Hi! I'm Kelly. A mom. An Entrepreneur. A mom. A wife. A mom... Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope you enjoy it! If you do, drop me a line and let me know! Here's to Motherhood!

Monday, September 29, 2008

My Birthday

So it came around like it does every year. Another birthday. I don't want to say which one because by now I just can't believe how these numbers keep going up. I mean, I honestly say to myself, "Really?? That can't be the right number!" I shake my head in disbelief. Because when I was much younger I knew when I hit this age that I'd be, well, OLD! I don't feel old. In fact, I must say that I feel, about myself, the best I have in my life. I mean I finally feel that I'm living and doing what I want to do. Of course I wish I had more time, more money, more time, more money... but hey, we can't have it all, right? So Friday night, my actual birthday night we went to my Mom's for my annual Chicken and Dumplings dinner. That's right. Every year my mom makes me my Chicken and Dumplings dinner. Everyone in my household waits for this night all year long. Because most years this is the only time we get this for dinner. My mother keeps telling me every time she makes them that I really need to learn to make them so that "when she's gone" I'll know how to do it. Who is she kidding? For one, I'm in no hurry for her to "go" and learning to make them would be like I'm acutally expecting that to happen. And secondly - I'll never make them the way she does - ever! So I'll stick to the things I know.

So after dinner, hubby took the two older boys out to shop for me. Yeah, of course he waited until the last minute. That's what men do. What's even funnier is that him taking the two boys at the last minute is just teaching them to wait until the last minute... Anyway... he took them shopping. And they came home grinning like the Cheshire Cat they were so happy with their choices. Luke is 12 years old and feels he has it all together. Noah is 8 and doesn't care if he has it together or not as long as someone is telling him what to do and when. So they come in with their bags grinning ear to ear and exclaim how excited they are about what they are about to give me. It was a pink long-sleeved hoodie from Hollister and "comfy" draw string pants and last but not least a little button to put on, well to put on whatever, that reads "I'm with the Band". Funny, huh? I'm worrying about my age and my kids keep me young with gifts from Hollister and a pin that reads "I'm with the Band". They were incredibly satisfied with their purchases and so was I. I couldn't be happier really. I mean these two boys go out and buy "cool" gifts for mom and bubble over with excitement while presenting them to me. I couldn't help but be giddy myself. :) It was a nice time. We finished off the night with everyone bringing in their blankets and pillows into the living room for a "family friendly" movie, "Love Comes Softly". OMG - have you all seen this movie? So I cried through the whole thing and that was the end of my birthday day. Oh, VERY IMPORTANT side note. The "Love Comes Softly" DVD was a birthday gift from hubby. Guess what else?! "Sixteen Candles" and "Breakfast Club" on DVD! How cool is my hubby? How nice was that? He, of course, would not have purchased these for himself. These were definately for me. My 80's movies. He struck gold gifting these! So yes, it was a beautiful birthday all in all. Here's to another year!

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Birthday Dinner That Almost Wasn't

So Hubby is a great cook. He's been pondering and searching the internet for ideas to make me the perfect birthday dinner unbeknownst to me. He had a plan. Which I must say is highly unusual. Everyone who knows us knows that I'm the planner and Hubby is more the fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants kind of guy. I always grit on him for waiting until the last minute for absolutely everything. In fact, most details, if not handled by me, are not handled at all. That's just how it is in our family. So for him to go to great lengths to plan something makes for a unique occasion. So inside I was really tickled that he had gone to so much trouble to plan for a nice birthday dinner for me. So my birthday is today, as it is now after midnight. But he was planning for my birthday dinner for last night (or several hours ago).

Its been raining for two days. It is part of a hurricane system or something of the sort that is coming up the coast. Well the bad weather made for bad driving conditions. Due to these conditions there was a traffic accident nearby that caused a power and cable outage for us. This outage occurred while Hubby was in the middle of the dinner preparations in the kitchen. YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! So, FINALLY he makes quite the effort to plan a dinner and has even been making little preparations for the last couple of days - shopping for ingredients, chopping vegetables, etc. - and there's going to be a power outage right in the middle of the actual dinner preparations?! Yup - there you have it. I just have to shake my head in disbelief.

