My Dear Daughter

So much has happened in the last year. Life and Death … fun and not so fun times, even stolen dining room tables. Over the next week I will be spending the time catching everyone up on the craziness . Lets first start with the very good … The official announcement of Willow!

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Willow Olivia Naomi  6 pounds 1 ounce and pure badassness

I GOT MY GIRL!!!

Lets also pretend that she is brand new and NOT four months old.

“Nate” as I call her is just pure bliss, she has been the calm in the storm. We all know babies can calm the stormiest of storms. I am just over the moon with her. The boys are too!

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They fight over her

I also have to throw in all the Mom and me outfits

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With this excitement has come some worries:

HOW DO I RAISE A GIRL!! 

Boys I am use too … and society has shaped boys to know

  • You can be bossy   Assertive
  • Aggressive, arrogant   I mean be a leader
  • You can be anything you want to be …. as long as you have children, take care of them, keep a clean home, and be perfect

Everything stroked out is what society will expect from willow or describe her as, if things do not change.

I cannot change society. I can raise her knowing she is enough.

 

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My mom made the quilt used as a back ground … by hand

My Dear Daughter,

 Remember always you come from a legacy of women. The very quilt you lay on was made by the hands of your great – grandmother. A strong woman. One who raised 12 children in the Deep South during Jim Crow days in a cabin on the farm. A praying woman a loving woman. One who’s mother before her picked cotton. My mother your grandmother was strong, kind, and beautiful – inside and out. She was also a praying women. 6 am every morning. A women who grew up during Jim Crow , participated in the civil rights movement and wore an Afro no one could match.

 

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Your Grandmother

You my daughter are part of a legacy, and don’t let anyone tell you other wise.

 

My now youngest my only daughter. My love you are a queen and nothing less. You are surrounded by so much love close and far. You caught by your fathers hands. My sweet girl stay sweet but also strong.

 

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Wrap by Attachedmommies

Babies Calm the Stormiest of Storms

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The Jameson House

SIDS is the leading cause of death for Infants 1 month to 12 months old. Each year SIDS claims the lives of almost 2,500 infants in the US  – that’s nearly 7 babies every day. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) defines SIDS as the sudden death of an infant under one year of age which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation. SIDS occurs in families of all races an social economic backgrounds and in spite of parents doing everything “right” to lower the risks, SIDS cannot be prevented.

October is SIDS, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, a month I hold close to my heart. In honor of this month I have chosen to share the Jameson House story.I was introduced to this family some time ago when a friend was asking for prayers because they had lost their son Jameson to SIDS. That same friend introduced me to their now project of creating a house parents who have lost their children to SIDS can come grieve, talk and receive help and support.

 

The Jameson House does not exist, yet. This is our story and vision…and why The Jameson House needs to be built. January 2nd, 2013 was the most incredible day of our lives.

Jameson Reid Stidger
Jameson Reid Stidger

At 2:17 a.m. Jameson Reid Stidger was brought into this world. I will never forget the look on her face when Jameson was put on the baby warmer…seeing the look in Gabby’s eyes that she was a Mom, finally after, carrying him for nine months. From that day forward, her life had changed. Gabby was a “mom” to my other three children but this was her own flesh and blood. I could tell then and there that she was born to be a Mother and her purpose in life was to nurture this little boy. For Gabby’s entire pregnancy, she did everything by the book. She took her pre-natal vitamins religiously, ate healthy, didn’t drink or smoke. Gabby is a RN (registered nurse) and knew the importance of doing things right.

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  She was a perfect Mom…from the day he was born until that day he was taken from us. I home office and she worked nights. Our  schedules worked out perfectly. I would watch him at night and when she got home in the morning, she would take over. Their nap time was so consistent…I could walk over to the couch where they were both sleeping at exactly 10:15 and take a picture of them sleeping together. It was beautiful to see a bond between a Mother and child that I had never seen before. They were in love.

 

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July 2nd ,2013 was a perfect day…we went to the pool as a family and had a wonderful time. This was the first day that 6 month old Jameson felt comfortable in the water. Later on that day we went out for dinner, went back home so Gabby could get ready to do her overnight nursing job. It was a usual routine. I would watch baby Jameson while she either napped or got ready for work, or both. His soft skin and beautiful smile. The way he would get shy sometimes. His funny, yet cute little hair part. His wonderful giggle. That day was a perfect day, our lives were perfect, even though our schedules were quit hectic. Everyone fought for Jameson’s attention. All the kids would want to hold him or take him for a walk. He was the light of all of our lives

 

 

. July 3rd, 2013…out lives changed forever. I woke up at 7:17 a.m. to find little Jameson lying on his stomach. When I went to turn him over, I knew he was not breathing. As panicked as I was, I gave him mouth to mouth and CPR. I placed a call to 911 and was hysterical, not only to know that our healthy, happy Jameson had gained wings…but to know that Gabby was going to come home from work wanting to feed him and do their daily routine. It was horrific. Words cannot explain the feelings or emotions. The image of that morning will be burned into my memory forever. Gabby came home to a nightmare that unfolded in front of her. Police cars, fire trucks, ambulances and worst of all, the coroners vehicle. The only questions was “why”? Why did this have to happen to him…to us? He was perfect in every way. Why would God take our son from us? Why?!?

