About danielleridgway

Momma to an angel and a rainbow. Journeying through grief, parenting after loss, and living life one day at a time. Want to hear more from me? Follow me on Instagram: @danii_ridgway If you have any other questions or anything else, just let me know. Thanks for reading!

Toddler Friendly Summer Bucket List – Pool Day

After the turbulent week we had with the two Mila injuries, I’m HAPPY to say that the first weekend of summer went wonderfully for us!

Fortunately, Mila has had no problem with her eye and has been her usual busy self. I’ll quickly say that most of the swelling around her eye and forehead has went down. Her eyelid is still a very dark purple and a little swollen. It’s starting to turn green on the outside, but she’s really doing awesome. Thanks to everyone for the well wishes and prayers, I know she was feeling them!

Although I was content with staying home and letting her rest the last few days, she was determined to go outside. In true summer fashion and wanting to mark items off our summer bucket list, we turned out pool day to a pool weekend.

I’ve always said water is so healing. After Jensen was born I liked to just float or go kayaking. It helped me calm down and focus my energy. Last year with Mila, the pool was the one place where we could both just take a break. She’d stop crying as soon as we’d get in and that brought me relief too. Before we opened the pool, I was afraid she’d not like it as much this year and I’d have to warm her up to it.

Boy, those fears were way off.

This weekend Mila was jumping to me from off the deck and the steps. She’s kicking her feet and trying to move her arms to swim too. There were a couple times I let go of her by the wall (she had a swimming life vest on) and she swam right to where she needed to grab on to. I’m pretty impressed and so glad she likes it as much as I do. Two of the days, we had her big cousins come over. She liked to ‘race’ them to the duck and then throw it to race again. When they left, she liked to try and keep it away from Finnick, my parent’s dog). She’s such a ball of energy. The only thing she absolutely refuses to do is let me float her on her back. She rolls and throws a fit, so I’m not pressuring her too much.

All in all, this specific bucket list experience was a success. I knew we’d get to it pretty quickly and we’ll probably have many more pool days this summer. As of this moment, I’m not entirely sure what the next box we’ll check off will be or really when either… Hey, it’s summer so we’re just going with the flow. Fingers crossed to no more ER visits and that Miss Mila’s eye will get better soon too.

I hope everyone had a great first weekend of summer. What fun things did you get into?

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Mila: 0 – Kitchen Counter: 1

***Warning- The pictures I’m going to post here are a little upsetting. There’s swelling and bruising on Mila’s face and I understand some can find them uncomfortable to see.***

I had this AMAZING idea the last week to try a new Pinterest recipe per week and share how it goes. Mila loves to watch and ‘help’ me cook, so I thought it’d be fun to do this with her too. For dinner last night, I decided to try out this kid-friendly (not spicy), Indian dish. I had everything cut, measured, and ready to go. As usual, Mila sat in her spot on the kitchen counter, which is in the corned where the countertop comes out furthest. She was pushed clear back and playing with the spice containers as I began cooking.

Everything was going normally. We do this for two meals a day since she’s been super steady. I didn’t even have a second thought when I turned around to grab the chicken from my island. When I looked at Mila, she was sitting happily. Then, literally, one second later, I turned around and heard a thump on the ground…

Instantly I knew she fell. I was scared to turn around, but I had to. She was laying there, conscious, and rolling on to her back. As soon as her eyes locked on to mine, she let out this blood curdling scream and I picked her up so fast. I went to our couch and held her close. She leaned back to look at me again and I realized she fell straight on her head; her left eyebrow in particular. It had already started swelling and was so red.

The only thing I could do in those first twenty minutes was just hold her and try to calm her down. She was scared and I’m guessing in a lot of pain. She still nurses so I offered her that and it helped a little. I could feel her sobbing in my arms and grabbed my phone to see what I should do. Family/friends messaged me back and I eventually called the nurses hotline, which they prompted me to take her to the ER to just get checked out. I did check her eyes to see if she had a concussion and after calming her down, she named who was in the pictures on the wall. This made me feel better, but seeing her eye get worse and worse I knew it was best to take her.

