Thursday, August 1, 2013

The House Cleaning Can Also Wait, But Only for So Long...

Yesterday was the 31st of July.  The two month mark.  I was trying not to dwell on it too much.  I had decided that I might try and put together the gift bags that I wanted to do for the Pediatrics unit down at Utah Valley Hospital.  So that was on my agenda to get done.  Along with cleaning the bathrooms and sweeping and dejunking a few areas around the house that have been driving me crazy!  I also wanted to do something fun with the kids.  A lot of goals that were conflicting with each other.   I was going to just try to remember to prioritize according to what had to be done and what I really wanted to do.

What I really wanted to do was to take my kids somewhere fun.  That took priority.  We tried to be quick about tidying up a bit and then we started to load into the van.  Well, there was an awful smell in the van.  I told the kids to investigate while I finished packing the sandwiches and towels.  Unfortunately for Heidi, she was the finder of the hideous smell.  MILK!  I think that someone brought one of the chocolate milks home from the race on Saturday and left it in the car and then luckily it SPILLED.  Ugh.  Heidi and Holden were so good to grab rags and spray and paper towels and start trying to clean up the now curdled milk.  Are you getting the picture?  This set us back a good 20 minutes.  You are welcome for not taking a picture of it:)  Then we were off to the water park.

My friend and a few of her kids met us there.  We found our spot and got settled and the kids went and got their tubes to go on the slides.  Hilary wanted to go on the slide that we went on last time until we walked all the way over there and she saw it and then she backed out.  Perfect.  The rest of the time she was content in the wave pool or sitting by our stuff.  She was happy just playing in the tubes, even without water!  Ahh to be 3:

She also would not let me take a picture of her in the water.  I asked her if I could take one of her with me and she said yes.  So here is my worst selfie yet!

Here is Heidi and her friends, and yes that is my finger in the top left hand corner.  Hayden and Holden came with us, but they chose to not be a part of the pictures.

As soon as I got home I had to run down to the hospital for a delivery.  It is always good for me to go to that familiar place.  I am sure that sounds so weird.  It is just a good safe place for me.  Everyone there knew Tatum and loved her and me and my family through all of this, so I just feel normal and happy when I get to go and be with the staff at all of the hospitals.   As I was walking out the door, Hilary said that she wanted to come with me.  I kneeled down and told her that I was going to the hospital and that she couldn't come with me.  Then she asked me if I was going to see Tatum.  I told her no, remember that Tatum is with Heavenly Father and we don't get to see her anymore while we live on the earth?  Then she nodded and said yes and got these really sad eyes.  Hilary is always just keeping it real around here.  Poor little sweetie.  While I was at the hospital I remembered that I wanted to find out who to call about having our families that deliver still borns or babies that die after birth taken off the list to get the hospital satisfaction surveys.  Usually a few days after you come home from the hospital you get a call from a call center to rate how your stay was.  This is not a short survey, it usually takes 10 minutes or so.  If your baby has just died, you are in no mood to answer these kind of questions.  On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate the cleanliness of your room?  Well I didn't really notice because my baby had just died!  Right?  I had started on this a few years ago and then I got side tracked.  Then about 6 months ago I got a number to call and never did.  Then about two weeks after Tatum died I got the dreaded call.  They were calling about a hospital visit that was a few weeks before her last one.  So I was trying to remember how i felt about that one, not the one that they had to tell me there was nothing else they could do for her.  Good gracious.  Then the other day I went to deliver some pictures to a family and the mom had just gotten off of the phone with the survey people.   I apologized to her and made it my quest to fix this glaring problem.  So when I was at the hospital I just left a message for the lady that I thought might be able to direct me to who I needed to talk to.  I put it on my list for Monday if I hadn't heard back.

I went home, cooked dinner and got everything sort of settled.  One of my friends called to say that they were thinking of me because it was the 31st.  So extra nice.  I don't expect anyone to remember these crazy dates and reminders that sometimes flood your mind.  She knew that it would be nice for someone to remember because she has had her own double experience in grief.  I just thought this was over and above what I would ever expect of anyone.  So sweet of her.  While I was on the phone with her I told her that my first priority for the day was to finish the gift bags for pediatrics.  I thought this would be a good day because of the 2 month mark, but I was sure I would not finish them and I was OK with that.   A little later I decided to meet a friend and take Hilary for a walk.   Either we are totally boring or someone was exhausted from the crazy day in the sun.
When I got home and got everyone to bed, I decided to do the gift bags.  It was one of two things that I really wanted to do this day.  It only took me a half hour or so and hopefully they will be useful and have meaning for someone else.  If for nothing else, for people to know that other people care.

