It’s been awhile since I posted. The last month has been rather eventful, much of it tinged with sadness, and here is why:
I never got around to posting our news in August that we were expecting our fourth child. I kept meaning to blog about our little one on the way, but between early pregnancy exhaustion and the busy beginning of the school year, I just never did. Despite feeling ever so tired, and then becoming almost constantly nauseous, I was delighted at the prospect of another baby in our house. I was thrilled when I began growing out of my regular clothing at only 6 weeks, and was happy for an excuse to get out those maternity clothes for yet a fourth time. We were so very excited about this little baby.
And then sadly, five weeks ago today we learned that our unborn babys heart had stopped beating. This news came as a complete shock since we had been delighted three weeks earlier to see a sonogram with a picture of what looked in all respects to be a beautifully healthy baby, complete with strong heartbeat. Based on that earlier sonogram we had shared our news with our children, who were overjoyed to know they were having another sibling, and with our family and friends.
Though we have experienced early miscarriages before, we were nonetheless unprepared to hear the news that this baby had died only a few weeks after his heart began beating. As we began the process of digesting this information, and figuring out how to deal with the shock, our family and friends surrounded us with compassion and caring and tons of help. Early the next week I had to go into the hospital for surgery, and again, so many people pitched in to help in different ways. We have felt immensely blessed with the outpouring of love and support from all of those who have helped with caring for our children, brought food and groceries, taken our places in various areas of school and church responsibility, prayed with and for us, given us hugs, and written us cards and letters. It helps us to know so many people care for us, and are willing to sorrow with us, and in turn, help us in the midst of that sorrow.
Just today we learned that our baby was in fact, a little boy, and that he was diagnosed with a chromosomal abnormality known as Trisomy 15, which means that when his chromosomes were being formed and coded, he got an extra #15. This genetic combination is incompatible with life and so I have learned that babies with this particular extra chromosome do not make it to term.
While our sense of loss is not lessened by this news, we are grateful to know medically what happened with our baby, and we truly feel God is merciful to both allow us to know this much, and to take this little baby who could not have lived here on earth, to heaven sooner rather than later.
So, in the midst of our tears we have hope: while we grieve the loss of this tiny young life, we also gratefully rest in the knowledge that our little boy is safe in heaven, in the arms of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. While I so wish we had gotten the opportunity to hold him here in our arms, I am thankful he is with God. And I look forward to seeing his sweet face and hugging him someday.
We may get around to putting up individual entries, but I thought I would provide a hint or two of what we’ve been up to the past few weeks to help explain the lack of posts.
First, we have a photo taken from the hill country north of Austin, Texas:
Next up, is a shot of the cathedral right next to the Palacio Real in Madrid, Spain:
It’s been a big week in many ways. I haven’t written much, but rather than recount it all, I will leave you with some high points of just the past few days:
a LONG afternoon nap
holding and listening to my 2 year old enthusiastically sing Holy, Holy, Holy during our worship service today
a surprise visit from my little brother in the middle of the day
the hugs and prayers of family and friends
a girlie outing: browsing Old Downtown McKinney and enjoying lunch with my little sis and daughter on a pretty afternoon
Getting negative biopsy results (Praise God!!) three days earlier than we’d expected to hear
a surprise date night from my husband
my daughter’s delight over the many butterflies we have seen the last couple days
lunch out with my brother and sis-in-law.
warm brownies and cold milk!!
Abigail was examing a plastic cup tonight from Chili’s that featured the “Pepper Pals”. She noticed that each member of the band had a name printed beside them and, with a bit of help from me, read them: Sunny, Chip, Pepper, and Hal. Then she says:
“Oh, maybe Pepper likes peppers. And maybe Sunny likes sunny, sunshine. And Chips likes chips. And maybe Hal likes hell.”
Some of us in the Horne household LOVE Cream of Wheat (enriched Farina for those of you who are familiar with the other stuff) for breakfast. Especially Abigail and I. As I was putting the box away earlier, I noticed the following slogan on its side:
“So SMOOTH, So CREAMY, So GOOD to hold on to”
Does anyone else besides me think this an odd sort of statement to make in reference to Cream of Wheat?
Today we played with friends at a Splash Park in nearby Allen. It was a gorgeous day, and both kids and moms had a great time. All went swimmingly (heh heh) until I picked up Nicolas who had wandered off, to move him back toward our group. and noticed as I put him down that there was a rather strange odor about him. Oh, and what was that brownish stuff on my otherwise pristine sea blue tank?? Hmmm??? Any guesses, mothers (or fathers) of children who are not yet potty-trained???
