Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I love you Butterfly

I tucked my hand up tight for this photo. Curled my fingers tight against my palm.

Still in shock, I somehow moved forward to take photos. Against my better beliefs about all of this.


I just saw a TV show about a woman who had five babies, and of course they were preemies. And I watched rapt, waiting to relate. Because preemie families are always related. By terms and struggles and common jargon.

I'm suppose to be "over" this. Mostly, I have come to terms. But sometimes the unexpected resonates.

And as the mom on the show said something I hadn't before known how to put into words, BOOM. Our connection was established. She was talking about looking back at photos of her babies after they were just born. And how at the time she photographed them, she celebrated their health. But the truth revealed itself later as she looked back ... Hindsight Truth.

She looked back at those photos of her children born before they were suppose to be born. And this is what she said, very liberally paraphrased:

"I had been telling myself all along they were so perfect. But when I really saw those photos, looking back after they were older, I understood how truly ill my children were."


So ill.

I see my then-girl now, too ...

I didn't know.



I hated so many of the pictures of her that I took then, when I forced myself. I self-edited before I even took the pictures. Her dad has some that I hate. {{some that repulse me there i said it}} She looks like she is in agony, as her body reacts to the outside environment it was not yet meant to be thrust into.

It contorts.



I still feel that somehow it is my fault. Self-doubt ebbs but never fully dissipates. Sometimes it comes together enough again to form whole hurts, though those hurts are never as large as the time before.

And they still coalesce no matter how amazing my girl is now ... because she is so utterly amazing! She is so smart:) So FUNNY! Have you seen her be a dinosaur, imitating her brother as she stamps and stalks and growls? No?! Sorry, because you are missing an absolute treat!


I just read that 1% of babies are born at 25 weeks.

Did you catch that?


My girl! My miracle baby girl. Whose tiny hand ... I hung onto right away after she was rushed into this life.

The hand that was so much stronger than my own.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Look at me, world

I'm taking a Flash class this quarter, and of the wee little bit I've learned so far, I really like it. Algebra, however, is another story. Anyway, I thought I'd share my first assignment.

It's hard to find free hosting for .swf files, so I had to do the best I could. When you go to this site you'll be hit with a couple of other ads: There's a square one in the middle and a banner under that one. But my Flash banner is under that and should be pretty obvious. It's of The Butterfly.

Please ... do let me know what you think?

Monday, January 11, 2010

1 a.m.

The only sounds are divided equally on both sides of my head: On the right the clock is ticking and Dad's snores rise through the floorboards. On the left, the abandoned laptop hums its incessant reminder of waiting homework and the baby's soft breath tickles my earlobe.

Fifteen minutes earlier, her indignant footsteps patter-thumped down the hallway, her cries for me Doppler-trailing right after.

After they're asleep is when I can get to work for real, buckle down on this education I'm starting to wonder if I'm too old to learn. But this little girl has figured out my secret and she's not about to let me get away with it.

So her little head tucks under and along my jawbone, in the cradle of my neck; consumable-smelling soft hair cushions my cheek. Her little heart beats on mine and I am amazed again to remember when her entire body fit so compactly under my chin. Now her feet dangle, dangle and her entire head claims almost as much space as her body once did.

Sweet little skin, all sleepy-warm smelling. Striped jammies course by under my stroking hands.

Breathe, breathe little breaths.

Another hour or two of homework awaits. But maybe ... just one little break.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Taking the plunge

The Polar Bear Plunge, that is.

We arrived about 25 minutes before the official start. There weren't so many folks there yet.

About 10 minutes later, there were LOTS of folks there;)

I was a bit relieved to see the medical personnel standing by. But with about 10 minutes to go, they left. Five minutes later, they were back ... suited up in scuba gear;)

Milling about.

Only a few people here and there were dressed in costume.

Yup. It was warmer in the water than outside the water. Technically, that is.

A few people start to shed outer layers.

We then huddle nervously by the start line. You can't see me dancing from foot to foot or swinging my arms back and forth ... but I was.

So long, suckas!

And it was cold. Super cold ... my body parts went numb, but at least I didn't have a heart attack:)

I'll be back next year. This was too fun ... why the heck did I not do this earlier in my life???

Friday, January 1, 2010

Leftovers, Part 2

This isn't too much of a leftover since I just did it last week. So it'll be like the bridge between then and now.

I finally bought myself a Cricut Expression. As an avid scrapbooker, I've been eyeing the machine for a loooong time. But it's crazy expensive, retails for $400. So when Consumer Crafts had it for $150 on Cyber Monday, I jumped in. And yes, I purposefully put that link in there. Every time I've dealt with the company, it's been utterly perfect, utterly friendly service. Yay Consumer Crafts.

Anyway, the Cricut is an amazing kind of cutting machine. It's designed for paper, but you can "talk it" into cutting fabric, too, as long as there's some kind of backing on the fabric and you don't mind about half of what you have being wasted. It's easy for the Cricut blade to get caught up in the strings of the fabric if you're not careful, and anything under about 3" is tough to get to come out. But I had an idea.

Not being a seamstress or yarn/fabric/string/etc. person of any kind, I was excited to try out fabric and knew I wanted to start with something for a friend of mine who's expecting her second son in May. This is what I came up with!

(I'm sorry the first photo is sideways; I've tried to no avail to fix it. Reading online, I've discovered that apparently, Cannon has a weird quirk with photos sometimes displaying sideways.)

I was a little miffed when I finished ironing. After getting the letters cut for both pieces, the iron slipped a little and mungled the descender in the "g." Grrr.

I used the same fabric and font for both items, cutting the letters bigger and in boldface for the BIG shirt, and smaller, non-bold for LITTLE. Whew. The onsie took a few tries to get the letters outta there.

Originally, I'd planned to add the word brother to each piece, too. Hah!

Inspired, I went to the dollar store and picked up a couple of blankets to embellish. To see how those came out, hop on over to EandB Shoppe.