Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Calls to Doctors

So I called my doctors today.

I called Dr. Eck, my ob-gyn and I called Dr. Grainger, my fertility doctor.

Dr. David Grainger, expert on...well, you know.  This guy is not even creepy.  I totally expected him to be.

Dr. Grainer is fantastic. And his nurses are wonderful.  It was kind of like reuniting with old pals when I talked to them.  Except if I never talked to them again I'd be fine.

And I cried when I talked to them.

I hadn't talked to Dr. Grainger's office since last December when I was 10 weeks along.

And I walked out of the office with the cutest little pictures of the bubble-alien version of Maggie.

I had to explain the whole thing again.

"Yes, it was a little girl."

My heart broke again and I got all choked up. 

Thankfully, I took control and the ugly cry did not make an appearance.

And then I asked how all this works--starting this whole process again.

[Insert heavy-hearted sigh].

I have an appointment with him at the end of June.

(He's that busy folks. Like no appointments between now and the end of June.)

I don't want to start this all over when my happy ending was supposed to be just a few weeks away.


Can't wait for the stirrups.

And the stomach injectibles at 3 am.

And the pills.

And the calendars.

And the hour long drive to and from the office.

And getting my hopes up over and over again.

But, really, I can't wait to try this all again.

Maggie would like a little brother or sister.

And I would like another son or daughter.

Living, breathing, and beating heart, preferably.

But, just as perfect as Maggie.

Monday, May 30, 2011

All the things I did on Memorial Day weekend (before stuffing my face with grilled meat and chips).

We planted Maggie's tree on Saturday night.

Dave's parents were visiting from Minnesota this weekend so they helped us figure out the best place to put it.  It was so nice to have them here.  We hadn't seen them since we went up there at Christmas.  They were able to sneak down here since they've gotten too much rain and they haven't been able to plant.  And we need rain so badly here.

Dave and his dad didn't even plan to have matching outfits!

After planting the tree, we went out to Maggie's grave so she could meet her other set of grandparents. Dave's parents have 4 grandsons, but Maggie would have been their first granddaughter. I was so excited to have the first girl. Unfortunately, I wish this wasn't how they would meet their first granddaughter.

When we went out, Maggie's friend was out there again.

Have I told you about the guard that Maggie has out there? That there is a friend who is protecting her?

Every time that I have gone out to the pasture, there is a red-tailed hawk that is flying around over the grove where Maggie is buried.  And she isn't just flying around, she is circling and screeching.  Loudly. Over and over and over.

That is not dust on your screen, that is Maggie's friend, the red-tailed hawk.

And she's flying and talking every single time I go out there.  There hasn't been a time that I haven't heard my little hawk friend screeching.

In fact, the first time we went out there after Maggie's memorial service Dave and I both commented on the hawk and he said, "If we were Indians, we'd be pumped."

I didn't think too much of it.

However, when I returned the next time, hawk was there.

Waiting for my call to work for National Geographic.  This is a money shot. 

And she was there the next time.

And I have thought of Dave's comment every time.

And I now believe that she is out there, protecting Maggie and keeping her safe and giving her some companionship.

And, it makes me feel good. And I am pumped every time I see her out there.

(Please don't show my students this post. I have told them all year not to start any sentence with "and."  And I just broke rule 6 times in a row.  And I don't care.  Now seven.)

I started a new to-do list for summer.

I had one made to get done before July.  But, there were a lot of things on there that are no longer applicable.

Like making a valance for the nursery.

And buying a crib for the nursery.

And staring at and snuggling with my brand-new daughter.

I kept my old list, just in case I can use it again sometime.

I also didn't add everything to my new list since some things are just assumed that I will do.

Like sleep in and sit on the back deck and hit up Sonic for some Happy Hour beverages.

Oh, and mow the lawn on the riding mower (just waiting the offer.  Anyone?  Anyone?  Buhler? Buhler?).  

Those things are just a given, right?
I got these in the mail on Saturday.

I was a bit amused by the timing of both of these things.

First, a letter telling me about grief and bereavement support groups that are available.

 And then, a bill for Maggie's delivery.

All I can say is THANK THE GOOD LORD for insurance.  Really good insurance.

Happy Summer.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My cup (in my riding-lawn-mower-cup-holder) overflows.

So, my gift from my school kiddos and families was delivered last night.

My wonderful friends (Cooper's parents) brought it over.

