Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sometimes I Drive Myself Crazy!

I have been researching wooden swing sets for my kids for about two weeks now. The one that I finally decided on is out of stock, and we can't even get it anymore..figures! I am not the kind of person who can just make a decision and buy something. I have to make sure that it is a good buy for the money. I know way too many people who have bought things because they look good, but they end up complaining about how it fell apart on them. If I am going to spend a decent amount of money on something I want to make sure it is of good quality. I also like to find the best price too for something so I end up driving myself crazy until I actually buy it..I can say that I have done good so far though. I researched jogging strollers until I thought I might seriously have to commit myself, but the one I bought was worth every penny and every ounce of energy I put into my research. It made buying my duallie much easier since I went with the same manufacturer. I just hope that I can find a swing set that won't fall apart after one summer..I am starting to get more relaxed about this kind of stuff, but I am still not a spur of the moment type of buyer. I am just getting sick of looking at stuff that I like, and then I see the price and realize we won't be able to make a house payment or two if we purchase some of the ones that get such good reviews! I'm sure we will find the right one eventually..

I talked to one of the nurses from the hospital yesterday because she has Aubree's "gift" birth certificate and some pictures she took as well. I need to find a time to get together with her. She was one of the amazing nurses who treated Aubree like she was alive. I know that she has had a lot of training in order to deal with these types of situations, but she really went over and above what would be expected of her. I think it probably has to do with the fact that she is such a grandmotherly type person to begin with. She was very caring and she made us feel like we weren't crazy for how we were feeling. She has been mentioning this support group that our hospital has, and I have thought about going because it might do me some good to actually talk about how I am feeling. I am just so unsure about crying in front of people I don't know. That is so hard for me so I think that might be my hesitation. I have no problems crying in front of my family, but actually doing it in front of strangers even though they completely understand just sounds scary to me. I know that I need to get over that because I think it might be good for my healing process. Others have suggested grief counseling which is also something I have considered, but I feel like I am doing ok right now on my own. Maybe that is because I have been keeping myself busy with other things right now..like swing set research! :) I did bring out the Raffi cd this morning, and we danced and sang like we used to..Carley was pretty excited to hear her favorite song from when she was a baby.."Baby Beluga" was the only thing that could soothe her sometimes..not sure why it did but it worked! I have learned that sometimes you just don't ask questions! I am still trying to just take things one day at a time, and I will see how well I do with this in the coming month or so before I make any decisions about counseling. It still does break my heart when Parker sees her picture and says, "There's baby Aubree." I'm not sure he really gets it, but he knows in some way that she is his sister...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What A Morning!

I took Parker to his two year appointment this morning with Carley in tow, and I promised them that we would go get a few new movies with their birthday money if they were both good at the doctor's office. The waiting room was packed when we got there so that was not a good sign to begin with. I got him registered and we sat down to wait our turn. Parker decided that he needed to play with all of the toys at the doctor's office, but I am pretty grossed out about that so I won't allow them to touch those toys. Think about it..some kids are healthy when they come to the doctor's office, but most are not. I know I have seen a lot of sick kids playing with those toys before so I won't allow them to touch them. I bring my own things for them to play with, and I am always armed with "snacks" since that seems to work pretty well most of the time. I gave them their snack of Organic applesauce, and then he refused to listen to me at all..He was kicking and screaming in the waiting room. I was that mother this morning..He seriously threw two major temper tantrums while in the waiting room, and I couldn't distract him in any way, shape, or form..it was bad! He even hit me and pulled my hair..he was that mad. He can be such a sweet kid until he doesn't get his way. During his second tantrum we were called back into the exam room. I told the nurse about how much I loved this age, and she was probably wondering how she was going to get his height and weight with the kicking and screaming that was going on. He refused to take his shirt off too, but I finally convinced him that he could show them how he could put it back on after we were all done. He did end up sitting really well for the entire exam believe it or not. Our doctor even commented on what a good boy he was since he just followed all of his instructions..He was 37 inches long today and 24 lbs., 3 oz. He has moved up 1% in the weight percentile..We are now at a whopping 8%! He is finally starting to eat so maybe he will gain some weight..I am thinking that he is going to be just like his mommy and daddy though..tall and thin. Carley is already there so why wouldn't he be that way as well? I am happy that they are tall and thin instead of a bit on the chunky side. There is no way they will ever gain any weight as much as they run! I wish my metabolism was still like theirs! Their day will come too when they can't eat whatever they want and not gain any weight though! It was a rough morning at the doctor's office. It is funny because I normally would have been so embarrassed about something like that, but I just don't care. I tried to soothe him, but I just couldn't. Sure it looked like I had a terrible kid this morning, but I know him and know that he isn't usually like that so who cares what others think! Boy I have really grown up..

It is a beautiful day here today, and I hear that it is only going to get nicer as the week goes on! Yay! I have a busy week planned so that makes me happy. I get to see one of my friends from high school on Thursday, and my playgroup is coming over to see the new house on Friday morning. I really am feeling more and more like myself these days! It is nice to want to see people again and to not be afraid when you go to the store that you just might run into someone. When I went into Wal-Mart today I wasn't constantly looking around me to make sure I didn't know someone. I just did what I needed to do, and I was even friendly to the cashier! We did get Alice In Wonderland today and the first Toy Story. The Toy Story movie was not a reward for Parker's behavior..in fact, I'm not even sure he knew we got it so it will be a reward for another time. I can't reward his behavior this morning. He could care less though because he got a lollipop anyways. He was a happy camper even after his shot. I had to schedule him for his 2 1/2 year appointment this morning..when did they start doing those? He is getting all kinds of things that Carley never got..different vaccines, more appointments, etc. They are only 18 months apart..things change that quickly?

Tonight is Carley's last swim class in this session, and we are all going to go watch her. I hope that it keeps Parker entertained because I don't know if I can handle any more tantrums today! I am going to sign him up for the next session since he is two now. He has been wanting to go swimming for a long time so he should be happy. I am just bummed that I have to get in the pool with him..I am not big into the swimming classes. The kids always manage to splash so much water into my contacts that I can't see a thing by the time we are done. We told Carley that since it is her last night we are going to go out to eat to celebrate (mostly because I won't have time to make dinner because it isn't over until 6:40, and Mike doesn't get home until around 5:20), and she chose her favorite restaurant..Taco Bell. Oh goodie! I don't know why she loves tacos so much. It is a tough place for us because Parker won't eat anything there except the nachos and cheese which is so healthy! It is her choice so I guess we will all enjoy it, and we might all just feel a little sick later too..:) We don't get fast food very often so this would be a special treat in her eyes I guess. She is almost ready to move on to the next level so we are hoping for a good report card tonight!

On a more serious note..I just found out thanks to my new friend Katy, who has also suffered losing her beautiful baby girl Hannah, that the song "Before The Morning" truly was written about possibly losing a child. It's no wonder why I keep hearing it and finding strength and hope from the words that Josh Wilson wrote about his friend's situation. Losing a child truly rocks you to your core, but I know that this pain really is nothing compared to the joy that is coming...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Five Weeks

Today marks five weeks since Aubree was born, and I am still missing her like crazy. I had my follow-up visit with my OB this morning, and I felt like I was going to freak out in the waiting room because there were new babies, ready to burst pregnant women, and just other mothers who were so happy to talk about their new babies..There was a time that I felt like I couldn't breathe so I just kept taking deep breaths to keep the tears from flowing. I know I probably looked like the unfriendliest person because I couldn't smile at the new babies or little kids who were making others laugh. I just didn't have it in me today. I almost thought about bailing, but I thought that I would have to come back anyways at some point. Once the waiting room started to clear out I felt much better. I got lucky in that my favorite nurse was the one that I got to see. She asked me how I was doing, and she told me about how I had been on her mind since she found out what was happening with me. She also inquired about how my other kids were doing, etc. She has always been so sweet, and I feel like I can truly talk to her so I did. I cried of course, but I did share my pictures with her. She was glad that I had some, and she took them to share with the other office staff. When Dr. McCoy came in the first thing he did was ask me how I was doing, and then he came over and hugged me for the longest time. I cried more of course, and we talked about how things have been going for us. He did share that he was very glad that things went the way that they did because he didn't want me to have to watch my baby die. I made sure he knew how wonderful we thought he was during the whole ordeal. He knows firsthand what it is like to lose a child, and he was able to share with me a little bit about how we learn to cope..He said everything looked good and that I could resume my normal exercise, etc. If he only knew I have been exercising for about a week or so now he might be upset with me! :) He hugged me again before he left, and he told me what great people we are...I told him we thought the same about him. He also said he was honored that he was able to deliver her for me. I knew there was a reason I picked this man to deliver my children. He also said we will get to see Aubree again..I know that for sure so that does make this a little bit easier to bear at times. When I went out to make my yearly appointment the entire office staff greeted me with red eyes. They were so glad that I shared the pictures with them, and they were so glad that I had them to begin with. I explained to them about NILMDTS, and they were as amazed as I was the first time I heard about them..what a wonderful gift they are to those of us who have to experience this. The part that really amazes me is that they actually take the time to take beautiful pictures..they truly care and they get it..Years ago (from what I have heard) they didn't even let you see your baby or tell you what it was. Some women that I have come in contact with never named their child or have anything to remember them by...they are our children! I don't know how anyone could look at a child (no matter how small) and ignore the fact that they are someone's child regardless of whether they were lost in a miscarriage or as a stillborn..My heart goes out to those women because I'm sure they always wonder about their children, and they have nothing to hold on to except for their own memories of when they were a part of them..

