Archive for the ‘Koskie Life’ Category

29-Years Old

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Every year Shelton asks me what I want for my birthday. Little does he know that weeks in advance I’m pondering over new purses, shoes, massages, necklaces, expensive dinners and maybe even a weekend getaway. It’s a celebration of my life people… I deserve all of these things and more! (she says slightly kidding!)

A couple of weeks ago, sitting on the deck after dinner, Shelton asked me what I want. And I told him a pedicure. His response was “and?”. And nothing. I want an hour by myself with some nice lady rubbing my feet and scraping off the toe nail polish that has been flaking here and there since Paisley was born. Two of my toes don’t even have polish and one of my big toes looks like a donut of polish. It’s sad.

I’ve always been a bit of a birthday brat. Announcing countdowns weeks in advance and planning a big to-do. But this year, without even trying, I feel differently. I haven’t given it much thought, other than dreading the fact that I’ll be 29. Drawing back on when I was 15… 29 just sounds dreadfully old. Thirty will probably put me in an early grave.

I blame this change of heart on Paisley, but in the best way. And possibly a little bit of maturity. (My fingers just vomited even typing that word.) This year I could have expensive gifts and make a big thing of my birthday. Or, I could buy diapers, a day or two of babysitting, save for college. Or hell, finish paying for her!

Truth be told, nothing Shelton could buy me will compare to that little girl. And I mean that with every ounce of sincerity I have. I told Shelton the night that Paisley was born that nothing he’d ever give me again would compare to her. And as we arrive at the first real gift-giving event since her birth, I think I’m right. I want to wake up tomorrow morning and see her big face-encompassing, gummy smile, breathe in her good-morning scent and the way she smells like bedtime, cuddle with her as she has a bottle and lose myself in those glassy blue eyes, and feel my heart (and let’s be real, my ovaries) swell with a love and attachment I never knew possible. And maybe eat a blueberry pancake!

One year ago I was a good ten days in to my fertility shots. I was miserable. I was emotional, hormonal, tired, sore and more scared than I’d ever been in my life. Today, I can’t imagine being any more fulfilled. At the dreaded age of 29.

The post I write on this day next year will be much different, summarizing my love affair with my 20s. It feels like a decade that just wouldn’t end… and it also feels like I was packing up my ’89 Camry and headed for my freshman year at OU just yesterday. Who I was then and who I am now are completely different people, yet I know they’d like each other. (Although one would probably choose a shot of hot damn or a coors light and the other a Cab Sauv or Sam Adams Summertime).

I’m proud of myself. And I hate saying things like that because I sound boastful and vain. But I am proud of myself. And I think more people should feel able to say that outloud. Everything in my life I’ve worked damn hard for. The blessings abound, and I don’t take a single one for granted. I’m happy. To my core I’m happy and when I catch myself complaining about how to afford my bills, not owning a house,barely fitting in to my pre-pregnancy clothes or how the A/C is fading in the car… I really do make myself shut-up. I’ve got it so damn good. While I’m not stopping here, as I have a lot of goals, dreams and places to go, IF this moment had to be defined as as good as it gets… then I’m not doing too badly.

I feel like 29 is going to be a farewell tour. I can assure you the comeback tour will start promptly on July 20, 2011.

To me… happy birthday!

Meet the Koskies

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

By high-noon this past Saturday there were 12 Koskies in this house. Now there are two; one of which is sleeping soundly on the sofa, one of which wishes she were, too. Shelton’s entire family came to stay with us over Memorial Weekend and we had a tremendous time catching up, playing, introducing Paisley, eating and the like.

The trip originated with Shelton’s brother’s family coming in from Baltimore for four days to meet Paisley; then grew to include his parents and youngest brother and his daughter. I was honestly a little overwhelmed by the idea of still managing a newborn and playing host to a dozen people, but it actually went much smoother than anticipated. (Isn’t that always the case?) It was such a treat to spend some time with Shelton’s brother and wife (Uncle Keith and Aunt Heather), as well as really enjoy some time with our 4yo nephew Stone (who celebrated his birthday while here with a rarely-seen cake baked by Aunt Brandi) and 18mo niece Tilton. We only get one or two visits a year with them, so we try to soak up every second we can when we’re together. We took the kids to the zoo one afternoon; Paisley of course slept through this entire excursion making “first trip to the zoo” pictures kind of pointless. Stone was very curious about and interested in Paisley, even making several requests to hold her; he even planted a few kisses on her!

Then the rest of the crew arrived from OKC and we celebrated Stone’s birthday and had a friggin’ blast watching all four of the kids (the addition of our 18mo niece Emilee) play in the pool, with bubbles and sidewalk chalk, running, screaming and even eating some very messy popsicles in the hot summer sun. I honestly think that day goes down as one of the best ever.

