Friday, May 25, 2012


Mia-rrific is O-N-E! Today!


I can't believe it's been a year since you were born. At the same time, I can't believe I've only been holding you in my arms for one year. You are such an important and huge part of our lives, that I can't imagine what Mama and Papa ever did to keep busy before you were around. You have come so far from the little bundle we brought home from the hospital to the little personality-filled girl that you are today. You are so lively, friendly and sweet that you are a hit everywhere you go. You have fans all over the world, from Lola and Papy in China to your to your GrandLola in France, and the whole clan of C--s in Chicago! They love you and think about you everyday, but nobody loves you as much as your Mama and Papa do.

Last weekend, while we were at Costco preparing for your upcoming birthday party, you made tons of friends walking up and down the aisles. You thought Mama and Papa were taking too long shopping, so you demanded to be let out of the cart so that you could stretch your legs and walk around. You pointed at cans of tomato sauce, and cracked up at so many other things that Mama and Papa just didn't get. You play, all day long, sometimes wanting a bit of participation, but mostly, you're happy playing on your own. You are always very busy putting things in and out of your toy box, laughing and cuddling your stuffed animals, and feeding your snacks to Swarley.

You started walking a few days after your turned 11 months, and you have gotten very steady and strong on your legs. You are starting to become consistent with your words, but so far, the only discernible ones are "Mamam", "DaDa" and our very favorite "Hiiii". You like to say "Hiii" to everyone around us, and it especially cracks me up when you greet me "Hiii!" when I come to take you out of your carseat. You've been clapping for a few months now, and you clap everytime someone says "YAY!". You've just started pointing a few weeks ago, and you love to point at everything you find interesting. We're finally starting to get consistent with some baby sign language, and you know how to say "milk", but you do it everytime you want something in our hands, so I think you may be misunderstanding the point a bit. You're starting to do more, but it looks more like clapping than anything else. We'll keep at it, and we know you'll get it soon!

At One, you love: stuffed animals, fruit of all kinds, walking, Swarley & Chloe, pretending to drink out of cups and glasses, Mama's jewelry, sitting in your toy box, skyping with your grandparents, and Papa's Derek Lee bobble-head doll that you are not allowed to play with, and many many more things.

You do not like: vegetables, sippy cups, shoes, hair clips, hats, and sitting still!

We love you so much, Mia. Happy Birthday! Here's to so many more.

Monday, May 21, 2012


I didn't post about this immediately, because I've been taking a while to really think about it. I finally decided I'll leave it up to you readers to help me decide. It's not like some big momentous life decision or something, I just need to know if I'm sane or crazy.

It was somewhere between 90 and 100 degrees here in Las Vegas yesterday, so Romeo and I decided to take Tybalt out to the apartment pool for the first time of the season. During last year's pool season, as a 9-month to a 1-year old, we used a large flotation device that had leg holes and a fabric canopy on top and Tybalt would just float and kick and splash in the pool in that. This year, in an attempt to transition to the next "step" we bought him a suit that has flotation pads built into it-- kind of like a life jacket with trunks attached. Anyway, we wanted to see how it works and if it's going to provide enough support or if he still needs his large floating "cabana" this year. (By the way, the answer is no, the suit isn't enough and it looks like yes, we will have to rely on the big float for another year.)

Anyway, sorry, I got distracted. None of the above is the point at all. It was the long way of saying that we took Tybalt to the pool yesterday.

When we got to the pool at about 12noon, there were a handful of other people. It wasn't packed, but it's one of two pools at our apartment complex, and is the larger and more popular one. There were two young-ish ladies chatting and sunning, two older middle-aged women sunning privately, and one other young boy and "his adults." I say "his adults" because I couldn't tell what relation they were to him. I'm guessing one was his father. The other could have been an uncle, the father's friend, or for all I know the boy has two dads. Anyway, this boy and one of the men, let's say "dad" for the sake of this already long and complicated post, were the only other people in the pool besides Romeo, Tybalt, and I. We were at opposite corners of the pool. ("Man #2" was near them but sunning and not in the water.) And all the aforementioned female sunbathers were scattered around. *Just trying to set up the scene for you, folks.*

