Monthly Archives: October 2013

Conversation With My 5 Year Old – Rules for Marriage

Here’s the scene…

We’re driving home form the fabric store. The car is quiet.

 

Aidan: Mommy, can boys marry boys?

Me: Yes. They can.

Really?

Yup.

How?

Well, they get dressed up and have a ceremony and make promises to each other.

There’s a pause.

Aidan: So one of them wears a dress, right?

Me: giggles. No.

Well, what do they wear?

They both wear suits.

Another pause.

Aidan: I want to marry Lincoln!

Me: giggles. You can’t marry your brother.

Huh? Why?

contemplates whether or not to introduce the concept of incest. thinks better of it. Because it’s against the law. You can’t marry your brother or sister. Or your mommy or daddy.

 

A few days pass.

I’m giving Aidan a bath.

Aidan: Mommy, can you marry your cousin?

Me: Huh?

Your cousin. Can you marry your cousin.

I’m pretty sure you can’t.

Because it’s against the law?

I’m actually not sure.

pauses. So, you can only marry someone you don’t know?

chuckles. Well, yea. But you get to know them before you marry them.

 

And in the blink of an eye he was on to sinking ships. I’m curious if/when this conversation will resurface. I’m even more curious to see what new shape it takes.

It’s Like the Song That Never Ends – Dragons and Peanuts Halloween Costumes

Aidan has been singing one song on repeat since last Tuesday (aka Music special at school).

It goes like this….
What will you be?
What will you be?
What will you be on Halloween?

And then someone stands up and sings…
I will be a ____________!
I will be a ____________!
I will be a ____________ on Halloween!

Wash, rinse, and repeat.

He would break the silence of a car ride with the song.
I would hear him from 3 rooms away, while he was playing with the train set, singing.
He sang it every night, in the bath.

He sang the jack-o-lanterns out of that song.

Any moment of silence this house had was filled with that song. To the point that we have all been walking around singing it.

And now I get to share it and have it mean something (for me, in my world)….

 

AUTUMN!

I was originally going to make Autumn Amelia Earhart.

I wanted her to be a woman of strength and independence.

Instead…

Autumn will be Red Riding Hood.
Autumn will be Red Riding Hood.
Autumn will be Red Riding Hood for Halloween!

Yes, I made her a little damsel in distress who gets swallowed by a wolf… I had all the materials needed for the costume. Plus, turns out being a little damsel in distress looks adorable on her….

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LINCOLN!

Lincoln will be a BAT!
Lincoln will be a BAT!
Lincoln will be a BAT for Halloween!

This boy’s costume has changed sooooooo many times.

He was supposed to be Batman, but got his Batman costume fix at our costume party back in September. So he changed it a bunch and then settled on a Scary Monster Bird with Lion and Cheetah Powers.

AWESOME!

I mean it. I was so excited and knew exactly how I was going to make his vision come to life.

And then he changed it again. To a bat.

It was too easy of a costume to make for me to say no.

We went to the store, got him a black long sleeve shirt, sweat pants, and some really awesome bat wing-like fabric.

And then he changed it again to a wolf.

AHHHHH! It would go perfectly with Autumn’s Red Riding Hood.

But, I said no (although I was so ready to purchase some wolf ears and a nose from Amazon). I explained how we bought all the stuff we needed to make his super cool bat costume. And we couldn’t bring it back (truth).

He wasn’t too happy with my answer, but we made a really big deal about him being a bat. And once he put the costume on, he fell in love….

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Lincoln, the bat, with his bat pumpkin.

Last year was all about ghosts…this year it’s bats.

 

He's flying in for a hug.

He’s flying in for a hug.

 

 

AIDAN!

Aidan was dead set on being a Police Officer, which was fine. Except, he wanted one of those big ride on battery operated police cars.

UGH!

During a fun conversation regarding Halloween and costumes, Aunt Em told Aidan the secret to scoring the jackpot on candy.

“You need to be something original, creative. Something no one else is going to be. That’s how you get extra candy”

That’s all Aidan needed to hear.

We spent about 15 minutes thinking and rambling off costumes. Ones that made us think over flowing trick-or-treat bags.

Old man.
Balloon Man.
Washing machine.

Aidan liked the idea of the washing machine, but he wanted to incorporate underwear into the costume. And he wanted them on his head.

Soooo…..

Aidan will be a basket of laundry with underwear on his head!
Aidan will be a basket of laundry with underwear on his head!
Aidan will be a basket of laundry with underwear on his head for Halloween!

BEST. COSTUME. EVER!

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A Little Reminder This Halloween…

This is the week Aidan and Lincoln have been asking about for over a month. Counting down the weeks. And now the days.

We’re very excited over here. And I’m almost done making costumes….I just need to make Lincoln’s ears.

Aidan is so excited that he’s been practicing how he will say “Trick-or-Treat” and is considering the abbreviation, “T-o-T” (funny story…I’ll share it another time). And I couldn’t be happier.

