Thank you for visiting my blog! If you are visiting because you have experienced a pregnancy or infant loss, let me say that I am so very sorry. I started this blog shortly after our Baby Grady was stillborn on November 12, 2008. Please visit the sidebar below called "Labels" to find the topic in which you are interested, or just read as your heart desires.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Santa Visit, 2011

One of my favorite local stores had Santa and Mrs. Clause visit last weekend for photos and a special time with the kids. To my GREAT surprise, Matthew didn't cry! He didn't smile either, but he didn't cry. I was amazed!

Here he is checking out Santa before his turn.

Emma Grace looked thrilled, huh? She sat this way the whole time she was talking to him with a little smirk on her face.

Jessica was somewhat big for Santa's lap, but she sat there and told him what she wanted. It didn't seem to bother her one bit to be surrounded by children many years younger than her. (It seems crazy to write that..."many years younger"...she is growing up so fast!)

Matthew was very interested in Mrs. Clause for their group picture, and no matter how hard I tried, he wasn't taking his eyes off of her!

And while we're talking about Christmas, here's a picture of my favorite little Rudolph. She and Jessica had a "make over" session with make up and a little face paint. Love it!

Hope to be back sooner than later!


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Grady's Third Birthday

Today, we celebrated Grady's 3rd birthday. It seems like more than three years ago that I said hello and goodbye to him...

Jessica loves Matthew, and I know she would have been a great big sister to Grady, too.

Jessica had an elaborate day planned for us to go to MeMe's house in Dahlonega and spend the day. But, unfortunately, MeMe hasn't been feeling well, so we went to plan B. And it turned out perfectly!

The day started out great when, at 6am, Gib told me to stay in bed and rest, and he got up with Matthew. It was so nice to doze. I got up around 8am because I heard Matthew screaming. He had fallen but was okay. I got him down for a nap and went BACK to bed! I didn't get up till 10am!'

We took our time this morning and didn't leave home until about 1:30pm. We stopped and got some balloons to release, along with some subs, chips and drinks for a picnic. We went to a park called Little Mulberry Park. It has a 2.2 mile walking trail around a lake. The leaves were pretty but had changed so much since I was there just a few days ago.

Not long before we got there, the blue skies turned to gray and the sun hid behind the clouds. This made it a little cooler than we would have liked, but it wasn't bad. After our picnic, the girls rode their bikes along the path, while Gib, Matthew and I walked behind them.

After one time around the lake, we took a restroom break, changed Matthew and got our balloons. We found the perfect spot on a dock where the leaves were beautiful.

I was hesitant to release them there because there was a man fishing with his dog on the other side of the dock. He turned out to be very friendly (more about him in a minute). I really wanted to ask him to take our family picture but he had fish and bait all over his hands, and I really didn't want them on my camera! :) So, Gib took the pictures.

As we released the balloons, we sang "Happy Birthday" to Grady. We watched them float high in the sky. They stayed together for a while but then four of them made a straight line while the fifth one drifted off to the left by itself. Gib said, "Maybe Grady is reaching for that one." :)

After we released them, the man who was fishing said, "That was one of the most beautiful things I've ever experienced." I told him it was for our baby in heaven who would be three today, and he said, "Man", while putting his head down and shaking it. I told him not to be sad, but to take it as a reminder to not take one minute for granted and to be thankful for what he has. We wished him luck with his fishing and his fish fry, and off we went. I can't help but think that maybe he needed to be part of our "Grady moment" today...

As the girls got back on their bikes (they wanted to go around one more time), Gib started running while pushing Matthew in the stroller. I wasn't going to be left behind, so I started running, too. Very soon after I started running, I thought my legs would fall off. I told Gib I was shooting for half a mile. Half a mile came and went. I RAN TWO MILES!!! Gib was cheering me on and saying I was doing it for Grady and that motivated me so much. But, Jessica and Emma Grace motivated me even more.