Now, when we got there, it appeared the other little boy and the gentlemen had just arrived a few minutes earlier, as "dad" was just jumping in and the boy was testing the water. He must have been 3 or 4 years old. Hard to tell because he was small, but he was using complete sentences. And as we arrived I noticed he was wearing inflatable arm floaties and swim trunks. In the 5 to 10 minutes however that it took us to get ourselves situated: claiming a table for our towels, sunscreen, Romeo getting in the pool, and me passing Tybalt over to his care, etc, I looked over and saw that the little boy was no longer wearing his swim trunks! "Dad" and the other gentleman were allowing him to wander around, as well as swim, buck naked, with nothing but his arm floaties on! Romeo doesn't wear his glasses while swimming, so he didn't see it, and I couldn't successfully whisper to him in front of everyone. But to me, sitting on the side of the pool, glasses on, fully aware, it was completely obvious that this kid was naked and his little boy body parts were on full display for the entire apartment complex to see! Okay, in all honesty the entire complex of people were not there, obviously, but you get what I mean. Why would they let their chid do this? Our family of three stayed for about 20 minutes and he was still "streaking" when we left. I mean he was walking back and forth between Man #2's lounge chair and to "dad" in the pool, he would get in the pool with "dad" for a minute, and back out, and climb up onto and lie on a lounge chair next to Man #2. All repeatedly. All nude. It's not like I was trying to stare. It grosses me out to think anyone would, plus my Tybalt was adorable playing in the water with Romeo and my attention was focused there. But at the same time it was like a wreck you can't look away from. And yes, I glanced over a few times, mainly to see if this was real. "Were the men in charge of his care seriously comfortable with this? Or had the kid stripped down out of rebellion, and once they noticed surely they would be embarrassed and re-dress him," I thought to myself. But nope, like I said, at least 20 minutes, and we left first.

So, blogosphere-- am I a prude or am I correct that this behavior is really odd and wrong? I know some toddlers hit a stage where they strip out of rebellion and/or curiosity with their bodies. But I think most parents would re-cover their child. Add to the fact that this child seemed older than a young toddler who might do that. Not paying much attention to them when we arrived, I also don't know why the trunks came off to begin with. Choice? Or did the child have an "accident?" If that was the case wouldn't you take your child back to your apartment as quickly as possible to clean up? So I'm doubting that scenario. I do imagine that some parents let their kids go nude in their own backyard private pool, or maybe it's different in other countries and other cultures. (The boy and both men were very dark olive skinned and dark haired, and Las Vegas is known for being multi-cultural.) But still, this is not your own private pool, and this is not, let's just say, a European beachfront. Beyond that, as I alluded to earlier, I didn't want to look because it makes me feel creepy to even have seen it to begin with. I don't want to get graphic here, but what if all the other pool goers hadn't been 2 young women in their twenties and 2 grandmotherly old ladies? What if they let their son do this in front of a pedophile? I'm not saying we have one living here, but you can never be too sure who your neighbor's are in this society. Why would you even risk who might be at the pool (or the beach, or anywhere else) and let your child go naked?

So, what do you suppose the situation was? And what is your take on it? Am I prude or not? Verdict?

Crafty Weekend

Next weekend is Mia's Poolside Birthday Bash, so we had a bunch of errands to run for party prep this weekend. We had trips to Hobby Lobby for decorations, Target for supplies, and Costco for food purchases and birthday cake ordering. While at Hobby Lobby, I was perusing the seemingly endless crafts, I was inspired to do a few things.

The other day, while browsing Ravelry for new and exciting knitting patterns, I came across ten ten knits, which is a blog written by this awesome knitter and overall crafty lady. I read through many of her archives, and found a tutorial for Chan Luu style bracelets that retail for $200+ dollars. In the beading section at Hobby Lobby, I picked up some leather cording and decided to experiment with the beads I already had stashed away from my previous dabbling. A few hours and way too many finger stabs, knots and curses later, here is the result:

This did not photograph well at all, the beads are a dark purple faceted "rondelle" (the technical term, for those of you in the know). I love it and I can't wait to take another trip to stock up on leather cording. I really want to make a longer one with colorful threads, just like on the Chan Luu website. But, since it took me 2 hours to make the pictured one, and then three to make a second one with smaller beads (thank you, Mia, for taking extremely long naps this weekend), this might have to wait until... a week that I do not have to throw a party at the end of.

