Tag Archives: love

Mothers Day

1 Day old. Not much bigger than the BIC brand ballpoint pen shown on his back. 1 pound 7 ounces.

8 years ago, I had my first Mothers Day. My son was 3 months old at the time, but in reality, was not even due to have been born!

Born at 28 weeks he was not only 3 months premature, but small for gestational age (SGA). At 1 pound 11 ounces (765 grams) and dropping to 1 pound 7 ounces (652 grams) he was what is considered ‘micro-premmie’.

Micro premmies are babies born less than 2 pounds and/or less than 26 weeks gestation. The list that the doctors give you as a parent of a micro premmie of things that may be wrong with your child, is both large and fear-inducing.

70-75% survival rate with 50-60% of children having lasting disabilities, with a much larger proportion of boys than girls. Disabilities range from cerebral palsy, mental retardation, blindness, deafness, developmental delays, behavioral issues, and more.

Our son is 8 years old now, he is in 2nd grade and is on par for all his subjects, except Math and Art. He excels at Math and has won awards for his Artwork. His sports skills leave a little to be desired (but that is much more likely a result of being my son – a less co-ordinated person you probably could not find than me!)

He is smart, funny, kind and compassionate. He reads and writes well and is also learning both French and Japanese at school. He has no behavioral issues. He is our miracle boy!

He was placed on a ventilator the day he was born. A ventilator is a machine you often see that breathes for the person – it puffs air into the lungs via a tube. It it often means your child will be diagnosed with Chronic Lung Disease. (Something my son has been diagnosed with – though I suspect since our move to Aus, if he were to be re-evaluated he may have the diagnosis reversed – he’s so healthy here!)

Moments after birth, the doctors hand seemed so much larger than his head!

He spent a little over 3 months in the NICU and the fun times included (in addition to the day-to-day dramas) Pneumothorax (Collapsed lungs), Full Blood transfusion, various infections, feeding difficulties, almost daily bradycardia incidents (heart beating too slow), breathing stopping on various all-too-frequent occasions.

Fun stuff!

Holding Hands – holding my pinky finger the day after he was born

Holding babies these small is not usually an option right at the beginning, their skin is so fragile that movement and touch can be physically painful for them. ‘holding hands’ is the closest we got other than a few family photos for the first few days.

Nearly 3 weeks old and his fist still fits in daddys wedding ring

I wish I had taken this ring photo earlier, he was nearly 3 weeks old here. Had we taken it the first few days after birth he would have been wearing it as a bracelet. FYI my husband has small fingers, this ring is a size 7.5 women’s (I know this because I am a size 7 and this is only slightly large on me.)

Pacifier is getting smaller!

In the photo above he is nearly 4 weeks old! As you can see the pacifier is getting smaller….or maybe… he is getting bigger!

9 Weeks old! Pacifier is IN the mouth and shrinking!

And… a few weeks after he came home (4 months old) at just over 5 pounds:

Lastly, a photo take today.

8 years (almost to the day) that he was released from the hospital, and here is the very same brand and style of pen that was in the original photo. How 8 years changes things!

8 years old. The same brand of pen. How things change.

So Happy Mothers Day to me and all the mothers out there ! I have a happy, healthy, growing and thriving boy – what more could a mother ask for?

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Ode To My Husband (The Only Man In The World Who Would Have Me)

The Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado Springs, Colorado

9 years ago today, we walked into a courthouse in Denver and eloped.

As we left, you with a lifetime of possibilities and me with my free goodie bag of Tupperware (a total 1950’s housewife gift, I was insulted and planned on writing a complaint letter. Like most of my planned complaint letters, it never materialized), I hoped I’d done the right thing.

The Day We Eloped - Ootober 18, 2002

A few months later with 80 of our friends and family, we officially tied the knot at the beautiful Broadmoor Hotel (and I was right, it was an improvement on a Mexican restaurant).

The roller coaster ride began, and it hasn’t slowed down since.

Our wedding day - January 2003

The first day of our honeymoon as we began our drive down the coast of Mexico, you impressed me by crushing a beer can on your forehead (splitting your head open when you used the wrong end – the one with the sharp edge).  I laughed for hours, and have rarely stopped laughing since.

I knew without question then, you were the boy for me.

As far back as our wedding day you were making me laugh

You have been the best sport as I laugh at you more often than with you (most often in blog posts that I share with the world), and as we incessantly argue the value of crap shows like Smallville and True Blood, your addiction to community Poker games, the necessity of me owning more than 50 pairs of shoes, why Channel and Chanel sunglasses really are not the same (despite appearances), and the inappropriateness of showing your kid how to use a whoopee cushion on unsuspecting guests.

We have come to an agreement that you may not criticize my country’s wacky city names, when your own has a place called Arkansas (Ar-Kansas) and yet, you pronounce it Are-Can-Saw. This one city name definitively established that whatever the subject matter, you have no case – and never will.

You now know that here in Australia, a napkin is not something you use to wipe your face at dinner but rather, a ladies sanitary item. (That was a humiliating lesson to learn, I know.)

We have established that we can raise a great kid, but have no clue how to raise a well-behaved dog.  We know how to run successful businesses, but cannot work in one together, we’re different in almost every way, but we’ll both stand up for what we believe in (even if the cost seems exorbitantly high), and we have learned together, the largest of sacrifices result in the greatest rewards.

Our badly-behaved, but adorable dog

We can live anywhere in the world together and have a good time (not always keeping on the right side of the law, and that’s OK, because most laws are overrated and antiquated anyway). We now know that a foreign drivers license and a confused expression will get you out of almost any tight fix.

