My Family!!

My Family!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Baby and Photography and Auctions

I have been keeping busy. I have been TRYING to make the time go faster. I am torn between wanting to relish in every second of this pregnancy and wanting it to fly by in order to hold my beautiful Avaleen in my arms.

Foster is so busy with his new position at his unit, that he has been gone more than he has been home. He will be gone a total of 20+ days in August, and probably about the same in September. This just makes my time seem to drag by even slower, and makes me go crazier, because he has a nack for bringing me back to reality and calming me down.

To counter his absence, I have planned a little get a way myself. I will be visiting my aunt in PA. She is an actress, and performing in "Pride and Prejudice" at the Shakespearean festival in Center Valley, PA. Foster isn't thrilled about me traveling by myself for so many hours, but I HAVE to get out! I am going stir crazy!!

I am at this weird point in the pregnancy. Coming up on 24 weeks tomorrow, I WOULD have been starting to pick out furniture, and started nursery plans, but that is all done from Rosie. All of the things that usually keep expectant mothers busy I have had done for 18 months. I guess I will start deep cleaning and such around 32 weeks.

My photography is expanding by the day! I am so excited about this!! I purchased Adobe Lightroom for my new editing software, and LOVE it!!! It is so easy to use, BUT.....of course there has to be a computer HATES it. My computer is going on 7 years old, and Lightroom takes up WAY too much RAM to run, and my computer craps out on me. Editing one photo took me almost and hour because of my computer freezing. I almost threw it out the window. So, my dear husband asked my mentor what computer to purchase. Yesterday I went in and put a deposit on a custom IBM. He had told Foster that if I was taking this seriously, and REALLY wanted to make this my profession, to avoid buying a PC and stick to a professional, business computer. Luckily, his brother works for a computer company, and we got a GREAT deal on this computer! I even had an additional 4 G of RAM installed to insure that no program will ever overload my computer again. I am ecstatic!!! I get to pick it up later this week.

Speaking of my photography, a good friend of mine is having an online auction. I donated a photo session to her cause. If you live near me, feel free to bid on it. It is a 1.5 hour session with a CD with the edited images on them. An approximate value of $300, and a great excuse to spend time with yours truly and donate to a good cause:-) This is the link to take you to my listing:


 but make sure to check out all the other great items up for auction!

AND, if you haven't already, make sure to check out my photography facebook page and "Like" it;-)

Irish Eyes Photography

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


There is a topic I haven't talked much about in the past few months. A pretty big topic, and one a few of you are probably interested in getting an update about....the status of my military discharge.  Up until to say, there wasn't much to report. I had filed my original paper work when I was 4 weeks pregnant, and it has been a waiting game ever since. I have had to call my unit about once a week to get a status update, and the packet has been slowly moving up the chain. However, it made it to State Headquarters this week, and that is where the you know what hit the fan.

I have an issue with how hard the National Guard is making this. Most of you know that I have been TRYING to work on getting the NG policy to reflect the Active Duty policy, but NO ONE ever contacts me back. I have written emails and letters to the National Guard Bureau, submitted formal, electronic versions of policy change suggestions, and I need to take a different route. I have an idea, and hopefully it works. Although I have been trying to change it on the national level, maybe I need to focus on my resources here in Ohio. Foster's old boss, and an AMAZING woman whom I have grown fond of, and according to Foster, she likes me too, recently took the position as our new TAG. She is officially our first female General, and she is VERY family oriented. She was crushed when she heard about the loss of Rosie, and she and I have had a few heart to hearts. I am hoping when I see her in Milwaukee in August, that she may have an idea for how to approach this issue.

In the past, if a woman got pregnant, she didn't have a choice, she was automatically discharged from military. Women fought this, and the military changed it's policy so that women had a choice to get out or not. It was a privilege for a woman to stay in. The National Guard now makes it nearly impossible for a woman to get out if she feels the need to. They give the woman the option to finish her time in the Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR), but the problem with that, is that is I can still get called up for a deployment, and this still does not help with our current situation. Foster is in a rapid response unit, one that when called they have a certain time limit to respond. If I am deployed, we do not have any family that lives close enough that they can guarantee to make it to our house in time for him to make it to his unit in that time slot. All of these policies were made BEFORE 9/11, BEFORE the NG was getting deployed as often as Active Duty soldiers. Their policies need to reflect the new times, and need to be reevaluated. OR, State needs to take a closer look at specific situations and not just treat women as a number.

