Friday, December 14, 2012


How one person can inflict such a tremendous amount of pain is beyond me. I'm not going to waste my time trying to figure out what was wrong with the monster who did this.

All I can think about is there are more than twenty families who will never be the same people they were at 9am this morning. In a matter of minutes their worlds have been forever changed. The equivalent of a classroom full of people, their lives taken, just like that, in an instant.

The parents left to forever think about their unfinished lives. The futures that were supposed to happen, won't. Graduations, weddings...

I hate that children can't even go to school and be safe.

I feel terrible for the parents of all of the children in the school. I know the fog that some are going through and I can't imagine the helpless feelings of the parents of survivors. Childhood was ripped away.

I mourn with those parents and for the children. No one should ever lose a child, especially at another's hand and in a place that is supposed to be safe.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ryan's tree and happy birthday to me!

I'll fully admit that I was in no rush to get our Christmas tree up and decorated this year. I knew it would get done but for about a week there was always a good excuse not to. Christmas isn't what it had been in the past. How could it be when we're missing Ryan so much? It's like being pulled in two directions. Of course I want AJ to have all of the Christmas excitement but it's not easy for me. I had a meltdown a couple of weeks ago in the mall just picking up our new stockings.

My mom was visiting and wanted to get Ryan a tree to put at the cemetery. Last year my sister picked one up and decorated it with mini-ornaments from her family and my mom. It was beautiful. So off my mom went. She came home with a three foot tree! While it was too big to put at the cemetery she suggested we keep it here if we wanted. I thought about it. Ryan has enough ornaments to fill it so we decided to keep it. We went out and bought some lights (I gave AJ the choice of white or colors -- he picked the colors) and a few more ornaments. I have to say I LOVED decorating that tree. It felt so good feeling like I was doing something especially for him. His ornaments aren't "lost" on our big tree. And possibly the best part...AJ loves it too. He usually wakes up and wants to turn the lights on and says "What a beautiful tree Mama". Melts my heart.

Ryan's beautiful tree
 It was my birthday on Sunday. I had a really nice day. My sister and her family came over for breakfast. In the early afternoon we went and dropped off our gifts for our adopted family. I really enjoyed explaining to AJ what we were doing. He seemed to understand and was ok parting with the toys that he wanted to play with so badly for two weeks. After that AJ (and Nick) napped so I took advantage and went to the cemetery. I spent a little time and hung the ornament I got Ryan. After that we went out to a nice dinner. Nick and AJ sang happy birthday (a few times!) and before I knew it the day was over.
Say spaghetti and meatballs!

I got so many birthday wishes on facebook and in the mail. Thank you to everyone! It made the day really special.

I love you sweet boy. Forever and a day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

18 months

I think about what you would be like at 18 months old. AJ was so funny. He was quite the character. I have no doubt that you would be the same way. Getting into things, trying to keep up with big brother and making that "how can you not love me" face.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and while I have so much to be thankful for I don't really feel like celebrating. The holidays aren't the same anymore. I'm not sure they ever will be.

The holiday season brings up a lot of emotions but lately the one that seems to be there the most is hard to explain. It's almost as if I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. I'm not really sure how else to explain it. Like I'm waiting for something to happen. I pray to God it's just part of the anxiety that the holidays bring but it's hard to shake.

I'm missing you terribly sweet boy. Seeing how interested AJ is in babies and younger kids just breaks my heart. You're both missing out on so much. We're all missing out on so much. I'd give anything to have a few more minutes with you.

I love you so much, sweet boy. Forever and a day.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

All for you

Dear Ryan,

It feels like it's been a crazy few weeks for some reason. I'm not totally sure why. Well I guess we have been kind of busy. We made a trip to LI where of course I got sick. I thought I had avoided the cold that AJ and daddy had but nope. And since we've gotten home it seems we have had things to do everyday. I feel like I'm still playing catch-up.

Tonight I did take time to have our F2F meeting though. We had a couple of new people come. I'm glad that they did. I really enjoy the group we have. We laugh and cry. It's the best medicine anyone could prescribe.

Jack's parents came and told us all about him and his birth. I knew after hearing their story that you were sending me a little message. They mentioned that they were preparing for Jack and they were given the book that I asked the social worker at Highland to order. I remember telling her "even if it helps one person" and tonight I was lucky enough to hear that it had. Thank you for that.

We also got to meet Easton's mom. I think she fits right in with our group and we're glad she came. we're all looking forward to seeing her again soon.

We tried to have a lantern release for all of you guys on Saturday. It didn't work out as planned as I'm sure you know. I can imagine you all watching and laughing at us trying to get them to light and float in that wind! Hayden's did make it and Ethan's went a little and then landed in the water. Hey, we tried, right?  :) Next time we'll stick to balloons!

I'm doing all of these things for you sweet boy. I know you've got a great group of friends with you because I've got their mommies and daddies here with me.

I miss you so, so much. And I love you even more. Forever and a day.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wave of Light

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. People are encouraged to light a candle for their baby (or babies) who have gone too soon. At 7pm you light a candle this way no matter what time zone you're in that wave of light will continue on.

I got home a few minutes to 7 and lit my candle. I hopped on facebook and was truly overwhelmed. Pictures of candles flooded my feed. Some were for Ryan, others for friends' babies and some for strangers. Amazing. I'm sitting here refreshing the page and seeing all of these pop up is so powerful.

The feeling of all of these little ones being remembered all at the same time from all over the world gives me chills. It also makes me sad. There are so many babies. Too many.

Remembering Ryan, Hayden, Ethan, Sarah, Lucy, Colton, Jacob, Lander, Mason, Madison, Easton and all of the other babies watching over us.

I love you sweet boy. Forever and a day.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Face 2 Face in the news

Never in a million years did I think Face 2 Face Rochester was going to take off like it has. Everyone has been SO receptive of the group, it's really amazing.

We've had people pass along our information to others. Word is spreading like wildfire. In that same thought I figured why not contact some of the local media outlets and see if they'd be interested in telling our story and help to spread the word.

I sent three emails. One was to my town's local paper. One was to our local ABC affiliate and one was to the main Rochester newspaper. I got responses from all of them. And almost immediately.

The article in our local town paper was wonderful. We had a teaser on the front page. The article was very well written and we've received feedback and have been contacted because of it.

For the ABC interview I emailed one of the morning anchors. I knew her daughter was born with a very serious form of a defect. I also knew that she was involved with the March of Dimes just like we are. Who better to send the email to! I received a response right away. I was hoping for a taped interview or just a mention on air. Nope. She did better than that. She offered us to come in for a LIVE interview. I just about fell off of my chair when I read that. Me and Hayden's mom went in and did the interview. (Ethan's mom was still on bed rest with Ethan's little sister Emma at the time). It was wonderful.

Our "big" Rochester paper was a little harder to get in touch with. I had to send two emails. LOL. We were lucky that one of the reporters was working on a series about infant mortality in Monroe County. He jumped at the chance to talk to us. We figured we would be featured but can you imagine our surprise to see ourselves on the FRONT PAGE of the Sunday paper?!

The Perinatal Network of Monroe County contacted us and added us to their website's list of resources and even put us "in the spotlight" on the home page of their website. They've also invited us to their quarterly meetings to be more involved.

