Anne Lorene’s Blog

Archive for the ‘family’ Category

I have six grandchildren, five girls and one boy. I raised three boys myself. There is just something special about boys when they are six to seven; they lose their front teeth. A comical big gap appears, although it’s just temporary (See the example below).

I made his uncle take this picture of him several months ago, because I knew that shortly, his adult teeth would come in, and the whole shape of his face would change. I wanted to preserve this shot of him at this point in his life. He is growing up much too fast, already having finished the first grade. I worried a bit about his school career, knowing how important the first two years are. He didn’t like to read, either, unlike his sister who needs no nudging to pick up a book. He’s a bit squirrely, it just comes with the territory. There is a certain way you have to interact with these creatures. First you need to love and accept them for the characters that they are. I met his teacher this spring at the school spring program. She was telling me how much Liam’s reading had improved over the year, and how much she enjoyed having him in class. She “gets” the kid, and that is great.

Liam loves new things, exciting things, be they big or small. Go on a trip to the dollar store and get a new truck, go to the local science museum and see the submarine and turbines, have a birthday party with dinosaurs on the cake, spend an afternoon jumping on trampolines, attend a performance of Cirque du Soliel, are all awesome events for him. “Awesome” is his favorite word right now. And it fits. His approach to the world is to always be curious, open to something new, and enjoy the heck out of it, whatever it is.

I remember an exchange last year:

Grandma (after watching him do something typical): Liam, you are so cute!

Liam: No, I’m not!

Grandma: You’re not? I thought you were.

Liam: No, I am not cute, I am awesome, but not cute.

It is so easy to buy clothes for him. Each fall, grandma takes the kids to buy a new outfit for school. Last year, for kindergarten, he got a red Transformer’s T-shirt and a pair of jeans. This year, we were back at the same store and after spending half an hour waiting for his sister to try on numerous tops and leggings, he went to the boy section, selected a red Transformer’s T-shirt in the next larger size and a new pair of jeans in the next size up.

Life is so simple for little boys. When they collide with another kid, everyone brushes himself off and life goes on. Girls, on the other hand, brew for weeks over a look. A look? Good grief, and she is only nine. I hope that life is much the same for him when he is nine. That it is still a grand adventure and he is still awesome.

After all, he’s a boy, isn’t life that simple?

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Life

With a capital L of course, is full of many things. At this time of year, I thought I would sum things up for the past 12 months of my life, but not in chronological order, please.

Events worth rejoicing over

On October 2, 2010 Ms. Rhyan Sophia Wride made her entry into the world. She joins her two fantastic sisters Jordyn and Alexis, in sharing the adventures of her life, which has not been very quiet yet. Life at their house is filled with drama, missing fairy wings, princess costumes, and magic wands. Since they are living in Salt Lake City, I don’t get to see them as often as I would like.

Alexis, Nancy, Jordyn, Jeremy and Rhyan

In September, my daughter, Heather started back to school after being away for a long time. She is attending Salt Lake Community College, so obviously, she is in Salt Lake also. She has put her whole heart into her studies and has done well. Math, English, Music, and Theater have kept her busy. She has also discovered she has a good mind and enjoys learning. I am so proud of her. She is looking forward to next semester already!

Heather taking a break from studying

Our third event is a miracle. On April 16, across the ocean, Ms Melinda Jensen made her entrance into the world. Her parents are my nephew BJ and his wife Marica(Janet’s son). She came way too early, at the 24th week of pregnancy and weight 1.28 pounds. Her twin brother Christian, lived only a few minutes. The doctors had a guarded prognosis, and made lots of noises about complications, developmental problems, and such, but no one forgot to tell this young lady, who just has sailed through life with no major problems. She now weighs 13 pounds and has been home for almost three months. Here is her latest picture.

 

Ms. Malinda smiling for the camera

I am still here in Portland, and enjoying the grandchildren who live here. Bre is 9, loves to read and do crafts. She played soccer this summer. Liam also played soccer and has been doing well in first grade. They, like the rest of my grandchildren, are brilliant and beautiful or as Liam puts it “Awesome.” They are such a delight to have around and know that I can share time with them.

