Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cousin's Kids

My cousin's kids:


Friday, April 29, 2011



What happens when you wash and dry a rainbow?


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Something I feel like I haven't seen in a long time:


Monday, April 25, 2011

Our Due Date

Dear Greyson, My Sweet Pea,

I loved you with a greatness I didn't know my heart capable of. I started loving you long before you were put inside me and I haven't stopped loving you, my Beautiful Boy. I thought the happiest day of my life was when I found out you had stayed with me and were growing. The days only got happier as we went along together. The happiest, I think, was our 20 week ultrasound. When I saw you moving all around on that screen and heard your Mawmaw crying tears of joy, I knew you were real and it felt like happiness might just bubble right out of me. My heart expanded and was overflowing with love for you. I felt as though you and I were already on a great adventure together.

I wish I'd talked outloud to you while you were with me, instead of just talking to you from inside my head. I wish I'd read story books and sang to you. I hope you felt every excited, caring, wondering and loving thought and feeling I had for you, My Darling Boy. They were many and constant and will continue for as long as I'm alive.

I know you would have been a good baby, but I wonder all the time about what kind of little boy you would have been. Rambunctious and into everything or maybe quieter and more creative? Would you have been sullen or rebellious or hard to handle as a teenager or even-tempered or popular or athletic? I often think about what our lives together would have been like as you grew up. Would you have moved far away from me as an adult or stayed close by? Would you have followed in your PawPaw and Uncle's footsteps and become a farmer? Or a veterinarian? Or a businessman? Or a musician? I know you were smart and could become anything you wanted. I was proud of you from the moment I knew about you.

You were the most beautiful baby I've ever seen. So small. Perfect in every way to the eyes of your mother. I'm very sorry I was overcome by sorrow and unable to hold you for a longer time. I'll forever hold you in my heart and will never, never let you go.

I've learned so much from sharing your short life, My Sweet Baby. I love in a bigger, deeper way because I loved you. I'm more caring of those around me. I have a better awareness of what is really important in this life. I've learned that God does stay with us, even when we are broken by life's cruelty and unable to stay with Him. I'm a stronger, kinder person with a bigger more generous heart because your beautiful life was a part of mine and will be forever.

Thank you, Greyson, for making my fairytale dream of becoming a mother, your mother come true.

You'll always be my baby, my son, my beautiful dream.

Love forever,


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Honey Bunnies

Easter Sunday

76/365 - 2

76/365 - 1

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Stormy Weather

The other night my photo friends and I were talking about how difficult it must be to photograph lightning. Special equipment needed and so on. We had a big storm last night with tons of lightning strikes and I just thought I'd try. I didn't think I could really do it and joked with my brother that if I did it would be one hell of a fluke and I could just end my photography hobby right then and there.

I know. I'm a BRAT.

More rain today:
Rain 3

Fine with me as it suits my frame of mind.


I received an anonymous Butterfly Bag from Sarah's Laughter on Thursday. If one of my blogging friends is responsible thank you very much. It means so much to me that people remember Greyson and think of us.

I can feel the family circling closer as our due date approaches. Dad has stopped by everyday since Wednesday. I usually have Easter at my house but the kitchen is still discombobulated from the floor installation and the fact that I just got around to sealing the grout today. Also:
Dad: I'll cook on Sunday.
Me: It really doesn't matter. I don't care.
Dad: I think it does matter. I'm cooking on Sunday.

Mom is really struggling too but stopped by yesterday and had the girls and me over to dye eggs today.

My heart is just so heavy.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Lab

I know my posts have been upbeat lately. Healing is taking place and life is ok but the truth is there are a lot of moments, hours, even days during which I feel like I'm barely holding my head above water. And a lot of moments when I feel myself slip under and have to struggle to the surface again. I'm only a few days away from our due date which I have to somehow survive without hearing my baby's cry. There are no heartfelt poetic words to describe it. Part of me is dead and will be for as long as I live. How do I learn to live with that?

