Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter Sweater

John's Easter sweater is done! Now it just needs to cool off enough for him to wear it. I'm not completely happy with it, but that's just in the construction details, the boy on the other hand is thrilled with it and that's all that really matters!


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fishing for Mellon

John is warming up to this whole have a puppy thing. It's taking a bit since puppy teeth are sharp and he's not so much bigger than the puppy that it doesn't think of him as a playmate. He's been working on getting her to eat a snack from his hand, it's getting better each time and this afternoon he decided to go fishing for her attention.



With a puppy this big what bait would you use other than elephant :)

Monday, March 29, 2010


As I type this John is sound asleep in his bed and our new friend is asleep by my foot, she has a nice new crate with a blanket, 2 pillows and a little stuffed dog that she has enjoyed chewing on in it but no, she's just happier here by my foot and well really I'm happier with her here to, for now.


We said good-bye to Lucy nearly 6 months ago, while a dog-free home has it's advantages like lack of dog hair and no worries about being gone too long, somehow it's just not as home as home should be. Mark and I have talked off an on about getting a new dog. We've gone back and forth and debated the subject and we might have held out for another month or two if we hadn't lost our baby to miscarriage, but we did and now there's a fur ball sleeping by my foot.

We have wanted a sibling for John for a long time, we figure God will provide this if John truly needs one and for now we can at least provide a furry friend who can learn to play fetch and has the size and temperament to be trained to be an assist dog for him.

When we called about this puppy yesterday and found out that it would be just right for us we told John and he was excited. Last night before bed he was signing to us 'dog play ball' and was happy. Today he was excited about going and getting a dog to play ball with. When he first met our new friend she licked him in the face and then tried to chew on his central line and he started signing 'no no no truck truck no no' it was bad. He cried, the dog looked sad, and in the end he, the dog and I sat in the truck together for a while before he was okay with her staying with us. As we were coming back home with her at first he would not let her ride in the back seat with him, then a ways down the road she could ride back there, and by the time we got home she had fallen asleep in the back seat and he was so excited he was patting her rather firmly on the rump to wake her up signing 'dog wake-up home, home, dog, home'. It's going to be a good thing, it's going to take a while, the puppy is 8 weeks old, the boy is 6 years old and given a few months I think they will be the best of friends.



Btw the dogs name is Mellon, if you are geeky enough to know what it means and where it came from you can probably pronounce it right too :) I'm still working on the pronunciation, it still comes out more like melon, but I'm getting there. If you're not geeky enough to know, I'll tell you, it means friend in Elvish, it's the word that Gandalf speaks to open the doors to the mines of Moria, and now you know our not-so-well-kept secret, yep, we're nuts!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

And the Award for...

...Most Creative Usage of a Bedroom Curtain...goes to John Hass!!!!

We've been wondering how John keeps trying to sneak off the end of his bed at night. You see it's not easy for John to go from laying down to sitting up all by himself, and definitely not several times in a row or with lots of energy left for giggling and squealing and such. Tonight while putting him to bed I asked him to 'wake up' his words for sit up, on his own and he reached over, got a hold of the curtain pulled himself up using curtain, then windowsill and then sat up with a huge grin on his face. Our little imp has learned so much from just the desire to be silly.

John is always the little ray of sunshine in our life and today was no different. He is learning lots of new stuff to do in his Jump Start 1st Grade Game, and he is of course ever the helpful little guy.


My favorite guys! Notice how beautiful the silver halo looks on the big one :)


Monday, March 22, 2010

Orange Earmolds and 'Occupational Therapy'

Today we picked up John's new earmolds, he was excited to say the least. A few minutes after getting back in the truck he pulled one out to look at it for a bit and then needed it put back in, silliness abounds.



Mark and I got to talking about John really needing to learn to work both hands at different tasks at the same time, and finally decided that video games are the best teachers of this that we know. So a new Wii game came home with us and as you can tell it's going to take some learning for the boy to get that two hand thing down, but well he's already excited!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

All Tears Make Rainbows

Please if you are very sensitive to miscarriage stuff just skip this post and in a day or two I will put up cute pics of John and get back to discussing something else. For today my heart is full of this and it must come out somewhere.

