Saturday, August 25, 2018

3 Years Without Abigail



My Abigail,

Happy 3rd Birthday!  I finally feel like I've found some stable ground since losing you.  I think of you each and every day.  It is no different from the way I wonder about your siblings, and think of them when they are all gone for a week to the grandparents.  But you are gone a lot further away, for a lot longer.  There are still times that I cry, but they are pretty rare these days.

12/31/2017, Two years since your due date.
A few months ago, I went through a downright angry stage.  I spent a lot of time sulking and angry with God.  I'm not going to say I know everything about why He suffers some things to come to pass.  I will probably never fully understand His will and His providence, but I suppose my time of wrestling with it has at least left me with a peace about it.  I'm not going to lie I would wish you back here in a heartbeat.  Life here may be sinful and lousy compared to there, I have no doubt of it, but you are mine and I want to know you.

5/13/2018, Mother's Day with all my babies.
I do like to share what I do know of you though.  The other day, someone asked what you looked like and I got to play the proud parent, talking about your long dainty fingers, and your tiny little tongue, and the way that your feet were crossed.  How you were a thin little thing.  I tell everyone we meet that we have 5 children, though only 4 are here with us.  I talk about you to your siblings all the time.  Kate loves to play with the charms on your bracelet during Church, especially the handprint one, and I tell her all about her big sister that she can't see.

6/3/2018, We went out to check on Abigail after our long trip.
Ruth doesn't talk much about you but says she thinks about you a lot.  She likes to sometimes draw pictures of you with our family but always apologizes that they aren't very good because she doesn't know what you look like.  Sometimes she asks, but I never seem to have any good answers.

5/6/2018, The rain on International Bereaved Mother's Day matched my mood.

Britt probably talks about you the most.  When we were studying ancient India we read about a holiday where sisters make their brother a special bracelet out of brightly colored thread and small beads to show their love and respect, and the brother promises to always protect and look out for them.  He insisted that we make a bracelet for you too.  So he has a bracelet that Ruth made, Rebecca made, that he made for Kate, and a bracelet made from the leftover thread from the stocking I made for you.
12/24/2017, Merry Christmas Abigail.
Several months ago, when we first started studying ancient China.  We read a story of a baby who died and who the Buddha sent his mother to get a seed from a house that hadn't been touched by death to bring him back to life.  And after searching, she realized all are touched by death, gave up, and buried her son.  I asked them if that sounded like a comforting way to live.  And so we talked about you.  Rebecca, quite out of nowhere, and quite out of character for her, got hysterical and asked me if I would stop talking about you, that it made her sad.  I told her point blank.  No, I would not.  I asked how she would feel if I stopped talking about her.  I told her that I love all of my babies, and because I love them I talk about them.

2/4/2018, We finally remembered to bring Abigail's
candy cane from Christmas to her.  And everyone ate them together.
Your Daddy misses you in the empty spaces of our lives.  He doesn't talk about it much, and he doesn't like to dwell on the what-ifs because to him it's all speculation, and he claims he doesn't have much of an imagination.  He has trouble seeing past the broken shell he held to imagine what you are doing now in heaven.  He doesn't like to share you with others, because he thinks you are too special, that you are ours.  Sometimes though he will point out things like you could have slept on the bottom bunk now, the one that is empty, and we would have had 3 girls in a room.  Sometimes I'm sure that he misses the more carefree person I was before, and the sense of completeness we had as a family, that is missing now.

12/24/2018, Momma and Daddy out at your swing.
Today we did I tried to stay busy.  We got alot done on our move.  The very first thing I unpacked and found a new home for was your things. I think with the longer shelf, that it actually looks better than before, everything is spaced out and so easy to see.  It made it feel a little more like home.  We picked up some cupcakes to come and share with you tomorrow after Church, and in the dark on the way back from the store, your birthday minute rolled around.  I told you happy birthday, while Daddy drove and everyone else was asleep in the car. I can almost see you in my mind almost shoulder length, stick straight, red hair.  Those fat baby checks.  With your Daddy's blue crinkly eyes.  Those fat, pudgy, still baby-like hands and feet.  I often wonder what your little voice would have sounded like.

5/13/2018, Mother's Day and my 33rd Birthday.
I hope you know how much you are loved.  Sometimes a pregnancy seems such a long time to get to see and know your child.  And over the years of raising them, you gradually learn more and more of who they are.  It's a wonderful process of discovery, to watch your children grow up.  I'll just have to wait a little longer than most to know you. As always you are loved and missed, but especially today.  Happy 3rd Birthday in Heaven.

