Betrothed Babies Blog

Sometimes about babies, sometimes about us, always cathartic



My Covid Journey – Day 5

Yes friends, it’s true. I have Covid. Covid sucks for many reasons, but Covid on top of pregnancy is it’s own special form of hell. Granted, my symptoms are mild, thankfully. They started Sunday, January 10 in the evening with a slight cough I didn’t even think twice about, then the next day my runny/stuffy nose got worse – ok, but still, who doesn’t have a runny nose in January in Cleveland? – then Tuesday morning I had body aches added to the list. Shit. Maybe it’s pregnancy? Maybe it’s sore muscles from working out? But, I knew my body, and I could differentiate between the pregnancy aches, the sore workout muscles, and this which felt for sure like I was getting sick. So, I call the doctor. See, we were already quarantining after being exposed to Covid, but we’d been symptom free in our house for 10 days – we were at the tail end! 2020/21 strikes again. I had a virtual visit with the nurse practitioner, she said I should get tested, I went to the Cleveland Clinic testing facility. I don’t know why but the movie ET kept sticking out in my head when they’re in the hospital and everything is white and roped off and sterile. That’s what I felt like. I swabbed myself, and it wasn’t terrible, but the nurse was in full PPE (which is a good thing, I know, but man does it make you feel like a leper) and I pulled my mask down, keeping my mouth covered while I administered the test. The entire experience including the walk in and back to my car was maybe 5 minutes, and again, I get it, only symptomatic people are coming in here and there’s no need to unnecessarily expose anyone else.

So, I drive home and the waiting begins. The kids were both up very early on Wednesday morning, Sydney to the tune of 4:00 (she fell back asleep) and Vinny around 5:00. Well, I grabbed my phone when I came back from the bathroom, and saw I had a MyChart test result that was in. And then I saw the positive test result. Fuck. That was the first word I said (in my head because my kids were in bed with me) and the tears started. I knew it was a possibility, but I really wasn’t expecting it, and when you see that positive result it hits you in a way that’s hard to explain. There’s incredible guilt when thinking – who was I around? Thankfully I was quarantining, but Nick was still going to work (as a matter of fact, I texted him my results because he was at work when I found out), and my stepson went back with his mom, step dad, and young twin siblings that Sunday.

I called my stepson’s mom crying in the morning and just apologized to her so many times. To her credit she told me that she’d “wash my mouth out with soap” if I apologized one more time. I really do love her, but that’s a subject for another blog. I called my principal and cried to her. I didn’t stop crying nearly all day. I told Vinny because 1. I was crying and he wanted to know why and 2. he’s a perceptive kid, he knew something was going on, and I’m not going to hide this from him. I texted some friends and family. And I cried. I zoomed with some of my students that day to try to keep some sense of normalcy. I took our dog for a short walk outside, wearing my mask the entire time even though I didn’t see any other person the entire time. But mostly, I cried.

My physical symptoms are not that bad, and I’m praying they stay that way – it feels like a bad cold – cough, runny/stuffy nose, some body aches that come and go, but today I woke up with a sore throat (it’s better now after continuously drinking water) and I’m very tired. Plus, I’m pretty sure I’ve lost my sense of taste and smell. I can distinguish between bitter/sweet/salty, but everything sort of tastes dull. I rested a lot today which was nice. I will zoom with my students again tomorrow for some of their lessons.

It’s really the anxiety, the guilt, the mental turmoil that gets you. I want these days to go by fast, and they just seem to drag on and on. This virus is no joke, and I’m very thankful to have mild symptoms, and I’m even more thankful that my kids and Nick are ok. But, it’s only day 5 for me after the onset of symptoms, and so I just have to wait and take care of myself and my family as best I can. Being pregnant adds another layer of anxiety into the mix. If I needed it, there’s only certain medicines that are safe to take while pregnant. Every time the baby kicks is like a reassuring “Hi Mom, I’m doing ok.” My OB told me to rest, drink lots of fluids, and make sure I eat at least 3 meals a day, you know, in addition to all of the other Covid things I’ve religiously been doing – washing hands, masking, distancing, etc. Our master bedroom/bathroom has become my “sick room” where I can take off my mask, and when I’m anywhere else in the house I mask and try to keep my distance. It’s especially hard when my kids are 4 & 5 years old, and, let’s be real, no one loves you like your mom.

