Friday, November 28, 2008

Reagan Noel November 16-28, 2004

My dear Reagan
I am sorry
Such an inadequate word
to explain what I am feeling inside.
I feel things
I never imagined I would--
guilt fear anger despair
sorrow and pain.
A pain for you, for me.
This should have been
a Mother's celebration
Instead it is
a Mother's heart break.
You are loved.
You matter to us.
Your time with us
was too short
Your loss to us will
be felt until we are
together again.
I will hold you
in my broken heart until then.
I will wait for the healing
I will love you for eternity.
My baby girl.
My sweet brave baby girl.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving...

So I usually don't like Thanksgiving. I mean I used to love it as a kid. My Dad would get up real early and start the turkey and my Mom would make her famous A-1 and Tobasco with cream cheese dip served with Ritz crackers (it tastes better than it sounds though a few years ago we finally named it the "White Trash Dip").
We always watched the Detroit Lions play football and always rooted for them.
Then I became the Mom and I didn't really like getting up early to start the turkey and Doug made fun of my White Trash Dip and after working in the hot kitchen for hours the meal is over in 20 minutes and then it's on to the dishes. Seriously, does that sound like fun to anyone?!
Then 4 years ago when Reagan was in the hospital Thanksgiving became a defining moment of hope...the day the she was off of oxygen and we thought for sure she'd be home for Christmas.

That was November 25 and she died on November 28.

Thanksgiving would never be the same. I know it's wrong, but it is hard for me to feel thankful when my memories are so full of the loss we still feel.
So I have learned and tried to find gratitude in the little things. One of those is not only a small gesture, but it is an amazing moment. It was the day we (Sara Downs, Marcia French, Nicole Arnold and Kim Spotts) went to dress our baby girl. Her spirit was so strong in that room. It was peaceful. After she was loved and lotioned her beautiful white dress that Patty (Montgomery) made was carefully placed on her. Mark Starnes even came to do her hair :-) Her tiny feet were snuggled into her booties from Kim. She was wrapped in a soft satin blanket and placed in my arms and she was smiling! It was amazing...She had been peaceful before but now in her "going home princess clothes" and in my arms she smiled.
Everyone in the room saw it and we wept at the significance and the joy of a moment like that. I hadn't seen her smile. Now I knew that she had a beautiful, silly, lop-sided smile. We knew that she wasn't alone. We knew that we weren't alone.
And so this year we planned to have a turkey with ourselves and watch movies and probably, on my part, indulge in a little "I wish..."
Especially after attending Sister Kinnett's memorial service in the chapel and going to the cemetery on Wednesday. Wow! That sure brought up a lot of emotions and I was beat after that.
But I have a guardian angel now and so at the last minute we got together with the Norton's and had a terrific dinner at their house!

Kian watching Ben and being amazed...Coley is just being Coley!

Sid and Traci in "turkey deconstruction mode". It was all delicious!

Kian wand Adam having a "slurping" contest.
Kian loved every minute of it and we had plenty of good food, great conversation and a lot of laughs. Not to mention PIE!

So I thank Traci from the bottom of my heart for asking us and I am grateful that my Heavenly Father knows me and what I need.
So maybe I won't hate Thanksgiving anymore. If only I could get someone else to make the turkey!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Reagan!

Reagan would have been 4 years old today. I know she is happy and so are my parents, but it doesn't mean that I don't still feel the hole that is in our family.
Here are some of my feelings about her from that time...

Reagan Noel came into this world on her own terms--
Six weeks early with her fist in the air! She truly was the most beautiful baby.
When we first learned of her Trisomy 21 I was devastated...I saw my dreams for my daughter vanish. I saw a long hard road for us and a complicated life for her. I thought it wasn't fair that it should happen to us. After receiving a priesthood blessing I knew how blessed we were. I suddenly felt inadequate to be her mother. How could I be trusted with such a valiant and righteous spirit?
Then I realized all the ways she had surprised and charmed us as well as those around her.
Being 5 lb. 11 oz. instead of 4 pounds

Being able to breath on her own right away.
Being able to take a bottle on day two of her short life.

The sweetness of her personality came right through her dark blue eyes.
One of her Dr.s introduced herself by saying,

"Hi, I'm Dr. Laura Neisland. I'm the latest person to fall in love with your daughter!"
All of her nurses in the NICU said...
She is so cute!
She is so good!
She is so Sweet!

Reagan was an unexpected gift. I cannot explain the joy she brought to all of us. I cannot explain my sorrow.
The Friday before she passed away was a wonderful day with her. She had been moved on Monday to the nursery with windows and Calah, Mackenzie and Kian were able to see her in person for the first time. Vanessa was still at BYU-Idaho and was looking forward to Christmas when she would come home. That night as I was getting ready to leave because of the shift change, she was wide awake. I laid her in her bed and I just had to stay because she was wide awake. I knew that she knew me. She knew I was Mommy. Maybe she knew that she wouldn't be here much longer--maybe she was saying, " I'm sorry Mommy. I wish I could stay. I love you." I only know that she gazed at me so long the nurse noticed it too. It was a gift to me that I didn't know I would need.
Our little girl was so brave. She waited so patiently to come to our family. She knew what her life would be and she chose it. We knew what our life would be and we chose it too.

Happy Birthday my sweet angel...I will love you always and miss you until we are all home again.

Out of the mouth of Kian...

Kian: Mom, what starts with Q?
Me: Queen
Kian: Quack
Me: Queasy
Kian: What's queasy?
Me: It's when your tummy feels sick.
Kian: Quasey
Me: Quasey?! What does quasey mean?
Kian: Quasey is when your head is stuck.

