Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dealing with the 2's and 6's!

Last night, I got a good taste of what's to come with my children and the changes that they are going (or about to) through.

J started the evening off by being very angry and throwing whatever he had (or could get) in his hands to show me that he was NOT happy that I wasn't letting him get his way. Once he calmed down, R decided that she would do her "cry" (aka a lot of noise but no tears) because I wasn't going to do her homework for her and write her spelling words down for her.

So, both of them were getting their noise on but getting very little done. Once J had gotten over his little anger bit, he decided that he had to climb up (from the floor) on me in order to show that he was still there and still not getting what he wanted (aka - sweets). However, he also hadn't eaten any supper and he wasn't about to if he could help it... Any of this sound familiar Moms??? R was still doing her "crying" of not wanting to do her homework and agonizing over every letter of her spelling words. It took all I had not to laugh at both of them! They haven't realize yet that: 1. Mommy's rules (for the most part) are non-negotiable. 2. I've tried (as some point in time) to do the same thing that they're trying to pull now. and 3. I STILL know more than they do!

Granted, a part of me rolled my eyes heavenward and asking the always daunting question of WHY!!!! Especially after I had put J in the living room with some toys so that (hopefully) he would become preoccupied with that but... NOOOO!

Eventually, R did get all of her spelling words written out and J had something good to eat but, I'm just thankful that these episodes don't last for ever and I've still got enough sanity left to see the humor in all this (at least this time around). I did tell K about it earlier today and his response was - "That's life!". G was a little bit more compassionate about it all tho. :)

It's not a life I asked for (or wanted) but, I still have to take it all in stride and remember that they are only young once and how I act and react is teaching them.

More to follow....

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Christmas Tree

This year, in order to make new memories, I got our family a new Christmas tree and "new" ornaments.

Last year, we were blessed to have three of my "girlfriends" over to help us put that old tree up and help decorate. This year, I got one that was already pre-lit (Yea!!!!) and not quite as tall so it would be much easier for me to handle on my own in putting it up. Amazingly, it was VERY easy to put up (even while both of the kids were up). J was automatically fascinated by the lights and just couldn't seem to leave the tree alone. I can't tell if R is more excited by Christmas or that her birthday is just 3 days before Christmas. R is all into decorating everything and wants to put lights outside (which may be a bit of a challenge for me) but, hopefully she'll be continent with some mesh of lights over the shrubs and on the light poles.

What's weird for me is that I honestly don't remember putting up the tree last year. I know that we did but,I also know that I was still (somewhat) on autopilot... Boy what a year of change can make! I was a little bit happier then but not festive like this year. Last year, I dreaded the holidays. This year, I don't dread it.

Yesterday, K wanted me to walk through the old house one more time with him and make sure that there wasn't anything that I wanted to get out. The guy who is going to be doing the estate sale on the 17th has already been over there and starting to slowly get some things organized so, I KNEW that this was it. I was fine until we got in the back room. It was starting to get dark and all those mental images of that night came flooding back. All I wanted to do was get out of there as fast as I could and not ever have to look (or go) back. Managed to get some things (like a record player for the kids to have down the road and some things to go through that were stashed up on the top shelves that I couldn't get to) before the panic started creeping back in. Realizing now, after being in there for those few minutes, how bad (emotionally, physically, and mentally) it was for me and for R, I can only thank God, friends, and family for helping us get through that first year and half intact! It's just like after I had gone through the neurotherapy, I realized how far down (emotionally) I had sunk once that burden had been lifted off (major relief!).

In a way, it was important that we stayed as long as we did in that house in order to work through things and get to the point of letting go. God has a way of leading us to what is best in His time. He knows me better than I know myself... I just had to learn to let go and listen and be patient. It's not easy and it can be downright painful but, the outcome is sooo much better than you, me or anyone else could plan for. He knows what's ahead of us and prepares us for whatever is ahead if we're willing for Him to direct us. Before the move, I had a lot of fear for myself and the children. I wasn't sure if it was the right thing to do but, that's where a large amount of faith comes into play and just remembering that He ultimately is in charge. For this, I am thankful because I know that the reality of being in a straight-jacket and losing a baby could have happened.

Do I know what's next? No... Do I have plans for the future? Sure! I'm no different than anyone else... There's always going to be hopes and fears for what lies ahead. All I can do is try to prepare for whatever and pray for the strength to take that next big step (even if I may or may not be ready for it).

