btf: flip flop

July 30, 2008

Got the okay from the doctor's office to stick to the twice daily dose for a bit. On a schedule now, breakfast and dinner though last night I took my second dose before bed with three grapes. I am remembering more than forgetting, so I suppose that is an improvement.

Sept 10, 2008

We seem to have achieved a hormonal rhythm. It is promising, it is exciting, it is scary, it is wonderful.

October 18, 2008

Bought prenatals. Sat up with a croupy girl until 3am. Are we really starting this all over?

pasta twirling professional

I finally feel capable of eating dinner again. I usually love to eat, but since early June I’ve been sitting down to most meals, looking down at my plate and finding that I have to force-feed myself. Steve usually ends up eating ½ of my protein portion, while I stuff as much veggie and starch down my throat as possible. It’s been a tough couple months in the dinner department. Earlier this week I ate a regular portion of steak before I realized that my meat and dinner aversion seems to have faded away with my first trimester. So last night I prepared my mother’s Chicken Lo Mein for dinner. It is a McCashew family crowd pleaser.

Before we all sat down, I carefully cut Caroline’s linguine into more manageable bites. No sooner had I sat down myself than she was eyeing my plate watching me twirl pasta around my fork.

“Here Mommy, you eat this one, I eat yours.” (as in "here, you eat this plate of clearly subpar CUT pasta, I want that one!")

Um sure Caroline, allow me to set me plate in front of you my lovely. I thought about saying no, but I didn’t. What can I say, I love twirling pasta too! Who am I to deny her this joy? We shared my plate last night. She was elated twirling her pasta on her tiny toddler fork declaring “PASTA!” each time she successfully rolled a sizeable way too big for her tiny mouth forkful.

I think I can safely remove cut pasta from the “annoying things moms have to do” list, so I’ve got that going for me.

This last one is for the McFam. I single-handedly saved the world this morning when Steve’s boss emailed him that his boss’ boss was going to be at Steve’s office at 8AM this morning. This email arrived at precisely 7:30AM. Panic. Total panic. Steve handles the morning drop off and the little miss had just sat down to enjoy her Eggo waffles. There was no humanly way possible he could make it to work before the big wig if he dropped her off. I did what any good wife (any unshowered & completely starving pregnant wife) would do. I jammed a waffle into my own mouth with half a sip of OJ and ran for the shower. After I was sufficiently clean I yelled down to Steve to bring her up to our bedroom where Mickey and Friends helped me in the “sit quietly while Mommy races around frantically to get ready, ok?” business. I made my lunch, I picked up the insane mess she had created during my lightening speed sandwich making, and attempted to lure her to the door, finally succeeding my telling her “I think I heard the doorbell!” By 8:25 we were both out the door and in the car, late, but on our way. I was Super MOM! I was SUPREME WIFE!

Caroline looked at her reflection in the car window. (THIS is the part for you family!)

“Is that Papa?” she asked me.
“Noooo!” we both replied.
“Is it Nana?”
“Other Auntie?”

I just about peed my pants at OTHER AUNTIE. She misses you, she thinks of you all the time, and she obviously loves you very much.

the buggy

The demon wasps attacked Steve last night as he attempted to cook our London Broil to medium. It was hard to tell who was winning; the upright can of wasp killer spraying everywhere or the wretched wasp maneuvering like Maverick himself below the hard deck to avoid the stream of poison. The steak was perfect, but I could not stop thinking about those damn wasps.

The summer we moved in I noticed them, flying in and out of a long dead tree on the side of the house. Later that year when I removed all the hosta around the sad lilac, I dug up what could only have been their nest. The tree was taken out with just one simple push by my brother. It was a sad, dead tree, good only for our wasp tenants who I wanted evicted pronto.

They came back last summer at about this time. Finding their tree gone and grass neatly covering their old nest they made themselves a new home near a flagstone not far from the patio. Some wasp spray in their entrance/exit for a few nights at dusk was all it took to enjoy the late summer in our yard, but the whole time they were still camping out in the backyard, you could not even walk by the patio without a few jumping you to remind you that this place was theirs, YO!

So imagine my confusion when we have eradicated these nasty enormous buggers two years in a row only to have them buzzing around these parts again! I sincerely thought we were done with them, but here we are entering round three. Is it possible that they return each year after hibernating elsewhere perplexed that Auntie Thelma is no longer living here?

I just spent a sad amount of time looking at photos of wasps trying to identify exactly what we are dealing with, but really, who cares exactly what kind of disgusting wasp it is? I don't want to ruin anyone else's lunch with a photo of this hideous insect. Seek and destroy is the only possible mission objective.

