Thursday, November 30, 2006


Congratulations, Kate!!

Congratulations, Kate!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I just realized that I would have had my big ultrasound around this time. I don't even want to think about it--this is so... awful.

Channeling My Inner 50's Housewife

Last night, after dinner my husband said,

"You know how guys sometimes will talk about how their wives don't cook as good as their mothers?"


"Well, I just want you to know that you cook better than my mom now."

Is is completely wrong that I felt a thrill of excitement with this conversation? His mom is a damn good cook. While we're on this topic, here are some highlights from an article that we have on our fridge. It's a photocopy from the May 1955 edition of Houskeeping Monthly. It's on or fridge because, a) it's hilarious and b) our house was built in 1955 and I imagine that the first lady that lived here read this article and hopefully was appalled. I give you highlights from:

The Good Wife's Guide

  • Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking of him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome.
  • Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work weary people! (so the same pj pants four days in a row isn't hot?)
  • Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
  • Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please.
  • Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first--remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
  • Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.
  • Don't complain if he's late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day. (Huh?)
  • Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice. (Oh, ha ha ha ha ha ha !!!!)
  • Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgement or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
  • A good wife always knows her place.

Holy Crap. I don't care if this was fifty years ago, I don't believe that a woman actually wrote this. And if she did, she probably went batshit crazy shortly thereafter. Maybe she looked like this:

"oooh, what do you think of my knife collection?"

Monday, November 20, 2006

This is a beautiful birthstone bracelet made by Catherine. (We did a swap--a purse for a bracelet.) It has a strand for Nate and one for Chip, too. Hopefully, I'll get to send it back one day to have another strand added for a happier outcome. Thank you so much, it's gorgeous! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

An Interview with Myself

What do you want?
I'd like a baby, thanks.

Well, aren't you scared?
Sure. Of course I am.

What if you have another miscarriage?
The miscarriage was horrible, awful. But...I need to try.

What if you lose another full-term baby? Could you handle that?
Well, I'd have to, wouldn't I? Shut up, don't talk that way.

You've got your head in the sand.
No I do not. Believe me, I'm keenly aware of what could happen.

Why even try again?
Because I know that there's happy endings out there. Because I know that even people who have had total abruptions like I did, have gone on to have more than one beautiful, healthy pregnancy. And because I think that my biggest regret of my life would be not to try again just out of fear. I'm hoping that someday, I'll look at my children and be thankful that I tried again.

You could adopt.
Yeah, I know that. We've done research, we've talked to people, we've thought of finances. It's something we plan on doing whether or not we're able to have kids of our own. It's just that right now, with the agency that we like, it's almost a two-year wait for a little girl from China. I just can't wait right now. One year, yeah. Two years, not right now.

What if you lose another full-term baby? Could you handle that?

I think so.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Sucky Post

I received an email yesterday from one of my former flute students from when I was teaching at the University. She was at a different life stage than my other students: she was married, she had a two year old little girl and she was pregnant with a boy and due at the same time I was. She must have taken the spring semester off, just like I did and returned this fall, just like I didn't. She had just heard what had happened and wanted to know when I was coming back. (I'm not.)

I don't know what the point of this post is. There is no point, probably. Just a big, huge cosmic "Huh?!" from me. I'm probably just like tons of people that you know. Your sister. Your friend. But now I'm an example, and not the kind I wanna be. Now I'm "look what happened to her. goddamn." I'm reproductive equivalent of going to the super buffets just to "people watch" to feel better about your own body image. [Insert here what I nice person I am and I didn't ask for this bullshit and I've never hurt anyone and I'm married to a nice man and have a lovely home, blah, blah, fuck-ity blah] If I don't get some good news soon, then I just don't know what.

**edited to add**
I know that I'm preaching to the choir, here. Maybe I just need an "amen".

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Veteran's Day

My mom and I went to see Nate yesterday. That makes it a grand total of three times that I've been there for him: the funeral, Easter and now Veteran's Day. My son is buried in the Missouri Veterans Cemetery and I wanted to see how the place looked with American flags everywhere. I hate that it's still so hard for me to go there. Why would it ever be easy to visit your child in a cemetery? Even so, I feel like a sucky mother.

They did have flags raised on the several flagpoles that line the drives, and it was very pretty, but they didn't have flags on each grave like I hoped. Maybe that's Memorial Day. I don't know. I never paid attention to these holidays until my son ended up in a veteran's cemetery. This particular one is brand new, and several rows of graves had been added since Tom and I had been there at Easter. Here, all of the gravemarkers are identical--more military uniformity. It's easy to find Nate's row, though, because his granddad is buried in the very first grave, 16 spaces down.

Tom's dad died on January 15 of this year. He was very sick, but he died very quickly and went much sooner than anyone expected. We all believed that he would be here to welcome Nate into the family and even have some time to enjoy him. After he had died, I had so much hoped that Nate's birth would bring some happiness back to the family and be a welcome diversion for all of us. That day of the funeral, standing in front of Tom's father's flag draped casket, I never imagined that we would be back there in just over two weeks, in the same freezing interment shelter but this time, a tiny white casket in its place. It was surreal to say the least.

It had been so long since I had been there, I was happy to see that grass had finally grown over Nate's grave. Time marches on and nature takes it's course no matter how I'm feeling and how much I feel as if it's standing still. New baby grass growing over my son's grave like new skin that covers a bad wound. It's not as raw anymore, but you can still see where you've been hurt.

