May 23, 2012

In the Meantime. . .

Right now things are pretty good. We are headed to Savannah soon for a wedding of some good friends - Finn's first wedding (here's hoping he behaves himself). We have been enjoying the summer weather with lots of pool days and I am busying myself with planning and prep for the cutest ever fish themed first birthday party for my sweet little baby Finn who cannot possibly turning ONE so soon! But he is. And knowing just how very special that is, I feel entitled to go a little over board . . . like turning this cute picture into a custom made stamp for his birthday invites. But that's not really over board. That's just adorable is what that is.

But stress and my crazy emotions are lurking around the corner. Like, right around the corner. Finley turns one June 13th. We move about a week later. The Army will move your stuff for you which is nice I suppose, but it already has me in a near panic attack when I think of all the horror stories from friends who have lost things and had things damaged and then had difficulty in filing the claims to fix or replace their possessions. I'm really worried about my precious dinning room set that Miles despises. Secretly, he's probably hoping it falls off the back of the truck. But I love it. Even if we only use it twice a year (if that). And even if everything arrives in one piece, where do we have it delivered? We haven't found a house yet. Oh, and speaking of houses, we are about 99% sure that we won't sell ours. Which means renters. Which isn't a big deal. . . unless of course we can't find any. But I think we will, so that fall low on my stress totem pole.

And if you do the math, moving a week after Finn's birthday means we move about a week before Cale's birthday. I'm not even sure what I'd want to do for it, but living in a hotel and out of a suitcase isn't really up there on the list. Hopefully we'll find a house - so I have a place to put my son's urn and pictures and I can at least grieve for all that should have been these last two years. And even though I'd never want to live in Georgia for the long haul, it is the place where most of my memories of Cale are. Where I learned I was pregnant, where I had my maternity pictures taken, and most importantly where I gave birth to my son and held him for too short of a time. I became a mom here. We became a family here. And leaving is going to be tough.

But in the meantime, things are good. And for that I'm thankful.

May 16, 2012

Nap Time

The boogie man may be upstairs right now torturing my child. At least you'd think that with how much Finn is fighting his nap. Most of the time he goes right to sleep during nap time. But every once in awhile he protests and I usually cave in at some point and go comfort him, put his binkie back in, and slowly back out of the room . . . but I'm trying not to give into his terrorist demands just yet.

 I love nap time though. Sure, it's a chance to get some things done around the house or try to figure out what to do for dinner (anyone have any good chicken recipes I can use tonight??), but I just love a sweet sleeping baby. They are so stinking cute. And I especially love picking him up out of the crib after a nap - he's so happy and sometimes wants to cuddle a bit more before fully waking up. 

Yesterday when he woke up from his morning nap, he just sat up and started talking to himself so I filmed it when I went in to get him:


This is a couple months old, but this is my favorite bed-head picture after some serious sleeping:

I'll have to leave it at that though - I'm giving in and am going to go check on him because they crying is only intensifying. I think through the tears he's trying to say "I'm just. so. tired Mom - if only I could lay down and sleep, but no, I must sit here and cry ohhh, life's so hard . . ." 

I swear, he's lucky he's so dang cute.

This was today. I had to go back and add it. He looks like he has a serious hangover.

May 8, 2012

As Mother's Day Approaches. . .

I saw a lot of baby lost parents celebrate "International Bereaved Mother's Day" this past Sunday, but that just wasn't something I could jump on board with. In the hopes that I don't offend anyone, I guess I just don't want to just be banished to a made up holiday. Like all moms (and dads) who have lost a child, more than anything, we just want to be included. To be normal. And above all else to be recognized as a mother (or father) on the days that were made for that very reason. Plus something just seemed off about wishing someone a "happy bereaved mother's day" - just the juxtaposition of those two words (happy and bereaved) right next to each other seemed odd to me.

But as actual Mother's Day approaches, I can't help but feel on guard. I can't help but wonder how many times I will hear someone, with probably the best of intentions, wish me a Happy first Mother's Day. And I wonder what that will do for my fragile ego and how much it will sting. Because after losing Cale, I really truly did feel like I at least gained the title "Mother." Maybe I wasn't a "parent" until Finn came along and we were actually able to parent him, but a mother is something I have been for a couple of years now. And mothering a child who is no longer living can be tough work. That's why I almost always wear a Cale piece of jewelry or try to do little things, every once in awhile, that make me feel like I can still be him mom despite his absence. Sometimes, most of the time, that just means talking about him. Sharing him. Loving him.

I'm so thankful that I'll have Finn in my arms this Mother's Day. But my heart will certainly be heavy for all those who are missing loved ones.

The above pictures are Cale and the bottom ones, Finn. My sweet boys. The reason I'm a mom.

In other news - I appreciate all the kind comments people had on my last post regarding my sister-in-law Jenny. She found out that her cancer is stage 2 (which is certainly better than 3 or 4), and she will begin chemo on Thursday. It will occur every other week, possibly for the next six months. So thank you for the kindness - the prayers and well wishes are much appreciated.

May 2, 2012

When it rains, it pours.

I had originally starting writing this post a few days ago. And it was a little too "woe is me" ish, so I am trying to revamp things a bit and put a more positive spin on things.

But sometimes that's hard to do. Sometimes, life is just hard and really, really, horribly unfair.

I say this because my dear sister-in-law Jenny was just diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Jenny is the wife of Miles' older brother Jared. You may remember me posting a blog when her son Maddox was born. You may remember it because it wasn't very long ago. Maddox is not even 4 months old. Carson, her oldest son, is 2 1/2 years. I just don't get it. I don't understand why it feels like we can never catch a break. I know this is just life and there are people far worse off then us, but in less than two years Miles and I delivered a full-term stillborn son, lost a brother in combat, my dad underwent surgery for prostate cancer (and is thankfully doing well), and now this. Now sweet Jenny has a little battle ahead of her as she will undergo chemotherapy and possibly radiation to rid this cancer from her body. Enough is enough ya know? Miles said he feels like we are the Starks (kudos to anyone equally nerdy enough to catch the reference).

But what sucks more is that life can be so cruel and so unfair and will slap you around a little bit to let you know that you aren't alone. It's not just my family that has suffered. We aren't the only ones with hurdles to overcome. It's all around. It's just . . . life. Here I was having these "why us?!" feelings, when I'm not even the one who was diagnosed. And then recently in the baby loss world, I read about a family who just lost their second child! And it all just seems like too much. Too much pain and too much heartache and it literally takes effort to put things back into perspective and yet, what choice do you have? But seriously, it gets old (and annoying) trying to constantly think "well, life could be worse". . . I get it - it could be worse. But it could be better too. And I am ready for it to be those better times.

Hopefully that won't be long from now. Jenny starts chemo next week and she is positive and optimistic (as she should be) and just ready to tackle this and move on. She views this as a bump in the road and the good news is that lymphoma is a very curable cancer. In fact, her doctor called this a very "boring" and "treatable" cancer. And she's had two natural child births, so I'm pretty sure she's going to rock chemo and just continue to be the amazing person she is. But I just wish so badly this wasn't the hand she was dealt. I wish we lived closer and she wouldn't have to worry about getting help with her kids when she is too sick to care for them or losing her hair or any of the crappy things that she's going to have to deal with in the near future.

There are some beautiful people who read this blog and are very deliberate in their prayers and thoughts. So I just ask that you please keep her in yours - it would really mean a lot.

 I took this picture this past December when Jenny was 9 months pregnant with Maddox. 
She may hate me for posting it, but I think it shows what a beautiful person and mother she is.