Saturday, March 27, 2010

It is interesting the alientation I still feel when it comes to normal parent discussions. I get so frustrated when people talk about wanting one gender vs another gender. They keep talking about mourning what they are missing. About not getting to expeirence dolls and cute clothes or trucks and dirt.

Maybe I would feel the same way had Curtis lived and we had all boys after him. Maybe if life had handed me everything perfect, wrapped up in a pretty bow, I would long for dresses and capri pants.

I really thought, after Curtis died, I would have all girls. And I was okay with that. I really really was. Because when you have a baby who died? You are grateful for a baby, any baby, who makes it out screaming. I am not saying these parents aren't grateful for their children. But had there been a choice given to them before they were ever pregnant, they would choose the gender they wanted. Plain and simple.

Life doesn't work like that. We can't get everything we want. Someone once told me "the grass is greener where you water it." This is SO true. People are always looking at what others have, wanting that for themselves that they forget to look what at they have and enjoy it. Would I go back and change Curtis dying if I could? Yes. I would. I would want him to get the chance to let him live his life. I firmly believe Claudia and Cole's exsistance has nothing to do with his. I believe we would have all 3 with us, even if he had lived.

But he didn't live. He didn't. So, I could longingly look at families who have all of their children alive and live my life in such a state of "what ifs" that I couldn't function. But I choose not to. I choose to live each day, as much as I can, in the moment. I cuddle by boy as he drifts off to sleep. I sneak in his room to look at his sleeping face. I write on the driveway with chalk with my daughter. I dance around the living room with her and take her to swimming lessons. I remind myself each day how truly blessed I am to have them in my life. I ache for and miss Curtis but life did not work out the way I had planned. I cannot go back and change it. But I refuse to let that detail stop me from enjoying what I have.

I just want to scream when people "try for a boy" or are upset they will never get to go wedding dress shopping. So many people can't have children. So many people lose their children. A side story, one day I was shopping with Claudia when she was about 10 months old. This lady stopped me and said "You are soooo lucky to have a girl. All I have is boys." With her 3 boys standing next to her. I was dumbfounded. I said "Yes, I am blessed to have her. Are all your children alive?" She looked at me and said "Yes." Then, as I walked away I said "Then YOU are the lucky one."

I am not quick on my feet like that usually. Usually i think of the good reply days later. But I was proud of myself. I am not saying people shouldn't feel their emotions or whatever, because they should. But to sit and have these discussions and overthink this stuff just makes you long even harder for a different life. Life isn't fair. It sucks. But one quote I keep in mind:

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon - instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today. ~Dale Carnegie

Thursday, March 18, 2010

So much for my blogging 3 times a week thing, huh? But this time, it isn't my fault! I swear. Spring is a the really busy time at Craig's work. He gets home at about 6:30pm, helps me get the kids to sleep and is on the computer until 1 or 2 am. Crazy. Evening time has been my blog/computer time so obviously, I haven't had access to the computer.

On Wednesdays, I take Claudia to a toddler class. It is through our local school district and is really cute. There is a free play time, circle time, snack and a time the parents go off and have parent discussion time while the children play. Every other mom in there is a stay at home mom. I am the only one who works. They all adore the parent discussion time, a break from the kids, adults only...and I tolerate it. I love the class because it is my time with Claudia. (Cole is in the sibling care room). I am not saying I know everything about parenting, but having worked in the child development area I am not learning anything new as a lot of topics revolve around that. We were asked what topics we would like to discuss, given a sheet of paper and asked to rate them. I put "birth order" the lowest on the list. I don't believe in the whole birth order hype, and quite frankly, it is a sore subject for me.

Sure enough, our 6th class or so...birth order was brought up. All the other moms were excited to discuss this. Me? I am fighting tears.

The parent educator says "okay, I think all of our kids in class are first borns."

No, no they aren't.

Claudia may "act" like a first born (if you believe in that stuff). She may be treated like a first born in the fact she was our first living child...but she is NOT the first born. I gave birth one time before her.

I am fighting back tears. I am lowering my head. I hate this topic. I hate Claudia being refered to as a first born. It is the phrase that grates on my nerves. They are referring to HER...but to me? She isn't. I do not participate in the discussion. I do the thing we all perfected in high school. The look of participation. The polite interest, glazed over expression. But, my mind is a million miles away. To my true first born. What would HIS personality have been like? What 'first born' traits would have encompassed him?

I want the discussion to end. I want to get back into the other room, back to my daughter. Back to the reason I am taking this class. One to one time with her. Watching her explore new toys, watching her take interest in other children. I look at the clock. Sitll 10 minutes left.