Also, in preparation for the big birthday party, I decided to skip purchasing the thank you notes that matched our very cute cupcake invitation, and make some personalized ones. I bought some plain blank greeting cards and an alphabet stamp pad, grabbed some of my extra yarn scraps and my knitting needles, and here is the result:

I made 8 of them in all different heart shapes, colors and sizes and sent them all out as Thank Yous for the Chicago Birthday party. This week, I'm going to knit up 8 more of these little hearts and sew them onto a new pack of cards once Birthday Party the Second is over.

So many crafts, so little time! I also have a big soft purple cowl in the works, but knitting a cowl in 100 degree weather has been pretty uninspiring. I'm considering putting those needles down for a rest and starting on a cotton blanket, which is much more weather appropriate.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Immigration Fun

Mia was up all night on Wednesday through Thursday morning just non-stop coughing. She has had the sniffles basically every day since being enrolled in daycare, but it looks like she got a new string of virus in the past couple of days, because the mucus has multiplied.Needless to say, after a sleep less night for all three members of the Frenchie family, only my courageous husband made it to his regularly scheduled activities. Mia and I went to the pediatrician in the morning, where we were sent on our merry way with nothing but advice to use the humidifier and to prop her mattress up. Thanks so much, but hey, at least it's not strep. Also, upon the fear of it once again being strep, our very nice Pediatrician told me to also say "Ahh" and declared that I had more inflammation than Mia, so not to worry. Great, thanks so much. We spent the rest of the day alternating between the couch and the bed, Mia wanting to sleep on me the whole time, while I strategically try to keep my airways out of hers so as not to, you know, give her more of my inflammation.

This morning, after a full night's sleep on everyone's part, everyone seemed good enough to go in the morning, so here I am, back at work. I always dread coming in after missing more than just one day of work (wednesday was my cut-back day), but here I am at 10:30 already caught up. One of my very least favorite things was sitting in my email waiting for me to read and seethe about: an email from a person whose green card I am currently working on, saying something along the lines of: "My friend's green card was recently denied because a change in the law, so I think we should try a different approach." My somewhat polite answer: "There are a million reasons your friends petition may have been denied, whether her employer explained it to her in full or not. Green card applications are very complicated, and it isn't as simple as checking a different box. I have prepared your petition following the standards, and according to what this company is willing to offer you. I am confident in submitting this petition as we had discussed."

Don't you just love it when Clients listen to their friends, and based on that want to tell you what to do? Immigration practice, in its basic, uncomplicated, "I want to live in the US" form is very different from traditional law practice. There are petitions to prepare, and there are so many avenues to navigate. My very favorite thing about this job is just that: figuring out what the best route is, choosing which visa path to follow, whether people qualify for one over another, etc. It's very logical and diagram-y, and I like it. I started here knowing NOTHING about it, and figuring it out on my own from the USCIS website, handbooks and textbooks and from just doing it. But one of the downsides to this type of practice is that it is so detail oriented, that explaining your choice to your client can be pointless, such as it is in this case. There are so many nuances to employment-based immigration, what a company can do, what goes into a job description, who qualifies for it, what jobs you don't have a prayer of getting a foreigner for, etc. They just don't get it. And in communities that have had so much exposure to immigration, the experience their friend has, and who no doubt explained it to them in very rudimentary and nontechnical terms, is almost always taken as the best advice. No, I didn't learn about Immigration in law school, but I certainly learned how to represent a client to the best of my abilities. So please, stop listening to your friend whose green card was denied. Don't even listen to your friend whose green card was approved! Listen to me.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day

This was my first Mother's Day. I was very much anticipating this day, the very same way I anticipated my birthday in days of yore. I kept telling myself that it was silly to anticipate Mother's Day, since, really it was just a normal day. Last year on Mother's Day, I was about a million weeks pregnant (38 weeks, to be specific) and I was in a bad mood and told B that I did NOT want a card or flowers because I was not a mother, I was just a person with an enormous belly and if this thing would just get OUT then we can celebrate. But nooo... in she stayed for another week and a half, thereby making Mother's Day 2012 my first mother's day.

Don't be fooled by the smile. That woman was CRAZY.
There were no cards, and no flowers, but there was an uninterrupted night of sleep which did not end until 8:45 (thanks to B, not Mia, who woke up in the middle of the night AND early that morning), a shower before even going out to get Mia ready for the day, and a smiley baby saying "Hi!" (it sounds more like "Haaaaai") when I finally did come out.

