Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ninth

Oh my sweet Logan, today you would be 9!  In all these years I've always been so grateful for the 17 days we had with you.  That's not to say I didn't wonder or think "what if?" but for the most part I have been so grateful for the time we had with you.  For some reason, this year my curiosity about who you are/would have been is overwhelming.  Maybe it's because your brother and sister's personalities are developing right in front of me that is causing these kind of thoughts, I'm not really sure.  It suddenly feels like I don't even know what to miss about you.  I mean what would your voice have sounded like?  Would you have liked to read?  Would you have liked to dress up in superhero costumes?  The thing is, I miss you everyday but I wish I had more to miss.  I wish I missed the way you curled up in a ball to sleep like Emily does, or the way you sprawled out to every corner of the bed like Eli.  I wish I knew you better so that I could miss you more. 

And yet I wonder if knowing you better, missing you more would tear me apart in a way I can't even imagine.  It's such a strange journey.  Wishing for more and yet grateful for what I was given.

Last year was pretty rough.  Nothing went the way I had hoped for your birthday so I'm very hopeful that today is different.  Please know that we love you.  Be close to me, help me to feel your presence, so I don't feel so very alone.

Love always,
Mommy

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Four

My dear sweet Emily... I just canNOT believe you are 4 today!  You certainly have a spitfire temper when it suits you but most of the time you have the sweetest spirit.  When you're mad or in trouble you've been known to say "You don't love me anymore!", "I don't love you anymore" and "You're a bad Mommy" but when you're happy you tell us thank you for everything and when you can't remember what you were going to say you say "I love you Mommy" instead.  This morning when you saw your 4's all over the house you kept saying "Thank you for my birthday!" even to Eli :)

This year when we asked if you wanted to have a party or go on a trip you immediately said trip and knew exactly where you wanted to go... Disney World.  I've gotta tell you girl, Daddy and I didn't think we were going to be able to make that happen.  You should always know that if it wasn't for some really kind people from church it wouldn't have.  But we were blessed and got to enjoy 2 days at Disney World.  Mickey Mouse sang you Happy Birthday, you were terrified at the Tower of Terror, you met all the princesses and insisted on having cake while we were there.  You also insisted that you were already 4 and we decided to go with it :)

You have grown sooo much in this past year!  It was terrifying for us when we found out we were going to have to move you to a new daycare but Heaven Sent has truly been a blessing in your life and ours.  You have blossomed there, made tons of new friends and are learning new things all the time.  You love to sing and show off your new lessons.  You have started asking to take gymnastics so that will probably happen sometime this year.  And you are always talking about being as big as your brother.

You have so much love and you share it with everyone!  You and Ginger have a very special bond, she sleeps with you most nights.  And lately Penny has begun to bond with you too.  Animals are still your favorites but you've started playing with princesses, dolls and shopkins more too. 

This year you will start Pre-K in the fall and you are looking forward to it.  I on the other hand can already feel the emotions of watching my last baby start school.  I'm excited for you though. 

I hope you have a wonderful birthday today and a great year as a 4 year old. I am so looking forward to watching how you change in the next year.

Love always,
Mommy


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Six!

Eli,

First of all, I just want to say that this is the first year that I've ever not had this post ready to publish at 11:53am on your birthday.  That should tell you how busy we are nowadays and how fast this year has flown by!

We started a new birthday tradition sort of impulsively last night by talking about all of the fun things we did while you were 5.  We talked about going to Disney World and starting Kindergarten... Making new friends and becoming a star goalie. 

You have grown so much in the last year!  This time last year you had just started Pre-K and now you are amazing us in Kindergarten.  You are learning to read and write, do math and so much more.  But more importantly you are learning to be a good person and a good friend, even to those who may not be all that nice to you.  You were bit by another student this past week and you told me that you told her she could still be your friend as long as she didn't bite you again.  You also came home one day and told me that you and Maggie from Pre-K are in love :)

You loved playing baseball this past spring and you are loving soccer again this fall.  You have become the star goalie and play much more than you sit.  Unlike last year when your team lost almost every game this year your team is 5-0-2, you've even scored 4 goals!  I love watching you play because it's easy to see how much you enjoy it.

