Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A life long process

Once upon a time, the holidays were my favorite time of the year.  I love everything about them.  Being together with family, the warmth of sharing stories, laughter and memories, the look of amazement of a child's face when they see Santa, the twinkling lights everywhere you go, the smell of cinnamon scented pine cones, finding the perfect gift and then watching, with excitement as it gets opened.  I love it all. 

Kaitlyn's first Christmas, she was a little over a month old.  There are so many pictures of her opening her presents, asleep, me piling open gifts on top of her.  Her second Christmas was awesome.  She woke up and ran down the stairs, super excited by all of her gifts and just the magic of the holidays.  Her third Christmas, she was sick with the rotovirus, lethargic and ended up spending the following day in the hospital for dehydration.  Kaitlyn's third Christmas was nothing like I thought it would be.

When we prepared for Kaitlyn's third Christmas, I was so excited.  It was going to be the first year she not only "got" it enough to ask for anything, but she was going to share it with her baby brother. 

When Matthew died, we already had Christmas presents hiding in the closet (Kaitlyn actually found her gift from Santa, a giant Dora), stockings for all of us and plans on how to keep him safe and isolated from all the germs cold and flu season brings.

While I do think that Christmas was still magical for Kaitlyn, it was really, really hard.  And really, in a lot of ways, I still find them hard.  It's so conflicting, loving and enjoying so much of the holiday and so badly wanting to share it with your children and knowing that one will never be in your arms again.  I will never see one of their reactions Christmas morning.  I will never see his little handwriting making a Christmas list, or embracing Santa.  Or having a complete melt-down at the site of him.  I'll never hear that little voice ask for hot coco.

I do think, Samantha and Charlotte both have brought back a lot of joy into the house.  There are so, so many laughs and so, so much happiness.  They gave Kaitlyn a living sibling, though there are times she is super annoyed by little sisters, she is so proud and in love with them.  But, there are unanswered wishes, that I think will always be there.

I find myself getting really emotional during the holidays.  Probably more so than any other time of year.  I think it's why Samantha was given to us in November and Charlotte in December.  It certainly keeps our minds busy and our hands occupied.

Grieving the loss of your child isn't something you just get over, conquer and move away from.  It's something that becomes a part of you, a part of your daily life, a part of who you are.  Not a day goes by that I don't think of Matthew, or long to hold him, kiss him or see him.  It is something that just becomes you.  You work to get through the hard days and find blessings in the good ones. 

I believe that the most important thing in life is family.  Family shapes you, it supports you, it builds you and it's forever.  I am so incredibly blessed to have such an amazing family.  One that remains strong through thick and thin.  And, for those that have been toxic in the past, I have an amazing husband that helps protect us and our family.

I know that time shapes things and people.  Both change and grow.  People mature and realize the true importance of life, and I am always open to second, third, fourth chances...  Especially during the holiday season. 

I think part of the changes in a person, after losing someone close, is the realization of just how short life is.  It is so much more than a cliche.  It is life changing to realize that in just one breath, everything can change.  It can be overwhelming at times to realize just how true that is.  It can make the entire world stop spinning sometimes. 

This holiday season, hug easily and judge less.  We are so quick to make assumptions about a person's behavior or demeanor, but often, we do not know if someone is hurting or just really needs a kind word or a friendly touch.  Do something kind in memory of someone you love.  One kind act will not change the world, but it can change the world for one person.

Tomorrow is never promised.  Live each day to the fullest, find joy everywhere you can and embrace life.  Forgive easily, celebrate often and share your love with the world.

Friday, November 22, 2013

There's a three year old in the house. And a 9 year old. And an 11 month old.

And they are cute, snuggly and oh so much fun!

Obviously, I'm behind.  Things have been pretty intense lately.

Saturday, November 9th, Samantha turned 3.  When she finally woke up (after I went in there at 9:30!, with fresh donuts!), she told me her birthday was already over and she slept through it.  I had to convince her it was her birthday and presents were waiting for her.  That barely got her out of bed.  This kid has the sleep patterns of a teenager.  It's insane.

Once she opened her presents (a few LaLaLoopsy dolls, a "lamby" and Doc McStuffin's blanky), and ate the sprinkles and frosting off of her donut, we all got around and ready to go. She decided that she wanted to go to the zoo to celebrate her birthday.

