disney on lice *or* lice is a special occasion.

I had a conference call with my beloved Hallmark today, and as we talked of special occasions and making the mundane magical, I sat with a nit comb in hand picking through every golden curl on Addie’s head. Lice and life sound a lot like each other, and right now? Lice are my life.

Sorry about that Hallmark.

I’m going to be honest, the last 24 hours have kicked my butt. MY BUTT. I’m exhausted both emotionally and mentally and it’s just over a pile of bugs CRAWLING THROUGH MY DAUGHTER’S HAIR. But really, it’s cool. This too shall pass.

You want to be grossed out by society? Have your kid get lice and then go out in public. Suddenly everyone is crawling with little invisible bloodsucking bugs that are ready to destroy any hope you had at happiness.

(Did I mention I’m *minorly* overwhelmed with life right now and may be erring a bit on the dramatic side?)

It’s just bugs. It’s no big deal that I fell asleep last night resisting the urge to tear off my skin at every tickle.

*sigh*

I have that emotional build up where I know I JUST KNOW I’m going to lose it at some point, all out messy snotty cry with heavy sobbing followed by hiccups and burning cry eyes forĀ  24 hours. I can feel it brewing and festering. Woe be unto whoever is around when it all comes crashing down. (What? Why yes, PMS may be involved, why do you ask?)

I kind of wish I could just get it over with. I’ve even sat here trying to make sad faces in an attempt to get it jump started, but so far no luck. It’s like that one whisker hair you can ALMOST pluck with your fingernails but not quite and you don’t have tweezers but you know it’s there and it has to go and WHY CAN’T I JUST GET IT OUT ALREADY.

********************

In other news.

A bunch of ladies (including Addie and I) went on a lady date to Disney on Ice thanks to some tickets provided by Feld Entertainment (thanks Feld!) Dude, you guys? Disney on Ice is spectacular (aside from them remaking the songs from Cinderella, don’t remake songs from classic Disney movies, just don’t do it.)

I took more pictures of the actual show which you can see here, but more importantly (and a far better selling point) are these faces right here…(It will be in Indy until Sunday before moving on. Go. Seriously.)

Disney on Ice

Disney on Ice

Disney on Ice

Disney on Ice

Disney on Ice

Disney on Ice

Disney on Ice

Disney on Ice

Disney on Ice

Soooo….how’s lice life for you?

(Disclosure: My family was given complimentary tickets to attend this event. I was not compensated for my attendance. Opinions are purely my own, especially the Cinderella songs. All facial expressions are also genuine.)

a lot of you are hurting.

Today the Internet is supposed to blackout to protest! boycott! STICK IT TO THE MAN! in regards to SOPA.

But I can’t blackout today, too many of you are hurting (and truth be told if I blacked out the chances of you ever seeing me again would be super slim, technological I am not.)

Divorce, depression, difficult life situations, abusive partners, unfaithful spouses, strong willed children, infertility…while I can’t fix how broken you feel, I can say that I have survived many of the things you are dealing with.

I am still here.

Stronger than I have ever been.

Perhaps by not blacking out I’m saying in my own way why SOPA needs to make like a tree and leave, we need each other. Forget movies studios and wealthy musicians, regular everyday people like me need regular everyday people like you to go through the messy stuff together, even if it’s just through words typed out on a screen.

I fell down, you caught me and waited for me to stand up again.

Now that you’re down I can’t forget how much you supported me.

While I can’t do much, I can do what you did for me.

You can make it out of the other side of this. You will make it out of the other side of this. Perhaps a little more battle weary than you’d prefer and with a few more scars…but you will get stronger, perhaps not today, but eventually.

You are stronger than anything broken inside you.

Please take care of each other.

**************

Not to downplay the severity of this particular topic, I close with a humorous picture of my chubby naked baby.

you don't SAY...

I figure if she makes me happy, she’ll probably do the same for you.

xoxo

the second seven days.

Sunday.

fancy church vivi

Monday.

monday

to addie from robin.

Tuesday.

percy high on the 'nip

Wednesday.

Indy Pride.

Thursday.

playing.

hat

Friday.

paul richard's birth story

friday2-0823

Saturday.

sleepy vivi

36 hours.

football baby

I’m so optimistic I’d go after Moby Dick in a row boat and take the tartar sauce with me.” -Zig Ziglar

‘Twas a good week around these parts. You?

********

View our first week of 2012.

Also: Vivi’s second week on Babble.

paul.

Emily,

Last night I was with you as you brought your fourth child and second son into this world.

