Friday, December 14, 2012

A little bit of a Christmas Miracle....

This morning I walked into a happy chaos of second graders and gingerbread houses.  Parents and kids finishing up their sweet creations, some covered head to toe in icing.  It took a minute for me to even find him, but then I saw him and called his name.  He looked up with such happiness in his eyes. He ran over and hugged me, not knowing I was coming to see his Gingerbread play.  He was genuinely happy I was there.  He is a happy kid.  He is a sweet kid.  I know this.  I knew he would be happy to see me, but once again, as he has in the past months, he had this profound effect on me.  As I sat and watched him sing along to his gingerbread songs tears came to my eyes.  I am in awe that he sits before me so perfectly seven and a half years old.  So happy to be wherever he is, so full of life and so full of love.  It is like watching our little Christmas miracle. 

Five months ago this same child sat sick in a hospital.  Diagnosed with a horrible illness that our family has only known as a death sentence.  At that point none of us were sure what was going to happen.  We had hope, we had prayer, but we had fear.  Seeing him now is like seeing our own miracle.  I can't help but to look at him and see that he realizes this too.  This is a little boy who loves life.  He is the most caring boy I have ever met and would do anything to make you smile.  He is funny, he is compassionate and he is so smart.  It seems that this Christmas as we are thankful for all of those we love around us, I will once again find myself giving him a few extra hugs.  Because I am quite certain he is a miracle that we have been blessed with this season. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Team B&B

When Love is meant to be
there is a look in your eyes
there is a skip in your step
there is a spark that illuminates you

when love is meant to be
it doesn't seem to matter
how long you have waited
to find your perfect match
because you always knew
they were out there
abiding to complete you 
 it seems that now you have
found one another
it is clear
you were always
meant to be
destined to be
written in the stars
dreamt into reality
 it doesn't seem to matter
where you go from here
because no matter
where forever leads
you will always be

How many times is "Over and Over Again"

According to Albert Einstein, Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  As I sit and stew in my own thoughts of the future, of the future of our family, this old quote keeps flooding my mind.  I know how blessed I am.  I have been so lucky to have two beautiful, healthy, smart, sweet and on and on and on....children to raise and to love.  I know that things with Wyatt happened as easily as they did, because they were meant to.  I know that life has been really hard at times and wonderfully easy at times.
 Looking back I can see how the whole story unfolded into the wonderful life we live now.  But, being on the other end of it is not so simple.  Trying to see where we are headed.  What is "meant to be".  I know this drives TJ nuts, why can't I just leave well enough alone.  We have everything we need.  We have a wonderful complete family.  But, how do you know when your family is complete? I struggle with the thought of no more babies.  No more little ones.  Then in the same thought I am so happy that we are so settled together.  That there are no babies eating every 2 hours at night, crying when they are hungry and diapers to change.  We have come into this happy place that we are in through a long road.   This is the part where you can go somewhere last minute on a whim.  Where your kids are somewhat self sufficient and can play together and on their own.  Where you can leave them for a few minutes without fearing they will hurt themselves. 
But, then I come back to the what ifs.   What if I hadn't looked and found Wyatt? What if I hadn't moved forward in trying to get him?  What if I got pregnant again?  What if the baby could be healthy? What if we were meant to try again? This is where Albert Einstein comes into many times is "over and over again"? In our case it would be 3 times in a row with the same result.  But, could time and space help us here? Would there be a possibility that I could carry and give birth to a healthy baby?
It seems like right now everyone around me is either pregnant or has a baby.  Baby fever is a normal thing for Mom's, but where would it lead me? It has been 4 years of healing since Connor.  We are in a great place right now.  If I were to get pregnant and the baby did have Anencephaly we would be back to that awful place.  Back to those feelings we have worked through for years.  Back to the pain.  This time around it would be different too, because the kids would understand.  Anna was only 3 with Connor.  Now she is almost 7 and Wyatt is almost 5.  They understand the concept of having a baby.  Of bringing the baby home.  But, what if the baby was healthy.  What if this whole "plan" was to have Wyatt be our son in between our 2 birth children? What if I had a healthy baby, I had Anna, it could happen, right?
This is the mess that goes on in my head before I fall asleep at night.  I have tried to research the recurrence of Anencephaly and most people (everyone else I know!!) have gone on to have more healthy babies....but now I am in the realm of more than 1.  I have already had 2 babies with it and a miscarriage.  So are my chances worth the risk? There are no guarantees in life.  Not in adoption.  Not in giving birth.  Not in life. 
It is times like these I am waiting for some kind of sign.  Something to tell me which path to follow and where it will lead me.  Then it seems like I take everything as a sign of some sort!
As I sat with my sister this morning and had this very discussion my phone rang.  It was my Ob/Gyn calling to set up my appointment.  I have been going to this doctor for 15 years and they have never called me to set up my appointment.  Sign? Coincidence? Maybe just God getting a giggle out of seeing me squirm.  I guess no matter what happens in the future I don't have too much of a say.  For now I will enjoy and love each moment with my amazing little family.  If anything is for certain I can tell from experience that God knows what He is doing.  It is just all in His time. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Elf Envy

