About_Ellen.png

Hi.

Welcome, friends! This here slice of the Internet revolves around lattes, bookshelves, Pinterest, Emily Henderson, white wine spritzers, China, brass anything, passports and my sweet family. Grammar and important worldly events? Not so much. Consider yourself warned.

So That Happened.

So That Happened.

And we’re back.

Holy heck. That was one crazy week. Or more like 72 hours. In fact, last week had all the makings of a NBA playoff game — minus the really tall people. In fact, in this version, the people were actually very, very short. Regardless, it was exciting, fast-paced and physically and mentally draining. There were high highs and low lows. There was excellent coaching, veteran talent and even the debut of a new rookie recruit. And I am pretty sure there were tears of both joy and pain shed from every member of our “team”. The important thing is that we came out with a win. So in case you were craving the play-by-play, I have broken it down for you ESPN style.

Eddie, roll highlight reel.

(Can you tell my husband is a huge sports fanatic and that while on paternity leave this past week we have been watching a lot of Hockey and NBA playoff games?)

Monday, May 12

3:00 pm: It is the prettiest day in Beijing. Blue skies, cool breeze. Brado is at work. Beau is napping and I am just relaxing on the couch like a stuffed mushroom.

3:30 pm: Beau goes to playground with our ayi (nanny).

4:15 pm: I hear Beau screaming/crying/wailing and then see a panicked look on the ayi’s face. She tries to explain (in Chinese) what happened. All I really know is that he fell of the playground equipment and hurt his leg. He won’t really stop crying so I know it is bad. But, for the record, I think it is twisted-ankle-bad, not like actual-bad-bad.

4:30 pm: Brado comes home and assesses the situation. Decides we should go get an X-Ray at neighborhood clinic.

5:00 pm: Doctor looks at me and says “You are very pregnant”. I say, “Really?”

5:30 pm: Doctor informs us that Beau has broken the 2 bones in his right leg and advises us to go the emergency room in the city. F-bombs were dropped.

6:30 pm: Get to hospital.

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7:00 pm: Wait to be seen.

7:30 pm: Wait some more.

7:31 pm: Get the genius idea to draw pictures on the white board to entertain Beau. I draw this whale.

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7:32 pm: Brado makes fun of me for a long time. Embarrassed by my obvious lack of artistic talent, I go to erase the poorly drawn whale only to realize that I drew it with permanent marker. #whoops

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8:00 pm: Doctor looks at Beau’s leg. Informs us that Beau does not need surgery but they can’t put a permanent cast on until Wednesday.

8:15 pm: Doctor puts on temporary cast.

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9:00 pm: Drive home thoroughly exhausted.

9:30 pm: Eat “dinner” (a bowl of cereal)

9:45 pm: We all crawl into our big bed and settle in for the world’s most disruptive and uncomfortable night’s sleep.

Tuesday, May 13

5:30 am: Wake up. Inform Brad that if he leaves me at home by myself and goes into work today I WILL divorce him.

5:31 am: Brado informs work that he can’t make it in. #wiseman

7:00 am: Roll out of bed, literally.

7:15 am: Brado makes breakfast and sub plans.

8:30 am: I finally pack a hospital bag.

9:30 am : Brado watches hockey, Beau watches Octonauts and I post my Bookshelf Styling blog post.

What to do when you are 3 and chair-bound?

What to do when you are 3 and chair-bound?

10:00 am: Friend comes by for a visit and to drop off a get well gift for Beau. Beau is psyched.

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12:00 pm: Brado starts to put airplane toy together

1:00 pm: Brado is still trying to put airplane toy together and is getting increasingly frustrated. In the process, he steps on an airplane and proceeds to fall down in what can only be described as the slowest, least graceful, fall in recorded history.

1:01 pm: I think, “Holy shit. Brado just broke his ankle. WTF.” Once I realize he is not actually hurt, I burst into laughter. Like the painful-crying-can’t-stop-belly-aches kind of laughter. Looking back I am pretty sure this event is what started my labor.

1:15 pm: I stop laughing.

2:00 pm: Toy is finally put together. Everybody takes a nap.