It just hasn't been a good day emotionally in many ways. Carley keeps reminding me today that she never got to hold Aubree. What am I supposed to say to her? I just keep telling her that she can someday once she gets to Heaven. I know she is not getting it..I seriously think that she believes Aubree is still out there somewhere and that we just haven't brought her home yet. She also keeps telling me today about how much she misses her and how cute she thinks she is..I have to agree with both statements...When I told the doctor about Carley's comments he made a knife in the heart motion..it sure does feel that way sometimes. I know how badly they wanted a baby to love and to "pet" as Parker says. I was so excited to be able to give that to them, and it is so hard to watch them with other babies doing what they wanted to do with their sibling. I know they will be fine in the long run, but it still hurts to see them wanting something that I just can't give them right now. Maybe in time if we are meant to have another Berk in our family..My heart is still too heavy right now to even be able to think about that. Dr. McCoy recommended at least six months if not more in order for my heart to heal..not sure there is really a good timeline for that though. I think you can be ready before, and I also think you might not be ready for a long time. Everyone grieves differently so there really is no answer there. I think you just know when you are ready to move on, and I think that God should play a role in that decision..he will let you know when it is time.

I have always loved the worship song "Better Is One Day", and I have been getting comfort from Psalm 84 through this.."Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere;.." Psalm 84:10

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Two Balloons Revisited

Last night we went outside to play after dinner, and we decided that we would let two of Parker's birthday balloons go for Aubree since she wasn't able to attend Parker's birthday celebration. The kids were concerned about how she would get them, but I reassured them that Aubree would be "getting" them in Heaven. We talked about letting them go, but once they were given the ok to do so they didn't want to let go. We finally convinced them to let go on the count of three..Carley let go first and then Parker did. They really enjoyed watching the balloons go up in the sky and out of sight. Being the sap that I am these days I cried watching them vanish because of the fact that she couldn't be there to celebrate his birthday with us. I did so good all day until that moment, and it was all downhill from there it seemed like. I sort of feel like the kids did at the moment they were told to let go of the balloons..they didn't want to. I don't ever want to let go of her. I was looking at her pictures yesterday, and it felt like she was just in the other room and that I could just go pick her up at any time I wanted to. I know that I have slowly been letting go of her in some ways. I let go in a big way the day that I held her for the last time and left her at the hospital. I also let go in a big way when we buried her. I truly believe I am still in denial about this whole thing..it is almost like it never even happened. It was just so horrible, and it couldn't possibly have really happened..I really wonder when it will set in that this is real, and she is NEVER coming back..

Mike and I watched "The Blind Side" last night. It was just as good as we anticipated. I love football movies for some reason, and it was one of those with a feel-good message to it. You can never go wrong with those kind of movies. It also had some humor in it which was good because it made me laugh after the balloon incident. The movie made me really sad though because it made me think about all of the kids out there who never get the chance that he did..No one ever cared enough about them to help them get out of their current situations. My heart broke for what he went through, and for what so many other children have to go through every day. We learned about grace this morning in church, and even though I wasn't able to pay attention as much as I would have liked due to my children's demands I got one thing out of our pastor's message...We need to show grace to others on a daily basis. We might be lucky in that they will then go on to show other's grace. Wouldn't that make for a beautiful, giving society? I just wish there were more people out there like the character Sandra Bullock played...We can easily better someone else's life if we just took the time to look past ourselves to see the needs of others. I know that we have been shown a lot of grace since Aubree's passing. I never knew how many people truly cared about us, and the love they have shown us has truly helped to get us through each day. My friends who keep asking me to join them for a playdate, coffee, etc, have never given up even when I have declined so many times..I am just so thankful for all of the wonderful people at our church and in our life.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

In Her Memory

I have been wracking my brain for ways to commemorate Aubree. I of course wear my stork in honor of my other two, but I had to come up with something different for her. I have always associated her with an angel, but all of the angel pendants that I have found look more like a cherub than an angel..I found one that is a bit more contemporary looking, and Mike took it to our local jeweler that does custom work. He did our wedding bands and my birthstone ring that I wear so we figured he would be up for this job as well. He is going to make me an angel that has her birthstone as the head to wear with my stork. I am just so glad that I will finally have something to wear that honors her..I have also been thinking about doing a charm bracelet as well as a way to remember some of the big things that have played a role in making me who I am today. I would of course have to get something that would represent Trisomy 18 as well. I'm pretty sure they have charms or something that would work to attach to my bracelet. I just want something that people can look at that might spark some questions or raise awareness about it. I always seem to get compliments on some of my jewelry so maybe that is the way to go about raising awareness about it in my case.

I have been looking at possible vacation spots for our family today. We were invited to go to the beach with my friend and her family, but we declined because we feel like we really need to reconnect as a family this year. I would love to go on vacation with her family at some point though so hopefully we have another year that will work better for us! We have just been so busy with building the house, grieving Aubree, etc. I just feel like my other two kids haven't gotten the attention that they deserve so we are going to spend an entire week just focused on them instead of only half-focusing on them. They have been such troopers through all of this, and this is just one of the ways that I am going to reward them..I just wish that I could go back and do things differently in some ways. I would have stressed so much less about the house because in the end it doesn't matter. I feel like I have missed almost an entire year of their growth due to everything that has been going on..I know that is life, but I feel like I have been so unfair to them. I can be there for them now though..I have big plans for this summer for them. We are going to be doing a lot as a family so I hope they are ready for some fun. I know that I am!

Just a little whisper to Aubree today..I really miss you baby girl..You are forever ingrained into my heart...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Birthday Pictures!





Happy Birthday to Parker!

I am still in shock that two years has passed by so quickly. I know they say that time just goes faster and faster with each child, but I really feel like Parker was just a baby yesterday..I can remember everything about his birth, and I can even remember the night before. I told him the story last night when I was putting him to bed, and he laughed about it. He is just so full of joy, and he makes every day a bit brighter for me. Carley is my sensitive one so she is the one who comforts me when I am upset. Each one brings a different gift to the table, and I am so thankful for that. Life would be pretty boring if we were all created the same..there is a reason that we are all different. If you really stop and think about the world and everything that goes on in it you would be amazed at how perfect God's creation really is. Think about a baby being formed inside of the womb, and how perfectly everything has to be formed in order for the child to live outside of the womb. I still don't know how you can look at a baby and not believe in God. Even looking at the food chain and how everything was planned so perfectly. In my opinion there is no fight when it comes to creation vs. evolution. Even if there is evolution..who set that in motion? Wow..not sure where this all came from today, but I guess I needed to get it out of my system..Anyways...

We took Parker to Pittsburgh Mills to the glow-in-the-dark golf since he loves to golf. I am thinking that he might be more of a hockey player based on how he was holding his club. He really had fun playing, and he even got the ball in the hole after four hits one time..I am just glad that he was able to enjoy himself today. He was really spoiled too today. We let him have some Sixlets out of a candy machine this morning which never happens since Carley is always with us and can't have chocolate. We then took him to The Olive Garden for lunch since he really only eats pizza and pasta right now. We are having pizza for dinner so that left us with the pasta option for lunch. After his lunch he had some of those Andes Mints that they give you with your check. He told us quite a few times, "I like mint." He then got a huge M&M cookie as a special treat...They barely even get one sweet thing a day so this was a huge day for him! I think he will be pleased with his basketball cake. I will post some pictures of his birthday once I get some tonight..it was the easiest cake to make! I do think that he enjoyed himself today so far, and he did like the tool bench too! He is getting a book tonight that should make him happy too. It is another one of the Bear books ("Bear Wants More"). He loves the "Bear Snores On" so he should love this one too..He was more thrilled with the balloons then anything though at this point!

We are looking at some smaller tv's for our bedroom since ours looks like it might fall on one of the kids at any given moment, and it is scaring the daylights out of me. We went to the Wal-Mart as I like to call it, and we as we were leaving I saw a little newborn baby..it was a boy, but it still really upset me for some reason. I just have such an intense urge to have my own newborn baby. They are so fragile and aren't able to take care of themselves at all so they make you feel truly needed..My kids are becoming more and more independent every day so they don't need me in the same ways. They still need me for some things, but they don't need me for EVERYTHING. It really took me by surprise that this little baby had such an effect on me..Mike just kept telling me to breathe..I was trying so hard not to breakdown and cry, but I just couldn't help it. As a mother you just have those urges ingrained into you, and it is so hard to be so excited for it when you are never able to fulfill those desires with your own child. I look around at all of the pregnant women and all of the babies that are out there right now, and I feel sadness that she is gone. How is it that so many babies can be so perfect, but mine just wasn't? Mike (who is the voice of wisdom these days) reminded me that you don't see all of the babies that were supposed to be here either..There are a lot of those too..very true..I don't know everyone's story..I just know that my heart is aching, and I crave feeling needed right now. I also know that God has a plan, and his plan is better then any plan that I could try to have for myself so I am going to continue trusting that he will provide the comfort that I need..

