July 31, 2011

Do I want the iPhone?

Well, I suppose the better question is do I need the iPhone? And really, the answer is no. So maybe that's not the better question, just the more practical one. Miles and I have never been too concerned with having the most up-to-date phone. We currently have this bad boy:


And this was our upgrade from the Razor in 2009. Yes, people (at least two) still owned the Razor in 2009. But when we got this phone, we opted to just get it plain Jane style with no data plan. We never felt the need to be so connected to everything at all times. If I want my email, I'll check it at work or at home. If I want to get on the internet, I'll do it at work or at home. Which brings me to my current dilemma. I want the iPhone. I do like some of the features. But I really don't need them.  Sure, I know it'll be convenient (especially when traveling), but really isn't it a little sickening to always be so connected at all times?

Another reason I'm tentative to get a new phone is that I have some old text messages saved on my phone from when Cale was born and shortly after. Just some sweet words of sympathy, love and support that friends and family sent that I re-read from time to time. I don't plan on deleting them, and don't like the idea of not having them on my phone. Silly? Maybe a little, but when you have so little (material-wise) to remember your child, you hang on to everything. I was telling Miles about this as he said he also has some saved texts. One of them is from me which reads, "what time are you thinking about heading in to work?" It was sent at 8:54am on June 28, 2010. About an hour later he would be meeting me at the hospital where we'd learn that our son had passed away. Maybe it's not "healthy" to hang on to those things, but it's also just hard to part with.

Bet you didn't think I'd be able to relate getting a new phone to baby loss huh? Just another example of how much it takes over every facet of your life I suppose.

But back to the phone ordeal. What do you smart phone users have to say? Is the iPhone worth the hype? Is it really worth it to have all those features? Is it worth the cost? What is the average cost for a 2-person family plan? Sell it to me people! And for now, I think I'll stall in the decision making by waiting for the iPhone 5. And when that comes out, I'll go back and forth on whether or not I should get it.

July 27, 2011

Ranger Rendezvous

Earlier this week Miles participated in an Airborne jump as part of the 2011 Ranger Rendezvous along with 1,500 other jumpers, all members of the 75th Ranger Regiment. Finley and I went to the drop zone to watch the festivities. Fortunately it was mostly overcast and there was a nice breeze, but it still made for a pretty warm afternoon, even more so for Miles!

Miles will be leaving his unit soon to go to a six month course (here at Fort Benning) all officers must attend as part of their career progression. Around October we should find out where we'll be moving to next spring. We are hoping our options include Fort Carson, Colorado or Fort Lewis, Washington. I'd love to be on the west coast closer to my side of the family. Depending on what's ahead for Miles career-wise, this could potentially be our last move in the military. Only time will tell though. . . .

Here are some pictures from the jump. Enjoy!




 
 It was neat the first time, but 1,500 jumpers later and this guy was ready to go.

July 23, 2011

Nana

For nearly the past month my mom has been staying with us. Now I know what you must think, that it might be mom-overload, but it was anything but. My mom has been a huge help - not only with dishes, laundry, and yard work (she literally moved over a ton and a half of rock we ordered for the edging around the house), but she helped me out a lot with Finley when Miles was back at work and for the few days he went to Germany for his brother's memorial service (more about that later).

This morning she left to go back home and while it is nice to have the house to ourselves for the first time since Finley's birth, it was really sad for me. Sure I'm going to miss the help, miss having my floors swept on a regular basis, and having someone water my plants for me, but I'm also just going to miss my mom, and miss her company. It's sad to think how much bigger Finley will be the next time she sees him - he's already changed so much in the four weeks she was here!

It also makes me sad because there's just so much deja vu related to last summer. And that brings back a lot of emotions over/of/for Cale. Last summer my mom spent a lot of time with us after Cale died. We busied ourselves with projects and things to occupy our (my) time so that I wasn't just sitting at home. Alone. Crying. (which still happened quite often). And seeing how sweet it is when my mom holds Finley, how excited she gets for "Nana Time" and how much love she has for him does make me sad to think that Cale never got to experience that. Sure he is loved, but he isn't here for us to love on.  And that's hard. I'm so thankful that Finley is getting these experiences . . .I just wish Cale did too.  It was hard for me to say goodbye last summer as well and seeing her off today just brought me back to a year ago when my grief was so painfully fresh. And today, when I hugged her goodbye, teary eyed and mopey, she simply said, "he'll always be with you." (fat chance of me not crying after that)

I hope all my kids feel the love from me that I've felt every day of my life from my mom. And I hope Finley's future sibling(s) get their fair share of Nana Time.

July 18, 2011

5 Weeks

Five weeks. Holy moly. I would have loved for time to go this fast during my pregnancy when I was super nervous and anxious to meet Finley. But now that he's here, safe and sound, time can slow down! Yet it seems to be going far too fast. I'm amazed at how much Finley has changed in the past five weeks. He is so much more alert and responsive and getting so much bigger. There are still times I catch glimpses of him resembling Cale and I often worry that this will only last while he's still a little baby - since that is the only way I knew Cale. But then again, it'll be neat to watch him grow knowing that he does resemble his brother while being so uniquely and perfectly him, sweet Finn. . . .






July 16, 2011

Date Night

Last night Miles and I had our first night away from Finley when we attended his unit's military ball. It was a little weird going out without the baby, but we weren't gone very long and we had the very best babysitter any new parents could ask for  . . . grandma.

It was nice to go out for a nice evening, get dressed up, and spend time with friends. But it reminded me of how desperately I need a tan. Thank goodness for Miles' skin tone. . . at least our kids won't look albino. I'm pretty sure that's why most people say Finley looks so much like Miles anyway - because he's not translucent like his mom!





July 12, 2011

Right Where I Am: One Year, Two Weeks

I just finished reading a great post by a fellow "Baby Loss Momma" (as they're known in the baby loss community) about the therapeutic value behind blogs. It just got me thinking about some feelings I've had of late about my grief and reminded me about the Right Where I Am Project which a lot of other bloggers who've experienced loss wrote about in the last few months. The idea is that you write about your grief - right where you are in it since your loss and in doing so, will help give others who have experienced loss an idea of what to expect at that point. 

I think it's a great idea, but that it could also inaccurately portray what grief is like at X point. Because we all grieve differently. And we all have different experiences. And while we (the baby loss community) all have one thing in common - loss - those losses differ from one another in many tragic ways. But I think we tend to connect to those we related to best. I know I've done this. I read blogs of others who have experienced loss, but have found that I'm selective in even that. I think that's because the sad fact of the matter is there are SO many stories of loss out there, and if you allow, it can engulf you. Does that sound selfish? It may, and it's not that I'm not sympathetic to other stories of loss, because I certainly am, but I've found that I can let my own grief engulf me if I allowed it, so I try not to let the grief of others consume too much of my time and my heart. I feel that my grief is exhausting enough as is.

But the blog I read reminded me how helpful other blogs can be. Sure, sometimes it can trigger something sad and painful or keep you in a dark place if you are already there, but they also remind you that you are not alone. They remind you that a lot of other people, really great and genuine people, are walking this same journey and while at times may stumble and fall, they manage to hold their heads up and face the world. Sometimes our blogs don't always portray that. Sometimes they show just pain and heartache, but that's because we use these virtual soapboxes as therapy. And in doing so make connections with other people who help simply by being honest and grieving out loud. I tend to read blogs of people I can relate to best, either through their personality or their experience with loss. And if they are funny, that's an added bonus. I appreciate someone with a good sense of humor.

But back to the whole point of this post (an hour later) . . . I wanted to write about right where I am in my grief, but for a little different reason than stated above. Sure, I hope it may help someone get an idea of what to expect, but a lot of the people who read my blog are fortunately not in the loss community. I'm writing to help my own thought process and am hoping I give people who haven't experienced loss an idea of what it's like inside the head of someone who has . .  a year and two weeks later.

I've pretty much been open about my grief throughout the process, especially as it related to my pregnancy with Finley, but lately I'm having a hard time looking forward. I feel like I am moving forward, but I'm doing so on auto-pilot. The pregnancy with Finley had me looking forward to his arrival. It was scary and hard to do at times, but there was a definitive end result to hope for which got me looking forward. And since the timing of his arrival was right around the same time as Cale's first birthday, I now feel I'm in a strange point, in grief limbo, of how to continue to move forward, but continue to grieve for Cale in the process. I guess with us already passing the year marker I worry  that life is just supposed to take on a whole new meaning and that having this healthy and wonderful little baby (who is making really funny grunting noises right now), is supposed to change how I process everything that has happened to Cale. It's hard for me to figure out, and probably equally hard to explain in words.

As I've mentioned a million times, and will a million more, I never want Cale to be forgotten. But those who read this blog, and those who are important in our lives, have been great about reminding me that he never will be and that he is still so loved. I just worry about another year from now, about ten years from now and the people who don't really know our story and just see our lives from the outside looking in. I want people to know about Cale, but don't want it to be because I have baby loss written across my forehead or am so consumed in my grief that it interferes with living my life. Even when I started this blog, I didn't, and still don't, want it to be solely a baby loss blog. I wanted to document our lives. But a big part of our lives, especially this last year, has been baby loss related. So I guess I'm just trying to figure out how to continue to miss Cale, how to cry for him, get sad or angry or bitter or whatever emotion it may be, but not let it negatively impact Finley and living the {mostly} happy life I still hope to live. I guess this is maybe similar to what people who have living children experience when they suffer a loss?

So right where I am - well, I guess I'm not really sure. I've realized that grief doesn't go away. Just because we have Finn here and just becuase we've gotten through what probably (hopefully) will be the hardest year, we still will grieve for Cale. Our grief will never be gone, but rather will just change, just as our lives continue to do so. Another facet has been added to my grief and it's one I will continue to sort out. And will probably blog about in the process (lucky you!) 

Long enough? I think so.

July 9, 2011

Lazy Day

This is how we spent our Saturday morning. And by morning, I mean 1pm.


I need sleep (and make-up), but wouldn't give up moments like these for anything. This is what life should be like all the time. (How cruel that it's not)

July 7, 2011

Due Date

July 7th has some significance to me as it was Cale's due date. I think I read somewhere that only 5% of babies are born on their due dates anyway (he was born nine days earlier than his due date) and obviously his birthday is much more significant, but July 7th is still a date that I will always associate with him. For that reason I thought it fitting to share some more pictures from his 1st Birthday in Heaven celebration.

These were the little invitations I made. The quote reads:
"A butterfly lights besides us like a sunbeam. 
And for a brief moment its glory and beauty belongs to the world.
But then it flies once again, and though we wish it could have stayed, 
we feel so lucky to have seen it."


 We went to the backyard to Cale's garden where Miles said some sweet words and then I read this poem, which I read at Cale's service last year:
I think of you often
and make no outward show,
But what it means to lose you,
no one will ever know
You wished no one farewell,
not even said good-bye,
You were gone before I knew it,
and only God knows why.
You are not forgotten
nor will you ever be,
As long as life and memories last,
I will remember thee.
To some you may be forgotten,
to others a part of the past,
But to me who loved you dearly,
your memories will always last.
Nothing can be more beautiful
than the memories I have of you.
To me, you were someone special,
God must have thought so too!
If tears could build a staircase
and memories a lane,
I would walk all the way to Heaven,
and bring you back again.
-Anonymous
 
Then we did a balloon release of blue balloons:

Followed by a Butterfly Release:

They packaged the butterflies in these individual envelopes and the butterflies flew away upon opening. But some lingered a bit. One of them stayed on my leg briefly before flying away. It was very special.


And then we had some cake
, because every birthday celebration should include cake. The yellow blob on the 'H' is a halo, but it looks more like a blob if you don't know what it's supposed to be.


"There is no foot too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world"


It was an emotional day. It was a sad day. But it was also a really beautiful day and a day that I was thankful to remember and celebrate Cale. We plan to always do something little to celebrate him on his birthday. And while I'll always miss him, I hope that each June 28th I will be comforted by the thoughts of love I have for the little boy who stole my heart and who blessed me with the family I get to hold in my arms.

July 3, 2011

Lots to Share

I have lots of other pictures I plan to share in the near future and more to blog, but my To-Do list seems to be increasing and I need to tackle some things on it before it gets too daunting and I ignore it altogether. So for now I'll just share these cute pictures. These are from Cale's Balloon release (I will share many more later on).  Finn's buddy Sam was there and those boys must have called each other and coordinated their outfits, because their parents didn't plan it (I swear!). Sam has a few siblings in Heaven, just like Finley's brother. These cute rainbow babies are only six days apart. I can't wait to take many more pictures of them hanging out and am a little upset with myself for not taking more while they were in the same outfit. (Guess that means we'll have to intentionally match their outfits, Priscilla)