Mommy Wants Vodka

…Or A Mail-Order Bride

I Believe That Children Are Our Future And Other Sausage Tales


Ben, fiddling with a straw, leftover from a *gasp!* sugary soda, as we walk around Target.

Horrible, Awful Mother, “Hey Ben, here’s a garbage can. Please throw that away.”

Ben scowls in her direction and makes no move toward the garbage can.

Aunt Becky: “Ben, now. I don’t need any more weird garbage-y crap to clean up around the house.”

Ben, if looks could kill, she’d be dead and buried.

Dave, “Benjamin MAXWELL, NOW.”

Becky snickers into her palm at the usage of the Middle Name Treatment.

Ben flounces dramatically to the garbage can and makes a huge production of throwing out the straw. Then, he pivots to face his parents.

“FINE, I’ll throw it AWAY” he stamps his feet. “Since you HATE MOTHER EARTH.”

Apparently, our son was brainwashed.


“Dat a Pumpkin, Mama?”

“Right, Alex, that’s a pumpkin.”

“Dat’s notta pumpkin. Dat’s a GOURD.”

“Okay, it’s a gourd.”

“It’s not a gourd. It’s a pumpkin.”


For the record: it was a jack-o-lantern.


(Cacophony of dogs barking after someone knocks on the door)

“Who was at the door?” I barely looked up from my computer to ask Dave. My ass was tired from a strenuous day of sitting on it.

“Some high school kid selling magazines.”

Knowing my husband is a sucker for anyone selling anything, I sighed, wondering if he’d renewed our (never read) subscription to Golf Digest.

“What did you get us?”


Shocked, I was silent for a second.

“Wait, did the kid offer a subscription Playboy? Because I TOTALLY would have subscribed to that.”



And then incongruently there is this:

Mimi Rules

Which leaves me alternately so full of joy and so full of survivor’s guilt that I can barely talk about it. I know it doesn’t make sense, survivors guilt makes no sense, but I don’t understand any of this.

How did we dodge this bullet? I don’t understand any of it. I just don’t understand.

21% with her type of encephalocele are born alive.

55% of those born alive are expected to survive.

75% of those who survive have some degree of mental defect.

She is a miracle. My sweet daughter, a miracle.

I sit here with tears streaming down my face, crying because she made it and crying because I know so many didn’t and crying because I am so grateful that she is so, so blessed to have so many people who have prayed for her and love her.

Thank you. Every day, I am grateful for you. All of you.


Now if you’ll excuse me, I have something in my eye that requires my immediate attention.

110 Comments to

“I Believe That Children Are Our Future And Other Sausage Tales”

  1. On September 18th, 2009 at 6:23 am I Believe That Children Are Our Future And Other Sausage Tales Says:

    […] News Sources wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptBen, fiddling with a straw, leftover from a *gasp!* sugary soda, as we walk around Target. Horrible, Awful Mother, “Hey Ben, here’s a garbage can. Please throw that away.” Ben scowls in her direction and makes no move toward the garbage can. Aunt Becky: “Ben, now. I don’t need any more weird garbage-y crap to clean up around the house.” Ben, if looks could kill, she’d be dead and buried. Dave, “Benjamin MAXWELL, NOW.” Becky snickers into her palm at the usage of the Middle Name Tre […]

  2. On September 18th, 2009 at 6:36 am Julie Says:

    There is a board book called This Is Not a Pumpkin. Eighteen pages of OH HO HO NOOOOO IT IS NOT A PUMPKIN even though it is obviously EXACTLY THAT, and then the zinger! at! the end! “…It’s NOT a pumpkin! It’s a JACK-O’-LANTERN,” like, thanks, there, distinguished author, we caught on before we even opened the goddamn book.

    I wonder if I should have tagged this comment with a spoiler alert.

    Wait. So it’s not a gourd? THAT’S TRICKY!

  3. On September 18th, 2009 at 6:41 am moonspun Says:

    How come there are no Jill-O-Lanterns? 🙂
    Great for your daughter! Hope you got that “crusty” out of your eye….if you hadn’t made Ben throw out the straw, I bet he could have helped dig it out…


  4. On September 18th, 2009 at 6:46 am Ms. Moon Says:



  5. On September 18th, 2009 at 6:49 am Dot Says:

    It’s a pumpkin. It’s a bicycle. And awwww, that is such awesome news for little Mimi. There seems to be something in my eye, too.

    It seems to be going around. Again, my allergies are acting up. *sobs*

  6. On September 18th, 2009 at 6:54 am Libby Says:

    I do think environmentalism is directly linked to hoarding…

    Glad your girl is doing well.

  7. On September 18th, 2009 at 6:59 am SciFi Dad Says:

    Is nobody going to discuss the fact that she’s learning to “self help” beyond her age indicates how much she has to do for herself due to neglectful parenting?

    Dude. I’m too drunk to parent. She knows it. THAT’S why she’s advanced.

