Tuesday, August 30, 2011

No Place Like Home

We made it home yesterday.  We had an amazing time!  The babies were fantastic travelers.  The did great! 

We got into Pigeon Forge on Thursday evening, about 8:00 pm.  While I got the girls settled in, Larry and Aidan left to get some food.  We had Krystal burgers...sliders...  I was happy.  We decided that we weren't going to eat anything that was available around home.  After we ate and bathed all the kids, we all crashed.  Woke up the next morning, and met my great aunt and uncle for breakfast.  Such a coincidence that they were also in town!  They live about 3 hours from here, and Aidan has only seen my aunt once that he's big enough to remember.  She came to see my grandma, her sister, about 2 weeks ago, and they came over here.  Aidan fell in love with her.  Her name's Velma, and he calls her "Molma".  When we walked into the restaurant, and he saw her, he went outside of his mind.  He was so happy!  When he got calmed down, he asked, "Where Dellie at?"  (He calls my Momaw "Dellie".) That tickled aunt Velma. 

After breakfast, we drove over the mountain into Cherokee,  but stopped at the top to change diapers, feed babies, and let Aidan see it all.  So beautiful up there!  My aunt and uncle were also up there, sight seeing, so he got to see his "Molma" again.  We took some pictures and enjoyed each others' company for a while, then went our separate ways.

In Cherokee, we went to two different feed-the-live-bears places, and bought a ton of food trays so bubba could feed them.  The girls just rode in their stroller, and were so good.  We attracted a lot of attention.  It was so fun, and,as always, I was so proud of my kids. 

The first bear place also has goats, monkeys, lemurs, and even a tiger.  There were some teeny, tiny baby goats.  So little, in fact, that one squeezed out of the fence and took up with Aidan.  He loved it, wanted to bring it home!!   It was so little that when I texted a picture of Aidan and the goat to my grandma's phone, she thought it was a cat!

That night, we went to a bar-b-que place for supper.  I went up to the salad bar to fix a salad for Aidan and me, and when I got back, Larry was telling the waitress about Landon.  I tell about him a lot more than Larry does.  She was so sweet, and told us that she had lost a little girl at just 29 days.  It sucks to meet others who know that pain, but it's also a blessing, to know that I'm not alone.  To meet someone who doesn't look away, look at their shoes, change the subject, who actually asks questions about him, rather than pretending he didn't exist.  I got a little teary talking about him,  but that's ok.  Everyone in that place could look at us, and know that we have 3 kids.  She was the only one who knew we actually had 4. 

I know when we go out to eat, all 5 of us, people's first thought is, "Oh,crap, I hope they don't sit THEM by us!"  But, know what?  My kids are pretty good.  Aidan does really well in public places, and the girls are so mellow nowadays.  They don't disturb anyone.  Rebekah did take a crying spell, but I was able to comfort her pretty quickly.

We also ran into a WalMart that night.  We can't NOT go to WalMart, we're the PEOPLE of WalMart! 

The next day was sort of a lazy day, I took Aidan swimming in the indoor pool, while Larry chilled with the girls.  I wanted to take them swimming, but for an indoor pool, the water was awfully cold. 

That night, we went to a CiCi's pizza.  I really wish that all of ours around here hadn't closed down.  We all love it.  Then we took the kids to a go-cart track/amusement park.  That was so much fun!  Larry took him twice on a go-cart, and I took him twice on bumper boats.  We had a blast, and a kid who was nearly asleep before we even hit the hotel!

We got up yesterday morning, packed all of our stuff, and headed home.  The weather all weekend was gorgeous!  I'm so thankful for such a fun, nice, beautiful trip.  Grateful for our safety while traveling, and just thankful for the ability to do that.

Since we got home, I've been working on laundry.  It's amazing how much laundry can accumulate in 3 days with no washer and dryer!  It is almost done, but it keeps piling up! Never ending!!

