Friday, December 31, 2010

Saying Goodbye to 2010

The year started strong....

2010 brought us a beautiful, healthy, happy, chubby, funny, silly, CRAZY baby into our lives. My cherub blue eyed girl brings this house more laughter and joy than I could have ever imagined.

It got rocky for a little while there....

2010 brought pain, grief, and postpartum depression.

2010 sent me to a counselor for the first time since I held my daughter in my arms for the last time 6 years prior and said goodbye.

2010 saw friendships rocked. Some ended. There were tears and pain.

2010 made me watch others in such excrutiating emotional pain that it brought me to tears regularly.

It had it's redeeming qualities too....

2010 introduced me to yoga, the first and only form of exercise I've ever been able to say I truly enjoy.

2010 brought me to a point of searching in my life. Who I am and where I want to be for years to come. I'm still working on that one.

2010 ended with a new home and happy family of four. Truly happy.

2010 renewed my strong love for Andrew in a way that 15 years after I first met him, I still get butterflies when around him.

2010 had my husband tell me that he has gotten his wife back, after 6 1/2 years. He is seeing me truly happy again.

Tonight, I say goodbye to 2010. I know it won't be a year I will forget for so many reasons. I'm looking forward to 2011. Tonight, I'll toast to New Beginnings. I'm not sure I'm make true New Year's Resolutions. We'll see.

Goodbye 2010.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Completion

After an hour of an half of holding "Sissy" (Katie) and passing her back and forth between me and Andrew while entertaining Maggie, we stepped up to see Santa as two strung out parents thinking of the wasted time and frustration. Then my girls sat on Santa's knees and it all melted away. I watched Maggie lovingly reach other and try to calm Sissy down. I saw Katie turn to Santa with a frantic scared look in her eyes and then turn to us for reassurance that all was alright. In that moment, all my silly frustration of the night was gone. My beautiful girls sat before me and I saw that my family was complete.

Katie's entrance into our lives as brought us to a point of wholeness. This year, we finally bought the ornament that says "The Scott Family" for our tree. All three of my girls have their "Baby's First Christmas" ornament hanging close to one another, and I know that I will not add another one of those. We miss and love our Allie so much and I wish that she was right there in the mix with her sisters. However, I know now that I am done. My family is complete. I'm so lucky to have three amazing daughters and could not ask for anything more special or wonderful then them and the husband I have.

I'll have to post the Santa picture here soon too. Sis still wasn't thrilled at the whole experience but she looks adorable. Maggie takes my breath away seeing what a big girl she has become.

I'm a lucky woman.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dear God, Never Let Us Move Again

Moving in five days. There are boxes stacked to the ceiling in the garage. We're excited, but DEAR GOD--it's a lot of work! We're bleeding money, I swear. Every time we think we have it all set, there is a new cost. Poor Andrew just texted "my stress level is through the f---ing roof!" This is my laid back, no stress man. For him to say that, he's STRESSED.

We are moving back to our hometown, very close to where Andrew grew up. Our daughter will begin Kindergarten next year at the same school her best friend will attend the year after. We will have a pool (so so excited about this) and a much bigger home. And hopefully, it will be the last time we moved for a very long time.

Will post more when the dust settles and the boxes are at least slightly unpacked.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Grief, love, happiness, and a move

Oh, hello, stranger. Yes, I'm still here. I know I haven't been around and several of you have started to worrying. I apologize.

I start to type. I end the blog. I try again and wind up closing the laptop again.

So, here I am. I'm going to finish this blog entry this time. The past few months have been exhausting. Mentally, physically, emotionally exhausting. It's been filled with good times and hard times. Times I've found myself crying more than I have in years and laughing until I cried.
I've stood beside a friend going through the worst imaginable and cried for her pain.

My grief went to an all time high in August. Six years of grief boiled over. My postpartum depression got worse. The medicine didn't seem to be working as well. I was having nightmares. Most of them involved my daughter's body being exumed from the grave. I started hearing her scream in my head. Not just any scream; the one from the day of her death. There were days I found myself crying four and five times. Often with no warning or at just the slightest thing to set me off. I even cried in the middle of a staff meeting one day! I felt alone in this grief, unable to accurately describe the pain to anyone. At the urging of friends, I met with a therapist. She has been helping me work through my pain and grief. For the first time in six years, I am in grief counseling over the death of my daughter. I went to see someone about the postpartum and medication. I found the right combination. I'm on a new medicine that has really made a difference.

Now, I'm crying once or twice a week instead of four and fives times a day. Baby steps.

It's getting better. I'm finding control again. I haven't written because I didn't know how to share this. This pain is so very personal. It's still so raw, even after six years. I realize though that I've opened up so much for so many years that I have people who read and care. So, it's time to write.

