Friday, December 26, 2014

Ps first Christmas

This year was our first Christmas with a child with us. One would think, oh that must be just so fun and exciting! Yes, the holiday season leading up to Christmas was good, but Christmas Day was still so hard!
It was hard to get into the Christmas spirit, and making myself do things like shop for others and decorate and bake definitely helped, but a part of me just gets so down this time of year. It's really hard to ignore that piece of me (Korbin) and just be happy. And that sounds so ungrateful! I am seriously so thankful for P, so happy to have him and hold him and love him here with us. But I still miss K, and I know I always will.
There's a Mariah Carey song, I miss you most at Christmastime, that just pulls at my heart strings and brings me so close to tears every time I hear it. And of course it's played a ton this time of year.
I just try my hardest to get into the holiday spirit. The build up to Christmas is the best part, and Christmas Day has become almost a let down now. I honestly thought this year with P would be totally different. I expected it to be. But it still felt the same, somewhat empty with a major piece missing. This is something I'm going to have to overcome as the years go by. If not for me but for P. I need to be present and happy with and for P.

Because I got a lotta love to give.

First Fever

P woke up today, the day after Christmas, with his first fever. It wasn't so bad at first, but it jumped mid day to almost 102, and that's when I started to worry. But I think we did a good job of not over reacting and keeping things under control for our littlest man.
We called the pediatrician, who said it was a good sign he had a cough (never thought I'd be grateful for a cough!) as otherwise solely having a fever could mean something more serious like an ear infection or UTI. Thankfulky P slept a lot with the Tylenol, but when he wasn't sleeping he was pretty fussy (though you wouldn't know it from this picture).

Later on he definitely wasn't feeling well:

Poor guy! It's hard having a sick little man, knowing he's so uncomfortable and there's only so much we can do for him.
I hope he feels better soon! Until then I'll keep doing my best to not panic and just take good care of my sick little man.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Merry Christmas Korbin!

Today we dropped off a bunch of gifts for an almost 2yo little boy with OI (brittle bone disease). I think this was the first time I really felt excited for Christmas, and it was mostly from being able to give to someone in need. And for giving in Korbin's memory.
I had fun shopping for this little kiddo and wrapping everything up:

Things he needs, and fun toys he wants.
This year felt different, I think because we have Parker now. After dropping everything off, I had this incredible urge to just hold Parker. I couldn't wait to get to him and get him home.
I love continuing to do this in Korbin's memory, and this time it's made me so grateful for P, even more so now.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

3/4 of a Year

Time is flying! (Do I say that with every monthly P update?!) And Parker continues to amaze me with how much he's developing and keeping up with other kiddo's his age (rather than adjusted age of only 7.5mo). I believe his eye color has settled now; a beautiful shade of brown with the occasional flecks of deep blue around the edges.

He makes so many sounds with his tongue now, clucking and raspberries galore. He also figured out how to make sounds by saying something while patting his mouth with the back of one of his hands. Adorable! And so smart.

 He seems to genuinely smile so much more now, and laughs and giggles often. Even after telling his own babbling jokes! So hilarious to see and hear! And he started bowing his head and smiling now, almost in a shy way when seeing someone new, even doing some head banging if he's been crawling around on the floor. 

As for crawling: he still army crawls. But boy does he move! He can almost completely pull himself up to sitting on his own, and almost pulls himself up to standing.
While he becomes more independent (Ryan developed the two spoon method when feeding P: P has his own spoon to 'eat' with while we feed him) with things like holding his bottle himself, he's started to want dad more after daycare. He raises his arms to ask to be picked up, and we can almost have conversations with how much he babbles now.

As for food, he has tried so many things this past month! He loves eggs in the morning and always gets a few bites from my plate. Other foods he enjoys are sweet potatoes, peas, butternut squash and pears. He liked applesauce and bananas, but they did not like him back (his poor butt!). And pumpkin pie was just too much and made him throw up almost immediately.

I'm having more and more fun introducing foods to him. And just so love that we are still nursing! I love the bond we continue to build with that, and need it after all we went through to have him here with us.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


I suddenly feel like I'm in a funk. Thanksgiving came and went (finally) and I immediately set to work decorating the house and planning all of our holiday shopping and activities. But it's as if I'm just going through the motions and my heart's not fully in it.
This should be an exciting Christmas. Our first one with Parker! But instead I'm just feeling bluesy and really missing K. This just makes me want every moment possible with P, but work feels like it is getting in the way of that. I guess I haven't been fully enjoying my job as of late. It's busy and stressful right now, and I just want to be at home with my little man. Holding him, reading to him, cooking and baking, doing all of the artsy projects that pop into my head on a daily basis.
Life is a bit of a struggle at the moment. Hopefully forcing my way through the holidays will pull me up and out of it. Because there's so much to enjoy with P.
And I got a lotta love to give.

Monday, November 24, 2014


I am so enjoying life with my little Mr. P! He's just so fun and beautiful and he's here for me hug and love and kiss. I am just so thankful for his presence in our lives!
I truly love having him here. Yes, I end my days exhausted and looking forward to a few hours of sleep at a time since he's not sleeping through the night just yet. He fills our time and our arms 24/7 it seems. And now I wonder, what did we do before P? I mean, we would get home from work and have a couple of hours till dinner time. What happened during those couple of hours? Were we lazy? Boring? It makes me laugh, maybe even in a crazy kind of way, that we used to think we kept busy. We had no idea!
Which makes me sentimental as I wish we could have known all of this with K. I am happy, and that doesn't mean I miss K any less.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Friday, November 14, 2014

2/3 of a Year

I can't believe our little man is 8 months old already! Time is flying, and though I find myself missing how tiny he was when we first brought him home, I am even more so enjoying watching him grow and develop. Parker is just such an amazing baby!

