Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring Break 2010

We had a great spring break this year. Even though we stayed home, we still had a lot of fun. The highlight was when my SIL Dianne (who lives in Hawaii) came with my nephew Zach. She was here for her sister's wedding and did not have a lot of time, but it was still great to see her. I guess one of the bonuses of being laid off was that I was home on Friday during the day to see her and Zach. She brought Zach over for a visit, and so he could play with his Uncle Jake and cousins while her, Kimmie, Jordan and I ran errands for last minute wedding stuff. It was good for Zach to get out of the hotel room and romp with the babies. They are only a few months apart, and they played like they were the best of friends. It cracked us up to watch them. One of the things that made us laugh was the way Zack says "hello". It seems like it is a mixture of "Hello", and "Aloha", he goes "Halow" . Adorable. While we were out I got to show her the new house. It has new carpet, cabinet fronts, sinks, toilets, and the painting is started. It looks amazing. Sunday we went to her sister's wedding. It was a beautiful day. I have tons of pictures so it will probably take a few blogs to share them all, but here are the first ones.

Linda playing with the Boys

Aunt Kimmie and Jordan came to play.

Zach saying "Halow".

"It's for you."

Noah’s showing Aunt Dianne his belly button. It is his favorite new word.

Noah loves his Aunt Dianne.

Trying to get the kitty to let them pet her.

Cousins are so much fun!

"Here kitty kitty."

The Three Amigos

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Grade Cards

Just a quick update. The kiddos grade cards came out today and they did very well. Jamie stayed pretty much the same, Linda improved in a lot of areas. We are very proud and heaped lots of praise on them. The babies had a developmental screening today and I am happy to report that they are doing great too and there are no concerns. Great news for preemie babies. No word on the job yet, we are still praying on that. We had a great spring break last week and a fabulous weekend, now we are just looking ahead to Easter and Jake and I's birthdays. Jamie told Jake that he was old when he found out he was turning 30. Jake replied " I am not old!", Jamie retorted "Yeah Dad, you are only 30 years away from 60!". Leave it to kids to put it all into perspective. I do have some new pictures so I will get them up eventually, until next time.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Gift of Hope

During church this Sunday, the passage my pastor preached on really spoke to me. It was about suffering, and the hope that comes from suffering. There was more to the sermon (the whole thing was wonderful), but this is the relevent part for the nature of this blog. Here is the passage.

Romans 5
Peace and Joy
1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a]have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we[c] also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

I think about how many of us who have lost our dear babies suffered. I know from personal experiance that it is the most intense suffering I know I have ever felt. It is the heart breaking, hope stealing kind of suffering. I know from reading many of your blogs that you have suffered as well.

I also know that there are many different types of suffering. It can be as simple as being unemployed and the anxiety that goes with it, or as complex as grief. Addiction, divorce, family arguments, sickness, and poverty will all rob us from our joy. I also know about hope.

I haven't got to that part in Mason's story where hope comes in, but I can attest to it's redeeming presense. Many other mothers who have lost their children tell me they just want to help out others, they want to give their child's short life meaning. This is a form of hope. A hope in the fact that their child may be watching from above. Many of the charities that do so much good for so many would not be without suffering happened first. No one wants to suffer, but it is comforting to know what the human spirit through the promise of God. Thank you Father for the gift of Hope.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Guest Blogger

Today I am featuring a guest blog. This was posted by Marie at My Expected End. I remember feeling this same way after I lost Mason. Here is here guest blog:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dear pregnant woman on the treadmill,
It's so nice to see you sprinting, trying to not gain that extra much needed pound. I see you every night busting your butt, trying to reject the few little pudges that are forming.
Just letting you know that I would die for that so count your blessings, go home, put your feet up, and welcome the fat.

Dear teacher at work,
Please stop moaning and groaning about the aches and pains you feel. Please try to refrain from telling me you cant sleep at night and how you get up "a million" times a night to pee.
Just know that I would die for that. So count your blessings and shut the heck up.

Dear youngster at church,
Please stop rejecting the option to buy maternity clothes. Trust me. They are not expensive. No one is telling you to buy Gucc.i and Pra.da. Take yourself to R.oss, Wal.mart, T.J Ma.xx or No one wants to see your poor belly fighting with your extra tight shirt for air/space. Oh, and please don't lament to everyone that comes within five feet that you are "so fat"!
Just know I would die for that. So count your blessings and embrace the wonders of pregnancy.

Dear pregnant (neither of you work) woman at church,
It must be nice to prounce around in 4 inch heels. It must be nice to walk around naive. If someone lovingly suggest that you lower the inches, don't attack them. Don't then go around retelling the tale and calling them "know it alls".
Just know I would die for that. So smile, shut up, and move on.

