Thursday, January 31, 2013

hawaii (picture post #1)

We had a really, really good time in Hawaii. I'm already trying to figure out when we can go back, and which island we should visit next. I hate flying, but B did really well. He didn't even need to nurse to get him through take off or landing.

Rainbow off our lanai

Baby beach


Luau, front row seats! J is not paying attention, but look at that smile on B!

J has a lot of pictures of me following B. I didn't even know he was taking most of them.

Oh my lands, child, STOP!

3:30 am

See what I mean? Totally oblivious.

Koi fish, Front Street

The Banyan Tree

 First gelato, hated the cold

Dinner at The Mixed Plate

Gelato attempt #2, still too cold

And that big bunch of pictures barely scratches the surface of our trip. This is me restraining myself too. More to come!


Guys! GUYS! I'm home!

And it feels nice.

We had three seats on the plane home, which was downright luxurious. We had a spot of turbulence, a little worse than on the way out, but Bennett did not throw up like he did on the way to Maui. There's something about that flight path that makes a plane bump across the sky.

Bennett was a wonderful traveling companion. He is really worn out, but he did great while there. He was off schedule and running on less sleep, but he stayed happy. And he did not break out!! He did rash up on the plane ride to Maui, but we gave him Benadryl and he was fine by the next morning. Bennett did eat a very limited diet while there. Lots of rice and plain boiled chicken.

I have twelve loads of laundry (yeah, I over packed) and grocery shopping to do.  I feel like we've been gone weeks. Hope all is well in your world!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I'm coming home

Did you miss me?

I'm going to post a thousand pictures when we get back. You know the overwhelming number of Instagram pictures I've been clogging your feed with? It will be like that times ten.

We've had so much fun. I am blessed, lucky, happy and ready to go home.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

wish you were here

I still dream of a mythical island for parents of lost babies. A sort of Never-Never land, just change the idea of never growing up and its sad connotations to one of never forgetting.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

what day is it?

We are in full on vacation mode here. I don't know what day it is. I don't know what time it is. This is bliss.

I am blessed out the wazoo. I am lucky to experience sea turtle spotting, whale watching and the joy of a child who can't believe the amazing things he's seeing. Last night we went to a luau. At one point B was so overwhelmed by the hulu dancers he stomped his feet and alternated between clapping his hands and placing them over his mouth as he said, "Oh!" Joy spilled from his soul in that moment. It was beautiful.

We had a wonderful family photo shoot on the beach this evening. The photographer was amazing. I can't wait to see the shots. Tomorrow morning we're going zip lining!!

I'm going to read and listen to the ocean until I feel sleepy. How amazing is it that that's all I need to do right now?! This time away is good for my soul. Hope all is well in your world. This may be a little lame, but I miss you.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

to be whole

It's 5 am. My boys are sleeping next to me. The door to the lanai is cracked so we can enjoy the soothing sound of the ocean and a fresh breeze.

I can't believe I'm here. Not here as in Hawaii, but here as in this place of relative peacefulness where all is right with my world. Where I've learned to live with enormous grief and sorrow. Where I'm comfortable with the missing.

I think all who have lost end up here eventually. This is the acceptance stage. It waxes and wanes, makes way sometimes for other stages but it never disappears entirely. I am forever split, part of me with my boys, part of me with my girl, but I finally feel mostly complete.

Monday, January 21, 2013

locked out ... with b inside

Oh my goodness. I have had the worst morning. And it's only 9 am.
Last night J locked both locks on the back door, but he didn't tell me. This morning when I let Isabel out I heard the door shut behind me, but didn't think anything of it. B likes to shut doors and we never use the second lock on the door because we have locked ourselves out. Okay, I, I have locked myself out.

Well, when I went to let myself back in, the door was locked. B was inside, along with my phone, and there was a pot of oatmeal on the stove. All I had was a tea towel. I sprinted three houses down and banged on my neighbors door until they answered.

I borrowed their phone and ran back to the house to check on B. After a few minutes of trying to reach J while various neighbors tried to break in I called 911.

I was not looking forward to telling J rescue workers had to break down our door but I was afraid the oatmeal was going to burn down and catch on fire.

Thankfully a police officer and neighbor were able to get in without breaking anything. The house was smoky, the oatmeal ruined, but B was fine. He stayed calm through it all. He even tried to open the back door when he heard me yelling through the window. Unfortunately poking in between the door and jamb with tiny fingers is not an effective way to open a door.

I stayed calm until the officer left. Then I called J and let the tears and panic fly.

Hope your morning was better than mine.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

this is a disjointed one

Why does the brain go on vacation before the body? I am so scattered. I have a list of emails to respond to, last minute details to see to, and my bag to repack (because I'm sure there's things in there I don't need - 3 sweaters, going to Hawaii, what?) but all I've been doing lately is playing with B and reading.

I'm on a serious book binge right now. I've been averaging a book a day. If it's a long one, it requires two or three days, but that still has me reading at a pretty good pace. I am craving words. If I'm not reading, I'm writing. J woke up early with B Saturday morning so I could sleep in. Instead of sleeping I began forming a paragraph in my mind about the moment we received Charlotte's ashes. One paragraph soon became three.  I sat up, switched on the light and began scribbling my thoughts down on a pad of paper I keep next to the bed. I love when my brain clicks into word mode. I feel like I belong there. It's a comfortable place for me.

