Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

My 'lil pumpkins- Sam and Jack. They're a more permanent version of the one's from last year. I had these made last fall at the ceramic shop and I just got around to painting them a couple weeks ago, in time for Halloween.

For a treat, make Monster Cookies from leftover candy. Which means, don't give it all out :P

Have a safe Halloween everyone!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Welcome Distraction

I was kindly tagged by Coggy and Missing_One for this meme. It also means they heart my blog! And I love theirs too. Thank you for this distraction, it was much needed!

Here goes: The whole idea is to answer these questions with one single word (or as few words as possible). I am not a woman of few words, so I'll try!

1. Where is your cell phone? In my purse
2. Where is your significant other? Next to me
3. Your hair color? Brown
4. Your mother? Hypochondriac
5. Your father? Coward
6. Your favorite thing? Creating
7. Your dream last night? Random- I was in a horror film then the next thing I know I was buying flip flops in a gift shop with a group and the bus was about to leave me while I was in the bathroom.
8. Your dream/goal? To mother a living child
9. The room you're in? Living room
10. Your hobby? pastime? Baking
11. Your fear? Another loss
12. Where do you want to be in six years? At my child's 5th birthday party :-)
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. What you're not? Pregnant
15. One of your wish list items? A baby- seems to be a theme here!
16. Where you grew up? Texas Plains
17. The last thing you did? Visited the cemetery
18. What are you wearing? Jammies
19. Your T.V.? On Pause
20. Your pet? Sleeping...Now begging for food.
21. Your computer? Pretty
22. Your mood? Hungry
23. Missing someone? Always
24. Your car? Gone
25. Something you're not wearing? A bra- freedom!
26. Favorite store? Target
27. Your Summer? HOT
28. Love someone? Of course.
29. Your favorite color? Blue or red
30. When is the last time you laughed? Earlier today- probably at myself
31. Last time you cried? Thursday

BONUS: Here are Mr. H's answers

1. Where is your cell phone? On the bar
2. Where is your significant other? Next to me
3. Your hair color? Brown
4. Your mother? Crazy (got that right!)
5. Your father? At home
6. Your favorite thing? Cars
7. Your dream last night? Don't know
8. Your dream/goal? Too many
9. The room you're in? Kitchen
10. Your hobby? pastime? My pastime??? Because I'm so old...
11. Your fear? Failing
12. Where do you want to be in six years? On a ranch
13. Where were you last night? At home
14. What you're not? Stupid
15. One of your wish list items? Ferrari
16. Where you grew up? Texas
17. The last thing you did? Went to grocery store
18. What are you wearing? shorts and a tank
19. Your T.V.? Can't live without it!
20. Your pets? One bunny, one dog
21. Your computer? Finicky
22. Your mood? Hopeful :-)
23. Missing someone? My boys, grandma, grandpa
24. Your car? Will scare you- lol.
25. Something you're not wearing? Underwear
26. Favorite store? Home Depot
27. Your Summer? Not too bad
28. Love someone? Absolutely
29. Your favorite color? Black
30. When is the last time you laughed? Today (at my wife)
31. Last time you cried? Thursday

I tag Nanny, Becky, Kristi, Rachel, Lori, Chrystina, Erica and Mrs. Muelly for this meme. I chose them, not because I love their blogs any more than others, but because I think they could use the distraction. Happy blogging!

Complex Is Me

The consensus seems to be that I need to take care of myself and do what's best for me, regarding taking care of LD.

The problem is, I don't know how to do that. This is not something new, I've never known how. I've always put others needs and wants before my own. It's part of what makes me "me". I like to make others happy, and in turn, that makes me happy. It was how I was raised- to be completely unselfish.

And even if I were to quit (because I was putting my needs first) I'd feel guilty. I'd be upset and feel uneasy about leaving her alone to care for her own children (God forbid, I know!)

I know most people care for their own kids without outside help, and it's not that she can't do it, but she depends on me. We haven't talked about my duties after the baby comes, but she has mentioned that as of March (!) it'll just be the two of us.

I'm sure she can find a replacement. Strike that- there's no replacing me :-) but she can find someone else to take care of LD and her baby. I just don't know if I want her to.

The problem that I have is that even if I put my needs first, I am essentially hurting somebody else. And that hurts me. If I spend all day worrying about how I've put someone in a bind, that completely undoes all the good I've done for myself. Am I making any sense?

I don't have to make a decision right away, and I have given it a lot of thought, but I just don't know what to do. She has no idea I have doubts about working for her. Any suggestions?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Emotionally Exhausted

It has been a very long, exhausting, emotionally draining week. I am glad it is almost over.

