Made it Through

September 30, 2010 at 12:35 am (Children, Family, God, Life, pregnancy loss) (, , , , , )

Six years have passed. I still miss my little boy who made me sicker than any of my other children. I still miss how hard you would kick, and sooner than all of your siblings did.  I miss daydreaming about you and your big brother playing together.  I think about how your big sis got to meet you in the swing that day. I remember the laughs as you kicked her hand. I loved your sweet face with your cute little nose. I still feel you in my arms. My arms holding you close, not ever wanting to let you go. My sweet little boy….I love you and miss you so.  I used to miss you so much, that I would have done just about anything to get you back. But not now. I know now, that you are the lucky one. You are in a place that I can’t wait to go. No worries or strife.  No pain or suffering. Peace forevermore.  I am so thankful you are there. I am so thankful that you taught me to be more compassionate and kind.  Losing you helped me to enjoy what I do have even more.  I am forever grateful that God picked me to be your mommy. 

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Does God wear a shirt?

June 18, 2009 at 10:30 am (Children, Family, God, Home, Life) (, , , , , , )

A few nights ago we had a pretty major storm pass through. Our electricity was off & we had candles burning. We were trying to get the kids settled down and asleep. I was lying on the couch with Erin & Tommy was in Levi’s bed with him. I just had to share the conversation I overheard.

Levi: Daddy, do you know I love you more than anything? But God!

Daddy: I love you too, son.

Levi: I love Mommy more than anything too! But God!

I love Erin more than anything! But God!

Daddy, what does “But God” mean?

Buttons, God.

Daddy, does God wear a shirt?

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I ♥ Faces Entry! Sepia-toned

June 15, 2009 at 1:56 pm (Children, Family, Life, photography) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

You can visit the site and see the other entries.

http://www.iheartfaces.blogspot.com/

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Button - KidsHere is my kids entry:

Levi sepia

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Button - AdultsHere is my adult entry:

Lesliesepia

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Mom’s Day Off!?

April 21, 2009 at 3:29 pm (Children, Home, home school, homeschool, Life) (, , , , , , , )

Mom’s Day Off

written by Eugene Bradley Coco

illustrated by Colette Van Mierlo

read by Levi Stanifer (the story is underlined.)

Levi:  Mom’s Day Off

Our Mom works hard. (Mom, why is she doing all that?)

Me:  Because there’s lots to do to keep a house clean.

Levi:  She cooks. (Oh man!!!!  I wish you could do that!!)

The illustration shows a Mom flipping 4 pancakes at a time!!!  Geez!!

Me:  Yeah buddy, me too.

Levi:  She cleans.

She sews our clothes when they rip. (What does rip mean?)

Me:  It’s like a hole or tear in the cloth.

Levi:  Can you do that?

Me:  I could sew if I had to, but I prefer to let someone else do it.

Levi:  She takes care of us when we’re sick. (What about the girl?  Is she sick?)

The illustration shows a Mom with a little girl in her lap, sitting beside a little boy that is laying in his bed sick.

Me:  I don’t know buddy.  Let’s keep reading and maybe it will tell us.

Levi:  She even helps with our homework. (You don’t give Erin any homework.)

Me:  (trying to remain patient)  Levi….READ!

Levi:  Ok, ok!!  <sigh>

Today, Dad looks tired. <Levi looks up at me grinning>

Me:  You know that says “Mom looks tired”.

Levi:  Yeah, but Dad wrote Dad instead of Mom, see!  <He points out the fact that Dad has indeed marked through Mom and written Dad above it.  Also, the Mom is tired and sitting slumped on the couch.  But, you have to laugh at her manly hairy legs in which Levi’s Dad has added copious amounts of black hair.  Ewwww!>

Me:  Yeah, your Dad looks cute with that skirt on and those hairy legs.

Levi:  <giggles hysterically>

Me:  Keep reading buddy!  We still have math to do.

Levi:  “Take the day off”, we tell her.

First, we start breakfast. (Mom, what did they have for breakfast?)

