Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I forgot about sleep. Well, really, I forgot about the lack of sleep. I talked myself through it months ago... "Listen, self. In a few months, there will be a baby, and you will never sleep at all, and you will feel like you're going insane and maybe you need a divorce or at least a facelift and you will ask yourself where have all the flowers gone, but it will be because of NOT SLEEPING, so tell yourself to take it easy on yourself for a few months, and then it will get easier." That's a little glimpse into a veteran parent self pep-talk.

Despite my prep work, I forgot. Tristan sleeps 2 or 3 hours at a time, sometimes even more. Some of my other children ate every hour and a half, so this seems reasonable. And there I am, awake in the middle of the night, over and over, checking to see if anybody else is awake on Facebook and feeling okay. Really, in the middle of the night I feel like, no big deal, I'm awake now, I will be awake in 3 hours and then I will be awake all day, and it won't be hard.

Then, at 7 am-ish, the other children come, with their sagging diapers and burning questions about the nature of God and eating habits of beavers, and demands for cereal. Lately, they've given up hope and started eating cheese sticks until some adult staggers downstairs. I lay there, with the baby now sleeping soundly and peacefully, and think, wow. This is gonna be tired.

I remember being mad, when the other kids were babies. Being awake made me angry. I don't so much have that, this time. I just have denial. I feel fine, I tell myself. Totally normal. And then I find myself standing in front of the pantry, thinking. For a long time. And I could eat crackers, but they're just so much work. Or I assess Toby, wearing jeans that are 2 sizes and 6 inches too small with a t-shirt and a pinstriped blazer, and shoes with no socks. It's 34 degrees, I think, but that is kind of a jacket. Okay, that looks fine. I start sentences and can't

I'm tired. I'm trying to be normal and write blogs and cook food, but it is so tired. It is so very worth it, and so very tired.

Monday, November 29, 2010

If you're new around here, you might not know that I am a celebrator, married to a non-celebrator, when it comes to Christmas. He celebrates plenty when his new multi-channel snake with titanium overlays or banana clips or something comes via UPS. He celebrates when he, in a continual pursuit of studio excellence, finds a faux snare that sounds like a Europop band in his digital setup. But the birth of our LORD, not so much.

As a child, I would begin preliminary drafts of my Christmas list in August. My dad and I would get the tree as soon as Thanksgiving was over and the check wouldn't bounce. Once the MOG and I started dating, we pulled him into all the holiday customs, with the eggnog and the cinnamon rolls and the utter disdain for artificial trees, and the chopping trees down at a tree farm and so on. He would come along, because he liked us and me, specifically. It wasn't until we were married a few years that I figured out his secret. He wasn't that into Christmas.

Would I have married him, knowing that? Well, yes. I broke up with him for bankrupting my dad at Monopoly, but honestly, I was hooked on the guy and accepted his lame apology for that, so I doubt anything would have swayed me.

A few years ago, somewhere around the time that our radio station started playing Christmas carols from Thanksgiving day through New Years, he threw down an ultimatum. Christmas could not begin prior to December 1st. I, being all kinds of submissive, accepted. Then I stepped it UP as soon as December came around. All carols, all the time. Homemade cinnamon potpourri. Christmas lights inside and outside. The tallest, fattest tree I could find, covered in lights and tinsel. A 2 foot dancing Santa, singing Jingle Bell Rock and gyrating on the mantle.

Then Toby happened. Toby is all about celebration. He wakes up screaming with excitement for Valentine's Day. "A special EVENT! It's a special EVENT TODAY!!" He has no idea of the mythological elements of Santa Claus, just that he is the Christmas guy and anything that has to do with Christmas is SO EXCITING.  Brynn is following in his footsteps, cheering the female (?) Santa at McDonald's and singing songs about snowmen...The MOG is weakening. He let us buy outdoor lights at Target, even with the implication that he would be putting them up. And when we found an all-Christmas station the day after Thanksgiving, he let it stay. "FELIZ NAVIDAD!" cry Toby and Brynn. So it begins.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

All babies are strangers. They come to us, with their mysterious knowledge of the womb, disturbed by our bright world of noise and busyness. They carry a stillness that we aren’t familiar with. They cry, and we have to figure out why. Some babies sleep on their backs, some on their tummies. Mine likes to be held, all the time. You never know a new baby. You learn them.

So this one, who I did not carry in my body, is no more or less of a stranger than the ones I delivered. I remember trying to settle in to Toby’s name, trying it on my tongue for days after he was born, seeing if that’s who he was. He wasn’t, not for a little while.

