Saturday, October 19, 2013

Weekend Update...

The last week has had its ups and downs at my house.  More ups, so don't worry. 

This was Sunday night - before Daddy left for a business trip until Thursday!!  They were playing "Angry Bird Star Wars Pirates."  Yeah... I have no idea.  But they were having fun!
Lucky for us, Ed doesn't have to travel too often.  But when he does, it's hard!  Not hard because of the kids (and now, just Brian) - because he works all day anyway and is home at dinnertime.  It's hard because I miss him!  And Brian misses him, too.  Ed face-timed us from his phone every night before Brian went to bed... which was a big treat.  Thank God for technology.

But this week, Brian had a hard time.  I could tell by his behavior, which is usually consistently happy and pleasant, that something was up.  He was getting easily frustrated... tearful... and acting a little "fresh" here and there.  I was quick to assume that it must be about Gavin and all the changes in our family - but you never want to think you have anyone "figured out" before they have the chance to express their emotions to you.

So we spent a lot of time in Gavin's room this week - playing and reading.  Brian's new favorite thing to do is to stack up all of his stuffed angry birds and stuffed animals and pillows (he has quite a collection!) against the net that zips closed.
Then I have to unzip just a sliver so he can crawl out... and he unzips the rest... create an AVALANCHE!!!!!!!!
He loves this game.  Mommy?  Not so much.  Getting my pregnant self up and down from the floor so I can help him get everything back in the bed is not easy these days!!  But seriously... how could I resist this smile??
One day, while sitting in Gavin's room, Brian got frustrated when something wasn't going his way and got a little teary.  I finally said to him, "Brian... why do you think you're crying so much lately?  You can tell Mommy if something is making you sad or mad!"

And that was the moment.  He burst into tears and cried, "I just really miss Gavin!!!"

It breaks my heart, but I'm glad he got it out.  The next day was our weekly visit to see Dr. Trish - and the timing was perfect.  I didn't tell her anything about what happened, yet after the session she told me she picked up a lot of emotion in Brian's energy - especially panic.  She was able to clear it out (she's so, unbelievably gifted) and the rest of this week Brian has been a new kid.

One of his favorite things to do right now is vacuum.  If he sees a single crumb, he gets the vacuum and sweeps the floor all on his own.  He actually does a great job, too!!
This week we were "Booed" by THREE anonymous neighbors!!  Each time the doorbell would ring and we'd open the door to see a treat bag on the porch with no one in sight.  I didn't quite catch on the first night that once you are "Booed," you are to hang a sign in your window so everyone knows... and then "Boo" two other neighbors who haven't had anyone come to their house yet.

The second night, we were "Booed" within a half hour of each other.  I was looking for tape to hang the sign in the window when I got the first gift - only to hear the doorbell again with the THIRD!  I never did find that tape.

Brian was asleep when they arrived, but was SO excited the next morning when he found out that gifts had been left for him!  You'd have thought it was Christmas!!!
And whoever the neighbors were that "Booed" us - they made it so personal for Brian.  There were Star Wars stickers...
...pencils (his new obsession!) and a Mickey Mouse pencil cup.  And, of course, he loved the candy (which he very rarely gets so it's a big treat!) and the stickers!  Thank you to my mystery neighbors!!!  It was so much fun to watch Brian open and enjoy these gifts!!
  Brian and I had fun "Booing" two neighbors last night!  This was Brian outside of the first house - right before he rang the doorbell.  If you're wondering - ringing and running is no cake walk when you're seven months pregnant.  I handled the ringing part - but the running away?  Not so slick.  And it's very possible I accidentally peed on their lawn.  Too much information?
This morning was Brian's second to last T-Ball game.  He has missed a couple games - due to rain or other plans - and next week he will miss a game because of a birthday AND Halloween party!!  He's got quite the social life!

It was pretty chilly (finally!) this morning, which is why he has the sweatshirt over his uniform.  Brian has come a long way since the first day of T-Ball!  He really got into it and enjoyed it very much.  We're so proud of him!!  
The best news of the week came today.  Today I hit the 30 week mark of my pregnancy, which makes me feel like I can breathe.  Well - not literally breathe.  Breathing doesn't come easy these days - especially after a trip up the stairs... or running from people's houses.  What I *mean* is - it's a big relief to hit the 30 week mark.  Hope is still very active (just like Brian was when I was pregnant with him!), which is extremely comforting to me.  It's estimated she weighs about three pounds now and, if she is born on target, she could be about seven pounds!  Nesting has officially begun for me - although I don't have a whole lot to do.  Most of the equipment has been set up and airing out for over a month.  I just need to finish decorating her nursery, wash clothes and blankets and sheets and burp cloths, organize and find homes for all the things from Gavin's funeral that still live in my dining room (an item typically NOT on a mother-to-be's "nesting list") and get everything lined up for the hospital.  On my list might include re-scheduling Santa Claus because, as of right now, my scheduled C-Section is set for Christmas Eve.  I was very upset about that - but I've decided that I'm not going to panic.  Historically, I've always had my babies before their scheduled dates.  I'm just going to pray that this happens with Hope.  Obviously, as far as we're concerned, she can be born any day!!  And obviously, we don't care where we are over Christmas.  But it's not just about us.  We have legitimate concern for Brian.  I certainly don't want him to be without his Mommy and new sister on his first Christmas without Gavin.  (And I'd hate for Ed to miss out on being at the hospital to spend time with us)  Brian deserves a happy Christmas with his family.  He's already dealing with enough.  (I don't need advice or a pep talk about this at all - I promise.  We'll work it out and make it work and spin it positive... we always do.)

All of us are dealing with a lot.

I've said it before - and I'll say it forever... you'll never know (unless you do know!) how challenging it is to be a grieving mother at the same exact time you're an expecting mother.  It's a roller coaster.


  1. I've been reading your blog since Gavin passed which I am so very sorry. Gavin's story inspires me every day. I know you have said that you feel like your purpose on earth is to tell his story. And you are doing a phenomenal job at that. But for me, your purpose is to also inspire me to be a better mom. You are doing such an amazing job. When I read your posts it literally makes me want to do better in my life for my kids. So thank you. Thank you for being an inspiration and for being such a great mom.

  2. You gave me a much needed laugh. I have this picture of you and Brian running across the yard laughing and you peeing your pants. Sounds like a lot of fun.

  3. What you call "booing" we call "ghosting" - it's so fun! The kids love it, and I like it because it's about giving away & sharing, which is a good balance since halloween is about "getting." Glad you enjoyed it, although I'm also aware that at 30 weeks it's almost impossible to run - or breathe! We've got three December birthdays in our house, so I'm "hoping for Hope" to come just a tad early - the 2nd, 19th or 21st would be great! :)

  4. Kate, I want you to know that I am praying for you. Actually, I have been since I came across your page. My husband and I lost our sweet little girl on December 27th, 2012. We celebrated her first birthday, on April 20th, without her. It was VERY hard! I feel like you and I are experiencing a lot of the same emotions, at the same time. You see, I am also expecting! Our second little lady will be here mid November. Approaching Christmas is bringing MANY, MANY emotions. Baby's first Christmas, Christmas without Mikayla, nesting...having to put away Mikayla's things...and make room for Mackenzie's. Having to do all of these things is enough to lock a momma into a steep emotional roller coaster. I just want you to know that my family is praying for you, and we are also on the ride with you. Much love from McGuire AFB, New Jersey...and the McDonough family! -Sarah McDonough

  5. Hey Kate, is there any way you could have Brian think Christmas is on the 22, 23rd? Just fudge the date so as to remove any guilt or anxiety? Just a thought. Love and prayers to your family. Amber

  6. I am so sad that Brian is hurting. But so very happy that he spoke with you and with Dr. Trish. Hugs to the whole family.

  7. Here's the can celebrate Christmas whatever darn day you want to! :) Just because you mignt not celebrate it on the, I hear that the 29th of December is a wonderful day...or whatever! Seriously...yes, it is Jesus' birthday. Yes, perhaps "Santa" USUALLY comes that night! But really, we should celebrate Jesus EVERY day...and I know from experience that Santa is very willing to make special accomodations for special little people like Brian and Hope! :) I know you will work it out...and it will be wonderful. Whatever you do, don't stress over it!!!! It's a time to rejoice and be with family...not to worry and fret. And in your family's case, I believe while poignant and bittersweet, it will also be extra special and precious and wonderful this year, too!!! Many hugs and prayers and much love from the Johnsons in CT

  8. Celebrate on a different day.... Brian will have no idea!!

  9. I got chills when you said you had reached the 30 week mark! Go you! And, go Hope! That is amazing. I also laughed out loud when you confessed to possibly "watering" your neighbors yard as you ran away from "booing". You have a great way with words - and with honesty!
    Lastly, I think it is only appropriate that Hope be born in a season filled with wonder, magic, miracles and love. Can't wait to "meet" her!

  10. I had the same worries... turn out my son who was due Christmas Eve was born before Thanksgiving. (A preemie) I actually had plans for Santa to come to the hospital if need be! That could be cool for B!

    And big cheesy internet hugs because, whatever, hugs are always good.

  11. I'm hoping she comes a week early ...but if not change the day u celebrate . Brian won't mind if he gets christmas a couple days early or late...I switched the day when my kids were lil cuz I worked at a care facility for handicap adults and I always felt they needed to have regular staff there to help them celebrate as my boys r all in college and working so now r planning our Christmas for dec 14 .. sounds odd but it works...anyway Brian is a sweetheart I'm so sorry he has to deal w deal loss of Gavin but he will love Hope

  12. Peeing on neighbors lawns, eh? SO glad to know I'm not the only owman who was a pregnant dribbler... ;)

    What a great idea, this "Booing!" Wish I'd known about that when my guys were little! I'd have started a neighborhood tradition!

    Yes, I do know how I felt after my son's death, after miscarriages, while being pregnant...So nervewracking...and exciting... No pep talk, but have you considered involving the hospital to allow you guys to do some kind of Christmas at the hospital? That could be a very cool thing for Brian, yes, a bit different, but then you guys would al be together..just a little thought...

    30 weeks!!!! :)


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