I had a calendar review today for the new cycle. Moving toward the new cycle is one of the things helping me stay above water. While we were going over the quality of the eggs I have left (not as good as I'd hoped), the nurse said I was very lucky to have some frozen and used almost the exact words the doctor did, "There's a baby in there somewhere."

They let me see the lab and snap a few pics. I could follow those embryologists around all day asking questions.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Macro Foray

An extremely busy and frenzied day at school beginning with an Easter egg hunt at 9:00am which lasted about 15 seconds and got the kids so riled up it was hard to bring them back down to a manageable level. School-wide spelling bee in the afternoon in which one of my first grade students spelled down everyone but the third grade contestant. I had a very upset and crying boy in my arms when he lost. We were all very proud of him. A brief Spring "Snack" ended the day with sugared up children.

GGA, I was glad to see my photo friends for a picture taking evening. I took a lot of pictures and was very excited to make my first foray into macro photography thanks to MB loaning me her lens. (I must have one!) None of them really turned out but it doesn't matter. I would remember all the laughs and new sign language even without any pictures.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011


School Lunch:
School Lunch

This is my amazing coworker Jae, who was so wonderful to me during my pregnancy and during the hell I walked through after it was over. She can keep over 100 kindergartners and first graders completely entertained and under control by playing this copycat game. They are all mesmerized by her and immediately get unruly when she walks away.
School Lunch

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tornado Warning

This morning I was laying in bed, like I do most mornings, trying to convince myself that the day was worth starting. Flashing lights outside my window startled me into full wakefulness. I peeked outside to see a firetruck with full lights blazing (but no siren). I also notice something strange about the sky. Although it should have been getting light it was very dim and dark and the sky was that weird green color it gets sometimes out here in the Midwest. Usually a sign of tornadoes or bad storms.

Firefighters in full gear were walking up and down my road looking at the little signs we have by our mailboxes out here in the country with numbers designated for the fire district. Comforting to know they have to stop and search for their destination. Shouldn't they have GPS or something? After a few minutes, they got in their truck and drove away. I wondered what was going on in the neighborhood but figured everything must be ok since they drove away.

Half hour later, Dad calls and tells me to hurry and get everything I need to done because an electrical transformer has caught on fire down the lane at my cousin's farm and they are going to shut down our electricity to put it out.

When I left for work, there was a man way up high in a "cherry picker" working at the very top of the electrical pole by my driveway. It was pouring down rain in the driving wind at the time. I really admire those whose job it is to keep us going even in the worst weather. You wouldn't get me up there for a million dollars.

More bad weather on the way. My cousin just posted on FB that there are "storm chasers" in the closest small town, waiting for tornadoes to hit our area. I guess we're in the path tonight.


Monday, April 18, 2011

For The Birds

I walked into Mom's the other day and asked her what she was doing. "Babysitting!" I looked around and didn't see any little kids running around. Mom has become a devout fan of this website which is a live stream of an eagle's nest with three little chicks. The parents were both off the nest at the time Mom was "Babysitting". She's sort of got me hooked on it too and I find myself checking in on the feathered family often. Seems like the babies literally grow before my eyes.

I'll be honest with you. Most of the time, there's really nothing much going on at the old nestfront. Just Mama Eagle, whom I call Margaret, sitting there keeping watch. But if you check in often enough you see how amazing it is that the parents with, their little walnut sized brains, know exactly what to do. Margaret is the perfect mother. Sheltering her chicks from rain, tearing off just the right tiny bite sized pieces of the carnage laying around the edges of the nest, fluffing up the soft nesting material and "tucking" those babies in at night. It really is something to see.

Margaret is a wild predator but she treats those babies with such careful attention. One might even say love.

In honor of Margaret and her family my goal today was to use the zoom lens to take a picture of a bird. I guess you could say I met my goal but these photos leave much to be desired.