SO MANY PEOPLE have reached out to me with phone calls and texts and flowers and food and care packages and prayers…I am grateful in ways I cannot adequately express with words. Honestly, yesterday I didn’t stop crying except for maybe 30 minute stretches at a time, and today I cried because of the goodness of the people in my life. Many people also have asked how they specifically can help, so I wanted to make a little list because when I’m typically asked I just say “we’re ok,” but I know many of my friends are just as stubborn as I and won’t take “we’re ok” for an answer, so here are some ideas I was thinking of that would be greatly appreciated and helpful:

  1. Prayers – Any prayers will be the greatest thing you could do for me and my family, but I’ve specifically been praying for 2 things: That my kids and my family stay safe, healthy, and happy and that I don’t get a fever. So, if you’d like to add those to your prayer list, I’d appreciate it.
  2. Text, phone calls, emails… – Yes, I’m resting more, but even if I can’t answer a text or phone call right away, know that they don’t go unappreciated. I love voicemails. And honestly, any distractions to keep the days from dragging will make me so so so happy. If you know any good, mindless shows to binge-watch, let me know because I’m spending more time in my room by myself, and I can watch shows that aren’t cartoons.
  3. Food – If you’re someone that wants to bring food, trust me, I’m Italian, and even with my lack of taste and smell, food will not go to waste. Kid friendly items and things that are pre-made/easy to prep would be best because I don’t feel much like cooking. I know Covid isn’t necessarily spread through food, but even with obsessively washing my hands and masking, I just don’t feel comfortable yet preparing food for other people, so if it’s something I can stick in the oven or microwave, that would be best.
  4. Cleaning products – It’s amazing how many things you touch in a day, even when you’re trying hard not to, so if there’s a non food item you wanted to drop off, we’ll take pregnancy friendly cleaning products like lysol or clorox wipes. The kids actually really like using them!
  5. Anything you can think of – Honestly, if you think, “maybe I’d like to do this” I guarantee it will be appreciated. We are so so so so grateful for the amazing village we have. It’s not nearly enough, but THANK YOU!!!!

I know we will get through this, and I know with the vaccine on the horizon, it feels hopeful – the beginning of the end of this terrible pandemic. I may blog again about it, or this might be my only post, I’m not sure. But, please know that I’m grateful for all of the prayers and well wishes the most. Keep them coming, they are being felt. Covid sucks, but God is greater.

Stressed is Desserts Spelled Backwards

Disclaimer:  This post has nothing to do with desserts.  Sorry.

I read an article called Mothers are Drowning in Stress, and I felt so many emotions about it.  I even started crying while reading it.

Let me back up a bit – I’ve been fortunate enough to be home with my kids for the past 2 weeks as Vinny has been recovering from an adenotonsillectomy.

As a teacher, I know we have a certain amount of paid days off (personal/sick/whatever) per year, but I always try not to use them since we have built in vacations and days off into the school year. Continue reading “Stressed is Desserts Spelled Backwards”

Everything is Worse at Night

I have a manageable, but terrible, generalized anxiety disorder. I’ve written about it before. It’s not a secret nor is it something I’m ashamed of, but it’s something I wish I didn’t have to deal with. My biggest anxiety triggers: my kids not sleeping and my kids being sick. Unfortunately for me, many times these come as a double whammy. Tonight (or this morning depending on who you talk to since it’s currently 2:30 am as I write this) is no exception.

My husband has been sick with some ‘tummy troubles’ the past couple of days. We take this term from one of Vinny’s favorite books, Dragons Love Tacos. And while (to Vinny’s slight disappointment) no one burned down anything because of tummy troubles, it’s not been a pleasant experience.

Last night, we celebrated my Grandma’s 90th birthday. Just went out to dinner – nothing fancy. We’re having a big party for her over Labor Day weekend. So, the little kids and I joined for dinner. Z is with his mom, and Husband had to sleep since he went back to work today (or yesterday – again, it’s late…or early).  Well, Miss Sydney fell asleep on the way home – which is *usually* great because I’d already changed her diaper and her clothes and then I could just lay her down and she’ll sleep all night.  Wheee!  Except, when I went to get her out of the carseat, it smelled terrible.  Moms, you know the smell.  And as I’m doing a quick inventory of her and her clothes and her carseat, I see the unmistakable liquid poop stain covering half of her shirt.  Oh great. Continue reading “Everything is Worse at Night”

Hail Mary, Full of Grace

For the past few months, I’ve been saying silent decades of the rosary when laying my kids to sleep. I figure it’s as good of a time as any, and it really helps me focus and stay calm instead of letting my anxiety spiral out of control because WHY AREN’T THESE KIDS SLEEPING YET? Continue reading “Hail Mary, Full of Grace”

Raise Those Kids Right

Last night was a rough night for Mommy and Vinny.  I’ve been off all summer, and just started back to work this week with inservices and meetings which means that the kids were back to the babysitter.  Well, if you remember, we are living in my parents’ house while we fix up our new house and sell our old one, so we had to switch Vincent’s babysitter right about the time when he turned 2.  It’s better, but it’s still a hard transition for the little man.  And “hard transition” equals not napping or eating and becoming a train wreck the entire night.  I know he’ll figure it out once we get back into the swing of things, but last night he was up at 12:30 and came into Mommy’s bed for the rest of the night.  (Not a practice I make a habit of…in fact, this was the first time he’s spent the entire night in our bed, but I digress…)  So, needless to say, Mommy didn’t get a great night’s sleep, and I don’t think Vinny did either.

