Friday, October 17, 2014

Happy Purple

This morning I decided to walk over to Office Max after Lily's dentist appointment with Lily and Drew.  I was on the hunt for a cheap phone cover for my new phone.  My old phone was bugging out on me.  The ringer had stopped working over a year ago and recently when I would make a phone call this odd loud noise would come from it and it would no longer work.  I was digging my heals hard on the idea of buying a new one!!  Well I did and now I needed a cover to protect it.  Office Max has a great clearance section on phone covers at really great prices.

As I walked into the store I was getting nervous that I wouldn't find one that I liked.  My last one was pink and I was in the mood for a change.  I like the simple jelly ones.  I like the way they feel.  So I said a little prayer to Abby.  "Abby, please help me find one that I like that is cheap"!

I walked slowly down the clearance aisle with Lily jumping and playing with Drew and came to the phone section and was relieved that there were several left.  I picked up several that were for my phone type. A green one.  A black one.  I kept looking because they didn't WOW me.  Then I found a purple one.  I said to myself "hmmm, I like purple". There was no price tag on it but I knew it was clearance because the outer package was opened and I was prepared to bargain if I needed to!  So I picked it up and purchased it.  A whopping six bucks!  Score! I was so pleased with my cover and my deal.  I don't know why but I love a good deal!!

When I got the kids settled in the car, I opened the package to put it on the phone.  Then I stopped and looked at it.  I didn't realize it was purple!?!  I mean, I knew....but when I was in the store I didn't connect with it.  Duhhhh!!!

Whenever Roberto or I ask for a sign she speaks through purple or rainbows!!  Purple clothes, purple balloons, purple covers!  Purple, purple, purple!  My daughter was with me at that exact moment!  It felt wonderfully peaceful.  I was soo excited I just had to share!

Have a Happy Purple Day!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Back to School

School is back in session!  Such a happy time for the kids.  Andrew is not so happy but I'm sure he will adjust.  (His brother and sisters keep him quite entertained!).  He is a smiling happy 8 month old boy who doesn't stop.  His mind is ahead of his body! I feel like he is crawling out of his skin ready to chase his siblings but can't because his body hasn't caught up to his brain yet!  Here in this picture I opened the dishwasher and in two seconds flat he scooted over in his walker to check things out!  Oh my!!  

Lily is going to preschool this year.  Today was her first day!  She attends the afternoon session and all morning she was reminding me to get her 'papers' in her back pack (ie. the administrative paperwork that I had to fill out for 3 kids.  I felt like my hand was going to fall off since I'm not used to all of that handwriting any more.  Thank goodness for typing skills!!).  So when I picked her up I asked her how did it go, her response was "it was amazing"!!  What a hoot!  

Yesterday was Emilia's first day in 3rd grade and Lucas' first day in 2nd grade.  I think they are happy to be back!  

So there's a question on the paperwork that I mentioned above asking how many siblings does the student have.  I pause since I so desperately want to write four.  I hold back the tears writing three names instead.  It doesn't feel right.  Because it isn't.  

To my surprise today, as I was cleaning out the kids' back packs, I ruffled through the usual papers that are sent home in their folders.  I started reading Emilia's questionnaire that she filled out for her first day back.  It asked questions like what did you do for the summer, do you have pets, what is your favorite book, etc.  There was also one question that stood out.  See below.

In Emilia's heart she has two sisters and two brothers.  She is a wonderful great big sister!!  

Today I silently celebrate Abby's two and a half year old birthday.  

I am sending my love to you Abby! Hugs and Kisses sweet baby girl!  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Celebrating Abby!

Another bittersweet birthday was celebrated for Abby!!

We started off our days of celebration with receiving another beautiful gift from our friend and neighbor.  She makes these amazing grave decorations and she never forgets Abby!  Abby's grave is all 'blinged' out, which I absolutely love!  We brought the box to Abby's resting place at night.  When I told the kids we would bring it at night, they were so excited, screaming "YAYYYY".   I know, it sounds strange, but there is solace in visiting the cemetery at night.  It is peaceful and serene. I love that they love going and that they are not afraid of adventuring it at night either.  