We have the two youngest at home with us - the two older boys are with their dad tonight. So Mia is a little scared. It isn't dark outside yet but she's a bit freaked out that the electricity is off. She keeps talking about being scared. Little Silas, well he's just taking it all in as he often does. Of course when this kind of thing happens you assume that it will be taken care of pretty quickly and the electricity will be back on in no time and life will continue as planned. So you do creative little things to pass time that you think will entertain the little ones. We read a story by flashlight - Mia thought this was cool. We play games with the flashlight. We look out the front door and talk about the rain. All the while time is passing and we're starting to think, "Hmm, maybe this isn't going to be a quick fix after all". So now, its dark outside and still no electricity.

We've all been camped out in the Living Room this entire time. And currently I am listening to Hubby recap an earlier event of the day. And then I hear it. It sounds like a splash of some sort coming from the kitchen. I immediately look at Hubby and utter, "What was that?!". We both turn our heads and realize that Mia had left the Living Room and was obviously in the kitchen and was the culprit behind the splash sound we just heard. So Hubby goes to investigate. I hear, "Oh NO! Oh NO!" and some lamenting and more "Oh NO!"s Come to find out, Hubby had a large bowl on the counter full of thinly sliced potatoes that he wanted to use for part of the meal and that bowl full of water and potatoes is what "splashed" onto the floor. So now not only had the electricity gone off in the middle of Hubby preparing my birthday dinner, now part of what was to be my birthday dinner was splashed all over the kitchen floor - IN THE DARK! Hubby was cleaning water and potatoes from all over the floor and under the appliances by flashlight!

When he was done cleaning up the potatoes from every inch of the kitchen we were still in the dark and by now the children were antsy and none of the little creative things we were doing were much fun anymore. So I told Hubby we may as well load them up in the van and take a ride. So we did. And while we were out we hit up McDonald's for a few dollar menu items as we thought dinner was probably a wash.

It was pretty late by the time the electricity came back on. But I told Hubby if he still wanted to make dinner a go I would be up for it. We finished just a little bit ago. And it was AMAZING! (See Picture above). He made me a Mediterranean Swordfish dish. Swordfish is my favorite fish. And this meal was delectible. I was exhausted (and looked it). I yawned throughout the dinner. But his planning and preparation was so sweet that even though we shared it incredibly late, I will always remember it fondly as the Birthday Dinner that almost wasn't!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

One Boy

Normally, pretty much always, my blogs are about my own children. But today is different. Today is about a boy that is not one of my three sons. It is about a boy that I don't know but he touched my heart this morning. As many of you may or may not know today is national "See You at the Pole" day. It is a day where students from schools all over the country join together at their flag pole to pray before school starts. And whether or not you believe in prayer or the power of prayer you should read on about this boy.

I was driving my two oldest boys to school this morning and the local radio station that we were listening to was taking calls from people calling in from the various schools in our area giving reports of how many students showed up for "See You at the Pole". There were some pretty impressive numbers out there. I was hearing numbers like 34, 17, 52, 102 and so on. But the one that took my breath away was the caller that said "There was one boy that showed up this morning at Seaford Middle School". That was it. One boy. This boy in front of all his peers and without the support of them said "I will stand and I will pray". This boy stood alone. I feel this boy had the courage of a soldier. I couldn't get it off of my mind. How this boy must've felt as he looked around and saw the cars pulling into his school wondering if anyone else would come stand with him. And even though there were no others this boy stood. He stood for something. He stood for something he believed in and it didn't matter to him that he stood alone. In middle school where peer pressure can be overwhelming to do the wrong thing and what your friends think of you seems so important. This boy stood. What he stood for was more important to him than whether or not he did it by himself or what people thought of him. I've not been able to get this boy off of my mind all morning. I'm so impressed with his courage. I closed my eyes and I said a prayer and asked that God would not only hear whatever prayer he spoke this morning but that he would somehow be blessed for the courage it took to do what he did this morning.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mmmm - how hard is that?