Thankfully my friend, Dana, was able to drive Mila and I to the hospital. I needed to sit in the back with her. One because she hates the car normally and two because I needed it for me. At the hospital, Mila wasn’t happy at all. She screamed at the nurses when they tried to get her blood pressure or if the touched her at all.

Again, I could finally get her calmed down enough and we stripped her down to her diaper. This made her happy of course, my little nudist. After throwing one more major fit when the nurse gave her Tylenol, she started playing and talking more. The same nurse who got to witness all the meltdowns gave Mila a stuffed, rainbow dog, which she LOVED. She played with the bed that reminded her of the lawn mower and reorganized some medical equipment I’m not sure she should have been playing with.

We were in the emergency room for a few hours for monitoring. The doctor was worried about a concussion, but when he observed her he realized that she was acting like a normal one year old and there was no way she’d stay still for any testing. He mentioned how he’d prefer to get an x-ray of her eyebrow bone (I’m aware that’s not the technical term, if you know it and let me know, I’ll change it on here), but told me to just keep an eye on it. She was discharged and I was given papers about head injuries, directions on how to keep the swelling down, and contact information if anything changes.

She went right to sleep on the car ride back and did well through the night. I was up for a lot of it, but wanted to make sure she was herself. I watched her facial expressions as she dreamed and there weren’t any nightmares tonight, just smiles. For that I’m so thankful.

Her face is very swollen this morning. I’ll be following her lead throughout the day and will constantly be offering snuggles. She’s so tough. I’d love to say it looks way worse than it feels, but I think she just is a little badass.

Honestly, I’m so afraid to share this with all of you. TWO DAYS IN A ROW she’s been hurt: one out of my control and the other I could have prevented. Accidents happen within seconds and they’re so unpredictable. Mila literally sits in that same place everyday and never tries to get up or if she wants to move, she tells me up. I would have NEVER thought she would try to stand up, but she did and she fell. It only took one second. I go back and think why was I so dumb? Why didn’t I just pick her up to grab what I needed? So much mom guilt and at this moment I feel like I deserve feeling like crap.

Here’s the thing, this stuff happens all the time to moms (dads and guardians too) everywhere. Kids fall, they get stung by bees, and way worse even under a watchful eye. I am so thankful nothing worse happened to Mila because it could have easily been a fall to her death. There are so many different way kids die and here I am, knowing this happens, but putting her in a situation like this. I honestly feel awful, but I know it doesn’t make me a bad mom. There’s going to be many more ER trips and thinking I could have prevented them. But things happen and that’s motherhood for me and childhood for her.

Will I ever let her sit up on the countertops without me being right in front of her? Probably not.
Am I going to forgive myself for letting this happen? Eventually.
Has it taught me that Mila is stronger than I ever imagined her to be? Hell yes.

Even though I was so scared to be judged to tell you about Mila’s fall, I think it’s important to show that motherhood’s not perfect. It’s not always how you plan it to go and bad things do happen. She’s going to be okay and will have no memory of it as she grows up. I’ll always remember this and will make me even more aware of what I do with her. Everyday I’m thankful for having her and think how much peace and happiness she’s brought me. I have no idea what I’d do without her and that’s why I feel so bad for this incident. But I already know she doesn’t think any less of me as she looks up at me (with her face half swollen) and smiles like I’m the only person in the world.

Thanks for reading and understanding everyone. I’ll still be posting a million pictures of her, like usual. Even with a puffy face, she’s the most beautiful girl I have ever seen.

Mila: 0 – Bee: 1

I had something else planned to share today, but life always has its own plan. Today was one of those scary days when a moment happens and you question everything. Our moment wasn’t that big, but it did the trick.

