Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Love can't wait

I have known Nicole my entire life.
We went to school together from kindergarten to college.
We babysat together, we laid out in 65 degree weather together, we sang John Denver and danced to baby got back together.
She is one of my oldest and dearest friends. I say all of this because I am proud of our relationship. I am proud to be her friend.
 When she met her other half and fell in love I was so happy for her. Not every person finds their soulmate. Not every person is lucky enough to find true love. Nicole found this. I was honored to be present at their wedding. I have been able to watch them welcome a son, suffer a devastating loss and welcome another son- all as a family. They are the most compassionate and caring family you could ever hope to meet. But, because of laws that are outdated they have had to fight for simple liberties other couples are given. 
I do not consider myself a political person. If I had to choose a "party" I would probably fall more on the conservative side. But, when it comes to love I fall on the side of family. 

This family has two incredible little boys with two loving parents. But, because this family has a mommy and a mama, they have spent months fighting for equality. They have spent countless hours working towards what most of us take for granted.

This family had to fight to have both names on a birth certificate and when the day comes to be listed as a spouse on a death certificate. They shouldn't have to travel across the country to be married or to finalize an adoption for children who have only ever been both of their sons. Today is a big day in this fight. Their family is in Washington D.C. And their case is being heard by the Supreme Court. Hoping that this case can be the case that ends inequality. That this can be the case that our children look back on and thank God they don't have to worry about such archaic ideas. That this family's example of love can show us all that just as love does not see color, love does does not see gender either. 
Love is Love.
 A family is a family. 
Love can't wait.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Missing bubba

As the days have passed the shock is wearing off and the sadness of life without bubba is beginning to set in. Anna has had a rough day and is trying to figure out how to handle the feelings she is having. One benefit of having loss be a part of our lives is even if I can't understand it, I have a way of explaining it. I told her it will get better. That some day she may want to look at pictures and and she might want her stuffed animals that look like bubba but, for today we won't look at them. Wyatt has been doing a little better - asking his usual 20 questions. Like is bubba wearing a dress? Does God play with the dogs? And how do we know our dog in Heaven if their body is in the ground and their soul is in Heaven? Yesterday he ate his cereal and put the bowl on the ground as he has everyday before that- he looked at me and said why did I do that? I told him because that is what you know, you always have bubba your milk. It is hard to get used to life without bubba. So many questions that I hope I have answered okay. 
As we walked back from McMullen's tonight it was a sad feeling. We are used to that little wagging tail and that long howl greeting us as we walk across the street. As we lie in bed there is a space where bubba should be. Sleeping without the weight of his sprawled out body keeping us warm and the licks of bedtime kisses seems surreal. Every night he would climb up on tj and give him a hug. He did that the night that he died. I am so glad tj got that last hug from him. 
So I guess for now each time we pull in the driveway or the mailman comes we will think of him. When we open the door and put our leg up so he won't run out, when we see a blanket on the couch or the sun come through the window. Just like I told anna for now these things will make us sad, but hopefully someday they will make us happy again. We miss you sweet boy- there will never be another dog like you.  #bestdogever

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Bubba Doo

Utter disbelief.
I cannot believe that Bubba is gone. He was absolutely fine all day- barking and playing. Eating and drinking. Then in the middle of the night he got sick. Then he seemed okay. A few hours later I heard a sound and went to check on him- I knew he wasn't Okay. I called for tj- told him bubba was bad and had to go to the vet. But within minutes he was peacefully gone. It didn't seem to suffer at all thankfully. I still can't believe our Bubba is gone.  

For the last 12 years he has been the most ornery, scrappy and amazing dog.
I often joked that TJ and Wy loved him more than they loved the rest of us because bubba always got their first and last kisses.
Bubba was a happy dog.
Always greeting everyone with a bubba smile and what we swear sounded like a bubba hello. 
He sat in the window on top of the couch and howled at passers by.
He ate whatever food he could reach from your plate and even after being yelled at always went back for more.
He put up with Wyatt's constant touching and playing with his face, which I am sure got him on the fast track to Heaven.
He was always willing to snuggle and never hesitated to steal your blankets.
He was in the middle of everything with his tail wagging along.
He was my everyday companion for days of our lives. He has been through every good day and bad day with us.
He has been a part of our family before we were even a family . It broke my heart to watch TJ carry him out tonight. A man broken by his grief. Bubba was not just a dog- he was our family.
He was cherished each day on this Earth and he will be forever missed and remembered.
Please keep us in your prayers- especially the kids. They have dealt with so much loss with Meechie and now with Bubba. I don't even know how to begin to help them with this. They both woke up about 3:00 a.m. They are heartbroken. Anna keeps saying she wants him back. I wish I could make this better, but I can't.
I do know we need all of the prayers we can get. For strength, peace and happy memories of the #bestdogever 

Monday, April 13, 2015

God knows...

