Category Archives: Elizabeth Mae {consecrated}

A Tale Of Two Cousins

Bess and Melody started pottytraining on the same day. Purely coincidental. 

One took about 10 days to fully train. She went from diapers full-time to panties 24/7. No nighttime accidents. 

The other waits until mom leaves the room to remove panties, put on sister’s diaper, pee in the diaper, remove the diaper, toss it into the trash can, and put panties back on. 

You’ll never guess which one is which…


You’ll never guess. 

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Jokes | Elizabethan Quips

Bess followed in Graham’s footsteps, and started a comedy tour. Where I’m the only audience member. All my waking moments. 

“Mommy, what did the ice pop say to the other ice pop?”

“I don’t know. What did he say?”

“He’s not a he. He’s a her. She’s a girl ice pop asking the question. And she said to the boy ice pop, I think he’s probably 4 years old, we’re too cold and we’re gonna freeze to death in this freezer! We need a fire!”

“Mommy, what did the basketball say to the other basketball?”

“I don’t know! What did it say?”

“We are both basketballs.”

“Mommy, what do you call a tv that’s on UmiZoomis?”

“Not sure, sweetie.”

“UmiZoomi tv shows on our tv.”

“Mommy, what do you do when you have poop in your diaper?”

“Put it in the toilet and flush it away!”

“Not if you’re an ogre! I squished it all in my diaper and need lots of wipes. This wasn’t a joke. I really did it!”

“Mommy, what did the flowers say to the bees?”

“I don’t know. What did they say?”

“Nothing. Flowers don’t talk. I’m surprised you don’t know this. You’re sposed to be a teacher.”

“Mommy, what do I want to be when I grow up?”

“A comedienne?”

“NO! I wanna be Bowser Jr! I want to be his dad, but I’m too little.”

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Elizabethan Quips | What Mommies and Daddies Do

“Hello, Mommy! How was your day? I worked on a computer and drawed things! And I eated food.”

“I changed diapers and washed laundry. And did Graham’s school. And played and rested on the couch for Baby Brother Lewis not to die.”

“Let’s make dinner, Mommy! We cook together and laugh and I spank yours butt!”

“Okay! I spank yours butt, too! We are so silly!”

“We will feed the kids and play with them and brush teeth and pray for them!”

“Okay, Daddy! Then we can watch a movie and do laundry and drink Sprite and eat crackers!”

“Mommy, I’m glad I love you! I love my family!”

“I’m happy! And I love robots!”

Editor’s Note: maybe Dave and I playfully slap one another’s butts too often. 

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I’ll Be The Waiter!

Me: “Daddy says we’re going to a restaurant! Let’s get our shoes on and be ready when he gets here!” 

Graham: “Yay! Were pretending restaurant tonight! Let’s get fings ready in da kitchen! I love when we do restaurant!”

Me: “We’re going to a real restaurant tonight! Let’s get our shoes on!” 

Bess: “I be the chef! I help Daddy make food! I love pretend restaurant!” 

Me: “I know we pretend restaurant a lot, but tonight Daddy is taking us to Cheddars! We are eating at a real restaurant tonight! Let’s get our shoes on. He’s almost home!”

Graham: “I’ll be the waiter! I love being the waiter! Let’s go get the restaurant ready before Daddy gets home!”

Me: “Does anyone understand that we need shoes? Daddy is taking us in the van to Cheddars! Please put on your shoes!”

Bess: “I make menus! You pick pizza?”

Me: “I give up. Adelaide, are you ready to go to a restaurant?”

Adelaide: [crawling to the door] “EAT! GO! EAT! READY!” 

Me: “One down. Two to go!” 


We had such a fun time! It’s our new October 31st tradition. The restaurant was pretty empty. Our service was amazing! Paxton, a lovely young lady, was so attentive and conscientious of Adelaide’s needs. She even brought treat bags to the kids. Tiny candy for Adelaide, allergen-free candy for Bess, and ‘big boy’ candy for Graham. 

Cheddars is one of our go-to restaurants when we do eat out, because Bess has no issues with their food, Adelaide has plenty of room, and Graham’s extremely loud ‘inside voice’ phases no one in a place so loud. 

What a fun new tradition! Even though we absolutely love our pretend restaurant nights. Our little people are simply the best. 

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Pregnancy After Miscarriage | Semi-Coherent Thoughts

We’re having another baby. We found out in July, before the 6 month anniversary of losing Laurence & Flannery. And my first thought was, “What if I lose 3 babies in one year?” But Graham’s fears about becoming a Hermit-Man taught me some things about myself. Dave and I were equal parts elated and nervous-out-of-our-minds. We decided to keep it between us. 


