Saturday, October 31, 2009

the third trimester

Sometimes, baby...
i feel like awaying with you...
Somewhere dark & warm & safe.
i feel all the outward parts of myself, closing in...
thinking, planning, hoping...
Are mama's, too - in a womb-like state?
Is my perceived weakness - i'm heavy with anticipation, slow & now cumbersome, awkward & quiet...
Are these really my days of preparation?
Am i exercising the required muscles for my journey as your mama?
i found myself today...
dwelling on *you*, little one.
One who will grow up - as a peanut with 6 older brothers and sisters...
i asked God to show me all that is unique & amazing about you.
To help me to *see you* in all the wonder that He created...
To allow me, as your mama, to protect, challenge & nurture you.
i asked Him to faithfully remind me - of your marvelous perplexity...
& to allow my heart to grow - yet again.
Oh, sweet one... the pregnancies that have gone before you have taken none of the fascination from yours - instead, they have sweetened my yearning, awakened me to this leap of faith that your little life has required, and prepared me for this o-so-important-task of being your mama.
i am most certainly a different mama than the one who delivered little Cairo all those years ago. God had important work to do in me, in daddy & in this family - to prepare us to welcome you.
& darling one, i have no doubt that He has important work to do in you too - to draw you to Himself & to make known His plans - as we sojourn along these dusty paths...
And so, in this third trimester - as you grow & get some chubbins on your little arms and legs, as your lungs get ready to breathe real air & as you prepare to make your grande entrance...
i know...
i can't away with you to a safe place...
i've got work to do too - to prepare my lungs to breathe the *heavenly air* - & i know that there is no shirking.
So, i will prepare my heart too...
& enjoy these waiting days as God continues to shape me into the woman He wants me to be.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Boys anyone?

"Hey, mom...
If i *had* to fight another kid my age... who do you think would win?"
-Charter, age 7

So... are they born with that?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

MLA Challenge

i suck at writing letters - especially on the fly.
Who cares?
On Thursday morning with a bunch of jammied children clamouring for my attention, i went to my MLA's website & wrote him this:

Mr. Johnson -i'm a stay at home mama in the XXX area & i'm writing to you today with an idea. It's not a new one, in fact, i've been told that the majority of Albertans agree with me that not all abortions in our province should be funded by our tax dollars. My husband works really, really hard to support his little crew (me & our 6, soon to be 7 children) & abortion is something that we are morally opposed to. It makes us sick to know that our tax dollars are going to fund a procedure that ends the lives of our most vulnerable citizens.
Even if we could put some restrictions on abortion, as almost 40% of abortions in our province are repeat procedures (according to 2004 statistics) & are medically unnecessary - yet completely free & tax funded.
We live in a disposable society - & right now, it's life that we have deemed disposable. There are options that are so much better than abortion - homes & families that would take in any little life, ultrasound technology used to show parents what they're throwing away & counselling to avoid the grief & sorrow after the fact.
You're in a position to make a difference. i just wanted to take a minute on this busy morning, while my little ones are snuggled up next to me & drop you a line to encourage you to do so.

So, will my Canadian friends join me???? Write your own letter to your MLA & leave a comment in my comments section that you did so. (Feel free to copy from mine if you would like - hopefully my sister Stephanie, a gifted letter writer, will write one & you can all copy hers!)

Don't worry about perfection, just DO it :) i got some stats from the alberta prolife website. While i was there, i noticed a lot of good information on the vaccines that use aborted fetal tissue in Alberta. Check it out here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Him Again...

If you're tired of posts about Neil... you may wanna just unsub from my blog...
He's on my mind lately.
'Cause, how does he know to just shut up & hold me?
i tend to be wordy.
'cept when all my words turn into pictures & flashes of light & unintelligible *feelings*.
Sometimes i don't have any words.
Nothing's wrong...
He phoned me. i was quiet. He said the only words that could possibly meet me wherever it was that i had found myself.
"When i get home, i'm gonna hold you."
& that's just what he did.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sitting in Church

i was sitting in church.
He was sitting beside me.
He reached over & put his arm around me.
My heart thumped.
He grabbed my chair - me still sitting cross legged on it & pulled it closer so that we were touching.
i kept listening... barely.
i heard the pastor say something about how it's the little decisions made over the course of a marriage that keep it together...
& something in my heart had to agree.
Today, it was maybe a 2 inch space closed in... that made me feel -

Monday, October 26, 2009

is it just me?

