Sunday, January 26, 2014

Crock Pot French Toast: Our Christmas morning breakfast


The last three blogs that I have written have been very difficult and emotionally draining, so I decided to take a break and do something a little less emotional.  I wanted to take a few minutes to share with y'all our Christmas morning breakfast.   It has become a tradition in our house for my daddy to stop by on Christmas morning to see all that the girls opened and to have breakfast with us. Last year I decided to make crock pot French toast (of course my husband had to cook eggs and bacon to go with it).  
I did not come up with this idea all of my own, I discovered it on Pinterest, the pin sent me to the following blog,
I did change up a few things ingredient wise
--1 whole loaf of bread (I used Natures Own Pumpkin spice)
-- 6 eggs (I only made a 4 qt. size crock). 
--2 t vanilla
--4 cups of milk (I used 3 cups)
--2 t cinnamon
--1/4 cup brown sugar
--1/4 cup walnuts, or other desired nuts (optional. I did not use nuts this time.)

I recommend using enough bread to come just below the top of the bowl. The bread will expand. 
Grease the inside of your crockpot very well with butter, shortening, or cooking spray. I then tore the bread slices in half so they would fit well into the crock pot. Mix all ingredients together and pour over bread into crock pot.  I let it cook all night and then after all the gifts were opened I finished up with the eggs and bacon and we all sat down for our breakfast. To be honest with you it did not go over the best with the kids, but I thought it was very good. I was almost more like bread pudding than French toast, but it was really good with syrup over it.


Of course in all the chaos of Christmas morning I forgot to take a picture of the finished product. It is definitely something I would do again,  but next time I think I will use more milk and perhaps raisin bread instead.
If you decide to give it a try let me know how it goes and what you thought of it.
"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Forever in our Hearts: Part 3

I know that my previous two blogs have been a lot for y'all to take in, they have been a lot for me to write.  I want to address in this post the things that I have learned and am still learning as I go through this part of my life.

1. It will never be something I get over.
 I will always carry around the loss and pain that I feel.  Please don't expect me to be able to just "get over it".  This has been a major traumatic event in my life and it is not something that I can just forget has happened.

2. I will talk about my babies because they matter and they deserve to be remembered.
 My three babies in Heaven matter to me. I love them just as much as I do my children here on earth. Being separated by time and space does not change that fact.  Do I speak of them everyday? No, but I don't ever want to stop speaking of them. To do so for me would mean that they were being forgotten and I never want that to happen.

3. There are certain things you should never say to a person like me. I got these courtesy of the following article. She put it into words much better than I could have.

1-    It was God’s plan
2-    You can just try again
3-    It is for the best
4-    Everything happens for a reason
5-    At least you weren't very far along
6-    God doesn't give you more than you can handle
7-    Be grateful for the children you already have
8-    You still have so much to be thankful for (can also apply to infertility issues)
9-    God needed him more than you did
10- I can only imagine what you are going through

Although these may seem like the right thing to say, but often times they only cause more heartache for the grieving mother.

4. There are things that you can do.

1-   Listen: she may tell you the same story 100x, just listen.
2-   Do: meet the families practical needs (help with food, cleaning, medical bills, etc) offer to make personal keepsakes such as sewing clothing into a blanket or make a scrapbook BUT do not do anything physical without asking her first. Some find certain items too painful to touch or allow others to touch.
3-   Share: A mother who has lost a child wants to know that their baby will not be forgotten. Share your favorite memories with her, send her cards on birthdays and holidays and let her know you are remembering her child with her.
4-  Wait: Grief is unpredictable and has no timetable. Be patient with her and never ever tell her to “move on.” Just do your best to walk with her in the valley.

5. Never take your ability to have more children for granted.
I always intended to have another child, I always planned to be the mother of 3 children, but my plans were not what God had in mind for me.  You need to enjoy every baby as if it were your last, because it just might be, regardless of what you think.  I enjoyed my youngest child growing up, but I didn't really "enjoy" like I should have. If I had known I would not be able to have another child I would have took in every little moment that we had together.

