Honoring Cade

Yesterday, March 13th was Cade’s 2nd bday! His birth feels like a lifetime ago and like yesterday all at the same time.   This year wasn’t necessarily easier like I thought it would be.  Having Berkley this year did definitely take the edge off but as a family we still could barely bring ourselves to talk about “it”.  The baby, the situation, etc.  It’s too much to think about for me so I block it out.

On his birthday I try to MAKE myself think about it.  So I went through some old pictures- pictures that I can’t look at on a normal day.  We have videos of him that I honestly don’t know if I will ever be able to watch again.  I watched them over and over and looked at pictures of him 24/7 in the weeks after he passed but then it got to be too much. And I put them away and I really never get them out.   The other week I pulled out his photo book and was flipping through it with Berkley. When I got to his actual delivery – I couldn’t turn the page and put the book back.  It was in chronological order so could only handle the pregnancy pictures and the pictures of me with my big-ole belly in the hospital. For the families out there that have years of memories stored away, I can’t imagine what that is like. Maybe it would have been different if he was healthy.

It ended up being a good day with family.  Kelly (my SIL) is the most creative person ever so made me the box below- thinking we could put his hospital blankets, etc. in it. I think that’s a great idea.  Jan (my MIL) brought balloons over to do a balloon release which was really special.  It’s times like these that I am grateful we moved back to KC. I’m anxious to get past Tuesday which is the anniversary of his death.  March 15th- AKA the worst day of my life.  IMG_8525

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...And every time I am sad, I just look at this sweet face

 

March 11

Two years ago I was in a hospital bed anxiously awaiting the birth of our first baby. Our first son.  I had NO idea what was about to happen in just 2 days.  March 13th is Cade’s second birthday.  After the events that happened earlier this week I wanted to cancel all of our plans but I am feeling much better.  One of the reasons we moved back to KC was to be around family and that’s exactly what I want to do on Sunday. Not only was Cade our son but he was a grandson and a nephew. I want us all to just hang out and remember/celebrate that little boy who literally flipped our world upside down in so many different ways.

I think the thing that has rocked me the most this week is all of the feelings that I keep just under the surface bubbled up on Monday after I talked to my nurse.  I couldn’t sleep at all on Monday night. Tuesday and Wednesday I tossed and turned and worried all night about me & about some of my friends going through IVF at this very moment (4 super dear friends- all within like 6 weeks of each other!!). I also got contacted by a couple this week who lost their 4 1/2 month old to SIDS and they have been weighing heavy on my heart.

Tuesday morning I had tentatively planned on taking a sick day. I’m pretty sure miscarriage = sick, right?  But I woke up, I put my game face on. I had a super productive day and just kept thinking how I am so lucky, so blessed to be Berkley’s mom at this very moment. She is my little anxiety pill 🙂

She is ELEVEN months and I just can’t get over her sweet little face in this picture.  We are busy planning her bumble bee (“B”) themed party!  I cannot believe ONE is right around the corner.

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2016 – New Year, New Goals

The name should really be “2016 resolutions” but 2016 is already in full swing! So how are my resolutions going and maybe we should back up with what were they in the first place?

I don’t ever make huge resolutions…. I don’t like to set goals I can’t keep 😉 haha.

ONE.

Be more “green”.  I am SO Colorado 😉

Since Berkley is a real person. She eats real food and makes real people messes.  I noticed myself using SO MANY PAPER TOWELS.  And I hated it! What’s a hippie to do?

We are officially moving to using cloths for about 99% percent of everything.  I ordered a 24 pack of cheap white cloths off of Amazon. We use them for EVERYTHING. Spills, sticky hands/faces, wiping down the kitchen every day, etc.  I have a small laundry basket in the closet next to our kitchen where I toss them after I use them. It makes me geekishly happy.  Adam is fully on board after being somewhat skeptical for 2 seconds. Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 9.57.54 AMI am also making my own cleaning solutions.  If you are still using traditional cleaning supplies you should first read up on the harms of using chemicals in your house.  I have made my own floor cleaner for a few years now. My recipe is as follows:

1 part boiled (and cooled) water,1 part vinegar, a few drops of dish soap, a dash of alcohol (to prevent the growth of anything gross) and lemon essential oil.

