29 Apr 2013

The Perfect Storm

1 Comment Adventures, CAH, Everyday

The perfect storm consists of everything in my most darkest nightmares to happen at one time. Today was that day. I knew that it was always a possibility but I didn’t think I would see it happen for a while.

Both Jske and Shelby are resting in ICU from an adrenal crisis. It was the stomach bug, low sodium, low sugar and other levels that were thrown onto a spiral that I could not control.

With 2 kids side by side in the ER at 5am, my world came to a stand still. This is what it feels like to have your heart torn from your body. We waited for both kids to be transferred to the ICU where we wait. We wait to see the damage caused by the perfect storm we couldn’t prevent.

CAH is the condition that we live with daily. It’s not something that is common. Nor something you would even be able to know the kids have. But when it is time, it comes out with a vengeance and makes sure we know it lives with us.

My disaster relief team is large and strong. They come in packs, doing everything to help us get through this tough time. I lean on them for support and for honestly do not know how I could make it through some days without them. I hope they know I would do the same for any of them on any given day.

But now we wait. We wait for Jake to show us signs that he is ok. Shelby is doing much better. Resting but here. I do not like to sit still, but when you are in the eye of the perfect storm, that is what you have to do. Sit still and wait for the storm to pass to see the rainbow.

23 Apr 2013

Now I Can Rest.

No Comments Adventures, CAH

I type by the light of the ipad.

In a room the size of a closet, shared by another family.

On a couch the size of a toddler bed, harder than a rock.

I try not to move or to make a sound.

I try not to wake The baby as she rests and partying that the baby next to her does not wake her.

I am thankful that we have made it to Tuesday. I didn’t think I could make it. I have waited for today for 12 months.

12 months ago, I knew that today would come. I was pregnant and knew the next steps. We had been through them before. The dexamethasone, the weight gain, the insomnia, the visit to New York, the surgery. I calculated the days, the months and tried to plan it out in my mind.

****

So here I sit, at 3:30 in the morning, typing away as I do what I do best. Earning another badge on my parenting uniform, that I wear so proudly each day. This is what I do because it is what we all do as parents for our children. We do the best that we can.

***

But now it’s over. The trip is almost finished, the recovery has started and now I can rest. I can rest knowing that her father and I have made every decision for her with the best of intentions. We have the best doctors looking after our daughter. I would have it no other way and neither would you.

But now I can rest. I will rest knowing that my daughter is healthy and will go home soon. It’s been a long road to get her but for now, it’s time to rest.

19 Dec 2012

Lucky Number 7

3 Comments Adventures, Holidays, Random, Tampa, Wordless Wednesday

I have never really thought of birthdays being special. They are for the kids, but for me, it’s work. The presents, the party, the friends…It’s another birthday that I have to make special for my kids. I love it (and them) but it’s a birthday and that means work for me.

But today, and from now on, I think birthdays are something so much more. They are magical…special and are so important.

Today we are celebrating my daughter’s birthday…her 7th birthday. Lucky number 7.

It’s a random year, not too big of a milestone, but a birthday none the less. And THAT, to any 6 year old turning 7, it means the world.

This year, the meaning of the age 7 has changed for me as well as many others.

My daughter will get to BE 7.

We will not only get to celebrate her 7th birthday but we will get to she her be 7 for another year. She will loose more teeth, she will ride her bike, play with dolls, get better at reading, spelling and math, she will excel in gymnastics, and run and play as free as any 7 year old would do.

She gets to BE 7 and I get to watch her be 7 every day.

***

I usually wake up in order to get a little silence in before the chaos starts. But the silence has not been broken yet this morning. It’s dark, it’s quiet. My house will soon be a buzz with the sounds of life. It can be overwhelming and I get frustrated. I tell (or yell) at them to BE QUIET! I want everyone to be quiet because the baby is sleeping. I want the peace and quiet. I want the crying baby to stop crying. I want my oldest two to stop arguing. I want my 3 year old to stop whining. They get louder. I get louder. But then the sweet sounds come too. They laugh. They giggle. They help each other out. Four kids make noise loud enough to resemble a 24 hour house party when given the chance.

But it’s the silence I crave and the silence I fear. I could not imagine the silence forever. I want to hear “row row row your boat” 4, 578 times…in a row. I want to hear them. I love their sweet little voices and couldn’t imagine not hearing them ever again.