The babies' first night ever in a hotel!
Aidan at the top of the mountain
Aidan on an old fire engine at a roadside fireworks/souvinier shop
Babies and the goat
Aidan loved the goat!
Babies on a covered bridge in Cherokee
Aunt Velma (Molma), Grace, Rebekah, Aidan and me at the top of the mountain
Me & My kids!
Thank God for my blessings.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Surprise Vacation!

I feel as giddy as a kid on Christmas Eve!  We're leaving in 12 hours to go down to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge for two nights.  It's not a huge 2 week vacation, but it is more than I thought we'd get this year!  Larry took all of his vacation time when the twins were born, and was a tremendous help to me.  Last year we went down three times, and I was so grateful for that.  I just looked at it as stockpiling vacation memories for this year, which I hoped would be vacationless due to birthing.  He just decided around 5:00 or so this evening that we would go!  I'm so excited!

I'm blessed.  I got a double birthing, and a vacation!  We spent the majority of last summer lost in the land of trying to conceive.  The twins were the only pregnancy that we actually had to "try" for.  And it took longer than I had expected.  Still was only a drop in the bucket compared to some of my friends, who have been trying for years and years. 

The last trip down last year, was my mom, Aidan and me.  I found out I was pregnant just a couple weeks after we got home.  But, I can't claim that they're my souveniers as my husband wasn't with us.

Aidan had a blast every time we went down. He acts like he remembers it, but I'm not real sure if he actually does or not.  I do believe that he's old enough this year to remember it for a long time. 

I'm still such a kid at heart.  My very favorite thing to do on a Smoky Mountain vacation is to drive over the mountain into Cherokee (North Carolina) and go to the "bear zoos" and feed the bears.  And I've passed that love onto Aidan.  As he was falling asleep tonight, he was talking about feeding the bears apples.  I had shown him pictures earlier in the day, from last year. 

I am excited, but nervous, about taking the twins away from home.  Will they sleep?  Eat?  They're really easy to take on outings such as grocery store or restaurants.  But three days and two nights?  I do have one thing going for me, though.  They're still sleeping in their swings, I'm not ready to evict them from my room yet.  So, we're loading both swings up in the van to take with us.  So, that's one thing that'll be just like home for them. 

I'm sure I'm overpacking, but I'd rather take too much than not enough.  Babies get dirty, and I can't stand the thought of my kids wearing dirty clothes for any longer than they have to.  So, I have two outfits each in the diaper bag that will be up front, and about eight each in a suitcase, plus 4 sleepers each, 100 diapers (I know we won't use that many in 3 days, but still...)  I'm taking 10 bottles, that's one day worth, and my dishwashing liquid and bottle brush.  And the formula,of course.  And every bib we own.  Even at home, we go through all of them in just a few days, so I'm hoping that  they'll last the whole 3 days! I'm taking their baby washcloths and towels.  I don't want to use old rough hotel towels on my little girlies!

Aidan is  much easier to pack for!  He's such a big boy now.

I have one last load of clothes in the washer, as soon as I switch them over, I'm heading to bed.  Here are some pictures from our trips last year.  Enjoy!

Wonder if they were as blessed this spring as we were?

Watch for new pictures of our larger family, sometime this weekend!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

This week, last year

One year ago right now was a pretty emotional, exciting, and happy time.  Mixed in with a touch of sadness, for that's always there, and a lot of fear. 

My sister-in-law was 39 weeks pregnant with my niece. I was freaking out.  Because, as a babyloss mom, I will never take any pregnancy for granted again.  I've learned the hard way that pregnancy, even full term pregnancy, doesn't always guarantee that you're going to bring a baby home.  I wanted so badly to be excited. I was excited, just reservedly so.  My sister-in-law was the first pregnant woman close to me since Landon.  She was carrying the first girl in the family.

They wanted me at the hospital when she was born.  The hospital where my boys were born.  What if she was put into the same room where we learned Landon was in trouble, minutes before my emergency c-section? Could I walk in there, sit with her while she was in labor?  Could I really do that?  I knew I would, but I was so afraid I would lose it.  I wanted to meet my niece as soon as possible after she was born.  I wanted to be in the hallway outside the room, just like I was when they had my nephew.  Just like they were when I had Aidan.  I wanted that.  I wanted to be normal. 

