Tag Archives: mama

In summation…

Randomly, on another Tuesday:

  • I miss Melinda.  I’m talking to my little brother Michael again.  I’m talking to my sisters again.  I miss mama.  Loss is lonely, and each one exacerbates the others.
  • The flights down to Texas weren’t too bad.  Long, but not bad.
  • San Antonio was extremely warm the first several days, then cooled off to something tolerable for this Eskimo.
  • The kids had heaping tons of fun with Mimi, Popo, Aunt B, Uncle Schim, and cousins Matthew/Chewy, Nolan, and Colin.
  • They also had a great time with Uncle Lawrence, Aunt Susan, Brennan, and Uncle Ables.
  • Fun was also had at Chuck E Cheese’s with Uncle Alex, Aunt Kimberly, Adriana, Pops, Kyle, and Camden, Aunt Tasha, and cousins Morgan, Trent, and Natalie.
  • Miss Sally liked being chased by the kids, though she tried to pretend otherwise.  Lucky adored Milla.
  • Camilla is “kah-MEE-lah”.  We call her Milla (MEE-yah).  I’ve also written it as Mi’a.  She calls herself Illa/Iya/I’a (pronounced EE-yah).  Aunt B noted that it’s spelled/pronounced like tortilla.  I think this is going to stick with my poor girl forever now.
  • I got a tattoo by Jedidia Reid, owner of Element Tattoo Studio in San Antonio.  I LOVE it.
  • There will be a ton of photos uploaded in the coming weeks.
  • I hated the trip up to Chicago more than words can capture.
  • I loved being in Aurora/Chicago with Aunt Cara, Uncle Mike, and cousins Maddie, Ryan, and Tori.
  • The wind and humidity there make their winter just as cold and unforgiving as ours.
  • They have so much snow that I’m jealous.
  • I didn’t think I could be jealous of precipitation.  I am.
  • The trip back to Fairbanks was long, but nowhere near as bad as the one to O’Hare.
  • We picked up some kind of icky flu-ish/cold-ish bug that has us all feverish, with deep, racking coughs.
  • That hasn’t diminished the pleasure of being back home.
  • We all miss our friends, family, and travels.
  • We wish y’all were closer, and that we could see you more often.  Preferably through teleportation.
  • I’m trying to put the house back together, and will update with more details and pictures when I can.
  • And lastly:

  • Bubbles are awesome.  (recorded in summer 2010)

Random on a Tuesday

  • My youngest sister, Melinda, died at 25 on January 14, 2011.
  • We drove to Anchorage for a small memorial service for her, held on Friday, January 21, 2011.
  • It’s got me mourning my mother all over again.
  • The kids got to play with Grandpa, cousins Faith, Caleb, and Vicky, Aunts Jessie, Tasha, & Sandee, and Uncle Darrell.
  • We took family photos at my parents’ house, courtesy of Sandee Rice Photography.
  • Back at the hotel, we took the kids down to the swimming pool.  They had a blast.
  • The chlorine in the pool did crazy tightening things to the dreads forming at the back of my head.
  • Bouncing Bears is the coolest place to get kids worn out before a long road trip.
  • The living room floor is the greatest place to roll around after many long hours cooped up in car seats.
  • The wolf and the orca share the same animal spirit in Yup’ik lore.  These are the two animals I debated between in trying to identify the animal essence of my youngest child River.  JR is a polar bear.  Camilla is a lynx/mountain lion/fox.
  • I’ve spun 4 oz of a pinkish-purplish wool/alpaca batt by Bohoknitterchic Spins into 400+ yards of a fingering weight single.  Melinda loved pink.  I’m going to knit a shawl out of this yarn.
  • I’m knee-deep in laundry that needs to be done before we leave Thursday night on vacation.
  • I get a kitten after we get back.  It will go nicely with the litter box and cat food I got from John for Christmas.
  • I’m planning on getting tattooed in San Antonio and Chicago during the next couple of weeks.
  • I’ll be starting a Little Acorn Learning curriculum for JR and Camilla after our trip.  I’m excited.
  • I definitely need to get back to daily workouts.  They’ve fallen by the wayside with a marked increase in fibro pain.
  • I nearly forgot how comfortable Vans are until I bought a new pair the other day.
  • I am very clearly doing anything possible to avoid laundry and packing.
  • I have to start all that now, before Thursday gets here.

Sigh.

New.