Any guesses?

It's a Red Bud tree!!!!!!

I've been eyeing these ever since I moved to a place where trees with leaves actually grow.

Please ignore the patches of dirt in our yard.

Isn't it great?

And, I think I know where we are going to plant it.

Do you see that little brown shed (in between the light pole and the tree)?

I think we are going to put it around there.  That way, we can see it from our kitchen and living room windows.

And it blocks the shed where the neighbors store their riding lawn mower.  Maybe if we don't see their riding lawn mower, we won't covet over it.  We want one.  Bad.  Like really bad.

But God gave us good, working legs for a reason, right? We just can't justify getting one.

[This is the part where one of you writes and says, "We have an extra brand-new one just sitting in our garage that we aren't using that you can totally have. We'd even be happy to drop it off at your house for you.]

But when we do get one, mine's gonna have a cup holder.  And a big enough seat that a kiddo can ride with me. Those are my only requirements.

Anyways, back to Ms. Red-Bud-Rock-My-World-Tree..

They got it so that we can remember Maggie.  And, the great thing is it should bloom around Maggie's birthday every year.

And for those of you who still live in states where these do not grow, this is what it should look like:

Pretty sure our grass will never look like this though. Unless we get a riding mower.  Then it would.

And, along with the tree I got a note from a mom in my class.  She is amazing and even though I don't know her well, I know her well enough to know how incredible she is.

This is a bit of the note:
This red bud tree is a reminder every spring as it bursts out in blossoms around her birthday.  A reminder to you that she is alive and vibrant, that she loves you deeply and that you will be together again soon.  And a reminder for you to look for the gifts she died to give you.
And then she wrote a letter from Maggie. This was too much for me. The tears came again.
Mama, I am okay...you know what brings me the most joy of all here?  Your love!  Your love wraps around me. It fills me with such peace! I hear you talking to me and I really feel your love.  I know you want to hold me in your arms.  You want to rock me, sing to me, and nurture me.  Your love is the only thing I took from this earth. I know you and daddy love me so much...Thank you for giving me a safe place to live.  Thank you for filling me with joy while I lived inside of you.
Trust, Mama.  Be at peace.  Rest in my love, in Daddy's love, and in God's love.  It will heal you.  We are together. And we will be more fully together soon.  I love you!  Maggie Ann.
So, to those of you who graciously donated so that I could have this beautiful memorial of Maggie.  Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Again, my cup overflows and my heart is full.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cokes and Flowers

Just in case you haven't been keeping track, today was my last day of school.

There are no words that exist to explain the sheer excitement I feel.  Pure elation.

Of course, I was sad.  I was a bucket of tears as we were leaving the building (so thrilled there were video cameras freaking ev-er-y-where).

It is always sad to see a group of kiddos go. 

Especially these kiddos.

And, do you know what makes these kiddos so great?

Their families.

They have hearts of gold.

They know this year has been tough and I continue to get notes and emails and cards saying that they are continuing to pray for me and think about me.  Not many teachers have such supportive families.

In fact, they got me a little something for the end of the year.

The whole class. They all knew about it and kept it a secret (I guess there was a giant kick under a desk to get one of the kids to be quiet at one point).  But, amazing that I had NO CLUE!

And the gift? It's amazing and beautiful and perfect for my family and me.

But, do you know what else is more amazing besides getting a gift?

Them.  My students and parents.  Their hearts.

They are examples of unselfish and generous hearts.

I don't have their gift quite yet--I should have it by tomorrow night (eek!)

But, just trust me.

It is amazing. So thoughtful and perfect and amazing and...I am so excited to show you what it is. 
(I need another word besides amazing, btw).

When they presented it to me, the kids were huddled around me.  I tried really, really hard not to cry.  But, I just couldn't do it.  The cry was on the verge of turning into the very ugly, blubbering cry.  I tried thanking them but I just kept mumbling and blubbering.  

The kids just huddled around and hugged me.  I kept hearing one boy say, "It's okay, Mrs. Harder."

So sweet.  I pulled myself together, as I knew that in about 2 minutes I had to walk down the hallways in front of the entire school for the 4th grade "Clap-Up."  I know my eyes were red and puffy, and my tears were dry, but I am just crossing my fingers that the boogers were at least not visibly shmeared across my face.

