Friday, October 16, 2009

Race to kill the microbes

That title is just for you frosty! So the flu is subsiding! We have drank our way through three CASES of Gatorade, 1 CASE of vitamin water and copious amounts of water! Only one fever left and it is due to break at any moment! It couldn't have come at a better time really. We have church directory pics tomorrow and we all know or can imagine how I get at picture time (CRAZY!) I will promise to behave and share as soon as we can! Other than that, I will be spending my weekend killing every single microbe that I can reach. This house is on overhaul...again!

In other news. I start classes this week. YUP I am crazy, but again we already knew that! I am preparing for life as a masters student. Not quite enrolled in my program yet, but getting my feet wet with three quick online semesters. Priming the pump so-to-speak! I am excited. They are professional development class in writing, with authors! I also signed up for a few photography, web design, and GRE prep courses. Oh and there are a few business ones in there too! A well-rounded attempt at school as a mom of five! Only two more than when I graduated...it should be a breeze right? Although, never have I home schooled and been a military wife while a mom in school...so again we will see. Have a lovely weekend all!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

National Day of Miscarriage and Infant Loss

Today is a somber day that many do not even know about. It is a day of remembrance of those must unknown. It is marked for all those who have experienced the uncertainty and pain of loosing a baby that you have only been able to carry/hear/see/know of for such a short amount of time. Some of you may have seen the second line on a pregnancy test and within hours you started bleeding. Others may have been able to hold, nurse, care for a babe for several months before it was their time to go home to the Lord. I have experienced miscarriage three times and it is never easier. Some people minimize the feelings of a miscarriage by saying "at least you have all those healthy ones" They are very right. Some do not get to be so blessed when they struggle with miscarriage. However, the loss of a child is always sad, difficult, and never easy. Today is one day, one day to remember. It is a great thought and I know that this one day is not the only day in which you keep the thought of your child on your mind. Recently my kids and I were at the table for lunch and Aidan asked what Gracie's twin's name was. From that we ended up discussing the names of all three siblings that they have in heaven waiting for them.

Jonah was Avagrace's twin. I did not know that I was carrying twins. One day I thought I was miscarrying. I went to the ER where they too thought that I was loosing the baby. I took a pregnancy test and my HCG levels were still very high. So I was sent to Ultra Sound where we saw the little babe without a beating heart, still and tiny. Upon further look we found Gracie. Hiding behind her 'brother' (I am not sure what the sex was but I my heart says boy and they were not identical twins) so because of where I was in my personal life I decided that Jonah was the perfect name for 'him'. I will never forget the bitter sweet feeling that day. Such sorrow that I was blessed to carry twins and then in fact lost one. Gracie was such a surprise, such a blessing, such a balm for the sadness. I can't imagine if I would have twins at that point in my life. I know I would have done what was needed but I know that God always has a bigger and better plan.

Shortly after we were married my mom took me, the kids, my sis and brother on our final 'family vacation with just her kids'. It was planned before our wedding and it was too late to add Bren on. It worked out well. I just found out I was prego just before the vacation and unfortunately lost the baby as soon as I got back. It was a devastating time for me. I was so excited and so incredibly excited to have a third baby so soon after we got married. Being the only baby in this miscarriage and the fact that we were married and both very excited about the baby, this miscarriage was so hard. We ended up naming her Leighanni Mildred. Leighanni was after my sister and my middle names put together. Mildred after both of Bren's grandma's. I would have loved to have met this little bundle! Fortunately we did not struggle with miscarriages for a while after this one. I got prego with Violet immediately and she was such a trooper.

Breya was our "welcome back from 7 months of military training" baby. She too was a twin and man was I excited that I actually had a second chance of having a long time dream of twins! Breya's twin was identical so she was definitely a she. Her name is Jane (Janie) Virginia. I love this name. I can't imagine having a twin of Breya, she is our tiny little sass. So full of vim and vigor. She is so teeny and so cute. I often wonder if they would have had the same dimples or if they were mirrored. I wonder if they would have been even earlier since there were two and with just one Breya was 6 weeks early.

I think about these babies often. Sometimes I feel like I am leaving someone behind and have to do a head count. This was a feeling that Bren and I got when we were newly pregnant, before we even knew that we were. Now, I know why I feel that way and each time I say a quick prayer for my little babes.

I have several friends that have lost their babies to SIDS, miscarriages, etc. I ask all of you to leave a note if you have lost a little one. I am going to be spending time in prayer for them and you! I think this year I will get ornaments for our tree for these little ones. After all, they are my children, my babies siblings, and worthy of remembrance no matter how short their life was. Life begins at conception!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Closet Creative

There is something I have been hiding from my whole life. It has always been in the essence of who I am and yet it is something that I do alone, almost in secret. I do not often share it with others and I rarely talked about it until a few years ago. Even then it was only an add on to casual conversation, a glimpse, an aside. Never my purpose, goal, or desire. It would happen here and there and I would be so pleased. I remember Mrs. Robertson and my sculpture. I remember the smell of her room and feeling of Christmas morning as I saw all of the masterpieces on her pail teal drying racks. The room was a mess and yet it was so beautiful and so organized. So warm and inviting! I remember the 'super color-ers' and the kids that made projects and wrote stories that caused classmates jaws to drop. I ALWAYS wanted to be one of them and was always scared. Too scared to try, failure was just too real. And so I did the minimum, afraid to be drawn in because when I was it was only met by criticism or a brush off. There were the occasional few things that I was responsible for that brought the ooo's and aaaa's that I always hoped for. Then there were the miraculous times when I didn't care what response was earned, I dove right in and had the internal pleasure of a standing ovation all of my own. In case you haven't caught on yet I am, in fact a "closet creative" Afraid of what the world would say. This blog has been one of my first attempts at finally trying to make my ultimate dreams a reality. The second attempt is why I am rambling on this post about the inner workings of who "I" am!