  8. On September 18th, 2009 at 6:17 am Ginger Magnolia Says:

    Those are some great sausage tales, especially the one about the non-sausage. Hooray for Mimi!

    Yay GOO!

  9. On September 18th, 2009 at 6:30 am Jenn Says:

    Also, Ben sounds JUST LIKE Monkey. Sigh.
    And Alex setting you up like that? Just like Boo. Double sigh.
    Amelia! Wow, that is amazing! I’m so happy for you guys. You deserve the good stuff, Becky. You really do. xoxo

    It’s still not a Gourd, Jenn.

  10. On September 18th, 2009 at 6:31 am Jenn Says:

    I don’t know why I wrote “Also” in front of that first sentence ’cause… really, it doesn’t make sense. Forgive me.

    I like “also” almost as much as I like “awesome.” I didn’t even notice it didn’t fit.

  11. On September 18th, 2009 at 6:42 am Inna Says:

    Does that mean Ben wants to take a reusable bottle when he goes to get a soda?
    Alex is a riot.
    And Amelia ROCKS!!! So very very awesome!

    Oh, Ben would, believe me.

  12. On September 18th, 2009 at 6:45 am Vinomom Says:

    Those are some amazing statistics Aunt Becky! What an incredible miracle.

    I am humbled by her daily.

  13. On September 18th, 2009 at 6:50 am nic @mybottlesup Says:

    🙂 well earned… well earned tears. there’s something in my eye too.

    Stupid eye crusties!

  14. On September 18th, 2009 at 6:51 am Hilly Says:

    You hate Mother Earth? How DARE you? I totally knew it was you all along!

    On an actual serious note, the last segment made my heart totally swell for you. Love love love beating the statistics and having miracles like that.

    Thank you.

  15. On September 18th, 2009 at 6:55 am moonduster (Becky) Says:

    “My ass was tired from a strenuous day of sitting on it.” <- LOVE this sentence!

    And being new to your blog, I did not know about your daughter's encephalocele, but I know a little of it in general and I am very happy to read your good news! (She is only a couple of months younger than my youngest.)

  16. On September 18th, 2009 at 6:58 am melanie Kerton Says:

    great news!

  17. On September 18th, 2009 at 7:07 am a Says:

    Amelia is awesome!

    So, they’re teaching kids at Ben’s hippie school that throwing things away is wrong? Or is that from public school? Libby’s right – a new generation of hoarders is in the works.

    Ha! Clearly Alex was messing with you. Wonder where he got that from…

    Why does that song immediately pop into my head after reading about 4 words of your title?

    You’re welcome for the earworm, and you’re TOTALLY RIGHT. New generation of hoarders. Just GREAT.

    *off to pull out the 578 old magazines from Ben’s room. GREAT.

  18. On September 18th, 2009 at 7:11 am Jennifer B Says:

    Fuck the statistics. Amelia is frickin AMAZING. Now pardon me while I wipe my eye too. Seems to be something going around.

    Damn eye problems.

  19. On September 18th, 2009 at 8:17 am Badass Geek Says:

    She really is a miracle, but with all that you’ve been through, a well-deserved one.

  20. On September 18th, 2009 at 8:20 am Melissa Says:

    Incredible and wonderful. Congrats! Now go hand the girl a Coke and a plastic baggie full of red-dyed and high fructose corn syrup candies and let the girlie CELEBRATE!

    I’ll have you know that I laughed so hard that I scared my nearly deaf cat when I read this.

  21. On September 18th, 2009 at 7:22 am stacey@Havoc&Mayhem Says:

    Havoc does that stomping and making making “FINE!” statements. I think they teach it in school, probably instead of art or music.

    Congrats on Amelia’s stats!

    Bwahahaha! You know that they do! FINE MOM! *stomp, stomp, stomp.*

  22. On September 18th, 2009 at 7:26 am Dr. Dre Says:

    Awwww! That’s so wonderful about MiMi! You get it, woman. You have figured out how to blog about your child’s miraculous intervention and still be so grateful and humble about said miracle. I am truly so so happy for you and the Daver. Awww!

    Loved the part about hating Earth and the gourd correction.

    Thank you so much. I am humbled and honored by everyone I know. Seriously.

  23. On September 18th, 2009 at 7:27 am Kyddryn Says:

    Hurrah for the wee patty!!

    Meanwhile, Mizz Aunt Becky…you’ve been up to things again…FAB things…

    And Ben’s brilliant, just so you know, you Mother Earth hater, you.

    Shade and Sweetwater,
    K (who may have shed a tear at the last bit…but it could have been allergies…)

    When in doubt, I blame allergies or the dog.

  24. On September 18th, 2009 at 7:36 am Kerrie Says:

    I’ve always suspected that you hated Mother Earth. I mean…I can hear it…In your typing. I bet you also start forest fires – and spray aerosol hairspray in your backyard FOR NO REASON.

    *quickly hides aerosol can and lighter*

    I, uh, don’t know, uh, what you’re talking about.

