Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I'm Walking

It's like I can almost see the way my life WOULD be.

I would be huge. So uncomfortable, and so hot. I'd be having contractions all the time, as my uterus would be protesting doing this AGAIN.

We'd be preparing for guests, for a new baby. The boys would be asking when the baby was going to come. Miriam would be patting my huge belly and saying. "Baby, tum ow?"

I'd be washing newborn clothes and marveling at their tininess.

I'd be worried about labor, could I do it again?

I'd be telling Derek that I didn't think I could do it again.

And he'd be patiently telling me that I could.

I'd be stressing about the kids, the animals, the house... everything.

In just four days, our baby would be born. My babies are USUALLY predictable after all.

****

Rather than things being as they would have been, my baby was born on cold February morning, in a cold ER, much too soon.

Nothing is as I thought it would be.

I'm here. Healthy. Happy.

And my baby isn't.

There are no tiny clothes awaiting an occupant.

The kids never even knew that George was coming. We were waiting until we found out the gender. Then after, it seemed cruel to tell them. So we didn't. I'm sure we will. Just not yet.

Life carries on completely normally.

I'm different, of course. Not in the way that I would have been should I have carried my sixth baby to term. I'm different in ways that can't come from joy.

I panic often because I'm missing one. When I head count in public, and there are only five, I think, "I'm missing one!" I've even said it out loud. Henry, my smart boy is quick, "No, Mom, we're all here, see? Five!"

Yes. All five.

Even though the circumstances SUCK, I can't quite think that I can wish it undone. Oh, don't get me wrong. I'd give up several toes to still have him with us. But, the Lord does compensate. Where my baby has gone, new friends cropped up. And they've blessed and supported in beautiful ways.

My family and friends have cared so thoroughly, so generously that it makes me cry.

I still ache. There are days and hours and minutes when I am breathless with it. When friends announce pregnancies, when new babies are born, I am so happy and joyful for them, and my throat tightens, and my eyes water, against my will.

For the most part though, I'm great! We're all great. It just hits on occasion. Every day, a little.

It's bizarre. Happy, and grateful. And sad.

I'm a walking contradiction.

But I still walk.







Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer so far...

Summer is in full swing. VERY full swing. It's fun, it's sandy, it's warm and sunny, and thunderstormy, all of the above.

My house is a mess. Like crud on every surface. Ridiculous. But really, with running off to swim nearly every day, who has time to clean??? Not me. My kids either.

So, we're washing laundry, and dish-doing sort of as we go. I'm learning to accept that a messy house with large amounts of people and small amounts of time to clean. It's just going to be that way.

We're dog-sitting for a few weeks. This means we have three dogs running around. None of them is small. It's a lot of dog. The kids love the endless energy of the lab who's come to visit, and so we spend a lot of tiime outside when we COULD be cleaning.

Or watching a movie in the afternoon when it just gets too hot.

I'm clinging to my summer. It won't last long, which is, I suppose, part of why we love it so. New Hampshire is pretty amazing here summer. We can't get enough. Soon, the leaves will be changing and we'll  be hunkering down for another long, hard winter. But in the meantime, we're going to love the crap outta summer.

Oh yes, we are.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Catch-Up Post... a Month's Worth

I am grateful for airplanes.

Oh so grateful.

^^^Airplane naps! Yay! Makes the time pass much faster. ^^^

There was definite beauty in starting your day in your own bed and ending it at your final destination. 

Road trips. Blah! 

At least with five kids. 


^^^Watching a movie also helps.^^^

I am also grateful for technology that occupies my children whilst flying through the air at the 500 mph across the country. 

I am super thankful for anti-nausea meds. You see, I don't like being puked on. I forgot to give Miriam hers and didn't remember until she horfed all over me, then it was too late. 

And Miss Pukey-Pants did not appreciate me holding a barf bag in front of her face. 

Did I mention that we were on the runway? BEFORE TAKE OFF. 

Yeah, awesome. 

BUT puking aside, we had a wonderful family vacation in Salt Lake with dear family and friends we love like family. 


^^^Lunch with friends!^^^


^^^All the cousins on my side of the family, going to the dollar movie. The most fun ever! We took up an entire row!^^^


We came home exhausted and happy to have been there. We were also sad to have to come back so soon. Who knew a week simply wouldn't be long enough? 

But coming home was also oh so good. Driving back home from the airport, on my winding, bumpy roads, with sunlight filtering through hundreds of trees, I was struck with how totally awesome New Hampshire is, especially in the summertime. 



^^^No filter dudes. The sky really looks like that here.^^^

The animals were happy to see us. Seriously, Jonah liked every inch of me. GROSS. The chickens welcomed us home with a huge stash of eggs they had hidden from the pet-sitters. Spencer found them. 

