Friday, August 29, 2014

How can you not know?

This is the question that has plagued me since yesterday morning. How can someone not know what is going on in their own house. Which is a stupid question, things go on everyday in thousands of houses with people either purposefully or ignorantly blind to the truth.

Mama T's legal battles are still just beginning. Max's father has chosen to file a civil suit against Mama T with a homicide charge. Willful negligence.

I don't think Max's mom knows. I think she thinks this is a battle with the insurance company to cover the hospital changes, which was never an issue. The insurance company contacted their lawyer within days after Max's death with a settlement. A 1.5 million dollar settlement. That Max's rather turned down to pursue the civil charge against Mama T and go after her personally. I don't think Max's mother has a clue.

And I can't say a word. It isn't my place. It's not my family, it's not my business, it's not my place to tell her what her husband is doing.

How do I do this?

I feel like my conversations with her are awkward and it's in my head the whole time.

How can you not know??

Yesterday I told her we all visited with Mama T last week and the kids got to see her for the first time since that day. She responded that she was so glad we were able to visit with her, that she hopes Mama T can find peace and joy and a new purpose in life. That she feels so bad that such a terrible thing happened to such a kind woman who's spent her whole life doing the right things.

That doesn't sound like the response of someone who knows her husband is suing Mama T and is likely going to cause Mama T to lose her house and likely have to declare bankruptcy.

I hate this whole thing. I hate all of it. Part of me wants to wall up myself against everyone involved and just shut them out. Not listen, not deal. I can't do that though. I can't remove myself from people that I care about and leave them to go through this without me. I need them as much as they need me and we all need to hold each other up through this.

I think it's the helpless feeling that is the hardest to deal with. I can't do anything. I can't help in a tangible way. All I can do is be there to listen and support. And then I go back to my house, which no one is going to take. And I hug my girls, who are happy and healthy. And I say a prayer of thanks for everything I have because that's all I know how to do.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Guess who's three - Part 2

I surprised Ali at school with cupcakes and then we left to go play on our neighborhood playground which I love because it's all just the right size for her age and I can let her run wild without telling her she's too little for something.

The evening was then completed by her requested dinner. Macaroni and Cheese and corn on the cob. Yep, that's what she wanted. She'll eat an entire ear of corn all by herself. It's like candy, she loves it. After dinner we spent some time together playing on her new tablet that we got her for her birthday. It's a neat one, it's a 'kids' tablet from Samsung but has a setting for a regular tablet too so I can use it for my stuff too. She doesn't have open access to it and it's a treat for her to sit and play her games but it's better than her playing on my phone and making international calls. Yeah that. Mostly though she likes to turn on the camera and go around the house taking blurry half photos of things that make me seasick when I later go through the gallery to delete some. In two days she took 288 photos. Mostly of her feet. Goofball. 

Happy Birthday Ali. My precious three year old baby girl. I love you with all my heart.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Guess Who's three today!

My precious little baby has gone from this:

To This:

Overnight. I swear. It's gone by so quickly.

This morning I sang happy birthday to her in her bed and we went to dunkin donuts for a special breakfast, and guess who surprised us there!


Then we went to school where they had made a special crown for the birthday girl to wear!

This afternoon I am going to surprise her at school with some cupcakes and then we're going on a special trip to the park and maybe even the bookstore for a special new birthday book.

More pictures pending. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014


We are struggling with Ali a little more than usual lately and I have begun to suspect that it may be related to sibling jealousy. Elle is mobile, getting into everything, including Ali's toys, and is requiring much more of my attention to keep her out of trouble. She's also eating solid foods and requires my attention during feedings which I have to do early in the evening because she goes to bed earlier than Ali.

Ali used to go to bed around 8, sometimes 8:30 but the new nap schedule at her school has her napping much earlier in the day (which I'm not a huge fan of) and so by 7 she's already pretty tired. So, we backed her bedtime up to 7:30. But we get home at 5:30, so my current schedule in the evening gives me two hours to get everything done before it's bedtime.

In the two hours that I am home. I have no opportunity to sit and play with Ali. We have bath time, but that's not really play time. We have book time, but that's not really playtime either. The evenings are so busy, with so much to fit in.

I can't imagine how she feels right now. New school. New Schedule. Potty training. Elle is growing and changing so fast and Ali is turning three next week.

