Tuesday, July 14, 2009

11 Months, Tulsa, Spa Paty and Garage Sales

It has been a busy month! We have been to KC and back. A week later Jesstine and I went to Tulsa while Stephen was in Huston on business. We have been keeping quite busy and she is just growing so fast! I was going to post a comparison of her 11 month picture to two other months' pictures. I decided that I would wait until the 12 month post! It would make more sense!! Between vacations (where we got Cheesecake Factory both times), I hosted a "spa party" of sorts and have been hitting a garage sale here and there. Here it all is in pictures!! Oh, and in case you haven't noticed, we did honor Babe B. on her birthday. My mom was terrific and remembered us by sending us some flowers. Attached were these little Disney Princess dolls that are SO cute! They will be saved for Jesstine when she is old enough and I even bought two more so I could try and complete my set. All I need is Belle! Anyhow, check out the last post and you will see a little tribute to our first little princess! Without further adieu.....
Again, I never realized just how challenging taking this picture each month would get to be! Especially when I am usually doing it by myself! This first picture is the one I think is the best. If you notice she has a little red spot on her forehead. This was unfortunately after she tumbled head first out of the chair onto the floor because I tried to get a picture without Elmo! It obviously didn't work and freaked us both out, but I think she is just fine.
Here is one before the fall where she is smiling but I couldn't get that darn doll out of her hands!! Oh well, I guess we will just hope that we can get another picture somewhere in her cool Shockers dress!
As I said above, we spent the first part of this week in Tulsa visiting Seth, Jenni, Noah, Ian and little Conner. Jesstine felt right at home. I am very pleased with her ability to travel so far. She did great on both trips! Maybe Stephen is right and she won't NEED a DVD player on long car trips.....Yeah RIGHT!! She seemed to sleep fairly close to normal as well! We had a great time Seth and Jenni! Thanks for hosting us and letting us see the greatest 5 year-old t-ball player in Tulsa strut his stuff!
Seth and Jenni have a pool in their back yard. It is one of those that sits above ground in your back yard and you put it together yourself. It was really cool! We had a blast swimming in it! Jesstine had to fight Connor for the raft though. She loved the shade over it. If you can tell, her hair is getting long enough I could fashion a small Mohawk for her! Oh, and the pool was not a chemical pool. It was salt water. Less maintenance and no chemicals in the eyes!!! I want one!

This was the first morning we woke up. Jesstine had been in bed with me for a little while. Then we joined the boys, Seth and Jenni in the front room. Talk about a cousin pow-wow complete with lovies!!!!

Here is little Conner, Jesstine's hopefully soon-to-be cousin! He is such a cutie! Jesstine did her part to keep him entertained. I think she liked his toys just as much as he did!

When I got back, I held a "spa party" at my house. It was a lot of fun. It was one of those beauty product sellers. She came and let us pamper ourselves with her product. Even Jesstine got in on some Margarita foot creme!!!!! Here I am in a mask with a warm neck wrap!!! Do I look like GI Jane? Also when we got back, I had to catch up on my workouts. On our way back from the Y, I noticed a garage sale around the corner from our house. I stopped in and this really caught my eye. Jesstine really doesn't NEED anymore toys. She is starting to outgrow some and she really likes to stand. We hope to get her a music table for her birthday. In the meantime, this was for sale for $5! It was a bit dirty, so I offered $3 for it. They said yes and I brought it home, cleaned it and sanitized it. She loves it! I didn't know until I brought it home, but it is very functional! It is a music table, but also.....
turns into a desk! The little electronic thing in the middle lights up and she can push buttons on the clock to learn how to write her letters (upper and lowercase), numbers and shapes! It is really nifty! It was fairly easy to clean too.
Well, we hope all of you are doing well! Brace yourself for a couple of posts next month where we will be celebrating a 1st birthday!!!!
In Him,
Lacie, Stephen and Jesstine

Babe B. Hutchins-July 11, 2007

We love you to the moon and back, Babe B.

Daddy, Mommy and Jesstine Hutchins
(Picture taken on July 11, 2009-our Babe B.'s second birthday.)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Remembering Babe B.

Sunday night Stephen was preparing to go on a business trip to Houston, TX and Jesstine and I were getting ready to go see our Tulsa family. We went to bed that night and I don't know if it was just the anticipation of the trip or what it was. I could NOT fall asleep. It hit me all of the sudden like it often does....I REALLY miss Babe B. This Saturday would be her 2nd birthday. Looking at Jesstine and how fast she is growing sometimes makes me ache that much more for my first little girl! I miss her so much. What do you do for the birthday of a baby like Babe B.? I would like to remember her in some way and commemorate her. I have to say though, I am not really all that fond of that day. It was perhaps the worst day of my life! I know that sounds extreme, but if you have been through it you know exactly what I mean. Last year, I was pregnant with Jesstine and had purposely blocked it out of my mind due to the emotional and physical struggles I had while I was pregnant. This year, I don't have that excuse. I listen to other parents (or read) who do special things for their deceased children on their birthdays. I just don't feel as though it is a day to celebrate. Besides, my child was born straight into heaven! She is too GOOD for an earthly birthday party right?