July 7th, 2013 We buried our little boy, personally setting him in the grave to rest. Knowing that was his body and his spirit was in Heaven. Gabby and I were not in our right minds, and will never be. Gabby wanted to be with her son, not having a plan to kill herself, just not be here. The next morning, a doctor’s appointment was set up for her for evaluation. July 8th, 2013. In the morning, Gabby was admitted into a mental health ward in a Minneapolis Hospital. It was not the place for her. Gabby, being a nurse, knew what kind of help she needed and this was not the place. She called me crying hysterically shortly after we had left, telling me this was not the place for her and to PLEASE come pick her up…even pulling the “if you love me” card. I explained that we couldn’t but I would do my best to get her out. After spending two hours with her crying on the phone to me, I went back the same day to get her out, to no avail. I got her out the next day. She told me how awful the nurses were and had nobody to talk to. We were promised that she was going to get help. If you call showing where she was going to be sleeping and a nurse calling her disheveled “getting help”, than it was a success. She cried up and down the hall hysterically for hours, and nobody cared. Gabby needed to be with her family.

The one thing that came out of her being in lock up was her idea of The Jameson House. While lying in that white room, with nothing on the walls, she imagined the perfect place. A place that hand comfortable beds, walking paths, a bench around a pond to watch wildlife…someplace serine. Most importantly, a place with therapists, RN’s and a doctor to do rounds once a day. We would also offer clergy for each patience’s preference of religion. The Jameson House would be a get away from all the people calling and knocking at the door, dropping of the next pan of lasagna. A place to grieve, heal and learn how to carry the pain and to get the necessary help. We later got a bill for $4100 from the hospital, for the worst possible care, ever. TJH would be free for the first two weeks. July 9th. We brought Gabby home, where she belonged, but stopped to see a therapist on our way. She made us feel at ease and it comforted us slightly, but did not take the pain away.

We just have to try to learn how to carry it. There have been many nights that Gabby has been crying on the garage floor and me lying next to her. So many times saying to ourselves that we both need to be at The Jameson House…that does not exist. The tears. The anger. The questions in our minds of why. Everyone we talk to think TJH is an incredible idea. The Jameson house does not exist, yet. We are taking all the steps to put it into motion. The plan is to build the first one in the Minneapolis area, in the suburbs on some acreage. We are having plans drawn up of what the house will look like. Taking into consideration that the walls have to be sound proof and all rooms handicap accessible. We would want meetings every week for grief groups and SIDS, so there would have to be a ample room. We would want a large kitchen area and dining area to accommodate 4-8 couples. It helps to be surrounded by people that are going through the same tragic experience. The floor plans of TJH would stay the same in every city that is built around America, we would just have to find the land to build them on. There are thousands if not tens of thousands of people in our same state of mind that could use a place like TJH to feel comfort, right now.

 

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For More on the Jameson House Project or how you give to this project please visit the links below:

The Jameson House Facebook Page

Jameson House Webpage

Connect on twitter

On October 15th at 7:00pm I ask you to join me and others across the world in lighting a candle in honor of Pregnancy and Infant loss Remembrance day.

Catbird baby Pikkolo- Everyone loves a giveaway!

I have to admit I may have adult ADD which has resulted in a Catbird Baby Pikkolo Carrier to sit on my bookshelf for a good two months. I thought the box has made a great decoration to our home. Yet my husband disagrees and has said it needs to go, like now.

Well I first bought my Pilkkolo online, at this point I had an ergo but wanted another carrier. Well it came i the mail and it instantly became my hiking and dog park carrier because of the back strap cross support in the back when I would carry Lyam on my front.

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Some specifics”

Recommended weight – 8 to 40 pounds

The Pikkolo is based on Mei Tai style Carriers.

Carrier includes a hood, chest strap and instructions.  There is an optional Support waist belt, I never used one with mine.

100% Cotton

You can do a Front carry ( Never tested it out here. Says that front carry is ergonomic, yet I have doubts about that), Hip Carry ( I loved the hip carry with this carrier better than with any other soft structure carrier), and Back Carry.

The fabric felt great! No having to breaking in!

My favorite feature No falling down pants. What do my pants have to do with a carrier? I am not the only one who has put a carrier on and once you start walking your pants start to fall down? Well the fact that there is no supportive belt and you have a fabric only like waistband your pants will never fall! Its like Magic. Though you can buy a supportive waist band, and it is suggested for children over 20 pounds. I never felt like I needed one.

Though this carrier did not go knee to knee fabric wise with my oldest who is two. It was surprisingly comfy and the fabric came pretty close to his knees. Though Fabric to knee is not required, it can make carrying bigger kids more comfortable.

