Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Finally, Time Flies

For years people have said to us, "time flies, doesn't it?" And we'd always say no.

The day we got married didn't fly by - it was an amazing day, but it felt about as long as it was. After Obie died, every day felt like eternity. Even when Everett was a little baby, the days were long. It felt like Elizabeth was away from work for ages, when in reality it was four months.

But now that Immy is here, all of a sudden it feels like time is flying.

Our family celebrating Obie's Bee Day - 11/24/17

Imogen has been on the outside for nearly a month. And that feels a little crazy. She's still very much a newborn, wanting to be held and fed and held and fed. Like her brother, she's a good baby. Don't tell Everett, but so far she might even be a better sleeper and eater. Things can change on a dime, but so far it's been pretty great. She's starting to get the milk drunk, sleepy smiles. She's making more noises and having more alert open-eye time. We are reminded how rewarding it is to see little babies start to learn and understand the world around them, bit by bit (or bitty by bitty).

Imogen - 11/19/17

Everett is also learning by leaps and bounds. It's taken us aback more than once. Because he's in day care, he learns words we don't use much and songs we don't sing. Yesterday, he started signing "Rain, Rain, Go Away", which we did not know he knew (and it WAS a rainy day!). Speaking of singing along, he does that now! It's adorable, and he'll sing along with quite a few songs - ABCs, Wheels on the Bus, Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Thomas and Friends, and Edelweiss. (To hear Everett's rendition of Edelweiss - click here - the crescendo really hits starting around 45 seconds.)

He'll even request songs by name, which can be a challenge. "Things" is "My Favorite Things", "Letters" is "Apple Apple A-A-A", and so on.

He can count to twenty with very little assistance. He LOVES counting books, and one day started reading the numbers to us and eventually counting without seeing the numbers. Shortly after, he started pointing out letters as well. He also starts singing his A-B-Cs to try to distract us from an impending diaper change he is none too keen on. Now when we go out Everett is liable to point out numbers, letters, and shapes that he sees (including octagon, oval, and arch).

Evie's first pumpkin pie (not a fan, but Cool Whip is OK) - 11/23/17

It didn't, but it feels like it came out of nowhere. He repeats phrases immediately and repeats them days and weeks later. He still speaks his own little Everett language that takes a little translating, but Mom and Dad are pretty good at it.

With all this stuff going on (plus the holiday season starting), it was a challenge to find the time and head space to focus on Oberon on his third birthday. We tried, and that has to be enough. We tried to allow each other some time to focus on making things for Obie or posting to social media (#ObiesBeeDay). We did manage to take a family hike at Henry Cowell State Park. This is the first one of Oberon's birthdays where we weren't able to go to Uvas Canyon County Park, where his ashes are scattered. The park is closed due to repairs on the only access road. It may have been a blessing in disguise though, since we haven't hiked in months and Elizabeth hasn't technically been cleared for exercise yet. So instead of a moderate hike to Obie's bench, we had a pretty easy two miles among the redwoods.

Hiking at Henry Cowell State Park - 11/24/17

Evie loved hiking. We showed him the big trees and talked about a river and how the water moves. He wanted to walk around and use a hiking pole like Mommy. While he took to hiking right away, he wasn't exactly great at going in a straight line, so Mommy and Immy went ahead to find a bench for a mid-afternoon snack.  After a couple minutes of meandering side to side along the trail and loudly saying "morning!" to every passing hiker, Evie decided he wasn't going to be left behind, started calling out "catch-up, catch-up" repeatedly, and taking off on an all-out toddler sprint down the path.  After catching up, he was nearly in tears leaving the redwood grove, emphatically asking to continue hiking.

"I go hiking." - Everett - 11/24/17

Speaking of nursing on the go, we have to re-learn how to hike with a small baby. Nursing breaks, diaper changes, the whole bit. There's been a lot of remembering with a newborn in the house. Elizabeth has even started pumping again so Immy can get used to the bottle. All in all, taking care of Immy has been much less triggering than taking care of Evie was at this stage. That's a good thing, but like so many things theses days, it does carry with it the guilt of being further away from Oberon.

Just look at this blog post! The section on Oberon's birthday circled quickly back to our living children. In some ways, we have to accept that's how things are right now. We have to set realistic expectations and be gentle with ourselves. For Obie's third birthday, we feel pretty good about it. And there's still leftover beehive-shaped birthday cake to keep the conversation on Oberon. Hearing Everett say "Oberon birthday cake" is pretty amazing.

Happy Birthday, Obie. We love and miss you dearly. Photo from 12/10/14

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