Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Nine months, nine days

Today Addy and Levi turned nine months and nine days old.

The day was spent doing mostly normal things. We took Max to therapy and school. Did some dishes, laundry. Lots of playing, a lot of Patty Cake and I stole many hugs and kisses.

Levi and Addy had their nine month well child check today. It was mostly a normal well child check- except for the conversation regarding their older sister's autopsy report. Our wonderful doctor assured us several times that the babies were perfectly healthy. Nothing APPEARED to be wrong with them.

As he said this, we both knew I only half believed him.

After all, Ellie was once nine months and nine days old too.

The day Ellie was nine months and nine days old, I also stole many hugs and kisses from her. In fact I stole hundreds- probably thousands. The day Ellie was nine months and nine days old, she had our undivided attention for the entire day. She was the only thing we could see that day.

But the day Ellie was nine months and nine days old was nothing like the babies' ninth month and ninth day.

Ellie spent her day fighting. Fighting against something she never had a chance of beating. On Ellie's ninth month and ninth day, she woke up at 2am and gave me a goodbye smile. Her day was filled with tubes, needles, bags and vials of medication. On her day, dozens and dozens of people fought with everything they had to keep her with us.

On Ellie's ninth month and ninth day, she disappeared before our very eyes.

As I watched Addy and Levi laugh and play today, I couldn't help but see how alive they were. Their eyes sparkle, their laughter vibrates right into my core. Their brightness shines through the whole house... As much as I told myself, I wasn't going to let my mind go there- it did. All damn day.

What if from out of nowhere- they were taken today too? How is it possible that on her ninth month and eighth day Ellie was this alive, and then the next day, not? How does that much light just disappear?

Its been two years, four months, two days and 17 hours since Ellie died.

It still doesn't make sense.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

9 months x2

Weight: Not really sure- we go in for the well child check this week.

Diaper Size: size 4

Clothing Size: almost everything but fleece pjs is 12mos.

Nicknames: Buddy, Giant Baby, Cub-a-Roo, Flipper

Feeding: Levi takes about six bottles of Gentlease Formula throughout the day. He usually wakes up once during then night to eat- more often he is starting to make it until about 5-6am! He learned how to hold his own bottle! He eats almost every puree we give him. He definitely likes fruit more than the veggies. He has an obsession with Puffs. He gets this certain little whine that means he wants Puffs. And when you show him the container he gets SO excited! Its the cutest thing! The other night, he ate a quarter of an avocado the wasn't pureed- just cut up into little pieces. It's really the first time he's done well with something like that! Occasionally, he can get a Puff into his mouth but he still really hasn't figured out the whole feeding himself thing yet. As long as we don't put cold water into his sippy cup, he does really well with it.

Sleep: Levi does great in his crib! He usually turns on to his left side or onto his stomach. Since learning to put his own nuk in, there aren't too many times we have to go in there at night. He usually goes to be around 7:30am and is up at 6am. He is ready for his morning nap but I usually try to keep him up until 9am. He then takes an afternoon nap from about 2-3pm. Unfortunately Max's schedule really interferes with morning naps. They aren't as willing to nap in their car seats now. Levi needs his nuk and blankie with him when he sleeps and this boy sure loves his blankie!

Firsts: A trip to Nickelodean Universe on one of Max's day off. Levi was pretty quiet when we were there and just took in the sights. Swinging- We put a sensory area in the basement for Max and we put the outdoor swings down there for the babies. The first time, Levi was freaked out. But now he loves to swing down there! Valentine's Day- really, they had no idea. Levi got a small new toy, an outfit and a bath toy that he has to share with his sister.

Skills/ Milestones: Rolling all over the place! Just barely starting to show interest in maybe trying to get up on his knees sometimes in the near future. Stands up really well! He can almost stand up unassisted at the couch but sometimes forgets what he's doing. Peek-a-boo expert. He can every predict what direction you will come from if you are taking turns peeking out from different sides of something. Getting better at that pincer grasp. Holding his own bottle. Holding things with his feet- I swear he thinks they are an extra set of hands! Occasionally he will wave, but it's with a fist instead of an open hand. Gives kisses and actual hugs!

Words/ Noises: Ma-Ma, Da-Da, Ba-Ba, Ni-Ni (means he's tired)

Life with Levi: Levi just gets funnier and funnier all the time. He cracks us up all the day long! He does this silly face and dance when he's excited- which is pretty much all the time! He's such an easy-going and laid back baby. He only cried if he is hungry or tired. Even then, it's more of a whine. He doesn't often actually cry. Levi is pretty willing to let anyone hold him, but he definitely keeps an eye on me and sometimes he does just want Mommy. He is patient and tolerant, especially of his sister who is always up in his business. He is so sweet! He gives real arms around you, squeezing hugs. He loves to cuddle. He's smart and focused. He likes to look at books and doesn't seem to miss much. Levi is pretty amazing.

Weight: not really sure- we will see this week.

Diaper Size: Size 3

Clothes Size: nine months for most everything. But some shirts and dresses are 12mos.

Nicknames: Buggy, Bug, Buggers, Little Missy, Stink Face

Eating:  Addy got her last bit of breast milk on the day she turned nine months :( Now she is just one straight Gentlease formula. I'm not sure that she would need to Gentlease formula but since Levi does, it's just easier to have her on that too! Addy has gotten WAY better at accepting the purees. She has always done great with the fruit, but eats most vegetables now too. Even if she doesn't really like them, she'll at least take a few bites. Addy did pretty well with the small pieces of avocado the other day too. She will occasionally still gag on something but I think it's mental thing because we can always see it in her mouth. Solids will be slow going with her I think. Addy is awesome at picking things up off her tray but refuses to put them in her mouth. She also does well with her sippy cup- but she prefers to throw it on the floor. Addy also likes puffs and would eat them all day long if we let her.

Sleep: Addy usually goes to sleep at 7:30pm. Sometimes she will wake up shortly after we put her to bed, but usually stays in their now. Once or twice a week, she will stay up until 8:30 or 9pm. I swear she just wants to hang out with us. Addy wakes up anywhere between 5-6am for her bottle and then almost always goes back to sleep until 7:30am. Morning naps for her are a little later- about 9:30am. She usually also takes a short nap on the way home from morning therapy. Her afternoon nap is a little later too at about 3pm. Addy usually wakes up frequently while she sleeps but now that she can put her own nuk in, she often settles herself back down. Addy also needs to blankie and nuk to sleep. We usually find her on her stomach in the morning, otherwise on her left side.

Firsts:  A trip to Nickelodean Universe on one of Max's day off. Addy was out of control happy while we were there! It was pretty funny. She laughed at everyone and everything. She looooved it. Swinging- We put a sensory area in the basement for Max and we put the outdoor swings down there for the babies. Addy loves being in the swing- she is still a little small for it, but if we put a stuffed doll in there with her, she's fine. Valentine's Day- really, they had no idea. Addy got a small toy, a little dress and a bath toy she shares with Levi.

Skills/ Milestones: Her sign for "all-done" is her pounding her left pointer finger down. She shakes her hands over her head for all done. Addy is so close to crawling. She gets on her hands and knees. She also scoots backwards and can go from laying down to sitting on her own. Addy looks at books and is getting pretty good at turning the pages by herself. Addy can also feed herself her bottle, but also prefers not too. Addy claps when she is excited for happy.

Words/ Noises: Ma-ma, Da-Da, Ba-Ba, MA-MA!!!, mo-mo (more), Hiiii (she definitely says hi), he-he (yes she actually says he-he when she laughs). Ba-ba (which I think is for her bottle). "inky"- stinky- she even says this with her face all crinkled up.

Life with Addy: Holy moly... Addy is something else. She is so stinkin' adorable. It's impossible not to love her. She loves to be the mix. She loves to get her attention and if she's not getting all that she wants- she'll speak up about it! She started making this little stink face all the time when she is displeased with something. She even started flashing it at her brother's- which is pretty hilarious. Addy loves to play with her toys (and toes) and likes pretty much anything that someone else has. She's pretty quick and can snatch Levi's nuk faster than a blink of an eye. She is definitely a Mama's girl and isn't afraid to let everyone know it. She's pretty dramatic and all girl. Even with her attitude, it's hard to not think she's the cutest thing ever.

And bring on the pics...

Valentine's Day Photo Shoot

After this things started to fall apart pretty quickly...

Friday, February 1, 2013

Ellie's Third Birthday

On January 15th, Ellie should have turned three.

There should have been a little girl with pigtails, sassy mouth and big blue eyes, waking us up at the crack of down to remind us that she was now three. There should have been a big Princess or Dora, or whatever, birthday party. There should have been cake. There should have been candles. There should have been someone to blow out those three little candles. And there should have been a little girl there to open presents. There should have been laughter and giggles. There should be a picture on my camera of Ellie at exactly 12:42pm.

But there wasn't any of that.

There were balloons. At the cemetery. There was singing. At the cemetery.

The presents we bought were three stuffed animals for Ellie's Light, a purple blanket for her "room" and a candle that smells of sugar- what I imagine our three year old would smell like. The presents weren't opened. The card never read.

There were cupcakes. But no cake. This mommy couldn't bear another conversation with a baker about the birthday girl.

There were tears. Not because I can't believe my baby is growing up so fast. But tears because my baby isn't growing up at all. Because we never got to see Ellie do any of the things that birthday girls do.

Birthdays are supposed to come every year. But sometimes they don't.


Dear Peanut,
Three years.
I really can't picture you as a three year old. But I bet you'd be a little mother to all three of your siblings, but a little bit of a puppet master. Smart, funny and adorable. I know there would still be that sparkle in your eyes. Honestly, I don't like to think of you as a three year old. I like to think of you as our chubby, sweet and endearing nine month old. I like to think that some day, we will get to see you blow out three candles on a pink and purple birthday cake. I like to believe that we will get back every moment we have missed with you.
I am so grateful for that day three years ago when you came screaming into this world. From the moment I laid eyes on you, I knew you were something special. You were magical from the minute you arrived, and there hasn't been since, that I stopped believing that you were here to serve a special purpose. Your mere existence forever changed our lives, and so many the lives of so many others.
You are in a word, amazing.

Happy third birthday to our beautiful, beautiful girl. I miss you everyday, every minute.
Love you forever and ever. And ever and ever,