Monday, July 31, 2006

4 years and 1 week

4 years and 1 week ago my precious baby girl was born! She didn't get her blog tribute last week though - a return from vacation and threatened pediculosis outbreak thwarted that plan = but that's a story for another day. Today it's about my girl!

We prayed for Keira for so long. After Kade there were losses, fertility, disappointments and then in October of 2001 we found out we were pregnant. I had a hard time getting excited. Didn't want to get my hopes up too high and have them dashed again. Christmas morning 2001 - it seemed we wouldn't be having the gift of this baby after all. I remember sitting in shower floor crying, asking God why I was going to have to lose another baby.....wasn't 2 enough? Why this one too? What was I doing that was so wrong? Didn't Kade deserve a sibling? I was mad and I was letting it out. Poor Greg....he'd been through this before....seen the following depression....watched me withdraw into myself....but this day was Christmas and he wasn't going to let Kade miss off they went to a friends house.....and a few minutes later my dear friend showed up at my door. We sat on the couch together and cried. All she said was "I'm sorry" and that was enough.

But Keira was a fighter....even then at a mere 8 weeks in utero....the next morning Kade and I took off to the Dr.'s office first thing in the morning....I guess that was one of the good things about being a "high-risk" patient....I could go in whenever I needed to. None of the Drs. were there....just the Nurse Practitioner....she said she would try to pick up the heartbeat with the Doppler but not too panic if we didn't hear it because it was really too early to hear it anyway....but as soon as that instrument hit my tummy there she was...a loud, strong heartbeat. Again I cried....this time out of relief, thankfulness, disbelief.....8 weeks of bedrest followed.

All was looking was March....I had an early August due date....and then on March 15th, a Friday morning, my Gram of the people that I was closest to in the world was gone.....I felt like falling apart but because of the little life inside of me I couldn't let that happen.....over the weekend we busied ourselves with arrangements, phone calls, sitting with my Poppa.....that Sunday night we went to church....then went to dinner with the same friends that were with us on Christmas....then at about 11pm that night I started bleeding way....this could not happen now....there was no way another loss could be suffered......not now....

Greg took me to the ER....poor Kade was in his jammies sound asleep....I didn't want Greg calling anyone....this was something we were going to have to deal with on our own and we would tell everyone else after we had laid my Gram to rest the following Wednesday.....but of course that is not how my family operates and Greg has learned that very well.....I awoke the next morning to find my dad sitting at my mom, my uncle, my Poppa and about 10 other friends were all there within the half hour.....looking back I realize that taking care of me was actually a blessing for many of them.....made them feel useful in this time of grief we were all going through......

Once again Keira proved to be a fighter and all was well......the morning of my Gram's visitation I had an ultrasound appointment.....that was the day we found out Keira was going to be a was all as it should be.....the world lost an amazing woman but I knew in her place was coming goes on.....

We got to the private family visitation and they all knew where we had been....they all knew we knew something....but none of them wanted to know what we knew.....they figured it would be another boy because it seems that is all my family is capable of producing! I was the first girl in 4 generations so hopes for a little girl were high but they also felt it was very unlikely.

Finally the morning of the funeral my cousin Kim couldn't stand it anymore....she pulled me into one of the rooms in the church and had me spill it....we both just cried. Then of course my mom needed to know....and my other Grandma......but that was it. A nice little secret we each held onto.

At the beginning of June my Dr. decided that we probably should schedule a c-section.....Kade has been 9 lbs. 8 oz. and 22 inches long and Keira was measuring bigger at every stage. He didn't think I would be able to deliver her naturally. So we scheduled to deliver her 3 weeks early on July 24.

That morning is still kind of a blur....I remember going in....kind of freaking out because we didn't have a name picked out yet....only the middle name - Riden - which was my Gram's middle name.....then the surgery.....hearing the Dr. say it's a girl but then not hearing her cry....seconds seemed like hours before I heard her.....once again God blessed us with a little girl who was a fighter.....the cord had been so tightly wrapped around her that if she had not been a c-section baby she would have died during child birth......she had to have some lung aspiration and some oxygen but our 7 lb. 14 oz., 21 inch long baby girl was here!

So Happy Birthday Baby Girl! Everytime I face a challenging day with you I need to remind myself how long and hard so many of us prayed for you. And thank God for the spunky personality He blessed you with!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

I am a Soccer Coach!

Woohoo!! It's official....just held the first team meeting....I am Keira's U6 Girls Coach. I actually was very nervous going to this meeting. I know there were at least 2 other parents that had signed up that they wanted to coach.....don't know why I got picked instead of I guess I felt like they would be sizing me up...looking for flaws....wish I could get past that insecurity level. For crying out loud I am 36 years old! I should be secure by now!

Anyways....the girls are totally cute....deciding if we are going to be The Pretty Ponies or The Shooting Stars or The Blue Dolphins. Should be an interesting season!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

All gave Some - This One Gave All

A soldier that I have never met.....yet my heart breaks at the news of his passing. He is the nephew of a friend, a son, a brother, a grandson, a friend.....serving his country....protecting those he has never met....craving peace.....peace that he now has but all of those who loved and cared for him will always seek.