6. I will not now or ever stop telling my story, even if it makes others uncomfortable.
Do not expect me to pretend as if they never existed, they did if only for a short time. Just as you and I tell the stories of our living children, by posting pictures, relating funny little things they do or sharing their accomplishments, I will continue to talk of my sweet babies that now live in Heaven.  If that makes you uncomfortable, well I am not sorry. I will not apologize for loving my children and grieving over their deaths.

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Forever in our Hearts: Part 2 that you know the stories of each of my little ones, let me share how much it affected me. I will just say that this may be difficult for people to read or even understand. In fact I don't believe you can even begin to comprehend the feelings and emotions that went through my mind after each of my babies died. I guess the only way you could know would be if you had been through it yourself and I hope that those of you who haven't never do.

The things that happened to me physically were the same with each death, my appetite was almost non-existent and my sleep patterns got so out of whack.  I remember going to bed physically exhausted only to sleep about three to four hours and then be wide awake. These physical problems took about a month or so to get over, but the emotional ones still pop up.  There are about three main emotions that I have dealt with and am still dealing with.  There were so many questions that I also had, so many that coincided  with these emotions.

1. Guilt

Was this my fault?  Did I cause this to happen?  What have I done wrong?  Is this God judging me for something I had done?  I can not even begin to tell you how much guilt I felt after each and every miscarriage. I questioned each and every thing I had done during each pregnancy and wondered if I had caused something to go wrong.  I would go over and over in my mind trying to remember what if anything I might have done.  I even begin to wonder if I had something in my life that was unpleasing to God and that he was judging me.  I know that I am not perfect by any means, but you still wonder if you may suffering the judgment of God.  Even after I was told by my doctor over and over again, I still felt that horrible guilt.  I believe I will always question and have these feelings of guilt, but I try to remind myself each day that it is not my fault and that I need to remember that.

2. Being Useless

What good am I to anyone? What is wrong with me? Why can't I do the one thing I was made for? Am I a bad mother?  I really had a hard time dealing with feeling useless. I mean this one thing I am made to do, this one thing only us women can do is have children and I am unable to do that. Do you have any idea how horrible it is to feel like you are not a women? Let me tell you that is a horrible feeling.  I don't know if anyone else has ever felt this way, but I know that I did.  I had feelings of being of no good to anyone, even though I knew how much my other children needed me. My husband did all he could to make me feel needed and appreciated,  but being a housewife was just not enough.  I even begin to wonder if I was a bad mother to the two I already had and that is why I was unable to have more children.  I still struggle with this at times, but I just focus on the fact that my family does need me and that my husband and children love me very much.

3. Disappointment
Why is this happening to me?  Why do other people get to have babies and I'm left out?  Why are people having babies and then mistreating them, but I am not able to?  Why does this keep happening to me over and over again? I also have dealt with the disappointment of having not just one baby, but three babies die to miscarriage.  I have dealt with wondering why it is happening and why it keeps happening.  I have been to many doctors and had test after test done and they now think they finally know what is going on. It does make a difference to find out that something is going on with your body and that there is hope for the future. Each day when I look around and see others with new babies or those pregnant, my heart breaks.  When I see women who are not even raising their own children and are having more I just have to question why them and not me. I mean I would do the best I could in raising another baby.  Each and every day presents these things to me and I have to fight the green monster of jealousy that raises its ugly head in my heart. be continued.

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Forever in our Hearts: Part 1

Let me start of this blog with a warning to you, this was very difficult for me to write, and may be difficult for some to read. I have decided to break it up into more than one post, it is just too much for me to talk about in one. I hope that by sharing my story it will help others to be able to deal with their own.

I penned these letters to our babies August, Kate and Quinn back in October as a way of helping to deal with their deaths and I wanted to share them with y'all. 