I’m only speaking for myself, but usually when I do that, people say they feel, or felt the same way, and I imagine this is the same. Loving a baby is very easy, even with their demands and their neediness. They need you, and you love them, and then they love you.

In the morning, the sun is finally up and I look over to see two serious blue half-moon eyes looking at me. This world is new to him, and he’s going to teach me all about it. I put my hand on his tiny chest and he curls his whole hand around my finger. I am his, and he is safe. Now we begin our day.

Friday, November 26, 2010

In years past, I have waxed poetic about Thanksgiving. We usually celebrate with family, in multiple households. We go a couple of places on Thursday and eat like Americans, and then on the weekend we eat something non-patriotic with Viking Granny, since she's not from here.


This year, we got a baby and stayed in Missouri for Thanksgiving. I got homesick and cried on Wednesday, but Thursday, I was busy eating. I cooked like a grownup for us and a few friends, and we even ate on real plates. The MOG and I made an executive decision and banned turkey, green beans and cranberry sauce, because we don't like them.

It was one of those beautiful, sleepy days, and I had the realization that we are a family. That we're making traditions and memories that these kids will treasure and maybe even carry on. Who knows, maybe someday turkey will be eradicated from the Clark family lines forever? It's a crazy dream, I know.

Also yesterday, the furnace died. It's being replaced now, but it was 21 degrees last night, so we bundled everybody up and camped out in our room with 3 space heaters. It was sweet going to sleep with all of us in the same space. It was less romantic when they all started waking up and only had the one room to use while getting out their wiggles. The house outside our room is FRIGID. I'm trying to hunker in place, but a trip to the outside world is likely. YIKES.



BABY SHOWER!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Moms gotta cope. Some of you might use meth, or salsa dancing. I use a computer. That is, I give my children to a computer, and they play PBS kids or Starfall or what have you for hours, if necessary. In the meantime, I read books and write blogs and even, on occasion, do housework. During certain seasons of my life, I have leaned more heavily than others. It's coping, folks, and it has worked. Until now.

Upon arriving home with my 4th child, the MacMini died. Just kaput. Gave up the ghost. Kicked the proverbial bucket. Now, in its defense, it is very old, and it has been through a lot, like having 3 DVDs shoved in it at one time, having popsicle sticks lodged in the CD drive, and being dropped and vigorously unplugged, as a defensive tactic. It lived a good life.


I, on the other hand, face new challenges. Like most young and neglectful parents, I had intended on setting some boundaries and locking down on computer time really, really soon, just not the first week home with a newborn. I had even expressed to the MOG that I was planning to totally phone it in this week and let them veg, for the sake of my own sleep and sanity.

But no. God in heaven laughed at my plans, and reached out and smote my MacMini. I would be in a crisis of faith, but I'm too tired. The 3 big kids have decided to spend the time formerly given to PBS to me, alternately sitting on me and jumping on my organs, and petting the baby, and reading my text messages over my shoulder with commentary. They've also given themselves to the pursuit of finding their own snacks, and have eaten most of a 72 pack of American cheese slices. They made birthday cards for Liz, using an inkstamp on the paper, the table, and their hands, and decorated their faces with markers. They experimented with pouring a bag of popcorn on the floor and kicking it around. They made "snow" in the sunroom out of a large block of styrofoam, which is evidently impervious to being swept up or vacuumed.

Lucky for them and me, I am not such the housekeeper and find their antics amusing, for the most part, unless those antics involve throwing Hot Wheels cars high into the air in my general direction.

Tomorrow, I think I will give them my laptop and hide under the bed.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I tend to view my children's lives through the scope of a future therapist. I've never been to a therapist, personally, but you know, it might have helped a couple of times... But anyway, back to my kids. I try not to say things like, "Quit crying, you're a BOY!" or "You can't wear that, because it looks ugly..." or "No one will want to be your friend if you pick your nose and eat your boogers." I have said all of those things, but I was kicking my mental self in the head at the same time. 

So bringing a new baby home, I've tried to be vigilant about what I did not want to say. Basically anything that would get my kid on a psychiatrist's couch, crying gentle tears and repeating, "Get off the couch, you're shaking the baby...." or "For heaven's sake GO OUT OF THIS ROOM WHILE HE'S SLEEPING..." 

