Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Finals Week...

It's finals week, and things are a little crazy around here.  I had my biostats final yesterday and I will be spending all my free time over the next couple of days working on my Rural Health final project.  And just for fun, we are in full on birthday planning and preparation mode around here because SOMEBODY is turning four in two little weeks.  I am not naming names or anything, but SOMEONE is pretty excited...

So really I am just checking in to say all is well, I am just really, super, crazy, busy.  No worries.  Just send caffeine.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A 'New' Picture

I am missing her a lot today.
Not that that's unusual, but some days it's more overwhelming than others.  I never know what will spark a hard day.  Today it was a combination of having too much down time at work and Gmail deciding to show me this old picture Nick had taken with his phone sometime last year.  It isn't a picture I have seen often, and it wasn't in her photo montage. So in a way, it's a 'new' picture.

 I can't explain it, but 'new' pictures that aren't in the normal rotation are extremely emotional for me to see. I become drawn into them, just studying her. Her face, her smile, her hair, her outfit...just taking in as much as I can from this moment that I can't even remember. What were we doing at the farm? Was it a holiday? A first Sunday of the month dinner?  Was it a good day? It had to be better than today, because she was with us.

 And that leads to just utter heartbreak and missing her so fiercely that I can't stop the tears.

I love 'new' pictures, because I feel like I really SEE her in them.  And yet I think part of my tears with them are because I know nothing is really new anymore, they are just unseen.  And I fear the day I run out of 'new' pictures to find.  For now, I will keep my eye out, and I will always cherish each one, no matter how they break my heart.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

An Excellent Example of Why you Should Not Bring Your Child to Work

So back two  Fridays ago Henry came down with a bad case of the stomach virus from hell.  The puking started that night and continued off and on until Sunday morning.  Sunday evening he seemed... not 100% I guess.  The throwing up had stopped but it was clear his stomach was still not right. Plus he announced he was going to bed on his own at 8pm. So yeah... not exactly 100%.  Sunday night we discussed staying home with him on Monday, but I had to work because I have very limited time off right now, and Nick had to work because it was the week before finals, so we figured he could go to daycare for a half day and my mom would pick him up after a doctors appointment. 

It seemed like a good plan...right up until the moment where Nick walked Henry into his school and Henry announced "My tummy hurts! I think I am going to throw up!" to Nick and his teacher.  And...well...we don't exactly believe him.  We felt pretty sure he was over it, but like, this kid does not lie about throwing up. Ever.  Plus, it is pretty clear he is not 100%, and after the announcement I am pretty sure daycare wanted him to walk right out the door, so we decided better safe than sorry and Nick took him out of school for the day.

As of the night before, our back up plan was for me to just come home and keep Henry until my mom could get there, but when I got to work I had found out my coworkers mother had passed away over the weekend (I am very sad for them.  Truly, I unfortunately know all too well how hard living and working during these times can be. Cancer sucks.) and we were really busy.  So I decide he can just hang out at my work (with our staff assistant since he can't be in my lab) and I can keep getting things done, and he can just like, color or whatever until my mom could get here.  I mean, I REALLY think he is over this bug, and it will just be for an really short period of time... WHAT COULD GO WRONG? I run the idea my my manager, and she seems to think it's okay as long as it's not for long, and he isn't like, distracting or anything. No problem! He is the picture of non-distraction! 

So my original plan was to have Henry pretty much fly under the radar with the rest of the building.  I mean, not that he isn't allowed to be there... but... well... I just didn't want to make a big deal out of it... in case someone questioned if he was... you know... actually allowed to be there.  So, of course,  Henry and I walk in the front door and we run directly into the director of the building.  So... yeah.  Not exactly starting out 'under the radar', but he seemed fine with it. Totally understanding!  These things happen! I mean, we aren't talking about very long here! So I am still thinking this will be fine.  As we walk down the hall I even let him say hi to a few people, and then he yells down the hall way "I WANT TO SAY HI TO EVERYONE!!!!" and heads start to poke out to see what child's voice this is at work.... things were going down hill.