We've reached over 70 "likes" on our Facebook page too. The need for this was obviously there. We all knew that. I'm so glad people are taking it so seriously and have been putting us to work!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Baby Boom

I'm going to start off by saying this post really isn't for anyone but me. It's going to be raw feelings not meant to hurt or offend anyone. I've gone back and forth for weeks about how to write this, if I should write this. Bottom line -- it's my blog and it's here to help me so I'm going to write this post how I started on this no one else is reading it.

You know when you want something so bad that's all you can focus on? You're interested in something and that's all you seem to notice? I'm surrounded. There's been a baby boom around me. New babies have arrived or will shortly, new pregnancies too. It seems to be everywhere. For everyone. Everyone but me.

I feel like I've been waiting to have a baby for 18 months now. We found out we were pregnant with Ryan in January 2011. And yes, I did have a baby. He will always be my baby. But I'm still waiting to have that child in my arms. I'm waiting to have the child that I can physically mother.

We've been trying for 10 months. I know people must be wondering and no we weren't going to say anything to anyone because honestly it's stressful enough -- I don't need the added stress of people asking if it's happened yet. And really, when it does finally happen I'm not sure we'll tell people then either.

I know it will happen but my patience is wearing thin. Yes it took 13 months to conceive AJ but it was also first shot for Ryan. There's really no rhyme or reason. But now I'm also down an ovary and tube.

I'm frustrated with it all. I'm pissed off. After going though a loss like ours shouldn't we be given a freakin' pass? Why make it so damn difficult.

I'm so happy for everyone. Every baby and pregnancy is a blessing. I've been blessed twice and I have two amazing children but I'm going to be greedy and want one more. I want AJ to have that sibling here with him. I want to see him interact with our baby like he does with others. I want him to wear that big brother shirt to the hospital when he comes to meet him or her for the first time. I want the "normal" delivery and recovery that so many people have. I want to stop wanting. I want to stop being that person. I don't like it. I don't like feeling like this. I'd like to hear someone's good news and smile without the tears. I'd really like it to be us with that good news again.

Today was Ryan's due date a year ago. It's one of those dates that will always stick out on the calendar to me. We should have a one year old running around. Instead we have a sweet boy who I've been missing for one year, four months and five days.

I love you sweet boy. Forever and a day.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Up and Down

What a day. It started off crappy. The morning was just rough. I had plans with a friend to meet at the mall and that seemed to help get my out of my funk. AJ was very well behaved while we were there.

On the way home AJ fell asleep in the car. I thought this would be a good time to go see Ryan. I was almost home so I decided to stop and pick up the little moose we got for Ryan on our trip to Toronto earlier in the week. I ran in the house quick and grabbed the moose and drove to the cemetery. AJ was still sleeping until I put the car in park. So we both get out and as I get to Ryan's stone I start taking my usual inventory of his things. Something was missing. My heart sank. His little blue puppy was gone. The puppy that had been there since May 26, 2011 that Cole gave to him. The puppy that when I went to visit on my own I would sit with and rub his ears while I talked to Ryan. We searched the whole section -- even the bushes and the garbage. Nothing. I checked the lost and found. Nothing. I can't tell you how hard I cried when I got home. Every time something of his goes missing it's like I'm grieving all over again. I can't physically mother my son, I can only mother his grave and someone is messing with it. It pisses me off beyond belief. My lack of control with this sends me into a rage. We spend time picking out the little things that are "just right". They may seem like a $4 souvenir but we picked it especially for him. Things have gone missing before but I'm having a really hard time with the puppy missing. Tomorrow I'm going back and I'm bringing the statue that we have there home. I hate that I have to do it -- it's been there since the week we buried him -- but I can't stand the thought of going there one day and it not be there. The bottom line is I shouldn't have to worry about anything going missing.

After my hysterics I had to get ready to go to the Nurse of the Year event. Lauren was nominated and I also nominated Dawn (our fantastic ob nurse the night Ryan was born). We had a lot of fun. This was the first time I got to see Dawn since that night. It felt so good to be able to say "thank you" in person. She really seemed to appreciate it.

I'm exhausted to say the least. I've got more things to update about (the Face 2 Face group tv interview, newspaper articles and such) but that's for another day.

I love you sweet boy. Forever and a day.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

11 years - We will never forget

I can't believe it's 11 years. I can remember 9/11/01 so clearly. I was in class at Molloy. The class was in the basement and I had been at school for a while having had a class before that one. A woman came in and said she heard a report on the radio that a plane hit the World Trade Center. My first thought was "how do you hit a freakin building?" But I was thinking it was a small plane. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would be a commercial airliner.

Class ended and as we made our way upstairs there was a tv in the fishbowl (the room was a lounge with the majority of the walls being glass) People were standing around watching. I caught a glimpse of the picture on the tv. There was smoke pouring out of the building. This was no small plane crash. I went inside the room and I remember staring at the screen trying to figure out what angle they were looking at the building. I couldn't see the other tower. Just as that thought crossed my mind the second tower collapsed.

I stood there in disbelief. My thoughts were all over the place. I remember a girl in the room screaming as the tower went down. Her dad worked in the tower. She just kept yelling for him. Then all of a sudden it hit me. My dad works down there. He was there for the '93 bombings and now he was there for this. I can remember saying something to one of my professors about my dad and then I left to go home.

The drive home was surreal. I don't really remember much of it. I wasn't paying attention really. There weren't many cars on the road and I can remember looking at the sky and not seeing any planes. Living only miles from JFK airport you could almost always look up and see one.

I got home and turned on the tv. I checked the answering machine. There was a message from my dad. He was getting out of there. It was hours before we heard anything else about where he was.

We got a call later that day. He made it home safe and sound.

As the days passed we learned of people who didn't make it home. Three firefighters from our town and others who worked in the towers.

I thought a lot about the girl in the fishbowl and wondered if she was as lucky as we were. My dad made it home.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Finding comfort in the strangest things

So you know by now that one thing that reminds me of Ryan are bunnies. We have them in our backyard and I could sit there for hours just watching them. Whenever I see one it makes me think of him.

A few weeks ago I went to visit Ryan and there was something on his stone. I wasn't sure what it was at first. Upon further inspection (but not too close!) I realized what it was. Poop. Rabbit poop to be exact. It made me laugh. It wasn't the bunny but I knew he was there.

Today we went to see Ryan and as I knelt down to brush off his stone there it was again. More poop. I giggled and showed Nick. We looked around and it was only at Ryan's stone.

Never in a million years did I think rabbit poop would make me smile but it's just one of those things that make me think of him and let me know that he's thinking of us too.

We've got some big things happening for the Face 2 Face group. The Perinatal Network of Monroe County contacted us after a social worker from Strong gave them our info. They're going to get us listed on their website and include us on mailings and their meetings as well. This is huge. We'll know what's going on in the community and what the current needs are. We'll get to know about other programs and resources and we'll be able to give our input.

We also contacted the Democrat & Chronicle and will be meeting with a reporter some time this week. He's currently working on a whole project about infant mortality and was very interested in speaking with us.

