Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Phone Dump

Our Week in an Instagram (user name: mandyskudler)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

From the Mouths of Babes

Our preschool visit the other day lasted all of 20-25 minutes.  We introduced ourselves, chatted for a few minutes, then one of the teachers had Charlotte color a star while I discussed various school procedures with the other teacher.  Yet somehow, even in that short of a time span, Charlotte managed to tell a story that truly made me seem like quite the crazy lady.

Here is the back story.  The week before last it was early in the morning and Jim was just leaving for work.  Oliver had woken up in the middle of the night with his darn two front teeth giving him grief and I had gotten up with him.  This left me both exhausted and frustrated when Jim was leaving for work.  When he kissed me good bye I was less than enthusiastic to return the gesture because I was so tired and grumpy that he did not help with Oliver that night since I was up until the wee hours editing a wedding.  For some reason I immediately regretted being less than lovey-dovey when he left but I shrugged it off and continued to feed Oliver and hope for a nap.  

About 5 minutes after Jim left all of these sirens went screaming by our house, and we never hear sirens.  I immediately had a sinking feeling in my stomach and just knew that something must be wrong.  I mean, CLEARLY Jim had just been in a mangled mess of a car accident right down the street.  I just knew it.  

I grabbed my cell phone and called him expecting him to answer and tell me I was crazy but he still loved me and we would be on our merry way for the day.  No answer.  Weird.  He must not have been able to get it out of his pocket in time, I reason, so I call again.  No answer.  I start to feel a little panicky and not giving the phone 2 seconds to rest I call a 3rd time.  No answer.  Oh boy.  Now all I can picture in my head is Jim in his crumpled car having to listen to his phone incessantly ring and not being able to pick it up.  In my mind, a cop is going to answer any second to tell me he was in this terrible accident.  

Full.  On.  Panic.

I put Oliver down, throw on a bra under my t-shirt and some flip flops (2 necessities if I am going to be spending the day in the hospital with my poor husband).  I go upstairs and wake up Charlotte and carry her immediately to the car.  Come back, grab Oliver, and off we go with us all still clad in pajamas.  We were out of the house in about a minute and 37 seconds.  If my husband was lying trapped in his car, or being wheeled off in an ambulance, etc... I was going to be there.  I was not going to let the last thing I said to him be a grumpy "have a good day".  

I acted pretty calm as I drove in the directions of the sirens.  I was prepared.  I was ready for what I was sure to find.  Hmm...nothing.  I turn in the direction he would take and follow his path until he would have gotten on the interstate.  Still nothing but sun filled morning streets.  Well, I figure, he must have turned the other way down our block.  So I head back to find the accident that way.

Meanwhile I am still calling his cell phone, his work phone, his cell phone again.  Every time no answer.  In my head he should be at work by now so the panic is growing a bit.  I turn back down the street the meets the other end of our block my gut wrenching.  I am expecting to see the flashing lights any second but still nothing.  I turn the other way and start to head back to the interstate.  

Just then, he answers his work phone.  I burst into tears and start sobbing on the phone.  I am trying to explain my insane actions to him and he has no idea what I am saying because I am crying so hard.  I calm down enough to explain myself and he assures me he is ok.  He pulls his phone out of his pocket and it had somehow gotten put on silent.  I think he said he missed like 11 calls, not to mention the calls to his office phone.  

After feeling silly, apologizing for acting crazy, and some good "I love you's" the kids and I grabbed some breakfast and headed home.  I thought breakfast would be my cover for yanking Charlotte from her slumber to go chasing a non-existent accident.  When Jim got home that day Charlotte told him that we looked for him in a car accident but he was ok.  Great.  She heard me blubbering on the phone to him and put it together.  The girl is bright.  

So back story aside, the preschool teachers are here and the one I am talking with mentions doing fire and tornado drills every month.  She said something and I mention that Charlotte does know what to do if we hear sirens for a tornado.  The teacher turns to Charlotte and asks her and she replies, 

"when we hear sirens we have to go to the basement to be safe.  And sometimes when we hear other sirens we go see if Daddy was in a car accident but he is ok".

Out of the mouths of babes.  I turn a nice shade of red as I quickly explain that my hormones have been a bit out of whack and I am certainly more scared than normal that something is going to happen to Jim or the kids and so this led me to irrationally to track down this non-existent car accident.  Don't worry, I will gladly accept the Crazy Lady Award at the preschool banquet because even I think that in that circumstance I must have been a bit looney.