To my dearest August,

 Your were my third child, so unexpected, yet so wanted. What a joy it was to tell everyone about you, we were so excited to be having another baby. On August 10, 2010 what was to be our first ultrasound revealed that you were no longer with us. Your little heart was not beating, the Lord had called you home to be with him. Oh, how my heart was broken. It was such difficult news to hear. For the first few days I did really well, then the questioning begin. I wanted to know why God would take you home, but let others have babies, babies that would be abused and mistreated. I was so angry because understanding was not there. It would take months for me to be able to get over that anger, but I have never gotten over your death. Every time I see a little boy or girl that would be your age, I just want to weep. I am certain you were the son I had been longing for, that little boy who would complete our family. You would be 2 and 1/2 this week and such a joy to have here. I often wonder what you look like, how your personality would be? Would you be like your father, me or someone else in our family? What color would you hair and your eyes be? I never had the chance to hold you or see you on this side, but I know that I will see you again when we are together in Heaven. I know when I get there you will know me and I will know you. I long for the day that I hear you call me Mommy for the very first time. We gave you the name August, it means one of royal birth. We thought it was perfect because you bypassed this world and went straight on to live with Jesus our king.

To my dearest Kate,

 You were my fourth child, very much wanted, expected and tried for.  You were a secret that we keep and then you left us so early it was hard to even tell people about you.  On April 29, 2011, the same day of Prince William and Kate's wedding, I found out about you.  We were so excited and anxious about having another baby! After a phone call to my doctor, I was scheduled for routine blood work on Monday. On that Monday afternoon they called to tell me that is was not a matter of if, but a matter of when I would lose you.  There was nothing they could do, no medicine they could give to make you live.  We cried and prayed until that Wednesday, May 4, 2011 when God called you home to him.  Even though your lose was a difficult one, it was a little easier knowing that you and your brother were together in Heaven. You would have been 20 months old this month. I often think about you and wonder what type of toddler you would be. I also think of what our lives would be like with you here. When I found out about you, I just knew you were a girl. I made a promise that day that you would be named Katherine and called Kate. Katherine means pure and what a blessing it is to know that you now live in a pure place with our perfect Lord. Most people would think I named you after Princess Kate, Katherine is a family name for us, but calling you Kate, that was going to be after her. I can't wait until I get to see you and your brother. I look forward to the day when I hear you call me Mommy for the first time and I get to wrap my arms around y'all. What a happy day that is going to be!!  

To my dearest Quinn, 

You were my 5th child, so wanted and tried for. As I sat here drinking my coffee the thought is not lost on me that it should be decaf and that you should be here with me. On April 25, 2013 we found out we were expecting you. It had been two years exactly since our last pregnancy and we were overjoyed to get the news. I had prayed everyday for 6 months, ever since we started trying again, for a child and then God answered my prayer. Everything went fine and at 7 weeks I was able to see your little heartbeat for the first time. What a wonderful moment that was. We kept you a secret, we wanted to wait until our 12 week appointment to share the news. It was hard to do, because I was already starting to show by 10 weeks. On June 22, 2013 the complications begin and I was put on bed rest and told to get to the doctor on Monday, but I did not make it. At 1:00 on Monday morning I woke up your father and I knew you were gone. I did not need the doctor at the ER to tell me, but even when he said the words, it was still so horrible. I didn't know the human heart could be broken so many times, yet still go on beating. It was so hard to come home and tell your sisters that you were no longer with us, they didn't even know about you yet. We decided to name you Quinn, it means fifth. The number 5 is also the number of grace in the Bible and I have sure needed a lot of grace each time one of you has left me. I rejoice with those who are having babies, but sometimes it takes all I have to not weep openly at the sight of a pregnant woman. It hurts to see ultrasounds and newborn babies. Each time it is like my heart is being broken all over again. I know I will see you again my little Quinn, along with your brother August and sister Kate. Some glorious daybreak when my time here is done, I will enter into Heaven and I know you will be waiting for me. I long to see, hug and hear all of you call me Mommy. Oh, what a grand reunion we are going to have!! It is going to be so much better than anything this world has ever known!

                                                                                    Love, Mommy

To be continued......