Category Archives: family

Newborns are a Full-time Job.


Having a child is hard and amazing work.  Everyone says it will get better.  I know it will.  But, right now it’s one big guessing game.  

You don’t know what’s wrong with the kid or what tomorrow will bring.  Will you sleep tonight?  Will she spit up all over you?  In your mouth?  Twice?  Three times?  Will she projectile poop on you, right as you finish changing her diaper?  No one really knows!  But, It’s really the best guessing game I’ve ever played in my life.  She’s the cutest person in the universe. We made a person…a person that we’ll love no matter how much they can suck sometimes.  Rilyn sucks at night, haha.  For now anyway.  That’s another thing about it.  It can all change over night.   Every day is different.  

I sat on the floor holding my child at 2:30 this morning, crying because, I was so tired.  When she started crying in my arms, all I could do is look at her and say, “tell me about it”.  


I sat on the floor holding my child at 2:30 this morning, crying because, I was so tired.  When she started crying in my arms, all I could do is look at her and say, “tell me about it”.  I had tried EVERYTHING.  She wasn’t hungry, there was no gas.  I honestly still have no clue what was wrong.  She sure didn’t want to go to sleep though.  I feel like she hates me at night right now.  However, regardless of how terrible the previous night was..everyday I’m like “omg! I love you, you’re so cute!” 

Having a child, man..it’s hard & dirty.  They always want to be held and they get heavier by the day.  You no longer get grossed out because, it can be the grossest thing ever, daily.  It’s tiring and it can be frustrating….but, it’s SO fulfilling. All it takes is one cute little grunt, a tuck on your shirt collar, or one involuntary smile…and it’s like all the other stuff fades away.  I can’t even imagine how joyful I’ll feel when she smiles on purpose one day…one day soon.  
Being a parent is life.  It’s amazing.  
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Happy Birthday To Me


This year, for my birthday, I will not be dressing all cute, meeting up with a bunch of friends to go out and party, or doing anything that most people would consider ‘fun’ for that matter.

  Instead, I will more than likely, dress up my newborn, just to sit at home and stare at her while she sleeps.  I will probably do this alone.  I will remain sleep deprived from waking up every couple of hours to feed her and I will look a hot mess whilst doing it.  When her Poppa gets home, I will sit and stare at them interacting with each other, in awe of the love and family that we have started and share.  I definitely will not be ‘turning up’ and will probably be giving a whole new meaning to ‘popping bottles’.  Today will be a completely different birthday than I have ever had before.  For that, I am so very thankful.  I could not imagine a better way to spend my 28th birthday.  For, I have given myself the greatest birthday present, ever, this year..my sweet, beautiful daughter, Rilyn.



Happy Due Date


I’d like to, whole heartedly, apologize for EVER wishing someone a happy due date.   Not until now did I realize that there is actually nothing exciting or happy about it, unless you are actually in the midst of birthing a child (or have already birthed said child).  I did not realize that, the feeling was quiet the opposite, lol.  Please do accept my apology and do not forever hate me.

 

With that being said, I wishfully pronounce, ANYDAY NOW!  We are (as patiently as possible) awaiting your arrival, Miss Rilyn Rae!

 

I bid you all a good day!

Rest In Peace, Bubba: Second Anniversary


Two years ago today, it was a Thursday…and I woke up to a series of phone calls that changed my life, forever. I still can’t believe that I have gone this long without seeing your face. I now understand why I had that overwhelming urge to tell you that I loved you the night before…and boy, am I glad that I did. I am so glad that I made sure to tell you so much. I’m so glad that we were so close and I spent every minute with you possible. That also makes it so much harder.
What makes it easier for me, is knowing that it was at the fault of no one at all that we lost you..the fact that, you started your life with our parents believing that they would never even take you home alive. The fact that, you had such a short life expectancy, and you well outlived that.
It helps me, knowing that you are out of all your pain, that you saw and felt constantly. For I know, that every feeling of sadness that I have is pure selfishness. And I am not putting myself down for that. If there was ever a moment in my life where I deserved to be selfish, it is in, missing you. But, that’s also my biggest help moving on. The fact that all of those feelings, every last one of them…are feelings of selfishness because, I miss you and want you in my life, physically. I know you are in a far better place now and you are no longer enduring constant pain. But, no one in this world will ever be able to replace my funny, one of a kind, big/little brother.

