Monday, March 31, 2008


Our girlie little tomboy, on Easter Sunday:

And just a couple random pictures from last week:

Taking a ride with her Daddy

Wearing silly hats at a department store, with Hannah's favorite cousin.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Playing Catch-up.

Last week we spent three nights and four days in Maryland with my family. It was really great to see everyone. Hannah got totally loved and spoiled by all the relatives, and we just made happy memories and ate yummy food and spent time together. I also got to catch-up with some old friends, most of whom I hadnt talked with in years, like Caroline and the Miller family.
But there were some really bitterweet moments. Especially because Mike wasn't there with us. Emergency workers don't get holidays or night and weekends off.Easter always reminds me of newborn Hannah, and also of my first loss - as well as the amazing gift of salvation, and how all the sins I've ever committed are wiped clean with God's grace. The service we attended on Easter Sunday gave a very memorable and vivid picture of that, something I took away with me.
Plus there were also some well-meaning friends & relatives who continually asked about babies and future pregnancies. They don't know, they must have no idea how deep a casual comment can hit.
Usually I got away with saying something like "Yes, we would love to have more children, I just don't know when God will bless us again."
When one particular friend asked bluntly "Will Hannah be getting a new sibling soon?", I replied "Ask God, and pray about it for me."

Two days after returning from Maryland, my favorite aunt and 2 teenaged cousins came to stay with us. We had SO MUCH FUN with them! Hannah had a blast, especially with my youngest cousin - she's our favorite (don't tell the others though!). They visited colleges during the times that I had to work. I want them to choose UNC in CHapel Hill, I think it would be a great fit - I really hope my cuz gets accepted there! In-between my meetings, we toured around Raleigh and Durham and showed them our favorite spots to shop and eat and hang out.
On Thursday while I was working, they bought a new couch! It barely fit into their van! It's so soft and comfty and beautiful, I can't wait to sleep on it next time we visit! On Friday Mike gave us his own personal behind-the-scenes tour of Duke University and another local college, and we walked arond Duke Gardens and took some beautiful pictures. We ate dinner in the historic district of town. It was so nice to go out and be social all week!
Saturday was their last day with us, and we just HAD to go shopping together. Mie was our chauffeur. We drove to the biggest mall in town, and had a blast trying on silly outfits. Then I hit the sales racks, and got two absolutely beautiful summer dresses for myself (I cannot wait to wear them!), a new pair of jeans, which I very much needed, plus a new bra and some perfume. I spent about $90 on msyelf - I have no idea the last time I went shopping just for ME. It was such fun, and I had such a wonderful time that I didn't even let myself feel guilty about spending money only on me.

I should learn how to put pictures on this blog, we got some beautiful ones last week that I'd love to share.

On to Hannah's progress: Hannah hasn't had any accidents in the last two weeks. I think it's fairly safe to say that potty training has been mastered!!!
Another milestone passed and gone.

Mike & I finally agreed upon a new bed for her, and we'll be picking it up on Friday. Im really excited about that!

Have a good week.

Friday, March 21, 2008

March 20


I started my period on Tuesday. I was hoping not to. I'ts been awful - Ive never had nasty cramps quite like this before.
I'm still struggling with my lack of being pregnant; it's still on the top of my goals list for the year.

Earlier this week, Mike scheduled himself for laser eye surgery. It will happen on April 8th. He also got his annual performance review this week, in which he did excellent, and will be getting a small raise.

Mike and I have NOT been getting along well this week. Ive been PMSing and crampy and tired and yuck, he's been stressed and sleep deprived, and Hannah's been whiny and disobedient and getting on every single one of my nerves - it's just not a good combination of things. And when we are both stressed, we take it out on each other, which only makes things worse. Plus, Mike & I have been living on completely opposite schedules, so we haven't gotten more than 5 mins to talk to each other at a time. And when we do talk - well, it's not pretty.