Dear pregnant women everywhere I go (and you are everywhere!)
How nice it must be to buy your crib at 13 weeks. When the rest of us are afraid to buy anything until after the baby is born.
I would die for that.

Dear pregnant SIL,
Why is it that you get to have 5 kids? Why is it that we have to struggle to hold onto 1? Please stop passing on advice because your womb is fruitful and ours are not. Please don't let me feel guilty because I cannot give your big brother babies.
I would die to give him babies.

Dear pregnant woman strutting your stuff,
Count your blessings. Don't take offense when I turn away or cross the street. I do not do it to be mean. It is just that my heart cannot take seeing you and be reminded of what I had. I am simply protecting my broken heart and fragile state of mind. I fear if I come near you, I might break down and be carted off to the psych ward.
Continue enjoying your naivete. I would die for It.

Oh, and that big bump in front of you? I would die for that too. That look of wonder on your husband's face? I would die for that too.

Awaiting my expected end.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mason's Story-The Aftermath Part 4

I have said this before, but I have to be in a certain frame of mind to write down Mason's story. I am telling his story as honestly as I know how. I know there are parts that someone who has not experienced grief may not understand. I know there are parts that make me look selfish, or dramatic, or bitter. The truth is grief is all of those things. It makes no sense. It changes who you are, how you feel, and how you live again. You will see in later posting how God lifted me from the pit of constant darkness. How He raised me up from the depths of the deepest, darkest parts of me and let me feel joy, peace, love, and even happiness again. But for now I am telling the story in the order that it happened, as it happened. I truly feel like that is the work that I have to do so that some poor woman who is newly grieving may read this and know they are not crazy, or selfish, or a bad person, but most importantly, that they are not alone. So I pick up Mason's story with the day following the funeral viewing. If you are new to my blog, all of Mason's story until this point is written in previous blogs. Just search the name Mason and you will find it.

The next day after the funeral viewing was Thanksgiving. Until that year we had split our time between my family and Jake's, but I just didn't have it in me this year. I went back and forth between such intense emotional pain and total emptiness. I was beginning to develop anxiety that would cripple me for several months afterwards. I couldn't stand the thought of sitting down to a normal dinner when things in my life were so not normal. To quote my pastor "things are a million miles away from normal." I couldn't stand sitting there and receiving pity looks from people, and worse I couldn't stand the thought of sitting there while people made small talk and tried to make life normal. I didn't want normal, normal felt like I was abandoning my son, like I didn't care enough to be miserable as crazy as that sounds. I thought of having to sit there and watch life go on as normal, and in my head I pictured myself just snapping and screaming "What is wrong with you people!" "My son is laying in a casket a few miles away and you want me to eat turkey and pie!". I know that this seems unfair, that several family members were hurting as well but were dealing with it in different ways, but that is what I felt like would happen if I went. Most family understood this, some did not and began to judge us for not taking James and Linda somewhere so they could have Thanksgiving dinner. It is very cruel to judge us in that moment. I had delivered Mason just four days ago. I was still having massive blood loss and fever from infection. My mind is absorbed with just getting up from my bed to my couch. They were fed and either played outside or watched movies inside. That was as good as I could do at the time.

I remember a family member came and got James and Linda and took them over to their house for dinner. I can't remember who though. I think it was my mother-in-law, but I am not sure. It may have been my mother. I am pretty sure that my mother-in-law brought us each a plate of food, but I am not sure on that as well. It is not that it wasn't appreciated, it is just that I was so overwhelmed at the time that smaller details are fuzzy. I know I was still not eating at this point. I also know I had started smoking again, something I had not done in over a year. I was living off of apple juice, pain pills, and cigarettes. Not a healthy combo for someone whose body had been through what mine had gone through.

Sometime in the afternoon I began to panic about what I would wear to the funeral. You would think that it wouldn't matter to me at that time, but somehow looking appropriate seemed so important. It seemed like what I wore would be a testament to my love for Mason. Everything dressy I owned was pretty cheery. I liked to dress up for work in different colors and patterns. I got up from the couch and tore through my closet trying to figure out what to wear. I can't even explain what was driving me. I know I didn't care what others thought, but what Mason would think. I know that is ridiculous, but I was obviously not in a normal state of mind. I went into my closet and began teaing things off the hangers. "I can't wear this shirt, it has flowers on it!" "I can't wear this shirt, it's pink!" One by one I threw things out of my closet into a pile on my floor. "This shirt is too low cut." " This shirt has sparkles." "This shirt is green, green represents life, I can't wear that!" With every item I rejected I became more hysterical until eventually I was weeping, and screaming, and throwing things, and hitting things.

