Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Here, There, Everywhere

Where am I? I seem to be quite lost these past several days. Tomorrow is SIX months and the build-up to this milestone is kicking my butt. I finally get to the point where I am doing pretty well, then I hit another dead end and have to try over again. Really? Can I just find the way out, or at least a steady path for a little while? Because right now, it's getting kind of bumpy and it's rather exhausting.

I try to keep honest, so here is the raw honesty of what's going on today...

Today's trigger. Identical twin boys born at 28.5 weeks. They were born an hour ago. Their mom has been battling pre-term labor since 22 weeks. I am ever so grateful they were able to hold on for as long as they have been. I have prayed so hard for her and her babies over the past couple of months. They are weighing in at 2.9 and 2.5. Good weights. And I know they are in good hands in the NICU. But there is such a long road ahead of these precious baby boys and their family.

It's been a pretty big emotional battle for me. The mom is a good friend of a friend on mine. Most of me wants to run far away from all this. I mean really, I know I most likely cannot handle identical twin baby boys right now. Who wants to see me when they are fighting for their sons' lives? Feels a little selfish, it's been six months. I feel it shouldn't be about me and how I am feeling anymore. Like it's time to put on my big girl panties and suck it up. (Is there a line for this?) So a small part of me, the old me, the good me, wants to be there, meet her face to face, and tell her it will all be okay. The odds are really in their favor here.

But I also see this as a stepping stone. It's bound to happen at some point. Someone close will get pregnant with twins...it's inevitable. So why not start with a friend of a friend to get me a little closer to handling it all? Sounds like part of a plan to me.

For those of you who pray, please pray for these babies and this family. Her name is Katie and the boys' names are Grant and Bryce. For those that don't, please keep them in your thoughts.

I am feeling better now, much better. And I am feeling pretty positive again. And maybe I will, in a few weeks, meet her, face-to-face. It could actually be a little healing for me. I am grateful for this place to write and share. I really don't know what I would do without this blog and the wonderful people who read it and comment.

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P.S. So I hit publish, and suddenly felt this wave of peacefulness come over me. Just wanted to let you all know.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, Ethan!!!

Oh, Ethan, today you turn three! I can't believe it's already been three years since you entered this world. My pregnancy with you was great! I only gained 18 lbs. Labor was equally was wonderful. You were out in 4 minutes...I barely had to push. (Thanks to your 9lb7oz brother who proceeded you 19 months earlier)

You had SOOOOO much hair and came out with your bottom lip sticking out.
Here you are just a few hours old, already enjoying those fingers.

This is your first bath at home. And your bottom lip once again sticking out.

Here you are two months old. This was one of my favorite outfits.

And the priceless smile and eyebrow raise that you get from your Dad.

I tried to scan a picture of my mom and I to compare to this one. You really look like me.

Your first birthday !

Gotta love Daddy!

Just a few months ago. You love to feed the ducks. Funny thing, it is something we did alot when I was pregnant with you. As a matter of fact, the day I went into labor with you, we were feeding the ducks and Colton actually got bit by one.

Your face is full of expressions. I can almost always tell what you are thinking.

Cute, Sweet, and Incredibly ornery!!

I love you so much, bug. Your personality is so unique. And even though your three's will probably turn me grey. I wouldn't want you any other way. You keep me on my toes. I love how you like to "nug" (snuggle) with me on the couch, how you stick out that bottom lip so far I fear it'll fall off, and how you are a boy through and through. You are fearless (except when it comes to Santa)!

I hope this year is a great one for you. I have really enjoyed watching you grow these past couple of years. And I am thankful everyday to have you in my life.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving and Black Friday

I woke up Thanksgiving morning with excitement! Woo Hoo! I felt a sinus infection coming on, but was determined to fight it because I had 36 hours of wake time ahead of me. I refused to let a sinus infection get me down and not let me shop on Black Friday when just a few years ago I went 38 weeks pregnant with Ethan. Determined.