I did the good-bye/picture/hugs/have-a-good-summer-thing with my kids and then went back to my classroom. I shut the door.  And I sobbed and I couldn't stop. And, it was the epitome of the ugly cry.  I haven't cried like that since Maggie died.  I thought I was doing better and then something so touching and thoughtful kicks you in the rear and you realize that you're not even close to being over this. I still miss my daughter like crazy.

I am so sad that I had to walk down the school hallway without her.

I am so sad that I now face making summer plans that don't include her.

I am so sad that I don't know how to answer people when they ask what my summer plans are.

I am so sad that she didn't get to meet my students and their amazing families.

She would have had some great babysitters who would have taken great care of her.

Can't wait to show you what I got!


So, here are a few sneak peeks of the spread I got on the last day of school.  I am going to be busy planting and drinking delicious Cokes this weekend, which is totally okay since I don't have to work for months! Mwah-ha-ha-ha.

The stash that I unloaded from the last day of school. My car smelled ridiculously delicious.

Beautiful roses and Cokes.  Those kids know what I love way too well!

Decorations for Maggie's grave and a pot of daisies.  Just wait till you see the pot! One of my students decorated it!  
And, another parent dropped off goodies to make dinner!  Fresh spinach (just picked from their garden), fresh fennel, toasted almonds, strawberries, and poppy seed dressing.  It was delish! And I didn't have to cook!  Yay!

I was so lazy, in fact, I ate it out of the mixing bowl.
Isn't that a GREAT idea?!?! Totally doing that for my kids' teachers.  Just need to start a gardening then.  

Can't wait for my delivery tomorrow night!

Monday, May 23, 2011

note to self

If you are planning on going to water the plants at your daughter's grave, can I give you some advice?
Don't wear your new flip flops.
The ones that have fake gems on them.
(That's right--I wore flip flops with sparkles on them.
They are super cute.
My students kept staring at them when I was reading.
Maybe I can hypnotize them to sleep for the next 3 days.)

Anyways. Back to the thongs flippers.

Cause when you are carrying two gallons of water
and wearing those special flip flops
(and you just super-glued them before leaving work
because that's what you get for buying $9 bedazzled flip-flops)
and trompsing through the pasture?
It doesn't work too well.

Did I mention that the pasture isn't paved?
And it is full of *beautiful* Kansas grass (weeds and pokey plants)?
And I may or may not have stepped in a dried-out cow patty?

But, I did it.
I traipsed through that pasture,
watered her plants,
talked to the Magster for a bit,
before I almost got my car stuck in a pile of sand (a pile of sand is better known as a "dirt road" here in Kansas). 

I guess a mom will do anything for the kids, right?
Even if it does mean ruin their brand-new-bedazzled-but-they-won't-last-till-August-at-this-rate-flip-flops.

Sorry I did not get a cow patty in this shot.  And I am not one of those girls who is like, "Eww..I look fat."  But seriously, my calves look ginormous from this angle.  Or something.  Stare at the jewels, not the calves.
Oh, and for those of you wondering?
I had a great birthday.
Got some Cokes and candies
Got a massage from my co-workers (seriously love my teammates almost as much as a massage :) ).
I picked up dinner at the drive-thru (known as my parent's house).
And my hubster just walked in the door with daisies and card from him and Fergie.
(Does that officially make us crazy cat people?)
He is sweet (and smelly.  Pretty sure he didn't do as good of a job avoiding cow patties like I did today).

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sorry you can't smell this blog.

Birthdays aren't quite as cool when you are old(er).

However, this one has been pretty darn good.

I will try not to be wordy and let the pictures speak for themselves.

However, I got this gift in the mail and thought it needed some explanation.

I got this gift from my sister's friend, Greg (he was the guy that was thoughtful enough to buy Maggie's stone and cross for her grave).

He has an amazingly great sense of humor and obviously a great heart--how many people would just buy a stone and cross for someone they hardly know?!.

Anyways, I got a letter in the mail from him, which I read before opening the box. In it, he stated that he bought this statue for his sister 18 years ago when they were trying to start a family.  After success, it was passed around between all of his siblings.  And now that they are done with it, he wanted to bequeath it to Dave and I. We are now the lucky owners of this Ashanti Tribe woman who is supposed to bring prosperity, fertility, and blessing to our home.

I should have warned you that these are rated X pictures.  Totally should have covered her up a bit.