So my youngest son, Silas, turned a year old on the 5th of this month. He does his cute little baby babbles. Of course what we all wait to hear is the ever-meaningful sweet sound of "MaMa". My first three children, I drilled them - yes, shameful to admit this, but drilled them from the very beginning of their baby babbles by being in their faces smiling and saying "mamamamama". Over and over again. "mamamamamama". And to my heart's glee each of their first words were "MaMa". Chalk it up to a good teacher? No, chalk it up to this crazy woman in their face all day every day drilling the same sound over and over again. What else would they say? Each time though, I have to say, I was so proud of them (and myself!). Especially because all you hear and read about babies and their first words is that it is almost always "DaDa". Well, over my dead body! I'm up all night. I'm changing the MAJORITY of the diapers. I'm nursing until my boobs feel like they are going to fall off. These kids are gonna say MaMa - first and foremost! They all did and as stated earlier, I was incredibly proud. Welllllll, then we have the last child. My sweet fourth child. The sweet baby that because of his really nasty heart problems in the beginning of his life had me holding him 24 hours a day for the first 3 months of his life until he had corrective surgery. I was everything for this sweet little boy of mine. Everything! My sweet Silas K. Well, wouldn't ya know it... Does HE say MaMa first? Nope! Nope! He says DaDa! And very proudly! He didn't just say it first, he knew what it meant. Hubby would walk in the room and Silas would light up with "DaDa, DaDa, DaDa". Ohhh, my hubby was so pleased. What's worse is that months later, he can pronounce Noah's name - which my three-year-old daughter, Mia, JUST LEARNED to pronounce correctly, he can say bye-bye, no no, stop, uh-oh, and tries to sing e-i-e-i-o when I'm singing him Old MacDonald Had a Farm! And guess what - still no MaMa! Are you kidding me?! I try to convince myself that when he makes this babble of nananana - that he's really saying MaMa. But he isn't. He isn't. I think it's this really cruel joke. Maybe its Karma biting me in the butt for drilling my other three children with "MaMaMaMa" in their faces 'til they had no choice but repeat it to get a minute of peace. Ugh! Unbelieveable. So I wait. I'm waiting every so (in)patiently for the time when my sweet Silas will look up with that darn cute cheesy grin of his and say "MaMa".

Friday, September 19, 2008

So She Says

Anyone who takes any time to get to know me will inevitably hear stories about my silly and incredibly entertaining precocious three-year-old daughter, Mia. We find ourselves consumed with laughter daily because of the funny things that she comes up with to say. Some of which we have no idea of their origin, other things are quite obvious. Nonetheless here are the funny things she’s said in the last 24-hours that have had us laughing.
Last night as her oldest brother, Luke was leaving the room she says: “Come here ya big lug!”
This morning as I walk back to her room with her to get her dressed for the day, we enter the room and apparently she smells her baby brother’s diaper from earlier and says: “What’s that smell like?” I return the question with “What?” and she says “That P.U. fing (thing)”
I was in the shower this morning and decided to play a little joke on her and yelled for her to come into the bathroom. She did. At that moment I opened the door, aimed the hand-held shower nozzle at her and sprayed her. First of course she’s like “stop, stop!” But then she’s all giggles when she realizes mommy is making one of those big messes that I forbid her to make when she’s in the bathtub. I get out of the shower and as I’m drying off she stands up on the toilet seat (lid was down of course) and leans over into the sink and says, “Now I need to wash off” – referring to washing off the water that was already on her. I’m really amused as common sense would tell you that she’s just getting more wet as she stands there dipping her little fingers into the water and performing what looks like my grandmother’s nighttime washing the face and hands routine as she kept insisting she was washing off.
Later in the morning my husband and I took the two youngest, Mia and Silas, to Barnes and Noble. Of course we hit the cafĂ© first. I love chai tea whether hot or cold – I love it! I’ve passed this love to Mia as she sees a Starbuck’s sign and says “They have chai tea there”. So as we stood in line I mentioned to my hubby that they are now offering one of their seasonal flavors, Pumpkin Spice. I said, “oooo, Honey, they have a Pumpkin Spice Frap”. And Mia looked at him and said “What’s spice crap?”
And last but not least for the day: when taking her in to change her diaper (yes, she just turned 3 and is not yet potty trained) and her new question with each poopy diaper change is: “Did I make brown poops or yellow poops?”. This coming from the sweetest looking little girl. I just shake my head. But she won’t let it go until you answer her. You made brown poops, Sweetie.

