Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mom Purse

A couple of weeks ago, Scott and I ventured out with both girls in tow to check out new living room furniture. Something about being on maternity leave makes me want to renovate/improve/purchase things to feather my nest. This time is no different. There are countertops to be replaced, millwork to be installed, and new furniture to be purchased.

Because Grace is a terrible two'er, we make it a point to limit trips out of the house until after her nap, and cautiously pack extra "nums", a sippy and some snacks.

We clearly overstayed our welcome at Lazboy when Grace started freaking out about being hungry. Snacks were in the car, soother was no longer satisfying, and she had experienced just about enough of our tirades about the pros and cons of a new sectional. A fit was thrown and it was then I started panicking.

I fumbled through my messy purse, jamming my fingers into an unknown sticky substance (what I suspect to be the innards of a Nutragrain bar), feeling the familiar foil wrapper of a rice crispy treat. As I pulled the snack out, out fell the two "emergency diapers" (a size five and a size two) I carry in my purse just in case. And I smiled to myself after settling the big one down with the treat- I am finally the mythical unicorn I feared I would never be- I am a spare diaper-carrying, treat baring mother.


I still miss him like crazy. There are still days that I wake up and have to actually think about whether I have a baby- and whether it's a he or a she... I think I must spend my subconscious thinking of him because sometimes I feel so close to him. There are still days when I am so jealous of people who get to live ordinary lives, who can read how sad things are for "us" when I share or post something on Facebook, and yet get to close their computer and tuck ALL of their babies in at night.

It makes me so sad and desperate to continue to wish for that life. The one with him in it too.

Because it can't happen, and yet knowing this doesn't really make it any easier.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

His sweet face on a necklace.

It's been more than three years since we lost Jack. Over this time I have bought a few pieces of jewelery baring his name or his initials. I'm into simple jewelry (my earrings and necklace are both solitaires and I rarely remove them- they are my everyday items), with the occasional piece of bling tossed in to keep things interesting. It's been a while since I have ordered anything new, so when I was contacted and offered the chance to order a keepsake piece, I jumped at the chance.

The company, offers a variety of items for sale- from photo keepsakes, memorial pendants, and even cremation jewellery. There really is something available suit everyone's taste.

I spent some time trying to chose between the many offerings before settling on the Gem Circle Pendant in Silver. I decided on my favourite photo of him, knowing it will never grow old to see his beautiful face on a pendant. I sent the photo and asked for a close-up on his delectably chubby face. I asked for a simple engraving on the back, with just his name. 

The package arrived at my home (in Canada) within a few days, which was crazy-fast. It can take a week or two for things to get to me from within the country, so there are definitely bonus points for fast delivery! I walked into my house to discover my husband had already covertly opened it, and he told me I was going to love it. I took a moment to brace myself, and then I cracked open the lovely black velvet box. It was beautiful.

See? Beautiful.
It was so nice to see his angelic little face on something so pretty. The piece I chose has crystals surrounding the engraved photo which made me love it even more- it's feminine without being "too much" . It's really an attractive piece of jewelry- it has a nice weight to it and definitely feels like a quality item. 

The pendant itself is made up of two pieces, the upper portion contains the engraved photo and the lower piece the pendant with the crystal rim and Jack's name engraved on the back.

The polished surface made it difficult to photograph.
It's nearly 1.5 inches in diameter, so it's not small under any circumstances. It's something I don't think I could wear on a daily basis due to it's size, but would be ideal for special occasions (his birthday or "angelversary"), on holidays. If you tend to wear larger statement pieces, this might be just what you're looking for.  I really like the idea of wearing it for family photos, as well. Additionally, I plan on wearing it to the NICU memorial at the hospital in the spring (if spring ever arrives…).

I am so appreciative of the beautiful piece of memorial jewelry I received and highly recommend, should anyone wish to purchase keepsakes in the future.

Friday, March 7, 2014

And then there were three.

Piper Jane arrived safely a few weeks ago.

She has gone from looking just like her sister at birth, to looking like her brother in just over two weeks.
Sometimes, when she's napping on my chest, I would swear it was him. They share the same eye shape and nose. If I glance down at her while nursing, it can be a little jarring to catch sight of her when she so strongly looks like him. It comes and goes though, there remain times where she looks just like her big sister, too. My mother and I joked I had essentially delivered Grace's twin, 22 months late. :/

All three of my babies share the same cupid's bow lips, which is apparently a recessive gene (a topic I find endlessly fascinating).

Parenting two living babies is a juggling act, one I'm not particularly skilled at yet. Piper is co-sleeping with us just as Grace had done, and I swear this is my salvation in getting some quality sleep. Piper wakes to eat every 3-4 hours, with her last feeding concluding about 45 minutes before Grace wakes up meaning I have a good first hour with Grace before Piper is conscious enough to want to be held/rocked/fed again. After that, the day unravels a big and usually concludes after several hissy-fits (both Grace and I!), lots of poopy diapers (just Grace and Piper this time!), and lots of cuddling (all of us this time).