Not quite sure where this lady is going to be placed in our home.  Suggestions? 
Now, being the funny guy that he is, Greg offered some other ideas for uses of this lady.
  • Use it at school as a puppet (he is a teacher too, so he suggested making clothes for it before showing it off the kids).
  • Use it while cooking to stir things (you guys, it's ginormous, like her head is a good 6 or 7 inches across).
  • Necklace?
  • Keep it above our bed (No thanks, Creepy McCreep-er-son).
  • Cattle prod or shoehorn for Dave's boots.
So there you go. Birthday gift #1.

Then, my sister got me this.  This is the shiz-nits, in case you were wondering.
Would it be creepy and weird if I laid in bed with my Kindle and Ashanti woman?  Yes?
Then, I got to have a birthday meal at my parent's house with family.  And, in case you don't know my family, they are really good at cooking.  I mean cul-i-nar-y-awe-some-ness. It is pretty much sheer gluttony every time I am with them.

I first encountered this:
A pile of chicken.  Seriously.
You guys, seriously.  This is the BEST bbq chicken ever.  It is marinated in butter.  And vinegar.  And sugar. And then redipped in the buttery-mixture while grilling.

Then, I walked in the house and saw this:
Spinach/Egg salad, Funeral Potatoes (cheesy hashbrowny potatoes with cornflakes), applesauce, and my dad's homemade bread.
If you know me, you can imagine the cackling coming forth from my big mouth.  I'm pretty sure that was full-force machine gun right then.
Totally wish we had smell-a-computer or something.  You guys are totally missing out.
Finish all that off with three types of pies.
Fresh strawberry, strawberry-rhubarb, and raspberry cream.
My Grandma Anna is smiling down from heaven, very proud of her children and grandchildren.
And she's telling Maggie about our pie tradition and how amazingly good they are.
(sidenote: there better be pie in heaven)
Pies have always been an important part of our family.
When we would visit for the summer, Grandma had 4 pies made before the grandkids were even up for breakfast.
And when we got up, we could snack on poor man's pie for breakfast (that is, if little-baby-cousin-chubby-cheeks Martin hadn't snarfed it all down first.  :) )

Other gifts include this cookbook (can't wait for school to be out in 3.5 days and I can sit and read through this):
Dave thought he was a funny guy and said the title should be "Mennonite Girls Should Cook"  OR "Mennonite Girls Will Cook."  I was not impressed. This Menno girl should kick her husband in the shins.
This cookbook comes from this blog.
And it is great.
And it has pictures.
And the pictures are delicious looking.
How have I not had a giant heart attack from all this food in my life?
This is the blog where I learned that Baked Alaska is not fish.
Why have I always thought it was freaking fish?
It's baked ice cream.
Who was the genius that put ice cream in an oven?

Anyways, remember back at the beginning when I said I wasn't going to type much?
That didn't so much happen.
Sorry 'bout that, folks.

And, make sure to weigh yourself now.
You may have gained a few pounds just from looking at this heavenly goodness.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Was this a waste of time since the world is ending today?

Remember when I said that I had some plans for this weekend?

Any guesses?

We took a trip to our local nursery.

Huge ass bag of soil.
Perennials plus bird crap.

Dave was not impressed that I was taking pictures in the Stutzman's parking lot.
Dave working.  Me taking pictures.  Again.
 Made sure to crop out my crack. 
Guy at the nursery said that these plants can survive without much water, in full sun, and aren't eaten by wildlife.
This looks so much better than that pile of dirt.

After.  Hope my Maggie is happy.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

45 hours

Just in case you were wondering,
there are 5 1/2 days of school left.

I love my kiddos but I love me some summer vacation.

Whoop whoop.

And, I bought a new purse.
The $25 Target one bit the dust.

Can I get another whoop?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

1,500 times

Dear Maggie,
Just in case you don't know, or haven't heard it enough, there are so many people who love you.
And miss you.
And think of you often.
I have thought of you at least 25 times a day for the last 60 days straight.
That's 1,500 times.

At least.
But I know it's more than that.

That 1,500 isn't counting the times when I see daisies and think of you.
Or when I hear another baby giggle and wonder what your laugh would be like...would your laugh be as obnoxious (and machine-gun-like) as your mama's and auntie's?
It doesn't count the times when I am laying in bed, on my belly and I realize you aren't there.
That I should be laying on my side.
And, it doesn't count the times when I order a Coke instead of water.
Because when you were just a bitty thing, I gave that delicious beverage up.
So that you wouldn't have 17 eyes and need to be sedated once you had to sit in school and learn.
(Supposedly, caffeine may do that to little bugs like you.)

