If you are looking for stilletto recommendations, you are in the wrong place. I need to be able to run after my kids without falling on my face. Want to know your smartphone's metapix? Sorry. I only write about whether it can survive 5 minutes in the hands of my kids.
I was so excited to get a complimentary Hersheys Easter Basket, filled with chocolatey goodness, again this year to share on my blog. If you celebrate Easter, who doesn’t love to get Easter Baskets? It is like getting a surprise delivery of fruit or flowers for your birthday.
Yet, when I opened the box containing the basket of Hersheys Kisses, York Peppermint Patties and Reeses Peanut Butter cups, I knew that I wouldn’t be tasting the chocolate this year. I immediately packed it in the car, along with my two kids and drove 90 minutes to a long term care/rehabilitation facility where my grandmother was dying. Though I had spent the weekend visiting her bedside, the basket prompted my sudden visit again despite the fact that I knew she was in a coma and could not hear me.
My plan was to deliver it to the nurses who had been taking such great care of my grandmother. She had been there for rehab for about a month when her kidneys suddenly failed. After a lot of thought, she chose not to under go dialysis and knew that she, as a result, would only have a few days to live. The nurses were so wonderful to us. Whether it was finding Cheese-Its for my son, sandwiches for the long days, or a cup of coffee and a Kleenex, they made her comfortable and provided comfort to us.
On that day, as I walked into the room with the two kids in tow and the basket in hand, my grandmother was awake. It was completely unexpected and my mother was in tears. She knew that it was an amazing moment that we didn’t expect, nor thought we would get. For about an hour, we spoke with her, though she could not speak. We held her hand, though she could not hold ours. She was able to hear us though and could give a kiss though she did not have the strength for a hug. Her mouth formed a smile when she saw my son. Her face lit up when she saw her first great granddaughter. Soon she was asleep again, and while I didn’t know it at the time, it was the last time I saw her. She passed away the next day before I could see her again.
If it wasn’t for the basket, I probably wouldn’t have made the trip that day, and wouldn’t have had that amazing moment with her. It is a great reminder this Easter to think about who you could say thanks to. Is it a teacher or a nanny, a nurse or doctor, a neighbor or a friend? While we often think of the Easter Bunny hoping down the bunny trail delivering baskets to girls and boys, perhaps it is also a great time to have the Easter Bunny hop down the grateful trail and to count the kisses we have been given and have given in return. Hersheys chocolate hugs and chocolate kisses may be the perfect way to say thanks and I love you.
Who would you say thanks to?
……………………………………………….. Disclosure: Images are my own. All rights reserved. I received a complimentary Easter Basket from Hersheys. However, all thoughts, opinions and content is my own.
I haven’t wanted to write in awhile because I have been so exhausted. There have been a lot of things going on behind the scenes causing my sporadic silence. A trifecta of troubles if you will. While some of the ‘things’ are great ones requiring my attention, it has been the not so great ones that, as most of you know, suck all the life out of you.
I had the abdominal surgery, which was a really tough recovery. More so than I thought. Not only was the pain horrible, but so was the paradigm shift. It was only four days ago that I was able to pick up my own 8 month old daughter, which also caused massive shifts in my life. I had to have someone here with me 24/7. Sounds awesome, but I had no quiet time. I didn’t realize how much I would miss it though I knew how much I would miss naturally engaging with her. If you are a Mom, you can imagine how much it sucked. Just when I was turning the corner, I chose to have another surgery to make some corrections and that set back my recovery. That was only 3 weeks ago. I am so done with anesthesia.
As all of my surgeries and recoveries were taking place, my grandmother went into the hospital. Then into a rehabilitation facility, then back to the hospital, then another rehab, then another hospital stay, then another rehab stay, then a surgery once her kidney’s failed. Today she decided to give up fighting. Now, it is only a matter of time. Part of me is angry since the surgery results could have given her another 4 years to live, but she chose not to continue with it. It would have given her another four years to celebrate Christmas’, to see her great grandchildren grow. I wished she chose to try for us, but she didn’t make that choice. I try to not be too angry since it is her choice and who knows what choice I would make at her age of 87. I think I would have tried for my kids, grandkids and great grandkids, but I am not her. So we wait, and remember the good times.