Jake came into the room and I am sure thought I was officially having a nervous breakdown. He tried to tell me it didn't matter, that made me more angry and hysterical. He tried to put his arms around me to make me stop and calm down. I screamed at him to let go and he tried to hold me tighter. He was desperate to calm me down. He put his arms around me again and for the first time in our entire relationship I hit him out of anger. I punched him as hard as I could on his chest until he let me go. He would have bruises the next day. A couple of seconds later I realized what I had done and it was like my knees went out from under me. I sank to the floor, drew my knees up to my chest, and just wept. I sat there rocking back and forth on a pile of shirts and hangers and wept like a broken woman. Jake knelt down and gently put his arms around me again. This time, I let him. He laid his head on my shoulder and wept with me as I rocked back and forth. Even as I am typing this I am crying because I remember how lost I felt in that moment. It felt like something dark had swallowed the real me and all that was left was a broken shell.

When I had recovered, Jake handed me my purse and told me to go find something to wear. While I was gone he cleaned up the mess I had made so it looked like nothing had ever happened. I found a store that was open and got a pair of dark gray pants, and a black button down dress shirt. They seemed appropriate to me. After the funeral, I have never been able to wear them again, but I can't stand to give them away either. They sit in the back of my closet, only worn for an hour, a reminder of the pain I felt, and yet, I keep them. It makes no sense to me either. I only know that to give them away seems wrong as well. Maybe time will change that, I am not sure. I only know that for now, there they sit.

Mina's First Sentence

Mina said her first sentence. Keep in mind she has two older siblings. Are you ready to know what it was? Are you sure? it is...."I hurt my butt!" We are so proud. LOL.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Break

The kiddos are on spring break and since money is tight we will not be going anywhere this year. So I have decided it is time to give them some culture. I am a huge fan of classics, both books and movies. So this week we are watching Heidi, The Secret Garden, Peter and the Wolf, A Little Princess, and My Fair Lady to name a few. I am reading "The Boxcar Children" at night before bed and various other books during the day. I am excited that they are big enough to appreciate these now. I have already started the Laura Ingalls Wilder series with them and will continue those as well. Jake is attempting to lead them in Bible study and it is awesome to watch them grow in their faith with their father to lead them. They will hopefully remember that for years and pass it down to their own children.

This weekend we get to see Jake's nephew Zach for only the second time. My SIL Dianne's sister Sarah is getting married and since we are close with all of Dianne's family, we were invited. They live in Hawaii so we have not gotten to spend much time together in recent years. I am thrilled to get to see them and see how the babies all interact together. It is neat to have cousins your age. I spent a ton of time with my cousins as a child which has led to us spending time together now as adults. I hope they can have that same relationship. Jake is even off work on Friday so it is shaping up to be a great Spring Break.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Blogs That I Love

This time I am featuring a blog about school lunch. Everybody knows that school lunches have gone downhill, even since I was a kid. My kids eat some form of pizza or chicken nugget almost everyday. This blog author is a teacher and has decided to eat school lunch everyday for a year at her school and take pictures and blog about it. She blogs about everything from nutrition to her own health. It is a very interesting read and makes me want to pack their lunch. The link is posted below.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Not So Sweet Dreams

I have realized that you can act better all day long, and fool yourself in the daytime, but you can't mask how you feel in your dreams. Dreams are a funny thing. If there is someone I am mad at, I will have dreams of finally telling them off, if it is someone I love, I have dreams of the best time ever with them. My dreams truly reflect the emotions of the day.

I feel like dreams also can relay your deepest fears and insecurities. One of the things I have struggled with since Mason is a horrible fear that something will happen to one of my other children. I have not slept good in over a year because of trying to make sure the babies were ok at night. They didn't even move out of our room until they were nine months old. I poured over every source of information about SIDS I could find in order to do anything I could to keep them safe. And it doesn't stop at the babies either. Jamie and Linda feel the brunt of it sometimes too. For instance, they want to ride their bikes to school with their friends, but I panic at the thought and all I can think about is kidnappings that you see on TV. It takes every ounce of willpower I have to let them climb the tree in our yard. A lot of times people think I am strict, when I am really just afraid.

