Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Watch out!

Thanks so much for listening to me rant below. I appreciate it that there still are people who never will forget about Noah either. So thank you, thank you.
To lighten the mood a bit around here, why don't I share a couple of pics of Lucas's Halloween costume. This year was a challenging one. Or it was going to be. I always make Lucas's costume. I just enjoy it, and I think that my costumes are waay cuter than store bought ones :-) I hope Lucas will remember as an adult how his momma slaved and busted butt trying to get his costume done in time. 
So this year he wanted to be Sonic The Hedgehog. I found a neat tutorial online on how to make it. I thought to myself that it didn't look to hard....Boy, was I wrong or what? I was in the middle of coming up with a plan B on how to make this darn thing when Lucas told me :"I changed my mind". I told him that we already had bought the blue fabric to make Sonic and a Ninja in blue? Yes, he wanted to be a blue Ninja. Come to find out, after a little internet research, that there actually are all kinds of different colored Ninja's out there. Who would have known? So big relief from me...much more simplier to make a Ninja costume. And here is the end result. I wasn't too impressed with this years costume. I know I've done better in years past, but Lucas was happy and really..in the end that is all that matters.


Lucas wasn't too keen on having his pictures taken. As you can see in his eyes he wasn't feeling well at this point. Mean mommy...it was first afterwards I realized that something was up with him. We have now been home for days from school and work. It seems like the worst is behind him.


As Thanksgiving is approaching I'm thinking of what do I have to be grateful for...but I can also real quick mention what I'm not grateful for.
Yes, I have plenty to be grateful for. A beautiful LIVING son, an amazing husband, a house to call home, jobs to help pay our bills. Yes...that is absolutely something not to take for granted. But, then there is the big BUT....Everytime I think of what I'm grateful for I'm reminded of what I'm not grateful for. I'm not grateful for that I have a DEAD son. A son that I never got to bring him home from the hospital, that I will never watch taking his first steps or never watch him walk bare feet in the grass, he will never feel the sun on his face, watch the birds fly and sing....and I could go on, and go on and go on. I hate grief. I HATE missing my son.
You don't realize how much you take having healthy children for granted until you experience the loss of a child. I know I did! I was so unaware of what can go wrong during pregnancy when I was expecting my first.

Which reminds me of a quote from a book called Empty Cradle, Broken Heart. This is a great book, really explains a lot of my feelings that are so hard to describe to others.

"I suppose I should say, "It's so unfair, but I don't wish other moms and babies harm." But oh, I do. I know it's not right and I don't want children to die, but I want those mothers to feel what I feel so I'm less isolated, so I'm not the only one. I am slightly disappoint when a healthy baby is born --they don't know how lucky they are. --Stephanie.

I can totally relate to that. When you hear someone complain about their child, you so wish they would know how lucky and blessed they are. How thankful they should be!

And you are so isolated when you are grieving. Everyone move on when your child does, but your world stops turning. And of course their lives should go on, but it's so hard to be left behind and you so wish that someone would grab you and help you. But walking the path of grief is very isolating, very lonely. I remember when I was expecting my sweet angel and when we found out that he was sick, there was a coworker of mine who was always very interested in hearing the latest. How my pregnancy was progressing, what the latest was that the doctors told us, how the prognosis was looking like for our angel. But after I returned to work, after my sweet angel passed and no longer was a person on this earth, this coworker of mine has not said a SINGLE word to me about my angel. No condolences, no nothing! And I know it's not because she's not a caring person, but I know she's uncomfortable and just don't know what to say. Or that she might upset me. Well, guess what? You can't upset a grieving mother or father, because we just don't forget that our child died. It always makes me warm and happy when someone asks me about my angel. It just makes my day!!

I know people might think that in x amount of time you should be "over it". That you should move on.

"While you may feel that you are successfully distracting yourself from grief, you are actually a prisoner of your grief. To free yourself, you can't go over it, you can't go under it, you can't go around it, you just have to go through it. Remember that grief is not a sign of weakness, rather, it takes strenght and courage to acknowledge your emotions."

I'm now on year two of grieving. I think that year two is harder than the first year. I guess the initial shock has worn off and, now I'm living my life without my son. The life I had pictured us living as a family of four is still a life of just three people. I always say that the worst day of my life was not the day my son died, but the day that we found out about his heart. From that day on we knew he might be with us for a shorter amount of time than anticipated. It was always in the back of my mind that he might not make it. For crying out loud - he would require surgery...on his heart!! Not a walk in the park.

"While the death of a parent or friend represents a loss of your past, when your baby dies you lose a part of your future. You grieve not only for your baby, but for your parenthood. Times you had looked forward to --maternity leave, family gatherings and holidays -- can seem worthless or trivial without your baby."

This may sound like an angry post, but really...I just miss my son. I wanted him here with us with all my heart, hear him cry, to watch him grow, the opportunity to speak his name more...his beautiful name.

So this Thanksgiving I will try and stay positive, to be thankful, to be in the moment.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Safari Cake

Over the weekend I made a cake for a baby shower. A sweet friend of mine was hosting a shower for a family member and had asked me if I was up for the challenge. Of course. I don't say no to making a cake when it's something I love to do.

My friend had given me the animals that she wanted me to use for the cake. From that I decided the rest of the design.

The cake was a two layer 12" chocolate cake with buttercream icing as the filling. The palm trees are made out of pretzel rods. I wrapped fondant around them and cut little snips in the trees with a scissor to make it look more like a palm tree trunk. The palm leaves are made out of fondant and attached with some wire. Only thing not edible on the cake :-)

The water is made out of piping gel, which I added some food color to to make it look like water.

I used some buttercream icing for some grass and brown sugar for some dirt around the trees.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012


Some days are worse than others. Lately I've been really missing Noah. And I'm sitting and bawling, which I haven't done in a long, long time. I cry a lot, but bawling? That has been a while. I just can't believe it's been 14 months since the last time I held Noah. My sweet, precious Noah. I miss him so much. I try to describe what it feels like, but there just ain't no words. There is a hole in my heart, and I know it will never, ever go away.

Noah should be closer to the 18 months now. He should be walking around, probably falling down on his butt a lot. We should be telling him "to get up again". We should be constantly watching him, so he won't get into anything he shouldn't. Instead I'm talking into the air to him. Instead I'm watching a lot of sunrises and sunsets thinking that he's sending his love to us. Instead I'm watching the lone star in the sky knowing that's my Noah looking down upon us, watching us, protecting us.

When I really miss him I watch videos and pictures of him. That helps me. I've asked everyone I know, who's taken pictures of Noah, to please give me a copy. I'm still waiting for the pictures Dwayne's family took. I'm excited to see them. I've never seen the pictures they took. But I'm in no rush to get them. I will be a nice surprise, but it will also be the last time I'll ever see a new picture of Noah. Every single picture I got of him is etched in my memory. Some more than others. I still want to make a photo album of him and his short life.