  25. On September 18th, 2009 at 8:36 am Lis0r Says:

    OBVIOUSLY you hate Mother Earth because you took Ben out if the hippie nut ban! school.

    Alex sounds like a riot and I bet he’s the one who keeps you on your toes the most.

    As for Mimi, the only thing I can offer is this: I have a cousin that fought and beat cancer as a toddler (she’s 18 now and in her first year of university!), and I met several kids that she was in the hospital with that weren’t so lucky. Our family also understands the survivor’s guilt. Just remember to fully embrace every single day as the gift that it is (even when she’s 15 and has turned into a mini Aunt Becky). 😉

    That’s really good advice. I feel stupid having survivors guilt for something so amazing and awesome. I know, it sounds so stupid to say that I feel terrible that my daughter is alive, because I don’t.

    It’s just complicated. And I don’t have words.


  26. On September 18th, 2009 at 7:48 am Mommy on the Spot Says:

    I read you all the time expecting a great laugh, and although I did, I have some tears!! Your daughter is a miracle! Don’t you wonder what great things are in store for her?

    I get how you feel. For almost her whole year of life, we weren’t sure if she had hydrocephaly or cerbral palasy. She’s fine (and I posted on my blog a letter to her first bitch of a physical therapist who said she’d be lucky to walk by the age of 2 without braces) and RAN into preschool last week. Congrats to your daughter and congrats to you for getting through it! Try and enjoy!

    I am so proud to hear that your daughter proved that PT wrong. SO PROUD. GAH! ALLERGIES.

    These comments are TERRIBLE for my allergies!

  27. On September 18th, 2009 at 7:52 am Amanda@LadyScientist Says:

    That Mother Earth is a b*tch and she had it coming. I’m just sayin’.

    That bit with Alex reminds me of me, which… ok, I thought that would be reassuring. But then, I thought about it and, well, I’m certain he’ll turn out better than that. 🙂

    I’m so happy that Mimi is doing so well. I’ve been thinking of you all since you posted that she was going to have that evaluation. So, Go Mimi! Rock on.

    Mimi is ripping ass and taking names. My fucking daughter all right.

  28. On September 18th, 2009 at 8:01 am Nel Says:

    Who brainwashed your son like that?!? Show them to me!!

    Amelia’s stats are incredible….I am so happy for you.

    I’ll give you one guess. And it rhymes with “yippie hut van pool”

  29. On September 18th, 2009 at 8:04 am tryingin2007 Says:

    oh auntie B! now you’re making ME all teary.


    Stupid traveling allergies!

  30. On September 18th, 2009 at 8:22 am Kat Says:

    My niece was a severly drug addicted baby that my sil adopted. When she was born 8 weeks early and going through withdraws they told sil that she would never be normal and they could expect at best severe learning and social disorders. Now at 4 she has tested at or above her age on all of “their” test. Other than driving her mom crazy on a daily basis she is so normal it’s crazy. Not sure how she dogged the bullet but kids are so amazing with their ability to heal beyond expectations. Healing themselves I mean not the laying of hands kind. 🙂

    It’s a complete miracle any of us ever make it out alive. Seriously.

    So glad that your niece is well.

  31. On September 18th, 2009 at 8:33 am cara Says:

    Congratualtions on Mimi…that is the best thing I’ve heard in a long while.

    In response to Ben you could have said two things…”No, Target is hates mother earth because they don’t have recycle bins” or “If you didn’t you a straw, you wouldn’t have to throw one away” (I know that is not the best idea when dining with any kid under 10 – but it takes the blame off you 🙂

    Deflect, deflect, deflect. I love it!

  32. On September 18th, 2009 at 8:46 am Buscogirasoles Says:

    Aunt Becky,

    I’ve been quietly reading along for some time now, and today seemed like the right moment to show myself with a big, heartfelt Congratulations! for Mimi. That’s wonderful news, and I sincerely hope that you’re pretty well out of the woods now.

    Thank you so much. I really, really appreciate it.

  33. On September 18th, 2009 at 8:55 am foradifferentkindofgirl (fadkog) Says:

    Wait? What? There’s a difference between jack-o-lanterns and pumpkins? Alex is a wise student of Ben’s Mother Earth! Oh, the things they’ll teach your beautiful, healthy girl….


  34. On September 18th, 2009 at 9:03 am Kori Says:

    The bullet you dodged? A miracle indeed. I haven’t struggled with the different issues you have, but my Sam was born two months early and *shouldn’t* be here and shouldn’t be brilliant and reading at a 9th grade level ans shouldn’t have a healthy, pumping heart and….you know. But he is. Asthma? Yeah, he has it pretty bad but given what *should* have happened, we can deal. 🙂 There are no reasons, no answers, just gratitude. You mother earth hater, you. Sounds like you got him out of the nut job school none too soon.

  35. On September 18th, 2009 at 10:07 am Anjali Says:

    Miracle Mi Mi. I like the sound of that.