Erick and the kids having fun at the beach

Events I am regarding as a challenge

Life has been an adventure this year. I began working for Wells Fargo in Salt Lake, then transferred to Portland in March. It really did not matter where I was stationed, since I was constantly boarding planes train employees in Loss Mitigation, Collections and computer systems. From March through July, I was constantly traveling to another location. At the beginning of July, I got off a plane in Charlotte North Carolina. The temperature and humidity were both at 95, so I was not surprised that I felt breathless. From Charlotte I went to San Bernadino, and then home. I actually had some time off, and felt the first order of business was to get caught up on sleep and hang out with the grandkids who live here in Portland.

In August, I could not breathe and was not doing well. With a new assignment in tow, I was preparing to head out to Des Moines at the end of August. In the middle of August, still miserable, I showed up at urgent care and was told I had a sinus infection (even though my blood oxygen level was 70%, which was scary). I got on a plane at the end of August and was very ill by the time I reached Denver. Things didn’t get better throughout the trip, even during a surprise weekend in Minneapolis. Returning home, I saw a new doctor who found a pneumorthorax (collapsed lung). Apparently, I had been living with it for several months. After a weekend in the hospital, I did not feel better. It took a pulmonary specialist to find out what was wrong.

I have bullous lung disease, which is fairly rare. I had never heard of it. It seems that my lung fills with cysts, they burst and cause scarring and make me miserable. I was born with it, which is great news for the kids and grandkids, since it is genetic. Anyway, as a result of this disease, I have had to adjust my life style. I cannot climb Mount Everest, or scuba dive(Never really wanted to do them anyway.) I am supposed to stop smoking and using marijuana, (my secret sins have been uncovered). I need to stay at sea level and cannot get on any airplanes to go anywhere.

That means I had to quit work, and have been staying home recovering since. The penumorthorax has finally healed.

I am still sorting things out. I don’t know what the future has in store right now.

I take comfort in my new mantra, courtesy of another woman who had her life change drastically and had to deal with much more than I have, Elizabeth Edwards. I leave you with her words.

“She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, which it certainly did not, she adjusted her sails.”

~ Elizabeth Edwards

Love to you all. Have a wonderful holiday season.

Anne

annecloward@gmail.com

https://annelorene.wordpress.com



I love my grandchildren but have to admit they don’t look like me. As you can see from the photo above, Bre has lovely blonde hair and big soft brown eyes (from her mom). She has just finished up first grade and reads to me at night before going to bed. I used to read to her. This past Saturday morning we went to the local farmer’s market and had a great time. After all, with a French bread baguette and fresh strawberries for purchases, how could we go wrong?

As we were hanging out at my place, she found a small notebook I had bought in an attempt to keep organized. She asked me if she could have it. Then, she started to write down what we had done that day. This is with no coaching from me!

I told her that she was beginning to keep a journal. She thought it was fun and wrote about her day.

I am so proud of her. My granddaughter has begun her first journal. Just like her grandmother.

Now for some more fun things to do so she can write about them!

Well, we did make oatmeal raisin cookies on Sunday night. That’s always something cool to write about.

I can see her years from now with a pile of journals, writing with a fountain pen and recording her life.

When the kids asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day, I didn’t hesitate. I knew that my sons living here in Portland wanted to see the new Star Trek movie. Being a fan of the original series, I said I did also. It was great!

There was lots of action and it never dragged, something I could not say about some of the previous films. Lots of fun and inside jokes. I am not a Trekker, but a fan, (there is a difference). It is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. I probably will miss the other movies shown in the previews; since it appears that the theaters will be drowning in blood this summer. If I can tell the beginning from the end in the trailer, it’s a no go for me. None of these seemed to anything going for them other than they are recycling old material and originality is replaced with lots of blood. I like to be pleasantly surprised by good acting and plots.

Then we took a few minutes and stopped off at a variety store. We bought some Mother’s Day flowers and a card and all of us signed it. We then drove over to drop them off to my ex-daughter-in-law. While she and Erick are no longer together, she is still the mother of two of my grandchildren. She is an excellent mother and they are both happy and fun kids to be with. She has moved on, and has remarried and has another little one, who is also a cutie. In addition to working full-time, she still keeps things going well at home. It’s not an easy task. When my kids were that young, I was home full time and still went crazy often. She does it well. Here is a dated photo of her with the kids, but I think it shows how pretty and caring she is.

I think it is admirable that she and Erick have remained on such good terms. I appreciate the efforts both of them have made in this regard. Our house rule has been to only speak well of her and her new family when we are talking to the kids. That is easy to do. We want them to know how much we care for and respect their mom. They have a new set of grandparents also, and I am grateful to them for being so good to the kids. The most important thing is that we all love them.

