20140618

Four

There are times when I'm totally shocked that I have four girls. I mean really... Four. 1,2,3,4 girls. How did that happen? Really I know how it happened. But 4?!

I will likely always feel sad that I don't have a little boy. My boy, my son. It sounds weird to think of having one at the same time.

My girls are all so very different. And none (so far) is very girly. I'm grateful for that. Though I have to remind myself that Rhayn used to love everything princess, sparkly and pink.

I wonder what Abby will be like in a year or two. She loves baby dolls right now, she will crawl over and grab her baby and then wants me to hold it while I hold her. Its really cute, especially since they are both bald headed. She still seems such a baby to me, perhaps because she has no hair and can't/won't walk? Her pudgy little legs are adorable. And I hate that the baby newsletters I am getting in my email weekly call her a toddler now. No. Nope, not a toddler. A baby, my baby, my sweet little cuddle monkey.

Natalie likes dresses and princesses. Mostly Elsa. She likes to look pretty, and is adorable even with her super short pixie cut. Her eyes are so big that this haircut just highlights them. Really its the perfect hairstyle for her.


Gwen is squeamish, she doesn't like bugs, or anything like that (and Natalie is picking that up from her). Recently she's started wanting to be a hairdresser when she grows up and likes to brush my hair (though she still dislikes taking care of her own).


Rhayn likes to wear make-up and wants to look just. so. when she goes out. She's 13, and that freaks me out all of the time. But she's also a really great kid, most of the time.

These girls are amazing people. I only hope that I am raising them the best way possible.
These girls.
My girls. 







20140616

I'm sick. Again.
We've been sick so much this last year that I'm starting to wonder if I should quarantine the house.

Rhayn has one of her bffs over for the week. It's all fine and dandy. Except that I have to drive them around, make food, keep the house clean, etc. All while being sick.

Hopefully I can keep this to myself. Or maybe they all have had our already. Since it's mostly stuffiness.

Heck.
I thought it might be allergies. But I'm pretty sure it's not.

And I'm not even sure why I'm writing about it here. Or why I'm on here any way.

20140607

Abby 1 year old

Dearest Abigail,

This week you turned 1.


Its been a rough week for me, because I can't believe you are so big.

The day before your birthday you had your first dentist appointment. Natalie had one as well. She was just fine until they attempted to take an x-ray of her teeth. She then started crying and was terrified. She barely let the dentist look in her mouth. You also didn't like him looking in your mouth. He pointed out that you do, in fact, have an upper lip tie. He also said there is no reason to "fix" it, which I'm glad for because I don't think it needs to be fixed either. Its not tight, nursing isn't uncomfortable. You have only 4 teeth at this time.

Speaking of nursing, you are still happily doing there. So is Natalie. Though I distract her and am trying to gently wean her, she still asks almost every morning and night. but not every day. I am fine with you nursing longer, at least another year. We'll see what happens though.

No, you still are not walking. You can crawl, you cruise along furniture, you scoot on your bottom. You don't free-stand yet. It is interesting, I thought it would be ok, but I keep expecting to be able to just stand you there, and you immediately sit down. This doesn't work well when we're out in our yard, so I end up wearing you much of the time.

At this moment you are taking things out of my nightstand drawer. Cute, but kind of a pain. You love to take things out of cupboards as well. I always forget about this stage. 

Abby, you are a sweet snuggle baby, like Gwen was. You like to be held. You also love to follow your sisters around and don't like when they shut doors in your face. Your eyes light up when you see Natalie, she is your best buddy and I hope that stays the same.

You don't talk. You can sign "milk" and "all done" but that is it. You might say "Hi" but I'm not sure. You are doing things in your own time. And I love that about you.

Always,
Mama

20140518

I'm terrified that one of my kids will drown. Like an unhealthy fear of it.

On Thursday we were at a pool party and Natalie was in the hot tub. She tried to jump from one side to the other but can't swim so she was under the water and screaming. It was so scary.

That night I had a really hard time falling asleep. In fact I let Natalie sleep in bed with me and I kept checking on her. She wire a few times crying which didn't help my sleep. But I needed her close to me.

Once when Rhaynnon  was little, just over 2 i think, she feel into a lake. Backwards off of the dock. I could see her going under, like slow motion, sinking. I'm sure it was only seconds, it felt like forever. She was fine, but it's created a fear.

