hump day nuggets: moving on

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words about the last week

We have been enjoying uneventful, nothing-much around here. It feels great to wake up in my bed next to my man with two hilarious girls sandwiching us in like the perfect mayo and cheese to our pickle and tomato. Even if my arm is asleep because I don’t want to move and risk disturbing Ruby’s perfect slumber and Andy has an arm and a leg dangling off his side of the bed to accommodate Margot’s starfish sleep…it just feels good to be home.

Honestly, it’s hard for me to reflect on anything other than our experience with our newborn daughter nearly dying. Because it is trauma and trauma takes its sweet time working itself out. We’ve still got some processing to do and with Ruby’s open, absorbent eyes and gaining 10 ounces in three days, she makes it easy to let that processing come as it comes; she justifies our hyper-awareness in the now and she allows us to, thankfully, forget some of the horror. Because, on December 4, my entire purpose was mercilessly ripped to the bone and left with all nerves exposed and scrambling for cover for 12 days. And, well, it takes time to grow that muscle and skin back. My protective cover. It’ll return. And I think the growing-back may be as painful as the tearing-down. Or, if not as painful, as undesirable.

Bug gave three books to Alice while she ate her noodles today.

And, still, no map of how to recover so we are just honest. Even when it’s ugly and unfair, honesty with our feelings will get us there.

The amazing thing is that we can’t help but focus on how it all ended perfectly: we left the hospital with a healthy baby and profound, life-changing understanding of how supportive, loving and genuine our community is. I want to have a wedding-size party celebrating each other. Maybe next summer. It’ll probably be a potluck as I think we will be paying medical bills for the next century…But, really, I am forever grateful for and changed by the outpouring of love from family, friends, dig readers and people who know someone who kinda knows us. We haven’t made dinner since November 22.

Really, people are so good and life is so great.

So, this holiday season, we are simply living.

:: Noticing.

‘MAMA! Big pickle and painting!’

:: Letting go.

Life is a bit messier these days.

:: Creating.

There are always little opportunities to create together. I have never bought gift wrap in my life. I use newspaper, grocery bags etc. This year bug helped me piece together her old drawings to make gift wrap and then she intently filled in the blanks.

:: Catching up.

:: Enjoying.

My parents. Their help and love are immeasurable. Cheers to the best mom and dad a girl could ask for.

:: Taking time.

:: Celebrating.

She’s TWO.

:: Smiling.

Bug started her day with her favorite muffins and a special cupcake from her papa.

And then made a red velvet cake with her grammy followed by a party with more cake.

We changed up Margot’s birthday party at the last minute, moving it away from our house to our dear friend’s taekwondo gym. Really, all toddlers need is an open room, balloons, pizza and a crown-making table. It was completely unorganized and evolved as our friends arrived. The party was super mellow and the perfect introduction back into our social scene. Margot had the most fun with her bffs, crashing hard for a late nap with the taste of icing on her lips.

:: Staring.

:: Laughing.

:: Realizing our whole joy.

We had grand plans to make all of our gifts this year and, well, it didn’t happen. So, we did a bit of shopping from local artists and friends and made some funny stuff as a family, late night in the studio.

:: Acknowledging our fear and sadness.

:: Just spinning on this planet. Loving each other.

32 Responses to hump day nuggets: moving on

  1. Maria says:

    I’m really not a stalker…but I just plugged in your blog and smiled through all of your new pics! Thank you for the opportunity to take care of your Ruby and your incredible family. You make my job worth it!! Happy Holidays! Say hello to miss Margot for me. Love, Nurse Maria

  2. Anonymous says:

    finally some photos i have been craving. love those babies of yours. so glad to see them and you in some pics. hope you are taking good care of yourself.
    love you to death.

  3. TRB Holt says:

    Well Burb, you can be the poster child for “life is never a dull moment”. I am so glad to have the past few weeks behind us…we made it and I know I look at life differently now.

    Margot, I have to say you are the sweetest child. I hope you never loose your wonder and zest. You will be the best friend that everyone will want. I love being your “Grammy”….maybe “Gram” will come later…maybe not!

    My Blue-eyed Ruby Pie, welcome to my heart, it is yours forever.

