Monday, December 27, 2004

He shoots...HE SCORES!!

Three points for my loving husband, Ta Ta!
When Mike and I got engaged it was sort of last minutes notice for him. I kinda ruined the surprise because it was Christmas time and we were going home to Texas and I kept pushing and asking questions and he kept hinting and leading me on. I assumed we were getting engaged. His plan was to ask my dad for my hand in marriage then ask me to marry him around my birthday the following April. Well, when I found out his plan I was devastated. Not because he wasn't going to ask me, but because I ruined the surprise. Mike felt aweful. He then conspired with my mom and my sister to speed the process up surprise me at Christmas. The down side of this process was that we could not afford a ring at such short notice. My mom offered the use of her ring, but Mike decided to use his grandmother's ring that had ended up with his sister after she died. It was a beautiful ring, but here was the catch... she wanted it back! I understood, but again I was devastated.
I had never really gotten over the fact that technically I did not have an engagement ring... that was until this Christmas.
Over the past year my husband has been secretly conspiring to get me a ring. He has held on to this ring for the past 4 months waiting to give it to me for Christmas. It is an exact replica of his grandmother's ring! For the first time in our relationship he got me... truly got me. I was so surprised by the ring! I was even more surprised by the fact that he managed to keep it a secret from me for a year!
Thank you... thank you... thank you....
I love you, Michael!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Hard Candy Christmas

I miss you dad...

I really, really miss you.

I am not sure if you sent the snow as a joke or if God just waited to send the snow until after you were gone (we all know you moved away from NY to get away from the snow). Either way it is beautiful. Max is definitely your grandson. He loved the snow for about 5 minutes before he started wandering back to the door because he was so cold. It is a Christmas of firsts... first "Whitish" Christmas... first Christmas with Ben... first Christmas without you.
I hate the fact that we have to pretend that everything is okay and that life goes on without you. I know that we will have new traditions in the Christmas' to come, but this Christmas all I can think of is the traditions that aren't the same without you.
Remember the time you and I went to get dinner on Christmas Eve and when we got back Santa had already been there? Mom and Karen were getting ready for Midnight Mass and said that Santa had to stop by our house early and that we missed him!
Remember the year that you and Karen fought over the red M&M's and Karen played a joke on you by removing all the red Christmas M&M's and left you nothing but the green ones?
Remember how you always waited until the last minute to get mom's gifts and yet they were always the most beautiful, like her Waterford crytsal egg collection?
Remember the Christmas we spent in the apartment after our house burned down? It is hard to believe that we fit 4 adults, 3 cats, and a Christmas tree in a little 2 bedroom apartment.
Well... I gotta go... Max just came in here and it is time for night night. He is very excited about all the gifts under the tree.
Don't worry dad, just like the old song goes," we'll be fine and dandy.." just feels like a Hard Candy Christmas.
I miss you dad...
I really really miss you...

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

In honor of my sister's 37th birthday

I thank God everyday for my sister, Karen. Even though we are very different, she balances me the way no other person can. We did not become friends until we were adults, but now I could not imagine my life without her love, support and friendship. She brought into my life a wonderful brother-in-law and 3 beautiful children. She is a wonderful aunt to my sons. She is the most loyal, hard working person I know. She is also the most beautiful, put togther person I know, hair and make-up always done and always perfect. Her birthday seems to get lost in the holiday shuffle, so I wanted to take the time to say, Happy Birthday... I love you!

