Friday, January 2, 2015

Addison's 4th Birthday

The week before Addison's 4th birthday brought more tears than I remember crying in a long time. Big heavy tears that soak your clothes and stain your face. The kind that make you look like someone other than yourself. Red hot burning tears. These tears came without fail once a day for a whole week. 

I let myself go THERE. No holding back just jumping straight into the grief and letting it consume me. Each night I would do something. I looked at pictures, I went through her memory box, held her tiny perfect pink clothes and read each and every baby shower and sympathy card. I haven't read those since 2010 and even then I don't know that I read every sympathy card. I was surprised that the baby shower cards were so much harder to read than the sympathy ones. The baby shower cards contained hope excitement and joy. I stopped in the middle of reading them to use the bathroom and caught a glimpse of my tear stained face in the mirror. What a messed up reality this is. 

I read Mason the book "Someone Came Before You" and showed him Addison's book. We have looked at these books before, but he was more interested this time. We have since talked about this when it came up in the car the other day. "Mommy, I died in your belly". No buddy, you are alive. Addi died in my belly, but you are both my babies and I love you both so big. Tough stuff.

The night before Addison's birthday I saw a beautiful mandala made just for Addi by my friend Kate on IG. I went to bed feeling so much love for Addison and me. 

The next morning my Facebook, email, text messages had been flooded. I instantly felt peace and love. I had started to write a bog post to post on FB for Addison's birthday. It was a little on the angry side. Trying to teach other people what this is really like. But then something happened after reading all the love and I didn't feel so angry anymore. I changed my post to this:

I don't share this blog on my FB, I'm sure people could find it if they searched, but I don't provide just anyone with this link. This is my safe place I need it to continue to feel like that. 

It felt really brave to post Addison's sketch as we have been SO protective of her pictures for the last 4 years. I needed people to see her. To know she is a real person. Plus she is just too beautiful. I'm so proud of her. 

The day did not go as planned, but it was still a good day. As good as can be expected when your child isn't here to really celebrate.

We all grieve in our own way, but this way is what we needed, what I needed to feel good. Doing less, doing more, doing nothing, doing something. No judgement. We all do what works for us. 

It is especially important to me that Mason has happy memories of Addison's birthday. That he may see lots of tears over her, but at the heart of it she means so much to our whole family. Missing someone is sad, but Addison doesn't just mean sad. She means love. I hope we make her birthdays something he looks forward to and something he celebrates even when we are gone. 

It's okay to me that Mason sees us cry, it's also important to me that he sees the joy and love. 

Mason woke up to find his elf "Jingle Bells" with our Addi bear and the start of the Froze.n birthday extravaganza. He was excited and ready to party from the moment he woke up. I got M an Ola.f shirt to really get into it. I love a theme, what can I say. 

We picked up a F. themed flower cake that turned out even better than I hoped. Then we picked up a bouquet of balloons from the party store and finally a cookie dough ice cream cake. 

We decorated Addison's spot.

Brian checked the Amtra.k schedule and thought it would be fun to take M on his first ride. Another way to make Addison's birthday a happy day. 

After the train ride, we went to my parent's house and had cake and let of four lanterns. It was beautiful even if it wasn't what we really wanted. 

I started this post just after Addison's birthday, but could quite finish it. I think I was so relieved to have made it through another birthday without her that I needed some time to breathe. I'm thankful December is over. Missing her is never over, but December is its own kind of black hole. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

The December Effect

Here we are. We've officially entered December. There's no getting out of it. 

I feel like we are trying. Brian hung the wreath he bought this year on the door. He buys one every year and it usually sits in the garage. Mason has his little tree, the advent calendar and I bought the elf today. It feels equal to the first man stepping on the moon. A giant step for us, a baby step in the grand scheme of things. 

I really do miss Christmas. We haven't had a real one since 2009 and even then I was so fixated on wanting children that I wasn't taking it in. I want a Merry Christmas almost as much as I want Addison even though neither are possible. 

Today was Addison's due date back in 2010. If she had been born on the 1st, just maybe...

It's hard not to go there. 


This morning started off early. Mason woke us up. We could hear him yelling for "mommy" always mommy. I secretly love it, even early in the morning. I'm his mommy, he wants me, it means something even still. I walked into his room to see that he had used his potty chair for both #1 and #2 he was so proud of himself. Beaming up at me asking me to "check it out". It does make me proud, HE makes me proud. 

I told him daddy and I were still sleeping. He climbed into bed with us and kissed Brian. He went into the sweetest little version of himself saying things like "love you daddy, love you mommy" "you're my family" placing his hands on our cheeks and passing out more kisses. He's come so far. I never thought he would pass out affection so freely. He really has the sweetest moments. I soaked in the moment. Didn't want to rush it. I wished Addi was there, but that didn't stop me from relishing in what we do have.

There was no more sleeping to be had so we went into the playroom where Mason found the advent calendar. He was so excited and loved that there was a present in the door. A little matchbo.x truck. He wanted to open all of the doors. This whole one a day thing will be a challenge. 


I had a counseling appointment this morning. I don't know if I have talked about that here before. I started this summer. I don't know that it is really helping, but it isn't hurting. I cried through most of it. It was cathartic or whatever. 

I talked about how surprised I was to be where I am. I don't know what 4 years of grieving is supposed to look like, but this isn't what I thought it would be. To still feel so broken and so sad. I'm glad no one told me in the beginning. I think. 

