Saturday, February 19, 2011

Betsy at 2 1/2 years

It seems impossible that Betsy will be 3 this summer. She's not a "baby" any more and while I LOVE watching her grow, it's so sad at the same time. I sure love her being my little girl! I thought I would update everyone on Betsy and what all she is doing.

Betsy weighs 25 pounds and is 35 inches tall. She is in the 90th percentile for her heighth and only in the 10th percentile for her weight. She is really tall and really skinny. This makes pant shopping so difficult. She needs the length of a 3T but the waist of an 18 month old. Impossible! That is why I love spring/summer so much because I can get her size 18/24 leggings and it doesn't matter that they are short...because they are just leggings and no one can tell. True story I actually put her in a pair of 18 month capris that I bought her last YEAR but they were too big in the waist. I put them on her this week and THEY FIT! Poor little tiny girl! They were short since they are supposed to be capri pants but they just came below her knee so they looked really cute, like long shorts. Hehe!

Okay so anyway, Betsy is AMAZING with her speech. She is talking all the time and repeats alot. Some words are still difficult for her but she will still try to say just about anything. She is also starting to string three words together which is EXCELLENT. That's just about where she should be developmentally. She is still seeing Sooner Start for her speech and she will continue to see her until she turns 3 because she really wants to see if she will qualify for speech at a school. We are starting to think she won't since she is doing so well but I kinda hope she does since I would really like all the help I can get for her.

We haven't been teaching her any more sign language since we don't feel it's necessary since she can pretty much say what she is wanting/needing. She knows 27 signs and will occasionally still use them but will also speak the word as she signs. It's pretty cute. Betsy can count to 10 and will also say 11, 12, 16, 17, 20. She recognizes and can say circle, square, oval, rectangle, triangle, diamond, star and heart. She knows red, pink, black, yellow, blue, green, purple, orange and sometimes white. If you ask her to draw a circle she can. We are working on the alphabet and only a few times I have heard her sing along and she will say B, N, O, P. If I ask her to say them then of course she won't but if I catch her off guard she will say them. She's a stinker! When I ask her name she will say Betsy and she can spell her name like this: B, E, S, Y. She skips the T. When I write out her name she can identify each letter of her name and then says, BETSY!!

I think she is really smart. She pays very close attention when we are teaching her things and she catches on very quickly. She loves to sing songs and her favorite right now is "Rise and Shine" and she sings along great even if she can't say all the words. :)

We worked for a while on potty training last month but she really wasn't getting it. Only twice did she accidentally pee in the potty and when I made a BIG DEAL over it and really celebrated, she totally didn't understand. I put it off and will start working with her on that again soon. She will occasionally tell us when she has pee-peed and so I think she might be ready to potty. I put her on it the other day and she didn't even want to stay so I didn't push it. I figure eventually she will learn so why push it?

She loves to dance and will dance to ANYTHING! She's active alllll day long and crashes at night and for naps. She is a great sleeper, still goes to bed at 8 pm and wakes up at 8 am...sometimes 9. She takes a 2 hour nap every afternoon. She loves going to her Mother's Day Out Program and has so much fun there. She likes her teacher and her teacher absolutely adores her and that makes me feel good.

She is starting to really push her limits and likes to say "NO" alot. I really don't know how to tell her to not say "NO"..I mean how would you teach that? She is into this throwing stage and will literally grab and throw EVERYTHING!! It really wears me out by the end of the day and I know she's just gonna keep pushing. We don't spank or swat her hands or anything like that but she most certainly sits in time-out and this past week she has been there quite a few times. I'm not sure why she does things so much to get in trouble it's not like I don't give her enough attention. I guess she is just testing her boundaries but when she throws toys at me and she gets in trouble and goes to time-out I just wonder WHY she keeps doing it??? The result will always be the same girlfriend so keep on keeping on. I guess it's just her age. She's becoming independent. She says, "I do it" and "I hold it". She's a pistol and no doubt in my mind she would be the firecracker of the trio.

She continues to amaze us every single day. I remember her being so tiny and to watch her grow and do "big girl" things really makes my heart smile. She's my girl.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

God's Power

I have to admit that there are times when people talk about their answered prayers and I just kinda roll my eyes and think "whatever". I hear stories about how someone was literally clinging to life so everyone gathered around and started praying and their loved one was magically healed...just thanks to the power of prayer. It often bothers me when I hear survival stories, for instance the 9/11 attacks, when a person will say, "God blessed me. He saved me. It just wasn't my time." What does that say for all the people who didn't survive? That they weren't worthy?