Kian: Nini (that's Vanessa) repeat after me...I have no talent.
I guess it's from Spongebob, but it sure made us laugh!

Today we parked next to the Hughes at church and Kian says:
I turn to look at him and he is giving me the look of a teacher who is giving me a final exam.
"Do you know whose car that is?"
"Yes, I do you little stalker!"
"Sister Hughes!"

A few weeks ago we were driving home from school and he commented on the leaves that were already on the ground.
"Mommy, why are there leaves all over the ground?"
"Well, I guess the trees think it's fall" (technically it wasn't fall yet and he is very technical)
"What are the trees saying?"
Now in the past he has asked all kinds of things like this. If I tell him to leave Goldie alone she doesn't like that he will say "What is she saying?"
If I say "Oh Murphy is hungry" he says "What is he saying?"
So I think I have a great teaching-bonding moment to get him to create what the trees might be saying. I say to him,
"I don't know, what are the trees saying"
Without missing a beat he says, "Trees can't talk Mom"

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hooray for Hollywood!

Tonight Mackenzie performed in the school play "Hooray for Hollywood". This is the same play that Calah was student director for in the 8th grade, but none of it looked familiar.
Brita came to see her and even Kian sat perfectly still for almost the entire thing! We all thought Kenzie did a great job.
After I finally got to hug her one of the parents said to me, "Is that your daughter?" "Yes" "Well, she was great." "Thank you!" "No really, has she done a lot of acting?" "No, this was her first try at it." "Wow! She was so natural. Amazing, I mean she is really talented. I don't know a lot about this kind of thing, but to me she was great!"

His wife behind him was nodding her head the whole time.
Of course I was beaming! Too bad he wasn't an agent!
She was so proud and excited that her first time went so well. I can't wait to see what she does's a musical she'll be trying out for next. That's a whole different ball game :-)
Peyton as Doris, complete with slow--shaky walk. So funny!

Coley as the judge...she did a great job. She had a "judicial speech" she had to do and she hit is spot on!
Ashton (scenery) Peyton and Mackenzie

The cast...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hel-loooo...Bonnie Hunt calling!

Today at about 12:15 I got a message on my machine. It went like this...

"Hey Caren my name is Derek Chi and I'm a producer with the Bonnie Hunt show. We got your email and I'm calling to find out how we can get in touch with Young @ Heart so we can have them on the show!"
Then he left me his phone number! With the area code! And said to call him back!
I did right away (after I got the Young @ Heart contact info off of Google...Jeesh Derek!) but I had to leave him a message which was very animated, but died when I ended with "I'll talk to you later!" Du-uh...Loser!
But still, it was SO exciting :-) First Oprah and now Bonnie...WOW!
Check out my Young @ Heart video at the bottom of my page...They are terrific.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I might have mentioned on another site that I hate Halloween! It is always a mad dash at the eleventh hour to put together (i.e. Mom makes) a costume and try to get our hands on the last three bags of candy at the store. With three kids' birthdays in three weeks, I am just never ready for Halloween. I also have 4 extended family birthdays but since I never seem to get to them on time I guess I can't count them.
Then you have to consider the weather...too hot? Too cold? Rain? The coldest Halloween I remember was actually when we lived in Roseville California. Go figure! Not to mention what to feed the kids that is easy since you have spent the day making a costume and that they will want to wolf down before they go on sugar-overload. This year Nicole solved that problem for me by bringing Kian (and actually ME) a pumpkin-shaped pizza from Papa Murphy's. I love Nicole!! This may be a new Halloween tradition. Anywa, after all that what you get for your trouble is a bunch of candy that you certainly don't need and maybe don't like. I have spent the last 2 days saying "Only one more!" ( Yes to Kian...)
But it is now over for another year and this is what we have to show for it.

Mackenzie as a mouse, Peyton as Hillary Clinton (she has a button that says "Even my husband doesn't like me", Mr. Palin and Sarah Palin is Ashton. Kian found the red cherry hat that Calah used way back when as an ice cream soda (back when Halloween didn't make me crazy) and he decided he wanted to be a milkshake. It was very cute, but he couldn't see out of it and he really couldn't put his arms down either! I hadn't really thought that through and I never measure anything...
We ran into the Jonas Brothers...and KFed. Right? Or is that a third brother, I'm not sure. I only know Coley and Brooke.

Calah and Ashley had plans to see the midnight show of "Rocky Horror Picture Show" at the Artist's Studio in Fishers. Of course they had to dress up!

Calah's eyes looked amazing! I was actually really impressed! It's exactly the kind of thing I would have done. Of course when I went to Rocky Horror I had never heard of Goth and so my dressing up consisted of dark make-up and my Mom's ruby red 1950's car coat with leg warmers a mini skirt and heels. But hey, I thought it was cool.

This is Kian wondering what the heck they are wearing!
I have to mention that Friday night I had a thought of "Will they be OK?"
Then I thought "Come on, it's Fishers, not NYC!"
So imagine how my heart dropped to my stomach Saturday morning when I saw that Calah's door was open and she was not in bed! I called her cell phone several times and let Doug know (though he did not seem to be too concerned). I thought maybe she had called and told Vanessa where she was, but I checked the caller-ID and there was no call from her. I flashed back to my "premonition" of the night before-- then I panicked. I used to live in a fearless bubble until Reagan and now I know that any horrible thing is possible. Just as I was wondering if I should call the police or go looking for her, I noticed that Mackenzie's bedroom door was open a little but not far enough for the cat to get in. I went to let her in and saw Calah asleep in Mackenzie's room...Kenzie had slept over at Ashton's. Oh my gosh!! It was scary...
So now it's on to Thanksgiving...I'm not so fond of that one either, but I'll save that for later.