I put this in my Swiffer wet-jet container.  I LOVE it.  I love it the most because I love the smell of vinegar (doesn’t everyone ;)) and I love the fact that I don’t have to worry as our pets and Berkley barrel through it and it soaks into their tiny pores. I went ahead and ordered a bunch of spray bottles off of Amazon and some additional things off of VitaCost so I can make everything from homemade-natural bleach to every-day cleaners!

TWO.

More “me” time.  I want to get back to getting out and about with friends more, actually commit to a Bible study and take a flower arranging class in 2016.   I did the bouquets for my sister’s wedding last July.  It was SO much fun and SO much work (I was Maid of Honor, breastfeeding, being the quasi-wedding planner….. oh! And she had NINE bridesmaids- which made for a total of 10 bouquets!!).    But I loved it so much I think I want to make it a thing.  I am doing another wedding in September that I am so excited about.  So I think I am going to take some actual formal training.  Here are some pictures from Kayley’s wedding. Let’s also take a moment to swoon……

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(These bouquets are hydrangea, roses, dahlias, ranunculus, and carnation- which is possibly my new favorite flower. The carnation may deserve it’s own post at some point.) 

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THREE. 

Baby.  Yep. I said it out loud. We are in full-swing inject-myself-everyday-mode.  It’s so true that you completely forget about the crappy stuff once you have a baby.  IVF sucks so bad. We are transferring just 1. I am super nervous but we are both really excited about the possibility of another.  I am a little more relaxed this round since I know it is possible for us to have a healthy baby.  So many of my fears last round revolved around the possibility that we may not be able to actually make a healthy baby.  I still want to work with a high risk doctor. I probably will still be too nervous to talk a lot about it. But TBD.  We have a good embie, my parts all look healthy and ready so I am taking the stance of mind of matter.  I have never met (or heard) of anyone with 3 successful transfers in a row but my nurse assures me that it happens!  I can’t believe we are on the brink of my third potential pregnancy. When I think of things like that it does make me really, really sad. I so wish that both Cade and Berkley BOTH were here.

3/4th Old

I cannot believe it, but we have a NINE month old!  The holidays were so fun with her minus the fact that she literally tried to pull the Christmas tree on top of herself at least 56 times. I cannot wait until next year when she gets what is going on somewhat.  We were all around the world (U.S.) and back again. Denver for a week, KC for the holidays, Dallas for NYE!   We needed a quick breather hence my hiatus!

IMG_2311Current Berkley favorites:

  • Mamamama ALLLL DAY LONG. I think Mama to her means “I want” and/or “hold me”
  • Her obsession with the mobile that hangs over her changing table.  It has all different strings that dangle down and her mission in life is to catch one.  If she gets one in each hand- the look of accomplishment on her face is so hilarious.  In addition she literally GASPS (really dramatically for a really long time).  I have got to get this on video STAT.
  • She has figured out the stairs- she can book it up them if she wants. Not sure this is my favorite thing but definitely a new trick for sure!
  • She still doesn’t want to hold her own bottle- which I don’t mind!
  • I’ve started to tell her no.  Sometimes I make the sound “ah-ah” instead of no.  It literally makes her belly laugh at me.  Its really hard – actually impossible to keep a straight face.  Last week she was in the cart at Target and she kept trying to put the buckle in her mouth. I kept saying gross and “ah-ah”. She was laughing probably the hardest I have heard her laugh so far.  I was dying.  This whole discipline thing should go well….

IMG_2232First Christmas Recap– just a tad belated. We went and saw Santa Christmas Eve at Crown Center where the real santa is. At least that’s what my mom always told us growing up. It gets confusing how Santa can be everywhere at once. So the real Santa is at Crown Center and all of his helpers are the others that you see around town 😉  She was fearless. Actually she just wanted to eat his beard & then the tassel on his hat. It was so much fun and she did great.   We did Christmas with both sides of the families and loved being able to spend the night at our own house – get away from the madness some!  KC does Christmas really well.  I loved being here for the holidays.  Only 347 days until Christmas 2016! #letthecountdownbegin

IMG_2237I mean……

Berkley Ann’s First 6 Months

This baby girl. This crisp but beautiful night. Thank you to Alison Moore Photography for so many great pictures- these are just a few of my favorites!  Berkley is 7 months old now, but I want to take a second to talk about our first 6 months.
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Berkley,

