Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Lot of Rambling

It's been a busy week since returning home from Copper Harbor, MI where we vacationed.

My emotions have been busy, as has life.

We've got so many things to get done around the house before winter sets in. Here in MN, that could happen anytime from October on. When I woke up this morning, Paul had turned the heat on before leaving for work since it was a balmy 27 degrees outside. I'm wondering what survived in the garden since I didn't know it was going to frost and nothing was covered.

Anyway, we decided last week to finally go ahead and start redoing our front entry landscaping. It's been a big frustration for me what with weeds and other plants that have taken over. It did not look inviting. So with coupon in hand, we've been hanging out at the local landscaping nursery, planning our "new look." I tease Paul that last Christmas he gave me "cabinet jewelry" and this year I'm getting "lawn jewelry." I wonder if this counts as an anniversary, birthday, or early Christmas gift. Hopefully on Saturday we'll be putting our new look in.

Speaking (or writing) of new looks, the other day in a fit of personal frustration with my own current look or lack thereof, I spent too much time trying to find a new blog template. It wasn't fun, but I like this new one and it was free, unlike a brand new wardrobe and hairdo.

Now as for emotions, I'm doing okay. I spent some extra time on Saturday crying in the shower. I just felt overwhelmed with missing Felicity and struggling to find sense in the past year. We've had many positive changes in our family since losing Felicity, but it's often hard to see the big picture impact. I realize I may never see a big picture impact, but I don't want the pain we've gone through in the last year to be meaningless either.

Since Saturday, I've been doing okay emotionally. Today though the tears are back and I'm just at a loss to describe how I feel. I don't feel hopeless or depressed or angry, just sad, I guess. I'm so thankful we have Caleb to look forward to and my heart aches for my grieving mommy friends who are facing anniversaries of their babies' deaths without the hope that a new baby brings. But there's still sadness. There probably always will be, I guess.

I'm struggling with the idea of going through Felicity's pictures, video, cards, and clothing. I had always planned on doing it on her birthday, but the thought of it now is overwhelming. And yet, it's something I really need to do. I think I need to go through it all and have a really good cry and then maybe I'll actually feel better. It's been awhile since I've relived that day in my thoughts. I remember when there were days, it was all I could think of, especially while trying to fall asleep at night.

I'm sure you'd love to read more of my ramblings, but there's so much to do today. I need to try to bring in all our pumpkins and acorn squash, if they survived. We have school to do which has been taking more and more time each day and I need to get out the boys' warmer clothes now that the weather has officially turned. Plus I have to go pay for our new landscaping plants and we have AWANA tonight, which makes the afternoon quite crazy.

As always, thank you for your prayers. May God bless you all!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Almost Here

Only 10 days until Felicity's one year Heaven Day.

Just like the fog outside this morning, I've been feeling the sadness building. There were many times during our trip that I missed her and realized we probably wouldn't be vacationing had she lived.

In fact so many things about our lives would be different.

It's hard not to think about those things.

Biggest thing on my mind lately is imaging what she'd be like as a one year old. Would she be walking yet? Would she be sweet and gentle or rough and tumble in order to survive two older brothers? What color would her eyes be? Would her hair be curly like Elijah's?

Oh, how I miss her!

I've been thinking for months now how we would celebrate her birthday and as it gets closer, I find it hard to plan. I want to honor her memory, but honestly, sometimes it hurts too much to think about trying to have a party for someone who's not here. Add to that the fact that Jeremiah's due date is only three days after Felicity's birthday and I'm not sure how I'm going to handle the next two weeks or so.



We had our 22 week MCA scan and growth scan yesterday. We're happy to report that Caleb's scans have been going so well and his numbers are so good, that we don't have to go back for two weeks!


Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Project in the Works

We just got back from vacationing in Copper Harbor, MI and while I'm planning a post on our trip, I don't have the time today. But I wanted to share something I've been working on.

I'm a very novice knitter, but I love doing it. Unfortunately up until this recent project, I've stuck mostly to scarves and dishcloths. But I was inspired when I visited a specialty yarn store a few weeks ago.

This is the result:

It's a hat and blanket for Caleb. I had to adapt the pattern for the hat as it was for a very small preemie. Even so, this one turned out smaller than I thought. I plan on trying another before he's born and making it even bigger.

My thoughts behind doing these for Caleb were that I wanted him to have something made by me that smells like me (haven't decided how to accomplish this yet) to have with him, if for some reason we have to be separated for any period of time after his birth.

It's not something I like to think about but I want to be prepared if it happens. Tomorrow is our 22 week MCA scan and also a growth scan which they do every 3-4 weeks. The perinatologist gave us the thumbs us to go on vacation after an early scan last Wednesday so it's been 8 days since he was last looked at.

Thanks for lifting Caleb up in prayer these past weeks!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Happy 4th Anniversary, Paul!

Friday is our 4th wedding anniversary. I'm writing this a little early, because I won't be able to do it that day and because the boys are with Gramma and Papa and it's so much easier to blog when they are not here. And by easier, I mean that I don't feel guilty blogging when they're not here. That and I can think clearly. (I miss them like crazy!)

Four years ago, we said our "I do's" (or were they "I will's"?) atop a scenic overlook in southeastern MN. We called it our "planned elopement," since it's pretty hard to elope when you have a three year old. So it was planned - in seven weeks!

