Friday, March 29, 2013


My little love is five months old.

Honestly, I feel like I was jipped.  I try to not just wallow and complain about the last few months of my life, because honestly it doesn't change anything.  I don't remember a ton of the beginning of Grayson's life, which in turn gives me huge mommy guilt.  I want to beat myself up for not studying his little finger nails or his fuzzy head.  I didn't write down any firsts up until this point.  I survived the first 5 months of my son's life.

Between caring for my mom and walking with her until she died, I didn't have as much intention in my pregnancy or my parenting as I would have liked.  I remember even less of my pregnancy than I care to admit.  It just wasn't my focus.

So much like I would want to parent Grayson, I will parent myself. I will repeat over and over again, that it is O.K.  I am not a terrible mom because I didn't write down the first time I tried to give Grayson cereal or the first time he slept through the night.  Oh wait.  That still isn't even close to happening.  Maybe that is why I can't remember jack about the first five months of his life.  Because I, like every momma, am so sleep deprived that I can sometimes barely form a coherent sentence.

And while I don't remember a ton of my pregnancy or the beginning of G Baby's life, what I do remember is sacred.  What I did take time to write down, meant the world to me.  The outpouring of love for both my baby and myself, will not be forgotten.  So no, I have no clue when Grayson tried cereal, but I'm over it.  He will eat for the rest of his life.  Instead I'm going to spend what little mental engery I have to continue to sear into my heart and my mind the images of Grayson in my mom's arms.  I will remember the visits and the gifts we received from people willing to love on our little boy. I will remember the little moments he and I shared in the middle of the night as I fell more deeply in love with his sweet soul.

I was visiting a close friend yesterday and she commented about how he is constantly in motion and ready to jump in and live in every moment, in contrast to her very pensive little  boy who seemed to want to examine the world.  I am in trouble when this kid is two years old.  But I love it.  I love that he is absolutely crazy.  While I look forward to him sleeping through the night, I love that he seems to be so excited most of the time that he cannot contain himself to simply close his eyes.  I love that his heart is not bridled by fear, but open to anyone who will look into his eyes and interact with him.  This kid will stretch me.  This kid will grow me up while he grows up, and I cannot wait.  This babe melts my heart with his grey/brown eyes.  I am enamored as I watch him develop the little personality that I hope will one day lead a big life and make a positive impact in the world.

So for my own sake and relief of my mommy guilt, here are some pictures of my babe and some info.

No clue what to do with this cereal.
 Really, you want me to eat that?
 And, let the melting begin.  We had a little photo shoot yesterday.  How is he this big already?
 Those lashes.  I hope he shares the wealth if he ever has a sister.

 Lounging in my bath.  Grayson loves the water.  I cannot wait for the summer.

At 5 months we still wake up multiple times at night and still only take 45 minute naps.  Mommy finally won the war of the binkie, which you now love, however you wanted me to come give it back to you every 45 minutes the other night.  Not going to happen G Baby.  Hopefully we will find a balance because with the binkie you do put yourself to sleep without a problem.  You now snuggle and hug and belly laugh all day long.  You are a huge people person and will suck anyone into a conversation with you.  It helps that you are never quiet.  Ever.  You currently wear 6 or 9 month clothing.  You are more comfortable in the bigger sized stuff with your big ol' b'dunk-a-dunk from your cloth diapers.  You are starting to figure out that all food is not disgusting and you actually seemed to like peas today.  (You would have thought I was poisoning you with the sweet potatoes.)  You have rolled over from tummy to back a couple of times, but not yet from back to tummy.  It might have something to do with the fact that mommy had you sleeping in a Magic Sleep Suit for the past two months.  Click the link.  You know you want to.  Feel free to make fun of me as well.  Yes I put my baby in a fat suit, and yes he slept significantly better in it.  I will do almost anything for sleep.  You probably don't roll to much because when you are awake you want to be up and moving.  You much prefer the jump-a-roo to the floor mat any day.

You are the essence of joy my sweet babe, and you melt my heart.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

One Month Later

Last Sunday I hit the one month mark of losing my mom.  I wanted to write some big monumental post, but I had no words.  Just grieving in the form of sarcasm for my husband and eventually some tears.

