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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Oh, You crafty huh?

Remember my Pinterest Promise to myself? The one where I decided I was only allowed to play on Pinterest if I followed through on at least one of my pins once a week?

I've been holding to my goal pretty good, dedicating each Pinterest manifestation mostly to activities I do with Ivie or to recipes we try.

Then summer hit St. George with it's 100 degree plus fierceness and I found myself wishing for a few more comfy dresses.

See, when it gets hot down here, I roast. I roast even more in shorts and t-shirts. I prefer to wear short summer cotton knit dresses or skirts, or long breezy maxi dresses.

Those long breezy maxi dresses are also on my Favorites list because they hide my often not-so-hairless legs in the summer too.

So, I've been oogling dress tutorials on Pinterest. I enjoy sewing, but I'm a quilter - not a clothes sewer and the crinkle of pattern paper pretty much terrifies me. Then I stumbled across this dress and tutorial that I figured even my-non-sewing-clothes-as-a-rule self could handle.

Loved her blog. Loved the tutorial.

Here is my version.

The picture was taken on my phone, and isn't the greatest, hence the washing out look to my skin. BUT I am happy with how my maxi dress turned out. So happy I even sported it to church today and had lots of ladies give me compliments on it. So happy that I think I'm making another of these bad boys this week.

on another Pinterest note - I think I've finally settled on a theme for the update of Ivie's room. I've wanted to change things up in her space for awhile, and with everything going on the last couple of weeks it seemed like a good time to throw myself into some crafting therapy project. The decision to move her room from a baby's theme to a little girl look was timely too because the JoAnn's in out town is changing locations prompting a HUGE liquidation sale of cheap material at their old store. Trev was a dear and came with me on Saturday to help pick out material for all of our upcoming projects. All of the prints and incredibly bright and happy. I can't wait to get started, so look for more pinterest inspired posts and pictures to come.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"Even those that never fully blossom bring beauty into the world"

I have debated and debated about writing this post. After all, miscarriage seems to be a somewhat taboo topic. I think that is because everyone handles miscarriage so differently, and no one quite knows what to say.

But I am a talker. I need to sort my feelings and experiences out through words. And many times, I need the strength of people around me to help me through my sad or hard times.

I debated writing anything in this space, because well - it is a very public space. Additionally, it seems slightly odd to write about the loss of a pregnancy publicly when I had not yet even announced that pregnancy publicly in the first place.

On the other hand, my life is different now. Yesterday my life changed as instantly with the loss of a baby as it did weeks ago with the appearance of that pink line and the anticipation of a new baby. I can't pretend that it didn't happen, because it did.

I know that miscarriages are common. In fact, most women I know have experienced one. It's not a unique expereince, but it is an individual one. And I am grieving the loss of a baby I won't get to hold and rock, a baby that my body rejected.

Eight weeks is not far along at all...but 8 weeks or 18 weeks or 28 weeks...or any number of weeks is enough to love and want the child growing inside of you. And I know that no matter how many weeks go by or how many other babies come, I will not forget this one. When what would have been his or her due date rolls around I will quietly mark the day in my heart every year for all the years to come, and while I will always be a bit sad, I hope I can still celebrate that almost-birthday as well.

After all, I have lots to celebrate. Along with celebrating my sweet husband and lovely daughter, I will celebrate the opportunity that my Heavenly Father gave me to love and nurture another baby, if only for 8 weeks.

And I will celebrate the goodness of our family and friends and the people in our lives. Trevor and I have both talked and marveled at the many similarities in our experiences with our two babies--the one we got to keep and the one we didn't.

When Ivie was born friends and family came and cleaned my house from top to bottom. Other friends brought food. Some brought flowers and we received too many phone calls, texts and emails to count.

When we lost little brother/sister, friends came and cleaned my house from top to bottom. Wonderful Darci kept Ivie all day while we cried. Trevor's boss gave him yesterday and today off of work to stay home with Ivie and me. Friends brought food, some brought or sent flowers and we received so many phone calls, texts and emails from the few who knew we had been expecting that we can't count them all. 

How grateful we are for our family and friends in both times of joy and sorrow.

