Monday, July 21, 2014

I DO have a son!

These past couple weeks have been... well, rough. 

I ruined 2 phones - one was jumping into our community pool fully clothed to save our 7 year old from drowning. The other was tripping and falling on a long run and accidentally smashing my husband's phone into the ground. 

And 2 days ago I stole groceries from Walmart. It's true. Let me tell you why/how...

I just had to grab a few things. It was a Saturday & a rare kid-free time. I was feeling pretty good -  throwing things in the cart, then I headed for checkout. 

I don't know how to describe the next part. It was like slow motion in my mind. I glanced over down an isle and overheard a woman speaking to some people. I didn't know who she was or the people she was talking to. But what she said drilled into my heart. She was smiling and (motioning to her kids) said "Oh, they are SO much fun. I just don't know what we're going to do with a boy!" I kept moving toward the checkout, but my mind and heart was at that spot - listening, remembering. I had uttered those SAME words about a year and a half ago. Having a boy was such a new thing, but we were so very excited. 

I guess I went into grief coma mode. I went to the self checkout and scanned all my items and put them into bags, and WALKED OUT - without paying for them! I got home (still with those words echoing in my mind & heart). I sat down and realized that I didn't remember actually paying for the groceries. Usually I have an amount in my head that I automatically try and gauge against our budget. But I didn't have that amount. No receipt to be found. 

I sighed. Went back to Walmart. Re-checked out the same groceries & this time PAID for them. Got in the van and just started sobbing. All the way home. 

I pulled into our garage and I said to myself - out loud - I DO have a son! I have a SON! His name is Link and he is my boy. He is my son. 

And I sobbed some more. 

This probably sounds really crazy to many of you - especially those who have not lost a child. Where is the connection? Why would I just say that? No one told me I didn't have a son. 

Well, I guess it's because you get to a point where you wonder if it was all a dream. Did I really have a son? Did that all really happen? Right now, it seems my world is all girls and my heart hurts for a boy. For MY boy. For my Link. I see his pictures and videos and the mold of his little hands, but it's not HIM. 

I miss you, my duder-dude. Every. Single. Day. And I get caught up in that missing at the strangest times and in the strangest places. And I can't think of anything else except you. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

June Newsletter & Slideshow

Better late than never, right?

FAMILY:  Summer was in full-swing for the Hamilton family in June. We had lots of fun! It started out in Richfield (we stopped through on the way back from SLC for Ivory’s wedding) for Grandma Devenish’s birthday party. We went to their church & then met at Kims & had cake & ice cream. It was great to see them. Grandpa Tew’s birthday was the 5th, and we remembered him and talked about him & even ate tomatoes for dinner since that was his favorite food – at least Heidi & Jason did! That next week, we got in our swim suits and put the hose down the slide for some water fun. Then it was to the beach for sandcastle-building and fun in the water with the Bealers. The girls also have started to do the Cedar City Unplugged, where they get “brag tags” for doing certain activities like fishing, swimming, etc. Our big project that we finished this month is our garden boxes!! It took a lot of blood (Jason gashed his leg with the wheelbarrow), sweat, tears, and money, but they are finally in & planted!! A few of the plants have already died, but so far the pumpkins, peas, corn, watermelon, tomatoes, red peppers, onions, lettuce, and spinach look like they’re going to make it! On the 13th, we had a fire in the bin in our front yard & sang songs & roasted marshmallows J The 15th was Father’s Day & we all had a great time spoiling daddy! Jason was out of town for work on the 17th, so us girls headed down to St. George, found a new fun splashpark and then hooked up with the Hamiltons to go see the movie Sherman & Mr. Peabody. It was really good!! We went to Payson’s baseball game the next day and loved to cheer him on – they took Bronze in the Utah Summer Games! Our neighbors, the Blackners, continue to move things out of their huge house and one day they asked if we wanted a piano that they had. Heidi wasn’t sure about it, but Jason wanted it, so they brought it in and WHALA! We now have a piano in our front room!  The weekend of the 20th, we took our trailer up the canyon and camped for a few days. It was wonderful – the weather was great & we had a great time playing in the stream, going fishing, hiking, driving around to different lookouts, roasting marshmallows, playing Bop It, singing, etc. We love to camp! The girls got to go to the Primary President’s home for a water party this month – they rented a huge inflatable water slide and had water toys and a slip n’ slide and a trampoline. They had a blast! The week of the 24th, we headed up north for the Potts family staycation. Some highlights were going to the splash park near our old home in Herriman, checking out the new aquarium, going to Lagoon & Lagoon-a-beach (and eating cherries off the tree, and eating HUGE ice cream cones in a downpour of rain), going to the updated Tracy Aviary, going to Taylorsville Dayzz and watching the fireworks on the Johnson’s lawn, and of course eating yummy food and getting to visit with those we love.