But would I be able to?  How could I walk through those double doors?  The same doors I walked through 14 months earlier, only to be wheeled out with a teddy bear and bereavement literature (while my child was still alive)?  How would I deal with hearing babies' first cries, knowing that my own never, ever made a sound?  How?  Why, oh, why, does everything have to be so tainted for me now?  Why in the world did the thought of celebrating the birth of a baby that I already loved so much, have to smack me in the face with my own grief and pain?  Would the nurses remember me, the one with the dead baby?  Would I get the sad looks, people walking on eggshells to avoid "reminding me" of what happened? 

My sister-in-law and I go to the same group of doctors.  In fact, we saw the same doc throughout all of our pregnancies, but luck of the draw had different docs delivering all of our babies to date.  Would they look at me with pity? I was, at that point, pretty well known around the OB-GYN office.  After Landon, I got pregnant again within 6 months and miscarried.  They knew me well.  I didn't want to be treated with kid gloves.  I just wanted to go to the hospital, meet my niece, and handle it like a big girl.

All that was on my mind that week.  My mom and I had taken Aidan to Gatlinburg for a quick vacation at the end of July, to be back in time for the birth. I remember the Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum was supposed to have the world famous fertility statue in August, supposedly those who touch it get pregnant right away.   I wanted to go in August just for that reason, I was starting to get so desparate.   We weren't able to go in August, though.  I was a little bit sad.

On Tuesday of that week, the 17th, I found out I was pregnant.  I was too scared to be happy.  I had been pregnant 3 times, but only had one baby here with me.  I didn't trust pregnancy, didn't trust my body. I had very little hope that I would actually be bringing a baby home with me.  This was the first pregnancy that we didn't tell everyone we knew before the test had even dried.  We agreed to wait til we saw a heartbeat.  After the miscarriage, and Landon, I knew that I would get an early ultrasound.  Then, after we made that agreement, we pushed it a bit further.  Don't tell anyone til we HEAR the heartbeat, which would be somewhere between 10 and 14 weeks. 

So, we told no one.  Wednesday, my sister-in-law had her 40 week OB check, and it was decided to take the baby by c-section on Friday, the 20th.  I was actually relieved.  Like I said, I didn't trust pregnancy any more, and in my mind, the quickest route out was best.  She was happy, too. 

On Thursday, we went to Costco, and I discovered that I was bleeding.  I had my mind made up that  I was miscarrying.  I wasn't even going to call the doctor, was just going to let it happen.  Larry talked me into calling on the way home that afternoon.  The nurse told me to go straight to the lab for a blood draw, and to repeat it on Saturday. 

I broke down and called my mom and told her what was going on.  She was optimistic, maybe it wasn't anything bad.  OF COURSE it was something bad.  It always goes bad with me, doesn't it?  Well, other than that perfectly healthy 2 year old in the back seat.  That turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself.  But, everything but him.  It all goes bad.

Costco is about 30 or so minutes from home.  We didn't even go home, just went straight to the lab, gave my blood, and went home and waited to miscarry. 

There was never any more bleeding, at all. 

Friday morning,I woke up in panic attacks.  It was THE DAY.  The day I would force myself to take one step at a time, through those doors, onto that labor and delivery floor.  Onto that floor where my heart was ripped right out of me.  Oh, how I wanted to just skip it.  Just stay home and pretend like it wasn't happening.    Todd and Valerie were bringing my nephew to me that morning, he was going to stay here.  My grandma was coming over to stay with both boys while I went up there.  How easy it would have been, to just stay home and play with the boys all day.  Life as usual. 

But I'm not a coward.  I never thought of myself as strong. Til Landon.  The very child who was making me feel all this fear and panic, was the one who showed me my true strength.   I still don't think I'm strong, but everyone else says I am.  I just do what needs to be done, no matter how it scares or hurts me.

