I’m not a very emotional person. Or I should say that I never used to be. Once I got pregnant, it’s like everything had a meaning, and most of the time whatever it was, it made me cry. I still cry at random things – movies, talk radio, commercials, etc. But, I cry at bad thoughts a lot. I think bad thoughts a lot. Not bad as in wrong, bad as in sad, or painful.
Today is Gene’s Dad’s birthday; just seeing it on my calendar made me lose my breath. I look at Gene and the man that he has become, and I wonder why God would have him hurt so badly. He has already lost both of his parents at such a young age. He doesn’t show emotion about it anymore. Once the funerals were over he was stone-faced about anything having to do with his parents. Still is.
Gene’s Mom died from breast cancer that spread throughout her body in December of 2009 (I think, I’m bad with dates). Gene’s Dad passed in his sleep just this past Leap Day (death certificate reads March 1, 2012 though).
I thought that his Mom’s passing would have been the hardest on him. He was always such a “Mama’s Boy.” I used to give him such hell over it, but if I could go back in time I wouldn’t say a word knowing she didn’t have as long with him as she’d hoped. Vera and I never got along though so at the time I never found it acceptable that she fuss over him like she did. After all, he had me, right? Ugh, I wish I could go back in time!
Judging by my previous paragraph I’m sure you guessed that Eugene’s passing was harder on Gene. Gene received a phone call at work on 3/1/12 letting him know that his Dad hasn’t shown up for work in two days. Obviously, a bad sign to begin with. I made a few calls and found that his car was home, but he wasn’t answering the door. I then called the landlord and the police. Gene left work right away to get over there, and I started on the long journey there as well. Before I even made it to the ferry the Police Department called to inform me that they found Eugene in bed, unresponsive. It seems he had laid down for a nap before work the day before and never woke again. Gene was there.
I think the big difference between the two is that with Vera, we knew the outcome. We knew it would just be a matter of time (short time). Gene got a call one day that said something along the lines of “get here, and get here now.” He was there with his Mom when she took her last breath. And she did it so peacefully that they barely noticed she was gone. I’d like to think that she had her favorite people there with her to make her feel safe enough to go (Gene, Eugene and her sister Virginia).
With Eugene, it was opposite for Gene. He felt remorse for not checking on his Dad more often; for not knowing that he wasn’t at work when they worked in the same vicinity. He felt bad that he died alone. What made things one hundred times worse was the fact that we were expecting a baby.  
As I’m sure most of you know, we didn’t reveal the sex of our baby, even though we knew it ourselves.  Eugene told anyone and everyone he came across that he was going to be a Grandpa. He was so excited. He carried around a picture of Emma at 9 weeks in his wallet, and brought it out to show the people he told. Before, during and after the funeral that’s all we heard – Eugene was ranting and raving that he will be a Grandpa in the summer.
After the day we found Eugene, Gene held it together pretty well. He had to. Eugene had done all the work for Vera’s funeral a couple years before and we had NO IDEA just how much he had done. I took about a week off work, Gene took two. We had to plan the memorial service, the burial, and what to do with all of his possessions. I wasn’t much help with moving his apartment and the garage sale and such because I was 5 months pregnant. I handled most of the bills and paperwork because Gene didn’t want to talk to anyone. I was fine with it. I did whatever I could to make him hurt less. I have no idea if I helped at all though.
The hardest part that March was nighttime. Once the sun went down and it got into the late hours of the day, and Gene’s body became tired, his mind began to wonder. I won’t get into it for his sake, but it was hard on him. It would be on anyone, and I’m amazed at how well he handled everything. I still am.
The day Emma was born Gene was so proud. You could tell that he wanted to show his parents his daughter. You could tell it broke his heart. It makes me feel bad that I didn’t want to have a baby while they were still around.
Fast forward to today. I stop and watch Gene with Emma, and my heart aches. His parents would have loved her! Especially Eugene. I see him in Emma. I want to tell Gene that… that I see them in her. But I don’t. I want to tell him that they would have loved her. But I don’t. I hate that he hurts. So I just don’t bring it up. Neither does he.
One more thing that gets to me is the fact that we never visit them. We haven’t even introduced them to Emma (that may sound silly). Growing up, my parents never visited gravesites; they said that the dead are gone and it’s just bodies left behind - that there is no reason to go back. My parents aren’t Catholic like Gene’s family, and I think that’s a big part of Catholics… to visit the deceased.
I feel bad for not being more emotional about Gene’s parents before, and now I feel like it’s too late. I don’t want him to dredge up all of those thoughts and emotions again just so I can explain it to him. But, I also don’t want him to think I didn’t care. I cared. I care. Present tense.
So, until the day that I can suck it up and have an emotional breakdown with my husband, I guess I will keep it all bottled up inside. Until then, I hope he doesn’t resent me for not showing how I felt.


I, Have a 6 Month Old

Yes, my little girl is 6 months old. 6 whole months.