This morning I peeked out and saw several wasps already sauntering around the patio liked they owned the place while my bagel toasted. I watched as one skulked off into a newly dug dirt pile. Can we chat for a moment what incredible feats these things are capable of accomplishing? Over just a few days this weekend they were able to dig a dirt pile noticeable from the second floor windows. Last night they must have started construction on this new pile by the patio edge. Steve keeps closing off their entrances with his shoe, but I argue that we want to keep them in one nest, no need to create wasp pandemonium and killing the nest is what will end all of this won’t it?

So this morning in suit pants and a tie Steve ended three of their lives with the can of death before smushing the newly built pile o’ dirt.

I sat inside while all of this was happening with Caroline who looked towards the open back door and then to me. “Da-eee getting the buggy?” I paused. I knew that my next sentence would be important. I don’t want my daughter to be afraid of bugs, but these aren’t just any bugs and a sting from one would really hurt her. Thinking about them patrolling the patio gives me the shivers. I think this has something to do with the terrible time I was stung by a wasp myself when I was about her age. Some things you just don’t forget. “Yes, Daddy is getting the buggy. Only daddies and mommies can tell the buggy to go away. He doesn’t belong here, so Daddy is telling him to go home.” So go home wasp - go anywhere but here!

blogher: Ahh! Haa! Wah!

I sat down in my seat for my return flight to BOS with pen in hand, notebook splayed open across my lap and zealously scribbled my best attempt to capture exactly how I was feeling at that moment when all the conference highs and lows were palpable, not just memories. How did I feel? The hilarity that I was coming from a blogging conference and writing with pen and paper was not lost on me.

It felt like I had just been through an entire relationship in fast forward; the excitement of the woo, the tentative first date, the hilarious laughter as fodder for inside jokes and the creation of a shared personal history, the bone crushing defeat of having your heart ripped out of your chest, crushed into the tiniest ball and tossed nonchalantly at your feet. I was spent in every way; physically exhausted, mentally challenged, emotionally defeated.

I bet you cannot wait to sign up for BlogHer10 after reading that endorsement right? I’ll tell you this. I've already started a checklist for next summer and it includes MORE tissues.

My experience was wonderful in everyway it was supposed to be. I met amazing women (and a few men too!). I felt like a necessary cog in a well-lubricated wheel. I saw the potential of this community. At the end of my journey, I reached into my soul and asked myself to do more, to do it better, to not be afraid, and to just let go.

I cried. I cried a lot. I cried at the keynote. I cried with the girls from laughing SO HARD. I called Steve after a particular moving session and bawled telling him that I felt so inspired all while SMILING ear to ear. The weekend was an entirely bipolar experience of dramatic ups and downs.

My mind is whirring planning out how to bring my newest project forward. I never would have had the courage before this weekend. I never would have dreamt it possible, but I think this could be amazing.

None of it, not one bit of the way I feel is possible without the support of family. They read. I think they even enjoy reading? They are there to watch Caroline so we can do fun things (which takes some organization, but they are ALWAYS at the ready). They support us in so many ways. Steve. Without Steve NONE of this would be possible. He not only said "GO!" when I said I wanted to register for the conference, but he also provides me with excellent blogging material. He's a good sport, a dedicated Da-ee, a spectacular partner. I am so blessed.

Life in CT has zoomed back into focus. Driving in separate cars from MA on Sunday brought on an emotional text message frenzy about how G-D sick and tired of the Sunday traffic we are. How annoying it is to roll the dice and hope for the best when we leave at noontime that traffic at 84 won’t already be 10 miles back. We are weary from the constant back and forth. After spending what could be entire weeks of our life driving 6 hours a weekend, most weekends, of most months, we are officially spent. I wrote that if we were meant to live down here we would have adapted, but we haven’t. We don’t want to. We love our house down here, our little community, the life we have created, but the hole in our life that Boston represents is large and deep.

Speaking of the house because this post has been entirely too serious – I spent yesterday afternoon with Caroline in her pool from Nana and Granda. She had a blast, but even she noticed me staring up towards the patio at the lone wasp sentry flying back and forth along the perimeter. I have gotten quite good at lying to her; “he won’t bother us if we don’t bother him” while inside I am screaming "WHY, WASP, WHY?!?!!?" Last summer they were so bad that I didn’t even want to take her outside for part of the summer. We thought we had taken care of them, but this morning I peeked out of the curtains and saw that our lone sentry had become four. I hate wasps. H-A-T-E. Finding and destroying their nest should keep me busy this week as I sit in wait at the window watching their every dusk move to giveaway their secret nest location.

blogher 09 in bullets

* flight grounded due to mechanical issues, good fortune placed me in the airport while most of my fellow passengers had already been invited to board giving me the opp to to approach the gate attendant and secure a seat on the very next flight before the masses deplaned and crowded the gate. I have decided that flight was doomed, but I was so bummed to be missing the first unofficial night

* sleepover style late night Thursday with Pocklock and SJC laughing till it hurt and feeling that at any moment someone's mom was going to come and tell us to GO TO BED already

* a VERY early morning frantic wake up call from Steve who never received my text that my later flight had in fact landed safely in Chicago because when you think your wife might be dead of course your first inclination is to CALL the dead woman. I understand his concern, but my roomies were lining up to beat him, especially when he called back TWICE more. Love you steve.

