Saturday, March 31, 2007

The clothes dryer is upstairs

And there is one additional hole in a brand-new-freshly-painted wall.

The washer is in the process of being moved...and my kitchen is now covered in warm water. (Mel...imagine the shower scene from the Manville Apartment)

aaarrrrgggghhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why don't husbands listen????????????????

Do I let the kid win and put up a Disney Cars shower curtain in the pretty purple bathroom? It will be ugly but it will make him happy. What to do, what to do...

So we compromised. I bought him a Disney Cars toy and he let me buy a butterfly shower curtain. :o)

Friday, March 30, 2007

Miscellaneous Thoughts

Since I've been mostly bed-ridden during the past week, I don't have much interesting to say. So this week's miscellaneous thoughts are mostly devoted to the talking idiot box on my wall.
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First...PLEASE cross your fingers, say a prayer, throw salt over your shoulder, dance naked around a candle in your living room...whatever it is that you do for good luck. Steve got called back for a second interview and it is TODAY. :o)

Oh...and if you dance naked around a candle in your living room please don't take pictures. Nobody wants to see that.
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Hell's Kitchen returns Mondays at 9pm, starting June 4.
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LOST...ummm...WTF?!?! These people enjoy tormenting me, don't they? Spiders AND being buried alive in the same episode?!?!
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Notes from the Underbelly?!?!?! Somebody shoot me...NOW!
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"I love Caillou." Seriously...Steve said THAT! (He was desperate to watch LOST at the time. And again...LOST...ummm...WTF?!?!)
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I can't be the only one that finds Elizabeth Hasselbeck annoying on The View, can I?
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Sami and Lucas still aren't married on Days of Our Lives. Their kid is in college now, I think. I wonder who has the longest running romance on daytime television?
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This is the weekend for the last of the painting. It has come not a moment too soon. If I never see a paintbrush again I will be a happy woman.
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Update on the MOM Project fundraiser...in ONE day, our $5 fundraiser (encouraging everyone to donate just $5) has raised almost enough to cover our IRS fee to officially become 501(c)(3)!!!! Thank you to everyone who donated!!!
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I donated $10 to Kelly's Relay for Life team...in honor of my Aunt J, who is currently cancer-free!
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I finished my friend's baby blanket and will try to get to the post office tomorrow morning to get it sent out to her. It turned out nice. Sort of "casual elegance." I will have to take pictures and post them to share.
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I JUST NOW found this link for finding sewing/stitching charities. LOVE IT!
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I did not previously make a big announcement here...a fact that I must remedy.

My friend Mary has recently had her very first book of poetry published! Congratulations Mary!

(She loved the bag, Laura.)
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Did you check out my new flower pics on flickr? I love my flowers and my new (Canon Rebel xti) camera both very much. Now I just need to figure a way to work some of my pictures into a blog template...

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Shameless plea for donations

Two really good causes. $5 each would make a big difference. And what is that really? A couple fewer expensive cups of coffee?

First, The MOM Project is desperately in need of funds. We are trying to achieve two goals...the first is to maintain our supply of free mother's bracelets to grieving mothers. The second is to obtain our tax-exempt status (which is not cheap...how ironic is that?).

Second, my animal rescue friend, Kelly, is participating in the Relay for Life. She has been very kind to me during the last two years and I would love to return the favor and provide her some support. She is already planning to walk in memory of her grandmother and her friend's son...and in honor of her mother, stepfather, sister-in-law, boyfriend, and even her dog (who is also a cancer survivor). If you are so inclined to donate, she will walk in memory/honor of your loved one(s).

Please understand, I do love you

I lie in the dark and the words stampede around and around in my brain as if they are looking for a way out. Only at night. Why do they only seem willing to run free at night when I am trying to contain them so that I might sleep?

Last Saturday I replaced two tiny Christmas trees at the cemetery with two Easter pinwheels...blue with Easter bunnies in the center...very festive. And I didn't feel a thing. I felt cold and dead and ready to curl up on top of the wet earth...and just...give up. It is tiresome having to go through the motions season after season, pretending to care for that little plot of earth that I wish never existed. It wears heavy on my body. My bones ache with the weight of trudging through another day. My arms ache to hold them just.one.more.time. Sickly enough, I'm jealous of those saying goodbye today to their little ones because they are at least seeing them...holding them.

The thoughts that play in my mind...the nightmares...

It is so funny how the most complex things can be said between those of us who "know" in such a few words. The nightmares. You know. If you don't know then you should count your blessings and know that hell has nothing on this life. I am so tired of ending up in the sad place and I am tired of ending in the angry place. And yet I have nowhere else to go. True happiness is forever out of my reach by a mere breath. Two breaths, actually.

Without a compass, I have wandered aimlessly around trying to read the markers and trying to forge a path. I have no idea where I am going, but I am making good time...or at least trying to. Always keep moving. It's harder to hit a moving target. But I find that the markers are all in a language I cannot understand and the path is overgrown with something I can not seem to clear.

For the last two weeks I have resisted the urge to pull their things out of the trunk and just wallow in their being...their existence. I have refused to put away the donation card from a friend because I know that once I open that trunk to do so, there will be no going back. I need to not feel for a while. At least that is what I have been trying to convince myself.

So I lie in the dark and listen to their breaths. The breaths of the two I love so dearly. And the imagined breaths of the two I cannot bring myself to love. Not right now.

And the tears slip silently down my face as I pray.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Thank you Secret Pal!



The candle and the alpaca yarn are both beautiful and yummy...and I have been wanting to plant some lavender and larkspur in my gardens...but I really can't wait for this stomach bug to go away so I can eat chocolate!

Goodbye sweet baby Peyton

Her name is Cass and her first daughter, Quinn, was stillborn at 26 weeks in 2005. We ran into each other on the Silent Grief message board because we were both mourning our lost babies. She has been amazingly supportive and kind to everyone who needed a little extra love. She is the first in line to cheer in celebration of good news. She is the first in line to cry with you over sad news. She was due July 24th with her second daughter, Peyton, and we all cheered for her.

