dax and case.

Not to brag, but I’ve gotten pretty good at caring for babies. Especially the newborn kind.

Nursing. Co-sleeping. Baby-wearing. Eating cold food with one hand. The night watch. The list goes on and on. I am so, so good at this stage.

Which is kind of a problem for me right now, considering I don’t know if I’ll ever experience that stage again.

Over the summer, Dax turned six and Case turned three. (I know. I KNOW.) We’ve been done with nursing and diapers for a very long time. So long, in fact, that I hardly even remember it. Our crib is currently in pieces in our garage and, as much as it pains me to admit it, will soon be put on Craigslist.

I think – though I can’t be sure, as God has plans that I’m not privy to, and the entire Naples debacle is proof that God can drag me into something unexpected at a moment’s notice – that Case is our last baby.

On one hand, it’s extremely exciting. I mean, in just two years we’ll have both of our kids in public school full time which is (AHHH YAAASSSSS) free! Which means the money we set aside each month for childcare could go to WHO KNOWS WHAT!

Similarly, barring any bad dreams or fevers, I can almost always count on a full night’s sleep these days. Not only does this mean I’m well rested, but I’ve been able to start doing the things (running, writing) that I had to give up when I was in the throes of sleep-deprivation.

But there is a very real part of me that is terrified of moving into a new season of parenting. After all, I’m great at babies. I don’t know how I am with preschoolers and school-aged kids. I’m learning this all on the fly, day by day.

A few weeks before Mother’s Day, Isabelle Grace’s personalized stacking rings showed up in my inbox. While I usually don’t ask for anything for Mother’s Day, and I never, EVER ask for jewelry PERIOD (I only wear my wedding rings and a D initial necklace because they, surprise, have meaning) I was feeling particularly emotional about possibly being done having babies. So I got two, one with each of my kid’s names, as a gift to myself. (You’re welcome, me.)

IMG_8161

They are so simple and sweet, and they look so cute together. Just as a set of two. Just like my boys. A cute set of two. And since I’ve been wearing the rings, I’ve made peace with my little twosome. Dax and Case. My two babies. My only two babies.

Unless…

The beauty about these rings is that, in the event that God blesses us with another baby, it’s just so easy to add one more.

But until I know for sure, these two rings serve as a precious reminder to me.

Yes, I AM really good at raising babies. I’ve raised two so far. And now, I get to learn just how good I am at raising preschoolers and elementary schoolers and middle schoolers and high schoolers and college students and young men.

Dax and Case.

* Disclaimer: Isabelle Grace provided these rings to me to try. All words, wrinkly hand photos, and wishy-washy-third-baby feelings are my own. 

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on building and writing monuments.

About six years ago, when I was pregnant with my first son and becoming increasingly aware of how drastically my life was soon going to change, a friend of mine gifted me a book for my birthday. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg isn’t exactly the sexiest book, but it’s one many of my fellow writers revere. On the inside cover is an inscription.

To a writer: keep writing.

I remember the first time I read those scribbled words; a flash of fire burned through my core. It was the first time I’d ever been called a writer, despite that, at the time, nothing I’d written had ever been published anywhere outside of WordPress, and certainly hadn’t garnered me any monetary compensation.

The gesture was deeply appreciated, and flattering, but when I returned home that night, I didn’t eagerly crack open the book, ready to learn all the things I needed to know in order to hone my craft. Rather, I stuffed it onto my bookshelf, resolving to read it once I was actually, truly, 100%, legitimately, a writer, as opposed to a “writer.” (If only you could see the grandeur with which I am fashioning air quotes right now.)

Over the past few weeks of my life, there has been a sacred, and very loud, echo of sorts; the idea of building “monuments” to remember times in life when God has been faithful, just like many did in the Bible, has been tossed around in several of the circles in which I frequently run. And this blog — this dusty, yet faithfully domain-renewed-each-year-blog — is my own collection of monuments: to my marriage, to my kids, to my career, even (because, if you don’t remember, I started this blog back when I worked in broadcast news and desperately needed an outlet), and I’m so grateful it exists for that purpose.

It has been nearly a decade since I claimed this silly domain name, and so much has changed in that time. Case in point: I haven’t had Diet Coke in almost six years, because I discovered much to my dismay that aspartame gives me migraines and may or may not be why I eventually die of cancer, and while I used to be a compulsory blogger I am now an occasional one, saving the most interesting pieces (LOL) for when I have the energy.

You’re… welcome?

Anyway.

The last time I was visiting my mom in the house I grew up in, I found another monument: the first book I ever wrote.

It was short, and not exactly all that entertaining, but it had a followable plot and pretty decent illustrations (in crayon, of course). It was called The Laughing Cat, and I wrote it in Kindergarten. I based it off of my actual, IRL cat Stormy, and the pranks I imagined she’d pull if she was more human-like. Maybe more like her owner.

That, along with this blog, and certainly that check I just deposited for the blog I get paid to write for, all fly in the face of that ridiculous notion I asserted all those years ago. I am, and have always been, a writer. I write. It’s what I do, it’s what I’m made for, and it’s what I love.

So I guess it’s time to finally read that damn book.

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.

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

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!

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.