Thursday, October 31, 2013

I spent most of yesterday in tears.  I could not stop crying. Sometimes the grief and disappointment is so overwhelming that I don't know how I will get through one more minute of it, let alone a whole day, let alone the rest of my life.  On days like that, I am just counting down the hours until I get to go to sleep.  Thankfully, they don't happen quite as often anymore. They remind me of my life as it was every day for the first year plus after losing Maxie. It was horrific. Still is - I'm just much more skilled at hiding it. I think the fertility question might have pushed me over the edge. I'm feeling just a little bit better today- though still finding it hard to manage getting out of bed. I never ever imagined my life would be this hard.

Run Away With Me

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I told Ted that I am so in love with Mo that I wish we could run away together.  Ted looked at me as though I had lost my marbles.  I often use really romantic terms to describe my love for my two babies.  I think men only equate romance with sex.  Maybe it only makes sense to a mother, but the love between a parent and a child is so strong and yes, romantic, that those are really the only terms available to describe this kind of love.  It's a different kind of romance. Max was my soulmate - he really was.  AND I sort of want to run away with Mo.

Mo and I are in a really special point in our relationship.  He is all about his momma and there is no amount of hugs and kisses and cuddles I can give him that feels smothering to him.  He always wants more of me.  When I am carrying him around in my ergo, he'll just grab my face and kiss me.  When I am cooking dinner, he is standing around my legs, hugging them and whining that I won't pick him up.  When we are reading together or watching tv, he lifts up my shirt and tries to bury his head into my belly.  He wants to press his face against mine all day long, and the feeling is totally mutual.

I know it won't be this way forever.  People tell me that this is a phase.  So, my wanting to run away with him is just a metaphor for my desire to bottle up this time together so I can cherish it forever - to remember it with perfect clarity because life itself and all of the individual moments that are part of life is and are fleeting and I don't know how to capture the feelings perfectly enough so that I won't lose them forever.

 I have never been this loved in my life.  I have never been able to hug and kiss and cuddle and not smother someone else with my saying "I love you" all of the time.  It is really special.

Before I know it, he will have his own friends to play with.  After that, he will likely be choosing to watch or play football with dad instead of hanging with me.  Not long after that, I will probably be kind of embarrassing to him.  I want to remember THIS TIME, when I am the person he is most crazy about, forever.

When you see me....

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I want you to know that I know when you are pretending not to see me.  I know that you actually do see me.  I know that when you say you didn't recognize me that you actually did.  You were just too scared to say hello.  I know that you are uncomfortable seeing me and that it is easier to just act like you don't recognize me (even though I basically look the same), or like you don't see that there is someone (me) sitting with all of the other people you are saying hello to, or like you are SO HUNGRY that you have to get right to the food and don't have time to look around.  I know that you see me in your peripheral vision but you don't want to say hello because I make you uncomfortable.  I know exactly what is going on because it happens to me all of the time.  I guess I just wanted to say - I know.  And, the truth is that talking to people who feel uncomfortable talking to me makes me feel uncomfortable too.

October Round Up

Monday, October 28, 2013

I have managed to keep myself very, very busy this month - hoping that if I don't stop for too long, I won't have to give in to the grief.  I've been out to parties, putting together events, camping with the family, planning for our upcoming vacation - I'm even thinking about going to book club tonight (for the first time in over two years).  Busy, busy, busy.  On the outside, I probably seem like my old self - because in a lot of ways, I am.  On the inside, I feel much different.  So much of my spirit and optimism died with Max.

Meanwhile, the worries have been piling up - the biggest one on my list is about having more children.  I am trying not to think about it too much though because I know I need to be calm about it.  But, patience and calmness have never been my greatest assets.  I guess if it is meant to be - it will be.  But, ugh, I just want it so much and it feels so out of my control.  I feel like I am not even allowed to state the obvious - I should have two children in my home right now.  And, here is the real truth - I'd like two more.  I feel like I must sound greedy.  I know that there are plenty of people who struggle with infertility and I am blessed to have had two beautiful babies.  I know that.  I do. I do.

I haven't yet figured out if this busy thing is working for me.  It keeps me from going too deep.  I don't want to be alone with my own thoughts for too long - they can be really sad and scary.  Being busy keeps me focused on surface stuff instead on the huge huge hole in my heart.  I've got a major vacation in my very near future that I know will be fun but could bring up a lot of sorrow as well.  The good news is that I've nearly made it through this month.  I wish life wasn't so complicated.