Grandma B passed away Monday morning and we spent the entire day at my in-laws house greeting cops, corporals, sheriffs, EMS, fire fighters, grief counselors, the two people from the funeral home who came to pick her up, and lastly the florist who lives down the street who made the casket spray.

Tuesday was spent mostly at the funeral home going over her premade/paid arrangements and then going to the physical therapist.

Wednesday I worked all day then went home and cleaned house (along with Mr. H) since my in-laws were coming over after the funeral the next day.

Thursday morning was her visitation and funeral, then we went to Luby's for lunch. Luby's was her favorite restaurant. She and grandpa used to take Mr. H there when he was younger. That was a weekly tradition and he always ordered the fried fish, mac and cheese and okra. To this day, he still orders the same thing.

The funeral was beautiful and sweet. She was dressed in a suede brown wrap jacket and matching pants. She wore a coordinating hat and scarf as she always did. The flowers that adorned her casket were in earth tones and vibrant fall shades- colors she loved. Mr. H said a few words about his grandma and the times they shared with eachother. A few songs were played and all was perfect.

I worked Friday morning, then we went to the physical therapist again. Then last night Mr. H shampooed the carpets. We've been running around non-stop all week and we're literally exhausted. So today we slept in, had cinnamon toast for brunch and laid around all day. It's been nice.

On the baby front, LD's mom went to the doctor and she is already 3 cm dilated. Her due date is the 10th of next month. I have been trying to not think about it. I originally put it in my mind that she would have the baby around the 19th (which is Little Dude's birthday) which is also around Thanksgiving. So I kept thinking he'll be born in another month. But in reality, she could have a baby next week and this scares the hell out of me. I don't know what to do about this. Her friend came over the other day and was talking about how excited she was about the new baby. "Aren't you excited?" she kept saying. "It's going to be so hard for her to raise 2 boys...Are you going to help her with the baby?" All I said was. "We haven't discussed that yet." and changed the subject.

I was originally hoping to be pregnant by Christmastime so I could have an excuse to quit. I don't just want to quit because that would be unfair to her and I would feel guilty. Of all times she would need me, it would be NOW, so here I am still working there. The thing is, I don't think I would have a problem staying there if she weren't pregnant. I love LD and I would miss him if I left but I am jealous of her. But just to make myself clear, I don't want her baby. I don't even want her life, I just want to be pregnant and I want a baby too. I want her situation. And we're not there yet- not even close.

And pregnant people and babies seem to be popping up everywhere. I know some people say they are always around, but it never really applied to me. This week has proved different. A's friend (LD's mom) was pregnant when she was here a couple wees ago. She was about 20 weeks and shopped daily at BRU for stuff to take back to Spain. It was obnoxious to watch. The EMS guy (from above) spoke about his family and his mischievous boys. He has 3- ages 9, 7, and 5, and he also has a newborn baby girl. Oh, and 3 dogs and 2 cats. Not only is it enough that he has more living kids than I but he also has more pets. Double slap. The funeral director was pregnant, the receptionist at the physical therapist office is pregnant and due at the end of the month. I'm sure there's more, but I'm done with it. It's so frustrating.

The florist (as a gift to us) made wreaths of orange spray roses to take to the boys. Here a photo of a couple of roses flooded with water:
Today is also Logan's 2nd birthday. We miss you sweet boy. We think of you always.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wordless Wednesday- Names In The Sand

Check out this beautiful memorial website dedicated to children-
To Write Their Names In The Sand.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Homeward Bound

Mr. H's grandmother passed away this morning just shy of 4 am*.

Her breathing was labored, her breaths short. Her lungs were failing, her kidneys too. She wasn't eating or drinking. She slept all day. She had bed sores on her backside. She had dementia and didn't recognize any of us. She didn't say much and when she tried it was incomprehensible.

She was in the nursing home for 3 and a half years- the same amount of time Mr. H and I have been married. She was moved back into her old home with my in-laws about 6 weeks ago. During this time she had home health nurses and was well cared for but she grew weaker until her passing. She was 93 years old. She joins her husband (Grandpa Jack) who passed away 11 years ago, November 1st.

We miss her.

When does this sadness end? When???

*Dead hour is said to be between 3 and 4 am. I woke up at exactly 4 am when I started to go into labor with Sam. Jack was delivered (dead) at 3:07 am and now his grandmother passed away just before 4 am this morning. I wish I could skip this hour.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Look Ma Punkin!

