I have not written a Marshall update in way too long.

Physically, he has changed so much this summer. He is tall. Really tall. The cub had grown two full inches since April! He outgrew all of his clothes and shoes, now wearing sizes 3/4 and 8 respectively.

His head is covered with beautiful golden hair. It is honey brown underneath and almost white on top. We have successfully cut it once in February at the barber’s. But, he wants NOTHING to do with it, now. He wants a ponytail.

I am always impressed with his physical abilities; taking off and putting on open shoes (wellington boots and crocs), taking off pants, setting up the stool and potty seat combination to use the toilet and wash his hands, climbing, balancing, and using his upper body strength to pull himself up ladders and rings.

Each day Marsh surprises us with a new word or combination of words. He used his words carefully “I sorry, Neko.” or “Marshall disappointed” and sometimes with force to relieve frustration; “Cinders and ashes!”. He says some of the funniest things that my ears have ever heard:

A couple of weeks ago, I said to Ein (one of our two cats) “What were you doing outside all night?” Marsh says, “Singing.” “Singing? Singing what?” “Twinkle, twinkle little meat.”

“Marshall hear snake.” “You hear a snake? What is it doing?” “Eating loon.” “A snake is eating a loon? Where?” “In the woods. Over there.” “Why?” “To cool down.”

I love being by his side as he takes in the world around him. His curiosity and joy are contagious.



I am going to make a confession here:

I am angry.

I feel wronged.

I am not suppressing it today, damn it. While I am not at the mercy of my anger, I am not going to pretend that it doesn’t exist. As much as I long for that zen-like aura, I can feel anger run through my entire being and course in my veins. It pounds in my ears.

I have to work very hard to not let this anger envelope me. To not be defined by it. To express it in healthy, constructive ways.

Loss Tattoo

Memory Inked

Loss Pregnant


As I sit in my nest wet with tears, I am moved to attempt to express my profound sense of loss. I am grieving, sorrowing, mourning. This envelopes me and I must allow it to, so as not to become calloused, brittle, hard, or cold.

For the last two months a flickering flame of hope, a joy grew deep within me. Life in my womb again suffused me, and by extension Adam and Marshall with such happiness. Each night we snuggled together, dreaming family dreams.

I have been nauseated, overly-sensitive to odors, tired to the very bone. I have avoided most foods that I typically find joy in; cooking is unbearable. But, it was all in the course of something beautiful and exciting. Knowing that these symptoms would pass as my belly swelled comforted me through even the worst wretching. As these symptoms persist but the flame is extinguished, it is a cruel mockery.

I have not ever known loss like this. It is so very different than the death of a friend or an older loved one. Memories keep them very much alive in my mind and heart. But, this little one was so new that I can grieve only the future. The potential. It is a very solitary sadness. Even my Lover can only marginally sympathize as this had been something so very much between me and our unborn child.

The medical community calls this a missed miscarriage. We went in on Tuesday for a “dating ultrasound” to measure the baby and confirm the estimated due date of January 4, 2011. We were excited with expectation of seeing the little heart beat.

Adam and Marshall stood by holding my hand as the radiology tech glided the tool over my already expanding belly. She took measurements of our little baby but did not say much. She switched over to a internal tool, and I knew that there was something wrong. Then, she called in the radiologist who repeated all that she had done. They asked me to redress and told me that they would be right back to discuss the results.

I hid for a moment in the sanctuary of the bathroom. Then, removed the hospital gown and pulled on my maternity jeans. They already seemed inappropriate. I knew what I had seen; uterine sac, a sweet little fetus. A lack of movement.

The uterine sac looked sound and healthy blood flow, the fetus measured 2.5 cm, so the dating was as expected; 9 weeks. But, no heartbeat was detected. Whatever had occurred was very recent; within a day or so. The radiologist was gentle and professional. He assured me that this was not due to something that I had done. That he was so sorry.

I needed to get out of that small, dark, tomb-like exam room. Into the light. I needed to breathe fresh air and kiss my Marshall’s soft blond hair. To feel Adam’s warmth. I needed to be reminded of what was real and good. My ears buzzed with “chromosomal abnormality”.

My options were laid out to me by my gentle and sympathetic PCP and then again by my kind midwife. I choose to wait. To allow my body to recognize the loss. I trust the wisdom of my body. Meanwhile, I hold my still, unborn child within me for just a little while longer.


Diaper Free

Marshall has been diaper free for 3 weeks, today! He woke up one morning, signed “potty” to me. I helped him onto his little potty that we keep next to our bed during the night and at nap times. He peed then stood up and signed “potty”, again. I told him, “Yes. You used the potty. Thank you for letting me know that you needed to go.” He began to sign more frantically, so I quickly brought him downstairs and sat him on the toilet with his adapter seat on it. He pooped and proudly signed “potty” while beaming his huge smile. It was clear that something was different about this for him.

