Monday, March 26, 2012

To My Sister

To my sister Bekka,

Yesterday morning when I woke up I was complaining. Too little sleep- a baby who likes to vomit on me- a stubborn toddler- a persistent mouse in the basement and whatever creature ate that mouse out of the trap- a messy house- piles of dirty laundry.

Life was rough for me, and my poochy lip gave constant testament to that fact.

And then I got a call last night learning of your loss.

Your sweet little baby who was only with you for 7 days.

Like a bucket of ice water thrown onto my sleeping face, I realized what was really important in life. I realized how much I had that I wasn't thankful for. I realized how much I love you.

You endured a difficult pregnancy and I never once heard you complain. You lovingly grew your baby while chasing after little Lauren, working and maintaining a far more meticulous house than mine.

A C-section was necessary for you and yet even then you didn't say one negative word about the long recovery- having to take care of a toddler while recovering-the extra pain.

When I think of the physical pain you were still in when you had to say goodbye to your baby coupled with the emotional pain of your loss- my heart crumbles in an attempt to match your shredded one.

People say they're praying for all of us- but our only pain is the pain of empathy. We hurt with you.

You are the hero of this story. You are the mother with empty arms. You are the daughter that makes the rest of us look insufficient. You are the wife that is the closest thing to perfect on this earth. You are the sister that was there beside me every step of the way when I found out that my baby had Down syndrome- the one who always knew the right things to say.

I wish I knew the right things to say to you now.

To say I'm sorry feels trite. To confess to you that the mouse in my basement no longer scared me when I went down to do laundry to pack for my visit out to you sounds silly. To proclaim to you how thankful I am for my two children now seems cruel.

You had seven beautiful days with your baby. I know you'll treasure them always.

I wish I could have met him. I wish I could have celebrated with you more. I wish our sons could have played together. I wish John could have lived a happy, full life consisting of much longer than one week.

But the truth is, none of those became reality. And I hold tightly to the thought that there must be a reason even though I can't think of one to comfort you with now.

I thought the biggest struggle of motherhood was having to adjust to a disability that would never go away. But it turns out I was wrong. The biggest hardship of motherhood is having the one taken away from you that earned you that title.

Having to say goodbye simply a week after saying hello makes me scream of the unfairness of your life right now.

I know that God is good. I know that he giveth and he taketh away. I know that all things work together for good.

But that doesn't take away the brokenness of my heart when I envision everything you're facing right now.

God ultimately decides who should live and who should die and yet sometimes I want to say that he made the wrong decision.

God doesn't make mistakes. I know this. John is with him now.

But I know that doesn't take away the emptiness of your arms and the sorrow that seems permanently a part of you.

Sometimes life is pitted with such horror that it can't help but make heaven seem all the more sweet.

Perhaps when you get to heaven someday the first voice you will hear is little John calling you "mama".

The thought fills my eyes with tears because I know you would much rather hear that voice here and I'm beyond sorry it didn't work out that way for you.

I loved your baby fiercely and I will mourn him fiercely.

Nothing about this is easy, and I wish I could stop you from the hurt. I wish I could step in front of you and shield you from the pain.

I'm so sorry that I can't.

I hope you know how many people love you and are praying for you right now. If our support for you was like a boat on choppy waves keeping you dry- then you would be on an ocean liner in the height of luxury because you deserve nothing less.

I hope you can sleep tonight. I wish there was an anesthesia for emotions. I wish there was a magic pill that would make this all go away for you. I wish that fire wasn't a purifying source.

I love you. I'm hurting for you. I'm praying for you.

You are the most fantastic mother/sister/daughter/wife that I know. Thank you for your inspiration, example, and love. You are handling an unspeakable nightmare with more grace and dignity than most could even dream about. You are my hero.

I'm praying you can find comfort, peace and healing. Fire may be purifying, but the precious jewels don't  have to stay there forever. Eventually they come out of the fire, sparkling, vibrant, beautiful and cherished. You were already those things. I can only imagine how much  more beautiful you will be after the intensity of the fire dies down.

I'm coming tomorrow to give you another shoulder to cry on- a hand to hold. I'm bringing Addison because she spreads joy wherever she goes. I hope her face-consuming smile can help soothe your spirits. I hope her smile will remind you how my tears of devastation turned into a good thing.

