July 31, 2015

Monthly Portraits: July

James has transitioned into a toddler bed!  And out nighttime routine has changed a bit to include "rest time" before actual sleep time, which lets him play quietly in his room before he puts himself to bed.  This usually works very well as we pray together, read a book, and pick out a few favorite toys to play with.  Then we give kisses and wave goodbye from the doorway.  He smiles and says bye-bye.  When we check on him, he is always sleeping in bed with his baby and lately his dump truck and two little men.  

July 27, 2015

This summer.

This summer there have been countless planes flying over our new place...each one announced by James.
There has been a cousin's birthday and pinata.
There have been many days spent in the sprinkler.
There have been beautiful, fragrant purple and yellow roses blooming in remembrance of Graham.
There has been a trip to the beach.
There has been a trip to southern California.
There has been the before and after of power-washing the deck.
There have been cousin visits, and aunties and uncles.
Innumerable family walks.
Days spent watching uncles run an excavator,
A drive-in movie.
Countless NCIS episodes.
Early 5:30 mornings as James has started waking up when Brad leaves for work.
The discovery of a wonderful Indian restaurant nearby.
This summer has been full of wonderful things.
And we still have a month before fall hits.

July 25, 2015

Grieving: 11 weeks in

Photos courtesy of Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep photographer Rachel Nygren unless noted otherwise
It has been 11 weeks.
Just 11 weeks since we lost little Graham to heaven.
11 weeks since I got to cuddle his chubby little self.
11 weeks since his heart was beating inside of my own body.
11 weeks since we started missing Graham.
Sort of like before he was born, I'm finding myself in a floating place.  There is no better way to describe it.  For a while I was simply existing, waking multiple times a night to horrific nightmares of baby shaped bullets, watching him die again and again, or losing James and Brad in some freak accident.  I stumbled around in pitch black grief, knowing Brad was somewhere in the darkness too, both of us struggling to keep up with James and life that kept moving further and further out of grasp. And now we're out of the dark and in a...fog?  Sometimes everything is okay, other times I can pretend, and sometimes nothing is okay.
photo taken by me
I've had to take James to the doctor recently, and she asked if he has any siblings.  I wasn't sure how to answer the question.  Yes, he does...or he did.  And if I say Graham, should I include our miscarriage too?  Do I mention neither because they're not living?  But if I say yes she'll want to know more, and will I start crying?  Do I really want to have this conversation today?  And why am I all sweaty?  How long have I been silently staring at her?  In the end I said that yes he did have a brother who passed shortly after birth this last May.  She was shocked into silence for a few moments.  Me too, lady,  me too.
photo taken by Brad
I've read all about the stages of grief AND through the book of Lamentations AND heard others' stories AND been to every infant loss website because that is what I do.  I research the crap out of something from every possible angle and figure it out.  Grief doesn't really work that way.  There isn't a best way or a right way, and it can't be understood.  Its just getting though it.  I read something interesting in all of my searching, and it seems to really apply.  People understand grief to the extent they have experienced it.  Its pretty true.  And then I think about that Beatles song that kept running through my head while in labor...I hate this song.  But it somehow comforts me too.

June 2, 2015

Life Lately: Walks in town

Moving into town has brought some fun new opportunities.  Not only are we closer to Dairy Queen blizzards but we're also closer to the park!  Nightly family walks through neighborhoods and down paved trails are becoming a wonderful tradition.  My personal favorite jaunt is around soccer fields to the Borst Home.  This historic 1860 home is beautiful and is surrounded by gardens featuring native plants, new techniques, traditional groupings and heirloom vegetables.  (pick at risk of arrest)  It has softened our first month in town and sans Graham.

May 31, 2015

Monthly Portraits: May

This month I got to celebrate two little fellas in portraits.
Courtesy of Amy Clark
James - He's been adding daily to his vocabulary, and my favorite new word is eeker (cracker).  The way he add peez (please) at the end of requests for eekers just kills me.  He also started in a new bed, and has been doing alright with staying in it.  He's also been sick for the first time; a douzy of double ear infections and pneumonia.

Graham - He was perfection.