My family continues to be my greatest joy. Andrew and the girls make my world right. They bring me happiness and so much love. Maggie turned FIVE in October. I KNOW. I can't believe that my sassy, precocious, diva, princess girl is now five. She'll be a kindergartner next year. She loves cheerleading, piano lessons, and dance. She's remains the girliest of girls. Hugs clothes when we shop and often chooses clothing or accessories as a treat at the store in lieu of a new toy. My little baby bug Katie is the exact opposite. She's our bruiser. Our bull in a china shop. Katie started crawling at six months and now at almost ten months she is almost walking. She takes steps now. The girl is the happiest baby I've ever seen. And oh boy is that girl a chunk! I love each and every fat roll.

In the midst of all that has been going on in the past few months, we made the decision to move. So, add to my already full plate our home going on the market and searching for a new home. We're moving in three weeks. It's been exciting and fun, exhausting and overwhelming. We were lucky enough to have an offer on our home in 13 days and to have found a home we really like to move to. We're moving to the neighborhood Andrew grew up in. My girls will attend the same school he did as a child. He's really excited about that.

So, there you have it. That is August--November in the world of Jenny. There's been grief, love, happiness, and a move.

Hopefully, it can only get better.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010

Family Bed

Some of my happiest childhood memories are of my family piled in my parents' bed snuggling. My mom and dad had one of those big 80's style beds with a giant headboard attached that had a huge wall unit of mirror, shelves, drawers, etc. It was a mammoth in their bedroom. As often as I could, I would crawl in bed with my mom after my early rising father would get up. She and I would snuggle and love each other until eventually my sleepy head brother would come and join us. Inevitably, my dad would come in and sit on the edge of the bed with us and usually call up our collie, Chevy. Dad would make a big dramatic show of faking to hit one of us so that Chevy would get protective and bark (don't mess with his kids--that dog loved us!) and we would all break into peals of laughter.

When I became a mother, I dreamed of the day my children would start this with me.

Maggie has been crawling in bed with me for years. I don't like to sleep with Maggie because she is all over that bed. Not exactly comfortable to sleep with a foot in my face or an elbow in my ribs, but I LOVE our snuggles in the morning. But, it still wasn't exactly what I remembered. Something was missing.

What I have come to realize is that KATIE is what was missing.
Katie has been the best thing to happen to our family in such a long time. She completes us. In the past few weeks, I have found that joy--Katie and Maggie and peals of laughter in my bed. Andrew will sit on the edge or get up (once he's up he doesn't like to lie around much) and the girls snuggle and giggle at each other. Katie has found her feet recently and spends lots of time holding her toes. Maggie loves to entertain Katie. She sings, makes faces, and blows raspberries on her belly. I lie there and smile with my heart bursting with joy. I could spend hours in bed snuggling my girls and seeing their smiles. The only thing missing is Brandy, who was banished from getting on our bed after we got a new comforter, free of dog smell. I like having my good smelling comforter, but I do miss my dog in the bed sometimes.

I hope that one day my children will remember the love and the snuggles and our time all together as fondly and lovingly as I do.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Namaste

Right before I got pregnant with Katie, I was feeling pretty good about where I was with my weight and my body. I was fitting in size 10 (!!) jeans. I could typically purchase a large shirt and wasn't having to go into Lane Bryant anymore.

Then I got pregnant. And sick. Vomiting so much and very little stayed down. I found that greasy food was best. So, for months, I ate like a drunk with a hangover. It was better than vomiting (which had the added bonus of peeing my pants too after having birthed two other babies). I still got sick on an almost daily basis almost into my eighth month, so if I could eat it, I did.

Now, I am getting closer to losing my baby weight. However, as any of us who have had babies know, my body is no where near what it was before. I'm *this* close to fitting into my favorite size 12 jeans again. I can zip them and wear with a billowy top over it. But it aint so pretty.

I've lost 36 lbs of my 42 gained. So close yet I feel so, so far away from my goal. So, I'm trying some different things.

I've been back on South Beach religiously for two weeks. I've cut carbs, sugar, and even caffeine this time around. I've lost over five lbs in the last week and a half.

Now comes the exercise.

If you know me, you know that I don't like exercise. I've never found something that I liked. So, when Debbie told me she was LOVING hot yoga?!? I laughed and said have at it. I knew it wasn't for me. 98 degrees while doing yoga for an hour? You've got to be out of your freaking mind.

Then she lost two dress sizes in three months. Didn't change her eating habits at all. Looks AMAZING. To say that is motivating and inspiring to see is a bit of an understatement to me.

So, finally, I agreed. And then begged to get out of it. Then, set the time to go. And backed out. Then, fearful of dry heaving in front of the class, I finally hauled my rear into the hot yoga studio last week. Not going to lie--thought I was suffocating for the first fifteen minutes. But I made it through. I survived.

Tonight, I finished my second class. My body was a little more prepared for the heat. This time during our time of meditation before class, I wasn't focused on staying alive. I was able to sit and reflect. Breathe. Set goals for myself and what I want for my weight loss.