Busy

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sorry for the late post! Was busy hosting a baby shower this morning for one of my besties!

Besheret

Saturday, October 26, 2013

I want to tell you how we ended up at Golden Road - because it feels like Besheret (in Hebrew) or Fate (in English).    

After losing Maxie, Ted and I felt there was nowhere safe to go.  Everywhere we went there were babies and before Mo was born, seeing babies was really really hard for us.  They would trigger our deepest sense of longing, missing and loss.  We almost never went anywhere but the few times we tried, we really tried to steer clear of places where we might see babies.  Bars seemed safe.   

When I say we went out - what I mean is that it happened a handful of times, that it was always just the two of us, and that we never actually enjoyed being out.  It felt like a chore - a necessary evil to somehow break up the agonizing monotony of our lives.  It sucked.

And then one day we decided to make actual plans with our friends Suzy and Spencer.  They had seen us in our more grotesque lows, they had stood with us in the darkest hours.  They seemed like appropriate people to go out with.  Ted mentioned a brewery he had heard of in our neighborhood and it was a plan.  We were excited about our first visit to Golden Road.  But then we got there - and the place was crawling with babies and kids in general.  I felt my heart quicken and I thought "maybe I can brave this - if I really just force myself to not pay attention to my surroundings."  I couldn't do it.  We turned right around and left (not before running into my brother - coincidence or fate?)

I was so angry that I couldn't handle being there because I could see that it was JUST the kind of place the "old me" would have loved.  I vowed to come back with the next child we had.  In fact - I vowed to go everywhere with that child - even the most inappropriate places - since everyone else was doing the same!!!! (Obviously, Golden Road is a completely appropriate place but - I think you catch my drift).

By the end of my pregnancy with Mo, Ted had discovered another local pub that we really liked called Tony's Darts Away AND they served Golden Road beer there (not that I was drinking anymore because I was pregnant).  There were occasional kids there as well but by that time, we had come to accept that no place was safe.

After Mo was born - we DID go to Golden Road - and it was as fabulous as I thought it would be.

Anyway, about six months ago (maybe a little longer), I was on a hike with new friend Rachael and our mutual friend, Stacy.  Rachael was asking me about Maxie's Benefit and where we thought we might do it this year.  I told her I just wasn't sure - wasn't even sure if we would do it.  The topic of conversation changed a bunch of times before we got on the topic of places we like to go and I mentioned Tony's Darts Away.  "I know the owners of that place", she told me.  "Maybe you should do Maxie's Benefit there!"  Rachael arranged for me to speak to Amy, one of the owners only a week or so later.  Amy suggested that Tony's may not be the ideal location but that they owned another place that would probably be perfect called Golden Road.  Besheret!

Now - BELIEVE ME WHEN I TELL YOU - I stopped believing in Besheret when we lost Maxie.  I stopped believing that things happen for a reason - and I pretty much still think that is true.  

But, sometimes, something fabulous happens and there does seem to be some kind of divine intervention. This was one of those times.



















Sorry - I've been bragging all week - but if you missed Maxie's Benefit, I think you really missed out.  Make a note now to join us next year.

And - thank you to Rachael Petru Horowitz, who arranged this Shidduch (match)!  Total Besheret!

Photos from Maxie's Benefit

Friday, October 25, 2013


Our amazing and generous event photographer, Keren Lynn, shared a link to the BEAUTIFUL photos she took at Maxie's Benefit.  http://www.kerenlynn.com/webalbum/maxie.  
Here are some of my favorites!























Victory

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I am sweaty and disheveled.  I feel battered and worn out.  I am tired and bruised.  My throat hurts from screaming loud profanities - inside of the car with the windows rolled up.

Its not what you think!

I have just spent the morning trying to install a car seat.  OH MY G-D!!!!!!!  Is this for real?  It just cannot be this hard!  It just cannot be!

I am proud to say, however, that success is mine. 

Today - in the battle of woman versus carseat - WOMAN WON!!!!!


Signs

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

On Sunday morning, as I was loading up my car for the big day, I found myself for 3 minutes outside on my front lawn alone.  I looked up at the sky and asked Maxie to please be with us on that day and to give us a sign that he was there.  "No vague, hard to decipher signs either," I told him, "but something big.  Something that slaps me in the face so that I KNOW your spirit really lives on - not just through our remembering you - and that you know how much we love you."

I ask for signs all of the time.  ALL OF THE TIME.  Every night before I go to sleep, I ask Maxie to come to me in my dreams.  Every day, I ask for signs that he is with me and that we will be together again.  I really don't ever see the signs.  It is so frustrating and I just cannot let it go.