We're also going to have the chance to do a live tv interview with our local ABC affiliate. We contacted one of the anchors for the mornings and she said they would love for us to come in and do a 4 minute interview with them!

We found out that this week the article that was in my town's local paper was also in another two towns in the area.

Because of all of this exposure we've gotten a few more referrals and phone calls and as a result will have a few new people at our next meeting. I'm sad that it has to grow but I'm thankful that people are reaching out and giving us a shot.

I love you sweet boy. Forever and a day.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

We made the paper!

I have to admit I was a little nervous about the article for the local paper. No offense to the writer but he was young with no children. I wasn't sure he was going to "get it". He asked good questions though.

The article was printed in Thursdays edition of my town's local paper and another town. Next week if there's room it'll run in another. In my town's edition we even had a teaser on the front page. It was awesome.

The article was very well written. It had a ton of quotes from me, Hayden's mom and Lander's mom. Since the article has come out our facebook page has 10 new "likes".

I am so proud of our group. I'm proud that all of our members were excited about it and that we all love getting together. I'm proud of how welcoming everyone is to new members. I can't even begin to explain how happy it makes me to think that all of our kids are looking down and are proud of us. That is the best part of all.

I love you sweet boy. Forever and a day.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The new dad

Today was a great day. Our local paper is going to do an article on the Face 2 Face group. We met with the writer and he asked some great questions. It's going to run in my town and a few others. It'll be out on the 30th. I can't wait to read it!

AJ is under the weather today. He woke up four times last night all stuffy. We tried to give him his allergy meds and we all ended up wearing it. He was ok most of the afternoon so we decided to go to the mall to get out of the house a bit (and I forgot to take dinner out of the freezer!). We ate and AJ played in the play are that he loves.

On the way walking to the exit we passed a set of new parents. The dad was holding his very young son. I imagined it was their first outing with the baby. He was holding him and had this grin on his face. He was so happy and proud he was practically glowing. His wife was taking a picture. It was a beautiful scene. I wanted to smile but the lump in my throat got there first.

We talked this morning about how you never know how you'll react in any situation. Even after 15 months things still trigger me -- and the reaction can be so intense. You lose all control. It's an awful feeling.

I made it outside before I started to cry. I really hate when I think of the "should-have been's" and when the jealousy flares up. I wasn't so much jealous that they were there with their baby I was jealous that they could be so happy. I want to go back and be blissfully ignorant again. I want to go back to the place where bad things don't happen to babies. I'm so thankful that I've met the people I have because of this but I wish with all that I have that none of us met for these reasons.

I love you my sweet boy. Forever and a day.

Monday, August 20, 2012

An AJ post

Obviously I post a lot about Ryan here but I feel like I've been neglecting writing about AJ.

At two and a half he has quite the personality. He's funny (and he knows it), he super smart (and yes I'm biased but other people have said the same thing!), he loves to snuggle. He'll climb in our bed in the morning and want to be covered up and watch tv. He says the funniest things. He hears something once and is able to use it correctly. The other day he asked me a question and I answered it. He replies "that's awesome!". He's too much.

He doesn't like to go to bed or take a nap. He'll use every stall tactic he knows. Then when we finally get in to his room he wants to read every book on the shelf. And then we rock and then he wants me to rub his back. "Mama, rub your back?" He still doesn't get the whole "me, you" thing when talking about himself.

He loves to quiz us on things like we do to him. "Mama, what color is that car? or "what number is that?"

We went through a stretch of "terrible 2's" but for the most part lately he's been so much fun. He makes us laugh and smile every. single. day.

And the best part -- he's a great big brother.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

I feel witty

I wish I could be one of those people who always has something witty to say. I want to be the one who always has the comeback. I'm not that person. Tonight I was at a party and there was a conversation about all the kids that had been born in the last couple of years. In my head I was hoping the person would skip over me. And I thought I had escaped it. Nope. The person, full knowing of what's gone on in the last 15 months, says "now we're just waiting on you Melissa". I know it wasn't meant with bad intentions but oh how I wished I would have said "oh, did you forget...I had a child before those two were born." Instead I took a breath and answered with "I need to stop having organs removed first"

Why is it in situations like that I try to grin and bare it and not make the person feel bad? They're the one who's said something totally and utterly stupid yet there I sit trying not to make them feel bad or have an awkward moment. I'm tired of sucking it up to "people will say stupid things". For once I'd love to say "you're a fucking idiot" and leave feeling better and not wanting to go cry in a corner.

We went to a wedding out of town yesterday. It was beautiful. We got to see people we haven't seen in a while. The happy couple looked wonderful, the venue was gorgeous and the food and service were some of the best I've ever had. Instead of favors the couple decided to make donations to a few charities that are important to them. One of them was the March of Dimes. We were so touched when we found out. I can't put into words how grateful I am to them for doing that.

When it was time for the mother/son dance I got choked up. I thought about dancing with AJ at his wedding and then my next thought was how I won't get to do that with Ryan. It's not fair. Not fair at all.

Today we had a friend visit Ryan with us. To my knowledge this was the first non-family member to go there. He asked us to go and I can't begin to explain how much this meant to me (us). We spent a few minutes and had a nice visit. I will forever remember that...thanks Jimmy ;)

I love you sweet boy. I miss you. Forever and a day.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Look kids -- Parliament, Big Ben.

So here I am 5 days post surgery. I feel like I've been here before. Oh wait, I have. I guess I thought because this one wasn't a big open surgery like the last and it was outpatient that it wouldn't be so bad. It's not been terrible but it's not been fun either.

I spent some extra time in recovery afterwards feeling less than peachy. I puked my guts up and was just generally still out of it. After some anti-nausea meds and another bag of fluids I was like a new person. One thing I do have to say is that I love all of the nurses at the hospital. With the exception of one (I'm looking at you nasty IV nurse) I've never had anything less than a great experience. I especially loved the two nurses I had in recovery (told you I was there a while!). They were so sweet and took such great care of me. They asked about my MOD shirt when I was getting ready to leave. Nick and I were able to tell Ryan's story. One said she "got the chills". I hope she remembers us and our story for next year -- maybe it'll give her a push to raise even more money!

I've been trying to take it easy but after a few days I'm ready to feel 100%. I'm not a patient person so wanting to be there and my body not being there is a little difficult.

I felt like the worst mom on the planet last week. We had just gotten back from our trip downstate and I still felt like there was so much to do. We had gotten home much earlier than expected (thanks to the ridiculous heat and AJ waking up at 2:30am) so I thought I would have time to do everything. The one big thing I wanted to do was to go see Ryan. Fast forward to 6:30pm as we're sitting down eating dinner and I realize the day has gotten away and I won't get to go before my surgery. How did I forget to go see my son? Who does that?

Today was the first time I've been since before our trip. It was a tough visit and I'm not completely sure why. I guess I don't really need a reason -- seriously, isn't going to visit your son at the cemetery enough? But today I went and just cried. There was a lot of emotion, I'm sure a lot of it was guilt and some of it was just plain old missing him. It caught me off guard but it felt better to cry.

Anyway, to Ryan -- thanks for looking after me again. I know this must be getting old for you because I know it's definitely getting old for me. No more surgeries, ok?! Three in a year is enough and I'm pretty sure I've reached my limit on organs that I don't need.