Mila loves to be outside. She points to our door when we’re inside to let me know she’s ready to go play. When she has to go inside, she screams until she realizes she’s not going to win. I’m so happy she loves to be outside. On the flip side, Mila is fearless. She’s not afraid of heights, animals, the water… anything. I mean, she’s a little young to know real fear, but when something hurts her or if she falls, she just keeps redoing it. It’s a little scary for me, but I like her a little wild. I don’t play into things and just let her experience what she needs to. Obviously I don’t let her get injured, you all get the gist.

Anyways, today we went to my mom and dad’s house to help maintain the pool. They have a hot tub with steps that she loves to sit on. After playing for a little while and eating her snack, she took my mom over to the steps to sit with her. As soon as she swung her legs under them, she started screaming. Not an attention scream, but a ‘I’m really hurt, help me’ one. Mom instantly picked her up, brought her to me, and said a bee stung her. This is the first time (of many that’s sure to come) that she’s been stung. I just help her close and kept reassuring myself she would be okay.

Then that little voice in my head was playing tricks on me.

What if she’s allergic? She could die if she was. What if this is the last time you get to comfort her? My mom is allergic, is anyone else she’s related to? Please don’t let her die.

I put a strong outside appearance on, but I was terrified. Immediately, we tried to get the stinger out, washed it out, put a cold compression on it, then baking powder to stop the burn. After a few minutes she calmed down and wanted to walk. Her foot was bright red and swelled right up, but the swelling stopped at her ankle and she’s been fine since. My mom joked and said handled it better than she did, I can agree with that.

Now that she’s fine and I can take a deep breath, I realize how scary that was for me. I kept thinking about the movie “My Girl” and was so upset. Thoughts about what I’d do if Mila died went through my head.

Sometimes I wonder if these are just normal, mom thoughts. She’s my first living child and I know there’s a lot of worry with that. Then I think life is fragile and it sometimes ends just like that. I’ve been there. I lived that. That’s one of the lessons from Jensen dying that I’ve embraced. We make each day special because it could all just be done in an instant. I recognize this and I realize it’s okay to be scared when these things happen. Being scared to lose her isn’t so unbelievable for me, but I hope one day I don’t instantly have those thoughts.

So today the bee got Mila, but she took it with grace. I’m also proud of myself in how I was able to handle my thoughts and mothering her. Losing Jensen will always play into how I parent Mila and I think it’s made me an even better mom.

—————————————————————

Since it’s her first bee sting and I was paranoid the swelling would get worse, we took pictures of her foot. Her little foot was so hot, red, and swollen. Here’s a visual. It might make me look like I overreacted, but who cares.

Her little toes which are normally pretty skinny got so big. They’ll be normal by tomorrow. Thank goodness she can walk normally. She’s freak if she couldn’t run wild. Again, swelling has stopped and I’ve been putting wet baking powder on there to stop itching. If you have any other suggestions, let me know.

Our Toddler Friendly Summer Bucket List.

This Friday, June 21, summer officially begins. Even though it’ll probably be raining or storming, I am so ready for warmer weather and sunshine.

Last summer, Mila and I were inside for a good portion of the time. I wasn’t super comfortable nursing her in front of people and at that time she was nursing every two hours on the dot. On top of that, she had horrible allergies last year. It felt like every every time we ventured out, she wheezed and her eyes would get so red; my poor girl. BUT this year, she’s been outside constantly and cries when we have to go inside. Since I know how much she enjoys getting out and doing things (minus the car ride, I have the one child who absolutely hates the car), I’ve decided to do something I’ve never done before: a summer bucket list. 

With it just being Mila and I most of the time, I came up with a super toddler friendly list that I would feel 100% comfortable doing with just the two of us. A lot of activities aren’t costly and can be done anywhere. I have local places in mind to take her to, but I feel as if this could be adapted no matter where you live.

To be able to see our bucket list daily, the most obvious place to hang it up was on the refrigerator. Technically the side of it, but what better place, right? Anyways, the goal is to check every box on the list and document with pictures. I’m hoping to be able to make a photo book inspired by this little list and to make it our family tradition.

