Happy Heart Day

As many of you faithful readers know Valentine’s Day is kind of a touchy subject around the Babies & Bacon household. I talked about why we don’t make a big deal of it HERE. And why I was pretty pissed we didn’t make any deal of it HERE.

But this year I was so incredibly surprised. Because for the first year ever Michael decided to care about Valentine’s Day in more way than one.

First of all he decided to take his little lady to a Daddy Daughter Dance with a couple of his friends and their daughters. Ironically enough Michael has a large group of high school friends that he is still pretty close to and of all the guys that have kids, almost all have daughters. It’s pretty sweet to see all these tough dudes with their baby girls.

Cedella was beside herself with excitement for the Party. She picked out which dress she wanted to wear. This one was picked for the twirly skirt factor. * Fashion side note: This is a Jelly the Pug dress that I bought for Cedella before she was born. She is only just now fitting it and it’s still huge. But I love it so. Isn’t it pretty?

So glad I took pictures of them before they left the house because there are only a couple pics of them from the actual dance. Aren’t they the cutest?

And making the goofiest face of all…

God I love these two.

They had a great time at the dance, even though Cedella wouldn’t leave her father’s arms except for the two minutes she sat down to eat a cookie. Here’s hoping that this begins a tradition of many more Daddy Daughter dances in the years to come.

And then there was V Day.

We woke up early and decided to start working on Valentine’s. I busted out the construction paper, foamies, glue and glitter at 7:30 am, cause I’m kinda crazy like that. Cedella loved it.

And though when she was done the floor looked like a stripper conversion, she made some beautiful art. Some of her work…

After we cleaned up the glitter-blizzard that was all over the floor we got ready for the day.

For the past two years we’ve gone for a Valentine’s Day pie eating lunch with our besties Leslie & Anna. But this year Anna’s baby sister was really ill, as was the rest of their family. And the plague settled into our house last week, so we haven’t been able to meet with them yet but tomorrow is the make-up date!

So instead we planned a girlie luncheon with my girlfriend Lucy. And where better for a group of ladies to enjoy a Valentine’s Day lunch? Olive Garden of course! Cause unlimited soup and salad and breadsticks is alright with me 😉

The girls waiting for our table actually got along quite well. Shocker.

Auntie Lucy and her sweetheart date. And yes, she bribed this photo op with rainbow colored clip-in hair extensions.

Me and my ladies. I even had my heart sweater on. Cause we like to coordinate like that.

Pretty sure Monk just said “Whatcha talkin’ ’bout Willis?”

We had such a nice date and the girls were so well behaved and Lucy and I are both chatty so we always have great time together.

The good was excellent as usual. And though I could have eaten four more of these little yummies, I only had one. And it was delicious.

After lunch we decided to take the girls to the mall playground to burn off some steam and give us grownups a chance to chat for a while longer. The girls were actually getting along with one another for a while. It is so sweet to watch them play together.

But then Ella got bored with being told to “be careful” and so she found a few Valentine’s friends of her own. Yes, those are all little boys. Sorry Daddy, the boys were crazy for her that day.

And Isora had a great time too. There was more than enough little things for her to climb all over. Looks a bit happy, no?

Ella even found a friend she has met before when her Jiddo takes her to play at the mall. The were really cute and insisted on holding hands every single second they were together.

And then we got home from our day just in time to meet Michael after work. And that’s when it happened. The core of the universe turned to ice and all that is unholy was disintegrated and the Earth stopped turning for just one brief moment.

He bought me flowers. A big ole gorgeous fragrant bouquet with not a rose in sight (I don’t care for roses.)

On Valentine’s Day.

On purpose.

And he even brought flowers for his daughters.

It was so unexpected and incredible and lovely. I almost cried I was so surprised.

Well played Mr. Eyebrowz. Well played.

And of course I didn’t have anything for him. Well, except for concert tickets to see one of our favorite singers, Erykah Badu, and a night out on the town. Which was…AMAZING!

So this is the first time in our history that we (meaning Michael) has decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day and I was caught totally off guard. But you know who totally got it? Cedella. She loved the flowers and kept saying how pretty my flowers were and how she got three flowers cause she was three now so she gets three flowers.

