Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ellie at work

This afternoon my mom called me to tell me a story... Her friend went to visit Ellie at the cemetary today. She had never been there and didn't have any idea where Ellie was buried. "Ellie's Park" has no monument headstones, only flat ones, so it's hard to tell where spots even are. She drove around for awhile and couldn't tell where she was. Then all of a sudden, "Rhythm of Love" came on her radio. She stopped right away and looked out her window. She noticed several things hanging from a nearby tree. After walking over to the tree, she noticed it was Ellie's spot!
My mom's friend, asked my mom if she thought she was crazy. My mom said, "no, that's just our Ellie."
And I couldn't agree more. Ellie wanted her to find her spot so she gave her a sign. That's totally Ellie, just wanting a little attention.

I love you Peanut!!


For the last several days there haven't been any pictures from last year... I can't believe there were eight whole days I didn't take pictures of Ellie or Max.

Remembering March 31st, 2010

The above pictures were taken while Max was down for his afternoon nap. Ellie and I usually had some time by ourselves before she went down for her afternoon nap. It was nice quiet time. Since there was no one trying to walk over her, she could play on the floor without fear. I loved our time in the afternoon, she could get my complete undivided attention and her mood was always so great that time of day. We would lay on the floor, check out the toys and learn exciting new things, like rolling over and giving kisses...

After Max's nap and snack, the kids and I went for a walk in the afternoon sun. Then while Ellie slept in her carseat, Max and I played in the drive-way and front yard. I love his smile and excitement about being outside!

Nothing like a stroller ride in the spring air and sun to put a baby to sleep.

We start chores young around here.

I miss our afternoon playtime...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dancing in the Playroom

There is nothing a like a certain smell or song to bring me back to another place or time. The smell of a cooking roast instantly brings me back to a Sunday morning at my grandparent's house in Iowa. The song "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor, brings me back to a dormroom with two friends, a lot of beer and a brilliant idea to do a music video. Yep. That's right. I said music video.

Since Ellie died, the smell of certain things have the power to instantly make me feel better, or instantly make me feel worse. Generally, any smell that reminds me of her, washes a large wave of peace over me. I can still smell her on the giraffe in her crib. It's funny because she wasn't particularly attached to it, she would just play with it when she woke up until we came to get her. We kept it in her crib hoping she would soon go no where without it and have a cute little "security" friend; she hadn't gotten there yet. But Giraffe spent enough time in the crib with her to absorb her smell. And some days, a whiff of my Peanut, is the only thing that gets me through the day.
Since going through our house and trying to get it ready to sell, I've come across a couple things that have a spit-up smell on them. I know, this is gross. But I have reflux babies, and they smell like Nutramigen spit-up. Even this makes me happy...
But there is a big difference between throw-up and spit-up. And last night, at about 3:30am, I discovered that the smell of throw-up brings me back to sitting on the couch, covered in puke. It reminds me of when it all went bad. Before Ellie started to lose consciousness, she threw-up all over everything. And she threw-up a lot. So when Max threw-up in his crib last night, I started to panic a little. The smell when I walked into his room was like a time-machine. I had to consciously remind myself where I was and what was really happening. The whole throw-up thing has never bothered me. Probably because I used to work on an oncology floor, a day with no puke was almost unheard of. But now, it gets to me. It don't care about it's obvious grossness. Now, it reminds me of the moment we knew something was very wrong with our Ellie...

