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Saving the Dragonfly

  • Posted on March 31, 2012 at 9:23 am

When I was about seven years old, I saved a little dragonfly.  It was late-morning, and I was on my way to the library from my house, after completing my chores.  I always liked to get my chores done as quickly as possible because that meant I had more time at the library.


As I was walking past the city hall offices, I heard a buzzing sound.  Bzzzz.  Bzzzzz.  Bzzzzzzzzz!  It intrigued me and I went to investigate.  When I was a kid, light poles used to have circular trashcans attached to them, like little trash pods.  They were lined to prevent trash from falling through.


The buzzing was coming from one of these trashcans.


Being the inquisitive sort that I was, I walked up to the trashcan, which was waist level to me.  The bag was vibrating with urgency, as if whatever was in side was frantic to get away.  I wiggled the bag a little bit and inside, a dragonfly buzzed up at me.  It was stuck between the layers of the bag, struggling to find its way out.


I moved the plastic aside, carefully peeling the layer away, my little hands keeping the dragonfly from getting squished.  Suddenly, the dragonfly was free and it flew right past me up into the sky.


I often wonder what happened to that little dragonfly.  It made me happy to save it from an obvious bad ending and to see it fly up into the sky.


I suppose I can compare that little dragonfly to my son’s life.  I often wonder what could have been.  Would he have been able to breathe and grow and laugh and play?  What would he have been?  Would he have been like me, walking to the library, eager to fall into a good book, going on grand adventures with the characters?  Or, would he have been like his father, studious, creative, and brilliant?  I hate that he’s not here.  I get so angry sometimes.  I watch Gracie as she grows into this little person, full of vivacious energy and life and there’s an empty space next to her, never to be filled.  It breaks my heart.

A Bunch of Firsts, Part II

  • Posted on August 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Now that it’s August and summer is halfway over, I start thinking about all the things I wanted to do (like Gracie’s Baby Book – haven’t even cracked it open since I got it, write more on my blog, exercise more, and sort through pictures), but never made the time to do them.  Lately, I’ve been making a lot of jewelry to sell on my Etsy shop.  It’s been slow going, though.  Seems like there are hundreds of crafters making the same thing.  But, as I peruse through the listings, I don’t see any that are quite like mine, so I guess there’s some hope.

Anyway… Gracie had a lot of Firsts in the month of July, as evidenced by my last post.  I didn’t want to shove all the pictures into one post, so I broke it up into two.  She went on her first bike ride with us down at the beach.  It was really tough towing her behind me, especially when I was riding against the wind.  Several times during the bike ride, I felt like I wasn’t moving.  We stopped and took a break and turned around to head back.  I had forgotten just how nice it is to ride with the wind instead of against it!  Especially hauling a 20 lb baby, her helmet, her rainbow bear and Tigger, and her carrier.  She also celebrated our anniversary with us at the Proud Bird Restaurant.  She watched the planes come in and had a lot of fun rooting around in her carrier.  I snapped one of the funniest pictures of her yet when she looked up from what she was doing to give me the cheesiest grin.  She also tried out her traveling high chair when we went out to dinner this past week.  It gave her a new perspective at the dinner table and was an eye-opener for us because EVERYTHING was within reach.

First Bike Ride

Gracie seemed to enjoy her bike ride, even though it was hard to tell whether or not she could really see anything with her helmet on.  It fits her OK, but seems to be a bit heavy for her.  She was so tired from all the activity, she fell asleep twice in the trailer.  It looked uncomfortable to us because her helmet caused her head to tilt at an odd angle, but she didn’t seem to mind.  When we go again, she’ll probably be better at dealing with her helmet because she’s a little bigger now.




Our Anniversary

Gracie dives headfirst into everything.  I’m not entirely sure this will bode well for us in the future, but for now, it’s entertaining to see her explore her world with such gusto.  The grin on her face says everything to me.

First Time in Her Traveling High Chair

Notice how there’s nothing, I mean NOTHING, around her other than her puppy?  The last thing we needed was for her slinging a knife at someone!  She did a good job of staying put and pretty much enjoyed sitting at the table with us and charming everyone around her.