Me:  Well, it looks like they tried to make eggs.  Keep reading.

Levi:  “Oh, no! Watch the eggs!”  I shout.

Mom helps us clean up.

Next, we straighten up the den. (What’s a den?)

Me:  It’s like a living room with a couch, where families sit.

Levi:  Sally starts to sweep.

There is so much dust. (geez, we don’t ever have that much dust)

<I tap the next sentence hoping he’ll get the hint to keep reading>

Mom helps us clear the dust.

Soon, it’s time for Ginger’s bath. (Is Ginger dirty?  Does she like a bath?)

Me:  Let’s see.  Keep reading.

Levi:  I turn on the water. (Who turns on the water?)

Me:  I think the little boy is telling the story, so he would be the one turning on the water.

Levi:  Sally gets Ginger. ( Why did they name her Ginger?)

Me:  <losing it a little more>  I have NO idea why they named her Ginger!  Now READ!!

Levi:  OK!

The tub is almost full.  “Wait!  The faucet is stuck!” (Why is the faucet stuck?)

Me:  He can’t get it to turn off.

Levi:  Why?  Is it slippery or something?

Me:  <rolling my eyes & breathing deep>  It could be, or it could just be hard to move.

Levi:  Oh NO!  Look at that mess! (<pointing to the water streaming across the floor from the tub, he gets up on his feet and starts bouncing a little with his excitement>  I want to do that!!)

Me:  OH NO YOU DON’T!!  YOU’LL RUIN THE HOUSE!!

Levi:  <giggling>  Well, when I build a house, I’m going to do that!!!

Me:  Ok buddy, you do that in your own house.  Now, please finish reading the book if you want to watch “Martha Speaks”)

Levi:  OH NO!!  I’m missing it!  It’s already starting!!

Me:  Well, then you better hurry up!

Levi:  OK!  OK!

Here comes Mom. (Why is she mad?)

Me:  Because they have made a big mess and she’s not getting much of a day off.

Levi:  No, she’s not.

The laundry is next.

We put the clothes in the machine and add soap. (Where’s the soap?)

Me:  I don’t know Levi.  Read.

Levi:  Sally turns on the washer. (OH NO!  They didn’t close the door!) <leaps of the couch and runs across the floor on all fours, then turns around and jumps back on the couch.  He then proceeds to read the rest of the book like an opera singer, literally!  He hasn’t got a bad voice, either.  haha>

Ooooops!  The door isn’t closed.

“Mom!” we yell.  Mom helps us pick up the clothes.

Being in charge is hard work.  “Why don’t you take the rest of the day off?”  says Mom. (The End!!)

Me:  No buddy, that’s not the end.  Turn the page.

Levi:  Thanks, Mom.

Me:  The End

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Wordless Wednesday ~ Easter

April 15, 2009 at 12:50 am (Children, God, Life, photography) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

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♥ Wordless Wednesday ♥ Emotions ♥

March 18, 2009 at 3:15 pm (Children, Family, Life, photography) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

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This photo was not so much about the kid's emotions, but what was felt by me.

This photo was not so much about the kid's emotions, but what was felt by me.

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Wordless Wednesday ~ Our recent snowfall

March 4, 2009 at 1:00 pm (Children, Family, Farm, Home, Life, photography) (, , , , , , , , )

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We are homeschoolers!

February 7, 2009 at 11:30 pm (Children, Family, God, Home, home school, homeschool, Life, photography) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Yep!  For over a week now we’ve been homeschooling.  I know God has been trying to get us to start earlier, but for some reason, we just didn’t listen.

Mostly, we’re reading and writing lots and working with math worksheets.  I’m trying to gauge just where Levi is as far a reading, writing & math.  We are keeping a pretty relaxed atmosphere, no set time to start or a place to work.  I’m finding his favorite position though, is on the floor on his elbows with his butt actually waggin’ in the air.  I’ll have to take a picture.

The only real problem I’ve encountered is Erin wants to do everything that Levi is doing.  I’ve tried to keep her busy with colors & shapes, but that’s obviously not challenging enough.  Levi doesn’t seem to mind his sister all in his business, though.  So, we’ll just keep going with the flow.