At times I think there was a lot of stimulation for Paisley (and let’s be honest, me!), but she did OK for the most part. I tried to stick as closely to her schedule and routine as I possibly could. This made the days a little rough, but thankfully she managed to still sleep her usual six to eight hours at night.

Before everyone departed we were able to capture a really fantastic picture of Oma and Papa with their four grandchildren. Can I tell you how great it feels to finally have one of our kids included in that picture? Pretty great! The four little Koskie cousins. I hope that 30 years from now they’ll look back on these years growing up together as fondly as I look back on my memories with my cousins.

Last night, with just the original four Baltimore Koskies remaining, we enjoyed a really fun dinner at Chipotle where the kids were able to run around the patio, and then we took them to the fountains downtown to play.

We couldn’t have asked for a better Memorial Weekend, and we’re already missing all the kisses, hugs, and cuddles… and the way Tilton growls “No”!

Welcoming Paisley Joon

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

What a week! Sorry posting has been so light, but as you can imagine, big adjustments around here with a newborn. Posting will likely continue to be light as we continue to figure one another out and get some sleep!! I wanted to post a few pics with a few little notes about what’s been going on here. Thanks for your patience as we make some big adjustments, and trust that I’ll resume sharing all the intimate details of our lives right here.

Paisley Joon was born April 27, a birthday she is sharing with her daddy. Since Tuesday we’ve literally felt our hearts swell to an unimaginable size and have been truly captivated by this little girl. The cliches are all true. We just keep staring at her with wonder trying to comprehend that she really is ours. If ever there were one, she is a miracle.

Her name has been sitting on a shelf waiting for use for several years. Neither of us can recall when and how we decided on Paisley, we just know that it’s a fun, sassy and uncommon name that kind of stuck that we loved it. Joon is a Persian/Farsi word meaning “Dear”; as Shelton is a Baha’i, he has many close Persian friends who all greet each other with Joon. i.e. “Hello Shelton Joon; Hello Brandi Joon”. We loved the way the two names fit together and have anxiously been waiting to assign it to this beautiful little girl. Here she is about 30 minutes after birth.

We ended up inducing on Tuesday morning, since she hadn’t come on her Monday due date. We were absolute balls of nerves driving to the hospital that morning; Brandi cried from the house, through the admissions hospital and into the delivery room. The weight of the reality that was closing in on us was intense, and yet we were so anxious to just get started. We’re working on a complete labor and delivery post; I need Shelton to help me patch together today because my version of the story isn’t exactly accurate at this point. Here we are meeting one another: I labored for 10.5 hours, including an hour of pushing.

We were incredibly fortunate to have a fairly easy labor and delivery. Shelton was the perfect coach throughout the day. The entire experience was so awe-inspiring that it’s almost incomprehensible what we actually went through that day and what the end result was; I keep referring to it as “epic.” We stayed at the hospital about 36 hours following her birth and enjoyed a revolving door of family and friends visiting; not to mention the 10 or so family members who celebrated her arrival with us at the hospital. That first night was interesting to say the least, but the three of us survived.

Our trip home was short and sweet. I instructed Shelton to drive more safely than he ever had a day in his life. I bawled when she was born and didn’t cry again after that. That was until the wheelchair arrived to escort us to the parking lot. The second I sat this little girl into her car seat I started bawling, and continued until we got home. The sudden realization that she really was ours and we were really going to get to keep her bowled me over so much harder than I ever could have anticipated.

I will go ahead and brag a bit – she’s absolutely beautiful! She’s got my nose and in the right light looks like she’s working on my blue eyes. We’ve received several comments that she looks a lot like me. Shelton has expressed his “frustration” that she looks nothing like him. I think we might be surprised though, that full head of dark, somewhat curly hair that she was born with has some serious red tones running through it. I honestly think that aside from my nose her look-a-like-ness is anyone’s guess. All I know is that I can’t stop marveling at the fact that Shelton and I together created this spectacular little person. On a single shot at IVF. Seriously… a miracle!!

My recovery is going splendidly, better than we could ask for. No tearing and no stitches means I’m up and about a little sooner than we would have guessed, but my body is still demanding that I take it easy on myself. Shelton’s parents and my sister spent the week with us taking care of meals, grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry and so much more – we couldn’t be more grateful for their help as we tried to get the hang of our new little roommate. I just can’t stop staring at her, and the way her chunky little cheeks smell I want to eat them right off the sides of her face!! Paisley is so teeny tiny, warm and a super cuddler. Once in a while she lets us sleep!

As Shelton and I settle in to our new roles as mom and dad, we’re learning so much about ourselves and each other. I don’t think I ever truly recognized or appreciated how insanely calm and patient he is until the past few days. I think I’m stronger than I ever gave myself credit for. If you think following our IVF/infertility story and pregnancy story was a fun ride, just you wait, this little girl is going to give me more material than I ever could have dreamed up on my own. Welcome to part three of – Parenthood.