Other people get signs!  Why don't I?  A girlfriend used to tell me all of the time about the toys in her house lighting up on their own and about televisions going on and off.  Other bereaved parents have told me about being able to talk to their child and hear their child's response.  Am I not hearing him because he was pre-verbal?  Am I not seeing these signs because I am focusing on the wrong things?  Am I "trying too hard"?  Or, is there no spirit at all?  Is he just gone from everywhere but my photographs and memories?  That idea kills me - especially because most of the time, I really think that is the truth - and that everything else is just a grieving heart trying to make sense of the unthinkable.  I don't know.

And yet, when my grandparents died, I seemed to have some innate knowledge that they weren't really gone.  When my father's father passed, I knew I wanted to say a few more things to him but wasn't sure how to do that with someone who had died - so I remember finding a tape recorder and just talking to him.  And, I've never really questioned whether my mom's parents are still with me.  I have always felt them. Since their passing, I have felt like I've had some inner knowledge that they were watching over me.

But searching for Maxie takes over my whole being.  It is an obsession.  When I have down time, I feel like it is wasted completely unless I am trying to find Max.  And the fact is, I may never find him.  I may never get the sign I am looking for and I may never know in my heart that he is with me - which is really all I want - to know IN MY HEART that we will be together again.  And it is during the times that I realize this that I just don't know how to take any steps forward - because my forward momentum is very much based in my hoping that I am moving towards him and that this life isn't just some great meaningless accident.

I never got the sign on Sunday.  Nothing - not a twinkling lightbulb or a rainbow hanging just exactly over the brewery or a thousand butterflies who just happened to fly through.  I know I set myself up for disappointment but I can't help myself.  From the deepest depths of my soul - I am desperately hoping that he was there and that he knows just how deeply we love him - what a big hole he's left in our lives.

Positivity

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sunday was really awesome.  It really was.  I loved seeing SO many friends and their families.  I loved getting to catch up (albeit quickly) with people, running around like a mad woman (because, strangely, I actually like that), and then finally getting to hang out with a little group after most people went home.  I loved that Maxie's photo was everywhere and that he was remembered on that day.  I had fun.  Lots of fun.

But, there were a few moments that kicked my ass.

Early on in the event, when things were just getting rolling, I was fast walking from the registration table, down the lawn, to the staircase leading into the restaurant and I caught a glimpse of all of the kids sitting at the arts & crafts/face painting table, and for whatever reason, I felt the air leave my lungs.  All of this is for Max - I thought - because he died.  It was as if I'd been punched in the chest and I felt the tears well into my eyes, and my throat close and my heart start pounding.....and there was nothing to do but muster up every bit of strength I had and just keep fast walking towards my destination to do whatever it was that needed to be done. 

All of our hard work putting the benefit together was done out of love.  I am still madly in love with a boy who is no longer here.  I still can't believe my lucky stars that he is mine and I am still getting used to the idea that I am a parent and that my heart could feel this much adoration for another human being.  And it's like it still hasn't registered in some ways that he was snatched away from me over two years ago and that the life I had is gone - the person I was is gone - my child is just gone - no longer here - in some ways, as if he never existed.

So, I am happy - yes - that everyone came, that they had fun, that we had fun, that the benefit was a success.  And, at the same time, it is UNREAL that we are putting together benefits in our baby's memory.  I just makes no sense to me at all.

The lovely photographer who donated her time to our event also brought along these rubber bracelets that we put out on the kids table.  They say, "Life Happens - Choose 2 B Positive".  She had them leftover from a past event.  I thought they were kind of funny - because there was an assumption that was going to be made that somehow Ted and I have chosen positivity (and Ted, in most ways, has).  But I would say that, for the most part, I have not.  I don't think there is anything positive about any of this at all.  Not at all.  It's pretty much the least positive thing I could ever imagine happening.  Babies should not die.  PERIOD.  And if you think I am being dramatic, think for two seconds about the baby in your life and picture them dead.  You are probably appalled that I would even suggest such a thing - because it is so dark and negative.  There is no silver lining.  There is nothing positive.  There just isn't.

I have not chosen positivity - I have given into it.  I have battled with it and wrestled it and told it to "EFF OFF!".  I've also told everyone who has casually recommended positivity to me to stick it where the sun doesn't shine. But, at a certain point, the weariness sets in and you become too tired to keep fighting off the positivity.  And, I'm certainly not saying that I am a "positive person" - never have been - why would I suddenly become one now?  What I am saying is that the path of least resistance tends to be the easiest way, and in my case that path leads me to look for bits of light here and there and try to enjoy any parts possible of the remainder of this life that I have.  It's just easier than being angry all of the time.