I'm also surprised that I miss my almost FOUR year old so much more than the baby I thought I would always want. Not that I wouldn't want to start back at square one, but my ache is for four, not for a newborn. 


The rest of the day was kind of a loss. I spent the day spending money. Grief spending. It's going to be a Merry Christmas for Mason, don't you worry. 

No one gave me any weird looks or asked any questions, but I always feel like people can see a blinking light over me when I've been crying. I remember feeling like that in December 2010. 


Construction is really underway in our house. Brian is being extra careful to clean up and still make it livable. It's very VERY appreciated. 


I've had our Christmas cards since 11/12 and I've made very little progress. I was hoping to have them mailed by today so it would take the stress off, but with my grandma's stroke that did not happen. I thought I would work on them now, but blogging was calling to me. I feel like it's important to blog around these dates. Each year always feels so heavy, it's "nice" to look back and see what was really happening. I never remember what happens in December. I have to write it down.


December. It surprises me every year. Even with all the anticipation. It's a little confusing to my brain that it's December and then there is not much time to prepare until the 5th is here. I think that's still better than to be closer to Christmas. I don't know. It's all hard.

December makes me feel like no other month. It sucks all of my energy, it takes over my thoughts and even my breath. It changes me in ways I don't like and's hers.

It will always be hers, all of it. It's the month I became a mom, it's the month I got to hold my baby girl and breathe her in. It's the month that held all of our dreams. Of course it is the month that took them all away, it's the month that took her and so many of my friend's children away. So many emotions. 

The December effect gets me every year. 

Addison, Addison, Addison. I miss you, I love you forever and ever and ever. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Early morning ramblings

October started my grief spiral. This is earlier from the other years from what I remember. It started with entertaining the notion of another baby. That notion was quickly shot down as I am no where close to ready. There was lots of crying and heavy grief days. The kind that include couch time after work and my husband bringing home take-out. Probably a good week of that before I felt like I could do more than just go to work and care for Mason. The kind of days that remind me too much of what the early days felt like and how when grief comes calling, there isn't much to do other than answer, deal, wait for the heavy to pass and just know that it won't last forever. I think that's something I've really learned about myself and grief. When it happens I need to embrace it, feel it. It does eventually turn into something I can function with even if I know that it's never truly over. It always comes back, just not as often in the ugly form. I would say the really ugly stuff happens about 4 times a year. There are plenty of sad days in between, but the big hard to deal with days are about that often almost 4 years out.

November seemed lighter until my grandma on my mom's side had a stroke. It quickly became something bigger than I initially thought. They think it happened on 11/13, but she didn't go to the hospital until 11/16. From that day on I have been spending most  all of my free time with her. On one hand it's been a distraction, something to really focus on and feel a purpose for. On the other it has really taken away my ability to pre-grieve Addi's birthday and has given me no time to prepare. My tears have all been for grandma or at least I think they have been. 

She had some really bad days where she didn't know who I was, but I would say that the last 4 visits she knows me right away. We were able to bring her home for Thanksgiving and I was thankful for not having another empty seat. When I took her back to the rehabilitation center that night she cried. It's so heartbreaking. Last night I got there just after my grandpa had left and she was sitting in her wheelchair up by the front desk. This is where they keep the patients when they don't want to sleep and they need to keep an extra eye on them. She was so agitated and upset. She had been crying and started again the moment she saw me. She was telling me a story about how the nurses were being so mean. I called my grandpa and he confirmed nothing bad had happened, he just hadn't eaten dinner and at 9pm he decided to go home. I know I can't be there always, but seeing her like that makes me want to stay overnight. 

I've been going to visit 2-3 times a day, usually before work, lunch and then after Mason goes to bed and staying until 10 or so. I know that's a lot, but it feels necessary and I know I will never regret it. Not to mention she would have done it for me. If ever there was a grandma you wish to have, she is that grandma. I couldn't even count how many times I've spent the night over there, how she always had our favorite foods and treats, hours spent rubbing my back and sitting with me, watching endless talent shows (both at school and the ones on a stool in her living room), she  was our after school care, she cut vacations short so she could get back home to see her grandkids etc. Best.grandma.ever. I'm not even close to getting her paid back for everything she is/was to me. 

She is supposed to come home on 12/5 because of course. I'm glad for it, but also worried. She will need 24 hour care and that probably won't ever change. It's just a lot to digest. 

We were hoping to get away for Addison's 4th birthday, but I just didn't want to be too far away, just in case. Addison died December 5, 2010, my grandpa on my dad"s side died December 1, 2012 after his stroke and it was just too much of a worry to be gone this time. 

Planning for Addison's birthday has felt extra rushed this year. I only really started taking action yesterday. I ordered an ice cream cake from D.Q for the family to have the night of her birthday, a balloon bouquet from the party store and a flower cake from the florist for her headstone. All Fr.ozen themed as I believe we would have joined the masses and been just another family to jump on the Fr.ozen theme. Oh, how I wish. As much as I never wanted to have a baby born in December, I find myself so missing the challenge of juggling birthday parties and expenses with Christmas. 

Brian and I are both off this week. I am mostly hoping to have some family time and celebrate our girl. I need this week to be for her. So little time gets to be only for her. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Signs or something

I'm not a big believer in signs. Mostly because I don't understand why someone might see more or less than another when the love for the person lost is so great. I don't feel like I see many signs, maybe because I'm closed minded or maybe because they don't really exist. My philosophy is just to believe in whatever helps you. I would love to believe that Addison sends me signs, but I'm still very skeptical. 

Recently, two experiences have me really thinking.

The first experience was at the WA State Fair on 9/10. It's something that we attend every year and have since I was a little girl. I was especially disappointed last year when Mason was too little for the rides and thought it would be Addi's first year to really get into it. This year Mason was was tall enough for most of the rides and his excitement did not disappoint. I was able to really enjoy Mason and our time at the fair, but the rides pointed out something that was already very clear. Most rides were two person rides, that empty seat killed me every time. There was even a ride that you could ONLY ride if there was a second child. Mason wound up riding with another little girl (of course) in line that didn't have a buddy. That one felt especially hard. 

We broke for lunch close to 1pm and headed to my parent's favorite BBQ spot. Brian took the backpack off he had been wearing the whole time and I opened it to get a few things out for Mason. 

Let me preface the backpack story by saying that I had taken EVERYTHING out of it the night before and packed it carefully to be light and efficient with everything we would need for the fair. It went from our house to Brian's truck, to his back. It never came off of his back before that moment at lunch. My parents and myself were with Brian the whole time and we never saw nor did Brian feel anyone in the backpack. I got into it once and only once to get a pull-up out of the smaller pocket, but never opened the main pocket. It remained zipped the whole time. 

So when we sat down for lunch and I opened the backpack I was shocked to find this:

It's the color of pink that we always associate with Addison and its toddler sized. It didn't smell like someone, but it also didn't smell new. It was clean and perfect and THERE. It's a hat that I've never seen before. I still can't wrap my head around it or how it got there, but of course I brought it home and washed it. Either way, she was with us, but this was a very crazy visual sign. 

The second instance occurred 10 days later on 9/20/14. Brian's stepdad has been fighting cancer. We went to visit him in Maine in July. We knew it would be our last visit, but didn't have a timeframe for how much time he would have left. 

A few days before this, we bought a new mattress after years of upset over our "fancy" sleep by no. and sleeping like crap (worst purchase ever, I don't recommend them). Anyway, the new mattress has been magical and we are both waking up feeling rested (it's from Cos.tco and literally came in a box). We stood the old mattress up on the wall at the end of our bed to make sure we liked the new mattress before getting rid of the old one. It had been there for a couple days and then on the morning of 9/20, Brian and I woke up to a text message from his stepsister letting us know his stepdad passed peacefully just a few hours before. I noticed right away that the giant and heavy king sized mattress was lying over the end of our bed. Neither of us felt or heard anything. How this monstrosity fell on our bed without hurting us or waking us is pretty crazy to contemplate. My first thought was that Nathan did it as one last "funny" for Brian before he left. 

Like I said, I don't know that I believe in signs, but both of these things have me scratching my head. 

One thing I have to believe is that Brian's stepdad must be elated to be reunited with Brian's mom. The way he spoke of Eloise was just the sweetest. She was his greatest love. Grammy and Grampy together again. Love to think of Addi being loved on by both of them. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Turning 30

Me and Mason at the beach not sure the age difference, I might be 3 here. 

turned 30 this month and I can honestly say it didn't bother me one bit. If anything it felt right to finally be in my 30's. Grief wise, it feels a little lighter to be out of my twenties (the decade in which we lost Addison). Like maybe 30's won't bring the same kind of pain that my twenties did. Please oh please! Not to mention I feel like grief has aged me so much that 30's feels slightly more legit. Hello gray hairs, I see you. 

For Brian's 30th we went to Las Vegas. I was pregnant with Addison and life seemed to be pretty perfect. We had everything to look forward to. Fast forward four years (3.5 from grief) and things look differently. Although, I will admit there are still many things to look forward to. It's just a much different life I had pictured four years ago. 

We talked about going to Vegas again, but I wanted to bring Mason and I don't care what people tell you, the strip isn't exactly family friendly. What I really wanted to do was something the whole family could be apart of. Growing up we did a lot of camping and beach trips as a family with my grandparents. Those are some of my best and happiest memories. I wanted that for Mason, for my family and for me. 

My grandparents had a motorhome and we would tent camp with them. We looked into renting an RV, but for the price, it made sense to rent a house instead. Mason is a great sleeper, but only in ideal conditions. I wouldn't trust him in a tent just yet. Brian rented a great beach house in Lincoln City, Oregon and we started planning our trip. 

The house was even nicer than the pictures showed and the little neighborhood was just as cute as can be and screamed beach. Shells lined the driveway, cruiser bikes in the garage, adirondack chairs on the porch and the ocean just minutes away with sand for days. 

I was smiling so big that first day that my family kept asking me why. I was just SO happy. I can't even describe how much I needed this trip. 

Our group included my mom, dad, Brian, Mason, my brother, my sister and each of their significant others (Lyndsey and Kyle). 

I was worried we might get bored of 5 days at the ocean, but now I wish we could have stayed 10! 

Spending time at the beach was definitely my favorite. Flying kites, running in the water and building sandcastles. Watching Mason grin from ear to ear every moment of every day. He LOVED having all of his people in one place. 
Top left my grandma and I, top right my mom and M. Bottom left my grandparents and I, bottom left M with Brian and my dad and the SAME rainbow kite :)

We found some little shops and one was a Christmas store. I actually wanted to go inside. I really loved looking in there and it made me miss Christmas. I might need to start celebrating Christmas in June. I bought an advent calendar. It's something I hope to have forever, something Mason will hopefully have fond memories of and something to remember our trip by. I'm seriously thinking of buying all my Christmas stuff and making all my plans now so that when Christmas comes it is already done. It may be the only way we ever really do anything in December. Not kidding. 

The day of my birthday was so relaxed and wonderful. More beach time and of course an ice cream cake! It was my plan to write all names in the sand for all of the babies that I love, but the sun set so quickly I only had enough time for Addison and a few special birthdays coming up. 

Each birthday has been so hard since Addison died and while I still missed her as much as always, this was the most wonderful birthday. I guess it surprised me a little that is was so wonderful. I really didn't think I would have that again. It was so nostalgic, I couldn't help but post some of my favorite beach pictures from my childhood next to Mason.

Going back home to reality was hard, but I am so thankful to go home with such fun memories. We even got to recreate the picture from when I was 3 with my parents, grandparents and uncle. Our new picture unfortunately does not include my sister as she had another stop to make on the way home, but we did include a pink parasol in front of my mom to represent Addison. 

Cheers to the dirty thirty!

Thursday, June 5, 2014


It's the 5th again, my dread for this day of the month feels differently than it used to. I don't feel the same way I did before, but I still feel VERY aware about each 5th day of the month. 

This one feels bigger though, probably because it is. This 5th marks 3.5 years since the day I first saw Addison's sweet face and held her perfect little self in my arms. It's strange to be this far out and still so close to it all. 

After 3.5 years I still find ways to say her name almost daily and to talk about her as often as I can. I still let myself think about who she would be, what she would be doing and how different our lives could be. 

I still follow blogs and read regularly. I don't go searching for them like I used to and I don't often have time to comment, but I still need them. It's easier to keep up because very few continue to write after their rainbow baby comes (me included). I have stopped following a couple blogs. Some that seem "too" okay with this reality. There are not many, but it bothers me to read things like "I'm still sad, but I wouldn't have (insert rainbow baby name here) if my first baby had lived". That is just so unacceptable to me. It's dismissive of your other child's life and it leads society to believe that awful statement of "everything happens for a reason" that much more. It's true that I might not have Mason if Addison had lived, but I wouldn't have known to miss him and really I would probably be pregnant or thinking about a second if she had lived and now that baby won't be apart of our lives either. Everything is just different and justifying it for yourself and others is just not something I care to read about. 

The fact of the matter is that I CAN imagine my life without Mason and while I don't want to think of that, it's just part of how your mind works after your baby dies. I don't want to imagine my life without Addi either, but here I am living it. 

This last month I did something big. I parted with a few of the very special, very researched, very loved items that were bought especially for Addison. I could never get rid of her clothes, but her car seats, stroller and swing are now gone. The car seats, stroller and swing were used for Mason, but the car seats will expire before we ever have another baby IF we ever have another baby and the stroller matched them so it made sense to sell them together. The swing took up a lot of room and wasn't working 100% of the time so it didn't make sense to keep it. The swing was easier to sell than the car seats/stroller mix. It was a pattern I fell in love with and and was so excited about. The stroller was actually delivered to my parent's house on 12/10/10. I know this because it was backordered and I sent many emails trying to get it before Addi was born. I was sitting in my parent's living room when I saw the FedE truck pull up. I remember it well because it was just after Addison's funeral and we had a house full of people who had come over after the service. I knew it was her stroller the second I saw the truck. It was a moment I will never forget and still makes my stomach turn. 

I needed to sell the items to strangers so I would never see them again. Both the people I sold to were giant bellied pregnant ladies. I didn't ask the gender of their babies and they didn't offer up that information. Thankfully. 

I'm glad it's over, it sucked to do, but it only made sense. The last thing I want to sell is her crib bedding set. I never really loved it and would not use it for another baby. I'm still not looking forward to selling it, but it just doesn't make sense to keep it...even to me. I put on the ad "Brand new, never been used crib bedding. We were expecting a girl and brought home a boy". That sucked to type. It's true, but it does leave out some key parts. 

It feels a little like progress to make some of these steps and yet it's nothing like that. It's just rolling with the tides and making decisions based on where we are and what's going on. 

Three and a half, I wonder if there will ever be a time that the years that separate us don't feel so far and so close all at the same time. 

I still miss, I still love and I still ache for her. That will never change. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Did you have a good Mother's Day?

Did you have a good Mother's Day? It's the question everyone seems to be asking at work today. I'm thankful that I work with such great people, it means I can be honest and say no. 

It seems unfair to say no. I have this amazing son, my mom and BOTH of my grandmas who are local and we all got to eat at the same table for dinner. Not to mention a super awesome mother-in-law in North Carolina, but the thing I don't have took over for the things I do have and I was s-a-d. 

I think Mother's Day is quite possibly the worst "holiday" of all time.

Moms who lost children=sad
Women who desperately want to be moms and can't=sad
Children (of any age) who have lost their mom=sad.  

No good. No good at all, says the lady who like to make a spectacle over all the other stupid hallmar.k holidays. I think I like to celebrate everything else so big because there is so much that I can't do (Christmas, Mother's Day, etc.) I make up for it where I can. 

The moms and grandmothers in my life didn't even get a card. I just couldn't do it. Buying a card meant acknowledging the day was coming so it didn't happen. No cute project from Mason off Pinteres.t, I just didn't have the energy.

