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July 30th, 2007

Ok, after I wrote the incredibly incriminating post yesterday regarding my  vocal little  son’s tendancy towards erratic temper tantrums, as of today he was the veritable picture of all that is good, sweet and precious with the world.   There was nary a tear shed, a wail procured, nor a single stomp of the foot or enraged, “Mommy go away!”   He was, in a word, perfect.

Hm.   Maybe I should vent more often.


July 29th, 2007

Kenny, my sweet wonder-boy, has already managed to be ahead of the developmental curve in many areas.     He  started talking well before his first birthday, can now ask questions and speak in some semblance of complete sentences, sings several songs, and has even memorized parts of his favorite books to recite while we read.   It’s only natural that his gifted nature extends to starting The Terrible Twos early.

He has thrown tantrums here and there.   Mild, dramatic, significant, justified, random and perplexing.   But it’s just been this past week when I’ve come to realize that the inevitable has begun.   He will pitch a royal fit over the slightest inconsistency or seemingly incorrect judgement on my part.   A sampling from today:    

  • I put his  juice is in the Thomas cup instead of the bulldozer cup.  
  • I didn’t let him screw the cap back on the OJ all by himself.  
  • I cut his sandwich into four pieces.  
  • I moved the lego box to the other room.  
  • I turned on the vacuum.  
  • I sang along with the song he was singing (all by himself).  
  • I actually meant it when I said, “One more book then it’s time for bed.”  
  • I didn’t let him taste the dead bug on the floor.

Need I go on?   These tantrums involve a face so tragically sad that you would think I’d lost his favorite teddy bear.   The wails that emit from so tiny a mouth make my back teeth hurt, and the way he runs to the other side of the room to get away from me (while he cries, “Mama Go Away!”) make my stomach churn.   It’s bewildering, and yet I know that this phenomenon is merely par for the parental course.

When he’s not wailing with gut-wrenching sorrow, he is still the most delicious kid on the planet.   He gives fantastic hugs, loves to snuggle up with Mama and a good book, and is mastering the art of mixing chocolate chip cookie dough.   He’s my boy and I love him fiercely, but boy do I hope this terrible thing is short lived…

Twenty Questions

July 27th, 2007

Yesterday  evening Casey and I dropped Kenny off at my sister’s house and went to the home of a semi-retired OB who is the father of  a good friend of ours.   He started the OB practice that I go to many years ago, and is still in charge of operations there, even though he no longer delivers babies.   We had about two hundred and twenty questions, and desperately needed to talk to someone who A) wasn’t on a time clock, and B) actually believed in God and creation and the reality of life in the womb.

It was such a healing time.   He was fatherly and kind, specific and clinical, and jovial in the midst of sharing our sorrow.   At one point he looked quite seriously at me and said, “These were  children you lost.   You’re not going to forget it; it will be part of your life forever.”     He also answered our questions about statistics and common assumptions about miscarriage and subsequent pregnancies.    He was frank, too, about the reality that when you have a viable pregnancy, there is truly  nothing  you can do to actually  cause a miscarriage (like exercising, being “too busy,” or, to quote him directly, “Doing jumping jacks until your tongue hangs out”), and if the pregnancy is not viable, there is nothing you can do to save it (bed rest, taking vitamins or hormones – unless you have a clinical condition warranting them).   When Casey asked him, “If this was your daughter who has had two miscarriages in four months, what would you tell her to do?” he replied, “Get pregnant.”   Then he said, “You call me the minute  you get pregnant, and I’ll get you in right away with the best OB on the East Coast.”     He explained that early monitoring was the best thing we could do for peace of mind and good health.   I can’t begin to express how relieved I was at his generosity; I nearly disolved into tears.     When we asked him about timing, he dispelled the current trend of telling women to wait three months, and said that physically, it made no difference if you got pregnant five minutes or five months from miscarrying… that the most important thing was giving yourself time to emotionally heal.

The biggest gift of the whole evening  was the peace of mind and encouragement that he gave us.   It never hurts to have the head of the practice on your side.   And it never hurts to have someone who truly believes in the miracle of life encouraging you to try again.