I love the fall.

Times seem simpler, the colors warmer, the weather cooler. The changing of leaves, the shorter days, the comforting aromas.

I love fall. And I love pumpkins. Perhaps it because for as long as I can remember, my mother called me her "pumpkin" or because they remind me of Jack (Jack-O-Lanterns). Either way, I look forward to going to pick pumpkins every year- from the pumpkin patch or the local church. It makes me feel like a kid again. Although, I do have to say, we never had pumpkins growing up and we surely didn't go to the pumpkin patch for the fun of it. It's an adult pleasure for me.

Here are pictures of our most recent outing to the pumpkin patch. I hope they bring you joy.

Click here to view the pumpkin patch photos from last year.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I Remember

I didn't realize it has already been a week since my last post. I have been busy lately, but I'll talk more about that at a later date. Instead, I want to talk about what today is- October 15th.

Today is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day. In fact the entire month of October is supposed to be dedicated to this, but it is over-shadowed by Breast Cancer Awareness. Breast Cancer Awareness is extremely important and more women should know how to do self-breast exams, get mammograms, and educate others. But they should also know that babies all over the world die everyday just like our grandmothers, mothers, sisters, aunts, daughters and friends.

Everywhere you go, you see pink. Pink foods, pink packaging, pink ribbons, pink clothing, pink appliances... But you never hear or read about anything relating to pregnancy and infant loss. Why? Why is it so taboo to talk about?

Before the boys died, I never read anything about babies dying. My older sister was stillborn, but I thought it was just because she was premature. I never bothered to learn more about it. I didn't think it could happen to me. It did. And I still don't know much about my sister because even my mother doesn't talk about it. I thought prematurity was just about being born early, but why does this happen and how can we prevent that? If I didn't ask, I wouldn't know anything. That's really unfortunate.

Back in April, when I went to be with my grandmother for her second surgery, I also went to see my paternal grandmother. I haven't spoken to my Dad in over two years, and I miss him and the idea of having a father, but I'm not ready to make amends. But I did want to see his mother, my other grandmother, my Abuelita. I missed her. My grandmother went with me to help me translate because she mainly speaks Spanish and mine is rusty at best. Once I saw her, all I did was cry. The only thing I said to her, was "I love you". I just sat there and looked at her and cried. I cried because I missed our relationship that we had when I was a child, when I was normal, when my Dad still loved and cared for me. My grandmother spoke to her and told her about the boys when she asked if we had any children. All she kept saying, over and over, was "Que Triste...Que Triste." "How Sad...How Sad." Of course I cried even more because I knew what she was saying. I understood every word she said when she told my grandmother that she also had two losses of her own when she first got married, before her other 6 children came along. And she never told anyone. She said she still missed them.

So why do we expect others (strangers, other pregnant women, our families and friends) to talk about it, when our own families don't talk about it and treat is like a secret? Why do we expect magazines to educate expectant mothers on miscarriages and stillbirths when our own OB's don't even do so? We've had to learn because we are unfortunately a part of this club that we never wanted to belong to. We have to learn because it's our job to educate the world about it. No one else is going to do it.

We can sit around and complain (or blog) about why there isn't more awareness on this subject, but we have to spread the word. Some people may not want to hear it. In fact a lot of people do not want to hear about it. Some people may not want to believe that it happens, but it does. How many hundreds and thousands of us are there hiding and afraid to speak?

I refuse to not talk about my sons. Their lives mattered! They may not have taken their own breaths and some may even argue that they were even "real" babies, but they were. They are. They had heartbeats. They moved. They grew. They had 10 fingers and 10 toes. They had hearts and brains. They had their own personalities. They were perfectly formed, just too little to survive on their own. They were babies and they died. If you can inform at least one person and change the way they view this topic, then together we can make a difference. Educate the public and make our babies lives matter.

Maybe one day we'll all have walks for Pregnancy & Infant Loss. Maybe one day we'll all wear a ribbon or white crew socks with a pink and blue ribbon. Maybe one day, parenting magazines and doctors offices won't be afraid to inform expectant mothers that their babies lives are not guaranteed. Maybe one day we'll walk into the grocery store and buy packaged foods that benefit loss awareness. Maybe one day you'll meet a neighbor or a friend of a friend who had a loss and you can share stories of survival without being ashamed of your status and how others will view you. Maybe one day others won't treat us like lepers.

Maybe one day all our babies will be remembered and acknowledged.

I made a remembrance list last year for Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness. Please add your baby/ies to the list. I will always remember them. Always.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Oh What A Night

I am officially car less. We released my car tonight to the insurance company. In return, they'll be sending us a check.

We got an estimate for the damages and it was going to cost us about $11, 000 to fix it. The catch is, if we chose to fix it, they were only going to give us $3500, if we let them total it, $5000. That's not much, but it's something. And that can go into something newer and safer. We're thinking about our future and the safety of our children (because there WILL BE children) so we'll move on.

It was kind of emotional, I do have to say. Saying good bye, and removing our belongings. I know it was just a car, but there were a lot of emotions attached to it. It was my first car, my only car, it was paid off, it was my baby and it's life wasn't quite done. But I have to think that there are bigger and better things for us.

We went to the wrecker yard, and removed the floor mats, the steering wheel cover, the after market K&N air filter, the sub woofer and double checked that our belongings were cleared out. It was hard leaving it. I know you are all probably rolling your eyes at me now, but it's just one more loss to add to my list. Something gone before it's time.

So afterwards we went to IHOP for a late dinner. We were upset and decided we needed pancakes to cure our ails. I had pumpkin pancakes- mmm. And guess what? As we were leaving, I saw a familiar face. A face that was trying to pretend she didn't see us. A face that looked down and slightly away from us. A face I had not seen in a very long while. Uh huh, you guessed it... his ex!

Mr. H said he saw her when we got up from our table and she saw him, but immediately turned away and avoided eye contact. As soon as I saw her, I turned to him and just stared at him trying to figure out if he saw her too. He did. It was kind of weird seeing her. As we got in the car (he opened the door for me just to show off, because I'm sure that made her jealous *) the guy she was with was looking out the window. We were parked right in front of the window of the booth they were sitting at, so I know they saw us.

I think of her every once in a while. Not because I want to, but because it just happens. I'm sure that's my punishment for "stealing" away her boyfriend 9 1/2 years ago. I wonder if she ever thinks of us. I'm sure she had no idea we'd actually make it. I'm sure she probably wished bad things upon us. I'm sure she still wishes us these things. The thing is, I never meant to hurt her. And I'm sorry if I did. I know it's been almost 10 years, but it was a major happening in our lives and things changed drastically for her too.

I think Mr. H and I were/are meant to be together. You can't chose who your soul mate is, or how you find them, it just happens. But all these years later, I still feel badly. I do hope that she finds her perfect mate as well. I know she thought that person was Mr. H, but something bigger and better will come along for her too.

Oh, and we went to the orthopedic specialist today. We start physical therapy next Tuesday for whiplash. And my neck has been killing me all day. I took pain meds and I am feeling a little loopy and sick to my stomach. Well, actually a lot loopy. She also prescribed us an anti-inflammatory, so hopefully that'll help some.

* Mr. H never opens my door. And just because I wrote that, he'll say "Honey, yes I do", and start feeling bad because he thinks I think he's un-gentleman like. But between you and me, he doesn't. And that's okay. He does MANY other things for me that I often take for granted. So honey, if you're reading (and I know you are) I love you and thank you for being so good to me. And if we ever see your ex girlfriend in public again, please promise me you'll open my door for me without me asking :-)

Here is our first and last picture of us in my car. I'm not sure why, but we don't have any pictures of it besides the ones I took the other day and when it snowed here in 2005. So we are (sin make-up) with our lovely lady- Perla.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Weekend Fun...Don't Get Jealous!

I don't know why I was so excited about car shopping...that shit is exhausting. But I did manage to get a slight tan out of it. We have narrowed our search down to the car we want, we just need to find one in our price range with good mileage and the extras we want. So really, we've made no progress. Oh, and we managed to only cuss out one dealership. Record for us!

I babysat LD tonight. His mom's birthday was today so she asked me to watch him while they went to dinner. I was supposed to watch him from 3-9, but ended up staying there til 10:30. Boo. He was fussy all night and kept crying for his mom, which made for a terribly exciting evening.

Her baby shower was on Saturday. And despite everyone's efforts to keep me entertained so I wouldn't have to go, I did nothing that evening. Mr. H and I looked at cars til about 6, then went home looked at more cars on the net, then went to the bookstore to browse around. What ever happened to going out to have drinks?

