Sunday, February 26, 2006

Kierra 2002

Kierra Misc2 003
Originally uploaded by mommanana.

I am there..

I was going through some things today and came accross one of Kierra's journals. The last entry in this particular book really gets to me. In it she talked about how much she missed Brian's dad, her Grampa Shore. He passed away April 1, 2005. She also talked about how we need to grab on to life and live for today because you never know what will happen tomorrow....
I was suprised how much she wrote. Not daily, sometimes months would go by between entries. Some are happy, some are sad, and some are angry. It is such an intimate look into what she thought and how she felt. She wrote some poetry and had copied a couple of mine down that were her favorites. God, how I miss her. I close my eyes for a minute and flashes of moments go through my mind. So many, yet not enough. I can't focus on just one. I am there in those moments with her.
And then I am brought back by the ringing of the phone, or the cry of a child, and I resist for a, don't open your eyes, no, not yet...and the pain runs deep. Not for the memories or the moments, but for the return to my life without her.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Just one of those days!

Some things about parenting have changed over the years, but somethings have not changed at all! Like how children demand your attention the minute you get on the phone. Or no matter the age difference, siblings will argue! And no matter how close 2 children may be, they will still fight about everything and nothing. I have had 2 discussions with Dori the past week that were very reminiscent of conversations I would try to have with friends many, many years ago when the older 3 were young. I am half talking to the person on the phone and half correcting or directing the kids. So most conversations are short and sweet, or just short if the kids really misbehave!
Really misbehaving seems to be in Tristan's plans lately. Poor Alexa has the bruises to show for it. He threw a toy at her last week and barely missed her eye. But hit hard enough to give her one heck of a shiner. Then a couple days later he hit her with another toy and bruised her cheek. Both times he was removed from the play area and had to tell her he was sorry. The toy hitting stopped, then today he bit her on her face, bad enough to leave open teeth marks on her lip and just between her lip & chin. I had to get liquid band-aid to close it up. They were supposed to be taking a nap. Tristan never sleeps as much as Alexa, so them sharing a room is not the greatest choice, but at the moment is the only choice we have.
I can vividly recall the other kids tormenting each other and all had their share of bruises. The terrible twos are here!! Then I have Chad at 19 constantly arguing with Hunter who is 5. I can't blame it on a full moon, and I know it will come and go, is normal, blah, blah, blah. Today was just one of those days. Hunter is just getting over being sick and the twins take turns having colds, so we all have a case of cabin fever. Cold, rainy weather doesn't help.
There were moments of calm.. Hunter playing with Alexa and trying to help her feel better. Hunter sharing his blanket on the couch while they watched a movie. The twins sitting on my lap with their heads on my shoulders. Tristan trying to brush Alexa's hair and mine. Hunter trying to teach Tristan & Alexa how to use walkie talkies, and when they couldn't figure it out, he would hide around the corner and sing to them through it.
Now they are all sleeping their angelic sleep, looking sweet and innocent, even Tristan. This day is nearing it's end and I will try to leave it here and move forward to tomorrow. I am hoping the mood of the day will be better than today! I am off to clean the physical chaos that is my house, and try to rest the emotional chaos that is my mind.


A P.S. to my last blog, Brianne also got a tattoo she designed out of 3 different tattoos. It is a purple shaded rose and a beautiful butterfly. The rose to symbolize Kierra and the butterfly for Brianne, they will be together forever in her tattoo. I did not mention it because I thought it was personal and did not want to mention it without talking to her. She asked why I didn't say anything about it, so now you know..

Friday, February 24, 2006

Permanent Ink..

