Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A love letter

Dear Pinterest,

I think I love you. No. I know I love you. There I said it. And I don't care who knows about it.

For weeks, we've spent our time together, cuddled on the couch during nap time, and after my husband has gone to bed. In our short time together, you've already shown and taught me so much. Things I never could have imagined. Just when I think I've seen it all, you surprise me with something new, wonderful and exciting.

I know I'm not the only one in our life. And that's ok. In fact, I encourage anyone else who wants to know you like I do, to join us... All they have to do is ask. I'd be happy to include them.

But there is something I need you to know, there is another love in my life too... and we've also been spending a lot of time together also... Instag.ram came into my life about the same time you did, and since then we've also grown close. I don't doubt that there is plenty of room in my life and heart for the both of you. There may even be times when we can all be together. That would be amazing.

Thank you for always finding exactly what I'm looking for and for those occasional pleasant surprises. You truly are everything all those other women said you were.


******* Love

Some pictures from the last few weeks...

 1. A picture from a friend's wedding a few weeks ago- with some high school friends. So nice to see them and hang out with them for a little bit.

2. My hand drawn version of the tattoo I am going to get. Of course when it's done permanetly it won't be so crooked and off center...

3. Ellie's picture in the stroller at a fundraising event we were at on Sat. Ellie's picture was included in "Ella's Playground" along with several other angels. You can check the pictures here: Ella's Gift

4. The fundraiser was a "vintage country fair" and the decorations were amazing. So adorable! It would be a big hit with my dear love, Pinterest... Here's my Raspberry Lemonade Vodka in a cute Mason Jar mug. Tag says, "all you need is love."

5. Max's cute little hands on the reins at horse therapy.

6. Max riding Panda at Horse Therapy today.

7. Max running around at the ranch, on his way to see the goats and chicken. The most aggressive chickens I've ever seen by the way. Not that I'm around a lot of LIVE chickens... I have a slightly amusing video of the chickens chasing Max out of their pen. If I can figure out how to get it off my phone, and onto Blogger, I'll share!

8. I'm pretty sure this is what Heaven looks (at least part of it). From the ranch today. It's so beautiful out there, and it's chock full of of butterflies! 

9. Picasso Jr working on some artwork in the garage. Painting= sensory activity. Meaning we encourage messiness- hence the garage. And also the reason why I then took off his shoes and socks and made him paint with his feet. In case your wondering, this is a very slippery activity. Thank goodness there were no injuries, to either of us. Next time we will just paint with our feet on the driveway instead of paper!

10. Storm is coming... 

11. Playing at the park with Max

12. Beautiful Clouds

13. Ellie's dragonfly lights at her spot

14. Mommy and a sleeping Maxer. 

Remembering August 31st, 2010

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ways to Help a Family Dealing with Autism

Jessica over at Four Plus an Angel, posted this yesterday, and I thought I would share.

Thank you Jessica!


Ways to Help a Family Dealing with Autism

by Jessica on August 29, 2011 

Lately it seems that I have been surrounded by people whose children are newly diagnosed with autism. Talking them through the days ahead brings back memories of what it was like for us.
Autism is an all-consuming disorder and when your children are young and you are dredging your way through those early years, wondering what the future is going to be like, there isn’t a lot of time to come up for air.

Here are a few things you can do to support someone who has a child on the autism spectrum:

1. Ask what they need. Running errands with a child with autism is very difficult. They are often overwhelmed in public places. I left many a full grocery cart in the store when my daughter was growing up because she just could not make it through the rest of the trip. If you are running anywhere, the dry cleaners, the grocery store, the pharmacy, call and see if they need anything. Ask often. It may take them a while to get comfortable with your offer before they give in and let you do it.

2. Invite them to your house, on a play date, anywhere. Having a child with autism is very isolating. He or she is usually not the playmate other children their age choose. They get overlooked and, in turn, their moms do too. Do you know who the best teacher is for a child with autism? A child without. Even if they come over and the child with autism is only interested in your heater vents and your kitchen sink, invite them again. If a play date doesn’t seem like it would work for whatever reason, ask the mom out for coffee or a glass (or bottle) of wine. She needs your company and a night out, more than she even knows.

