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The story of our precious little girl's 17 months of life with Trisomy 18 (July 4, 2010 - December 15, 2011) and of us, re-learning to live "after Lilly."
"I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ...." Psalm 139:14

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My little pumpkin

Happy first Reformation Day, my little pumpkin!  (Solomon's outfit actually says "little pumpkin".)

My Solomon pumpkin is now 10 lbs. and 21.5 inches. He's starting to get some little fat rolls!

Our two real pumpkins grew this spring from one of our pumpkins from last year that rotted in our flower bed.  I like to think it was maybe Lilly's pumpkin.  Since we had a couple of our own pumpkins, we didn't go back to the pumpkin patch this year.  I was glad, it hurt my heart just to drive by it and remember taking Lilly there, two years in a row.  (See pictures here and here.)

My little Solomon pumpkin posed with the pumpkins for me:

Thank you God for pumpkins and rainbow babies!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Unpacking memories

The past few days have been an emotional roller coaster as I continue to unpack and Lilly keeps popping up here and there.  I love it, yet it can be hard.  I unpacked the baby play mat for Solomon and when Tabby opened it up, there was one of Lilly's pink flannel blankets in it.  We both smelled it to see if it had any Lilly smell left.  (No, just attic smell.)  I also hung up Lilly's collection of dresses.  I love seeing them hanging on the wall.  But I did find it was very hard to actually touch the dresses.  What a weird journey this is ...

Here is Solomon snoozing in the bouncy seat that was first Hunter's, then Lilly's.  This is a rare photo moment because Solomon still doesn't like to be put down very much and usually doesn't like being left in the bouncy seat more than 10 minutes at a time.  I tried to tell him that Lilly LOVED this bouncy.  But he wasn't impressed.

Maybe some photo evidence would help him?

Solomon rewarded me with his first genuine, responsive smiles this past Monday.  I can't wait to actually get a picture of him smiling.  I think when a baby starts really smiling, it is so very rewarding.  I remember Lilly smiled her first smile a few days before she turned 4 months old.  At first, she liked to save up most of her smiles for her daddy each evening:

Solomon continues to wow us with his being baby Samson.  He continues to hold his neck up well and he just loves to stand up.  He locks his legs and stands strong.  If we stop him before he's ready, he will fuss.  Here is Solomon and Tabby, in their pjs with Solomon showing off.  (He makes me think of a tiny man when he stands up):

Not bad for an almost 6 week old baby!

Hunter likes to have a cd playing quietly in his room as he sleeps at night.  One of his favorites is "Baby Hymns" (a Fisher Price cd I got at Walmart).  One of the songs on it is "Soon and Very Soon" (an African American spiritual).  I think some of the lyrics are really comforting:

Soon and very soon
We are going to see the King
Hallelujah, hallelujah,
We're going to see the king

No more cryin there,
We are going to see the King

No more cryin there,
We are going to see the King

No more cryin there,
We are going to see the King
Hallelujah, hallelujah,
We're going to see the King

I think the end is in sight of all the unpacking.  My last major project is unpacking books.  I do say major!  We have so many books.  We've got 13 bookcases plus 2 walls of Hunter's room have built in bookshelves.  I think that will be enough space.  I hope so anyway!  In our family, we all LOVE books and each have a lot.  Plus as homeschoolers we compulsively collect good books.  As I was surveying our piles of boxes of books the thought crossed my mind "What if all these books were on a reader, like a Nook?"  Then there would be no book unpacking, no book storage, more room in the house, etc. Wow!  But ... I'd hate it.  I like the feel of a book in my hands and think of them like old friends as I see them everywhere. :)  So ... I guess it's back to unpacking books!

But before I do that, I wanted to share a picture Tabby took yesterday of blue birds at the bird bath in our backyard.  There were probably a dozen Eastern blue birds in the yard at that time!  Tabby has aspirations to have a nature photo published in Our State magazine as a "Tar Heel Image":

Friday, October 19, 2012

The red diaper cover

I'm one of those "weird" people that really enjoys using cloth diapers for my children.  (No I'm not out to save the environment.  I just think it's probably healthier and it does save a lot of money.)  I loved this red diaper cover on Lilly - it was "firecracker red" to me.  (picture December 2011)  Hi Lilly!

I've been using Hunter's old cloth diapers on Solomon, just as I did for Lilly.  The red diaper cover was all Lilly's though.  For the past few days I kept reaching for it, but for some reason just wasn't ready to put it on Solomon.  Finally however I did. 