I've learned that the Sacramento zoo is perfect for kids aged 2-8.  It's small enough for a kid to be able to walk around the entire zoo without being overwhelming.  And you can usually see everything in about 2 hours without rushing.  Which, is what we did.  Followed up by a trip on the Merry-Go-Round with daddy. 

Of course, part of the fun with the zoo is Fairytale Town.  Which, we wanted to avoid since her arm is still broken and Fairytale Town is all about climbing, playing, swinging and exploring.  The exact opposite of what she should be doing.

So, there was a fit to be thrown.  Which was heartbreaking.  Who wants to tell a 3 year old that they cannot play on their birthday?!?! 

She chose Denny's for lunch and then we headed to Nana and Papa's to say hello.  We stopped by Sam's Club where she got yet another LaLaLoopsy doll, refusing any other toys or books in addition or instead of.  Our plans to go to dinner and have cupcakes after were dashed when she fell asleep in the car at 6:30 and didn't wake up until the next morning!  Lucikly, the next day was Sunday dinner and it was her turn, Uncle Scotty's turn (his birthday is November 5th) and Auntie Jamie's turn (her birthday is November 7th!) to celebrate their birthdays, so she still got to blow out the candles!

Most of the week was spent convincing her that she was three, needed to get rid of her diapers and working on birthday party stuff!  Her favorite part of the week was asking to put candy in the pinata.  Putting in the candy and then begging every 5 minutes to "smash the pinata all up and eat all the candy."


Samantha is incredibly bright, stubborn and absolutely hilarious.

She loves to be video tapped and constantly asks to have her picture taken.  But, she refuses to look at the camera.

She loves Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First, Minnie Mouse and Adventure Time.  She sings so many songs and makes up her own versions constantly.  For example, on "You are my Sunshine" she likes to replace sunshine with anything else and gray clouds for purple, or rainbow, or green.

She knows her ABCs and recognizes a few words.  She loves to be read to.  Her favorite books are "There was an old woman who swallowed a" and she's great at playing make-believe.  We spend a lot of time with me as Mommy Pirate and her as Baby Pirate.  She has so much personality and is such a dare devil.  She's just amazing.  She brings so much joy and so much laughter.

She tells everyone her best friends are her big cousins Camaryn and Lisa.  And is pretty decent about sharing.  Unless it's with Charlotte, then she prefers she get her own toys.  She is a good eater, once a day.  But, she just picks and chooses the rest of the day.

Samantha is 40 inches tall (98%) and 30 pounds heavy (30%).  She wears a 3T pretty much for length and still has tiny little feet.


On Saturday, we threw a totally, awesome, 80s Karaoke party.  It was so much fun to throw.  I only wish I would have gotten more pictures.  I wish I would have gotten one of me with the girls.  Samantha before she took off her bandage cover.  More of the decorations.  More of the guests, who dressed up awesomely.  More of Kaitlyn and her friends.  More video.  Any video.  You get the drift. 

Karaoke was a HUGE success.  Once Kaitlyn got it started, there was always a line.  A double sided list.  Originally, we were only going to "offer" songs from the 80s.  But, how many 9 year olds know Madonna...  So, we opened it up to everything.  They had a blast.  We used an app I found for streaming karaoke on the iPad and it worked great.

We did pac man tables, arranged like the game, tons of 80s posters, decorated water bottles, had neon balloons, a table of board games, the pinata, 80s dress-up stuff for everyone (lace gloves, slap bracelets, friendship bracelets, glasses), a photo booth section and it was just a good time.

On Sunday, Kaitlyn woke up saying "I can't believe I'm 9." Our plans for the days changed a lot, but she ended up picking going shopping.  To Target.  I couldn't even talk her into the mall!  But, she had gift cards and money burning a large hole in her pockets.  After some lunch at Chili's her and Samantha did a little shopping before heading to my parents for Sunday dinner.  Since it was Kaitlyn's birthday she got to pick what we had.  And she chose spaghetti tacos.  Again.  Lol.

Kaitlyn and Samantha both have physicals coming up in 2 weeks, then I'll update with their stats. 


Kaitlyn did have her parent teacher conference.  We've had some serious issues with her school recently.  She was switched into another class about 2 weeks into the year.  It was a disaster.  The school wasn't prepared.  A teacher hadn't been hired yet, they didn't have enough students and after a period of time it appeared that there simply wasn't an ability to make promises become realities.

