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Quarter 1 down, 3 to go

I've been reflecting on the time it takes to be a parent. Beyond being on-call 24 hrs a day, what is the actually time commitment in hours and minutes? These past four months since Cillian was born and I started grad school have been so full, I can't even picture what I did with Darry that first year I was home with him. And then I remember all the updates and pictures and tidying up and knitting not to mention all the extra appointments he needed.

I vacillate between wanting acknowledgement about how big it is to be a mom and be in grad school and being annoyed when people make too big a deal of it. In some ways, being in grad school with an infant is the best. After we drop Darry off at preschool, it's just Cillian and I for several hours. I read while we nurse, I write and do homework when he sleeps, which is a lot. And when he's alert, I take my mind off of school and focus on his sweet, sweet face. When it's time to read or do more homework my mind is ready to…

Another May

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I didn't mean to make this blog a once-a-year-purple-hair blog, but sometimes that's how it goes. It's May again and it's time to streak your hair purple for Pediatric Stoke Awareness Month!

Although, to be honest, I wasn't planning on doing the purple hair streak this year. For one, I cut my hair really short. I'm over 5 months pregnant, have had a barfy and anxiety-ridden pregnancy so far, and have had this urge to exert my toughness, like a cranky old dog with sore hips who bites if you bother her or act like your going to bother her. And having a near buzz cut helps me pull this off (kind of. I was given a coupon by a very old woman at the grocery store and then some Safeway Monopoly pieces from possibly homeless man who looked at my cart and my big belly and said, "She has a whole family to feed with another one on the way--you take these." So clearly I'm not being all that tough if everyone and their coupon-cutting grandma can approach me.).…

Makin' May Matter

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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

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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!

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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,…