She is such a good girl, and so good at entertaining herself that I think I've really lost sight of the fact that she is still just a baby. She's only three and she needs her mama. I need to be finding ways for her to be with me in the evenings and not just automatically turn on an episode of some cartoon for her to watch.

My baby.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Baby Stages

If you have children, you know what I'm talking about.

That stage where your newly mobile baby learns how to pull up on things...

but not how to get down...

yeah, that stage is fun.

Especially at 5 am, when said baby pulls herself up on the side of the crib, half hanging out because we hadn't lowered it yet and starts screaming bloody murder because she's "stuck" and can't figure out how to get back down into the crib where she really wants to be because she's still pretty tired and not ready to be awake yet.

This child might actually give me a heart attack. Thankfully after I laid her back down in the crib, she went right back to sleep. At 6:30 this morning my husband lowered the mattress all the way down. Something we did not have to do for Ali until she was close to a year old. Elle is not yet 8 months.

This pulling up phase has also resulted in Elle making it up one of the three steps that go to the landing at the base of our stairs to the second floor. Ali was at the top of the landing, and apparently Elle decided she wanted to be there too. Again, heart attack inducing, to see your 7 month old baby headed up the stairs. Only one stair, but really there is nothing more powerful than the imagination of a mom when contemplating the number of ways their child could get hurt.

Uggh. Kids.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


This seems to be the buzz word currently. The loss of a brilliant comic like Robin Williams has lead to the brief flash of light and concern about depression and suicide in popular media. In all that is out there right now, I found this list that I had to cry about when I read it. The cloud that has been over my heart since Max's death is so clearly defined here.

21 Things Nobody Tells You About Depression.

The ones that speak to me:

#2. It physically hurts.
I never understood that when someone talked about depression pain. I nodded and said I'm sure it does, and I was sure it did. But it really does. There were days where my whole body ached. Eating caused me physical pain. I would be so hungry and two bites into something, I had to stop. That mostly seems to have passed.

#3. Asking for Help Seems Counter-intuitive.
I don't feel like I should need help. I am the mom who took my two girls home and still tucks two girls into bed every night. I should be stronger than this.

#4. Your relationship to food changes.
As mentioned previously, eating hurt. Actually hurt.  While I had been on a weight loss journey previous to the accident and had really plateaued in terms of weight loss from dieting, I lost four pounds in three weeks. From not eating. From not sleeping. From the constant anxiety.

#7. Everything will start to annoy you.
I have been so short tempered. With everyone. I actually started to think I might be pregnant because I felt so thoroughly off balance in such a way as I only had when I was in my first trimester with Elle and Ali was making me crazy. It was hormonal then. It's hormonal now, only different hormones I guess. I want to cherish every minute of my girls but so frequently I have to clench my teeth and leave the room because whatever it is that is going on makes me want to scream.

#8. Everyday tasks feel overwhelming.
Just trying to keep up with grocery shopping, laundry and dinner takes everything I have. That's it. That's all I have and I really haven't kept up with those things well. I end up at the store 15 times a week because I forget basic things. Milk. Coffee. Cereal. Things we use daily and somehow I leave the store without them, multiple times even. I feel like I'm losing my mind. (reference #6 on the list)

#10. Sleep, or lack of it.
No explanation required here.

#13. Guilt
Again, I've had whole posts about this. The guilt is terrible.

#18. You argue with people about how terrible you are.
This one caught me off guard. I didn't know I had done it until I read this. I did. I've been in contact with Max's family pretty regularly and all of a sudden I felt that everything I had ever said to his mom was so horrifically insensitive and I tried to apologize to her. She of course told me I was being ridiculous but I still felt that way, and kind of still do, but I think I see this now.

I knew that I was having symptoms of depression. I understood how losing Max and our world at Mama T's could create such a strong reaction in me. I didn't realize how much of what was going on with me could be pointed back to that though. Or maybe it just didn't seem like much until someone else made a list.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Visit - Part 1

My sister and grandmother are in town for several weeks.

My sister lives in Germany and flies home two or three times a year. The last time she was here was at Christmas just in time for Elle's entrance into the world. Last week she flew into Boston and picked up our 94 year old grandmother and flew with her down to Georgia and are at my parents house. I kept the girls out of school on Friday and went over for a visit.

It was probably one of the cutest things ever. My grandmother, Mimi, and Elle bonded in the sweetest way.

How many 94 year old ladies do you see laying on the floor to play with their great granddaughter?