We took our first field trip Friday.  We went to the Memphis zoo.  I took lots of pictures of the kids and animals.  I think Monday I’ll have Levi write and/or draw his favorite ones in his journal.  We might do a little more in-depth study on some of the animals also.  Here are just a few of the pictures:

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Wordless Wednesday ~ Pictures from home

February 4, 2009 at 5:34 pm (Children, Family, Home, home school, homeschool, photography) (, , , , , , , , )

Levi making his journal.

Levi making his journal.

Cutie-pie!

Cutie-pie!

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Levi's Stable (bed & playroom)

Levi's Stable (bed & playroom)

Levi & Erin up top.

Levi & Erin up top.

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A Total God Thing

January 29, 2009 at 3:57 pm (Children, Family, God, Life) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Have you ever had a moment in your life when you just knew God was giving you a sign or a message?  When you realized what it meant, did a feeling of peace just come over you?  For me, this has happened, but on rare occasion.  This is a story of my favorite “touch” from above.

It was the morning of September 27, 2004.  I woke up like normal, groggy but desperately trying to focus , because I had 10 minutes to get my teenage daughter to school or she would be late.  I was 21 weeks pregnant and really tired and I just didn’t feel quite right.  Something in the back of my mind was bugging me and trying to come forward, but I couldn’t figure it out.  I didn’t take the time to figure it out.  I dressed quickly, changed my 19 month old son’s diaper and ran out the door.  I drove my daughter to school, dropped her off and decided to do some grocery shopping.

There were only two grocery stores in my town at the time, so I opted to go to Kroger.   As I’m putting my son into the grocery cart, that “thought” that had kept nagging me finally came to the surface.  When was the last time I had felt my baby move?  I couldn’t remember any kicks that morning.  Of course, I had been in a hurry and not really thinking about it, so maybe I had just missed it.  I couldn’t remember any movements the night before, but again, I was so tired from working on our new house, that I told myself it was possible I had just not paid any attention and missed the movements.  All I could remember, was about noon the day before, sitting in a swing with my oldest daughter, the baby kicked so hard that you could see my stomach lurch.  I stopped still in the middle of the fruit section, trying to feel my little one move.  I started to sweat and nauseating heat started building in the middle of my gut.  I decided that the baby must be sleeping, especially since I was moving around and walking so much.  I hurriedly went through the isles in the store, grabbing items haphazardly, not really giving much thought to what I grabbed.  I would stop occasionally, thinking I had felt a tiny flutter.  My chest started getting tighter and my throat felt like it was closing off.  By the time I was going down the last isle, I felt like I was going to throw up or cry or scream.  I felt panicky and I tried to tell myself not to worry so much.

As soon as I got home, I called my husband at work.  When I heard his voice, I started sobbing ” I can’t remember, I just can’t remember except on the swing yesterday”.  He tried to calm me down and to figure out what I was talking about.  I couldn’t stop crying, but I finally made him understand.  He told me to lay still, on the couch or bed and call the doctor.  I told him I would as soon as I put the groceries away.  I was still telling myself that it was all because I hadn’t slowed down, I was moving so much that the baby was just sleeping through it all.

While I was putting away the groceries, I called and talked to the phone nurse.  She told me to drink some juice and get on my hands and knees.  She said the baby was probably just sleeping and that I should feel something within 30 minutes.  I did what she said, searching for some tiny little sign that everything was ok.  I swear, I thought I felt some little flutters.  I just wasn’t sure.  Still, there was no major movement so I called the nurse back.  She told me to come in to the office as soon as possible.

I called my husband back to let him know that I was headed to the doctor’s office.  He said he would meet me there.  I was about 55 minutes away, he was more like 1.5 hours.  I didn’t have anyone to watch my son, so I took him with me.

