"I should not talk so much about myself if there were any body else whom I knew as well."
-Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Emma Week

Last week was Emma week. The 19th would have been her 11th birthday and the 27th (Easter) marked 4 years since she died. I didn't write about it because I couldn't. Or didn't want to. Or couldn't. I don't know. Whatever. It's been 4 years and that is absurd. She's been gone 4 years. 
One thing I still struggle with is when & what to share with strangers. When we went to Eureka Springs we stopped in a store that I've loved for years. The owner sort of knows me, but I'm pretty sure she is just really friendly and has a talent for making a person feel remembered. I hadn't been in there in years, so I can't say if she really remembered me or was just being nice. I was wearing Eleanor and the owner commented on how we didn't have her last time we were in and then eluded to us having other children. I said, "yes, we had two older girls," and intended to leave it at that. But as we looked around the store she continued talking and by the end she asked how old our other girls were now. I'm not sure what happened, really, but instead of explaining that they died, I answered with, "11 and 13." As soon as it came out of my mouth, I regretted it. I told her how old they would have been and once I told that big fat lie I didn't know how to undo it. I pretended like Alex & Emma were still alive and it felt wrong as soon as I did it. We said goodbye and left the store and now I feel like I can never go back. I don't know what I was thinking. I just didn't want to have the dead children conversation. I hate that I lied, even if it was done in an instinct to avoid a painful & awkward conversation. It sucked, but I dealt with it and moved on. 
Then yesterday evening we went to pick Dottie up from the airport. As we were sitting and waiting, Eleanor caught the eye of a nice woman who started playing Peek-a-boo with her. That turned into casual conversation and the "is she your first?" question. She was a complete stranger and just being friendly, so we said, "yes". The next 10 minutes were filled with chit chat as the woman talked about her grown children and what it was like when they were little. She joked about what we can expect as Eleanor grows and how time flies. Drew & I smiled and visited politely, but that conversation was as equally painful as the one a week before. In the name of casual conversation with a stranger, we pretended that Alex & Emma hadn't existed and that we were first time parents. That sucked, but it was nobody's fault. It still sucked. 
I've shared this particular struggle with you all before, but these two encounters were just a bit more painful because of Emma week. 
Time passes and people forget.  The rest of the world will never know her.  I know that naturally happens and that it will continue to happen as the years go by, but Drew & I will never forget. Certain things and certain times will always bring up emotions and that's okay. Sometimes it still sucks and that's okay, too. That girl sure was one of a kind. Here's to Emma. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Sleep & stuff

Eleanor's sleep had been pretty good the last week (though I hate to put that in print for fear that she'll prove me wrong again). If you prayed for her to sleep, thank you!  For the last week the normal has been rocking her to sleep between 8 & 9pm (I love rocking her to sleep!) before laying her in her crib and then we don't hear from her again until about 5:30am. I can usually get up and give her a pacifier and she will sleep until about 7. I'm so grateful for sleep! 
I posted Easter pictures yesterday, but I've got a week's worth of cell phone pictures to share.
She thinks she wants beef jerky. 
With Kayla & Braeden. 
We've officially outgrown 6-9 month clothing. 
It got cold again last week. 
Grandpa tried to give her a bottle. She thought it was hilarious. 
She had accumulated quite the fuzzy baby hair mullet on the back of her head... 
So when I went to get my hair done last week, Kendra trimmed Eleanor's old man strip of fuzzy hair. Eleanor was NOT a fan. 
It was traumatic.
It really doesn't even look any different. Sorry Eleanor. She did cheer back up later in the day. 
Since Drew works from home and likely will continue to work from home for at least another year (and quite possibly longer than that, which I'm totally happy about), I've been brainstorming a way to make his office more private and immune to normal daily noise. His office is awesome, but the hardwood floors, high ceilings and French doors make noise (aka, Eleanor's lovely voice & normal household noise) an issue. My solution? Heavy velvet drapes (think movie theater). I'm really happy with how it looks and Drew's happy with the functionality of it. 
Hanging hardware...
Curtains up and pulled back with doors closed (view from inside his office)...
Doors open... 
And closed...
Look who scooted across the kitchen floor and opened a drawer. 
Drew & his dad went fishing Friday and had quite the catch. 
On Saturday we took a day trip to Eureka Springs. Just because. It was a beautiful day and we had a great time. 
Can't go to Eureka without eating a Bubba's BBQ. Yum! 
"Give me more pulled pork!"
We stopped at the dam and walked down to the river. Beautiful. 
Playing with her Easter egg gift from Grandma LaGayle (and being cute). 
I'll be 36 next week. AARP is trying to recruit me. Not cool. Stop already. I'm not THAT old and you're wasting your advertising $. 
I'm not sure how a kid can move so far without crawling. She moved more than 5 feet across the floor. It's adorable & entertaining (and a warning of what needs to be baby proofed). 
Relaxing on Sunday evening and watching Batman movies. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter 2016

Eleanor's first Easter has been lovely.  I took a million pictures (surprise, surprise) because she's just too cute. 

 Happy.  She's just so happy. 

Wait, there's a curtain here.  "Where's Eleanor?!"
 And the face I get when Daddy walks in. 
A family selfie 
We went to church and then made a quick stop by Kyle & Misty's to hunt eggs because, as I had to delicately explain to Kayla & Braeden, we forgot to sign up for the Easter bunny to come to our house this year. 

 Uncle Kyle helped her find her first Easter egg. 
Going after Kayla's basket of a eggs. 
Doing everything but crawling to reach a stray egg. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Mom of the year

Will scoot across the quilt for Dad's shoelaces. 
With Mac. 
Grandpa's dog, Dash, is actually really great with Eleanor. She's always watching him and reaching for him, yesterday he was checking her out. 
"Dude, I know you aren't touching me with your wet nose." 
"Okay, yeah, I like you." 
"That's enough. I'm done. You're creeping me out. Stop touching me."
I took Dash outside and came back inside to this... Eleanor in Grandpa's lap, paci upside down, reading the paper. 
When the weather is nice, Drew & I like to play basketball outside. We put Eleanor on a quilt in the grass. She loves it. Daddy stopped to play a while. 
We had Kyle, Misty and the kids over for dinner last night. Eleanor was tired & fussy, but Kayla took her to the nursery to play. When it got really quiet we went to investigate. They were rocking and reading books. 
Today has been not as cool. Sometimes I feel like anything but super mom. Today is one of those days. No "mom of the year" award for me today. I was stripping the sheets from our bed and had tossed all the pillows on the floor as I went. I put the sheets in the wash and then picked up Eleanor and sat her on my bed and flopped down beside her. We sat there for a bit and then I went to pick her up as I stood up. Remember the pillows in the floor? I didn't. I slid right down to the floor... with Eleanor in tow. 
Baby's face + side of box springs & bed frame = crying baby & guilt ridden mommy 
I didn't just let her fall, I took her down with me. I'm a lot of things, but graceful isn't one of them. Once we all calmed down I tried to take a picture of her first fat lip. (It's more skinned than split.) You can tell she took a tumble, but her face doesn't look as bad as I feel.  Don't know if it will swell up more as the day goes on or not. 
Here's to a better second half of the day.