I heard a song yesterday that is a pretty good reminder of what we should be focusing on..It is called "Before The Morning" by Josh Wilson..

Do you wonder why you have to
Feel the things that hurt you
If there’s a God who loves you where is He now

Maybe there are things you can’t see
And all those things are happening
To bring a better ending

Someday somehow you’ll see you’ll see

Would you dare would you dare to believe
That you still have a reason to sing
Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling
It can’t compare to the joy that’s coming
So hold on you gotta wait for the light
Press on and just fight the good fight
Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling
It’s just the dark before the morning

My friend you know how this all ends
You know where you’re going
You just don’t know how you’ll get there
So say a prayer

And hold on cause there’s good for those who love God
But life is not a snapshot
It might take a little time but you’ll see the bigger picture

Once you feel the weight of glory
All your pain will fade to memory

It’s just the hurt before the healing
Oh the pain that you’ve been feeling
It’s just the dark before the morning

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ahhh!!!!

I seriously feel like I should just go outside and scream today..maybe it would make me feel better if I actually did it. I might scare our new neighbors though so maybe I should just go to the basement instead. Today really didn't start out well at all so maybe that is why our day is going in the direction that it is going..downhill! I woke up late which meant that we were already running late to get Carley to preschool. She was maybe 1-2 minutes late, but I still like to get her there a little early so she can get herself prepared for her time there. As soon as we got in the car the song "Heaven Is The Face" by Steven Curtis Chapman was on..great..so it was going to be one of those days. For those of you who don't know that song it is about his little girl who passed away due to a tragic accident, and the song states that he can't wait to see Heaven through the eyes of his little girl. It really rang true this morning for me of course, and it brought tears to my eyes as Carley says from the back seat, "I miss Aubree mommy.." I wasn't sure we were even going to make it to preschool in one piece with all of that emotion running through me not even two minutes out of my driveway..What a way to start a day. I had plans to go look at some grave markers for Aubree this morning too..not sure it was a good day to do that anyways so I was thankful that they were not open when I was there..Some other day when my head is a bit more clear..

I did get to see Heather today so that was a blessing. It has been way too long, and I got to hold Gracie. She is such a doll, and I think she is looking more and more like her mother every day. I had no problems holding her at all believe it or not. I didn't have any problems even just seeing Heather either. I think that was mostly because we didn't talk about her. We just talked about the kids, and I had Parker as a distraction as well. It was just nice to see her and to finally give her a much-needed hug. My visit was brief because I had to get Carley from preschool, but it was nice to see some friendly faces nonetheless.

My kids are driving me insane today with all of the temper tantrums, not listening, etc. As soon as we got home today they were both screaming and crying for no apparent reason. Carley got mad because I looked at her class picture from preschool. She threw herself down and hit herself in the face several times...I still don't understand why she does this. It only makes it worse in my opinion. Her class picture is priceless though. Not only is she the only child in the picture with a stuffed animal dressed in a Steeler's uniform, but she has her shoulders shrugged so much that she doesn't have a neck. The look on her face is also hilarious..I am just thankful I didn't get some of her by herself...She is just one of those kids that gives goofy grins when the camera comes out! That is part of what makes her special though..Parker gave me nothing but problems this morning as far as getting into and out of his carseat. He wants to do it by himself, but he can't even climb into the car that well so it really makes for a long process. He is also into getting into the car and then flying into the cargo area so I can't get him..not fun when you are trying to get things done! I was able to bribe him with a "special treat" of organic squeeze applesauce that he managed to squeeze all over himself and the carseat..I'm telling you it was a fun morning!

I am really hoping that Parker's birthday cake turns out today...He is getting a basketball cake since we are in the midst of March Madness. He really couldn't choose which ball he wanted since he loves them all..He is such a sports junkie already! I hope he like the tool bench we got him since he really only likes sports toys. We have everything you can buy though at this point that is appropriate for his age group so we were out of options..He is very focused on his sports so maybe that is the key to keeping him out of trouble! As the designated cake decorator in this house I am thankful for the love of balls since it will be the easiest cake I have made yet. I thought Mickey Mouse would be easy..it was easy, but it took five years to make since his head was so large..Share Bear (don't EVER agree to make a CareBear cake..fyi..they have a rainbow on them which means even more colors of icing) took a long time because of all of the icing colors and because it was my first cake. Lightning McQueen also had his share of colors, but it wasn't as time consuming since he wasn't that large..this basketball will seem like a breeze compared to those other cakes! I wish I didn't have to act like Martha Stewart when it came to birthday cakes..my life would be so much easier, but I do love the look on their faces when they see their cake for the first time..it might be worth the stress in the end!

I have a request for anyone who is good at web design or who even knows how to do it..I want to make my blog "cute", but I have no idea how to make my own header or button..whatever you call it in the blogging world. I might be able to add a few things on the sidebars once I get some pictures of Miss Aubree, but as far as the header goes I am clueless..any advice would be greatly appreciated since I am really not that good at figuring that kind of stuff out on my own. I know it doesn't need to be "cute", but I would like to make it more appealing for myself and for those of you who think I am interesting..not sure why that is, but I will take it!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Overwhelmed

I am just so overwhelmed by the cards, letters, and donations that we are still receiving in honor of Aubree. We just got a donation today from a local construction company. This builder built my mom and dad's house, but it was still so amazing that they sent a donation to NILMDTS. I don't think people realize what they have given to another family. I am truly thankful for the people who have donated because it is one of the best gifts that any grieving parent can receive..the gift of beautiful pictures. We don't get to take any more pictures of her so the fact that we have such beautiful ones is such a blessing to us. I know of several other people who want to donate to them as well..I just can't thank people enough for being willing to donate to such a beautiful organization in honor of my beautiful baby girl. Unless you experience the loss of a child you will never understand to the same extent what a wonderful gift this organizaton provides..but I'm sure you can imagine..

My mom and dad are going to look at a boxer puppy tonight to add to their family. Murphy is in serious need of a playmate so hopefully one of the four females that they have to choose from will work out for them. They are looking for a brindle with a full black mask like Tyson had. Murphy has the white on his face which I am finding that I like a bit more for some reason...I am so jealous because I want a boxer puppy. I have always loved the breed since high school, and after we got Tyson I fell even more in love with them because he was one in a million. I don't know if I mentioned this before, but on one of my crazy days I told Carley that maybe we could get a boxer puppy this summer..She has yet to forget! I do believe it would be a great distraction for me since I was supposed to be spending my summer taking care of a newborn. We will call him Ruger, and we are looking for a fawn with white on his face. I prefer the brindle color, but Mike wants to go with something different since all of the boxers we have been around have been brindle. I really don't care since it really all just depends on their personality. I just think that it would be good for all of us. Roxie might think otherwise, but in the long run it will be good for her too. It will keep the kids from tormenting her instead..We just need the grass first...I am looking forward to adding to our family in that way..the more the merrier right?

I know we have a lot of planting to do too so that should take my mind off of what I should have been doing..I know that I will always think of her at times because in my mind I had seen our future together as a family. I was excited about our next big family Christmas together because she would be there to share it with us, and I was excited about introducing her to my cousin and her kids who come up in the summer from Florida. There are so many things that I was looking forward to doing with another child, but now I just have the regular every-day stuff to look forward to..It is hard to think about the future when there is already a big part of what was supposed to be there missing..I know she was never truly meant to be here because that is what God had planned for her, but in my head she was a part of my future..We will get through...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Island Coconut..

I am so excited because I got my box of Island Coconut today..summer is coming! For those of you who don't know what I am talking about it is a seasonal K-cup that only comes out at this time of year. It is a good one too! I am really looking forward to getting all of the sun's benefits. It truly helps to brighten my mood. Today is not one of those days because it is so damp and cold. I feel sort of blah today in some ways thanks to the weather. We can't have days that are refreshing every day I guess. It would be nice to wake up every day feeling that way though. In some ways reading God's word is refreshing so maybe that is really the answer...

