Friday, June 28, 2013

tooth fairies, piggy tails, meal time and friends

"mom?" aiden asked from the backseat.

"yes, hon?"

"is the tooth fairy real?"

i looked in the rear view mirror and saw that she was looking at me with pure, yet skeptical eyes.

"why do you ask?"

she replied..."i just really want to know the truth."

we had a very honest conversation after that.  one that made me realize she was no longer sold on the truth of this sort of childhood magic.  one that revealed that although she wanted to know the truth...she also wanted the truth to be that the tooth fairy was, indeed real.  she was old enough to know...but young enough to not want to know.  she wanted to hang on to the magic.

after asking her questions like, "do you really want to know?" and "what are you wanting the answer to be?"  and "what do your friends say?"  i told her.  i told my girl the truth because  she said she wanted the truth.  any by golly...if she put it that way...what choice did i really have?

"yes, aiden.  mommy is the tooth fairy."

i saw the disappointment.  hell...i was disappointed.  i held my breath...hoping that the questions wouldn't keep coming.  hoping for that little bit of truth being enough for now.  hoping that she would hang on to the childhood magic a little bit longer.  but since we had the tooth fairy and the easter bunny meet this year, leaving toothpaste, bunny tracks across the counter...she quickly said,

"so you met the easter bunny????"


i had not thought this through.


the puddin' cup had her very first piggy tails.  she was so excited.  she is still working very hard at growing hair.

aiden talked me into this summer hat.  it wasn't hard.  i mean...look at her.

chad took his oldest daughter on a date.
before they left...i whispered, "open the doors for her."

and this series of pictures capture meal time with flicka.

she's not an eater.

i told her if she couldn't stay still and eat that she would have to sit in the "baby" seat.

she was fine with that.

and lest you think otherwise...

ballerina kitty pirates is a super fun summer game.

and if you try this at home...

i have it on good authority that it's better watched while surrounding a fire pit with good friends, family and wine.


looking forward to talking to you from wolf creek ranch, colorado.

until then...

i'm wishing you wonderful summer days and nights.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

cooking parties & wishbone dreams

i just uploaded all of the pictures from aiden's cooking birthday party.  i can't sit on pictures too long...or i feel like they will get lost in the shuffle of life.  it's my blogging format.  upload latest pictures.  blog about them.  memories in the vault.

while waiting for them to upload, i got sidetracked in itunes...downloading songs like auld lang syne and ben lee's whatever it is.  that's a lot of uploading and downloading goin' on over here.  my computer must be tired.


aiden's birthday landed on mother's day this year.  it was fun to share the day with her.  we didn't let her go un-celebrated...because let's just face it...celebrating is something i do best. was a tough day.  it was a couple of days before we went in for our ultrasound that would reveal the fate of our baby.  we had waited a long,  tough week...and i think my heart knew the outcome...even if my mind was playing tricks on me...telling me that everything would be ok.  i was mind never leaving the baby in my belly.  and that entire week...i could have done without.  even if it did contain mother's day and my baby girl's eighth birthday.

as a result...her birthday party had to be put on hold.  it was postponed until this passed friday night.  she wanted a "cooking/sleepover."  i tried to appease her with the cooking part...and knew better of my patience and emotional status to okay the slumber party.  i just didn't have it in me.  for a second...i felt guilty.  she had gone through losing a sibling.  she had wrapped up her second grade year.  she had been forced to celebrate her birthday on a day where her mommy's heart just wasn't in it.  she had been missing her friends.  however...i knew what i could handle.  and for one of the first times that i can remember...i paid more attention to that than i did what her heart wanted.  and that was okay.  and it's a good thing.  because by the end of those 2 hours...i was done.  it turned out to be a really cute party.  but let me just tell you...

8 year old girls are crazy.

simple as that.

and they have no business having the entire night to be in cahoots with each other...wreaking havoc on the house...her brother...her mother...and anything else in their path.

lesson learned.

no slumber parties until they are old enough to sneak out and then be appropriately locked out and scared shitless for doing so.  (yeah.  i just cussed.  but that's how serious i am.)  because at that age...they aren't screaming and squealing this high pitched, ear piercing dolphin screech that makes one want to gouge their eyeballs out with a fork.  no.  they are quiet.  because they are trying to be sneaky.  but...i'm onto them already.

aiden's 8th birthday party.

cooking theme.

in pictures:


she chose to make cinnamon cream cheese squares.

while they were in the over...we had a taste test game.  seriously.  fun.

chase helped pass out the stuff they "liked" for a snack.

she made a wish...

i just called aiden over here and showed her the picture of her making her wish.  i asked her...

