Above are the birth announcements of Max, Molly and Jake. It is so strange to me that Max and Jake weren’t ever on this earth at the same time. It feels like Jake has always been here even though he’s just two months old. It seems like it was so long ago now that Max was here. And then there is Molly in the middle who has known and loved them both. I don’t know if I’ll ever have the right words to really describe how it feels to have your child die. When Max died Molly was nine months old. It was so hard to try and appreciate and love her while my soul ached for Max. Almost every moment of every day was a struggle to not want to die to to go and see my first baby. I wanted to make sure he was really ok. I wanted to make sure he was happy and that if he got cold someone would make sure he had a coat and help him put it on because he couldn’t do that yet. Little mommy things like that. This very intense time period lasted for what felt like an eternity. I think it was just letting up when March rolled around when I would have been planning Max’s fourth birthday. The thoughts that he wasn’t here to turn four hit me so heavily. Its basically indescribable. Max’s birthday is April 30th and the anniversary of his death is May 8th. Those two dates made for an incredibly sorrowful spring for me. I was also pregnant with Jake during that time period. I was full of a lot of intense and complicated emotions. People can tell you that the first anniversaries of a loved one’s death or their first birthday without them is hard but you have no idea until you live it. In my case all of those people were right. With all of that said right now feels so different from then. With Jake here with Molly I have two kids again which feels SO good. Its like my family is complete and yet it will never be here on earth again. Only with the hope of heaven will I ever be united with all of my children again. Max is still gone but the sadness isn’t as intense as it has been. I am curious how this spring will be. We have plans to get out of town and try to have fun during those hard dates. I might bump up my therapy sessions and Kelly and I will probably start seeing our marriage counselor again sooner rather than later. Well I have dinner to get to so enough of my rambling for now.
Kelly, Molly and I all got to fly down to Pasadena for a whole week this month! Kelly got to work and Molly and I got to play 😉 We got to stay at the fancy pants Embassy Suites where they make you breakfast and Molly had her own room to sleep in. Oh yeah – we’re first class like that 😉 Thank you Kelly’s work for the hotel! After dropping Kelly off at work in our rockin’ Chrystler mini van Molly and I did some of the following activities throughout the week: went to Target, found where the Rose Bowl is located, wrote postcards, went on a tour of where Kelly was working, drove an hour to the Santa Monica Pier and played in the sand and waves. She LOVED the waves! Kelly didn’t have to work on Friday so the three of us went back to the Santa Monica Pier as a family. Molly did pretty well on both flights. I also saw one celebrity! You are going to be so excited! Alex Trebek! I saw him at the Bob Hope Airport with his wife.
Pre-flight baby calesthetics.
Sharing a smoothie with Daddy.
I grabbed four straws from Starbucks and they kept her more entertained than any other toy. Score.
Both babies slept on the plane. I enjoyed my magazine.
Molly had a great time playing in the sand.
This is my favorite picture of her with the ferris wheel and pier behind her. Plus she’s not digging with a shovel she’s using a Menchie’s spoon that I happened to bring 😉
Me and my girl. A very nice lady took a picture of us. Molly was very social on the beach and loved to crawl up to people sunbathing on their towels. Good thing she’s cute. She was a great conversation starter actually.
Daddy and Molly (my favorite pic of them from the trip 🙂
This chick loved the waves!
Molly would giggle each time a wave crashed against her. It was the cutest thing!
It was just like Baywatch…but not really.
On the flight back Molly figured out what the tray tables are really for – spying on and touching the heads of the people in front of you of course!
My good friend Naomi has four precious kiddos. The youngest is a little younger than Molly. I think it is special that she and I were pregnant at the same time. We spent quite a bit of time together for the last two years. Max and I would go over and play with her at the time three kids. Max loved it there. They also lived right next door to an awesome park that Max loved!
Anyway, she has one four-year-old son. He is adorable and she emailed me the following today:
” I have to tell you something funny. Kai was a little sad that it is not ok to marry people in your own family, so he decided he’d like to marry Molly. He said he knows he needs to get her a ring, and then he asked if they just had to dance together to be married! LOL! I told him the girl has to want to marry him as well, and you go through a ceremony. I would love for Kai to have awesome in-laws, though there are many years between now and when dating and marriage is a real possibility. I just thought it was so cute. :-)”
She also reminded me of the time we all went to the zoo last spring. Here are the pictures that I took that day.
I cannot believe it but Molly turned one! We celebrated with a joint birthday party with Molly’s cousin, James who is 9 days older than her. This was with Kelly’s side of the family. Then we spent six days down at Fort Stevens on the Oregon Coast and celebrated Molly’s birthday down there with my parents and sister. Right before Molly’s birthday she and I took a mini road trip up to Bellingham to see my dear friend, Suzanne. We’ve been friends since 7th grade! She offered conduct a birthday photo shoot of Molly. This was so sweet and generous of her. Its been hard at times to feel celebratory of Molly’s birthday because Max isn’t here to celebrate with us. However Molly does need to be celebrated! This photo shoot helped to get me in a better frame of mind.
Yes, in our house we call teeth – toofers and Molly has four of them! My sister snapped a picture of all four of them this week.
