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Sunday, July 27, 2014

2014 International Kindness Project Day


"To help one person is to help the world." -- Joanne Cacciatore


Today, July 27th is International Kindness Project Day started by the MISS Foundation. What is that...You ask? 

It's a Kindness Revolution! Everyone is invited to participate with us, doing simple acts of kindness in the memory of a loved one or if you're lucky enough not to have one, feel free to do it in Jack's name! This is something we as bereaved parents do often in memory of our kids who have died. 

JOIN the KINDNESS Revolution!
My very first Random Act of Kindness was very simple. I went through the Wendy's drive-thru expecting to buy a $5 gift card or certificate but they didn't have them anymore. I had several cars in front of me so I was near the ordering menu for about 15 minutes. I was feeling kind of silly, since this wasn't going as planned. While I sat there with my window down, there was delivery guy hauling food in and out of the back door. He had his son with him, he looked about 4 or 5 years old who was playing around the bushes. When the delivery guy was finished he grabbed his crates and said, "Come on Jack, time to go." I started crying, it was confirmation that Jack was with me and I would do this Act of Kindness no matter how silly or embarrassed I was. When I finally got to the window, I handed the girl a $5 bill and asked her to put my $5 towards the guy's order behind me. She looked at me funny and asked, "What?" I told her that I was doing a Random Act of Kindness in memory of my son Jack and I wanted to donate $5 to the order for the guy behind me in line. She still looked a little confused but took the $5 and the Kindness Card that said, "This Random Act of Kindness...Done in Loving Memory of Jack Kendrick Johnson. As I drove away I saw her hand the card to the man and "explain" what I had done. Driving through the parking lot my tears were blinding me and I had to pull over but I didn't want the guy to follow me so I wiped them away with my shirt and headed home. My heart was so heavy with love for Jack, my tears were full of pain and sorrow, but I felt so good because I knew Jack was with me at that moment. 


Three years ago I started donating "Jackpacks", backpacks filled with school supplies to children in need. The first year I donated 5 backpacks to 5 kindergartners who were living at one of A New Leaf's domestic abuse homeless shelters in Phoenix, AZ. Jack was turning 5 that August and would've started kindergarten.

2011 International Kindness Project Day

Last year to honor Jack's 6th birthday, I donated 6 backpacks filled with supplies to 6 homeless first graders at A New Leaf in Mesa.

2012 International Kindness Project Day





2013 International Kindness Project Day
I donated 7 Jackpacks to Sunset View Elementary school in Provo, UT 

(Jory's old elementary school) http://www.sunset.provo.edu/Site_Home/home.htm




I was only able to do this because of the kindness of our friends and family who made donations. We are still in the same predicament this year, I'm STILL unemployed or rather a Stay At Home Mom(currently) to Jack's little brother Jiraiya Dragon our New Zealand Miracle! I am determined to make this an annual donation for Jack's Birthday and Kindness Day regardless of our situation, we WILL make this work!

So here we go again peeps...

It's Jackpack Time!


So as I said, we can't afford 8 backpacks filled with supplies, but we can afford at least two. One will be picked out just as if it were for Jack and we will fill it with all the supplies and probably some extras. The second will be picked out by Jiraiya, via ME since he's only 8 months old.

The other 6 backpacks is where I NEED YOU! So my dearest Friends and Family....would you be willing to help me with this Kindness project for Kindness Day as well as Jack's 8th Birthday coming August 31? As I did last year I will photograph everything I purchase so you can see what your donations are going towards.

(This was our special Jackpack, picked out and bought as we would have if Jack were here)

Third Grade Supply List

1 Backpack (Found them for $12-$15 at Walmart, any cheaper and they don't last a year.)
12 #2 Pencils
1 Box of 64 Crayons
3 Glue Sticks
1 Box of Tissues
2 Pink Erasers
1 Box of 8-10 Broad Tip Markers 
1 Pair of Fiskar Scissors
1 Pencil Case
1 3 prong binder
1 Wide Ruled Spiral Bound Notebook
3 Pocket Folders
1 Bottle of White/Elmers Glue
1 Personal size Bottle of Hand Sanitizer

Classroom Extras:

PLAIN SPIRAL NOTEBOOK
PLAIN THREE PRONG POCKET FOLDER
LINED FILLER PAPER
BLACK EXPO MARKERS 
PENCIL SLIDER CASE
ZIPLOC BAGGIES (SNACK, SANDWICH, QUART, GALLON SIZES) 
PENCIL TOP ERASERS
CLOROX WIPES
REAM OF WHITE CARD STOCK
REAM OF COLORED CONSTRUCTION PAPER

Normally I'm done with my project on International Kindness Day, but because this year has been CRAZY for us as I'm chasing a mobile 8 month old around 24/7, I'm running behind. I'm starting my Kindness Project today and want to deliver the Jackpacks before school starts for these special 3rd graders which I've read is August 21st for Adams Elementary School in Logan,UT(the elementary school I went to)

If you would like to DONATE my PayPal DONATE button is on the top right of my blog, another one directly above and below this blog post...just scroll UP or DOWN and click the DONATE button. Or now that we're back in UTAH, I can drive around collecting donations whether that's cash or supplies!