It hasn’t always been like this.

Aidan’s 1st Halloween was non-existent. He wore a Halloween shirt. I had a migraine…which meant I was in bed, under the covers, in a dark room.
Sorry hunny.

His 2nd Halloween… Aidan was a few months shy of 2 and wasn’t speaking.

He had a speech delay. But he knew exactly what to do…

2nd Halloween

Halloween 2009

…these were his exact words, “HI…MORE…PLEASE…BYE”

Those 4 words were HUGE for us at the time. So much so that I saved them with the above picture.

 

His 3rd Halloween I remember Aidan was a firefighter…

3rd Halloween

Halloween 2010

And, apparently this convo accompanied the above picture. But I honestly don’t remember it…so it musn’t have been one of our better days…

3rd Halloween Capture

 

Aidan’s 4th Halloween is one that will forever be engrained to my memory…
It was the day he was discharged from outpatient counseling services (we attended weekly sessions in the hopes it would provide an outlet for Aidan, in turn having a positive influence on his behavior).

Aidan went to school as Waldo…

4th Halloween

But he insisted on wearing his firefighter costume from the year before for Trick-or-Treating…

We met up with friends and family for Trick-or-Treating after Aidan’s last counseling session.

Circumstances weren’t working in our favor. Trick-or-Treating got delayed. It was past dinner time. And Aidan had been on edge since the morning.

It turned out that this…

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…the act of a group of kids rushing to one door was too much for Aidan to handle.

In previous years, we had gone Trick-or-Treating with one other family. And we went to the doors WITH Aidan. And HE rang the door bell.

The first hour of this fun activity involved Nolan walking behind the group with a screaming Aidan.

Nolan was eventually able to get Aidan to calm down. And the other kids were so great in adapting…they worked out who would ring the door bell in what order. This little bit of structure made a HUGE difference.

Aidan was able to keep track of when it was his turn, which was comforting for him.

Between that and his cousin, Aidan (and Nolan and I) were able to enjoy the rest of our time collecting candy from strangers Trick-or-Treating…

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Thank goodness for loving cousins….

The 5th year (last year) was a great success, despite the fact that we had been hit by Hurricane Sandy and Halloween had been canceled in NJ.

Aidan dressed as Turtle Man from Call of the Wild Man

Aidan dressed as Turtle Man from Call of the Wild Man

After however many days without power, we decided to wait out NJ’s black out in Massachusetts.

This meant new houses to visit and no large groups…it was just us…

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…which was more than enough and absolutely perfect…

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This year we are planning on Trick-or-Treating with our MA cousins. While I am a little nervous about how Aidan will do with a group of people, I am excited at the same time. Excited to see how he does. How he interacts. Adapts.

He has come so far. Progressed so much. Has a much better understanding of his feelings and how to effectively communicate them to me.

My mommy intuition tells me he’ll be just fine.

So, as you prepare for Trick-or-Treaters this week, I ask you to please keep this in mind….

Halloween reminder

…my oldest has SPD issues. All 3 of my kids are gluten and dairy free. Other children may have other issues. Issues far worse than ours.

Your response, your reaction, can make all the difference in a child’s (as well as a parent’s) evening.

Please don’t judge. Please be nice. And remember, it’s about the kids. Smile.

 

 

 

I Poisoned My Kids…Not Really, But Kinda Sorta.

I should probably start this post by saying that no one is dead, nor are they in the hospital.

We are a gluten and dairy free household.

It started with removing gluten from Aidan’s diet on January 22nd, 2012. It feels like AGES ago.

How do I know the actual date? Crazy. Yes, I know.
It was the day after Aidan’s 4th birthday.

he's trying so hard to show me 4 fingers...

he’s trying so hard to show me 4 fingers…

Aidan had been displaying self injurious behavior (behavior in which he inflicts harm onto himself). He was also acting out, both verbally and physically, towards us and Lincoln. Large groups and loud noises tended to set him off. The Pediatric Developmentalist was questioning whether or not to put him on the Autism Spectrum.

We were already seeing a pediatric psychologist, receiving occupational therapy (both in school and through a private practice) for various sensory issues, and implementing numerous behavior modification plans.

These things helped, but just weren’t enough.

We needed to do more. Something in addition to everything else.

Nolan and I had discussed removing the protein from Aidan’s diet for months. After weighing the pros and cons, and seeking advice from a dear friend (aka Mrs. Fantastico) who had experience with dietary restrictions, we finally agreed it was worth a shot.

We noticed a difference within the first month.

After 6 months, I felt as though Aidan had plateaued (from a behavioral viewpoint). He had been making such great progress and then all of a sudden it just stopped.

Another pow-wow with my dear friend.

We removed dairy from Aidan’s diet (this was in June of 2012).

HUGE difference.

