Wednesday, May 23, 2012

We have a graduate

Rayce graduated from preschool yesterday! A huge accomplishment and we are so proud of him. The ceremony was super cute and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. I am so grateful for his amazing school and super awesome teachers. He worked really hard over the last 6 months to get ready for kindergarten. I cannot tell you how far he has come. If you remember, it was previously thought that Rayce would not be ready for kinder this coming fall. It is so nice to see that finally, all of our hard work has paid off.

He will still remain in special education 20% of the time this year and be in general education for the remaining 80%.  He still continues to need assistance in the classroom with his fine motor skills, (writing and cutting) as well as, monitoring of his behavior. His IEP (individual education plan) this year allows him to have segregated time to calm down if he gets out of hand or if he gets over stimulated. Although, I think he is going to do great in elementary and just blossom from here on out.

Here are a few pictures we took on yesterdays occasion:

My handsome graduate

Rayce and I

His super awesome Shining Stars Preschool

Performing songs

Going over the bridge (I cried)

Super awesome teachers

Grad cookie!

Did I mention I am proud?!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Graduation Songs

I just love little kids performing. There's just something about it that seems so pure and innocent, like without a care in the world.

Aren't they just the cutest? Yeah, I thought so too! Each of them are flowers, growing in life's garden. They need the sun and the rain. So precious... tears of joy.

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Celebration

Yesterday was Seth's birthday! This is the 1st year that we have ever done anything to celebrate the occasion. In years past, I have dreaded the up coming event, but this year I decided to come up with a different approach. I made confetti cupcakes with chocolate frosting and bought some balloons. It was a nice way of letting Seth know that we all loved him and thought of him on his special day. 

We all made a note and tied them to the balloons. Rayce’s note was my favorite. He wanted to write his name, so his brother would know who he was and what his name was. Melt my heart.

I will cherish this moment forever

After we attached the notes, we sent the balloons on their way. In hopes that they would make their way to him somewhere out there. I'm so glad we had this moment. It surely made the day easier and I hope someday, I get to tell Seth all about it.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Seth's Story

Something that I have never talked about on this blog before, is my oldest son Seth. Sometimes the pain is just too much so, year after year I have swept it under the rug. Well, we all know what good that does. One thing I'm learning in therapy is sharing his storey brings healing. So, here is the story... in a nut shell.

Right out outside of high school, at the age of 18, I became pregnant with my first child. I was enrolled in my first semester of college when I found out. I spent a lot of nights wondering… what am I going to do? My parents never talked to me about sex, I was just told not to do it because The Bible said so. I didn’t have a lot of support from people surrounding me, but I managed to carry on. I dropped out of college and went to work full time.

On Mother’s Day… May 10, 1998, after spending 4 days in the hospital in attempts to induce labor, (yes you read it right 4 flippin’ days) I was rushed in for an emergency cesarean section. I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy at 5:49 pm. He weighed in at 8 pounds 1 ounce. We named him Seth Michael. I had developed preeclampsia and a rare gestational case of diabetes insipidus. I was literally dying right before everyone’s eyes. My organs were shutting down. I would spend the next 7 days in CCU, after a blood transfusion and lots of prayers, I was on the mend. But, my son went home before I did.

After my allotted 8 weeks of recovery, I returned to working full time. When Seth was 3 months old, his dad left town to return to college and left us to care for ourselves. On occasion he would visit us, every now and then, gave us some money here and there. I continued to work full time at a local fast food place, until $4.25 an hour wasn’t cutting it anymore. So, when Seth was about 9 months old, we packed up our things and moved to San Diego where my sister lived. I enrolled in a local school and received a certificate in medical reception, not too long after that I moved back home.

Soon, I got a job at a local doctors office. I was determined to make a better life for he and I. As you can imagine, a child in daycare gets sick a lot. Not one week after I had started my new job, Seth got sick with croup. Not wanting to get fired from my new found job, I asked Seth’s dad and his parents for their help. They gladly extended themselves and it was decided that Seth’s grandma would help care for him until I could get acquainted with my new job.

