Tuesday, October 12, 2010

In Loving Memory of my Unborn Child

I lost my baby this week. I was 10 weeks pregnant. While I can't prove it for certain, I know in my heart of hearts that the child I carried was a girl. I named her Rachel Olivia. She was so very, desperately, wanted.

Yesterday I learned she had other plans. She preferred to skip over this life and go straight to the one where there are no tears nor sadness. I know Jesus is holding her in His arms, as I am unable to.

Last night, I told my husband I wanted to go to the beach and listen to the waves come up & down. We have very dear friends who live near the beach and we called them to let them know we were coming. Within 15 minutes of our arrival, a number of our other friends came as well, to join us in our time of suffering. We sat under the beach, and our pastor came too and brought his guitar. We were singing songs of praise to our God, who "works all things together for the good of those who love Him." We don't understand why this happened, but we also know that God doesn't waste a hurt.

While we were singing under the starlit sky, listening to the waves crash upon the shore, I glanced heavenward. I saw a shooting star at the same moment I felt a sharp pain in my womb. I believe it was my daughter, letting me know she had arrived in heaven and was there watching over us.

It is to my daughter, Rachel Olivia Swanepoel, that I dedicate this poem.

I saw her in a shooting star
The night I learned she had gone from me
My unborn child, dearly loved,
Shooting across & above the moonlit sea
I saw her in a shooting star
As friends of my heart sang around me
The precious soul, carried inside me
For such a brief time, yet I know it was she, when
I saw her in a shooting star.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Day I Was Mistaken for Jennifer Aniston

Today I was mistaken for Jennifer Aniston.

This was very significant. I have been a Jennifer Aniston fan for quite some time. My husband & I watch reruns of Friends rather frequently. I may even name the child in my uterus Rachel. If it's a girl, that is. We won't know for awhile. But I digress.

This evening the side effects of pregnancy were wearing on me. Swollen feet. Nausea. Heartburn. Nausea. Fatigue. Nausea. Once Husband came home, we had plans to all go for a dip in the pool. At the last moment I declined. I went immediately to bed. (Of course, I asked for the iPad. Because it rocks. And it has Netflix on it. And I can immediately watch a number of movies featuring Jennifer Aniston.)

After a couple of hours and most of the way through "Picture Perfect" (featuring Jennifer Aniston & Kevin Bacon. Yummy.), my 3-year old son Chris came into the room. He crawled up into the bed and asked what I was watching. I showed him the screen and he saw Jennifer Aniston.

He looked at her. He thought for a second. He looked at me. He thought for a second.

He said, "Mommy, is that YOU?"

Because me, with my swollen feet, fluid retention, frumpy PJs, messy hair, and oily skin (because pregnancy hormones do CRAZY things to my pores) I am the spitting image of Jennifer Aniston. Tall, slender, graceful, perfect-skinned Jennifer Aniston.

Seriously. The only thing that I have in common with Jennifer Aniston is, well, our first name. That's it.

Aniston- tall (at least I think she is. I've never stood next to her to compare.)
Me- short
Aniston- slender and graceful
Me- thick around the middle and clumsy
Aniston- perfect comedic timing
Me- can't tell a joke to save her life

But in the eyes of my son, I am beautiful, graceful, speak with a melodic voice, and funny.

I think I'll stick with his opinion.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Reasons to Grow Up

I love that my son is now old enough to carry on conversations. The mind of a 3 1/2 year old is a truly marvelous thing. Yesterday in the car I told him I wished he could stop growing for a little while. Here is our conversation:

Me: Will you stay a little boy forever?

Him: No. I'm growing.

Me: Can you just stop growing for a little while?

Him: NO! You can't put anything on top of me!!!!

Me: I won't put anything on top of you. Isn't it fun being a kid?

Him: NO!

Me: Do you want to be a grown-up?

Him: YES!

Me: Why?

Him: Because....... I can have big knees. Daddy has big knees, Mommy has big knees....(sadly and with a little bit of a whine) I have little knees.

Me: through muffled laughter Oh, I see. Grown-ups have big knees.

Him: YES!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Theme & Variations on Alfredo Sauce

We had unexpected guests at our house this evening.

Well, I didn't expect them. My husband did. But not for an hour. One of them showed up while I was not, ahem, decent so I had to run out of sight quickly to fix the problem because this polite gentleman walked in without knocking. But I digress.

