Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Two Lines

Just two lines on a home pregnancy test, but they mean everything.
Yes, you're pregnant.
Yes, Landon may get a sibling.
Yes, the adventure begins again.
Yes, yes, yes.

Until it doesn't mean any of those things.
I told Bill I was pregnant and we sat in awe at the wonder that a new life was forming in my body.

And then I got a nagging feeling that the two lines on the test didn't look exactly how I had remembered from before.  I don't know how long it took us to use Google images to check our results against hundreds of  pictures delivered in .25 seconds.  I do know it took quite a bit longer for it to sink in that I was, in fact, not pregnant.

Unfortunately for us, we have used two different kinds of pregnancy tests.  Two lines meant pregnant on one, THREE lines would have meant pregnant on this one. (In a decluttering kick I had long since thrown out the box and instructions for my last little test)

I felt like I had just gotten off a very unsatisfying roller coaster ride: the nervous anticipation, followed by the ecstatic bliss, and then..nothing. Like the ride ended mid "wheee!" and we felt ridiculous for even being so happy.

The day hung heavy around us and we didn't feel like saying much or doing much.  We realized more keenly how much we want another baby. We felt a flare up of fear that maybe our baby-making days are done.  We felt a flare up of guilt that maybe we had never been grateful enough for how easily Landon had been conceived.  We felt a flare up of irrational thoughts that are probably too silly to mention here.  Irrational things just never make sense out of context.

But they were just flare-ups.  It's not like we really believed any of it.  Mostly, we were disappointed.

In the end, I had to remember that we had prayed about trying to have another baby.  We had put the fear aside (the fear that has only ever become a part of it since my miscarriage) and said we were putting the outcome in God's hands.  All of it: boy or girl, single or multiples, now or later.

I sat there realizing that even after our concerted, and supposedly well-timed efforts, the outcome is quite certainly: later.

Or maybe: Never.

I had to remind myself, we put the outcome in God's hands.  If that is more than lip service, then I have to be grateful for what he gives, and what he withholds. I can't write the script and then ask him to come in and produce my show.

THIS is my family.  Right now.  Bill, me and Landon.  I don't want to be sitting on the edge of contentment, waiting for it to be something else, something more.  I don't want to miss one moment to cherish and appreciate the people God has already given me while I'm waiting to see if we get any more.

Maybe we will.  Maybe we won't.  It's not an outcome I can control.

You can bet I'll know what kind of pregnancy test I'm using before I ask myself that question again, though!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Trains, bus and stroller: rollin' downtown

During Bill's Spring Break, we wanted to have another family adventure.  Outings with Landon always make us so happy, because he is discovering things anew, and that makes us look with new eyes, too.

This time, we took the light rail train to downtown Denver.  Bill won some free tickets for filling out a survey.  Landon was so excited to be getting on a train.  He wanted to name everything he saw from the window.

On the train

Lunch at Mad Greens: the BEST restaurant for fresh, delicious salads!

We browsed the Denver Art Museum gift shop.  (You can go in that part for free)

Coming back around with 22-month-old Landon

7 months pregnant with Landon

We rode the 16th Street free shuttle.  I bought Denver postcards for my postcrossing hobby.  We just mingled with the crowds of people who were all going somewhere, and doing something. 

Then home again, home again, jiggety jig...with a little boy who was asleep before I even got him to his crib.  We're all a little worn-out from our big city adventure, but I can't wait to hear what his take will be on it all when he gets up from his nap!   

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Happiness on the Cheap and Free

We thought about the zoo.  It was a gorgeous day and animals would be memorable and fun.  But when we considered the $26 admission fee we knew there must be something else we could do that would still be a family adventure.  As it turns out, we got both: the animals and memorable fun, at The Littleton Historic Museum--for free.

At this functional 1890's farm we saw cows, horses, turkey and sheep.  Including new Spring lambs!

