Monday, June 30, 2008

Pageant... the bad and ugly

Now that you've seen the good. My beautiful little girl in her beautiful dress having the time of her life feeling "prettier than Cinderella". It's time for the bad and the ugly of the whole thing. Rather than type it all out I'll share with you the letter that will be going to the owner of the company that put on the Pageant, formerly referred to Mrs Asshat in this post. I have removed the name of our town for obvious reasons and the name of the business.

Edited to add: I know there are typos, this is the rough draft of this letter hehe

I felt the need to express my dissapointment in the direction of this pageant. This will be long but I hope I am given the final courtesy of it being read entirely. I also hope that this email is all it takes for these concerns to be addressed.

The things I write about are not just my issues, but the issues of most of the parents I spoke with as well although in this email I only speak for myself.

In past years, I'm told by the chamber of commerce, fees for the little miss were $10.00. This year we paid $35.00 initially which I did not have a problem with given what was promised. $35.00 seemed fitting to cover expenses of a pizza party, t-shirt and tennis shoes, professional photo shoot, etc.

Over the course of this event, however, i began to realize that we had been taken for a bit of a ride that wasn't anywhere near worth $35.00.

First there was the photo shoot. Thankfully my daughter looked quite lovely and I would later learn her picture wasn't half bad. We were informed that they would be fed while there and when I picked her up she was starving and informed me that they were given a tiny bit of sandwich is all. This was also confirmed by a mom who stayed for the event. I was irritated but chalked it up to miscalculation as to the amount of sandwiches needed or something. Later, when I saw the pictures that were taken of most of the girls I was apalled. Being a photographer myself, I can assure you I would have NEVER allow pictures like that to be printed, let alone be displayed. It's no wonder really that the photographer's watermark never appeared on them, I wouldn't take credit for those either. Another effort to cut costs I presume.

Being a busy parent I emailed and asked about the things mentioned when we signed up, such as the pizza party and for details on other aspects of the pageant in an effort to get some sort of idea the commitment so that I could plan. I received a curt email referring to a handbook (attached in a .pfd file thankfully) that was given on sign up night. Except no one ever got one. This is where I began to realize that the level of organization or professionalism wasn't quite what I would expect of a production company.

Then the pizza party. Again the children are not given enough to eat as I pick 3 of them up they all say they are starving. In the hall on the way out I hear other girls telling their own mothers the same. This time I'm quite irritated but again give the benefit of the doubt. Before leaving we are asked to sign up for the fundraiser. I am concerned about children as young as 3 or 4 being asked to play in a busy parking lot for 4+ hours just a few feet from the busiest road in town but assume there will be proper supervision. Of course there was not.

I show up with my daughter for the fundraiser with my cookies and cash to pay for my 6 pageant tickets. I return promptly at 1:30pm as asked and see an older girl (or maybe it was one of your team?) eating one of the cookies I had brought. I ask my daughter if she was given any of the snacks to eat and am told no. I guess I was under the impression that the baked goods were to be sold for profit for the organization, not for the older girls to eat. If that was the case I'd just as soon had them back. I decided to once again just let the issue go, after all my daughter had fun on the inflatables and her enjoying herself was worth the cost of buying cookies for others. I also begin to notice that this fundraiser served more as advertisement for (your company) than having anything to do with the city of (our town) . It's really no wonder the fundraisers didn't do well as such, people in this community love to give money, but not when it seems as though they are giving money simply to a business for profit under the disguise of something more . They would just as soon buy some cookies at the bakery and support a local business.

Then I learn from another mother that the event had been cancelled the next day so that only half the girls ever had the opportunity to play on the inflatables at all. At least one mother was never informed of the cancellation at all and the food she had prepared ended up waste and she drove around looking for the (your company) team with little girls who were very upset. When she finally got ahold of someone with your company she was told they didn't have her phone number. What? This information was on our girls' registration and was given every time we dropped our children off in case of emergency. They were never even given the courtesey of being offered a day of inflatables like the other girls had gotten.

