Schlumpy or Loveable?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Today I woke up feeling like a chunky monkey. I suppose it could be partly because it's that lovely bloatable time of the month, but I also think it's because I've been carbo-loading due to the fact that I am starting the South Beach Diet on Monday. I was super crabby because the three shirts that fit me were dirty and we were going to a birthday party for a little girl in Rori's Sunday School class. I feel like I'm always schlumpy when we get together with this family because I have few clothes that I'm comfortable in. My shirts are either too tight or too big. I'm stuck in that in between sizes abyss. So, I did what any rational person would do--I went to Target and bought a bunch of new shirts. (with my birthday money that I had been hoarding). I brought them home without trying them on because there wasn't time for that. Surely 50% of them would work. I tried on the first fit, but it made me look tired and pasty. Not good for my fragile ego. I threw aside the next one that was the same color. I tried on one I was really excited about. It was a size Large. I'm guessing it was marked Large if you were a 14 year old Chinese gymnast trying to pass for 16! Good Lord was it tight. I was about ready to cry when finally I found one that fit. Sadly it was a peace sign with an American flag. I really didn't want to look like I was trying to make a political statement, but oh well.

By now I was feeling like the most unattractive person on earth. We had a bit of time before we needed to leave so I went downstairs with Liam to rock him while he watched a video. Rori looked at me and said, "You're so pretty, mama." And that's all that mattered. Bill took this picture of me and Liam. Looking at it, I see a mom that loves her sweet little boy so much that she would sit and watch the "Hairbrush" song on VeggieTales as many times as he wants. And frankly, he doesn't care if she has 3 shirts--oh wait, now it's 4-- that fit.

Good News!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My nephew, Noah, is the sweetest little boy you've ever met. He lets me hold him, he's always smiling, I've never seen him melt down. My boy, Liam, only lets ME hold him, goes from smiling to wailing as fast as you can say, "no", and melts down at least 5 times a day. I'm waiting for the day when he gets really mad in the car and beans me in the head with his toy cell phone. Pretty much, if you don't believe in Original Sin, you haven't met my boy. However, I got really good news tonight. I found out Liam is not going to be a s erial ki ller (typos intentional so no creepy person googles and finds my blog)! Yay! I went to dinner with some old friends who both have boys about Liam's age and their boys are the exact same way! So, Noah is just extra sweet, and Liam is normal. Whew, that's a load off my mind.

But--really, I kind of already knew about the s eria l k ille r thing--just look at this face! And he let me put him in that :)

Super Mom

No, that is not me that I'm talking about in the title! It's what I aspire to, but will probably never be. It's not in my nature. I don't understand how mom's do it. They're showered with make-up on, their kids are happy, their houses are clean, and their dinners have 3 courses all homemade. I actually know people like this--some are good friends (ok, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but you know who you are ;) ). I just want to know how they do it. A typical day for me involves getting up when the kids do (I need my sleep and I'm not giving this one up). I give everyone breakfast and get them dressed. Liam goes down for a nap and I have breakfast and get dressed. I play with Rori. Then Liam gets up. We do some outing or something, have lunch, everyone goes down for a nap. I work out--not that it makes a difference. (By the way, how long can I call it baby weight--til Liam is 18)? Maybe I shower, if there's time. Otherwise I stew in my own filth until Bill gets home. I don't know how other moms shower, but I can't shower when Liam is up. He would inevitably injure himself trying to climb into the tub, or toilet, or bonk his head on the door--all while wailing because I'm not out with him. When Bill gets home, we all play together or one of us tidy's up a bit, make dinner with someone climbing up my leg and someone else wailing (sometimes it's me, sometimes Bill, but usually one of the kids), put the kids to bed and then crash on the couch. I just don't have the energy to then vacuum, dust, or some other nonsense when I can snuggle with Bill.
How do you ladies do it?! I know I need to sacrifice something so that I can keep up with the dust bunnies and cat hair. Do I sacrifice the time I play with the kids? Do I sacrifice my time with Bill? Do I just live in squalor? Any advice would be greatly appreciated :) I just really want to find balance. I know that my time at home with the kids is short, but I also want to teach them to be more organized and tidy than I am--so I obviously need to set the example. I'm trying, really, but goodness, I swear random little toys and stuff jump out of the woodwork and spread themselves all over the floor. There are days when I want to walk around with a garbage bag and throw everything out. I've actually done that, but somehow everything multiplies behind my back.
Oh well, to quote Scarlett O'Hara, "I'll think about that tomorrow. Tomorrow is, afterall, another day!"