Kaitlyn found out they were getting a new student from Africa and was super excited.  She wanted to learn all about the country and asked that they be seated next to each other.  After a week, it was horrible.  Kaitlyn thought the girl was rude and asked to be moved.  She said she broke an entire box of her crayons, one at a time.  She would take her work away.  She was disruptive.  Then, she started hitting Kaitlyn.  Then, kicking.  Then pushing, pulling and just being violent. 

I went to the teacher, who was finally hired and obviously overwhelmed.  There wasn't any communication, I felt ignored.  I went to the principal, who was new and there were still constant problems.  Kaitlyn has never had a problem making friends or getting along with kids, so to be constantly harassed and physically attacked daily was obviously something new. 

After we went two weeks of complaining about being attacked daily, and her not wanting to go to school, and the teacher brushing it off, and her bruised and swollen and me feeling like I was being given the run around, I went to anyone in the district and school board would listen and she was transferred back to her original class.

This made her happy and now the girls are almost friends (crazy how resilient kids are?!?).  The attacks have stopped and both girls are being given a chance to succeed. 

But, it made it hard for Kaitlyn to get accurate grades on her report card.  Her class was several lessons behind the one she transferred in the day before they did the big test that accounted for their grade.  Even after not being introduced to the material yet, she pulled out a 96% on the test, only missing 2!  She got an A in just about everything and the two sub-subjects that she got a B in, her teacher is confident she'll have A's by next report card.  He commented that she was one of those rare students that are strong in many subjects. 

She also recently got two medals at school for doing so well on her STAR testing.  She was only 3 wrong answers away from a perfect score in Language Arts!  Way to go!

Kaitlyn has found her 9 year old attitude and I think she hates it as much as I do.  We battle a lot over her room and her attitude.  But, she does try to correct it.  And I don't look forward to puberty.  At all. 


And Charlotte is 11 months!!

We only have one more month sticker to do.  I cannot believe it.

She will walk all over holding one of our hands.  She'll take 5-6 steps on her own.  She loves to dance and looks hysterical doing it.  She is climbing on everything and getting down just fine.  She is our most loving baby.  She loves to hug, give cuddles and kisses.  She acts shy, but goes to anyone.  She hates clothes.  She hates the car.  She loves food.  She easily out eats Samantha each and every day of the week.

She is in 12 month clothes and is pretty petite.  She's long at 31 inches (98%), but thin at 19 lbs 6 oz pounds (36%).  She has little feet and wears a size 2 in shoes still.

Her hair is growing like crazy.  She is up to 5 teeth, and spent the last week sick with Roseola.  Some days, I think she'll potty train before Samantha. 

Charlotte's invitations are made, I am picking them up today and then we are going to work on the guestlist.  We are going to celebrate her birthday on a smaller scale this year.  On the Saturday before Christmas.  Gifts are not at all expected and really we just want to celebrate our little miracle with friends and family.  :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

10 months old

I know this post is a few days a week behind.  Maybe part of me believes that if I delay the posting, she will stop growing as fast??

Charlotte is just growing so fast.  She's absolutely adorable and melts hearts every single day.

She's just shy of 18 pounds and 29.25" tall.  Although, I wouldn't be shocked if she grew another inch this week.

Our littlest little baby is teetering on toddlerhood.  She's taking a few steps at a time, at most 5, at few 2.  All on her own.  She wants to run and jump so bad you can see the determination in her eyes.

She makes a lot of sounds and a few sound like words.  The basics mostly, mama and dada. 

Charlotte is trying to climb on absolutely everything.  Which leaves me absolutely terrified. 

She loves food.  We're up to three meals a day and a lot of snacks, combined with nursing every few hours around the clock and a bottle of formula at bed time and a cup of juice in the afternoon.  She has snuck a few things I wouldn't dream of letting her have.  You know, Samantha's chocolate covered marshmallows, Samantha's cup of milk, Samantha's oreos, Samantha's mustard sandwich.  Notice a pattern? 

Charlotte has 4 teeth, is sleeping in about 4-5 hour increments.  She goes to bed around 9:30 and gets up around 1:30, then goes back to sleep in her crib (in our room) and gets up again at 6:30, then sleeps until about 8.

We're in cloth diapers about 90% of the time.  I am using disposable at night because it is just easier. 

Charlotte is probably the cuddliest baby we have.  She loves giving hugs, kisses and acting shy. 

I can't believe she is nearly 1...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A busy week

Last Monday, October 7th, Samantha kept climbing into Kaitlyn's bed.  I kept running in there and getting her down.  Considering how terrified of heights she is, I was shocked she would keep going up there.  It's a super high loft bed.

I was getting Charlotte and Jaxon ready to go pick up Kaitlyn from school, finishing up nursing Charlotte when I heard a thud.  It sound like it came from Kaitlyn's room so I ran back as fast as I could and there was Samantha, on the floor.  Doing the I'mgoingtoholdmybreathandthenletoutascream cry. 

I carried her to the living room.  After a moment, she calmed down to tell me that she was on the bed and tried to reach the light in the middle of the room and fell.

She was acting pretty normal.  She had a tiny cut on her chin, maybe a 1/4 inch if I was generous in the size.  But, I was so nervous.  I called the advice nurse.  She said there were two general rules of thumbs about when they go to the ER for falls, if they are acting normal.  The first is if the fall is more than twice their height.  Since the bed is above my head and I'm 5'8" that's a yes.  The second is if there is a cut to the face 1/4" or longer.

So, we went.

The ER doctor was hesitant to do a CT scan since she was acting so great.  The only reason he did was because she had some redness above her hear.  If there was bleeding, that location would be an indicator.

Samantha did GREAT.  Her CT scan came back normal.  She was diagnosed with a concussion and we were sent home.

On Tuesday night, Daddy, Samantha and Charlotte were playing Monsters and Goblins.  They were sword fighting with remotes.  I said it was time for bed.  Samantha started screaming in pain.  She said her arm hurt.  I mostly thought she was faking it.  A couple hours later she woke up.  While Samantha is a terrible sleeper, normally, if she is asleep, she stays that way.  I debated taking her back to the ER off and on until about 4:00 a.m.  Dusty and I stayed up with her almost all night.  By 3:30, Charlotte was up with us.  By then, I figured I would just take her with me to Charlotte's appointment at 8:30 and see what their doctor suggested.

Samantha is normally super excited to see her doctor.  She didn't budge.  She didn't laugh at his jokes or silliness.  She winced when he touched her arm.  He sent us for x-rays after Charlotte's appointment was over.

Charlotte weighs 17 lb and 15 oz.  She's 14% for weight.  She's 29.25", which is 90% and a head circumference of 44.9 cm, which is 70%.  She's growing like crazy, took several steps yesterday and just a ton of fun.  Unless you put her in the car.  Then, she is very angry.

We took Samantha for x-rays and went back to the ped's office to wait for the results.  Not long later, her doctor walked into the waiting room with a sling and said "Oh yeah, she broke it."

*So sad*

They were able to get her into orthopedics about an hour later.  We were given the instructions to keep her in the sling and wrap an ace bandage around her body to split it.  Because she broke it from the shoulder down towards her elbow they cannot do a hard cast.  We just need to keep it immobilized to allow it to heal. 

The next morning, we made a cover to help keep it clean.  She has absolutely no desire to keep it still.  She is just so active.

Today, we had her follow-up appointment and x-rays.  She is healing perfectly.  The orthopedic doctor says it looks great and to keep it up.  She will wear it for at least 3 more weeks and go back a few days before her birthday for more x-rays.  Fingers crossed it keeps healing!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

6 years

Since we said good-bye.
Since we gave final kisses.
Since we said the deepest of prayers.
Since we gave hours of hugs.
Since we changed.  Forever.

It's hard to believe that six years have passed since Matthew died.  I can still remember so many things.  I can remember how his hair went just past his ears.  It was so silky and so dark.  But, so thin on top.

I can remember him trying so hard not to smile, and being so stubborn.

I can remember him eating his hand.  All the time. 

I can remember cuddling him.  Teaching him to nurse.  Never wanting to put him down.

6 years is such a long time.

Matthew is forever missed.  Forever gone and forever here.  He is a part of everything we do and everything we are.  He is why we do what we do.  His life brought us so much hope and so much happiness.  His death brought so much heartache and so much sadness.

We love you our little prince.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Matthew's Website

With 5 days left until the 6 year anniversary of Matthew's due date, I went to visit his website.

I discovered it wouldn't connect.

I did a google search.  Perhaps, they were having technical difficulties.

They were.  The difficulties were that the owner/creator of, the website I used for Kaitlyn and Matthew's first websites decided to charge everyone their fees, close down the site and take off.

It's gone.  Most cannot get any content back.