Otherwise known as Tattoos. Yes I have them.. more now than before. I got my first one for my 30th birthday. My little brother got it for me as my present. My friend Nancy did the artwork. It is small, discreet and meaningful. It was done low on my left breast. ( Low because I had a very bad sunburn!) A year or so later I had the same tattoo put on my left ankle along with a set of puppy paws put on my right shoulder. That was over 12 years ago. They have blurred a little and faded.
Since Kierra's death I have been looking for someone to do a special tattoo for me. I finally found an artist who heard what I meant and created one beyond my expectations. He also came up with an idea to cover the puppy paws as well. I was impressed and very touched that he was so in tune and cared about what he was doing for me. I decided to go ahead with a couple ideas I also wanted done. He is visiting from Brooklyn and was filling in at the studio only for a couple weeks. He then helped me create a way to tie it all together and I am so pleased with it. They are unique and meaningful to me. No one else will be walking around with my tattoos. He didn't even take pictures of them for his portfolio. He said we created them together for me, no one else. That means alot to me.
Was it painful? YES. But it held a purpose for me. The pain was not more than I have ever experienced and it was short term. Some were more painful than others. It was cathartic for me.
I will not display them here, sadly, because I do not want them copied. If you want a tattoo to memorialize Kierra or just to express yourself, great, design your own. It should mean something to you individually. Every tattoo studio has hundreds of designs on the wall, a good artist will help customize them for you or help you create your own from any idea you might have.
Our guy took a photo we have of Kierra's tattoos and created an awesome armband for Brian. He got it done on Wednesday. I am going today to get the old tattoo on my chest redesigned. Matt leaves Saturday, so I guess I will be done for now. Tattoos are not for everyone, and some people have pretty strong feelings against them. I respect everyone's right to their opinion as long as they respect mine. Kierra's reaction would be........"Sweeeeet"

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Laughter is good medicine..

Terry reminded me of a couple "moments" during her visit...
Terry went in to check on the twins and help get them settled, she opened the door and what did she see?? Alexa.. jumping on her bed...buck naked! And so proud of herself she just smiled and squealed with laughter. She had taken everything off and was having a blast.
Now many of you know about a family "game" played in my household that I am not very fond of.. The kids and Brian play it often, and Kierra even began to teach the twins this "thumbs up" game. Tristan gets his thumb up to his forehead, but Alexa uses her finger. The jist of the game is... when someone burps, or passes gas.. ( although they still say excuse me,) everyone rushes to put their thumb on their forehead.. the last one to do it... "eats it". I find this very rude and boycott the game. There is even a picture from Brianne's wedding that the photographer took of all the girls positioned prettily on the stairs.. someone must have burped or something because all the girls did the thumbs up thing... except Kierra.. when the photographer said "hold on, let me get a picture.. Kierra said "Not me, mom will have a fit!" She has the mischievious smile on her face, but is the only one without her thumb up! That explains the next incident Terry had with the twins this week.. she went into their room and said "Pewee.. who stinks?" and immediately Tristan put his thumb up! She couldn't stop laughing! It was good to hear and see the laughter and smiles.

Friday, February 17, 2006

My Left Foot..

It has been brought to my attention that I have failed to mention my broken foot..
About a month ago I took Hunter, Alexa, & Tristan to Sam's with me to do some shopping and get us all out of the house. It was an adventure! I was getting something off the shelf and when I went to put it in the cart, there was Tristan leaning over the edge of the cart trying to pick up a very large bulk size can of mixed vegetables, He couldn't lift it but had moved it very close to the edge. He was leaning way over, even with the safety belt on, so I grabbed him and set him up straight in the seat, which left the can to it's own struggle with gravity. The end result was the can landing on my foot. It all happened in a blink of an eye and I was helpless to stop it.
It hurt like hell and I debated getting it looked at. The debate went on for 2 weeks until I stepped wrong on some pebbles. I didn't twist my foot, but it rolled to the side. I heard and felt the "rice krispy" thing happen.. snap, crackle & pop.
I already had a Dr. appt. for that afternoon about a chronic cough (Bronchial Asthma), so I had my foot checked. A seperated break of the 2 outer metatarsals and a hair line fracture of the third. My cuboid bone shows stress but no break. They don't think the break would have seperated had I not walked on it for 2 weeks...( I can hear you all saying DUH!). I am in a "fracture control brace", which is mostly metal and uncomfortable. They said to cast it would encourage me to walk on it ( another DUH.. I do anyway) but I also have to have it checked every week for progression. The damage is done, so they don't feel the cast would make a difference over the brace. I use a cane or one crutch if I am walking alot, which is about as close to not using the foot as I am going to get. So there, I mentioned it!

