Thursday, May 28, 2009


So it has been thirty-one years since I was born.

Here are thirty-one bullets, my present to you dear readers, because you deserve something too.

  • I am thinking about Cici's for dinner tonight. Adam works late, and I just don't feel like cooking for myself. I love pizza. It's cheap. And I do so enjoy all the "Hi! Welcome to Cici's!"
  • Our library books are due.
  • I need to mow the front lawn which is full of clover flowers. I never got my weed and feed down because I am a little wary of being in contact with all those chemicals while pregnant.
  • It is my birthday, so if at 11 this morning I was still in my jammies eating a second breakfast of two eggs over medium with a piece of toast and some potato chips, that is my prerogative. :)
  • If you are in your first trimester and are prone to bouts of nausea at night, it is not wise to eat a few handfuls of Skittles at 9 p.m.
  • When your dishwasher doesn't work, you realize just how much you love having a dishwasher.
  • My sink and counter are full of dirty dishes.
  • I made smitten kitchen's Broccoli Slaw for our Memorial Day cook out. It was simple and delicious. Adam liked it with extra dried cranberries. If you like broccoli, you should give it a try.
  • During the course of my normal life, I hardly ever watch tv during the day, but during my pregnancies when I am tired and resting in the middle of the day, I cannot get enough Food Network. I love cooking shows. Bobby Flay, Ina Garten, Tyler Florence (to just name a few)- you thrill me with your culinary creations. Veal Piccatta, toasted orzo, cheese danish...I want to make (and eat) it all!
  • So this list, which I am trying to make unrelated is turning out to have quite a few bullets pertaining to food. I am a crazy, food-obsessed pregnant lady, it's true. I am having more cravings this pregnancy than all the others combined. Fritos, soft tacos, potato chips, pepperoni pizza, and hoagies have been some of the biggest cravings so far. It seems as though salty foods reign supreme.
  • I just renewed my library books online (how convenient) because I realized that after Katie wakes up from her nap, it would be tough to squeeze in both Cici's and the library. I don't want to cramp my pizza binging time at Cici's. We can do the library tomorrow.
  • I am not having twins. I always worry that I might be, and then am completely relieved to see just one little gummy bear in there.
  • For some reason Joey has decided that Windex is called WindowWax. I am going along with it.
  • Two little birds have built a nest on top of one of my shutters on the front porch. I climbed our ladder and found one peanut M&M-sized white egg nestled inside the nest. I am keeping my ear out for tiny baby bird cheeps.
  • Irises are my favorite flower. When Natalie died, a friend brought over a bunch over mini, deep purple colored irises to plant in my yard. The following years, I was so pleased when they would start to bloom right around her birthday. When we moved out of that house, I sadly didn't dig any up. My neighbor across the street has the same irises at the end of his driveway. I am sure he could spare a few...
  • I have buttermilk in my fridge right now, left over from making the dressing for the aforementioned broccoli slaw. I never have buttermilk on hand (I usually "make" my own by adding lemon juice or vinegar to regular milk) and am pondering my cooking/baking options. Should I make some buttermilk pancakes, or biscuits? Or I could really go for a coffeecake. What do you make with your buttermilk?
  • Katie still takes a three hour nap everyday. On Monday she did not nap when we had company over for our cookout. It was a day to realize just how thankful I should be for that three hour nap. All-day-awake-Katie is not as much fun as well-rested-Katie. You can trust me on this one.
  • I want Photoshop. I don't like to spend money. This is a dilemma.
  • There are four pairs of scissors in my pen and pencil jar on my computer desk. You can never have enough scissors.
  • I may not be much of a dancer, but Katie, Joey and I make one groovy peepee-on-the-potty conga line.
  • Last year, my husband threw me a wonderful surprise party at a local restaurant for my thirtieth birthday. It was awesome, and one of the sweetest things he has ever done. I secretly, well maybe not quite secretly, wanted a party (selfish girl that I am) and he came through in an amazing way. He even bought the soundtrack to Pride and Prejudice to play as background music, and had irises and sunflowers as the centerpieces. He thought of everything! I love him so much.
  • Snorkeling with sea turtles is probably one of the coolest things I have ever done.
  • Birthing my babies is the most incredible. God made a woman's body to do amazing things.
  • I already have a wee little baby bump. It has not required the maternity clothes bin to be raided, and you probably wouldn't notice it if you saw me, but it's there. At 10 weeks along, this is early for the bump to begin compared to my other pregnancies. I have high hopes that this doesn't mean I will be huge this time.
  • I am so hungry and dreaming about all the pizza I will eat tonight.
  • Sunflowers has been my perfume of choice since high school, which means I have been wearing the same scent for about 14 years. I really like it, and it's cheap.
  • Just this year I have started wearing Lucky You occasionally because Adam likes it and bought me some for Christmas. See, I can change.
  • In June or July a new Target will be completed about ten minutes away from me. This is good news.
  • There will also be a Cici's. This is bad news.
  • Blogging has made me realize how much i use the word just. I must delete about 14 justs before I publish every post. I sound like Bear Grylls, for goodness's sake!
  • 14,000 is my choice number of exaggeration. Unless it would seem ridiculous as in the last bullet where I shortened it to just 14 (see I just can't stop using just - ack! it is some sort of disease!) Phrases where 14,000 is acceptable: "We have watched that movie 14,000 times!" or "You have already told me that 14,000 times!" or "There are 14,000 containers without lids in the cabinet."