Back to School Blues (for Mommy!)

My sons Luke and Noah have both started back to school within the last few weeks. This year back to school came with a surprise. The surprise was the sadness I felt when the boys went back to school. Mind you, I still have Mia (3 years) and Silas (1 year) at home so it's not like I won't have children around of which to share my time.
But this Summer was great! Really great! This past year that I took off to have a baby, adjust to baby life yet again, etc. etc. was a longer break than I had originally anticipated. See the "plan" was to give birth to Silas and go back to work outside of my home in the fashion industry that I so loved. HOWEVER; as life does, mine took a turn.
Silas was born with a some congenital heart problems and to make a long story short all of my "plans" had to be reconfigured. It's funny how when life throws you a curve it can be the best thing that ever happened to you.
Silas just turned a year old on the 5th of this month and is feeling much better. And I've had the opportunity to be home with him this whole year. I've started my own business in Baby Planning. I pick the kids up from school every day. I start dinner early. My house is a wreck - oh wait a minute, that's another blog for another day! Anyway, I'm doing a lot of those WAHM things that I wished I could've done when I was in the workforce full time. I've never loved domestic life more.
It really is ironic how something can happen in your life that throws you for a loop but then somehow wraps it's arms around you as a big blessing.
So what does that have to do with Back to School you say? Well, this was the first summer since my 8-year-old son Noah was a baby that I've not worked outside of the home. So I determined to do all those things with my four children that I would long to do when I was working outside of the home and never was afforded the opportunity to do. I took them to the "free" movies at the local theater every Tuesday or Wednesday, we'd go to my best friend's pool once a week, we went to the zoo multiple times, we had picnic lunches, we hit the beach, we went to story time, and we sat in our pajamas longer than we needed to on the dreary days.
We didn't take a vacation anywhere but we took a vacation from the routine that was our life before summer hit. It was crazy. It was fun. It was everything I said I would do in the summer if I was given the chance. That is why I was dreading the calendar turning and school going back in session. I know the "norm" is for mothers to count down, with excitement, the days until school is back in session but I was filled with sadness.
I'm not sure what next summer will hold for us. Plans don't always find their way to fruition. But one thing I can say with certainty: I would never trade this crazy, busy, fun-loving, messy, joyful, often loud, sometimes exhausting summer for anything in this world!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Miscarriage - The Mourning After

