Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dear Hudson and Brayden,

Wow, it has been over three years since your birth. Time has flown by. You'll be adults in just 15 short years. Kindergarten is little over two years away. What can I say? I've loved watching you both grow and learn new things but it's also sad because my babies are gone.

Brayden, you are still the happiest, smiliest kid I know. Strangers still come up to me and say what a cute, happy, smiley kid you are. You. Are. Always. Smiling. It's infectious! Yes, you have moments of sadness when you fall and get hurt, when Hudson takes something from you, or when I tell you "no," but it's easy to make you happy again. I wish I was more like you in that way. You are a little comedian. You are always doing silly things to get me to laugh. You succeed a lot. You are still obsessed with sports. And when I say "obsessed" that's an understatement. You are always, always, ALWAYS wanting to play either soccer, basketball, football, hockey, golf, baseball, tennis, ping pong, Karate...WHATEVER. If there is a ball used in the sport, you'll play it. And you are really good at sports. You have awesome eye-hand-foot coordination. I think you'll be great at whichever sport you choose to play. I signed you and Hudson up to play soccer this spring. When I turned in the paperwork at work you looked at me that moment and said "I want my jersey. Play soccer now? Let's go!" You were so disappointed when I told you team practice didn't start for another month. You were ready to play that minute. And you are really competitive. You are always "racing" Hudson in one way or the other. Who can get dressed first, who can get up the stairs first, who can finish breakfast first, who can get in the car the fastest, who can get in mom's lap first. You try so hard to win (and so does Hudson). We are working on being a better loser when things don't go your way (Hudson needs to learn this too). ;)

Oh and sports jerseys! Oh boy! You have an obsession with them as well. You'll wear one every single day if I let you. You are ALL BOY. You love cars, motorcycles, guns, tools, bikes, and playing outside. You love to pretend to be a superhero and show me your muscles. But you are still my little lover. You love to give me hugs and kisses. You tell me you love me all the time. You just melt my heart! You are still quite attached to me. You call me "my momma" whenever Hudson tries to get my attention. So of course your favorite word (or word you say the most) is "momma". It's cute but also a bit annoying. Sorry honey. You sleep with a stuffed bunny every night and you MUST hold onto the silk tag on your blanket. If you don't get a hold of that tag you get upset. You've been doing that since you were a baby.

You have awesome dance moves. Whenever you get super excited you start to dance and I can't help but smile and laugh. You still love to be tickled. Not sure where you got that from (not me). You were potty trained in about two days. You surprised me. I thought it was going to be tough to get you to use the potty because you had no interest in it but you caught on real quick. Your favorite color is blue. Favorite food is waffles. You love school! You are always so excited to go and see your friends and teachers. You still nap at school but haven't napped at home since you were about 2-2 1/2 years old. I blame Hudson on that one. ;)

You are an affectionate, caring, and silly kid and I can't wait to see what God has planned for you in the future.

Hudson, you are still a curious child. You must know what everything is, what it does, what it's for, why we have it, where it goes and if you can't figure it out on your own, you'll ask someone. Because of all this you still get into everything. Things/rooms are still locked up because of your curiosity (although childproof locks can't stop you and you can pick regular locks). But I love you for it! You're just too smart for your own good. All it takes is for you to watch me do something just once and you got it. You were potty trained in just five hours. Five hours! You peed in your underwear just once and that was all it took for you to realize you didn't want to do that again.

And you remember EVERYTHING! If I lose something all I have to do is ask you where it is and you usually know where it is. And I can't ever promise you something one day cause you'll remember and remind me the next day (i.e. if you eat your dinner and go to bed without complaining we'll go to the park tomorrow). Don't ever promise him something you have no intention of following through on. He'll remind you! You are very talkative and expressive. Your face lights up when you talk about something that matters to you. Your imagination has taken off over the past 6 months. You love to play "restaurant" and pretending our rug is a pool and Titus is an alligator. You are a huge helper around the house. You love to vacuum, fold laundry, wipe tables, make dinner, and clean up around the house. Which is a good thing because you are usually the one who made the mess to begin with.

The way Brayden is obsessed with his jerseys, you are that way with your cowboy boots. I think the fact that grandpa Widell bought them for you has something to do with that. You wear them everyday...with everything! No. Matter. What. You love tools in an obsessive way too. And you love to use them around the house to "fix" stuff. You even fill up your toolbox with them and "help" daddy work on his car. It's adorable watching you two together working on the cars. You know quite a lot about cars because of this. It makes daddy happy because he's just as obsessive about them as you are. You love your back scratched and I'm more than happy to oblige because you'll lay still with me for a few minutes. Your favorite color is black. Favorite food is honey yogurt. You are incredibly thoughtful of others. Whenever Brayden gets hurt and cries you always ask him if he's okay. And you just started to lean on him or give him hugs and say "I'm loving on you B!"

You sleep with five stuffed puppy dogs each night and I can't remember the last time you took a nap. Maybe a year ago? I don't think you've ever napped at school and because of that I feel for your teachers. But you do love school and that's a big deal. You're just as excited as Brayden to go each day and see your friends. You just started saying you love me. In the past when I asked you if you loved me you always said yes, but you just started to tell me on your own. It's always such a surprise to hear you say it out of the blue.

You are such a sweet, playful, loving kid and I can't wait to see what God has in store for you too.


P.S. If you are interested in reading my last "Dear Hudson and Brayden" post I wrote when they were 22 months old, you can find it here. It's amazing to see that not much has changed in their personalities since then.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Photo Dump

While the boys nap I thought I would dump off a whole lot of photos off my cell phone here on this blog. Here are many of my favorites...I'll post more another time/day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

God's Plan: Pregnancy?

I believe I've heard the phrase "it will happen in God's time" spoken to me a couple hundred times in the past 10 years. Some days hearing that made me feel better--and other days it made me feel worse.

For so many people starting a family is a very easy task. You stop taking birth control (or stop using other forms of contraceptives), try for a few months, and WHAM, you're pregnant. That was not the case for me and my husband Tommy.

If you know me personally and know my story or if you've followed me on this poorly updated blog, then you are aware of our struggles with infertility. After seven years of 'trying' we were told by fertility specialists that our chance of ever getting pregnant naturally was less than 1%. Our only chance to have children was through in vitro fertilization (IVF). We did go through the nerve-wracking process of IVF and I gave birth to health twin boys.

Now, almost three years after Hudson and Brayden were born, and still with a less than 1% chance of getting pregnant naturally, God did a miracle. I got pregnant! Unfortunately, the same day I found out I was pregnant, I also found out I wasn't going to have a happy ending.

You see, I didn't know I was pregnant until I went to my OB/GYN for a 'problem' appointment on August 21.

*WARNING: Lots of 'girl stuff' discussed.

First, I have really debated whether or not to write a blog post about this. I'm not doing this for attention or sympathy. I felt that the Lord had been leading me to write my experience down for others to read. He wouldn't stop reminding me. In doing this I hope it may help someone else who may have gone through a similar situation and I want them to know that they are not alone.

My period was a week and a half late (yes, I still didn't think I was pregnant). Then, when it finally started, it lasted for nine days (way too long). Then it stopped. Yay! Back to normal, right? Wrong. Three days later another period started (or so I thought it was another period). Twenty-two days later of straight bleeding I finally decided to see my OB/GYN.

When I got to my doctor's office I explained my 'abnormal' cycle to her nurse. She said she wanted me to take a pregnancy test first (which is normal protocol) to rule that out. I peed in a cup and 5 minutes later she walks into the exam room and says, "you're pregnant!"

Everything happened so quickly after that. First, I'm told I'm pregnant. Then they do an ultrasound and tell me I'm not. Then I'm told I am but it's an ectopic pregnancy and nothing can be done for the baby. WOW! My head was spinning. I heard all this in a span of about 20 minutes.

My doctor figured I was about 4-5 weeks along. At first she wanted to give me the methotrexate shot to end the pregnancy but then decided to do a series of blood tests over the next few days to check my hCG levels to see if my hormone levels drop (meaning I miscarry naturally). Two weeks and four blood tests later (and still no shot) my hormone levels were dropping...but not fast enough.

During those two weeks I started to experience mild to strong cramping everyday. Two weeks to the day I found out about the pregnancy, I started having severe cramping. I called my doctor's office (which was now closed) and the on-call doctor told me to go to the emergency room immediately.

Five hours later on Sept. 5, I had emergency surgery to remove a ruptured fallopian tube and over a liter of blood from my abdomen. The growing baby inside me ruptured my tube days earlier (don't really know exactly when) and had been bleeding out into my belly ever since.

Today, almost one month after I found out I was pregnant, and two weeks after my surgery, I'm finally at peace with the news and outcome. However, the two weeks that went by knowing I had a baby growing in my fallopian tube and I couldn't do a thing to keep the baby, was really hard. I am thankful though that I didn't know I was pregnant sooner before finding out it was an ectopic pregnancy. It would have been much harder to get through.

Going through this has made me appreciate what I already have even more. My twin boys were also miracles. And I'm so thankful God blessed me with them.

I know what happened wasn't a surprise to God and He has a greater purpose for this. I really wanted that child but He's working this out for His bigger plan in my life...and He'll get greater glory for it.

"But you, O Lord, are my shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high."
(Psalm 3:3)

Praying for those of you who have also lost babies and/or struggling with infertility.

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done."
(Philippians 4:6)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Yes, I'm still aware I have a blog...

So, what have I been doing since my last post, you ask? I've just been living my life. I've been so busy that I haven't given blogging a second thought.

I really do hope to start blogging more. Just don't hold your breath. I'll blog again when I feel the today for some reason. I took the boys to the mall today. Took one of those silly photobooth photos (Hudson's request). Hudson's face in the last photo sums up what it's been like the past few months. Kinda. ;)

Until next time...whenever that is.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

30 Day Photography Challenge: Day 10

Day 10: Childhood memory

I had a hard time with this one. To be honest, I don't have many memories before the age of nine while growing up in Los Angeles. I have no idea why that is. I had a great childhood. I have pictures to prove it. There are no bad memories. 

Luckily, I was cleaning out the boys closet today and found a bag of my stuffed animals and dolls. My parents have been cleaning out their house and giving my brothers and me stuff (art projects, baby clothes, toys, etc) from our childhood for us to keep. I have no idea how they ended up in the boys' room. But I'm glad I found it. Seeing them immediately brought back memories. I took a picture of the two that brought back the most memories.

Thumper reminded me of watching the movie Bambi. It was one of my favorite Disney movies and Thumper was my favorite character from the movie. I just had to have a stuffed animal of him. I have a picture of myself opening him up on Christmas morning. I searched for the photo today and couldn't find it. I know it's in my house somewhere.

The cabbage patch doll was the first "doll" I ever got. I was mostly into stuffed animals growing up but I thought they were really cute and wanted one. I don't think there was a girl born in the 80's that didn't have one. I had to have one with brown hair and brown eyes. Not sure why cause that is the opposite of myself but whatever...I was a kid.

I think they are both in amazing shape for being about 25 years old.

I think I'll make our bed (of course it's not made. Who has time for that?) and prop them up on the pillows and wait to see Tommy's expression when he comes home tonight.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Down On The Farm

Fall has become my favorite time of the year. I love the cool, crisp weather, leaves changing colors, pumpkin picking, getting to wear sweaters and boots again...ahhhh, I just love it! And Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I think it's the dressing up and getting free candy that makes me love it so much.

Anyways, one of my favorite things to do around this time of year is to go to a farm, pick out a pumpkin, go on a hayride, get lost in a corn maze, and get frightened in a haunted forest. And now that I have two little ones, this time of year is even more exciting cause they get to experience it too (except for the haunted forest. I think it's too soon to start having nightmares. Let them make it to high school at least).

Tommy and I took the boys to the Honeysuckle Hill Farm in Springfield, TN on Sunday after church. I highly recommend this place to anyone living in the Nashville and surrounding areas. It was about a 45-60 minute drive from our house in Franklin. Definitely worth the trip. There was so much to do and see. Plus, children under three are free. Here is a link if you want to check out their website.

The boys had a blast! It was difficult at times to keep a handle on Hudson (a lot of my photos of him were of his back, cause he was always running away to something else). He wanted to be and see everything...all at once. He especially loved the chickens. Brayden loved getting to play basketball (go figure...since there was a ball involved). Brayden LOVED the pumpkin patch. He wanted to take home every single pumpkin. As soon as he picked up one and handed it to me, he was looking for another one to give me. Hudson searched for a short time, picked the smallest pumpkin he could fine, threw it at my feet, and then ran off to something else. Ha! Typical Hudson.

Here are TONS (and I really mean a LOT) of my favorite shots of our visit.

Whew...that was a lot of photos. I warned you.

I desperately wanted to get a family photo of the four of us all LOOKING at the camera. A guy offered to take the picture for us, but apparently my camera was a bit too complicated for him because he only took one shot...and it was blurry.

Hey, at least we were all looking at the camera for once! Oh well. Better luck next time.