Saturday, December 4, 2010


Anyone who has a young child has probably seen the Pixar film Ratatouille at least once. (If you haven't, it's worth checking out.)

In the movie, there is this one scene where Anton Ego, any restaurateur's feared food critic, is seated in Gusteau's after the main (human) character learns he is the rightful heir to it and says,
"You know what I'm craving?
A little perspective.
That's it.
I'd like some fresh, clear, well seasoned perspective.
Can you suggest a good wine to go with that?"

Obviously, I'm taking this quote entirely out of context. I've been thinking back to this soundbite over and over as we come up and over the holidays this year. It's always rife with family drama and headaches. What holiday is complete without them? There will always be one family member unhappy with another for some reason or another. Whether you take sides, play Nordic or ignore it altogether is all part of the grand design of these drawn out, often painful and uncomfortable situations.

Here's what I think (just me - I don't speak for my better half):

WHAT is driven by WHY.
WHO is driven by WHAT.
WHERE is driven by WHO.
HOW is driven by WHY.
WHEN is driven WHO
WHY will always be a mystery.

That's two WHOs that don't give two hoots about

I'm not sure if what I just said makes any sense to you but it did at the time I was writing it. You get my bigger point here, right?

Life is not just black and white.
Let it go.
Crave perspective.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Most people don't realize their own imprint on this world. Movies have been made, books have been written and philosophers have lamented the same to expose this truth. Yet it is a revelation to that person who realizes what importance they contribute to another person, a place or just themselves. It cannot be taught or learned, it simply must be believed.

For someone to leave such an impact usually requires time. For those someones who have not been able to experience that luxury, what impact do they impart? Is there any?

I say "Yes" - emphatically.

Nari and Matthew have made such permanent impressions on our hearts. The kind of impression that leaves an aching bruise slow to heal. It has changed our lives forever.

This ache and the burning desire to let our angels know that they have left their mark in this world resulted in permament marks of our own:

Ken's fresh ink
Fresh ink ... also most probably my first (and last)

I have never felt more compelled to show what I feel inside on the outside.
          And now?
                    It shows.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Baby Steps

Time does not necessarily make things better but it does make things easier.
It is easier to tell my children's stories and talk about their lives. I find it to be a healing process to do so.

That's just me.

It is easier to go about the business of living.
Waking up, making meals, going to work and making idle chit-chat.

Eventually, I know sleep will come easier.
Slowly, energy and physical activity is becoming easier.

What's in store for our future?

We don't know but you know that saying "Where there's a will, there's a way"?
For us, it is "Where there is a way, we have the will".

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Humble Gratitude

"Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it."
Ezra 10:4

Although many of you have credited us with having the courage and optimism that has allowed us to maintain our hope, we cannot imagine having done all this alone. Through the outpouring of your tears, messages, cards, visits, phone calls, emails, condolences and thoughtful gifts and gestures, we are truly blessed. We just didn't expect all of this and are not used to all the attention.

Most times, it seems grossly inadequate to simply tell someone thank you. We want so much for our family and friends to understand that the "thank you" we're desperately trying to convey holds so much more than the nonchalant thank you's we exchange everyday to the waiter for bringing your food or the cashier giving you your receipt.

Here is our homage of thanks in the form of pictures and words taken from the cards and emails we've received. They are in no particular order, sender's names are not mentioned and these are certainly not all-inclusive.

When your heart needs reprieve and your strength is running low, I will share your tears.

In the hardest things we do ... love sees us through.

If you need some distraction, I would be happy to come see you and play the clown.

A wish for hope and for comfort ...

In these days and nights of sorrow, know that you are not alone but are in the prayers, the thoughts, and hearts of those who care.

I hope you will be able to take comfort in whatever vision you each may have of heaven.

... pray that you have the strength to get through this. You and Ken are in my thoughts and prayers.

We are both here for you when you are ready.

If you need anything, you know where to ask.

I send only my greatest thoughts and warmest love to you at this time.

Our hearts ache with yours; we pray for comfort and healing during this difficult time.

If you ever need an escape or a shoulder to cry on, please always feel free to give me a call.

Let me know and I'll be there whenever.

I just want to let you know that I will do ANYTHING that you want ... I will be there for a shoulder to cry on, go out, make you dinner, ANYTHING!!! I love you!

