Monday, January 31, 2011

Worth the Wait

"A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though (s)he thinks you are slightly cracked." Bernard Meltzer
How true, how true.
Back in June, after Lucas and Caleb were born, I found the TTTS Foundation facebook page and scrolled down for what seemed like forever for someone who had also recently lost their twins. I found Rhonda! I sent her a message, reaching out for support. Three days later, she sent me so much love and support, I just knew she would be the one to help pull me through this. Rhonda lost her girls, Zoe and Anna on March 29th. She is only two months ahead of me on this journey and she's been where I am, and is where I am going.
We talked about a week later on the phone for over 2 hours. Those first conversations were 90% about our lost babies. We would just cry together on the phone. Then our conversations were more about our surviving children, our husbands, and everyday stuff. Now we have many phone conversations where we don't even mention our babies. And that is good.
Rhonda lives in CO, 14 hours from Springfield. She has family in KS and we have discussed meeting each other one day when she comes to visit. Kansas City is only 3 hours from here. Well, her September trip fell through, but she planned one for January. I cleared my calendar for this past weekend and planned to go up and meet her.
And it was AMAZING! I felt like I was in college again, hanging out with a long lost sister. There really aren't enough words to describe the time I had up there.

We shopped all day. We would try on shirts, put most back, pick out more, then buy some here and there. We hit up some fabulous boutiques in Overland Park. She brought out a fun side of me that has been hiding for some time. I felt carefree and really happy. Let's not forget these fantabulous cupcakes full of chocolaty goodness! And we ate at this superb topas 9:30! It was just great. Although I still feel bad for pooping out after dinner and deciding it was best if we went back to the apartment instead of going dancing. But check out this outfit...
We looked crazy HOT!

Even though I hate that we both lost our precious twins, I am ever so grateful to have this wonderful woman in my life. She is one who truly knows how I feel and offers great advice in the many different and difficult decisions I have to make on this journey. When I found her, I wanted to find someone who, even though missed her babies dearly, still concentrated on the awesome family she still had and was able to embrace it all. She is truly beautiful inside and out.

And this trip was worth waiting 7 months for. I can't wait to see her again and to get our kiddos together next time.

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Fun Friday

Today was GORGEOUS!!!! It was 65 and sunny with barely a breeze. I loved it! And the boys loved it! After picking Colton up from school, we headed to the park. This weather called for outdoor time, and naptime could wait. Colton bee-lined for the spinny-seat-thingy. I love this thing!!

And Ethan just ran! This boy is fast and crazy.
I love how in a large playground with tons of kids, my two always make time to play together. They truly are the best of friends!

Oh, and Ethan got his hair cut today. I was warned last night that his Daddy might take him while I am gone to Kansas City and have it done, himself. Since that really isn't a good thing, we made it a date. Haircut and lunch at Maria's. And even when he is making his goofy faces, he is quite handsome and adorable.

My boys are climbers. They have absolutely no fear of heights! I am just happy they have a height limit when it comes to jumping....I think.

After getting the car washed and naps, we headed to Chuck E. Cheese (aka House of Mouse). We wanted to have a fun family night since I'll be gone all weekend. I am sure the boys'll have fun without Mommy, though.
This place is so much more fun now that they can really play the games. Colton will be my hunter for sure.

And Ethan probably won't play basketball. He's built more for football and plowing through people.

All in all it was an amazing day!

I will catch up with Project EPL next week. I have it written, just not typed here yet. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Losing Colton's Tooth

Colton lost his first tooth! The first in is the first out!
Willy went in to get him from his classroom yesterday. As soon as I saw him, I noticed it was gone.

And no one else had nocticed. We had no idea it was loose. I was suddenly worried that maybe he had fallen and knocked it out, so I went up and talked to his teachers. Neither one of them was aware he had lost it and suggested that he lost it while eating his lunch....consequently swallowing it.
And this is what I found in his lunchbox when we got home. I tore this sandwhich apart looking for the tooth. But it's gone.
I am really bummed about it being gone. I mean, the first tooth is definitely something that most moms want to hang onto. Colton has reassured me that he will poop it out, though. And even asked if I am going to go tooth hunting.....Ummmmm, no.
We called grandparents to let them know. And Grandma came by to see the "surprise" Colton had for her. And since she didn't have any cookies in her purse, she decided this occassion called for a special treat.