Bearing Fruit

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I have a revelation yesterday. It's been four and a half years since we lost Faith. I haven't been able to really open up about her until now. I have rarely talked about her or what happened. I didn't know if anyone still cared; I didn't want to make people uncomfortable, and frankly, it was still just too hard. God has really been working on my heart this summer. I thought that I had come to acceptance a long time ago, but I don't know that I really did until recently. I feel like I am finally bearing fruit--seeing how God has worked through our tragedy and continues to be who He says He is. This brings me to my revelation. My parents bought me a peach tree to plant in Faith's memory. Every year the birds and squirrels pick the peaches by June--while they're the size of a walnut. I've always been disappointed and have just assumed that it will never bear fruit. This is the first year that the peaches have stayed on. I'm not trying to be philosophical but I don't think it's a coincidence that Faith's tree bears fruit the same summer that I have.

John 15:8 "This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."

Faith--another perspective

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

In my posting about our baby Faith, I mentioned that my dad read something at the burial that my mom had written. I wanted to share it with you because my mom is such a gifted writer. She's much more eloquent than I :)


Children are a gift from God and we received that gift for a brief moment in time. Faith Patrick was born at 19 ½ weeks. Something had happened to the amniotic fluid and it was leaking. She could not develop lungs properly and infection had started with in Jaime. Any life or death decisions were taken away, from Bill & Jaime, thank God. Jaime’s body started labor on its own and dilation occurred.
And we can say that God is good.

She was born all at once, our Faith, all whole and sweet and beautiful. With ten tiny fingers and toes, she was delicate, like fine porcelain. She was fearfully and wonderfully made. And we saw her body and held her. But her soul had already been whisked away on the wings of her angel.
And we can say that God is good.

Faith is believing in what you cannot see. We believe Faith is in heaven – whole and well and strong. She has her Daddy’s nose and curls. She has her Mommy’s big brown eyes, long legs and fingers. She even has her Auntie Jenna’s grecian toes. She is up there now, wearing a pink tutu, toe shoes and soccer socks and she is twirling and dancing for Our Father the King. And He is smiling at her and she is laughing. She is waiting there for us and we shall see her in all her glory. Our Faith who we cannot see. . . But in the fullness of time we shall see. And so we wait for that glorious day.

Time will heal our broken hearts. But a break always leaves a scar. Our scar is the tiny footprint of our Faith and she will be in our hearts forever.

Faith's footprintsI really wanted to share them with you, because while she was tiny, she was real, and whole, and beautiful.

One of those days

Yesterday started as one of those know the kind--where you want somebody else to take care of your kids and you go get a massage. For whatever reason both kids took turns crying, sometimes together, sometimes I think there were more than 2 of them. So I figured we should get out of the house. I do try to do something with them everyday because winter is coming and we're all going to get cabin fever. I called my grandma and asked if we could come over and feed the ducks with her. Unfortunately she was not feeling well. No matter, I'd find us some ducks we could feed...Are there no ducks in our area?!!! Poor kids. I packed them a lunch and we drove to the pond where Bill proposed to me and it was full of Canadian geese. I'm scared of geese--they bite. Or so I've heard. So we drove to the prairie path where I knew there was a pond. Fortunately the kids put up with it well. I thought I saw some ducks. We got out of the car with our lunches and our hot dog buns for the ducks. We dodged the many poopies that were in the grass and we found...more geese!

Since we'd been driving for a while, I decided we'd sit at the dirty picnic table and eat lunch. The kids ate pretty well, while I told them not to touch the table. Liam got down and tried to pick up empty beer bottle caps and play in the dirt. I threw out the garbage and turned around and they were both digging in the dirt. I felt hot and tired and wanted to just go home, but I felt bad for dragging them around to play in poopy grass and dirt. So we packed up again and drove to a playground.

We ended up having a very nice day at the playground. The kids got hot and tired quickly so we went through McD's and got them milkshakes and Miss Rori wanted a cheeseburger and fries. Which she scarfed down even though she had eaten her whole sandwich just 2 hours earlier. Liam was so hot that he wouldn't stop sucking on his milkshake even for a french fry! The kid never turns down fries! It warmed my mommy heart to watch his red sweaty face just suck down that milkshake. It brings joy to my heart to see my kids enjoy food! It ended up a nice afternoon after all.

