Mace Six Months

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Macie is six months old today. He has big blue eyes, awesome stick straight hair that falls right down the center of his head, and always a big open-mouthed smile. He rolls over, loves rice cereal, and is still a tummy time champ as evidenced by this photo - shot during this morning's six month photo shoot.

I'm not sure if I believe in reincarnation, but if I did, this would be the kid carrying Maxie's spirit. Their personalities are so alike. And when Macie looks at you, it's as if he can see straight into your soul - very much like his biggest brother. 

He's still his own little guy though and we are all CRAZY about him!!!

Mo 3 Years Old

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

It's a few weeks late but our Mo is three years old (click here for the recap of year one and his second year photo)! His birthday was the same day that Macie turned five months. We had an awesome birthday party for him the following weekend, in the middle of which Mo announced "Let's have a dance party!" So, Ted set the kids up with an outdoor speaker and they had a dance party. That's our kid for sure!!!

Mo has an awesome vocabulary, he is so friendly and playful. He loves dinosaurs, superheroes, Halloween and pumpkins. He still loves playing drums and he especially loves his little sister and brother. We are so lucky he's ours!!!

Superhero Strength

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

I haven't been writing much lately.

To be honest, I am beginning to feel like my emotions might be too private, complicated and hard to share. I also feel like the further we get in time from the day we lost Max, the more people expect us to be ok.

I can tell by the way that some friends share their heartache with me - as if I am living an easy and comfortable life and can in no way relate to their feelings that life has been unfair to them and that the dreams that they had for their future are so far unrealized.

I can tell by the way that I sometimes get swept into drama and lashing out from others about stuff that feels very small to me in the grand scheme of my life - stuff that pales in comparison to where I've been, what I've seen, and what life looks like to me today.

I can tell by the way that people assume that I, too,  believe that "everything happens for a reason" just because they believe that and it is how they help themselves feel better about Maxie's death and reconcile the awesomeness of our new and big happy family. It seems like a nice little package when you simply tack "Everything happens for a reason" onto our story and keep on moving.

It's become too hard for me to explain what being a bereaved parent and missing Maxie feels like today. It is just easier now to mostly keep it to myself than to share it with anyone other than Ted and other parents like us (who've lost children). When I try to share it - even with those who are supposed to be closest to me - I can tell they don't get it. What's more is that I can tell that they don't really want to get it. It's yesterday's news already.

So, I compile these thoughts for those of you reading who are the newly bereaved.

There will come a time soon (ish) when everyone will think you are "over it" (or at least they will be over it and think you should be too). Everyone will begin to see your life as normal again (because there will eventually be a "normalcy" to it - a completely reconstructed, alternate-universe kind of normal). People will get angry with you about the things you've said since and immediately following the death of your child and will bring it all up now that they believe you are strong and ready to apologize. They are nitpicking. You don't need to apologize. The people that love you should have been (and should still be) more patient with you.

I know that you are still not "normal". I know that you will never really be.  And, I know that you know that too. I also know that when you try to really tell someone (who isn't a bereaved parent) that you don't feel normal they will likely reply with something like, "who is really normal anyway?" - and they won't really be getting it because your entire perception of reality shifted in an instant and cannot change back no matter what you do.

I know you feel misunderstood and alone in these early days.  That feeling will change - but it won't go away. The only thing that will happen is that you will learn to deal with it. You will become stronger. You will get used to friends and family brushing aside your heartbreak and pain because they don't believe it anymore and frankly, they are bored and sort of want you to pay attention to their issues already.  And, just like the "normal thing", when you try to tell them how broken you are - they will let you know that, "everyone is broken in their own way". They have no way of knowing that everything that you thought was broken in you before (the loss of your child), every drama and heartache you experienced, every argument, every anxious filled moment was NOTHING in comparison to the broken you know today.

The fact is that your newly found strength (that you would trade in an instant to have one more minute with your child) will become part of the reason why your heartbreak is ignored. And, I guess that is ok - because you will be able to handle it. You have super human strength now to get through anything life throws at you and I am truly, deeply sorry.

Maxie's Candles

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Thank you for remembering Max by lighting a candle. Hearing from so many of you really feels good. 

Mace five months

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Our Macie is five months old today. He is SO cute. He loves rolling over and pushing onto his knees like he is going to start crawling. He is cutting his first tooth on the bottom left and likes to try and stick his whole fist in his mouth to teeth on. He has the best smile and infectious laugh. He's so perfect! We adore him! He is also the favorite of both older siblings and he loves the attention!


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I've been feeling on edge and sort of sick to my stomach the last few days. My brain keeps looping over and over all of the stuff I need to do and take care of - at work, at home, with the kids, with myself. I'm overwhelmed with things to do and in the back of my mind is this nagging feeling that something is just off - way off.  And something always will be.

I wish I could say we did something special on Sunday.  Released some butterflies or balloons or sat in contemplative meditation - acknowledging our gratitude that he is/was our son and will always be.  I wish I could say that we planted the tree we bought in his honor for our new house and that we came back inside and shared memories of our sweet boy.

Mostly it was a day like any other days around here. We juggled swim lessons, naps, playtime, potty training and meals. It was hot and humid and the kids and I holed up in our family room with the air conditioning reading books and playing with toys, while Ted sweat his face off in the backyard building a masterpiece playground with a fort, slide and swingset (it's awesome).

By the time everyone was down to sleep, we were too tired for any of the meaningful stuff.  We just drank some wine and ate some dinner and called it a day. But Max was with us throughout. Ted listened to his Maxie playlist while he worked outside, and I talked about Max with the kids (even though they don't understand) and showed them photos. There was a serious and somber tone all day (still is) between the two of us and with our families.  His absence was felt all day in a slightly more intense way than it is felt always (and it is felt always).

Tonight we plan to light our candle, plant our tree and say our prayers for Max.  As time goes on, this is what it looks like. No less heartbreaking than it was before but less startling somehow - more a part of everything we do.

Four years missing you

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Maxie - I had so many dreams for the two of us, for our little family, for you, my son. Small things we looked forward to - like seeing you crawl, then walk, then run; taking you to the park to play; trips to Disneyland, the pony rides, days at the beach, vacations everywhere.

Though our time with you was not long, every moment is remembered. You were sweet and easy and you stared into our eyes and through to our souls. Your smile was everything. I'd sell my soul to kiss those cheeks, squeeze those thighs, make you laugh just once more.

I've cried SO MANY TEARS. Sometimes I'd like to turn off all of the noise, get into bed and cry and cry until we meet again. The unfairness of it all often makes me want to scream.

What has kept me going are those friends who've cared enough to listen, the happiness we've found with your brothers and sister, your sweet loving daddy, and my faith that you and I will be together again. 

I know we will Max. 

Until then, know how much I love you, how I would never trade our nine and a half months together for a lifetime with any other kid, and how we think and talk about you every day. 

We love you to the moon and beyond. Forever. 

Knowing him

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

"At least you didn't have time to really get to know him", is what they said when my nine and a half month old son died. 

"Who said it?", you ask. More than I care to remember. A few less than told me, "at least you can have more children", but a few more than those who said "time heals all wounds". 

"At least you didn't have time to really know him" is in my mind constantly as I stare at my four and a half month old son. I love him as deeply as his older siblings and I know him just as well. 

We spend hours every day just staring at each other and smiling. He gets a thousand kisses a day. I love just nuzzling into his neck and smelling his baby smell. I love giving him baths and cuddling him close when I nurse him. I am head over heels in love....even though he is ONLY four and a half months old.

The truth is that I am scared to death of losing him...and Myla...and Mo. There are certain times and environments where I feel like they are so vulnerable and I am so scared that I really believe that if I am not 100% focused, they may not make it. I am worried all of the time. I never think we are safe now. I never feel out of the woods. I look at this beautiful baby and I can't help but worry that I might only have five months left with him. Sometimes it's more than I can stand. 

I love this baby with every ounce of myself - and I KNOW him that much as well. He's only four and a half months and he is already my whole world. I know you know Max was my whole world too (even if you said "at least...")



Saturday, July 4, 2015

We think our boys all look alike. Mostly because they do. We don't only see Mo in Mace. We see Maxie there too. Perhaps it makes you uncomfortable to hear that or you think it better for me to not look for Max in the other two, but I find it comforting. I didn't think I'd ever see his beautiful face again. It nearly broke me. But occasionally, when I'm really lucky,  I see glimpses. 

Our three guys! I love them so much.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

One year ago today,  the most beautiful, loving, funny, crazy, wild, smart, strong, and perfect little girl came home with us. It was something that had felt, up until the hours before she got to our house, a complete impossibility. Over this past year, we have gone from cautiously attached to madly in love. Her smile and personality lights up every room, she makes everyone around her laugh, she is the most independent/completely attached little person I've ever met. She is perfect in every way and I just can't believe she's ours! We are the luckiest parents to call this special person our daughter. Love you Myla!!!

As an added bonus - I'm loving all of the free dental exams:

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