Saturday, July 30, 2011

Making Silly Faces: GIVEAWAY!

 I've been really inconsistent with my posting, so I am hoping that I still have a few lurkers who will participate in an uh-mazing giveaway!!

Your eyes are not deceiving you--my husband didn't pick up the guitar, don a first finger ring, and purchase one of those head microphones (that totally remind me of Rent--I have no earthly need or use for a head microphone, but I want one right after an iPad).

Eric's doppleganger is children's musician Nick from In The Nick of Time music! He has recently been touring the east coast to promote his newest CD, "Making Silly Faces."
He's done concerts at schools, in the park, at corporations, on TV, and even some radio spots.

Atlanta was lucky enough to convince him to make a stop over in Atlanta on his way back down to his home in Miami. My family got assume the role of "toddler groupies" and attend both of the 2 concerts his did. With a banjo and a guitar (and his incredible traveling speaker system with back-up music, and that Rent-a-phone), he made some really awesome music for some really happy kids.
I think the real appeal of Nick's music is that it truly is kid and parent friendly. I've been following Nick's career as a kindie musician for as long as I can remember, and his ability to compose music that incorporates a variety of instruments, styles, clever lyrics, and general "feel-goodness" is hard to match. And, his amazingly talented wife (who has the talent and beauty that I am convinced would put her in the top 3 of both American Idol and America's Next Top Model), rounds out the band and sound. Unfortunately, she couldn't make his tour this summer, but has a huge presence on all of his albums.

While I will mention that the newest CD will probably be most appreciated by those a little bit out of the toddler age, I think it is one to add to anyone's children's music library. Currently, we are obsessed with the "Slumber Party" song. (It's totally a la Lady Gaga--that's what is fun about this CD, every song sort of reminds you of a popular artist.)

Wanna nibble on some of his unique sounds? Head over to his site, and you can sample some of the newest songs.  What's awesome is that you can buy them individually; it's like a make-your-own children's music library!

Reflecting back on his previous CDs, I think Eric and I have sang his "Seven" song every single day for the past 3 years. Currently, we sing it at bedtime every night. It was our own colic calm with Miles when he was a baby. And the "Autumn Song" is always a favorite, as are "Freeze Dance" "Sneakers" "Clickity Clack" and "The Bear Went Over the Mountain." You can also go and both sample and buy some of these older songs here, too. 

But for one of you, you won't have to do anything but open a bubble mailer sent to your home in order to get Nick's music. Woot Woot!

For all 3.5 of you who don't know me personally, there is one thing that needs to be mentioned before we get into the giveaway...

Nick IS my brother. And yes, both Felix and Miles are on the newest cover. But I am gaining no compensation for the giveaway except inflating my sense of pride for my talented big bro. Folks--I've been there since the beginning--or at least since he was a little less than 2 years old and I a newborn. I've suffered through his beginning string instruments, piano, and recorder (ughh! recorder!) in elementary school and nights of saxophone during middle school. And conveniently, my room was right above our house's music room, so every plugged in electric guitar or bass that entered our house, was *felt* by me. I watched my older brother hone his craft, join multiple bands over the years (I even sang a few times in one of them during college), get degrees and advanced degrees in music, and ultimately settle into what I think is one heck of an accomplished career as a children's musician.



You ready to hear for yourself???

I am giving away to 1 lucky reader, a collection of Nick's CDs!!And even for many of you who have 1 or more of the CDs--you'll still want to win--isn't it always fun to have, at the ready, some great children's music to give to someone as a gift?


 


How to enter:
  1. ONE ENTRY: leave a comment on this post with your favorite song/album from when you were a wee one. (I loved our Sesame Street Fever record, and Barry Louis Polisar tapes. Quickly, though, they were overtaken when I discovered the Grease record.)
  2. ANOTHER ENTRY: go to Facebook and "like" In The Nick of Time's Facebook page. Leave a separate comment for this. (If you are part of the Kool Kid Gang and already like his page, just leave a comment confirming.)
  3. YET ANOTHER ENTRY: Post about this giveaway on your own blog. Leave a separate comment with the link to your blog post for this.
  4. REALLY? ANOTHER CHANCE?: Post a link to this this giveaway on your own Facebook page. Leave a separate comment for this.
C'mon people--help me blow up this comment section!

Contest ends next Saturday, August 6, 2011, midnight.

WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED  SUNDAY AUGUST 7!

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    Logistic Regression

    Do you ever do Jedi mind tricks or enter "the land of make believe" to get you through difficult parts of parenthood?

    Like how I constantly pretend that I am on "Survivor Chamblee" and am entering one of those hideous challenges that have you stand with 1 foot on a log in a lagoon, while keeping your hand above your head in swealtering heat for 20 hours straight. If that girl from The View can do that kind of stuff...then I can handle a few nights (read: years) of interrupted sleep.

    The past 2 nights, I've told myself that I'll get immunity if I can just survice Felix's mysterious night wakings. Two nights of unexpected night wakings, and I am already acting like I've never been up all night with a colicky, ear infected, breastfeeding newborn. How quickly the amnesia sets in...

    But I *really* do tell myself:

    "Okay. Here's the deal, Ali. The challenge is this--walk around the room with Felix while he cries and contorts his body into the position he must have assumed in utero--the "tort twist"--you know, the one where his head is thrown back, askew, his hiney jetting out of your arms, feet crossed, making you wonder why he isn't in a full body brace, yet. Don't stop walking or he'll scream. Also, figure out a way to administer ibuprofen while he is being carried in the tort twist, not breaking your pace. Keep his wails to a dull minimum, or you'll risk waking up Miles. If that means adding some deep knee bends to the walk, do so. And above all--don't cry or complain. Immunity is at stake."

    Ya know, for the past 2 nights, it has kinda worked.

    We all know by know that my children are not what I would call model sleepers.

    But they have come a long, long, way, and I feel like for quite some time we've been in a good spot with both the going to bed, and staying in bed situations.

    But then you have those pockets of "regression." They used to be frequent during that fist year, and once Miles finished his first year, I was essentially experiencing Felix's first year, so I had back to back regressions. It was like breastfeeding and pumping--it just never really ended--just a continuation when Felix was born.

    So now that we have had many months of predictability, these rough spots of regression sting a little more. Even if just 2 nights (please oh please let it only be the last 2 nights.)

    And then there is the fact that the boys, IN TANDEM, took a course on stalling. It's not so much regression as it is a kink in the seamless bedtime routine. It's amazing the tricks they pull out to get an extra few minutes. Felix is smart--he may still be limited to at most 3 word sentences (although, the child's vocabulary is absurdly impressive), he manages to pull out an extra 10-30 minutes somehow.

    Example:

    Someone sings to Felix in the dark while standing by his crib at night--usually holding him the tort twist at first, before the transfer to the crib. Immediately upon turning off the light to start the process, he proceeds to ask for every other person to come in and be with him--if I am holding him, it's "Mahna!! Daddy!! Mi-yo!!" Even last night he asked for my brother, who is visiting, Seth. (I laugh when he is so tired, he throws your own name in there, not realizing you are the one holding him.)

    So, Felix's preferred play list is composed of the ABCs and Baa Baa Black Sheep. But here is how it goes:

    Ali: A-B-C-D-E-F-G...
    Felix (interrupting): Baa Baa!
    Ali: Baa baa black sheep have you any...
    Felix (interrupting): A-B!
    Ali: A-B-C
    Felix (interrupting): Baa Baa!
    Ali: A-B, Baa Baa, C-D, Baa Baa
    And at that point, Felix gets confused, and knows he cannot trick me anymore into not finishing a song, and having lullaby time last forever.

    I know there is a time this kid will outsmart me in a way I cannot come back with my own tricks, but until then? Ali: 1, Felix: 0.

    Some of the regression is predictable, some logical (some just slightly grating, like the above lullaby game)...and some a combination.

    I am militant about naps. My children do not go to bed earlier, nor do they sleep in later if they miss naps.

    They just become tragically overtired monsters whose only saving grace is that in the midst of sleeping disasters, they can simultaneously win you over with their big doughy eyes.

    We've worked very hard at establishing good sleep habits for the boys, but I do try to be a little flexible on vacations and special occasions, but I've always experienced a predictability in that just about the 4th day into a vacation, the lack of sleep structure starts to bite us in the rear.

    Currently, the routine is probably the same as everyone with babies and toddlers (this summer it has started later than our normal 6:30 bath start)

    (potty)
    Bath
    Teeth
    (potty)
    Books
    Singing
    (and then additional hand clapping games or stories for just Miles)
    Bed--and then see you in the morning between 6 and 6:20am--on a really lucky day, 7am.

    Rinse and repeat. Predictable. Manageable. I've been greedy and asked Jeff Probst if instead of immunity, I could cash in for an extra 20-40 minutes of AM time for a consistent 6:45am wake-up, but negotiations are still ongoing with CBS.

    But now we have some regression "stirrings":

    Felix: teeth seem to be entering the picture--again. He is getting his 4 vampire teeth--or so I think--because he has gotten up the past 2 nights screaming and grinding his teeth (mentioned above). This is NOT typical behavior from this kid. He has also increased his cannibalistic nature during the day, and that is always a sure sign of impending teeth. Luckily, historically, he hasn't been an awful teether--that time was trumped by the sleepless 5 months of chronic ear infections that first year.

    My hope is that the night wakings will cease after this week, and that Felix becomes a full fledged vampire soon (I hear they make good money these days thanks to that Twighlight series).

    Next up--moving the boys into one room at night.

    I'm a glutton for punishment.

    Monday, July 25, 2011

    5 Alive!

     Really, who are we kidding...THIS is more like it:


    My good friend Schlotty had the greatest title for our 5th wedding anniversary: FIVE ALIVE!

    5 years--and lots of "life" happening. Creating life (x 2 and a half), surviving life (damn cancer), and even losing life.

    It was a great, albeit stormy, weekend 5 years ago...



    This is me below. Throwing the gang symbol for the 5th year of marital bliss.

    And look! After 2 kids, it's the rehearsal dinner dress! Okay, so my dress-up options are limited, and I was running low on options, but with some double sided tape to paste to my "I survived nursing 2 children" upper body, it looked almost as good as it did 5 years ago. And after quite a bit of stress, not a gray in sight! Okay, so that's totally a "pigment" of your imagination--rather, a the result of using a free box of John Freida foam color that I got a coupon for from that aforementioned Schlotty. The one good thing about not being pregnant anymore is that I can home color with abandon, and follow it up with a martini to boot! (Note: building gray on my head is a great barometer for you to assess the vacancy status of my uterus--I've been called out on it two times before!)


    Eric and I had a great celebration. Instead of wood (or silverware if you go the modern route) as the traditional 5th wedding anniversary, I am changing it to the year of the scoutmob.

    Okay, so scoutmob is not as much of a "thing" as it is a smart phone discount "app."

    But I think I am in a plural marriage now--Eric, me, and scoutmob (I call dibs on "first" wife!)

    I've been really indecisive lately, and asked Eric to plan our dinner for our wedding anniversary.

    I know, how kind of me?

    We talked about finding a scoutmob location to save us 50% on dinner, so I expected a nice dinner either in Decatur or some totally authentic grub on Buford Highway (this may only resonate with Atlanta folks here).

    I finished work, gussied myself up, and Eric and I jumped into the car and were off. We landed at Isabella's Cafe in Decatur for a scrumdiddly dinner of samosas, beef stew and chicken tikka. Washed down with two cold beers, and we were happy little larks (do birds drink alcohol?). All at 50% off of course.

    Then Eric said we were going shopping. So we traipsed around Decatur square and popped in and out of scoutmob participating shops, and bought a bunch of gifts and books for the boys and for some other people. We find it far more fun to shop for other people to be honest (and made a pact, because we are were totally channeling "Stand By Me"energy, and decided that on our birthday come January, we are going to celebrate by doing something, or giving something to someone else. I was already scheming during my massage--wait, what? Massage? I'm getting ahead of myself...)

    After shopping, we had to make up the calories spent with dessert and drinks. We nestled down at a quiet (and tippy) table at Carpe Diem and shared an amazing chocolate cream pie. Port and a martini were the winning libations. Again, "fiddy" off thanks to scoutmob.

    We decided we were going to go rent a Redbox and go home and push the couches together and have a sleepover in our living room.

    Yes, we have done that before.
    Just like sometimes we switch sides of the bed.
    Or sleep with our heads at the other end.
    I compare it to brushing with the opposite hand--it keeps your brain active and mixes things up a little. Try it.

    Well,  I had no idea what Redbox we were going to, because the next thing I know, we are passing the mall that is not by our house.

    Huh??

    SURPRISE! Thanks to priceline (scoutmob has not entered the world of hotels), we got to have a sleepover at a 4 star hotel! He had schemed with my mom and secretly packed a sleepover bag without me knowing.

    DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS?

    My alarm clock doesn't poop in a diaper.
    I can crank the AC as high as possible without seeing it reflected on my bill.
    I can take a shower without a small child beating on the door
    And BIG. FLUFFY. WHITE. SHEETS. yeah, yeah...apparently full of bed bites and other unmentionables if you ask Dateline, but I quickly convinced myself they were completely new sheets, waiting to consume me in fluffiness.

    We had a good laugh at the brochures littered throughout the room (I think they need to hire a copy editor--hey! New job prospect!). For $19, you could get a single bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, or for $18, you could get steak and eggs and a side. Hmmm...or, for $150, you could get an SFacial.

    It was lovely, and we slept in until...wait, wait...here it comes...SEVEN THIRTY! (We both woke up an hour before that, but at least stayed in bed.)

    Then off to breakfast at Alon's bakery for a yummy breakfast outside.

    Eric told me he promised my mom that we would be home at 10am to relieve her from Crazy Horse and Tender Foot...but there Eric went again, and missed the turn to our house.

    Where were we going?

    We ended up at Village Place in  Brookhaven, and Eric told me he was going to the Library (a coffee shop) to read for 90 minutes while I was getting a full body massage at Natural Body Spa. It's a great spa that is platinum LEED certified and gives some great massages.

    I was ready to renew our vows in the spa treatment room. Eric did a fantastic job making that 24 hours some of the most relaxing and fun I have had in a long time. If you have kids, you'll appreciate how valuable you feel those moments you have when you can sit and talk with your spouse. I'm not sure how to else to say it, but sometimes I kind of "miss" Eric. And this 5th anniversary, I got almost 24 hours to spend time with him again.

    As I said to Eric, if this is what 5 years looks like, sign me up for 5 million.

    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    Triple Dog Dare Devil

    Now, if THAT isn't the face of kid ready to hit the mean streets of Chamblee on Daddy's iBert Safe-T front mounted child bicycle seat, I don't know what is. (Photo courtesy of Daddy's cell phone.). Just don't say "boo" or look at me the wrong way...I might cry.

    Noggin size in my house is insane, and we have graduated to flaming helmet status. Can someone tell my kid that he doesn't have to worry the flames aren't real?

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    A Case of the Weekdays

    You know that saying, "oh, I have a case of the Mondays."

    I hereby update it to "dang. I have a case of the Weekdays."

    My company was reduced by over 40% on Friday (still employed, though!) and now we have an even more impossible task of executing work with far fewer resources. I'm a little worried what the fall will look like once my Mom leaves and Eric begins his all consuming job as teacher and XC coach.

    I've been forced into a role of workaholic, and the worst is that it is going to start affecting my coveted weekends.

    You see, weekends is when we cram in the family time--pools, parties, playgrounds, etc, and now I am just wondering how to accomplish my weekday responsibilities without opening up the laptop while my kids go down the slides (or at least anxiously watch bigger kids go down the slides while taking a more conservative approach with the "crazy bridge" repeats), or when we are slated to do fun things like go to the zoo. Yes, there are naptimes and after the boys' bedtime, but the struggle is that I also have this thing called "a life" and would love to spend time with Eric. Maybe watch a movie from time to time, and finish the queue of books to read. Dare I even mention knitting. It's like I feel guilty for even having the urge to do more than just work.

    And this weekend, I started getting uber grumpy at the pool Sunday night with just the thought of coming into work. It's slowly chipping away at my soul, so I need to act fast. Or at least as fast as a methodical approach to resolving the utter professional/personal imbalance I am experiencing, which is only getting worse. And in full disclosure (because when have I held back?) it's making the process of getting over what happened the other week a tad harder. Perhaps I am missing that amazing something to look forward to come Valentine's Day (who am I kidding? I would have delivered well before Feb 14th given my track record). I don't like being grumpy. It doesn't suit me very well.

    It seems not to make sense--wouldn't you be even more happy and invested and joyful during those brief family moments you do get now? But for some reason, I'm riddled with work stress and paranoia, and get even more short with the hubster and kids when I am not in the office. I have a hard time compartmentalizing things, and now with work coming home with me more frequently, am even more unsure how to do it.

    Any amazing ideas out there?

    Money isn't everything, but a relatively flexible in office schedule (able to leave each day at 3:45 to pick up the boys from childcare, which ends at 4:30), solid pay and benefits are all hard to give up. Granted, the out of office work I am going to be doing is increasing dramatically, and I may need to hire a nanny to watch the kids if I start traveling every week.

    But my children ARE everything...and I am not a good Mommy right now. And truth be told, until the dust settles from losing almost half of my company, I'm probably not a great employee right now, either.

    It's the eternal working mother's dilemma...

    In the meantime, it is my objective, as much as possible, to push work stress and obligations out of my head for at least the hours of 5pm-7pm to enjoy family dinner, bath, and bedtimes. Even if and when the tantrums hit, underwear gets saturated, and I tuck the boys in knowing they have only eating a whole wheat roll. I'm cherishing these moments, and expecting them to carry me through the next day to 5pm again.

    I mean, what's the alternative?

    Friday, July 15, 2011

    SYTYCD: Toddler Style

    I haven't had the chance to watch So You Think You Can Dance this summer (I haven't watched much of any TV), but it doesn't matter because I have Miles to treat us with his version of Break Dancing (rather, "broken" dancing).

    video


    What you cannot see well is that Miles barrels over toward our sideboard during one break dancing episodes, collapses into his broken dance, and conks his head on the floor. And then it is like the perfect example of my 2 boys: Miles starts weeping partial crocodile tears, and Felix runs over and slaps Miles on his exposed belly. The video cuts out right as Felix administers the first blow, and Eric unfortunately stopped taping about 10 seconds too early because Felix wound up again and gave Miles an encore that was so hard, we all could almost feel Miles's bare belly swelling up and getting red. Insert real tears.

    Oh wow, Ali! Miles is finally wearing underwear for real? Nope. We are apparently on the 4 year plan, and took a nice long break from anything formal during the chaos of the last month with all the personal drama and 4th of July traveling. Our potty training hiatus will be over starting next week, but until then, there is a lot more fun to be had with underwear than just wearing it on your bottom.  Thomas berets, anyway?



    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    Vacation is...

    Going on nature walks with Opa:
     Impressing the bikini-clad girls with dashing good looks and sun shades:
    Riding motorcycles for the first time:
     Getting the boat ready for lots of lake rides:
    Modeling the "boat coat:"
     Bucket hats:


     Boat rides:


     Pool Time:
    Beach Bumming:
    Lake frolicking:



    Perfectly composed, and unintentional photo of Daddy's dive over an obstacle:
    Cousin cabana-ing:
    Naval exploration:
    And just enjoying family time...



    Excessively large photo album for the grand parentals to view here.

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    "Ah-pih-culls" and "innoculators"

    video 

    video video

    I cannot get my fip video software to work, so we are working in 3 installments tonight.

    Who woulda thunk that mispronunciations would be part of the emotional salve to getting me back to feeling okay again?

    Slow and steady...patience... and lots of ah-pih-culls.

    Friday, July 8, 2011

    Ohio Summer Vacation: Preview

    A little sun, a little water, a lot of family--it's good for the soul. More to come...back to reality (and Georgia) tomorrow.


    Friday, July 1, 2011

    Triplet Grief

    They say things happen in “threes,” right?


    Maybe we seek out opportunities to confirm old wive’s tales such as the preceding, or maybe there really are times when you are confronted with more items than you initially feel you can handle.

    My grandfather’s death was not a huge surprise, but it was a huge “hit.” At thirty (ahem) one, I have had all of my grandparents. Grandpop (or “Pop” as so many called him) was 93 years old. He was in hospice at home and a variety of ailments over the past few years took away much of his mobility and thirst for life. In an effort not to focus on the macabre and detail out how his life came to an end, I have felt it more appropriate and therapeutic to spend my energy reflecting on how he lived. As my uncle remarked at his funeral last week “Pop never met a stranger.” And wasn’t that the truth! He could strike up a conversation with anyone and everyone, and leave with a forever friend—even a few German soldiers in WWII. I have so many memories of my Grandpop, and as fast and tiring as the funeral weekend up in PA was, it was wonderful to reflect on a life so full, meaningful, and long. And a partnership between him and his wife that is the epitome of unconditional love.