  36. On September 18th, 2009 at 10:09 am Kate Says:

    Great sausage tales ~ your Alex & my Isaac would get along REALLLLLLLLY well. Kinda annoying how they talk in circles, no?

    Regarding Amelia…. absolutely amazing. I always wondered what one of those reports looked like with nothing written in the right-hand column. I’d be jealous if I weren’t so happy for you. Sincerely.

  37. On September 18th, 2009 at 9:21 am leanne Says:

    And this is why I keep the kleenex next to my computer. I’m not ashamed to admit I have tears streaming down my face. I am so happy for you and your baby girl. Because obviously.

    Oh, and the things kids pick up from school (or at least a safety program my son attended for 2 weeks this summer)… my son has told me that I don’t have to worry if a hurricane is coming our way because there will be plenty of time for warnings (um, we live in Wisconsin?). And he’s been bugging me to prepare a disaster kit. There’s even a list of suggested items to pack in your disaster kit. Sadly, neither vodka nor vicodin are on the list.

  38. On September 18th, 2009 at 9:36 am Leadia Jarvis Says:

    I say we have a debutante ball/coming out-style party for Mimi and Larissa whereby they make their descent from a spectacular staircase in ballgowns to the pumping sounds of “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child. Once they reach the ballroom floor, they can rip off their deb dresses (revealing “Dancing With the Stars-eque bodysuits) and launch into a choreographed routine to “Bootylicious”.

    OMG, I love this idea. What better way to celebrate the fact that they both gave the middle finger to percentages?

    Okay…meet me at Woodfield…..we start dress shopping immediately.

  39. On September 18th, 2009 at 9:37 am Bex Says:

    She is amazing. Someone, somewhere is smiling down on your family.

  40. On September 18th, 2009 at 9:46 am Bluebird Says:

    It is *not* *nice* to purposefully subject others to an emotional rollercoaster like this!! Laughing then crying??? I mean, really!!

    Whew! Okay. Deep breath.

    Beyond thrilled for you and sweet Amelia. I can’t come up with the words, myself, so I can’t even imagine how overwhelmed you must feel. A celebration is certainly in order.

    Just so long as it doesn’t involve any overtly hateful actions toward Mother Earth 🙂

  41. On September 18th, 2009 at 10:15 am Stone Fox Says:

    what the fuck is a gourd? is that even a real word? cause my son used to say shit like, “that’s not a chair, mom, that’s a chothy-tothy” and i’m just wondering if i am not Smarter Than A Small Child.

    sometimes i have the urge to scare responsibility into my kid. i want to say, “if you don’t throw your garbage away properly, it’s called littering. if you litter, the police will come and take you to jail.” but then there will be a fucking MILLION questions about the police, jail, littering, etc. and it really becomes a can of worms that i regret opening.

    and your daughter? a-may-zink. i may have a snowflake in my eye that has melted rapidly then slipped down my cheek.

    (yeah, i wiki’d “gourd” so what of it?)

  42. On September 18th, 2009 at 10:29 am Mrs Soup Says:

    Hurray for an incredibly awesome average baby!!

    I so wish I could be a fly on your wall….love the conversations you have.

  43. On September 18th, 2009 at 12:02 pm swirl girl Says:

    No snark – not today .

    What a true blessing…

  44. On September 18th, 2009 at 11:04 am jlhpisces Says:

    there must be something going around – something in my eye too!!

    Thanks for a post that makes me laugh and cry at the same time!

  45. On September 18th, 2009 at 11:20 am Lindsey Says:

    She gives me chills….the good kind……your little miracle!

  46. On September 18th, 2009 at 11:50 am Regina Says:

    What wonderful news about Mimi! I am sitting at work tearing up.

  47. On September 18th, 2009 at 12:04 pm Fawn Amber Says:

    “Because you HATE MOTHER EARTH!!”

    BWAHAHAHA….of course, if you hated Mother Earth, you would have had Ben chuck the straw out the window on the way HOME. The only thing that pisses me off more while driving than litterbugs are people who don’t put their kids in carseats/seatbelts. BUCKLE YOUR KIDS UP, ASSHOLES.

    OK, sorry. That was a little residual rage from this morning’s commute.

    Yay for Amelia. Yay, yay, yay. God is good. 🙂

  48. On September 18th, 2009 at 12:15 pm Aunt Juicebox Says:

    I know you’re crying, but every time I read about it, it makes me smile. She is truly a miracle.

    I totally used the term brain washed today in my post. I must be psycho. I mean psychic.

  49. On September 18th, 2009 at 12:25 pm Kelly Says:

    So amazing that at 2-4 years old kids can come up with things to try to one up you on all the time….Sometimes now Mea is such a smarty pants I just don’t even know what to do with her. I like to remind her that she’s only 3, and I am still the boss, at least for now….

    So glad that little Mimi continues to do so well, she’s showing those statistics a thing or too!

