Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Boxing Day

Natalie playing with Tyler Turtle in her Bumbo on Boxing Day

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Balloons for Julian

Happy 2nd birthday, my beautiful boy, wherever you are...

Julian was here

Remembering Julian Innes Fader (12/20/04 - 12/23/04), today, tomorrow, and always.

Monday, December 18, 2006


Natalie will be five months next week, and just the other night, for the first time ever, she managed to roll over right before my very eyes! Now that she knows how to do it, of course, she won't stop, even though she hasn't managed to figure out how to roll back the other way and hates being on her tummy. Oh well. All in due time. I'm glad my sister-in-law, R., was here to witness it, too. Oh, and the Gentlease has really helped in the poop department, so all is well here.

I'm having lots of complicated emotions as Julian's birthday approaches. On one hand, Natalie gets cuter and more fun by the minute. On the other, watching her grow reminds me of all the things I missed out on with Julian. At certain angles, she still looks very much like him, which makes me smile, and makes me teary at the same time. Since we didn't have much of a Christmas in 2004 or 2005, I have been determined to make Natalie's first Christmas the best ever for our family. The tree, the presents, cards, etc. Admittedly, though, it's been a little difficult juggling competing emotions, especially since I haven't quite decided what I'd like to do to remember Julian on his birthday this year (not that I don't remember him every day).

Anyway, my point is that, yes, I have been blessed with the loveliest daughter ever, and yes, she does make life great, but sadly, there is nothing that can bring my son back or change the reality of his death. I haven't simply moved on and am not approaching the holidays with a fresh new start, as some may imagine. For the first time in what feels like ages, I am allowing myself to experience the joy of the season, while accepting the sadnesses that remain a part of this time of year for us.

I saw this on Sherry's blog, and thought I'd post it here in case it helps someone.

Holiday Bill of Rights for Grieving Parents

I have the right to go from ecstatic to tears in 30 seconds.

I have the right to be excited about going holiday shopping, only to get there and need to leave because of a panic attack.

I have the right to not be joyful every single moment or day of the holiday season.

I have the right to not send out Christmas cards, AGAIN.

I have the right to NOT listen to Christmas music when I can't bear it.

I have the right to be quiet, continue to grieve my child and be alone when I need to.

I have the right to choose not to participate in gift exchanges and holiday celebrations at my place of work, worship, or anywhere else.

I have the right to look for and feel joy and love in the holidays in my life; just please don't try and force it on me. I'll find it on my own.

I have the right to want to buy my child a Christmas present and take it to the cemetery.

I have the right to buy the present and decide that I can't bear to take it to the cemetery.

I have the right to get to my family's house late and leave early.

I have the right to walk outside and get away for a bit of fresh air when it gets to be too overwhelming.

I have the right to include my child in any activity that I want without getting the "funny looks."
I have the right to be angry.

I have the right to be alone with my child and not have to explain why I want to be alone.

I have the right to laugh at unexpected times and hug a pillow and talk to myself when I am remembering.

I have the right to long to have my child back, to have the life I once had.

I have the right to find a way to honor and remember my child during the holidays by whatever
ritual I feel comfortable with.

I have the right to be me... the one who now exists.

Friday, December 08, 2006

4 1/2 months old

Natalie had her second round of shots yesterday and is feeling quite delicate and requiring lots of cuddling. At 4 1/2 months old, she has moved into the 75th percentile on the growth charts, is pretty much sleeping through the night, and is really content and alert most of the time. On the downside, her head's a little flat and she really should poop more, so we are working on tummy time and switching formulas.
On another note, I can believe Julian would have been 2 years old in a few weeks. I often think about what it would be like to have both my children here. I'm sure that having Natalie here will make dealing with his anniversaries less difficult, but admittedly, I'm approaching the dates with an increasing sense of trepidation. When Natalie's old enough, perhaps we can celebrate her big brother's birthday with a cake.