Monday, August 31, 2009

Right on the money

We had a patient come into the office today, who so sweetly remembered that this was the week I was due to deliver, and asked me how I was doing.

It was such a small gesture, but it definitely made me feel not so alone in trying to figure out which role grief is going to play in my day to day business. I mean, it's a daily struggle..but it's not impossible. I don't want to forget the experience I went through, and the little girl I held, but I also don't want to dwell on it every waking hour. It's a fine line, this whole grief business.

I'm finding that we ALL deal with grief differently. I'm finding that most of my days are full of hope, and very few are filled with despair. Today started out as a morning of despair. I cried on my way to work. I thought to myself, how unfair..why me..when will we get lucky? All the random thoughts that go through the head of someone who has lost a baby..What about next time? What if it happens again? Why do all my friends have babies and uncomplicated pregnancies, and I don't? WHY WHY WHY? I threw my very own pity party on the 5 minute drive from home to work, and when I got to the office, it was over...but I was still on the brink of tears.

It wasn't just that the patient remembered our loss, it was that she took the time to share a quote with me, courtesy of Ted Kennedy's Eulogy. There was a quote that went....

" I knew I was going to be okay.
My father taught me that even our most profound losses are survivable".
Those words were soooo what I needed to hear today. It's true. We're still alive, life is good, and we have a lot to look forward to..even on the tough days. Sometimes, a girl just needs to be reminded that she is not as weak as she thinks she is, and that her life is going on..even on the tough days.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Fast forward

Dear Universe,

If there is any way you can fast forward the next week and half so we're past what was to be my due date, I'd really appreciate it. This whole " I should be" thought process is really hampering my ability to enjoy things these days. I'd rather be complaining about swelling feet, or braxton hicks, or worrying about labor than to be sitting here thinking about the baby that I won't be meeting next week.

So, uhm yeah, if you find a way to fast forward, I'd appreciate it. I'll even bake you a cake.



Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Guilty Pleasure

Hi my name is Brie, and yes, I am a 31 (almost 32 year old) that watches an tween television show...and guess what? I like it.

ABC Family introduced a show to tweens that captured my heart..Finally, a television show about gymnasts! I'm talking about the series "Make it or Break it" on Monday nights.

So super excited about the prospect of a good gymnastics show, I couldn't wait for the premier. When it actually aired, I was a bit uninterested. For one, the only cast member that looks remotely like an elite gymnast is Kailie. The others, well...sorry girls, you're all cute and not fat by any means, but you're built more like a college gymnast at best, with those lady lumps. They don't fit the 16 year old elite gymnast cookie cutter mold. Hey I'm not hatin',I'm just sayin'.

My other initial issue with the show was obviously the gymnastics skill level. Yeah right, a Roundoff Flipflop Layout is an elite level final tumbling pass haha..more like a level 7 final pass, but elite gymnast, no way! I understand, stunt doubles do the work, and I would actually like to know which ex gymnasts got the lucky job to be a stunt double for a gymnastics series..What an awesome job to go to every day.

I suffered through the first episode, pretty much writing the program off...until I caught a promo for the next episode, and it had me curious as to what was going to happen. So, of course, curiosity got the best of me and I watched episode #2 and have been hooked on their tweeny drama ever since.

"Make it or Break It" has filled my Monday nights and DVR recordings for the past few months and I was so sad for the season finale last night.

SO, there you have it, my guilty pleasure is a tween show.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Play ball!!!! ( or eat one)

I had left over MMF base in my fridge, and rather than snitching some every morning to get my sugar fix, I decided I should put it to use. I made a batch of mini cupcakes Pillsbury Yellow cake mix. I used a buttercream frosting and my left over fondant. Unfortunately, after starting my Sunday project, I realized I was sans mini-cupcake liners, so these were made without a wrapper. Tacky, I know. But when I girl wants to bake, a girl wants to bake.
Note to self: By mini liners!
Here's how they were made.
Step 1: Roll out fondant onto a nonstick mat with a wash of powdered sugar( I use my cutting mat) with either a silicone rolling pin or a pin covered in powdered sugar.

Step 2: Using a Circular fondant cutter the same circumfrence as the cupcake, cut out circles to top the cupakes with.

Step 3: Lightly frost the cupcakes with a thin layer of buttercream frosting to help the MMF adhere to the shape of the cupcake.

Step 4: Place MMF cutout on top of cupcake and press down lightly. Clean up any buttercream that may have oozed out the sides.