I really don't have too much to say today for some reason. Like I said before it is just one of those days..Mike and I did look at some of Aubree's things last night in remembrance of her one-month birthday in Heaven. He is just doing so well with all of this now. He thinks it was worse for him the month before she died because there were so many unknowns. He feels like he is able to move on now. I do believe we have been grieving since the moment we found out she was going to die, but I don't know if it is easier now..I know that many people think that the timing of everything was for the best because I would have had two more months of worry. I guess I did worry about when she would pass and how the delivery would go. I didn't wake up every morning wondering if today would be her last day though because I never thought she would die before my due date. She was so strong so it never occurred to me that she wouldn't make it. I truly thought she would pass either during labor or shortly after. I know that it would have been harder for me emotionally had it gone on much longer, but I also know that I would have loved to have that time with her since it is all I had. I feel like I was gypped in many ways because I wasn't able to get the last two months with her when I already wasn't going to get a lifetime with her. I really would have loved to have met her alive even if it was for just one breath..I don't think anyone who hasn't gone through this can truly understand where I am coming from, and I know that most people just think that because they hated to see me in so much pain. I just have to remember that God obviously felt like this was the best thing for me though even if it wasn't the way that I wanted her birth to go. Maybe it would have been too hard for me, and I wouldn't have been doing as good as I am now had it gone on much longer...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bittersweet

Today marks the seven year anniversary of my marriage to Mike. These seven years have held some of the best times of my life and some of the worst. We began our marriage so in love and excited about what the future would bring. You never think that you would have to go through so much pain in a short seven years though. Infertility was the first heartache that we experienced, then the miscarriage, and now Aubree's loss. Even though all of those things could potentially tear us apart they have brought us much closer to each other. I realized through my miscarriage that he was the one that truly gave me the most support. He was the one who was going to physically help me through it. God is of course the most important in every other aspect. He was able to get me through it by providing the comfort and peace that I needed at that time. I can't say that I was a nice person at that time because I was pretty angry at God (and then felt guilty for being angry with God), but he truly didn't stop letting me know he was there regardless. One day I "woke up" and realized that I had so many other things to be thankful for. I began trusting that God would provide again. Even my faith has gone up and down so many times in the last seven years. I can say today that I love Mike now more then I did when we first said, "I do." He makes my life that much happier each day when he comes home from work or when he kisses me before he leaves. In many ways these past seven years have been wonderful even if they have been laced with so much pain. The pain only makes us stronger! I am sending a big shout out to my best friend and to the person I truly want to spend the rest of my life with today...I love you, and I want you to know how much you mean to me..I never want you to feel like you are ever taken for granted because you deserve nothing but the best. Happy Anniversary baby! I can also say that I love God more today then I did when we first got married too..God really does know what he is doing when he brings two people together and allows them to share a life together. He knew we would be perfect for each other even if I was a little hesitant at first. I think back to that first day I met Mike, and if you would have told me then where I would be in seven years I would have laughed..I never thought in a million years that I would end up marrying the annoying guy from upstairs! Thank goodness I was able to give him a chance and see what his true character was like. My life is so much better because he is in it...so a big shout out to the big guy upstairs today too..Thank you for opening my eyes and for allowing me to find such a wonderful man to spend my life with!

The bitter part of today is that it was exactly one month ago at 1:57 this morning that Miss Aubree came into this world sleeping. I shared her pictures with the kids this morning, and they seemed excited to see her. Carley wanted to know when she could hold her. I explained again that Aubree was in Heaven so she couldn't hold her right now. She then went on to say that she wanted to go to Heaven to take the rubber duck that is hers to her. I told her that she was not going to be able to go to Heaven just yet to give that to her, but I would love for her to go and give it to her someday though. She seemed ok with that answer. I know she still doesn't understand where Aubree is. It is such a hard concept to understand even for adults I think sometimes. I have been thinking a lot about her today because she would have been a month old. I know that even if she wasn't sick she would have been a little behind developmentally because she was only 31 weeks, but I think about how she would have been starting to smile about now..one of those moments as a parent where your breath is taken away..There is nothing more precious then a first smile from your baby. It makes all of those sleepless nights and all of the crying worth it all. I know she can't smile for me here, but I'm sure she is smiling now all of the time. How could you not smile in such a perfect place? I miss her so much, and I still sleep with her blanket from the hospital every night. I wish it held her smell, but she never had one to begin with so I don't even have that to hold on to. Mike said she did..she smelled like a hospital and like me..she didn't have her own smell in my opinion. As I was looking at her pictures today I just thought again about how perfect and how beautiful she was. I know I am her mother, and I have to say that, but I really feel like she was a beautiful baby. I wish that I could just see her again, but I guess I am just going to have to be patient..I want to wish my baby girl a Happy One Month Birthday today...I hope her celebration in Heaven is wonderful.

I am trying not to dwell on her being gone because I know that she is much better off now, but that doesn't mean that it isn't hard to deal with her being gone every day. I am here grieving because my time with her was so short. I never get to watch her grow up, get married, have kids, etc. I don't get to see what she will look like as a teenager, adult, etc. I only have that one day to remember her by and even that wasn't even a full experience. I can imagine that she would have looked like Carley did at a year, two, three, etc, but the hard part is that I never get to know..Letting go of her a month ago was the hardest thing a parent ever has to do..I knew that day we left the hospital that I would never see her physical being again..When we left that hospital room I felt like my whole world was going to come crashing down on me. I didn't know how to go on without her. Sometimes I still don't, but I am learning..As I sit here with tears just streaming down my face I think about tomorrow and how life goes on even when we just want to "crawl in a hole and die" sometimes. I love my other kids and Mike way too much to do that to them, but there are times that it would be easier to just never get out of bed..God continues being faithful though..he is pushing me, and I have to say that he is doing a good job of keeping me afloat. I think I will celebrate the beautiful life that I have today, and I will continue to be thankful for all that God has given me even if I am a bit on the sad side today..

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring!!

I am in such a good mood today for many reasons. I got up and went to church this morning which was a huge step in the right direction for me. I did "hide" in the back balcony, but we were not able to stay hidden from everyone so I did have to talk to a few people but that went well regardless. Mike and I then went to the grocery store, and I ran into one of my mom friends and her husband. I haven't talked to her in a while, and it was so nice to see her happy face again. Just seeing her really makes me realize how much I miss everyone. I really need to just get out there and see people again..I like being in other people's company way too much to just sit at home being all depressed by myself. I did show off my favorite picture of Aubree too without crying I might add! I only teared up once or twice so far today so I am really making progress in that department. It was just nice to get out and enjoy this beautiful day too...Another reason I am in a good mood is that I had a great weekend with Mike. I didn't really get any more unpacking done, but I was able to spend some much needed quality time with Mike. It was just nice to reconnect again and to just sit down and watch a movie together. We watched New Moon last night...it was just as good as it was the first time I saw it. Mike hadn't seen it so we just went out and bought it on Blu-Ray. I just love Twilight..I am such a teenager at heart I guess! The love that Edward has for Bella can make any girl or woman jealous! I have to say that I feel pretty loved though too so I can't complain! The last reason I am in good mood is that my kids are coming home today! Even though life is so much easier without having them here because I can run errands much easier, my house is clean, and it is just easier to get things done period, I miss them like crazy. I like the chaos they add to my life. Even when they are sleeping it is still nice to know they are right upstairs. I think we all need time away from those we love at times, but it is so nice when we get to be with them again!

I was invited to a baby shower today for a good friend of mine, and I debated about going for a long time. I finally realized that I just wasn't ready to attend something like that especially since her little girl is due just two days before Miss Aubree was due. I am so happy for them, but I just can't be around baby stuff right now. It is just too hard emotionally for me. I still smile when I see a baby, but I do feel like a knife is being put in my heart when I see them because I won't get to do the things they are doing with their babies. I know it is normal to feel that way, but I just want to be happy for people without the "buts." I keep praying that God will give me strength to just look at all of the babies around me and not to always think about Aubree being gone. I do love to hold babies so I am hoping I can hold their little ones without feeling a huge sense of loss. We shall see when that times comes I guess.

I love the idea of Spring thanks to Mike. I never really would have classified it as my favorite season, but it is becoming more and more that way every year. Spring not only has my favorite flowers associated with it, but it holds the idea of new growth. I always wanted to get married in the fall, but Mike first of all didn't want to wait that long, and secondly he just wanted to get married in the spring. I had no idea why since everything is still so dead, but once he told me that because spring represented new growth and he wanted this to be like our life together I was convinced it was the best season to get married in. I had never realized until that moment just how deep he can be sometimes! So..spring represents our anniversary too. I have been married to my best friend for seven years. How many people can say that their husbands are the person that they would want to do just about anything with? He has always been so much fun to be around, and I really enjoy spending time with him since we like to do the same things. Tomorrow marks our seven years together so it will be a happy day, but yet it will be a really sad day because it marks the one month anniversary of Aubree's passing. Our love for each other grows stronger and stronger each day as a result of her in many ways though so in some ways I am honored to share tomorrow with her..

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Happy Yet Sad Day..

Today was supposed to be a fun day for Mike and I since we were going to celebrate our seven year anniversary by going to the winery in Smicksburg. It was a fun day in many ways because we were able to just talk without kids screaming in the background or talking over us for once. We also ate two meals out today without agonizing over what to order for Parker since he won't eat anything or worrying about what on the menu should be dairy free for Carley..it was nice to just worry about what I wanted to eat for once! Anyways. We found some really cute country signs at The Drying Shed that pretty much said it all for us..One of them was the Serenity Prayer which is something that I have been living my life by since our struggle with infertility. I had a copy of it on my refrigerator when we were going through that, and then my cousin actually just recently sent me a bracelet with it on it. As soon as I saw it today I knew that it needed to be posted in my house somewhere so others can benefit from it too. This particular one only has the first verse on it, but it still says a lot in just those few words. The other sign that I found that had particular meaning to me said, "When God Closes One Door, He Opens Another." I truly believe that is going to happen for us whether it be another child or whether it be some other aspect of life that we have yet to experience. We shall see I guess. I did run into a few family members at Thee Village Eatinghouse, but it was perfectly fine talking to them. I'm not sure if they didn't realize it was me who had the baby or if they just didn't know what to say because it never got mentioned at all which was fine by me since I had just been teary with one of the waitresses there. She has known my mom for years, and she was upset about Aubree and for all of us..It was nice to see her friendly face today though.