When I was a kid we spent the summer at the pool. Skin brown, except where our suits covered us. Hair bleached blonde from exposure.  Exhausted at night from hours spent being active.

But I'm afraid.

And I need to get the girls into swim lessons.

20140517

It is that time of year...

Depression time.

Its been a while since I felt this sort of sadness associated with May. But it is back.

Really I have no idea exactly what is wrong. It's like, walking around feeling like I forgot something (and I have, like my keys in the lock of the front door). Walking around with a huge rock in the pit of my stomach.

I am trying to function through, trying to remain happy and smile and be a nice person. But its all fake, all a lie.

In a few days my older girls will be out of school for the year. I'll officially have an eighth grader, a 3rd grader, a three year old and an *almost* one year old. When did that happen? We have some plans for the summer, and I know it will be over in the blink of an eye. Just like Abby's first year.

Where has time gone?

And why am I so sad?

20140509

Abby is getting so big!

Today Abby said "uh oh!" Then she signed milk.


And a few hours later she started giving kisses.

So super cute. I'm amazed at all of the things she's doing. But she will be 1 in only a few weeks.

20140505

11 Months Old- Abby

Dear Abigail,

You are 11 months old today. I can't remember if I wrote a 10 month post but a lot has changed in our lives since then.

My grandma (your great-grandma) Loretta passed away on the 16th of April. We had a funeral for her on the 26th. You met lots of people and refused to let anyone hold you. Daddy was ok, and maybe grandpa. But everyone else was chopped liver.

This month you started cruising around furniture. Really its just been in the last week or so. You'll take steps if I hold your hands but only towards me. You figured out how to crawl UP the steps and to climb onto things. Its cute, but you get stuck easily and that makes you so mad.

You've decided that Daddy is awesome. Sometimes. When you feel like it. You'll even reach for him and avoid me sometimes. I love that.

A few days ago you started playing peek-a-boo. Like pull a blanket over your face "Where's Abi" pull the blanket down "There she is!" I adore playing it with you, even if it means you are staying awake longer than you should.

My darling babiest girl, you are so serious most of the time. I love that you are, but sometimes I worry. Mostly because its my job as mom to worry about you and your sisters. You are a sweet girl, very loving, and so much your own person already.

Love always,
Mama

20140420

Easter






Just a few pictures from our weekend. Its been absolutely beautiful here and that is helping kick away the sadness I am feeling from my grandma's passing.

20140418

Final

Grandma passed away yesterday morning. I'm still not sure how I feel, such a mix of emotions filling me.
I'm happy for her, because the last few years have been hard on her physically. I'm happy that she's with my grandpa and her family who has passed on before her (but really, with my grandpa, my eyes gets teary when I think of the how it must have been for them to be together after 30 years).
I'm sad for me, because I miss her. But I miss the grandma I had years ago, the one who was always moving and making memories with us. The one who joked and could hear. The happy person she was.
But...
but...
Really I'm sad for my kids who won't get to know her, Natalie and Abby who never got to know her.



20140415

APRIL

So far April has not been a good month. It started with dry sockets, a pain that was miserable and still lingers just a wee bit. Getting wisdom teeth out at 36 isn't fun. The recovery was hard.

On April 5th we were supposed to celebrate my grandma's 93rd birthday in Coolidge. I was one week out from the extraction and I was crossing my fingers that the pain would be manageable by then. The girls all wanted to go to see cousins, and Will needed to stay home and get some things done around the house.

The Tuesday (I think) before the party, my mom texted me to tell me that she was taking Grandma to the ER because she was having trouble breathing. My heart sank but I was hopeful that she'd soon be on the mend and wouldn't miss her party. There was no good news, the drs thought it was her heart, or pnemonia, or both, or just her body was giving out. They gave her blood and hoped for the best.

Thursday my mom texted me to let me know my brother was on his way to the ER with an infection in his arm. His wife was forcing him to go and I'm so glad she did.

Friday the girls and I drove to Coolidge to stay at my parents' house. They were remodeling the kitchen and the house was torn apart. But there is always room for us there. Friday they moved my grandma to Hospice so that she could have visitors all day on her birthday. At the hospital she couldn't have her great-grandkids visit and that was miserable for her. She loves her family so much that thinking of not getting to see them was hard and since there was no way they would let her leave to go to her party, she needed to see everyone.

