Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dear Grandpa

8 years ago, I got the hardest phone call I've ever received. I will never forget that day or the days that led up to it. Sometimes, I forget to brush my teeth. Sometimes, I put my keys in a different place and have to search the house to find them. I often forget to sign Seth's folder for school, but I remember so clearly what I was doing when I got that call.

You were very sick, had been in the ICU, and the doctors said you were doing alot better. You were in a regular room. I got to come and see you and you told me that you would go home soon, maybe the next day. I leaned down to hug you and you gave me a big kiss. As I turned to go, you grabbed my hand and squeezed. "Take care of that baby," you said. I looked down at my growing belly. I was pregnant with my first child. I know that you were disappointed at first when you found out I had become pregnant before marriage at such a young age. But you never let on that you felt that way. You asked me how I was feeling often and you still told me you loved me and treated me well. "I will, Grandpa," I said. It was the last thing you said to me. I took it to heart Grandpa. I want you to be proud of me, and I have taken extra special care of him just for you.

Shortly after that day in your hospital room, I was visiting my boyfriend at the time, Mark. I lived in Denton, because I had been going to school at Texas Women's University. I had come to Bedford to see him and stay the night. We decided to go get something to eat before I headed back to Denton to go to work at my job at Chuck E Cheese. While I ate lunch at the restaurant he worked at, I realized my phone was ringing. I ignored it. When we were done eating, I went to the restroom and Mark got started working his afternoon shift. I looked at my phone to see who had called. Under missed calls, it said Mommy. I knew. I knew why she called. I don't know how, but I did. I stared at her name for the longest time before I finally pressed the voicemail button and slowly lifted the phone to my ear. "Call me as soon as you get this," she said. Her voice sounded so far away. It was as if I was in slow motion as I walked slowly out to my truck. I again, stared down at "Mommy" on the screen of my phone, after I had gotten in the truck. I prayed. "Dear God, please don't let it be. Please let it be anything other than what I think it is."

I pressed the call button. The phone rang and she answered. I told her I was returning her call and she very calmly told me that you were gone. You had passed away in the night. I could feel my heart breaking. It hurt so very badly. "No," I said. She asked if I wanted my Daddy to come and get me so I could join the family at your house. I declined. I said I was fine. I did not tell her I was already in Bedford. I don't know why. I told her I needed to take a shower and I would come soon. We hung up after saying, "I love you." I sat in my truck for what seemed like an eternity before I calmly walked back into the restaurant and asked Mark if I may go back to his house and shower. I told him what happened. He gave me a hug and told me to go ahead to his house. I went back there, and I took a shower and I laid down on the bed. And I cried. And cried. I cried for ages it seemed and then I fell asleep.

 I woke up some time later and realized I needed to be with my family. I got up and I went to your house and found my Mommy and hugged her so hard. I found Grandma and hugged her hard as well. That day was a sad day for me. It was especially hard finding out that you would never meet your first great grandchild. I decided I would make you so proud of me. I took your picture with me to the hospital when Seth was born. I felt that you should be there for his birth. After he was born, during the first few hours I was alone with him, I pulled out your picture and I showed him. I said, "Seth, this is your Great Grandpa. He was a wonderful man and I loved him. I am so very sad that you will never get to meet him." I wave at your grave site when I drive by it. If I must go to that area of town, I make sure to drive by. I like to think you are sitting on the bench there, waving back to me. I like to think that you are watching me and that you hear me when I talk to you. I hope that you know how hard I have worked to honor your last request of me; to take care of that baby. I talk about you to him often. I miss you greatly. My heart still hurts when I think of that day. I feel a twinge of sadness during every momentous occasion that I wish you were attending. I just hope that I can make you proud. I pray to God every day that I will always make you proud and that one day, hopefully a very long time from now, I will get to hug you again, and you will get to meet my husband and my children. I love you, Grandpa.


Monday, March 28, 2011

These moments are what I live for...