There's another reason I was determined to make myself go up there.  My brother.  He was there when I woke up in recovery.  He prayed over me.  He got to see Landon before the mobile NICU took him to Miami Valley.  He went to Miami Valley every single day to see my little boy.  He made sure Larry and I ate.  He brought me ice cream.  He was on my left, Larry on my right, as my little boy died.  He held my son after he was dead.  He grieved right with me.  He led so many prayers.  He took care of getting the preacher to come several times.  He was with us the third night, when they warmed Landon up after the cold treatment.  He. Was. There.    My sister-in-law was there a lot too, but she had to work (Todd was laid off) and also there was no one to keep Gavin.  But, my brother was there for the very saddest, most heart breaking, painful thing that has ever happened to me.  He got to hold Landon. Kiss him. Cry over him. He carried the casket from the hearse to the gravesite.

Todd, Landon, and Me

How could I skip out on his very happiest moment, when he didn't falter through my very saddest?

I couldn't. And I wouldn't.  I went.  It was hard.  Very hard.  My heart stopped when I got off of the elevator at the 4th floor.  But, one foot in front of the other, I walked to the waiting room, where my mom and Valerie's parents were waiting.  Within a few minutes of us getting there, the text came, she was here and fine!  9lbs and something, I think 2 oz, but could be wrong.  A picture came through.  She was pretty!

Todd came out and got our mom and his mother-in-law to go back and meet her.  He showed us video of her crying.  How amazing!!  A baby's first cries are always a miracle, but to me, after Landon, it was like hearing God speak.

Now, keep in mind, I still thought I was miscarrying, and nobody but Larry and my Mom even knew I was pregnant. 

While I was waiting my turn to meet my niece, I got a call from the OB's office with my beta results.  I can't remember now what they were, but it was super high.  I googled beta results, and my numbers were double what the high end of the chart said they should be for my dates.  So, I googled that and learned that it was either multiples or a molar pregnancy. I googled that. Learned that it can be cancerous.  Great.  I figured I was going to lose the baby and die, too.   I kept all that inside.

It was finally my turn to go back and see miss Allyson.  Valerie was in the same recovery bay where I woke up to be told my baby was dying.  I had ONE moment where my knees nearly buckled.   Then I saw her.  She was so perfect, so beautiful, so healthy and perfect.  And looked like Landon.  I had considered the chance that I might someday have a baby who would look like him, but it never occurred to me that Todd would.  She had his hairline,and dark hair like him, his forehead.  And she was beautiful, and I fell in love.  At that moment, my heart made a huge stride in its healing journey. 

I cried, I'm not going to deny it.  I cried for what I had lost, I cried with joy for what had just happened to our family, and I cried with a little bit of relief.  Seeing her, seeing a happy ending to a pregnancy,  I felt like *maybe* I would be OK, *maybe* I would have another healthy baby some day.

One of the nurses, Jenny (I've written about her before) who was with me for Landon's birth, came to his funeral, was just really sweet to me,  was with Valerie for Allyson's birth.  She came and hugged and held me while I cried for a few seconds.  Seeing her hit me pretty hard, but was good, too.  I wanted so badly to tell her that I was pregnant again, but I thought I was miscarrying. 

It was two weeks exactly after she was born that I had my first ultrasound and saw two babies.  No molar pregnancy after all. 

Now, a year later, I have two of the healthiest, happiest, prettiest, sweetest, most wanted and appreciated, loved, baby girls on the planet.  I also have a one year old niece!! The last year has flown by in the blink of an eye. (It didn't feel like that while I was pregnant, that's for sure.  Now, though, looking back, it did fly!)

Todd and Valerie had the kids' birthday party this evening.  I made their cakes.  It felt good to be celebrating.  Allyson helped me so much.  Just seeing everything go right, really and truly helped me to get through all my fears while pregnant with the twins.  Happy  Birthday, Allyson... or "Bee Ally" as Aidan calls her!!!