THANK YOU ALL in advance for whatever you are able to do to help me honor Jack for his 8th Birthday!

Thank You Juli and Tara for your donation!
Thank You Donnie and Grace Lyons for your donation!
Thank You Polli Schmutz for the donations your mailing!
Thank You Aunt Nora for the donation you are in the process of making! ;-)

Sunday, December 08, 2013

December 9, 2013...Induction Day at 39w2d

Tomorrow is going to be one of the two best days of our lives but at the very same time, it's going to be reliving our very worst nightmare. We're going to the hospital to deliver our son. The first time we did that, our lives were shattered when Jack was born too early and died 4 hours after birth. Unless you've been in our shoes, you simply cannot understand! This is WHY we are choosing to keep our hospital stay to ourselves, just our little family. I get that a LOT of people, especially family want to come visit us and meet Dragon in the hospital, but please understand, this isn't like any other birth to naive, normal parents. Jory and I are different, we're STILL shattered, wounded, broken, traumatized and scarred! We have to make different choices to HELP ourselves through this very scary step...this part of our grief journey. 
Dragon isn't just any son, little brother, grandson, nephew or cousin, he's OUR 2nd "Miracle" that we NEVER expected to exist(still can't believe it's real!) and he's arriving after his big brother who was also a miracle pregnancy, died. It took us 8 years to get pregnant with Jack after being diagnosed with Serous Cystadenomas/Cystadenocarcinomas(a guaranteed future of Ovarian Cancer), extreme Endometeriosis and extreme PCOS with Insulin Resistance. We continued trying to get pregnant for years after Jack died and even went through a failed adoption which felt very much like another death of a child. We gave up on having kids 3 years ago. That dream I had to raise a family was taken away from me. I eventually came to accept it as my reality. We had already begun our new life as Jack's parents and that was it. Dragon is what they call our Rainbow:
It is understood that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of any storm. When a rainbow appears, it does not mean that the storm never happened or that we are not still dealing with its aftermath. It means that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover, but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope. 

Tomorrow can be both traumatic and provide a little healing regardless of the outcome. Having an audience of excited friends and family puts a lot of pressure on us. If things go wrong, I don't want to feel like I have to comfort others and stare at Those faces, I will just want to be with Jory and Dragon. If and When things go great, I want Dragon ALL TO OURSELVES, we need that Heart Healing time with him! We as his parents get to make that decision. We have listed ourselves as Private at the hospital I'm delivering at in case there are people out there that Haven't heard our plan, which also means flowers, balloons, cards(anything) will not be delivered to us(at the hospital) and will be returned. This whole thing might seem so Bizarre or Rude to some of you, that's fine, I know you can't possibly understand how we feel. This isn't about ANY of YOU, this is about Me, Jory, Jack and Dragon and I can only hope you will try to understand if not, support our decision!

I WILL however continue "sharing" every step of this adventure with you via Facebook as long as I am up to it. I will of course be sharing his photos(first with family via text) then on FB. 
Once we are home and settled, we will let everyone know and will start scheduling visits. We're excited for everyone to meet him! We are respectfully asking any visitors within the first 2 months to have their Tdap vaccine and be illness free if you expect to breath on or hold our human. If you're not vaccinated and choose not to(you don't need to explain and we won't be asking or demanding to see papers LOL), we simply ask you Look but not Touch. However if you're sick, please stay away until you're fully healed! Dragon's life is more important to us then your immediate visit. Plain and Simple.

Thank you to everyone who has been so loving and supportive during this crazy adventure, it seems like just yesterday Jory and I were in New Zealand staring at each other in total disbelief, shock and fear when we saw that positive pregnancy test! Our Dragon swooped in and changed our lives forever in a second! I still feel just as shocked, like I have been in a dream partly watching this all happen like a movie, partly living it, always waiting for the nightmare to hit. We're so excited and scared shitless of this next chapter in our lives and can't wait to share it with All of you! 

