Saturday, January 14, 2017

Dear Gabriel

Dear Gabriel,
Today I should be holding you in my arms.

Well, logically I know you'd have been born before today. Since your brother Tyler was an almost failed induction (and a three month recovery from the "success") and your brother AJ was born via C-Section, we were going to schedule your birth. But still, by today you would have been here with all of us.  And you're not, which makes Mommy very sad today.

My little boy.  In the months since you had to leave us, I've thought of you every day.  I've watched other mommies as their time came near and now I've watched as they brought their sweet babies into the world. I'm so happy for them, but it's a sad reminder that you and I will never share that moment.

I am so grateful for the time we had together. You were such a surprise to me, I really wasn't expecting for you to come into my life when you did.  You were a gift for me, the day before Mother's Day. It seemed meant to be!  For the first time, I got to surprise our family with the news that you were coming.  Daddy laughed, Gaga screamed, and Aunt G cried!  Your big brother helped me make little owl crafts--one from Tyler, one from AJ, and one from you.  We gave them to your Gaga for Mother's Day to tell her about you.

I carried you for just 11 and a half weeks. That doesn't seem so long, and it seems unfair that it was your entire lifetime.  I'm so sorry for that.  I feel as though I failed you, that my body failed us both.  I wish I could have done more to keep you here.

You were strong, my Gabe.  Everyone said so.  When your life was threatened at 8 weeks, everyone said you were strong to still be with us then.  And I'm so glad I got to see you.  Four times I got to see you on the screen, watch your little heart beating--so fast! Your Daddy and I got to see you wave your arms and even nodd your head!  It was a special moment, and one I cherish, so thank you for that.  I know in the end, it was just too much.

We miss you, Gabe. Mommy misses you. Daddy and Gaga and Tyler and AJ and Aunt Chall and Aunt G, we all miss you. People knew about you. I tried to make sure of that.  You were loved, you will always be loved.

Thank you for coming into my life, however briefly. I will always remember you and love you. As the boys grow older, I'll remind them that they had another brother.  They will know you.  I'll show them the little purple box (sorry, I didn't know you were a boy when I bought it and you know I love purple) and it's contents. They'll know of you as I know of your Aunt Nicky.

Watch over us with her and Butterfly, will you?

Love you always, to the moon and back.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Ready for 2017!

After my last post the whole house got sick!  BOO! But we got everything done and the kids had an amazing Christmas. It was quiet and simple and great.  

Obviously 2016 was not all I'd hoped it would be. On the bright side, I'd like to think I'm stronger for it. And hopefully good things await in 2017!

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?  I made my first strides toward becoming a published author

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I didn't make resolutions really. We did finish working on the house and Kelly and I sent the book out. 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No one super close to me.

4. Did anyone close to you die? I lost my unborn son, Gabriel in June.

5. What countries did you visit? I didn't get to travel at all this year.

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you didn’t have in 2016? I would like to be able to buy a bigger house that suits my growing family better! (same answer as the last three years). I'd also love it if the book was published

7. What dates from 2016 will be etched upon your memory, and why? May 7th (found out we were pregnant) and June 28 (found out he was gone)

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year? The house and the book.

9. What was your biggest failure?  Just didn't make the strides I'd hoped for.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?  Miscarriage and D&C

11. What was the best thing you bought? Didn't have the funds for much this year. I guess it was a good investment to work on the house. Hopefully, anyway.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? I give us all major props on surviving this year.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Ugh, Donald Trump.

14. Where did most of your money go? Bills and the house

15. What did you get really excited about? Actually getting to house hunt was fun.

16. What song will always remind you of 2016? Beam Me Up by Pink

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer? This year was a downer, honestly. So sadder, fatter (I need to delete this question), and poorer. But hey, it can only go up, I hope.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Finding ways to be positive

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Stressing out

20. How did you spend Christmas? We hung out at home. Angie's b/f came over, we did gifts and breakfast and just relaxed all day watching the kids enjoy their gifts and letting Tyler ride his bike outside since it wasn't to cold.