Honestly, I don't know what to say.  This still sucks.  As the weeks go on and we get further away from that very challenging and hard last week of my mom's life, I feel like I miss her more.  Immediately after she died, I had so much relief.  The suffering had ended.  Now I just miss my momma.

I know time will heal, I know this is will get easier, but on Sunday it just sucked.

I've noticed that grief comes out in a multitude of ways and sometimes, much like word vomit, it escapes my body in an ugly form.  Poor Jon receives the brunt of it, and sometimes it happens before I even realize it.  Yesterday I was as snappy as a rubber band until I finally broke down.  I didn't want to plan an Easter get together with my family without my mom being able to come.  There is a hole at our table.  It does not yet feel normal or right.  And honestly it makes me sad that as the years pass and as time continues to turn, that it will become normal.  While I don't want to continue hurting, I also don't want this world sans Nancy to be normal.  I don't want  it to be normal for my kiddos to not know their nanny.  Ugh.  I don't want this new normal.

Today we started going through more of my mom's things.  Again, I am not usually a saver, but I am consumed by panic about giving anything away.  I want to hang on to every last little piece of her, even though she isn't in that shirt or that platter.  My mom is in my heart, and in my sisters, and in Grayson...but it is hard to let go of the things she touched.  To remember and trust that my memories will be enough takes strength I don't seem to have at the moment.  So instead I am stockpiling shit in my basement that I will have to go through once again when we demo it this spring.  Maybe I will have more strength on that day.

I don't want this blog to be all of my Debbie-Downer moments, I just seem to have a bit more of them lately.

So on a totally unrelated note, I just want to write down a few things about Grayson for my own memory.  I wanted to be one of those cool mom's that took a monthly photo and did a monthly recap.  Didn't happen.  Sorry munchkin, you are stuck with a scatter-brained momma who can't get her monthly act together.  So we will start at 5 months.  Better late than never.

Grayson, at five months old you have captivated my heart.  You have challenged me as I try to step into this new role of parent.  I have always had a love for children, but when you put the responsibility of fully raising one of them onto my shoulders, I find that I want to stand up tall and not mess it up.  Thank you for your grace and love sweet baby boy, as I surely will mess up in many ways as we walk through life together.  I want to find the balance, to push you and to let you explore while setting boundaries that protect you from dangers too big.  I want to trust that the God that called nanny home, watches over you daily and loves you more than I do.  I want you to be the epitome of a little boy.  You are a little ball of perpetual motion and energy.  While it can be exhausting, I hope that I never squelch it.  I hope that I ride that wave with you and that you teach me as much as I hope to teach you. While I want to keep you little forever, and I lost my cool when you rolled over, I also want you to run, climb, and explore.  I want you to run so fast that you fall down because I want you to know you are so capable of getting back up and it is fun to run fast.  I want you to live life with excitement and bravery.  I want you to be the best you that you can possibly be....but, please feel free to stay little for a bit longer.  Please continue to snuggle into my arms grasp my locket with my momma in it when I feed you in the  middle of the night.  Please continue to squeal with delight since belly laughing is still a bit of a challenge.  God, let me live intensely in the present and in these moments as I try to prepare my babe for the future.  Help me to teach him that this world is meant for play and to not hold him back with my own insecurities and fears.  Help him to know that he has two parents that will always welcome him with open arms as will his heavenly father.

Yesterday I had to be gone a full day after working all night because of a job transition I am making (more on that later).  The blessing of working part time is not lost on me.  I came home missing my sweet boy and could not get enough snuggles.  I am so incredibly grateful to be able to work weird hours where my babe doesn't even know I'm gone, and to be able to transition into different job where I can provide for my family but be home with Grayson a little more often as well.

Here is a recent picture of my little heart breaker. 15 lbs 8 ounces of pure yumminess.  Spell check says yumminess is not a word.  I disagree.

On that note I am going to go try to sleep while my little goober does too.  Fingers crossed that it is for more than 45 minutes.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I Will Wait

When we were driving to the hospital to deliver Grayson the song "I Will Wait" by Mumford and Sons was on the radio.  It was also on the radio when we drove to my mom's service, as well as Jon's Uncle Bob's service last night.