I've never shared this picture before. This was taken when we were at the hospital where I delivered him. Noah stayed in the NICU while I recovered for the normal two days. He was stable, so there was no need to rush him to Children's hospital. He was just chilling and hanging out. Dwayne and Lucas was there on the second evening of Noah's life visiting us. Dwayne was so eager to see Noah that they quickly went to go see him before they came and got me. We had a really sweet nurse the couple of days we were there. She had mentioned the day before that when Lucas came back she wanted to take a picture of the brothers. So she did! She took two. She's also the one that wrote "brothers" on the picture. Even though the quality of the picture is not very good, I love it. My three boys. I miss having them all three together. I'm sure they would be soo rowdy.

And here is a picture we got from my in laws. I think this picture is so beautiful. Look at how Dwayne is looking at his son. The picture just says LOVE all over it. I loved that first week with Noah when we had plenty of opportunities to hold and cradle him. He was barely hooked up to anything. Just some medication to keep his PDA (hole in the heart all newborns are born with but closes soon after birth) open and some nutrition via IV.
So this is what has been going on a lot lately...grief. Something that is so hard to explain to someone who don't know the pain of loosing a child. I'm reading a great grief book right now that describes so many of the feelings and emotions you experience when you go thru a trauma like that of having a child die. I've marked down many things that I want to share here on the blog. But I know it's gonna be a lenghty entry and it will take me a while. And I also got to be in the right mindset to write it. But it's on my list to do.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Parenting advice

Yes. I need help. Not with Lucas...no the other child in the house, the dog. She's so good at pushing my buttons. And I think I'm pretty strict. I want well mannered children. And Pippa ain't that right now. She WILL NOT listen when we are outside. Totally ignores me. Selective hearing is in full force. I've tried treats and calling for her. Sometimes it works, other times not so much. And if we are in the front yard she will run after people because she wants to talk to them. And our road is soo busy. And again she totally ignores me when I tell her no or stay. Today we picked up Lucas from school and she gets so excited to see all the kids. She jumps and wants to greet everyone. Please give me some good advice. I think it's almost time to take some puppy classes, but I wanted to wait until she had gotten all her puppy shots, which will be another four weeks. So what can I do????

Sunday, August 05, 2012

A New World

Growing up I had a couple of cats. I loved them. Both of them were my little companion when my mom, a single mom, had to work long hours, and I was home by myself. I left home when I was 20 to move to the US and my cat stayed with my mom. I never got another pet again. I just wasn't interested in them anymore.

As Lucas grew up a few people would tell me once in a while that Lucas needed a dog. Every boy needed a little dog. I was always very fast to say "No way". I just didn't find anything interesting about dogs. Hated to jumping up on you, hated the hair. Just plainly didn't care for them. Then something happened. I don't know what exactly. But dogs started to be cuter to me. Whenever we would meet a dog at a park, campground etc. it would always melt my heart how Lucas would go and pet them, and I could just see it in his eyes how much he adored dogs. And then there is our horrible heart break that we experienced last year. Lucas went through a trauma. A huge one. And as a heart mom and angel mom, I just can't stop the thought and fear of loosing another child. It's horrifying. You can't shake those emotions. But I have an amazing seven year old, and I want him to experience everything life has to offer. And I want him to experience the greatest love I think there is. The unconditional love a dog will give you.
We also thought that Lucas is at a great age. And we only got that confirmed when we went camping in May, and he played with a dog, a border collie/black lab, all day long. He loved that dog. Couldn't barely get him to eat any meals, because he had to go back and play with the dog. We then promised him that we would get him a dog after my dad and stepmom left.
When they left a couple of weeks ago the search started. We knew we wanted a border collie. An active dog that we could teach to play fetch, go for walks, runs and even bike rides. I looked a lot online. It was like looking for another job! Very time consuming. I first looked at shelters and rescues. We went to look at a couple, but they just didn't fit us or our personalities. I changed my search to look for border collie puppies. I found a few breeders in Missouri. One had a litter just five weeks old, but they were located over four hours away from us. A far drive not knowing if we would like the dog and we had to put a non refundable deposit down to hold a dog. We just couldn't do it. We knew the right dog would come along.
The next day I looked online again and to my surprise I found a breeder right in town. We went last Sunday to look at the six puppies she had. Come to find out she had only listed them the day before, a mere two hours before I looked online. What are the chances? They say when it's meant to be you just know, right? We think we found the cutest dog. A little girl dog, named Pippa. (Yes, she is named after the sister of Kate Middleton, who is now married to Prince William.) We thought about changing her name, but none of us could think of a different name, and we all seemed to agree that the name just was hers. We could have taken Pippa home with us last Sunday, but since we've never had a dog we had nothing for her. We asked to pick her up Friday, so we could get things for her, but also have a whole weekend to make her comfortable in her new home.

She's now home and doing pretty good. She's VERY active. But she also rests and sleeps a lot. She cried a lot the first night in her crate, but last night it was much better. The first 24 hours with us she would pee in the house a lot. But the last almost 24 hours she has done her business outside. I've been taking her out a lot, and everytime she has gone. (knock on wood).




Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday


A beautiful sunrise for my beautiful Noah, who today is 15 months old.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The latest...

Well, really I won't be writing about the latest in just one post. But it's been a while, and I'll just really quick explain why.
First and foremost my dad and step mom came to visit us. We just took them to the airport yesterday and said our "see you later" to them. It was so hard. It's always so hard. I miss my family. I miss having them around. Oh why, do they have to be so far away? But we had a ton of fun with them. We had a lot of laughs, lot of wine and beer and a lot of good talks. So different from when they were here a year ago when Noah passed away. A year ago I was walking around in a fog. Couldn't see what was right in front of me...didn't even care. This year our visit with them was so much clearer. I think it was good therapy for all of us.
With them coming in town, we wanted to get our house looking good. We did a lot of week many weekends before they would come. We redid our roof on the back of the house (due to a stubborn leak), and we redid our back deck. It's looking amazing (in our opinion). We wanted a "Colorado" feel to it and I think we got it. I'll share pics later.

Another thing I've been extremely occupied was the preparation for Dwayne's surprise 40th birthday party. He turned 41 in June, but I had planned a 40th birthday celebration for him last year. I thought it would be so perfect. Noah would be home from the hospital, I would still be on maternity leave and we could just celebrate. Well, as you know plans change and ours did too. It changed from it will be a surprise 40th birthday celebration (a little late) combined with a welcome home party for Noah. Well, it changed again. Nothing happened. No celebration. No party. It just turned into a big shit sandwich!!

