Friday, May 5, 2017

One More Day

I'll warn you up front. This post may not be for you if you have suffered a miscarriage or other sudden loss.

A few months ago, my friend Julie offered to babysit for some friends of hers. She mentioned that she'd be bringing the kids to Mass with her and she might need an extra set of hands. After Mass she and I had a meeting to talk about Vacation Bible School because we are coordinating it this summer. It was during that meeting, while I was holding the little boy, that someone else asked how old he was. I overheard Julie answer the question and also mention that he had been born close to her birthday. It wasn't until another few minutes had passed that my brain finally clicked. The baby I was holding was the same age as the baby I had lost would have been.

I had a lot of feelings all at once at that point. Mostly it was surreal. As in, I couldn't fathom having a baby that age. I couldn't believe that I hadn't realized it earlier. I realized that I was quite content to rock this little boy and change his diaper and then give him back when I was done.

I get those same feelings again as I write this. I don't ever want to imply that I wouldn't have welcomed a new life into our family. I still mourn that. I still watch my kids mourn that. But I also feel a little bit weird because I like how our life is. I don't mourn waking up 2-3 times a night for feedings and diaper changes. I don't mourn maternity leave and finding/paying for infant care.

Honestly, I'm scared to say these things sometimes. I know plenty of women who have suffered a miscarriage who feel differently. I don't want to diminish their feelings at all. There isn't a miscarriage contest for the hardest one, or the easiest one. There are days that I really hate how I feel. There are days that I am able to convince myself that the way I feel is okay. There are days I cry. And there are days when I don't think of it at all.

There are days when I wonder who this person would have been. The nice thing is that in my imagination it's easy to pretend that this kid would have been the super chill, easy one. This kid wouldn't have gotten in trouble, or fought with his/her siblings. This kid would have excelled at school AND sports AND the arts. I can pretend all those things. Because the truth is, I'll never know.

If I could find out, would I? Would I take a glimpse at the toddler learning to walk? The school-aged kid learning to read. His first soccer goal? Her first violin recital? What about those ages I haven't experienced at all with any of my kids? Will I feel like there is a high school graduation missing? Is there an extra wedding I should have been planning for? Are there fictional grandchildren I'll wonder about?

And I have other questions. How would Frances feel to finally have the sister she always wanted? What would Benjamin's role as a big brother have looked like? Would Henry have paired up with this sibling the way that Frances and Benjamin have paired up with each other?

In the end, I tell myself the same things I told one of the kiddos at bedtime this week: "I know you're sad. And it's okay to be sad. There will always be times we're going to be sad about this." And then I offered up this prayer: "God, please take good care of Lucky up there in Heaven. Tell him we miss him and we love him very much. Give him a cookie and some extra ice cream tonight. Give him an extra hug and take good care of him until we get to meet him someday."

Your prompt is: If you could bring back anyone from death, just for a day, and get to spend an entire day with them . . . Who do you bring back? It can be someone you know personally, or someone who you've never met. It was submitted by:

You've been reading a Secret Subject Swap. This week 12 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado
Spatulas on Parade
The Blogging 911
The Lieber Family Blog
Sparkly Poetic Weirdo
The Bergham Chronicles
Bookworm in the Kitchen
Simply Shannon
Southern Belle Charm
Confessions of a part-time working mom
Not That Sarah Michelle

Monday, May 1, 2017

Happy 7th Birthday, Benjamin!

1. What is your favorite color? Green
2. What is your favorite toy? Nintendo DS
3. What is your favorite fruit? raspberries
4. What is your favorite tv show? Pokemon XYZ
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? hot dogs
6. What is your favorite outfit? Paw Patrol shirt and camo shorts (incidentally what he's wearing right now...)
7. What is your favorite game? Pokemon
8. What is your favorite snack? peanut butter crackers
9. What is your favorite animal? tiger
10. What is your favorite song? Play That Song (Train)
11. What is your favorite book? Harry Potter
12. Who is your best friend? Aubrey, James, and Jack
13. What is your favorite cereal? Honey Nut Cheerios
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? play Pokemon Go
15. What is your favorite drink? Ginger Ale
16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? stuffed animals
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? cereal
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? pizza
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? a vet

Benjamin turned 7 on Friday! He had a great day at school and had a pizza party there for a class reward. The little stinker convinced his teacher to schedule the pizza on his birthday! I got to eat lunch with him and I brought him some cupcakes to share with his friends at the end of the day.

Saturday was quite busy. We had soccer games and team pictures before his party at home. The house is still full of boxes everywhere, but you can't put off a birthday! We had friends and family come over for pizza and cupcakes, as well as time to play in the yard and visit with each other.

I love being in a house where we finally have room for lots of company. It will be even better when we get all the boxes unpacked and things put away. Maybe in time for Ben's 10th birthday! LOL!
First day they met each other and yesterday. They still love each other most of the time!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Baby Bible Books

I received these books from WorthyKids/Ideals for free in exchange for an honest review. I have included affiliate links, so that if you choose to purchase something I will receive a small commission.
We have been unpacking lots of stuff in our new house. Much of what we're unpacking has been in storage for 6-8 months, so it has been an eternal Christmas for my kids, who are opening boxes and finding forgotten loves. My favorite was when I asked them to put some books on the shelf and it took an hour. They kept exclaiming over long-forgotten pictures books and sitting down to re-read them.
My kids have mostly graduated from picture books, but I still remember the days of snuggles on laps, in a big cozy chair, reading picture books and board books to my kids. They have their favorites and I have mine. All for different reasons. There are still some I refuse to get rid of because of those wonderful memories.

I recently got a set of books to review, and while they are too young for my kids, they are quality books that I think your little ones would love to hear, snuggled up in a cozy chair.
In the Beginning and Noah's Ark are familiar stories for many kids, but these copies are special because they are the collaborative effort of a mother and son. Susana Gay and her seven-year-old son, Owen worked together to retell these comforting stories and illustrate them for their young audience.

Each book is 16 cardboard pages, fully illustrated. You can find them on Amazon through the links above. You can also enter to win the set from me:
 Baby Bible Books

Friday, April 21, 2017

Awakening to God

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. 
One of the things I wanted to do for Lent was to make prayer more of a daily habit for myself. Now that Lent is over, I don't want to give up that drive. Luckily I was offered the chance to try out an app that helps!

ATG (Awakening to God) Today was created to help others in their daily walk with God. The app functions as a devotional journal that allows users to reflect on a scripture reading for each day. There are morning prompts to reflect on and evening prompts. The app keeps a record of your responses so that you can look back over time and see how your journey has evolved. Users are able to set reminders and add pictures as further ways of staying connected.

The app also has a share button so you can share your thoughts with your friends through social media when appropriate.

Life gets chaotic in different ways throughout the various seasons we pass through. In my case it seems the times that I most need God are the times when I find myself feeling "too busy" to seek him out. This app gives me gentle reminders of the best way to start and end each day. Can you spend 8 minutes twice a day with God? How would that impact your life?

You can download the app here for $3.99. All profits from this app go toward providing aid to the poor and suffering in India. 

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