I can't guarantee that I'll stick to it but I think I think yoga will be good for me in many ways. I'm going to give it a try. I hope it will help bring me strength, calm, peace, and energy.

Until next blog....Namaste

Friday, June 11, 2010

100 Things

A friend of mine recently wrote 100 Things That Make Me Happy and shared her list with me. When I read it, I found myself simultaneously thinking "There's no way I could come up with 100 things" and coming up with my things I would write down. I smiled through her list.

So, it's time for me to make my list. Especially coming out of stressful times and postpartum depression issues, I need to focus on the things that bring me happiness and joy. I need to help remember those things. If you blog, I encourage you to give this exercise a try too.

1. Maggie's curls
2. Butterflies
3. Blue Bell Cookies and Cream Ice Cream
4. Andrew's blue eyes
5. How Andrew and Amie talk to each other
6. That I end every conversation with my brother with "I love you" from us both
7. Looking out at Paris from the Sacre Coeur
8. Riding bikes through Versailles
9. Cruising
10. Jumping into a pool for the first time each summer
11. Sitting on Deb's couch talking about anything and nothing
12. "Huggies" from Beck and Ella
13. Maggie's laughter
14. My Allie necklace
15. The excitement of losing weight and fitting into the next size
16. The way Brandy groans at me when she thinks I'm disturbing her
17. Andrew making Katie belly laugh
18. Walking into Katie's room in the mornings
19. Snuggles
20. Movie nights in my bed
21. Sitting in a dark movie theatre
22. Watching a favorite show with Andrew and discussing it after
23. When I'm frustrated with something Andrew is doing and say, "Andrew STOP" only to have him respond with "Um, it's SCOTT. Your last name too"
24. Watching Maggie on the swings at Six Flags
25. Seeing my children light up with my mother and grandmother
26. My giant Sugar canvases in my home
27. My iPhone
28. Twitter
29. Knowing that I have Debbie, Deanna, Jen, Tracey, and Amy in my life and can call on anytime
30. Public speaking
31. Cheering runners as they cross the finish line of the Heroes for Children 5K
32. Running into former students and hearing about their lives now
33. Falling asleep to a book and letting it fall to my chest
34. The way Andrew curls up to me in his sleep
35. Brandy leaving me her special pile of things (socks, baby bibs and clothes, toys, etc) next to my bedside as her gift for when I get up in the morning
36. Walking through a museum
37. Going to see a production of musical theatre
38. Having someone tell me how Allie touched their life
39. Camp Discovery
40. The moment we meet for volunteer orientation at camp and greet each other at the hospital
41. Watching my children sleep
42. Singing to songs with Maggie in the car
43. Napping with Katie
44. LONG naps
45. Talking on the phone
46. Meeting new people
47. Taking Dr. Goldman his birthday cake
48. Snorkeling
49. Seeing a dolphin jump alongside a cruise ship
50. Being married to my prom date
51. Harry Potter books
52. Watching the cousins all play together
53. The excitement before a vacation
54. Standing in the doorway and watching Andrew play with our girls
55. Giraffes
56. Going to the lakehouse
57. Childhood memories
58. Thinking I look better now in my thirties then I did in my twenties
59. Picking out a new outfit
60. Laughing with Andrew
61. Knowing that if it's Saturday at 3pm and the phone rings, it's Debbie.
61. Texting with friends
62. Driving my Routan (how is it that I love my MINIVAN?!?)
63. Pictures of Brandy as a puppy
64. A tuna tower from Blue Fish
65. Playing games with Maggie
66. Traveling with the Kriegers
67. Bumping into an old friend
68. Long lunches
69. Talks with Andrew in our bed in the dark before bed
70. Maggie stroking my face when she comes in to wake me up in the morning
71. A patio and a margarita
72. Kisses on my children's bellies
73. GNO's
74. Meeting families Heroes for Children has helped and hearing their gratitude
75. Realizing that our dream of a nonprofit is coming true and far exceeding expectations
76. Talks with my mom
77. My memory foam pad on my bed.
78. Long, hot, showers that scold the skin
79. Trips to the zoo
80. The sunset in Biarritz, France
81. Buffet line on a cruise ship
82. Holding Andrew's hand
83. Sitting in my car and having Braum's with Maggie in the parking lot
84. My giraffe lamps with the mother kissing the baby giraffe on mine and Andrew's nightstands
85. Smell of a newborn baby
86. Giving a Christmas present
87. Carnival night at camp
88. Spending the day in my pajamas
89. Finally finding my place
90. Laughing until I'm grabbing my sides
91. Seeing Maggie like things that I did as a little girl
92. Buying cute outfits for my girls
93. Getting a large donation because they feel touched by the mission of the organization
94. Blogging
95. Marathon watch days of favorite tv shows with Andrew
96. Date nights
97. Knowing that while Allie only lived nine months, her legacy will live much longer than that
98. Everyone piled in my bed together snuggling as a family
99. The way Andrew laughs his crazy laugh in his sleep or starts talking
100. Ice cold water while eating ice cream

I've read this list a few times since typing it. Can't wipe the smile off my face.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Admiration

We all have those people in our lives. The people we hold with such utmost adoration and admiration. For me, I can easily tell you its Amie and Michael Searcy.