I just ask that you remain with us everyday. I want you to watch over mom and dad. I need you to be there while your niece is growing up. Don’t think for a second that, I’ll make being my big brother any easier, just because you are now in the after life. Please know that no one will ever take your place and my children will know their Uncle Martin, as well as possible. I know you are here with us because, every time I ask Blayden where Uncle Martin is, he reaches for your urn or your picture. That still gets me.

I love you with all my soul & I miss you every day, Bubba.

Love always,
Fani

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Forever Grateful


No matter what goes wrong, we just have to remember to stay thankful. Thankful that we have another day and thankful for all that, that day brings.

When I feel like I can’t catch a break, I just thank God for my support system (family & friends) and my growing family. I thank God everyday, for me not going at this life alone….At least I have my partner.

His problems are my problems and my problems are his. That’s the commitment we made to each other. And while some may look at that as, extra problems…I look at it, as a promise that, I’ll never have to face my problems alone.

And for that, I am forever grateful.


What are you grateful for today?

Thank You Mom and Dad.


I am feeling so blessed in this moment. Firstly, I really hope they don’t mind me putting all of this out there but, they truly make me so proud to call them my parents.

My mother and father have been divorced since I was 12 years old. They used to not speak to each other, at all. Tomorrow, my mother and father will be leaving for vacation together. Not as a romantic venture but, instead, as great friends.

I can not even express in words how amazing of people that they are. To have gone through so much, and now, have overcome it all. To be able to be friends with someone like that. To me that is truly amazing. I must say, as far as role models go, myself and my future children have really hit the jackpot. They are not perfect people but, they have overcome and accomplished so much more than most have to withstand in life.

And on top of this all off, they shine forgiveness and humbling vibes. I hope I can be half the parents, that mine are today. I feel so blessed to have my family back together. Not “together” in the traditional way. But, I do believe that is why it works so incredibly well, for us.

Thank you Mom and Dad. For, not only, being amazing parents and people in general; but, for being so strong, brave, and true- for me, and for yourselves.

Thank you both for everything you do. Thank you both, for our family.

And Then There Were Three..


The Genetic Code: One Woman’s Story on How Genetics Pave the Way For and Impact, Your Life, Forever

And Then There Were Three..

 

Let’s do a mini-recap.  When we left off, Susan Landry, the first-born of 6 children; had just gotten married, went through her first (and only) miscarriage, and is now(a few years later) pregnant with her second child.  We will now go ahead in time a few months; to birth.

Now, let’s fast forward a few months, to my brother being born.  Martin was born in November of 1985.  When he was born, it was discovered that he had a number of medical issues, as a result of our genetic code.  Back then, after child-birth, you had to stay in the hospital a bit longer than you do now.  Susan’s stay was even more prolonged because, she came down with a terrible fever after labor, and had to be watched for a couple extra days.  Of course, due to Martin’s medical conditions and current state as of birth, he had to be moved to a specialty hospital..-without my mother.

While my mother was recovering, my father would go see Martin every single day.  Upon his return the first day, he had to present my mother with a Polaroid photo of Martin that was given to him by the nurses.  As my mother cheekily smiled and remarked about how sweet the gesture was; my father cried inside.  For, it was a nice gesture but, she was not yet clear as to why, obviously.  My father stood there for a moment, speechless.  Then, with a cracking in his voice, he had to explain to her that he was sent with this photograph because, the nurses were afraid that my mother would not be able to make it to see Martin before he left this Earth.  Martin’s condition was very poor.  She pleaded with them to be able to go see him but, she was in New Iberia and he had been rushed into Lafayette.  Sadly, she did not make it there before her release.  However, Martin did.