I know the picture can be kind of hard to read so to make it easier to see, I’ll list them here.

Summer Bucket List 2019

  • Beach Day
  • Blow Bubbles
  • Bonfire
  • Drive-in Movies
  • Feed Ducks
  • Fireworks
  • Go on a Hike
  • Lake Day
  • Visit a Library
  • Rainy Day at the Mall
  • Market Vibes (Go to a Farmer’s Market)
  • Museum
  • Random Act of Kindness
  • Outside Story Time
  • Visit Parks
  • Parade Time
  • Go on a Picnic
  • Pool day
  • Plant Flowers
  • Photo Booth
  • Paint Outside
  • Root Beer Stand
  • (OG) S’mores
  • Water Park
  • Zoo

I think the only one I will REALLY have to plan in the beach day. We did go to the beach in May, but I want to go back so bad. This will probably be a little tricky and hard to do just her and I, but I’m remaining positive and am going to start planning now. Maybe a birthday present to myself?

Anyways, cheers to summer finally being here. Of course I’ll be posting through every item we check off. Let’s hope by September 23, the end of summer, it’s complete!

Have you ever done a summer bucket list? Or have a bucket list in general? What other activities would you add to yours?

Oh Snap – Mila’s Current Words of Choice

Over the last few months, Mila has discovered her voice. She’s always been pretty vocal, but she’s been remembering words and phrases. Her first word was cat, although I tried to get her to say and know ‘mama’ before any. She knows peoples names, random animals, ‘lo’ for hello, and a lot more. Before we left for vacation last month, she even started saying ‘uh oh’ in context. Seriously was the cutest thing, until she started throwing things on purpose and redeeming herself by saying it. She’s cute and she knows how to work it.

I mean, look at her.

Shortly after we got home, Mila learned a new phrase… one not so Rated G. I can finally mark down her first swear word. Anytime she drops something, trips, or someone startled her, her eyes get big and she says, ‘oh shit.’ At first I thought it was a fluke, then she just kept saying it. I can’t lie, I totally laughed when she started saying it and people usually do when they hear her say it. Hopefully this little phrase won’t stick and the next one will be just as cute, but a touch more innocent.

But for now, here she is saying her current favorite words. I’ll keep secretively giggling and persuading her to say ‘uh oh’ to her face instead.

 

May Afterthoughts

My goal of writing everyday of May crashed and burned. I started off strong, but life happened and I got way more busy than I expected to. Instead of being upset with myself, I just rolled with it. I think that shows a lot of grief growth.

In the first year and a half of my grief, I felt like I had to outwardly express how much I missed Jensen. It’s what’s I needed to do and I did just that. I needed to share his name with the world and I’m glad I did. I’ve written his name countless of places and brought Jensen bear with me most of the time I travel. Being surrounded by him and the things that reminded me of him helped me.

When I got pregnant and Mila and now that she’s here, that’s slowed down a lot. I’m constantly doing something and that’s just apart of my motherhood now. It doesn’t lessen my love for Jensen or doesn’t mean I don’t write his name or take a screenshot every time I see it’s 11:11. I swear I have hundreds of 11:11 screenshots. We still look at his picture everyday and say his name. When we went on vacation over Memorial Day, his name was written in the sand. He still walks every step with me and will until my last. I still miss him every second of the day and wish he was here.

And yet, I’m also growing around that grief and am able to make room for healing. Mila has sort of definitely helped me get to this point and even if I didn’t have her, I think I’d have gotten there eventually. Healing isn’t forgetting. I still love sharing about him and when someone mentions him to me, oh my goodness, I’m elated.

Earlier this year I mentioned how I want to sort of redo my page and share more about Mila adventures and the other parts of my life too. Not that anyone wants to know, but I wish I would’ve wrote more as she’s grown. There’s so many experiences that could help others and so many more left that will. I want to be able to do that to show others in different stages of grief that there is a huge range of ‘normal’ or what life looks like after loss.