In all the teachers seemed pretty unaffected by it.  I think they were trying to do the math in their heads (she said her baby girls passed away at 17 weeks a month ago and the baby she is holding is nine months old so that would make them how close together?).  Never the less, I can't wait to find out what Charlotte spills next. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Preschool Debate

Somehow, today on Facebook, a comment I made led to a small debate about preschool.  I am never quite sure how 22 comments later the entire point of the message has changed, yet it manages to happen.  My status update was as follows:

"Today Charlotte's preschool is coming over for the home visit they do.  I have to say, I am totally second guessing preschool at 3.  I mean seriously, she is 3!!  Why are we all forcing our kids to grow up so quickly?  I might need some convincing..."

Let me begin by saying that I had not really second guessed this at all until this week.  I was filling out her assessment that the school sends out and she far exceeded everything they asked for except for jumping on one foot.  Literally, every single thing they asked she was at the highest level on.  And, to clarify, obviously I believe my kids to be the most awesomest kids ever to be born and obviously very bright and exceptional, however these questions were not subjective.  It was a clear, definitive answer.  My child does this all of the time, most of the time, some of the time, rarely, or never.  And, like I said, she was all of the time in every box (3 pages worth of boxes) except for hopping on one foot.

It didn't take Jim and I both long to look at each other and think, "ummm...., is she going to be bored?".  No, she probably won't be, but the thought still entered my head.  I couldn't help but wonder if we should send her at all.  I mean when she is 4 and in the pre-k program I would be totally for it, but the 3 year old preschool I just started feeling unsure.

My feelings are, our kids have their whole childhoods to go to school.  They start at the maximum age of 5 and go until they are 18.  Parents pack their kids' lives full of activities often missing dinners and family time to make it to sports practices, dance classes, team events, tutoring, study groups, on and on and on....   I am guilty of this as well.  Charlotte has attended some type of class since she was about 6 months old.  We have done Kindermusik, infant swim, dance class and more.  We have also made the choice to allow only one activity at a time.  Who needs more than that at 3 years old?

Sometimes I think we are so busy moving from one thing to the next that we forget that our kids are kids.  They need a childhood.  They have their entire lives to be go, go, go so why should we start it so early?  I know this is a choice, but we all know it is far to easy to get sucked into what it happening all around us.  Kids are not little adults.  Kids are kids.

The first few friends who commented were very positive and spoke about their own kiddos who have been to 3 year old preschool.  Others who knew Charlotte commented how much she would love it.  And eventually, somewhere it turned into people thinking I was doubting the importance and often necessity of preschool and that somehow I didn't understand what she might get out of the experience.

The thing is, I do know what she will get.  I know she will love it.  I know that if we didn't go to preschool this year, all I would hear for the next 365 days would be "Mom, when do I get to go to preschool".  I know that one of the things she needs most, which I alone can not provide, will be provided there; interaction with kids her own age.  I know that she will have fun.  I know that she will learn and grow and quite certainly be better next year because of it.

But I also know that I am a selfish Mom (it's true, I admit it).  I can't help but think that it is happening too soon and that waiting another year would be better...for me.  It is only 2 short mornings a week, and I am sure I can hang in there.  Regardless I just want to be able to give her the best childhood possible.  To postpone being a little adult while still allowing her to grow up.

I have no doubt that my girl will love preschool (after all, she is her Mommy's daughter; her Mom who threw a giant hissy fit as a little girl when she tested out of preschool even though she was eventually allowed to go when the class didn't fill up).  She loves to learn and she adores showing off her skills, especially for some praise, just like her Mama again.  She will do great and I will survive.  I can't even imagine how I am going to be come kindergarten.  Ugh! (just a sound effect folks, don't go getting up in arms that I am anti-kindergarten now as well).

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Phone Dump

Our week in an Instagram

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Divorcing Weddings

This week I finally finished editing the wedding I shot on June 16th.  After shooting I usually let it sit for a week or so to decompress (shooting weddings are hard work!).  By that time life was a flurry of doctor's appointments, funerals (my Grandpa and Aunt Virginia's), vacation prep, and then the delivery of twins and the recovery.  A whole month gone.

