Sunday, May 29, 2011

Newport Beach

Jason and I try every summer to make our annual trip to Newport. The first time I ever went was New Years Day with Jason's Mom, Dad and Brother. Not the most ideal time to go to the Ocean. But I didn't mind at all. It was beautiful!! Growing up in Maine we had our advantages of going to the coast to see the Ocean. But we didn't do it every often and I couldn't tell you the last time I had gone. Even if it was recent, I can honestly say it doesn't hold a candle to anything I have seen down here.

We try to make it a yearly experience. Always going just before things start to get truly busy and you have to pay for parking. The sad part about our yearly trip, is we have not made it since Emma was 4 months old. I cannot believe it. Not only has Owen never seen the beach, but Emma doesn't remember seeing it the last time we went. Our lives have been that busy that we haven't had the oppertunity to go down there. Today was that day, and we took it. It was late when we left, even later after we went to Target to grab lunch. But we didn't care. The drive was slow and easy. The kids all took a little nap. The crowd wasn't at its peak. And best of all, the weather was perfect. The sun was hidden behind some clouds. The weather was warm but breezy. It was truly perfect beach weather.

We managed to find parking in our favorite and predictable spot for only pay $6 dollars for 3 hours of parking while walking downtown Newport ate our packed lunch on the green and watched the boats come and go. After we ate, we went directly to the Beach. We were lucky and blessed to see that parking was FREE!!

Immediately the kids asked if they could go swimming. We would have brought all there stuff for them to swim too. But past experiences have told us the water is always cold right around this time, so we didn't really pack much. Let me just say, we ended up getting caught in a huge wave, kids got wet, Jason and I got wet. And we then realized the water was pretty warm. Before we could say "NO" they were half naked and drenched. They had all jumped in the water as quick as they could. Ezme was not at all thrilled with this idea and would frequently try to book it to the car. She even would yell out by name for her sisters and brother to get out of the water. She was not at all thrilled with them being in there. We all had a good time though. By 6pm, we decided to pack up the troop and head home. Ezme was all for that idea. We arrived home right at 7pm. Showered and tried to do the best we could with all the sand we brought home from the beach. My car isn't too happy right now. So I am hoping I will have the oppertunity tomorrow to vacuum it out. We will see. From the looks of the weather report, its suppose to rain. So we will see.
Until then. I need to gather up the troops and get them to bed. I am exhausted myself. Good day. Good day.

Really love this picture I took of them looking at the Ocean. Youngest to Oldest. How blessed and lucky I am.

Oliver dipping his feet in the water

Owen running around in his undies. He was in Heaven. Him and Emma are definitely the beach bums of the family. There Vovo would be so happy.

Half the Gang enjoying the water

Ezme yelling at the kids to get out "Come Olivia, Come Owen, Come Emma" she would say

Mommy and the "twins" Ezme and Ollie

This is how she stayed pretty much the entire 2 hours we were there. Clutched to my back hugging me telling me "go home" Awwww

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Welcomed Guests

When we moved into the house 6 years ago, the first thing we noticed was that there was a birds nest nestled in a corner of our house. Since that very first spring/summer here we have had either a dove take over the nest or a robin. This year was the robins turn. This was the first year we have ever seen baby birds though. We feel so lucky! I believe there are about 4 or 5 little babies but I am not sure. Its hard to count or even take a good picture because of where they are.

I am really surprised that the mommy would choose to make her nest at this house. With all the noise of the kids running around outside, and girl scouts twice a week, not to mention the dog barking (the bathroom window is just below the nest) and the kitty cats roaming around the yard I thought she would decided to go elsewhere. I am guessing she likes the craziness of the house. Good thing too, because we love having her here.

