The Day Before….

Tomorrow is the 4th anniversary of the day that Nathaniel died and was born.

It’s been a funny lead up to the day….funny – different or funny – weird not funny – ha ha.

We’ve talked about it off and on for the past month, but more “in passing” as opposed to an actual discussion about him or the day… and now….here it is upon us.

This is the first year that I’m very aware that I’m not grieving the day in a very hard way. I think that has a lot to do with the fact that since that time, we have been blessed with a living child.

To be honest, I didn’t grieve this day last year very hard either, BUT I was out of town and busy and didn’t even really realize that the day had come until it was mostly over. I was just trying to get thorugh the day in an “out of the norm” schedule and with a 4 month old.

It was probably 6 or 7pm that evening that I realized that I had forgotten and really even at that point I had only a moment to feel terribly guilty that I had forgotten, and then my time was once again consumed with Siah and my surroundings.

So, I’ve had this week, off and on, to remember and to put some thought into tomorrow. I woke up this morning remembering how I woke up and felt uneasy that he wasn’t moving and how I tried to tell myself that it was nothing….how I stressed all morning and then finally late in the afternoon we went to the hospital and it all began…..

What a hellish day.

I’m so glad that I’m 4 years removed from the weighty emotions of that day. I had a moment yesterday where I teared up thinking about a little boy who would have been around 4 years old……but who is only a thought…not even a memory…just a dream or a hope.

I think that we will do what we’ve done ever year except for last.

It’s the way that we celebrate life and remember Nathaniel.

We will go out for breakfast and then go and buy some hellium ballons and write notes to Nathaniel all over them and then let them go in a near by park.

This year will be a little different with Siah around to get on it all….I’m thinking that we’ll have to get a balloon that he can keep. He’s not going to understnad why he had a balloon in his grubby little hands and then all of the sudden it’s gone and he can’t have it back……too funny.

Just because I can talk about all of this without feelig crushed under the heavy weight of grief doesn’t mean that I don’t still hurt thinking about all that we’ve lost. It’s just a different kind of pain. I think that if I had to describe it…it’s become a part of me. I will always have this little piece of my heart that belongs to Nathaniel and while the wound of the loss is not immediate and fresh – there was still a wound and it left a permanent mark. I’m okay….in fact most days, I’m definately better than okay….but I live with this….this is just who I am. I have a child – children actually – that I don’t get to hold and cuddle on a daily basis, BUT……

I do appreciate the children that I have, that MUCH MORE because of it, and even if that was all I got out of “all of this” then that’s amazing, but it’s not…there is SO MUCH MORE that I’ve learned and that has been given to me as a result of the loss and in a weird way, I’m thankful for what my children – ALL OF MY CHILDREN – have taught me.

So, tomorrow we celebrate life! If there was one thing I could leave with you it would be,

“Live your life with no regrets!”

I hope your day tomorrow is full of love, and peace and hope. Mine will be!

Where to even begin……

I’m a bit overwhelmed at the number of things that I could talk about…the funny stories, the fun times with family and friends, the snow – OH MY GOODNESS, THE SNOW!!!!!!! – slowing down, clearing out and cleaning up…..there is just so much to talk about and so little time.

The baby is sleeping right now which means that I have to choose wisely… I sit here in my pyjamas smelling of 2 day old funk…..blogging is probably not the “wisest” choice….and so I will be quick.

I have pictures to share and will get to them as time allows.

It’s busy having the kids home from school, AND….I want to be able to be there for them and not to be glued to this screen. I have to admit that I’m surprised at how easy it’s been to ignore my computer for the past while. Typically it calls to me like the “cracK” it is…whispering of all the sweet time we could waste together and fortunately….my kids quiet ha ha ha ha ha ha I just about peed myself over here….okay, well they are really not all that quiet, but it would have made a good story to talk about how my kids quiet whispers as they asked for some stories to be read cuddled on the couch and how it warmed my heart.