Then, evil facebook gave my computer some horrible virus and I proceded to spend the rest of the evening trying to get rid of it. That made me very crabby so I began to lose patience with the children. I think they felt like they were having one of those days--where they wish someone else was taking care of them and that mommy would go to a spa :) Bill and his dad were working on the floor in the living room and I ended up losing my temper because it was bathtime and Rori was naked and Liam wouldn't let us in the bathroom--he's a strong kid :) So I yelled. I hate doing that in front of the in-laws. I want them to think that I have it together, I'm a Kool-Aid mom. But no, I'm sure Bill's dad left feeling sorry for Bill. I hate that. Oh well, next time I'll put on an apron and wow them with my cooking and cleanliness, or so I like to dream.

Anyway, so that is why I don't have a new nice post today. But stay tuned, because I have a special one that I will post tonight or tomorrow.

Blessed Again...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I was on my way home from the in-laws today to pick up some of my diet cherry coke to bring back--I can't have nachos without it, anyway, I heard Matt Redman singing, "Blessed be Your Name." on the radio. It brought me back to the Steven Curtis Chapman concert. He opened his concert with that song. I knew he really believed it--you could hear that he was a broken man when he sang, "Blessed be Your Name, on the road marked with suffering, though there's pain in the offering, blessed be Your Name." I really listened to the words and then it says, "You give and take away, but my heart will CHOOSE to say, blessed be Your Name."

Walking with Christ isn't always easy--it is a choice. When God deals us a hand that we didn't see coming is when we can get to see what our faith is made of. In an earlier post I had wondered if I had failed the trial that God had given me. But now, I don't think that I did. Could I have been a better witness? Sure, but you know what--God gave and took away, and I still am choosing to say, "Lord, blessed be your name!" And you know what God has given me in return? Well, today I was reflecting on how much God has blessed me with. I have a wonderful husband and two great children. But I also have a sister that I don't think I could be closer to, without being twins, parents that are more than parents--they are an example of a godly marriage, and wonderful friends. Though I am not going to name you all, I am so grateful for being able to pour my heart out to you, be real with you, and I don't know how I would have made it through the last several years without each of you. Some of you have cried with me, some have laughed with me, but all of you have been there walking beside me. For this I am so thankful--and I know that the Lord knew who I needed and when. So, thank you! I love you all!


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I wasn't sure if I was going to post this, or just let it go. But Bill said that this was the whole reason that I started my blog--so here it is. I didn't want the loss of our Faith to be what defines me and to be what my entire blog is about. I am the mom to two other wonderful children who deserve the majority of the blog space, but nonetheless I am still the mom to a baby that needs to be honored and remembered as well. So here is the story of our Faith's brief life.

When Bill and I found out we were pregnant, we were ecstatic. I had always wanted to be a mom--from the time that I was a little girl. I knew that I would have two girls that would love each other and we'd have princess tea parties and play barbies every day. At around 6 weeks we went to the doctor and they gave us an ultrasound. Faith's heartrate was 155 so based on the old wives' tale, I knew she was a girl. Things were going smoothly--I was nauseous, felt miserable, and was exhausted. Then, in the middle of the night, at 10 weeks, I started bleeding. We went to the emergency room. They did an ultrasound, we got a great picture of her face. They said, her heart's beating, so it's fine. The bleeding came and went and came again.

I kept calling the doctor and would go in every few days to ask about the bleeding. They didn't do another ultrasound--just kept checking for the heartbeat and said, well, the heart's still beating, so it's fine. I should have pushed harder. Hello! Bleeding is not normal!!! Finally one of the doctor's in the practice referred me to the perinatologist at Central DuPage Hospital. I was scheduled for an ultrasound--it was somewhere around 16 weeks. I was sure everything was going to be fine, they'd fix whatever was wrong. I was hoping that we would get to find out the sex. The tech did the ultrasound and didn't say much. She said she couldn't tell the sex because the baby was curled up in a ball too tightly. Then she said she'd get the doctor. I asked what was wrong and she said there wasn't any amniotic fluid. I didn't know what that meant, but I knew it wasn't good. The doctor came in and double-checked. Then he told me to go into one of the rooms. He told us that babies need amniotic fluid to breathe to develop their lungs. My baby didn't have any--at some point my water must have broken--or there had been a leak. He said we could terminate or wait it out, but there was no chance of survival. We of course chose to carry our baby. I was put on bed rest. I kept hoping and praying for a miracle. I would have Bill print out stories of women who had similar situations whose babies survived.

I was warned that I needed to make sure I didn't develop a fever because without amniotic fluid there was no protection from bacteria; I was more likely to develop an infection that could become fatal. My greatest fear was that I would develop an infection and have to make some kind of decision that I didn't even want to think about. On January 14, 2004 I started cramping. I went into the doctor and he said my cervix was softening. It was possible that I was going to go into labor. He said that if I delivered at home to call 911. That thought absolutely horrified me. I couldn't imagine delivering a baby that would probably not survive labor and then waiting in who knows what condition for the paramedics to arrive. The doctor also told me to call if I got a fever of 101.5 or higher--then they would probably admit me. I went home frightened and drained. That evening Bill went to pick up Burger King and I took my temperature. It was 101.5. I was a little relieved. I called the doctor and he told me to come in. We immediately packed and went to the hospital.

I called my parents and they met us there. I can tell that God was there with me and His hand was all over the delivery. I truly believe that He gave me that temperature so that I would deliver in the hospital instead of at home. You see, when we got to the hospital and throughout the night, I didn't have a fever anymore. But I was still contracting and the doctor said that the labor needed to be sped up. I was already in labor but they didn't want to wait because my blood did show some signs of infection. They offered to wait until the morning. They gave me something for pain and to help me sleep.

Very early in the morning, the perinatologist came to do an ultrasound. The baby was still alive and my cervix was dilating. Somebody--I don't remember who--told me that the baby would probably not survive delivery. It would be too traumatic for her. They said if she did survive, her lungs wouldn't be developed and she would gasp a few times and then pass away. I don't know if I could have handled seeing that. Part of me wishes she had been alive long enough for her to feel me hold her.

The nurse came in and put the doppler on my belly. I don't know why she did that. I burst into tears, hearing my baby's heartbeat for the last time. I was in a lot of pain because labor hurts--whether you're 20 weeks or 40 weeks. They gave me something for the pain, but all it did was make me sleepy. I felt groggy but in pain. I saw what looked like my dad crying off to the side. I couldn't take the pain anymore. They offered me an epidural and I took it. My mom held me while they put it in. Then I fell asleep and woke up to some pressure. I called my mom--Bill was in the waiting area with his family and Jenna and Ryan. She called a nurse and I had delivered our baby. I heard my mom say--"it's a girl. You can give her my name if you want." I said, "No, her name is Faith." They cleaned her off. I remember crying, saying "I'm sorry baby." and they told me it wasn't my fault, yet I felt I failed her. Her bottom was bruised because she had come out breach. They wrapped her up and handed her to me. I immediately noticed that she had her daddy's nose and her Auntie Jenna's toes.

We were able to hold her for a little while and then they took her away. Our families came in held her. I still feel a little jipped because I was so groggy and foggy from the drugs that I didn't really get to drink her in for the short time that I had her.

Bill made the burial arrangements and we decided that it would just be immediate family. I now wish that we had the rest of our family and close friends there, but I didn't want people to look at me. I don't know why. I just wanted to be alone. I was a mess at the burial--I couldn't believe how tiny the white box was that they were burying her in. My mom wrote some beautiful words that my father read. I wanted to jump into the grave with her. I was crying out to God inside, asking Him why He allowed this to happen. I don't think I will ever know.

While we were in the hospital, the nurse asked me if I wanted a picture of her. I said no. I thought I would always remember what she looked like. That has been one of my biggest regrets. I don't know why they didn't just do it and give it to the dad--how could someone in my condition make a rational decision?! I remembered that the nurse told me that they would need to take a picture of her for the hospital records. A few months ago, I got up the nerve to call the hospital and ask if they still had the picture and if I could get a copy. They were kind enough to mail me a photocopy. It's not very clear, because it is a photocopy of a polaroid, but I can still make her out. I am thankful to have it. I have other memories--we have a box with her measurements, we have her footprints--which I am incredibly thankful for, and we have every card and email that was sent to us from our friends and family.

I have my regrets, but I can't change them. All I can do is take the lessons that I've learned and heal the wounds that I have. Losing our Faith left a scar that doesn't define me, but has changed me and made me the person that I am today. I think I am a different mom because I have learned how fragile life is. We're not guaranteed another day or another breath--each moment we have is a gift. We know that we will all be together with her someday. God gave us two more beautiful children--Rori and Liam whom I love with my whole heart and soul.

Now go give your kids a big hug and kiss!!!

Princess Rori

So now that I've actually made my blog public and I have seven people reading it--thanks Bill, Mom, Jenna, Ryan (I'm not sure if you are but I'll count you), Dad, Mom, and Mom again :) I am feeling pressure to post and be clever. Ahhhh what was I thinking? Well, since I'm tired and it's getting late I am going to rely on Miss Rori Rose to be clever for me--longer post tomorrow I promise.