When tears fall on my glasses and the sun shines just right I can see the rainbows. There is no bright side to losing a child, no silver lining, no plus, none of that stuff that is so easy to think when other bad things happen in this life. That doesn't mean that there is no hope, there is of course the hope of the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting, there is the comfort that the child is with Christ and it's sibling, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandpa and Omi right now. There is comfort in knowing that the child is not scared, or lonely, cold or crying, all things that this mommy's heart is broken over because I can't provide. There is the comfort given by faithful family and friends who cry with me and who remind me of God's promises. There is the comfort of a loving husband who finds me crying here and there and holds me, who does sweet things for me, and who entertains a silly little boy too. The silly little boy is much comfort his own self, even when he is being a nut and driving his chair standing up, falling out, getting pinned between chair and wall, crying for ice for his head, checking out that there is actually ice in the rag and then telling dad that he needs down and to go play, I could have held him for much longer but I guess he's getting older now and doesn't need a mommy's comfort for long.

There is this time a comfort that I didn't even know that I was missing when I lost Katherine. At my doctor's office today there was no pressure for dnc, actually my doctor told me that it was in my best interest to be able to pass this baby on my own, that it would be awful, but that I could do it. There is no comfort in knowing that my child in my womb is dead, my body is already hurting in its preparation for passing that tiny little body and all that is with it. I cannot imagine what it must feel like to labor and deliver a living child, I know what this feels like and it hurts, both physically and emotionally. But this time there is no threat that if I can't do it in a set time that I will have to have my baby removed, there is no continuing need for return appointments to make sure that my hormone levels are dropping, I am being left to do this at peace, at home, in the time it takes. Each day that I knew that Katherine was dead inside me I lived with the knowledge that I was going to be forced to either be sedated or lie still and have her forcefully removed from me, I didn't know at that time that it was rarely ever necessary to do that, and never had to be a first option. I had nightmares about it when I slept and awake kept praying that I would not have to go through what seemed to be a terror to me. I have visited with a few women who had dnc's after a miscarriage and in their stories I hear as much trauma from the grief over their missing child as I hear in the horror of it's removal. This time I know that while my little Patrick's soul is in heaven with Christ, his body is safely within me waiting for me to be able to let go of him and until that day I can hold him in the only way that is given me. More rainbows, but at least this time the tears that cause them do not come from fear, just the sorrow of missing the baby that I would have held in my arms.

There is comfort in knowing that my left ovary is fine. We have been worried about it for a long time, with Katherine and again with Patrick I had pain on the left side so badly that we were afraid that I might have something very wrong there. After a very painful exam the doctor was able to explain to me that I'm really just hardwired weird. The nerves in the pelvis are not such that we can pinpoint where pain is exactly and some people like me are wired so that one place always hurts in another, called referral pain. When my uterus hurts it feels like my left ovary is being ripped out of my side. Not pleasant, but not dangerous to me, and it was not a cause of losing Patrick or Katherine. There is also comfort in knowing that I don't have fibroids or endometriosis, both of which we have worried about in dealing with this left side pain.

There is some comfort in knowing that during the process of this short pregnancy the doctor that I am going to found and is treating a genetic defect that likely killed my father at 44, and could have done the same to me, I turn 44 this year. My body stinks on ice at absorbing folic acid and using it properly, which causes micro-clotting, which causes miscarriages and arteriosclerosis, the later took my dad. That is knowledge that we had before our baby died, so tis good information, helpful and all but certainly no silver lining. With the knowledge that at my age half the eggs I put out are chromosomally screwed up and the other half if fertilized will have to fight my chronic systemic inflammation for life is scary on one hand but on the other according to my doctor not impossible to overcome. His advice was to stay on the supplementation that he placed me on, remain on a low glycemic diet, follow the things that help with inflammation and to not be discouraged or give up hope, to let the miscarriage proceed on it's own, make sure a pregnancy test comes up negative, and then try again. We weren't trying in the first place, truthfully we didn't think that we could get pregnant when Katherine came along and after a year of losing her we were shocked and delighted that Patrick came along. I don't exactly know what trying means, but I do know what living our life and letting God do what God will do is. I like this doctor, it is a comfort that we found him, even today, even through my tears I hope we have need to visit with him again.

