14 May 2012

Lessons Learned

Happy belated Mother's Day to all the Moms out there! I hope that everyone had a great day, working or at home with the family.

My Mother's Day was great, anytime spent with the family is wonderful, although still a little bittersweet for me. My own Mother passed away a few years ago, and my youngest son passed away a year and a half ago. A little deep for this early in the morning? Well, this is something that I was thinking about last night as I did the dishes. (Dishes on Mother's Day you say???...yes, I don't mind and the hubby fixed dinner.) I always think deep thoughts when I wash dishes, it's my meditation time I suppose. I think about my Mother's Day, and everything I have to be so thankful for. I have a wonderful 6 year old son, and a 5 month old daughter, who just recently started sleeping through the night (shhhh, don't say it too loud or she will hear).

Are they not the most precious little munchkins ever!

As I said, I started thinking about all of the wonderful things to be thankful for. When things happen that go against our "plan" for life, we have choices on how to handle it. We can choose to let it destroy us, or choose to rise above and learn from them. Thats what I decided, instead of focusing on the loss in my life, I decided to focus on what I have learned. I can raise my arm and shake my fist at the heavens, but all that does is bring my bingo-wing arm fat directly to eye level, and that just makes me feel worse, so why do it?

I want to share that with you now, what I feel I have learned. As I type this, my two little loves are sleeping soundly, and I am thankful for a few quiet moments this evening.

So, I my Lessons Learned....

I have Learned that People are Precious. Hold them dear.

I once thought that I had checked off enough boxes in the "sorrow" catergory, and that I was fairly untouchable for a while. But no, tragedy struck and my son passed away. I learned a lesson that people are precious. Time does not stop, there is no rewind button. You can't go back, only forward. So, give them a hug. Put your kids as a priority, not the evening TV shows. Tell them you love them, all the time. Call your Mom back when she calls you a few times and you think you are too busy. Stop what you are doing, really look and pay attention to your friends and family. People are precious. Hold them dear.

I have Learned that it's okay to have a mess once in a while.

I once heard a quote that I loved, "A great Mom has dirty floors, dirty ovens and happy kids". I tell you what, my kids must be flipping ecstatic all the time. Never mind if I heard myself say that quote to myself when I was mentally bartering with myself on whether to clean or play. This Saturday I was trying to undo what the week had done to my house, and in my cleaning frenzy, I see my son lugging a box of toys down the stairs to play in the living room. I saw his grinning face, all ready to destroy my clean living room have fun playing in the living room. Now I had a decision. Do I tell him to turn around and play in his room? Or do I let him come downstairs and instead of think about the amount of a mess that he will make, think about the amount of fun he will have... I glanced to the stack of dirty dishes (my kitchen has been in a perpetual state of chaos all week as I have made 3 cakes this week!) and then back to him. I put down the sponge and thus began an epic battle of Lego's versus Transformers, with an assist from some army men.

I have Learned to celebrate the small things.

Life is hard, sometimes really hard. I try to celebrate the small things. With my son, he started Kindergarten this year, so watching him learn and grow is fantastic. It's the small things that really can make your day, if you focus on them. Him remembering to wash his hands after the bathroom, with no reminders from me. Even if it's crazy or odd. Anyone with a child that has had constipation issues can understand how odd it can be to stand over a toilet and cheer for a poop. When you flash to that moment, you realize that your life has really changed as a parent when you cheer for #2. Yay for poo! But, celebrate the small things. When you have a bad day, think of all the things that went right, even if it that the car started and you didn't get a flat tire of the way to work.

I have Learned to remember all of the things I love about being a Mom when my child is acting a fool and I want to leave him on a neighbors door step.

Seriously, have you had those moments when you are staring at your child wondering where they came from, what is possessing them, and who you can give them to. I try to remember all the things I love about being a Mom. It helps. Sometimes. I love the unsolicited "I love you's". I love snuggling in bed watching a movie. I love the look of pure happiness. I love the look of awe when they are seeing something new for the first time. I love when they are sleeping and they look like little angels. I love kissing his soft little cheek. One day there will be stubble there.