In the morning, as Mike starts another round of 12-hour day shifts, Hannah and I are going to my parents house for the weekend. We haven't seen my family since early December, so it will be nice to hang out with all my relatives. Also, my reasons are partly selfish: I HATE being home alone at Easter, it's just a really emotional time of year for me, and I feel slightly better when I'm surrounded by loved ones. So, we are going without him. I feel bad that we'll be away from him until Monday night, but I also feel like I need to go to Maryland and be with the rest of my family.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

And the eyes have it.

Mike went to the optometrist this morning, and after some deliberation... he scheduled laser eye surgery for April 8th.
This is something he has wanted to do for many years, and we are now in a financial position to do it. He is pleasantly surprised that the whole process will go so quickly; for some reason he was under the impression that he would have to have eye exams every few months for over a year, before he could be considered for the surgery. But they say he is a good candidate.
So, hopefully in a few weeks, he will no longer need glasses! He'll be able to see much better, and won't struggle with fine print, or strain to watch tv anymore. I am excited for him.

Mike also got his annual review yesterday. He was given an excellent recommendation, and a small raise. He's been clashing with his supervisor a lot this past year, so getting the raise was somewhat surprising (she doesn't grant them easily). He also spoke yesterday with a county supervisor about some changes that he would like to implement at work.

I got a strange request tonight from my MIL. She asked that next time I visit, I bring my craft supplies, and teach her how to scrapbook! Since she's been fueling my scrap habit for years with Michael's giftcards every holiday, how could I say no?!

Last night I stayed up until 3am, writing the first portion of my book. It is still very much a rough draft, but I feel an urgency to write down everything I can remember. I don't want my memories to fade. I don't want to forget any of the details, the emotions, the events that took place. I know this project will take a long time, but I am glad that I am making a little bit of progress, slowly, day by day.

Please respond to let me know you've been here.
I'd love to know who's been reading my blog!


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Palm Sunday

This morning at church, the interim pastor talked about the characteristics of Jesus, and how he has fulfilled all the prophesies in the old and new testaments. Some of the things he brought up really resonated with me. He cited the passage “Jesus wept”, and went on to say that “Jesus is always with us. Even in our darkest times, even when we feel lonely and beyond hope – He is there, and he is crying with us. Jesus has a tear-stained face.” Sometimes I forget that our God has so much compassion and mercy. It was a good reminder for me. He also talked about how deeply Jesus loved all the creations in the world, especially children.

At the end of the service, they had an altar call. I have never done anything like this before, but I felt compelled to join this time. So, I knelt at the foot of the stage and prayed about my miscarriages, my pain and sorrow and sadness, and wanting to be pregnant again.
As I was praying silently, Esther reached out to me. Just the physical sensation of her rubbing my back was so comforting – it was as if God was using her to say and do exactly what I needed. It was amazing.
My favorite moment was when we were praying together, and Esther began crying (I shed a few tears myself!). She was talking about my unborn children, and she said “those little babies, up in Heaven… I miss them, I miss them so much.” It encouraged me so very much, that she validated my losses.
It was incredibly comforting to me. I feel so blessed that she is my friend.
I said “It really helps me, to know that I’m not the only one who misses them, or thinks about them.” She said she often thinks of me and the hard things I’ve faced this year… supporting her through the birth of her son, just days after my second loss; how we would have been pregnant together last year; how our second children would have only been a few months apart.

It is so true, that grief is eased when shared by two. (Is that a bible verse?)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Week in review

