October 18, 2014

Crappy Pumpkin Patch Pictures

I took the kids to a pumpkin patch today that was about 40 minutes away. I got them dressed in coordinating and fall(ish) outfits and had envisioned taking the cutest pictures. I put the camera in the car and was patting myself on the back for getting out in the morning and doing something fun.

Then I get to the pumpkin patch and realized that while I managed to bring the nice camera, I forgot to put the memory card back in it leaving me with just my phone for taking pictures. First world problems I realize, but still a bummer. And the pants that I put the kids in would have been fine had it not been in the mid 80's. Again, woe is me - it's so nice it's still warm here, but in the end we were all hot and of the 38 pictures I took not a single one of them is much good.

Alas, I will share some of my favorite of the worst. As my friend Keleen would say, I was just trying to create a damn memory!

Sort of smiling, but not in the right direction.
A guy behind me was saying how cute they were while I was taking this picture.
Clearly he didn't see Finn's face.
Finn actually really enjoyed picking out a few pumpkins,
but you wouldn't know it looking at this picture.
Kind cute, except not really. She looks like an angry old man
who is just humoring me with this picture.
Gourd Diving
Over it.
We at least have some cute pumpkins on our porch, so there's that.

October 12, 2014

Walk to Remember

Last night we participated in a walk to remember for Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. The event was put on by the Zoe Foundation which is the organization we raised money for in July as part of the Summer Sizzler 5K race. There was a really good turnout - they had music and tables set up to make quilt squares as well as tables with information about resources and support, and fundraising events. Next month I will be running for the Zoe Foundation during the rock 'n roll half marathon. Cale's name (and many others) will be on the back of my race shirt.

They also had jars at each table with the names of each child being remembered, and read the names out loud of all children who were being honored:

And after a few speakers, we were invited to light a floating lantern and push it out on to the nearby lake. I found this very peaceful and beautiful.

This is the first event we have attended specifically for loss awareness since Finn was an infant. It was important to me to attend first and foremost because of Cale, but also because Finn is at the age where he's starting to understand and process things more and I want him (and Mary) to grow up knowing about Cale and the importance of still celebrating and remembering him. When I told him we were going to the lake to light a candle for baby Cale, he asked me if it was Cale's birthday. I said, "no, it's just a special day to remember him and other babies."

When we left the park Finn asked, "where baby Cale at?" and we told him that Cale died. I've told him this before (I think it's important to be honest and not try to make a confusing subject more confusing), but he did say, "when me was a baby, I died" to which we quickly corrected him. He then said, "Mary didn't die, Daddy didn't die" to which we reminded him that yes, Daddy and Mary and you and Mommy are all alive, but Cale did die. We explained that when you die, you go bye bye and don't come back. He told us that baby Cale is with Uncle Daren, but a few days prior had asked if Cale was Daren's brother. We tell him who Daren is and try our best to explain it all to him and I do think he's understanding it a little better. Today we drove past a cemetery and he said, "is baby Cale der?" which is kinda sad, but mostly I think it's intuitive of him to ask as we have never told him that Cale was in a cemetery, but he does know that a cemetery is a place you go when you die. Honestly, the drive home from the walk was almost kind of comical. Yes honey, Cale is your brother and he died. No he's not Uncle Daren's brother, that's your daddy's brother who also died. I mean it's obviously not at all funny, but funny in the I'm going to laugh so I don't cry sort of way.

Finn's tag reads, "Walking in Honor of my brother Cale" and when we got home he was adamant about wearing it, so Miles put it on his pajamas and he slept with it on. Then when he woke up he asked me to put it on the shirt he wore today. I know he doesn't get the significance of it, but it tugged at my heart nonetheless.

I'm grateful this event took place and we were able to attend. We will also participate in the Wave of Light on October 15th. I invite you all to light a candle with us at 7pm that day (or anytime) in honor of all babies who are gone, but never ever forgotten.


October 7, 2014

We've Moved. Again.

