Sunday, September 2, 2012


Today, Joey giggled so hard he got the hiccups. Today, Joey chased his sister around the living room. Today Joey snuggled his brother on the floor for a millisecond of sweet tenderness. (Those moments happen often but they never last long.)

And today I danced with my Joey snuggled firmly against my chest, once again profoundly impressed with the beautiful beating heart.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Moving On

I finally unpacked my hospital bag. That compact little duffel that traveled faithfully with me back and forth to Children's, stuffed with necessities has been tucked under the cradle for more than a year. And I have been ignoring it. At first we dared not unpack, as we were never that confident we wouldn't need it. So it stayed there at-the-ready... just in case. Time marched on, much faster than we realized, and I avoided that bag. I didn't want to remember what was in it. I didn't want to think about the emotional-baggage tucked inside the duffel-baggage. The pace of life picked up even more and soon I just plain forgot about that little bag. It got shoved under the bed, out-of-sight, out-of-mind.

But something else is happening in our lives now - we are expecting another Gift any day now! After ignoring that bag, and then procrastinating, and then forgetting all about that little bag, I needed it again. It really is the perfect size, you see. It has come to every hospital stay with every baby.

Taking a deep breath (mostly to avoid inhaling the dust) I opened that zipper. Prescription-strength ibuprofen - oh yeah, it's very painful sitting/standing beside an ICU bassinet a week after giving birth. That book a friend lent me to pass the time and I never read. (oops, sorry. I'll get that back to her now.) The Rosary, holy cards, Divine Mercy chaplet card. Some paperwork including an assessment form summarizing his condition. The little cardiac assessment book I read to refresh my memory from nursing school. I fingered those "Beads of Courage" laughing at my initial scorn at such a corny idea. I now LOVE those little beads, each different design and color representing each thing that Joey experienced. He has a very full bag of them, you know. Pens and the notebook I used to write my thoughts while sitting in his room. A deck of cards, some loose change, our hospital ID.

Joey's story is far from over. Every day is a reminder of where we've been with him and where we'll go again someday. In cleaning out that bag I closed his first chapter and gave us permission to move on. And in repacking it for our impending hospital stay I am ready to open up the next chapter - Joey the Rock Star, Joey the Big Brother!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sleep in Heavenly Peace

Oh blessed slumber, oh heavenly rest. How long you did elude him! How long you escaped our grasps! But not anymore. No friends, the little prince is finally sleeping WELL in his OWN BED! All Night! (*Of course, he is a toddler who's sleep is subject to change with every sneeze or cough, at any moment without warning for an indeterminate amount of time.*)

Joey loved our bed a lot, but he did not like to be crowded. Actually, I'm not sure how much he liked having us in our bed. It was time for him to learn how great his crib truly is! Not only did it go rather quickly, but for a while he hasn't even fussed at bedtime. Oh glorious mornings! With my little boy greeting me happily and well-rested around 7am, everyone in the house is thrilled to see the sun.

The best part of course is how he established his OWN routine. After months of trying to introduce a "lovey" for comfort and him not showing any interest, he has chosen a stuffed dolphin he received at Christmas. After months of rocking and singing he has decided he no longer really needs the songs. What he does love to have is his Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer pillowcase, and anything with Frosty on it. He lays down on his side pointing and snuggling his 2 buddies. In the morning he tries to hand me everything in his crib, and I am unable to oblige and carry him at the same time! One morning Daddy carried everything down with Joey to discover that Joey expected Daddy to snuggle him with all of it!

I just adore how much he loves to snuggle during the day. It's always in brief, fleeting moments, and he rarely tolerates me interrupting his games, but it's soft and cozy and very, very lovely. And now that I get my own space at night I can soak it up joyfully during the day!

I realize I'm posting this picture way behind the season, but I ran across it today and couldn't help myself.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Hair Cut

Everyone loves Joey's hair, and what's not to love? Those thick, luscious, dark curls are perfect. Beautiful. The envy of thinning-haired people everywhere. So maybe I'm being a little dramatic here, but the fact is that Joey's hair is gorgeous.

It forms the perfect frame for his chubby rosy cheeks. Even if he does look a little "Frodo -ish" here.

Mama plays with it constantly.

But it was time. The harsh realization came when I had to use, dare I say it, detangler just to brush out his hair.

Pardon me as a tear trickles down right along with the clippings. (Oh, there I go being all dramatic again. Blame it on the pregnancy hormones.)