He no longer sits still and wants to be in everything, even if he himself isn't so mobile just yet (that's what mom and dad are for, right?).

P is such a happy guy. He's rarely upset or just crying. And we just love including him in our daily routine and life. Yes, life changes when you have a child with you. But it doesn't end like it seems some would believe. It just gets more exciting!

P has now started solids and likes most of what he's tried so far: oatmeal mixed with breast milk, mushed potato, rice, and carrots. He did not like avocado. He has now officially found his toes and loves to chew on them. He's learned to stick his tongue out and blows raspberries non-stop (ih the drool!). One week I decided to try to teach him how to wave; he picked it up in just three days! When he recognizes someone, Ry or Nargis or Auntie Amy at daycare, he smiles and waves. Adorable!
Loving the time we get to spend with our precious second little man.
Because we got a lotta love to give.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

7 Months Old!

Our little P-nut is over the 6mo hump and already a month into the second half of his first year of life with us! We are just loving watching his continual development into such an awesome little person.
He just started finding his legs and feet this last month, which he'll hold on occasion. Sitting up is still wobbly, but it's coming along. On the 3rd he sat unassisted for a whole 3 seconds! He has also found his penis (um, he's a boy, of course he has!). And he is becoming a thumb sucker as of the 11th. I don't even know the last time we tried a binky as since he was 6mo we switched him to his own crib and he LOVES it. We are all loving the sleep. P also loves bath time, and can't seem to kick and splash enough before bath time is over. And overall he seems to be much more aware of people and things around him now, too.
While nursing, he also wants to talk to me, which can be tricky! But it is so precious to see and hear. And we are still nursing, which means I am still pumping, and it is so worth it!
Daycare has been fantastic. I think that's mostly because he is with family. He seems to really enjoy his time with his auntie and cousins and the other kids. Something we are working on with dropping him off and picking him up is waving hi and bye. I swear he's done it a few times now!

Being 7mo now, technically 5.5mo, we decide it was time to try some solid food. I'm not so sure he really liked the oatmeal, even though it was mixed with breast milk. But this is where the fun in trying new foods is. Oh the faces!

Loving every second with our little P-nut.
Because we got a lotta love to give.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Poem

When Tomorrow Starts Without Me
By David M Romano

When tomorrow starts without me
And I’m not here to see
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me

I wish you wouldn’t cry 
The Way you did today
While thinking of the many things
We did not get to say

I know how much you love me
As much as I love you
Each time that you think of me
I know you will miss me too

When tomorrow starts with out me
Please try to understand
That an angel came and called my name
And took me by the hand

The angel said my place was ready
In heaven far above
And That I would have to leave behind
All those I Dearly Love

But When I walked through Heaven’s Gates
I felt so much at home
When GOD looked down and smiled at me 
From his golden throne

He said This Is Eternity
And All I promised you
Today for life on earth is done
But Here it starts a new

I promise no tomorrow 
For today will always last
And Since each day’s the exact same way
There is no longing for the past

So When Tomorrow starts without me
Do not think we’re apart
For every time you think of me 
Remember I’m right here in your heart

Forever in my heart, Korbin.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Friday, October 10, 2014


So, you'd think I would be on top of this. Date set once we knew P was coming home from the NICU, family and close friends invited and an outfit picked out. Nope, I just know I want him baptized. But that is it!
Up until recently I couldn't figure out why I was holding off on something I feel is so important. Then I realized I was actually somewhat traumatized by Ks baptism. It sounds odd, but there was just this finality in K being baptized. A rush to do it before his little heart stopped beating for good. Trying to bear death. It's like a part of me deep down is worried that something will take P away from us once we finally have him baptized. And so I keep pushing it off, and just think about it here and there and how we still need to do it.
At the same time, I do feel a push to do it because what if something happens and P wasn't baptized in time? I honestly never thought this could be such a difficult thing to set up. Especially when it was such a no brainer with K. There was no doubt I wanted him baptized. And there's no doubt I want P baptized.
Just something I'll have to figure out in time.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Friday, October 3, 2014


I know I'm a part of a different club that no one wants to join, but I never expected to feel shunned by those around me on the outside. 
There is the pregnant coworker who will barely speak to me, let alone look me in the eye. And I feel like she can't run away from me fast enough. I get it, I'm not the picture of a perfect pregnancy and healthy living children. I'm tainted now. And this new aspect of my loss has really started to bother me as it's one I never thought I'd have to deal with. And it actually really hurts.
Especially now, during the month of October when people in the DBC like me try to remember our lost little loves (not like we ever stop thinking of them) and bring awareness to the harsh reality of losing a child, I'm seeing how much we've become outsiders from the norms of society.
I saw this in my news feed the other day:

Really? Hide people. I hid all the happy pregnant people for two years because I couldn't stand it, it hurt so much to see others so happy. But I never would have posted that they needed to stop being happy because I was hurting so much inside. I guess the opposite is okay, though, because only happiness and joy are accepted these days. We've become a society that ignores the dark and scary sadness instead of acknowledging that it happens. I guess it's just easier that way.
No wonder it is so incredibly difficult to deal with loss and the pain and sadness and ache for your lost loves. It's not okay for us to speak out about it because it makes others uncomfortable, so we're supposed to forget and keep quiet.
But I will NEVER stop talking about or remembering or loving my precious little Korbin. I miss him with all my heart and soul, with every fiber of my being.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Full Time

I just finished my first week back full time at work and it was rough. It ended up being as difficult as I had thought it would be, and had hoped it wouldn't. Being away from P so many days in a row sucked! And yet I know I can do this.
I felt okay from Sunday through Wednesday, especially since I was getting so much done at work. But Thursday was difficult as I had trouble with the new techniques I'm learning, and by the end of the day I felt drained completely, and emotional. Not being completely successful at work made me feel like I was making a mistake going back full time so soon. And this made me wish I was home having snuggle time with P that much more, instead of struggling at work.
It's such a hard balance to find, to be a working mom. There are too few hours in the day to feel completely satisfied at work and at home. After a full day of work, there's still laundry and dishes, dinner, cleaning pump parts and setting up milk and diapers and spare clothes for the next day. That all takes so much time away from P, on top of being away from him all day for work.
Yet I know working is good for me, but I want to be at home so much still. I fear I'll be losing some important moments with our second little man. First steps? First word? What will it be? Hopefully nothing! It was all I could do to not burst into tears thinking about these things driving home from the tough work day to pick up P from daycare.
Here's to hoping I find the balance between work and home sooner than later.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Six Months Strong

This past week I have been, well, giddy about breast feeding. Random, I know. But we've hit six months now, and are still going strong. Though I want us to go at least a year, six months is my first mini goal that I still was honestly afraid we wouldn't make it to.
What's crazy to me is that I used to think that six months was long enough to nurse and that one should stop after that. What was I thinking? I hadn't even read or researched nutrition for infants at the time, I was just going off of what I had seen in society (even then six months was super long). And yet I knew I didn't want to go the formula route. So really, what was I thinking?
At this point, and all along our whole bf journey so far, I am just so grateful. Especially since I feared going back to work and reintroducing bottles so often would lead P away from wanting to actually nurse. Just like my first day away, he still wants to nurse soon after I get home, today he even reached his arms out toward me. He smiles and smacks his lips and cuddles up to me. It warms my heart and I am just so thankful and grateful for the amazing bond we get to build with each other right now.
This bond is something I have fought so hard for. Through seeing countless lactation consultants, and even building a relationship with a pump (yes, it just have to learn to love it I guess to make it work). Through losing out on the bond with Korbin too, which is what has fueled my fight in building this bond with P. I switched to nursing sooner than the NICU recommended, and away from bottles and added vitamins as well, knowing breast is best. I found the confidence I needed to do what I feel is best for P and his growth and health. With his recent check up, I'd say I chose right for us!
Knowing this, and the bond we continue to build, I want to and will continue for as long as possible. A year? Two years? Only P can tell when the time to wean will be. Until then, I'll just keep being giddy about each mini goal we surpass.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Half a Year

I can't believe P has been with us for half a year already!! Saying it like that makes it sound so much longer than just saying 6 months, too. And so much is happening for him, I never get tired of seeing him meet developmental milestones.
He has now mastered rolling over completely. Back to front came easiest and first, and front to back followed shortly. Tummy time is now floor time on a blanket that got bigger and bigger as he began covering more space and we needed to keep him off the dog hair covered floor (yes we vacuum...but the shedding is constant so there is always hair on the floor). He rolls to his toys and grasps and holds them and chews them. We still think he may be teething, and who knows how long that process is going to last now. It's already been a few months of chewing and copious amounts of drool!
He's now wanting to sit up, so we hold his arms or hands and he wobbles about. On his own he overcompensated and head dives to the front or one side. We keep him with us while we eat dinner and he has started mimicking us eating now. He'll hold out his hand, bring it to his mouth and then make a chewing-like motion. When he's on my lap he wants to see where the food is going (in my mouth of course) and then tries to grab it too. He's getting so close to trying solids! I'm excited yet still wanting to just nurse for a bit longer.
He talks so much now. It's hard to talk normally back instead of imitate his babbling. He responds to both which is really fun. So I started speaking Spanish to him too. Saying things in English first then Spanish, or Spanish then English. I started looking into some language classes for kiddos, but it's hard to find one that will work with my full time schedule.
He's big enough now that we removed the infant insert in his car seat, too. Some days I feel so happy and proud yet sad too that he's grown so much. Other days I feel like he's still my tiny little guy, because he is still a little guy.
He just started reaching for his legs and feet the other day (the 9th actually). And still at times notices his hands and looks at them in total awe and amazement. They catch his eye suddenly, it's so funny to see.
And he has started to have a bit of a personal bubble and will push our faces or our hands away if he's what we call done with us. Just like Ryan!

