Monday, May 30, 2016

A Picture is not Worth a Thousand Judgments

Tomorrow, May 31, 2016, would be my daughter Kateri's thirteenth birthday, had she not been stillborn. Losing her changed a lot about me. I would like to think at the end of the day, it made me a better person. I know in some ways, it made me "worse". It gave me anxieties and worries. For many years, I was deeply depressed. Now, thirteen years later, some of the changes are for the better. I am stronger and in some ways wiser. I can love at a deeper level, I am not sure I would be able to, had I not spent the past thirteen years loving her. 

Having lost a child, has changed the way I parent Gigi. I think I would be a completely different mom to Gigi, had I never lost her older sister. In the back of my mind, I am always aware of the possibility that I could lose her at any minute. I do my best to enjoy and appreciate every single second. I try to remember to be grateful for the gift of every second of motherhood, even the bad ones. Even the ones where I am overwhelmed and feel like I am a complete failure.

One of my biggest regrets with Kateri, is I have no pictures. No ultrasounds. Nothing. No mementos. Nothing. 

I have more than made up for that with Gigi. I think at this point, I have over 40,000 pictures of her. Yes, forty thousand pictures. It may even be more. She is not even three years old yet. So, that means that I have more than 10,000 pictures per each year of her life. I am perfectly okay with it. Some people are not okay with it. They have judged me for it. They have made their snide remarks. They have cracked jokes at my expense. Some have just outright thrown insults my way. 

In the beginning, when Gigi was young, I got defensive and defended myself and my right to take pictures of my child, and post whatever I wanted to Facebook. Now, I just do not care. I can respect their right to feel however they way, and say whatever they want, and I won't judge them for it. I wish they would not judge me, but I won't judge them. Two wrongs do not make a right. 

Besides, they do not know me. They do not know what I have been through. They do not know what I go through. They do not know my fears and anxieties. They do not know that I have two cysts in my brain, that are stealing my memories, and I make up for it, by capturing as many memories as I am able in pictures. They don't know that I have no pictures of my childhood, and I want Gigi to have pictures of hers. They don't know that I have a daughter in Heaven, and no pictures on Earth of her, and I regret that.

They judge me, without knowing the whole story. That is okay. I won't judge them, after all, I don't know their story either. 

Every single day, for the last thirteen years I have hurt. I think about Kateri daily. Every single day, since she was born, I have looked at Gigi, and thought about how she has a big sister in Heaven. I wonder how I am going to tell her about Kateri. I wonder what Kateri is thinking as she looks down from Heaven. I wonder if I make Kateri proud. I wonder if Kateri would have been similar to what Gigi is like, or if they would have been complete opposites. Every year on her birthday, I hurt, but every year I heal a little bit more.

This year, I built a Memorial Garden in Kateri's honor, and that has really helped me to feel some happiness. I am not good with flowers and plants, and it is doing really well, and I cannot help but think it is having some help from above, and that makes me smile. I am not done with it. I plan on adding to it slowly. A very kind member of my Mommitment mom's group bought a gorgeous statue for it. I will have to write a post and include pictures of the garden, once the seeds grow. I am hoping by mid-June it will be in full bloom!! 

I just wanted to get it off my chest, that it bugged me that I was being judged and ridiculed about the "insane" amount of pictures I have, but I no longer care. Whether people can understand where I am coming from or not, that is okay. 

If you understand that it is silly to judge another parent over something as trivial over them posting pictures of their kids on Facebook, or them choosing to breastfeed rather than formula feed, or maybe they choose to formula feed rather than breastfeed, or maybe they choose to home school rather than send their children to public school... If you want to raise your children however you see best, and you want to support other moms raising their children however works best for them. If you would love a wonderful support group, where you can talk with other moms, and not be judged and ridiculed....

You should totally join us in the #Mommitment movement!!!  

You can visit the #Mommitment website!!!

I hope to see you there and look forward to getting to know you!!! 

On a total side note... How is it even possible that in a few hours, I will be the mom of a teenager?! Yes, she is my angel baby, but she is my baby, and my angel will be a teenager. I am still a bit in shock about that. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

I'm Gonna Need A Bigger Pool #FunnyFriday May 2016

Today’s post is this month’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write five captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they have come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your holiday (in the US) weekend.

Funny Friday  150 X 150.jpg

Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by  The Bergham Chronicles
Yes, by me! That is our Gigi diving into a bucket!

29 - Bergham's Life Chronicles - June 2016.jpg

Gigi: I'm going to need a bigger pool, Mom.

Me: What do you say?
Gigi: Please, Mommy?
Me: No.