I have had the honor and pleasure of knowing Amie since I was 17. I was nervous the first time I met her because I wanted her to like me so badly. Her brother, who I was head over heels in love with, told me she was the most important girl in his life. Only 18 months apart, Andrew and Amie have a bond that most brothers and sisters do not. I swear they speak their own language at times. They start a story or a quote and don't even have to finish before they are both laughing. And the rest of us are standing looking at each other having no idea what the heck they are laughing at.

Amie and Michael married six months before me and Andrew, 11 years ago. Shortly after their first child was born, they moved to Utah to pursue Michael's dream of obtaining his doctorate in Archeology and become a professor. He received his Master's degree at BYU then they moved shortly before their second child was born to Oklahoma to continue his education at OU.

With tears in my eyes, I cheered as I watched Michael cross the stage with his doctorate last Friday night.

I can't speak highly enough about this family. They have sacrificed for Michael's education. Amie is the ultimate homemaker. She is an extraordinary cook, making things from scratch daily. I've never had a meal that I didn't love (oh, and the peanut butter cookies she makes from Ritz crackers? Devine). Amie is a musician. She was an elementary music teacher before children and still plays for kids as often as possible. She created a music playgroup where preschoolers come to watch her play children's songs at a nursing home while the elderly residents sit and watch. I had the chance to go with Maggie a few years back and it was such a neat experience. Most importantly, Amie is the most loving, fun, and patient mothers I've ever seen.

Michael has worked multiple jobs while going to school. His Master's thesis is currently in discussion with a publishing company to become a textbook! Many tenured professors are not published. He's creative and artistic. My favorite--his documentary on mullet chasing at a BBQ pork festival in Memphis he made years ago. His smile is infectious. It could be because his mouth is big--when he smiles it's literally the biggest smile that you naturally smile right back. He's a cool dad--the kind who really PLAYS with his kids but is consistent and loving too.

Their children--Izzy, Max, and Elliot--are seriously some of the best children I know. I'm not just saying that as a proud aunt (which I am). These kids are terrific and such a joy to be around. Maggie's favorite people in the world. Izzy is mature, kind, and smart. Max is hilarious. He and Maggie are only two months apart in age and love each other so much. Elliot is not so much an 18 month old baby but a little man. These kids are awesome.

In the last eight years, they have lived with less income than most people could make manageable but they have done it without issues. Don't get me wrong--it's been tough and they've sacrificed, saved, and done without. They have NO debt. Michael is finishing eight years of schooling and they don't have a student loan to pay back. They aren't swimming in credit card debt like most Americans. They have no car payments, no unnecessary bills. They either save up to make a purchase or simply go without. We all keep saying they should write a book about how they've managed to raise three kids, go to school, have only one income, and come out with no debt.

On April 1st this year, our family received a major blow. Amie was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Luckily, this is a HIGHLY treatable cancer that typically needs surgery and then radiative iodine treatment. Being the strong amazing person she is, Amie faced this with such incredible grace. She told us all she was ready "to get this party started" and booked her surgery for a week later. It wasn't an easy surgery and she is still feeling some side effects (her voice is still stained and it is gone by the end of each day), but Amie finished it amazingly well. Radioactive iodine was at the end of April, putting her in fairly strict isolation for several days where she couldn't be around anyone and then restricted her to no contact for a week. No hugging her children, no kisses goodnight. She couldn't be within six feet of them. A woman who has spent her last eight years dedicated to her family and home couldn't do what she loved most. But Amie handled it the way most wouldn't--with continual grace and love. Michael, in the midst of final preparations to defend his dissertation, stepped in to handle his family. He became Mr Mom and shouldered the burden of the home during that time. And just as I would expect from him, he didn't complain. He handled it with grace and love.

It is only now that we have received the word that she is cancer free and that Amie is on the mend that I am even willing (or able) to write about what happened. For the last fifteen years of my life, I have considered Amie a sister. I have so much respect for Amie and the person she is. I can only wish I am half the mother that she is.

I am incredibly proud of Michael and his accomplishments and can't wait to see the next chapter and adventure in their lives. Just so grateful that I get to be a small part in it too.

Amie and Michael--love you and admire you both so much. Thank you for being such great people in my life and the role models I admire so. Thank you for being, well, YOU.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Four generations

Katie was home with daddy while the four of went to the Mother/
Daughter Tea. Love my mom and Mom Mom!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Monday, May 3rd

On Monday, May 3, 2004, I kissed my baby and watched her leave with Andrew to go to Angela's house for babysitting. She had a sinus infection. At 11:30am, Andrew called to say Angela had called him. Her fever was higher than it had ever been. That afternoon, we went to the pediatrician. He sent us for a chest x-ray but had the nurse draw her blood just to cover all his bases.

