Sunday, March 22, 2009

Benjamin has the most beautiful brown eyes that he got from his Grandma Mair. He's sending you gamma rays as well.
Stuart was sad about the photo shoot but I love his rectangle mouth when he cries.
It is so cute and he's a sensitive one--so I'm very familiar with the shapes of sadness. Trying...Paige climbed in bed with me the other morning. When I rolled over to get up, my shirt slipped up a bit. While pointing to my bare mid section she asked, "Mommy, where you get those stripes?" I replied, "You." She giggled. "Hey Paige, where you get these stripes?"

Confession: This cute suit is actually from the Mod Zebra line 2004 from Gymboree--now ask me why my brain is filled with useless info like that. Go on and ask.....Well I'll spill. I was a little obsessed with coordination when Addie was about 2 years old--the hair accessories that match the shirt, pants, sweater, socks, shoes, purse. Gymboree is the best for the head-to-toe look. So I bought with plans to resell... I would be an eBay queen and turn a profit while my darling was dressed to the nines!

Reality: I didn't ever start selling because I could only stand to buy clearance and I had more babies. More babies equal more happiness but also, a lot less time to wash, rotate, shop, line dry and follow the resell market... And what a relief.

Now some notes on kids clothes.

1. Kids are adorable no matter what they wear--I knew this from the start but I was a little on the thicker side after bearing my first. I didn't like to buy clothes for me so I just bought for Addie.
2. All children's clothing equaled out about two years ago--It's true--I used to be able to see a difference in clothing bought at the mall compared to big box stores but quality wise, I swear it's all the same now. Cute stuff at the Wal-marts, cute stuff at the outlets, cute stuff at the mall. And it all lasts for about 1 1/2 kids.
3. Get this...Customs [home sewn clothes] are going for big bucks. Now I just can't get into this scene- It's cute--but is it? $99 for a suit of jeans with applique and ruffles? Kind of clowny in my honest opinion. Click on her other auctions--I dare ya. Addie would love it all. Maybe you do too.....
4. I still shop and take the role of wardrobe manager seriously, but I'm not competent. I can't stand to buy stuff that is not fun to buy, like: socks, underwear, boots, athletic shoes, --so I don't and I hear: "There is nothing to wear...."

This little kid post with the Paige dialogue took a hard left--let me see if I can correct it--To any of you that do not have leftover stripes as a reminder of pregnancy bliss, you can have Paige's Mod Zebra suit next year, it's a 2T, and it still has some resell value ;)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wishing Vanessa A Happy Birthday

"Hey Vanessa, Happy Birthday! Let me open this huge kiss for you...."
It looks well wrapped...
Its entire foil goodness...
Will it really be a chocolate kiss inside?
Oooo-baby-- Chocolate jackpot!
I'll taste it for you--to see if it's any good.
The yellow teeth confirm deliciousness.
Happy Birthday Vanessa!

I took these pictures on Valentine's day with scrapbook/blogging intentions--errr it's now St. Patrick's Day. Today is my fabulous sister, Vanessa's, birthday so: Vanessa--Here's a birthday kiss from Addie!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Follow up and thank you!

Thank you all for the wonderful comments on the "Charlotte post". They were such a support as they trickled in during the day and so nice to read.Here's a big thank you to whoever you are that remembered and brought pink balloons last Tuesday. It was the nicest surprise to finish up preschool, walk the kids out, and see them--just tied to the garage banister. Parents asked--and I got to tell many that don't know--all about it. And maybe you knew but we always release balloons at the cemetery, so we let them go.
We've had this tradition since the first anniversary, to release balloons on her birthday and this year it was really cool. Eight of them--and with my parents at the cemetery, and on Stuart's que--we let them go. It was very cool.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Charlotte Jane

Do you remember?

Maybe you didn't know me back then?

If you haven't heard the story--I'll tell it again.

I was pregnant with a little girl and had picked the name Charlotte--kind of after my dad, Charles, but really I just loved the name. It was my first pregnancy and I had made it to the day I had longed for--Friday, March 2nd and saying goodbye to the 4th graders at Monte Vista Elementary. Honestly I was exhausted, and as much as I loved teaching, I was ready to have a baby. Really, I had had 5 baby showers, and I had worn stretch pants for 3 solid months. I was ready! My due date was Tuesday, the 6th, but I had felt movement and contractions all day and figured she was coming soon.Rebecca, Me and Amy on that last day.