I have failed. Oprah will hold Toby's hand, liquid brown eyes and mutant eyelashes wide. They will put pictures of me up on the big screen, scowling. Chunky women with frosted hair will shake their heads and hold back tears. Brynn's book, "You're Not Getting Anything, This Gift Card Is For the Baby" will set records on the Bestseller lists. 

I think we'll make it. Either I will figure out how to make everybody feel important and loved. More importantly, I will figure out how to feed everyone simultaneously, and before they are falling apart. OR, we will have a reality show. Toss-up. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I have 4 children. So far, I've only had 4 at one time for about an hour. That was a pretty wild hour... I don't see a lot of sleep in my future.

Directly after Tristan turned 3 days old, the little guys arrived at the hotel. They blew into the room like a hurricane, demanding to "see it". To this point Tristan's world had primarily been adults, petting his face and talking softly, occasionally laying hands on him and weeping while quoting Isaiah or whatever. The onslaught of sound that is his siblings came as a surprise, but he handled it well.


Brynn held him for a long time, seeming to have a natural knack for babying. "Lookit his little hands! OOH, look at his little face." Once the boys had a turn holding him, she went and found a pacifier and stood at the ready."When he cries, I will PUT this in." she told us. We had to prevent her several times from forcibly shoving the paci in his mouth.

Toby held him for a minute, and seemed to really like him, and then took a few experimental swipes at him, claiming they were "pats". I tried to intervene and hold Toby, sure that his heart was breaking at being replaced, but he was pretty busy. Later he told me he was ready for our own family to live at our own house. Me too, bud. Me too.

R2 was a little resistant about being given a baby, but he settled in after a little and looked very closely at the squawking bundle of human in his arms.

There's probably a deep psychological edge running here about acceptance and rejection and grace and family loving each other, but there's time for that. For that one night, as chaotic as it was, we were all together, and it was beautiful.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

At some point in the future, I will write all about this week, and the journey to Tristan, and all of the emotion and the depth. Not today, though, because I'm tired and I've watched a LOT of TV.

See, the thing is, Tristan is a Kansan. He's grafted into Texas, and we receive him, but he was born in Kansas, and we live in Missouri. So there are all these rules about adopting a baby out of state. The sending state and the receiving state have to both sign documents sending and receiving said baby, and it's all Fed-Ex and government offices and so on, and it takes 7-10 days.

During that time, he can't cross the state line. And this might shock you, but you can't leave kids alone. (Sometimes, when I walk outside to check the mail alone, Toby warns me not to get caught by the police) So I am staying in Kansas with Tristan, in a hotel room. At first, I was like WOOO party about a week vacation from the children that I LOVE, but then I sat in a hotel room with a sleeping baby for 2 days and figured out that babies don't do much. So Tristan and I have settled into a routine of eating every few hours, catching a nap and watching excessive amounts of Everybody Loves Raymond and The Cosby Show.

In the evening, the MOG comes to us and tries to take the remote and watch things about the birth habits of eels, or the history of the AK-47, told by Irish fishermen who survived the Titanic.

But about the baby. He is GREAT. He's so sweet and snuggly, and now that he's figured out there's a difference between sleeping on me and sleeping in his playpen, he has decided his playpen is so passe'. So I have been holding him for most of the day and most of the night, and he has been waving his long fingers and making little faces and in general, being heartbreakingly adorable.

Last night he met his siblings. But that is a story for another day, unless there's something good on TV.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

(Cross-posted at Moral Outcry)

I am sitting in a hotel room with a sleeping newborn. The last 3 days have been such a whirlwind, I can’t think where to begin. So I’ll start with when I met my son in a hallway.

One of the things that plagued me the last few months was the fear of not bonding, not connecting with an adopted baby. What if I saw him and felt nothing? I wondered.

We spent the day in the delivery room with the birthfamily, alternately making conversation and just being. Around 6:30, we decided to grab a sandwich while C (our baby’s mom) slept. By the time we got back with our sandwiches, it was go time. We stood in the hallway, waiting to hear his first cry. And we waited. Finally, the chaos built and then he sang his birth song. Richy and I and Susan, the social worker, were just frozen in the hall, listening to him.

Several minutes later, they whisked him down the hall to the NICU, because he had some issues with his heart that needed to be monitored. We were standing in the hall with his birth grandmas and tried to snap a picture as he passed, when one of his grandmothers called out and stopped the nurses.

To my complete surprise, they stopped everything and put him in my arms. I don’t know if I’m skilled enough to explain what went through my head, my heart in those seconds.
Will I love him?
Oh.
You are mine, and I am yours.