Anyway, all this to say - it's hard.  I know you know it is hard - but I just wanted to say it...because my heart feels the strangest combination of heavy and light and my whole chest seems to be stuck in my throat.  And, even when we work hard to focus on the positive, the reality (which isn't positive AT ALL) is just sitting there, staring at us, wondering how we are doing such a good job ignoring it.  And, I just wanted to acknowledge that I often wonder myself.

Maxie's Third Birthday Celebration

Monday, October 21, 2013

Yesterday was so amazing!  We had a huge turnout - over 200 people.  Golden Road was hugely accommodating as our people were everywhere!  The kids were totally entertained by their crafting and face painting!  There was also a lot of running around on the lawn and just generally happy children!  I think parents were also having fun taking tours of the brewery, participating in our raffles and silent auction and enjoying great beer and food.  We LOVED celebrating Maxie with all of you!  Thank you for coming and supporting our family and First Candle.  (Pictures coming soon!)

The highlights for me were having my awesome sister-in-law, adorable niece, and fabulous Prima (Cousin) Sharon with us for the week.  We spent lots of time putting together raffle packages, making signs and talking about logistics.  We also loved watching Mo and Sadie playing together and taking a ride on the Griffith Park train!  


 There are SO SO SO many people to thank!  The Golden Road people were obviously AWESOME.  We also had a major team in the morning to help set up this event.  Ann Frederick, Stefanie Elkins, my cousin Laurie Green, Beth, Sharon, my mom, her boyfriend Ken, my lovely and pregnant friend Eowyn Greeno and her husband Greg Gardner (BOTH of whom are close friends of mine from college) who came down just to come to my event!!!!  Eowyn literally worked registration for like 4 hours with our friend Erika - I had totally intended to sit and do registration with them but that didn't happen.  I'm so sorry ladies.  Did I mention that we also had a terrific DJ?  I don't think I even had a chance to thank him!  Kevin - your selection was PERFECT!  Thank you so much for giving your time.  AND - our photographer, Keren Lynn, was amazing!!!!  There was NO WAY we were going to be able to take photos yesterday and Keren donated her time to our event.  I can't wait to show you the photos she took.  I saw some in her camera and they were wonderful. 

Our sponsors made the event possible, so they need to be thanked AGAIN!!!!!  Golden Road, Chloe's, Pacific Western Bank, Keller Williams Hollywood Hills, urbansitter (I HAVE TO SAY THAT THESE BABYSITTERS WERE SO PROFESSIONAL AND SO GOOD!  You should hire a few for your next event or just get one for your next date night.  They were wonderful and so sensitive and compassionate as well), Natalie and Marie Mansour, A2E, Linda and Tony Rubin, The Fleishman Law Firm, The Law Offices and Zomber & Panagiotis, Susan Chadney, Realtor, Dezue Design, and Howard and Marsha Spike!

Thank you to everyone who came and everyone who couldn't come but donated.  AND - thanks to all of our Silent Auction Donors!

I could go on and on but I will stop here.  I will post photos as soon as I get them!

MAXIE'S BIRTHDAY BENEFIT RAISED (on first count) $17,500 NET FOR FIRST CANDLE!!!!!  WHAT AN AMAZING TRIBUTE TO OUR SWEET BOY!


True Love

Sunday, October 20, 2013

"Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while".   Wesley to Buttercup - The Princess Bride


 
Until we meet again my sweet boy......I am with you always.

Maxie's Birthday Benefit Bonanza TOMORROW

Friday, October 18, 2013

I am looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow!  Thank you all so much for pre-registering for our benefit!  I loved seeing all of the names coming in throughout the week.  And, if you didn't already know - the winner of our pre-registration raffle is Liesel Reinisch.  She will get $100 Gift Certificate to Golden Road!  A place she and her family LOVE going to anyway!

Some details for Sunday - The Silent Auction and Raffles will be open from 11:30 - 1:00!  You will be able to check out all of the merchandise ahead of time but that is your bidding window.

If you want to participate on a brewery tour, you MUST wear flat, closed-toed shoes.  There will be two tours and each lasts about an hour.  One will be at 10:45 and one at 11:45.