I feel bad for saying that sometimes I doubted prayer. It seemed to me that everyone in the world was praying for me and the triplets when I was on hospital bed rest. E-mails were being forwarded literally all over the world and those people were forwarding them to their friends, and their friends to their friends, and so on. Yet, two weeks later Grace was born and she wasn't alive. Then the entire month Olivia was alive it seemed those same people were praying over and over and over. My entire church congregation were lifting us in prayer all the time. Yet, Olivia died. Were my babies not worthy of being saved? Did God not hear the millions and milllions of prayers and did he not hear my screams and cries, pleading for him to save my baby???

It's absolutely true that I feel this way probably 75% of the time. I just want to know why some people's prayers are answered and their loved ones live but my sweet, innocent babies didn't get to. Why would God bless me with three beautiful infants to carry in my womb if they weren't really meant to be?

I think Sunday's church lesson answered MY questions on this and really answered MY prayer of why things happened. I will share with you a story our preacher told: We have been having really frigid temperatures lately and actually got hit with a blizzard that had 4-5 foot snow drifts and temperatures up to 15 degrees below zero. COLD!! He told about how they have two cats that are actually outside cats but due to the weather, he and his wife let the cats in their garage and closed the outside door to protect them from the snow. He said one cat of the cats just cried and cried and cried and begged to be let back outside. He was not comfortable being trapped inside. Now, of course they didn't let the cat out because it was way too cold and they wished that the cat understood it was being protected. Now obviously the cat was safe and obviously it was in a much better place but it didn't know that. It couldn't understand the plan that the owners had for it and it was merely being protected. His point of the story was basically that God has a master plan for us, same as he had for his cats, even if they (we) don't understand it at the time.

We look at the world and everything in it through human eyes. God says, "I can see it. Let ME do it." We just have to ask him. Psalm 91:15 says: He will call on me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. God has a plan. One question was, Does God intervene? The answer is Yes. But only when it is consistent with HIS will and with HIS plan. God really is there and he really has power. 1 Timothy 5:5: The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and ask God for help. Even when it seems impossible, we have to keep asking and praying to God.

It's a hard pill to swallow to hear the words, "It was God's will". I hated when I heard that after I lost Grace and Olivia. Seriously, I would cry, does God really take away tiny babies? It's not God that "takes" them away. We all know we live in a corrupt and ruined world. God doesn't "make" them suffer and hurt. God lifts them to eternal life and SAVES them. It absolutely was God's will to have my babes in his arms and not mine. It's part of a GREAT BIG picture that I will never, ever understand. God had plans for me the very second I was born. The reason I will only have Betsy as my earthly daughter is all part of a plan that God has for us. We may not know for years and years and we may never may be revealed when we are long gone and Betsy is grown and has her own grandchildren...or it could be God wants us to see the beauty that we have NOW and not focus on what we DON'T have. I miss my baby girls every waking second. But I know that God has them and they are safe and protected. They are where no one and nothing can EVER, EVER hurt them and that is already more than I could have ever given them because as much as I think I could have protected them and kept them safe, they are ultimately already the most safe they will ever be. We are all living in accordance to God's plan and each step we take leads us to where he wants us to be. He has the power and sometimes I forget that and want to take the reigns. It's hard to let that control go and let him take the wheel.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Gearing Up

This year will be the third year we will participate in the March of Dimes March for Babies. Our team name is Team Betsy and we always have so much fun doing this. March for Babies is my absolute passion and I look forward to it every year. We have lots of friends and family that come out and show their support for Team Betsy and walk with us. We raise alot of money for March of Dimes to educate and provide research to fight prematurity. This organization hits so close to home and I have been so blessed to make friends through the March of Dimes. The Oklahoma Chapter is just amazing...truly awesome people.

Click here to read last year's blog about Team Betsy 2010.

So it's time to start fundraising and gearing up for Team Betsy 2011!!
I have a few walkers already registered to walk and still waiting on many. Last year we had about 17 people walk with Team Betsy and every year it touches my heart even more to have people join and support this great cause. Every walker receives a Team Betsy T-shirt and I have to add that we have won Best T-shirt contest the past two years! That's every year we have participated! We have a few ideas this year for T-shirts and seriously, I live for the T-shirt contest. We even have had total strangers come up and ask us for one of our shirts. It's awesome!

