Browsing Tag

perspective

motherhood

I am who I am, because you are who you are

May 15, 2017

Because motherhood is the most maddeningly fantastic love affair that I never knew I wanted.

And because sometimes you need a good cry.

Thank you Apple for another great ad. Happy belated Mother’s Day in true working mom fashion.

 

If you’re like me and think this song is everything. Link to a full version and lyrics are below.


 

Because You Are Who You Are | K.S. Rhoads

Whenever I’m around you.

I go home a little bit.

There’s just something about you.

Where the pieces all fit.

There’s a lightness that surrounds you.

And it guides me like a star.

Oh I am, who I am.

Because you are who you are.

Put your hand in my hand.

And I am made brand new.

Somehow you just understand.

You always know just what to do.

And even when you are away.

You’re never all that far.

Oh I am, who I am.

Because you are who you are.

The truth is this.

And don’t forget.

That my world’s better cause you’re in it.

There’s a lightness that surrounds you.

And it guides me like a star.

Oh I am, who I am.

Because you are who you are.

working mom

Be kind to yourself

March 10, 2016

Sometimes this working mom thing is rough. There was a patch of time that I felt like I had to fight for everything – at home, at work – nothing was coming easy. It was all a struggle. Like trying to run through knee high water.

I was drying my hands in our bathroom going through the motions, on autopilot, blankly staring at myself in the mirror when a coworker approached me. She said…

I don’t know how you do it. You’ve got two boys at home and you work on a demanding and challenging account. You are always so even keeled and everyone has nothing but nice things to say about you. I really look up to you.

She almost brought me to tears. It was a complete surprise and so appreciated to hear her unsolicited impression of me. It felt amazing. Just the pick-me-up I needed.

Sometimes when you think no one is noticing… they are. For all the times you feel like you’re not doing your best, know that showing up and pushing through counts for something too.

-JLVR

newbie mom

Anniversary of our trip to Children’s Hospital

March 3, 2016

Professionally this month I celebrated the one year mark of joining a new client team. Personally we, as a family, celebrated the anniversary of our toddler’s health scare.

Back in February of 2015 we noticed an odd rash on our son’s face – we scheduled a doctors visit and found out that he had a very low platelet count that then plunged to dangerous levels. I can still remember the fear I felt welling in my throat when I received the call from his pediatrician while preparing for my first client all-agency presentation.

We were fortunate that things came out on top for us and our little guy made a full recovery – but it was definitely an unexpected and frightening experience. (More about our visit to Children’s, some of our learnings and our follow-up visits).

4 things we’ve learned over the last year since our trip to Children’s Hospital:

1) Trust your gut

It drives me crazy when people say ‘you’ll know it’. Too Olivia Pope ‘trust your gut.’ Maybe it’s the planner in me that just has to know. Like… “What does labor feel like?” “If you were in labor, you would know it.” Annoying.

When our son V woke up from his nap over President’s Day weekend last year with a rash on his face like we’d never seen before we just knew something was off. It just didn’t feel typical – it felt odd. So I’m going to do the thing I hate… tell you that ‘you’ll just know it’.  So here you have it…

If something is wrong, you’ll know.

2) Google is not your friend

According to Google our son had nothing or cancer… and all that’s in between. An online diagnosis can read like the disclosure on pharmaceutical advertisements – listing every single potential scenario that may be anywhere near a slight possibility. Needless to say, it’s worth the copay to go see your pediatrician for an actual diagnosis. They got a degree after all. Wouldn’t you rather have the peace of mind instead of worrying over the unknown infinite possibilities?

3) An elephant never forgets

It’s true that thoughts will flutter in and out of your conscious as you move further from the hospital stay. But the memory of the event never fully leaves. Instead the thoughts hang in the back of our minds waiting to be brought to the light. We kept a keen eye on V this past year. We’d take special notice and mentally log every mark and bruise on his active toddler body. Commenting to each other at the end of the day while brushing our teeth “Did you see that mark on his back? Let’s keep an eye on that.” Fortunately most kids his age that experience ITP and recover do not have a recurrence. However with no reason for it’s cause in the first place it can be cold comfort. So now, on the year anniversary, we’re putting it further to bed than we ever have before but our guard will not be completely down.

