Wednesday, June 24, 2009

No slowing down around here

This week may just kick my ass. I'll be exhausted. I'll want a really long nap. I'll be so damned happy that I won't care. It's been great.

Here's the rundown:

Sunday--Father's Day. Nothing special for Andrew. He just wanted a nap and some snuggling with his girls, so Maggie and I let him have both.

Then, it was off to help some of our best friends finally move to their new Dallas (swinging 70's entertainment pad) house.

Sunday night, Tracey and I escaped to meet Jen and Deanna to see the Hangover. Freaking hilarious and exactly what we needed.

Monday--Lunch meeting to meet our newest social worker at Medical City Children's Hospital. Ran into one of my all time favorite students at the restaurant. We hugged and teared up just a little when we saw each other. We had an awesome volunteer who came to help out at HFC.

Swim lessons. Why oh why did I think I could manage swim lessons that begin all the way across town at 4:10pm? Every day for two solid weeks?!? There is the mad rush to leave work early and get to Maggie. Then, the rush to make it to lessons and get her lathered in sunscreen before lessons begin. Oh, and then the watching as my child CRIES through her lessons because she doesn't want to go underwater (even though she's REALLY good at her lessons, doing the best in her class). Add to this the relentless heat at that time in the afternoon and I'm just not enjoying swim lessons.

Andrew flew to Houston late Monday afternoon to help our new staff member, Mimi, get her home office all set up. He's such a great volunteer for Heroes for Children. So, it was Maggie and I on our own. We had a great night. We played, danced, shared a huge sundae and then curled in my bed to watch Annie (she loves that it was my favorite movie as a child).

Tuesday--During the summer, I let the staff work from home either on Monday or Tuesday of each week. I started this last summer when gas prices were through the roof. I work from home on Tuesdays. However, I think this might be the last Tuesday I do this. Being this pregnant and this queasy, it's too easy for me to lay down and feel like crap. I need to be at the office from now on.

Rush to swim lessons. Watch her cry. And cry. Swim and then cry some more.

It was then off to take dinner to Tracey's family. When I sign up for a rotation in meal delivery, I don't cook. I pick up Pei Wei instead. So, with Maggie and Pei Wei, we were off. Andrew picked up Rich from the DART station and then we all visited and ate together.

Deanna's best friend Debbie is in town this week and she really wanted us all to meet her. I know how great best friends named Debbie are, so definitely had to go meet her. Andrew and I brought Maggie over to play with her sweet friend Maddy (and dance like crazy girls!) to have a quick visit. Debbie was very sweet. I love seeing how happy Deanna is with her! While there, Andrew hooked her up with some computer help and fixing her dishwasher, so it was definitely a good visit! We left with a very tired and overly cranky little girl, but we were very content.

TODAY--It's not out of the ordinary for me to have a lunch meeting three or four days out of five (you should hear Andrew's grumblings about how much this costs us but I look at it as my contribution). Today, it was a lunch with my sweet friend and HFC board member Katie. She had just done an ordering session with Jen at Sugar Photography, so we spent some time talking of her extreme talent. Of course, we talked about the board, babies, our husbands, the HFC golf tourney, and HFC on Facebook too. I love that the people I see for HFC are people I love and respect so much. Makes my job so much more enjoyable.

Back to swim lessons this afternoon. Maggie cried the first twenty minutes and then was ok the last ten minutes. As a treat, the two of us went to Braums and got some ice cream. I let her sit in the front seat of the car and we ate our ice cream in the parking lot giggling like schoolgirls together.

I promised Maggie yesterday that I would show her how I go under water (the part that she hates most). Since I am completely disgusted by public pools, we went to my mom's house to swim. Andrew met us there and we spent time as a family swimming all together. She let us put her under water three times and didn't cry. Progress!

I'm now sitting and listening to her cry because we took away a toy (her consequence for coming out of her room again) and hoping she goes to bed soon.