Saturday morning we headed to her house just around the corner from my parents'. My Aunt Lynda was there working and not sitting still for a moment, my cousin Carter was there and I hadn't seen him in years so that was a great surprise. He and I was very close during high school, because we are the same age and had very similar interests. I wouldn't have enjoyed high school as much without him by my side.

People came and went all day long, heading to Casa Grande to spend time by Grandma's side, then coming back to eat food and talk with relatives. Grandma had rented a little train for the great-grands and they loved it. I wish she could have seen the happiness on their faces as the conductor drove them around the neighborhood. Her eyes would have twinkled.

The day wore on and on. Finally people left and we ate more. Brie took her girls to see Grandma around 7, I was planning on seeing her in the morning then leaving for home from CG. Rhayn had gone back to my mom's house a few hours earlier to play with one cousin, because there was just too much going on at Great-Grandma's house. The other girls and I went back to my mom's around 8:30 and went to bed.

In the morning, I took girls to Jesse's house. He was having surgery at 7am and Brie was staying there to watch his kids so Stacey could be with him. My parents went over early to help out. I took a quick trip to spend some time with Jodi, (my brother, Garrett's wife). Then went to Jesse's house to hang out a little while before heading to CG to see Grandma. 

We got to CG around 12:30 and relieved Aunt Lynda, Uncle Danny and his kids, who were there so they could go eat, and the girls and I spent some time with Grandma. It was so hard seeing her like that. She looked so tiny in the bed, and her breathing wasn't easy. I held her hand for a while and gave her hugs. But I had all of the girls with me. Abby slept in the carrier on my back for a little while, but when she woke up she wanted to crawl around and I wouldn't let her. Natalie was scared of Great-grandma, she stayed back and I sent Rhayn, Gwen and Natalie for a walk. We stayed for an hour and a half. In the beginning Grandma joked a little about how God didn't want her and the devil won't take her. One of her oldest jokes. She talked about how much she missed Grandpa, who had died nearly 30 years ago. Someone had brought his picture and it was on the nightstand next to her. She told me how handsome he was and my eyes filled with tears that I wouldn't let fall. I could not start crying. Even though I was sure this would be the last time I would get to talk to my grandma. I told her how much I loved her. I wish I would have said more, told her how much she means to me, what an inspiration she's been in my life. How many people she's touched. I wished my girls hadn't been there so I could have just sat with her for the rest of the day.

After an hour and a half, Natalie was starting to act up. She's three and it was hard for her to be good for that long, plus she was tired and needed a nap. I went to find the girls and we filed back into Grandma's room. We gave her more hugs and kisses and she smiled at the camera when I sat the girls next to her for a final picture. I'm kicking myself because I didn't hand the camera to one of the girls and get a picture of ME with her. I'd thought of it earlier but I forgot until we left. We all told her we loved her, and with that final sentiment, we walked out of the room.

Its been a week now, and my heart breaks again every day. She's still hanging on, but she isn't Grandma anymore. Thanks to Facebook my mom and Aunt Suzy keep all of us who are far away informed about everything that happens to her. On Sunday the family had a fast and prayer for her, not that she get better, we all know that isn't the best thing for her. But to give her peace and allow her to join my Grandpa and her sister Deloris in heaven.

I've been weepy every day, trying to go about my normal business, keeping myself busy, busy, busy, because there is nothing I can do and I'm not sure what I should do or how I should feel. I find myself checking Facebook and reading stories my cousins post about her, and their favorite memories. I hear in my head her voice counting, and skipping that one number (I think it was twelve), counting with grandkids, making us giggle. "I never say twelve, 1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, THIRTEEN!" she'd say. I hear her voice, telling me about all of the things my cousins were up to.

Just now, again checking Facebook, I read updates from my mom like this one:
"Tuesday morning. While Suzy told her that 4/14/14 would be a good day to die, grandma held on to life. Slowly slipping deeper and deeper into that eternal rest. This morning they were not able to get a pulse even though they tried both wrists and one ankle. She is sleeping so peacefully as if any moment she is going to sit up and start talking. She had one short episode last night around midnight where she keep calling for help. She has done that several times over the past few days. Each episode is a little shorter and a lot less intense. Suzy sat constant watch (with her eyes shut) with her last night as Danny and Kim went to a hotel to finally get a shower and rest. Craig and I left so we could finish our income taxes because the only thing certain in this world is death and taxes."

I've spent this morning, tears streaming down my face, finally allowing myself to really mourn and cry. And still I hear her voice in my head "THIRTEEN!"


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