Music has really helped me since Elle passed away. Sometimes I want to listen to sad songs and be sad. Sometimes I need a song to remind me that Ellie is ok, and eventually, hopefully, we will be too.
When it came time to plan Ellie's funeral, Dave and I didn't want "old person church music." I think we sang one hymn- honestly, I don't really remember. My cousin, Brian, sang "I Will Carry You" by Selah. Everyone sang Baby Beluga to Ellie. Finally, we walked out to Pearl Jam's "Just Breathe". Eddie Vedder's voice is undeniably comforting. As soon as I hear this song, I am right back in the front row of the sanctuary. I can remember staring at her casket while the first verse and chorus played. Then I remember looking at our Pastor and knowing that it was over. Our little girl's funeral was over. And the only thing left to do was to bury her. I can remember being strangely calm and numb. I don't remember walking out of the sanctuary. It strange how this song brings back my exact state of mind from that moment.
Even though, "Just Breathe" reminds me of Ellie's funeral, it doesn't upset me. Really, the only song that has haunted me, is "Rhythm of Love" by Plain White T's. For a while, I couldn't go anywhere, without it being on. It makes me catch my breath everytime. It makes me miss my girl so much.
About this time last year, the weather was nice enough to open the windows in the afternoon and a slight breeze would blow through the playroom. Ellie was just over a couple months old and her reflux was just awful. She would bring her legs up to her chest, throw herself back and let out this sad, pathetic cry. The only way to make her feel better was to hold her. She liked to be chest to chest, arms tucked in and legs curled up (see picture below). One afternoon, while in the playroom, I had itunes going and was holding her like that and standing in the middle of room watching Max play. "Rhythm of Love" came on and I started bouncing her a little and patting her butt. She calmed down instantly. It was magic. I played this song over and over again, dancing in the middle of the playroom and quietly singing to my girl until she felt better. It worked almost everytime.
Eventually she outgrew her reflux enough so that it wasn't painful anymore. And eventually, she decided it was more fun to play with toys on the floor than dance with Mommy. But everytime this song came on, she would stop and look for me. Like she remembered. In the few weeks before she died, she had started dancing. This was a favorite (along with "King of Anything" by Sara Bareilles). I can just see her funny little back and forth dance...
"Rhythm Of Love"

My head is stuck in the clouds
She begs me to come down
Says, "Boy, quit foolin' around"
I told her, "I love the view from up here
Warm sun and wind in my ear
We'll watch the world from above
As it turns to the rhythm of love"

We may only have tonight
But till the morning sun, you're mine
All mine
Play the music low
And sway to the rhythm of love

My heart beats like a drum
A guitar string to the strum
A beautiful song to be sung
She's got blue eyes deep like the sea
That roll back when she's laughing at me
She rises up like the tide
The moment her lips meet mine

We may only have tonight
But till the morning sun, you're mine
All mine
Play the music low
And sway to the rhythm of love

When the moon is low
We can dance in slow motion
And all your tears will subside
All your tears will dry

And long after I've gone
You'll still be humming along
And I will keep you in my mind
The way you make love so fine

We may only have tonight
But till the morning sun, you're mine
All mine
Play the music low
And sway to the rhythm of love
Play the music low
And sway to the rhythm of love
Yeah, sway to the rhythm of love

Lately, "Rhythm of Love" doesn't make me want to scream anymore. Instead, it almost makes me happy. Well, a sad-happy... Now when I listen to the lyrics, I see how much of it actually applies to Ellie and me. It's obviously not about a mother dancing with her baby, but certain parts, just fit. As soon as it comes on, I am back in the playroom, dancing with Ellie while the spring air floats in through the windows... and it's amazing.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Another Angel turns one

This morning Max and I went to pick out a couple balloons. One to send to "Sissy" and one to Savanna. Savanna turned one today in Heaven and there better have been one heck of a birthday party!

This evening I sent our balloons off to see our girls.
Savanna's Balloon
Ellie's Balloon

Sent Savanna's Balloon first

Nearly impossible to see but both balloons floating off to see their Angels.

Tabatha and Justin~ So many people are thinking of you today (and every day) and your beautiful little girl. I hate that our girls aren't here but I am glad to know that Ellie has no many other Angels to play with until we get there. I know today was a great day in Heaven celebrating the birth of Savanna. I'm so sorry she isn't here with you. Sending lots of love your way!


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Happy List (Sundays)

This week wasn't very deserving of a Happy List in my opinion. But I really feel like it's an important thing for me to do... So even though I am a day late...


Clean Windows
We have been cleaning the house like crazy the last few days and yesterday, all the windows got cleaned- inside and out! It was a sunny day and clean windows just change the whole feel of the house!

Space Saver Bags
I got these at Bed Bath and Beyond a couple weeks ago- and O.MY.GOODNESS these are exciting. You just stuff jackets, blankets, pillows, etc. into the bags, seal them shut and hook them up to the vaccum. And Bam! all the air gets sucked out and the bag is half the size it was before.