I'm trying to get some ideas for fundraising. I really want to do a car wash once spring gets here and the weather cooperates. I thought about doing a chili cook-off but don't have a location for that to happen. We are busy brainstorming and I hope we can raise alot of money this year. Last year we raised well over $2,000, which was double the year before, and this year I doubled the challenge and set our team goal at $4,000! It sounds crazy but I believe in my team and really think we can pull this off!!

The bank that my dad works at is a HUGE supporter of March of Dimes, especially Team Betsy and they do lots of stuff to raise us lots of money. This year they are upping their ante and trying to do more to fundraise for us and that means so much to me. It's not just about Team Betsy but it's about my triplets. It's about all the families who have faced premature births, infant mortality or birth defects. We raise the money for all of THEM and for the education of prematurity. If you have never visited the March of Dimes webpage and seen what all they stand for please visit their page here. Especially if you are someone you know is expecting a baby. There is lots of valuable information there.

So lace up your sneakers my friends and please consider joining TEAM BETSY in our walk to fight prematurity. If you can't walk or live too far away thats okay! Please consider sponsoring me and donating to this great cause. You can visit my March for Babies personal page here and donate and/or join my team. Any amount you would like to donate will seriously help. Do it for the babies!

Team Betsy 2009 (look how small Betsy is! hehe)

Team Betsy 2010

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Dealing With Grief

Over a recent road trip with my mom to see family we got to talking about Grace and Olivia and also my cousin, Lance. We talked about how we can't believe its going to be three years since the girls died and coming up on 4 months since Lance died. We spoke about how we found out Lance died and shared our memories of me being pregnant and of the girls being born. It seems like we use any excuse to get to talk about these things because, well, we like talking about them. It's keeping their memories alive and cherishing wonderful moments. We also talked about how people deal with their grief and how people scramble to pick up the pieces of a broken home when a loved one is lost. There was a time where people would ask me how I possibly move on. People hail me as their "hero" and tell me I'm so "brave". But really they don't know that my world fell apart and I put on a total front so as not to seem so broken. But why? Why did I feel as though I needed to put on a front.

It seems to me that it was a smidgen easier to deal with the death of Grace and Olivia as it was to deal with Lance's death. Maybe since his passing is still so new. I feel as though I HAD to be strong after the death of the girls because I had to be there for Betsy. I couldn't just shelter myself away from the world because as much as I didn't want it to, life had to keep moving. I had to get out of bed every morning and visit my still weak and tiny baby in the NICU. I had to be there for my only remaining daughter and I had to prove to myself and to my marriage that life was still going to go on and I was going to be there for everyone. I think that completely helped me heal with their death. I joined support groups, reached out to other babylost mothers, talked about them all the time, found a renewed relationship with God and strengthened my marriage. I don't think I healed...I never will heal...but I do believe that dealing with the loss of my girls really has made me a stronger person. I literally had to concentrate to put one foot in front of the other every single day until eventually it just came naturally again. It's as though now when I think about Grace and Olivia I can smile instead of immediately crying.

I guess it will take time but I can't do that with Lance yet. I still cry when I think about him. So why is this grief so different? A. It was more tragic...we absolutely didn't see it coming where we kinda just knew with the girls. We had time to prepare. B. He had lived a much longer life. C. The relationship was different.

At his funeral I clinged to the words of the preacher when he said to be thankful that we had Lance for 24 years and to cherish all those memories. 24 years! I didn't get even 24 SECONDS with Grace. I didn't get 24 MONTHS with Olivia. I felt refreshed. I felt totally at peace after the funeral because I thought, what a blessing to have him for so long! But's not that way. I guess I've moved into a different stage of grief but now I just want one more holiday. Just one more holiday with him here.

I do feel as though time heals all wounds. People would tell me that after Olivia died and I felt like slapping them in the face. How can these wounds be healed? But the truth is...time does heal. It's been almost three years and although I miss the girls every waking moment, it is much easier to deal with the fact that they are gone. And coming up on the four month anniversary of Lance's death I just have to keep telling myself the same day it will become easier to deal with.