can count, but never wrote a word. I have looked in trying to figure out where to start. Do I start at all? Do I backtrack? Do I explain where I have been? Can I? Nothing too dramatic, yet possibly more dramatic than you imagine. It's a little bit of everything and nothing specific at all.

I'm not trying to be all wordy about where I've been. I honestly don't know what to say, how to say it or if I should anything at all.

This is the longest I've gone without writing, since I started writing here.  I feel lost.  There are all kinds of ways to share online, but it's in tidbits. 140 characters. Images that only capture a moment. Answering the question: what are you up to?  And frankly it can't possibly show the full picture, but neither can this space. The last few months have me rethinking what I post.  It is just small views into our world. I feel like I am painting a picture that wasn't really true to the whole picture. The small moments don't show it all. And lately it has felt fraudulent. I try to be real and not just share the rainbows. {I am well aware of how ridiculously cheesy this sounds - but it's the truth.} But I can't possibly share all the dark clouds. The tantrums are one thing, but there is so much more I can't possibly put a filter on.

This space provided a little more latitude to be a little more real, but never quite everything. Over the course of the last 6 months I don't know that I felt like I could be real at any level. I haven't really felt all that real. It all started to snowball.

Maybe I'm on an upswing.  There will always be things I protect and can't be transparent on. But maybe things are coming into a space where I can start to use my words a bit more. I've missed it. I need it. I'm going to quit the excuses and just start. I won't make any promises, but I'll acknowledge no matter what the reasons of not being here - I've missed it and go from there.
(c) 2007 all rights reserved. aka don't be a D and swipe any content, photos, etc - sucka. Should you be tempted, let me know so I can be flattered and then give me something write about.