Speaking of posting different things. I just want to say thank you to everyone who read my last post and all the positive messages I received. There were so many emotions when I wrote it, but I knew they needed out. I’m unsure if I’ll ever write about more of that part of Mila’s life. I can’t tell the future, but for now, I’m just glad I could share what I did.

When it comes to writing, I want to continue writing when I can and even sharing the happiest moments. Mila literally does the funniest things. They’re too cute not to share and express. And I want to keep talking about Jensen and show how he still is making an impact in our world. It’s possible to live with one foot grounded in grief and the other in healing and even happiness.

I hope all of you have a gentle June and start of summer for most. Let this month be what you need it to be and remember, you’re never alone.

To Those Who Didn’t Deserve Her Anyways…

Throughout the last three years I’ve documented the most vulnerable parts of my life on this blog. Things I didn’t think that were safe anywhere else somehow oozed through me when I started typing. Everything felt okay to talk about besides one thing because I promised I never would. Words and promises don’t mean a lot to most people anymore, as most of us know, but I try my best to be a person someone could trust.

Somewhere around two years ago, I met someone who swept me off my feet, Adrian M. We could talk about anything and when we did get to hangout, a couple hours felt like a few minutes. I felt like I could by my whole self and there was an understanding of what we needed each other to be for one another. After a little while, I ended up getting pregnant. Things happen and birth control doesn’t always work, but I was okay. I was ready to start with pregnancy all over again and hopefully being home a living child. On the other hand, I was terrified. I didn’t think a mistake had been made, but I definitely was nervous to see what my family would think and how I’d tell him. For a few weeks, I sat on my little secret. I continued talking to him and going on about life fairly normally.

Then something popped up a few weeks later. When he was over one day, I caught a slip in what he had told me about himself. Like any person, I went to the internet to investigate more. What I found wasn’t at all what I had thought. I found he had a family and a life he had never talked about. The things he said were true, just the other people left out. Honestly, I was shocked and didn’t know what to do. I went to my mom to tell her, first about the baby, then about everything else. She wanted me to keep it all to myself. That I could do it all alone and that’s totally true. Maybe I should have and it would’ve saved a lot of pain… but I couldn’t imagine having a child and just not knowing. Maybe I’d end up solo parenting this child, but I juggled with her advice and telling him. Instead of taking her advice not to tell Adrian, I had to…

Now the people who this is intended for don’t really need to know that background. I’m the bad guy in your guys eyes.. I get it. It’s fine and I’m alright with it. The whole time Mila was a secret to you, it was very real to Adrian and me. You were unaware of the war that was going on in his mind and sort of a second life/family, whatever you want to say. There’s 100x more damaging information to him and the family that was told to me that would shock you, but that’s not for me to share…

What I need to say is way more important than that. All the secret stuff was never really about him and I. It was always about Mila. You didn’t see after the shock when we’d talk about how we thought she’d look like or me telling him what I planned on naming her (which I had picked when I had my child, I didn’t even know it was.. taken. Even though I asked if I should change her name.). You didn’t see the trying to catch her moving around or the belly kisses. Or know about the constant updates from allllllll the doctor appointments or see the ultrasound I tried to point out what body part we were looking at. You didn’t see the worried texts from when I was in labor and I’m guessing you didn’t understand why he probably seemed off that week. You didn’t see his face the first time he met her or how weird it was when he asked to hold her. You didn’t know how many times a week he’d come to see her or how she looked at him. You have no idea how hard it was when he’d leave and she’d look or crawl towards the door wanting him to come back. You don’t know the gifts he got her for Christmas or anything.

There’s also the negative you didn’t know existed too. Like my many options for him to ‘get out.’ A complete erase for everything and continually was turned down. Or the times I wasn’t the only one being ‘talked’ to and shut it down. Arguments about how supporting Mila and how everything needed to be in the open. Everything would always turn around and a compromise would be made. Things would go back to the normal because there was never an option of him being out of Mila’s life.