Coffee Break

July 24th, 2007

Today a sweet friend of mine came over to have a cup of coffee and chat.   Her kids are all grown up, so this was purely time for me.   Kenny was the model child – he played at our feet with his blocks, and only got antsy towards his lunchtime.   The strangest thing, though, was that my constant talker said nary a word but “Dudley” during my friend’s hour and a half visit.   This is the kid who never stops talking, yet he babbled baby-talk  and giggled non-stop.  

On her departure, he suddenly looked up and said, ever so clearly, “Where’d Miss Suzi  going?”   Then proceeded to give me a detailed diatribe on  exactly what he wanted for lunch (“Ter-key sanwish, go-cheese (goat cheese – yes, really) an’ chips”), where he wanted to eat (“Eat on da porsh! (porch, that is)”)  it, and when he would be all done (“Kenny eat it all up and be all-done!”).     What a stinker.


By the way, Dudley has been chewing on his “blankie” since we brought him home from the breeder.   This is blankie #5.   He does it when he’s tired at night, or when he doesn’t know what to do with himself and there are people over.   Note to LancyPants… does Lance do this?   I’ve heard that many weims do it by nature…

Playing Catch Up

July 23rd, 2007

Do you ever have a to do list that makes you so anxious just looking at it that you decide to throw it away??   I have spent the evening trying to catch up on various neglected household tasks, and finally I threw in the towel and have spent the better part of the last hour surfing the web.

How are we mommies ever supposed to get everything done?   My friend Jody put it well… “By the time I finish vacuuming the house, the dust bunnies have come back to the room I started in!”   I have a pile of mail to open and file that has grown so large, it just fell to the floor.   I am a fanatic about cleaning, so that’s where my time is usually spent, but then when do I have time to match the ever-multiplying pile of socks that need a mate?   When do I actually fill in the blanks in my Bible study book in time to meet with my ladies?   When do I iron that skirt I’ve been dying to wear, but can’t because it’s resembling a Sharpe?   Most of all, when do I take the time to do those sit ups I keep thinking about, or those yoga moves I used to love so much?

As I often sing to Kenny, “Iiiiii don’t wanna work / I want to play with my kid all day…”   I am finally realizing, though, that no one else has it all together, either.   If my nails are crying out for a manicure, when I steal a glance at the mom next to me in the grocery line, I see that her three inch roots are crying harder.   And the day that I spent an hour in the Safeway with my fly down,  mascara on one eye  and mismatching earrings, I  could name half a dozen other  people that  I  saw there looking even more disheveled – and they weren’t even toting kids.  

I am also struggling with “taking time to grieve.”   Frankly, I don’t like to, as much as I know I need to.   When I’m alone – at naptime, or on nights Casey works late, it’s like, if I stay busy enough mopping the floor and folding shirts, I don’t have to think about the three beautiful babies up in heaven.     I do find myself crying a little here and there when I’m playing with Kenny.   I am so sad for the brothers or sisters that he will never know. I see how elated he is when we have playdates or outings to the park where there are “KIDS!” and my heart twists, praying that he will grow up with a sibling or two to share his days with.   I am so thankful, though, that he is too young to understand what we have lost.

For now, though, it’s back to the stack of laundry that needs to make it up the stairs sometime this week, or at least before the next load makes it’s way down to be washed.

Etiquette Question #74

July 22nd, 2007

So what do you do when you have a little kid over for a playdate and he turns out to be an absolute rascal?

A rascal as in causing physical harm to various portions of the house and nearly to one’s own son.   This kid broke Kenny’s basketball hoop by knocking it over and jumping on it, pulled a lawn light out of the ground, and “accidentally” pushed Kenny off a three foot high bar-stool.   He ran through the house slamming doors and throwing blocks and other toys at the wall.   All in all you can tell that he was desperately in need of some serious parental attention.