New Life..

We have a new addition...I know, like we needed another body in our crowded house! This "body" weighs about 8 ounces, if that. His name is Max (Hunter named him from the dogs on Little Mermaid, and The Grinch). Yes, Max is a dog.. a 10 day old Dachshund puppy whose mother wasn't mothering him. I am a sucker and couldn't say no. I expected alot of resistance from Brian, but once he saw how tiny & helpless this little guy was he knew there was no way to turn him away. So I will carry the doggy travel bag along with the diaper bag, what's one more right?!
Max is a beginning of a new life. It is like seeing a flower in bloom... there is life, growth, change.
I know we have alot of growth and change already, but this is different.

Faraway Friends..

I am blessed to have most of my oldest, dearest friends living fairly close to me. I also have "faraway friends" who don't live near me and I don't get to see nearly as often as I would like. Yet I know no matter how much time passes, it feels like coming home to see them again. It is comfy and safe and like we've never been apart.
My friend of almost 30 years, Terry Moore, was here visiting from near Miami for a few days. We have gone through alot with each other's lives and I know no matter what, she is always there for me. She just blends in with our family. She helped with the kids, cleaned the play area (several times!), and didn't hesitate to change diapers. We talked and shared memories, of our lives and Kierra's. She joked with Brian and Chad and made Hunter feel special. She has such a kind and loving spirit, it was great to have her here.
The twin's Godmother, Brenda, watched them for me yesterday. She had met us at the mall the day before. It was good to see her and talk to her. The twins adore her and were so excited to see her. Kierra was alot like me, she had alot of friends. Some were casual, and a few were long term, family type friends. Brenda is, and will always be, the family type friend. She is like another daughter to me. She has had a rough time since losing Kierra and has learned, the hard way, the true value of friendship. Brenda gives too much of herself too easily. I told her Kierra knew who her real friends were, and who the users were. And deep down people know which ones they are. "Scrape em off Claire" is a line from the movie "Scrooged" with Bill Murray. We watch that movie every Thanksgiving, it is a family joke. Kierra loved that movie. So... scrape em off Brenda, they just aren't worth it!
I got the chance the week before to share myself with Debbie Ficocelli. It is the first time we have really talked since Kierra's death. She is one of those Long term friends I was talking about. We get busy with our lives and can go a while without seeing or talking to each other, but then it is just like yesterday, no time has passed at all. She shared so much of Kierra's life with me from the time Kierra was about a year old. I didn't have to explain how or what I was feeling, she was right there with me. I am fortunate to have most of my friends close by, so they have gone through all this with me from the beginning. But Deb hadn't and it was good to cleanse our souls a little. We laughed, we cried, it was just what we needed.
I spent a little time with my friend Vicky too, not as much as we would have liked, but we take what we can get! She has known Brian since they were teenagers. I have kind of taken over that friendship.. like a hermit crab moving into a shell that already has an occupant, I sort of pushed my way in and have been there ever since. Vic has always accepted me as is. Another friend that we can go awhile without seeing each other or talking, but when we get together, it is like always.
It takes a village to raise a child, and a multitude of friends to help you grow as a person. Thank you to the many I have who raise my spirit every day.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Fly Now..