This year was gonna be different. I wanted to celebrate Dwayne. He works so darn hard for his family. For us. He still managed to work when our youngest son was fighting for his life in the hospital. I don't think I'll ever get over the sadness that Dwayne wasn't able to commit himself 150% to be with Noah when he wanted to be there. That makes me sad.

So I planned a 40th birthday surprise a year late! It turned out amazing. He had no clue whatsoever!

I planned it for 7/7. That day is a very special day to us. That's Noah's date of death. It would be a hard day. We knew that. It was actually hard leading up to that day. We knew we needed to be surrounded with love on that day. My dad and step mom would be with us on that day too. When I mentioned to them having the party for Dwayne on that day they were totally game. They were actually thrilled that they could come and help out and be part of the celebration. My family can never be a part of any celebration, so it was very special to have them with us.
I had one of Dwayne's friends help me. I needed to get Dwayne out of the house, because I wanted to have the party outside. His friend planned a bike ride for several guys. It was easy to get him out of the house. Another friend picked him up. He knew all about the party so he made sure to keep him away from the house until the guests had arrived.

Since Dwayne is a bikerider, I had been researching his cake for quite some time. I found a cool idea on the internet to add a road to the cake. I created a bikerider and bike out of fondant.
I got a little frustrated while making the cake and it didn't help that I was stressed to make sure it got done in time before the guests would arrive.

Here's the final result of the bicycle rider with his bike.

The cake was made out of chocolate cake. It had cool whip with melted chocolate in between the layers (we love chocolate in this house). Everything was edible on this cake. Mostly everything was fondant on the outside except for the spokes on the bicycle. Those were spaghetti.

Then there was the decoration. I wanted it to be manly. I picked yellow and black for the colors. We hung balloons on a string around the backyard. It looked so cool. Unfortunately the temps were above 100, so a lot of the balloons had popped from the heat. Such a bummer. And I think I mentioned my disappointment a lot that night. I made table runners out of burlap. I bought mason jars for candle holders. Added some marbles in the bottom, added water and a heart shaped floating candle. (It just had to be hearts for Noah). And tied a little straw ribbon around the top.


Then there was the food. The cake was in place. Since I had been watching the weather forecast I knew it was gonna be hot. I wanted something cooling.

So I found this great receipe from Frugal Girls: The cheesecake frozen yogurt pops were delicious. I changed up the receipe a little bit. Instead of making it strictly cherry, I added a mixture of frozen fruits instead of frozen cherries. My bag had pineapple, strawberries, peach and mango in it. And instead of cherry juice I just bought a fruit punch juice.

My stepmom made some delicious meat balls. We also served hot dogs, chips, fruit salad, pasta salad and I wanted some kind of potato dish. Instead I found a receipe on pinterest for some tasty zucchini bites.
They compared them to tater tots, just healthier. Here is the receipe. The only diffence I did was to use plain bread crumbs since that's what I had on hand. I heard they were really good too. I never tried them since everyone seemed to wanting to eat them, so I left them for the guests instead. I'm planning on making them soon again, since they could be great for the freezer and an easy help for dinner one night when working.

Also my mother in law made Dwayne's favorite. Little cheese cakes. My good friend, Chrissy also brought an appetizer. Yum!

I just never took many pictures from the party. Must have the good tasting wine and beer that distracted me :-) But here's a picture of the food table with not too many leftovers (yay)!


We had about 30 guests including us. I was so thankful to all who could come out to help celebrate Dwayne. Also a big thanks to the guys who kept Dwayne occupied before the party. I think this 40th birthday celebration was pretty spectacular! And I think the birthday "boy" thought the same thing.

Friday, June 15, 2012

RIP Oakes

Where do I start? This is so hard to write. I never thought that Oakes wouldn't make it. He always seemed to find a way back after having his setbacks. And believe me, he had many.
He had a special way of bouncing back to smiles, to charming everyone. Charming his friends, family, nurses and even people he never met in person but just thru pictures. He had the most fight in him I have ever seen.
Oakes and his parents and older sister was a family we "met" at the hospital when Noah was there. When I say "met", we really didn't meet there. Pretty amazing huh? Considering the unit they were in was small, only 12 beds. And they were there at the same time together. Becky (Oakes's mom) told me later that she saw us in the hall, but I never did. Oh, how I wish I did. When I went to visit Noah, I never looked into the other rooms I passed. Noah was in room 11 and one of the last rooms in the unit. I walked by ten other beds before Noah's room. But I just never felt that it was right for me to look into someone else's room. I felt I was invading their space if I would do that.
Becky reached out to me after Noah died thru facebook. We started to message back and forth and at first I thought she was our next door neighbor. That's how clueless I was. I would say we have a pretty neat friendship considering we actually have only been together a few times and it's usually been for events.
Oakes was born with a congenital heart defect (CHD) and he had two heart surgeries and a double lung transplant. Not to mention countless treatments and procedures. He was/IS a strong little dude and I feel priveliged to have met him.

You can read more about Oakes's life here. Both Oakes's momma and pappa are amazing writers. They are so good with words.

Tomorrow we celebrate you, Oakes.

Forever missed. Forever loved.

3/10/11 - 6/6/12

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Just because

It's Saturday evening. Lucas is bugging about dinner, but I have to real quick share this picture I took of Lucas a couple of weeks ago. I absolutely am IN LOVE with this picture of my oldest son. Can you just not hear his giggles just looking at this picture? I hate the staged smile whenever I bring out the camera. It's so hard to get his personality and his true smiles to show in pictures. Normally he complains about having to get his picture taken, so that don't make it easier. But THIS is just perfection. I can't say how much I love being his mom. I'm so thankful that I was choosen.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pajamas day

Noah's whole little life he didn't wear much clothes. My guess is the doctor/nurses didn't have time to mess with clothes. Believe me... they were occupied enough with diaper changes, check temperature every hour, give medicine, lab work, baths and etc. And that's just the normal routine. I think I summed up pretty much what a "boring" day consists of. It's a lot more work for them if Noah would have procedures, tests etc. So needless to say Noah was a pretty naked kid much of his life except for the occasional socks, which he always would figure out how to kick off. His wardrope pretty much consisted of a diaper.
Except for one weekend. One weekend I will forever, and I mean that....FOREVER will cherish SO much. That weekend my child, my baby didn't look nearly as sick. That weekend my little baby boy wore clothes for two days. The clothes hid the wires, stickers etc. which made my baby look like a normal baby.
The pictures below are taken exactly one year ago today. Yes, you might think not because of the date on his forehead, but those stickers would stay on him for a few days at times.
Yvonne, his nurse that weekend, had him all dressed when we came to see him on Saturday May 28th 2011. Yvonne was one of Noah's nurses who always came to check on him, even if Noah wasn't her "child" for the day. Yvonne also was the one to make sure he got a lot of time sitting in his bobby. A lot of time in the bobby was good for Noah's lungs. So even though you can't see the bobby, we used some hospital blankets to cover it with, he was sitting up like a big boy in the pictures below.

