More shabby chic additions!!

Today, my mom, my aunt, myself, and Collen went on a road trip to visit The Nest. I am an avid follower of their blog, waiting for a post each week that details the new finds! For so long, I have dreamed of being able to go for a visit, but with a baby in tow, it takes an entourage to accomplish such a task. Since my mom is staying with me this weekend, off we went!

We picked up my aunt on the way and set off to our destination. Overall, for us, it was a 2.5 hour trip. Collen was perfect the entire day! He loves to get out and see new things and people. He napped in the car and later when we went to the mall for a visit to the Cheesecake Factory (banana cream cheesecake people....seriously....amazing!!!).

The highlight of the day? Meeting a blog reader as we got out of the car at The Nest! These lovely ladies were coming over to say hello to Collen, and the next thing I hear is, "Hey, I know you! I read your blog!" It's a small world....and it never ceases to astound me. It was wonderful to meet you ladies today!

Here are some of my finds for today! The buffet table and rolling cart are going to join us later when we can get Jeremy's truck up there to pick them up!

This will go under our TV!
(Anyone in the market for a like-brand-new entertainment center????)

This "cart" will go by our front door and have baskets that will
hold the dvds that will need a home after
the entertainment center is gone.

Love the lamp shade on this lamp!

A green sconce; a wall hanging for our bathroom, two bird hooks for the guest bathroom,
a weathered frame, lavender soap, and a measuring tape because I needed one for sewing (for all of $ 0.50 - the measuring tape)

And last but not least, this gorgeous mirror!!

It looks perfect above our fireplace.
I have sense replaced my Ecuadorian jugs on the right with a vase
of dried flowers as well as a collage of Ayden.
It was lovely to get out of the house and actually socialize. And Collen enjoyed the day, too, which made it even better! Then, we met new friends, and even saw some friends from church while walking around the mall. :) A wonderful Saturday! I hope yours was great as well.


If he could slap his knee, I think he would have...



6 month stats

So, I was a little off in my estimates:

Weight: 19lbs 4oz (75%)
Length: 27 3/4 inches (75%)
Head: 46.1cm (95%)

Doctor says he looks healthy!

Collen is beginning to understand that the nurses at the doctors' office are nice and sweet, so he flirts with them. BUT....he's also beginning to understand that when the man walks in (doctor), he's going to be poked, prodded, and eventually stuck. He was a lot more apprehensive with the doctor than usual - I could see it in his eyes....distrust. He wasn't confident that this person wasn't going to be scary, and boy was his intuition right. :( The shots were tough this time. He usually gets over them pretty quickly, and he still did compared to most, but those pitiful cries lingered a lot longer this time. He had a hard time staying asleep last night because his legs were so sore, so I gave him some Tylenol, and he slept soundly the rest of the night.....right next to me. I everyone's idea of a smart choice, but he needed his mommy close, so we kicked Jeremy out of the bed (sorry Jerms), and we both got some awesome sleep last night.

So hard to believe he'll be a year old in 6 short months!


6 months old!!

Collen is 6 months old today! I can hardly believe it! Here are a few things about our big boy:

Weight: Has to be close to, if not, 20 pounds. (Check up tomorrow..)
Length: I measured 29 inches about a week ago

Favorite things:
- Jabbering (Ba Ba Ba and other noises)
-Sitting up (still with some help so he doesn't face plant)
-Watching Tucker and Sinatra....and any other animal
-Mommy and Daddy
-Eating (you'd think this would be the top, but he isn't a big eater these days)
-Still loves bath time!
-Laying down and kicking his legs all around

Favorite foods:
-Sweet Potatoes

He has tried, and also liked:
-Green beans

I need to venture out with more foods, but I was waiting until his 6 month check up before going too crazy!

He's a happy baby, and he's so, so sweet!

Our first big milestone has hit - his first tooth is coming in!! He won't let us see it very often, but you can definitely feel it when he chomps down on our fingers!

Happy 6 months, Collen! We love you!


A big step

I have felt your prayers over the last week. Collen is rolling over so well (he did it over and over this afternoon, perfectly!!). He's getting the whole concept down, and he's keeping it to play time right now. When we put him down to sleep, if he's still somewhat awake, he'll roll over but then get very upset because he doesn't want to sleep that way. Eventually, he'll settle down and get himself onto his side and fall asleep that way....then later roll to his back. I'm breathing a little easier these days..... for now.