A choice of treats from the gas station across the street. Lots of gummies and nuts. Just what he needs to bring out the "wriggler".

We wrote a note to the tooth fairy explaining he swallowed his tooth. (side note: I asked him what he wanted me to write and at the end he added, "I miss Lucas and Caleb." They are always on his heart.)
The tooth fairy must think the first tooth is a big deal, she left $5.00!!!!!

I can't believe how big Colton is getting. I was just getting used to the idea of him having his kindergarten screening this morning, then his tooth falls out. I am just really not sure I am ready for this big boy. Oh, and he did SUPER on his screening. Llook out kindergarten, here comes Colton!

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Rainbows are in Bloom and a little on faith

WOW!!! I know what many of you were doing through the holidays!!!! Hehe! There have been an insane number of pregnancy announcements over the past week. Plus a few birth announcements. And I am excited for each and every one of you! For many of you, you are expecting your first Earth Baby(ies). Yes, one is expecting twins. And although it was difficult the first couple of days, I am truly thrilled for her and her husband. They have been through so much losing their first daughter and battling infertility, that this is truly a blessing for them. And I won't forget Bailey's mom and dad who are beginning their adoption journey!

So, I am in the process of moving several blogs to the left side of the page. Pretty soon there will be more over there than on the right. And that's a really great thing. For those of you who have lost recently, these blogs, these women give us all hope. Hope for future rainbows, hope for brighter days, and hope for our new normal. I love how all these women have continued to blog through their journeys and I look forward to the same.

On a different note, yesterday morning was a tough one for me. It started out pretty good, then at church, I broke. More like shattered, really. It seems like I do a lot of crying there lately. But it's a very safe place to cry. And here is the verse that brought on the tears. It is David's response when he is asked why he is acting as he is after learning his son has passed.

"Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me." (II Samuel 12:22)

When B shared this in telling her testimony, it hit me especially hard. I know I am not the only one who has spent numerous hours and days wanting my baby boys back. But upon hearing this, it really made sense. I need to quit wishing them back and concentrate on making sure I will see them again. They will be there waiting for me. We will all be reunited as a family one day. And I will have the chance to raise them, and be the mommy to twin boys. I cannot tell you the peace I now feel.

There are so many at Life Fellowship that I want to thank for their prayers, words, hugs, and tears. I know my grief is not just mine. It feels as though with each prayer, each hug, each kind word, and each tear, that you take a piece of my grief and carry it for me for awhile. So many thanks to all of you!

So I feel as though I am surfacing from my rut. I've been reminded of what my goals should be, and how I should re-prioritize. There are times when, through my grief, I put on blinders and forget these things. It's easy to get all wound up in missing what I've lost. But my job here is far from done. And there are great and amazing things in my future. And I know that no matter how bad I want something, that it may not be the right time. And I have to put all my trust in that.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

One Year ago, the journey began...

Well, even though I refused to look at a calendar, I still know what today is. A year ago this morning we learned we were expecting. TTC had been a rollercoaster since my cycle was crazy out of whack.

I had been sick for two nights. VERY SICK! I had spent more time in front of the toilet than on the couch. I had called a friend, Danielle, who brought me tons of supplies to get better at 1:30am. And when she dropped them off, she asked if I had a pregnancy test. I told her yes. She said to take it in the morning. I did and here it is.

I'm feeling a little sad today. Not as sad as I will feel as other upcoming dates approach. Just wish this all would have ended differently.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snow Fun

We woke up this morning to beautiful whiteness. I love it!!!! Most of you know my intense love affair with snow. And it seems although it's been passed on to my children. Yay for that! As soon as they saw it it was wild in my house. Jumping, yelling, running, literally bouncing off the walls. And the best part, Colton is recovered and we can play in it!

