I remember being woken up. I remember the dread in the pit of my stomach. I remember the fear in their faces. I remember calling dear ones, begging them to pray. I remember my husband telling me she was gone. I remember the empty ache. I remember. I remember the tears that came. I remember loving her through the words I spoke. I remember meeting her family and the precious hugs we shared. I remember clinging and weeping. I remember the feeling of loss. I remember.
I remember her laughter and her tears. I remember her dreams for her future. I remember her holding his hand. I remember her playing with my daughter. I remember her dimpled grin. I remember shared moments and memories. I remember her love. I remember her decided abandon. I remember her heart laid bare. I remember her sleeping over. I remember tapioca pudding. I remember Thanksgiving that year. I remember her love for my family. I remember...her.
I knew there would be a day when the sharp pangs turned to dull ache...the reminder of a painful wound that is still healing but scarred. I knew her face would frequent my memories not quite as often...but that some memories are only ours to share. I knew this week would always be a painful reminder of what happened, what could have been, what was lost. I knew I would always hate her lack of presence in my present. I knew that her legacy would be one I remember and her life would inspire me to live.
Nowdays we communicate a lot via computer and internet but there is something about the holidays that causes me to revert back to 'snail mail' and send out Christmas cards. I'd love to take the time to painstakingly create them but with all the other projects I have going on this time of year Shutterfly has created for me a perfect alternative! And this year they are making it even easier to choose them by offering 50 free photo Christmas cards for bloggers! Just click on that link and you can get yours too!
I actually have used Shutterfly several times in the past to create different photo projects and have been more than happy with my results! They offer many different options of things you can create with your special photos and many of them make GREAT Christmas presents! You can make things like canvas art , wall calendars or even your own photo Christmas cards. Don't wait too long though...Christmas is just around the corner!
(I have written to each of my children before they are born and continue to write to them periodically as they grow...especially on birthdays)
Dear Baby Girl,
Words cannot even tell you how much you are already loved and treasured by those who are anticipating your arrival. Your brother and sister know that a baby is coming and they will be SO excited when you get here! The other day Atticus was watching you move around in my tummy and he said "Here it comes!".
Today I got to see you on the ultrasound. My tummy wasn't growing enough for the doctor so she wasn't to make sure you were growing inside me. You are! The ultrasound tech said you probably already weight 7 pounds. I know you are strong inside me...moving around a lot. I bet your space inside is cramped but not too much longer and you'll be out! We have a c-section scheduled on November 4th which is just over a week away. I can't wait to see what you look like and begin my lifelong journey of getting to know the special person that you are!
We have a name picked out for you. (I won't be sharing it on the blog) We took special care in picking it out and we know it will fit your personality well. Like your brother and sister you have 3 names and combined they mean "To rule the great land while guided by truth, reason and fairness".
Your daddy is so excited to have another little daughter! When you move he is impressed by your strength. He can't wait to show you off to your big brother and sister. In Lyric you will have the sweetest, kindest big sister you can ever hope for. She will always love you and care for you in the most tender way. In Atticus you will find a big brother who is both loving and fun. He will defend your innocence and be a strength you can lean upon.
I cannot wait to hold you in my arms precious daughter. I love you so much already and can't wait to know the intricacies of your personality and preferences. You are my treasured lovely daughter and I am so excited to meet you soon!
Before I even got pregnant with Lyric (in June of 2006) I had a long mental list of things I wanted to do as a mom and things I wanted to make sure I didn't do. Things like I wanted to lose my pregnancy weight between each kid and things like I didn't want to be an overprotective mom. And everything in between. But something that I really felt like was key to being a successful mommy was making sure that I always was sure I knew of who I was. What I mean is that I didn't lose my identity in being a mom...and still had an identity as 'Petra'. I don't know if this was birthed out of some wisdom I received in my growing up years or from the observation of other mothers and parents or even from a mixture of both...but it was a very large part of my value system of parenthood even before I had my first positive pregnancy test.
Now that I'm a mom however I have had to learn how to put that principle into practice. Because I LOVE my kids. I would absolutely do anything for them! And I know that to love them I must continue to 'love' me and know who I am. I know that to be their mommy I have to know first of all who I am and in all honesty...let that lead who I am as a mommy. I don't know if for most people this is common sense or if it's a learned principle. And sometimes I wonder if we even sometimes as moms slow down to give it much thought. But really this principle extends far beyond just those of us as mommy's. It is completely possible to lose your identity to other things like your job, your schooling, your money,etc...
So basically that means that every so often I like to remind myself of the things I love and the things I like to do. And to make sure that I am doing at least some of them. It's somewhat like a personal accountability sheet. Fortunately for me some of the things I love easily overlap into my parenting/home, etc...
So for your info what are those things? What are the things that make me me? I'm going to just put out there that my relationship with God, my husband and children are first and farmost incredibly important to me. And I invest the majority of my life and energy into them. But there are some other things that are life-giving to me that I need to just maintain a sense of personal identity and wholeness.
Here are just a few things I'm currently doing that help me stay grounded in who I am
1. Cooking from scratch, menu planning and eating naturally
2. Budgeting and frugal living
3. Creating and making things for our home and for gifts
4. Reading (I'm on book 37 of this years goal of 50 books)
5. Writing...this is one I have to remember to do...my journaling has been lacking and blogging as well
6. Pursuing friendships...ones that are deep and meaningful and life giving. I'm not really good as small talk.
7. Dreaming of future life goals.
8. Making sure that I am growing and learning from my weaknesses.
9. Learning to judge my life by my standards and not by the standards of the world
10. If I can make it for cheaper I will try. This currently has me in a multitude of to do lists and ideas and goals...but I love knowing that I have the ability to execute the ideas in my head.