    Here is wishing you all, Nici, Andy, Margot, Ruby, Alice, Sam, Olive, Bossy P, Clem, Ida, Paige and Lindsay a love filled Christmas and a woundrous 2010…I’ll be watching over you.

    xoxo, Mom/Grammy

    ps….Hi Nurse Maria! Thank you….

  4. Joan says:

    Welcome back, we all missed you Nici. Love all the great pictures and thoughts. Margot doesn’t look any happier on Santa’s lap than she did a year ago. I’m still laughing. I’ve seen that look in person myself. I hope Santa takes it as personally as I so. The old evil eye

    See you all soon, XOXO

  5. Britta says:

    I am so happy your family is enjoying life and each other. The trauma will take time to process, you’re right. It adds a layer to our experiences. Many wishes for joy and happiness in the coming year!

  6. Jean says:

    Love all the photos. I’ll miss you guys this Christmas. I’m glad to see Ruby fully recovered.

    Have a wonderful time together. We are such a blessed fam are we not?

    Kisses to all.

  7. Montana4me says:

    I have to say you’ve been on my mind this holiday season and I’m so glad to see you and your family getting your rhythm back. Beautiful pictures, beautiful post.

    Merry Christmas and may the New Year bring you only wonderful and magical surprises!

  8. Pam says:

    That last pic of your two little chickens is the best ever (I mean, they’re obviously all great but this one is particularly adorable).
    I have to laugh though as I thought the EXACT same thing as Joan about Bug looking only slightly more impressed with Santa than she did last year.
    But then again I am still giggling over Margot’s version of India Arie & Elmo singing the ABC’s…

  9. Sage says:

    Nici! Ya, a new post! These pictures… well they bring tears of happiness and love to me. Ruby is looking so healthy and strong, I couldn’t be happier to see it. And margot, well, she is just such a beauty and looks so full of joy! Thank goodness for that. I am so glad you have her to remind you of the joy in life.

    I am sure that your healing will take some time. I wouldn’t expect anything different, because you are not a superficial person. You are grounded and real, and so in touch with yourself that lifes ups and downs are especially raw. I know, I am the same way. So peace and love is what I wish for you this new year…. and healing a heart and soul that holds so much. Lots of deep breaths, it helps me to get through those moments when fear overwhelms. xoxo to you my friend.

  10. Jess says:

    So glad to hear that everyone is healthy and on the mend, and my best with that process. Happy Yule from an occasional blog lurker!

  11. Melissa W says:

    Oh, Nici, it’s so nice to see pics of you all at home. Post-partum is hard enough, so what a double (triple, quadruple…infinite) whammy! You sound like you are really taking care of yourself and aware of what matters most. I’ll continue to think about you and your family. Your feelings are so normal, but that doesn’t make them any easier to deal with. Tears in my eyes…you’re going to be just fine. xoxo

    PS–We STILL talk about Nurse Maria! She’s the bomb.

  12. Erin O. says:

    Glad to hear all is well. You take your sweet ass time getting back into the swing. Merry Christmas. :)

  13. Kelle says:

    the rawness…you expose it beautifully. i’m sure it will take time, and you may put the pieces back together differently than they were before. because life will always look a little different now that you have been there…that place where you thought you almost lost it. and how our perspective changes. as awful as it was…you are blessed to really know and feel what so many people can’t. and with all that aside…the words, the pictures…they radiate so much love and life. margot…what a sweet, sweet sister. and oh, ruby jane. beauty.
    xoxo…merry christmas, my friend.

  14. anne c says:

    okay, Nici, you are simply a ROCK STAR for managing to keep us all updated, managing to still throw Margot a birthday party, managing to still assemble Christmas gifts… I would’ve just thrown up my hands and said, “Later.”
    But now you know, firsthand, never to take “Later” for granted, and I admire you for showing the rest of us how to live in the moment.
    I love you all, and can’t wait to see all the good unfold for you in the coming year!

  15. Kelly says:

    Because Margot is a big sister now she looks older. Almost more wiser like she’s ready to show ruby the ropes now. I love seeing her as a big sister to sweet, little (but growing everyday) and precious Ruby who already looks like an old wise soul.

    this line was profound…

    entire purpose was mercilessly ripped to the bone and left with all nerves exposed and scrambling for cover

    i know that feeling and that muscle will never completely grow back and sometimes a trigger might bring back the pain out of nowhere, but you will be a better mother, person and friend because you felt it, you lived through it, and you will love deeper and stronger than ever before. i promise you that.

    have a very happy holiday with your beautiful family.

