Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Recently

Last week was a crazy busy week. I knew that it was going to be, and I had planned for it, but it still hit me hard. Actually, it wasn't the logistics that hit me, it was the "other stuff." I had been so busy focusing on getting kids to different places that I didn't take all the emotional aspects into it.

Let me back up. Frances had her ballet recital this past weekend. That means she also had her rehearsals. She needed to be at two different rehearsals because she was performing twice; once at the afternoon program and once at the evening program. In making sure she was ready for her rehearsals, I noted that I had no idea where my makeup bag was. I threw it in a box at some point during the move and haven't come across it yet. I'm in no hurry; I don't typically wear makeup anyway. In the past Frances has always borrowed mine for her dance recitals, but this year I figured I might as well just buy her her own.

We stopped by CVS after I got off work. We picked out a makeup pouch (because I've got enough mom experience to know that when you buy something, you have to know how it will be stored also) and started looking at different makeup stuff. This was a teachable moment for her and we had a good discussion about why people wear makeup and how to care for your makeup as well as your face after wearing it.

I tried to impart my (painfully lacking) makeup tips to her and we ended up picking out a palette with eye color, cheek color, lip gloss, and lip stick. We also picked out some eye liner and mascara separately, since those are recommended for the recital. As we were standing in the aisle, one of the pharmacy techs walked by. She grinned at me after over hearing part of our conversation, and shook her head. I made the comment, "You know you've filled her prescriptions since she was a baby, right?" Her eyes got big and she shook her head again and laughed. In that moment I was looking at my beautiful teenaged daughter, and seeing a baby with an ear infection at the same time.

The next afternoon I had to drop her off at her rehearsal. I wasn't able to stay with her because I still had to pick up the boys and get them dinner. Way back when she first started dance, I couldn't make the rehearsals either. My mom used to come up and take her, while I worked and then took care of the boys. This year, she vaguely mentioned that she couldn't come up because she had something else going on. I told her it wasn't a big deal because she was old enough to be there by herself.

We walked into the auditorium and headed for the bathroom so she could change. On the way, we saw lots of adorable little kids in tutus and other costumes. Frances pulled up tight to me and grabbed my arm. "They're so cu-u-u-u-u-te!" she squealed. In that moment I was looking at my sweet girl, who applied her own makeup in the car, and seeing seeing a toddler in a tutu at the same time.

She performed two dances in the Saturday recitals. We watched, proudly, from the audience and presented her with flowers afterwards. It was sweet to hear her brothers tell her how pretty she was and how well she danced.

We drove past the Rec Center yesterday and got into a conversation about the recital. She had seen most of the dances during her rehearsals, so I confirmed with her that she had seen the last one. It was a powerful piece that really hit me emotionally. It actually made me cry during the show and I couldn't really describe why. It was hauntingly beautiful and the choreography was just amazing.

In trying to talk about it with her, she said, "It just kinda makes me sad, but happy all at once. You know what I mean?"

Yes my dear one, I do. I know that feeling all too well lately.


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: http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com

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 http://www.BakingInATornado.com
Spatulas on Parade http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/
The Blogging 911 http://theblogging911.com
The Lieber Family Blog http://thelieberfamily.com
Sparkly Poetic Weirdo http://sparklyjenn.blogspot.com/
The Bergham Chronicles http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com
Bookworm in the Kitchen http://www.bookwormkitchen.com/
Simply Shannon http://shannonbutler.org
Southern Belle Charm http://www.southernbellecharm.com
Confessions of a part-time working mom http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/
Not That Sarah Michelle http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com
Climaxed http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com

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
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