I hope yours somehow will as well.

Love,
Your little sis
Like peanut butter on the fingers of a curious toddler, this post is begging to be shared.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

free ebook

I realize I have been in your face waaaaay too much this week.  A short bloggy vacation until next week will mostly likely ensue.

BUT.

In light of the Down Syndrome Awareness themed week here on Everything and Nothing- my ebook Dreams Change is free today and tomorrow.

It's kind of like welcoming late birthday presents because then your birthday isn't over until you get them (no? I'm the only one!?). I guess this is my way of extending World Down Syndrome Day just a touch longer.


Anyhoo....my ebook.

I certainly claim no literary brilliance on it (believe me). It is simply something I put together to help bring comfort to someone else facing a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis.

The whole experience can be tough. Really tough.

But then it gets good. Really good.

It helps if you can read someone else's thoughts who has been there (in my humble opinion). Some people stop at the really tough because they just never knew about the really good that was coming. And bringing awareness can help prevent women giving up on their unborn children simply because of a diagnosis that's hard to wrap their minds around...thus...the ebook.

So yeah, if you know someone who is going through it all right now (or if you just want to understand the experience more yourself) the ebook is completely free for download both today and tomorrow.

Consider it a thank you for your awesome support to me this past week- my toughest week of blogging yet. You guys are seriously the best, and as dramatic as this might sound, I'm not sure I could have made it without your encouraging and positive comments to offset ones left by the not-so-kind.

Thank you.

I hope you enjoy the ebook and perhaps come away with a deeper understanding of the "becoming a parent to a child with Down syndrome" journey.

Now, I'm off to do things other than bloggy things. WHAT??? I have children??? Who knew.

psssssssst have you gone to check out THE GIVEAWAY yet?????
Like peanut butter on the fingers of a curious toddler, this post is begging to be shared.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Making Limeade Out Of Limes

(Yes....lemonade would have been far too cliche...hehe)

I have gotten a lot of traffic on this blog the past week.

Not because I'm such a sensational blogger or writer or mom.


I have been working to raise awareness- for our kids- for Down syndrome- for life. (Thus I've laid off of my usual "motherhood is so hard whine whine whine" posts. You're welcome.)

But perhaps you're already aware of what a life with Down syndrome is worth, and you are frustrated because you feel that there's nothing that YOU can do to help.

Well, remembered how I mentioned yesterday that there are long waiting lists to adopt children with Down syndrome? Well, there is an organization called Reece's Rainbow (recently featured on abc news) that matches families up with children who need a home.

They also raise awareness, provide support and fundraise.

As you might already know, it can take these families quite a bit of time to come up with the cash necessary for adoption- while the highly wanted child sits in an orphanage waiting to begin truly living (I'm speaking now of the situation in Eastern Europe).

My friend Patti over at A Perfect Lily tirelessly blogs and fundraises to help these families get the cash needed so that they can walk into the orphanage, grab the lonely hand and say

"We are your parents. We want to welcome you to a new life of acceptance and love."

Everything and Nothing from Essex is not a fundraising blog. But because of all the extra traffic, my hearts beats faster at the thought that perhaps I could help this little girl:
come home to her family that is waiting with outstretched arms ready to love.

Get this- they have been fundraising for over a year. Can you imagine?

Patti is the host of this giveaway, but I am tagging along (to bug her- mostly) but also to help if at all possible.


You really should check it out. (please please please)

Maybe we can't help whatever emotional scars will be in the future of the little girl regarding the lawsuit. But we CAN help Albina come home if we all just chip in a couple of dollars.

Maybe something good can come of the publicity/controversy of the whole lawsuit situation.

Maybe it help Albina be fully funded and COME HOME.

Please. DO something.

Read more about the give away on Patti's blog.

I don't have a lot to give. But if I give a little and you give a little and all of Patti's readers give a little- this girl can come home.

Let's turn a sensational/controversial/sad, sad story into a rescue.

Are you ready to help make a difference?

Do it for World Down Syndrome Day.

Do it for the little girl in Oregon.

Do it for Addison.

Thank you.

(and don't worry, regular scheduled programing will return soon....but meanwhile let's help this family get this little girl HOME!)


Like peanut butter on the fingers of a curious toddler, this post is begging to be shared.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Celebrating the Syndrome called Down

The positive response from "Perhaps you should sue God" was overwhelming- to put it lightly. So many of you shared how someone with a disability has brightened your life. So many of you have lived deeper lives of acceptance because you have somehow been impacted by this issue long before you ever read my blog post.

I could not be more thankful for all of you. To know that I'm not alone- that our voices are being heard- that worth is not being determined by a stereotypical view of perfection- your words of encouragement meant the world to me.

But there were a few who clearly did not agree.

At first the negative comments were hurtful as I pictured them staring at Addison's face saying these things. But after I allowed my immediate reaction to cool, I realized that they weren't being hateful or unkind on purpose

they simply didn't know.

They HAVEN'T had their worlds turned upside down with a diagnosis. They HAVEN'T experienced the joy of a little something different in their lives. They HAVEN'T been privileged to find joy and happiness in individuals whose existence bring deeper meaning to life and worth.
(obviously some-such as the couple in the last posts-find it possible to have it in their lives and STILL not allow themselves to find the joy and happiness- but as previously discussed, that is an entirely different matter)

Giving these commenters the benefit of the doubt, I realize that's one of the reasons that I'm here- to help wash away the mud of ignorance clouding the glasses of so many regarding this mysterious syndrome.

After trying to reply back to every comment, I soon gave up (because I have two children who were begging for attention...and I figured I should probably feed them.)

So I have picked out a few comments that I would like to address here:

Anonymous 1:
Maybe it was their way to ensure that their child would be financially secure for the rest of his or her life and wouldn't end-up in a state run institution (which are all riddled with abuse) I'd sue too if it meant sparing my child being institutionalized.

I would ask what decade you're living in, but you clearly found your way to a source of internet, so that can't be the problem here. Individuals in the United States haven't been institutionalized for a VERY long time. I would say there are plenty other ways to insure a good future for your child without suing for her existence. And if you were unable to? That child will NOT be thrown into an institution. I repeat. NOT.

Anonymous 2:
 If you have ever had a child or other family member suffer needlessly or die due to a medical misdiagnosis then you would understand. They sued to make a point about a medical system we all rely on.

I took the liberty of enlarging the key part of this comment. Who is suffering? As I said in my last post, individuals with Down syndrome are NOT needlessly suffering. I'm a little sad that you didn't get that from my initial post (as that was the point), but I'll once again give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you just haven't been lucky enough to be exposed to this truth before.

Anonymous 3:
To not peruse this would be negligent to the child's well being going forward.

I understand that children with DS need extra therapies and help throughout life (believe me, I live it every day). But there are actually quite a few programs who financially support all of these extras. In fact, by allowing that child to have a large sum of money in her name, she would no longer qualify for a lot of those programs. So then why is that money really necessary?

Anonymous 4:
And even a quick google will tell you that adopting children with special needs has it's own issues - people aren't falling all over themselves to take home a child with special needs!

If you were to broaden your sources beyond google, you would find that adopting a US baby with Down syndrome has quite a long waiting list. A lot of people actually would love to have a baby with Down syndrome. I lie not.

Anonymous 5:
Children are born with problems that could have been prevented if not for the mistakes made.

The "problem" of Down syndrome could not be prevented if it had been addressed prenatally. There's not a shot or a surgery to make it all go away. Down syndrome isn't a disease- it's a special order design.

Anonymous 6:
If you were told you had a tumor, then had it tested & was told, "Don't worry, it's benign, we can leave it right there..." And you later found out someone misread their test or misplaced their slide & it turns out the tumor was actually cancerous...wouldn't you call that malpractice? This is no different.

When did it become OK to replace the word "tumor" with the word "baby"? Am I the only one who thinks there should be a more distinct difference between these?


The truth is, individuals with Down syndrome









writers; (pg 23)








seriously what more do you want?

Why are people STILL talking about institutions, comparing extra chromosomes to brain tumors and calling this SUFFERING?

If this is suffering- sign. me. up.

