Saturday, August 31, 2013

Happy Birthday Darcy

Twenty nine years ago today I birthed a beautiful baby boy.  We were living in Tromso, Norway at the time.  Darcy was born a few weeks earlier that we expected him to be born, but at 9lb 9oz, I would say he was ready to be born!

Darcy was born at kvinneklinikken tromsø, which is the Women's Hospital in Tromso, just a few minutes form the house we lived in.

  We lived at Ivar Aasens vei 7 in Tromso.   If you click on the link, there is a red pin that shows a shop near our house.   If you scroll around, you will find #7- the house with the flattest roof- probably in all of Norway.

Sweet memories of my sweet son, Darcy

Friday, August 30, 2013

What next part 2

Saw my doctor today.  My blood work is all normal.  I have an enlarged thyroid (knew that) and "large multinodular goiter".   The doctor explained that the band connecting the two side of the thyroid is called an isthmus.  It is wider and thicker than is normal and possibly causing shortness of breath and a sort of "strangulation" feeling.

So, I guess I am going to live.  At least for now.  So I have to start thinking about losing weight.  oh boy, what fun!

One of my adult children is angry with me.  It makes me sad.   I hope it won't last long.  I am not really sure what to do, so I am doing nothing.

So it goes!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

What next?

I always wonder what's next.  Never, or rarely content with just "being", I feel like I need to be "doing".   Right now I am working on a knitting project- a couple of sweaters and hats for some little people in my life. I will post pictures when they are done.

I see moms in their homes and help them with breastfeeding.  But that's not the end of it.  I call back for follow up to see how everything is going. Then, I write up reports.  Then, if it is work for someone other than myself, I have to send in these reports along with time sheets.  I am currently all caught up with reports.  But I am seeing someone this weekend.  And so the whole process repeats itself.

Almost two weeks ago now I took myself to the emergency room.  I was having chest pains and having some trouble breathing.  After a ton of tests, my heart was declared strong and healthy.  I saw a few things on the report that I brought home that I don't understand.   Something to do with my lungs.  Maybe they are scarred from when I had pneumonia.   I just don't know.

My thyroid showed up as large- has been for almost 20 years- but this time it seems larger/  I had an ultrasound of my thyroid and I could see the tech making marks where she was measuring something- which she announced were very large.  Cysts?   I cannot remember.  But I think that was the pain.  I feel this pain in my throat, neck, ears and chest.  Not all at the same time.  But I do think it emanates from my thyroid.

So here's what I told Nick; if I learn that I have something terrible and only have weeks to live (ha ha), I won't bother with even thinking of going on a diet.  In fact I think I will eat whatever I want.   If it looks like I will be around for a while longer, and wish to extend that amount of time, I guess I had better get working seriously on losing weight.

You can tell when you are getting old by the fact that you share all of your ills and medical dramas with your friends, and they try to top your horror stories with their own.   What's that all about anyway?   Must be human nature.    At least the human nature we live in our society and culture!

Must get to bed.  Chiropractor at 10:00 for physical therapy on my ankle, followed by an 11:00 appointment with my doctor to learn what all the blood work and scans are saying about my health.

Sheesh- I am going to be 60 on my next birthday.  How did that happen?

Friday, August 23, 2013

It's never too late until it is

Every night I plan to write, and every night I decided it's too late and I'll do it tomorrow.   Sort of like doing homework.

It's never too late.  But I don't know what I might have wanted to have been.   But, I do agree, it isn't too late for me yet.

I spend hours each day thinking about my kids.  Our kids, Nick's and mine.   We were talking the other day, trying to remember when we last saw Courtney, Morgan and Darcy.  Austin we see a lot.  Chance fairly often.  But these three oldest adult children are off on their own adventures, living their lives, being independent and all grown up.  

Weren't we warned that they would become too dependent if we let them sleep in our bed?  If I "let" them nurse until they were done.  So much of all of those dire predictions were just so wrong.  As we knew they were.  We believed in attachment parenting even before we had a name for what we were doing.  We wanted to be close to our kids.  We wanted to allow them to trust us and to learn and grow as they were/ are ready.  Yes, I yelled.  Spanked a few more times than I could ever be proud of.  Nick got mad sometimes too, but he was much more patient than me.

I love what I do.  I hold babies.  No, that's not my professional title "baby holder".  I work with mothers and their new babies.  I try to help these mothers learn to nurse comfortably and be confident in their own body's ability to not only feed their own baby, but to be their baby's world.  To accept this role as all important.  I do tell them how fast they grow up and leave you.  But I say that more for my sake than their. 

When you are holding a squalling newborn, the last thing on your mind is the tears you will shed as you leave this precious little being at their college dorm for the first time.

The great mystery.  Time.  Chance.  Growth.  Aging.  From the moment of conception we are aging.