A few weeks ago, an ultrasound revealed that baby Peyton was small for her gestational age but a follow-up amnio indicated that everything was normal. A few days ago, an ultrasound revealed that baby Peyton no longer had a heartbeat. Cass will be induced today...the same day that my friend Darcie will bury her sweet baby girl, Carli.

There are many things I could say right now about the loss of such wanted babies...about God...about the unfairness of it all. I could talk about how I did not sleep last night thinking of these women and the thousands like them whose fairy tale ends in a nightmare every.single.day. But it all seems pointless in the face of this grief. I have been sick with the stomach flu this week, but it is my heart that hurts the most.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Thanks to Vixanne for pointing me to this article on pregnancy after loss.

Goodbye sweet baby Carli Mae

Carli Mae was born on Tuesday, March 20th at 11:12 a.m. by c-section. She was pink and perfectly beautiful. Her daddy went to the NICU with her while the doctors tried to stabilize her for the trip to Children's Hospital. Her parents found out at a 29-week ultrasound that Carli suffered from Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia.

Despite everyone's best efforts, Carli could not stay on this earth with her family. She was taken off the ventilator and she died at 11:32pm, exactly 12 hours and 20 minutes after she was born. Her family was able to bathe her and dress her in the super sweet pink creeper that said, "Daddy's little girl," and the soft socks, and the hat that her great grandma crocheted for her. Then they did the thing that no parent should have to do...they said goodbye to their baby and let her go.

I have never met Darcie, Carli's mom. But we have been friends since we both logged online to the "Due in June 2002" message board. She is an amazing and beautiful woman with an amazing and beautiful family. And now she joins this club of mothers with invisible children...this club that we all hate but have no choice about our membership.

The visitation is tonight and the funeral is tomorrow.

Darcie, my dear friend...if you need me, I will be there. You name it and it is yours. I never wanted anyone to understand this pain. It is one thing to meet people this has happened to...it is quite another for it to happen to someone you consider a friend. I love you and I am so so sorry.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Making me look bad

He's vacuuming. I guess I'd better get something done too.

I did take some pictures today...flowers...crochet...Sam cuteness.

Will post more later...as soon as I lose the title of slacker around here.

Imagine it

"I can't imagine..."

This phrase is really annoying to me. So much so that it now ranks as one of my top pet peeves. I dream of one day responding with, "Imagine it...go ahead...TRY to imagine it...you can do it."

I find I don't have such a negative reaction when someone says, "I can only imagine." It says, "I know it's horrible and I can't possibly REALLY understand it...but I can TRY to imagine it and it is bad." I think it's because the person saying it has at least "gone there" emotionally as best they can.

Or maybe I'm just too picky.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Dead baby humor

"For ages 3 and up."

Think I can safely give these pinwheels to the boys? They're only (almost) 2 and 1.

eh...what the hell.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Welcome to the world Baby Anderson!

Stephanie, who is a frequent commenter here on this here old blog, welcomed her second baby boy into the world sometime today. Details have not been provided. I blame it on the fact that she is under the influence of some good pain drugs. I'm sure details will follow at some point.

**ok...so I lurked on the old mommy message board in order to steal the details...
9:46am
7 pounds 8.5 ounces
19.75 inches long

Congratulations to Steph and her whole family!

Miscellaneous Thoughts

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Yes, I am back at work for the first time in a week...but...

I AM OUT OF THE HOUSE!!!!!
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Everybody wish Steve luck today. He's got a job interview! shhh...quietly...we don't want his current place of employment to hear.
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Herbie Fully Loaded is a GREAT movie. Even on the 532nd viewing.
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When your kid tells you he's not hungry and he's gonna throw up...believe him.
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After five days of holding his head while he puked, my son's response at my first gag-into-a-bucket moment was to run from the room, arms flailing, yelling, "Oh no! Here come the throw-ups!" Yeah...thanks kid.
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I have these clients who seem to think it is MY job to be the investigator/enforcement officer/sheriff. I am an attorney. I have a very limited scope of authority. And if you ask me to file a complaint for you in a case where the defendant will be using YOUR words from a PUBLIC RECORD as his defense, you better have some explanation for why you've wasted my time and the court's time (and DON'T even TRY to blame it on someone else).
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Baby Blue is done except for washing and blocking. Do I show pictures here before giving it to my friend since I know she reads here?
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I'm working on a baby blanket for a friend who is due today. She reads here too and she doesn't know it's coming. But I found this great yarn that fits in perfectly with her nursery decor (and I personally love it)...so how could I resist? Of course, this puts HER afghan behind schedule...I hope she doesn't mind. (And again...the picture dilemma.)
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I am seriously disappointed that the Holmes County dog auction has decided to move up to Geauga County. This monstrosity sells puppies from Amish puppy mills...many of which are inbred and sick. I am a strong advocate, in this case, for the NIMBY stance. If it's not going to be shut down as an illegal puppy mill operation, then I don't want it anywhere near where I live.
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Should have stayed up to watch the Ohio State basketball game...or the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey game. They were both real nail-biters...I'm told.
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Scrubs had a FABULOUS episode last night that tackled the, "Everything happens for a reason," philosophy/philosophers. A longer post is brewing on this topic, but today I just can't tackle it. Today I'm just too sad.
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I am trying to deal with my friend's bad news (sadly, the train did not switch tracks)...but all I really want to do is scream and hit something. I can't talk about it because she hasn't made any sort of official announcement and I just don't think it's my place to say anything. But yet, I am feeling fiercely protective of her and WANT to take away some of the burden I know she feels. And I am hoping against hope that nobody says anything stupid to her.

I hate this.
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Thursday, March 22, 2007

I officially have a teenager!

Me: No

4-year-old Sam: You never let me have ANY fun.

Me: [laughing] You are hilarious.

No way to cushion the blow

I saw the train coming right at her. Not a real train, but the figurative kind...the horrible, terrible, emotional, grief train. I prayed that it would get turned down another line by a last minute switch on the track. And I told her I wished for the best...but I also warned her that if it hit her it would hurt like hell. She stopped talking to me.

Now I am waiting for confirmation that the train did strike her (and her sweet baby girl).

And I feel as though I am going to vomit.

