Before Dan met me, all he wanted to do in life was travel the world. The summer after he graduated high school (in 2005) he spent a summer in Europe. Even now, seven years later, he still talks about it all the time. The idea of traveling sounds fun, but it’s never been my dream. But it’s his dream, and because of that, I want to be part of that. It took me a long time, but I surprised him.

This is a map Dan brought home from Europe the first time he went. Guess where we’re going on September 12th?

I haven’t treated you guys to any photos in a while. So, here’s some to get your fix.

Chelsea, Maddi & Danny the day she left. 🙁 We miss her!

I'm mentally challenged like that.

Where yo polar bears at?!?!

I love this photo.

Danny and chelsea, cuddled up!

Danny fell asleep on his Auntie Allie.

Danny Opening a Gift... or rather, just playing with the bow and drooling.

Aunt Tori helping Maddi open a present!

Danny's idea of milk and cookies on christmas eve.

It was tough actually getting her to open any presents after the first!

I made a hoodie for her. It's supposed to have a deer applique...but it looks like a cat.

I made a funky retro skirt for allie. Had anti-drug slogans all over it!

Danny loves the boobs.

Maddi and Great-Grandma Marilyn opening a present!

Danny with Marlene's Dad at the Christmas Party

My ABSOLUTE favorite photo of Danny.

Danny playing with one of Rex's toys.

Daddy helping Danny with a present!

My neice, Kayleigh

Danny & Marlene. Danny was ENTRANCED by the guitar.

Taking a bath in the sink when the tub got clogged!

He can take her!!!

When I was in Anchorage with Bre several months back, getting Maddi’s social security number, I picked up a couple pregnancy journals. The first one, I did it for Maddi all about my pregnancy with her. Ironically, I worked on most of hers during my pregnancy with Danny. Today, I started working on Danny’s.

It’s kind of funny how I found out I was pregnant. Bre and I had been living in an apartment together in Kenai. It was this really trippy, bomb-shelter, underground apartment. Tiny, studio apartment.

I had some pregnancy tests leftover from when I lost Jacey. And I don’t even know why we decided to take them, but we did. Probably because they had the droppers to put the pee on the test so it was kind of like a science experiment. I remember Bre saying something like to that effect.

We took the tests and left them in the bathroom. I don’t really remember what we did after that, but we got distracted. We ended up going on a walk down to paradisos and getting chicken wings, and later that evening, Bre went in the bathroom and next thing I know she calls out to the living room, “Umm… Sam? You know you’re pregnant, right?” I went in there and sure enough, my test was positive. I asked her “You sure that ones not yours?” and she just laughed at me and said “I’m sure.”

I don’t remember what went through my head. Shock? Maybe it was because I didn’t really think I was pregnant. I had logical reasons to suspect, but after what happened with Jacey, I was for sure there was something horribly wrong with me and that every little sign and symptom was just my imagination working overtime. After all, you can’t get pregnant so soon after losing a baby… can you?

I was filling out the journal, and the prompt was “When I found out I was pregnant, my first feeling was:” and I just stopped for a moment.

My first thought wasn’t even a thought. It was a swirling cloud of eighty thoughts hitting me all at once. I couldn’t even logically separate the thoughts or isolate them and figure out what I was feeling. All I was feeling was the emotion and feelings behind the thoughts. I couldn’t put words to them. I couldn’t say happy, sad, scared, excited. I was just feeling the intensity of it all instantaneously and simultaneously. It was all very confusing, and very frightening.

I feel guilty for that. Shouldn’t a mother-to-be’s first thoughts be something more special, or hell, even slightly less plural and a great deal less contradicting of each other? I felt guilty knowing that my first thought wasn’t something the typical response from elated new mothers. I felt guilty for not jumping for glee and exclaiming for everyone to hear “Oh my gosh! I’m going to be a mommy!”

I felt guilty because if I had to pick, my first thought was:

“What if this baby dies too?”

I never really thought of it like this. Not until today. Not until I started filling out my pregnancy book for Danny. I never made the connection before. Maybe it was because I didn’t want to, or maybe I just avoid thinking about it and so the obvious didn’t jump out at me like it could have? It’s hard to see something if you spend your life pretending its not there. The allegory of the cave.

When I filled out Maddi’s book, my answers were pretty simplistic. Happy, excited, typical expectant mother dribble. The only thing less than “a baby story” typical in Maddi’s book was that she wasn’t planned. But everything else was.

“We were so happy!” “I couldn’t wait to find out if you were a girl or a boy.” “Daddy and I wondered what you’d look like.” “I gained a lot of weight.” “Everyone was so happy.” “I fell in love with you when I saw you at the first ultrasound.” “I couldn’t wait to meet you face to face.”

As I continued filling out sections of Danny’s book, I kept seeing how vastly different my entries for him were compared to my entries in Maddi’s book. Maddi’s book was full of what I call, “sunshine and rainbow” statements. And with Danny’s… I may not have wrote them, but I realized that every positive feeling I had about the pregnancy, was shrouded in fear.