i find myself as engrossed in watching Gagey eat a piece of apple as i would be with any riveting movie or storyline.
He needs a chunk, peeled, in each of his chubby little hands. The juice drips down his chin & he catches it with the back of his arm as he bites his lip with his little chicklet teeth to keep from losing any more.
The sounds of his tiny slupings and crunchings are mesmerising.
He finishes the apple in his right hand & shoves his 4 fingers into his mouth to lick them off.
Quietly, he moves on to the little chunk left in his left hand. His right hand remains poised, frozen in midair as he focuses all of his attention on the task of eating his remaining sweet morsel.
When he is done, my blue eyed honey turns to me & asks, "Mo?"
Oh yes, more - more of you, little one... more moments watching you eat, play, grow, laugh, love... more moments in more days... more weeks added to more years.
More precious, delicious memories of being your mama.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Faithful Father

"Come to me,
all you who are
and burdened,
and I will give you
Take my yoke upon you and
learn from me,
for I am
humble in heart,
and you will find
for your souls.
For my yoke is
and my burden is
matthew 11:28-30

Saturday, October 24, 2009


It's dumb, the things i want to hold onto.
Our old computer crashed.
We took it into Staples & the guy kindly fetched all my files off my old computer & put them on my new one. He put them all in a nice easy to find little icon on my desktop & told us to hold onto our old computer for awhile 'cause he might not have gotten it all & he was sure he'd be able to get anything he had missed.
i checked about 4 pictures & my links files & made sure that i could access the kids' schoolwork & was happy it was all still there. Neil, teasing me, made my icon for the internet read BFF... & i fell in love with my new friend.
Until today...
i had a queer little ache in my chest... i needed to listen to a song that my sister had sent me - one where she had done backups on some guy's album, so not something i can just go out and buy again. This song ministered powerfully to me when i lost baby hope - it spoke aloud the names of God - My Provider, My Healer...
i rushed to my computer to play the song for Charter... we had started talking while i was remembering and he wanted to hear all the fancy names that God had...
My songlists were gone.
My songlist titled, "Baby Hope"...
and my songlist for Gagey, titled, "Baby Zion"...
i feel it a poignant loss.
The lists were comprised of a wide variety of songs... of comfort - of haunting melody - of healing... songs that were mainstream, songs with children's voices, songs that meant something - only to me - in those dark hours - the list as a whole might make you wrinkle your brow in confusion... but it was meant for me.
Tearfully, i emailed Neil - on the road from Saskatchewan to home & asked the question i already knew the answer to... "Please tell me you have the computer in the garage..."
"Nope, i chucked it."
Our ipod that held the copies had mysteriously been erased too...
Oh, Jesus, just that little bit of physical comfort for me to hold onto - that list of songs that i'll only remember half of - & maybe never be able to find & put back together the way i put them together in the dark days. i just wanted that...
i'm a chucker...
Clutter & i don't get along...
But, my computer has become my secret treasure trove - & i never realized how hard it would be to lose a little piece of comfort... A piece that would have always reminded me of when my Father met me in my sadness & through the sounds of notes, chord progressions, rhythms & beautiful words - becoming the groans of my spirit ... ministered to my broken heart through the music of His Servants.

Friday, October 23, 2009

100 days

It was mollen's turn to go to the midwife appointment.
We were late 'cause the traffic was horrible.
We worked on spelling the whole way there. Bet, bit, bat, rip, chip, dip, pin, cat, dig...
You name it, we spelled it. She brought her little notebook & with her short fingers carefully wrote each word in block letters as she tried to sound it out with her little lispy tongue peskily getting in the way.
When we arrived, we weighed ourselves & took ourselves to the bathroom. Mollen snickered at the art that had embarrassed her big brother when it was his turn to come to my appointment. Whimsical, hippy pregnant bellies painted with psychedelic shapes & patterns - floating pregnant bodies with enormous bare breasts - some modern version of a mythical gestational dreamland.
"You can come on in, Paige." The midwife called.
Mollen giggled nervously.
We chatted about my concerns - and she took my blood pressure... i caught Mollen yawning...
& then a surprise.
That little baby's heartbeat didn't sound like the whoosh whoosh i had promised Mollen. Nope, that little heartbeat was galloping like a horse (babe's little back was right up against the doppler & the sound carried incredibly)... It caught me off guard & i whispered, 'i'm so excited...' & the midwife smiled & said, "it is a pretty amazing sound, isn't it?"
We skipped out of there - our feet barely skimming the wet pavement - our hearts humming with the excitement that comes from a brush with the secret magic of the unborn.

So, maybe 100 days till i meet you face to face... the ultrasound said less - i'm betting it'll be more...
i had a dream that the ultrasound was wrong about your sex.