The other night I had the most terrible dream about Noah. It was basically what happened with Mason, but with Noah at the age he is now. I dreamed he was hurt and no one would help him. The doctors kept saying he was too little, that there was nothing they could do and I was holding my 15 month old son and begging them to help him. I was crying and pleading and so terrified in my dream. I finally woke up and just laid there trying to remember to breath. When Noah got up I just held him for as long as he would let me. So I guess no matter how good I have gotten at coping during the day, I can never escape the raw emotion I feel in my dreams.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


It seems like spring is finally here. We got a ton of rain and now things are turning green. The kids have been so excited to be outside running around. Jamie and Linda finally got bi enough to climb the tree in the front yard and since then have been like little monkeys. Noah and Mina are talking up a storm. Sometimes we can understand them, most times not. It is so cute though, they sit and have conversations with each other for hours and they seem to totally understand each other. Maybe it's twin language? Aww spring, along with the warmer temps mean all of the projects we need to do to get the house ready for sale. New front window, power wash the house, new roof, new gutters, new paint in some rooms, peel the tape residue off the doors that has been there since we moved in, clean out the basement, remove the accordian doors in the basement, and a lot of smaller projects. Yikes

In other updates, I am finally done with school! I turned in my last assignment for my Master's and should have my degree in hand soon. It feels so good to have it be Tuesday and not have to go to class. I got my Master's in Business Law so it should help in my career. Speaking of career, I have a third interview with a local aircraft company this week so things look good there. I also had a follow up after the hysterectomy. I am healing very good and had most of the restrictions lifted. Mina and Noah went with and were the hit of the office. When the OB was doing his exam, Mina went right down to him and squatted down with one hand on his knee and would look at him and talk like she a doctor discussing what she saw. Noah (typical male) lit for the door and tried his darndest to get out of there.

On a weird note, Hollywood Video by Jake's work is going out of business and is having a big everything must go sale. I went in to check it out. My eyes saw a huge, wooden gameboy hanging over a TV on the wall so I asked them if it was for sale. The guy said he would just give it to me so now Jamie has the coolest decoration for his room ever! Here are pics of tree climbing, and the big gameboy.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Two Weeks Post Op

It has been two weeks since my surgery and I am so frustrated at how slow my recovery seems to be. I am still not able to pick up the babies, although I can carry them if someone hands them to me. I still have daily pain and I tire so easily. Even the littlest things like showering tire me out so badly. I see the doctor this Friday and I am hoping he will have good news for me on when I can expect to feel better.

I am sorry for not posting about Mason lately. The truth is that I don't have the emotional energy right now. Even though I was told not to try and concieve again, I am still depressed at the loss of the option. I had always hoped deep down that technology would make great advances in IC and that maybe I could have another when it did. Now that option is gone forever. I am truly grateful for the chance to have had Noah and Mina and for the chance to adopt Jamie and Linda, but noone likes to be rendered sterile in their 20's. I have been really down and truthfully blocking all other emotions for now. I think I am afraid to open the flood gates right now and overwhelm myself. One of the blessings about being dependent on help is that Jake's cousin had been here everyday to help. She is so lively and fun that it keeps me distracted from grieving for the loss of my fertility. I know it sounds like a silly thing to be bummed about, but I am. I will try to continue his story here very soon. Please be patient for me and a few prayers for peace wouldn't hurt either.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Aunt Karen Comes to Play

My sister called me a few weeks ago and asked if she could come to visit. I, of course, said "duh", and excitement began to spread through our house for her arrival. If you remember, my sister is a newlywed. I have not seen her since the babies birthday in early December. The only bummer is that I am still on restrictions after my surgery and couldn't get out and about with them like I wanted to. However, that didn't mean that we couldn't have a good time playing Wii and watching movies at our house. Kimmie had a new Wii game called "Just Dance" and it was so funny watching everyone else try to dance that I didn't even mind that I had to sit out. I have the best video of Noah imitating Aunt Karen and Linda dancing.I even got to take and show them the new house which is in the middle of remodeling.

Before she came, Karen called and asked me if I would take her to get a tattoo at the place I got mine. She has talked about getting one for several years, but I never thought she would actually be brave enough to get one. I agree to take her for two reasons: The first is that she is a married adult and fully capable of making up her own mind. The second is that by taking her to the place where Jake, his cousins, and I have all got tattoos, I knew she was getting her tattoo done at a safe, clean, inspected place. In fact, the state inspector showed up while we were there for their yearly inspection and they passed with flying colors.

I still expected her to chicken out even when we got there. But, she showed the man what she wanted and sat in the chair bravely. The only betrayal was her face was bright red the whole time. She did good and her tattoo came out very pretty. It healed up great and I am glad she loves it. Here is a link to a video of the dancing, check out Noah-addorable!

Here are pictures of her visit.