Friday and Saturday we had such a great time together as a family that I felt compelled to share it with everyone. I got off work at 3:30 like normal on Friday and picked up the kids so I could go home and get everyone ready for baseball practice at 6:30. We got to practice and chatted with the other parents as we watched our children learn and play. Then Coach Kyle told the kids to give their glove to their moms or dads and we played parents against kids. Now, I used to play fast pitch softball, so I always enjoy playing with the kids. I used to be pretty good at it. We fielded first, and then we batted. I hit a homerun. Everyone said, "Now we know where Seth got his hitting talent from." Good times.

As it is Lent, and it was Friday, Joe and I decided we should brave Stella's grumpiness over not being in bed already and go out to eat at Catfish and Company. After all, we hadn't celebrated his new job yet. Yes, that's right!! My hubby got a new job and a great one! One that he wanted, one with growth, one that pays much more than he was making at the job he hated. We are thrilled! Now, maybe it was the rather strong martini I was served at the restaurant, but it seemed that we had such a great time eating! Both kids were wonderfully behaved. Stella was patient and happy, and Seth used his manners while he ordered his food. My favorite line was when he ordered his meal, and the waitress asked if he would like honey mustard or ranch. He said, "Honey mustard please." He then smiled and asked, "What is honey mustard?" The waitress laughed and so did we. Just so you know, he did not care for the honey mustard, but he did try it. At one point during our meal, Stella reached out for her brother, saying, "Seth!" He picked her up out of her high chair and she gave him a big hug around his neck and a big sloppy kiss on the cheek. It warmed my heart. I noticed an older lady at the next table looking at them with a grin and a twinkle in her eye.

Earlier that day, Joe had surprised me with the kinect for the xbox 360 and the Dance Central game I had told him I really wanted to try. When we got home from the restaurant, we put the kids to bed and he set up the game for us to play. We danced our hearts out and had so much fun!! I do believe the highlights of the night were when Joe danced to Poker Face by Lady GaGa, and I did Rump Shaker!! We laughed and danced and had so much fun together. It will definitely whip me back into shape if I keep it up, that's for sure. I had to shower before bed because it got me so sweaty! We were both super sore all weekend!

Saturday, Seth's team had their first game of the season. The team we played(The Rangers) are an ultra competitive team. They play fall and spring ball and go to tournaments together.  The Rangers are probably the best team in the league in our age group and our boys are afraid of them. They played a team also called The Rangers back in t-ball that were not nice at all, and can't seem to understand that this isn't the same team. Anyhow, our boys kicked their butts Saturday night!!! I mean, it was amazing. There were a couple of innings where the Rangers didn't even score a point at all! We kept a big lead on them for most of the game. Unfortunately, in the last inning, they caught up and tied us. Luckily, there is a 5 run limit at this age, so they were unable to pass us. We were so excited and so proud of our boys!

After our game, we went to a good friend's house(their boy is on our team as well) for a bbq and some drinks. We set Stella up in her pack n play in their bedroom so she could sleep while the older kids played and the adults talked. We had a great time! We went home around midnight and that ended our wonderful weekend. Sunday wasn't fabulous because we found out something was wrong with the car and due to needing to limit driving in it until it is fixed, we had to miss the monthly lunch at my Grandma's house. I was sad about that, but enjoyed hanging out with my family all day, doing nothing. The small moments from this weekend made me so happy because these are the moments that I live for every day.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Three Piggy Opera

Seth made his singing debut on Tuesday evening in the first grade performance of The Three Piggy Opera. As you can see from the picture, he wasn't necessarily thrilled to be in the chorus. Poor little guy, along with his sister, has been sick since the weekend. He didn't attend school on Monday, so he missed the dress rehearsal for the school. He wasn't feeling that great Tuesday evening, but he seemed excited about the play.
For several weeks, he had been singing the songs and doing the movements. He would turn bright red and smile an embarrassed smile when I would watch him. I was hoping he would do great and he did, although he was definitely embarrassed!