To suffer a loss like yours is to know a loss unlike any other ... it means letting go of a beautiful part of your life.

Ken and I both want everyone to know that we're still optimistic about the future and are taking steps to realize our dreams. Thank you all for the many things - especially the intangible things - that you've given us. We are enveloped by the warmth of your prayers and wishes.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


We've been through a lot and I can't speak for my husband but I can tell you what I've learned during our fertility struggles and tragic experiences.

I've learned that ...
   ... grief is like a common cold. There is no cure, it lingers and only time will heal it.
   ... it is important to pay attention to yourself.
   ... you must let yourself recover both physically AND emotionally.
   ... I love this quote: "Learn from Yesterday, Live for Today and Hope for Tomorrow".
   ... there is no right way to mourn a loss, there is only your own way.
   ... we must take care of ourselves before others.
   ... it is ok to lean on your spouse, your family and your friends for support and love.
   ... we don't dwell on the past but dream about our future.
   ... asking for privacy or declining a question is not rude, it is a right.
   ... you shouldn't feel guilty about having a happy moment, laughing again or enjoying your life.

Unless you're someone who has been through a similar experience, it's difficult to come close to understanding how the mind races and the heart aches for someone who said hello and goodbye in one breath. We don't pretend to know everything. We certainly didn't want to be experts on grief and loss.

Simply put, the construct of our mourning has not and does not consume our lives, it brings more meaning to it.

Ken and I truly appreciate all of our family and friends who have kept us in their thoughts and prayers these past few weeks.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Reality Bites

Many people want to know ...

How are you doing?

The answer is:
We're doing.

We're collecting bits and pieces of our lives back up from where we left them. Grief is a strange animal that lurks in deep dark shadows that attacks suddenly and sometimes without obvious provocation. That is the nature of the beast. We know that.

Any loss is difficult but repeating history within a span of a year is a shattering reality.

But, we have not given up.
Hope can still spring from this despair.
That's what we're breathing here.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

No Title

Can lightening strike someone twice?

Yes, it can.

As I lay there with my dying son in one arm and my broken husband in the other, below the white sheet between them laid evidence of the devastation that brought us together.

If you'd like the back story to prevent asking us painful questions like "What happened?", here are the basics. 

I was admitted into the hospital on Tuesday night, October 12th and put on strict bedrest. I was only 22 weeks and 2 days ... only a few weeks shy of possible infant viability. Despite best efforts, contractions and labor on Sunday morning (October 17th) brought our little boy into this world at only 23 weeks old.

If you've never had to bury your child, there are no words to convey the feelings.
If you've had to bury more than one, than you'd know that pure obliteration of human feeling exists.

Matthew Douglas Hamilton was born on October 17, 2010 with his mother's nose and his father's broad shoulders. He will always be lovingly remembered by his mother and father. Matthew joins his sister Nari and they watch over us always.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Baby Update

I'm still sick. All the tea, broth and meds haven't helped a lick. It is bringing me close to my wit's end here. All of my symptoms are probably also exacerbated by the fact that I have NOT been able to sleep a wink since the MINUTE I lay down in a horizontal position, the fits commence. The only other ones here to share my misery are the dog and cat.

Anyway, forget my misery for a minute and let's talk baby!

Baby is now 21 weeks and 2 days (today).
Here is some fast facts below (taken from The Bump and Baby Zone):
Baby is now the size of a banana! Baby's digestive system is busy creating meconium (a tarry black substance made of swallowed amniotic fluid, digestive secretion, and dead cells), which will fill the first diaper at birth. And, if baby is a girl, her womb is now stocked up with her lifetime supply of six million eggs (the number will drop to around one million by birth).

The little one will begin to fill out over the next few weeks. Fat layers are forming throughout baby's body. These layers will eventually keep baby warm and insulated once outside the womb. Soft hair, called lanugo, covers baby's body, too. Baby's eyelids are still closed, making baby appear asleep but frequent wiggles lets me know that baby is awake. I may also feel baby hiccuping. Those jerky motions are a result of little lungs practicing the important task of breathing.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sickness during a Delicate Time

No one enjoys being sick when they have absolutely nothing else going on around them. Add something ... oh, let's just say pregnancy ... into the fray and it's a horse of a completely different color altogether!