Things I would like to change.

Storage. There is no storage compartments for anything on the Pikkolo. So this carrier would not be an all day around town carrier for me. So though I used it for hiking. I could not go hiking all day with it.

Thought the memory padded straps are great. They tend to be bulky for putting it in the diaper bag. Yet though I am pretty sure you can have one or the other and not everything.

If you are petite … this may not be the carrier for you. The straps are wide and may “overwhelm” you.

The webbing while strong, was too hard to pull through to tighten the carrier. At some points I would have to take the carrier off to tighten it. Yet mt Carrier is an older version. So this may have changed.

Due to the pikkolo not having a supportive belt automatically. My husband found it confusing. Yet all husbands are different.

Over all the Pikkolo is pretty great. I would give it 4 out of 5 stars

My toddler in the Pikkolo
My toddler in the Pikkolo

Now enough of my rambling on. Would you like a chance to win a Pikkolo? Thanks to Catbird Baby you can!! Just enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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We are Part of That 15 Percent

We are Part of That 15 Percent

I came across this blog last night when just mindlessly surfing around like I do every night. My first thoughts were this is pretty cool as I looked at the different beautiful families pictured on it. So I submitted my families picture.

Yet my find of this in a way is kind of funny. I found it on the same day that when at the beach with my family and some friends a little girl came up to me and asked a question that I in no way was expecting. She came up and asked ” Is your husband white?” I couldn’t believe what I heard and had to ask her again. She repeated the same question. Now I don’t know if she asked what she did because she was a child and didn’t know how to word her question ( soon after she went over to play with our dog)m or if she asked based on things she has heard at home. Either way it left a some what ill taste in my mouth. It reminds me of a time when Cadden was younger and my husband and I came up to see what color Cadden was a complete stranger ( she was very vocal about how curious she was). She than sat and shared with us about how her friend was married to an African guy and how their kids were all the same color. I am pretty sure that was her way of trying to somehow bond with us. Though it wasn’t bonding and if you are reading this and run into me do not hold me up for 15 mins talking about the color of your friends kids….I don’t care.

The blog was started after General Mills came out with a commercial the featured a mixed race family. Nothing was wrong with the commercial, just with the minds of some people who watched the commercial. This commercial created a stir and the comments that came from it were shocking and disappointing. Though I was very happy with the commercial… Its nice to see families you can relate to on T.V. \

Part of a multiracial family? Submit your picture to the We Are the 15 Percent blog. We did!

Brotherly Love

When time came near for Lyam to be born I had a huge fear. It didn’t involve going into labor or even how his birth would go, it was going from one child to two. Cadden had Chad and I all to himself for a good 18 months. Though he did have to share my attention during the day as I did childcare, he knew at the end of the day those kids went back home to their families. OK well he didn’t know where they went, but he did know they were not staying the night.  He was not used to also having to share me during the evening hours.

Yet we tried to prepare him. We bought him the doll of his choice and called it the baby. We told him to that he had to feed the baby and be nice to the baby. Though instead this baby ended up in a plastic bag as a carrier, and was use as a road bump for his cars and trucks. I would also tell him that a baby was in my tummy. That he warmed up to even more so when a friend was pregnant at the same time and had her little guy before I did. So Cadden was getting use to the idea. Yet bringing Lyam into this world with Cadden terrified me enough to the point I got super nervous during labor and had a mini breakdown.

Well My fears didn’t keep Lyam from being born ….. Nor did it keep me from hiding out at the birth center he was born at we eventually had to go home.

As you can see Cadden wasn’t too sure but he was very quick on wanting to hold his new brother. Yes we allowed our 18 month old to hold our newborn.

     

Well after about a good hour the newness of his little brother wore off and it was now time to see what he could do to the scrunched up little guy.  This resulted in hitting and pulling hair… not fun at all but has finally stopped 8 months later.  Lyam has been toilet baptized by his brother. I tell myself he will have a great immune system from this.

Yet Cadden does really care about his brother …

He now shoves food in his mouth

tells me Lyam needs to be nursed

sits on his tummy and bounces ( because little brother make great bounce toys)

pats his butt

…..and his newest trick….picking Lyam up and carrying him over to me.

Such a proud big brother

Recently now that Lyam can sit and stand along with scream when he is upset the boys have grown on each other. Along with getting in trouble with each other…

smashing grapes all over the floor
smashing grapes all over the floor

Eight months later I am seeing two boys who love each other. Though they may not be able to say it you can see it. Whether it’s the way Lyams eyes light up when he sees Cadden enter the room or the way Cadden says ” hi eyam” when Lyam first wakes up in the morning the love is there. I can only hope as the get older that their relationship only gets stronger. No matter how many arguments they get into or how many toys they take from each other. I also hope that they become each others closest friends. Yet as for now I only hope I can stay sane as these two continue to “explore” with each other.

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“Brothers don’t necessarily have to say anything to each other they can sit in a room and be together and just be completely comfortable with each other. ”
~ Leonardo Dicaprio