Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Happy Days

After a couple days of sadness I am doing much better. I believe a surge in hormones contributed to my mood although those feelings were all very real and hard to sit with. So tonight I wanted to share some amazing photos of the boys this past weekend at a water park here in town. I took them there on a whim with my sister and the boys had the best time. It literally filled me up to see them so happy. Austin is doing wonderful. Although he is struggling with a bit of the terrible two's he continues to be my cuddle bug. His speech has taken off. He has started saying multiple word sentences and does extremely well with his speech therapist. Today in therapy, Austin put part of a puzzle together and when he did, he screamed out "I did it!" with his arms in the air as if crossing a finish line at a race. It was priceless. Mason is talking up a storm as well. His favorite word is tractor and he pretty much calls everything that. He also has an amazing fascination with rocks and well....eating of course! We caught Mason literally yanking Austin by the hair out of a motorized bus we have for the boys. It was the first time I really saw Mason stand up for what he wanted. We by no means let it go unnoticed and he was told no! Although him laughing in my face at the reprimand made me wonder about the years ahead. The boys will fight over who sits in Ma Ma's lap and I always make room for both. It's such an amazing blessing to have my boys with me everyday. To see every moment of their growth, to see their smiles, their progress and their struggles. I wonder how I will handle the struggles my boys endure. I say that because tonight Austin hit Mason whilst throwing a puzzle in the air. Mason proceeded to cry and Austin's face was heartbroken. He knew he had done wrong and he fought back tears all the while twisting his tongue around to keep from crying. The mere sight of that heartbroken face put tears in my eyes and I literally looked away. I knew he needed to know that throwing can hurt somebody instead of being coddled out of it so I looked away. It was hard and I know it will be hard as the boys grow and endure life's trials and tribulations. I love them with all that I am and I never want them to be sad or upset but unfortunately that is part of life. Anyway, I went off on a tangent tonight, sorry about that. Here are the pics of my beautiful boys. My greatest blessings.




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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Waiting

Dear Friends,
If only you all knew how long I have been waiting to see this day. A long time ago pretty shortly after we lost baby Tadem I found a site that does dedications in the sand to babies in heaven. I sent in a request in December and have been looking ever since. Somehow all of this time, I missed it. I was looking so hard and he was right there all along. Please click on the title of this post and scroll down just a bit, to see the breathtaking dedication to my boy. It saddens me when I go to this website for I am slapped in the face with the reality of the hundreds among hundreds of babies that have gone before us to meet Jesus. Yet, without this site, we Mothers and families would still be grappling to find a way to remember and honor our beloved children. If I could lay down in the sand next to his name and cry I would.
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The sunsets and the stars will continually remind me of Tadem and where he has gone to be. What a peace I have found in finding this today. I will spend my evening in yoga reflecting on my loss, my love and my acceptance of this baby. I will give thanks to those who dedicate their lives helping those of us with broken hearts to remember. God Bless Them! Lastly, I will focus on my breath and heal myself of the sorrow that has been filling me up these past couple of days. I miss him, badly and the gentle reminders that he is still with me flow softly in these past days. His tree memorial marker came today. I have not opened it yet. I need time for that one. As the days wind down to his meant to be birthday I am reminded of the ache that has gently eased these past months, it is resurfacing and I let it. It reminds me that he was real. If only to me, in my belly, he was real. I have not forgotten and I never will.
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I will end this post honoring a loss that is still very raw. As life gets busy and I scurry along, I am reminded today that loss is everlasting, maybe not as harsh as it once was but it will always remain. I will honor the heavy ache that rains over my body and heart today. I will go hug my children and smother them in love and I will take time for myself to just be.
Please spend a moment friends, remembering my boy. As are my living children, he was the world to me. Look at his beautiful name in the sand and send a little hug heavenward to a baby that will one day grace our presence.
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I love you Tadem, more than I can ever even begin to write...



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Monday, March 23, 2009

Memories

Please know I have many beautiful new pictures of the boys to share with you but tonight I am taking time for another baby boy. I will post more tomorrow on Austin and Mason
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I begin tonight alone in my room. I feel at this point that where I am at is for me and me alone. I am sad tonight. In short, we have started to landscape our new yard and we will be planting a tree in Tadems honor. I ordered a tree marker and stone to put near it and one of them came today. I knew what it was the moment I got it so I waited to open it tonight alone. The inscription reads:
Precious Child
If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane,
I'd walk right up to heaven and bring you home again.