On Monday, May 3, 2004, my life changed forever. My baby had leukemia. We were rushing to the hospital with desperation and fear.

On Monday, May 3, 2010, I was once again heading to the hospital. This time, it was with love, anticipation, and excitement. My brother was having his first child. A new baby girl has now entered our lives. I held my niece and watched the happiness, joy, and pride in my brother's face and it filled my heart.

Now, I can remember Monday, May 3rd with not just sadness, longing, and an ache in my heart that is so vast it hurts. I can remember it is a day of love, happiness, and family.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Finding Me Again

I cannot thank you all enough for the kind words, support and encouragement you have provided after my "Fog" post. That was a real challenge for me. It's a vulnerability I don't like to show and it was not easy to put myself out there like that. I appreciate that you all spoke so lovingly and provided me with a safe haven to express my emotions.

Last summer, I had a tough time with a situation that I can't really share here. It changed me. I became bitter, hurt, and gunshy. I was resentful of my work taking time from my family. I didn't handle my stresses well, and I became a person that was not always easy to deal with. I *thought* I was covering it up better than I was. I chalked it up to pregnancy and hoped everyone else would do. Some did. Some did not and I had some relationships affected because of it.

The baby was born and life changed again. Then the postpartum depression set it, and you know what happened then. Doing that blog post was my first step in admitting that I finally wanted to change. I wanted to find me again. The one that didn't hold grudges and wasn't unhappy most of the time. The one who had passion and enthusiasm in her life. I wanted me back.

I think I'm finding me again.

I started Lexapro a few weeks ago. It's helping. A lot. I'm really busy at work right now, but surprisingly not stressed. I'm connecting with the mission and the organization in a way that I haven't in a while. I'm feeling refreshed. I'm engaging more with my kids and I'm happier in my marriage and relationship with Andrew.

I've had a cold lately that resulted in me losing my voice. My girlfriend Christie who knows everything I've been going through told me, "Wow, you sound like crap but you really sound good. I mean your SPIRIT sounds good."

My spirit feels good. And for that, I'm happy.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010

Fog

It's been 10 weeks since Katie was born. She is growing and getting more and more wonderful each day. She is easy and sweet and constantly smiling. We're very lucky to have our girl. Maggie is thriving as a big sister! She continues to exceed every dream I had of her as a loving big sister to Katie.

As for me, I'm, well, not great. At first, I had some personal and professional stresses that I thought were contributing to the way I felt. But I've been working on those. And yet, I'm still, just....blah. I'm unhappy. Not about anything in particular. Just unhappy. Overwhelming & exhausting. I have little energy for much besides my girls. They are the one thing that brings my joy. Feel like I'm doing everything else very poorly--work, being a wife, being a friend, etc.

My head constantly feels like I'm in a fog.

I think it's time to call this more than just "baby blues." Shouldn't that have gone away by now? She's 10 weeks old. I didn't experience this with my other girls so I don't know. Shouldn't I be able to pull myself out of this like I have other times, including during my worst times of grief? I thought yes, but I can't seem to do it. I don't know how to make me better.

I have moments, hours, and even one or two days where I felt a little better. Thought it was getting better. But then, a stressor comes along and I crash. Normally, I can deal with things as they come. This weekend was the worst. Our family received some news last week that I'm not ready to share yet but it really rattled me. Everything will be fine, I know this with all my heart, but it was unsettling. Compounded with the fact that yesterday was my father's TENTH anniversary of his death and I was done. I spent Friday and Saturday in the worst fog I've had. Barely got out of bed. Foul funky mood. Yesterday was better. I spent the day with my mom, Andrew's mom, and my girls at the zoo. Maggie was so giddy with excitement that I couldn't help but to light up around her. However, I still found myself in that fog as I made my way through the zoo. I still feel that fog now as I sit at my desk working.

I don't know what to do next. I struggle with the idea of medication, even though I know many people do it and I have no problem with that. I worry about side effects (especially with Heroes and Handbags this Friday in Dallas and next Friday in Houston). But I'm tired of feeling this way.

I'm ready for the fog to lift and start feeling like me again.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A growing bug!

Katie is 8 week old today!! Weighed in at the doctor's yesterday at 12
lbs 10 oz. She's a growing bug!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Loss

Camp Discovery has been a big part of my life for the past five years. Five summers I've spent one week in July in Kerrville in a world all of its own. If you've been following this blog for some time, you know how I love camp. Love so much about it. I often find myself at a loss for words at how to properly describe the atmosphere and environment of camp. I've written for years about the campers and their inspiration.