* first session made me feel a bit boxed in - I don't think I need a tribe - do you? my space, my rules.

* Pocklock describing day one "it feels like I am on cocaine, but I've never actually done cocaine"

* the PR rep who chose the wrong seat at lunch right next to yours truly, though I am sure she is a lovely wonderful woman IRL

* finding balance in our lives is really just finding sanity and hearing that said out loud made me feel instant relief and validation

* the mother of a speaker was present at her session "so proud," "so nice to be able to read about her life"

* women talking not just about their own balance issues, but including the men in their lives and how they are also striving to achieve balance. Boys, we all nodded in unison, you are doing a great job at being involved, connected, successful, amazing partners and fathers

* "blogging is narrative non-fiction"

* session on patient bloggers... Uh-MAZING! inspiring, emotional, frustrating, transforming - the catalyst for my next big project

* the devastatingly hilarious keynote, no wait... the emotionally devastating keynote...anndd repeat. wonderful.

* Pocklock "have you ever bounced this much before?" Now you HAVE to tell the story. Nah NAH.

* taking in the city with Pocklock on a perfect day with stops at the bean, the waterfront, a hidden cooling pool within a wildflower garden, sushi (cooked for the preggo) and many life stories of strangely overlapping pasts

* being advised that to be funny I need to be willing to humiliate myself

* after all the stressing about what to wear to look blissfully expecting and not too many twinkies I finally on my OUT of the conference looked at myself in the mirror and thought, Cashew - you are NOT vain - embrace your miracle mac and show off that belly. too bad it took me the whole time to feel this way - better late than never. I've been walking proud in snug tops since.

Mommy brought me chocolate

For breakfast

look who's coming home with mommy!


mommy missed your sweet face and cuddly snuggled so much. This little
girl named strawberry shortcake (a much updated version of the one I
used to play with) is in mommy's 'personal' item. Everything smells
like strawberries. Like the lost shrine of zagawa in George this dolly
is only 5 inches tall, but I know you'll love her. I am almost ok with
a 530 wake up if it means I am home with you.

Love, mommy

I came, I saw, I felt overwhelmed

I loved it

ta ta Chicago

better bean


good morning Chicago


rick bayless

kick off

btf: breakout

June 20, 2008

Also forgot about the terrible breakouts I had last time too. Terrific! If it's a sign that something is working then I will take it.

July 14, 2008

Up to a twice daily dose, lunch and dinner time. More break outs. Terrible and different will not leave once they take residence blemishes. (nice, huh?) Hoping that I won't have to call the doctor for that RX for the three doses daily RX. Cautiously optimistic?

July 20, 2008

I can't seem to get on a set schedule with these pills this go around. One day I remember to take them in the morning and then the next I won't remember until lunch. I only seem to be able to stick to an at dinner regimen because Steve reminds me. That being said, we might have something at the two pill dose. We'll see. If I can actually take them on a schedule we'd find out for sure!


I'm here frizzy humidity hair and all



I leave tomorrow.



Thanks to a newly downloaded checklist app on my trusty iPhone, I am feeling 110% organized with many checklists detailing everything from buying cat food, which forms and agendas I need to print, to packing underwear. I always have great anxiety about the whole preparing to travel thing. I worry about forgetting something irreplaceable or what the weather will like in my destination (hot & sunny with some rain for good measure). I lose sleep over not getting to all the tasks I want to complete before I race out of the house in a whirlwind. I cannot be the only woman on earth who needs to return to a semi-tidy house? I usually have lists hanging around the house pre-trip that I add things to as I think of them. With this new app I can carry my list and my anxiety around with me, which actually has made me a lot less anxious. Go figure.

This morning I checked out the Boston area weather for later this week and weekend and set all Caroline’s clothes out on her changing table to be packed up quickly tonight. Exactly what do you bring when the forecast calls for sun, rain, clouds, cool, & hot in the four days she will be there? These conditions are like my own personal perfect packing storm. Ah, New England. I laid out options, knowing that she will want to spend the majority of her time on the beach anyway regardless of the weather.

All my earlier freaking out about all the details of this trip, which Pocklock can attest to, has given way to pure excitement! When I get overwhelmed thinking about all the strangers and being in a city as foreign to me as Paris, I think back to late February when I booked my BlogHer pass. I was filled with purpose and this little hobby of mine suddenly felt validated. I was not alone in broadcasting my life to anyone who wants to read about it. I was one of many and I was going to meet as many of them as possible. I was GOING! I AM going.