The actual tree marker with his name on it is on its way and I know that one will be even harder to see. I cried. I relived every moment of that pregnancy and I cried. I grapple to remember my baby. Time passes and virtually no one even remembers. The only person other than me is my sister. I went to her house yesterday and sitting right beside her bed on her nightstand was Tadems last healthy ultrasound picture. The one where he is smiling. I think my sister being there the day we found out he had passed changed her a bit. She is so much like me in that she gets it. Even at 13, she knows that life is precious. As much as she can act like a teenager I know she understands that part of it all. She has his picture by her bed. Her and I are the only ones in the whole world. It makes me sad and yet I know that as alone as I feel right now my baby sister loved him too.

His due date is drawing closer and I don't know how I will feel when that day comes. For the most part I am doing amazingly well. I have found the acceptance that once seemed so remote. I know that he is my angel. I know that he is most certainly wrapped in the loving arms of my Grandma. I know that I will see him again one day.

But I still cry. I still miss what he could have been to this family. I still miss that right now I should be waddling around feeling his kicks and hiccups. I know that God had a plan for his pregnancy and he knew before I was ever even pregnant with him. As sad as I am, I trust his plan. I trust him. Does it mean that I am not walking on eggshells right now, no! I am most certainly a wreck over being pregnant again. Every pinch, muscle ache or gas pain has me wanting to blow into the doctors office for an ultrasound. But I trust him. I am leaving this up to him. His plan for Tadem was profound. He knew what he was doing for me and I find myself praying that he bestow this same plan onto my husband. Not neccesarily in a loss but that the unexpected will teach you the greatest lesson you will ever need to learn.

I prayed tonight for anybody that might be hurting or suffering. I prayed for baby Stellan. I prayed for anyone going through loss. It hurts, its scary and sometimes lonely until I stop to remember that ultimatly I am not alone. I am never alone. I pray that those people know that too.

I plan on writing a letter to Tadem on his due date. A bit of closure. I have yet to write directly to him except a little bleep in a previous blog. I have not let myself go there yet. I wanted to save it for April 20th, 2009. What was meant to be his birthday. Yet his BIRTH day came on a day that I did not know. Jesus came and quietly took him. No signs, no bleeding, no nothing. Only my instinct...and a little extra time to carry him in my belly before he was taken away. It will be hard to write but it's something I have been wanting to do for awhile now and I think I know just what to say.

Life makes no promises and I know this. I have known it for as long as I can remember. I have always loved beyond measure knowing this. Who knew it could be even greater with the loss of a child. I relish EVERY moment that I am here to see my children. I am blessed and so is Tadem. He knows a joy there are no words for and I am peaceful in knowing he is whole and happy and healthy in heaven. That no one can hurt him there. Will I still cry for him? Of course, But that baby lifted me up and blessed me with the most valuable lesson anyone can or ever will teach me. He lead me to God and what more is there...
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Wherever you are baby Tadem, just know that Ma Ma loves you and misses you more than she could ever put into words.



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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Life With My Boys


Seriously, is there anything better....

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Evan or Emma???


Although it is early and we are walking very delicately through this pregnancy, we have chosen to be excited and allow whatever God has in store for us to happen. We had a mini scare this weekend. I had a bit of spotting and severe cramping which led me to the doctors office today. After much anxiety I was beyond relieved to see our little baby's heart beating away at 184 per minute. I was slightly anxious about that large of a number as the boys (all three of them =) were all in the 140's. Our wonderful ultrasound tech wasn't the least bit worried and I made her promise that I shouldn't be either. An old wives tale says that the higher the heart rate means a girl and the lower the heart rate means boy??? Not only was the baby's ticker ticking away but "she" was moving! At 9 weeks "she" was squiggling like a little worm. It gave me such hope to see an already active baby, whereas Tadem was not. It was downright amazing to me to see the difference 10 days can make from the first ultrasound to todays! I am brimming with hope and continue to pray for a whole and healthy baby to add to our bunch. Other than sheer exhaustion I am doing well. The really bad morning sickness has ceased for the most part and I am looking forward to hitting the 16 week mark with flying colors. Please continue to keep us in your prayers!
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So, the boys are more than thrilled with our new house. Obviously, its bigger. We needed the room for our expanding family. There are many places to run and hide. They have decided to take hiding to a whole new level. Check them out in these photos.


In the back of my closet, on top of two huge tupperware bins full of maternity clothes (soon to be broken out)
And yes, they are naked!!!! I don't know how to make them stop stripping!