This weekend, I shared our story at a women's renewal luncheon at Jeremy's parents' church. This was the first time I had shared our story to a group of people. Yes, I know....I've been sharing our story since August 2009 through my blog, but it's one thing to write it's another to actually speak it and face the emotions that are sure to result. And result they did.....I think I cried through the entire thing.

The title of my "talk" was "When His Plan Isn't Our Own." I discussed how I have always been a planner...having my life laid out from an early age and hitting every mark right as I had planned them. That is, until August 2009. That was when God said, "Lindsay, easy is no longer a part of your vocabulary." His plan came into play, and I was left to take 1 small step forward while taking hundreds of steps back as I faced the grief process. I spoke about my grief and how it was different than the typical "stages" you expect. Anger hit me last, and it took me a long time to let go of my anger towards God. Then I spoke about Ayden's legacy and the lives he has touched and continues to touch....and how this is not MY story, or OUR story, or even Ayden's story. It's God's story....we're just the ones He tells the story through. I encouraged the women to examine their own lives and how their plan and God's plan has seemed to conflict when hard circumstances came into play. And I ended by talking about HOPE because hope is what has pushed us through and will continue to push us through until we're reunited with Ayden again.

My high school English teacher, who also happens to be a phenomenal singer, came and sang a song that she said helped her through some hard times and also made her think of us. She made me cry because this woman who has been my inspiration since I was 13 years old, told me I am an inspiration to her....such humbling words. It meant so much to have her there.

In the end, I was wiped out. I hadn't cried that much in a long time. I had tissue paper bits stuck all over my face from constantly wiping my eyes. And I went to sleep before 10 o'clock that night. took a lot out of me. BUT, despite the nerves, the tears, the fear of opening up this raw, blistering wound, I'm glad I did it. Now, I think I'll be more bold about sharing our story and the more I share, the easier it will become. I'll never tell it without tears....but I will tell it with more confidence.

This weekend was also a weekend of celebrating birthdays! My mom's birthday is tomorrow, and Jeremy's sister's birthday was Friday. Collen and I spent the night with my parents Saturday night. It was so, so nice to be "home" with my parents and with Collen. Part of me feels like it's Collen's home since we brought him home from the hospital to my parents' house (we were in the process of buying our current home). We stayed there with them for 3 months, and Collen spent his first 6 weeks there. He always seems to feel at home there. :) I love spending time with my parents and hate to leave (because it always seems to come so soon!). Hopefully, Collen and I will spend some more time at "home" during the summer. Anyway, we all went bowling, out to dinner, and then back to my parents' house for cake and gifts. I made my mom a devil's food cake with homemade buttercream icing. It was a messy cake, but hey...when it comes to cakes...messy = good. And it was just that - GOOD! Then, today, we celebrating Dana's birthday with Jeremy's family. Collen got some cousin time with Wesley, and gave his Aunt Lydia so many smiles (he loves Aunt Lydia!). Then, so soon, our weekend ended and we were on our way back home. We got home, I fed Collen some carrots, I unpacked, we got Collen ready for bed, and he's sleeping soundly in his bed.

I begin training for my new job this week! We'll see how it goes. I hope I can juggle Collen and online teaching at the same time. Pray that this is successful!!!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. The weather is supposed to be lovely here tomorrow. We'll definitely get out for some fresh air!!


He's rolling over...

Oh, y'all pray for me.

Collen rolled to his tummy today during his nap. Most days, his morning nap is when I'm able to get a shower in and possibly do a little cleaning. Recently, Collen has been rolling to his side before falling asleep, but today, something said, just watch him while he sleeps....just to be sure. I'm so glad I listened. He rolled to his stomach, but he kept his left arm underneath him (he can't figure out how to get it out of the way, yet.). I took a deep breath and wondered if I should roll him back. I figured I'd better not, so I just watched....every single breath he took.

I have been terrified of this milestone. Collen hasn't particularly enjoyed being on his stomach, which we didn't argue with at all. We found comfort in the fact that he disliked it so much. However, we knew that, eventually, this milestone would come. And here we are, almost 6 months in, and he's doing it. Luckily, he has great head control. Once he rolled to his tummy while sleeping today, he turned his head, so that's a good sign.

Obviously, I'm scared. If he never rolled over, I'd be happy, but I know that isn't possible....nor is it realistic. I'm going to have to watch him more closely in the coming weeks just until he really gets the hang of it. And I'll just continue to take deep breaths and praying, praying, praying.