One the major things is having to scrutinize any medications before taking them to ensure proven safety to this little one inside. It's a completely horrible experience to be this miserable and hope that that misery isn't seeping through to the baby. Even now, I just can't bear thinking that the baby might be suffering.

I've been assured that the baby probably has no idea I'm even sick other than noticing the increased amount of fluids and all the jiggling around due to the sneezing and coughing.

I haven't been able to sleep in several days since the minute I lay down, a coughing fit begins. This is in addition to the broken sleep I'd been getting due to all the bathroom trips.

Now, I know this entire post is a huge vent session but this is my reality lately and I'm bringing it to you.

Yesterday, to add to an already dreadful time, I threw my back out. Not picking up anything heavy or doing some crazy exercise. Simply getting one roll of toilet paper onto the holder *POP* goes the back!

Try putting on socks, pants or even going to the bathroom this way. It's just no way to live, folks!

So to recap:
  • hacking cough
  • no sleep
  • no effective meds
  • no bending over
  • painful bathroom visits (sitting, wiping and standing ... not the actual going or doing)
I've simply had better days and hope that goes away this week. I have multiple doctor's appointments today ranging from the therapist to the family practioner to fuel that hope.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Registries & My Baby Shower

I have FINALLY finished registering for all of my items but it doesn't mean I won't continuously be going back to add, delete, re-add, re-delete and question all of my choices.

Isn't that normal?

I love hearing suggestions on what people have tried and what others cannot live without. In my opinion, a personal review is the best marketing tool.


* kick *

* squirm *

Baby must know I'm talking about baby things. I can tell that this baby is already more hip to what's going on than I am and you know what? I'm ok with that!

Isn't that the unspoken hazing that goes on during pregnancy and officially initiated at birth?

I've also JUST emailed off my guest list and registry sites to my best good friend who has graciously accepted my bullish assumption that she would (of course) be planning my shower. It's just that I'm that lucky to have the sister I always wished I had in her.

Somehow I thought it would be a lot easier to compile this list and send it off. In reality, it took me several weeks to consolidate all of my addresses from my address book (a regular, non-electronic address book), my Outlook contacts, my Blackberry and finally my email contact list. I never realized that I had names and addresses scattered all over the place until trying to get together the baby shower guest list.

So not only did I finish the one of the few duties of my baby shower that I'm allowed, I also organized my contacts. This made me feel more accomplished than it should. Small victories are celebrated.

My next project is to dust off my sewing machine and start the baby crib quilt. I had bought all these fabrics last year but had tucked them away out of sight for a little while. Now, these fabrics have magically resurfaced to remind me to waste not, want not. I also signed up for a machine quilting course in November.

When I retire some many years from now, I'd love to craft and quilt all day in my own little cottage shop.

Who says you need a lot?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

First Baby Items

Alright, I had previously resisted purchasing any baby related items because I didn't want to jinx things. I admit it! I was a little more than slightly paranoid but I gave in to an expectant mother's normal level of excitement and let myself ENJOY the entire experience (albeit a bit late).

So ... what did I get, you ask?

Coach Baby Bag

Ok, this isn't a recent purchase. Ken purchased this for me as a surprise a few months ago. It had a lot more meaning than just a plain old diaper bag. I had said after losing our first baby and during treatment for this current one that if I was ever to get pregnant and have a healthy baby, I deserve a Coach Baby Bag (cause I am a yuppie fan of Coach - I can admit it without shame).

Ken giving me this bag only a few months into a new pregnancy was his way of saying that "It was going to be ok" and to allow myself to be more excited than anxious about being pregnant.

This bag is PURDY and I LOVE it but the symbolism it represents to me is worth more than both of those things.

Chicco Cortina KeyFit Travel System
Babies R Us was offering a great trade in offer at their stores this past weekend. You trade in your old baby item for a 25% coupon towards a new item. The caveat was that it had to be used the same day.

We had several of Emma's old things she had long outgrown and hadn't gotten around to throwing out. We traded in her old stroller and VOILA! Here we have a brand new travel system.

I did a lot of searching and this was rated the most easiest to use.

