Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I hate this picture

Remembering May 31st, 2010

This picture has been haunting me since I saw it yesterday. I hate this picture...

This makes makes me sad. Upset. Angry. It makes me feel guilty. It makes me feel bad for the Daddy in the picture, the Mommy holding the camera and the sweet, innocent baby. This is their sign. This is their clue that something is seriously wrong. And they have no idea. They are worried for their sick baby, but not as worried as they should be. They should be terrified. They should be hysterical with fear. This is their sign.

But it's not a big, flashing neon sign. It doesn't say, "Hey Dumbass, in a few months you are going to look back at this moment and feel like a complete failure." But it should. Because that's what I see now.

When I took this picture, I knew we had a sick baby. We knew she had a stomach thing going on- damn Rotavirus vaccine! Gave both kids gastroenteritis... When her fever didn't break, her fontanel started getting a little low and the poop kept coming, we took her to the ER. One dose of antibiotics and bag of IV fluids later, we were back in business. They sent us home with "managing dehydration" papers. I remembering thinking, "wow, she got really sick, really fast. That's not normal... Or is it?..." They essentially reassured me that I was a typical over-reacting mother and so did our pediatrician when we went to see him two days later.
So, when I took this picture, I saw a little girl with a typical, run-of-the-mill childhood illness. A baby that needed extra loving, extra cuddles and a cool rag on her head.

Now when I look at this picture, I feel like my heart is going to bust out of my chest. I feel like I failed my Peanut in the worst way possible. It makes me want to scream, cry and throw up all at the same time. It makes me miss her so, so much. For a while, she went through a phase where she liked to hold our hands like this while she fell asleep. Our sweet girl. Classic Ellie. I would give anything to have those chubby fingers wrapped around mine...

Now when I look at this picture, I see more than just her pale skin. I see our warning. I see what I saw at about 4 am, the morning before she died. We got her help when she needed it this time, why not the last time? I see the purple around her eyes. Do you know what that is? It's death. If you've never seen a person that is dying, you don't know what I'm talking about. But if you have, you do. Looking at this picture, most people won't see it. But to me, it's like a bright flashing light. It's a sign.

Her yellow nuk... It's likely the same one she used at the hospital before she died. After she turned six months, I tried to get her to use the bigger nuks- she wouldn't take it, she liked the little ones. I know she had the yellow one last. I know because it's still sitting in the dish on our desk along with the doll I tucked up next to her at the hospital. What are the fucking odds?
I have been told hundreds of times that we couldn't have done anything. We didn't know. But for me, that's not enough. I'm her mom. I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN. In my mind, I think it's just something the doctors said to make me feel better. What if they think I could have called 911 earlier? Would she still be here? How do they know there was nothing we could have done? Is that their way of feeling better too? I don't blame them for anything, but I'm sure they feel guilt too.
We had signs. They were there. This picture is one of them. Why couldn't I see them?

I'm so sorry Ellie. Mama should have seen them. I wish I would have seen them.

I hate this picture.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Happy List Saturday!

Cookbook Sales!!
So far, we've sold just over 80 books!! And have netted about $1500 to help out families in need of extra comfort and joy. Thank you so much to everyone that ordered some so far! And if you would still like to- please do! Click on the Ellie's Light button to the right and go to our website to place your order!

My new iphone and case
I avoided the whole smart phone thing for as long as possible because honestly, it scared me. But my old phone should have been replaced months ago and it was time. You can't actually by just a phone now at the store... so it was decided that the iphone would be the easiest for me to use. And it is! I love it! I really love the calender on it! But what I love best is the case I ordered. It came in just three days and it looks amazing! This picture doesn't even do it justice!

Hanging out with our nephew Evan
Today we got to have our four- almost five- year old nephew over while his parent's worked. We used to spend a lot more time with him before we had kids but still love it when we get to see him! He's a super funny little boy and very smart. And he's like a mini-me of my brother- it just amazes me that they are so much alike.

Mail and Emails
The other day I got a book in the mail with a very nice note from a complete stranger- Thank you Katie! It was so thoughtful and so kind.
I also got pictures of Ellie's butterfly released through Triplet Butterflies... They are so pretty! Thank you!
And, I got an email from a good friend of mine who I have known since 6th grade. Her and her sister took it upon themselves to ask a business about donating to Ellie's Light. Hopefully, we can something worked out. It's a beautiful company that not only produces great things, but makes it a point to help out others. Thanks Kristen and Megan!
AND, I got a really nice email from a lady at the hospital we want to donate to. I am going to meet with her next week to discuss some things. This came the same day I talked to the chaplain about things we can start donating soon!
AND, lots of cookbook orders!
AND, several graduation announcements. Makes me feel old, but still good!

How I Met Your Mother
Started watching this a couple weeks ago, it's pretty funny.

They finished the landscaping at our new house earlier this week. It looks really nice and I am excited that it's almost ALL DONE! We had the landscapers do a memorial garden for Ellie. Right now it doesn't look like anything special, but I am hoping that when things start blooming it will look really good. We still need to add some decorations for Ellie in there too.

The new Oreo Fudge Cookies
So good. And they have no milk in them, which means Max can have them. I don't like to give him stuff like that, but he is a kid- so he's gets them every once in a while.

Hanging out with family and friends
We've got to spend a lot of time with them lately. It's been really good for us.

My BLM friends
None of us should know each other. We should be strangers. But shitty circumstances and angel babies have brought together. But I am so grateful for them. We've never met, but I consider some of them very good friends. I am so thankful for them and they make me happy.

When we were outside earlier, Max picked up a piece of chalk without a prompt, and actually sat down and colored! He used different colors and it kept his attention for several minutes. This is a big deal for Max. It's out of his comfort zone, the chalk has a funny texture, it makes funny noises when you use it and it sticks to your hands. And Evan and I were doing it too. He was partaking in the action! Yay, Maxer! Here's the masterpiece...

Me, swinging at the park earlier this week. I wanted to fly right on up to Ellie...

Friday, May 27, 2011


Forgot to do this yesterday...

Remembering May 26th, 2010

This was the day Ellie started on cereal! I could tell she was ready because she stared at every single bite we put into our mouths and grabbed at our food all the time.
The first time we tried to give Max cereal, he wasn't ready at all. It just dribbled out of his mouth. But Ellie knew exactly what to do. She comes from a family of pretty good eaters, so I wasn't surprised! She was so funny when she ate it. She would sip it off the spoon,  like a polite English lady eating soup. Within the next few days she got more aggressive, but still sipped it. Funny girl.

 Baby Feet!!!!!!!!
Beautiful baby blue eyes

Remembering May 27th, 2010

For a while we had a two highchair situation going on in the kitchen and dining room. Max wasn't ready to be moved to a booster seat yet, but it was kind of nice to scoot them next to each other. Ellie loved playing with her toys and watching Max while he ate. And Max, well... he just likes to eat!

I love Ellie's toes in all of these pictures. She was all about the toes and feet- she may have actually thought they were extra hands! I miss her feet :(

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ellie's Tulips

Twice a week, while Max is at therapy, I go to Ellie's spot. Most days, I'm not sad when I'm there. It's incredibly peaceful and so beautiful. When we were looking for a place to lay Ellie, we visited several cemeteries, and it was obvious that if we had to pick a place, this was the best.
It's a memorial garden, so there are no monument type headstones, just lots of trees, hills and flowers left for loved ones. In the distance, you can hear the hum of the freeway and every so often a plane flies right over head, on it's way to the airport. It's a little space of peace and quiet in the city. It's so serene and when the breezes come through, wind chimes in the nearby tree sing.
 During the week, there are always workers milling around, keeping the grounds beautiful. Everyday at noon, the bells play a little song, a lullaby. The secretary and manager, know my name and recognize my face. The manager knows exactly where Ellie is buried. They gladly look the other way when parents decorate their child's spot with more than what's allowed. They look past the items hanging in trees, decorations stuck around their space. They are so respectful of each person's space.
Today I was in the office, picking out the vase that will accompany Ellie's headstone. The manager asked me if I was bothered that Ellie's spot wasn't sodded yet. Her headstone will sit right over her casket, so sodding isn't really necessary... I sheepishly said, "no... I kinda planted tulips there... and they are blooming now..." I know we aren't really supposed to do that- but these tulips are important. He just smiled and nodded. He could tell they were important to me. And they are...

On Sunday, October 17th at 10:15 am, we were arriving at a local nursery, so we could pick out pumpkins. We had no idea that exactly one week later, Ellie would be headed down a path from which there is no return- Elle and I would be on our way to hospital in the back of an ambulance...
We met my mom and nephew there and strolled through the pumpkins. Afterward, we went inside and Ellie played in the straw while Max and Evan walked through the straw maze. It was a wonderful morning. It was a tradition we'd started when Max was born. Who knows if I'll be able to go back again this year...
As Dave, my mom and the boys weighed the pumpkins, I carried my girl over to the flower bulbs. I told Ellie, we were going to plant some tulips next weekend before it got cold. And then they would come up in the spring. I stood close to the shelf and told her to pick one. She reached out her chubby little hand and tightly grabbed a bag of tulip bulbs, purple tulips.

Ellie and I didn't plant tulips that next weekend....

It wasn't until a couple weeks after we said goodbye to our Peanut, that I noticed the bags of bulbs sitting on the bench in the garage. They nearly killed me. I decided to take the bulbs that Ellie picked out and plant them around her spot. So one day before our first big, huge snowfall, Max, my mom and Aunt Kerri, went to the cemetery to plant the bulbs. I put them around the outside of her dirt and up against the pine tree next to her spot. And that's where they stayed the whole long, cold and lonely winter.
As the earth thawed and things started to turn green again, I waited for the tulips. All of the tulips in our neighborhood and those in the landscaping at the cemetery, came up. But not Ellie's. I had pretty much decided they hadn't survived the winter. Figures, I thought.
And then when our family arrived out there on Easter, there they were... just barely peeking up out of the ground. I guess until now, I never really saw how amazing it was that they came up on Easter. The tulips Ellie picked out with her two little hands, one week before she died, made their appearance on Easter.
 Since then, they have been growing straight and steady. I told Ellie not to let anything eat them until Mama saw them. I told her to growl at the bunnies and deer if she needed to. And my girl has done a good job of keeping her flowers looking beautiful so that her Mama could see them.
I wish I could say that they make me happy. I guess in some sense they do. Ellie wanted those flowers, we picked them together. But those flowers shouldn't be there. Those beautiful purple tulips should be on the side of our house, half eaten by bunnies. They shouldn't be at a cemetery. They shouldn't be planted over Ellie's body. They should be sitting in a vase on our table. I should be holding Ellie up to them and reminding her how she picked them out and how we planted them in the fall.
 When Ellie and I picked them out, they were a promise for the future. After a cold winter, in the new life of spring, they would appear. Renewal. But now, they represent what we've lost. They represent what we had.

The tulips are beautiful. They are beautiful like our little girl.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

7 months

You shouldn't be able to survive seven months without your baby. You shouldn't be able to live with half a heart. Yet, I have been.

Yesterday and today were easier than they have been in the last seven months. And that makes me mad. I don't want it to get easier. It shouldn't get easier.

It means time is passing. I am getting further and further away from the last time I rubbed my face in her crazy hair and looked into her big, blue eyes. Her giggles, growls, cries and 'look at me' hollers are now just echos in our minds. Yes, we have hundreds of pictures. Yes, we have many videos. But I do not have a little girl bouncing up and down in my arms. I do not get to walk into a pink room every morning and be greeted by a crooked smile- which would now be full of teeth, from a little girl playing with her toes.

I've been cheated. No pictures or videos of her crawling, her first steps. Never to be.

I want to go back seven months and three days. I want my life back. Our life back. I want Ellie's life back. I want our girl.

The last two days were easier. That makes me feel like a bad mom. It makes me feel uncaring and cold. I know Ellie wouldn't want me to spend the rest of my life in the darkness. She was our light. I know she wants us to be happy. But surviving the last two days without any major meltdowns- just frequent minor ones- makes me sad. And mad.

Losing a child messes with your head (among hundreds of other things...). I don't want to hurt so bad all the time. But when I don't, it's not what I want either.

Ellie, I want our time together back. I want to sit in your pretty pink room with just the glow of your nightlight and rock you. I want to sing Baby Beluga for you while you look at me with your funny little smile and bob your foot up and down in your hand. I want you to quickly close your eyes and tuck your head into your blankie, only to open them a second later and smile. You were such a funny little girl. I would give anything to see you as a toddler. No longer a baby, a toddler. You'd be a toddler. In seven months, you would have changed from a baby to a little girl. I miss you pretty girl. 
I love you forever and ever, Mama

Remembering May 25th, 2010

 "Hey Max, what do you think of the organic, milk-free strawberry popsicles Mommy made just for you??"
""Don't know Mommy. Because there is no way in hell that I am going to even try something on a stick. I am going to 'place' it on the floor now. Ok?"

"Max, will you eat it if I pry it off the stick, slightly microwave it so that I can mash it up into a bowl for you?"
"Yes, I will. In fact, I will even use a spoon. Now, don't get too excited about the whole spoon thing though. It will be fleeting and in about nine months, you will have to stalk me with it in order for me to start using it again. Ok thanks. BTW, the popsicles- just Ok."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Damn you Oprah

Yes. I watch Oprah. Not all the time, but more so since she stopped that whole 'Remembering your Spirit' crap. All men aside (although I'm pretty sure they all stopped reading as soon as they saw the word Oprah anyways...), you gotta admit that Oprah has an incredible ability to make you cry. Or laugh. Or roll your eyes. Or make you mad- whether it's at her or a story she's telling.

Her last shows are on this week. And I was just watching an episode on the DVR and man, she is screwing with me today! I'm laughing and then crying in the next second. That's kind of how I've been all day today. Up and down, and up and down.

Started the morning with a trip to the doctor to find out I'm growing a few new cysts- we're going to give them a couple of a months to go away or it'll be another surgery... Good news at therapy from Max's speech therapist- he met ALL of his goals and is moving on to bigger and better goals... Trip to the cemetery. Blooming tulips and lots of tears. How has it been seven months since we watched our little girl slip away before our very eyes. Seven months ago, we were in the middle of a war against something we couldn't even see. Seven months ago, we were losing...Talked to the hospital today, and they are ready to start accepting some donations... More cookbook orders. $1700 worth so far. I hope it makes Ellie do her excited dance... Discovered that 7Up and pineapple juice is pretty tasty... I busted in tears from laughing so hard at a Facebook link posted by a friend (so funny)... two seconds later Rascal Flatts was playing this for Oprah:

I Won't Let Go Lyrics

It's like a storm
That cuts a path
It's breaks your will
It feels like that

You think your lost
But your not lost on your own
Your not alone

I will stand by you
I will help you through
When you've done all you can do
If you can't cope
I will dry your eyes
I will fight your fight
I will hold you tight
And I wont let go

It hurts my heart
To see you cry
I know it's dark
This part of life
Oh it finds us all
And we're too small
To stop the rain
Oh but when it rains

I will stand by you
I will help you through
When you've done all you can do
And you can't cope
I will dry your eyes
I will fight your fight
I will hold you tight

And I wont let you fall
Don't be afraid to fall
I'm right here to catch you
I wont let you down
It wont get you down
Your gonna make it
Yea I know you can make it

Cause I will stand by you
I will help you through
When you've done all you can do
And you can't cope
And I will dry your eyes
I will fight your fight
I will hold you tight
And I wont let go
Oh I'm gonna hold you
And I wont let go
Wont let you go
No I wont

And that did it. More tears. Damn you Oprah!

Up and down. All over the place.

Monday, May 23, 2011


That's my mind lately.

Out of sight, out of mind.

I forget easily. But I don't really care.

I'm tired.