Anyway… August brings her actual 1 year birthday, even though she celebrated in May.  It’s hard to believe when I look at her now, she was only 2 lbs 3 oz. when she was born.  I’m so glad she’s healthy, growing, and soaking up her environment like a sponge.  We still feel like we’re flying by the seat of our pants, but we’re learning and growing with her and it seems a little bit easier to care for her now.

A little while ago, Michael said that she took one step forward without falling over.  Oh, and she’s got three teeth – one on the bottom and two eye teeth on the top.  I’d say she looks like a vampire, but now a top front tooth is coming in.  She’s definitely growing up fast!  <3

A bunch of Firsts.

  • Posted on July 31, 2011 at 11:43 am

Life has been busy here at the Saavedra household.  Gracie’s become a little person and walks around with her little walker, bumping into walls, doorways, and chairs.  She’s a fast crawler now and makes a beeline for any kind of cord (computer, fan, extension).  We haven’t really baby-proofed the house because most of the time, she plays in her play jail yard and is, for the most part, content to play with her toys.  When we do let her out to crawl and walk around, she’s supervised.  But, she always goes for stuff she’s not supposed to touch.  Why is it babies want to stick their little bitty fingers into wall sockets?  She tried that once, but Michael was fast enough to pull her hand away.  Looks like we’ll need to get some wall socket covers.

As I watch her grow, I am reminded of how important life is and how important family is to me.  I am so thankful to have Michael’s family for support because lately, I’ve been feeling very much like an orphan.  My mom (she’s my step-mom, but she raised me, so she’s my mom) lives in Montana and I only see her once or twice a year.  My dad, well, let’s just say his actions have left much to be desired and because of that, I haven’t spoken to him since Father’s Day.  My uncle, his brother, I haven’t seen in almost three years.  I just don’t get it.  I’ve called, left messages, and get a phone call from them maybe once or twice a year.  I’ve talked to Michael about how incredulous I am regarding my family’s actions and how I would never treat Gracie like this.

Bah.  My immediate, closest family is missing some of Gracie’s most important moments and all I can do is shake my head at the stupidity of it all.  It must be the Danish stubbornness coming out.  That’s all I ever heard about growing up, how my Danish relatives all hated each other and some didn’t even bother to show up at funerals.  What kind of life is that?  I don’t want that for Gracie.  We’ve tried as best we can to give her a home full of love, laughter, and joy.  Why surround her with that other stuff?  That’s no way to live.

Gracie took her first “step” yesterday.  She tried to take one step forward, then plopped to the ground.  She did it once more, and same result.  I spent a little time last night going through all the videos I took of her.  I had forgotten just how tiny she was.  How we thought it was the cutest thing, her laying there and waving her arms and legs back and forth.  Oh, and her swing.  Ha ha!  I took at least FOUR videos of her in her swing.  I watched them, and there she was… swinging.  Not doing much else… just swinging.  I was like the stereotypical first-time parent (we all know at least one, right?) – taking videos of her every little move and taking pictures of her every smile.  In those first several months she was home, I took hundreds of pictures and lots of video.  These days, I take pictures of her doing her “firsts.”  Her first stroller ride without her carrier.  Her first swim lesson with me.  Her first swim lesson with Michael.  Her first swing at the park.  Her first bike ride (although, that one’s kind of silly looking because her helmet is so big, you can hardly see her eyes – just a bike helmet and a big cheesy grin) at the beach.  I’m so glad for these moments.

I look at her a lot lately and still can’t believe she’s real.  Like, here’s this little person with a fighting spirit and a beautiful soul staring back at me with twinkling blue eyes and all I can think as I look into them is how incredibly thankful I am for being able to do so.

Here are her firsts these past few months.

First Swim

I love this one… she’s like a little motorboat:


Now, she gets in and kicks like a little frog.  She seems to enjoy the water and we’re glad about that.  However, I want her to love swimming but to also have a healthy respect for the water.





First Pool Hair

I can’t even begin to describe how funny this picture is to me.  She’s got Pool Hair!  She hardly has any hair as it is and when she got out of my in-laws’ pool, this was the result:  a cottony, wispy fluff sitting on top of her head.  She also has tired eyes.  Swimming is tough!