You see, I have five kids! I bet you didn't know that hahaha! I need to be able to have a career that is portable, flexible, and totally mind blowingly and awesomely me! I am going back for my masters and have two programs nailed down. Both are online and both from fabulous schools. One is a Masters in Education concentrating in Children's literature. The second is a Masters in Education concentrating in Fine Arts. So here is where it gets tricky. I LOVE children's books. I love books. I am quite obsessed in fact. I read constantly! I want little more than to be a published author and I have a thousand stories swimming in my head just waiting to catch the bait! I would love to teach college students the amazingness that is a picture book! I would love to be a professor! I would love that I could write while teaching and have time with amazing young adults learning from them and sharing with them my passion for great Children's literature! I love Academia and I love books! I would be a lifelong student if I could but school tuition is outrageous!

The Children's Literature Masters is awesome, but so very specific. What if I can't find work and I have this monstorous school debt! Not to mention that the part of me that wants to do more than just write, that inside painter/photographer/fabric artist. That person- would LOVE to teach students art, to be able to help through art therapy, to be able to spend my days up to my elbows in color. My other career goal is to own a studio of art that is open to the public of all ages! Like a Jump Zone but for artists.

So what do I do? Do I go for the Literature and keep art as my hobby? Do I dive into the art, stretch myself and possibly fail? I could easily do art while writing and teaching but could I easily do writing while teaching and making art? Just writing this all out makes me lean towards one over the other but then I change my mind and think otherwise. What to do what to do? I would LOVE and appreciate any insight/encouragement/warning etc...I love both schools. They are comparable in cost and time spent obtaining the degree. They have very different entrance requirements and one may be easier to get into over the other because of my undergrad background. However, the one that I am more prepared for does require the GRE which I am so not ready for since I have been out of college for almost four years now!

I start some online writing courses to prime my brain in the next few weeks. I also start a GRE study group. I am so serious about this and am so ready and soooooooooooooo excited. I just don't know which fork in the road to take!

All this being said it is a miracle that I have come this far. I have been wondering what to do for FOUR years. When I married Bren I turned down a full scholarship to get my Masters/PHD in Sociology so that we could focus on his career and so that I could stay home and be a mommy. I don't regret it one bit. But since that day I have never known what exactly I wanted to do. I knew that being a social psychologist researching my way through cultures would not mesh with my new family dynamics, but I had no clue about what else to do. I love ministry and wanted to work in ministry but did not feel like God was calling me to seminary. I have thought many things, but nothing was me. My sister was right, the age of 26 (last year) was an amazing 'ah-ha' year. I realized who I was when I was little, how I let life change me, and how I needed to merge those two worlds to be the authentic me! It was amazing, GOD is amazing! Now I have two programs that I would love to learn through, and yet, I cannot choose which one is really perfect.

I think my biggest fear of the Literature one is that I will not have a successful or high paying job that is portable. Then again. How is Art portable? With all the cuts in education art is a rarity! In fact, it wasn't even taught at Tinker Elementary! Literature is becoming the foundation of our education, but I am not wanting to work with young ones, I want to teach at the college level and become a published author.

So what do you think I should do? ADVISE ME! :)

DISCLAIMER: I invented three new words to add to the "Ginnish" dictionary in this post. Can you find them?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Brace yourself!

"Brace yourself, as the beat hits ya, dip trip-flip fantasia" Yeah that is the line of a song from my middle school years, being driven to softball in my mom's CJ-7 Jeep with the roof off - cow print seat covers and all! GREAT times!

Now maybe you can tell from the crazy and completely random intro, I am in full uniform prepared for an attack! That is right, busy mom of five bracing for the flu! You know the saying "If you need something done, give the job to a busy mom!" Well that couldn't be more true at times! Tomorrow is PWOC Tuesday Morning's first chapel dinner. ALL of the moms who have signed up, including me, have been overcome with the flu/pneumonia/and all kinds of other bugs. So to make it easier on us all tomorrow, and to prepare for what could be a hospital stay for one or more of my own children-I spent a few hours in the chapel this evening cooking for the fellowship dinner. I had so much fun! Having a huge kitchen with properly sized pans etc...was amazing! I dream of the day when I have a kitchen that isn't a galley style hall-way kitchen that can fit maybe two people elbow to elbow in it! Plus I have ONE 13x9 pan in my kitchen for all 7 of us. I just mentioned to Bren the other day that kitchen stuff is becoming very important as we are eating all of what I make at dinner and I am not making enough for seconds anymore. MY KIDS EAT SO MUCH! Seriously, ask anyone, they eat more than any kid their own age and they are so skinny! Anyway, I had a lot of fun. I made two pans of pasta, a huge salad, two huge bowls of fruit salad, and four trays full of individual serving cups of banana and dirt pudding. So tomorrow all we have to do is heat up the pasta and meat balls trays, make the garlic bread, and set everything up! And it is such a good thing I prepared this because if I can't be there tomorrow that would have been a disaster!

Two out of the five of our chillies have temps OVER 103 as we speak! Aidan started with this yesterday afternoon being very lethargic (so unheard of with him!) and a high fever that has even made his little brown face red! Today after nap Violet started with the fever and is now coughing terribly! We are in prayer for healing and containment. Also, more specifically that Avagrace does not catch this because a fever for an epileptic is not good at all. Fevers this high can cause anyone to have a seizure. An epileptic however, is that much more susceptible and the seizures will be that much worse! Her last major seizure was 37+ minutes. If she would have a seizure like that with a fever it would likely last drastically longer and we can't have that happen!

So while we are in the trenches please keep us in your prayers and know that I will check in as often as possible! I have plenty to say (as if that is different from usual HA!)