When Sydney got up to eat around 6:30ish, I was looking at my phone, checking my emails and texts, and, of course, browsing Facebook.  Well, if you are friends with me in real life, or on Facebook (or both!) you probably saw a status I had posted asking for prayers and positivity as I went back to school and didn’t get to spend 24/7 with my kiddos.  I got so many beautiful comments telling me basically what I already knew (but still needed to hear) it IS possible to be a good employee AND a good mother.  I saw that someone else commented on that status (a person I haven’t seen or spoken to in over 10 years) and this is what she wrote, “You wanted kids so badly, and now you want to leave them?  WHY??? You should stay at home and raise those kids right.” Continue reading “Raise Those Kids Right”

29 Before 30

In one short year I turn 30. That’s right, yesterday was my birthday! We went whitewater rafting…by we I mean Derek and some of his family. It was such an exhilarating adventure and really made me feel alive…which is a great thing to feel on your birthday.

While some friends are horrified at the thought of 30, right now I’m feeling fairly stoic about the milestone. I feel confident in what I’ve achieved and excited to see what I can create in the next thirty years.

That being said, I do still feel as if it is quite a monumental year. The first real milestone year since 21 (because, let’s be real renting a car at 25 is no real milestone). I feel as if 29 is the year to work on myself and establish the tone for the next chapter of my life.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been working on my “29 before 30” list and I feel confident that it is a strong list.  I also know the reality is that over the next year I might find things more important to do. In which case I’ll provide an update as to why something got swapped out. Some of the items are about building habits, while others are a one-time type of thing. If all were a one-time thing, I’d have to accomplish 2.42 items a month to achieve them all.

Without further ado, here is my 29 activities I want to do before 30. They’re in no particular order.

  1. Establish an exercise routine
  2. Read 15 books
  3. Cultivate a wardrobe that both speaks to who I am, but also how I want to be perceived
  4. Learn how to code, or something along those lines
  5. Establish better spending habits
  6. Achieve more focus in my daily life and work to better avoid distractions
  7. Update and decorate our house so it feels more like my style and less like the previous owner’s
  8. De-clutter and refrain from bringing more stuff in
  9. Further develop my personal branding
  10. Contribute to my retirement fund
  11. Start our decorative guest art wall
  12. Buy a new computer
  13. Learn how to cook seven new meals without recipes
  14. Go whitewater rafting again
  15. Find a long-term volunteer opportunity
  16. Run a marathon…half marathon…okay maybe just a relay
  17. Create photobooks, including Keely’s baby book
  18. Do more yoga
  19. Go on a trip with friends
  20. Learn to make a decent pot of coffee at home
  21. Consistently wake up earlier
  22. Go a week without TV (or Netflix or anything like that)
  23. Cut out regularly drinking soda pop (see what I did there?)
  24. Visit a new American city
  25. Have a professional family photo done
  26. Host a large friends get-together (Friendsgiving)
  27. Clean up the photos on my phone and only keep the best ones
  28. Find a signature lipstick color
  29. Regularly blog (at least twice a month)


So, what do you think? Will I be able to do all of this? PS

How did I get so lucky to be the mom of this precious little girl?

A Guide to Parenting a Child with RAD

A fellow police wife and adoptive mom was gracious enough to allow me to interview her about her joys and struggles parenting a child with RAD (reactive attachment disorder.) What she has to say is interesting, informative, and relevant to all people – whether or not you are part of the adoption community.

I take very little credit for this, as most of the words are Lyn’s candid and heartfelt responses to questions. Please click the link below to read the interview.

Half a Year

Super Sydney is officially 6 months old today!  It’s hard to believe that she’s been an “outside baby” for half a year already.  She’s pretty lazy – doesn’t so much want to roll or try to crawl or anything.  Whenever she tries to roll, it gets too hard, so she sucks her thumb and lays down instead.  I mean, I guess I can’t blame her.  Her personality is still so pleasant – lots of smiles, coos, and very happy.  She doesn’t nap hardly at all, (unless she’s laying on Mommy or Nonna) but she does sleep for 8-10 hours at night, so I can’t complain too much.  She loves her toes, and she’s chomping on everything, so we’re expecting teeth soon.  I think we’ll start introducing solids soon.  The plan is to try baby led weaning…more on that in future blog posts.

IMG_3707Vincent the Magnificent loves his sister…sometimes too much.  “I hold Sydney! I need to do tummy time too!”  And then he plops himself down next to her – sometimes narrowly missing her head, sometimes accidentally (or on purpose) stepping on her hands or feet.  Sibling love right? Continue reading “Half a Year”

The End of Maternity Leave

Being away from your kids is hard. This isn’t news to anyone who is a parent. This probably also isn’t news to anyone who is not a parent either. But what they don’t tell you is that instead of getting easier with every child, it gets harder. And not just harder relative to the number of kids you have. No. It gets exponentially harder with each child.

I go back to work tomorrow, and I’m pretty sure I’ve cried every day this past week whenever I’ve thought about it. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my job, and I love where I work. It’s a supportive, positive atmosphere where I truly believe the staff really cares for one another. And you can’t have a much better job then making music with kids every day. Except for being a mom. Continue reading “The End of Maternity Leave”

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