We bought our papers and headed out to Willy's parents house for our Thanksgiving meal. I wore my pin and didn't feel the sadness I thought I would. The trip out there was interesting with the sleet and freezing rain, but we made it safely. About an hour after arriving, it started to snow. The first snow of the year! And anyone who really knows me knows about my love for snow. I can feel it in my bones. And I've been saying all week it would snow on Thanksgiving, even though our weathermen were skeptical. Well, here it is...

Colton loves the snow as much as I do. I've never seen the boy get ready to go outside so fast.

Even though this would have been the twins's first snow, I didn't miss them any more. I felt them with me. Remember this post where it looked like it was snowing in July?

Colton and Ethan with their first wishbone break. Ethan really wasn't too sure about it.

Willy and I left around 5ish so we could go home and take a nap before going out shopping. And this is the sunset we watched all the way home. Talk about a truly magical day.

Our Black Friday shopping schedule:
7:00pm wake from nap
8:00pm meet Dru at Michaels
9:00pm dinner and hammer out game plan at McDonalds
10:15pm check out Toys R us. At 8:00, there were about 300 in line. At 10:30 (half an hour after opening) there were well over a thousand outside) We watched the line from the heated van.
11:00pm decided to go to Wal-Mart and come back around 1:00am
11:45pm get to Wal-Mart and am told that out of the 8 bikes that are on the pallet, some lady is taking 4, and the other 4 are taken. Our game plan for Wal-Mart was for Dru to stand at the back with the cart and Willy and I would make trips back and forth with our items. It worked really well!!
1:15am stand in line at Toys R Us (there were still 100+ people ahead of us)
1:45am FINALLY inside Toys R Us!!
2:30am Willy heads home to bed and Dru and I head to another Wal-Mart
2:55am.....I find Ethan's bike!!!!!
3:15am Walk into Kohl's, see the 2+ hour line to check-out, walk back out of Kohl's
3:45am At the mall, shopping here and there
4:45am Find some stuff for the boys at JC Penny's then head to Entertainmart for some video games
5:30am See the line at Entertainmart and decide we'll check it out another time. Dru decides to take me home then she heads to Bass Pro.
6:00am home and in bed for a few hours
I am so glad store openings were staggered. We had so much fun and were able to get most everything we headed out for.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Amidst It All

So, I'm having a hard time. But I am trying really hard to push through it all and am hoping that once the 1st has come and gone, that it will get better. Or if it truly snows tonight, that should help quite a bit.

Yesterday we talked about going to see Santa after dinner. We wanted to beat the Christmas rush and the Bass Pro Santa line is CRAZY! Last year it took 3 tries to see him. The successful one included my husband going by around noon and sweet talking one of the employees to find us a pass...for 7:00pm.

We went to Bass Pro first, and managed to receive a pass for 7:30. Since we had an hour to kill, we thought we would head to Hobby Lobby to get our 2010 ornaments. (I'll post those pics later). When we walked in, there is this large nativity scene right in front of the doors. Both boys were super excited about seeing Baby Jesus. Colton even requested a picture with Baby Jesus. This is the boy that 90% of the time fights pictures.

He probably could have spent all night sitting there. And notice the red Santa pass in his hand.

In just a few years time, that will be a real rifle. Scares me a little.

The boys laughing at the Banana-Orange knock-knock joke I was telling to get a good smile.

And the event of the evening! After spending 2 hours waiting to see Santa (7:30 really means 8:30 in North Pole time), Ethan refused to go near him. He was within 20 feet and started crying. I picked him up to carry him, thinking Mommy being there would help. I was wrong and I took several hard kicks to my c-section incision. When I put him down, he ran over 100 feet away, through the crowds, dodging merchandise stands, screaming like Santa was chasing him with an axe. And all we could do was laugh. I was standing there, listening to this screaming child run away with his Daddy chasing him and watching Colton intently tell Santa EVERYTHING on his list. Maybe next year Ethan will join Colton again on Santa's lap.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The ingredients for a perfect storm

This past week has been super rough! I mean to the point where I have wondered if I should be committed somewhere. I go from happy and joyful to crying my eyes out back to chipper within minutes. I am blaming the mood extremes to the proximity of Lucas and Caleb's six month birthday.

-Six months. Wow! I cannot believe it's been six months. Just the thought fleeting across my mind brings tears to my eyes. Never mind me mentioning it to someone. Six months. Half a year. How could that much time have passed already? Seriously?

-And for the past five months, I have concentrated that the six month mark means trying to conceive again. My heart is set on having another baby. And during the times when I wanted it the most, I held onto the six month mark. Six months to heal physically and emotionally. Six months for the green light from my doctor. And now I am getting the red light from Willy. He's not ready. We talked about it last month and he's not where I am on this topic. I understand. I really do. But it doesn't make the intense desire to have another baby any less. But I have succumbed to waiting a little longer. Keeping quiet for a few more months. Being patient so as to not push him over the wrong edge. I know there are many reading this right now who are in the same position I am. You don't want your husband to think you have changed your mind, but you don't want to "pester" him, either. I love Willy with all my heart, and he is the greatest husband a girl could ever ask for. This is just a little bump in the road.

-The holidays are upon us. What in the world was I thinking when I thought I could breeze through the holidays, gripping tight to the two healthy boys I have here, and not be knocked down by grief and who is missing. Ha, ha, ha! A funny joke, right? Well, when I opened up our Christmas totes last week and pulled the stockings out, I lost my mind. Level four meltdown. It hit me. How was I supposed to hang stocking for four weeks, with two missing? How was I supposed to look at those four, not six, stockings on a daily basis and not go crazy with the grief of losing two babies? I felt like grief was standing next to me, laughing and pointing at me. Although I do have to say the dragonfly ornaments hanging on either side of the stockings have made it a little easier to deal with.

-The first new baby in the family, Mackenzie, is making her way into this world as I type this. My neice. With the grief of losing my two babies, alone, this is a hard one. Not to mention everything above. I want to be there to support my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. But the idea of seeing family, in the hospital where I lost the boys, holding a healthy newborn baby is hard. It makes the pain fresh again. I talked to Brandy and Steve on Saturday, explained to them how I am feeling and that I would most likely wait until they bring her home.

So here are the ingredients to my perfect storm. Everything is spinning around in my mind making it hard to think clearly and to decipher how to handle all this. I am sure I would much rather all this happen at once, together, than back-to-back. Get it all over with, then let me be back to "better Carrie" for awhile....February, at least.

I hope to post Mackenzie's stats and a picture as soon as I get a chance to see her and hold her. It will probably be Friday sometime. But I will post on facebook as soon as I hear about her safe, healthy arrival.

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P.S. If you didn't have a chance, check out the pics from Ethan's party! It was a blast!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ethan's Birthday Party in Pictures

Ethan's birthday party was on Saturday. His birthday isn't until the 29th, but next weekend is the one right after Thanksgiving, and I learned a valuable lesson last year to not hold it in December. His chosen theme was Scooby-Doo which works very well after Halloween!

The cake was made by my fabulous mother-in-law, Dru. Love her!

Searching for clues to who stole the presents and where he or she put them. This was the main game of the party! Great stuff!!

Finding the presents in Grandma Dru's van!

Erika, Mike, and my dad wrapping up Willy.

"The Mummy" trying to steal the cake. I wish I would have caught his mummy moans on video!

The kids tackling "the mummy" to find out who it is!

Ethan going for the pinata. We had to reinforce it due to being too full of candy.

Let the sugar attack begin!

Blowing out his candle! Every year he gets so close to the candle, we are sure he is going to burn his lips.

Opening presents! He is very methodical about it.

I love how Colton has his hands in his back pockets here.

Trying to thank everyone as quiet as he could. Each time I would send him to thank the gift giver, he would take the gift and try to give it back. Cutie!
We really had a great time! Lots of friends and family showed up and celebrated with us. And now it is pretty quiet in my house with lots of new toys!

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Knot

Last night I was at one of our MOPS mentor's home for a Christmas Card Addressing Party. Most of us didn't address any, though. We really had a great time just visiting and getting to know each other better. And I have to mention all the wonderful treats and Jill's fabulous spiced tea.