 That look of awe right there. We went to Sea World and he saw Shamu for the first time. Ignore the diva sunglasses, it was bright and I gave him my sunglasses.

I have learned many things from my loss. One great thing I have learned is that I work for a great company, full of great people. Our world is changing, and we are lucky to have a great company with solid direction. I have received so much love and support during my 11 years at Lowe's, full of good times and rough spots. I got married and had three beautiful children (not actually in the store, although I always wanted to play a joke on people when I was pregnant). I will forever sing the praises of the wonderful company I work for.

I will leave you with this. Give them a hug and tell them you love them.

And I will leave you with a few pictures of the most perfect baby ever!!

This one is extra funny because it looks like she is trying crazy hard to fart on Jessica's hand. That's my girl!!

09 August 2011

On a poop and a prayer.

Tommy has a problem. A pooping problem.

Tommy has a pooping issue, thus prompting us to go to the Pediatrician, who then ordered an X-ray of his abdomen, which then showed the enormous poop build up, and subsequently directed us to administer a series of enemas (five).... Oh..okay.

After Josh negotiated with a 5 year old for several hours, he was finally able to "get it done". After which, still did not induce a BM, and then Tommy started vomiting profusely. I came home from work, called the after hours nurse hot line, and was directed to go to the ER. So, after hours of waiting for a BM, we went to the ER to see a DR.

An IV was put in (horrible...with Tommy screaming, "Why are they hurting me?!"), blood taken out for testing, and another X-ray was completed. I really felt this entire time that we would go, they would say, it's still poop. And we would go home to face more enemas and poopy pull ups. Innocently I looked up at the doctor as he entered the room, and full of hope to go home, and sleep, I waited for his response.

"Blah blah blah medical stuff (did I mention it was about 4am now?) blah bladdity blah, white blood cells elevated, blah, stool up to his lungs, blah, Dell Children's Hospital". Wait. What? What did he say?

I felt the blood drain from my face, and I wonder if the doctor was even aware of the nervous shift in the room.
"So, I will need to drive him over there?" I asked hopefully. "No, he will need to be taken by ambulance, as he has an IV", he replied. Ooohhhhhhhhh........
As I tried to maintain control, a slew of emotions flooded with me. From what seemed like an small problem, had escalated to grand poop proportions, and I started to lose my grip. Tommy was still sleeping in the bed, thankfully unaware of the situation.

I can't begin to explain the feelings of anguish and heartache as I watch him being strapped on to the gurney and taken to the ambulance. I must have looked more upset then I thought, as the EMT pulled me aside and asked if I was okay. I said I was fine, just that my entire world was being placed in their hands. I slowly reached up and grabbed the EMT's collar, and whispered calmly, "if anything happens or you turn on your lights while driving, I will cut you." He reached up and gently pried my hand from his coat, and gave me a sympathetic look. Seriously. Driving behind them, I felt the tension and did my best not to cry and swerve all over the road. It's difficult to drive straight and shake a fist at the window to remind them to take care of my baby.

I should have just gone to Dell Children's Hospital in the first place, but really...didn't want to go back there. Just thinking about it makes my chest tighten. They are just wonderful at that hospital, and check on you every 10 minutes, compared to every 10 hours at Seton it seemed.

After completing the CAT scan, it was determined that there was no blockage, no bowl issues, no appendix issues, just a belly full of crap. Ugh. And then about 6 nurses and I sat on him to administer another enema, and for the next 5 hours, I was elbow deep in poo. It was a crappy day. Literally. He finally got out a turd the size of a tennis ball, and they let us leave. (Yes, they almost admitted him to the hospital for constipation). And just in case you were pondering to yourself, and counting the hours, yes, I was still awake and functioning at about 1pm, after not sleeping all night. And I still had to go to work after this. Boooooo.

I am still in shock about the escalation of the issue. I feel like such a failure as a parent. I can't get my child to poop successfully. I grew up with these issues, and I feel so bad for him. I just get frustrated and exhausted with thinking about what I can do to remedy this situation. I get frustrated with Tommy, and then I feel guilty. Why can't he just go poo!?

I don't know, we are still trying. But this was for sure a very long and crappy time. Emotionally, it was tough. I freak out when I think of anything happening to Tommy. But I know that we had to take care of him, and get him help, no matter where the location. But seriously, do you think God laughs when I pray desperately for poop to come for hours and hours? Even just a little snicker? I mean, come on, it has to be a teeny bit humorous when I am begging and praying on the floor for a smidge, a push, a drop of poop. People pray for all kinds of things. But bowel movements? Sighhhh. A prayer for poo.

03 August 2011

Oh the hormones.....

Really just once, I would like to place my hand on someone (my husband preferably) and have my feelings transfer to that person in an M. Night Shyamalan fashion. With cinematic climax, suddenly the person (Josh) receiving my feelings would tense up, head snap back, as if possessed by a strange bolt of electricity. Then my dear husband (that's would could use this the most) would suddenly realize that I'm not bat shit crazy, and tenderly stroke my hair while he whispered sweetly in my ear, "I understand everything now, my precious wife, let me rub your feet and make you dinner".

But, that is very unlikely to happen.

And for as many times as I have glared at him, just once hoping that my feelings would somehow travel across the room and into his thick skull....still nothing. However, I feel he might be more concerned about the times he catches me staring at him, seemly chanting to myself. Awkward sideways glances....wondering where the nearest instrument of self defense would be....

Thus are the life and times of a pregnant woman.

I can't even begin to describe the feelings, the overwhelming roller coaster of emotions. I wish that I could garner enough emotional strength to properly deal with and act accordingly with the ebb and flow of turbulent feelings.

At this moment, today, I am feeling overwhelmed. Scared, lost, sad... I am a procrastinator by birth, and with such, I am just dealing with my lack of actions. I just wish that someone could tell me the right decision to make. I would love to talk to my Mom about what I should do, what the right path is. But, unfortunately that is not an option, thus making me sad. And there I go crying again.

Yes, I am pregnant again. Moments of great happiness over take me and I am consumed with anticipation about having another baby. I cannot wait, I keep imagining what it will be like. This little blessing is a girl. I still feel in shock about that news. I was resigned to the fact that I was going to just be the mother of boys. But, there in the picture, was a girl.
In some ways, I feel that this will be easier. That I will be less upset because it will not be as easy to draw comparisons between her and Riley. In other ways, I feel less ready to open myself up to the possible pain or hurt if something happens. I would love to put Tommy in a bubble and not let him out. The thought of him going to a big school scares the crap out of me. I picture all the bad things, but then sensibly, I understand all of the wonderful good things too.

I just want to crawl in bed and stay there for quite some time. That's how I feel today.
And on top of everything, my cooking has been crappy lately. One meal was barely edible.

Oh the hormones!

15 January 2011

A Symphony of Analogies

Driving in the car seems to be the catalyst for my brain to think, think, think away. Busy at work, aside from the moments someone attempts to engage in conversation about my issues, I never seem to think about it. "It" being my loss. When I am home, I am usually tired from work, and like to spend time with Tommy, and he doesn't give in to my moments where I just want to crawl into bed with the covers over my head. So, my alone time comes when I commute to and from work. During this time, I seem to think about my day, conversations, issues, and Riley.

Some moments I feel like the thought of Riley is so far away, a fuzzy memory in a distant place. Sometimes a word, phrase or thought will draw me back into a moment around his death, and I can't escape the overwhelming feeling of loss. I remember bits and pieces, like a whirling thought tornado in my mind, some mental pictures sharp and in focus, others distorted and torn. I brew, harbor and obsess over a thought, racking back and forth in my mind. I have conversations with myself (not crazy ones) just conversations where I come up with cute analogies, For Death. Grief. Loss.