The rest of the week looks something like this:

Thursday--Volunteer coming back to help. Conference call. Lunch meeting with The Living Through Faith Foundation, a new foundation that recently held a golf tournament naming HFC one of two beneficiaries.

Swim lessons (pleaseonplease let her not cry!!) at 4:10.

Dance class at 6:05. She loves her new tap shoes!

I'm anticipating the meltdown will be at 7.

Friday--Flight to Houston at 7am. Danielle and I will have to meet around 5:40 to head to the airport. We have two big meetings and a visit with Mimi.

Back home and quickly change to head to FW for a 60th birthday party of one of our favorite family friends, Bob Albritton. We were married in Bob's backyard. He spoke at Allie's graveside service. He and his wife have known Andrew since he was three years old. This is a can't miss event. Rush home afterwards to clean the house.

Saturday--I'm glutton for punishment. Hosting a baby shower for Andrew's best friend John's wife, Jaymee. Andrew and John have been best friends since the ninth grade. He's like my brother. We call him Uncle John in our house. I will never forget John's birthday--it's September 13th. He spent his birthday in 2004 at the hospital with us, not leaving our side until after she passed away. John and Jaymee are expecting their first baby, a little boy to be named Jack. So, a baby shower it is! 11am baby shower.

Andrew and John are going out on his boat at the lake and then we'll probably be having dinner with them that night.

Sunday--I promised my goddaughter, H, that I would take her to do something special for her 10th birthday, just me and her. Sunday is the day. Her suggestion was to go to Six Flags. Not a chance, sweetheart. Aunt Jenny does not do the heat very well, especially when pregnant. Not a pretty sight. Not sure what we'll do, but I'm looking forward to spending some time with just her. I still can't believe she's 10! I remember changing her first diaper the day that sweet little girl was born.

So, it's busy but it's filled with family and friends and some of the most important people in my life. I'm content. Oh, and did I mention exhausted?!?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Not an Alaska baby

There will be no child named Juneau in our family. This is NOT an Alaska baby. I'm over nine weeks pregnant and came back from Alaska four weeks ago. So, yeah. Though, it does sound like a fun story to tell.

Nine weeks pregnant. How did I know? The tell tale sign for my pregnancies--my morning (or in all reality ALLFREAKINGDAYWHENWILLTHISEND) sickness. The Wednesday we got back from Alaska, I knew. The next morning, I made Andrew rush to the store before work to buy me a pregnancy test. It was negative. However, I was on some medication for an infection that I think affected it. Andrew convinced me it was just the antibiotic messing with my system. I went off the medication that Saturday because I couldn't stand how it was making me feel. By Tuesday morning, June 2nd, I was still sick. I told Andrew I must be pregnant. He shrugged me off and told me I was paranoid--remember, I just took the test and it was negative. So, naturally, I waited until he left to take the other pregnancy test I still had leftover from his drugstore run the week before.

Within seconds, I was staring at two pink lines.

First thing I did was call Andrew. Next? Of course I emailed the girls. I haven't kept it much of a secret. Mainly because if you're around me too long, you might see me excuse myself (as I did while mid sentence running a staff meeting about a week ago or during a first time meeting with a new volunteer in Houston) to head to the bathroom. If you're among my staff, you've seen me not so gracefully RUN out of the office to the bathroom across the hall.

We waited until my sonogram to make sure everything was ok to tell Maggie. That was two weeks of not telling her. Except, well, she told us. Each and every day. She would wake up, inspect my belly and say, "well, it's still small, but there's a baby in your tummy!" Or she would say, "in two weeks there will be a baby in your belly."

I went to visit Dennis Eisenberg, my beloved OB and family friend (yes, Sam's dad--they are doing great. They don't blog anymore but the boys are awesome. Going into third grade!) on Tuesday June 16th. I had a board meeting that night, so we didn't get to tell Maggie until the next morning. She was actually in our bed, as she likes to crawl in there in sneaky stealth mode in the middle of the night. Andrew and I got on either side of her with the sonogram picture. He said, "Do you know what this is? It's a picture of the baby in Mama's belly." Sleepily, she looked and asked, "Is that me?" No. "Is that Allie." No. She squealed, jumped up and YELLED, "It's BABY DREW!!!!"

Maggie has now taken to referring to herself as Big Sister. Big Sister is hungry. Big Sister wants to go swimming. Yeah. It's fun. Seven months of this and Andrew and I are going to lose our minds. She is so excited. My belly popped over the weekend. Third pregnancy and my body just knows what to do. She inspected my belly this morning (as she does every morning) and exclaimed, "whoa, Mama, you're belly is GROWING!" We talk a lot about babies. She loves to hear about when she and Allie were in my belly or what they did and didn't like as little infants. She thinks it so funny that Allie hated the swing but loved the bouncy while she loved the swing but hated the bouncy. She recounts to me (as if I forgot!) how she cried every single time we put her in the infant carseat until we took her out and she happily cooed. She thinks that's hilarious and wonders how the next baby will react.

Of course, there is one thing she is steadfast on. This is a boy. Baby Drew. If we mention that it could be a girl, she yells at us "NO!! It's BABY DREW!!" We're definitely going to find out the sex of the baby. If it's a girl, I'll need the duration of the pregnancy to convince her that's a good thing. In the car the other day she told me, "It's perfect Mama. I have a baby brother in your belly and a baby sister in Heaben!" Makes total sense to Maggie.

So, that's the scoop. I'm due January 25th. Maggie will be the only one without a January birthday (Andrew's is the 12th and mine is the 24th). This sickness is not treating me the best, but I'm getting a bit better. I'm learning what I can and can't eat and I'm dealing with the all day queasiness. I'm really hoping it doesn't last as long as it did with Maggie--which would be the day she was born. That child had me vomiting in her delivery room and my first day without morning sickness was the day after she was born. SO hopeful that is not the case with this little baby. Allie had me sick until about 23 weeks, so I'm prepping myself that it isn't ending in the next few weeks.

Thanks for all the well wishes. This is a fun and exciting new chapter in our lives. We're so much calmer this pregnancy then we were with Maggie. There isn't quite the fear and anxiety we felt at this point with her pregnancy. There is much more excitement and anticipation.

Work is still going great. We're celebrating FIVE years this fall!! Can you believe it? I don't do this too much, hopefully, but I am going to ask for donations. In honor of Allie's new sibling, five years of hardwork and dedication, and our sweet Maggie, I'm signed up to be a fundraiser for our High Five Club. We're asking for something really simple this time--a $5 donation in honor of five great years. Will you help me celebrate?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Summer Schedule

Between work and home, we're very busy this summer. We have a new staff member beginning in two days (yeah, Mimi!). That will require some additional travel for me to help make introductions for Mimi. I will be in Houston Thursday and Friday this week for a jammed packed schedule of nonstop meetings. Mimi will be up here in the Dallas office for all of next week with a full training schedule. I go back for a day the last week of June and at least two or three times in July.

Maggie loved dance classes at her school last year. To test the waters, we signed her up for a dance class for four weeks this summer at a dance studio. Lessons are at 6:05pm on Thursday nights. This will be a test for us to see if we can handle evening classes once a week during the busy Fall/Spring work seasons for us. I know how much she loves it so we're going to try our best to make it work. We have two weeks of swim lessons that begin at 4pm (latest I could get, but that is NOT going to be an easy task for me!) every day. She's very excited to learn to swim, even though she is convinced that it's "Aunt Bobby" who will be teaching her since she is now a swim instructor.

