At 23 months, Hannah Mae is an amazing, curious, stubborn, tender-hearted mommy's girl. She's kind and so sweet. She loves to give hugs and kisses to her friends, even if they don't want a kiss or a hug. Her favorite friend is three year old SK, who (most of the time) loves to hug her back.
She's also very much a (almost) 2 year old. She has a hard time sharing and often will take toys from her friends and yell 'mine!' I keep a 7 month old during the week, and conversations about sharing happen often throughout the day.
She's talking so much these days though sometimes we don't understand what she's saying. She makes up her own words for things she can't pronounce. We love those sweet made-up words. I don't correct her at all. : ) She has her own word for 'milk' that she's been saying for over 6 months, but just last week she learned how to say milk and it's now one of her favorite words. She is still nursing (gasp! I know!). This is such a personal decision and something that Hannah and I (and Chris too) are happy and comfortable with. I don't talk about it much, but I don't hide it either.
She is such an adventurous eater, which is hilarious because neither Chris or I were as kids. Her favorite foods are baked kale, quinoa, apples (she will eat an apple through the core if we let her), capers, tomato dip, cheese and yogurt, seaweed snacks, snap pea crisps, raw carrots (but won't always eat cooked carrots), all kinds of beans, and soups/chili.
She sleeps 12-13 hours each night. If you have followed my blog since she was born then you know that we NEVER thought that she'd sleep that long ever. She naps once during the afternoon and loves to cuddle with all her stuffed animals. I haven't counted, but I think there are at least 15 of her friends in her bed with her. She still sleeps in her crib and we don't anticipate moving her into a toddler bed for another year or so. She's so short that I can't imagine she'll be climbing out anytime soon, and I have no desire to rush her out of her crib.
Our days are full of playing, cuddling, watching Elmo (her all time favorite) together, reading, making pretend food and having tea parties, running around outside with her friends, learning how to slide like a big girl and taking walks to find birds, bunnies and squirrels. She loves birds, and will point and yell 'fly!!' at them.
Can you spot the baby?
A rare 'treat' on our road trip to Indy.
After the Easter egg hunt.
Playing with 'her baby'.
This time two years ago, I could not imagine what life would be like if she was born alive and healthy. I am not exaggerating. I simply could not picture life with a living child. It seemed like too big a dream.
But here we are!
And her sweet presence is all around us. Her toys scattered on the floor, the crumbs from her snack crunch under our feet, her clean clothes lay at the foot of our bed waiting to be folded, her little feet run up behind me and she clings to my legs as cook in the kitchen....
I never imagined having all this. I am so thankful.
All glory to God the Father for helping us breathe and live after Owen's death. We have survived... but not past tense at all, we still survive each day without our babies in Heaven, and we thrive. Something I also never imagined. Praise be to God.
In the year after Owen's death when we miscarried our second and third babies, I didn't know that I hadn't felt the sunshine on my face or the wind blow my hair. I was breathing and walking and talking, but I was numb to everything except my grief.
The day I felt the wind rush through my fingers was the first day life broke through the grief. I am so thankful. Painful though it was to feel and live in a world without my babies, I am thankful to have moved forward with my grief. Not move on. Not at all. To the bereaved, there is no moving on.
Moving forward is different. There are days and sometimes whole weeks when I feel like I'm back at the beginning of my grief, but that's not true. The Holy Spirit continually points me back to the Father and his great love, and I know that this day is one day closer to all things being made right.
"And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." Colossians 1:17