Dec 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012

I sort of feel like we should be celebrating the last day of the year with some sort of big hoopla or something. But instead it is almost one in the afternoon and the three of us are still in our jammies, lounging around the basement, playing with new toys and watching TV. We are dressing and redressing Hope's American Girl Doll, building treehouses out of Legos, and making up games with the Calico Critters. We are eating peanut butter sandwiches in front of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and munching on cookies while dancing to The Fresh Beat Band.

It has been busy busy for the last couple weeks with family celebrations, visits to out-of-town family, and a birthday party for a little girl who turns FIVE tomorrow. (Hold me.) I've been feeling kind of upside down since around Christmas, knowing that had I not miscarried we would've had another babe to celebrate with. It seems extra hard knowing that no one else recognizes this would have been a first Christmas for the baby we lost.

So, I guess my point is that there's been so much going on that I'm kind of okay with ending this year on a very quiet and somewhat lazy note. In fact, I'm really looking forward to a full day of snuggling followed by a low-key evening of Indian take-out and some Anderson Cooper.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year, in whatever way you end up ringing it in!


Dec 22, 2012

Christmas is Coming

Sitting in front of the television, watching "Miracle on 34th Street" with tears in my eyes, waiting for my sister to fly in. I'm surrounded by Christmas and Love and Joy to the Worlds and I am so incredibly grateful. We get a few days of celebration with my family before celebrating with Adam's family. I just can't wait.

The magic of the season is here, take a deep breath and let it all in. Crank up the holiday music, eat a couple holiday treats, sit in front of the Christmas tree. Whatever it is that feels right to you, just go and do it to get as much out of this time as you can.

Scenes of our season:

Trip to the grocery store for food shelf donations.

Christmas Traditions of cookie cutouts with the cousins.

The gingerbread house made at school.
(please ignore the pacifier in the background... along with the dirty counter)

I'm gonna cozy on up and keep getting my Christmas on.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a blessed holiday!


Dec 19, 2012

Night of Silence

I don't know how to process tragedy. Especially one of this magnitude. I go back and forth between wanting to plug my fingers in my ears saying "la, la, la" and soaking up every minute detail I can find, but either way with the urge to throw up.

I have nothing to say because there are only feelings. Feelings and tears and tears and feelings. I have nothing. Nothing but that deep, dark, gut-wrenching ache. And the fear of hopelessness.

And why. I always want reasons, even though I know there is absolutely no reason that will appease me and make something like this understandable.

There is fear and darkness. And I don't want that fear and the darkness to take over. And yet sometimes it's so very hard to find the light. How can I laugh and be silly when so many mamas are crying? Yet, how can I not?

I hug and I kiss and I let it roll off my shoulders when my preschooler accidentally finds a Christmas Santa gift. I shudder and twitch knowing I was preparing for a school tour for Kindergarten next year, when horrific events were unfolding.

I take a breath. I say a prayer. I let myself be sad. And then I let myself be happy. I hug my children. I vow to be love. I vow to be more and more love.

And I try to find hope. Let there always be hope.


Dec 11, 2012

Let it Snow, Let it Tow

Laying in bed over the weekend I could hear Paige's voice echo through the house.

Mom! Dad! It towed! It towed today!

To the untrained ear one might not quite know what our little two-year-old it hollering about, but as any parent knows, our ears are long trained to understand our own babies words. So while it might not make sense to most, I knew right away how excited she was about the fresh snow. Tow!

Our dear Paige, while an excellent speaker, seems to have a complicated rule when it comes to words that start with "s" followed by another consonant. Skirt becomes kirt, star becomes tar, and snow becomes, well, tow. (Then, like any good English language rule, there are exceptions to the rule, like swim, because that stays swim.)

Anyway, her excitement about the "tow" was pretty contagious, especially because it's the first big snowfall of the season. So like any good Minnesotan, we all bundled up and got out in the fluffy white stuff to shovel, throw snowballs, and make snow-dinosaurs.

Another favorite? When she kept asking me to make tow-balls.

Although I'm not super thrilled to deal with the mess the snow brings inside the house, and all that goes along with that, I am glad we should actually have a white Christmas this year.

Hope you got out to enjoy some winter this weekend! Let it tow, let it tow, let it tow!


Dec 9, 2012

All I Want For Christmas Is

Almost every time I see a baby, something happens. My uterus starts crying tears of an empty womb, my boobs ache like they are getting ready to nurse, and my heart beats love for another child. I know the pain of a miscarriage, and I know the pain of being ready for another child before my husband is, but I know that I do not know the pain of infertility month after month. I imagine that what courses through my body is only a fraction of what those experiencing infertility feel time and time again.

Still, it hurts. I hurt. If my body had cooperated and cooked my baby the accurate amount of time, our little junior would have been alive nine months by Christmas this year. We would have five stockings hanging instead of just four. There would be a new "Baby's First Christmas 2012" ornament dangling from a branch on our tree. And our little babe would be crawling (or even toddling), and yanking ornaments down, only to promptly stuff them into his mouth.

There's nothing quite like the Christmas after a baby was supposed to be born. While the moments of magic are all around me, and I am even able to get a tree with hardly a thought of the babe that might have been, it suddenly hits me hard. The ghost of the baby I see crawling on our dusty floors, or stuffed in a fluffy gray snowsuit, or belling laughing and clapping as he tears Santa paper off a present.