Then we are invited to a parade on father's day. And our daughters get free time on inflatables. Ok great. A few days prior we recieve a confirmation phone call and my husband is told to "look for the people in the (your company) t-shirts" Wait a minute, I thought. Are we promoting the Miss (our town) pageant or (your company)? And why wouldn't we do the (neighboring town) parade? Since it's far more local and the support for the (our town) goings on will be far more supported there than (town over an hour away)? Oh, because the company is based in (town over an hour away) . Your clients come from there....... The whole idea of my daughter being exploited as advertising for (your company) left a bad taste in my mouth and we decided, instead, to go watch the parade in (neighboring town) that day.

Then it comes up to pageant time and that's when things really fell apart. The paper we received in the mail stated the dates June 24/June 25th. One would obviousely assume that we were to be there both those days at the designated time. Parents and backstage helpers took days off work and lost those wages in an effort to prepare for the pageant. Tuesday June 24th we get an email timestamped 2:22am stating that instead we are to sit around waiting for a phone call that may or may not come due to your company hosting some other party. Quite honestly that is plain rude and inconsiderate.

The phone call never comes so the next day it is. Some of the backstage helpers could not attend so it would make sense that the parents would attend in their place and then fill them in on the goings on so they could be prepared Friday night. Instead we are told multiple times to leave, that someone else could help our child. Now, in no other venue would I allow complete strangers, whom I have NO idea of their history, dress and undress my young daughter and by no means felt comfortable doing so here. I am quite disgusted that your company felt that was acceptable. What if a girl had been the victim of innapropriate conduct by the backstage helper of another? Was your company prepared to take responsibility for that?

My refusal to leave was not taken well. I fully intended however to follow the rule to stay out of the gymnasium, I was not there to get in the way. Until all of the other mothers/helpers were in the gymnasium and were not asked to leave. If they could watch, I could too. At this rehearsal (2 days before the pageant, no less) we receive a paper with the requirements of the outfits for our children. This required some parents to go and buy ANOTHER dress because the dresses they had purchased did not meet the length requirement.

We had been asked to provide shirt and shoe sizes for the t-shirts and tennis shoes. At this rehearsal we received a t-shirt and $2.00 Old Navy flip flops. I had given my daughter's shoe size of 2 1/2 and received a 12-13 flip flop. That's almost 3 FULL SIZES too small!

Fridays rehearsal was more of the same. I was told (not asked) to leave the premises no less than 4 times. One mom was nearly to the point of taking her daughter home altogether. I'm not entirely sure what kind of kick your staff gets from separating nervous little girls from their mothers. Thankfully my daughter is quite a confident child so that wasn't the issue but it most definitely was for others. Again I was told there were "enough backstage helpers to help her" and again I was not going to let strangers dress my child and couldn't beleive I was being told do to so. A friend of mine who is a police officer couldn't beleive it when I told him either.

The complete disregard for others was further evidenced by a staff member tearing a little girls' dress as it got stuck on the velcro on the stage. Care was taken to create that dress and she showed very little regard in yanking it off the velcro and thus tearing holes in the fabric. This mom to my knowledge never received an apology.

After Friday's rehearsal we realized we needed another ticket so my husband went to get one. Once there he was informed that there was a mistake in the program, our daughter's name had been switched with another. There was no time to fix it (understandably) so an announcement would be made regarding the error that night. No announcement was never made. Unfortunately I was unable to tell family members before they spent money on a program that ended up in the garbage later due to the mistake.

I also noticed that my daughter's last name was mis-spelled on everything. I'm not sure who decided that I had spelled her last name wrong and felt the need to change it. We had also been asked the correct pronounciation of the names and her last name was STILL pronounced wrong. It's not a difficult last name either, which is the interesting part. Most people can pronounce the word ever, which is, in fact, what the name begins with.

My daughter did win an award and her name was again mis-spelled (and mispronounced). Although all she received was a little card I think she deserved to at least have her name spelled right on it and asked for a corrected one and was informed that there were no more but if I wanted to I could email someone and have one sent to me. I would appreciate that.

