Nervous Energy

Well, it’s been all about keeping busy in a climate of we-know-something-but-can-tell-you-nothing-but-it-could-have-everything-to-do-with-your-job. I’m a girl who likes to know things, so I’m going a little crazy.

Andy and I have created several Plans B, if you will, but none of them are turnkey and we just don’t love any of our options in the event that I am let go. Sigh.

So we’re just trying to fill our dance cards for evenings and weekends. This weekend, we visited the National Mustard Day festival in Middleton. They are serious about their mustard, man. It was a gorgeous day. Folks around here were complaining about how hot it was that day, but we’ve lived in Texas – we know better. 😉

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Graham tried the climbing wall.

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Just… no comment. Graham was so excited to see the Wienermobile, and it just makes me sad right now. Things are just not how they should be, and it all feels pretty unfair. But I, like any mother would, pushed it down and mugged for the camera.

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He makes a pretty cute hot dog.

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Reid and Andy searched for food. Free hot dogs! Free mustard! (Ketchup? $10) See what I mean? They are serious!

Don’t worry, Jim Gaffigan. They’re on it.

Otherwise, this weekend we did our darndest to keep the kids busy. Graham lost TV privileges this weekend, so we had to get creative.

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One roll of painter’s tape = highway network for matchbox cars!

I’ve also been systematically decluttering our house. I chose to start with the unfinished basement (?!), so it’s plugging along slowly. This weekend I made it to – dun dun DUNNNN! – the baby stuff.

I’ll be frank. It’s looking more and more like we’re going to be a family of 4. Logic is sort of in the vein of: know what you can handle. We’re so wishy-washy though, we refuse to completely shut the door on the possibility. So fine. We’re operating under the assumption that we will not be having any more kids and decluttering the stuff accordingly. The only things we’re keeping are things that: (a) are akin to keepsakes for the boys, super special jammies and nice outfits, handmade things, etc or (b) don’t take up huge swaths of space and would be expensive or a complete pain in the rear to replace.

Case in point – I’m keeping the breastpump, but allllllllll the nursing supplies, covers, storage necessities are gone. Even bottles. The carseats will go after they grow out of them. Not sure about the crib yet, but we’re thumbing our nose at old wives’ tales and leaning toward giving it the heave-ho.

Anyway, because I know this is all so fascinating… there is something cathartic and empowering to decluttering. I’m sort of done storing stuff we are only keeping around ‘just in case’.  I’m selling a few marketable things on a Facebook community. I’m passing on treasured things to friends. And I’m loading up a carful each weekend to take to goodwill.

Mostly though, it just keeps me busy. I’ve got a ton of nervous energy, so I’m channeling it the best I know how.

Better than doing nothing while we wait.

Too Much Noise

I’ve heard from a few people lately, curious why I haven’t been posting. On here, on Facebook, on the family photo stream.

I don’t have an answer, except to say that I recognize that I’m withdrawing. Almost like I’m protecting myself. From what, I can’t quite articulate, except to say that there is too much input for my head right now. More incoming information than I can fully process.

  • Family vacations
  • New babies
  • Celebrity news
  • International terrors

And there are so, so, so many opinions on everything: victories/defeats of social movements, how we should be parenting our kids – or not, decluttering, redecorating, saving, spending, the good old days.

If that’s not enough, everyone – including myself – has apps on their phones and devices that allow them to not only weigh in on today’s happenings but also experience the nostalgia of what transpired on this particular day 1, 2, 3 or even 5 years ago.

I have so much noise going on in my life right now without ever opening an app, turning on the TV or flipping on the radio, that I’ve found myself almost repelled by the thought of introducing more.

Michael Ginsberg, Mad Men. His nipples are unforgettable.



This merger that closed with my company a few weeks ago? It’s huge. Like… we all said it would mean big things, and I think we all underestimated what that really meant. I’m preparing myself for the possibility that I may not have a job here in a few weeks. Or… I might. I might still be reporting in through R&D… or I could be a part of the marketing function. My job could still be in Madison… or I might report in through a central office in the Chicago area. These are all very real possibilities that swirl in the air.

What work looks like post-merger is like a huge puzzle, and they’re laying down one piece at a time through a series of emails. A lot of times, just like a puzzle, the announcements are filling in details for big pieces we already knew existed. But every so often, new pieces are laid down that reveal a new element that you had no idea was going to be a part of the picture.

That’s all I really feel comfortable saying.


Meanwhile, in light of all of this, I’ve been quieting my head by focusing on family and enjoying our perfect Wisconsin summer.




Graham picked me some flowers at school.


I’ve been having so much fun with my new hobby. Paper had better run and hide, because nothing is safe!!


Our evenings are often spent playing out back. The kids have been having a blast with the neighbor kids. We and the two houses next to us all have kids around the same age. The kids have been spending a lot of time running around in a giant pack between the three backyards. Lesson learned, if I want to offer the kids a popsicle, I’d better have at least six to hand out.


We joined a CSA this summer. You may have never heard of one, but they are a part of mainstream vocabulary around here. What it means for us is that we bring home a big box of fresh vegetables every week and have to figure out how to cook, eat or preserve them before we pick up next week’s box. It’s a lot of veggies, and we have learned how to cook with bok choy, turnips, kohlrabi, fennel, and many other new things. I have had so much fun (and have eaten so much salad) with this challenge. And the kids have cemented their love and hate for many new things. :)





If you don’t hear from me right now, don’t worry. It probably just means I’m playing trains in the basement or pulling weeds in the garden… watching kids play or sitting with Andy in the cool breeze watching the sun set over the fields.