You are a man with remarkable patience, and impressive tenacity. Your fortitude is great, and your resilience is admirable. You are the best father I know (even that man in Cracker Barrel thought so), and your ability to kill a bug in the middle of the night without your contact lenses (by sheer bionic-perception), is extraordinary!

You are the son with the integrity, the father with the most adoring son, and the husband with impeccable taste…

If you are ever unsure why you are with me, remember what you told that guy who asked you why you didn’t marry an American girl:

“ Because my wife can defend the honor of a family, confront a scam artist (and convince him to accept an appropriate consequence), make a meal, prove a doctor with a foreboding diagnosis wrong  – reclaiming the health of our child, run a business and keep a house. And she can do it all without carrying a gun, visiting a shrink or popping a Xanax. That’s why I married an Australian girl.”

It’s been a crazy ride, but one well-worth taking.

Happy Anniversary!

xxx

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Dont Let Your Love Go Quiet

Hearts

Image by eirikso via Flickr

Today as I was putting my son to bed he looked at me and said;

“You know, when my friend Stuart gets home from school every day, he gets a cookie, but its OK I get something better than cookies, I get love.”

Of course I turned to him with all the love in the world and said “Oh my God, you are the cutest thing ever…here, have a cookie.”

After inhaling the aforementioned cookie (of which I think he totally manipulated me into giving him, kudos to him) he said; “You know I think Stuart probably gets love as well, he just doesn’t know it. The love in his house is too quiet.”

A friend asked where I found such an adorable child as she was thinking of getting one of her own. (Apparently he had been hiding in my ovaries for decades and I never knew it. How lucky am I?)

The lesson here from a 7 year old politician-in-the-making is that you should never let your love go quiet.

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No Man Will Ever Love You This Much

I was down at the beach on Friday when my hubby picked up my son from school. He told him if he got changed quickly he could meet me at the beach for ‘a little while’. My son loves the beach so he raced inside, tore off his school clothes and redressed in his beach gear, all in record time.

He did however, take the time to stop and get a cup and fill it with water to place a flower in it that he had picked for me earlier that day. My husband urged him to leave it on the counter to be dealt with later as it was getting dark and he was missing out on precious time at the beach. Usually a ‘threat’ like this would ensure instant compliance,  but this time he would not hear of it.

“If I leave it until later, it will die, and I picked this especially for mummy and I want her to have it”; he said.

Here is a picture of the ‘flower’ and the vase-cup he used.

There’s just no way any man will ever love you that much. Never ever.

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The Husband List

Kat, my new favorite blogger to stalk (poor Kat, this means a war and peace comment from me at least every few days… I do try and keep it concise, but…)

Anyway, she is doing an experiment of sorts, attempting to date 30 men in 3 months and blogging about her experiences. She is witty, amusing, thoughtful, open and manages to be eloquent while she does it all. Hat’s off to her! You can read her blog here.

While reading her blog it reminded me of my list from 9 years ago. That is, my list of ‘qualities I require in a husband.’ I came across this list while I was packing up my life to move to Australia. (That’s right, my husband, my son and I after 10 years in the USA have just weeks ago moved to my original ‘home’ of Australia – hence the ending of my last blog and the beginning of this new one)

So I found the list and mulled it over for a while. I wonder if there are many people who set goals in life, attain them, set more goals, attain them and so on. Looking back over my adult life and my achievements (or lack thereof), one would think I set goals only when on drunken binges and playing truth or dare. Moving on…

Here is the list in its entirety from 2002:

1. Must be financially secure

2. Must love kids (this from the woman who didn’t want kids – what was that even about?)

3. Must love animals

4. Must have a great sense of humor, specifically be able to laugh at himself (since I intend to do a lot of laughing at him also)

5. Love to travel

6. At least 6 feet tall

7. Must not be late for our first date.

8. Walk on the side of the road that is closest to the cars when we are out together, so if a tragedy occurs, it happens to his body, not mine.

9. Open doors always.

10. Have similar religious beliefs.

Here’s how I did when it came down to the wedding day:

1. He was able to pay for our then apartment rent, cars, electric, food and health insurance. DRAW

2. He never showed any aptitude towards kids but lo and behold he’s like the best father ever…people have actually stopped us in public and complemented him on his fathering. WIN

3. He does love animals.WIN

4. He thinks he’s much funnier than he is. I’m not sure if this qualifies as success or not, but he does allow me to ridicule him endlessly and has a pretty good sense of humor about it, so we’ll call this success. WIN

5. Like me, he was well-traveled. Europe, the UK and much of the US. Since we  have been married (8.5 years) we have only been to Mexico, US and Australia. Given that we lived in the US and my family lived in Australia, I consider this a whopping FAIL.

6. He’s 5′ 9 1/2″ though he claims he’s 5′ 10″ and I let him get away with it. FAIL

7. We met through my father (and he still claims he has yet to receive a dowry, while my husband maintains that taking me off his hands was the gift) and because I was living in Australia at the time we “chatted” on instant message and the phone. Our very first “date” was him picking me up from the airport. He was late. And short. FAIL

8. I suspect there are many, many times throughout our marriage when he has envisioned  pushing me in front of incoming traffic. FAIL

9. This one is laughable! Opens doors? Who? How? What? Why??? FAIL

10. He’s Jewish. I’m Christian. Enough said. FAIL

Do you all see the trend I have going here? By all accounts this marriage should be a complete failure. If this was a game of Win, Lose or Draw I would be walking off in shame right now.

The great thing about real life is that though your mind may be putting the car in reverse and holding the accelerator on the floor, the heart has grabbed on for dear life and just wont let go.

So bravo for us, bravo.

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