You see, Jessica has just started basketball cheerleading and has learned a few cheers. Those two girls changed the words to one of her cheers for me, and at every mile marker they chanted, "Come on mighty mama, you know what to do, you gotta rock with the baby and roll with the kids". It so doesn't rhyme, but it meant SO much to me! They were so excited to see me coming up to each mile marker, and I would tell them to go. Off they would go to the next. I really wanted to run three miles for Grady's third birthday, but Matthew was D.O.N.E.! He had completely missed his afternoon nap, we were out of snacks and he was ready to go. I wasn't going to put him through more torture so I could do another mile. But, now...I'm ready to run again! Hopefully this is the start of something new! :)


Here I am at the end of my two miles. I might not be able to walk tomorrow, but I did it!

It was worth it to see how proud my family was of me, and I have to admit, I was pretty proud of myself. I haven't run in years!

Along our path, a bunch of ducks crossed our path. I had to stop and jog in place because I knew if I stopped I wouldn't start again. On our way home, a buck crossed our path. How often do you see a buck??? And on a different road, another deer crossed in front of us. We took those as signs from Grady, especially the buck!

We ventured home and Jessica was such a huge help. While Emma Grace and I went to the store and to get Chinese for dinner, she fed Matthew dinner and bathed him for bed. After Matthew was down, the girls and I made a cookie cake for Grady. It was super easy and delicious! I used the wrong tip for writing on the cookie but it turned out okay. We lit candles, sang and dug in!

This day was exactly what it was supposed to be. And it was beautiful! I am so thankful for the cards I received in the mail from my brother and his family, Aunt Barbara, Mary Beth and MeMe. I'm so thankful for the phone messages I received. I am so thankful for my friends who posted about Grady on their facebook page. And, I'm so thankful for all my friends who left sweet comments on my facebook posts. It means the world to me that people remember and honor our sweet Grady with us. His life means so much to so many and that's exactly the way I want it!

Dear Grady, We had a wonderful day celebrating you today. I told Daddy that I could see you on a big wheel or a bike with training wheels trying to catch up to your sisters around the lake. I know you would have loved the cookie cake we baked you, and you would have loved the Bob the Builder card MeMe sent you in the mail. It was decorated with stickers and everything. I will put that and your other cards in your memory box and keep them forever. Your life was not in vain. I try everyday to give your short life meaning and make you proud as you look down on all of us. I know you celebrated today with Granny and Popaw Barry, along with all of your other relatives there with you. Or did you celebrate yesterday? I often wonder if there is a celebration on the day you entered those pearly gates... Either way, we miss you here. We wouldn't wish you back now that you've been there...instead we look forward to the day when we are there with you forever! We love you SO much! (((HUGS))) and KISSES to you in heaven! Mommy

(And I forgot that I rode Jessica's bike, too! That's me in the pink jacket.)


Friday, November 11, 2011

3 Years. Nothing New.

It's 10pm, and I sit here alone. Gib, Matthew and Emma Grace are asleep. Jessica has a friend over, and they are upstairs watching a movie. I'm sitting in front of this computer wishing for something new to write about Grady, but there is nothing. It is so much fun to reflect on Matthew and his growth, to see the girls growing and changing and experiencing life in so many ways.

But, there's nothing new to write about Grady.

And I so wish there was.

How big he would be. What he loved to eat. His favorite toys/games, etc.

But there's nothing.

Nothing but those "wondering thoughts" I wrote about a long time ago, only a couple of years older.

I sit here and can't help but think back to this day/night three years ago.

Would I have done anything differently?

I don't know.

Knowing what I know now, maybe.


But I can't change the past. As much as I wish I could, I can't.

Or do I?

Do I really wish I could change the past?

I don't know.

It's still very hard for me because I absolutely cannot imagine my life without Matthew. And I know for a fact that if Grady had lived, Matthew would not be here. Some are quick to say, "You don't know that!"


Yes, I do.