He asked me to marry him at Outback Steakhouse, not a terribly romantic place, but I was just glad he was asking. You see we had recently almost broken up over a silly issue of where we would live if we got married. (He came to see my point of view pretty quickly on that one!)

We picked out rings together after he asked. I shopped for our wedding attire. We began premarital counseling which we didn't finish until after we were married. Then we struggled to find a pastor who would marry us in such a remote location (a long story!), but finally found the perfect one. We had never met him before, but the way he wrote his sermon and our vows, it was like he'd known us for years.

We each had one witness. I asked my aunt Cathy to be mine and Paul's friend Bill was his. My parents had left with Ethan the day before to travel to their yearly vacation spot. We struggled with whether or not to have Ethan and them there, but in order to have a honeymoon, we needed to do it while they were gone.

Neither of us regrets not having a big wedding! It was a perfect day - a Sunday. We went together to church in the morning and then afterwards left to travel down to the location.

The pictures aren't professional and the wedding video still isn't edited, but it was a wonderful day. We shared our first kiss that day.

We've been through a lot in four years! Adapting to life as a blended family, moving, 4 pregnancies, and the deaths of two babies. Only God knows what the future holds, but I pray the next four years will be filled with joy!

I'm so blessed to be married to you, Paul! I know we've had our struggles and will probably encounter more before this life is through. Thank you for being loving and patient with me! You are an amazing husband and father, far better than I ever imagined. I pray God gives us many more years together! I love you!

A badly scanned photograph of the scenic overlook where we were married (at the top of the rock outcropping).

Ethan and "Daddy Paul" though the Paul part was soon dropped. Ethan was thrilled to have a consistent father in his life and it's apparent by their relationship today.

Our first Christmas photo as a new family!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Week 20 MCA Scan and a Field Trip

Caleb had a great scan again today, praise God! We are so thankful as we learned today that the longer he goes without developing anemia, the less likely it will be that he develops it at all. We also learned that the earlier a baby develops Hemolytic Disease, the more severe it tends to be. This really is a week to week learning experience.

Before the boys and I headed down to the cities for my appointment, we were able to take a field trip to a town about 15 miles away to see the traveling Vietnam memorial. It is a half scale version of the real monument in Washington, D.C. While I have seen the real one myself, I don't know if the boys will ever get to, so this was a neat experience. It is a very solemn one, especially considering that 8 years ago America faced its worst terrorist attack ever.

I found myself in tears as I read a letter a woman had left at the memorial. It was wrapped in plastic with a flower and two pictures, a wedding one and a photo of a man in uniform. The letter began:

Dear Mike,
Today would've been our 40th wedding anniversary. We didn't even get to celebrate our first anniversary.

So sad! The rest was folded so I couldn't read it, but it was never meant for my eyes anyway.

The boys were able to explore some old army vehicles, even climbing inside a convoy truck. It was neat to talk with some of the veterans there who were volunteering.

I am so thankful for all those who were willing to make such sacrifices for our country.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Boring Blogger

I know I've been a boring blogger lately -sorry! Life is busy and I just haven't had any inspiring blog post ideas nor the time and energy to write one if I did. But I wanted to write something before tomorrow so that my posts don't all become Caleb's MCA scan updates.

We had a fairly successful garage sale on Saturday. Ethan had fun camping with his dad, though he was bummed not to be here for the sale. He opened his own "business" this past spring called "Ethan's Eats" with the intention to sell water and various snacks whenever we hosted paintball events on our property. (If you didn't know, my husband loves paintball!) Ethan used some of his birthday money to purchase bottles of water and snack foods. Unfortunately all of the paintball events have been cancelled due to not enough people signing up, so Ethan's business has been surviving solely on purchases made by family members. He was hoping to sell stuff to people at the sale. Since we didn't get rid of as much as we wanted, we're going to have the sale again this Saturday, so hopefully he'll sell some stuff this weekend.

Elijah had a blast at the garage sale. He spent pretty much all day cutting, glueing, and drawing on construction paper and handing them out to customers, who weren't quite sure what to do with them. Sometimes he'd hold the paper out and just say, "Here" in a deep voice and then walk away. (He frequently likes to talk in a deeper voice than normal.) Other times he'd launch into a detailed exchange in his deep voice, which unless you know him, can be difficult to understand. I found myself often interpreting for him, but it was cute nonetheless.

My homemade dishcloths did not sell liked I'd hope they would, so I'm hoping this Saturday will be different. Otherwise, I'll have to come up with some sort of contest to give some of them away.

Tomorrow we have another MCA scan since it's Friday. Keep praying for Caleb to stay healthy! It would be great not to have him have any blood transfusions, but I'd at least like to wait until he's a little bigger. I'll be sure to post a report tomorrow evening on how things went.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Week 19 MCA Scan

Thanks for your prayers this week! I don't think I was too unbearable, so you all must have been praying hard.

We're ready for our garage sale tomorrow, our homeschool co-op "opener" went well, and Ethan is camping with his dad and stepmom. (I hate the words stepmom/stepdad. We don't try to use those terms. I prefer "chosen mom/dad" because that person entered into a relationship knowing the role they would have to fill and choosing to do so. End tangent.)

Caleb's MCA scan today went well. The blood flow is well below the limit. They want it to be <34 cm/second and he was in the 27-28 cm/s range. Praise God!

I'm tired and lacking in much else in terms of "fun blogging material." Have a great Labor Day weekend!