Archive | September, 2012

Shopping Cart

24 Sep

This little shopping cart is one of Ruby’s favorite toys. She loves to fill it up, push it around, and even sit in it.


Last Beach Day

22 Sep

We went down to Lavallette and spent some time at the beach today. It was super windy and a bit too cold to swim but our beach baby still had a wonderful time.




20 Sep

Ruby created some chalk art on our patio yesterday.

Here she is just being lazy today.



17 Sep

We are trying to get Ruby to go to sleep but she prefers stacking her blocks.



18 months

15 Sep

Ruby is 18 months old today. My wonderful in-laws came down this weekend and we have had such a nice day. Ruby is growing like a weed and needed new shoes so we got her two new pairs, including these ruby slippers that she picked out.

After shoe shopping she got to ride on the little carousel at the mall, which she enjoyed more than this picture would have you believe.

I’m doing a little better every day, and have been greatly blessed and encouraged by the outpouring of love we have received.



Sweet Ruby

13 Sep

Ruby has been particularly sweet to me the past few days. I think that she can sense that something is wrong and she has been giving me lots of hugs and kisses and also laughs. One of her favorite things lately is to take her blood pressure with my new blood pressure cuff. As you can see she is quite serious about it.

I am doing better but still am pretty shocked. Thank you all so much for all of the love and prayers. I was hesitant about sharing my story but am so glad that I did–all of the support that I have received has been amazing.



12 Sep

As I write this I am miscarrying my baby.

It is very painful.

Physically, yes, but emotionally–spiritually–much more so.

I feel…so…broken.

And I miss my tiny baby.  My itty bitty baby who never had a heartbeat, but who we loved nonetheless.  I am (was?) seven weeks pregnant with our second child.  Ruby, our first, is delightful and brave.  And busy.  Always busy.  At 18 months she is in desperate need of a sibling, and I am oh so ready to give her one.

I’ve been ready, for awhile now, but just wasn’t getting pregnant.  Finally we used the First Response Ovulation Test and conceived the first month.  We found out on August 18th.  We were ecstatic.

I started spotting a week and a half ago, and went in for an ultrasound.  Everything looked ok and it was still a little early for a heartbeat, but I sensed that something was amiss.  I didn’t feel pregnant–I felt amazing, energetic–and thought that maybe I was just very lucky this time around.  Maybe I would avoid the nausea and crushing exhaustion I had experienced with Ruby.  Outwardly I attributed this to paleo.

Deep down inside I think I knew.

Yesterday the spotting got worse.  After consulting with the advice nurse over the phone I went in for an ultrasound and a chat with one of the midwives.   I had the same ultrasound tech as last week, and she was so nice.  She took a long time, but still could not detect a heartbeat, and the baby had not grown since last week.

The midwife, Laura, broke the news that we would lose the baby.  She was lovely and reassuring and kind.  She said all the right things: that I had no trouble getting pregnant, that I carried Ruby to term, that I would have more beautiful, healthy babies.  I sobbed and sobbed.  Matty, my mom, and Ruby were all there with me.  They were sad too, but rocks for me to lean on.  Laura said that she would do a blood test to be sure, and then we could discuss my options: miscarrying at home, with or without medication; or a D&C.

I didn’t end up needing any confirmation, nor did I have time to think about options.  Last night, shortly after arriving home from the hospital, the bleeding and cramping got exponentially worse, and lasted through the night.  I tried to sleep, to no avail.  I cried, watched reruns of sitcoms on late-night TV, and came downstairs to start writing this post.  Eventually the pain subsided enough for me to fall into an uncomfortable sleep.

Yesterday was the eleventh anniversary of 9/11.  Compared to the tragedy of that horrible day, my pain is tiny, minuscule.  To me it is vast and deep.  We will never know this baby, never hold him or her in our arms.  Ruby will never kiss the baby’s tiny cheek.

Now I understand why expectant mothers wait until after the first trimester to announce a pregnancy.  I dislike keeping secrets, especially happy ones, and there is no history of miscarriage among my maternal grandmother (nine children), my mother (five), or my older sister (four).  We joke that God gave us child-bearing hips for a reason.  At 30 I am still young; surely this couldn’t happen to me.

So I told people, and now I have to un-tell them, and that just seems like a terrible burden right now.

know that I am blessed beyond measure; with a loving, supportive husband and family, and with a daughter who is precocious and sweet.  We wanted this baby, had already carved out a space for him or her, and I am not yet ready to let go and move on.