You can't cushion the blow. For anyone. No matter how much you want to...no matter how much you try. Some nameless/faceless conductor makes the decision whether to miss you or run you over. You can scream into the roar as it comes barrelling down the track, but it does no good.

The best you can hope is that it doesn't kill you.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

My friends know me too well?


A friend sent me this pattern. She said she saw it and immediately thought of me. Good thing? Bad thing? I'm not entirely sure.

(Yes, those are crocheted easter eggs.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Real moms

Bon tagged me (and made me cry) with this twist on the "Real Mom" meme...

real moms sometimes have children you can’t see.

this meme goes out to all the mothers who don’t get tagged for things like this. the ones who’ve given birth but had no baby to take home. who sit on the sidelines of conversations about mucous plugs and back labour, with stories to tell but no room to participate. who have a little gravestone or an urn or just a memory in the place of a child. who have adoption papers saying “relinquish all rights…” or ultrasound photos but nothing more. or who have two smiling school photos on their desk, but really, inside, count to three when you ask “how many kids do you have?”

this is for all the real moms with children invisible to the eye.


The photo that immediately came to mind for me is this one...



This is my job now as a mom...
...striking a balance between grief and happiness...
...sharing his brothers with Samuel, without overwhelming him with the depth of the sadness...
...allowing him to love the two little brothers who are not here to play trains or ride bikes with him...
...letting him water their flowers when he wants to and knowing when he needs to skip it.

It is a part of motherhood that I would never have imagined. But it is my reality...OUR reality.

And because I know there are others out there who have their own reality as moms with children you cannot see...I tag msfitzita and kate.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

For Manuela

It's here

The vomit/diarrhea flu that we thought we dodged this year has finally arrived...delivered via daycare (as noticed by a sign on the door). Sam is down for the count.

Do Steve and I eat sausage and eggs knowing what is in our future? Of course! Steve says, "If you're gonna go down, go down swinging."

Wish us luck!

Thank You...!

Thank you to...

Holley - Thank you for the chocolate covered caramels and the book, Enslaved by Ducks. I've already had a good laugh at the description. Steve read it, said, "uh-huh," and kind of nodded. What do you think THAT means? Oh...and thank you for the Christmas lights. hehehe.

Lisa & Blaine - Thank you for the memorial donation in Alex's name to Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital. It means more than you can ever imagine to know that our boy still makes an impact on this world even though he is not here with us.

Cynthia - What can I say? Thank you for the pasta. I am still laughing. Also, thank you for the book, Can Man Live Without God. I promise, I won't throw it in the fireplace (it's electric and wouldn't do much anyway). Seriously, it was very thoughtful of you and I will read it (I hope you are not offended when I review it, as I'm sure I will still have doubts and "issues").

Jill - Thank you for the BEAUTIFUL bookmark! I love it (and what it represents). You are very talented and I am honored to own a bit of your handiwork.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Miscellaneous Thoughts

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I think I may make Miscellaneous Thoughts an official "feature" of this blog. Maybe every Friday. I'm even going to give it its own category label.
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I am giving God a rest for now before my brain explodes.
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Diana Ross to American Idol contestant Gina..."Because there are so many words, you have to be sure to pronunciate each one." Yeah...so...anyway...I ranted for five minutes....wanna make something of it?
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I have a shameful little secret. Earlier this week I went to an online store and bought two yards of fabric...the same fabric that Travis' clothing was made out of. I have no idea why. I just had to have it. It is embarassing. Now what the hell do I do with it?
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I sat at the hair salon on Wednesday evening and watched a mother and her eight-year-old-ish son mock various women in a hairstyle book. Nice.
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Oh yeah...did I mention I got my hair cut? Here's a terrible picture of the new do...It's much more rock star than I've ever had. Now I need to invest in some good product to keep it spikey.
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Thank you to my readers/commenters for the insight into earphone options. Unfortunately, after researching options for my cell phone online, I find that I may have to MacGyver it and try an adapter AND earphones. You know, I love my Verizon service...but this proprietary crap with the equipment is truly annoying.
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I did 15 MOM Project bracelets last weekend. Each one represents the memory of a dear child for a grieving mother. I wish there was more I could do.
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With the help of my mother's insight and Dr. Google, I have diagnosed myself with gallstones. I am, understandably, not anxious to see a doctor at this point in my life. So some diet changes are being made. I hope they work to hold off the need for surgical intervention for a while. I'm not sure I could mentally handle any more anything in my life right now.
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Chili without beans is just plain weird.
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My little dog, Blue, had another big seizure that lasted about six minutes. I'm getting worried about her. We're going to try some diet changes and some other things, but I fear we are facing some extensive (and expensive...though that is not my main concern) vet care. I just want to wrap her in bubble wrap and protect her.
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I was flipping through the channels and stopped on Extreme Makeover-Home Edition (whatever happened to the regular edition?). Anyway...I only intended to stay briefly because that show always makes me cry and I really don't need to be tearing up over strangers' stories when I've got enough tears to fill my own ocean.

Ty Pennington asked the mother to talk about her son and she replied, "It's been 617 days since he died."
I couldn't change the channel.
The look on Ty's face was slightly horrified shock, as he said, "Wow...you count the days."

Yes, she counts the days. We all count the days. We mothers who have lost time.

It's a way for us to replace the missing firsts and all those special times...birthday parties, Christmas celebrations, family vacations, homecoming dances, football games, proms, weddings...all those things that normally mark the passing of time. It's a way to feel connected through time when your time has ended.

Her 16-year-old son died in a car accident on the way to the store just a mile or two down the road. We have such different stories, but I could truly feel this woman's ache of 617 days.


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Crafty updates





Progress on baby blue.









And I probably shouldn't show this, but I will turn this tapestry fabric into a surprise for my secret pal. Can you guess what it's going to be?







What could this yarn possibly be for?

Luck O The Irish

I'm stuck because I always believed things happen for a reason. If I could just let that go once and for all, I know I would be much happier. But un-learning a lifetime belief system is hard...and painful. I'm going to have to either mold the facts to fit that belief system, or acknowledge that it was crap and I just didn't recognize it. I'm leaning toward acknowledging the crap (a friend calls it bullshit...and I think that's appropriate too).

