If you are coming from Building Heavenly Bridges (BHB), WELCOME and if you are finding me for the first time and looking for support after a loss, then please check me out at my grief/loss blog!

This blog is a series of anecdotes from our life after losing our first child, a stillborn daughter, then going on to birth the two other lights of our lives!

Bear is 6: serious, organized, my cruise director and my time keeper.

The Comedian is 4: She is pure comedy always doing something unintentionaly funny that I attempt to put into words.

Enjoy our stories, conversations, and delights as we embrace the lives of our second and third daughters without ever negating our first.

Children's Widsom - Quote of the week...

Children's Widsom - Quote of the week...
"I Wish Emma Was Alive Because I Would Tell Her Where The Bathroom Is"

Monday, August 31, 2009

The First Day of School

The first day of school is never easy. Transitioning is always hard.

Today was really hard. Bear struggled immensly with her emotions, riding the rollercoaster of tears, frustration, anger, fear, worry, anticipation, hope, and who knows what other anxiety based emotions.

Tomorrow is her first day of first grade.

As I watched her, trying my best to stay buckled in the same seat she was as she hit the peaks and valleys of her emotionally charged day, I broke inside.

I saw my little girl fighting to regain some sense of control as her world spun out of control. I saw her clothes get folded, then re-folded, and strictly organized in drawers. I saw shoes come flying at my head matched only by the murderous look in her eyes. I saw her cower in the backseat of the car, not wanting to be there but not wanting to get out either.

Quite simply, I saw myself.

I saw the person I become when grief overwhelms. I know those feelings of despair partnered with the need to compartentalize my life. I know far too well how it is to want and not want something equally at the same time. And so my heart breaks a little more each time it happens to her.

GAD - General Anxiety Disorder, that's what they call it. "Basically", one psycologist told me, "life just stresses her out, at times more than others."

Yeah. No kidding. Poor kid.

We have had a relatively good summer with regard to her stress triggers. We have introduced a few new techniques and strategies she can choose to use when she feels her body starting to get out of control. Today, nothing worked.

I am starting my new job tomorrow so I can't be there for her first day. Daddy will walk her to school and pick her up. That will be enough, I tell myself knowing he is a calming force for her, but oh how I wish I could be there too.

Her backpack is ready. Her lunch is packed. Her outift is picked out.

"Mommy" she whispered to me at bedtime, "I'm sorry I was so not controlled today. I'm just so scared to go. I'm just so nervous."

She finally said it outloud. For that I did a happy dance, right there in her bedroom and the corners of her tired mouth reluctantly started to turn.

"I know" I whispered back, "We both start new things tomorrow. I'm nervous too."

And as she closed her eyes we hugged. I pray her dreams will be peaceful ones.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Last year on an ordinary day I saw a call out for writers on the LFCA. A new ezine was in the works, one for infertiles and families living after the loss of a baby.

I pounced. I wrote a sample piece. I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the first columnisnts for Exhale magazine. My column title? Meditations On Life After Loss.

Exhale has grown so very much over the last nine months. Each issue is available now in PRINT format for a donation of $5! Woo-hoo, look as us growing!

This month my column is a bit different. It is a piece on Parenting After Loss. I thought it appropriate to share as my show and tell for it took me A LOT longer to write than others preceeding it.

This is an emotional issue I have been wrestling for some time now. Please, if you have a response - leave it. If you are a few years ahead of me on this PAL journey, tell me so - with some nice, flowery, what-I-might-expect-to-see-in-a-couple-years story...perhaps.

Thank you for allowing me to tell our story. Thank you for helping me to write a happy ending.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Passed...Then Surpassed!

Well, she passed.

We all knew that was coming!

And, their teacher gave them lollipops!

They knew that would happen too.
What was less expected were the happy tears pouring from my eyes. Their intensity matched only by the pride and accomplishment glowing in Bears's.

For the record, Comedian did not pass. This, too, was expected. And, contrary to what the image above says, she is not upset about this in the least. "I get to do level ONE again" she says animatedly to anyone who will listen.

Friday was Bear's long earned (like five years in the making) moment.

And, The funny thing about really wanting to do something is that even when you have achieved it you still want to do more, to go further, and try new things that yesterday seemed impossible.

Like this. Holy Cow - I got a swimmer on my hands!

* - A short PSA for all parents: There is a 24 hour fatigue delay when your children swim four hours in one day. The next night expect them in bed a full two hours early!

** - Oh, and don't miss the quote of the week, a lament on the end of swimming!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Show and Tell - Sink or Swim

Bear has never loved water. In fact, she hated it with an earsplitting vengence as a baby. A simple sponge bath left my eardrum smarting for a day or two.

Bathing during her toddler years is not a story I will even tell you. Ok, Earplugs. Enough said.

We started swimming lessons at 2 years old. For the first year she sat on the first step. The second year she sat in the water on the second step, and so forth.

We've never pushed her. We've always wanted her to feel safe in the water and find her comfort zone in her own time. Even so, this was the general expression you recieved when she got anywhere near water, usually followed by tears.

As summer approached something told me this was our year. An inuition of sorts that the heavens had aligned and suddenly, not only would she feel safe and confident in the water, but she would want to swim!

Mother's intuition. Never mess with it.

Congratulations Bear. You have done it. And, futhermore, you have inspired your sister to follow suit. You are growing up so fast and accomplishing so much.

This is Bear's fifth year in level one swimming lessons. Tommorow is the 'exit test'. Something tells me that, at long last, she will pass!

What are you showing and telling?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Show and Tell - Mind Scribbler

It's Wednesday. It's show and tell day, the day of the week where we share interesting snippets from our collective lifes both to amuse and to learn more about each other.

This blog has been strangely silent as of late, an unexpected side effect of my recent, albeit, early dowslide into 'the lead up to Emma's birthday'.

So, a big thank you to Kristin for sending me this award, not only because it ends my unintended silence here and inspired me to post a few more recent pics of our summer experience, but because it celebrates one of the things I am currently grieving most. On Sept 1st I will walk back into a classroom and commence teaching. My magical year of writing is over. I'm sad. So, thanks for recognizing this part of me that has been rejuvinated. To be clear, I'll still write - I'll just have to carry my super cool, retro hand-held recorder with me all the time so when inspiration strikes and I am in the middle of teaching a lesson about something preschoolish I can put the topic, and perhaps the first few lines into my magic inspiration box.

Behold -- said magic inspiration box procured for pennies on the dollar at a...you guess it...yard sale when the seller couldn't guarantee if it worked. It does. Well.

So, my challenge is to embrace what is left of the summer while trudging through this nasty grief haze I'm in. My strategy? A scrapbook, of course. But not just any scrapbook. Inspired by my good friend I am doing a 'day-to-day month of August' scrapbook. This serves two purposes.

1. I am constantly distracted (read: not allowed to fall into a thousand pieces) throughout the day by remembering that I am supposed to be remembering my camera and snapping photos of our daily events.

2. When complete, the book will serve as a concrete reminder that even though I felt like my heart was being squished by a bulldozer - again, I managed to create opportunities for my children to enjoy their last month of summer. And, I might add, looked like I was too.

And so...a brief snippit of the scrapbook in the making

Aug 1 - At the lake

Aug. 2nd - Me, signing Amazing Grace at church as my Summer music offering.

Aug 3rd - Off to play tennis!

Aug 4th - An improptu lunch out with Auntie Erika and the girls' Great-Godmother Karen and Great-Godfather Paul!

Aug 5th - Rocking out Gymnastics / Dance Class
See, doesn't look like I'm in total control? That's what I do. When I feel out of control -- I take complete control.

What is the rest of the class showing and telling?