Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Hey Special Needs Moms,
I've joined the Kidz Krew at Kidz which means I will be contributing to that blog as well. I'm excited about it--I didn't discover it until after Charlotte passed away, and still followed it as kind of an outsider...well looks like in a few weeks I'll most likely be an insider again. It's got a TON of info on it about all sorts of conditions and therapies and great quotes...wish I had it years ago when Charlotte was diagnosed. What a lonely time that was on the ole' net.
Anyway, I am pretty sure my "story" will be posted on there tomorrow, follow the link to the right to find the site. I'm pretty sure anyone checking my blog is familiar with it but thought I'd still give a heads up!
Also, will someone contact Salt Water Sandals and get them to pay me big money to use the above picture in some sort of advertisement? I am going to be losing my income soon so that would be ideal.
Thanks.
Erin

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ava Eats


Ava had her first taste of solids on Tuesday. She did remarkably well. A little rice cereal mixed with her formula and she was into it after the initial confusion. She even finished the whole serving.
Ella kept screaming "BITE! BITE!" I said "It's not nummy! It's not nummy!" But she insisted.


Poor Ella. She was pretty furious. Had to pull out the big guns to get her to forgive us both.

Even with blue sucker, she still had to remind me what a hideous mom I am.

36 some odd weeks.
I am hanging in there. I keep reminding myself that I could potentially call my doc and tell him I've changed my mind to the 17th, which means I only have 3 more weeks. I've gotten through the last two work days with flying colors which may or may not be related to Sonic's 44 oz diet coke with vanilla syrup and extra ice. Which Jaylene surprised me with yesterday morning after I praised it all day on Friday. I nearly wept with joy.

I'm getting excited to meet Lily. It's finally, finally getting close. I have her special outfit ready to go and special blankey. I washed my grubby ole pink robe. I have our photographer on notice and have set my last day of work as Friday the 15th. Then I will spend the next few days laying in front of "A Baby Story" and weeping, or at least that's what I did with Ella. Something tells me Ell and Ava won't allow it like Charlotte did.

I've been thinking about Charlotte constantly, for obvious reasons. I miss her hysterical laughing fits and how they made me tear up while I laughed with her. I miss her slobber kisses. I miss her smugness. And maybe I've been spending a lot of time with my daughter of Ethiopian heritage, but looking at old pictures...was Charlotte really THAT PALE? Shocking. She was truly my little Snow White.

I've been thinking of all those days and weeks and months wondering if I would have other kids, wondering if after Charlotte was gone we would be a family of two and a cat forever. Embrace it even, work a lot, travel a lot. Little did I know this is what God had in store:


Okay, God, it's all turned out better than I could ever have hoped so far. I trust You. I mean Thee. My life is brilliant, thanks to Thee. Send me another hard gift. I'm ready.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Last Ultrasound

Lily NoMiddleNameYet Hayes
September 21 2010

Eleanor Julie Hayes
September 21 2010
I had my last ultrasound this morning. Four weeks from today I will be consuming my pre-c-section Black Tie Mousse Cake.
Lily looked great today on ultrasound. Her dad says she looks "weird" in the above picture but I thought it was a good one. She actually isn't measuring small anymore, and suddenly they are estimating she could be 7 lbs or more. Told you. Just like Charlotte my 3-4 lb baby, who turned out to be 6 lbs 5 oz. So no new complications noted.
I continue to have a "generous" amount of fluid, which is making for frequent and useless contractions. In fact they are pretty regular around the clock at every 7 minutes, whether or not I lay down. So finally, here at 4 weeks left, I'm not sleeping well anymore. I guess that's fine, with Ella it was MONTHS of floor sleeping, couch sleeping, tossing, turning, whining, kicking Zar just so he would be awake (briefly) . Also my bottom ribs are near to splitting apart, or so it feels.
After my ultrasound I took the kids to a park and let Ella run around so she would take a nap today. Success on that front. Then we went to the grocery store, came home, and started our HUGE laundry day, as I have figured the past week or so that leaning over to pick up, fold, or transfer laundry would cause more contractions, but now I know they come whether I'm quietly reading Hunger Games or carrying an over-full laundry basket up the stairs. So whatever, right?

Thanks to listening to my ramblings about my Primary Program blurb. After I was done writing it I condensed it down into a paragraph and read it in church. I didn't cry or anything, (contractions...distracting) and I think it was good to announce that "We don't know how long Lily will be with us..." as it has become clear that I'm not as fascinating as I believe, and the whole ward isn't holding meetings to discuss the state of my pregnancy. So now at least it won't be a shock when Lily gets here and isn't chromosomally typical. Also at church three different people informed me I looked "so tired" and "really worn down today" and even "about to pass out" so I have also given up making any real effort with my hair and make up, as it clearly doesn't make a difference. Good ole' last weeks of pregnancy, when you can't keep your knees together, even during the Primary Program (thank you maternity leggings) you stop bothering with eye shadow and catch yourself puttering about the house with your t-shirt hiked up around your chest. And then you leave it there.



Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wait...that's tomorrow?


Tomorrow is the Primary Program, and I am supposed to share "a personal experience of a miracle in your life." I've known about this for over a month now but in the grand tradition of pregnancy I figured that month would never come to pass.

It's not that I don't have a plethora of miracles to share.

I could talk about Charlotte and her life in general that brought my family together and taught me more about life and love and grief and heaven than I could have ever known otherwise. Or of her miraculous little heart that worked so hard for so long, or the times she was pulled from the brink of death by a tearful prayer. But that would leave out Ella, who was miraculously born healthy and strong (and big) and brought healing to our hearts at the tender age of 4 months when Charlotte left us, and continues to be our little miracle who lets me feast on the motherhood I thought I may never get--chasing her through a crowded park, discovering her fit throwing is due to the fact her sucker is stuck to my dress on my bum, finding her bows in the dishwasher.