Thankfully, the phone rings. It is the sibling care room...they think Cole needs a diaper change and can I come down? Everyone groans for me. Feels bad I have to leave this interesting coversation. But I practically skip out of the room, to my _third_ born. And, even though parent education time isn't over, I sneak back into the room where my second born is playing. She yells out MAMA and reaches towards me, pulling me around the room to show me her newest discovery.

Monday, March 8, 2010

This time of year is rough. We are all very much experiencing spring fever. It is warming up (40 degrees!). The spring and summer stuff hit the shelves at Target. I have bought C & C spring clothes. I set out Easter decorations, but when I look out the window?

Nasty snow. Not even the pretty snow from December, but the stuff that is half melted, covered in dirt, sand, and salt. It is very much a reminder that winter is still here. March and April we tend to get snow. We are still in it for the long haul.

Close to a year ago, I found out I was pregnant with Cole.
Close to three years ago, I found out I was pregnant with Claudia.
Over four years ago, I found out I was pregnant with my first baby boy.
Five years ago, my husband and I started trying for a baby.

I think you can see how crazy the last 5 years have been for us. This time of year always brings up memories for me. My pregnancy nearing the end with Curtis. The beginning of my pregnancies with Cole and Claudia.

I look around at my little home, my cute children, and the happy place I am at....and then I glance out the window and see what I still have to deal with. I almost chose the word "overcome" but I know I will never overcome Curtis' death. Nor, do I want to. I am in a good place in my life. I am starting to focus on my needs as well as giving everything I can to my family. I am learning to balance work, family, and me time. I am enjoying where I am at. I am enjoying being done with pregnancy forever and focusing on the day to day excitement two little ones bring.

But, looking out that window, of what is left, of what is still missing in my life hurts.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

So, I have been working on "goals" for myself. The last 2 months...heck, the last 6 months have been really difficult in getting myself back to normal. The stress and anxiety of Coley's pregnancy was overwhelming. Then, he was a pretty fussy newborn and I was still dealing with anxiety...then I went back to work and was trying to adjust to that. Then, both kids have been constantly sick, including a week stay in the hospital for Cole.

Not to mention daily life headaches, car needing new breaks, possible gas leaks (that weren't), random doctor visits, stomach flu for me....

You know, LIFE!

So, in an effort to feel more together, I have started a short term goal list as well as a long term list. Some of it is to help focus on ME and things that I enjoy. One of them is to blog 3 times a week. I have lists and lists of topics and moments I want to blog about. Everyday I think "yes, must blog about that tonight" and do I? No.

So, I am. My other goals include exercise, eating better...long term goals include spending a bit more effort on getting nice haircuts and taking care of myself in that manner. I also have some goals of things I want to do for Curtis' birthday and in his memory. Also things like taking classes with Claudia and Cole (in the future). I signed up Claudia for swimming lessons and we are taking a toddler class together on Wednesdays.

Another thing I want to mention is this website I found. I have been reading about Gratitude Journals and how they can increase a person's mood and happiness. In a world full of so much negativity (heck, look at the start of this post!) it is nice to take a few minutes to write down blessings in life. From the nonsense, like my Wii Fit to the more serious, a wonderful mom who babysits my is a time to focus on GOOD. Here is a "how to" about gratitude journals:

Well, quite frankly, I wasn't going to go to that extreme of some of the points listed. A friend pointed me to this online gratitude journal:

It is sort of like Facebook and Twitter in a way. I take a few moments each day and jot down something I am grateful for...I really am enjoying it.

So, that is where I am. I am going to be blogging 3 times a week. I am going to write about all the topics swirling in my head about Curtis and my family.


Here is a story I wanted to share. For Christmas, I asked for a necklace hand stamped with all three of my children's names on it. It has their 3 birthstones and I just adore it. Claudia has been looking at it a lot lately. I have been telling her "Curtis, Claudia, and Cole. My three babies." Lately, when she is looking at it and touching it she has been saying "Curtis, Claudia, and Cole." The way she says Curtis is soooo cute. I just love hearing his name come out of her mouth. I know she doesn't "know" what it means. She is only 2. But I just feel the more she hears his name and knows he is a part of our lives even though he isn't physically with us, the better. I never want it to be a surprise to her that she has an older brother and we truly feel his spirit in our lives.

(Of course, now she thinks any necklace or bracelet is called "Curtis, Claudia, and Cole. But that is besides the point! ;) )