And those are just some. Those are things that I do that help me stay true to myself and be the best person that I can be...so that I am the best mommy I can be.
I don't know how to vocalize what it's like having a child with SPD (sensory processing dysfunction). I don't know how to express the frustrations we all face. I don't know how to explain what is going on with Lyric because there are times when I don't understand it well myself. I am doing my best to gather information. We've gone to a workshop and I'm reading a great resource (Your Out of Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz). Those help me grasp a little more of what we are dealing with. But even that can't always prepare me for what might irritate or frustrate her. Or for my lack of patience in dealing with days of constant struggle. I can't really fully put into words what it is like to have a from all outward appearances 'normal' 3.5 year old who can't fully speak clearly or articulate her thoughts...who lashes out in frustration...who often just stares into space...who doesn't always observe social cues...who can't eat neatly eventhough she tries (all issues stemming from SPD). I can't tell you why she is like she is. I don't understand what caused her nervous system to begin functioning like it does...I just know that it does.
I just know that I have a beautiful daughter...who has a purely gentle and kind spirit. She is strong. She works so hard at therapy and is learning so much. She may struggle in matters dealing with her 5 senses...but she is emotionally in tune with her world. She is creative and cheerful...and Smart! In reading more about SPD I realize her world is a hard one...but you wouldn't know from looking at her. She is eager to learn and to please.
It makes me teary eyed thinking of what she has to overcome daily to be able to do things that we take for granted... because her body and brain aren't communicating in sync. This may seem kind of confusing to you. I will try and do a separate post soon on exactly what my understanding of SPD and Lyric's specific issues are...but for now I'm just sharing my heart.
Lyric is amazing. There are days when I question why she can't just be 'normal'. Why she and we have to deal with this. I ask myself if there was something we could have done sooner or done differently. It is hard to wrestle with all of the emotions that come when you learn your child needs therapy or has problems developing/learning, etc... But what I have been thinking about lately is that really it's just about me (and Ian and the people around Lyric) learning the words to her song. The song that is her life...we are learning how to help her and also just know what makes her the way she is. She is her own unique person...and as true as that is for every child, for a child with SPD or any other issue similar or different, it takes on a whole new meaning. And that is what I mean when I say I'm learning the words to her song. I'm learning what it means and what it takes to be able to have Lyric be all that she can be in the context of who she already is.
I love my daughter. I love how genuine and honest her spirit is and I love that she loves so openly. I struggle with her struggles. Because it's hard sometimes. But Lyric...she's so worth it. Worth all the therapy appointments and schedule adjustments and extra time and work...because if I learn the words to her song...we can sing it together.
My husband calls me 'babe'. My kiddos call me 'momma'. To others I'm 'friend' and 'daughter'. I call myself 'creative' and Jesus' disciple. But mostly I'm simply 'Me'. I stay up too late reading and working on crafty projects. I absolutely delight in expressing myself in journal and written form. I am a young mommy with young kids and am everything I want to be when I grow up. I love my husband, he is my best friend and hero. Sometimes when I have a free moment in the day I turn on music as loud as I can and worship. But mostly I just try to live every day with abandon and love. I hate wasting time, being bored and over-spending. I'm not trendy or chic, I cloth diaper and eat Biblically, but only because those are personal convictions. I am pretty simple, fairly opinionated, and often emotional. I like to be original and I live based off of my convictions.
The Subjects of My Relflections...
On October 1, 2005 I married my Best Friend, Ian. Together we dream of ministering to the poor in South America. I love his passionate dreams, loving devotion and gorgeous smile! On March 8, 2007 we had our Daughter, Lyric Avrilessa Honor. She is the sweetest soul I know. I love her kisses, hugs, impromptu singing and caring heart! On November 25, 2008 we had our Son, Atticus Elah Courage. He is the happiest little boy. I love his cuddles, early strength and heart-warming dimples. On November 4, 2010 we welcomed our Daughter, Alaska Reign Justice into our family. I love her tiny newborn sweetness, how she looks like her sister, and the promise of getting to know her.
my handsome husband and hero daddy loves his family with reckless abandon, is loyal to the core, talks constantly about shredding and boarding, has more music than you could listen to in a lifetime, has a humble heart of worship, is an all or nothing kinda guy, is genuine and completely real, covered in tattoos, makes everyone feel at ease, a friend to strangers, compassionate to the hurting and poor and a great kisser!
my sweet 3 year old first born has eyes that are windows to her soul, is a caring and devoted big sister, loves playing, listening and singing music, is very emotional, likes to be tidy and clean but is a very messy eater, is a thumbsucker, would happily have books read to her 24-7, squeals with delight whenever she sees her daddy, gives hugs and kisses constantly, is all girl, mimics mommy in every action and is extremely social
my joyful 1.5 year old son can turn your gray skies into blue with his smile, tried running before walking, is very articulate, is ALL boy, explores and escapes constantly, loves to cuddle, eats like it's his last meal, plays well with his sister, loves balls, cars, trains and dinosaurs, and already can figure out how it works if he tries.
Alaska my infant third born daughter entered our world on November 4, 2010. she is adored by her older siblings and loved dearly by her mommy and daddy. her newborn cuddles and sweet smell warm our hearts. we look forward to getting to know her personality as she grows and it unfolds