2. This week on Adventures at the Park, The Tale of Buckethead.

3. Gigi to Chad: Ah, Dad! Why did I have to get your huge head!
Chad: My head isn't THAT big.
Me: ....
Gigi: ....
Chad: It's all these brains I have.
Me: *dies laughing*

4. Gigi: Look, Mom! No hands!

5. Gigi would soon perfect her bobbing for worms technique!!!
(True story.... one of her favorite activities at the park is looking for worms, and I bet she probably would bob for worms!!)

6 bonus. Gigi: What? You said I couldn't go swimming in the pool. You didn't say anything about no swimming in the bucket, Mom. The loopholes are in the details, Ma!

I had help this week! Chad helped me come up with the captions!! Thank you, Chad!! :) I hope you all have a fabulous weekend, and hopefully I helped your week end with some laughter!!! For those of you in the United States... Happy Memorial Day!!! If you never hear from me again, I did not survive the Wounded Warriors 5k I am participating in on Sunday!!! For anyone who is a local, and interested... Here are the details for the Wounded Warrior 5k on May 29, 2016!!! I'll be the green haired lady finishing last!!! Say hello if you attend!!! 

Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:

Friday, May 13, 2016

Week Weak Week #UseYourWords May 2016

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked four to six words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That is the challenge, here is a fun twist; no one who is participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are:
Tupperware ~ Mother's Day ~ tired ~ labor ~ mud bath ~ weeds
They were submitted by: (Thank you for such awesome words!!! <3)

Hello! How was your Mother's Day weekend? Mine was good. I wish I could say the same for this week, but this week has been stressful, and I am tired. No matter how much sleep I get, which is never much, or how much coffee I drink, I have been tired all week. Add to that that fact that despite having over a month until she turns three, Gigi seems to have officially become a threenager. 

If this is a sign of what the next year is going to be like, I am officially not ready. On Mother's Day, I told her she was worth the sixteen hours and forty-nine minutes of labor, and I think she took that as a challenge. This week she has tested my limits and shown me a whole new side of parenting. Luckily, a mom's heart has a limitless ability to love. As crazy as she has made me this week, I still feel like she was worth every single second of labor. 

On the Saturday before Mother's Day, we went to Orchard Supply Hardware, and Gigi made a flowerpot for me. She painted it and planted a flower of her choosing. She chose a purple flower. It is beautiful, and miraculously, she finished it without looking like she took a mud bath! While there I purchased a Camellia bush, to plant in the memorial garden I am creating for Kateri. I plan on starting it this weekend. I need to pull quite a few weeds, remove some rocks, and start planting some seeds and plants. The Camellia bush will be put into a large pot. I am thinking I will buy a terracotta pot, and allow Gigi to paint it, just as she did my Mother's Day pot. 

I chose the Camellia bush, not just because it is beautiful and attracts butterflies/hummingbirds, but Camellia was on the list of names I had considered for Kateri. It just seemed so fitting, when I stumbled upon it at the store, and I just knew I needed it for her garden. I will be sure to share pictures of her garden with you guys once I finish it. I am currently searching for a statue or two for it. I have not found the right one yet. I feel like I want an angel. I am just not sure yet. I hope I can find just the right one. 

(Camellia Bush pic via Google)

So, how was your Mother's Day? Did you celebrate? Not celebrate? Did you receive gifts? I would have been happy with anything... a new vacuum, new Tupperware, a rock... I was grateful for my wonderful card and my flower.

This is my flowerpot and card from Gigi! :) Can you see why I love it?!? 

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

                 Southern Belle Charm                 
        Not That Sarah Michelle        
                      Spatulas on Parade                     

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

May Flowers #PoetryCollaboration May 2016

If you have been hanging around for a while now, then you know my friends and I like to join together once a month, pick a theme, and provide you with poetry based on that theme. Well, it's that time again, and our theme for May is "flowers"! So here is my contribution. I hope you enjoy! Don't forget to click the links at the bottom, and check out all the awesome contributions from my friends! 

Poem 1: 

Floral reminders of Spring's arrival and Summer's approach.
Lovely fragrances carried with the breeze.
Orange, blue, pink, yellow, white, red, purple, magenta, teal... 
Wide array of colors.
Eager bees happily pollinating gardens. 
Radiant smiles on faces, while admiring the beautiful blooms.

Sunshine spotlighting the beautiful displays of nature's art.

Poem 2: 

Smiles were once a way of life for us.
Unfortunately they have long since been replaced with frowns and tears.
Now we struggle just to tolerate each other's presence.
Friendship long since forgotten.
Love long since lost.
Once strong feelings of desire replace with feelings of disgust.
Whenever I remember the past, I wish I could do it all over. 
Everything did not need to be this way.
Really, we could have done things differently. 