  50. On September 18th, 2009 at 12:25 pm kyslp Says:

    Oh, I have a little Earth Papa of my own. He scolds me for not cutting the plastic ring off bottles before tossing them in the recycling. (He says they get thrown away and not recycled if they are left on.) One of his goals is to build a compost bin in the backyard.

    I said this on FB but great news like this can handle repeating: Congratulations to you and your little miracle baby!! With a start like this, who knows what she will do in life?

    Now I have to go find something to make fun of so I can stop getting misty.

  51. On September 18th, 2009 at 12:37 pm TeDiouS Says:

    I am so happy for your little one.

    Not even eight months old and already she can surprise you. Just imagine what she’ll throw at you when she’s older! 😉

    Here’s to them always being happy tears. Or allergies. One of those.

  52. On September 18th, 2009 at 12:50 pm Beautiful Mess Says:

    Can I have Ben?! Please! I’m the ONLY one that loves Mother earth around here. Nobody takes recycling as serious as I do. Ben sounds like my kind of kid!

    I’ll trade you, you can have Zilla. He and Alex would get ALONG great! Alex would say that to Zilla and Zilla would just nod in agreement. Because, obviously!

    I’m so glad that Amelia is your miracle baby. She’s got a strong woman inside that chubby body of hers. Survivor guilt is a tricky thing. But in the end that BEAUTIFUL picture says so much, ya know?

  53. On September 18th, 2009 at 1:02 pm Melanie Says:

    I’m so happy for you and your little one. I haven’t been reading your blog long enough to know the whole story, but I am relieved nonetheless. Happiness!

    Now, let’s drink!

  54. On September 18th, 2009 at 1:31 pm Unindicted Co-Conspirator Says:

    You shoulda told the wise guy that pumpking/gourd was a curcurbita. That covers both.
    As for brainwashed about not trashing a straw? What? You’re supposed to beam it into another dimension? Wouldn’t trashing it be better than tossing it out the car window?

  55. On September 18th, 2009 at 2:19 pm Mama Cas Says:

    The pumpkin argument? Points out that there are some battles you will. not. win. No matter how many Xanax you’ve taken beforehand. (Side note: I’m impressed that he even KNOWS the word gourd.)

    Hooray for Mimi! Did you ever imagine the day would come when you’d be crying that your child’s evaluation declares her to be perfectly, happily “average”? Average is awesome…especially in this instance. Many kisses to her…much good health and happiness to all of you.

  56. On September 18th, 2009 at 2:36 pm daisybv2 Says:

    You Freakin Rock Aunt Becky! Your kids are adorable and they say the cutest things!

    I am so happy for your little miracle that is awesome you ROCK Amelia~

  57. On September 18th, 2009 at 2:40 pm Shannon Says:

    I think something blew into my eye as I read that last bit about Amelia. I am just so, so, happy for you. Don’t feel guilty for receiving such a blessing.

    P.S. You Mother Earth hater, you!!

  58. On September 18th, 2009 at 3:47 pm Meg Says:

    <3 From me to you my friend.

  59. On September 18th, 2009 at 2:55 pm Rebecca Says:

    Doesn’t it just put your mind to a nice peaceful place when you hear your child is not only meeting expectations but also exceeding them? Congratulations on your little angel.

  60. On September 18th, 2009 at 3:09 pm Suzy Voices Says:

    Yay for the beautiful girl! I can’t believe she’s already 7-1/2 months!

  61. On September 18th, 2009 at 3:35 pm Holli Says:

    I must have something in my eye too.

  62. On September 18th, 2009 at 3:37 pm Amy d Says:

    She’s a fighter! And she’s strong…just like her mommy!

    Your Amelia is such a beauty!

  63. On September 18th, 2009 at 3:50 pm mumma boo Says:

    Hooray, Mimi!! Kickin’ ass and taking names at 7.5 months. Atta girl! *sniffs* Damn ragweed allergy…

  64. On September 18th, 2009 at 3:51 pm Mwa Says:

    Oh, I’m so happy for all of you!
    I wish I could come over and give you a big hug. (I’m not a hugger.)

  65. On September 18th, 2009 at 4:14 pm Sylvia Says:

    In my head, I would have suggested that he shut his trap before I fertilized mother earth with his body. But I have PMS and my kids understand that Mommy is psycho. Let me clarify, I would only have those thoughts about MY kids and I wouldn’t say them out loud. I like your kids. Because they are full of THE AWESOME.

    I quit teaching my kids the proper words for things. Now, when they try to argue, I meow at them. Its very disturbing and they give up and walk away. May not be the best parenting method, but I don’t need more headaches.

    I’m so happy for you about Amelia. Perhaps she can come over and teach my 7 month old how to be normal? And perhaps rub some intelligence drool on him? Because I’m beginning to wonder if he’s actually a dumb furry puppy in a baby suit.

    I take that back. I am the one who needs the intelligence drool. Because apparently the baby knows mommy is stupid and is plotting ways to outsmart me. Sigh. I have issues.