Personally, it had to pass the idiot test first.
Namely, me.

I opened and closed the stroller by myself. The car seat was light and easy to maneuver. I was able to put it in and out of the stroller without too much trouble. The stroller itself has great mobility and the upper shades were removable and able to close both frontwards and backwards.

Bottomline: Ease of use outweighs any points lost for lack of aesthetics.

Graco Duo Dinner Highchair
In searching for a highchair, it was important to find something I could use for at least a few years.

Hey, what can I say? I'm a gal who likes to get my money's worth!

We also bought this little gem at 25% off. It was the clear winner out of the highchairs available at Babies R Us. I didn't care about being matchy-matchy with my stroller, playpen and whatever else is supposed to match. No one ever rarely sees these things all together to comment if they DON'T match!! Another marketing ploy!!!

But I digress.

This highchair starts out as a normal highchair and then converts into a toddler booster seat. It seems to hold infant in snugly and reclines for comfort (I had to resist asking a woman with a baby to try this out in the store). There is a footrest and I played around with the model in the store to test out the wheels. It's not built for rough terrain but all kitchen floors will love the smooth operator, Duo Dinner.

Bottomline: Cost is low given the length of use one would get from this combination highchair and booster seat.

We also bought our first outfit and all I'll say is that it does have a professional sports affiliation (of course).

Any expectant or current moms out there, send me your recommendations and suggestions! If you're anything like me, reading reviews, consumer reports and recalls eats up a lot of my free time at home these days. Any positive experiences with products are much appreciated!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Moby Wraps and Baby Bjorn

I've been slowly building my registry and came across baby carriers. I hadn't really given them all that much thought but wondered if it might be something that I would enjoy or if parents think it really is a must have.

There are two that especially pique my interest.

Moby Wrap

Baby Bjorn

I'm interested to hear other people's thoughts on baby carriers, personal experiences and if you'd recommend them or not. If so, which brand? If not, why?

The only thing that makes me wary is this article lurking in the back of my mind taken from (March 24, 2010):

Grieving Mothers Blame Baby Slings for Infant Deaths
It wasn't a long walk to Lisa Cochran's car in the Costco parking lot, but by the time she got there her infant son was near death.

Cochran and her grandmother had just enjoyed a hot dog at the Salem, Oregon, wholesale outlet.
She had 7-day-old Derrik out of his baby carrier as she ate and people at nearby tables asked about the infant's age and expressed amazement that Cochran was already out and about after the pregnancy.

She put Derrik back in his Infantino "SlingRider" and headed out to the parking lot, but something was amiss when she reached the car, she said.

"He was not the right color. He was yellow. He had purple spots from where the sling rubbed marks on his face," said Cochran, 27.
Cochran called 911. Her fiancé, Jerrid Fowler, administered CPR. An ambulance arrived and paramedics also tried to revive the infant.

"By the time I got to the hospital, they told me they weren't able to save him," she said.
Cochran filed a lawsuit in January, asking for millions of dollars in damages and alleging that Infantino was negligent and liable for her son's May 7, 2009, death.
The death certificate cited compression asphyxia/suffocation as Derrik's cause of death, Cochran said.

Infantino issued a recall Wednesday of two baby slings, the "SlingRider" and the "Wendy Bellissimo," offering customers replacement slings.
The San Diego, California-based company said consumers should stop using the recalled slings immediately but did not take responsibility for any deaths.

"Our company is comprised of moms, dads, sisters, aunts, uncles and grandparents and we care deeply about the quality and safety of our products," President Jack Vresics said in a statement. "All of our products go through rigorous testing and we work closely with governmental agencies as well as other third-party testing organizations continually to ensure the safety of our products."
Earlier this month, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning about the use of certain baby slings, saying it had identified 14 deaths with sling-style carriers, most of them in children younger than 4 months. On Tuesday, Health Canada issued a joint statement with the agency, saying three of the deaths appeared to occur in one of Infantino's slings.

About 1 million of the slings were recalled in the United States, and about 15,000 were affected in Canada, according to the joint release. Around 14,000 of the slings have been recalled in Europe.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

As Promised!