To spread Abby's name as we commenced our acts of kindness, I made these cards to give out so that her name would be shared with those that we helped.  It made things just a touch brighter having her name spoken.  Our whole purpose is to remember Abby and knowing that she was the reason we were helping others brought smiles to me.

On February 28th, our first 'act' was for the kids' school.  The kids joined me in purchasing children's socks and underwear for a clothing drive to be donated to kids in Haiti.  They stocked up the shopping cart at Target and within minutes we hit our budget!  

We continued after school with luminara lights.   The kids decorated the white bags with messages for Abby and we lined them up in front of the house to light up at night.  It was quite a view.

We then ate dinner and drove to this amazing Italian bakery.  The kids picked out their very own dessert and we enjoyed the deliciousness at home.   But before going home, we went to the cemetery to sing Abby 'Happy Birthday'.  While we were eating our treats, we made it a point to speak about Abby and say anything that was on our minds.

On March 1st, we continued our quest to honor our little one.  We invited our niece to come along to join in on the fun.  We started out by having breakfast at the kids' favorite restaurant, IHOP.  We selected a family and anonymously paid for their breakfast in her memory.  I must admit, that experience gave me a little bit of anxiety.  I was choking up when I was sneakingly planning the details with our waitress.  I was able to however compose myself enough to spread some lovin to her and the other family's waitress with a very generous tip!  :)

We then set out to Walmart to donate groceries for some local agencies in town.

The kids then joined our niece handing out some Boxes of Joe from Dunkin Donuts to the shivering Girl Scouts selling their cookies outside of Walmart.  One mom was so touched that she was going to do the same and 'pay it forward' in Abby's memory!  :)

We then headed back to the cemetery again.  Lucas was adamant that he dig Abby's grave marker out of the snow.  LOL. 

As we started to get ready to head out to Roberto's sister's for dinner, we were surprised with a special delivery.  Chinese Food!  Our favorite take-out!  Our niece who joined us for our activities earlier in the day was so thoughtful to take care of us for dinner!  It came in handy because by the time we got to his sister's, the kids were hungry and dinner wasn't quite ready!  So the kids were thrilled to have Chinese.  (They love it so much, they prefer it over McDonald's).  Go figure!  :)

Spending time with Roberto's sister and her family was a wonderful way to end the day.  Roberto and I were able to open up and speak about Abby all night long.  We don't get that chance very often but we were grateful to feel comfortable enough to reminisce our Sweet Little Abby.

We heard from many of you and how you were able to honor Abby.  We feel so very loved.  We are touched that you celebrated her life with us and in doing so, made a difference in someone else's life.  We are grateful to have you in our lives and we thank you!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Abby's 2nd Birthday

This sounds like such a cliche, but I can't believe how time flies.  I can't believe nor comprehend how fast two years has passed us.  Almost two years since we said Hello.....

Almost two years ago my sweet, perfect little Dwarf baby was born into this world.  She was so tiny and perfect, her little dimples on her legs, her eyes so sweet, her hands so teeny.  She didn't make any sounds yet she had so much to say.  She made it clear that she was in charge, leading her own life and making her own choices.  Because if it was up to me, selfishly, she would still be here.  She would be a two year old toddler, perhaps running around, perhaps not.  She would be so loved and adored by her older siblings.  She would be kissed and hugged til it hurt.  She would be a beautiful big sister to her baby brother.  She would be amazing.

It never gets easier.  Living without one of our children.  It just gets different.  The beating waves are less but when they crash, they still hurt and knock us down.  It is bittersweet when a stranger comes up to us in a restaurant and says to us "you have a beautiful family, do you know how blessed you are?".  I respond, "yes, yes I do know how blessed we are".  Because I really do.

For Abby's 2nd Birthday, we have decided to honor her by completing random acts of kindness on March 1st.  Random acts of kindess seem to be a good fit for us and will fill our hearts with joy and love.  Abby's name in Hebrew means "Father of Joy" and I really want to feel joy on this day.