Monday, December 20, 2004

Our First Family Trip to Walmart

I am never leaving my house again... at least not with my entire family.
So today we venture out for the first time as a family. The energy it took to remember everything that we might possibly need for a newborn and 2 yr old nearly killed us. Mike and I kept yelling across the house to each other, "Don't forget a change of clothes for Ben!" "Did you grab extra diapers for Max?" As soon as we are "ready" to leave Ben needs to be nursed. So I tell Mike to go ahead and pack up the car and get Max in his car seat, Ben and I will be right there. Of course this is the time Ben decides to treat his nursing time as a 5 course meal in an gourmet restaurant.
Okay, we are in the car...Mike and I realize we have forgotten all of our stuff, ie sunglasses, list for the store, but oh well.. we must make sacrifices. We get to the store which is packed. I have no idea why I thought that going to Walmart in the middle of the day the week before Christmas was going to be easy. Mike then poses the question, "one cart or two?" We opt for 2... we get 50 feet in the door when Max freaks out.... he wants in the cart with Baby Ben... no problem... we get to the toy section to get some last minute gifts, Mike and I get separated. Max is in the cart, Ben in his car seat. Ben gets the hiccups. I pick up Ben and try to burp/comfort with one hand and steer the cart with Max with the other down aisles full of carts of people trying to buy toys. At this point I am starting to lose my cool ( I think we are 10 minutes into our journey). I am trying to play a very delicate balance of not screaming out Mike's name and smiling and thanking all the strangers who keep stopping me to comment on how beautiful my children are. Now, I am truly grateful that total strangers feel the need to comment on how adorable my newborn is and how cute my 2 year old is, but my back is killing me, my incision is burning and my 2 year old desperately wants out to play with the spiderman truck thingys!!
I find Mike and inform him that, no.. we are not going to split up with 2 carts.. We will just have to make due with one. I tell him there is no time for dilly dallying.. we are on a mission and we are not going to be side tracked by end of the aisles impulse buy stands. Mike takes Max out of the cart.. a very bold move, but we have no choice. We get to the grocery section and things appear to be going smoothly, Ben has fallen asleep and is back in his car seat. Max is being mommy and daddy's helper by putting everything in the cart... he loves doing this and it wears him down running in between mommy and daddy. Next thing you know Max is lying on the floor in front of the cart...MAY DAY!!!MAY DAY!!! Max has discovered the toys that we were trying to hide under the cart! SO from the can veggies through the frozen food section, Max is desperately trying to stop the cart to play with the toys while we are desperately trying to distract him from laying spread eagle in front of the cart. We can no longer put him in the cart because we have filled it with paper towels and toilet paper!
We finally get to the checkout... the best and worst part of our journey... the best because we are almost done... the worst because there is absolutely nothing to do but stand in line behind 3 other carts and not move for 10-15 minutes... a favorite past time for all 2 year olds and their parents. This is when you realize that the people who put all the crap by the checkout stand truly are evil. "Max, put that down.. Max, you don't need it... Max.. I promise we are almost done" Ben starts to cry...Oh my God... we have been in Walmart for 2 hours and it is time for Ben to eat again...Max is crying from boredom...Ben is crying from hunger...Mommy is crying from nerves...Daddy is crying because we are spending way too much money...
We get home and I immediately put my PJ's back on. Mike changes Ben's diaper and settles Max in front of some cartoons. I nurse Ben while Mike puts everything away (Thank you, my love). We eat dinner and I fall asleep on the couch from total exhaustion...TOTAL EXHAUSTION FROM ONE TRIP TO WALMART!
Like I said... I am never leaving my house again.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Learn how to Fall

