Hammond Family

Moving forward, one day at a time.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Emily's Birthday Celebration

Today was Emily's 6th birthday, and we had a good time celebrating it. We started the day by having scrambled eggs and ketchup, Em's favorite. Then we watched some videos of Emily while I ran on the treadmill, which Lily really enjoyed. Made me teary, but that's to be expected. Then we went to our friend Jodi's house and went swimming, which Emily also really enjoyed. Lily is wearing a shirt that Emily got for her 4th birthday that says "Big Sister." She also has her hair in pigtails, since Em always had her hair in pigtails. We had a good time visiting at Jodi's. Tonight for dinner we had grilled cedar plank wild Alasken salmon and sweet potatoes with honey cinnamon butter. Emily loved sweet potatoes. The salmon was more for me-it's my birthday tomorrow, and I LOVE salmon, but didn't want to have to cook on my birthday. It's SO MUCH better wild. All I've had is the farm raised Atlantic for over half a year, I forgot that there's such a big difference. But trust me, there is. It's much more oily wild, but in a good way. I know some people my read this and just think fish is gross in general, but salmon is my favorite food, so I tend to be kind of picky! After dinner Robby took Lily for rides in Em's wheelchair, while we watched more videos. Lily obviously enjoyed herself.

Then we had fun rolling around on the floor. Emily's FAVORITE activity was rolling around.

After we rolled around we looked at Em's baby pictures and opened the book to the family that they get on Em's birthday. I get a Caldacott picture book and wrap it up-we all like to read, and I figure that now Emily can enjoy the pictures with us; it always made me sad that she couldn't see the pictures really when I'd read to her. This year we got The Lion and the Mouse, and Lily really enjoyed it. She likes the lion roaring.

We also have a book callled "Emily's Balloon" that we read. Then we go and release balloons outside. We had 6, but one of them popped, so we released 5. Lily really liked releasing them one at a time, and we got her to be okay with being done by going inside and eating a sucker that had been attached to the balloons.

Before bed we read Robby's poem that we turned into a book and sang her favorite songs, Called to Serve and My Heavenly Father Loves Me. It was a good day, and even though it makes me sad, it was really nice to have Lily to help us celebrate it. We figure Lance will be a bit more involved next year! I put more pictures on facebook, too. Now off to bed!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Emily's Birthday

Emily's birthday is on Wednesday. She would have been six. She was due on my birthday, July 22, and I was induced the day before. Here we are in front of our Provo basement apartment in April, 2004. I don't think I'll write the whole birth story. Other people can, I still can't. I don't like to relive it, I just like to remember that she was here! These pictures are all before things got really bad and we ended up at Primary Children's. The day after she was born.
Our first family picture.
One of the first pictures we took. Or someone took. She always kept her legs in that froggy position.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


This was right before Emily's 4th birthday. Lily also enjoys being in the pool with her dad.
I found this quote on a friend's blog and have wanted to share it, but haven't really found the right words to go with it. But I thought I'd share it anyway,
"God doesn't give children with disabilities to strong people: He gives them to ordinary, everyday people then He helps the parents to grow stronger through the journey. Raising a child with special needs doesn't TAKE a special family, it MAKES a special family. "
Now here are some rambling thoughts...
I've NEVER been comfortable with the idea that Robby and I are "special" and that's why Emily came to us. Robby and I are blessed, and we're lucky that she came to us, but I don't think that I am a better person or mom then my twin sister, who has 3 healthy children. Or then most people. Do I believe that Emily came to our house for a reason? Absolutly! She needed us and we needed her. But I really don't like the idea that we are better or more chosen then other people. I hope that makes sense.
Another comment I get all the time is how strong I am, or that people "can't imagine" or could "never go through what I've been through." I always think those comments are kind of funny, because it's not as though I've had a choice! I understand what people mean, though, and I appreciate the sentiment. I think to me, when hard things happen you can't really sit on the fence. You have to either have faith and ask for help and believe the Lord will help you, or you have despair. I don't like the feeling of despair, and so I try to have faith. Sometimes it's easier then others.
This month Emily would have been celebrating her 6th birthday. I still feel like I'm two diffferent people,-I have had a child, Emily, in school and primary and all of that, but to most people I am a young mom with a 2 year old and a baby! It's hard for me to talk about Emily to people who haven't met her, because I don't feel like I'm doing her justice by describing her. I think people feel sorry for me when they find out I had a child with pretty severe disabilities, who passed away. And we don't feel sorry for us! I like the way a friend put it, she said that she feels sad for us, but not sorry for us. I feel sad for me, too, especially when I'm really missing Emily. But NEVER sorry that she came to us.

People ask what it's like having a baby and a toddler compared to having Emily and Lily. Life is challenging now, but it's not stressful. With Em and Lily it was like having 2 babies and a school-aged kid at once. I had to feed, change, dress both of them, but Emily was also in school, therapy, etc. I didn't know anyone else with a situation similar to mine. With Lance and Lily my schedule is my own-if I need groceries but Lance and Lily are napping, or really grumpy, I can send Robby. Or go later. With Emily and Lily there were places I HAD to be-school, therapy, doctors appointments, etc. It's a lot of conflicting emotions. Because while my life is less stressful now, having a stressful life meant that Emily was here in it, and of course I'd rather have Emily here! I'm glad I have a husband who understands and who I can talk to about it. I feel like I get less done now then I did when Emily was here, because I don't have to be on a schedule like I did with Emily. It's very hard to explain. The bottom line is I just miss Emily, but I know that Emily is happy where she is, and so I'm grateful for that. And I'm grateful for Lance and Lily, who make me laugh and keep me happy.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Swinging Smiles

Lily and Lance both have loved their swing. Yesterday when Lance woke up for the day he was just smiling. When Robby got home I had the pictures going on a slide show and he asked why I had Lily's pictures going. I told him it was Lance and he said, "No, that's Lily!" and I said, "I took these pictures today, that's Lance!" Compared next to each other they don't look as much alike, but still. Lance is about 10 weeks old and Lily was about 8 weeks old when the pictures were taken. Lily then lost all the hair she had, so we'll see if Lance keeps his or not. It's hard to believe she was born with such dark, straight hair!