We needed time to process. I needed to process that I was going to be pregnant on the due date of my dead children. Surreal. Or maybe I wouldn’t be. Maybe we would lose this baby and I’d be having another D & C on their due date. My mind was full of muddled emotions. 

With Graham, I was excited from Day One. With Adelaide, I was excited from Day One. With Bess, I was overwhelmed. Excited, but scared. Would my third baby also have disabilities? How would I handle that? A double wheelchair? How was I going to handle three kids, even if it didn’t have any abnormalities? Pregnancy hormones sent my brain in a hundred directions. 

When I became pregnant with the twins, I was happy and nervous. Because it never felt the same. My body was off. I remember feeling two babies quicken just days before we lost them. One felt strong, one felt weak. And then they were gone. 

This time, I found myself almost unable to celebrate. Still reeling from the trauma of burying my children in February. 

I decided to be proactive. Long gone were the days of showing up at my 8 week appointment and feeling normal. I requested bloodwork. Right away. They squeezed me in. 

One of my best friends dropped everything to watch the kids. Heather bought popsicles and set up a kiddie pool. No questions asked. 


And the first batch of bloodwork was great. 


We announced to family, but decided not to tell Graham. He has always had Baby Fever and I couldn’t put him through that again. We weren’t going to keep anything from him long-term, but wanted to avoid a repeat scenario of Mommy leaving the house pregnant and coming home, well, not. We decided to wait. If the baby died, we would tell him later. That was our plan. But we were starting to feel optimistic. 

Then my second batch of bloodwork came back with issues. There was talk of baby being ectopic. If not ectopic, my uterus was not doing its job to keep the baby. I needed to go on meds right away in order to give baby any chance of surviving the first 3 months. 

Basically, my fears had come true. They scheduled an ultrasound. We were expecting to see a tubal pregnancy or no baby or, my worst fear, a baby who had already passed away. We had family praying, but I told Dave I was keeping my expectations as low as possible. I bawled through church. Praying verses over my growing belly, hidden under my clothes. I cleaned my entire house, because I just knew I was losing my third baby in one year and our LifeGroup would bring food. That’s what LifeGroups do. You live life together. And you bring food when life ends. Our LifeGroup leader came to watch our kids. Knowing we were most likely getting bad news. That’s bravery. 

The day before, I took my first baby bump photo. Decided it was probably the first and last. The only photo from my final pregnancy. We had no idea if there was anything alive in there. 


We went to the appointment. It wasn’t all smiles and peeing in a cup and happy times. We barely talked while we waited. I had been praying Baby would make it, but I couldn’t bring myself to hope for it. We went through the motions and I was literally holding my breath as they put the gel on my belly. I prayed verses over Baby. And then we saw something. With a heartbeat. And she said, “There’s a fetus in the uterus!” 


And I’ve never been so overcome with joy by six clinical words. Dave and I were crying and laughing. Our worst case scenario visit had suddenly done a 180. They did measurements and checked everything: uterus, sac, umbilical cord, and baby. Everything looked exactly the way it was supposed to look. But I’m not naive and I knew there was still a chance for loss. The medication was working, but would it continue to work? We left and I got a Sonic drink. We were still in shock. We went home and had breakfast with Jenny. Our kids running around and playing. All of us just breathing a sigh of relief. 

And that afternoon, we got the call from the fetal specialist reviewing all our images and video. He was more than pleased. We dropped to a 3% chance of loss. 

And that should’ve been the end of my anxiety. But I focused on that 3%. Because pregnancy changes after miscarriage. I was still struggling with the fact that we would most likely have a child in our arms on Resurrection Sunday. But we might not. 

Graham was getting really suspicious of my growing midsection, but I didn’t want to tell him. And I tried to hide my belly from him. “I know you and Daddy are keeping a secwet fwom me.” Bess started talking to my belly and said she had a Baby Brother in there. 

On August 25th, I went to see my hair stylist. And she said something that changed me. “Lyndse, you could lose this baby. We can all lose babies. But if you don’t, and you’ve spent your whole pregnancy dreading the loss, you could be holding a baby in April, but full of regret from never celebrating your last pregnancy. Celebrate. And you’ll have good days and bad days, but live the days. Don’t regret not living them.” 


So we decided to go public that weekend. On the twins’ due date, we announced that we were having another baby. On the last Friday in August, I mourned two children and celebrated another. 


We were blessed with calls and messages and congratulations from so many people. Some people didn’t congratulate us. At all. Either dealing with fertility issues or loss or just didn’t care. I chose to focus on the people who joined us in celebration. They were the same people who had been there during our grief, and I was blessed by their commitment to mourn when we mourned and dance when we danced. Family, friends, and people we’ve never met. They joined us in praying over this Baby. 

We told Adelaide. She asked for fries. She’s definitely my daughter. 