And how grateful we are for eternal perspective that informs our lives through the gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. To be honest, I don't know how miscarriages play out in the eternities. I know many people believe and say many different things. Some think you might raise these babies later, some think our bodies reject these babies because the physical process of gaining and growing a mortal body--a crucial part of our spiritual journey--is not happening in the correct way. There are a million other thoughts and a million other theories. Maybe it was meant to be, maybe it wasn't. I don't know. And to be honest, it doesn't matter to me that I don't know.

What I do know is that my Heavenly Father loves me. And I know that as Joseph Smith was told in Doctrine and Covenants 122:7: "Know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good." I do know that in whatever capacity my baby is or was, that (s)he knew I loved and wanted him or her. (S)he knew they were coming to a family that would love and treasure him or her, just as they know we grieve this loss and will always treasure the sweet, if short blessing these eight weeks offered.

I am grateful and will celebrate the lessons and truths this baby has taught me in the last eight weeks, and especially in the last two days, and this experience while heartbreaking will be, and is, for my good. 

Where have I been blogging?

I have been blogging, believe it or not...just not here :) Awhile back I decided that I needed to have as much structure to my at-homeness as possible. This is mostly so I don't default to sitting around with a big box of NERDS candy (mmm, my favorite) and watch Law and Order reruns while Ivie runs around the neighborhood like a feral child. (Without structure this is a real concern for me)

So I adopted a productive play program I've been doing with Ivie for about six months-ish. Problem is, that after awhile you start to run out of or just repeat, repeat, repeat your own productive play ideas. So a new blog was born. I already contacted some of you about it via this Facebook message, which I am reposting here because I'm lazy:

Hey ladies -

As many of you know, I'm making a career change and leaving DSC for a time to stay home with my darling baby girl. I've worked at something or other since I was 15 and suddenly I am facing a job with no training manual or instructions - so I find myself approaching the task the only way I know how - from a very logical, academic, Type-A- Personality-At-The-Extreme way.

To that end - I really want to be able to not only enjoy my time with Ivie, but teach her as much as I possibly can too. I'm a parenting believer in play with purpose, and over the last six months have been constructing and doing different activities with Ivie in 7 different learning areas: literacy, math, physical health, science, social & emotional growth, creative arts, and language. We focus on one area every day of the week and I try to have a lot of our playtime build on concepts appropriate for her age.

Now, certainly, this is a parenting approach that is debatable. And quite frankly, there is plenty of evidence in both camps that claim great effects and negligible effects. What I like is that this sort of structure helps a mom with my kind of personalty find new, fun and positive ways to play with my baby. I've found lots of ideas via the internet, but also from other moms I know, and it all got me thinking:

Wouldn't it be great if there was some sort of structured way for me to pick the brains of all the people I know?

My vision became to create a blog with many contributors. Together we could create a virtual Joy School of sorts, and if there are enough of us that participate we could each contribute just one or two activities a month, but could all reap the benefits of having a fun play/learning activity pre-planned for us each day. Activities can be simple or complicated, whatever you are feeling. They can be original or linked to online resources and tutorials.

I'd be happy to make a posting schedule, email list and set up the blog if enough of you are interested in participating. I'm reaching out to you ladies because we all have kids roughly the same age. I'm most interested in activities right now that appeal to 18 m. to four years old- and I think we could leave it up to one another to adjust activities to our own child's needs/age.

So, if you are interested in collaborating on this project, please reply to this note with an email address I can use to add you to the blog administration. Once I have stuff set up and ready to go (hopefully by the end of this week or next if enough are interested) I'll send you more info. and instructions.

If you aren't interested, just ignore the note

And please - if you are interested in participating or not, but know someone who might be, pass the info. along to them and ask them to contact me. I'm hoping for a solid pool of thirtyish brilliant mommy minds to pull from.

Thanks!

In recent days I have started the blog up and running, and I'll do the first round (maybe a month) of posts for awhile to get in the swing of things but then I need YOU
 to help me add more ideas and content. Really. You have to.

Ok - you don't have to...but I hope you might consider it, and if you are interested in helping out and haven't already let me know, leave me some info. in a comment, or send me an email at millionwaysmama@gmail.com.

Personal posts about my life and cute kid coming soon!!!!! 

OH And I almost forgot, here is the blog address so you can actually check it out:  http://millionwaysmama.blogspot.com/