Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Friday, 21 February 2014

The Girl Missing From The Picture

Last week we picked up our new family photo piece for the wall. 

Two weeks after Zachary was born I forced Jon into a photoshoot at a local studio with him on the other side of the camera. Zachary looked tiny and adorable and Alexander was on his cheekiest fine form. Beautiful photos of our beautiful boys. We were really pleased putting together the 'Storyboard' product; a photo of the four of us, surrounded by ten photographs of the boys together or individually. 

We love it! It has captured Xander's character so perfectly; happy, cheeky and busy. Zac so tiny, delicate and new. Us, the very proud parents. We are so chuffed with the new focal point of our living room. 

But still, I struggle with describing these photographs as family photographs. They are of course, but they're not all at the same time. Incomplete. She isn't there. Sitting here on the sofa across from where our storyboard hangs on the wall it is so obviously glaring at me. Anabelle, the girl missing from the beautiful picture. 

I see the family photo, there in the middle of all the other photos, I see it as it is, so proud of my two boys. I see how happy we are, (and we are happy), in love with those boys.  And then I see it with the gap where Anabelle should be. Maybe she would have been stood behind Daddy leaning over his shoulder, her head near to Alexander or cuddled into the side of Mummy; Zachary between his two older siblings. 

We're a family of five, minus one. 

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Zachary @ Two Months

Our little baby gets bigger every day. I've just read back to Alexander's two month old post and so much rings trues of Zachary too. The developmental progress of these babies fascinates me; how certain behaviours have become apparent at around the same age, for example,smiling... 

Just two days after I finally got around to posting Zac's aged one month post he smiled for the first time, at six weeks and one day old. (Alexander had smiled at six weeks exactly, so just a day apart, or 12 hours by the time of day they cracked smiling!) It was 6 o'clock in the morning, (Xander, had been 6.00pm), Zac had woken at 4.00am, not really hungry but not able to settle, fuss and a bit more fuss. I had given up going back to sleep and a few hours later I was rewarded for my sleep deprived state with our littlest boys first beamimg smile. The awakeness was obviously those brain cells gearing up for this little developmental leap!  A few days later he smiled for his Daddy and a few weeks later he is smiling his beautiful smiles all of the time. 

Our home continues to be some kind of crazy chaos. Of course I wouldn't have it any other way, but I have the Mummy guilts that Zac doesn't get the kind of attention and input that Alexander was having at this age. With a busy toddler it is sometimes difficult to make the space safe from toppling over tots that could land on the baby.  Zachary is lucky if he snatches some space on the floor for a  stretch amongst train sets and duplo! He certainly spends more time entertaining himself in his nest chair than Alexander ever did. The hardest thing about my two boys continues to be splitting myself in half to meet both of their needs. 

I'm beginning to trust Alexander around Zachary more and more, he is loving and gentle with him, and although sometimes he is 'heavy handed' and needs reminding now and then he seems to understand that he cannot lean on or sit on Zac. I'm hoping as Zac starts to get a bit bigger and less fragile it will get easier to manage playtime for them both!  

In the last month we have had evenings full of cluster feeds and inconsistent nights. At the moment Zachary either sleeps amazingly or appallingly; with very few nights of the inbetween kind! But as we begin to approach yet another month older the cluster feed evenings are decreasing, the gaps between feeds are lengthening and we hope he'll be ready to start a bedtime routine before long. 

I must get quicker at posting these monthly updates, we're already at the two month half way point!

At two months old Zachary you are 11lb 13oz. A whole 6oz heavier than your brother was at two months old. You may have started off considerably smaller than Xander did, but you're making up for it now! All of a sudden you went from tiny baby to plumping out really nicely. You were in your newborn clothes for a good seven or so weeks but we're flying through the 0-3 months wardrobe and I reckon you'll be into your 3-6 months bang on the three month mark another few weeks from now. We'll have to get Daddy to get them down from the attic very soon! 

Talking of clothes, it fascinates me that my favourite outfits on Alexander are not my favourite outfits on you. Reds, brights and navy always suited Xander at this age, but they don't look so right on you. Instead I think whites and blues and some navy and light grey are your colours! 

You have learnt to smile a beautiful smile, you are so interested in your family now; your little eyes now follow whoever walks past you. You're taking everything in about your little world. You stretch your head right around now to find out what is making a noise or to find someone or something. You love your big brother and he equally loves you. My heart melts watching you smile at eachother and play with eachother; I hope it can only get better as you learn more and more about how to play. Xander wants to be involved in whatever you are doing and when you are having a playtime, Xander can often be found lying on your playmat with you, or leaning over your nest chair, talking to you and showing you toys instead of playing with his own big boy toys. You reward him by cooing back and smiling at him. He loves that! 

Your favourite toy at the moment is your crinkly lion snuggly. You are learning to move your hands to feel your toys and you seem to enjoy the sounds your lion makes. You are noticing so much more, you notice the lights on your playmat the moving pictures on the television and will stare transfixed by the bright lights. Yesterday I took you and your brother to soft play; you hated the ball pool but loved looking at the lights under the canopy in the cafe! You are such a little wriggler now, lying on your back kicking your little legs and waving your arms. Playing makes you tired quickly at the moment and you're known to fall asleep on your playmat! 

You are growing up so fast Zachary. I can't believe another month has already passed! 

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After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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