Anyhow, as I was lying in bed awake, I sobbed. It was hard to do and not wake my hubby up. I started to pour my heart into a blog entry that I thought I would post. It seemed like it was a bunch of randomness that was spilled out in the heat of the moment. Needless to say, it didn't feel right posting it and making people feel sorry for me. I am not really that kind of person. I still wonder though, what am I supposed to think or do about this day each year? For me it isn't a reminder of the typical joy that the birth of a child brings. It had its joyful moments. There is nothing like the first moment when you finally see this little being that has been growing and moving inside of you for what seemed like forever. But at the same time, the day is tainted with so much sorrow. Sorrow that is beyond what words can describe!!! I hate how my daughter can't be remembered in a more joyful manner as most children are. I know, I know. She is not, nor will she ever be "most children." She got to go straight to heaven and was perfect without even trying right???? It still is painful. Of the few memories I have of my little girl, the happy ones are SO outnumbered by the sad and sorrowful moments. I don't have a "pretty" picture of my little girl. I have some that will pass. I don't have even a beautiful picture in my mind of my little girl! (Unless you count the pictures that I see when I think of the lyrics to the song that was put to her picture slide show that was intended to be shown at her memorial service.) I have to make those up. So much sorrow surrounds that day. I know I will make it through that day each year. I just wish that I could celebrate the little bit of life I did experience with her. I guess, it is just different because of the circumstances.

This also goes to show that no matter how much time has passed, the death of a child is such a sorrowful thing, that if it ever happens to you, you may think you are fine and it will all of the sudden hit you! It is worse than the saying "like a ton of bricks." It is worse than the feeling of your heart being torn from your chest and ripped into a million pieces. It is indescribable pain and sorrow. You feel it each and every day, but some days it is so much a part of you it is all that you feel!!!

I know that I am not alone in these feelings. There are countless people out there who have experienced this or the loss of a child in general. As I have said in the past, it is kind of like being automatically a member of a club. Not one that you really intended to be a part of but one that you just are.

I guess I will end with this, I ask that you please remember my family as we go through this weekend. To many, it is just another day. To us, it is the day time stood still for what seemed like forever. Hold your children close and never take for granted each moment you spend with them. Even when they are writing on your walls with permanent marker or throwing an absolute fit in the middle of a store because you would not allow them to get a third copy of their favorite Elmo book! Children are a precious gift! There is nothing like the bond between a parent and a child. It should not be forsaken! I leave you with a few of the semi-normal images that we have of our Babe B. who is probably singing with the angels! You will notice that we do not share any of her face. This isn't because she was mangled or anything. It is just because we agreed early on that we would like to keep those to ourselves. We want to preserve that for our memories and let it be one of the few things that no one else gets to share between us and our daughter and perhaps someday with Jesstine and any other siblings. For now, this is what I am ready to share:

Here is one of the first ever photographs of Babe B. that we received. You will notice that of course it is only a sonogram, but when you have very few memories, you cherish every little thing!!! And of course everyone is ecstatic when you see your baby on a sonogram and they look like a real human being instead of just a bean! Also a reminder, we did not know she was a girl until the day she was born! I wanted a girl so badly, now I have two!!

This is one of my FAVORITE memories of Babe B. I loved this sonogram picture from the start! To this day, I cherish it greatly! This is one of the little feet (sometimes it felt like there were more than two) that kicked me each time I forgot to turn on the radio when I started up the car each time!!!

Here are those beloved feet again! I always thought that they looked like mine because of the way her second toe lies on her big toe on the right foot. It is so hard to say because I look at babies' feet and a LOT of them look the same! I will go with my first instinct which was that she had MY feet!

This was one of the memorial things that Agape'Care Cradle provided for us. It is very similar to the handout that was passed out at her memorial service. For those of you who don't know, "Guess How Much I Love You" was the name of a book that I INSISTED that Stephen read to Babe B. nearly every night. It is about a father bunny and a baby bunny who try and one up each other on how much they love each other. At the very end, the baby bunny is growing very tired and thinks he has bested his father when he says, "I love you right up to the moon." The father bunny says that that is far. He tucks the baby bunny in and kisses him goodnight and says, "I love you right up to the moon......and back." This was a picture from that story and we put "We love you to the moon and back" on Babe B.'s grave marker.