By this point I think everyone is well aware of "The Elf on the Shelf".  We were given ours as a gift from T.J.'s cousin 5 years ago...before it was cool! We hadn't really done much with it until last year.

  Last Christmas the kids named him Chippy and we read the story.  Then we started all of the fun things, Chippy on a date with Cinderella, riding in a rocket ship.  Nothing too big until this year.  My husband has found a new love.  Helping Chippy get into all sorts of mischief.  I am not the one behind any of this.  I am pretty sure he has spent hours at night thinking of what he will do next.  he not only does it, but there are details! The kids are so excited every morning and I have to say so am I.

However, having such an awesome Elf causes for some problems....Elf Envy.
My sister's Elf is not as exciting.  My Nephew,Corey, hears Anna's stories of what Chippy has done each
morning and wonders why Buddy doesn't do something similar.  So in turn, (Hee hee hee) My sister has been forced to put a little more effort than was originally planned into her "elf"! Corey has  helped a bit by setting up dollhouses and cars in hopes that buddy would play along, which he has.

 Each time I post a new Elf picture I can feel my sisters eyes roll a little further back into her head, the little things in life that make me giggle.  This is why we have the relationship that we do now.  She can tell me that my Elf drives her nuts, I can laugh and tell her she has Elf Envy.  Seems Chippy and Buddy have a little rivalry of their own!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Another Mom's thoughts....

I have been blessed to have been a part of an online Literary magazine called Still Standing.  It publishes poems, stories and essays that have been written regarding loss, infertility and adoption.  It has been a wonderful place that I have been able to share a few of my pieces and where I have found comfort in knowing I am never alone in this crazy world that is grieving.  Today I found something written by another Mom.  If I looked inside of myself for words that made more sense and felt more true I don't think I could find them.  So for today I am sharing this Mom's story...this mom's take on d-day, anniversaries, loss and life after.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Another Day....

It's  been days
it's been weeks
in a few days
it will be years
sometimes it seems
like it was a lifetime ago
sometimes it feels
like time has stood still
she feels the fear
that she felt walking towards him
he hears his own words
ringing in his ears
of all of the memories
that fade in time
these pictures
these moments
play on repeat
over and over again
nothing ever changes
he never gets to stay
each day they try to smile
for the one that
they hold here
for the hope
she carries within her
but when time catches up
when that day
draws near
there is nothing
nothing they can do
relive the moments
relive the nightmare
and know this time
from experience
they will make it
another day....

Saturday, September 29, 2012

My Tangible Peace

To be honest, I have to admit, that I don't think about Emma and Connor at the ages they would be today.  I think about them as babies.  It is hard to imagine who they would be today, because I never got to know them.  There are sometimes where I can't resist the idea.  The other day we had a playdate.  I am pretty sure it was the first time that the four kids born within months of Connor were here, all together. 
I remember being pregnant with Connor, knowing Sarah was pregnant with Natalie.  I remember finding out my sister was pregnant, then Jamie and then Heather.  REALLY! My sister and my closest three friends, all pregnant while I was pregnant, all having babies within 6 months of when I would have Connor.  They would all be born within 6 months of when I would lose Connor. 
At that point I wasn't sure what I would do with this situation.  I knew these babies would be in my life, because their mothers were the closest people to me, but what would I do!? I guess I did what anyone would do,  I loved them.  I embraced each pregnancy, each birth and each baby as much as I could. 

Today I am so happy to say that I love the relationship that I have with each of these miracles.  They are 4 of my favorite children that in my eyes can do no wrong....even though their mommy's think otherwise.  These 4 little people are a wonderful reminder of who Connor might have been, and a tangible way for me to love him through them.  Sometimes it seems like God is playing some cruel joke on us, when in the end he is just bringing us the peace that he knew we would need.  These 4 little ones are a big part of my peace....