You might have seen the pictures before, but check him out again. How CUTE is he with his I love mommy pajamas?? This outfit was given to us from a dear friend of mine, Tracey. She sent me several outfits. This one is now hanging in a shadow box on the wall.
The next day Noah wore an outfit again. This time it was one of Lucas's pajamas. It was so neat an outfit that both of my boys wore.

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Monday, May 07, 2012

10 months

Today is May 7th 2012. Today it's ten months ago that I held my child alive for the last time. Today is ten months ago when we told him it was ok to let go.
I can't believe that I'm typing this!! You never think bad stuff will happen to you..it usually happens to your neighbor. I just can't believe that "my son is dead" would ever cross my lips, but now it has become normal for me to say. So surreal.
Every month on the 7th I think of Noah. (Well, I think of him every second of every day), but more so on the seventh. And it's become especially harder with the one year mark sneaking up on me.
I still remember the day as clearly as yesterday, but then again it seems like so many moons ago.

It aches psycially hurts to think back on that day. I'll never forget the last time Noah was layed in my arms. He was placed in my arms to die. Dwayne kneeled down in front of me and he slid his arms underneath him too. We both held him together. I sang to him, his favorite good night song, that I sang to him every day. I sang it if he got upset, if I wanted to tell him I loved him and when I left for the day. We prayed, we cried, we kissed him, rubbed noses, gave him gentle squeezes and told him over and over how much we loved him, how proud we were of him and lastly that it was ok to let go, and that we would love him the rest of our lives, he would ALWAYS and forever be our son, and we would never forget him. And repeat... until the doctor ever so quietly came in the room and declared him dead at 6:21 pm.


This picture is taking a year ago today of Noah. It's one of our favorites pictures we have of him. You can't see much of him except his eyes. And what beautiful eyes they are. I loved having eye contact with him while loving on him. This picture was taken one week after his surgery. We were still so full of hope, that he would be alright, and he was just moving in his own pace towards recovery.
The nurse had written I <3 mom because of Mother's Day. My first Mother's day as a mommy of two. It was so special and I'll never forget it. It's tucked away in my heart with so many beautiful memories.

Ok.. time to wipe away the tears and put on a smile for my Mr. Noah.

Thursday, May 03, 2012


Normally when we get home from school/work we take a break before homework. Today I wanted to do homework as soon as we got home, because Lucas needed to go to bed early, since he didn't get much sleep the night before.

Lucas was cranky and objecting big time to having to do homework. But he still went with me into the office. Dropped himself into Dwayne's office chair and was lounging on his Spongebob pillow. Didn't want to do any of his homework. I could tell he was tired. I bet if he had layed there for much longer he would have falled asleep. I let him sit for a few minutes and told him it was time to work on his spelling words for his usual Friday test.
As we were sitting and going over them out of no where he blurred out that one of his friends had been picked at at school today. By the way, I just love how kids will tell exactly what's on their mind. He went on that it was a second who had said some really mean things to his friend. He had used one of the words "stupid" to him, and his friend had told the 2nd grader that it was a mean word. The 2nd grader I guess was really sharp with his remarks and said that "no it's not. Go look up the word in the bad word dictonary". And then Lucas's friend broke down and cried.

Sigh! Why do kids have to be mean to each other? Bullying is something that really scares me. You hear so often in the news about kids being bullied and it's chilling to think about what these poor kids, who gets picked on, use an answer to get rid of their bullies. Lucas, gosh I love him, went on to tell me that they had went to a teacher and said what the bully had done. Lucas said he got in BIG trouble.

And then...my sweet, sweet boy. And I had to hold my tears back, because just really touched my heart. He said that he tried to make his friend feel better. I asked him what he did and he said he gave him hugs. It still makes me weepy just typing it out. I thought that was so sweet of my son. Reminded me of the last time he was trying to cheer up a friend in class. A friend of his had a death in the family. And Lucas, knowing what this feels like, was offering hugs to make his friend feel better. After Lucas shared all this with me, I gave him a big hug and told him how happy he makes me for being such a sweet friend.
And I was also talking to him about how he should never let anyone get to him if someone would ever try to call him mean names. And Lucas said so sweet how his teacher had said it similiar "don't let it get to your heart". And that's exactly what I pray for for my son. I can't protect him, I wish I could. But I just hope it won't get to his heart.


After an emotional talk I looked at Lucas, and he just looked so darn cute, that I just had to take a picture of him. This will always remind me of our important talk.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012

Meet Eva Joy.

Time to do another angel story. I would like for you to meet Eva Joy. Eva was a heart baby just like Noah. Eva also had a cleft like Noah. So I feel a connection with Eva's mom, since our babies had so much in common.
Look how adorable Eva is. And look at those eyes. Just gorgeous.

If you remember the last angel baby I featured, which was Jena. Here's her story if you don't remember. But this is Jena's younger sister. So heart heartbreaking that this family had to loose two kids.


When Blake was 15 months old and after 9 months of trying for another baby, we became pregnant again! As with my pregnancy with Blake, my OB placed another cervical stitch in my cervix to prevent my incompetent cervix from opening prematurely again. It was at the big 20 week ultrasound that we once again were told horrible news about our baby! We were told that we were having a girl which we were thrilled about. We thought, finally we could have a baby girl in our home and not in Heaven. My cervix was nice and closed and long so premature labor would not be a problem…It was worse! Our baby girl on ultrasound looked as if she had a severe heart anomaly!  The left side of her heart was severely undersized. We were told to get genetic testing done and to seek out further tests to check on our girl’s heart. We went to the University of Michigan, which is supposed to be a center of excellence for Pediatric Cardiology. We were crushed! It was confirmed that out daughter had what is one of the most complex heart defects called, Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. It was also confirmed that our daughter had a very rare genetic deletion on her 4th chromosome. There was little information out there on this rare deletion except an array of heart defects and clefting in the lip and palate. Our girl, who we decided we would name Eva Joy, had both…a severe cleft lip/palate and a very severe heart defect. We were given the option to terminate or to continue with the pregnancy. It was something that was so hard for us…

We called on Pastor Greg to sit with us and to pray. It was an easy decision for us to continue with the pregnancy as there are many babies out in the world with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome who are alive and thriving. We knew it would be a tough road for our baby girl. She was to face three open heart surgeries in her first two years for her heart alone. She would also face the cleft lip/palate surgeries as well.