I'm fortunate in that there is a "way back machine" website that shows you cached versions of websites.  I'm doing my best to copy and paste it into word for now so that I can create a new website in his honor.

I cannot get back any of the pictures that were stored there.  Or the captions for each one.  Or any of the comments.  Many of the story pages are gone.  Fortunately, most of them are backed up on this blog already.

But.  I'm disgusted.  Annoyed.  Sick to my stomach. And incredibly angry.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

9 months!!!

I don't even know where to begin.  She's just so big.  So grown.  So on her way towards being a toddler instead of my sweet cuddly baby.

She has a face that you cannot say no to.  She hides her little face and smirks the sweetest way.

Charlotte is up to 18.4 lbs and    inches.  Her hair is growing like crazy and has this pretty ombre look.  It's getting blonder.  I think.  It's so hard to tell sometimes.  Her eyes are as blue as the brightest, prettiest sky and I wish I could get them to look in pictures even close to how they look in real life.

She loves her family so much.  She screeches so loud when daddy or one of her big sisters walks in the room.  She gets so excited when her little cousin is here.  She loves her grandparents and aunts and uncles and goes to just about anyone.

Charlotte is so fast.  She can crawl the length of the house in under a minute.  Which means the floors constantly have to get cleaned because absolutely everything goes in her mouth.  Everything.  Every string, every pebble, every possibly anything.  And Samantha is of absolutely no help.  She is pulling herself to stand and taking steps while holding onto things.  She is standing on her own for 30-45 seconds at a time.  A few times she has tried to walk off without holding onto anything.  She falls.  She hasn't realized yet she can't walk like the big girls.  But soon she will.  Soon she will toddle, walk, run and jump.  She'll be unstoppable.

Charlotte has said a couple of words.  Only if you ask Kaitlyn though.  Kaitlyn swears she says Bye and Mama.  I disagree.  I think she makes noises at the same time that would make sense for them to be words.  It's a bit of a debate in the house.

Charlotte is a hider and a pointer.  She is always pointing at something or someone.  And if you look at her, she'll hide her face into the carpet, or couch or me or anything for a moment.  It's so heartwarming.

Charlotte is a great eater.  She is still nursing (which is about a month longer than Samantha and a month shy of Kaitlyn), which is great.  But, I'm not going to lie, while I want to get to a year, we do supplement with one bottle of formula a day and I do kinda look forward to weaning at a year.  She loves pretty much all foods, but goes insane for a cracker.  We've been transitioning to fewer baby foods and more table foods.  She really likes bananas, avocados, chicken, cheese and little pastas. 

She still only has two teeth.  But, some nights, I think she's working on more.  Her sleep goes back and forth from great to horrible.  Last night, for example, she went to bed at 9 and didn't wake up until 4:15 and then went right back to sleep after nursing.  But, the few weeks before that, she was up every hour to nurse.  So, time, hopefully will help her have better sleep habits!  At least I can say we weaned from the paci.  We've never had a baby with a  paci so old, but, one day I just didn't give it to her and there wasn't an issue.  And I didn't go back.

She has started dancing.  All the time.  I love it.  She loves it.  She loves music and everyone singing to her.  She hates the car.  Still.  But, loves the ergo.  And baby dolls.  She's just such a great baby.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Inspirational Parents

I have some pretty incredible friends.  Many of them are parents.  They are all so incredibly inspirational, encouraging, motivating, genius and simply amazing.

It got me to thinking about what made them those things.  None of them share any of the exact same parenting philosophies.  Not all of them have easy or always happy kids.  Not all of them are two parent households.  And some are like night and day if you were to compare them.  Yet, they are all such great parents.

They all have one thing in common.  They love their kids.  Sincerely and genuinely.  How can you not respect that?  And they recognize that they do not have all the answers.  They are open to discussion about why they make the choices they do and listen earnestly.  They are creating the next generation of critical thinkers and empathetic contributors to society. 