Educate yourself. Individuals with Down syndrome ARE PEOPLE just like you and me. There's a wide variety of achievement, but isn't that true with everybody?

Tomorrow is World Down Syndrome Day (3:21 representing where that extra chromosome is found).

Would you join me in celebrating these too-often-overlooked individuals?

We don't need to fix the world's faulty stereotypes (or families not willing to let this positively change them)
 We're just resonsible for OUR response.

Difference isn't bad.

But deliberately continuing in ignorance is.
Happy World Down Syndrome Day.
Like peanut butter on the fingers of a curious toddler, this post is begging to be shared.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Why I wrote it and Why I almost didn't post it

Many people have asked me why I didn't want to post "Perhaps You Should Sue God".

The truth is, I was afraid.

I was afraid of being perceived as judgmental. I was afraid that perhaps my point wouldn't come across.

My desire was not to attack these parents or the many others who have gone through with similar lawsuits. Wanting to make a point to doctors who made a mistake can make sense under certain circumstances. I get that.

But as I saw the link to this lawsuit float around facebook, I became aware that this lawsuit was being used as an opportunity to magnify every preconceived flaw of Down syndrome a thousand fold for the world to see.

In order to win this case, these parents had to convince the jury that Down syndrome was a debilitating disease-that individuals with an extra chromosome were suffering- that an "imperfect" life was not worth living.

And I'm sorry, but that just isn't true.

In a world where around 90% of ds prenatal diagnosis terminate, a lawsuit like this combined with the new tests to find out even earlier screams a death sentence for those individuals whose only crime is being different.

So while I wanted to sit back in my little corner and keep my opinion of this particular case to myself, I realized that I had to say something about how Down syndrome was being perceived because of the popularity of this story.

I never predicted that so many people would read my humble words.

And yes, I have been called judgmental.

But if I can show the life of one of the many people with Down syndrome living a happy, full life; brightening the world in a unique way; teaching us about overcoming challenges; showing us what unconditional love looks like; deepening respect for all- then it's OK.

Sometimes the things we fear are just the challenges set in front of us designed to make us better versions of ourselves. Change can hurt. Fear can be debilitating.

But Down syndrome is not.

And that's why I clicked "Publish Post"

in a small attempt to defend those unborn designer babies who can't yet speak for themselves.
Like peanut butter on the fingers of a curious toddler, this post is begging to be shared.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Perhaps you should sue God

Disclaimer: I wrote this on Sunday night and because of the controversial nature of the article decided not to post it. I try to keep reactive writing in the draft folder only. But ever since hitting "Save" I haven't been able to get this post off of my mind, and I haven't been able to post anything else. So here it is:

Dear couple that sued for the wrongful birth of your daughter born with Down syndrome,

I'm not sure how you look into those almond shaped eyes-grasp that warm hand smaller than most-hold close the body vibrating with life

and say

"We wish we could have aborted you".

But since you have, there are a couple of things I would like to say- some things that clearly you haven't already thought through.

Sometimes unexpected things happen to us in life. Bad things that we didn't ask for.
Some of us would call them blessings in disguise-the gifts that we didn't even realize that we needed- while others label MISTAKE and WORTHLESS all over the unexpected.
The truth is, I can see why you're angry. You have a baby that you didn't want. A diagnosis that you feared is now a very real part of your life

without your permission.

Since I have been there myself, I understand the hurt and anger.

But what I don't understand is, why did you sue the DOCTOR?

Didn't you mean to sue GOD?

After all, he's the one who put that baby in your womb. He's the one who allowed a test to come back negative when it should have been positive. He's the one who providentially kept you from ending the life of the baby with the extra chromosome as to not taint your lives.
He's the one who made the MISTAKE in giving your child the wrong number of chromosomes.

He's the one who has FORCED you to endure the smiles, giggles, the JOY of your daughter's life for four wretched years.
So I hear you will have to pay extra money to care for your child.
Wow, that sounds rough.
 But to be honest, that sounds a lot like something called PARENTHOOD.
Earlier this week I wrote a post about motherhood being hard.

It's true.

LIFE IS HARD.

and things happen that we don't want.