After we finished up in Smicksburg we went to visit Aubree which was the tough part of the day. I bought a cross to mark her grave for the time being until we can get her a proper headstone/grave marker. We tried to go and look at some today (I know..fun stuff on an anniversary celebration day), but the place is only open for appointments on Saturdays. I will have to go and look at some myself during the week sometime and maybe get some brochures so Mike can look too..It was so nice to "see" her, but it was so hard to be there again. I know she was looking down at me and telling me not to be so sad, but I just can't help it. I just kept picturing her little body in her casket down in the ground. I just wanted to dig her up and pick her up again. I wish I could get past the picking her up again..I find myself wanting to pick Parker up all of the time..he's not a big fan all of the time, but he usually lets me most of the time. Mike worries that I will continue to baby him forever...he is my baby after all...After visiting with Aubs (as we like to call her even though we were going to call her Bree for short) we went to see my aunt and uncle's new kitchen. It is beautiful. They used the same cabinet people that we did, and they did a good job on theirs too. I just love their wood..it has so much character. The granite they chose is really pretty too. It is just so different then what it was before so it will take some getting used to. Ever since I can remember the kitchen has been the same with bright yellow countertops..I will miss those countertops in some ways because that kitchen holds so many fond memories from my childhood..The new kitchen will just hold many new memories I guess..

I have been meaning to get something to wear to represent Aubree since I wear my stork with the birthstones of the other two kids. I had originally seen an angel that I wanted to wear with my stork, but Mike thinks that I should go in to see Gary Wyant here in town. He made our wedding bands and my other ring (that I get compliments on a lot) so we thought he might have some good ideas. We are thinking about redoing my stork pendant in a way that will allow for an angel to put with it instead of just wearing two different pendants on the same chain. Both of my kids (and myself) have blue colored birthstones. All three colors are different, but they are all a shade of blue. Aubree's birthstone was supposed to be a diamond, but since she was born in February it is an amethyst which is purple. You wouldn't think that would be strange except for the fact that purple has been my favorite color since I was a little girl, and it is the favorite color of my mom's college friend Hope..we all know where Aubree and my middle name came from...I love that I get to wear purple in memory of her..We tried to see Gary today, but he was closed by the time we got into town so we just went to Nap's for our anniversary dinner. It was so quiet, and the food was as good as always so it was a nice way to end our day..

I heard a song today that really put a smile on my face because it truly makes you feel like a little kid in some ways. It is called "Oh, Happiness" by David Crowder Band. Mike said he heard him talking on K-Love this week about the song, and David Crowder said the song makes you think there are rainbows and sunshine pouring out of your speakers. I think I have to agree with him..it made me happy..I didn't quite see the rainbows just yet, but it still made me happy. I just love David Crowder Band in so many ways. He is such an interesting charater in many ways, but he is so on fire for God. I think that he really appeals to the younger generation not only because of the way he dresses, performs, or type of music that he sings, but also because he is able to make them see that you don't have to look a certain way in order to be a Christian or act a certain way..You can be unique, have your own sense of style, or just plain be yourself..God doesn't care about what we look like, what we wear, etc. He only cares about what our heart looks like. I think that I will play this song for my kids this week because I think they will like it.

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
and supremely happy in this life.
Forever in the next.

Amen

Friday, March 19, 2010

Silence..

My house is completely silent for once. I thought that I would enjoy some time to myself, but I actually cried once the kids left. I really don't like being alone without my family. Even Roxie went to the camp..she didn't want to be left behind with boring old me I guess. She was just as excited as the other two were to be going this morning. I am glad they will all have some fun. It will be nice for Mike and I to have a chance to catch up too..It has been too long since we have even been able to have a normal conversation or even sit down for longer then half an hour at a time. I hope we get a lot done and we get to relax a bit too. I could also use some sleep..I haven't been sleeping that well lately for some reason. I feel like I go to sleep, but I keep waking up. I never feel rested when I get up in the mornings because I spend most of the night looking at the clock. I don't really have anything running through my head, but I am also not able to sleep..not sure why that is. I must have more going on in there then I think..

I was looking forward to actually seeing some of my mom friends this morning, but that of course did not work out. My cooktop has a burner that is not working so we called Whirlpool to have them set up an appointment to get it fixed since it is still under warranty. I did only use it one time! They set up an appointment for Tuesday, but they guy was so overbooked that he needed to reschedule for this afternoon..he ended up coming this morning instead so that ruined my morning plans. I am hoping to see someone in the near future. It is starting to get really lonely around here, and I am afraid I might just become a permanent hermit if I allow it to go on much longer! The appliance guy was really nice though..he has seven girls! He also lost a little girl..wow..It is amazing how many people have experienced this type of loss. He went on to have more children and he is really happy so hopefully we can be that way too. He also commented about us having twins next time around..we have heard that three or four times now..not sure about that one, but if that is what God wants for us then so be it! He even lost his entire house in a fire in 2005...he kept commenting about how God has been so good to them..God just keeps on sending people my way that are wonderful reminders of God's love. He also keeps reminding me that he will continue to bless me. It is just so amazing how heavy my heart is, but I feel so at peace because I know that God is in control. Once I gave him full control of my life I felt such a burden being lifted from my life. Everyone continues to say how they don't know how I am getting through..If they would give up control of their lives too they would know how...I am still sad every day, but I know that something better is coming...in more ways then one!

I continue to see progress every day in my life. I have been able to talk on the phone without crying, talk to random people without crying, and I have been able to smile again. I know there are still going to be some bad days, but I also know that each day is going to get easier and easier because time does truly heal..I just need to continue being patient for the time being. I am sure that I will always have an empty feeling in my heart because Aubree is missing, but I am hoping that the feeling will not feel so large at some point.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

All Cleared..

Parker and I went to Greensburg this morning for our mole checks. We were both cleared thankfully. He has just one mole on his leg that he has had since birth, and he keeps digging at it. It has of course gotten larger and has grown unusual in my head since all of this has happened so I made them look at it. I knew they were going to tell me it was fine, but for my piece of mind these days I just needed to hear it. My mole that they took a sample of never grew back so I am good too..We both go back in a year for our yearly check. They took a picture of his so they will know if it is changing at all. I have considered doing a mole mapping since my moles are so hard to keep track of thanks to all of the freckles. Maybe at some point I will do that..when I have a bit more time to kill I guess. I then took him to lunch at Pizza Hut..not even close to my first choice, but I figured he would be happy. He didn't eat a darn thing! He has that cold so I guess pizza didn't sound appetizing to him. If I had known he wasn't going to eat I would have just chosen someplace that sounded good to me! Oh well..maybe he will eat some dinner.

I finally got to talk to one of my very good friends today on the phone. She has been so supportive through all of this, but I haven't had a chance to actually talk to her since I haven't really been talking to anyone other then a few texts here and there. She and I cried together which is not unusual since we have cried a lot for each other in the last four years that we have known each other. We went through infertility together and now she is grieving for me again..she grieved for me when I had my miscarriage too..She has enough on her plate! It was so nice to hear her voice. I just wish that we lived closer since our kids really seem to like playing together. I have another friend who has been extremely supportive too..the thing about her is that I have never met her physically or even talked to her on the phone..Our whole contact has been through email, cards, etc...She is the one person that I really need to make time to meet though..She has been so amazing through all of this...in fact she has been so amazing in the years that I have talked to her. She is another one of those people that I met through infertility sites..it is so amazing how you can find such support from people you don't even know..What I am trying to get at is that there are so many wonderful people in this world, and we have to be willing to reach out to find them outside of our comfort zones. You have no idea what or who God has in store for you until you allow yourself to open up to the possibilities...Your life can be so much richer if you allow God to use you in ways you never imagined before. I still feel called to missions..not sure what my mission is yet..maybe I am on the verge of finding out..

There is a support group meeting tonight that I completely forgot about..I might try to make next month's meeting though..I just have a lot to do tonight to get my kids ready to go to camp with my parents, and I don't want to have to ask my mom and dad to watch the kids again for me..they have done enough of that this week already! It is so nice to be able to leave them with my mom for an appointment because I have yet to find someone who can watch them during the day. In the summer it won't be a big deal because I can either ask one of the girls from our church or one of my cousins if they are available...It is just hard when they are all in school, and I need an appointment during the day...It is so nice to be near family especially when things like Trisomy 18 come into your life unexpectedly. I don't know what I would have done without my mom and dad's support throughout that..My mom really helped me with the kids because I just wasn't there mentally...I am slowly getting better with that I think. I have even tried three new recipes this week..I am getting back into my old routines slowly..still have to see someone..I can't say that I didn't try though. I am going to be all alone tomorrow afternoon, and I wish I could have someone come over, but I'm not sure anyone would be able to since their kids will be sleeping! Maybe next week...