Yep, that’s right. What a mess. It was everywhere, and he was disgustingly dirty, from waist to toes. So much for swimmie diapers and their powers of containment…
Having already shared many of my diaper wipes with friends, as there seemed to be a general shortage of them today, and being in a place with bathrooms that were yes, clean, but devoid of soap and paper towels, I began musing over my options. What was I to use to sanitize my toxic child? And myself? And even if I could get us both clean, and Nicolas into fresh clothes, what was I to wear? You see, I had packed extra clothes for all three children, but not for me. And my shirt REALLY needed to be changed.
Well, I left the two older kids in the care of some very dear friends and Nicolas and I made our way to the restroom, where we stayed for the better part of half an hour. Everything that might serve as a wipe or cleaning implement came out of the diaper bag and cooler: napkins, kleenex, the few remaining wipes, bread (no, just kidding!) and OH!! What little treasure did I find at the bottom of my bag but a Huggies Disposable Washcloth which I received in the mail about a year ago and have kept in my bag ever since, “just in case”. God bless Huggies. I’m going to go buy a box of these handy things. Just add water to this soft flannel-like cloth and you have yourself a foamy, soapy, absolutely wonderful bath for your dirty baby, toddler, preschooler, whatever.
My previously scandalously dirty little boy was squeaky clean when we were through. And he smelled pretty, too. Dry diaper, fresh clothes and he was a brand new kid. As for me, after a bit of freshening, I returned to the group wearing my five year old daughter’s school t-shirt. I was reminded of a comic moment in One Fine Day where Michelle Pfeiffer chose in desperation to wear her son’s dinosaur t-shirt into a company sales presentation for lack of anything else to put on at the time. Not that I look like Michelle Pfeiffer… But, ANYWAY, I digress.
The point of all this is that if you think you might ever have a need for a washing on the go, do take time to stop by your local Walmart or wherever, and stock up on some of Huggies’ handy-dandy disposable washcloths!
As I returned home from our grocery trip this morning, I tried to carry a few too many things in my left hand (note to my gentle readers: it would seem two gallons of milk plus a plastic bag of groceries in one hand is too much) and alas, I dropped a carton of milk, thus causing it to burst, and begin sending a little river of the precious white stuff out onto my garage floor.
To waste the milk of the dairy cow has always seemed an abomination to me, but even more so given the recent increase in the price of her milk. As I helplessly watched the $3/gallon stuff leak out of its carton it occurred to me that it might be wise to jump into action, which I did.
I grabbed a glass pitcher from the kitchen and turning the milk carton right side up so that the milk could properly leak from the crack at its base into my pitcher (I am trying not to concern myself with the fact that the bottom of the milk carton is probably not the most sanitary end for the milk to pour out from!), I promptly filled it to the top. I fetched a second pitcher and filled it again, halfway.
Thus I ended up saving, not all, but most of the lovely milk, some of which we enjoyed with our lunch. And to look upon the bright side of this little domestic fiasco, I must say that having a large glass pitcher of fresh milk in my refrigerator is rather romantic. I feel almost as if we lived in a different time, before the advent of the plastic carton, and I can almost imagine that we milked our own cow before dawn this morning or that perhaps our faithful dairy man delivered our supply of milk to our door earlier today so that we might enjoy it.
Can you tell I am in the middle of not one, but two pieces of 19th century children’s literature??
Ok, so it’s not a school morning and we are being delightfully lazy around here. In fact we are still in our jammies! But young Jonathan, having loafed around long enough, has decided there is work to be done. He is currently outside in his Spider Man jammies, armed with his little blue-handled child’s scissors, and is cutting the lawn! He informed me that since the grass is getting a bit tall, he would cut it with his scissors! Helpful little boy!
This past Monday morning Jay and I had an experience that is poignant in the lives of most parents: our oldest started Kindergarden! The entire family accompanied Abigail down to school to attend opening chapel with all the other students, and their moms, dads, brothers, and sisters. After walking Abigail to her new class, we said goodbye. Abigail was very happy to settle down into her seat and begin work with her seven other classmates.
And being a proud Mom, I have to tell you just what a super job she did in the morning getting ready for her big day. In honor of starting Kindergarden, we presented Abigail with a very sweet and girlie Hello Kitty clock that has both an alarm and a radio. We taught her how to use it and so, when her alarm rang at 6:15 she turned it off, switched to her classical station, made her bed and got dressed, all by herself. This from the little girl who is most definitely NOT a morning person.
Given school is a bit of a drive from where we live, we are going to be keeping a rather early morning schedule, but everything went well on our first day. We actually arrived at school 20 minutes before start time so it did not feel at all frantic.
When we picked her up after school, Abigail reported happily, “I love it there!” She seems to have had a fantastic day and is looking forward to her big year of Kindergarden. Here is a picture of Abigail on her first day of school, with her new teacher, aptly named Mrs. Newsome! And here are some more photos of our day.
We are all very excited about the start of Abigail’s scholastic journey and pray she will have a wonderful experience this first year.