Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Summer Solstice (a few days late)

I got an e-mail from my aunt Beth a few days ago asking if the date of June 8 was correct as the last time I updated my blog... I had not realized it had been so long! And there goes my summer plan of blogging once a week. Oh, summer. I have such big plans for you and then the time slips away.

More accurately, the time is CONSTANTLY INTERRUPTED. As of right now, I have the baby sleeping, but Coco just came in to tell me in tears that Zuzu wrecked the volcano she made in the sandbox: "She wrecked it and she didn't ask!"

Apparently she just wanted to report, because I said, "I'm so sorry that happened. What would you like me to do?" and she just walked away to go back outside and play. Okay, then!

At any rate, this will be another brain dump post of a few things on my mind of late because I don't have the wherewithal to actually construct an essay-style blog post on one subject.

I may have caught up a bit on sleep last night when I crashed downstairs in the recliner at 7pm while the girls were having Friday Night Movie Night watching The Grinch (Coco's choice). I woke up around 9:30pm, fed the baby, left her downstairs with David and went to bed. She did her "normal" routine of waking up at 2:00am, 5:00am, and 8:00am so I didn't get out of bed until after I'd fed her at 8:00.

I'm still tracking all her feedings in my phone and keeping track of diapers. Partly out of habit, and partly because I have no sense of the passage of time and I need my phone to keep track of anything.

I'm doing a diaper study right now for a local marketing company. They provided two weeks worth of diapers (seven diapers per day, we usually need eight so we supplement with our own) and a scale and I have to weigh the diaper when I change it and record whether she peed or pooped and if it leaked (so far we've had no leaking). It's a bit of a pain, but I think it's worth the cash money they're paying for the data we enter online.

In much more exciting news, my best friend from high school had her baby Thursday night! We graduated high school together and then decided to have geriatric pregnancies together! Wa-hoo! In all actuality, having kids has been much more complicated than that for both of us, but we ended up pregnant together and due three and a half weeks apart. Thanks to Miss G's dramatic entrance, our babies are six and a half weeks apart, but we still expect them to be best friends and potential life partners. I can't wait to meet baby Johnny and introduce him to Miss G.

Miss G still doesn't have a nickname (although I'm apparently calling her Miss G on the blog). Zuzu was actually 6 months old before she became Zuzu, so I'm not too worried about it. So far Veeves and Evie are strong contenders.

An IG friend/fellow babyloss mom recently attended a conference on stillbirth and pregnancy research, and she posted in her IG stories about the lack of research/funding for this area of medicine. It's so maddening to me. As another friend (baby Johnny's dad, actually) commented the other day, if this had to do with erections, we'd have the top notch technology worked out, but pregnant women are getting overlooked. One of the doctors who presented at the conference noted that the lack of attention and respect given to this health issue means that women who experience the loss of a child due to stillbirth have a sense of being marginalized and she used the term "disenfranchised grief."

That term really spoke to me--like some of us aren't sure how much we get to grieve publicly, or we have the painful experience of our grief being dismissed because it wasn't a "real" baby or whatever.

A guy I went to high school with posted on facebook today that he and his wife had lost their baby boy. I'm not sure how far along she was, but as I typed a comment on his post to tell him how sorry I was, it made me cry.

Life is so sweet these days (also exhausting, overwhelming, and occasionally really frustrating) but I still miss Eliza. I still mourn the fact that I should have an eight-year-old here. My friends from college hosted a "sprinkle" for Genevieve and we all got together with our families. It was so much fun, and so great to see everyone. But these are the friends who all had babies within a year of Eliza. Four of the kids there were born within two months of her birthday. It doesn't hurt as much to be around them--there were years when just seeing them was so painful it would take my breath away--but it still pushes on the bruised places in my broken heart. I love these friends and adore these kids, and I'm so glad they are still part of my life. It's just hard to know that there is one more kid who should be there.

Baby G's fan club of girls
One friend of mine has a six-year-old daughter who played with Zuzu and Coco and was delighted to hold the baby. When it was time to go, she jokingly said to her mom, "I'm going to be part of their family now!" and her mom laughed and said, "That's just what she needs! Another little girl!"

It was obviously a joke... of course I have my hands full. But it still made my heart lurch because truer words were never spoken. Another little girl is exactly what I need.

And I still can hardly believe that some people get that lucky--to get to keep all their babies and watch them grow up and take it for granted that they will.

True confession: It helps me to remember how fortunate I am to have these three little girls when I'm solo-parenting!