And, just for good measure:

One last one.. the only kink in a fantastic day:

Yes, that's a Costco size jug of Downy all over the floor.  It hadn't been opened yet.  The spin cycle must have jiggled the dryer enough to knock it off. That was fantastic right in the middle of cake making!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Just missing someone

I had a birthday "party" for my Mom last night.  Our parties are wild, let me tell you!  By wild, I mean with children running around!  Mom has six grandchildren,  my nephew Gavin is 4, my Aidan is 3, Landon would be 2, Allyson will be 1 next week, then my twins, Bekah and Gracie are 4 months.  She's not doing too badly for someone who thought she'd never be a grandma! 

I cooked a meal that looked like it belonged at a Baptist dinner on the ground.  I made fresh green beans, (I broke them myself and cooked them all day long in some pork fat, mmmmm!), chicken and dumplins, meatloaf, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, and a 7-layer salad.  Plus a cake.  Then, mom's friends brought cornbread and cookies and a couple other desserts, and my Momaw made a strawberry jello poke cake.  Good food!  All from scratch, every bit of it.

I know some women say they make dumplins from scratch, but I can tell that just means they scratch their hiney and knock the can of biscuits against the counter.  I start with flour and work my way through it.  I'd be embarrassed to do otherwise.  I admit, I'm a fatty, and I cook like a granny.   My husband told everyone that he only married me for my cooking. 

We had a great night of food and family and friends.  And kids!  My mom is never happier than when she's surrounded by all of her grandbabies.  All of her grandbabies.  I hate that term.  It isn't all of her grandbabies, and it never will be.  No matter what, there'll always be one missing.  But, I really seem to be the only one who hangs on to that.  I think everyone that was here, at some point last night, said that phrase.  Except me.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Life with Twins and a Tot

Life with my kids is, well, amazing!  I'm so in love with them.  Aidan is so big, and getting to be such a good boy.  He still has his moments where I wonder why I even bother to speak, because he doesn't listen, but those are getting fewer and further between. 

He loves to "help."  And I let him.  Even though his "help" usually ends up making tasks take much longer, he feels so useful, and is so proud of himself.  He loves to take a wet rag and "teen" everything he can reach.  The bigscreen, the walls, the furniture, the sinks, the bathtub,  the exersaucer.  All with the same rag.  Which means, he goes to sleep, and I go back over everything and re"teen" it.  But I brag on him, tell him what a big boy he's getting to be. 

He's so crazy over the babies.  This is bad, but I have to be honest.  I believe Rebekah is his favorite.  He always goes to her.  Always.  They can both be laying on the floor together, and most times, he totally ignores Gracie and goes right to "Webetty."  And, yes, we've all taken to calling her Webetty, thanks to him. The only time I notice him paying any attention to Gracie at all, is when Rebekah is asleep.  I'm not real sure why, Gracie is the more giggly, vocal one of the two.  But, Rebekah has hair on the back of her head that is so long it touches her shoulders.  Aidan loves to rub hair between his thumb and first two fingers.  He does it so very lightly, that I don't even feel it when he does it to me.  He's always rubbing the babies' (usually Bekah's) hair.   Gracie has a lot of hair in the back, too, but it's nowhere near as long.  I think that's why, but I may never know for sure.  I just hope that the favoritism isn't as strong when they get a little older!!!

Gracie has rubbed a bald spot on the back of her head, from all the rolling and moving she does.  Aidan noticed it one day and asked, "What's that, Mommy?"  Well, I couldn't resist.  I told him, "You've rubbed all the hair right off of her!!"  He looked at her, looked at me, looked back at her with a puzzled look on his face.  All of a sudden, he grinned and said, "Well.  It's TUTE!!!"    Of course I cracked up.  He's so funny.  He's so special.

We attract attention everywhere we go.  Everybody loves babies.  Everybody loves twins twice as much.  Everybody has a twin story.  They are a twin, their dad was a twin, their neighbor had twins, they always wanted twins.  I love those people.  Then there are the "poor you" people.  Those are the ones that make me want to never expose my babies to the world.