After touring only part of the farm with promises to ourselves to come back (because my favorite part I could repeat any number of times was watching Landon take it all in), we headed to the grocery store.

More animal fun!

For just one penny I could watch my little guy experience surprise, and then delight.
We went all out and bought three rides.

A day we enjoyed.  A day I hope we'll remember.  So far, Landon's sharpest memories were expressed over dinner to our neighbor when he said, "Tow--poopy.  Poopy tow," multiple times for emphasis. (I don't think I  need to detail what he got an up-close and personal view of at the farm.)

My sharpest memories?  Little snapshots of my family enjoying an outing--with a few cents and a lot of wonder.

Monday, March 14, 2011

How Well Do You Know Roy?

Roy G. Biv
Presumably, that reminds you of the colors in the rainbow.  If it doesn't, well--bonus for you: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.  That little name may help you remember them sometime.

But without googling it, would you be able to say if the red starts on the inside of a rainbow arc or on the outside?

As we approach St. Patrick's day, one starts giving more thought to rainbows.  When this question popped into my head, I couldn't decide what the answer was.

I was rescued by this beautiful array of images.

What are the little things that have snagged you up?
You probably have the visual memory for rainbows, but maybe you can't remember if an avocado is a fruit or veggie.  (Ok, I can't decide that, either)
Maybe you have forgotten if a kilometer is shorter or longer than a mile. 
Maybe you know that this symbol ~ has a name, but the name presently escapes you.

How did we ever satisfy our curiosity, win disagreements with our dearests, calculate, translate, convert or cite before Google?

Were we more or less curious when the answers were not .23 seconds away from our inquiry?

I'm kind of wondering if I googled that question if anyone has been writing on that topic.....

Around the World With a 5x7

The happy anticipation of a little piece of the world finding its way back to my mailbox--

This is what I am feeling.

This is where I gained it: Postcrossing's Homepage

Postcrossing is an online service that allows you to put your name in the hat, and then it will randomly choose someone, from somewhere on the globe, who would like a postcard sent their way.  A real, live paper postcard.  After they get your card, you become eligible to receive a card.

I couldn't resist.  You might know how much I love randomness  and the unexpected, and what could be more random and unexpected than getting a postcard from a stranger in Belize on a Tuesday??  And maybe you know how I am always so delighted when I get international visitors to this blog. So of course I'd love to get mail from people around the world, too.

I sat down and wrote four postcards.  You can have five going at any time, but I want to purchase some truly worthy ones tomorrow.  I mean, my little card could be the bright spot in someone's day...might as well try to make it worth their visit to the mailbox.

I think I hear the theme song for "It's a Small World" playing in my head right now....
Will the world feel smaller when I can share post cards with people thousands of miles away?
Or maybe this will be remarkably horizon-expanding.

Either way, I'm in.
With the climbing price of gas, I think I'll pay for my vacations with a postage stamp.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Three Scenarios

Last night as I got into bed Bill said seriously, "Ok, I've come up with three scenarios."
"Three scenarios for what?"
"Three scenarios in which you could get your sanity back."

I started to laugh.  Not a courtesy laugh, but a genuine, oh-my-it-has-been-too-long laugh.

My sanity? Just how crazy does he think I am?

As I lay there enjoying the smile the laugh had faded into, something rustled above my head.  Apparently I had gotten into bed with my sunglasses still on my head.

"I guess most people don't go to bed with sunglasses," I say good-naturedly.
"Yeah, most people don't keep wearing them well after dark, either," he replies.

Maybe I'm a little crazier than I thought.
Surely I'm not the only one who uses sunglasses as a hair accessory? 

The ironic thing is, the sunglasses weren't even what prompted this conversation!

As it stands, Bill continues to devise optimistic plans for me and my missing sanity.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Little Monkey/Little Fish

Little Monkey.  We've said it affectionately about Landon for most of his mobile life.  I guess it doesn't hurt that I like most representations of monkeys, and didn't mind transferring those fond feelings to Landon.  (Not "like" as in I collect them fiendishly and have a monkey-themed kitchen--just "like" as in I might buy a notepad with monkeys on it before I'd buy one with penguins)

Tonight, my Little Monkey started earning a new nickname: Little Fish.

