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.