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Showing posts from January, 2014

one more memory

I rush through my shower and then run to Ainsleigh. She is screaming in her pack n play in the family room. She was asleep when I set her down, but she is awake now and mad. I need to settle her because Bennett is in his room trying to fall asleep and if he hears her he will get out of bed. I pick Ainsleigh up and sit down on the couch to rock her back to sleep. I was in such a hurry I forgot my glasses. Everything is a blur as I sit on the couch and try to calm Ainsleigh down. I think about the busy evening ahead. I listen for Bennett. I think about how warm and inviting the room is when the sun floods in and lights the yellow walls. And then it hits me: this is where we had the rocker when this was Charlotte's room. Way back when we first moved in the yellow room was the guest room, then it became the nursery when we found out Charlotte was on her way. I glance down at Ainsleigh, who is still fussing a little, and wish I could move time somehow so that I could experience r

on worry and learning curves

Ainsleigh will be three months old tomorrow. We've spent most of her life like this. Ainsleigh is a mama's girl. J calls every evening as he's leaving work to ask if I need anything (groceries, diapers, dinner). This evening I said "dinner is cooking" when he asked. The surprise and amazement in his voice when he replied, "really?!" made me realize I haven't been doing very well in that category. Thankfully J doesn't mind my inability to keep up with things. (We have run out of toilet paper TWICE since Ains was born. That's the first time I've done that!)  He just rolls with the chaos. We have a routine, and we are settling into life with two, but there are still challenges. Food is a big one. Bennett eats a lot and his dietary needs are complicated. Lately the days I set aside to cook and freeze food for him have been filled with appointments for Ainsleigh. I  should do it at night, but that's my time. I need that time to

why I love instagram & facebook

This morning I woke up at 8, Ainsleigh curled up next to me as usual. I fed her in the quiet of our room while J controlled the toddler breakfast chaos downstairs. As Ainsleigh nursed I picked up my phone to see what was going on in the world, but it was out of battery. I looked around the room. I watched Ainsleigh slowly wake as she filled her belly with milk. I thought about how I should sit with her like that more often. Ainsleigh is days away from the three month mark. She will be sitting up within a few months, then crawling, then walking, then speaking. So much happens in one short year. Striving to be more present is a daily goal. I always want to be here for my kids. In the moment. Loving on them, enjoying their individuality and the unique traits that make them who they are. I'm a stay at home mom because I want to be involved in the development of their lives and characters (and that is in no way a slam on those who work outside the home). But I've got a little

on hearing tests, grief, parenting three, and a full life

Yesterday: The room is quiet. Ainsleigh is sleeping in my arms. I start to drift off a bit. "You look tired today," the audiologist's quiet voice interrupts my state of near sleep. "I am." I acknowledge. "I'm really tired." I shift in my chair a bit, but not too much because Ainsleigh has to stay asleep and the testing equipment is delicate. The audiologist returns to her notes while I try to stay awake. All of the fluid from birth is finally gone so we went in to see if Ainsleigh can hear anything on her left side. After that appointment the audiologist and doctors have termed her loss left-sided deafness. If we SCREAMED at Ainsleigh she might hear a little bit on that side, but it's also possible she wouldn't even hear that.  We have a big appointment for her eyes in February (a normal precaution, they should be just fine) and then we get a nice break until May when we go back in for more hearing tests. ****** Tue

you can spend your whole life trying to find her

How do you know you are finished having children? How do you close the door on that part of your life when your job doesn't feel done, or done well? Last night J and I were talking about having a living baby girl. How it's changed the landscape of grief, made it more difficult and complex. As layers of hope and joy are etched into our hearts we see what we missed out on four years ago in a new and clearer light. "It's huge ," I said last night. "I mean, we had a baby girl and she died ." Sometimes the enormity of what we experienced still has the power to knock me off my feet. And then I understand why people stare at me with jaws hanging open when I say I have a child in heaven. It's not supposed to be like this. We do not expect to outlive our children. I look at Ainsleigh, who is almost three months old and doing so well, and I think, I could do this again. I could have another one. I could grit my teeth and make it through ano


Ainsleigh is sleeping really well at night, but I'm still very  distracted and forgetful. - After Ainsleigh's ultrasound yesterday I went across the street to Costco. She was upset after the appointment so I fed her in the car then put her in her car seat without buckling her. I was planning on buckling her in once I had her settled in the cart, but I forgot. I was a few blocks into my journey home when I looked in the mirror and saw that she was unbuckled. - I can't manage menu planning, grocery shopping and  getting dinner on the table. The menu is planned. The shopping is getting done. But having dinner on its way to being ready when J gets home is so challenging. I'll have everything ready, but then I will forget to defrost the meat, or pizza dough, or whatever else I need out of the freezer. I've done that twice this week. - This morning I decided to brave the germ infested library. I was showered, the kids were fed and dressed and the library was just o

stir crazy

We've been staying in more than usual because of the horrible flu bug that is everywhere. A lot of our regular activities are off the docket for now. We haven't been going to story time, though we are going to church which is just as bad. If only toddlers had the ability to keep their fingers out of their noses and mouths ... We were going to get haircuts from a friend today - B looks like he doesn't have a mother, he is well on his way to dreadlocks - but I gave us food poisoning  Sunday night. A little bit of advice: if you have a memory lapse and leave an entire bag of groceries in the car throw away the chicken! Don't listen to the internet when it tells you all will be well so long as you cook the chicken really well. I cooked, then shredded, then baked the chicken so we didn't get as sick, but it was still pretty awful. Bennett was the lucky one, he ate the most and wasn't affected at all. This morning I decided to get us up and out for a walk.