I do not know how to fall.
I was listening to the background music for the end of "Somethings Gotta Give" and I heard Paul Simon's lyrics, "before you can fly, you gotta learn how to fall." It hit me in the core of my soul so hard that I instantly started crying. Not the poor me, emotions running high kind of cry. The someone just thumped my crystal bowl and it is now resonating through my entire body kind of cry.
I have never learned how to fall. I have never learned the art of brushing myself off when I am down. I have had my moments when I managed to get up in front of the audience and distract them with a joke so that they don't laugh at my fall, but I have never gone back and learned from the fall. I just move on and promise never to do anything like that again because it hurt to fall and I don't want to do that again. I have spent endless amounts of energy padding the ground before I take the leap so that if and when I do fall it won't hurt as much. It amazes me how much energy I spend padding and prettying my surroundings so that I can't get hurt.
Why am I so scared to hurt? Why is falling so scary? Why do I spend more energy focused on the fall rather than the leap?
I hate the fact that the older I get the less I leap. I hate it! The few times I have leapt with abandon, I nailed the landing on the other side. Boy did it feel good! It felt like I was flying and I loved that feeling. The problem is that I have no idea how I did it or how to capture it moment to moment and learn from the experience. So, instead I just sit here on the other side and reminisce about how great it was and how much I wish it would blow my way again.
And then there are the times when I had no idea that I was leaping in the first place. The next thing you know I am in the air thinking, "How cool is this? I am flying.. do you see me? I AM FLYING!!"
I am tired of avoiding the fall.
I do not want to teach my children how to avoid falls.
I want my children to have scrapped elbows and bloody knees.
It is time to stop planting flowers on the ground and softening it with mulch.
It is time to get out the first aid kit.

Friday, December 17, 2004

When all else fails.. take a nap!

The dreaded PPD is here... postpartum depression.
I admit that I was one of those women who thought that PPD was just a bunch of crap. I never really had any problems with Max.. or at least I have great amnesia concerning these events. Enter child #2...
We have really been very fortunate that our adjustment to the new baby has gone very well.. no major bumps in the road. Yes, we have had our night time feedings and cranky moments but nothing that would cause our house of cards to come crumbling down. That was until Wednesday night.
Wednesday we were invited to our first "Feit Family Middle of the Night Party". Apparently, the invitation for Mike and myself was lost in the mail, but I understand the invitation went something like this:
To: Mommy, Daddy, Max & Ben
When: Wednesday night
Time: 3 AM - ???
Where: Mommy and Daddy's Bed
There will be a late night snack of milk for Max and Mama's moo juice for Ben during the 100th viewing of "Cow" ... or "Home on the Range" for those of you who do not know the language of Maxese.
Ben showed up early to the party, around midnight or so. I guess he was really excited about being invited to his 1st party and didn't want to miss anything. So from 12-3 we played the "nurse to sleep, lay in bassinet, scream bloody murder" game.
3 AM: Right on time... "knock, knock, knock" from Max's room (literally.. Max knocks when he wants out of his room because we keep his door shut during the night) Mike and I look at each other with pure panic. "KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK!!!"
Mike opens his door and here comes Max skipping in to our room like it was 9 am on a Saturday. Mike and I are in no position to fight this... we put the movie on, serve the refreshments, then arrange everyone in the bed between Mike and I so no one falls off the bed... except maybe us...
5 AM: Max has had enough and goes back to bed. Ben who has never been to a party doesn't know when it is time for the party to end. He then decides to play the "nurse, bassinet, bloody murder" game again until 7 or 8. At this point Grandma has taken over. She tells us that Ben's party finally ended with a huge gas bubble that exploded from every open space in that child's body. He then relaxed and fell into a very deep sleep.
Here is where the PPD sets in...after a good morning nap, Ben is still a little fussy and isn't sleeping much more than 30-45 minute stretches and usually attached to my breast. During these little stretches I am trying to "take care of things" which included picking up the house, attempting laundry, looking at our financial situation and trying to figure out how we are going to retire before we are 90... you know really important stuff that all mothers 1 week post delivery should be doing.
3:30 PM: Ben needs Mama's moo juice again... well he needs my breasts again. My breasts which are currently on fire from all the partying we have been doing over the past 12-14 hours. Suddenly I find myself launched into the "Look Who's Talking" scene where Kirstie Alley is dressed like a street bum and crying her eyes out because she is an aweful mother and her child has some weird baby disease.
I can't take it... I am sorry.. I chose poorly... I can't do this... I am so sorry Ben to drag you into this... I ... am ... so .....tired....
I calm down enough to snuggle Ben and I into the bed. I take very long deep breaths of my precious son's smell and eventually drift off to sleep.
I wake up to my 2nd Thursday of the day.. a much more pleasant, reasonable, manageable Thursday. I can breathe deeper. I can make better decisions... I can see clearly.
So.... when the world is crumbling, and you can't seem to find which direction is which... just have an emotional explosion and take a nap... things will be better when you wake up... err.. strike that...things will probably be exactly the same, but you will be able to handle it better!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The New Mommy of Two

Hello from the other side....