That’s not all. In addition to my doctors’ visit and pain meds, and constant updates on my grandmother, I was driving my son to a variety of evaluation visits for what I thought was a slight speech delay. I went to the first visit the day before my abdominal surgery and was hobbling around a week later at another one, and another one and another one. A total of 8. I had to start driving before the doctor gave me clearance because I needed to take him to yet another appointment – popping Advil so I could make it through the appointments with him.
Imagine my shock when I was told he had PDD-NOS – a mild form of Autism. This has resulted in lots of fights. My husband is embracing the diagnosis and I don’t believe in it. Am I in denial? Maybe, but I like to think I know my own son. He has his quirks and is a late bloomer for sure. Autistic? I personally don’t think so. Yet, what if I am wrong? How could I live with myself if I was and he did not get the care he needed? So I have agreed (though not embraced) the diagnosis and the huge change that it will bring to our lives in the next year as he receives a host of services.
All of this has made me just want to put my head on a pillow and weep, or sleep for days on end, but as a Mom, that is not an option. I need to keep moving. I also have some great blogging opportunities coming up and I don’t want my failures from last summer, after a separate health diagnosis and post-birth baby blues, to plague me and interfere with any more blogging success.
So that is what has been on my plate, my friends. Granted, I skimmed over all of the finer details, which are the ones that are the most tedious and tiring, but I was happy to go out to my first blogging event last weekend and looking forward to more – in between the final days of my Nana’s life, and the clinical support for my beautiful and sweet little boy.
What has been going on in your life? Good or bad – do share!
Where has the year gone, and what changes took place in them? I’ve been horrible about documenting your milestones this year. One that I am soon to correct, but I thought I would take a moment in these final hours of 2012 to share my thoughts on who you both have become this year. A year that that began with one baby and ended with two.
As I said to you in the final hours of you being our only child, you will always be my special boy. No matter how many brothers and sisters you may have, you will be unique because you made me a Mom. We have, and always will be, best buds. Yet, I know it was hard for you this year, with all of the changes in your life. I haven’t been happy and I know you have taken the brunt of that. I also haven’t been there for you as much since your baby sister arrived. Added to the fact that your personal space has changed with a new room and a new bed. It could leave any other boy lost and confused, but you always have a smile on your face, and I love seeing it. Every time I see that smile, my heart melts. Every time I hear your cute little voice, my heart sings. Every time I hear you say “Mummy”, my heart soars.
You went from walking to running, walking the stairs and trying to ride a bike. You also took your first school bus ride, learned yoga and made friends. You went to your first friend birthday party and flew on a plane to Disney World for the second time. You loved going to the playgrounds this past summer, and especially loved the “bouncy, bouncy”, but nothing could top the visits to the Apple Train at Belkin Lookout Farm. You couldn’t live without your Doggy Shirt or Mickey Mouse shirt, and your sleepy-sack. You also love your new Mickey Mouse watch. You enjoy going for walks with Daddy, ringing the doorbell and pushing the “Lion Car” around the neighborhood. Mac and Cheese, pasta with cheese, grilled cheese, ah-bottles, Izzys, and the occasional hot dog make it to your plate or cup. It was fun to see you love going to the farm and picking strawberries and other fruits and vegetables. For once, you ate something that wasn’t cheese.
You have also become an amazing big brother. You love your sister so, and love to make her laugh. I know you wonder how to share your space and toys, but you always wonder where she is and what she is doing. It is my wish that you two will be life-long best friends and so far, you are.
