Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Heartache & Loss

There is a little, white, heart-shaped, trinket box.
This box is buried in the backyard.
The backyard of a house we no longer live in.
The people living there now don't know about it. 
Nor would they care.
But what rests in that box is priceless.
It's not money.
It's not jewels.
It was worth so much more.
A dream.
A prayer.
A promise.
A plan.
Everything I ever wanted.
At one time, there was a heartbeat
So tiny, the size of a grain of rice.
I saw it.  He saw it.
We loved it.
Never had we prayed so hard for something we could barely see.
Turns out, It wasn't meant to be.
I often think of that tiny heartbeat - as a girl heartbeat.
And in my heart, she is named Dellanie.
Today, I find myself missing that baby.
Today, I find myself wondering why Mothers lose children?
Today, I also find myself wondering why children lose Mothers?
Today sucks.
I should be celebrating the fact that my littlest daughter, finally decided to roll over.
I should.
Instead, I find myself lost in thought, and crying.
Crying a lot.
Today we lost a family member, a friend, a Mother & her baby.
I can't know for sure, but I think she just wanted to be sure that her baby didn't cross the street alone.
In doing that, she left another small hand behind - but she knew his Daddy would hold tight.
You don't choose to be a Mother.
You just are.
Hopefully, you are good at it.
Or maybe, you are like Ann.
Maybe, you are great at it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

More funny stuff!

Sweet little snippets from the past 2 weeks.  Enjoy!

Cricket: - I'm scared.
Me: No you are not, you are fine!
Cricket: No I'm NOT fine, I'm Cricket.

Cameron fresh out of the shower - Daddy is getting ready to head to work:
"Ok mommy, you can not come wiff us, I'm going to get my haircut now."  (He wasn't going anywhere, and I tell him so!)
"I have to.  You stay here, and make dinner, Mommy."

 I walk in the living room to see Cameron "holding up" his sister with a watergun.
"Mommy - I will not shoot sissy if she gives me my toy."
While this is funny, I want him to know we don't shoot people we love (we'll expand on the rest when he's a bit more mature.)  So I do tell him this. His reply?
"I don't love her, she taked my toy."

Cameron is also going through a phase of rhyming and making up words.  Typically this is OK, however, I'm afraid people are going to think we are racist as he exclaimed I was a "Spigg-y" and a "Nigg-y."

It was pointed out to me that there is a little green Army Man inside the oscillating fan.  Cameron tells me he is in jail.  I tell him that putting things in the fan is dangerous and not allowed.  He tells me "Cricket did it."  So, I call Cricket over and tell her the same thing, then I ask her who put the green army man in there? "Bubba did."  I have no idea who to believe, but I'm leaning towards Cameron, it looked hard to do.  Later my parents stop by and I am showing them the jailed Army Man, and I expect to get the same reaction out of the children. Nope.  When I ask Cricket I get "I did it Mommy!"  Then Cameron gets mad - because "No she didn't - I did it Mommy!"  Really?  Really.

Today the kids are watching Blue's Clues.  The question: "How many potatoes does the brown cow need to eat?"

Cameron: "Five!"
Cricket: "Chocolate!"

When we clean up the living room, I always turn on Country music on our Direct TV.  Yesterday I turned on the music...
Cameron: "Oh no Sissy, mommy put it on 8-1-4, now we have to clean!"

And people wonder why I often say I don't think they are Menlo material!

Green Army man inside the oscillating fan.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Big Words, Bigger Worries

I learned a new word:  Intussusception - yeah, say THAT five times real fast.  It is the diagnosis my son received after a day of gripping his stomach and screaming for about 2 minutes every half hour or so.  It was the first for me, something medical I had been faced with that I didn't understand, nor have time to research!  I understand cold, virus, strep, ear infection, fever and stubbed toe.  I don't understand small intestine "going in on itself."  I don't understand how they are going to fix this?  And I certainly don't understand why it has to hurt so much.  Luckily Cameron was given a little bit of morphine to help take the edge off.  The Children's ER at Fairview was wonderful - - - but the Cleveland Clinic is the best place to treat Cameron, so off we go via ambulance.  He was so brave, and I was so scared.  They get him in the rolling transport chair and they hook him up to monitors - the screen is at the foot of the bed facing Cam.  Once they turn the screen on my hopped up little boys makes us all laugh exclaiming "Mommy, look at all these volcanos!"

When we arrive at the Cleveland Clinic - main campus, and we are sent to a room right away.  It's big and clean, and the window blinds are amazing!  It's like you are swimming under the sea with Nemo.  Neither of us care, because he's still having pain and we are both very, very tired.  I cuddle in bed with him until someone comes in to tell us the radiologist has arrived, so now he'll be having an ultrasound, and xray and a "procedure."
The procedure isn't fun.  Actually, it was terrible.  They do not sedate the child at all, nor strap him down.  He lies under a huge xray machine, they insert a tube into his rectum, tape his little butt closed and inject him with forced air air.  His cries and face told me this was painful, and scary.  But I couldn't let my little boy be alone in a room full of strangers as this unpleasant experience happened.  So I kept talking to him, trying to calm him while I cried, and pretended to be strong.  They took a few more xrays and tell me "Mom, we got it."  I'm relieved, and I hug Cammy tell him it's all over.  I get him to calm down and maybe think he might trust me again.  They take him for another ultrasound.  The tech looks at me, square in the eye. 
Damn. It.
It's not cleared.

So off we go back to the xray room.  Cameron is asleep now, they try to prep him without waking him which works until they insert the tube again.  Immediately he's terrified and we are both crying.  This time they shoot barium in instead of air.  Again, painful.  This time he's manic and he sits up and hits his head on the xray machine above him, which ended up causing a slight bruise.  He was pitiful.  Again I hear "We got it Mom."  - Although, this time I'm skeptical.  He still crying that he hurts, but with the mixture of barium and air - he bound to have pain.  We go back to the room and try to sleep.  We get another ultrasound in the morning and the Dr tells us, it's all clear, he even used the phrase "Cured without surgery. Outstanding!" Cameron tries to eat, and he still has belly pain.  They take him for another xray and ultrasound.  The Doctors can't agree.  The results are conflicting.  The xray shows the Intussusception is back, but the ultrasound says it isn't.  So now everyone agrees that in order to figure this out, we are going to get a C-T scan of Cameron. For this they insert another tube to drain the barium that is still trapped in there.  To me, I instantly notice he's starting to feel better.  No complaining of pain and he's telling me he is hungry.  In order to prepare for the test they have him drink contrast over the course of an hour, it tastes like Fruit Punch, so he does it.  I'm not sure what happened but they either forgot about us, or were running very late and picked us up for the CT scan over an hour and a half later than they said we were supposed to have it.  I should have known then that this was going to suck...
We get in the catscan room which is cold and dark and we tell Cameron he's going to ride through the doughnut.  He's ok with that.  Then they roll him over to insert more contrast through his bottom.  It wasn't forced so it wasn't extremely painful, but he wasn't happy.  They get him all situated and go to flush his IV before injecting him with the dye through it, and boom.  Nothing.  They can't get the plunger to move.  His IV has just decided to stop working.  What does this mean for my poor, exhausted son?  Another IV.  I ask why we can't sedate him?  Basically I'm ignored.  They call our nurse down and I tell her, we are not fishing around, we will poke and move on right?  She tells me she isn't that sure, and we should call transport in, because they are "really good' at this.  I suspect she is right because they do it in moving vehicles to all sorts of people, all the time.  The transport team comes in and YA, it's the same group that brought us to the Cleveland Clinic from Fairview.  The next  hour SUCKS.  They try so hard to get the IV started but Cameron's reaction is to twist away, so even if they caught the vein it pulls out and blows.  After the 4th attempt, I say that is enough and we are done.  Do the catscan without it, or we go back upstairs to bed until tomorrow (even though it is technically tomorrow already.)  The Surgeons say NO, no radiation for him, unless we have the injected dye.  I tell them OK, we are done.  This is where it gets even worse.  One of the surgical guys comes in and tells me he just wants to look at Cameron's arm.  He looks at me and tells me he can do it.  I tell him NO, we are done.  this is is depleted, I'm exhausted and we are done.  He tells me "I understand mom, I'm a Father.  I have a son who is not much older, i promise I will not stick him if I can't get it."  I told him he was a moron if he thought he could make that promise.  He kept saying "I'm a Dad first.  Before a surgeon, I am a Dad."  Against my better judgement, I say fine - one last try.  Cameron is in absolute hysterics but I'm terrified my son has a tumor or something else causing this pain...but wait "You guys all realize the only pain he's been in has been from the IV's right?"  The nurse is looking at me.  I think she is trying to get me to say "Stop" - but I didn't.  I should have.  The Dr who keeps promising me that he won't stick if he cant get it asks the nurse to open the IV package, he picks it up and says "how do you do this?"  I screamed "Really?  Really? What the fuck!?" he looked me square in the eye, and looked down and stuck Cameron.  He did get it, he did hit the vein.  but just that quick...it blew.  Mother fudge...
The Dr. said "I have another plan." 
That was all it took and I BLEW UP.  I had asked for sedation, why wasn't there any numbing cream - this is a children's hospital.  He is 3 bleeping years old, have we all bleeping forgotten that?  I picked him up, I kissed him and he clung to my neck and I told him "We are going to bed now. no more pokes." Dr. Idiot is trying to follow me to talk to me, but i won't have it. I looked at him and said that I truly believe that car makers should know how to drive a car. I realize he knows all about the body - things I never will, but he didn't care about my "car" he was too busy being egotistical, manipulating me, and didn't even understand the IV kit!?  I told him he was fired, of my kid's case and not to come near us.  I put Cameron in  the wheelchair and walked us out.  I just kept saying we were DONE and that I would be transferring to Rainbows the next day.
I get Cameron all situated in his bed.  I'm getting my shoes off, ready to rest myself and then 2 beautiful pediatric Doctors come in.  They are young, and hip and sweet as can be.  But, I ask them to leave.  One of them tell me she is just looking, and I tell her that is fine, she can look for tomorrow because we are sleeping tonight.  I told him "no more pokes" and I meant it.  During this time our nurse comes in and sprays two puffs in his nose.  I ask her what that was and she tells me it was something that will sedate him, help him to relax.  I said he was relaxed, he was asleep!  I really thought I should have been asked first.  I turn around and one of the Dr.'s is singing "Itsy Bity Spider" to him.  He's already acting strange like he is drunk, real slow, no fight in him at all.  She says "it worked quickly because he is so tired."  At this point my mind is mush.  I move a few things off the couch so I can sit down and hear Cameron yelling some, I rush to him because I notice in that same moment they are going to try for an IV!  They do!  They miss!  I see Dr. Jackass outside the bedroom door. THAT was it!
I had a meltdown and screamed like I have NEVER screamed before.  I cursed everyone within earshot.  I muscled BOTH lady Doctors out the door and stood my ass against it.  How they could do that after I explicitly said "NO" is beyond me.  I crawled in bed with my sad, sleep, hallucinating kid and I watched him sleep.  The nursing assistant came in to take his vitals and poor thing, just trying to do her job was nearly trounced by me.  I said No vitals tonight other than his pulse ox, this child is going to sleep now.  I stayed up to watch him as the medicine wore off then I crawled next to him passing out myself.  At 4 Am our nurse walks in to ask me if anyone has come to talk to me.
"No.  Why do you ask?"
Apparently Dr. Jackass ordered another barium enema, and they had a radiologist coming in right now to do it.  I told her I was refusing, and especially refusing since Dr. Shit-for-brains orderd it.  He's DONE and I don't understand why the hell nobody in this place seems to understand or respect that.  It was Cricket's birthday - My emotions were running high, and I was being rude and unreasonable but I didn't care.  Cameron was going to be the priority.
The next morning Cameron is hungry and obnoxious.  I'm telling you, this kid was BETTER!  2 days ago I couldn't get him to push down a row of stacked dominoes with 1 finger.  They were going to take Cameron for one more ultrasound, which i was willing to allow, but as we got to the door, the head surgeon said "No.  No more tests right now."  He had the best analogy - he said "It's like taking a picture of a tiger.  I show you do you see the tiger?  No?  And someone else says that is a white tiger, while other will argue they see orange - then they will try to convince you it wasn't a tiger after all."  He wants Cam to eat and drink.  Cameron did great, no pain, mean as ever - and we were able to go home! When I went to get a bite to eat they did have an Ombudsman come talk to our room to discuss the isues we had - I'm sure they realized they crossed a few too many lines last night. 
At any rate we got to go home and celebrate our healthy boy and his little sister's 2nd birthday.

Goodbye Cleveland Clinic!!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Kill it, Bubba!

Funny toddler conversations from the past 2 weeks:

Cricket:  "Ta-da!"
Cameron:  "That was not special Sissy."

Cameron:  "Ok, you fly Sissy."
Cricket:  "I flying, I flying!"
Cameron:  "This is NOT a dream."

From the kitchen I hear: 
Cricket:  "Kill it, Bubba."
Me:  Cameron, what is your sister asking you to kill?
Cameron:  "Mommy I killed a bug with that straw and the wheel on the table because the bug come into our house when we wanted it to be outside."  

(Cameron is chasing Cricket around the living room right after I finished watching the last episode of Oprah.)

Cameron:  "Give me your bad energy sissy, right... now!"
Cricket:  "No I not, I not bad energy!"

(Acting out the kids favorite commercial - I swear we have to do this 400 times a day)

Cameron:  "You look amazing."
Me:  "You look like a beach angel!"
Cameron : "Ahhhhaaa!  Ok now you say to me I'm amazing."
Me:  "You look amazing!"
Cameron:  "You look like a beach angel!"
Me: "Ahhhhha!"  (Trust me, this is the appropriate response to being told you look like a beach angel.)
So now I try to repeat the last interaction
Me: "You look amazing!"
Cameron:  "No!  I'm not amazing!  I'm a beach angel, you have to tell me I'm a beach angel.  You are amazing."


Cricket:  "I got dis (this) Mommy."
Me:  "What is it?"
Cricket: "Dis."
Me:  "What is it, Cricket?"
Cricket:  "It's dis Mommy."
Me:   "Cricket, please show me what you have."
Cricket:  "Oops!  I drop it Mommy!"

Catching up with Cameron on his day...
Me: "Cameron, what did you do today?"
Cameron:  "I just puked on Daddy's shirt."
Me: "Really?"
Cameron: "Seriouswy. For petes sake."
Me: (stifled laugh)  "Daddy didn't mention that to me.  Are you sick?"
Cameron:  "You look amazing."




Friday, May 13, 2011

Poop Obsession - this weeks bathroom humor

Not a topic for the light hearted, or the weak stomached.  Not really "dinner-time" discussion unless you are a parent, and have had to change a poopy diaper in the middle of dinner.  Of all the hats I wear - poop inspector is my LEAST favorite.  Prior to children I never would have believed that much of my time would be spent analyzing poop.

Is it yellow?  Words like "seedy" and "mucousy" are uttered in a natural way, and on a regular basis.  Darin has even coined breastfed baby poo as smelling like "buttery popcorn." - I should clarify this with him because I can't tell if it's the microwavable kind or the kind you get in an actual movie theater?

 I overheard him speaking once to one of his guy friends after our first child was born - I can't recall the conversation verbatim, but I know it went something like this:  "Dude, have her breastfeed - the diapers smell like buttery popcorn, it's not bad."

Potty training Cameron went pretty well once I was home on maternity leave.  I was able to hunker down with him and really be consistent.  (3 weeks of not being able to leave the house, due to not having a vehicle that could hold our entire family was actually a blessing in our case!)  He would poo in the chair,eventually -  but he would throw a fit, literally running around in circles - and wait until the last possible second before he had to go.  His pants, underwear and socks, all wound up flying in the air and leaving a trail behind him to the chair. 

Today on the chair he asks me: "Mommy I pooped!  Does this make you happy?"  Now that is a loaded question.

On one hand, sure it does! You pooped where you should have.  This pleases me. 

On the other hand, I am eating lunch, which I now have to set down.  Now I have to wipe your little arse.  Dump the potty chair.  Clean the chair.  Wash my hands.  Sit back down to my lunch and pass on eating the raisins and the chocolate pudding.  So what was the question again?  Oh yes, I'm thrilled.

On Wednesday I was cleaning his potty seat out and as I lifted it he starts freaking out "Oh no Mommy! My chocolate, my chocolate!"  I didn't even look.  I just said if there is chocolate anywhere attached to this chair or the surrounding area you are NOT eating it.  He was mad at me all night, repeatedly telling Cricket that I threw out his chocolate.  Shame on me, right?!

On Mother's day we are having a nice dinner (I made "Cheaters Crock-Pot Roast" - which is basically stew meat in a crockpot with carrots and a potatoes.)  I place the children's food in bowls.  Both Cameron and Cricket are eating it quite well.  Then Cricket picks up a hunk of beef and says "Ewwww poop."  I told her it wasn't poop, it was meat and she should go ahead and eat it.  She takes a big bite and says "Mmmm. Good poop Mommy."  Yes, happy Mother's Day to me.

We had another poop incident this week too - as a matter of fact on Mother's Day...again.  This time it was Darin.  We are at the Home Depot.  Darin hits the restroom before we leave.  He comes walking out and is trying to convince me to go in there and look at this "huge poop" that is "sticking out of the toilet."  (It wasn't his - he was just in absolute awe of it I suppose.)  No thanks!  I didn't go look.  I spend WAY more time than I like looking at the excrement from my own family members.  I certainly don't need to add a strangers doo-doo to my list.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Letters - week 1

Dear Gidget,

You are a sweet little baby.  I've been watching you smile in your sleep for a few weeks now and I have already noticed a dimple in your left cheek.  Very cute!  It is something you have all on your own as none of the rest of us have dimples (that aren't created from cellulite.) I just wanted to point this out, since you are #3 in line, yes, but I still promise to notice special things and make you feel like you are #1 - always.
 Yesterday and today you awarded me with a few of your very first social smiles - I'm very excited to see them happen more and more each day!

You are precious, and I love you,

Dear Cricket,

My huge blue eyed girl!  You are so sweet, and I noticed this week how much you tried to share with your sister.  I know how much you enjoy the mini-shredded wheats I gave you for snack - and I am deeply touched that you wanted to share them with your 4 & 1/2 week old sister.  Truly.  I'm not sure if you and your brother were in cahoots or what the heck happened - but while I was trying my very best to be 'supermom ' by nursing your sister while fixing your brother's underwear and pants at the same time - you managed to slip right under the radar and place one of the mini-wheats in her hand.  I also thought you were adorable when you tried to share some of your dry "O" shaped cereal.  You took that little multi grain "O" and airplaned it right to her lips! 

Let's recap, shall we?  Yes, Gidget gets milk - and PLENTY of it, but the cereal has to wait!  For once - I will allow you to be stingy and keep your food for yourself!  I promise in a very short time from now, you will be screaming at me that she has eaten all of your snacks/food.  Or here is another idea!  INSTEAD of  tormenting your brother by taking food/snacks away from him, and running to chuck them behind the furniture as he screams bloody murder behind you --- share with him!  (Or let him keep what he already had!)

You are thoughtful, and I love you,

Dear Cameron,

I have to start out by saying you broke my heart a little when you informed me this week that I was "no fun."  I mean let's be honest.  I know, I was mad I had lost a check, and I was arguing with you about cleaning up your toys in the living room - it wasn't exactly the most fun we've ever had!  Although, it was funny, it still stung.  However you really set me off with laughter a few times this week.  On Sunday, when you said in a little sing-song voice "Oh Daddy, I think you can stop the car nooooow..." - we had a good chuckle.  But today, when you asked me to blow up that big punching balloon - I about lost it.  After I handed it back to you, you seriously inspected my work and said "Not bad.  Not bad at all!"  I have no idea where you are picking up these little funny phrases, but I love them.  And I am so glad my ability to blow up a balloon met your approval!  Oh, and just one more thing!  Please stop sneaking off with my cell phone.  I have the children's pattern lock set on it so that you can not get into my phone any longer and change all the settings.  I'm tired of looking up the weather in Egypt.  I mean, I'm pretty sure it is raining here but I still want weatherbug to tell me about Cleveland!

You are silly, and I love you

Dear Darin,

Thanks for finding the crap I misplaced this week.  Oh - and stop unlocking my phone for Cameron, or I am going to change the pattern so you don't know it either! :) Yeah - I'm onto you!

You are ________, and I love you.  (Fill in the blank yourself!)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Wise Woman, My Mother

I've been debating the thought of being "done" having children.  Darin is ready to take the final cut (ahem) but I have to be the one to make the appointment.  He says that, I believe, because he knows I am tormented!

We prayed to God for years to allow us to have a family.  It took so long, and so much work and YEARS of heartache.  Now after what seems like 4 very short years - I have 3 new (beautiful) smiling faces staring at me from the dinner table.  I'm thankful, and so grateful to have the opportunity to be their Mother and to live a new life through them. 

But the flip side of that coin is this:  How do you tell God?  How do I say to Him, "Thanks for your blessings - but, I'm good now!"  It feels wrong and unfair to be in that position.  I'm not getting any younger so decisions have to be made, right?  Now you see my struggle.  My unrest with the entire situation. 

Tonight I have this conversation again with my Mom.  But tonight - she gives me an amazing new perspective.  I ask my Mom how do you decide and tell God "no more" when you've been in our shoes?  She tells me I don't have to work it that way.  She basically says to me that I should thank God, raise my children in the right way, and pray that He will bless another family that is struggling to complete their family.  I've never thought of it this way! It seems so simple and completely reasonable. I have everything I ever wanted and more than I ever dreamed of.  I do want others to be able to have that feeling for themselves as well.

My beautiful Mother is still the one with all the answers!  If you need advice or to just feel better with a hard decision - ask her!