And last but certainly not least, her little hand. Again, I thought they looked like mine. She definitely had my crooked pinkies in her hand prints!! Looking at them though, they look a LOT like Jesstine's did when she was born!! Again, I will think what I want to because that is all I have of a connection!

Thank you to all of you who keep up with this blog and thank you to all of those who have supported us through this tragedy. We appreciate all of you beyond what we can say! A VERY special thank you to Shannon Barnes and all of the volunteers at Agape'Care Cradle for making it possible for us to have the tangible memories that we DO have!

In Him,
Lacie, Stephen and Jesstine Hutchins

Babe B. Hutchins -July 11, 2007

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Jesstine's First Fourth.....of July That Is

Well, it was Jesstine's first 4th of July! It wasn't very eventful, but I think she still enjoyed herself! We actually started celebrating the night before. I entered a drawing recently at a luncheon for Dress For Success. It was a drawing for a free 8x10 and free sitting at Camera Angles here in town. We went and had pictures done (in our flag shirts). Unfortunately, you won't probably see those as they are SOOOO expensive, Stephen is opting for the free 8x10 and that is it!!!! I kinda would have liked to have some wallets, but a set of 8 is like $32!!!!! On the actual 4th of July, we didn't really do anything too special. Stephen has been itching to grill again, so we smoked some turkey and ribs and had my folks and step brothers over for an early dinner/late lunch. Jesstine LOVED Daddy's smoked turkey! She loved the cheesecake for dessert even better!!! I let her share my piece and I think she ate 90% of the cheesecake part and I was left with the outer, chocolate edge! Well, here are the pictures!
Okay, so this was actually taken today (July 5th),. I bought this for her so she could be festive. Then it dawned on me that we would just be hanging around the house on the 4th and it was too pretty for playing. So, I dressed her in it for church today! She wore her silver sandals and was beautiful. The thing in her hair is a snap clip that I found on etsy and it matched so well, I bought it! There is a close up of it later on!
After dinner, while we were digesting our food, I got the new baby pool out for Jesstine. My mom was kind enough to attack my tree and bushes with some sheers while Jesstine played and I watched! Thanks Mom!! My tree needed a hair cut! It will all grow back by fall!
I tell you, this girl LOVES the water! This pool is the perfect size too! It is not too small, and not too big! It only took a couple of buckets of water to fill to the perfect level!
Jesstine is really pulling up and standing a lot. This was a typical pose for her in the pool. She liked to put her hands on the edge and try to stand up. Not long and you will be cutie!!!
One more pool shot! She just LOVED it! What else can I say?
Clippie closeup!
So, we have NEARLY lost interest in the excersaucer. She still sits in it every once in a while. Mostly she would like to be out and moving around! Today, she discovered how much fun it still is! She played under here for a good 5 mins. She has always loved throwing her peek-a-blocks down under here and hoarding them! Now she has found a new way to do it!

Finally, we had a little fun when we came back inside. With a little help from Grandma and Daddy (notice the shadow disrupting the light), we caught Jesstine dancing on camera. Usually when I find her doing something and grab the video camera, she stops doing whatever she was because she is more interested in the camera!

We hope you had a great Independence Day! Here's to hoping that we continue to be "One nation, under God.."

In Him,

Lacie, Stephen and Jesstine Hutchins

Thursday, July 2, 2009

KC Vacation 2009-Jesstine's First Vacation

We did it!!! We FINALLY took Jesstine on her first real vacation! It was the first time in about 3+ years that Stephen and I have been able to ride roller coasters!!! We were thrilled! Our idea was to take my mom with us to help with Jesstine and we would buy a double park pass and hop between Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun. We know Mom loves water parks, so this was a double bonus for her! She even rode her first roller coaster in like 20+ years I think she said!! Here is a little photo diary of the highlights of our trip!!

Okay, so this is actually before the trip! Jesstine decided she was going to help pack. She went straight for the most important thing...the pantry where all the food is! We currently do not have a door on our pantry because it backs up to the door that leads to the garage. It has been hit several times and rather than replacing the track for a third time, we have decided to go without a pantry door. We may reconsider after this! To her credit, she did try to put the package of napkins back, but she was just too small to lift them back up and keep her balance!

So, we left Sunday afternoon after a lunch of Freddy's and after morning church services. We went up to Knob Noster where my sister (Ola) lives and stayed on base! It was much cheaper! Thanks Ola! It wasn't more convenient, but it gave us an excuse to see Ola while in the area. We thought we may check out the campground near World's of Fun next year to maximize our time and possibly get some better naps for the little one. Anyhow, this is a picture my mom took on the car ride to the park! Jesstine LOVED having a buddy back in the back with her to wait on her hand and foot, literally! Mom did a great job of taking care of her needs! She also gave us a couple of laughs! Mom fell asleep and started to snore lightly. Jesstine thought she was playing and blowing raspberries. She blew raspberries back! It was SO cute! This is actually a sleeping mask that Mom had with a travel pillow and blanket she brought a long. We thought Jesstine looked so cute in it. Obviously so did she!

