Saturday, December 10, 2011

Through Olivia’s Eyes. . .

As you know, I like to go through Olivia’s camera every few months and see what she has taken pictures of.  The pictures never fail to make me laugh. . .

This time I found a lot of self portraits:







Some of me:




Some of her dad:



Some of her toys:




One of each Christmas tree:




And I had snapped a few of her as well:




Also, Happy Homecoming Day to my sweet little girl.  She is sick today, unfortunately, so we weren’t able to do much to celebrate.  When asked what she wanted to do, she simply said she wanted to stay home and watch Scooby Doo.  I woke up with a sore throat and sinus pressure, so it seems I’m getting sick too.  We still enjoyed spending the day together. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Four Years Ago


Four years ago tonight. . we were spending our 2nd night at the hospital in preparation to take Olivia home.


To be able to spend all of our days and nights with her was such a joy (and a bit exhausting, I’ll admit.)  But, I finally felt like a true  mom.  I could not wait to take her home and put her in her own room, her crib, her swing and simply cuddle my baby. . .at home. 


The next day, December 10, 2007, Olivia was 105 days old and I was FINALLY walking out of the hospital with my baby!! I had watched people do it over and over again for months with their flowers and balloons and I left every day empty handed.  I’d like to have fond memories of that day, but I don’t.  We had an eye appt because of her ROP on the way home so that we didn’t have to drive back the next day.  We waited hours and hours in the waiting room!  I was so unbelievably stressed because it started snowing and getting slick outside and I just wanted to get home!!  Plus, we had to get used to having her oxygen tank and oxygen saturation monitor to take everywhere.  All of that stress went away, however, when we pulled up to our house and saw this simple Welcome Home Olivia sign that our neighbors had put on our door.  That simple act of kindness will be remembered forever.



And this is an awful picture that I’ve never shared before, but I bawled and bawled when I brought her in the house.  I had dreamed of that day forever and it was finally coming true. 


Her first bottle at home.


The first time in her crib.


First time in her bouncy seat. . . .the list goes on and on.  


I was so grateful to have her home before Christmas.  I’m still eternally grateful for this precious child of my own.  I love her more than words can say. . .

Friday, December 9, 2011

Last night, Olivia discovered an old suitcase of mine full of doll clothes.  She thought it was hilarious to dress up all of her dolls and animals.  I think I thought it was even more hilarious!

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Tobey wanted to join in on the fun.  Sadly, we didn’t have any clothes that fit him.

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I didn’t realize that Olivia liked to play dress up so much. . .or maybe it’s just with awful 80’s clothes.
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We successfully used all the clothes in the suitcase! 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

More Recipes

Just thought I’d share a few recipes that I’ve made lately.  Tonight I made Olive Oil Garlic Chicken and Ryan couldn’t stop raving about it!  Seriously, it’s become one of his favorite recipes! It may overtake my roast, which has been his favorite for almost 10 years!

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Olive Oil Garlic Chicken

A few days ago, I made Creamy Bacon Carbonara. . .very good.  It didn’t get quite the rave reviews that the chicken got, but definitely worth trying.  I liked it because I could make Olivia plain spaghetti (with loads and loads of parmesan cheese on it) before I mixed it all together.  It was nice to not have to make her a separate dinner.  I left the mushrooms out since we are not fans of it in our house.  It still tasted great!

Out Of The Office

I’m not blogging here today, but you can find me guest posting over at my friend Angie’s blog, Little Worth-while Moments.  Hop on over as I talk about my favorite holiday traditions.  Don’t forget to leave a comment about your favorite traditions!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

No People Allowed

I'd better follow my last post up with something a bit more positive. Olivia, you see, doesn't like to play with dolls. For instance, she loves squinkies, but only the animal ones. We got her a dollhouse for her third birthday. She loves it, but has kicked out all of the people. You never know who is going to inhabit the house. Today? The big bad wolf is sleeping in the bed, squinkies are in the crib, and rabbit and cat (along with the family pets) are in the living room. Tiny, the dinosaur, is asleep in the kitchen. Oh the randomness of it all. Just a normal day in our house. LOL!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

2 am Ramblings

Some days I really really miss my son.  I have no idea what it’s like to raise a boy.  And I had a son, he was here. . .and he slipped away.  The other evening, I was cooking dinner and Ryan was working.  I went in to check on Olivia in her room and she told me, “I really want someone to play with me.”  And my heart broke.  One, because I felt bad that we were both occupied at the time.  And also because she's a twin, which should pretty much always guarantee a companion.  But, she doesn’t have that. 

I am also reminded of the baby I carried earlier this year.  Had I not miscarried. . .that baby would have been born next month.  That would have been a blessing to all of us. . .like a child handpicked by Logan himself.  Olivia and I like to play this role reversal game where she’s the mama and I’m the baby.  She gently pats me on the back and calls me sweetie and when I cry she frantically tries to find ways to calm me down.  It’s honestly such a great way for her to express her nurturing side since she doesn’t care much for dolls.  And in those times, I see her with a little brother or sister and she would be so sweet.  I want those pictures of the older sibling doting on a  newborn baby.  I don’t, however, think anything could ever completely fill this huge whole in my heart.  It’s been over 4 years and people expect me to be over this by now.  I’ll never get over it as long as I live.  And that simple fact is overwhelming to me.  There’s no point at which it will get better.  As Olivia gets older, not only will I grieve for myself but for her too as she learns about the twin brother she never knew.  How heartbreaking is that going to be for her when she truly understands it?