As we waited for the show to begin, Stella became restless and fussy since she was not only sick, but it was her bedtime. I had to hand the camera over to Joe and go stand with Stella on the side. As soon as the music started, Stella quieted down and became interested in what was going on. The kids began to walk out to the stage. When Seth walked out, he was trying to hide his piggy ears with his hands, and looked very frightened! He saw me, and I smiled encouragingly at him. He grinned and turned red. When the chorus began, he looked around and finally began singing and reluctantly doing his movements. There were many moments where he just stood there not singing at all. Everytime he would steal a glance at me, I smiled, and gave him the thumbs up and he would grin too. Stella loved it, and clapped happily and pointed at him, saying, "Seth!" The play was probably the cutest thing I've ever seen!!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Baby Fever

Well, my youngest baby is over 1 now and growing and learning so very fast! She is finally sleeping through the night most nights. She is feeding herself, no more bottles, no more baby food. She now wishes to run away from me, expressing her independence. She no longer sits still when you put her down on the floor. She points at things she wants and even says a few words. And don't get me started on how independent Seth is! Oh my. He doesn't even need help bathing anymore...he gets his own breakfast in the morning. He reads and writes. The only thing both are consistent on is bedtime. I do still tuck them both in and give bedtime snuggles and kisses. I love that Seth calls being tucked in being snuggled. "Mommy, I'm tired, will you snuggle me?"

Call me crazy, but I am beginning to feel the fever. As much as I didn't enjoy my last pregnancy, there is something about having a tiny human growing inside of you that is so wonderful. But would I be insane to start all over again? Probably. However, I have always said I wanted 3 or 4 children, so perhaps I am not done. Maybe it is all the friends I see having babies right now that is causing me to become nostalgic. My husband will tell me to remember all the morning sickness, and the back aches, and the swollen feet. He will tell me to remember the sleepless nights and the post partum depression. He will tell me to remember how I cried to him about the pain of breastfeeding and how I cried when I was no longer able to breastfeed. He will tell me to remember all the times that I didn't know what was wrong with the baby when she cried, before she could communicate at all.

These are all vividly clear in my memory, but I still think I am not done. I mean, how can I not also remember the joy and disbelief I felt when I saw that little pink line appear? How can I not remember the absolute wonder and awe the first time I heard the heartbeat? One does not ever forget the feeling of your child moving inside of you for the first time. It is just a bizarre and wonderful sensation. Who can forget the first time you hear, "It's a boy" or "It's a girl" while watching your sweet little baby move around on the screen at the dr's office, and your heart soars with pride and excitement...How can you forget the time you spend wondering what baby will look like? Will he have my smile? Will she have her Daddy's eyes? And the moment you realize you are going into labor...and you realize your whole life is about to change forever! The moment the nurses hand you your baby for the first time and you look into eachother's eyes and you are in love instantly. And you know that you will do anything and everything for this tiny beautiful person. Love at first sight. It definitely exists.

But, the time is not right for another baby. I just began working, and Joe is not working at all. We will have to adjust our whole schedule once he begins working again. We will have to take our kids out of daycare and begin using a nanny due to the hours we work and the commute to where we work. Some people would say it is never the right time for a baby. But as responsible adults, we have the control over it, so it just isn't the time for us. I can't help daydreaming about when it might happen again for us though. I can't help wishing for another little boy so that we can use the name we have already picked out for a boy or another little girl so that Stella will have a best friend like I have in my sister...oh the possibilities. But for now I must put that wish aside and take care of the babies I already have.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spiteful words can hurt your feelings but silence breaks your heart

In early September, a very dear friend of mine(I met her when I was 13) told me she no longer wanted me in her life. The details are not important, but I did not, and still don't understand her reasons. The things she said hurt me very badly, and caused me to doubt myself and wonder if I might not be as good a person as I strive to be. I thought as time went on, it would get easier, and I would realize that sometimes, we lose people we love throughout life and it is just a part of life. I thought the fact that my close friends, and my family told me she wasn't that great a friend the last few years would make me feel better. I thought not having the option of calling her or texting her whenever I thought of her would become normal. I thought that being blocked from her facebook page would make it easier for me to not think of her. I thought that looking at my wedding pictures, and seeing her in her bridesmaid dress, smiling and dancing with me at the reception would become easier.

None of these things are true. I still think of her every day. I still go over what she said to me in my head...over and over again and try to find the meaning behind her words. I try to understand what I did wrong. I try to understand why. I try to understand why, when I included her in every step of my life-roommates in college, the birth of my first child, a bridesmaid in my wedding-and invited her to every event that went on, she never included me. She didn't come when my daughter was born. She didn't even ask to hold her the time that she met her. I try to realize that I should have known this was coming, when she started distancing herself and quit coming to things I invited her to. But that doesn't make it easier. Right before she dumped this on me, she told me she was pregnant. She told me it was a secret and she hadn't told anyone else yet. I was so excited for her!