My unit had found a policy that states if there is any reason the soldier cannot go into IRR, and it lists a few of these reasons, then they can just be discharged. We fall into one of those reasons. We would not have the needed family care plan. My packet went all the way up to state without an issue. When it got into the hands of the state headquarters, they denied my discharge. They claim that our situation is temporary, that just about every reason on that list is temporary....THEN WHY THE HECK IS THERE AN EXCEPTION POLICY?!?!!?!? They are contradicting themselves!!! I am so sick and tired of their bull crap.

I am sure you are wondering, "What is the chance that you would be called up for a deployment while in the IRR?"

Realistically, not high. I know tons of people who have been in the IRR who have never been called up. HOWEVER, their time was 2 years, and I will be in for 4.5 years. 4.5 years of living in fear of being deployed. 4.5 years of not knowing if every letter and every phone call could be THE ONE. I am a medic. The state of Ohio is short on medics. Sure, they pull from every other unit they can, and take volunteers for deployments, but there is a WAY higher chance of me being called up than any other position (other than maybe Infantry).

I am frustrated, exhausted, and stressed over this situation. I was HOPING to be done and out WAY before now, and I am creeping up on the 3rd trimester, and they just keep holding onto me. SERIOUSLY!! Cut the cord! Let me go!! Why do they have such separation anxiety with me?!?!? They get to keep my husband. I had actually thought I would want to rejoin after my children were older and could understand why mom was leaving them, but with all the bull they are putting me through, I will NEVER least not the Army.

So we wait. My Sergeant is contacting an old Inspector General (IG) for advice on what to do next. We would rather keep this out of the real IG office, but will use that resource if necessary. Foster decided to read his commander into the situation and the Colonel is going to try and pull some of his resources and attack it from the top down. I guess he knows some people who work up at state. If all else fails, I am going to have a heart to heart with the TAG in August, and see what she has to say.

Don't worry, I will be out. The question at this point is just to what extent.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I Am Not The Only One and 23 Weeks

So one of the girls from work that is pregnant has been gone for a few days. I guess she was having some issues and need to see the high risk doctor. Well, she saw Dr. C. today, her exact words were, "I am definitely not that impressed."

I KNEW IT!!!! Regardless of his reputation, the man has some BAD flaws that even a girl who has only and will only see him once picked up on.

1) he talks WAY too fast, and makes you feel incredibly rushed as a patient.
2) he calls you "miss" from the minute you walk in the door. I HAVE A NAME!!! And if you don't want to use it, I am a MRS!! It takes two seconds to look at my chart before you walk in the door. I told my friend that I can understand when he only sees the woman once her entire pregnancy for one problem, but for God's sake, he has seen me at LEAST 8 times already and STILL calls me miss EVERY TIME!!
3) is VERY early induction/early c-section happy. In my case, I am all for the 34-35 week c-section. I am happy to get Ava into the world and out of my "hostile uterus", BUT for my friend, he suggested it and then wanted a decision that second. She was like, "Ummm, can we at least take a little time to think about it?!?!" It was not what you would call an "emergent" situation, and one that she could be monitored instead, so WHY try to talk her into a 4 week early induction?

Ok, enough of the rant. We all know I WILL be talking to him at my next appointment, so I will just make sure he calls me by name (for the first time ever!!) and slows down a bit.

Ok, onto the fun part. The survey.

Size of baby: Once again, according to baby center, it says Ava is 11 inches long and over a pound by now. I have a HUGE feeling she is bigger, just wait till you see the belly picture!
Maternity clothes: I have a few maxi dresses that are not technically maternity, but everything else is!

