Ryan was here ...

My not-so-sweet nothings, mostly comprised of my feelings at losing my two-day-old son, Ryan David, to congenital heart defects, and to celebrate the arrival of Ryan's healthy little sister, Megan Elizabeth, and hopefully welcome another little miracle into our brood in July 2010.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Birds really DO "do it!"

Our backyard feathered friends must feel safe in our yard, because I just discovered a fifth brood brewing.

Mother Nature has been quite busy, indeed!

It all started with a couple of house sparrows. The male booted the bluebird couple from the bluebird box (no one had moved in, but it's called a "bluebird" box for a reason), and the feisty sparrows went on to have two separate broods. I never got to see their little ones - papa would get very antsy if I ventured too near to his kids - but I was able to hear the baby chirps when I'd be out in the yard.

Then, about a month ago, I was looking over my honeysuckle, trying to decide if it needed to be trimmed back a bit, and a male house finch swooped into the honeysuckle. I was curious, of course, and upon further inspection, I discovered the finch couple had built a nest at the top of the honeysuckle where it winds around our gutter and downspout.

I figured three feathered families was pretty cool; the most we've ever had was a chickadee family last year and the year before, but they didn't return this year. But I was happy that other birds were feeling safe in our yard that this is where they wanted to raise their family.

Then last week I caught a glimpse of a male bluebird ducking into the bluebird house. It was unoccupied, fortunately, and since then I've seen the bluebird couple perched on the trees in our yard. Finally, they figured out that THAT house was put up for them ... two years ago. But who's counting?

This past Saturday Mike and I did quite a bit of planting, so we made many trips back and forth from the garage with the wheelbarrow. The honeysuckle is climbing on a trellis just outside our garage, and I didn't give a second thought to trudging past it since the house finches flew the coop a few weeks ago. But, to my surprise, a mockingbird dove into the middle of the honeysuckle just as I was passing! I got a bit closer and was stunned to see that Miss Mockingbird had built a nest among the fragrant blooms and twisted vines.

That's five families of little ones - and it's only the end of June!

I'm very excited about this (can't you tell?) because I love working in my gardens and doing what I can to attract the birds, so it's really rewarding to see them have their babies here ... especially since it seems that those are the only babies that will ever be around this house.

Are this many bird families a good luck thing? Or is it nature taunting me? Regardless, I like it ... a lot.

P.S. Birds really DO do it, in case you didn't know. The sparrow couple stayed in the bluebird house a few days after their little ones fledged, and as I was watching them one afternoon, I realized that the two of them were involved in some sort of sex act. The cooperative female sat on the perch just outside their house, while her fella jumped from the neighboring butterfly bush to the perch where she was roosting, jumped on her for a few good old-fashioned pokes, then jumped down to the birdbath. He repeated this little ritual no less than ten times - until his lady got tired of his shenanigans and flew off. Horny little things, aren't they?

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Back ... and in the saddle again

We got home a week ago, but it seemed that life was very eager to throw us back into the real world, so upon our arrival we hit the ground running. Originally we were going to split up our drive, but after our visit to Chocolate World and after inhaling insane amounts of chocolate, we thought we could do anything. But we're not as young as we used to be and pulling an all-nighter takes a lot to recover from.

Poor Toby was terribly sick after we got home, but I don't think it was due to his stay at the kennel; the little bugger probably "Hoovered" some food that dropped on the floor. I will admit, though, that cleaning up after him for 24 hours straight on practically NO sleep almost made me feel like a real mom - cleaning up seemingly endless puke puddles all through the night, wondering if it would ever end so I could catch a moment of peace. I couldn't get that horrible smell out of my nose for days and my hands were cracked and dry from washing them so often.

But, I limped through it all - even while sleep-deprived. And, Toby is still alive and kicking, so I must've done something right by him during his sick time. It's kinda funny to me that I take some comfort in successfully nursing my dog back to good health. Those maternal feelings don't go away just because I wasn't able to mother Ryan in all the ways I had dreamed, so it's nice to have someone other than Mike to use them on. Now we just need to work on putting my mothering skills to the real test.

Speaking of which, I popped Clomid again this cycle and "triggered" last Friday. There were three ripe follicles, all ready to go. Go follies! I'll know in 10 days if I'm pregnant ... or, the more likely scenario is that I won't be and will be faced with another decision to make: to keep trying with assistance from my OB (my stint with the RE last summer was a waste of time) or to stop trying with intervention altogether and see what happens. Neither decision is one I want to make, but sometimes we have to do things we don't like, even if it breaks our heart to make that decision.

Back to the vacation re-cap ...

Canada was very, very nice. We spent several days in Niagara Falls and then headed to see Kristin and her Beloved. We had a blast with them and were able to share a special, tender moment with them at a butterfly release to honor our angel boys. It was an emotional time, but it was comforting to be with friends who understand the depths of our sorrow and our hopes and dreams for tomorrow. It was nice and refreshing to not have to explain away my tears and sniffles, since both of them could relate all too well to what I was feeling. And seeing our butterflies flutter away was priceless. Ryan's butterfly sat on my thumb for a few minutes before taking off, and Thomas' butterfly jumped onto Kristin's eyeglass frame before joining his buddies. Beautiful and bittersweet.

I'll have pictures to share, but I need to get them organized first. I hope they won't disappoint - fingers crossed!

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

How's it goin', eh?

Great White North, here we come!

This is our first vacation since our wedding in 2003, so this time away is very overdue - especially considering all the crap that's come down the pike since our last vacation. I think that makes us more than entitled to gallivant on our own, with no visits to our usual haunts that invariably stretch us in a million and one directions. This getaway is all about us. Period.

We're off to Niagara Falls (how romantic, eh?) for a couple of days, and then we'll be off to visit a dear friend and her Beloved.

Maybe I'll be able to spot a Mountie in his polished duds. Watch out, Dudley Do-Right!

Take off, eh!

P.S. Yes, I made a rather feeble attempt at Canadian slang. Gotta love the education those Mackenzie brothers provided in the movie "Strange Brew."

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