We've had several people (men) stop my husband and say things like, "Dude, I'm sorry"   Or, "Bro, that must suck."  and things like that.  That's very offensive.  Or the ones that look at us and shudder and say, "Better you than me."    Really?  You're sorry? I have three healthy kids and you're sorry?  For what?  Let me tell you something you can be sorry for.  We watched our second baby die.  He was born so sick he couldn't survive.  I was holding him in my arms, I felt him take his last breath.  THERE'S something to be sorry for.  My healthy, living babies?  That's NOTHING for you to be sorry for.  And it doesn't suck. It's amazing.  It's hard work, the hardest I've ever done,  but it's worth every second.  And it IS better me than you, I wanted these babies, I pray and worry every second of every day over these babies.  I'm GLAD they're mine.  I'm thrilled to have twins and a three year old.  I'd give my own life if I had a two year old in the mix, too. 

We get no middle of the road reactions.  It's either the twin story people or the poor you's.  But, we also get a LOT of questions.  I surely don't mind questions at all.  I'd rather people ask than to make assumptions about us, but answering the same series of questions no less than five times, every time we go to the grocery story, becomes repetitive. 

"Are they twins?"  (they're always dressed alike, they're pretty much the same size, both in bucket carsesats)  "Nope, they're just good friends" *wink, wink*
"Are they boys? one of each? girls?"   My babies are very obviously girls.  I never, ever take them out without either pink clothes or a big Josie Duggar headband/bow on their heads.  Or a dress.  I dress my girls like girls.  People look at them, help themselves to move the PINK blanket, and ask if they're boys. 
"Are they identical or fraternal?"   That's actually a decent question for MY twins,  because they look a lot alike.  But, they're fraternal.  I have a friend who has a set of twin girls, about six months older than mine.  Her babies are as different as night and day, and people still ask her that.  Really?

The answer of "Fraternal" leads to "Did you take fertility drugs?"  Nope.  But thanks for asking. 

And Aidan just gets skipped right over, more likely than not.  Every once in a while someone will ask him how he likes his sisters. He just smiles and says "Two babies!"  He's such a good big brother.  I sometimes wonder what kind of brother he would have been to Landon.  I really think a great one.  I really do.  He's so kind, and loving and sweet.  And affectionate.  He loves people so much.  All people.  He has done so well with the babies.  I was a little worried, he had been the absolute center of our world every minute of his life, and now he has to share the limelight. But, the center of our world got bigger, instead of taking part of his share. 

We take our kids everywhere we go.  I very rarely go anywhere without at least one, but usually all, of my children.

My heart is so full of love for them, and for their daddy.  He's such a good man, fantastic provider, my best friend.  I'm a lucky, lucky woman.

Monday, August 1, 2011

In All "Fair"ness

It's fair time!!!  Up til last year, I had never been to a fair.  We took Aidan to Greene County Fair last year, and I loved it!!  So did my big boy!  Of course, a babyloss mom looks at everything differently than "normal" moms, and when we got home, I wrote a journal about my thoughts and feelings.  I didn't keep a blog back then, and was very sporadic with the journal entries, but I will share the one regarding the fair.

Fear. Great big, elephant sized fear.
Last night we took Aidan to the county fair in Xenia. I had NEVER been to a county fair before. I was a pretty spoiled child, but that's one thing I can't remember ever doing. I was so very excited. All I knew about a fair was that they have fried foods, rides and livestock. My little boy is nuts-o over farm animals, most especially cows and goats. My dad is a carnie, he has a booth and sells home made pork rinds and chicken and noodles (great combo, huh?) at nearly every fair/festival in the area, so I knew he would be there, too. So, we got there and first thing I had to find a bathroom and sneak in without Aidan seeing, or he would have wanted to go too. I love that he's showing so much interest in the potty training, but I was about to bust, and would have peed my pants if I had needed to take him with me that trip!!! So, after that little pit stop, we found Dad's booth, and went to different vendors and got our supper. I'm one of those terrible Mommies who is trying to make memories for my kid, and chose to have our dinner at the fair. I did redeem myself a little by making him drink apple juice instead of lemonade or pop. After we ate we went exploring. First place we went was the livestock barns. First was poultry. Everything with feathers was a duck last night. Aidan quacked at chickens, turkeys, and whatever other birds were there. Next barn was pigs. He didn't care a bit about the pigs, which shocked me. But, I guess he was just warming up for the next few barns... we got to the cows next. Oh, Holy Cow! He was thrilled out of his mind! My little boy mooed and mooed. He'd say "awww, cute moo!" Those cows were BIG!!! And smelly! The next barn was my favorite, and I believe his, too... Goats, sheep and Llamas/alpacas. With a "baa-baa here and a maa-maa there" we made our way up and down every aisle in that building. The goats were totally used to being handled by people, even little people, and they'd come right up to the fencing and let my baby pet them. He touched one sheep, the rest shied away. I didn't let him get very close to the llamas and alpacas, though. It was at that point that the fear took hold of me, the whole "when animals go bad" thing running through my mind. That'd be a common thread throughout the rest of the evening.

We spent probably an hour in the livestock barns, and of that hour, probably 45 minutes were with the goats and sheep. My son absolutely loved it. None of us were that enthralled with the bunny exhibits, though. I guess he loves the bigger animals more.

We made our way down the midway, past the games, every game with caller trying to sell his game. One lady told us that the little kids win a prize no matter what so we paid the $5 and let him throw 3 softballs at plates. The lady was so tickled by his giggle that she kept handing him balls. I bet he threw about fifty balls! He ended up winning a little rottweiler toy. Since he doesn't already have 437 stuffed animals here! He slept with it, and the dolphin my dad won him, last night.

We walked on around, and there was a bigtop set up! When we got to it, there was a woman with about 10 dogs doing tricks. That was pretty cool. Once it was over and the dogs were put up, she said for all the kids to come up to the fence. Larry told me to take Aidan up there. We got up there, and found out that they were going to bring an elephant around for the kids to pet. Hello. Pet an elephant. How cool for a kid! How panic-inducing for a baby-loss Momma. Before they brought her out, they told all about her. I stopped listening after the part about her being 43 years old and 8,000 pounds. Again, "When animals attack" went through my head. I somehow reached down and pulled up my big-girl panties and stood there with my baby, my pride and joy, my only reason for living, and let him pet the elephant. I'll admit it, I gave in and petted her, too. Pretty cool experience, and no one took a picture!

After the petting the elephant thing, they did sort of a mini-circus. They had dancing camels and ponies, that did an act together. It was cute. Then they brought out 2 elephants and put them through a routine. It was amazing to watch them "dance" in sync, and in beat to the music (Especially when I can't even clap my hands to the beat!) but, again, I was nearly overcome with fear for my child's safety. Is that even logical?

I don't remember always being such a chicken-shit. In fact, I was ALWAYS the one that was game for anything. Heck, I was well known at a certain honkey-tonk for the amount of time I was able to stay on the mechanical bull. I don't know if it was becoming Aidan's mommy that has put this fear into me, or if it was losing Landon. Aidan was only 13 months old when Landon died, and he wasn't big enough to do scary things then, so I don't know if I would have felt that panic if I hadn't already experienced the loss of one child. I'm desperate to hold onto Aidan and keep him safe from all harm.

So, I analyzed myself. Yes, I'm afraid to let him do some things. But, these are things that all kids do at some point, and I absolutely know that I can't let my fear of what "could happen" keep us from enjoying life. If we lived in fear of everything bad that could happen, who would ever even leave their house?

I will even go so far as to compare my fear of what could have gone wrong with the elephants to my fear of being pregnant again. Yes, I'm TTC. But, I'm also absolutely terrified. Scared shitless, actually. The thought of another loss is like that 8,000 pound elephant in my womb.... So, from that line of thought, I moved on to "What scares me more, another possible loss, or never trying again, never even giving myself the chance to maybe bring home another healthy baby?" And my honest response is, the thought of never trying again is the scariest option to me.

Now, here I am, nearly a year later (that was written on August 3, 2010) and I can't believe how far I've come since then!    I'll start off with the very last paragraph, about my fears regarding TTC (trying to conceive).  Well, ahem... I honestly believe that one of the babies was conceived that very night.  I have no concrete proof, but I think they were conceived 2 different nights, and that one was the first of the 2.  (now I'm blushing)  And, I will tell you, I felt that elephant in my womb fear, the entire time I was pregnant.  I'm so grateful that my pregnancy went so well and that my babies are so perfect and healthy.  Most of all, though, I'm thankful that I found the strength and courage to try again, even with no definite answers as to WHY Landon's placenta died. 

We are taking Aidan to the Greene County fair again tonight!  I hope it's as much fun as it was last year!!  He's 3 now, and is so much fun to do things with.  Last year, he wouldn't ride the little kiddie rides because I couldn't be right there with him.  This year he is the first one to jump on. 

We took him to the Butler County fair on Thursday, and it was amazing.  My heart is still full from the joy of doing something with him that he loved so much.  Aidan is into firetrucks and firemen.  That's his "thing" right now.  One of the rides was a car ride, going in a circle.  One of the cars was a firetruck.  He was SO excited!  We had to pry him off of it.   He loved all of the rides.  I, as a paranoid freak of a mom, did great letting him ride.  I did have some panicked thoughts about "What if...."  but I didn't hold him back. 

I've always loved amusement park rides, everything from the tilt a whirl to the wildest roller coaster.  I've been pregnant for nearly 4 years straight, so it had been a while since I had ridden anything.  I rode all the spinny rides with him, and he LOVED THEM!  Thank goodness!  My brother was/is a puker, and he'd puke on me every time. But yet Mom and Dad would STILL make me ride things with him! 

My biggest moment of fear from Thursday evening was on a ride that went in circles,  but jerked like a roller coaster.  I'm so big, and Aidan is so little, I couldn't get the safety bar down as far as I would have liked on him,  but he did fine.  I was so nervous the whole time, that I couldn't relax and enjoy it.  But, I LET him ride it.  That's HUGE for me.  It really is. 

I also let him have a live pony ride.  Yep, I did.  I walked right along beside him, holding his shirt JUST IN CASE,  but I let him ride it, and didn't even hesitate.  I am actually pretty proud of myself.  I really don't want to hold him back from doing fun things because his brother died.  I'm learning to let go again, and just enjoy.  I hope that someday I can enjoy without the initial panic of "Oh, God, if I lose him too..."

I know that every parent has some fear, but I really think mine has been over the top since Landon, and I'm consciously working past it.  My girls are still way too little for this to be an issue with them, and maybe by the time THEY want a pony ride, I'll have enough confidence to just let them, without analyzing myself.  

We didn't take the girls to the fair, and we're not taking them tonight, either.  First of all, they're too little to enjoy it.  Secondly, it's HOT here right now.  Like, 97* with a heat index somewhere similar to that in Hell.  And last, but not least, people LOVE twins.  And by LOVE, I mean stalk.  It takes us at least 2 hours to walk through Costco or the Grocery Store, because everyone just *has* to stop and see the twins.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I LOVE hearing how beautiful they are, and the congratulations.  And even the repetitive questions don't bother me.  But.  The fair is about Aidan right now, and there's no way he'd have a good time if we had to stop every few feet so random strangers could satisfy their curiosity.  So,  Thursday, my mom and Momaw stayed with them, and tonight Mom's friend Patty and Mom are going to keep them.  They get to spoil the babies, the babies get tons of loving and stay cool, and Aidan has fun at the fair.  It's a winner all the way around!!!

Photo Photo

This is him in the firetruck,  I couldn't time it right to get his face!
His first roller coaster,  he's going to be a fan, just like Mommy!