Well, I hope you enjoyed your bullets. I will be enjoying my pizza in just a little bit. It is a happy birthday indeed!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

six years

Today is Natalie's birthday. She would be a big six-year-old girl.

Stillbirth, six years later. Part of it seems so far away, and yet, I can still remember it like it happened just last week.

The pain of the broken heart is gone. God has healed my heart. I praise Him for the work He has done. On a daily basis my life is no longer affected by the grief of losing her. There are still lessons I learn as a result of losing her, and I still miss her and love her. But God has moved me into the land of the living, and what a grand life it is.

But although that pain is removed, if I remember her, really think about her and relive some of the moments from the time she was alive in my belly, to the moments we shared after she was born, her soul already in heaven, there is sadness and tears. The pain is removed, but the sadness remains.

Natalie's death was a big loss, unexpected and unexplained. The time I had holding and loving her was too short and too sad. While I rejoice in the gracious fact that God has healed my heart, I am glad He doesn't erase away my memory of her. Besides a few photos and keepsakes, my memories are what I have left of her.

Just last week I was in the shower, and I began to think of her. I was thinking about what she wore when she was buried. My sister went out and bought her a beautiful preemie dress, lavender with smocking on the top, and a matching bonnet. It was a beautiful dress. I wish I had bought a second, so I could have my own to remember what a pretty girl she was in her first dress. And then I thought about the only outfit I ever put on her. Adam and I struggled to get her little body into a gown sleeper. It was awkward and difficult, but I am glad I had that mommy moment with her. But as I thought on these things in the shower, I began to cry. Really weep.

The tears didn't last, and my sadness lifted, and I went forward with my day.

As I reflect on this reality of my life, I see the sadness not as some sort of cross to bear or a burden to carry. It is my life. It is just a part of who I am. I am a child of God, who has been allowed by the Creator of the universe to have a stillbirth. There is sadness attached to this reality. The burden of grief was a terrible weight and trial, but my life now is not terrible. Natalie's death is no longer a temptation to question the wisdom or love of my God. Natalie's death is just a truth, a part of my history and a big chapter in the story of my life.

Six years ago, I was reeling with the new reality I faced, wondering how I could have lost her, wondering what I did wrong, wondering if I would ever have a baby who lived. Six years ago I was the mother of a stillborn daughter. Today I am still the mother of a stillborn daughter. I am also the mother of an incredible son and daughter, and a little one growing in my womb. My life is the whole package, all four of these children: in heaven, in arms, and in my belly. It is a wonderful life. I can testify that God is faithful, that He never leaves me or forsakes me. I can tell you of a broken heart healed. I can tell you of my precious gifts, Joey and Kate. I can tell you that the scar of sadness that remains is part of me, and I am okay with that. Jesus loves me and cares for me. He didn't make any mistakes.

