Sunday, September 30, 2007

Smiling Ear-to-Ear

I really love our local YMCA. They have a good selection of classes for the children, the childcare program is great, and they have a lot of support for those trying to get healthy including meetings with a counselor on how to exercise. But I think my favorite part of our YMCA is that the local fire departments are there almost daily exercising. The firemen always hold the door for a mom with a stroller, take the time to talk to the kids, and let's face it, firemen are pretty good looking. Also, the kids and I usually spend a few minutes walking all around the firetrucks and admiring the knobs, hoses and ladders.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

One of the Family

One of our favorite games in this family is tickling. The kids are tickled multiple times daily; after I buckle the car seat a bit under the arms, when I am putting on shoes a few pokes on the bottom of the foot, and when they get tucked in at night a tickle/nuzzle under the chin. It is who we are. We rough house and tickle and attack each other with love.

No one is safe. Occasionally the victim is mommy and daddy. And sometimes the tickling degrades into chasing and splashing water.

William has been observing this behavior for his 14 months in this house. And I think he has finally found his place; his job. Just the other day Caskey had Connor pinned on the ground tickling him. Connor was enjoying it thoroughly. So William decided to help. He crawled over to Connor and sat on him. Yup. Sat on him.

Then yesterday as I was in the throws of giggles on the floor while Daddy had a go at my bare-feet William toddled over and threw himself face down across my chest. He laid on top of me 'holding me down' and helping Daddy. Until, of course, he became the next victim.

Its Over

At one day shy of 14 months I believe William is done nursing. I'm a little sad about it. He is our only baby right now and as Caskey continually reminds me after each new milestone; new shoes, new stitches and now this; its only 10 more months until he starts preschool.

The last 4 to 6 weeks has been sporadic nursing. I think the weekend in August when he spent several nights at my mother-in-laws house started the decline in our nursing relationship. My supply lessened. William started enjoying bottles and how fast he was able to drink them. I enjoyed the free time it gave me to do other chores.

But tonight when I offered him my breast he actually pushed me away and lunged for the bottle. I guess I'm not really surprised since he hasn't nursed in about 3 days. But since he is sick and tired I thought he would like to suckle and go to sleep. I guess not. My baby boy really is growing up. Its time for that first haircut.

Don't throw it away, you might need it

My husband keeps everything 'just in case'; a broken toaster, different lengths of bungee cord from an old swim vest, ripped jeans, old sheets, and most recently he cut the leather off of a broken desk chair. I, on the other hand, accept the reality of our 1300 square foot, no garage, 3 kids and a cat existence. I keep baby clothes and baby gear because we aren't 'done' yet. I keep my old teaching supplies in case I go back to work. And I have a few boxes of memorabilia; my cap and gown, a ring pop, buttons that say 'bride', 'groom', and 'new mom' and other junk that is meaningless to anyone but me.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Grief Rights

Contributed by Kara Thompson

I have the right to find my own way to the light of day everyday.... I have the right to stay in the dark if I so feel..... I have right to decide that my new Normal is going to start at what time and I have the right to chose what my new normal is.... I also have the right to remember them in my own way each holiday and special moment that my heart sees fit.... I have the right to mourn a little each holiday as I learn to go forward.... I have the right to say Goodbye as many times as I need to.

You have the right to support me and to remember to say their name... They are not a he she or it or they... They have names and they have a special place in my heart.... They will never leave for thought they are gone they have not been erased from my life or my memories..... And for your strength that you give and the love you provide and the memories you keep open and share..... You have the right to hear I love you and thank you and you're special....

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Two Years, My Dear Sons

I really thought this year's anniversary would be better. I had a real good cry and moping about on Monday. I bought clothes for two NICU babies and thought about how I won't ever buy clothes for my sons. I cried, let the kids eat whatever they wanted for dinner, they watched too much television and went to bed late.

Thank you for my gift

Contributed by Laura (KS)

Hi. It's Laura. I just wanted to tell you that you have been on my mind all week and I have been praying for you as this weekend approaches. Having spent months terrified that I would lose the twins, I can only imagine the depth of your grief and my heart hurts for you. I hope you get through this anniversary okay and that the day you have planned with your family will help ease the pain if even just a little.

I also wanted to tell you that I think you are the reason my twins made it. When I went in at 21 weeks, the doctors did an internal exam and said all was good with my cervix and gave me the okay to fly and go on vacation. I remembered a post you made once cautioning me of the risks of twin pg. It made me just paranoid enough to ask for an internal ultrasound to check the cervix. Well, my cervix had already gone from a 4.0 to a 1.8 - and I was only halfway there. The doctors flipped out and put me on strict bed rest. I canceled my trip and spent the next 4 months with my feet up. I shudder when I think of what could have been. So thank you. I really do owe you an enormous debt. I often think of that when I look at the girls. I send a prayer of thanksgiving that God sent you here to help me.