I wasn’t picking out names. I wasn’t ooh-ing and ahh-ing over all of the cute baby clothes. I wasn’t having planning special ways to share the joyous news. I wasn’t excitedly awaiting my first doctor’s appointment so I could catch my first precious glimpse of my baby on the ultrasound.

I was wondering if my baby would even get a legal name. I was wondering if I’d ever get a chance to put my baby in clothes. I was wondering how long I needed to hide my pregnancy until it was “safe” so I wouldn’t have to endure the heart-wrenching pain of explaining that my child died everytime someone unsuspectingly asked how the pregnancy was going. I was terrified of my first ultrasound because I was afraid they would tell my my baby was dead.

Everything I did terrified me. For even the simplest actions I took, I would rationalize and debate every possible consequence or reprecussion there could be. Making even the simplest decision was enough to throw me into tears because no matter what choice I made with anything, I was, in my mind, convinced that something horrible would happen. And no matter how healthily I lived, somehow, somethng would go wrong, and the end result would be the same.

I would have another dead baby.

It didn’t matter to me that I had Maddi, not for argument’s sake. The fact I had a healthy child and pregnancy in the past meant nothing. It wasn’t credible evidence in my arguments with myself. It was a fluke. Somehow something happened and I got lucky with her, but never again. The mindset I was in, was that I had only a one in a trillion chance of having a healthy baby. I hit it once with Maddi, and there was no way I could beat those odds a second time. I was doomed.

Only now, after filling out some of the sections of that book, do I realize how much I took for granted when I was pregnant with Maddi. I was “depressed” that they couldn’t tell me if she was a girl or boy at only 12 weeks. I was pouting about looking pudgy instead of pregnant. I don’t think that the thought that anythng could possibly go wrong with my baby or pregnancy even crossed my mind. The potential for something terrible happening wasn’t even on my radar. How naive and stupid I must have sounded. How naive and stupid I was. If only I had been aware of the terror pregnancy can truly bring.

Even now, I worry. I’m not pregnant, nor do I intend to become so for a while, but whenever I even entertain the thought of having another baby in the future, or daydream about it, I’m filled with fear. I want more children, more than anything in the world, but even if Dan were to tell me tonight, “Let’s try for another baby.” I don’t think I could. Even with as much as I bug him and whine and pout to him about how I want another baby… I don’t think I could go through with it. I’m so terrified of something going wrong, something happening to my baby, that I don’t know if I could put myself through that again, and if we hadn’t gotten pregnant with Danny immediately after I lost Jacey, I can’t say that I would have tried to have another baby. It’s one thing for me to say I want another baby, and to genuinely want another, which I do, but it’s completely different to jump from talking and wanting, to actually doing. I really want more babies, more than anything in the world… But I’m terrified. Even just thinking about it now. It terrifies me. To the point I just want to cry. I’m so scared of it happening again and I don’t know if I could handle it. I really don’t.

Okay. So anyone who knows my husband, or at least knows him well, knows that he goes on what I call “drink binges.” He goes through a phase where he drinks one specific drink, several times a day for weeks on end. Since we’ve been together, he’s gone through… Mountain dew, sobe energy drinks, mountain dew again, amp, monster, wild cherry pepsi, dr pepper, wild cherry pepsi, and now those bottled starbucks mocha frappuccinos.

Let me begin this with: I HATE STARBUCKS. I have worked in two coffee shops. And starbucks is by far the epitome of corporate greed. They jip their customers. Overcharge. And are just overall a bad company with a mediocre product.

That, and I don’t really like coffee.

That being said, Dan still does. And money’s tight and those drinks are almost $7 for a four-pack! We can’t afford to be paying that much for him to go through two, three or four a day! Forget it! And there is no offbrand for them either!

So, I tried to find a few recipes for the bottled insanity, and I found two that seemed good. A recipe by The Kurths and a recipe by Christopher. Both recipes were good ones, but I altered them a bit, and kind of combined them.

First and foremost, if you come across a recipe that requires pectin, DO NOT USE IT! It was gross! It thickened the drink up, but it made it taste like chunks of solidified lemonade was in it! EWWW. And also, I do NOT recommend using hot cocoa mixes, or chocolate powders and syrups. I tried those first, and it just made the whole thing taste off.

Bottled Insanity
1 1/2 cups brewed coffee*
6 cups 2% milk
1/2 cup of sugar
5 tsp of unsweetened cocoa

Brew your coffee and then pour into a medium to large size pot. Add sugar and cocoa. Stir until dissolved. Add milk and stir until well blended. Funnel into intended  storage containers and refridgerate.

Yield: This recipe will fill around 5 of the starbucks glass bottles.

*I recommend using 2 1/2 cups of water, and 1/3 cup of coffee grounds and running it through once. However, if you would like stronger coffee, use 3 1/4 cups of water, 1/3 a cup of coffee grounds, and when it’s brewed through the first time, pour the already-brewed-coffee into the back and let it brew through again using the same grounds.

That simple! Easy recipe, huh? It only takes about 5-10 minutes to make after the coffee is brewed. And when I calculated it out, it only cost me about $0.30-$0.45 cents per bottle of it! 😀 Much better than the $2-3 per bottle it normally is!