Our baby birds


I have spend the last week just being "off" Irritable, grouchy, cranky, just off. I have found that I am like this more often then not these days, and frankly....its not me. I hate being moody, and cranky. Picking fights with my husband just because I can. Stressed out with the kids about how messy the house is or how much laundry has overtaken my wash room, or why the dishes are piled up sky high. This weekend I just felt like jumping out of my skin. I wanted to crawl in a hole and like a snake, shed my old existing skin for a new and "fresh" look. Wish I could do that. But I can't. Instead, I want to write down and remember what I am thankful for through the crankiness. I have much to be happy and thankful for. And even though I get grouchy and moody and seem ungrateful I am far from that. I have bad days too. I wish we could go through life always being happy, but sometimes we cannot. Bad always goes along with good. It is the ying and yang of life. So here are my top 10:

1. My husband-Gosh do I love this man. Seriously. He is the one person in this world I can talk too, no matter what the issue and he listens. He still loves me. He tries to understand. He tries to make things better. He gives me perspective on issues that I might not see clearly. He works harder then he should. Taking on job after job. Call after call. After working all day, and sometimes all night, he gets up with all of our kiddos, feeds them breakfast, makes their lunch, and brings them to school. He stays home with me when I am sick, takes care of the kiddos when they are sick, never misses a single doctors appt. school play, or girl scout event. Helps me with Girl Scouts, takes care of the house cleaning, the dishes and the laundry. Scrubs the bathroom, cooks supper. I could go on and on. I get caught up in the day to day and sometimes forget to tell him how much I appreciate him. But I do. Everyday. He is the most terrific man I know and I am thankful everyday that I am married to him. You know you have a wonderful man when others wish there husbands were more like him. I am truly lucky!

2.My kids-I never million years thought I would be blessed with my kiddos. Never thought I would meet someone who would have the same dreams and hopes I had. Would want the same things I wanted. Would be accepting of a big family like I had hoped and dreamed for. But I did and I do. My kiddos mean everything to me. I love watching them grow and learn. See the world in a whole different view then adults do. Show that they are fearless yet timid. Listen to my son tell me all day long how much he loves me. Or my girls blow kisses and hugs to me at night. I am blessed. Truly.

3.My Angels-Growing up I had the dreams of getting married, having children, watching them grow up. I never dreamed of the unknowns. That I would have two beautiful children grow inside me only to loose them in two very different ways. I don't think any little girl grows up to wonder if that will happen to them. But it did. And I am blessed. Blessed to have known them, even for a short time. Blessed to know they are together watching over their siblings here on earth. Thankful that they wanted me to be their mom. That they chose me. To love, fight and honor them until I saw them again in heaven. I am a lucky mom.

4.My home-Yes, For those of you who think I am not blessed to have my home, I am. I love my home. Its beautiful. I am blessed to have a roof over my head. A family who loves each other living in it. Friends and neighbors who are wonderful, giving and thoughtful. I am blessed to know my kids are safe. Have neighbors who love them. Our home is where we make it. As long as we are together.

5.Income-I am grateful for my husband having a full time job that he loves. And that I am able to stay at home with our kids and raise them ourselves. It was our number one goal was to always have someone be home and I truly thankful my husband works as hard as he does to give both of us this opportunity.

6.Family-I am thankful that I have both of my parents and my grandparents still here with us. I am thankful that I can call them whenever I am sad or lonely. See them whenever I am feeling homesick. That they will listen when I am angry, talk to me when I am sad and give advice when I need it the most.

7.Friends-I have a great group of woman friends that I can truly call if I needed someone to talk to, complain too, or just all around purge my feeling too. Its great to have a group of well respected and well liked woman who will be there if I need them.

8.-Internet-You might think this one is a weird one. But honestly, I am very thankful for the internet. Especially these days. With my sister in South Korea and not much access to phones, its great to be able to have the opportunity to talk to her on the internet or skype her and my nephew. I am even more thankful that with our troops overseas for as long as they have been, its good to know that they have better access to talking to their families and watching there kids grow up. It warms my heart for sure. I am very thankful for this.

9.-Food-With the rising cost of everyday stables such as; milk, cheese, butter, eggs, and bread....Its good to know that we have the means at the moment to pay for a healthy and nutritious meal for our kiddos everyday.

10.-Creativity-I am always thankful for this. My creativity weather its painting a mural on my kids walls, sewing, painting my house, or finding creative ways to make more space that we have, I am thankful for this. Its what makes me ME! I love it. I have been creative since I was very little. Winning awards for my drawings and art work, being asked to paint murals on my high school walls as a reminder that I was indeed there. Its just a good feeling.