Tonight, I'm not coming here to write about the campers. I want to write about the counselors. Specifically, about one very special counselor.

I met Katrina "Kat" Davidson standing in front of Christus Santa Rosa Hospital my very first summer. As volunteers were rushing to greet others, reunited for the first time in months or even a full year, I stood on the side not knowing anyone. Kat made a point to say hello and introduce herself before rushing off herself to hug another friend she loved. Two days later, I got to have my first real conversation with Kat.

We were in the gym in a circle with the "yellow girls," her cabin of adorable campers. After we played a few rounds of some game with the girls, the campers skipped off leaving me and Kat sitting on the gym floor. First, she told me why she came to camp as a camper herself. As a teen, Kat was diagnosed with cancer. She started coming to camp at age sixteen and was hooked. Two years as a camper and then the rest of her time as a counselors. Kat was a cancer survivor and a role model to the children she was there to help. I felt inspired sitting talking with her. I began telling her my story. Before I could finish, she stopped me. She already knew my story. Had spent time on http://www.scotthousehold.com/ and had cried about Allie. In fact, she had recently written a paper and did a presentation on childhood cancer and specifically Allie. She and I sat on the floor and cried. I knew we were friends and so did she.

Over the years, Kat has been one of my favorite things about camp. She gave the best hugs when standing in front of Christus Santa Rosa Hospital on our first day of volunteer orientation. Maybe it's her height--so much taller than me, that it made me feel enveloped. We kept up throughout the year--Facebook, getting together for dinner, volunteering at Heroes for Children a few times. At camp, she loved helping in Arts & Crafts. She helped me set up my area after she finished working in her cabin. She joined me during "Happy Nappy" if she had a counselor break. I looked forward to yellow girls and orange girls (last year when she was a counselor she moved to the orange girls, officially making it my favorite group of counselors with Sara and Terri too!) coming in for their session with me.

If you haven't noticed yet, I'm using the past tense. I don't like it. Not one bit. You see, this last week, camp experienced a huge loss. My sweet, funny, snarky, sarcastic, loving, selfless friend passed away.

Oh dear, did I really just type those words??? Yes, I did. I know I did. I sat in a church and watched a slideshow of Kat's life yesterday at her memorial service. I hugged my camp family as we cried and remembered our friend. I introduced myself to her mother who coincidentally stopped me as I tried to introduce myself. She already knew me. She knew my story. Kat had told her all about me, and as Sue told me this, I cried and hugged her.

Kat had bronchitis and pneumonia that wouldn't go away. As a teen, radiation had damaged her lungs. I always knew her lungs weren't great, but never thought too much about it. Until she got sick and couldn't get better. Two weeks before her death, Kat walked herself into the ER because her cough was worse. Within hours, she was emergency intubated. She spent two weeks in the ICU before passing last Tuesday. I got updates frequently from our friend Terri who was in contact with Kat's mother Sue. Because Kat was in ICU, the family had requested no visitors. Maggie (who loved Miss Kat) and I made Kat a get well soon card, but I was holding on to it until I knew she was a little more stable and would be able to read the card. I never got to send it.

Camp Discovery will never be the same. Camp wasn't just a week of the year for Kat Davidson. It was a major, intregal part of her life. It was a part of her and she was most definitely a big part of it. The idea of walking up to greet the other volunteers in front of Camp Discovery without Kat to envelope me in one of her big hugs makes me hurt so badly.

Tonight, I remember my friend. I'm looking at my yellow and orange friendship bracelet Sara made me last night at the camp party I hosted at my house for us to all be together. Can't stop staring at it. This summer when I go to Camp Discovery, I will honor her as best as possible.

And I'll miss her. Always.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

99 Things I Ought to Have Done...

**Just came back to edit this because I found three other things I needed to bold that I overlooked the first time.

Found this interesting from Minivan Mom and thought I would give it a try.

Instructions:
Copy the list, bold the ones you've done (with explanations if needed), share with friends.
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii (that's on my list of places I want to go!)
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland (land but not world)
8. Climbed a mountain (grew up in East Bay outside of San Francisco. Used to go with my dad all the time)
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped (not scared of heights--terrified of falling)
12. Visited Paris (many times. Studied at the Sorbonne in 1998)
13. Watched a thunder and lightning storm (I live in TX. 'Nuff said)
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb (raised two in high school--Stewart and Trouble)
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon (did a half)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice (one of the best vacations of my life with our great friends the Kriegers)
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise (four)
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
(college)
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt (2008 vacation)
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted (stealing her response--if those caricatures count)
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (Snorkled in Grand Cayman and then again in Ketchikan, Alaska)
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (well, a nonprofit)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching (one of my all time favorite childhood memories. Drew a whale's tale for about a year or two after all the time in art class. We went again in Alaska)
63. Got flowers for no reason (Andrew sent me roses once in college)
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma (I have tried, but my veins are so weak that I have been unsuccessful).
65. Gone sky diving (See #11)
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (my childhood doll, Honey, is sitting on Katie's shelf)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square (With Deanna last fall! Awesome, awesome trip)
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (broke my arm rollerskating in the 7th grade)
78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle (rode on my mom's cousin's motorcycle once and it scared the hell out of me)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person (when we were moving from California to Texas in 7th grade)
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican (2001 trip to Rome)
82. Bought a brand new car (most recent--my minivan! Love the VW Routan)
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper (many times actually because of Allie and Heroes for Children)
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous (met a guy from the movie Blazing Saddles when I was a waitress at the Black Eyed Pea)
92. Joined a book club (miss being in one)
93. Got a tattoo (nope and won't)
94. Had a baby (three gorgeous girls)
95. Seen the Alamo in person (we were young, poor, and my dad was terminally ill, so yeah, we went to San Antonio for our honeymoon. Stayed at the Menger Hotel, right next to the Alamo)
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
(smacked dab between the eyes)