My sister-in-law had already been there to place pretty arrangements on both graves. (Tom's mother and sisters always keep flowers on the graves, and I'm so grateful for that. They always make a little arrangement for the baby.) Mom and I arranged our flowers in the militarily uniform vase that we are required to use, and I stood back and took a couple of pictures. The marker reads-

Nathaniel Guy K.
January 31, 2006
Februrary 3, 2006
Son of
SPC Thomas K.
Our Sweet Baby Nate

I always laugh a little when I read "Sweet Baby Nate". It sounds like the name of a barbeque sauce. "Sweet Baby Nate's Lip-Smackin' Sauce". But that's what I called him when I was pregnant, because he was sweet. He was sweet and considerate and polite. He never kept me up all night and he never even had the hiccups. He just gave me wicked heartburn, but I'm sure he didn't mean to. It sucks that this is all I know about him. "Nate was a baby. He liked grape juice. The end."

We walked sixteen spaces down and carefully arranged some purple mums (in honor of the Purple Heart that he received) in another militarily uniform vase for Tom's dad. I stood up and looked over the rows and rows of identical headstones. In my direct line of sight was the grave marker of a 21-year old man that died last November. His stone read: "Rangers Lead the Way". My husband was an Army Ranger, and reading the Ranger motto on a headstone made my hair stand up. I thought about all of these men buried here. This young Ranger and all the others, these veterans--what did they see in their lifetimes? I thought about Nate, surrounded by these tough men and felt a little better. I felt a little proud. Many of these men were buried with their medals pinned to their chest, and my boy is right there--all seven pounds and eleven ounces of him--his hair combed across his forehead, his chin tucked to his chest, looking very stern. My little soldier.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Closer to Fine

I used to sing in my car. I used to be the girl rockin' out at the stoplight, getting embarassed when she realized that someone noticed. Most days now, I cry on my way to work or I cry on my way home. Usually both. I'm definately not a trained singer and honestly, I'd have to get pretty drunk to get up in front of people to sing karaoke. I've always thought that this was a particularly weird thing about me--one of my favorite places to be is on stage with my flute, performing. I love playing to an audience. There is absolutely nothing like a standing ovation, and boy I could sure use one these days. But ask me to sing, and I clam up.

I got into my car tonight, heading home from orchestra, and despite the frustrations of this particular rehearsal, my heart was feeling pretty light. I noticed that I was singing along to Panic at the Disco. That wasn't doing it for me, so I started searching for my Joni Mitchell CD with Big Yellow Taxi, my favorite drunk karaoke song. I try a few bars a capella, but couldn't remember the words. I had to find something--I felt happy! I felt like singing! This was a big deal. At the next stoplight, I dug through my cd wallet and found the holy grail of singin' at the top of your lungs--Indigo Girls.

Ah, the Indigo Girls. I've seen them in concert three times and in college, my girlfriends and I would sit around and just sing, sing, drink and sing with IG in the stereo. To me, their music isn't just great stuff to listen to, it's my college soundtrack. It's friendship, roadtrips, bad break ups and just the plain awesomeness of being a girl. Every track was our anthem.

I haven't listened to a single song since Nate died. I used to sing Indigo Girls songs to my baby. But tonight, I sang. I sang my heart out with Amy and then switched to Emily's parts on the harmonies, like I always did. I sang all the way home, and when I parked in the garage I sat there and sang some more. I sang with a happy heart full of good memories of girlfriends and my sweet baby.

Tomorrow may be different, but tonight I got a glimpse of the old Laura. The singing and dancing and hooray for everything Laura. Tomorrow may be different, but tonight I'm alright. I'm learning not to take these moments for granted, but to celebrate them when they happen.

Friday, November 03, 2006

aaaaaaaand, scene!

Okay, the offending clothes and books are folded neatly in a Zingerman's Deli mail order box, minus dead skunks or dog shit. I had 3 tops, 1 pair of okay pants and 2 pairs of ugly-ass pants that I never wore, and a couple of books. Most of it from Target and none of it haute couture. (Not that there's anything wrong with Target clothes. I love Target and most all of my own maternity clothes are either from there or from second hand mama stores. I'm just being a jerk.) Tom helped me dig out those clothes last night. He was so sweet, he said, "Let's do it now and then we can watch The Office to cheer you up." I was so glad that he acknowleged that it would be hard for me to do that, we think of things differently most of the time. Left brain, right brain couple.

So, Tom's gonna dump those off for me today. I've yet to send any type of communication, she's probably really got her knickers in a twist now. Awesome. I think, in the end, a short version is sweeter. Like, "They'll be on your porch." Just knowing her like I have for 13 years, the short version will piss her off even more and I need to nip this thing in the bud NOW. To answer Jill, yes, she's always been very self absorbed. I could tell you things that would make your hair curl, but spill it all here wouldn't be nice....

Thank you for all of your great advice--both bloggy friends and in real life friends--it was great therapy for me to get all of that out and to know that I wasn't being a big baby about it. I have 13 years of built up garbage about this woman. So, while I would never, ever, ever wish her a dangerous pregnancy with a horrible outcome, I could wish her some discomfort. Like:

  • May she have hemorrhoids that swell to the size of dinner plates.
  • May she be so constipated that her eyes are bloodshot for the duration.
  • May she have acne so bad, her face is like ground beef.
  • With every chuckle, may she pee her pants.
  • May she pass gas publicly. Often.

Feel free to add.

p.s.--my period started again. 19 day cycle. I wish that my body would just get back to normal, if it even knows what normal is anymore. Also, baby-making sex sucks and we're not doing it anymore. Sex for fun and leisure only. Then we'll see what happens.