Step 5: Using a Wilton #2 tip, pipe the "stitching" of the baseball onto the MMF covered cupcake.
Hope they're a home run with NZ's fellow employee's tomorrow!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Babyless mama

I stumbled across a blog of a fellow "babyless mama" this morning through a blog from another "babyless, but two babies in the oven mama" blog that I have read regularly since losing our little one.

It's not that misery loves company, at least not for me.

But reading what other babyless mama's have been writing about the cards they have been dealt, and how they are handling it on a day to day basis has really really been a Godsend. I'm usually the type of girl ( and still am) that wears my heart on my sleeve, and will share with people every last detail..but with the loss of our baby, I've kept many many things private, between my husband and myself. The feelings are still in there, but it's hard for me to let others see the grief on the days that I feel like I just can't be as strong as I was yesterday. Reading the blogs from these other women makes me feel like I am the one who wrote them, yet I can stand in obscurity and not put myself out there for people to see the pain.

All in all, NZ and I have held out pretty good this summer. We've stayed uber-busy with friends, family, small weekend trips and projects. It's just easier to stay busy, than to sit and think about the shoes we're wearing. I've had tons of fun this summer, reconnected with old friends and made new..I've been social and enjoyed "normal" life without worrying about my weight or how I look. I'd say this is the first summer in years that I have been so "normal" and gone with the flow..

But, then again, I'm not "normal" and I won't ever be "normal" the way I was before. I am still me, but different. There's a constant hurt in my heart, that won't go away. I'm happy with my life & loved ones, but something is now missing that I can't get back. Acceptance of our loss has been easier said than done. I tell myself that this shit just happens, it happened to us, so let's move on. No need to wallow..but at the same time, I feel like the birth of our baby has somehow been swept under the rug, because I didn't grieve outwardly, or have a funeral or even tell people what we named our little girl. This has been our decision to keep it private, however, I struggle at times with our decision.

Here I am, August 22, 2009, and I "should be" on maternity leave...I should be nearing my due date..I should be giddy with anticipation...yet, I didn't get to experience any of that despite giving birth to our baby just as thousands of other women do every day. While they get to be wheeled out in a wheelchair with babies in their arms, I got wheeled out past the nursery in fast forward, with empty arms..Sent home to an empty house, left to go through the post partum period without anything to show for it.

I feel bad talking about my experience to other mom's and mom's to mine wasn't a valid delivery I don't know what it's really like. I've delivered a baby, yet I am not part of the mom club yet. What hurts the most are when people try to explain things about parenthood and add in, " You're not a parent, you wouldn't understand.." or " Wait till you're a parent, you'll see." I want to yell, "We DID have a baby, we are parents..but our baby died!Why take that title away from me?" I don't think the people who make the insensitive comments realize that just because NZ and I seem fine on the outside, that it doesn't mean we don't have feelings.

I do have some great real life friends who have really really kept a smile on my face on the rough days. I've got a husband that adores me...and feels the hurt too, but his pair of shoes, although the shoes of a dad who's lost a baby, are not the same as the pair of shoes that I wear. I'm sure he hates his too, but he doesn't say much about it. He just deals with them and helps me keep optomistic and positive about the things to come.

Friday, August 21, 2009


This morning....

NZ: "Honey, you think you could swing by the pharmacy and pick up my prescription?"
Me: " Yeah, I will. I have one to pick up for myself anyways."

This afternoon...overheard while waiting my turn in line at the pharmacy..

Clerk: " Ma'am, that will be $30."
Woman: " What?! For 'effin antibiotics?...No way in hell I'm payin that."

The woman went on with huffs and puffs and sighs and really really gave the poor clerk a difficult time about asking for payment.

Woman: " Isn't there a generic or some free samples you can give me instead?"
Clerk: " Unfortunately, no, there aren't any free samples and this IS the generic."
Woman:" So what am I supposed to do? I can't afford $30 for a prescription."

At this point I think the poor clerk wished the woman would just pay the damn money or step aside so she could help the rest of us.

I couldn't help but give the woman a once over, then a twice over and pretty much make a rash judgement about her based on my brief observation of her..As this woman is raising hell about a measly $30 prescription, she is holding one of the newest COACH purses out right now..And no, it wasn't a knock off, believe me..I can tell the difference..has her nails freshly filled ( pink & white, of course) and flowers on her pedicured toes... She also has a Blackberry Storm, which I am going to go out on a limb here and ASSUME she has internet connection... a quick calculation of her $350 purse, $25 fill, $20 pedi plus $5 per toe for flowers, the couple hundred dollar Blackberry storm and $100 per month service..oh and lest I forget she is tanner than a spring breaker in Panama..thanks to tanning bed sessions which usually average between $5 and $10 per visit...