Not only was Aidan’s behavior improving, but so was his focus and ability to rationalize his feelings.

My boy went from turning into a tornado of rage and fury; spitting, cursing, throwing fists and toys when Lincoln knocked over his train track to being able to call to us for help when he felt bothered or annoyed by his little brother’s actions.

It. Was. AMAZING.
And still is!

 

The next to go was Autumn and me.

When Autumn was about 6 months old, Nolan and I noticed that she would occassionally stop breathing in her sleep. It was never more than a few seconds and she always self corrected.

We thought it was just a baby thing.

At around 6 1/2 months (December 2012), I went food shopping with Lincoln and Autumn. It was a Monday. Autumn had fallen asleep in the car seat. I removed the seat from the base and put it on the shopping cart. Lincoln and I went about our trip while Autumn slept.

At the very end of our trip, I remember it like it was yesterday…we were by the refrigerated almond milk at the back of the store, I looked down at Autumn. She was still sleeping. She coughed. And then stopped breathing.

I waited, like I always did in the middle of the night, for her to self correct. She didn’t. Instead, she started to turn blue.

I ripped her out of her car seat and began blowing in her face.

Nothing.

I patted her back and blew some more.

Nothing.

I tipped her upside down and blew again. And again.

A cough. And then a cry.

Thank. Fucking. God.

I probably should have called 911 right then and there, but she was fine. Granted she had never turned blue before, but this this breathing thing happened often. And she had a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday.

We went home. I told Nolan and he agreed that we would talk to the doctor on Wednesday.

Wednesday came. We saw the doctor and told her about what was going on and about what happened at the grocery store.

She sent us to the hospital.

Lots of testing and tens of thousands of dollars later, no one had an answer for us. Instead, they could only guess she was experiencing sleep apnea caused by reflux. We were to see a pulmonologist and undergo a sleep study.

She's a fashionista, even with wires coming out of her head and chest.

She’s a fashionista, even with wires coming out of her head and chest.

The BEST piece of information I received during our stay came from the Chief of Pediatrics (yes, he personally took care of our sweet girl). He explained that during sleep, the body will close off the airway when experiencing reflux. It’s a defense mechanism to prevent drowning on said reflux. The downside to this defense is that you stop breathing.

But he couldn’t tell me what was causing the reflux. And in my mind, I knew if we could stop the reflux then we could stop the apnea.

After lots of research and a consult with my dear friend, my gut was telling me to take gluten and dairy out of my little miss’ diet. And since she was exclusively breastfeeding, that meant out of my diet as well.

Autumn’s reflux improved, as did her sleep apnea.
And they continued to improve until, eventually, both stopped.

 

And then there was 1.
Lincoln.

lincoln

Little Man had always had stomach issues.

As a baby, this kid couldn’t keep a feeding down to save his life.

He had been complaining pain in stomach, as well as his butt.

I lost count of how many times we saw the doctor about these 2 issues.
Every time she would examine him. And every time there would be nothing wrong.

There was obviously something wrong.

After Autumn and I went gf/df, it only made sense for Lincoln to go as well. Everyone else was. And I didn’t feel like making separate meals anymore.

And do you want to know something?
Lincoln’s stomach and butt pains eventually went away.

 

And this brings us to present day.

Aidan, Lincoln, and I went to the grocery store after Aidan’s soccer game. We needs bread and cupcake liners (for the class Halloween party on Thursday).

I decided to get a special treat. Aidan had done awesome at his game (he scored 5 goals). And, to be honest, I wanted something yummy.

I found some creme filled chocolate cookies that fit our needs. And as a bonus, found some fig newtons. We haven;t had fig newtons in SUCH a looooooong time.

I gave the boys 2 each in the car for good behavior at the store.

We came home. Had lunch. And everyone got 1 fig newton (including Nana and Aunt Em) after they were done eating.

Nap/quiet time came and went.

Nana and the boys put on a movie and made everyone a snack bowl…. blue corn chips, pretzels, and 1 cookie each.

The boys started to get whacky so I turned off the movie and told them to play in their room (located upstairs and behind a door).

I prepared dinner and called them down when it was ready. Thankfully, they sat nicely and engaged in conversation. The boys finished dinner and removed their plates from the table.
I did notice a welt by Aidan’s left eye and asked him what happened. He shrugged and I didn’t make an issue of it. But the fig newtons came to mind.

The boys went into the “brown living room” (we have names for the living rooms….you can read about here) and began placing pillows and blankets behind one of the chairs. They were calling it “garbage”, which was fine. They were playing nicely.

And then things got funky….

Aidan began pacing around the house in search of more garbage. He had a crazed look and couldn’t slow down. Everything about him was rushed and careless.

“What was in those cookies?” my mom asked.

My gut feeling was something was up. I got the bag from the cabinet and right there on the front it read…..

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FUCK!

fuck. fuck. fuck. AND fuck.

SHIT!