JASON:  June is Jason’s month to get spoiled J on Father’s Day, we woke him with a crown and a treasure hunt that McKinley had put together (there was a piece of snickers on each clue). He found the treasure box that was filled with pictures from the girls, an SUU T-shirt, a mug that says “BEST DAD EVER,” and chocolate. They also each made him a tie out of paper & he wore all three to church that day. For his birthday, he spent a few hours at Cabella’s with Joseph & then went fishing with him till 2am! He also worked hard this month on the side yard & getting the garden in. Jason got a nasty cough in June & finally went into the doctor who said he probably had walking pneumonia. He got some antibiotics and is feeling much better.  Jason also spent a good amount of time the last part of June making preparations for the 50 mile scout camp hike he has coming up in July. He had found a free backpack, but some of the straps were cut, so he had to go to 2 different places in SLC to get it fixed.

 HEIDI: Heidi has helped with the garden boxes and enjoyed going to Ladybug Nursery to pick out which vegetables we were going to attempt this year. She continues to train, with her longest run this month being just over 7 miles, which she ran with dad on the Jordan River Parkway before we went to Lagoon. She has had fun with the girls, checking off our summer bucket list and she really enjoyed getting to spend time with her family in Salt Lake. She has been reading (again) Wuthering Heights & is enjoying it. She’s also been busy doing deep cleaning, trying to get the house ready for Noelle’s blessing, and tried 3 different tile-cleaning machines. She thinks she is settling on a steam cleaner.

-McKinley started her play practices this month and is having a great time! She is so much fun to watch rehearse all her songs and we are really looking forward to seeing her play in August!
-For her baptism last year, Aunt Tiffany gave her a certificate to get live butterflies. This month, the caterpillars came in the mail and it was so fun to watch them. Within a few days, they started turning into chrysalises. Then we waited a week or so and we woke up one morning to find 2 butterflies! Within a few days, all 6 butterflies were out! We gave them watermelon and some flowers from our garden. We watched them for about a week, then we took them out one morning & let them go. We even got to have a couple of them perch on our hands before flying away! The caterpillar who came out last had a crumpled wing that never straightened L He could not fly, so we kept him & fed him for about another week before he died, but it was such a neat thing to see & we’ll always remember our butterflies!
-McKinley worked so hard to make Father’s Day special for daddy. She made a box into a treasure chest and made all the clues and made sweet cards for him. She is so sweet!
-McKinley had a great time at the staycation and went on lots of the water rides with daddy at Lagoon-a-beach even when her sisters were too cold to go.
-Mom appreciates McKinley’s help – especially when she needs to run a child to a lesson quickly & leaves McKinley in charge for a few minutes. McKinley is also good at helping with Noelle when mom needs it.
-With our new (older) piano that was given to us, McKinley is excited about learning the piano! Grandma Potts gave her a couple mini-lessons during the staycation and McKinley has been practicing here & there at home & is starting to get good!
-One morning, McKinley was so sweet! She brought EVERYONE breakfast in bed! Thanks McKinley!

-Ireland started gymnastics this month! She goes on Monday & Wednesday afternoons & is doing great & having fun! It is in the basement of a lady’s home and has LOTS of mats, beams, a rope, and a bar. Ireland is learning new things every day and can now do a cartwheel on the beam by herself and is working on back walkovers!
-Ireland did a backflip on the trampoline all by herself!!
-Ireland lost another tooth!
-One day Ireland asked why we had eyelids. Mom asked her what she thought would happen if we didn’t have eyelids & Ireland said “We’d have to walk around and just keep looking at everything!”
-When we went to Ladybug Nursery to get our vegetable plants, we let the girls play in the sandbox there. When we came to get them to go home, mom saw Ireland with her face all the way in the sand. When asked why she was doing that, Ireland replied “What? I was trying to be a face tractor!”
-Ireland can be such a great helper for mom. One day, mom asked her to make some Ramen Noodles (she can do it all by herself) while she was trying to get something done on the computer. Ireland was making the Ramen Noodles, but then she would hear Noelle fuss in mom’s room, so she was going back & forth between the dinner and helping Noelle. QUITE the little mother & helper!

