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Monthly Archives: January 2014

#60: Two

We took a car trip over the weekend to visit my parents in Minnesota. On the way there, the kids were antsy, but manageable. Benjamin, at age 5 is happy to watch movies, or play on his iPod. He’ll ask for snacks along the way, and invariably he has to pee at least once. Other than that, he’s pretty low key.

Molly, at 20 months, is a little more of a wild card. She’s too young to really get into any shows we might put on the DVD player, and she tends to break any headphones she has in about 90 minutes. Coupled with the fact that the throws any snack or nuk you give her onto the floor, crying in frustration that she doesn’t have it anymore, travel with Molly is more time consuming and stressful. On the upside, she’s still in diapers, so we don’t need to make any special potty trips for her yet. 😉

The car ride up to Minnesota was fine, the way back home just a short 36 hours later was a little less fun. Maybe the kids were overtired from the weekend. Maybe getting home isn’t as fun as getting to grandma and grandpa’s house. Whatever the reason, the trip home was a little less fun.

When I say less fun, I mean more whining, more tears and frequent requests to “just get home right now.” And the kids were worse.
I’m not proud of those times when I feel “fed up” with the kids. I’m not. I think about the long journey we had to become parents. I think about the detour we had to becoming a 4 person family again with Alex’s death, and I feel like I don’t have the right to get frustrated, angry, annoyed with these beautiful kids I spent so many days and nights praying for.

When I do get aggravated, I think about how blessed we are, and the feeling passes. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and love for my kids and I get a whole new wave of patience. I’m sure it is God’s way of reminding me of all the blessings he has given us. In these moments, I feel like our family is the way it was meant to be. Perfectly fitted for our lives. Not bigger or smaller than was intended to be. God does not make mistakes. Benjamin and Molly are meant to be here on earth. Alex is meant to be in heaven. Everyone is where s/he belongs.

It is a big step for me to find feelings of comfort and equilibrium with our family. I’ve really wanted a third and final baby on earth here for awhile. We were pregnant a few months ago and had a miscarriage.

About 7.5 weeks along, I went to be one night and I was bleeding heavily. It’s like I went to bed pregnant and woke up not pregnant. I remember crying and feeling so sad. Empty and lonely. Those feelings felt so familiar and strong, I remember sobbing and praying to God. How could we be in this place again?

After what happened with Alex, I honestly thought that all that sadness was behind us. It honestly never occurred to me that something as sad as the loss of a child could happen to us again.

When you work in retail, the one week you can’t miss is the week of Black Friday. So, I had a miscarriage over the weekend and made it to work on-time on Monday. I never even told my boss.

I had this feeling of completeness and closure in life when I was pregnant. I had grand plans to surprise our families over the thanksgiving holiday, and to surprise our friends when we saw them.

Now, it feels like this empty void that we have learned to accept and not talk about. Our final baby was supposed to be born on July 10, 2014. A perfect and healthy boy or girl to round out our family and make Molly a middle child. Destined to be a Jan Brady. Lol
As that date looms closer, I’m not sure what to think.

I have moments of sadness where I cry… For Alex, for this unnamed baby we’ll never meet, for both.

But there are moments of sheer joy and gratitude. When I hold two little hands and usher them into the bathroom at the halfway point between Wisconsin and Minnesota. When I squeeze them both into one stall and try to keep them occupied so no one climbs out underneath the door, crawling on the dirty floor. Those moments I cherish.

When I order two chocolate milks. When I pick up two packs of goldfish crackers, when I get to to two of anything, my heart is full. I remember a time when doing just “one” of anything was sad, and left me feeling broken. Doing things in “twos” makes me feel complete.
I think about the babies we have lost. I think about how our family would be different if we had never lost those babies. But then I think about how fulfilling parenthood is right now. There are still two jackets to zip up, two pairs of boots to fasten and two pairs of mittens to put on. There are two sets of arms fastened firmly around my mommy body anytime I want, and there are two little voices yelling, “mama mama mama mama mama mama” when I walk in the door. Thinking about that, dulls the pain. Two is still good.

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Posted by on January 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

#59: Happy New Year

Happy New Year to our beloved friends and family!

We are excited to share the holidays with you, and wish you all a Happy New Year. Things have been very busy for us with the kids, but as you know, we cherish every single moment we have as a family.

Benjamin just turned 5 in November, and he has been in 4K all year. He has taken the transition very well… it has been a little more change than we expected though. Confusion runs rampant in our house. We’re never quite sure if it is a regular uniform day, or a gym uniform day. Benjamin will tell us it is a “dress down” day, and we’re never quite sure if he is a reliable source of this information. Add on confusion regarding hot lunch or cold lunch, and we’re lucky he makes it out the door in time for the bus. 😉

Benjamin had a busy year- he played soccer, t-ball, football and tennis. He didn’t really have a favorite sport… although he really enjoyed the team snack after each practice. He has been taking piano lessons for a few months and is starting to enjoy it. He can play “Twinkle, twinkle little star” and can point out middle C… Other than that, getting him to sit still for 25 minutes a week is well worth the cost of lessons!

Molly turned 18 months on Benjamin’s fifth birthday. She is spirited and independent, preferring to do things “her way” instead of the way we may want her to. At this age, Benjamin was a model citizen… gladly doing whatever you asked him to do. Molly prefers to explore the boundaries of what we ask her to do… She will carefully consider whether or not she wants to listen. We can successfully get her to stop/ start doing something once we ask her the fourth or fifth time.

She is a funny little person! She loves to follow Benjamin around, and likes climbing and jumping all over things. Her favorite activities are emptying the kitchen cabinets or brushing her teeth. She will collect toothbrushes from all over the house and walk around with them for hours. Maybe she’ll be a dentist! She really should spend time brushing her teeth though… she has a major sweet tooth and is always finding candy or treats in unexpected places. She found a container of old jelly beans in Benjamin’s room (at least two years old) and demanded a sample. Big lady is funny!

Our sweet baby Alex spent his second birthday in Heaven. Like last year, we had a party in his honor and released some biodegradable dove balloons that really looked like they were floating up to Heaven. It was bittersweet as always, but we understand that life here goes on. We have two healthy, rambunctious kiddos to chase around on Earth, and for that, we are humble and thankful.

Things with our family have been good. We went to Florida (Disney World) as a family in February, and then to Mexico as a family in March. We went to Mexico again in October without the kids to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. It’s been a great year for warm weather travel!

We feel very blessed to have all of you in our lives. We wish you a very happy holiday season and a wonderful new year!

Ben, TLJ, Benjamin, Baby Alex and Molly

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I sent this letter out with our cards this year- we do have a lot to celebrate, and we are happy with how things are going. We have special holiday traditions that we include Alex in. We have a stocking for him, ornaments on the tree, and special gifts from him for the kids. It has taken some time, but I feel like we have found holiday traditions that fit our family and still honor Alex’s memory.

Happy holidays to you and yours-

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2014 in Uncategorized