Three months ago today.. is that possible? It seems like yesterday, yet it seems like it was ages ago. It is as sharp and vivid to me as the moment my life changed that day. The days since then seem a blur to me. Out of focus and all fuzzy around the edges. I will get through today as I have all the others, and tomorrow will pass much the same.
I used to cry over little things,
like broken toys and bumblebee stings.
I used to think there was nothing worse,
than a run in my hose, a stolen purse.
Now I try to think of before,
what her life was, and is no more.
Not to dwell on it , but not to forget,
the life she hadn't fully lived yet.
Memories bring laughter mixed with tears,
I cherish each one of her precious years.
Now we'll watch her children grow
and help them both come to know..
their mother, my daughter, Kierra Lee,
Fairie wings floating, fly now, be free.....

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Shoveling Snow...

I find myself going through all the motions, yet not really going anywhere or doing anything. I know I have said this before, and do not like to repeat myself, but my life has become repetitive and there is no other way to describe it. Auto pilot is the easiest way to function. Some days are definitely easier than others.
The kids & I have gotten into a semi-routine. They have their "days" too. The days blend together and before you know it, another day, week, month has gone by. They are growing so fast. Talking more and learning more every day. They are like little sponges, and I want to be sure I fill them with as much love and happiness as I can.
They can be sweet angels.... and little devils too! They can climb on, or under, or through anything if they put their mind ( or minds) to it. They have learned how to team up to get into mischief. Today I am installing a permanent gate to close off the kitchen ( it is the 3rd one!). The first was a pressure mounted gate, 2 toddler bodies pushed it down in no time. The second was a wood, 4-spot mounted gate. Tristan broke a couple of the wood pieces, and Chad tripping over it helped pull the anchors out of the wall. The new one is plastic, extra tall, and attaches in 6 different spots on each side. The kitchen wouldn't be so dangerous if they hadn't figured out how to team up and open the "child safe" latches on the cabinets & drawers. One holds the door open, while the other presses down on the latch to release it! And they are quick, like cheetah quick. I can't even go pee without something being gotten into. Or go into the other room to get a diaper or a change of clothes. We have to go in a convoy to be sure they are behaving. I keep some of everything out in the living room to be safe.
We have removed all dining room furniture to make them a play room. Their bedroom is too small. It is an attempt to contain their toys...attempt being the key word! It is a major accomplishment to get the floor vaccumed. I have a new wooden sign over the dining/play room.
"Cleaning the house while children are growing is like shoveling snow while it is snowing" That is my new mantra...

Monday, February 06, 2006


I posted the birthday pictures we had done for the twins yesterday, but I think the order got messed up from the way I posted them originally. I will snail mail them as soon as I can.
I got through yesterday (2/4) by keeping myself so busy I barely had time to think. Brianne & I took the kids to get their pictures taken. They have always done great getting them done and we always get several poses with different outfits/props. The joke was on us! They were all over the place and not the least bit interested in cooperating, hence.. no pix of them together or in different clothes. None in their birthday hats, none in their birthday shirts, and none with Hunter. Tristan was our biggest obstacle. The picture with the cell phone was pure luck. He was entranced because it was playing the hip hop song "My Humps"! The photographer was trying anything to get him to sit still. We mentioned he liked that song and she happened to have it on her phone. We may try again another day... and then again.. maybe not! Darnell had even come over to where we were to help out. No matter how many hands we had, they were in opposite directions the whole time. Not nearly as simple as when they were babies!
We made it to their party just in time. They ran and played, played and ran. They got some great presents and alot of cards, gift cards, and money, which will go toward redoing the playground. It took quite awhile to get them to sleep and they were up and down alot during the night. I didn't sleep well either. I kept dreaming of Kierra. I can't really remember what I dreamt about, but I woke up this morning tired and sad.
Everyone helped make the twin's birthday special. But it was hard not to think about their Mother not being there, and wonder what she would think, what she would have done. It was hard not to look at them and think how sad... they are so young and won't remember her. Kierra was so excited about their 2nd birthday. She was so anxious to see how they reacted and how excited they would be. And she would have been the first one to open their presents and play with them herself!
It was supposed to be a happy day, yet it was so bittersweet for me. I didn't let myself think much about it while it was going on. I kept busy with everyone at the party. But the thoughts came to me the minute I let my emotional guard down, when everyone else was asleep. So I quelched them, and went to bed. That no doubt is why I had such a restless, dream filled night.
We can say we got through it, one less obstacle to get past. Onward to tomorrow!