What a HUGE relief to have this behind me though.  I do believe that is the last wedding I will shoot.  The payday from a wedding is ok, but I am not sure it is good enough.  Sorry weddings, but you and I are officially divorcing.  I will feel even more caught up and fantastic once I finish up a couple other sessions so that I am no longer behind and back to on track with things.

I also had my first newborn shoot since having the girls and it went really well.  Some people were concerned what that first shoot would be like, and in all honesty it was great.  My point of reference isn't really current newborns, but rather pregnant people who are at about the same place in their pregnancies that I would have been.  I am unreasonably angry at them, and obviously it is absolutely no fault of their own.  I wish I could explain it but the fact is that they still have what I don't.  I am getting better with that every day as well.

Here's on to a bit more editing while the kiddos are playing together.  They have been having so much fun together lately now that Oliver is mobile and more interactive with Charlotte.  It is honestly the coolest thing to watch!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

One Month ~ Day of Hope

Today, August 19th, marks one month since we had Ruthie and Imogene.  In some respects it feels like it has been ages since that excrutiating day and sometimes it feels like yesterday.  Grieving is certainly a process and I feel like we are managing the as well as can be expected.  Each week has gotten better, but there are certainly tough days.

What we never go through is a day we don't remember or aren't reminded of our girls.  Sometimes it's simple, like yesterday.  We had deli sandwiches for dinner.  You can't eat lunchmeat while you are pregnant and this was the first time I had eaten it since the delivery.  Small thing, big pangs of grief.

Sometimes the hurt is worse.  I took Charlotte and Oliver to the splash park this past week (they had an absolute blast).  On the way there, I was exiting the interstate and realized very quickly that this was the exit we had to take to get to the funeral home.  I couldn't help but choke tears back for the last bit of the way to the park.

I am sure that a quick look back in my blog will tell you one of my hardest days.  I probably shouldn't have blogged at that exact moment, but something like that makes the hurt run so deep.  It brings the dreaded questions of "why us?".  A question that will never be answered.

This last week one night Jim and I stayed up far too late talking about everything.  It was nice to talk about them, our feelings, etc...  One thing we both agreed about was feeling guilty on good days.  I know that we shouldn't feel that way, but it doesn't mean that we don't.  Sometimes we feel like we have to hurt deeply and often to keep them close.  We both know that is not the case, but anyone who has grieved a significant loss will understand that feeling I believe.  Each smile, every laugh, each new memory without them still hurts.

I hate that we lost our girls.  I hate that we aren't going to be able to watch them grow.  I hate that they won't get to know their sister, brother and us.  But what I hate most is that we are not alone.  So many others have experienced the loss of a child.  August 19th is also Day of Hope, I copied the following regarding this special day:

"August 19th is a day to break down the walls of society that keep pregnancy, infant and child loss a hush hush subject. People view the death of a baby as just a sad thing that happened. These babies that die are not sad things that happen. They are people, much loved and wanted children. They are brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, grandsons and granddaughters.
August 19th is about openly speaking about these children and celebrating their short lives.
By having this special day once a year we get people speaking about pregnancy, infant and child loss. And by doing this we break those walls down so that people are not afraid to speak about these children anymore."
Please take some time today to honor those babies you know who have gone.  Don't just honor them quietly or with little fanfare.  Feel free to tell everyone you know about them.  Sing their names!
Ruthie and Imogene, my darling baby girls, Mom and Dad love you and miss you so much.  Charlotte told you guys about watching the Lorax this week.  She didn't know if you could hear her since she was talking to your urn.  I told her that you both would always hear her, and she could talk to you anytime.  She asked that since she is a big girl and could be careful, maybe she could bring you guys into her playroom to watch it with her sometime.  If there is anyone who I can count on to make sure that you both are always a part of our lives it will be your big sister.  Today and everyday, we all love you.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Phone Dump

Our week in an Instagram

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sh*t That Pisses Me Off

That's right, I just cursed.  I can't help it.  All I was doing was trying to check the weather and here this was.  Front and center.

Mom Pleads Guilty in Death of Twins

I will say right now that I have no idea what this Mom's circumstances were and I have no idea how her sweet babies died.  I don't care.  I am pissed off.

People try to reason with us on why something this awful would happen to us.  How it "wasn't meant to be" and "they are in a better place".  I call bull sh*t.  This mom was given her girls and she killed them.  She was given what was taken away from us and that is what she did with it?