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Catching Some Zzz's

This weekend was a MaMa and boys weekend. On Saturday we went to Auntie Ashley's soccer game and the boys had a blast! They were screaming "ball" at every turn and running full speed ahead into the middle of the games with no inkling that they were interrupting. I think we may sign Austin up in the fall. In any case, they wore themselves out! Remember that my boys are not car sleepers. It takes a lot for them to fall asleep in the car and then when they do, they most certainly will not nap once we get home. It doesn't matter if it was 20 minutes or 2 seconds, the power nap is enough to keep them running for hours, much to my dismay. (we won't go into my opening the windows to blast air in their faces or singing very loudly to keep them up stints, remember I am pregnant and will go to great lengths for a nap with the boys) However, yesterday all of the running around and excitement put Austin over the edge and no matter how loudly I sang or how much air blasted his ever so precious face his eyes rolled back and his head began to bob. He was OUT! So, I let him sleep. It only wound up being 5 minutes or so but the very funniest part was that when we got home I got him out of his car seat and he STAYED asleep. You must understand just how much this um...NEVER happens. I knew he needed a diaper change and thought for sure that would do the trick of undoing the exhaustion and refueling him until the sun went down. Instead, this is how it all went down.

On the changing table with pants on ready to be changed and STILL asleep!

Pants are now off. Still sleeping. (p.s. what happened to the tiny baby that was swallowed up by this changing table?)

Diaper is off. Still sleeping. Is this for real?

Clean diaper is on and he was still sound asleep. It just goes to show you, ya just never know! I proceeded to lay him in bed and he slept for an hour and a half. Yay, Austin!

Then there are days like today where he didn't sleep a gal darn wink...
When we are young we fight the naps and sleep tooth and nail and when we are old (like me=) you would give your right arm for half an hour!


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Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Most Beautiful Words

There are moments in life that are downright amazing and indescribable. Like childbirth for instance, I have never done anything in my life that I am so proud of. It IS to this day my biggest accomplishment. There is just nothing like it. Then there are moments that are smaller, without all of the hype and excitement surrounding them. When those little moments happen, you stop and think, wow, that was such a beautiful, simple, forever remembered moment.

Yesterday I was buckling Austin into his car seat because he was going on an adventure with his Dad. I told him to have fun, to be good and stay out of trouble and I kissed him on the fore head and before I could get my final words to him out, he beat me to the punch. He looked at me and said "LOVE YOU" Truly, the world, well... MY world, stood still for a moment. It was the first time that my boy had said those words to me without me saying them first. It was clear to me then, that my 2 1/2 year old son had begun to understand love. Do I tell him at every corner that I love him, yes! Do I tell him every time (which are few) that he is not with me that I love him, yes! Did he probably know what was coming next out of my mouth next, yes! However, I also believe there are moments where you just know. In the last 6 months I have gained a lot of clarity into those moments and when Austin said that to me, he knew what he meant. I am still thinking about it today. It was a moment that I took and tucked away in my heart forever. I think those are words we all, as Mothers, wait to hear. If he only he knew how much I loved him too...

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On a lighter note, Dave and I went to Costco to stock up on things. Seriously, isn't it amazing the amount of paper towels you go through with a big family... I tried the whole cloth towels thing to help the environment but Dave looks at me sideways when there are no paper towels. There are some things he is on board with and there are others that will just not happen in this house! Anyway, I am super proud of Costco for starting to carry a huge line of organic products. Everything from oatmeal to cleaning products that are environmentally friendly. GO COSTCO. We even got organic animal crackers for the boys. Only when I got home I continually make the mistake of putting the groceries on the floor. Um...not a good ideal when you have two toddlers to rummage through the bags and then strew everything about the house! Someday, I will learn! In doing this, the boys found the VERY large container of crackers and said "cookie" "cookie." Really, who can say no to those baby blues
(Austin, that is! Mason, was blessed (sarcasm) with my green eyes) so I opened the jar and this is what the boys proceeded to do.


I was unable to get a shot of the aftermath when I took the jar away from them due to the screaming, kicking, hissy fit, tantrum throwing, snot running mess that ensued! Ahh... the joys of sweet, sweet Motherhood!



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Saturday, March 7, 2009

My Beautiful Boys

Happy Saturday! Have I mentioned how much I love Saturdays =)

I wanted to post a couple of cute moments in the West household. For starters, I mentioned in last post how Mason likes to help Mommy empty the dishwasher. He did it again yesterday and I was able to catch a few shots of my big boy! Since he follows me everywhere, including the laundry room, he also began helping me take laundry and put it in the washer. He is going to make some woman very happy one day! He is such a happy, snuggly, babbling bundle of pure joy. So here he is: my domestic little man


I mean look at him!
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And then there's my Austin Bear. Although not quite as domestic he is my kind, loving, sensitive, hand holding boy! My kids love of fruit is no secret. We always say they are "fruitatarians" and I spend half my life at Publix getting fresh fruit for them. Anyway, the other day the boys were eating fresh raspberries and they suddenly figured out how fun it was to put them on their fingers and eat them that way. Austin, the smart boy that he is, did it all on his own and now will only eat them off his fingers. Mason needed a little help but found it all to funny! So here is the charmer himself!






