Wednesday, September 30, 2009

No better place for a nap...

My mom took this photo of Jake napping on me and I just love it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Classmate Party!

Jake was invited to his first birthday party for a fellow classmate! The party was held at a playground/recreation area and luckily, it was a beautiful day. The invitation said to bring bikes, so here are Jake and Skylar with their bikes, all ready to party!
Jake went to check out the party table with all the food and balloons.
He saw the party hats and insisted on wearing one.
Playground fun...

There was an arts and crafts table so Jake made a sign for his bike that says "Jake."
Time for cake! Jake very enthusiastically sang "Happy Birthday" with everyone else.
It was a fun time! And Mike and I enjoyed meeting some of the other classroom parents.

(Can you find Mike and Jake in this picture?)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Playground Fun

Sunny Saturday morning! My friend Ellie and I got our boys together for some serious playtime at the playground.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thank you, Kayla!

I haven't had a chance to post the pictures from Jake and Skylar's last day with their amazing nanny, Kayla. The three of them have been together every week for 13 months, and it was hard to believe that came to an end. What a wonderful year it was for them!

Luckily, these two kids are in the same school, same classroom together, and are so happy to still get to see each other during the week.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Peanut butter and jam sandwiches and (almond) milk for dinner with my sweet boy. Today he managed to make the sign for "I love you" for the first time, on his own, to me.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day by Day

Jake's first day at school went so well. He loved exploring his new classroom and meeting his new friends. And the playground is awesome. He came home talking about a book they had read about cats and cupcakes with sprinkles! Sounds like a good book...

Unfortunately, day 2 wasn't so great. Apparently he really missed me, cried for a long time, and slept through lunchtime. He was thrilled to see me when I picked him up and told me that he had missed me and cried. What a hard thing for a mama to hear.

Today is day 3, and we talked quite a bit about him missing me, and how that was okay, and how I would be picking him up after school. That seemed to help and he was excited to go back again today.

Changes are not easy, but we're all doing our best...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Jake's First Day of School

Life goes on... especially when you have a (very, very precious) child who is now a big boy and has started school!
Arrival at school and greeting Teacher Lydia.
This morning when he woke up we were just hanging out in bed. Jake had his eyes open and looked thoughtful. So I asked him what he was thinking about, and he immediately said "school!" I'm glad he was so excited. Can't wait till he comes home and tells me all about it.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Goodbye, Sean

This is the hardest post I have ever had to write. I lost my baby.

On September 10th we confirmed, via ultrasound, that the baby was no longer alive. I was 33 weeks pregnant. I had not felt him move for a few days, and had already been worried after some early labor 5 days earlier. He had not developed normally, so this was for the best.

Sean was born on September 11th, in the late afternoon. I am so very lucky to have been with my wonderful midwives and husband through a compassionate and smooth labor that lasted just 2 hours at home.

Mike, Jake, and myself are all very sad to have lost the baby we were so looking forward to welcoming into our family. He was a beautiful spirit in a not good body, and we will remember him with love.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sean Sylph's (Still)Birth Story

Late in the afternoon on September 10th, at 33 weeks of pregnancy, we found out that baby Sean was no longer alive. The morning of Friday, September 11th, after a difficult night, I told my midwives that I was ready to no longer be pregnant and I wanted to go ahead with the birth (we were originally planning for Saturday morning).

After a morning spent with my parents and Jake, we went home and prepared. I set up an altar and Mike and I made sure the house was ready, then I rested for awhile while Jake took a nap. At 3pm, my parents came and picked Jake up. My midwives, Lennon and Angie, arrived.

First Mike and I performed a smudging ceremony to cleanse ourselves and our space.

Then we went upstairs to get started. I was very pleased to find that I was already 6 centimeters dilated, and then Lennon broke the bag of waters. I went and sat in the bathtub to let the water flow out, and eventually filled the tub with some warm water for comfort. About 15 minutes after breaking the waters, I had my first contraction. The contractions were very mild at first, and slowly built up in intensity, frequency, and duration. I stayed in the bathtub for quite awhile, keeping myself upright to help things move along more quickly. Mike sat in the bathroom with me, and my midwives were in the bedroom next door, ready to check on me whenever I called. I had a candle brought up and lit and put in the corner of the bathtub for something to focus on.