Will you help me to accomplish this?  To feel joy in honor of Abby?  You can do so by completing a random act of kindness in Abby's memory and share it with me!  It doesn't have to cost anything and it can be anything, anything at all.  You may feel weird sharing it with me but I won't feel weird receiving it.  Because by you telling me, it creates "Abby memories" for me and I promise to cherish these memories!!   

Your act of kindness does not have to be about buying something for someone, it can be as simple as holding the door for someone or letting someone else go infront of you at the check out line.  Just knowing that we are helping someone else in honor of my sweet Abby is what her 2nd birthday is all about!!

Thank you and God Bless!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Andrew is one month!

Andrew John.  He's here.  He's finally here.

The morning of December 30th couldn't come quickly enough.  It had been a long nine months and my body was on its last toll.  Going to bed the night of the 29th was both liberating and terrifying at the same time.  I didn't sleep well.   I was feeling scared.  I was feeling excitement.  And I was overwhelmed.  Not to mention I was having strong Braxton Hicks contractions and I was very uncomfortable.

Flashbacks were strong for both Roberto and I.  Even though the drive to the hospital at 6am was uneventful, we were reminded of our journey with Abigail mile by mile.  Very different circumstances but the trauma re-surfaced as we approached the hospital and embraced Andrew's birth.  Luckily, I am transparent with Abby's story and had no problem expressing my feelings with my doctors and nurses.  I am blessed that they received our story with empathy, compassion and understanding.  They held us as we met our little boy and I am so grateful for that.   Apparently, our story touched their hearts as well and they cried as we cried as we met Andrew for the first time...

Tears of joy streamed down mine and Roberto's eyes as we laid our eyes on Andrew for the first time.  8lbs, 13oz and 21 inches long, he was here.  He was finally here.  As soon as I laid my eyes on him, I saw Abby in him.  He looked just like Abby looked when she came into the world almost 23 months ago.  His looks today are very different but I will never forget his resemblance of his sister the first few moments of his life.

Fast forward to today, Andrew turns one month old tomorrow. His sister Abby lived for 23 days.   My time with her seems so distant and extremely short.  I have said it before and I will say it again, I miss my Abby.  Having Andrew here opens old wounds and reminds me of what was lost with his sister.  The late night feedings.  The cuddles.  The cries and baby coos.  The diaper changes.  The lack of sleep.  The love.  The bonding.  All unfairly taken away...

And in contrast, having Andrew here I am bewildered that he's been here that long!!  We are all in awe and in love with this little human being.  His brother is the proudest of him.  His sisters cannot kiss him enough.  They all fight over who will hold him next!  My kids have been through so much with losing their sister.  I told them when they met Andrew that he is their baby too!  They deserve this experience just as much as we do!

I have much gratitude for my husband, family, friends and community for their love and support for our family.  We have been gifted with meals, laundry duties, cleaning, grocery shopping, visits, transportation and baby gifts.  Recovering from a c-section has its challenges with multiple children and I am so fortunate to be able to rest and heal and just be this time around.  Looking back with Abby, I was doing way too much and wasn't able to rest and heal and it set me back tremendously so it is a relief to be able to do so this time around.

I can't believe that Abby's 2nd birthday in Heaven is coming up in one month and her anniversary in two months.   Last year, for her first birthday in Heaven, we had a wonderful, large celebration but we have decided to keep it small and simple this year.  We are not sure how we will honour Abby but I am certain it will be memorable!

I know I don't write much on Abby's blog any more.  Sometimes it is challenging conjuring up the energy to write the same tune....Missing Abby.  Andrew and his wonders will never replace the sense of loss and missing that we feel for Abby just as our older children couldn't possibly.  If anything, these new glorious experiences can somehow intensify it.  However, I feel fortunate to be able to walk the parallel roads of 'missing' and 'joy' at the same time.  My aunt recently said to me that 'my world is back on its axis'. I will take it a step further and say that it is on a 'new axis' and one that I am so blessed to embrace.