We love you,
Momma


Friday, August 24, 2018

15 Months with Kate

8/24/2018
Katherine,

You have been a busy little bee in the last three months.  I don't do the post monthly in the second year, just two extra posts in your second year a 15 month and 18 month post.

You are constantly on the go.  You don't seem to have much trouble walking in shoes now.  Though your Daddy still makes fun of your bowlegged rocking walk.  He has told you that you look like Memaw did right after her knee surgery.  She loves on you and tells you to just ignore him.  You really like to run up and down, if you can call it a run, on the ramp in the lunchroom at Church.  You seem to get a kick out of picking up speed going down it, so you do it over and over again.  You still aren't really fond of wearing shoes, so we only do it out and about, but you don't seem to mind sandals quite so much.  Guess it's a Florida thing.

5/29/2018
5/26/2018














Climbing is the big thing now.  If we don't leave off the light in your room, you will go in there and climb halfway up the ladder to Rebecca's bunk.  Then laugh at us when we tell you to get down.  You can climb up in the little rocker and in Ruth's little chair in her room.  You like to climb in and out of the bumbo seat that Grandmother and Granddaddy got you for Christmas.  You will drag it around the room, when the kids turn on a movie and climb in to watch it with them.  You will climb and wrestle all over your Daddy.  And, when no one picks you up fast enough, you will grab a fist full of pants, grunt, and try to swing your leg up and climb up them.

7/14/2018
You babble more and more of the time, but unlike your siblings, there aren't really any clearly recognizable words.  You sometimes seem to say Yeah, bye (about a thousand times in a row), and uh-oh when you drop something.  You say Da-da for anything and everything over the sun, but will go and find him when I ask where Da-da is.  You clearly understand alot, because I can ask you to go and get your puppy and you will.  The little dog Unca Nick and Aunt Alex got you for your birthday is clearly your favorite toy.  I can ask where the kitty is and you will get a blue cat that belongs to Rebecca.  You also know that Neela is Rebecca's toy Austrailian Shepard.  You will go to the kitchen if I ask you if you want a cup, and wait for me to get it.  You do grunt a lot at us to get our attention, and sometimes almost sound like you are going to hyperventilate.
6/12/2018

6/17/18

When you get excited which is often, you kinda squeal, kinda make this rapid whiny sound, like you are going to hyperventilate.  You really love animals and do it anytime you see one as you try to get to it.  You also laugh whenever someone else laughs, and love to be tickled.  You are probably more hands-on and expressive than the other kids were.  You will randomly come sit in my lap, and either patty cake with your hands, or grab mine and make me do it.  You want me to sing the song to you.  And you are always pleased when I do.  Things that the others might have asked for, but didn't do.  I guess you need to be more visual since you don't talk much yet.

8/1/2018


Your personality has really blossomed over the last few months.  You love your siblings.  You think Britt is the funniest, like to sit in Ruth lap to watch tv, and play with Rebecca, but you sure do hate for them to pick you up and carry you around.  You have clear likes - vegetables and fruit of any kind, and clear dislikes - most meat.  You prefer to eat on the go and not be strapped down.  You love milk and water but hate cokes.  You seem to have developed a taste for lemons in the last week, taking them off everyone's cup and plates.  I think you have 12 teeth in now.  You had 5, almost immediately cut 4 molars, and then three more eye teeth.  You might be working on some more teeth this week, but I don't stick my hand in to find out any more.

7/22/2018
We turned your seat around, almost a month ago now.  You had figured out how to get your arms out the top of the harness and would roll most of the way over in the car seat in order to crane around to look at us.  Sometimes I wonder if you are a contortionist, even on the tightest setting you can climb out of the high chair.  You had nearly reached the limit on the car seat, but I wasn't quite ready to turn you.  Daddy is convinced that you fussed less facing backward, I think you just fuss alot in the car seat.  But we are on the go and it's not an option to be out of it, so we'll just live with the complaining.

5/25/2018
This week, I have washed up the 12 to 18-month clothes and packed up the 12-month clothes.  You may always be a petite thing on the short side, but you are growing.  And since your first haircut, you have only gotten more and more of the crazy curls.  I love you, our dainty little love.  You are such a joy to your Daddy and me.