I feel like I have been sucked through some sort of black hole that placed the last 6 days in limbo while the universe re-arranged the details of my new life.

From the moment we left the Smith's house after dropping Max off, I felt like I got onto a new ride at Disney World and I wasn't really sure what to expect. I knew it was gonna be big and leave a huge impression on me for the rest of my life, but other than that I just had to get on and enjoy the ride. Others had been on the ride before and tried to tell me all about it, but you never really know until you get on for yourself.

I do not remember a lot of the details because it all runs together and overwhelms me, but I do remember some frozen moments, like pictures, that I hope I never forget.

My nurse Liz: Loved her from the moment I turned the corner into my waiting area. Crazy, funny, full of energy. She was with me from the prep, thru surgery, recovery and wheeled me up to my room. They was something amazingly calming about having the same person through the whole process. I didn't have to tell the same story over and over again. She knew when I was hurting before I had to tell her. Truly an Angel who walked into my life, held my hand with unconditional support, then sent me on my path to continue the journey. God Bless Her!

Ben's 1st cry: Tears of joy! It was a voice I had never heard before but knew instantly. As they were cleaning him up, they were concerned that he was grunting for air because he was 2 weeks early, but my mother's instinct said, "Sure, go ahead and look at him, but he is perfect, he just told me so!"

Max meeting Ben: Max was so wired from his exciting day with NaNa Linda, Grandpa Jim, Uncle Pablo, Uncle TJ and Kim (I cannot thank them enough for making this so special for him). Everyone was in the room and he thought it was a party. Finally the moment... Ben was coming... everyone left the room so that we could have a family moment. Mike took Max out into the hall with everyone to see Ben and I heard gushes of joy coming from everyone when Ben had arrived... then Max comes back into the room with this look like... "You are never gonna believe what I just saw!" The nurse gave me Ben and instantly Max wanted on the bed to kiss and love on Ben. He was just so excited to see him and luckily that feeling has not worn off yet!

Bonding with Ben: Ben and I had a lot of alone time together, which was wonderful. Breast feeding has come so naturally with him. He latched right on the first time as if we had done this a thousand times before. Whenever he came back from the nursery, he would first pull back from me, look around, smell the air, then you could see the conscious thought of, "Yes... this is where I want to be, where I am supposed to be... thank you nurse lady.. you can leave!" and chomp right on my breast!

There is so much more... and I am sure I will share much more.. but one thing about being a new mom is that you do not need a clock anymore... my aching breasts are telling me that it is almost time for Ben to wake up for his dinner!

A million thanks to Emily for keeping the blog updated and for posting all the pictures!

Monday, December 13, 2004

Welcome to the world Benjamin Thomas!
Could Max love him any more??? Look how tiny Ben looks next to Mike's arm.
Max loves his Baby Ben!
Max meets Ben for the first time!
The boys! Daddy (Mike), Big Brother (Max) and Baby Ben! Such good looking guys!
Could you just eat those feet?????
Precious blue eyed baby!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

He's HERE!!!!!!!!

Hi there! Em here. Have you been waiting as impatiently as I have for this baby to get here?????? FINALLY!!!!!!

Benjamin Thomas Feit has made his way into this world! Aunt Karen said that he looks NOTHING like precious Max but is as cute as a button! He was born at 1:05 p.m. He weighs 8 lbs. 4 oz. and is 20 inches long. Has brown hair (and they can't seem to agree if he has a hint of red in it or not) but is definitely NOT a carrot top like Max.