Happy sixth birthday, Natalie! I hope today is an extra special day of singing for Jesus. I miss you, and I love you forever!

...I have trusted in thy mercy;
my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.

I will sing unto the LORD, because
he hath dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 13:5,6

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

a whole hand old

Joey turned five-years-old on Saturday. We celebrated as a family together on Thursday since that was Adam's day off. Well actually, I should say Adam celebrated with Joey on Thursday, because all I did all day Thursday was lie in bed and be sick. Adam treated Joey to donut holes for breakfast and then they got a new fish, Gill, to replace Joey's old goldfish that died. In the afternoon, a longtime friend came over with her children for a scheduled play date even though she knew I was sick and couldn't be any company. Joey's heart would have been broken if he didn't get to play with some of his favorite friends, and it really made his day to run around like a crazy person for a couple hours with them. After our guests left and Adam put Katie down for a nap, he and Joey went bowling. We have gone bowling only once before and Joey loved it, and has asked to do it again numerous times. He was thrilled to go. Adam said he kept trying different bowling balls, so that by the end of their two games, the bowling ball return (does that have a name?) was completely filled. Joey told me he won both games, but I never did verify that information with Adam.

When given the choice for that night's dinner and activities, Joey picked pizza for dinner, eaten in the living room, while watching one of his favorite movies with daddy. We then sang and had cake. Joey had asked for a cake with a chocolate sprinkles racetrack (just like I made for him last year) but instead Adam bought a cake from the grocery store since I couldn't bake that day. Joey didn't seem to mind at all.

We gave him one of his birthday gifts, a little Playmobil pirate dinghy. Joey already has a pirate ship he often plays with, and now he has two ships to battle it out on the high seas. I was happy that even though I was in bed most of the day, Joey had a great day with his Dad and friends.

On Saturday, the real birthday day, we got to celebrate all over again. In the morning my mom came over with the traditional birthday donut and gifts. One of her gifts was a large dinosaur floor puzzle that she worked on with Joey while she stayed with the kids for a bit, so I could run to Lowe's and get some soil and mulch and plants, which is much easier to do without the children. Joey enjoyed helping me with some of the planting I did after I put Katie down for a nap. Then Grandpop stopped by to see the birthday boy and to bring some ice cream treats. By now, I was getting pretty tired from all the yard work and mowing, so I indulged in a mid-afternoon treat myself.

I then realized that Joey's cousins would be over soon and I hadn't even started anything for dinner, so I put together an easy homemade mac 'n cheese, and got a package of hot dogs out of the freezer. Yes, I went all out for this birthday dinner. And then I realized that I was not going to have time to make cupcakes, but never fear, I could just use the two packs of Klondike bars Grandpop brought as the birthday "cake". If only I had a picture of the pyramid of the foil wrapped frozen treats with candles stuck in the cracks. That is semi-homemade taken to a whole new level. Really special.

Two cousins, Austin and Grayson arrived first, and then Adam brought cousin Brooke when he came home from work. They all played so well together, even when Adam and I had to work on getting the tree that my in-laws gave us that morning planted and filled in with soil. Later on in the evening, Adam shot off some bottle rockets for the kids which only fueled the intensity of the spaz level. Joey and Katie were completely worn out by the time everyone went home.

I could say Joey had a perfect day, but I do believe the shirt he was wearing that day says it better. A boy cannot have a day that turns a bright white shirt into this-

-without it being a really great day.
(No, Joey doesn't go to the Goddard school, it was a hand-me-down)
Joey is a gift from God that I have been blessed to enjoy these five years. I am so thankful he is a part of our family. His tender heart, easy smile, and enthusiastic love warm my heart every day. I love him, and the great thing is, I like him too. He is one cool kid.

Monday, May 18, 2009

hi, how's it going?

I just wrote a very long (probably too long) post about Joey's birthday, but blogger is not letting me move my photos around in the post. Grr. So I am saying hello, and hoping you are having a marvelous Monday and that you have lots to be thankful and joyful about today.