 

Martin stopped breathing at seven hours old.  He did not have oxygen going to his brain and his heart had stopped beating.  He was clinically dead.  Then, a miracle happened..he came back.  My mother was released from the hospital about five days later and finally got to go see her beautiful baby boy.  But, much to her dismay, this did not mean they would get to bring him home.

For the first seven and a half weeks of Martin’s life, he had to live in a hospital.  He died and came back, at least four different times.  Then, one day, as my grandmother and mother were driving home; my mother said she was overcome with a great feeling of peace.  She looked over to my grandmother and said, “Martin is coming home today.  I can just feel it.”

The doctors called not too much later..

Having a child like Martin was a struggle.  Despite that, I don’t think that either of my parents would change anything about him.  If there is one thing that Martin is, it is 100% himself.

Martin had what seemed like an endless list of medical issues including dwarfism, a sunken septum, and adrenal problems.  And, while my entire family were cautioned and knew that he probably would not live a life as long as most (he was not expected to live past the age of 18, if that), they all hoped for a bright and fulfilled future for him.

 

This is where we will leave off today!  When we return, I will be entering the story(:  STAY TUNED!

Once Upon A Time


The Genetic Code: One Woman’s Story on How Genetics Pave the Way For and Impact, Your Life,Forever

Once Upon A Time

Susan Landry was born in 1960.  She is now 54 years young and currently resides in rural Iberia Parish, down in South Louisiana, just off the Coast of the Gulf of Mexico.  Susan is one of six children and a mother of 3.  She is now in the process of reestablishing her life and jump-starting a business with her daughter (and that would be me, hehe).

Susan was the first born of the six children that her mother and father bore.  Due to this, she often had to put her child-like urges and temptations to the side a lot, to help take care of her younger siblings.  My grandmother and grandfather are born and raised Catholics with great religious values.  In these times, you could not just simply take birth control.  They firmly believed against it thus, my granny got pregnant nearly six years after having her first four children.

My grandmother went through great struggles in her fifth and sixth pregnancy, running fatal risks, during labor, for both.  She was strongly urged to prevent herself of getting pregnant again in the future; for there was a possibility that neither her, nor her baby, may make it through alive.  As a result of this, she had to go to her priest and ask permission to start taking birth control.  He granted her permission and that about sums up that chapter of her life.  With all previously mentioned circumstances as they were, Susan was forced to take on even more adult duties, before her time.  Someone had to help her parents and help keep up with the other children and babies.

 

My mother was always smaller than the norm, due to the dwarfism that she carries.  Fully grown, she is now 4’9” (keep in mind that they carry dwarfism and are not full-fledged dwarves).  My father, Vance, (6’8”, same situation) also carries gigantism, which can result in almost all of the same issues and problems, aside of the fact that one can cause you to be abnormally large; and the other, abnormally small.  All of this information is crucial to how our family has become who they are today.

Due to these similar genetic conditions, they both let themselves become somewhat of loners in school.  Since my mom had two younger brothers, she was actually around my father frequently.  You see, my dad was very close friends with the two next-to-eldest brothers of my mom.

Inevitably, they got to know each other.  This gave the opportunities to begin identifying with one and other on many different levels.  And, we’ve all heard this story before; it led to a romance.

 

In April of 1981, Susan and Vance took the leap and finalized their decision to commit to each other and start a family.  And so, they were wed.  In January of 1982, they thought that their prayers had been answered when they found out that my mother was pregnant.  Unfortunately, she had a miscarriage.  This was, and still is, very hard for her to deal with.