Because Gib was going to get "neutered" after Grady and our family was going to be complete.

Matthew would not be here.

But, oh how I long for both of those boys to be here with me! It's so hard to put it into words. So hard, in fact, that I can't. I really can't describe it. Just like I really can't describe how awful and tragic it is to have your child die inside of you. Unfathomable. Unless, of course, it happens to you. Then it becomes your reality.

And you just have to learn how to deal with it. How to incorporate it into your life. Like it or not, it's a part of you forever. And you make the best of it. And you pull at straws for your baby's life to have meaning here on earth.

Grady went to heaven three years ago today, around 4:30 or 5:00pm. I sure hope there was a celebration in heaven today. Three years. That's 1,095 days. Wow!

I tried to find our Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep photographer today. I got his address from his website and went on the hunt for him. Imagine my surprise when his "office" was his house! There was a suite number in his address, so I thought it was an office park. Nope. There was a car in the drive, but after ringing the doorbell twice, no one came to the door. I left his cream cheese frosted pumpkin spice muffins on the door with a thank you note and one of Grady's announcements. I hope he sees them. I just wanted to thank him for the priceless gift he gave our family with the pictures of Grady.

I'm not sure how we will celebrate Grady's birthday tomorrow, but I will do my very best to blog about it. Thanks for listening to my rambling. That's what I feel like it is. Rambling. Because I've said the same thing 1,000 times before...


Friday, October 28, 2011

Matthew. 12 - 15 Months.

Never, ever did I imagine that I would be this far behind on my blog. Seriously?!? Where does the time go?!?

Sweet Matthew is now 15 1/2 months old. I cannot tell you what a love he is. He is just a lot little spoiled and brings such joy to our family. I will do my best to make this post as easy to read and follow as I try to play catch-up on our little man.

~12 Months~

*He celebrated his first birthday in the Bahamas, which I posted about right here. It was a great celebration with great memories for sure.

*We also had a birthday party here at home on July 23, 2011. I want to post all about it, but here are some pictures from that day.

*He was still eating a great variety of pureed fruits and veggies, with the only real "solid" food being Gerber Lil' Crunchies. He was still on formula, getting five bottles a day, while learning to drink water from a sippy cup.

*Right before we left for the Bahamas he decided to start army crawling. So much for containing him on vacation! He had a great time perusing around our hotel suite on his belly.

*He was still sleeping great! Two naps a day, totaling 3-4 hours and 10 - 11 hours at night.

*At his 12 month well-check, he weighed 23 lbs. 8.5 oz (65th%); was 24 3/4 in. (50%) and his head was 18 1/2 in (70%). He was wearing mostly 12 month, but some 18 months, clothes.

~13 Months~

*This is the only picture I have of him alone for the month of August.

*I really can't think of anything huge that happened at this age for him except that we continued to try new foods and get better with the sippy cup. We also worked on physical therapy stuff, trying to crawl on his hands/knees and start pulling up.

*On September 3rd, he pulled himself up on the sofa, which I blogged about here. He was 13 1/2 months old. It was such a huge accomplishment for him! And just like my post said, I cried. I was SO proud of him!

~14 Months~

*September 19, 2011. Supposed to be napping but pulled himself up in his crib for the first time instead.

*I wrote the following in a "Tidbits" post, and I'm so thankful I did. It really is hard to remember...

--He has mastered pulling up and is learning to get himself back down. He is learning to wave and immediately claps for himself after he does it. He is cutting his molars, and the bottom two have broken the skin. He loves to eat and feed himself...I'm happy to report that he's doing well with that. He also loves his sippy cup, and I hope to have him off the bottle soon. He army crawls fast as lightning and climbed the stairs the other day with very little help. So happy and thankful for his progress. Still a long way to go, but thankful for how far he has come.

*These were taken on my birthday, September 10. This is one of our favorite expressions he makes.

~15 Months~

*Well, 15 1/2 months now to be exact, but that's okay. We're caught up as best we can be!!!