I am immensely thankful for these memories and images. Mimi is in town for about a month so we'll see a lot more of her and a lot of other family that is coming in to visit while she's here. We're a pretty central spot for incoming family and much more easily accessible than New England so we've got family from Florida, North Carolina and Texas all coming in over the next two weeks or so to visit Mimi and my girls. I have no illusions, they're not coming to see me. :) I'm pretty sure my attendance is not required as long as I drop off the girls.

Those will continue the 'Visit' series of posts.

Happy Monday everyone.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Peek A Boo

Your happy moment of the day, from Elle:

Peek - A -


She's just so stinking cute.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Ok, here's a happy post. Damn it.

Ali is having a blast at school. I have no idea what she's learning, but she comes home every day telling me about the really big playground and how she gets to sleep with her 'school' blanket at nap time (something that was very much not allowed at Mama T's) and that she had fruit at lunch.

I'm fairly sure there are a few other things going on during the day, but those are the things she's excited about.

She's making lots of new friends and we're starting to hear some regular names being mentioned, Amy, Aubrey, Zoe and Maddie. So far all girls which is funny, she was always the only girl at Mama T's so I half expected her to gravitate toward the boys to hang out.

They do little art projects each day and Elle does also occasionally, which is cute. I have little baby footprints on the fridge right now and a whole pile of art from Ali.

The schedule change has been a little tough on Elle, she's used to a quiet room all to herself at naptime and now she's in with 6 or 8 other babies so once she wakes up, she starts looking around for someone to play with instead of rolling over and going back to sleep.

Ali is my little trooper though. She's still having a few tears in the morning when I first drop her off, but by the time I bring Elle to the baby room, and peek back in the window at Ali, she's already off playing and having a good time. My little drama queen.

And, what's really crazy, is my little drama queen is going to be three in just 19 days. Three years old. How did that happen? It's been such a hectic summer that I don't have the energy to put a party together and the whole thing seems odd anyway. Ali is aware that her birthday is coming though and she has asked for a really, really big pink birthday party. I can do that.

Ali at school.

Playing on the 'really big playground'

Building Towers

Friday, August 1, 2014

Trying to Find a New Normal

Our lives have been in such upheaval for the last three weeks that I still feel like I"m trying to wrap my head around all the changes. And then I feel guilty for being so thrown when our lives don't even come close to being the most affected.

Our poor Mama T. Max's poor family. They're the ones who are truly having to redefine their whole world.

We just had our happy little bubble burst and while we hurt, and while we do have to adjust, all the members of our little bubble family are still here.

I don't feel like I should still be so vulnerable. My husband, and mother, and actually my whole family are still pushing me to go see a therapist. I know I should. I know I need to. I feel so weighed down by the naked brutal truth of the little life that was taken so early.

I struggled with the miscarriage that I had a year and a half ago but not like this. Three weeks later I was still sad, but I was functional. Right now I feel like I"m just making it through the days and then, again, the guilt that I shouldn't be so broken by this. I have my girls. I should just be thankful and move on.

I'm trying. I'm trying to move on and find that new routine and new normal. But it's so hard. Watching Elle push herself into a sit for the first know, knowing that should have happened at Mama T's. Watching Elle learn how to pick up little baby puffs and attempt to eat them. Mama T should be watching this too. Having Ali ask me every morning if today we're going to Mama T's house and not knowing what to say. Knowing Elle will never have the relationship with Mama T that Ali does. Knowing that Ali will never understand where Max went.

It's so hard.

This weekend is the first one where we'll have some time to ourselves and be able to get at least the house back in order. I'll be able to finally make some baby food for Elle, which I love doing but have been so disorganized, and spending so much time cooking for visiting (helping) family, that it has't happened yet.

Ali enjoyed her first week at school, but this week has been harder. She's realized that this isn't just something fun and temporary, it's every day. She's making friends though so I think that's helping. She had one little girl give her a hug when I picked her up at the end of the day yesterday. It was so sweet. My little Ali has some 'personal space' issues, always has, and having a hugging friend is nice to see.

Elle is just happy. Happy to be playing. Happy to be eating. Happy to be crawling. Happy to be in the walker running around after Big M. She adores big M. Now that she's actually moving, she chases him and will play with his feet or tail (what's there) or his big ole' jowls. And he doesn't mind in the least. He just washes her face, or her hands and thinks she's great.

My sister comes to town next week, from Germany. She hasn't seen Elle since January so we're pretty excited for her visit.