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.