3. Include them. Does your husband coach soccer? Are you a Girl Scout leader? Sunday school teacher? Friends with your daughter’s dance instructor? Invite them to join. Do whatever you can ahead of time to prepare others to be open and accepting to their child. Being out and about in the community is very difficult for families of children with autism. Many don’t get involved in activities for years because they are worried about how their child with handle the situation and how others will treat them. The best thing you can do is make sure they feel welcome and pave the way for them to join, making sure they feel supported and not judged.

Remembering August 29th, 2010

Ohhh Maxer...

Remembering August 30th, 2010

Ellie LOVED watermelon. This is another favorite (I know- they are all FAVORITES!) of Ellie. Her shiny eyes and beautiful smile. After she'd suck all the juice out of the watermelon, she'd bang that nasty, gross, sticky net on her tray and fake cry for more.
A rare sight- Max actually CHOOSING to sit and play near Ellie.
Kinda checking each other out... SO CUTE!!
Ellie loved her brother SO much! Look at her looking at him.

 Ellie SWINGING in her jumper... It was about this point where we had to take the jumper away!

Spaghetti Boy!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Belle's Buddies

October 25th marks one year without our girl. It's going to be an incredibly hard day- the thought of Oct. 24th and 25th makes me sick to my stomach already. I've learned it's best to distract myself from the day by doing something... So to celebrate and honor our Peanut, Ellie's Light is doing...

Belle's Buddies:
A Stuffed Animal Drive!

All stuffed animals will be given to siblings at the Children's Hospital after a child passes away. So often, these siblings get lost in the shuffle and their grief and sadness is overlooked. So we are collecting new, quality, soft and cuddly stuffed animals for the Children's Hospital bereavement program. These Buddies will help comfort these siblings in their sadness and serve as a reminder of their beloved brother or sister.

Go to Ellie's Light website to find more information on Belle's Buddies or click here on the Belle's Buddies link!

Ellie loved to hug and chew on the faces of all of her buddies; she slept with her cuddly giraffe every night. We think Belle's Buddies is a great way to honor our sweet girl's memory, so please consider donating a Buddy!

Last Year at this Time...

...we were at the State Fair. A rather large undertaking with a 7 month old, and a 22 month old, who not only doesn't like new places, people or activities, but has a milk allergy, which means most fair food isn't going to cut it. But both kids did awesome and we had fun!
I don't think we are going to get to the fair this year- I'm a little bummed. It's good people watching, and the food... of course, I go for the food... yes, definitely sad about no fair food this year...

A favorite Ellie picture! Piggy ears for our little piggy!
Max checking out the sheep
I love the way she looked and smiled at us when we talked to her!
After much discussion, it was decided that a two one-seater stroller approach would be best- as opposed to the huge bus two-seater.

Max and Mommy on the Giant Slide
Max's favorite part of the day- the empty trailers for sale on Machinery Hill. It was a little windy that day, as you can see by Max's crazy hair!
Peanut hanging out in the shade for a little stroller break. I love seeing her sitting up a like a big girl!

Max+ Fries= Fair Food Heaven... finally found a vendor that would share allergy information!
Tired and sweaty Peanut!

John Deere's Kids Farm. Excuse my INSANE hair- it was really windy!
Max had a little Mish Mash (pureed fruit in a pouch) incident. We were bad parents and laughed and took pictures before cleaning him off. And yes, he was eating Mish Mash he scraped off of his face while he was crying... Poor guy.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Banana Mango Popsicles...

one of Ellie's favorites! She was always so adorable eating her popsicles. Her little chubby hands holding onto the handle, lip smacking and puckered little cheeks would she would eat too fast... Missing her...

Remembering August 27th, 2010

Thursday, August 25, 2011

10 months

It's been ten months since we walked out of the hospital, and away from our girl. It's been kinda brutal lately. Ellie has been on my mind a lot. Everything reminds me of her and reminds me of what our life should be like right now.

It's been ten months without her. We only have her for nine.

It's been ten months, and in two months, it will be one whole year. I know Ellie is never coming back. So I just want the one year milestone to hurry up and get here, so it can be behind us, like so many other horrible days this year....

I've shared this video here before, but that was a long, long time ago. I just finished watching it, and even though I thought it was going to make her sadder, it didn't. It was so amazing to hear her little voice and she her funny mannerisms. This is the video my good friend, Josh, made to show at Elle's funeral. A lot of the pictures I have posted on my blog, but the video clips are the best part in my opinion. They are glimpses into our old life- when life was still perfect, and they show just how beautiful and silly our girl really was. The last video, at the very end, where she is sitting on the floor talking, was taken on October 18th. Just one week before she died. It just goes to show that you never know whats going to happen and where life will take you.

Missing you for ten long months Peanut! I love you!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Missing my girl so much the last couple days. I'm not really sure why it's been worse lately. I suppose it's because we are coming up on the 24th and 25th of the month. I can't believe that ten months ago, we had no idea she was no fragile and sick.

A couple of nights ago I had a really messed up dream and it's stuck with me ever since. I almost hate to share it because it's so disturbing to me, but maybe if I get it out, I can let it go...
In my dream, I was in the middle of a big city, at a cemetery. The cemetery was divided in hundreds of sections- each section was like a concrete elevated planter, surrounded by sidewalks. Each planter had about 10 caskets in it. This was the cemetery where Ellie was buried. I was going to visit her and bring some items to decorate her area.
At this cemetery, they placed the caskets in the planters and just scattered dirt and sand around them. There wasn't even enough to cover them. Each casket was clearly visible. In my dream, this was apparently the first time I noticed that they did this, and I was furious. I wanted her casket to be fully buried. But they wouldn't do it. The employee told me they did this so that they could keep an eye on the bodies. He then proceeded to peer into Ellie's casket through a porthole and ask me if I wanted to hold her. At first I was appalled and said that I didn't want to see my daughter like that. He promised me that she looked the same, if not better, than when we last saw her at the funeral home.
I agreed.
I went into a waiting type area and the man brought Ellie into me and handed her dead body to me. She had on the same pajamas that we actually did bury her in. In the dream, I didn't look at her face. But in the dream, I was thinking that she did look better than last time we saw her. But it still didn't look like her. I spent the rest of my dream sitting on a somewhat dirty tile floor in an entry way of a waiting area, holding Ellie's body and rubbing my face in her fuzzy hair...

When I woke up, I could still feel her hair on my face. And that was an amazing gift. But it made my heart ache for her like it hasn't in a long time. It was just a split second taste of what I want more than anything else. It’s this reminder of what I am missing in my every day that has haunted for the last few days.
I was just starting to feel a peace settle over me in the last couple weeks. And I feel like this dream has really set me back. Not because it reminded me of what I’m missing so badly, I am well aware of that, but it brought to the forefront, something that I consciously push to the back. Ellie’s lifeless body. Like any other parent who has lost a child, seeing their body is something that haunts you. It’s the exact opposite feeling of seeing them when they were born.
When Ellie got sick, her body turned against her in the worst way possible. There is no way for anyone to ever fully understand what she looked like that day, unless you were there. I thank God that I can’t see what her face looked like that day. But I remember her skin, her fingers and toes and ears. I remember the tubes- there were SO many tubes, the blood, the colors, the oozing. I remember breaking down when we saw her body for the first time at the funeral home. Very little of her was recognizable. The funeral director worked hard to make her look “normal” but it was obvious that any normal coloring she had was make-up. Any touch would smudge it, revealing the grayness beneath.
There are times when I’m at the cemetery and I have to tell myself to not let my mind go there. Sometimes it starts to anyways. I try not to think about the small pink, fuzzy footie pj clad baby girl buried beneath the headstone. I try not to think about what her body looks like now. My mind never goes all the way there, I don’t think my heart would ever let it. But it’s just enough to shake me to my core. These are unspeakable thoughts. They are disturbing, maddening and heart-shattering. This nightmare has been like a big boa constrictor wrapped tightly around me. It’s made it hard to breathe, and I’m wondering if it’s just going to keep getting tighter until I finally just black out.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about this whole “grieving process” is that it goes in phases. It’s nothing that a stupid book or expert will tell you about, but it’s something that’s personal. I’m sure in a few days, my outlook will take an upswing. The 24th and 25th get me everything month, whether I realize its coming or not. I know I just have to ride it out. But I’m tired of being sad. I’m tired of this ache and hurt that lives in my heart. I’m tired of the crushing anxiety. I’m mad that I had to give up my daughter and bring this shit home with me instead.

Peanut- I miss you. I miss you. I miss you. Love you to the moon and back and a million times more. 

Remembering August 23rd, 2010

See that smirk beneath the nuk?? This was our morning routine. After breakfast, I would take the kids up to Max's room, and while I got Max cleaned up, Ellie would play on the floor. Afterward, I would get Elle changed while Max played. It was a pretty routine little routine. I miss it so much...
What girl doesn't like a trashy magazine??
Max and Daddy