Truly one of the best nights of my life.

I know you were pretty busy with getting him out so you may have not noticed everything that went on, but I did. And damn, you’re really good at making and birthing babies.

Emily

First off, shut up. You are amazing. I actually found myself jealous of how glowing and beautiful you were at 3 am after pushing a baby out with no drugs. I saw a glimpse of myself in a window as I walked out of the hospital and *I* looked like the one who had just been through the hardest physical task of my life.

While you were out walking with Charity, Michael and I sang the theme song to Fresh Prince of Bel Air, if only to prove that anyone born between 1975 and 1985 should know every single lyric by heart. Then Shireen and I got in a rap off about you on twitter. Sorry for my momentary lapse in professionalism. I joked with Michael that I was his doula, there to get him drinks and whatnot, I offered to press on his hips but things just got awkward.

fresh baby of Bel Air

At 8cm dilated you began talking about the Goodwill Outlet, and about needing gloves to make it out without any communicable diseases. It was a conversation we could have had over dinner, with strangers or sitting around at your house. But no, you were in labor and discussed the finer points of Goodwill Outlet shift changes until you were knocked speechless by another contraction.

You kept saying how exhausted you were, that you just wanted to curl up and go to sleep. If there were any moment that I wanted to take all of your pain away from you it was then. Just to give you 10 minutes of rest from what you so bravely doing.


That being said, labor and delivery nurses shouldn’t yawn so much. I don’t care what time it is. Just an observation.

I especially liked it when you where hunched over in the bed and as you heard me come near you muttered “I’ll bet I’m making you totally want to do this again.”

1:34 am.

Being able to keep in touch with your mom and sisters through the whole thing was pretty spectacular. There’s a very good chance I won’t be there for the birth of my nephew at the end of March and being able to see how your sisters rallied together for you and made jokes about their own labors, including one that took place at animal control and one that happened in a room down the hallway…I’m pleased to be counted as the 5th Dutch sister.

honorary sister

As far as the moment your water broke? If there were awards given out to women for listening to their bodies and demanding everyone else listen as well? You’d win. You knew that kid was coming and that he was coming now. When Nurse Yawns said ‘hold on‘ and you responded with ‘GET THE DOCTOR IN HERE NOW.’ I gave you a silent little standing O from the back of the room.

It went so fast. One push his head was out. Half a push later you had a baby in your arms. I perfect little boy with long fingers, full lips and a wrinkly little back.

At one point you yelled ‘I CAN’T DO THIS!‘ the sarcastic part of me thought ‘It’s a little to late for that now Em.’ while the rest of me, completely in awe of what you were going through shouted “YES YOU CAN. YOU ARE SHOWING BIRTH WHO’S BOSS.” I kept quiet of course, aside from the clicks of my shutter, you had plenty of other people cheering you on, including your doula who said very matter-of-factly “Yes you can, because you’re doing it.

And just like that he was here.

Paul

You probably didn’t get to see Michael’s face. He’s so in love with that tiny little seven pound body and even more in love with you. I hope that being able to see his face in these pictures made it worth having me there. The joy of a man becoming a new dad, even for the fourth time…it’s palpable, fleeting and one of the most powerful emotions out there.



As I left you were snuggled up tight with your son, surrounded by the dim, warm, quiet that happens after all the excitement and intensity has slowed down. That magical time when it’s just you and your baby.

People commented on how lucky you are to have a friend like me, while I’m certainly not going to argue with them (what? humility is overrated) I am going to say it is me who is blessed to have you as a friend.

Our friendship may have started because of the Internet, but it was designed by God.

You are forever a part of my family and heart.

Thank you.

Thank you for being you.

And thank you for letting me be with you two years ago and last night as you welcomed your sons into this world.

xoxo

-Casey

(note: my mobile theme is wonky and won’t show photos on most mobile devices, sorry about that, click for full site to view photos.)

master of the (random) ankle biting universe.

percy high on the 'nip

DUDE YOU GUYS I CAN TASTE SUNSHINE.

This cat, he hides in the curtains all “YOU CAN’T SEE ME” style and then runs out and attacks your ankles as you walk by.

percy takes off.

Ninja style suckas!

Then there’s the one eyed cat who got tangled up in a cord tonight and tried to escape by chewing my leg off THROUGH MY PANTS as I tried to help him.

stinker.

He has an actual grumpy time. 7 pm to bedtime this cat is the most crotchety cat in the county.

The night before last, Cody admitted the only reason he uses blankets is so monsters can’t get to him as he sleeps (perfectly logical.)

At some point in the night his hand slipped out from under the covers and over the edge of the bed.

Wink nibbled his fingers.

It’s taken Cody approximately 48 hours to recover.

Thankfully when it’s just Vivi and me during they day they keep their psychotic cat tendencies to a minimum.

Unless there’s a squirrel outside, in that case ALL BETS ARE OFF.

ZOMG SQUIRREL!

They’ve only been here two and a half months but I honestly can’t remember life without them.

Or these guys.

babywearing cody doing dishes.

Why yes that is my husband wearing a chubby baby whilst doing dishes…

On an even more unrelated note…

This is a photo of Vivi victoriously holding up a wooden chew toy shaped like Indiana, much the same way He-Man held aloft his half of the Power Sword.

victory.

I have…THE POWWWERRR!

(baby babble) cats, crying, photos, wraps and destroyer babies.

 

 

 

(big babble) love, adoration, questionable barbies and macaroni the pony.

 

to the new one, the lurker, the regular and the old timer

I’ve noticed many people quitting lately. I’ve come across boxes of business cards from conferences that happened years ago and realized many of these people aren’t around anymore. Well, I’m sure the people are around, but their online persona has disappeared. Dozens of more people show up everyday and it makes me even more desperate to reach out to the people who have been here from the beginning…Angela, Colleen, Chrysta, Bree, Brittany, Sarah, Beth, Shannon, Dawn, Mandy…I know you all by name and seeing your email address in my inbox is a constant comfort to me that things haven’t changed that much and that people do stick around.

I’ve realized that while I have been plodding away with all of this because it is so much of who I am, I have been doing it with blinders. Unless something or someone stands right in front of me and says “LOOK AT ME. LOOK AT THIS.” I often miss it. It’s not that I don’t care, because I genuinely do, there are just some days it feels like such a fight to keep going myself. No matter how long you have been around chances are you have noticed a change. People are commenting less, reading less, clicking through less…but they certainly aren’t caring less. I have kept all of this up because first and foremost it is for me, for my girls, for my own emotional health. In all of the surviving I have been doing over the last several years I feel as though I am suddenly coming out of a dense fog surrounded by thousands of new voices and I’m convinced that each of them is more talented, more resonating and more entertaining than my own. Five years ago I would have felt an overwhelming desire to quit. Today I’m grateful to still be numbered among them, noticed on occasion and I will be eternally grateful that I have been able to help a handful of them.

I know there are things I need to upgrade and update. All this mobile theme talk…mine is practically non existent. Photos don’t show up. *shrugs* Not everyone cares that my site is easily navigated on the latest and greatest phone. They care that I show up on occasion and that I continue to fight through the difficulties I’ve been dealt.

That’s what I care about too.

Technically speaking the tools I’m using to put my words out into the world are outdated and certainly not geared towards prime traffic or major exposure. But my heart, my heart has grown on these virtual pages. I feel as thought I don’t belong to much of anything and yet I have been blessed to be a part of everything. I know so many of you. I wish I knew so many more of you. Writing has become the infrastructure that holds me up through the darkness. It may not be eloquent, properly punctuated or executed but they are all tiny threads that combine into one unbreakable rope that keeps me upright.

To those of you who are just starting to find your feet on this path so many of us have been on for so long? Welcome, I hope you find all the joy and wonder I have found in my time here. I’m grateful to be here with you. To be counted among you as part of this social network that has brought us together like never before. Nothing should be scary anymore, nothing should be impossible because suddenly we have access to thousands of men and women who have been were we are or are headed where we too are going.

I know people are still out there reading…the numbers tell me they are. Even if they weren’t I would still keep writing because maybe someday someone will stumble across them when they need them most. Like Hande in Turkey who is pregnant and scared. Or Vinessa who is going through invasive treatments to get her baby here. Or Erin who is scared that her mental illness may pass on to the children that she too is so desperately trying to get here as well.

Six years ago I sat down and thought “I’m going to start a blog. If Heather can do it, so can I. And maybe one day I too will make someone laugh until they pee or feel until they cry.

I never imagined I would have landed here.

Keep it up, whatever your part is here on the Internet, because you matter. You matter to me. From the lurkiest reader to the most engaged, from my very pregnant best friend I talk to daily to the girl I hugged that one time in an elevator.

You matter.

(Yes, you…what you have to say matters.)

eight months-9929

Completely unrelated, a photo of my very chubby baby pinching her own pinchable parts and poking her bellybutton.

It just feels strange not to include a picture when I have so many.