BUT THAT IS LIFE,
designed by the same loving God who is willing to help us through the hard times.

So yes, your lawsuit is waiting to be heard by God.

But I must warn you, you're standing in line behind people who lost homes and loved ones in the tornado last week, the young parents who lost their little boy to leukemia last night, the six small children who unexpectedly became orphans because of that drunk driver, the starving in 3rd world countries and everyone who has ever been wronged in life.

But don't worry- I'm sure your case will be heard soon. Having to put up with such a TRAVESTY as a beautiful little girl full of life and spirit is the WORST thing that could possibly happen to a human being.
So yeah, I'm sure you meant to sue God. It only makes sense.

No one should have to suffer like this:
p.s. I heard that FAR in front of you in that line to sue God is a four year old little girl who shares your genetic makeup- her complaint is that she she has to have parents who want her dead. Good luck using your 2.9 million to take the sting out of THAT.

p.s.s. I too have a daughter with the "wrong" number of chromosomes. I would no more sue for her presence in my life than I would sue for being CRUELLY given two arms or a head or....life myself.

edited*A Way To Help
Like peanut butter on the fingers of a curious toddler, this post is begging to be shared.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Confess All (motherhood style)

I write hundreds of "I love my children so much and here's the 1,000 reasons why-vomit-barf" posts. So just allow me this one. Please.

When I first became a mother, it was to a beautiful little girl with a lot of health problems.

I thought- WOW- this is all SO HARD because of all the surgeries, oxygen at home, g-tube feedings. If only I had a healthy baby, then this would all be sooooooooooooo much easier.

Then nineteen magical months later, I had a son. Healthy, robust, strong- this kid had it all going on.

It was then I realized something so simple it's a wonder it took me so long.

It's not having a child with extra health needs that's so difficult. No, the problem is motherhood.

Motherhood is hard.

You spend all day keeping them happy/entertained/fed/changed/alive.The day ends and you have significantly less hair and significantly more wrinkles.

The bathed and fed little cherubs are put in bed and within minutes of falling asleep-you miss them desperately and want to wake them up to see just one more smile.

If you spend all day away from them you feel guilty.Yet if you stay with them all day you feel guilty that you need an escape.

You spend the first months of their lives so sleep deprived that hallucinations start occurring involving you on a deserted island with nothing but a soft bed, a pillow and a down comforter.

When they're sick, you end up cleaning up vomit and diapers-the smell of which sends you scrambling to get your "I'M DONE HAVING CHILDREN" document notarized.

When they get shots, you're the one that gets bitten-kicked-screamed at while they're the one that gets the sticker.

You think- with the next phase surely this gets easier- when they can walk on their own/when they're in school/when they can make some of their own decisions/when they can make me dinner.

And yet each stage arrives with its own struggles, fears and hardships.

No matter what flavor of ice cream is in that cone you're holding, it WILL melt all over your hands and fingers in a sticky disaster.
Motherhood is hard.
Constant sacrifice is required. Love needs to be administered constantly- no matter how you feel in the moment.

It all starts with the birth. You're the one pushing a baby the size of a small turkey out of your business and yet the baby gets all the credit for the day- by simply existing.

While you get more and more ragged, the baby gets cuter and cuter until your infant son is the handsome executive that you can only hope will remember you on that one brief 24 hour period dedicated to mothers once a year.

Your schedule becomes your child's schedule and snazzy cars get traded in for mommobiles.

Once flat stomachs resemble helium balloons far past their prime. Spa dates now are days that you AREN'T covered in spit-back-in-your-face baby food (carrots, of course)

Your diaper bag becomes your purse and "stylish and trendy" are exchanged for "how many extra outfits will this hold?"

There's something about months of winter, stuck in the house with two small children- alternately sick with every cocktail sickness imaginable- that makes you pin a picture of the animals that eat their young on your Pinterest board titled "Inspiration".

You lose your identity as a person and enter your role as constant worrier- will he stop breathing in the middle of the night? Will he make any friends in school? Will he drive safely? Will he realize he shouldn't marry her and should stay with me forever?

Fancy date nights out with your husband are trumped by a quiet evening in your bubble bath and a book because a sitter was just too hard to find.