On a bit of a humorous note, even though we are a small town most of us are at least slightly intelligent. Selling flowers 3 for $6 and 6 for $15 isn't going to add up to anyone who can do basic math. Did anyone really fall for this scam?

Add to it selling more tickets for parent seats than you had room for and picking and choosing who was allowed to vote for the Miss Photogenic awards (my entire family was allowed to vote, another moms family was told they could not), which seems quite honestly like you were trying to sway the vote.

When I walked into the school to show my daughter's backstage helper the way to the locker room I was confronted and told I could not. Fine, if someone else could. Then I was asked where I would be sitting and if I had purchased tickets, like I was being accused of sneaking in or something.

In my work I am often asked for recommendations on businesses like yours and I'm very sorry to say that I had hoped to be able to recommend (your company) , however instead I will have to spread the word... caveat emptor.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Whew! Pageant night is over, now we can all relax.

Thihs whole week has been pretty chaotic with dress rehearsal and finishing touches and then 2 hours of curling hair that fell almost immediately in the humidity, even with a half a can of rave on it. (yes, aerosol..... forgive me).

Shay looked absolutely beautiful. She really is a gorgeous little girl, and that's not just her biased momma talking. She did great, remembering everything from rehearsal and no wardrobe malfunctions occured (that I was informed of anyway, her auntie was backstage with her).

There were 3 age groups of the little girls, 3 and 4 year olds, 5 and 6 year olds, and 7 and 8 year olds. Each age group had 3 winning categories. Miss Photogenic, Best dress, and Miss (our town). The best dress was decided by the organization, the Miss (our town) was drawn randomly from a hat, and the only category to actually be voted on and judged by the public was Miss Photogenic. They had ballot boxes as you walked in with the photos the girls had taken at their photoshoot a couple months ago. Here is Shaylin's.

Of course I think she's extremely photogenic. As a mother and her regular photographer. So I was really happy when they announced her name as the winner of Miss Photogenic for her age group! Yay!

She didn't win the crown, and I think she was by FAR more ok with that than I was. She had a great time and loved feeling like a princess for a night and that's all she really seemed to care about. She is definitely one of the most mature 7 year olds I know.

Here are some more pics.

This is before she went outside and her hair fell. 2 hours with a curling iron for little blond ringlets. This is the first outfit they were to wear for the introductions.

Shay and her friend, Sevhannah. Who won Best Dress in her age group (5 and 6 yr olds)

Shay and her Aunt Jana who had the priveledge of sitting in a 90 degree locker room making sure we didn't have any wardrobe catastrophes. Thanks Jana!

The back of Shaylin's dress. I had to weave through the crowd chasing her down to get this pic. A princess doesn't have the time you know..... Never mind the hair, which by now was a mess because of the stupid weather.

And the front of her dress. Not bad for a dress her mom made (and NOT out of an old table cloth, mind you. We aren't the Duggars) You can't see in the picture very well but the top has black felted flowers and the bottom is covered with glitter.

The 2 most beatutiful girls ever to grace this earth. I know you all agree. The necklace Shay is playing with is a heart that says Alexander.

11:30 pm and still smiling. A true princess.

I can't even put words to this one

More about the pageant later. I don't want to cloud this post with the negative....

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Just breathe

So, just call me supermom. haha! Ok not even close but I'm feeling very accomplished. Yesterday we had a complete change of heart on Shaylin's dress which had me tearing apart one dress and completely building a new dress in a much smaller size out of it. Ah the happy art of recycling. I love recycling clothes, it makes me feel so Martha Stewart-ish. And hey $5.00 for a dress that would probably sell in the store for $200+ isn't bad. The dress is drop dead gorgeous and as Shay and her dad agreed makes her look prettier than Cinderella. Unfortunately, unless you plan to attend the pageant you will have to wait until the weekend to see pictures of her in it. Ha!

Tonight is our first dress rehearsal (after waiting around for a phone call that never came yesterday, grrr!) and I"m sure Mrs Asshat pageant director (and I mean that in the nicest possible way) will have a billion things that we NEED to know that we NEEDED to know months ago to throw at us. As far as I know these little girls have 3 dress changes. THREE! The gowns, the "summery" outfit, and the matching t-shirts and shoes that they took sizes for a month ago. But who knows about that? Cause they don't tell us anything.