I love you with all my heart, sweet boy. Forever and a day.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Small Victories

Me and Hayden's mom met with someone at the cemetery today. They needed to know what was going on. They needed to know that it was a lot more than just a simple garden decoration that was taken.

I'm happy to say they were a lot more receptive than I expected them to be. They're going to make sure security checks the section at night, actually getting out of the car not just driving by. They're also going to plant a bush with lots of thorns and stickers where people get in and use as a cut through.

I'm happy and hope it makes a difference.

I've been having some pain on the right side. I didn't know what it was so I went and got it checked. Guess who has gall stones? Add that to the list of organs I don't really need that has caused me issues. Surgery is scheduled for 7/31. I'll be glad to see it go. I'm hoping it'll leave me with a clear head when we're ready to try for another baby.

We moved AJ to a "big boy bed". He was so excited. It took him a little while to fall asleep but I think he's going to do really well.

We had our first meeting for our F2F group on Wednesday. It went really well and I can't wait till the next one.

I love you sweet boy. Forever and a day.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Third time's the charm

I went to visit Ryan yesterday and I noticed his ladybug was missing again. I figured it was another child who was playing with it and I would find it in a different part of the section like we did last time.

I looked everywhere. Nothing. Then the anger set in. I called Nick and told him. I sent a text to Hayden & Ethan's moms. Hayden's mom had 3 things go missing a few weeks before. The longer I sat there in my car the harder I cried. I haven't sobbed like that since last year.

Last time the ladybug was stolen (and no I don't know that's what happened for sure but the darn thing was staked into the ground!) I had to go on-line to find another. It was only sold in a 6-pack. I didn't think I'd need to dip into that stash so quickly.

So today we went and brought another ladybug and this time we made sure it wasn't going anywhere. I used rubber cement and tape. It's attached to the flagpole. I put his name on the outside and the underside. So help me if this one goes missing.

Tomorrow I'm going to call the cemetery and I'm going to set up a meeting for later this week. I know there isn't much they can do but it's obvious that there is at least one person hanging out in the bushes of the section -- you can tell by the beer cans and lottery tickets. They need to know that this is a problem and it needs to be addressed.

Hopefully this will take care if it -- it's so hard to go there and see something that means so much to you gone.

I love you sweet boy. Forever and a day.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Feeling you

Dear Ryan,

I know you've been around lately. There have been so many signs the last three days. First I saw a new baby bunny chomping on some grass right outside of your garden. He would fit in the palm of my hand, much like you did. He reminded me of the one I saw when I was pregnant with you. That's why I always associate the bunnies with you.

We were all outside the other afternoon and there was this butterfly flying right around us. Then we came in and watched tv and there was a commercial for a business named "Ryan's".

I don't know if there's something you're trying to tell me or if you're just saying a big hello. I love feeling you close but at the same time it makes me miss you more.

Last night I saw that same baby bunny and my heart just ached. What I wouldn't give to be able to hold you one more time or feel a kick one more time.

Some nights when I'm missing really badly you my arm physically hurts with emptiness. The arm that should be holding you. It gets so bad that it keeps me awake.

We think about you and talk about you all the time. Thank you for letting me know you're thinking about us too.

I love you sweet boy. Forever and a day.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Me and AJ have made some friends from our local playgroup. We've been having weekly play dates while the playgroup is on break. It's been a lot of fun for the kids and the moms. I know I enjoy the adult interaction and AJ enjoys seeing his buddies. Today we hosted. We spent the day outside. The moms sitting in the shade under the tree and the kids playing in the little pool. I love watching the kids interact with each other. They can be so funny.

I was always so worried that my lack of friend making abilities would hinder AJ while growing up. I guess I just needed to meet the right people. It's amazing how having kids can help things along.

The same goes for Ryan. I've met some great friends because of Ryan. And the list is growing. We met Lucy's mom and dad after the social worker at the hospital emailed me. We all went to breakfast and had a nice time. We've been emailing back and forth too. I wish they didn't become our friends for the reason they did but I'm glad to know them no matter the reason.

Seeing the kids playing in the yard made me think...I wonder if as we connect with people here, does Ryan connect with them up there? Or maybe it's the other way around?

I wonder if Hayden and Ethan welcomed Ryan and brought us moms together. Or did the boys meet after we did? I guess it really doesn't matter how it happens....but I think it does happen.

This afternoon I was cleaning some things in the kitchen and I was watching two bunnies out the window in the yard. They were playing around all of the toys strewn across the grass. It looked like they were playing tag. One would run towards the other and the second one would jump straight up in the air to get away. It was comical. I wondered if that's what AJ and Ryan would have been like playing together. Would Ryan be chasing after his big brother? Maybe the other way around? AJ loves the little ones...I have a feeling he would have been all over his little bro. I try really hard not to do the "what-ifs or should-have-been" but sometimes it's just so hard. I wish I had the chance to see them together.

I miss you so, so much sweet boy. I love you. Forever and a day.

Ryan's Walk!!

Click here to view these pictures larger

Here are some pictures from the March of Babies Walk. The slideshow is the only way I could get them to post.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Fifty Shades of Gray... These damn little buggers keep popping up and I don't like it! I got a couple after I had AJ but it was seriously a couple. Two and that was it.

Granted I've been through a lot over the last year but don't I have enough physical reminders? How about that oh-so-lovely 8" scar down my belly? Or the scars from all the IV pokes and blood draws? Do I really need gray hair too? And why is it that it's always those hairs that are extra kinky and don't stay where I put them? They're always the ones sticking straight up and out.

Why don't I pull them you ask? Isn't there a saying if you pull out a gray hair you get three more? I definitely don't need any more!

I have to tell you what a comedian AJ is. The stuff that he comes out with lately, I can't even believe. He hears something once and he remembers it. Then he uses it in the correct context. I find myself asking "where did you learn that?" quite a bit. We haven't had any 4 letter words yet (thank goodness!). We've been really trying to be careful!

One of my favorite things he says lately -- one of his bedtime stories is Moo, Baa, La La La. It goes through the animals sounds. When we get to the horse and I ask him what it says he says "giddy up cowboy". I like it. "Neigh" is over-rated!

And oh how he's been testing us lately. He's been showing his "2-ness". Time outs have become part of our day. Not too often but they're there. I can't complain though he's really good most of the time. He's been playing with other kids a lot more too. I love seeing him talk to other kids. The older girls always seem to like him.

I went to JoAnn Fabric today because they had some good sales on the fleece for the blankets I've been making. I always check the remnant bin when I'm there and I scored big-time! I got a whole bag full of fabric for only $15. I'm going to get so many blankets out of that! Love it!

I love you sweet boy. Forever and a day.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ryan's Birthday

We had such a beautiful weekend celebrating Ryan's birthday and the March for Babies Walk. I'm grateful that they fall on the same weekend. It really allows us to celebrate an entire weekend.

We all had a wonderful time at the walk. I'll update more on that when I get some pictures uploaded.

On Ryan's actual birthday (5/21) me, Nick and AJ spent the day together. In the morning we went to say thank you to a couple of people that have helped us this last year. One we haven't seen since last May and one is a new friend.

After that we stopped at the store and picked out some balloons to bring to Ryan along with the birthday flag and teddy bear I had picked up a few months ago. We also brought the lantern that Hayden's mom had given us. On the way out of the store Nick was holding the balloons. A butterfly flew and tried to land on the yellow one. Nick moved (he's not a fan on of anything landing on him!) and it tried again. It fluttered around for a few more seconds and went on its way. I smiled. I knew it was him. I knew he was there and I knew he liked the balloons.

The best big brother

The lantern was great. We lit it and it floated like a hot air balloon. After we were sure it had floated high enough and wasn't going to burn Rochester down (!) we watched it soar.

starting to float

there it goes!
glad it kept going and didn't burn anything down!
Happy Birthday Ryan!

an "I'm 1" balloon and of course we had to get a Toy Story balloon!

Later in the afternoon we took AJ to Build A Bear. He had never been. We wanted to take him somewhere special where we would come out with something he could have to remember the day. We looked over the options. They had bears, puppies, monkeys and more. AJ decided that he wanted to make "a froggie". They had the Muppets that you could make. He chose Kermit.

Picking the perfect heart for Froggie
getting a high-five from Daddy after stuffing Froggie
Time for a bath!
All done!
We had a really nice day. It was definitely more happy than sad. I will miss Ryan for the rest of my life, but on this day I got to think about all of the wonderful things that have happened because of him.

I love you sweet boy. Forever and a day. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Happy Birthday

Dear Ryan,

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy! I can't believe it's been a year. I don't know how it could go so slowly and so quickly all at once. Last May I couldn't think about this day. It seemed like a lifetime away and I didn't know how we were going to make it there.

Well, here we are. We had a fantastic weekend celebrating you. On Saturday we had a big BBQ in your honor. Family from out of state traveled to be here. Friends from the area came too. The weather was 80 degrees and sunny. It was perfection. Nonna took care of cooking and me and daddy got to relax and enjoy the party. AJ had fun with Cole in the pool and Brynn was her smiley self.

Sunday was the March for Babies Walk. Our team came in second place in fundraising for the family teams! We finished at $7,575! A long way from the $1,000 goal we started with. Again the weather was perfect. I got to see Ethan's mom and Hayden's mom there. We all had so much family support. It was really wonderful. Everyone had a great time.

Today we're going to do some special things too. We're going to see someone who helped us so much after you were born and who took such good care of you. We're going to see some new friends who mean a lot to me and daddy. We'll probably go with AJ and make a Build-A-Bear and I'm going to contact the lady to get the blankets I made donated in your name. Of course we're going to stop and bring you some balloons and the special birthday flag and bear we bought. I hope you enjoy all of them.

I didn't think I could make it a year without you here and I owe a lot of that to daddy. When we got married I didn't think I could be more in love with him. Then we had AJ and again, I didn't think I could be more in love with him. Then you were born and I loved him even more, but today I think I love him the most. He's taken such good care of all of us this last year. He's the best teammate anyone could ask for and I'm so glad he's ours.

I want to thank you too. You've done so much for us. Thank you for saving me. I'd give anything to have you back but I know you truly are my angel. Thank you for always looking out for us. I know you do and thank you for the signs you send. I know I ask for them a lot but they mean the world to me. Thank you for helping me get to where I am today. I'm a better mom to AJ and I'm more involved in a wonderful organization. I live life wanting to make you proud and that has made me a better person.

I hope Ethan, Hayden, Anthony and Grandma throw you one heck of a party! Keep an eye out for our lantern :) We'll be sending it your way later.

I love you so much sweet boy. Happy Birthday.

Forever and a day,


Friday, May 18, 2012


I've been spending a lot of time at the cemetery these last two weeks. It's as if something is pulling me there. It feels like it did last year. The weather is beautiful, a slight breeze and shining sun. Often I go and just sit. It gives me a chance to think and my mind usually just wanders from one thing to another.

Last week there was a new baby in the section. Then only 3 days later there was another. It's heartbreaking. Once the temporary markers were placed I learned that it wasn't two babies it was actually three. A set of twins and a singleton.

That makes ten babies that have been buried since Ryan. We're just under a year.

People might think I'm a little over the top with the fundraising and my involvement with the March of Dimes. I walk not only for Ryan but for Ethan, Hayden, Sarah, Colton, Anthony, Ainsley & Evelyn and the ten babies that have joined Ryan in the Christ Child section of Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. Those children are all the motivation I need.

I love you sweet boy. Forever and a day.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

I was not looking forward to Mother's Day this year. I couldn't help but think about what I was doing last year. I had just gotten to the point where I could walk without a walker. I was on a gluten-free diet. My appendix had ruptured about a week before, but we didn't know that's what it was. But I was still pregnant. Ryan was still doing fine, kicking away.

I didn't want to spend the day without him. I don't want to spend any day without him. How do you celebrate being a mom without one of your kids? As usual the anticipation of the day was a lot worse than the day itself. Saturday I was a mess. Plain and simple. A. Freaking. Mess. I was on auto-pilot all day and I was still having trouble.

I woke up this morning and already felt a lot better than I had the day before. There was hope for the day. I was going to do my best to enjoy the day with Nick and AJ. We all had a nice breakfast and took care of a few things around the house before heading to the Lilac Festival. AJ was so excited to take the school bus over.

We had a really nice time while we were there. AJ went on a few rides and got some popcorn. We walked around looking at the crafts and other vendors. It couldn't have been a better day weather-wise either.

After the festival we went to lunch and did a little shopping. The day was wonderful. After spending time with Nick and AJ I wanted to go spend a little time with Ryan. I was just there yesterday but I wanted to go again.

The cemetery was busy, as expected. There wasn't anyone in the section when I got there. As I'm there I realized something didn't look quite right. I thought the same thing yesterday but with my head in such a fog I couldn't figure out what it was. Today it clicked. The ladybug on a stake that we had there for 350+ days was gone. I was crushed. This is the second item that's gone missing from there. Both items are not things that would have blown away. The ladybug was stuck in the ground! Someone had to actually remove it from the ground. It wasn't in the way of anything. There is NO reason it needed to be touched. I looked in the section and didn't see it anywhere. The office will be getting a call from me tomorrow. I know they can't do anything but they need to know what's going on. What kind of person takes something from a cemetery? And the children's section no less?!

I wish the day didn't end the way it did but I did enjoy the morning and afternoon.

To all you moms out there -- whether your children are in your arms or in your heart, I hope you enjoyed the day.

To my sweet boy, I love you with all of my heart. I miss you. Forever and a day.  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


I added a new blog to my blog list just a few days ago. I'm sure many of you had heard about it. It's Avery's Bucket List. Avery was born with SMA. Had you heard about SMA before? I already knew what it was. I knew because of a mom who is part of the same on-line community as me. We've been on this website for years and Catherine has been sharing Sophia's story starting with her diagnosis. It was out of this diagnosis that Sophia's Cure was born. This mom (and dad) had just received an awful diagnosis for their sweet baby girl. They didn't let it knock them down, they are fighting back.  They've raised so much awareness about this disease and have done AMAZING things to help get funding for a gene therapy that is being developed.