4:30 pm: Wake up from nap and start having fairly strong and regular contractions about 15-20 minutes apart.

5:00 pm: Awesome neighbor drops by to give Beau a sweet “I am 3 years old and have a broken leg and I am bored” basket-o-fun. I am in the middle of having a pretty strong contraction. I’m trying to be polite and ignore it, but I can’t. It is then that I realize that I might be having a baby…like, maybe today. Oh shit.


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5:30 pm: Contractions now about 12-15 minutes apart. Inform Brad that he needs to pack some clothes because “this is happening”

6:00 pm: Contractions are intense. Brado decides to make cookies.

6:01 pm: I want to kill Brado but I do not have the physical ability to make that happen. But, surely there are more important things to do in this moment than make cookies. Ammiright?

7:00 pm: Awesome neighbors stop by to check on us, again mid-contraction. Neighbor husband is so excited because he has never seen a woman in labor before. He says things like “YES!”, “This is AWESOME!” and “GET IT!”. His wife starts to yell at him to get out. All this was funny…after the contraction passed.

7:15 pm: Cookies are done. Thank the lord. Brado packs the car.

7:30 pm: leave for hospital

< insert longest, bumpiest car ride of my life >

8:00 pm: Get to hospital and am wheeled up to room.

8:01 pm: Politely Loudly inquire (read: yell) as to when I can get a (bleepin’) epidural?

The time from 8:00-9:30 is a total blur. A BLUR OF PAIN, mind you. All I know is that:

  1. it sucked…like… a lot.

  2. if I could have quit, I would have.

  3. people who go it sans epidural are frappin’ crazy. I have nothing but total admiration and respect for them, but they are still crazy.

  4. epidurals are the single greatest invention in mankind. Try and argue differently. Just try. You. Will. Lose.

9:30 pm: Epidural is given or inserted or whatever magic they do back there.

9:34 pm: Relief ensues.

9:35 pm: I can actually formulate a sentence. I think it went something like this: “Epidurals are the single greatest invention of mankind.”

From 9:30-2:30 am things progress normally, with little drama and, most importantly, little pain.

Wednesday, May 14

2:30 am: Nurse checks me and says that they are just waiting for my water to break but that this is not likely to happen for at least 1-3 more hours. Phew. A few more hours of rest.

2:35 am: Water breaks. Seriously? I frantically call nurse.

2:36 am: Nurses are moving about in my room. Lights are on. There is a bustling to their movements that suggests that things are about to get real…real.

2:37 am: Panic sets in. If this was a tag team sport I so would have thrown Brado under the bus at this moment and tagged out. It would be a gross understatement to say that I was not excited about the whole pushing a watermelon out of my vajayjay portion of this “game”.

3:30 am: Nurses tell me that I am fully dilated and that as soon as I feel like I need to, I can start pushing. OMG. I am not ready. I am not ready. OMG. I need to push. I need to push.

3:30-4:12 am: I push. Brado coaches me. I don’t remember what he said to me but it was perfect and motivating and almost made up for cookiegate. He is a great coach. But I already knew that. Despite this, I want to die and everyone else to die and I am so darn tired. But the more overwhelming feeling is that I want to get this darn baby OUT OF MY BODY. So I keep pushing.

4:12 am: The most perfect little cry is heard and Finley Kay Benson enters this beautiful world. I am, at once: thankful, exhausted, overwhelmed, elated, in love and pretty sure I am never freaking doing that again.

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4:13 am: Brado cuts the cord

4:14 am: Finley poops everywhere.

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4:15 am: Finley is plopped onto my chest and I think I basically black out.


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9:00 am: Brado and I are in our hospital room drinking Starbucks lattes, eating cookies (which were really good BTW) and staring at the most perfect specimen of a human being.

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And so this is life. A whirlwind of events that collide, amaze, test and profoundly change you. But in the end, if you have the good fortune of looking back on them with a latte and cookie in hand, you know you are in fact lucky.

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Or if you are Brado…I think your measure of good fortune looks a little more like this:

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No doubt about it. We are blessed.

Back to you Bob.

Risk Assessment

Risk Assessment

Bookshelf Styling for the Everyman

Bookshelf Styling for the Everyman