I do not have illusions that a new baby would bring only happiness and rainbows. Like all mothers who've experienced miscarriage (because we all are mothers, are we not?), I know that no new baby could ever replace the baby we lost. That a new baby won't "fix" things. But I also have this love that I was ready to give and it is still ready, just waiting waiting waiting. And I can't adequately explain how much I feel like I need another baby to heal.

Perhaps this is not possible. Perhaps it is unhealthy. Perhaps one has nothing to do with the other. Even on those days that I. NEED. A. BREAK. My heart and mind still chorus together: Four kids. Four kids. Four. FOUR. FOUR! I'm not sure where this comes from, or what kind of mother I'd actually be to four children. Maybe it's God. Maybe it's biology. Maybe it's just my crazy self-talk determined to drive me insane.

I want it to be okay. I want to be able to enjoy this time before we are ready to try for another baby. Because as much as I want a baby, I do not, in a trillion years (although maybe a trillion and one?) want my husband to agree to a baby before he feels ready.

And I do enjoy this time. Oh how I enjoy Hope's journey into girlhood (I mean, she's going to be five next month people!) and Paige's transformation into the delightful, and often frightful, Threes (can you say potty-trained?). I just can't help but sometimes wish that I could be enjoying these things while simultaneously leaning over the toilet bowl with the reminder that I am growing a delicious little bundle of joy.

I can't do anything to change the fact that we will not have a nine-month-old with our family this Christmas. And it certainly is not my year to have the gift of a positive pregnancy test on Christmas morning. But to all of you praying and wishing, I am hoping for a Christmas miracle just for you.


Dec 6, 2012

Joy to the World, this was our week

It's December and Holiday Seasons abound. While I have grandiose plans of sugar cookie decorating, gingerbread house building, snow angel making, and present wrapping, our Christmas quota was filled this last week with the tree cutting down and house decorating. Can't cram it all into one week, am I right?

And now a look at our week:

Today is Thursday which means (cue the trumpets) that tomorrow is Friday. And that just brings a little excitement around here because, Yay! Adam is home for the weekend. Of course, tomorrow is Friday and I have yet to call any of the schools to set up a time to visit. I'm sure they all will LOVE having me come visit right before winter break.

And I must say, there is nothing quite like spending an evening reading in front of the tree with my husband, which is how we spent our Wednesday night. Even if said husband does not scoot his butt over to share the couch. (But I'm not bitter about that or anything.)

I was all super-womany yesterday and threw together some ingredients for wild rice soup in the crockpot to heat up today. But I think my last-minute decision of adding twice the amount of rice kind of backfired because now it is more like a wild rice casseroley type thing than soup. I'm sure it'll be fine. And when I tasted it, it did not taste bland. At all. (Good thing I don't claim to be a foodie.)

Tomorrow I am taking Paige to enjoy some magical Disney on Ice. She has no clue what it really is, but is overly excited every time it comes up because: Disney! Mickey! Princesses! Hooray! Last spring I took Hope, whose awed facial expression I hope to never forget, but despite her obvious enjoyment, she did not want to miss school for some mother-daughter fun. But, it's all good because Paige will get a little one-on-one time. Something she probably gets way less of than I realize.

The week has been good, despite an attempt to quickly paint a doll crib that has turned into a million-hour-project-that-will-hopefully-get-done-before-Christmas-but-I'm-not-stressed-about-it-at-all-(but-really-I-am) mishap earlier on. It's a little hard figuring out how to fit in painting time when the girls are by my side almost 24/7 and I would kind of like to keep it a surprise until Christmas.

But, I'm happy. It's Christmas time and we're Decking the Halls and Fa-la-laing and talking about Christmas and Birthdays and Joy to the Worlds.


Dec 5, 2012

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like

We finally got our Christmas tree last weekend, going over the river and through the woods to a local tree farm to saw that bad boy down ourselves (or Adam's self), timidly take a candy cane or two from Santa, and lose our way on the drive home. I guess I say "finally" even though when we lumberjacked our tree we still had twenty-four days until Christmas.

But when I was growing up we always got our tree the Friday after Thanksgiving. Always. In fact, I didn't hear the term "Black Friday" until several years ago and was completely confused and convinced it wasn't a real day. Of course now I know what Black Friday is all about. But in our house the Friday after Thanksgiving was all about driving out to the tree farm, taking a tractor ride with jingly bells to the middle of the rows and rows of coniferous trees, finding The One, taking turns with the saw, warming up with cocoa and cookies, and getting that tree home ASAP to turn on the Christmas music and decorate.

So even though we were a weekend late this year, we have our beautiful, sparkly, magical tree. You can be sure to find me in any of the next twenty days, sitting (or laying) on our couch, tree lights twinkling, nursing a hot cup of joe, (or tea, or cocoa). It's pretty much what I do all day long. Maybe.

The girls, like the sweet little children they are, are just the right amount enamored with the tree. That exact amount between touching, and potentially breaking, every ornament and not really caring that it's there at all. (Does anyone ever get to the point where they don't care the Christmas tree is there? I hope not.) Most of the time they steer clear from the breakables, but sometimes the ornaments do have to be rearranged. It's a child's prerogative, you know.

It's Christmas. It's CHRISTMAS! Time to get excited, people. I am feeling the magic and excitement, even if the cold is kicking my butt. Excuse me now. I have a cup of coffee to warm up and a tree to admire.