Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Mommy Heartbreak

Warning!!! This is NOT an upbeat, happy post. Do not proceed if you do not wish to read my aggravations, and potentially become aggravated yourself.

So, most of you know I'm a writer.
Of sorts.
I write for an online marketing company and basically get a random slew of topics to write articles and blog posts about. Anything and everything from campgrounds and wholesale flower markets to marine refrigeration and industrial grinding mediums. Usually not terribly fascinating stuff, but bearable.

Today I had to write an article for an abortion clinic. Promoting the abortion pill.

I didn't want to. Despite my feminist leanings, I am passionately anti-abortion. The only reason I keep this job at all is because it allows me to maintain a (very) modest income while staying at home with my baby. So I can be a mom.

I started doing a little research and checking out the website for this abortion clinic to find something I could write about without making myself literally ill, and it had the opposite effect.

There was a happy, smiley paragraph about terminating "problem" pregnancies in which the baby has some disorder or is imperfect. It talked about all the expense and heartbreak they could spare you by terminating pregnancies of babies that were less than perfect.

That was when I started to cry.

Six days ago my beautiful baby started crossing her eyes. Not constantly, but every now and then, and it would take me a while to get her to snap out of it. It became more frequent every day until I called the doctor. My doctor told me this is not normal for a child her age, and referred me to a local pediatric ophthalmologist. I'll take her in tomorrow for two hours of testing, with the possibility that she may need surgery, special glasses, or other measures to straighten out her eyes that were perfectly normal a week ago.

I know this connection is tenuous, if that, but it broke my heart to think of someone being encouraged to terminate a baby that was going to be less than perfect.

And I had to write for them.

I hope I don't go to hell. Or that anyone actually reads the article I wrote. I promise it was lame and completely neutral.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Snowy Snowy Day

On New Year's Day Pete and I had the stunningly brilliant idea to take Amelia sledding. Apparently, every other family in the Provo-Orem area had the same idea, because the park (there is only one sledding park in the county--and that is Rock Canyon Park by the Provo Temple) was jam packed.

If we hadn't determined to stick to the bunny slopes (there were parents letting children younger than Amelia try their luck on the black diamond slopes--if you think I'm exaggerating about these hills, check out the park) we might have just stood at the top of the hill all afternoon waiting for the train-wrecks to clear up so we could take our turn.

The mild hills were a bit too tame for Pete; he got a little bored and antsy after a while, but Amelia loved it. Provided she didn't have to actually sit in the snow at any point.

Friday, January 1, 2010

This is how we spent Christmas

Christmas Party with the Tidwell's

I knew the plan was to act out the Nativity with all the grandkids, so I decided to make Amelia a lamb costume. Everyone kept saying she was the cutest little teddy bear they'd ever seen--so apparently the whole lamb thing didn't really come across. But I still make her wear the hat when we go out and it makes strangers happy to see her wear it everywhere we go. Really. It's astonishing how many comments we get. So I consider the project a success. I may start selling teddy bear hats online. Or at least make one for my new niece.

Oh, and of course Pete made a Christmas cake for the party. This is Jiveen the Snowman. Don't ask where I came up with that name, it just came to me. I loved him and it was kind of sad to serve him for dessert. I didn't have the heart to eat any of him. Red velvet, in case you were wondering.

Then, on to Christmas Eve with the McKinlay's; Temple Square:

The very best part of this little field trip was that as soon as my family started walking around the temple grounds we saw a group of four darling old men wearing bow ties standing together and tuning their voices. They were a barber shop quartet! And we had the good fortune to be just in time to hear them sing Christmas carols. They only sang two songs before dispersing, so really is was quite good luck to catch them. Definitely my highlight.

Other highlights:

Amelia riding the Tracks. She was chatting away at the top of her lungs and making faces at the other passengers--she is a very friendly baby.

Family picture.

We just about never take family pictures, but I didn't want to miss this opportunity to get all of us together in front of the temple where Pete and I were married. I even allowed Bob-the-stroller to be in the picture, as it is a bit of a hassle to load the babydoll in and out when she's bundled up like an overstuffed burrito. (Oh, and if you are noticing that my hair looks a bit mad, you are not wrong. I look like a lion who has discovered humidity. The gently falling snow, though beautiful, has some drawbacks.)

Taking Amelia to see Jesus.

I'm just now realizing we never did take her to see Santa Clause this year. I can feel ok about seeing Jesus instead.)

Christmas Eve at home.

I've been looking forward to taking photos of Amelia by the Christmas tree on her first Christmas since she was born.

She did better than I expected with the Christmas tree; she never did pull it completely over on top of herself. However, the bottom foot and a half of the tree was void of decorations. An unfortunate, but necessary arrangement.

Christmas was wonderful. Merry Christmas, we love you, even if we never did get around to sending out Christmas cards this year!

Baby New Year

Last night I was lying in bed thinking about the past year, and to be perfectly honest, getting just slightly depressed about the prospects for this new year. I was thinking that nothing was going to really change in 2010 (I know, I must have momentarily forgotten that I have a child, and really forgotten how fast she's growing up and changing). But I was thinking that Pete will still be in school, we will still be living in the same apartment (oh, it has character) and I'll still be working from home writing boring rubbish for an online marketing company for the foreseeable future. These were my pleasant thoughts as I welcomed in the new year and drifted off to sleep.

Then this morning the world changed. My sister had a New Year's baby. A girl, called Caroline Jane. I am an Auntie, and Amelia has a cousin. she even looks a little bit like Amelia.

I know, babies are born all the time. But when a new baby comes into your family it has a way of making you think about things that maybe you don't think about often, like what a miracle your own child is, and how heart-melting it is to watch your husband grow into a really great father. At least those are the kinds of things it made me think about.

I had to pull out all Amelia's newborn photos and remember what it was like to hold her squirmy body for the first time and smell her hair (and be grateful that she had hair).

Amelia was beautiful. Amelia is beautiful. My wonderful (and handsome) husband never ceases to impress me and make me proud. And I have so much to look forward to in 2010.