Yep...I admit it. I rested on my spiritual laurels for far too long and now the spirit(s) has bashed me over the head and said, "Get a clue." On my more stable days, I can easily let go of the "plan" and God's "reasons" to just recognize that a great number of things happen for no reason at all. There is no plan. You're just lucky or unlucky. And, as my blog friend Aurelia pointed out this week...MANY human troubles can be traced back to the poor decisions of mankind...even those things that seem so out of our control.

The struggle really gets going in my brain on my unsure days. Because my lifetime belief system is so woven into the fabric of my being that it compels me to ask, "Really? Is that what you REALLY believe? (Self-doubt is a beautiful thing.) Can you really be sure? What if you chuck the idea of a grand plan and you're wrong?"

Yes, I believe in hedging my bets. I don't want to end up in hell if there is such a place. I don't want to be separated from my boys forever...with no hope of seeing them again. I just want to do what is right. But what is right? Who do you listen to? How do you EVER find a sense of peace? Am I just going insane?

I think I got the analogy wrong. God doesn't slam the door in my face upon inviting me to dinner. After further reflection, I see that a more accurate analogy to the invitation idea is that God invites me to dinner...I go in, sit down, eat an amazing dinner beyond my wildest dreams. At the second and third invitations, however, I am served a huge giant steaming pile of crap. Maybe God didn't actually prepare the food...maybe He did. Maybe it was the fault of the caterer...maybe God directed the caterer. Maybe God was just as surprised as me...maybe not. The answer to those questions matters when I consider the ultimate question...should I accept a fourth invitation?

And there is one comment I would like to respond to...

To me, it's been amazing to see how life seems to throw situations at me that challenge me in my weakest, sorest spots. Like the situations are crafted specifically for me, and if I don't take them as an opportunity to grow, then I don't get any further along life's path.

I can not...and will not...believe in a God that would kill an innocent child (or ALLOW an innocent child to die) in order to teach ME a lesson. I have grown as a person, yes. You may garner some comfort from your belief, but I personally recoil in horror at the thought that this situation...the one where TWO innocent children died...was crafted specifically for me.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

New house?

Yeah...Umm...

I tried to burn it down.

Accidentally, of course!

Started cooking hamburgers on the stovetop and got distracted upstairs while organizing bills. Plum forgot until the dogs started acting weird and I smelled something funny. How I got downstairs without killing myself is a mystery to me...thankfully the contractors installed the handrail a couple days ago. I moved faster than I ever have.

I have now turned off the heat and opened the windows to get rid of the smell. And I've turned off the stovetop. I think I may have to sacrifice the frying pan. I am telling you...I need a keeper. And I think I'll have cereal for dinner.

Let's look at pretty flowers

We had a three day thaw that brought 60+ degree temperatures and my first flowers (snowdrops). The giant snow piles melted and we were able to have the construction trailer removed from the front lawn and the construction dumpster removed from the driveway (yee-haw!). Despite the fact that there is a fresh layer of snow on the ground this morning, my thoughts have turned to spring planting. I have no specific color "theme" in mind...I just like pretty pretty flowers.

I want these...Who Dun It Dahlias. I have never grown Dahlias, but I always see such pretty ones at the county fairs around here...so they must do well in our zone.

I also need to add more bulbs to my tulip gardens. After five years, they're looking kind of sparse. I'm torn about what variety/color to go with. I have typically planted the standard tulip in red, pink, or yellow. I tried purple tulips in a second bed, but they were either eaten by voles or destroyed by the crazy snow plow guy. I am partial to the ruffled tulips, but never seem to actually BUY and PLANT any of this variety. I'm eyeing the Angelique for this year. But then, the non-ruffled white Purissima Jumbo is pretty too. Decisions, decisions...

And then, we must talk roses. It is a tradition to add at least one new rose bush to the rose collection each year. Whether the new rose actually GROWS or not is always an adventure...but I at least TRY a new one each year. Some years there are hand-me-downs from other established roses (friends and family). Some years there are expensive roses from catalogs. Some years there are the $4 specials at TSC or Walmart (which are surprisingly hardy and can even survive the mad mower's attempts to whack the snot out of them). No matter what I try, however, I have been unsuccessful in all attempts to grow a purple rose. I did, in fact, get the purple rose from Jackson & Perkins to grow...and it turned out to be a rather sunny yellow/orange/red combination (quite pretty...but on the other end of the spectrum from purple). So I think I may try ONE MORE time before I give up. This Royal Amethyst is just too tempting to pass up. And this time, if it doesn't grow, I AM calling to complain and get my money back (I did that with some plants last fall and the company sent me out replacements...I was quite pleased with the customer service).

Last, but certainly not least, I simply MUST add this Olivia Oriental Lily to my newly created collection. I never really thought much of oriental lilies before. But I planted some in bloom last year and they were simply heavenly...the scent just went on for ages. And they are so delicate and beautiful that they fill up the space where I would love to grow Iris but seem unable to. LOVE them!

hmmm...a lot of purple and white...I think I need to find some other colors to mix in there...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Secret Pal 10 is underway

Yes, Cecily, I got my match. (Everyone say hi to Cecily.)

Cecily, I emailed you (twice) to confirm, but I guess you didn't get it. I've already emailed my pal and am on the way to buy her first surprise. Thanks for working so hard to set this up for all of us. I know it's a big job and I personally appreciate it because I always have a lot of fun participating.

Welcome to Treggles' minister

A minister is reading my words. I am definitely going to hell now. :oP

Anyway...this comment has me confused...

So, the question shouldn't be: "what do you want me to do?", but: "What should we do in this situation?"

I can't answer that question!

How is your question (what should we do in this situation?) any different from my question (what do you want me to do)? What SHOULD we do? What do you want me to do? Same question based on the idea that there is a "right" choice and a "wrong" choice.

And where does one go for guidance in determining which is the "right" choice and a "wrong" choice? That was the whole point of my post. I pray and pray. I read and search. And there is nothing. No answer. No guidance. No insight. No peace.

I thought I made good decisions before. All I wanted was to have living children to love in this life. I wasn't breaking commandments or anything. And I was at peace that I was doing something GOOD. But given the outcome, I can't help but think that maybe someone somewhere just didn't agree with me.