Grace has been pretty great with Pipes so far- she's a little aggressive with her love, and "gentle" is a word we use quite frequently around here. She discovered Piper's feed dangling from my arms the other day and was delighted with tickling her little toes and feet. It was definitely a bit of a Hallmark moment.

I'm not sure this post is coherent, but I've been meaning to update the blog for some time now and it seemed as good a time as any to do it tonight.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

In another life...

In another life, you are unwrapping gifts on your third birthday. Sitting quietly on the floor, as you tear back the paper, carefully putting it beside you so you can focus on the Tonka trucks and tractors. You smile a toothy grin at your momma, clearly thrilled to add to your stash of big boy toys.

You would be arguing with Gracie who wants nothing more than everything you have. She would look up at you, her eyes pleading for you to let her push your truck around, tears welling in her eyes. And maybe, because you're the best big brother ever, you might let her play with you- but only on your terms.

We would let you watch whatever you wanted the morning of your birthday. Dressed in footed pyjamas left over from Christmas, your blond hair shining after your bath. We would read stories to you both, and you would rub your momma's belly the same way your sister does- so excited to meet your new little sister.

In another life, this is what today should be.

That life is not ours.

There will be no trucks or tractors, no big boys clothes.

The house is scattered with pink ride-in cars, a Little People Princess castle, and your dad's shoes your sister insists on wearing around the house. It's all pinks and purples, very little blue. There was no battery-operated car under the tree this year, no little boy waiting to open it.

So much was taken on the day we lost you. Our hopes and dreams for you, the kisses we would have smothered you in

So what remains?

A few memories of cuddles in the dark, or stolen smooches, of stroking your velvet hair.

What remains is our love for you.

The love your sister must sense when we speak about you, or show your pictures to her.

What remains is the longing for the little boy we knew for only a few short days. The desire to raise a son.

The desire, ultimately, to raise you.

We love and miss you every day little boy. Happy third birthday little man.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

I don't think I've ever posted this, but forgive me if I have.

Every holiday season I think the same thing-  that I have a love/hate relationship with the month of December.  On one hand I love the smell of the tree (we just) put up, I love buying gifts for Grace. On the other, I hate, hate, hate how many women are grieving this month. I hate that I want to buy gifts for Jack even though he can never use them. I hate that this time, three years ago, I thought he would be here.

Friggin' December.

There's a radio station in Toronto and beginning in December, it plays Christmas music non-stop through to the new year. I love Christmas songs. One of my favourite has always been "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas". Except as I sing along there's one line in particular that "Gets" me every time.

"Through the years, we all will be together.
If the fates allow".

And I hate it so much, because fate hasn't allowed us all to be together. Because we can never be together, not all of us, not here.

And that makes me cry, still, when I sing along with the lyrics.

It makes me cry to know he won't be here and there will always be one little boy missing from under the tree.

I remember in the beginning, when we first lost Jack, telling Scott my goal for Christmas in the future. That my hope was that one day we would sit around the tree, drinking coffee, and watching our children tear into presents and laugh maniacally. That we would get sticky candy-cane kisses and have chocolate chip pancake mess smeared across our kitchen table in appreciation.

I want so much to have a beautiful Christmas, despite his absence. But we are a week away from his third birthday. We are three years removed from my last truly happy Christmas.

Thinking of my blms and their babies. So much heartache this time of the year.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

If not now, when?

I'll just come out and say it: I'm twenty-five weeks pregnant with Jack and Grace's youngest sibling.

It's a girl. We're going to call her Piper. We think.

I'm both elated at the thought of a sister for Grace and the thought Jack would send us a second girl to torment his dad for the rest of our lives... Tied into that is the thought that this might be out last pregnancy and I may very well be kissing the thought of another boy goodbye.

That's the hard part, the not knowing. The desire to continue to purchase boy things has never left me- Jack's wardrobe, let behind when he passed away, has continued to grow despite my best efforts. I love girl clothes because they're so cute and sweet... But I adore boy clothes because they're bears and monkeys and frogs and all the things I spent 9 months falling in love with when we were expecting Jack.

I am thrilled to have conceived this baby with relative ease, without the use of Clomid this time. I'm hopeful that we'll get the chance to provide Grace with a living sibling. I'm not sure she's going to see it that same way (she is possessive and jealous, so we will see!!!).

This pregnant has been easier, at least psychologically. I think it's the combination of being kept preoccupied by Grace and the idea I have longer working days now that I'm commuting each work day. I don't have as much time to lay there,  I have fewer quiet moments where my mind will wander.

Of course I will always worry that this one won't make it either. It's only natural, I assume, to forever worry now that I know babies don't always live, no matter how much you want them to. No matter what you would trade to ensure that it was so.

I'm hoping the next few months pass quickly, and mid-February arrives with a healthy and living baby.