That brings me back to Avery. Avery was also bringing awareness about SMA to the public. Her story and blog were on numerous news outlets throughout the country. Sadly, Avery lost her battle with SMA very suddenly on April 30th. But the awareness continues. Avery's family asked that donations in Avery's name be made to Sophia's Cure towards the gene therapy research. I just got an update that they've collected more than $89,000 in Avery's name since her passing and that number is growing quickly! And even better is that an anonymous donor who had previously donated $400K to SCF pledged to match all donations made in Avery's name up to $500,000!

Those are huge numbers with huge potential. There are so many kids out there still fighting this disease -- Sophia included, she turned 3 years old earlier this year! This has the potential to save so many lives. I can only hope that seeing all of this money raised in Avery's name brings her family a little bit of peace through all of this. I know for me, seeing that total grow after Ryan was born was one of the things that kept me going.

Everyone has been so generous with helping us raise money for the March for Babies Walk in memory of Ryan. What is probably not known is that it was Catherine and Vinny who inspired me to set something up in Ryan's name after he was born. I couldn't sit and let our situation be in vain. I remembered the courage that they had when Sophia was diagnosed. I wanted the same for us. I wanted to make changes. I'm so proud to report that as of today $10,053 have been raised for the March of Dimes in Ryan's name (between the Preemie Band we set up and out fundraising for the MFB Walk). All of that in just under 1 year. Thank you to each and every one of you -- no matter the size of the donation it all means so much.

It's really amazing how much someone you've never met can inspire you. With that, please be inspired. Please take a minute and learn about SMA. Check out the blogs and make a donation. Great things are happening -- don't you want to be a part of that?

Friday, April 20, 2012


Just a few minutes ago I received an email. The subject line is one that I've seen many times these last few months. Every time I see it my heart beats a little faster. We had received a donation for Ryan's Racers. This time it was a big one! This donation put us at $5,000.

That $5,000 is made up of $5 donations from strangers to $500 donations from large companies and everything in between...we even had some people donate twice and three times! Everyone has been so generous. And it's not over. We still have donations that have been pledged that haven't been received yet. 

I was asked once what my ideal job would be. I said I wanted to be a volunteer. I wanted to be financially sound enough that I could find a cause that I'm passionate about and pour my energy into it. Why not work to make a difference in something? Something that you think needs the attention.

I wish with all my being that I didn't come to March of Dimes the way I did. I'd give anything to have Ryan back. I'd give anything for any of these parents to have their kids back. I can't do that so I'm doing what I think is the next best thing. I hope with all of the hard work that everyone has been putting in and all of the dollars raised that someday there won't be parents out there like me. Every baby should be born healthy and have a chance to live a full life. Ryan didn't get to do that here but I hope he's doing it in Heaven. I'm doing my best to make a difference in his name.

To date in Ryan's name we have raised $9,248 for the March of Dimes. It's eleven months tomorrow.

Ryan -- thank you for helping me find my place. I'm so proud to be your mom.

I love you sweet boy. Forever and a day.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Lots of exciting things going on lately...

Nick's sister and her husband welcomed a baby boy on Friday. Baby Benjamin is adorable and we're all so happy he's here. We can't wait to meet him!

Ryan's Racers is at almost $4K! We've got some donations that aren't currently in the total so I'm not sure what the exact amount is but we're close, if not over!

I cooked dinner for Easter this year. My sister and her family came over. We had a really nice day. this was one of the highlights.

My adorable niece Brynn

Brynn and her hot-mess of an Aunt and soon-to-be-Godmother!

Was this not the cutest way to ask us to be Godparents? She was wearing this under her dress. It was quite the surprise!

AJ enjoyed hunting for Easter eggs this morning. He found them all and had fun opening them up to see what was inside. He them asked to eat every bag of mini m&m's he got. Before 9am and he ate one of the bags and a whole sleeve of Pez from his Woody Pez dispenser.

Showing off his work

After out egg hunt we went to the cemetery to bring Ryan his Easter basket. I don't know why but I had such a hard time figuring out what to put in his basket. What do you buy for a son who's not here with you to enjoy it? We finally found a really cute stuffed duck and a bulldozer truck. We put it in the basket that my Grandma made a few years ago. After she passed we decided that it would be passed around to the grandkids each year. AJ had it, Cole used it and now it was Ryan's turn.

Grandma Ann's basket in the back. The snow globe G&P sent on the right.

It was a nice day all around. Now focus is all on the March for Babies Walk and Ryan's birthday celebration.

I love you sweet boy. Forever and a day.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mixed Emotions

The roller coaster continues. Now it's not so much of the ups and downs in one day but rather the span of a few days. In the beginning it was minute to minute.

There have been so many great things going on lately. Ryan's Racers currently has $3,147. Seeing that total increase makes me so happy. I can't even begin to explain it.

 AJ has been just so funny lately -- and he knows it. He loves to sing and he does it often. He sings songs he knows (happy birthday, the Olivia theme song and even something in Spanish!) but he also likes to make up his own. One of my favorite things is waking up to his chatter on the monitor. I wish I could see what he was doing while he's putting on his little show. He's so stinkin' smart. The things he retains amazes me and Nick all the time.  

The bunny has been hanging out in the yard lately. I can't tell you how many times a day I go and look out the window to see if he's there. Ryan's tree has bloomed too. Everytime I go into our room I have to go to the window and look at it. I'm so glad that Nick had that done.

AJ called Ryan his brother today. I'm so glad he knows about Ryan and that we talk about him but God, how I wish he could have gotten to meet him. I wish he would have had the chance to fuss over him like he does with other babies. I know he would have been a great little helper and he's a great big brother.

We're getting closer to Ryan's birthday. Some days I'm ok and others it just kills me. I think that's why I've thrown myself into fundraising for the walk. I need some kind of distraction. I'm actually a little nervous for when it's over. Then what am I going to do?

We went to see Ryan the other day and there was not one but two new babies there. It literally takes my breath away when I see a new baby there. Six new ones in less than 11 months. That's too many. Even one is too many. I said I can't explain how happy it makes me to see that March for Babies total's knowing that with every dollar raised that hopefully another baby won't have to be there.

The good has outweighed the tough stuff and I'm thankful for that.

I love you sweet boy. Forever and a day.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

One Thousand

I have to start out by thanking everyone who donated for Ryan's Racers. Our team currently has $2,917 raised and that's not counting money that has been pledged that we haven't yet received. We're going to be close to $4,000. I reached my goal of $1,000. I know I changed my goal a few times along the way but from the beginning I was hoping to be able to raise that amount on my own. I've had so many people donate (some even twice!). I'm sure many of them donated so I'd stop spamming their facebook pages but I don't know if I'll ever be able to put into words how important and passionate I am about this. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.

We ordered our team shirts for the walk. I'm so excited about them. I can't wait to see everyone there at walk wearing them.

I heard from K., the social worker at the hospital. She sent me an update about some of the changes they were making. They've been using the updated resource list and ordered the books I suggested. Within the month they'll be receiving the digital camera they ordered. Families who go through what we have will be able to take pictures and leave with a thumb drive with those pictures on it. I hope that it never has to be used but I know in reality it'll be needed much more frequently than anyone knows. I'm glad that it will be there and I hope it gives some people some beautiful memories.