11.-My Readers-I am thankful to those who read my blog daily. Its nice to know I have "followers" so to speak. You inspire me to write, keep me going when days are hard, and encourage me when times are tough. So if you are a follower, Thank You. If you are a follower and haven't had a moment to click "become a follower" would you think about it. I would love to see who visits me everyday!

12.-For Me. I am thankful that I am here. That I have all that I have in my life. That I am a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a secret holder, a child of God. That right there is the biggest thing to be THANKFUL for.

So tell me, what are you thankful for?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


In the spring of 2006 we went on a vacation with my entire family to Florida. I told my husband while on our flight that I knew in my heart we would be blessed with a new addition to our family. From past experiences he has known that my gut is almost always right and was excited for our growing family.

We had a fantastic time in Florida. The girls enjoyed the rides, the water, and spending time with there grandparents, Auntie and Uncle and of course there cousin. It was a great 14 days for all.

When we arrived home, we immediately got involved with the baptism of Emma-James who was 3 months old when we returned. It was a wonderful afternoon. We released butterflies in Anabelle's honor. The weather was beautiful, the sky's a bright blue. Great friends and family joined us in celebrating Emma-James arrival and the memory of our daughter Anabelle. It was truly a blessing.

A few days after the chaos had ended. I took a test. I was elated to see that it was positive. That God had given us another blessing to celebrate. 2006 was beginning to be a fantastic year for us. After so much hurt and pain, it was really nice to have all the positive things finally happen in our lives. It was nice to see that 2006 was going to have a great start with a wonderful happy ending. I was due December 31st.

I wanted to tell Jason in a wonderful and romantic way. I went and purchased white, pink and blue balloons at the store and while everyone was sleeping, I blew up over 100 balloons (by mouth mind you) slipped a piece of paper in each balloon that said "Boy or Girl, December 31st 2006" and filled our bathroom full! I was so excited that I couldn't fall asleep the rest of the night. At 6:30am Jason's alarm went off. I could hear him get out of bed, walk down the stairs, and open the bathroom door. I sat there, wondering what his face looked like. Wondering if he figured out what was going on. Wondering if he was even awake enough to understand. I heard him puttering around the kitchen. My patience for him to walk upstairs was growing on me. Plus I really had to use the potty. Finally, after which seemed like an eternity, he came upstairs. Smiling ear to ear. He was excited and of course said "does this mean your pregnant" and I said yes. We went through the rest of the day walking on air.

The next few weeks went by without issue. I told my family. Called my doctor I had for Emma to schedule an early appt. with him. Only to find out he had left the practice. The other doctor refused to see me any earlier then 8 weeks. Even after telling him my past history and that I am to be seen right away, they wouldn't listen. I called up a good friend of mine in Providence, and they too couldn't help me. I felt trapped, worried and angry.

Mother's day was right around the corner. I was excited to spend the day with my "girls" and the new little one. We were planning on stopping in to see my husbands family, then drive to the Ocean for the rest of the day.

A few days before Mother's Day, I started spotting. I felt anxious and worried. I couldn't shake this feeling from me. I spend every moment looking up information on the computer. What to expect. What to look for. What to worry about. The bleeding slowed down. And about two days before Mother's Day had disappeared. I tried hard not to worry. But I did. Every moment I went to the bathroom, which was about every 20 minutes. I had to check. Had to see. What should I do. Should I call someone. Tell someone.

We decided to go out the day before Mother's day for a nice lunch. We knew Mother's Day would be packed everywhere, so we got dressed up, and took a few pictures of my and the girls outside in our backyard. Something I cherish always, as it was the last and only picture I have of being pregnant.

Mother's Day arrived. I woke up to a wonderful breakfast in bed complete with cards and flowers. I was excited to get my day started. I got up out of bed, started my trek to the shower and experienced the worse pain ever in my lower abdomen. I screamed for Jason to help me down the stairs and immediately went into the bathroom. I was bleeding very heavy and knew right away that something was not right. I was loosing our baby. This baby that we wanted so much. Another child gone from our hearts. I tried to be accepting and happy knowing our little one would be with the angels in heaven. Know that this little one would be welcomed with arms wide open by his or her big sister. Know that him or her would be greeted by his Grandma and God and Jesus and all the wonderful people in our lives that were no longer with us. He or she would be happy, and loved. But I couldn't, wouldn't, didn't want too.

I stayed at home for a good part of the afternoon. The bleeding had slowed down. Jason thought it would be good to try to get out of the house. Jason's family had called to ask why we hadn't made it to lunch. He tried very hard to make excuses without telling them the real reason. But my future SIL would not let it go. Finally I got on the phone and told her flat out what was happening. Her response was "you could have least showed up for a few minutes." I was a mess after that. I didn't want to show up anywhere. I didn't want to see faces, be happy. Greet anyone. I wanted to hide under my covers. Ask why? And never come out. I had to start making phone calls. Tell people I had just told a few weeks prior that we had lost our little one. I was devastated, angry and sad.

Jason was so wonderful. He tried really hard to cheer me up. He took the girls shopping and brought home a T.V. for our bedroom. He wanted me to be comfortable. I told him that it didn't change the fact of what was going on. He said he knew that, but felt helpless. My husband deals with sadness a different way then me. He takes apart things, builds things or tries to put things back together. The T.V. was just as much of a distraction for him, as it would be for me. After he got it set up, I fell asleep. Crying. Lonely. Heartbroken.

The next day I scheduled an appt. in Boston for an ultrasound and blood draw. They wanted to make sure that my numbers were dropping and that I was "miscarrying" properly. Really, those are the words your going to say to me. Properly? I just wanted to scream.

Things went well. The nurse was gracious and sweet. He was sorry to hear that this was my second loss. She tried to comfort me, but really didn't know the words to say. She was young, Maybe 21. She tired to "be in my shoes" so to speak, but couldn't. I give her credit though.

Days, weeks, months went by. Very little of my friends or family know what happened. My heart hurts that we didn't know if our little one was a little boy or little girl.

The hurt and sadness of loosing our little one will always be a part of me. Though my days are new spend knowing that Anabelle has a sibling in heaven with her. She isn't alone anymore. She now has a sibling to keep her company. I am comforted to know that they are together in Heaven. Singing songs, making friends, telling secrets to each other. Until the day that we all can be together again as a family, I know in my heart that she or he is exactly where they belong.

My "three" Angels

Don't Forget

Don't forget to keep checking often at my business site. Anabelle's Attic. Great new things will be added soon.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mother's Day Tea

This year I wanted to do something special for the Mom's of my Girl Scout Girls. So I decided what better way to do that then to host a Mother's Day Tea. I took the opportunity that the kids were in Maine to get the backyard all ready for the event. Cleaned up the trees, planted some pretty flowers, got the waterfall in working order. However, my plans were foiled by good old Mother Nature and we had to move our event inside.

My house is pretty small to hold 34 people. So I got creative. We moved all the non-essential furniture upstairs to the kids room. Dining room chairs, extra materials from the computer desk, etc. Then we moved the big furniture (my couch and loveseat) to our neighbor's carport across the street. I am sure our neighbors were wondering what we were doing at 6:30am. We put our dining room table in our kitchen and used that as our serving table. It wasn't ideal, but it worked out perfectly. Everyone looked so beautiful!! Thanks everyone who could make it. And those who weren't able too because of illness. We were thinking of you for sure. Here are some great photos of our day!

My living room. Two tables fit perfectly!

My dining room. Yup, fit two tables in this room too!

The girls did a fantastic job making there mom's these beautiful tea cups. These were our table decorations

More of the table decorations.

*The Girls and Their Moms/Nana's*

Victoria and her mom Danielle

Ashley and Elizabeth and their mom Lisa and Nana

Kcianna and her mom Jenn

Haylee and her mom Nicole

Adriana and her mom Nou

Kasandra and her mom Yer

Fiona and her mom Karen

Amelia and her Nana

Autumn and Faye and their mom Liz

Olivia and Emma-James and their mom

A Group Shot!! Thanks everyone for coming. I hope you had a wonderful afternoon with your girls!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

West Warwick?