A mourning dove who coos and coos all the time:
Mourning Dove


Sunday, April 17, 2011


Weapons of Self Destruction:


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sneaky Finger

E and Dad come over early to tile the last bit of the kitchen. I had previous plans and felt very guilty running off to loaf while they were working so hard. I know all that knee work is hard on Dad and E kept complaining about his hands being so cold at the tile saw on this blustery, wet day. These are generous craftsmen I have in my family.

SC and I went to posh Frontenac Plaza to see the movie Jane Eyre. It was a very dark and there were some scary bits. For me anyway, I'm a scaredy cat at movies. The actress playing Jane didn't have many lines but was very expressive with her facial expressions.

The funny part was that we were the youngest people in the theater by about 30 years. Blue hair, oxygen tanks, and walkers...represent! The super heavy bathroom door about waylaid a few of the sweet old dears.

I haven't seen SC in a long time. We had good conversation on the drive to and from the movie. It was good to spend time with her.

Dad, doing the last of the tiling:
Laying Tile

My clever, clever brother being RUDE!
Tile Saw

As teenagers, my brother and I used to play a game where the object was to give each other the finger on the sly at the dinner table unbeknownst to our parents. For example, one of us would pick up our drink in a way that the finger was nonchalantly up in the air. The other's challenge would be NOT to laugh or if we couldn't hold it in to explain it to our parents without revealing the true game. More than once beverages got sprayed across the table because the drinker wasn't expecting the sneaky finger. One time I was "losing" and when he gave me the sneaky finger one too many times, I screamed across the table, "You think you're soooo smart, well you're NOT!!!" I'm sure my parents wondered why we were being weird. All that to say, as a result of that game, one of us will good naturedly give the other the finger once in a while. Guess it's our way of saying "I love you".

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lincoln School

When the the storm blew past and the tornado warnings expired this evening, I took Mom to see Lincoln School where she attended grade school until she was seven. Built in 1911, the school's claim to historical fame is being our town's "black" school during segregation. However, it was fully integrated by the time Mom went to kindergarten in 1953. It was closed during the 70's and went through many makeovers in the following years as retail shops and even a fraternity house but in years that I can recall has mostly stood empty and decaying at the edges. Last year, local university art students painted a mural on two sides of the building as it awaits renovations by a new owner.

The treasure of the evening was hearing my mother tell stories of her school days. In the first grade, her teacher slapped her across the face for chewing gum. I believe this was the only time she got into trouble at school. The same teacher made butter with the class that year. She gave Mom money and sent her with another student to the corner store to buy graham crackers to eat with the butter.

She told all about the quiet cafeteria and that the lunch monitors would be mean to you if you talked too loud. When she moved and went to a different school, she couldn't believe the wave of noise that hit her as she entered the new cafeteria on the first day. "Why would anyone make that much noise while they were eating?" she wondered.

Mom, showing me her pose for the class photograph:
Lincoln School

Mom's little home until she moved at age 7:
Eberhart Street House

As Mom told me where each and every neighbor lived and what their particular quirks were, my mind's eye could see the little girl my mother must have been, in her sweet 1950's school dress my grandmother sewed for her and MaryJane shoes, skipping off to kindergarten with all the neighborhood kids. She showed me the spot on the corner where she routinely peed her pants walking home from kindergarten. "I was only five and I just couldn't hold it!"

She told me about the time her father took her picture and then snuck her out of the house to take her to the barber. She came home with a "boy's" haircut. Her mother was so upset and angry, she threw up. Grandpa was tired of hearing her cry and cry while Grandma combed out the tangles on hairwashing nights. These dramatic detangling episodes were also the reason I had short hair for most of my girlhood.

Dinner and a cupcake rounded out the night. I'm so glad I started this photography project so I can remember these treasures.