I had given up soda until yesterday when the stress induced by this complete pageant chaos was made me begin to think I needed some whiskey. I think the soda is a safer choice. Then again, there's still time in the week for the whiskey.

Then on top of it all we are suppose to get severe storms for the next 3 days. I am absolutely terrified of severe weather. In Wisconsin when a tornado comes you lose your whole damn town.

Speaking of the weather, we had some more proof yesterday that the big man upstairs is listening. You see the shingles on our roof are curling. The insurance company told us we needed to have them replaced by yesterday or they wouldn't be renewing our policy (eeeeeeeek), well since we don't use credit that meant saving the money. We had the money saved by the beginning of May and an old friend of Craig's said he would do it for us right after he came back into town the second week of June. Ok, cutting it close but it'll do. The price is right. Well, the weekend he was suppose to be back we called, and kept calling, and kept calling, and kept leaving messages. Finally yesterday Craig gets ahold of someone who informs us that the guy moved away and they don't have (or aren't sharing) his contact information! OMG.

So in a state of panic I told Craig to go to the insurance company and get down on his knees and beg for an extension. He did and thankfully they gave us another month to get it done. WHEW. We now have a new guy willing to do it, one of Craig's employees that use to do roofing. Let's hope it gets done this time. Craig's going to help, no easy feat since he's deathly terrified of heights.... poor guy.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Completely unprovoked

If you are one of those people who feel sorry for kids from big families, who think they could never possibly be fullfilled sharing their parents and belongings, I give you the unprovoked conversation between my 10 year old son and I. He walked up to me as I was making dinner and said:

Chris: Thanks mom!
Me: For what?
Chris: For giving me this big house to live in
Me: oh, you're welcome
Chris: And for giving me so many brothers and sisters to play with
Me: You're very welcome

I know, you wish he were yours

Now I know why pageant moms are catty!

Ok, so I signed Shaylin up for the Little miss pageant for our little city. I thought it was a neat, non competetive ordeal, a chance for Shay to really get to be a girly girl and if she won, added bonus. I would never sign her up for a competetive pageant but since the winners name is simply drawn from a hat, this one seemed fine.


The person running the pageant owns a DJ/party business in a nearby town. The fact that they aren't local kind of bugged me, but what the heck. Well it turns out this woman is basically using our little girls as advertising for her business. I even heard, when a mom asked why the girls needed to be at a bake sale if they weren't selling the response "because people love little girls and then they come". Probably true, but when everything is plastered with the name of the woman's business on it, ICK.

This is suppose to be something promoting our town, and it's not. We are asked to shell out money, provide goods, and spend tons on clothes all to put a buck in this woman's pocket.

To make matters worse she is EXTREMELY unorganized. The first night she didn't give anyone any information and then when I emailed her about things was standofish in her email stating that it was all in the handbook, which she NEVER gave anyone. One of the moms didn't even know they needed an evening gown until I told her a few weeks ago. Then today I get an email timestamped 2:22 am that we might have dress rehearsal today or tomorrow, basically we are to sit around the phone and wait for them to decide if they are having a company party for their business or not, if not they will call us and we are REQUIRED to be at rehearsal. So we have to schedule life around their work, yet they have no consideration for anyone else's job or life or goings on?

My sister is Shaylin's backstage helper for the pageant and due to work and living 2 hours away will not be able to attend the rehearsals. It's impossible for her to get off work at a moments notice and I wouldn't expect her to.

Craig mentioned pulling Shaylin out but the clothes are purchased, the fees paid, the baked goods provided, tickets purchased, and a little girl's excitement growing. That's not an option. But I do intend to give this woman a peice of my mind, maybe I'll write a letter to the editor haha!

As sad as it is to say I'm hoping Shay has fun but is not picked to be the winner. I would hate to be bound to exploiting my daughter for the benefit of this woman's business. I have no problem with promoting our city, but someone's business in another county entirely.