Monday, September 17, 2012

Goosebumps and tissues

Sometimes in life, in grief, there are these moments that cover your body in goosebumps.  Most of them are in a good way, as if you know there is a greater meaning, a bigger picture that you just haven't been far enough away to see yet.  With Austin this is something that seems to happen a lot.
When Austin passed away the nurse at the hospital was a childhood friend of his Mom and I's.  We have known her forever, since elementary school, and she was the nurse on duty, in the ER the night of the accident.  Since then she and Austin's Mom have been closer.  Not only was she there and witnessed this horrific tragedy, but she has sons of her own.
Tonight as I was checking Facebook I saw she had written Austin's mom a little note.  About how she was thinking of them and a song came on.  Usually there are songs that make you feel a certain way, but this one made my stomach flip.  As I pulled up the lyrics it made my whole body get goosebumps.  It made me eyes well up.  It was as if they knew Austin's story.  As it turns out it was about a little boy who had cancer, but regardless of the tragedy, the outcome was the same.
Here are the lyrics -
Ronan - Taylor Swift

I remember your bare feet down the hallway
I remember your little laugh
Race cars on the kitchen floor
Plastic dinosaurs, I love you to the moon and back

I remember your blue eyes looking into mine like we had our own
secret club
I remember you dancing before bed time then jumping on me waking
me up
I can still feel you hold my hand
Little man, from even that moment I knew
You fought it hard like an army guy
Remember I leaned in and whispered to you

Come on baby with me
We're gonna fly away from here
You were my best four years

I remember the drive home when the blind hope
Turned to crying and screaming, "Why?"
Flowers piled up in the worst way
No one knows what to say about a beautiful boy who died

And it's about to be Halloween
You could be anything you wanted if you were still here
I remember the last day when I kissed your face
I whispered in your ear

Come on baby with me
We're gonna fly away from here
Out of this curtained room in this hospital
We'll just disappear
Come on baby with me
We're gonna fly away from here
You were my best four years

What if I'm standing in your closet trying to talk to you?
What if I kept the hand me downs you won't grow into?
And what if I really thought some miracle would see us through?
But what if the miracle was even getting one moment with you

Come on baby with me
We're gonna fly away from here
Come on baby with me
We're gonna fly away from here
You were my best four years

I remember your bare feet down the hallway
I love you to the moon and back

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

32 years out

Last week was the Anniversary of my brother's death.  He has been gone for 34 years.  As I sat and talked with Austin's mom about this I couldn't help but think of where they were at, as compared to my parents.  From there we talked about where my parents were at 2 years out, 32 years ago.  The thought then came to my mind, I am 32.  My birthday is near the end of August, well at 2 years out they had a newborn.  Fresh home from the hospital, such a wonderful time.  But, I hadn't really thought about the timing.

As I talked to my mom the next day about this she said, it was the lowest point in my life.  Lowest point in her life!?  Yes, you see when I was just 3 days old I went back to the hospital.  When I was brought home I was seemingly fine.  My dad went back to work on a Friday and my mom was home with me.  She noticed I was twitching.  My hands and feet at the same time as if it were clockwork.  She took me to the doctor, the same doctor she took my brother to on a Friday.  They too saw what was happening and told her they needed to call the lifesquad.  The last time they called the lifesquad my brother was sent to the hospital from the same office.  She refused transport, knowing where it had led 2 years prior and my Aunt Cindy drove us to the hospital.  From there I was admitted.  I spent 15 days in the intensive care unit.  At some point in this stay I had numerous spinal taps, as they looked for Spinal Menengeitis.  The same thing that took my brother's life.  On the 2 year anniversary of his death.  My parents were in the same hospital with their newborn, being tested for the very thing that killed him.

As I sat and listened to her I was in awe.  I have heard the story of my hospital stay, I knew what had happened, but never had I realized it was this sick twisted timing.   In the end - as you have guessed - I was okay.  I had very low calcium that had caused me to seize.  Special formula and hundreds of blood tests to keep track of it were the only thing I needed.  But, what my parents went through is unbelievable to me.