The mom and I are neighbors and acquaintances and thought that since our boys were a little under a year apart, it would be fun to get them together and have some time to get to know each other better.     All I got to know was that she’s never read anything by James Dobson or John Rosemont…   Kenny was a little bewildered and kept trying to play nicely, but you could tell that he was starting to wish that the other little guy would take a hike.   Mercifully the playdate was only an hour long, but  both Kenny and I were  a little shell-shocked by the end.  

So my question for you all is… what do you do when a playdate goes awry?     Anyone out there have any experiences they are itching to share?   Go on- it’s easier on someone else’s blog….

Slumber Party

July 18th, 2007

Monday night, my sister and her kids (and her Golden Retriever, Rusty) spent the night here so that she could watch Kenny the following  morning while Casey and I went to a meeting together.   Kenny was wiggling with excitement the whole time that his “big” cousins were really here for so long.  


Dudley  was so excited to have a fellow canine in the house that he  ran laps around the property for the  first  twenty minutes Rusty was here.   Actually, Dudley and Rusty were having so much fun,  we decided to let him stay for a few more days.     I’ve been wanting to get a brother for Dudley for a long time, and we figured that this would be a  fun way to see how it would be.   So far it’s been great, except that Rusty can’t quite get up the nerve to use the dog door.

Here is the update, from Dudley and Rusty’s point of view…

(Rusty)   *Sigh*   I wonder where the girl and the small girls went.   I wonder how the grey dog keeps getting outside?  


(Dudley) Rusty come play!   Rusty come play!   Outside!   Outside!   Squirels!     Ducks!     Jetskis!   Outside is great!   Outside!   COME OUTSIDE YOU FURRY LUG AND RUN WITH ME!

(Rusty)   I wonder why the grey dog won’t let me outside to play…

(Dudley)   Back inside.   I smell cookies!   Or is that a dirty diaper?   I love to smell.   COOKIES!   Come on you furry lug, help me crack open the cookie jar… Hey, there’s a tiny piece of deli meat in the small boy’s chair… mmmmm…. crumbs… I smell… Oh, scratch.   Oh yeah, right there, ooo!   Shake the head.   Oh yeah.   Whew.   I need a break.   Time to sit down.     Couch?   No, that’s not right.   Chair.   Yeah.   Sit down.   No, let me turn around once.   There!   No….. uh… one more time around… that’s it.   Ah.   Time to lick.   I love this….

(Rusty)   Hm.   The grey dog is on the chair.   He looks lonely.   I’ll go see if he needs someone to talk to…  


As I write, both dogs are pacing around my desk, nails clicking on the pergo, Rusty panting and Dudley sniffing.   But it’s not easy to ignore the fact that since Rusty’s been here, Dudley has been calmer and happier than I’ve seen him in a while.   I think he likes the company.

I Can Only Imagine

July 15th, 2007

Four days ago, Casey and I had our pastor and his wife over to our house for dinner and a small service for the babies we have lost over these past four months.   I can only begin to describe what an incredible beginning to healing that time was.     Just to have two other people weep with us was such a comfort; they both had thoughtful and compassionate things to say, and both offered prayers that lifted my heart.

One of the things our pastor suggested to me was to find a quiet time and sit in the chair I would have sat in to nurse the babies, and close my eyes and imagine all their attributes – what they looked like, their personalities, and their faces, and then allow myself to really feel all the love I had for them.   Then, when I was ready, to physically lift my arms up and imagine that I was giving them back to God, to keep in Heaven until the day I will see them again.   As I was praying the next morning, I did that.   What I saw in my mind’s eye was three young men (of course I imagine the babies as boys – since I have a little boy, it’s all I know!), standing at a bridge, looking over the wall and down below at me.   They were all radiant and smiling, even exuberantly joyful, and they waved at me and I could feel their affection wash over me.     As I looked at them and they at me, I understood that where they were was far more wonderful than where I was.   And I knew that they had no sorrow, no regret, and no loss.   I could almost hear one of them say, “Buck up, Mom.   We’ll see you soon!”   And then they turned to go.   I have been replaying that little scene over and over in my mind, and though I’m not claiming it as prophetic or clairvoyant, I do feel better having imagined it.

