Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hard Work'n Man in Action!

Today Rich and I went to Home Depot to buy some new carpeting for Audriana's room.  And guess who was there?  Our son, Tony!  Oh yes... he LOVED seeing his parents there at his place of business, and what's worse....mom has her camera!  He shot me a death look as I pointed and aimed.   But did that stop me?   Um, I don't think so.   If you guys think I can pass up a chance to photograph my hard working son in action, then you don't know me very well.

  This picture may be blurry, but it's classic.  Look at that hard work'n boy go!

Yes, I followed him around like the paparazzi...snapping photos here and there. 
In the photo above, either he's pissed to discover me behind a car taking yet another picture... 
or he just really hates bringing in the carts. 

I think he just really hates bringing in the carts. 
It can't be me!

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Horse'n Around

Yesterday we went to spend the day on my friend's property.  This is where my horse Shay is living, and it was so nice spending time with him.  His trainer came and worked with him, too, which was extra fun for me.  I love seeing Shay under saddle and "working"!

Shay with his fly mask on.

Our trainer Heidi has been working with Shay a couple years now.  She is really good with him and Shay loves her.  Shay is funny in that he only responds well to women.  He's always been like that.

Afton brought her friend Delaney with her.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Things I Notice

Things I notice.... about Aria.

  • Her hair is getting curly!
  • Her eyes seem to be getting lighter.
  • And so is her hair color!  (what are we going to do with a blondie?!!)
  • She is talking in sentences now. "I go with you?"  "Where Dad go?"
  • She can run very fast in flip-flops and not fall.
  • She likes the sound of her own name. "Ar-ee-ah" she says, over and over.
  • I hear her saying her name when she's by herself.
  • Sometimes she sings her name to herself.
  • She loves bubble baths...and always puts the bubbles on her face and says, "Ho Ho Ho!!"
  • When she gets out of the bath, she wraps her towel around herself and then runs around the house saying, "MatMan....na na na na na na na...MatMan!!"   (to the Batman theme song)
  • When at Alex's soccer game, she sits on the sidelines and yells, "Go Alex!!"
  • She's a cuddler and loves to be held.
  • She falls asleep 99.9% of the time in the car, even if we are just on a 10 minute car ride.
  • She adores her daddy and loves when he comes home from work.
  • Aria loves to have her toes and fingernails painted.
  • She is very generous with her kisses.  I love that.
Aria........is a very happy baby!

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Mind Games

I miss my little one. I miss going to bed at night with my hand resting on my budding belly. I miss the plans I had for this little one. I miss the dreams and the visions that I had of him or her joining our family. The ache is incredible. I never knew that this is how mothers felt when they miscarried. How would I ever have known that, without having experienced it myself? Now I know. I feel like I've joined a club, a club that I never wanted any part of. But, nonetheless, here I am. I'll always be a member now.

I'm having trouble sleeping.  It started about 7 days ago.  I have never, ever, ever been one to have trouble falling alseep, or staying asleep for that matter.  Sleep has always been my friend.  But lately?  Lately I am up until 3:00 sometimes 4:00 in the morning.  My mind is just too busy.   When I try to rest, my thoughts immediately go to the baby.  Then those thoughts keep my mind busy and prevent me from falling asleep.

Who was that little one?
What would he have looked like?
Who would she have been?
What day would he have been born on?
Would she really have been born on Christmas?
How neat that would have been!
Why did this happen?
What went wrong?
Did I not eat well enough?
Was my red blood count too low?
Was my progesterone count not right?
Did he feel any pain?
Did she know me at all?
What would our lives have been like if he had lived?
When will I stop crying?
How can I cry for someone who I have never met?
Was the baby a boy?
Or a girl?

So eventually I get out of bed.  I read.  I watch t.v. late at night.  I clean.  I do laundry.  Then I try to sleep again.  And the whole thing starts over.

I just want sleeping pills to knock me out.  But I don't do that, because that's not good.  They say they are addicting.  I don't want that.  I can't risk that. 

The fact is that I'm sad.  There is no cure for being sad. Not this kind of sad, anyway.  You just have to go through it.  You just have to endure it until it just becomes a part of you.  Once it becomes a part of you, then you can put it to the back of your mind more easily.  See, right now....I'm still fighting it.  I'm fighting it becoming a part of me.  Which explains all the questions running through my mind.  I want to find a reason, some logic as to why my baby died.  It's all part of the process.  Once my mind accepts that there is no cure for this, that there is no answer that will take the sadness away... I bet then I will be able to sleep better.  Because my mind will have surrendered.  It will have become exhausted, trying to find the answers.  When there are none.