I feel the process of "dealing with grief" is like moving a mountain size pile of rocks from one location to another. Some rocks are small, pebble size, and you can easily manage them with no help. Some rocks are the size of boulders. To try to move the mountain of rocks by yourself, in one try is impossible. You have to be willing to accept help when you need it to move the large rocks you can't move by yourself. (therapy, friends, family). You have to work the mountain down, little by little, until you look back and realize that you accomplished it. A look back and you see how much work you have done to get yourself past the emotional trials, and from moving all those rocks, you are stronger. When I have issues working through grief, I feel like I just walk up and kick the pile of rocks, sending them flying about, making more of a mess. For me, I feel like a lot of the time I just put a big blanket over the pile, and pretend that it's not there. What's that? Oh, that's just a giant pile of blankets. Move along now. Nothing to see here.

People ask me about "It". I can feel them tip-toeing around the question. I have very simple responses sometimes. Sometimes I give an analogy.

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball. And sometimes life takes a baseball bat and proceeds to beat the shit out of you. When you can finally regain consciousness and open your swollen, busted up eyes, you realize you still have to play the game.

Sometimes life gives you lemons, and you can make lemonade. And sometimes life takes a cheese grater to your ass, then takes those lemons and squeezes lemon juice into your open wounds. Ouch.

Work is rough right now, with a foggy cloud of uncertainty looming over us. Some days I want to live in a bubble. Problems seem to pop up all the time. But whatever happens, I know that I have been through worse. And life will certainly go on. Maybe a little beaten up and with a lemon fresh ass, but what are you going to do? Just one day at a time. One rock at a time.

13 January 2011

Let's Catch up on things.

Well hello again friends. We have not had a working computer in the house for quite some time, and Josh received his Christmas present yesterday. A new laptop computer, a beast of a computer, it weighs about as much as Tommy. Josh is so smitten, if the house were on fire, I think Josh would have to do a triple take between the computer and his loved ones. Actually, I think he would consider this computer as one of his loved ones now. I told him that I better not find the computer in my spot when I try to go to bed tonight.

So it is very wonderful to be back into the world of technology, I missed being connected to my friends and family.

Let's play the catch up game now, shall we. I am still working, although I am back at another store, the store I was at when I left for maternity leave. It's alright, crazy personalities out there that drive my patience to it's end some days. I feel like all I do is referee and mediate fights between grown men and women. Ridiculous on some days.

On the plus side, I am still gainfully employed so I should not complain about the trivial aspects of my job. A restructuring is being announced in the next few days, so we are all waiting to see what will happen. Who knows. Life is about more then your job, I just still would like to maintain my employment.

The holidays were okay, I loved to be able to spend time with my family, and Tommy on Christmas was adorable. I would have much liked to crawl up under the covers and stay until the end of the holidays, but it was about Tommy. Tommy is by far one of my favorite things, and he is just a hoot most of the time. I qualify that sentence with "most of the time". He is still an almost 5 year old little boy. He just told me to drink milk to stop my sneezing. He said my heart needs to be colder.

I think Josh installed something on his computer to ward off intruders, as I have been having an allergy attack since the minute I opened this thing. Sneeze!

I still have good and bad days. At work there are a few people that were hired after I left, so I have been meeting them and getting to know them. A nice man came up and told me he was very sorry to hear about my loss, someone had told him earlier. He said he would have never guessed that I had dealt with that such a short time ago. Sometimes this surprises me because I don't know anyway else to be at work. It wouldn't be fair to others if I moped around all day. Don't get me wrong, I feel like I spend so much energy at work maintaining a cheerful demeanor, that when I get home, I am spent. I have just enough left in me to spend time with Tommy, and some days just barely.

So until next time. Josh is off today, and so am I! Yay! I am going to make a nice dinner tonight.