Originally uploaded by mommanana.
February 4, 2006 2nd birthday

The cell phone was the only way to keep him still... playing "my Hump" a hip hop song!


Originally uploaded by mommanana.
same pic in color


Originally uploaded by mommanana.
The only other picture we could get!


Originally uploaded by mommanana.
Same pic in color


Originally uploaded by mommanana.
Too Adorable!


Originally uploaded by mommanana.
February 4, 2006 2nd birthday

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Finding the Light..

I remember finding out I was pregnant with Kierra. I had gone to the clinic to refill my birth control pills ( HaHa). They always did a test first. Mine came back positive. I was shocked and scared, even more so when my boyfriend's reaction wasn't so great. He wanted me to "get rid of it". We were living together and I didn't think I had anywhere else to go. But I could not bring myself to terminate the pregnancy. It made for some pretty heavy arguments, and life was far from easy. We ended up getting married. I don't think we really wanted to as much as we thought we had to. I was 17, we wanted to move out of state and our mothers were far from happy about the situation. I was 6 months pregnant when we moved. Indiana was not a good experience for me. My husband had influences there that only exaggerated his already unpredictable moods. His family did not like me and the feeling was mutual. I clung to the thought that at least my child would love me and I would not be so alone any more. I took long walks and talked to my unborn baby. I prayed for a girl. I tried to stay calm and give her the best chance at life that I could. I didn't have anyone there to tell me what to do or what to expect. Kierra was born 6 days after her due date. Her birth was long and painful. But all that seemed to dim when I was told I had a healthy baby girl. My prayers had been answered. Her name was supposed to be Kira Michelle. But her father couldn't pronounce it without it coming out Kiara. So in the hospital I changed it to Kierra. I didn't like Michelle with that, so I played with names until Lee seemed to fit best. Of course I was young and didn't realize that was the masculine spelling, but it just added to her individuality. Some think having Kierra so young "ruined" my life. She saved my life. I would not have left Indiana when I did if it had not been to protect her. The months after that, she gave me a reason to work hard and hang on. She loved me and I was not alone. I realize it took going through all of that to get us to where we needed to be to meet Brian and to have the life we have had. Honestly, I have thought what if I had made different choices, would she still be here? I don't think so. I think I would have lost her sooner. There have been a few times I was afraid, truly afraid for her life. Like all of us, some of her choices weren't the best, or safest. I cherish every moment of her life. The good, the bad, and the indifferent. I have flashes of intense anger when I think.. I have to live the rest of my life without my child. Her children have to live without their mother. Each child of mine has such a different relationship with each other. Brianne has lost her only sister, it took them growing up to find their special connection. Chad & Hunter have both lost their oldest sister and the special bond they had with her. Brian has lost the child that wasn't born to love him, but chose to love him and claim him as her father beyond anyone else. He was her Daddy. I have lost my first born child. No, not my only child. I am blessed to have all my children. I would grieve as greatly for each and every one. But please don't comment that "At least you have your other children", or " You haven't really lost her, she is with you in your heart, or in her spirit.. ". Those words do not comfort me. They do not lessen my pain. As well intentioned as they may be, they do nothing for me right now. I can feel her heartbeat when I close my eyes, I can smell her scent when she was a baby. I can see her face as she grew, and see her smile in every thought of her. But her touch has been robbed from me. Her skin against mine as she hugged me has been stolen from me. Her voice in my ear as she told me her secrets can never be heard again. She is gone and the rest of my life will carry that void, that gaping black hole. Yes, I am in that black hole now, and when I am done typing I will drag myself back out of it. But there are times nothing can keep me from it's edge, and I need to go into the darkness of it to purge myself and see my way back to the light, the light that is my life and my family, and my friends. And what will always be... My life without Kierra.