I'm sure i'll overload you with pictures of her all dolled up this weekend!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Weekends are for pictures! 6/21/08

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Insurance faux pas

So, I was reading tonight a blurb from an online aquaintence regarding a letter she recieved in the mail today. June 19th.... JUNE. She was diagnosed with breast cancer 6 months ago and has been through chemotherapy and had both of her breasts removed and today she got a letter from the facility she had a mammogram at in JANUARY letting her know that her test was abnormal and she should come in for further testing. She found it hilarious.

It reminded me of a couple notices we got from our insurance company when Alex was sick. The night Alex was born he was transported by ambulance 100+ miles to a hospital with a NICU where a plan of action was made while he was stabalized. 2 days later he was flown via hospital plane to the University of MN for further treatment to save his life. At this time a tiny syringe and a ventilator were keeping him alive.

A couple weeks later, while living in a tiny room at the Ronald McDonald House we received a letter from our insurance company. The letter stated that they would be denying coverage for Alexander's flight because it was not "pre- approved" and "non emergent". Because you know we always charter private jets to get around. Not even a medical helicopter is good enough for people of our stature, it must be a private plane with a NICU team aboard. Apparently I should have called my insurance company before I gave birth and notified them that I intended to have a baby and that sometimes things go wrong so could we just pre-approve everything that might happen now? Maybe we could just pre-approve everything that could possibly happen to me or one of my family members in our lifetimes, then we will be covered. Ok?

Then upon Alex's 2nd surgery at 8 days old the little unfortunate soul somehow ended up with a splenic rupture. The doc was in the OR for hours replacing blood loss and trying to get it to clot up, what with all the heparin they were pumping into the kid.

My insurance company, not being one to miss a chance to bill someone else sent us a letter a couple weeks later asking if Alexander's spleen injury was a work related accident. No, I replied. We generally don't send our babies into the workforce at 8 days old, 10 maybe but not 8. Also, he most definitely would have taken the day off work that day, with having open heart surgery and all.

The third came a couple weeks after Alex died. Having heard that the boy had been stricken with a Cardiac arrest they quickly sent us brochures in the mail. Well, they sent Alex brochures, after all the envelope was addressed to him. Being his mother I figured it was ok to open his mail, fraud be damned. The ever so thoughtful insurance company, being very pro-active in preventative care sent 2 brochures to my son. 1 giving him tips on how to lower his cholesterol, the other entitled "How to avoid a second heart attack". Bless them.

Who can blame them, after all, they probably choked on the million dollar doctor bill the boy incurred and couldn't afford to pay attention.

Post a comment if you have a humorous (even if it wasn't at the time) insurance faux pas story!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Not really much to blog about. We've had some great weather here lately and have been spending time outside, riding bikes, and just hanging out. I love summer!

Austin is at his dad's house for 2 weeks camping. In their new RV. How nice. I want a new RV..... or maybe just the child support I'm owed, whichever. Or hey, maybe the granite counter tops he gave his wife for Christmas.... I'd take those too. So when they asked if Austin could come I was all for it, damn right he's going to get to use the new camper! It never ceases to amaze me just how much a guy who's "so broke I can't hardly pay my employees" can buy. I wish I was THAT kind of broke!

I can't beleive June is over half over already. I can't wait til the 4th of July, our town always has a big parade and stuff, it's fun. Hopefully we don't have a repeat of last year's parade events which involved an unconcious child, EMT's and a trip to the emergency room, I could do without all that excitement.

Speaking of, it's been a while since I updated on Christian. He's doing pretty well. He had a GI appt in April and the GI was pleased that the Prevacid and Lactaid had seemed to help Chris tremendousely in the pain department. We are still unsure why he's so little and why he's not gaining weight but the GI is going to follow him every 6 months for a while and watch what his height and weight does. So I guess it's as good as we can hope for right now.