"what were you wishing for?"

she whispered her wish in my ear.

then i sat her on my lap...and told her a story.

a song by delirious came on. (i always blog to music.)  it's called what a friend i've found.

and to that song...i began:
you wann know something?  when colton was little, and chase was just a toddler...we were at thanksgiving dinner over at granna and grandaddy's house. you know what a wishbone is?

she replied, "yes."

well...granna and i broke the wishbone from the turkey in the kitchen.  i won.

i had wished to have a baby girl.

but do you know the magical part??

granna wished the same thing. matter who won...

she smiled and guessed,

"it would come true."

i smiled.


and then...

i got pregnant with you.

you were our wish come true.

i hugged her tight and she hopped down from my lap...

hopefully having a little more insight to how much she was wanted.


happy birthday aiden annee-grace.

you are a wishbone dream come true.

Friday, June 14, 2013

the good night conversation with my middles

 one of my most favorite memories from childhood is when my mom or dad would indulge me in a story when they were tucking me in at night.  and my most favorite stories were the true ones...from when they were little.


it must be said...that i do love the perspective that my two middle children can offer me.

tonight...after snacks, a movie, gum, water, bathroom, questions, and any other procrastinating situation that could possibly arise...i told them, "to bed."

one of the benefits of summer...and the lack of schedule that that someone is usually taking up residence on aiden's trundle.  either chase or annslee finagle their way in there most evenings...for a sibling sleepover, of sorts.  tonight...the trundle was chase's.

as i was tucking them asked,

"mom?  where you ever in any school plays?

i replied,


the room was lit only by lamp light, and i sensed one of those stories that i, too, used to love.  the ones that start with a child saying, "tell me about when you were little."

aiden was listening with interest and chase asked,

"which ones?"

i let my eyes look to the ceiling and quickly started going through the files of memories that my brain held entitled..."school plays."

i remembered aloud,

"well...there was this one in elementary school called roddie riddle from mars...and the little boy who i had a crush on played roddie riddle.  his name was scott spurger."

they giggled and chase perked up,

"did you have to kiss him???  who did you play? were you a main character?"

i laughed and said,

"no!  i was not a main character.  and i didn't have to kiss him!  i think i was a dancer or something."

chase then asked,

"where you in any other school plays?"

the file in my head was pretty empty...besides the senior musical in high school.  so i answered...

"i only remember being in one other one.  it was the senior last year of high school."

at this point...i was totally engulfed in their mesmerized world of school plays and main characters and learning lines.

i continued...

"it was grease.  i actually tried out for the main character, sandy, and got called back for it.  but...i chickened out of the second call back and ended up a dancer."

hmmmm, i thought.  again with the dancer bit.  i realized the pattern.  what was it with me and the "dancer" rolls?

chase was concerned...and asked,

"so you didn't get the lead because you were scared of memorizing the lines???"

i thought for a second.

"i guess.  i remember thinking that there was no way i could remember all those lines.  too bad...huh???  i should never have allowed fear to get in my way."

chase exclaimed,

"mom!!!  you could have been a star!!!"

"HA,"  i laughed.

and then aiden...

always ready to offer the hard truth...comforted me with this,

" made the right decision.  you be our mom instead."

and with that...

i kissed their foreheads,


and said,

"yes.  i did."

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

He's old enough for Kenya

It's 2:54 in the afternoon.  They left a little over 2 hours ago...and I am already feeling a small ache...missing those 2 boys.  Colton took my place on the Kenya trip...and how my boy is old enough for a trip like that escapes me.  He just called from the airport...and I brought up all sorts of random things to talk about, lingering over topics like what he ate for lunch and how his littlest sister can't find her earphones...even though she looked in her hello kitty box in her room, just to be able to keep hearing his voice.

Yesterday, we spent the day shopping for the things that he and Chad needed for the trip.  We hit all sorts of stores...discussing what kinds of stickers and bubbles and soccer balls the kids in Kenya would most like.  They can't wear jeans over we had to get Colt some light weight khakis.  We decided to go as a family...and lectured the kids in great detail about what their behavior needed to be in the stores.  We had an unfortunate experience in Academy a few nights back that resulted in leaving a basket in the middle of the boy's athletic clothes and heading home...due to a fight that broke out over who pushed the cart.  Chad had had enough.  (I gave him a break and agreed to come back alone.  He's an amateur when it comes to shopping with all 4 kids., in general.)  So...after some serious warnings...we tried again.  This time we went to Sun and Ski Sports to see if we could find some of the clothing items they needed.  I'm fairly certain that our pictures are on the wall in the employee break room in Academy under a "Don't let these people on the premises" sign.  Things were going fairly smoothly until Annslee disappeared from the dressing rooms.  I quickly located her sitting in a kayak...that was up on a display shelf in the middle of the store.  I asked her if she really thought that was a good idea.  I'm pretty sure she did.