& it didn't matter.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

immunizations - simplifying.

Did you know that was the piece i was gonna choose?
Do i harp on it too much already?
i LOVED ALL of the comments yesterday - i know there were only 4 of you (at the time of this writing) - but i love hearing different perspectives.
i want to share the piece that simplified the decision about vaccinations for Neil & i & was ultimately the point that we were not willing to bend on.
First off, i *know* first hand how difficult it is to disagree in a marriage on "tough subjects". We're lucky, i think, in that vaccines are something that we agree on completely. In marriage, the beauty is in the give & take, the sacrifice & the love poured over it all when taking everything into consideration making a decision. For each family, that's gonna look different. For us, more times than not, because i am the stay at home mama & the primary care-giver for our little brood - & because it's in my personality & nature to do so - i will usually do most of the research on a given topic. i'll often bring bits & pieces of what i'm wrestling with to Neil & he'll offer his .02c ( he usually gives me something to balance out my thinking or to shift my reasoning away from dangerous, unfair conclusions... i really appreciate that about my non-passionate man). (Or, in the case of healthful food choices, i might try something different & offer a healthy alternative & he'll plug his nose & push his plate away :) But that's a whole 'nother post...)
In the end, vaccines became a prolife issue for us.
It seemed so unfair that little ones had been sacrificed - & so many would say for a 'greater good' - but the cannibalistic nature of vaccines using aborted fetal tissue was *the issue* that simplified the whole for us. The price was too high. There was a line... & it was crossed... & it became an issue that was easier to take a stand on for that reason.
i loved this article. The author was able to so clearly & gracefully make her point.
& then there was the vatican statement - you can read it here. (No, i'm not catholic... but while the protestant church remains relatively silent, at least the catholic church has taken a thoughtful stand on the subject...)
This website is specific to Canadian vaccines (we always assume it's happening in some other country- or not specific to the vaccines that we're offered - i know - i have the same wish...)
So, mamas - & papas too - keep wrestling... keep striving to be more like Jesus, keep listening to that still small voice. Maybe you'll choose to selectively vaccinate (obviously not all vaccines use aborted fetal cell lines) maybe you'll make the choice not to vaccinate, or to delay, or to continue on the recommended schedule. You'll never get any flames from me for choosing differently than our family - but it's becoming such a hot topic that i thought it might be worth my time to post some of the thought that has gone into some of our decisions as we continue to wrestle through the tough subjects that come our way.
You might see a disposable diaper on the bum of one of our offspring - or you might be served white bread if you come to our house. Maybe if you looked on the bottom of some random piece of plastic you'd find lying around our house, you'd find the sticker "made in China". There are so many, many things that our family has consciously or unconciously compromised on... but sometimes, the solution becomes plain - & an alternative path becomes obvious - & at those points, i want God to nudge me in a different direction. i don't want to be afraid to wrestle through & learn - slowly - to choose better.

ps - i'm including some of the other links that i thought were compelling. Neil told me to stick with my main point- to get the information out there - that aborted fetal cells were used in the creation of certain vaccines, so i'm just offering these as an afterthought...
This video will probably cover the majority of the medical reasons:

i haven't looked at these links in a looong time, they were stored away in my computer...
Here is a link with some of the ingredients:

Here is another good link that explains what some of the ingredients are:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


i was asked the other day - "what annoys or frustrates you the most at this stage in your life"...

i had to think for a bit - but the answer was there, in the folds of my brain... picking away at me in niggling conscience.
This was my answer: i am frustrated with the pba in plastics, the hormones in beef, chicken & dairy & synthetic estrogens being used in pesticides all over our fresh fruit, veggies & grains. i'm frustrated that i don't feel like vaccines are safe or ethical & i'm also sick of fear mongering. i'm tired of worrying about "fair trade" & lead & melamine in products from China. i'm sad that we have to think about child labour affecting the price of the products we buy & that i have to try to remember to boycott Nestle... i'm annoyed that there is msg & other poisons put into our food & i'm sick of worrying about chemicals in shampoos & aluminum in antiperspirant. i worry about my children's fertility because of all the hormones pee'd into our water supply & i'm concerned that one day, they'll ask why we didn't do anything about it to protect them... i could go on & on...

The bible tells us not to worry (Matthew chapter 6 - a personal favourite of mine & so beautifully written)... & i know that there are things that are beyond my control...
But, deep in my heart, i believe that we're supposed to wrestle with some of these issues. My sister Jess does this by taking tiny bites as she can of each of these issues & doing what she can to minimize the risks and maximize the good that she *is* able to do. My sister Stephanie takes huge bites & researches to the end of the world and back to find answers & reliable information on these difficult subjects.
i probably lean more to how Jessie does things - just because of my nature. i try not to let the enormity of the task at hand frighten, intimidate & cause me to worry - while at the same time, trying not to remain ignorant & covering my eyes & ears.
We do what we can when we can, right?
i don't feel like i know enough to be able to post on most of my above "frustrations" - but tomorrow, i'm gonna post just a teeny bit on one bite-sized topic as food for thought. Something worth wrestling with & thinking about - & taking into consideration.
How do you wrestle with the tough topics?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

picture in words... flashback

We jumped out of the van.
We had taken the Silver Fox to get new tires & rims... (why didn't anyone contact "pimp my ride" for us??) On the way home, we had to stop at Sobeys to get my veggies for supper. It was just the 2 of us, as we had left the crew at home to make things quick.
Instinctively, i reached for his hand at the same moment he was reaching for mine & i smiled.
He was all dressed up in his work clothes & spiffy dress shoes.
i was wearing Peyton's skull & crossbones sneakers & a hoodie.
If you'd have seen us, i'm sure you would have done a double take - "they're together?"
It reminded me of when Neil & i first started dating. He was in the middle of rugby season... & i was home from arts college. i'd show up at his games in my hippy dresses & later, he'd take me out for ice cream in his cowboy boots - listening to country music in his little honda civic.
i told him so, as we walked thorough the sliding doors & said, "it's just the same as back then..."
"Only different." He added.

Monday, October 19, 2009

sometimes... i'm not very Christian.

People are crazy drivers here in Calgary. i was trying to enter the traffic circle the other day & i guess the person behind me thought i missed a good opportunity at rush hour when it's just buzzing, so they laid on their horn till i finally got the chance to go. Eeeeek! Mean!
i'm still getting used to driving the Silver Fox (the more i say it, the more the name sticks, the less Neil has any say in the matter... bwahahaha)
It's a big, hefty vehicle. Even pregnant, i'm not really all that big & hefty, (for all my whining about my size). i perch myself up high in that seat & force myself to be comfortable with my new wheels. Even though it drives awesome... it's really big... & our church parking lot is really small. i had to take Cai to drop her off on Thursday night - & there were about 4 million things going on, so the parking lot happened to be full. She had to run in to ask a question & then was going to run back out & give me an answer before i took off... i wasn't going to risk pulling into a parking spot & then having to maneuver around trying to get out of there... (did i mention that our church parking lot is pretty narrow? Someone from my church back me up in the comments section...)
i pulled in tight to the door... & she had just jumped out when a car pulled up beside me & an angry man shook his arms in the air... & then he drove around me, (as i had left puulllllenty of room...)


i felt like leaping down off my little throne & shaking my little fist in his window...
i didn't though...
but i felt like it.
When i told Neil this story, he told me about one of his mom's friends who pulled up to a stop sign behind a little old man. He wouldn't go, so she honked her horn... time passed & he still wouldn't go - so, she honked her horn again... he went... & promptly got in a car accident.

Neil said she felt like a real winner.

So, i will try to be Christian & not shake my fist (it would just make Neil laugh if i did...) & i'm gonna try to have a little grace for other drivers out there in this crazy city as we face another winter together.

Friday, October 16, 2009


They're so cute.

None of my littles inherited Neil's hazel eyes, love of hawaiian pizza, or his dimples...
i love having Neil's cousin around 'cause Neil laughs more when he is...
& i get to see his fabulous dimples...
My mother in law always claims that each new grandchild in her arms has my father in law's chin dimple, she's so taken with it, her hope clouds her vision...
So -
if they're so cute on faces...
why aren't they cute on my thighs?

Hee hee, Cairo begged me not to humiliate myself by posting this. But, pregnancy isn't always all about the cute things, is it?

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

i didn't know it was recognized in Canada too - but apparently, it is.
October 15th is set aside to remember those little lives who have so deeply impacted so many families across Canada.
At 7 pm - our local time - we lit candles to remember our Caleb & our baby Hope - along with other moms & dads across Canada & the United States - creating a wave of light in memory of our little ones.
At 8 pm - we gently blew them out...
It's sad to live in a country that recognizes and protects a mother's right to an abortion at any stage of pregnancy right up to the moment of a child's birth. It's legal to perform abortions on little pre-teen girls without a parent's consent... They take our tax dollars & though the vast majority of abortions are elective - and morally abhorrent to a large percentage of the population, we're forced to pay for them. Women quickly make the decision that will haunt them for the rest of their lives - & are left to carry the burden of their loss alone, unless by some miracle they can meet the Father, who so freely lifts burdens, forgives trespasses, and gives shelter to the hurting, lost.