I dressed her (one of my favorite morning tasks - she got so many clothes at her Chicago B-Day that she hasn't had to re-wear an outfit yet) in a pretty pink polka dot dress with matching bloomers (pictures on the real camera - you'll see it later) and we headed out to Egg Works for Brunch. We ordered Mia a side of fruit, and she proceeded to eat every kind that was on there and then moved on to my banana muffin, with her dainty little pincer grasp. This kid! She's gone from refusing any baby food but fruit purees to eating everything you put in front of her. She was very mad when I would not give her a taste of my potatoes, which were covered in Cayenne and Paprika.

After our lovely breakfast, B declared that if I wanted to we could go do something outdoors, something he vetoes 98% of the time since it's Vegas, and it's HOT. He also declared that we would go shopping this afternoon so that I could pick something out for myself! (In other words, I didn't buy you anything, but I'm going to make it seem like it was on purpose) Since I like the feeling of my skin getting crispy and I like shopping, I chose the outdoor mall as my Mother's Day destination. Of course, all we ended up buying were baby sandals and a baby bathing suit, but those two make me just as happy as if I had found shoes for my own feet!

Then, because B didn't feel like cooking (surprise!) and because I hadn't bought anything for myself, we went and got sushi for dinner, my favorite food in the world. B even admitted that despite his lack of planning (except Egg Works, that was planned), this did turn into a very Frenchie-centric day and I had an awesome time.

That evening, Mia went to sleep with very few protests. As I tucked my daughter in, I realize that this year of being a Mother has been my very favorite. That I anticipated Mother's Day so much, because it feels like a culmination of what I've been able to accomplish this year. It's only been a year, but I feel like I've always been this. Mia's Mother. And B did a great job celebrating that, telling me something that I know with confidence. That I'm a great mother, and that together, we've made her into this smart, lively, sweet, friendly little person.

To top it all off, I was able to end the day doing my favorite activity: knitting.

Check out my latest creation: a cable knit dress.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Chicago Vacation, Part Deux: Early Birthday

Since my in-laws have been absent for a good percentage of Mia's milestones, we thought that once the wedding festivities were over (literally -- we went from the wedding brunch directly into the Mia-centric portion of the vacation), we should tack on a couple of days to our trip so that we could celebrate Mia's 1st Birthday, despite it being a bit early. While we were attending all the wedding functions, Mia stayed with her Grandpa, and hung out with my two sisters in law, so that by the time Sunday (and the little party) rolled around, they were all old friends and Mia didn't play shy around anyone.

The birthday party was exactly as expected. A big group of Italian-Americans in B's grandparents basement, eating Italian-American food and chatting. Mia had a lovely time watching her older cousin run around, while being terrified of the balloons that he was pulling after him. Unfortunately, Mia was too excited to sit down and eat anything, and her dinner was basically just a bit of her birthday smash cake. Just as the party was winding down, Mia vomitted like nobody's business, and I was afraid that she had caught another stomach bug, but it turned out to be an isolated incident.

Anyhooo... Chicago weather continued to be basically crappy, so we spent our Monday down at the aquarium. We were joined by SIL the younger. Mia clapped at the belugas and dolphins, and pointed at a great many fish tanks.

Our flight home was scheduled at 6am, so we set our alarm for 3:30am, for a 4am airport departure. Just as I was getting ready to switch Mia from her crib to her carseat, I got a text message that our flight was cancelled. After being on the phone with Southwest for a painless amount of time, we were rebooked for the 5:40pm flight, and I tucked myself back into bed. Other than the dogs having to spend one more night at the vet, we got to spend one extra day in our lovely city. We drove to nearby Oak Park (of Hemingway and Frank Lloyd Wright fame) which is the closest to a city-type neighborhood to B's grandparent's house. We also got to enjoy the only nice day the Chicago weather had to offer.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Chicago Vacation Part 1: Wedding

Well, we're back! Six days in Chicago, and I need a vacation from my vacation. The first few days were packed full of activities. As soon as our Southwest flight got in, we dropped our bags off at B's grandparents' house and headed over to visit friends for lunch. Mia made a great impression (of course) thanks to her being fully rested from sleeping the whole flight over. She was fast friends with their new dog, so cuteness abounded. That night, we skipped the first of the wedding festivities (cocktails at Greg Achatz's new place) and had dinner with the in-laws. Mia was, again, a perfect angel, eating everything put in front of her, including a little bitty piece of B's favorite Italian Sausage from his favorite Deli.

On Friday morning, I headed downtown to meet up with the Bride's entourage for mani/pedis. This being the most relaxing portion of my trip, I was not disappointed when they took me to the "spa suite" away from the crew for my pedicure. I embarrassingly had to explain to the manicurist that I lived in the desert, and that was why there was so much to scrape off.... Incidentally, I tried a gel manicure for the first time, and as I type this, my nails are still perfect and chip-free. Although I don't have any experience with actually removing the polish quite yet, I am very happy with the results and will not hesitate to get this done again. I've heard they can get very addictive once you start, though. The Bride had reserved a little room for us at the Spa where we were able to have mimosas and a bit of lunch and we had a lovely little time hanging out with everyone.

Just before the rehearsal was to start, my high school group and I (minus the Bride) stopped at one of our old lunch break restaurants to have a cup of coffee and knock out our toast. We had a lovely time coming up with stories, most of which were too embarrassing or inappropriate to include, but you know, that's half the fun. I think we came up with a few gems that would cause the required amount of embarrassment. B was of course in charge of the camera, so there is no picture of our hilarious toast. Pretend to picture 4 girls and a crowd roaring with laughter. Well, I don't know about the roaring part, but we were funny.

But, back to chrological order. The night before the wedding, we attended a very fancy and very big rehearsal dinner at Spiaggia (where Barack and Michelle go on their anniversary, natch). It was more of a pre-wedding dinner since many of the wedding guests were invited, and there was a three course meal and open bar. I was so excited to see that I was seated with the lovely LagLiv and the rest of the Bride's law school friends, on whom I'm sure I made an excellent impression, being half drunk on Prosecco and black truffle arancini. I've always loved the parties that lead up to a wedding because they give you the chance to get to know the wedding guests before the big day, so it's a much nicer sence of community. It was great to meet her, and she is as awesome in person as she is on her blog, so you should all be very jealous. LL and I shared a couple of dances at the wedding itself, and managed to snap a pic together. She is VERY tall and svelte, so I look like an oompa loopma next to her:

Anyway... the morning after the pre-wedding dinner, I woke up (slightly hungover) thinking that the wedding had already happened, but wondering why I could not remember the way the Bride looked in her dress. I quickly realized that I had to get up, take som Advil, eat some carbs and head downtown to start getting ready. The Bride went all out with the pampering, and I got airbrushed foundation, and false lashes, both of which I absolutely loved. Don't judge the results from the above pictures, since this was post ceremony, dinner, drinking, and dancing. Here's a before ceremony, dinner, drinking and dancing shot:

I thought the result was very MadMen Peggy Olson.

The ceremony and reception were beautiful, and held at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, so everything was garden-themed. It didn't rain, but Chicago in May can be pretty unpredictable, so it was freezing for the ceremony. But we sucked it up and stood in the atrium without shawls. But, everything was beautiful and they were married!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Warning: Probable TMI

**Advance warning: moments of weakness and probable TMI lie ahead. But if you are a mother or "to-be" it may be worth it to read.**

I wish I had been able to breastfeed. Even if only for a little while. Hell, even if only once. Maybe they would have handed me my little Tybalt in the postpartum room, I would have nursed once, and decided it wasn't "for" me. Or I might have tried nursing and found I literally physically couldn't. Or assuming it went swimmingly, maybe I nursed for a few months before weaning so Romeo could help in the middle of the night. Or imagine, what if I breastfed, loved it, Tybalt loved it, and instead of blogging at 1am right now, I was up nursing a 20-month-old still?

Point is, well, what is my point? I guess it's that I simply wish I could have tried it. Add it to the looooooong ass (excuse my French) list of newborn/mother experiences I feel I was cheated out of when my heart failed and I didn't even live with my son until he was 3 months old.

When "we" were pregnant Romeo and I discussed the breast vs. the bottle over and over again. It was perhaps the singular biggest decision I just could not make up to the very end. We knew that we wanted to know the gender in advance, we had a name chosen, for medical reasons (my back implant) we had decided on a c-section. It took a while to pick his exact bedding, but I knew I wanted a teddy bear motif, and I graphed out far in advance where all the furniture would fit best. I had picked his first stuffed animal and the outfit I wanted him to come home in. But how he would be fed? I just couldn't decide. And it wasn't really ever going to be a joint decision, which perhaps should have even eased some confusion and made it slightly easier. I mean how many things do you and your spouse agree on instantaneously? When it's not a joint decision it usually goes faster. Of course I looked to Romeo for his opinion, "Would he feel left out if we didn't bottle feed?" "How would he feel about me nursing in public?" "Would he be disappointed if I didn't choose to breastfeed, because all the books say it's best." And summarily he said he would support whatever I chose. But it truly was me who couldn't decide.

I knew the health benefits, yet for every article you read promoting it, there is another "consoling" you and saying your baby is potentially just as healthy on the bottle, and don't worry-- it's not the end of the world. Some even saying nursing is overrated. I also read that nursing helps prevent postpartum depression because of the chemicals released. This was to me perhaps the biggest item swaying me to nurse. With my history of clinical depression I knew that statistically I was more likely to suffer from postpartum. I was encouraged nursing might help. On the other hand, if it didn't I would still be nursing, yet unable to take my anti-depressants because of doing so, which would lead to a bitter conundrum. Perhaps I would be better off simply taking my meds and not nursing. Honestly not just for my sake, but Tybalt's as well. I knew that a depressed me wouldn't help anyone. Then there was the issue of father and child bonding. There is much literature about its importance, of course, but specifically of the fact that great bonding can occur by being involved in the feedings. If nursing, daddies should be awake at midnight as well, changing diapers and getting baby back to sleep. But some mothers choose not to nurse apparently on purpose so that Daddy can do the actual feedings and bond that way.

The closest I/we ever got to a decision is that I would plan to nurse. Assuming it went well (and I felt sane) I would go "breast only" for a few weeks to months. (My stamina without sleep, if or when I felt the need to start my meds again, and whether Romeo felt he was bonding enough yet or not, would determine whether it really was weeks vs. months.) But eventually I would start to pump and it would be bottled so Romeo and I could share the feedings, bonding, and lack of sleep.

But even though that was my "final plan" I still hemmed and hawed. Part of me didn't even want to nurse, as guilty as I felt about that, I sometimes had no interest. It wasn't just the reasons that perhaps I shouldn't (meds/ Romeo's bonding) it was, "Do I really want to?" "Do I want to have to whip a boob out in public?" "Do I want to not be able to get a babysitter for the first however many months?" "Do I want my breasts to be human refrigerators?" Ever since Romeo and I had dated he had been enamored with my breasts, as I am well endowed. In all PAINFUL honesty, I wasn't thrilled at the idea of my breasts being under "new management" and turning into my child's rather than my husband's. Romeo had been my first. (Okay, not the first to enjoy my boobs, I had fooled around as a teenager with a couple boys. But he was my first "real" sexual partner.) As a young adult I suffered from horribly low self-esteem due to my obesity. However with weight usually comes large boobs, and it was definitely true in my case. You could even say "BEYOND definitely true." Especially compared to my small framed female teenage counterparts. So the boys I fooled around with weren't really into me, except for the bonus of my top half. And I couldn't describe it while pregnant and trying to decide, and I still don't know if I truly can, but where I let those teenage boys just fool with my mind because they really only wanted to fool around with my boobs, Romeo... I don't know... treated them as a prized possession. I genuinely adored him adoring my breasts because I knew he adored the rest of me as well. He had loved the person first. I guess I was terrified that once he saw "his" boobs turned into breasts in the scientific sense--feeding and sustaining life, he would feel differently. (Not to mention the shape I have heard breasts take on after having nursed a child.) And while I was brave enough to bring these concerns into our conversations about the ultimate decision, and Romeo assured me he would not be deterred and his opinions about my body would not change, I just still had my doubts.

So, I still had not made a firm decision. The only clear picture in my head was that I wanted to nurse Tybalt the very first time. After I gave birth, when the nurse asked, I would say "Sure!" and my little boy would be placed on my chest and I would nuzzle him and I would try. [Insert pause for me crying right now as I think about what I didn't get to do.] Anyway, I figured after that I would either follow "the plan" or else if really still unsure, I would take it day by day, feeding by feeding.