            At 31 weeks into the pregnancy, I went into preterm labor. I was put on hospital bed rest at my local hospital and was to be transported to the University of Michigan at 36 weeks to deliver her there so she can be ready for her first open heart surgery. After being away from my Brian and Blake for over a month in the hospital, the day arrived to be transported to University of Michigan to have a Cesarean Section to deliver our Eva Joy. Brian and I were so nervous, but we were ready to do whatever it took to get our baby girl safe and healthy. We knew it was going to be a fight for all of us…we were ready! On May 17, 2011 our Eva Joy was born weighing in at 5 pounds 3 ounces. For a heart baby she gave a good cry when they lifted her out of me! She was beautiful! She had the biggest beautiful blue eyes I have EVER seen. A true gift!

            On Eva’s 3rd day of life she underwent her first open heart surgery. She made it through just fine! In fact, Eva’s only issue was that feeding difficulties and she was very slow to grow. For four weeks Brian Blake and I stayed at the local Ronald Mc Donald House because our home was over an hour away. I was pretty much healed from my C section and Brian had to go back to work to continue to support our family. It was hard to be split up, but it needed to be done. Brian stayed with Eva all week and went to and from work from there. I stayed with Blake all week but on the weekends I was with our Eva. It was so hard to have a split family but we were starting to get used to it. We were told that Eva needed to have a procedure done in the Cath lab before she could come home. They wanted to check a few things with the catheter and that it was a simple procedure. I declined the procedure for Eva. I felt it was useless to go in and put her under anesthesia and “poke” around just to “check on things”. I had this bad feeling! Again, my motherly instincts kicked in and said,  “no, don’t do it”…It was Thursday, July 28th, 2011. I told Eva’s Cardiologist that I refuse the procedure and that I was going to drive an hour to go home to be with my Blake and Brian for the day. Eva was stable and all was well.

            After an hour drive home, I thought about the hard fight that Eva had already put up in her short life and about how much harder she would have to continue to fight once we got her home. She had been in the hospital almost 100 days and we were ready to bring her home! We were ready to continue to do whatever it took to get Eva healthy and well. Once I got home, Brian and I got a call from Eva’s Cardiologist saying that they still wanted to go into the Cath lab to check on some pressure in her stent that was placed in her heart.

They said the chances of anything significantly wrong happening was very low. We were told; just to stay home and that there was no need to come back to the hospital and that they would take her down to the Cath lab for the procedure. I told Brian that I didn’t have a good feeling and that she was doing so well that we should just let it be, however Brian and I had faith in them that they would help Eva to get home soon and that they just needed to do this one last procedure. Brian gave consent over the phone for the procedure. I still felt sick about it. I told Brian that we needed to go to the hospital to be there for her when she comes out of the procedure. The entire time I had that nagging awful feeling that something wasn’t right. When we got to the hospital, Eva was already in the Cath lab, so I didn’t get the chance to kiss her or hold her. This saddened me. An hour into the procedure Eva went into Cardiac Arrest on the Cath lab table and they couldn’t bring her back! I fell to my knees when I saw them pounding on her little lifeless chest. I started to sob and scream, “Eva come back”…She was gone. I held her two month old blue body in my arms and I was broken. I was angry at the Cardiology team; I felt like they talked us into this “unnecessary” procedure, I was mad at the world. I was so angry at God for allowing another one of my babies to die especially after how hard and long we all fought for Eva. I felt like dying myself. I didn’t care if I lived any longer.

            Again, we had to say good-bye to another one of our babies. As I write this letter, it is, April 2012…  almost 10 months since our Eva Joy died and I am still angry with God. I am grieving hard and will be for a long time. Planning her funeral was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life. Her Nursery and clothing was taken down and packed away…Our hearts are still broken and we are still so lost. My Brian and I have yet more questions for God…Why did you allow this? Why did you allow us to get to know and love our baby for two months and then allow her to die? What justifies a baby to die before her parents? What justifies a family to lose TWO babies? We hope one day we will see our baby girls again. We beg for signs that they are with us in some form. I know I wonder how Heaven is and some days I wonder if there really IS a Heaven. So many questions…So much pain. Our 2 year old Blake keeps us going. There are still so many gloomy tearful days. We grasp at the notion that we will see them again one day face to face…We try not to lose faith…That is one thing we have learned in all of this and that is… walking by faith and not sight is one of the hardest things to do as a Christians… We continue to live and trust and to have faith…without faith what else have we got?

            If you are reading this because you have recently lost a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death please know that you are NOT alone…This an awful pain, but there are others who belong to this horrible club…God Bless you and Take Care


Friday, April 27, 2012

Little steps

It's amazing how much stuff you get ready when you are expecting a little bundle of joy. When we were waiting for Lucas to arrive back in 2005, we had so much stuff to get. Clothes, bed, changing table and the list goes on. We had a couple of baby showers which helped us out tremendously. We also got some hand me down items (love them). When we were waiting for Noah to arrive we again had to get a ton of stuff ready. This time we had kept everything from Lucas. I didn't really go out and buy a whole lot of stuff. I found a few cute outfits on clearance, that I just couldn't resist buying. And then I bought the "coming home" outfit from the hospital. I actually bought two. Same outfit, but just two different sizes...it just depended on how big he was when he was born. We were so positive that, just like the cardiologist told us, he would be home within a week or so from the hospital. We had dug out all the little baby clothes. Washed it, and put it in the closet. Dwayne found the little bassinet he would sleep in when he would be released from the hospital.

Noah wore two outfits his whole ten weeks of life. He always had a blanket with him. It never left him any longer than a few hours. (That's when I had to take it home to wash it. I was the day shift and Dwayne the evening shift). He also wore a few socks, but often the nurses took them off of him. So I didn't bother with that too much. Maybe I should have, gosh...there are so many things I wished I would have. But my mind was a fog while he was hospitalized. Things that I would have done now, now that I can think clearer, but I just couldn't do when he was alive.


{This is Noah with his beloved blanket. A dear friend of mine helped me with embroidering it. This picture is actually taken when he was on ECMO. I haven't shared pictures of him on ECMO. But in this picture you can't see his open chest. Hidden nicely with his blanket.}

And then he died. So many things had to be put away. But guess what?? I haven't even done half of it. The first thing I did was put away the breast pump. My little friend who I was so close with for twelve weeks or so). Next thing I did was empty my hospital bag. This was the bag that I carried back and forth every day to Children's hospital. In there I had my video camera, my camera, crayons, coloring books, my knitting. (I started knitting a hat for him that I was gonna use for his newborn pictures. I began this project when I had to take my three hour glucose test. The hat is still not done). I had other reading material in there. Topics about his heart, procedures, medical treatments etc. Dwayne and I did a lot of reading, so when we talked to the doctors we were a little more educated. Just a simple thing as how the human heart works, I had no clue. I had no knowledge about the chambers, oxygenated blood etc. before Noah's condition. The bag was hard to empty. I think I did that in the fall, about two months after his death, and boy was that hard. I remember I cried so hard that I curled up in a ball on my bed. There was so many memories in this bag.

Next thing, which I just did in 2012 was removing the maternity clothes from my closet. That wasn't too bad. I handled that ok. But that has been it. His clothes is still in the closet. We don't need the room, so there isn't any rush removing it. I'm sure one day, out of the blue, I'll be ready and want to box it up.

Today I took another little step. I took out my earrings. You are probably thinking "your earrings?". Yes. I've worn the same earrings for a whole year new. On Easter Sunday 2011 I put in a gold pair of earrings that Dwayne got me many years ago. And the evening on Easter is when my water broke, so the earrings were still in. When Noah got transferred to Children's I decided to keep the earrings in until he was released. I don't know if I thought they brought good luck, but for some reason I felt supersticious and couldn't take them out. After he passed away I decided that I would keep them in the remainder of 2012. I kinda wanted to wrap up the year, Noah's year, with the earrings in. January came and my earrings were still in. I thought about changing them but just never did. Not until today. I was getting ready for Lucas's field trip to the zoo. I had taken the day off work so I could tag along. I had gotten Lucas on the bus and I had an hour or so before I had to meet him and his class at the zoo. And out of no where a little voice said to me..."change the earrings" and I did! I thought the day I was gonna change them out might be a little sad. But no. I was ready. So....baby steps...and who cares how long it will take? It will get done...and in my pace.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday (Kinda)

Happy birthday to my sweet boy in heaven. We miss you more than words can say. Photobucket (This is Lucas on his first birthday)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

What 7 is like.

I asked Lucas a few question since we have to figure out what seven is all about.

Favorite tv show: Regular show, Adventure time, MAD, Spongebob,

Favorite food: Pizza, pancakes, bread with butter.

Favorite place: BounceU, TGI Fridays, Monkey Joes

Favorite book: Bone, Dr. Seuss.

Favorite vacation: Florida.

Favorite snack: M&M's.

Favorite drink: Ice cold water. (He loves to eat the ice cubes).

Lucas is doing great in school. He's starting to spell harder words like checking, telling etc. He has also in the last month started to read more on his own. His favorite book right now is the "Bone" series. I love listening to him sounding out the words.
He loves to write his own cartoon books. Some of the titles have been: "The french toast monsters", "Evil eggs", "Evil pancakes". (Hmmmm...I'm suspecting a lot of these titles are being pondered about at break fast).
He even mentioned that he will be writer when he grows up (if he in his dreams will come up with some good ideas), make movies. (Next Brad Pitt??) or a carpenter :-) (He has been helping his Dad a lot with our projects around the house).

He is signed up to play his first team sport. He will start playing soccer at the end of the month. I'm very excited to watch that. It should be fun for him, because he LOVES to run. He often runs laps in the yard.

He still hasn't lost any teeth. We are still waiting for the tooth fairy.

Here's a picture of him taken at BounceU where we had his party. BounceU is a place with a bunch of inflatables for the kids to jump around on. Perfect for wearing out 7 year old boys.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Jena's story!

I met Jena's mom through an online support group. Actually I've met so many people through the internet, who has been an incredible support.
Jena is the first angel I'm sharing who was stillborn. Such a sad story that should have had a happy ending.
Jena will be forever missed!

Jena Rose Pepper

I was 20 weeks pregnant and just coming from the OB/Gyn office for the big ultrasound that told us we were having a girl! We were so excited! I always wanted a little girl to dress up with pretty pink dresses and bows…The ultra sound technician mentioned that my cervical length was shortening which meant the weight of the baby was causing the opening of my cervix to painlessly dilate. I was diagnosed with an incompetent cervix. To effectively remedy the situation, a cervical stitch would need to be surgically placed to tie the cervix together. I had a horrible feeling that something “just wasn’t right”…My OB was dead set against putting the stitch in and said that he would just watch the cervical length by ultrasound. I was so angry! Here I was, half way through my pregnancy and I just knew that something was wrong. I had this horrible feeling that my cervix would give way and I would deliver my baby girl prematurely and that she would die!
That week I felt tired and out of sorts. I remember it so vividly. I had that haunting feeling that only a Mother could have, knowing that something bad was going to happen. I asked my husband Brian to go into work late because I just didn’t feel well. He stayed home with me that morning and stayed in bed with me. He got up to get ready for work. I kissed him goodbye and as he walked towards the door, I walked to the bathroom. I heard Brian shut the door and I climbed back in bed. As soon as I climbed back into bed a very large “swoosh” of water poured out of me! I thought, “no way could this just be urine”. I knew what had happened! My cervix gave way and I was painlessly starting labor…My water had broke!
I was only 20 weeks! It was too early. If I had Jena now she would surely die! I started screaming so loud. Brian heard me out in the garage and came rushing in. I called my OB office and told them trying what had happened trying to hold back the screams. We rushed to labor and delivery triage and I was put in a labor and delivery room. It was confirmed that my water had broke. I was placed on heavy antibiotics because once an amniotic sac breaks risk of infection runs high. We could do nothing. We waited!
Twenty long days passed and we thought we were in the clear. We thought we could get Jena big enough to survive on the outside. I will never forget how scared I was. I was so angry at my OB! If he had only given me the cervical stitch, my baby would be safe inside my womb growing for many more weeks. On March 1, 2008 at 22 weeks I went into active labor after sitting in the hospital for 20 long days trying to prevent infection. I begged God to save her! I pleaded, “ God please, I stayed in the hospital bed, and I even used the bed pan, please acknowledge this…please know that I want her more than anything”…The contractions were so painful. I couldn’t help but scream. It was the worst pain I have ever felt.
The pain out of nowhere stopped. The OB then gave me an ultrasound. No heartbeat was found! Jena pressed against her umbilical cord and because there was no amniotic fluid, she pressed against her lifeline. Jena Rose was delivered “still” on that cold and gray morning.
I remember wanting to die. Holding my baby dead was the most horrid thing! I felt as if everything was surreal. The next morning, Brian and I drove away from the hospital in silence. We went home to a quiet house. No joy of a new baby…Nothing! I stayed in bed for weeks as my breast milk came in and sobbed. I felt so alone. I thought that this couldn’t possibly happen to anyone else. I was angry. I hated life. I hated God! Why did he allow this to happen? I someday hope I will find out. I have so many questions for God. I just don’t understand why so many women who don’t necessarily “want” babies get them and why there are some women like me, who walk away with nothing…
Six months later after a very severe bout of depression. I became pregnant again. This time, my OB placed a cervical stitch and my baby boy stayed inside growing! It was a nerve wracking pregnancy, but Blake Matthew Pepper was born healthy on July 23, 2009! I can’t imagine my life without him! I miss my Jena Rose everyday and she will always be part of my family. I only hope to be able to see her again one day! I will never forget her EVER!

There is no foot so small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Monday, April 09, 2012

Nelyn's story.

Meet sweet, sweet Nelyn. I've known Nelyn for quite some time. I met Nelyn's momma on an online message board when I was pregnant with Lucas (who is now seven), and she was pregnant with her beautiful daughter. When we "met" back in 2004 I remember hearing about Nelyn. Nelyn was only 18 days old when he died. He was born perfectly healthy. A beautiful baby boy. Nelyn died of whooping cough ~ pertussis. I never understood her pain until I went through the pain of having a child die.
Before Nelyn was born, Nelyn's mom and dad had two teenagers. They had for a time wanted a third and Nelyn had blessed their family. The family now consists of five children....four on earth and one in heaven. Nelyn is so missed. I know that even though some time has passed since Nelyn's birth and death, their family will NEVER be complete. They will always miss their second son.
Below are a couple of news articles. Please, please read them. It's a story of an beautiful angel and I believe his work is not done here on earth. He continues to educate people. He educated me! After I had given birth to Noah, I got a booster shot to protect Noah from wooping cough. Thanks to Nelyn I now know. I now know how dangerous whooping cough is for small infants. Please get a booster shot, even if you don't have small infants in your household, but you could be that stranger at the book store who could protect another pregnant woman like Nelyn's momma.

Click here to read a news article about Nelyn.

And here is a video of Nelyn's momma talking about her sweet angel.

Nelyn just turned 8 years old on 4/7/12. Happy birthday, big guy!


Monday, April 02, 2012

Charlotte's story!

Meet sweet, precious angel Charlotte. Look at those eyelashes? Don't they just make her sooo adorable??? I sure can keep looking into her eyes and everytime it makes me smile.

Charlotte is a heart angel. I met her mom through a private group on facebook for heart angel mommies. She posted a link to her blog,  and ever since then I've been following this sweet family. I really wanted Charlotte's story be a part of my angel project, and I'm SO thrilled that her mom said YES!

I know you will fall in love with little miss Charley after reading about her sweet, much too short, little life.


The past two and a half year of my life have been defined by a series of dates—dates that will forever and always stand out in my memory whether I want them to or not. Some of them I cling to while others I wish could be permanently erased from the calendar year. Good or bad, these dates tell our story…
September 2009:  The day that I found out that I was pregnant. 
My husband Matt and I had just started to talk about trying to have a baby in July, so after only 2 months of trying we were thrilled to learn that we were going to be parents!  I remember nervously taking the pregnancy test that morning while Matt unknowingly watched tv on the couch.  I couldn’t stop shaking when I saw those two pink lines show up in the little window.  I had always imagined myself coming up with some elaborately creative way to let Matt know that we were expecting, but in that moment all creativity left me and I walked dumbfounded into the living room and held up the test.  I don’t think I said a word…I just remember hugging and smiling and the feeling of my heart beating 1,000 times per minute.  I was going to be a mommy!
January 18, 2010:  The ultrasound that changed our lives forever.
Like most expectant parents, Matt and I had been anxiously awaiting our ultrasound and couldn’t wait to get a peak at the little one that was growing inside of me.  I went to that appointment with the assumption that they would say everything was wonderful, tell us we were having a little boy/girl and then send us on our way.  As we sat there staring in awe at the grainy images of our baby, we didn’t pick up on anything concerning.  It was our first baby…our first ultrasound.  We didn’t know that the events taking place around us were anything other than normal.  Not until we got those sympathetic eyes from the doctor and ultrasound tech did it all start to click.  We found out that we were having a baby GIRL that day, but we also learned that there was “potentially” something very wrong with her little heart.   They wanted us to see a pediatric cardiologist the next day.
January 19, 2010:  Confirmation
Quite honestly, the day of our cardiology appointment is a total blur.   We were still holding on to the hope that the inability to see all 4 chambers day before was just due to the baby’s positioning…but I think deep down inside we were both bracing ourselves for bad news.  I remember laying in a dimmed room with twinkling fiber optic stars on the ceiling (a room that over the next year would become VERY familiar to us) as the sonographer and Dr. Sami scrutinized over the images of our baby’s heart.  When the lights came back up, Matt and I sat there holding hands as we were shown a graphic of a normal heart.  Then Dr. Sami started making edits to show us what was “wrong” with our baby’s.  I think that heard maybe 10% of what he told us that day… 
“Pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum…Hypoplastic right ventricle.” 
“Surgery required within days after birth followed by more, which still won’t make her heart normal.”
Like I said…it’s all a blur.  The tears were unstoppable.  We cried until the point of exhaustion and then cried some more.  It hurts my heart just thinking about that day and the ones that followed as we tried to comprehend what this crazy little heart meant for our baby girl. 
May 14, 2010:  Welcome to the World, Charlotte Delene Ritchie
In true Charlotte form, our little girl decided to take matters into her own hands and came into this world 3 weeks early via emergency c-section. From the first time I saw her beautiful, squishy little face I was in love.  All of my worries and fears about the days to come temporarily melted away as I soaked in every detail.  Then in the blink of an eye she was whisked away to the NICU so that they could stabilize her and start the medication that would be her lifeline until surgery time.
May 21 and 27, 2010:  First and second surgeries
In the first 2 weeks of her life, we handed Charlotte over to a team of surgeons, cardiologists, anesthesiologists and nurses on 2 separate occasions.  We KNEW in advance that we would have to do this, but I don’t think that any amount of time can really prepare you for what it actually means.  We knew that this team was going to cut her chest open and stop her heart from beating in an attempt to save her life.  We knew that the next time we would see her that she would have a tube down her throat to help her breathe, drains and wires coming out of her chest and IV lines occupying nearly all of her extremities.  We knew that not all kiddos pull through these surgeries.  And as painful as that all sounded, we also knew that we had no other choice if we wanted to give little Charlotte a fighting chance at life.  The days were long and agonizing, but each time our little girl amazed us all.

June 10, 2010:  Home Sweet Home
Talk about a little ROCKSTAR!  Just 4 weeks, 2 heart caths and 2 heart surgeries later, our little girl came home for the very first time.  It was something we always feared would ever happen. But Charlotte was a fighter and showed us from the very start that she was strong!  We spent the next 7 months at home watching our little girl grow and her personality develop before we had to go back for surgeries #3 and #4 in January 2011…and even then we were home in only 10 days.  We celebrated her 1st birthday a few months later and were preparing ourselves for a surgery-free summer at home with our happy little girl.