I’ll be twittering and posting photos and going on and on and ON about all things BlogHer and Chicago related. You might get sick of me. I might get sick of me, but it will be documented and it will be wonderful.

I am so grateful to have supportive family making this possible. I am so lucky to have an understanding spouse who gets that this thing I have created here is more to me than just words and photos. I feel honored to be charioting kerry’s no biggie bunch book to Chicago where it will hopefully land in hands that have long searched for this amazing resource. I bring with me the knowledge of just how fortunate I am, and I intend to rock this thing from start to finish.

still rock n roll to me

The boys executed the tailgate plans perfectly – lots of laughs, a way too early game of flip cup, and two bite brownies that I could not stop eating. We headed into the show just before the official start and caught the first few songs as we snaked our way up to our seats. We weren’t alone, plenty of other people were belting out Your Song and Just the Way You Are right along with us. We could not have asked for better weather; even my husband described the evening as “perfect.” That requires emphasis: even Steve thought the evening weather was perfection.

I’m listing the set list here, but it is more for us to have to look back on that anything. If something isn’t written down here, odds are I will lose it or forget it eventually. I was that girl furiously typing the list into her iPhone Notes all through the show.

Billy and Elton:
your song
just the way you are
don’t let the sun go down on me
my life

funeral for a friend
tiny dancer
goodbye yellow brick road
rocket man
I’m still standing
crocodile rock

angry young man
anthony’s song
don’t ask me why
she’s always a woman
river of dreams/dirty water (which was AWESOME!)
we didn’t start the fire
still rock n roll to me
only the good die young

Billy and Elton:
guess that’s why they call it the blues
uptown girl
the bitch is back
you may be right

candle in the wind
piano man

Nana and Granda had a blast with Caroline. When I was packing her up to head back Sunday afternoon I said, “we’re going to have to thank Nana and Granda for such a fun weekend!” Her reply “I don’t want to say goodbye.” Special thanks to my parents for making it possible for us to attend what turned out to be an amazing concert.

We’ll just all banish all reminders of the parking lot after the show which was far less than amazing.

Steve was away last night so Caroline and I continued our tradition of breakfast for dinner girls night. When she started asking for Steve before dinner I told her it was just us and she looked at me and said, “pancakes?” This is one tradition that is clearly cemented into our family life. Last night we did it up extra special with homemade Belgian waffles, strawberries and whipped cream. It was a huge hit.

We're here !!!

So far your song, just the way you are, don't let the sun go down on
me, and my life

"oh my goodness!"

btf: gulp & regret

June 9, 2008

First dose. I sat at the dinner table, pill bottle in hand, looked at Steve, looked at Caroline, hesitated and downed my first Metformin. GULP.

June 11, 2008

Holy long-term memory lapse! How is is possible that I forgot about the headaches, the really terrible GI ickiness, and the incredible irritability that these pills caused last time. Wishing I had a blog from back then to read back on what exactly I could expect and for how long! This morning I threatened to trash the entire pile o' clothes on Steve's side of the bed if they were not put away by the end of the weekend. (This is an ongoing issue for me that I should just table after nearly 7 years sharing space with Steve. He likes piles more than the dresser. What business is it of mine really??) Miraculously the area was neat and tidy minutes later, an eerie reminder of just how irritated and/or irrational I can be on these pills and the effects they can have on those around me. I am sitting here feeling nauseous and achy and also overcome with regret for taking out all my ickiness on the person I love most.

billy and blogher

I opened my calendar this morning at work and breezed right by today’s appointments to note some pretty exciting notations; Billy Joel/Elton John this weekend (YAY!!!!) and BlogHer next week (WHAT!?!!??!).

I am definitely getting anxious about the conference next week. Of course there is the whole solo flight out to Chicago thing, which is probably my biggest concern. I don’t think I have flown alone since 2002. I know a large part of this is the mom traveling apart from my family thing which has become incredibly stressful and scary. Last year when we flew without Caroline to Nashville I was in panic mode on both flights until our landing gear hit the pavement and we slowed to a more reasonable speed. Then there are the logistics of getting up to Boston and to the airport in a way that will least disrupt Kiki & Caroline. I would like prevent any amount of piteous traffic post airport drop. I so appreciate her taking Caroling for the evening and next day while Steve makes his way from work to the beach. Once I’ve landed safely (because I will land safely), the anxiety will just continue as I navigate a city I have never visited, wonder aloud and to myself if I brought appropriate clothing (All the blog posts meant to assure me that it was appropriate to wear whatever I want as long as I am comfortable actually brought on this concern. “If there are so many people worried about this should I be worried about it to?” So thanks bloggers for getting me all riled up!), and then the conference itself. I am so excited, but seriously people even this “handles meeting new people well girl” is a little overwhelmed at the thought of all those strangers. I know that the conference will be what I make of it and I plan on making it wonderful.