I finished planted my veggies and herbs today, and I also dug up some sod on the one side of the house where I am extending a bed and planting some boxwoods. Now I am really tired. I am just about caught up on my laundry, and I need to make dinner for the kids. Probably spaghetti. It is 5:30, so I better get going, though Kate is still napping and Joey is outside playing with the neighbors so they aren't desperate for food quite yet.

Have a great evening! Maybe I will get that birthday boy post up later.

Friday, May 15, 2009

i surrender

Blueberry, you win. I thought I could beat you and your wicked hormonal weapons, but I am powerless. I thought I would eat yesterday, but you said "Uh, uh! Only 3/4 of a Pedialyte popsicle for you, Mama! Ha!" I thought I would be able to keep up with all the outside spring chores, but you said, "Sit down, or you'll be sorry!" I thought I would see Joey's birthday dinner of pizza and cake (two of my absolute faves) and revel in some food-loving bliss, but instead, at your bidding, I turned the other way and had a sip of watered down apple juice.

You win. I surrender. I love you anyway.

Monday, May 11, 2009


They say the baby is the size of a blueberry this week. Which is probably the same way you could describe the size of my energy level, brain power, and emotional strength. Pregnancy is so very weird and wonderful and completely zaps my life force. But I do so love the little blueberry.

According to Katie, there is baby in every belly in our family. She might catch on that it's just in mine when my belly is the only one that grows to the size of a watermelon.

Friday, May 8, 2009


I am pleased to report that by Thursday I was back to my good ol' self. Back to the whole mommy and homemaking business. I dug out from under the mess that resulted from three days of the plague and Adam not coming home until about nine each of those nights. My mom was the most wonderful helper and took the kids for me at lunchtime on Tuesday and all day Wednesday. The kids were thrilled, and I was relieved to rest and suffer through the terrible nausea and well, you know. I cannot express how thankful I am for her help - she really saved the day.

I will blog more, but I have much to do still, so I cannot justify a lot of time here today. I'll be back soon, I promise.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and I hope all you mothers have a terrific Mother's Day. What do you have planned?

Monday, May 4, 2009

oh, bother

I woke up this morning to what I thought was some morning sickness. A few hours later I realized I was sick with the stomach bug. The kids have been super as most of my day has been spent toilet hugging and sleeping. The television has been on much more than usual, which is a great treat for the kids. I made oatmeal for the kids for dinner because it was the only thing I could come up with that didn't have a smell that would send me over the edge. Oatmeal and popsicles - they are living the high life.

Adam isn't home until nine tonight, so I am doing my best, but the house doesn't show it. All the cleaning I did on Saturday has been completely undone by a day of church and a day of the plague. Undone and magnified to a horrible level. And I have no desire whatsoever to pick up or wash a thing. The kids are quietly watching t.v. and I am going to go take my fourteenth nap of the day.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

big ol' messy mess

With a few weeks of many evenings of Adam home from work after 9, pregnancy fatigue hitting already, a yard sale, my dishwasher's refusal to work, and my general lack of motivation and skill have all contributed to the house being, um, shall we say...gross. Adam is always great about it, and would rather have me rested and happy than the house clean, but well-rested for me doesn't always mean happy if my brain can't relax because of the filth in my face everywhere I go. This is just the playroom.

Every other room is some sort of variation of this visual delight, so I need to get off this computer and get cleaning. Boo.

On a completely unrelated note, we spent a good portion of yesterday at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden. The kids loved it. Katie was surprisingly captivated by the sea life. She was much more interested than I thought she would be.

She enjoyed touching the starfish, and would have touched the sharks in the Touch-a-Shark tank if her little arms were long enough to reach to the bottom where they were resting. Joey enjoyed observing more than touching. His favorite part was the Shark tunnel, the underwater glass tunnel that went through the shark tank. My favorite creatures were the sea turtles and hippos, both surprisingly huge. God's creativity was evident in every display of His aquatic creations. It was an enjoyable day of family time.

Well, off to go clean, wash, put way, straighten up something, anything, everything.

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming....