Monday, November 28, 2011

It's already been a long day.

Don't you hate it when you feel like your day has already been impossibly long, and then you look at the clock, and it is only noon? I've had one of those days. And I feel like sharing it with you.

The long day began last night.

  1. For whatever reason, Jill took about two hours to settle down, stay in her bed, and sleep. She shares a bedroom with Danny, so a large portion of the two hours involved me sitting in the rocking chair in the dark (thinking about everything I wanted to be doing) while she fidgeted in her bed. If I stayed in there, then she wouldn't scream and she would stay in her bed, and Danny would not be woken up.
  2. Danny did wake up though (not due to Jill)—around 12:30 and 3:30 and 5:30. He woke up for good at 7:00. So, between Jill giving me a late bedtime, and Danny giving me numerous wake up times, I was a little tired.
  3. Daniel was standing next to the coffee table and then face planted on the table. He has a huge bruise on his cheekbone, trailing up to his eye, with a cut in the middle. He was very upset. One of these days he'll learn to either not fall over or to put his hands out when he's falling.
  4. Jill peed her pants and left a little puddle on the carpet in the family room.
  5. Cosmo peed on the carpet in my bedroom.
  6. About an hour later, Cosmo pooped on the carpet in my bedroom. (Why?!)
  7. I watched my friend's baby for two and a half hours. For two of those hours, she was either crying or screaming. For about an hour and a half of them, I was holding her, so my back and arms are pretty sore. A baby's cry can be contagious, so Jill and Danny did their share of crying, too.
On the flip side . . . 
  1. One day, I'll have to do a lot more than just sit next to Jill's bed to make her feel safe and happy. It is pretty sweet that she allows me to comfort her, and while I had other things to do, sitting in a rocking chair while she lies in her bed isn't exactly difficult.
  2. Even though I am tired, I can never forget how lucky I am to have a baby to hold in the middle of the night, or any time of the day.
  3. Daniel could have smacked his eye on the corner of the table, so his cheek is much better. And him standing up means he is that much closer to walking.
  4. Jill hadn't peed her pants in four or five days, and she told me immediately upon peeing her pants that she had peed, so she was aware and did not hide it.
  5. I found the pee before Jill. I hate finding a pee spot and realizing Jill and Daniel had been playing on that part of the carpet.
  6. I found the poop before Daniel. You know how babies love to put everything in their mouths . . . :)
  7. Since I watched my friend's baby that enabled my friend's husband to go visit her at the hospital. And one of my other friends came over in the last half hour to give me some reprieve from all the crying and help me make lunch. Mothers of multiples: I salute you. 
So, my long day should be pretty short from here on out. Jill is taking a nap. Danny will probably take a nap in the next hour or so. Then I will put dinner ingredients in the pressure cooker and probably take a nap myself until Mr. Amazing comes home.

Thanks for listening to my whine and helping me find the silver linings to my clouds. :)
I hope you're having a good day!

And here is some cuteness. (If you are on my blog, click on the image to view it larger.)

P.S. One of the things I love about my house is how close to the church we are located. I was especially grateful of this yesterday evening when I arrived at the church early for a baptism with all of my kids in tow only to look down and see my feet still shod in house slippers. Ha.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mimi's Mythology: Tooth Harpy

American folklore contains a delightful character called the tooth fairy. I usually think of the tooth fairy as female, silvery, very small, friendly, and kind. She happily pays you for the baby teeth you have lost. (What a nice thing to do!) She sneaks into your house without bothering anyone and gently whisks the tooth out from under one's pillow and leaves behind whatever amount of money she has agreed upon with the parents. ;)

My house has not been visited by the tooth fairy.

To describe the status of teeth in our home, I have created a new folklore character—the tooth harpy.

She is the cousin of the tooth fairy, but not nearly so kind, gentle, nor pretty.

The tooth harpy has been visiting my home with great frequency. I couldn't tell you the last night I slept uninterrupted. I could, however, tell you that last night Daniel woke up eight times. Delightful.