Your life is turned upside down and becomes the very picture of agony one teething incident at a time.
There's truly no doubt about it. It's not that we're bad mothers. It's just that it's so stinkin' hard that it's no wonder that all children grow up needing therapy.

Good thing we have these humble things called blogs to commiserate....and chubby arms belonging to the little people in our life to wrap lovingly around our necks in a thank-you-for-taking-care-of-me hug (right before yanking and quite effectively breaking our favorite necklace stopped only seconds before getting to the hoop earrings)

This is why God made babies so cute. So that we would keep going

even when it is hard.
What do YOU think is hard about motherhood?
Like peanut butter on the fingers of a curious toddler, this post is begging to be shared.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

in case there was any doubt


chubbs has recovered

dear eyes on the back of my head,
wake up.
your vacation is over.

Like peanut butter on the fingers of a curious toddler, this post is begging to be shared.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Boring is Good

Do you ever reach the end of a week- or two weeks- or month and just sigh and search for a reset button?

Well, it is Friday, almost two weeks from the point that Addison came down with the plague, and after TWO WEEKS of her just lying listlessly around signing "help!",I feel that I can FINALLY say with some certainty now that she is feeling better.
So thankful to see my little girl smiling again.
playing, talking, walking
she's BACK!
I reach to hit "RESET" after two weeks of battling the sickness, and life continues as normal (ahem....pink-feather-and-a-paper-towel-hiding-under-the-couch normal).
(except for this little dude breaking through two teeth and screaming with more agony than Addison did with all four of her surgeries combined)
I'm thankful for health (yes, my house is a disaster. I've been busy cuddling babies and taking advantage of longer naps to get writing done. judge away.),
more cuteness in my life than should be legal,
gorgeous spring-like weather,
peace between the siblings,
and a relaxing weekend ahead.
All it takes is a few weeks of crisis to remind me how fabulous "boring" and "normal" are.
yes, I'm a wimp.
but these two don't seem to mind.
Happy weekending, and I hope none of you were struck down with the plague (or if you were that you are back to health now as well)
Like peanut butter on the fingers of a curious toddler, this post is begging to be shared.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Retarded and Respect

"That movie was retarded."
Translation: "That was the worst movie I've ever seen."

"Seriously I can't believe you did that. You're such a retard."
Translation: "Wow you're an idiot."

"Hahahaha, that was the most retarded thing I've ever seen."
Translation:"That just took STUPID to a new level."

"That outfit doesn't go together at all. It looks so retarded."
Translation:"That looks horrible!"

Whether or not you've found yourself saying that word in such a context, sadly, many other people have.

Unfortunately, society has taught us that it's a cool word to slip into everyday vocabulary. Hollywood still uses it. Popular books still use it.

Maybe you have never even considered why this might be a problem or an offense. I'm not here to judge you if you have said it in the past or find it on the tip of your tongue now.

But I am here to help you become aware of what it means and why saying it isn't in anyone's best interest.

Retardto make slow; delay the development or progress of; hinder or impede.

The truth is-
my daughter is retarded.

Beautiful Addison who I love more than anything holds the medical diagnosis of "mentally retarded".

Every time you flippantly replace "horrible", "stupid" or "idiotic" with the word "retarded" you might as well replace it with "Addison" instead.

and that hurts. more than I could ever express to you.

Because if you know Addison AT ALL you know that she is neither "stupid" or "idiotic" or "horrible".
She is a gorgeous, sweet, curious, amazing, SMART little girl.

"Be the bigger person"
"Words can't hurt you"
"Stop being so sensitive- it's just a word!"

You may give excuses as to why the offense is my fault, but the truth is?
This is about making the world a more accepting place- a place full of dignity and respect for ALL. I can just stay in my corner, wiping away the tears from seeing people I love dearly place this word on their facebook status in a laughable fashion. I can tuck away the hurt and deal with it the same way I deal with other hurts that may come my way.

But that won't help the world accept Addison or others with intellectual disabilities. That won't raise awareness that an entire population segment right now is being degraded through every day conversation under the guise of being cool and hip.