In a span of seconds, my heart was captured. I don’t know how, or what or why God put it together this way. I just know they handed me a stranger and he was my flesh.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

my kinda 40, or 12
Now, I don't have a lot of vices, at least as far as you know. I could be drinking a 40 right now with a guy in a tux stuffed in the back of my minivan, and you'd have no idea, unless you asked Toby. I'm not. In fact, I have had very few drinks in my life, and I'm good with that. My secret sins all primarily have to do with watching questionable musical television, but that's between me and the Lord and Toby.

All that to say, I was enticed into a wager last night by my mother-in-law. Now, Viking Granny, as you know her, has like 143 grandchildren and is therefore an expert on most things child-related. In the unfolding story of the new baby, she feels cocky and confident that he will arrive at or after November 19th, and will have the exact birthweight of 7 lbs 3 oz. Later, she waffled and changed her bet to November 17th or later, and 7.3 or MORE. Did she get scared? Maybe so. Who knows what makes people waffle... could be weakness, or fear... or something else.

So, dinner at Rancho Grande is going to happen. The question is, who will pay? Will it be me, with my baby born prior to 11/16, weighing less than 7.3? Or will it be the increasingly less confident Viking Granny, with a grandbaby born after 11/17 and weighing in at 7.3 or more? I'll give you this much insider info, he was 6.12 at his ultrasound Tuesday. Shoot! Now I'm waffling. Or AM I?

And what should he be NAMED? Throw in your vote in the comments!









Thursday, November 11, 2010

My husband came back today. He was gone for a week, either visiting his other families in New Mexico and Arizona, or rocking out for Jesus. I choose to believe that his band wouldn't be down for 20 hour driving days just to visit Richy's secret kids.

Anyway, he's home today and I have been so, so glad all day that I'm married to a guy I  like so much and that he is in the same city as me. He took an overnight flight to be here this morning since I was pretty much breaking down via baby stress, and I knew the lack of sleep was going to put him out of commission. The MOG has a very delicate time-meter. He is deeply affected by time zone changes and things like Daylight Savings.

Two kinds of people in this world: those who take naps and those who don't. I imagine in some couples, there are 2 nappers, and every day there is a cozy little 15 minute siesta where everyone wakes up cheerful. We are not that couple. For the first 10 years, I fought the nap. "You don't need a nap." I would say sardonically. (what a delicious word) He would argue that indeed, he did need a nap, and then he would go lay down and I would slam cabinets and play music. If this kind of rebellion rocks you to the core, wait a couple years. Marriage makes you happy, and marriage makes you mean.

Eventually, I gave up. I don't fight the nap, and he tries to nap somewhere I won't see. It works. Today, we ran errands for a long time, and also there have been 2 naps. Really, he flew overnight from a different time zone, plus he just got off a tour, and Daylight Savings. For some people, that's like traveling back 30 years in a Delorian, kind of dating your mom, saving the clock tower and then coming back. Exhausting. I expect him to be back to normal by Sunday. Then the baby will come and no one will sleep ever again, at least where I can see them.



In other news: baby presents! (not pictured: the gift card from Randy &Crystal- thanks!!) If you want to send something for the baby, the link is over on upper left sidebar- I'm sure he'll appreciate it when he does things besides sleeping and crying. :)


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dear Brynn:
This is your last week to be the baby, and even in my excitement about your little brother, I’ve got a little lump in my throat thinking about how it might feel to stop being the baby, at least at first.



When I found out I was pregnant with Brynn, Toby was 6 months old. He had blown my mind by being born relatively healthy and then being developmentally on track, not to mention totally capturing my heart, and so I was thrilled to be pregnant and still, in a strange way, resentful of this new baby coming and stealing his thunder so quickly.

No one could have explained to me the way thunder can’t really be stolen. The new baby came in with her daintiness and her drama and totally wrecked us, and still, Toby thundered. And always, in the deepest places, there is such a passion for my R2, with his challenges and his woundedness and his triumph. No one could have explained to me how 3 different children can all individually hold a death-grip on my heart, how taking care of them, loving them, would become as natural as breathing.

The dynamic does change, though. Sometime in the next week, a new little person will become my baby. And my current baby will have to grow up, a little bit.

For the last few days, I’ve been holding her a little bit closer, letting her act like a baby, and trying very, very hard not to tell her to take a hike when she does very, very annoying things. I know these moments are so fleeting, and I'm trying not to waste them.