I only cried twice so far today...once on the phone and then once again in the doctor's office. My doctor just asked me how life was..I had to tell him that it could be better of course. After his prying a little I told him the truth. He was pretty sorry about it, but get this..not only is he a dermatologist, but he used to be a psychologist when he was in the Navy..He was asking me about grief counseling. I am still planning on doing that if need be..I am just trying to get other things done right now...like run to different cities every day! I am trying it on my own right now, but if things continue to not improve then I will definitely revisit the grief counseling idea..He is a great guy because he has seen me through all of my troubles..he and his wife had issues getting pregnant too..they ended up adopting a little boy..he is just a nice guy who seems to truly care about his patients. I have found a lot of doctors like that lately...I feel lucky!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Figures...

I got a letter in the mail today to let me know that I was to report for jury duty starting on April 16th...figures..I am going to write a letter to them to try and be excused from this. I just don't feel like I am emotionally ready to even think about something like this. I'm just not sure I can make a good decision on someone else's future right now. I guess if they want to allow crying episodes just out of the middle of nowhere then maybe they won't excuse me. I had a few of those today for some reason. Mike asked what set it off, and I guess it could have been all of the sympathy cards or just getting the jury duty letter...who knows. All I knwow is that today was another bad day. This week has been pretty good, and I feel pretty down today. I went to Monroeville to get my veins checked at the Circulatory Center down there. They basically wrote me a prescription for stockings immediately based on how my legs looked now..wow. They look really good right now compared to what they did look like a couple of weeks ago! I am scheduled for an ultrasound of my legs on the 24th of May to see what the problem might be. If it is something that can easily be fixed and would be worthwhile to do before having more children then we will go with it if it is going to help in keeping my legs from not getting that bad the next time around if there is another time around..I of course had to tell the nurse my history..she was very sweet about it, and she handled it very well. I just hate having to talk about to people I don't know..in fact, I hate talking about it period. I should just be able to receive the congratulations that they initially offer and then have to follow up with an apology..I did tell the nurse about my three children though...

Today is just one of those days that my whole body feels numb and out of it..I feel like I have no energy or any life left in my body today. It is such a strange feeling to go from being so energized yesterday to practically lifeless today. I am just walking around in a fog just accomplishing what needs to be done in order to get through the day. I just wish that I could snap out of it and get back some of the happiness that I felt yesterday. I just hate that everyone around me seems so happy all of the time, and I feel like such a miserable person. People probably think I am just not that friendly which is usually the opposite. I am usually the happy person who is always trying to make other people happy...I will get back there again I suppose.

Parker has now joined Carley with a cold. Fun stuff. They are both in good moods despite being sick so I can't complain about that I guess. I just get tired of chasing Parker around with a tissue since he really doesn't like having his nose wiped. I just hope that they get better soon because they are heading to our camp this weekend with my parents. I don't want them to be cranky for them! It is not fun to take cranky kids anywhere. They have been able to play outside this week so that has helped to get them some extra Vitamin D! I am wishing I could have gotten more myself today..maybe tomorrow! I am just hoping that tomorrow is a better day...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

So It Begins..

I took the kids outside today to play since it is such a beautiful day..We of course got all muddy from our lovely "yard", and as I was bringing them in we got a visitor. Murphy came flying over to me covered in mud. I called my mom to see if she knew he was missing. He had actually broken out through the screen door to come and see us..We knew this day would come, but I figured it would take longer then this! Roxie was outside with us so when my mom called Murphy she went with him. Roxie did not listen to me so my mom had to drop her off when she went in to town..I wonder how many times this is going to happen! It was so nice to see him though because he is always so happy to see us..he makes you feel really loved! I really needed that today..

I tried to watch the video of Aubree this morning with the kids..I only got to see her tiny feet before I started sobbing..needless to say we turned it off. Carley wanted to know why I was so sad, and I tried to explain that mommy just misses baby Aubree. They don't even talk about her anymore..she really isn't real to them at all. I am hoping that at some point they will get it and will appreciate the fact that they have a little sister waiting for them in Heaven. I find myself picturing her sitting at the table with us as we are eating, laying in bed with us in the mornings, and even playing outside with us..I know that is all very normal, but there are just some times that I wish I could stop dwelling on the fact that she is gone..it just makes it that much harder sometimes. Mike and I are getting things organized in the basement, and I was going through all of the bins of clothing yesterday just to compile them into larger ones for each size so we don't have a million little bins of the same sizes. I got through every single bin of clothing and have all of the clothes properly labeled in the right bins finally. One of the last bins that I went through was the newborn size...I picked up a little onesie and showed it to Mike. It was so tiny, but we both commented that even somehing that tiny would have been way too big for her. They didn't even have a diaper that would fit her...It is just so sad in that we have kept all of these adorable clothes, and we wonder if we will ever get any use out of them again..what is the point of even keeping them? Ash needs to come and get the cute ones that I have for a girl...I did pick some out for her that would work for now, but someone needs to get to wear all of the cute stuff! We even had really cute stuff for Parker..

On a brighter note I finally got Itunes downloaded! I even bought my first song, and it only took about a half an hour to download it..:) I was able to buy "Your Hands" so I can listen to it any time that I feel down and need some reminding of God's plan. He will let me understand some day as to why we had to experience this and until then I just have to keep on putting one foot in front of the other.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Progress

I feel like I am slowly making progress even if it is a slow process. I ran into a friend at the grocery store last night, and I was able to actually talk to her without sobbing. I could even look her in the eyes at times which is something that I haven't been able to do in quite some time. It actually felt good to talk to someone, and I found myself smiling at times. That is a huge step for me, and after we finished our conversation it really wasn't as scary being at the grocery store anymore. Maybe Mike is right in that each thing that I get through will make the next thing even easier. I felt ready to see Heather this morning even if it didn't work out for us because Miss Carley decided to get a cold...My kids have been so healthy all winter and now they have to get a cold...I hope Parker doesn't get it because his colds always go to his chest and he sounds like a seal...She isn't acting funny at all..just sounds awful! I feel so badly for my kids when they are sick. As a parent you just want to take away all of their pain. I know we all have to experience pain in our lives, but you truly don't want your children to have to go through it if you can help it. That is just ingrained in a parent I think..We truly can't help it!

Mike and I were finally able to sit down last night for the first time in a long time and actually watch some tv together. It felt nice to not be up running around doing something for once. We still have a lot left to do, but they are all little things that really aren't that important so they can get done when we get to them. I actually need to go through the clothing bins downstairs though so we can reorganize them so they can be put on the shelf that Mike is building. I just need to do it instead of putting it off..it might help make the basement look a bit more organized once I do..I am ok as long as I don't go in the garage or in the basement right now because that is where all of the boxes and messes are. I guess I could say the same about the playroom right now though too because it is a mess thanks to my kids! They don't like organization so they must have gotten that gene from elsewhere..

I feel a bit archaic in that we went back to dial-up..it is "High speed" dial-up, but it is still so darn slow. We don't have much of a choice in the country unless you want to pay an arm and a leg for satellite internet. We were going to go with WildBlue, but there is currently at least a 90 day wait list for it..I don't think I could have gone over three months without internet..a week was bad enough! Hughesnet is very expensive, and our neighbors are not that crazy about it so we decided not to go that route. We are hoping that Verizon will pick us up at some point since they have been talking about or that another provider will pick us up. I think that there was some talk about IUP trying to get a network out there for their rural students that would be much faster for us country folk! We shall see I guess. We just didn't want to get locked into a contract right now if something better is coming in the next year or so..I am keeping my fingers crossed because I have been trying to download Itunes on my new computer for the last two days. I downloaded the wrong one the first time, got disconnected twice now, and I am hoping for a good result this time around..I guess we will find out in about 8 hours...yeah..you read that right..archaic!

I started to do a bit of exercising this morning...I am not going crazy at all. I just did a few sit-ups, used my resistance cords, and rode the bike for a bit. I just really need to get back to myself..I feel fine so I am hoping that all will be fine. It has been three weeks today so I'm sure it will be fine. I just hate feeling "fat" when I don't even have a baby as a reason for why I look like this..I just really need to be able to wear all of my clothes and feel comfortable in them instead of picking through the ones that aren't as tightly fitting. I know that it takes time to get back to your normal weight, but I am in a really big hurry this time around due to the fact that it is just another reminder..I have started to lose some weight so I at least feel good about that...I still have a ways to go before I am happy though. I didn't gain as much this time around so hopefully it will come off quickly once I can exercise fully. I really just want to be me again. I know that takes time, but I really miss the girl I was before..

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dreary Day...

Today is not really helping my mood at all..I was much better this week when the sun was out and shining. The sun really does have great benefits other then the Vitamin D factor..it really is a mood enhancer for me at least. I just wish that the "sun" could shine again all of the time for me..I came across Aubree's death certificate today as I was going through some of her things. Mike told me last night that we had gotten her outfit back from the funeral home that she wore there so I wanted to see it again. We had her buried in something else that we had gotten for her so I wanted her original outfit that the hospital provided back to put with her things. I found her tiny little hospital bracelet too..that alone set me off..it was so tiny and she wore it to mark that she was mine to make things easier for the funeral director. At the hospital they usually mark the babies with all different kinds of bracelets and a electronic one that will go off if someone tries to take the baby off the floor..we didn't get one of those. Who would want to take her off the floor except maybe for me? Anyways...I read through her death certificate and realized how awful this whole thing is. Her cause of death was due to a cord accident...a cord accident..They did mark she also had Trisomy 18, but that did not cause her death in this case..in some ways it allowed the cord to become wrapped around her leg because she was so small due to T18. If she had been bigger she might not have had as much room to move around and to get tangled, but it still was the main reason as to why she passed...That is just crazy to me in so many ways..