I remember like it was yesterday. We had recently moved into my in-laws home with the intention of saving for a new home. My three children Luke, Noah and Mia were in tow. I was sad at the timing of our move as it would mean that Mia would have her first birthday in someone else’s home. But with my eye on the prize I got over that knowing that the end justified the means. I was working in the fashion industry and while the job was demanding I really loved it. My husband’s father had taken ill just weeks after our moving in with them and was hospitalized. In order for him to attain the most optimum care the family decided to move him three hours up the road to Johns Hopkins. We made visits there as often as we could schedule them around our hectic family life and jobs. As mentioned above my daughter, Mia was just about to turn a year old. Right around the time of her birthday I was finding it difficult to nurse and not really sure why. However, just days later I noticed my period was pretty late. I had been nursing exclusively throughout this first year and had only had one period and it was a little over a month prior. Suddenly I was flooded with the reality that I may be pregnant. My husband, Scott, and I had just weeks prior declared we were “done”. In fact, we were seeking out the names of a good surgeon who could perform a vasectomy for Scott. On this particular evening, Scott ran out and purchased a pregnancy test for me so we could rule out the possibility that I may be pregnant. As I looked down at the stick and saw two lines I started to cry. This is not an unusual response to a positive pregnancy test. Many women say they cry when they find out they are pregnant. I feel badly saying that the tears were tears of sadness. My family’s world was upside-down right now. We were living in a home that was not ours along with our other three children. My husband’s father was probably going to be dying soon… Wait a minute, that’s it! My husband’s father will be dying soon. That’s why I’m pregnant. This is the circle of life. It makes sense now. Wow, this means that Mia and the new baby will only be 21 months apart. Well, sounds like a lot of work but I can do it. Besides, a million other women have multiple children under the age of two. Yeah, I can do this. I knew in my head that I was carrying a boy. I knew that this little boy would be special because his birth would probably closely follow his grandfather’s death. We would use my father-in-law’s first name as our baby boy’s middle name. That’s it. It’s settled. I calculated my due date and called the doctor the next day to set up my first appointment. As usual, the appointment was scheduled further out then I would like. After all, they perform the first sonogram at this appointment to confirm your pregnancy and due date. I was so excited. I did what some would say is “bad luck” and informed our families and close friends that I was pregnant. It was especially meaningful the day we went up to the hospital to visit Scott’s dad to tell him we were having another baby. After all, Scott’s dad had babysat Mia at a very young age and was really sweet with her. I couldn’t wait to tell him. He would be the first we would tell on Scott’s side of the family. It was a Thursday that we would go. Scott and I took off of work and drove up there to see him and tell him. Scott’s dad couldn’t talk but we had no problem seeing that he was excited. Some events do not really need words. We told him right then that if it was a boy we would name him Canaan Vincent. He smiled big. Afterwards we had lunch with Scott’s mother and sister at the hospital before driving home. At this time I was already showing, this being my fourth pregnancy. The Sunday after that Thursday Scott’s dad had made it known that he’d really like to have all the family there at the hospital at the same time to visit with him. Being the family guy that he was, that totally made sense to us that he’d like to have us all there at the same time. We went back up to Johns Hopkins and visited with him and the rest of the family. After our visit, and a bite to eat on the way home, we arrived home to a ringing phone. Scott’s dad had asked to be removed from life support and had passed away while we had been travelling back home. It was a horrible time. So much sadness permeated the family. We somehow knew we would all be forever changed by this loss. Inside I felt blessed to have told his father just three days prior that we were having a baby and that it would have part of his name if it were a boy. Days passed and life continued as it does. We excitedly let others in on the news of my pregnancy as we saw fit. I kind of had to do so as my severe morning sickness was certainly a tell-tale sign to those around me that something was going on. I was pretty sick but I never minded knowing that a sweet new baby would come in several months. When the day came for my first doctor’s appointment I think I watched the clock all day long at work. Scott came by my work and picked me up and we drove to our appointment. I spoke about how I thought it would be a boy and Scott said he really felt it was a boy as well. We arrived at the doctor’s office and had our first sonogram. We watched the screen. I could see it - my little baby and the little blinking speck that was the heartbeat. No matter how many pregnancies you have I don’t think you ever tire of that miraculous site! I was filled with joy. My joy was soon quenched when