Friday, April 24, 2015

life::an outtake

On Wednesday evening as I was getting my shoes on to go for a run, Owen asked to join me. 

How could I turn that down? So he ran up to change, then we stretched together in the kitchen. Owen added push-ups and some made-up stretches to the mix while Brooks mimicked his every move. Then we headed outside, I put some country music on my iPhone, started my running app to track our distance and time, and off we went.. at full speed. It didn't last long. He asked to walk just up the street because he had a cramp in his side.

As life is now, our evenings usually default to the following: I am on Sadie duty while Colby
plays baseball or basketball with Owen. Brooks goes between the two of us depending what level his Momma's Boy Meter is reading that day.

So this rare opportunity to spend one-on-one time with Owen was a treasure. To speak his love language by spending time doing something active with him.

Since speed is so important to him, we had quite a few sprints followed by walking during our .65 mile neighborhood loop. We finally ran at a reasonable pace for the final stretch. During our stretches of walking, we talked about his day at school, the plants in the yards we passed, and plans to go to the pool and park this summer. We also discussed his side cramps and decided next time we might try to have a banana before we go for a run.

I already can't wait for next time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

a few of their favorite things | christmas 2014

I know, I know.. it's April. And I'm talking Christmas. But I liked this post last year, and in case I have any readers who might find this helpful, I wanted to be sure I got it in. It's been sitting in my drafts for a couple of months just waiting to be finished, so I figure better late than never! Below are some of our favorite gifts from this past Christmas.

toy kitchen. This was a gift from Nana & Papa this past Christmas after his interest peaked at his cousin's house. We went with navy to make it a little less girly, but neutral enough to keep for little Sadie in the coming years. The quality is great, too. Knowing how he liked to open and close drawers, I knew this would be a perfect big ticket item. And boy was it perfect. Every day upon arriving home, he'd go straight to his kitchen and begin to play. Big brother even joined in and loved to help organize the dishes we got to go with it. I recommend going easy on dishes and food items -- he's just as happy with a handful of accessories as he would be with many.. and it's less clean up! There ain't no shame in a toy kitchen lovin' little boy!

pintoy ride-on. This was another gift for Brooks. (Big brother got a new bike, so this was sort of his equivalent.) We never did have a ride-on toy for Owen as a toddler, so I wasn't sure how well liked this would be. Since he was still getting himself stable on his feet, it took a month or so before this caught on. The storage in the front is a key component - as you know, toddlers like to carry things around, so it's a perfect compliment to the wheels. This is a European brand, but I happened upon this ride-on cargo truck at a consignment shop in mint condition and couldn't pass it up. 

baseball guys. This was gifted by little brother to our Royals/baseball loving 4-year old. I stumbled on these baseball guys at a local toy store, and was rather surprised how beloved this toy set would become. Dad labeled the field with each of the positions and with general knowledge and beginning to learn to read, it was no time before he knew all of the in and outfield positions. He simulated game after game after game for the entirety of our Christmas day, and the remaining days of school break. What a great independent and quiet play item this was. They also carry hockey, football, and soccer guys which we may have to consider for upcoming Christmases for one of the boys.

over-the-door basketball hoop. A last minute Santa gift snagged on one of those Amazon daily deals for Owen. This mini basketball hoop is much less quiet than the previously mentioned toy, and often asks for a playmate to play against.. but this was a nice upgrade from his Little Tikes goal he received a few years ago for Christmas. Since winter isn't conducive for playing baseball, this reignited his love of basketball and paved way to learn a new game: HORSE. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Missing Sadie's Grandma.

Maternity leave has afforded me the luxury to slow down. To breathe. And to become very aware that my mom hasn't arrived at my doorstep to meet our sweet baby. Her granddaughter.  

Just last week, in true Owen fashion (read: out of the blue), he pops this on me during our drive home from school.

"I wish Grandma didn't pass away before Sadie was born. But I know she can still see her because she's looking down at her from heaven. I just wish that I could look up there and see her, too. I miss Grandma. "

I posted this conversation to my Facebook wall, and my cousin posted this in response: "She was someone who just found joy that bubbled from deep down when she was holding a baby. She had so much love."

There is a lot that I miss about having her around. But one of my most favorite things has been sharing my children with her. Being a grandma was undoubtedly one of her greatest joys. Being her daughter is one of mine.

I can't tell you how hard it is missing my mom as I've made my way through these first months of sweet Sadie's life. I have been hit with some moments of grief, sadness, and self-pity so intense that I am not certain I will ever recover from the void that losing her has created.

The missing her, the wanting her and wishing she were here.. or at least, only a phone call away.. that will never end. But I'd imagine, with time, those moments will come less frequently.

There's an author, Hope Edelman, who has written a couple of books on the subject of losing a mother - Motherless Daughters and Motherless Mothers. I haven't read the books - only excerpts online. She describes the books as being written during a time that grief was only recognized as an X-step process. With stages. And an end point. A right way to grieve. And anything outside of those steps would be considered unhealthy.

I think there's a part of people who are close to those who have lost someone who want there to be an end point. They want to know you're going to be okay, that you have survived it, and that the hurt is gone. And I certainly get that. Heck, I even want that for my dad and brother. But as someone who is living in it, right in the thick of it, I know that's not realistic.

Here's a quote from the book:

"When a daughter loses a mother, the intervals between grief responses lengthen over time, but her longing never disappears. It always hovers at the edge of her awareness, prepared to surface at any time, in any place, in the least expected way. This isn't pathological. It's normal. It's why you find yourself, at 24, or 35, or 43, unwrapping a present, or walking down an aisle, or crossing a busy street, doubled over and missing your mother, because she died when you were 17."

I was 29. My mom was there to see me walk down the aisle. And I am so thankful she was. But that doesn't make it any less painful that she wasn't here for the birth of my baby girl. She was supposed to be here for that.

She was suppose to arrive to the hospital to hold her newest grandchild. To stay as long as her work schedule would allow. To hold her while I showered. And then she was supposed to make it to retirement so that work didn't get in the way with the frequency of her visits. She was supposed to be around as my children grew. To further deepen the special bond she shared with my oldest. To laugh with me about the toddler antics yet to come from my middle child. And to not be able to leave a store without picking up a little girly outfit for the granddaughter she'd always wanted. And she's not going to be.

It's so damn hard.

I have 4 weeks remaining of this maternity leave. Before I know it, life's pace will pick up again. And the days of maternity leaves and babies will be gone. I have come to really appreciate the time I've had to reflect and to mourn. But I have only 4 weeks remaining at home with our little Sadie.

God's plan trumped my own last July when we discovered a surprise on the way. Out of death comes new life. A precious life that has allowed me this time to breathe.. and oh how I thank God for the life of Sadie Elizabeth. And for the life of Dianne Elizabeth, Sadie's Grandma who "can still see her because she's looking down at her from heaven."

Monday, April 20, 2015

my weekend in photos.

We welcomed some Hoosier cousins to KC on Friday afternoon. 

We had some KC BBQ for dinner, then we got ditched for an Ikea trip while we went home and spent the beautiful evening outdoors playing baseball. We live in a baseball town, after all. 

As the weather usually bahaves with our visitors, we ended up with a rainy Saturday. So we ventured downtown for some indoor kid fun. 

Crown Center & Kaleidoscope - it's been ages since we'd last been. Brooks had an absolute ball, but wore himself out so our overtired toddler sent us home early for naps instead of staying for lunch. 

The indoor fun continued after naps at their hotel. This brought back Michigan sand dune trip memories with my cousins when we were kids. I always loved the end of the day when we'd get back and go for swims at our hotel. 

Dinner Saturday night. Good pizza, good wine, good company.

We had breakfast with everyone before their send-off. Brooks likes donuts.

Church and Costco and a crazy Royals game on tv. Our weekend was jam packed and wonderful.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

life::an outtake

It's taken some time, but I've made some really great friends in Kansas City. One of them came by way of a mutual friend as a fellow Hoosier relocating to Kansas City. This past Monday we met for coffee (or in my case, a chai tea latte) so that she could finally meet Sadie and to take advantage of my new SAHM status while I'm on maternity leave. Later that day while I was out for an appointment, she delivered dinner for my family.

Also, she delivered daffodils.

I received a call from my dad the next morning - he and my brother had gone to visit my mom's grave as her headstone had finally been put in the day before. My dad had already been on Monday afternoon, but he wanted to go back with my brother on his day off. When they arrived Tuesday morning, someone had already been the evening before - they had delivered daffodils. 

A little strange, a little morbid, a little heartbreaking.. but I found joy in knowing my momma and I were loved on with daffodils on that random Monday.