Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Two Months, Two Years

Charlotte is 2 months old! I see newborns everywhere lately, and I realize how much she's grown! She's getting so big. She is now 15 pounds, 8 ounces, which is off the charts for her age. Dr was very pleased, and says she's a big, healthy baby. Yay! They didn't get her length measured correctly. She wouldn't straighten out for them. She's now wearing 6-9mo shirts, and 3-6mo pants and sleepers. She's not quite tall enough for the 6-9 sleepers, but she's close. She figured out how to sit up the other day. I had her propped up in her boppy, to keep her from spitting up, and she threw herself forward until she was sitting. She doesn't have the core strength to hold the position, but she's very happy with herself when she does it. She doesn't roll much, only when she needs to. She smiles more, and is starting to laugh. She tries to reach for things, but doesn't have much control over where those arms are going yet. She coos and squawks a lot too.

Sitting in her seat. I brought it out tonight so she can sit there while we ate. She was so happy about that. Gabriel was happy to entertain her.
 All my boys have done this! They manage to get in, but they can't get out. Good thing it has a removable tray!
 Charlotte and all her rolls. :)
Oh wait, there's some more rolls! Back fat only looks cute on babies.

She's in the middle of a growth spurt, so she will sprout upwards soon and level some of that out.
 Happy baby


 She was talking and cooing

 Laughing a bit

 More coos
 I attempted the flower again. She's not big on accessories. I can only manage them for pics, and that's usually one pic at a time before she gets mad!

 I love these tights, with the coloring that looks like shoes. I don't put shoes on them before they walk, so I was happy to see these! She can be cute and comfy at the same time. :)

 His mischief look

 I told Dawson to smile
 Then I started just talking to him.

We went to a special needs Halloween thing, and Charlotte wore a lady bug costume someone gave us. She got many compliments! The boys loved being there too, that crowd of families are always so much more open and understanding than regular people. It's always nice going to events for special needs families, they are less judging and more accepting of the little quirks, noises and outbursts our kids have.
 Gabriel decided to try skating around the house. He did good, until he nearly did the splits, then he wanted to be done.
 I love this cute little dress!
This was the first time she sat up on her own. She had her arms up and looked so determined!
 She sometimes tolerates sitting in her rocker chair. For short amounts of time. Sometimes she will take a short nap in it.
 Often she naps on the couch, but she is squirming and rolling more, so she doesn't get to much anymore unless I'm sitting next to her.
 My monthly car seat picture. I think it's the easiest way to compare how big she's gotten. I took the head support out, since she outgrew it. I'm glad I bought a big, roomy infant car seat! I want her to last the winter in it, since it's warmer because I can put a cover on it. My goal is the beginning of April.

 1 month

Nov 2nd was 2 years since we lost Tyler. Part of me can't believe it's been 2 years. But in many ways it feels like much longer. Sometimes it feels like it was all a bad dream. Grieving can damage the hippocampus, part of the brain, which stores memory, both long and short term. After he died, I had a hard time remembering things. I couldn't remember what he was like as a baby, or many things from just a year before. I've had to look at pictures, and that reminded me of many things. Less than 6 months ago, I started remembering things that weren't in pictures. It has helped that some have told me little stories of what they remember. I was so embarrassed that I couldn't even remember certain things about my own child, but they did. I remember more each time I look through all the pictures. I also realized what little I remember of Dawson too. All of Tyler's bad memories were more vivid than everything else. Finally that is starting to even out, and it helps.  I think the trauma can block things out for a while. I also have a hard time with short term memory. The kitchen timer will go off, and I will forget I heard it, or the kids will ask for something and I will finish what I'm doing and forget that they'd asked for something. It's not all the time, but it's enough to be very annoying! Part of it could be 'new mom brain', but it's a bit worse at times.

October has been difficult. Those days leading up to the anniversary are so hard. All the memories from certain days. Even if we aren't thinking about it, our subconscious knows and I'm in a funk. Then I look it up and realize it was a big day, like the day he was intubated, or the day we were told he was going to die. Dawson's behavior gets worse. Last year he regressed in speech, he was talking baby babble and things that made no sense for a while. This year I noticed a few speech issues, but mostly behavior. Things we moved past in the last year have come back. They will go away again, hopefully soon! It is frustrating, and while dealing with my own grief, and a new baby, I need to remind myself that he isn't acting out on purpose. He is just having a hard time too. Gabriel has been acting out as well, I'm sure it's probably the mood in the air. I doubt he remembers anything, he was 7 months old, but they are affected when everyone is in a bad mood.

It's hard not to wonder what it would be like, with 4 kids. I see kids who are where Dawson and Tyler should be now, or Tyler and Gabriel. I can't imagine him as an almost 5 year old, he will always be 2 1/2. I was talking to our Dr's nurse, who also lost her son to cancer, and she was saying the same thing. It's nice to have people to talk to. The childhood cancer grief group I started 2 years ago at the end of the month now has almost 500 people in it. That has been very supportive, and so sad that so many are dealing with this as well.

It's also hard knowing all my kids will never be in the same picture.
I try to remember these moments, all the happy ones, which are many! He had fun wherever we were.
All the fun we had at parks, playing outdoors, making the most of what we had.

That contagious grin that kept me going through everything.

His sweet little self, he was so cuddly and adorable!

His strength, despite everything he endured, he still managed to be tough, especially with his brother by his side. There was a noticeable difference when Dawson was around.
Someday... it just doesn't seem soon enough.