my doctor told me that my baby was measuring a bit small for the due date. I was pretty certain about the conception date so this wasn’t making sense to me at all. He said that we would come back in two weeks to re-measure and see where we are at that point. I tried to remain hopeful but I really struggled the next couple of weeks keeping my chin up. I knew worrying wouldn’t change anything but I couldn’t help it. Two weeks seemed like forever! Thanksgiving was around the corner and my appointment was scheduled for the Tuesday prior to the holiday. I was thinking to myself how nice it would be to sit at the Thanksgiving dinner table giving thanks for my family and for this new little life growing inside of me. On that Tuesday Scott picked me up from work and we rushed to the doctor to see our baby again. We thought maybe at this point it could be possible to decipher if it was a girl or a boy. We arrived at the doctor’s office and went through the routine of discussing morning sickness, having my blood pressure taken, and checking my urine. Then it was back to the room we went to have the second sonogram. I was so anxious and was saying prayers that somehow the baby would be measuring the correct size and that all would look good. I switched back and forth looking from the sonogram screen to my doctor’s face. I kept staring at that darn screen. Why were they having so much trouble finding my baby this time? Where is that little blinking of the heartbeat? I gave another glance to my doctor’s face as he turned to me to say. “We cannot find a heartbeat”. “You’ve had what we call a failed miscarriage. Your baby died but your body doesn’t know it yet”. My thoughts started whirling. I started crying heavy tears. I wanted to yell, “Look harder! Look again! Don’t stop looking until you find it! It’s there, I know it’s there!” How can this happen and I not be aware of it? What about the circle of life? The doctor continued and said that he would schedule a D and C for the day after Thanksgiving. Really? The day after Thanksgiving? I can truly say that nothing has ever quite rocked my world like the events of that day and next couple of days to come. How were we going to share this with the children? They were so excited about another baby. How do you explain this kind of thing to such sweet innocent children? Well you do it. You do it because you have no choice. I can’t even remember the exact words that I said to them. I remember my two older boys crying. I remember Noah asking me, “Why did the baby have to die?” I had no answer to that. I had miserable morning sickness all throughout the Thanksgiving dinner. Man, my body really didn’t know what was going on, did it? I made it through that day. I didn’t sleep much that night. I went in for the D and C the next morning. I remember the nurse who was checking me in asking me typical health questions. And then I remember her asking if I had any nausea. When I gave her an affirmative answer to that question she asked “What do you think is causing your nausea?” Are you serious?, I thought. I said “because my body doesn’t know yet?” and I lost it at that point. I was so sad. I was experiencing more sadness than I ever thought possible. Awakening from that procedure knowing the pregnancy was officially done my and my baby was officially gone was almost more than I could bear. I went home and rested in the days following. Scott and I cried together a few times. We decided that, although unexpected, that baby was wanted and now incredibly missed. We decided we would try to get pregnant again. This was not a decision of “replacing the lost”. It wasn’t. It was just the decision we wanted to make. So we did try again. Each day following the loss seemed full of sadness. I had phoned my aunt who is a midwife to ask her how much sadness was “normal”. I told her the extent of my sadness and she assured me that what I was experiencing was normal. My heart was broken. I had lost something that was not possible to get back. A child. A baby that I had loved from the first moment of the knowledge of my pregnancy. And yes, it was a namesake to a man we loved dearly as the doctor confirmed that our suspicions were correct and I had been carrying a boy. I can’t explain the depth of the pain. I truly feel this is one of those times that unless you go through it you can’t possibly understand it. I chose to openly deal with my grief. I decided that it was okay for me to miss my baby. I also decided that I would take measures to remember the baby that I lost. We did give him the name Canaan Vincent. At Christmas we placed a cross painted with “Canaan” on it on our Christmas tree. On my original due date I wrote Canaan a letter and placed it in a frame with his first sonogram picture which hangs at the end of our hallway. The second year anniversary of the due date I took the children to a teddy bear workshop and we stuffed a teddy bear in memory of him. My family and I decided to remember him lovingly as the son, sibling and grandson that he would have been had he come full term. We let ourselves love him and remember him freely. I know everyone handles grief differently. This is how we dealt with it and continue to deal with it. It never gets “easier” but loving him freely has been helped me get through the grief.

By the way, our son Silas was born within the next year. He is child number five; number four awaits us in heaven while he keeps with the company of angels and his late grandfather.