Mr. Clean's Magic Erasers
I'd never tried them before this weekend, and they did a bang up job on all the scuffs on the walls and floors!

Max at Therapy
Max had a very good week at therapy. We have discovered that he won't color because he doesn't like white paper. But he will color on newspaper. And he did it all by himself, without being asked, on Thursday. He also played a taking turns game and gave his cousin so many hugs, we finally had to say, "all done hugs."

The "Rochel Special"
Before the Kenny Chesney concert, we went to dinner at Green Mill. My parents go there frequently and the bartenders make my mom a drink that is sooo good! I'm sure it has a real name but I don't know what it is. It's Guava Rum, Sprite and Pineapple Juice.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps
From Bonfire... So good!


Tomorrow is a special day. Tomorrow little Miss Savanna turns one. But instead of celebrating in the arms of her Mommy and Daddy, she will be celebrating in Heaven. Please stop by Savanna's Mommy, Tabatha's, blog and leave a birthday message for Savanna and a note for Tabatha.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

My Little Peanut~ I can't believe you've been in Heaven for five months and one day. It feels like forever since I've held you and rubbed my face on your fuzzy little head. It's been forever since we've tucked you into bed and laughed at your little feet propped up on the bumper. It's been forever since I've heard a good growl. Yesterday I saw some new pictures of you on Ma's phone- it was the best part of my day. Those and the video of you giving me kisses. I'm so happy it was captured. It was a really rough week. Without you, everything is different than what it should be. Almost everything I do lately is because you aren't here. It makes me hate most of it. I miss you so much. Please come see me in my dreams soon- I need that. I love you. Forever and ever, Mama.


Things to Not do on Your Child's Angelversary:
1. Celebrate Thanksgiving.
2. Celebrate Christmas.
3. Take your two year old (with autism) to Wisconsin Dells
4. Go to a Kenny Chesney Concert
(I'm sure next month I will be adding "Serving Dinner at the Ronald McDonald House at the hospital where your child died" to this list, because that's what is planned...)

Last night, Dave and I went to the Kenny Chesney concert with my parents. I wasn't too excited to go in the first place. I love Kenny (aka "that Chesney guy" according to my dad) but since Ellie died I can't hardly stand to just sit and do nothing. And there is way too much on my To-Do List right now to just be sitting... but we went. After all, we had amazing tickets. Things were going fine until Uncle Kracker's (an opener) second song. This song started just as a little girl (about 5 years old) wearing a skirt, tights and french braid pig-tails, sat down in the row in front of us. And then this song... "In a Litte While"
Here's to the good life or so they say
All those parties and games that all those people play
They tell me this is the place to be
All these beautiful people and nothin' to see

Sometimes I feel like something is gone here
Something is wrong here, I don't belong here
Sometimes I feel like a stranger in town
And I've lost what I found, it'll all turn around

In a little while I'll be thinkin' about you
In a little while I'll still be here without you
You never gave me a reason to doubt you
In a little while I'll be thinkin' about you baby...I'll be thinkin' about you baby

On the other side of a coin
There's a face there's a memory somewhere that I can't erase
And there's a place that I find someday
But sometimes I feel like it's slippin' away

Sometimes I feel like something is gone here
Something is wrong here, I don't belong here
Sometimes I feel like a stranger in town
And I've lost what I found, it'll all turn around

Some things are lost some left behind
Some things are better left for someone else to find
Maybe in time I can finally see
I just wonder, wonder if you think about me

Sometimes I feel like something is gone here
Something is wrong here, I don't belong here
Sometimes I feel like a stranger in town
And I've lost what I found, it'll all turn around"

I managed to keep the tears in. It was close. But they stayed in...
I know this song isn't about losing a child, but since Ellie died, every song seems to be about her. "Sometimes I feel like a stranger in town" seemed to sum up the way that I felt the entire time at the concert. I just feel like I don't fit in anymore. My perspective of things have changed and I know those around me don't see things the same way I do. Sitting in a huge arena with thousands of people, isn't exactly the place to be when you can't stop thinking about your baby girl.
Billy Currington came on next and I made it through that no problem. Kenny came on. We were ok until..... this-  "I'm Alive"
So damn easy to say that life's so hard
Everybody's got their share of battle scars
As for me, I'd like to thank my lucky stars
That I'm alive and well