Another friend sent us this verse, which has been running through my mind… Isaiah 49:18: “…all your sons gather and come to you.   ‘As surely as I live,’ declares the Lord, “You will wear them all as ornaments; you will put them on, like a bride.”  

This weekend has been a good one.   Yesterday Casey and I ran in a 5K race to support the Annapolis area Friends of Sudan project.   The course was impossibly hilly, and I, being the superwoman that I am, ran the race with Kenny in the jogging stroller.   My superwoman friend Kimberly did the same with her daughter in the jogger, who is five weeks younger than Kenny, and would have skunked me, if not for the fact that Sarah kept throwing her sippy cup and snacks out onto the street.   I made like a bandit and snaked past her, sneaky friend that I am!   We had to start in the back of the pack, due to our accessories, and yet both of us managed to pass at least half the runners to end in good time.   Casey, in his second only road race, and with no training on hills, managed a finish time of 28:30, and I, with my 40 pound push-cart, came in at a respectable (so I say) 29:12.     It was the hills that killed me… but I was decently pleased, and even more so that Casey and I went out to do it together.   Next year, he gets the stroller, though…

We are both scheduled to run in the Annapolis 10 Miler this August 27th: it is cited as one of the most difficult non-marathon races in the country.   It is brutally hot (averaging 90 with humidity at race time), and the course is entirely hills… hills as in straight up and straight down. We ran it together the first summer we were married (five months before I found out we were having Kenny), and we are training hard for it again.   I am a little worried about my post-pregnancy bladder-control.   And the fact that my abdominal muscles are non-existent.   Thank goodness strollers are verbotten for this one… but it does become a great training tool.

Hanging On

July 11th, 2007

This morning was a rough one.   Kenny got up an hour too early, Dudley ate the last Eggo right out of Kenny’s hand as I put him in the stroller, the air outside during our 6 AM walk was already hot and sticky, Dudley pulled on his leash the whole time, wanting to run, and then when we got home, Kenny was peevish and cranky.  

It got worse when I got in the shower.   He knows how to brush his teeth by climing up on a stool and turning on the water (“Slow water” is what he calls it, because I always remind him to let it run slowly…), and  so he climbed up there while I was in the middle of washing my hair  and started splashing water all over the place.   I quickly got out and pulled him down, but he started screaming “Brush Kenny’s teeth!!” and crying and kicking and on and on and suddenly I was sobbing, holding onto him and crumpled in the floor.

Kenny was a little freaked out by the sight of his normally happy Mommy in a weeping, wet  heap on the floor and decided to distract me by walking over to my dresser and pulling all of my clothes out of the drawers.     I  wasted no time getting dressed  and got us downstairs.   But  that’s when he pulled out  the big guns.   First he refused to get into his highchair for breakfast.   He kicked me and screeched and cried, “Big chair!   Table!   Kaitie and Tistin in the big chairs!”   I had lost the fight in me, so I let him “sit” (more like kneel) in one of the dining room chairs, and not a minute passed before he flipped his cereal bowl over, milk and soggy cornflakes all over us and the floor.   I took a deep breath and as I cleaned it up, I  said, “Ok, into the highchair.   I’m in charge here” and lifted him up.   He kicked me again, howling and twisting.   I sat him down on the dining room chair again, gave his highchair a not-so-nice shove, walked out of the room and  yelled as loud as I could.

I still can’t believe I did that.   I screamed so loud the air seemed to vibrate when I was done.    My throat was ripped raw and instead of feeling relief, I felt worse than before.   I walked back into the kitchen and Kenny was sitting unusually and perfectly still in the dining room chair.   He looked up  and said, “Mama?”   I started crying a little again then and pulled him onto my lap.   “I’m ok, honey.   I’m so sorry for making so much noise and scaring you.   I love you, baby.”   We finished our breakfast quietly and got into the car to go to his gymnastics class.