Every day I have this awe-struck moment of total amazement that oh my god he is still here and with us. He's ours and we're not just baby sitting for someone and we get to keep him. Every day! And I am loving every moment of life with my littlest man.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Another Donation

Yesterday I finally had a chance to drop off the box of newborn clothes at the NICU where Parker was for a month. While it felt good to give these items to the babies there now, whose parents probably aren't concerned with buying clothes just yet as their only focus is getting their kid to eat and grow and come home, it still left me with a pit in my stomach.
While P was there, he wore the same five or so onesies on repeat, and at times didn't have clothes due to too many blow outs before laundry time. At that time, I made up my mind to give his newborn outfits (just the ones with snaps, so many wires that need access!) so that other baby (boys especially) weren't without. I collected them all, a dear friend contributed a portion of what she had once her son outgrew his, and boxed them up. And then the box sat in the half-way nursery, then the trunk, back in the house, the car, the house until finally, months later, I could bring myself to let go.
This made the end of the teeny tiny baby feel complete, over, gone forever. And though I love watching my little man here grow and develop and feel excited about what's next for him and for us, the finality of it made me sad, and wistful. Can't he be a tiny newborn again? Just for a little bit?
I read a bit of writing recently that talked about the end. Your baby nurses and needs you until one they nurse one last time, and then they never nurse again. He will hold our hands and then one day will be the last day he ever holds our hands again. P used to sleep on my chest in the morning on our days together, just the two of us. Then one day he didn't, and now he's grown so much and never will sleep on my chest as a tiny newborn again.
Moments like yesterday, dropping off the clothes, I feel caught in between the sadness of leaving the past and the excitement of the coming stages. They leave me longing for these times to happen again. Yet I have to look forward to our future together, grateful that he's still here to watch develop into the amazing little man he is.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Life with a kiddo here is definitely different than life before kids. We do our best to incorporate Parker into our daily life, continuing to do things we were doing before, just with him included. But certain events are coming up now that don't make that quite so easy, I think especially for me.
Tomorrow I've been invited to a work event that is solely for my coworkers and myself. And it's left me so torn. We have some new members on the team, and so it will be a good team-building event. But after being gone all day from Parker, and pumping, I'm not sure I can make myself leave him for even longer. I wonder, is it just the nursing I'm worried about? Or is it moreso how much time with him I'll be missing? Most likely a combo of the two. And while I think team-building events outside of work are so important, I just can't bring myself to leave Parker for so long in one day.
Will it be easier when he's older and no longer nursing? There will be so many more after work events that I'll eventually need to be going to again. And then there will be whole trips! Conferences! How do parents do it? I love every moment with my newest little man, and am afraid to miss anything now, especially after missing everything with Korbin.
I guess I'll just have to figure this out in time, and just keep doing my best to navigate life with Parker in it.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

5 Months!

Today P is 5 months old, and I still can't believe he's here and he's ours to keep. Someone commented recently that she feels like she's babysitting and someone's coming to pick up her kid at the end of the day. After losing a child, it seriously feels like that all the time. And then I have this moment of ecstatic clarity that P is mine and he's really here and I really do get to be his mommy and care for him and make big scary decisions about how we want to raise him and care for him the best way we see fit. We are so blessed to have the chance to do that! And my heart just swells with how much I love him and having him here with us.
Watching him grow and develop never gets old! He'll work hard on something like rolling over for so long, get worked up and frustrated time after time. And then suddenly he masters it and it's all he can do now! Absolutely amazing and exciting to watch.
There are so many things he's doing now: rubbing his eyes when he's tired, pursing his lips (would love to capture in a photo!), looking at and grabbing his legs during diaper changes, trying to sit up (baby an crunches!), blowing bubbles (oh the drool now...), squealing and screeching and finding his much louder voice, grasping things, reaching out and holding onto toys, and he even scooted forward three times after he rolled back to front! So much is happening, it's awesome.
And there are some tender moments I'll cherish forever. At about 17weeks I was about to nurse him one day and he stopped, looking directly at Korbin's foot prints. And then he reached out and touched them. I of course teared up but was able to tell P that those foot prints are his brother Korbin's. Such a special moment.
Also, while nursing he'll stop eating, look up at me and then just smile so big. My heart just melts, despite how much my boob hurts since he's not eating as fully when he does this. It's now turned into latch, look up and smile, unlatch, repeat. Over and over and over again. Hey little man, that milk needs to leave my boob and get in your belly! I just have to laugh about it.
He's become so squirmy while nursing that at times I feel like I have to tackle and hold him down just to get him to focus and eat! I laugh now....
Ryan and P have such a fun and playful relationship. They have their own games that I try to mimic but of course the smiles and smiles only happen when Ry plays them with P. It's so random, but Ry holds Parker's little hands between his own and runs them as though to warm them up on a cold day, and P laughs and giggles so much from this! I love watching the two of them. It's really fascinating to me how we're both so important to P, but in our own individual ways.

