celebrating double digits

A couple of days ago I alluded to the fact that ten years ago that day my life, my family circus’ lives were about to change and change in a big way. It wasn’t the way we were planning…not by a long shot. No, ten years ago we were enjoying the fact that our baby girl was settled into kindergarten. Ten years ago we were perusing travel brochures and making plans to visit the ancestral family castle and town in Scarborough, England to celebrate our twentieth wedding anniversary. Ten years ago I was ready to get back to school to study and earn more letters after my name because “Scarborough” wasn’t nearly long enough when signing my name on some teeny-tiny line…seriously, anywhere there is a signature line on any document it is a teeny-tiny line not fitting for any name more than two syllables long. I was ready to get my BSN, my MSN and my license to practice midwifery. Big changes for our family circus, big plans all falling into place January 9, 2002. Then I went to work that night and received report of a woman 24 weeks pregnant in our antepartum unit who would most likely deliver and deliver soon. As charge nurse that night I had to be ready. Well she ended up not delivering in spite of the fact I was ready. But two days later, in the wee small hours of January 11 she did deliver a 1lb 6oz, 13 inches long baby boy and I met (and held in my hands for the very first time) my son…my beautiful, amazing son.

16 days old!

And now, ten years later, Bill and I still have yet to see the Scarborough Castle. I’m still an RN…okay, an RNC in the NICU. Our family is growing up…our 4 girls and our boy, they are grown up and growing up! Today Daniel, the strongest, bravest person who has endured more pain than any other person whom I have ever known personally is TEN YEARS OLD!

DOUBLE DIGITS BABY!!!

I don’t think any parent of a micro-preemie, while keeping vigil over their baby every day, week, month in the NICU ever dares to imagine celebrating their baby’s tenth birthday. No, we hope, we pray, we wish with all our might that we just survive the NICU and get to take our baby home. Then we hope to survive that first scary year…and the year after that and after that…and then perhaps we start to relax maybe just a little because so much of the unknown of life with a surviving one pound baby is revealed. We hopefully have a better idea of the challenges and barriers that lay ahead for our child. We celebrate each milestone, each birthday but we are too busy still just living, surviving, working hard thriving to see that just down the road our child is fast approaching their tenth birthday…a birthday we didn’t dare to imagine celebrating and celebrating with a happy, healthy, thriving child.

one year

two years

three years

four years

five years

six years

seven years

eight years

nine years

But here we are! Ten years later, plans changed in a big way…in a better way…in the very best way for this family circus. None of us would have it any other way because we sure do love celebrating birthdays, especially big milestone birthdays.

Happy, happy birthday TEN YEAR OLD Daniel Quinn! I just love celebrating you, amazing you…every day…every year!

This is this week’s Wordful Wednesday post. Wordful Wednesday is like Wordless Wednesday, only WITH words. It’s for those of us that can’t contain the chatter, but in a good way. Have something to be Wordful About this Wednesday?  Head on over to Seven Clown Circus and Parenting by Dummies to link up and share.

Christmas mission accomplished

Like pretty much anyone and almost everyone else…the 99% you know…our goal this Christmas was to make sure that our kids had a merry, joy-filled Christmas where they were warm, fed, loved and able to enjoy having some of their Christmas wishes come true.

Not all my clowns can be featured because “God! Mom! No! My Hair!” but given this small sampling of smiles, cheers and giggles I think it is fair to say that our mission has been accomplished and for that I give thanks because MY Christmas wish has come true.

This is this week’s Wordful Wednesday post. Wordful Wednesday is like Wordless Wednesday, only WITH words. It’s for those of us that can’t contain the chatter, but in a good way. Have something to be Wordful About this Wednesday?  Head on over to Seven Clown Circus and Parenting by Dummies to link up and share.

coffee talk time with Mi-ma

So now Fallon has been here for a month. And how is Hazel faring many wonder?

Well, let’s just say the girl’s world has been rocked…a lot. Any parent with more than one child can appreciate the shuffling, the shifting of attention followed by (in great retrospect) the acting out for attention that comes from the big sister/brother. Don’t get the little darlings, or me wrong. The brand-new big sister/brother is absolutely thrilled that the baby is here…and is so cute…until the baby seems to get most of the attention…from Mommy and Daddy…from the grandparents…the aunties and uncles…and friends…and (WTH?) total strangers. It’s very easy to feel like maybe this new baby sister and being the big sister to love and guide her (without killing her) is not all it is cracked up to be.