How STUPID and LAZY of me.

I skimmed the package and saw “FREE” and “DAIRY FREE”. Assuming the 1st FREE was GLUTEN.

I didn’t take my time. I wanted to get out of the store and didn’t take my time. The boys were asking a bunch of questions and I wanted to get our of the store AND I DIDN’T TAKE MY TIME.

Thank god they aren’t deathly allergic.

But my mother’s poor living room was destroyed. Not really. But all the folded laundry was unfolded and the couches and chairs were pulled away from the wall.

Aidan was beyond thrilled to learn that he had eaten gluten. so much so that he made a song…

Gluten! Gluten! Gluten! I LOVE gluten! I LOVE fig newtons!

The only way I was able to get Aidan to calm down was to turn off the living room light and allow him to bury himself under the pile of “garbage” (aka blankets and clothes) he had collected.

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After which he soaked in a bath of Epsom Salt to help him detox.

Oh, and Lincoln began to itch his butt and complain of it hurting after bath time. I informed him that it was probably going to be itchy for a while.
He did NOT like my response.
Sorry kid. Mommy fucked up.

I didn’t even attempt books tonight. I put on the reading lamp in the boys’ room and allowed them to read (aka look at) books in bed until they fell asleep. This had always been calming for Aidan.

I’m a bit frazzled, but everyone is fast asleep.

It’s probably going to be a long day tomorrow. I can only hope that this reaction wears off by Monday…in time for school. Now that I’m thinking about it, I’m probably going to have to write a note into school and make a phone call or two.

And to think they wanted me dress up as Super Mommy for Halloween…

 

 

 

 

 

Memories of Warmer Days

It’s 46 degrees here in Massachusetts. I’m sitting here draped in a quilt, seriously contemplating curling up next to the cat on the sun soaked kitchen floor.

It goes without saying that I’m cold. Enough to make the tops of my nail beds turn slightly blue.

And for every new goose bump that pops up on my arm, I think of the gorgeous day I had with the Lovies earlier this month.

It was warm. Like 70’s warm. The boys were wearing shorts and t-shirts. Autumn and I, pants and sleeveless shirts.

We went for a picnic at the local dam.

It was heaven….

The view from our picnic blanket.

The view from our picnic blanket.

 

Looking for water critters...

Looking for water critters…

 

I forgot to pack the nets...the boys kept coming up empty.

I forgot to pack the nets…the boys kept coming up empty.

 

The couldn't help but take off their shirts and explore in the water.

The couldn’t help but take off their shirts and explore in the water.

 

And I couldn't help but take off my shoes.

And I couldn’t help but take off my shoes.

 

I'm not really sure what Aidan was doing here...feeling the vibrations of the water, perhaps? Whatever it was, he did it for quite a while.

I’m not really sure what Aidan was doing here…feeling the vibrations of the water, perhaps? Whatever it was, he did it for quite a while.

 

Autumn found a pebble and put it in her goggles (aka Lincoln's goggles) for safe keeping.

Autumn found a pebble and put it in her goggles (aka Lincoln’s goggles) for safe keeping.

 

The Lovies enjoying some fruit and other snacks after all that water fun.

The Lovies enjoying some fruit and other snacks after all that water fun.

 

I even got to lay down.

I even got to lay down.

 

The view from where I had lain (I believe that to be grammatically correct...I did look it up and spent about 5 minutes studying the proper usage of lay and lie and the past, present, and future tense of both words)

The view from where I had lain (I believe that to be grammatically correct…I did look it up and spent about 5 minutes studying the proper usage of lay and lie and the past, present, and future tense of both words)

 

By the time we were packed up and loaded into the car, the kids were spent and quite content with reading a book on the car ride home.

By the time we were packed up and loaded into the car, the kids were spent and quite content with reading a book on the car ride home.

Just so you know, the beauty of the above picture lasted until I put the car in drive. Aidan said Lincoln was touching his book. Lincoln said he wasn’t. That’s when the argument began.

 

Despite the quarrel between brothers, it was a wonderful day. One I will cherish forever.

I even got a picture of the 4 us…

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…making the day practically perfect (because these kinds of pictures don’t happen often).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acts of Kindness and Lessons in Faith

I woke up Saturday morning with an activity list of things to do.

1. Although I find lists extremely helpful, making them overwhelms me.
2. If I get a list made, I become overwhelmed with trying to cross everything off.

It was a fairly simple list….

1. Return stuff at store
2. Aidan soccer game
3. Food shopping
4. Pick pumpkins at the Alpaca Farm
5. Admire and possibly pet said Alpacas
6. Come home and eat lunch
7. Put Autumn down for nap
8. Have boys paint and decorate pumpkins

Aidan’s game was at 10 and I somehow managed to get everyone fed, dressed, and out the door by 9:15. Plenty of time to run to the store.

That is, if your car will start.

The thought of telling Lincoln to close the car door the previous day comes to mind as the car is making funny clicking sounds and the RPM and speedometer hands are having seizures. He mustn’t have closed it completely, which left the cabin light on. All night.

I ran next door to see if the neighbor had jumper cables. Her mother-in-law did. AWESOME!
She drove her car down to mine and I hooked everything up.

Attempt 1 to jump my car failed. By attempt 2 I noticed the cables were beginning to smoke.

FUCK. Me.

Let me just tell you, smoking jumper cables are fucking HOT.
I burned myself. Nothing awful, but it hurt. A lot.

I forgot to mention that my mom and sister were in Boston at a college open house, so I was flying solo.

No car means no anything when you’re living in the sticks.

At 9:50 I tried calling the coach. The thought being maybe he had cables, or someone there had them and could give us a hand. He didn’t answer. So I left a message, explained the situation, and let him know we weren’t making it.

Aidan was upset. I was upset. Lincoln didn’t like the sun in his eyes. And Autumn was as cool as a cucumber.

I had a “thinking moment” and remembered that my mom’s best friends (we’ll call them Aunt J and Uncle P) were coming to Aidan’s game. I gave them a call. Within moments they were parked beside me.

You’re thinking cables, right?

Nope. No cables.

They took Aidan to his game.

I was upset. Lincoln was upset. Autumn didn’t notice a thing.

It was at this point that I remembered why I hated lists.
It was also at this point that I realized we weren’t going to be able to do any of the things we planned. More specifically… pick, paint, and decorate pumpkins (aka the highlighted activity for the day… aka the thing we spent days preparing for and talking about)
And it was at this point that I lost it and became a heap of tears.

Tears? Over pumpkins?

Yes and not necessarily.
Like I said, it was our highly activity for the day. One that we spent days discussing what the boys wanted to make. And days discussing the plans to turn their visions into reality.
I LOVE it! Pumpkin decorating is one of my all time favorite things to do.

 

It’s amazing how some things have a way of working out….
Aunt J must have known how much this day meant to me. She must have known how much I needed it because this is how the rest of the day went…

Aidan got back from his game and the story I’m told is that the team was down a point or two when he arrived. By the end of the game, Aidan had scored 5 or 6 goals. Aunt J and Uncle P lost count. According to Aidan, he score 80.

Aunt J called AAA while I was making lunch. They got here shortly after we finished eating and jumped my car.

Autumn had gone down for a nap so Aunt J offered to stay at the house so I could take the boys for their pumpkins.

We got back and the boys played outside for a while.

By the time the boys were done playing, Autumn had woken up (I don’t think she ever fell asleep).

Pumpkins were painted and decorated.

…and it went this way because of her. And even though I hugged and thanked you before you left on Saturday, I want you to know that your small act of kindness made a HUGE difference in my day.

 

And, without further adieu, I present the pictures….

 

Pumpkin picking at Plain View Farm

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The chosen pumpkins…

 

 

Alpacas...what the heck are they? An alpaca is a domesticated species of South American camelid. It resembles a small llama in appearance.

Alpacas…what the heck are they?
An alpaca is a domesticated species of South American camelid. It resembles a small llama in appearance.
Alpacas are bred for their fibers (aka hair), which are used for making knitted and woven items, similar to wool.

 

 

Really wishing he could pet an alpaca...

Really wishing he could pet an alpaca…

 

 

Really, really, really wishing he could pet an alpaca...turns out they don't like sudden movements or loud noises.

Really, really, really wishing he could pet an alpaca…turns out they don’t like sudden movements or loud noises.

 

 

The kids had the task of finding their perfect pumpkin for $5-.  Their 3 pumpkins came in at $7- total, leaving them with enough money to purchase 3 finger puppets (1 for each of them)

The kids were given $5- each to find their perfect pumpkin.
Their pumpkins came in at $7- total, leaving them with enough money to purchase 3 handmade finger puppets (1 for each of them)

 

 

Onto painting and decorating…

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Lincoln working hard on covering his pumpkin in black paint.

 

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And Aidan worked with the white...

Aidan working with the white…

 

 

The peanut right as she started painting...

The peanut right as she started painting…

 

And The Peanut right before we cleaned up.

And The Peanut right before we cleaned up.

 

Autumn really enjoyed the activity. So much so that she painted for 45 minutes.

Autumn really enjoyed the activity. So much so that she painted for 45 minutes.

 

This is how she felt about cleaning up.

This is how she felt about cleaning up.

 

The Final Products…

Aidan needed some kind of a scoring system, so this is what we came up with…

Aidan.

Scariest.

Bloody Mummy.

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Lincoln.

Spookiest.

Black Bat.

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Autumn.

Most Original.

Untitled.

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There have been a lot of challenges for me in Massachusetts. The biggest being having to function and carry on despite negative outside forces (i.e. dead car batteries).