In the bath he discovered that he can float on his back.  Have you SEEN anything cuter than a sweet baby face framed in bubbles with the look of pure satisfaction at having discovered a new ability?

Of course I wanted Bill to see it.  We clapped.  And praised.  And all three of us shared huge grins.  Bill went back to cleaning the kitchen. (sweet man)  Maybe more endearing than his first discovery, was Landon wanting Daddy to come back and keep watching him try to master it.

He stuck his soapy head out of the bath and shouted his loudest, "Daddy!"  When Bill didn't come back, he wanted me to know he was hoping Daddy knew what he was working on. 
"Daddy, bubbles.  Daddy wah-er."  He would show me his float again and keep talking about Daddy.

I know he was happy to soak up my praise for floating.  He was absolutely thrilled to show Daddy.  Any which way, I'm just happy we got our "something better" so quickly.

I think I know a Little Fish who might get swim lessons for his birthday. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Something Better Tomorrow

Terrible Twos.  I've heard that phrase so many times, and applied to a whole range of toddler ages.  I think Landon may be coming into his own more difficult phase at 22 months.  He has so many more things he wants to try, a will he is constantly trying to assert (without the language to clearly specify his plan) and not many skills for coping when things don't go his way.

He's developing more, apparently.  But most of the time, his experiments toward this end feel so unproductive.  I mean, how do you tell a toddler that screaming and thrashing about is not an effective way to get what he wants?  Especially, when sometimes, if this mama walks in the door at 7:00 pm after a long day's work and wants peace for the 30 minutes we'll get to see each other, it is.

Today was one of those long days.  Maybe it was for Landon, too, because he seemed out-of-sorts and particularly cranky.  Watching tears stream down his face as he cried about nothing and everything has the power to reduce Bill and I to two quietly resigned, teeth-grinding adults who must make every effort to not take out our frustation in snappiness with each other.  It's a helpless feeling to watch your son have a meltdown and have exhausted all ideas to improve the situation and none worked.

But bedtime finally came.  And while I would have loved for the lead-up to have been peaceful and snuggly, and following our comforting routine, I was grateful all the same.  Grateful that Landon was so worn out that he would only sob for five minutes before conceding to much-needed sleep.  Grateful that he could go to bed and we could try for something better tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Two Wild Beads

Yesterday afternoon I had this conversation:

Kid library patron: I'm looking for a book about Maracca.

Me: Morocco?

Patron: Yes, that's it.  It's for a report I'm doing.  I don't even know where that is.

Me: It's in Northern Africa. Let's see what we can find.

So we found three sources.  Lots of pictures, lots of maps.  One little girl well on her way to knowing a thing or two about Morocco.  Including how to say it.

But that isn't an unusual exchange.  I work at a library after all.

THIS is the strange part:

 When I looked in on this blog the next day, what country showed up as having someone from there visit in the last 24 hours?


~ ~ ~

Last night I posted to my dad's blog: "I miss being able to check in with you."

Within two minutes of hitting "post" the phone rang.
It was my dad.
Calling from the Philippines.  Calling from the following day, noon.
With no idea that I had just read and commented on his latest blog post.

We checked in.  

~ ~ ~

The events of our lives string together to make reasonably predictable patterns.  Or unreasonably unpredictable chaos.  But either way, we kind of get used to seeing what we see.

I love the wild little beads that get thrown in now and then that make me wonder, "How did that get there?"

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

For Unexpected Detours

I think I have seen this piece a long time ago, but it is such a beautiful way to think about many, many things that don't go the way we hope for or expect. 

"Welcome to Holland"

By Emily Perl Kingsley, 1987. All rights reserved.

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away...because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss. But...if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.