Chase was so busy playing mine craft that he barely looked up from his itouch.  When we stopped for lunch...Chad made mention of the Africa trip (for the billionth time over the last several months)  and Chase looked up, interested for the first time in the subject and says,

"Colton's going to Africa????  Can I have his room?"


Today marked (what would be) the 12th week of the pregnancy.  When I realized that, I allowed myself to think about what this week could have been like.  I would have had the 12 week ultrasound with the high risk doctor...where we would have found out if the baby was a boy or a girl.  I allowed myself to wonder which it was.  I allowed myself to remember what that excitement felt like...and feel sad that this week won't hold any of that.  I wondered if I would have told Chad whether we were having another son or another daughter via e-mail...or if I would have waited until he got back.  I decided that I would have probably told him on Sunday...Father's Day.  I would have found a way to let him know...and I would have let him tell Colton.

Already being a little emotional made saying goodbye a little harder, I think.  But also a little sweeter.

I think she feels the way I feel:  like looking down.  and not smiling.

Now I just have to find a way to fill my time until around 2 am.  That's when I made them promise to call me from London during their lay over.  I wonder if Colt will be in the mood to discuss pleasantries, like whether he enjoyed the peanuts or the pretzels more and what they offered for dinner on the plane and whether or not Chad is using appropriate amounts of hand gel, just so I can keep listening to his voice?

Monday, June 03, 2013

on getting stronger.

in retrospect...going straight from the couch to the soccer field may not have been the best strategy.  but i can't pretend that i've ever been something other than impulsive.

i told my team mates to put me down as a sub.  i wasn't sure when i would be able to play again and i wasn't sure what my body would even allow me to do.  i have been out of the sport for a good 3 months...and on the couch for the last 25 days.  but my body was begging me to do something.  anything.  just get up.  move.

my mind and heart, however were not quite there.

they lagged behind...

they were all,

"but we have been through a thing.  and we need the break.  we deserve a break."

our team captain (and my sweet friend) shot me a text saturday morning.

"game tomorrow at 6.  want to sub in?"

i thought for a second...

my head and heart having a substantial inner argument with my body...

and replied,

"i can try."

she said, "yay!!!  we will make sure you take it easy."

i made sure to be honest.  heaven forbid these people...these team mates...these friends actually rely on me.

"i have no idea what i'll be able to do, to be honest.  but i have to start somewhere."

yesterday...(the day of the game)...i went to church (against my will); took the kids to ihop while chad made announcements at the next service (that new french toast commercial had been calling out to me); and then declared that i was going to lay down for just a minute to rest and read my book.  3 hours later...i woke up.  i looked at the clock, like it was a ticking time bomb.  4:00.  good lord.  i only have 2 hours till the start of the game and i have yet to even see if i can run without doubling over.

i lay there until mind and heart doing their absolute best at trying to talk me out of showing up for the game.  i had my text all planned out.

"i'm really sorry.  i thought i'd be ready...but i'm just not.  i need more time."

and i knew...without a shadow of a doubt that my text would be received well.  after all...i have been through a thing.

but my body just wouldn't let me do it.  i knew the truth.  it's not gonna get any easier.  even though i am still doctor had cleared me to play.  i was cleared to "resume" all normal activity.  like...ok...this whole thing is done with and you can just pop on back to your normal life. i discovered on the soccer field last just doesn't work that way.

i went into my room...dug to the bottom of my dresser drawer and located my uniform.

clarkson.  number 8.

that seemed like a lifetime ago.

it was a short lifetime.  but it was a lifetime.  my baby's lifetime.

i put it on without thinking.  if i thought about it...i would fold it right back up and reach for the sweat pants.  and that wasn't gonna help anybody.

i went through the motions.  fastening my shin guards and ankle brace.  slipping my feet into the sambas that i once loved to lace.  packing my bag with extra pads in case all the running caused me to bleed heavily.  filling the water bottle with cold water.