So, y'all pray for me....that I don't have a nervous breakdown. Also, I'm speaking this Saturday at a women's conference of sorts at Jeremy's parents church in our hometown. I'm incredibly nervous. It'll be the first time I've told our story to a group of people.....and I have no idea where to go with it. I have ideas about where I want to go with it....but just not sure what my central message will be. I want them to walk away with something, but standing up there and talking about Ayden...and getting through all I can focus on right now. It'll evolve into something, and God will be in whatever I do. I know He's taking care of all of this right now....just need His strength.


Little Mouse, I Love You

My parents gave Collen a book for Valentine's Day called Little Mouse, I Love You.

I was reading it to him tonight before bed, and it came to one part....

When they had passed by the field, Grandma and Little Mouse came to the
duck pond, where there was a lot of quacking and splashing as a brood of baby ducklings
scrambled after their mother. "Those ducklings will grow up one day, won't they?" sad Little Mouse.
"Do you think their mommy will forget them when she has new ones
to look after?" "No," said Grandma. "She will never forget a single one!"
"Just like the way you will never forget me!" said Little Mouse
As I sat reading to Collen, I thought about him as a young boy, beginning to ask me questions about his brother. I thought about his friends, teachers, and strangers who will look at us and think Collen is our first child. I thought about how after we lost Ayden, Collen came along....we were blessed with a new miracle, but our first miracle will never be forgotten. No matter how many children we go on to have, even though he isn't here, he will always be with us.
In that moment, I felt so close to both of my boys.


Pictures of a cute little boy!

I realized I hadn't posted any recent pictures of Collen in a while. Here are some that have been hanging out in my camera!

Collen and buddy, Josh. I think Josh is looking for Collen's teeth!
Fast friends :)

Hanging out....probably watching Jeopardy

He just started rolling to his side this week. He loves to fall asleep this way.

Sweet boy!

Jumping in his jump-a-roo!

This just started 2 days ago: rasberries! He does it ALL THE TIME now!

More rasberries

And a big smile for mommy!


Moody baby...

I think I figured out what Collen's problem was the other day.


I had nursed him a few more times than usual that day, hoping that he would be more effective and get more than the pump. I'm so tired of pumping, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. Turns out....he must not have gotten enough. Poor guy. He was starving, and I was thinking he was just being a pill. I asked his forgiveness several times....

I have been doing something new in the napping/sleeping department, though. He USED to be able to settle down while being held and fall asleep on our shoulders or cradled in our arms. He seems to be outgrowing that (sad face :( ), but he will still do it sometimes (church...odd places where he can't lay down....). I don't want him to fall asleep first and then be laid down, so I'm laying him down awake. This takes a lot more effort than you would believe because Collen is a paci boy, and if that paci isn't in his mouth, there is little chance of him falling asleep. I don't like the "crying it out" method. I'm sure it works, and if you've done it, I'm not judging at all. The other day, I actually tried it out because I had run out of ideas, and we got 5 minutes in and I just couldn't take it anymore. He settled down as soon as he was in my arms and went right off to sleep.


What we do is - lay him in his bed, put the paci in, then walk out of his sight (but stay in the room...usually laying/sitting on the floor beside his bed/pac'n play...yes he's still in our room....not ready to move him quite yet). As he's laying there, he usually plays with his paci, drops it, gets upset, so we quickly put it back in his mouth (not showing our faces....just putting our hands in view), and usually, within 5-10 minutes, he's fast asleep. I'm hoping that once he's more coordinated and able to seek out the paci and put it in his mouth himself, this will be a lot easier. Nonetheless....this is a vast improvement!! Before this, he wouldn't think about going to sleep unless he was on my chest or shoulder, and once he was asleep, I'd move him to his bed. Once I moved him, those eyes would pop open, and then we'd have to start all over. I miss that snuggle time, BUT this is so much better for him. He's teaching himself to self-soothe and learning that it's okay to fall asleep on his own.

He has continued to get somewhat whiney when I come into view, and like many of you suggested....I'm wearing him when I need to get things done. We vacuumed the other day with him strapped in the bjorn. :)

Today, Collen did very well....taking two 2 hour naps. His afternoon nap was cut short while we were out visiting a friend. We had to stop by the grocery store to pick up some essentials before this snow supposedly hits (sheesh!), and wouldn't you know...that little booger slept from the time we left my friend's house....all through the entire shopping trip (that is so rare, people!), and on the way home. He never even knew we were at the grocery store! We got home, he ATE UP some carrots, and then we had to meet my parents and my sister and her boyfriend for dinner. I gave him his bottle on the way. He was perfect the entire time. We even went to Target and Barnes and Noble...where he fell asleep and slept all the way home. Got home, got changed, had another bottle, and 10 minutes into our new sleep routine, he was dreaming away.

