Monday, April 30, 2012

Avery's Bucket List

Everyone please visit this blog:

It is a brave blog about a 5 month old baby who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  Her blog is an adorable account of daily happenings written from the baby's perspective.  The emphasis is on living while dying, not the other way around.  Children with SMA don't typically make it to their second  birthdays. 
This family is incredible to put themselves out there in order to raise awareness for the disease and to encourage the testing that is available to prospective parents that could let them know if they carry the genetic code for SMA.  Unfortunately, most parents don't even know the testing exists.  I know I didn't.

Way to go Avery!  I love your bucket list!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Stuck in the Draft Pile

This post was originally written in July 2008.  I'm not quite sure how it got taken out of my published work but I'm assuming it has something to do with the changes to blogger.  I just found it in my drafts and can't figure out how to put it where it belongs chronologically.  Since I intend to eventually make a book of my blogposts for each of my kids, I certainly need this one included!  So, forgive the backpedal in time and hopefully you'll enjoy an oldie but goodie...

Will We Have Computers When We Die?
My sweet little daughter, Amanda, has been asking a lot of questions about death since one of the little ducklings that lives in our backyard died last week. She want's to know if we will have computers, food, our house and if we will all be the same when we die. Of course I thought I was being very smart by answering "We will have everything we need and everyone will be the same. I'll still be Mommy, Daddy will be your daddy and your brothers will be the same." She began to cry. Now, I thought she was crying because she didn't want us to die but I couldn't have been more wrong. When I questioned her about her tears she replied "I want the boys to be different!"
I guess she isn't really excited with her brothers right now.

Another question she asked was "Who is God and who made him?" Questions I haven't pondered in years. Amazing how the innocence of a child can get our own wheels spinning again!

Ok, now on to some lighter stuff....Pictures!

Our duck family

Hard to believe this was just 6 years ago!

Pictures of the kids sixth birthday party...

Mason and Carson love their NASCAR cakes!

Amanda got some Little Pet Shop toys, her favorite

Jaxon in his water wings

Looks like the party wore Mason and Carson out!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Mid-Life Crisis

My husband is having his mid-life crisis. He turns 50 in the fall so I guess it's about time for such a thing to happen. After much turmoil, I finally caved in and agreed to his wishes (as if not agreeing was going to prevent anything!)

So this is what it's all about huh?  Ownership of a vehicle that he will never drive.  Let's call it what it really is...A huge piece of yard art.
(He does look happy polishing that thing, doesn't he?)
I guess I should be thankful that all he wanted was a truck that's so big he needs to climb a  ladder to dry it!
I must admit, watching him climb a ladder is better than finding out he climbed another chick.

Wow...we're getting old.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


It started about 12 years ago.

In March of 2000, me and my husband had a twelve week live ectopic pregnancy which resulted in the loss of both of my fallopian tubes.  The sadness at the loss of our baby sent me reeling. The next two years were some of the toughest of my life.  I had to grieve for the loss  of my baby as well as the loss of my fertility.  I was told that adoption, in-vitro fertilization, or living child free were my only choices.  I decided to go down the path of in-vitro since I wasn't able to let go of the genetic link at that time. I became obsessed with having a baby, at whatever cost.  My incredible niece, who had never had trouble with conception or childbirth, watched my plight with great intensity and compassion.  She saw the difficulties that I had with such empathy.  She knew that her ability to have children so easily was unusual and she always wondered how she could help others who battled infertility. 

Every in-vitro cycle would bring new hope for me.  I would begin giving myself two shots a day, then it would increase to 4.  Daily Doctor visits were the norm.  Thousands of dollars were spent and four of the five times, it failed.  The emotional toll was much higher than the physical or financial toll.  When I finally became pregnant, and knew I was getting my entire family at once, I was so glad to be finished with in-vitro!  Jen easily became pregnant at the same time and we delivered our babies three weeks apart.  Again, she knew of my difficulties and truly felt for the pain I had been through.

Fast Forward

Last year, Jen started down the road of in-vitro fertilization, complete with shots and frequent doctor visits.  She went through a battery of tests to make sure that she was completely healthy and that her uterus was perfect. 
The first cycle was cancelled due to her poor uterine lining.  Something that was very shocking for her since she had conceived all 4 of her children so easily.  She felt terrible and began wondering if there was something wrong with her (welcome to the IVF roller coaster.)   Embryos were frozen and Jen was told to wait another cycle.  She went into the next cycle praying for a better outcome.  Fortunately, all went well.  Finally, after a journey that had begun five months prior, the frozen embryos were thawed and transferred into Jen's happy uterus.
She became pregnant.  Morning sickness, fatigue, weight gain, aches and pains became her life.  But life also meant getting to know the little body inside her, forming a bond, and falling in love.  For 39 weeks, she cared for this little human 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

And then....

Two weeks ago, baby boy "M" was born.  Safe, healthy, and very much loved by Jen.

She then handed sweet baby "M" to his parents.   You see, the embryo that was placed in her body was not genetically hers.  She had agreed to help another family experience the joy of a newborn child.  She had sacrificed more than a year of her life trying to become pregnant, being pregnant, and delivering a wonderful, perfect baby.

In the weeks since, the emotions have been somewhat of a train wreck.  I can really only speak for myself but I have felt a bit of a loss.  Even with the prior knowledge that this child would not be living in our family, he is still missed.  I assume that Jen's emotions are raw.  You cannot put that much work and love into something and not be changed for life.  I can only imagine how it felt to watch baby "M" leave the hospital into the arms of a wonderful family who loves him dearly and are incredibly grateful for the gift of his life.  Bittersweet I suppose.  Although she always knew that the baby was not hers, and she didn't want to bring him home, she couldn't help but fall in love with him and misses him dearly.  But, she also feels such a sense of accomplishment and joy for being able to help create a darling little family.  He will always have a little piece of her heart.

I feel blessed to have been witness to such an amazingly unselfish act.   There must be a very special place in heaven for people like Jen.
God bless you my sweet niece.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April is Autism Awareness Month

I've been very busy.  Unfortunately, neglecting my blog has been part of my time management plan.  I did write an article for a major blog and thought I'd share it here.
Oh, and I want to share my twin faces of autism as well (cause they're too damn cute!)
Both boys were thrilled to have lost a tooth on the same day! 
Check out what I wrote here and I'm going to go kiss a couple cute (toothless) boys!