There may or may not be some serious acting out…

There may or may not have been a mountain on the coffee table in the living room fashioned from nothing but baby powder. There is a sudden need for your binky and your favorite blue blanket…all the time. There are definitely tears…lots of tears. Sometimes, even you, the big sister/brother might even start to cry too.

It’s hard.

Then your baby sister starts to cry because she is hungry, bored, wet or whatever and you suddenly forget how hard it is and the resentment you feel because she needs you…her big sister. Everyone notices how much you care and, well, they forget the baby powder mountain and every other frustration or annoyance that you might have or might have not wrought.

As for Hazel, she’s coping and she is thriving. Someday she and her family will look back on these early days of adjusting to Baby Fallon’s arrival with a lot of laughter.

Someday.

For now the kid needs a little TLC and extra attention. I shared with Holly how I stumbled on this realization when she became a big sister. I also reminded her how hard we tried to carve out one on one time with each of them any chance we got. I’m not sure if she or her sisters and brother really appreciate those mind-numbing errands they had to run  with just mom or walks around the block or any other free moment with just that one child and mom but they had a purpose…to give that one child time alone with mom. Perhaps now that she is a mother of more than one child she will or does appreciate all of them.

With the help of my darling daughter #3, Abby, and my darling husband, who looked after Fallon, I was able to give Hazel some Hazel~Mi-ma time after dropping Jodie off to the dance class she teaches in the next town.

A couple hot chocolates with candy-cane sprinkles, silly talk, laughter and funny You Tube videos watched on Mi-ma’s iPad…what more could we both ask for. I won’t always have the chance for one on one time with her…I didn’t always have the chance with any of the five of my own children…I imagine her Mommy and Daddy won’t always have it either. Still times like these are that important…important for both child and parent or child and grandparent.

That one hour with just Hazel was absolutely priceless…if not for anything else but the candy cane sprinkles…OMG, how awesome are those?!

This is this week’s Wordful Wednesday post. Wordful Wednesday is like Wordless Wednesday, only WITH words. It’s for those of us that can’t contain the chatter, but in a good way. Have something to be Wordful About this Wednesday?  Head on over to Seven Clown Circus and Parenting by Dummies to link up and share.

the wonder of it all

Yes, I’m still working on the joy down in my heart here. I have to confess that a little navel-gazing reflection has helped a lot to get me to shift the focus of my lens just a little. It’s easy to stress and wallow in what I don’t have or can not give until I look elsewhere like when I fix my gaze on my beautiful son taking in the big family tree filled with our ornaments…our memories of wonderful Christmas times past. As he begins to recall out loud memory upon memory, the lights of our tree begin to twinkle all the more…and no, it has nothing to do with the lens filter on my camera…but hey, isn’t that way cool?

The lights! They twinkle!

Yet cool holiday shots aside, I find myself remembering the warmth, the love, the absolute joy of Christmas times past as I listen to Daniel describe his own memories…his own perception of Christmas times past through the years of his life. It is all so magical…so warm…so happy…and there is no mention of material things, of presents…just the love and family that always surrounds him.

Refocusing my own personal lens just a little with a view not unlike his view I see so much more wonder, so much more joy…and so many more blessings. How fortunate I am to have such a reminder still to look through a child-like lens and just enjoy the twinkling wonder of it all.

This is this week’s Wordful Wednesday post. Wordful Wednesday is like Wordless Wednesday, only WITH words. It’s for those of us that can’t contain the chatter, but in a good way. Have something to be Wordful About this Wednesday?  Head on over to Seven Clown Circus and Parenting by Dummies to link up and share.

braggart

So you know that grandmother you get stuck sitting next to when you are traveling? You know, that sweet woman who is pleasant and kind…the one who shows you pictures of her grandchildren?

All of her grandchildren…

Because they are just so gosh, darn cute…

Don’t you agree?…

Well, I am afraid that I have become that kind of Mi-ma. I offer no apologies because they are gorgeous grandbabies.Just smile sweetly, nod your head and agree with me. I swear I’m harmless.

This is this week’s Wordful Wednesday post. Wordful Wednesday is like Wordless Wednesday, only WITH words. It’s for those of us that can’t contain the chatter, but in a good way. Have something to be Wordful About this Wednesday?  Head on over to Seven Clown Circus and Parenting by Dummies to link up and share.