I can’t tell you how many conversations there were about her calling him dad or how that’d work out in the future. He told me that no matter what, he was biologically made to love her and she gave it right back to him. There were many conversations about her meeting her grandparents because I thought about how horrible it would be to not know she ever existed or to see how much of him was in her. All the promises he made to never not be in her life because if you know him, you know he’s an awesome dad.

When things started to turn mid last year, I started to be unaware of what the future would hold. I got angry when he told me he loved me and Mila, wouldn’t even say it back, although we both knew for awhile. Yeah, ‘mistakes’ were made. He wasn’t always a great person, neither was I, but isn’t that everyone?

The day he told you, we were on the phone for hours, just arguing on what to do. None of us wanted to let go, but I don’t think we really wanted thing to change or to hurt anyone either. There were so many times I wanted to tell everyone, but I stuck to my promise. I’ll never forget the things he told me was said… like how he’d forget ‘that’ child and me in six months time if he just stopped communication. Because that’s not obviously happened… I don’t even understand how this thought could even make sense. I haven’t had my son for three years and I still think of him everyday. To have a child just a few towns away… there’s no forgetting. How I’m a serious ‘home wrecker,’ which is hilarious because if you knew me, I’m totally the opposite person to that. I’m sure you think that’s annoyingly humorous as well. It’s known that I’m not the ‘problem’ and you continue to choose to ignore it. And if you knew Mila, you’d know you could never forget her. People that aren’t even her family wouldn’t forget her… but it was so easily for you to and to see how much that affects him…

I guess you were never her family anyways nor would I want that. I wouldn’t want anyone to make a person in their life feel like poison in my daughter’s life. When she gets of age and starts to ask questions, I won’t lie to her. I’ll tell her everything she asks and wants to know. Because she does matter and she has a right to know. And in that truth that she’s told, it’ll never be because you didn’t want her or to have your family/image tarnished or whatever your reasons are, it’ll be because you simply did not deserve to know her. And at the end of the day she’s loved beyond all measure.

Insights.

Insights is a fairly hard prompt to write about considering this whole blog is pretty much the insight on my life after loss. So, I’m not going to write a big post, but instead a list of the important things I’ve learned through this journey. Maybe they can help you or you can comment some of your own to help others out too.

  • You never know what’s going on in a person’s life and they might not always be what they seem.
  • A person just doesn’t get over the death of a loved one.
  • There’s no timeline on grief.
  • Every person grieves differently and that’s perfectly okay.
  • Talking helps. No matter if it feels impossible to do.
  • A subsequent child does not erase the pain of having a child die.
  • Pregnancy/parenting after loss is the second hardest thing I’ve been through.
  • Grief is isolating.
  • People will be in and out of your life, hold on to the ones who listen and validate your emotions.
  • It’s okay to not be okay.
  • Do what’s best for you.
  • Smiling after a loved one dies shouldn’t make you feel guilty (even though those first few months it makes you feel just that).
  • Say the person who’s died name. It will mean the world to the person who is grieving.
  • Ask for help. Even if it’s as small as someone listening to you or as big as you need. We all need help sometimes.
  • Grief becomes manageable, but in an instant, it can drown you.
  • Love never dies.
  • Throughout life you will change and grow. Some events, such as death, will evolve you into another person. Don’t be afraid of that growth.
  • If someone opens up to you, just listen.
  • Sometimes our journeys are not what we expected them to be. Your journey is still as beautiful.

If only…

Relaxed, present, wanting.

If only this picture and every picture of these two could actually be of him and her and not of his bear.

If only he was here taking an afternoon nap with us on my big bed.

If only I could have one day to spend with him and soak everything about him up.

If only I knew what it felt like to feel his touch, know his voice, and look into his eyes.