I'm thinking to myself...She has all that and can't afford a $30 prescription? WTF?! She ended up walking out without the prescription and of course, nosey me had to see what kind of car she was a middle of the road sedan, but....drumroll, it had slick rims and the really expensive low profile tires...

It's now my turn at the register. Two prescriptions for my husband and I came to $87 dollars, our responsibility with the insurance plan that we have due to deductibles on prescriptions. Sure, I think that's a lot of money ( neither Rx can be generic), but am I going to bitch about it to the poor clerk?

No. It's our insurance plan, and if our prescriptions cost that much per month, then that's what it's got to be. So, maybe I won't pull the trigger on that new pair of shoes I've had my eye on, big deal. It's about priorities.

No one owes us anything. I/ We pay for our own things, and our responsibilites...If we have a big expense, we cut the fat elsewhere in our budget..It's the adult thing to do. Would I like new duds vs. something my husband and I NEED? Sure. But if moneys tight, guess what? NEED comes before WANT.

What irked me most about that woman, was that she has all the money in the world to buy the material things, but then sits and bitches about not having money to pay for what I consider a cheap prescription. She wants things given to her, for the pharmacy owes her that..Pshhht, whatever. She'd rather put her health on the line than skip getting flowers painted on her toes a few times.

I have the same issue with people who forgo health insurance in lieu of saving a buck. Yes, health insurance is expensive, but if you're saying you can't afford it, and I find out you own a ranch full of thoroughbred horses, I'll call your bluff. On the other hand, I'm sick of those on government insurance ( here in CA it's medi-cal) who claim to not have money, yet appear to have enough money to pay for the nail salon, designer jeans/ purses etc..

Being an American may grant you the right to fair treatment, but I've got news..Fair doesn't necessarily mean equal. I don't want my taxes paying for someone else's healthcare, while they're out shopping for things they can't afford and I'm busy working and paying an insurance premium. We're a country full of people who have built themselves into something from nothing, but not without a ton of blood, sweat and tears...

Somewhere along the way, whether it be my generation of the one before, traded the "Hard work =success and pride" mantra in for " gimme gimme gimme, I want it now."

It all boils down to personal accountability.

If only we all held ourselves to higher standards, we'd each pull our own weight and not be owed anything by society.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Something's fishy

Meet our newest houseguests..
NZ and I are letting MW & co.'s fishies live in our home while they are temporarily uprooted for a few weeks.. Let's hope that we don't have any fallen soldier's while they're in our care. These goldies are so big I don't think that they'd even be flushable. They're that big.

Emmeline Apron

I did it!

I actually followed the directions step by step and managed to sew together a pretty kick-ass apron.

A while back I had the urge to make a retro apron, scoured apron patterns at Jo-Ann's and on the net, and kept going back to one particular site "Sew-Liberated" and their "Emmeline" Apron. I liked it because a) it looked simple enough, b) it was reversible ( double plus) and I think pretty much anyone could wear it regardless of size. So, three pro's and no con's other than the price of the pattern later, I found myself whipping out the CC and entering my shipping addy.

Then it arrived...

One thing I really like about it is that it's not your typical pattern on tissue paper.. instead it's printed on nice heavy white draftsman's paper. HEARTY, STURDY, INDESTRUCTIBLE..well maybe not indestructible, but it's definately able to take a beating without tearing..

I finally had some free time amidst a summer of houseguests yesterday and decided that I was not going to cook or clean, but instead have a Brie-day which kicked off with a trip to the gym and the squat rack...followed up by a lengthy visit to JoAnn's for fabric.

I already had fabric here at home that I had planned on making baby burp cloths with, but now that our fortune has changed, my project desires have as well. A lot of the fabric I had purchased was mod/retro and would be perfect for the aprons..however, I needed contrast fabric (solid) for the trim and a coordinating fabric for the reverse side. I can somehow always find a reason to buy more fabric than I really need. It's very hard to say no to a pretty piece!

Jo-Ann's has their own line of fabrics for a fraction of the cost of the Debbie Munn prints that I really like, and I can't tell a HUGE difference in quality when using them for a project such as this. I'd never make a quilt with them, but as far as aprons and fun projects, I'm all about the discount line.

So, an afternoon of sewing produced the cutest apron ever..and I think if I get my butt in gear and chores done early today, there may be a second apron in the works..

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I'll blog more later about my best weekend ever with some of my best friends ever ( & forever), but wanted to get my Kermit cake up here for those of you who have been hearing me talk about my experience with MMF and all things green, marshmallowy and sweet for the past week.

