Monday, July 30, 2012

Number 3

My sweet little boy turned three today. I can hardly believe he's been in our lives for three years now! Part of me doesn't even remember what it was like before we had him. I took off of work today and Mr. Rochester and I spent the day today doing whatever Trotwood wanted to do. First, we went to get donuts and while we were there Trotwood spotted this long, swirly lollipop and we said, "Sure, you can have a lollipop for breakfast." I mean, really, how is that much different that a donut?
Then we took him to Boingo Bounce, a local bounce house joint where he jumped, bounced, and slid his heart out. Even though it was his birthday, Mom and Dad insisted on a nap afterwards and he did not protest too much.
After a nap, he opened presents, we sang happy birthday and ate cake! Trotwood has really started to get into more superhero and robot type toys although his love of Toy Story toys still remains! He loves Transformers, Iron Man, Spiderman, and the Hulk. He also loves playing spaceships with his good buddy Clark. It's so much fun to just watch Trotwood use his imagination with his toys and since we don't have any "spaceships" at home, he makes a spaceship out of just about anything you can think of. For his birthday, we got him a few little superhero figurines and a largish Transformer RescueBot for his birthday. I think he was in heaven all day today. Mr. Rochester and I sure enjoyed just being together and participating in our little boy's fun-filled day. I love this photo below - a rare moment from today when our little fireball of energy took a moment to rest his head on his hands. About three seconds later, he was up and running again.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Our little one

For the last six months, I've meant to post a few pictures of our little one who was born in January. A volunteer photographer from Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep took these for us. We are so grateful to have them.

"The heart hath its own memory, like the mind. And in it are enshrined the precious keepsakes, into which is wrought the giver’s loving thought." ~ H.W. Longfellow

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Approved!

So, I haven't written much about what's going on with our medical situation lately because for awhile there it was all just a bit depressing. Our insurance denied us any genetic testing because it's not covered in our plan and the genius who looked at our case made the random determination that what was happening to us was not genetic.  Also, apparently, when I was tested for NAIT, that was considered genetic testing, and they weren't going to cover that either even though I'd gone through a case worker and thought I was doing everything the way I was supposed to. So, with the help of several people, I put together an appeal to send in to our insurance company with documentation that ended up being over 50 pages long, and I just found out this past week that we were approved for further genetic testing and our insurance will cover what was already done! When I found out, I felt so happy and relieved. It's nice to know that we might be able to find some answers. The tests aren't a guarantee but they're a step in the right direction.

It's strange how when you lose a child, it feels like a void suddenly exists somewhere in your soul and at times, you feel like it's something that may never be filled, that you may never completely be whole again. It's easy to forget about all the blessings you do have and begin to only focus on what you don't have. You forget that other people also have trials and struggle with things that may not be obvious to you and instead you only see that they have something you desperately want. There have been times in the last six months where just being at church was difficult for me because the family that sat in the pew in front, behind, or next to us had young, healthy children in the same order we did. Except theirs are all alive and jumping around the pews. And that's all I could think about throughout the entire meeting. I'm not naturally a person who gets angry frequently but more and more these past few months, I would feel angry and upset with our situation and I felt the void in my soul just expand. I felt jealous and angry when I heard of people "accidentally" getting pregnant and then just miraculously pop out a healthy baby. I have no idea what that's like - to expect that your child will actually live after you find out you're pregnant.

I don't have any great advice for dealing with all of these feelings. Lately, I'd really come to despise the way I have been feeling. I don't like feeling jealous or angry because the Lord is blessing someone else. I want to be better than that...I think it's just human to have those feelings and to struggle with the "natural man" in yourself. So, I've made a conscious decision - I'm going to work on patching up the void. I'm not sure it will ever be completely filled but I know I can work on patching it. I'm not trying to replace the children I've lost, I just need to feel whole again. Some days are definitely better than others but for the past few weeks I feel like I've had more good days than bad days. I'm once again learning to lay my burdens at the Lord's feet and understand more about the atonement. I'm smiling more and crying less. I'm trying to do more service, to appreciate my sweet little family more, and improve my relationship with my Father in Heaven. I still take comfort in the plan of salvation and the words of modern-day prophets and apostles. In the June Ensign, there was an article on infertility which included a quote by Elder Wirthlin from his "Come What May, and Love It" talk in 2008. I love what he said here about the principle of compensation:

“The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.”

It's hard not to want the blessings I want RIGHT now, but I realize, along with many other things in my life, I need to be patient and agree to the Lord's timing. Each day, I'm becoming more and more grateful for the blessings I do have and I have found it's the little things, bit by bit, that help patch up the void in me.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Catching Some Zzzs

I'm sure someday, my son will think I was strange for taking photos of him while he's asleep, but he's just so darn cute, I can't resist it.I did this layout for the 1 Kit 4 Ways feature at Design House Digital.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

So delicious

I have so many photos from when Trotwood was a baby and the sad thing is, I've forgotten a lot of the stories behind the photos. This year, I've been trying to keep up with Trotwood's photos and stories in my scrapbooking but I'm still behind! Trotwood used to be such a good eater when he was a baby and I just loved his happy, little facial expressions whenever he'd try something new.
Created with Audrey Neal's 4 Tags Template, Mama Loves you Digital Kit, and Pop A Cork Alphabet to be released on July 19, 2012.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Delight

My layout from the DHD speedscrap last night. I'm not very speedy but I got it done!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Score!

I took these pictures of Trotwood in December. My mom and step-dad came up and brought an old basketball goal that they'd bought for their very first grandson (who was born almost 14 years ago!). Trotwood absolutely loved it and has so much fun trying to put the basketball in the goal. My favorite picture is the one in the middle where he's all bent backwards trying to get it in.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fun Glasses

A friend snapped this photo of Trotwood the other day when she was watching him for us. I just think it's SO cute. And, in case you didn't notice. He IS smiling. Whenever you tell this kid to smile, he automatically squints his eyes so you can't see them anymore and cheeses real big. So funny. We really have a character on our hands.

Monday, July 9, 2012

A visit

This weekend we went to Pine Bluff to visit my parents. Now, Pine Bluff is infamous for many things, one of which is...well, there is absolutely nothing to do in the town. However, while we were there this time, we did something I've never done before - we went to the train museum! I'm not sure how old the museum there is but I grew up in Pine Bluff and never visited it until now. And you know what? It's a pretty neat place! I actually really liked it, so much that I plan on going back to take some family photos. But, the next time I go, I'd like it to be in the fall when it's not 100 degrees outside. You see, the train museum is just that - an enormous, hanger-like building with old trains inside. Old, real and real, old trains! Oh, and no air conditioning. And you can go inside the old trains to see what they looked like. Trotwood had an amazing time running up and down the trains and stairs all over the place. And Mr. Rochester and I enjoyed ourselves as well. Here are a few photos from our adventure there.





Friday, July 6, 2012

Return

It's official. I'm going back to school in the fall and I'll be starting a master's program in Educational Technology. No, I'm not crazy and I feel like it's the right thing to do. Mr. Rochester has about three years left before he finishes his Ph.D. My job at work is turning into an instructional designer position this month so I figured with 90% off my tuition, I might as well go back and get the degree to actually be an instructional designer. (Also, it feels almost criminal to get that much of a discount off tuition for working at a University and not use it!) The master's program is completely online and it's non-thesis! Hooray!

And you know what, if I feel like it's too much of a burden on my family and I'm just going crazy, I'll quit. I mean, I already have one master's degree. This second one's just for fun. Sort of. I have great visions of doing instructional design contract work from home once Mr. Rochester has an amazing full-time faculty position somewhere. Mr. Rochester's salary will provide for our family and mine will provide for vacations. Hey, I can dream, right? Okay, in all reality, my contribution will probably go to pay off our student loans every month. Nevertheless, I'm going to do it and hopefully, I'll finish...maybe even before Mr. Rochester does. Just kidding. I wouldn't do that to him...we'll probably end up finishing about the same time because I'm just going to take it easy.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

10 Lessons

This morning I learned several lessons about blenders and toddlers:
  1. If there's a button to push within reach, always assume it will be pushed. It's a simple law of nature that all toddlers are magnetically drawn to blenders. Why this isn't taught at some point is school is beyond me. Perhaps, it is common sense, but sometimes common sense can be very elusive. 
  2. Never turn your back on a blender that is plugged in.
  3. Never turn your back on a blender that is plugged in and the lid is off, even if you just turned around to put the lid in the sink and grab some cups from a cupboard.
  4. ALWAYS unplug the blender as soon as you are finished even if little hands are nowhere insight.
  5. Toddlers can be very quiet when they want to be. And very very sneaky. And very fast.
  6. When the blender button is pushed and the lid is off, your delicious mango breakfast shake will end up all over the counters and floors.
  7. When the blender button is pushed and the lid is off and your back is turned, don't turn around and scream at the top of your lungs in fright at the unexpected noise because it will startle and frighten your toddler who was just as startled and frightened at the noise the blender made when he pushed the button. 
  8. After the mess, make sure to comfort your frightened child and explain to him about blenders, lids and buttons.
  9. When you are preparing breakfast and have a vision of mango shake all over the floor, be more aware of whether the blender is plugged in or not when you're not using it.
  10. The Kitchen Aid blender works really, really well...with or without the lid on. 
Yes, we had an adventurous morning in our home but everything ended up well. Mom and Dad did get some mango shake for breakfast and Trotwood learned about blenders...although I'm sure it won't stop him from pushing buttons in the future.