because “a child will never starve themselves”

Raising my boy child I have learned to not always rely on the tried and true that helped me to survive raising his four older sisters. Boys are definitely different from girls and extremely premature babies are different from full term babies…even when one factors in the adjusted age that managed to annoy some family members.

In order to be discharged from the NICU after a 4+ months stay, Daniel had to be able to take by a bottle 2 ounces of formula every three hours…2 ounces, 60 milliliters, just 12 teaspoons of milk. Really no big deal except that it was a big deal for him. It was a struggle. A real struggle. Have you ever tried to swallow liquid with one of your vocal cords is paralyzed so they can’t effectively protect your airway and lungs while you swallow?

The struggle was and is real.

Sometimes the baby boy was just too tired and couldn’t drink those 12 measly teaspoons of milk…and sometimes it was just too hard and too scary drinking milk and feeling like you’re going to drown all at the same time. Still Daniel’s nurses and we worked hard to get him home working on that drinking 2 ounces of milk 8 times a day…especially after mommy had a major meltdown and kind of went ballistic with a colleague, who as Daniel’s nurse, made the nursing decision as a well-qualified NICU RN to feed him by a tube into his mouth, down his esophagus and into his belly after he failed to eat 2 ounces three times in a row on her shift.

I just wanted my baby boy to come home…oh, and worst Mother’s Day ever.

But FINALLY, glory hallelujah, he did it three days in a row and he was allowed to come home.

And we thought that it was hard to get him to eat in the NICU.

As the weeks went by it was clear just how real the struggle was for our son as he soon stopped eating…STOPPED.

Paralyzed vocal cord

Trachealmalacia

Laryngealmalacia

Reflux

Chronic Lung Disease

So many things going on with this son of ours all at once that required so much more energy than eating and so he stopped eating…literally…and it became all we ever did…try to feed our baby.

All the time.

Failing at it.

All the time.

We tried to tell the pediatrician assigned to his care until his adoption would be finalized but he was certain we were wrong or perhaps not feeding him on purpose because “A baby or child will never starve themselves.

A very small part of me silently cheered when Daniel proved that know it all asshat wrong refusing to eat for over 36 hours with nurses trying to feed him when he was hospitalized with a Failure to Thrive and Munchausen’s by Proxy diagnosis. But only a small part because the only alternative was feeding him by a tube…

for the next four years.

So much work to teach him how to eat, how to safely chew and swallow without food or liquid going into his lungs…how to trust that he could do this…to not be afraid.

And we thought bottle feeding him was hard.

OMG!

Some days we literally were crying and screaming inside, “You have to fucking eat!

Okay, most days.

Actually every day.

And eight years later we still do sometimes.

Thank goodness it’s no longer every day because even he now understands that You Have To Fucking Eat.

Definitely not a children’s book. I recommend you read it while drinking a Scotch neat…read the book and you shall understand.

 

 

 

 

mawage

Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam… And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva… So tweasure your wuv.

~The Impressive Clergyman, The Princess Bride

It’s a beautiful thing to celebrate…mawage…er, marriage.

It is  even more sweet when it is someone you know and really care for as our family circus knows, loves and genuinely cares for Gary, one of my darling husband’s closest friends since high school.

I tried my hardest not to be distracted by just how hot the Best Man looked and focused on the happy couple.

The struggle…the struggle is real…

I’ve known Gary for more than thirty years now, and seriously, this last year I have never seen him more happy, more healthy, more relaxed, more purposeful.

In his Best Man Toast, Bill confirmed what we had already seen and known sharing that when Gary first talked to Bill about Paula and that she was “The One” he shared that loving her made him want to be a better person.

And then I was reminded of the beginning of our own marriage adventure more than thirty years ago. It’s true. There came a point where in the dating where we no longer “dressed to impress” but just settled into being ourselves and as we fell in love being an even better us because this one whom we loved should have the very best of us always.

Of course as days, the months, the years go by we settle, we get tired, distracted and complacent even because we are comfortable and confident in that love that we have together…and that it will follow us forever.

Thank goodness for lots and lots of patience, kindness, trust, hope and perseverance through better and worse and through the years…and for the marriage celebrations with family and friends that we are honored to witness and share along the way like these to remind us of our own beginnings, our own promises, our own love.

October has been a busy month of celebrations and reminders in our circles.

Hurray for October!

To Gary and Paula, Amy and Christina, Dawn and Albert…congratulations and many wishes of joy and love for you all every day…and thank you for the reminder to us.

 

 

 

 

are you that blogger?