There will be sitters from urbansitter to supervise kids play, arts & crafts and facepainting.  A DJ will be spinning inside Chloe's.  There will be tons of food and beer (and lemonade and juice boxes!)

Now here is the daunting part - trying to thank again everyone who has helped out with this event.  I think it will be basically near impossible.  SO many friends and family members have contributed in one way or another.  This whole week, people have been stopping by the house with MORE donations for the silent auction!  We feel so supported.

OUR VERY GENEROUS SPONSORS:

Golden Road Brewing
Chloe's

Silver Sponsors:
Keller Williams Hollywood Hills
Pacific Western Bank

Bronze Sponsors:
Natalie Mansour, DMD, Pediatric Dentistry  &
Central Orthodontics, Marie Mansour, DMD, MS
urbansitter.com

Sapphire Sponsor: 
A2E

Emerald Sponsor:
Linda and Tony Rubin

Friends of Maxie:
The Law Offices of Zomber & Panagiotis
Dezue Design
Susan Chadney, Realtor
Fleishman Law Firm
Howard & Marsha Spike

Silent Auction Donors: 

Lambs & Ivy, UrbanSitter, OliveU, Sew Jessica, Villa Mot Mot, Dezue, Molly Niles, Curveball Health Coaching, PureBarre, Joshua Levy, Dance Garden, Shift by Dana Perri, Yo Gabba Gabba, Magic Castle, Farmer & Ridley LLP, Billy's, Doc McStuffins, Kitchen Karate, Shaquille O'Neil, Mayim Bialik, Aquarium of the Pacific, Granola Babies, Scott & Amy Malin, Josh & Ali Laurano, Tom Freund, Liza Shtromberg, renee & jeremy, Luved Clothing, Suki, Sisters of Los Angeles, Bar Method, Sleepy Planet, What's Meant 2 Be, Dtox Day Spa, LA Lakers, 3 finger winery, The Pump Station, Bluebeam- Revu, Swordplay LA, Shop Bop, hottie au, Duoma, Nifty Balloons, Papapietro Perry Boutique Winery, Jack Daniels, My Tote, Sunland Vintage Winery, Disney, Children's Book World, Zooga Yoga, Cancun Premier Vacations, Atlantis Hotel & Casino, Mohawk Bend, Golden Road Brewing, Tony's Darts Away, Derek Brown, Auntie Esther, Aunt Jan & Ian, Uncle Ritchie, Gigi, Papa Chuck, Uncle Paul & G-Ma Susanna

Thank you to ALL of those people who have been beating the pavement, gathering gifts and donations for Maxie's Benefit!Ann Frederick, Matt Panagiotis, Sharon Halkin, Kate Spitser, Sammy Castro, Carmen Abramian, Carly Vazana, Ashley Wyatt, Jared & Courtney Wolff, Rachael Petru Horowitz, Kim Birbrower, Stacy Walter, Josh & Ali Laurano, Erika Montes, Nancy Meyer, Eowyn Greeno, Stefanie Elkins, Amy Robinson, David Fischer, Bonnie Mclean, Erin White, Suzy Koudsi, Amy Gordon Yanow, Molly Niles, Jessica Dooley, Tamar Tamler, Leslie Bell Levy & Josh Levy, Sigalle Feig, Greg Heller, Alyse Berkley, Jenna Rosenberg, Rose Gabaeff McAllister, Vicki Panagiotis, Auntie Esther, Uncle Ritchie, Gigi, Papa Chuck, Cousin Laurie, Cousin Jennifer, Cousin Linda Green, Uncle Paul, Lyndsey Thomson, Auntie Beth, G-Ma Susanna........if I have forgotten you, it isn't because I don't appreciate you!  








Visitors

Our house is FULL this week!  We've got Prima Sharon, my awesome sister-in-law (otherwise known as Auntie Beth), and her daughter (my niece) Cousin Sadie.  They are all in town to help us with Maxie's Birthday Benefit.  It's so fun having a full house.  It is so nice having family that not only gets along but that has so much fun together.  Ted and I love having our family visit!

Learning

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My friend Glenda writes me often to comment about what I've written on my blog.  She is a new friend - a friend that is part of my "club".  She is wise and insightful and much further along in this journey.  I believe that she honors her son Chad every day by being funny, and silly, and sassy, and smart and empathetic  She doesn't wallow, even though she has really hard days.

