Monday, September 29, 2008

Looks of Grief

Now I know why people leave the grieving alone. Sure, the first few days, even the first week, there are phone calls, visitors, flowers, meals, and cards. Then after the funeral you are left alone with your thoughts. Those horrible thoughts of what-if and why-me. Its been three years since I lost our sons and just a few people remembered and mentioned it to me. It makes me eternally sad that my sons short time on earth has been forgotten.

But today I visited a stranger, yet a sister in grief. Someone at our preschool lost her 11-day old daughter. I decided to visit her, bring her family a meal, make her life just a little easier. I knocked on the door and explained myself. She and her husband were very grateful. But the pain in her face just tore me apart. It was shocking how she could be so appreciative and devestated at the same time.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Teething, First Grade-Style

Driving home from school today I nearly crashed the car. Lainy Ann said something so startling, something I was totally unprepared to hear, something that caused me to jerk the steering wheel. Fortunately we were on a small side street with no cars parked on the street because I swerved into the oncoming lane.

Lainy Ann has her first loose tooth. Now, since this is a blog and you can't see the expression on my face, let me tell you that I almost started crying. In fact, typing this blog is causing tears to well up again. News of this loose tooth made me forget that she had an extraordinarily bad day at school and that we are supposed to have a serious talk with consequences today. I was planning on sending her to her room, maybe even writing a letter to her teacher, and starting a new system with her to ensure she gets "green days" instead of the "yellow days" she has had for the last 3 days in a row.

But news of this loose tooth mean a whole new milestone for my baby girl. One I was totally unprepared for.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Throw Money at It

Our baby gear lasted through 3 children. I'm actually impressed we got so much use out of it. But this time around Alexander is getting all new stuff. Last night he got his new swing; Fisher-Price Rainforest swing.

Now the main reasons for this purchase was because he isn't sleeping very long at night, when he previously was, and he is using me as his pacifier. So, the way I solve all my problems as a good consumer should, I threw money at the problem. I bought 4 different brands of pacifier and a new swing. I also couldn't wait for Caskey to get home to put the swing together, so after the big kids were in bed Alexander 'helped' me assemble it. I was very excited for him to try it out. I put him in the swing and he started grinning and laughing. So I called Caskey on the phone to tell him about how much Alexander liked the new swing. Well, Alexander started 'talking' to his animal friends on the swing. Even Caskey could hear him through the phone cooing and aahing.

*sigh* I would buy him a new toy everyday if he would get that excited about them. Oh, and it didn't help him sleep longer. LOL

Monday, September 22, 2008

3 Years, My Sons

I don't normally do diary type entries that just repeat the day. I prefer my entries to be stories rather than a report. Even so, I have been sitting on this entry for 2 weeks now. I wanted to post something, but I couldn't think of anything to say. So please excuse my ramblings.

First, I want to say Thank You. I have belonged to message boards for nearly 4 years now. But it was when I lost the boys that I really needed the support and camaraderie of ladies who said good-bye to their children too soon. Once my eyes cleared and I could see past my grief I realized that these women could provide other support; I could complain about things in my life without hurting people's feelings, get great tips on healthy meals, and laugh about a new joke on the internet.

Equal Opportunity Neglect

Each year from September 14 - September 22 I grieve. I shop for nothing, mope about everything and spontaneously cry. I generally feel sorry for myself, for our family and dwell on what could have been.

But here it is three years later and I didn't do that. I planned ahead and gathered the supplies needed for the mommy-loss boxes, so there wasn't much shopping to do. Instead we spent the week potty training, adjusting to a new job for Caskey, and visiting with my sister who surprised us by flying into town. In between all of that we had the new baby to contend with and the daily chores for a family of 6. There was little time to sit and rest much less grieve.

So, today I am feeling guilty. Since I didn't get to raise them and spend hours and years focusing on them I give them this one week, and I just cheated them out of it. I called the church to make sure Mass was being said for them, we planned on going. I spent an hour and a half getting us out of the house - too bad we were 30 minutes late, so we skipped church.

I guess this is the first time they have been treated like living children. They have been neglected just like the other four. Lainy Ann has been doing her homework by herself, all the kids dress themselves, William is even pottying on his own, and I'm sure Alexander will tell you he has to cry for his food.

They weren't forgotten. I could never forget the 18-weeks I had with them. Nor will I ever forget that I won't have them for the rest of my life. But this year they were neglected. And for that I feel guilty.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

S'mores for Breakfast; Cake for Dinner

Happy Birthday, Connor!! Today he is four years old. It seems so grown up today, but in a few years four-years-old will seem so little.

He has really shown how grown up he has become in the last few weeks. He has been helping out William and playing with him, even taking care of him. And the love he shows for Alexander is amazing. He is always asking to hold him or rub his soft head. I wonder if he will be my babysitter. Often times out of the blue he will say "I love Alexander" or "I love you, Mommy."

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Where's the Baby?