So now I have a thing with this song just like a junior high girl who is infatuated with the song she shares with her new boyfriend.  Apparently music is able to take a stab at my maturity level.

Now this is "my" song.  At least for the moment.  It's no K-Ci and JoJo "All my Life," but it has spoken to me none the less.

Here are the lyrics that I want to dissect like an English teacher wants to dissect Romeo and Juliet.  I want to find the hidden message.

And I came home
Like a stone
And I fell heavy into your arms
These days of darkness
Which we've known
Will blow away with this new sun

And I'll kneel down

Wait for now
And I'll kneel down
Know my ground

And I will wait, I will wait for you

And I will wait, I will wait for you

So break my step

And relent
You forgave and I won't forget
Know what we've seen
And him with less
Now in some way
Shake the excess

But I will wait, I will wait for you

And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you

So I'll be bold

As well as strong
And use my head alongside my heart
So tame my flesh
And fix my eyes
That tethered mind free from the lies

But I'll kneel down

Wait for now
I'll kneel down
Know my ground

Raise my hands

Paint my spirit gold
And bow my head
Keep my heart slow

Cause I will wait, I will wait for you

And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you

I know it sounds cheesy, but I do feel like God was able to use this song to speak to my soul.  Only my soul is a little slow.  He really had to dumb it down for me and use a single word.  


Wait for your sweet baby boy.  Take each contraction as it comes.  Take every milestone in.  Rise up to every parenting challenge.  Stop rushing, just wait.

Wait for your mom to walk through heaven's gates.  Take in each memory, each hug, each kiss, each cuddle.  Take snap shots with your mind.

Wait in your marriage.  Be patient.  Stop running.  Be present.

Wait and bask in the love that currently surrounds you.  You are loved.  You are O.K.  You don't always have to be the strong one.

So I have tried to do just that.  I am trying to slow down, and just wait.  See how life unfolds and what direction and adventure my family is to embark on next. I want the next season of my life to develop and unfold.  I am trying to be present in life's little moments, while I am so keenly aware of how fleeting they are.  

Raise my hands, paint my spirit gold, and bow my head, Keep my heart slow.

Songs seem to quickly transport us back to seasons in our lives.  I waver between never wanting to return to this season and the feelings I have, and at the same time never wanting it to end.  This has been a season of the happiest happies with the crappiest crappies.  It will be interesting to see what feeling washes over me when I hear that song in years to come, but for now, I will listen to God's urging and just wait.

Luckily this little stinker is so cute while he refuses to nap.  I will wait and hang out with you all day my little lovie.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Grief, Tantrums, and Love

Yesterday I was driving home from work and I wanted to call my mom.  I wanted to chat.  I wanted to check in.  I wanted to update her on Grayson. 

For the past few weeks I stifled those little urges to call her, I tucked them in the back of my mind hoping they would go away.

Well yesterday morning I could stifle no more.  I sobbed the whole way home.  For one reason or another, that car ride is when my grief hit me the hardest.  That car ride is when I started to breathe in the reality that my mom is truly gone.  She will never get another update about my baby on this side of heaven.  She will not meet my future children.  She can give me no more advice.  This shit is permanent.  She is not on vacation, and she is not coming back.  

I felt sucker-punched in the gut.  I wanted to vomit and kick and scream on top of my sobbing.  I wanted to throw a tantrum so big that some massive guy would have to hold me down.  I felt consumed by pain and grief so intense I wanted to crash my car into a tree, because surely the impact would snap me out of it and I would hurt less.  

Someone please call that big burly guy, because Jaci has gone stark raving mad.

Obviously I did not do any of those things white driving, but the further away I get from the last awful week of my mom's life, the harder this feels and the deeper this hurts.  After that last week, I wanted my mom to die.  I wanted her to be in paradise.  I wanted the pain to stop and the suffering to end.  But now, now that she is gone, I want her back.  

What a conundrum.  

The small sane part of my brain that is left, knows that I will be alright.  I know it will get easier in time.  I know that part of being human is dying, and the time will come when I will have to walk this painful road again.  

But it does me no good to logic away my pain. It does me no good to try and point out the people that have it worse than me, as if that would actually make me feel better.