I cannot believe you are almost 7 months old! All of the sudden you are looking more like a little girl and you are closer to being 1 years old than you are to being a newborn. This is so bittersweet as we have so much to look forwards to, but at the same time, you have been the most snuggly, cute newborn and I have loved every second of figuring out how to be a mom the past 6 months.  Before time gets away from us I want to dedicate this post to you and talk about what has happened since your birthday.View More: http://alisonmoorephotography.pass.us/berkley1Your birth was easy- thank you for that 🙂 Once you were here, my life got better.  It’s actually funny because I think I slept better once you were born. All of the anxious nights I had waiting for you were no longer a part of me since I had you officially in my arms.   I was on cloud 9 for the first few weeks. I had this crazy amount of energy and felt like I was bouncing while I walked around with you.  It was so surreal. I cooked & cleaned & felt invincible (for all of those thinking I am crazy- just keep reading).  We were so careful as we gave you your first bath.  I think there were like 4 people involved in that task 🙂 You actually slept great too when you came home from the hospital. There were a few nights you slept like 7 hours at night! It probably wasn’t good for mom’s milk supply but I didn’t really think about that at the time.   Dad got to stay home for about 2 weeks with us before heading back to work and both of your grandmas & grandpas and all of your aunts took turns coming out to see you. We took daily walks with Tyson up to the dog park and watched every episode of “The Office”.  We had TONS of visitors! Everyone was so anxious to meet you.  The amount of clothes you received as gifts was crazy- I could have dressed triplets with your wardrobe.

View More: http://alisonmoorephotography.pass.us/berkley1About 1 month into your life, mom hit a wall.  GMa had come into Denver to see you and that day I felt like I was going to pass out multiple times.  I think that adrenaline rush that I had going strong for 4 weeks finally came to an end and reality set in.  Getting up every few hours at night is actually hard after so many weeks on end! GMa timed her visit right which gave me the opportunity to take some naps and catch up on rest.  It was MUCH needed.  Your first trip was at 6 weeks old.  We drove back to Kansas City for Aunt Kayley’s bachelorette party at the Lake of the Ozarks & you went to cousin Julie’s wedding.  You were a champ on the drive- thank goodness because as I am writing this post you have made the drive from either Denver to KC or KC to Denver 5 times so far!

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At 2 months, you weren’t gaining weight. You had dropped into the 1st percentile for weight and we had to start adding formula into your diet.  Mom had a VERY hard time with this but once we did it, you were so much happier and you became a pretty easy baby.   I was dreading going back to work and we decided that we really missed having our families around. In July, we made the decision to move back to Kansas City in early September.  We drove back to Kansas City, shopped for houses and you attended Kayley’s wedding.  You were still so tiny and it took forever to find a dress small enough to fit you!! Also, you hair had almost all fallen out by the wedding 🙂

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I ended up going back to work part time so I could spend some more time with you.  You were rolling over both ways by about 4 months and sleeping on and off through the night.

We moved to Kansas City when you were exactly 5 months old.  I bawled my eyes out.  It was so hard to leave our friends, the city we love, your birthplace, your brother’s birthplace and leave our future babies (who are in storage there).  But family first.  I want you to grow up around your grandparents.  View More: http://alisonmoorephotography.pass.us/berkley1

You have turned into the most smiley, easy going baby.  You are ALWAYS on the move.  You have been active since you were in my belly. You love to be tossed around by us – I think you are going to be a roller coaster lover one day.  You have no fear of strangers and will go to anyone.  Every time I drop you at Nanny Lauren’s house I look back to see if there is any ounce of sadness there?! None that I can tell so far. You just love being around people!

We love you so much. You bring so much JOY into our lives.  We are so thankful for each day we get to spend with you, sweet girl.

 

 

 

 

October Run Down

Well HELLO there!  October came and went and I had little to no time to write and keep up on here.  Sorry, Y’all 🙂  Here is my quick October run-down and a glimpse into what is going on with our lives .

MOVING! Still… kitchen cabinets got painted (white, of course). Walls are being painted, things are slowing coming together. I’ll put up some house pictures soon!!

WORKING! Not as exciting, but equally-if not more- exhausting. I have been SO busy. By the time I get home at night I am just brain fried.

ROYALS! World Series champs… NBD.  KC is buzzing and I am so excited but SO tired from those late-night games.  The last time we won in 1985 (my birth year).

Berkley 10/31/2015 & me (about 8 months) in 1985.

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BERKLEY!!!! My funny, adorable, snuggly, expressive 6 (almost 7) month old.  She was sick, sick, sick 2 weeks ago (fever, puking, etc.). It. was. terrible. And Adam and I didn’t get any sleep for pretty much a week straight.  She is all better now, but wow- being a parent was pretty tough there for a few days.