With unexpected guests coming at dinnertime, I felt obligated to prepare some food. Because I was raised in a southern family, and you just quite simply do not have people in your home at any time of day without offering some form of refreshment. Oftentimes a bag of chips will suffice, but they showed up at DINNERTIME! Being a resourceful sort of person, I surveyed the contents of my pantry. Not much. (I had been planning on doing grilled cheese sandwiches but there wasn't enough bread for everyone.) I found a small jar of Alfredo sauce and half a box of pasta. Looked good. Not quite enough sauce, though. It was a very small jar. Then I remembered that I had 3/4 of a jar in the fridge, as I had opened it the previous night to dip breadsticks in!

Now, not being as talented as my good friend Jessica, the Novice Chef (I quite happily admit that I am much novicer than she.) I needed to improvise a bit. My husband is the cook of the family and he is very particular about his sauces. Opening a jar and dumping it in the pot doesn't quite cut it around here.

SO-- I improvised. I combined the two small jars. One was "sundried tomato alfredo" and one was "romano and parmesan." I didn't stop there. I also added a splash of white wine. I didn't stop there, either. Also in my fridge, I found some already-cubed-up grilled chicken, so I tossed that in for good measure.

Anyone who didn't know that jarred sauce had been present wouldn't have figured it out. It tasted completely homemade and delicious. I was ecstatic, being that I am the novicest chef.

Then I announced that dinner was ready. And these gentleman, who showed up at my house unannounced and with poor timing, informed me that they had plans to have dinner with some other friends later, but they were thankful for my offer. Grmph.

I guess I'll just have to go for seconds!

Friday, August 13, 2010

SQLBBQ: The Aftermath

On August 1, 2010, we hosted a BBQ at our house. For a whole bunch of strangers. (Who are now friends.) Computer geeks, actually. I was a little nervous, as I seem to have a little bit of social anxiety when I'm around people I don't know. My husband at least knew most of these people from Twitter (@BrentO, @SQLAgentMan, @SQLChicken, and lots and lots more....)

So anyhoo. They all descend upon my house. After an hour (and 3 strawberry daiquiris,) I relax and start to enjoy the company of those around me. This SQL group are good people! So here is the story of the Aftermath of SQLBBQ...

There were so many nice, helpful folks attending SQLBBQ. People carried things in and out, did some cooking, poured some drinks, played with my kid, and brought trays of meat into the kitchen. One of these helpful folks (who is still unknown) placed some extra ribs, chicken, and corn-on-the-cob into a baking dish and stashed it into the oven to keep warm. Very well intentioned. As the night wore down and the last guest left, I surveyed the remains- 5 hot dogs and a couple of burgers. I was astounded! How could there not be more leftovers than this? Either my husband planned very well when purchasing food or someone went hungry. I shrugged it off and packed the extra hot dogs and burgers into a Rubbermaid container, tossed it in the fridge, ran a load of dishes, and went to bed.

Several days pass. Nearly a full week, actually.

It is Friday evening. I decide to cook a frozen pizza. Now, we have two ovens in our house. We typically use the upper oven because it's just easier to get into and out of, and doesn't involve backing into a cabinet in order to remove the food. The upper oven we have been using all week. The lower oven hasn't been touched. Until tonight, because the pan I use to cook frozen pizzas is too deep for the upper oven, necessitating the use of backing into the cabinets in order to open the oven in order to insert food.

The pizza was ready to go. I added extra cheese and pepperoni, and a few pineapple slices for good measure. I back myself into the cabinets, and open the door of the lower oven.

A foul stench greets my olfactory nerve. I blink. Three flies escape from the blazing warmth of the pre-heat setting on my oven. I cautiously open the door a little more to figure out what on earth is going on.

And there is a baking dish, filled with ribs and chicken and corn on the cob, which had been placed there by a well-meaning individual and whom I am certain had no malice in their hearts when they performed such an act. Tears begin to sting my eyes. I quickly grab a garbage bag and throw out what should have been excellent leftovers.

A bit of a melt-down was had. Things were not pretty. I lit as many candles as I possibly could and ran all the fans in the house. My mood was as foul as the stench which pervaded my kitchen.

But everything's OK now. Now, I laugh about it. It's actually one of my better stories.

That's kind of sad, that I don't have any better stories than that.

I need to get out more.

Like maybe on next year's SQLCruise??