I have a question for my local blog readers. Does anyone know much about West Warwick? schools of course are the top of my list. How do the schools rate? What about the middle and high schools? Are their a lot of crime in and around West Warwick? Is there a lot of stuff for kids to do during and after school? What about the summer time?

I am curious and haven't been able to find much about West Warwick. I don't know much about the area so if you can help, drop me a note. Love to hear from you.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Brotherly Love

I was walking in Target yesterday looking for some clothes for my BIG BOY, and I happened to come across some really cute T-Shirts. Which in case happens to be Owen's favorite CELEBRITY (well, in his mind) so without further waiting, here are the two boys today in matching outfits. How cute are my little men!!!???? I swear, they are the cutest two boys in the whole wide world. But then again, I am their mommy and everything they do or say is adorable.

Owen 3 1/2, Oliver 8 Months

Brotherly Love. Could I get anymore luckier???

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Today marks a special day. Today Anabelle would be 6 1/2 years old. Here is the full story of our daughter and how we struggled with her diagnosis, doctors and the medical professionals during our year journey.

Christmas Photo 2004 (This was taken the day before she passed away)

Her story began like all new pregnancies do. With the announcement of "I am pregnant". I was excited, shocked, nervous. This pregnancy was nothing like finding out about my first. I knew in my gut the moment I took that test that something wasn't right. The severity of how badly things were to become were to unfold in ways you only see on soaps.

The first ultrasound appointment would marked the roller coaster ride of our journey. A missed heartbeat at my 8 week appointment would only show a tiny little thing measuring 5 weeks gestation. I knew how far along I was. I fought with the doctors, waited 3 hours to be see. The whole situation was a nightmare. Only to get worse.

I had horrible care from the Doctors. Many who just didn't seem to care that I was carrying a living, breathing baby. They would not let my husband in with me at any of the appointments. At my 19 week growth scan I was excited to confirm my suspicions that we were indeed having another little girl. A little girl we would name Anabelle. After loosing my mother-in-law only a few short months before, Anabelle would be the start of something happy to finally look forward too. A happy welcome to the dreaded start of the new year. She was to be named after Ana, her Vovo.

I went into the appointment alone. Scared. Worried. The ultrasound tech was cruel, cold, and had no heart. She would scream at me to move a certain way, to stop talking. I asked to see the monitor and she refused. Another doctor came in, and I knew that moment something wasn't right. I saw a glimpse on the screen. She didn't look like a healthy 19 week little one. Her face was shaped differently and her belly just seemed small to me. I left the appointment feeling confused, worried and needing answers. My husband chalked it up to the office staff and their unwillingness to have a heart.

The following day after my appointment I left to visit family in Maine. Its then I got that call that would change my life FOREVER. I can still recall the words of the nurse on the other line, calling from the Rhode Island prenatal diagnosis center. "Miss. Martin, I am calling to let you know that we received your blood work and your daughter's (congratulations by the way on your little girl) recent ultrasound pictures and your blood AFP test. I just want to let you know that we have noticed that she has some chorid plexis cysts on her brain. This could possibly be the result of a chromosomal defect, but in 90% of the cases, they go away on their own and its nothing to worry about." This is when I asked her what kind of defects could it be. and she told me "Trisomy 18 is one of them, but please don't put yourself in a panic and by all means, don't go on the internet to look it up, it will only worry you more." The rest of the conversation was a blur. I remember making a new appointment with her for the end of the week. Jason wasn't with me visiting family, so I called him on the phone and told him the news. Immediately I went searching on the internet. What I found was devastating. Death and "Failure to Thrive" were pretty much the theme of any articles I read. I told myself I would wait until further testing, but still continued to find out all I could on this subject. Calling, researching, talking with anyone who would listen.