I've always wanted to record how many books I read in a given year. I have countless January lists, and a few February lists, but I never make it to March. I've tried everything from a short review, to just the title and author, to just tick marks, but at the end of the year my tally is always the same: a lot.

And ... 

My brain just gave out. I've been staring at the screen for ten minutes trying to formulate the rest of this post, but I've got nothing.

Um ... 


Guess I should go repack my bag catch up on blog posts, email, postsecret ...

I'll leave you with B's joy at learning how to play J's harmonica this evening:

Friday, January 18, 2013

I am so happy to see you

Okay, my video skills are terrible. But these videos are still adorable.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

when you can't make it better

Bennett has been itchy for a couple days, but this morning at story time I noticed his near compulsive inability to leave his neck alone. After lunch I nursed him down for nap then settled on the couch with my book. Bennett woke up screaming after thirty minutes. Full on, mad baby, why aren't I sleeping? screaming. I considered teething, but when I picked him up from his crib he had his hands on his neck, scratching away.

I tried to settle him on the couch with me, hoping he would go back to sleep, but he just cried. After watching him itch his neck and belly for a few minutes I decided to try a bath. Bennett settled in the bath, somewhat, but he was still upset and itchy.

When his general fussiness developed into full on crying I took him out of the bath and into the nursery. He sat on the changing table, itching his belly and screaming. I wrapped him in a dry towel and rocked him for a while, then put anti-itch lotion all over his skin, which had a few break outs. Bennett cried as I dressed him, cried when I tried to put him down to wash my hands, cried as I rocked him. I set him on the changing table for a minute and took a few deep breaths, totally lost as to how I could help him. After a minute I burst into tears, which did not help matters.

We cried and rocked for a while, then I settled down enough to realize breast feeding may calm him down. I'm so used to an afternoon and evening feed now I don't think about using nursing to comfort like I did when he was younger. After nursing for thirty minutes he was calm, but when I tried to put him down so I could get a drink of water he began screaming again. A solid hour - seriously, a solid hour - of cuddling on the couch in our pajamas and reading every. single. book. in the house with a moon, or about a moon, he was back to his normal slightly itchy, but able to roll with it, self.

I'm really struggling with this right now. I hate that Bennett is uncomfortable. I hate that I do everything I can think of to protect him from break outs, but it doesn't seem to matter. I need J during afternoons like this because he can be calm about the situation, whereas I can't. I start panicking about never being able to send Bennett to summer camp, while J deals with the immediate situation. I'm glad we have an appointment set up with our naturopath next month. She thinks he can help him with homeopathic medicine. I hope she's right. I feel like we can't go on as we are. I know this is not a unique struggle, but that doesn't erase the tiredness or frustration.

Sometimes I think people try to handle the grief of people they love like I try to handle Bennett's allergies. Like they're trying to protect them from what hurts, like they want to remove all the irritants from life so the grief doesn't break out. But it does. It's impossible to stop. One of life's hardest truths is that we can't protect the people we love from pain and hurt.

I know I need to give this over to God. I know He has His hands on our family and that He loves Bennett more than I do. I know all of this, but it's hard to actually do it. Instead I cry with Bennett, and don't even think about giving him a dose of Benadryl because I'm so upset. I hate not knowing how to fix it. I hate the panicky feeling that comes when I realize I'm a mother, and I have no idea what I'm doing. But that's not a unique struggle either, is it?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

little brother

I sift through the heaping pile of clothes on the couch. I am working out this morning. I find my exercise clothes, then dig for clothes for Bennett. He needs comfortable play clothes since he will be running around the child watch room. Hopefully he won't be sitting in the lap of one of the workers and crying. There has been less of that lately, thank goodness.

I lift out his little brother shirt, pair it with khaki pants, set it on his changing table. I open his armoire for socks and notice the shirt I was originally looking for. It's in his sock bin along with a stack of other shirts. I've been too lazy to hang them up. I switch shirts.

I'm not comfortable sending him out in his little brother shirt. He wears it under shirts, or with pajamas, but it feels daring and brave to put him in child watch, a place he goes at least once a week, with that shirt on. What if someone asks? What if one of the workers wonders why he has a little brother shirt, but is always dropped off alone? I always hope and fear someone will ask, but what if they don't? What if they don't wonder? What if they don't care? Is that better or worse?

Rarely, very, very rarely, when I am out somewhere and someone I don't know and will never see again asks how many children I have I say two. I say, "this guy, Bennett, and his sister Charlotte. She'll be three next May. She's having a special grandmother day." I say two because I want to see how it feels to own Charlotte like I should. I say two because I tire of the uncomfortable silence that surrounds the "two children, one in heaven," statement. I say two because I have two children.

Last week in the local grief support group I attend we were talking about trying to find ways to have all of our children with us. If only we could manipulate the world, bend time and space in such a way that our children could exist and grow up together like they should. I explained my efforts at trying to do this like attempting a logic puzzle that I just can't figure out. I can't bend the unknown boundaries of heaven until Charlotte breaks free and is restored to our family. You can't wish a person into life. You can't wave a little brother shirt until your lost child appears in the living room. It doesn't work that way. I wish it did. I wish it was that simple to have Charlotte here with us. It's hard to believe Bennett will only know his sister through pictures and stories, but that has to be enough, because we can't create anything beyond the few memories we have of her. It's impossible. He will have to be content - though I am not - with understanding and knowing Charlotte via boxes in the attic and ashes above the fireplace.


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