More to follow.....

Thursday, November 25, 2010

One last walk thru (I hope)

Yesterday, I had to do one last walk (and check) through the old house and make sure that there wasn't anything that the children (or I) would wish we had (later, down the road). The only thing that I had forgotten to get out was some of Donovan's bank statements that were filed away in his closet. Personally, I'm soo ready for this to be done and finished. The plan is to (finally) have an estate sale on Dec. 17th weekend (and it may take more than one weekend to get it all out).

Today, R, J and I had our Thanksgiving lunch over at K and G's house which, of course, was absolutely delicious! Of course, K had to ask me and make sure that I didn't want to get anything (like the victorola that I had put on Donovan's groom's table at our wedding). It's hard to explain to anyone (unless they've been there) that I'd rather have the good memories than stuff that's only going to collect dust. Our marriage was a good one (not perfect but, good none-the-less). Now, it's time to close out that chapter and start moving on forward. Donovan's been gone for (as of next month)2 years now and it doesn't do me (or my children) any good to do the "would-have, could-have, should-have" game. I don't have any regrets of the past and I can (Lord willing) look forward to the future - whatever that holds. Of course, for just a few minutes, (right before lunch) a part of me expected to see Donovan come walking (or rather running) down the hall at his parents house and knowing full well that he won't be.

Over all, it was a good, crazy and productive day... R, J and I managed to get a Christmas tree up.... The challenge is going to be whether J will be able to leave it along long enough to enjoy it until after Christmas... Only time will tell... So far, so good!

More to follow......

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Ok... Yesterday, I had said that once R had calmed down from getting the splinter out of her foot and J not crying because he wanted to be in the tub too and that all was well with the world... almost. This is about the ... almost part.

Once everything quieten down, R got very quiet and reflective. This gives me a bit of a warning sign that whatever she's thinking is deep and to prepare for anything. She then started to cry very quietly and then said "I miss my daddy." All I could say was "I know." and help her get out of the tub and dry off. The big change was that she didn't have a gut-wrenching crying as she had in the past and it only last for a few minutes. She didn't start asking questions of trying to wrap her brain around what death was, what a soul is, etc. It was just a quiet few minutes of facing facts. She had always gone to Donovan whenever she got hurt and received an extra kiss for the boo-boo, a reassuring hug, and then she was off again. She still remembers those times and (like me) now there is only an emptiness there that will never be completely replaced.

How many times, do you remember going to someone with whatever hurt you may have had and received the same kind of attention? Sure, we all have had heartaches but I believe that those small acts of kindness outshine the pain... Even years down the road.... No act of kindness goes unnoticed.

More to follow.....

Monday, November 22, 2010

Retreat weekend

A lot has been going on in the last week or so. Now, I'm just trying to get caught up before my thoughts get lost somewhere... No comments from the peanut gallery! :)

Last weekend, I (along with about 80 other ladies) were able to sit at the feet of a great speaker named Beth Brockman. She gave a talk on Friday night and then again on Saturday morning. The theme of this years retreat was "Keep Calm and Carry On" and boy did I need it!

At first, I was a little skeptical but, after she told us about how she (and her family) had to go through two losses a (17 yr old) brother in an auto accident and sister to cancer, she knows what it's like. She (thankfully) hasn't had to walk down my kind of road yet but, a loss is a loss, no matter how or whom.

One of the things that she had throughout her presentation was some quotes (and those of you from FB KNOW I'm a quote fanatic!) from a book called, "Majesty of Calmness" which is something that I'm going to have to look up and get for myself. IF anyone needs a little bit of extra dose of calmness in their home, I'd be the first to raise my hand!

Case in point, tonight! J had had to get his bath earlier today but, I still had to get R's bath done. R started howling once her feet got wet and said that she may have a splinter in her foot... Sure enough, she had a very tiny one (that was more out than in) in her heal. Start the tear brigade! While R was howling from the fact that I was trying to get a splinter out of her heal, J was trying his hardest to get in the tub with R and getting upset when I would try to turn him around out of the bathroom. He would come crying back in and then start to try and either climb on, over, or on top of me to see what I was doing to his sister and to get in the tub. So, between R's howling, J's crying, and my hacking a lung up, it was a nice little noise in the main bathroom.

All I could muster was a quick prayer for patience and comic relief (which I got instantly). After finally getting R to keep her foot still and the splinter out, and J quiet for a minute, all was well with the world again... almost (another blog about that... promise!).