While six months doesn't seem like much to you probably, it is to me. Each day seems like 3, so really, to me, she's like 18 months old. Okay, so that doesn't make much sense really, but hear me when I say that six baby months arelong and hard.
I am a very strong woman. I am independent; while I wouldn't see it any other way, I can do without a husband. I can handle loads of physical pain; always could. What I could not handle is being a single parent. Before my husband got comfortable (which was only like a month ago) you may as well have considered me one. I didn't enjoy it at all. I don't see how women do it. I guess if I had to I could, but I cried a lot. A LOT.
So, now that Emma is more independent, and Gene is more comfortable with her, we are in a good spot. We share responsibilities. We have more of an understanding of how stressed we can get. All in all, we are a well rounded family now. I'm loving it!
So I've decided that each of Emma's doctor appointments I would take off of work the entire day so that I don't miss a single shot, question, answer, etc. Today was her 6 month check-up. Things went well. Here's how it went down.
The nurse came in first thing and took Emma's measurements. This is the part I get most anxious for. At this visit, Emma's stats were:
-         Head Circumference = 43.3cm (85%)

-         Weight = 20lbs, 12oz (98%)

-         Height = 29 ¼ in. (97%)

-         Projected Height = 5’10” (yeah, right)
Dr. Murphy says all her measurements are good. He did say not to expect her to be thin as a pretzel, but more built as a line backer. Not sure how I feel about that. But, what can you do. At least I know she won’t be scrawny and frail. She can stand her own ground. J
He noticed that she caught my cold. She didn’t cough, but he somehow knew she has one. Weird. We explained that this is her second cold. He told us that if she runs a fever of 101 for three days to take her in. Otherwise, a cold is a cold and there’s nothing to do about it. For the time being we will move her cold mist vaporizer next to her bed, use the aspirator a few times a day, andmake sure she’s eating a ton and getting lots and lots of fluids. Dr. Murphy did listen to her lungs and say they were clear as well.
We talked about her “red” spots. She keeps getting red marks where her skin touches other skin. So, the crease at the back of her knee, her ankles, and the worst spot, the right side of her neck. Emma has “no neck” as you’d say. Most babies' necks aren’t visible unless they are standing or reaching. Emma doesn’t stand much, so it gets irritated. Almost like the skin under your wedding ring. Am I making any sense? Anyway, as usual, we were instructed to use diaper rash ointment on those areas at bedtime, which we will continue. Like doc said, it can only do so much.
Another issue we had was her feet. No, there’s nothing wrong with them. We were only asking because when Em jumps in her jumperoo, or when she stands to play, or walks with assistance, she curls her toes under so that she’s putting all her pressure on them. It doesn’t seem to bother her, and it doesn’t appear that it’s doing any permanent harm, but we had to ask. As expected, doc said they are fine.
All in all we are good. Even advanced, since she is already sitting unassisted. Here are what I thought were the highlights of her appointment.
-         While I was talking to the doctor, Gene was playing with Emma to keep her from fussing since we were past lunch time. The doctor stopped to note how well Emma interacted with him. I never thought anything ofit because she is much more involved with the rest of us normally, but he was so amazed at how Emma was listening intently and responding well to him. He was just so delighted! I do have to admit that her and Gene have their own language. We all play with her differently, and even as I type this out I listen to them in the kitchen and she is just Chatty Cathy with him. She barely ever talks to me. She’s more about the physical interaction with me.

-         We are good to begin table food. I’m nervous about this. There are some rules though. The biggest is no whole milk. That doesn’t mean Vitamin D like we initially thought. It means that if she eats table food, we cannot add milk to it. Meaning, if we make mashed potatoes, we can’t add cold milk as we are mashing them. We must add milk to the hot potatoes and COOK the milk into them while still on the stove. **Cow’s milk to an infant’s digestive system causes ulcers in the gut and anemia as well.** Either way, we find this one too hard to deal with (and scary) so we are just going with the no milk whatsoever rule. We also cannot use any spices other than salt and pepper. Oh, she can also have things like ice cream (contrary to the milk issue), but not fancy cream-based ice creams. I don’t think we will allow this though (see next point).

-         Because of her stature, we were warned to avoid “simple carbs.” So, just like me, she is cursed with the rule of “a minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.” Or however that saying goes. He says simple carbs (like crackers, cookies, bread, etc.) are quick to go in and quick to come out, but it leaves a lot of empty calories inside. He says that if we introduce those foods early, she is bound to be overweight. So, we will stick with wholesome foods. It’s okay, we needed to change up our diet anyway. Did I mention though that I never had cookies or cake until I was like 9? I never had a soda until Iwas in middle school and able to buy it on my own. I feel like the poor little girl is doomed to have her Momma’s frame no matter what.

-         It’s sippy cup time. I said that some of my Twitter friends had suggested a real cup before a sippy cup so that she can see the fluid coming at her, but doc says it’s not necessary and after a few tries she will be an expert drinker. So, Gene is in the kitchen right now boiling some sippy cups so I can pound out this blog. I’ll let you all know how that goes on the next blog.
-        There are four top teeth coming in now. That explains her need to chew on anything and everything. It worries me a bit to have somany trying to come through. I mean, she already has been having bouts of crankiness, this is just going to add fuel to the fire. Here’s hoping that the next teeth will be as easy… or at least not any worse than the first ones.
So, that’s it. That’s the gist. Emma is sitting up great. She is happier than ever. She is attempting to crawl every day. I cannot wait to see where we go from here. J It can only get better. Right?