Honestly, I love writing and I love this blog. I am just having a really tough time finding my voice on here. It’s a very strange place to be after going through so much heart ache and now having so much joy.   October 15 was Infant & Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Day.  I was supposed to go to a group that night but Adam was traveling and we were staying with my in-laws while the cabinets were getting painted. It was just one of those days that was crazy and I couldn’t make it.  A very awesome gal (who has also gone through a lot- and is still very much in it) lit a candle for Cade.  It was so thoughtful.

“Celebrating the lives of our children who reign in glory”

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Remembering Cade

Between the move to Kansas City, working, getting the house set up, etc. life has been busy busy (and this blog has not been a top priority).  I want to take a moment to reflect and level-set.  A year ago I was about 8 weeks pregnant, still extremely upset and sad about losing Cade and just out of my mind with grief.  I remember days at the office where I could feel the tears welling up and rushing to the bathroom before people noticed me.

I felt so honored to be asked by DenverMetroMoms to write a post about Cade and our story.  It went live today.  In every moment of extreme joy and happiness there is an opposite emotion being experienced by families around the globe.  Today, there are babies being lost and families experiencing what we went through March 13-15, 2014.   They are literally always on my mind.

4 months and loving life!

Berkley is just over 4 months old!  We are having so much fun with her.  Give me a 4 month old any day- this is definitely my favorite age so far.

Berkley loves to smile, gasp, be outside and put everything in her mouth.  At her 4 month appointment she was the 29th percentile for weight (whoop!) and 70th for height. I am trying to soak it all in – thank you Lord for this precious baby girl.

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Berkley’s Newborn Shoot

Just about 3 months late & long overdue… but I am obsessed with how Berkley’s newborn pics turned out and thought it was past time I shared them!  I think they capture our little family perfectly. Thank you to Rachael Wooten Photography!

**My newborn with a full head of hair has quickly turned into an almost bald soon-to-be 4 month old**

View More: http://rachaelwooten.pass.us/berkleynewborn View More: http://rachaelwooten.pass.us/berkleynewborn  View More: http://rachaelwooten.pass.us/berkleynewborn View More: http://rachaelwooten.pass.us/berkleynewborn View More: http://rachaelwooten.pass.us/berkleynewborn View More: http://rachaelwooten.pass.us/berkleynewborn View More: http://rachaelwooten.pass.us/berkleynewborn   View More: http://rachaelwooten.pass.us/berkleynewborn  View More: http://rachaelwooten.pass.us/berkleynewbornView More: http://rachaelwooten.pass.us/berkleynewborn View More: http://rachaelwooten.pass.us/berkleynewbornView More: http://rachaelwooten.pass.us/berkleynewborn View More: http://rachaelwooten.pass.us/berkleynewborn View More: http://rachaelwooten.pass.us/berkleynewbornView More: http://rachaelwooten.pass.us/berkleynewbornView More: http://rachaelwooten.pass.us/berkleynewbornView More: http://rachaelwooten.pass.us/berkleynewbornView More: http://rachaelwooten.pass.us/berkleynewborn

 

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Emotions

On Friday I was sitting at the coffee shop with my youngest sister and Berkley.  Of course we were playing with Berkley, sipping on coffee and chatting.   There were 2 women sitting at a table close by and my ears perked up when I heard the word “IVF”.    I continued to eavesdrop (I know, classy) and this women was telling her story of multiple IUIs and failed IVF cycles. I literally could barely breathe because I started feeling so awkward and so bad about having Berkley right there in front of her.   I remember being in that place and feeling jealousy when I saw other moms with their babies. I HATE that having Berkley out and about with me can sometimes cause those same sort of feeling in other women.

There are so many couples that have been in my thoughts and prayers recently.  Lots of heart breaking stories. It’s just so crazy how many couples struggle with infertility these days.    I think one thing that got me through infertility and losing Cade was completely trying to change my mindset and not letting those things define me as a person.  I remembering brainstorming what I was good at and really trying to make a difference in those areas- just put the focus elsewhere for awhile.   Infertility and loss doesn’t define someone, they just add to the overall story.

To the woman at the coffee shop- I’m so sorry you are going through this. I so badly wanted to come up to you and let you know that although I probably looked happy and stress-free with my little baby that it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies….