August 4, 2015

Wimpy

We recently got back from a trip to Wisconsin. Other than leaving my phone on the plane (technically Finn left it on the plane, but that's neither here nor there), we had a really great time visiting family, attending the 3rd Annual Hidalgo/Warner Golf Outing, and soaking up some enjoyable time on Lake Michigan which I will blog about later.

The golf outing was awesome; it consisted of a fun tournament and silent auction to raise money for The Fisher House of Wisconsin as well as the memorial funds of Daren and our family friend Rich Warner (who was killed in Iraq in 2004). This year through donations and sponsors and auction funds, $40,000 was raised! Totally amazing.

When Miles' dad spoke at the golf outing he said how the great turnout meant so much because it was a reminder that Daren and Rich's lives mattered and still matter and still are important and how those reminders mean so much to their family who miss them every day.

Rich and Daren's lives were cut far too short, but the brevity of their lives does not diminish the significance of them in any way. I feel the same way in regard's to Cale's life.

I was saddened, but not shocked to learn today that my WWII buddy Mr. Williams has passed away. He was a kind and funny old man I was lucky enough to befriend while we lived in Texas and it was a real honor getting to know him. His nickname was Wimpy, but when asked how he got the nickname he said he's just always had it.  His niece, who he has lived with for the last several years, referred to him as "Uncle Wimpy" and today she called to let me know that he died peacefully while in his sleep. He was 98 years old and yet I couldn't help but find my eyes well with tears upon hearing the news of his passing.

Mr. Williams lived a long and meaningful and honorable life. He was with loving family at the time of his death and until a few months ago was very coherent and mentally sharp. He died of old age. Something that almost seems unheard of these days. And while unusual, when life (and death) don't happen that way it seems unfair and wrong.

It will always be hard to wrap my head around deaths that happen before their time, so today I'm going to be especially grateful for the life of Winford "Wimpy" Williams and hope that I can only be so lucky.

March of 2014 - Telling Finn to wave at the camera.

Our last visit with Wimpy just prior to our move from Texas in April 2014.

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July 27, 2015

Microblog Monday: Puppy

I like the idea of these microblogs for quick posts about something worth remembering when I don't have time to post much more. We are traveling now, but I wanted to share this cute picture of Mary who is snuggling with her puppy. She managed to unzip the suitcase, pull out her puppy, say "pah-py, pah-py!" over and over in the cutest little voice, then fall asleep within twenty seconds of being put in the car. She's been snuggling with this particular puppy for a couple weeks now and I just love it because not only is it adorable to see her carrying it around, but it's a special lovie, one that was given to Cale from his Aunt Jenny. 

I love when my kids get to use Cale hand-me-downs. It's even more meaningful when those hand-me-downs are special to them as well.


July 17, 2015

Noteworthy Finn Quotes

I'm glad I have some friends who share their kids' funny quotes because it reminds me I need to do the same. The last time I shared some of the funny/sweet/strange things out of Finn's mouth was back in February when he was three and a half and before that was closer to when he was three. So at four, here are a collection of noteworthy Finn quotes:

"Mom, can you carry me please? You're strong enough to carry me."

 . . . . .

"Is Mary's tooth is coming out?"
"No, she's getting a new tooth in her mouth."
"I'm gonna get a new tooth too."
"No, buddy you've already got all your teeth. In a few years you will start to lose your teeth and they will come out"
pause
"That doesn't sound good."

 . . . . .

"Was I born from your tummy?"
"Yes, you were. Just like Cale and Mary."
"Was I born first?"
"No, Cale was born first. After he was born then you were born. After you, Mary was born."
"Who was born from Aunt Jenny's tummy?"
"Carson, Maddox, and Wyatt."
"Was there room for them?"
"Well they weren't all born at the same time. Carson was first, then Maddox, then Wyatt."
"Did all the babies wait their turn?"
"Yes, sweetie, they did."

 . . . . .

"Mom, does Batman wear underwear?"

 . . . . .

Me: "Finn remember, you need to sit in the stroller even if you see other kids out of theirs, ok?"
Finn: "We worry about ourselves, right?"

 . . . . .

Making pancakes one morning

Me: "I don't make shapes like Daddy does, just circles"
Finn: "But circles are shapes, mommy."

 . . . . .

"Is Mary drinking Mama milk? Is it regular milk or almond milk?"

 . . . . .

Finn: "We could take a time airplane to see the thunder."
Me: "No, buddy you wouldn't need a time machine to see thunder, we can see lighting, but we hear thunder."
Finn: "We could take a time airplane to see the dinosaurs. Could we take a time airplane to see Cale?"

 . . . . .

"Don't drive too fast, that hurts my tummy"

For the record, I was going five UNDER the speed limit at the time!

 . . . . .

When Finn finds change or we randomly reward him with some money he excitedly puts it in his piggy bank. He recently used it to buy a tow truck and it's not uncommon that while out running errands he will ask, "Can I save my money up for this?" but one day he asked:

"Can I save my money up for a baby brother?"

Brutiful, right?

 . . . . .


We recently learned the concept of jealousy from the Berenstain Bears

"Finn, can you hand me that napkin?"
"But that's my napkin."
"Ok, then hand me another one please. I need one for Mary."
"Ok. If you want my napkin that's being jealous."

 . . . . .

"Mom, will Daddy be home for dinner?"
Me: "yes, buddy he will."
Mary: "Dadda, Dadda, Dadda!"
"That's right Mary baby, Daddy will be home soon."

 . . . . .

While at Target today

"Want some cat food?"
"No buddy, we don't have a cat."
"You could buy one."
"I don't want to buy one."
"You could borrow one from the neighbor."

Also while at Target, I was looking at a shirt for Miles and hear Finn say:
"Let's get this shirt for Daddy. He likes this shirt"

Apparently Finn is in to cats. And assumes Miles is too.





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July 11, 2015

Random Thoughts and What Do You Do With All Your Pictures!?

Last week the governor of Missouri signed a law granting a tax exemption for stillbirths. When I was reading about it, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Arizona already has a similar law and is one of the now three states that grant the exemption. I hope other states follow suit. Three is such a pitiful number. But now I keep thinking that I want to go back and amend our taxes from 2010. I was an Arizona resident then and I remember being asked, "did you have a stillbirth in the state of Arizona" when I first attempted to do our taxes online. I was emotional and confused and ended up getting our taxes done at HR Block. And I don't even know if our taxes could be amended, because while I was a resident of the state (since I was active duty at the time), my baby was not born in the state of Arizona. A little tricky, but nonetheless it would be really neat if I could go back and give some legal and and official proof of life to Cale. And that's what is so wonderful about the tax exemption. Sure, the money is nice, but it's far more important than that. It's acknowledgment. It's recognition. And that's something stillborns get far too little of.

I have yet to re-apply for Cale's Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth (CBRS). I applied once in 2011, while pregnant with Finley. I was sent the wrong document and instead received his fetal death certificate, something we already have. And I have yet to muster up the courage to re apply. So silly, really. It would take all of five minutes. Just print out a form, mail it off, and hope they don't screw it up this time. Yet I can't seem to bring myself to do it. Funny how daunting and emotional a little bit of paperwork can be.

Speaking of daunting, I really hope to get more organized at some point. I want to weed through all the scrapbooking materials I have and part with most of them. I think I'm coming to accept that I just won't be scrapbooking much ever again. But I do still want to make (or have made) albums for all the kids and I don't know how I want to do those. I have Mary's baby book all filled out, but only a fraction of Finn's done. But what about the things I want to keep? Pictures are easy to do in a photo book, which is certainly a nice space saver, but what about the baby shower invitations and the hospital bands, the cards and the sweet little "things" that just get stored in a box  . . . you know, because they are far too precious and special to throw out. Any recommendations for what to do with all that stuff? 

At least my lack of organization is clearly organized?
Additionally, while I want to clear out a lot of the "stuff," I also worry that I don't have enough pictures printed and need to go through and either print copies of my favorites or make some photo books because I worry about technology failing me and all my digitally stored pictures being lost. I have all our pictures on a hard drive that is backed up by another hard drive, but what if USB's one day become obsolete?! Miles and I watched Return of the Planet of the Apes the other night and there is a scene where they get the power up and running again and a man is glad to get a charge back in his iPad because it enables him to view his family photo. I'm not too concerned we are going o be overrun by apes, but I do think it's a valid point that we rely on technology a bit too much for storage of such important memories. I just need to find a happy medium of digital and hard copies and would love any recommendations or tips!

I'm somewhat motivated to get started on this photo/album organization because I fear memories escaping me and not being able to recall little details that I once thought I'd never forget. On Cale's fifth birthday I re-read all the details and memories I typed up a few months after he died. I wrote about everything from when and how I found out I was pregnant with him, my pregnancy, and then all the details surrounding his birth. It's a 14 page, single spaced word document that was tough, but nice to go back and read through, though I found many typos and grammatical errors I need to go back and fix! But as I was reading it I was reminded of things I had already forgotten about and I'm thankful I had written them down and need to do a better job of that. Like I should write down when we were driving home yesterday and Finn said, "I love you, Mary" and then went on to say, "and I love you too, mommy, and daddy and Roscoe - I just love everybody!" . . . I need to write that down because it was helpful at reminding me that he is a great kid despite the total psychopath he was two days prior when he thought it was FUNNY to roll over  Mary's head (made more challenging by the fact that she also thought it was funny) and he couldn't listen to a damn thing I said all day. But nonetheless, documenting this stuff is important and I need to make it more of a priority outside of the blog.

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July 4, 2015

The Best Damn Holiday

The 4th of July really is the best holiday. It's low stress, it's all about having fun, eating good food, and being patriotic. I mean, really. It just doesn't get any better. Plus, nine years ago today Miles proposed!

We had no big plans this year so went to the 4th of July party in our neighborhood. We live in the cutest little neighborhood - the kind of place I will have a hard time leaving because not only is everyone so nice and welcoming, but it's a safe and active community as well. At tonight's festivities there were bounce houses and water slides and food and beer for days. The fireworks are still going on, much to Roscoe's chagrin, but they even had fireworks earlier in the evening for the younger kids. (poppers and some more tame fireworks). Finn is far more brave than I realized and wanted to be involved in EVERYTHING. He had the time of his life tonight and I was literally so happy watching him I thought I would burst in to tears at any moment. I know that sounds so over the top, but it really was such a wonderful night and a reminder of why I just love this holiday. There was a slight drizzle of rain during a good portion of the evening, but it didn't bother Finn (or any of the kids) one bit. Then when the bounce houses and waterslide were re-inflated he rushed off to go partake, not caring that he didn't even have his swimsuit on. He was soaked and shaking and we made him change in to dry clothes before running off to watch the fireworks over our neighborhood lake. Bed time was so much later than normal, but it was worth every minute, getting to experience the excitement and the joy through his eyes.

Miles thought the theme was 80's 4th of July.
We seriously love America.
Get up, sister. Mom wants to take pictures. You know the drill.

It was drizzling non stop, but he could have stayed out there all night.
MA found the rocking chair to be just as fun as the fireworks
This guy does NOT understand the fascination with fireworks.
He's curled up in his bed next to the white noise machine as I type.

This may be my favorite picture of the night.
This kid was all smiles and laughter and it was contagious. 
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