Sunday, April 13, 2014

Double birthday mission

These two baby boys of mine are on a mission to grow faster than any little humans have grown before. 

I'm not sure which is harder to believe that Bash turns 3 years old this week or that Sam's first year is officially complete in less than 24 hours.   

It's becoming obvious that two of them just isn't enough to share the burden of my over-zealous snuggling, squishing and kissing in the months leading up to this pending farewell to little baby-doom.  I'm confident if they had the words to express how much they'd like me to give them both just a littlemorespace they wouldn't give pause to my motherly emotional fragility before telling me so.  

And so, coordinating in their silent brotherly ways these two patiently seized the perfect moment to tell me how they've been feeling about my clinginess.  

Saved by his raspy laughter, Bash was immediately released from custody as we all looked to the silent offender for an explanation... 

Who then gazed questioningly in our general direction (but not in my cake covered eye) to make sure I got the message that he did not care for feeding himself messy cake and furthermore, he wanted me to clean him up at once and leave him to crawl, climb or chew into as many troublesome scenarios as he darn well pleased for the remainder of his 1st birthday party.  

By the grace of breast feeding, it wasn't long before he came crawling back (mostly, because he can't walk yet) to my loving general direction.

"We cool, Milk Supplier?" 

Taking my inch, I eagerly whispered a theme-fitting quote from a favorite book, "'I love you louder than the loudest rocket ship ever blasted!' little Sam-shiny "

Moving on to spread the verbal love with somebaby older enough to play at this game, I found Bash  sneaking his 2nd pre-singing birthday cupcake..

"I am not eating my cake, Mom!" 

Which was true, in addition to our rocket cake we did have an inviting sugar parade of cupcakes, rice krispies stars and planets to be washed down with a chilled box of juice.

He certainly had not yet touched the cake, but I'll have you notice that the cupcake tray was mysteriously removed from its place next to the rocket ship...  

Caught blue-faced or not I shot him a prefect one liner:

"Bash, did you know that I love you brighter than the brightest star ever shown?!"

To which he giggled down at his unlikely safe treasure and rasped:

"I love you to the moon and back, Mom!" 

Moments before we exploded from party fun and sugar consumption, we fired up the cake rocket and sang Happy Birthday to our little Bash-tronaut and Sam-shine. 

Sienna was crushed to observe a finger print out of the rocket cake "she worked so hard on."

She did work tirelessly filling every moment with idle chatter as I baked and got ready for the party.  While my ears were ready for a teeny break, she is such a hard worker and truly becoming a tremendous help to me in many ways.  Nonstop listening aside, I couldn't have imagined a better partner in party-making crime than this big sister!    She helped me draw, color and design little favor tags to go on the water blasters we gifted the party goers:

The ladies at Imagination Avenue were even impressed with the pictures she drew of Bash-tronaut and Sam-shine to tape on the party room walls.

I think her favorite part was helping me build and paint our jet pack and Birthday Mission space ship! 

You may have noticed one of our space rangers was out of orbit and therefore missing from most of these pictures.... 

We couldn't convince Jonah to miss not even one of his beloved soccer games even for his brothers' double birthday bash.  So Daddy and Jonah made their party debut halfway through as soon as the game was over.  As much as I would've liked all of my boys at the party the entire time I'm not sure there was a sweeter moment than Jonah and Bash running to hug each other when they finally arrived! 

Speaking of hugging, after his purposeful cake sharing, Sam began escaping to the refreshing arms of his ironically, way more affectionate Grandmother!

And with that, I will end by telling you one last time just how much I love theses little guys and one little gal of mine!   Their Dad isn't so bad himself...  

Happy Double Birthdays to the Little Big Brother and the Big Littlest Brother! 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

525,600 minutes

Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand 
Six Hundred Minutes
Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand
Moments So Dear

Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand
Six Hundred Minutes
How Do You Measure, Measure A Year?

In Daylights, In Sunsets

In Midnights, In Cups Of Coffee

In Inches, In Miles 

In Laughter, In Strife

In - Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand
Six Hundred Minutes
How Do You Measure
A Year In The Life 

How About Love?
How About Love?
How About Love?

Measure In Love

Our Seasons Of Love from 2013

Warning: this is my first photo book creation, and as you will see I have much opportunity for growth in my extremely amateur memory keeping...  But I don't think you can deny we have a lot of love to go 'round.  

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Your first story and our miracle

To my sweet Sienna,

Six years ago today was the first time I held your tiny toes in the palm of my hands.  These delicate little toes.  I starred down a your squishy, perfectly round face.  You were the most precious gift of all and you were given directly to us to watch grow for many years to come!   Something we worried we'd never get to do and just like that, there you were so real, so strong and so perfect.  I'll never for one minute forget what a blessing you are, so on your 6th birthday I want to share your very first story.

At your 19 week ultrasound we received heart wrenching news that you had indicators of trisomy 18, a chromosomal disorder that is not compatible with life.  

I was alone in Phoenix in a cold, distant ultrasound lab room patiently waiting for the tech to finally finish her never ending 1.5 hour long ultrasound.  We weren't going to find out if you were a boy or a girl until I was with Daddy in Oklahoma the following week.  But as the tech finally finished her measurements and left the room she returned with two doctors I had never seen before:

"Mrs. S, we need to tell you a few things about the results of the ultrasound.  We are finding indicators of a fairly rare chromosomal disorder called trisomy 18.  Our findings include fluid in her coracoid plexi cysts and clinched fists.  It's also important for you to know that you are having a girl, which increases your risks by 60%.   Here are some print outs about trisomy 18, as you will read it usually leads to stillborn births or mortality within the first 6 weeks of life.... wok, wok, wok, wok, wok..."   