If only love could have saved him.

If only one of these things could happen, I’d be forever grateful.

If only, if only, if only is the only thing I can say when thinking of Jensen in the present.

If only people were educated with the pregnancy risks and stillbirth before it happened to them.

If only we could all go back in time.

If only pregnancy outcomes could change and mothers and their children be safe every time.

If only one person finds healing in these words and the words of others on this journey, I will be thankful.

If only I could have saved Jensen and all the babies gone too soon.

If only…

There are a million ‘if only’ situations I could think of. I’ve said it a million times since Jensen was born. I wanted to see and know every part of him and the future he should have had. In the beginning, the ‘if only’s’ felt like way I could have done better and it put blame on myself. Now I see them as ways he would be in our family now and how because of him and his memory, he can positively impact someone in our shoes. This transformation of the phrase shows true healing, but the first ones will always haunt me. I will always long to know more about him and if I could have done anything to save him, but I can’t let that bring me down. He’s brought so many positive things to me and lessons I would have never learned if he’s not exist.

If only he knew how much his life has made mine better.

If only I could tell him I am a better person because of him.

If only he could hear me say I loved him.

Beauty & Nature.

Full of love, longing, blessed.

I first want to start off by saying that I hope everyone had a gentle Mother’s Day. It can be such a hard ‘holidays’ for a lot of people to recognize, but we did it!

The last two May We All Heal prompts are beauty and nature. Since I was busy the last few days and didn’t have time to write, I thought these went perfectly together for my journey in motherhood. For me, motherhood is beautiful and not just mine, everyone’s. It can be messy and hard, but at the end of the day, raising a child is wonderful. After Jensen was born, nature played a big part of my motherhood and nature is very beautiful as well. This post may make zero sense, but I wanted to respond on how they made me feel.

When Jensen died, everything felt ugly. The world didn’t feel bright or like it had any good in it. I didn’t really like being inside because it felt too depressing, so I was outside a lot. I just sitting out there made the dark weight inside me lift a little. I felt Jensen whispers in the air and voice while the birds sang. Actually, I feel a big connection to blue and red birds with Jensen. They’re my little signs from him. The sun and water helped me heal and Jensen has his tree down the road that I enjoy walking down to see. I can remember the first year after, I would notice so many different types of flowers and all the colors. It took my mind off the ugly things and let me focus on the beauty around me. Nature helped me heal so much.

Last year, Mila was just itty bitty. She cried a lot, but every time we went outside she would stop. What wasn’t awesome was she either had a horrible sinus infection or allergies that didn’t allow her to stay outside for long. That meant a lot of time inside for the both of us. For me, that was hard. I feel like I’m outside all the time during the spring and summer, but it went down to a walk or two a day to keep Mila feeling good. So fast forward to the last few weeks… I was worried that she wouldn’t be able to stay outside for long periods of time. I wouldn’t have her out there if it hurt her more than helped. Truthfully, I didn’t (and don’t) think I could go another summer inside. It felt like I couldn’t fully connect with Jensen and I felt trapped. Maybe that’s due to PPD, but I was never diagnosed with it…

Of course if you follow me on Instagram, you can see Mila LOVES to be outside. We go outside everyday, unless it’s pouring down rain. She likes to go on walks, play in the water, visit parks, and honestly just laying in the grass. It feels right to be our there and I feel connected to Jensen too. I’m pointing out red and blue birds to her, even if she can’t see them quick enough. We walk to her brother’s tree and I tell her about him. It’s cathartic for our little family.

And that’s the beauty of it all. Yes, our world is so amazing to see and it brings us so much happiness. I don’t know if I’m really doing this whole mom things right all the time, but I do know I want to do anything and everything that makes Mila happy and to remember Jensen too. Right now, that’s what we’re doing and I’m happy with that.

PS… we got these amazing pictures done two weekends ago and I just got them back. I’m so in love with them. They’re perfect for today’s prompt and I just had to share.