Thursday, July 31, 2008

moments and people

Last Sunday evening we took Willa to a small playground that's right on the Grand River. While she and Jim were playing, I glanced west at the water. The sun was to set in an hour or so, and there was an incredible sense of peace that came over me. It was kind of strange and surreal: I didn't hear the playground chatter, or traffic, or music coming from the nearby church group. It was silent, and for the first time since my sister told me there was trouble with her pregnancy, I felt calm, centered, serene.
I like to think that that moment was something meaningful and something I should carry. But in the senseless loss of the immediate, that's hard to do, hard to process.
Lisa and Ken are home now. Their village will surround them and hug them and give them cookies. We will not be able to give them what they most ache for, but we will offer what we have.
Lisa tells me to hug our Willa and pat my belly. I urge you to do the same. Take a moment to be grateful for what challenges you, what feeds you, and what means the most to you. And if the "that" is a person, let them know.
With love,

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tidal wave of love

Thanks to everyone who offered their sympathy, thoughts, and prayers. I am going to keep these comments private and not publish them for the last post. Please know that each one was comforting, and I will pass along the wave of love to my sister and the rest of my family.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dear darling little nieces,

I never got to meet you, never even felt you moving inside your mom's belly. But I love you girls, and was looking forward to smelling your newborn heads when I first held you.

Your mom called me today to say that you wouldn't be joining us this way. Your little bodies weren't meant to make it. And now you're both gone. The doctors didn't start a proceedure that would hopefully help you grow big and strong. Your parents had no decisions to make, in the end the percentages and risks were meaningless. You took care of that for them, and just slipped off sometime between the last kick or elbow or stretch your mom felt last night and this morning's ultrasound. And for making the decision, I thank you.

For all of the joy you brought us - your heartbroken family of sister, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousin - before we could even counted your tiny toes, thank you. You will be mourned and missed. You will be remembered and loved.

Aunt Amy

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Heavy things, heavy heart

Now I am a blogging slacker and a liar.
I'm kind of laying low in the bat cave right now.
My sister has run into some complications with her pregnancy, and I'm using my spare time and energy to send good thoughts, think of something productive I might do to provide help to my little sister and her husband and their four year old, and generally try not to cry every time I feel my own baby move inside of me.
Caring for and loving other people is hard work. Lisa shared the names of her babies with me, and now I might love them even more. I'm sharing neither the names nor the gender, as I don't know if that's public yet.
The twins are sharing a placenta, and that's not a good thing. Here is an article * that describes the surgery we're hoping will take place in Tampa, FL early next week. Science and medicine continues to amaze me.
Sinki vacation review will tie up when I can write about it and give it justice. For now, any crossed fingers, good vibes and big strong prayers sent to Lisa and her family would be terrific.

*Andi, I don't know if you read here or not, but if you do, thanks again for the article.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Stuck in the locks

Dear Sinki family memories and readers,

Sorry to leave you stranded in the Soo. Work and life has been crazy. Please check in tomorrow when I do the final vacation wrap-up.

In the meantime, send out teeny vibes that morning sickness isn't coming back to me. I'm queasy, and it might be because of the "English hot house cucumber" sized fetus in residence. Or not.

Also, Willa has named "big baby" after her teacher. This puts her naming of items at:
- my old Hush Puppy stuffed dog who she calls Thomas or Otis (after Bill and Jac's puppy) depending on the mood.
- "big baby" is now called "Little Kelly" after Willa told me that she loved Miss Kelly at school (who she hadn't seen in 2 weeks because of overlapping vacations).

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cooler than it sounds, the Soo Locks

... and then it was time to strike off on our own and brave the Mackinac Bridge and the great north woods. Last Monday we gave my parents hugs and kisses and drove north.

First stop: Sault Saint Marie. There we found THE nicest MI Welcome Center employee in the history of hospitality. We left with a bag full of information on lodging and sites to see in the UP (because we admitted that we didn't really do much research before leaving) and a wolf poster that she dug out of the back office for Willa.

From there we checked into the Holiday Inn Express*. This was our first time hoteling with the dogs. They had a tough time figuring out what their role was. We felt it should be to lie down, enjoy the scents of former boarders, and chill out. They felt they should alert us every time someone was in the hallway.

The humans went to check out the Locks. Lucky for us, a ship was due in w/in 20 minutes of arrival. And there it was, huge and right in front of us:

From the Locks we went to dinner and then back to our hotel for some swimming in the pool.

*"What? No camping?" You say. We have a 3 person tent, and it would have been mighty full with 2 adults, a toddler and 2 dogs. Also, camping and 6 months pregnant? This gestator needs a bathroom nearby at all times.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More trees

Mr. Sinki has a hard time doing nothing. This is a fact that he probably won't dispute. One morning while at the cottage I woke up as he was coming back from Houghton Lake's Wallmart with pillows and a dog brush. It's probably for the best that I married Mr. on-the-go. Otherwise I could pretty easily relax myself into a state of very still ooze.

Anyhow, this restless of his encouraged a little side trip to Heartwick Pines. The thing about forrest evolution is that the environment and tree makeup change over time. They're going to have the change the name of this State Park soon, as the Maples will soon outnumber the enormous old growth pines left.

We started off in the the interpretive center where you learn about forrests and that specific land area. There was a display of the fecal matter we might see on the walking trails. I'm sure it was plastic replica of scat, but still... our tax dollars at work there. Willa looked into the glass case and said, "I see flowers." Very telling of her perspective, I thought, must remember for the blog.

From there we went to the old logging museum. This is the segment of the trip where I has hot and bored and didn't really want to read about the 6 kinds of saws they used to cut down trees. I quietly perservered, trooper that I am.

Then we got to the woods. The main event.
Willa was in awe of all the "big trees." She asked for "more big trees" throughout the week.
We walked into the small chapel on the grounds. It's simplicity is humbling and holy all by itself. Willa caught on quick, turning to me with her finger on her lips, "shhhh."

We did some more walking, and found a bench for the following photo shoot. I call this series ADD and Genetics or Strangers at the Bus Stop.

The park is really pretty, and only a short drive from Higgens Lake. We'll have to go back again. I think our little Lorax would like another trip back soon.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Vacation review, part 1

It's been a hard transition back from our vacation. This was no few days away from the office. It was like a pack retreat (it included the dogs), and it was blissful. I figure instead of post all at once about it, I'll savor the review over a few days.

On July 4 we drove from our house to my parents' cottage at Higgens Lake. We spent a relaxing few days up there reading, eating, napping, talking and playing at the lake. While Jim and I were sad that none of my siblings were able to make the trip, it was nice to have my parents alone. Even when we're visiting them at their house, there's always some other activities abuzz. It was nice to slow down a little and really get to talk with them. Also? Willa enjoyed putting on a show for them, including saying their last name out loud for the first time. And folks, it's no easy name to spit out.

In this photo Willa is trying to reach for the water with Grandma's help.

Here's Grandpa drawing a mouse. And then erasing it to make a smaller mouse. Willa was very demanding that Grandpa draw a "little mouse."

Note the fancy slipcover. That used to be my sheet many years ago.

Willa, Arlo (who has a cold nose, according to Willa) and I sitting on an air mattress at the fire one night.

This guy? I totally married him. And have said a "thank you" prayer every day since.

A little walk to the Lake.

More goggle fun. Notice the feet up on the tree stump. She was imitating my mom, move for move.

A few other notes from this leg of the trip: the night of the fire, my dad, Jim and I saw a meteor streak from one side of the sky to the other. It was huge and awesome.

I rediscovered my love for JuJu Fruit candy.

Willa liked to hop from one area rug to the next in the cottage.

Willa has decided that my dad is her buddy. And my mom is getting closer and closer.

The fireworks on the lake the night of the 4th were plentiful. There were probably more than a dozen neighborhood shows going on all at once. It was pretty cool.

Jim and mom and dad, anything to add?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Report from the North

Greetings, pals. I am writing to you from the Upper Peninsula of our fair state. We are in Paradise. No, really. We're in Paradise, MI. Willa is napping in one bed, Jim's catching up on some reading in another, the dogs are sleeping, and I thought I'd see if Paradise had a good internet connection.

This morning we woke up, watched cartoons in bed, ate omelets and repacked the car leaving Sault Saint Marie to head west through National Forrest land. After our trip to Hartwick Pines (in Grayling, near my parent's cottage in Higgens Lake) a few days ago, Willa keeps asking to see "more big trees." The UP more than delivers on this request.

We stopped along the 2 lane highway to climb the 72 steps of the Point Iroquois Lighthouse. At the top of the Lighthouse one is faced with awesome beauty of Lake Superior and the surrounding woods and rocky formations. I was also faced with several phobias at once. I thought I had gotten over my fear of heights years ago. And 72 steps doesn't sound that high. But these were metal steps, with no backs, and I could see through their grating. Then we got to the top and there was no air circulating in the small space that used to house a lighthouse. None. And there was another small family already up there. It was, again, a small space. I looked around at the panoramic natural beauty, pretended that it was breathtaking, and that I wasn't hyperventilating, and then went down the steps cursing my parents ("sons of bitches") for talking it up so much that we had to stop. When we exited, it started to rain. We took the boardwalk to the lake anyhow.

It was worth the little hike up - but I could say this only after I was back on the ground.

After that we drove for a bit longer and stopped at a random side stop along the road. We walked through a thicket of trees and were suddenly the only people (and canines) on earth. We were on a sandy shore on a bay of the lake. Willa waded right in. The dogs frolicked in and out of the water. Jim and I took photos (we'll share some later).

This family vacation? So far, so pretty wonderful.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Sinkis on the run

The Sinki's are heading to the woods of Northern MI for a little while.
Bug spray? Check.
Underwear? Check.
Twizzlers? Check.
We're all set. See you back here after a refreshing vacation.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

More big news

Oh my gosh, oh, my gosh, oh my gosh.... I don't think I can tell you yet, but more excitement to come!

An hour later: okay, I have security clearance now.
So, maybe you already know this, but Jim and I are expecting our second in October.
And my sister Lisa and her husband Ken are expecting their second and third in December.
On Sunday my brother Bill and his wife Jackie got a new puppy. He's a 10 week old black lab named Otis.
On Monday they shared that Otis won't be the only addition to their house. Bill and Jackie are going to be parents: wonderful, strong, loving, funny parents. Fingers crossed for a healthy and smooth pregnancy for them.

Outside of the immediate family, I have 2 cousins who are due in November and January.

Babies everywhere!