Addison is a person- just like you and me.

and she deserves all the respect and dignity that you can offer because everything that comes so easily to you and me, she has to work at least TWICE as hard to achieve. That deserves admiration and hey-RESPECT

and part of that means


NOT USING THE WORD "RETARDED" or "RETARD".
please. cut it out of your vocabulary. Just don't say it!

I am begging you.

and someday?
Addison will thank you too.

r-word.org


Like peanut butter on the fingers of a curious toddler, this post is begging to be shared.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Vacation!

My back rests gently against a reclining chair, my feet are covered in a light layer of sand. I'm enveloped into a hug of warm air. My body is relaxed and rested.

Opening my eyes, I view the most magnificent shade of blue in front of me. Still water, with slight waves lightly lapping against the white sand, softly whispers my name. I pull myself upright, setting down the delicious creamy strawberry drink decorated with a miniature umbrella. Strolling over to the edge of the water, I stand still and enjoy the warm licks of water on my toes.

It's 85 degrees, zero humidity. A slight wind brushes my short hair across my cheeks.

The sun is beating down on more bare skin than I've shown since giving birth six months ago (i.e. not my usual sweatpants and hoody). I glance down and notice with satisfaction that all of the running is paying off as the body wearing the sleek black swim suit is looking less and less "post babyish". Perhaps in a couple more days a slight tan will stain my winter white skin.

My shoulders rise and fall, the motion continuing all the way down to the bottom of my feet. I haven't a care in the world, and my entire being is so relaxed, it's a wonder that I'm still standing.

Giving into the impulse, I lie carefully down on the sand, feeling the warmth burn into my skin. A good kind of burn. My entire body sinks into a carefully molded "Deanna" impression.The only concern on my mind is "Which evening dress should I wear to tonight's formal dinner?"

As I'm pondering my choices, the sun is suddenly blocked by a shadow. My eyes flutter open.

"The front desk called and wants to know if we can bump your massage to 3:30?"

My tanned husband stands beside me, his earnest blue eyes peeking out underneath his S&D Landscape ball cap.

"Sure, waiting an extra half an hour won't kill me." I graciously offer.

He offers me a strong arm and lifts me up out of the sand.

I follow him back to our beach chairs, retrieve my drink out of the sand created cupholder, and settle back into the comfortable seat. I consider which book I should read next, and then decide to just let the moment of relaxation wash over me. No thoughts. No worries. 

I stare out at the brilliant blue water and idly notice the clouds drifting into recognizable shapes- a smile, a stop sign, a teddy bear. A bird swoops down and lands on the sand, looking for food.

Once again I close my eyes, sigh with bliss, and sink even lower into the reclining chair.

Just then, I hear the sound of strangled vomiting.

I race out of the chair, every muscle in my body tensing. Out of nowhere, a pink nursery materializes. Inside, I discover a very sad little girl covered in vomit and crying in discomfort, large alligator tears streaming down her face and signing "help". Just as I'm reaching out to her, piercing screams join in from the blue nursery from a little boy who just woke up ANGRY that he is all alone, resting on a very full diaper and operating on an empty belly.

It's somehow freezing in the house and I see snow softly falling out the window.

As I stand silently surveying the mess and deciding which problem to tackle first, I briefly feel sorry for myself and then promise...

someday my beach vacation will advance beyond my dreams.

someday.

Meanwhile? There's work to be done with thankfulness for life and a roof over our heads. #MotherhoodRocks

(anyone else ever get SO wound up from being housebound that your imagination just kind of runs away with you???)

*Addison is feeling a bit better since I wrote this post

Like peanut butter on the fingers of a curious toddler, this post is begging to be shared.

Friday, March 2, 2012

6months and a book

I am curled up on a soft mattress with laptop in hand. The music from Addison's room is softly playing across the hall- how she can sleep with classical music playing is beyond me but oddly enough she can't sleep WITHOUT it.

Both children are asleep. and well. Not sure if it is too soon to exhale with relief and say that Carter and I managed to escape the plague, but we are all presently healthy and I am going to take a moment to just be thankful that we made it through this week.

Thank you so much to all of you who left "foods with water" suggestions for us. I ended up making a delicious chicken noodle soup thing and fed it to Addison via syringe (note to self: next time don't put in the noodles when syringe feeding will be happening lol) Anyway, she is on the mend.