More to follow.....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Books and movies

For the past month or so, I've finally started doing something that I used to really enjoy.... BOOKS!!!

For the past year and a half, I had no desire to read anything except maybe in a good magazine articles. Now, if I start a new book, it's hard to put it down. Of course, that can be a bit of a challenge when there is a certain 6 yr old and a very demanding 1 yr old who need just as much attention. :) R, thankfully will take a cue and let me read in peace for a little while (since she's developing her own love of reading) before something comes up that demand attention.

Taking time to just sit down and watch a movie (or at least 30 minutes of one) is a challenge sometimes but, I've learned that if I do, I'm much more relaxed during the week. Of course, this blog is a BIG relaxer for me and a challenge in and of itself. So, I'm making it a point to get through one whole movie in a weeks time. So far, I've watched "Pride and Prejudice (BBC version - my opinion - the best!), "Seven Years in Tibet" (which took a bit longer to get through), and most recently, "Dear John".

The last movie was a challenge for me in two ways. One was the mild (if you can call being shot in action mild) violence and the shooting in and of itself. As for the violence or drama involved in the movie was something that (up to now) was something that I just couldn't stomach. Even the TV shows that are so popular now (expect for Glee of course) are based very much in drama. Even K and G don't seem to have a problem watching any of the crime drama's that are currently broad casted every week (even a few months after Donovan's death). For them, maybe it's just a show but it was much more real for me since I was in the house and dealing with the aftermath and they were kept outside (in their car) with R. The fact of the soldier being shot at was a HUGE hurtle for me. It also make me wonder what Donovan thought about before he blacked out. All I knew is that he was breathing on his own when the EMS took him and that there was a very slim chance that he would make it though the night. Just typing about this know, brings back those mental images of that night but thankfully, it doesn't scare me anymore. It's more of being at peace. I know my daughter will have her own mental images of that night and hopefully they will be peaceful for her as well. I also think about those who have seen much worse and pray that they will also get the help that they need so that those mental images don't remain the horror and terror that they were but rather peaceful.

I am soo grateful for the technologies (neurotherapy)that are now available for those kinds of situations because I know that without that, God, my family, and friends, I would be in a straight jacket now.

Onward and upward!

More to follow.....

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Crying for the old house

Today (so far) has been an emotional roller-coaster for R. For the past week or so, she's been crying because she misses her old room and her old house (even though she was miserable the last 6 months or so that we were still there).

Several times this week, she had cried (hard) to go back and yesterday after school, G took her over there and brought back some more toys (surprise, surprise) and things from her old room. G also told me that she had a good, hard cry while they were over there. Today, she wanted to go back so, I took her for a few minutes since the trees in the front yard needed to be trimmed up before heavy winter hit (like last year). She started crying to stay there and never leave. I just had to say a quick prayer for wisdom and strength to do and say the right thing for her.

I told her that staying there wasn't going to be possible and pointed out that she had had a hard time sleeping over here (old house) and that everything she needed was at home and that she could visit over here (old house) anytime she needed to (for now anyway). I then had to carry her to the car to go home (J had been left in the car while it was running and was crying because we had stayed in there too long). It's times like this that I wish I could split myself in half in order to tend to both... but, can't do that so, deal with each... One at a time and hopefully the tears will stop. R cried on the way home and that caused J to cry (if she gets upset and cries, he does the same... sweet and aggravating at the same time!).

Once we got home, she protested about it and I told her that it would be rest time soon (more protest) so I told her that if she stopped crying, she wouldn't have to lay down right then... Tears stopped and a feeble OK from R.

Then, it was like nothing had happened 30 minutes ago... Both kids were laughing and playing in the living room... Note to self, don't let things get bottle back up on the inside... Once it's out, let it go and move on.

Managed to get J down and then got R down for about 5 minutes. She came back, red puffy eyes and crying to go back to the old house again. All I could do was let her cry it out, get her back in her bed and tell her to get some rest and she'd feel better. So far, not a peep.

I know that being on antibiotics isn't helping R emotionally but, once she can get her upper respiratory infection out, it'll help. It hurts when they hurt but all I can do is try to dry their tears, get them to get some rest, try not to get sick myself (losing battle slowly though... ugh!) and try to keep things positive. At least we are close and around the same surroundings to make it a little bit easier on the kids and the rest of the family.

More to follow......