There have also been a lot of lessons learned since moving up here; two that stand out.
1. I am strong and capable.
2. Sometimes you have to take a step back and have faith that everything will work out. Maybe not the way you would like it to, but anything is better than nothing at all.

I am 1 of the 4…

When the average person thinks of October, I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say they think of all the fun fall festivities it has to offer… apple and pumpkin picking which then turn into baking and carving, changing leaves, cooler weather, and who can forget Halloween.

But for 1 in 4 women, October is something a little more….
It is pregnancy loss awareness month. And yes, 1 in 4 women experience the loss of an unborn child.

You probably didn’t realize how common pregnancy loss is.

It’s not spoken about.

But that is slowly changing.

More and more women are stepping forward and breaking their silence.

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image courtesy of The Green Mommy

Nolan and I lost our first baby. This was the baby he had dreamed of having since he was 14 years old and the baby I couldn’t wait to have with him.

Loosing our baby was such a long and torturous event. And I remember it as if it just happened yesterday.

Aidan and I had gotten sick. We both had severe ear infections (one of my ear drums had blood on it) and high fevers. My fever spiked to over 103. This was the beginning of the end for my baby. I was 7 weeks pregnant.

My ear drum healed and fever dissipated, but  I had begun to bleed.

A week later we celebrated Aidan’s 1st birthday with family.
Looking back on it now, I should have canceled the party and stayed off my feet. I didn’t. I honestly didn’t know any better. So, I made sauce and meatballs from scratch and baked and party planned.

Things progressively got worse.

Nolan and I went to the Emergency Room. We were there for 9 hours, only to be told there was nothing the hospital could do and to come back if things got worse.

Things got worse. By our second visit we knew to bring a bag of food and some games to keep us busy. The thought of Mastermind always brings a smile to my face…we must have played that game for 5 of the 9 hours we were there.

It was during our 3rd visit that the doctor finally decided to do an ultrasound.

I knew I was loosing my baby and couldn’t bear to see the image of our hopes and dreams on the screen. Nolan, wanting so badly for this to have a different outcome, saw our baby and the heartbeat. I watched him as he watched the screen.

Based upon the baby’s heartbeat, the doctor gave us a 30% chance of survival and sent us home.

We held onto that 30% until about 2 am the following morning.

I awoke with more pain than I had felt during that 2 week period. I ran to bathroom and in the quiet of the early morning, passed my baby.

The life growing inside of me was no more and I have never felt emptier than at that moment.

I stood their for what felt like hours.
I didn’t know what to do.
Every part of me wanted to scoop my baby up, hold it, bury it.

I flushed.

Immediately I regretted it.

I cleaned myself and crawled back into bed. I gently nudged Nolan and let him know what had happened.

Everything from that point through the next 8 weeks is a blur. That is, except for the rage and extreme sorrow. Those are the only things I really remember.

It was the loss of potential that nearly cost me my sanity and marriage. The loss of what my child would have looked like, sounded like. The loss of experiencing all of my child’s interests and quirks. The loss of Aidan having a sibling and the thought of the relationship they would have had.

I had an extremely difficult time bonding with Lincoln. As hard as I tried, I just couldn’t form what I believed to be a real attachment to him. I have never told anyone this, but I resented him. I could not let go of the baby before him.

I was torn and guilt ridden. I was petrified that if I didn’t hold onto my angel baby, that I would loose it forever. That if I didn’t constantly remind myself of the pain and sorrow that I would forget.

I lived this way for a long time.

I went through the motions of being mom and wife, but was empty.

It wasn’t until a couple of months after Lincoln’s 1st Birthday that I realized the way in which I was living my life was disgracing the memory of my lost child. My resentment and bitterness was everything that my child was not.

I realized that if it wasn’t for the loss of my baby, Lincoln would not be here. It was through my baby’s death that made Lincoln’s life possible.

I realized that by letting go, I wasn’t forgetting. By letting go I was simply allowing the beauty from what happened to be present in my eyes, my mind, and my heart. By letting go, I was allowing room for my love to grow.

 

It will be 5 years in February since the loss of my 2nd child. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him/her. And while it is still extremely sad, it longer consumes me.

I can’t help but think of the women who have gone through this scenario multiple times. Or those who went full term and had a still-birth.

I can’t even begin to imagine the pain I felt, multiplied.

My heart goes out to the 1 in 4. My heart goes out to their spouses, their partners, their significant others. My heart goes out to their entire family.

 

I ask you this…

If you know someone who has experienced the loss of a child[ren] during pregnancy, shoot them a message letting you know your thinking of them. If you see them, hug them a little longer, a little tighter. This goes for men too…I hadn’t realized how heartbroken Nolan was until we talked about.
While it gets easier as time goes on, and having 3 earthly children most certainly helps, the loss of a child stays with a parent forever.

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Tid Bits from the Week

We’re leaving for Jersey tomorrow. This means I’ll be taking a long 4 day weekend off. Yup. I’ll be detaching my fingers from the keyboard and mouse.