(I’ll be back with 30 Days of Truth tomorrow-ish.  Just wanted to note this.  Workout: Complete, 20 minutes.  30 Day Shred 1, day 3 in.a.row!  Liking the burn I’m feeling.)

My guys (John and JR) got a much-needed haircut by me tonight, followed by showery freshness.  River practiced keeping his balance sitting up.  John went to bed in hopes of chasing away his chest cold.  Camilla fell asleep on the early side.  JR, River, and I hung out in the living room before they decided to go to sleep before midnight.

I thought about mama, and how we would call each other at midnight each new year, just to check in with each other.  I miss you, mama.  I thought about new year’s eves of past, shook my head, and said a prayer of thanks for my life today.  Sleep eluded me, so I came back out to the living room to do my workout as nearby fireworks rang in the new year.

New.  New goals.  New outlook.  New habits.  New hope.  This year, I’m going to reveal a new me.

Happy New Year.  May you find the newness you seek.

Anticipating Baby

Hi, Baby McDonald #3.  This is your story.

I found out I was pregnant with you in a WalMart bathroom in San Antonio, TX, at the end of our coast trip with your daddy’s family.  I was shocked, to say the least.  I was finally able to tell your father about 45 minutes later.  I held up the test and asked him if he thought that looked like a plus sign.  He was shocked, too.

It’s not that we didn’t want you, and aren’t ecstatic to have you.  But, you see, your sister Camilla had just turned 7 months old.  I wasn’t expecting you, but am beyond thrilled to have you in our lives.  Clearly you were destined for our family.

You gave me a scare at 13 weeks (just like your brother and sister did).  Whereas I had a subchorionic hemorrhage with them, I actually had a tiny amniotic fluid leak with you.  That scared the crap out of me.  I was on edge for weeks, terrified of losing you.  I actually spent a great deal of the pregnancy worried that you were going to come early.  There’s no danger of that, as I started writing this the day I hit 41 weeks.  Clearly you are stubborn.

The pregnancy itself was pretty uneventful, for which I am grateful.  I’ve been in great health, and you have too.  JR is amazing, and you’re going to love having him as a big brother.  He’s so kind and sweet, smart and funny, and a million other fantastic things.  Camilla is pretty awesome too.  She’s a feisty, bright, willful, adventurous little girl who brings us all a smile.

I don’t know where to start to tell you how lucky you are to have the father that you do.  Maybe that will be a different story altogether.  I’ll leave it at this for now:  I’m lucky to have married my best friend and bore his children.  Really lucky.  Wait.  Not lucky — blessed.

Your due date was approaching, and I was starting to fret about my limited mobility.  We had just bought our first house, and your daddy had to pack the old house and move all by himself.  Then there was a fire on the road to the mine, and he had to take a week off which turned out to be okay because he was able to finish moving and cleaning.  We thought for sure that you’d make an entrance right after that, but no.  I’d had some Braxton Hicks contractions, but no signs of labor.  On your due date, June 25th, I had my OB’s nurse do a (very quick) membrane sweep.  I was barely 1.5 cm at that point.  With some help, I lost my mucus plug the next day, and started having bloody show the day after.

Then things stalled.

There was a lot of walking involved.  We all saw Toy Story 3 at some point.  There was a day we all walked up to Denny’s (with daddy pulling JR & Camilla in the wagon) for breakfast and back to the house.  There have been about a million trips to WalMart to walk around, probably resulting in the purchase of more crap than we ever thought we needed.  I figured out you were facing the wrong way — you were sunny-side-up, occiput posterior — and knew that you were going to have to turn around if I had a hope of ever getting you out.

I started doing all the things from Spinning Babies.  I have spent most of the last week on all fours, tushy up in the air, trying to encourage you to turn.  I felt drained, like I would be pregnant forever.  I was also starting to be in immense pain, so I scheduled a chiropractic appointment with Dr. Bill McAfee.  On July 1 (at 40w6d), he gave me an amazing sacral adjustment and did the Webster technique.  I had a contraction immediately upon standing up.  I felt you wiggling.  I had contractions all day and night, feeling you wiggle with them all.  The adjustment/technique opened up my pelvis and loosened up my uterine ligaments.  I felt fabulous and re-energized, and even got a good night’s sleep.

Today is July 2nd.  Today I am 41 weeks.  Today you turned around.  Today is also your (middle) namesake’s birthday.  Happy birthday, Uncle Darrell!  45 years ago, my mother gave birth to him.  Today I hope to give birth to you.  We’re all eager to meet you!