PS...No we STILL haven't picked out a name for Dragon! LOL We wait until we meet him to pick a name. Hopefully he comes out with a name tag! ;-)

I Love my boys! Jory, Jack and Dragon <3 div="">

Saturday, October 05, 2013

30 weeks!

30 weeks! HELLO....THIRTY WEEKS!?!?! Holy shittles! Dragon could be here in 6-10 weeks, that's insane! Is this real life? lol jk

Ok so changes in the last week, found out I have Gestational Diabetes or Do I? After reading all the info, I stupidly found out Bananas are high in carbs(I can't know everything!LOL) and I was told to eat breakfast but no carbs the morning of my Glucose test(I was thinking ok, No Kelloggs Special K cereal then). I ate a banana minutes before drinking the orange bottle of sugar, an hour before my test. Yesterday I had my appointment with the GD specialists at the hospital, they hooked me up with knowledge, my testing equipment and a plan of diet action. My levels yesterday and so far today are perfect. Where's my gold star? I even enjoyed 1/2 cup of my leftover shake last night as my before bed snack, thought for sure my morning test would be SUPER HIGH but nope, perfect. I'm going to be calling the GD people on Monday and see if I should retest. OH OH OH and I checked my weight this morning and I'm ALREADY down 4 lbs since Thursday!

But speaking of last night/this morning. So my Pregnancy/Joey insomnia has really hit it's peak. Yesterday I was too busy with appts and running around picking up prescriptions, I didn't nap. I still didn't go to bed until 4 am and like clockwork, I was awake at 8 am. Due to the rules of the GD diet, I didn't want to eat that early(like I normally would) so even though I was really hungry, I stayed in bed, read a little then watched some TV. After about 2 hours of being awake, I started getting sleepy so I turned over and passed out. I woke up FIVE hours later! WTF!?!?! No waking to pee just 5 awesome hours of straight sleep! I'm a new woman! Well ok not really, but damn it was great! Awe....

But back to Dragon....as most of you saw, I had an appt with my Peri at MFM and got to see our amazing little man, they did all of his measurements again, he's 3lbs 3oz and measuring 3 days ahead(last time he was measuring a week behind). We got ONE glimpse of his adorable face in 3D and thankfully she took the pic bc that was all he gave us, the HAND immediately went up telling us No Press! Little booger! He's head down, facing my right which is why I'm not feeling him as much but still through out the day(anterior placenta is more on my right). The last couple days he's been stretching his feet into my ribs and DAMN THE MAN that is SO not comfortable! LOL

I was a little bummed they didn't check my cervix length, it had been 5 weeks since we last checked. He said I'm far enough along that there's no reason to check it. I feel like if I was funneling or shortening then I could go on full bedrest and keep cooking as long as possible. I don't know, I think I'll press him again at my next appt on the 14th.

I've been having Braxton Hicks multiple times a day but only when I'm laying down on the couch, which is so bizarre...normally(from what I've read) people get them from being too active or too long on their feet. I'm on modified partial bedrest so I'm NEVER too active or too long on my feet. LOL They are getting stronger as the weeks continue but they don't hurt and I only have like 3-4 per day.
That's enough novel for now.
Love my Boys!

- Infertile yet Pregnant Mama Signing OUT





Friday, August 30, 2013

Pregnancy Hormones and Grief

Pregnancy Hormones and Grief for your son's 7th Birthday and Angelversary weekend feels like Day 30 after your child died, you have zero control over your emotions, you're awake enough you're realizing that this wasn't a nightmare that you're going to wake up from, that it's the worst nightmare in the world and you can't sleep through it until you take your last breath, this is your life, everyday, WITHOUT your child that you Wanted so bad, you worked your ass off for EIGHT YEARS to have then gone in a blink of an eye. Everyone around you seems to have forgotten that your heart was ripped from your chest and you've been left with this gaping hole, all you want to do is die so the pain with stop, but you've made a promise to not die. But this isn't living, I don't want to live, I don't know how to live anymore, part of me is missing, why live? How is everyone breathing? The weight of the world is sitting on my chest, I gasp for every breath. My throat hurts all the time with this giant lump that hasn't gone away and every word I try to speak gets stuck on this lump. Constant headache wishing this invisible vice was removable. Body aches and shivers like I just came out of surgery. I'm drowning but there is no end, just the fight. This is my life MISSing my Jack!

It's been awhile since I left myself Go There, I haven't needed to Go There for awhile. I'm in a very healthy place with my grief now, I worked my ass off to get to where I am today. Pregnancy Hormones are like a Concorde flight straight to Raw grief when I didn't even realize I was getting on a plane! It just hits, takes me for the ride and eventually I'm able to get off, but I have zero control while I'm there. It's insanity, pregnancy hormones that is.

I'm going to eat some raspberry sherbet now so Dragon will dance these crazy hormones away. <3 p="">

Saturday, August 24, 2013

24 weeks!

24 weeks pregnant! As hopeful and positive as I've tried to convince myself to be, I honestly never ever thought in my life since having Jack, I'd be here! Because it's unbelievable to me, I have to say it again: I'm 24 weeks Pregnant with my SECOND amazing little miracle, and Dragon is officially viable(according to the docs), he's been viable in my eyes since I saw TWO GIANT lines on the stick back in New Zealand! Technically, Viability means the doctors will do whatever they can to help him live, if I go into preterm labor like I did with Jack. This is a HUGE Relief to a mama like me! Just typing that last sentence brings tears to my eyes because Jack didn't get help. A couple weeks completely changes the game. I am indescribably excited, happy, joyous, overwhelmed with love and luck and SO honored to be growing this Awesome little man who is already so much like his Daddy Jory Dan Johnson! We've never been able to get a good profile during ultrasounds because he's already learned "No Press"(like his dad), by turning his head away or putting his arm up in the way. This week he leaned his head WAY back to avoid a picture!

I'm convinced he's trying to get to my boobs from the inside because he's all up in my lungs! I wasn't surprised at all when the doctor told me he had flipped breech because it's easier to get a Feelski(like his dad) with his hands then his feet! He's extremely strong(like his dad) because with an Anterior Placenta I shouldn't be feeling much but after his LONG naps(like his dad) he likes to make his presence known with huge kicks to my cervix and punches towards my lungs(BOOBIES), of course it's just when I'm getting up to do something whether cook, clean, unpack another box or go to the bathroom(his daddy LOVES to "give me attention" when I'm in the middle of something). LOL Of course I continue to lay there and feel my little Dragon beat me up because I truly can't get enough!!! I can't wait to be able to feel it on the outside so Jory can experience the beatings too! ;-)

And for you fact and stat lovers: Dragon is 1.5 lbs and his heart rate was 150. Oh and I almost forgot, his head is still measuring ahead of his body(big head like his dad) and he's still looking 100% healthy!
Even though I often complain about the lack of sleep due to restless leg syndrome, not being able to get comfortable, being hungry or too full, having terrifyingly real nightmares or the random heartburn, acid reflux/indigestion, swollen feet and ankles, carpel tunnel, non stop cold sores and getting so fat after working my ass off to lose the weight and get healthy....I'm human and I'm an out loud kind of person. I share my life(well most of it) with the world because it's therapeutic to me. Complaining about pregnancy's nasty side affects doesn't mean I'm not overjoyed with this entire experience! I'm simply sharing this experience. I don't want to forget a single moment! I would do it over and over again(if I could) even if I never ended up with a living child. Because every minute I'm pregnant, my child is very much alive and a part of my life and I cherish every second I get! I'm so in love with my boys Jack, Dragon and my main squeeze Jory, what more can a girl want? I'm SO lucky to have them! <3 p="">
HOLY SHIT! Only 12-16 weeks LEFT! Yet, I still can't believe this is actually happening. Is this Real Life? LOL

PS Love to all of you who constantly support me/us! You're like the cream cheese frosting on(and IN) the red velvet cake....Drool....What was I saying? OOOOOH Red Velvet Pancakes at IHOP...YUMMMM!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

2013 International Kindness Project Day!


"To help one person is to help the world." -- Joanne Cacciatore


Today, July 27th is International Kindness Project Day started by the MISS Foundation. What is that...You ask? 

It's a Kindness Revolution! Everyone is invited to participate with us, doing simple acts of kindness in the memory of a loved one or if you're lucky enough not to have one, feel free to do it in Jack's name! This is something we as bereaved parents do often in memory of our kids who have died. 