Instead of focusing on the crazy conference let’s talk about Billy Joel & Elton John this weekend at Gillette! Steve and I saw Billy and Elton in Boston in 2003 and it was such an amazing concert. Billy playing Billy stuff, Billy playing Elton, Elton playing Elton, Elton playing Billy, Elton and Billy playing together. Saying we are excited about this concert does not do our enthusiasm justice!

We're heading up to my parents' place on Friday night and we plan on hitting Red Rose with them for some 'za and house salad. I am hungry just thinking of that salad! Saturday Steve and I will wake up and head out to the Foxboro area to gather up the troops and food for pre-concert tailgating. I don't even know what time the show starts. Marc and Steve are organizing, so I don't need to know any of the real details. They are a good team when it comes to planning and execution.

It will be difficult for any concert in my lifetime to ever top last summer's Last Play at Shea , but it will be pretty amazing to see Billy and Elton together again. (Wow, there are a lot of errors in that post, but I think they speak to my combined exhaustion and excitement so I'm leaving them alone.) To add to the fun, we’re going with Marc and Kelly. Steve and I got four tickets for a Billy Joel concert in Boston years ago. Marc had just started seeing Kelly. I think we all sensed that there was just something different about this girl. I had jokingly told him I refused to meet another girl until he was sure that there was going to be some sort of real relationship with her. He assured me that this girl was different. Kelly had casually mentioned to him that she wanted to attend the concert and he planned to surprise her close to the concert date with the tickets to the show. He knew it would make her so happy. We met up with them at the Beerworks pre show for dinner. Kelly and Marc were completely adorable; singing along to songs they knew, staring at each other when they were lost in the lyrics. After we exited the Garden and said our goodbyes at the North Station train entrance, I looked at Steve and said, “he is absolutely smitten.” Marc, our perpetual bachelor, was head over heels for Kelly and so it was and would be for their lifetime.

Can’t wait to spend the night singing along with you guys again.

you did it!!

Steve and I sat downstairs last night watching the All Star Game and wondering aloud what the heck was keeping our precious daughter from drifting off to dreamland at nearly nine o’clock. Caroline was perfectly content up in her room, talking with her toys, pushing the button to restart her music every so often. In fact, she was more than content; she was having a blast!

I started tuning out the game and listening to what she was saying when I heard her start saying “poop.” I can’t be the only Mom whose ears perk up when their potty training toddler utters this word, particularly after bedtime. Was she trying to tell us in some way that her diaper was dirty? Though they are a rarity, the nights when the smell of a dirty diaper greets you as you walk upstairs are not exactly our favorite. I listened closely and it wasn’t long until I heard this exchange with “Baby.”

“You can do it Baby!”
“C’mon, baby, you can do it!”
“You did it Baby! You went poo poo!”
“You did it!!!”
“Nice job Baby, nice job!”

Steve and I laughed more than we probably should have and in typical toddler form, she repeated the whole scenario. Anything fun is repeated at least twice isn’t it? We laughed harder the second time. I grabbed the camera to try to record some of this on video over the monitor, but she shifted gears and moved onto reminding poor George sternly not to touch Baby.

I went up to try to settle her down a bit and she relayed the whole pooping Baby story to me again THIS TIME adding that Baby was a good girl and that meant she got to watch Ariel. This part I find simply HILARIOUS. Some nights she wants to watch a movie after dinner and on those nights she always makes sure we are noticing how much of her dinner she has eaten and what a “good girl” she is being. She tilts her head to the side, opens her eyes extra wide and says things like, “I be good girl, watch Ariel?” Clearly, Baby was being a very good girl and Caroline wanted to reward her with a special movie of course. For the record, we try to stick to “nice job!” and keep away from “good girl” with all things potty related. I find she responds better when we talk about the specific task. I suspect all this stems from our new practice of taking turns sitting on the potty with Baby. She seems to really love that.

The comedy show ended shortly thereafter and when the coast was clear we headed upstairs ourselves, but what a show it was.

One thing is for sure. Caroline has quite an imagination.

the same, yet different

Isn’t it funny how much things can change and yet remain exactly the same?

Three years ago we were 11 weeks pregnant with Caroline, embarking on a brand new journey replete with tests we had never heard of like the “quad screen.” My French Canadian and Polish heritage raised a red flag and the doctors tossed a screen for Tay Sachs in with the battery of blood work they ordered. When my results came back “ambiguous,” I panicked. When Steve’s also returned “ambiguous,” I lost my marbles. We waited nearly two agonizing weeks for the next level screen to come back, but during that time we were encouraged to set up a preliminary appointment with a geneticist. Weeks of worrying ended in a negative result and though we had never felt so relieved, I was filled with such regret for undergoing any of the “recommended” testing; for putting us through such a terrible emotional wait. It is what it is, isn’t it? Even with a concerning results nothing is ever certain, just a best guess of risk.