4) Teamwork makes the dream work

It’s true that I sometimes want to murder my husband a little bit in his sleep. (Mostly because he makes this insanely annoying ‘ticking’ noise – according to facebook and the inter-webs I may have misophonia. I realize this is ironic since I just told you in my second point that online diagnosis is a no-no). When we were faced with this scare we banded together instead of splintering apart. We were scared, we were facing the unknown and we did it together. Yay us!

I cannot express how thankful I am for the health of my family. Events like the one we experienced last year bring our fortune into sharp focus. We were lucky that our scare was brief however there are many that are not so fortunate. To mark the anniversary we will be donating some items to the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital Ronald McDonald Family Room. In what was, thankfully, our short stay at the hospital we really appreciated the toiletries we received and hot shower we were able to take in the RMHC Family Room.

If you’re ever wondering what to do with those soaps, shampoos and lotions you couldn’t help but take from the hotel on your last business trip – stock up and donate to RMHC!

Find out more about Ronald McDonald House Charities.

-JLVR

newbie mom

code V

March 4, 2015

I stopped and started this post about our trip to Children’s hospital a dozen times. I was honestly beyond nervous to write anything about what was happening since so much was unknown. We just didn’t have a clear picture of how everything would turn out. At worst it was terrifying and at best an underlying ever-present nagging thought. Luckily we’ve had a lot go our way thus far so we’re proceeding with tempered optimism. Some additional thoughts/observations regarding our stay…

Wasted worry.

“Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due. -William Ralph Inge

One of the most difficult parts about this whole ordeal was waiting from our initial blood work result to the retest. We actively tried not to get too caught-up in the thought of what could happen and instead work through what was happening. Focusing on what little was in our control. Sometimes and some days that was easier said than done.

“Whatever is going to happen will happen, whether we worry or not.” -Ana Monnar

Cry like a baby. 

Even though all the signs pointed to the news we received from the doctor that V’s platelet count had dropped to a dangerous level and that we needed to act now, it didn’t make it any easier to hear. Actually, that’s not entirely true, it was easier for me to hear than relay. As soon as I had to discuss what was happening I choked-up, it became real. It seemed unbelievable. I was shaken. So I cried. Sometimes you need a good cry – and that’s just what I did on the drive home from work. Just enough time to let it out and compose myself to get home and put a plan in action.

Our healthy looking sick baby.

Everyone kept saying  how healthy V looked. “He doesn’t even look sick!” I’m sure in some respects they were just trying to make us feel better about being in the hospital for the night but the truth was besides the rash and increased number of bruises he was the picture of health! The kid didn’t even have a runny nose! (And if you have or have had a kid in daycare you know that runny noses are standard winter fare). It made the experience all the more surreal.

Why did daycare cut him?

The first person we talked to once admitted to Children’s Hospital was a medical student. We relayed V’s recent history leading up to our visit. Noticed a rash, blood work indicated low platelets, second blood draw finger prick needed several bandage changes at daycare and didn’t stop bleeding until after noon, baby also came home with a huge bruise on his back that same day. I’m not sure what got lost in translation but he thought we told him that daycare ‘cut Danny’. He kept asking us and circling back to how Danny got ‘cut at daycare’. We kept trying to explain that they didn’t cut him they tended to his cut from the blood draw. He seemed very concerned that we weren’t more concerned!

Two is a crowd.

Before our nurse saved our marriage by finding us a recline-able chair – my husband and I attempted for a hot minute to share the twin hospital bed in V’s room. I was game for it, ready to cuddle-up and recreate our college twin bed sharing days. Him? Not so much.

Always a surprise. 

