Saturday, August 31, 2013

It's Been Awhile

It has been almost a year since I posted on here. That is about to change though, because our family is about to experience our first deployment. It's amazing that we made it over 6 years without Paul being deployed, but his time has come. This blog is going to be a way for me to keep him updated on the kids. More on that to come. First, a little catching up.

We moved, again. There has to be at least 4 other posts with those exact words. Crazy. Actually, we've moved twice since I last posted. Hopefully it will be a couple years before I can say that again.

Bentley is almost 6 (yikes) and in Kindergarten. I am homeschooling him and so far it is going just okay. I am praying it gets better and he grows to love learning. He has lost his first two teeth.

 Chance is 3 and keeping me very busy. Worrying about him keeps me up at night, but that will have to be another post.

We have a new addition to our family. Aria was born July 11. I feel like the transition from 1 to 2 kids went easier than 2 to 3 has gone, but we are figuring things out. She is such a blessing and will need a post of her own.

It won't be so long before the next one, I promise.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Some Fun Things

We have been extremely busy since we made it back to Arizona. I wanted to backtrack a little and post some pictures from our time in Arkansas. This trip was just one bad thing after another. I was scared to think of what else could possibly go wrong, because it probably would have happened. All I see when I look at my boys though is innocence, and I did not want to burden them with adult emotion. So they spent a lot of time with my family and I tried to do some fun things with them.

We went to my uncle's pool several times, and one day my sister and I took all three boys to an indoor water park. They all had a blast. Bentley surprised me by wanting to go down this huge water slide.

My sister took him up to the top and sent him down. He loved it and did it about 100 more times. Here he is coming down it. He looks so small.

Chance enjoyed the smaller slides and splashing in the water.

I have been horrible about getting my camera out and just taking pictures of day to day things. My goal is to get more pictures of the kids with family next time we are in Arkansas.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Since Then

The last three weeks have been hard. The first two I was dealing with postpartum hormones and extreme, raw grief. I had absolutely no patience with my boys and every little thing made me cry. I tried so hard not to cry in front the kids, but I was not successful. I know this made it harder on Bentley, and he had some behavioral issues come up. The 24 hours I was in the hospital is the longest I have ever been away from Chance so he has been super clingy to me. I wish I knew what their minds were thinking. I was very honest with Bentley about what happened, but he hasn't really said a lot about it.

Now I kind of feel stuck. It's a long story, but our vehicle has been in the shop for 3 weeks now so we are still in Arkansas. I haven't even been able to hug the one person who is experiencing the same loss as I am. I am beyond ready to go home.

I find myself avoiding people other than really close friends and family. I've run into many people I know and it's just awkward. I know they don't know what to say, Most people don't say anything at all, and honestly, this is the worst thing they could do. Even some family members I've seen never said a word. The best reaction came from one of my aunts who simply gave me a hug and said, "I'm so sorry." Yes it made me cry, but that's okay. I had a baby, and I don't want to pretend like it didn't happen. I enjoy talking about him because the memories are all I have.

A piece of my heart is missing, and I am learning how to move forward knowing that is how it will be for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I Held an Angel

I don't want to be writing this. I don't want this to be my story. Last Monday, at 19 weeks, I learned that the baby I was carrying would never be with us on earth.

About two and a half weeks before this I had had an ultrasound. I watched as the technician checked my baby over: a perfect spine, perfect arms and legs with feet crossed at the ankle, perfect little face, perfect heart, kidneys, bladder, etc. As far as my untrained eye could see, my baby was perfect and moving so so much. Some time in the next two weeks, that tiny little heart stopped beating.

Our third son, Gabriel David McCollough, was born July 3, 2012 weighing 5 oz. and 8 in. long.

I was surrounded by friends and family as I held him for the first and last time and tried to memorize all his features. In that moment I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and I find myself wishing I could go back to that time. We took pictures for Paul because unfortunately the kids and I are visiting family in Arkansas and his school would not let him come be with us.

Since then I have gone through so many emotions. I have tried to explain to a 4 year old why the baby he was so excited about is no longer in my tummy and won't be coming to live with us. It appeared that Gabriel had a growth/fluid at the base of his skull, but we will never know for sure what caused his death. We rest in knowing he is safe in heaven and I will be looking forward to the day I hold him in my arms again.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

All About Chance

A month ago Chance turned 2 years old. He seems so big, but in many ways he does not seem like a two year old. He has come so far in the last 6 months with the therapies we have had him in, but he is still considered severely delayed in communication and social interaction. This is very hard for me to admit because I think I have been in denial for some time. Some days I find myself thinking something might be wrong with him, and some days I just think he's a little behind. At his two year checkup we were referred to not only a speech therapist, but also a pediatric psychologist and a developmental pediatrician to have him evaluated for Autism. In the grand scheme of things, this is nothing, it is not life threatening, but I am scared out of my mind.

I have not talked to anyone about this, even family. I don't want anyone to view my baby differently or feel sorry for him. I will have to though. He is old enough that people notice when he acts differently and that he doesn't do all the "normal" two year old things.

What he does do is make me laugh every day. He loves to snuggle at bed time and he loves to help me with dishes and laundry. He also loves to aggravate his big brother. For a couple days he refused to eat until I figured out that he was claiming his independence and had to feed himself. He now sleeps in a big boy bed, even if it is a struggle to get him to stay in it.

He is a sweetheart and we love him no matter what.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Basketball Hoopie

I mailed this photo strip to our families a couple weeks ago to announce our very exciting news. We wanted to tell everyone at the same time, and since we couldn't tell them in person I thought this was a fun idea. It made for some interesting phone calls because a few of them did not quite get it.

Bentley is so excited that we are going to have a new baby. When we first told him, he declared the baby's name would be "Basketball Hoopie." We just laughed, but he has stuck with this name for several weeks. I think he may be disappointed when we don't actually use it.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Catching Up

So much has happened since I last posted, I have no idea where to begin. First of all, we moved. We went from the sunny beaches of San Diego to the desert of Arizona. It has been a difficult adjustment, and it is taking me forever to get our house in order. Bentley has said many times that he wants to go back to San Diego. We got here right when school got out so he won't go back to preschool until August, and the summer program they have is full. There are a lot of neighborhood kids for him to play with though, and we are looking for a church here.

I have many more posts I need to do, so I will just post pictures from the last couple months.

We moved in two phases, and phase one we sent all our furniture. We would find Bentley sleeping all over his room, usually anywhere but on the bed.

Best garage sale find! I knew the boys would love one of these, but could not justify how much they cost. I saw this on the way to get donuts one morning and made Paul stop and get it.

We are so happy to finally have a yard. Bentley has had this power wheels for two years and now finally has a place to ride it.