I finally returned back from Maine and barely had anytime to really grasp what was going on. We were immediately seen by a high risk doctor and prenatal genetic counselor. Both whom I immediately disliked. I found myself growing a *VERY* thick skin and immediately spoke up and said that I wanted someone different. Thankfully, they were accommodating and I had very little issue getting both a new doctor and new counselor. To this day, I am so grateful I made that switch. Our genetic counselor Caroline was amazing. We fell right in love and she really listened to everything I had to say. She never once made me feel like I was crazy for trying so hard. She did everything she could to look into all the current information I had for Trisomy 18 and was always available anytime I called. I just loved her.
She of course went over the statistics, let us know what "COULD" be the outcome, but because of my age and testing numbers, it just didn't all add up. Many of the Doctors begged us for an amnio but I refused. I knew that if the outcome wasn't good, and she was born alive, they would not do any life saving measures even if we requested it. I did NOT want this for my daughter. So we said no. The risk of the amino far outweighed our options to find out her genetic makeup.

We went through our pregnancy as "normal" as possible. Normal for us was now coupled with NST's (Non Stress Tests) Ultrasounds, and growth checks three times a week. Depending on how Anabelle was feeling on a particular day, we could be anywhere from 20 minutes in the office to 3 hours. So it made the last 12 weeks very long. Babies with Trisomy 18 typically don't move around a lot in utero, and if they do, because of their small size would make it harder for you to feel them moving. I spend many evenings worrying and wondering if she would still be alive. I think it was the hardest time for me. I just couldn't come to terms if she was to pass away before she even had a moment to live. I accepted the fact that there was a 99.9% chance she was not going to be with us, I just wasn't willing to accept the fact that she could pass away before being born. And I didn't.

Her arrival was a stressful one. Not even a happy joyful one. I spend a good 2 hours in the Delivery Triage of the hospital. My first time at Woman and Infants (as I had my first child in Boston) I was expecting a warm atmosphere, with nurses and doctors their to help you anyway they can. That didn't happen. Instead, I found myself arguing with a doctor that wanted me to have an amnio. I was only 37 weeks at the time, and he felt that it was just too early to deliver her, not knowing if her lungs were mature. I flat out told him, under no circumstances would I have an amnio. She had stopped growing 2 weeks ago, and it was time to deliver her that day. I told him if he wanted an amnio done so badly, go do it on himself. I was angry, livid and tired of doctors thinking that they always new best because they had the piece of paper hanging on some dingy wall saying they did. He wasn't happy with me and spoke to my husband saying "Are you going to let her speak to me like that." My husband, looked him right in the eye and said, YES I AM. Your on your own buddy. He left the room and didn't return. About 30 minutes later, a nurse came in the room, in a very rude tone and said I got my wish. Looked right at me and said that my husband and then 22 month old daughter had to leave, that they weren't allowed upstairs. I was livid by then. Jason quickly made arrangements for our daughter to stay with a friend until my mom and sister arrived later that night/early morning. They brought me upstairs at 8pm and things began pretty quickly.

I told them that if she came out breathing, I wanted to see her before they whisked her away, that they were to help her based on her being a child, not a child with possibly having Trisomy 18, and that my husband was to go with her after delivery to the NICU.

From the moment I was hooked up to the monitors and settled in with the nurse, its the last thing I remember before Anabelle was born. After she was delivered I remember them working on her, bringing her downstairs, and Jason going with them. That's all. I struggle everyday with this, because I don't have the memories I want to have. Only the ones people tell me, or I see in small video segments that Jason was able to capture.

Anabelle Eileen Martin Rodrigues was born on November 11, 2004 at 6:19am. Weighing in at 4lbs 6 oz and was 17 inches long. She was beautiful, she was tiny, she was ALIVE!

The next few days were an emotional roller coaster. From hearing doctors and nurses tell you she would not survive the night to others telling you that I had to just let her go and stop dreaming a life that she would never have. I knew the outcome, and I knew the statistics. The difference between myself and all those people around me, was that I had hope. Hope for her, hope for myself. Hope for other parents dealing with this now and in the future. I didn't want Anabelle to be just a number in a book. I wanted her to do as well as SHE could do. And that was the most important to me. I would fight for her and with her as much as she needed me too. She was my child, my daughter. I didn't see her disability, I saw her as a beautiful baby who just needed the extra love and support to get through each day.