On the way home from work I stopped at Target and bought yellow pajamas and a bag of peanut butter M&Ms. That night we hung shelves and set up the crib.

Sleep was tough until about 3am; she was just so active. She finally fell asleep around then and gratefully so did I. I woke up the next morning and found James in the spare bed--"I think we should have this baby today", I told him. He smiled, he had had a good night's rest.

The contractions were sporadic but they felt like the real deal so after breakfast I called the doctor. He asked if I had felt her move. I thought and --well last night I had but this morning I'd been having contractions on and off and I just hadn't been paying attention. He suggested coming in to see how things were.

On the drive over I honestly felt like everything was fine. The first nurse that came in started seaching for a heart beat. She didn't say much but left to get an ultrasound machine. We asked why and she replied, "I can't seem to find the heartbeat."

I still really wasn't all that worried. I was huge--I was in labor, or some form of it anyway. I had been pregnant for eeeeeever and I had felt her so much the night before. No heartbeat? Well that must mean... She went to get the doctor on call and when he came in--I knew.

A baby...where was she? I had felt her spirit so close the few days before--Where had she gone? This scripture from the Book of Mormon popped into my head, ...that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body,.... are taken home to that God who gave them life, Mosiah 40:11. I knew where she was now.

On the ultra sound machine the doctor showed us her little chest cavity that was white. Where the blood had pooled and where the heartbeat usually is. I was in shock and my blood pressure dropped. I hadn't felt a contraction for a while. I looked up in tears. "Are you going to send me home? I don't think I can go home." They assured me that they wouldn't be sending me home but that they would induce me as soon as I was a little more stable.

I'd have to deliver?...ugh.

This is going to be really hard...

With no baby in the end--oh it hardly seems worth it...We knew we had to call our parents. We waited a long time--if we told anyone it would be real. I felt such sadness and failure. Failure was the most puzzling emotion I could have felt, and yet it was most intense. I could not have prevented what had happened. I went over and over in my mind how this could have been my fault and I knew it wasn't but I still felt like I had let Charlotte down--like I had let everyone down.

Her birth was climactic in the fact that we got to see her. This beautiful little girl with wisps of strawberry blond hair, who had passed this life's test. Anticlimactic because I was really pulling for a miracle. No such luck. Around 10:00 pm she was born, 7 pounds 10 ounces of baby--really real and very still. It was an extremely emotional moment. Even the doctor was crying.
We took a bunch of pictures, blessed her and fell asleep. And truly the hardest part was around 4am, when we woke for the mortuary to take her. She had only been held and then cradled in bed with me up until then. We handed her over to a complete stranger. Then we really cried.
The next three days were a blur. I remember leaving the hospital with many things--but no baby. Very hard. When we got home--we just shut the door to the nursery and it was a while before I could go in there. I do remember my grandfather giving a wonderful talk at her funeral--it had a great theme--hope and more children. It was really warm that day and at the cemetery, I remember kids playing. James was the lone pallbearer and carried the pink casket himself.
The doctor called sometime in that time with some results. Because there was a lot of blood in the amniotic fluid--it's possible that a placental abrubtion occurred but that's associated with pain and bleeding and I didn't experience any of that. Also the placenta was a little swollen which can be a sign of infection but they really couldn't tell.

Now the miracles. We really felt carried through the whole ordeal and for a long time after. We had so much support; family, friends, students, co-workers, that gave us phone calls, meals, letters, momentos, visits, flowers, and lots of prayer. We could feel it; it's one of the ways we made it through. That and time.

For weeks and months I'd be jealous of those who had been through a death, but, had time on their side. It wasn't the first thing they thought of getting out of bed in the morning, the only thing they thought of during the day and the ceaseless dreams that filled their nights. Now I rise, think and sleep with my thoughts at peace.

I now have time on my side.

Eight years.

I still think about her and what happened. This blog post has been somewhat cathartic reliving it all and wondering how I ever did such a hard thing. It seems sometimes that it was yesterday and other times that it was a whole lifetime ago. We have been immensely blessed since. We have a beautiful family now. Eight years ago I could not picture the future--it seemed full of holes and hopeless--but time has worked it's miracle. I have babies now--that are growing up really fast.

Adelaide and Benjamin are always remembering Charlotte and reminding me (and total strangers too) that there are really seven in our family.
Happy Birthday Charlotte Jane!