As we sat and sipped our McDonald's coffee, just the two of us, I looked at her and said how is it only your body that has fallen apart!? This woman has been through so much, yet can sit and tell me my story, the one that brought us to where we are.  The one that helped to form who I am and who I want to be.  Sometimes we forget what exactly has happened to bring us where we are.  Having Austin's family has brought back so many memories for my family.  Watching them has not only been hard, but opened so many windows into the memories they have.  It has been a blessing in so many ways, for Austin's family and for my parents. And for me to be able to be on the outside looking in at these 4 people, who I love, respect and admire more than anyone, living this eternal nightmare.  I often wonder how we all ended up together in this.  I know it was more than coincidence. 
And to top it off....
The other night we had Mom and Dad's 40th Anniversary party, through it all they are still standing, still together and still smiling.  Austin's family came to that party and I am pretty sure that in 32 years they will be right there. Eerily enough in 32 years they will have been married for 40 years......

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Just to Go Home

I have never understood death.  I have never understood why some people go so early in their lives and others sit waiting, praying to leave the Earth.  Tonight I sat with Aunt Jean.  Walking in to see her once again sitting in a high back wheel chair, crumbs on her lap, eyes barely open.  Everytime I see her now it seems to be the same.  She has been moved 3 times, each time she gets worse, she moves up a floor.  Each time I see her she just wants to go home.  Not home to a house, home to God.

Tonight I went to see her and she seemed to know who I was, but just for a moment.  The dimentia and alzheimers have stolen so much of her.  There are so many ramblings of ideas like a little movie roll is playing in her head.  She spoke of an old friend, Dottie Wunder, and I asked if she wanted to see her.  She replied, oh no she just had a baby.  Then she spoke of an Aunt Viola who lived in Clifton on Erckenbrecker.  I stroked her hair and held her hand.  Two things I could never imagine doing in her old life.  Her nurse, Von, was such a nice guy.  He told me how much he loved how she said whatever she wanted and I told him a few of the stories she had told me.  I told him  how she had worked into her late 70's and how she had watched Anna and Corey just a few years back.

Because this is not my Aunt.  This is a shell of a woman.  With wrinkled, bruised hands and her hair matted down. 

As I sat and talked to her I brought up things I like to remember.  I asked her if she remembered when I used to come over on Saturday nights.  Her eyes brightened as she looked at me and said of course.  I told her how she used to always make me green beans, my favorite, for dinner and she replied that my mother always had a vegetable with dinner.  We talked about the Golden Girls and Empty Nest in the moments of lucidity between the thoughts that seem to consume her.
At this point I know our visits are more for me than they are for her, though she seems to realize I am there.  As I got in my car I prayed out loud, sometimes when I am feeling in such a way I think He will know I mean business.  I prayed that she can be at peace and that He can call her home, because in the end that is all she wants...just to go Home. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

All things Pink

A few months ago I wrote a post about a woman named Ali.

 Though I have thought of her often,  Of her family and especially her husband and daughter, I never knew these people.  Sometimes when you follow a blog it is almost a surreal feeling.  You can become so involved with this life you read about, yet you are so far removed from it, that it saves you from feeling pain.
 Although aware of this family, knowing their names and seeing there faces from reading the blog Ali's sister has kept for her, I didn't know how "close" to me they were.  For the last 5 years we have been going to storytime at the library.  On and off as the kids have gone through phases we have almost always gone on Tuesdays.  This summer we switched to Mondays.  The first few times we went I didn't notice, but then my sister pointed out the names as we sang the welcome song.  This was Ali's family.  Her sister, her father, her mother and a band of girls in pink sunglasses who I am sure she touched on a level some friends may never understand.  Then there is the little.  Dressed so perfect, hair in place, round little face.  As I sit and round my own up I can't help but feel guilty.  I can't imagine not being here and watching my kids grow.  I get to watch her daughter dance and run into her grandfathers arms in plain sight each week.  I get to see the amazing love that this family has for not only Ali, but for each other.  I never knew Ali in this life, but I like to think that she gets to watch my babies in Heaven.  Maybe there is a storytime each Monday morning and Ali watches as my babies crawl from place to place......maybe she is only an arm length away from my babies as I am from hers. 
 Sometimes life doesn't make sense.  So we have to make a little sense of keep ourselves sane.  Sending so many prayers for Ali's family tonight, knowing her daughter will know who she was through her memory being kept alive and praying that just a little of that love for pink gets to the daughter that is waiting at the gates for me.  

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A very Happy unbirthday

Today is a very bittersweet day for me.  Four years ago this day was Emma's due date.  As much of a healing day it was then it has since become harder, maybe because of regret, maybe because of time, maybe because of life in general.  Regardless of the reason I am posting a link to my first ever blog post.  The reason I started writing again.  The reason I survived and made it through much of what I did.  It was all because of Emma.  This post "the Emma Poems" is my journey with her.  On what of could have been her birthday I am sharing it again...I love you baby girl

Thursday, July 26, 2012

When him was a boy...