JOIN the KINDNESS Revolution!
My very first Random Act of Kindness was very simple. I went through the Wendy's drive-thru expecting to buy a $5 gift card or certificate but they didn't have them anymore. I had several cars in front of me so I was near the ordering menu for about 15 minutes. I was feeling kind of silly, since this wasn't going as planned. While I sat there with my window down, there was delivery guy hauling food in and out of the back door. He had his son with him, he looked about 4 or 5 years old who was playing around the bushes. When the delivery guy was finished he grabbed his crates and said, "Come on Jack, time to go." I started crying, it was confirmation that Jack was with me and I would do this Act of Kindness no matter how silly or embarrassed I was. When I finally got to the window, I handed the girl a $5 bill and asked her to put my $5 towards the guy's order behind me. She looked at me funny and asked, "What?" I told her that I was doing a Random Act of Kindness in memory of my son Jack and I wanted to donate $5 to the order for the guy behind me in line. She still looked a little confused but took the $5 and the Kindness Card that said, "This Random Act of Kindness...Done in Loving Memory of Jack Kendrick Johnson. As I drove away I saw her hand the card to the man and "explain" what I had done. Driving through the parking lot my tears were blinding me and I had to pull over but I didn't want the guy to follow me so I wiped them away with my shirt and headed home. My heart was so heavy with love for Jack, my tears were full of pain and sorrow, but I felt so good because I knew Jack was with me at that moment. 


Two years ago I started donating Jackpacks, backpacks filled with school supplies to children in need. The first year I donated 5 backpacks to 5 kindergartners who were living at one of A New Leaf's domestic abuse homeless shelters in Phoenix, AZ. Jack was turning 5 that August and would've started kindergarten.

2011 International Kindness Project Day

Last year to honor Jack's 6th birthday, I donated 6 backpacks filled with supplies to 6 homeless first graders at A New Leaf in Mesa.

2012 International Kindness Project Day





I was only able to do this because of the kindness of our friends and family who made donations. We are still in the same predicament this year, I'm STILL unemployed and SURPRISE I'm pregnant with Jack's little brother! I am determined to make this an annual donation for Jack's Birthday and Kindness Day regardless of our situation, we WILL make this work!

So here we go again peeps...

It's Jackpack Time!


So as I said, we can't afford 7 backpacks filled with supplies, but we can afford at least two. One will be picked out just as if it were for Jack and we will fill it with all the supplies and probably some extras. The second will be picked out by Dragon, Jack's lil bro, via ME since he's still in my tummy!

The other 5 backpacks is where I NEED YOU! So my dearest Friends and Family....would you be willing to help me with this Kindness project for Kindness Day as well as Jack's 7th Birthday coming August 31? As I did last year I will photograph everything I purchase so you can see what your donations are going towards.

(This was our special Jackpack, picked out and bought as we would have if Jack were here)

Second Grade Supply List

1 Backpack (Found them for $10 at Walmart!!!)

(the rest of the list coming soon!)

Normally I'm done with my project on International Kindness Day, TODAY,  but because this year has been CRAZY for us and I've been on bedrest with our little guy, I'm running behind. I'm starting my Kindness Project today and want to deliver the Jackpacks before school starts for these special 2nd graders which I've hear is around mid August for Provo and Pleasant Grove. 

If you would like to DONATE my PayPal DONATE button is on the right of the page Or CLICK HERE! Or now that we're back in UTAH, I can drive around collecting donations whether that's cash or supplies!

THANK YOU ALL in advance for whatever you are able to do to help me honor Jack for his 7th Birthday!

Friday, October 05, 2012

Capture Your Grief Day 5 Memorial

I'm SO exhausted from the MISS Foundation conference 2012 that I don't have much to say today but I wanted to get Day 5 of Capture Your Grief up before I crash for the night. This is Jack's plaque at the Phoenix Angel of Hope. It's "Our Place" outside of our house to go and Be With Jack on his Birthday, Angelversary or whenever we want. It's the closest thing to a grave site we can get since we cremated Jack so he would always be With Us where ever we are.

Capture Your Grief Day 5 Memorial

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Capture Your Grief Day 4 Treasured Gift

What I treasure the most I can't capture in a photo, at least not one I am willing to share on the Internet. Jack made me a Mother, it's the only thing I ever wanted, it was my dream come true. A picture of me holding Jack would have been today's picture however, those pictures and his ashes are all I have left of my son and still 6 years later, I'm not willing to share them with just anyone, let alone the world. So instead I'll share my most Treasured Gift(literal).

The nurses at Banner Desert Hospital made this plaster mold of Jack's hands and feet, it's the only proof that Jack existed that I'll share with extended family, friends and strangers on the Internet.

Thank you Jack for making my dreams come true! I'm so proud to be your Mama! Love you to the Moon and Back!

Day 4 Treasured Gift

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

CYG Day 3 After Loss self portrait

 No words are really necessary with these self portraits of a Bereaved Mother. I'm pretty sure the insanity I felt and still feel since Jack died is clear.






Day 3 After Loss self portrait

Donate for My Kindness Project to Honor Jack!

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