Lincoln School Mural:
Lincoln School Mural

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Butterfly Fieldtrip

We took our first grade classes on a fieldtrip to the Butterfly House. Of course there were a lot of photo opportunities:
Butterfly House

Butterfly House

Across the park from the Butterfly House is a beautiful 91 year old carousel:
Carousel Horse

Carousel Horse

But experiencing all of this with my class was delightful(and stressful):

The weather was perfect although the some of the children were not. I'm pleased to say that although my nerves were frazzled and my patience completely gone by the end of the day, we were complemented the Butterfly House staff on our well behaved children. I do love giving experiences like this to the children. Experiencing it with them teaches me much more than it teaches them, I'm sure.

More photos here if you're interested.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Long Road

Dissatisfied with the perspective.
Feeling dissatisfied overall.


Monday, April 11, 2011

New Floor

I came home to the surprise of a partially installed kitchen floor. We had a big storm last night which squashed the tenuous start Dad and E had planting corn. Too muddy now for several days probably. So the kitchen area is tiled and waiting for grout.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Greyson's View

Springtime wild flowers have carpeted our hill at the cemetery.
It's lovely but I wish I didn't have to go there.


In the same general area at the top of the hill stands this very old statue.
Although she's not really near him, I've begun to think of her as Greyson's Angel.

Greyson's Angel

I thought she looked beautiful today with the light and shadows over her.
I like the pensive look on her face.

Greyson's Angel

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Fighting Grief: Round 558

I received the most amazing and unexpected gift today. My sister-in-law came over to "look at the new tile." She asked me about the appointment with the Maternal Fetal Specialist and we talked about that for a few minutes. Then, out of the blue she offered to carry a child for me if I should have another sad, bad thing happen with this next try. I was so flabbergasted that I'm not sure I reacted sufficiently grateful. All I could do was sort of hem and haw my thanks. Before I could collect my thoughts, Mom drove up. I'll need to write her an email. I always knew she had a giving heart but now, I take back every mean thing I ever said or thought about her. Or most of them anyway. :)

Every cell in my heart hopes it doesn't come to that. I would rather the FET just not take. Still unsure about surviving another sad, bad thing.

I'm not sure if you've noticed but I've made an effort to keep negativity off the blog recently and I truthfully have been on quite an emotional upswing the past couple weeks. But now I seem to be heading toward a downturn. Why? Could be no reason at all. These things seem to turn on me like lightning with no provocation at all. It could be because I got that damn sample pack of formula in the mail and it took my breath away but I managed it ok. As I filled my medicine caddy yesterday, I realized I was out of antidepressants. By the time I got the refill, it was late in the day and I decided to just skip it. By evening, I was crashing. I don't know if it was missing a dose or just "where I am" but again I'm wondering why, why, why my little baby had to die. Wondering about the path of my life. Wondering why trying for my second child isn't enough motivation to eat right and exercise. Etc, etc, etc. I'm fighting the same old bad, sad crap, ding, ding, round 558. It's better today but I'm really wondering about my capability of being off this medication.

Oh and that other pregnant teacher is on FB complaining that she's "totally over" being "preggo".

How I wish with all that I am that I was still preggo.

I would have been 38 weeks pregnant this week and cannot stop thinking about what it might have been like to still have my Sweet Pea kicking inside me. We would have had a shower by now. the nursery would have been decorated by now with Mom's help. She probably would have OVER decorated it. We might have had quarrels about it. I'd be on maternity leave by now. Maybe I'd be having contractions right now. Or he might even be born and home in my arms this very moment.

Oh I miss him so much. With body, soul, heart, mind. No gut wrenching cry or words I write here can express how much I miss my son.

Picture of the Day:


Dad and I grouted the new kitchen tile.
He came over this evening to adjust some shelves in the new cabinets and kept hanging around like he was wanting to say something but never did. I wish I had offered a penny for his thoughts.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pop In 2

I remembered my camera when I did my second round of pop in visits to MB and JK in their high school Spanish classrooms. I'm loving getting a snapshot of my friends in their workplaces. Teaching high school seems like such fun! Although I'm sure my friends would disagree and I realize I only had a very short time to experience it as a visitor. They really know their stuff and I could tell their kids knew a lot of Spanish. I really got a kick out of them playing "Chispa" which is Spanish for "Sparkle", a spelling game we play in first grade too.