15 November 2010

Captain Georgie

Well hello.
We completed an inventory process at work, and I was the "Inventory captain". As I have done this many times, it was an easy task for me to enter back into the routine of work. While we were working, there was another manager that was looking for a certain product and was not finding it. I went to look for it, and after searching and arguing, I located the product. I was quite elated. With a T.O. inspired end zone dance, I threw the clipboard down and did my best MC Hammer happy routine. As I watched the other manager in the midst of my celebration, I noticed the flash of disappointment and anger cross her face. I realized I was being a bit too gratuitous with my self-praise. Oops. Okay, so I didn't throw the clipboard down, but I was gloating a little bit. Okay, a lot. I felt so proud of myself, and to be honest, it was great to feel something positive. After weeks of dredging through the days, feeling as if the life was being vacuumed sucked out of me, it was great to feel useful and accomplished. At the end of the process, it was very successful, and we had a significant financial gain. Thank you very much, oh there I go again.

Last week was my birthday. I felt so down all day, I woke up with a gloom cloud over my head. I cried all the way to work. I don't know why. It should have been a happier day, but I just felt so bummy. I am blessed to work with wonderful people, and after being treated to lunch, I was given a great big birthday cake. I joked with the HR manager as I returned from lunch, asking where the heck my cake was, and was embarrassed and surprised to find the large cake waiting!

I still think of Riley all the time. It intensifying when I am driving home. It's like a loop playing over and over. I can't believe it's been two months since he passed away. It is starting to feel like a dream, both his life and death. Things start to turn fuzzy, memories fade around the edges, and days go by faster and faster. The holidays are approaching, and I would just like to sleep through everything. With the exception of Tommy, I just don't want to do anything. I am still sleepy all the time, and I wish I could find some solution for constant exhaustion. I feel like I just can't fully enjoy anything. I don't like to tap into my emotions, and I feel another internal dam being built. I haven't been to therapy since returning to work, as I work during the week, but I feel I should be making more effort.

I keep seeing babies everywhere, and I can't help but want another baby. I can really feel the aching and longing inside. I just don't know if I'm ready, but I sure do want another baby. A good friend of mine just had her baby, and he is in the hospital. He aspirated the meconium and is in Dell children's Hospital. Yes, that one has been crossed of my list, but I still want to go visit. Please pray for quick healing and recovery. It hurts my heart to see that little guy in the hospital bed, and I ache inside for the torment the parents are going through.

On another note, I have been watching the Thanksgiving cooking shows on TV, and I just can't wait to cook. I think I will make an apple pie like my mom used to make. Yum.

06 November 2010

Back to Reality

So, the first week of work is over. I am so happy for the weekend to arrive, I am exhausted. Trying to look busy at work all day is very tiring. Ha.
I absolutely love my job, and I am blessed to work with wonderful people. Although, I couldn't help but feel like I was handled with care, like I would break if I was shaken too hard. I do appreciate the concern, and it was an easier transition then I thought. Only one person asked me about Riley, so in one week, not so bad. I still feel cloudy headed and unfocused. I enjoy the challenges of my job, and I was excited when my advice was sought after. I felt useful again. My former confidence is slowly seeping back in.

I still find myself easily flustered. Then I want to cry and just escape. I drove around for 45 minutes on my lunch break looking for a Bank of America, only to find the location was 3 minutes away from my work. Ugh, it was tucked back in the damn trees, and I wanted to yell at someone for the poor placement of the bank. Grrrr. There was a moment when the store felt like it was a part of Babies on Parade. I saw so many babies. It was like shoving an alcoholic in a liquor store for an hour. It was painful.

I felt so anxious the first day to get home to Tommy. I have an underlying fear of something happening to him. Yesterday my brother called me twice, and I missed both phone calls. I immediately thought something was wrong, and I freaked out. But, no, nothing was wrong. I will forever have fears of something happening to my children.

So other then work, nothing much going on. I am happy to be back in the swing of things, and I am looking forward to regaining my full mental capacity. My birthday is coming up in a few days. I can't believe it's November already. Oh time flies. I have been making jewelry, and I am really enjoying it. I would take pictures and post them, but I am afraid to charge my camera. I don't know what pictures might be on the camera, and I haven't gotten the courage to charge it. I will someday. Soon, it's almost Christmas.

Okay, love to all. I'm going to play outside with my favorite little boy.