Tuesday, April 24, 2012

18 Months

It’s been a year and a half.  She’d be 18 months old.  I’ll be honest, I don’t even know what a day in the life of an 18 month old would be like and I don’t have the guts to read those emails that I STILL get from time to time.  I miss her.

I can’t believe it’s been so long and that we’re headed for her 2nd birthday.  So much has happened.  So much has changed.  So much has stayed the same in my heart though. 

Having Addalee here has been a great distraction.  She’s a blessing and ray of sunshine in our lives.  I only hope that we are able to honor Caroline in being Addie’s parents.  I hope she knows how much we love her and miss her.

I’ll be honest, I’m still a little nervous about Mother’s Day.  Last year, it was kind of one of the crappiest things I could think of.  All those stupid cards in the stores, the sappy commercials on TV, yuck.  Even though I have a living daughter here, Mother’s Day just doesn’t make me all that happy.  I hope this is something that will change.  I hope that it will lose its bitterness.  I hope that it will just be a good day in the coming years.  Only time will tell.

Addalee is 8 months old now and full of personality.  She’s such a booger!  She laughs, spits, squeals, kicks, and screams in excitement.  You can’t help but share in her joy.  She’s swaddle free now…yes, it took us 8 months, so what?! ;)  She has a serious independent streak and loves to do things on her own.  I guess I’m just lucky she still needs me to do some things for her or she’d probably just get her own place! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nap Time

Nap time is quiet.  Typically, I use the quiet time for my personal time.  I can read a magazine, exercise, plan our week’s meals, or let’s be honest, shower or use the bathroom!  Today’s nap time was a little different.  I got Addalee down for her nap with little to no effort, one benefit of playing until she can barely hold her eyes open!  Then I went into my room and surveyed the space.  My eyes were drawn to the picture of Arthur and me kissing Caroline’s precious little face that I have on my nightstand.  My chest actually hurt with the sorrow of missing her.  I broke down.  I sobbed.  I haven’t allowed myself the time to really let it all flow in quite some time, so I guess I had a backlog to catch up on.  Don’t get me wrong, I never stop missing her.  But I just usually don’t let myself slow down enough to really concentrate on the hugeness of her absence. 

I keep a toy box in our room that has Caroline’s name on it.  It was a shower gift.  It’s happy and pink and has flowers.  Exactly what I think she would like.  Instead of being filled with toys, it’s filled with little pieces of memories.  I’ve kept things from the pregnancy, little outfits that were never shared, all of her monogrammed bibs, burp cloths, cuddlies, etc.  And then there’s her baby book.  I started it a couple of weeks before she was born.  I never dreamed she wouldn’t be staying to fill up those monthly updates and immunization records.  There are also sympathy cards that we received from some truly amazing people.  I read them all again today.  That might sound strange, but to know that people recognized my sweet one’s life and passing is comforting.  To know they were sad with us, cried with us, hurt with us is encouraging. 

Caroline’s super special things are actually in a fire safe at our house.  They stay in a different place because they’re irreplaceable…the clipping of her hair, her chubby hand prints and footprints, the bracelet she wore, and her ultrasound dvd.  I actually watched it once, just to see her heart beating, her “breathing.”  Just to remember what it looked like to se her living.  I probably will watch it again someday, but I couldn’t do it today.

Nap time is so different than what I envisioned when we originally bought that crib.  The baby sleeping in it now isn’t the one that we’d planned on.  Things may not be as we planned, but they’re definitely happy (albeit with a decent dollop of sadness).  I will forever miss my first baby, my little Caroline.  And I will be forever grateful for her little sister, the ray of sunshine that she is.

When Addalee woke up from her nap, she saw my red eyes and looked at me strange for just a second.  Then she reached up her chubby little arms for me to pick her up.  She smiled, and giggled and cooed…exuding joy.  She is like salve to my soul, exactly what I needed.   

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


The sickness has been skulking around our house for over a week now.  It started with what I think was a stomach bug for Addalee, and then morphed into a semi-high fever and a pitiful sick little girl.  After getting her to the doctor and on the mend, Arthur and I started having some allergy/cold type gunk.  I don’t get sick often, so I’m kind of a giant baby when I do.  Poor hubby.

Something about dealing with sickness has made me miss Caroline all the more.  It seems like whenever we go through things with Addalee, I think more about Caroline.  I wonder how much more prepared for things I would have been if she had lived.  I mean, of course I would be more prepared…I would have a 1.5 year old; I would have been through a bunch of this before!  But then, as I’ve talked a little about before, I wonder how much less of a crazy person I would be about it.  In the name of full disclosure, I’ll just tell you that I thought of all the worst case scenarios when her fever kept climbing.  I envisioned a trip to the ER followed by a bunch of doctors, lots of tests, tubes, IVs, beeping equipment, etc.  I know that’s not what happens when kids get a minor infection.  But my mind always jumps there…possibly since I wouldn’t let it that horrible night with Caroline, and then we lived the worst case scenario. 

I’m pleased to announce that despite my wondering mind, I kept myself under control.  I gave her meds and kept her comfy, snuggled her, and kissed her hot little head.  I loved her harder because she was sick and she needed her mom.  I loved her harder because I didn’t get to care for her big sister that way.  I loved her harder thinking that maybe Caroline could feel it.

I guess it’s just a constant ebb and flow.  Sometimes I feel like I am on top of it all and able to handle things as they come, and sometimes I’m overwhelmed and truthfully, kind of scared.  Sometimes the grief I still carry missing Caroline is bearable, and sometimes I feel like it’s so heavy on my chest I can barely breathe.  But I keep managing and surviving, with lots of love, help, grace, and encouragement.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happy Easter!


Just wanted to add that this year was incredibly different from last year.  Last Easter hit me harder than I expected.  This Easter was better, but still sad and heavy at times.  I didn't delve into the feelings, but shared some happy pictures below.  I understand if many of you aren't in a place where you want to see these pictures, so I get it if you "ignore" this post.

Lots of love to everyone,

End edit

This week’s update is going to be pretty quick because it’s been super duper busy around here!  Easter was really good.  Fun times spent with family and loved ones.

Addalee got to go on her very first Easter egg hunt. 

She got to spend some time with her friends. 

She got to stick her feet in the lake for the first time! 

 She got to celebrate her Granddaddy’s birthday. 

The Easter Bunny paid her a visit. 

Happy Easter from us to you!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Caroline's Spot and a Follow Up

I wish that visiting Caroline’s grave was easier for me.  I wish that I had that sense of peace and closeness to her that I thought I would have.  But honestly, seeing that tiny headstone and the bright flowers and tiny white fence, it rips my heart out.  It’s a reminder.  It’s not like I ever forget that she’s missing and that I’d give my own life to have her, but visiting her spot makes it hit me again…it’s real.  It really happened.  She really lived.  And she really is gone. 

Even though it’s emotionally difficult for me, I feel like it’s important to visit her grave as often as I can.  This past weekend was a special opportunity though.  As I’ve said before, Caroline is buried in a family cemetery.  I’m always thankful for this because I know that she’s always surrounded by the love of her/our family since she’s always close by for them.  Currently there are only 2 family members buried there, Arthur’s grandfather, and little Caroline. 

Arthur’s uncle has built a fence around the cemetery and asked the family to come and write our names, or whatever we’d like, in the concrete on top of the posts.  So, the whole family came up to do some clean-up and decorate the posts.  We were given the post closest to our sweet girl’s grave. 

We put Addalee’s hand prints.

And Caroline’s name with a little butterfly.

Overall, it was a great experience.  I’m thankful that Arthur’s family has worked so hard to make it such a beautiful place. 

And now a follow-up from last week’s post:

I have to admit, I didn’t expect to get nearly as many comments on my last post.  I wasn’t really sure that posting about this particular personal struggle would be a good thing, but it has been!  I feel so encouraged and loved!  Thank you!

It did my heart good to hear from each of you who responded with your own struggles and advice.  Somehow I had convinced myself that while I wasn’t alone in my grief of losing Caroline, I was in this particular struggle. Thank you for showing me that isn't the case, it means so much to me.

And finally a picture of Addalee…mostly just ‘cause I want to :)

 I just realized that it almost looks like she's giving a thumbs up!