God is a God of invitation to participate in his infinite love and creativity. He invites us to be co-workers with him in this baffling world.

I would love to believe this. But I can't help but think of this...
God sends out an invitation to dinner. I attend and have an amazing feast. God sends out another invitation to dinner and, remembering the previous experience, I am excited to attend. I accept the invitation, make an appearance and see the excitement through the window. Only when God opens the door, He changes his mind an slams the door in my face. I'm hurt but (for some unknown reason...it is God, after all) willing to forgive. So when God sends out another invitation to dinner, I gladly accept...only to have the door slammed in my face again. It would seem ridiculous for me to even entertain the idea of accepting another invitation, wouldn't it? How many times should a person subject themselves to that? But then, there is always that chance that He won't slam the door on my face a third time, right? What should I do in this situation? What is the "right" thing to do? What does God want me to do?

Oy! This is too much for a Wednesday morning following a Tuesday night where I had a margarita the size of my head. Too much sadness. Too many tears.

Here's the song I cranked on the car radio on my way into work this morning...

Stand
Rascal Flatts

You feel like a candle in a hurricane
Just like a picture with a broken frame
Alone and helpless like you’ve lost your fight
But you’ll be alright

Life’s like a novel with the end ripped out
The edge of canyon with only one way down
Take what you’re given before it’s gone
And start holdin’ on


Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you’re made of
You might bend ‘til you break
Cause it’s all you can take
On your knees you look up
Decide you’ve had enough
You get mad, you get strong
Wipe your hands, shake it off
Then you stand
(I particularly like this part)

Every time you get up and get back in the race
One more small piece of you starts to fall into place

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Place to Turn When a Newborn Is Fated to Die

I would be remiss if I didn't thank Julian's mom for sharing this NYTimes article.

A Place to Turn When a Newborn Is Fated to Die

A website about perinatal hospice with a directory of perinatal hospices.

I would also like to share this newsletter with you. Print it...share it with healthcare professionals you think might need it. I plan to share it with the hospitals and doctors I have dealt with.

(Warning: If you blindly look up "perinatal hospice" online, you will find a multitude of websites that talk about the sanctity of life and biblical ethics. I will reserve comment on this type of website. But I thought it only fair to warn my readers in case any of them are in a sensitive place in their own grief.)

His fault

I have often wondered what causes a seemingly normal individual to turn into a NASCAR fan. It is a "sport" that I have, in the past, appreciated for its scientific and mathematical complexities...but not much else.

Now?

Do you have ANY IDEA how many times I have watched the Daytona 500? Do you?!?! The DVR...it is evil magic, I tell you...evil magic.

I can now tell you that Kasey Kahne drives the #9 car...a Dodge...with a McDonald's sponsor. Dale Earnhardt Jr. drives the #8 Chevrolet and is sponsored by Budweiser. Tony Stewart drives the Chevrolet #20 Home Depot car.

How do I know this?!?! WHY do I know this?!?! Mystery solved. Blame the kid.

It's too much I tell you. Will someone please watch figure skating with me? PLEASE?!?!

Monday, March 12, 2007

The eye of the beholder

I remember the last day I felt beautiful. I remember it like it was yesterday and a million years ago all at the same time. I was wearing the softest pink tshirt. I remember the texture, soft and smooth, as I rubbed my swollen belly. I remember the smile that touched my lips as I felt my second child kick in return. I remember my hair looked good and my fingernails were neat and painted pink to match my shirt. I remember the sunshine. I remember it was all beautiful. I was beautiful.

But something happened when that child died inside me. Something ugly. Those beautiful feelings are gone. I have no interest in hair or nailpolish. I could care less what clothes I'm wearing. I feel nothing but revulsion when I rub my belly now. None of it is beautiful. None of ME is beautiful.

I miss feeling beautiful. But some nailpolish and a pretty dress will only dress up this ugly. I doubt there is anything that can truly bring the beautiful back.

help my ears


I have an MP3 player in my LG cell phone. I have the earphones that came with it, but they hurt my ears. There seem to be a zillion different choices for earphones these days. Can anyone suggest some comfortable ones? I need my tunes, but my ears cannot suffer anymore.

God's plan

A bathroom ephiphany...
I need to know if God has a plan for me, and I need to know what it is, because I can't decide where to go until I know if I'm doing the right thing. It's not all about criticism and unhappiness. It's this one simple thing. Where do I go from here? (with a tip of the hat to Anam Cara)

If the plan is that I'm not supposed to have more living kids...then I will submit to that and NOT have more kids. I won't even try. I'm not going to beat my head against a brick wall. I won't try to outsmart you because I know I can't. You're bigger than me...you're stronger than me...you are God. I get it and I submit. UNCLE!

BUT...If the plan is that I AM supposed to have more living kids...then I will not-so-gladly oblige.

Just clue me in, will ya?

I feel paralyzed because I can't figure out the message.

If the plan is that I'm not supposed to have more living kids and I go ahead and try another pregnancy...or I try adoption...will that only result in more heartache and disappointment because I was too stupid to figure it out? I mean really...two dead kids should send a message loud and clear, shouldn't it?

If the plan is that I AM supposed to have more living kids...is it by pregnancy or adoption? Again, one would think that two dead kids would clarify the message, but it doesn't. Is it your desire or is it my fear? Are they one and the same?

I still want to add to our family. (There I said it.)

So is that just my selfishness? Is that God's will? Or is it just whatever I can find at any given moment to justify where I am and any luck (good or bad) that may happen to me? Someone once said to me, "Pray about the decision you have made. If you feel peace, it is the right decision. If you feel confused and inner turmoil, it is not the right decision." And here's where I do NOT understand...I have no problem with the DECISIONS. But the outcomes...TWO dead children...yeah...big problems. If I decide to try pregnancy again, then I simply mold the outcome to my belief set. Living child=God's will. Dead child=you were too stupid to get the message the last TWO times. Right?

