Sunday, July 20, 2014

Happy 2nd Birthday Jonathan!

Happy 2nd birthday baby boy!  On the morning of your birthday I can't help but reflect on our last two years and all that we've been through as a family.  July 19th, 2012 feels like a million years ago...

About a week before you were born, your big sister got sick with a cold and was admitted to BCCH.
It appears that Gabrielle went to extreme measures just so she could make sure she was in the same building as you when you arrived in this world and once she was feeling better, your Dad would sneak her down to your room so that you could visit with one another.

They were very good to Jonathan and I and they let us stay 4 days until Gabrielle was healthy enough to come home.  The four of us, left the hospital together and were greeted by two very thrilled brothers waiting at home!  I remember the feeling of strapping both of you into your car seats with a little girl who was squealing with happiness and with a round, chubby beautiful baby boy who I couldn't believe was mine.  Oh the feelings of joy I felt, leaving the hospital with my two babies and bringing them home to their big brothers.  Life was grand and our family was complete.

Having you felt like a completely different experience.  I had the confidence and calm of an experienced mother but I marvelled at the absolute miracle of a new baby in a way that I never had before.  Your sister taught me not to take anything in this life for granted and I saw you with a completely different set of eyes, and I have no one but Gabrielle to thank for that.  Your sister has enriched our lives in a way that I never ever in a million years could have imagined.

1 day old

Our first family picture at the hospital.  

Home at last!

Our summer at home in the backyard

First birthday 

2nd birthday 

At 2 years old you love...

* playing soccer
* trying to keep up with your big brothers
* dogs
* jumping on the trampoline
* your bottle and blanket
* making us laugh.

Thank you for all the joy you have brought to our lives in a very difficult and dark time.  You have reminded us that we need to keep living when many days we felt like we couldn't.  Your sister's spirit is alive in you Jonathan, I see it everyday.  We love you so much.  Happy Birthday baby boy.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Happy 5th Birthday Michael!

When you were just 15th months your beautiful baby sister arrived in this world.  From the moment she was born, we were filled with an overwhelming love and grief as we tried to understand the cruel set of cards our little Gabrielle was dealt.  You being so young and still a baby yourself was always by your little sisters side.  You used to call her "Gabyelle" and you loved to lie beside her and I always marvelled at your gentle nature with her.  You loved your sister who was just a year behind you, who should have followed in your footsteps for many years longer.  You two would have been in preschool together last year and only a year apart in school.  You were an amazing, gentle, kind brother to your little sister.

Happy 5th birthday Michael.  You have been through so much in your short life and we are so proud of you.  You have your sister's spirit alive and strong in you and I know how proud she is of the 5 year old you have become.  We love you our strong, brave, crazy, energetic, 'wears his heart on his sleeve' Mickey!

At 5 years old you love:

* being woken up in the morning by Jonny
* Jonny
* Ice cream at the beach
* Soccer
* Make believe play: sabre tooth tigers, ninjas, power rangers
* When Daddy doesn't talk in accents
* Knowing where everyone in his family is at all times

Newborn baby

First birthday and pregnant with Gabby.

2nd birthday at Canuck Place

3rd birthday card from Gabrielle

3rd birthday on the balcony outside Gabby's room at BCCH the night before your baby brother was born.

Icing lips

4th birthday party at home 

4th birthday boy