Sunday, March 29, 2009

What If

Today, Meghan and I enjoyed a rare few hours of one-on-one time. Grace was off with my dad to see a play. So, Megs and I decided to buy some new Easter shoes. We made our way to the store, selected some white "high-heel" sandals, and left rather quickly as it was approaching dinner time.

On the way home in the car, Meghan peppered me with silly what-if scenarios. Here is a sampling:

"Mom, Kafaleen doesn't ask me to come over anymore," Meghan plainly stated.

"Well, Megs, maybe we should ask her to come over to our house?"

"What if she doesn't member me, Mom?"

"She remembers."

"What if we didn't know each other, and I wanted her to come over?"

"Well then, you'd be strangers, and probably wouldn't go to each others houses."

"But what if I knew Kafaleen and she didn't know me? What if?"

"Uh..." I stuttered as she kept going.

"And what if I didn't know Kafaleen, and she knew me?"

"You're being silly Megs. Are you having fun with what if questions?"

"Uh huh," she replied without a pause. "What if I never met Kafaleen at PCDC, Mom?"

"Well then, you wouldn't know each other."

"And what if Kafaleen never met me, Mom?"


"What if I ask Kafaleen to come over for a play date?"

"We can arrange that, Megs."

"What if she can't come over?"

"We can pick a different day then."

"What if she can't come over on the different day, Mom?"

"Then we can pick yet another day for a play date."

"What if she doesn't want to come over?"

"Well, I don't think that would happen, but if it did, we could ask one of your German school friends to come over."

"What if my room is too messy for my friends to see?"

"Aha. That you can control Meghan. You can clean it up with Gracie so that your friends can come over."

"Mom, what if I didn't know how to clean it up?" she wryly questioned with a smirk growing into a full smile.

I laughed and replied, "What if you didn't ask me all of these silly what if questions all the time?"

"What if I didn't know how to stop asking what if questions, Mom?"

"What if you did know Meghan? What if you knew that asking Mommy all of these what if questions would make Mommy a little bit crazy?"

"But what if it didn't, Mom?"

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


"Mommy!" Meghan shouted from the back seat of the mini-van. We were on our way home from dinner. It was just the girls and me, and they were firing off the usual round of questions and what-if scenarios at me.

"Yes Megs. What is up?"

"Is Bubeez (our former cat) up in Heaven?"

"Yes. Yes, he is." I replied.

"Mom, when I'm 100, I'm gonna go to Heaven."

"Okay Megs. I'll already be there, and when you come, I'm going to come running to see you. I will have missed you so much, and will be so happy to see you again."

"Why Momma? Why will you miss me?"

"Well, you remember that Mommy would like it very much if you live a nice long life before you go to Heaven?"

"Uh huh, Mama."

"And when you get to be an old lady, God will call you home back to Heaven. I'll be there already waiting for you. I'm older than you so that means I'll go to Heaven first."

"Uh huh."

"When we go to Heaven, we can't talk to or be with the people who are still alive on Earth. We have to wait until you come to Heaven. So since I want you to have a nice long life and become an old lady with lots of grandchildren, I would have to wait a long time before you come to see me again. So, I would miss you a lot until I get to see you again."

Gracie added, "We used to be in Heaven, Mom. When God was ready, he put us in your tummy to grow. Before then, we lived in Heaven."

"Yes Grace. The part of us that thinks and feels and knows our name is Gracie goes to Heaven. That is called your soul. When we die, our soul leaves our body and goes back up to Heaven."

"Mom, wouldn't it be neat if our souls could go back and be babies again?"

"Yes Grace, that is a very interesting idea. Actually, there are a lot of people who believe in something called recycling of the soul. Well really, it is called a big word, which is reincarnation."

"Re what?"

"Reincarnation, Grace. It is like recycling. When you are born into your body, your soul learns a lot of lessons in each life you live. If you don't learn all of the good things you are supposed to learn, your soul gets recycled. This helps your soul learn all of the lessons it needs to learn."

"Mom, that would be a great idea. I think it would be boring to sit around in Heaven all the time. I get bored when we are home too much. I think I'd like to be recycled when I get up to Heaven, but I'd want to stay for a visit though. Heaven is the best thing ever, you know."

"Yes Grace. It is. I'm so happy you are learning about other ideas for how our world works. As you grow up, you can decide which ideas you like the best."

"Mom, I like recycling. I pick that one."