When we moved to Savannah five months ago we moved into a rental house knowing that we would be keeping an eye out for a home to buy. Even though we will only be here a couple more years, it's a good rental market (knock on wood), so we decided we would buy a home if we found one we liked enough. And we did and we were all set to close, and the night before closing we found mold around the vents in one of the rooms. This was understandably frustrating for the sellers, but for us as well as Miles' had some time off work that was coming to an end, our rental lease was soon to expire, utilities transfers had already been set up, oh and our home looked like this:

But mold is scary and we weren't going to mess around with it so we delayed closing for a week pending the results of a mold test. The AC guy had come out and said he was confident it was a problem with poor insulation around the vents. They cleaned and fixed it and we waited for the results of the mold inspection to come in. In the meantime, the rate we had locked in for the home loan expired on the original date of closing, so to extend it a week, we had to suck down $75 a day. In the long run, that's the end of the world and well worth it to ensure we get the lower rate (as they have since gone up) but was still another frustrating factor in an already frustrating situation.

Fortunately the results of the inspection were good and no mold was found anywhere else in the house, so this past Friday morning we closed on the home and promptly proceeded to pick up a UHaul and begin moving in to our new home:

My in laws were in town for a bit which was a huge help, but Miles had to return to work today so the productively level has dropped significantly. I love the new neighborhood and while I'm very, very happy with the home, the interior does need some work. Nothing significant, but it needs paint pretty much everywhere and after spending two days to paint the family room we now are searching for reasonably priced painters to just come in and do it for us. I seriously thought that I would just paint it all myself room by room, but after doing one room I was singing a different tune. It went from, "oh it won't be that bad - I'll just take my time" to "OH MY GAWD my hand is cramping and I still have one more coat to go, I will pay someone a MILLION DOLLARS to do this!" I still will do a few (smaller) rooms, but am happy to hire out the bulk of the work!

Sneak Peek of my new Sea Salt walls
(with the sun coming in through the windows - I swear they don't look blotchy in person -
 they look pretty and happy and most importantly done!)

 We also have plans to rip up the carpet in the family room and stairs and extend the hard wood floors, add a pergola to the back and brick in a larger patio, and maybe create a faux wainscoting look in the dinning room. We shall see, but I'm excited to go all Young House Love on this home. Which reminds me - I also want to paint the front door. Miles vetoed red, but I also like mustard yellow, a fun blue/aqua, or maybe salmon? Miles thinks it's fine as is and I think it's cute when he thinks his opinion on such things matter.

So that's what we've been up to of late. It's total chaos and has made for some really long days (I went grocery shopping at midnight the other night!), but we are gradually working out way out of the mess:


September 25, 2014

Nine Months

My friends Veronica and Brandy took cute side by sides of the last week of their pregnancy and then when their baby hit that same week. I meant to do the same when Mary hit 38 weeks, but forgot. She is now 40 weeks so I figured I would just make a monthly picture. 

Kinda blows my mind to have had her two weeks longer on the outside than on the inside. It takes nine long and scary and wonderful months to get a baby here (if you're lucky) and then the months just fly by once they are here. It's not really fair how time works like that. But what a fun nine months it's been!

September 19, 2014

All In Their Own Time

I had always assumed if we were lucky enough to have two living children, the younger one would do things quicker than the older one did. Finn was sitting up by seven months and crawling by seven and a half. I foolishly assumed Mary would be on a similar or quicker timeline. But sister is on her own timeline and I'm grateful for the reminder that you just can't compare kids and to just slow down and savor whatever moment they're in.

Until recently the only sitting up Mary did was in the tripod position. She was like a little bulldog slouched forward and I'd be lying if I said it didn't concern me for a bit.

I do think she was (is) little delayed in her gross motor development, but I think it's just that - a little delay. The pediatrician at her nine month appointment was very reassuring and not worried. He used the words "perfectly healthy" and "just fine" which definitely helped me chill out a little.

And now Mary is sitting up much better. She still reverts to the bulldog or eventually topples over, but each day she has longer and longer stretches of sitting up independently.

And yesterday our little girl started low crawling. It's not quick and she favors one arm more than the other, but she's already getting better and better. Finn is very encouraging which is precious. He will put a toy or something out in front of her and say "Go get it Mary, you can do it. Good girl" (sounds similar to how we praise Roscoe). And honestly I hope she doesn't become proficient too fast - hopefully those chubby little legs of hers will buy me a bit more time before we need to bust out with the baby gates. Probably not though. As she's reminded me - you just can't assume to know what timeline they will be on as it's theirs and theirs alone.