In the time between our pregnancies the medical world has shifted from the “quad screen” to a nuchal fold screen for Down’s and Trisomy 18. If there is one thing I do well while pregnant it is complain, so indulge me while I get some good ol’ complaining in. Our appointment was for 9:15, the earliest appointment they had available. We concocted an elaborate morning plan for daycare drop off and parking lot meet up to take just one car to the hospital. Since I drove in with Steve, we were there in the waiting room before 9. That boy has unprecedented punctuality. I made a casual joking remark to the nurse at check in inquiring if this was a “full bladder situation” and of course, it was. At nearly 9:45, after we had watched all the other mommies to be get called in ahead of us, we were finally led into the “genetic counseling office” where a lovely young woman (who Steve feels has the WORST job on Earth) very clearly spelled out the specifics of the screen. She made diagrams, drew arrows, and asked us if we wanted to do the screening.

I was torn, but we were already there, already moments from seeing little mac again. How could I pass that up? We were ushered back to the waiting room where the clock now read 10am, one hour since my joking comment about the full bladder situation that was now becoming a full bladder emergency. Not only was I uncomfortable, but now we sat were also there stewing together. They were running so late, clearly an issue for punctual Steve. We were also annoyed that the medical world has turned pregnancy into what was feeling like a terrible form of emotional torture. We had a snippy “what’s the point?” conversation because the results will only be a best guess at risk and that might mean more “recommended” testing that I don’t want to do and more discussions and more stuff we don’t want to even consider. So much for pregnancy being such a happy glowy time right???

I understand why they do these screenings, I do. I understand that the medical community is trying its best to educate parents on potential risks as early as possible. I get it, I just don’t think it is for us.

We did get to see all three glorious inches of Mac, whose little fluttering heartbeat brought a tear to my genetically overwhelmed eye. S/he flipped and flopped and turned completely over at one point. It was just as amazing as I remember it being three years ago. Different, and yet, the same.

First trip to the hut

She loved it. We loved it. The Hut never changes... Thankfully.


I really love living here.

introducing baby talk fridays

I both wanted to chronicle this and keep it completely private out of the blog's eye. The thing is that sometimes it has weighed so heavily on my mind and gripped my spirit so forcefully, that I found without writing it, I was often experiencing "blogger's block." I thought at first I would keep this draft for myself and never share it. Then I thought I would because I have been so open about my PCOS in the past and reading about other's experiences with this quirky diagnosis have brought me such comfort. It is a great feeling to go from feeling so alone to feeling so understood. What eventually helped me make this choice is when I realized one of the most searched for keywords that brings people here to mccashew is rob pirelli. Some months there is a solitary googler, others many, but people continue nearly two years later landing here looking for information about him. It brings me such joy to know that people are searching for him and finding more than his obituary, or a news article, but my heartfelt words about the man he was, not simply the soldier. I google. You google. We all google and perhaps someone in search of answers and support might find this chronicle of our experience while they try to untangle their own. Perhaps I might help some random googler and that is why I am sharing this here.

These posts will be a regular Friday occurrence until my journaled entries run out. I don't normally post that day, so it won't interrupt mccashew's flow and yours neither if you aren't interested.

June 3, 2008

I had hoped that all the PCOS challenges were over for us. I had wished that somehow my pregnancy would miraculously correct all the mythical insulin issues I seem to suffer from. I had trusted, but I was wrong. Earlier this month, I discussed options with my physician, not because Steve and I were anxious to bring another nut into our life, but to prepare for the day when we might decide that we are ready. He, the doctor, brought it up. As I explained that I had initially thought that things were resolved, he shook his head avoiding my gaze and took a deep breath while holding my hand, when I explained that just two months after I thought it was all hunky dory, it suddenly wasn't. Clomid. Metformin. These were our options. Why must these conversations always seem to happen when Steve can’t be with me, when I am alone and unsure of what to do, what to think… angry at my body, but grateful OH so grateful that somehow we have Caroline. With all this drug business looming she seems like even more of a miracle than before, if that is even feasible.

My thoughts raced. “we aren’t ready now, are we?” “what if we are ready, but things don’t happen the way we want them to?” “when did it get this complicated?” Then they turned to my baby girl. "Would she someday need to bear this burden?" "Would she have to explain to her spouse that like her own mother she would need a smidgen of help and hope to even become capable of conceiving a child?""Was it fair of me to bring this upon perhaps not just myself, but another generation of McSomethings?" "Was I being incredibly selfish??"

