The Life and Times of Poopwa Foley

Archive for the ‘angel’ Category

In the early part of August, 2012, I got an interesting phone call while at work.
Daughter:  Mom, if you had to hear some big news, would you want to hear it on the phone or in person?
Me:  (at work, busy, surprised and happy to hear from the child.  Yet somehow I know exactly what it is she’s about to tell me.  I’m cold all over and am able to astrally project to her location and smack her on the back of the head, hard.)
Daughter:  Are you there?
Me:  What.  WhatWhat is it?  Just tell me.  (Even I can hear the desperation in my voice)
Daughter:  Well, (tears start) I took three pregnancy tests and they all were positive. 
Me:  (I’m unable to speak.  I fumble for my insurance card and touch it several times for comfort.)
Daughter:  Mom??
Me:  I’m here.  And if three tests say you’re pregnant, then you’re pregnant
Although I’m still in shock, I make the appropriate it’ll be ok noises through frozen lips and hang up to call the insurance company.  Oh, God.  Although marriage has been talked about, they haven’t made it official, and now there will be a baby. 
Babies are a blessing.
The next few months fly by and I see her figure blossom from a lithe, lanky camisole & tight jean-wearing 20 year old to looking like she was shoplifting a big pumpkin. 
Feeling the baby kick was new and magical.  The baby squirmed and pummeled her bladder mercilessly.  Privately, I alternated between crying, being excited, and giving thanks that the baby was healthy. 
It is a girl.
I want to tell my daughter all the things that would change when the baby came.  Number one on the list that will change: 
1)  EVERY SINGLE THING YOU DO, EVERY DAY, ALL DAY LONG, FROM NOW ON, FOREVER. 
As you can see, it’s a short list.  As a new mother, running to the store, running anywhere, takes on a whole new dimension.  You can’t just hop in the car and go.  You have to orchestrate it just right, which means to say you leave once the other parent tags in.  You’re done sleeping.  You’re done thinking of things to do for the weekend because you already know it’s going to consist of diapers and formula. 
I also want to tell her that despite the lack of sleep, the endless feedings and diaper changes, the 200 pounds of equipment you need everywhere you go, there are also moments of absolute bliss and they far outweigh the bad stuff.  The sweaty, solid weight of your child against your collarbone.  Their unbelievably good baby smell.  The tiny, trusting hand resting on your chest as you rock.  The first smiles.  The first words.
I try to tell her giving birth is going to hurt but those of us who have given birth know it’s a pain unlike any other and therefore hard to describe.  I also don’t want to scare the living daylights out of her.  I needn’t worry.  She listens respectfully but tells me that the tattoo she has going down her side from boob to butt was really painful and if she can get through that, she can get through this.
I listen and laugh.  And later, privately, I cry.  She doesn’t know.
I’m so glad for her when she comes home after work on her birthday and there’s an engagement ring hanging off the Christmas tree.  They’re happy.  That’s a wonderful thing.  I help her paint the baby’s room, roam through Babies R Us, plan her baby shower, and fall a little more in love with this granddaughter I haven’t met yet with each ultrasound picture I see.
This latest picture looks exactly like my daughter.  Exactly.  Same cheekbones.  Same forehead.  Same nose, lips, chin, and hands.
Her due date comes and goes.  She’s so big that MY back and feet hurt to look at her.
at 2 weeks pregnant.  (Just kidding.  More like 29.)
I have been eating for two her entire pregnancy out of nervousness.  I don’t tell her all the bad things that can go wrong.  During pregnancy.  During delivery.   I find myself in tears now and then and pray for an easy pregnancy and safe birth. 
I’m scared in a way I haven’t been in a while.
Finally, her doctor has her admitted on a Sunday night to have her cervix dilated.  Twelve hours later, the dreaded pitocin drip is administered.
The word pitocin sends chills up my spine.  It’s not pretty.  I remember doing backbends in labor with the force of a pitocin contraction.
It’s not long before it kicks in, and I hear her low moans start up.  The daddy, me and my other daughter have all been in the hospital with her for almost a whole day.  I’m grimy and tired from spending the night in a chair.  She’s in more and more pain and I hunt down the anesthesiologist in the hallway, because he should have been in there half hour ago. 
My daughter’s in pain, I tell him.  I watch him like a hawk as he administers the epidural block.  He doesn’t want me to watch because he says I could faint.  I tell him I’ve had two spinals myself but he says it’s different when it’s your child.  He’s right but I watch anyway.  He cautions me that if I faint he’s going to administer New York CPR.  I’m not amused.  He says, do you know what that is?  I just kick you til you wake up.  It’s not funny but I appreciate the effort.  I only laugh at his feeble joke because she’s not in pain anymore.
We’re told it could be a few hours now, so my oldest daughter and I run home so I can shower and change clothes.  I take a hurried 2 minute shower and while dressing, I get the phone call that a certain someone is about to meet her grandmother and if I wanted to be there, I’d best get down there quick.  What happened to “it’s going to be a few hours now?”
We’re there in no time, stopping on the way to quickly buy three stamps and jam three state tax returns into the post office box so they’re not late.  It’s tax day.  Way to procrastinate.
They’re ushering visitors out of her room and into the hallway once we get there.  She is about to begin pushing and my other daughter and I each are in charge of a leg, as she won’t be able to move them very well because of the epidural.  We are given instructions to push her legs backward to help with each contraction.  Dad stands, wisely, at the head of the bed.
Everything happens quickly.  She is told to take a deep breath and hold it and puuuuuuuuuuussssshhhhh!!!!! 
Unfortunately we too hold our breath and push with her.  As embarrassing as it is, I believe I pee a little.  My oldest daughter, holding her breath and the other leg, almost faints. 
I’m amazed at how hard the obstetrician grasps the baby’s head and pulls with each contraction but before you know it; the little shoulders are slipping out.  The proud daddy cuts the cord with shaking hands.  I’m a snotty mess.  I have not only just witnessed the unbelievable miracle of birth but also the birth of my first grandchild.
The Alyssa bun, fresh out of the oven.
At 8 pounds 2 ounces of beautiful, little Alyssa Rose makes her way into the world.  I’m amazed at how roughly efficiently the doctor and nurses handle the baby.  They competently towel her little slippery body off, throw drops in her eyes, diaper her tiny butt, weigh her, wrap her in a blanket and give her a hat with a bow before handing her to her tired, happy mama.  I begin to take pictures with my phone and those waiting in the hall see pictures of her on Facebook before the child is even 10 minutes old. 
It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen.  My tears are streaming, uncontrolled.  I feel honored that I got to watch the birth.
The new mother tells me later that I kissed her big toe repeatedly during Alyssa’s delivery.  She seems to think that is hysterical.  I seem to remember that it was the only safe place to kiss during delivery. I felt I needed to help her relieve her pain in some way and kissing a safe area, i.e. the big toe with the freckle on it, seemed to be the only way I could do it.  It made me feel better, in any case.
Time passes quickly.  The baby is now 6 weeks old.  Each time I see her, I fall a little more in love with her.  It’s funny, because I told my husband that after I met him; I was done falling in love and I meant it. 