Maggie and I are going with my co-worker Danielle and her two kids to see the Wizard of Oz at Music Hall this Saturday. We are so excited! Tonight, there was a commercial for the show and she screeched, "That's what we're going to see!!" She and I both love going to the theater. It's something I love doing with my mom and a special thing I hope to be able to share with her. I love dressing up and going to a musical. I'm glad she likes it too. Mary Poppins is coming in the Fall and I'm hoping Andrew will let me fork over the money to go to that too (though I am doubting it right now after hearing his grumblings about Wizard of Oz).

July will be equally busy. Camp Discovery is only a month away and I am already getting so excited. The day after camp, we head to the lakehouse with friends for our second annual trip. August has a trip to visit his dad and stepmom and then we'll be settling back into a crazy work schedule for the busiest time of Heroes for Children's year (September--November).

So, that's us this summer. Nothing real crazy, but definitely keeping us busy. I have something on my calendar for every single day in June. Lunch meetings are at least three or more times a week (as in four this week alone). We're spending as much time in our backyard as possible in the evenings--between her new "wiggly frinkler (pronounced frinkle-er)" and her great new wooden swingset, our yard is perfect!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Our playgroup girls with a summer favorite. Love these girls

This group of moms and little girls have been together since Gymboree
times when they were right at a year old. We love our group! Today's
playdate was at our house and we had a great time!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Ten Years

Today is officially our tenth wedding anniversary. Ten years--WOW. We've been through so much in the past ten years. So many good memories and so much love. Andrew is my rock. He's the consistent factor in my life, the person I can ALWAYS depend on. He's easy going. Very easy to love and easy to be married to. I often joke that I have a lot more to lose in this marriage. He puts up with a lot. He's hilarious, with a dry sense of humor and wit that sometimes just kills me (like currently, his facebook picture is of Sloth from Goonies. Before that, it was Michael Jackson with ET because he saw their picture on a skateboard with the line "Alien vs. Predator" and loved it!) Andrew is a wonderful dad, fully dedicated to his girls. Maggie is a very lucky little lady that he is her daddy!

We got married SO young. It was three weeks after college graduation. I moved in with him before the wedding because I didn't want to move my stuff back home only to move it again three weeks later. During that time, I was my father's caregiver during the day, transporting him to and from radiation treatments and handling all his tube feedings. Andrew would join me every night at my parents' house where we would at least stay until dinner.

Our first year of marriage was spent typically at my parents' home at least a few nights a week. With my dad so sick, we wanted to spend as much time as possible with him. Then, he died 10 months into our marriage. Andrew got me through that time. He loved my father and misses him just as I do. To this day, we will often have something happen (like Maggie doing something silly or Brandy acting crazy) and one of us will say, "What would Jerry Lawson think about that?" When it came time to name our first child, Andrew didn't hesitate to agree when I said I wanted the middle name HAD to be Leigh in honor of my father.

We've been able to grieve in different ways through both the loss of my father and the loss of our daughter. We respect that each of us handles it differently and we don't hold the other to an expectation that we feel the same way. I truly believe that has made a difference in us making it to ten years after Allie's death. We respect each other, even in grief.

Starting Heroes for Children and growing the organization has not been an easy task. There has been a lot of work along the way. Recently, Andrew was asked, "Did you have any idea this would be so big one day?" His answer, "Oh yes, I know my wife." You see, he supports me. He knows my drive and determination to make Heroes for Children succeed and he wholeheartedly supports that. He loves Heroes for Children. He will never serve on the Board of Directors or be willing to speak, but he volunteers in his way. The staff refers to him as "I.T." He handles all our computer work. So, when there's an issue, someone will say, "Better call IT we need help!" He puts in countless hours working for us as a volunteer, working on everything from the server to ordering laptops for the Laptops for Love program. We're so lucky to have him!

Andrew is my best friend and my favorite person to be around. He and I are very different in personality, but we compliment each other well. We rarely fight (possibly more because he is just a very passive laid back person who doesn't make a big deal of things) and we truly enjoy each other's company.

I'm so thankful for ten great years. I'm looking forward to many, many more!