Friday, December 23, 2005

Our Tree is Dead

My husband was very kind to me this year. He let me buy our tree on December 4th. Yup, that's a full 3-weeks before Christmas Day. But I have been feeling sad this season and he knew the lights would cheer me up. So, Saturday he spent the day untangling lights and running extension cords while the two kids "helped" - Connor tasted the lights to make sure they weren't dusty and Lainy Ann played jump rope. It was great fun.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

So, Your Friend Just Lost her Child (Infant or Pregnancy loss)

It is a terrible club to belong too. No one wants to be a part of it - especially when they thought they were joining the club of motherhood, sleepless nights, and wet kisses. But some women have become the mothers of 'sleeping babies' forever sleeping, never to waken and give a cry. Never to show their personality or aspirations.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

My Grief Resource Center

In the few months that I have lost my boys I have found myself reaching out to other mothers and sometimes fathers explaining to them the process of grief, how to get help, and good resources. Each time I send this information out I have to find it again. Instead, I am going to compile that information here so I can simply post this link into emails and message board posts to help those that are struggling through those first few days and weeks of painful grief.

Friday, November 25, 2005

I'm So Proud of You

"I'm so proud of you" is a statement I utter many times a day to dozens of little accomplishments by either child; finishing a meal, bringing an object, overcoming an obstacle, or following directions. All day long I cheer on my children hoping to encourage them even more. I never dreamed I would be cheered for.

I picked up the drycleaning on the way to preschool to get Lainy Ann, 2 1/2. She got in the car and noticed the clothes right away.

LA: Did you get Daddy's clothes?
Me: Yes
LA: By yourself?
Me: Yes (with a small giggle)
LA: Yay! Mommy. (clapping)
LA: I'm so proud of you!

It is nice to be appreciated. Even for simple tasks as picking up the dry cleaning. If only I can get her to cheer me on all the time. Maybe I can look forward to hearing, "Yay Mommy! Thanks for disciplining me and teaching me good values." Probably not.

Sibilings' Love

Today after naptime I brought Connor out from his bedroom to the living room where his sister was sitting eating a snack. He had a dirty diaper that needed to be changed and I readied him for this process. He screamed and yelled. Squirming to get out of my arms. Quite a racket! This was unusual for him, until I realized what he was after -- his sister. They always hug after being away, either sleeping or school. It is hard to imagine so much love in such a little body.

The Perfect Gift

Christmas is coming and we start panicking about what to buy the kids, how much to spend, and when to wrap it all. There is so much to do at Christmas time - and I LOVE it all; the decorating, baking, cooking, shopping, wrapping, Christmas Cards, church, and family. But we are staying home this year and that is a little bittersweet, we should be hugely pregnant with babies due in a few weeks. But they have left us. That's probably why I am trying to get even more excited about Christmas this year.

My First Thanksgiving

There are many stories of the First Thanksgiving. The pilgrims came over on the Mayflower and made friends with the Indians. You remember your first Thanksgiving as a husband and wife or as a family with your first child. But this one was the most special. *I* made dinner.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

When did it become a "twosome"?

I was worried about having a toddler and a newborn in our house. I would have two kids in diapers. I was worried about sleep, toilet training while caring for a baby, and about my little girl who was hanging on to bits of infancy; her pacifier and bottle.

We met all of those challenges head on and succeeded. My little girl is a proud panty wearing, dry all night toddler who even goes to preschool. My baby boy has become a toddler, chasing the cat, talking, squealing, and testing the limits.

The COMPLETE story of my boys

My daughter and son are only 18 months apart and that has worked out well for us. My daughter was always independent, she started walking at 8 months and things were getting easier for me at home. We decided it was time to get pregnant again and we did. My son was born in September, 3 weeks early, it was a bit of an adjustment with a newborn in the house, but we handled it well. My son was 7 or 8 months old when we started talking about getting pregnant again. I was still nursing at the time, he wasn't walking or even crawling yet, and I was concerned the jump from 2 to 3 would be a lot harder than 1 to 2.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Wait for 3 months

I was anxious in those days following the death of our boys. First I was in a whirlwind of grief and confusion, but then it subsided enough for me to focus on my health. Once my normal functioning returned it was time to get on with the minutia of life - dishes, laundry, chores, playdates, preschool, you know, life.

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Another Chair at the Table

My little boy has been growing so much in the last couple of weeks. First it was a few unsteady steps, then he toddled around after his big sister, and now he will chase her around the house. I would almost say he runs. Recently he has started to speak and understand language. First he responded to simple commands like, "sit" and most recently has responded to things like, "do you want to take a nap?" he will nod and walk to his crib.

But the one that broke my heart was, "Are you hungry?" he nodded and walked to the table, pulled out (wrestled with) the chair, and tried to climb up. We had been spending the last 2 weeks all sitting at the table together; 2 toddlers, mommy, and Connor in his highchair pushed up to the table. Apparently he was ready to join the rest of us.