21. Did you fall in love in 2015? More and more every day with my husband and kids

22. What was your favorite TV program? Big Bang Theory, Dancing with the Stars, and The Little Couple

 23. What was the best book you read? The Martian

24. What was your greatest musical discovery? My loss playlist. It brought me great comfort.

25. What did you want and get? To finish the house and book

26. What did you want and not get? A promotion, publication, and a new house!

27. What was your favorite film of 2016? The Martian

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 34.  I actually had the day off. I don't remember doing anything much, but it was nice and low key and I DIDN'T HAVE TO WORK!

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? If there hadn't been quite so much to overcome.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2016 ? I'm still loving leggings and boots, especially my Candian boots and the new brown ones my mom got me. And I got a pair of "jogger" sweats yesterday and I think they might be my new lounge go-to.

31. What kept you sane? My hubby, my kids, my mom, my sisters, my family, my friends, and my coworkers! Talking and writing and laughing and music!

32. What political issue stirred you the most? Donald Trump is really going to be president.

33. Who did you miss? My sister, my grandparents and my great aunt and my little Gabriel.

 34. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.  What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

 35. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. "I hear your voice and I break in two and now there's one of me with you." Pink "Beam Me Up"

Monday, December 12, 2016

All about Christmas!

I'm so predictable. I nearly vanish in November and December every year. I suppose it's a busy time for everyone. My job is EXTREMELY busy around this time of year, and this year is, if anything, more so! I'll be covering for the maternity leave for a coworker (well, a coworker from Birmingham) who is the go-to for all things for my group. Side note: It's a little hard to swallow, as we were literally due the same week. Anyway, I'm fielding lots of questions on invoicing and year end stuff. It's interesting and different, but can make getting my normal work done a little challenging.

So yeah, busy. I need to finish my Christmas shopping too. This weekend we took the kids to see Santa. We went to the mall this year. The last two years we attended an event at Tyler's school, but they didn't have it this year. The kids did great and were super excited--a change from last year when AJ was afraid of Santa.

Waiting in line! Blurry because they couldn't stand still from excitement!

They've been (pretty) good this year! AJ looks so deceptively innocent here.
We continued the Christmas preparation weekend by putting up the Christmas Tree.  I remembered that I planned to do a blog post about a few special Christmas ornaments, so I snapped a few photos after we'd finished.
Oh Christmas Tree!

Turtles!  Tyler's friend made him these!

Can you see tiny little me? Circa 1989

This used to be a rocking horse, until our sheepdog Shasta knocked over the tree one year and gnawed off a leg and the rockers.

Last year's obligatory Christmas Craft!

Tyler's first ornament! He loved that toy!

AJ's first ornament, complete with his footprint!

The ornament I bought the first year Adam and I were together 2002.

My first ornament! 1982

Our nativity scene--we put it down low where the kids can play with it.

We usually hang the stockings on bookshelves (no fireplace), but we put the shelves away this year, so command hooks it is!
Busy weekend and now it's the week again!  Any guesses on if you'll get another blog post before my New Years Post???

Thursday, November 3, 2016

It's fall...right?

It sure doesn't feel like November!!  It's been in the 70's here lately!  The kids enjoyed trick or treating without the usual worries about layering under their costumes!  In fact, I wore a light jacket and wound up SWEATING!

Ready to go!

Check out their tails!

Bucket ready!

AJ was totally into it this year

Tyler's head got a little crooked here

AJ kept tripping, I think he fell 3 times!

Aren't they so cute??  AJ wore last year's rejected costume (last year he was terrified and refused to go out, this year he's been obsessed with it for weeks)--Marshall from Paw Patrol. Unfortunately, a year went buy and I couldn't find his hat, so several people confused him for a cow.  Tyler was Yoshi from Mario.

 What else is new? Work is getting ready to get super busy. We took the house off the market--did I mention we'd listed?  Well, we did, for a month or two. We didn't get too much activity. A few people didn't like that the interstate runs behind our house (even though there is a sound barrier wall and the yard is huge). One couple was very interested, but after dragging their feet for two weeks, ultimately decided to pass. Keeping a house filled with 4 adults, 2 kids, 2 dogs, and 2 cats show ready all the time is tough and a pain, so with that coupled with the fact that the weather is turning and the holidays are coming, we decided to call it quits until the spring. Hopefully we'll have better luck then.