Reality is a bit more brutal. Some fights, some games, a lot of Wii – thanks Mum and Dad C.- and most of all lots of laughter….well, really…most of all, lots of food. My kids sure eat a lot….I’d like to say that it’s the healthy food I give them…that they just love to fill their “preshus wittle bodies with all that good healty vitamin rich goodnes”, but really…sometimes….I just wonder if they have worms or parasites or something….these kids are machines when it comes to food!

So, with all the thought whizzing around in my brain, I am going to go and take a shower and if I still have time…..I might make a list of all the things that I have to talk about and possibly, hopefully, give a really good shot at whittling it down to the funniest, the saddest, the more exciting….you know…all the really highly charged emotional stuff that makes for really good blogging……or I could just get on here with no thought and blabber on and on and on….cause ya all know I’ve done enough of that recently……

I do hope that your Christmas was full of peace and that you were able to be apart of some really amazing memories.

And so I leave you with my best Arnold voice and say……I’ll be back!

In Keeping With the Theme…..

So, last week was a bit of a rough week for us over here, BUT……..we’ve survived and are back to being our cheerful happy selves.

Thanks for sharing with me. I love it when your girlfriends will sit down and cry with you and then out of left field, you get a dear friend who gives you a bit of a kick in the pants, and it’s all good. Thank you…….seriously THANK YOU!

But, in the middle of all of this, I’ve been noticing that my house has kind of thrown up on itself.

I was NEVER a packrat – EVER! in fact, I would regularly go through my “memory chest” and re-sort and file (under G for Garbabge) things so that I only ever had a certain amount of “the most important things“.

A few years into marriage, someone who lived next door to us, had peeked in through our window (can we say creepy, sleezy, stalker?) and wanted to know if we were moving. It was far enough into our marriage that we weren’t sporting that “just got married/don’t have enough stuff/trying to fake that we really are grown ups now” look. I just really REALLY liked a clean, no extra crap look.

Only the bare essentials for me thank you….

This continued on in our married lives for years. In fact, we moved houses 9 times in 7 years, and instead of it being a problem (I mean, obviously we had problems as you can tell because what “normal” person moves 9 times in 7 years… least 4 of those with kids) I actually looked forward to it because it was just another opportunity to “throw more crap away“.

And then……..THEN…..then we moved to our current home. Where we apparently set down roots….or had a pile driver come out and drive some piles into our current home. We’ve been here for the past 7.5 years. Even for the first couple of years, I just threw things out. It was kind of like a revolving door policy. If something was going to come in, then something else needed to go out. I only had “so much” room and was not going to let things get cluttered.

And now here I am and my house feels CHAOTIC, and I don’t understand how we got here, where all this stuff came from and when did I change and WHY?

I’ve been getting rid of crap lately (see, my theme that I mentioned – ha ha ha ha) No, I’m serious. I’ve been throwing stuff out. If it’s not super important to me or the kids – then OUT it goes.

And, over the weekend, we got rid of a van load of junk, and I have another van load of junk to go tonight. I’m totally embarrased typing that out, because I must admit that I’m barely even started yet. Now, before you go all “crazy” and think that I’m living in the dump….remember that my normal sense of “clutter free” is probably a bit harsher than yours….remember the previous comments of my house looking like we were moving…yah – I like the minimalist look.

But, I did have WAY TOO MUCH CRAP and I’ll be throwing it out, giving it away, or selling it so that I can finally feel like I can breathe again.

I think I figured out when and why it happened.

Almost 4 years ago, we sweet little boy died before we even got a chance to hold him, and it ROCKED MY WORLD.

I’ve not been the same since.

It was hard to breathe let alone worry about my house. It was an effort to just survive and only the very most important things got any energy focused toward them… caring for the kids, but honestly, I don’t think I did a very good job of even that. It’s amazing to me when I see how far from “that place” that I am, but it’s sad to see how the “effect” of losing Nathaniel is still with me.