Oh, God - i'm ashamed of this country i live in...

& yet... a teeny beacon...
A group of individuals that wanted to organize a day of remembrance.
To take the veil of silence and shame that comes with loss, and to replace it with a mantle of comfort & understanding. i've never had an abortion, but i see the fruit of this evil in the way that we as a people respond to miscarriage, stillbirth & infant loss -


How can we be fighting to save a 24 week preemie in one wing of a hospital while we are killing a 24 week preemie in another?
Is life precious?
Or disposable?
We are a nation conflicted...
Conflicted, and yet, in grief - i stand shoulder to shoulder with the mothers and the fathers who made the horrible mistake of ending their child's life. Their grief is real - their loss, heartbreaking, and their need for forgiveness overwhelming.
Could there come a time when we would all recognize what is lost... and what is thrown away... and when we hold one another up - and wipe each other's tears?
Could it be, that the first step towards repentance is grief?
Life - breathed into us by the Creator,
The Redeemer -
The only One who is Trustworthy enough to hold it in His Hands...
is precious -
it needs to be protected, and gently acknowledged.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Taste of Tomorrow's post...

Today is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day - all across Canada & the United States, people will be lighting a candle from 7-8pm at their local time & creating a wave of light to remember our little ones who went Home early.
i prepared a blogpost for tomorrow - but i wanted to post this here - so that as many as want to, can participate tonight, together.

making room for baby...

People ask us how we will fit another little one into our house. It gets a little crowded sometimes - especially in the winter when our little front entrance is covered with snowpants, mitts, tuques, scarves & wet, snowy boots & damp discarded socks...
But, neil is the king of decluttering - & i've always made it my goal to get rid of *things* & make room for *people*.
So, we'll get rid of a dresser or two, have fewer clothes, chuck toys & get books out of the library... i will become a master of tiny spaces... maximizing this cute house we have & seeing the potential in every nook & corner. There are more important things in this world than having *things* - & one of them is arriving in just over 3 short months.
Baby, i am making a little space for you - there will be room in this home, room in our Silver Fox & room in our hearts...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

fessing up

It's usually Peyton...
but not always.
We'll be sitting around the table, talking at lunch - & suddenly, she'll confess to something that happened YEARS ago. i remember the time Cai confessed to wearing dresses all through kindergarten so that her teacher wouldn't notice when she peed her pants. She was too shy to ask to go to the bathroom & so, would heroically hold it all day... except when she couldn't. That still makes me laugh - and cry... poor little chicky.
Today - it was the usual suspect. The conversation topic seemed benign. We were remembering the first time we watched Tarzan. i remember that Neil had to stop the movie because i was crying too hard when the baby ape is attacked by the tiger & the daddy holds the mama back & she can't protect her little one. (i was pregnant... & tender... & the soundtrack is Phil Collins...)
They were talking about that scene in the movie & my eyes started to cloud up & suddenly Peyton piped up, "Hey, mom, remember that night after we watched the movie & i was crying when you tucked me in at night?"
"um, no."
"Oh, well, you asked me if it was because of the movie... & i said, 'no'."
"Well, it was really because i had just swallowed a marble. & i heard that it can really hurt your body, so i didn't want to ever tell you."
"Oh. Well... i'm sure glad you're ok."
"Yup! Just Lookit me!!" (skinny arms flailing to the heavens...)

Another little secret off her chest... i wonder how many of these i would miss out on if they were at public school?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