It'd be easy to add up all the pain
And all the dreams you sat and watched go up in flames
Dwell on the wreckage as it smolders in the rain
But not me, I'm alive

And today you know that's good enough for me
Breathin' in and out's a blessing, can't you see?
Today's the first day of the rest of my life
And I'm alive and well
I'm alive and well

Stars are dancin' on the water here tonight
It's good for the soul when there's not a soul in sight
This boat has caught its wind and brought me back to life
Now I'm alive and well

And today you know that's good enough for me
Breathing in and out's a blessing, can't you see?
Today's the first day of the rest of my life
Now I'm alive and well
Yeah, I'm alive and well

This didn't go well. At all. I guess we can just add the Excel Center to the list of public places I've cried in the last five months. I just wanted to scream, but Ellie's not alive. She is not well. All my dreams did go up in flames. I can't help but dwell on the wreckage...

Other highlights included:
"Everybody wants to go to heaven
Get their wings and fly around
Everybody want to go to heaven
But nobody want to go now

Someday I want to see those streets of gold in my halo
But I wouldn’t mind waiting at least a hundred years or so

Everybody wanna go to heaven
It beats the other place there ain’t no doubt
Everybody wanna go to heaven
But nobody wanna go now
Everybody wanna go to heaven
Hallelujah, let me hear you shout
Everybody wanna go to heaven
But nobody wanna go now
I think I speak for the crowd"
Yes, I agree. Ellie did want to go to Heaven, but I didn't want her to go now.
No, I disagree, Heaven is where my baby is. I'm not opposed to going now... a hundred years is definitely too long.

"Now "Only The Good Die Young" stops me in my tracks..."
Hell yes it does.

And then, just when we thought we were in the clear... Then this song. "There goes my Life"

"All he could think about was
I'm too young for this
Got my whole life ahead
Hell I'm just a kid myself
How 'm I gonna raise one

All he could see were his dreams
Goin' up in smoke
So much for ditchin' this town
And hangin' out on the coast
Oh well, those plans are long gone

And he said
"There goes my life
There goes my future, my everything
Might as well kiss it all goodbye
There goes my life"

A couple years of up all night and
Few thousand diapers later
That mistake he thought he made
Covers up the refrigerator
Oh yea, he loves that little girl

Mamma's waitin' to tuck her in
As she fumbles up those stairs
She smiles back at him
Draggin' that teddy bear, sleep tight
Blue eyes and bouncin' curls

He smiles
"There goes my life
There goes my future, my everything
I love you Daddy, good night
There goes my life"
She had that Honda loaded down
With Abercrombie clothes
And fifteen pairs of shoes
And his American Express
He checked the oil, slammed the hood
Said, "You're good to go"
She hugged 'em both
And headed off to the West Coast

And he cried
"There goes my life
There goes my future, my everything
I love you, Baby, goodbye"

There goes my life

There goes my life
Baby goodbye
Baby goodbye
There goes my life..."

I almost feel like we were being picked on last night. I know I'm hypersensitive. But it seems like even our best attempts to not spend the 25th of each month drowning in our grief, are thwarted by litte girls in footie pjs named Ellie or in braids, by one line in a song. I'm thinking we should just plan on staying in on the 25th from now on. If I'm going to end up crying, then I'd rather be at home. So being at the Ronald McDonald House on Ellie's 6 month Angelversary should be interesting...

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Today was one of those days. One of those days where you think that you should have stayed in bed. Just pulled the covers up and pretended the world wasn't going on around you.

Today is the 24th. I hate the 24th. More than I hate the 25th. The 25th is the day Ellie died. But the 24th is the day we lost our baby. By the 25th, I just wanted peace and comfort for my baby. I wanted the hurt for her to stop and the machines to leave her be. On the 25th, I wanted our friends and family to surround her with love.
But the 24th is the day it day all went wrong. The 24th is the day that the ambulance came and the doctor rubbed my knee and with tears in his eyes, told me they were running out of options. The 24th is the day, that Ellie's body betrayed her in the worst way. The 24th is the last day I held her in her beautiful, perfect body and smelled her smell. The 24th is the day I had to leave her with strangers. I HATE the 24th. Hate.

This morning was the first time I didn't go into therapy with Max. We've been going to this clinic for just over three weeks and it was time for me to back off a little. I trusted the therapists and Max seemed comfortable enough for me to wait in the waiting room. So I sat down with my laptop, thrilled that they had WiFi AND that I was able to log on to it, only to have them walk through the door. A Dad, a young Boy and a small little Girl. The Boy went back for therapy just minutes after Max did. The Dad and the Girl stayed in the lobby, WITH ME, the entire hour. The little Girl wandered around in her footies, carrying her blankie. I heard Dad tell another mom that she was 15 months old. And she LOVED her blankie. She toddled around trying out her new words.
It killed me. I cried. In the middle of the therapy center waiting room. I hope, hope, HOPE, that the Boy doesn't need therapy every Thurs. at 9am. Otherwise I will have to spend the rest of his sessions in my car.

So it snowed in Minnesota yesterday. I am so sick of this state. Seriously, enough with the snow. On the way to therapy this morning and back, I saw four car accidents. People, we live in MN- learn to drive!
That meant there were lots of ambulances, lots of firetrucks and lots of police cars. Lots of sirens, lots of flashing lights. It was more than a little reminiscent of the day I had exactly five months ago.

Three guys in suits showed up at our house today to talk about putting our house on the market. I cried at least three times. They messed with my furniture, made me question my decisions, told me to change a light bulb (how dare they!) and were very nice. So obviously I cried. I'm seriously losing it! And when they left, I cried some more and called Dave. Then I cried harder and called my mom.

Should have stayed in bed.

To help distract from the crappiness of today, we decided to go out to eat with my parents. Max screamed, refused even fries and Dave ended up taking him home just as the food was served. We were THAT family. After I walked Dave's boxed up dinner to the car, I sat down at the table and my phone rang. It was the photography company at the mall that took Ellie's newborn and 6 month pictures. When we got her newborn pictures taken we bought a membership to the company. Tonight, they called to see if I wanted to renew Ellie's membership.
No, no I don't.

Maybe I would have been better prepared for today, if the last five months hadn't happened. So I guess I was screwed from the moment I begrudgingly put my feet on the floor.

So now I will wait for my beloved Benadryl to kick in and maybe, just maybe, I will get some actual sleep tonight. So far this week, it's been an allusive little bastard.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

So much to do...

Packing boxes.
Bubble wrap.
Snotty noses.
More snow.
Ellie's Light.
Memory Boxes.
More Recipes.

So much to do. So little time. So little focus.

BUT.... drum roll please........

We got our Incorporation papers today from the Secretary of State.
Ellie's Light is official!!

Ellie~ I hope you see what we are doing for you. I hope you know how much we miss you. We miss you so much every day, every second. I am so thankful for every second we got with you. I love you so much. Forever your Mommy.

Remembering March 23, 2010

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A day just like this

Gray and rainy. Wind and biting cold. It was a day just like this.

It wasn't long after the sun should have peeked up over the horizon, that we left the house this morning. But the sun didn't come today. So, in the driving rain and gusting wind, we made our way. We didn't want to go. But lately, we don't seem to have much choice in these matters. Max didn't want to go either. He cried the whole way there.

As we came up over the small hill, I remembered what it felt like to pull in to this driveway that day. It was a day just like this.

This morning we bundled up Max and dashed over the puddles up to the old, heavy squeaky wood door. I shivered as I walked through the door, whether from cold or fear, I'm not sure. But I am sure, it reminded me of that day, because it was a day just like this.

Today, we arrived with a handful of pictures of our beautiful, bubbly baby girl. Today, we talked about where pictures would be placed and what words would be used. Today, we decided granite over concrete. Today, Max sat on a chair in a cool, damp room with old dirty carpet watching Wonder Pets, while his Mommy and Daddy talked to a woman about unspeakable things. On his right, his Mommy and Daddy, on his left, a bookshelf of urns. This is no place for a child. This is no place for parents. This is no place for Ellie.