But as [bad] luck would have it, I had an emergency delivery 3 weeks early, went into cardiac arrest on the c-section table, nearly died, was in hospitals and rehab facilities for 3 months, and only saw my baby about one evening a week (from what I consciously remember with all the drugs). He lived with my in-laws and was very lovingly hand-fed via bottle by them and Romeo. I didn't get to live in the same house as him until he was 3 months old. And because of complications and extended home nursing, I didn't come out from the basement and really know him until he was about 4 1/2 months. I wasn't strong enough to be full-time mom and sole caretaker (of course with Romeo, I just mean without MIL) until we moved into a new apartment and Tybalt was 6 months.

His feeding choice was not mine. It never became mine. Actually, I can't even begin to describe to you the joy I had when he was 6 months old, we had moved into our new apartment (we terminated our old apartment lease when it was obvious we had to be at my in-laws for my home nursing care and we were paying rent on an apartment no one was living in), and anyway, the joy I had in going to Target and actually choosing which canned formula to buy for my son! It sounds insane, I know. But my MIL or Romeo did the shopping when I was recovering, and they just bought the brand that the hospital had sent home samples of. Finally, I was the one in the baby aisle and I could choose.

But that's all the choice I got. And there are nights, like tonight, when my husband has fallen asleep and I can't yet, that I daydream. I lie in bed in the dark, my hand will graze my breast or my nipple as I roll over or some odd motion, and my mind drifts to 2 years ago, and how VERY, VERY, EXTREMELY SILLY I was for ever doubting I wanted to breastfeed. And I sob as Romeo snores and saws logs.

If only I could have done it, just once. Just once, God. Why couldn't you have given me just once?

Please, if any of you reading are a mother-to-be, or know one: Nurse. Or tell them to. I am not a "granola, crunchy mom." I'm not extolling the health benefits and everything else. I'm not telling you to nurse your child until he is old enough to unbutton your shirt himself. I'm just saying try it. For me.

Look, I know we are a small blog and not read by many, but if you can share my story with anyone, please do. We as humans are not omniscient and often don't even know who needs what help, so maybe you should just share it for the sake of sharing, and it will find and touch the person in the universe that it was meant for. Share the link on Facebook (the Internet is a powerful thing), copy and paste it in an email, heck-- print the screen and snail mail it. If it will be of any help-- perhaps to a woman who is still on the fence, or maybe you nurse now or have decided you are going to and need help defending your position, etc, whatever the case! And if you do choose to share it, and/or it does help you or someone you know (in any way at all) I'd be thrilled to know. So PLEASE email me at julietcap702 at gmail dot com, or even leave a comment here. I'd like to think my regret is not in vain. That as cliche as it is, when God closed that door of choice on me, sharing my story is the window he opened. Perhaps it's the point.

**Again, my apologies for the moments of TMI, vocab, etc, in this post.**

Thursday, May 3, 2012

One Track Mind

Adoption, adoption, adoption. It's all I can think about. I want a little baby girl in my, right now. And yes, I am aware that's SO not how adoption works, and that I'm not being practical or rational. 1) It's not fast; there is no "right now" in adoption. 2) You can't necessarily choose the gender. Some people say you shouldn't even in cases where you can. Sometimes I feel guilty that I would want to. 3) It's not always a newborn; and older children are in more need. 4) It costs money that Romeo and I just don't have right now, and can't count on in our near future. (And I'm not foster-to-adopt material. If I knew a child was placed with me because a parent was inadequate my Christian values of love, forgiveness, believing people can change, and giving second chances would all fly out the window, mother bear would come out and I'd never want to give that precious child back.)

But if I'm being candid and honest, that is my fantasy that keeps replaying like a broken record. So can I just live in a little bubble and have my fantasy for a minute? 1) I want another baby, I never wanted an only child. For those of you that do, to each their own, but that's not me. 2) or 1b) I want a sibling for Tybalt. 3) I want to have those newborn experiences I was cheated out of with Tybalt. 4) I always wanted a girl to put in frilly dresses and those sticky hair bows that I have always seen on peach fuzz endowed infants and wonder how they stick. 5) or 4b) If I really can never get pregnant again and if we *ever* find ourselves financially able to adopt I'm sure it will only happen once, so yes, I wish for a girl so I'd have one child of each gender. I'm not saying a girl is more important to me than having another child. I want whatever God puts in our path. But I'm numbering the bullet points of my fantasy-- not reality.

That's all. That's my post for this midnight. Just some ramblings on what I want, why I do, and what's not realistic about it. :/