After Susan’s miscarriage, they naturally had to collect the proper ‘evidence’ and head to the doctor.  However, this proposed a problem.  While investigating this issue, the doctors discovered that my mother actually had not passed the late baby.  They then had to surgically remove it, explaining that if she would not have come in, she probably would have not passed it.  And, as a result, would have bled to death.  That wasn’t all they learned though.  The doctors then brought to my mother’s attention, her blood type.  Susan’s blood type is O-.  Now, this sounds great, at first because, it’s universal.  That means that anyone who needs to be given blood, for any reason- can be given her blood, safely and effectively.  However, it just so happens that when you have this blood type, pregnancy problems can arise.  And, this is a case where just that happened.

 

You see, my father’s blood type is B+.  Therefore, when my mother became pregnant, with a baby whose blood type was also B+, her body recognized it as a sickness and began to fight it off, as if it were such.  The results of this ordeal, being that she lost her first baby.  She then learned that she would have to take a shot to help ensure that this could not happen again in the future.  When my mother became pregnant for the second time, she immediately went to get this shot (she also had to get the shot again, after birth.  This was to again, ensure the health and safety of future babies).

              Ok, ok, I’ve already shared more than I think I should have for my first post.  We haven’t even tipped the iceberg in the extraordinary woman’s life; stay tuned!

Ode to Martin: Life Lessons From An Old Friend


This is a blog post written by my Uncle, Tommy Landry, right after my brother’s death. I really, really wish I had a Link to the original post to share. However, it has been quite sometime since he has posted it. I feel extremely fortunate that I could even dig up the actual post content. (Only because, I saved it. Due to it being a great piece of work). I think this pretty much sums everything up.
And I’m betting on my Uncle not getting too upset with me for re sharing this post.

Tommy Landry, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Real-Time, Social Media wrote:

“Today I write this blog post with a heavy heart. Just last night, we returned from a trip back home to visit my family. Normally, a trip like this is filled with joy and laughs, sharing stories, and general goodness.

This time was different. You see, 2012 has been a tough year for all of us. We lost my last two grandparents in March and July. Last week, we lost my 26-year old nephew. My sister’s son. The baby I rocked to sleep when he was just a tiny little guy back in the late 80s.

Martin LeBlanc
Nov. 7, 1985 – Oct. 18, 2012

Martin was a very special person. He was born with a list of health issues including dwarfism, adrenal problems, and a sunken septum. We knew his life would be shorter than most of us. But with medical advancements and hope, we watched as he grew into a man.

It wasn’t easy. Martin had frequent blood sugar crashes and needed daily medication to sustain stability. He was under constant watch, and for good reason. My sister and mother were absolute saints, tirelessly monitoring his condition, jumping in to take care of him when needed, and getting him medical care when he needed it, even in the middle of the night or when traveling on vacations.

Martin also had huge challenges in dealing with his condition. Drinking was a vice of his, one that made the condition worse. He used it as a crutch, particularly after he made a mistake that prevented him from chasing his dream of taking part in the fire department. The kid had a tough life, there’s no question about that.

But in spite of the cards he was dealt, Martin had a great heart. He was always there to make people laugh. When anyone was down, he propped them up and told them it would be okay. At times he covered it in a veil of anger, but what he really wanted most of all was to be loved and accepted. And to help others in any way he could.

The past week has been very difficult. But it came with a great deal of reflection. In reflecting, I realized that Martin’s life illustrated some very important lessons that we should keep in mind both personally and professionally. I want to share those with you today. So I offer you an Ode to Martin.

Lesson 1: Be Brave
How many times do you find yourself shuddering at the thought of taking on a huge problem? Or having to face the music for a mistake you made?

It can be all too easy to be afraid and run away from problems. But most of them will pale in comparison to what Martin lived through. Every day, he had to be brave from the moment he woke up. Any day could have been his last. But he gutted through it, and so can you.

Lesson 2: Take Action Now
What goals do you have in front of you? Have you started pursuing them? If not, why not?