And my phone’s back in the house somewhere. If you call it to catch up, I promise I’ll answer.

When the Worst Happens

I couldn’t bear to think about it, much less write about it – but time is moving forward, and I need to get this out before I leave this completely in the past.

We lost our baby.

Later on the morning of December 6th, at Andy’s encouragement, I called the doctor again. I was at work – I had ended up going in that morning. While I was a little worried that things might become unbearable – Pain? Discomfort? I didn’t really know what to expect – I knew I needed to try and carry on as well as I could manage. Pain never really swept me away. Mild discomfort was all I ever really experienced.

I left a message with the doctor and the nurse said she’d have her call me back. I hate that. It’s hard to find a private place to talk on the fly.

I had a vendor in that morning, a flavor company. They were interested in starting some long term research with our team. I sat in a meeting with my boss and the vendor and we discussed objectives and plans and other work stuff like that. I noticed I missed a callback from my doctor.

Then, the vendor wanted to take us out to lunch. So, we all piled in one car and left for a Thai place. As we were walking in, my phone rang again – my doctor calling a second time. I thanked my lucky stars that I was presented with such a graceful opportunity for privacy. I told everyone I’d meet them inside. I stayed out in the cold and, shivering, relayed everything that had transgressed since I’d seen her last. She wanted me to come in.

That afternoon, I had to exit a team meeting, smack in the middle of our agenda, to leave for the doctor. I met Andy in the parking lot. Not much waiting in the waiting room, they called me back quickly. A quick weight and blood pressure check with my cheery nurse who assured us that everything was probably okay, and they ushered me and Andy to Sonogoraphy.

This would make for my third ultrasound with my third different sonographer that week. The sonographer asked me what we expected the baby to be measuring. I told her 6 weeks, 4 days, per our appointment yesterday. She said, “You had an ultrasound yesterday?” I said, “Yes.” She continued looking in silence at the screen and moving her wand around. Eventually she said, “I’m so sorry, but I see absolutely no sign of pregnancy today.”

“None?!” I asked, “No… nothing?” She said, “It seems like you’ve passed everything.”

And that was it. We met with my doctor who talked some things through with us. It’s pretty straightforward. I was six weeks in, the first trimester is tough. Yes, my risk of miscarriage went down statistically because we’d seen a heartbeat, but there are no guarantees.

We’ve been making it through this week. Graham’s been a bear to deal with, so that has at least been some distraction – although I could quite honestly live with less attitude. 😛 We’re doing okay, and I know we’ll be okay. It just hurts for now.

Losing Hope

My condition is worsening, and it’s becoming more and more clear with the hours that go by that this pregnancy is not going well. I’m losing hope that we’re going to come through this together. And by ‘we’, I mean me and baby.

And I’m sad. So desperately and acutely sad.

Of course, we have no confirmation of anything. I can’t really call and request an ultrasound every day. What if the heart is still beating? Does that give me hope or just more worry? It couldn’t possibly make me feel any better.

All I wanted to do today was curl up in a pile of blankets and wish this last week away. But I had a little boy in his crib with a wet diaper who had a plan for his day that didn’t include watching me mope on the couch. And I had an 8:30 meeting this morning that somehow got rescheduled from the 11:00 I had to miss yesterday because I needed an emergency ultrasound. AND the cleaning lady was coming this morning.

I heard God pret-ty clearly saying, “Go. Get on with your life.” So, I listened. We’ll see where this decides to go.

Worry, Fear and Doubt

After all that floating on Cloud 9 about the baby I was busy doing last week, I sure came in for a crash landing on Saturday.

Let me back up a little bit. During my first appointment, the doctor noted that my sonographer had discovered “some bleeding behind the baby.” She told me that if I started having any issues, to come in and get an ultrasound.

Well, in the midst of cookie-making on Saturday, my little hematoma decided to make its presence known. So I dealt with that on Saturday… and Sunday… and into today. I called the doctor’s office, and they got me an appointment to come in at 11:00 a.m.

Here’s the good news. The baby has grown since the last time we came in. There is also a heartbeat. The baby could be bigger, and the heartbeat could be faster, but at least their measurements make sense with each other, even if they’re both a little bit on the low side. It’s nothing that, in and of itself, is cause for concern.

The doctor was less than reassuring. She stated facts. The baby has grown since last time, and there is a heartbeat. The bleed they saw last time hasn’t shrunk and, if anything, has gotten bigger. She preferred to say it was the same size. The bleed is likely the cause of my issues. She said that it will likely reabsorb into my body. But, she made clear, I’m not out of the woods. I’m still only 6 and a half freaking weeks along. Anything can happen.

To add to this whole general level of discomfort with the goings-on within my body is the almost complete and utter LACK OF DISCOMFORT that I’m experiencing. Seriously? Easiest 1st trimester ever. No nausea, no real food aversions, exhaustion relatively correlated to how much activity I’m putting in with my almost 2-year-old. All of this, of course, gives the doctor further pause about the ultimate viability of this baby. You can tell. She kind of shrugged and said that maybe we just have a kid who marches to the beat of a different drummer. And then she smiled an unconvincing smile.

So we wait until our next appointment the first week in January. That is, unless I start showing some really obvious signs of badness, then she wants me to come back in. It makes sense, there’s nothing she can do for me but wait it out and see what this little one decides to do.

Times like these I really try and remember that there is a plan for me. There is a plan for this baby. There is a plan for my children. For Andy. I just really wish I was able to know what the plan is. It would take so much guesswork out of it, even though I know that’s not the point.