Love,
Momma

8/24/2018

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

8 Years with Ruth


8-19-2018
Ruth,

You turned 8 last week, and with the chaos of getting our house ready to sell, I wasn't able to sit down and write your birthday letter.  You said that was ok, but I hated to be a week late with it.  You are growing up so much a mixture of little girl and grown up.  There are times when you seem to understand things that I wouldn't expect an 8-year-old to grasp.  You can be so reasonable, and eager to please, understanding of situations and the limitations of others.  And then in the next moment, you are again the little girl, who is mad at her little sister for no real reason, who still sucks her thumb, and believes in faeries.

8/19/2018
3/1/2018
3/31/2018
I can't tell that you've grown a lot this year.  You are still wearing the mixture of size 7 and 8 that we pulled out this time last year.  Though I think your face has lost a lot of the baby fat, you still have the prettiest round, fat cheeks and crinkly eyes like your Daddy.  You mostly look so much older owing to the haircut that you hate.  You just weren't taking good enough care of your long hair, and it was such a fight.  At least this way if you go a few days without brushing it out good, it's not a big deal.  I think your hair cut just makes you look even more like Memaw and Granna.  Two beautiful and sometimes feisty people, inside and out.
12/30/2017
6/8/2018
5/29/2018
You have really become your own little mother hen, especially with Katherine.  It has been obvious for some time that you have wanted to Mother and take care of Rebecca.  Which usually turns into a fight because she is fiercely independent and sees it as controlling and bossy.  But, Kate just adores you doing for her.  You will change diapers, feed her, lug her around the house.  It reminds me of how you were with Monkey and baby monkey and your baby dolls when you were about 3.  You are an affectionate big sister with so much to give.

5/18/2018
1/9/2018
3/2018
You continue to seemingly breeze through school in everything but spelling.  I think spelling is overrated too, though I can't tell you that.  You have become a much better swimmer over the summer.  And I think you are almost ready to take the training wheels off of your bike.  We did start speech back through the local school, but we are hoping to try something different this year.  They used a long distance program through the computer, and I don't think it was much help.  So we are going to see about doing something different in person once we move.
11/20/2017
4-17-2018

Another move looms on the horizon.  And out of everyone you've been the most excited about the possibilities and laid back about the changes.  You are thrilled with your own pond and dock to fish off of.  You like that you will have french doors from your bedroom to your own porch.  You even like the awful looking wallpaper in the room you have claimed.

1/30/2018
5/5/2018














I suppose it is the age, as all our friends with 8-year-old girls seem to have the same problem, but you have had a bit of a defiant streak lately.  You get overly dramatic and upset over something minor and then ride that thing like there is no tomorrow.  You will dig in your heels and refuse to hear anyone else's point of view or consider how it affects others.  You have always had such a tender heart toward others, that I hope you can continue to work through this without losing that level of compassion that is so unique to you among all our children.  I know that there are some things that you can only learn through experience, I was the same way.  But, sometimes it causes it a great deal of heartache to you and those around you.  It's just another reminder that you are growing up.  That you will make your own mistakes and eventually make your own way out into the world.

4/1/2018
5/21/2018














Ruth, we love you so much, and only want the best for you.  Momma might be a little overprotective at times, but that's what parents are for.  We do it all out of love.  Daddy and I are so thankful to watch you as you grow, and we know you will do great things for others one day.

Happy late Birthday,
Love,
Momma

8/11/2018
8/11/2018


Thursday, May 24, 2018

1 Year With Kate

Katherine,

Happy first birthday, Little Love.  You seem to have had a wonderful day despite spending much of it in the car running errands.  You accompanied us to the eye place for glasses, the bakery to order your birthday cake for Saturday, the park to visit a friend then to her house to pick up Ruth's kitten.  We paid a visit to Grandmother and Granddaddy before making a stop for an oil change and to Publix to pick up a something we left the night before that they were holding for us.  Tonight we celebrated your birthday with Grumps and Ahna, and Unca Benji with supper at Texas Roadhouse and a cupcake back at the house.  You got to open one of your birthday presents from Grumps and Ahna tonight along with your Easter gift.  We let you stay up till your birthday minute, and despite only cat napping twice in the car, you were a happy girl for the very long day.


It is always amazing to me, just how much a baby grows and changes in the first year.  You go from having to work at nursing to drinking from a bottle and a cup, and picking up and eating real food.  You start out so weak that you cannot even hold up your head, to walking and climbing on people.  You go from someone who seeming knows nothing to recognizing people and phrases.  You start out with a quiet chipmunk cry and now babble with inflection, attempting to mimic words and clearly saying Da-da if nothing else.


