Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Life After Charli

Jason and I were married in April of 2003.  We didn't wait even an entire month before we headed to the Austin Humane Society to get a dog.  I wanted a puppy.  They had one litter.  Every puppy was spoken for except for one.  I was thankful.  I didn't know how I would have chosen one and I told Jason she was meant to be ours.  I knew before we pulled out of the parking lot that her name would be "Charli." 

Jason worked a lot when we first got married and jobs were hard to find at that time. I quit my job in Georgia to get married and move to Texas.  It took me 10 weeks to find a new one.  Charli was my side kick for all that time I spent alone, newly married, and in a new state where I hardly knew anyone. 

(Hello 10 year younger self!)

I thought Charli was going to be a quiet easy dog.  It didn't take long for her to show me her spunk.  We bought her a kennel to help with the potty training.  I also heard this would be their home.  Their little safe haven.  This was about the only moment she spent in the kennel quietly!  I'll never forget I was on the phone discussing a potential job interview and she was in her kennel.  She was barking, screeching and carrying on.  She was shaking the kennel so much it was literally gliding across the living room.

Just like with any child we set rules... She was not to get on the couch... 

Charli managed to break all of our "rules.."

I took her to the vet one time for a well check.  They wanted to take her temperature.  The vet tried for a moment in front of me and then excused herself to take Charli in the back to do it more aggressively.. I guessed.  She returned breathless and her hair all a mess and stated that she wouldn't be getting Charli's temperature.  Charli stood there shameless.

I use to pose her and take "portraits" of her just like I have with all my babies..

Jason and I even took her photo in the blue bonnets!!  I'm sure people thought we were crazy!  (Post kids I think we were a little crazy!!)

I think Charli prepped us for our kids.  She made messes... big messes...

She howled in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom or when a storm was rolling through.  The girl did not obey, but she had a kind heart and just thought we walked on water.  She took a back seat to the kids once they arrived and never complained.

She welcomed them with love and affection.

She enjoyed their leftovers.

She helped me clean all of their messes.

Jason and I awoke this morning with heavy hearts.  We knew today would be our last day with Charli.  I tried to hide my tears as I went through my morning routine with the kids.  I knelt beside Charli several times to check on her and give her a pat on the head.  Madison finally asked why I was crying.  I told her that Charli was very sick and that she was going to Heaven today.  Madison said.. "Don't cry mama... Evan just lives down the street we can go visit her!!"  I smiled and said "no baby, Heaven."  "Charli is going to Heaven to be with God.  So baby give her a big hug and kiss it's time to leave for school."  Madison knelt beside Charli and gave her lots of love.  On the ride to school Madison asked me if there were flowers in Heaven.  I told her there were lots and lots of flowers in Heaven.  She said, "like spring time?.. like my birthday?"  I said just like that Madison.  She asked me if God had a bed for Charli.  I told her that he did and she wanted to know what color it was.  I asked her what color she thought it was and she said "pink or purple."  That made me smile and cry all at the same time.  Madison asked me if Daddy was going to help Charli get there and wanted to know if she would take her leash with her.  She finally quieted down and I tried to pull myself together to walk them into school. 

I skipped my morning trip to the gym.  I skipped my stop for coffee and any other errands I had planned while the kids were at school.  I went straight home and spent the morning with Charli.  The house was quiet and I sat next to her and cried.  I loved on her and looked into her eyes.  Jason came home a few hours before her appointment and sat with her too.  We talked about how she was our first "child."  How she joined our family five years before we even had Madison.  She made the move from Texas to North Carolina and back to Texas again.  She was waiting at the door when we brought Madison and then Tyler home from the hospital and she almost made it for baby number three. Oh how I wish she had made it.   

Jason said it was time and had to pick her up and carry her to the car.  I went ahead to open doors.  It was pouring down rain.  We walked to the passenger side of the car.  The door was locked and I had to fish in his pocket for the keys.  I stood there sobbing.  I gave Charli one final kiss and Jason promised to be there with her.

After school Madison asked if Charli was in Heaven and I told her she was... She would wait a while and ask when Charli was coming home.  It was painful for me to explain that we wouldn't see her again for a long long time. Tonight right in the middle of dinner Madison let out a long sigh, put her hands on her cheeks and said, "I miss Charli."  Jason said, "we all do honey."  Madison looked at Jason and said she wanted to build stairs to Heaven to see Charli. 