Second Trip to Anchorage

We headed down to Anchorage again over Memorial Day weekend to meet up with John’s parents. They came up to spend a few days in town before heading on to Whittier for their cruise to Vancouver. We had a great time, and the kids had a blast with MiMi and PoPo.

We took the kids into the pool one night at the hotel, and had absolutely fabulous fun. I didn’t bring my camera down there, but it was awesome. JR got to go go-kart riding and pony riding again. We also checked out the Saturday Market where I picked up some cool handmade birch trucks for JR and some pretty hippie duds for myself.

The Sunday before Memorial Day I went to mama’s grave site. It was heartbreaking and surreal but I’m glad I went.

Reading Sports Illustrated on the drive down

Reading Sports Illustrated on the drive down

MiMi and Camilla

MiMi and Camilla

Grandpa and JR

Grandpa and JR

John & JR riding go-karts

John & JR riding go-karts

PoPo, JR, and Grandpa at the pony rides

PoPo, JR, and Grandpa at the pony rides

Grandpa and Camilla

Grandpa and Camilla

My little cowboy!

My little cowboy!

I miss you, mama.

I miss you, mama.

A Year

It’s been one year today since my mother passed away. These last few weeks have been hard, but yesterday and today have been almost impossible. I’m trying really hard to think of all the things that I am grateful for, and there are many things, but I just feel the loss. Or I remember something about my mama, and ache because nothing will give me another minute with her to tell her one last time how much I love her.

Our New Addition

I now have both a son and a daughter.

Camilla Rose was born via c-section at 8:39 am on Monday, February 16, 2009, after a 34 hour labor. She weighed 8 lbs 14 oz, was 21.5” long, with both head and chest circumferences of 14.5 cm, and a head full of curly black hair. Daddy got to cut the cord! We came home Tuesday night and everyone is doing really well.

She looks just like JR did as a newborn. We’ve discovered that she has my nose, daddy’s hairline & swirl, many of my facial expressions, and a preference for sleeping tummy to tummy on our chests.

JR is warming up to her, and will undoubtedly make a wonderful big brother. He’s been handling things really well, considering that his entire world changed in the blink of an eye. He is a bit clingier than usual, and gets worried if we’re out and he can’t see both me and daddy at the same time, but I’m sure that with just some patience, reassurance, and extra one-on-one time he’ll soon be our confident little man again. He’s recognizing that Milla is supposed to be with us wherever we go — the other day he came up to the bedroom and saw me sitting there, and before he would hug me or talk to me he wanted to know “Where’s baby?” and looked for her (she was on the bed next to me). As soon as he saw her, he nodded, and went on with his conversation with me. He of course still has his moments where he’d rather have us all to himself, but he’s just been wonderful. He’s taken to wearing daddy’s t-shirts around the house, and I fear that he may be coming down with a cold or something.

My BFF is driving up tomorrow to spend a week with us. She’ll be helping me out while John is recovering from the sinus surgery he’s having next week.

John has been amazing — he took great care of me while I was laboring, and has been doing all of the household stuff like cleaning, cooking for us all, changing diapers, and being awesome. And it’s just so heartwarming watching him with his daughter. I know he’s going to feel infinitely better after his surgery too, so we’re very grateful that M is coming to help us out.

Here’s our new sweet pea:

Camilla Rose

Camilla Rose

She’s named after my maternal grandmother and my mama. Mama, I know you’re watching over us. Thank you for the hat and the quilt. Thank you for everything. I hope I teach her all the wonderful things you taught me. We love you and miss you.

25 Things

Once, you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things. At the end, you choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

So I’ve been tagged.  Apparently, by a number of people in a short amount of time.  Seemed easier to blog it, then retag, then read everyone elses randoms.  You may know these things already; if so, bully for you!

1.  I am unpleasant when I wake up; this lasts until I’ve got my first cup of coffee in my hand, probably extending until I’m about halfway through it.  Then I consider myself as having rejoined the human race.

2.  Both of my shoulders have been dislocated before.  As a result, I can now swivel my elbows around to face forward with my hands on my hips.  This makes it look like my arms are attached backwards.  It freaks out my husband.

3.  I have a strong sense of spirituality, though I am not religious.  I am still defining divinity and spirituality for myself, but make no mistake: I am a sensible heathen.

4.  I completely enjoy being a stay-at-home mother and wife, and all that it entails.  But I am more than just my roles.

5.  I love listening to Ani DiFranco on my mp3 player really loudly while I clean house.

6.  I have OCD.  It used to be really, really bad when it came to clutter and cleaning.  Like “Matchstick Men” kind of bad.  Being with John has semi-cured me of that, and I think we’ve found me a happy middle ground.

