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Showing posts from April, 2014

toddler fashion: summer shoes

Summer shoes: what you call the toddler's new sandals so he'll feel delight when sliding the handcrafted shoes on (instead of screaming, "I want my brown shoes!!") The color is not what we expected, but the owner of SoulPath Shoes has been open to our communication and criticism. Since shipping to Canada is expensive exchanging is not a feasible option, but a discounted pair of shoes was offered.  I think we'll have to say yes to that offer, don't you? Image from SoulPath Shoes A slow shuffle to the sandwich shop was the inaugural trip for these shoes. (It was either go for a walk or break the TV because B has discovered Blue's Clues.) B did really well in the shoes. The fit is a little big because we want them to last all summer, but he didn't trip or stumble. I'm never  I'm probably not going to put my little ones in flip-flops, and J has very strong opinions about shoes, so these were a great discovery. Th

goodnight babies

It's been a long day. The last few have been epic. The kids are really sick. J has been gone a lot. J is the voice of reason. My anchor. I freak out when B coughs so hard he struggles to breathe. J calmly turns on the shower and takes care of things. Today was hard. I'm tired. J worked a rare hospital shift. I was reminded of his on call days, although those were over before we had babies. He worked call at two hospitals when we were early married. I hated the pagers and their 3 am wake up calls, but the money was good. I was singing to the kids tonight. Made up lyrics. All three of us falling asleep on the couch. Goodnight babies Goodnight babies I love you Ainsleigh I love you Bennett I'm so lucky to have you I was so sad before you came You are light I love you so Goodnight babies ... Then I cried because I am exhausted and because the grief is just below the surface of the everyday right now. And then J came home and I forgot Ainsleigh's name while tel

my bookshelf

I love books. I read a lot, but I've always done a poor job keeping track of what I read. Even Goodreads requires too much effort from me. I really am that lazy. A few days ago I was thinking about how many book photos I have to post to Instagram. I didn't want to overwhelm my feed with them so I created a second account - @angelasbookshelf - and have just started posting over there about what I'm reading. I'm adding a tiny review - a few words - to each post as well. There will be books from every genre and age level. If it's a book and it sounds good I'll give it a try. And sometimes when it isn't good I read all the way through because I want authors to have time to redeem themselves. J thinks that's odd, but I'm a fast reader. If you're interested, follow along! ( @angelasbookshelf )

easter after loss

Easter is complex. It leaves me feeling broken and makes me long for heaven. Easter is important. For me it's not about bunnies, or baskets, or candy. My kids have no idea Easter baskets or bunnies exist. There will be time to introduce those things. For now we are focusing on teaching about Jesus and the hope of the resurrection. Easter reminds me that God knows the pain and grief of watching a child suffer and die. He sent his Son to die for us so that we may live forever in heaven. I believe that. I absolutely 100% believe that. I believe that there is nothing we can do to turn God away from us. He loves us unconditionally. Even when there is fury in our hearts because He chose not to breathe life back into our lost ones. We went to Easter service last night. It was strange to celebrate on Saturday instead of Sunday, but joy and hope were still present. The time of celebration doesn't take away from the meaning of Easter. I want to share one thing with you that was

unexpected goodbye: the decision to make it FREE

It's always felt a little strange to put a price on the book I wrote for those navigating the waters of infant loss and stillbirth. Any time someone contacted me, I sent it to them. If I was asked for a resource, I sent it. It never felt right to ask for money. And all the money I received from it has been used to donate to places like Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, or to help grow the infant loss ministry at our church I am part of. I know you don't need an accounting of what I have done with the little bit I have made from it, but I want to be transparent and honest about what my journey with this book has been like. I am working on a second book. A much longer, more detailed, very personal memoir. IF I ever finish it it will be for sale, but that book is an entirely different creature. I want Unexpected Goodbye to reach as many people as possible. I think the best way for that to happen is to offer it for free. Now, if you want to download a copy you'll have to pu

making the hours pass

I've been able to blog with a little more regularity now that Ainsleigh will settle in the crib for a few hours at night. She's usually ready to be held by 9, but I put her to bed at 6 so that gives me enough time to get a few things done. Today was a long day. Bennett asked for J no less than five times before noon. Every car that drove by prompted him to ask, "Daddy home?" At 2:00 I finally tossed both kids in the bath. My sister provided me with the brilliant idea of using the Bumbo in the bath during that awkward too big for the newborn bath, not quite ready to sit up in the big tub stage. It worked perfectly, even with Ainsleigh's attempts to dive into the water. It didn't tip and she didn't fall out. I was right there, of course, with a hand near, or on her, at all times. Yes, that duck is the temperature gauge from the water birth I didn't have with Miss A. The hospital graciously lets you take it home with you. Here is a memento of