***

So today the silence will break as it usually does. I will welcome it. I will welcome all that goes along with my 6 turning 7 year old, and the rest of the crew to celebrate this new day. Because today is a birthday! And day that she will run out of her room screaming “ITS MY BIRTHDAY!” ITS MY BIRTHDAY!” We will celebrate her 7th birthday like it’s 1999, and hug and kiss and smile like it is the best day in the whole world! Why? Because to any 6 year old turning 7, it is.

But for me, I will try to hold back the tears when my bouncing 7 year old enters the rooms and screams with pure joy. I will hug her and thank God that we are special enough to see this day. This is a celebration about a new year and what is to come. The 7th birthday has come for her and she will go on being 7 like she is supposed to. I will take her fresh age of 7 and cherish it as the greatest gift that anyone has given us. To all the parents of 6 year old little babies in Sandy Hook, that will not get to see theirs turing 7, I will think of them and what they will miss. It is not fair. In so many ways, it is just not fair. The memory of what happened will be with me each year I get to see my daughter turn another age.

I think the reason many of my friends and I have come to take this harder than some is because we see 6 and 7 year olds each day. Another Mom put it best when she wrote, we know what 6 is. Because we do.

***

Happy 7th birthday to the most amazing daughter…my first little girl, who’s taught me about all the joys that little girls bring to life. I am so excited to see what the next year brings.

17 Dec 2012

My New Normal

3 Comments Everyday, Monday Motto, Random

I haven’t cried.

Not yet.

Not until this morning…when I took my kids to school and learned I had a new normal too.

I did my usual Monday Morning routine of getting up, getting backpacks ready, getting lunches made, making coffee and making breakfast for my kids.

It’s our normal every school day routine. It’s what we know and what we expect.

We got in the car, we talked about how fun the day was going to be… who we were looking forward to seeing and what we were going to do after school. Just like normal.

I thought I was doing good. I had really tried to stay away from the news and pretend like we weren’t really affected by what had happened. I honestly had not cried. It was terrible and I knew that, but it wasn’t effecting my family directly.

However, today was not the normal Monday once we arrived on campus. The first thing my kids did point out the not-so-normal. The police officers standing next to our administration building. The police car.

“Why are they here?”

“What happened?”

That was when everything set in in my mind. This is the normal. This is our new normal. I told my kids that we had a new rule when they got out of the car.

“You have to give me a kiss as well as Shelby and Abby.”

We get rushed. They get rushed out the door. We know we will see each other later. Right? Of course! Like always…

I kissed my kids goodbye…for the day today.

I told them I loved them and I would see them after school… right? That’s what always happens. It’s our normal.

I still have one more left in the car.

I will walk her into school. We walked into school and we walked past the police officers. They said “hi” and they smiled. They gave me a look like they knew that I knew that she was too young to know what had happened. We were on the same page. Protection. They didn’t want to be here as much I didn’t want them to be there. Why did they have to be there? Nothing was going to happen, right? And if something were to happen, they would protect her, right?

Shelby said it best. “Mommy they will keep me safe.”

I could only hope that someone would.

So we walked my last pre-schooler into class. I have her a hug and a kiss and told her I would see her later…just like always…

I went back to the car with the baby and cried. I cried out loud and prayed that my babies would be safe today. I prayed for all the families who could not walk their little ones to school and prayed that all of us who did would see our little ones at 2:30 for pick up.

It wasn’t until this morning that I realized a lot of things are different.

***

Having a six-year-old makes me go one step further to only fathom The loss that the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School are feeling today. With their new normal setting in, I can’t imagine what their new normal feels like. I don’t want to.

Today is the first day of their new normal too. They are finding out how to deal with their new normal. And some how, life does move on. Time doesn’t stop. It continues to move on.

***

I’m planning a birthday party for my 6 year old this week. She will be six turning seven.

I will get to see my daughter turn seven.

As we celebrate my daughter’s seventh birthday with such excitement and joy, but my thoughts will be with all those parents who will not be celebrating seventh birthdays with their children.

I’m not sure if it will effect my daughter like December 14th has effected me, but I know that all of her firsts will not come for some families. What she will be able to do will not be able to be done by the children who went to heaven too soon. On her birthday each year, I will try to remember that we are still here for some reason. For some reason, it happened some place else and not at her school. We will celebrate being able to still be around on this Earth… for some reason.