I’m stronger than I knew I was, and yet I’m also aware of a sense of frailty. I can’t “do it all“. I recognize that I tire easier. I can’t plan too many events in a row or I feel overwhelmed. I like my alone and quiet time. I’m just so different. It’s the same me but different. I sit here trying to explain in words, and I fell like I’m not doing a very good job, and really to say “it feels like a part of me died with Nathaniel” is probably the best way of explaining it. Not in a sad, depressed way, but just that a small part of me changed and will never be the same, and that happened when Nathaniel died. I still don’t think I’m explaining it well, but that’s okay.

Back to my house….I just didn’t care as much about……well….I just didn’t care about much. But the further I get away from that point in time, the more I’m aware of the healing that takes place over time. I don’t think there is anything else that can make the process go faster – just TIME!

And no – having Siah didn’t make things better. I love Josiah. I’m so thrilled that he’s a part of my life. He has his own spot in my heart and in my life. He didn’t fill the spot that was Nathaniel’s; he never could, and he was or never is supposed to.

I love the fact that Nathaniel is still having an impact on my life today. I never got to hug, and raise him, but his legacy lives on. It lives on with every “thing” that I process and learn about “living, dying, grieving and healing

In thinking about my house and processing why I am at where I am today, and how I got here….I realize that it’s all a part of the process. I can choose to see it as such or I can be frustrated.

I choose to just walk it out. And so today, walking it out means that I am seriously decluttering.

And I’m loving it.

How about you? Are you a pack rat or do you like the minimalist look or do you have a healthy balance?

Hey! How YOU Doing?

Alright, so it’s been an amazing week of barf, diarrhea, diarrhea, and more diarrhea.

And you, How’ve things been for you?

I bet my week trumps your week, no?

On top of all that “fun-ness”, I reluctantly kept both Xandra and Jeremy home from school as school policy states that “your child should be 24 hours diarrhea-free” before you send their germ-y goodness back to class.

Let me just say that I so appreciate the teachers. Jeremy’s teacher in particular, but Xandra is a whole fun ball of emotional energy in her own special way, as well.

Now, it’s not entirely fair in that I get Jeremy “med-free” and we dope him heavily before we send him off to lay siege on his classroom, to war, to school.

I must explain…..well, actually – I really don’t have to, but I want to….because if me and my situation can in any way help you to understand some child and their parent better or to help you to give just a little extra grace to “that child” in church or at the mall or heck, even in your own family, or even if you just walk away and say “THANK GOD THAT’S NOT ME HAVING TO DEAL WITH ALL THAT” I think I might understand how or why that poor mom looks like hell so frazzled, nope I won’t ask her to bake 4 dozen cookies to bring to the “troop” meeting tomorrow night…..then my work here is done.

At this point, I’m actually just giong to go ahead and see if I can use a world record amount of punctuation marks, quotation marks and such in this post……

I choose to joke and laugh about the situation that we are in, mostly because I like to. I like to find the humor in things and well, in our family, there is a lot of humor to be found.

I can either choose to be angry about what’s going on and get all controlled and then get even more angry when “it” (life) doesn’t fit into my perfect little controlled scheme OOOOOOOOOORRRRR, I can laugh, and just kinda “Flow with it”.

I will honestly admit that I’ve been WAY more of a angry controlled type person for a lot of my life….not that I’ve had tons to be angry about, but the whole cycle of FEAR leading into CONTROL, leading into CHAOS, which makes us ANGRY mostly because we are full of FEAR, which cycles us right back into CONTROL and well….you can see how the cycle keeps on going, eh?

I’ve changed (some) over the past 3-4 years and it’s not been without counselling, but it has definately been for the better and not for the worse.

Okay, Back to my most wonderful son…..

Life with Jeremy is SO MUCH STINKING WORK!

It’s so true. Yesterday, after 2 days of being at home “med-free” I dosed him up. He was absolutely “pinging” off of everything. I had yelled at him lovingly helped him to understand the error of his ways, many, many MANY times, and this was all before 9am. Can you see how the day was shaping up to be a really awesome day?

