Friday, February 25, 2011

Not all bad

Even though in general the week has been kind of a downer, there have been some good moments.

We got the play-hut stuff out of storage for the first time in 9 months. The boys LOVED it!!!! We also rotated toys in and out, and they are still occupied.
I made the boys put jeans with worn out knees so their crawling wouldn't ruin good jeans. Ethan didn't like having holes in the knees of his jeans, so he put them on backwards.

Here is the flower Ethan picked for me on Wednesday. He is so very sweet. And I can't believe we have dandolions in Missouri, in February.


I have to share this! Colton was having a tough time listening to me all day. So I told him I would help out and he could keep his hands over his ears while he played for about 10 minutes. That way he would have an excuse for not listening. So far, there has been great improvement on his part.

I can't forget my haircut! I had a great hair week, but was still determined to cut it off. Also, the conversation with my stylist flowed well. Either she forgot, or just knew. There was a lot of small talk about Colton and Ethan and her girls. She was running behind and in kind of a hurry, so there was more concentration and less catching up. I am very grateful for this, as I really didn't want to dig into it all.

Before.




After! I love this haircut. It is short. And seems much shorter this morning. Plus, I haven't had bangs in 15 years or so. Really a big change. I think the phsyical transformation is complete, now to just keep working on the inside of me.


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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Blog Anniversary and Rough Night

A year ago today, I started this blog. The intention was to share our twin pregnancy and our lives raising twins and 2 older sons. As I started writing and designing it, I thought of all the laughter our crazy life would bring our friends and family. And the insight to what it was like raising twins. Here's the post if you are interested. I am still happy that I started this blog. I have a lot of great memories recorded those first months. And although the tone and intent has drastically changed, I am so grateful for this place.

I probably should have written this last night when I was deep in my emotions. And I almost got out of bed to write, but it was late and I just didn't have the phsyical strength. I hate grief, I hate hormones, and together they make for some pretty rough times. As many of you know, I've changed birth controls. I've been on this new one for two months now and I DO NOT like it. It causes PMS symptoms similar to first trimester symptoms. How unfair is that. Couple that with grief, and it is a disaster!

I am one of those who are able to be aware when I am being irrational and crazy. (most the time) It's so hard to feel the anger and frustration build up and watch myself go crazy. Then to not be really able to control it, it's torture. I was angry last night for no reason, and was able to simmer down enough to not go stomping downstairs with my pillow. When I expressed my frustration with myself, I broke down. The load cries, with the heaving. Loud enough that Willy told me I was going to wake the boys if I didn't settle a little. Then I started laughing. Seriously. All the while I felt like I was standing next to the bed watching someone who should be committed somewhere. I felt crazy nuts. When all was over, Willy was warm with me and I soon felt much better. The whole time I knew I was acting insane, I was completely aware of it, but there was nothing I could do to stop it. And I know that this is probably the last month for this pill. This has happened both months I have been on it and I don't think I want to try for a third.

Some of the grief part that helped bring this on is the anxiety of today. Today I am getting my hair cut off. YAY for that! But I haven't seen my stylist in a year, and alot has happened in a year. She knew I was pregnant with the twins, we talked quite a bit about it. At the time my biggest concern was Vanishing Twin, and she mentioned how it had happenend to a friend of hers. I know she hasn't forgotten. And if for some reason she did, how do I respond when she asks how we have been doing? I mean, really? I have an hour and a half to catch up with her. I don't want to not mention my baby boys, but I don't want to play Princess Doom either. I am sure the right words will come to me.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

02/21/11

I want to start off by saying how absolutely beautiful last week was. The boys and I were outside every day! And we had 3 crazy fun packed days that really wore us out. And I am so grateful for that.

Friday, February 18th, was the one year anniversary of when we found out we were having twins. I woke up and felt it through my whole body. My started to replay scenes from that amazing day, but I kept stopping them. I didn't want to think about it. Colton had to get to school and I had MOPS. I did breakdown in bed with Willy for a few minutes. Then fixed my hair, picked out jewelry, and put on make-up.

The meeting was great! Before was tough since I forgot that it was pajama day for Colton at school and that he was supposed to bring saltine crackers. I felt like a crappy mom, but knew my mind was in other places. He didn't really notice, though. After the meeting, Alicia approached me and invited me to lunch with some other moms, Amy and Jennifer. All three moms have twins in kindergarten, I met them through MOPS and MOMS. And I really felt today was a good day to do this. Big step, no HUGE step for me. And it wasn't hard. It was really fun. After lunch, we picked up Colton and headed to the park where some other MOPS moms were at. Lots of running and rolling down hills.