Goodbye sweet baby, you are loved.  I carry you in my heart.

Mount Vernon

10 Sep

The weather today was glorious and Ruby and I took full advantage of it on an outing to Mount Vernon with my friend Lisa and her son Graysen. I haven’t been in years (decades?) and had forgotten how truly lovely the estate is. The kids particularly enjoyed seeing the animals and playing with each other.





30 Days that Changed My Life

10 Sep

So a few months ago I was stuck in a bit of a rut.

Okay okay I lie.

It was a huge rut.

In March I resigned from the Navy after seven years on active duty, became a stay-at-home mom, and moved across the country. It was a *lot* of change all at once, and I don’t think that I handled it all very well.  Don’t get me wrong, I adore Ruby and love spending time with her, but at first it seemed like…well…a whole lot of time to be spending one-on-one with a baby, even though she is the coolest baby in the world. I also realized that a good deal of my identity had been wrapped up in being a naval officer, and it was very hard for me to hang up my uniform one last time and stop being Lieutenant Shellock.

When I was working I had envisioned this awesome life in DC–I would go to the gym every day and finally shed a few (or more) lbs, Ruby and I would go to museums and some sort of yuppie baby and me classes, and I would cook healthy, gourmet meals every night.

None of that happened.

I joined the Y and din’t go one. single. time.  It was all I could do to get out of my pajamas some days.  Matty thinks I was depressed, but I wasn’t sad or anything.  I was just…I don’t know…unmotivated maybe?  There just didn’t seem to be any point to doing anything, and everything seemed to require a great deal of effort, for whatever reason.  The house was a mess (except when Matty cleaned, which was fairly often), and although I generally tried to cook there were plenty of nights when we ended up ordering takeout, even though I had had all day to plan a menu and shop for groceries, and I love to cook.

It was time for a change.

On July 16 Matty and I started this program:   It is a pretty hardcore paleo diet program–no sugar, no grains, no processed food, no dairy, no alcohol, etc.  My youngest sister and her husband have been doing paleo since January, and earlier in the summer my parents and older sister jumped on the bandwagon.  Matty’s cousin had also had great success on paleo, losing 75 lbs over the past year.  I have battled my weight for the past 18 years and was really not interested in some sort of fad diet, but all of the information I have read about paleo just makes so much sense I thought we should give it a try.

I also used the opportunity to change a few other things in my life.  I was addicted to Facebook, and it was a particularly unhealthy addiction for me.  I am a pretty competitive person and even though I was so happy for all of my friends whenever they had good news it was a little hard for me to see everyone else thriving while I flailed about.  So I quit, cold turkey, the day we started the Whole 30.  I thought that Facebook would be hard to give up, but it ended up not being that big of a deal, and I was especially glad to not be on during the whole Chik-Fil-A craziness.

On August 2nd I attened my first political meeting and have been pretty involved since.  This is something that I am passionate about and my involvement has given me something productive to do, often with Ruby.  One of the things I loved about being in the Navy was that every single day I put on my uniform I felt like I was making some sort of difference in the world, and in this pivotal election year I love having that feeling again.

So the 30 days flew by.  We were not 100% strict with paleo, which technically means we failed the Whole 30, but in my eyes it was a success.  We certainly changed our eating habits permanently and continue eating paleo as much as possible–probably about 95% of the time.  One of the things that I love about paleo is that it is not entirely focused on weight loss.  I have lost about 16 lbs over the past two months, which I am happy with, but I feel so much better.  My mind is clear, I have tons of energy, and I love the fact that we are eating healthy, nourishing food.

I ended up back on Facebook after about 40 days (I think).  I just missed seeing pictures of my friends and family, and pseudo-catching up with long lost friends.  However, I did not reinstall the app on my phone, so I am only on a few times a day.  This is a happy medium for me.

The best change was that I have really tried to just be present with Ruby, and I am enjoying being home with her so much more now.  She is so precious and time is moving so quickly, and I was wasting it.  Believe me, I am still nowhere near the perfect mom and there are plenty of moments when I would love to just escape for a bit, but I feel incredibly blessed to be able to mother her full-time, and that I have a wonderful, supportive husband.

So there it is!  30 days that changed my life.  I tried to have a few, measurable goals, and even though I fell a little short my whole life seems uplifted, so I will call it a success!

If you were doing a 30 day challenge, what would you change?

Harris Teeter

9 Sep

Ruby just loves the free cookies that kids get from Harris Teeter:

She also loves reading “Go Dog Go”