Happy Birthday My Little Bear

A year ago his lusty cry as he entered the world reminded us how to smile again.  Through the long newborn nights, his warm, squirmy little body slowly healed the places I thought may never again be whole.

And as I gaze at the curious mischievous toddler that somehow took my baby’s place, I am in awe.  What an amazing gift we have been given.

Although I have millions of words I could say about Kai, today just a few will have to do.

I love you more than I could ever express, my little man.  You are growing into an easy-going, adventurous, curious child – and you continue to bring smiles to our faces every day.  You are a natural entertainer, and always have time for a laugh and a smile.  Although no child should have to shoulder the burden of healing, through you, God has brought healing to your parents’ souls. 

You are the child we dared to hope for … and every day I thank God that he chose to give you to us 1 year ago.

Happy Birthday Kai.  Mommy and Daddy love you.

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All in One Place

Not the way I would have wanted it, but finally, all together.

Little Man, hanging out beside the tattoo for his big sisters.  Only 3 years after the fact, I finally got the tattoo I wanted in their honour.  It is still healing, but I will post a picture once it is completely healed.  It is perfect though – exactly what I wanted it to be.

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Walking Away

I never wanted to be that woman … the one whose journey I followed daily until she abandoned her blog shortly after her rainbow baby was born.  “Don’t Go”, I wanted to yell – I need to know it will be okay.  I want to know what it is like on the other side.

But I find myself there.  Slowly my blog is dying.  I just have less to say these days.  This blog was my grief blog, my safe space to talk about the girls.  Yet somehow, as Monkey grows, I feel better incorporating them completely into my life.  I include them in conversation more, I speak their names out loud, I share my grief with others.  I think it is that I am finally strong enough to weather the blank stares, awkward pauses, and incorrect words as people stumble through what to do and say.

And so, I find this space becoming increasingly neglected.  I still follow each of your blogs … I love hearing everyones’ words and stories.  But I find mine lacking.

I have kept pushing off the inevitable, thinking maybe it was just for a short time.  But it isn’t.  And so, I am walking away from this space.  I don’t know that I will be gone forever … in fact, I anticipate there will be times where I will return.  But they will be few and far between.

Thank you so much for following me on my journey, for cheering me on, for holding onto my hope when I didn’t have the strength.  I will continue to follow you … and one day, I may return to this space.  

But for now, I am going offline for awhile.  Me and my little brown-eyed man have some serious playing to do.

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So Thankful

That this year’s Fathers Day card had teeth marks and smears of prune stickiness … complements of the munchkin below.  It was so much better than the perfect cards of years’ past.

And so thankful that this year I have been allowed to capture priceless moments like this on camera, instead of just imagining what they could have been.

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Rumaging Through My Memories

In the next couple weeks, I will be writing several pieces for an online magazine – each piece dealing with some aspect of loss/grief.  In order to put one of the pieces together, I found myself searching through the archives of my blogs … into posts written in the months after losing Avery and Sophie.

To be honest, I haven’t reread those posts … ever.  Even though they are my words, and my thoughts … it seemed too raw of a pain too read, and like it would open up too many wounds.

So it was with hesitation that I delved into November and December of 2007 archives.  And I admit, I was a little surprised.  Although it is my story, I felt a little like an outsider.  I wept when I read the post I wrote two days after we lost them, tears ran down my face as I saw my words that first Christmas … but the rawness was long gone. 

It is strange this journey of grief.  Even the days when my breath catches, and the tears come, well, I am realizing just how far away it is from the initial pain.  The process of healing is slow, but that is exactly what it is … healing.  And I have been caught a little by surprise. 

No, I will never be the same.  No, I will never leave tear-free.  No, I will never hold my baby girls on this side of heaven.  I am scarred.  But slowly and surely, my heart has put itself back together again.  Differently, but together.

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A Little Lighter Fare …

Dear Phone-Company-That-Shall-Remain-Annonymous,

Please understand that I am not calling because I don’t get your system.  Trust me, I do.  When I say I am calling because your online system is not working because my account isn’t accurate I do know what I am talking about.

No, I do not need 4 separate people to explain your system to me.  It is not understanding that is the issue … it is that my online account isn’t accurate.  The fact that you have never seen this issue before is insignificant to me right now, I am unable to do what I need to in order to purchase a new phone.  And no, I can’t run down to the nearest store to pick up a new one.  An hour drive is simply not convenient right now.  And no, I am not stupid, that is the nearest one.

Please please understand this after this last call, I beg you.  The 1 1/2 hours I have already spent trying to explain this to you is getting old.  And not having a full display on my phone because my baby vomited into it is also getting old.

Thank you very much. Sincerely – completely frustrated with you.

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8 Months

Kai,
It’s hard to believe that 8 whole months have passed us by since you made your way into this world.  It shocked me the other night when I picked you up to find that you had bad breath!  Where did my milky breath newborn go?  Unbelievable how far you have come. 
 
Although I need to get better at taking the pictures to prove it, your motor skills have been improving at an incredible rate.  This month you discovered that there is a world beyond your little blanket in the living room … and you just want to get to it all!  It has made for challenging moments, that’s for sure, but you are determined to figure it all out.  Along with your fantastic rolling, you have now figured out a type of crawl.  I say type because to call it crawling seems a bit generous 🙂  It looks like what I imagine an inchworm would look like if it had longer limbs.  But, that said, it gets you from point A to point B … and always with a smile. 
 
Although you can now move from place to place, you still would prefer to do things the “Big Boy” way – by standing.  Your favorite activity by far is holding onto a hand while ever so slowly reaching for toys with the other.  You haven’t entirely mastered this “skill” yet, but you certainly give it your best go each and every day.
 
Determination, that is one thing you have plenty of!  It will get you far I am sure – as it already has as you have learned so many skills.  You currently are determined to do many things, among them walking, eating only big people food, and yes, still determined to not sleep through the night.  Your naps have finally improved, but I think it will be a long while yet before you give up our nighttime visits.  I try to enjoy them, remembering it won’t be long before you don’t snuggle in the night anymore.
 
After a slowdown in your eating after your first ear infection, you are now eating up a storm – working hard to use those adorable two little bottom teeth you now have.  You don’t really like cereal or purees, so we are loosely adopting Baby Led Weaning for you and your solids.  Pretty much we give you regular food – just cooked and cut into manageable pieces (or strips … because you love biting off pieces yourself)!  You love it, you look so proud when you realize we are eating the same thing.  Your favorite are apples and sweet potatoes, although any fruit will certainly do.  And Avocados – depending on the day you either love them or hate them.  Hilarious to watch as you can be quite dramatic when you refuse them.
 
You are super social, and love to play.  Sometimes people miss this as you still check out a situation thoroughly before warming up … but once you are, watch out.  You smile and make cheesy faces for anyone willing to smile back and you love “running away” from everyone who comes close.  You love being tickled, playing peek-a-boo, clapping (particularly at the handsome baby who lives in the mirror), and having songs sung to you.  Your dad laughs at the songs we sing … and how quickly a silly song can change your tears into giggles.
 
You are growing into such a delightful little man – even through your challenging phases.  Each morning my initial grumpiness at being woken early fades as I pull you out of your crib.  Your huge smile as you practically jump into my arms wins me over every time.
 
I can’t imagine my life without you, my little Kai-Bear … we honestly are better for having you in our lives.  I love you so much it hurts.
 
Your Momma.

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