So we have and will some more.

Colton threw the first snowball... Ethan
The slide was next on their agenda

Ethan cleared a path for Colton

Me all bundled up. I take the cold seriously. And the more you put on, the longer you can stay out and play in it.

There is nothing better than a house with snow in it.

But trying to ride bikes in the snow is a little difficult.

More snowball fun. Colton had Willy making the snowballs for him. Apparently they were on the same team.

Then Colton saw it was more fun for him and Ethan to gang up on Daddy.

And here are my beautiful snow angels. Thinking of Lucas and Caleb quite a bit, I am sure they have enjoyed watching us play in the beautiful snow they sent.

After making our way inside through the de-snow stations, it was time for hot chocolate and marshmallows.

And here is a video of the first snow casualty. There were miraculously no tears, just a really bloody nose. We stopped the bleeding, but it isn't taking much to start back up. Poor kiddo.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Filing Our Taxes

We filed our taxes tonight. It's one of the last things that we have to do to wrap up the year of tears. I know I've talked before how frustrated I felt that Lucas and Caleb were treated so differently by all the state and federal laws. Such as Lucas not receiving a birth certificate or SSN. How that even though he was born, he wasn't to "them". But what can you do? I know many others have had it harder.

Well, since Caleb was with us for a short (too short) time, he did receive a social security number, allowing us to claim him as a dependent this year. The first time I thought about it, I thought, "How morbid!" But when you think about it, it's something. And claiming him will help pay the hospital bills. You know the ones you have to pay to deliver a baby(ies) that didn't get to come home with you.

So we get on the website, check the "Lifestyle changes" boxes which included: have a new baby and loss of a loved one. We click okay and see this:

How nice it must be to be able to assume that just because you deliver a baby, it's a happy occasion.

I know this sounds doom and gloom. I am really doing really well, and only teared up once through the whole process tonight. That one time would be when Willy pulled out "the envelope" to get Caleb's SSN. I left the room as I have yet to glance at the contents. Next year, I will leave the room when we have to change our dependent info....maybe there will be a gift to make it a little more gentle.

Oh, and to end on a chuckle (morbid sense of humor alert)...At the end of filing they wanted us to fill out a survey with an open spot for additional comments at the bottom. My first thought was, "Thank you for celebrating my dead babies." Willy and I laughed at each other and he typed something more like how it was really easy to use and such.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

A Refreshing Weekend

This picture isn't from the weekend, but from Wednesday. I wanted to add it because I thought it was pretty cool that Colton's new friend, AJ, has the same bedtime bear as he does. Pretty stellar stuff!!

On Friday the boys asked to get out the Kung Zhu hamster set. It's been put away for a few weeks and they played with it for a couple hours. It was bliss and reminds me how much I love rotating toys.

Colton did a lot of lego building the last half of the week into the weekend. He is really good at putting this stuff together on his own. I am so impressed with him and his legos!

By Friday afternoon we were all feeling the cabin fever from being locked in the house all week. It was time to let them play on the computer for awhile. Another hour of peace and entertainment.

Ethan LOVES wearing eyewear! And this is what I found Saturday morning as we were getting ready for breakfast. This little boy really knows how to cheese it up!

Saturday afternoon, we took the boys out to Willy's parents house to stay the night. I needed the break. It was the first day of the week that I put on make-up, styled my hair, and wore something besides jeans and a t-shirt. I felt like an adult again. When we left Target, we saw this sunset. I felt Lucas and Caleb smiling down on me, and it brought me peace. Plus it was a great chance to show off the skinny jeans and medium sized shirt from Victoria's Secret! Whoo Hoo!!

After Ethan's nap, he came down looking like this. He had stole into my bedroom for my eye mask. Gotta love that boy! Gotta love them both!

And here they are this morning. Ethan was riding Colton like a pony. When I went to take a picture, Ethan fell off, so this is the shot I ended up with. It is so nice to watch them play so well together. They are best friends and I truly love it!