Below are ultrasound pictures from Friday's appointment. You realize that of course you will only be seeing the non-gender incriminating shot ;)

18 WEEKS and 5 DAYS
This is baby's side profile headshot. You can see the spine trailing down ... and honestly, there would have been more but since baby's hands were covering the face AND constantly moving, there weren't too many good shots to be had.

The ultrasound technician asked,"This is what you ordered, isn't it? Uncooperative and busy baby?"

Umm ... I hope that doesn't mean colicky and up all night kind of uncooperative but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

By the way, Ken's most noteworthy contribution to the conversation there was: "Man, look at that melon!"

Yes, I married a poet.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


...ultrasound photos from yesterday's appointment are here but not yet scanned in. I hope to get them in and up by tomorrow. Otherwise, the appointment went well. We listened to the heartbeat and saw the little one jiggling all around in there!

Tomorrow, I'll officially be 19 weeks. Tick-tock, tick-tock - how many more weeks are left?
Taken from The Bump and Baby Zone: Baby is now the size of a mango!

Vernix caseosa, a greasy white substance made of lanugo, oil, and dead skin cells (yum) now coats baby's skin, shielding it from the amniotic fluid. Picture yourself after a 9 month bath and the need for protection makes sense. Baby is moving frequently and by now should be feeling those movements.

Oh and we did find out the gender but it will be kept a surprise until the baby shower. Only my fabulous shower organizer extraordinaire knows and has been sworn to secrecy! :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Incredible Edible

I'd like to spout off here a moment about food. It seems like such a simple part of our daily lives.

Not so, ladies and gentlemen, when one is pregnant!!

You have cravings, upsets, aversions, reflux, heartburn, retention, release, cramping, bloating and shall I go on? Unfortunately, it is one of the most well known of all symptoms from expectant ladies.

In my first few months, I didn't have many cravings except one:

Atomic Fireballs.

And not any imitation would do. It had to be the original nostalgic favorite introduced to the masses in the 50s. If you know me at all, you'd know I don't like fireballs. I don't even normally like heavy artificially flavored cinnamon confectioneries (reference Aftershock Incident).

However, I could eat no meat. Meat in all it's glorious types made me turn about face and wrinkle my nose in disgust. It was a challenge to find alternative sources of protein but it was possible for someone as desperate as me. Ken suffered the worst as he is a meat man and here he just became husband to a meatless wife. It was not pretty, folks.

These days, I'm back to eating meat (thankfully). No quirky cravings yet. I have since stopped craving Fireballs. Now I have terrible heartburn and must be reminded to eat every 2 hours. How? I've gotten a digital watch with a timer that beeps and glows indiglo when it's time.

I'm 18 weeks and 3 days today. Since I posted the wrong information last time, here's a little about baby (taken from The Bump and Baby Zone).
Baby is now the size of a sweet potato and becoming amazingly mobile (compared to me, at least), passing the hours yawning, hiccuping, rolling, twisting, kicking, punching, sucking and swallowing.

I've been feeling movement now for the past few weeks. Not Body Snatchers like but more akin to internal cuddling ... there doesn't seem to be any good description to completely capture how it feels physically or what a woman feels emotionally each time. It's an oozing effervescent radiance enjoyed in unexpected moments. These moments also help heal part of the soul that no parent should ever have injured.

Only 2 more days until Friday's long awaited appointment to check if baby will let us know if she's a she or if he's a he :)  Stay tuned for updated ultrasound pics!

Monday, September 13, 2010


I realized today that I originally posted that I was 17 weeks pregnant but as I was going over some appointments, I am really 18 weeks and 1 day (today). If anyone did the math with my due date, it would have been blatantly obvious.

You've heard of pregger brains before, right? I think I might be bringing it to a whole new level with my daily antics (sometimes shared and sometimes not). Let's just say that the things I'm willing to admit (oh, like wearing shirts inside out, putting on intimate garments inside out (or twisted - don't ask) and getting dates confused) is child's play to the things I won't own up to publicly.

I'll look back on this next year and laugh about it ... or it will be as others have said ... post pregger brains being a lot more hilarious than pregger brains.

Pray for me, folks.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ultrasound Pictures ... FINALLY!

Hi everyone!

I'm sorry these took so long to scan, upload and post!

It's no longer a real secret anywhere that we're expecting now since my stomach resembles more of a beach ball with neighboring casabas.