In the end we do not know if we lost our baby because of chromosonal issues or if he just couldn't fight through the inflammation in my body. There is some comfort in knowing that I now know what to do to help the inflammation resolve but in the end the only real comfort that there is to keep from going insane this side of heaven is the blessing of Christ, the promise that I will not have to endure more than I can handle, even if it feels like I'm dangling over the edge from time to time I am at least not going to fall. Christ is my strength, He is my life and He is my hopes foundation.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Blessed be the name of the Lord

It became plain this afternoon that the child we had hoped to hold in our arms has been called home to Christ. We are going to name the child Patrick, for no one should be nameless in grief. We also do so in determination of faith, in reflection of today and also because of one of our favorite hymn based on the Christian confession of St. Patrick; "I Bind unto Myself Today"found in Lutheran Service Book #604.

I bind unto myself today the strong name of the Trinity by invocation of the same, the Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me forever, by power of faith Christ's incarnation, His baptism in the Jordan River, His cross of death for my salvation, His bursting from the spiced tomb, His riding up the heavenly way, His coming at the day of doom, I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself today the power of God to hold and lead, His eye to watch, His might to stay, His ear to hearken to my need. The wisdom of my God to teach, His hand to guide, His shield to ward, the Word of God to give me speech, His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin, the vice that gives temptation force, the natural lusts that war within, the hostile foes that mar my course; of few or many, far or nigh, in every place and in all hours, against their fierce hostility, I bind to me those holy powers.

I bind unto myself the name, the strong name of the Trinity, by invocation of the same the Three in One and One in Three, of whom all nature has creation, Eternal Father, Spirit, Word. Praise to the God of my salvation; salvation is of Christ the Lord.

We are crying for our loss here in time, even as we believe and confess that we have lost nothing in eternity because just as we are always in the hands of the Lord, so is this child. Though we will not have the blessing of holding this child in our arms here, the child is safe in the arms of Jesus. We do not know why we were given the hope of having this child, and we do not know why the child was taken from us. My brother Paul comforted me last evening with the last chapters of Job. Job gets exactly what he asks for with a completely different result than he desired. He wants God to answer the question why? The Lord commands Job to answer His questions first and begins to show that there is no possible way for anyone to understand His ways and what He is doing, much less fathom the why of it all this side of heaven. As Job learns the lesson he makes a confession and demonstrates his renewed faith in the Lord by doing the only thing that he can; being still and placing his hand firmly over his mouth.
“I know that you can hdo all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
3 i‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
things jtoo wonderful for me, which I did not know.
4 ‘Hear, and I will speak;
kI will question you, and you make it known to me.’
5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees you;
6 therefore I despise myself,
and repent1 in ldust and ashes.”

The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton : Standard Bible Society, 2001, S. Job 42:2-6

6 Feet of Love and Wisdom

In the words of my wise and loving husband "we know nothing until we know something." I spent much of yesterday with hope that we would hold our baby and then woke up from an afternoon nap having passed a blood clot and spent the rest of the day trying to hold off grief. Last night instead of eating right before I went to sleep, as usual lately, I figured it wasn't needed - freaky blood sugar issues was the first thing that went away the last time I miscarried. I fell asleep praying that if the baby had any chance of survival that it would take what it needed from me. John woke up at 2am needing a drink of water, at which time my blood sugar was already so low that Mark brought me a glass of milk because I could barely function. I spent the rest of the night sleeping with no cramping and this morning no spotting at all. My first words to my sweet guy this morning were some of his favorites, 'you were right' and so I am traveling through this day, resting, praying, and remembering that gift from God - 6 feet of love and wisdom that I've spent almost 15 years being blessed with, "I know nothing until I know something", blessed be the Lord.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Silly Boy is Growing!


