Sunday, November 27, 2011

The things we lose.

I feel like I should write a disclaimer. That this is about losing an inanimate object. One that wouldn't mean much to anyone else, but that causes me to grieve.

My necklace.

My relic pendant is gone. It was a Padre Pio da Pietrelcina Capp religious medal, given to me many years before he was even canonized as a saint. I received it from my mother many years ago, after what was a frightening surgery for my then 13-year-old self, when the best way she could think to show me the depths of her feelings was to give me a little piece of her and her Catholic faith. I wore it to all the other surgeries, scary medical appointments, job interviews, important tests, and big moments when I wanted to remember faith and my mother's love. Years ago I wrote here about how it was my "something old" for our wedding, pinned into the lining of my dress. I later wrote again expanding on my feelings for the pendant, calling it a talisman. I wore it when I gave birth to George. I have worn it to all his scary medical appointments.

If my family was safe, it was the one thing I would have grabbed in a fire.

Relic on a past birthday.

The relic on a past birthday.

I was wearing it while I was out, and it went missing while I was out. The clasp on my necklace wasn't even broken, just open. I have printed photos, offered rewards, sorted through trash (I hope whoever used that pregnancy test at Target wanted that negative result), crawled on the ground, and cried to store employees. We took George to the after-hours pediatrician, since he liked to chew on the pendant (as years of babies in my life have done), just to be certain he didn't swallow it. Thank Padre Pio, he did not.

Relic worn as I gave birth.

The relic worn when I gave birth to George.

I scoured the internet last night for hours, trying to find one like it. In those hours of pouring over Google images, eBay, etsy, religious medal dealer websites, and thinking up different permutations of "Padre Pio medal" or "relic" or "charm," I only found one just like mine in two places. A blogger found one at a flea market last year and then turned it into part of a charm necklace commemorating, interestingly enough, her own mother. I sent her an e-mail before seeing the second post wondering if she would ever part with it, but after seeing it, it is hard for me to have hope that she would be able to do so. The only other place is on the "Sold" section of an obscure vintage jewelry website. They have a voicemail and an e-mail waiting from me as well. That's it. On all of the internet, just two like mine. I am trying not to have hope, because hope hurts.

Relic pinned inside my wedding dress.

The relic pinned inside my wedding dress.

My husband asked me if I really want a different one, if it would be the same. Of course it would not be the same. I could only hope it helps fill the hole. And that when I looked at it and touched it while it hangs around my neck, that I would remember everything I want to remember. I realize this is a lot to expect from an object. But I think this is why we created the word talisman. We have the amazing ability to assign meaning and memories to tangible items. When I look at my future, it can be painfully uncertain at times. But I pictured myself wearing that necklace every day until the day I died, and hopefully wearing it when I died as well. That seems like a good time for thinking of faith and love.

The relic a few weeks ago.

The last photo of me wearing the relic necklace.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Newsflash: WE HAVE A TOOTH.

Newsflash: WE HAVE A TOOTH.

Eight months and two days old, and George's first tooth has officially made its appearance. He did not have it this morning when he was gnawing on my finger, but I sure noticed something sharp on his bottom right when he was gnawing away again after he woke up from his morning nap. I don't think I have been so excited about something tooth-related since several years ago when they came out with those Crest whitening strips.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Eight months.

Eight months.

Dear George George bo borge, banana fana fo forge,

That is one of the many songs in my repertoire to cheer you up when you are fussy. We also play the Lickety Split game that our friend Kelly taught me after showing how she does it with your friend Will. I bounce you on my hip while saying "Lickety lickety lickety lickety...split!" and then dip you backwards for the finale. It is almost guaranteed to cheer you up. Your smiles and laughs are infectious.

You need a little more cheering up these days. Gone are the days where you would contentedly play on your own. If Momma or Dadda are not in sight, you loudly let us know that this is unacceptable. Your Mammaw, who adores watching you while Momma goes to the gym to get her fitness on, says she can even tell you miss us while we are gone.

We try to rectify this by using FaceTime to chat with your daddy at work, and we call Mammaw and Grandpa too. The newest trick is how you interact with them, putting your arms up in the air when they ask, "How big is George?" Hilariously, you always follow it up with clapping, like you are just that proud of yourself.

The biggest milestone this month is crawling. CRAWLING. It is just another one of those things that hammers home that you are growing up. So far you creep or army crawl fairly slowly, but your enthusiasm tells me that you are going to figure out how to go faster very soon. Which means I am in big trouble, because as slow as you are right now, you still manage to find random junk to shove in your mouth. How do you manage that, Houdini? It also means the cats are in big trouble, because you still have them on your radar.

The sippy cup is also a big deal for you. Last month you started taking a sippy cup with a spout, but the ideal is for babies to use straws. Something about oral motor function yadda yadda yadda. Well, a few weeks ago we tried your straw sippy cup, and it was a success. Let me tell you why this is awesome for non-oral motor reasons. I can hand you your sippy cup in the car, and it keeps you happily quiet for a few minutes. For this reason, your sippy cup is worth more than gold to me.

Baby led solids are still going great. Most other mommas think we are either brave or crazy, but other than watching you carefully, giving you non-pureed foods has been utterly awesome. We eat together, as a family. You love shoveling food into your mouth, especially the sweet potato fries I make for you. That pincer grasp is getting better as well.

I spent my first night away from you this month when your daddy and I celebrated our anniversary (he has already been away several nights for business trips, so only one of us was antsy about this adventure). You spent the night at your Mammaw and Grandpa's house. She said she already knew you were a happy joy, but she was pleasantly surprised that you slept through the night. Which is what you do, ever since a little help from us when we did sleep training (GASP! Cue the judgment!) earlier this month. Knock on wood you keep on sleeping like this, especially since we finally got you napping regularly again for the first time since we took that trip to Boston and Maine three months ago.

Halloween was a few days ago, and this is one of my favorite holidays of the year - it is all about the joy, cuteness, and creativity of children (or, for one as young as you, their parents). We took a few photos of you in your dinosaur costume the day before, thank goodness, because the day of Halloween you were not having any of that. Luckily we had an orange onesie, plopped you on the porch at Mammaw and Grandpa's house in Celebration, and you happily played and ate for nearly three hours as trick or treaters steadily streamed into the area. Your cousin Cassandra handled most of the treating work, but between her cat mask and your innate cuteness, kids were happy to be at that house.

You make me happy, kiddo.

Love you,


At @TrackShack getting new running shoes.

Seven month old George and his Momma, part 4.

George and his cousins.

Rob and George at Tijuana Flats.

A George-sized pumpkin.

Happy boy in the swing.

George swinging.

A new lovey.

Oh, hi there.

Happy Halloween!

"Is this candy for me?"

Me and my pensive baby.

Candy corn baby feet.

George on a tree stump.

Alllllllllmost the eight month photo.