Monday, January 31, 2011

An Artist....

who likes to hide his work on the inside of closet doors!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ten Years

Monday October 23, 2000

Dear Caroline,

I am starting my 26th week of pregnancy and my 4th week of bed rest. I think about you constantly. I wonder what you'll look like, if you'll have hair. I worry if everything will be alright and you're healthy and if you'll stay put long enough...

Your Bubbie always says that she won't ever let you forget what a little shit you're being right now! Daddy just says your being a stubborn little girl just like me. We're all so excited to meet you...just not yet!

Lately you've really started moving around more. Last weeks ultrasound told us you're about 1lb.12oz. Nana was in town visiting (taking care of me) so she took me to the doctor appointment. She was able to see the ultrasound and hear your heartbeat. Her face lit up! She said it was the first time she had been apart of something like that, things are much different from when she was having babies! Having Nana here was really a big help. Helping with the house stuff to give daddy a break, and just keeping me company. I'm really glad she was here.



Sunday January 29, 2001

Sweet Baby Girl you're finally here!

Here are the details, before my brain turns to mush...

Dr. B was able to turn you around on Wed. Jan 24...OUCH! is all I'll say about that.

Then on my check up on Friday he said you were making good progress, so we could wait to see when you'd come, likely a few days yet, or since he was on call for the weekend we could induce on Sunday, you're actual due date...We chose to induce. In large part because I really wanted to be sure to have Dr. B there. After all we've been through with this pregnancy I couldn't imagine another doctor delivering you.

So, we went into the hospital at 5:30am and you were born at 5:01 pm Just in time for the kick off of the Super Bowl! Not even joking! Bubbie and I were laughing because she thought it was so sweet how Dr.B and Daddy were high five-ing only to realize that it was because of the game!

Bubbie and Nana (and Daddy of course) were in the delivery room when you were born. It was an amazing experience to say the least. The second I saw your face, I could feel my heart grow inside my chest. You were so beautiful, and wide eyed! For and hour after you were born, you just looked around. And I stared at you. My heart pounding.






and now she's ten. TEN.





Caroline is honestly a dream child. Always has been. Ever since she was a tiny baby there was always something about her. She sees, she knows, she understands. Like an old soul. Caroline is very empathetic, and true in the way she genuinely cares about other people and their feelings. She has such a kind and gentle heart.

This past year has been tough on her, with the loss of her Nana came her first real experience with death.

Not an easy thing to deal with at any age...but she's getting through and helping me and her brothers and sister along the way. She's like my mini-me sometimes when the real me is failing. She's a little mother, very nurturing.

One of my favorite things in the whole world, is the little heart to hearts Caroline and I have.

Sometimes we lay in her bed and talk about school, or friends or she'll ask questions about what's going on in the world, she's so honest and open about what she's feeling and experiencing...I hope that never changes. Our talks. Our honesty.

I dread the day she's too old to want to talk to me...


Because for now I still see this when I look at her.






and my heart pounds.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2011

7 years

I just put Sam to bed. Well, actually like an hour ago but then I rocked Emma, searched the house for a lost bunny, walked Sam back to bed after a failed "drink of water" attempt and watched my big negotiators in a high stakes show down as their Monopoly game is nearing an end.

But now here I am. Thinking about 7 years ago.

7 years ago from this very night, I was sleepless, uncomfortable, had unbearable heartburn, charlie horses constantly in my calves, was fighting for rib space against this little kicker inside of me, felt like if the skin on my belly stretched anymore I could give birth through one of the stretchmarks, 40 weeks in and ready to be done embracing my last night of being with child.

I've heard of women who love being pregnant. Under different circumstances maybe this could have been me. My pregnancies were all high risk, and really no fun. This was my third, which meant I also had an almost 3 year old and a 1 1/2 year old trapped at home with me while I was on bed rest. By the end of this 40 weeks I was done. I not only had my doctor promise that he would induce me on my due date as not to go a single day past 40 weeks, but I also I made both he and Jud swear to never let this happen to me again... yup, one CRAZY pregnant lady!