Sometimes I wish my friends and I could all work together is some fantasy charter school or live together in a Yaya sorority house. It would be a great reality series. Any ideas for a title or jazzy theme song?

I actually made the call today.
I am actually signed up for a May/June FET.
Even the possibility of pregnancy is special.
The slimmest chance of a baby is a great treasure.

Let the anxiety and worry begin.
Let hope grow and grow.
Let the praying begin.

The Amazing MB:
(Note what the student's t-shirt says. This is the fourth reference to twins I've seen this week.)
60/365 - 1

The Amazing JK:
60/365 - 2

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pop In

I had the very enjoyable experience today of popping in on my friend MC while she was teaching at her school. High school. Spanish. Two worlds with which I am not in the least familiar except through hearing my friends talk about them.

I want to teach high school now. The kids were huge (in comparison with my first graders) and very goofy and funny. I can see they keep MC on her toes but she kept them totally in line sometimes with just a look. You know....THE look. But there was also singing and dancing. It all looked like such fun. I know I smiled and laughed the whole time I was there.

I'm looking forward to having faces and places to picture when MC is talking about work.
Tomorrow I'm planning another pop in. Who will it be? Maybe YOU?

Unfortunately, I somehow forgot my camera and was very disappointed that I didn't get to capture MC in action.

I colored my hair at home last night.
A job I realize should really be left to someone with a license.
Dollface asked if I had tie dyed my hair:

A hit to the heart from the mailbox:
Hit to the Heart

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Malcolm Martin Memorial Park

Early this morning my dad picked me up in his big rig and I rode with him to take a load of corn to the grain elevator on the riverfront. I enjoy doing this once in a while to spend time with my dad but today I had an ulterior motive. I knew that next to the grain elevator was a small park with viewing tower facing the St. Louis riverfront. It's fairly new and very pretty.

Dad said he had watched it being built during his trips to the grainery. At the top of the viewing tower sits a statue of Malcolm Martin, the man who dreamed up the park and championed for it to be built. Dad said that statue was up there while they were still in the construction phase. Dad wondered for a long time what kind of lazy construction worker was up there sitting around all the time. From the loading area of the grainery, it does look very much like a real person.

Besides the viewing tower, it also sports a man-made geyser which shoots water 600 feet into the air, high enough to match the height of the St. Louis Arch. I would like to go back and get photos of that someday as well as a sunset or nighttime shot (MB).

I really like this view because I think it shows St. Louis at it's roots: a pretty city with the river still as an important part of it's industry.
St. Louis Skyline 4

I think this one is my favorite though because it shows my dad's truck in the foreground.

Memorial Bench

Below is the grain elevator where my dad takes most of our farm's grain which usually goes from the elevator right onto a barge on the river. It's a huge and very industrial place. The yellow is a casino on the other side of the grainery. It's kind of odd having the grainery between the casino and this beautiful park but I guess it was there long before the touristy stuff and they refuse to sell out.
Gargill Grainery

The rest of the day was spent helping Dad and E tile the rest of the backsplash. Now for grout. And the floor. And the trim. And painting. etc. etc. etc.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Maternal Fetal Appointment

Big appointment today with a Maternal Fetal Specialist.

The important stuff first. This doctor is good looking too. I swear I'm meant to marry a doctor, I find them all so attractive.

He and his staff were perfectly lovely. The nurse asked me if I was ok to talk about what happened and the Doctor spent a few moments asking about my emotional well-being. These may seem like small things but it made the whole appointment much more sympathetic and easier to get through.

I got answers to two things that have really been nagging at me all this time.

He said that he thinks the membrane ruptured prematurely first causing the abruption because there was no discharge before the huge gushes of fluid and because it took me awhile after being induced to deliver. The other two weren't able to tell me this and would only say they didn't know which happened first.