They look so sweet here, you'd never know what stinkers Z & C can be!
David has been at a conference for THREE NIGHTS (Who makes a conference last that long?! Terrible planning!). My parents came up to help me out because we've had a couple evenings where I couldn't handle the thought of being on my own while trying to cope with a fussy baby (what is it about the witching hour?) and make dinner for children whose appetites are unpredictable and subject to change at any given time (I'll never be the kind of parent who makes a separate meal for my kids! They can eat whatever we're having!... Excuse me while I eat my words for dinner.)

The dinner hour is hard for us, mostly because when I get hungry I get hangry too, and then nothing goes well! David had suggested we get a baby swing, but I'd been holding off. We had a small travel swing for Zuzu, but she hadn't been that crazy about it. Coco never used it because we couldn't keep two-year-old Zuzu out of it, so I think I gave it away to my brother. I didn't want to buy a big, bulky plastic swing that G would only use for a few months, so I looked half-heartedly on Facebook marketplace. Then I decided to put out a call on FB to see if any of my local friends had one we could borrow--and sure enough, my friend Angie came through for me!

loves the swing--she loves movement and music--so it has been a real sanity-saver.

I've been trying to get back into meal planning and since D was gone the past couple of days while my parents were here, I also did some cooking! (I made this enchilada recipe and it was delish). But tonight it's take and bake cheese sticks because I am only human and my parents left today.

Swimming lessons started this week. On Monday, I wanted to tear my hair out because my kids were acting like they'd hardly been in a pool before. Coco is the only kid in her class and she loves to be babied, so she was basically letting her instructor carry her around the pool like an infant in a mommy & me class. Zuzu was convinced that a sign indicated two people couldn't be on the diving block together actually indicated that she shouldn't dive off of it at all (what, like she's a rule follower all of a sudden?) so when another girl in her class refused to dive, she joined her in SITTING by the side of the pool. I was like WHAT IS HAPPENING?

But they don't allow parents on the pool deck, probably because they don't want us yelling, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING? COCO, YOU KNOW THAT YOU CAN SWIM BETTER THAN THAT! ZUZU, YOU DIVE ALL THE TIME!" Which is exactly what I wanted to do, LOL. Anyway, today they both turned it around. Coco was finally telling her instructor to back up farther so she could jump and swim to her instead of jumping directly into her arms, and Zuzu dove beautifully off the diving block after we explained the sign.

Zuzu will probably be ready for swim team next year, but we'll see if I'm ready for that commitment!

The other big excitement around here is the zip line that David installed in the backyard. The girls have been loving it. It only makes me a little nervous... I've been baffled by their inclination to zip line in the nude, but it does save me on laundry. The main reason why it's nice to have trees surrounding our house for privacy: backyard nudity.

a rare picture of them fully clothed!
The other thing we've been doing this summer is watching episodes of Little House on the Prairie in our downtime between lunch and afternoon activities. The girls have been very empathetic about the Ingalls family and their struggles. Pa broke his ribs and then a hailstorm ruined all their wheat. Zuzu kept calling it their "weed" which made me laugh. "Pa can't sell all his weed!" It's sparked some good conversations about white settlers encroaching on American Indian territories and the idea that the land was just open for them to take. And we've also talked about how you make flour from wheat, what alcoholism is (ahem, Mr. Edwards), and why it's important to get vaccinations (so you don't die from small pox). Who knew it would be such an educational experience?

All right... Coco is getting whiny so I'm wrapping up this post with no real conclusion... I hope to post soon about Zuzu's seventh birthday party! I can't believe my rainbow baby is going to be seven.


  1. Oh I love the pic of the three of them! I empathize with the fussy baby. My smallest is almost 7 months and "high needs", which sounds kinda like when a male gyno tells you it'll feel "mildy unpleasant".

  2. I have been refreshing like your aunt Beth! I am a long time reader - I didn’t experience a stillbirth but instead a miscarriage and infertility. Your line about not believing that people actually get to keep all of their children - that really resonated with me. I have a 4 year old and a 4 month old. It’s a tough and unintentional age gap. Your comment just validated a lot of feelings I have had lately (towards others.) thank you for still writing when many bloggers don’t anymore. I love hearing about both of your careers as I am a high school teacher.

  3. However scattered this may have felt to you, it felt like a letter from an old friend to me, complete with the classic, "well, the kids are losing it, gotta go!" closing! Loved it and glad you're all doing well!

  4. Thank you for your website post. Velupe and I are already saving for our new
    e book on this subject matter and your post has made us all
    to save money. Your ideas really solved all our issues.
    In fact, more than what we had recognized before we came upon your superb
    blog. I no longer have doubts along with a troubled mind because you have clearly attended to each of our needs
    in this post. Thanks