lilacs, lavender, lilies

I cut lilacs from the front garden this afternoon and put them in vases around the house. Lilacs, lavender, lilies, and columbines all grow in our yard. And they all remind me of Charlotte. Red columbines sitting in a glass vase on the beside table next to condolence cards and a medicinal smelling bag filled with ace bandages and breast pads. Overflowing vases of lilacs on the first Charlotte's Day; a memorial that should have been a birthday. The lavender my midwife photographed on the morning Charlotte was born. The lilies that bloomed just after she died. Calla lilies, like the ones we had at our wedding. Flowers from the yard. Flowers that were mostly planted and thriving when we moved in. Within the stunning beauty of the countless varieties that can bloom, petals quietly fluttering in the wind, I see Charlotte. Of course she comes to mind. Flowers blossom for such a short time, it's hardly a revolutionary thought. And for some reason I can put flowers in vases a

little writing space

My response to spring in all its sunny glory is to organize small pockets of the house and feel irritated by everything . I am lucky to be married to someone who doesn't mind that I am focused on inconsequential projects that take up a lot of time. Today I put a little effort into fixing up my writing space. I do a lot of writing when spring hits, so I finally put up new pictures and organized my tiny area. I have one more picture from our Hawaii trip that I want to add, but B broke the frame a while ago and I haven't bought a new one. We're on our sixth year of living in this house and this is the first time I've put anything on the walls upstairs. Home decor is not my strong suit, but I am slowly working on making the house look a little nicer. I feel like it has so much potential - little cottage built in 1939 - but I don't have the skills to make the house sing.


A few days ago we had our first hearing aid fitting appointment for Ainsleigh. We ordered her a tiny pink hearing aid, which will be available in a few weeks, and had her first mold taken. The molds are a pain in the behind, but it is the less permanent option, and right now we don't feel willing to make a choice for her that can't be reversed. Because she is small and growing we will have molds taken every two months or so, but soon enough that won't be necessary. We went to an amazing seminar put on by the educational service district here. I like working with the ESD - hey, it's free (well, we pay for it with taxes) but there are some definite disadvantages  (way, way, way overextended staff). The seminar from a renowned speech pathologist was a definite bonus, however. J and I learned a lot. One of the most striking things I took away was the fact that from birth until 4 or 5 years old children are learning to listen while from 5 on (school age essentially)

little changes and a big habit

We are slowly changing over to a healthier lifestyle. I say slowly because J does lots of research and tries to gently coax me along while I kick my feet and demand more sugar. A lot of our diet changes have come about because of Bennett's allergies. There are many things he cannot have, and I'm not going to make two dinners, so I cater to his needs. By far my worst habit is diet soda. I'm careful with it. I don't have unlimited amounts, but after I have a baby I give in to the craving for a while and drink a can a day. I'm trying to quit right now - well, quit having it in the house at least - because I know it's terrible for me. Of course quitting at this time of year may not be the best idea (I'm so weak and sad!) but the thought of aspartame poisoning is fairly frightening. ( For those who don't drink soda, who are able to say, "Oh, I don't like soda," I want to be you . I also would like to be one of those people who, "doesn&#

six weeks

Hey there, year four. I don't like you. I really wanted to focus on the good this year. How long we had Charlotte. How exciting it is that she is in heaven waiting for us. But I can't control the way I feel. Not when it comes to this at least. The flashbacks make it too hard. We're six weeks out from Charlotte's birthday. Six weeks. How can life feel so hard already? And why can't I control it? On Thursday night we went to a seminar for parents of children with hearing loss. It was a really good seminar, we learned a lot about how to help Ainsleigh. At the end, in a flurry of introductions and conversations, a woman said, "I can see you're expecting." I didn't respond, because what I had to say wouldn't have been kind. When we left the room J said, "be a duck, let it roll off your back," but of course I haven't been able to do that. Because I can feel myself letting everything go. I can feel myself not caring.

my people

We spent the weekend at a big house on the Deschutes River with my family. This is on the other side of the mountain, about three hours from here, in central Oregon. We had a lot of fun this weekend even though the weather wasn't great (and one of my sisters didn't come). One day we had hail, snow, rain and sunshine. My mom said,"if you don't like the weather wait two minutes." She wasn't exaggerating. Have we talked about my family before? There's a few of us. I have - a sister - she was adopted into our family when she was 12, but I was young enough that I don't have memories without her present. I still forget she's adopted sometimes. She's just my oldest sister. Married, parent to three girls. a sister - three years older than me. Married, parent to a boy and two girls. a brother - eighteen months younger than me (or maybe sixteen. I can never remember). Married, parent to a boy. Then there's me of course. Married, par