Are you that blogger who celebrates when your kids return to school after Fall Break?

Are you that blogger with the cat who is literally the nosiest neighbor on the block always looking out the window observing everyone’s business?

Are you that blogger who’s daughter was in a Fall fashion photo spread in last weekend’s Manteca Bulletin?

Are you that blogger who joined the local PTA and received a thank you free ice cream cone from Baskin Robbins just for joining?

Are you that blogger who is soon to achieve “crazy cat lady” status downloading a cat toy app on your iPad?

Are you that blogger who wears fancy tights when she runs and does lunges and squats?

Are you that blogger who was excused from the jury box during jury selection when the plaintiff’s attorney asked you if you were that blogger named Laura Scarborough?

Good for her for doing a Google search during the two day selection process. Hopefully I didn’t bore her too much with my navel gazing ramblings.

Are you that blogger” status unlocked…and it only took me ten years.

walk with me

Fall Break is over but we had to get in just one more fun adventure because I promised.

Walk with me, I asked my clowns and most of them said yes. Stupid work responsibilities getting in the way for the rest to join me! Then again, work is good. Can I just say how proud I am of the strong work ethic my kids have? I can! Abby wanted to be with us. I wanted Abby to be with us for this adventure. But those procrastinators who filed extensions last April 15 for their income tax filings OF COURSE wait until the NEXT deadline to finally file which means Abby’s office is busy and Abby must work.

Next time, Abby. Next time I walk with you. I promise.

Meanwhile, this adventure today is here.

Walk with me, I asked them.

Sure, they said.

At this point they had no idea that our walk would be about 3.5 miles long.

Oops!

Seriously, if I told them I doubt they would have agreed, adventure or no.

And so we walked…

And stopped.

and looked…

and looked because it was a the kind of beautiful day that you just can not let slip away.

Walking just past the first tower, Hazel grabs a hold of my hand just a little bit tighter shouting, “Mima, we’re up so high! It’s kind of scary.

Exactly what you want to say to your acrophobic and agoraphobic Mima who is struggling mightily with anxiety when she is 220 feet above the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

It is kind of scary,” I agree. “I’m scared. I’m definitely scared.”

You are?

“Oh yes. But I know that I can do this. I look up at the towers and I hold your hand and I know that I can walk across this beautiful bridge on this beautiful day.”

Me too, Mima.”

And then she runs on ahead because OMG we are almost done!!!

Perfect day.

Perfect 3.5 mile walk.

Perfect Fall Break adventure in our own backyard.

CHecking this adventure off of my to-do list.

 

photo bomb

When there is so much to say…so much to share…so many opinions to opine whilst standing on my soapbox what does one do when they are jet-lagged from your husband’s best friend’s big Texas wedding weekend (which is actually five days and three cities because it’s Texas) and exhausted even more from a big Fall Break adventure and trying to find the time to get the workplace mandatory education done? Do you put down words, lots of words and phrases and parts of speech?

You could.

You should.

You don’t.

Sorry.

I am just too tired.

But I have pictures.

Just imagine it’s a slideshow in my living room with snacks being served.

BYOB of course.

GREAT barbecue because it is Texas and appetizers that are sliced white bread and barbecue sauce next to a plate of dill pickle slices and sliced white onions. But oh the barbecue!

It’s not a wedding unless there is one small disaster or two. The father of the groom suffered a mild heart attack at the rehearsal dinner. No, he didn’t get to eat any barbecue. Yes, he is fine, thank goodness. Thunderstorms roll in just as the wedding is ready to commence. Yes, it’s going to be a great wedding day!

It was.

This hotel, The Drury Plaza Hotel Riverwalk, that used to be a bank is absolutely stunning! And service…amazing!

Good morning San Antonio! As we sat down to enjoy Texas morning sunshine and breakfast, this rolled in VERY quickly. Oh, and yes, that is the view from our room.

But a little more than an hour later, sunshine and blue skies were back. It was a perfect day along the Riverwalk.

Bill found what he wants to do when he retires.

And we found where I will meet him for cocktails after he is done entertaining the tourists.

Heading home, we met Bella, who works at the San Antonio International Airport. Really! Her job is to meet, greet and generally making departing and arriving passengers happy. She is very good at her job.

Home! Jet-lagged! Back to reality and errands and laundry and mandatory ed about Ebola and personal protective equipment. Missed faces like these and the hugs that come with them which is what gives me the energy to get some things accomplished.

Which is good because today I worked a little bit on some anxiety and fears and checking off this adventure on my to-do list.