For my Little Man

To my amazing son “B”

When your sister was around 8 months old, daddy and I  started talking about having another baby.  We knew we would have at least 2 kids, and we wanted them to be close in age.  We were both going to school, daddy was working full time and I was working part time.  Because of my internship schedule, we decided to wait a bit before having you (it was a full-time 600 hour internship!) since finding someone to watch one kid was a lot easier.  We did the calculations and based on how long it took to get pregnant with “E” and the goal of a spring/summer baby, we started trying, knowing the EARLIEST possible date you could be born.  Well, I finished my internship in December and you were born in January!  Always speedy, and you haven’t slowed down since!

We were both so excited about the idea of another baby.  “E” was 17 months old, and I knew the day I wanted to take the pregnancy test.  For some reason I woke up around 3:30 in the morning and I had to go to the bathroom.  I decided to go ahead and do it then.  Came up + right away!  I left it on the counter for daddy to see when he woke up.  He came in and I asked if he had seen it.  He said he thought it was a dream… Nope, we are going to have another baby!  When I told Aunt S we were having another baby, she confided that they were trying for a baby too… and just two weeks later she was pregnant too!

We found out as soon as we could if you’d be a boy or a girl.  Since the previous 4 grandchildren had been girls, we had lots of people rooting for team boy.  Everyone was so excited!  Aunt S decided to wait and be surprised, but as luck would have it, she gave you a best friend just 15 days after you were born!

The day you were born was a hard day for me.  I woke up with a bad fever (103) and even though the labor and delivery were relatively easy, because of my fever they wouldn’t let me hold you for 24 hours after you were born.  I will never forget when I went by the nursery window at 10am the following day and just sobbed because I didn’t know which baby was mine!  After grandpa yelled at the doctor, I finally got to see you and snuggle you at 1pm the following day.  You were so cute. You looked like a little old man.  Since that day you have been a real ‘mama’s boy’… you love to snuggle and are just such a lovable little boy.

My favorite part of watching you grow up was seeing the way you would play with daddy.  I grew up with sisters so I didn’t know about all this “boy stuff.”  You were two peas in a pod.  I guess you had some special boy code that only boys understand.  You would wrestle and act crazy.  You both thought burps and farts were just hilarious (I just don’t get it).  And the thing you loved best was when daddy did bedtime, which was most of the time.  He would read stories and act goofy, and then, more often than not, would fall asleep in your twin sized bed with you.  I know how much you loved this.  He watched you learn to play tee ball and learn how to ride a bike.  He went to your games and practiced catching and hitting in the backyard.  He would take you and E to the bus stop every morning on his way to work.  The day he died, you asked me who would play baseball with you now that daddy was gone.  It broke my heart.  But now I know, you have your uncle and your grandpa (and if you are truly desperate, I will try!).  Your amazing family is always here for you, to play baseball and anything else.

You are so special.  You are helpful and always have a kind word.  You are so good to your sister and your brother.  You are smart and are such a hard worker.  Daddy would be so proud of you for SO many things.  And clearly you get your natural athleticism from him!  Thank you for being such an awesome son.  I am so lucky to have you.  I know right now you can’t understand how deep the love is from a parent to a child, but I hope one day you will.  Because then you will understand just how much Daddy and I love you. Keep being just who you are.  I love you and Daddy loves you ❤

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For My Daughter

A letter to my beautiful daughter “E”

The day your dad and I found out we were going to have a baby was one of the happiest days of our lives.  We had been trying for a few months, and when Grandma told us it was “good” positive (after a positive that didn’t “stick” in December) we were ecstatic.  We knew right away we would find out if we were team pink or team blue.  At the ultrasound, the nurse was “pretty sure” you were a girl.  “Ultrasounds are never 100%.”  Everything that was pink kept its tags!  It took a while to choose a name, it had to be just right for our little girl.  On November 22nd, I woke up at 3:45am, stood up, and said to daddy, “I think my water just broke.”  His response?  “Are you serious?”  I guess my wet pants weren’t enough confirmation.  A little less than 24 hours later you were born.  Daddy was the first one to hold you and kiss you.  He got to be a baby hog because I had some issues after and was still being worked on for a few hours after.

Those first few months were some of the hardest of our lives.  Being new parents is so exhausting.  As a person who loves sleep, it was very difficult for me!  Daddy did so much.  He would help with middle of night feedings and diaper changes.  He would snuggle and rock you until you would fall asleep.  On many occasions, I would wake up to find you asleep on daddy downstairs on the couch, a result of daddy trying to let me get some quiet sleep.

Daddy took you to water babies class, and “sing me a song.”  He danced in the kitchen with you.  He taught you how to read.  He walked you to the bus stop on your first day of Kindergarten and watched you get on the bus without turning back (and hugged me when I cried).  He saw you in your dance recitals and variety shows.  He recorded every special moment because he didn’t want to ever forget it.

And I know it is sad that you only got 8 years with daddy.  But he gave you every bit of love you need for the rest of your life in those 8 years.  Every snuggle, every laugh, every boo-boo he kissed is stored in your heart.  Nobody will every be able to take that away.  I wish you could know his love for you like I do.  It is a love like no other.  I know one day when you have children of your own you will understand.  Daddy was SO proud of you and would be so proud of the person you are becoming.

Thank you for being an amazing daughter.  I cannot begin to tell you how lucky I feel knowing you are mine.  You are sweet and kind.  You are helpful and always try your best.  Yes, I know you’re not perfect.  But you are right just the way you are.  You have been so brave and strong this past 16 months.  I will always be here for you and will do anything I can to make this life an amazing, happy journey together.  I love you and Daddy loves you ❤

One year of writing!

Hard to believe I’ve been writing this blog for one year already.  I know that I have changed, evolved over these past 12 months.  I think back to the person I was one year ago, and I felt like an empty shell.  I was still very much in “the fog” (it is such a perfect way to describe it).  I was physically here, but mentally stuck in turmoil.  Nobody could see it or feel it but me.  To the outside person, I looked like I was okay, getting better.  I am so thankful that I am no longer in that place.  But it does terrify me that I could be brought back there.  I will catch glimpses of it every once in a while.  I will feel it.  I will remember what it was like when my thoughts were consumed with ‘how will I do this?’  ‘will I ever NOT think about Mark?’  ‘how will I move on??’  It gets better each day.  Most days I feel okay, good even.  But it is scary how fast the sad feelings can just pop back out of nowhere, and at the most inopportune times.  I have gotten pretty good at pushing them down and away when it’s not convenient.  It is exhausting.  I am so looking forward to the day when I can just truly be happy, and not have to just “fake it til I make it.”  I am hopeful that each day I move closer to that.  My kids are what continue to guide me forward in this journey.  They are my heart, truly.  I am thankful every single day for them.  While in some ways they make this grief journey even harder, they are what bring sunshine to my days.

I think we are all getting more used to our new life, our new routines.  We are so blessed to have such amazing family to help with the day to day stuff that is simply impossible for me to do on my own.  I am so thankful for all my friends, who used to force me to go out and now I even set up social things on my own 😉  I love having “friend” time, and also making time for myself.  I definitely miss having my person with me every day, and I like to daydream about having someone like that again one day… but until then, I am happy with my three angels and all the wonderful people who have stuck around.  I should probably stop typing and get my boy to preschool….