Dennis was killed in action by enemy fire on July 24.....Keira's every year when we celebrate her birth I will also offer up prayers for Dennis and his family.....celebration of life and death.....tied together always.

Regardless of how you feel about the war, you have to feel gratitude and compassion for these young men and women in the armed forces....and for their families. Maybe the reality of this war does not hit you every didn't me.....until now.....we often would pray for those overseas.....but I had not experienced a personal loss in direct relation to what is happening in Iraq.....until now......and even though Dennis and I had never feels personal.

So pray....pray for Dennis' family and the hell they are going through....pray for their healing....pray for peace.....pray for all the other heroes that are still on the front lines day in and day out.....just pray.

By the way - this layout was created by Laura as a tribute to Dennis and his brother Dana who is also serving.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Another Few Days in Paradise!

Another 2fer - very bad connection where we are here's the re-cap

Thursday - woke up this morning......took the kids to breakfast....told G we needed to go to the International MarketPlace one last time. "Why?" he asked. "I don't know." "What are you looking for?" he asks. "I don't know."

But after being there for only about 10 minutes I knew exactly why. We came across a young girl, crying, being restrained by a shopkeeper. He had a very tight grasp on her arms and would not let go. He kept yelling at her "Why your friend not pay?!?" She kept saying "I don't know what you are talking about, please let me go." But he wouldn't. Greg went over and tried to get the guy to let go of her to no avail. Then another young girl came running up screaming "Let my friend go!" I got security and finally the guy let the girl go. I sat with them and Greg talked with the owner and the security. The owner thought the girl's friend stole something so he 'captured' her friend to try and get her to return. I got the girl's mom on the phone - they were there from Seattle for a soccer tournament - Greg filled out a report......I don't know whether or not the girl stole the $1.00 magnet or not....I hope not....she stared me right in the eyes and said she didn't. But the other girl...she was totally traumatized.....she said she thought the guy was going to take her somewhere and do something terrible to her.

So that's why we were there. The girl's mother was very thankful. I told her that I hoped if my daughter ever found herself in a situation like this that someone would help her....and I told the girl's that they needed to try and enjoy what was left of their trip....and also to be aware of how they can find opportunities to help someone in need.

After that we headed back to the hotel (no, I didn't buy anything at the marketplace) and packed up. Loaded into the car and headed off through the pineapple and sugar cane fields to the North Shore and Turtle Bay.

We got checked in and OMG!! We are staying in a beach front cottage....opens onto a lovely veranda. We have a hammock, some chaise lounges with fabulous cushions (that's where I am right now!), the pools have natural rock and waterfalls, there are tons of turtles swimming in the beach right off our veranda.....and we have our own concierge named Brian. He takes care of everything. Keeps the ice bucket full, brings fresh fruit to the kids every morning, makes all the necessary reservations, etc. He is a Hoo'ki'pa, which translates into butler - never had one of those before. Seriously I don't want to leave this place. I told Greg we need a few more days here so we shall see!

Last night we drove into Halei'wa and ate at Cholo's Mexican food! I needed me some salsa! Lovin' the fresh fish and fruit but I really needed something spicy! Then it was back to the cottage and more swimming for the kids.

Today - Greg and Jeff had a 6:45 tee time on the Arnold Palmer course. That's basically what brought us to Turtle Bay - thank goodness! The kids and I slept in and then Kade and I decided to walk over to the course and get some pics of Greg golfing. We walked, and walked, and walked, and got lost, and walked, and asked for directions, and walked.....for an hour and a half and we finally found them. They were at the 13th hole by then so we rode along on the cart....unless someone was coming and then we had to walk some more. We totaled up the mileage and it was 7 miles! Kade was such a trooper....never was great to have that time with him just to talk....we were freakin' tired by the end though and starving since we hadn't had breakfast.

When we got back I took him to the cabana at the pool and we had cheeseburgers and then swam. That felt good! Then we headed off to the keiki bay so he could do some snorkeling....but he was more excited about skipping rocks!

Right now we are off to a luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center and then a show. Keira is looking forward to the hula dancers and Kade can't wait to see the fire dancers.

Until later - aloha!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

2 Days for the Price of 1

So much going on yesterday! No chance to write so here's the recap

Monday - Got up and drove quite a ways to the island famous Liliha bakery.....their delicacy is the Cocoa Puff....kind of a reverse cream puff....breakfast was sugary sweet! Then everyone decided to hike Diamond Head Crater.....I knew Keira would not make it to the top of the volcano so she, my niece Brooke and I headed off on the Waikiki trolley to Hilo Hattie's, home of island wares....we spent a few hours and a nice chunk of change on fun island trinkets. Then back to the pool and swimming.

Greg, Jeff, Brooke, Greg's dad and I decided to swim wayyyyy out in the Pacific and found ourselves in the middle of huge sea turtles. What amazing creatures! They would just keep popping up all around us. It was incredible.

That night Jeff, Melanie, Greg and I hit the town without kids.....dinner at the Chart House, drinks at Da Big Kahuna, more drinks poolside at Duke's Ocean Club.....a great end to a busy day!