Sleep: As long as I sleep with the pillow between my legs to relieve my sciatic pain, I am fine, and can sleep pretty sound other than the couple trips to the bathroom.
Best moment of the week: Taking my halter monitor off!!! Free at last!!!!
Movement: She is a mover and a shaker! I am figuring out her pattern, and it is NOT looking good for Foster and I. Her most active time is between midnight and 4 am.
**going back to my issue at the beginning of this post....when I told Dr. C about this increase in activity between 12 and 4 am, his response, "That makes sense, because your blood sugar is low from not eating."
REALLY?!?!!? He made himself sound like an idiot!! I work night shift dumba** i eat @ around 11:30 om every night I work!!! HAHAHAHA....starting to make me wonder if he really is one of the "top in the nation".....and REALLY wondering who decided who deserves that title!!

Symptoms: Sciatic nerve pain in R butt cheek that is LITERALLY a pain in the butt! I also have been having slight swelling in my feet after 12 hours of work. But don't worry, I have been checking my Blood Pressure regularly and testing my urine for protein. They have BOTH been great!!

Food cravings/aversions: PBand J sandwiches and milk have been my morning breakfast routine! I have been eating them like they are going out of style. I ate two for dinner tonight!! I am telling you...I cannot get enough PBandJ!!!

Gender: Beautiful HEALTHY baby GIRL!!!! Miss Avaleen Rose (Ava)

Belly button in or out: Still in

Stretch marks: TONS of old ones from Rosalynn, and a few new ones popping up on my boobs and hips and on the top side of my belly button!!! BOO!

What I miss: My wedding set! It was official, the heat caused my fingers to swell so bad that I took my rings off for the rest of the pregnancy in order to avoid cutting off the circulation if it happens again and doesn't reverse itself. I am wearing the bad that Foster bought me for this occasion.
What I am looking forward to: 24 weeks! I will be in the "viability" time frame, and we are doing the glucose testing and my first of many growth scans! My mom is coming with me.

Weekly wisdom: Once again, words of wisdom to my doc (I might have to rename this section "Weekly Wisdom for Dr. C). Call your patients by name, and PLEASE don't make yourself sound like you are talking out of your BUTT!! It definitely does NOT instill confidence into your patients!
Dream of the week: I had a naked dream! I HATE those. I was working and I was the ONLY one in the ER with one doctor (and of course it was the hot doctor) and I was NAKED!


Look at this thing!!! I look 40 weeks pregnant, not 23! Grow Ava Grow!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Free At Last!! And A BIG Step!

My cardiac monitor has officially come off!! I am soooo happy!!!

At first it was a pain in the butt. I had to make sure to wear the right outfits that would accommodate the small box that was recording my heart. When sleeping, I can't tell you how many times I would rip the pads off my chest while I rolled over and forgot to take the monitor with me.

However, after a couple weeks, it became second nature. I would walk into a store and the clerk's eyes would get really wide, "What is wrong?!?!" he/she would ask. It would take me a second to realize they were referring to the pads and wires coming off of my chest. I had become completely accustom to toting the monitor around with me, that I had forgotten how strange it looked to other people.

Along with that, Foster and I took a HUGE step. We started getting ready for our little girl. Baby steps, since we are only 23 weeks on Thursday. We bought a electric swing that has been suggested by MANY moms. We were given a battery operated swing by a friend for Rosie, and we plan on keeping that one upstairs, but I was told by many moms to invest in an electric swing, or else we will go through TONS of batteries in short amounts of time. We went out garage sale shopping on Saturday, and decided to stop by Once Upon A Child and see if they had an electric swing for sale. Sure enough, they had one, and on faith and a prayer, we bought it.

Foster also must have read my mind. As I was working on some photo editing yesterday (Check out my photography facebook page if you want to see my most recent photo shoots....including an AMAZING maternity shoot...all I will say is Waterfalls!!!) Foster started preparing the baby's room. I have let it collect dust, and we had a few unfinished projects from when we lost Rosalynn. When we had our new carpet installed, the closet doors would no longer fit, because the carpet was too plush. Foster sawed off an inch off the bottom of them so Ava has closet doors. He also took the excess equipment down to the basement for storage, like the bed rails that go with the crib to turn it into a toddler and full size bed. I think he knows I have been procrastinating, for obvious reasons, so is helping me take the steps to get ready for this little girl. It is scary. It brings back old memories of doing all that work and then not getting to bring home my baby girl. All I can do is continue to pray that this turns out differently.