As expected, Miss Jen LOOOVED the cake ( or at least she acted so in a very convincing way) and it made me smile ear to ear knowing that my friend was jazzed about her Birthday cake.

And today as they left, the remaining eyeball and cheek of Kermit travelled with them, in a happy little Tupperware that will hopefully be empty by the time they reach homebase. Cause we all know that girls need their sugar..That's what makes us so stinkin' sweet!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Green Day

Today was a day of green.
Let's see...
TWO diet pepsi limes during my workday ( yeah, I know the stuff will kill ya, but whatever. It's good, no?)

Came home and jumped right into green fondant..working on Miss Jen's birthday cake...My fingers and half my kitchen were covered in the green stuff...

Finally finished the cake, which by the way is hilarious looking...not as professional or as perfect as I had hoped, but it was my first time working with marshmallow fondant ( aka. MMF). Instead of looking like one of her favorite green characters, it looks like it needs special Ed. But that's okay, because it was made with love and she knows it. The unveiling will be tomorrow night..I am so so excited to have her and ma'am visiting!

So, to wind down ( after vacuuming, washing doormats and begging NZ to wash my car for me), I decided to continue the green theme with my newly discovered (thanks to camping a few weeks back with the Flame & co. crew) favorite beer..

Dude, is it wrong that one of my favorite things is not necessarily how it tastes (it's good!) but that the tab top is green? I wanna pull them all off and save them..For what? I do not know..but the urge is there to pull every stinkin one off..Oh, and BTW, My pop would approve, because it's a Budweiser.

One of the most memorable "talks" I have had with my pop was at a wedding reception, where I was getting a beer at the bar, and he walks up, takes the beer from my hand, and says, " No daughter of mine will drink a Coors." and handed me a budlight. It's been engrained in my heart and head ever since...

I am my father's daughter...

Only now with a hint of lime.

Toes in the water

Outta the mouth of one of my new favorite songs.."Toes" By Zac Brown Band...

"Got my toes in the water, a$$ in the Sand..Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand..
Life is good today. Life is good today."
I'm lovin on the new song, so much so, that I will be absolutely sick of it by next week, because I'm the kinda girl who plays songs over and over and over until I'm sick of it...and by that time, it will be playing on the radio non-stop and then I will curse at the radio for playing the same fricken songs over and over...cause that's how I roll.
We had a fun packed weekend with the Italians on NZ's side. We beached and BBQ'd it with the cousins and their kids. I loved having a houseful of family and feel so fortunate that the majority of our families are in Southern CA. I wish we could do cousin weekends every month!

Monday, August 3, 2009


NZ and I stepped out into the world last night.

I should clarify, a different world.
Different than anything we would ever choose to do on our own accord, but since we were invited, and we looove the people who extended the invite, we decided to try something "new" for us.

We attended a muscial.

Yes, a real live muscial. ( "Guys and Dolls", starring Beau Bridges and Jessica Biel..believe me, if I had binoculars I'd be searching that first row for J.T.)

At the Hollywood Bowl, none the less.

So, how was our first experience at something that could actually classify us as gaining some well-rounded-ness and that word...culture?? ( Okay, it's a stretch, but I'm grabbing!) Might we actually be becoming adults?

The ones we used to poke fun at?

I had this thought in my head as we were driving down the 101.. that OMG, we're actually going to do something artsy...and even more surprised that NZ was the one who suggested we go along with our friends...Artsy usually isn't our forte.

We had a nice picnic dinner and people watched before the show. We enjoyed some sandwiches and wine ( aerated, which was even more adult like!) with our friends before taking up our seats. It was a gorgeous night.I came to realize there's a little bit of everything at these musicals that are put on at the Bowl. You've got the "need-a-walker" crowd, the "I'm addicted to plastic surgery" crowd, the young "Hollywood wanna be" crowd ( Starbucks or Evian in hand), and the artist crowd ( pronounced: are-teest) who sing along with the National Anthem and all the other songs sing in the muscial ( which, I always thought that was rude, am I wrong? )

And then you've got US.

Me and NZ.

We busted out diet orange soda and potato chips amidst all the wine, cheese, Evian and gourmet brownies in the crowd. Classy, I know.

Any way you look at it, it was definitely a whole new group of people we've not been subjected to much of, in our lifetime. Although it was different, and a learning experience, I enjoyed myself, and I have to admit... I left the Bowl thinking I probably wouldn't kick NZ out of bed for suggesting we attend another event there in the future. Preferably a concert.

Country to be precise.

But, I'd do a muscial again too, cause, a girl like me could probably use a little more culture.