The day was good. Saturday was good. Sunday we were exhausted. The boys went to bed at 6:30 and I followed by 10:00. As I was pulling down the blankets, I caught the picture of Lucas and Caleb out of the corner of my eye. I picked it up, dusted off the glass and the tears began to fall. Sad tears, guilt tears, tears of disbelief. I felt sad that they aren't here with me, physically. I felt guilty that there was dust on their picture, that I hadn't really looked at their picture in days. And I couldn't believe we had really been through all this.

I felt like I had done myself and my grief an injustice for not taking the time on Friday, a big day for them a year ago, to really let myself grieve. I did last night. I held their picture close, then placed it on my lap and traced their faces like I used to last summer. I talked to them, told them how much I loved them and miss them. And replayed all those moments from a year ago. The surprise, the fear, the pride, and the excitement. I remembered how special I felt to be blessed with twins, how awesome and fun it was going to be, how we were going to be part of the cool new parenting club. Then it was all ripped away and I was placed in the babyloss club. How unfair!

I wonder now if I am going about all this the right way. I keep myself, and my family, busy. We don't have much down time, especially when hard days are approaching. I know that if I am busy and having fun, then I don't have time to dwell on the sadness of what's missing. But then I really don't give myself that time to be sad. It eventually hits, and it can hit pretty hard. I don't know.

Below is the video I took the day we found out. We had decided to keep a video diary of the pregnancy in the very beginning. The diary came to an end around 18 weeks when I was just too tired to keep up with it. If I would have only known at the time...

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video

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Car

Making this short and sweet. Our Venture started bleeding oil, so we had to get a new car. Oh darn.


So here it is, 2006 Town and Country, Touring Edition! I love it! It even has power sliding doors and back hatch. Along with a slew of other things....like a gas gauge that works.


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Monday, February 14, 2011

Creating a New Me

First, Happy Valentine's Day! Even if you don't have a significant other, you are still loved by many!

I know many of us BLM's have done it. When you lose a baby(ies) you kind of lose who you are some. You are definitely in a slump for awhile. It's hard enough to think about taking a shower some days, let alone a little fashion. Then one day, you wake up and decided it's time to take back over. So here I am, taking back over my life. I want to be a mom that my kiddos are proud of. I don't want them to run and hide when I walk into their school. And I want to be Willy's HOT wife. I know that I always look hot to him, but I want to have that WOW factor.

After spending a weekend shopping with Rhonda, I figured out what I needed to do, and how I was going to do it. She has crazy awesome fashion and accessory ideas. She always looks smokin'! So I set a plan to do some shopping this past weekend. And brought Jamie along with me. Jamie works with Willy, and he's been trying to get us to hang together for months now. She brought her 5 year old over to play with Willy and the boys and we shopped. I ended up with 4 shirts and a sweater that I never would have considered trying on if it weren't for the new frame of mind. Plus, I wore my 3 inche heel boots the whole day!!!!

After shopping with her, we took the boys to meet with grandma. Then hit up the $1 jewelry store. This is the greatest place if you are on a budget and really need to change up your collection...or create one. And I must mention that I passed up a pair of $25 black boots only to find very similar ones for $10 at another store! Whoo Hoo!!

I must tell you, putting on make-up, styling your hair, and adding the pounds of jewelry really brightens your spirits. I felt fabulous! No more leaving the house in t-shirt and jeans. No more "mom jeans" for me.

So, here's a picture from Friday night.


And here is my jewelry stash I paid $20.44 for.
I am really excited about these changes.



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Friday, February 11, 2011

Blubberings

They say comfort comes with familiarity. I agree. It seems even the familiarity of tears can bring comfort. As I was driving home from dropping Colton off, they began to freely flow. The warmth of their wetness coming down my cheeks, the salty taste on my lips, it all brought comfort. My thought, "Well hello, dear friends." And then the peace followed. I feel better, mostly. The residual ache and exhaustion is hanging around. But that is also familiar. I know it, and today I welcome it.

What brought this on really caught me off guard. Tonight is our MOPS Valentine's Banquet. I was going through my closet, looking for a shirt for today, and came across the sweater I bought last year for the banquet. I was 9 weeks pregnant that night. I was showing, but not enough to warrant a maternity shirt quite yet. I searched several stores for the perfect sweater. And I was so happy to show off my baby belly that night.