Ladies: if you've never been pregnant before, I don't want to tell you the scary things your body and it's functions are capable of while it is busy creating a miracle. Don't misunderstand. I'm definitely not complaining but I am fully acknowledging (and remembering) once again the uniqueness pregnancy brings to a woman's body.

Below are ultrasounds from 5 weeks and 5 days to 13 weeks and 2 days (based on my current due date of February 13, 2011) shown from oldest to newest.

5 WEEKS and 5 DAYS
FUN FACTS (taken from The Bump and Baby Zone): Baby's now the size of an appleseed! My embryo, which doesn't look like much more than a tadpole right now, is actually starting to form major organs (heart, kidney, liver, stomach) and systems (nervous, circulatory, digestive). Baby's presence in your uterus triggers production of HCG (hormone detected by pregnancy tests), which triggers the production of other hormones like estrogen and progesterone, which triggers all those great symptoms I've been noticing!

This week, the baby begins to form a "C" shape - with the beginnings of a head on top curving into what will become legs later. A tube visibly outlines the "C". This tube will eventually become part of the baby's brain and spinal cord. In the middle of the "C" the beginnings of my baby's heart are taking shape.

The embryo is about 1/10 of an inch or 1.5 to 3 mm.

6 WEEKS and 5 DAYS
Fun Facts (taken from The Bump & Baby Zone):
Baby's now the size of a blueberry! Baby's brain - both hemispheres! 0 is growing fast, generating about one hundred new cells every minute. Arms and legs are emerging as joints start to form and a permanent set of kidneys (baby's third!) is now is place.

Baby has been busy this week! The brain is continuing to develop. The circulatory system becomes more complex as lungs begin to form.

Face is taking shape with eyes showing some pigmentation, visible ear holes, minuscule nostrils and an indentation where the mouth will appear. The digestive system and stomach are starting to form. Arms and legs are growing but fingers and toes have not yet developed.

12 WEEKS and 1 DAY
FUN FACTS (taken from The Bump and Baby Zone): Baby's now the size of a plum! As I move into the second trimester, baby shifts into the growth and maturation stage. After weeks in the critical development stage, almost all of baby's systems are fully formed.

The end of the first trimester marks an important step for baby. All of the major body systems are in place. In the digestive system, the small intestine is no longer entwined with the umbilical cord but instead is neatly tucked within the abdomen. The nervous system continues to develop and the brain's structure is fully formed.

Many of the organs are starting to work on their own too. For instance, the thyroid begins to secrete hormones. Next week, baby will no longer be considered an embryo but instead graduates into a fetus. Baby even has tiny fingernails.

At 12 weeks, baby weighs in around 1.5 ounces and measures about 3 inches in length from crown to rump. 

Baby's genitals will start showing signs of being either male or female soon. Baby may also be sucking as early as this week and his/her kidneys may even be producing urine.

Around this time, I invested in a maternity/pregnancy pillow as sleeping through the night already started to become a thing of the past. Originally, I used the Snoogle but now that I've been accustomed to using my Tempurpedic Neck Pillow (this isn't an infomercial), the Snoogle is now out. However, I discovered that trying to find a decent pillow for back and belly was extremely challenging. I eventually settled on something I don't even now currently use. I've ended up using regular standard pillows to create a midsection bumper.

13 WEEKS and 2 DAYS
FUN FACTS (taken from The Bump and Baby Zone): Baby's now the size of a peach! Baby is forming teeth and vocal cords...savor this, their nonfunctional phase. Baby is approaching normal proportions with the head now only one third the size of the body. The intestines are in the process of moving from the umbilical cord to baby's tummy - much more convenient.

Week 13 marks the beginning of the 2nd trimester! It is widely recognized as pregnancy's most comfortable and enjoyable (it's all relative).

Hooray! Say goodbye to morning sickness! Second trimester brings relief and reality.

This week marks a milestone for baby. Developmentally speaking, the baby is no longer an embryo but a fetus. The baby appears to be resting because the eyelids have formed and are fused together but the arms and legs move and twitch. Baby can suck their thumb too!

Look at these pictures ... already looks like this baby has thumb sucking down!

Baby is about .5 to .7 ounces and is getting longer at about 3 inches long from crown to rump.