We returned all of her things last night to Babies R Us..it makes me sad to return it, but I am glad it isn't just sitting around here anymore glaring at me..Mike says that we will find an even better one if we have another child..We were supposed to have a nice evening out last night, but I ended up crying most of the time. The poor waiter kept asking us if everything was ok since he could obviously see the tears in my eyes and the anguish on my face...I guess I just needed to talk about some things with Mike last night since we haven't really had much of a chance to catch up lately with all of this house stuff going on this past week. We did get a lot accomplished last night so it was a successful evening in many ways though. Mike was happy to get a big burrito..he is always in the mood for them these days. We went to El Campisano's..one of our favorite Mexican stops when we go to Monroeville. It is always nice to have a meal without screaming children..:)

I did actually feel some joy yesterday when I was playing with the kids..I haven't had the energy to do that for a couple of weeks now, and it felt good to just run around and play with them. Parker's giggle is so infectious, and it always brings a smile to my face. I don't know what made me want to run with them, but I can say that I haven't felt that good in a while so I should probably push myself to do it more often. I usually just sit with them and read or play some small things these days..I know that once I can exercise my mood will increase too..I did get a new ab DVD so that makes me get even more anxious about exercising. Two more weeks I guess.. I still need to find my favorite workout DVDs though..Jillian Michaels really knows how to kick my butt...I did one of her DVDs last summer, and I actually had back muscles for the first time in a while without going to the gym to lift..I am looking forward to using her again to get me back into shape..

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Finally...

We finally have internet again. I wasn't sure we were ever going to get back on. I do have to admit that I was able to get a lot done this week though..We are finally getting settled in to our new house. We all love it because we have so much more room to spread out. We can actually find our things now! Mike is just excited to not have to live out of boxes anymore. I still have things that are missing, but I am hoping to come across them as I continue to unpack boxes. We have almost everything that is important for daily living unpacked so that helps to make life a bit easier. I just have about a million bins of clothes to go through...I am amazed at how many clothes my kids had!

This week has been busy so that has helped a bit with the grieving process. I did have a really rough day this week though. I cried pretty much all day over little things. I seem to have a pattern..every other day is rough. I just feel like I am never going to be happy again. I did call Heather this week. She was the first person I talked to. Mike keeps telling me he is not going to tell me what to do or how to grieve, but he is giving me goals for each week. This week my goal was to call someone, and next week my goal is to actually see someone. I don't know why calling Heather was so hard for me since we usually can talk each other's ears off, but it really was hard for me. I was uncomfortable because after small talk I had nothing to say..I haven't shared anything with her about how everything went so I started there..I of course cried most of the time while we were on the phone. I hate when people have to hear me cry or see me cry. It is just something that I am not comfortable with. I think that is most of my hesitation when it comes to seeing people. I just don't want people to see me like that..It was really nice to hear her voice though because I don't feel so alone. She has been able to give me some good advice since she has been through death with her dad, and she even has a friend from college who lost a little girl to Trisomyy 18 too...It's nice to hear from her that everyhing I am going through is all just a part of the grieving process.

Unpacking has been hard in some ways too because I have come across boxes upon boxes of baby stuff that I will not get to use...I won't get to wear the adorable clothes on Aubree that I find..it is so hard to see that stuff when this is not how it was supposed to be. I have to return a pack-n-play, sheets, and various other baby things to Babies R Us today because we will not be able to use them..I loved the print we got too..I feel like I have my life divided in two parts now. There is the before part (when I was happy) and now there is the after. Every time I see a date or think about something that happened before January 22nd (our initial ultrasound) I catergorize that as before when I was happy...Oh my goodness..I just realized that she died exactly a month after we found out something could be wrong..then she will be gone for month on our anniversary..Wow..It just happened so quickly...I just feel like I have barely gotten a chance to wrap my brain around the fact that something might be wrong...I just wanted the chance to do the baby stuff again..

As sad and as messed up as I feel right now, God keeps on providing...I am still getting out of bed each day, and I am finding more joy in each day. The JJ Heller song "Your Hands" keeps playing over and over on the radio. God keeps reminding me that he is still there holding me up even when I am falling apart. It truly does help just knowing that Aubree is in such good hands. I couldn't take care of her any better..

Monday, March 8, 2010

All Moved In..Sort Of...

I haven't been able to post much lately, and I probably won't be able to for another few days until we get our internet up and running at the new house. We are finally moved in to our new house, but we have a lot of unpacking to do unfortunately. I am just excited that I can finally see my kitchen. I wasn't sure that was ever going to happen since we just kept unpacking box and after box in the kitchen area. I can say that I absolutely love my new house though...I am so excited to have so much space. I have so many cabinets that barely have anything in them, and I even have closets that are almost empty. I know that won't last though...The kids are adjusting to the new house pretty well. Carley is fine, but Parker is not a fan of his big boy bed. He gets excited to sleep in it, but he won't stay in bed at all. He keeps coming downstairs and telling us he woke up. We did have to put a gate on his room door to keep him in there, and he keep finding him asleep right behind the door on the floor. Needless to say he is back in his crib tonight. He just isn't ready yet for that since he has had so many other changes at the same time. I'm sure he will be ready at some point.

I am adjusting to being on our own again. It is quiet during the day during naps, but I am able to get a lot done so I can't complain. Aubree's room has turned into the time-out room since it is empty. I am starting to warm up to the idea of making it a guest bedroom since the longer it sits empty the more it screams what is missing. I still can't even go in there..I just need more time I guess. I went to the grocery store yesterday for the first time in weeks. I saw a few people I knew, and I wasn't able to keep it together as well as I would have liked. When I was talking to them briefly I think I did ok, but as soon as I was out of their sight I was fighting back tears. I actually sobbed the entire way home because I feel like I am never going to be able to be in public again. I haven't even been able to call my best friend..when will I be able to do that? I have tried to return to normal, but it just seems to take so much energy sometimes. I just don't want to seclude myself in my house forever..

I got a beautiful letter in the mail today from my mom's college roommate that also shares a name with myself and with Miss Aubree...it really made me glad that Aubree shares her name..she is one amazing person, and I am glad that we have her in our lives...It is definitely a name worth passing on...I still continue to get cards in the mail from people in our community, and it really helps to know that we have so many people praying for us through this. I know I keep saying this, but I know we are going to get through..sometimes I just need to keep repeating it to make myself believe it too..Every day brings new challenges, and just when I feel like I am turning a corner I go back about twenty steps. I know this is all part of the process, but I am hoping that I can just keep going forwards at some point...I just need to be patient I guess.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone and to having everyone over to my house once I feel like I am able to actually communicate with them. I think I should start small and maybe work my way up to crowds..that might actually be good for me to at least see someone..I just feel badly for my kids..I don't want them to become anti-social just because I am...they need friends just as much as I do..I just need to keep on pushing myself...I think it would do us all some good to see a new face around our house...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Such A Mess...

Today was the first day of our move...we just had the movers bring our stuff from storage today and that was enough. Our house is an absolute disaster! We had it cleaned before today, but it is already a mess of course. I am still trying to get my kitchen in order which is going to take forever. I just see endless piles of boxes in the garage that are labeled kitchen...I don't feel like I am ever going to get it organized. I am really excited to have all of my stuff back though, but I just wish that I knew where to put all of it! It will be an adjustment process just like every day is right now..We will eventually get things unpacked, but I am really starting to think it is going to take a long time! More unpacking fun for all tomorrow I guess...

The kids were so excited to come over to take their naps at the new house..Parker got a new big boy room, and he was really excited since his new room is full of balls..We tried to put him in his room for a nap, but after a while he was back downstairs telling us that he woke up..I don't think he is ready for a big boy bed just yet, but I also don't think we can keep the crib in his room either. Oh well. I guess time will tell..Carley was really excited to see her room again since it has been about seven months since she saw her bedspread..She actually screamed for a while before she went to sleep. She is not happy about all of these adjustments. She will get used to it eventually I'm sure. I think it is has just been too much for her these past few weeks, but I am hoping that once we move in we can all connect more as a family, and she can not be so afraid of change.

I was pretty busy today so I didn't find myself thinking too much about Aubree, but when I came back to my mom's house I saw all of the dead flowers, and it reminded me of her..It is so hard to throw them away because they were so beautiful at one point, but they obviously lived their life and now needed to be discarded..It is just another reminder to me of what is lost..On a more positive note..I got a note in the mail today from my very best friends from high school. They have arranged for a Magnolia tree to be planted on Aubree's behalf in our yard...what a wonderful gift to honor her and to help us remember her. I am so thankful for that beautiful gift..it really meant a lot to me that they thought of us..I wish that I could see them all so I could give them a big hug and truly let them know how much it means to me...I wish I could hug everyone who has done something nice for us or is going to...we have had a lot of people express an interest in honoring her in various ways..how wonderful is that? She truly will never be forgotten! I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives..