When the nursery is completely finished, I will post pictures. We are keeping it the same as we had it with Rosie, neutral (remember, we didn't know the sex), but adding just a few pink things in the room too...just to make it a LITTLE girlie.

I hope everyone's weekend was a great one!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bring On the Crazy....Uh, I Mean Motherly Love!

Foster seems to think I am bordering on crazy the further along in my pregnancy I got. Let me explain.....

I mentioned in my weekly update post that my doctor made the comment "Everything is looking great in this pregnancy so far. There is no reason for me to think that it will end early like the last one did." I am sure this comment was said as reassurance, but the more I think about it, the more and more I get pissed off about it.

Rosalynn looked great at 24, 26, 30, and even 34 weeks. IF there was any "signs" that pregnancy would end early, WHY DIDN"T SOMEONE GIVE ME THE HEADS UP?!?!?!? I don't want him to get complacent. I don't want him to start going back on the promises that he made at my pre-conception appointment and my very first prenatal appointment. If I had not mentioned the growth scan at 24 weeks, I am afraid that he would never have scheduled it. I am afraid he forgets the things he tells me from one appointment to the next.

For instance, my very first appointment, he asked, "So, you had a 20 week loss right?"

" almost 35 week loss!!!!" BIG difference. Now, to those BLMs who had 20 week losses, I am not saying it is a difference in devastation, the loss of a child is the loss of a child. What I am referring to is the subsequent pregnancies. IF I had had a 20 week loss, I am going on 22 weeks tomorrow, and I may feel like I can breathe....a little. Having a 35 week loss, I don't know if I will ever have a "safe zone". In fact, instead of my anxiety going down, I feel like it is increasing as time gets closer and closer to the 34w5d mark.

I don't expect him to be a therapist, but I do expect him to take my concerns to heart, and LISTEN to me. I feel like he almost blows off  alot of my concerns. For instance, my BP was 113/98. Now the top number (systolic) looks GREAT! However, that bottom number, the diastolic, is about 20 points higher than I run on a normal basis. His response "Blood Pressure fluctuates."

My BP was a concern for me with Rosalynn. I was never diagnosed with Pre-eclampsia, but I definitely had all the signs....increased BP, slight protein in my urine, and 3+ pitting edema on my ankles and feet, and swollen all over my body. Yet, the doctors didn't seemed to bothered by all this. I know, Dr. C may think that saying things like "BP fluctuates" will ease my mind, but it doesn't. Instead, maybe give me some tips to bring it down, maybe retake it or tell me to monitor it outside of the office (Don't worry, I have taken initiative on my own and am doing all of this....along with running my urine occasionally @ work).  Not taking things like this seriously is the first way to throw me back in time to Rosie's pregnancy.

One of the nurses told me I have to be my own advocate. That sometimes these "top doctors" get a little cocky and start getting complacent. So, I have a plan!

I have a 24 week appointment with a growth scan. I am going to ask Dr. C to WRITE down the plan of care from here on out. We are hitting viability stage.....24 weeks. I want to know when our scans will be, when the Non-Stress Tests (NST) will start,  and exactly when we plan on delivering, and WRITE THEM ALL DOWN FOR ME. That way, I have the plan of action in my hand, and if he tries to change his mind, I can show him the list and ask why he is changing courses.

I am a planner. I am terrified that he will decide he wants to wait until 36 or 38 weeks and THEN deliver, instead of the 34-35 weeks that he has promised before. I want to know, because that is a BIG difference, and Foster and I have jobs and things to take into consideration. I want to know if I have 10 weeks left as of the 24 week appt, or if I have 14 weeks left.

And IF he tries to blow off my feelings or go back on his word, I have my pictures. the pictures of my beautiful 5lb12oz baby girl that I will place in front of him and "gently" remind him that THIS is what we are trying to avoid again!

How does this sound?  Foster thinks I sound a little crazy. However, how crazy is too crazy when it comes to the health and well being of your child?!? I would have died to save my daughter Rosie, and I feel the same way about Avaleen already. I don't call it crazy, I call it motherly love!

Welcome to pregnancy after stillbirth!

What do you think? My fellow BLMs, what would you do?

Monday, July 11, 2011

21 Weeks 4 Days

Size of baby: According to baby center, Ava should be between 12-16 oz. Considering she was over 10 oz over 2 weeks ago, i have a feeling she is probably weighing over 1lb already.

Maternity clothes: I have a few maxi dresses that are not technically maternity, but everything else is!

Sleep: Unfortunately, this past week was a hard one on me. I will wake up at 3am and not be able to fall back asleep. Then, the next night I will sleep like 13 hours!!! I am having issues regulating my sleep.

Best moment of the week: We had a great appointment this week with Dr. C. And Foster felt her move for the first time this week!!! She was being soooo active and he felt her!

Movement: She is a little monkey! Moving all around. The one part i HATE is that there is no set pattern yet. She was VERY quiet yesterday, and thank GOD for my doppler, because I was able to tell she was ok. Some days she won't stop moving , and others it seems she sleeps all day! I can't wait or the sleep/wake pattern, because then i won't worry so much.

Symptoms: Started having Braxton Hicks contractions since last survey. Also, that nasty sciatic nerve pain has started in my right butt cheek! So now i have two pains in my butt....Foster and now this! hahaha.

Food cravings/aversions: PBand J sandwiches and milk have been my morning breakfast routine! I have been eating them like they are going out of style. For some reason I was eating mushrooms the other day, and almost gagged...and I LOVE mushrooms....guess Avaleen doesn't.

Gender: Beautiful HEALTHY baby GIRL!!!! Miss Avaleen Rose (Ava)

Belly button in or out: Still in

Stretch marks: TONS of old ones from Rosalynn, and a few new ones popping up on my boobs and hips and on the top side of my belly button!!! BOO!

What I miss: Rosalynn...We had a family picnic for my Guard unit, and the baby girl that was born 3 weeks after Rosie was toddling around. That made me miss her sooooooo much! Foster and I went out to the cemetery and visited Rosie on Sunday. We brought her some flowers because we had a permanent ceramic vase installed near her headstone. It is pink and sparkly!! SOOOOO girlie! I am so happy that there are still little things like this I can do for her!

What I am looking forward to: 24 weeks! I will be in the "viability" time frame, and we are doing the glucose testing and my first of many growth scans!

Weekly wisdom: This weekly wisdom is more for my doctor. NEVER assume that because everything looks "great" at 21 weeks that the baby will make it here alive. He said, "She is looking perfect and I am very happy with how this pregnancy is going! I have no reason to think that this pregnancy will end early like the last one did." Really?!?!?! Rosie looked great and things were going great from week 23-34.5! Then BAM! Just keep a close eye on me, and lets make SURE this baby makes it here!

Dream of the week: Sorry to those who like to hear about my dreams, but I didn't have any that stick out in my head this past 2 weeks.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

With One Voice....Sowing the Seed

Wow it had been forever since I have done one of these. It's not because I don't attend church still, because I do, every Sunday with Foster, but I think it has been a while since a mass and its message has resonated with what I am currently going through. Sure, certain songs are sung that remind me of Rosie, and still bring me to tears when we are performing them, but this is the first time in a while that the readings, the songs, AND the sermon have resonated in me.

The gospel was one that we are all too familiar with. It was the parable of the farmer sowing his seeds. One particular verse stuck out to me: "The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. " (Matthew13: 20-21)

I was so sad recently when there was a discussion on my private facebook support group that addressed our faith after our losses. I knew it happened, I knew the death of a child could cause people to lose their faith, but I was almost brought to tears that amongst the 20+ comments to the question, EVERY SINGLE ONE of them had lost their faith, saying things like "I don't want to love or believe in a God that would take a child away from it's parents." Now, I would never judge anyone for their choice of faith, or lack there of, but there were many women who would say that they had faith BEFORE their losses, but lost it after. My heart broke.