Not much else going on.  Adam and I are frantically trying to do extra to come up with our Christmas fund. He's working Ebay and I'm doing some at home transcription work. We're keeping busy!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Wave of Light

In June of 2011, I had a miscarriage. A tiny baby I think of as Butterfly flitted in and out of my life in a matter of days. And suddenly I was the one in four women that has lost a child.

This year I experienced that pain again. This time I carried my sweet little boy Gabriel Wyatt beneath my own heart for 11 weeks and 3 days before we found out his own tiny heart had stopped. This was a familiar pain, but in a far more profound way than I had experienced it before.

Today, participating in the Wave of Light, I remember both of the babies that I'll never hold in my arms. Tonight I said a prayer for them, and for all the sweet children gone far too soon. May comfort come to all those who light their candles tonight.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Forcefully Four

October 12th is here again already! My not-so-little AJ-Bug is four years old today!  I can't believe it!

He is going to wake up from his nap any minute, so we're going with bullets here!  Here's what AJ is like at FOUR!

  • He's my rough-and-tumble boy!  He's constantly jumping, rolling, bouncing and taking risks. I see ER visits in our future. So far, no major injuries, but he did dislocate a bone or tendon in his elbow a few weeks ago--and it was just a minor fall! Luckily the immediate care doc figured it out quickly and within minutes he was saying it didn't hurt one bit!
  • He's talking a lot these days--and MOST of it makes sense! He still has some speech issues, namely he can't say "l" sounds and a few others.  It's cute to hear him talk, but I hope it works itself out eventually so he doesn't have issues in school.
  • He is an EATER!  Sometimes we have to MAKE him stop eating! I wish he'd eat some veggies, but he loves fruit and he eats way more meat than Tyler ever has! We have a lot more things to choose from with AJ.
  • He is definitely not a laid back child. He has quite a defiant streak that we are struggling with lately. He will completely ignore instructions, or do something again that you've just told him not to. We are doing our best to be consistent and stop these behaviors, but it's rough sometimes!
  • That said, when he's good, he's so good and sweet! 
  • His favorite thing in the whole wide world is to be TICKLED! Seriously, it's my part time job.
  • His favorite book is "The Book With No Pictures". It's hilarious and he knows it by heart and can recite it.
  • He likes to watch Paw Patrol, Blaze, and Loud House.
  • He loves to play board games. We've been playing a lot of Chutes and Ladders and Candyland, along with a few others. He is getting at least 4 new games for his birthday!
  • His best "buddy" is our old fat cat Tippy. He just adores her.
Tyler's on fall break, so I took a few days off work. Adam will be off tomorrow and Friday too. Mom and I took the kids to Conner Prairie (a living history museum) and had a good time. As predicted, he woke up and after some tickles is now playing with a birthday gift, so I'll leave you with some photos of his birthday cuteness!

In a covered wagon

Me and my boys!

Aw he looked down!

Paddling a canoe

Tyler taking a turn

My Tyler-man

Friday, October 7, 2016

Song Lyrics for Loss: I Will Carry You

This song is all kinds of heartbreaking. It reminds me to be grateful for the time I had with my baby. It's more religious/spiritual, but I just love the message.

"I Will Carry You (Audrey's Son)" Selah

There were photographs I wanted to take
Things I wanted to show you
Sing sweet lullabies, wipe your teary eyes
Who could love you like this?

People say that I am brave but I'm not
Truth is I'm barely hanging on
But there's a greater story
Written long before me
Because He loves you like this

So I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All my life
And I will praise the One Who's chosen me
To carry you

Such a short time
Such a long road
All this madness

But I know
That the silence
Has brought me to His voice
And He says

I've shown her photographs of time beginning
Walked her through the parted seas
Angel lullabies, no more teary eyes
Who could love her like this?

I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All your life
And I will praise the One Who's chosen Me
To carry you