I have been trying to stay strong as usual, but there were two moments in the past two days that just really got to me..Yesterday I was driving with Parker in the car and the song "Homesick" by MercyMe came on the radio. I have heard this song several times before, and I have always liked it. It really got to me yesterday because I really listened to the words. I am really homesick..If you ever listen to the song or if you know it you will understand. I am homesick for Heaven because that is where she is..I know I need to concentrate on enjoying the time I have here with my family and my friends, but I can't help wanting to be with her. I want to know her like I know my other kids, and I want to be able to see what she is truly like...Some day..I just need to be patient and to enjoy my life right now..The other moment that got to me was when I was packing up some things this morning and I came across the pregnancy test that I took when I found out I was going to have her..It was still very positive. The funny part about it is that with my other two kids I got a result that basically said, "I think you are pregnant." They never really had a strong second line on them..with her pregnancy it was an instant shout out of "You are definitely pregnant" because the line was very dark as soon as I took the test..Even then she was had Trisomy 18, but my pregnancy was very strong regardless..I can't even begin to understand why it happened this way..Maybe because God was telling me right from the beginning that she was going to stand out from the others..She was such a fighter up until the very end, and I'm sure she is still fighting today for something!

Tomorrow is another day, and I am hoping that my mood continues to improve. I am pretty exhausted from being on my feet all day, but I am at least feeling good that I am getting something accomplished. I think God's timing was as perfect as ever with this whole ordeal..

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Just Another Emotional Day...

I took Carley to preschool this morning, and as I dropped her off I realized that I was supposed to work in one of the rooms today..Luckily the director had over-scheduled the help just in case I wasn't up to it..I could barely even walk in there without crying so I didn't think I was in the right state of mind to help out in any way. Parks and I headed to Wal-Mart which is probably my least favorite store in the whole world, but I needed to get a few things for the house. I figured we would be quick, but I can never seem to find anything there since it is so spread out so almost two hours later we were running almost late to pick up Carley..I did run into a friend today with her little girl. It was the first person I have seen since all of this happened. I cried of course..what's new right? I dread seeing people because I can't keep it together. It was really nice to see such a friendly face though. Maybe seeing her will help me see others..I don't know. I know I don't need to keep it together, but I really hate crying in front of people or in public for that matter. I also know this wound is still really raw so it is going to take time to heal. I have so many friends who want to see me, and we have been invited so so many things, but I am finding that I have to decline everything. I want to see them I really do, but I just can't seem to find the strength to call them or to just say "yes." I know everyone understands, but I don't want to stay hidden forever...I just don't know how to go back out there and live my life in some ways. I just hate that I can't look people in the eyes when they are talking to me because I can't keep myself from falling into pieces. I don't want to be like that. I am just hoping and praying that time will heal this wound, and I will go back to being myself at some point.

We have been packing up boxes and slowly moving things over to the house. I am starting to get excited about seeing my furniture and my things in the house..that is one positive right now I guess. We were over there last night and our neighbors stopped by to drop off a fruit basket and a card. I didn't talk to them since I was inside, but Mike had the chance to meet the one neighbor. It is sort of sad when you have to get a welcome to the neighborhood fruit basket that also includes a sympathy card...What a way to meet someone...The one neighbor is a teacher at Horace Mann (my sister had her in school actually), and she wrote on the card that two books will be added to the Horace Mann library in honor of Aubree..What a beautiful gift...I was so touched by that..The one book that they are adding is actually a favorite of Carley's so I'm sure Aubree would have loved it just as much..It is nice to know we have some nice neighbors...I hope to meet them once I am able to talk in complete sentences to people outside of my family..

Carley and Parker continue to ask about Aubree. Parker kept asking to kiss her again last night, and I tried to explain again that she was in Heaven (in the sky as we tell him). He lifted up my shirt and exclaimed, "I found her..." If only it was that easy. Carley continues to have accidents just about every night...she hadn't had one overnight in months until this happened. I know this is all normal, but I hope she is able to get past this..I just worry about how she is really doing..There is just too much change going on for her right now with Aubree passing and with this move. I know she is excited about sleeping in her blue room and about being in her new house, but I also know she is afraid of leaving her Mimi...My mom has been a rock for her through this, and I am so thankful that she has been there for her because I just haven't been...I am trying, but I am just not able to be there 100%..I hope to get back to myself so Carley can rely on me again...Her teacher did tell me this morning that she was really missing her mommy while she was at school..I hope we reconnect soon because I do miss her needing me in that way..Time will heal all of our wounds I'm sure..

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

And The Quiet Begins..

Today is the first day that I have been on my own..Mike went back to work, and my mom took my sister and the girls back to Chicago today..I was really nervous about how I would be with just the kids all to myself...It is actually just like it usually is..Sure I am sad, and I am having a hard time coping with things that normally are easy for me to deal with, but I am able to just do my motherly duties like I used to before all of this happened. I am trying to keep myself busy packing up our stuff that seems to have just been scattered all over the basement...wonder who did that? I am very overwhelmed by all of the packing and unpacking that we have to do. I am also fretting over where to put everything since it is a completely new space. I am worrying about stupid stuff again, but that is really all my mind can think about right now..I need to keep myself busy in order for my mind not to just wander to the one day that I got to be with her..I think of her so often, and I find that simple little things set me off. I know it takes time, but I can't wait for the day to come that I can only think of her with a smile on my face instead of crying about what is gone..

I look at the pictures of her often, and I am looking forward to sharing them with those who want to see her..I am carrying them around in my diaper bag so I can brag about her at any given moment just like I do with my other two. I know that a day will come that people won't even remember when she was born and that is something that I am struggling with right now. I will never forget her, and it is so hard to imagine that so many people will when she is such an important part of me..I dread the day that I don't think of her all of the time just because I got too busy...I don't want to ever forget anything about her because I only have so much to hold on to..I also don't want to waste my life away just holding on to her and not enjoying the two kids that I do have...It is such a hard thing to figure out the right balance there..I just have to keep remembering that she is much better off now, and she is certainly not alone...

I am just trying to get used to being alone again because this is how life is going to be come Saturday...I was looking forward to having the distraction of a new baby in a couple of months, but I guess I am just going to spend even more time with my other kids so we can reconnect. I feel pretty distant from both of them lately due to the fact that I was very busy with the house, and then I was really out of it after we got the news about Aubree...I feel like a whole month passed by, and I have no idea what happened in that time..I need to focus on being "Amanda" and not just an empty shell for them..They deserve their mother back..

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Trying To Stay Focused..

I have been trying to add more items to my to-do list in my head just to keep on going. I actually went out in public today to Lowe's to get a few things that we need for the new house. I felt like I was just going through the motions and that everyone at Lowe's was much too chipper today...I seem to have noticed that about people these days. I usually think people are not that friendly when I go out, but it seems as if I am the unfriendly one these days. I just feel like normal tasks take so much more effort, and it is so hard to remember what it was I was even shopping for. I did get some cleaning supplies and some little things that we did need though so it was a successful shopping trip.

We are planning on moving our big stuff in on Friday if all goes well. We didn't pass the inspection yesterday because our fire alarms don't go off together like they should. They go off individually, but not together. I just don't understand why that is a big deal since we have a security system that has fire alarms hardwired into the phone line. Supposedly they will call us if our house is registering warmer than it should...Who knows. The electricians were there today to figure it out, but they are clueless so they took them all down to work on them today. They are going to come back tomorrow to make sure the wiring is ok...fun stuff. We already had to have our carpet fixed because there were two holes in the steps..we haven't even moved in yet, and we paid a lot for that darn carpet so it better not give us any more problems! It's funny though..I would have gotten really mad about stuff like that before, but now I just look at it as no big deal...it is just a material thing...I don't even care about the painting job anymore..that was a big deal before...Like I said..you completely change when you go through something like this.

I am having a really hard time with food these days. I am trying to eat, but every time I do my stomach gets upset. Food and I are just not that close these days. I am having a hard time even wanting to eat, but I know I need to so I keep trying to eat at least something for every meal. This is typical of me though..when I am upset I don't eat. I know some people do the opposite, but I definitely don't eat because I am just not hungry. I guess it might help me to lose the extra weight right now..one bonus I guess. I actually don't have too much to lose this time around so hopefully it will be easy once I am given the ok to go back to exercising. That alone has been hard since exercise is a huge part of how I deal with stress. I feel like I have so much pent up stress and anxiety that I just can't get out these days...three more weeks I guess...

I have still been receiving several sympathy cards and wonderful messages from friends on Facebook...a big thank you to everyone who took the time to write to me. Some of you have just been able to say the right things, and I truly appreciate your wisdom and advice. I am just so thankful that there are so many wonderful people out there...Everyone says this world is falling apart, and I do have to agree that life is not as great as it used to be in many ways for our kids, but...everyone who has reached out to us has shown that there is still a lot of good left in this world. Thank goodness for that! I also want to thank those who have donated to Aubree's Legacy page..every single penny goes to help research and to help the families who are living with children who have Trisomy 18..What a wonderful gift you have given to those families and to families who are yet to be diagnosed. Miss Aubree will never be forgotten!
 

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