Please people, I beg of you, stop trying to find a reason!!  Sometimes in life there is no good reason.  This is one of those times.  There is nothing anyone will be able to say that will justify what happened.  There will never be a time when I go "oh sure, I see why we never got to be amazingly awesome parents to our twins and this woman was blessed with them instead".  You will never be able to convince me that "this was the right ending" for us, when I look around and see parents like this.

And while I am at it, don't convince me that being mad about this is not ok.  It won't work, you will waste your breath.  It is ok for us to mad.  It is a legitimate feeling.  And at this moment, right now, that is it what I am feeling.  It will go away.  Tomorrow will be better.  But right now, I am mad.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Too Much To Say

Sometimes I feel like saying nothing is easier than saying something when you have too much to say.  The unfortunate part about this has been that I can't seem to shake some things off that have been said or done, or certain ways that I feel.  I haven't wanted to write about certain things because I haven't wanted to offend anyone or hurt any feelings.

The thing about this blog is that by writing, I am getting through what has come to be the largest obstacle I have faced.  I appreciate putting it our here, for essentially everyone, because already in this short span of 3+ weeks I have been contacted on how what I have written has helped another person understand, cope, or grieve themselves.  That makes my soul feel good.

The disadvantage to this platform is the same thing; it is out here for everyone.  That means people I know, who may be involved in these experiences, will be reading this blog.  They may misunderstand my intentions, which is to clarify with myself what I am going through, not attack anyone else.  I am terrified that something, or everything, or a part of what I say will be taken incorrectly.  Because of that, I keep bottling things inside, or venting to a few people about the same things over and over again.  I feel like there is a knot in my stomach that may never leave.

So, here's the deal.  I am going to write about what I need to write about.  I am going to be honest while still being respectful.  By putting my words here, they are permanent and I am not wishing to hurt anyone with my words.  The goal in the end will be that everyone who is reading this blog will know in the future how to perhaps better handle a situation such as ours.  The fact is, people don't know, and they are not trying to be hurtful, but in the end we are hurting because of things that are being said or done.

I promise to ask myself "will I regret writing this?".  If the answer is yes, I know not to write it.  I promise to think of others, and not just myself as I write my way through this journey.  Some may wonder why I just haven't spoken with them about these things before spewing it on here.  The fact is, talking is harder.  When I write, I can consider my words thoughtfully and change things as I feel fit.  I am an emotional person, it is not a secret to people how I am feeling.  When you are trying to talk thoughtfully to someone but you can't check your emotions well enough to get the words out right, you fail in your message.  I want my message to succeed.

So, please bear with me, and remember, reading this blog is always an option.

And because I think every blog post is better with a picture, here is one of my little guy after his first haircut from this last week.  I can't believe he will be 9 months old tomorrow!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Phone Dump

Our week in an Instagram

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Poor Verizon

I feel slightly bad for a conversation I had with the lovely people at Verizon Wireless this last week.  Last month, when things were hitting the fan, we realized that between calling my family, friends, doctors, etc... I was totally going to go over my minutes.  This was before the girls had passed away, but during a time when things were getting sorted out and when my family lost both my Grandpa and Great Aunt Virginia less than a week apart.  Needless to say I was on the phone a lot.

I have never had an issue with minutes before, so after we asked the people at Verizon what we should do, they told us to go online and switch to the next plan up; we would be charged the difference on our next bill and we wouldn't then be charged any overage fees.  Awesome.  We could totally do that.

Jim hopped online, made the changes, and that was that.  Or so we thought until we got our bill.  Our regular fees, plus the difference, plus a ton of overage fees.  Huh???

I called them last week to try to get it all figured out.  Turns out that you have to specifically say online somewhere that you want the new plan to be retroactive until the beginning of the billing cycle and apparently Jim didn't do that.  They offered to make the change for our next bill and take off 30% of the overage fees.  Totally not good enough.

Anyone that knows me well knows that I can be pretty strong willed, and might tend to get a bit angry in these situations, and, dare I say it, I generally even curse.  I lame.  This time, I just started sobbing.  Literally sucking my breath in, making gosh forsaken noises, and sobbing to the poor Verizon woman.

First of all, I was just upset because we did what we were told to do, and had the worker just done it for us this wouldn't even be an issue.  Second of all, just thinking of what the circumstances were and why I was on the phone so much just pushed me over the edge.  I couldn't even explain it to this woman on the phone as she put her supervisor on, who I still proceeded to cry uncontrollably to, constantly apologizing and explaining that I am not normally like this.