This is actually a Rori Rose story that my mom told me. In case you haven't met Rori, she is the most girly girl a mom could hope for. She knows all of her Disney Princesses and could point to them when named when she was around 18 months. Well, Princess Rori was telling Baba Hoo Hoo (that would be my mom) what to do and bossing her around. Baba Hoo Hoo asked Rori what the magic word was when she wanted something and Rori thought for a minute and said, "Bibbidi Bobidi Boo!" Ahhh, the great lessons I'm teaching my daughter.

Nuk's Anonymous

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My daughter's name is Rori and she is addicted to her Nuk (pacifier). There, I said it, I admit it and I feel better. We decided that this was the weekend that Rori would officially become nuk free. She had only been allowed to have it at nap times and bed time. However, that was slowly becoming also rest time on the couch or crying time in her room. So, Bill decided we were going to be firm.
I took Rori to Toys R Us and had her decide what she though the Nuk fairy was going to bring her. It was a toss up between the singing barbie and Ariel in her wedding dress. Rori told me it was scary to give up her nuk. My little mommy heart melted and a tiny bit of me died at the thought of us doing this to our little munchkin. So....Friday night came around and Bill got her an envelope to put her nuk's in for the fairy to bring to babies who didn't have them (thank you super-nanny) and Rori put them in. Then we sat on the couch to watch her video before bed and she said, "Papa, can I have my nuk for 1 minute?" and held up one finger and cocked her head at him. Well, my daughter's name is Rori and she is still addicted to her Nuk. We're now shooting for Labor Day weekend...I'll let you know how it goes!

PS Happy 1 day early birthday to my dad--Grandpa Hoo Hoo (I work tomorrow and I certainly would never use my work computer for personal use ;) ) Rori and Liam ate your birthday cake--sorry.

Chapman family

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

So, if you're in the mood for a good cry, Steven Curtis Chapman was on Good Morning America today. If that doesn't getcha' then travel on over to That's Angie's blog that I referenced a wee back (is that the correct reference of wee?). The music alone gets me going! A couple people have told me today that they watched SCC on GMA today and were crying--my dear sister even cried so hard she almost threw up! Now you all understand why I was such an emotional train wreck a couple weeks ago?!
P.S. SCC and family will be on Larry King tomorrow and featured in next week's People magazine.


I have been wanting to write a post about my experience losing our baby so that I can remember what happened and how I felt, and just generally get it out. It's pretty much why I started this blog. However, God has given me other ideas each time I am planning to write about it. So once again, it's going to be pushed back to another time. I'm guessing He really wants my heart to be in the right place when I write it.

God has been really showing me how he has been blessing our family. This month, we noticed that somehow money was a bit tight. We're not really sure where it went--probably to the corn farmstand we've been frequenting--or the ridiculous increase in property taxes. Anyway, we were a bit stressed about finances. Then about a week ago our neighbor came over with a big garbage bag full of clothes for Rori. They will be perfect for the fall and winter! We will only have to buy her a few tops to get us through the winter. Thank you Lord! Then, yesterday, I went to visit a dear friend whom I haven't seen in a year. She gave me four boxes of clothes for Liam! It was incredible. We don't have to buy him anything this winter!
I am just so thankful and touched by our friends' generosity. God really provided for us. It's a little funny because last week our pastor told our Sunday School class how when he was in seminary, they didn't have any money and someone in church would shake his hand and in it would be $100. I thought to myself, how cool would it be to really see God work that way. Then He did. I'm just awed because He knew we could use those clothes, but He also chose to do it in a way that would really stand out to me--because I had just been thinking about that.
The main reason I wanted to blog about this is because, so often I get the poor me's and I need to remind myself of all that the Lord has given me. It's easy to focus on the I want's, but God really provides for our needs.

If I had a nickel

Sunday, August 3, 2008

If I had a nickel for everytime somebody told me that raising boys is easier than raising girls, I would have enough money to hire a much needed pool boy (that's another story for another day--and that's an actual pool boy--not the kind that lonely housewives need). Anyway, I beg to differ on that philosophy. Here's an example. Liam had the box of Cheeze-its. Liam shoved 2 in his mouth. Liam proceded to choke on said Cheeze-its. Mama took away box of Cheeze-its. Here was Liam's reaction:

I asked my mom why he whines so much and she said it was did she know Bill was a whiny baby ? :) But he sure is cute isn't he?