Tonight we sat around Grandma's kitchen table and all 5 littles painted canvas.  As the artistic chaos ensued everyone ended up painting in their bare bellies to save their shirts.  Anna sat next to Mom and painted away and after a few coats each my sister took the bears up for a bath.  Anna told my mom how one time she got to where Austin's jammies.  Jammies from "when him was a boy, cause him is an Angel now".  As mom repeated the words to me, so I could enjoy the innocence behind them, both of our eyes filled up with tears.  From when him was a boy.  Such truth behind her comment, no question of anything, just stating a fact really.  From when him was a boy, cause him is an angel now.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Eight years....

 Eight years ago today I married a wonderful man.

If you had told me that day the path that would bring us to today I am sure I would have not believed you. 

   I married my best friend.


I married a man who can make me laugh.
  I married a man with such a strong work ethic and pride in what he does.
 I married a man who brings me coffee and flowers.
 I married a man who only hears about 1/3 of what I say!
     I married a man who holds me when I cry
   I married an incredible father.

   I married a man who loved me then.  I married a man who I am pretty sure loves me even more now. 

 If you had told me 8 years ago half of the story of our lives that has unfolded I am sure I would have been awe struck. 
I know when we started out we didn't know what life held for us, we just knew we wanted to be together. 

 God has blessed us with many things. 

So much has much for the better. is to the next 60 years...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Saving a World...

I have been following my cousin's blog closely for the past few years and even more this month.  After adopting 4 children from overseas over the past 8 years they are now hosting a child from Eastern Europe for the Summer.  I am so glad that she has her blog to share their journey.  Even though we live relatively close we really don't see much of each other.  Having 4 kids in activities, the youngest one having special needs, seems to keep a busy family life!
Even with that they made the choice to host a 12 year old for a month this summer.  I can't imagine what has gone through this kids mind, but I am guessing it is kind of like when a child goes into a foster home of a family with much more than they are used to.  This boy lives in a home with other boys in the Ukraine.  He has never had a family.  He has never had to follow the rules or the path, the boundaries or the routines that come with it.  It has been 3 weeks now. My cousin has openly expressed the good and the bad and the God that has come with this experience. I have been leaving little comments and praying as I might, but I really think what they are doing is amazing! My husband often tells me I "can't save the world" and I know they have been told the same thing.  But, the truth is in each child who is given a new life, a new experience, a new hope to go on, you are saving their world.
No matter what happens when this little guy leaves to go "home" he will have felt love.  He will know that people are out there that care and that he is not alone in life.  

Here is the link to her latest post.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I plan on spelling it out....

Well Today was a day.  It seems my post has sent hell fire flying.  Maybe sometimes I am too blunt.  But, from what I understood that is what blogging was.  Being able to write my feelings and release my fears in print.  I posted a post the other day about my day.  About the things that stood out and the fear my family felt.  I understand that things can be misconstrued and misunderstood.  To be honest I had no idea that some people even read this blog.  The thing about my post was that it wasn't about anyone or anything but the love in my heart for my family and keeping them safe. I didn't conspire with anyone before posting it.  I didn't ask for anyone's permission about how I was feeling.  In fact I write things as I perceive them.  Which has nothing to do with how anyone else may see the situation. 
I have said it before and I will say it a million times over.  There is a different level of love when you have lost someone.  Anyone who has had a significant loss in their lives seems to know this.  Especially those who have lost a child.  There is a different level of emotion in general.  There is a different level of fear.  I am not saying that people love their family less than I do, I am saying that it is on a different level.  There are different emotions that they have never experienced.  When I write I let it flow. I type as it comes to my head and I don't think too far into it.  I am not writing for the New York Times, I am writing for me.
There are very few things in my life that I regret, writing the post at hand will not be one of them.  I am sorry about how personally it was taken, I am sorry about the absolute ridiculousness that came from it...especially at a time that my family is in turmoil.  When this is the last thing we need.
As all of this "crap" was happening Corey was taken back to the hospital.  He was still not doing well and had us very scared.  After some meds and a few hours he should be released tonight.  That should have been our only concern....and to be honest it really was.
As for my blog.  I know many people who have stopped blogging or changed their format.  Not me.  Sometimes life sucks and sometimes life is great.  I plan on spelling it out....

