I am in my element here. All I've ever wanted to be was a mom. I didn't dream of grand things. My grand things were babies and a family of my own. I don't care if I have the coolest house, car, style, ...anything. I want a family that loves each other. I want my purpose to be loving each other. It has always been my dream....and I've got it x10. ..........oh, and it wasn't easy but I definitely am fortunate because man, I have learned what's important from my kiddos.
Oh, Ireland. My baby girl. You were my dream that took forever!!!! I couldn't have you until 2009...14 YEARS after Tristan. ...I'd do it again too. Everything. All that dreaming, and partying, and decorating, then worrying and being scared....and then you were here. I'd do it again and again and again to see you. .....I definitely thought losing your baby was the ultimate to learning what a gift life was. She did teach me how fleeting life can be. It's there and then it's gone. People care, no doubt...but they haven't endured like I have had to. They haven't had to look around and see what's missing. ..........Life is such a gift. One tiny shift and it can be gone. I still am crying for you, little girl of mine. I can only imagine the things we could have done together.
Oh my baby Sawyer. I though I'd started to live again and really, I didn't until you showed up. I was truly happy again. ........you want to say that you don't need others to be happy...that you should find it within yourself. This is true.......but it's not a total picture. We need others. I like being alone. It's what I want for my big 40th birthday this year. .........but, we need to be loved and needed. Sawyer needed me. ..........I like to think we all need each other in a way. I still very much struggle with my personal faith but I have absolutely never wavered in knowing that there is a God, a higher being. For me, I'm not sure where we go when we die but I feel certain we're all eternally connected and that we all are spirits that truly need to love one another. I think from the lowliest scum and the poorest of the world to the smug, the nobodies, the elite, the everyone...we are soulfully connected. ..........there is a deep feeling I get with my Soybean (Sawyer). He reminds me that we need each other and that loving another brings higher purpose to who we are ourselves.
Connor. .....my little surprise. My last baby. My babiest baby. .......what haven't you taught me? With Tristan teaching me to grow up and stand up for myself, Sawyer reminding me of how much we need each other and well, truly, I thought finally accepting Ireland's death gave me all the lessons I'd ever need to know about how important it was to cherish life........and then, he came along. Connor Philip Brady. .......he has taught me what true strength is within myself and another. Ireland showed me how precious life was and not to waste it. Connor has been showing the other side of the coin...life is precious, now look at it and really see the gift life is.
I could watch the news (eventually) with all of it's horrible stories and I'd think of Ireland and wonder why people don't see life can any day. I'd think of Ireland and judge everyone on a basis of why are they here and she is not. I would be angry at the injustices happening every single second. .........and then Connor came. He taught me that news is important but to turn it off because I should be more engaged in what's in front of my face. Where Ireland turned me into a bit of a philosopher...Connor has turned me into a realist...a positive realist. ........He has needed so much care and attention just to live that outside things didn't matter so much. And because he needed so much attention in the beginning, I didn't miss anything with him. I also was more aware of not wanting to miss out on the rest of my kiddos. ........He taught me to be present. He's taught me a million things that I hope are ingrained in me forever but I truly believe the biggest thing he's taught is to let go of absolutely everything. I don't even think I realized this until recently but seriously, Ireland's teaching of life being precious was so right on and then Connor came to say now that you know it's precious, live totally and intentionally. Let go of the world and just give in to being present..........can you feel my hippie vibe here? ..........seriously, my priorities have shifted and it's soooooooooo nice. I thank God for my children.
Sawyer and Connor.
And you know I love this man. My Mikey. He's not just the provider...he's the man of our house...the daddy...the husband....and all that comes with that. I need him and that's cool.
Connor at six weeks old before his jaw surgery.
Tristan holding Sawyer right after he was born. Man, Tristan was scared to hold him.
Donna, Mikey's mom, holding Connor.
My mom, holding Connor and getting some advice from Sawyer. .......I can totally here her saying "what darling?...."
My own little heaven greeter. I see a lot of her in my boys.
Tristan, Lucky dog, Stormy cat and I.
Tristan....Christmas 1995. Connor and him look soooooo much alike.
Our little Bubba...Connor with the NJ tube.
Connor in the NICU.
Sawyer going punk on us.
Connor's sleep study. ........man he's been through a lot...and so have I. To top off this rough year...that cool blanket he's laying on got taken whenever the janitors came and did the laundry at one of his earlier hospital stays. I remember just crying. I made that blanket for Sawyer and wanted to find the same print to make Connor one....go figure, I've never seen the print again. ..............anywho, how on earth, Connor got through that night, I'll never know. I remember being up a ton myself this particular evening.
Sawyer laughing time.
Scary times post jaw surgery.
The distractors.......so glad this is all behind us.
His initial transformation to a Johnny Bravo chin. His chin has since recessed a bit and it's something I guess we'll have to watch for. ....he has about an inch and a half scar on each jaw. Currently, no one ever even sees them.
Months of g tube feeding and way too many meds. We're now down to 3 meds and only twice a day.
My gorgeous Tristan.
Tristan and Connor.
post g tube surgery....this was the pain in the butt peg tube that he initially had for 6 weeks........that thing had to stay perpendicular to keep his hole from getting too big or leaky. True to his word, the old school doctor was right. Now that Connor has the Mickey, because of that pain in the butt routine and carefulness at 6 weeks, Connor never has leaks or infections. His stuff is easy to take care of and I always shake my head at the problems so many others seem to have. ...........sometimes the old pain in the butt ways, are best.
Oh my...they're babies for just a short time.....
That haberman bottle....once again, pain....but has allowed him to thrive.
initial learning to sit up. Today, the day before this guy turns one, Connor is a speedy crawler and hangs on anything and everything to stand and move against. Walking will be here before we know it. He has some strength issues with his arms going over 90 degrees (as in holding his own cups, etc.) but he's getting there. This year has really taught us not to worry as much because sometimes things just need time. Connor has much to go through still but we truly believe he'll get through it all in his own allotted time. .........see, now Tristan taught me plans were for the birds...Connor continues to tell me to throw out all the baby books (as does Sawyer).
Tristan around Halloween time according to the pumpkin behind him.
The chef and the crab. Man, the kids around loved looking at these two.
Our family. With ups and downs and a lot of love for each other.
The testosterone clump. I couldn't possibly love any of these guys more.
My thanksgiving helper, Sawyer.
Sawyer in the little Santa suit my parents had bought for Ireland before she was even born.
Down to these 3 meds....nice.
Connor being funny.
Connor after his palate surgery.
The coolest photo before a surgery. ....he was totally bringing sexy back and didn't even know it. I can't help but smile when I see this.
This is it. ..........Connor will be one tomorrow, March 30th. His life will be celebrated along with celebrating Sawyer because somehow, Sawyer has always been pushed to the side this year. .........we'd celebrate Tristan but he's got other plans this year when he turns 18!!!! ......oh no!!!!!!! ...............anywho, let's just look at Connor. He's being the cuter version of my current typing. ..........life is precious, make sure you're not letting it just flit on by....so, with that, no spell check. Noises are coming from downstairs letting me know, today has begun.....