This is not exactly a parent approved way to get books from the top shelf, but well when the parents run for the camera first and say 'no' second the lesson doesn't really sink in. Oh well, Mark is really good at constructing stuff to do way more than it is designed to do, so if John ever does get his full weight on here, I'm guessing we'll get a picture of that too :)


I had to cut John's hair this morning. The second haircut since January! He asked if I was going to take a picture of it with my phone, I told him no I needed to go get the camera, so he decided that if I was going to get out the real camera he should pose for a couple real photos.


Ever my silly boy! I tell him each and every day that I love being his mommy, and lately I make sure to tell him that no matter what else happens in my day he always makes it better.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hope Lives While the Heart Beats

If you've talked to us this weekend and thought we were just a bit out of it, or haven't heard from us and wondered what was going on it's been a scary weekend for us.

It started out awesome, John's procedure to remove the stent from his kidney and bladder went amazingly well, so much so that he was filling better almost immediately. It helped that they used a new kind of anesthesia and while he slept a bit longer than normal post-surgery, he woke up in a good mood and ready for a drink, some clothes and to get in his chair.

Scary started while John was gone to surgery when I started to spot a bit. I called my doctor and really there is nothing that can be done at this time, it's just wait and see. So we spent the weekend doing just that. I continued to spot and cramp through the weekend and wavered back and forth between hoping that we would get to see this baby come to term and be born healthy and fear that the baby had already been taken to live with Christ and that we would mourn yet another baby.

This morning we went to see my doctor. Ultrasound showed that the baby's heart is still beating. The doctor told us that he doesn't give up hope on any baby so long as it's heart is beating, yet he is concerned with the spotting and that the ultrasound doesn't show that the baby grew between last week and this. He did explain that the lack of growth could plausibly be explained by the margin of error in an ultrasound, we are talking about a baby that is at most 1cm long. I asked about hormone levels and he told us that in the end while the ultrasound may have errors in it he finds it to be far more reliable than serial hormone levels.

So we are home, I am to be taking it easy and so will accomplish lots of knitting and reading books and such to a wonderful little boy. I am scheduled for another appointment with ultrasound next Tuesday, unless the cramping and spotting worsen before then. We are still wavering between fear and hope, but in the end we know that whatever the outcome that God is merciful and our dear child is in His gracious hands. We have watched John grow to be a beautiful 6 years old when there was no hope given that he would ever see his 1st birthday, this is certainly the hand of God at work, but while my mommy heart wants to covet the same blessing for the child within my womb I know that God's gracious hand is at work either to bring this child safely into our arms or take our baby home into His. In either case I stand with Job, and with my friend who has said all this more eloquently than I (link here)

The Lord giveth,
The Lord taketh away,
Blessed be the Lord.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Of Little Beating Hearts and Orange Earmolds

I will freely admit that I was scared going into the ultrasound this morning, I kept singing the Kyrie in my head and reminding myself that God had carried us through the worst that could happen when we lost Katherine in '08. When the ultrasound tech showed us our babies little heart beating there were tears of joy, tears of relief, and tears of 'oh Thank You God for this little life.' It's hard to believe that someone who is less than half a centimeter long can completely hold your heart, but they can. We go back in two weeks for another ultrasound. I am considered high risk, age, weight, huge inflammation levels, some weird genetic clotting disorder and such so the doc is keeping a very close eye on both the babies health and mine. John was excited to see the baby, he had a grin all the way across his beautiful face and signed baby for us so sweetly. He had a great time looking at the pictures and I can see in his face that baby is becoming more real.

Our other errand of the morning was to let John choose his own new earmold color. Actually that was the first thing he signed to dad this morning was new ears, orange! And bright neon orange they will be. I'll share pictures when they come in. This is a really cool thing for John as little as a year ago he couldn't have made a choice like this, he's now done it three times and each time farther out and more enthusiastically. We're so amazed each day with the little miracle that lives in our house, we have been so very blessed to be John's parents and this baby will be blessed with the coolest big brother!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Sweetest Guy


Tomorrow is one week from our appointment for the ultrasound, to say that I've been a little nuts, tired, and weird would be a gross understatement. I have great friends and family who text me and help keep me balanced, others who write or call with hope, encouragement and distractions. But in the house with me lives the sweetest guy I've ever met and one and I certainly have never deserved. He brought me flowers today and I just had to share them. Thanks honey, I love you.