I cannot wait to see what 2013 brings. It will be a busy winter as I try and help you find your place, your footing and your voice. There will be more changes that I know of, and some I probably don’t. Yet, I do know one constant. My love for you is immense, overpowering and beyond what words can express or measure. My goal for 2013 is to be with you more and make you happy. I love you with every part of my being and every year that I get to celebrate a new year with you, makes my life richer because of it.
We started 2012 knowing you would arrive, but you gave us many scares along the way. It wasn’t until March that we knew you would be a girl and my whole world changed. Oh, how my world changed. It made my heart fly when I saw your face on the sonogram, and that moment when I found out you were a girl. However, it wasn’t until the day you were born that I realized how lucky I was that you were here, and it will be something that I will never take for granted.
It was a tough few weeks, those early days, as we learned to adjust to our new lives, but I loved those moments with you. Nursing you was our quiet time together, and I was so amazed to hold you in my arms. We have had a lot of fun since then. You took a trip to New York within a few weeks of being born and were on a plane to Disney World by the time you were five months old. You took to traveling because when I was pregnant with you, I went on a lot of blogging trips. So I always feel you can sleep in the car or on the plane because you have been doing it all along. Hopefully, I will be able to say the same for your sleeping at night!
You enjoy your outings to watch big brother at the playground or at the farm, and always have a smile for everyone. You are such a happy baby and your smile, how it lights up your face, is infectious. It has been fun seeing you grow and explore the world around you. Whether it is a new doll or a new toy, you are loving the world around you right now. And your giggles. How they put a smile on your big brother’s face and how seeing him puts a smile on yours. You light up a room, but when I see you, you light up my soul. You were born in the year of the Water Dragon. In Chinese culture, that is amazing fortune. How true that is. My life is rich with every touch of you.
You also love your bottles, and less so the baby food I have been giving you, but maybe that will change in 2013. There will be firsts for you in 2013: first crawl, first steps, and first word. Yet, 2012 brought a lot of firsts – You also had your first bottle, your first giggle, your first poop on the potty. But the absolute first was your first breath. I wasn’t able to hear it, and it is something that will cause me sorrow for years to come, but it has soothed my soul to have been able to hear you, and see you, breathe since then. My love for you fills every breathe I take too, and when I see you, or even see your picture, you truly take my breath away. You, without a doubt, are the wish that my heart made.
Bubby and Lovey, there are only three more hours of 2012; the year and the hours that I won’t get back. It is my hope and dream for 2013, however, that we get more hours and more years ahead to fill with hugs, with laughs, with adventures, and dreams. I am grateful, for every day of 2012, with you both. Despite the challenges of 2012, we were together. We grew as a family. We grew as individuals. And that makes 2012 a wonderful year. I love you both and I cannot wait to celebrate this new year, the year of 2013, and every new year, for many years to come.
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I cannot believe the year 2013 is upon me. While I didn’t take much stock in the world ending on 12/21/12, it is nice to know we are still around. Apparently, however, that date was an interesting one.
As I understand it (which is rather sketchy) the Sun aligned with the Milky Way (not the candy) and with some sort of ecliptic plane for the first time in 26,000 years. As the Alex and Ani blog stated, this “cosmic cross” meant that “the transformation and renewal possible in 2012 is the highest promise of any Great Cycle ending.”
Errr…I’m not sure what that means, but it may explain what happened to me in 2012….and what decisions I have made for 2013.
Winter 2012 | Tired and Tests
The year 2012 didn’t get off to a great start. Five days into 2012, I was sitting at a table with a box of tissues and a genetic counselor to discuss the possibility of a down syndrome pregnancy. By the end of January, I was in the clear, but the first month was a precursor of things to come.
Spring 2012 | Anger and Anxiety
The spring led to the baby blues. I was mad from April to May and miserable because of it. Looking back, it was because I was tired. The pregnancy was taking a toll and a two year old toddler was the trigger. I struggled alone. Naps were rare and insomnia-induced nights were the norm.
