Tuesday, 12 November 2013

1/2 Birthday

Theo needs to go down for a nap, and I've been itching to get this blog post out of my system for some time now.  So Daniel took Theo to a nearby mall/centre in the ergo to free up the house and hopefully have some lights out for our little man.
I feel this event needed recognition in a blog post.
Is it just the BLM community that thinks half birthdays are a pretty big deal?  My mother was one of the only people in my family to specifically acknowledge this milestone.  It made me a little sad.  Maybe I'm not openly celebrating my child's life enough?  Because I think having a baby alive and well for 6 whole months is crazy lucky.  And I'm so thankful that I'm able to have him to hold and love on.  I want to ask my family if they know how fragile I still think his life is.  6 months of him is still beyond me.  But maybe it's not beyond them.  Maybe the assumption of his aliveness is part of their every day, where the assumption of his eventual demise still plays tricks with my mental state. 
Is it that I didn't ever think I'd get here?  Is it that I don't want to jinx things with parading my sons aliveness around... because I'm still kind of waiting for the other shoe to fall...?  Yes to both.  But either way, I wanted an out pour of acknowledgement with marching band type status when he rounded this corner... and I didn't get anything really. 
On October 23rd, Theodore Alexander turned 6 months old.  Huge.  Amazing.  Mind blowing.  Or at least that's how I felt about it. 
(A certain someone had a baby on September 25th, and sent out a family wide email on October 25th with a one month professional photo shoot and a baby update in toe.  That certain someone didn't send me anything on October 23rd to wish Theodore a happy 6th month birthday.  And that certain someone has 100% checked out their interest in Theodore's life and his day to day.  Makes me feel a little grumpy and all well I wont ask about you and your baby either!! But that's not my nature.  I don't want to be selfish just because I'm getting a selfish snub from someone else.  But anyway... maybe I'll save that for another post!)
How is it that he's now closer to a year old than he is to the day he was born?  My baby is growing up (so fast!) and all of this precious infant sweetness is slipping through my fingers.  I'm 2 and a half weeks late to this post, and he's already a TOTALLY different baby boy in recent pictures!

He looks like a giant in these shots.
I cant even begin to tell you all the amazing things he's up to these days.  So grabby and coordinated.  He flips from tummy to back with so much vigour it's a little scary.  We have to put a pillow on one side of his crib because he rolls so forcefully into it that it wakes him up every time he does it.  And yes, it terrifies me that there is a big soft plushy pillow in my child's crib.  But Daniel said to me, "he's a big boy now, he'll be ok".  Big Boy?!?  Made me so sad, but it's true.  I've seen him get out of some pretty sticky situations while fully asleep, so I'm confident he wont suffocate himself.  He's an incredibly light sleeper.  I don't want to clear him out of the SIDS category and speak so balsy in regards to his well being... but without that pillow, he might give himself a concussion. 
I'm tight for time, and I really want to get this post up.  So, here are some shots of a less enthusiastic 6 month old having his picture taken.  I think they're cute and hilarious because they really capture his personality.  He's not one for sitting still, or waiting on me for ANYTHING.  And it's certainly written all over his face here.

SO done with this business

seriously?!? we're still doing this!?
But I wanted to share this boy at 6 months old with everyone and anyone who reads here. 

 I think it's a pretty big deal to turn 6 months old.  And I think he's a pretty big deal too.

Happy 6 months Theodore.  Only 6 more months of me putting you through these photo shoots.  I'm sure you'll give me all you've got regarding your willingness to comply in the months to come ;)

Monday, 4 November 2013


So those are my parents. 
This picture is from 1980.  I think.  This was before any children.  My mother was 22ish, and my father was 27ish.  My mother is 100% Lithuanian, and my father is 50% Scottish and 50% English. 
After Alexander died, I studied my childhood pictures - A LOT.  How I looked verses how my sister looked.  Who got what feature from what parent, whose expressions were more like mom or dad.. and so on.  My sister and I are both girls (obviously) and we are 22 months apart in age.  People used to tell me that I looked more like my dad and my sister looked more like my mom.  But then my brother was born, and my sister looked more like my mom, and my brother looked more like my dad... and I was always "the perfect mix".  As the 3 of us got older, our looks matured and everyone's comments of who looked like what parent pretty much stayed the same.  Sister, mom.  Brother, dad.  And me... a 50/50 mix. 
Now that Theodore is here, and is growing and changing every day .. the enormous loss of our first born son and all that we will forever be missing idles along side Theo's ever changing self. 

And I think...


Alexander would have looked like Daniel. 
In the early days out from Alexander's death,  I used to find comfort in watching Daniel sleep.  When he was sleeping, I saw a spitting image of my son.  The shape of his cheeks, his eyes... the shape of his chin.  Alexander was all Daniel.  He had the fullness of my lips and the shape of my mouth, but I saw so many of his features mirror Daniel's.  As Daniel was sleeping - his face relaxed and his muscles still - I saw Alexander. 