Yes Anabelle had Trisomy 18, later confirmed by blood work two days after her birth. Yes she showed all the signs of a baby with Trisomy 18. Small weight, strawberry shaped head, fingers that were crossed and wouldn't open up, small eyes, nose and mouth. Ears that were shaped as if she were a little elf. I loved her just the same.

We spend the first 19 days of her life in the NICU at WOMAN AND INFANTS HOSPITAL. I loved her nurses. They were caring, warm and friendly. They took their job very seriously and loved the babies as if they were there own. We found out one of Anabelle's nurses had gone to school with two of my classmates from high school. Which was very comforting. She called all the time, took pictures when she could and kept up with Anabelle's day to day health. She truly did fantastic. She was on a breathing machine, but was only on room air, she was being fed by a tube through her nose and overall was very healthy.

When the day arrived for her to come home. My heart must have been beating out of my chest. I was worried she wouldn't make it off the machine. That she would pass away minutes or hours after they took the tubes out. I was a wreck, but didn't show it. I wanted her to prove to the doctors that Trisomy 18 isn't a text book case. Its something you have to handle based upon your understanding of that particular child. Not as a whole, but individually. I remember her doctor from the NICU wanting to be there. A mean souled man who I truly found myself hating more and more with each passing day. After she came off the machine, he wanted to hold her before we left. I reluctantly gave him the ok. The minute he picked her up, she not only threw up all over him, but had a very large accident as well. I told him it served him right speaking ill about her next to her bed. Putting her in the grave before she was even there. I didn't know how long she would have with us. But that moment made me feel like my choice of carrying her to term and helping her live was truly the best one.

Anabelle left the hospital on November 29th 2004 weighing in at 3 lbs 15 oz.

When we took her home, we wanted it to just be the family. Myself, Jason and Olivia. A family of four. We spend that day enjoying each other. Watching movies, eating lots of take out. Making memories. The next two weeks before her passing was a whirlwind. We took trips to the mall, saw Santa, visited family. Tried to make as many memories as possible.

The last day of her life was hard but beautiful. She passed away peacefully in my arms at exactly one month of age on December 11, 2004. She was the sweetest little girl. She taught me to fight for what I believe in, that no one person knows all the answers, and that I can do anything that I put my mind too. I learned so much that year carrying her, giving birth to her, watching her here on earth and then loosing her. It's never easy to loose a child, but I don't look at it as loosing her, I look at it as though I gained much more then her passing.

Anabelle Eileen Martin Rodrigues

If you or someone you know has had or is currently going through a diagnosis of Trisomy 18 please feel free to contact me at or visit my blog at I am happy to help anyway possible. Any and all questions can be asked and nothing is too personal.


Next week my girl scout troop is holding a "CAREERS" day to help earn their Careers patch. I was blessed with a few friends that will donate their time or have offered to have their family/friends come to speak to the girls. Currently we have:


I am still currently looking for a few more people. So if you read my blog, live in the area, and have next Tuesday free from 4-5:30 I would love to hear from you!!
Currently we are looking for:

*POLICE OFFICER (just in case)

If you have a career that you think the girls might be interested in learning that is not above I am all ears. So help a Girl Scout Leader out. Who do you know??

Please email me at

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ezme 20 Months Old

I thought instead of writing all the fun things that Ezme is doing these days, which is A LOT, I would just post a picture of my sweetie. She is amazing and sweet and lovable and just a joy to have in our lives. I feel so blessed to have her. What a fantastic Mother's Day gift to remember always. Hugs little one.

Ezme 20 Months Old

Mother's Day!

We didn't do anything special for Mother's Day this year. My plans for sleeping in and breakfast in bed were awoken by a screaming Oliver and sad Ezme. So I went downstairs to help Jason at 7:30am. The kids wanted me to go back upstairs and lay down, but it just wasn't going to happen.