Six years ago tonight, we packed and headed to the hospital. It was the first time I had ever been away from Anna and we had no idea what the coming hours would bring. As we arrived in labor and delivery I seemed like every other woman there, but I was nothing like them.
I knew my child would not survive. I knew the kicks I was feeling as they hooked me up to the machines were some of the last moments of his life. I had heard of babies living for hours or months, but I didn't expect that for our son. When I prayed as I labored, I prayed that God would only give us what we could handle. That if He thought we could watch our son die then we wanted him born alive. If He knew us, as we know  He knows his children, and He knew we could not handle that, then let him be born to Heaven. I chose not to have the monitors on to hear his heartbeat as my labor progressed further. I knew it wouldn't help me to know he was in distress. I remember feeling a few kicks in the morning and after my labor started not feeling them anymore. I wasn't sure of his fate, but when he was born I wasn't surprised. TJ and I were in awe of him as he was born. So perfect in every way, except for the defect that took his life.
We knew what could happen, we knew how this would end. When he was born we could see the Nurse looking so hard for a heartbeat- searching for a breath- waiting for a cry.
But, that was not his story, that was not His plan. We cannot explain it as anything other than the peace that passes understanding that got us through that day.
We had family with us and couldn't have asked for more. As I reflect now on this day six years ago I am even more amazed by this perfect healthy baby sleeping beside me. I am so thankful for the ease with which Connor came into this world, for his timing and quickness.
The entire time we waited for Sam to come and through hours of pushing I just thanked God that Connor's was an easy labor and delivery. That he was born at a time of day when everyone could be there to hold him. It was a day we will forever hold in our hearts.
It was the one day on Earth we were able to hold our son in our arms. So many things about his life have made me who I am today. Carrying him was one of the hardest and most rewarding things I have ever done. I can honestly say I do not regret one second of my time with him and I am grateful for the gift of his life.
As we celebrate him tomorrow I thank God for the strength He gave me to give Connor every minute of life that I could. Happy 6th Birthday Connor Thonas.  

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Challenge from Anna

When Anna was in Cincinnati Children's hospital one of the things that made her smile was the Child Life volunteers. They came to her side while she was getting her IV, when she had trouble taking her medicine and to check on her. Her favorite thing was going to the child life room and playing and doing crafts. Before she was allowed in the room they brought games to her room. When we got home she decided she wanted to buy games for the hospital. When we played clue there were cards missing and she decided we could help replace those games. So she is challenging all of those who have followed her story to buy a game for Children's Hospital. We will collect all of the games and she will make the delivery. She was so thankful for the care she received and the fun she had in child life that she wants to give back. Her goal is 100 games. Please help her to reach this by sending a new game our way to donate. If you would like to ship it directly to us that is great or we can pick them up from you! If you have any questions you can contact me at Sarah.caito@gmail.com
Grandma and papa helped us start the collection- you are next! 
And if you don't know about her stay at the hospital here is her story- 


Thank you in advance for all support prayers and love! 

***** update- 4-21-15********
The outpouring of support has been amazing! We have received 94 games as of today! Anna is still working hard and collecting! We will continue to collect donations through May 15. When I spoke with Jane at CCHMC she said they are always in need of I Tunes gift cards for apps on the iPad's as well, so we are adding those to the list of things to collect. With the okay from the donor of a cash donation we now have 9 gift cards added to our 94 games! Anna is so excited and appreciative of each person who has helped her with her challenge. We live in a pretty great community! 

***********update 5-15-15************
The outpouring of support has been incredible!!! Anna and her challenge have taken over our dining room!
After a tear jerking donation from Papa's friend of 50 games we are over 200 games to donate! This doesn't even include all of the toys, puzzles and art sets we have received as well!
She has also collected $250 in iTunes gift cards! We have spoken to Jane at Cincinnati Children's and we are loading up Papa's truck next Wednesday May 20 for our delivery. Anna is so excited to drop them off. 
Thank you again for helping her not only reach, but double her goal!! 
I will update with more pictures after our delivery!! 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Super Wy is 7

It's hard to believe Wy turned 7 on Saturday. It seems like yesterday that he was the big eyed baby toddling through our house. Now he is big and strong and a beautiful little boy inside and out.
He has grown up so much this year. Not only in size, but as a person. He is smart and funny, outgoing and ornery. He is the first to offer his help and always proud of his accomplishments. He is the best brother any girl could ask for. He is patient with Anna and will do anything to make her happy. This includes playing "american dolls" and crazy 8's to her heart's content.
He is amazing with Sam. He holds her, wipes her spit, smiles and talks to her.
He never hesitates to console her when she cries or help me when I ask. He really loves his sisters and you can see that they feel the same way about him. 
It has been a hard year for Wy with a lot of changes. He started school all day, Meechie came and then left, Sammi was born and then Anna was in the hospital. He has tried his hardest to cope with each of these things and we have tried our best to help him.
We are still learning how to be the best mom and dad we can be for him. He makes us better people. 
He has really enjoyed first grade and is doing wonderful now that he has the help he needs.

His support team is looking out for him and making sure he succeeds. He loves Art class and recess and has made a lot of new friends. At home he loves to laugh and play, drink apple juice and to "read" his bible.
He asks about Heaven and Emma and Connor often. He loves to talk! He always tells you "what's in his head" and he will ask 100 questions from our house to school always starting with "what If I was...".  He knows lyrics to all of his favorite songs and can sing Eric Church with daddy.
He likes Star Wars and metal cars the best. He still doesn't like to be alone and will always make an effort to be near someone.
He is such a compassionate kid. We are so very blessed to be his mom and dad. Looking forward to seeing who this guy grows up to be.
 Happy birthday best buddy- we love you super wy. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Belly Mommy-

I know you think of him
his gorgeous eyes
his soft skin
the smell of him
I know you remember 
how he felt in your arms
the weight of his body
the warmth of his touch
You carried him for 9 months
you gave your body up
you chose his life
You were not selfish 
When it came to him
With every bad choice 
You may have made
I will always see the good 
I do not know you
I have never met you
But I remain forever 
You brought him into this world
You gave him life
I know you are thinking of him 
So I pray for you
Wherever you might be
I pray for peace
I pray you always know
That he is loved 
That he is cherished 
That he is home
I know your heart aches 
As you relive the moments
Waiting for him to arrive 
I know you think of him daily 
And especially on his birthday
I pray you know 
That he is safe 
That he is happy 
That he is right where he belongs
And that you have blessed us
Beyond compare