It kinda reminds me of that movie from many years ago -- War Games.  Who out there remembers that movie?  It starred a very young Ferris Bueler -- er, I mean Matthew Broderick.  The computer in the movie thought it was participating in a real war, and it would not stop playing.  Finally, Matther Broderick challenged the computer to play itself in Tic-Tac-Toe in order to learn how to lose.  It played over and over and over,  faster and faster and faster and it kept ending in a tie game...until, it finally stopped and gave up, realizing there was no answer.  I know that's a strange analogy to what I'm going through.  But that is what my mind and my thoughts are reminding me of lately.  I just keep playing those questions over and over in my mind, day after day.   I know that one day, I don't exactly know when, but one day my mind will finally just realize that there is no answer to what happened.  I guess that's called acceptance? And maybe then I will be able to sleep.  I don't know.  It's just my theory.  Because right now, no matter how hard I try, my mind just won't stop playing.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Planting Flowers with Daddy

Rich is not only the cook in our family, but he tends to our gardens as well. What's my job, you ask? Good question. I'm afraid he shows me up in some of the domestic jobs around here. But no worries for me...because I really don't like cooking or planting things. Never have. One day, I tell myself, one day...I'll get more into that kind of stuff. But for right now, I'll be happy and content that at least my children learn it from one of us :)

Rich carefully shows Aria how to put the flower in the ground....

And she shows him her dirty hands!

Rich takes the kids into our backyard to plant flowers near the casita.

Aislynn plants one.

Andrew takes a turn planting a flower...

And again, Aria takes a turn...

And again...shows her distress about getting her hands dirty!
Hey, Dad...I need some gardening gloves!!

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I Suck.

Sometimes I have those days where I pretty much SUCK doing my job as a mother.  Oh yes, I know what you are all thinking.....no, it's not true! not you!!

But let me assure you...there are days when I go to sleep at night wishing I had a "do over" for the day.  Today is one of those days.

I was woken up by Afton.  I have no idea what time it was because I was dead to the world.
She was standing by my bedside, dressed and ready for school.
That time already? Darn!  I soooo didn't want to get up.
"Mom," she said, "Tony's taking us to school."
"Okay,"  I said, relieved. "Have a good day."
I rolled back over in my bed, glad to be able to sleep at least 30 minutes more.

Having an older son who can drive sure can be great, I thought.  And then I remembered. 
Crap! Today is the last day of school!  

Here I wanted to make the girls a nice breakfast on their last day of school.  I was going to wake up when they did (which is a big push for me!) and like a good mother make their breakfast, make their lunches, and drive them to school, kiss them on the cheek and tell them to have a great day.

But did I do that?  No.  Instead, I slept in like a lazy person....forgetting it was the last day of school. With those two, there are only so many more years that I will be seeing them off to school in the mornings, and I'm feeling like I'm wasting the time that I have left.  High school goes by so quickly!

So that is how my day started.  I felt terribly guilty that I did not drive the girls to school on their last day.  The Mommy-Guilt hit me hard.  I tried to shake it off.

Just when the Mommy-Guilt was starting to go away, Aislynn ran into my room.  She had just woken up, still in pajamas and ruffled bed-head.
"Mom!"  she said in disgust. "The tooth fairy didn't come!"

Ahhhh.  The Tooth Fairy.  Of course.  I knew I forgot to do something last night before bed.  She had pulled out that second tooth yesterday and was so excited about the Tooth Fairy coming again.

(note the blue tinge to her teeth -- she had just eaten a blue Ring-Pop)
"Did you put your tooth under you pillow so she could find it?"
"Well....was your bedroom door open so that she could get in?"
"Oh, Honey....sometimes that darn Tooth Fairy...she just gets too busy with all the teeth she has to collect, and she doesn't come that first night.  Or sometimes not even the second night.  Just go ask your older brothers and sisters...they will tell you.  I'm sure she will come tonight.  Just keep it under your pillow."

And so, she marched out of the room.

Strike two for me.

Later in the day, Rich came home and took Aislynn to preschool for me.  She starts at 12:30 and gets out at 3:30.  Before I agreed to let him take her for me, I thought to myself:   Is there anything important going on in her school today?  Tomorrow is her last day, and they are having the BBQ tomorrow.  So today is not the last day of school, so there is nothing that I am missing.  Cool.  I'll let Rich take her and pick her up, and I can stay home and do the things I need to do around here.

So Rich left with Aislynn and the other kids.  He dropped her off at preschool, then took the other kids to Chuck E. Cheese.  I was able to do some laundry and relax in a bath while they were gone. He was going to come home after picking up Aislynn at school...I had until about 3:40 to myself....