Looks like I still have a lot to do.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Three Weeks

How has it already been three weeks since our baby was born? Time goes way too quickly during the newborn stage! Katie is growing like crazy, taking after her oldest sister and becoming a "chubalub." She left the hospital weighing 7lbs 12oz. At her two week check up, the little chunker weighed in at 9lbs 6oz! That's a decent weight gain in two weeks. Maggie didn't even regain her birthweight until three and a half weeks, still weighing only 7lbs 3oz at two weeks. Oh, my peanut. Katie was in the 90th percentile for her weight and 75th for height and head.

I remember another baby that had those kinds of numbers.

Katie's resemblance to Allie is unmistakable. Same nose, eye shape, round face, hairline. Same belly shape, chin, same sweet and easy disposition. They could be twins. It has been both wonderful and scary at the same time to look at this new baby and see her sister. It's made me tear up more than once, but it's had me stare at her with more love than I ever thought possible.
How did I get so lucky to have three such beautiful girls as my daughters?

I'm loving being with Katie and Maggie. I love curling up as the three of us in my bed or all together on the couch. Watching Maggie look at her sister then go in for a hug and a kiss brings me so much joy. Maggie is the sweetest big sister, always wanting to be with Katie. She picks out her outfit with me each day, helps with diaper changes, and constantly hugs and kisses the baby. There is no jealousy whatsoever.

Katie is my last baby. I know this. I've known it since I was early on in my pregnancy. Since she was an unexpected C-section (little stinker flipped last minute and had her head in my rib cage!), we were given the choice of having my tubes tied. Of course, since I've been pressuring him for months to schedule an appointment for a vasectomy, he immediately perked up when the nursed asked me if I was interested in having my tubes tied. "Well, that would certainly make MY life easier," he responded. Can I tell you there is a part of me that still wants him to do it just so he could go through something with HIS body having to do with the reproduction of our children? I know, a bit mean. Knowing this is my last baby (yeah, I got the tubes tied, he dodged a bullet. Translation--he owes me!), it's made this experience different. I hold her more, smell her longer (omg I love newborn smells!), coo louder, and generally try to soak up everything about this. I teared up when she got out of the size N diapers and into the size 1. This is the last baby I will put a tiny little diaper on.

I'm just trying to enjoy every minute.

Here are a few pictures of my sweet Katie from yesterday and the sisters together from the other day. LOVE.MY.GIRLS.









Thursday, January 28, 2010

Katiebug

On Saturday, my heart expanded and added my third daughter. It was an unexpected C-section due to some little one flipping and becoming breech at the last minute (little stinker). Things didn't exactly go the way we anticipated, but in the end, it was all perfect. Katherine Sarah joined us at 8:34am on 1/23/10 weighing 8 lbs 4 oz and 21 inches long.

She is the snuggliest, sweetest newborn. She cries when hungry or having a diaper change. Her looks are a perfect combination of her two sisters. She has the characteristic Scott girl nose, tons of hair, and long skinny toes.

We are in love.

Big sister is adjusting well. She loves Katie and wants to be close to her. Of course, she struggles with wanting me to do something and not liking that I can't because I am stuck nursing and unable to get up. I've made sure to give her extra loving and one on one time each day. We've had special story time just the two of us, time to color and play, and sweet snuggle time to help her with adjusting. Maggie is a wonderful big sister. She hated me being in the hospital and did not like leaving me there at nights, but has done so much better since I got home.

If you haven't already seen them, please visit Jen's blog at www.sugar-photography.com/blog and see the blog post "Sisters." Make sure you have your Kleenex ready! Seeing the moment Maggie and Katie will meet will melt your heart.