So anyway, 7 years ago I was a mess. Not worried about the delivery or anything like that, I have a fabulous Doctor and had pretty easy (listen to me, easy? did I just say that?) deliveries in the past. I was worried because even though I had a plan for who was going to stay with Caroline and Jack from when we left for the hospital in the early morning until Jud came home sometime the next night. It was all falling apart.

The plan was for my sister to come down, but she was sick, like sick-sick. Since we don't have family close, situations like this always stress me out. Who do we call?

Up until now we were a two kid family, we didn't really use sitters yet!

My parents had left for Florida just a few days earlier (I've always thought for fear of the upcoming bris...but I can't be sure).

Well, thanks to a wonderful aunt and friend we managed to pull it off, but it did almost send me right over the edge...

Thinking about it now, I can remember clear as day. We were living in our cute blue house (like 4 houses ago). The nursery was yellow, with an incredible painting of our family including baby Sam, by Caroline, hanging above the adorable dresser that Jud stained (and I've since painted over...twice).

Life was good.

I didn't think it could get any better.

And then I saw this face!






I can't imagine our family without Sam.

I can't imagine me without Sam.

What can I tell you about Sam?

He's amazing. He's a character. He's smart. He's hilarious. He's sweet. He likes to snuggle. He's genuine. He's caring. He's funny. He's creative. He's an amazing artist. He loves to make people smile. He loves math. He loves to draw.

He is a gift!

And I am so thankful that 7 years ago he came into my life.













If you want to see some serious cuteness, this is from a few birthdays past...when I only had 4 kids and had time to do things like put together birthday video montages:) If you choose to watch, how many costumes do you see Sam in????






Happy Birthday Sam! I love you!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

He Talks!

Please ignore my screechy voice.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Brilliant?

Or worst purchase ever? We're still not sure.



Friday, January 14, 2011

Six Months.

It's been six months since my mom died.

I found this on my computer today, it's what I read at her memorial service...it doesn't feel like six months ago already.



There's a saying that,

"life is more accurately measured by the lives you touch than the things you acquire"

I'm certain that anyone who knew her would agree, these words could have been written about our Mom's life.

In fact, as all eight of us kids have been talking over the past few days, one thing we all remember her saying repeatedly over the years is, "I don't need the lottery, I'm rich in kids...and I'm rich in Love."

Our mom was the most sincere and loving person that I've ever known.

Growing up I never once heard her talk about clothes or things.

I have no idea what her dream car would be or what designer she liked.

Because those things were seemingly unimportant to her.

Material things were irrelevant.

We were her life.

And she gave us everything she had.

She always, always put us first.

Before her needs or wants.

Before herself.


Since becoming a mother myself, I marvel even more at our mom, and all that she has accomplished.

I mean, working full time, raising eight relatively good kids, coaching our sports teams, and all that laundry!

I still just don't know how that's possible.

And what really blows my mind is that as soon as she walked in the door, after what I'm certain was a long day at work given her devotion to her job...she would start dinner.

Immediately.

For us.

And we're not talking frozen pizza or mac and cheese, like I may feed my kids. I mean serious meat and potato type meals.

Every night.

Well, except for bowling league night!

Which meant tuna fruit cocktail !!!!

This would account for why, til this day I still can't stomach even the smell of tuna!



Our mom spent her life caring for others.

She would often go out of her way to reach those who were in need...whether that meant people from work, or friends, or any of us kids. Or maybe even an underage grandchild who found themselves in a bit of a bind...!

We all knew she was there for us, whatever the reason or circumstance.

She loved us all.

Truly.

Completely.

Unconditionally.

She reveled in all of her children's accomplishments.

But she also hurt along with us in all of our sorrows.


It was always obvious that she felt sheer joy and delight in spending time with us.

Every time we'd leave her house we'd hear, "why are you leaving so soon?" and "when are you coming back?"

I'm sure that part of wanting all of us kids around, was actually more about wanting her grandchildren around!

Her grandchildren were bringing new joy to her life.

A joy that illuminated her face every time one of them showed up at the cottage.

With 23 grandchildren, let's just say she was invited to more than her fair share of grandparent's days at school, spring concerts, parts in school plays and oh the sporting events!

But every time she was invited.

She was there.

Happily.

With a proud smile on her face.

She loved you all. Please don't ever forget that.

As Albert Einstein said, "Our death is not an end, if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us. Our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life."

So let us put our own sadness aside, and let today be a joyous celebration of her life...

I loved her with all my heart, and will truly miss her.

Goodnight Mom.

God Bless I Love You

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Picking up the pieces.

Where to start?

It's been so long.

I guess I never really wrote about our Christmas. Partly for lack of time but mostly for lack of words. I seem to have very little of both lately.

Also, I'm not really sure who's reading and when I'm thinking of getting pretty personal, it's a little frightening to put it all out there. Don't worry, no nude photos or anything. I wouldn't do that to you!

I've just found that I'm better at working through thoughts and emotions by writing them. I often write things, I haven't even been able to talk to Jud about. Not by any fault of his. He's a talker. I'm the one that's not.

So this blog is my therapy I guess. I get things out, put them out there, and then I can talk about them. And I've got some things to get out.

Before I get started, if you're reading this because it was an adoption blog, I'm pretty sure we're done. And if you're someone I went to grade school with whom I haven't talked to in 25 years, who is only reading because it showed up on your Facebook page, once I can figure out how to un-network the blog I think I will. Don't get me wrong, you are all still welcome to read, in fact I hope most of you do. I guess I've just been feeling weird about having it on Facebook. To in your face for me...

So, on we go.

Christmas was very difficult. My sisters really wanted to have everyone at my Dad's house...if it weren't for the fact that the kids REALLY wanted to see their cousins, I think we would have stayed home.

I wasn't ready to be there. I didn't want to be there.

But, since we didn't go for Thanksgiving, we went.

In order to just make it through the day, I sort of shut down. All my emotions, feelings, everything. It took some real control, like crazy denial kind of control, so I started preparing for the shutdown about a week before Christmas. Yes, I realize it may seem childish but it's the only way I could be there. On that day. Without her.

I sort of blocked everything out. Made myself numb.

Christmas morning, watching the kids excitement as they came tearing down the stairs, I laughed. But inside, I wasn't really laughing.

As they ripped through the wrapping paper only to reveal their most favorite, top of the list, bestest gifts ever, they'd look up with a huge smile and yell "yes!" Excitedly I'd say, something like oh my gosh, that's just what you wanted with a big smile back at them. But behind the smile, nothing.


More of the same when we got to my dad's house. Didn't talk much. Smiled. Laughed. When my sisters asked if I wanted to go the mausoleum with them, I simply said, no.


Denial. Denial. Denial.

I hate how I let denial, grief, sadness whatever, take away that day to really BE with my kids. In hindsight, I regret burring my emotions hmm, I guess in general as how I handle things, not just recently over Christmas. It's taken a toll on me. My relationships. You can only push so much down, for so long before there's an eruption of some sort.



New Years was better because I didn't go anywhere or do anything.

Jud was gone to see the Rosebowl in CA so I was home with the kids.

I'll tell you, without these kids of mine, I don't know how I would have made it through this past year much less the holidays. On New Year's Eve Caroline went to a friends but called me on her new ipod touch to video chat so I wasn't all alone. That girl, I do love her so.

Being alone, or as alone as you can be with 5 kids, for a few days was actually kind of nice. It gave me lots of time to think about everything I've been avoiding thinking about. I spent hours looking at old photos. I cried for a good long time. I took the time to think and reflect on the past year. I thought about what I've learned about myself, as a friend, a wife, a mother, a sister and a daughter.



This Friday it will have been six months since she died.

It still hurts everyday.

I still feel broken.

But I'm starting to pick up the pieces.

Getting ready to put things back together.

Although, I don't think I'll ever be the same person I was before.

I've come to realize that losing your mother changes who you are.

I guess I'm still working on discovering just what has changed, maybe what still needs to change, and what needs to be mended.

I know that I need to let myself feel the hurt in order to start moving forward...but that's a very difficult thing to do.

But I'm getting there.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011

This is a big deal folks!

The little boy who NEVER stops moving, has actually started PLAYING with toys!!!!!

Oh please let this mean that daily showers are once again in my future...