Loving every moment with my little man here with us.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Monday, August 11, 2014


With how heavy my heart's been lately, I've had to try and focus my mind and heart on the good things in life.
First, my little family here. Parker and Ryan. Thank God for Ryan to keep me in check, and thank God we get to have P here with us to keep us going. And our puppy dogs, who are still such a huge part of our family.
Second, our home that is finally getting the love it deserves. And that we found someone willing to do the work!
Third, delicious food all around us, both home cooked and in restaurants. The fact that we can afford to stretch the food budget to try new things. And that we can spend the time to cook together.
Next, our jobs so we can enjoy some frills in life. From cute cloth diapers to car parts. Things we want but don't necessarily need.
And of course there is the support of those we love around, from family and friends. Especially those that ask about Korbin and don't turn away when we're needing to talk about our grief. We need them so much, and appreciate them even more.
All these things and more to keep me going each day. Just one foot in front of the other.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bad Dreams

Today P work up rather upset and it felt as if he was yelling at me for being gone all day. I asked him if he'd had a bad dream, and then I was crying. My mind went back to how much (even to this day) I wish I could wake up from the nightmare of losing Korbin.
This led me to the feeling that nothing can happen to me, because P needs me. And it wasn't a selfish feeling at all, it was more so this deep down gut-wrenching feeling of abandonment that he could feel if I were to suddenly be gone from his life. The same feeling I have, in a way, about Korbin being gone. And then I remembered daycare as a kid. It took a while for my parents to find one that really fit my sister and me well. Before they did, I still have memories of sitting at the window crying so hard that my mom was driving away and leaving us for the day. Or even of being home with my mom and crying in frustration that my dad was yet again leaving us for work. I think this all plays into my mixed emotions regarding returning to work right now. That feeling of loneliness, emptiness, even abandonment. I can't stand the thought of P feeling this way. Could leaving him for just the day do this to him?
Of course, I know we aren't abandoning him (nor were my parents abandoning my sister or me). And I know that going to work is a good decision for my family's life and striving to improve it. But deep down, I guess I'm still wishing I could wake up from the nightmare in which Korbin was taken from us much too soon.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Monday, July 14, 2014


So much development in one month! It's just so fun to watch him grow and learn.

Parker's added a new sound to his conversations now, a clucking of the tongue. And he has become quite the hand chewer. He wakes himself (and us) in the night chewing and sucking on his hands! His voice is becoming louder and stronger all the time now. He's still reaching for things, which is becoming more and more coordinated, but not quite grasping anything just yet. I'm not worried about this as technically he's only 2.5mo, and grasping doesn't start until around 3mo. But he does notice his own hands now, and more often than not.
Our chats have become much more interactive, with definite eye contact and him stopping to listen to me and then responding. He even started to reach up for my face and touch my cheek, or my nose or my mouth. It was so sweet! He was concentrating so hard too:

He's also started this adorable belly beating when he gets excited (like Tarzan beating his chest, but his belly instead). It's too funny.
Now he notices my phone hen I try to get pictures of him, so it's harder to capture certain moments. And he has started looking at the TV when we're watching it! That could become a problem, so when I'm home with him I am now leaving the TV off more often than not.
Physically, and this may be TMI, his poops are practically silent now! I still remember the forceful explosions we would hear 3-5 times a day. Now we sometimes hear him maybe pooping, and even then we're wrong half the time. On a good note, though, he's spitting up less and less. The sphincters in his belly are starting to become stronger, and so hopefully this means his preemie reflux is on it's way out the door!
And being a preemie, I often forget that he's really six weeks younger than his actual age. So, things you'd expect from a four month old, we won't actually see for another six weeks or so as he's technically only 2.5mo (as mentioned above). Despite that, he's growing so well, almost 12lbs (50th percentile) and 24" long (90th percentile)! This puts him right on track developmentally.
I so want to just treat him like a regular baby, to forget that he was a preemie, but it is something I have to keep in mind as he grows and develops.
And we love watching him grow and change. I just hope we're doing an okay job helping him develop appropriately!
Because we got a lotta love to give.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I Survived

Today was my first day back at work, and thankfully it was a short day as I had major issues just stepping out the door this morning. I cried. And P was still asleep so I could hug and cuddle him just before leaving. That was rough.
Walking into work I tried to feel confident and just get right to the daily duties that I know deep down I remember. But I was so discombobulated! I couldn't remember where things were supposed to be, and with some slight lab design changes, I was just lost at one point, leaving my stomach knots.
And yet, there was definitely excitement there too. Assessing embryos is something I enjoy. Going over QC and if any changes need to happen and why is fun. Even the paperwork is something I like to do.
The awkward part was trying to figure out my new pumping routine. I've got to own it, and not worry what others may think. This is the best thing possible for my kid, and I'm not about to give it up just yet!
So all in all, the day went by better than I had expected. Although again, it was just a half day. We'll see what tomorrow brings as we leave P in someone else's hands for the day.
Until then, I'm just going to enjoy the rest of this day with my Baby Love 2, soaking up all the snuggles and cuddles I can get.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Morning Snuggles

These are like the best thing in the world. Relaxing, comforting, loving. Something I am so going to miss as P gets older and no longer needs me to snuggle him to sleep for a nap. In the mean time, I try to capture the moment as often as possible.

And enjoy every second of it while I still can! Everything else can wait, as this doesn't last forever.
Soaking up the snuggles.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

4th Festivities

This year was Ps first Fourth of July, and my reality check with maturity and partying and how much life has changed with our newest little man in it now.
The day started off so relaxed, just the three of us at home hanging out, Ry and I working on our own projects (minis and yard work). I picked out Ps holiday outfit (so fun to do!):

It fit him too! He's long enough now for the 3mo clothes (growing so fast!), which I totally wasn't expecting. We went to my sister and brother-in-law's and the conversations I had were with two other mom's there discussing parenting and going to work and child development. And I really enjoyed every moment of it. This compared to having a close friend over the other night who is single without kids and how much I struggled to keep up a conversation with him. Yup, life has changed! But most definitely for the better.
We left early to be sure the pups could be settled with us while the mayhem ensued within our neighborhood. Our neighbors had teased about watering our lawn, but we honestly didn't think too much about it beyond that. Until we got home and saw that the mayhem was practically in our own back yard. And then OUR grass caught on fire. Why on earth someone would set off fireworks in a tiny backyard surrounded by trees instead of the open space of the road in their front yard is beyond me. And on top of that, they were lighting mortars without the tube to shoot them way up in the air, leaving them to explode half in their yard and half in ours (hence the fire). The windows were shaking it was so loud between our houses. They put out the fire immediately, but that didn't stop them in the least. And we were so not impressed.
Looking out our back window and watching the continued explosions, I had this moment of clarity about our neighbors. The same ones we would drink often (and too much) with after losing Korbin. And I realized how we don't need them like we used to. They were an important part of our grieving process, but now that we have P and our grief has evolved and taken new forms, we don't need the crazy partying escape from reality any longer. This doesn't make them bad people, this just made me realize how old I am now. Not as in ancient old, but old as in more mature.
And I am okay with this.
I look at situations in a new light now. And it all surrounds protecting P as well as any part of Korbin we have with is still. And this includes two clothing items I sorted into size appropriate bins for P to wear when he gets big enough. We bought them for Korbin, and I of course saved them, originally thinking we'd just preserve their newness somehow. But I'd actually love to see P wear them. To have them actually be used. And then put them away again for safe keeping. That preservation and safe keeping felt threatened by the thought of fire reaching our garage. Ya, I didn't sleep well until about 3am, when P woke up to eat and I went and checked every inch of our property that I could check from the windows. No more fires, thankfully.
Yup, life has changed yet again. And I am more than okay with the new changes.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Bad mom

There are days when I feel like I have absolutely no clue what I'm doing. From picking up my Baby Love 2 properly, to bathing him and keeping his skin soft, to even knowing when to feed or change him. Especially when we're with others who have been parenting for some time. I feel judged and awkward in front of them. This is where a phrase that grates on me is said by others, and yet I find myself saying it too at times.
Every day I strive to be the best mom possible for Parker. And this goes back to how I didn't get to do all these wonderful things with Korbin, like diaper changes and breast feeding or waking up every two hours in the night. I think I've mentioned it before, but it makes my heart ache more knowing what we have been missing out on with Korbin. But I still make mistakes. I maybe wait to long to figure out he's hungry or needs a diaper change, or that he's just plain tired but too tired to be soothed to sleep. And so I make mistakes. Some would think it wouldn't happen after losing Korbin. That by now I've read up on every parenting style out there and know what's coming before it's actually happening. But no, I'm just a 'new mom' still. Figuring this out for the first time. I shouldn't be, but I am.
I guess sometimes I'm just too in my own head, over-analyzing things and worrying what others are thinking of my parenting style. Really, I should care less about what others think of how we raise P. He's our kid and we're just doing the best we can. We became parents for the first time when we had Korbin, yet now we're actually parenting Parker. Can we call it something else? Otherwise it feels as though Korbin is forgotten. But he's still our first Baby Love and we'll never forget that.
Because we got a lotta love to give.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Today we got the good news that Parker's hematocrit is finally stable, yay! In one month it hasn't dipped, but risen and remained a healthy, normal level. Here's the note from his pediatrician:

This is just such good news, and hopefully marks the end of his little body's battle with my antibodies. Now we can stop the iron supplements, and even the multivitamins! We'll be switching to vitamin D drops only (we do live in the beautifully rainy/cloudy Pacific Northwest), which means his daily bottle from Ryan will be a much smoother process. The NICU had us adding about 20mL of my breast milk to a bottle with his vitamins, and then feeding him that followed the remainder of the volume he eats right now (100mL currently). The vitamins are rough on his sensitive tummy, which is why they're given with food, and make the milk taste awful. (We each tried a dab of the vitamins, disgusting!!) Now I'm hoping he'll spit up less, and the whole bottle feed may be a bit less traumatic as he can just eat without so many odd flavors and disruptions. Because when he's hungry, he's hungry NOW! And heating up a bottle safely takes time.

It's so amazing to get this good news about our precious Baby Love 2, who's caught so hard his whole life so far. I hope things are easier for him now, with more energy to grow and learn and develop like he's meant to.
Because we got a lotta love to give.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


With less than three weeks left in my maternity leave, my anxiety is slowly building. Just the thought of being away from P makes my heart sink, my stomach ache and my eyes fill with tears (it's happening as I write this). I just want every minute possible with my precious little man, time lost with Korbin that I'm desperately trying to soak up with Parker.
Technically, I could stay home. We can afford it. But then getting out of this house and this neighborhood is not an option. Trips to show P the world are out. Certain schools scratched off our list of possibilities for elementary or high school. There's just so much we want to give him, even spoil him with. And it's just not feasible without my salary unfortunately.
I've been asked before if returning to work financially makes sense (child care can be so expensive!). Thankfully, it does for what we have worked out with family, and how much I make. Daycare is not going to be a huge cost for us. And I trust those who will be caring for them. They are family after all, which helps ease my fear in leaving P for the day.
But what I can't shake is the feeling that I've done this before. I've had a child and been on leave before, and then had to face returning to work empty. Though I'm not empty this time around, I'm also not full. And that is what my heart keeps going back to; that moment where I had to pick myself up and keep going despite the immense pain.
I know it will be possible, to work and have time with Parker. I can manage it. But I don't know how Ryan does it. Honestly. Or how those I know from my support group have done it. Did they have as much trouble as I am having? There are those who have changed careers to have more time with their child. I think that would be too much change for me, on top of going back to work. I know I can do it, I just don't want to. I'm just not quite ready.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Not our first

Tonight we went to our monthly mini (the car) meeting for our club. We're both club officers so it's important we continue to make it to each meeting and as many events as possible, and this means bringing P along with us. Thankfully he's easily soothed in the moby wrap and didn't make a peep during the entire meeting. Way to go, little mister! Everyone was so impressed.
After the meeting fellow club members were asking about P, and one asked me something that I'm getting used to answering by now. He asked if Parker was our first. I of course replied no, we had Korbin but he's not with us. This club member immediately apologized, saying 'I know, but, does he have any older siblings?'
Really? First off he knew about Korbin. Second, I already stated Parker had a big brother, Korbin.
I somehow calmly replied that he doesn't have older siblings at home. To me, emphasizing the 'at home' part doesn't negate that Korbin is being considered Parker's big brother. The club member paused for a moment and then seemed to accept this answer.
I should be used to this by now, but this exchange perturbed me because this club member (our entire club in fact) knew about Korbin already. And yet it still bothers me how uncomfortable people get when I try to talk about Korbin. I'm trying really hard to break that norm, that once a child dies they are not spoken of again. Do we never talk about a friend or older family member again after they have passed? Of course not, they are remembered and brought up in conversation from time to time. So then why can't I talk about my first son without people cringing or changing the subject or running away? He happened. He was born, he had a name and birth certificate. We held him. Yes of course it's fucking awful that he's not with us (excuse my language, but this just so frustrates me!), but I remember him! And I should be allowed to continue remembering him without people shying away.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Father's Day 2014

Happy Father's Day to my amazing husband, the father of both of our beautiful children, Korbin and Parker! It's days like today that I miss having a photo of Ryan and Korbin together. Thankfully, with today's technology, I have a million of him and Parker! It may not make up (mostly emotionally) for not having more pictures of Korbin, but I'm so grateful to be able to continue to capture the moments that Ryan and Parker have together.

I love my boys!!

Side note: my gripe at the moment is that this is NOT Ryan's first Father's Day as some have mentioned recently! This is, in fact, his third! The first couple may have been rough, but Korbin made Ryan a father starting December 2011. This is of course where we exercise a lot of patience as we hear comments that to us are so untrue. We remember Korbin when others do not.
Because we got a lotta love to give.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

3 months!

Our second little man is growing so fast! I can't believe he's already a quarter of a year old! It is so fun to watch grow and learn, and just amazing that we have him here with us.
The past four weeks he has started to smile so much more, even making eye contact and cooing at us when he smiles. This just melts my heart! So beautiful to see. And I thought it would never happen, but his belly button has been pulling itself in on occasion now. This means his stomach muscles are developing, which are what pull it back into place and hopefully keep it there! He's made his first vocal sound that wasn't just a coo or sighing sound, as though he's finding his voice (silly connection, but I remember Bear as a tiny puppy finding her voice, such a fun memory! Now she won't stop barking, ha!).
As he hit the three month mark he has just started laughing, although it may still be more of a giggle at this point. Either way it is precious to hear. He is now reaching for my hand when I hold it up in front of him. His fists remain closed, but I can see the concentration and work it takes just to try and make his hand meet mine. Amazing! He has also discovered his hands as a chew toy, and is drooling like crazy. He makes an 'ooooh' (like Winnie the Pooh) sound and is becoming interactive with his sounds and smiles. I love our morning chats! Such good learning for him to watch me talk to him.

Such a wonderful blessing, this little human we get to have with is. And we're loving every minute of watching him grow.
Because we got a lotta love to give.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

What's in a Name

I love the story of how Parker's name came to be. And I absolutely love his name! Yet, I find myself rarely using his name when speaking to him. Instead, we call him a whole host of cutesy nicknames. This is odd for me as I've never been one to come up with nicknames for others. Even Ryan is only Ryan to me (while he has so many nicknames for me I don't even remember what he's come up with at the moment).
Anyway, when I was probably about 16weeks pregnant, we went to the aquarium to just walk around for a bit. Ryan had come home recently with the most perfect name, Parker, and all other options he had mentioned were just gone (and I'd hated every one of them too, so this one really stuck and I was attached to it immediately). At the time, I could have sworn Baby Love 2 was a girl. Everything felt so different, this one just had to be. Well, while walking around the aquarium that day, we heard a parent call out, "Korbin, come here!" And a little boy went running. I smiled, just thinking about Korbin. Then, we heard, "Parker, come here!" And again, a little boy went running. Ryan and I just looked at each other wondering, 'did you just hear/see that?!?' Of course, we found out just a few weeks later Parker was a boy and most definitely not a girl. But that was it, that name stuck. And so began my chats with Parker in utero.
Yet, no matter how much I used his name while he was still in my belly, I rarely call him by his actual name now. He is my buddy, bud, little mister, my boy, cutie pie, little buddy and so many more. But why don't I use his actual name? I used it for months before he was born. Even a bit in the NICU. Why not now? I wonder if it's because I almost feel awkward calling him by his name. I know, it sounds weird. But when I use his name, it feels so unnatural. I mean, he's definitely a Parker, he's our Parker. But using his actual name just doesn't sit right yet. And then I wonder if that's because I so desperately want to talk to Korbin out loud, to call his name out, but I can't. And not being able to use Korbin's name, not being able to actually speak to him as physically present, makes me unable to use Parker's name, even though he is here.
Obviously this is something I need to get over. I'm going to have use Parker's name at some point and get used to saying it out loud. I guess thinking back, it was hard for me to say Korbin's name in front of others without trouble at first. His name brought out so much emotion I just couldn't utter it. And yet now I need to hear it and say it. So I can't let that affect how I am with Parker (right, easier said that done!). He deserves his time and for his name to be used too.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Friday, May 30, 2014


As of late I've been having nightmares surrounding the idea of extended pumping upon my return to work. They all involve lost breast milk, and leave me feeling anxious, worried and upset. It's so obvious to me that these nightmares are connected to my return to pumping in place of nursing.
There is just so much fear! Fear that my supply won't be enough for what he needs while I'm away. Fear that I will drop a bottle and spill the liquid gold within it. Fear that the pump will suddenly stop working and I'll be left unable to pump, which will lead my drop in supply. Fear that Parker will wean himself from nursing much sooner than I would like. All seemingly irrational and yet so rational.
I have hundreds of ounces frozen (another fear: the deep freezer will go caput and my entire frozen stash will be lost, this makes me sick to my stomach!), and he only needs 3oz per bottle, and only two to three bottles per day that I am gone. I am pumping twice a day currently, so I am still adding to my stash. And I will pump and pump and pump and pump, as much as I possibly can if he weans early due to an increase in bottle feeds. And while I hate pumping and the time it takes away from doing other things, I do like the control of it. I can see what I am producing, tweak volumes with my diet if needed. As I've mentioned before, it is really the one thing that I can control, versus the chaos that was the NICU and Ps first month in this world.
My feelings toward pumping are apparently shared with other pumping moms. Here is a great article that explains this love hate relationship between a mother and her breast pump:

I couldn't stop shouting in my head, yes! Yes! Yes! What really stuck out to me was the explanation of how natural breast milk is for my Baby love 2, as compared to all the unnatural things he has been subjected to. From ultrasounds almost daily to multiple blood transfusions to a 'planned' and yet unplanned early c-section, my pregnancy with P and his first couple months of life were surrounded by the unnatural. Everything so completely opposite the natural birth I had envisioned from even before I was pregnant with Korbin.
Because of this, I will do everything I can to continue to have this ability to give such wonderful, and natural, sustenance to my precious second baby boy.
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Smiles Part 2

The past four or five days now, Parker has had a moment of giving the biggest smile possible. His eyes light up, dimples show in full effect, and my heart melts. It's been happening when he locks his eyes with mine - only adding to how much my heart melts - until today.
Today, he looked over my left shoulder, and there was this beautiful smile. He coos, smiles, and just looks so beautiful. I want to capture this, but I can't look away to grab my phone to snap a shot. And I'm okay with that. Especially this time as I asked P who he was smiling at. And then I asked him if he was smiling at Korbin. The smile lasted just a few seconds longer, as long as it has been since this started, and then the moment passed, leaving my heart aching, on top of already being melted.
When Ry is home with us, I'm okay. We're (almost) all here, together, living the life we have now. But when he goes to work, for some reason the loneliness creeps in, and I start missing Korbin and thinking of him more strongly than when Ry is here. My heart just starts to ache more. And I cry for Korbin each day.
I'm grateful Korbin is here with Parker, doing the most amazing job of watching over his little brother. And I find it just so beautiful that he made P smile today.
I may be in my moment of tears right now, but it's for a mix of being thankful and grateful and longing and sad and blessed all at once. I hope Korbin is always watching over Parker, as he has his whole life ahead of him (I so hope and wish and pray).
And because we got a lotta love to give.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Quite possibly one of the most amazing things to see, I swear, is when your baby looks to really, truly smile at you.
Today, for the second day in a row, Parker has given me the most beautiful, huge, twinkly eyed smile I've ever seen a baby make. And he did the same with Ry yesterday. I just so absolutely love seeing him do this. Part of me wants to grab my phone to capture such a beautiful moment, and yet I dare not miss a second of it looking away to do so. Being in the moment is so much more important these days (even though I do manage to take like 100 photos a day...okay, maybe exaggerating...but I take a TON).
Because I got a lotta love to give.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Precious moments

Time is flying by way too quickly these days. Parker is growing, developing, changing, right before my very eyes. And I just can't seem to slow things down enough.
Sometimes it feels a bit depressing, thinking about going back to work, everything I'll be missing each day. I get filled with anxiety at times, even though I look forward to one day returning to the work I do outside of home. But I just so love watching him. I could sit and stare at him, hold him, snuggle him, all day long. Yet I need to eat, do dishes, pay bills, check laundry because he spits up on everything (I stopped changing my clothes each's not worth it!), think about dinner, etc. where's the balance? How do you put your precious baby down to do something so dull and meaningless? How do you stop doing this:

To catch up on this:

?!? The pile is even larger now...but a huge part of me doesn't really care. A poem in the NICU talked about how the dust bunnies and whatnot can wait, because my baby can't stop growing and changing. So we need to hold him now.
Because we got a lotta love to give.