Sunday, September 26, 2010

Jamie Lynn

Friday the 24th of September would have been my little sister Jamie's 24th birthday. She passed away just a couple months after turning two years old. I am two years older than her. And although God has blessed me with another fantastic little sister, I still miss Jamie.

I was less than 3 weeks away from turning 5 when she died. Fortunately, I was old enough to have plenty of awesome memories of her, and our time together. I'm glad that I was old enough to remember her. I miss her though. I wish she could have been born healthy, and that we could have grown up together.

These are a few of my memories of her. I remember that when she would cry, I could sing her ANY song and she would stop crying and look over at me. That's all it took. I remember she had a turtle that played music that she loved more than anything. I remember how much dark, curly hair that she had. She had the darker complexion from the Native American blood in her. She was beautiful, and fascinating. I didn't understand much about what was happening to her when it was going on. All I knew is that she had to take a lot of medicines, we spent a lot of time taking her to the doctors. I also remember when her body started failing having to spend some time at a hospital that I remember being far from the house (although, I don't think it really was). I remember after that time at the hospital when she came home, she wouldn't stop crying even when I sang to her, and her turtle didn't make her happy anymore either. I never wondered why my little brother who was a year and a half older than her could do so many more things than she could. All I knew was that she was my baby sister, and I loved her dearly.

She was born with a genetic disorder that affected her chromosomes. She actually was born with an extra part of one chromosome. Something that sounds so minor, but really isn't. Her body just didn't know how to function with that extra genetic material. When she passed away the December after her second birthday she wasn't developed much more than an infant that was 6 months old.

I still remember the day she passed away. I remember waking up and knowing it was very early because it was still dark outside. But, even though it was very early there was a lot of noise in the house. When I got out of bed I found that there was lots of grown ups I didn't recognize in the house. I found my mom sitting at the kitchen table, and I climbed into her lap. I asked her why these people were at our house, and she told me it was because Jamie had died in her sleep. Our family lost a several close loved ones right around this same time, so I knew what died meant. I didn't really believe it though. She told me I could go see her if I wanted because she was still in her crib. I went into her bedroom, and sure enough she was lying in her crib. She looked like she did when she was sleeping. I remember sticking my hand through the slats on the crib and touching her arm to try and wake her up. When this didn't work I remember trying to jiggle her a little bit. I guess in my mind I just thought that maybe the grown ups hadn't tried really hard to wake her up. So, I tried my best to jiggle and rouse her from this obviously deep slumber.

The next thing I remember was a little boy, and a little girl standing on either side of me at the crib. As I continued to wake Jamie up I remember them quietly telling me that she wasn't going to wake up and that she wasn't really here anymore. I didn't know who these kids were. They were unfamiliar and were not anyone I had met before. I figured they must have come with one of the grown ups that were at our house. They annoyed me though, I mean, she was my sister, how did they know anything about her? I remember resting my face on her crib and looking at her sleeping so peacefully. The two children stayed close to me, and after a minute or two I left the room.

As an adult I can understand now that the grownups there were a mix of EMT's, someone from the coroners office, police, and I believe Jamie's pediatrician. I was discussing details of Jamie's passing with my mother one day, and I asked her about the children. I was curious of who's children they were. I mean, I knew an EMT wouldn't have brought their kids with them. She was confused and didn't know what kids I was talking about. I described them and explained to her what happened. She assured me that other than me, Jamie, and Chris (my brother who was less than 3) there were no other children in the house at the time of this happening.

I know they must have been angels sent to help me understand the situation. There's no other reasonable explanation.

She was a great little sister though. I only wish we would have had more time together. I miss her, but I know one day we'll be reunited.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Some of My Favorite Things

Happiness from the week thus far (in no particular order):

  • Joseph asking to be "wocked" (rocked) the night before last when he wasn't feeling well. It's been a long time since that little boy let me rock him.
  • My husband making me one of my favorite dinners: shrimp with feta and penne.
  • Joseph asking me for a hug. This was the first time he's ever done this. Granted he was feeling under the weather, but I'll take the affection any way I can get it.
  • "Pwaying" (playing) with Joseph. Even though when he asks me to play it usually means he will give me a toy only to snatch it back 3 or 4 seconds later with a loud, enthusiastic, and proprietary, "MINE!!!"
  • Finding out that my blog has nearly 500 hits since I started last spring. In fact his blog entry should put it over.
  • Joseph going potty twice on the big toilet.
  • The dozens of things my husband does to make my life easier. A few of which are: washing the dishes, putting Joseph to bed, cleaning up cat throw up, cleaning up an exploded diaper, working to support our family, and letting me nap undisturbed (for the most part).
This doesn't capture all the blessed moments of my life this week, but it's a few of my favorites.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Daddy's Pinning

This past weekend was Jeremiah's formal Pinning Ceremony to recognize his promotion in the military. Although he was officially sworn in and commissioned a few days after returning from OCS last month, this past weekend was the special ceremony for extended family and such to attend.

We had to be on base Friday evening because Jeremiah had to be there for practice on Saturday morning. Anyone who's had children knows that 2 1/2 hours of driving with a toddler is a complete crap shoot. Fortunately it went well. There were only minor issues when his "choo-choo" was dropped.

We arrived Friday night and stayed until Sunday afternoon. Joseph loved all the humvees and huge trucks scattered throughout the base. He would say "hi" and "bye" to the trucks or as he calls them "ucks" every time we drove by. Then if he hadn't seen enough trucks he would emphatically declare, "more ucks!" He had a good time. I think he was a little confused by the fact that all the men were dressed just like his Daddy. There were a couple of instances when he was looking for Jeremiah and was lost in a sea of camo, and just couldn't find the right guy. I think overall he had a good time. Joseph and I were able to spend time with another Army wife and kids while her husband and Jeremiah were at their "practice."

Speaking of this other family.. They have 3 beautiful children. Ages are: 5, 3, and 7 months. The five year old was potty trained at two, the three year old was potty trained at 18 months, and the 7 month old was, believe it or not, partially potty trained. This tiny little baby would hold his bladder and be placed on the toilet and then pee. His diapers would be mostly dry because he would wait to go on the toilet. It was pretty interesting that this baby already could do this.

The ceremony was really special and moving. My in laws were able to make it to the ceremony, and it was nice to share this with them. My father in law (who was in the service during Vietnam) actually gave Jeremiah his first salute. Joseph and I placed his new rank insignia on his uniform. It was a really fun weekend. And Joseph and I are super proud of our 2LT!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Silly Indecision

So, as most of you know I created http://tryingtocatchtheegg.blogspot.com/ as a place for me to blog about my journey of getting pregnant. I originally was allowing everyone to access and then scaled it back to only include people I selected. I have returned it to it's original settings where everyone can access it. I wanted it to be a place not only where I could write and vent about what was happening, but also as a place that other women who are ttc can come to and know that they aren't alone on their ttc journeys. I've placed my blog address on some of the ttc sites I frequent and those women can't access it unless I change the settings. So, I'm opening it back up.

Again, this will still be a normal blog, and the other will be all about ttc. Trying to Catch the Egg will contain tmi for most of you, so if you're squeamish stay put here and I'll continue to blog about normal topics. Thanks for everyone's support and interest in our newest endeavor.

Friday, September 10, 2010

About 'Trying to Catch the Egg'

I have decided to reign in the accessibility of that blog. At least, I think I did. I am not the best with these silly websites. If you would like to be on the accepted viewers list of the new blog please comment to this blog or send me a message on facebook. Keep in mind this blog will still be my normal blogging place.

I don't have a problem with anyone that I am friends with on facebook reading it, but due to it's subject matter I want to be aware of who has access to the information posted on it. After looking at the statistics of this blog, I'm pretty sure that there are a few people looking at this blog that aren't necessarily people that should have such detailed information about the Aberlich's.

I'm an open book for those interested in knowing about me, but again due to past situations, and also due to the subject matter I think I need to be aware of who is able to access it. Thanks to everyone who has an interest in my life, and/or what I write.

New Blog, Visit at Your Own Risk

Just putting a blog on here to let everyone know that I have started a ttc blog. Here is the address: http://tryingtocatchtheegg.blogspot.com/ I will continue to blog on here with regular topics but this other blog will be devoted to my journey to getting pregnant. Keep in mind this new blog may contain TMI. So visit at your own risk, otherwise keep checking back here at grumpybearlair for normal less graphic topics.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Moving On

A lot of thought has been given to a tough situation over the last few days. I recently had to get into contact with the person with whom I had a friendship end during JJ's absence (during OCS). The person currently has some borrowed items belonging to us, and I trying to be the bigger person, contacted the person to see about having the items returned. Accusations were brought up by this person over what caused the deterioration of the relationship. I've thought about this situation a lot. I've prayed about it a lot. But, I always circle around to the same answer, I shouldn't mourn the loss of this relationship. Especially since they didn't care enough about me to even address me when they wanted the relationship over, especially considering what was already going on in my life.

I didn't want a confrontation. I didn't want to hear (read) blame or excuses for something that happened nearly 3 months ago. I just want this chapter of my life closed. That's all there is to it. If these were legitimate accusations they would have been brought up immediately. Not nearly a quarter year later. It just seems like grasping at straws to alleviate the guilt over the situation.

JJ asked me if I missed this person. It's not a hard question to answer. Yes, I do miss this person. It's hard not to after opening yourself and life up so much to one person. So, yeah, I miss them. That doesn't change anything. There's been moments when I wanted this person's opinion, or wanted to share something with them, but it still doesn't change the fact. If I can't count on this person during life's challenges, if they can't be with me through the bad, why do I want them around for the good?

I mean even in a marriage you have to take the bad with the good. Marriages aren't all candy and roses. Marriages are filled with hardships, struggles, issues. As are most relationships. Yeah, some crappy things happened during my relationship with this person, but the main reason I didn't end things, is because of the big picture. Yeah crappy things happen in every relationship, it's the sticking them out and continuing to love and be there for each other even when you're at your worst that matters. I don't have time for people in my life who are just going to walk out when the going gets tough. That's what happened here. Crappy things happen in all relationships. All of them: marriages, parental/children, siblings, friends, etc. Nothing is perfect. No relationship is perfect. That's why I didn't end my relationship with her when she did crappy things. I mean, sure some of the things said and done were not good in the slightest, but regardless of it, she was still my friend. I loved her anyway. I believed in the "this too shall pass" mentality and that anything going wrong was just a hiccup or a bump in the road.