It was well past 4:00 when he got home.  I thought maybe he had stopped at the store.  When the kids were all out of ear shot, he whispered to me, "Hey...um, did you forget that Aisy had her preschool graduation today?"

My heart dropped to my stomach.  I couldn't believe it.  "What?!!  I thought that was tomorrow, with the BBQ and the last day of school celebration and all that!"

"No...the graduation was today.  Tomorrow is only the BBQ."

So, I missed it.  I am soooo beyond upset.  I missed her graduation day.  I suck!  I suck!  I suck!  No matter what anyone tells me, I know I suck.

Rich said that when he went there at 3:30 to pick her up, there was a crowd in the classroom.  A bunch of parents were there, with cameras and videos. 

"What's going on?"  Rich asked someone.  (aren't we just pathetic parents...to have to ASK what's going on during this special day!)

Someone told him, "The graduation is about to start.  They will march the kids in now."

Sure enough, all the kids started to walk into the classroom right about that time.  Rich tried to pretend as if he knew what was going on when Aislynn saw him.  He said they sang songs, they listened as the teacher talked about the class, and she got her certificate.  He said that the whole thing lasted about 30 minutes because they had cake afterwards.

Cake!  This was a big deal, and I missed it!  I know it's only preschool, but still. This is my JOB, people!  I'm supposed to show up for things like this!

Rich tried to make me feel better.  He told me that there were a lot of parents taking video, so he's sure that I can get a copy.  A copy of someone else's video?  You know it will have close-ups of their kid singing...and we will be lucky if Aislynn is even shown at all.  Aislynn will ask "How come you are zooming in on that kid and not me?"  for the rest of her life.  Ugh.  I hate getting video from other parents!  It's never the same as taking your own.

((I am very thankful, however, that Rich was there for the whole thing.  Man, I can't even imagine how awful I would feel if no one showed up for Aislynn!  What if it had started at 3:00 or some other time, and Rich had missed it, too?  Oh my gosh, that would have been awful.))

So I called Aislynn over to me. 
I said, "Hey...how did school go?"
She just looked at me. 
Was it my imagination, or was she glaring at  me?
I tried again,"Honey...how did school go today?  Can you show me the things that you got?"
She sighed loudly, and she left the room and came back with her black graduation cap and her certificate.
"Oh!" I said, overly excited."This is so nice!  Hey, weren't you just so excited that Daddy was there to see your graduation?"
She looked at me as if wondering where I was going with this...
I continued, "Wasn't that nice that he was able to go!  Because normally he's at work, right?"
She nodded her head, but still no words.
"You know why Daddy went today instead of me?  Because he can't go to tomorrow's BBQ because he has to be at work.  But guess what?  I'm going to your BBQ tomorrrow.  Won't that be fun?"
I think she was on to me.  She's smarter than I give her credit for.
Kids always are.
But slowly she smiled, and she said, "Okay."

And then I   made her  asked her to put her cap on so I could snapped this picture. You know, so I'd have a memory of this day.

Her expression here screams at me:  Oh yea, Mom...THIS is the same thing!  Who do you think you're fooling?

I'm going to make up for it tomorrow.  Her BBQ celebration at school will be THE BEST darn BBQ that she has even been to.  I'm going to take pictures of her with her teachers and with all her friends.  I'm going to start talking about it at 7:00 in the morning and hype it all up so that she knows she's important.

She IS important!  She's #7 but just as important as all the rest.  I just get so busy in my head, and if something isn't written down then I forget about them.  I need to get better at writing things down!

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Field Trip to Knott's

I took Alex, Avery and A.J. to a homeschool field trip with our charter school.  It was at Knott's Berry Farm, which is an amusement park... but it also has an Old West theme and educational tours, which is what we signed up for. We had a two-hour educational tour on Native American history.  The kids were very interested.  And as it turned out, on tv that very same night there was a showing of Dances With Wolves.  I let the kids watch it and they understood a lot of the history in it due to the field trip that day!  
At the end of the tour, we were surprised when our guide told us that we could enjoy the rest of the park... no extra charge!  The kids were not expecting that.  I had told them that we were there for the tour only -- no rides.  So this was a real treat! 

First we went on the Log Ride!

and next they went on a couple fast rides

It was a fun day!  So glad we went :)

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Andrew is going to be 4 years old at the end of this month.
Here is what Andrew is like lately:
He wakes up at around 5:00am and comes into my bed, snuggling up into me.
Then he falls back asleep.  Which is a good thing!
He is always the first to say "thank you" for something that I do...
"Thank you for taking us to the park"
"Thank you for taking us to Daddy's work"
"Thank you for taking us to Golden Spoon"
"Thank you for taking us to Target"
Those are some common things that he says Thank You for :)
He is really into riding his bike.  He goes really fast!
He can keep up with everyone when we go on long bike rides.
He rides a two-wheeler without training wheels.
When he brushes his teeth,
he always comes up to me and breathes on me
so that I can smell his fresh breath.
He gets himself dressed in the moring.
He still doesn't like having his hair washed,
and in general doesn't like his head under water.
He has a very, very, very loud voice!