-When we were in Richfield at the beginning of the month, Kezi was outside with the dogs at the Reeds. They must have gotten excited & jumped up on her because she came in screaming with a rip in her shirt and a huge scratch down her back.
-Kezia’s thoughtful things this month: Making & giving mom tickets to “the ball” with daddy, picking LOTS of flowers and putting them in glass jars and giving them to mom, coloring pictures for friends, teachers, cousins, grandparents, sisters, etc.
-One Sunday we were enjoying the backyard together. Kezia came up to mom & dad and said “Dad – I heard your neighbor not listening to church music. Uh oh, right? He might get in prophet trouble!”
-One day during the sacrament, Kezia whispered loudly to mom “Why don’t we get mints if it’s the sacra-MINT?”
-Hip Hip Hooray! Kezia has done SO well with staying dry at night! She got to choose a special cereal to eat. Great job Kezi!
-Instead of saying “First one wins, last one is a rotten egg!,” Kezia says “First one to get there is Elsa, last one is Hans!”
-When Ireland lost her tooth, mom overheard Kezia saying to her “I’m so happy for you that you lost your tooth Ireland!”
-Kezia had fun at Lagoon, but still doesn’t like to go on the bigger rides. We convinced her to go on a small roller coaster, but she had a grouchy face the whole time. Afterwards, we asked her why she didn’t like it & she said “It went too fast. And I felt like I was going to tip out!”
-Kezia did NOT like the Taylorsville Dayzz fireworks. She made daddy take her inside Aunt Deb’s house & they watched them from the window L
-Kezia is so good about fixing mom’s hair every night while mom reads Narnia. She gets out about 30 flowers & bows and makes mom’s hair look so pretty!

We sure missed our boy this month at the staycation – he would have had fun at the splash park, the aquarium, and Lagoon. It’s still hard to see boys that are his age & wonder what he would look like & act like at 19 months. One day  Heidi’s friend, Anna, texted her and said that she just heard Link’s song (thousand years) on Pandora. Then a minute later, she said it was directly followed by Charlie’s song (somewhere over the rainbow)! That was so heartwarming to hear! We miss you, our duder-dude!! We still feel that huge hole you left in our family and home.

-Noelle is sure growing up this month. She is just getting more beautiful and fun every day.
-She still has SO much hair! Mom finally broke down and trimmed the back a bit so it didn’t look quite so mullet-ish J
-Noelle really has started to laugh & it’s SO SO sweet! Mom has yet to capture it on video, but it is so much fun.
-Noelle tends to get a rash on her neck as yucky spit up or slobber gets in there. We have to diligent about keeping it clean.
-Noelle’s 2 month doctor visit went pretty well. She has dropped in her weight percentile – from 35% to 13% (she’s about 10 lbs), but Dr. Polson said she’s growing & looks great. She wasn’t too happy about the shots, though L
-Noelle is quite a little tooter & they are STINKY toots, too!
-Her stomach is getting strong and she can bring her knees up to her chest and touch her toes.
-She still loves to play with her little jungle gym and hit the hanging things to make the music go.
-She also is getting good with being able to put her hands together in front of her.
-Noelle is still quite vocal and can mimic many sounds. Her little squeals and “words” are SO SO CUTE!
-Noelle’s sisters still adore her and cannot seem to get enough of her. Ireland especially!
-She still a pretty good sleeper at night – usually going from 5-6 hours straight, which is really nice. She’s still sleeping in her little vibrator chair. Her naps, though, are getting trickier & she really doesn’t ever want to be put down. Mom was able to put her down in her swing or her vibrator chair or even the pack n’ play, but now she’s having a really hard time being put down & only wants to be held!
-Many mornings when Noelle wakes up earlier than 8, mom will bring her to bed with her & nurse her in the bed and cuddle with her for a while. That is precious, sweet time as the light of the morning fills the room and she gets to be closer  to her sunrise baby girl.
-Noelle has been quite the traveler this month & thankfully has done really well for the most part!
-She loves to put her hands in her mouth & is really working at finding her thumb!
-Her legs are getting stronger & she can stand on your lap for a little while!
-We just love her sweet smiles. She likes to stick out her tongue a little bit when she smiles & it’s SO cute!
-Kalli is such a good cousin and was so good to hold Noelle – even when she was fussy – and she is so good at making her laugh & smile J

-Mom thought Noelle would have a hard time at the Taylorsville fireworks show – it was really late & they were really loud, but she really did GREAT! She just laid there on the blanket and watched them the whole time!