  66. On September 18th, 2009 at 4:27 pm Katy Says:

    see this is where you and i differ. in theory. maybe. okay, not at all. anyway, if i was an evil person with serious personality disorders, i would have knocked the garbage can over and yelled “BENJAMIN MAXWELL! DON’T DO THAT!” and spirit him away saying apologies to the target workers. and then when my little babycakes starts crying “mommy, BUT I DIDN’T DO THAT!!! you did!” i’ll evilly smile and say “i know. next time you won’t talk back to mommy, will you?” SCARRED. FOR. LIFE. either they don’t talk back or i get to pay for therapy for the rest of their lives. sigh. sadly, that’s how my dad worked. for fun. result? both therapy and I NEVER GO IN PUBLIC WITH HIM.
    and mi mi? she went to chew bubble gum and kick some ass, and you won’t let her have bubble gum. hey, statistics: FACE!
    but seriously, i remember the first time i read your three-part post on her birth (it was probably several months after she was born) and i remember thinking, “eh, she’ll be fine.” hindsight is 20/20, but still, she beasted that evaluation. now, she has to live up to that test for the rest of her life. she fails a high school bio test? “umm, yeah, you see this piece of paper that has been framed and hanging in the living room for the past 15 years? it says you beat a huge test and even got bonus points. this bio test? this shit won’t fly.”

  67. On September 18th, 2009 at 4:53 pm lettergirl Says:

    I love this so much. The kid stories are awesome. But I can so relate to the excitement mixed with survivor’s guilt. Our Madeline was born with a rare heart defect that at the time, was mostly fatal. We’ve been so blessed, but for awhile, I was on a list for parents of kids with the defect. So many heartbreaks, and I just couldn’t stay. The guilt means you’re compassionate, Becky. I won’t tell you not to feel that way, because it makes us realize what treasures our children are.

  68. On September 18th, 2009 at 5:57 pm Notesfromthegrove Says:

    You ALWAYS have something in your eye, don’t you?

    But on a serious note, that little girl is just darling and I am so, so thankful that she’s beaten the odds. She must have pretty terrific parents!

  69. On September 18th, 2009 at 5:00 pm Dawn Says:

    That last section is just the sweetest news! Sometimes, one of us wins one.

  70. On September 18th, 2009 at 6:05 pm kalakly Says:

    Now don’t take this the wrong way but did they test Mimi or YOU??? Cuz I want to make sure you weren’t throwing in an illegal substitution at the last minute….

    Awesome, Becky, totally awesome. Sometimes, only sometimes, fate does get it right.

  71. On September 18th, 2009 at 6:09 pm No Good Says:

    So happy about Mimi! Now she doesn’t have to get by on her looks. Because she *totally* could! Because obviously!

  72. On September 18th, 2009 at 7:19 pm Scattered Mom Says:

    Omg Becky, that is just amazing news! Dance! Toast it with champagne! Eat chocolate! Go celebrate!!

    Big hugs. I’m just thrilled for all of you. 🙂

  73. On September 18th, 2009 at 6:24 pm MoranChick Says:

    I am so, SO thrilled for you and Amelia (and The Daver and Ben and Alex)! Your baby girl is kicking ass and taking names, indeed–and she has the perfect fabulous sparkly shoes in which to do it, too!

    And I may have teared up a little reading about her today. Maybe. Just a little. (Oh, who am I kidding–I totally did.)

  74. On September 18th, 2009 at 7:28 pm Pete in Az Says:

    “She is a miracle. My sweet daughter, a miracle.”

    So… um… What’s not to understand?

  75. On September 18th, 2009 at 8:04 pm Heather Says:

    If you didn’t have this blog, my world would be very dark!!
    I have 8,003 comments to make about all that this post contained. But really, I’ll just say that I am so happy you are able to have survivor’s guilt and you should wear your badge proudly!

  76. On September 18th, 2009 at 8:33 pm Margaret Says:

    I am so happy for you and your daughter! Truly a miracle.

    She is, indeed.

  77. On September 18th, 2009 at 9:18 pm Becca Says:

    Hey, sounds like my kind of day!!

    I am glad teh baby girl is doing so well! I miss being able to visit your site at work. As of the 26th they are kicking us off the intranet (basically), like we end up with a letter of caution in our file and that is very, very bad. So, I am here at stupid times. I am glad lil bit is doing well, and I know just how you feel with the eldest. My twelve year old acts much the same way.

    Damn work limiting blog surfing!

  78. On September 18th, 2009 at 9:40 pm Venti Vixen Says:

    He totally has a point with that whole mother-earth-hater thing though doesn’t he? Just saying.

    Gourd/Pumpkin/Jack-o-lantern: annoying conversations like this are my kid’s specialty. Don’t you love the way they can go on for-fucking-ever?

    Mimi – She is a beautiful miracle, girl. I am so happy for you!

    I did tear down several acres of rain forest with my teeth yesterday, but you know, who is counting?