Jack's going to have two little sisters. I wish he were here to welcome Piper to our family, too.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Putting it out there

It's nearly February which means it's time to post my new years resolutions... Oh wait. It's now late March and I'm the worst blogger ever. It's official. :)

The snow is melting around us and warmer weather is apparently on the way. I keep hearing that, but every time I try to run errands without a coat I curse the weather man. He's a liar ;).

It is nearly April and this means it is nearly May and nearly a certain someone's first birthday. I can hardly believe it. It really doesn't seem like it was all that long ago I first peed on a stick, then saw her little self on ultrasound at just a few weeks gestation. I'm not all that removed from that drive home where I spoke aloud to her in my womb begging her to please come home with us and stay. Begging that she would help to make me whole again.

Here we are, nearly a year after she arrived. It's insane. I was recounting to my mother the other day that I can hardly believe we've had her for so long. In those early days I used to beg for the first six months to pass because I feared I would lose her in infancy, too. Somehow six months seemed "safe", even though I know there's really never anytime that I believe I'll ever be "safe" again.

Sometimes when I awake in the early in the morning, my mind still foggy, I ask myself whether I have a son or a daughter. How f'd up is that? I guess it's a sleep-thing, but yet I find I'm asking myself this same question. Ugh.

Grace is finally (at nearly 11 months!!!) getting her first tooth. It's sharp and pointy and on the bottom left side of her mouth. I first discovered it whilst nursing her and thus we are going full-steam ahead with the weaning process. I've been pretty laisse-faire about it and was going to just let her wean herself, but with my return to work taking place in just about six weeks (!!!!) time is more of the essence than ever. I could pump for her, but she's really only nursing about once per side per day so it doesn't seem worthwhile at this point... I will say, I'm really at a loss for how else to comfort her once nursing is off the table- it really has been so useful ;)

I have a few things I've left in "draft" in the ole blog for a while, but so much has changed since I've written those words, some of my "resolutions" have been completed or I've chosen to go in another direction all together. I'm including them anyways because I still think I'm hilarious it's relevant.

1) Gain 25lbs. Well, first I want to lose ten, but only to regain those pounds in the near future because I want another one of these McCannells. BADLY. I have baby-fever (the only acceptable fever to have as far as I'm concerned), and I also desperately want to hoard babies. You know how you can spend forever looking for the perfect pair of jeans and you finally find them and WHAMMO, they're on sale. If you're anything like me,  you instantly start justifying buying 5 pairs so you never have to live another day without them ever again. Put some away for a rainy day, because nothing makes you feel better than a good pair of jeans?

Yeah, I'm like that, but with my children.  I think Scott and I have agreed on having another two at this point. I'd like to have so many, but I know I'd be chasing my desire to get my boy and of course he can never be mine again so at some point we have to stop, right? And yet the mere thought of the next baby being our last is too much for me to even contemplate so I'm glad we're at least agreeable to another two.

It sounds cavalier to write all that, but the truth is I'm absolutely terrified to risk it all again.. And yet the desire still outweighs my fears, not sure when that happened, but it's there. I'm hoping I can avoid Clomid this time around, but who knows what is going to happen (or not, as the case may be).

2) Start (and finish?) decorating Grace's bedroom. Because we've lived here nine months and there is nary a drip of paint or a curtain hung in here. I did make some headway here recently and purchased the paint for her nursery (and the trim throughout the house... and the dining room which was inspired by the colour Young House Love just re-painted their kitchen...) So yeah, I need to get on that. I have big plans for Grace's room, and it's inspired by this:

Source: via LJ on PInterest

                                                                Source: via LJ on Pinterest

The actual decor stuff you've seen in my prior post about selling our house- the furniture stays the same. Up until this point, Grace has been sleeping in our room. She's been in the crib at the end of our bed, and also co-sleeping far more than I would like. I know I need to move her to her own room so we all sleep well, but I've refused to do this until her room is painted, decorated, and basically fit for her consumption. The husband thinks I'll regret moving her. Me thinks I'll regret not moving her if I don't start getting more sleep- especially when I begin my HOUR plus commute in six weeks. Ugh.

3) Make my house beautimous. In the words of Honey Boo Boo, I want to take a dolla and make it holla... WHAT? I want to make my house a pretty, comfortable, lovely home. I have big expensive plans for decorating, and now I just need to start making them happen. Slowly, slowly, slowly we'll get there. I started this resolution by buying wallpaper for the powder room. It's black and dramatic and terrifying, but it's all about baby-steps. I'd like a backsplash in the kitchen and some new countertops too. We'll see how far we get. Feel free to check out my Pinterest board (linky above) to see what I'm scheming.

4) Get organized. Because we have lots of storage room in our new house, I end up jamming things into cupboards and forgetting about it. I need to get organized. And my closet? It's shameful-especially since Pinterest tells me how cheap (!) and easy (!) and better (!) it can be! How embarrassing.

5) Eat up the last three months  weeks of maternity leave with Grace. These past 9.75 10.99 months have flown by.

There, four months into the new year and I have my resolutions listed. And I've now hit publish on my post for the month...

Random... ha.

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