Nate has to see the ophthamologist on the 7th for his yearly cataract appt. I'm sooo hoping it hasn't grown at all. That eye likes to cross when he looks up which makes me nervous that the cataract is interfering with the vision some, although I don't know why it would have that effect. The doc seemed confident at our visit last year that he would do fine and not need lens replacement, I'm hoping he's right. Although at that time he also said that he couldn't even really see the cataract until his eyes were dilated and the ped that admitted him saw it right away so that makes me think it must be bigger, I guess we'll find out on the 7th. I'm dreading the appointment because they really have to look at that eye and I know Nathan is going to fight tooth and nail. Last year was a challenge and he was only 4 months old.

I hear Nate crying through the monitor. My cue that me time is officially over.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Weekends are for pictures!

It's been a while since I've done a picture weekend. So here for your viewing pleasure is an overload!

The sad result of a "hey mom, watch this!" gone bad

Hey God? You there? Please help me to grow taller so I can open this door and get away from these crazy people.

Dude! Give me back my bike!

Pre-kindergarten Graduation.. Bring on Harvard!

These are not real outhouses. They do have that wondefully rustic charm that only a toilet in the woods can bring though, don't you think?

Check out the look on my little french fry's face. Poor thing is terrified as his father throws things at his head. After the 3,400th time he got pegged with the ball the loving mother in me said enough was enough....... it's time to take pictures.

Where in the heck is this child's mother? Wait, nevermind.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Gosh I've slacked her the past few days. But I have a good excuse, I've been really really really busy. A yard sale, 4 little league games in 3 days, a pageant fundraiser, another little league game (that my husband is now assistant coaching, bless him). And coming up this weekend a birthday party and Shay's in a parade. So I'm a little busy, give me a break here. I have 6 kids.

I had my 2 week miscarriage follow up appointment yesterday and and pleased to say that everthing looks great! No D&C!!!!! I could not be happier. I don't think badly of anyone who chooses the D&C route, and especially not anyone for whom it is necessary but for me I just really didn't want to have that done to me.

The midwife said that it was perfectly fine for us to get pregnant again as soon as we wished. As you know, we don't try to conceive and we don't prevent so that could be possible at any time. Unfortunately we won't be sharing the news until past 12 weeks, I just can't untell everyone again, that was too hard. She did say that for peace of mind I can come in at 7 weeks or so and have an ultrasound which I think I will be taking her up on. I won't go to the extent to have HCG levels drawn and all that but the risk of miscarriage drops to less than 2% after seeing a beating heart on the screen so I think that will be comforting.

I'm sure you all have heard about the storms and flooding lately in this area. Thankfully we were spared all but a little swimming pool in the front yard but our friends to the south weren't so lucky. In the Wisconsin Dells, where we vacation every year, Lake Delton flooded and then washed away, taking with it multiple homes and destroying one of the most beautiful landscapes in this state. The lake is now empty. EMPTY! Very sad. All over the midwest people lost homes, belongings, and lives this past week. Please include all these people in your prayers.

Also, please visit a CF husbands blog and extend your warm wishes to this family who has endured more than most this past year. They have recently encountered a setback in Tricia's health.

Friday, June 6, 2008

You should see the other guy...

So, you might remember that on Monday my sweet dear daughter got in her first bar brawl. Wait, no that didn't happen. But it sounded better than she fell off a park bench and took a header into the metal seat, doesn't it? Well, bar brawl it is because when you look like my dear sweet daughter does now, you go for the cooler story.

So on Monday afternoon I roll up to the park to this.

The EMT's were nice enough to wait at the park with my little princess untill I arrived from my hour drive.

I was told when I arrived that the lump on her head had gone down by half with the hour of ice on it. I was pretty surprised by it and wish I had my camera with me to show you what it looked like at that time, because if it had gone down by half it must have looked like a rhino horn at first. My poor sweet child.

Later that evening the swelling had gone down significantly and I wrestled my child to the ground...... wait that didn't happen either, I tried to convince her to let me take a picture of it. As you can see, she was quite excited about it.

Notice that front tooth just hanging there by a thread. I most definitely tried to pull that tooth out on more than one occasion in the nearly 3 months since it first became loose. I have also spent many nights praying that it comes out before pageant night, lest my child go to the pageant looking like the offspring of Nanny McPhee.