The one moment that remember well from that night was a conversation I had with A while in line for food. She was expecting #3 any day and had a set of 5 year old twins. We were joking about how I might be pregnant with twins. How is seemed coincidental that her and another twin mom were the first moms to approach me at my first MOPS meeting, and how my MIL and grandmother both talked about us having twins, before we even conceived. Here we were, joking around about it, not knowing that there were really two little babies growing inside of me.

As I was thinking about this, pulling out of the parking lot, the question came to me. How could we all know I was having twins before they were conceived, but no one knew they wouldn't survive, no one knew we would fall victims to TTTS? I mean, really? I get it, deep down inside, but on the surface, it just hurts....a lot.

I really want to just stay home in my pajamas tonight and watch junk tv. I've made a committment, though. I have centerpieces to put together, a room to decorate, and friends to spend time with. And I am sure I'll feel better once I get there and am surrounded by the love. But I am afraid of losing it there, with Willy by my side. This is supposed to be a night for romance, not grief.

Again, I truly hate you grief!

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hard Moments

This family has been on my mind so much the past 24+ hours. Yesterday there was a really bad accident here in Springfield. A mom and her two children were in a SUV that rolled over after sliding on the ice. I heard the story of a man that was there at the scene. If you want you can see it here. But know, you will cry and your heart will ache. The mom died at the scene. And her two children, 4 and 6 watched as a doctor tried to resuscitate her.

All I can think about is those two little children. And I relate it to Colton and Ethan. I come closer to understanding Willy's fear as I was lying in the hospital back in June. This dad lost his wife, the mother to his children. His children will forever remember yesterday. And I know grief all too well. I know that the next days, months, and years are going to be difficult for all of them. Once again, I think, "How unfair."

So please, if you are one who prays, pray hard for the Gentry family. And if you're not, just keep them in your thoughts and kiss your little ones an extra time tonight.

If I learn about something being set up to help this family out, I will make sure to post it here for any who are interested. I don't personally know this family, but this accident, this loss, is weighing heavy on my heart.

UPDATE: Gold Mines has set up an account with Empire Bank. You can go to any Emprire Bank to donate for the family. Thank you, Rebekah for the information.

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Today

"I thought taking a job meant I was putting more of her behind me, or trying to get back to a time before she existed. Then again, I always think that sort of thing when I pass a marker. My heart panics, but when it catches up with reality, everything becomes clear: she is still with me, she is still gone. No more, no less. Wherever I put my heart and my energy now, it is because of her and what she has made me. She can’t possibly be left behind. "
This is a quote from the current Glow in the Woods post. And I love it! It puts into words what I have felt many times. This fear, this thought hits me so randomly, and like a brick wall. I can be talking with a friend, laughing at a joke, and it'll hit me. I am happy. I am enjoying my life. But my babies are still gone. And I wonder, sometimes, if those who know, but aren't close to me think I've "moved on" or that I don't think about Lucas and Caleb. They are always with me, close to my heart, and not very far from my mind.
Don't get me wrong, I love that I can truly enjoy my life. Sometimes it's just a little harder to swallow. Sometimes the guilt creeps in a little, even though I know that Lucas and Caleb would want me to be happy. It's still there a little. But I believe that little bit of guilt is what helps me to have good days, also. That guilt tells my head what my heart knows. That I love them and miss them, even though I am doing pretty well.
There are some markers coming up, and quickly, that is going to give me a really tough time. It is hard to go even a day without thinking that I was pregnant and sick and elated this time last year. And these days hurt nearly as much as the weekly markers in the beginning, the 36-week mark, and their actual due date. I push through hard moments right now. Hoping for some relief, because I am not ready to deal with it. I don't want a week of sadness. I want a day, a day of my choosing. I day when I can cry and watch junk tv all day. A day that when it is over, I can go to bed knowing that tomorrow will be brighter.
It just hit me that it's a Tuesday.

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Monday, February 7, 2011

A Weekend for the Books

So this weekend was wonderful. We had a lot of fun beginning with snow and ending with Superbowl. I had a hard time picking just a few pictures for this post, so there's slightly more than a couple....but I shortened my list twice.

Here is a good picture of how deep the snow was....before the additional 3 inches we received Friday night.

The boys will play when mommy's away. Really, I was inside working on dinner. And I honestly believe that if we are ever blessed with a little girl, she will still be all boy.
The slide never gets old when there's snow on the ground.


And dessert. Kristan gave us the idea of using food coloring for their snow ice cream. And they chose their favorite colors. Hearing the words, "I'm eating yellow snow." was about too much.

Friday afternoon/evening we ventured out for some major grocery shopping. We also picked Aunt Jamie (now calling her Aunt Jamie since there are too many Jamie's and the boys have been getting confused) up so she could get some groceries also. We also treated ourselves to Steak n Shake.
Even though it was snowing like crazy, yet again, we thought it would be better to get our shopping done before Superbowl weekend rush. The only price....the paint job on my van. We slightly rear-ended someone. No major damage to anyone or anything, though. Willy was driving and there was just no stopping.

Saturday morning started with Colton losing tooth number 2! And we have this one, no swallowing allowed.

Saturday was warm, so there was some melting, which meant it was time for snowmen. The boys put together three of them in 30 minutes!

And I saw this sky and really spent a few moments sending love to Lucas and Caleb.

After snow fun, I had no motivation to cook. We thought we would let the boys choose their dinner. Weird combinations, but they thought it was fun!
I started this art project in October and finally finished and hung it on Sunday. I love this!

We decided to hold a small Superbowl party. We thought we would keep it small this year, with just a few friend and their kids. It was a BLAST!!!! And the food totally rocked! There was actually very little left over!

I could throw a party like this every month. I truly love playing hostess and cooking for everyone. I hope that our next house has a better layout for bigger get togethers.

Surprisingly enough, the kids all played really well in the playroom. They were quiet for 5 under 5. I am proud of them all!
Notice Riley and Colton in the yellow beanbag chair. They saw each other once in January. There really are days that I believe they will be together forever.
There was a moment last night when Willy caught them sneaking off together. He quietly followed them into the other room. Riley turned around and saw him standing there, grinning. Willy asked what they were doing and her response was a guilty, "Nothing." And that, folks is the next 15+ years of our lives with the two of them. hehe


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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Beads 3 and 4



I know that I am not keeping up with this as I had intended. And I really don't like using excuses much, but this year is off to a pretty crazy start. At least it's good crazy, though. This post deals with faith, both Elizabeth Gilberts and mine. I keep to being honest in this place, and ask for respect while you read this.

I am sure some of you reading this question faith in general, especially when it comes to losing a baby(ies). I know mine has been challenged. But I have to say that I am in the group of people that has examined my faith, searched for answers, and have grown stronger in my faith since my baby boys went to Heaven eight months ago. I actually have more clarity now when it comes to my faith than I did before. And I really want to share an amazing moment with you.



On July 31st, 2010, 2 months to the day that we learned Lucas was gone, I was at a MOPS steering retreat. We were sitting at Jill's house getting ready to start. We were opening our day with a group prayer. I was already shedding tears and questioning if I was really ready to be here. Connie, one of our mentor moms, began to pray. She prayed about how some of us were there with broken hearts, and how she just prayed that the Lord would place his hand upon us and help us through this time. At that very moment He was there. I felt his hand on my shoulder and just knew it would be okay. It is a moment I will never forget. I will never forget the way His hand on my shoulder felt. I will never forget the peace that swept over me. And it was at that moment, that I knew I was not alone in all this.



Elizabeth Gilbert opens up about her relationship about God in Bead 3. She never really thought much about faith. When she was asked what kind of God she believed in, her response would be, "I believe in a magnificent God." She also explains that she could just as easily use any of the names that describes one's religoius diety, but she chose to use "God" because it is what sounds the most personal to her, the most right. She admits that she doesn't necessarily believe that God resides in "a distant throne in th sky" but "much closer than we can imagine, breathing right through our own hearts." Honestly, I believe both thoughts. I know He is Heaven watching down on us, but I also know He is in my heart, just as Lucas and Caleb are. (Colton tells me this often.) This can get really deep as you put more and more thought into all this. And sometimes I really don't care to do so. Sometimes I like scratching the surface and leaving it at that, and so I will end this Bead here.

In Bead 4, she talks how this is the first time she's honestly spoken to God. Really spoken to Him. And her interest was in saving her life. She was hopeless and it occurred to her that some people reach out to God when in this dark place.

Gilbert then touches on how she thanks Him, and how she hopes she "expressed ample gratitude for all the blessings that you have given me in my life." And it is with this thought that she realizes that God has waited her out. Oh how I can expand on this forever, but I won't. Not now, but I will probably at a later date. I just want to add that I know He has waited me out, also. And the way it felt when I realized this, and how so many things came together and made sense, well, it was pretty incredible.

She then talks about her prayer, the first true prayer to God dwindled down to her begging, "Please tell me what to do." I know that us that have lost our babies have also had this begging prayer. Where we cry, fall to our knees, and beg God to save or bring back our babies. It is exhausting and at some point we just stop. We don't really slow down at that moment, but come to an abrupt halt. And you feel something, nothing, maybe just nothingness. She talks about being surrounded by this great silence, and then hearing a voice. Her voice really, saying, "Go back to bed, Liz." --plain and simple-- For many of us, it has been more of, "I'm sorry." or "I'm here with you." She also describes this version of her voice as , "wiser, stonger, certain, more compassionate." And I think these words also describe me, now, post baby-loss. These words are part of what losing my precious babies have changed me into.

I have tons of questions toend this with, but think I'd rather just leave it open for anyone to add what comes to mind.

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Blizzard 2011

Well, we finally got our big snow! A foot of the beautiful white stuff has fallen and I am loving it! We woke up Tuesday morning to snow and sleet mix and I was starting to get worried that it wouldn't change over. But it did.

The boys and I started the morning by making some chocolate chip cookies. I love cooking with them, but in my tiny kitchen, it's tough sometimes.

Then, once enough snow had fallen, we decided to head outside for the snow. This is the first time Ethan has really gotten into the spirit of things. And Colton headed straight for his slide. Willy started shoveling piles for the boys to play and dig in. And the snow kept falling.





And falling harder....



Back inside, we hit up the legos. Willy made it look like Colton's house was on fire so Colton could use the firetrucks he built to put them out. Brilliant idea! Legos used up tons of time.

Then the boys decided to make bean bag sandwiches. With each other as the meat. I have to say this is rather entertaining. And very much all boy. They even took turns being squished by each other.

Yesterday, day 2, we decided to play desert island. We were all stranded on an island with games, books, and a picnic. We even let the boys put on their swim trunks. We built a tent with a sheet (theirs is in storage), and Willy even joined us. This was really fabulous fun!


Playing Scatterpillar

Ethan discovering the rescue ship.

Can you guess who has been walking on my porch barefoot?
I have been waiting to post this in hopes that Colton's second tooth would fall out. But it hadn't, although it is literally hanging there. It's been a really fun couple of days. I have truly enjoyed my family. I have to say I am ready to get out of the house, though. Except tomorrow is Snow Day #4. Big Bummer. I am sure we'll come up with something creative for tomorrow. And just a few more days until Superbowl!!!!
Also, I have taken enough pictures (200+) for an entire scrapbook. Thought I would add this collage to the post. I took a picture every hour starting at 7:30am Tuesday morning. I have to say it was fun watching the snow get deeper and deeper.




I hope everyone affected by this storm has stayed safe and warm. And that you all have enjoyed it some.


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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

8 Months

Lucas and Caleb,

Happy 8 month birthday, darlings. Where has January gone? It seems like it was just the New Year and now we are already a month in. But this has been a busy month.

Colton had his tonsils and adnoids removed at the beginning of the month. And I know you were watching over him as I had to leave the operating room before they started. It was hard walking into a room so similar to the one the two of you entered this room in. I felt some anxiety and tears tried to sneak out. But I had to stay strong for your brother, and I did.

There have been two snows this month. One a few weeks ago, and a blizzard today! Seriously, the snow is crazy and I can't wait to share pictures tomorrow. The only thing missing in my house today is the two of you.

It's been a rough month emotionally. The fresh year brought it's own grief, thinking how it was last year that you were born and gone. Then the one year anniversary of when we found out I was pregnant. And there has been a lot of baby-wanting around here. I want another little one so very bad. Some days it's more than I can handle, others I feel more patient. Dana shared this the other day, Spirit Babies. What a great concept. And so many other babyloss mommies have announced their rainbows on the way. Oh how I wish the two of you were here, in my arms.

I met Ana and Zoe's mommy this past weekend. It was so much fun. And it was great to be with someone so understanding and supportive. And we both wore our necklaces. Your cremation locket and her birthstone box. Two different necklaces that symbolize the reason we know each other. I wear you close to my heart everyday.

Colton has been asking about the two of you quite a bit this month. He is the greatest big brother, and it still breaks my heart that he lost the chance to be one to you, and to show Ethan how to be as great. Ethan asked about you last week, also. He's so young that he really doesn't fully grasp it much. But the two of you are still very close to their hearts.

Well, we are another month closer to your 1st birthday. I have learned how to crochet and am working on blankets for the memory boxes we will be donating on your birthday. It keeps me busy, and I think of you the entire time I am at work on them. I love the two of you so very much. And I miss you every single day.

Love,

Mommy

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