One of the teachers at your school told me that she's never seen a child smile as much as you do and it's so true!  Overall you are a very happy boy and you love everyone you meet!  I am so blessed to be your Mommy and I love watching you grow.  I am so looking forward to seeing you continue to grow this year!!

Love,
Mommy

Monday, June 27, 2016

Eight

Happy Birthday my sweet boy! 

8.... 8.... it just seems like such a big number.  I was thinking the other day and realized you would be going into 3rd grade this coming school year!  Just like always the days leading up to your birthday have been hard.  Thinking of who you would be and what you would be interested in.  All the what ifs we've lived with every single day since you left us. 

Eli talks about you all the time and tells people about you almost everywhere we are.  Sometimes it's hard because we have to explain the situation but it's so nice to see his love for you. 

So much has changed for us this year and I'm pretty sure this next year will be no different.  I know you watch over us and I feel your presence in so many ways.  A few weeks ago Eli and Emily were playing in the pool in the backyard and this butterfly flew up and all around us for quite some time.  It just really felt like you were there, wanting to play with your little brother and sister. 

I love you Logan and I look forward to the day I will hold you again in Heaven!  Please watch over us, especially Daddy in the coming months.  We are likely going to need to feel you close.

Love always,
Mommy

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Three!

Oh my sweet girl!  It is so very hard for me to understand how you got to 3 so quickly!  Your life has passed in a flash for me, even though I remember several hard, never-ending days in there.

We celebrated your birthday very early this year because of Daddy's work schedule and our big trip to Disney World.  We are at Animal Kingdom today and if you are half as excited as you have been in the days leading up to this trip I know it will be a magical day.  For your birthday we did a Sheriff Callie theme and you were so excited you talked about it for weeks and have still been talking about it.  While we were setting up you nearly had me in tears because every few minutes you would look around and then come up to me and say "Thank you for my Sheriff Callie birthday!".  Knowing that I played any part in making that look come on your face is something I absolutely cherish.

You have the very sweetest heart and constantly say "I love you" and kiss me.  And you give the biggest and best hugs ever, squeezing with all of your might.

You love you Daddy and your brother SO SO much.  And the cats.  The love you have for both Penny and Ginger is amazing to watch.

You are such a big girl and like to do things by yourself and for the most part, when you put your mind to something you get it done.

You are about 38 in. tall, 34 lbs. wear a size 3T and a size 9 shoe.  You love girly things like makeup and dresses and finger nail polish but you also love to play with your brother's cars and planes.

I honestly cannot believe this is your last full year in daycare.  Next Christmas will be the last one before you start preschool.  It breaks my heart to know you are growing up so fast but I am loving every minute of watching you become your own little person.

At your eye doctor appointment this week someone asked you your name and for the first time, you weren't shy, you piped right up, "Emowee Gooden".  Just one more small way you're growing up and not needing me anymore.  But I'll always be here little girl!  You may not need me often, but whenever you do, I'm here.

I love you so, so much and I hope you are having the most amazing birthday ever.

Love,
Mama

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Five

Eli,

Five whole years!  Five whole years have passed since that first day when they placed you in my arms.  I honestly cannot believe it has already been 5 years.  And every time I think about that it flashes in my brain that in 5 more years you'll be 10!

But let's not think about that for now.  For now let's think about now.  You started Pre-K this year and you've been a rock star for the most part!  For the first 6 weeks or so you got all but 2 pinks (best possible) and those 2 days you got blue (second best)!  And you are loving school.  Every day you come home excited to tell us something new you learned or to teach us a new song.

You also started soccer this year and you're are really enjoying it and doing very well at all positions.  You've played goalie, offense and defense and while you're not the top scorer and you have been scored on, you are doing really good and getting better every game.

But soccer had led to a red at school (worst possible) and an orange (second worst).  I know it's just because you are tired from school and soccer but we are doing our best to teach you that being tired is not an excuse for bad behavior.  We have 4 games left over the next 2 weeks so hopefully they will be better.