Life after Charli is a little quieter, a little less messy, a little less work.... but I would trade all of that to have her here with us.  I know Abbey misses her too.

Charli Brown (as I affectionately called her).  March 2003 - January 2012

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Around Here....

I cried "uncle."  I literally did.  I ran to Jason in tears and said, "I cannot do this anymore... I want a van."  I knew exactly what he was thinking as the smile spread across his face.  Two years ago when we bought our last car, the Sequoia, he wanted to get a van.  Madison was two and I was nine months pregnant with Tyler.  I would not hear of it.  If his mouth looked like it was even going to form the letter "v" I would scream, "NO!  I WILL NEVER EVER EVER drive a van!  Never EVER!" 

Check out my new van!!! 

I love it!  I haven't hit the garage once!  I haven't left one parking lot in shame because Madison slammed open her door and smacked the car next to us.  I no longer have to put my mirrors in to pull into the garage.  I don't have to wedge my ever expanding belly in between the garage wall and door to get Tyler out of his car seat.  I. LOVE. IT.   I embrace it and everything this new van says about me.  I am a mom and I am proud of it!

Now that my secret is out I can move on to life these days.. via my cell phone of course...

Tyler is wearing me out with his climbing.  Every time I turn around he is on something or attempting to be on something.

I was putting up dishes when I heard the sweetest giggle.  I looked over and the boy was standing up in his high chair.  Madison never did this.  I am in the process of trying to locate the straps!

(Don't you wanna pinch those chubby thighs?)

This is Madison's first year to take dance.  She started over the summer and loved it so we decided to enroll her for the year.  Her recital is in May and we recently had her costume preview.  You know me.. I was dreaming of fluff and puff and sweet pink costumes when her teacher held up a photo of the three's costumes...

I couldn't help it.  I let out a gasp!  What?!!  Are you serious?  I looked around waiting for another mom, any other mom to say out loud what I was thinking.  No one did!  I tucked my chin down and pulled out my checkbook to prepay for the costume.  I left there sulking.  I talked to anyone that would listen and wondered if I should keep my opinion to myself or voice it.  I just didn't want to look back at Madison's first ballet recital and have this costume in my memory!!  I must not have been the only appalled mom because at the next practice the teacher called in the moms and said there was some upset over the costume so they changed it!!!  It is pink and fluffy and full of puff!  I'll save the picture for when she's actually wearing it!  WHEW! 

Tyler loves to play in the trash can.  He also loves to push it around the kitchen.

Sometimes I have to set the table for five instead of four.  Madison's baby doll needs dinner too!

My girl has style!

Tyler was so sick last week!  I took this in the waiting room at the doctor's office. 

Updates for dad...

He fell back asleep an hour after he woke up one morning with a good fever.

A nice warm bath made him feel better...

Tyler is well now.  We took a trip to NC to visit family this past weekend.  I only wish I actually pulled my camera out.  We left Texas and it was seventy something.  We arrived in NC and it was FREEZING.  We only left Jason's sister's house once the whole weekend!   The trip home was long and included a plane change and mechanical problems that left us parked at the gate for an hour and a half!!!  I wanted to be ANYWHERE, but sitting on the plane with my tired babies.  The trip was worth it, but I'm always thankful for car seats.

Oh.. and "Happy Birthday" to Madison's sweet friend Avery!

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Week 26 and a half!

Dear Baby,

I did it again!  I let half a week pass by before I took a belly picture.  At least I'm consistently late and it's a true four week comparison.  I guess I'll have to stick to this schedule now.  You are moving so so much!  I love every single kick you give.  You are most active when I am at rest.  Madison seems to notice your growth as much as I do!  She's always telling me how big you are getting.  Of course your big brother Tyler is oblivious.  He does appreciate the booster seat you provide when we are sitting together on the couch.  I can't say you or I love that!  Your daddy and I named you Christmas day.  In the middle of all the chaos we agreed on a first and middle.  That in itself is a miracle!  Madison is now calling you "Will."  I love that name too, but that is not you!  We will keep your name a secret until your birthday.  Poor big sister Madison will have to wait until then too because that girl can't keep a secret! 


Christmas Eve - 25 Weeks Pregnant ...  Next year I'll be making room for one more on my lap and I can't wait!

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