Today - got up wayyyyyy to early to try and get to Pearl Harbor. The kids needed to eat first so by the time we got to PH it was 7:45. The line was hour and a half to get your ticket then another 2 and 1/2 hour wait to get on the boat. So instead of going out to the memorial we did the audio tour of the museum. There was a PH survivor there so Keira took her pic with him. That was cool. I think Greg and his brother will head back out there tomorrow morning to they can go out to the USS Arizona.

Then we headed out to Aloha Stadium to the swap meet. An interesting jaunt. And of course....back to the pool! This afternoon we headed out on a catamaran with some island natives....quite the relaxing...not for Greg though....sea sickness got the better of him at the beginning of the trip. Kade and Keira were both lulled to sleep - it was beautiful!

Off to eat some seafood!!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Humidity versus Hair

I had forgotten how my hair and humidity are not friends! There is the crazy frizz....and the fact that it takes twice as long to blow dry....and yes...I have fixed my hair twice since we've been here....for nights on the town!

Speaking of nights on the town....tonight we went to Planet Hollywood Waikiki....major yuck! My fil had a huge problem with their pink lemondade that was not mexican chicken had sweet bbq sauce on bil's sandwich came with 5 whole french fries on the side....Greg's lasagna looked like....well it was round and looked like it had been plucked off a rock from the sea....basically I was totally disappointed and felt bad because it was my idea to eat there!!

Other highlights of the day.....went to Blowhole (love that name) and searched some tide pools...found a teeny hermit crab....Keira was the only one that would touch it....the 4 older ones just looked on as she let it climb up her arm....Kade was a major snorkeler......Keira and I walked down the beach to the Royal Hawaiian and watched some hula.....

Back to the hair though, the good thing is I can also just embrace the frizz! The chances of running into someone I know are pretty slim....there are the pictures....but I am the gatekeeper of you may never know just how bad my hair looks!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Just Another Day in Paradise

Today - started by sitting out on the lanai watching an outrigger canoe race.......ended sitting out on the lanai gazing at the stars and eating hula pie.

There was great stuff in between though......a trip to the Waikiki Aquarium.....swimming....dinner at Cheeseburger in Paradise....and of course some shopping!!


Friday, July 14, 2006

If You Need Me

If you need to find me I'll be here..............................

It's time for some much needed rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.

See you all at the end of July!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

These Boys Rock!!

Check out this Little League All Star Team! They took third place in their tournament this weekend. Everyone of them played their hearts out.....Kade had a triple in the last game of the tourney to tie it up. We are so proud of all of them!!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

My New Word of the Day

overwhelmedness - I'm going to stay it's a noun verb combo.....I know this his horrible coming from a teacher - making up my own words - but it's also creative expression, which a friend reminded me is a good thing.

So what's the definition - well, it's a suffocating state of being....a place where everything is out of control but you feel like if you could stand on your tip toes you could reach everything and grasp it and pull it back into control. But no matter how tall your high heels, no matter how big the chair you stand on everything remains just out of reach.

So I've disappeared......let everything spin......feel like I'm looking up at a whirlpool.....I'll swim out but I just need to sit back and watch for a little invisible.....embrace the uncertainty......

So here's some lyrics from DMC - formerly of Run DMC........ponder on these.....

"I have a lot of thoughts like who the hell am I, what is the truth and what is a lie.
But I think about my life and everything is okay,
I've got to pave a way brighter day....
Because it's really plain and simple when it came to me
There's a lot of people just like me."

So I know.... this is random....this is odd.....but today - this is me.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Five Things I Like About Me!

This month Annette from ScrapAddict is running a blog/layout challenge. The first task is to make a list of five things I like about myself.....

1. My faith - I really do truly believe that God has a bigger plan than anything I can imagine. I have lived through some really difficult, life-changing events....without my faith I see no way I would have made it through.

2. My creativity - I really like the fact that I can be creative. It's such a joy to sit down and make something from nothing.

3. My humor - I think I am funny. Greg thinks it's funny that I think I am funny. My sense of humor is not the same as many others....but I get a kick out of myself.

4. My top teeth - Years of braces did the trick!

5. My eyes - Not so much as how they look as what they see. I see beauty all around.....

Now - time to work on the layout!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Focus on Sibling Love not Rivalry

The last few days of this week were fairly brutal when it came to brother-sister relationships in this house. Kade and Keira were fighting about anything possible - who was taking up more space on the couch, who was going to shower first, who would be in front while we were bike riding. I'm sure most of it is normal stuff but I can't stand it! I want these 2 to grow up tight....knowing they can always count on one another. I start to fret....but then I find these pictures.....

Pictures of the 2 of them content in being a brother and a that remind me they really do love each other.....then a few things happen....

Kade gets stung by a bee at baseball practice and Keira is soooo worried about him....he leans down and assures her that he will be fine......Keira can't find the stuffed animal she wants to sleep with so Kade helps her search it out......

These are the moments that I need to remember and focus on more! The moments of Sibling Love.