I am completely aware of just how lucky we are. We have a child, a beautiful daughter. "Would we be asking too much to even consider another?" "Would Steve understand if even with drugs this might be our complete family?" Yes. He would. He would understand, I knew that immediately and it soothed me. It calmed me and brought me back from the brink of tears to a place of acceptance. This is the hand we have been dealt. Proceed with caution.

The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t right? My doctor and I chose Metformin and he recommended we do it immediately if we were entertaining Baby Numero Dos this year, or a low dose pill if we wanted to wait longer. I was not up for being a lab rat, no low dose pill, who knows what harm or good that might cause. I said, “bring on the Metformin!" We opted to start slow with just one pill a day for the first month. The last time around a previous doc had worked me up to three pills a day in just three weeks and that seemed a little drastic considering that we haven’t reached a place of absolute panic quite yet. We all agreed that we would work on achieving the lowest effective dose, the most minimally invasive medical solution.

molecules of wonderfulness

Now that we have spilled the cocktail peanuts, I can cover you with honey through a gooey entry. Steve was shocked when I sent him a draft of our big announcement weeks ago. He was surprised at the simplicity and had expected something sugar coated & fluffy. I promised that would come later and would you look at that, here it is!

For six weeks Steve and I have sat silent to the world at large grinning ear-to-ear goofy “we’re pregnant” grins wondering if this was really truly happening. We made it through many encounters with friends and especially family. How I made it through that wedding on the Vineyard is still a mystery to me. In addition, the first trimester just drags on and on, what with the nausea/random hard-hitting exhaustion and the complete lack of physical proof that you are indeed honest to GOD expecting a baby. Sure, I had massive baby bloat initially, but that faded and with weeks until the next doctor’s appointment, we were a bit paranoid about the whole thing. I knew in my gut that if something were wrong those Mommy instincts would clue me in, right? Wouldn’t they? Tell me they would! I was indeed quite reassured on Tuesday when my physician was able to locate the baby’s heartbeat with ease; 160 bpm. The whoosh whoosh whoosh of a heartbeat was music to my ears. I felt a bit more confident, though sincerely that confidence is still a bit reluctant.

We tell Caroline often that she is going to be a big sister; that mommy has a baby in her belly. She looks at us, probably expecting to see her baby doll sitting on my tummy and then gives us the “you have officially lost your minds” look. When we ask her if she is going to have a baby brother or a baby sister – she answers sister. When we ask again if she thinks it will be a girl or a boy – she says boy. That second option still tricks her every time.

I’m feeling well overall, far less fatigued this time around (though Steve will tell you that there have been a handful of days with late afternoon snoozes on the sofa and early bedtimes & he wouldn’t be lying). It just feels completely different this time around. Perhaps it is the knowledge I gained from my first pregnancy? I have an inkling of what lies ahead. While that might be part of it, this second time around experience has been humbling in ways I was unprepared for. Not that I didn’t treasure each and every wonderful moment of my pregnancy with Caroline! Her soul just traveled to us from that other place so easily. This baby, our little Macadamia, s/he wanted to be sure from the get go that we really truly appreciated each molecule of wonderfulness that s/he is. The road to this point has been marred with bumpy potholes. It isn’t that this baby is anymore cherished than my amazing baby girl Caro, how could they ever be? It is that with great humility we now fully understand this amazing miracle cooking away.

I watch my daughter play with Mrs. Potato Head; pushing a vertical line of eyes onto Lady Spud. I love her sweet little voice asking “you play with me Mommy?” I flip off my shoes, lie down next to her and ask her which purse/puhrs Mrs. Potato Head would like today. I smell her head. I tussle her curls. I tell her I love her. I know the days of just us are numbered. I know it won’t always be like this, but I imagine that in time it will be even better and my heart swells with gladness. My daughter will be an amazing big sister. Caroline will want to be involved in every diaper change. She will want to feed the baby, to dress the baby, to snuggle the baby. She will tell the baby what to do and surely what NOT to do. She will tell the baby “don’t touch me.” I know they won’t always be best friends, but I do know that this is the most marvelous gift we could ever give to her. Caroline is going to ROCK the big sister role and I will cry puddles of tears watching her relationship with her new sibling grow.

and then there were...

When Caroline was teeny tiny I made up many silly songs for her. One of my all time favorites was a little ditty to "Mama loves Mambo" that went like this...

Mama loves Caroline
Daddy loves Caroline
Happy for now a family of three
Maybe someday we'll add to our tree

and repeat for what felt like forever.

Internet, I need a new song. Our tree is growing a new limb.

The McFam is anxiously awaiting Baby Macadamia/Mac sometime around January 25, 2010

who does that?!?!

