Sunday, June 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Callie!

Another year has come and gone and Callie's birthday is this week. Each year brings new challenges and new memories. This is the first year that we are away from her grave. It will be a little different to not go and visit. Last year we released balloons "to her" and I've struggled with what to do this year. I think we have come up with a good idea to incorporate the kids, have a special time as a family and yet keep things positive.

I may have shared before, but the entire week is tough. I re-live that whole week of learning she had passed, then the labor and delivery and finally the funeral and burial. Then, my birthday. It always is tough that the week right before my birthday is consumed with such sorrow. It isn't that I am without hope of seeing her one day. It is the weight that she is missing from our family.

I heard a song recently that brought back a flood of memories from my pregnancy. It is by "Fergie" and is called "Big Girls Don't Cry." If you haven't been pregnant, listen when I say that you will sing to the baby in your belly. I don't know why but I always sang along to the radio on this one for Callie. I even remember the day that we lost her (or at least found out) driving around and killing time before my appointment and singing this song to her, with my hand on my belly. I haven't heard the song for quite awhile and the other night it came on the radio. Instantly it took me back to that moment. Singing to my baby, and she was already gone. Already in Jesus' arms. But I have to disagree with the song. Even big girls cry.

So as we embark on our week of memories, it is my hope and prayer that we honor her memory and speak a little bit of her life into our remaining 2 children's lives. I'm sure I will post more after our special night on Wednesday.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Embracing The Differences

The past 9 months have been extremely challenging months. We have been battling health issues with my daughter, Ellie. She began losing weight, losing her appetite and remaining consistently fussy. We have had many scares where blood work or tests came back with abnormal results. We went to Atlanta to see her specialist this past week and received the first truly positive report. She has gained weight and we don't have to return for a few months. It was an amazing feeling! We almost ran out of the office so they couldn't come back with something different (like they had the wrong chart!) :)

The "fussiness" is just part of her personality, in my opinion. When she was a day old the lactation consultant came to see us and nicknamed her "punky" because she was so feisty. At my postpartum check the NP commented on how "intense" she was. Those were both true statements and continue to be. She had colic that lasted FOREVER! Every afternoon from 4:00 on I was basically chained to the recliner with her in my lap. As she has gotten older, she is into everything. All the time. We put locks on all cabinets. She climbs chairs and has even gotten onto the kitchen counter. She is fearless. And yet I know that these same qualities that have been so hard to corral and parent will be what takes her so far in life. She will turn into a driven woman who accomplishes anything she sets her mind to! She has a wonderful senses of humor and loves to laugh. Though she is intense she is also intense in her love. She adores her brother and wants to spend every minute with him. She loves to hug and cuddle Mommy and Daddy.

So though the temporary (though sometimes it doesn't feel so temporary!) fussiness is challenging I am trying to remember that these days will go quickly. I'm trying not to compare her to her brother (who was quite a different story). I'm trying to look at her for the little person that she is and is becoming and do my best as a Mom to nurture those traits positively.

I love this little girl so much. We do have a very strong bond because of how much time we have spent together! So she still has my heart :) I was giving her a bottle before her nap and when she decided she was full, she popped her paci in her mouth. I sat there for a minute rocking her and looking at her. "You know Mommy loves you?" She sat there looking at me so intently. Again, "You know how much Mommy loves you?" She smiled such a big grin through her paci and I melted. Yep, even though she's a pistol (as I call her), she's MY pistol.