This is after we first entered the park. We always end our day at Oceans of Fun, so we parked over there. It is actually easier to get in and out that way too! This is just as you get into the Oceans of Fun area...after going through the gift shop of course!! Jesstine was in awe of all of the slides and such around her. She was happy to get in the water (as you will see later). After this Stephen and I hit some rides while Mom watched Jesstine. Mom actually rode the Mamba with Stephen which was great!! I think she had a good time. She didn't ride anything the rest of the time except for the water slides. After hitting the Mamba (twice for Stephen) and the newest coaster, the Prowler, we decided that we were already hot and needed some water! Jesstine was ready! Mom had her in her bathing suit and all sunscreened by the time we were done with the ride! (Yes even her mostly bald head. She is getting more hair though!)

When we FINALLY reached the water park, we were promptly told that Jesstine had to have a life jacket to get in most of the things there. That was okay. It actually made things a bit easier. She didn't seem to mind once we adjusted it well enough. And of course it had a dog on it so she loved that!!! I have to say this isn't a bad picture either!

Jesstine is starting to try blowing bubbles more often. For a while she got timid and wouldn't stick her face in the water. Now she is starting to get as brave as when she started out.

Hanging out on her back in the wave pool! It was awfully sunny, so this became difficult to do. The life jacket was actually very helpful with back floating though!

She saw Mommy with the camera and THEN she started to splash. Usually splashing is the first thing she does. I think this was just enough different she didn't know what to do.

After some time in the water, we were all hungry and in need of a break! We walked over to where the shows were. We took her inside the "R.O.C.K. in the USA" show. It actually went better than I had expected. We fed her a bottle. It was around her normal naptime, so I put the cool, wet beach towel over my head and hers. Then I cradled her close and she fought for only a few mins. before going to sleep. She slept for ALMOST 30 mins. Not NEARLY enough, but she seemed to do okay! She was a real trooper!

After a nap, Mom wanted to ride on the train, so she and I went on the train while Stephen took Jesstine around so that he could see if she would sleep anymore in the stroller. From the train we could see the Carousel. I decided she needed to go for her first ride. She loved it! Great photo opportunity as well!

Another carousel picture!

Jesstine has lately been enamored with Dogs. She started saying dog a while ago, but then she stopped for a while. Usually all she would say was "Hi." Now, she says it a lot. She even points to dogs and says it! She was pleased as punch when we went to Camp Snoopy! She went with Grandma and loved it. Then we went back to buy a souvenir and there Snoopy was at the gates!!! She LOVED it! She thought is nose was so fun! She even waved to him and said "hi." When we went to the gift shop, it was FULL of Snoopy stuff and she kept saying, "daw, daw."
On the trip home, we wanted to meet up with my cousin Jason for some lunch. Before we met up with him, Ola took us to the free petting zoo that she takes the boys to all of the time! It was wonderful! It was like a zoo of common farm animals and a couple of others. There was even a bald eagle!!!! Jesstine loved the peacocks. Here she is standing at their cage looking through the chicken wire.

We were also able to get a great family photo. It is a little fuzzy. What do you expect from a disposable camera without a flash! I guess it could have been worse right!!!

They had a place where you could go in with a TON of goats and feed them. They swarmed anyone who came by. They nearly tore my pants up! She didn't know what to thing. She tried to say goat, but it was just a variation of "daw." It was something like "doe." She is so smart! Yes, we washed our hands after being in the goat pin!

Needless to say, a couple of days full of fun and sun and she was beat! Not to mention we stopped and met Jason at the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. Yes, she had (and enjoyed) some of Mommy's Brownie Sundae Cheesecake. Mom was once again a life saver! She found this horseshoe shaped pillow at Walmart to help Jesstine sleep. Coupled with Dumpty, her head didn't fall forward quite as much. She slept fairly well while we drove on.
She was SOOO happy to be home. I am not joking, she spent at least 5 mins. just standing at her high chair!!! Do you suppose she was trying to tell me something?? I know this is a TERRIBLE picture, but again, that is what you get from a disposable camera not meant to take pictures in doors!

Well, that is all for now. We are off to Tulsa at the beginning of next week to spend some time with Uncle Seth, Aunt Jenni, Noah, Ian, and little Conner for a few days while Daddy is in Houston on business.

Hope all is well with the rest of you!

In Him,
Lacie, Stephen and Jesstine