  79. On September 18th, 2009 at 10:16 pm DG at Diaryofamadbathroom Says:

    Everything sounds great! As long as they are making you a little crazy, everything is as it should be. And congratulations on Amelia, she is so lovely and such a gift.

    She is a wonderful gift. Thank you.

  80. On September 18th, 2009 at 10:54 pm Amy Says:

    I’m so happy to hear it @_@ that is freaking amazing…whatever happens, children are a blessing (as much as I’m still terrified at the idea of sex or pregnancy/giving birth…)

    Ha. Sorry. It’s okay. I’ve done it 3 times and made it through. You can too!

  81. On September 18th, 2009 at 11:18 pm Sherry Says:

    Having lost a child in our family I feel as if I’ve lost her all over again when I hear of someone else going through it. However when I hear of a child who has come through the trenches with her flags flying and her torches blazing I feel such a wave of relief that this one made it. I’m sitting here with tears flowing and such love in my heart for a little girl I’ve never met. May she always be your miracle. May she grow to be a smart assed teenager who drives you crazy at every turn. May she hold your hand 50 years from now and tell you how much she loves you. I wish all of this for the two of you. Daughters are the most wonderful gifts and yours is indeed a gift to cherish.

    I cherish her every day. She is so, so loved.

    And I am so, so sorry that you lost a child. I cannot imagine the agony that you’ve been through. I am so very sorry.

  82. On September 19th, 2009 at 2:08 am flutter Says:

    Hope it’s just an eyelash in that eyeball…;p

    Damn barking allergies.

  83. On September 19th, 2009 at 4:08 am justme Says:

    That is so wonderful for all of you!

    It really, really is.

  84. On September 19th, 2009 at 5:10 am Emilie Says:

    I went back and read about Amelia’s birth and her first few months and man, you all really went through hell there. So glad to hear the good news!

    Thank you so much. It’s been a really intense year.

  85. On September 19th, 2009 at 8:55 am Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] Says:

    Hoorays for good baby news!

    *flings confetti!* Thank you!

  86. On September 19th, 2009 at 11:47 am Andy Says:

    Yeah for cute sweet miracles!!!!!

  87. On September 19th, 2009 at 12:18 pm Dora Says:

    Your boys are hilarious! Can’t wait to hear how Miss Mimi handles them once she starts talking.

    That’s an awesome report! Smooch your beautiful miracle for me.

  88. On September 19th, 2009 at 2:30 pm birdpress Says:

    Kids are so awesome. Especially yours! 🙂

  89. On September 19th, 2009 at 4:54 pm Kendra Says:

    Your kids are amazing. My 6-year-old is a master of the stomping “fine!” statements, though it’s usually accompanied by something like “You just tell me to do a lot of things all the time!” Fortunately he hasn’t yet discovered legitimate guilt, like hatred of the earth.

    My almost-4-year-old loves to categorically deny reality. He makes up random rules about the universe and then insists that we aren’t following them right. Somehow I think he and Alex would get along great.

    And sweet Amelia just makes my heart swell. Though I’ve never seen you in person and my husband would love to give me a hard time about caring so much about a “stranger’s” baby, I feel so strongly about her. And to see her exceeding all expectations just fills me with such joy. To see that she has a mom who takes time out to remember the kids and parents who haven’t been so lucky, that fills me with tremendous respect.

  90. On September 19th, 2009 at 7:07 pm Sunny Says:

    I can just imagine my son will grow up to accuse me and DH of hating Mother Earth. That’s what happens when you leave the Midwest and move to tree-hugging Seattle. It’ll serve us right.

    Alex is so cute, that made me smile big time.

    And SUPER HOORAY for MIMI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so happy for you and for her…. I love it when good things happen to good people.

  91. On September 19th, 2009 at 8:25 pm Kristin Says:

    Oh man, I went from laughing to teary eyed in one post. I am so thrilled to see Mimi’s results! Your boys are a hoot. They would fit in perfectly with mine.

    Bring ’em on by! Always room here.

  92. On September 19th, 2009 at 10:35 pm lauren Says:

    I hate survivor’s guilt. Or even healthy baby guilt. Can’t we be happy that our babies are okay? I know that some parents lose their children and it’s really really really heartbreakingly sad. But my child is still alive. I shouldn’t feel bad about that. Neither should you.

    I know. It’s illogical. Fucking guilt.

  93. On September 19th, 2009 at 10:04 pm GingerB Says:

    Don’t you always wonder a bit about scoring the self help feature of a child? I mean seriously, self help?? Picks own nose? WTF? I am so delighted for Mimi. Now go get your finger out of your eye.

    I think she scored low because she doesn’t like fruit, veggies or meat. Only yogurt and the baby equivalent of cheetoes. But, having seen baby food meat in jars, I’m applauding her good taste.

  94. On September 19th, 2009 at 10:57 pm Claire Gregory Says:

    YAY for Mimi! That’s wonderful news. Not *surprising* news, because she’s gorgeous and obviously doing great, but sometimes you just need those little numbers to tell you it’s all okay before you get the flood of relief.

