Makin' May Matter

It's May again! Pediatric Stroke Awareness month! Yahoo!

Ok, well not yahoo, exactly. But I was more excited for it this year than I was last year. That first year was just so tender and vulnerable for me. It's hard to have a big diagnosis for your child and find the balance between facing the challenges with determination and yet working so hard to not let it define your child or your family. I can't say I've found that balance but Darry is so. much. fun. And that is cathartic and distracting. Or rather, enjoying Darry moves my center to something other than the worry and fear which goes beyond being distracted and into something much sweeter.

I signed Shaughn and I up to attend the fundraiser "Wishes for Warriors" for the Pediatric Stroke Warriors organization. We dressed up, dropped Darry off at my sister's and headed out to Issaquah where the event was being held. We bid on several silent auction items but were outbid. The tables displaying the silent …

It's a New Year

Happy New Year!

It's been a beautiful new year so far. It's like that Anne of Green Gables line about tomorrow being fresh with no mistakes in it and Miss Stacy saying, "No mistakes, yet."

Shaughn had to work today so we made a big breakfast together before he had to leave. Last January, I started making little notes about our life on small squares of paper, folding them up, and putting them in this big beautiful bowl we got from some friends of ours. The bowl, the squares of paper and one of my favorite pens, are all on our bookshelf. Shaughn also wrote notes but not as frequently. I probably didn't explain it very well because this morning as we took turns reading them to each other, he kept saying, "Oh! I didn't know I was supposed to write about that..." But it was so sweet to read out loud our little notes, it's definitely a new tradition that's a keeper. Some favorites:

"Bad new, Melissa! I'm going to eat our son up!"--Sh…

Streak for Stroke!

A few months ago I joined a couple Facebook groups for parents whose kiddos had a stroke. Which is weird sentence to write and even weirder to live. It was in these groups that I found out that May is Pediatric Stroke Awareness month. Which as a mom of a stroke survivor (they call them warriors), I'm really happy about. I'd love more research and treatment options! But I also worry that it's too much for people to add another sad thing to be aware of. I mean, it's a lot. Especially sad kids things. Plus I have this acute longing to be unaware of pediatric stroke. I told a co-worker recently May was Pediatric Stroke Awareness month and she said, "Huh. I didn't know it happened often enough to have it's own month." I wasn't surprised that she had never heard of it but I was surprised how jealous it made me to know significantly less than I do about pediatric stroke. And while more research on how to best treat a child who has had a stroke is needed,…

Follow-up EEG

Darry is growing like a weed, although still kind of a skinny guy. Today he was only in the 16%
percentile for weight. But he's long and his noggin is perfect so perhaps he'll take after all the tall Swede types in my family. Today was a follow up EEG and a visit with his neurologist. We left this morning with lots of time. We went to check in only to find out that we were supposed to be at the Cherry Hill hospital. I looked at the lady and looked around and asked, "Isn't that where we are?" No, we were at the First Hill. Oh right. So we scrambled back in the car and raced over to the Cherry Hill site which is only a few blocks away. I let Shaughn and Darry out at the entrance and parked the car in what seemed like the most haphazardly arranged garage you've ever seen. Shaughn had already checked Darry in and was headed to the EEG lab. I followed his directions but even still I had to ask for further directions from staff three more times. Finally a nurse wa…

"New Mom"

Darry Update:
     Darry is doing wonderful! He had a neurological assessment by an OT today. It was hilarious watching her try to get him interested in a toy to track back and forth. Darry preferred just to look at her and smile. So she moved her head back and forth to see how well he tracked. He did really well overall. He scored very high on his cognitive and a little lower on his physical. He's very active but when it comes to tummy time, he really only prefers to look toward his right. He will eventually move his head to the left but it doesn't seem like he enjoys it. So even though his physical score was still in the normal range we're going to get an assessment from a physical therapist to see if there is some muscular tightness going on. Or they might say there is nothing to worry about, he's just getting started. Either way it's a really tiny hitch in his giddy-up but I felt a little sad anyway. It's just hard because he's already been through so m…


Well, I'm 10 days overdue. To have a baby. I'd really like to blame the baby because that's my parenting philosophy but he's been heads down seven up for months now. I'm pretty sure he's just as annoyed as I am that this is taking so long. We're passengers on a road trip that has lost its romance. We're tired of touching and we've heard all each other's stories. Joanna Newsom's sad crone voice is on repeat with that line of hers, "And I am progressing abominably."Well that and the line about slow low flying turkeys. If you've ever seen one, it's impressive and surprisingly graceful but you're also fairly concerned that it will fly right into a tree. I walked up Phinney Ridge to the bakery Fresh Flours and felt a little obscene. My belly is so big and the baby is riding so low that walking is less like a waddle and more like two halves of two different people not quite going the same direction. And I can't tell you h…


This week is my first week off from work before the baby comes. I've been looking forward to this month before the baby ever since Shaughn and I decided we could probably swing it. This would be my month to spring clean the house, do some writing, read a book, and most of all to "nest." My vision of nesting has been this burst of energy I would feel to clean the nooks and crannies of my house, make space for our new roommate, and to set up the nursery with love and care until it just gleams with soothing smells and good parenting.

But four days in and nesting has presented itself very differently. Instead of calmly folding cute onesies and putting them lovingly in the new-to-us dresser that is ADORABLE, I got extremely annoyed that I couldn't find little baskets to fit in the drawers. This will never work. The first time I have to do laundry and put his clothes away, all these little piles will just fall over until it's one horrible drawer of chaos! Our baby will…