I thought maybe it was because the women who had not lost their faith were too nervous to respond to the question, because the original poster expressed her lack of faith in God in the original topic; so I decided to respond. I just mentioned what most of you already know about Foster and I. You all know that Foster became Catholic 17 days before we lost Rosalynn. You all know how strong we have become in our faith and relationship since we lost her, and you know that I pray for anyone who asks, and those that don't, every night before I go to sleep. God is good....ALWAYS!

I also put the WHOLE serenity prayer in since it is the prayer that I has gotten me through so much in my life, and its words are SOOOO powerful :

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.     --Reinhold Niebuhr

But alas, I only received one supporting comment to mine.

While listening to the sermon following the Gospel, I started reflecting and realized that I am SOOOO glad that Foster and I were like the seeds thrown on the good soil. "But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (Matthew 13: 23) I honestly believe that the two of us going through RCIA together for him to become Catholic helped us to understand our faith better, understand our marriage better, and thus, after losing a child, was one of the contributing factors for our faith AND marriage staying strong through everything. Don't get me wrong, our faith was rocked to the core....well, at least mine was....and there WERE times I got mad at God, but heck, I know he can handle it. However I never thought for a moment He did this to us. I never thought for a moment He was punishing us. 

All I can continue to do is pray for those families and women that are have turned their back on their faith. All I can do is hope that they will come to peace with the fact that God was not trying to punish them, and unfortunately bad thing happen to good people. But EVERYONE goes through trials and conflicts and loss and pain....what makes us so special that we don't deserve some too? One of the many responses from the women included,  "I have always been a good person, always treated others well and prayed on a regular basis. Why did He do this to me?" My retort: Why not? Is losing a child probably one of the worst things that can happen to a person? Sure, but there is also nothing written that says life is going to be easy. No one promises that life will be easy if you are a good person here on earth. All that is promised is a glorious life in heaven after this life! I figure this is all just temporary, I can make it through the next 40+ years and then have an eternity to look forward to with all my loved ones!

I try and look at it like this: 

I am going on 30 years old, I have gone through my husband being deployed for a year, and a loss of a child. We have been through most likely the worst thing we will EVER have to go through, isn't it nice to think that everything from here on out, no matter what it is , will seem easy in comparison? 

The priest explained that just because someone is one of the other seeds, does not mean they are out of luck, or "passed up", or have lost their faith forever. Because the great thing about the farmer is that every year, he continues to sow more seeds. Every day God is trying to bring those who have forgotten about him to come back. I just hope that my strength and faith through all of this is able to inspire, even if it is just one person, to become closer to God. And I pray that in the coming seasons those who have lost faith, something eventually brings them back.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Party With The Girls

I know from my lack of blogging lately it may seem that I have had nothing really going on. I think the exact opposite is true. I have had a TON going on, and because of that, I have not had much time to blog lately.

Last Sunday, after a long drive home from Summer Fest, Foster and I woke up early and started getting ready for my Thirty-One party. I was ecstatic to host a party for my dear friend Amy. I had promised to over a year ago, but we had both been busy and our schedules never seemed to mesh. Back then she had volunteered that if I threw a party, she would donate some of her commission to Roses from Rosalynn. You cannot even begin to imagine how much this meant to me! She has followed my story and has been such a source of support over the past year, and to have her offer that meant the world to me.

We had about 7 women attend, including three girls I went to middle school and high school with. All four of us are pregnant, due within 2-3 weeks of each other! Amy is also pregnant, and she is about 8 weeks behind me! There were a total of 6 pregnant women at the party!! Crazy huh? I think this actually helped with the sales, because Thirty-One has some amazing kid/baby items to purchase. Although I am hesitant to buy anything, I just couldn't help purchasing these adorable bloomers with "Avaleen Rose" stitched on the bottom!!

It was so amazing that how a few of us had not seen each other in years, but yet it felt like no time had passed at all. It felt like old times, and that we were all just as close as we had once been! I am hoping that we are all able to start getting together more often, especially since all of our babies are due so close together!