I feel like ever since Mike & Hannah got home on Wednesday night, we've been constantly on-the-go.
On Thursday, I babysat 3 preschoolers for eight hours, and they wore me out! Actually, it was so warm that day that I let them run through the sprinkler! They each began the afternoon wearing bathing suits, but within an hour or two, they were butt-naked and covered in mud. At least they had fun.... I just tried to manage the chaos. I was able to clean them up well enough so that their mom didn't even realize that they had been rolling around in the mud like pigs! haha. Whew, I was so thankful that they didn't track mud and dirt all through the house, either. That would have been a nightmare to clean up.
On Friday we went to MOPs, did more babysitting, and Hannah had dance class. Since her trip to PA, she's been going to bed later and waking up earlier - so at 4:30 when the class was ending, she was too tired to participate anymore. I was watching through the large glass window, and I felt kind of sorry for her. She looked really pathetic, standing in the middle of the room, wearing her ballet outfit and rubbing her eyes, just watching the other girls dance around her.
I think she fell asleep on the way home. (but, of course, only for ten minutes, because whenever the car stops, she always wakes up.) I don't even remember what we ate for dinner last night, that's how tired I was. I've been incredibly exhausted this week too - but that isn't new.

Today, we had a really fun day. This morning, our MOPs group hosted their annual Easter egg hunt. Their pastor used the resurrection eggs to tell the Easter story in a way that the young children could understand. Then it was mass chaos as 50+ children between the ages of eight and one ran as fast as they could to find the hidden eggs. Hannah was very picky about which eggs she could pick up - she wanted them all to be pink or purple, and after those colors were gone, she would only allow one egg blue egg, one green, and one orange egg to go in her basket. She's so peculiar sometimes.

After filling ourselves with sugar, we stopped to eat lunch, then went shopping. The craft stores in our area were each doing new product demonstrations, so we stopped at 3 different stores and made all kinds of fun, free crafts! I also got a new set of scrapbooking markers for 50% off; I'd been eyeing them for a few weeks, but if you know me, I refuse to pay full price for just about anything.
Hannah insisted on getting a headband wih fuzzy pink-and-purple bunny ears. They were $1, and she carried them all around the store with her, talking about how badly she wanted to wear them. As soon as we paid for them, I took the headband out of the pacage and told her she could wear it now. And you know what she said to me? "No Mommy, I don't want to wear it now." Silly girl! So I wore those bunny ears for the rest of the afternoon. Surprisingly, no one said anything about them.
I also found a store that wil fix Hannah's purple crocs for free! It's called Learning Express, and they have all kinds of unique, fun, educational toys! I'm definitely going back there next time I need a birthday party present!

By the time we got home, it was after 3pm - and we BOTH took a nap!

Ok, it's just about my bedtime now.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My Last Day Alone. They're Almost Home

Mike & Hannah are driving home from Pittsburgh today. They left around 9am. They might be home for dinner. I know they had a great time, and I think it also did me a world of good to get some much-needed time to myself.

I've been having fun with my crafts and scrapbook projects, and Ive also dome some shopping for myself and gotten some cleaning & organizing done around the house. Plus Ive spent some quailty time with Esther, outside of church. I offered to watch her 2 boys on Monday so that she could have some kid-free time... and as a thank-you, she brought us burritos from Taco Bell for lunch, and a dozen pink tulips for me! It was such a nice surprise! The flowers smell so good, and they look very pretty on my nice clean kitchen counter.

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my first miscarriage. I was pretty emotional last night. It is still very painful and sad, but I think that I am beginning to find some closure, and peace. This week, I have been working on a special scrapbook in memory of my three angel babies.

I think now Im going to sit outside on the swing in the front yard, eat something for lunch, and read a book. Spring is a beautiful time of year, I've got to enjoy it while I can.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Funny Thing Happened Yesterday....

I have had exactly twenty-four hours by myself, all alone, in this house.
I thought I would be really sad and lonely, but Im not.
I have moments when I still look around and think "Where is Hannah? Shouldn't she be hanging onto my leg right about now, or sitting on my lap, reading a book? Don't I need to make her dinner now?"

No, not today.

You see, yesterday, while Hannah & I were at a scrapbooking party, Mike called. He has this week off from work, and he was getting cabin fever already. He said "I want to go to Pittsburgh. With Hannah." I was so surprised! I replied "Ok, if that's what you want to do." So we came home, I packed Hannah's shoes and toys and clothes in a small suitcase, and around 6pm, they started driving north. They stayed at my parent's house last night.