When I arrived at the office, they took me straight back and a nurse started looking for a heartbeat.  When she couldn’t find one, she still tried to reassure me, but in my heart I knew.  They sent me to have an ultrasound.  While my son sat on my chest I just cried.  The nurse had the monitor turned away from me, she was watching it intently.  About that time, there was a knock on the door and my husband came in.  The nurse excused herself and said she would be right back.  I just looked at my husband and sobbed.  I told him that they hadn’t said anything, but I just knew that our baby was gone.  After a minute or two, the nurse came back in, followed by my doctor.  He watched as the nurse showed him some pictures on the screen, then he turned and grabbed my hand and said “I’m so sorry.  I’m so very sorry.”

It was like my world just stopped.  How do you explain that?  Nothing else existed but that feeling of utter despair.  Then, there was a feeling of disbelief.  Denial.  Then the questions started pouring out of me.  How?  Why?  What happened?  What had I done wrong?  My doctor tried to tell me that it was nothing I had done.  He said everything on the ultrasound looked normal.  There was nothing he could see to explain this.    He said they would run tests, and that after the baby was born, then there was a chance that they could see something physically wrong.  He explained I had two options.  I could wait and let nature take it’s course and let the baby come when my body was ready, or they could put me in the hospital and induce me.  I was sort of shocked and I remember asking “So I’m going to have to go through labor to have this baby?”  I don’t know what I was thinking except that I had 2 previous c-sections, so I just assumed that was how this baby would be born.  He tried to explain it all, but really, I can’t remember much of what he said after that.  I remember he left to make the “arrangements” with the hospital for me to go in the next morning to be induced.  While he was gone, a nurse stuck her head in the door, I think it was the phone nurse I had spoken to on the phone earlier, and she handed me a little book and told me she was sorry.  After my husband had all the details about where to go, we headed home.

I called my Mom on my cell phone and told her that our baby had died.  I cried and told her that I needed her.  She lives 450 miles away.  She told me she would leave as soon as she was packed.  She got here around 3am the next morning and I met her at the door.  I had taken a sleeping pill the doctor gave me, but I was still awake.

Two days later, on the 29th of September, I gave birth to a little boy.  There is much that happened before that and after, but I can’t write about it right now.  Maybe I will at a later date.

Months later, I still couldn’t go back to that Kroger.  I would have a panic attack if I even thought about it.  One day, I decided enough was enough, and I asked my husband if he would go to the store with me.  With sweaty palms and a tight chest, I forced myself to drive to the store.  During this time, there was literally a storm brewing.  It was one of those quick southern thunderstorms that you can just feel in the air.  The clouds were gathering at about the same rate that my heart was pounding.

It wasn’t easy and I was praying silently the whole time for God to help me get through this.  Finally, I walked into the store.  I started feeling so panicky, and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to make it.  I had to leave!!  My husband talked with me quietly and held my hand.  He talked me into trying to get a few things and then leaving.  The storm outside had broken loose and the walls of the store felt like they were shaking from the thunder.  I felt like I had a storm inside of me also.  All I could remember was the worry and fear that I felt that morning a few months ago.  I remember trying to breathe and  I prayed for God to make all of it go away.  I just wanted to get out, to go home, to pull the covers over my head and make it all go away.

We finally finished shopping and we paid for our items.  I remember my chest hurting and I wanted to run outside.  I felt like I was losing my mind.   I finally got out of the doors and I couldn’t go any farther.  I stopped dead in my tracks and I felt and saw the most spectacular thing.  Not more than 200 yards in front of me, was one end of a double rainbow.  I mean, it started (or ended) right there!  It arched way up into the sky and the other end came down within sight, just down the road.  I was totally amazed.  I remember a feeling of peace come over me.  Nothing but peace and hope and love.  Then tears of relief began to pour and I turned to my husband and said “This is a sign from God.  A promise that everything is going to be ok.”

From then on,  I felt like I was going to heal.  I felt like life did have a purpose and I understood that we are not going to understand all of God’s plans for us.  I realized that He is in charge and taking care of us.  Now don’t get me wrong.  The longing for my child is still inside of me.  It will always be with me, until we meet again, just like God promised.

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