In the end, they got everything fixed and all of the charges reversed, and were really rockstars.  I, on the other hand, was not as thrilled with myself.  I know I have cried a lot lately, last week was better than the week before, especially in the realm of tears shed.  I tell you what though, the minute they started flowing, I could not stop them.  One of those cries where you can't catch your breath well, are sucking in air, stomach heaving, kind of cries.  Oh...and I was in the car.  I had pulled off into a parking lot, thank goodness.  This situation was just one of those friendly reminders to me that even in the most regular of circumstances the girief can hit like a mack truck.

On the way home I thought both Charlotte and I could use a little pick me up (I am glad both the kids had fallen asleep in the car when I lost it) and so we stopped for some Starbucks.  It had been an awfully long time since I had one of their wonderful iced coffees (they don't come decaf and I was pregnant).  I even got Charlotte her own special treat.

Monday, August 06, 2012

I Love You Less

Charlotte and I have a pretty solid tuck-you-in ritual down.  I always lift her into bed.  We decide who is going to say the prayers.  She tells me whether or not I should have folded or steepled hands while we are praying (she always does the opposite, we like to cover our bases).  Then we give each other kisses while I tell her, "I love you to the moon and back".  She always responds with "and I love you to the moon and front".  I will refrain from going on and on about how much I love her saying that (but seriously, so cute).  Anyhow, then she blows me kisses, and I give her the 'I love you' hand sign and we have our final words for the night which go something like this:

Me: "I love you"
Charlotte: "I love you too"
Me: "I love you more"
Charlotte: "I love you less"
Me: "I know baby.  Good night.  Sweet dreams."

I love you less.  In her 3 year old mind, that is totally the right thing to say, and to be honest, it kind of is.

You see, any parent will tell you that they had absolutely no idea how much they would love their child.  The love is so strong, so fierce, and so deep.  There really is nothing like it.

I am not underestimating a child's love for their parent, or our love, as children, for our parents.  What I am saying, however, is that the loves are a bit different and I would even venture to say that as parents, we love our children more, and they love us a bit less.

I am not sure when you begin loving your children, but it definitely before they are born.  It intensifies the moment you see them, and NEVER, EVER declines from there.  When we had the girls, we knew we loved them.  That love intensified the moment we saw them, and it will never, ever decline.

Please, if you ever know of anyone who has lost a child during pregnancy, never assume that the love for that child doesn't exist.  It is there, it is huge, and it is not comparable to any other love a person experiences except for the love of their child.

So, to Ruthie and Imogene, Mommy loves you, and I love you more.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

The Cut

Since Ruthie and Imogene passed away I have truly wanted nothing else but my kids with me.  The funny part is, we have never had so many people offer to watch them or sit for us.  The truth is, they are uplifting.  They remind us constantly that we are loved and have love to give.  

Are there times when I look at Charlotte and think, "man, I really wish I could see the girls running around together at this same age", or "geez, I wonder if Ruthie and Imogene would be as spirited/independent/caring/etc..."?  You bet there are.  Everyday we are so thankful for our time with Charlotte and Oliver, and everyday we are in turn reminded of the times we won't get to enjoy with Ruthie and Imogene.  Given that, in all likelihood, Oliver and the girls would have been no more than a year apart, I think it will be all too easy over the course of our lives to think, we could have been doing this same thing next year for them (kindergarten, high school graduation, heading to college, birthdays, etc...).  

What I struggle with lately is that as much as I want to be with my kids pretty much every second, my patience feels like it is being tested often.  Do I think it is any coincidence that both of the kids are acting out more since this happened?  Absolutely not.  I have never been able to understand adults who act like their kids are not affected by their actions and moods; or when they act like their kids don't know that something is going on when clearly there is turmoil.  Our kids are no different, and they have certainly been needing a bit more from Mom and Dad.

I have been desperately trying not to feel guilty when I get frustrated too easily, or when a time out is given (although deserved), or when, despite our best efforts, we need a moment away.  Ever since leaving the kiddos with my family so that we could go deliver the girls Oliver has been clingy to say the least.  The minute I leave the room he screams shrilly and continues to do so until I come back.  I know part of that is his age, he is right at the age when separation anxiety begins, but I also know part of it is because he has always been around me and wasn't for two days and that scared him.  