Sunday, July 1, 2012

a little smile and a giggle

This morning I went back to the hospital.  Even though he was a little scared and his back still hurts, there is a huge difference in his eyes.    

I got a few smiles and even a giggle...

 We went to the gift shop and mom got him some army men.

 By the time I left he was playing "grape killers" with his Dad with a big smile and giggles all I can say....
Today my mission was here is looking to tomorrow that he can come home!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Today, Tonight and Tomorrow.....

Today I sat in my car and screamed.

Today I not only told God I was Angry but I let him know exactly how I felt.  Alone in my car, windows rolled up, at the intersection of Mt. Alverno and Delhi Pike.

Today I watched my parents relive the worst days of their lives by hearing two little words.

Today I walked into my sister's house to find my brother in law's eyes red and swollen from tears and staring at a computer screen trying to find out as much as he could, probably rather seeing a different answer

Today I saw my nephew lying in a hospital bed being comforted by his mother who watched her brother die from the same thing gripping his little body.

Today I asked for prayers and had his little name lifted so many times it made me thankful for such power.

Today I heard my mother sob in sorrow.  Watched as she dealt with fear and sadness as well as the disgust of being immobilized by her own body to the point that she could not see her grandson in the hospital.

Today I watched my father's eyes continuously fill up with tears as he tried to fight back the demon thoughts that filled his head with the dreaded diagnosis that took his only son.

Today I was enraged that one person had the power to upset my mother even more by telling her that "it wasn't a big deal and her 25 year old great nephew had it a few weeks ago".
If only this person knew.  As I tried  to comfort my mother after hearing these callous insincere words I told her that maybe this his their cross to bare...they will never know the love we feel, because they have never cared to love the way we do.

Tonight I sat in a hospital room with a blonde haired little boy.

Tonight he asked me for a bag of the chips I bought and rolled his eyes and snickered when I burped. 

Tonight I kissed him on his forehead before I left the hospital, partly because I wanted to kiss him and partly because I wanted to feel that he was "cool as a cucumber" for myself.

Tonight I stopped by my parents on the way home, because I know that they are in pain.

Tonight they stood in front of me unable to control the emotions that weigh in their hearts.

Tonight I hugged them and realized I pray I never know how they are feeling.  To watch your son die and live your life with the little flicker of fear that it may happen again only to have your worst nightmare come true in one of their own, again.  Fear has a way of taking over, fear that stems from Grief is so much stronger. 

Tonight I hugged them again and went home.  Knowing I could do nothing to help them, nothing to ease their minds.

Tonight I pray that everyone gets a little sleep and that Monday we have a culture as clean as a whistle where nothing has grown showing bacteria.

Tonight I will Thank God and maybe apologize for yelling, even though Father Chris told me I could.

Tonight I will Thank Corey's guardian angel, his Uncle Mikey, for leaving us the knowledge of the symptoms to look for and for the courage to go straight to the hospital as soon as they saw them.

Tonight I will pray and I will pray and I will pray ......

Because Tomorrow I plan on getting a big hug from a little blonde boy who is feeling much better

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wonderful Vacation!!

We had such a wonderful vacation this year! We stopped in Rock City on our trip down, stayed 5 days at an amazing resort in Disney World and finished our trip with a day in Clearwater.  All together it was really a fun trip! We were a little less scheduled this year and the rain helped cool us off.  It was probably my favorite trip to Disney yet and the kids seemed to have as great of a time as we did! I took pretty many pictures, go figure, so I have decided to do a top ten favorites list! In no particular order......
Ready for our first night are friends!

The tea cups!

Meeting up with family I haven't seen in 20 years!

The Magic Kingdom Castle

Ohana - means family

Clearwater Beach

Wyatt and his Darth Vadar meeting!

The bridge to Clearwater beach

Ready for Ohana in our room

Mickey Mouse and The Caitos

Okay so I know, there are more than 10!  We are so blessed that I have a top Eleven~ Such an amazing trip but, we are happy to be home and so excited to have had such an awesome time! Watch out Daddy! I am already planning for next year!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mom's Day

Last night I had the privilege of reading a card my mom wrote to Austin's mom for Mother's Day.  It was written from one grieving mother to another, about one of the hardest days for moms like us.  In it was written that each Mother's Day mom always felt more focused on Mikey than she was on Sis and I, and that she hoped we never felt that.  As I look back and I think about it I never felt like the focus was on anything other than Sis and I.  I remember always feeling like the center of the world and as if I was loved completely every second.
I know when my mom reflects back on her life she is always worried that I remember her as being sick, but I don't.  I know she was.  I remember her battling with menaires disease and walking with a cane because her vertigo was so bad, but it never defined her.  I remember her going from hospital to hospital and doctor to doctor for test after test trying to figure out what was wrong with her, but I never remember her acting like anything was wrong with her!! Sis and I were still her world.  She was happy.  She has struggled through the loss of her son, me being a sick infant in the hospital, losing both of her parents at the age of 35, yet everyone who knows her can only describe her as happy, outgoing, sweet and (maybe as the rest of the cox women) a little loud! 
I can't imagine having a better childhood than I had.  My mom and dad gave me everything I could ever ask for, we may not have had numerous pairs of guess jeans, but we were happy and loved and my parents were always involved in our lives.  Dad was my soccer coach and mom the PTA president.  They were there for our friends when they needed love and support and for us at every turn.  They have donated their time and their talents to everything from dad dressing up like a lady for the mom's soccer game to them cooking a steak dinner for 25 of my closest friends on prom night.  I know how lucky I am to have amazing parents and my goal in life is for my kids to grow up feeling the love I felt.
Today it is hard to see Mom feeling how she is.  She has been in pain for the past 2 years, dealing with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia and then finding out her arthritis has become so severe she needs a double hip replacement - I could really knock the idiot doctor who let this go so long out!  She has been trying to figure out how to balance all of this pain with her life of being "Mom"~  Active, happy, always going and helping everyone around her.  We are so used to mom being the one to go to, the one to turn to and lean on.  Now this Mother's Day as she waits for her doctors appointment (10 days and counting) we pray that she can get into surgery fast and get her new hips - and that this can fix her pain.  As many things as mom has been through she has always stayed positive.  She has been a pillar of strength and as much as she tries to be now, sometimes the physical pain is too much to be strong.  I am trying to learn how to be a support for her, but it is hard! Moms are Mom!!! They can do anything, and they are our everything.  Seeing your mom unable to do the things she wants to and in debilitating pain is scary and sad.  I am so thankful that she has the attitude and perseverance that she does and I pray that these traits (as well as Dad, Sis and I - and the kids) will help the next 10 days pass by fast and get her into the doctors office and get her surgery date set!!! Get her hips fixed and get her back to best self!! Hoping every Mommy out there can find a little peace and fun in their Mother's Day tomorrow! Praying my Mom can find a little in the day as well.  Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms out there...especially the best mom ever....mine!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Little Triggers....

Grief triggers...they can come out of nowhere.  It always amazes me how they can seemingly come from thin air and be all consuming immediately.  I am lucky that I don't have many things that bring these on for me, unlike Austin's mom who has to deal with the feelings everyday from seeing something as simple as a little boy with brown hair or an icee machine, but I had it happen the other night.  
Anna and I decided to have a little "date" and go see Annie Jr at the school up the street.  We had our popcorn and were all set in our seats, when I looked a few rows in front of us and there she was.  My number 1 grief trigger, a virtual stranger.  There is a woman who is about my age.  She was sitting with her daughter who is about Anna's age, maybe a little younger.  When I was pregnant with Connor she was pregnant.  Every Sunday we went to St. Dominic for mass and every Sunday she and her husband sat in the same pew, two sections over.  As my belly grew each week I watched hers grow.  For 7 months I went to mass every single Sunday, for seven months I watched her pregnancy progress along with mine.  Then one Sunday she wasn't there.  I figured she had gone into labor and I was secretly both loathing and excitedly anticipating the week she would return...and she did.  With her husband, her daughter and her two baby boys.  Twins.  I have to admit part of me had the "it's not fair, why does she get 2" thought passing through my head, but alas I knew that was silly.  As I went to mass for the next 3 weeks of my pregnancy I saw them come and go each week.  Blissfully happy and blissfully unaware of me sitting 2 sections over watching them each week.  
After I had Connor we decided to try and go back to Mass.  Sitting in the same pew I had sat and prayed in for the last 8 months somehow felt different.  Glancing over to see this family, this woman and her babies, while I sat with T.J. as we tried to heal our broken hearts, I decided that this wasn't where I needed to be anymore.  As much as the mass had helped me through my pregnancy it reminded me of too much to be a happy place anymore.
It has been 3 years since then.  This woman lives near me, knows people I know, seems to be many places I go and yet every time I see her I get this pang in my gut.  This reminder of what coulda, woulda, shoulda, might have been..... I wonder if she has ever noticed me.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

here it comes...