Then we announced to Graham and Bess when they returned from a sleepover at Grandma’s house. It was something I will treasure always. 


Graham’s excitement and smiles. His questions about the twins’ death and this baby’s chances at life. “Mommy and Daddy can’t promise, but everything is looking good with this baby.” 

Bess was too tired. Proclaimed she didn’t want to be a Big Sister. But changed her tune about 40 minutes later and hasn’t stopped talking about the new baby. 


Everyday, Graham asks if we’ve lost the Baby yet. I hate that my 6-year-old says yet. Expecting loss. I keep reminding him that we celebrate. We can’t know exactly what will happen. 

Today, I went for another follow-up appointment. We were checking to make sure the medication was still doing its job. And I saw my baby kicking and moving and the heartbeat was thumping away. 


And everyone was so happy. Nurses were congratulating me. And I wanted to put that 3% out of my head. But then they said I needed to stay on the medication longer, just to be safe. “We’re not taking any chances.” But I fill the prescription and I keep celebrating. No matter what happens, I’m celebrating my last time carrying life in my womb. Pregnancy after miscarriage is a whole new world. And I thank the person who thought to put a box fan in the OB room. Bless that person forever. 

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The Ballew Orchard | My Unedited Thoughts On Our Due Date


When I was a child, I moved 13 times in 16 years. At our last house in Colorado, I planted a rose bush by the mailbox. I thought I could will us to stay put with those roots. Everything else I had ever grown was for a single season. Gardens full of fruits and vegetables that only lasted for so many months, before plowing them under. But the rose would ground us. 


And three years later, I said goodbye to that rose. And moved from magnificent Colorado to muggy Missouri. In an August heatwave. And I hated my life. I told the rose I would move back when I was 18. Dig it up. Take it to my new Colorado home. But I never moved back. 


I ended up loving Missouri. My birth state. I grew accustomed to the heat and the humidity and the mosquitos and a shocking lack of drivers who understood how to use 4-way stops. I fell in love with the trees and flowers and green everywhere. And I fell in love with my husband. At first sight. 


We bought our house ten years ago, and I wanted fruit trees. But I had this fear that I would plant trees, only to leave them behind. All that work for naught. So I pushed the thought out year after year after year. 


I’ve lived in my home for ten years. Which is twice as long as I’ve lived anywhere else in my life. Dave brought stability and security in a way I never imagined as a child. 


We came home from our honeymoon to this home. We learned we were pregnant with each child in this home. We drove from the hospital to this home. Three times with a newborn babe, and once with a condolence packet from the hospital. 


And that was when I decided this was the year for trees. Ten years. Five children. I was planting an orchard. 


After the twins died, someone anonymously gave me $100 and said I couldn’t spend it on medical bills, gear for Adelaide, or anything for anyone else. It was solely Lyndse Money. So I tithed and spent a solid 24 hours thinking of all the things I could do with $90 whole dollars. 


Earrings, clothes, haircuts, wall art, socks. My list. In that order. And in that 24th hour, I said, “Fruit trees.” And I tucked that money into a zipper pocket in my wallet and it sat there. Through medical debt and curriculum shopping and so many Adelaide needs. It was off-limits. 


I knew Mother’s Day would be difficult. I volunteered us to work in nursery, because I couldn’t stand to be in service when our sweet Pastor acknowledges all the moms who are grieving this year. I’ve always been the proud beaming mom during the part where he talks about what a gift children are. And now I find myself with a foot in each camp. The smiling mom, surrounded by adoring faces. And the weeping mom, with children in a cemetery. 


My children are buried in Mt. Hope. Hope. My word for 2016. For a year that was supposed to bring all things baby and so many joyful moments. And we’ve managed to find that joy buried in grief, but the year felt anything but hopeful. 


For Mother’s Day, I asked my mom to plant trees with me. We took that $90 and ended up with five apple trees, a watering can, pruning shears, flowers, soil, and a rose bush. 


What I realized was this: we could leave this house. Move closer to a children’s hospital for Adelaide. Relocate for an incredible job offer. We could lose this house. It could be flattened by a tornado. Destroyed by fire. But this house is like carrying a child. You don’t know what will happen. Sometimes you carry that baby for 39 weeks and end up with an emergency c-section after almost 20 hours of labor. Other times, you have an uneventful scheduled c-section to deliver a breech daughter who ends up changing your life at her 9-month checkup. And then you vomit every single day with your third. And you go into labor, but choose a c-section, because your track record isn’t so great in the pelvic department. You are surprised with a precocious mite who most likely could have been born without help. But you’ll never know. Other times, you go to the hospital to return empty-handed. Empty-everything.