So I did. I gave him some Ritalin, and even though it took a bit to kick it – yesterday was a pretty pleasant day….sort of. See, there is a HUGE sliding scale of what “pleasant” means. In my world, if nothing gets majorly burnt, irrepairably destroyed, no one gets seriously hurt, and there are no major screaming tear filled melt downs – then I consider it pleasant.

Did you notice all those adjectives in front of those words….yah…that there is the kicker. On a normal day….at that stuff still happens, but if we can “fix” the situation then I consider it to all be succesful.

Man, I’m tired!

I’m sure this post must be winning some award for the longest, worst punctuated, most run on sentances and poor grammer, but really…this is just how it is. Life is messy. My life might be messier than some, and less messier than others. But….this is my life, and I’m okay with it. Tired, but okay.

Okay, so I gave Jeremy some Ritalin….that’s where we were, right, and like I said, the day was okay.

The thing is…..I wonder sometimes…..I wonder what J would be like if he didn’t have ADD/ADHD. Would he be like he was yesterday? He was more subdued than normal. He worked his butt off helping around the house. He cleaned the TV room, he set the table, he wante to do the after supper dishes, he vaccumed, he cleaned his own room (and it looked like a nuclear bomb went off in there before), he got his pyjamas on without being asked, he packed his bag for the next day, he brushed his teeth and he got into his bed to “try” to go to sleep…..and then at 10:30pm he came out crying because he had been trying so hard to go to sleep and he just couldn’t….and that broke my heart.

This kid doesn’t sleep. It’s awful. I wonder if half his problem isn’t that he’s just sleep deprived. I don’t know what to do about that…but that’s a tangent….

He did all that stuff……NORMALLY….he would have ignored that mess and those responsibilites and created the worlds largest human-made spider web in the front room with my most favorite and most expensive ball of wool, and then would have been reduced to a sobbing mess when I didn’t leave it there as a work of art for the rest of eternity.

What do I mean by a spider web….well, take a ball of wool or string or something and attach it to and around every surface in a room, weaving under and in and out a couple of hundred times……yah…it’s awesome….and hell, to clean up….it usually involves scissors, lots of bad words mumble under your breath, maybe a yell or two, and almost always sobbing…..OH MY GOODNESS THE SOBBING!

Really, honestly, i have no idea where I’m going with all of this….I’ve just had 3 days at home with my darlings (I haven’t even talked about the “special-ness” of Xandra) and today is the first day that they are back at school and I have a moment to breathe.

I love my kids. I love their creativity. I hate that Jeremy needs some extra help to be able to function well in the world. I hate being tired. I hate worrying about Siah….that one’s weighing on me right now, but it must be a post for another day. I……..

Well…I have a lot of other “I’s” that I could say, but……couldd I hear from you?

What do you find is the most troubling, stressful or difficult thing that you deal with in your life? Heck, it doesn’t even have to be the most difficult….just something difficult or stressful?

Help a girl out, eh? Let me know that I’m not alone stressing about things?

Mindless Blatherings

I really should have gone shopping this week – we are OUT of fresh fruit and veggies but I’ve been trying to stretch things a bit this week, and to use up some of our frozen or canned stuff and…..well….here we are. It’s Friday and I did spend – well dangit – I can’t find the reciept.

I’ll have to find the recipet and then I can update…it was approx $50. I bought a large block of Sheep Cheese.

There is a part of me that is feeling a little bit pressured to hide things like paying a large amount of money for cheese when that money could be someone else’s entire weeks budget for food.

At the same time, I’m not trying to live anyone else’s life. We have made some choices for our life (and health), and some other choices were made for us (allergies, intolerances, etc) and we have to live with (and within) our choices.

Yes, I do buy speciality cheese, but not all the time, and we ration it out. I won’t be apologetic for the choices that I choose to make. So….that’s that.