When I got to LD's house, there were bags of baby stuff everywhere. She even called me into her room to look at her new bassinet. Hold on to your seats, the excitement continues! I saw onesies, a baby carrier, a doggie hamper, nipples, bottles, nipple brushes, a swaddler, socks, towels, bibs all in shades of boy.
Speaking of boys...I found this little guy hanging out by the boys' fountain the other day. So tough, yet harmless. As soon as I saw him, I thought of Cooper and Brayden- Mrs. Muelly's boys. Bugs, spiders and insects remind her of them too.

On a brighter note, it is raining here. It hasn't rained in a few weeks, so I'm pretty excited. It is thundering, lightning, and the wind is howling. I love when it rains. I just want to lay in bed, open the windows and fall asleep. I just may do that...Good night.

What did y'all do this weekend?

Friday, October 3, 2008


We're going car shopping!

* * *
Also, if you'd like to contribute to the Survivor Project: A Breast Cancer Survivor Scrapbook, for my grandmother, click the link above. I'd be more than honored to include you. Please say you'll help.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

May It Be Peaceful

Wishing my special friend, Kristi, a peaceful birthday as she is missing her sweet daughter Sara. If I could wipe away your tears and make everything better, I would. Sara, we miss you.

Sara Elizabeth

October 2, 2006

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Survivor Project- Please Say You'll Contribute!

I have decided I am making my grandmother a "Survivor" scrapbook.

One of the ideas I had was to have YOU -my fellow blog buddies- contribute to the book. I have been so touched by the kind words left on this blog in the comment section for my grandma. The prayers, the good thoughts, the crossing of fingers, lighting of candles, chanting, etc. that has been done on behalf of my her.

I am going to try to capture her journey through cancer, from her diagnosis and into survivor-dom. I want to do a page of good thoughts and inspiring words. On the last page there will be an envelope in which it will be stuffed with cards, notes, pictures, whatever you want to send. Can you picture it?

Please say you'll help me and contribute to this book. It'll cost you as little as 42 cents and a moment of your time. But the reward will be so much richer.

**All you have to do is mail me a letter, a card, a colored picture, a sentence, a photo, whatever you want....wishing her well, offering her words of encouragement, letting her know that you care and support her. I know this would mean so much to her. Heck, it would mean so much to me! **

EMAIL ME if you're interested in being a contributor to the Survivor Project (catchy, huh?) I'll email you my address and you can send me your contribution. If you wish to remain anonymous, at least include in the card or letter, where you are sending your thoughts from. I know she'd be so touched to know that her story has inspired so many people from all over the place. If you'd like to help, I do ask that you send in your "envelope of hope" within the next two weeks, so I can get started.

Any contribution will be greatly appreciated. Please don't feel that you have to write a story in order for your words to count (although if you want to write a novel, go ahead). A few words- "Good job kicking cancer's ass!", "Keep the hope!" whatever you feel in your heart will be more than enough... And if you're one of those people that thinks your vote doesn't count- guess again. I need you all for this to be successful.

I promise if you'll help, I'll be your BFF! If there's anything you need ME to do for you, just ask. I'll be sure to post pictures when it's all complete!

Thank you in advance for your generosity,
MonicaETA: I've had a couple people email me to ask me about my grandmother's name. Her name is Diana. Thank you!

Stillbirth Awareness And Research Act

October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day in the United States. More than 25,000 children are stillborn in the United States every year leaving mothers, entire families and communities devastated. Estimates of the rate of occurrence of stillbirth make it at least as common as autism.

Stillbirth is not an intractable problem. Greater research would likely significantly reduce its incidence, but good research requires good data. H.R. 5979: Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act is under consideration by Congress. This proposed bill would standardize stillbirth investigation and diagnosis, thus providing more data for the needed research. Better research means fewer children born still.

On October 15th, remember the thousands of unfinished children lost and the families who remain to grieve them. Honor them by taking action. Let's help pass H.R. 5979.

Action Steps:

Step 1. Use Your Blog to Enlist Others-Copy the contents of this entire post and publish it on your blog immediately.

GOAL: Enlist 10 of your readers to spread the word

Step 2. Use Your E-mail to Enlist Others-E-mail 5 bloggers and ask them (nicely and in an unspammy way) to publish these action steps on their blog. Consider contacting celebrity bloggers, political bloggers, medical bloggers, or bloggers who are not part of your reading community.

GOAL: Enlist 3 bloggers outside of your normal blog sphere to spread the word in other online communities.

Step 3. Help Pass the Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act-By October 15th, publish a post on your blog supporting H.R. 5979 Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act. For maximum impact, title your post: "Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act."

GOAL: 1,000,000 Google results on October 15th when that term is searched for. Currently, Google only returns 20,400 pages - most of which have nothing to do with the bill.