So where is the comfort in any of this? I WANT to do what's right. I have asked God to show me what is right. I don't demand. I ask. And there is nothing but silence. Two dead kids and a whole lotta silence. It seems unfair and cruel to say there is a plan for everyone and then let them go stumbling around in the dark, making BAD decisions in direct opposition to that "plan"...to make them guess...when they so desperately just want to do the right thing...when they just want to make the RIGHT decision...the decision you want them to make. I'm not being bold and boastful...I'm not asking for all the answers...just a little help. A clue. A point in the right direction.

Someone said I should pray about my decisions and if I feel peace then I'm making the right decision...and if I feel turmoil, I'm making the wrong decision. And here's the thing. I was at peace with ALL of my decisions to get pregnant. But I have to do is look at the smashing disasters two of the three turned out to be to know I made the wrong decision.

So I am frozen by doubt. I was so SURE. I was sure this was my calling. After all the years of doubt, I knew I wanted to have a family. And then...well...you know the rest.

I doubt that I CAN make a decision that I would be at peace with. I second-guess myself at every step. Someone said that I should try, "Thy will be done." But can that really lessen the emotional investment? How does that protect you from the crushing blow of loss when it all goes so horribly wrong? It only serves to make me feel like more of an idiot to know that I made the wrong choice YET AGAIN.

My friend Treggles posted this in a comment to another post of mine and it deserves to see the light of day...
"Every week I come across this issue pastorally. How have we sold the world a God who is a controlling monster willing the death of children? I don't believe in the God portrayed by this poor suffering woman, but clearly there are some who have portrayed this God to her as a God of love. This cannot be. Just think about any loving relationship: is it controlling or freeing? Love frees the other person to be who they are, something-other-than-love tries to control the other person to be what they want them to be. God is a God of love, not of control. The two are mutually exclusive."

So here's the question, God...what DO you want me to do? Tell me. I will listen.

(poor suffering woman...that kind of makes me giggle given my obsession with how I will be remembered.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Quote of the weekend

No wearing your coat while you're pooping.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

On a slightly less academic level

I did the books...now here are the movies...pitiful. Maybe I will try to catch up on these too.

I am a bit miffed that Howard the Duck is not on the list.

And there are so many great made-for-tv movies that aren't listed. I mean, just tonight, you could watch Shattered Innocence. A Kansas cheerleader turns 18, moves to Los Angeles, and becomes a porno star hooked on cocaine. Who wouldn't want to watch that?!?!

It was just a dog

The little beagle mama-to-be was headed from an animal shelter in Indiana to a rescue in New York state. She was skinny, and Sam said she looked, "so confused." She definitely had that "shelter dog look," so it shocked me when she climbed right up in my lap and snuggled in for the ride.

I hugged her gently and petted her head, even sneaking a kiss or two in despite her horrible shelter dog smell. We were snuggled so close, I could feel her puppies in her belly, squirming and kicking for space against my empty belly.

I couldn't help but imagine that things were different...

But she went on to rescue and I'm still stuck here in this place.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Crochet stuff

While this looks very cool...I have to imagine that it is a terrible dust-catcher. Unless you keep it in an aquarium. But really...if you have an aquarium this large, don't you think you should have actual water type creatures in it?
Crochet reef...

Crocheted annular hyperbolic plane (for all my math geek readers)...from The Institute for Figuring

Other peoples' words

I have, to this point, successfully avoided the dreaded 100 books meme floating around the blogosphere. Actually, I ran the other direction any time I saw it even possibly coming my way. Why? Because I lost count of how many books I started reading but never actually finished. I am embarassed to admit that I faked lied my way through high school honors English. I did. And then I tested out of college English. I am a complete fraud. And this meme clearly indicates how I have shortchanged myself. My list of books that I've truly read (beginning to end) is...in a word...embarassing.

So in an effort to educate myself make myself feel better about myself...I'm going to go back and read the books on this list. I have given myself credit for those that I clearly remember reading beginning to end. There are a couple that I clearly remember starting, but am not sure I ever finished. I will probably start with those. Oh, except the Bible. I have started it and even read a good portion of it. But beginning to end? I don't think so. I simply have no interest right now. Of course there are my spiritual issues. But really, the mere thought of all that so-and-so begat so-and-so for pages on end makes me sleepy. Maybe some day I'll break it up into individual books and tackle each one until I've read the entire Bible...but not right now.

Now remember, I have an almost-five-year-old, a husband, a house, six dogs, three cats, two horses, crocheting, sewing, beading, and scrapbooking to look after...so this may take a while. But I WILL get it done. I'm tired of hiding from this blog meme.

I think I'm going to have to figure out how to put one of those status meters on my sidebar to track my progress (that would be good for my crocheting and sewing projects too!).

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Projects update

Now that certain projects have hit their marks, I can provide an update...
The hat was for Julie's Lauren. It is made of baby silk and is oh-so-soft. The embroidered pieces were hired out (she admits shamefully). Once I was done with the hat, I clued into the fact that it is obviously way too big. But I wanted to ship it all out before Lauren outgrew the rest of it. I figure she'll grow into it. (Thanks for the picture Julie.)

This blankie went to Rachel's Asher.

This is the afghan for a friend...in the works... The yarn is not really this olive looking in person. I'm still learning to work my fancy new camera and my colors are a bit off.

This is the baby set for a friend who recently revealed that the color should be BLUE! (Yes, this yarn is baby blue even though it looks white in this picture) Yay for blue! ('Cause the green just wasn't working for me.)

This will be for mom...hopefully by the beginning of July (unless she changes her mind again). There will be modifications, of course. Mom has chosen a dark silver/gray satiny fabric to replace the red...and a white satiny fabric with silve embroidery for the front inset. We also bought some gorgeous contrasting trim, but I can't remember what it looks like right now (we have been shopping for two years for this thing). I will definitely post progress pics as they happen (some of which may be me pulling all my hair out in frustration).

I have found the most amazing fabric website at Ethelbird & Eliza Kids. Too.Much.Fabric.In.Stash...Must.Not.Spend.Money.

Beads...too many bracelets. Hopefully I will remember to take pictures of the next batch before they go out.

