Thursday, May 31, 2012

Prayer Request

I’m requesting a little prayer and all the pleasant thoughts you can muster.  My sweet grandmother was admitted to the hospital late Monday night.  We were all at my parents’ house for a visit and she had been having a lot of hip/leg pain.  It finally just got to be too much for her to bear and we called the ambulance.  She was taken to the hospital and it was found that she had a broken femur.  The worst part is that she didn’t fall and break it.  It broke on its own.  This is bothersome because it actually has been discovered that it broke at a tumor.  So, not only has she had to endure the surgery to repair a broken femur (placed rod and screws), but the potential for a cancer diagnosis. 

It’s just hard to see someone you love suffer.  She’s a trooper though and is remaining in high spirits.

More updates as they come available.

Thanks everyone! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012


I opened my email today and saw this:

It’s the very essence of the happy/sad balance of missing Caroline and loving the life we have with Addalee.  I have tried everything to stop the emails, notifications, coupons, etc. for Caroline.  For some reason, it just won’t stop.  (Similac also thinks that I’m 22 weeks pregnant right now.  Weird.)  So, each month, I get another set of emails.  One for the sweet girl we have in heaven and one for the sweet girl in our arms.  Bittersweet. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I’m a stay at home mom.  It’s a pretty sweet gig, I must admit.  I can’t imagine having to have left Addalee as a little tiny thing with someone each day and go to work.  So I count it a big blessing that I’ve been able to stay here.  It’s a tough job sometimes, but the hard work is well worth it.

Since I am here with her all the time, Addalee really hasn’t spent much time away from me.  I go to a support group once a month, for about 3 hours each time.  Other than that, I’m pretty much just  a cry away.  A little while back, I noticed how excited she was when her Daddy came home from work.  It was really pretty precious, really.  That sheer joy. 

Well, that preciousness is starting to rub off a bit for me.  See, that girl really only wants her Daddy.  If he’s around, she wants him to hold her, him to play with her, etc.  I’m just kind of there.  You know, the person who does EVERYTHING for her?!  If I reach for her, she turns her back to me and holds on to him!  I mean, she’ll talk to me and giggle with me, but would rather be in his arms.  At first I just brushed it off, but it actually is hurting my feelings a little bit.  Maybe that’s lame.  But it is what it is.  I’ve heard the “Daddy’s girl” thing, but I guess I just expected it not to be so evident!

I feel a little silly even putting this out there, but it’s what’s on my mind right now.  I’m really hoping this is just a phase and she levels back out.  If it’s not, it’s not.  But I can hope, right?

Speaking of Addalee…she’s 9 months old today!  MY GOODNESS!  Where has the time gone?!?!  Next time I turn around, she’s going to be a year old.  I can’t believe it.  Insanity!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

This Mother's Day

This year was very different from last year.  There was a “Happy Mother’s Day” card from a little girl.  The second little girl, but the first card.  We shared the day as a family, and I felt loved and appreciated. 

I still haven’t quite gotten the hang of Mother’s Day.  And it’s partly because I really don’t like it much.  I wonder how I’ll feel about it years down the road.  Will I still get that ache because I know who is missing, and how she was the first to make me a mother?  Will I still feel those tears behind my cheesy picture smile?  The answer, probably.

We went to some yard sales (don’t judge me…they’re pretty great.  I scored an almost new $30 salad spinner for 50 cents!  But I digress…….) because it’s something that we enjoy doing as a family.  Addalee loves to get out of the house and meet and greet.  She’s a very social baby.  Anyway, we found a sale with some pretty awesome baby girl stuff.  There were cute (probably never worn) outfits, toys, shoes, games, etc. as far as the eye could see. 

“Oh, you’ve come to the right place!  We’ve got tons of little girl stuff!”  the sale-er said to me. 

Smile and nod and juggle Addie while she wants to get into everything. 

Then she said, “How old is she?” 

“8 months.”

“We have a 19 month old.”

My heart sank.  19 months.  That’s dangerously close to the 18 months that Caroline would be. 

Then out walks this cute little (or not so little) girl, with blond hair…I honestly lost my breath for a second.  See, I have really tried NOT to keep up with what babies Caroline’s age would be doing.  I don’t want to know what their stages are.  I don’t want to know if they’re talking, or running, or picking up baseball bats like this little girl.  Caroline is still a tiny newborn baby in my mind, because that’s all we were able to have with her.  So, as messed up as it is, all 18 month old babies should still be babies.  I know that this is not reality, so most of the time, I just block them out.  It’s not perfect, but it’s my system, and it’s worked fairly well.