That’s the deal with being open about stuff, and then dealing with the reality that you make choices that are different than others, and then dealing with your preception of what others might be thinking based on your choices.

It all comes down to judgment doesn’t it?

It’s amazing how judgmental we can be, and I think that we expect the same kind of judgment to come to us that we dish out. I hate judgment. It sucks! I try hard to not judge, not that I’m always perfect at it, but I try.

Okay – I could get all deep here, but I was just trying to whip up an update about how we are doing and what’s going on, and I’m getting all sidetracked…

I blame it totally on the downstairs renters. They are totally blaring their music right now and all I can hear is the thump, thump, thump of the bass in whatever song they are listening to. It’s AWESOME!

They’ve had a party every night for the past week and a half and it’s getting old. We’ve asled them to be considerate of the fact hat we have a family living upstairs, and then….that night they are still going strong at 4am. IT ROCKS! In SO MANY WAYS!

So, I’m tired! I’m also wondering how this fall/winter/spring’s cold, wet, dark, rainy season is going to affect me. I can feel the tiredness already starting to hit. That sucks, too!

Alrighty, well, now that I’ve spread my love and cheeriness all over the Internet – I think that I’ll just be done now.

Don’t forget to check out the store and to ENTER THE GIVEAWAY! Click here to read about the details.

And seriously, if you’ve never commented here or are lurking and unsure about de-lurking….come on….I won’t bite. I promise! Well, maybe only a little bit and only if you ask me to.

Someone has to win, and it might as well be you. Right?

Falling Off the Face of the Planet

Hey! How’s it going? Did ya miss me?

It’s been a busy, crazy, wonderful, terrible weekend.

How ’bout you?

On Friday we went over to my sisters house for a fun night with friends….Saturday night Siah was up from midnight until 3am barfing – although this time I think it might be the flu. I finally got to bed around 4am (so much fun). Sunday we had Thanksgiving with my side of the family and on Monday we had Thanksgiving with Jon’s side of the family. Today, Angelica is downstairs in her room barfing.


I also spent more this weekend than I probably should have. SUCKS, eh?

Well, it breaks down like this….

Entertainment (this could have totally not happened- Bad, bad, bad!) – $90.79
Gas (We got $22.02 free gas – YAH Superstore!) – $78.31
Groceries (Thanksgiving extras included) – $250.90

So that’s were it stands and the total for the month is $650.35. AAAAAWWWWK!

I’m gonna try and reign it all in again this week- get things back on track! It’s a good eye opener for me to see it all laid out here and to have to be accountable to you all. It’s just “keeping it all real“, eh?

Thanks to Cool Mama and Lala for your comments. I appreciate your honesty.

I had never even thought about the “guilt” side of it. It’s amazing how we view things through our own “grids”…through our own struggles and strengths and pain and….and…..well, it’s just interesting to hear that you felt or feel that way. I never got that message from the book, but then again for me…it wasn’t exactly about the “book” per se as about what I took away from it all after reading the book. I guess that’s more the case…the book made me think, and I got really exited about what I was thinking or feeling that I could do or feeling stirred up to do.

Regardless, I love hearing what you all are thinking. I love to hear different points of views. I think that when you are able to hear what others are saying, it helps to “round out” your views or even to challenge or strengthen your beliefs and convictions.

I am feeling rushed and pressured today because I have to go and help out at the school at lunch time today, and that just throws my whole day off just slightly….just enough to make me feel rushed. So, I think I’m gonna wrap this up for now.

I’ll leave you with my two most favorite moments from this weekend.

#1 My dad tearing up when we (the family) gave him and mom their anniversary gift – an overnight trip to Harrison Hot Springs

#2 My dad telling the story about the time that he hooked Grandpa Kennedy in the nose with a fish hook when they were fishing and the hilarity that ensued as a result. He (and we) were laughing so hard as he was retelling the 40 year old story. It was amazing.

What was YOUR most favorite moment from this weekend?