***

I haven’t cried until now. My new normal will take a while for me to get used to. I cry today because I don’t like my new normal. I’m sure there are many others crying today too because they don’t like their new normal either.

***

15 Dec 2012

Funniest Christmas Card Ever

1 Comment Adventures, Everyday, Holidays, Tampa

I made this on Pic Minkey. Best photo editing software free on the web. Simple. Easy.

The card speaks the truth. Probally what we were all thinking!

21 Oct 2012

Just To See Her Smile…

No Comments Adventures

Just to see her smile…

Camping …The Bad, The Fun, The Menories

Today, I had to suck it up for memories.

Right now…

I am cold.

I am on a cot.

In the dark.

My nose hurts. Wait….It REALLY HURTS!

My toe is throbbing.

There is an airplane getting ready to land in my room (that would be the fan and why it is still on I’m not sure) .

I was stung by 2 wasps while trying to get a picture if our girls. I was bitten by fire ants while trying to make s’mores with our girls. These were the low parts of my day.

But now, after ice packs and benydral, I am looking back… and thinking I actually made memories for myself too…not just for Mia and her friends, but for my life as a Mom.

I got to hang out with some great new Moms that I usually only get to say ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ to at school. We now have lots of “next time” lists the next time we do something like this together.

I got to spend time with Mia. Just me and her. No one else. It’s actually so much harder to do now that she has 3 siblings…

I got to hear Mia laugh and experience her being a kid and enjoying what being a kid should be about: having fun.

I really didn’t want to come ( broken toe was not in the camping plan.)

And I kept trying to think of ways we could leave early… Trust me the wasp thing was my ticket home.

But… I sucked it up in the name of Memories. It’s not about me any more. It had t been for a long time. What I wouldn’t do to hear any one of my kids laugh.

If you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at! Glad I came. I will come back… Slightly more prepared. I’ve got 1 year (going on 2) as a Girl Scout leader under my belt…

I’m sure I’ll have more memories than I know what to do with later on. And I’m sure that I’ll be glad I stayed to make them happen… Just to see her smile!

27 Sep 2012

Routine Doctors Visits

No Comments Uncategorized

Here’s the low down on our doctors visits.

3 kids see their special doctor 3 times a year and have blood work done ever 3 months. (Oh! Did I mention that the blood work is $1000 in lab fees per child!)

Needless to say, it’s a long process, but finally at the ripe age if 3 they become comfortable with going. Trust me, the first 2 years are harder on me than them.

Lots of tears between us and them. Lots of questions as to why… (And trust me…I have questions of why myself.)

We see some of the best doctors in Tampa and I can finally speak nurse, insurance and billing. It’s been a long road to get Shelby here. I was a rookie with Jake and learned a lot. I’ll be a pro with Abby. You have to be.

“I am The Parent and I speak for my kids.”

19 Sep 2012

Life is now a Full House

No Comments Adventures, Tampa

And then there were 4. It’s been 7 weeks and I am finally able to bring myself around to keeping up my blog as well as juggling all I have in my life. My full house is wonderful. This is the first picture taken with all 4 kids. Just can’t stop smiling!

25 Jun 2012

Life in Numbers

No Comments Random

7 years ago
2 people were married
More than 100 people came
They drove over 200 miles
To 1 farm, in the middle of nowhere
To watch 1 diamond ring get placed on 1 finger
To symbolize a lifetime of togetherness.

Since then…
1 house has become our home
3 children fill it with laughter
1 more child will make their family complete.

We have had…
2,555 days of marriage
100s of fights and 100s of makeups
And changed over 20,000 diapers.

I would say “I Do” 1 million times again to the man I fell in love with
12 years ago.

And I hope to spend 1 million more years with you.

Happy Anniversay, Baby.

“I love you to the moon and back.” (That would be 238,857 miles.)

08 Apr 2012

You win some. You lose some. Today, I lost.

3 Comments Adventures, Everyday

Do you see the picture above? It’s my OFFICIAL invite to the White House. Yes, I actually did get invited to the 134th Annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House.

Today was a very hard day for me. Yup. Among other things going so wonderful in my life, today, my balls dropped mid air, and I was the only one to blame.

I was so excited to have actually been invited to the White House for a #WHTweetUp. If you are not on Twitter, then you probaly don’t know that the White House actually invited people that “tweet” to the White House for events. I put my name in a hat and got the OFFICIAL invite a few days later.