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Thursday, March 5, 2009

WEST BABY #4


There is our little lima bean! That's what we call them at this stage! We had our first ultrasound today and I knew I was nervous but when I was nearly ready to throw up in the parking lot, I suddenly, realized just HOW nervous. You have to remember the last time I was in the tiny ultrasound room was one of the worst days of my life. I was scared. Scared to lay back down where I was once laying having gotten devastating news! I, did, however do what I had to do and laid down. Almost instantly, the baby was there. Dave noticed the heartbeat right away. He did have a much better view, given that he wasn't laying on his back with his legs in stirrups! We heard the heartbeat; 154 beats per minute. Such a beautiful, sweet sound in and of itself but after losing one and searching for a heartbeat, hearing this ones was like music to my ears. I cried instantly. Good tears this time. Relief and happiness rolling down my cheeks. I am still slightly hesitant to get to emotionally attached because last pregnancy at this time, all was well. I want to be able to give this baby my everything and I think slowly I will but I am taking it one day at a time. Counting the weeks until we hit 16 weeks and laying on that table to see a moving, kicking baby! I may be watching the calendar and counting the days but in truth I have left it up to God. I do what is within my power and leave the ending of this story up to him. Don't get me wrong I hope and pray with all of might but I know what's meant to be will happen and the ending is already written. I must be patient and faithful enough to watch it play out! SO, hurdle number 2 jumped! We love you little lima bean and we are pulling for you every day!
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Tadem baby, we saw your sister or brother today in my belly. It was bittersweet for it was meant to be your home for another month but I have since learned God had other plans for you. I just wanted you to know that MaMa still loves you with all of her heart. Though time eases my pain, I will never forget you. Until we meet again, I hope you will be our guardian angel watching out for your brothers! Love you, mean it!
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The boys are growing every day! Today Mason really showed me how grown up he is becoming and how smart he truly is! I was unloading the dishwasher (when am I not...) and he went over to the silverware basket, took out a spoon, proceeded over to the silverware drawer, OPENED IT AND DROPPED IT IN! This was no fluke for when I flipped a gasket in complete praise he continued to do it with every last stitch of cutlery in that basket! Mason unloaded the dishwasher! With no urging from me! I mean really, he's 15 months old. That's smart! He must have MY brains =)
He is also becoming quite attached to me. Did I mention how much I LOVE it! Everywhere I go, he follows and when I sit down he walks over to me, turns around and scootches his heiny into my lap! I then proceed to smother him with kisses and hugs!
Austin, hmm... he is 2 1/2 now and blows my mind every day! New words, new faces and even more understanding. Speech therapy has helped him tremendously. He LOVES his teacher and responds amazingly to her! I actually love her too! Well not love love her but you know what I mean. I could see us hanging out together. We DID discuss shoes for 5 minutes before she left yesterday! Anyway, where was I, oh yes Austin. Tonight he melted me because I went to the store to get some fruit and Dave tucked them in bed. Of course, when I got home I had to go and say good night. I always read them books, so I turned on the light and there laying in his mini bed was Austin covered in his blankie, pappi in his mouth, head on the pillow with his Dad's baseball hat on! I mean it was the gal darn cutest thing I have ever seen! He wants to be big so badly! Yet he will fight his brother tooth and nail to get into my lap first! It's very endearing.
Life is beautiful and I am so grateful for every moment of it!
Because I rarely post without a pic, here's a one of the beautiful boy's themselves in their ball pen!




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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Namaste

Oooohhmm! So I started going to yoga again! This past summer I was in the best shape of my life after months of Vinyasa yoga. Not only was I in the best shape of my life but I was in the best mental place I have ever been. Then we lost Tadem and instead of healing my spirit through yoga, I stayed home and ate. I didn't want to leave my kids or miss a moment of their lives so I gave that up. My counselor recommended that I go back to yoga! She sort of insisted. It's not even that it's about getting in shape (although that helps because I do feel umm...yucky right now) but also about getting in touch with myself. I love how the teachers focus on breathing and leaving all of life's trials and tribulations on the mat! I decided that taking an hour or two out of the day is o.k.. My kids will be o.k. and I will be a better Mother to them if I allow myself the time. I feel better mentally and physically and quite frankly yoga is kind of like grief counseling to me. I should have been going all along but after a loss it's easy to become a home body! I am proud of myself for taking the steps needed to get back into it and being strong enough to leave the kids for a short amount of time to make myself a better person! I must find a peace within myself this pregnancy to let come what may. The finale is not up to me. I pray to God for that peace and find strength in my children's smiles. For no matter what happens, I am blessed beyond blessed!