All good things...all for my sweet boy.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

10 months

Dear Ryan,

How can it be 10 months? I find myself having a hard time lately. Each day we get closer to your birthday. That mark seems so huge. A whole year. I know it's still 2 months away but it's already on my radar.

Today I had some time to myself. Dad took AJ to the zoo this afternoon so I could do some planting outside. I planted the tree Aunt Lauren bought for you at Christmas. It's got a nice spot in front of the house. I also planted some bulbs in your garden in the backyard. The tree is starting to bud. I can't wait to see it in full bloom. After I was done planting I went and had a nice lunch and did a little shopping. The few hours I had alone made such a difference.

Dad and AJ had a nice time at the zoo. They went to the park afterwards and all in all they had a great day together. I hope you were there with them enjoying it too.

We're doing great raising money for the March of Dimes. As of tonight we have $2,147. And there are still 60 days to go. I've also joined the Family Team Committee. I'm looking forward to working with MOD on different projects.

Ten long months and I still miss you like it's the first day without you. I love you so, so much. Forever and a day.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Winners and Losers

Let me start off by saying that I'm not usually very lucky. I don't win on scratch-off tickets. I suck at Bingo. I don't really bother gambling because I just give away my money. Well tonight my luck changed. I entered a giveaway from CarlyMarie. This awesome woman draws names in the sand for families who have lost children. We got Ryan's name done and I love it so much. When I saw she was doing a giveaway for one of her gorgeous butterflies I figured I'd enter but had no shot at winning. Well guess what?! I DID win!! I even had to click the link to make sure it was me! I'm so excited! I'll be sure to post a picture once I get it. (And for more info on Carly check out the button on the right side of the page)

Last night we went to the RIT hockey game. It was the semi-finals so they were being held at Blue Cross Arena. Normally AJ is so good when we go to the games but for some reason he wasn't having it. I was getting frustrated with him so we left after the second period. They won the game so tonight was the final. We thought we were all prepared packing his dvd player to keep him occupied. We enjoyed some ice cream before the game started and he was having fun doing the chants as the start of the game was approaching. As the first period ended he told us he needed a change. OK fine. As he stood up I could see that his diaper had leaked. What I didn't know is that not only did it leak but the whole thing shifted. I'll spare you the details but we had to throw out his shoes and socks. I'll leave it at that. He left in my sweatshirt. I guess being at those games just weren't meant to be! RIT lost to Air Force so there's always next year!

Monday, March 12, 2012

It's been a while...

I hadn't realized how long it has been since I've posted. Sorry!

I've been throwing myself into fundraising for the March for Babies Walk. The good news is I've had to raise our team goal a few times. Currently we're at $1,637! And I know there are still a few team members who have to start their fundraising efforts. I can't begin to tell you how good it makes me feel to see people supporting this and trying their damnedest to raise money in Ryan's name. When I'm having a bad day I go to the page and see how many people have helped and I look at his band and remember how good it made me feel after he was born. It keeps me going -- so to all of you who have donated, Thank you. I can't say it enough. And for those of you who haven't but would like to, please do! No donation is too small.

We're working on figuring out plans for Ryan's birthday. I think we're going to do a bbq at the house. We'll have a lot of family and friends in town for the walk so that should be nice.

Can I tell you how funny AJ is? His speech amazes me everyday. He hears something once and he remembers it and then uses it in the right context. One of my favorite things he does right now is snuggling. I was laying on the couch one night and he got the blanket off of the other couch, brought it over, covered me up and said "snuggle". He climbed up next to me on the couch, covered himself with the blanket and we snuggled. It was so nice. And the smile on his face made me melt.

We did make one big decision a few days ago. We put Ryan's picture up in the living room. It was something that I was so unsure of for all this time. I wanted it there so badly but I was (still am) nervous about how others would react to it. I wasn't nervous about what others would think (honestly -- I don't care!) but if anyone ever said anything negative I think I would lose my mind. So it's there and I'm glad it is.  

I love you sweet boy. Forever and a day.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I read this article today. Faces of Loss posted the link.

I've had to sit on this for a while to try and compose my thoughts on this. The post that would have come out of the initial reaction would not have been pretty.

I remember watching a news story where "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" was featured. This was before I had children. I remember thinking about those moms and wondering why they would want pictures of their children after they had passed. Why would you want to remember them that way?

Fast forward to May 21, 2011. I just gave birth to my second son. I knew our time was going to be limited and I would have given anything to have someone come to take pictures with us. I thought about it for a second and then again thought "do I want to remember Ryan like this?" After a little while we did see if the hospital had a camera that we could use. They didn't so we never took any photos while we were there. It just didn't seem right to me to take those pictures on Nick's cell phone.

We did take a few pictures of us holding Ryan and his tiny hand in ours. We have the "newborn" photo that the hospital took. That's the only one where you can see his precious little face. We have a collage that a friend made for us of some of these photos on the mantel in the living room. The picture of just Ryan is on my nightstand. I've gone back and forth so many times about putting it out in the living room with the others. I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable but on the other hand why should I feel like I can't put up my son's photo in my own house?!

The author of this article didn't do her research. Not all babies born after 20 weeks are stillborn. Ryan was born alive and lived for 55 minutes. And even if that child is stillborn they are STILL BORN.

I don't know a woman who has gotten a positive pregnancy test that, from that very moment, doesn't start dreaming of a life for that child. No matter what the gestational age of that child when he/she passes or how that child passes that dream is shattered. I don't think that just because the general population didn't get to meet that child that means that child didn't "exist" or that that child isn't forever a part of that family.

What if Ryan was older when he passed? Should I not have his pictures around? Should I not talk about him anymore? When an older person dies you can speak of the memories you have -- when a child dies you can only talk about the memories you wish you had. You hold onto hope that your child is living on with others who have passed before them and that one day you'll get to see them again, but until that day you live for them. You try to make a difference. Ryan didn't get to live his life but I'm going to be damn sure to live mine for me and him. I want to make sure when I get to see him again that he's proud of his mama.

People grieve in different ways and no one can tell you what is right or wrong. All I know is that for me, having others speak his name and support us in doing things in his name is the best consolation of all. I will never be "better". I will never be "over this". Ryan passed that night and part of me went with him, that will never change. All I can do is learn to adjust to life without my son and for someone, who I can guess has never experienced such a loss, to say that I shouldn't do these things in my opinion is ignorant.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

9 Months

Today is 9 months since Ryan was born. It hit me hard today. It wasn't even 9am and I had cried twice. It was a rough start but I got through and the day got better.

I'm sitting here writing this post and I'm missing him like crazy again. I still hate the quiet times at night. My mind wanders.

Happy 9 months in heaven sweet boy. I miss you so much it hurts.

I love you with all of my heart. Forever and a day.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A New Angel

Heaven has a new angel. A friend that Nick grew up with lost his 2 year old son yesterday. I don't know the circumstances and I really don't need to. Bottom line is there's another set of parents who had to leave the hospital without their child.