Thankful.

So tonight I had a project to work on, but instead I found myself going back to read old blog posts. It all started when I posted these pictures of Carter on facebook (WHAT? you don't follow me there???):
after posting that today he turned 6 months, I thought NO that's not possible! He was JUST born!

So I went back and reread the posts where I announced his birth, told his birth story...complained about how he never slept....posted first pictures of the kids together...confessed how I struggled comparing them. (and all of the things that I said in that post that Addison WASN'T doing...she did all of them shortly after I wrote that)

I laughed. I cried. I relived it all. Blogging is such a wonderful thing to capture life like that. (still not sure how I found the time to write about these things, but so glad I somehow did!)  OK- must admit: the RUNNING post is perhaps one of my favorite posts ever. (-:

Anyway, while then reading through almost every blog from then until now (I needed to know where the time went...still a mystery) I noticed many references and teases of my book that I'm working on (not the ebook-a novel).

I always said- I'll update soon- next post I'll tell you, and lol I never did! #shame

So here's my update: no big news to share. I am working a little bit each day to make it better, more polished and ready for publication. I am currently working on a rewrite with an editor and have some publishing potential in the very near future (will share as it happens...don't want to jinx myself!) all of it contingent on me getting some pretty serious work done on it over the next six months (good thing I have NOTHING else to do hehe)

Anyway, that pretty much tells you...absolutely nothing, but I wanted to fill the promise that I made many times. oops. The deeper I get into the whole book writing process, the more I realize what a long process it is.

and I'm ok with that. I've been writing it for almost two years. If it takes me 5, 10 or 20. I'll still be here. Working on it. Because some messages are worth slaving over to get them just right. I might not mention it much on here, but it is a constant part of my daily ritual. When the kids nap/go to sleep at night- I rewrite and scheme and rewrite some more. I'm seriously having a lot of fun with it!

So yeah...I'm a writer wannabe. And while I wait and pretend, I have way too much fun "publishing" myself on this little ol' blog from day to day. It's nice to get immediate feedback for thoughts, so, thanks again.

Hope your weekends are going splendidly...I gave up on tonight's edits to reread blog posts and type this explanation to you. Sometimes lost time is really a necessary break.

until later.
Like peanut butter on the fingers of a curious toddler, this post is begging to be shared.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

the plague

 This week I will not be winning any blogging awards, motherhood/superwoman awards, most loving wife awards, sanitize house/laundry washing awards...

but I have survived until Thursday which for this week equals SUCCESS (yes, in all caps)

As per my last post that undoubtedly made very little sense as it was typed after very little sleep and posted with very little proofreading as the next crisis was arising...

sickness has descended upon our family.

well, not the whole family. Just Addison (in a BIG way) and Aaron.

Add in a Carter, who is needy even when he is well, and you get THREE needy babies people that I love.

So my week has been spent constantly cleaning up Addison...trying to get her to drink SOMETHING and holding her nonstop as she cried every time she was put down (while keeping her away from Carter), feeding/diapering/playing with Carter, delivering jello and ginger ale to the master bedroom and checking to make sure Aaron was still breathing, using the sanitizing mode on my washer more than I ever have, and wiping down EVERYTHING in the house with disinfectant wipes over and over again (steam moping everything!) and constantly washing my hands....praying that Carter and I could avoid the plague. (yet again, a paragraph that makes practically NO SENSE at all...gonna claim the sleep card once again)
so yeah. I hope all of you are staying healthy...we haven't been so lucky ourselves over here.

...just dropping in briefly to explain our absence. Haven't forgotten about any of you (or the need to return emails)...just overwhelmed by slightly more pressing issues at hand.

will hopefully be back up and running by next week (if this doesn't hit me by the weekend!)

hoping for my happy family to be back again soon.

p.s. what are some foods that include a lot of water? Addison is now refusing her bottle as it reminds her of vomiting...will not drink out of a sippy cup...out of a straw...or out of a normal cup. trying to avoid dehydration...
So far I have watermelon and jello on my list


Like peanut butter on the fingers of a curious toddler, this post is begging to be shared.
 
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