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open letter to my son on his second birthday.

Dear Dax, 

A year ago, you woke up completely unaware of what was awaiting you — a house filled with family and friends who traveled near and far just to fawn all over newly-one-year-old you. 

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You managed to conquer over-stimulation, a late nap, and even melted cupcakes (baked from scratch by your culinary-inept mother) to have a pretty awesome day. 

daxbdaycake

 

And just like that, your second year of life started, and today, almost as quickly as it got here, it ended. It is your second birthday! You’ve been bumbling around on this planet for two whole years! It doesn’t seem very long to you, but I can barely remember life without you. Of course, purely biologically speaking, half of you actually was inside my body ever since the day I was born so really, you HAVE been here with me all this time.

Not even a month after your first birthday your dad and I had the biggest scare of our lives as your parents when you suffered a febrile seizure. Thankfully, I’m sure you don’t remember The Worst Tuesday but I’ll never forget it. The image of you seizing in my arms will never leave my memory and each and every day I am so unbelievably grateful that it was a relatively minor issue. And ever since that day, we know that if you ever have a fever we need to be diligent in treating it so we avoid a recurrence. That was the hardest lesson for me to learn this year, for sure. 

seizure

A late bloomer like your mama, you didn’t walk until you were 15 months old. Part of that is my fault, I guess, for this reason: I knew that once you started walking, there was no turning back. With the knowledge of this skill, you’d go from “baby” to “toddler” and, just like that, you’d be off. And so I did my best to keep you in my arms as much as possible to delay that monumental milestone, but I could only do so for so long. Now, those fears I had have been realized. You are no longer my baby. You are my very independent toddler who prefers walking (running) to being pushed in a stroller, carried, or worn thankyouverymuch. 

walking2

walking1

And while it is a bit sad for me to say goodbye to those precious baby months, it has been so fun to see you explore this world on your own. Like in the above picture, for example: you can just barely see a bandage over your left eye, which shows how brave and adventurous you’ve become since learning how to walk. You’re still your mostly-cautious and analytical self, but sometimes you can get a bit excited and accidents happen. I deeply cherish those times you let me hold your hand as we carefully take it all on together.

flannel

 

lookinup

 

You had your second Christmas this year but since you weren’t eating solid food the year before, you finally got to participate in your family’s tradition of eating waffles on Christmas morning. You seemed to like them a little bit and I, because I’m an emotional time bomb, cried.

christmaswaffles

At your 18-month checkup, the doctors had me fill out a form answering questions about your verbal abilities, social skills, and motor skills. I was so proud when the doctor told me that you scored above average in all those areas! I mean, your father and I know how smart you are. But having a doctor affirm it resulted in some serious high fives.

You’re so smart, Dax. So stinkin’ smart. 

precious

When you turned one, you could only say a few words — “dada”, “nana”, and “mama”. But now, with your first birthday far behind you, you can say so many things; from types of food, to manners (“peez” for “please” and “deeyew!” for “thank you!”), to all your letters and numbers (though, to be fair, “W” is still hard to say and you still believe that 6 is actually 9 but we’re working on it), to our friends’ names (Grandma is “G-G”, Molly is “Mayee”, Casey is “Zee”, and Savannah is “Nuh” just to name a few), to places and things, your vocabulary is growing each and every day!

dax1

You also say “no” a lot which, I’m told, is to be expected at your age. It can be cute sometimes but it also gives me heaps of opportunities to refine my patience. And let me just use this letter to tell you thanks for that. Even in frustration, my sweet boy, you are making me a better person everyday. 

grumpasaur

So, I have to confess something: The American Academy of Pediatrics says that children should not watch any television before the age of two. 

I’m sorry to inform you now that your father and I didn’t meet that timeline. You watch TV everyday. Sometimes pretty close to your face. Sorry.

wiiu

Your favorite shows are currently, “Curious George,” “Super WHY!”, “Dinosaur Train”, and basically anything else on PBS. While I guess we kind of failed as parents in this regard, I’ll say that it has been so fun to see you fall in love with these characters. I’m pretty sure you have a crush on Princess Pea, which is a great choice but I hate to break it to you now that royalty rarely ever marry commoners unless you’re smokin’ hot like Kate Middleton. Not that you aren’t incredibly handsome. I’m just here to help you manage expectations.

bowtie

Even though you look a lot like I did when I was your age (minus your bow ties) there is one way in which you are distinctly your father’s child: your love of sleep (or “ni-ni”, as we call it). While you’re down to only one nap a day, that one nap usually lasts about four hours and you usually (bad dreams notwithstanding) sleep through the night until about 8:00 AM. I gotta tell you — you’ve set the bar pretty high for any future siblings. I’m certain we won’t be blessed with a great sleeper like you twice in a row. Please never ever ever doubt my gratitude for this trait you’ve inherited.

sleep

Nap time 6 months and 23 months

While there seems to be a million things that have changed since the day you were born, there are still some things that are the same. Your pacifier is the biggest one. You are very attached to that thing. Even more than you used to be, I think, because now you prefer to have not one, but at least two of them with you in your crib. Sometimes three. I’ve capitalized on this by teaching you how to count them. You excitedly shout, “TWO!” when you have one for each hand and it’s obvious that you’re very proud of yourself. 