The day itself went a little something like this:
Brian woke up with Mason and took him out for pancakes (per my request to be alone). The plan was to sleep in, but Brian sent Mason in with my card and I was awake after that.

The boys left and I took a hot shower BY MYSELF. It was glorious. No two year old pushing me out of the water claiming it's his turn after I get two seconds of water time. He's selfish like that. Then I was able to blow-dry my hair and get dressed like an adult. I did go without make-up, I knew it wouldn't be long before the tears would come. 

The tears came after receiving this picture from my mom. With the caption "Baking cookies with Addi". 

They were the good kind of tears of course. I'm so thankful to have such a great mom who loves her granddaughter so much.   

I drove to the cemetery through blurry eyes and did my best to spruce up the joint. I was glad I went. They had just mowed, they always leave it a mess and move all the special things. Some wooden flowers I left last time had been broken...they are so careless. There were several cars at the cemetery at 9:30am, I'm guessing children visiting their mamas. I was the only one in the baby section at that time. 

More tears and then I headed to the S.bucks with the drive-thru. I decided to buy the coffee for the person behind me. Maybe they were having a rough day too, maybe they weren't, but either way I hope it brightened their day. 

Next was the mall, but I forgot they didn't open that early. Luckily the red circle store never lets me down. I stood in front of the greeting card section for a good ten minutes. The cards mocked me so I left. I bought things like shampoo, conditioner, diaper geni.e refills and some construction trucks for Mason...I know, I'm glamorous. 

A new shoe store opened next door and I figured it was a good place to continue my retail therapy. I was determined to buy some new sandals with the money Brian had given me for a M-Day gift for myself. He knows me so well.  I realized that I can't shop without my sister. All I kept thinking was WWAT (what would Alisa think). I bought some anyways and luckily she approved. :)

I eventually made it back to the mall, I bought some eyeshadow and some Frang.o mints and called it a day. Did you know Frang.o makes a cookie? I ate them like a loser in my car. 

Brian had suggested a manicure/pedicure, but I kept picturing mother/daughter duos in the nail salon and it was enough to make me sick. So I kept going. 

I have been meaning to buy the new cool book on the block for Mason "Goodnight, Goodnight," so my next stop was B&N. My green tea from earlier was long gone so I decided to allow myself one more. I bought 4 books, guilt books. Here Mason, sorry mommy sucks today. Here are some books. We good?! xoxo

I couldn't think of any thing else to do on the Westside so I thought I would head back. It was sunny and warm so I thought a car wash would be good. When I got off the freeway there were guys holding out signs from JL for an oil change and I remembered that I was 3K plus over when I *should* have had it changed. I am normally a dealership only kind of girl, but it was time and I had time so there you go. I did get the car washed and called it a day.

Dinner was at my parent's house. I got there early hoping to write a blog post in the sun, but the wind was a little too much. The family showed up (mom, dad, sister, brother, both grandma's, my only remaining grandpa, two uncles and Brian with Mason). I was so thankful that I didn't have to cook or host. 

I feel like having so much means I shouldn't be allowed to feel so sad, but I was. I missed Addison so much. I miss her so much. The missing is apart of everyday, but Mother's Day is so in your face. This was my 4th Mother's Day without her and I don't see this day getting any easier. 

Next year, spa day? Any other BLM's game? Let's get out of town and be sad together. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Look who's two

April 22nd was a really big deal. Mason turned two and we celebrated like it was 1999. It's difficult to put into words how this felt, but I can say that it was amazing. No matter what happens in life we've had two whole years with our son, it's still not enough, but I am so grateful for the two years. It's so much more than we ever got with Addison. Two. Years. 

The night before Mason's birthday, Brian and I blew up what felt like a million balloons, hung streamers over his door and light and even decorated his highchair for his birthday breakfast. Brian teased me for going over the top, but also insisted we needed more balloons...he's equally as into this, he just doesn't like to admit it.

My alarm went off at 6am so we could get the most out of our day before nap time. Nap time is usually around 1, but can be pushed until 2:30 (although it's not recommended). We both took the day off work because it's such a big day for us all. It's more than just a birthday to us, it's celebrating that we got another whole year together and that is a pretty damn big deal. 

Brian and I woke up Mason by going into his room and singing "Happy Birthday". My normally grumpy waker (he likes his sleep just like his mama) was confused and also pleasantly surprised to be woken up like that.  Then he noticed the balloons and the party had 

Mason's birthday breakfast was a bowl full or his favorite berries (blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries), a glass of milk and a cinnamon roll covered in sprinkles with two blue candles. We sang to him again and he happily blew out his candles and dug in! 

There was more balloon play after breakfast and a shower. He was having so much fun, he didn't want to leave his crib of balloons. We eventually conviced him to leave by taking one balloon with us in the car. He cried everytime he dropped his "boon" until we were able to hand it back to him....what the birthday boy wants, the birthday boy gets!

Mason's party will be train themed so a friend made him the coolest birthday shirt. 

We drove to Seattle and headed to the aquarium. Mason seem underwhelmed, but would also yell "MORE" after every tank. He especially loved the "touch tank" and the jelly fish. 

After the aquarium we had lunch at Mason's favorite spot R. Robin. Seems silly to eat there after driving all the way to Seattle, but it's what we know and he loves it. Lyndsey met us for lunch and even though she is technically Uncle's girlfriend, Mason thinks she is the bees knees. Whenever we ask Mason who loves him, he always says LinEee in the top 5. 

The staff at RR sang the happy birthday song to Mason and we expected he would cry or want to hide. To our surprise he clapped right along and smiled so big. He loved every second of it. 

After lunch we went to the carousel and Mason got to play his first arcade games.

We were running on borrowed time as we were in the nap time zone, but we still pushed forward and walked to Pike.Plac.e Market. Mason loved the flowers and everything else there was to see. He walked almost the entire day on his own. We only picked him up for safey or for a boost to see something. Mason begs to walk himself and even walked all the stairs to the top on his own. 

We drove home and Mason fell asleep almost immediatley. This is big because he does NOT car nap. He only slept for 40 minutes, but it was better than nothing. 

A friend of mine is making Mason's cake for his party, but I completely forgot about a cake for his actual birthday. We picked up a last minute ice cream cake from Dairy.Q. and that made everyone happy. We sang to Mason yet again and again he blew out the candles. The night ended surrounded by family with cake and a rockin' new truck from Auntie, Nana and Papa. The truck is a running joke in my family. My sister and I both feel that we had practically perfect childhoods, but we both were sad that we never got the chance to drive a powe.rwheels. This is another one of those list of broken dream items. So excited for Mason to have one, even though I'm sure he will have a toy or two on his list of things he'd wished he'd has as a kid. For the record my list only contains two things I'd wished for and never got. Pwer.wheels and the game, Hungry Hungr.y Hippos. Firstworldproblems.  

It was almost the perfect day. The day was all about Mason, but it's always clear who was missing. I wish Addison could have been there too. I wish this was the second time we were celebrating a "two". And yet, I'm grateful for what I do have, so very grateful.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Her little brother

Her little brother will be two this month, TWO. It's so hard to believe and yet it is so easy to believe. We have been waiting for two for a very long time. I'm still in the space where I am so looking forward to the next stage that the past is not something I feel a longing for. I'm so happy to be where we are age wise. The older Mason gets the closer it feels like we are getting to what Addi would be doing. It's a weird space, but it's how I feel.

At almost two, Mason does not fully understand his title of little brother or that his sister Addison should live in his house and have her own toys and her own room etc. He will get it one day, but for now I can see the wheels starting to turn and connections are being made.

I wear my Addison necklace daily and almost every day Mason will grab it and say "Addi"! One of our catch phrases around here is to say "I love you so big" "who else loves you so big"? Mason will name off his people and Addi is usually included in the list. I usually add in that we love Addi so big too, to which he usually yells "yeah" or "big"!

Last week we drove by the cemetery and Mason yelled out "ADDI"!!!!!! It simultaneously broke my heart and warmed it. He now associates the cemetery with his sister. Another day we drove by he yelled her name and kept pointing. He wanted to go visit her spot. He gets it, but he doesn't. I love that he loves Addison for what he knows. I hate that for the most part, this is all he gets to know.

Today just before nap he begged and pleaded for books and rock (rocked in the rocking chair). He was insistent that we read Addison's book with her pictures in it. Of course I went along with his request. He was excited to see baby Addi and to point to pictures with mama, daddy, nana, papa etc., but he really seemed to get that the baby in the pictures is Addi. I asked him if we loved Addi and he kissed the picture and then he kissed me, I mean seriously kid at this point you can have whatever you want.

I constantly worry about how Addison will be viewed by Mason especially because he is a boy and boys usually don't show their feelings as much as girls and because he was born after her. Maybe I don't have as much to worry about as I thought I did.

He's a pretty amazing little brother and kid.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

BLM/Rainbow Baby Reunion 2014

A week ago today, Mason and I packed up our bags and headed to Las Vegas for the much anticipated BLM/Rainbow Baby Reunion 2014. We met up with 8 other moms and their rainbow babies.

The 2014 group included:
Otis' mom Sarah and little brother Owen
Elizabeth's mom Sonja and little sister Ginny
Camille's mom Renel and little sister Harlow
Bear's mom Julie and little brother Bode
Liam and Evelynn's mom Becky and little brother Max
Hayes' mom Molly and little brother Kellan
Anna's mom Julie and little sister Catherine
Eliza's mom Brooke and little sister Caroline (Zuzu)
and of course Addison's little brother and I.

I knew this would be a different trip than the one to Chicago last year. For one, we were not going to someone's hometown and two, several of the original attendees were not able to make it. I keep getting asked which trip was better, but that is an impossible question. Both trips were so very special and complicated in their own ways.

The positives for Chicago:
A bigger crew made it to Chicago.
Several of us got to stay at Andrew's house.
Andrew's mom Brandy arranged the food and shuttling (thank you again, Brandy)!
No one got sick while we were there.
We all got to share pictures of our babies, light candles and really include them.
It was the very first time so many of us were together under one roof and that in itself is crazy special.

The positives for Vegas:
A smaller group went, which meant we got to stay in one house.
Less people and more days (5) meant more one on one time.
Shorter flights with a happier kid (for me).
Relationships were even more developed after a year of waiting.
I got to meet Sarah and Owen for the first time.

They were both such amazing trips and I couldn't trade one for the other. They both were full of long talks, crying, hugging, sharing our babies (each of our babies), hearing each other say "me too"! Both very special in their own ways.

Our recent trip had one thing we weren't planning for and the was the stomach bug. It raged through the house on Saturday night and threatened to ruin the trip, but it didn't. I wish no one had gotten the bug, but the trip was still so worth it. I don't know many trips that a stomach bug wouldn't ruin, but it wasn't ruining this one. That's the last I want to talk about it because it doesn't deserve any more than that!