We decided to head out and just drive around. Ending up in Attleboro grocery shopping and checking out prices of bricks for the patio in the backyard. We even managed a little "picnic" for the kids in the Walmart parking lot. Like I said, nothing really major. Since the kids had already eaten, when we returned home, we put them to bed and my Mother's Day supper was Chinese take out.

Here is the only good picture we got from our day out:

Olivia (8) Emma-James (5) Owen (3 1/2) Ezme (20 months) Oliver (8 months)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Flower's from my Mom

When I arrived home from the Birthday Party I was greeted at the front door with these:


They are so pretty the picture I took doesn't do them justice. They make my house smell like spring. LOVE IT!! Thanks mom. I love them so much!

Princess Birthday Party

Emma-James was invited to a princess birthday party and the mom of the Birthday Girl said that siblings were welcome. I decided to bring Ezme along since many of the friends Emma has through school has siblings Ezmes' age. It would be a good way for her to make a few friends of her own. Many of them will be going to school together someday.

Ezme in her new dress from Steph and Mia! Thank's you guys. SHE LOVES IT. Ezme just wasn't up for photos with mommy and Emma.

Happy Ezme ready to go!

Unfortunately the camera wasn't working in time for me to take it with me. But I can tell you both girls had a great time. Emma enjoyed following her friends (definitely a follower, not a leader) and Ezme enjoyed eating, playing with the balloons and following there kitty. It was a great Saturday afternoon and the birthday girl had so much fun too. Even princess Rapunzel came from Tangled. The highlight for all the girls!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

House Painting

We have been in this house coming up on 6 years now!! The first thing I wanted to do when we moved here was paint the ugly green color on the house. I hated it. It was tiring and old. Soon I found out that the house hadn't been painted in more then 15 years. I know this because our neighbor had said that it was the same color green when she moved down the street in the early 90's. Needless to say, its high time for an update. Not to mention, because we have no front yard, there is not much curb appeal. Our house blends in with the rest of the houses on the street and I wanted something with a little more color. So far, I love the color. I think it will look great from the Main Street and will definitely give our front yard a little more Pizazz then it has now.

The color I chose is a red wine color. Only looks bright in the picture because of the flash.

The side of our house! I finally finished this part off. Its not been my favorite of the yard, but doesn't it look pretty. This picture shows you better what the color really looks like.

The front and driveway part of the house.

My original idea was to paint the front door this color and then everything else black. But now I am thinking of painting the shutters the red color, the trim the red color and the door back. Ideas of course are all welcome. I am hoping to get back to painting again the following weekend with the hopes of finishing it up by Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Girl Scout Father's Night

Every year I hold a "LADIES CHOICE NIGHT" for the Girl Scouts. I plan it around a "SCIENCE THEME" and the girls always seem to have a fun evening just them and their dad/uncle/grandpa/etc. Last year the big hit was the volcano, this year we went even bigger and got a rocket to launch. The girls went WILD over it. I think even the dad's had a good time as well. I have to say, this year was a success and everyone had a good time. Here are a few pictures of fun evening.





The Girls and their Special Guests *Ladies Choice Night" May 3rd, 2011

Monday, May 2, 2011

Waterfall and Flowers

Four years ago, I started a project while I was 7 months pregnant with Owen. Crazy, I know. But I did all the work myself, with very little help from anyone. I am very proud of what I created. It's such a great place to enjoy in the summer time. Listening to the water in the evenings seems to drown out all the noises around you. Very peaceful. Each brick was picked up by me at Lowe's, carried to the car, loaded up. Then brought home, dropped off and then repeat. These bricks were being discounted at Lowe's in Attleboro, I made the trip, at least a dozen times to acquire all that I needed. And yup, I am doing it all over again, this time for patio bricks!!

Here are a few pictures of my fantastic waterfall. Its still work in progress every year. I am always tweaking and coming up with new ideas. This is what it looks like right now, but like the garden, I am hoping to show you some pictures in another month when all the flowers are in full bloom. Its so pretty!



I purchased this Angel in Maine one summer and brought her all the way down to RI. She is my reminder of my sweet Anabelle. She greets you when you first enter my backyard and I can see her from my bedroom window. I have yet to find anything like her in another store. She was definitely meant to be with us.