I went through the few baby pictures that Daniel's mother had, and I looked for my son.  That's what he would have looked like, I thought.  He would have been this fat... his hair just like this... his expressions just so...
My dad used to take our pictures... all... the... time.  This was back in the 80's, before anything was digital.  Before any filters or previews or touch ups. He had a really good camera (he used to carry his lenes around in a briefcase everywhere he went!). There are hundreds of pictures of me and my siblings, all frame worthy.  He was a true photographer. 
He would get the three of us together, line us up against a wall.. or on a couch.. and just candidly snap away.  I didn't even think it to be anything less ordinary than having a meal, he used to do it so often. 
And I get it now.  When you have your children, you don't want to miss anything.  You want to freeze time and have every.single.second documented and captured because you know you're only going to have the here and now ONCE... and then it's over.  And they change.  And they grow.  And all that they once were is in the past, and you wake up and they are new and different and amazing and you have to once again capture it because it's all over before you get the chance to soak it all up. 
My father behind the lens...

I apparently think my baby brother is the BEST THING EVER!

My brother was approx 2 years old here, and I remember my sister and I having to contain him.  He was more interested in being anywhere but exactly where we needed him to be. 
My socks make this shot, just sayin'
All 3 kids, alive and well.  No one missing.  No one dead. 
We all grew up.  A lot less pictures were taken (especially of me, as I ducked out of every shot my dad attempted when I hit age 12).  
you can kind of see why the camera and I didn't get along.  I was, for lack of a better phrase, a fat kid growing up.  I think I was about 14/15 in this picture.  And my brother was The Tallest 11/12 year old you'd ever seen.
But we all grew up into our own selves.  We are Grown Ups now.  Wow.  Sorry mom and dad for making time fly so damn fast.

Oct 2010.  6 months after our father died.  A different life time for me.  Before my baby died.
Siblings.  Born March '82, December '83 and October '87.  Looking like mom and dad.  Looking like each other.  But so very much looking uniquely like ourselves. 


And I think about Alexander.  As genetics once again play their determined role in shaping the way someone will end up looking... I think about Alexander.  Big brother to Theodore.  Who would he have been?  Would he be tall like his uncle?  Be chubby like his mom?  Be a total short fry like his Italian dad? 

And tell me again why I cant kiss his face as he changes every day... ?


When Daniel and I were weeks away from welcoming our first son, we gave in, and let my mother throw me a baby shower.  Because we had JUST MOVED into our new house (and I mean we had been there for a WEEK before the shower date) I took a lot of the planning into my own hands.  I was so nervous about having 20 people over to a half moved in house... with no where to sit... nothing to look at... nothing to do... no where to put their drinks and plates... I needed to know everything that was being planned so I could relax a bit in how I was envisioning everything.

We didn't have a single picture/piece of artwork hung on our walls.  I needed to have something for our guests to occupy themselves with in between games and food and gift opening..

I put together a "slide show" of pictures from when Daniel and I were wee and little.  It kind of went like this...

One of me..

then one of him...
One of me...
one of him...
One of me...
And then, you guessed it, one of him

While I was co-planning this shower with my mother, I started getting really giddy.  I know, I'd been pregnant for nearly 8 full months, and I was JUST NOW started to get giddy?!?  But yes, it's true.  My unbridled excitement didn't start to set in until the very end.  We were house hunting, I was selling my condo... work was busy busy busy all while I was gestating this perfect man child.  I didn't really have the time to focus to get all gaga over baby life.  I figured the time will come when the baby is here, and I'll without a doubt be busting at the seams with everything baby.  And I was excited throughout my pregnancy... but I just didn't have a lot of time to ACT OUT my excited state.  And planning that shower gave me the time to FINALLY ooze with all things baby that were living inside me.  (no pun intended).
And I put together this little slide show (of about 150-200 pictures) and I was getting more and more anxious to finally meet this baby.  To finally SEE this baby.  They are such unknown little creatures inside the womb.. feeling pokes and jabs.  But not ever able to put a face to the fetus - the mysterious world of growing babies.  So suspenseful.  We didn't have a 3D ultrasound because I wanted my first time seeing this baby be in the flesh, as I put it.  I wanted to see him OUT, and no other way before that.  (HUGE regret now, but such is life).
As Theo is looking more and more like me as he grows up into his babyhood.. I cant help but think that Alexander would have been the spitting image of his father.  Maybe Theo will change and look more like Daniel as he grows into boyhood.  But for now, he's his mommy's son for sure.


That's me and Daniel.  It was January of 2009.  An innocent time.  A time before life and my waistline was blown up and changed to the point of no return by the loss of our first child.  I remember that couple.  I remember smiling like that.  I miss those days.

Now we are people who have made babies. 
One that fills our lives with the business of having a child, and the sleep deprivation of having a baby...

cat watching

And one that will never grow.  One that will always be just a baby.  With tiny chubby hands, and perfect lips.  One that I will never know how he would have grown up to look just like his dad, or be a pretty little boy and take after his mom. 


I think back to the time when it was just me and my sister. 


When it was her looking just like our mother... and me looking just like our father.
Two siblings, same gender, so close in age. 
And I want to know Alexander.  I want to see him grow up. 
Instead, I look at pictures of Daniel when he was a boy... and I look for pieces of my son who I will never know.

I don't believe in signs anymore.  Or maybe I do, but I cant bring myself to ponder what kind of sign my stillborn son might have been.  But recently I noticed a picture hanging in Daniel's parents house.  It is in their bedroom, above their light switch.  It caught be off guard.  I have probably seen it before.  I most likely had seen it before I ever had any children. 
It is baby Daniel.  With an "A" and the number 1 next to him.
Is this a sign?  Would Alexander be daddy's boy?  Daddy's little twin?
Who ever he would have been, and however he would have turned out after taking a dip in our gene pool, I miss him.  I miss everything about him, and everything I'll never know.