Monday, August 31, 2009

Awhile back I went through a rough few weeks during which I just couldn't fall asleep at night. Instead I would lay in bed and images from Charlotte's life would flash through my head--not pleasant images. Holding her down while they placed IVs, having her so sick and pale she could barely stay awake, her hair thin and her eyes sad. Seeing her white hand on the blue sheet as the doctors tried-again-to place an arterial line. Her fevers of 105 and above. Those horrible, endless nights trying to force her to leave her C-PAP alone, the hateful mask smashed against her little face forcing air down her lungs all night long.
I would lay there for hours tense and exhausted and so, so sad. So heartbroken. Charlotte had so much more than her fair share of pain.
I went to a psychologist and told her my whole story, and told her I couldn't sleep because all I could think of was Charlotte in pain. I was hoping she'd offer me some blessed ambien, but she didn't. She said "But can't you just see Charlotte watching you and saying 'Oh mom, relax. I'm fine." And that's all it took. I slept better, immediately. Well, that night anyway.

While I was pregnant with Charlotte, Zar and I were primary teachers for a group of 5 year olds. Right after she was diagnosed, we were in Primary and during singing time we learned a song that went, in part "My life is a gift, my life has a plan, my life has a purpose, in heaven it began..." and I would repeat those lines to myself over and over as if Charlotte herself was singing it for me, reminding me that she just wasn't some "accident."
I teach a group of 7 and 8 year olds now. On Sunday we sang that song again, for the first time in more than four years. It came right back to me. Only this time I noticed the end of the song, instead of the beginning. It goes "And I will be happy on earth, and in my home above."
Charlotte was happy on earth. I am so grateful for that. She loved dancing and books and the school bus and dogs and her grandparents and stroller rides and baths. She loved life. And she's still happy. The only difference is there is no more pain. No more needles, or arterial lines, or C-PAP or haircuts. I'm just happy she's happy.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Here's a pic of Charlotte shoving her finger into the back of her eye. I almost erased these pictures months ago because it grossed me out and made my eye hurt, but now I'm so glad I have record of this fun little phase she went through.

Sometimes when I'm not sick, I think to myself "I could really use a little cold or something." Not a big illness, and certainly not a nausea type sickness, but just a cold so I can stay home and wear jamies and watch tv and feel justified. And then I get a head cold and remember that it sucks.
I woke up sick on Sunday. Headache, snot, sore throat, general dizziness and weariness. Zar felt fine and delighted in watching Man Vs. Wild all the day long, and I moaned and flopped myself over furniture and finally went upstairs and napped. We went to my moms later and then all went to the cemetery and sat around on the grass by Charlotte's headstone like we were on some foodless picnic. We left flowers from my moms yard and Zar weeded a bit. It was hot and I had a headache.
On Monday I woke up feeling lousy but I was working a late shift and you can't call in sick on late shift unless you are dead because it's just rude. So I took dayquil and went to work, noticing on the way that my fingers were numb and it was kind of hard to focus my eyes.
Whenever I take dayquil I tell myself never to take it again, because it's better to be snotty and weary than confused and tipsy. Then I forget and take it again. The day FLEW by and the very busy night we were supposed to have fell apart and I got to leave early, thank you so much dear co-workers. I went to my mother-in-laws Monday night dinner and stared into space, allowing my family to care for and bathe my daughter. By now Zar was feeling lousy too, and we went home and went to bed early.
Yesterday I felt less achy but I had taken Nyquil the night before and it made me feel hung over. Luckily Ella was feeling lazy too and we both lay on the floor and watched episode after episode of Deadliest Catch and took naps on and off. After a long afternoon snooze I woke up feeling better. Of course I had to drug myself again last night in order to fall asleep after snoozing all day.
Today I have big plans to actually leave the house, maybe clean a little. I have already gotten 30 minutes of exercise and washed my hair, so as you can see I'm on the right path. Now, however, Ella is napping and it looks pretty good. Yes there is a mountain of laundry to fold and a bathroom tub to scour, but I would rather just blog about nothing and be proud of the fact I am fully clothed for the day. One more recovery day won't hurt.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Yes Amanda I stole this from your blog and immediatly posted it on mine. Photo Credit: Amanda Crosby Cute Baby Credit: Me. (And Zar)

We are online! Hooray!
So look forward to more frequent somewhat depressing ramblings from me. Except not tomorrow, or any time this weekend, or for most of next week, because I'm working. But still more frequent.
Zar is flipping through channels and oohing and awing over the HDedness of ESPN. How very exciting.
Ella ate two tomatoes for dinner, which kind of made me retch. I told my sister I'd rather eat a human head, which is perhaps a little extreme. Before you tell me how fresh and summery garden tomatoes taste, or ask why I planted them if I hate them so, let me explain that I love tomato sauce, and sun dried tomatoes, and especially tomato soup. To me, fresh raw tomatoes taste like very lousy tomato soup and incomplete sauce. And all cold and slimy. Icky. Also I thought two plants would produce maybe five tomatoes, total, and I would add them to a salad and a maybe a kabob of some sort and look like a wife who makes colorful balanced meals. And then not eat them.
Instead of course I have roasted and frozen three cookie sheets full, given 30 or so to coworkers, a few to my mom who disgustingly ate them with mayonnaise right in front of me, let the slugs get a huge number, and added 5 to salads and crock pots of chicken. And fed Ella two. And yet they keep ripening.
I will say I love the way the leaves smell. All fresh and summery.
And now I must go set the DVR to record the next few weeks of "What Not To Wear. "

Monday, August 17, 2009

Happy Blessing Day Baby Elijah!

Zar promises that things are underway to get internet (legally) at home and any moment Comcast will show up at our house to set it up. Hasn't happened yet.

Luckily nothing new is going on. Just mourning. It will have been six months this friday. Sometimes it feels like a lot longer, other times it feels like I just held her yesterday. I've been meaning to to sit down and write down all the little things I think I will remember about her, but probably won't.

For example, she went through a thumb sucking phase which was really a thumb biting phase. She didn't have a very strong suck reflex so she would just jam her thumb in her mouth, bite down on it and hold it there. She had a huge callous on her hand from it. Later, she dropped that and went through a phase where she would stick a finger in her ear, turn her head and stick her other index finger in her opposite ear and repeat. It was so funny and cute. After that, she dropped the ear thing and started sticking her index finger way back behind her eye socket and would attempt to do it to other people. This wasn't so cute. I would grab her finger away and yell "EW!" and she would laugh and try and dig my eye out. What a character she was.

Ella is crawling all over and attempting to jam as much cat food into her mouth as possible when I turn my head. It amazes me how she manages to find the tiniest dangerous invisible thing on the floor and stuff it into her cheek. It's quite incredible.
More to follow, provided we get access one of these days.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Ella's new favorite food: A handful of wet sand.
Ella's old favorite food: the bottom of a filthy shoe.

I guess that's an improvement.