I wish I had taken pictures, I am not quite sure why I didn't. I was probably just too worried about all the food and stuff that I forgot about my camera. I made 2 homemade bruchetta. The first had fresh mozzarella, bruchetta mix and drizzled with balsamic glaze, the second was brie with pesto cold pesto sauce and a walnut to top it off. I had mini egg rolls, lots of cookies, and "spa water". "Spa water" is the water that they serve at spas that have the fruit in it, infusing the water with just a hint of flavor. I put watermelon, strawberries, and oranges in the was AWESOME!! I really wish I had taken pictures!

Overall, with the party and online purchases, I believe we had around $600 worth of purchases (I am figuring that out by the amount of free stuff I received as a hostess). Everyone was so generous! The only thing I would do differently is post on here and facebook a little earlier, b/c there were so many people who wanted to make purchases, but didn't get paid till the day after we closed the party. If I had given more of a heads up, maybe they would have purchased with the previous paycheck. Oh, and take photos!!

Thank you to all who attended and supported me AND Amy! I cannot begin to express my appreciation to what your generosity will do for the families who benefit from Roses from Rosalynn.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fourth of July

Although missing Rosalynn is something that I do just every day, it's times like this weekend that make me miss her even more.

My parents always have some sort of Fourth of July celebration out at the farm. Foster and I always try to make it out, and usually succeed. This year we decided to head out the day before because he wanted to get some groundhog hunting in, zero out his new gun and scope, and I just wanted to relax.

Sunday was the big party. We had family and friends from all over show up, including my cousin with her beautiful two week old baby girl. Although the newborn made me excited for Avaleen to arrive, I mostly felt the sting of pain for the loss of Rosalynn. there is just something about little babies that make me miss her. Although she would be 15 months now, I will always picture her as a 5lb12oz baby girl, not a 15 month old, because that is the only way I ever saw her. I imagine what she may look like and be like at 15 months, but I only KNOW her as a newborn.

I started thinking about how this past 15 months of holidays have been missing someone, and then I realized that is how it will be from now on. No matter how many years pass, and no matter how many more children I have, there will always be someone missing. Presents missing from under the tree, one stocking missing from the mantle, one less hot dog eaten, one less pumkin carved, one less costume made/bought, one less Easter basket filled. It hurts my heart that for the next 40+ years, I will always have that feeling of incompleteness on the holidays.

Don't get me wrong, we had a lot of fun. The smell of slightly burnt hot dogs and juicy hamburgers filled the air while my cousins and uncles played games of cornhole. We had the horses out for the kids, and the sounds of James Taylor, Fleetwood Mac, Simon and Garfunkle, and other classics played in the background while conversations of family, college, vacations, and summer fun could be heard. There were so many people there, more people than I think even my mom expected, but there was just one little 15 month old missing. She should have been riding on the back of my horse with Foster, trying the many different foods available, and toddling after the four sheltie dogs that were running around, trying to avoid having her cookie stolen by one of them. She would have been donning her Red White and Blue summer dress, and IF she had any hair (I was bald till I was 2) I would have put it up in pigtails with a red and blue ribbon in each. She would have gotten to meet her 3rd cousin Caroline who is 2 and a half, and CC (the newborn) to see what her baby sister, Ava would be like in about 18 weeks. Then she would have clapped her little hands as her daddy set off all the pretty fireworks. And maybe, just maybe Foster would have been a little more cautious in setting the fireworks off since his daughter would be sitting in the crowd.

That's right, Foster ALMOST killed us AGAIN with fireworks! (Just read THIS post to get an idea of how we should have learned our lesson by now...Rule #5) He lit one in his hand and as he went to throw it in the air, the stick part apparently broke and the firework part came flying our way instead of out towards the field! Scared the living day lights out of us!

Overall it was a great weekend that I got to spend with the people that I care about most in my life, except poor Bug, she had to work. As we started setting off our fireworks for the closing of the party, I noticed there was some lightning high in the clouds to our west, and couldn't help but smile and think how Rosie must take afrter her dad, and was partaking in a little firework show of her own!  She may not have been with us there in person, but I definitely felt her all around us!