That was a little rough, but shortly after, we went to another sale.  The family had a van with a sticker that was in loving memory of their daughter who only lived 8 days.  When I saw the sticker, immediately my heart broke for the family.  Then I looked a little closer, their baby girl was born a few days before Addalee and died a few days later.  My baby was their dreaded see-that-baby-and-what-it’s-doing baby.  Ugh.  We ended up talking to that family for a little while.  Both sets of parents, with tear-filled eyes, stood sharing about our little girls, and our lives, and our blessings, (they have 2 living sons)  on a dreary Saturday before Mother’s Day.

The weather here on Mother’s Day was yucky…all rainy and sad.  There were smiles and love in the house, some tears yes, but so many more smiles than last year.  And I’ll take what I can get!
I hope that each and every one of you had a gentle Mother’s Day.  Know that I was thinking of you all!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mother's Day...And a Card Idea!

It’s that time of year again.  Sappy commercials and brightly colored store displays tell me it’s Mother’s Day again.  Ugh.  Now, don’t get me wrong…I’m a huge fan of my mom and grandmothers.  But I could really just skip Mother’s Day altogether.  I’m sure (read hoping) this year will be better, at least a little bit, but I’m still sad thinking of not having Caroline here.  I’m also terrified that someone will wish me a happy first Mother’s Day.  Yeah, thanks…not so much.

I’m sharing a little idea with you today that I think is neat for a few reasons.  First and foremost, I don’t have to stand in the store and shop for a card (and cry).  Second, I think homemade things are more special.  Third, being a one income family now, it’s nice to save money wherever we can.  And cards can get expensive.  So, here it is:  How to make a flower seed paper card.  These are pretty rad because you can actually plant the paper and flowers will grow!  A card AND flowers, see, rad!

First, gather your supplies:
  • Scraps of construction paper
  • Packets of flower seeds (I used Impatience and Forget-Me-Nots for 2 separate batches)
  • Water
  • Blender or Food Processor
  • Colander
  • Paper Towels
  • Any card making supplies you would like

Rip the construction paper into small pieces

Place paper in blender (or food processor) and add enough water to just cover the paper

Blend until mostly smooth - this WILL smell just like kindergarten!

Gently stir flower seed packet into mixture

Pour mixture into colander and allow water to drain.  I found it helpful to press some of the water out…but be gentle.  You don’t want to lose paper or seeds through the colander.

Transfer mixture onto paper towels and press into a thin layer.  Place another layer of paper towels on top to help wick away moisture.  Allow to dry overnight or until completely dry.  Mine took about 24 hours.

Finally, just create and decorate a card however you want.  Cut flower paper into design and tape or glue onto front of card.

Now, you’ve got a pretty card to give your mom!  Yay!

Happy Mother's Day to all my special friends.  I will be thinking of you all and saying a prayer for all of those who have to endure a Mother's Day without their precious ones.  

***** Edited to clarify *****
You plant the paper that you made/dried.  Just pull off the design that you cut out, plant, water, and wait! :)

And I would LOVE to see your cards.  Send me pictures of your completed cards!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Balance

I signed in to check in and catch up on reading some other blogs before I wrote my post.  I was thinking of all the things going on in my life, then I saw something that truly stopped me in my tracks.  I’m sure some of you know Becky, and have followed her pregnancy with their rainbow baby, Evelynn.  Sadly, beautiful Evelynn passed away only 2 days after her birth.  I did not have the pleasure of knowing Becky until reading of her sad news, but my heart breaks for her and her family.  To think that something this terrible can happen once is a nightmare.  But to think that it could ever, EVER happen to the same family more than once is really too awful for words.  Please remember their family in your thoughts and prayers. 

Things in my little corner of the word are going as smoothly as can be expected.  We’ve been super busy and that can make things hectic.  Addalee is cutting her first tooth, and that’s making me feel all sorts of things that I’m not completely sure how to balance.  I’m thrilled that she’s growing as she should be, but sad to see that big toothless grin go away.  Then there’s the more complex side of the emotion.  Getting teeth – it’s a milestone.  Milestones make me think of the girl that isn’t here.  Milestones make me realize what we missed out on with Caroline.

I’m not completely sure how to balance the joys of raising Addalee with the pain and sadness of missing Caroline.  I’m not even sure how to balance it here on this blog.  I mean, to most of the world, I just smile and beam about all the wonderful things in my life, never really letting the sadness out.  But behind closed doors, sometimes in the dark of night, I cry, I weep, I ache for the daughter that I had to let go.  I don’t know if I should talk about all the awesome things going on with Addalee (partly for fear of seeming insensitive to any mothers (or fathers) that haven’t been able to have their rainbow babies (see story above)), or if I should kind of leave her out of this blog.  The thing is, she’s a huge part of my life, just as Caroline continues to be.  I know I can, in theory, use this space to say anything I want, but I would hate to think of hurting someone’s already broken feelings.  So yeah, I don’t know how to balance it.  Not in real life, not in blog life.  You'd think that I'd have it at least kind of figured out by now.