My Half-Marathon Pipe Dream

Friday, April 16th, 2010

I’m putting it here because I’m that committed to my goal. I have every intention of running a half marathon (13.1 miles) this October. Just six months after having this baby.

Go ahead and scoff and yeah right me, but I don’t see any reason I can’t and shouldn’t be able to do it. I feel incredibly fortunate to call several Biggest Losers friends, and every one of them has told me that it’s entirely doable, and reasonable. I’m very fortunate to call an incredible trainer a friend, and he also echoes this positive line of thinking.

I swear the next person I tell that I’m planning to run a half mary who scoffs, grimaces, laughs and goes “yeah, mmm hmm, OK”, it’s entirely likely I will kick them in the shin. Let’s see YOU run with broken shins, yeah huh?!

As soon as I get the all clear, my butt is moving again. I’ve only gained 30 pounds in this pregnancy; a respectable gain considering the recommended average is 35 pounds. There’s absolutely no reason I can’t lose that and get back in shape. And why wouldn’t I want to? I am a healthy woman, and I’m going to be a healthy mom. It won’t be as easy as it was before, but it’s certainly no excuse to just let things go and five years from now whine about my “baby fat.” Guess what, five years from now, that’s not baby fat… that’s just fat.

Last year we lost a dear friend to ovarian cancer, and she has a quote on her Facebook page that has always stayed with me:

“So far I have survived assorted broken bones, living in tornado alley, law school, the bar exam (while on chemo) and stage IV ovarian cancer. Bring it!”

No, I’m not fighting terminal cancer here, and I sure as hell haven’t tried to pass a bar exam, but I am trying to do something that most people think is impossible, just like Anna did. I’m going to have a baby and six months later be standing in a crowd of athletes with a big number pinned to my chest… and I’m going to run 13.1 miles.

Bring it.

Just Mommied Shirts

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

I told someone the other day that I really wanted a pair of bootie shorts that say “Just Mommied.” You know, a play off of “just married.” And clearly I’ll want to slip into a sexy pair of bootie shorts after delivering my baby!

I went searching, and was actually kind of surprised not to see this phrase printed or embroidered on anything.

Until now!

I took matters in to my own hands and created some “Just Mommied” attire. Pretty much just T-shirts, but you’ll find a bag and mug too for each of the pink/orange and blue/green color schemes.

Check-out my little Just Mommied store at CafePress. Can you think of a cuter gift for a new mom?

The Unique Voice of Frank Sinatra

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

In the nearly 11 years I have known my husband, I can’t recall one utterance of the words “Frank Sinatra.” He doesn’t even own a single song or CD. Frank Sinatra, for the brilliant artist he was, has never had any role in our lives.

So last week when we were lying in bed and he mentioned wanting to play Frank Sinatra for the baby I was kind of tack back. In a cliche move often depicted in movies with pregnant characters, he wanted to play music directly into my belly. I didn’t object, although I did argue very, very hard for Dave Matthews Band. We own a dozen DMB albums, danced to them at our wedding, I’ve been to five concerts – you could say we’re fans. Frank Sinatra? Well, again, not one utterance. Shelton explained that the baby needed to listen to Frank because he “has a unique voice.” I argued that most singers at the level of Frank and Dave do in fact have unique voices, that’s why they’ve made it as far as they have. Shelton shook his head adamantly stating that basically, in what I’ll call his opinion, no one has a more unique voice than Frank.

I lost. Frank and Shelton won. That night Shelton got out his iPhone, flipped to Pandora and queued up some old fashioned Sinatra. Dean Martin scrolled by, he skipped it. Ella Fitzgerald scrolled by, he skipped it. It was Frank or Bust. I’ve never witnessed anything sweeter in my life than watching my husband sit over my belly with iPhone ear buds placed on either side of my belly, nervous that the music was too loud or not quite loud enough, intently waiting for a reaction from his daughter. And she did. I tell you she kicked and punched and bounced all over that night. Which tickled him to no end.

This has become a new ritual. We’ll climb in to bed at the ripe hour of oh, 9, because I’m positively exhausted. He’ll look at me and tenderly ask, like a child wanting a treat that’s just out of reach, “is it time for Frank?”. I just giggle and nod and I swear it’s as if Christmas morning were waiting for him in the living room – he bounds out of bed and returns with his iPhone and ear buds, tunes in to the Frank Sinatra Pandora station, and watches his daughter dance.

Last night proved to be the most entertaining yet. It was one of the moments where the eruption of laughter was so hard and lasted so long that we’d completely forgotten what had initiated it. All I know is every time I started laughing deep and hard my belly would take on a completely different shape and shake, which would force us to laugh even harder.

All of this while the unique voice of Frank Sinatra bellowed in to my belly.