I swing into our staff assistant's office and just plan to drop off Henry.  She had told me before if he ever needed to hang out with her while we wait for a ride, he was welcome, so I figured it would be easy.  How hard is it to hang out, color for a little bit, and be nice and quiet??  She seems thrilled to have him and all seems okay.  He can just color, right?  And he isn't distracting anybody!  I should ALWAYS bring him to work!

The next thing I know, I hear these crashes coming from her office.  I go in to see what the hell is happening, and find them building angry bird towers out of plastic boxes we use for planting.  And he is throwing his angry bird at them.  And they are crashing... LOUDLY.  The staff assistant looks up laughing and says "Everyone is coming by to see what the noise is and say hi!!".


I attempt to redirect to QUIETLY COLORING FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, but I am quickly kicked out of the room for being no fun at all.  I begin to panic.  This is becoming quit the opposite of UNDER THE RADAR and NOT A DISTRACTION.   At that point they get one the loud speaker to announce it's BIRTHDAYS!  Once a month our entire building gets together to eat cake and celebrate birthdays.  So I am in a real pickle.  I mean, clearly my under the radar plan is out the window.  He has been here for LITERALLY fifteen minutes and he has drawn the attention of the entire building.  I figure we might as well swing in for a cupcake, and then head on home to wait for my mom, since working with him in the building was CLEARLY not going as planned.

So Henry and I head up front to say hi and let it be known that we are going to head home.  But we might as well grab a cupcake first, right?  I mean... I am not one to pass up free food. So we sit down, and I am just talking to my manager, when I look at him and notice his color... it seems a bit off... and right then, in a room full of my coworkers in the middle of a work day,  he starts coughing, and then it turns into a dry heave.

That's right.  He dry heaved IN MY WORKS BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION.  And then he started to cry, and you guys, he was SO PITIFUL.  And I felt like the absolute worst mother ever.  And the worst coworker for introducing this nasty virus to the building WHILE WE ALL CELEBRATE APRIL BIRTHDAYS. ("Happy Birthday! Here's your stomach virus!)  So I scooped him up and we RAN from the room.  He didn't end up throwing up again, thank god, but it was extremely clear this child is still really sick.  I took him right home, where he curled up on the couch and looked like this for the rest of the day.... and the next day too.  We weren't pushing him after THAT.  If he says he is sick, HE IS SICK.
So... you know... lesson learned.  I will NOT be bringing Henry to work  EVER AGAIN.Turns out at the age of nearly four, he is still a little tiny bit of a distraction. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Join the Movement: Remembering Your Roots

April 21-27th is National Infertility Awareness Week and this post is part of the Bloggers Unite campaign.

When fighting infertility, our battle was constantly at the forefront of my mind.  I talked about it, blogged about it, read about it, prayed about it; I was living and breathing infertility.  So the idea of writing a post about joining the movement would have been more for other people, informing them about the importance of infertility awareness. It wouldn't have been for me, I was LIVING the movement.  I felt sure I would always be living the movement, because it was a huge piece of who I was.

That did not go away after Henry was born.  I still felt the pain and heartache of infertility constantly over the first couple of years of his life.  When we discussed more children, when we returned to the fertility clinic, FET's, money, heartbreak;  We were still there, living in the Movement.  Even after the FET's, when I was off birth control and we were still thinking 'maybe', when I was miserable with my endometriosis and having two surgeries in three weeks, when I was having the IUD placed; I was still living the movement.  And it felt, even then, as if we always would be. 

But now, a year later, with my pain under control and my hope for more children put to rest, I feel separated from the infertility that defined me for so long.  And I see how this community is made up mainly of those who are currently struggling, and how they feel abandoned by those who have children and move on.  Because none of us asked for this, none of us want this fight, and so when you come out the other side and can close that door, it is so tempting to walk away.  To turn your back and think the battle was in a previous life.  That the battle is for those who are living through it now.  That we have done our part, I fought the fight.  I lived it, and I advocated for support for so long. Can't I be done?

No.  Not really. For those of us that are no longer actively battling our infertility, we are still living with it.  We are just now used to the impact it has had on our lives.  We have accepted how our families are different than they would have been without this disease.  We have accepted the financial burden of treatments, the lack of siblings, or the lack of children at all.  We have accepted it, and it's so tempting to keep it in our past.

Infertility is not only a piece of my past, I look at my IVF miracle and am reminded that it is a major piece of my entire life. As I watch him grown and learn and play, I have a daily reminder of how important this fight is.  Of why it is worth my time and energy and words, even now that it is not a current battle.  Because my own fight brought me him, and every family should have that opportunity.  So join the movement and support infertility awareness. Speak out in support of treatments and financial support.  Do what you can to give a face and a voice to this community so in need of resources and assistance.  This is not a small group, one in eight fight infertility.  They should not have to fight alone.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Short Post about Not Posting (And KEENELAND!)

I have a mental list of a million things to blog about. Or, like, three.  But THREE things feel like a lot when it comes to long rambling, picture filled blog posts.  But things are so busy right now.  Work was crazy last week, school is crazy (FINALS), family life is crazy, plus, if I am totally honest, I am struggling with my grief over Missy.  We have had out of town guests and I had a field trip (are they still called field trips in college?)  plus Henry has been sick and... well... I am missing blogging.  But right this minute, the only thing I have time to blog about is that.  That I miss it.  Not that I can actually DO anything about it. 

But just for fun, here are a couple of pictures from our trip to Keeneland this weekend with Matt and Blair who were in from South Carolina.  Good times.

Keeneland 2013
 Nick and I at the races. As you can see by our coats and sweaters, it was sunny but cold. Somehow that did not stop the college girls form wearing strapless dresses and sandals. Idiots. (I am getting old) Keeneland 2013
Matt and Blair, who unfortunately lost every race (So did we... we literally won NOTHING). Kinda the opposite of last time... but we still had tons of fun! The beer and margarita's helped.
Keeneland 2013
This is what Keeneland looks like on the track on the last Saturday when it's sunny... insane. 
Keeneland 2013
One more of the guys

 So that's it.  It was a great visit, like always!  We sure do enjoy our family.

More blog posts to come soon...


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Well... We Know He Looks Like SOMEBODY

There is a long running debate between Nick and I about who Henry looks like. I say me, he says him. Actually, he says looking at Henry is like " looking in a little mirror".

I was skeptical.  I mean, I REALLY see some of me in there!  But then we came across this picture of Nick with his brother and sister...

and I wavered a bit.  I mean... DAMN, he REALLY looks like Henry here. ( So much that my grandfather thought it WAS Henry. Like, he argued with my mom. 'I don't know who those other kids are, but THAT'S Henry!") I was about to give up, but them my lovely mother in law pointed out the picture I posted last week of me when I was little.  This one.
Sweet Missy
Hmmm... Let's take a closer look, shall we?
I WIN!!.  I mean, COME ON!  He looks just like me!!

But then I thought maybe Nick would call foul play without his own closer look...
Okay fine.  I think we might have to call it a draw.

(Actually, I am still pretty sure I win.)


Monday, April 15, 2013

The Good Outnumber the Evil, and Always Will

I was going to post a funny story about Henry today, but then the bombing at the Boston Marathon happened. And my first thought, which I heard echoed again and again on social media, was 'What is WRONG with people??".  Mixed in with my heartbreak for those effected was just pure exasperation how we have ANOTHER news story with ANOTHER terrible mass murdering event. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?

And I felt, just a little bit, that feeling of giving up on humanity.  Of just throwing my hands up and saying "This world is broken, and we are simply falling apart.".  But then I came across this on Facebook, and it was so moving to me that I thought it was worth sharing:

Boston. Fucking horrible.

I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, "Well, I've had it with humanity."

But I was wrong. I don't know what's going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.

But here's what I DO know. If it's one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we're lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they're pointed towards darkness.

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We'd have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, "The good outnumber you, and we always will."
Well said Patton Oswalt, whomever you are.  Your words are being shared again and again, and it's because you are able to remind us that yes, some among us are terrible, dark and twisted people.  But not all of us.  Not even close to all of us.  The good outnumber the bad, and as long as we have hope in that, there is hope for humanity.  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

National Sibling Day

Apparently today is national sibling day. Which is something I have never heard of until this morning when I logged into facebook and saw picture after picture of siblings who are so thankful for each other.  My first instinct was to close out and stay off social media all day because it felt like a knife through my heart. 

Then I decided I should take this day to celebrate my siblings too.  Even if it hurts.  Because I truly hit the jackpot when it comes to sisters, and it's sometimes good to remind myself how lucky I am. 

DC in 2007
Sweet Missy
New York 2007
 Sweet Missy
Florida, 2012
 Sweet Missy

 I love my sisters.  Happy National Sibling Day.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Painting Rocks

We were on our way home from church and Henry and I were talking.

"What did you learn about in Sunday school, baby?"

'That Jesus lives in ME!"

"He Does!  That's good!  Does he live in your heart?"


"Like Aunt Mimi?"

"Yes.  And they both live in heaven."

"That's right baby."

"Can we go to there?"

"To heaven?  No baby, we can't go there until we die.  But we will all be together again someday."

When we got out of the car he picked up a rock.  I asked what he was doing and he said "I am going to paint this for Aunt Mimi.  She will love it."

He painted a rock to go in her vault with her urn.  He painted some leaves too.  And that day in February we stood around the cemetery and placed them in with her.  Along with a tracing of Cici's hand, some sand from our favorite beach, letters and eulogies we wrote her, her sunglasses (because heaven is pretty bright) and some chap stick; her favorite hat and scarf, a Reese's egg, a love pig piggy bank...

Just some of her favorite things.

And we know she does not need these material things, but oh how it helped to feel we were surrounding her with love.

So in that moment, with him standing there with his rock, I understood what he needed.  He needed to paint it because it was his way of telling her again how much he loves her and misses her.  That two months later, he misses her more, and so he is looking for a way to show her.  Even though in our hearts we understand she knows.  For us... we need a tangible way to say it again and again.

 I write blog posts.  Henry paints rocks.
Henry's rock he painted for Aunt Mimi
I think someday there may be a painted rock garden at the cemetery.  For this week, we will start with this one.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Wasting Time on Instagram

I should be doing homework. Really, I should. we spent the entire day in the yard yesterday which was awesome, but I did no homework.  So really, I should get to work on my final paper.

...But sometimes Instagram is just so much more entertaining...
A boy's first Ale-8-One
Someone had his first Ale-8-One today. Someone loved it. Clearly Kentucky born and raised... upload
That same someone is also in swim lessons right now. He loves it so much.
Oh look, here he is again hanging out with his Papaw... these pictures seem to have a common theme..
My two favorite boys on one pillow
Enjoying the aquarium with his Nanny
With Mama, supporting the Cats

Another sword picture, a different day

 Okay, now I really am going to start my homework...

(Did you expect these pictures to be of yard work? that would have been more logical, but when have I ever been logical around here)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Archiving Life

I have this overwhelming drive right now to organize and archive all of our digital life. I want to back up all of our pictures, I want to have this blog made into a printed, tangible book, I want to compile all of our videos into one safe place where we are sure to always have them.  I want to make sure we have EVERYTHING.  Because you never know what might happen, right?

And on top of that, I am constantly feeling the pull to make more. Take more video, take more pictures, write a blog post. RECORD EVERYTHING!  Not just Henry, everyone.  I need video of everyone. And I know where this is coming from.  It's because we have very little video of Missy.  We have lots of pictures, but yet now that we know there will be no more, it doesn't feel like nearly enough. I wish I had followed her around with a video camera, I wish she had been on reality TV, just so I could go back and watch her now. Hear her voice, listen to her laugh.  Really and truly see her.

Since we don't have that, I am pouring over Henry's video's, looking for her in the background, which unfortunately is rare.  His videos are short, and really just of him.  But I keep hoping for just a glimpse of her.  Why didn't I just take a video of her talking to me?  Why didn't I know that would be important now?   Because what I have now is far too little.

One day soon I will watch my wedding video, because I know she is on there.  She gives a speech, and I want to watch it, and yet.... I am not ready.  I am searching for small glimpses, but am holding off on the one big video I know she is in. And I can't explain it, beyond having it to look forward to on a day I can't bare her being gone anymore.  Because it has been so long since I have seen it, it will almost be new to me, just this once.

So for today, I am mostly left looking at pictures.  And they will have to do.

I miss her a lot today, maybe enough to watch the wedding video after all...


Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Celebrations

Over the last two weekends we celebrated Easter with our families. We also celebrated Nick's birthday, which happen to land on Easter Sunday. And as our first holiday without our Missy, it was a challenge in a lot of ways.  She was very missed.  Her absence was heavy on our hearts, both for Easter and for Nick on his birthday.  Navigating this grief is so hard.  It is honestly impossible to describe.   But the joy the babies got out of Easter let us know we are doing the right thing. That we have to move forward, no matter how hard it is, that Missy would not want to babies to miss this just because we are so sad.  That we get joy from their joy.  And over the last two weekends there was a lot of Easter joy along with our heartache.

So, per usual, here are an alarming number of pictures of our holiday.  I have some great video too, but I need to do some editing, so you may get one more Easter post in the next few days, just so you can all hear "SKITTLES!!  THEY ARE MY FRAVORITE!!" because it will warm your heart.  For now, here is a very oddly put together collection of pictures. I have no idea why I did this so sporadically, but it is done, and I refuse to start over.  So welcome to my awkwardly arranged Easter Post!

Easter 2013
 So here is his mighty Easter Haul. I felt like it was a pretty low key Easter basket (It all fits in the basket!) but Nana and Grandpa seemed to think it was comically full. Who knew? Thanks to the Rise of the Guardians, there were also eggs left out by the Easter Bunny for Henry to find.  Those eggs brought him SO MUCH JOY.  it was awesome.
Easter 2013
The majority of basket opening is on video, but he begged to have this picture taken with his Hershey bars because they are also his 'fravorite'.
 Easter 2013
Nana can tease all she wants, but the boys baskets from her looked pretty stinking full to me too!
 Easter 2013
And also these two! From a week earlier, but we are just working it all in together!
Easter 2013
 "Mama! Mama! Take a picture!"
 Easter 2013
No time to smile. Must get into this egg...
 Easter 2013
(back to yesterday) I have so many pictures of Henry just gazing at Nieem lovingly.... I hope Nieem is ready for the cousin worship that is coming his way! (this post is seriously jumping around. I see it, but I can't stop it) On top of the Easter baskets we also had an egg hunt at Nanny and Papaw's and at Nana and Grandpa's. The one with cici is only on video (MY NEW VIDEO ADDITION IS EPIC. It will be discussed in more detail later) But we did get some pictures of Henry and Nieem.
 Easter 2013
 Easter 2013
 Easter 2013
Easter 2013
(Adults just watch from above) "seriously... that is a lot of eggs for two kids..."
 Easter 2013
The score

And now, continuing to completely jump around... here are some pictures with adults in them!
Easter 2013
Nanny and Papaw with the babies
 Easter 2013
four generations
 Easter 2013
Easter 2013
family with a major flash in the mirror (my bad)

 Easter 2013

Easter 2013
And now we are back to yesterday, me and Nicholas on his Easter birthday. (Happy Birthday, Baby!!)
Easter 2013
See what I mean about the Nieem gazing?
 Easter 2013
Candice and Nicole
 Easter 2013
And we will end the post with our birthday boy with his cake!  Because it rounds off the randomness nicely...