This month you are now, walking like a pro.  You walk most of the time, and when you fall you rarely crawl the rest of the way but stand up.  Everyone in Alabama has gotten a kick out of watching you stand from a squat, you don't even use your hands to push up off the floor most of the time.  You just stand right up.  Britt is telling everyone that you are practicing to be a catcher.  After watching Sarah Grace this past week, you have even started "wrestling with Daddy" trying to climb all over him, and his feet and legs, rather than crawling around him when you wanted him or something on his other side.  Today, you took a little walk with Granddaddy.  He used his cane, and you just about kept right up with him walking next to him.  When he turned to come back to his chair, you pivoted in that slow way of yours, and tried to catch up with him, as he as already on his way back.



You have 5 teeth in all the way, which is painful when you bite down.  We think you may be starting on some more.  You chew on the pacifier sometimes, but especially like to bite down on clothing or other fabric, and then pull it out of your mouth.  I'm convinced you are going to rip holes in something.


We began mixing some milk in your formula today.  You didn't seem to have a problem with it.  The formula is handy to have in the diaper bag, but when we get you home, we plan to try to get you on milk as soon as we can.  You still haven't found a food that you don't like.  For a bit I thought you weren't going to like uncooked tomatoes, but after trying them a couple more times, you decided they were ok after all.  Today, Daddy gave you gatorade for the first time, and just water to drink.  You liked the gatorade, but hated the water.  Typical, none of our children seem to like to drink water.  Daddy jokes that you are a sloth.  You are so slow, especially when you eat.  You look at the item, and very slowly but precisely with a pincer grip, pick up a piece of food, look at it, sometimes setting it down and picking it up several times, before putting it in your mouth, and very slowly taking your fingers away.  This week you have even started trying to just put your face down on the tray to eat instead of picking up food.  Who knows what that's about?


You seemed to love your cupcake tonight.  Lately I just about have to force the first bite of food in your mouth, to get you to try to eat something.  Then I can't feed you fast enough after you taste it, but it's like you don't want to try it.  Strange since you are still trying to eat everything you find in the floor.  Tonight, I had to practically pry your jaws open to dab some frosting and chocolate cake in your mouth.  You liked it and then ate a little more.  But mostly you loved crumbling the cupcake and smearing the frosting all over that high chair tray.  We had a good time laughing at you and you shrieked with delight several times.


In the last week, you have travelled to PA, to meet Mrs. Kathy and her family.  She is one of two very specially ladies that you are named after.  You enjoyed playing with and meeting new people.  You especially seemed to enjoy Zane, he and Britt still have a lot in common, and since you adore Britt, I'm not shocked that you enjoyed him.  We then spent several days in DC, you did great with the car rides, and sitting either in the carrier with me or in the stroller.  You did a very good job riding.  You got to meet Old Carroll, and they were so happy to see you.  Almost like night and day, a switch flipped through, and you seem to have some stranger anxiety all of a sudden.  It took Bro. Jonathan several days to win you over, and you don't seem to trust or like Unca Benji at all.  While you love your Daddy a great deal, I think your preference is for me.  As long as I'm the one holding you though, you seem to be really happy to smile at and talk to other people.


Watching you open presents was fun tonight too.  Since you are in that phase where it is fun to empty every bag, box, and purse, so pulling things out of the gift bag was easy.  You were slower at pulling off wrapping paper.  But by the end had the hang of pulling off great big papers.  Of course you thought the box it was wrapped in, where you could open and close it was the best part of all.


You have grown so much, and no matter how much you change, you remain a sweet, contented, happy girl.  We are so thankful for you, and the joy you have brought into our lives, little rainbow.  We can't imagine life without you.  You complete our life in a wonderful way.  We love you more than we can say, and pray that God does great things in your life.

Love,
Momma


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

All Locked Up

Imagine you were locked in Walmart overnight. What would you do?

I would be scared, cause no one was here to feed me, or to say good night too.  I couldn't get any food because I didn't have any money.    I would play with the toys.  And if there was a toaster somewhere in there and if there was some bread somewhere in there, I would make toast.  I like toast, and I know how to cook it.  You just grab a piece of bread, and put it in the toaster, and pull down the switch.  When it makes a sound and pops out, it is ready for you to put butter on it.  There must be butter for toast.  If there is no butter you could put jelly on it.  It's not good blank with nothing on it.  But that is what I would have to eat every day till I got out of the store.  They might have blankets when it is time to sleep but they don't have anything else.  No pillows, no sleeping bags, no beds, so I would have to take one of the blankets and sleep on the hard floor.  I would not like being stuck in Walmart overnight.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

My Trip to Mars

Imagine that you are traveling to Mars. Write about your experience.