The entire time we were there today, I couldn't help thinking, it was a day just like this.

It was a day just like this that Dave and I pulled up in the driveway and stared over the rolling green hills and large beautiful trees. It was a day just like this that Dave and I tried to decide if this was the right place. Of course, no place was right. The only right place was home. In her crib, with us. Especially on such a cold, gray, windy and rainy day. It was a day just like this that Dave and I drove slowly down the narrow paths, looking for the best spot. It was a day just like this that we found a little place nestled between three huge evergreen trees, overlooking the whole place.

It was a day just like this that the man came with us out to that spot carrying an old cloth map and showed us where our spots would be too. It was on a day just like this that Dave and I learned where our spots would someday be too. On that day, we claimed our spots with our girl. It was a day just like this that I realized my baby's body would soon lay there forever.

It was day just like this... the wind was equivalent to an inland hurricane. It was like the fury in my heart had been unleashed upon the earth. The rain poured from the sky, like the tears from our eyes. The storm was unstoppable. That day, standing there in the middle of a cemetery, with the wind whipping cold air all around us and rain into our faces, it seemed like the world was ending. In many ways, it had.

Today, we picked out Ellie's headstone. Today, we accepted that a temporary marker isn't enough. This isn't temporary. Today, the gray sky spit rain on our backs and wind lashed at our faces.

It was on a day just like this, that two young parents stood in the cold rain and pointed to a plot on a map.

It was on a day just like this.

Monday, March 21, 2011


I'm starting to wonder if I have sudden onset ADD. I can barely complete a thought- completing anything much more difficult than that is not very likely to happen. Most of the day, I wander around the house from room to room, trying to remember what I am supposed to be doing. I think I went down to the laundry room at least three times today and just stood there looking around. Wondering what hell I was supposed to get. I did however, remember to grab a couple meals out of the freezer to thaw for dinner the next couple days. But I'm pretty sure that was just because I opened the freezer in an attempt to jar my memory. But then again, maybe I did go down there for dinner... who knows anymore!

Maybe if we didn't have a million things going on here right now, I would have a shot at remembering most of what I need to do. But lately, I feel like there is so much, I can't even concentrate enough to make a To-Do List. And oh man, I love a good To-Do List. Anyone with a toddler is a little short on focus, add in a toddler who constantly repeats everything he's ever seen on Wonder Pets and you start think you're losing your mind.

We signed papers on our new house this weekend, which means we have to get our house in order and on the market ASAP. Our Realtors have told us to clean as much out as we can and to "de-personalize" our house. So we've started packing our lives away into the large metal container outside. I've refused to touch Ellie's room until I have to- meaning until we move out. But all the baby things- bottles, swings, bouncy seats, outgrown clothes- they all had to be loaded up. Clothes that she hadn't even grown into yet- gone. I have a sore on my bottom lip from biting on it so much this weekend. This process has only just begun. And I'm pretty sure it's just going to keep getting harder.

There was something else I wanted to say but I can't remember what it is... go figure.


Remembering March 21, 2010

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Two Blog Hops!

Today is not only Happy List Saturday but also Small Miracles- Celebrating Hope Blog Hop day. I love both of these blog hops, I think it's really good to make a concerted effort to focus on happiness and hope right now. It is so easy to become consumed by the sadness and heaviness of grief. There are days when I don't have the energy to fight the tears or haunting memories and I think that's ok. It's part of this process. But that can't be my every day. Ellie wouldn't want that. So thank you Franchesca and Natasha for making me take the time to look around me and see the happiness, the hope and small miracles right in front of me. And to help me appreciate them, even in the midst of my heartache.

When I started thinking about how to approach this double blog hop, I must admit, I was a little stressed. I know, everything else going on in my life and I get stressed over a blog entry... Anyways... So I have been thinking on and off about it for the last couple days and this morning I realized, to me, hope and happiness are pretty much synonymous right now. Things that bring me hope, even in the smallest doses, make me happy. Ah-ha! A combined list... So without further ado.....