The news shook me to the core. I've never met this family but it doesn't matter. They now belong to a community that no one wants to belong to. Every time I hear of someone else coming into this group it makes me so angry. This isn't the way it supposed to go. That's not the order things are supposed to go in. I can't wrap my head around it. I don't understand why there are so many terrible people out there who get to live and sweet and innocent children are taken away.

I was on facebook today and there are status updates about how crappy today was for some people. I shook my head. They think they're having a bad day, how about those parents? I've been guilty of this too, even after we lost Ryan. I'll complain about something that seems to be so "important" at the moment only to realize that it's not. It's so small in the whole scheme of things.

So when you're bitching about the bad day you've had or the inconveniences of the day just remember someone always has it worse.

To that precious boy and his family, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day


Last year on this day we got our first peek at you. I was 8 weeks pregnant. I already had one bout of illness under my belt and we were blissfully unaware of what was to come.

I remember being so excited to see you on that screen looking like a little gummy bear. I thought about what a great big brother you were going to have. I wondered if you were going to look just like him. I had plans for you baby boy...

I'm missing you so much today.

I love you, sweet boy. Forever and a day.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What's in a name?

Quite possibly one of the biggest decisions you can have as an adult is picking a name for your child. There's a lot of pressure there! You go through all of the names in the book. You narrow down the list. You make sure you eliminate any that your spouse doesn't like. Then you go through and make sure that there aren't any names that people have ruined for you. You know what I'm talking about...everyone knows someone that they're really not fond of. When you hear that name you automatically think about that person. You definitely can't name your kid that -- even if that's the name you've had picked out since you're 5 years old.

Nick and I thought a lot about Ryan's name. It was on our short list for a while. We made sure all of the Ryans we knew were good people (or well behaved children at my former jobs ;)  ). I love the name. I love hearing people say his name and I love seeing it in random places.

There is a boy that we come across every once in a while named Ryan. This kid is a Tasmanian devil. He runs AJ over at least once every time we see them. His mom is constantly calling his name. And it drives. me. nuts.

I know it's so silly but for some reason it bugs me. It's different hearing Ryan with an annoyed tone to it. Or it being yelled. I don't know...sometimes it's just not the easiest thing to sit and listen to.  It's just one of those things I guess. Welcome to the crazy things that go on in my head...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

3 Years

Gram, I miss you so much but I couldn't be more thankful to have you taking care of Ryan. No one else could be spoiling him like you :) I know that you were there to welcome him and I can't begin to tell you how much that means to me.

I love you both very much.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Death and Taxes

We've been getting all of our records together to get our taxes done. What a chore. We went through all of the medical bills from this last year. I know I lived it but seeing it on paper was overwhelming. I was so surprised how much emotion it brought up in me. They were just pieces of paper but it didn't matter, I was living it all again. All of the doctors visits, the tests, the blood work, the hospital stays...all of it.

Going though all of that stuff lead to a few hard days. I was sick with a cold and ear infection to start with. I was in a funk. I'm felling better today but man, does it suck to be like that. You want nothing else than to feel better but you just can't.

Tonight we went and got the taxes done. I tried to prepare myself. I knew there were going to be questions about Ryan. I was praying that we had the accountant who knew how to input the info correctly. Nope. Here we are again having to be someone's "learning experience". She was very kind and asked all the people she needed to without bringing them all in the cube to stare at us while they tried to find the answer. In the end it was done and all was figured out. She apologized for that part taking so long.

We're getting a refund so that's a plus. It'll help us pay off some of our debt and we can get close to being back to zero. We're working hard and we're getting there.

We're doing great raising money for the March for Babies walk. We're more than 50% of the way to our goal of $1000. If you're thinking about donating please do! Even if it's only $1 it all helps! You can click the link on the right side of the page and it'll lead you right to my page. It's that simple.

I've got dinner on Friday with Ethan's mom and Hayden's mom and I can't wait! There is cheesecake in our future!

I miss you, sweet boy. I love you. Forever and a day.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


I'm not a big fan of the snow. I try to be realistic though. It's January. I live in Western NY. It's going to snow at some point. It's not all bad though. Sometimes it looks pretty. But it also allows me to know that the bunny that lives in our yard has been there. I might not see him but I knows he's there. Just like Ryan.

Today is 8 months since Ryan was born. We're still going through our "firsts". This time last year I was newly pregnant and so excited. I can remember the dates of most of our appointments (good and bad ones). It seems that every week it's something. It's not a fun part of the year and the weather isn't helping. Spring can't come fast enough.

AJ's been testing being a 2 year old. He's definitely got an opinion. Most of the time he's great, but others not so much. I still count my blessings that he's so good most of the time but man those tantrums can be tough!

I'm going out to dinner with Hayden's mom and Ethan's mom on Friday. I'm looking forward to it. We always have a nice time. On Feb. 4th Ethan's mom is having a fundraiser for An Angel's Love. It should be a lot of fun and I hope it raises a ton of money!

Someone told me about an organization that distributes handmade blankets to sick children. Our local  Project Linus chapter donates blankets to 3 hospitals and some charities around the Rochester area. I contacted the woman who runs the local chapter and asked about donating some blankets in Ryan's name. I'm going to make a few of the no-sew fleece blankets like the one I made for AJ and donate them to babies at Strong's NICU. I'm going to find a way to attach something so they know who it's from and about Ryan. I so enjoyed making AJ's blanket and the blanket that the hospital gave us for Ryan is one of my most favorite things in the world. I thought that maybe one that I make could be that for someone else.

I love you sweet boy. Forever and a day.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Missing You

I don't know what it is these last few days but I'm missing Ryan like crazy. There wasn't a trigger that I can think of. Maybe I'm just at that point of the grief cycle. It seems that it comes in waves. I'm good for a while and then all of a sudden, without reason or warning that cloud comes back. It's as if my memories are more I realize how much we lost. It's so hard to explain.

All I know is is I miss my son.

I love you sweet boy. Forever and a day.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lesson Learned

I should have learned my lesson the first time. About a year ago we were at Wendy's and we ordered AJ mandarin oranges instead of the french fries. He took one small bite and immediately threw up all over. We thought he gagged on it or it was because it was a new food.

Tonight we're out to dinner and on AJ's plate were two wedges of an orange. I figured if I put it in my mouth like a smile he'd do the same and maybe try something new! He was getting a kick out of the funny faces I was making an eventually tried to do it himself. As soon as he sunk his teeth into that orange he started to gag. Oh crap. He did it a few times and I thought we were in the clear. Nope. Puked all over himself, the new shoes we bought 7 hours earlier, the highchair and the carpeted floor. I'm sure the other diners loved the show.

We took him to the bathroom to clean him up. What a mess. I felt terrible for being the cause of his puking, although he didn't really seem to care one bit.

The moral of the story -- no more oranges for AJ.

Now, aren't you glad you clicked the link to read this post?   :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy Birthday AJ!

I can't believe AJ is two years old today! I don't know where the time went. I do know that I am truly blessed to have one of the best kids around. He's sweet, funny, happy and so smart. He makes me smile and laugh every day. He keeps me going on the days where I want to crawl back into bed.

I love you so much AJ. I hope you always stay the loving boy you are.