But, I don't mind.
I love thinking about you.

I have thought about you a lot today.
Even more than usual.
Two months ago I was saying hello and goodbye to you.

So, my little bug--
Happy 2 month birthday.
I love you more than I thought I was capable of loving anyone.
And I miss you.
More than anyone should have to miss anyone.

And I cannot wait to give you a hug.
And I cannot wait for you to hug me back.
(You won't be, like, a teenager by then, and be too embarrassed to hug your mom, right?)


Monday, May 16, 2011


I mentioned in this post how Dave and I chose Maggie Ann's name.

Ann seemed like the perfect middle name.  

My sister is an incredible woman.

She is the mom to two of the cutest kids.
But, more importantly than being cute, they both have hearts of gold.

Her daughter is in 1st grade and is named after me.
She is sensitive and kind-hearted and smart and curious and creative and wonderful.

Her son is going into kindergarten next year.
He is spunky and sensitive and kind-hearted and cuddly and talkative and wonderful.

They are like this because of my sister.
She is an amazing mama.
Kids don't just get lucky and turn out as wonderfully as they did.
It takes work and patience and time to get kids as great as these two.
She amazes me.

I can only pray that I can be as good at being a mom as she is.
I can only pray that I can have kids as wonderful as her two.
I can only pray that my little one(s) will learn how to live life from their older cousins.

And, do you want to know another amazing thing about my sis?

She is an amazing aunt, too.
Ever since Annie found out about Maggie, she loved her.
She knew the challenges Dave and I faced trying to get Maggie.
She was so, so excited to hear the news about her.
Whenever I talked to her, she asked how Maggie was doing.
In fact, she even had dreams about Maggie.
I sometimes wondered if she was more excited about Maggie than I was (not possible, but she was super excited).
She was excited to finally be an aunt. She was excited that I was finally going to be a mommy.

Over the last two months, Annie has held my hand.
She planned all of Maggie's memorial service since I didn't have the slightest clue on what to do.
She loves my Maggie as much as I do.
So, she got this.
She was trying to decide between this and either a Winnie the Pooh tattoo or a tribal arm band.

To remember her niece.
To show others how much she loves her niece.
It's not big and you will never be able to see it.
But, I know it's there.
Maggie knows it's there.
And it means so, so much to me that my daughter was that important to her.

I just hope she knows that if I turn into Octo-Mom (or the Kansas version of John and Kate Plus Eight...read Dave and Rae Plus Eight??!?) that I expect eight more names below Maggie Ann's.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A pink pinwheel

I got this on Saturday.

Keep reading and I'll show you what I did with it.

I spent most of Saturday with my parents.  Have I told you how wonderful they are?  They are amazing.
They knew that I was having a rough time over the last few days.
Why is grief so...unpredictable...crappy...overwhelming?
For some reason I have been so sad the last few days.
And I'm not sure why.

My mom brought me some flowers.
She's an amazing flower arranger.
Aren't these right out of a Dr. Seuss book?

My mom and I ran some errands while my dad cooked.
Do you see him the background up there?
If you don't know my dad, he is an amazing cook.
He makes amazing Chinese food.
His spring rolls are amazing.  Like all other spring rolls taste like dog crap compared to my dad's.

And, he makes delicious dumplings.

Oh, and by the way, while ma and I were running errands I made some plans for next weekend.
I am a bit excited and can't wait to show you pictures.
I think I saw about 435 pregnant women this weekend.  They were everywhere.
I couldn't get away from them.
I wanted so badly to run up to them and tell them that I should be pregnant.  That I was.  That I would look like them if all this hadn't happened. That I should be able to be a part of their club instead of the one I'm in.

I don't know why the last few days have been hard ones.
Is it because school is ending and I had such different plans for summer?
Is it because the 2 month mark is coming up?
Is it because I saw some fabric at Hobby Lobby that would have been so adorable in her nursery?
And I thought, for a split second, that I should buy it?
Tonight we went and visited Maggie.
The field was so green.
Except for a little bit of pink.
From the little something that we left for her.

Isn't it so cute?
I know it's not going to last long since Kansas is obsessed with wind.
But, I love it.
It's cute and fun and it will keep Maggie entertained.
Every little girl should have a pink pinwheel.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...