>We've been pulling out boxes of some of Vienne's old things - 2 yr old clothes and toys for Ivy to move up into. It is so precious to me to put Ivy into her Sister's clothes. Oh, the memories. I pulled out a box of old toys and just sat there staring into it without touching anything, realizing that each and every one of them was still covered with Vienne's untouched fingerprints. I so badly wanted to close it all back up and never let anyone touch any of it…but that is ridiculous. Mark and I do want to find a way to capture some prints of hers when we open another box at another time. I did end up preserving one little treasure that I found in the box. It is silly - but the silly things that they create on their own, in their own world, are the true treasures. It is a dinosaur magnet that is "wrapped" with a flower cupcake wrapper and taped very securely. I can't remember exactly what she was doing with this…but I remember this being a thing that she did regularly for a bit. She was also obsessed with tape for quite a while. A few times a day she would ask me for tape. I'd let her have pieces. No harm. We would ALWAYS find tape stuck in funny places - the edge of the counter, on the underside of the coffee table, her bedside table, toys…etc. Anyway, I am keeping this little wrapped dino and putting it in Vienne's Memory Chest that we keep in our room (a large hope chest that is filled with extra special sentiments of hers - her sheets, her favorite shirts, cards from her memorial service, her remains…).
(here is the little dino…you can barely see all the tape that is covering it thoroughly. My Baby touched this last and wrapped it with loving care.)
>Ivy just started showing interest in sitting in the cars that are attached to the shopping carts at the grocery store - you know the BIG gigantic beasts that take up the entire aisle! Yes, now it is Ivy's turn to adamantly insist that we use those carts. I remember the days with Vienne. Yet again, though, I am blessed with another little girl who will stay in her seat in the cart for MOST of the time and stay entertained while I shop. When she does finally want to get out, she stays by my side and helps me push the cart. Just like her sis. It's crazy to me still how similar they are. Anyway, pushing those carts in New Seasons at this time of year threw me back to a tiny little insignificant memory….but I get it each time I'm at the store. Vienne would be in the "car" in front and suddenly exclaim that she needed to get out and show me something! "I need to show you something, Mama!!" So I would allow her out and she would run over to the Christmas candy display and just look at everything with wide eyes and just say "look!" in a voice of awe. She wouldn't ask. She'd just want to show me. Of course, I was a sucker and let her pick out a nasty Lindor Truffle ball to take home. She always chose the green one, of course. Always green. Everything green. And, she could never finish even just one of those small balls. She loved her treats but she was such a tiny little eater.
>Remember Vienne's special star? You can read about it here. Well, Ivy just accomplished her first "genius" drawing yesterday. A fish. I have noticed that she seems to be very dexterous with crayons. Actually, WAY more than Vienne ever was. In all honesty, Vienne's star was a fluke. A genius fluke that we treasure always. But, she never showed interest in drawing or writing after that. It was a big deal to accomplish writing her name. She had NO interest in learning to draw or write ANYthing else. Nor did she like to color. Surprising, I know. But, she did love to paint and create in other ways. Anyway, back to Ivy - I can tell that she will like to draw, like her Mama. When she draws, she actually holds her crayon correctly already, without me even showing her how. She makes small intentional little marks on the paper. She will draw circles and swirls and she really gets concentrated on it. I love it. So, here is a picture of Ivy's fish. She stepped back and exclaimed "shish!". I thought it was pretty great that she even recognized what she drew! Was it intentional? Or was it a scribble that looked like a fish? We will never know. But, I love it.
>Ivy says "awthsome" now, just like her Sister did. Here is a video of Ivy saying it about a month ago. She's already talking SO much more than she was in this video, just a few shorts weeks ago.
>This is my favorite photo of the two of them right now. It is the wallpaper on my phone and sometimes I will just sit and stare at it. I can almost see what Vienne would've looked like as a young woman, from this photo. She is so stunning. She takes my breath away, still, always.
>Everyone is wondering how we are doing during this holiday season. For the most part, I have been coping by staying as distracted as possible by actually surrounding myself with "festive" things. I have, now, realized that I was sub-consciously trying to somehow fill a devastating void that could NEVER possibly be filled (nor do I want it to!). But, I think I knew that this Christmas (being the first that we are choosing to celebrate since she passed away) was going to be difficult. So as hard as I anticipate it to be, I realized I was trying to make everything else about it to be as perfect as it possibly could be…so that then, maybe just maybe, it wouldn't entirely suck. And, I wanted Ivy to experience her first real Christmas with all the decor and festivities, movies, and music. But, you know that when you set yourself up like that, you are bound for disappointment. I did have an emotional break down last week - feelings of despair and disappointment and devastation and loneliness. It's all inevitable.
We are staying in Portland this year and "celebrating" with my family.
I wish I could send each one of you a Christmas card. Your support and encouragement and prayers mean so much to me. But since I cannot, here is the photo that we put on our card and sent to family ~
(Left: Vienne Juliet at 19 mo. in 2009 ~ Right: Ivy Lynnae at 23 mo. in 2013
Wearing the same vintage Christmas dress, standing on the same rocking chair in front of Grammy's tree.)
Here are the out-takes of Ivy…just cuz she is a darling…
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU.