Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Different Loves

During the first year after Adelyn died, I truly think Sierra was the only thing that made me happy.  Her smile, her silliness, and just the fact that she needed me, kept me going.  I could still mother her here, even though I couldn't mother her sister.  For a long time I felt like I had too much love to give her.  After all, I had all this love for Adelyn but I didn't know how to give it to her, and had no way to give it to her here on Earth.  So Sierra got all of it, double the love, double the cuddles, double the kisses on her sweet cheeks.

And then Coen came along, and he brought so much joy back - joy that I never thought could be possible again.  And I had to split my love between two kids on Earth, and that is hard.  As much as I didn't think I could ever love anyone as much as Sierra, I was wrong. 

Now, let me say that I love all of my kids the same, but in such different ways.  But, Coen's birth healed me in ways that no one else could.  So for awhile there, I think I was so caught up in that, and the bliss of a sweet precious baby, that I think I may have "forgotten" just how special Sierra's role is also.

Now, over 2 years after Adelyn's death, she still brings her up.  Innocently, randomly, sweetly.  She will ask, "Mommy, I wonder what Adelyn is doing?"  And we will talk a little bit about what we think she is doing in heaven.  It is so sweet.  I honestly think she is the only one who just brings Adelyn up so naturally, so freely, without knowing what a "taboo" subject babies who died are to so many.

That is truly her special gift to me.  I love hearing my middle child's name.  I rarely get to.  I love her name, I spent hours picking it out.

But sometimes, because she is so open about Adelyn, it makes others uncomfortable and they quickly try to change the subject.  I hate that, it is a reminder that my daughter is dead and many don't want to talk about her because I guess it's too uncomfortable to them.  What about me, I'm the one who had to live it.

Case in point - we were getting our haircut on Saturday.  For some reason, Sierra had been talking about Adelyn a lot lately.  So as we are all standing there, she starts asking our  hairdresser (who is my dad's cousin, so she knows Adelyn's story) who from our family isn't there with us.  And the hairdresser guesses just about everyone in our family, including the dog, EXCEPT Adelyn.  Ouch ouch.  That hurt, and made me feel like she is forgotten.  Then Sierra says, "No, Adelyn, my sister."  And I don't remember exactly what the hairdresser said, but I could tell she didn't know what to say and she tried to change the subject.  So then a little while later, her husband came to drop something off and Sierra starts talking to him about Coen.  And then she says "I have a sister, too."  And maybe he doesn't know, or didn't realize who we were, and he says something a long the lines of "oh someday you won't be so excited about that."  I guess meaning they would fight.  And in my head all I was thinking was ouch again, and if only you knew what we would give to have two fighting little girls.

I guess I should just get used to these types of things happening.  It's been awhile since one happened.  I both love and hate these situations.  I love that Sierra talks about Adelyn, but I hate most people's reactions.  Then again, I love that Sierra forces them to remember, and she doesn't even know how hard that is for me to do, she just does it.  I will always be thankful to her for that.  I will always be thankful for her getting me through that first year.  I will always be thankful to Coen for healing me in so many ways and bringing pure joy back to our house.  I will always be thankful to Adelyn for helping me to see the beauty in everything and for teaching me to cherish every single moment.

I love all three of my children, so very much, in so very different ways.  And I am thankful for all of them.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

15 months

My baby was 15 months last Thursday, January 10th!  A little late, but that's how we roll in this house.  We are busy and tired......but I am not complaining.

Coen doesn't have his 15 month well check until Monday, because even though I tried to schedule it over a month ago, all evening appointments were booked!  Thankfully I am off Monday for Martin Luther King Day, but that's not really how I wanted to spend my day off!

Coen is doing so many things now, I really don't know where to start.  He loves to dance, and anytime music comes on he will stop and bounce.  Sometimes he moves his arms, but mostly he bounces up and down.  It is ridiculously cute, I could watch him do it all day.  Over the weekend, he found this little crib from Sierra's doll house and kept pressing the button to make it play music, then dancing to it, and then doing it all over again.  At one point, he was over at her doll house doing this for awhile, and she was over playing with his cars.  Figures!

Coen points to everything now, and says something that sounds like "what's this?"  His first word wsa "cookie" which he says as "coo coo".  I think that "ba" is book, and "ma" is something, maybe milk but I am not sure.  He uses "ma" to refer to many things.  He has repeated "baby" for me also.  We have been working on mommy, daddy, and "CC" - nothing yet though.  But, I'm relieved, because I was worried about his language development.  He didn't say anything for awhile, and while I know he is still so little, I am a speech therapist so of course I am overly aware and worry more than your average person.  On the other side of that, I am more critical - some people call the sounds babies make words, but it is not truly a word until the refer to the same thing using the same word over and over.  Simply saying "mama" doesn't mean a word, unless they are saying it consistently while pointing to you or running towards you.  That is one thing that irks me, when people call random babbling words.  It's not!

Another of his favorite things to do is turning the light switch off and on.  It's so cute.  He has started to finally play with his toys, which is nice because we don't have to chase him around to be sure he's not getting into trouble (as much).   He also loves to pull all the books off his shelf and make a big mess.  I so remember Sierra doing this at the same age, because it was summer and I was home and I swear all I did was pick up books!

Right at the end of the year, I finally ran out of frozen breastmilk and Coen had his first taste of cow milk.  At first he wanted nothing to do with it, but he seems to be ok now.  Over Christmas break I weaned him down to only nursing before bed.  I will keep nursing him before bed through the winter, unless he decides to wean himself before then.  I honestly don't see that happening though.

I forgot how much I love this age, and how cute babies are when they are taking in so much.  Like little sponges.  This age is also trying and tiring, because you can't reason with them or bribe them.  Temper tantrums happen often in our house.  It's a good thing he's so darn cute.  I swear this boy melts my heart multiple times a night.  I can't get enough of his giggles and dancing.  I love how he runs to me when I come home like I'm the best thing in the world.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Years

I'm really not a big fan of New Year's Eve.  It gets me down.  I can't believe we are in 2013....that seems so far from 2010, the last time we saw one of our children's precious faces and held her in our arms.  I know that I should think of a new year as another year closer to her.  Yet, that's just not where my mind is lately.

I've been missing my girl a lot lately.  I actually think New Year's hit me way harder than Christmas.  Maybe because we didn't really do much, so I had more time to sit and reflect.  Probably because it's another year farther from the year she was born, which in my mind means she is another year farther from people's memory.  I don't know if that is true, but it often seems that way.

I think I am just sad to see 2012 go.  It was a very good year.  A full year of full arms, watching Coen grow from a tiny 3 month old all the way to a big 14 month old (almost 15 months actually).  2012 was the year of Coen's baby-hood.  And the fact that it is over is a sort of reality check.  2012 is over, Coen's baby-hood is pretty much over.  That makes me so sad.  I will never have a baby again, unless we get a surprise.  Sometimes I am okay with that, but then like everything else in life it cycles back to me being very sad about it.  And right now, I'm in the "very sad about it" phase.

I just don't want my baby to grow up.  His innocence, his laugh, the way he runs over to me and puts his arms up to be held, the way  he lets me rock him to sleep.  Even though he can be trying and tiring, it's worth it.

Yet, every stage Sierra goes through I have loved.  I am sad to see each stage go, but I love the next stage just as much.  I wish I didn't have to say good-bye to one stage, to get to the next.  I was going through Sierra's dress up box (since she was been playing dress up all week and changes her outfit about 3 times a day - love it) and found the Dora dress she wore every day right after Coen was born.  It made me sad to think that "stage" is over - both the Dora stage and the newborn stage.  I think part of it is because Sierra's Dora stage started when she was the age that Adelyn would be.  So, the realization that the Dora stage is over for her, yet would be just starting for Adelyn, kinda made me stop and think for awhile.  Every stage Sierra goes through and then gets out of, I think about the fact that I will never get to do that stage again, and had Adelyn lived I would probably still get to do it one more time.

I'm not sure if any of that makes sense, I'm rambling on.....and I should get to bed because I have to work tomorrow.  Boo!