 Here are the items we are putting in the bags: Tatum's favorite jammies, shampoo and conditioner, chap stick, gum, tissue and note pad and pen.  All things that I wished I had remembered when I would get to the hospital.  The jammies that they have at the hospital for little people are ridiculous.  I hope that parents will appreciate these little cuties.  They are nice because they are two piece and short sleeved, and they say "Don't Bug Me!"  No one will look as cute as Tater bug in these jammies, but that's OK.
Here was the finished product.  Hope they like them.

Today, we went to Timp cave again this morning.  It is so beautiful there.  I will be sad when summer is over and we can't go.  Then I came back and went on a little run with my neighbor.  While we were out my phone rang.  It was a hospital number so I answered thinking that maybe there was a crisis.  It was the best news.  It was the man who was going to research the problem about the hospital surveys.  Yay!  That was so fast.  I wasn't sure if they would ever call me back.  The man was super nice.  I voiced my concerns and he agreed completely that something should be done.  He said he would start checking in to it.  Whoo hoo.  That was something big checked off of my list.

When I got home I hurried and got ready and I went to lunch with a friend.   It was a nice and relaxing time and it didn't last nearly long enough.  Before I knew it, I was back to reality.

I went home and got a few things done and then I was off to a graveside service for the family from Sunday. It was just down at the Lehi cemetery where Trevin and Tatum are buried.  It was a beautiful service.  Afterward I was talking to a few of the nurses.  They wanted to go and see where Tatum and Trevin were buried and so I hopped in their car and I showed them as any proud parent would.  We sat and visited for awhile.  I was bouncing some ideas off of them about starting a certain foundation.  They had some great suggestions of connections that I have that I hadn't thought of.  While we were sitting there the conversation turned to how I was doing.  I got a little emotional as I told them that I know that I am a different person.  Something inside of me has changed.   In a good way.  My soul feels different.  I still hurt so deeply.  When I see pictures of Tatum I feel like my chest is going to start heaving.  My mind still can't wrap around the fact that I don't get to have her here anymore.  I just feel like the only way I can get through this is to focus on this change.  It makes me want to do good things all day.  (remember that I still get frustrated with things and my kids, I am certainly not perfect in any way shape or form).  It has made me so aware that all day long we are faced with choice after choice of how we are going to spend our time.  I just have a great need to spend it a little more wisely.

When I got home I was going to go on a bike ride, but I realized that I really didn't have time and it was pretty windy, and there is nothing worse than riding your bike in head winds.  So I decided that I needed to clean up a few things quickly while I waited for Lance to get home.  Part of having a clear mind and spirit for me is to have a tidy home.  It does not have to be perfectly clean, but uncluttered and smelling nice really do help me to maintain some sanity, and I need all of the little bits of sanity that are left in me.

I made a quick check list in my mind and quickly cleaned some bathrooms, swept, and tidied, etc.  I just had a burst of energy that I had to capitalize on.  It doesn't come very often these days.  When Lance got home we were off to a ward activity.  This is a really fun activity that they have done for the past 4 or so years.  I hadn't shot a gun since I was a little kid until a few years ago at this activity.  I really kind of like it, even though I stink at it.
 Looking cool with the gun.
 Obviously I don't know how to hold a gun properly.
There we go.

 Last year we had Tatum with us at this activity.  She was just little so Lance stayed inside the lodge while I went out and shot.  Another place that last year we had Tates with us.  It was a fun evening, but I was OK to leave a little early this time.  Just miss our little sweetheart.  Tomorrow it is 9 weeks.  How is it possible?


  1. OK, first off, I have to say how much I love those silver shoes you have on in the gun picture. <3 And then I was wondering if I could send you some jammies like the "Don't Bug Me" ones but for baby boys? I wasn't sure if you found any boy styles or not. I would love to be able to get some and send them to you to make more gift bags for the families with little boys in the hospital. Let me know what you think. Thank you again, so much, for keeping up this blog. I read it every time you post an entry...even though sometimes I don't write a comment...just know that I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
    Love you!

  2. I don't remember much about the first few weeks after Charlotte passed away but I DO remember that survey, and sitting in the garage saying things like that: "Well I don't really know, I had a lot going on, y'KNOW?" So good job on calling about that.