Today when Tabby changed his diaper, she used the red cover.  But she didn't stop there - she decided on a quick photo shoot too.  Solomon is wearing a hat crocheted by the same kind woman that made LillyBear for us.  (The mama of a Trisomy angel.)  Solomon isn't as chunky as his big sister Lilly yet:

Solomon says he may not be as big as Lilly was, when she became an angel, but he's strong!  Since birth he has been able to lift his head and hold it up awhile and to stand strong on his legs when we support his upper body.  I call him "baby Sampson." 

Tabby was so surprised that a baby could do that.  She said "He doesn't have low muscle tone like Lilly did."  No he doesn't.  When she said that I also thought I sure didn't know anything about "low muscle tone" at her age.  Or maybe not really even until we had Lilly.  We learned so many things from her.

Today after I tossed an empty box I had unpacked out the door as was walking back to the room I was working on, I suddenly started crying.  What in the world?  Then I realized Tabby was playing one of the songs we sung at Lilly's funeral on the piano.  ("As the Hart About to Falter" which is based on Psalm 42)  Apparently my subconscious realized it before my conscious part did.  OK ... so I guess I wasn't crazy after all.

Here is Psalm 42 ("hart" is an old word for "deer"):

Yearning for God in the Midst of Distresses

To the Chief Musician. A Contemplation of the sons of Korah.

42 As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
While they continually say to me,
“Where is your God?”
When I remember these things,
I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go with the multitude;
I went with them to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and praise,
With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.
Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.
O my God, my soul is cast down within me;
Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan,
And from the heights of Hermon,
From the Hill Mizar.
Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;
All Your waves and billows have gone over me.
The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me—
A prayer to the God of my life.
I will say to God my Rock,
“Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10 As with a breaking of my bones,
My enemies reproach me,
While they say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
11 Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.

Monday, October 15, 2012

1 month and 10 months

Sleepy Solomon - amazing - he is one month old today:

Sweet sleepy Lilly - I can't believe she's been gone 10 months as of today (photo Dec. 2011):

I dreamed about Lilly the other night.  I dreamed that she needed some sort of surgery and we running late for it.  I picked her up - and I just felt her so incredibly distinctly in my arms.  (I sleep most of the night propped up holding Solomon, so I imagine that's what it was.)  When I woke up I thought how glad I was Lilly never had to have another surgery again.  But oh how we miss her!

"This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it." - Psalm 118:24

Friday, October 12, 2012

Moving with a newborn equals crazy

We moved into our "Lilly colored farmhouse" last Saturday!  We're still swimming in boxes and piles of stuff, but slowly making progress.   One priority was to find the perfect spot for Lilly's tree.  It is in our dining room where we can see it at every meal.  This month's theme is owls and pumpkins:

Here is my newest pride and joy we unpacked ;)

A closer look please:

Let's zoom in even closer!

Solomon looks like he's thinking "Now how did I get in here?!  And who's going to get me out?"

Well ... it's back to unpacking boxes!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Lilly Colored Farmhouse

Here she is ... Miss Lilly working on another surprise blessing for us with Jesus.  Look at her pink cheeks and grin!  (Tabby told me that I use this picture too much, but that's OK with me ...)  So - are you wondering what Lilly is plotting with Jesus here?

Well as if our rainbow baby, Solomon, wasn't a big enough blessing, we signed the paperwork today to become the owners of a new house!  Or should I say an OLD house.  A 102 year old farmhouse.  And one of the most amazing parts - it is Lilly colored!  Isn't that amazing?!  It is a 2 story farmhouse that has blue siding, white trim, and red shutters and doors. 

We have been looking for an old home on a property in the country for years.  And just a couple weeks before Solomon was born, the "dream house" appeared.  I kept thinking "oh it won't work out."  But it did!  It is in a little town about 30 minutes from where we live now.  (Several have asked about Frank's commute - it will be a bit farther but ... it should take less time than it does now.)

So now, as if life wasn't busy enough with a new baby, we are trying to hurry and pack.  Thank God Frank is on fall break from his job.  Tabby has been a big help - either packing or holding Solomon.  Hunter has even done some packing - his favorite part is labeling the boxes.  (He knows all his letters.)  I feel overwhelmed at times, but am trusting God's timing.  He had this happen now, so I know He will pull all the little details together.

Yes - it is very hard leaving "Lilly's house."  I keep tearing up thinking about it.  It was very hard for me today to keep it together as I packed up a bunch of her things.  I kept thinking "Lilly shouldn't be put into boxes!"  But I know that she will be with us no matter where we go, and she does not equal her stuff.  As hard as it is leaving this home, the only home Lilly ever lived in, I am convinced that a fresh start for our family is a good thing.

And so ... back to packing!

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." - James 1:17