How could you NOT love this little face?



But you can fall in love again.  I was wrong.  I didn’t know how a grandchild could make you feel.  How hard it hits you in the stomach when you lean in close and croon, “How’s Grandma’s girl?” and you’re rewarded with adorable crinkly eyes and a big gummy smile.  Ermehgerd.
Between then and now, I bet I’ve taken 1000 pictures or more.  My friends and family and coworkers can back me up on that.  I say I’m taking them for my family who lives south of Rockford, but it’s not true.  I just can’t believe how amazing and perfect she is and want everyone to see her.
 



say Cheese!!

I believe she is easily the most beautiful child ever birthed, and although I am certain I am not the first grandmother to think that, I am the only grandmother who’s actually right.

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freedigitalphotos.net
my new stuff almost looks like this.  almost.



So, I ran to Old Navy today, in search of t shirts that didn’t smell like my last twenty workouts and shorts that weren’t coming apart at the seams, like the ones I’ve had and worn for the past four years during the summer. 
Wandering the aisles, I found some colorful, non smelly t shirts and was looking at shorts when this girl snuck up on me and here I was, all ready to do battle with her over the last “Miami Bunny” t shirt in neon lime green, when she just leans over and gives me $20 in Old Navy cash.  She said “I saw that you have quite a few things and I can’t use more than one coupon today, so here’s my other one, today’s the last day of the sale.” 
Then the little fairy godmother scurried away.
Now, I’ve experienced lots of things in various local establishments.  I’ve seen parents yelling at their kids in stores.  I saw a man shoplift not one but two or more bottles of cologne, not ten feet from the cashier, on Christmas Eve.*  I’ve seen certain teenage girls racing around our grocery store playing cart tag and acting more like two ten year olds than 18 and 16…(A & M, I’m talking to you) but this was a new one.
I’ve given people my place in line, and once gave someone a $5 coupon, but this chick topped that by saving me 40% on my new “I’m gonna workout” clothes.  For no reason, other than to be nice. 
So here’s to you, girl with the dark hair who wasn’t actually honing in on the t shirt I wanted.  I’m sure you’re (not) reading this, but I wanted to thank you anyway.  And you’re welcome to that shirt because although I hid it behind my back when you came by so you couldn’t have it, I tried it on and it was too tight in the boobal area.  It’s back on the shelf.
You’re welcome.
*That Christmas Eve thing?  I did tell the manager but since she didn’t see it she couldn’t do anything.  I like to think the gentleman in question got coal in his stocking.
Hello little blog.
Where the hell have you been?
I know, I know, it’s been a while.  I’m so sorry. 
(sneers) No, you’re not.
Will you ever forgive me?
Smell my feet and maybe I will.
***
Well, at least that’s over.  Making up is hard to do. 
It’s been a busy month.  Yesterday was my niece’s baptism.  Here’s a little picture of the little angel, Ashlyn.



