Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hip Monkey

A while back, I wrote a post about the Kyle David Miller Foundation. This is a non-profit organization that promotes the use of 5-point harness car seats rather than booster seats for older children. The 5-point harness seats are available for children up to 80 pounds.

The Foundation was started by 3-year-old Kyle's family after he died in an auto accident. Kyle was sitting in a booster seat, but his seat belt failed, which caused him to be ejected from the vehicle. Kyle's death would have been prevented by a 5-point harness seat. The Foundation offers these seats at no cost to families who are unable to afford them.

Now, a sister non-profit, Hip Monkey, has been started which offers high quality car seats and other items for children, and 100% of the profits go to the Kyle David Miller Foundation. If you are needing a car seat, stroller, diaper bag, etc. . . please consider checking their site first. Their inventory is still fairly small, but you might find just what you are looking for. And you can know that your purchase is helping to support the safety of children.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Inch by Inch

Last weekend, Michael and I spent Sunday gardening, which is something I haven't done since I was a kid and Dad let me help push the seeds into the ground in even intervals.

He paid my brother and sister 5 cents for every cabbage moth they killed, but he taught us to revere earth worms and ladybugs. He told us that "a little dirt never hurt anyone," and so advised that we never actually wash carrots after pulling them, but rather brush them on our pant legs and eat them straight out of the dirt.

Dad grew up around gardening. His family ran Faulkner's Market in Mandan, North Dakota. His sister, Elaine, continues to run the market to this day.

In spite of this heritage, I have always felt a little hesitant about gardening. And I guess until now, I haven't ever lived in a place where gardening would make much sense. But last Sunday was really one of the most enjoyable days I can imagine. I loved picking out the flowers and herbs, choosing which spots to plant them, and putting my hands in the soil like I did as a child.

The last photo is of a plant called a Bleeding Heart. Dad had one in his yard, and I chose it for ours in remembrance of him.

Garden Song
by David Mallett

Inch by inch, row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
Gonna mulch it deep and low
Gonna make it fertile ground

Inch by inch, row by row
Please bless these seeds I sow
Please keep them safe below
'Till the rain comes tumbling down

Pullin' weeds and pickin' stones
We are made of dreams and bones
Need a place to call my own
'Cause the time is close at hand

Grain for grain, sun and rain
Find my way in nature's chain
Till my body and my brain
Tell the music of the land

Plant your rows straight and long
Season with a prayer and song
Mother Earth will make you strong
If you give her loving care

Old crow watching from a tree
He's got his hungry eye on me
In my garden I'm as free
As that feathered thief up there.

And just for fun: The Anti-Garden Verses

Slug by slug, weed by weed
Boy this garden's got me t'd
All the insects come to feed
On my tomato plants

Sunburt face, skined up knees
The kitchen's chocked with zuchinis
I'm shopping at the A&P's
Next time I get the chance

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What Changes and What Remains

I was thinking today about how my blog will eventually change . . . that at some point what is real for me in the present will be less about my grief process and more about other things. This is inevitable. As long as I am healing and growing, I will be changing, and so will my blog.

Yet tonight, as I browsed through some photos of Sage, trying to pick just one to send to a friend who requested it for a project, I was able to revisit the power of my love and longing for that little boy. And that will never change.

Although the daily focus of my life will shift to other things, I imagine I will need to return periodically to the tender, aching place in my heart that belongs totally to Sage.

And now I am going to post some photos, because tonight I really just want to share my sweet baby with you all.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sisterhood Award

My blog was recently nominated for the "Sisterhood Award" by two of my fellow bloggers, Caitsmom at A Fifth Season and Amy at Surviving the Day, two articulate, creative, supportive women who have also lost children.

The rules of the award ask that I, in turn, choose 10 blogs to nominate. I don't know if you are supposed to nominate people who have already received the award, but Caitsmom and Amy are on my list because their blogs are two of my favorites.

Here are my nominations:
Amy at Surviving the Day - Amy writes about the loss of her son, Liam, and about the slow process of healing.

Caitsmom at A Fifth Season - This babyloss Mama has posted many beautiful poetry and songs inspired by her daughter, Caitlin.

Janis at Ferdinand's Gifts - A kindred spirit writing about life after the loss of her son, Ferdinand.

Beth at Amberlee's Story - Writing after the loss of her daughter Amberlee, Beth and her famlily are truly an inspiration in their commitment to each other and to healing.

Alyssa at Three Quarter Mom - Alyssa writes about her journey following the recent loss of her daughter Samantha.

Joanne at Becoming - Founder of the MISS Foundation for bereaved parents, and a beacon of light to the babyloss community.

Non-Babyloss Nominations:
Kristin at Kristin Collier - This is not a babyloss blog. Kristin is an incredible person, a mother, doula, non-violent communication teacher, and a blogger. I look forward to each post.

Victoria at Rumi's Secret - a great source of Rumi poetry and inspiring thoughts.

Bethie at Simply Blessed - Another poetry lover (especially Rumi, Mary Oliver, Hafiz, etc - a lot of my favorites).

Sara at SerineKat's Daily Drama - Mama to a 1-year-old, knitter, and animal-lover, straight-talker, one of my best friends since college.

Thanks to all of you for being who you are and for blogging.

For those nominated:
Put the logo on your blog or post.
Nominate at least 10 blogs with great attitude and/or gratitude.
Be sure to link to your nominees in your post.
Let your nominees know they have received the award by leaving them a comment on their blog.
Be sure to link this post to the person who nominated you for the award.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Baby!

I want to wish Happy Birthday to three special babies who are turning 1-year-old this month. Blake, Isaak and Dylan sometimes accompany their parents to work at the Relief Nursery. They bring a lot of joy to all the employees.

I am so glad that the founder of the Relief Nursery recognized that allowing parents to bring their babies to work creates a culture of support and cooperation.




Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Son . . . And Another Son

On Wednesday, Michael and I went in for another ultrasound. We were given all good news. The hematoma on the placenta is shrinking. The placenta previa that was detected at our last ultrasound (and would have made a C-section necessary) seems to be resolving. The baby is growing at a perfect rate.

And . . . they were able to determine the gender. We are going to have a little boy!

I had pretty much convinced myself that we were having a girl, to the point that I actually bought a little pink baby kimono, and I had only looked at the girl section in the baby name book. Nearly everyone around me was guessing it was a girl too.

I wonder if maybe people thought it would be easier on me and Michael if we were to have a girl this time . . . if maybe the echoes of Sage would not be so powerful and painful. Maybe I thought that, too.

The 7-year-old daughter of one of my coworkers had the same thought when she found out I was pregnant. She said, "I hope it's a girl. Because . . . you know, there was Sage." I was so touched that a young child could have that kind of insight.

And yet, when I found out this little one was a boy, I felt overjoyed. I want a son. And I guess the truth is, boy or girl, it is going to be wonderful and heart-wrenching at the same time.

When I told Oceana (my 4-year-old niece) that the baby was a boy, she said with big, innocent eyes and a reverent voice, "We can call him Sage!" She has said this several times since I first told her I was pregnant. Even when we thought it was a girl, she insisted, "Sage can be a girl's name." I told her we will think of just the right name for this baby.

By the next day, Michael and I had, indeed, thought of just the right name. We aren't going to tell anyone what it is until he is born, but in quiet moments, we talk to him and whisper his name and savor the blessing of his existence.