First Swing Ride at the Park

Gracie has really enjoyed all the new things we’ve introduced to her.  And, what kid wouldn’t?  Swings, swimming, pool hair.  Are those the quintessential things of summer?

Next up, bike rides, our anniversary, and her first high chair experience.  <3

Mmmmmm! Cake!

  • Posted on June 10, 2011 at 6:00 pm

I’m going back and post-dating this blog entry because I wanted to write something about Gracie’s first birthday party, but the whole month of June escaped me.   So, here we are.


For the most part, Gracie’s birthday party was nice.  Our house can only hold so many people, so just the right amount arrived, celebrated, drank merrily (eh… even though it WAS a child’s birthday party, none of my daughter’s cousins or friends with children were able to make it, so there you have it), and ate my husband’s cooking (ALMOST everyone.  I will not spend the time on here writing about how angry a certain person made me feel because I am done with this person trying to dictate my life).  The gifts for Gracie were absolutely splendid and Michael made cupcakes for everyone to eat, including Gracie.

We did a test run with the cupcakes the weekend before and though she just squished it around in her fingers, she did eat a little bit of it and the test run was deemed successful.

For this night’s festivities, Gracie ate most of her cupcake, even if she was wearing a lot of it, as well.  The faces she made through the whole process were pretty funny, too.

Gracie’s birthday cupcake.  The expressions on her face speak volumes.

Eh?  What *is* this?!

Oohhh, it’s a CAKE!  😉


My brother James and Gracie.  This was the first time he had actually seen her since she was in the NICU and the first time he truly got to hold her.  I love this picture.

All in all, the day was good.  It was nice to see friends shower Gracie with love.  Gracie is my little ray of sunshine in a sometimes dreary, gray world.  The sunflowers above remind me of both Gracie and Benjamin.  <3



  • Posted on May 11, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Two weeks from today, Gracie will be one year old.  A year ago today, I was on strict bedrest in the hospital, hoping I’d make it all the way to at least 30 weeks or more.  I didn’t, and here we are.

I’ve been very hesitant to post pictures of Gracie on this site because I’ve never understood why some “mommy bloggers” expose their children for the world to see.  However, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about it and the way I see it now is I can’t keep our daughter in a bubble for the rest of her life.  I can share her experiences with the few people who do read this blog.  I will draw the line about posting things that are private and should be treated as such.

Every day is a new parenting adventure for me.  I’m not quite sure what I’m doing and I haven’t even read any books about what to expect her first year or any of that stuff.  In fact, the only parenting books we bought were books dedicated to the raising of a preemie, which have since been collecting dust in our office.  Even so, I’ve managed to detect two major illnesses in Gracie – both requiring hospital stays/interventions.  Not knowing what I’m doing, but instinctively, I know enough.

So, without further ado, here’s Gracie, feeling better in the hospital.

It’s hard to see, but her right hand is obscured by a ton of cotton, tape, and an evil IV line.  The first IV went into her left hand and she didn’t protest much, which is indicative to how bad she was feeling.  That second IV line?  The one in her right hand?  It took two nurses over 30 minutes to get it in place, with her screaming and crying and blubbering the entire time.  It was awful.  It was so awful, in fact, she began to associate the hospital crib with DANGER! DANGER! and it became quite an experience every time we needed to change her or try to get her to nap.

I got smart, though.  On Friday morning, I changed her where I had slept the night before.   She didn’t fuss at all and was content to smile and laugh at me while I sang to her.

I really wish I had spent more of this year writing about what it’s like to be her mama.  I never knew what it was like to be a mom until she was born.  She had such a precarious beginning and it’s made me scared, paranoid, and terrified every day.  But, I look forward to seeing her smiling face in the morning and I look forward to seeing her smiling face when I get home from work.

Last night was extra special to me.  Even though I was tired from swim practice and the general business of the last two days, I sat on the couch with my husband and we quietly played with Gracie on his lap.  She giggled and pulled my hair, pulled my glasses off, tried to put my necklace in her mouth, and laid her head on my chest.  It was a joy to have her so close to me.