Friday, May 8, 2009

Is it a Vase, no It's a Hat!

We have these 2 fun little items at our house.


We bought them at the Pretzel Festival the year we made the move to Southern Ohio (1999). Tiffany and I had come to "check out" the town and it happened to be on a weekend that they were having their annual festival. At first glance they look like vases don't they? Imagine our surprise when the guy in the booth called us over to show us these cardboard "vases". Yep, that's right corrugated cardboard, hmmmm not sounding like a vase anymore is it? Well if you look at the next photos you will see that not only are they not vases but, they are very sturdy and have lasted through 4 kids going on the 5th.






We haven't heard of them since we saw them that day but I have decided it was one of the best 15.00 I have spent on the kids. The hats open to all sizes so from little person to adult they are a perfect fit! They have spent literally hours in these fun functional hats...... Funky Fudoras 2 hats in one.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Not Me Monday...... It's back!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Well, let me start by saying that I did NOT miss the Not Me Mondy fun over the last several weeks while we all rode along with Mckmama on her journey with Stellan. Sitting in anticipation while my computer loaded everyday to see how he was. I sogned up for Twitter even though I only "tweet" to 2 people but I could keep tabs on the little guy that way. I also did NOT break my own goal of posting at least 3 times a week in the year 2009. I mean really how hard should it be to post just 3 times in 7 days or just under 170 hours........... but I seem to be caught in the latest Face Book obsession thanks to Nancy, my good friend from our IVF board. I DO Face Book you see..... (NOT). I don't have time to see when people are running to the store or fixing their meals. I do NOT stay in the real world! Feet firmly planted in the REAL! That is why Farm Town is such a normal thing for me, building, planting, running a virtual farm..... yea right that would be me for sure!?!? Like I do NOT have enough to do here at our REAL farm. But you see I have figured it out, the catchy little tune is hypnotic and it does NOT draw you in and bring you back again and again into the addiction. I have all but stopped cleaning and laundry here at the real house..... okay okay so I didn't have a great handle on it before but REALLY now I seem to log on to "check" my farm and work for others a lot! If I REALLY worked for REAL money we would NOT have a fat little piggy bank!
I have also finally understood the "you will never stop smoking till you are ready theory...... even though I know I should be more productive in the REAL world, I don't want to be! Blissfully planting, picking, selling, and yes even begging for jobs in too fun! SO, if you have many many mindless hours that you need to fill, just sign on to Face Book and click into Farm Town, your Dream farm is waiting for you too!!!

I did NOT this week make a plan to have all the organizing done for Spring only to throw those plans out the window due to time issues...... hmmmmm there it is that lack of time thing again. Maybe we should just MOVE TO Farm Town, it seems to be much more organized than home!

We did NOT get a bottle of gel and make the boys Faux-hawks this week. Taylor's seemed to just fall over into ringlets because his hair is NOT like his Mom's as far as the body goes. When he was little he used to smile and say "I love my turls". Logan however got a pretty good spike going.

We are not gearing up for a Granny visit this weekend. The last time Mom came both she and Courtney came for 4 days!! We did NOT run from store to store to restaurant the whole time they were here. Nope NOT us, the fun lasted so long that dinner did NOT happen till about 8:30 every night. I would never allow that kind of schedule mix-up with the kids. My Mom AKA Super Granny did NOT also buy overly expensive tennis shoes for all the kids while she was here. Nope, she would never indulge the kids like that. The kids do NOT think she is the BEST Granny hands down. It was NOT the best time ever. This time however just Granny is coming Courtney is NOT going to be hard at work studying for finals.... (she better be!)

We did NOT cook a 24lb. turkey and then bone it and cook it some more and turn it into 6 containers of quick meals for the warm weather so I am able to be with the kids and still serve REAL meals.

We did NOT put the trampoline up the day Courtney got here and now have the blackest socks in the neighborhood. No way, my kids would NEVER want to get so dirty.

I did NOT get so aggravated with the neighbors dog that I drove her home 3 times on Saturday and finally put her into her pen and lock the door so the kids could play and walk the llamas without them all being scared by BEAR the neighbors dog. She also did NOT puncture 2 balls and shred 1 frisbee. That would never happen since she is the neighbors dog and they do NOT allow her to be at our house more than theirs!

I did NOT put all of Kendall's size 2 shoes in the container. She is finally wearing a size 3 now, she is NOT also finally in a 12 month clothes size at least most of the time. After all she is only 20 1/2 months old now.

I did NOT feel so tired that I just couldn't make myself upload the pictures to go with this post. After all it was after 4 a.m. when I put down my hoe, long day on the Farm Town farm! I MUST have this ready for the BIG race in the morning with MckMama so the pictures will again come later.........

Friday, May 1, 2009

part 2 from history.......

Early June we got in the car and headed to the hospital for our level II pink or blue scan. This is always a highlight of pregnancy for both Tim and I. When they ask the question "Do you want to know the sex of the baby?" We always about trip over each other yelling YES! This scan is really not for pink or blue but would look for abnormalities and give a good picture of our baby. We just really wanted to know pink or blue, there had never even been the hint of trouble. There was no fear in my mind and no doubt that our baby was fine. After the miracle of getting pregnant, and then being sick for SO long again, enduring IV hook-up for months. I was so sure God was giving us this gift to have and to hold forever. Once we got there they got us situated and the tech happily got the scan underway. The scan started and we immediately saw this our baby dancing and twirling. She was so active the tech commented that she was giving her a run for her money. I commented that I was dissapointed that we couldn't have a cool 4D scan to really SEE our baby. She smiled, poked a button and there on the screen was the cutest baby I had every seen. The tech explained she wasn't very cute yet because she didn't have a lot of fat on her but I was in love with the little alien. Oh and we found out our baby was indeed a girl!! God again blessed us! We were thrilled and I thought to myself “this must be what it feels like to win the lottery”. Then the doctor came in and they told us that he would be checking everything and he would mumble a lot and not to worry. Of course hearing that made me even a bit more determined to hear what he was mumbling. Now I wonder if the tech clued him in before he got there. He was a great mumbler, I couldn't understand anything he said. The next words we told us after he finished were burned into my brain forever. ..... “Everything looks fine BUT”..................... BUT!?!?!? My mind started reeling and I couldn’t breathe or think. He continued to speak..... “her heart”. My sweet little girl had a heart problem I caught my composer as the tears started to roll down my cheeks and we listened carefully to him speak. He recommended that we get an amnio and go for bloodtests. We had passed on the amnio before, it just wasn’t necessary but now we needed to consider it. The results wouldn’t change anything, but maybe this could give us insight into our daughters health and maybe it could give us a chance to be prepared. He left the room and then returned to ask if we would like to speak to the head of Pediatric Cardiology at Children’s we eagerly said yes. The meeting went well and we agreed to go back in for the tests, maybe they could do something before she was born or atleast be prepared when she was.. We only let ourselves hear that she had a heart issue that would need surgery after she was born. He was an older Dr. with very kind eyes and patience to listen to all of our questions. I started to pre-plan for our stay at the NICU. I was still sure that this problem would be resolved. God would just continue to make miracles of our babies life. We decided to call her Mackenzie Faith, and we called in favors from friends, famliy, and church to pray for our baby. After the amnio we waited uneasily through the weekend and on Monday I called the office so they could tell me everything would be okay. That call never happened..... they told us that our baby would not survive. I was also told that my thyroid numbers were extremely bad. We were broken and in disbelief, this could not be happening.......... why would God give us a miracle only to snatch it away. We started praying......... God could fix this and make our miracle even bigger. Elizabeth called 2 days later out of the blue and asked how we were doing.... Through my tears I explained our story. We cried together and she agreed.... God would not let my baby die she would be healed. Elizabeth assured me that everything would be okay. She said “I know you are supposed to have another baby, remember I told you that a long time ago”. She was right, I remembered that after I had Taylor she joked and told me that she knew I would have another baby. I had laughed and told her “no way” 4 times through the IV’s and pucking were enough.

Two short weeks later on June 17th our sweet baby was gone. . . . . . We were devastated, broken, lost. I walked through my days in the dark, it actually really was dark. My days were robotic and thankfully I had my 4 children here at home to keep me from crawling in a hole. I hated the nights, the dreams that chased me caused me to wake myself screaming. Life was no longer my own, I was gripped in a grief that just wouldn't let go. Several weeks later Elizabeth called me and I told her the news, again we cried.. Little did I know that my life was to take even more twists and turns. My normal would never be the same again. The beginning of August we were preparing to send our oldest daughter to college. Out of the nest and not to return she would tell us laughing. (She was back 4 months later.... ha ha). On August 9th Courtney returned home from her summer visitation with her Dad. She was acting strangely quiet and I thought it was just another adjustment time since she had been away. It was hard for her to bounce back and forth. The next day I received a phone call from her Dad telling me that Courtney “wanted” to live with him. We had a short but loud conversation, this made no sense and as a Junior in high school with friends I knew in my heart this was his dealings not hers. The next 4 months God gave me purpose, saving my daughter who was not strong enough to save herself. As I look back I think God sent me through yet another heart wrenching period to give me the passion to get up and move through the day. Court appearances and cross-examinations started to be my life, the worry and concern for my daughter took over. The grief still gripped me mostly at night for my tiny baby Mackenzie. I would still wake sobbing and screaming, the nightmares were indescribable. In December while Christmas shopping we got the call that Courtney would definately be staying with us. The judge was very complimentary towards our parenting. She also revisited child support and doubled the amount we had previously received. She strongly advised Courtney’s Dad to become a part of her life in a real way and not just put on a facade...... but I digress. My fear in early August of loosing all my girls in one summer was put to rest. Courtney would be staying home and Tiffany was back home not living on campus, another story for another time. Just my sweet Mackenzie was missing......

In the following months my heart just would not let go of the thought that we needed to have another baby. Tim didn’t want anything to do with revisiting the pain. We had 4 wonderful kids.......... we needed to be thankful and be done. Although I was very thankful, there was a huge hole in my heart that would not heal. I didn’t want to end my baby years with this terrible painful loss. Tim thought I was being hormonal and after a couple months of me begging told me he didn’t even want to hear ONE word about any more babies till January. JANUARY? How could I do that January was months away and I thought about it every 5 minutes? About the same time Elizabeth called and told me she needed to talk to me. We talked for a little while and then she told me why she had called. She wanted to be a surrogate for us. She wanted to carry a baby for us. I basically brushed it off ... thinking it was just crazy. But she called again and again...... and again. She told me the third time she called that God was telling her to carry a baby for us. I told her thank you but no. I had decided that we would go through one more try ourselves. BUT I couldn’t speak about it with Tim till January.