A friend put a quote in one of the sympathy cards I received: "Grief is the cost of love."

So today I am admitting that it is all worth it.  The intensity and amount of love that existed between my mom and I, is worth the intensity and amount of grief and pain I feel now.  I wouldn't trade it in and today I won't stifle it.  I will trust that through feeling and expressing my anger, fear, and sadness, I will find healing and hope.  

I promise not to drive my car into a tree, but I still might rock that tantrum.

Today everything hurts, but I will continue to desperately cling to my hope, while being honest about my pain. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Baby Formula: Day Ruiner

Yep.  It's true.  Baby formula ruined my day.

Want to know how baby formula ruined my day?  Because I couldn't pick one.  For the last three hours, yes, t.h.r.e.e. hours I have looked at reviews of infant formula.

I have done everything within my power to increase my milk supply to be able to exclusively breast feed my child.  No such luck.  No amount of Fenugreek, pumping, Blessed Milk Thistle, more pumping, or baby nursing is going to change it.  Try as I might, with my armpits that now reek or maple syrup, thanks to said Fenugreek, my kiddo needs some supplementing.  Supply and demand my ass.  My kid or pump has been on my chest all day for multiple days and I still only pump and ounce an hour, and Grayson still wants more.

Now I realize that this is a hot topic.  I realize people will be inclined to give me their advice, and honestly, I'm not looking for it, as well intention-ed as it may be.  I know my body, and I know my babe, and I know what we need to do.

Hence, the formula research.

Because heaven forbid something around parenting should be easy and not laced with fear,  I'm pretty sure every type of formula has something in it that shall surely cause cancer or poison my baby.  Or I could spend more money and get the organic kind.  Oh, but wait, they use chemicals to produce the DHA and ARA, so again, the poison...and they have a reputation for constipating babies.  Oh and since it's base is derived from rice, it might have high levels of arsenic in it.  Awesome.

So after reading three hours worth of reviews on different brands and types of formulas on Amazon, I have resigned.  I admit defeat.

Sweet baby boy, I want to do what is best for you, but I no longer want to live in this state of panic surrounding parenting.  I will feed you. You shall grow.  End of story.

I will research and I will try to do my best, but I refuse to let myself be again consumed by fear over formula.  I am totally one of those suckers that can easily be swayed by scare tactics.  When I am not conscious about my thoughts and intentional about my decisions, I quickly go into "scarcity" mode, I am easily consumed by fear.  I would love to take out tons of insurance policies.  Just in case.  Or hide away gobs of money.  Just in case.  I guess you would first have to possess gobs of money to hide them away, but I digress.

Want to know a secret?  I will never, ever, be a perfect parent.  In one way or another, I will, for certain, mess up my child.  My child will experience pain and hardship.  I guess that isn't really a secret at all.

While there is this inner life force that wants to do whatever possible to prevent Grayson from experiencing pain, I am learning that this may not be what is best for him.

I want him to experience the world (not necessarily constipation at this young age, but you get what I'm saying).  I want him to know the whole world, and I want him to have an insane desire to change it and make it a better place.  I don't want him to live in a bubble where the world seems good enough, where things seem peachy keen.  I want my kid to live a big, brave life.  And feeding him one brand of formula instead of another will not matter in years to come.  I am lucky enough to live in a county where I can feed my baby with such ease.  Big picture Jaci, big picture.

So while I pride myself on my awesome researching abilities, I am going to table my formula research at this time.  I am going to pick a brand of formula and stick to it.  And life will go on.  Then I am going to spend my energy on researching things that really matter, and I will invest my time teaching my babe how to explore and experience the world.

I am going to have to continually make conscious decisions to push past my fear while I parent my child.  I am going to have to parent myself in the process.  I am going to have to hold on desperately to the big picture and what I really want my life to represent and be about, and what I really want Grayson to learn from his momma.

Hoping to have a little photo shoot with him in a couple days.  We had his 4 month apt yesterday, and while shots were no big deal, he cried so hard while they looked in his ears that he broke all the blood vessels around his eyes and forehead, now looking like a freckled, defeated, mess.  Poor little dude.