You also still nurse a couple times a day. Some days I feel like you’re just about weaned, but you’ll surprise me by jumping on my lap and asking for milk. As much as I wish I was ready to be done, I’m not. So I don’t push it. Mostly because it usually results in some pretty great snuggles.

snuggle1

snuggle2

This year you have taught me more about myself than any class, life experience, or book could teach me. Not only are you in your “terrible twos” and thus teaching me the true meaning of grace and forgiveness and patience, but you’re also teaching me so much about love and trust. Without even realizing it, Dax, you are teaching me each and every day what it means to be your biggest supporter and also your gentlest corrector. You’re teaching me that mistakes don’t equal failure and that failure doesn’t equal being unloved. You’re teaching me that not only is it okay to not be perfect, but it is preferred. Messy is best because messy is real. 

Today you are two and that’s truer than true. There is no one around who is two-er than you. 

I love you, Bubs. Happy birthday!

Love, 

Mama.

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YOU RUNNIN?

Over the past five(ish) years, I’ve gotten into a pretty complicated relationship.

No, not with Dan. That relationship is great and fine!

I’m talking about my relationship with running.

A few years ago, Running and I were, like, inseparable. Things got pretty serious when I did a half-marathon in February of 2011, but they tapered off when I tore my ACL later that year and then (while in recovery) got pregnant. (Hey, at least I was getting SOME exercise! HEYOOO. Sorry, Mom.)

I never thought Running would ever come back to me. I thought that, once my ACL was torn and that my kid was born, taking away every tiny ounce of energy I have in me, Running was “just someone that I used to know.”

But turns out Running is pretty forgiving and we’ve been seeing each other again lately. And I gotta say, it’s almost like things never changed.

(Well, except that my right knee kind of pops every other stride now but HEY it still works, so…)

Anytime I pass another runner on one of my runs, I always think the same thing:

“WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO ON YOUR iPOD?! IS IT MUSIC? AN AUDIOBOOK? A THIS AMERICAN LIFE PODCAST?!?!?!”

Running is, like 99% mental, 1% physical, so a killer running playlist is essential. You can’t just put your iPod on shuffle and just hope for the best because you know the second you do that, your iPod will retaliate by ONLY playing every slow, boring ballad in your library and you’ll give up and go home and check on Kathie Lee and Hoda.

Seriously it takes everything in me to not stop other runners and demand they tell me what’s on their running playlist because IT’S THAT IMPORTANT.

So, in the event that you think that about me, let me erase all inquiry:

SONGS LINDSAY RUNS TO:

  1. “Rise Up” – David Crowder Band. There is no better, GET UP AND KICK BUTT song than this one.
  2. “Rumour Has It” – Adele. Makes me want to run to my most recent ex’s house and punch him square in the jaw.
  3. “Miss Murder” – AFI. Because angst.
  4. “Dance Inside” – All American Rejects. Perfect lyrics for the point in your run where you are starting to feel like garbage. “I’ll be fine/I’ll be fine/Is this fine?/I’m not fine!”
  5. “Say This Sooner” – The Almost. Skank-tastic!
  6. “What The Hell” – Avril Lavigne. CONFESSION: I could just put this one song on repeat and it would be enough to get me to run/dance anywhere. It’s infectious.
  7. “Lonely Boy” – The Black Keys. I mean? Duh.
  8. “Lazy Sunday” – Chris Parnell & Andy Samberg. For two reasons: it’s hilarious, and they rap about cupcakes, which I don’t feel guilty craving once I’m finished running.
  9. “So Serious” – Electric Light Orchestra. I picked this song for no other reason than it reminds me of my husband who is, hands down, the funniest person on the planet to me and I just can’t help but smile when I hear it.
  10. “Robots” – Flight of the Conchords. Ditto to the above.
  11. “Shelter” – Jars of Clay. A favorite that will never get old, perfect for a cool down.

What’s on your running playlist? Please just comment and tell me so I don’t have to maul you the next time I see you out for a jog.

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the worst tuesday.

Summer is winding down and fall is supposedly creeping in but I can’t feel it because it’s still hot as crap and the rain still won’t stop and I can’t differentiate my Mondays from my Thursdays or my Saturdays because everything is always the same.

Except this past Tuesday. Tuesday was vastly different from any other day of my life.

Late Monday, I noticed that Dax was running a bit of a fever. I never actually took his temperature, but I could feel that he was warm to the touch. Apart from that, he was acting completely normal; he was playing happily, sleeping fine, not coughing, not sniffling, not anything out of the ordinary. So I chalked the fever up to teething and just gave him Tylenol sporadically and thought nothing of it.

When I came home from work on Tuesday (thankfully a half hour earlier than I normally come home on Tuesdays) I found him lethargically lying belly-up on our babysitter’s chest.

Jeez, I thought. These 12-month molars must be brutal. 

I took him from the sitter, handed her a check, and said goodbye. I then took Dax into his nursery to nurse him and put him down for a nap. When we sat in the rocking chair, he nursed for maybe thirty seconds before stopping suddenly and throwing his head back.

His eyes rolled back and he started to shake and stopped breathing and it was a seizure.

The next few minutes were a blur of me screaming uncontrollably into his lifeless, purple face, splashing water on his body, crumpling to the floor and clumsily dialing 9-1-1, scream-sobbing into the receiver that MY TINY LITTLE BABY BOY IS HAVING A SEIZURE MA’AM AND HE IS ONLY ONE YEAR OLD AND PLEASE GOD CAN SOMEONE HELP ME HE’S NOT BREATHING DID YOU SAY SOMEONE IS COMING WELL WHERE ARE THEY HOW MUCH LONGER PLEASE HELP ME I AM SO SCARED PLEASE.

And then suddenly my house was flooded with upwards of ten men and women in different uniforms — EMS, firefighters, police officers — all trying to simultaneously calm me down and take care of Dax who, by that point, had stopped seizing and was draped across my chest in a collapsed heap of laborious breaths and pained sighs.

An ambulance ride, ER admittance, flu swab, chest x-ray, and long chunk of waiting around later, we found out that Dax came down with some virus (probably roseola) which caused him to have that high fever. The sudden temperature spike in his body triggered a febrile seizure.

Thankfully these seizures don’t cause any injury to the brain or the child — they’re just terrifying as hell for anyone, particularly a parent, who happens to be present.

And so, I learned the hard way that (until he’s older than 5) anytime I sense that Dax may be getting a fever, I have to be incredibly aggressive in treating it to avoid this happening again.

hospitaldax

As terrible as this whole experience was, there were some surprising bright spots. The first was in the form of a community — a new one — that wasted no time in showing us love. Three friends came to visit us in the hospital (two of which brought us food), and another friend came to check on us the following day. Not to mention the flood of prayers that washed over us by the way of texts, phone calls, and Facebook messages.

The second good thing to come of this was a healthy dose of perspective. Before I left for work that morning, I was freaking out about our house being a mess for the babysitter. I was running about like a chicken with its head cut off trying to straighten up and clean up and even as I was driving away I was mentally kicking myself for not having enough time to do the dishes. Because I was nursing when Dax began to seize, I was basically naked when the emergency team showed up at my house. I couldn’t have given two sheets about the fact that I was bearing it all (or that my house was messy) while a bunch of firefighters and paramedics did a life-saving dance around me. All I cared about was my baby and whether or not he was going to be okay.

Even though he’s technically still contagious, today you can hardly tell Dax is sick at all, let alone that he just had a freaking seizure. He’s eating a bit more today, playing happily, and sleeping great.

And I am worn a bit ragged but so very grateful.

happydax

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are you there, blog? it’s me, lindsay.

HELLO. Hi. How are you?

*crickets*

Yes. Yes. Yes. Okay. I realize I haven’t posted in, like, FOREVS. Please stand down, angry citizens. I come in peace.

If you MUST know, I’m currently in the process of revamping this whole blog thing. Turns out I have a little bit of a hefty following and I’m ashamed of the content I was feeding you. You deserve better than that. Yes, YOU. I mean look at that outfit you’ve got on. You’re a stunner. You deserve stunning blogs to go with that getup.

So, please, bear with me as I navigate this blog like a total n00b. Mo’ betta posts are in the works. They are coming soon. SWEARSIES.

In the mean time, check out these beauties. They’re my most popular posts. If my posts were my children, I imagine these posts would form the cool clique at school. But they wouldn’t bully the other posts, okay? I raised them better than that.

Y’ALL DA BEST. Stay tuned!

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things i love thursday! (July 19, 2012)

This week’s TILT comes a day late (deal with it) and at the steadily typing fingers of Lindsay’s husband Dan (again, deal with it).

Lindsay wants you, her readers, to know one thing for which she is thankful this week: This little guy!

Dax Arthur

Born THURSDAY, July 19, at 1:34am. 8lbs, 4oz, and 20.2in long.

So little baby Dax is what Lindsay loves this Thursday…and Friday…and Saturday…and everyday for the rest of her life.

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diet coke 12-pack: week of july 25, 2011.

Who’s ready to troll the Internet? Well, you’re here, so you’ve already got a head start, don’t you? And what better place to start than FBDC?

Here are some fun things I found on the webbernets this week. It’s not an extensive list, but quality over quantity  y’all! Enjoy, and have a great weekend! I’ll see all you lovers on Tuesday!

THE LINKS!

That’s all, folks!

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special FBDC programming note.

Just a heads up — this week, I’m afraid there will be no TILT or 12-pack; I will be heading to Cincinnati to party for four days and watch two of my favorite people tie the knot. Tuesday Tip and part 1 of The Rexia Series are still coming your way, though!

Happy Monday, favorite people. Do work.

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