My Happy- Hope List

Max's New Friend
Yesterday when I picked Max up from school, his speech therapist told me that Max was actually playing with another child today! Max was actively trying to get his attention and wanted to interact with him! I almost burst into tears, I was SO thrilled! This is a huge thing for Max to do. He rarely tries to get the attention of another person, and never another kid! This past week he also grabbed my hand to bring me somewhere and did this with his Bompa today also! He approached me when I was eating at the table and asked for some of what I was eating. He has NEVER done this before. These things give me hope that Max will have friends and he will enjoy the company of other kids. This is nothing short of a small miracle!
Hi, I'm Max. I'm pretty freakin' awesome. You should be my friend.

My label maker.
Yes, I'm aware that this probably qualifies me as some sort of freak but I don't care. I'm in love with it. Everything just looks so much better with a printed label on it. My house could likely be considered some sort of disaster zone right now. Chaos has it's grip on just about every corner of the house and it's driving me crazy. A few hours with the label makers should help :)

The neighbor's new puppy.
I got to hold him the other day and he is so tiny, so cute and smells so good. He has that loose, stretchy skin on his neck and head, and sharp little puppy teeth. How can a puppy not make you happy?!

Grandma's Spaghetti.
Grandma's spaghetti isn't just the regular spaghetti and sauce. It's baked and has chunks of gooey, melted yummy cheese. On my mom's side of the family, it's a staple. And we are slightly obsessed with it. (That's right Kaelin, I had spaghetti this week :)!)
This recipe will be in the Ellie's Light Cookbook so just another reason to buy it when it comes out!!

Warm Weather.
Sunlight. Oh how I have missed you. There is something about the nice weather after a long Minnesota winter that just puts a little spring in your step. Finally, the end of winter is in sight.

I don't know that this song necessarily makes me happy but it definitely gives me hope. And reminds me that sometimes we need to have it, even if there isn't any real reason we can see.

My heart from Ellie.
Last night I was getting Max's bath ready and put some bubbles in it (this sensory integration stuff is taking over our lives...) and once again, a perfect heart in the tub. I never saw this before Ellie died. Thank you Peanut!

Pink sunrises and sunsets.
My Peanut has been busy this week painting the sky pink for us. On the 15th, she painted it pink and so many people noticed. I woke up to a text message from a friend who saw it and let me know she was thinking of Ellie. Thank you Linds! Dave and I noticed the sky that morning and we know it was for us. We made a big decision this week and I think it was Ellie's way of telling us it was ok.

So what was that decision??

This is a big one on the Happy List (and also on the holy-crap-I-think-I'm-going-to-throw-up List too- but more on that later) and Hope List. It took a bunch of small miracles for this to happen....

New House.
Today Dave and I signed papers on a new house. A perfect house. The thought of living there without Ellie is terrifying. And I hate it. But this new house and neighborhood is going to be amazing for Max. He will have so many more opportunities. We weren't planning on staying in this house forever, but weren't planning on moving for a few more years. Until, Ellie died. That changed everything. Everything. This house is the only place our girl ever lived. Her memories are everywhere. And it hurts to live here. It hurts to live without her in general, but living in this house, with that empty pink room, is suffocating.
I could never put another child in that room. It's Ellie's room and always will be as long as we live here. I want another child, but before we can go down that road, we need to heal. And I don't think I can do that here. So, this amazing, beautiful house kind of fell into our laps. We have been working with some incredibly kind people that have gone way out of there way to help us make this change.
It's a huge, huge decision. It will be a new start. I definitely have a lot of sadness and fears around moving away from here and to a new neighborhood. But the difficulty of being at Ellie's house, without Ellie, is much harder.
So, holy crap- we bought a house today.

Last week, I really liked doing a happy list for Ellie... So I'm doing it again...

Ellie's Happy List

Enough said.

Her Brother.
Right now, she should be driving him insane with her attempts to get his attention. She would be trying to chew on his face every chance she got.

Ok, these probably make me more than happy than they made her. But she looked to cute. And what doesn't girl isn't happy when she looks cute?!

Swinging on the big swing on the patio.
I got this swing for Mother's Day last year and Ellie and I spent a lot of time on it last summer. She was too little to play in the yard, so while Max ran free, we rocked. We got many giggles and many smiles while on the swing with her. She really loved it if it was a little windy out.
October 3rd, 2010

Friday, March 18, 2011

"Such a short time, such a long road..." - Selah

Missing you a lot tonight Ellie. I love you, Mama

Remembering March 18th, 2010

This evening, my whole family was attending a ceremony for my dad. It took a lot of planning and help to get two little kids (plus a 3 year old) through the ceremony, but I remember being so excited to show off my kids. Well, I didn't get much chance to do that because my parents did most of it! But thats ok, it's a grandparent duty I guess! I remember I packed their pajamas and my mom and I changed them in a back hallway before we headed home so we could just put them in bed. I even managed to get Max's police car pajamas packed so would he fit in with all the officers :).

My Family: Dave holding Ellie, Me holding Max, my dad (Bompa), my mom (Ma), my brother Micheal holding Evan and my sister-in-law Emily

Just the four of us.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

I have distinct memories from last St. Patrick's Day. I wasn't feeling very well so Dave worked from home. Ellie was really tiny and Max was a little crabby. We spent a lot of time hanging out in the living room and taking naps. I remember thinking that next year I would have a little more fun with St. Patrick's Day. I wanted to serve only green food all day and bust out the green finger paint.
When I woke-up this morning, I was sad thinking about the way I had intended on spending this day. Our little girl isn't here to celebrate with and Max does not like fingerpaint! Nor does he like his food messed with- he doesn't like anything messed with! I was convinced it was going to be one of those days. A sad day, a down day. When I went in to get Max out of his crib I saw he had a runny nose- not again! But it was green- I guess it was his attempt at being festive!

As upsetting as I thought today was going to be, it actually turned out to be a pretty good day. The weather today is beautiful (finally!) and it really gave me a boost. And even though he doesn't feel well, Max is in a pretty good mood. He's having some Mommy issues and is a little on the clingy side- which I'm definitely ok with! Usually we have the opposite problem. We've had lots of cuddles and giggles today.

After therapy this morning (where he did soooo good!), we went to Ellie's Park (the cemetary) to tell her Happy St. Patrick's Day. What a muddy mess! Max wouldn't wear his boots without being hysterical so we went in just tennis shoes. The sun was shining through the trees right onto Ellie's spot. I could feel her there today. Max kept standing next to her spot and staring at her temporary marker. I wonder if he felt her too.
 Happy St. Patrick's Ellie Bell!
Flowers from Ma
 Oh how I miss he would have agreed to boots!

On the way home we stopped for a snack and then he actually wanted to play outside. And we didn't have to wear jackets! We blew bubbles and he discovered the joy of splashing in puddles. He ate lunch without tears and then happily played. We watched some Wonder Pets and had cuddles on "Mommy Daddy bed, and now he is sleeping. Yay for fresh air!

Checking out the water coming out of the spout and splashing onto the ground
Good days are so bittersweet. I so desperately want a break from the sadness and grief but when I get one, I feel a little guilty for enjoying it. Although the guilt is less. I know Ellie wants me to have good days. So I try to really enjoy good moments as they come, especially with Max. But good days remind that Ellie not here to share them. Today would have been the first day that I could take Ellie out to enjoy the weather. After a long winter, she would have forgotten that you could ever be outside and not freeze. I'm sure she would be walking by now, and she would have loved splashing in the puddles with her brother. The thought of trying to get two wet, muddy toddlers into the house without making a huge mess actually makes me sad!

Even though there were moments of sadness and longing for my Peanut today, I did feel like she was closer. Something about the shining sun and gentle breeze, just makes her feel closer.

Last night, right before I drifted off to sleep, I could feel her chubby, warm hands on my face. And I can remember seeing her face up close to mine trying to give me one of her sloppy kisses. It was so real. It had to be her. Some may think that sounds crazy- but I don't care. I'm her Mommy and I know I felt her. Plus there is better way to drift off into dreamland than that.

Remembering March 17th, 2010
St. Patrick's Day