With that said, there are a few by-the-way-did-you-know things I wanted to share. Tid bits from our week. All positive. The complete opposite of my vent.

1. Aidan sat down Monday evening to complete his homework assignment (he gets 1 worksheet, front and back, on Monday that contains the weeks homework. It’s broken into 2 sections on each side). While I was finishing up whatever it was I was doing I hear, “T. H. E…. the.”

WHAT?!

A HUGE smile is spread across Aidan’s face.

L. I. T. T. L. E… little.

WAIT! WHAT?! NO!!! REALLY?! OH. MY. GOD. YOU’RE READING!

Aidan skipped to Tuesday evening’s assignment and started spelling and reading the words on the paper. “Popcorn words” to be more exact.

What on earth are popcorn words? Yea. I asked the same thing. In a nut shell, they are sight words. The popcorn comes from the display they have in the classroom.

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Aidan using his finger as he spells out the word “little”.

 

2. Well, I got my butt to the library and picked up the first Dick and Jane book of the series.

We had Reading with Cooper and I brought the book. Aidan read 20 pages! As in TWO-ZERO. 20!

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3. We’ve had some exciting finds in nature this week.

A little frog was out our front window. According to Nana he is a frequent visitor.

little frog

 

Lincoln and Autumn found, what appeared to be, baby snakes.

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Pretty gross, I know.

 

4. Autumn has a developed a tutu obsession. A red, sequin pocketbook one is in the making.

Heading out to the market.

Heading out to the market.

 

At the library Reading Program.

At the library Reading Program.

 

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Tutu over pajamas is the latest trend. That and red, sequin pocketbooks.

 

The red, sequin pocketbook in action.

The red, sequin pocketbook in action.

 

5. Plastic cups are our new best friend. Lincoln and Autumn will sit on the kitchen floor for an hour, sometimes more, playing with them. No lie.

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6. My mom is a genius.

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Lincoln really enjoys doing the dishes. There’s a new dish washer in the house!

 

 

7. While driving to the “puppet” library, Lincoln had this to say… “Bad things are not nice. Good things are nice things”.

My thoughts….
– Uh, yea!
– Is it possible he is FINALLY getting it?

The latter was validated when Mr. McStink Face Farty Fart Pants asked to borrow THIS book from the library….

It's a book about the consequences of lying.

It’s a book about the consequences of lying.

And then again when we read it before nap time. I asked a ton of questions while reading it. I wanted to be sure he was comprehending the story. He was/did.

There. Is. HOPE!

 

 

8. Aidan drew a family portrait.

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It couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

 

 

Inhale. Hold. Exhale. Vent.

Before I have my vent, I just need to share a HUGE accomplishment of Aidan’s…

We went to our weekly Reading with Cooper session last night. Aidan read 20 pages of Dick and Jane. Yup, that’s right. 20!

I realize Dick and Jane doesn’t have much sustenance when it comes to comprehension and story flow. My intention wasn’t to test his comprehension of the story, but rather to teach Aidan to focus on the letters that make up the words. To take those letters and sound them out, combining the sounds until he is able to form the word.

This has been the highlight of my week. It’s what I’m holding onto to prevent myself from slipping into the abyss. That and the fact that we’re going to New Jersey from Friday until Monday. Translation, I’ll have a couple of days where I’m not raising 3 kids alone.

 

I was on the phone with the guidance counselor at Aidan’s school a total of 5 or 6 times this week. He’s still having some issues with one of his admirers. So much so that he had two meltdowns in two days, which is alarming because he hasn’t had a meltdown in quite some time.

Aidan is also having difficulty with his auditory processing. I have to repeat EVERYTHING. And I’m not talking one time. It’s more like 5.

I know it’s his auditory processing and not just him ignoring me. Don’t get me wrong, Aidan is capable and does ignore  me on occasion, but I know the difference between him choosing not to listen and not being able to.

His focus has also been lacking these past few weeks. He’s been very forgetful in certain areas, but hyper-focused in others.

Remembering to bring our sneakers inside so they don’t get rained on or inhabited by any kind of creature, lacking. Remembering mommy promised a special treat and reminding her every 2 seconds, not an issue.

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Leaving sneakers outside to get rained on creates more work for mom. It also means we have to base all of our outfits around brown sneakers until the black ones are dry.

 

Lincoln has had his share in causing frustration and stress.

He’s been lying. And is really good at it. Maybe not good as in me believing him. but good in the respect that he doesn’t break. Easily. And his responses are short and consistent.

Did you fart? It smells awful.
No.
Lincoln, it’s just you and me in the room. And I didn’t fart.
I didn’t part too.
Lincoln, seriously. Did you fart? I’m not upset. I just want you to tell me the truth.
I didn’t part.
This conversation went on for about 5 minutes before he told me the truth.