He really seemed to listen carefully while I told about what happened and asked a lot of questions about the details. I told him that when I got to the hospital, nothing was done. I was told I could only lay there and hope the rupture would heal itself. Even though I told the nurses I was cramping every 5-10 minutes, they did nothing at all. This doctor said that was entirely appropriate protocol and was exactly what should have been done.

I feel an incredible sense of relief knowing these two things and a little of my trust for Dr. H. has been restored.

He believes there may be some cervical issues. I can't tell you exactly what he said but I guess the sac could have sort of sagged down through the weakened cervix (hence the pressure I felt an hour prior to the gush of fluids) The area it sagged into below the cervix is acidic and harmful to the membrane causing it to weaken and break.

So going forward, if I'm very lucky and get pregnant, he will be monitoring us closely, checking me every week or every other week with an internal ultrasound for changes in the cervix and if necessary treat the problem with a cerclage or medication or bedrest.

Toward the end of the appointment he asked me to hop up onto the exam table and he listened to my heart. I can't figure out why. I have no heart problems and you can't check a cervix through a stethoscope. I wonder if it's because patients feel more confident in a doctor who does at least some sort of physical exam. I'm also wondering why he didn't do a pelvic exam.

He also told me I would need to go off of antidepressants 30-60 days before an embryo transfer not for physical reasons but to make sure I could emotionally handle being off of them. If I can't handle it, he'll put me on something different that I can stay on.

I also had an appointment with RK, THE counselor. I told her about going off of the antidepressants and she said under no circumstances am I to go off cold turkey. I'm to be under doctor's orders and her watchful eye.

It's all a bit intimidating going forward and of course terrifying, but I am hopeful and it feels good to have that emotion again.

While I was running around to appointments and lunch, my dad and bro were here tiling. Slow work and I feel guilty I wasn't here to assist. But maybe better to be out of the way?

In between the two appointments, I had lunch at Jilly's Cupcake Bar with some co-workers. Very yum.



Monday, April 4, 2011

Reiki Wonderings

I had a fantastic session with Reiki Lady today. I told her all about Greyson sending me 5's. She said she thought Greyson had been with me and sending me messages for a long time even before he was born. Afterward she said she had the vision of he and I holding hands and he was saying, "Put your 5 in my 5." She said she thought my uterus was almost ready to try again, the light around it was mostly pink. Not sure what that means but pink must be good. She said there was a dramatic difference in my energy.

I had such wonderful warm images while she was working with me. Pictures of a bright golden moon and the big gold star from my friend's picture.

Images of Aunt Alys and both my grandmas holding Greyson. They were passing him around and they were all just smiling and smiling.

A big number 5 came to me drawn with many colors of crayon.

Several of my coworkers, students (the naughty ones!) and friends and family members came to me.

Also, the classic image of Jesus that a lot of us grew up with only he was golden and had beautiful gold light radiating around him and from him. His hands were out as if to welcome me.

The images of many babies and children came and stayed with me. At times it was clear I was with two of my children. The other night when my mom wanted to look at Greyson's pictures she also told me she'd had a vision of me with twins. I mentioned this to Reiki Lady and she said she'd seen it too but didn't want to scare me by saying anything. Today Mom told me she had that vision while I was still pregnant with Greyson.

It all makes me wonder and wonder.

I mentioned to Reiki Lady that I might be interested in someday volunteering with mothers of stillborn babies in the hospital. She said, "No, that's not your path. Your path is motherhood." And she said it with such confidence, as if she was saying, "The sky is blue."

Big Truck
R and Dad are trucking this week.

My brother who is my hero and does everything for me.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday Night Lights

MC had the great idea of taking pictures of a local refinery so we headed out tonight to take night shots of the lights, flames and smoke. We nearly got blown away. It was difficult to hold the camera steady, even with tripods and many shots came out blurry. I enjoyed myself anyway and I'm glad to be able to say that I learned a lot. I think I'm showing improvement thanks to my two mentors.


Light Trails!