*At his 15 month well-check, Matthew weighed 24 lbs. 3 oz (40%), he was 31 1/2 inches long (65%) and his head was 18 3/4 inches ( 65%). He had dropped some in his weight but had gained in his length. He works so incredibly hard to do what he does, I think he just burns a lot of calories. He is a great eater, though! He's down to two bottles a day, one in the morning and one at bedtime...I'm hoping to have him strictly on a sippy cup soon. He loves whole milk and would drink it all day if I would let him...which I don't!

*He now has his upper and bottom molars and is actually cutting his "eye" teeth...poor baby. He's such a trooper!

*He has learned to give me hugs. They melt my heart! I call them "sweet love" when he gives them to me. When he puts his head on my left shoulder, he just hugs. When he puts his head on my right shoulder, he pats my back or arm. He will go from one side to the other. And if I had my way about it, they would be never-ending!

*He also gives kisses...selectively...when he wants to. They are the open-mouth, slobbery kind. Is there any other? Love them!

*He has some shoes that he's not real fond of. They are white high tops from Stride Rite. They didn't come in brown or navy, and his therapist really wanted the support of the high tops. He does feel more stable in them and will actually take a few steps when holding onto a push toy or our hands. He still can't stand alone, and he has a long way to go before he walks.

*He absolutely adores both of his sisters, but he's particularly drawn to Jessica. I think it's because she's a bit bigger than Emma Grace, but who knows. He will almost jump out of my arms to get to her. Sweet!

*Matthew and Emma Grace will often play a game of give-and-take in the car. Their seats are next to each other, and they will pass a toy or book or his lovie back and forth. They both giggle and smile the whole time. Music to my ears!

*He loves to play the grunting game with his Daddy. Maybe I should call it the yelling game. They go back and forth and often get louder as they go. And, of course, he loves to rough house with him, too.

*I can't pinpoint a for sure first word from him yet. He says something that sounds like "good". Gib heard him say "uh oh" the other night. He will sporadically say "Mama" and "Dada" but not intentionally enough to call it a first word. He does mumble and jabber all the time, though, so I think it won't be too long before he starts saying something we can understand. He loves to shake his head "no" and has started saying "uh uh" while doing it if he doesn't want something. He understands a few questions like, "Where is Buddy?" and "Give it to Mommy".

*He loves to play with our kitchen set, but the unfortunate thing is that he has pulled it onto himself a couple of times. Since he doesn't get down gracefully from standing, he sometimes forgets to let go of what he's holding onto when he plops on his bottom. He loves to open and close the microwave door and take things in and out of it.

*He loves to crawl to the TV, pull himself up and bang on it...not good!

*His other favorite toy is Emma Grace's pink Barbie jeep. He rolls that thing all over the house, army crawling after it.

*His favorite things to eat these days are bananas, blueberry waffles, grilled cheese, grapes, applesauce, yogurt, and fruit/veggie pouches. He isn't too fond of green veggies these days, so I get those organic veggie pouches to get some of those vitamins in him. He can take or leave a sweet potato. Gags on broccoli and green beans. Loves pizza and some mexican dishes. And loves to feed his leftovers to Buddy (who just so happens to hang out under his highchair at meal time!). His all-time favorite snack is Gerber Lil' Crunchies, Veggie Dip flavor. He LOVES them!

*These were taken on his 15 Month Birthday.

*I couldn't resist a naked baby shot. He will hate me for these one day, I'm sure!

*For Halloween this year, he was sick. :( He had a cold and later in the week developed croup. He dressed up in a hand-me-down Honey Pot costume from his sisters. He was already in his jammies here and went to bed straight after pictures. Maybe next year he will get to go Trick-or-Treating with his sisters.

That's all I can think of for now. I started this post a while ago and am just finishing and posting it on November 10, 2011. He will be 16 months old in just a few days. I seriously gotta get better at finding time to blog! Thanks for reading and God bless!