Ray Romano once compared life with twins to living in a frat house. As he put it, "no one sleeps, there is a lot of noise and a lot of throwing up." I find this very true with 4 young children, including twins. However, though things are always crazy, we always try to have fun and, most certainly, always love each other.
Having a mother who works for the Ohio State University (specifically, the hospital) has its perks. For example, I got a college education at 50% off! Another perk would be that she gets access to season tickets to the OSU home games.
They sell most of their tickets, but my dad takes someone to a game every year. Last year, he took Kenny to a game and promised this year he would take Jacob. Jacob has been counting down all year, looking forward to HIS chance to go to a game in the SHOE with grandpa all by himself for his first time ever! It was on November 19th- for the Ohio State/ Penn State game.
As luck would have it, about 6 weeks before the game, my dad fell down the stairs and crushed his foot. He had to have surgery and is doing well, but has limited mobility- maneuvering "the shoe" was not an option. So, instead of a grandpa/ grandson date- it became a father/son date! Aaron took him and they had a blast! The weather could not have been more perfect. The Bucks lost, but that didn't really spoil their fun.
Can you tell he was excited?! I LOVE his goofy expressions!
Aaron even splurged and bought him this $8 (?!) foam finger- which totally thrilled him!
Looks like an attempt at a picture of the two of them together- not the best, but the only one they got!
And of course, they LOVED watching the band- which is my favorite part as well. After all, football is just a game to watch while waiting for the band, right?!
They even got to watch the famous "Script Ohio" performed TWICE! Apparently it was the directors last home game before retiring so it was done as a tribute to him.
I know my dad and Jacob were both disappointed that dad couldn't go, but I know that Jacob and Aaron had a blast together- I love to see them spending time together!
This is a subject very close to my heart and personal so I will not link this one to Facebook as I often do. Instead, it is here for my own thoughts and memories sake as well as for those who care enough to read my blog without a link prompting them- which is about 2 people I think.
As I wrote about in this post, we were excited earlier this year to learn that baby number 5 was on the way. Unfortunately, I miscarried in early May. Today, November 23rd, was my due date. It has been very very hard, despite having 4 other wonderful children to keep me busy.
So, for the record, these are my thoughts, 6 1/2 months later on my due date:
One thing I have learned having 4 children is your heart grows with each one- making it possible to love each and every child with your whole heart. I can understand totally how someone could have ANY number of kids and love them just as much. We loved this one just as much. This one was just as real.
Even 6 months later, it still hurts. I still long for that baby and think of her often. I wonder if/when the longing will go away. I had a miscarriage before the twins. It didn't stop hurting until I conceived the twins and that pregnancy was successful.
I still feel a stab when someone announces they are pregnant- especially if it is for a 5th or beyond. It is hard to control the selfish thought of "Why is it so easy for them and not me?" (though I have been fortunate to have 4 children without fertility, at the same time, it has not been easy. We went through fertility testing, long waits to get pregnant, and of course, two miscarriages).
With this as well as other trials the last few months, I feel I have teetered closer on edge of depression- if not fallen all the way in- then ever before in my life. I cry over everything, have no energy, very exhausted, loss of interest in some things, forgetfulness, withdrawal and more.
I keep a lot of this to myself, even within family and close friends, because I don't want to bring everyone down and I feel most people just don't understand. I know for a fact that many close to me think we were insane for trying for a 5th anyway. Also, I don't want people to mistake my sadness for being ungrateful for the 4 I have. That can not be farther from the truth. I really do thank God every day for my 4. I know many do not get this blessing and I have been so deeply blessed. It is just that, well- a loss is a loss and it hurts regardless.
I do not know what it is like to have a miscarriage BEFORE having children, but I did once hear someone say it is just as hard if not harder to have a miscarriage AFTER you have other children because now you know what you are missing. Yep- that describes it.
I have kept this day close in my heart as it approached. I knew for a fact that no one else remembered it- not even Aaron did, though many knew it was nearing. I didn't really expect anyone to- really, there was no reason for them to. I was shocked though to find one person did, and it really meant a lot.
I never knew my heart could swell with happiness and love and joy while breaking at the same time. That is how I felt these last two weeks as I held my new baby niece that was just born. I was so excited to find that both my sister and I were expecting-and due within 10 days of each other and I envisioned our babies growing up together. I am so happy for my sister and I love my niece. Considering this was her first and probably only, I am thankful that this happened to me and not her. I just mourn that I don't have a baby that would grow up with her. As baby Claire grows, I will always remember my own- knowing they would have been the same age.