I worry about everything.  I am not ever sure what all I do worry about.  Getting old?  Being fat?  Not finishing one project or another.  Watching friends and family getting older.  Including my babies.  My kids.  The flock of adult Sherwoods' that all grew inside of me.  I know that this is the oldest mystery of all time.  Nobody really knows.  Or if they say that they do, we don't believe them.   We (the collective we, not myself) create belief systems, religions, superstitions, all to explain the things we have not figured out how well to explain them

I have pictures of all five kids that I am going to post here.  I'm not sure if I will make any comments on them now, or will wait to do that another tme.

Monday, August 12, 2013


Assembly- name those people!


Having fun, trying to look cool!

Left  window I can see Jackie Bell, Alan Roper and Patty Walker.   In the doorway we have Roman, Anette and Judy (aka Trixie) and in the right window I see Alicia Cousins (I think) and Fern Crawford

The New School at Fern Place NW Washington, DC
I will never be 18 again.  But I was once and I am glad I was.  I met these wonderful friends before I was 18.  We went to school together more than 41 years ago.  And we just re-united last weekend.

Loved them then, love them now!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Anybody out there?

I often wonder if anyone reads what I write.   And if so, who are you?   I almost never get any comments.  That's okay, really. Just pondering.

It is, as usual, late.  I seem incapable of going to bed and going to sleep at a reasonable hour.  It is almost a moral issue with me.  Staying up late= bad, going to bed early=good.   I wonder why?   I guess there's the belief that I will feel better and be healthier if I slept better, earlier and more.  Probably all true.  So I think about it so much that I can't settle down.  Oh well.

It's World Breastfeeding Week, so I am doing all sorts of lactation oriented stuff.  On Saturday I went to a "Big Latch On" event.  Mothers and babies all over the world were to start nursing their babies at the same hour, in their time zone.  Pretty cool actually.  I have seen pictures of events from all over the world and just love how much we mothers share.

Tomorrow I am attending another activity in Ashburn, Va.

Today was my usual Starbucks event- the Breastfeeding Cafe'.  There is a really good turn out of about 10 or so core moms who come.  I love it!  Today two moms came who had very new babies and had never nursed in public before.  They did great!   After a few minutes, they were pros.   It is so nice that they were able to be sitting in a public place surrounded by other women who were completely understanding and supportive.   I have been so lucky to be able to learn from my kids so that I can help other moms.  I am really sort of the "grandmother' to this group.   Older than a lot of these new mother's own moms.    I get to hold new babies and cuddle them.  I get to help moms trust their instincts and adjust their technique when needed.  I get to see moms blossom and babies grow big and healthy and strong.   Wow!

Thank you to all of the moms out there who have allowed me into this short, sweet, intimate moment in their lives.   I know I have made a difference.  I wonder if any of these moms realize what a difference they have made to me and to the other moms they meet.

It's like watching a ripple on still water as it grows and expands.   Yes, that's what we do.  

Saturday, August 3, 2013


I just learned  that a dear friend's mother died today.  She had been ill for a long time.  It was not a surprise, and I suspect she was ready to let go.   And I am sure that my friend was ready for her mother to find peace from being sick and weak and in decline and helpless.   Never the less, losing your mother is the something so private and imitate that nothing quite prepares you for it.  It put you a step closer to being in the older generation in your family.   When the second parent goes, then, you are "promoted".  Not something anyone wishes for.  

I have lost both parents.  Nick has lost one.  This is the "natural" progression.   But now, we are beyond old enough for the newer generation to come along and give new meaning and hope to the world.    

Transition is the stage in childbirth when the new person leaves their protected world and enters a new world.  Totally dependent upon those who gave life to this creature.  Transition can be hard and loud and messy and frightening and wonderful.

When we leave this world we transition again.  I don't have any answers to where or why this happens.   But  to me, it carries very much the same importance.   It can be loud and unexpected and tragic, yes.  But, it can also be a gift.  A chance to help a loved one leave in peace surrounded by love.  My own mother's death was like that.  Peaceful.  Surrounded by love.   Saying goodbye.   She gave us the gift of grace.


I wrote this over eleven years ago.    One line strikes so true, and even more true as my father and then my mother died; "As if the rope holding us to earth has somehow been broken."

What is it that tethers us here, to the earth.  Why don't we just float away?   The older you get of course, more and more of the ties break away and less and less holds us here. 

June 23, 2001

Yesterday we buried Dale.  My brother.  My big brother.  My only brother.  We stood there after the priest (damn him) said the words and we watched as they lowered the coffin into the ground.  We, Carol and I, picked up some dirt and tossed it into the grave.  Onto the coffin.  The dirt was softer than we expected.  Like baby powder as it fell with a phfpt against the hard wood so deep down and far away.  I know others followed us.  I don’t know who all did, or why we did it.  It is certainly not a tradition.  We have no tradition.  We have not had a death in the family until now.  And so the spell of mortality and invincibility has been broken.  And we have been broken and we feel the raw edges from the break.  Like shards of glass.  Pain where before there was complacency.  Vulnerability where before there was none.  Fear like never before.  Fear of losing each other.  As if the rope holding us to earth has somehow been broken.  Or at least is fraying.  We are closer now to our own mortality.      How do we hold on?  What do we do now?