Thinking Important Thoughts

I was standing in front of my hallway mirror plucking my eyebrows this morning….well, actually I had stopped in front of the mirror to look at myself….I forget what I was originally stopping to look at….I guess my own beauty just absolutely stunned me into forgetfulness! Ha Ha Ha Ha HA!

Anyway, I noticed that I had a hair growing out of my chin….gotta love those rogue hairs….so I went and got my tweezers and figured that while I was there I might as well spend a few moments weed wacking at my eyebrows. Those suckers were taking over my forehead!

While standing there tweezing and thinking about how I hate plucking my eyebrows – I actually thought for one moment, “What if I just kept going and tweezed them ALL out? Then I would have to pluck even less often than I currently do…….”

Yah, I know! Can you even believe that I thought such a hideous thought? Can you imagine how weird I’d look with NO EYEBROWS!!!! Frankly, I’m a little surprised that the thought even crossed my mind. I quickly finished up and then “stepped away from the tweezers”.

In other news, I bought some yarn yesterday – $12.58 – for a birthday present.

I’ll show ya what I made next week after it’s all finished up.

Total is now up to $230.35.

Moving on…..I asked a question on Tuesday and I’m thrilled that Lala answered.

My question was…

“What is your position on people who are down and out asking for money?”

Lise’s answer was……

… sometimes I do judge, if I am being honest, if people are really doing all they can do to earn a living. BUT I have so appreciated the gifts to us when we have had hard times and Jason gives regularly, it’s his gift! for me, if I have the cash and feel to give, then I do .

I ABSOLUTELY love the fact that she was honest about sometimes judging. I do the same thing.

This wasn’t a trick question to show how good or bad anyone was or is. I was really interested in what you all thought.

I do wonder, sometimes, what they are going to be doing with the money, and honestly – I’d rather take someone into the closest restaurant and buy them a meal….even if it’s more expensive that just giving them the $3.48 that was in my wallet.

I read a book over the summer and it really got me thinking.

The Irresistable Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical

by Shane Clairborne

It’s not even that I agree with or buy into ALL of what he says, but that I had to re-think my already shifting position on people.

People who need to be loved. People who are just like me.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what we “NEED” and what we “DESERVE” and what we “WANT”. How do things 3 things influence us? What is that I actually need? Why do I think I need it? Why do I think that I deserve something? Do I really deserve it? What makes me more deserving than my neighbor or a leader in my community or the homeless guy on the corner? Do I really need something or do I just want it? And is my wanting it reson enough to have it? Do I need excess?

So many things to think about?

In reading this book and really starting to think about different things, I started to want to just make a difference to the person in front of me. I might not be able to change the world, but I could possibly make a different in “someone’s” world.

It’s way easier to just throw money at someone and run away. It’s more difficult to “see” the hurting person in front of you and to “see” their pain and to recognize that they are no better or worse than you. It could be you. A few different choices made, and it could be you.

Would you want to have to live with the constant distain and disgust of those walking around you? Would that inpsire you to want to do something different with where you are at?

I know what it’s like to feel so down and discouraged that I had no energy to move from the dark place that I was into a better place. It took love and encouragement and someone loving me just for who I was and loving me where I was at, and in spite of where I was at, and just loving me and walking along side of me lending love, support, encouragement, a shoulder to cry on, an arm for support, an ear to listen to….It took LOVE!

I want to be able to show love. Even if it means stopping for 5 minutes and sitting down and just chatting and letting someone know that I see the real person. Asking their name. Finding out their story. I might not have the money to give every time I run across someone, but I can always give love.

I don’t have all the answers, and I don’t always have time…and sometimes, I just don’t have the energy. But I want to! I want to be able to give and share and love!

If you haven’t already read it, I’d suggest that you read the book. Not so that you can agree with everything in the book but see what stands out for you….see if it suggests some change or even if it just makes you think……

If you have read it, what did you think? What ways has it changed your thinking? Did you like it? What really stood out to you? Or did ya just not like it or care for it?

Let me know what you’re thinking?