I thought it was the answer to our distance. I thought, now she will be a mom, and we will have something in common again and it will bring us closer! I thought I would finally be able to be there for her pregnancy and the birth of her child and I would get to throw her a baby shower just like she threw one for my first child. I was beyond happy and felt so special with my secret. I couldn't wait for the day she announced it to her family. I couldn't wait to find out if it would be a boy or a girl. But none of this ever happened. She didn't want me to be a part of it.

I still don't understand. No matter what I tell myself, it never hurts less. It just hurts more. No matter what I do, I still think of her and I still wonder what she is doing and how she is feeling. I still wonder what her child will look like. I still wish very strongly that our children would get the chance to know one another. I still hold on to hope that this whole thing was a pregnancy hormone induced freak out and that she will call and ask me to come back into her life. But I know that she won't.

So, I go on with my life, always wondering what I could have said or done differently. I wish I didn't care so much. I wish it didn't hurt me so badly. I found out from a mutual friend that she is having a boy. I am sending her a gift, even though she doesn't want me to contact her. But she threw me a baby shower when I had my first child, so I feel it is only fair to send her a gift. Maybe I won't send a card. I haven't decided yet. Who knew losing a friend would hurt this bad. At least I know in my heart that I tried my best and I did everything I could.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Seasons of Change

The weather is warming up, the grass is starting to grow and our pear tree is even beginning to blossom. The tulips I planted in November are poking through the dirt too! Our little family is going through some changes as well!

In January, I was blessed to find a job through a temp service as the payroll clerk at a cold storage warehouse. I was sad to have to put Stella in daycare for the first time in her little life, and also to have to put Seth back in daycare, but since I had run out of extensions on my unemployment benefits, my time at home had ended. Surprisingly, I got right back into the groove of working and being a mom. Don't get me wrong, I was TIRED at the end of the day, but now it's March and I'm beginning to have more energy and not get into bed at 8 pm anymore. Stella has done AMAZING at daycare. It turns out that our little baby girl is very smart! The teachers are all smitten with her and although she is the youngest in her class, she seems to be able to do everything they can and more! She has such a little personality. I love her! Joe took her to her 15 month check up yesterday and we found out that she is hitting nearly all of the developmental markers for 18-24 month olds! She is so little though! She is a skinny baby, only 23 pounds. Seth was much bigger at that age.

Last week, I was offered the job full time since the lady I was filling in for ended up not coming back. This came at just the right time because Joe lost his job last week the day before I was offered this job! He had been having some problems with his immediate supervisor for a while now, so it wasn't a surprise, but it still hurts. He gave 4 years of his life to that company and he slaved for them. He did so much for them that they don't even know about. He worked from home as well as the many hours each week he put in for them without overtime pay. He created a brand new social media project from scratch all on his own and got it off the ground only to be let go as if all they wanted was for him to create it. I was really offended by the things that were said to my husband, but I know he was relieved to be away from his boss as she was truly awful to him. He is now searching for a job and was eligible for unemployment benefits, so we will be ok until he finds a job. Our roles may be reversed soon as we will have to pull the kids from daycare if he doesn't find work soon. So, he may be Mr. Mom!

Baseball season has started again for Seth. We are on the Outlaws this year and this is the third year we've been with our coach. These boys have all played together for this whole time and they are great kids. We are in new territory this year with coach pitch! Seth is adapting just fine and is proving to be even more talented than we thought before! He has a natural gift for the game and an arm like a pro. He hit a double at his very first scrimmage in coach pitch. I was impressed. He hasn't had a problem switching to coach pitch from tball at all. He is also doing well in school. Despite some behavioral issues due to being bored, he is bringing home high A's and reading like a pro! He is such a smart little guy and so inquisitive. We are currently having him assessed for the school's gifted and talented program. Now that you are mostly caught up on the happenings of our life, maybe I can actually keep up with the blog better.