7.  I am so beyond eager to move back to Fairbanks.  I want to live somewhere that I can easily find like-minded people, people who parent intentionally, think liberally, seek and enjoy natural beautiful things/activities.  I’d prefer this to be among mountains.

8.  One of my favorite breakfasts is home-fried potatoes a la mama, scrambled eggs, toast, and extra crispy bacon.  And don’t forget the coffee.

9.  I’ve watched Blues Clues a million times.  I prefer Steve to Joe.  Joe is a wussy and I want to smack him.

10.  I taught myself to knit a while back, and one can now usually find a sock on the needles in my purse when I’m out.

11.  I miss writing and painting.  I used to do these things regularly, and had been working on a manuscript for publication.  Now I can’t seem to put together the time to devote to a piece, as I need a whole chunk of uninterrupted time to allow my medium to capture my emotion/state of mind.  I will one day soon get myself back to this place to be able to do so.

12.  Once lost, my trust and respect are seldom, if ever, regained.

13.  I have a tremendous bug phobia.  It often triggers panic attacks.

14.  I used to have a sound machine that had ocean waves on it.  I would listen to it as I fell asleep.  I miss it, though I don’t think my husband would like it much.

15.  I have two messages on my answering machine that my mother left me.  I listen to them probably every other day.  It hurts to be reminded that she’s gone, but it’s comforting to know that I can still hear her when I want to.

16.  I still cry myself to sleep some nights about losing her.  I usually tell myself that I should have stayed down there with her, by her side, once she went into the hospital.  That I should have spent more time with her, period.  I wonder if she knew how much I love her, look up to her, and miss her.  I wish she could watch JR grow up, or be here to see her granddaughter.  I worry about whether she was proud of me, or if I made her happy.

17.  I will one day go to Boston to catch a game at Fenway, seated out in front of first base.

18.  I took Russian in high school, and a semester of Spanish in college.  Now the two get mashed together in my head if I try to think or speak in one language or the other.

19.  When I read the newspaper, I am beyond meticulous about how I fold the pages.  I have to read it in a certain order.  I can’t stand it when people rustle the paper and fold/turn the pages all willy nilly.  I know this is irrational.  I am looking forward to getting the paper daily again once we move back to Fairbanks.

20.  My toes are almost always painted a deep burgundy.  I need to repaint them today.

21.  I freak out about dirt under fingernails, or jagged nails.  I always have a nail file in my purse, and I’m constantly running my nails under each other to make sure they’re clear of stuff.  This used to bother my mother to no end.

22.  I can’t stand hot and muggy climates.  You can always add layers, but there’s only so much you can take off.  I can’t stand feeling too hot.  I get cranky.  This is one reason why I’m content to live somewhere where it is frequently too cold to snow.

23.  I cut my own hair when I have emotional crises.

24.  I love checklists.  I prefer to create a template for them and print them as needed.  I have them for menu planning (weekly and monthly), grocery shopping (broken down by section of store), housecleaning chores, and daily to-dos.

25.  I am tone-deaf.  Your ears would surely bleed to hear me sing.  It embarrasses me, so I try to do so only when alone, with my son, or with my best friend M.

Tagging:  Jen I., Amanda B., Amanda L., Jenn S., Shannon R., Chris S., Jessica B., Cara W., Becca S., Ali F., Benah P., Kiza M., Ashlee S., Trinity C., Karo S., Doug B., Matt C., MD., Rebecca G., Kelley R., Anjyla K., Tina S., Desiree E., Jenn A., Aimee A-W.

Bittersweet

I wish I could call you at midnight, mama.

Everyone else, Happy New Year. Go hug your loved ones.

Sorry, Mama

but I hate my sister. And her girls. And sometimes dad. They’re making it so hard to carry out your wishes with your estate. And they treat me like I was never really part of the family. I want nothing to do with them. They will never know the child growing inside me, and will never again have anything to do with JR. I am ashamed to be related to them.

I miss you so much. All I want in any given day is to be able to talk to you, hug you one more time, laugh with you. I don’t know how to do things without you. I never wanted to. I still don’t want to, but I get by every day somehow.

I had a horrible dream about you last night, and woke up terrified that I had caused you harm. I hope I made you happy. I hope I made you proud of me.

I miss you so much, mama, and I love you. Always.

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