We decided we would try out the human knot activity we might be doing during a future meeting. 10 of stood in a circle and took hands, and the fun began. As we were trying to untangle ourselves, I couldn't help but think how much grief is like a human knot.

In the beginning, your emotions are tangled and you feel lost as to the next step. You're in the middle of a huge mess. And just like how you can't let go of your partners' hands in the knot, you can't let go of anyone or anything close and dear to you. You hold them tight.

And as your friends and family surround you, you start to untangle a bit. One slow step at a time. At first the steps seem calculated, you're not sure if it is the right step or not. Should I get out of bed? Should I take a shower? Should I attempt leaving the house? And if you take the wrong step, you go back and start over. There were many mornings when I went back to bed because I wasn't quite ready to face the day.

After awhile, you start to get the hang of things. You know which way to go more often and you feel more confident in every day decisions. And you don't feel so tangled up in the grief. You can see through the mess that things are straightening out some. Your path begins to get clearer with every step you take.

Eventually you reach your new normal. And you still have your friends and family surrounding you, supporting you. Together all of you made it through this mess. You couldn't have done it by yourself. The grieving process is very much a group project. Sometimes you can be in charge and at other times, someone else takes the lead for awhile.

In the end you find some peacefulness and some freedom. But there is no way I would have arrived at the point alone.

This was taken on the way home. The fog under the lights was just beautiful.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Time with My Boys

Willy went hunting this weekend, so it was me and my boys. We had a really good time together. I am really enjoying the moments more than I ever did before. Each one is truly sacred.

Saturday we spent most the day at home. It was a chilly, gloomy day and it was the first day using the magnet board. I have to say the board is working well so far. After naps, we ran to Hobby Lobby and McDonalds.

I've been looking for a double dragonfly pin for a few weeks now. I want something to have that represents Lucas and Caleb in family pictures and on holidays and other special occasions. I decided a pin was a great idea. It's very subtle and really only those who know about the pin know what it signifies. And it helps that feeling that we are leaving them out. Well, the cheaper pins all cost way too much to ship. So I decided I would make one. Hence the trip to Hobby Lobby with two boys.

This is the finished product. I was really surprised how easy it was to make. And now I have lots of pin backs and jewelry wire, so I can make some more pins if I want. I think it might be a good idea to put in the memory boxes we are donating on their birthday. And the box was given to us by a friend who has 5 year old twin boys. I love the box and love the friend.

We bought treasure chests for the spending quarters the boys will earn with their magnet board. They receive two quarters on a "perfect" day. One for saving and one for spending. If they lose a magnet, they lose their spending quarter, and if they lose two or more, they lose both quarters. The boxes were on sale and I thought it would be a fun craft for us to do. And to my friends who know my OCD tendencies, notice that each color of paint has it's own brush.

Their finished boxes. I really love the early creativity of children. Colton is now coloring in the lines more and it kind of makes me sad that with the precision, we are losing some of the fun in mixing and such.

Ethan during nap time yesterday. He is so sweet, especially when he's sleeping. I could sit on his bed and watch him sleep all day and night. In bed with him is: GlowWorm-his first Christmas gift from us and his first love, Rudy-the reindeer Willy, Colton, and I made for him before he was born, Spots-the Valentine dog my mom bought for his first Valentine's Day, Cailey-his first Cabbage Patch Doll, Tuttle-the turtle he won at Six Flags this summer, and Baby Bear-the bear my sister bought him before he was born. Baby Bear now falls second to Blankie. I truly love how he has conversations with Baby Bear and all the adventures they have together.

And here's Colton stringing Froot Loops for the Christmas tree. He didn't take a nap yesterday so we watched Babar and strung Froot Loops for awhile. It's so neat to watch him work so diligently to get each one on the yarn. And he has a thing for patterns, so it was neat to see the different ones he was coming up with.

Well, it's been a great couple of days. I hope the week remains as good. It's a busy one with Ethan's party being this weekend. And I am every so glad when it will be over. But I am really looking forward to celebrating him turning three.

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