My house. My trees. My children. I can’t hang onto any of them with tight fists. They could be gone in an instant. All I can do is enjoy the time I have. We don’t know how long our kids will live, but we still do the mundane with the majestic. I could argue that we don’t know Adelaide’s life expectancy, so I’m going to keep her home and enjoy every second of her life. But I don’t. I have hope that she can learn new things everyday. I send her off to school, where they try to teach her to hold a crayon. Because holding a crayon isn’t a necessary life skill. But it’s worth knowing. Or at least having the opportunity to try to know it. And I don’t spend 12 hours a day holding Graham and Bess, even though they could both die at anytime. Because they need clean clothes and vegetables and books. We spend our days doing a hundred little things and a few big things. 


And we planted trees. Not because I have the assurance of seeing them grow and bear fruit, but because I don’t have that assurance. None of us do. We planted trees to remind me everyday that it’s fleeting. But still worth it. There’s still hope in a 2016 that started with fireworks and onesies and then sputtered to an August Friday of remembering two children gone before they could breathe their first air. 


Five trees. One for each of my children. My Mother’s Day gift to myself. A gift I’ve wanted for most of my life. But too afraid to risk loving something only to lose it. But February 1st showed me that I had done it and survived. I had lost something worth more than any tree. Any house. Anything this world offers and screams, “You want this! Go buy it!” I lost life. Children. 


And Flannery’s tree has apples. I think they will be eaten by a bug this year and that’s fine. It’s fitting for her first fruits to be taken. It’s not the end of it all to lose some apples. Maybe it’s what I need this year. For Flannery’s tree to just be. But the trees are all staked and pruned and watered and lovely. This balance between caring for something that needs me and letting it just exist. Teaching a child to read, but mostly letting him play. Putting her in diapers just a bit longer, but making her put her pink cowgirl boots on the right feet. Taking a daily school photo before I push a wheelchair through double doors, when I would rather just soak her up every minute she’s awake. 


I ordered tags for the trees. From a college friend’s wife. Because each tree belongs to one of my children. Graham mentioned that he wanted to take apples from Laurence & Flannery’s trees to their cemetery bench next year and have a picnic. I agreed that this was a fabulous idea. But I wanted to give the caveat: if the trees make it. And then hoped that the trees weren’t lost to disease or drought or neglect. Because Graham has lost so much this year. A six-year-old who fell in love with a Baby Bump. But I need to teach him that we take risks. We love when we aren’t given any promise that it will be returned. We speak to a girl who may not answer back. We replace kitchen cabinet doors when a house may not be standing next week. And we learn addition facts and how to use a screwdriver and brush our teeth. And we continue to love babies in the womb, even though there is always a chance to lose them. And even if you do, you still get up from that hospital bed and brush your teeth. And you brush them everyday. Even on August 26th. Because life keeps going. 

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A Tuesday Errand With Bess

It’s Tuesday, but Dave is off work. Graham is glued to him as they measure and saw and drill. My favorite guys sweating over a project. 

So Bess and I left to get Adelaide from school. Just the girls. 

We leave at least 10 minutes early each day, because I can’t bear to rush this child. She examines every leaf. Talks to every ant. Scolds a spider for making a web in the flowering bush. Comments on every cloud she spots through all our trees. 

This day, this Tuesday, she took a full five minutes down our short sidewalk. And it’s one of my favorite things. 


We waited for sister. Bess asking over and over again when Adelaide would arrive. Then we saw the wheelchair through the glass door. 

Adelaide greeted me with an exuberant “HI! HI! HI!” in the school parking lot. 


This morning, in that same handicap parking space, I asked, “Are you ready for school?” I ask her questions all day. Rarely expecting an answer. 

She made eye contact and opened her mouth, “I…..GO…..IN.” 


And just as she was happy to arrive, she was happy to leave. Loving her routine. 

We needed rinse aid for our dishwasher. A quick trip into Walmart. Adelaide in the wheelchair and Bess up in her Olives & Applesauce carrier. 

But not on this Tuesday. 

“Mommy, I no go up! I walk wif you and push my Adelaide. Cuz I’m a sister! I take care of my Addie!”

And we walked through Walmart. And my mom heart was fluttering as tiny pink cowgirl boots slowly tromped down the aisles. 

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Elizabethan Quips | Paper

“Bess, did you just eat that piece of paper?”

“No, Mommy!”

“Bess, did you eat the paper?”

“No, Mommy! Look in my mouf! It’s not there. I didn’t swallow it wifout you seeing. God knows when I’m right and when I’m wrong. Just ask Him. He will tell you!”

Her pants are currently on fire. 

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Elizabethan Quips: Doorknobs 

“Mommy, I can’t open the doors! What are these? Oh no! Are these for Bess? I’m so sad now!”

Doorknob covers.

You brought this on yourself, tiny Edmund Hillary…

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