And that would leave out Ava, who entered our lives at the end of January after we had decided to finally make our decision on IVF in February, and reminded us that God is truly involved and we aren't just hurtling alone through space. And then was born healthy and strong (and small) and placed in my arms with the blessing of her first mother just 16 weeks later when we had anticipated a long, painful and financially devastating journey to our next child. Adoption is a huge miracle.

And of course Lily, whose miracles thus far include a conception that should not have occurred, had it not been completely meant to be, a diagnosis that was familiar and hard but not, this time, the end of the world, a few surprising healthy appearing ultrasounds and an EKG, and the knowledge that she will again bring us together, remind us what is important, and bring tremendous growth no matter what is in store.

How do I fit all of that in a blurb of 12 seconds? Do I say "my kids" and sit down? Will I be able to communicate the right spirit after spending the previous half hour whisper-yelling at my class to PAY ATTENTION! FLAT ON YOUR BUTT! and STOP LICKING YOUR HAND!

And does it matter? I feel a bit of responsibility as of course I am the only teacher not given a scripted line to recite. I know this is because a few ward members see me as long suffering and have used me as an object lesson with their classes and their own children. I know this because kids at church will approach me and announce "YOUR BABY'S GONNA DIE. LIKE CHARLOTTE DID."

"Yup." I say. "We all die."

"BUT SHE WILL STILL BE YOUR BABY. SO YOU WILL STILL HAVE FOUR KIDS. EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE DEAD."

"Yes." I say.

Then they throw in "LIKE AVA IS YOUR KID, EVEN THOUGH SHE ISN'T."

"She is, though." I say.

And then they trot off.


So they are probably expecting something somewhat profound (though short) that will induce tears and epitomize the very idea of forever families. I doubt this is the time to go for a laugh and say my husband cleaned the litter box last night.

Sigh.

I'll figure out something.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

NUMBERS for the Record




Lily will almost certainly be born October 20th. That's a Wednesday, and it's like just over a month away.


My BP was still great at 108/68. I consider myself "not at all puffy" and was a bit offended when my doc squeezed my ankle and said "Not too bad on the puffiness." Uh...that's just me. Bud. And I think you may be confusing bluish-whiteness with puffiness. I've gained (just) less than 30 lbs. Woo!


Now on to Ava.


Ava now weighs 13.4 lbs and is about 25 inches. She's now in the 75th percentile. Pretty impressive for a baby born at 5 lbs 14 oz.


Our pediatrician retired and today was the first day meeting the replacement. She seems plenty nice and competent, but perhaps not...aggressive...or...bad-ass (sorry) enough to deal with a kid like Lily. She needs to be willing to yell at other doctors and order them around. So...luckily with our new insurance situation we can go back to Charlotte's pediatrician, who is bad-ass. If she will have us. So that's good.


I'm watching an episode of Hoarders while the kids sleep off State Fair Trip #2 in which the woman is insisting the multiple dead cats found in the house are saved for her to bury properly. Makes me feel all sane and clean. By comparison.

Also the women in the Reebok toning sneakers commercial are wearing waaaay too tight, and short, shorts. I don't care how toned you are.


Friday, September 10, 2010

34 weeks musings

Ella Discovers her Pet Frog. See her? So does Ella.

I'm not blogging much because I can't really sit on the couch anymore and type comfortably on the laptop. Not enough lap. I'm currently sitting and typing this way while trying to lean way back. It's difficult.

Up until about a week ago I was still feeling mighty comfy and having very few useless contractions (now lounging on side with computer resting on pillow and awkwardly typing with three fingers). And I was thinking what a delightfully easy and short pregnancy this had been, my final pregnancy, and now it seems to stretch on into the future for eternity. That is how not being able to breath makes one feel.

Yes, Thank You Lord, for letting me experience pregnancy, and feel the violent kicks that make me pee a bit. And thank you, as well, for letting me experience the miracle of adoption, no less a miracle, no less amazing, much more comfortable. Mostly just thank you for my children, no matter how they get here, no matter for how long they stay, no matter what's to come.
And thank you for more permanent forms of birth control and the wisdom to use them when it's right.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Ah-Va! Ah-Va! Ah-Va!


So Cute.

Ava is an athlete. At 3 months, 3 weeks, is now rolling over and pushing WAAAAY up. Maybe that isn't all that early but it sure is early in our household. The kid is like a coiled spring!

Here she is trying to get out of her car seat and go for a hike.

And here is my reality check on just how big I actually am, just shy of 33 weeks.

To celebrate the Best 1/3 of the Year (Now through December) I requested a picnic up the canyon. We went up after work last night, ate Zupas and let Ella run around the trails. She is a little hiker in the making.

I'm very content right now; I love this time of year and all it brings. Ute Football (tonight!), the State Fair, The Greek Fest, our 8th Anniversary, Ella's 2nd Birthday, cool weather, Ava's Finalization Day and Temple Sealing AND Baby Blessing, Halloween and the Festivities (Cornbellys...GO) my 30th Birthday, Thanksgiving, Zar's 32nd Birthday, CHRISTMAS, and oh yeah, in the middle of all that Lily will be born. Which of course, is scary but I know will turn out to be a treasured memory and another source of celebration no matter what happens.

So forgive my substance-free blog posts, I'm just focusing on the happy simple good right now.