To all the parents who:

* breast feed or formula feed or extend breast feeding into toddler hood
* cloth diaper or disposable diaper or skip diapers all together
* bed share or co-sleep or have baby in their own room from night 1
* had epidurals or unmedicated labors
* had cesareans or vaginal deliveries
* are super mom or hero daddy or laid back mommy or care-free daddy
* have playrooms or man caves
* home school or private school or public school
* vaccinate on schedule or modify vaccine schedules or do not vaccinate at all
* teach their child about Santa or tell the truth from the beginning
* have an adventurous elf on a shelf or do not have one or has a lazy elf that's always being touched
* have staycations or travel frequently
* have strict bed times or lax bed times or no bedtimes at all
* stay at home or work from home or work out of the home
* have cookies for breakfast or ban sugar
* watch Adventure Time with their kids or don't own a TV or only allow educational shows
* make homemade costumes or buy them on Halloween at the store or not at all
* are helicopter parents or "they'll be fine" parents
* have date nights or mommy nights or daddy trips or family time all the time
* throw big parties or little parties or no parties at all
* take too many pictures or too few pictures or no pictures at all
* live in the moment or plan months in advance
* make decisions for their children based on what works for their family despite any social beliefs, peer pressure or traditional ideologies

Thank you.  Thank you for parenting.  Thank you for being the boo boo kissers, the story readers, the first teachers, the playground referees, the chauffeurs, the rainbow makers and the parents that inspire me to be a better mommy each and every day.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Potty Training

 One thing I know absolutely for sure about Samantha's personality is that she is incredibly stubborn.

I don't even think stubborn adequately describes it.  

She can hold out to get her way for a really long time.  Longer than Kaitlyn ever did.  Longer than I sometimes want to.  Long enough to make me question what we're even battling anyways. 

Potty training has been no different.

Samantha knows how to use the potty.  She knows when her body is ready for her to go.  She will run and tell you.  She just doesn't always feel like using the potty.  Which is fine.  But so frustrating.  She is on her way to being 3 this November, and I'm a little tired of cleaning up her poppy diapers.  Especially since they are so massive.  And stinky.  And, did I mention she's going to be 3?!

Originally, I had wanted to follow the new guidelines and wait until she was 3 to even begin. Then, one day she started taunting me when she used the bathroom in her diaper.  And I realized, she was beyond ready.  It would cut down on diaper rashes and she is really mature and expressive for her age.

So, about a month ago (she was 32 months), we potty trained in about a day and a half.  All it took was 1 jelly bean each time.  She would hold the last part of her pee, and go every 4 minutes to get as many jelly beans as possible.  She would go on her own, running to the toilet, using her step stool and then yelling super excited when she was done.  We even ventured to the store a couple times where she used the bathroom there as well.  All was going good.  I bought her some new jammies and panties as a job well done gift.  We just had to work on poop.  Only about half went into the toilet and the rest were accidents.  I seriously thought we were done.

Then, after a week, she said she didn't want to anymore.  No reasons.  No excuses.  No explanation.  I asked her why.  She said she didn't want to.  I offered a jelly bean.  Nope.  I offered a bike.  Nope.  I offered everything under the sun and it was still a big, fat no.

So, I backed off.  We went back to diapers for another week.  And now, if I don't even mention it, we will have a complete day without diapers or accidents without any prompting.  Followed by another day of the same.  Then, out of no where, a day of diapers.  I have to commend her for sticking to her guns so well...

In other Samantha news, she is growing like crazy!  

She's been off Benadryl for about 3 weeks now and mostly sleeping at night.  It was another issue of backing off. 

Once we hit the point of her taking a full dose and still staying up until 1-2 a.m., I knew it was a lost cause.  So, I stopped giving it to her, made sure her room was super safe and just started asking her to go to sleep.  Once she knew I wasn't forcing it anymore, she started going to sleep at 9:30 and sleeping for a full 12 hours.  We've had a couple of nights where she woke up, but she always goes back to sleep.

I stopped forcing her to brush her teeth and now she is begging to several times a day.

She has recently went through a growth spurt, so I really need to measure the princess.  And she's exploded where vocabulary is concerned.  She is talking all the time.  In complete paragraphs and asking questions.  She remembers things from months ago and mentions them in conversations.  She says some crazy stuff and always has a funny story.  For example, yesterday, she kept stealing Charlotte's puffs.  Then, she asked me to put on her wings.  I said no,  She was being mean to Charlotte.  She said she was not.  I told her "you took her treats." and she said "I did not!  My belly did!  Remember?"  And she has totally mastered the "Ugh Moooom" as well as tattling, keeping secrets, playing make believe with her dollies and just acting far older than I think she should be.  

