Loss and Hope

Loss is something most of us are familiar with…. loss of a loved one probably is the hardest. I have lost 9 pregnancies. Even though they were early it still hurt, a loss of hope. I always had hope that “this one will stick.”
Some people don’t understand why I’m so close to my kids and why I don’t mind if they climb in my bed at 4am or ask for one more snuggle. My kids are seriously miracles to me- I can’t believe they are real sometimes. Every single one, at one point, has almost not made it during pregnancy or childbirth and a couple of months ago I almost lost Gus when he nearly drowned and was not breathing.
At work, I have seen parents watch their kids die and it is the most unimaginable nightmare and loss. I cry inconsolably because I have only felt a tiny glimmer of that pain and I can’t imagine the full measure of it. I go home and hug my kids and let them fall asleep in my arms because that is how my hope comes back.
People may not understand why I’m so close to my kids but I seriously can’t imagine my life without them. It took so much struggle to get them here and even on the bad days and through temper tantrums I’m glad they are my kids and they are awesome.
Now that I’m divorced, people tell me I’d be lucky to find someone who would want a single mom with three kids. I have hope still that there is a good man out there who could look at my kids as a bonus and not a burden. Someone who will spend time getting to know us, fall in love with us and be happy to be part of this hilarious life.
I still have hope ❤️

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the Christmas card picture…

i have determined that it is pretty much impossible to take a picture of three siblings together without help. we had several attempts and i might add, in case you don’t know, that i am a trained photojournalist who knows how to snap a pic of a fast moving moments…. my kids would put the most amazing Pulitzer prize winning photojournalist to the ultimate test.

lets review some of the out-takes shall we…..

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somebody is grouchy

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nobody is looking

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somebody is being a goofball

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so close but not perfect

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somebody is over it

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somebody is being a zombie

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somebody fell out of the picture
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and finally aunt trudy walks in and people start cooperating…

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why my toddler is freaking out….

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i saw a post from another page that was about why a toddler freaks out so i thought i would write a personal list….

the sleeves are too short

the sleeves are too long

his jacket is zipped

his jacket is unzipped

he can’t wear clothes because he is being The Hulk

the flower he picked yesterday died

someone moved his toy

he spilled water on his clothes

he doesn’t want be in a car seat while wearing a coat

his brother is not being serious

i won’t let him play in traffic

his brother has an extra toy

the toy i told him not to bring in the car is now lost in the car

he is eating a white cookie and his brother is eating a pink cookie

she wants to be naked

she doesn’t want to be naked

she wants to wear the purple boots

she is mad at her shoes

she wants to take all the pillows off the couch

she wants all her clothes from her dresser on the floor

going to the fabric store is boring

the costume has a teeny tiny hole in it

pants feed weird

jackets feel weird

shoes feel weird

socks feel weird

underwear feels weird

she doesn’t want me to change her dirty diaper

they don’t want to take a bath

they don’t want to get out of the bathtub

they wanted to buckle the seat belt without help

they wanted me to buckle the seat belt

they wanted the shopping cart that has the car attached but it is in use by someone else

she wants the other pacifier

she doesn’t want the food on her plate because she wants the food on my plate even though it is the exact same food

all food is disgusting

First birthday

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It has been a busy few days in our house. Gracie turned one and I was on my own for the celebration which ended up being two parties… one for just me and her brothers and one with my extended family. This meant me and the hubby tried to get the house clean and the groceries acquired before he left town. I’m not sure, but I think it helps. If anything, it helps me feel better to start with a clean house even if I have to clean it seven more times until the party.

I wanted to have a pot luck supper and invite my family over because we always have great food when that happens and it means I don’t have to cook a huge meal for 25 people ha ha!

I made a fake lasagna (it’s like lasagna but with spiral pasta), garlic bread, chocolate cake and punch. I wish I had taken a picture of all the beautiful food people brought, but I completely forgot. I did get a picture of the cake. I also made her a crown out of fabric scraps and took a ton of cute pictures.

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As I was getting ready for the party I decided I needed to recover my spare dining chairs. So I loaded all the kids in the van and we went to the fabric store to get fabric for that project and a table cloth for the kids table and another table cloth for my dining room. The only reason this was financially possible was the 50% off sale at the nice fabric store nearby. So all that cost less than the day before when I went I to the party store to buy balloons and ended up spending $50. on “1st Birthday” party supplies. I finally realize why the baby of the family gets spoiled… being the last kid, I think, we just want to treasure all the last milestones. This was the last time I was going to have a one year old. I made all their birthdays as wonderful as possible but now I am sort of celebrating my own milestone and trying to hold on to my own memories. This was a great first birthday.