^^^Weird egg. I love having chickens.^^^

Derek stayed in Utah for some extra days due to work so it was just me and the littles on the plane ride home and for the rest of the week. We spent it recovering from travel, by enjoying the sunshine and doing almost nothing. We had a hike and picnic in our backyard. 


^^^Right in our own backyard. Well, techinically it's the neighbor's yard, but whatever.^^^




^^^Picnic!^^^


^^^He kills me with the cute!^^^


^^^What is with her eyeball? No idea^^^


^^^Anytime I'd stop walking she'd smack me on the back and yell, "Go Mommy, go!" ^^^

Now, we're onto swimming lessons and freezing our tushies off at the lake. It's the BEST. Sand in all the places! 

We love it. Can't even lie. 

^^^Sand, everywhere. The big boys don't come in for towel time, making getting a picture of them difficult.^^^


^^^When their lips turn blue, I gotta make them sit out for a minute.^^^


^^^You can't see it, but he was visibly shivering during his lessons. His lips were blue. I worry about hypothermia, I really do.^^^

I love LOVE summer here. It very nearly makes up for the hideousness that is winter. It is warm, and green, and lush and incredible. I am so blessed. WE are so blessed. 

Happy Summer! 




Friday, May 30, 2014

In the Waiting Place

You can't imagine how bizarre it is: to have five living children, and yet be hanging out in the "infertility wing" of the OBGYN office. 

It's completely surreal. 

And yet, since I've had three miscarriages in a row (yes, another one, in April, it sucked), that is the title that I suppose I've earned. 

Infertile? The girl who can get pregnant no problem but can't seem to stay that way. 

So, two weeks ago, that is exactly where I found myself. Telling the stories of my last year to a lovely stranger, who ordered all kinds of tests. 

As someone who's had four total miscarriages but five living children, I am to considered an out-lier. The questions abound, the explanations slim (so far everything has come back "normal"), and the real wonderment is, did I get unlucky four times or did I get lucky five times? 

I feel pretty helpless in all this. 

I'm constantly questioning my own feelings. Are we done, and I just missed the memo? Should I never have been able to have the ones I do have? Should I stop trying and just count my blessings? Are we going to be blessed with another baby? Ever? Am I pushing too hard? Am I wrong to want another when we're so blessed already? 

The nights are long when  I can't sleep and am left to contemplate my own freedom of choice verses biology, verses God's will, verses righteous desire, verses worry that something is really very wrong. 

It's tiresome. 

It's all day. 

Every day. 

I am coming to accept the very real possibility that Miriam is my last and final. I squeeze her tighter just for the thought. 

I am fighting the temptation to just say "forget it! I'm done." I don't want to make that decision based on fear. I don't want to make THAT decision at all. 

I did not want this. Good heavens, who would? But we don't get to choose our trials. We don't get to decide how we'll be tested, or when, or for how long. 

All of this is pretty out of my control. I'm doing what I can, eating healthy, exercising, trying to find answers. 

Ultimately though, it's just a waiting game. 

A painful one. 


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Long Time No Blog

Howdy. Derek reminded me kindly that I hadn't blogged in forever. It's NOT MY FAULT. I got locked out of one computer, another was exploded by a child with a metal spoon and an outlet (I'm not naming names, but his name is Spencer) and the other is soooo slow it makes me want to cry. 

But, now, I'm not locked out of a computer, and Derek bought me a replacement that is shipping as we speak for the one exploded by that aforementioned (but not named) child, who's name is Spencer. 

Busy was May, busy indeed. 

We found a new park. which is so so super fun, we went two days in a row. :) 




My sister, Erin and one of my dearest, oldest (as in known-the-longest) and bestest friends, Maren came to town, and we hit it up Girls-night-style in Boston. It was AMAZING, so much fun, but also, it was enlightening to realize and see how much we've all grown over the last thirteen years. We are wise, seasoned, experienced women who have a lot to offer the world and one another. It was just kind of cool to see how we really are grown-ups. WEIRD. 



Our town, oh how I love it, hosts a SPRING GALA every May, complete with five minute parade. This was during the karate demonstration. Henry is in there somewhere. 



Henry marching in the five minute parade. 


I don't really know what Oliver was doing here, other than eating an apple?? 


Hail. LOTS of it. It kills my pansies. 


Bubbles! 


Lawn Care. *Sigh* I miss the goats a bit. 


The boys all went on the Father-Son Campout and so Miriam and I had fun get-together with some girl friends. Miriam experienced her FIRST MANI/PEDI and was hilarious how much she loved it. She was so excited!!