I couldn't go, I have other responsibilities here. Like church and babysitting and work and meetings. I had no idea that Mike was going to drop everything and take off on a road trip! But I guess this is payback for all the times I've taken Hannah travelling to visit people without him.

This is definitely a big deal, because Hannah and I have never been away from each other for more than a few hours. Maybe eight hours, max.
I wondered if she would be sad that I wasn't coming, too. Usually it's her daddy who has to stay behind. But no, that girl got into the car, buckled herself into the carseat, hugged me, and waved "Bye Mommy!" until I couldn't see them anymore. No tears, she was perfectly content riding in the car with Daddy. That's good though, it means she feels happy and safe with him. Right?

The best part is that now Daddy gets to work on potty-training Hannah, not me! I head that she did not have any accidents in the car last night or today. Mike didn't tell any of his family or friends that he was coming - he literally just showed up at his parents' front door this afternoon. "SURPRISE!"

What a surprise!

Please pray that they stay safe and healthy and happy up there, and that I don't drive myself crazy here at home alone.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, March 7, 2008

comfort food

This is going to sound completely bizzare, but I just found a new comfort food:
Hot french fries dipped in cold applesauce.

I can't take all the credit, because this delectable dish was actually created by Hannah, who thinks that everything tastes better with applesauce or ketchup on it.... or heck, maybe both!

On a more serious note: I almost got into an accident this afternoon. The roads were slippery and my brakes weren't working so well (plus it didnt help that the white van in front of me only had one working brake light). I stopped inches from someone else's bumper. I truly believe that there were angels watching over me today! Thank God!


Thursday, March 6, 2008

A random day in my life.

Hannah didnt have ANY accidents yesterday, so after dinner last night, we let her eat a piece of chooclate as a reward.
Today she only had one accident, after dinner tonight. She's doing really well.Tomorrow she has dance class, we'll see how it goes!
We're also getting her new bunk bed tomorrow! (it FINALLY got delivered to the store yesterday.) I hope Mike isnt too tired to put it together this weekend - I am so excited for her, and Ive really been hyping it up! She'll have new sheets and blankets, and Im even getting her new pretty purple curtains that match the bedding. I also rearranged all the furniture in her room the other day, to make things fit better and give her more space to play.

My babysitting family returned from their ski trip last night, so it was back to work for me today. We had fun with the kids. Their almost-five-year-old made up a HILARIOUS song about a little pig looking for food. He and his sister sang and danced together in unison. I wish I'd had my video camera! I guess you would've had to be there - when the parents got home from work and saw the performance, they were doubled-over laughing. Good times.
We also made up a really silly story about "Mike the Ambulance Driver." (sound like someone we might know?) Then it digressed into a weird version of cops and robbers, and by the end of their "book", we were back in medieval times, with knights and horses and castles.
It amazes me, all the things that can go through the mind of a preschooler, just in one afternoon. After that, we pretended to be Superheros, and danced around the living room. No wonder Hannah learned how to sing the Batman theme song by age 2 1/2!
Their grandparents showed up and fed them each 2 huge oatmeal cookies around 5pm. (I was like "Way to go, now they wont eat dinner.") I left as they were putting dinner on the table and the kids were having huge meltdowns. I said "Bye, have a good night!" and Hannah and I drove away, back to our own house.
I joke with them that my job is like renting their kids for the afternoon... and I get paid to play with preschoolers all the time. But even though I like them, Im secretly relieved when I go home and leave them there! Sometimes it's just too much chaos for me. Most days, I am very thankful for Hannah's calmer, quieter personality.

I just finished reading the book "THE PACT" by Jodi Picoult, and it was AMAZING! If you ever get the chance, read this book. I couldn't put it down! Two thumbs up.

Here's to a good weekend for everyone....