Mason and I flew out Thursday afternoon and he couldn't have been better. He was so excited to see the planes and to be at the airport. I carefully packed snacks, books, paper and crayons, stickers, cars and toys, but the only thing he was interested in was the iPad. He happily played games and watched Fro.zen for the whole flight. I'm not big on letting him do this at home, but the airplane ride was totally worth it.

We were quite the site in the airport. I had a giant bag, a car seat, a stroller, a small roller bag, a backpack and my purse. I brought a little bit of everything including by big camera, Mason's sound machine, video baby monitor, scout.thedog and all of his favorite blankets. You laugh, but Mason slept through the night every night and took a nap every day we were in the house. I don't mess with what works. Plus I carried it all by myself.

Mason and I met up with Renel and Harlow in the airport, which was extra special because we were the first to meet in Chicago as well. Seeing those two was the start of what I had been waiting for. Renel picked up the rental car and we drove to the crazy awesome mansion we were staying in. The house was amazing and huge and Mason couldn't wait to explore.

There was a park not far from the house that we took the kids to. Watching them all play together was really something. I heard Mason say several of the kid's names and call them his friends. That really meant everything.

A few friends had warned me to watch out for the other moms in regards to parenting, but it just made me laugh. Yes, we parent differently, but a lot of it is the same. The biggest difference is that we all love each others children, we are all invested in each other. If some random kid were to hit Mason, there would be a problem, but with this group we all parent and love every one. It really makes all the difference. So we handled little spats here and there, but mostly there were hugs and sharing and laughs. The good more than outweighed the bad. I've never been in a group where you hear the mothers tell their kids they love them as often as this one.

I'm grateful for these rainbow babies and getting to watch them interact, I'm grateful for my BLM's, for our time together and the way they love Mason and I. I'm grateful for the late night talks and the hugs and the tears. Most of all I am grateful for Addison and those babies who brought us all together. This is part of the group that keeps me going. The only thing I would trade for them would be to have Addison back. We would all give up these relationships for our babies, but since that is not a choice, I am grateful for this gift.

I look forward to strengthening these relationships, to watching our living kids grow up together, continuing to share our babies who we love and miss so much and to many, many more reunions in whatever shape or size they come in.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Last night Brian had a nightmare. It's the first nightmare he's had about Mason. He dreamt that Mason was doing an art project. They were tracing Mason's hands and then all the sudden Mason started choking. In his dream Brian remembers trying to save him, but it was too late and he was gone. He remembers holding the hand tracings and sobbing. He woke to the sound of Mason and I talking over the baby monitor. It wasn't long after that he was Mason's shadow. When it was time for me to go, I had to take Mason from Brian's arms. 
It's a short drive to daycare, but I already had too much time to think. I held him much tighter on the walk from the car. Kissing him the whole way and telling him how much I loved him. I thought seriously about calling in sick for a PTSD mommy mental health day, but I had a project I needed to finish at work AND I was doing my best to keep the crazy down. I was fighting tears as I told our wonderful sitter how worried I was and all about Brian's dream. She promised to watch him extra close and send text and picture updates throughout the day. I left feeling sick, but also knowing he was in good hands. 
The drive away was pretty awful. I was playing out how the day would go if I got "the call" that something had happened and feeling more and more like I should just turn around and go get my boy. 
Aside from the fact that Brian's dream was unsettling, there were even more factors at play. The biggest was that he had a nightmare the night Addison died. 
I last felt Addison move in the very early hours of December 4, 2010. That morning Brian was getting ready for work as I was getting ready for my scheduled NST test. He kissed me goodbye and said nothing about his nightmare. I went to that appointment where I was told the worst news of my life that my daughter had no heartbeat and later Brian told me about that nightmare. He said all he remembered was seeing the word miscarriage in bright neon flashing letters. He was really worried, but knew better than to say something like that to his pregnant wife. Plus he knew we were well beyond the stage of being a miscarriage. Looking back I think his brain just didn't know the word stillbirth. 
On top of those things, today is the 4th. The effing 4th. Same day, different month and year, but still one that makes me cringe.
I was so distracted at work today, but did my best to focus and finish my project. I'm sure it took me twice as long. I was inundating our sitter Julie with texts checking on Mason and she was reassuring and sending pictures.
I've never been so glad for the end of the day! I couldn't get to Mason fast enough. The second our eyes met he greeted me with a giant smile and a loud enthusiastic "MAMA"! 
It was all Mason all the time when we got home. Wanna play with your train? Done! Wanna watch D.Tiger while you eat dinner? Sure! Wanna eat only bread and no spaghetti for dinner? Just this once. Oreo for dessert? Here ya go! More train play followed by extra books and longer time spent rocking in the chair together never felt so good. 
The thing is that you can't live every day as if it were your last. Or at least I can't. I still have to work and Mason does need to eat complete meals minus dessert and go to bed on time, but every once in a while nights like this just need to happen after the day we had.
Fear, grief, PTSD just never really goes away. Most days I can force it down, but today it won. Logical me loses when it comes to realistic me because loss is just way too real. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Spa Day

Spa day is actually a really REALLY nice way of saying I had my yearly OB appointment. It sort of felt like a day away since I got to go all by myself and put on a robe aka gown. I have also referred to it as a "mile maintenance" like you get for your car. Since I'm 29, maybe it was my 29,000 mile maintenance. My sister calls it her "love" appointment. What do you call it?

Going to the OB or even just the office is a mixed bag of emotions for me. I've spent SO much time there. It's very familiar. It holds some of my happiest moments and some very very sad ones. I heard both of my babies heartbeats there for the first time, I found out my dream of having a girl would be a reality there, I met the doctor that would walk through hell with us and a team of medical staff I owe the little sanity I have to. It's like home there and yet, it gives me anxiety. Going there means there WILL be other pregnant ladies and those things are still hard for me. It means embracing all those feelings and walking down a very sad memory lane. 

January has been a good month. No tears and feeling very light hearted, but my drive to the OB made me feel a bit sick. Seeing my "peeps" felt great and talking with them was even better, but also hard. 

My OB had a heart to heart with me and I was not expecting it...I mean I was, but I also was not. He asked some hard questions. Hard questions for me, ones I usually shy away from answering. His first question was if Brian and I had started to think about growing our family. I immediately burst into tears. Brian and I discussed that we would wait until Mason was two (3 more months) to have that conversation, but of course it's something that is on my mind every single day. 

I'm so torn because I don't feel done, but I also don't feel anywhere near ready to walk down this road again. 

He asked if I needed a living sibling for M. The answer is yes.

He asked if adoption was an option (he has an adopted child so it's not like a "why don't you JUST adopt" question) he knows how big and scary adoption is in itself. My answer was no. The funny thing is that in high school I talked seriously about my desire to adopt one day. I even knew which country I wanted to adopt from. After everything we have been through, knowing a little about adoption and its uncertainties, I can say that does not seem like a road I am willing to go down. 

We talked for a long time, much longer than I expected and I cried the whole time. We talked about my fear of pregnancy, my fear that Mason may or may not get a living sibling, my fears about never having a living daughter, my jealousy and anger over other people getting to have their "whole families", daughters, fearless pregnancies etc. 

We talked about what a hard infant Mason was and how that was not a happy time for me. He even said that I needed to do this again to have a pleasant newborn experience because I deserve it, but we all know that deserving things doesn't mean shit. Plus at the end of the day, I feel like Mason being alive is all I was really allowed to wish for. 

I could tell he wanted to promise me that another pregnancy would end in a happy healthy baby and mama. I could tell that he wanted to "fix" me and make me better, I could tell that each tear of mine was killing him, but nothing he could say fixes this. Nothing brings Addison back and anything else will never be enough. 

We talked about Addison and said her name. She is a person to us both and that is validating. It's not enough, but it was nice. 

I think he was surprised to see how much I am still grieving. He gets it, but he doesn't. He tries, but all his children are all alive and he still believes things happen for a reason. I explained that there are no reasons good enough and nothing will ever be worth the price of Addison's life. He gets it, but he doesn't. 

An emotional visit to say the least. Good, but also very sad (the actual appointment part is less than fun, but over quickly). 

I stayed for a while and had my blood drawn. Got my birth control prescription refilled, we joked to keep the BC coming by the truckload. 

I pulled my shit together, fixed my face and headed out. I left feeling like I wouldn't be back until next year's appointment...I suppose that means baby plans do not feel like they will take place in 2014. Brian has given me a cutoff "baby making" date of June 2015. For his own reasons (which are important to him) he doesn't want to have children after he is pressure. 

I hate that this is such an emotional decision, I hate that another pregnancy would only mean fear, I hate that another pregnancy would make me take so many steps back with all the steps forward I have taken in happiness. I hate that without another pregnancy a living sibling won't be possible. Most of all I hate that another pregnancy won't bring my Addison back. Hate it. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Year

It's a new year and that has many people talking about New Year's resolutions.

I remember last year's resolution. It was simply to "suck less". It was simple and complicated all in one. It basically meant I wanted to be more present. It meant to do the things I said I was going to do. I wanted to do the things I wanted instead of just thinking about them.

For the most part, I think I followed through. I do think I sucked my opinion, although the bar was set very low.

I think it's a good one to continue and there is always room for less suckage. This year's list:

1. Continue to suck less
2. Blog more, I barely remember last year. I'm disappointed I didn't document much of last year.  I need to continue this thing I love so much. 
3. Print pictures and make photo albums. Start from today so it isn't as daunting. You can always play catch up "tomorrow", but today is the easiest place to start.
4. Cook more, cook healthier. This hasn't been on track since Addison died. 
5. Be more organized (why is my dining room table always such a disaster)?!
6. Declutter (this kind of goes along with no. 5) I brought a box home to start. If a fill up one box a week from various places around the house, it won't feel so daunting AND it's a step in the right direction.
7. Make moving a priority. Brian and I HATE our house. It doesn't fit our family and I know a new place would make us feel like we were living in a home and not just a house. We spend as little time as possible in our current house and I want that to change.
8. Take Mason someplace new and fun at least once a month. On top of this I want to take M to visit our friends and family more, at least once a month and visits to the Great-Grandparents at least 2x a month. Time, memories, etc. need to be a priority. 
9. Buy one new clothing item (one piece not an entire outfit) a month. Nothing crazy, but my wardrobe is very, very sad. New clothes do a lot for the mind as well as the body. Look good=feel good.
10. Don't be so hard on myself. I can't always follow though...even on the things listed above. :)

Two blogs in two days?!? This is progress people!