I'm figuring him out....little by little.

I've learned that he is his mother's son. He gets bored easily, and he is extremely curious. While I'm holding him, he'll wriggle and twist to try to see/touch whatever is in view or outside of his view. And he's strong!! He's hard to hold onto sometimes! But I love that he's so inquisitive. He'll be a fun learner. :)

So, there you have it. Moodiness solved. (for now)

I sure do love that little boy.


2 things...or 3

**Update: I responded to your comments to this post. So, if you asked a question or had a suggestion, check there!!***

1st - two of you lovely readers have given me a blog award, and I'm so, so sorry that I haven't returned that generous offering. It's not that I don't want to reciprocate....I have the best of intentions to do my part and pay it forward. I leave the tab open on Internet Explorer because "I'm going to do it later, when Collen is asleep." But I haven't gotten around to it. And now, someone has closed my tabs, and I can't remember who gave them to me. :( I'm so thankful for you guys, and for those of you who thought of me enough to give me an award. I feel so badly that I haven't done my part....but please know I meant to!

2nd - I'm in the process of accepting a part-time online tutoring position. It won't pay much, but hey....every little bit helps! I'm interested to see how this goes. It's really going to test my multi-tasking skills.

3rd - You can now read our story in (almost)print form! Ayden's story has been published in the book, From a Lullaby to Goodbye. If you click on that link, it'll take you to the main page for the book. It isn't in print form, yet, but you can buy the ebook for $9. Hopefully, it will be in print very soon and in the hands of families who need to know that they are not alone and that hope can be found at the end of this dark road of grief.


The past few days have been a whirlwind. 3 months was a hard transition for Collen, and 6 months is proving to be difficult, too. He just doesn't seem settled at all....ever. He'll be happy for about 30 minutes or so, and then he's whining. It's tough because he can't do much still. He is sitting up, but still with support because he topples over. He hates to be on his tummy, and he get frustrated playing on his back because he can't reach anything. He'll sit in my lap, but for limited amounts of time because he's ready to move on to the next thing.....whatever that may be. He's so interested in everything going on around him, and he doesn't want to be stationary. He wants to be moving, and he just can't yet. He isn't napping well. Yesterday, I think he napped a total of 1 hour all day long. He was miserable. I was miserable...and exhausted...and trying to stay patient and calm. He did, however, finally sleep through the night for the first time in a week. I'm hoping we're getting back into that habit.... We are in the midst of teething, but it doesn't seem to be bothering him too much. I think all of this coming at once, though, is making for a tough transition for him. Once 6 months hits....and once he's able to sit up on his own (or crawl...even better!), I think he'll be happier.

On my side of the things, the Reglan worked while I was taking it, but now that I'm off of it, my supply is dwindling again. I'm afraid the switch is going to have to be made. :( I'm wearing myself out pumping....when I can find time. And that's a problem, too. To keep my supply up, I need to make time to pump, and that's hard to do when my time is being demanded all the time by a certain little one. I literally could not put him down today without him crying/whining for me to pick him back up. Tell me how I'm supposed to get anything done that way. I LOVE, LOVE spending time with him....don't get me wrong...I don't take one second of it for granted. But you know...I'd like to shower and at least eat at some point during the day. Crazy boy.

Growing up is tough....


Heaven is for Real

Our pastor's sermon series at the moment is taking us through the church of Acts. This is the foundation of the church we attend and how things are done among our body of believers. We meet together in fellowship, we break bread together every Sunday, we pray together, and worship, and we support and encourage each other. When one of us hurts, we all hurt. We are a family. I leave our church service each Sunday very reluctantly....I never want it to end.

And I was thinking this morning as we were singing and worshipping, "I wish this could last forever." I'm not an animated worshipper. I don't raise my hands (often), but you will see me move to the music....or sing with my eyes closed in quiet meditation....singing to my God. My heart feels so full in those moments; I feel so close to Him. Then we leave, and life just gets in the way. There are bills to be paid, meals to be cooked, jobs to go to, decisions to make, etc. I love Sundays because we come together as a family of believers, and it makes me think about how wonderful Heaven will be. If 2 hours on a Sunday morning makes me feel this way....imagine it being everlasting!! What a wonderful anticipation!

I stumbled upon this book, Heaven is for Real. It's the real-life account of a 4 year old boy who visits Heaven while he is undergoing emergency surgery. If you haven't read it - READ IT. I can't tell you the number of times I've gotten chills or just had tears flood my eyes because I know there is no way he couldn't have known some of the things he talks about seeing. One part that touched me was when he talks about meeting his sister in Heaven. His parents miscarried a baby, and they never knew the gender...never gave her a name. He talks about what she looked like and how she told him how much she loved her parents, and she couldn't wait for them to be in Heaven with her. Of course I thought of Ayden....anxiously waiting for us....telling his friends about us....meeting family as they come and telling them how much he loves us. And just knowing, really knowing, that he's okay.

It's a quick read, and most definitely worth your time! Please, check it out.


That still small voice....

I've always been a big believer in intuition. At a young age, I had a strong sense of right and wrong and just having "that feeling." It kept me out of a lot of situations that could have gone badly and could have influenced me in the wrong way.

From my intuition, I've come to appreciate the fine art of listening and responding to the nagging prodding of a feeling you can't shake.

Today, on the way home from lunch, it was just me and Collen. I needed to get him home because it was time for him to eat again. Ayden's spot is on our way home. We were going to stop by last Sunday, but Collen had fallen asleep in the car. Today, I hadn't thought about stopping. As we got closer, something just kept telling me to stop. I started going through the reasons not to stop at that moment: 1. Collen needs to eat. 2. Jeremy's mom is on her way. 3. We can go tomorrow. etc....

The feeling wouldn't cease. So, I did what I always do in those moments. I listened, and I went with what I was feeling. I got Collen out of the car (it had turned into a beautiful afternoon!), and we walked to Ayden's spot. The flowers had been blown around and were looking pretty frazzled. I took the Christmas flowers out and left the red and white hydrangeas I had in there.

Brief side story: In the memorial park, there is a section just for infants. Ayden is in that section, and we have plots across for him that are for Jeremy and myself when we pass. 6 months after we lost Ayden, I was told of a baby boy named Austin who has also been lost to SIDS. I contacted (I think) Austin's mother to give my condolences and offer a listening ear and encouraging heart. We've been in touch ever since. Whenever I visit Ayden, I also visit with Austin. I like to think they're good buddies up in heaven....perhaps playing on a mini-football team. :) Austin's parents have since moved into town, and each time I visit, I wonder if that will be the day we finally meet. Will we visit at the same time?

Back to present day:

As usual, I wondered about Austin's parents....would today be the day we stumble upon each other?

Wouldn't you know it was? Yep! As Collen and I were walking to the car, I see a young couple getting out of their car. The thought pops into my head (is that them?), and I hear my name being called.

Today marked one year since Austin's passing. They had come to visit. I knew that today was Austin's "angelversary", but I didn't want to intrude on their day. We introduced ourselves, I gave Austin's mommy a big hug, and we exchanged chit chat and the promise to get together soon. (We will, guys!!!) And as they walked to visit with their son, I said a small prayer for them.

I'm glad I listened that small voice that kept saying, "Go."

Please say a prayer for Austin's parents. They have many cherished memories, but along with those also come tragic memories when you lose a child. We go through life celebrating and remembering the happy moments, yearly milestones, but when you lose someone you love, especially too soon, you are struck with a yearly reminder of what was lost.....and what should be.


One look...and it takes my breath away.

Collen and Ayden make not look identical, but they certainly share a lot of similarities. One thing they share is their facial expressions. Collen will glance at me or smile a certain way, and he looks just like Ayden. I was looking through my phone recently, and found the picture of Collen below (the 2nd picture). Immediately, I pulled up the 1st of Ayden I had stored on my phone as well. They're both looking at their mommy the same way....with such adoration. In the moments when I see them both at one time, I literally become frozen in that moment.




New blog...

I completed my order for my blog re-design today! Sadly, it won't be up and running until late April, early May. But, I can wait. I'm just so excited about changing my blog up and having someone do it for me! I would never be able to do it myself.

So, be patient with me....and soon, you'll see both our boys looking back at you and a new style to the blog.

I'm also re-naming the blog to make it more central to us and our lives. I bet you're wondering what the new name will be.....aren't you?

Well...I'm going to make you wait for it! ;)

So, enjoy the blog as it is for now and be on the lookout for a new style soon. I'll be April before you know it. (Wouldn't it be awesome if it happened in time for Ayden's birthday? Oh, I would love that....)