With this and with the birth of V, we were amazed at how little we actually saw the doctor. By happenstance we ran into him on the elevator after breakfast, he recognized us which was a great sign, but then we didn’t see him again until discharge. Never ceases to amaze me.

Thankful. 

Though we couldn’t know it going in, we were so lucky we had such a short stay at the hospital. There are other children and families that are dealing with a much different reality. We were reminded at every turn and that was not something lost on us.

Accepting the unknown. 

The doctors aren’t entirely sure what caused this to happen. It’s common not to have a specific thing to point to. Additionally, we’re not sure if V will need another treatment or if it’s a one and done scenario. For the majority of children they see with ITP, one treatment does the trick. A blip on the radar and nothing more to worry about. For others it takes longer but again can completely resolve. Hopefully we fall int the former category and our follow-up tests all show strong levels. For now things are looking good, his rash is gone and bruises healed. Other than a few middle of the night wake-ups V’s been doing great. We’re hopeful the trend continues!

 

uncategorized

perspective

October 29, 2014

My brother-in-law is famous for putting things into perspective. If you’re having a Chicken Little ‘the sky is falling’ kind of moment he will snap you back to reality with “did you know that militants stormed the diplomatic compound in Libya and killed the ambassador, maybe your day is not so bad.”* Yeah, he goes there. But sometimes you need a different perspective to allow for reevaluation. And sometimes you’re just having a moment and want to vent damnit. It happens!

As I’ve written before, and will surely do again, the biggest shift in my point of view has come from the arrival of Dan V. But there is no shortage of ideas, articles, content, people, places and things that cause us to shift our thinking every day – some in small and some in not-so-small ways.

Enter Nora Purmort. Nora and I went to the same college in Cincinnati, she was a year behind me and we ran in the same circles. She’s also a fellow working mom. In 2011 she and her husband were married at the same time he began battling brain cancer.  The video above is a teaser for a documentary that Anders Holine is making about their story – girl meets boy, boy gets brain cancer, the adventure continues.

She truly is a tremendous writer, check out her blog at My Husband’s Tumor. Worth a read for when you need perspective, or cannot find the strength, or just need to believe in existence. And if those reasons don’t do it for you, then just  because she’s a phenomenal writer and you’d like to be in awe.

Sometimes all it takes is a second look from a different perspective. Sending good vibes out into the universe via the interwebs.

LV ♥

-JLVR

You can support Musella Foundation for Brain Tumor Research by purchasing a ‘Still Kickin‘ tee (or hoodie, or crew neck) thru Cotton Bureau that Aaron Purmort designed.

 *Comment above was in reference to the 2012 Benghazi attack.

motherhood

I was just ready for him

October 15, 2014
Baby Dan V in Navy Hoodie

I was really scared about becoming a mom. Like real scared. I literally told my husband, IV, that he better be ready to take care of this baby on his own because I may check-out of the whole thing.

The truth is children terrified me. I was convinced that I’d be one of those people that did not love or bond with their child. I definitely wanted a family but was more of the mindset to skip infancy and adolescence and go straight to the well-adjusted adult child part.

This may explain why I really enjoyed this quick article by Jenny Mollen for Cosmopolitan “The Moment I Fell in Love With My Son”. (You may know her husband, Jason Biggs, of American Pie fame among other projects like Orange is the New Black/OITNB). She directly addressed my thoughts and fears. Babies? Yeah, not super into them. Second Thoughts? For sure! I’m almost to the ‘finish line’ but am I really ready for this? Um I’m thinking no.

With this line she says it all…

“I wasn’t ready for kids. I was just ready for him.”

Now that Dan V is in my life, I think back on how much energy I wasted being anxious and worried. I may not have been ready for kids, but I was definitely ready for him.

LV ♥

-JLVR

P.S. She’s also all about breastfeeding and one of her favorite selfie accessories is her pump, which is kind of awesome from a celeb. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram.