Sunday, March 25, 2012

December 31

I don’t have any pictures for today but I know we rang in the new year watching Return of the King, and you really can’t celebrate the start of a new year any better way than that. We had some sparkling apple and grape cider. Also, during the celebratory clinking of glasses (while the movie was on pause) I realized that the reason our Dyson hand vac wasn’t working was because the charger hadn’t been plugged into the wall. My dad TRIED to convey that, but I thought he meant the vac wasn’t plugged into the charger, so I plugged it into the charger overnight and it still wasn’t working. I followed every DAGGONE troubleshooting tip Dyson had to offer, including painstakingly cleaning the entire thing out with q-tips. I was upset because I knew we were not going to be paying to replace such a thing, and I might have had some choice words when I realized what the problem had been. Ah well.

Anyway, I feel compelled to say as I make this post that 2011 was not my best year. Aaron’s surgery and Mara’s death? Come on universe, give me a break.

I am thankful for Aaron’s successful surgery and his continued health. He was a light in the darkest of times in the weeks after Mara died. An anchor to reality who still has needs that must be met, and a reminder of happy things in our lives. I will admit that the first few days, while I was still numb, I did not feel joy even around Aaron, took no joy in him, and that was something that frightened and shamed me. I know now that it was temporary, and I have felt the familiar heart bursting sensation of loving parental pride on a regular basis for the past three months.

My love for him grows stronger as I watch his sensitive soul deal with the loss of his baby sister. My dear, dear son, who sees me start to cry many times a week, comes over, takes off my glasses and brings me a tissue. He wants to comfort me, and says, “Don’t cry Mommy, baby sister died when she was coming out of your tummy. Her heart just stopped and we don’t know why.” He asks to have a few flowers in his room every time we go to buy a new purple bouquet and says he wants them in his room so he can think about baby sister, too. He sees pictures of angels and says, “there’s my baby sister,” and he knows that there are some things that trigger my sadness. He has become comfortable with grief, and with talking about it. I feel that this is the greatest gift I have given my son, an emotional vocabulary and the self-assurance to talk about how he is feeling without being afraid or ashamed. I will be quite satisfied with that legacy.

December 30

Some cousin iPad bonding time.



December 29

How about a little Lego time? Cameron and Aaron are now old enough to argue with each other. Whereas before, Cameron was young enough to put up with Aaron being the bossy older cousin, that is no longer the case. There was a whole lotta toy-snatching-not-sharing-tantrum-throwing-arm-crossing behavior during this visit. Yikes. Sometimes it was a teeny bit humorous.


I think this picture of Ash and the boys really captures the activity level of the next few days. It was nothing if not relaxing. We did a lot of sitting around in clothing with no waistbands, playing on our respective electronic devices, and watching Lord of the Rings. We wanted to watch the trilogy while they were here, and I got it on Blu-Ray for Christmas! Oh MAN do they look good in Blu-Ray.


Today was my hubby’s birthday, so we all went out to dinner at Outback. Cameron fell asleep on the way there despite Kelly trying to keep him awake. Darn time difference. He was so tired and frustrated that he started crying in the car and told Kelly, “Mommy I don’t WANT to go to a restaurant when I’m crying!” There was a hilarious episode between the boys at dinner that involved some apple slices. I think it was that Kelly had taken Cameron’s bowl of apple slices to peel them and when Cameron turned and looked at Aaron, Aaron was eating one of his own apple slices but Cameron thought Aaron had nabbed them from him and he was ENRAGED! He looked at Aaron and yelled at him over and over to stop it and Aaron was just looking at us, munching on that apple slice, with this look on his face like, what the heck??? Caleb and Kelly tried to explain to Cameron that Aaron had apple slices too, but the little guy was just too exhausted to process all that.

Oh and I remembered something else we did in the days before the Rothes arrived. Chris and I watched all seven episodes of Once Upon a Time that had aired before Christmas. I saw one episode at Ashley’s urging and thought he might enjoy it, so we parked our butts on the couch and watched them all in a row. It was deliciously lazy and indulgent and I SO enjoyed it.

December 28

Today Kelly and Caleb and Cameron arrived for a Christmas visit. They were planning to come and meet their new niece and give the boys some Christmas time together, and I remember the day when we talked on the phone about them making the trip out. Once Mara died, I wasn’t sure if they would still want to come, because Kelly was over 6 months pregnant and all of this was so sad and stressful. I talked to Kelly about that after we got home from the hospital and told her that we hoped they would still want to come, especially so Cameron and Aaron could be together, but that if they decided to stay home we would understand and support that too. I was so glad to hear they were still planning to come. I love my sister, and I want to see her as much as I can. (Caleb is pretty awesome, too.)

Mom and Dad picked them up from the airport, and I think it was nighttime when they got back to our house. The plan for was to try letting Aaron and Cameron sleep together in Aaron’s room and for Kelly and Caleb to use Ashley’s basement suite. We weren’t sure if the boys would actually sleep. They did stay up talking and giggling the first two nights, but then they did just fine. I recall that Aaron was the major culprit. I seem to remember a story where Aaron woke Cameron up one morning by poking him in the back and then tried to tell that story in an innocent way. Here are the giggly cousins on an air mattress, loving being together.


By the time we went in the room in the morning, that mattress was doing some serious sagging. Chris bought a new one in time for their next night’s sleep.

December 26-27

I don’t have any pictures from these next two days. I know I was looking forward to Kelly and Caleb and Cameron coming to visit on the 28th, and I possibly did a little tidying up? I probably ate a lot of sweets and sat around a lot watching Aaron play…but I do know that the day after Christmas I sent out a few texts and emails letting people know we had a merry Christmas day. I wish I remembered more. I didn’t even take any phone pictures.