And THAT’S why we should celebrate. How was your Valentine’s Day? Hope it was special.

Thanks for reading!

My Don’t-Call-it-Bucket Life List

Yesterday I already let y’all know why I won’t be making any resolutions this year. Mainly because life with two small children is too incredibly unpredictable to be nailing down a list of even five lofty goals for one year. But I like the idea of having things to accomplish. Just as long as the pressure of having to complete things within a year is off.

Then a fellow blogger/writer Alissa over at Clever Compass came up with the incredible idea of writing and sharing our life lists. Honestly I’d never put together a definitive travel list let alone ALL the things I want to accomplish in my years on this Earth.

It’s kind of hard to think of isn’t it? Try to come up with the top 5 things you want to do in your life and list them right NOW…

What’d you come up with?

Hard, no? And yet, it’s hard to stop once the ball starts rolling. In fact I thought of so many things I want to do I need five lifetimes to accomplish them all. I know some things may never happen, like seeing the Shire or going to outer space. And I know I’m tempting fate by saying I want to see my girls have babies. But still…these are the things I WANT to do, not the things I know will come to pass.

And no this isn’t a Bucket List. Cause I don’t want to look at this list like something I have to do before I kick the bucket. I want to look at it as things to do while I’m alive. A reference in case I’m ever bored and wealthy. You know, for the Lottery Years.

So without further ado and in no particular order my Life List

  1. Become a prenatal and postpartum Doula
  2. Adopt or foster a child
  3. Own our own European-style cafe where you can get an awesome cup of coffee, or beer or wine or whiskey, a great bite to eat and watch a band or a film or read a book or write a book or meet your friends or meet new friends
  4. Get a Master’s Degree or Law Degree
  5. Run for political office
  6. Meet President and Mrs. Obama
  7. Visit NYC during the holidays and ice skate at Rockefeller Center
  8. Take the girls to Disney World
  9. Go to Lebanon and meet Michael’s grandmother and see their village, Deirmimas
  10. Learn to speak Arabic and teach my children how as well
  11. Take a RV trip to the West coast and back with my husband, kids and my mom
  12. Go on a road trip with only my sister Tracey
  13. Write and produce a feature film
  14. Go on the White House tour
  15. Read all the Harry Potter books with my daughters (and Narnia, Tolkien and Hunger Games)
  16. Take a photography class
  17. Begin a monthly dinner party club
  18. Write a children’s book
  19. Write a fiction book
  20. Write a memoir
  21. Publish something I write
  22. Sing a song in public that isn’t karaoke or Happy Birthday
  23. Record a song with my husband
  24. Build a coop and raise chickens (thanks for the reminder Kelli!)
  25. Have a proper and well-tended vegetable garden
  26. Learn to compost
  27. See the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin in concert one more time.
  28. Go back to Tuscany, rent a villa outside of Montalcino and renew vows on our 10 year wedding anniversary
  29. Find a forever house, buy it and fix it up and never move my things again.
  30. Find where my ancestors are from in Africa and go there
  31. Live in a foreign country for at least a year
  32. Meet my long-lost Uncle
  33. Go on an ancestral road trip from here through Indiana, down to Mississippi and back through West Virginia seeing all the places in this country where my family is from
  34. Visit the Forbidden City and Great Wall in China
  35. Visit the Shire in New Zealand
  36. Visit our friends in Cape Cod
  37. Visit Las Vegas, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle
  38. Visit London, Dublin and Glasgow
  39. Travel through the south of France by car
  40. Visit Vienna, Berlin, Budapest and Prague
  41. Visit Vietnam, Thailand, Bejing, Honk Kong and Tokyo
  42. Travel through Brazil to Argentina all the way to the southern tip of Chile and back up to Peru
  43. Hike Macchu Picchu
  44. Go to the World Cup or the summer Olympics or both
  45. Visit India and see the Ganges and ride an elephant
  46. Go on the Amazing Race with my husband and see the world
  47. See my daughters get married to someone they truly love
  48. Be an Auntie
  49. Be a Grandmother
  50. Grow old with my Michael
BONUS: Go to Outer Space. Preferably the Moon but Mars would be nice too. Or anywhere with The Doctor.

So what do you think? Are there things on my list that you’ve already done? Anything that you think I should add to my list? What do you think is the most easily accomplished this year? I’d love to hear from my readers as well as other bloggers what’s on their lists.

If you are a company or blogger who can help me check any of these off my list I would gladly accept your help. You can contact me at

aliwayout (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Thanks for reading! Now link up!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Light a Candle Today

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. But I think I’d rather call it Remembrance Day.

Last year, on May 14th, Michael and I lost our baby. When I was finally able to put words to the page I wrote about it HERE.

To say we were devastated is an understatement.

We had been trying to hard to rebuild our marriage and trust. Trying to keep it together and get along. And when I was late and took the test it was like a ray of light shined down on us and told us that it wasn’t all in vain. That our family was worth fighting for.

And then just as quickly as we were blessed with this growing child, she was taken away from us.

I kept thinking that it wasn’t really happening. I kept trying to reassure myself that some ladies spot all throughout their pregnancies and never lose their child.

But I knew. I knew in my heart that we weren’t ready and that the universe had a different plan for us. I knew the second we went to the hospital that she was gone.

And though we lost that baby, and our home just a week later, it was as if the tragedy of loss was the glue holding us back together.

Michael and I needed each other and held onto each other just a bit tighter.

We spent the next couple of months living with my loving inlaws, John and Hilda, getting smothered by love and good food and joy.

And by July, just like our lovely midwife Clarice discouraged but predicted anyways, we were pregnant again.

Thankfully our Isora came into this world happy and healthy on St. Patrick’s Day. Like my pregnancy with Cedella, there was no issue, other than the regular pregnancy complaints. Everything went perfectly.

While we are so incredibly thankful for our sweet Izzie Boo, nothing will ever fill the hole left by our Angel.

What really strikes me about grieving this small tiny baby was how abstract the whole idea of her is. We will never know if it would have been a boy or a girl (though I’m used to the pronoun so I use ‘she’ here). We will never know if she had Daddy’s eyes or Mommy’s hands. We will never know if she liked singing or hated her carseat.

But we do know this. She was loved and will always be loved. Though she was scarcely but a burgeoning idea in our minds she was our child.

Sadly, when I wrote about losing her, many many friends and family members came forward to share their stories and losses. And while it was so incredibly powerful to fell such a blanket of sisterly love and connection, it was also so incredibly sad.

It’s sad to know that so many I love have lost children and yet rarely talk about it. Is it because we are not allowed to grieve these children if they don’t have names and faces? Is it easier to forget they ever existed? Or is it too painful, too hard, too heartbreaking to discuss their loss?

In my case I was pregnant again so soon that I felt I didn’t have the right to be sad for one child when I had already been blessed with another. And though maybe it doesn’t make sense to most, I needed to accept the loss of one child in order to embrace the coming of another.

That doesn’t mean I don’t long for that other child. Maybe I always will. But she died and Isora was born and I could not for one second imagine my world without my smiling second born.

My sweet friend Dani (mom to an angel named Jordan) sent this to me:

To the Child in my Heart.

O precious, tiny, sweet little one. You will always be to me so perfect, pure, and innocent. Just as you were meant to be. We dreamed of you and of your life and all that it would be. We waited and longed for you to come and join our family. We never had the chance to play, to laugh, to rock, to wiggle. We long to hold you, touch you now and listen to you giggle. I’ll always be your mother. He’ll always be your dad. You will always be our child, the child that we never had. But now you’re gone…but yet you’re here. We’ll sense you everywhere. You are our sorrow and our joy there’s love in every tear. Just know our love goes deep and strong. We’ll forget you never – The child we had, but never had, and yet will have forever.

Author Unknown

To Dani, Diana, Jen and Leslie and all of the Mamas out there that have lost a baby or babies, you are braver than you know and you are all my heroes.

Take a second today and light a candle for everyone who has suffered the loss of a pregnancy or infant. You may not know their story or their pain, but I know your thoughts and prayers are appreciated.