So, you can see my daughter was not really on the "let's blog the head injury" bandwagon quite as much as I was. But, she's no match for her mother. "Shay, just let me take ONE" I say. "just a side view, that's all"

"fine" she says as she goes back to her coloring book and pretends neither I or my camera exist. I didn't get the fine detail of the twin sister she seemed to be growing under her skull, but I figured I'd best not push my luck if I wanted to carry out my devious plan in the end.

"Shay, now I need a front one" I say. And I am met with a determined NO! "please? just one? then I'll stop, I promise!" I hear that "ugggh" that only the mother of a 7 year old knows and she looks at me as I jump on the chance as my daughter shoots me a look that could kill an elephant.

I realize that this bump isn't nearly as impressive as one would expect. I so wish I had gotten pictures earlier in the day. But the urge to torture my child has completely taken over any real desire to keep you all informed of the stress and terror that children inflict on their parents in the form of injury and illness.

Yesterday she started to develop something I could not help but take pictures of. 2 beautiful shiners.

You can see she's almost as impressed at having her picture taken as the first day. "One more Shay, in case that one didn't turn out" I say. "NO WAY!" yells my darling daughter who once again estimates the willingness of her mother to show complete strangers her banged up face against her will. I pretend to take a picture of Nathan and she can't resist the urge to give him rabbit ears.

BWAHAHAHA I got you! As I snap another one as she busts out in a giggle over thinking she just gave Nate ears in his picture.

You'll notice something miraculous has happened the night before. The tooth came out!!!!

Tonight Christian took a ball to the knee at baseball (a story for another day) and in the ER the doctor looks at Shay and says "What happened to you?" She tells him what happened and he asks me "did she get a concussion?" I say that the EMT's said she most likely did but she never showed any scare symptoms so she didn't go to the ER. The doctor says "Oh, well she broke her nose"... WHAT? Apparently the best way to diagnose a broken nose is the presence of........... 2 black eyes without a hit to the eye! Who knew! There's nothing to do for it but let it heal I guess. It is still quite swollen. And I don't expect the bruising will spread anymore than it has although the doc did say it could spread around her eyes more. Here she is tonight. I promised, only ONE more picture..............

Thursday, June 5, 2008

If you're going through hell

It's funny how God works. I was about to come here and type a blog post that was very depressed and sad and angry, and I still may. But as I clicked the button to bring this screen up our song came on the radio....

If you're going through Hell

Well you know those times when you feel like
There's a sign there on your back
That says I don't mind if you kick me,
seems like everybody has
Things go from bad to worse
You think it can't get worse than that
And then they do

You step off the straight and narrow
And you don't know where you are
Used the needle of your compass,
to sew up your broken heart
Ask directions from a genie
in a bottle of jim beam
And she lies to
when you learn the truth

If you're goin' through hell keep on going
Don't slow down if you're scared don't show it
You might get out before the devil even knows you're there

I've been deep down in that darkness
I've been down to my last match
Felt a hundred different deamons
breathin' fire down my back
And I knew that if I stumbled
I'd fall right into the trapThat they were layin'

But the good news is there's angels everywhere out on the street
Holdin' out a hand to pull you back up on your feet
The one's that you've been draggin' for so long
You're on your knees might as well be prayin'
Guess what I'm sayin'

If you're goin' through hell keep on going
Don't slow down if you're scared don't show it
You might get out before the devil even knows you're there
When you're goin' through hell keep on movin'
Face that fire walk right through it
You might get out before the devil even knows you're there

Shortly after alex died this song became our theme song. We found ourselves singing it whenever it seemed our grief was getting the better of us and it never fails to pull us out of that slump to this day. God knew I needed it tonight I guess.

Tonight I found myself wondering why the world just seems to be coming down on me like a lead weight lately. It's hard to keep up with the stresses going on and I joked to Craig the other night that back when Alex was sick and then died so many people commented on our strength and I often laughed it off. Well they must know something because If not for whatever strength I have I most certainly would be at the bar drowing my sorrows in some corona right this very minute.

God doesn't give us anymore than we can handle. I know that. But why does it seem he pushes us to that brink sometimes?