Poem 3: 

You did it again.
You came home with flowers for me.
You are acting like everything is fine, but I know the truth.
You only bring me flowers, when you have been bad.
You think I am clueless and I don't know.
I do know.
I am not clueless.
I know all about her.
I know you love her.
I know you give her all the things you should give me.
Sure, you give me plenty.
This house, money, clothes, shoes, jewelry, and flowers.
Those are not the things I want most though.
I want the things you give her.
I want you.
I want your love, your passion, your admiration, your time, your heart.
Those are the things I really want, but never get.
I don't understand why I am here.
I don't understand why you married me.
I don't understand why you just won't let me leave.
It is obviously her that you want.
I am tired of being the one you give flowers to.
I want to be the one you give yourself to.
I want to be her.

Poem 4: 

I bought you flowers today.
I decided to buy you a plant, so they last longer.
It is a Camellia bush.
I thought it was fitting, since Camellia is the name I almost named you.
It should grow strong and beautiful, just like you would have.
I will plant it in your garden,
It attracts butterflies, which is fitting, since you are my eternal butterfly.
My best memory of you is the butterfly feelings you filled my belly with.
I hope you love your flowers, and truly enjoy them.
I hope they bloom beautifully for you, in your garden.
I hope you love your garden.
I hope it brings a smile to your face, when you look down at it.
I wish you were here to build it with me.
It is my honor to build it in your memory.
I plan to make it beautiful, just like you.
I bought you flowers today.

I hope you enjoyed my contribution to this month's poetry collaboration!! Now, please go check out the awesome poetry gifts from my friends!!

Karen of Baking In A Tornado

Dawn of Spatulas On Parade

Friday, May 6, 2016

Acting Lawyer #SecretSubjectSwap May 2016

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week thirteen brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. 

My “Secret Subject” is:

You just found out that you have an interview for your dream job, what is it?

It was submitted by: The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver (Thank you for such a great subject!!!)

I decided when I was six years old, that when I grew up I wanted to be a lawyer. It was a short time later, I would say about a year, that I decided I wanted to be a Supreme Court Justice. Somewhere around the age of thirteen, I decided definitively that I wanted to be a lawyer. The judge and Supreme Court Justice gig had lost all appeal to me. I definitely just wanted to be a lawyer.

Over the years I have gone back and forth with the type of lawyer I wanted to be. I think I have spent the most time wanting to be a defense attorney. I did, for a short time want to be a prosecutor, or possibly even a District Attorney. I have also considered being a Corporate Lawyer or an Entertainment Attorney or a Family Law Attorney. I always found issues with each option. Something about each thing I just didn't quite make it the perfect fit. In the end, I decided to go with being a defense attorney. 

When I was actually in school studying legal studies, I realized just how much the legal world was not for me. I felt overwhelmed. There was so much that needed to be done, so many people who needed help, and I felt like I would never be able to make a difference. I ended up walking away from law. I still do not have a degree. I have been considering going back to school lately, and have been trying to decided what I would study. I keep going back and forth between law, education, social work, and writing/English. If I ever figure out exactly what I want to do, I will let you know. Admittedly, I need to make a decision soon, and I am leaning most towards teacher. 

The awesome thing about this subject is that it specifies "dream job", which enables me to really think outside of the box of the normal options and possibilities. I get to ask myself... What would I do, if I could do ANYTHING?!? That really is a good question. A very good question. The better question is... I was given an interview, but am I guaranteed the job? My guess is no. Sigh

After a lot of thought, and internal debate, and a bunch of hypothetical scenarios, I think I finally came up with an answer. I am not sure interview is the best word, but I would be at an interview for a leading role in a movie. My co-stars would be Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Melissa McCarthy, Amy Schumer, and Shemar Moore. Obviously it would be a hit! In my mind, I obviously get the role. Let's just say I don't... Also in my mind... At the interview, the stars (or at least Matt and Julia) would be there, and so I would already be a winner. I would meet Matt Damon and Julia Roberts. That right there is a perfect day. Seriously though, how could they not cast me? I would be perfect for the part. Trust me. 

My second runner up answer.... I would be interviewed to be the head of an organization that has unlimited funds and does charity work all around the United States and does select foreign aid movements as needed. That would be the most amazing gig. Helping so many people. I would love going to work every single day, knowing that I was helping so many people. Obviously, with the unlimited funds aspect, it is only a dream, but well, this is my Secret Subject, and that is my answer. LOL! 

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:


Welcome to June's Blog with Friends!! Each month a theme is chosen and then participating bloggers use the theme, to create their own un...