Who colored the glass door with marker? Lincoln, did you do that?
No. I didn’t.
Please don’t lie to me. No one else is here. Aidan is at school and Autumn is taking a nap. Did you color the door?
No.
Lincoln. Do. Not. Lie. To. Me.
he shakes his head and then starts to nod.
Well, you need to clean it off.

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He’s been aggressive towards his siblings, Autumn especially.

When you reprimand him, he laughs. I don’t know if it’s a nervous habit or a fuck you behavior.

 

Listening has not been one of his strengths lately.

I’ll just 1 instance.

I had to talk to the librarian after we finished reading with Cooper. Lincoln would not stay by me and was running around the library. I was soooooooooooo tempted to say that he if he didn’t stop, his running would wake up the troll that lived beneath the library. And that he would snatch him up as soon as we went outside and drag him underground and eat him for dinner.

Awful, right?

In this case the thought doesn’t count.

And I would never risk the chance of him having nightmares and being unable to sleep. NEVER. Because his sleep habits suck. Ass.

 

Oh, and you can pile the laundry and dishes and general keeping up of the house to all that.

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Stuff I found on the floor when “tidying” up. This is from 1 day.

 

Mix it all together and what you get?

My eyes will give it away EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

My eyes will give it away EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

 

 

 

 

 

The Other Mother

My husband and I met when Aidan when 7 months and married when he was 20 months old. This technically makes my husband Aidan’s stepfather. As far as Aidan knows, my husband is his Daddy.

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Aidan knows that he has 2 fathers, his daddy and the other one that shares his blood. I have never hid this from him.

Aidan’s biological father dropped out of the picture when he was 3 and re-entered around the 4 1/2 – 5 year old time frame (not too long ago). It’s a very long and complicated story, but Aidan’s bio-dad remarried. And with this marriage came a lot of resentment, directed towards me.

I have never initiated any conversation with this woman. The conversations that we have had have all been a disaster and initiated by her. Based off of these interactions with her, I can only assume her negative feelings towards me stem from the fact that I had a sexual relationship with her now husband that resulted in my getting pregnant and having a baby.

I have informed her that I have no intentions of ever getting back with Aidan’s biological father. I am married to another man. I have 3 children. My relationship with Aidan’s bio-dad ended at the end of April 2007. The only relationship we have, if you can even call it that, is one of communicating and sharing information regarding Aidan and visitations.

She doesn’t see it that way.

In fact, she is so hell bent on making my life as difficult as possible that she forged her husband’s signature and brought me to court. TWICE! The first time for a paternity test (Aidan was 4 1/2 – 5 y/o). The second was to accuse me of violating our court order by moving out of state without consent from Aidan’s bio-dad and to request that his child support be decreased.

How do I know she did this? Her husband, my son’s biological father, told me. And I believe him. I believe him because we had a conversation on the steps of my mother-in-law’s house about the move. I believe him because we had emailed about upcoming visits. I believe him because I know he would never do such a thing, it isn’t in his nature. And I know he respects me too much to do such a thing.

I had that court date on October 3rd. I attended over the phone. Aidan’s bio-dad withdrew the complaint regarding our move. We worked out the visitation schedule for the next year, including holidays. And then we moved onto the issue of child support…

The judge informed Aidan’s bio-dad that when the original child support statement was drafted, back in August 2008, he wasn’t working. This meant he was to pay the minimum amount of child support allowed by the court.

Fast forward to present day, and he has a job. Having a job means you’re making more money. Making more money means you should be paying more child support.

When asked if he still wanted a recalculation, he responded, “If your honor thinks I’m making out better with the current figures, then no”

The judge, bless her, informed him that every child has a right to the money they deserve.

Ms. ___________, would you like a recalculation?

I took a moment, thought about all the headaches his wife had given me. All the tears I’ve shed from her actions and words. I thought about why I was on the phone instead of at our Thursday morning library program. This woman was affecting my entire family.

Yes. Please.
Aidan has been asking to participate in several activities that we, quite frankly, cannot afford.

I’m assuming his facial expression caused this response from the judge. I can’t say because I wasn’t physically there. But the judge asked if she could make a suggestion.

By all means.

What if, Ms. _____________, Mr. _____________ pays for 2/3’s of all activities and sports Aidan is registered for.

Sounds good.

Also, what if we put Aidan on Mr. __________’s medical insurance. He works for the state and receives excellent coverage.

Absolutely.

In addition, what if he had to pay 2/3’s of all out of pocket medical expenses.

I would agree to that.

 

The conversations in the house this week have been going a little something like this…

Mom, can I do gymnastics?
Sure, I’ll look into it.

Mom, can I try out ice skating lessons this winter?
Ice skating? Why not.

Mom, I want to do basketball.
I’ll get you registered as soon as I can.

Oh, Aidan, would you like to learn piano?

 

Karma is a mother fucking bitch.