He was breathing a little fast and grunting some so they took him to the level 2 NICU and expect him to be there only a couple of hours. Otherwise everyone is happy and healthy.

I'll be keeping you updated here for a couple of days until Becky is ready to be back on the computer. As soon as I get a picture I'll get it on here!

Here we go!

Well... we are off!

I am trying hard to occupy myself while Mike gets Max ready to go spend the day with NaNa Linda, Grandpa Jim & Uncle TJ.

Oh, Ben...What's he gonna look like? Is he going to be just like Max? Are we finally going to be able to see a Randall-Matula male offspring after 4 trys?

I cannot wait to shove my face into his and smell and kiss him all over!

I am actually shaking right now, both out of excitement and exhaustion. I am looking forward to the medicine induced sleep.

I have asked Emily to post the details later today!

Keep us in your prayers!

Monday, December 06, 2004

Anxious Excited Paralysis

Try staying with me on this one....
I feel like Robert Dinero in "Awakenings". Robin Williams' character had a theory that people who suffered from the comatose state like Robert Dinero's character actually suffered from a severe case of parkinson's or parkinson shakes that literally shakes the muscles into paralysis.
That is what I feel like today. My anxiety level has shot up to a level that has sent me into a state of calm. It's that, "I am going to sit here and do nothing because I am too busy thinking of everything that I cannot manage to figure out what to do first even though there is nothing to do really, except absolutely everything..."
Ever been there?
The outside doesn't move, but the inside is running on this triathalon energy that you can feel running through your bones. The extra sense of calm comes from the fact that you know you are just anxious about what is going to happen in the next few days. I tried very hard to not plan or think out every detail of this part of the journey. Now I feel like I have to rush because I didn't plan the details, though I also know that the details I make up in my head are totally bogus.. it never goes that way, so why bother wasting the energy. I'll tell you why... because the bogus planning is distracting and easy. A whole lot easier than clearing your mind trying to get to a place of focus to make the most of this glorious moment we are about to experience.
I feel like it is the day before going on a big trip to the amusement park. Did I pack everything? What do I want to wear? I can't wait to ride that ride! Oh I hope I do not get dragged on that ride (but actually I do hope someone convinces me to get on that ride!)

P.S... to my pregnant friends out there... and you know who you are.. do not watch any self help shows prior to this state... TLC and Dr. Phil are totally off limits, they just add fuel to the fire that you cannot seem to step away from....

The family expansion countdown

Yes... It really is 2 o'clock in the morning and I am up...

Yes... I already wrote this damn blog once today, probably more eloquant and witty than it will be now...

Yes... I am tired but I cannot seem to sleep...

So three days until our little corner of the universe expands from 3 to 4. I really cannot believe it! I spend a lot of time projecting into the future and not living in the moment. My work schedule requires me to project 60 days in advance and review 60 days prior at any time, so I always catch myself thinking, when this 60 days is up, I will be yada yada... or I remember when I started this patient thinking yada yada.. but bed rest has definitely allowed me to be immersed, pleasant or not, in the present.
I can honestly say that we (the collective Ben & I) are ready. We are no longer comfortable awake, asleep, resting, going, reading, watching TV. Today Mike watched the WWF match in my stomache as Ben tried to see if his current boundaries were really as strict as my twisting facial pains announced them to be... I know I should get used to this as this will be our parent child struggle for the rest of my life.
Max has taken full advantage of his only child status for the final weekend. He started throwing up and running a 102+ temp on Friday night. I called the on-call MD in a panic thinking, "great we are going to have the stomache flu right before bringing a new life into the world", but she assured me that it was probably just mucas from a bad upper respiratory or ear infection. Mike took Max in on Saturday and confirmed it was just bad sinusitis, so we have spent the majority of the weekend snuggling on the couch and watching movies.

A quick thank you to my loving husband, Mike. My cleaning "nesting instinct" has really been a bug up his butt lately... I start nesting... decide I can't finish it... then pout until he finishes it... thank you... I love you, Ta Ta.