night terrors

Since we welcomed Ainsleigh home Bennett has had horrible night terrors. Every night he wakes up crying and nothing we say or do calms him down. I don't know if what he is having are actual night terrors because he does wake up, but whatever he is going through is awful to witness. Bennett used to wake up every night and come upstairs to us. That was our routine, we were all used to it. But since Ainsleigh's birth his coming upstairs routine involves a lot of drama and wakes the house up. I have no idea if this is just an adjustment period, but I want it to stop. It makes me sad that he is upset but won't let us comfort him. We use Calms Forte before bed some nights, but he refuses to take it when he's really upset in the middle of the night. We've been struggling with naps too. If Bennett naps the night time routine is a nightmare. We switched over to rest time, which was really going well, but now he's refusing to be alone in his room. I leave the door

ainsleigh girl

Yesterday J and I took Ainsleigh to OHSU to see a pediatric ENT. We received some good news at that appointment. The hearing in Ainsleigh's right ear is exceptional. It is so good the doctor is doubtful she will struggle with speech development. Ainsleigh definitely has some degree of hearing loss in her left ear, but it's difficult to tell how severe it is. The cause of her hearing loss is unknown, but a genetic link is unlikely. In the doctor's opinion something - an event as he called it - occurred sometime during early pregnancy which caused the hearing loss. An MRI might give us answers on what happened, but there isn't an urgent medical reason to put Ainsleigh through an MRI. Since doing so would include sedation we have decided not to pursue that avenue for now. The doctor we saw yesterday encouraged us to look at what we have: a very healthy girl who just happens to have hearing loss in one ear. Ainsleigh is fine. She is developing well. She is growing.

missing charlotte

I can hear them breathing: B, Ains, J. I didn't think we would all crash in one room, but we do. Night after night. B is like a pack animal. He needs to be where his people are to sleep well. And I have to have Ainsleigh close to me. I'm awake because I had my support group tonight and my mind is in overdrive. As it always is after a meeting. This May will be four years since Charlotte died. (Remember when I counted the days? Every Friday kicked me in the heart. Every 14th made me cry.) Four years!! And I'm still a holy mess. I'm still trying to figure out how I ended up here. Mostly content. Often happy. Alive. I'm still trying to figure out how my heart kept beating, how it managed to do its job even as it shattered. Heartbroken. That's a funny concept isn't it? If a heart were to literally break the possessor of said heart would die. Maybe we use that term when referring to the day our children died because it feels as of we have stopped living. Even

connecting pt.two

I have a few more thoughts after reading through the comments (thank you) I received. Every year or so, maybe more often but I think it's about every year, I have a blog crisis wherein I wonder who is reading and why. So maybe just drop a comment on me every six months so I can stop feeling that way :) I want to make sure people who read here and don't want to comment don't feel like they have to. I absolutely understand wanting to remain anonymous and in the background. I also want everyone who did comment to know I appreciate you for patting me on the back and soothing my junior high anxiety. I can be a little insecure, and having a new baby makes me even more so. After writing last night's post I thought: oh hey wait, who am I supposed to please? Who is supposed to encourage me? Who is the One who will always be there? Where should I be getting my affirmation from? Even though I write a whole lot of words about a whole lot of stuff my main focus is always my

connecting (and the giveaway winner)

The winner of the book giveaway is dejah. Email your contact info to so I can send it to you!  ******************** I used to pay attention to my page views. I used to monitor them. I used to be interested in them. Then I felt like I was caring about something really silly so I stopped checking them as often. Every few months I check in to see if I've had any growth, but most of the time I leave the numbers alone. I was looking at my stats recently when I realized something: I have a steady stream of visitors, but few people comment. I'm pretty sure comment seeking is frowned upon in the blogging world - it does seem rather needy - but I appreciate comments because it lets me know I am connecting with people. If no one read I would still write. I would. I'm not just saying that because I think I should. Writing here is a really healthy way for me to process a lot of stuff. But when I share a post like I did a couple days ago and get

our story/part four

This is an ongoing series where I periodically post a partial or whole chapter from the book I'm writing. This evening I counted 15 complete chapters. I think that calls for a little celebration. ********************  I hate myself. I hate how I look. I hate how I feel. I hate my attitude. I've never been fat, but I've always felt fat. I've struggled with how I look, which is so unoriginal and common. I could write one thousand tangents about culture and image, but that's not what this is about. This is about me, and how every ounce of self-loathing I carried spilled out of the box I kept it in the day Charlotte died. Everyone struggles with image. There is at least one thing everyone – even the narcissist – hates about themselves. As a species we are always trying to improve and better ourselves. I have never struggled with my weight, but I have always hated how I look. I've often wished I was thinner and more toned. Smaller even. I've always want

where I belong

I am so tired. And I can't even blame Ainsleigh. Last night I went to Saving Mr. Banks (excellent movie) at 10:00. I have two friends I spend a lot of time with. One of the things we enjoy doing is going to the movies. We saw Catching Fire just after Ainsleigh was born, but we managed to convince our husbands to release us for another night. J never complains about my movie nights, but it's hard for one person to handle multiple kids at bedtime. The 10 pm showing was a good time since it let us get the kids settled, but I usually go to bed at 9:30. We thought we would be fine seeing a late movie then meeting up at 8 am for the play day we arranged a week ago, but we were all pretty tired this morning.  When I was trying to switch car seats so we could take two vehicles instead of three I was glad to have friends who are a little more put together than me. I often feel like the least put together person in any given crowd, but I'm okay with that. We had a good time toda