the hardest part was walking into the room were the kids were... and watching their eyes adjust to that version of my "old" self and saying, "MOM!!!  ARE YOU GONNA PLAY SOCCER????"  i could only imagine what they were thinking.  "no way.  you've been sleeping for a month.  this is gonna be a disaster."  but then i realized...those were just my thoughts.  ok...and maybe chase's.  he did sit down next to me and say..."i'll pray for you."  followed by something like, "don't break anything."


i walked into the building and luckily avoided the staff asking me where i'd been?  my entire team trickled in and no one even said anything stupid.  i say this...because i am notorious for saying stupid things in these sorts of situations.  no one ignored the situation.  but they didn't get all weird and uncomfortable...making me feel equally weird and uncomfortable either.  they were perfect.

they told me that i was only allowed to play 2 minute get my feet wet again.  and it wasn't in a "you're so out of shape that you are going to humiliate us" was in a "we know what you've been through and whatever you can do is ok and we are here to support you and take care of you" way.  and that was a relief.  no one was expecting anything.  they were just glad i was there.

soccer was something that brought me such satisfaction and joy before.  and i hoped it would do so again.  however...when i took my place on the field...i realized,

"my heart is not here."

i was up against a girl that was so fast and quick that i probably wouldn't have beaten her when i was at my best this time last year...scoring hat tricks and connecting assists and never tiring.  although i was never some soccer superstar...i at least made a difference in the game. but last night...when i was running to try to win a pass down the line...being chased (and caught) by this girl who had absolutely no idea who i was...all i could think was...

"who even cares!  why am i here???  beat me to the ball!!  i don't care!  i'll lay a red carpet out for you to score a goal.  this means nothing.  my baby just died."

used to...i would have to be called off the field.  used to...nothing mattered to me more than bringing it out there.  nothing mattered to me more than scoring and making great passes and performing to the best of my ability.  it made me happy.  it made me satisfied.

i felt like a porcelain doll last night.  i felt like i was two seconds from shattering all over the field.

and nothing about that made me happy.  nothing about that made me satisfied.

 i was just...



when i got home...and chad asked,

"how do you feel?"

i had to reply,

"supported." hard as that game was for me...there was joy to be found there.  every member of my team had my back.  they didn't care how i performed.  my worth was not in what i could or couldn't do.  my worth was in "who" i was.  they would not let me go against the "linebacker" on the other team.  they wouldn't let me get too tired.  they wouldn't let me stay out there too long.  they were watching me closely.  not because they cared what i contributed to the game...but because they cared about how i was.  they cared about my heart and my body.  they knew me...and they knew where i was.  and if my heart wasn't in it...that was ok.  and they would be patient with me.  and they would teach me to be patient with myself.


i now view myself like a muscle in the body.

you tear it order for it to come back stronger.

last night...i was emotionally and physically torn down.  and i let it happen.  i came home...took a shower...and went to bed.  i went to bed sad...dissatisfied...frustrated...hopeless that i would ever feel "good" again.

but when i woke up this morning...

i felt a little bit stronger.

i made myself get up.  and it was different this time.  because my heart wanted to get up.  i went to the y.  i tried a new body pump class.  sure.  i used the lightest weights.  i did a fraction of what i would have done 3 months ago.  but i felt strong.  and i didn't let myself quit when it got hard.  and when i walked out of the front doors into the sun...

i knew that i had come back a little stronger.

and with a little more hope.

and something about that made me smile.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

on recovery

i've decided that one does and thinks strange things while recovering.  it's been 12 days since i officially miscarried our baby, and 24 days since i found out that something might be wrong.  in that time...i've done a lot of "feeling."  and it's really amazing how quickly emotions can change.

i spent a good 4 days in bed.  not because i wanted to.  i didn't have a choice.  people don't know how hard a miscarriage can be on a mother's body.  not to mention her heart.  and the two pains together??  well...they are nearly unbearable. for 2 of those days...annslee wouldn't leave my side.  she would saddle up next to me in bed and watch sprout or play my phone as i fitfully slept.  one of the games she would play on my phone had a child's voice calling for it's mama.  i would hear it in my sleep and dream it was my baby calling for me to come.  i would try to find the voice...but i never could.  and sometimes i would cry with the voice.  i would call back.  i would cry out that i was sorry i couldn't find it...i was trying...i wanted to reach it and hold it and rock it...but i couldn't.  when i would finally wake...i would ask annslee to play a different game.  and she would.  but she never knew why.

so...last friday morning...(which was 5 days post miscarriage)...i tried to stand up after chad got the kids off to school.  i had tried the morning before and realized that i couldn't stand up straight without it hurting pretty i collapsed right back in bed.  and on that friday morning...i could stand up.  i walked into the kitchen and made a cup of coffee.  this was a huge success for me.  it's weird how the simplest task feels like a monumental occasion after going through something like this.  and i didn't even cry at the realization that i could now drink caffeinated coffee because i was no longer pregnant.  it's also weird how quickly you get used to protecting that baby.  no coffee.  no alcohol.  no hot, hot baths.  no emptying the kitty litter.  no eating weird, soft cheeses.  and all of a sudden...i didn't have to worry about that stuff anymore.  however...i still caught myself questioning it. the water too hot????  oh yeah.  it doesn't matter anymore.

on that friday morning, while my coffee was slowly dripping into my mug, i looked around the kitchen.  it seemed like a foreign place to me.  i had been in bed for 4 days.  i only saw my bedroom and my bathroom.  my mother and chad had taken charge of the kitchen.  and it wasn't used to me being in it. i stood there a while...sort of introducing myself again.  and that room sensed that i was somehow different.  i would never be the same.  but it welcomed me anyway.  and it said that who i was now was ok.

the first thing i did was rip the "may" page of the calendar off and throw it away...revealing the blank month of june.  i was done with may.  i needed may to be over.  i needed to look ahead.  i didn't need to look back at may anymore...or see where i had excitedly written that first appointment down...expecting to see my baby's heartbeat.  i didn't need to look back at those days when i was still pregnant and happy.  i needed to see the future.  i needed to see june.

and then i just started rearranging the entire kitchen.  the coffee pot was all wrong where it was and needed a new home on the opposite counter.  i worked for 2 hours.  i cleaned every service of that kitchen.  and when i was looked like a new room.  it was ready for summer.  and so was i.

after that...i decided that i needed a new purse.  like...right then.  so...obviously i decided to go shopping.  i went by myself.  colton watched annslee for me...and i looked at every purse in the bay area like my life depended on it.  i bought 2.  plus a wallet.

i've read my bible more.  because that's what i do when i'm struggling.  i try to find answers.

i haven't found any answers.  but i have been comforted.

last saturday morning, i woke up around 9:30.  that's been another thing.  people tend to just let me sleep.  and i've slept a lot.  i didn't hear i wandered into the front room where i could see the driveway from the front window.  that's when i noticed that chad and the kids had decided to tack on to another garage sale on our street and had trudged a bunch of stuff out of our house and garage to the end of the driveway with a "for sale" sign in the yard.  i stood there for a minute and then saw some random lady holding up a piece of my old lingerie in front of her body.  i guess i was too numb to even care...because i just stood there...sipping my coffee...watching articles of my undergarments being sold for a dollar.  whatever.

sometimes people say all the right things.  and sometimes they don't...and i get mad.  i don't get mad at them...i just get mad in general.  the anger doesn't last long.  but one thing i've learned about myself is that the worst thing for me is when people pretend it didn't happen.  like...they just don't say anything and they don't acknowledge what i am going through.  like, "we're just gonna pretend this whole thing didn't happen."  yeah...i've learned that's not helpful.  i know people are different and for some...that would be the best thing.  but not for me.  so...i know that there are some times...that i will have to be uncomfortable so that someone else (the person who likes to sweep things under the rug) will be comfortable.  and it's ok for me to distance myself from that if i need to.  it won't feel that way forever.


chase made the battle of the alamo out of blocks and army men.  this kid really amazes me with this sort of stuff.

i've tried to get outside more.  the sun going down and the cool breeze in the evening is like a friend's invitation for coffee.  and after sitting for a spell...i even felt like grabbing my camera.

i'm working on teaching myself how to photograph in manual.  it's harder than it seems it should be...but the colors are amazingly better than in automatic.

i see the most difference in their eyes.

i started a book.  and that has been useful in softening some of those sneaky emotions.
i've always been able to be absorbed into characters...forgetting a bit of myself...becoming the safest way.

on this particular evening...the sun lit the clouds like magic and turned them into the prettiest orange.  aiden pointed out this cloud and whispered, "it looks like heaven."

i instantly pictured my grandparents...both of my uncles that died a few days after their birth...chad's grandparents...and best of all...Jesus...holding and loving my baby.  i pictured them happy and laughing.  i pictured a beating heart and a sweet smile. does and thinks strange things while recovering, indeed.