My words

I have been afraid of words for most of my life. I thought of words as weapons to be used mainly to cut someone down to size. Yes, I had been taught the regular cliche, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." But the models I saw clearly said just the opposite. If you have something nice to say, keep it to yourself. Only speak up when you are unhappy or upset or (my personal favorite) judging someone else. Do not offer words of kindness or caring or anything even approaching soft understanding. Words should be sharp and cutting. Words shouldn't be wasted on anything silly like emotion.

So I have handled words like hand grenades with the pins pulled. Lobbing them occasionally at family and friends...just to test their strength. Harsh. Crabby. Crusty. Sarcastic. Angry. Loud. Judgmental. These are the words I was most comfortable using. Some of them were strong enough to cause tears. Some of them were brushed off as though they were merely tiny mosquitos flitting near the targets' ears. But always...always intended. Always delivered with careful aim and meant to cause an explosion of one sort or another. Never just expressed without care. Never flung into the air like confetti at a homecoming parade. Never just let out there to fall wherever gravity might take them.

This feeling was certainly reinforced by my education. Honors English. Hours spent analyzing and sorting through the rules and regulations of Poetry, Literature, and Writing. Never reading a poem just for how it feels on the tongue. Never allowing the gutteral reaction to a short story just weigh on your soul. Fragments and clauses and proper punctuation were the ways of the words for me. It was all about the structure and the purpose. It was all about what the author was trying to convey rather than what I saw, thought, or felt while reading anything. It was about finding the meaning written into a piece, maybe centuries ago. It was all about finding the place that the author had taken aim...and deciding whether s/he had hit their target.

I have friends who are poets. My brother-in-law is a writer. My mother used to write (but doesn't anymore). I never understood their desire to write. What is the point of putting words out there without a purpose? I simply never understood the truth behind inspiration. I could not comprehend the need to just purge something out of your soul for your own sake...for the sake of the words themselves.

It has literally taken a loss of control in my life for me to see that not every word spoken or written needs to have a purpose. That words are beautiful for what the create in the reading or the hearing. Words can just settle in...like sand in the cracks of the pavement. Words don't have to have a sharp purpose. They can smooth and soften the edges as well. I need to remember that.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Secret Pal 10 questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I'm allergic to wool. I can find a use for just about anything else. My favorites are soft, soft, soft. Silk and silk blend is awesome. But I really don't care what it's made of if it's soft.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? I have a little wrap/pouch that I carry in my bag.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I am a beginner knitter and an advance crocheter. Honestly, I prefer crochet, but I have been known to go off on knitting sprees every now and again.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Yep...Amazon...link on my sidebar.

5. What's your favorite scent? Vanilla.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Give me anything chocolate and I'm your friend forever!

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I love to sew clothing and medieval costumes. I love gardening. I scrapbook, though haven't been motivated to do so for a couple years due to life circumstances. I do not spin.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I listen to country music. I have an MP3 player in my cell phone and my husband lets me borrow his iPod. Yes, the computer plays MP3s.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? Purple is my favorite color. There really aren't any colors I "just can't stand."

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I am married. We have one living child (if you read much of this blog you will see the rest of the story). We have too many pets...six dogs, three cats, two horses, and seven fish.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Scarves, hats, mittens...yes. But I can't stand ponchos.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Since I'm a beginner knitter...scarves. Now crocheting...I love to make just about anything. I have yet to really try clothing (knit or crochet)...but I've been thinking about it. I crocheted one purse that I think really turned out cute. I should try more of those. (hmmm...now you've got me thinking...)

13. What are you knitting right now? Right now I'm not knitting a thing. I am, however, crocheting a granny-square afghan for a friend (she requested the granny square style) and a baby sweater set for a friend's baby. Also in the works are a baby baby sweater set for another friend's baby and an afghan for another friend. My charity work is really lagging behind.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? YES!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? I have never even tried circular needles...they scare me a little bit. lol. I work best with bamboo knitting needles and I LOVE aluminum crochet hooks.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Nope...I'm not really into all that fiber work.

17. How old is your oldest UFO? I tend to finish one project at a time. But this one is four months old (or thereabouts). I forgot how tedious it is to do all those granny squares. Right now I'm working on it during my mindless television watching time in the evenings. Oh...and I WAS going to do a snowflake a week this year for the ole Christmas tree. I haven't done ANY. So I'm behind...what...10 weeks? I really am going to try to catch up here sometime soon.

18. What is your favorite holiday? heh...this is a tough one. I love birthdays...but those aren't really holidays. So of the holidays...probably Memorial Day. It's laid back and there isn't a lot of pressure for it to be "perfect." It's near my son's and my husband's birthdays. Plus it's all about remembering...and I like that. I do like Thanksgiving though. Family and food...that's usually pretty good.

19. Is there anything that you collect? White hobnail milk glass. That started with a piece from my grandmother and is growing bit by bit. I have also recently begun collecting Precious Moments figurines of boy angels (it's not easy finding boy angels...most are usually girls). Oh...and Dr. Seuss books and Walt Disney movies (though these have sort of become my son's collections).

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I have no subscriptions. I'm currently waiting for my SoftTouch crochet hooks to arrive (can't wait!). I would LOVE to work with more silk or silk blend yarns...they just slide through your fingers and are so soft...I love em! Oh...and someone just told me that Sewing for Dummies has a technique for doing hidden hems ON A SEWING MACHINE! This, I MUST have. And I just found these crochet hooks that I would love to try. :o)

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? There's not really anything that comes to mind. But I'm always willing to try something new and interesting.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? No, I'm not a sock knitter. I wear a size 9 1/2 shoe. (now that's not the sort of thing I ever thought I would publish on my blog!)

23. When is your birthday? February 8th.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

"gone on to..."

I have, rather unexpectedly, run across a new phrase that I hate.

"Gone on to have a subsequent child." (or phraseology close to that)

It's not that there is anything WRONG with this phrase per se. It's just that it makes me feel...I don't know...

stuck...

frozen...

still...

Gone on...to lose another baby.
Gone on...to be even sadder than before...more pitiful.

I know it's offensive to people who have lost a child to assume that a subsequent child lessens the pain at all. But, quite honestly, that is a kind of feeling of offense I would love to be able to take part in.

