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. 


  1. December hits me hard too… I know so many of my friend's are grieving HARD this month… And I know Christmas without our *nearly* four year old is going to be painful… Sounds like such an understatement.

    I feel like grief grabs hold of me last week of November and doesn't let up until after Jan 11. fuck, it's a long haul.

    Loving Addison with you. Wish she'd been born on December 1st. <3

  2. Oh, Keleen. It's so hard not to think of all the what-ifs... What if I'd had a doctor's appointment scheduled for the day before instead of the day after... What if I'd realized something was wrong...

    I'm alternating between relishing Caroline's excitement and happiness about Christmas and crying because you know how magical a four-year-old's Christmas would be?

    Hoping as always that our girls are together somehow, and that they feel how much they are loved.

  3. It's so hard to a balance it all. To let yourself truly enjoy the holiday when sadness is lurking around the corner. Like you and Brooke, the What-if's have been haunting me again ten fold. Thinking of your family and wishing Addison was here

  4. I miss that 4yo way more than a baby, too. I miss everything about that 4yo I should have. It is seriously debilitating.

    December is here and ready to knock us down. Holding on to you and all the BLMs so we stay standing. Crying and weak, but standing. xo

  5. It's interesting you brought it up, becaue you're so right - I miss the 4 year old, not a newborn. I guess that's how it always will be, I just hadn't really thought of it like that.

    Love to you. Missing Addi with you. Every day.

  6. Also, Mason passing out the kisses - swoon. I love just picturing that.

  7. The what ifs send me into a guilty spiral downward...
    I love the toddler wanting mommy, even the not being able to potty alone is endearing.
    I wish your princess was also getting spoiled!

  8. "December is here and ready to knock us down."
    I like that line, Brandy.
    Keleen, I'm less than consistent about keeping up on blogs but found time to read yours yesterday. And then I leave, because I don't know what to say. There's too much to say, none of it seems good enough…you know. I've wanted to get a handwritten note out to you, Jess, Brandy and Brooke this week and even though this dreaded D month looms like a boulder on the edge of a cliff in my brain, it's arrival still takes me by surprise and I find I'm not at all prepared. Christmas brouhaha I've pretty much got covered. But our kids? The most important part ever? Well. There I just shut down. When December comes or I know one of our tribe needs us, I panic in knowing the nightmare relives itself in a familiar yet new way all over again, that I need to Be there but I can't stop it and I can't make it better, OHMYGODOURCHILDRENDIED, and then the world slows and I start to go numb. And then I leave. Numb has a pretty solid place in my functioning.
    All that to say I'm sorry I haven't and in all probability won't be doing more for you (and Jess, Brandy, Brooke, Sonja & Darcey) than write a simple note on your beautiful blog. I miss the ages our kids would be too. Watching our living children grow only makes what we've missed that much more acute.
    Thank you for sharing your intimate moments with Mason, "You're my family." Ohhh, my heart. Grief spend to your hearts content, I say. No better reason to buy something that feels good in my book.
    Once more I wish I had something brilliant to say, something that would make you laugh through your tears, or something that would just make it all hurt less. But my sweet friend, I just don't. What I'd love to do is come over and lay our heads on each other's shoulders, cozy up with a fuzzy blanket and let our husbands bring us warm drinks (or cold less-gets-messed-UP ones) on the couch to talk, cry, share and Be until we're ready to emerge.
    Let's do THAT.

    I love you, lady. Sure hope to see you soon. Struggling with Addison's loss always, wishing so badly she were here with you, wearing ohmygod the most gorgeous girlie-girl outfits there ever were.
    Big, big love.

  9. Wow. I love Julie's comment. Much like myself, I try to stay caught up, read, and then leave because I have no words of wisdom or the proper headspace to dedicate what I know posts like this deserve.

    I am on the same page as you in missing the 4 year old. I'm missing my soon to be 3 year old boy way more than I expected. I still do miss having him home as a healthy newborn, and just starting our lives with him like we were supposed to.

    Mason warms my heart so much. I know it might seem off that I am so close to so many blms that have a child at the age of my should have been Alexander...but the peek into the stages he would be at through all of the beautiful rainbows brings be comfort. Sometimes it flares the hurt and missing - but very rarely. I love your boy. And I can see you love him so big too.

    I wish Addison was so perfectly placed in your family as the best big sister to Mason anyone could ever imagine. The best big little 4 year old girl xox