And that is just the thing with miscarriage that makes it hard to heal that people don't understand. Sure you mourn the loss, but you also mourn the future that you envisioned. For nearly 3 months, I had a vision of the future and it is still hard to know that future won't happen.
And that is just the thing too. The world doesn't really give us the chance to mourn- we have to pick up and move on the next day. Of course, it is not the same as losing a child that had been born. I honestly can not imagine such a tragedy. Of course that is infinitely worse. But, because of that, many minimize how much this in itself hurts, even if not as bad as losing a born child. I am expected to cry for a few days and then suck it up and move on. So, on the outside, and even around my family- that is what I have tried to do.
Ultimately, I know I will be able to move on for real- whether that is with another child or not. I crave and pray for that peace.
So, to end this on a positive note- though it is still often hard, I am okay. I chose to take today to remember and just breathe and take a break from the world. I do my best to stay positive on this blog and on Facebook so as not bring others down. I also just feel when we ARE positive we FEEL positive. I will go back to that after today. Today is my day to be honest about what I feel. Though I have been down lately, I do also feel very blessed and lucky. It is also easy to reflect on that, here the day before Thanksgiving. I love my family so much. I love my children, who make me smile everyday and are such beautiful gifts from God. I love my husband who is caring and supportive and loving to me all the time. I really have the best friends ever that are always there for me. God has honestly put so many people in my life that I am so thankful for. I truly believe that God has a plan for me and he knows what he is doing- and therefore, everything will work out just as it should be.
This week marked the end of a long wait to meet the newest member of our family. Julie's baby, Claire, was born this week. But, before we get to that, first things first.
I never did post about her Shower that we had in October. What a great day it was! Emily found a really cool location and it was very well attended!! (over 40 people!) She was certainly showered with love! I was so busy with preparations that I forgot my camera, so I had to steal these from facebook (since my dear sisters would rather post on facebook rather than email me the files....).
I am so grateful for these two women- my sisters are everything to me!
This is Julie with her best friend, Cheryl.
And she was certainly very showered with love! This little baby will want for nothing!
And still, before we get to the new baby, here are a few other good pictures:
This is Julie and her husband, Shawn
And I definitely must include this one:
Julie's sister-in-law, Beth, with the help of the rest of Beth and Shawn's family, painted her belly this way. Julie said when she first felt the baby move, it felt like a fish swimming in her belly.
Baby Claire is a true miracle. Julie has struggled for years with some feminine issues to where we weren't sure if she could conceive or even carry a child. It was a very happy surprise to find she was expecting. The first few months of the pregnancy were a little rough with some complications, but after that, the end of the pregnancy went pretty smoothly. Unfortunately, it does seem as if this will likely be her only baby but Julie is just thrilled and thankful to have Claire.
Speaking of, I will now finally introduce this sweet little girl:
Claire Love, born November 8, 2011 at 8:59 am. 8lbs 8oz and 20 3/4 in long! Isn't this picture just about the most adorable ever?! Loving the head full of dark hair!
Here are a few more fun pictures:
The proud mama!
The proud mama and papa, Shawn and Julie! (She will kill me for these later, but she really looks pretty good for having just had a c-section!)
Grandma Sara (my mom) holding her new granddaughter!
Grandma Brenda (Shawn's mom) holding her new granddaughter!
This is Calysta, Julie's 15 year old step daughter, holding her new baby sister! Calysta has been a great big sister- she lives with her mom in Arizona but couldn't wait to come to Ohio to meet her new sister. She has been a lot of help caring for her!
These are just minutes after she was born:
She is just perfect and healthy and so sweet! Claire hasn't been too into breastfeeding yet, but Julie is working with the lactation consultants trying to get things to work. Julie also had a rough first few days physically, but is doing better everyday. Other than this, everything has been going great!
I am thankful that I have had the time to spend a few hours holding my sweet little niece.
I love being a mom to my two boys and twin girls. No matter how crazy it gets, I wouldn't change a thing! I believe that chocolate and peanut butter are two of the worlds most perfect foods! (especially when combined!) I truly believe we could end the war in Iraq simply by having the world leaders sit around the table together with some Reese's cups. You just can't help but feel peace with this kind of perfection there!