As my mind stopped listening and my heart nearly stopped beating I fought back tears of confusion and anger.   I thought back to the waiver I signed at my doctor's office refusing genetic testing and requesting not to be given knowledge of any abnormalities or disabilities.  I thought of your daddy who was so far away.  How would I tell him this news?  They couldn't be right.  There was no way, was there?  Wait!  You're a girl!  A girl.  We're having a girl!?  Daddy was supposed to be here with me to hear this news.  It is our news.  They stole our news. 

"Ma'am.  Ma'am!  I'm sorry, but we need your attention.  Because of your age and this being your first child we recommend that you do not attempt to carry to term. The chances of having a stillborn or late term miscarriage could potentially risk your fertility later on should you choose to try to conceive again. There are things we can do now that would make it less complicated." 

Those words will always burn in my mind.  "Leas complicated."  "We recommend that you do not carry to term." "Because of your age."

What do those things even mean?!  How can they be said to a mother?

I knew I had to be brave. I had to be strong. I was alone, but I could do it.  I calmly said that an abortion of any kind was out of the question and I wanted to talk to your daddy and do more research before taking their indicators seriously.  They pushed and insisted on immediate testing.  They repeated their recommendations.

I stepped out of the room to call your Daddy.  And then suddenly I wasn't so brave.  I cried and cried.  I wanted him there with me.  I was afraid to go back in the room.  I was afraid to move.  I was so afraid to lose you.  Scared and unsure I stopped their attacks by at least agreeing to take a blood test if they'd let me keep you.   The test only gave us more useless statistics that threatened to rob me of the joy we had feeling you grow in my womb.  But it did let me escape that office-prison of pressure and doom.

Weeks passed and I avoided doctors as much as I could.  Daddy refused to believe any of it from the start.  He says he knew it would all be ok and that you were ok.  But still, we prayed.  We asked everyone we knew to pray for our special intention. We begged Him to show us the ultrasound was a mistake by changing doctors and getting new ultrasounds.  When the repeat ultrasounds found similar results we maintained they were just paranoid.  Looking for things that weren't there.  The statistics had to be wrong.  How could they really know?  But deep down, just in case I begged God for a miracle.

We decided that I would leave early for my maternity leave so I could go to Oklahoma with Daddy when I was just 32 weeks along.   I wanted to start fresh with a new doctor far, far away from mention of trisomy 18.  At 33 weeks I visited the doctor who helped bring you into this world.  He agreed not to do any more ultrasounds.  He said he could assure me my growth seemed normal and you were perfectly positioned for birth.  When I asked him to say you didn't have trisomy 18 he couldn't be sure, but he told us of ultrasound misreadings that had been made before.  He suggested we remain confident it would all be ok.

We began to let ourselves believe it would all be ok.  And even I began to believe was ok.  Daddy insisted he wasn't worried, just as he had never been from the start.  We told ourselves the ultrasound was wrong.  It was a mistake.  The stress I had felt for the last few months subsided. I was with Daddy and together we knew we could handle anything.  His confidence melted my worry.

The day our first Bradley method class was scheduled, almost 5 weeks before we expected your arrival, you picked your birthday.

As the contractions began and I knew you were on your way, for some reason trisomy 18 was as far from my mind as could possibly be.  No one mentioned it.  I'd like to think no one thought of it on that special day.  And then there you were.  Right there in our arms.  Absolutely more perfect than we could ever have dreamed.

For the first time I saw tears roll down your Daddy's cheek.  Neither of us said it, but I knew then how hard he worked to be so very brave for his two girls no matter what that day would have brought.

Daddy was then and will always be my super hero, just like I know he is yours too.

Happy birthday, Little Love Bug!

Wheelin' n dealin'

I started this post in November when I thought we were living life in the fast lane, which really only turned out to be the carpool lane during rush hour traffic.  These past two months, now these months were the indie 500.

And I do believe that it was during the heat of this two month ride that Jonah's personality grew a thousand times a thousand growths.  He has always been his very own person. Never susceptible to pressure or persuasion to be anything or anyone different.  Steadfast in his likes and dislikes.  Most certainly not open to suggestion otherwise from his fashion eye, to his completely unexpectedly healthy meal selections, to the way he views the workings of the world around him. 

A few lines from the month Jonah thought he was, in fact, a real vehicle:

Jonah-  Where are we taking our van?
Me-  We're dropping it off at the mechanic to get looked at.
Jonah-  Oh is that a doctor for our van?!
Me-  Yes, it kinda is.
Jonah-  Oooooh, I think I should probably go too.
Me- You need a little tune up, Buddy?
Jonah-  Yeah, I'm feeling rusty.

Jonah- I can't be really quiet today.  I have a super loud engine!

Jonah- I can't ride (my bike) anymore, I don't have a full tank of water in my belly.

Jonah- Mom! I said its a green light! That means you can't stop swinging me!

Jonah-  Good morning to you Mom!  Today I'm feeling like I'm gonna be a blue bus. 

Jonah-  (Crying) Mom, you didn't say what number bus I am today. Do NOT say 4!  I am not 4 today. 

Jonah- I'm driving angry today.

Jonah-  Mom, does Sam have a baby engine? 

And just for fun....

"Jonah, what is it going to take for you to listen to Daddy the first time I ask you to do something? -Daddy
"Uuum, maybe for Jesus's birthday, but maybe not." - Jonah