biting the bullet

We bought a 12 passenger van.
The 16 17 pounds i've put on kinda kept reminding Neil that at some point in the new year, our family would no longer fit either of our vehicles - & so we went out on Monday to test drive the Big Silver Beast.
i'll be honest...
It kind of gave me the giggles...
Maybe it's 'cause i'm a little chubby... & i had a little trouble hoisting my heft into the co-pilot seat...
Maybe it was the sight of Neil - bravely facing the future & calmly saying, 'Yeh, it drives nice...' about a freaking bus...
Maybe it was because the salesman offered to sell us pin stripes to up the coolness factor of our new automobile...
Maybe it's because while mulling over names for our van (a family tradition) i decided that i would like to name the van after Neil - The Silver Fox. Bwahaha...
i turned my head as Neil pulled onto Glenmore & looked far into the backseat... s... imagining our sweet little posse sitting back there singing Kumbaya... or fighting over the dvd of choice... Trying not to cry when i imagined our little grey & orange carseat filled with somebody with silky soft skin & a kitten's cry...
We took it out on Saturday... & the littles thought it was the coolest vehicle on the planet... i think because they weren't smooshed in like sardines... Neil pretended he couldn't hear the back row & they all had to show how close they could come to standing up in the vehicle... impressive.
We piled in on Sunday morning too - to drive the very few blocks from our house to the little community church that we go to. (i know - we're really environmentally friendly like that... *sigh*) Suddenly, Neil started to laugh.
"It's a little embarrassing..."
"i know... it's like going to church with a hickey."
"Why don't we just wear a sign that says, 'we do it a lot'".
He parks on the street - out of eyesight of the front door of the church...
In some ways, i feel like we're breaking out of a mold - we're not your typical small family - & we're not your typical large family... we're just *our family*... imperfectly perfect, chaotic, flying by the seat of our pants, never fitting the mold - far from typical-
& now we'll drive a 12 passenger.

Monday, October 12, 2009

i'm thankful...

It's Thanksgiving weekend - & am i ever thankful.
The turkey we ate last night is still fresh in my memory... my littles are finally being quiet after a crazy loud morning... my kitchen is back in it's normal condition... & i managed to find a pair of pants to wear today.
Life is good.
But, i know that in the bad years - as well as the good years... The One that i am most thankful for, never changes...
& so, today - i want to find the time to wrap my arms around my little darlings - & whisper truth in their ears...
"Jesus loves me -"
He gives and takes...
"we are weak but He is strong -"
He is worthy...
"little ones, you belong to Him -"
As do i - & i find refuge in the shadow of His wings...
My gratitude has become mature enough not to be conditional.
& i know that no matter the day - the year - the loss - the gain... my Father has sifted what i have been given - & He is trustworthy.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Still Crouched Over...

so - why do i mourn this little boy...

and this tiny child -

when i have this little cherub in my arms...

This little lady to make me laugh...

& a whole house full of children - to occupy my days, my years, my hopes and dreams of motherhood...
i'm still crouched over... paused... longing... waiting... acknowledging... Because Caleb and Hope's brief lives cry out to be recognized. Because as the one who carried them - and was forever changed by them... i feel like i can't ignore their impact.

The time won't come to pick myself up off the ground, brush off my knees and say - 'There. That's over.' i was changed on a cellular level the day that each of them were conceived.
i became Caleb's mama... and Hope's mama...
And by God's grace, i will do my best to mother each and every one of my children no matter if they're in the next room, snuggled on my lap, all grown up & being mothers and fathers themselves - or carried away to a place beyond the scope of my imagination...
So, two of my little ones won't come to me... won't call me momma... won't pick me dandelions or cry in my arms...
Yet - i will remember... i will be grateful... & until that day...

Friday, October 9, 2009

i don't get it... *classic*

So, we're driving along & the littles are all teasing each other & then smirking to themselves & each other, "classic... ooh, yeah, that's *classic*"...
From the back seat suddenly Charter starts to chuckle... "THE ONLY CLASSIC YOU'RE GONNA GET IS CLASSIC OUTTA SLOAN!!.... UH-YEAAAHHHH!! B-URN!!"
& then there was silence... & muted giggles...
"um, what's classic mean, Charter?" Mollen lisps...
Same ride - talking about Cai's lack of height. Sloan brilliantly suggests, "Hey, Cai, how 'bout you just buy some freakishly tall shoes since you're so freakishly short?"
"YEAH!!!" Peyton pipes up, "& then you could cut off the heels!"
Am i the only one who doesn't get their own kids humour?
Kinda reminds me of the time my sister Jess went through the Tim Horton's drive through & ordered 20 timbits, "& no plainies, please."
"Um... no what?"
"You want no what?"

Yeah - sometimes we're just not *quite* on the same wave-length...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

running out of tough...

Ever feel like that?
As the snow started to swirl - & my husbands second week of travelling in a row drew to a close - i felt all the stuff that makes me tough just sort of seep out of my pores & melt into a puddle on the floor. i was driving around the traffic circle in our little community - the sky was starting to get dark - & i still had several errands & a lot more driving to do before my night was over & yet... all that i had left was a little catch in my throat. If i can just make it till he calls, i thought. i just needed a little pick me up & i hadn't heard from him all day...

Poor me.

i waddled into the college to pick up my oldest daughter from her fiddle class, heaving my sweet beefy chunk of fudge son up 3 flights of stairs - & my cell phone rang.

It was neil.