The break this weekend was everything I needed and more. Not only was I able to get out of the house for a bit, I was also able to reconnect with Willy. Last week was a little challenging and we needed the time together. Most of last week when he was home it was one-on-one, and not so much time together. Willy is very much my best friend and this weekend was fabulous for us!

Yesterday Dru and I went shopping together. More time out of the house and some time together. I really enjoy spending the time with her. We get to talk and laugh and just have fun. Usually it's scrapbook shopping, and that's half the fun of scrapbooking!

When we got back in her van after leaving JoAnn's, she gave me this. It's the little things that warm my heart so much. Even though it's been over 7 months since Lucas and Caleb were born, it makes me so happy when someone else thinks about them. Thank you so much, Dru! You are just abolutely amazing! Thank you!

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Back to "New Normal"

**This paragraph contains a trigger for some**

First I would like announce Peyton's arrival. She was born last Thursday at 9:36am weighing 6lbs, 2 oz and 20 inches long. She is a beautiful and most importantly, healthy baby girl. Miss Peyton holds a special place in my heart. Remember this post, where I cried my heart out and was filled with mixed emotions. She is the first "expecting" announcement that was really close to me after Lucas and Caleb were born. And now Peyton is here and all is right. M was a super awesome friend through her whole pregnancy with Peyton. She was always aware of how I was feeling and never wanted me to feel sad or uncomfortable. If anything, I am sure this pregnancy has brought us a little closer.

Okay, now onto other business. I am feeling really good this week. Especially when you take out the frustration that occasionally pops up during one of Colton's crying episodes. My house is looking and functioning as it was before the New Year. And I'm not a basket case anymore. A great friend posted this last week that really helped me. "The holidays compound all emotions and at times it is easy to mask them with holiday cheer.... especially when you have living kiddos to be cheerful for... then the inevitable let down of back to "normal" every day routines throws us into our new reality and it is hard to cope with. " Thank you, Jaime for your wise words. And yet I wonder, will I ever be able to not be in the midst of planning something without feeling swallowed by grief? I hope so. Then again, many of you know that I am almost always busy with planning stuff, so it may work out anyway.

Colton is doing well. We've switched him to plain Tylenol except for at night. He is eating oatmeal and marshmallows, and we are going to try Scooby Doo mac and cheese for lunch today. The boys have a new friend coming over for a few hours tonight. I think it will really break up the monotony of staying cooped up in this house. And Willy is out of town on a business trip. It's his first one in almost a year...

Which brings up something else. Last year, a week from today, I started getting ill. I found out that Friday that I was pregnant. And a few days later we went on a business trip with Willy to STL, where I spent 2 days going from the bath to the bed, trying to keep down water. I was hoping that I wouldn't remember the exact date...I have kept myself from looking at the pictures and video we took...but I still know. It's a mental tug-of-war right now. And I feel confident I will eventually lose this one. But it will not blindside me this time. That is half the battle, being prepared.

Well, gonna get to work on laundry and dusting and floors. Hope those of you with all this cold and snow are keeping warm and enjoying the view!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Beads 1 and 2

Here I am, getting started on this project. It's been a LONG weekend, and I hate that this had to wait until now. But it's worth the wait.

I think I am going to pull out different passages that I come across that really reach out to me. I want to share them, then share how I relate to them. Since I'm not the one in this house with the writing degree, it may take a few weeks (or more) to get a good rythm going.

I opened the book and the fourth paragraph mentioned twins. Giovanni and Dario are identical twin brothers. I rolled my eyes, looked up, and asked, "Really? Is this how this journey starts?" Not that them being twin brothers really has much of anything to do with the story, it's just not what I expected. The movie never hinted at this. (Giovanni is the one teaching her Italian while in Italy.)

On page 7, she speaks about her age how old she feels.

"...loss upon loss left me feeling sad and brittle and about seven hundred years old." How true this really is. Those days that I cry so hard, I feel much older than I really am. I feel tired and haggard, like every once of energy has been drained from me.

"I am alone, I am all alone, I am completely alone." p9 I don't feel alone as often these days. In the beginning, before finding the baby-loss community, I felt completely alone.

And this one on page 10, we have all been here.

"I was hiding in the bathroom...I was sobbing. Sobbing so hard, in fact, that a great lake of tears and snot was spreading before me on the bathroom tiles." I am sure I have made that lake of tears on the floor of every room of our house. And many of us moms have hid those tears at times from our husbands, our children, or other family and friends.

"The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying; the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving." p.12 I know she is talking about her marriage and her husband, but this is how I felt when I was at the hospital. I didn't want to leave, because it meant leaving without my babies; I didn't want to stay because I was surrounded by the reminder that all this had really happened to us. It was a really hard emotional tug-of-war to pack up and leave the hospital. I remember telling Dr. L. that morning that I didn't want to go home yet. I was afraid of leaving. It wasn't until after Rebecca came in and talked with Willy and I that I was ready to leave. And I wanted out right then.

So, there are Beads 1 and 2. I'm really not sure how to eloquently wrap this up. These first couple of Beads were short and gave a basic foundation for the rest of the book. The next couple of Beads speak of faith and I am ready to dive in to those next week.

I am interested in how you all relate to some of these passages. Which ones really strike you familiar and how?

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Colton Update

Colton is having a hard time. We were able to increase the amount of pain meds last night and that seems to help some. But it is a fight to get it down him. There are a lot of tears, attempts at spitting stuff out, and frustration at both ends. When he gets worked up his teeth start to chatter. It is hard to try and reason with a four year old. I know he understands me, but I also know that with the pain, it doesn't really matter what I have to say. The poor kid. I am really hoping that today is better than yesterday.

It's supposed to snow 3-5 inches today. He LOVES the snow just like his momma. I hope that he can get a little excited when he sees it. Willy and I have discussed it and if he's doing a little better, we're gonna let him play in it for 10-15 minutes. I think if we don't there will be lots of tears, then more pain, and we really don't need that.

I wanted to add this random note about this. Colton was a rockstar going into surgery. I mean, there was never any panic. He was completely trusting, even when they put the mask over his mouth for him to go to sleep. I believe credit for this goes to the talks we had prior to his surgery. He knows that they put me to sleep when the twins were delivered. He knows I slept, then woke up, and I was okay. And he knows that because I was sleeping, I didn't feel anything through the surgery. We've talked about it A LOT!! And even though I wish things were different, I am grateful that he could relate my experience to his so that he felt more comfortable.

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Home and Well

Today was the big day for Colton. The boys woke up at 6:45am this morning, and Colton was so excited about having his tonsils taken out.

Here's those big boys that have been causing so many problems.

We got to the Surgery Center at 10:30 and they took us right back to Colton's area. We downloaded a few new games for him on the Leapster Explorer to keep him occupied. And there is Winchester who went into surgery with him.

Colton thought it was pretty cool being hooked up to so many things. He is such an excellent patient.

I was able to go back and be with him until I fell asleep. But not until on put on my "buddy outfit." I really love this picture.

Watching him go to sleep was a little unnerving. They warned me he would have an excited time period (like 15 seconds) then he would go limp. It was more like a panic stage then out. But his eyes were still half open, which gave me the chills some. It was really hard to kiss him then leave, but I knew he was in great hands.Colton had a difficult time waking up. The anesthesia didn't set well with his stomach and he was having a hard time keep liquids down. But after an hour nap, he was very much ready to go. I'm not going to lie, while he was having a rough time, I was a little nervous. I knew it was normal, but kind of scary, too.

Colton is very interested in being able to blow bubbles. He just hasn't been able to yet. So when he started blowing bubbles during his nap, I just had to have a picture!

We are now home. Colton is enjoying unlimited chocolate ice cream, spiderman popsicles, and gatorade. And there is a ton of soft goodies from Grandma Dru that he hasn't dug into yet. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. I am glad this surgery was routine and went as planned.

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