It made me so sad to see my tiny little man sitting at the table, only barely seeing his food. His legs so short that they don't even hang over the edge. He had difficulty eating that day, but I got a picture. The next meal was in the highchair, but soon he will be with us permanently.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Her first joke and lie

It wasn't a "knock-knock" or traditional joke. But something she found funny nonetheless. At 2 1/2 she is doing many things by herself. She dresses (sometimes many times in one day), brushes her teeth, washes her hands, puts on socks and shoes (we still do the tying), and carries her lunchbox to preschool.

Daddy was getting ready for work and putting on his shoes. Lainy Ann approached Daddy with her favorite (and my most hated) question, "Daddy, watcha doing?" I thought to myself, finally he can answer her insesently. The conversation went like this:

LA: "Daddy, watcha doing?"
D: "Putting on my shoes."
LA: "By yourself?"
D: "Yes"
LA: laughter "I so funny."

Daddy was shocked. When did this trouble maker become humouros - about the same time she became imaginitive enough to lie.

The kids were in the shower (we don't have a bathtub - two kids, one bathroom, no tub). Lainy Ann has been told MANY times not to touch the faucet. She was washing herself when Mommy checked on them and saw her little hand reach up to the faucet. The conversation follows:

M: "What ARE your doing!" anger & yelling
LA: "Rinsing." innocence
M: "No, what are you touching?"
LA: "That" indicates the loufah
M: "No you weren't." spanking and crying follows
D: "Lainy Ann, why are you crying?"
LA: "Well, I'm in trouble"
D: "What did you do?"
LA: "Well, I touched the water."

So she knew what she had done wrong and she knew she had lied. We had a long conversation that night introducing her to a new vocabulary word - lying. *sigh* I was hoping this day would be further away. Its just years until she lies about a boy in her life. Here come the gray hairs.

My monoamniotic boys - waiting in heaven

My daughter and son are only 18 months apart and that has worked out well for us. My son was 9 or 10 months old when we started talking about getting pregnant again. I was still nursing at the time, he wasn't walking or even crawling yet, and I was concerned the jump from 2 to 3 would be a lot harder than 1 to 2.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Traveling with Toddlers

It is summer time and we are getting ready to go on vacation. We have done this many times before starting when our daughter was 3 months old - we headed to Oregon via car to introduce our little miracle to her family. We drove several days to Wisconsin to introduce Lainy Ann to her great-great-aunt. We traveled with her, while pregnant with #2, to Hawaii to attend a conference for my husband. And of course every Christmas we also drive to Oregon to visit for about two weeks.

Friday, July 8, 2005

People Scattered all over the House

Being a toddler is tough - there are thoughts and feelings you can't quite express because of your immature speech, you always have to listen to grownups who tell you not to yell, when to nap, and what to eat, and some even have little brothers or sisters to contend with.

Huntington Library Gardens

One of our free outings recently was to the Children's Gardens at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. First Thursday's of the month are free entry to the entire library.

What a great experience! I was prepared for anything since it was free, but since it is normally $15 per ticket I expected something great. I wasn't disappointed. I took my 2 1/2 year old and my 10 month baby. I was surprised at the sheer size of the facility. Be ready for a hike akin to Disneyland or the ballpark. First you hike to the front gates and then to the Children's Gardens. So take a stroller. Although it won't be allowed into the gardens, there is plenty of stroller parking just outside.

Baby Einstein Discover & Play Number Blocks

We were browsing through a toy store, pregnant with our second, when my husband HAD to have these. As soon as he saw them he felt guilty about not buying them for our daughter, "Just think of how much smarter she would be now." (Insert rolling eyes here).

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Nursing Forever

I made my decision to nurse my daughter long before she was born. She came into this world screaming after 3 hours of pushing. Little did I know that was her true personality - stubborn and loud. It took a few days for us to get the hang of nursing. Finally it all came together for 4 months and then I had to go back to work. Nursing took a turn for the worse with working too much, pumping too little, and an over-zealous formula-loving caregiver. At 6 months old my daughter decided nursing was too much work and she would much rather be exploring her world.

My Best Friend

I often worry about our decision to have two children so close together, just 18 months apart. I worry that the eldest didn't get to be the 'baby' for very long. I worry about dividing my time. I worry about their ability to share or not to share toys. And I worry about the financial strain of having two in diapers and then later two in college.

My daughter has recently discovered the word "friend" and now uses it to describe everyone. "Me kitty my friend" and "My Daddy my friend".

But recently all of that worry disappeared when my daughter began to list her friends as we left "granba and papa's house". "Granba my friend, Papa my friend, Daddy my friend" and the list went on until the very last one. "Connor my best friend."

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Hold On Tight!

One evening we were rushing home to start dinner on the old bumpy and winding mountain roads when I hear Lainy Ann, my 2 year old daughter, tell her 9 month old baby brother, "Hold on tight, Connor!" I looked back in the rearview mirror to see her, in fact, holding on with delight on her face checking to make sure Connor was safe. I guess the ride was more adventurous than the usual freeway route.