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Monday, March 2, 2009

Not Me Monday!


Hmmm....
I don't think I really have any Not Me's this week. I do everything the way it's supposed to be done...
It's not like I went to get my first pedicure in over a month only to realize when I got there that the hair on my legs could very well be braided! I was not horribly embarrassed! The lady did not mention that I may want to run a razor over the bottom half of my body. My Mother and sister were not in fits of laughter over the entire ordeal!

And it's not like I let the boys eat a cookie for dinner at the spaghetti dinner after they refused to eat anything. I would never feel that something in their bellies was better than nothing in their bellies. I am not an anti junk food Mom that gave in to my children as if they might starve after one night of refusing dinner.



I did not pray/beg the Lord to grant me just a smidge of leftover energy for my husband. He did not oblige and my husband was not in shock and completely ecstatic. Thank you Jesus for the simple blessings too!

I did not let Austin run around without a diaper on because all he ever does is take it off and quite frankly I did not feel like fighting him to put it back on. He did NOT go into my bathroom and pee directly in front of the toilet. I did not praise him for giving it his best shot at getting NEAR the potty!

I am not SO completely thankful to a dear friend for bringing over a huge box of toys for the boys to have. I am not psyched that it's like Christmas here and the boys are entertained for hours on end so that I was able to empty the friggin' dishwasher. It's not the really little things like emptying the dishwasher that make me so proud of my accomplishments that day!

I did not go to yoga last week to try once again to keep my heiny in shape only to be unable to move for the 2 days following!
I am totally fit and in shape and one round of power yoga would not have me howling in pain at the simple task of picking up my children!

I am not a gloating, proud MaMa because my two year old son says bless you to any person within a mile that sneezes. I do not think my son is the smartest, kindest, well mannered child there is. ( Do not look at my Target run blogs, for those only contradict my last statement) =)

Lastly, I am not and would never be looking at the clock nearing nap time in such excitement. I most certainly will not march my pregnant heiny directly to my big, warm, comfy bed and immediately fall into the deepest sleep!

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Not Gonna Lie

I feel like lately that everywhere I turn, there is a story of heartbreak and loss. None that are close to home and yet they are all so close to home for me right now. Even as I sit here in my home tonight watching Extreme Home Makeover there is a story right on the screen in front of me about a family that lost their baby girl after one day with her here on Earth. Ever since I lost Tadem I feel like I have heard and learned about a whole new level of loss and heartbreak. Suddenly, being pregnant has taken on a whole new fear. Delivery has taken on a terror that I never had. I spend a significant amount of time worried and wondering if these are lessons to remind me how blessed I am, or if they are a preparation for a greater story I am scared to encounter or if it's simply that one loss leads you to others losses... I am scared. I am scared to be pregnant. I worry about endless things now where once there was such joy and anticipation. I always say once you know, you can't "unknow." Ignorance may really be bliss or is it? We have our first ultrasound on Thursday. I am excited and nervous. I pray each night that I might be blessed with a sense of peace these next 7 months and that the Lord will wrap his arms around me each and every day reminding me to do what I can and leave the rest up to him.
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We had a lovely weekend as a family. My sister came over Friday night and we went to a spaghetti dinner at Austins school. It was fun to watch Austin want to be a big boy! He even did the limbo in the game area. What a blessing to be a carefree toddler again. So carefree that you just run to the front of the limbo line and go back and forth under the bar never knowing rules and taking turns yet. It's such an extremely short time that we humans can live without worrying what others think, without having rules and manners thrown in our faces. Everyone just smiled as they watched my boy in utter joy that he, too, could do what the big kids were doing.

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Today we had a girls day out morning and then I came home and we played in the garage with all of our toys! I got some amazing photos of the boys loving their bubble blower. So sweet and innocent and yet not. You see, Mason wanted to hold the bubble blower and Austin didn't want to share so he tried to distract his brother by giving him a ball. I mean really, 25 months old and already knows how to canive his brother. I just love, beyond love, how much the boys care for each other. It fills me up and melts my heart!




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