My trip started with a big airplane ride to the rocket center.  When I got there, which took five hours, then I drove 2 minutes over to the rocket center.  They told me where I was going, to Mars.  They gave me a map, and I picked a space suit up out of their closet.  So I got it on, and the ship went up with a boom.  I was soaring into space when I accidently dropped the map out the window when it swung open.  I slammed it shut and locked it with a screwdriver.  But then when I finally found my way around, and got to Mars, I ran out of gas.  So, while I was trying to get contact back to the fleet, and the space center, trying to put oil in it, I was eating a ham sandwich.  I got a sunkist out after that, took a sip and got to work.  I knew I had some wire in my extra large pockets, but they must have cleaned out my pockets like they always do, because all I had was a screwdriver and a wrench and testers glue.  I didn't think the glue made sense, so I threw it aside and got to work.  When I finally got power back, I contacted the fleet.  I said I ran out of oil supplies, so I needed some oil supplies.  But they had no more ships to send out, because the last one that they had left, caught on fire and crashed into Louisiana.  So then, I took a 58 feet rope, and tied it to my suit and tried to pull it back to Earth.  Of course it took me a long time, to even be able to get Earth in my sights.  My space suit was running out of air, so I went back in and refilled my helment.  I tried contacting the fleet, to see if their other ship was repaired and they reported yes, they were on their way back to me.  A week passed and I ate 5 ham sandwiches, and drank 2 more sunkists.  I was almost back to Earth's atmosphere when I was pushed close to the sun.  So close that I hit the sun, but it was so hot, that it got my engines going.  I took control and speed off as fast as I could.  I didn't have much control because it broke and I couldn't steer an inch, but I managed to arrive at Mars.  Now, that I was on Mars, I needed to figure out a way to get back to Earth.  The space ship wasn't an option because it had been blasted to pieces.  I was able to contact the fleet, but the power cut off after I yelled, "Fleet, send something, help!"  Then the radio blew up.  So, they got all 10 of their broken ships repaired.  I was down to my last sandwich and last sunkist, when I saw the ships nearing.  I used my watch to send a in trouble beam, it wasn't very bright because I wasn't on earth, but one ship saw it.  They got me back to work, in 15 minutes pronto!  And I got to get to Dairy Queen, to go in and eat supper.  It was rough, but yes, I'll go back to space again.

My Underwater Adventure

You have the magical power to breathe underwater.  What do you do first?

I would swim down to the bottom of the sea.  Down, down, down to the depths, and I would go to the Mermaids.  I would meet Ariel and I would collect things down there like rubies and marbles.  And I would talk to Ariel and all of her sisters.  I think it might be fun to have 7 sisters like Ariel, if I wasn't the youngest like Ariel.  Then I would look for lost treasure like tiaras and golden braceletses.  I would look for pirate coins and a medallion.  I would sword fight with it so that I couldn't die.  (She starts singing the Pirate of the Caribbean music.)  I would give some of the tiaras to Momma and she would look beautiful.  She could dress up like Ariel's Momma, and I'd be Ariel.  I'd learn to swim with my feet together, so that I could get something that looked like a mermaid tail.  Then I could wrestle in the pool with Mister, so even when he throws me in the water, I could breath and be ok.  I would catch a few gold fish too, so that we could put them in Britt's empty fish tank.  But I would get King Triton to go with me, for underwater stuff, because I wouldn't want to be eaten by a shark.  Momma and Daddy would be rich because I found so much stuff.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day, Love Rebecca

Sunday is Mother's Day.  Write a letter and tell her what she means to you.


Momma does school with me.  She takes me to the splash pad to play in the water.  She plays Candyland with me.  She likes when we cuddle together.  Momma takes us to PE to play games with others.  One of the games is to knock down hula hoops houses.  She carries me to baseball for practice and games.  Momma makes sure that I have a cleans uniform with my hat and cleats.  She takes us out to Halloween to go get tons and tons of candy. When its Christmas there is always a Christmas with Momma.

Thank you Momma for cooking lunch, she loves on me, and she tickles me on my ham hocks.

Thank you for being my teacher and taking care of me.

Love ya ...MOMMA

Cuddle bug.