Anyways. I’m smart. And I feel accomplished.

Today kind of sucks.

I’m trying not to let it get to me, but today is one year since I lost my baby. It’s really hard to not get upset. I know that I wasn’t that far along… But it still hurts. It makes me really sad and I have a hard time with it.

I’m trying to be positive and think about the things that happened positively… Like that I became even more resolved to fix things with my husband (at the time we were having problems) and I got pregnant with Danny shortly after… And if I hadn’t had the miscarriage, I wouldn’t have had him… I try to think of those things to keep me from being sad…

But it still hurts.

:'(

Maddi & GiGi getting ready to get back into the pool!

Maddi & GiGi getting ready to get back into the pool!

Maddi and I played in the pool for hours! width=

Maddi and I played in the pool for hours! She loved it!

She loved it, plus this is amazing thanks to the pool service fairbanks ranch help!

I was bouncing Maddi in and out of the water!

I was bouncing Maddi in and out of the water!

We were all sitting in the shallow end!

We were all sitting in the shallow end!

Papa was trying to figure out how to take a picture and took a picture of me as a test photo.

Papa was trying to figure out how to take a picture and took a picture of me as a test photo.

While I was at the pool, a woman I didn't even know walked up to me and told me I was beautiful.

While I was at the pool, a woman I didn't even know walked up to me and told me I was beautiful.

Nate’s party went great. We’re all exhausted though! Swimming really wears you out, especially so if you are bouncing a little toddler through the water with you the whole time! Ha ha ha.

We went swimming, and afterwards we went to my grandparents house, and had pizza, cake and ice cream. One of the pizzas was freaking amazing. Bacon, artichoke, spinach and chicken pizza with alfredo instead of tomato sauce! Freaking good! And then we had chocolate cake and peppermint ice cream.

I got Nate a cute card. On the front it had a picture of a piece of chocolate cake and it said “For your birthday, I made you a double fudge chocolate cake, but there was a slight problem…” and on the inside it showed a plate with cake crumbs on it, and it said “It was in the same room as me. Happy birthday!” I wrote him a little note telling him he can’t trust his big mean preggo sister around chocolate. I also included a little coupon for him that allows him to pick dinner one night, meal of his choice, for us to make. We’ll even break out our favorite Paper Plates and enjoy some dessert together.

I was kind of suprised. My mom was fairly pleasant the whole time, and even apologized for “being snotty.” So… Who knows? The whole time was pretty fun. Maddi enjoyed the water, but it was pretty easy to tell she was exhausted afterward! She couldn’t keep her poor little eyelids open! My poor baby.

Dan put Maddi in her nightgown when he got home, and she was all freaking out, trying to shove her legs up inside the nightgown… It was so funny! She was so frustrated though! We eventually figured out that she wanted her one piece pajamaas that have enclosed feet on them… We got her out a pair of those, and she got so excited and happy to put them on. Silly baby.

So, tomorrow is my two-year anniversary with Dan! I can’t believe we’ve been married two years! It’s crazy to think about it, but I guess it’s been that long! Time flies, I suppose! I’m excited. I love him so much. He really is my best friend in the whole wide world and I wouldn’t want to be with anyone but him for the rest of my life! Even if he does make fun of me all the time! He’s still my dan-man!

We’re going to make ribs, and pasta, and sparkling cider for dinner tomorrow. Might play a board game. I’m even going to make cream puffs! 😀 Yay for cream puffs!

Anyways, again, I am exhausted even though it’s pretty early. Oh well.

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Yesterday, I filled out Dan’s FAFSA for him. So, hopefully he gets some of the same stuff I did as far as financial aid. He should, after all, we have the same exact tax information. And he has all the dependants, because he’s the one who works and takes care of Maddi and I. He’s hoping to do some online courses that he can do after work, and in his spare time. I think he can. Dan’s really smart, and he’s got so much going for him. He’s so interested and involved in so many different things! He could go really far, if he was just given the chance to do so.

Today, I put a bunch of ads on craigslist. I’m trying to sell the car desperately. I need that car GONE. We can’t afford the payments and it’s just a nightmare trying to deal with it! If we could get rid of the car, we might be able to move out and live somewhere nicer, and on our own. I posted it for less than what it’s worth, but I don’t care. I just want the damn thing gone! Life would be so much easier without that stupid car!

I posted a few other things for sale, like a dish drainer, some jewelry, dan’s PS3 and some other stuff… I sold the dishdrainer for $10 and there’s someone interested in some of my old art supplies and some jewelry including my best gold diamond rings, hopefully I can get some money out of all of that too! I’m hoping all this money I make selling stuff, I can put towards paying off my bill that’s in collections.

I spent a lot of time last night and tonight posting on mylot, a pay to post site. It’s not a ton of money, but it dosen’t take me very long to write a post on there, so I guess it balances out. It’s not much, and maybe not worth the time, but I’m in a mode where every penny counts right now!

Right now, I’m just anxious to get rid of the car. If I can do that, then we’ll be on better footing and smoother sailing from this point forward. We need to get rid of the car, and get rid of it ASAP, or things might start sucking majorly.

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