May 31, 2011:  The day we never could have anticipated
Sigh....I don't even know where to begin. 
It was a perfectly normal day. I had taken the morning off of work so that I could take Charlotte to an appointment for a lung scan at the hospital. Her hemoglobin had been climbing over the previous month, and since her heart looked good on her echo they wanted to rule out any pulmonary issues.  It was supposed to be an in and out thing...place an IV, take some pictures, go on with our day as usual. 
It turned out to be anything but. 
My husband met me at the hospital and we made our way up to peds to get stared.  Charlotte was a trooper as always! Yes, there were tears along the way, but hospitals and procedures and all of the machines are pretty scary, especially after everything we had put her through!  After all of the testing was completed, the 3 of us gathered our things and headed for the elevators. That's when everything changed. Something with Charlotte just wasn’t “right” and she kept trying to squirm out of my arms. I knew something was wrong and we immediately ran her back to the area where her scan had taken place. 
I heard a rapid response called overhead.   Then a code blue. 
I just remember going numb...sitting off to the side unable to breath as they frantically worked on our little girl.  At one point I remember naively thinking that they would bring her over to us, say she had improved, and send us on our way....but as the minutes continued to pass, I knew.   I knew, but I couldn't comprehend. She was gone. 
The last time I held my little girl in my arms she was gone. I remember just sitting in the wheelchair they brought for me and staring at her perfect little features as she lay motionless in my arms.  A chaplain came. We prayed. He blessed her.  We walked out as 2 instead of 3.
Our lives were turned upside down that day. There is no use in trying to explain how it feels...you will never understand until you've walked that path (and I hope you never do). The grief is deeper than anything you've ever imagined; darker than you could ever comprehend.   Ten months later there are still days when it takes all of my strength to drag myself out of bed…and I think that’s ok.  There is no timeline on grief and I honestly think I’ll have those days for the rest of my life.  
Charlotte is the first thing that I think about every morning and her face is the last image that occupies my brain before I drift off to sleep at night.  In her short 1 year of life she managed to teach us a whole lifetime’s worth of lessons.  She taught us STRENGTH, TRUE LOVE, and COMPASSION and inspired us to be better people.  I will never be the same person that I was back in September 2009 when I found out that I was going to be a mommy.  I will never be the same person that I was before the day of that crazy ultrasound.  I will never be the same person that I was before seeing my Charlotte’s face for the first…or last…time.  I will never be the same person---I am better.  And it’s all because of a little girl named Charlotte.
We love you Charley Bear.  Beyond words or explanation.  More and more each day.

Friday, March 30, 2012

A new friend.

When your child is admitted to St. Louis Children's hospital, you receive a lot of really thoughtfull gifts. Noah has received several knitted blankets given by volunteers, a pillow made by a local school, tons of information and reading material and last but not least Noah got a gift from the company "Build a bear". Build a bear gives donations to the CICU (cardiac intensive care unit) at St. Louis Children's hospital. One of our "welcome" gifts from them had a gift card to their store and there was also two silk hearts. One heart we kept close to us and the other heart you put inside a plexiglass box outside the entrance to the CICU. We wrote Noah's name on it. Dwayne and I both gave it lots of love and kisses, wished for healing for our son and dropped it in the box. While Noah was still in the hospital I would stop now and then to see if I could still spot his heart. A lot of times I could even though it got burried more and more due to more hearts joining the ones already there.
When we went back to the CICU for the first time since Noah passed away back in December I looked for his little heart, but I couldn't see it anymore. I really wish I had taken a picture of the box. But I must say my mind didn't think that clearly when Noah was in the hospital and there are a lot of things I wished I had done, but I didn't.
Like I said besides the little silk hearts Noah also got a gift card. We told Lucas that when Noah got discharged all four of us would go to Build a bear and Lucas should help Noah pick out a bear.
As we know, as with so many of our plans (and dreams) that included Noah, it went down the drain.

But on a cold day earlier this year, we finally went to Build a bear. We told Lucas to pick out something he thought Noah also would like and the bear was a gift from Noah. It was a bittersweet day. Noah should have been right there with us chewing on his little fingers watching his big brother with excitement.
Lucas picked out the cutest little puppy. That puppy hasn't left his side. It sleeps with him every night.


Lucas trying to make a decision. So many choices.


This is when the little puppy comes to life. Lucas is helping stuff the dog.
Afterwards Lucas was given a little red silk heart identical to the ones we got in the hospital. Lucas was told by the lady to rub it on his forehead, nose and give it a kiss and it was put inside the dog.
Afterwards he picked out a cute little hooded sweater (forgive me for not getting a final picture of the puppy.) Finally Lucas filled out Fluffy's birth certificate :-)


Fluffy is ready to come home with us.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A year older.

So it was my birthday again over the weekend. 34 years old. I can't believe it. I was 22 when I got married. 26 when Lucas was born. How can I already be 34?
Dwayne had been bugging me for a while what I wanted to do on my birthday. And really I don't care too much as long as I'm with my family. This was supposed to be my first birthday as a mother of two. And it was! But I was supposed to be holding BOTH my boys in my arms. Loving on them. The day before my birthday I was sad. I was missing Noah, wishing he was here with us. On my birthday he would have been 11 months old. So just the fact that he's getting closer to his first birthday don't help the matter either.
The morning of my birthday, Lucas was in our bed. He had come in in the middle of the night. I do love my snuggles with him. Sometimes I wish he would just stay in his own bed, but then I think of that in ten years he won't be coming in our bed in the middle of the bed. So I'm enjoying it.
The first thing he said after he opened his eyes were "happy birthday, mommy". Perfect way to start the day. Before I could get out of bed, I had a good little cry. Just missing Noah again. But the cry was what I needed, and the rest of the day was great.

First thing first. You got to have a great breakfast. Dwayne made some pancakes. Lucas was right there with him helping him eat them.


Like I had said to Dwayne, I just wanted to be with them. Since the weather was beautiful I really wanted to go to the zoo. The zoo was packed. We weren't the only ones who had thought of doing that. We never park in the zoo parking lot, because who am I kidding? We are very frugal. The zoo is free and parking cost. So we always park on the street. We usually have to walk a little bit. Sunday we had to walk quite a bit. But it was ok, since it was gorgeous! Lucas got to have the best view in the house - on Dwayne's shoulders.


Such a silly face.


He CAN be quite cute when he wants to be.

First thing Lucas always wants to see first are the penguins. I love them. It was perfect timing, because as we walked up the zookeeper came out to feed them. The penguins didn't want any of the fish she brought. They followed her back to the door where she got some different fish. They were all over them!



Next it was the snakes. Gotta love a rattlesnake!


Got a family picture taken too!


This picture is taken by Dwayne. He got to play with the camera a little bit. Lucas was quite impressed with this bird since we read that it can kill snakes (darn it, forgot to write the name down of it).


Finished the day off with homemade chocolate chip cookies. Yum! Thanks sweetie :-)


I really can't complain. It was a great day!