We have always been very interested in natural infant hygiene. It just makes so much sense! Marsh has only rarely ever used a diaper during the night. He has peed and pooped on the little potty regularly, but not consistently since he was about three months old. So, it was not unusual for him to start out the day using the potty. But, he kept it up throughout our day at home. He would either head to the bathroom, sit on his little potty (that I usually try to keep near), or signed “potty”.

The following day he helped pick out some stickers at the store and we set up a Potty Time chart. Each time he uses the potty, flushes, and washes his hands he picks out a sticker and we place it on his chart. It seems so simple, but he really gets a lot of joy out of picking out the stickers, adding them to the chart, talking about the pictures on the charts and counting them up at the end of the day.

For the first week we brought his adapter seat with us when we went out in a nice little bag that he can carry himself. That way, even if the bathroom and toilet were strange he had something reassuringly familiar to use. But, he is “an old pro” now and seems unfazed by different surroundings when it comes to using the bathroom.

We understand that he may lose interest but if nothing else this has been a fun three week break from diaper washing! I really cannot see him reverting back to diaper wearing, as he seems to derive such satisfaction from his new skill.

I feel fortunate that Marshall is interested in potty learning at such a young age (now 19-months). I try to allow him the freedom to explore it on his own, without pressure. If he misses his body’s signals and doesn’t make it to the potty on time, we reassure him that this has happened to everyone and that he can use the potty next time if he wants to. We clean it up quickly and without a fuss. The most challenging time for this is when we are playing or working outside in the snow. Navigating the many layers required to keep him it tricky! He does not have more than one “miss” a day because he simply prefers to stay clean and dry. He always had. We never had to wonder about whether or not he needed a change. Adam noticed when he was about three days old that when he was wet he would try to squirm away from his diaper.

Every child is different and will be ready use the potty at different times. If you are trying to help your child with their potty learning, please check out Dr. Sears’ tips.



Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

~Nelson Mandela


Breastfeeding to Sleep

No time to create a real post. But, I needed to link to this articulate and thoughtful article in Mothering.

“You’re not managing an inconvenience, you’re raising a human being.”



Phew! We have been busy since I last posted. There is a lot to catch up on.

We bought and moved into our new house! We are settled in now, with all everyday things unpacked. Some seasonal and storage items need to be unpacked and some books need shelves.

We did not repaint anything, yet. We decided to wait and get to know the space, see how the light enters the rooms before repainting. Nothing is objectionable, the living room is a peachy neutral, the kitchen/dining area is yellow, Adam’s office is a great sage green, and the bathroom is a light blue. Everything else in the main area of the house is just primed. The basement is sheetrocked and mudded, but not primed or painted.

Marshall is running! He loves his new, big yard. We spend as much time outside as possible. He plays with his trucks and wagon in the dirt driveway and gets up and down the grassy hills so quickly now.

I set up his bookshelf, toys, changing area, and musical instruments in the smallest, sunniest of the four bedrooms. We call it the “son room”.

The second, larger (former master bedroom) downstairs bedroom is Adam’s office. I am so glad that he has a place to spread out all his geekery and close the door when he has dangerous, small parts in use.

The two upstairs bedrooms are working out well for us. M took the initiative to begin sleeping in his own bed. I think that he likes having more room to spread out. He usually heads over to snuggle with us shortly before Adam’s alarm goes off. I am slowly getting used to it. It was very difficult at first. I kept waking up and walking over to check on him. He is very proud of his room. He grabs guests hands and pulls them up the stairs to show them his bed.

Marshall has a mouth full of white teeth. 14 in total; his top and bottom primary incisors, top and bottom lateral incisors, top canine, and top and bottom first molars. He still uses them on us. A lot.

Well, that is a start at updating. Still a lot to say. But, the babe is up from his nap and raring to go.

Amused Musical

Listening to The Ukulele Song



The babe is walking 5-6 steps at a time, by himself. We are all pretty excited about it. The look of glee on his little face! He has added some nice new “words” to his vocabulary. My favorite is “thank you”. It is the same inflection that I use when telling him thank you, without the actual words being formed.

Adam and I are trying to figure out how to keep Marshall from biting so much…We are covered with bites and bruises. He even bit his beloved Nanny. It definitely seems to be teething related. He now has all his primary and secondary incisors and his top left first molar! There appear to be 3 more first molars on their way. Phew! Can’t wait for him to feel more comfortable.