Summer Fest and Reveal Story

Every year Foster's hometown has a HUGE celebration called Summer Fest. It is a Fourth of July of sorts. Complete with an early morning 4 mile race, a parade, yard sales, and fireworks. Foster and I were already planning on attending, but because our two sides of the family don't get together as much as I would like....other than for our wedding and Rosie's passing..... due to the 3 hour trip, I wanted to try and bring them together for this event, so Foster and I invited Bug and Ky, JJ and Mr. JJ, and my parents. We promised that those who attended would get to be present for the big gender reveal. JJ and Mr. JJ were planning on attending, but Mr. JJ had a prior engagement that Saturday that he could not postpone. Bug had to work, but Ky said he would love to attend, and my parents were going to make the three hour drive in order to spend a little time with everyone. Unfortunately my dad had to cancel last minute, but my mom still made it.

Ky, Foster and I headed out on Friday with the pups. We settled into the hotel and had some late night wings. Foster was regretting it the next morning when he had to wake up early to go run the 4 miler. His dad and brother in law ran the race also, and all of them achieved their goals! His dad wanted to make sure he didn't finish last, and sure enough there were PLENTY of finishers after him. Foster's Brother in law wanted to beat Foster's dad, and if possible break 40 minutes. He did both!! Foster wanted to break 28 minutes, and possibly place in his age category. He accomplished both! He placed third while breaking 28 minutes! Not bad for having a heavy stomach after too many wings the night before!

After the race we headed to his parent's house where his mom and sisters were holding their annual garage sale. They make out like bandits at their sale...maybe next year I will have to bring my own table and join in the money making opportunities! We all just hung out, played with my nieces and nephew, and enjoyed each other's company. Foster and Ky started cracking open beers pretty early, and decided they wanted to go check out the auto show at the fair portion of Summer Fest, so I decided to take a nep. I figured I was in for a long night since they were already drinking, and we were driving back home that night (2hours). It was apparent I was going to be the DD.

That evening we were expecting the arrival of my mom for the cookout and reveal. When she arrived we gathered everyone up and handed his sisters a gift bag and a bag for my mom and his mom. We made his sisters open theirs first. Inside they pulled out a duck onsie....VERY gender non-specific! They all chuckled, rolled their eyes, and anticipated the opening of our moms' bags. I had taped the tops in order to prevent peaking, but this cause a little delay in getting the bags open, and after a struggle they excitedly announced "We see pink!!". Inside his mother's bag was the coming home outfit. On the front of the onsie it says "Little Sister" and inside my mom's bag were bibs with "Daddy's Little Princess" on the front. They were so excited.

I begged that they would hold off on the shopping, for my nerves still get the best of me. they were not very happy with this prospect, so I made them a deal. They could buy things but they couldn't give them to me till AFTER Ava arrives crying. Although they still didn't like this idea, they agreed.

After a filling spread, we all gathered on the streets for the parade. I still don't get the excitement about parades, I never have, but everyone seemed to have fun. After, my mom headed home before it got dark, and the rest of us headed to the fair for dessert. I wanted an elephant ear, and the kids wanted funnel cakes and the guys drank more beer! We visited with Dave's long time friend Mr. Red and his wife. She is expecting also and is approximately 7 weeks behind me with her 4th child. It was great seeing them, and I always regret living so far away from this great couple, because I could see us hanging out a lot more if we lived a little closer to one another.

Finally it was time to head home, and about 15 minutes into our 2 hour drive home, BOTH Ky and Foster AND one of the dogs were passed out! I firmly believe that late night, long drives should require at least one of the passengers to stay awake to help the driver! I was exhausted, and only my sweet Rowdy pup was there to stare at me and occasionally lick my hand when I was starting to get really tired.

It was a really fun time., and although I wasn't able to make my gender cake due to time constraints, I still think the reveal was fun! Everyone seemed really excited about the fact we are expecting another beautiful baby girl. Although everyone is still really nervous, I think the excitement is starting to creep into every one's hearts:-)

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