10-29-19 A Day of Smiles

October 29th is a difficult date for me and this year I decided that from now on, I want to populate it with smiles and laughter and amazing memories for my kids.

So today we took the day off from school and went on a lovely adventure at a local farm. The visitor section of the farm is huge, chock full of fun activities for the kids. We did a corn maze, saw animals, played on a jumbo bouncy pillow, went down tube slides, tried our hands at a Ninja warrior course, took a wagon ride for pumpkins, and so much more.

I don’t remember the last time we had that much fun and the day was filled with smiles and laughter!

10-28-19 Until That Day…

Tomorrow it will be three years.

October 29, 2016 was the day we lost Hazel.

There are moments when I see a child around the age she should be and my mind wanders to the “what ifs.” What if we could have saved her? Would her hair have been brown like C’s? Her eyes blue like the boys’?

A few months ago, C asked about her. Didn’t you have a baby in your belly that died? Yes sweet girl, I did.

The boys were surprised, but then they weren’t old enough to understand what was going on three years ago. Somehow C remembered, at least a little bit.

They asked me a million questions, none of which I wanted to answer, but all of which I did the best way I could.

Would it have been a boy or a girl? I don’t know, but I like to think girl so C would have a little sister. (That’s why we named her Hazel. The morning we lost her, we were discussing names in the waiting room of the ER as a way to distract me from the pain.)

That baby is in heaven, right? Yes, and one day we will meet her.

How did the baby die? She was in the wrong place in mommy’s belly and she was in that wrong place too long.

Did it hurt? More than you can possibly imagine.

Did you almost die? Yes and no. If I hadn’t already been at the hospital when the ectopic ruptured, I might have. But God had me exactly where I needed to be. (It was definitely the closest I’ve come to dying.)

I hope one day science finds a way to save ectopic babies, so other mothers don’t have this same story to share. I want theirs to be a happy ending, a heartbeat, and a safe delivery. But until that day I’ll share my story so they know they aren’t alone.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. ~2 Corinthians 1:3-5 ESV

10-27-19 Trunk or Treat

The weather was surprisingly warm this afternoon when we walked outside. I was a bit worried that the Ninja Turtle that I was accompanying would get too hot and try to strip out of his turtle outfit in public, but thankfully when we arrived at the trunk or treat event we decided to attend, he forgot about his costume.

Our family time the past couple of weeks has been limited. It’s not that we don’t spend time together, it’s just that most of that time is in the classroom and we desperately needed a few hours to forget about editing and wood finishing and school and just be us. Or at least a version of us that walks around with a miniature Ninja Turtle, Venom, and a Unicorn-Butterfly-Princess.

10-24-19 Cake Pop Day!

One day a year.

That’s how often I buy my kids cake pops from Starbucks. (I’m not against my kids having them and if other people choose to buy them for them, I don’t stop them) but Tim and I decided early on that we didn’t want to equate coffee shops with ‘treats’ in the kids’ minds. That way we don’t have to deal with them begging for a pastry every time we walk in the door. To them Starbucks is for adults, except one day a year.

Flu Shot Day.

I’ve made it a tradition that after getting their flu shots, I take the kids to Starbucks and they get to pick out a cake pop. This makes the prospect of getting their shot a little more appealing. (not much, but a little more!)

This morning as we sat at breakfast, I told them that we would be getting cake pops today and I asked them if they knew what that meant. C thought for a moment and then piped up, “Does that mean we are getting our flu shots?” Smart girl. At the promise of the cake pop, no one complained as we made our way to the pediatrician’s office. The kids did great and more than earned their reward. After stopping at the pharmacy to get my own, we drove through Starbucks.

And even though we only live a few minutes away, those pops were gone by the time we pulled into the driveway!

10-23-19 The Photoshoot

One of the great things about where I used to work was that we had a very talented, very awesome in house photographer and he was always up to taking pictures of my kids if I asked. I was going through old pictures this evening and I came across my first photoshoot with C. She couldn’t have been more than a few months old at the time.

As the person typically taking the pictures in our family, there really aren’t many of me with the kids, so I was happy to have stumbled upon these. 🙂

10-22-19 The Cold

The other morning I woke up and the house was cold. We hadn’t switched over to heat yet, and the temperature had dropped dramatically overnight. As I laid in bed under my warm covers, my cold nose peaking above, I thought of our farmhouse.

When C was two and Big E was six months old we moved into a small farmhouse in late October. It didn’t take us long to realize that the house was a beast to keep warm. Our electric bills were through the roof during winter, as we had to rely on baseboard and portable heaters. To top it off, most of the house was set to just a few breakers, so you couldn’t run more than one heater at a time. So, we ran one in the kids’ room and every morning, Tim and I woke up freezing. I’d hurry downstairs to the bathroom and turn on the hot shower to warm up. After my shower, I’d shiver in our basement kitchen with the oven running to warm it up a bit. When I think back to the farmhouse, my first and most powerful memory is of how cold we were all the time!!

My kids still speak of the farmhouse with nostalgic sentimentality, and in their memories, nothing compares with its beauty and space. (It was neither beautiful nor spacious.) But I am pleased their memories there were good ones.

I often wonder who lives there now. How do they manage the cold, or the stinkbug infestations, or the unnatural slope of the master bedroom? I have to say, I’m just glad it isn’t us!