I feel like I've regressed back into the numb stage. I miss Ellie but it's not a crying and out-of-control sobbing sort of miss. I almost wish it was that kind of sadness. It feels easier than this.

I feel calm on the outside- who knows if that's how I appear. But I don't feel calm inside. I feel jittery, restless, unfocused and scattered.

I suppose that my mind is preparing itself for tomorrow. The 24th. [insert sigh] Or maybe it's preparing to avoid tomorrow.

I don't know. I just don't know anymore.


Remembering May 23rd, 2010

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Missing my girl

Today, we were out eating lunch and spotted an Indian version of Ellie. I kid you not, this little girl looked just like our Peanut. Her head was exactly like Ellie's, she even had fuzzy hair like Elle. Their hands were identical and she was bouncing up and down on her mom. Just like Ellie. The same hands. The same chubby fingers. And the exact. same. sneezes. 

Besides her dark skin and dark eyes, she looked just like Ellie. We couldn't quit staring at her.

I miss her so much. So, so much. I want my baby back. I want her to hold and snuggle. I want her silly giggles and growls to break up the silence that seems to hang everywhere since she's been gone. I miss how she would grab my face and give me big sloppy open mouth kisses. 

Peanut, I'll love you forever. I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be. 
Remembering May 22nd, 2010

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

a little crazy

Things have gotten way out of hand at our house- or houses- I don't even know anymore! The selling of our current house and the purchase of our new house have become very messy. Agreements have been signed, cancelled and signed again. There have been lots of phone calls and emails. There has been a lot of confusion.
The good news is that we don't have to move until late July and we can move straight away into the new house! And we don't have to deal with Ellie's room quite yet...

I feel like my life is a constant stream of emails and paperwork. We received a packet of information from an autism clinic we want to take Max to the other day. All the paperwork needs to be filled out and returned- along with a lot of other papers I need to collect from various people and places- before Max can be put on the 6-9 months waiting list. That's right. Six to Nine freakin' months. When someone is just two- that's a huge chunk of time. I worked on 'the novel' for at least an hour today and don't have much to show for it. The questions are very redundant and tedious, and I'm starting to wonder if it's really some sort of mental and emotional evaluation for me...

It all seems to be good stuff but stressful nonetheless.

We started getting cookbook orders almost immediately after my post the other day- SO AMAZING!! THANK YOU EVERYONE!! But, it's been one huge gigantic logistical nightmare. Putting together the book was pretty much like a part time job. Getting the order sheet completed took at least a bottle of wine (over time- not all at once...). Don't even get me started on our problems with the donate button...
I am not a technical person. That's a bit of an understatement... So all of these issues are very time consuming and frustrating for me. I have a nursing degree that is pretty much collecting dust- maybe I should have gone to school for computers (see- I know so little about computers that I don't even know what I degree in them is called!).

And I had to get a new cell phone and somehow ended up with a smart phone. I've mastered how to answer a phone call but the whole texting thing is still a little shaky.

I haven't been blogging a lot lately. There's just too much going on. My mind is too cluttered and I can't think well enough to produce a cohesive thought- forget writing it!

Plus, I miss my girl. A lot.


Remembering May 18th, 2010

This thing (that Ellie is laying on) was a small miracle for us. I wished we'd had it when Max was a wee one. It allowed Ellie to sleep without throwing up everything she had eaten in the last 8 hours....

Typical Ellie- Playing with her toes!

Ellie Bellie, I miss you little Peanut. I miss bare bellies and chubby toes. I miss giggles and little smiles. I love you!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cookbook Presale!!!

Go to Ellie's Light website for to make your donation to receive a cookbook!!

Cookbooks have been submitted to the publisher and they will be ready in early June!! Go to our website to reserve your copy!

For every $20 donation, you will receive one cookbook.


Remembering May 15th, 2010

A trip to the zoo....

 Then a photo shoot our little Peanut... On this day I discovered that it was going to be more difficult to get her picture with the sign. She now wanted to eat it! I miss her so much... The bare baby pictures always make me want to just reach into the picture and grab her right out for a good snuggle.
I loved it when she was all wrapped up in her towel after a bath.