I don’t know what has come over me tonight.  It could be my friend losing her daughter last week or the fact that I visited Logan today.  Or that I’m creating Olivia and Logan’s NICU photo book.  Usually I can pretty much hold it together and if I can’t. . .I can usually refrain from writing about it.  But, just like when I was going through years of infertility. . .I continue to pray for peace in my heart.  That’s all I really want.  It’s hard to pray for specific things if it is not God’s will.  But, I’m blessed. . .I’m so blessed.  It’s hard sometimes to understand how a God who loves me so much that he blessed me with my wonderful daughter is the same God who took my son away.  It’s hard to see God as all-powerful and all loving at the same time.  But, He is and He loves me and you and you and you.  I just need reminding of that from time to time.  And then a wash of gratitude comes over me and I feel guilty that even for a second I wasn’t content with what I have.  But, that yearning for my son is still there and I’m hoping peace and contentment will at least partly fill that hole in my heart.  At least until the day that I see him again.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Small One

I thought I would share with you my favorite Christmas cartoon.  It was made in 1978, but I actually didn’t discover it until a few years ago.  It is so endearing and so heartwarming that I can’t help but cry every single time I watch it.  Why does it make me cry year after year?  Olivia watched it with me for the first time today and she loved it as well.  It’s the story of a little boy who is forced to sell his aging donkey, but he won’t sell his beloved donkey to just anyone.  It’s about 25 minutes long, divided into three parts.  So, kick back, grab a tissue, turn on the Christmas tree lights and enjoy!

Small One Part One

Small One Part Two

Small One Part Three

Merry Christmas sweet boy

I took some things out to Logan's grave today. I know the decorations pale in comparison to what he's experiencing in heaven. And he's spending Christmas with my grandpa this year. What a joyous celebration it will be!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, December 5, 2011

Graham’s Foundation

Here is an amazing organization that provides NICU care packages to parents in the NICU as well as remembrance care packages to grieving parents.  What an amazing organization! These packages are sent free of charge to the hospital and baby requested, but donations are appreciated.

This could be a great resource for you if you know of someone with a preemie in the NICU.  They are also needing local NICU ambassadors to work with local hospitals to ensure that everyone knows about this foundation and that the packages are received.  They would also need to help raise money to continue sending these packages free of charge to families in need.  There is a form to fill out on their website if you are interested. 

Parmesan Mashed Cauliflower

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I have been trying a few different recipes for cauliflower mashed potatoes and finally found one I really liked!

They are delicious and a healthier alternative to regular mashed potatoes.  (And keep in mind that I hate cauliflower and I loved these!)  Olivia even liked them!  I also made honey bbq meatloaf, and although it was okay, I only want to share my favorite recipes on here.  The recipe is available on my pinterest, however. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Reaching Out To Others

Below is the obituary for my friend’s daughter.

Please just say a prayer for this family.  I remember after Logan died. . .how hard it was just to go to the grocery store.  I remember not fitting into any of my black skirts for the funeral (I had just given birth a month before) but I could not. . .absolutely not. . .go out shopping.  Luckily, I found one I could borrow.  It was like the whole world just continued on while yours felt like it had ended.  No matter what tragedy a person is going through. . .the death of a loved one, a child in the hospital, anything. . .it’s so important to know that other people care.  It’s easy to just assume that the grieving person has a support system and close friends and family.  They most likely do, but that doesn’t mean a gesture, a prayer, a reminder that someone else cares wouldn’t mean the world to them.  After Logan died, I got gifts in the mail from people I had never met!  How amazing is that?  There were people who prayed for my children and didn’t even know them.  Olivia and Logan were on so many prayer lists. . .I doubt I even knew about all of them. 

Not sure what to do for someone who is hurting?  It depends on what they are going through.

Loss of a child?

Purchase a memorial ornament or jewelry in remembrance of their loved one.  This website specializes in making remembrance jewelry and gifts for those who have lost infants or children.  Beautiful.

Here is one of the best books to give to a grieving mother.  With it’s beautiful illustrations, it paints a picture of what it could be like as a child in heaven.  I still can’t get through it without crying.

Baby in the NICU?

Purchase care packages that encourage the parents to take care of themselves.  I did not and I’m paying for it now.  Stress relieving baskets, gift cards, soap and hand sanitizer, home cooked meals would help although nothing can quite take away the overwhelming stress of it all.

If they are in the NICU with a  premature child, the BEST book on the subject is called ‘Preemies.’

What I would love to do is create an organization in Logan’s honor that would deliver care packages to parents in the NICU that includes this book along with many other things to help them through.  Sadly, I think the start up cost would be more than we could handle. 


The best book I have read on the subject that offered me quite a bit of peace was called Hannah’s Hope.  Amazing book following the biblical Hannah and her suffering.  This would be a great gift.

I’m currently reading a book called Trusting God Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges. This might be a good book to give to someone who is hurting. I haven’t gotten too far into it, so I will let you know my verdict.

Simply placing a card in the mail speaks volumes.  We would come home from the NICU and find multiple cards in the mail and they would always bring a smile to our face.  Now, I ask you. . .those that are going through (or have gone through) various trials and tribulations. . .what would be comforting to you in your situation?  Sometimes people just don’t know how to help and fear that they will do the wrong thing.  Truly, what is comforting to one person may not be to another, but you can never go wrong by simply stating that you care about them.  Leave a comment with an idea that has been done for you or that you have done for someone else. 

So, I just ask all of you to reach out to someone in need. No matter what they are going through. . .just show them that you care. Overwhelm them with compassion and love and concern. It will not only change their life, but yours as well.