After his class, I stopped at Office Depot, and he must have  decided it was time to test me out again, because he was a holy terror.   Casey called in the middle of the maddness (he was out of town last night and on his way back in) and I broke down on the phone.   It’s funny, though.   Kenny seemed to sense right there that Mommy had hit the end of her proverbial rope, because in the quickest snap of your fingers, he turned back into The Sweetest Boy in the World (his honorary title 85% of the time… ha ha…)   He nuzzled into my neck as we got back in the car, then we sang songs and he giggled the whole way home.   Lunchtime was without a hitch and he went down perfectly for a nap.   This afternoon was fine; nothing noteworthy… Oh, unless you count the event that was the arrival of a small piece of furniture that I ordered from Pottery Barn…

It was “some assembly required”  which should infact instead be listed as, “Under no circumstances open this box in a room where a toddler and a dog are present,” because there were about 95 pieces, all of which were swaddled in styrofoam.   I’ve written before that Kenny calls styrofoam “Sakes!” because the first time he ever saw it, I had opened  a giant gift  box filled with styrofoam popcorn, and declared, “Oh, for goodness sakes!”   Anyway, Kenny was thrilled when he saw the layers and layers of sakes floating about, and immediately set to work throwing them in the air, breaking them apart and showering Dudley with them.   I promptly gave him a dustpan and sweeper, just in case he wanted to be contructive…

sakes-008.jpg                                 sakes-003.jpg

… but then we pulled out the vacuum to conquor the sakes together (Kenny is still in love with the art of vacuuming)…


Talk about a 180 from this morning’s tantrums and mishaps.   We celebrated our victory over our “easy to assemble… aslong as a one-year-old is not helping you” new furniture and  went out on a “date night” tonight for cheese pizza and giant ice cream cones, since Casey wouldn’t be home until late.   We read books and cuddled before bed, and now he’s sawing z’s.

I must admit though, in the quietness of the house, I am ashamed of my behavior this morning.     I know that sometimes parents loose their cool or cry in front of their kids.   But it’s more what caused the escaping emotions than what I actually did.    It was  because of  me, feeling so fragile, so frustrated, so inadequate, so miserably sad over the loss of my babies.   It was me, needing to get out some of this anger that’s pent up inside because of what happened during these past two pregnancies.   It was me, desperate to let go of all that’s churning up inside me.     I  know that I need to find someone to talk to.   These feelings aren’t just going to go away with time, as so many people seem to tell me they will.   As much as I want to “be strong” and move on, I know that being strong really means to admit that I need help with this.

All this to say… I’ve gotten many comments and emails from others out there who have suffered the loss of a pregnancy… how did you heal?   Did you find a support group?   A counselor?   A friend who had been through it as well?   Your advice will be welcomed.

Hangin’ In

July 10th, 2007


My sister and her sweeties came over today to play with Kenny so that I could go get my hair done.   I think if Kenny had his way, his cousins would  be here all the time.   His affection for them is wrapped up in adoration and awe; he thinks they are the coolest things since string cheese was invented.   We tried to talk them into spending the night, but my sister is so darn practical about the whole going back home because they need to take care of their dog thing.   (Just kidding, Kim!)

Here’s another picture, taken a few weeks ago at my birthday party…


He was the happiest I’ve seen him in  a week today, and the glow even held after they left and through until bedtime.   We snuggled in his room and read twenty books at least, and he even wanted to sit in my lap, which he hasn’t done in months.   Such a precious time.

I am feeling physically drained today.   I think the roller-coaster of emotions is starting to take a toll.     I am stunned by the outpouring of love and sympathy from friends and aquaintences, and amazed at how many people have been through this horrible thing.   I have to rest in the knowledge that God never makes a mistake; that all of this, no mater how painful, is part of the bigger script He has written for the Story  our family.   It’s so hard to grasp that sometimes, but I have to believe it.   Our pastor and his wife are coming to our house on Thursday to do a small memorial service for our to honor our babies.   We need that, Casey as much as me.   We need it not to “move on,” but to remember.

Thanks again to all of you (strangers even some of you!) who have written with well-wishes and kind words.   You all are part of the Story, too.

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