    We had similar stats on Sophie- 75% of babies with her type of brain injury will die; of those 25% who survive, more than 90% will be disabled in degrees ranging from moderate to severe. Of all the best case scenarios we could imagine, we never thought that it was possible for her to come out of it COMPLETELY fine and normal- but she has. I tell you, when we got that piece of paper with all her developmental scores on it, it was a turning point in our lives, from unconscious stress towards happy times and no more worry. It’s awesome.

    So, here’s to best case scenarios and miracle baby girls who kick ass 🙂

    THAT is something that I will drink to. Every day for a month. Congrats to us all! YAY Sophie! (I advocated for Sophie as a name for Amelia, FYI. Loves that name)

  95. On September 20th, 2009 at 1:05 am staciet Says:

    First off, when…how did she get to be 7 1/2 months old?!! But mostly, I wanted to just scream from the rooftops for you! She rocked it. Amazing. (Just like her mother.) 🙂

    Thank you, and I know. She was JUST a fetus, wasn’t she?

  96. On September 20th, 2009 at 4:15 am excavator Says:

    Great news about Amelia. Those were some steep odds your little Cinnamon Girl beat.

    Little kids with their fierce devotion to accuracy: “Scott, put on your shoes.” “They’re SANDALS!” Oy.

    Ben is like that CONSTANTLY. While I try to be patient, man, sometimes, I want to punch him. I don’t. That should count for SOMETHING, right?

  97. On September 20th, 2009 at 10:28 am Lola Says:

    Now, that’s some great news!

  98. On September 20th, 2009 at 9:43 am Jen Anderson Says:

    Oh, that’s just wonderful news.

  99. On September 20th, 2009 at 9:46 am Nina Says:

    I’ve just googled encephalocele and I feel a little faint with the enormity of what you all went through. I am so glad that she is okay.

  100. On September 20th, 2009 at 10:53 am Lippy Says:

    I am so happy little Amelia is doing well. Those are some pretty amazing odds she has beaten. She is quite the little scrapper.

  101. On September 20th, 2009 at 12:18 pm Nina Says:

    That is such great news about Amelia. Thank God. Let’s hope that’s the end of worries about that enceph. thing.

  102. On September 20th, 2009 at 1:53 pm Nicole Says:

    WOOHOO, Amelia! That is FANTASTIC – what an amazing little girl.

    And dude . . . Playboy is a staple around here. Hubby reads the whole thing cover-to-cover, I look at the pictures (to keep up with grooming trends, of course), and the kids are oblivious to the fact that all of the girls are naked – Maren can spot a picture of a baby or a dog from a mile away, and never fails to find one of each in every issue (I’ll let you know how many toothpicks she sees when I throw the box on the floor.)

  103. On September 20th, 2009 at 1:04 pm Betty M Says:

    Great to see that development chart! So pleased to see this news.

  104. On September 21st, 2009 at 4:58 am Carlynn Says:

    I am so glad to read about your miracle. Wonderful, wonderful news. So glad for you. Miracles are so few and far between and they never lose their ability to amaze us.

  105. On September 21st, 2009 at 9:15 am Miss Grace Says:

    Sweet Becky, your daughter would be a miracle regardless, but this is just such beautiful news.

    I’m so happy for her and for you.

    And she’s adorable (I want those silver shoes dammit)

  106. On September 21st, 2009 at 11:14 am Coco Says:

    Ah, the attitudes. Badger has started telling me to “Relax, Mom!” complete with hand gestures (no, not that gesture) and huffy tone of voice. It’s like I suddenly got a tiny teenager.

    And Amelia! Yay for your peanut! Didn’t I tell you that girl was a pistol? She is going to take over the world someday. I love me some Mimi!

    On a serious note, I don’t know exactly how you’re feeling, but I can imagine that it’s hard to have seen the faces of the little ones in the NICU who did not make it, or who didn’t get the miracle. I wish no one ever had to go through that. But maybe it will comfort you to know that Mimi’s miracle has brought a wealth of hope and love to me, and every single Aunt Becky Groupie here. And while you might protest that you fell apart over and over again, I saw a woman and a mom who stood up and fought for her child no matter how bad things got.

    You never let her go, Becks.

    I admire the hell out of you, and I love you dearly.

  107. On September 22nd, 2009 at 7:58 am Heather Says:

    YAY for Miss Ameila!!

  108. On September 22nd, 2009 at 9:03 pm DD Says:

    Best news I’ve read all week!! See, girls are just way better equipped to deal with issues related to the noggin. Now the heart? Yeah. In 16 years we will be crying to each other on the phone about our “little” girls and their stupid boy-crushes.

  109. On September 23rd, 2009 at 9:05 am Susie Says:

    What great news about your sweet little baby girl! Miracles do happen : )

  110. On September 26th, 2009 at 12:08 pm Alicia Says:

    Aww, sweet little Mimi Bear. I’m so happy for her and you and the Sausages. 🙂

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