Mace Nine Months

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Mace was nine months old on Monday but it took until today for me to find five minutes to take these photos. I promise I'm not making it up when I say that Mace is the chillest baby of all my babies. I can take him anywhere. He is usually happy, quiet and smiling. He hasn't started crawling or even really sitting without us worrying that he might topple over - but all of my babies were at this stage at nine months. It must be something I'm doing. Now that I've had four though, I really don't worry. I know he will eventually crawl and walk and talk. He loves his mommy and daddy, his siblings, his family, his teachers and his friends at school. And Macie is a real crowd pleaser - always smiling and laughing with people wherever we go. This is a scary month, but also my favorite month. He reminds me so much of Max - in body and soul. I just keep telling myself that he will be fine.

We love you forever Baby Mace!!!

Macie Eight Months

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Our Macie turned eight months old on Friday, but I was out of town and Ted had his hands pretty full. For those two reasons, photos didn't happen until today. 

Mace is a really chill little guy. He doesn't cry much, he's usually happy and smiling, and when he looks at you, it's intense. Even the teachers at his school have remarked on how deeply he stares into their eyes.

He just started sleeping through the night last week. It took two nights to sleep train him. It's been pretty remarkable - especially considering that two weeks ago, he was waking up just about every hour. 

He has really special and unique friendships with both Mo and Myla and I can't wait to watch those grow. The next couple of months make me really nervous. Please send us some prayers or positive vibes.  This boy is really awesome!

The other side

Saturday, October 17, 2015

As a follow up to yesterday's post, I should mention that there have been several lovely people who have told me that they know - they read it, or googled me, or someone told them - and they've either emailed or approached me to say that they know. And that they are sorry. 

That's been nice to hear.

I know that you know

Friday, October 16, 2015

I know that you know that my son died. I'm not sure if someone told you, or you googled me or you read it someplace. But, I know that you know. 

I know because I've seen it before. I know how people act when they know: We met, you were super friendly, I was too. We laughed, compared superficial stories ("I have three kids at home, you have two, our family just moved, blah, blah, blah..."). We talked about a future play date or coffee.... And then suddenly - you stopped staying hello, stopped smiling at me, avoided me whenever possible. 

 A part of me wonders if I said something awkward but the more honest part of me knows - - - knows that you know.  Knows that you know my son died and that now you can't be nice anymore because I'm scary. 

The truth is - it's ok. It is an easy way for me to know whether I really want to get to know you too. But, I guess I still just wanted to let you know that I know you know. And - that I'm not ashamed...because I loved him, and I still love him, completely. And that's more important to me than you are or ever will be or could be to me.

On Maxie's Fifth Birthday

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Always in my head
India Arie

You're like a cool breeze, on a summer's day
You are a river running through the desert plain
You are my shelter, from the pouring rain
You were my comfort, even before the pain

I can hear the sound of five drummers in the wind
The leaves blowing in the breeze, ring out like guitars
A tin can rolls across the gravel like a tambourine
I am but a vessel, so I sing, because you are.... 

In my head, you're always in my head
In my dreams, you're always in my head
In my pain, you're always in my head
In my peace, you're always in my head

A rainbow of rhythm stretches across the sky
An airplane in the distance, plays a beautiful cello line
It's no coincidence, it's in tune with the music in my head
If you were a shoulder you're where I would rest, but I am your vessel so I hear, you....

In my head,you're always in my head
In my fears,you're always in my head
In my joy,you're always in my head
In my tears, you're always in my head

You're like a cool breeze, on a summer's day 
You are a river, running through a desert plain
You've been my shelter, from the pouring rain
You were my comfort, even before the pain:'cause I hear you

I am heartsick today, on your fifth birthday. I can't stop the tears that keep falling out of my eyes. None of it seems real. And yet, you were real.  You were mine.  And you had all of the potential in the world.  What I wouldn't give to see you grow up.  You are the deepest part of my soul.  You mean everything to me.  I can barely breathe some days without you.  I am so sorry you are gone.  I am so sorry.  I never stop being so sorry. 

Wherever you are Max, my love will find you.

One of the really good ones

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Last night Ted gave Mo a bath, watched some dinosaur videos with him on Youtube, read a couple of books, and then tucked him in with a kiss and said "goodnight".

10 minutes later, we heard little footsteps running above our heads and then a little voice coming from the living room, "Mommy, I'm firsty"

I walked him back upstairs, gave him a few sips of water from the sippy cup next to his bed, kissed him goodnight and left his room.

5 minutes later, another little voice, "Hey guys, I bumped my head".

Another walk up the stairs, another kiss, a little head scratch and a song.

"Daddy, my froat hewts" [That's "My throat hurts" in a toddler accent].

This went on for a while.  Ted asked Mo what was going on.  Wasn't he tired?  Why was he having trouble sleeping?

Mo thought for a minute and then answered, "my brain is running".

I can relate.  My brain is running too.  Well put little man. My brain has been running and running and running since July 19th, 2011.  It won't stop running - and it's been on overdrive this past month or so. A sense of doom is lingering over me that I can't put my finger on but I know it is Maxie's birthday that's hung me out to dry. I can't stop thinking about him.  I can't stop worrying about Mace approaching 9 months. I am angry and sad and heartbroken and the worst part about this nightmare is that it remains a nightmare.

And then yesterday, I am scrolling through my Facebook feed and I can see that people keep tagging my friend Kate in a post.  When I click on the post, my stomach sinks and I feel sick.  I can't believe what I am reading.

I met my friend Kate only two years ago.  She responded to me when I posted on my blog about being in a carseat bind for a trip to Costa Rica.  We'd never met.  We have no friends in common.  She found me when she googled her OB and found a post that I'd written mentioning him..  I am not sure why she kept reading but probably because she is all heart. I ended up borrowing her Sit n'Stroll carseat/stroller for our trip.

When we finally met, it was love at first sight.  If you know me, you know that I value funny above all else....and this girl is the funniest.  She is the kind of funny that makes you cry from laughing so hard, not only when she is telling you the joke, but then again when you think about it days later. She is generous and kind and a wonderful mother and wife.  It was destined that we would be new best friends - and when I left California, I thought about how sad I was that our friendship wouldn't have the chance to grow into what it was surely meant to be.

And now I find out that Kate has Stage 4 lung cancer. And she is younger than I am.  And a mom to two little girls. And the universe is cruel and uncaring - but Kate isn't!  There was no reason on this earth for her to befriend me - only she did - and it was just because of her kind and loving heart.

Tomorrow Max would be 5. And I want to climb to the top of the highest building in town and SCREAM it!!!!! "MY SON SHOULD BE TURNING 5!!!!!" - and I would also like to add the word "FUCKERS!" to the end of that sentence because I am beyond ANGRY. And his birthday makes me feel so helpless and empty and the thought of Kate and her family is more than anyone who loves her can bear.

Kate's family has set up a website where you can donate to help with medical expenses, child care, etc. Please consider making a donation.  You don't have to help Kate and her family.  You don't even know her.  And she didn't have to reach out to me either - but she did.  That is what separates the ones like Kate from the rest of us schmucks.  She is one of the really, really good ones.

Love you Kate!

Pumpkin patch

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Perhaps I've mentioned once or twice how much Mo LOVES pumpkins. So, you can imagine the sheer joy that this past weekend inspired, when we pulled into this place:

This is just down the road and it isn't even one of the real big pumpkin patches in our area (we will save those for the future). It was like a dream come true for this kid. Now he keeps talking about carving up the orange guys we got. We also talk about Halloween, costumes, and the Halloween cast of characters constantly (witches, spiders, ghosts, black cats). Nearly every day he asks me if it's Halloween yet. At the rate we are going, I think it's going to be a long month.

Hall Pass

Monday, September 28, 2015

In the months and even years following the sudden (and not sudden) death of someone you deeply love, the world you knew spins violently out of control. It is impossible to focus on anything but getting through the next moment. And even when it starts to get better, there is still an always present chaos. It is out of your control to a great extent. Every day that ends feels like an accomplishment, simply for having gotten through it.

During those days, there will be emails, voicemails and texts that go unanswered. There will be many times where you lose track of the story - of others, of yourself. You simply cannot think straight. 

You might feel like everyone you know and love is in great danger - of dying, suddenly and without warning. This feeling can sometimes dull the intensity of everyday (and not so everyday) problems. Taking care of three little kids is hard but not nearly as hard as the constant feeling that I have two and a half months to save the life of my youngest baby. I am literally out of my skin with anxiety about his making it through this year. I'm just trying to put it in perspective.

If someone you love (or loved) has lost someone they love. Especially if they've lost the person around whom their whole life revolved, who was the most special person in their world - I ask that you give them a hall pass. 

They may not be able to focus on you in the way you need or would like. You might need to seek out other outlets for a while. Im sorry to say this - but your "big" problems might be enviable to them. They might forget to return your last text (or your last 10 texts), they might not initiate phone calls or coffee dates (because they probably aren't "hanging out"). Don't take it personally. Your friend will be disappointing. Please try not to expect too much from them - they will disappoint you if you do.

I wish I had had a hall pass for at least the first couple of years. I still sometimes do. Instead I feel like I've been watched under a microscope - while I've tried to rebuild my life. In the past four years, I've had several miscarriages, gone through a complicated adoption, had two children 9.5 months apart and taken care of three under 3 years old, moved across the country & left behind my best friends and family. None of those things by themselves, or even in combination with each other has come anywhere near in the same universe of difficulty as grieving my heart out for Max all of this time. And I'm actually not asking for your sympathy, because I think we've done an amazing job functioning and even thriving through this. But I AM asking for an occasional hall pass and I am wondering if you might consider giving one to anyone you know who is going through a really hard time.

Practice compassion. Thanks!

You should know...

Sunday, September 27, 2015

When you sweep aside Max, you sweep me aside too. When you act like I should be over him by now, what I hear is that you are over me. When you deny him, ignore him, and pretend like he never existed - you shut me out and close me down. When I try to talk to you about him and you don't listen - I feel it and it keeps me from connecting to you.

Because, you see, Max IS my soul. He is part of the very essence of who I am and my loss of him will be etched into every moment of my life forever. 

Just thought you should know.

Mace Seven Months Old

Thursday, September 24, 2015

I am so grateful that Mace is seven months old.  The closer we get to nine months, the more scared I am.  He somehow seems more and more vulnerable to me, the older he gets.  I can't wait to post his ten month photo.

In the meantime, Mace has had an action packed month.  We took took a mommy & baby trip together to California for a wedding.  He was SO easy on the plane.  He sat on my lap quietly, just looking around and smiling until he fell asleep. The way home was a red-eye and he slept the whole way.  He is a very portable guy. He started daycare (I can hardly believe it either) at Mo's school (with Myla too). The teachers all love him and are always commenting on what a good and easy baby he is. I am praying that this was the right decision for our family.  My feeling is that there are so many capable and certified teachers there - 3 in his classroom alone - and we were having nanny fatigue. It was near impossible to find a nanny like our last one in CA, Vivian, and we couldn't keep playing musical nannies. So far, we've been really happy with the school, for all of our kids. Mo loves visiting his brother and sister throughout the day and Macie is getting so much attention. 

Mace started eating solid foods at the start of the month. He LOVES rice cereal and is pretty much bored with everything else. I have to hide other foods in the ride cereal. I've never had a kid even like rice cereal, Mace can't get enough. 

He is still crazy cute, as evidenced below:

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