My girl. My baby. You will always have your place in my heart, even if my lap is taken. Also, there's perks! I’m getting you a GREAT baby.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I saw my baby today. At least, I'm almost positive he's my baby, and I saw him on an ultrasound. He looks beautiful. He has a very cute little nose...

I'm struggling some, here, to embrace the moment and enjoy the ride to this baby. It's so emotionally complicated, and awkward. How do I think of him as mine and embrace the moment without seeming like the predator looming over her uterus? Geez. I have every adoption book known to man and they don't cover the whole predator-vibe. Or the insensitive clown-vibe. I like to kid around, you know? So there's mutual kidding going on with dad and grandma, and part of me is like, hey, that girl is in serious discomfort, plus the whole imminent loss thing, and I'm over here having Comedy Hour... maybe not such a good idea.

I'm trying to play it cool, but I really, really want this baby. Last night, we were sure he was coming. After I got the call, I was shaking so much, and panicking. Everything is ready for him to live here, theoretically, but nothing is really ready for the hospital. I walked in circles for quite a while. We were walking in to the hospital and had enlisted all our helper troops when we got the false alarm message. My hands were still shaking when I woke up after a whopping 20 minutes of sleep.

Had lunch after the ultrasound with both parents and both grandmas. I had Toby and Brynn with me, and I think that helped break the ice, although at the end, Toby was kinda nuts and may have compromised my parenting rep. At least he didn't say anything awful, unless he did it while I was at the buffet, loading his plate with crab puffs, per his demands.

So. There will be a baby, in a few days. And everything is pointing to him being mine. I will take the hint from the universe, and pack a bag full of blue pjs with puppies on them, cause we're hardcore and that's how we roll.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Toby eyes the service dog skeptically. “Why is that dog in the store?” he asks. I try to explain quietly, since the dog’s owner didn’t look like the chatty type. “But why does THAT guy need him?” he manages as we wheel away. Heck if I know. The guy doesn't look disabled, and you can’t exactly ask people.

“Why are you so fat?” he asks someone. When I, shocked, try to explain why we don’t say that to people, he is confused. “But it’s not a bad thing…” he tells me. 

“WE speak English,” he confides to our Asian waitress.

"Is this where ALL the old people sit?" he asks at the YMCA. I try to redirect him to a more thoughtful term, like grandmas and grandpas.  “Wow, that’s a BIG grandma,” he immediately comments. Hoping she was also a deaf grandma, we just kept moving.

If I tell him certain topics are off limits, that makes it more of a challenge. “I am not going to say she is fat,” he tells me in a stage whisper, pointing at his victim. He chats up the very, very elderly woman at the medical supply store. “Are you…” he pauses, thinking. “Are you YOUNG?” Nailed it, Tobias.

“But WHY do Mexico people speak Spanish?”

“We’re getting a baby.” He tells a woman at Babies R Us. “But it’s not in my mom’s tummy, it’s in some other mom’s tummy.”

“That,” he says, pointing, “is a BAD man.” (this could be any race, he just picks them by their hats, or Halloween shirts)

In his defense, none of his questions are ever mean-spirited. And at home, I answer pretty much anything, and try to explain it in a way that I am willing to have him announce to a crowded restaurant.

Luckily, most people really have a lot of grace for kids. Before R2 got his eye prosthetic, kids used to ask me questions about his little eye all the time, and their parents would be horrified and I was fine answering them.

I like answering Toby’s questions. I like explaining things to him. It’s just becoming a little more complicated, because 4 year olds are SO politically incorrect. And so, so, SO loud. The more embarrassing the question, the louder it will be asked.

I think I need a manual. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

We stocked up on hats today at the Dollar Tree. Why's that? maybe you're asking. I'll tell you. On the way home from Texas, R2 decided to pull out a large section of his hair, leaving an amazingly smooth bald spot at the back of his head. How did this happen? It's a good question. I think it was a perfect storm. First, he got bit by fire ants, a lot, on his hands. We didn't notice the bites, and he didn't make a sound. Then, we drove for 14 hours. I noticed him pulling his hair, but he does that all the time and it doesn't usually come OUT. So it wasn't until we were back in KC that we found the bald spot. 

It just made me feel sick. There is something so frustrating and painful about not being able to prevent your child from hurting himself. We've dealt with it for years with self-injury, and have finally gotten a grip on that, just to have the hair-pulling start.  

