Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Kindergarten Registration


I am having a hard time figuring out a way to my all the thoughts in my head and emotions onto words. Words people can understand. Words that makes sense to me. 
I continue to struggle with the acceptance, wishing for something different and the anger stages of grief.
I feel like these are the 3 I have struggled with the most and the ones that I may always struggle with.
Just when I think I am in the acceptance stage and doing "well" something new happens or even someone old is triggered and I go back to that wishing for something different. and then the anger. The wishing and anger come hand in hand. I think they are a team for me because I cant wish for something different without knowing that if life were different we wouldn't have Tracker. So then I get angry. because there is no way I can imagine my life without him. 
I get angry because I want to wish for life to be something else. I want to imagine life with an almost 5 year old girl. I want to imagine kindergarten registration right now and feeling a lump in my stomach knowing my sweet girl will be starting school. I want to imagine a house of dolls and barbies and pink and glitter and hearts and princess dresses. I want to imagine calling her name. I want to imagine painting her toes and tickling her arms. I want to imagine doing her hair and getting frustrated when she wont sit still. I want to imagine all of this goodness.
but with everyone of these thoughts I think about this little boy that is running rampid in my house. Causing chaos, loud noise, creating horrible messes and climbing up the walls. and I get angry at myself for even imagining a different way because with any other way... He wouldn't be here. and that just isn't something I can accept. Ever. but how to I accept her being gone?
How do I continue day in and day out to pretend this is all okay? That I am okay? That I don't want to throw up everyday knowing its another day without her and another day I have to make an effort to say her name. She isn't here to call for lunch or to tell to stop picking on her brother. Her name isn't said several hundred times a day like Trackers is. Her name is only said a few times. If that. There are some days I go to bed and realize I haven't even said her name out loud today.
Life is happening. I am living. That is a lot more than I could have said 2 years ago. My life was consumed with missing her. Our house was very empty. We are lucky and so very thankful to have such a huge void in our world filled by Tracker. but he took the place of distractions and noise and staying busy. He didn't take the place of her. That little girl. That girl that was here first. That couldn't keep her hands out of her mouth. That girl that fit so perfect in my neck. That girl that loved balloons. That girl that made a squeak when she breathed. That girl that talked non stop all day. That girl that was mellow and content. That girl that had long skinny feet. That girl that love inappropriate songs. That girl that smelled like lavender and vanilla. That girl that smiled all the time. That girl I miss. That little being that I held. and loved. and bathed. and kissed and fought to keep. That little girl that I had for 148 days. I miss her. and I think its a joke that God thought I could live the rest of my life with only 148 days of her. 
That I was some how suppose to make enough memories and soak in as much of her as I could to last me the rest of my life. It wasn't long enough.
I have been so tired of hearing from others how happy she is. How she is so proud of her brother. How she is having the best time in heaven. How she is in a better place... I am so tired of hearing how we will be together again. I am tired of trying to make all of this "okay".
Its not. Its not okay that I only got 148 days with my child. That I then held her while she died. and that I buried her. and that her body is now hundreds of miles away. 
It might be a good thing I am not near her right now. There have been more than a few times lately that I want to get in the car drive the 9 hour drive and dig her up. Hold what is left of her decomposed body and bring it home with me. To have her. A little tiny peace of what is left.
I understand she is in heaven. I have to believe that. Or I would jump in front of a bus. I have to believe there is more than this. Than living and dieing. There has to be more. but what that more is... Is another struggle. I have talked to people. People from various religions. With various beliefs. and maybe its just me... but what they tell me heaven is like... or where she is... I don't believe it. and I don't like it. 
Its not good enough.
The lack of dreams since she died.... Still nothing. I have still not had a dream of her since that one right after she died. The "feelings" of her are hard for me to make sense of. Is it real or is it my mind doing everything possible to survive another moment so I make up this "feeling". Why is that feeling not there when I need it most? What am I missing?
I am thankful for family. Friends. and even the friends I have never met that always offer a word of peace. Advice. and send love. Your comments on where she is or who she is with are appreciated. and they do help. but right now I am having a hard time with them.
I don't write much about this anymore because I cant figure out what to say. I cant figure out how to put it into words. I push it out of my mind and try to focus on the good.
I have gotten pretty good at it. Keeping busy on the boys in my world. They are amazing. 
but then out of no where I have mornings where I happen to look at her picture. The same picture I see everyday. The one hanging above my couch. and that picture brings me to my knees. I then spend that day doing everything in my power to just breathe. To keep Tracker fed and Mickey on TV. Those are not "proud Mom" days. I usually sit in front of the computer and watch her videos over and over. I close my eyes and just listen to her. Her breathing. Her giggles. Her crying. I try to go back there. Its so far away now. So far from my constant now. 
Its hard to go back there. To remember. To be in that moment. but I try. 
I usually end up having a new moment now. A moment with my daughter. Videos of my daughter. On a computer. They are not great. and again I get angry.