  16. Malissa says:

    Good Morning! Very nice to see your post this morning! I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Your pictures are so nice. Ruby looks so healthy! Pink cheeks and sparkling blue eyes. I love the picture of Margot loving on her. I am so sorry about all you have been through and I am so happy to see that things are moving forward. The love that is so obvious in your little family will pull you forward, upward and heal your souls as you tread carefully into the New Year. (Smiles) Malissa.

  17. Sarah says:

    stopping by early this a.m to wish you a merry Christmas to an amazing Mama and her family.. all of them there.. love from your friends down yonder..

  18. Taj says:

    Have a beautiful christmas. We are so happy for you guys.

  19. Nurse Maria! Margot still asks regularly if she can hug you. You made quite the impression on our little family…a bit of light during those difficult days. I am still so moved that you came in on your day off and used your stellar skills to get more blood from our girl’s itty veins. Hey, since we have similar taste in beer, perhaps that means we should grab one together some day…Lots of love to you.

  20. barbaras says:

    So glad to see your family healthy, happy and home together! Have a great Christmas!

  21. Melissa says:

    Happy, happy holidays to you and your beautiful family Nici.

    So glad to hear all of this, see these gorgeous pictures and feel the love radiating all the way to California.

    The parents I work with use the phrase “the veil has been lifted” when there’s been trauma . . . it’s true that things are never quite the same once you know the possibilities out there . . . and yet, as everyone keeps saying, you are so good at moving through things with integrity and honesty!
    Thank you for sharing with such grace and allowing us to bear witness to your experience.

    And on another, lighter note–I love Margot’s red and white skirt!! Dude, when you are up and running again one day, I am putting in a mega order for skirts because we found out we are having a girl!! And she’ll need skirts with leg warmers for this wacky SF weather.

    Much love to you!

  22. Melissa, I have a new respect for the work you do. I know you are so fabulous at it too. Wow.

    A GIRL!

    Also, my friend Casey made that skirt! AND, it is reversible with the golden gate bridge stitched on the other side! It’d be perfect for you. I should have posted a link in this post…here is her website. The skirts are beautiful.

  23. Catherine says:

    So great to see you all back home with your loved ones. Beautiful and touching photos, as always. Be well and enjoy every bit of it.

  24. Janine Evans says:

    can’t think of anything else to say that hasn’t been said.
    Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family.

  25. Heidi says:

    so glad i stopped by because your words and these picture are just life being lived…the simple stuff and how that is the stuff that really does matter in life. like holing up in studio with the just the four of you…is really what the doc ordered.

    i love these photos and the realness of them and i am so happy that ruby is home with big sis!!! life is good and getting back to your new normal!

    i admire your strength and know you will be richer for all that you have been through these last painful few weeks.

    ruby is BEAUTIFUL. those eyes…!!!!

    peyton gasped when she saw the pic of ruby looking right back at her…she let out an excited squeal which SHE NEVER DOES…it was a happy surprise for a special girl!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Happy you are all home…what lovely girls you have…wishing you all the re-growth and love you deserve this new year! Much love to you!
    Kelley R.

  27. Brandy says:

    aww…nothing better than the last new photo of “bug” and “sister born” as I’ve come to know them in the last few weeks! I’m waiting for those moments with my little monster-pie and her not-yet-sister-born :)

  28. Melissa says:

    I love the skirts! Thank you!

    And you know, I realized, living vicariously through your experience (and not liking it one bit) how carefully i keep myself at a distance from families, even though there are always those that strike close to home and i want to invite them back to my living room (which is never a good idea for the actual work) . . . and on the day you posted about bringing her home i completely sobbed (Leeor was like, um, shouldn’t you be happy they are home?) because none of us are immune from something happening to our children . . .even though I see it all the time I still like to think it won’t happen to me. Sigh. Maybe an overshare for a comment but what’s a pregnant lady to do? (:

  29. kkny12 says:

    glad you are having such a lovely holiday and that Ruby is home and healthy. Hate to ask but love the knitted hat that your eldest is weating in this post. Do you know where the pattern is from? Im going to look in Ravelry. Happy HOlidays!