My strategy for coping has been trying to not let him out of my sight, ever, and to constantly tell him to stop pulling his hair. That was CRAZY making. Today, I went up to his school for a meeting and they had a hat on him. Voila! He will be wearing hats at home for the next month until we get into the behavioral specialist. Sheesh. 

In other news, baby presents! Wheee! Caution: Toby filmed this, and it's a bit of a rollercoaster. 

video

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Originally posted in September 2008



If you follow Richy's Twitter, you may have seen this cyber-whine Friday night... I have been waiting since then to tell the story.

So, it's been pretty slim pickings around here for a while... in a financial sense. So we've been paying bill by bill and then buying one or two grocery items at a time, and I've gotten pretty creative with the pantry contents. So on Friday, manna came from heaven and we were off to Wal-Mart. Now, you may recall a few weeks ago, Toby took a header out of a shopping cart. In an effort to spend less time at the ER, the MOG has been accompanying me on grocery trips. Usually, this is helpful in a manpower sense, and not at all helpful in a budgetary or morale-lifting sense. He hates Wal-mart with the fire of a burning sun.

He was in an especially good mood, though, pondering the excellencies of Christ and also means of taking over the internet as we browsed the aisles.
Before we got out of the car, I asked him, "Do you want me to add anything to the list for you? Are you out of anything?"
"No, no," he replies. "I don't want anything."

I had an extensive list I was attacking... a list I had labored over during long weeks of broke-ness. And I, being a June Cleaver type, was buying things like meat and bread, onions, flour...
As we made our way through the store, I asked again, two more times, "Is there anything you want? Lunchmeat, maybe?"
"No." he answers, staring off into space, or maybe the Kingdom.


So we finish our trip, and I am deliriously happy to have so many ingredients to work with. Since it was a long day, the children and I just have PBJs ("Do you want one?" I ask him. "No, I'm not hungry," he says.) and then I hose the kids down and put them to bed. I am then reveling in my first 15 minutes of freedom, complete with a caffeine-free Coke and a Hershey bar, when the MOG shows up. (ominous music)

"What am I supposed to eat?" asks the 30 year old father of three.
I am taken aback. "Uh, a sandwich?" I offer.
"Do we have mayonnaise? Do we have sliced cheese?"
"I don't know. Do we?"
"No!"
"Okay, then, how about one of your burritos?"
"Do we have salsa?"
"Uh, no... but we have sour cream, and jalapenos..."
"You spent all that money and there is nothing for me to eat??"
"Maybe a PBJ... or we have bacon, eggs..."
"You're supposed to know what I need!"
"Well, I asked you..."
"No, you should know!!"
"Okay, fine. I'm going back to my internet and my candy bar. Figure it out."

So he eats a solitary container of yogurt.

(for all you mama-types out there, he's been eating fine since then, as long as he doesn't have to make it for himself....)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

If I wanted to do my Google research, I'm sure I would find some animal that gets paralysis when it senses danger. Or maybe not, because then it would just get eaten alive, while paralyzed. Yikes, that's horrifying.

Still, I am kind of like that animal, or sea creature or what have you. Except I'm not an animal (except a PARTY animal) and it's not danger I'm paralyzing over, it's a BABY.

baby clothes!!
See, all this sensitivity to the birthparent and difficulty attaching due to infant loss and random other psychological disorders is all starting to move to the back, as we get closer to the due date and all systems appear to be go. Now I'm looking at MOST likely having a baby living here in a couple of weeks, and my brain is exploding.

My babies have always come very, very early, with crisis and prayer chains and candlelight vigils (exaggeration) and such, and then they chill in the hospital for SOME time, like weeks or months, while we buy baby furniture and diapers and have a baby shower. Then, once they reach 5 pounds, we bring them home attached to wires and monitors and wearing tiny little doll clothes, and then things get "normal". So I have no grid for taking a newborn baby from the hospital.


Toby in borrowed carseat with "under 5 pounds" on it
This morning I had the 3 am panic wake up. You know the one? Where you wake up and there are a lot of very concerning things to think about prior to going back to sleep. Things like I ordered a crib today that will arrive in 7-10 days but do I have 7-10 days and I can't figure out how to put the car seat back together and we will have to buy another one if she goes in labor and I can't find the locking clip thingy and I don't have any clean clothes to pack to stay across the Kansas state line for days and so on.

The plan today is to try to get my house less humiliating for when people have to come and clean it for me and assemble my crib and wash my clothes and find my toothbrush, because I didn't make a plan. Step 1, sit here and look panicked.
 
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