Something that will never leave my memory is the day when another hospital mom and I were talking about our son's heart defects and what their diagnoses meant for them and she said something that holds so true..... "you know what the worst heart defect is? The one that your kid has" That holds true in so many things in life. When Alex was sick he was alot of the time the sickest kid in the PICU. But I would walk down those halls and see those parents worried faces as they stood at the foot of their own childs' bed, or see the parents in the lounge with their heads buried in their hands with worry, or I would see the look on a dads face when the doctor told them their child would likely be in the hospital a few more weeks. I realized that the situations they were in were the worst for them, just as mine was the worst for me.

This applies so much in my day to day life and I think it really keeps me grounded sometimes.
After Alex died I would visit message boards for bereaved parents and I would get frustrated because most of the parents on there had miscarriages in early pregnancy. I would get angry and think to myself that they had no idea what devastating was. Now I am in their shoes, I am learning a lesson in devastating for myself. Because even though in many many ways losing Alex was a soul searing experience, right now losing this baby brings it's own pain. A pain that for this very moment, overshadows the pain I still feel in missing Alex if only by a millimeter.

The very worst thing to happen to you is the worst thing that has happened to you. The most painful thing you can feel is the pain you feel at this very moment. It isn't any more or less than anyone else's. It is what it is and it's yours to learn from and hopefully someday heal from.

I still sometimes wonder why God seems to take my lessons to the extreme. Maybe I just really have a hard time listening and it takes drastic measures to get me to listen, I'll have to work on that because I don't honestly know how much strength I still have. I'm feeling drained.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Where do I begin?

It's been so crazy and stressfull around here lately I don't even know where to start. Nate is feeling much better, sleeping a bit more than normal but playing and laughing and being his devious self. Unfortunately Jacksen has now been hit hard. He's now missed the entire last week of school and we are hoping he's up for his graduation tomorrow night. Craig took him to the school today to collect his things and say goodbye to his friends and he was very distraught over having to get off the couch and leave the house. I feel so bad for him. Thankfully he hasn't vomited since yesterday afternoon, hopefully the diarreah/fever part of this will leave him soon. I'm praying no one else gets this bug, it's one of the worst I've seen. In Jack's case it doesn't help that he's getting over all that other stuff to boot.

As far as my issues it's going well. It's now day 8 and my bleeding has all but gone. I see the midwife for my 2 week check on Tuesday and am hoping everything passed as expected and no D&C will be needed. I would hate to have gone through all this and need one anyway.

This weekend is going to be hectic. We are having a yard sale Friday and Saturday and Saturday Christian has back to back baseball games and Shaylin has a bake sale fundraiser to do for the Little Miss pageant. Thankfully my mom is going to help with the sale and Craig will be able to cheer Christian on before work.

Baseball is going ok. The team has struggled a bit but this last game on Monday they did really good. The game ended in a 5 to 5 tie and Christian made 2 of those runs! I was the proudest mom you've ever seen and he was sooo proud of himself. Things like that make the disappointment worth it.

What else... Shaylin. She's got a decent shiner going from her fall at the park during her field trip. I have a picture of her bump and a picture of her in the ambulance that I'll upload later. It's still surprisingly swollen for being 48 hours after the fact but not nearly as bruised as I would have expected. That may still come as the swelling subsides I suppose.

Tomorrow is the last day of school for Shay, Chris, Hailey, and Austin. We are all sooo very ready! No one wanted to do much for summer school activities this year so they are only doing 1 two week class each so aside from Christian's games things should be pretty relaxed this summer. We need it for sure!

Time to get back to sorting things for the yard sale. I'm really hoping to clear out a lot of the stuff that has accumulated in this house. We have quite a large house (15 rooms in total) but there's so much stuff it seems so much smaller than it is! I'm sending everything that doesn't sell over to the church for their free garage sale in the fall. It must get out of here!

Monday, June 2, 2008


We are home from the hospital. Now Jack's puking and Shaylin had to have an ambulance called for her from her field trip, she fell and hit her head and has a goose egg the size of...... well it's just huge. What in the heck is going on!