Look at my chompers! Look out Mommy! Molly squints at us and then we squint back and so on and so forth. Its a game that she really likes playing.
Max loved Popsicles. I made them for him with blueberries, vanilla yogurt, whole milk and sometimes honey. On Max’s last day he wanted Popsicles so I made him 12 with orange juice. He ate nine. I’ve had the remaining three in my fridge ever since and haven’t quite known what to do with them. Its been super hot here. On this particular day it was almost 90 degrees! I decided to give the Popsicles to Molly and she ate all three throughout the day and she did so like a champ. So now I’ll start making Popsicles for her. Maybe she’ll have the same love for them as her big brother but maybe not. Only time will tell 🙂
For a few years I have really liked all of the “kid necklaces” that a lot of my friends wear. I was going to order one before Max died but I wasn’t quite sure which one I liked and then life and busyness got in the way. Well my friends Amy, Michelle and Sabrina remember me complimenting their necklaces a few months ago at during our small group. Those ladies knew Max from small group and being in the nursery and with the two-year-olds during church on Sundays. So they knew them. He played with their kids. Their kids knew Max. This is a big deal to me. Well they gave me a necklace yesterday that they had made for me. If we have another baby I can add his or her name a birth stone to the necklace. I cried when they gave it to me. I have been thinking lately that the further out that I get from when Max was alive the more strange it is. At least so far. It feels like time is frozen when he was alive last spring and I’m stuck there because he’s still there as a little giggling, curious, helpful, mud loving three-year-old. Yet I’m also living in the present with Kelly and Molly. Molly is growing and developing and Kelly and I are aging as well but we still have a three-year-old son and Molly has a three-year-old big brother. But he’s not here – he’s in heaven. It is still all so strange and it just doesn’t make any sense to my human brain. I also feel that the further away Max being alive becomes the more and more he will be forgotten and that being a reality makes me so very sorrowful and I just ache all over. I don’t want for people to not know Max because he isn’t here. Hence the necklace is very special to me because it acknowledges that he is our son and Molly’s big brother. I don’t need the necklace to remember Max but it is very special to me.
I love these monkey pajamas! I really like anything with animals on my kids actually. Molly has started squinting and then I do it back and she’ll laugh. Its pretty fun. Oh and I am not giving Molly coffee 😉
When Max was two he always wanted to try my coffee. (I drink it every morning and wouldn’t start reading books to him until I poured some for myself.) The kid LOVED books and would say, “Come oooonnn Mommy! Let’s read books!”) One day I let him try my coffee before I put in milk and sugar. He never asked to try it again and would tell me that my coffee was icky. He would say, “Mommy, I know you like coffee, I not like coffee.” Problem solved 😉
You may notice that Molly has grown a pair of bottom chompers in this picture. She also has a matching pair of top ones. They are razor sharp!
Kelly, Molly and I drove down to Portland to visit my cousin Michelle, her husband Eric and their three kids: Addie (almost 4), Jonah (21 mo.) and Cora (21 mo.) We had a blast and it was so nice to just be with Michelle and Eric. I had so much fun playing with the kids. They loved Molly too. Cora and Jonah would say, “baby” over and over. Jonah was super gentle and sweet with Molly too. Molly loved watching all of the shenanigans those three created.
Addie and Molly
Jonah, Molly and Addie having a blast together in the tub.
We got to hang out with Ma & Pa, Uncle Christopher, Aunt Laura, Grace and James today. Here are some pictures from our fun.
I love this picture of Molly and Laura. It is so very sweet.
Grace wanted me to put a clip in her hair but then she wanted more and more until they were all in her hair. She picked them out and told me where to put them. I think she looks like a mermaid princess. She and Pa are watching Looney Toon shows 🙂
This picture of Laura and Molly is from Friday when we visited I just forgot to put them up in my last post. Max and Grace used to try and take turns on this car and another Little Mermaid one. I think the last time we were there Max rode on the Little Mermaid one 🙂
Kelly’s cousin Vanessa and her husband Bubba had their daughter Aubrey and then their twin girls Annie and Paisley. Vanessa generously gives us their hand-me-downs! We naturally get doubles of some items. Laura and I thought it would be fun to put Molly and James in matching, “Mommy loves me” onsies.
I cannot get over Molly’s face here! She’s been doing this a lot lately. It cracks me up! It reminds me of the face Max made when he tried pureed carrots I made him for the first time when he was almost seven months old. They must be related.
Taking pictures of Molly with her 10 month sticker on earlier this week was hard. I am glad she’s 10 months old but Max isn’t here with us. He was here playing in the background when I took her 9 month picture. But milestones like this still need to be celebrated. Molly is such a blessing from God. I am so grateful for her.
Here is a little bit about what Molly is up to.
Physical: army crawling and sometimes regular crawling. She likes to feed herself (yay!), she pulls herself up to a standing position, she likes to clap and wiggles to music.
Social/Emotional: She loves being around other people, she cries and comes looking for us when/if we leave the room, she talks a ton, she waves and says, “Hi” to a picture of my parents, sister and myself when we were little. She exhibits reluctance toward strangers aka mean mug. She expresses affection by kissing and patting.
Communicative: She turns her head when we call her name and briefly stops a behavior when told, “no.”