My eyes are burning.
My boy needs me.
Ill get this figured out.
I have made it over 4 years now.
I know ill make it to tomorrow.



Letter of the week A-D

I have started doing a letter of the week with Tracker and the kids I babysit. I am really good at planning and preparing things but have failed at taking pictures. Now I don't mean I have the best ideas and I always have the best things for them to do. Its usually very simple, doesn't take much time to prepare and many things I got off good ol' Pinterest. 
The oldest of the group is 3 so its kind of hard to figure out things to keep their attention, get them excited and to help them actually learn. I decided to do it because I need some kind of structure so this is more for me than them.
So far its going so good. They love it. and they are really learning which I LOVE.
I have the letters hanging on the wall-- or I did before Tracker ripped them all up so I need to make some more. We started at the beginning of the year and have done 1 letter each week. however we spent 2 weeks on the letter C and have not moved past D right now. Mainly because everyone is sick. So we have not seen our friends as regularly the last few weeks. Because I plan the activities for all of them I want to save it for them all. We find other things to do and have spent a lot of time on C and D and went back to B for a few days. I am hoping now that all our fun valentine activities are over we can all feel better and get back on track. I wanted to remember what I came up with because I don't think my binder will last forever. 

Aa.
A is for Apple, Airplane, Alligator, Ant, Adventure.
We made paper airplanes and raced them.
Colored Alligator pictures and glued their teeth on.
Went on an adventure to find ants.
Watched the movie A Bugs life (for the ants).
We did a whole lot of Apple snacks including applesauce, apple pie, caramel apples and just sliced apples. We had ants on a log one day but no one ate the celery. Just the peanut butter and raisins. 

Bb.
B is for Ball, Balloon, Bike, Bus, Boy, Bear, Banana, Blueberry, Box, Blocks, Books, Bubbles, Bird.
We played with balloons just about everyday because they loved that the most. The colored several B themed pictures. We went to the bus stop and watched the buses come and go.
We built with blocks and made houses and towers and forts.
Played with the balls. Filled the tub with balls and took turns playing in there. 
I collected some boxes for them to get their own to color and play in.
Read a billion books.
Watched the birds out the window.
Blew and played in bubbles.
Watched the movie Brother Bear.
We ate bananas, blueberries, bear cookies, bread and butter.
We baked brownies.









Cc.
C is for Cow, Cloud, Candy, Coin/Change, Coconut, Celery, Carrot, Cucumber, Car, Cake, Crayons, Chicken, Cat.
We counted coins and put them in a piggy bank.
We went on a walk to visit the cows down the street and named them.
We watched the clouds and then glued cotton balls on a paper making clouds.
I made streets in the kitchen with duct tape and they drove their cars around.
They helped me get all the broken crayons and break them a little more so we could make new crayons.
We colored with crayons a lot.
We learned about chickens and we drew cats.
We watched the movie Aristocrats.
For treats they had celery, carrots and cucumber with ranch (except Tracker had his with ketchup). Coconut milk, shredded coconut and we made cake pops.
We had chips, crackers, cheerios, cheese and cranberries.



(Take off crayon wrapper with razor blade. Break apart if not already broken and place in silicone baking mold. Bake at 230 degrees for 10-15 minutes)

Dd.
D is for Dog, Dirt, play Dough, Dinosaur, Dance, Dessert, Duck.
We made play dough.
We had a Dog day where they acted like dogs, ate their snack like dogs and played like dogs. They got to play with Harley and we went and met some of the other dogs in the neighborhood. They colored dog pictures and played with dog figure toys. They got to watch 101 Dalmatians.
We pretended to be dinosaurs.
We played with dinosaurs.
We had a dance party.
We collected dirt and played in it a little.
We made dessert (cookies). 
They had donuts just about every morning for breakfast. (I couldn't think of many D foods)




Best Play dough Recipe
2.5 cups of water
1 1/4 cup salt
1 1/2 tbsp. cream of tarter
5 tbsp. vegetable oil
2.5 cups of flour
Food coloring.

Mix everything including the food coloring together in a large pot until somewhat smooth. It will be lumpy. Not to worry, the dough will get smoother as it cooks. Cook the dough over a low heat. Mix frequently. The water will slowly cook out of the mixture and you’ll notice it starts to take on a sticky dough appearance. Keep mixing until the edges of the dough along the side and bottom of the pan appear dry. Pinch a piece of dough. If it’s not gooey, the dough is ready.
Place the dough on a counter top or large cutting board that can withstand a little food coloring. Knead the warm dough until it’s smooth. If your kids are impatient like mine you can get some tin foil and spread it out rather thin to help it cool faster. Once completely cool and after play time store the dough in a large Ziplock bag or sealed container. This lasted nearly 3 months before I started seeing mold.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Leggings and Monsters


I was lucky enough to meet one of the sweetest people in the world when moving to Washington. This is a girl I think I was always meant to have in my life. She is amazing. Her name is Julie. She is the sweetest, funniest and most talented people I have ever known. and she has the cutest little girl you will ever meet. This little girl is pure sunshine. and you have to know her...
You must visit Julies blog and learn all about her daughter Olivia.

Julie and I have teamed up this year for my annual Kenzie Baby Leggings project and have turned it into something much bigger. Olivia has spent and continues to spend much of her time at the Seattle Children's hospital. We have decided to spread the love with the leggings and donate to Seattle Children's as well as Primary Children's hospitals and do it in both Makenzie and Olivia's names. 
We will be doing the leggings just like every year. You can donate socks that I will make into leggings or you can donate leggings that you make or leggings that you buy. These will continue to be in honor of Makenzie.
What we are adding is something for sweet Olivia.
 In honor of Olivia we will be collecting the most adorable monster dolls. You can follow a pattern we found or make one up yourself. You can really get creative with these guys and they are soo easy. There really is no right or wrong way to make them. 


We want this to be the biggest and best year for the Leggings Project yet and adding the monsters to our donation will make it that much more amazing.  Everything collected until June will go to Seattle Children's Hospital and everything after that will go to Primary Children's Hospital.  Help us with leggings or little monsters!  It's such a good cause.  You can't imagine the difference these kinds of things make, not just to the kids, but to the parents.

The leggings are simple and easy to make.  My leggings step by step instructions are HERE.   Can't sew?  Send us the socks, we will make them.  As for the monsters, there is no right or wrong way to do them, just give them one eye, wonky eyes, one eye and the other eye a star or heart or any other shape.  Get creative!  We tried a few different patterns we found for free online and tweaked them a bit.  We did figure out that THESE little guys made with felt were pretty easy, were just top stitched (no turning required!), and fast.  You can mix and match everything she has and they all turned out adorable.  Again, if you can't sew send us material and we will make them, or send us the bodies made and we will stuff and finish them.  Donations do not have to be big or grand to make a difference.  Even one pair of leggings or one little monster makes a difference.

Spread the word!  This is such a good service project for church groups, youth groups, a service-oriented girls night, even an Eagle Scout project!

I am so excited about this! I am excited to share Makenzie's and Olivia's stories.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Reading


Reading is one of our favorite times of the day. Tracker is obsessed with books which makes me so happy. I love sitting down with him and seeing how excited he gets about what he is seeing. Animal books are by far the favorites. Close second is his Mickey Mouse book. That one is really just a find Mickey and scream "MICKEY" then turn the page in a quick hurry to find him again. There isn't much "reading" that happens. I have become slightly obsessed with trying to find old books that I remember reading when I was young. Many of them I cant remember the name but I remember the memories with them or what was in the book. I have been able to find a few and LOVE them so so much. Some of them are not really picture books for a toddler so I will have to wait a little while longer until I can read them to Track. I started Makenzies book collection early in my pregnancy with her. Reading to her every night was mine and Ryan's favorite thing. She loved it and it will always be something we treasure. We have continued to grow our book collection and seem to keep running out of space for them all. Tracker was blessed with a TON of new books for his birthday and I couldn't have been happier about that.
I love giving books as gifts each holiday and have decided to pack the holiday books up with the holiday decor so when I get the new holiday stuff out- out comes new books :)
Our Christmas book collection is obviously much bigger than Valentines, Easter, St. Patricks Day etc... but its a fun thing I like doing for Tracker and Makenzie. I write in their book when they got it and maybe someday Tracker can take his with him when he has his own kids. 
(Heaven help me, I cant even think about that)




I am always on the lookout for fun and different books. 
Make sure you let me know if you have any that are MUSTs in your library!
Here are a few of our FAVORITES.




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