Summer 2012 | Lost Opportunities and Lost Friendships
The birth of my daughter was frightening, but three events that summer in my business life left me reigning from shock and hurt. I was thrown into a state of sorrow, just days after a traumatic birth experience. (Apparently they didn’t read my blog.) Those series of events, to this day, still leaves me in tears. Yet my body was so tired, that the tears often didn’t flow. While the spring was the beginning of the end, the summer was the end of the beginning.
Autumn | The Rise and the Fall
The fall brought more news that ended the little composure I had left. A diagnosis that would result in surgery and life changing decisions. I battled the ability to work with my need to pursue my dreams. I was passed up for events or I needed to pass them up. It was a new status quo where I struggled to adjust. I juggled giveaways with giving in to sleep. I missed emails and meetings because I researched my diagnosis or fell asleep while nursing or reading an email. In reflection, it would have been a balm to have had empathy from those that mattered to me, but it was clear that I did not matter to them. Bottom lines and ledgers or ambassadorships and analytics, often take place of such relationships, but I was in a dark place where it didn’t even matter.
Winter 2012 | A New End and a New Beginning
I tried desperately to maintain my composure, professionalism, and happiness in 2012, yet I was too tired to do it well; my relationships, whether business and personal, suffered. The year of 2012 will always be special because of the arrival of my miracle baby. Yet, it will be one of many, many regrets. If I could have a do over, there would be too many from which to choose.
2013 | Looking Back
In fairness, I wasn’t in the right mind to be working. It was peaking when I was crashing. In the blogging field there is no maternity leave, but I should have taken one anyway. It would have prevented much heartache that still aches today. I watched others handle similar situations with dignity, ease and grace. I tried so, so, hard to it all and do it well. For whatever reason, I wasn’t able to handle it the same way. There were casualties along the way, which still causes me much sadness. I began to suffer with the reality of what was to be.
2013 | Looking Ahead
As 2013 looms on the horizon, I see the end of many things that I began in 2012. The end of a pregnancy and the birth of my miracle baby. The end of my child bearing years, and the beginning of a new family. The end of acquaintances and a beginning of friendships. The end of a blogging naivety and, sadly, the beginning of jadded one. The beginning of dreams and the end of them too. My decision to take a business blogging break for awhile is a beginning in its own way. This end, however, is a beginning of other opportunities and dreams: less sponsors and more stories; less pitches and more passions; less computers and more cuddles with my kids.
I’m not going to worry about numbers, statistics, likes, follows, reach, and metrics for awhile. I want the same fun I had with blogging when I had my first child – the online friendships and the sharing of adventures, struggles, and triumphs. I’m tired of jumping through hoops to make an ambassadorship work, the life or death feeling when I don’t get one, hoping a high-end blogger will RT me, or getting reprimanded because a company (that pays me pennies) didn’t like a tweet.
I wouldn’t sell myself out when I was working in my previous industry, and I am not sure why I have spent the past three years doing it in this one. In 2013, I’m still going to do some work for The Toy Insider, MomTV and Savvy Source, as well as a few select companies. I’m also looking forward to some ventures with fellow Bloggers, and still posting on my blog, but I’ll work when I want to: because it is something or someone I believe in, or something that brings me joy – not unique visits.
I’ll spend more time commenting on other blogs rather than worry about giveaways on my own, spend time videoing my own kids and less time videoing some product, entering memories in a baby book rather than worrying about a blogging event, or just passing the time having conversations on Twitter rather than shilling for my sponsored posts. Perhaps when the snow starts to melt, when I finally get to sleep through the night, I’ll pick up the pace again with a renewed focus and mission. Yet, for now, I want to enjoy just writing; sharing my life, my days, my own adventures.
The saying goes that when one door closes, another one opens. As 2012 closes, I am looking forward to the grand opening of a new year. It will begin with surgery, but hopefully the surgery will lead to renewed optimism and hope. I hope it is something we can share together, but if not, many, many thanks for sharing 2012 with me. It has been one heck of a ride.