Photo: My grandaughter Ashlyn Taylor Collins baptism at 6 mos. old.
I know, right? 



She slept on my brother’s chest right up until the time the pastor poured a little holy water over her tiny little sinless head.  Doesn’t seem fair, does it, that in some faiths you’re actually born with original sin.  Kind of like you have one strike already against you the second you pop out.   
During the ceremony, my nephew Cole was able to dip his fingers in the baptismal font fast-as-that and stick them in his mouth before his horrified mother was able to stop him.  Later, Cole and I discussed this incident and I asked him what that water tasted like, and he told me, “fish.”
The church service was lovely; the pastor performed a wonderful sermon.  The only hysterical fly in the Lutheran ointment was that the pastor performing the service sounded exactly like Jerry Seinfeld.  I thought it was just me but my sister later confided she thought so too.   I smothered giggles from time to time during the service, but then remembered that was exactly why I used to get smacked in the back of the head during church at St Mary’s in Plainfield when I was young.  Good news, I wasn’t sitting next to Dad this time, though.  Advantage:  Poopwa.
On the way to the baptism, we saw a sign out front of a business on Route 30 that said,
Family Owned Business
Shut up.” 
No, you shut up.” 
Seriously, I can’t make that shit up.
Saturday was my niece’s graduation party (note to Delaney:  you’re going to be a freshman???)  where I was able to visit a lovely long time with my family and friends.  Lots of ping pong was played, little boys pretended to be pirates, babies were held and passed around, and we all caught up on the most recent gossip.
Case in point:  my sister said that she was in Target the other day and overheard the Target cashier giving the third degree to a customer buying the book “50 Shades of Gray”.  The cashier was telling her in a stage whisper, “it’s a very erotic book, practically porn!”  My sister said the poor customer buying the book turned 50 Shades of Red
Two Jennys, an Amanda and a Chris giggled over that a good long while and stood in the kitchen outdoing ourselves on what would be the most embarrassing thing to set on the conveyer belt to be checked out with that book.  Like baby oil.   Or clothesline.  Or a “personal massager”.   (Or all three.) 
This is what happens when I get around my family.  You can see where I get my sense of humor.
Ah, good times.
Last year around this time, my 20 year old daughter got to see the ultimate example of the Christmas spirit in action.  Up until October of this year, she was a “comp peer” for a 13 year old girl I’ll call Becky through the Mildred Berry program in Rockford.  It works much like a Big Brothers/Sisters program.
To my daughter, it meant giving up half of her Saturday or Sunday every week or every other week to go do something with this little girl.  They went to a craft show, they went out to movies, visited the library, etc.  Sometimes they came back to the house, where Becky would play on the computer, or with our puppy, or watch DVD’s with my daughter.
For Becky’s birthday last December, my daughter took her to IHOP for breakfast.  As my daughter never has met a stranger, she was chatting with the older gentleman sitting close by, who had overheard my daughter and Becky talking.  She was explaining the program to him and the fact that it was Becky’s birthday.   Finished, he got up to leave, told them Merry Christmas and walked to the front of the restaurant to pay his check.
A few minutes later, my daughter asked the waitress to bring their check and was extremely surprised to hear that the mysterious gentleman who had been talking to them had very graciously picked up their check.  Their benefactor came back to their table to tell Becky to have a happy birthday.  
What happened next was truly a Christmas miracle, as he smiled and again opened his wallet to give Becky a crisp $100 bill to spend on her birthday or for Christmas.
It was more money than Becky had ever seen at one time.  She was in tears, my daughter was in tears, and even the waitress who had overheard the entire exchange was in tears.   A complete stranger had just paid for their breakfast and then gave this disadvantaged little girl $100.
Those two girls will never, ever forget what happened that cold December morning, and neither will I.  The Christmas spirit is alive and well, everyone.
ps…They finally did get his name before he left because they wanted to send a thank you note.  Being the internet sleuth that I am, (she said modestly) I did a Google search to find the address and found that there was no one by that name in Rockford or the surrounding areas. 
Somehow I was not surprised.

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  • Mary Fran Says: Thank you for contributing to Sweeps Week! We make a great team. Maybe we'll collaborate in our next lives? SISTERS! lol :)
  • Mary Fran Says: What's better than a Baby Shower aka Early Baby Birthday Party? Baby's FIRST Birthday Party! (Although it's hard to call them "baby" by one! They grow
  • Ann Jones: I'll have to check it out, thanks for the heads up!

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