We are all here for a limited amount of time. For each and every one of us, that timeline is unique and unknown. Are you living the life that makes you happy? Or are you waiting to get to it “some day”?

Martin took the time to make small differences in the world every single day. He knew he had to live now, because his days were limited. He was putting forth effort to be the best person he could be and making real progress, if only the clock allowed him more time. Sadly, his is a story that will remain unfinished, much to my and my family’s chagrin.

“Some day” may never come. Get off your rear and make it happen now. If ever “Carpe Diem” were appropriate, this is it.

Lesson 3: Don’t Take Time or People for Granted
Ever since he was a kid, there was rarely a trip back home where I didn’t at least get to see and say hello to Martin. In July, when I was there for my grandmother’s funeral, we never managed to connect.

Thankfully, my (brilliant) wife urged me to call him after we returned home, and he answered the call (we never talked on the phone because he hardly ever kept it with him and answered). We had a nice conversation which lasted maybe 10 minutes, but I was able to tell him I missed him and wished we could have gotten together.

We are all busy. There are only so many hours in the day, days in the week, etc. It takes effort to consciously do the most with your time, to be productive, and to fit in all the people who matter. When it is so easy to just text message, tweet, or otherwise avoid taking real time to focus on an issue or a person, we can lose sight of what is important.

Every second and every person matters. Appreciate the opportunity to spend the time while you still can. Before you know it, you may run out of chances to appreciate some of the gifts life brings to you. This matters both personally and in the business world, more than many realize.

Lesson 4: Everyone Can Teach You Something
I meet a lot of people in my line of business and through networking. Too many folks focus mainly on the heavy hitters, the “up and comers”, and people with accolades. While there’s nothing wrong with that approach, it would be foolish to deny yourself the opportunity to learn a more well rounded set of lessons. This is found through everyone we meet.

Martin touched many lives through his sense of humor and supportive nature. He taught me that even physical shortcomings can be overcome, and you can still have that fire inside which lights up the lives of others. He was lucky to have the 26 short years he did have, and he lived a lot in those 26 years. And he taught something to everyone who was lucky enough to meet and get to know him.

Lesson 5: Learn From Setbacks, And Move On
This is perhaps the toughest one. Martin survived a litany of close calls and setbacks, many of which found him in the emergency room or laid up for a day or two. But he bucked up, pulled it together, and moved on each time. He knew that one day, he wouldn’t bounce back. It didn’t matter to him.

From my perspective, his passing itself has been a rather significant setback. Sure, it’s tough to lose not one, but two grandparents in a single year. But they had long lucrative lives, one making it to 100 years old and the other to 98. I miss them, but they were ready for it. For the candle to go out on a 26 year old kid who was just getting his sea legs in place for life, that’s just plain tough.

This post is me taking my own advice. Martin wouldn’t want us to despair over him. He specifically told us not to mourn, but to throw him a “party for the ages” – that’s our Martin! In honor of his wishes, I am learning and taking it forward with me, so he can live on through that influence.

This holds true for businesses as well. Things go wrong, sometimes very big things. The key is not to avoid mistakes, but to embrace them and grow from the experience.

Lesson 6: Be Who You Want To Be

Martin was a very vocal guy, and he really didn’t care if you agreed with the words he said or how he said them. This got him into trouble at times when he was a bit too colorful or blunt for some folks.

One thing about him though: He was who he was, and who he wanted to be. Don’t live your life or run your business to get approval from others. Crystallize the vision of what you stand for, and start acting on that vision today.

Final Word: Know a Hero When You See One
Heroes are all around us in everyday life. The guy in front of you at the grocery store, the kid who delivers your newspaper, even the janitor in your kid’s school could be carrying burdens that you simply cannot imagine. but they all keep their chin up and tackle life the best they can.

This was Martin. He was a hero in his own way. I respect and miss him, and I hope these thoughts help improve your day and your year in some small way. He’d be pleased.

Thank you for reading. Namaste.”

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