This is her response to my blog post yesterday

"the telling of the story was for You and no one else...let go of expectations and find the peace...a church group would be looking for such a heart felt story not many other settings...this is hard to say but I feel it's important to say and I know you know it's true...we only share that special part of us with those who will honor the sharing....I share Chad with you because you honor the sharing...some will get it, some won't, so what, move on, sort of thing....you are simply defining yourself in the world again...they'll most likely never see what you've been thru with Max as anything relevant to them...and do you want to be remembered as the poor sad lady or as the intelligent confident woman that you are....(I get it that you are both...most won't)  Let them off the hook and you'll find inner rest.

Good for you for having the balls to share...now let go of the outcome as you never know why the story was "really" shared."

She's right.  I am learning.  When Maxie first died - I felt like I had to share him with everyone, including the Starbucks Barista.  I wanted to make sure that everyone knew he was here!  I wanted to shout it from the rooftops!!!!!  But, the more I share, the more I have realized that very few people I've told actually cared.  As a result, I want to tell fewer and fewer people.  

Glenda is right.  I am learning.

Sharing

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My feelings get hurt easily.  They always have.  Not sure why but I am sensitive.  I've developed what I like to think looks like a tough exterior - but I don't think I am fooling anyone - especially because my sensitivity sometimes drives me to defensiveness.  It's not a winning combination.

I wasn't going to tell you this story - but it is eating me up inside.  I am going to be purposely vague here - as always.

A few months ago, I was asked to make a presentation to a smallish group - maybe 15 people were in the room.   This is not something I have done in a long time - since before Maxie stopped breathing.  But, ok, I figured it was something I should do....and I am not sure that I really had a choice anyway.  The topic of my presentation was not infant loss - but as an introduction of myself to the group, some of whom I knew well and some of whom I didn't know at all - I spoke about Maxie.

There was a purpose to my telling this particular group about what happened - even though in some ways it wasn't at all connected to the topic of the day - it was connected to the perspective that I was hoping to impart.  And, yes, I am being vague.  Suffice it to say, I really opened myself to this group.  It was a risk.  I was hoping that they would respond compassionately and that perhaps they would have a better understanding of me and my background.  I wept as I told them about my broken heart and about my staying indoors for a whole year after he died, and about how beautiful and sweet he was.  After I told them about Max, I pulled myself together and went on with my presentation.

Over the weekend, my friend called me to tell me that she met someone who knew people in common with me.  She mentioned my name to him and he asked if  I was "that girl who lost her baby?"  He went on to tell her that he's never actually met me.

Except he has.  He was sitting two people away from me around the table in the conference room where I gave my presentation (that lasted for about 40 minutes) and told my very personal story of losing Max.  He was sitting right there.  I remember him - and everyone else in the room.  How is it that he doesn't remember me?  That my story left no impression on him whatsoever?  That perhaps he remembers hearing about "that girl who lost her baby" but has no recollection of "that girl" sitting 5 feet away from him and telling her tragic story?

And, it isn't like I am "angry" at him.  I don't really know him.  But we HAVE met.  It's amazing to me how easy it is for people to just block out anything that makes them uncomfortable - that they don't want to see.  And, I am not sure why this would bother me any more than an old friend who doesn't talk to me anymore....and it DOESN'T.  But, I am horrified that I let myself be vulnerable to this group and that it left nothing at all.  He doesn't even remember it.  And it was only like 3 months ago.

I've often wondered whether or not I would share Maxie with new people, or groups, or in situations where a short personal bio would be appropriate.  Who really deserves to hear this sacred story of my sweet and beloved boy?  The longer this journey continues, the less people I really want to tell.  It feels like a disservice to Max.

Register for your chance to win!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Everyone who registers for Maxie's Birthday Benefit by Tuesday, October 15th at 8pm PST will be entered in a drawing to win $100 gift certificate to Golden Road Brewing.  I am going to include everyone who has already registered in the drawing as well.  If you are planning on coming, but just haven't registered yet - this is your incentive!

Our Benefit for
Maxie's Birthday is less than a week away....and while I am really looking forward to it....I wish I had no reason to plan it at all.


I wish that babies didn't die every day, without warning, from something called "SIDS", which leaves no clue as to what happened.  I wish that my Maxie, who I waited for my whole life - who made my life complete - who made my heart soar with love and pride and adoration - didn't just stop breathing one day, leaving us with holes in our hearts that could fit whole planets.  

I wish I had been able to order a sheet cake from the local supermarket, invited over some family and friends with kids Maxie's age, and taken RSVPs through Evite.  I wish I didn't have to nag our friends and family and family friends about coming to a benefit in our child's memory.

But I do.  


Please come.  I know you will have a nice time.  I know you will be helping babies live through the scary SIDS months (and beyond).  I KNOW you will be helping us to honor Maxie's memory.

I also know you will enjoy supervised kids activities, a delicious spread, lots of beer made right on site, brewery tours (if you are wearing flat, closed toed shoes), a great silent auction, and the company of really terrific people.


I cannot even believe how much incredible stuff we have for the silent auction.  We honestly do not have enough room in our house for all of it.


Here is a taste:


Cusinart: bread maker, coffee maker, microwave, toaster oven, hand blender, kettle, juicer, Griddler, frozen yogurt/ice cream machine, snow cone machines....

Magic Castle Entrances
Yo Gabba Gabba Live Show & Backstage Passes 
Cancun vacation
Costa Rica private villa
Universal Studios Tours passes
Lake Arrowhead Cabin
Disney/land/world/Paris/Hong Kong passes
Belly Dancing Classes
Spinning/Yoga Classes
Jedi Training and Fencing Classes
Signature Massage at DTox Day Spa
Pure Barre 
Bar Method
Mozza (Pizzeria/Osteria) 
Wearable Balloon Art and Face Painting Birthday Party
Private Pilates Lessons
Lakers Tickets
Xbox Kinect
Custom Jewelry by Lisa StrombergLandscape Design
Signed Sports Collectors Items 
Sewing Lessons 

Nutrition/Life Coaching


Whatever we don't sell at the event, will go up on the blog for bidding.  So, even if you live out of state, you might get a chance to win!


This whole day has been made possible, by the way, by our FABULOUS, AMAZING, WONDERFUL, GENEROUS sponsors!!!!:

Golden Road Brewing and Chloe's
Silver Sponsors - Pacific Western Bank and Keller Williams Hollywood HillsBronze Sponsors - Natalie Mansour DMD Pediatric Dentistry & Central Orthodontics; Urbansitter.comSapphire Sponsor - A2E


Emerald Sponsor - Linda and Tony RubinFriends of Maxie - Dezue Design; Fleishman Law Firm; The Law Offices of Zomber & Panagiotis; Susan Chadney, Realtor; Howard & Marsha Spike

And our Silent Auction Donors: 

Lambs & Ivy, UrbanSitter, OliveU, Sew Jessica, Villa Mot Mot, Dezue, Molly Niles, Curveball Health Coaching, PureBarre, Dance Garden, Shift by Dana Perri, Yo Gabba Gabba, Magic Castle, Farmer & Ridley LLP, Billy's, Doc McStuffins, Kitchen Karate, Shaquille O'Neil, Mayim Bialik, Aquarium of the Pacific, Granola Babies, Scott & Amy Malin, Josh & Ali Laurano, Tom Freund, renee & jeremy, Luved Clothing, Suki, Sisters of Los Angeles, Sleepy Planet, What's Meant 2 Be, YAS Fitness Silverlake, Dtox Day Spa, 3 finger winery, Children's Book World, Nifty Balloons, Bluebeam- Revu, Swordplay LA, Papapietro Perry Boutique Winery, Sunland Vintage Winery, Disney, Cancun Premier Vacations, Liza Stromberg, Atlantis Hotel & Casino, Corner Table Restaurants, Mohawk Bend, Golden Road Brewing, Tony's Darts Away, Derek Brown, Auntie Esther, Uncle Ritchie, Gigi, Papa Chuck, Uncle Paul & G-Ma Susanna

And our WONDERFUL friends who have helped by donating time, securing sponsorships, volunteering at the event and supporting us themselves........ we could NEVER do any of this (including laughing and living) without you all!
Ann Frederick, Matt Panagiotis, Sharon Halkin, Kate Spitser, Sammy Castro, Carly Vazana, Ashley Wyatt, Jared & Courtney Wolff, Rachael Petru Horowitz, Kim Birbrower, Stacy Walter, Josh & Ali Laurano, Erika Montes, Nancy Meyer, Eowyn Greeno, Stefanie Elkins, Amy Robinson, David Fischer, Bonnie Mclean, Erin White, Molly Niles, Jessica Dooley, Tamar Tamler, Scott & Amy Malin, Nounou, Leslie Bell Levy, Sigalle Feig, Greg Heller, Jenna Rosenberg, Rose Gabaeff McAllister, Auntie Esther, Uncle Ritchie, Gigi, Papa Chuck, Cousin Laurie, Cousin Jennifer, Cousin Linda Green, Uncle Paul, Lyndsey Thomson, Auntie Beth, G-Ma Susanna........if I have forgotten you, it isn't because I don't appreciate you!   


Camping - not to be confused with Glamping

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Camping not Glamping

We are on our way home from the shortest camping trip ever to be taken with the most prep time. Ted saved the day and found us a camping spot near Idywild when our original spot was closed for the season due to the government shut down.  It was really beautiful and Mo loved being in nature. He absolutely loves nature and the outdoors. It was a trip we planned so we could get away in the aftermath of Maxie's birthday.

I wasn't sure how Mo would go to sleep. We brought his pack and play, which I'm glad about because he did play in it while we set up our campsite, but when it came time to go to sleep, it was just not happening. Way too cold- even with all of the layering. So, instead of enjoying the fire and contemplating the stars, I went to bed early so I could snuggle with Mo and help him sleep.  I had hoped that staring at the stars would help me a bit with my perspective on life but immediate life called (or howled as the case may be) and I came to the rescue.  Mo and I didn't both fit in my sleeping bag so I unzipped the whole thing and used it as a blanket, which was just not warm enough. Mo actually slept really well but I can't say the same. Ted slept in my old tent, which was way smaller, with Jake and Layla. His feet were sticking out of the front of the tent all night. I wouldn't say that any of us really had a very cozy nights sleep.

We packed up early this morning and went into town for breakfast.  Next time we are going to have to go for longer and bring better gear. We all love camping! Mo included!







A carseat while traveling

Friday, October 11, 2013

I'm just not sure what to do.  We are going to Costa Rica in a few weeks and I need to figure out the carseat situation.  When we took Maxie, we rented a car and a carseat, which isn't as easy as it sounds but it a story for another day.  We also drove 4 1/2 hours from San Jose to Manuel Antonio and then back again instead of taking the 11 seat plane down to our house.  This time, we are taking the plane and won't really need a car.  Mo is still young enough to sit on my lap for both plane rides - so we won't need a car seat for that.  The town that our house is in is small.  You can pretty much get anywhere by foot or bus - and I doubt we will even leave our property with Mo very much.  BUT - we might go out to dinner once or twice and in those cases, we will probably have to take a taxi.  So, do I shlep a carseat all the way down there for two 5 minute rides?  I know the answer should be YES but even though I am super over protective - it seems ridiculous to me.  I guess my question is this - how do people who live in say, Manhattan, get around in a taxi with a baby?  Are you carrying your carseat everywhere too?  And, keep in mind, Mo is in a convertible carseat, not a snap and go.  Then are you just out to dinner with a gigantic carseat?  What's the deal?


**** Consider this post already old news!  I'm bringing the carseat!  I'm going to get a carseat rolling carrier to make lugging it around easier.  Thanks!

Gloomy

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I am thrilled at the prospect of the weather getting gloomier - something about the outside matching my insides feels balancing.  I was sort of hoping today would be that day - it was looking kind of grey out there and it did rain yesterday.  But, I can see the sunshine poking through my window shade and I know it's going to be "another beautiful day" in Los Angeles.

What's funny is that the lovely weather used to be the main reason that I loved it here so much.  I can remember standing at my bus stop in San Francisco in June of 2006, wearing a winter coat and shielding myself with my umbrella from the downpour.  I knew then that I couldn't stay there, no matter how much I loved it.  I had to get back to Southern California.  Winter weather used to give me the blues.  The BIG TIME blues.

During the first year after Maxie stopped breathing, I rarely left my house and all of those sunny LA days were completely wasted on me.  I hated knowing people were happy outside.  I kept the shades closed all of the time.  The sun seemed my enemy.  My favorite season, summer, was ruined for life - because it took my baby. 

On really rainy days, I loved hearing the thunder and lightning - the sounds of chaos - replicating the feel of my heart.  It felt like the perfect excuse to pull the covers over my head and keep on sleeping - which I was going to do anyway.  It's ok to be angry and sad and sleepy when the sun isn't shining.  Sometimes I just wish it would go away - which is probably why places like Portland and Seattle sound so much more inviting to me now than they ever did before.

Mo brought the sunshine back into my heart.  He made summer better too by being born in the same calendar week that Maxie stopped breathing.  Heck, he even saved July - a month I was planning on scrapping for life.  I love taking him to the park or just outside on our lawn to play when the sun is out.  I do.  But I am just not that sunny girl anymore.  It's in me, but it isn't my prevailing inner season.  My brooding heart still longs for the gloom.

Sun sun go away!  Please come back another day!

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