Charlotte has been testing limits.  She had started getting a bit testier before this all shook out, but certainly upped the ante over the last couple of weeks.  She is being sassy, talking back, and throwing fits.  In between that she is insanely sweet and caring.  She loves 'nuggling Mommy and knows exactly what to do or say to lift mine and Jim's spirits.  Even so, her tough moments have been pretty tough for her and pretty uncharacteristic.

On Tuesday of this week Charlotte spent most of the day doing a craft off and on.  She loves arts and crafts so this is not unusual.  It was the first time I let her use scissors on her own for her craft...I am sure you can see where this is heading.  She was cutting out pictures from magazines and gluing them on paper.  She was having a blast.

It was about time for Jim to come home and time to pick up.  I was on the phone with a friend of mine and distracted.  Charlotte immediately threw a fit about picking up, which she does every time.  She got her standard warning, and was asked to head to time out until she was ready to pick up.  A few couple minutes of wailing later she told me she was ready to head in and pick up.  I was still on the phone so distractedly I told her to go ahead and head in her play room and begin picking up.  

I looked in her playroom a minute later and she was gluing stuff again.  I told her that was enough and it was time to pick up, no more chances, and again went back to my conversation.  She came out not 30 seconds later to ask me something and I looked down and noticed a chunk of hair on her dress.  Oh dear.  Sill on the phone I exclaim "what did you do?!?".  She said "I  told you my hair needed trimmed because it was too long!".  I turn around look in the playroom, leap up to go look at the pile of hair on the floor.  Oh my gosh.  I let me friend go and started panicking.

I am not proud of every decision I made after finding that pile of hair.  I made a big scene about throwing her kid scissors away and we went into the bathroom to take out the braid in the front of her hair and comb it out so I couldn't see the large clipped off section staring me in the face.  I was doing pretty good at not yelling or freaking out too bad until we went back into her playroom to pick up and she still threw a fit about helping.  Then I lost my cool, which was literally the second Jim came through the door.  He had no idea what he was walking into.  A couple minutes later I sent her up to her room so that before I acted any more irrationally (seriously it's just hair) I had the chance to calm down.    

When I went up to her room she was in her bed.  I asked her what she was thinking about while she was up there and her little chin just started quivering trying to hold in her cry.  I knew that feeling, I had had it a lot lately.  I scooped her up and we sat cuddling there for a few minutes.  We talked about the big choice she had to make now, to cut her hair or to try to hide it.  She still wants to trim it some.  I am good with that, in fact it will look much better.  In all fairness to her, she has been asking to get her hair trimmed for awhile now.  Who knew she would take it so seriously?  We cuddled some more and talked about the choice she had made.  Jim came up and together we decided on some consequences; cleaning her playroom really good and no tv shows for 2 days (missing Clifford is pretty rough stuff for her).  

The thing that bothers me most about this whole story is me.  I was distracted, as I have been off and on lately.  I wasn't paying enough attention to her and I was getting slightly emotional on the phone off and on talking with my friend, and she really doesn't like it when I cry or get too emotional lately.  I am not claiming that talking with one of my greatest friends was a bad choice, but not recognizing that Charlotte was demanding my attention was wrong.  

It never even dawned on me that morning when we opened the scissors for her for the first time that she would ever cut her hair.  Anybody that knows Charlotte knows that she is wise beyond her years.  She is not an impulsive kid and she rarely acts in the same childish ways that other kids do.  Not because we have conditioned her not to, there are times when Jim and I really wish she would let loose and be a bit more free and kid like.  The thing is, that's just not Charlotte.  At jubilation at church every week she rarely plays with the other kids, instead she connects with the teenage helpers.  During dance class she follows instructions to a T and gets annoyed when the other kids act frivolous and run like crazy instead of following the directions.  Her vocabulary is huge and she expresses herself in ways that always impress people who don't know her.  It's just her.

So, the thing is, I know that this cutting hair thing was all me.  I know that she would not have done this if our house wouldn't have been so full of emotion lately.  I know that if I would have just gotten off the phone she never would have sought out my attention in that way.  I know that it is my fault.  I can try to convince myself otherwise, but I know that if this event would have played itself out a little more than two weeks ago she would not have made the same choice.  

Sometimes you need a wake up call, I guess this was mine.  The past two days with her have been much better, I am sure because I have been much better.  Now if we can just convince Oliver that I am going to come back every time I leave the room we would be on a roll.  Here's to hanging in there I guess.