I told EVERYBODY! Yup! The whole wide world knows that I was supposed to go to the White House. I like to do big things. Go big or GO HOME. Why not? If you aren’t going to dream big and try to get somewhere, then why work so hard for something you really want? I REALLY wanted this. The opportunity to go the the White House, MAYBE meet the President, take the kids around DC, do something most people don’t get the opportunity to do. Yup. That’s me. I take pride in my accomplishments. Always have. I’ve been tweeting, reading and following all the AMAZING people that would be at the event. It sounded SO amazing. A opportunity of a lifetime. Who does this? Me, I guess! My lucky day.

And for those who know about a project I launched a few years back, THIS was MY chance to be a part of an event that was exactly something I had been working on since Michele Obama launched Let’s Move in 2010. Fit Kids Playground would ACTUALLY be GOING to the White House! I could show everybody what we were doing in Tampa and how we were trying to make a difference.

To say, that I was excited was an understatement. I was going to actually be able to GO to the White House, take the kids and participate in a 130 year old tradition, the Easter Egg Roll on the White House Lawn. Wow. Yup. Pretty cool. So despite the fact that tickets cost a body part, and it was going to be a tight budget, with the help of my parents, we made it happen, or at least I thought I pulled it off until Friday…then again on Sunday morning at 5:30AM at the airport, with all kids in tow.

For those who know me well, yes, I AM busy. But organized. Yes, I feel like I have logistics in order for managing 3 kids, business obligations and more, but today, my “super powers” were gone today and I couldn’t pull out of a mistake that was made a few days ago. It really sucks. I don’t like not being able to fix things.

Because of logistical error that WAS (and I hate pointing fingers) my banks fault (admittedly). I thought that things were straightened out on Friday and we were set to fly out on Sunday…the 8th, not the 15th, as the new tickets stated. We were booked for an incorrect date…that I didn’t catch until it was too late. This is where it comes back to me. My fault that I didn’t check the date of the re-booked tickets. So getting to the airport at 5:30 THIS morning meant nothing as our tickets were for another day. I hate being wrong. I hate not being able to fix things. I hate this feeling. I don’t like letting people down, and I am the one who probaly let myself down the most today.

My kids…could honestly care less. They don’t judge. They don’t hold a grudge. They weren’t mad at me because I F*ed up. They are 6 and 7 and love me no matter what. As I am writing this, it makes me remember that life is full of lessons. Life goes on. The sun is still shining, and they still love their Mom, no matter what…even if I did mess up an opportunity of a lifetime. But maybe it wasn’t meant to be…maybe there is a reason…right…I hope so…Maybe I am the one to take the lesson home from this experience. Mistakes happen. Life goes on. Sometimes, it really sucks.

I tried. I tried so hard, but with out another $2000 to rebook AGAIN, I just couldn’t fix this HUGE mistake. I sat in the airport with 2 VERY patient kids while I waited to figure out what to do.

So here I am now, 3 hours later…at home…on Easter…with my family. (That doesn’t sound bad either, right.) I’ve spent the morning thinking about the events that just happened and how I would tell all my supportive friends and family about my f* up. I thought about lying and saying I got sick and going into hiding. Silly,right. Nope, just didn’t want to admit that it was my fault. Couldn’t do that either. Why should anyone else care what happened? But I do.

I love the support I receive from my friends and family. Yes, I know I am crazy with being pregnant and involved as I am with my projects, clients, family, and everything else under the sun. It your support means so much, you’ll never know. I think anyone supporting anyone else or a cause means so much. Thank you for the well wishes. I am so lucky to have friends and family that care as much as I do. I wish I had cool pictures and stories to talk about. It should have been REALLY fun. I guess I will watch it live tomorrow…from my couch.

Maybe I will get the opportunity to do this again at another event. Who knows. Yes, I VERY disappointed in the turn of events, but I still cannot change me getting to DC, short of a miracle. The Easter Egg Roll is tomorrow and there is no way we can afford to fix this. So I guess our airline credit will have to sit in the “bank” until later and maybe we can win the #WHTweetUp lottery again. My lesson learned.

So as I listen to the kids laughing and not even thinking about what I messed up today, I guess I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. But I am. Just me. It’s not like I threw away a winning lottery ticket…well, kind of…I guess I should just go back to being Clark Kent for a while. I am getting ready to have a baby…another kind of lottery we have won 4 times.

So here’s our version of the White House #EasterEggRoll Not as fancy, but just fine for my kids.

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