    Through my continued reflection, I’ve come to realize that grief is such a personal experience. We all plow through the emotions at different rates and in different ways. Sometimes, in completely unexpected ways. In the receiving line during the calling hours, my cousin was visibly mourning in such a visceral, and yet beautiful way. And the fact that he and my grandfather share a name—Paul—made seeing him cry even more poignant for me. My grandmother, stoic as ever, found the energy to attend almost every element of the day (from calling hours, to service, to burial, to the reception). That is no easy feat when you are 70lbs soaking wet, on oxygen, and fighting for your own life (more on that grief #2 in a bit). My father tends to acquire a nervous cough. He will hate that I am calling him out on this, but as far back as I can remember, in times of stress or sadness, he coughs. I shared a hotel room with my 2 older brothers, and in the middle of the night, my one brother screamed in a grumpy muppet voice: “LILA, LILA, LILA!” (my grandmother’s name). I had fully expected to be a blubbering mess, but I surprised myself and just felt an enormous sense of sadness for his loss, but relief knowing that pain was relieved. Tears were not easily accessible. I had moments of questioning why my saying good-bye to him did not necessitate me going up to the open casket and saying a prayer or my good-byes like so many others. But that’s grief. Unpredictable. Personal. The two moments I felt that ball rise in my throat and reached for some tissues was during my father’s remembrance during the ceremony—he talked about legacy, and how my grandfather’s legacy is in his children’s, grandchildren’s, and great grandchildren’s education. And my ducts always get wet whenever I hear my Dad’s voice quiver or see him cry (talk about breaking down a stone wall.) That, and when the military honors were performed at the burial site; I just hoped that somehow, someway, my grandfather was “aware” of the well deserved pomp and circumstance.

    On the way home from PA, I felt like I had done a lot of good processing. But upon the night of my return, I found out that my grandmother had fallen and was at the hospital. Although the fall was what brought her into the hospital, it was just a means of having the doctors confirm yet again that her body was failing. Scleroderma has slowly shut down her internal organs over the past couple of years. Prior to Pop’s death, she would find refuge in the hospital, and resist words like “hospice.” She took piles of medication, and in my estimate, did what she could do to stay alive to be with her husband. Now that he is gone, I think she is ready to “go” and is not in a fight to stay alive as long as she can. I don’t blame her. She lost her best friend…and is tired…and probably really lonely. She decided to go home on hospice, discontinue most all of her medication, secure a hospital bed, and live in comfort.

    It was a 1-2 punch. Figuring out how to grieve for someone who was just lost…grieve for someone who is barely still living…and then the 3rd punch--grieve for something that has yet to “live.”

    With my grandfather, I have spent a long time thinking about a lifetime of events, moments, memories. With my grandmother, I have spent a long time thinking about her current state, projecting about her own passing and funeral, and with the third personal loss we experienced this week, I have spent a lot of time thinking about a lifetime of missed events, never realized moments and memories. Seven weeks is not a long time, and outside of pretty intense fatigue and terrible morning sickness, I don’t have a lot of memories; the grief comes in not reflecting on the memories of what was, but what could have been.

    So what do you do when you receive that third blow? I know we all are in the contest for having the best husband…but I have the best husband for me. In regards to our own personal loss, we have been doing a lot of processing, talking, crying (okay, just me there), questioning, deciding, and even arguing over the past week plus. And at the moment—I’m feeling okay. (And I hope Eric is, too.)

    For me, being with my family, going over pictures, and telling old stories was exactly what I needed to grieve for my grandfather. Checking in on my grandmother, thinking about her every hour, and even beginning to think about old stories is exactly what I need to begin to grieve the impending loss of my grandmother. And this past week, talking and being with Eric is what I have needed to grieve a life not even "lived." Believe it or not, it’s one of the first times I am not compelled to share more than what I have already--not even with friends or close family. Remember—grief is unpredictable. It’s not about denial, and it’s not about it being too hard to handle; it’s about feeling that what is right for my process is to go through it with Eric—just the two of us. I have also found a strange sense of comfort, if it can be called that, knowing that (un)fortunately, tha majority of women I know of child bearing age have had these kinds of experiences. I don't wish it on anyone, but sometimes there is relief in knowing you are not alone.

    I anticipate a few e-mails (and lord knows my Mom is going to inquire), but please don’t be offended for my limited response. The beauty of life is that it proceeds. And that new life emerges every day. Perhaps there will be new life in our future...perhaps not.

    So maybe some things do come in three’s…and maybe other things don’t (at least not right now).

    But what can come in unquantifiable measure, is the love and support of a spouse. Something Paul and Lila demonstrated over 70+ years…it’s their legacy that through all our live's ups and downs, are trying to replicate.