Today, it was finally apparent that the tooth harpy is the reason behind these night wakings. Four beautiful, pearly white specks have appeared in his top gum line. He already has two teeth on the bottom, and I think his gums look swollen on either side of those as well, so I wouldn't be too surprised if he gets two more on the bottom sometime soon.

Although all of his other teeth have taken forever even after you know they are coming, so I may still be in store of many more nightly visits from the tooth harpy.

Amazingly enough, he is very happy and cheerful during the day. He is only upset when it is time to sleep or eat. Then I guess he is unable to ignore the pain.

I love my baby. I do not like the tooth harpy.

Also of note: he may only have two stubs on the bottom and four tiny tips on the top, but he is somehow already managing to grind/clink them together. I do not like that sound. The tooth harpy must be stressing him out as well. Poor baby.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Time goes on . . .

And time goes on. Life continues. What a blessing in so many ways. I still miss Tabitha. I still think of her every day, and I'm still sad when I do. But even though she is dead, I'm not. My kids aren't. My husband isn't. And so I move forward, because that's all I'm actually capable of. Being sad won't bring her back, nor will it heal the hole in my brother's family. And so I've moved forward with time. Here is what time has brought to my family in the past week and a half.

Jill, Daniel, and I missed Jeffrey's birthday while we were in Michigan with my family. My mother-in-law made a tasty dinner and two cakes to celebrate: upside pineapple and upside peach. He's one year away from thirty now.

Jill and Danny were very happy to see their daddy again. Jeff was pretty happy to have us back.
Jill got to go to her gymnastics class twice this week to make up the one she missed during our absence. Her grandma takes her to the same place that she took Jill's daddy when he was a little boy. Jill loves it so far. My hope is that she either is better at it than I was or that she just enjoys being able to do what she can, because man that's a tough sport. I was never able to get over my fear of getting hurt to ever be any good. But I sure was funny!

Oh man. I might make you pee your pants laughing if I ever get those videos off of cassette tapes and onto this blog.
Jill's preschool class went on a field trip to the fire station. They got to walk through the truck, see the ambulance, and walk around the living quarters. Right when they were going to try on the gear, the alarm sounded and off went the firemen to go save someone. At least I hope it was off to a fire to save someone. I couldn't help but think of an ambulance that visited one of my family members recently while I was there. Too late to save. But, we're talking about living here, so I must focus!

I think the kids thought it was pretty exciting to see the truck and ambulance leave, and they were able to sing the fire fighter song they had learned to the very gracious secretary.

Maybe the fire truck and ambulance were going to rescue a kid who locked him- or herself in a room. That is a happy possibility. ;)

The field trip was interesting, and possibly my favorite part was seeing the fireplace in their living room. It was beautiful and had a very large photo of a fire inside of where a fire has probably never been lit. :)

The day after we lost Tabitha was Halloween. Jill still wanted to go trick or treating, and my mother-in-law had done a beautiful job making matching pirate costumes for Jill and Daniel. So, we spent some time at Laurie's Halloween party and then Jill did a little bit of trick or treating. When she went up to a house she would say "trick or treating" instead of "trick or treat."

Friday, November 11, 2011

Conversations with Jill

Because we all need to smile, here are some recent Jill conversations. She really does speak in complete sentences most of the time.

Set scene: I am sitting in the bathroom. (No where is sacred to these children!)

Door opens.

Jill enters.

Jill: "Mommy, will you pick up Danny?"

Me: "Oh, did he fall over?"

Jill: "Yeah, I pushed him over."

Me: "Oh, that was not very nice."

Jill: "Yeah, I pushed him over." This is said while she kicks foot out.

Me: "Did you push him with your foot?"

Jill: "Yeah with my foot."

Me: "Jill, that hurts Danny. Please don't push him."

Jill: "Okay. I will push myself."

Me: "Oh, well, be nice to yourself, but let me know how that works out for you."

Jill exits the bathroom.

An "ow" is heard from the other room.