I don't have room in my life for abandonment though. I've got enough baggage already from being abandoned, and it's not something I choose to allow in my life. You want to walk out of our relationship? That's fine, but don't expect to be allowed back into my circle of trust. I will forgive, but I always will learn that you cannot be depended on, counted on, or trusted. I will not come crawling back and asking for things to be as they once were. I have no reason to be bound to you. You aren't my husband, you aren't my child, I have no reason to carry about this wish that everything could be fixed.

No one likes failing at things. I guess that's part of the problem. I hate that this relationship was a failure, and I wish things could've been done to prevent it from being so. It's in my nature to want to fix things, and make them better. As an adult, I have to recognize this isn't plausible. I need to close the door on this. I didn't run away from this, I didn't close the door, I wasn't given a choice in this matter. I will live with the consequences of this persons actions and learn from it. That's all I can do.

For the sake of keeping the peace we'll probably always be acquaintances. Mainly because of the circle of friends we both belong to. I'm going to reiterate this though. I don't hate this person. I've never hated this person. I forgive them for what they've done. I just want to move past it. It's over, and done. I need to be able to focus my attention on other things. I wish nothing but the best for them and their family, but I have to focus on those in my life who matter.

I am also not saying that one person has done all the wrong in this situation. I know my blogging about some of the things I was hurt by in the relationship really hurt this person. That wasn't my aim. So, I am sorry for any hurt I've caused them. I never expected someone who cared so little about me to be hurt so much by me writing about past things that had happened. But the person was, and I'm sorry for it.

I'm not a cruel or mean spirited person. I wouldn't purposefully hurt someone. I feel sad that I caused hurt. It was never my intention to cause anyone pain, especially over a situation already excruciating for me. All I can do is move on and move past. That's all I want to do. I don't want this to be an issue, a heartache, a headache, a blog topic, or to cause any more feelings or emotions. It's been nearly 3 months. I want this over and done with. I'm ready to move on and past this. It will be my goal to not have the urge to even blog about this person anymore. I will pray that God heals my heart and helps me to put this behind me and completely move on. I'm so ready.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Odds and Ends

About 10 days or so ago Joseph went potty on the big toilet for the first time! It was a very exciting time for me. The poor kid probably thought I'd lost it, dancing around and whooping for joy. I'm so proud of this accomplishment. Although we haven't had any more successful moments on the potty yet, I know this is a step in the right direction. I'd love to have him potty trained before another child arrives, but if it doesn't work out that way it's not that big of deal. It would be nice to only have one child in diapers at a time though.

So, as you all know I've been suffering from baby fever for a bit now. The question has been asked of me a few times recently, "When will you be adding to your family?" So, let me put it out there that it is being worked on, and hopefully we will have a new bundle sometime next year. For those waiting patiently for a new Aberlich, keep in mind that it took nearly a year to get pregnant with Joseph. I've mentally prepared myself for it taking that long again. Granted we did get pregnant very easily, and accidentally last summer with the pregnancy that ended in miscarriage, but that may have been a fluke. Rest assured, I am looking forward to having another child, and as soon as we know, you all we know too!

I'm also really happy to say that our marriage is doing really well. For those of you who are married, you know about those ups and downs. I think we're getting to a point where we understand each other a little bit better, and we have much deeper intimacy because of it. So, for those who say the first year of marriage is the hardest, I'd like to say, I think it's more like the first 5 years or so.

Nothing has been set in stone yet about JJ's next training. The earliest he'll be going is in December, but that's only if all of the paperwork gets done before the session is completely booked up. We still have a lot of uncertainty about how we will approach this next training. As we figure things out, we'll keep everyone posted.

My baby sister, who Joseph calls Mimmy, is away at MSU. She started her first classes yesterday. I think she misses home but seems to be enjoying college life so far. JJ, Joseph and I are really, really proud of her. We can't wait to see all that she accomplishes.

This past Monday we took the youth group to Detroit to volunteer at the Capuchin warehouse. I think the teens were able to get a lot from the experience. After we had worked in the warehouse we traveled to the Heidelberg Project (which the girls really liked) and then dined at the Connor Capuchin soup kitchen. The day was filled with humbling experiences.

I also got a chance to go to the Heroes on the Homefront meeting. It was really nice to talk to these ladies. This is going to be awesome getting to know them all more and more and I look forward to them sharing their insight and wisdom on being a military wife.

So, that's about it. Looking forward to a couple of BBQs this weekend, and some much needed friend and family time. I'm also really excited about Jeremiah's formal pinning and commissioning ceremony in about 10 days. He is already a 2ndLT but this is the big hoopla to accompany the big promotion. So proud of him, and so excited to go. Joseph and I will be pinning (attaching his new rank to his uniform) and he will be getting his first salute from his father (who had served in the Army previously).