It’s good to remember what is important here. Deb and Erick have their priorities straight and the kids are thriving because of it.

 

 

 

Mother’s Day is approaching and as I rush around to get cards for my daughters-in-law, my thoughts turn back to my mother, who has been gone for almost 20 years now. My sister, Janet, has written a lovely tribute to her, and I am posting a link to her blog for you to read. She also has added one of our favorite pictures of our mother. It was taken about the time she married our father, and shows her lovely tentative smile.

Check it out at her blog.

Even if it is a bittersweet time for you, remember your mother with love, if you can. I was just talking to my friend Pat, who lost her mother when she was a younger mother. Someone said to her that it was so good her mother was out of pain. She said, “I wanted to scream. She was my mother! She understood me like no one else every could, and now she is gone.”

Happy Mother’s Day everyone.



These photos are of the kids in Salt Lake at Easter time. Lexi still doesn’t get the egg hunt!

It was General Conference weekend, which meant my staying inside for some time listening to talks on the Internet. The weather was glorious here (unlike the grey skies in Salt Lake) and I walked each day. There were many messages of hope and encouragement from our leaders, which we all need at this time.
I am not a Luddite, but I choose what technology comes into my life, lest I get overwhelmed. I do have a cell phone, but I don’t text, and I am working on building a website, taking the easiest way possible to put it together.

I love Skype. I use it to to talk to my dear friend Pat, who is currently serving with her husband in the Asuncion Paraguay temple as missionaries. Pat and I lived five minutes away from each other for seven years and dropped in and out of each others lives as needed. We are just comfortable with each other. I stayed with them when I sold my townhouse and was homeless for two weeks. They are such great friends.

Their time is three hours ahead of me, and Pat is a night owl. We talked late last night, catching up and sharing with each other. Doug slept through it all, and we chatted away after midnight her time. Congratulations on your new calling, Doug. It is so very cool.

We can’t do much about what is going on with our children far away, but we can be there to comfort each other.

That’s the sweet part. Now for the bitter. Fourteen years ago my daughter gave a baby girl up for adoption. It was supposed to be open, but we have not seen her since she was three. This points up a truth that we have had to face. People and circumstances change, and life does not always happen the way we want it to. Adoptions are messy. For every set of joyful parents receiving a newborn into their empty arms, there is a confused and hurting young woman who has made one of the most agonizing decisions in her life.

I have lived it from both sides. We had contact for several years and got to see her. For their own reasons, her adoptive parents have chosen to not have contact with us for the past nine years. I have to respect their wishes. We have never regretted our decision, but I ache because I am not a part of Kayla’s life. I wish I could know about how she is doing and how life is treating her. The picture above is one that was taken one of the last times we saw Kayla. She is such a lovely little girl, and I am sure at the age of fourteen, she is a beautiful young woman.

Heather kept Kayla with her for a week before surrendering her. During that time we talked about the possibility of keeping her and raising her ourselves. But neither Heather nor I were in a place where we could do this. That Sunday night when we gave her over was wrenching and agonizing, and I never want to go through it again. Looking back, I realize that this must have been one of the longest weeks in the life of the adoptive parents. I am sure they feared that Heather would change her mind and they would be left alone with their lives and hopes destroyed. But we never doubted the wisdom of this decision and even today, after all that has happened, it was the best decision for Kayla.

That’s my side of the story.

I have some good friends back in the frozen tundra of Minnesota. They are a gay couple, devoted to each other and sharing their lives together. They have wanted with all their beings to become parents. Three times they have tried to adopt, and three times the baby has been sent to another home. The first time, the birth mother selected another family. The second mother, decided to parent her child herself. This decision was made quickly without much preparation and my friends understood.

But this last time was different. They met the birth mother well in advance. She made her decision. They spent five months with her, taking her to doctor visits, making plans, even sharing in the birth with her. And then, bowing to pressure from wherever, she decided to keep this beautiful baby girl. I have to question the wisdom of this decision. She is not in a good place and the enviroment her littlle girl may not be the safest. I worry for her and her child.

There isn’t an answer that wraps everything up in a nice bow. The nursery in Boyd and Harald’s home is empty. There is so much pain there.

Old wounds have been opened here. I feel the pain on both sides. I wish there were an answer where everything would work out for the best for everyone.

It hasn’t in this case.