Sunday, January 23, 2011

The beaking out of and breaking of the swaddle.

We've started to wean Calvin from the swaddle because he's rolling over now. This is how I found him after a nap on the last day of swaddling. Does this mean our baby isn't a baby anymore??


Bad news: The "bad news" phone call is the frickin' worst. It comes when you least expect it. On Saturday it came in the morning while I was still asleep. It was a phone call from my mom. Earlier that morning my dad went to the ER with intense back pain that he experienced through the night. Given his history of kidney cancer, the doctor ordered a CAT scan and blood work stat. It turns out that he has a mass on his remaining kidney and urethra. It's been two years since his kidney surgery for his cancer, and here we are again. Granted, we don't know for sure what it is yet, so we can't really process anything until we know, but regardless, it sucks. I hate that my dad - my strong, loyal, hilarious, kind, and fun-loving dad - has to go through this bullshit. I hate that my mom - my compassionate, sensitive, caring, feisty, and conscientious mom - has to go through this bullshit. Whatever it is, even if it's not cancer, our guard is up, and we're anxiously awaiting the doctor's thoughts. That alone is bullshit.

OK, had to get that out of my system.

Good news: We've been through this before, and we know how to take things one step at a time and to think positively. Two years ago, my family grew closer than I could have ever imagined. We held each other up and believed the best, and my dad's surgery was a success. He's lived the past two years happily and healthily. He's become a grandfather (Poppy), he's shot his best round of golf in his life, he's enjoyed lots of laughs with his best friends, he's moved into a beautiful home, and much more - all cancer free. We may face challenges in the months and years to come, but we know what it takes. We know we've got each other, and we've got love. And really that's all that matters. I know it my heart that it will be alright and we'll find a way to get through this together. I am thinking positive because I feel hopeful, and I trust that we're going to kick the crap out of this bullshit one piece of poo at a time.

A huge part of me just wants to be there with my parents right now to hold their hands, to hug them, to be with them, but I'm not and I can't be right at this moment. Whatever ends up happening, I'll be there for them in every way that I can, including trips to PA. Living out here is so complicated. On one hand, I love my life here. I love Colorado - the sun, people, mountains, fresh air, my job, friends, my house. On the other hand, I love my family. I love my parents and Pop-pop, and I long for the day-to-dayness of just being together. I also know that as much as my parents want me there, in their hearts, they're happy for me and where I am in my life. Knowing this is what gets me through my days across the country from them. I know people say that if family comes first, you should be close to them, but I know that love doesn't recognize time and space. Love is love no matter where you are. I can love them in Pennsylvania from Colorado just as much I could love them in their home from down the street in mine. In everything I do, they're with me, as cheesy as that may sound. I look at Calvin, and I see my dad. I cook dinner, and I'm with my mom. Really, not a moment goes by that I don't think of them, and I feel that in some way, my thoughts create little cozy spots in their least I hope they do. :)

Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, thoughts....

"Hey, what's that warm, fuzzy feeling? Oh - it's Keri thinking of us again."

Love you, Dad. Love you, Mom.

*To those friends and family who read my blog, I'm sorry if this is the first you're hearing of this news. I'm planning to be in touch with all of you...just please keep my dad in your thoughts.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I can see (kind of) clearly now.

The first three months postpartum has been unlike any other time in my life thus far, and I'm sure every mom can agree that it's pretty indescribable. The best I can do is to say that it's sort of like trying to navigate through the woods at night in a thick fog while wearing beer goggles, hopping on one foot, and mumbling incoherencies to those you happen to pass by along the way only to have them shake their heads at you in utter disgust because your clothes are dirty, your hair is disheveled, and your armpits reek. One of the books I read describes the three months after birth as the "fourth trimester," a time of adjustment for both mom and baby to this new life. Whatever it is, I can officially say that I've lived every millisecond of the past three months for better or for worse. Now that Calvin is a little over three months old, I'm starting to feel like I'm coming out of the fog a bit. I feel better about going out in public with him, breastfeeding has gotten - dare I say - easier, and I know what to do if he gets fussy. I've learned a lot about both myself and my baby during this time, and it feels good to know that trusting my instincts thus far hasn't let me down.

This past week, I decided that it was about time to make a plan for the rest of my year off that doesn't include sitting inside this house day after day just because it's cold outside. The first activity on my agenda was to try a Mommy & Me yoga class at Yo Mama yoga studio. I did so much prenatal yoga through pregnancy and loved it, so I knew it'd feel good to jump back into practice. It was great to be around other mamas and their little ones and to move my body again. I told the instructor that I felt out of shape, and she had such a wonderful response: "Your body is in exactly the shape it should be for where you are and what you just went through." I think we tend to forget how freakin' amazing a woman's body and childbirth actually are. Maybe it's her job to make us feel good about our postpartum flab, but I'm going with it.

After an awesome yoga class, I stopped by Whole Foods for coffee and lunch. Calvin slept in his car seat, and I got to eat an amazing quinoa, lentil, kale, and buffalo meatball burrito (doesn't sound good, but let me assure you - AMAZING - OK, OK, and SO Boulder) and sip on a latte. I told the barista that I had just come from a Mommy & Me class, and she looked at me in awe. "Weren't you so nervous?" she asked.

I nodded emphatically. Yes, I was nervous! What if my baby gets fussy? What will the other moms think about me? Will my body be able to handle yoga? What if I have to nurse in public?

"Weren't you so nervous that you'd drop him?"

"Um, yeahhh..." NO! No, I was not nervous that I'd DROP him! I may not have it all figured out, but I think I can manage to keep a good grip on my child during tree pose. God bless her for being concerned, but I almost bubbled over. If she only knew the real worries of a new mom.

I have to say, I LOVE where Calvin is now. He is such a sweet kid and so much fun to be around. His eyes are so bright, and I love how his little face lights up with pure joy when he sees me for the first time in the morning or after a nap. I feel like I'm finally savoring the moments with him because I'm feeling more confident and comfortable with being a mom. Still a bit disheveled and smelly at times, but that's to be expected.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Year's Resolution Take One

One of my New Year's resolutions is to be more creative, so I busted out the camera the other day and took some pictures of Loozle. It was pretty fun to get in that creative zone again. It's been awhile. Here are some results of my first attempt at taking and editing photos.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


I feel like a giant boob. That's all. Good night.