Fingerprints have formed on baby's tiny fingertips, veins and organs are clearly visible through the still-thin skin and the body is starting to catch up with the head.

If this is a girl, she now has more than 2 million eggs in her ovaries.

I have another appointment next Friday that will hopefully reveal the gender!

Yes, we're definitely finding out!! But we're keeping the news a surprise until our shower :) so we're anxious to know if you think it will be a boy or a girl. Ken flip flops in his attempt to win our bet (foot rub if I win ... probably Korean BBQ if he wins - GAH!).

TODAY, I am 16 weeks and 6 days (officially 17 weeks tomorrow).
According to The Bump, baby is now the size of an onion. The skeleton is hardening, changing from rubbery cartilage to bone and fat is finally accumulating around it. The umbilical cord is getting thicker and stronger.

Around this time, baby's ears pop from the head and can now sense sounds. After all, baby has plenty to listen to in utero! The baby is accustomed to the strong beating of my heart, blood rushing through my veins and my stomach grumbling. The baby can also discern sounds outside the uterus like my voice and music.

This week, the little one weighs in at about 5 ounces and stretches to just over 5 inches crown to rump.

I'm assuming at this point, most of my co-workers have either guessed or assume that I'm pregnant. I've made no formal announcement to anyone other than my boss. In any case, if not being able to fit into ANY of my pre-pregger pants isn't a clue that I'm showing more now, then I should be accused of being in denial! Last week, I finally broke down and bought a few maternity pieces that should hopefully last.

New ultrasound photos to be posted next week! Stay tuned!!

In the meantime, we're curious to hear your gender guesses and suggestions for baby registry (yes, I've already begun thinking about that).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

And So We Meet Again ...

I haven't been back here for quite some months now. I liken it to a war veteran revisiting a place where they've seen horror. Can't go back until you're ready. Definitely can't imagine it even ever happened except that the place really exists.

But I'm not here to talk about the past.
We have a very special announcement that we're ready to share ...

* * * drum roll please * * *

We're expecting!

I'm currently 15 weeks along and feeling joy from the inside out. Once I can figure out how our scanner works, I'll be uploading all of the ultrasound pictures. Unlike last year, I've already "bloomed" all over. It's quite overwhelming that it has happened so much earlier (about four weeks earlier) than last year but I am drinking it all in ... although my doctor would be happier if I were literally drinking more (tsk tsk to less than 64 ounces per day. Can anyone drink that much and walk any more than 10 feet away from a toilet?).

We're happy.
We're excited.
We're also anxious.
We're worried.

So please keep that in mind when asking us personal questions.

Check back here often for updates and pictures (only ultrasound ones for now). And of course all of my inane questions and insights about maternity clothes, baby products, breastfeeding and anything in between.

We want to thank everyone for their support and hope that this all finds you well.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Making Babies

"Where do babies come from?"

Isn't that the one question all parents dread? Ok, I suppose the other one would be about S.E.X. but in that context, they are closely related (one does lead to the other).

Ken and I decided fairly quickly that time is of the essence as us law folks like to say. We can dwell on the negative and wonder where we went wrong but we can't do that. We trust in the fact that there are some things that are beyond our earthly wisdom ... and we've made peace with it.

Making babies is no joke.

It's been awhile since I've posted anything to this blog. I hope someday soon it will have happier posts with ultrasound pictures and baby shower excitement. As of now, it hasn't happened quite yet.

Right now, we're keeping busy with home renovation, family get togethers and little Gizmo (we've changed our pup's name) seen below with his new best friend.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Breaking Down the Walls

Rain, rain go away! The weather in this area has been rain and a lot of it. Life isn't put on hold because of inclement weather though! Otherwise, the Northeast could never function!!

We've begun renovating our bedroom so we are currently sleeping in our living room and living in our dining room. Everyone feels a little displaced but Kitty seems to be taking it well.

I'm picking up Jax tomorrow night from the airport! Here are a few more recent pictures ...

How can you refuse anything to this face?

We're all excited about his arrival! I've yet to figure out his sleeping area, food space and anything else but will be sorting it all out tomorrow morning!