Danny with both of his grandmas

Cousins: Annibelle, Emily, Jill, and Callie

Danny with his grandpa Boling (Pappy)

Set scene: I am sitting at the kitchen table. My mother is warming up a meal one of the kind people from our church brought.

Jill enters the room.

Jill: "I need some dinner."

Me: "Are you hungry? Bunny is getting some soup ready."

Jill: "I don't like soup."

Me: "Jill, you like taco soup."

Jill: "No, I don't."

Me: "Yes, you do."

Jill: "I don't like soup."

Me: "Jill, remember how we had tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches the other day? You ate lots of that soup."

Jill: "Yeah, but I didn't like it."

Conversation ended, because Bunny and Mommy were laughing too hard.

The Summer of Tabitha Grace

Late one April evening,
with spring hovering in the night sky,
you entered into this world,
evening out our family,
filling a hole we never knew we had
until you came and fit there perfectly.

Summer passed, and you were a delight.
Oh, we endured some expected baby trials,
but you were a butterfly, a lightning bug, a shooting star.
You smiled and cooed, rolled over and laughed,
adored your big sister, watching her every move,
always so content just viewing the action.
You were so easy to love.

Fall sneaked up on us.
You met all your cousins.
You, then the youngest, completed the group.
We had big dreams of hiding in leaf piles,
of crawling, of cute costumes.

But one October morning,
winter cut our autumn short.
You were too perfect for this earth—
our borrowed angel since your birth.

And now winter chills our hearts
and sadness chokes our souls
and coldness creeps in.

But cutting through the pain,
we remember our butterfly, our firefly, our shooting star, our angel.
Remembering your bright eyes warms our hearts.
Remembering your quick smiles lightens our souls.
Remembering your happiness brings warmth again.

We do not know why six months is all you had here,
but we do know we will have so much more with you there.

And while we wait here in this world and endure this winter,
we'll never forget
the summer of Tabitha Grace.

October 31, 2011: Michelle H. Collett


Here is the link to Tabitha's obituary: link.

Here is a link to a song/poem my sister-in-law's brother wrote: link. "Taffa" is how Emily pronounces her baby sister's name. Jill calls her cousin "Taffla."

My sister-in-law (Tabitha's mom) posted some pictures and wrote about Tabitha's beautiful last few days here: link.

My sister shared a few nice pictures, too: link.

Sorry that everything has been kind of sad recently, but that's how I've been feeling. I mean, happy things still happen. Jill still makes me laugh, and Danny still smiles sweetly at me. But it is impossible to forget that we won't get to see my brother's baby smile at us for a very long time. Jill is really comforting though. Whenever I cry, she comes over, sits on my lap, pats my shoulder, and says "Mommy, it's okay."

And it is okay in that there is a God in the heavens—a Heavenly Father who loves Tabitha just as much as anyone down here does. But even knowing where her soul is doesn't change that I'd rather have her body snuggled in my brother's arms. I guess that's just my mortal perspective. However, I am very grateful for my testimony in Jesus Christ and my knowledge of the afterlife, because that is what makes this tragedy bearable even though it is still hard.

I know the day will come when it seems like the Plan of Happiness again, rather than the Plan of Endurance. And I know that Tabitha is very happy where she is.

On Death

This poem is not long enough to hold the pain I feel.
No words are eloquent enough to express my grief and sorrow.
But words are all I have.

I'm still shocked.
I'm still sad.
I'm still here.

Why is the sun still rising?
How can each second keep passing?
Why aren't you here?

tick. tick. tick.
I don't want it to, but every breath drags me further away from you.

You were supposed to live.
You were supposed to grow.
You weren't supposed to leave.

drop. drop. drop.
My tears won't bring you back.
But I can't seem to stop them from coming.
Just like I couldn't stop you from leaving.

thump. thump. thump.
My heart keeps beating—warm and loud and strong in my chest.
Yours is cold and quiet.

I guess you really are gone.

November 6, 2011: Michelle H. Collett

The beautiful baby section at Tabitha's cemetery.
Tabitha's gravesite is the one with the flowers lying on their side, 
right next to the main statue.