"Hey hon!" (Static - i can hear voices in the background... ) "i'm just heading out to a hockey game tonight - i won't be able to talk to you till tomorrow..."
"Oh," i breathe... hoping he doesn't hear the tiny sob forming in my throat... "When are you coming home?"
"i should be able to leave tomorrow at around 3pm - then it's a 10 hour drive home... "
"Oh... i miss you..."
"i miss you too - love you, but i gotta go here, we're in a bit of a rush..."
"mkay. Talk to you tomorrow then..."
"Love you - bye!"
i flip shut the phone.
Gather my wits about me.
Clear my throat & rub my face...
pick up my cuddle bunny for a snuggle.
& dip into my reserves...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

weblink wednesday...

So, i have found upon examining my heart... that i am passionate about children.

There are a couple of blogs that i read that have a totally different focus than mine. i find that these blogs - both written by mothers who i don't know personally - touch on very important subjects that i lack the personal experience and insight to blog about coherently, though i've tried on occasion...

So, in an effort to amplify their voices just a touch with the teeny tendrils of influence that i may have, i'm gonna post their links here.
The first one is a blog that deals with the challenges & joys of foster care. i don't think she blogs nearly enough... but when she does, it always seems to be a personal challenge to me to think outside my own comfortable family & home... to reach out in the community around me & make an impact. i know that at this point in our lives, that foster care isn't an option - for too many reasons to list on my blog - but it's something that tugs on my heart & i want to be open to listening to that still small voice if He ever calls me to action in this arena. Regardless - i want to read about & know about families who *are* in the trenches, dealing with the government & broken mommas & daddys - who are shining a light in a dark broken world. i don't want to just cover my face & cry, "this isn't for me!!" - i want to be aware of what's happening & *care* that there are hurting little children that need a home - a lap to sit in - & arms to be wrapped in - food in their tummies - & a safe place to lay their precious heads to sleep at night...
If you wanna read it in funnier, more eloquent form than i've put here, go to The Monster Wrangler.
My next plug for Weblink Wednesday is a blogger mama who was pregnant at the same time as i was expecting Gagey. Her hilariously cute little boy, Micah, was born with Downs Syndrome - & though she's a busy mama with 3 very small sons, this month is Downs Syndrome Awareness month & she is doing the "31 for 21" posting challenge. She is taking questions from her readers (she's brave!) & posting answers about Micah & downs syndrome. i'd love to see more questions asked, awareness achieved & the miseducation that has encouraged an abortion rate above 90% for children diagnosed in utero with downs syndrome ended. i know i've plugged her blog before - because i think she does such a great job & has so many important things to say.
Her blog is sweetly & aptly named, A Little Something Extra For Us (downs syndrome means that a child has an extra 21st chromosome :)
So, those are my offerings for the day - happy reading!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This is the 'more to come' post...

After a turn out of 350 their first year (they expected 75) they had over 750 their second year... i think this speaks to a need being filled...
Caleb's balloon (below) & Hope's balloon (above)...

This is my sweet friend jen - aka "J" - one of the most generous with her broken heart, people i've ever met... Her & her beautiful son Brennan have had an enormous impact on me. Last year at the walk, she was pregnant with her little cutie, Kellan - & this year i get the pleasure of carrying a fresh life. So good to have friends to share your joy & help carry your grief. Having my friends & family there - acknowledging their little ones - Melissa's Jaron & Chavonne, my sister's little one, Charis - made for company - where there is usually solitude. Our balloon tags... Still didn't know what to write a whole year later...

Something new this year: they had a memory line... such a perfect addition. So hard to think of the perfect words - with frigid hands & a crowded table. Next year, i will be prepared...

They had a harpist & a violinist this year - as well as the same speaker as last year... i need to go read her blog to see what she said... i had a bunch of little monkeys that were acting like little monkeys - & even though i loved having all my little ones there... they were a little distracting.

They also collected donations of teddy bears for bereaved parents. It seems like there were no ideas left unthought of...

& so... i'm done...
with thoughts left unblogged...
images in my mind of parents - eyes searching - looking heavenward -
an understanding that grief and separation are temporary - but that temporary means a lifetime of missing my little ones...

Monday, October 5, 2009

walk to remember

We're home.
i will have a more thorough post about the walk to remember, but i wanted to post this picture for those of you who couldn't join me, but who posted a comment on my walk with me post. We walked with my sister Stephanie & my friends Melissa & Jen - together remembering 6 little ones. & there were many more mothers, fathers, families & little ones that i remembered that day...
One of the beautiful things for *me* about the walk is seeing my little ones names written by someone else... i don't know why that is such a powerful thing - but it moves me that for that day - it's not just my voice & my pen writing & speaking their names - someone else is honouring their little lives with me.

More to come...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Somebody cute had the hiccups last night...

o, little one... just as i thought we were both starting to doze off - i started to feel those gentle rhythmic hiccups.

i rolled over on my side & got both my hands on my belly so i could feel you from the inside and out. Hard to believe your little frame fits in that hard ball in my belly. i try to picture you all scrunched up in there & as i feel each gentle whoosh, hiccup, or kick - i remember that that is *my* sweet little person hiding in there...

My body has been changing, making room for you - growing, doing crazy things because you're there. Even though you're not likely much more than a pound, i've put on 15 of them for you.

This morning, my shirt was still riding up after Gagey had his morning treat & gently, he put both of his fat little hands on my belly, acknowledging your presence. Do you hear your big brother on the outside when he talks, or pokes at your little home, or cries in the night?

God gave me a precious gift with your pregnancy... - a freedom from the anxiety that plagued me during Gagey's pregnancy. There is freedom to love you, to anticipate your arrival, to enjoy these precious days & weeks ahead as we prepare for your birth.

& so today as i walk in the walk to remember - & i remember the precious little ones who are waiting for me in heaven, i will also remember to be grateful - for the little one whose hiccups give me joy as i wait for sleep to come, who if God wills, will keep me company as we sojourn here on earth a little longer...

Friday, October 2, 2009

as is

i was a little annoyed with neil on Wednesday night.
i know.
it's shocking.
it was a little thing (isn't it always?) He had gone to Toronto on a business trip & i was dreading the 2 hours worth of driving i would have to do on Wednesday night to get the littles to & from all their activities. i realized about an hour into it that the gas tank was empty. The light wasn't on yet, but i didn't want to risk being stuck out with Gagey in the cold, so i had to find a few minutes between a drop off & a pick up to get gas. As i stood, shivering in the cold, making googly eyes at my beautiful son sitting in his carseat, my lesser self whined, "Jeepers, why couldn't he have filled up the tank before he left?"
My better self piped up immediately in his defense, "How many times has he ever left on a business trip & left you with an empty tank? Rarely. i'd bet less than a handful of times... "
My lesser self got a little defensive, "Yeh, but that was embarrassing that i had undone my pants while driving & forgot... & then when i got out to fill up the tank, my pants fell down. He should take care of me better... i'm fat & uncomfortable..."
"Tsk tsk," my better self chided... "imagine yourself the husband... with your forgetful mind & your thoughtless personality... would you *ever* fill up the gas tank before leaving on business?"
My lesser self had to shut up, because the point was true. If i were a husband, i would be the most compassionate, empathetic husband ever... but i would be perpetually forgetful & i'm fairly certain that i would not remember to do all the thoughtful little things that Neil constantly does for me. After all, i can't even seem to remember to do up my own pants...
Why is it always so easy to end an argument (that hasn't even begun) by remembering how full of flaws i am? i had a friend once, who breathed a sigh to me, "It just seems that i have so much more original sin than Arnie." :)
i find i can relate.
Grace - given or received - is a beautiful thing.
So, i had to fill up the gas tank. Big fat hairy deal.
i will still take him *as is* - with his greying side burns, & humorous lack of compassion. i will take him with his blackberry glued to his ear & his stilty legs that make it harder to reach for kisses. i will take him when he's silent or chatty - busy or has time - during golf season, or hockey season. i will take him when he buys me dinner - or when he leaves me at home & buys dinner for everyone else.
i will take him gas tank empty or full.
As is.
He's mine.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

i wish i could sing like Aretha Franklin...

but i can't.
Cai wanted to hear Aretha's version of Bridge Over Troubled Water after i was talking about it one day - so we looked it up on youtube.... w.o.w.
God didn't give me her range & ability & creativity... though, he gave me each of those things in smaller doses...
But, he did give me a heart that is unable - or unwilling - to hide my love for Him.
He gave me a voice that breaks because i mean what i sing -
He gave me a breathless passion as i sing with less air as a wee one compresses my insides.
He gave me the desire to sing always & only for Him.
& so while i sigh & listen to the perfection in some seemingly flawless voices... & the heartbreaking clarity in each musical phrase... & while i know that my offering isn't as beautiful as Aretha's...
it's all i have - & as i pour out my pittance at my piano bench each day, He counts my offering as much.
And so, Jesus... i will sing for You. i won't sit & be silent - & keep my composure & pride. i won't be afraid to lift my voice to join the throng of praise to My King.


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