Thursday, April 26, 2007

My Baby would be 5 today

5 years ago, just after Christmas I discovered that I was going to have my 3rd baby. The moment I found out I flopped into my bed with my husband and cried. We had really come to the conclusion that we weren't going to have any more children, 2 was a great number! DH had been out of work for a bit, and we had no idea when he would work again, so the timing wasn't great either. We held each other and talked and he reassured me that God would take care of us, and he was so excited that we were going to hold another of God's blessings in our arms very soon.
By the next morning I was so excited about our new baby I spent hours pouring over baby name books writing down all the names I loved. I kinda thought we might have a baby girl this time, and the girl names stood out to me way more than any boy names. I knew her middle name would be Dorothy. That is my middle name, I was named after both my Grandmothers.
The boys were estatic when we told them they were gonna be big brothers. They jumped up and down yelling! Ryley was so thrilled that he was finally a big brother too, and Braeden was convinced that he was going to get to be compensated for Ryley being a boy by finally having a little sister.
One of the coolest parts of being pregnant this time was that 2 of my sisters were pregnant already! Ang was due first, 6 weeks later Hayley was due, and then 6 weeks later I was due. I went up to visit everyone and we had a blast being preggo together. I was 16 weeks by then and I felt my baby's stirrings for the first time. I could talk to her and feel her move within me. Daddy and I would sing to her, Away in a Manger, just like we did with her brothers before her. Actually the boys loved to cuddle up with me and hug my little tummy and sing to her too.
My dh is very brave and drove back to Calgary with Me, Ang, and Hayley, and the 3 boys. One man and three pregnant women and 800 km of highway! Brave or a sucker for punishment, lol. After numerous bathroom stops and snack breaks we got back to Calgary where my sisters and I shopped for maternity clothes and let our bellies lead us around. We spent tons of time talking about how fun it would be for our babies to grow up together and taking photos of them all together, and maybe even dressing them alike, lol.
I bought some really nice maternity clothes for the first time, the styles are so much better than with my first two babies. I wore this really sexy new top to my birthday dinner. All we could talk about was our new baby, and what our life would be like when she came.
At just about 18 weeks I went for my regular ultrasound. The boys came in and saw their baby sibling. She put her hand up by her mouth and looked like she was waving at them. So exciting!It seemed to be taking a long time, and the tech had a very serious demeanor. I was a little concerned. When she spoke to the Dr. and he came to talk to me after my kids and dh left, I was very worried. He told me that my baby had cysts in her brain. Benign cysts that are actually quite common and mean nothing if they are found in the brain of someone who is already born. But when seen in an unborn infant they are a soft marker for a trisomy. Down syndrome is a trisomy, so that is where I went in my head. The doctor told me I would have to come back in a few weeks for another ultrasound where they would hopefully be able to see more, and referred us to a genetic counsellor. I knew already that I would not have the amnio, as I would not risk the baby's life that way. I would have the baby no matter what could possibly be wrong with it. And the acual probability of there being an issue was smaller than the likelihood of amnio induced miscarriage.
I cried to think that my baby may suffer in any way. Balled and mourned. And then I went to the library to research. I read every medical journal article I could find on these cysts and anything remotely related to trisomies as well. What I read was reassuring as well as hard. The probability of something being wrong was very small, but if there was a trisomy it looked like it would not be down syndrome. It would be one of the other 2 most common trisomies, both of which were fatal either before or not long after birth. I really did not want to accept that. I took books out of the library on raising a child with Down Syndrome, educated myself on what to expect and what resources I would need to pull from. I kept pushing the thought that this baby would die out of my head. For me that was an unacceptable outcome.
I went back to my doctor for a checkup at just over 20 weeks. She was having a hard time finding the fetal heartbeat, but I wasn't worried as it had happened before. Then she said, "Oh do you hear that little echo in the background, I think that is it." She finished the checkup and said goodbye. Later that day the nurse called to tell me they had scheduled my second ultrasound. I had to go the next day, I told her that was not convenient, but she insisted saying the doc thought it was urgent. Weird, I thought.
This ultrasound was taking a very long time. The tech was consulting with the doctor the whole time. I am thinking, okay, they are seeing trisomy markers and want to be sure before they talk to me. Finally they asked me if there was anyone with me who could come in with me. I said my dh was there, but he had my kids. They brought him in alone. Then they told me that my baby had died. They had no reason, but she was dead just the same.
Stunned.
Slapped across the face with my nightmare of losing a child.

I apologize I have to finish this later. to much to write it all at once.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Close call

This morning my husband was telling me about an accident at a job site he has worked on quite often. 2 men were killed when a large something fell on them and crushed them. There are just no words to describe how horrific that is and how close to home it hits. There have been awful, huge tragedies in the news, especially this week, and all I can think about are the families left behind. Thinking about this work site accident really brings home how easily it could happen to us, and really puts the survivors in my heart. I can't imagine that sort of grief. I am so thankful to have my family whole and healthy. All I can think to do for these families is pray, pray and sob for their pain. And selfishly and thankfully pull my family tightly to me and hold them close.

Tonight while driving I came very close to hitting someone and that was just another reminder of the fleeting nature of life. I was at a stoplight waiting to turn left, there was no other traffic when I stopped. I looked down at my phone thinking I should call my son to let him know I would be home soon. I looked up again as the light changed and didn't even notice that someone was opposite me in the intersection so I started to turn. He was going straight through. We both slammed on the brakes and missed by a foot. Scared the crap out of us both I think, I felt terrible it was totally my fault. I was just distracted. Now I realize that I wouldn't have been hurt most likely but it was scary just the same. I hate the thought of me running out to do an errand and not coming right back home to my kids.

Gonna go kiss everyone and tuck them tight in their beds.

Monday, April 23, 2007

OverExposed










The journaling says: I know this photo is over-exposed. But it spoke to me for exactly that reason. That is exactly how I feel a lot of the time. I wear my heart on my sleeve as people say. My emotions are plainly written on my face for anyone to read. You can see them in my blush, or the tears in my eye. Sometimes it is just a glimpse as I look up at you with eyes wide. I tilt my head or bite my lip, look down or smile wide so you can see all my teeth. Sometimes I laugh so big I choke on it, so you will want to laugh too. Very often it is simply a look you catch in my eye, but the feelings are plain just the same. I wouldn’t close myself off if I could, I love that I give myself to those around me. And not everyone who looks at me will see all that I hold inside, not everyone will take the time to look. But those who do can read it all like words on a page and that sometimes leaves me feeling Over exposed.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Monkey and Mommy

My little monkey boy is the sweetest. He is the most cuddly child I have ever met, and that is saying a lot in my little family. He especially loves skin to skin cuddles still, but really who doesn't!
Today when I went in to wake his dad for night shift, we were cuddled up in bed and Juju came to cuddle too. He crawls in between us and talks to us for a while, and I was telling Daddy how much Juju likes eyebrows, lol. He is completely infatuated with eyebrows! He was worried for a while that he didn't have any, his are blond-most of us in the family have noticeable brown eyebrows;) Anyway he was talking about them again and I told him that his were gonna be just like his daddy's when he grew up (they are exactly the same shape). He said no, not like daddy. He wanted to be like me when he grows up, exactly like me. My heart just melted, how totally sweet, and what a huge responsibility.
I have been having an issue with him and bedtime lately, I put him in bed and within minutes he gets out of his bed and crawls into mine. Even if he has a sleepover with the 9 year old, he still gets up and goes to my bed. I don't know if this is too big a deal or not. He must be comforted by sleeping there I guess. He is still going right to sleep, I move him when I come to bed, so it really isn't disrupting anything. And since he goes right to sleep, I hate to trade that to fight with him to sleep in his own bed. Every morning around 6:30 he is back for his morning cuddle, lol, man I will miss that when he is 'too big' to want that. Some days we would have all four of them cuddled up with us in the morning, it is a little crowded now, but fun for a few minutes. The only problem being that I only have two sides and 4 kids want to be there!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Friday Night's alright...

Well not a lot happening on the spring cleaning front yet, I am easily distracted:0)
I am now officially addicted to facebook.com! I went in to check mine for a second today, send a message or two and found some old friends. And some of my newer ones too. I passed hours leaving posts on people's walls, checking out photos, catching up on their lives, so awesome! Awesome except for the hours thing, lol. I was working on new site art at the same time, but I was supposed to be working on my house, oops.
Went to Costco to go shopping this afternoon and dh was supposed to meet me there. I took the kids in, of course the first stop was the bathroom where the little monkey boy proceeded to pee on his pants and shirt. He was very upset. His big brothers were wandering around or getting in the way of my cart or other people's carts. They kept saying, "Mom, Mom, Mom." I was getting frazzled and we hadn't even started shopping yet. I took them back out to the van. LOL When dh got there he convinced me to go back in and get them some supper. Well he had to look at 'just one thing' and we ended up getting a cart full of stuff before we made it to the hot dog place. It was good though, we needed stuff and it was much easier with him there.
Tonight I took my eldest to a city-wide youth rally at our church. When I pulled into the parking lot to pick him up I felt very nostalgic. Watching all the kids coming out, it doesn't seem that long ago that I was the student going to youth group. We had amazing times, socializing, singing and experiencing God in such a real way. Those times held me fast during a lot of hard teenage stuff, and I pray the same for my children. I watch my Boy growing up and becoming a young man, and I can see the rough waters he may have to navigate. I pray God will hold fast to him, and that he will cling to God too, walking with Him for all his days.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

avoidance

I am supposed to be tidying up and especially folding laundry. My littlest 3 are all occupied at the kitchen table playing with playdoh. I so do not want to see the mess they are making, lol. I have so much to do in my house it is overwhelming just to think about. I need to muck out and clean every room, top to bottom. We need less stuff. So much stuff it makes me anxious. Toys and clothes that no one is using. Paper overtaking my life. Even my computer has become cluttered with unzipped scrap kits, unorganized links, music that no one listen's , stuff everywhere. Not sure what happened, I love order, but I have gotten so 'busy' I guess that I feel things have got away from me.
I am going to go through each room and fill boxes to give away, take them directly to my van, and when it is full I will drive directly to the Salvation army. I will not stop until I can manage my house again. Until I have clear counters and shelves. Til there are no toys without a home and hands that play with them regularly. Til the only clothes in my laundry are ones that are worn at least a few times a month if not every week. I will even be extremely brutal and get rid of some books. ACK!! Like tearing off limbs for me. But if we are not going to read them again, or they do not have sentimental value (usually those 2 go hand in hand) I will give them new homes. Well I may keep a few exceptionally pretty ones, lol, but that is it. Curriculum and paper, out of here.
Okay, I am gonna start right now, before I lose my inspiration. Come and visit in a month and see my newly organized and sparse home! Wish me luck.

ps. Ya know how I said I didn't want to see the mess they had made with playdoh. I was so right. Monkey boy peed in a playdoh cup. Then it was spilled onto the table onto the playdoh. ug.
slight detour in my evening.:0)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My own little storm.

Life with kids is always a bit of a rollercoaster. I took Monkey boy (age 3) to the grocery store with me today. On the way I realized how many conveniences there are for parent's driving alone with small children. I had to take back a movie, and was thankful for the convenient drop box, so I could park, take two steps from the car and place my movie in the slot. Didn't have to take my toddler out of the car. Then I realized I needed some cash, so I drove to the bank right through the drive-thru cash machine! I was so grateful! I did not have to unbuckle my little boy, take him inside, try to keep him from taking off while I went to the machine or stood at the teller. I did not have to yell, "no" in my mom voice as he played with the automatic doors, apologize to strangers he terrorized by running and yelling, or make a last minute save when he knocked some memento off someone's desk! I love technology!
So we got to the grocery store, I love taking him to shop because he is so excited by all the things there are to see. He especially loves to walk through the giant produce section and pick out new fruit and veg to try. He exclaims over everything, asking what it is called. I love to watch him and interact with him this way.
Everything is going well, I don't have a loonie to get a cart, so we walk hand in hand to go get some change. He is happy and chattering, I am blissfully ignorant of what the next ten minutes hold. We get back to the buggy corral, put in my dollar, get my cart and he announces that he wants to ride on the back of the cart. I ,of course, tell him this is unsafe and he may sit in the front to chat with me, or walk beside me. Well, complete and utter meltdown. Screaming at the top of his lungs. Of course people are looking at us like I am abducting him or beating him or something, lol. But after being a parent for 12+ years and having 4 energetic kids, I am used to these disapproving looks. I calmly give him his choices again, ride in front, walk with me, or we go home now. Everything I say is met with screams of, "NO!!" So I wait a minute or two, I really want to get this shopping done as I have been putting it off and I have the opportunity to only take one child. I give him his choices again-"NO!" So, amazing myself with my calm and steady demeanor, I put back the cart, gather my child in my arms and walk back to the van. It takes almost 10 minutes of wrestling him back into his seat to get him safely buckled, by this point, nosy strangers are taking out their cell phones to call social services I am sure, lol.
I take him home, he screams the entire way, put him in the house and go upstairs to tell his father that I was going back to the store alone. When I came back down, my little guy was fast asleep, lying on his tummy on the floor, 2 steps inside the house. Poor little thing. I guess he needed a nap, lol!
I have to say it was pure bliss to go back to the store alone, browse as I wanted, get what I needed and drive home with my music blaring. completely alone. ahhhh.
Seriously, why did I wait so long to get my driver's?? why, why, why?
Yesterday after lunch I decided the monkeys really needed a bath. I started the tub, got The Boy to take the little ones upstairs and I was gathering towels etc. Well baby girl decided that Bear needed a bath too. Into the tub he went, then she decided he was clean and proceeded to drag his sopping wet and dripping little self all over the upstairs. Very wet. I got them in the tub, and it wasn't very long til we were all soaking wet. I don't know how two such small children can create such a huge hurricane with only a couple of inches of water, but they manage. Once I got them out and dry and in bed, I needed a shower and dry clothes.
My girlfriend's hubby (she has five kids, 12 yr old dd, and 4 boys the youngest being 3) is working nights this week too, so last night we all went to the park after dinner and then when we had some bathroom issues (you so don't want to know;( )we continued the visit here, it was an awesome way to spend an evening. After the babies went to bed, the big boys wanted to play bible trivia with me. The completely kicked my but, utterly and completely. Must be all those Odyssey stories they listen to. It was really cool to find out how much they have learned though. The nine year old won, to no one's greater surprise than him, lol. He was so impressed that he beat his big, 'smart' brother. They are both brilliant, the older one has always amazed us with his trivia brain, but obviously little brother is just as capable.
Tonight we all went to the Servus Centre to swim, everyone had a blast, even baby girl loved the water slides. So glad we got passes there, and we could take our friends. Everyone came home good and tired, so that was a bonus. When I put Baby Girl to bed, she wanted to pray too, she said, "Jesus, men men (amen), and ummhmm, " a few times, lol. Then she wanted to sing Jesus, and she actually sang along with me singing Jesus Loves Me. Totally adorable! Then she kissed me and said, "love." aww my heart was melting.
When I put the little Monkey Boy to bed, he said a huge prayer, "Thank you Jesus swim wif Kevin, thank you my puzzle my friend make (our friends made him a puzzle and door hanger and things for a bday present and gave them to him tonight), thank you blond boy sleepover (he slept in the bottom bunk in big brother's room, his brother was so sweet to invite him:)), thank you my friends, thanks Jesus rain, thank...." on and on, it is so sweet to listen to him pour out his little heart. So thankful for my family, wow I am so blessed. Thank you God.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Easter Chocolate

I am starting to get in a routine of getting out and getting some fresh air and exercise, finally. It has been so nice out that the fresh air just calls to me. So tonight I once again loaded up the babies (well toddler and pre-schooler) in the chariot, got the big guys on their bikes and went for a run. We run/bike to the ymca playground and the kids get to get out and play for a while and then we head back. Takes about 20 minutes each way so it is a nice jaunt, and the kids get some fun in the bargain. Actually the babies really think it is fun when I run and push them, they keep laughing and screaming for me to go faster. At this point I am running a block walking a block, so they are always yelling for me to run again. Shouldn't be too long til I can run the whole way again, been a long inactive winter.
Anyway, what do I do when I get back home? I eat a chocolate Easter egg. argh. I didn't even think about it. just ate it right up. Of course it is probably better that I ran and ate the chocolate, rather than just eat the chocolate.:p
I am getting impatient with my unfit, chubby body-so ready to make the changes I need to get fit and hopefully lean. I am off to a good start I think, even if my weight is stuck again. With regular and increasing exercise I should start losing again right away. Just have to make sure I watch how many chocolate Easter eggs I am consuming.;)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Ah.. 32

It was my birthday yesterday I kept meaning to get on here and blog, but what can I say, I am a terrible blogger:) I am 32! Where did all the time go? Until the last year of 2 I kept thinking of myself as young, too young. Becoming a mother at 19 sometimes made me self-conscious of how young I really was, not very PC to be such a young mother. These days I mostly think of myself as a grownup, lol. And for the most part people have stopped questioning the fact that I am a mom of 4 kids, I must look more grown up too. My oldest child is 12, I just can't believe that he is not a toddler running around the house anymore! Anyway, can you tell I am a bit morose about the 32 thing? ;) 30 didn't really bother me, but this year went too quickly and I feel a bit sad at leaving 31 behind. So unlike me, I love birthdays, especially mine!
It was a nice day though, spent it with my kids. Got to see my Dad as he was on his way home from work yesterday. My 3 boys made me a birthday cake from scratch! yum! Boy were they proud of themselves, but critical of their cake-a bunch of cocoa flew out of the mixer when they turned it on and they noticed the taste difference when they tasted it. I thought it was divine, a multitude of indiscretions can be covered up with some yummy frosting! The best part is that they cleaned up all the mess, what good boys! They were so excited to give me my card and flowers, my 3 year old even wrote his name in my card-I almost cried to see that.
The one downer was that Brent had to work night shift so he didn't get to spend the evening with us. He did take me out on Tuesday and we had an amazing time just the two of us. He told me that he is taking me to Faith Hill and Tim McGraw for my bday, so that should be amazing. I am not a country music fan, but love the 2 of them.
Easter weekend was wonderful. We went to Grande Prairie to visit my family and stayed with my sister Hayley and her family in their brand new house. I had amazing visits with all my sisters and my mom, so great to just hang out with them. I felt bad for Hayley though, she spent the entire weekend in the kitchen cooking-she is great at it, but what a lot of work. For Easter dinner she made ham and turkey and jig's dinner (for her dh's newfie family)!
My mom and other sis also had us all to dinner which was fab, and then all us girls went there again for martinis and nachos and scrabble!
Hayley prepared everything for all the kids to decorate Easter eggs on Saturday and they were so proud of their creations. Easter morning was so fun watching the 3 big cousins helping the 3 little ones find Easter eggs. My baby girl was only interested in her new babies though, but she managed to steal plenty of chocolate later in the day. All in all it was a terrific weekend and I really enjoyed gabbing with my sisters and cuddling my nieces and nephew, for the few seconds they would allow me;)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

What a Day!!!

It has been an amazing day!
I went for my road test to get my driver's license this morning. I PASSED!!! I have been learning to drive off and on (mostly off) for almost 16 years, but I had allowed fear and inconvenience to prevent me from actually getting my license. I am so excited that I finally overcame my fear and did it! I feel so free and unburdened. I spent the whole day driving around, trying out my wings. Went for coffee by myself, went window shopping, got lost and found. I am so proud of myself and I can't wait to scale the next hurdle, overcome the next fear.
My 2 oldest boys had a great day too, they got their first tip towards their first stripe in Tae Kwon Do! And because of that they got to pick up their uniforms too! They are completely psyched and absolutely can't wait for each next lesson-so great to see the excitement on their faces.
One other excitement in our household, DH found a good contract today, we are so thankful that God is blessing our family with the ability to be financially healthy as well. Having our own business can be scary at times especially when things are lean, but we just have to remember to rest in God to provide for us. He always does.
I think I am gonna go for another drive!

Monday, April 02, 2007

April Fools!

As of yesterday the minor hockey season is officially over! Braeden had one last tournament, and now we are done. The tourney started off well with a decided win, then tapered off with back to back losses. Many of the kids were away for visit your non-custodial parent week (spring break), so the few we had worked hard and were exhausted. My son seemed to thrive on the ice time though, played his best games of the season. Yesterday morning, early in the morning, lol, they played their last game. My boy came home with the most dejected face, he just moped on the couch for an hour. Daddy said that he played amazing, but it just wasn't enough.
I felt so badly for him, sat beside him on the couch for a bit just hugging him. After a bit I went to get some stuff done and my cell starts to ring. So I run upstairs to get it and it is just dh. So I am a little annoyed because I asked him if it was him calling and he said no-before I ran up 3 flights of stairs. It rings again and I look at it more closely, there is a photo on my screen. It is my son, with a big grin on his face, holding a trophy cup and a gold medal! I scream out, "What the Heck?!" and run down the stairs crying as the boys all get a good laugh at mama. "April Fools!!!" Man they got me good. I gave my boy a big hug and he tells me that not only did they win, but that he scored 2 of their 4 goals. 2 GOALS! My boy who only scored 2 goals all season, scored 2 in one game! He had 2 breakaways, scored on one and got the rebound on the other and scored! So exciting. Daddy said that he played amazing, did everything he has learned and played with more effort and heart than ever before! Needless to say I was quite proud.
Both big boys started Tae Kwon Do 2 weeks ago, they absolutely love it. I think the lessons they will learn will be so important in their lives, respect, self-discipline, kindness, physical awareness, goal setting, many many great things. They are really putting in a great effort, so I am very pleased and can't wait to see where this takes them.