Suddenly things changed and I found I could no longer be in the bathtub. I was immediately so hot and dizzy that I broke out into a sweat (it was 90 that day!) and practically ran to the bedroom where I got on my hands and knees on the bed and threw up into a bucket, except only water came out. This was probably transition! I started feeling a little better after that but the contractions were incredibly intense and close together at this point. I just kept myself as comfortable as I could on the bed with pillows to help prop me up to stay upright. Contractions continued to come and go, and I sipped cool water in between and breathed through each one.

Soon I moved to the edge of the bed and sat through a few contractions to ease the pressure on my knees. I asked for the birth stool, which the midwives brought up and set up for me. It felt great to sit on. After a few more contractions, I had a contraction where I let out a long, low, primal moan that surprised me but felt really good. The midwives immediately came into the bedroom and began setting up for the birth. Pushing was slow, with long resting times in between contractions. The baby soon crowned, but wasn't born until about 40 minutes later.

Sean was finally born at 5:40. Mike was the one who caught him and cut the cord. He was put down in front of me and I gently caressed his face and examined his body, toes, and fingers. This was so hard to do. I could see for myself that his body was not normal, his face hadn't developed properly, but he was still my baby that I had loved and carried inside me for 7 and a half months.

I was given the time and space to just look at Sean and be with him. I sat back on the bed, exhausted, and waited for the placenta to come. It took awhile, just like with Jake's birth. When it finally did come out (easily), the midwives found that it hadn't developed quite normally, either. During this time Mike sat with Sean and held him and connected with his spirit.

After the quick, 2 hour labor and birth, I was able to then sit back on my bed and rest. Sean weighed in at 7 pounds, 3 ounces! Mike and I sat with Sean and just held the peace for awhile, contemplating it all.

When we were ready, at about 8:30pm the guy from the funeral home came, and Mike took Sean down to the car and laid him inside. I watched from the upstairs window and then cried as the car drove away.

My parents brought Jake back, and Mike and I hugged our boy tight.

(The middle name: a sylph is a sky spirit, seen in the form of particularly-shaped cloud wisps.)

The Invitation

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living,
I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are, I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayal or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

It want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

If want to know if you can see beauty, even when it's not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes!"

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

- Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Preschool Orientation!

Jake had orientation at his preschool. The two of us went. I dropped him off at his classroom with Teacher Lydia and said goodbye and went to listen to speakers for 45 minutes. The speakers were good, and when I went back to the classroom Jake was happily working with some nuts/bolts and a screwdriver. It took him awhile to be ready to stop what he was doing and leave, so it seems it went really well! It helps that his friend Skylar is in the same classroom with him.
Official first day of school is on Monday. So exciting!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Weekend 2009

Jake and I left for Black Butte Ranch on Wednesday night and got a ride with a friend (thanks, John!)
Because we weren't able to bring his bike with us, we rented a big kid bike with training wheels. Yes, it happened to be pink, but nobody cared and Jake had a wonderful time riding it! He rode it so much, that the second day when he got on the bike, he complained his bottom hurt. I had to explain that sometimes your bottom gets sore when you ride a bike after not riding one for a long time.
He also liked the helmet so much he didn't want to take it off, even when relaxing on the deck.
Daddy came over 2 days later and we went into town. At the grocery store, they happened to have a fire truck open for viewing.

Jake was rather serious about it. But he got to keep the hat, which he liked!
There was also some swimming.
All in all, a good time with biking, swimming, going to the playground, playing with legos, and just being with Mama, Daddy, Gramma, and Papa.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


This post really should be called CODA-isms, CODA standing for "Child of Deaf Adults" since I have found that most CODAs play with language this way, which is so incredible.

Sometimes Jake knows a word in English that he doesn't know the sign for, and what he'll do is he'll use the sign for something that sounds similar in English.

We were putting on sandals the other day and he made the sign for sand.

There was a very loud noise and Jake was pointing to his nose (nosey).

It cracks me up that he points to his butt every time he wants to talk about bats (the flying kind).

In each instance I've shown him what the correct sign is, and he's immediately started using it. Well, except in the case of butt/bat, which I think he is doing on purpose because he knows it makes me laugh.