Everyone has those stories. You know the ones I'm talking about.
My aunt had a stillborn baby and went on to have three healthy children...
My grandmother had three stillborn babies and went on to have two healthy girls...
My college roommate's first cousin twice-removed had a stillborn baby and an early miscarriage before going on to have SIX health children.


I don't know why it's sad to think that nobody will ever say, "She went on to have x number of babies." What will people say about me? How will they refer to me?

Not...gone on to something better.
Not...gone on to find even a sliver of her previously anticipated happiness.
Not...gone on...
At all.

Existed?
Survived?
She was crushed by the sadness of two stillbirths? (Don't I sound like some sort of character in a historical romance novel?)

I was twelve or thirteen, at Girl Scout day camp, when I participated in a writing exercise predicting my own future. Where will you be in 2001? I was going to be 29, married, and have two kids and a dog. Today I am 35, married, with one living kid, two dead kids, and six dogs, three cats, two horses, and seven fish. If I predicted my future today...it would be about the same.

And it's not really bad. But I can't help but feel sorry for myself. A phase of my life is over before it barely got started. What I "go on" to do from here will always be marked by that turning point in sadness and loss. No matter what success I create...no matter what happiness I find...it will always carry with it the footnote of what might have been in its place. History (and I have no delusions of grandeur here...I merely mean personal family history) will forever remember the distinction for me.

When family remembers me, they will remember that I went on to...find happiness in something other than what I truly wanted. Will they know why? Will they understand? It was because I had to. Because I was afraid. Because I had no choice. Because I couldn't risk myself. Because that was the only alternative for me.

***Email from a friend that says exactly what I was trying to say...only better.***
I can imagine how the "gone on to . . ." phrase must sting. It's like the "happily ever after" at the end of every fairy tale. No matter what the hero or heroine goes through, there's the silver lining at the end. "Gone on to . . ." makes it sound so perfect, so pain-free and wonderful. It makes it seem as if, well, if you can't say "gone on to have another child," then you don't get your happily ever after, while almost everyone else around you does. I wish I had something to say to make it hurt less, or to assure you that one day you will feel you have "gone on to" find a measure of happiness and fulfillment. You've already "gone on" to do wonderful things -- it just isn't "happily ever after" at all, though, is it?



*On a somewhat related note: I think I'm going to take a little break from reading other blogs for a while because I can't help but compare myself to the women I read about...and it just hurts too much. So if you don't hear from me in your comments sections, please know that I wish you nothing but happiness...but I have to engage in a little self-preservation before I lose my mind completely.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Welcome to the world Baby Treggles!!!

Congratulations to the whole Treggles family!!!

Go visit the proud daddy here and leave your best wishes.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Conversations this morning

Sam: Is today tomorrow?

Me: No...today is today.

Let me explain the today and tomorrow thing.

Today is today.

Tomorrow is after you go to sleep for the night

But when you wake up it is always today.

Understand?


Sam: So yesterday and tomorrow are today?

Me: Uh...yeah.
------------------------------------
Me: Turn the very pregnant lady off of my television.

Steve: OK...I thought it was just me. (changing channels)

Me: Turn the pregnant orangutan off of my television.

Steve: What the f***?!?!
------------------------------------
Steve: What are you doing?

Sam: Nothing.

Steve: What did you do with your dish?

Sam: I put my cup in the dishwasher.

Steve: Yeah...the dishwasher is full of clean dishes.

Sam: Oh.

Steve: Go take your dirty dish out of the dishwasher.
------------------------------------
Sam: Mommy, can I brush your hair?

Me: Sure.

Sam: Because when you laid down you got it all messed up.

Steve: I think he's saying you've got bed head.
------------------------------------

Friday, March 02, 2007

News you can't use

~Today started with a lot of bad news from around the country. But I am relieved to know that the invasion of Liechtenstein wasn't something serious.

~Oh...I almost forgot...sure to go down in the most famous Presidential quotes ever...
"If it is stuck because of unnecessary bureaucracy, our responsibility at the federal, state and local level is to unstick it," Bush said

~This is so cool!


~Five weeks of hiccups are over. Five WEEKS?!?! Man...that would really suck!

~R.I.P. Anna Nicole Smith.
(I will not be watching Entertainment Tonight this evening.)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Warning: ungrateful mother post ahead

Yes, I am an ungrateful mother. I want to sell all of our televisions (including the new huge one) and I want my son to shut up already! I actually just said, "If I hear the word TV one more time from your mouth, you are going to bed." OK...so TV isn't actually a WORD, but he's four-and-a-half and he doesn't know that (or I'll tell you to shut up too).

He gets home from preschool and the first words out of his mouth aren't, "Hi mom, I missed you today." There are no declarations of how much he loves me or how excited he is to be home.

No...his exact words are, "Can you turn on one of my shows?"

ugh!

And then, of course, comes the battle.

I say, "I'm watching something at the moment. As soon as it is over, you may watch one of your shows." I mean, it's Criminal Intent! I can't just give up on it halfway through! I need to know if the retired cop housing security officer really killed the city auditor and his whole family in their sleep!

Sam, unable to understand the necessity to see CI through to the end, replies with, "But maaaahhhmmeeee...I just want to watch ONE OF MY SHOWS!" (Good grief that kid can whine.)

And so it goes...back and forth...the volume increasing with each verbal volly...until I end up yelling, "I'M SAID I'M WATCHING MY SHOW NOW BE QUIET!" And he ends up crying and running out of the room. Nice. Great parenting.

EVERYTHING is like this. The food he eats. The clothes he wears. The entertainment he participates in. EVERY SINGLE THING is a battle of some sort. Screaming and crying and flailing arms and legs. He is driving me batty!

I THOUGHT I ended this particular battle with my all-powerful mommy power...no tv for the rest of tonight OR tomorrow night.

Until I hear him downstairs, whining to his father, "It's NOT FAIR."

Not one to give up a fight, I scream (yes...scream), "What's not fair?!?!" Followed shortly by the now infamous, "If I hear the word TV one more time from your mouth, you are going to bed."

So how much of a hypocrite does this make me? I can't stand the silence of my two other boys. But this son...this son could really afford to be a little quieter.

Let's be interactive

Favorite recipe to serve when you have company? Anyone?