This was the biggest mistake of my life! I never got him back after that. Just before Mother’s Day and Seth’s birthday in 2000 I was served with a restraining order, ordered not to see my son because it stated I was a flight risk (note the prior move to San Diego) and an emergency order for temporary custody. That year, I didn’t see Seth for his birthday or Mother’s Day. I was shocked beyond belief. Shocked that someone had the nerve, after leaving us to fend for ourselves, while he got a college education could do such a thing. Why didn’t I think of this first? How could he take advantage of me as soon as I let my guard down? All these answers would come out later in court.

I quickly slipped into a severe state of depression. The days and nights were long and sometimes ran together. Young and naive, while not really in a healthy mental state, under the guidance (if you want to call it that) of my counsel, I agreed to give Seth’s dad custodial parental rights. I was now, allowed to only see my son every other weekend and alternating Wednesdays.

At the time, I didn’t understand the magnitude of my choice until; once again, I was served with more court papers. This time from another state. He took my son and moved to another state. They were now residents of another state. Once again, devastated. Lawyers aren’t cheap and it was at that moment, I knew I would never see my son again, after that day. And I was right.

The last time I saw him, he had just turned 4. He and I went to Putt-Putt Golf and Games, out for ice cream and to Toys R Us. He picked out a horse that day because at the time he loved the movie, Spirit. When I dropped him off he waved good-bye to me and I told him I would see him soon. I hope one day, I can live up to that promise.

Why haven't I looked for him you ask? I have a general idea about where he is, but years ago I decided that, I didn't want to put him through the back and forth struggle. I decided that, I wanted to spare him the emotional problems of a nasty custody battle and being bounced around from one house to another. I am almost positive, that he has been well taken care of. Was this the best choice? Who knows. I've heard just about every snarky comment in the book and I have heard a lot of opinions over the years. Most people like to think that I gave up, and for a long time (and still sometimes) I struggle with the guilt. I try not to think about the what ifs, but instead try to remain hopeful that he is living a good life and that one day, someday, he will look for me!

Everything happens for a reason and although I still struggle with the reason, it’s not my choice to question. Many years later, Mother’s Day is my least favorite day and year after year I try to put on a happy face. That day has been showered with trauma and reminders of a piece of my heart that is missing. For now, all I have is memories…

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Rayna is 3! Barbie Birthday

This year Rayna wanted a Barbie Birthday. I cannot believe how quickly she is growing up! She is just as sweet as can be. This year, I made my first attempt at making her birthday wear. She wanted a tutu and a barbie shirt. To my surprise (after watching YouTube videos) tutu's are fairly easy to make and I had fun while doing it. I really enjoy planning her party every Spring. She always picks super fun girl things. So, without further adieu here are her party pictures!

Tutu and matching barbie shirt

My attempt at decor

I made my own pom pom tissue paper flowers

Our first attempt at cake pops as well. They were yummy

Her barbie cake

Lots of jumping

Her 1st Barbie house


Candy!! Scram..

She is so diva and I love it. She really is so much fun! She has blossomed into the sweetest person. We spend most of our days together and she loves to go shopping! I'm going to miss her when she starts preschool in the fall, but I know she is ready to soar. Happy being 3 princess! And she does let it be know. :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Celebrating 7 Years of Marriage

Usually I am so busy blabbing about the kiddos, that I forget to talk about Ray and I. Recently we celebrated 7 years of marriage together. Ray planned a super fancy evening for us. He made surprise and private reservations for us at a very romantic place called Vernon's Hidden Steakhouse. It was super fancy and very creative at the same time. The restaurant was based on the Prohibition Era so, to enter, you needed a password. Once inside, we were met by a member of the "mob". He gave us a speech ( in a funny New York accent) on the rules of the restaurant and I just couldn't help but chuckle the entire time. It was neat and it set the atmosphere for a fun filled evening.

After dinner, we headed to the movies to see The Vow. What an appropriate movie for the evening at hand. We loved the movie. I have always loved Rachel McAdams since The Notebook. Not to mention Channing Tatum was nice to look at. All in all it was a fantastic evening. I am so blessed to have a wonderful husband that still, after 7 years, plans a great anniversary date. <3