I cannot believe she's going to be 3 so soon.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Joshua Reagan

A few months before Kaitlyn was born, I really wanted a way to share her with family and friends near and far.  It was before social networking sites were as popular or as easy to use as today.  I discovered and Kaitlyn had a page.  I would update it just like a baby book and then share it.  My nieces had one, Matthew has one, I had started one for the first baby we miscarried and updated them often.

BHP (babyhomepages) was similar to a message board once you started posting.  You would see the pages other people created for their kids, and could leave comments.  It started friendships from one side of the world to another with people who had the same interests, kids of similar ages and who were going through many of the same trials as you were.

A couple of years ago, I had received a message that someone was using Kaitlyn's pictures as their own.  I didn't really pay much attention to it and didn't take it too seriously.

Over the last year, it's changed.  I've been contacted by numerous people with more information regarding the craziness this woman has created.

From the sources, I was able to gather that they were using the persona Joshua Regan.  A single father of now three girls and one little boy who passed away.  They had a facebook page and mostly found relationships on dating websites.  Their mother died in labor when Charlotte was born, and prior to the birth of each child, there was a different story as to mom's whereabouts.

Joshua Reagan was a woman.  Obviously sick in the head and from Florida.  I was able to track down their IP address and knew they were visiting the blog and the BHP sites.  I enjoy blogging and described why I started putting watermarks on my photos here.  I made the BHP sites private.  I, naively, assumed they were only getting the pictures from the blog.

Until I received a friend request on facebook followed by a message.  The messages included a photo.

Those first 4 photos were found only on one place: facebook.

The middle one of Matthew was also on facebook, but not directly on my page.  Rather on friends pages.  The next three were all on instagram and shared on facebook.

They all had facebook in common.  And I had over 475 friends.  So, I started deleting everyone that could have possibly been someone else.  Someone who could have been pretending.  Someone who could have actually been "Joshua Regan." 

After I deleted the first 10, the woman who had given me the photo said that "his" instagram page was going crazy and photos were being deleted.

I kept deleting.  I mean, to be honest, I didn't know who this person was that was messaging, or the people who had messaged me about it before.  All of them could have been the same person for all I know. 

I learned rather quickly that facebook is not a fan of you just deleting friends.  After about 50, it started glitching.  I ended up accidentally deleting many that I didn't need to.  I ended up getting down to closer to 150 friends.  Which, has made my newsfeed feel naked.

Throughout the time of unfriending, I continued to receive FB messages from the woman with photos of the texts she had received.

I removed the information shared by the person who shared them with me for a couple of reasons.  The main one being she talks about her kids, and I'm not sharing anyone's kids information.  And, it's not really necessary to get the creepy factor of what "Joshua Reagan" did.

I also received these:

I then received more texts after "Josh" was called out in regards to not being who he said he was:

He also sent a picture of his real daughter.  Who I thought about posting as well to find the true parents of, but have decided against.

This, according to "him", is his sister and her family:

Disgusting.  Right?

So, the next morning, I received this email (from

 Hi my name is Carrie. I'm 27 years old and I am sending this because I want you to know that your blog about cat fishing is wrong. As a freshman in high school, I lost my little sister to leukemia. I got really depressed and started spiraling downhill. I started doing drugs and I was known at school as the gothic girl. There was a specific girl, holly, in my grade who used to be so cruel to me. So I went home one day and created Josh Reagan. I found pictures of a guy who was attractive on aol profiles back when that was our social media. I messaged her, and made her fall in love with this guy only to break up with her and break her heart. Cruel I know. But at that point it made her weaker than me and that's what I needed. So I became addicted. I came across your family when your oldest was a baby. On babyhomepages. My sister had one for her memory and I was just browsing and came across your family. I don't know why I did what I did from there on out. I did use your children's pictures. I don't know why. I don't really have answers. What I can tell you is I'm sorry. I'm done with it all, and I'm trying to get my life back where it needs to be. I no longer have a computer, I got rid of it. I'm in a program to help with Internet addiction and the first step is to apologize to the people you hurt with your addiction. I am very sorry for doing what I did. It was wrong, and stupid. I you have any questions you can email me back, but I want you to know I won't be doing it any longer. 

Sent from my iPhone

Obviously, this person has some serious mental illness issues.  I have absolutely no sympathy for them and I hope that they seriously stop what they are doing and realize how much it can hurt others.

I think it's another example of how we cannot control what happens to us in life, the only thing we can control is how we react.

If I accidentally unfriended you, and you're not a psycho, please friend request me.  :)  And be safe on the internet people!