I'm off to snuggle my girl before big sister gets back from school.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

39 weeks

Ignore the look of sheer exhaustion on my face. It was midnight and
while I love being with our friends, it was midnight and I was ready
to be asleep!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bedrest

I'm spending this weekend on a modified amount of bedrest. Not because there is anything wrong with the baby or me (though I feel like absolute crud--thanks a lot morning sickness that won't go away!). It's so that my ubertalented, super great friend who has agreed to be in the delivery room to capture our first moments with Katie could go to LA for a fancy swag party that she and her 15 month old were invited to. Yep, you can read about it here. Jen tried to politely decline this incredible offer that could potentially help advance her career on account of Katie's impending arrival. I emphatically told her NO WAY and promised bedrest. Hey, for Maggie, I promised Dana and Dennis Eisenberg bedrest in my 38th week so they could take the boys to Disney. Why not for my photog friend to go to LA, right?

I'm mid way through my 38th week. We have a scheduled induction date of January 26th, one day after my due date if she doesn't come before that. With my other two girls, I was induced 8 or 9 days early. For Allie, she was on track to be a well over 9 lb baby. At 9 days early, she weighed in at 8lbs 6 oz (and crossed over 10 by her 2 week checkup). She was a tank! However, I wasn't dilated, cervix wasn't softened. I frankly wasn't ready but let the doctor convinced me (first time mom, I didn't know any better) to go for it. It was a bad decision. She wasn't ready AT ALL. I pushed her for a solid 3 hours. She would start to come out and suck back in. She had to be vaccuumed out and I had some severe issues. Yeah, I don't want that again.

With Maggie, I had a scheduled c-section for October 26th due to her being breech. I went in on the 25th for a pre-op appointment with Dennis, mentally prepared to have my baby in one day and totally DONE with being pregnant. That little girl flipped!! So, he induced me that night. She was 8 days early. Labor wasn't anywhere near as rough as Allie's but the pain was pretty significant (I know, stupid statement). Again, I wasn't dilated at all.

This time, if I can avoid the induction, I would prefer it. However, I don't want to go past my due date either. I'm pretty uncomfortable, having lots of Braxton Hicks, and I'm back to being sick again. I'm now down four pounds in the last week. I got sick during Andrew's birthday dinner Tuesday night and I'm barely eating because everything is making me feel cruddy. While I'm trying not to whine too much, I honestly feel bad for my husband right now. Poor man is listening to a lot of complaining. Guess that's the role of dad at this point since he can't share in the joy of this pregnancy gig!

So, that's where we are now. I'm working from home and getting lots done from my couch and laptop. I'm slowing down as much as I can. And I'm promising Jen to keep this baby in (hopefully!) until Sunday night when she returns.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Been There Done That

Just as I have with my other two pregnancies, I have once again become addicted to Babycenter and my birth board. I read daily what other moms due January 2010 write about---their questions, experiences, and advice. Most of them are FTM (First Time Moms) asking questions. Many are still so green about this thing called motherhood and what's in store for them. There are many posts requesting help from the "BTDT moms" (Been There, Done That).

That's me. This is my third pregnancy. My third time to go full term with heartburn, morning sickness (yes, without the medicine, I still get it. With it, well, I've gained 39 lbs so it works!), and experience labor. I've held two new babies in my arms. I've cried looking at my daughters and feeling my heart swell to a size I never thought imaginable. I've watched two babies grow.

But I've never had two at the same time.

I had one beautiful angel first. She was perfect. Everything about her was incredible. I loved her from the second I saw her chubby little cheeks. I lost her. Cancer stole her from me and I miss her more than I can ever describe.

Then I had my second beautiful little girl. She came out a spit fire. She was a screaming mess, and Andrew and I laughed and realized we were in for a wild ride. She's our funny girl, always surprising us and keeping us on our toes. I love her more and more each day and I'm just grateful for the opportunity to be her mom.

And now, I'm three weeks away (or less) from having what I know to be my next beautiful girl. I don't know what she will be like. I don't know if she will be a "chubalub" or a "tiny peanut" (as we described Allie and Maggie). I don't know if she will have the same blue eyes as her sisters, inherited from their father. I know I will love her as much as I do her sisters.

But what scares me most right now? While I've had two children, I've never had two at the same time. I've not had to juggle my love for my children or make sure I'm giving each child my attention. While I can answer the questions for the BTDT moms on Babycenter about my experiences of child birth, I have nothing to offer about what life with more than one is like. Even though this is my third child.

I was asked early on in this pregnancy by someone if I was going to have another so that I would actually have three. Thing is, then I would have four. I will always be one short. I am not wanting to chase after the child I no longer have. She will always be my daughter. I will love her until the day she dies. I plan to raise the two girls I have here and love them as much as possible and forever love the child I am without. That's the best I can do.

But first, I need to have this little girl. We're anxiously awaiting her arrival and this new experience in our lives. Two kids at one time? Haven't been there, done that, but I'm looking forward to trying.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Me and my girls ;)

Sorry for the lack of writing lately. No attention span long enough to
do it!

Maggie and I on NYE. 37 weeks tomorrow!!