You specifically asked for a Spiderman birthday at Xtreme Athletics this year and then you told us that you wanted all the kids to have capes so you could pretend you were saving people.  That's when we realized that even though you said Spiderman you meant Superman.  So we ended up doing a superhero birthday and Mammaw and I managed to make capes for the kids.  You had a blast!

It seems like you have hit a growth spurt over the summer and suddenly nothing is fitting.  I'm slowly getting rid of all the pants and pjs that are too small and then last week we realized that even your underwear were too small :)  I cried the night that we bought the next size up and they actually fit you better than I expected.

What can I say, you are growing up in every way.  You are taking on more responsibilities: feeding the cats and sometimes the dogs; doing dishes and wiping off the table, picking out your own clothes and ready almost completely by yourself some mornings.  One morning you even made your own toast!

I'm not ready for you to grow up but at the same time I love watching you.  I love seeing little pieces of the person you are becoming each day.  I hope you always stay as helpful and loving as you are now.  I hope you keep on loving trains or find something else you are just as passionate about.  You are the best son and big brother around and we love you very, very, very much!  Happy Birthday big boy!

-Mommy

Saturday, June 27, 2015

7

Oh my dear sweet Logan, how can I possibly explain how much I truly miss you?  You would be seven years old today.  Heading for the second grade.  All of the things we are about to do for the first time with Eli should be old hat for us: sports, school shopping, meeting teachers.  If you were here in our arms we would have traveled this road before.  But instead we're facing it all for the first time and wondering what it would have looked like if we'd gotten to do it all with you.

Every year the days between June 16 - July 14 are so hard on me.  The rest of the year I can stay busy for the most part with your brother and sister and even though I think of you daily, it doesn't hit me the same way.  But every year during these 4 weeks I lose my breath when I think of you.  I feel like I could cry at a moments notice and everything seems to relate to you in some way.  Just lately I've realized how unprepared I was when you were born.  I wasn't a very good mom during those 17 days. I mean, sure, I did all the things I was supposed to do.  I pumped and visited the NICU often.  I thought about you non-stop.  But I didn't know how to be a good mom then.  I didn't know how to sit beside your bed and just be there.  Sometimes when we came to visit I felt like I was just checking in on you.  I didn't know what to do except stare at you.  Some of that is because I was being watched (or at least felt like I was).  We never had alone time you and me.  There were nurses, family members, friends... if we could have just been alone maybe I would have known what to say to you or felt comfortable singing to you or telling you a story.  I wish I had been brave enough to do those things anyway.  But I know that I am a better mom to Eli and Emily than I ever could have been without you.  I hug them and kiss them and tell them I love them more often because I don't get to do those things with you.  I hope that taking that lesson makes me a better mom to you too.

Each and every year I wonder what kind of presents you would want for your birthday, what kind of party you would want to have.  Would we be doing an Extreme Athletics party?  A pool party?  Or would you have chosen a family trip?

Or would you be so significantly delayed/handicapped that a small, family-only party would be our only choice?

That's part of my reality, knowing that if you had lived there would have been a significant chance of severe handicaps/delays.  Life on this earth may have been extremely difficult and possibly even painful for you.  And still a selfish part of me wishes you were here despite any hardships you may have faced.  But a much larger part of me is so happy for you.  Happy that you feel no pain, that you watch over us, that we don't have to worry about you because we know you're safe.

When I went to pick up your flowers yesterday the florist didn't have any ready.  Apparently they lost my order or just didn't have it made in time, I really don't know.  But it completely broke my heart to be forced to just pick something that they just had sitting around or else leave with nothing for you.  I called early, I wanted you to have something special.  I wanted to scream at them, there wasn't a single arrangement there I really liked.  But what choice did I have?  So I picked the green and white ones since my only other choices were girly or baby blue.  They're not good enough but they'll have to do this year.

I love you so much sweet boy and I hope you are having an amazing 7th Birthday Party in Heaven!

-Mommy