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chairs before/after

nap time

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what really matters…

one of my favorite bloggers wrote a post on the after baby body. i have been thinking about this a lot because my body is foreign to me now and i am slowly getting use to it. after the first baby i was 36 and in pretty good shape so my body bounced back pretty quick and all was ok. then i had to have the dreaded c-section with the second baby.  it was emergency and i was told that if they didn’t get him out asap he would not make it. so from that perspective i couldn’t care less that my body was messed up and i would have continual pain in order to save my child’s life. seriously, couldn’t care less!

for the third and final baby this year, i did a repeat c-section in order to have my husband in town for the delivery since he was leaving for tour a week after i was due.  the midwife thought that they could fix some of my pain issues as an added bonus.  it worked, to an extent, and i still seriously couldn’t care that my lower belly looks freakish and scarred. i even have scars left from the tape that they used that i was allergic to, but i really don’t care. the thing that bugs me (sometimes) is that other women make it look so easy about getting back into shape and it is not easy.  these women have nannies or day care and husbands who are around. so i have decided that i am going to be healthy and happy and be proud of my body.  all those perfect bodied moms who are lucky to have an amazing metabolism or a well healing body or time to work out a few times a week, i am happy for you and maybe sometime when the kids are older i will be thinner or more in shape.  for right now, i am just going to eat healthy and learn to love my body and scars for it’s life bringing and life saving ability.

plus… they are totally worth it because they are seriously the cutest kids ever…

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Secret handshake

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Mom holding George 2006

I think about Mom all the time. Maybe now that i am a mom i feel closer to her than ever. I feel like i am part of a secret club that all moms belong to- where a fleeting glance of understanding when your kid is throwing a temper tantrum is our secret handshake. (This also goes for dads, aunts, uncles, nannies or anybody who has been around kiddos)

Being a pediatric nurse is hard but it has seriously helped me be a better mom I know. I find joy easily in the little things and I don’t sweat the small stuff… or more accurately keep reminding myself to think that way. I am good at picking my battles and letting go of controlling mostly uncontrollable situations and not stressing about it.

At work I see sick or injured kids and it really makes me cherish what i have. I think, so what if my kid wants to stay up being silly for a few extra minutes past bedtime…. or he asks for just one more snuggle from me before he falls asleep.

Like some bumper sticker I had once said,”Life is 10% how you make it and 90% how you take it.”

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mama worries

my kids love to snuggle. probably because from the moment they were born i spent every moment possible holding them in my arms or carrying them everywhere in a sling or wrap.
every night at bedtime everyone gets snuggle time with mama, even if it is short because i have too much to do before i try to fall asleep.
 these kids are the best huggers. both arms squeeze tight around my neck, holding on for dear life.
 it hurts my heart to think this will end someday. they won’t want to hug on their mama.

i worry if anything every happened to me would someone be the same mama i try to be for them.

would they know all the things that make us work.

would they know that george is sensitive and this is a strength. he cries if he feels that he has hurt someone, especially me. that he just needs a few extra minutes of attention to feel ok. he gets sad if you leave him too long while you are trying to pack the car and he thinks maybe you might leave him. he told me tonight he had a dream that i left him in the car when i was in the middle of driving and he got scared. i feel like i have failed him sometimes to make him feel more safe from abandonment and so i will continue to reassure him.

if he had a “tough love” mama it would not work well

would they know what makes my kids laugh… things i do that instantly stop a temper tantrum in it’s tracks.

would they know that when gus grabs around my neck it means he wants to just put his face against mine and do sort of a face snuggle.
or that when he runs to the baby gate between the kitchen and den and says, “go” he wants to ride his tricycle around the house. he is my gently giant. he gives amazing hugs and sweet kisses, but he is the daredevil of the group and you can’t leave him for too long.  he also has amazing intuition, i think, because he always knows when i need an extra hug or sometimes he will just come up and pat my back as if to say, “it’s ok mama.”

would they know that gracie just needs to be held sometimes if she is fussy. she cries if she is hungry, wet or lonely. that is ok by me, since i know she is my last baby. i could hold her forever and never put her down if i had my way. she just wants to nuzzle my neck and it makes her feel secure and happy.

all the thousand little things I know about them. 

what about at night. would they get up with them a few times each night and snuggle them until they fall asleep again because they had a bad dream.

i hope they would.

what makes me really sad is knowing that someday they won’t need me. my whole life all i wanted to be was a mama and when that job is over and they are grown, i don’t know what i will do with myself. i am a caretaker and healer-type soul. i guess i will figure that out later.

nobody wins

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do you know that song by radney foster “nobody wins?” well, it is about a couple fighting but also fits perfectly today for me and my two boys. so much so, that when my parents call and say, “do you want to take the kids out and meet us for some f… Continue reading

on my own…

I am on my own with 3 kids for a solid 3 weeks. so far it has been interesting and it has only been 24 hours. there has been mild blood shed (me and the 2 yr old) and no tantrums. i see this as a good accomplishment.

the biggest deal is making sure everybody is safe and fed on time- mostly the newborn. i sit on the couch and nurse her and her brothers snuggle her and rub her head. 

luckily they both adore her and have shown no signs of jealousy. i pay a lot of attention to the boys so i think this helps. my kids are pretty loving. i think it is because i raise them like that line in a movie called “My Life”. something about raising kids by just marinating them in love until they are really juicy.  it seems to work. i am always snuggling and hugging on my kids and they seem to be really loving in return and towards each other…. or at least when i tell them to stop hiting each other they kiss and hug to make up.

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the picture of the three of them only happened because the 2 yr old was still half asleep.