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Closer to independence

This morning is the first time that I have ever taken a shower while Hannah is awake. In the past, every other time I've tried, she's screamed and cried and thrown a huge fit, and I'd have to wait for DH to come home and take over, or take a shower only after she has gone to bed for the night. But this morning, I told her that I was dirty, and needed to wash my hair. She eyed me curiously as I stripped off my clothes and stepped into the bathtub.
"Are you going to wash your feet too, Mommy?"
Yes Hannah, my whole body needs to be washed.
"oh, ok Mommy."

She calmly sat on the toilet, talking with me the whole eight minutes that I was showering. She asked silly questions, entertained me with some of her made-up nonsense words, and played peek-a-boo from behind the shower curtain. She was so patient and sweet. I was amazed. I hope I can take a morning shower more often! I love how easily she can entertain herself. Right now, Hannah is playing with her dollhouse, setting each accessory and piece of tiny furniture just so.

She's been pooping in the potty for almost a month now, with no messy accidents since the first week of February. And she's had about one week of wearing big girl underwear all day. We're not completely accident-free yet, but I am confident that she will master potty-training very soon.

I love my big girl.

Random happening of the day: DH left his cell phone at home. I hope he doesn't need it at work today.

It's starting to feel more and more like spring. The daffodills are blooming. Yesterday was 72 degrees and breezy. Today it is 70 and sunny, but it just started raining. Kind of bizzare. Maybe it will stop soon, so we can go outside and play?

Better get back to my never-ending to-do-list....

Monday March 3rd: Banana Bread and Babies

It's 4:30 pm. Hannah watches me prepare and measure all the ingredients to make banana bread. Slowly and carefully, she dumps each iten into the big silver mixing bowl. She samples the fruit and chocolate chips as she pours them in. The raisins are her favorite part. She cracks the eggs on the side of the bowl, as she's seen me do a hundred times, then helps me stir it all up. Hannah tastes the mixture, licking it off a fork, and proclaims "yummmm."
I mix the batter again, then say "ok, it's ready", meaning that it's ready to go in the oven. She thinks I mean it's ready to eat. She'd rather eat it now. I turn on the oven light, so that she can see the bread as it bakes.

Now it's 5pm. I say "I'm hungry. Are you hungry? Let's eat some dinner."
I put together rice, cheese, beans, carrots and chicken. Hannah sits at the kitchen table with me. As I'm pouring drinks, she asks "Mommy, is there a tiny baby in your tummy? We're going to have a new baby at our house, right Mommy? But I won't tell anybody, kuz it's a secret."
This is exactly what we told her back in December, at Christmastime, and so far she still doesn't know any different. But it breaks my heart. I feel like I am lying to her, by not telling her the truth. It makes me so sad...

I try to think of how to explain miscarriage to this precious, smart, beautiful little girl who just turned three years old. I think for a minute, watching her. How much should I tell? What will she understand? Is she really listening to me?

I say "Hannah, Mommy is not going to have a new baby right now. The baby that was in Mommy's tummy stopped growing. It's not there anymore."
Still looking down at her plate, she asks the inevitable "Why?"
"The baby stopped growing inside me. Remember when Mommy was very sad?" (Of course. I know she does. She remembers everything.) She nods yes: "You cried in your bed." She pauses, thinks for a moment. "Was the baby in your bed?"
"No Hannah, the baby not here. It stopped growing."
I went on to say something about how we would love to have another baby, and I would tell her when it was time, but we might have to wait awhile longer. She didn't ask anymore questions, and went back to eating her dinner.

I wish I knew what she was really thinking.
What a conversation to have with a three year old.
But I felt that I needed to tell her. She deserves to know the truth. I want to be honest with her. I cannot lie to my child... but I don't want to hurt her or scare her, either.

Later, I wanted to tell DH about this conversation. He asked why I had even brought it up with Hannah. Before I could tell him much of anything, he said "Why did you do that? I think you told her too much." He did not know that she remembers, that she's been asking me about it every day or two, mentioning my pregnancy at random times throughout the week. He wondered at our daughter's memory, and seemed apologetic that I was upset by this. He didn't know.

My heart aches.