So, there is May. It was mostly a good month, filled with regular moments and fun sprinkled throughout. Pretty much just life. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Vacay!

I've been on a vacay of sorts. My awesome sister graduated from college and that meant that serious celebration was necessary. We're headed as a family to Utah next month, so instead of loading folks up, I just kinda hopped on an airplane, after kissing my people good-bye, and went.

Just like that.

Derek didn't even flinch when I headed out the door for basically five days. Please understand, I left ALLLLL of my children with him.

Amazing man, he is.

My goodness, he is amazing.

And so, I flew, and played, and talked my face off, celebrated a birthday, ate naughty food, went to the gym (once) and didn't sleep anywhere near enough to really call it "relaxing", and there was graduation in there too (with mathcing t-shirts!!). It was so good.


And by the end, I was nearly crawling out of my skin with the need to get home. Oh, it was such a great weekend, but then, I needed my babies, my husband, my chicks and ducks, dogs, cats, and everything in between.

I was so relieved to cross the threshold of MY house, my place. And Miriam celebrated by not sleeping all night, cut down with an ear infection.

Things have been majorly crazy since I got home, but I'm so grateful. I'm grateful to be home, grateful for generous family members who BOUGHT MY DANG PLANE TICKET, and mostly for my husband (did I mention his amazing-ness) that allowed to me to be worry-free the whole time.

Heavens. Life is good. I have trouble remembering that more latey than ever before, but I was well-reminded this weekend.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

To the Coast

I still owe myself an Easter post but I really don't have that many pictures from Easter. I think Derek took most of them.

Anyway, Derek had a rare Saturday off last week, and rather than stay home and do yard work like we should have, we loaded up and headed east to the coast. It was just what we needed.

We ended up at the Sea Coast Science Center which is right on the water, full of hands-on exhibits for the kids, and a playground, with tons of places to walk. I only wish we could have stayed longer.










Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April in Pictures

April is being WONDERFUL here in New Hampshire. Lovely. Warm, windy, cool, sunny, cloudy, rainy, just delightful. Finally, after months of weather that only allowed short trips outside, it's all day, every day outside play. We get school done by 10am, hit the gym quick so Mommy doesn't lose her mind, then the rest is done here and there while we play.

Oh it's nice.



(Neighbor ducks who LOVE our yard because we have lots of running water.)

We added four little Rouen ducks to our flock. They are basically domesticated mallards who don't migrate and can't really fly. The babies are INSANELY cute, and we are hopeful that at least one of them will be a female for the eggs. But we are enjoying their extreme excitablity. They are SO SO SO cute.


See? ADORABLE!

My garden is blossoming a bit in a tiny little green house of sorts. I can't wait until the frost danger is past and we can put them in the ground!





My chicken-ladies are hard-workers turning soil, looking for anything that wriggles. They DO NOT appreciate the neighbor ducks and run those giant cowards off at any given opportunity.



My goodness. This little girl wants to be outside just as much as her brothers. Since she can't be out without supervision, LESS gets done inside the house. But truly, when she brings me her little tiny boots and begs for "owsigh" I can NOT say no.



What happens when we takes "selfies":


We are awesome like that.

April: Keep up the good work.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Oliver, who is now FIVE



Oliver, my funny boy had his birthday today. So, as we are wont to do, we celebrated a bit yesterday with a trip to the bowling alley. It was ALLLLL he wanted to do.



We have learned that here in New Hampshire (and perhaps all of New England), traditional bowling with large balls of varying weight, and pins that are fatter on bottom than on top (you know, normal bowling) simply DOES NOT EXIST.



Instead, everywhere has "candlestick bowling". There are ten skinny, uniform-shaped pins, and little balls, that all weigh about 5 pounds. That is your only option. Then everyone gets THREE tries per frame. It was a blast and super weird from what we were used to. But the smaller balls were perfect for the kids.





Even Miriam loved it and had a hard time when it wasn't her turn.



We did the traditional birthday celebrating today. A few presents.





It is hard when it's not your birthday.



Throughout the day, Oliver kept saying "thank you" for his birthday gifts. That was super cute.



Oliver wanted to pancakes for dinner, so Derek whipped them up easy peasy.


Then today, he wanted a bowling cake. (WHY bowling? I excepted "chocolate" or "strawberry" and he says "BOWLING". It's Oliver. I should have known.)





Happy Birthday to Oliver.

At five years old he:
is skinny. He is ALWAYS hungry.
is smart and excited to learn.
loves to "do school" and play outside.
loves playing dress-up.
loves "dip" of all kinds.
screeches like a banshee when his brothers cross him.
learning to be helpful.

We are grateful for him and that he is in our family!


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