In Hamilton style, we have also begun the bedroom renovation. Here are the BEFORE pictures:

This house was built in 1902 and in fashion, the walls are NOT insulated and it is all horsehair plaster!
DUST is everywhere and I'll be forever dusting!

We're also thinking about growing our little family again. It was hard to even think about for a little while so soon after but the hurt is fading and is replaced with renewed energy. But we're letting things run their course.

Big dreams don't disappear in chaos.
They are simply tucked away for a rainy day.
The walls are finally coming down.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Introducing ...


Full name: Jaxson
Breed: French Bulldog
Color: Cream
Date of Birth: January 15, 2010
Place of Birth: Hunter Ridge Kennel, OK

Jax has wonderful folks looking after him there until he is old enough to travel on his own.

We're so thrilled about Jax becoming a part of our lives!
Below are a few pictures ...



THREE WEEKS OLD - February 5th

We'll continue to post pictures and more details at homecoming  :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Gocco Wedding - Part Deux

It's been awhile since I've posted anything here ... Let's catch up.

Ken's left ring finger was mangled in a car door on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Rush to the ER.

Many hours, three stitches, a broken finger and high as a kite, he was allowed to go home. He didn't feel much pain thanks to the Percocets but there was the constant changing of the dressings. Gruesome.

The next few days after that were a blur as he caught a severe cold on top of it. Two more ER visits in the days to follow uncovered an ear infection and a stomach/flu virus.

I had my own surgery the week after "the event" above.

And lately, I've been in training for work then working before and after training was over. It has not been a good New Year for any of us here quite yet.

On a lighter note, both of us have loved our food changes. Since Food, Inc., we're both much more conscious of our food. Ken is taking it a little more extreme than I am but that's ok. It's all part of the fun. He is a lot more involved in cooking so we end up spending more quality time together. Overall a win-win situation.

More recently, we've bought and made grass fed beef burgers, free-range & antibiotic/hormone free roasted chicken, homemade peanut butter, potato chips and a lot of organic eggs :) Also throw into that a fancy mandolin and requests for a Kitchen-Aid mixer, food processor and a bread maker (Ken's requests!!! Boy, our registry will have a few of these gadgets).

Neither of us are fanatics about this but we just have a heightened awareness.

I am getting back to planning our formal reception and renewal ceremony later this fall. Small steps make this process easier but a lot of help also doesn't hurt! I have on hand MANY helpful hands, hearts and minds as well as a TALENTED event planner extraordinaire (who also happens to be a very good friend of mine) who has signed on to sort out my jumbled ideas.

First part consists of DIY projects. I only have one word that inspires me to undertake such things.


All will be revealed as I will chronicle it all here as I fumble, fail, try again and hopefully succeed!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Food, Inc.

For those of you who haven't yet seen this, give it a look-see. The things you see may startle and surprise you. There is a lot going on in the food industry that we know very little about. Considering food is a universal importance, it should strike horror into all eyes watching.

Since we've watched this, we've been making more of a conscious effort to know where our meat is coming from and how it is getting into our hands. This doesn't mean we've taken up farming and butchering the meat ourselves but it is about awareness and taking a wholehearted interest in the details in our lives.

All this heightened sense of consciousness has also bled into other aspects of our lives that doesn't necessarily show obvious relevance.

We take a little more time soaking in the mundane minutiae of our daily lives and taking pleasure in it. It was almost as if we had been living in Plato's cave and we had been released to see the true images of the gray shadows we thought to be true. And now in hindsight, we're returning to the cave to see if others will also entertain giving the truth a chance.

Where am I going with this?

The past few months have been utter shock, awe and horror muddled into an emotional volcano that sputters searing pain from within out to the fallout experienced by others close by. And yet, we're tied to this volitile collapse and for now, we only see the devastation. Over time, we'll see if our ashes will create fertile ground or hardened rock.

At the moment, my plumbing is undergoing serious scrutiny. We are trying to be patient. We are trying to avoid negativity and are shunning ignorance altogether. We've used this space to express great joy, unspeakable pain and many moments in between. We'll continue to do so regardless of how many people do or do not read it. Thank you for those of you who are out there and have gone through a similar experience.

There is none so other than a kindred spirit connected through tragedy to aid the healing.
Who said "Feeling is healing?" That is so true.