There is so much to share about our perfect holiday weekend. We'll skim right past the storm on Friday afternoon, too quick to even dent our evening festivities. The weather was amazing, the company a true delight, and the food PLENTIFUL. There is lots to share, but I need to get this out there first because... well, you'll see.

Sometimes things happen that I think, "oh my god, I HAVE to blog about this!" This story is one of those because I still cannot believe it happened AND you might not believe me when I tell you.

Here is our subject; an oblivious blond pre-teen (pictured here with younger brother digging a hole to China)

As the tide went out, we abandoned a previous spot further up on the beach for cooler sand by the sea. In doing so, we left a few items about 20 feet vertical from our current position; a shirt, flip flops and a tube of sunscreen.
We all watched as the pre-teen approached our abandoned area, picked up the sunscreen, SQUEEZED out a line of screen into the sand (as Kiki pointed out to remove the GERMS of the previous user) and applied sunscreen GENEROUSLY to his upper body. This was not a "my shoulders are cooking I can already feel it" kind of application (not that it would have made his behavior in anyway more acceptable). No, this was a thorough, time consuming sunscreen procedure. His equally oblivious father walked by for the tail end of it never once questioning or glancing as pre-teen tossed the tube back into the sand and walked away, all of us with our jaws on the sand!
Did this really happen???
Seriously pre-teen? Seriously?


July fourth beach princess post sand


Second breakfast after an hour on the beach


going 10mph and even that feels too fast


My calendar must be wrong. It's really April 2nd today isn't it?
It is almost hard to imagine that in just a few hours we’ll be cruising traffic free up to the beach for the holiday weekend. Pardon me while I try to appeal to the traffic gods. We’re crossing our fingers in hopes of better weather and a lower high tide for the bonfires and fireworks tomorrow night.

Caroline’s first July 3rd at Humarock was special and wonderful because it was her very first one. She was mesmerized by the seemingly endless line of bonfires up and down the beach. She went right to bed despite the all-nightlong pops from the late night fireworks celebration. If memory serves me right, it was almost chilly on the beach that day, with a wind that would not let up.

Last year she was old enough to be really entertained and Caroline was definitely interested in the lights and fires. When it came time to head to dreamland, it was absolutely out of the question. Every firework pop made her jump from sleepy to alert. I put her in the sling and walked around the block with her for what felt like days. The heat was oppressive. That I know for sure.

This year… is sure to be the best one yet. Mother Nature owes the McFam BIG TIME from last week, so I fully expect calm weather, clear skies, and at least partly sunny bathing suit appropriate afternoons. Are you listening Mother Nature? I am most looking forward to Caroline talking to us about the events of the evening. “What was that?” “I hear that!” “WOAH!” “Bootiful!” She knows we are going to the beach. She knows there will be rock throwing and sand playing. She doesn’t have a clue about the rest of the fun; the nights that Steve and I look forward to most out of the entire year. Two years ago we couldn’t wait to share it with her, if we only realized then that it would just KEEP getting better as time goes on.

Safe and Happy Third/Fourth to all!

things I need to remember

If you were to walk into the McHouse these days, you’d very likely hear muffled giggles, shhhhing, and calls for “Da-eeee!” Caroline is playing a new game where she races up the stairs to hide in our bed, under the covers, sometimes with her baby and sometimes without. She removes her shoes with gusto before diving under the comforter, pulling the fluffy corner under her head and smiling wide. She sshes me frantically before calling for Steve to come and find us. We’re hiding afterall.

I can hear myself in her and not just because she seems to parrot everything I say. Though, let’s not kid ourselves here, she is QUITE the parrot. Exhibit A – the bank where I filled out the ridiculous deposit slip incorrectly (SIDENOTE: Really BOA? Are these still necessary???) and said “Shoot!” I have never been so grateful to have said “shoot” because it shot right back out of Caroline’s mouth.

At the grocery store as we approach the door, before I can open my mouth to tell her what we were doing there, she lays it all out for me.

“Get the carriage!”
“This one wet!”
“Won’t come out!”

The latter are things I say all the time when we are getting our carriage; one might be wet from all the rain we’ve had or it might be too stuck for me to separate from the line with just one arm. I soak all this in, aware that the tiniest details are being absorbed. She can identify which apples we need (granny smiths for Steve) and as we enter the meat section she shouts that she is “cold!”

She’s not immune from trying to get me to imitate her though. In fact, she can be quite bossy. Just yesterday morning she began drinking the milk from the bottom of her Cheerio bowl, BLECH! She directed me to “take your spoon out Mommy” and drink my milk too, which I reluctantly pretended to do, complete with plenty of “yums!”

Life right now is a wonderful mix of moments like these and not getting my way screaming jumping up and downs, but the mix makes it interesting and exciting and so worth it.