Now that Alexander is 4 weeks old I am having him lay on the floor so he can practice rolling over. Spending too much time in the bouncy just doesn't promote that kind of movement. If I am going to be gone from the room for a long period of time I BUCKLE him into the bouncy, because as I recall Lainy Ann once dragged Connor half out of the bouncy. I don't know what she was going to do with him, but Connor was so well behaved. Just laying there, feet on the floor and all contorted.

Well, I still have occasion to leave the room for a second or two; fill a glass of water, get the kiddos a snack, grab a diaper, etc. Twice now I have come back to the living room to an empty blanket where Alexander should be. Twice now I have found him UNDER the coffee table. UNDER THE COFFEE TABLE?!?!?!?!? Why??!?!? Well, ask William, not me. He seems to think that Alexander belongs under the coffee table. Oh, and I don't know how he gets there; if William picks him up, drags him, or rolls him. But I do know that he will be a great little brother because he just lays there quietly until I find him.

Maybe William and I are playing hide-and-go-seek . . . . . .

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I Do Not Like Green Eggs & Ham

Today was the morning we were going to make green eggs and ham (did I mention the ham had to be green too?). In the afternoon we were going to make fresh lemonade too. It would be a fun day of cooking with the kids.

As I was told yesterday the eggs were not to be scrambled. They had to be "pancakes on the bottom and mountains on the top". So I went hunting for a recipe. Green scrambled eggs would be easy, but I wasn't sure if the egg yolk would take the food coloring. I found numerous recipes for green eggs and ham, but most either made scrambled eggs, or some sort of omelet with spinach on top. I finally found a recipe for eggs over-easy. It required twice as many steps and dishes as simpled scrambled eggs would.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Funnies

Connor has been really enthralled with Dr. Seuss's "Green Eggs and Ham". We have the book on CD and at least once a day he puts the CD in and 'reads' his book. He has discovered that we have multiple copies of the book and has spent time collecting them all.

We went to the store together on Wednesday. As we pass by the lunch meats he screams, "HAM!! We need HAM!" he further explains that he wants me to make green eggs and ham. I agreed and we found the proper ingredients, thinking I could make green scrambled eggs. On the way home he says, "the eggs are scrambled, mommy."

Me: Oh. How do we make them?
C: They are flat like pancakes on the bottom
Me: Okay
C: And mountains on the top
C: Oh and the ham is green too.
Me: Sounds good.
C: Well, I will just show you the book when I get home.

Of course I have to see the book. He wants to make sure I do it right. I'm so pleased we have a family of perfectionists.


Lainy Ann was telling me about school.
She said, "We did easy work in our workbook today."
me: You sound angry about that.
LA: YES!
me: What's wrong.
LA: I don't want to do EASY work. I want to do HARD work. (exasperated)
me: Did you tell your teacher that? (I really hope she didn't, especially not angrily)
LA: YES!

Uh oh. I guess I have explaining to do at Back to School Night.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

By-e

Today was the first day of school for the three big kids. Lainy Ann started at the public school; 1st grade! Connor is in pre-k in the 'big school' at our preschool and William is starting in the potty-training class. It was quite an effort to get all 6 of us dressed, breakfasted, and out of the house. We had a lot of 'gear' too - backpacks, lunch boxes, blankets, emergency forms, and pumpkin muffins for the teachers. Yup. I'm a suck up. :-)

Lainy Ann already has a friend in her class. They both went to the same Kindergarten last year. Her teacher seems very nice and is strict and a control freak. A woman after my own heart. The boys had a great time seeing her off to class. I got a wave and a "bye mom". No hugs, no tears. She is such a big girl.

Then we were off to the preschool. Connor was dropped off first and thrilled when he found 3 of his friends in the same classroom as him. He quickly started visiting with his friends and then it was time to line up to play outside. Only at the teacher's insistence did we get a hug goodbye.

William wasn't actually supposed to start school today since he is a MWF child. We were just going to drop off his supplies and forms and visit with his class again. The goal was to make his first day of school easier with fewer tears. Well, he ran away from me and was on the playground in a moment. As I was talking to his teacher I hear him yelling, "by-e, by-e". He was done with us. No tears, no hugs. We ended up leaving him at preschool for about an hour while we attended a PTA meeting at the public school.

I am no longer needed. I have raised my kids to the point that I am out of a job. William reinforces this daily, especially now that he likes to 'cook'. He has been microwaving stuff like crazy; crackers, cheese, a marker. Maybe I should polish my resume.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Bye-Bye Umbilical Cord

Yesterday two exciting things happened to Alexander. He didn't think they were very exciting. He just cooed and went back to sleep. But they were big milestones for him. We got size 1 diapers in the mail yesterday. He has been overflowing his newborn diapers and they were getting tight on his thighs. But the size one diapers reach up to his rib cage. I know he will grow into them, but it is quite a size difference. And his umbilical cord fell off. Well, I think I accidentally pulled it off. I was holding him in one arm while preparing a snack for the other three kids.