Connor' s birthday is in 2 days... 3 years ago tomorrow I was headed to the hospital. I had my baby's blanket, his clothes, his stuffed "bun bun" , yet my backseat had no infant seat. My home had a crib, but not meant for him. It was meant for "someone" who we hadn't even met and weren't sure we ever would. That night T.J. and I entered a floor in the hospital where happy things happened. Where screams turned into smiles and heartache was not "normal". After hours of waiting, things happened just as I had prayed. My labor and delivery were super fast in fact my doctor ran into the room to catch Connor. Tonight as T.J. opened up about how he has been feeling for the passed few weeks he told me something I never knew. He said that he can still see the look on my doctor's face when Connor was born. Like he had just had a life changing experience. this being the doctor I fought with and essentially told off to get the prenatal care my child and I deserved. This doctor who did not believe one ounce in carrying to term, but who had not only remained my doctor, but found out his daughter was pregnant with his first grandchild during my pregnancy. I haven't seen him since, but you can damn sure bet I email him every story I find of a child with a "fatal" birth defect who surpasses their life expectancy, or lack there of.
T.j. and I talked about Connor and the things we wish we could remember. The weight of his body, the smell of his head. I used to be able to press his blanket against my face so I could only breathe the air that once surrounded him, but his smell is gone. It is just air. Cold, stale air. Thank God for NILMDTS and our photographer. Sometimes I feel like I am forgetting and as dumb as it sounds, like i am not sad enough or I can't feel enough for Connor. Then I watch the video she made us and it all comes back.
Poor T.J. shares a birthday weekend with Connor. It is odd to think of what joy it should bring a parent to share that with their child. T.J.'s mom's birthday is the day after his...a happy day. His mom spent her birthday in the hospital with her baby boy and took him home to celebrate together for the rest of forever. T.J. spent his birthday in the hospital watching me eat cold sausage next to an empty bassinet waiting for the doctor to release us. He was forced to go get the car and stay at the pick up area where I arrived with empty arms and eyes full of tears where we went home and held Anna like we had never held her before. It seems for the last 3 years and probably from now until he is 90....birthdays suck more than they used to.
Here is to hoping and praying that each year the sting gets less or maybe more? sometimes the pain makes the memories seem more like a real life experience than some movie you watched a while back. I guess I will leave this one, as I have so many other things, up to God.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Happy 4th Birthday Super Wy

Well Wy, today you are 4~ Such a big boy ! You are so smart and funny and a joy to be around. You love to play outside in your rock piles and to swing and play pirates with Anna. You love blowing bubbles, being Darth vadar and Captain Hook and to drive your sister crazy! The two of you are the best of friends and the worst of enemies and back and forth within minutes, perfect siblings! You are almost done with your first year of preschool and you have done so well! Mommy almost didn't send you this year and you have gone above and beyond what I had hoped for you! You love all of your school friends and "Jenny Amarno" who you talk about constantly! I am so happy to see you succeed in a whole new little world that doesn't always include Mommy~
You love to talk and to sing and as Daddy says you are never "quiet wyatt"~ You love to talk about your favorite people and then look the other way when they are around to talk to you! You are still quite the dog lover and never leave Bubba alone! I am convinced he loves you just as much though because I have caught him snuggling up by you when you are sleeping. You still love your apple juice and would choose that over any food or drink I offer you! You love to eat "shashage" and any kinds of fruit and aren't too big on sweets....other than your "two mints" you get at Grandma's house.
You have become this little person now with your own wants and desires that you are so proud to share with others. You can go golfing with Daddy, play squinkies with Anna, run with the big boys and pat the babies heads. My favorite is when you snuggle up to Mommy only to decide you would rather watch your shows alone! You are very social, but will still let everyone know when you need some quiet time....usually by yelling "be quiet, I can't hear". Trying to teach you to always use your manners has been a bit harder than it was for your sister, but you are always sure to stop and rephrase yourself with an added please! You love playing with "Grew and Namalie" outside and with Ben at school. Your favorite friend is still your beloved "Syn" and boy as the two of you get older the more "bad news bears" you become! You are such a joy to be around and your eyes and smile can light up a room. I can't wait to see what 4 brings you and how much you will change this year! I love you sweet boy~ Happy Birthday.