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Losing Teeth

Aislynn lost her first tooth this weekend!  She cried when she saw the blood.  But she was so happy in the morning...when she saw that the Tooth Fairy had come!  She is definitely looking much older, now that her baby teeth are coming out. 
If you look inside her mouth in this photo, you will see that her other bottom tooth is about to come out, too. And her adult teeth are already coming in. I'm wondering....will this one need braces, too? Gosh, but the orthodontist sure gets a lot of our money! So far every child over the age of ten has needed orthodontic work of some sort.  Ugh!  I think we will luck out with Avery, though.  So far her teeth are coming in very straight.  ::::  fingers crossed  ::::
That's right, Avery.  Show off those pearly whites ( that so far haven't cost us any money!  There's nothing quite like a FREE smile, lol )

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The Cart

Last Friday,  I took the six little ones with me to Target.  We had some shopping to do and it felt good to get out of the house.  I love Target.  I swear I could spend hours in that store! 

For those of you who are familiar with the Target carts, there is this one cart that has two extra seats up front where two little kids can sit.  Do you know which cart I'm talking about?  It's extra long because of those two extra seats, and for those of you who have ever used that particular cart, don't you think it's  hard to handle?  First of all, it's very heavy to push. And second, it's almost impossible to steer.  I hate this cart.  But whenever my kids see that cart they lose their minds.  "Mommy!  Let's get that one!  Can we please get that one?  Weeeee waaaaant that one!"  whine whine whine, beg beg beg, cry cry cry.  And sometimes I cave and stroll them around in that darn thing.  But most of the time I don't.  And whenever I'm pregnant, well...that's my perfect excuse not to use the cart.  "Mommy can't push that heavy thing when there's a baby in her tummy!  That wouldn't be safe."  is the excuse I always give.  So the last three or four times that we've been in Target, that is what the answer has been.

But last Friday when we went....we walked into the store and there it was:  the cart.  I tried to scoot us by without the kids seeing it, but nope -- didn't work.  Right away they started in on me, asking if we could use that cart.  And right away I began saying, "No....mommy can't push that cart...."  and then I stopped myself.  I was going to say that it was not safe for the baby.  But then I remembered.  There isn't a baby.  Not anymore.  Just 10 days ago there was.

But not anymore.

Sometimes....I forget.  Why do I do that?  Ten days is a long time, right?  You'd think that I wouldn't forget like that.  But sometimes, I do.  Like last night, I was giving Aria a bath, and I was on my knees in front of the tub.   I was rinsing her hair out and she kept moving away from me, so I leaned farther in and noticed that my belly was pressing hard against the side of the tub.  And I instinctively moved back, so I wouldn't squish the baby.  And then I remembered.  There isn't a baby.  Not anymore.  Just 12 days ago there was.

But not anymore.

For the most part these past few days, I'm pretty okay with everything.  As okay as I can be, I suppose.  I know it happened.  I'm processing the grief.  And for the most part, I am okay.  But then things like that happen -- where for an instant I forget, and then remember again.  And it just hits me.  It's like a cold wave goes through my body, really quick.  And then the wave of sadness follows.

So last Friday at Target, instead of saying NO to the cart, I said, "Okay, we can use this cart this time."
and only Alex, my 10 year old, noticed that I changed my answer.
He looked at me with a worried expression on his face and said, "Mom, I know why you can push this cart now."
I smiled at him and said, "I know you do. It's okay, Bud. I'm okay."
He had tears in his eyes. He's my emotional one, and he was really looking forward to this baby.
And he is always looking out for me.  Alex is sweet on me like that.
I reached over and tousled his hair, like I always do.  He's such a sweetie, my Alex.
And then we walked for a while, not saying anything...me pushing that darn cart.
Then he said, "Mom, you know what I've been thinking?"
"What have you been thinking?" I asked.
"Well....if you get pregnant again, and if the baby is a girl....then we will know that the baby that died was a boy."
"Oh yea? How will we know that?"  I asked, curious to hear what he had to say.
"Well," he said, " you always go boy, girl, boy, girl, boy, girl....and so since Aria is a girl, and if the next baby is a girl, then we will know that the baby that died was a boy.  That's how we will know."

I smiled at that thought.  Since there is no other way of knowing whether the baby was a boy or a girl, I kind of like Alex's theory.  I'll go with that.
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