I know nothing can make this week any easier for you. I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you and thanking you.

I pray that this week is as gentle as possible on your heart.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Kindergarten is Going to Kill Me

We made the tough and controversial decision to enroll Lainy Ann in Kindergarten this year. She is just 4 1/2 with a birthday in March. In California the cut-off date is December 2nd. She misses this date by 4 months. We have literally been struggling with this decision since she was born. The conversation always resurfaced as she surpassed another major milestone; walking at 8 months, learning her letters by two, manipulating her brother and adult relatives into doing what she wants, and most recently when she started reading at 4 years old and spent her free time writing words and lists for fun.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Twin Stroller - with a lesson

You have heard this story before. But this time there is a twist ending.

The kids and I were eating at a restaurant. I noticed the double stroller from across the room, little boys. I snuck glances at the mom. I had difficulty paying attention to my kids because I was too busy watching this mom and her infant sons. They were so well-behaved eating jarred food from the stroller while she chatted with her friends.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Will it ever be normal again?

Recently I asked a friend if it would ever be normal again. She had her twin loss 4 years before mine. She has gone on to have 4 successful singleton pregnancies. I was hoping she would be able to give me some guidance in my own grief journey. Her advice was beautiful.


No. It won't. Ever. You never get the normal back that you were use to or crave. But the todays that you do have get happier, sweeter, and easier.

Having subsequent children in no way replaces our lost babies. And it doesn't erase the scars on our heart. But it does ease the pain we feel. Because for every day that brings a painful reminder, there is a day that brings so much love.

This week will always be hard for you. Always. Just like random days throughout the year because something triggers the longing for an unfulfilled dream. But, as the years go by, you'll find that the pain that comes with those longings also have attached to it sweet memories of your other children. Again, it's not a replacement of your angel boys, it's a gift they give you to help smile when you think of them, rather than cry from the hurt.

I will be praying that during your tears this week, you are able to feel their angel wings wrapped so tightly around you.

Your Friend,

Sunday, September 16, 2007

4 at 13 months

How can you say you love a hospital even though you have spent almost 3 hours waiting for a 20 minutes procedure? Well, I'm going to say it anyway. I just love Glendale Adventist Hospital. We were fortunate enough to visit the emergency room once again. It has been a little over a year since we had checked in with the receptionists and triage nurse. I guess we were due back.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Penny is in the Pee-Pee

"Hurry, Mommy, Come Quick!!!!"

I dread hearing those words. Mostly because I do not need to come quick. It does not constitute the emergency I think of; calling 9-1-1, injury, illness. Instead it is because someone isn't sharing or William is getting into something, non-dangerous, that will create a mess.

Today it was Connor screaming from the bathroom. I got worried that he threw-up again since we are till getting over an illness. I rushed into the bathroom.

C: Mommy, my Buzz Lightyear penny is in the pee-pee.

I stared at the penny willing it to magically levitate out of the toilet. I wondered why I don't have gloves in the house. And I did the math on whether or not the flushing of the toilet would make the penny go down, because I don't mind sticking my hand into clean water.

M: I don't know honey. I think its gone forever.
I was resisting the urge to lecture him on not playing with pennies while we pee.

C: But, Mommy, you have to do something?!

Well, that was the magic thing to say. He was so devastated, but still asked for help without crying or throwing a tantrum. He was polite and used such a good and complete sentence. What can I say? I'm a sucker for my children.

So I found a wooden spoon that we never use and I fished out the penny.

I saved the day.

Friday, September 7, 2007

You Think

Do you think that I am over it
Better than before
Maybe I've forgotten
Doesn't hurt me anymore?

Do you think that I am doing fine
No tears are shed each day
Get up and just get going
Pain has all but gone away?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Getting pregnant so soon, was it right?

I remember being very detached the first twelve weeks of William's pregnancy - not really telling anyone and making endless trips to the bathroom to check for blood. I even told God to take the baby early if it was going to happen because I didn't want to go through labor again. It was a very depressing winter. I laid on the couch surrounded my tissues (I had cold after cold) watching feel-good movies and black and whites. I spent SOOO much time online obsessing about what could go wrong. It was such a dark time for me. Even worse than losing the twins.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Grieving for a Stranger

Someone I know of lost their daughter recently. I don't know this lady well. I have never met her daughter, but ever since finding out this news I haven't been the same. I know the loss of your child. I know that this woman likely lays awake at night crying, if she gets to sleep she is only greeted by nightmares. I know that there will be some mornings when she will wake, enumerate the list of things to be done, forgetting to add 'grieving' to the list. Then she will remember. Her breath will be taken away. The pain in her heart will return. Her face will be wet with tears.