"Ok, Grace. You can pick whatever you want. I like that you are learning about all the ideas people believe in when we die, live our life, and then go to Heaven."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Standing at the crossroads
Looking out at the horizon
Wanting to fall
Or run the other way

Illiterate of life's map
Lessons still being learned
Seeking wisdom

Standing at the crossroads
Feeling torn
Not knowing the outcome of
Unforeseen futures

How I arrived
How I've grown
Past and present

Standing at the crossroads
Needing clarity
Centering myself
Mad at the edges

Unbelieving of
The deterioration
Taking stock of good fortune
Even in the midst of the wilting

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency Get Tested Video

It’s a familiar story for many Alphas. You’ve been short of breath. The cough you got from that chest cold two weeks ago won’t go away. Your doctor prescribes an inhaler for asthma, but it’s not helping much. You’re confused, tired and worried about what may be wrong.

The Alpha-1 Foundation's new video, “Short of Breath? Get Tested,” focuses on the symptoms of Alpha-1 and the problems Alphas face getting the right diagnosis. You can help spread awareness about getting tested for Alpha-1 by sharing this video with your friends.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Update on the Girls

Last night, it was parent/teacher conferences for the girls. I'm happy to report they are both doing well, and know that I truly am thankful for the outstanding outcomes we have thus far received in our former preemies. Beware of bragging. ;)

Grace's teacher, Herr H, reports that she has begun reading in German. We were so happy to hear that she can read a paragraph and then answer questions regarding the information she just read. In addition, we discovered that Grace has begun teaching herself to read in English. The amazing part of that is that we have been told for the last 2 1/2 years not to teach her how to read in English since it might impede her progress in the German immersion schooling she is receiving. It has been hard not to answer her questions about English words. So, our Gracie is reading in both German and English. I feel like a whole new world has opened up for her. She even reads a little bit to Meghan now.

She can also construct simple sentences in German. Call me impressed by that. (I remember what I did in first grade, and it was no where close to that.) In addition, Grace has dramatically improved her handwriting since the beginning of the school year. She has had a lot of fine motor control issues since birth, but now it seems she is rounding the corner with lots of practice. ;) Finally, the biggest news is that Gracie is performing at an advanced level in math. (This one still shocks me as math and I are not friends. haha) Her favorite homework is math.

Meghan's teacher, Frau S, reports that she is developing her social skills appropriately in K4. She participates in activities, and especially loves to sing her German songs. Yay Meggie! The overall objective of K4 in the German immersion program is to learn as much vocabulary as possible. Meghan is doing very well with identifying objects, and using simple German words now. That is pretty cool considering she has only been learning German since last September. She only needs to know her numbers from 1-10 but knows them up to 20.

We are working with her to learn how to correctly write her first name, in upper and lower case letters. She'll need to do that by the end of the year, and her fine motor control still needs some work. Frau S also reports that Meghan's artwork is progressing appropriately. She draws arms, legs, fingers, and toes on the people she draws, but the funny Meghanism is that she never draws the objects of her art on the ground in her picture. They consistently float. This made me giggle as Meghan sort of floats her way through life. She definitely marches to her own tune, and we are all along for the wild ride. Go Meghan! haha

Thursday, March 05, 2009

RIP Jasmine

You purred your way into my heart
Even though I was afraid to love a new pet
Not wanting to feel a loss again
Yet here I am today, tears coming easily
My kitty friend gone off to heaven

Am remembering
Our special min-Jazzer, Jattymin
Remembering how you were a contradiction
A first rate boxer
A gentle hearted snuggler

Timmy's pal and confidant
So in love with his "beeah" blankey
Holding it in your teeth
Kneading it lovingly
Becoming embarrassed when caught

Finding a sunny spot
Lounging in the window frame
Calling to the birds lovingly
Patiently pretending to be a friend
Hoping to get a feathery taste

Allowing me to "cratch unna a neck"
Snuggling in for more scratching
Purring until you were done
Letting me know
With hissing

Playing tacky cat with Mom
Getting all riled up
Letting out a low growl
Rearing up on your haunches
Prancing down upon her wrist

Enjoying your catnip filled missile toy
Rubbing it on your cheeks
Holding it gently with your front paws
But attacking it with your back claws
Making us all laugh

Helping me to know it was okay
To love another kitty again
Purring as I stroked you
Enriching our family
You'll always be loved

Rest in peace Jasmine