your 5 month old’s development

your baby may now be able to recognize his own name and understand that you’re speaking to him when you say it. you may notice that your little one turns his head when you call him or talk about him with others.

once he understands that letting go of something is as much fun as picking it up, your baby’s world will become more interesting — and yours a good deal messier. tiring as it sounds, you’d better get used to it. In a few weeks, this will be accompanied by your baby’s fits of giggles.

when your baby starts fussing at the supermarket, you may be able to distract him — not for enough time to knock everything off your shopping list, but a few minutes goes a long way these days. try engaging him with funny faces or a round of “the itsy-bitsy spider.”

your baby also shows a strong attachment to you by raising his arms when he wants to be picked up and by crying when you leave the room. he may also give you hugs and kisses.

and he’s beginning to get the joke — he’ll laugh at funny expressions and try to make you laugh, too. keep the laughter flowing with your silly faces!

(sources: here, here, and here.)



this post has nothing to do with sky, and everything to do with sky.

today, i took my camera and a friend out for my first legitimate practice session this year. the first time i have forced my eyes to see creatively since the image of death was burned into them. baths of tears have not washed it away. i see him everywhere, my sky. he is as ubiquitous as his namesake.

but it is with these eyes of death that i must create, because to cease creating is to accept death. so … i took some pictures.

it felt like a dream. fumbling, rusty, how do i do this again, how do i see this again, like seeing through water or thinking on benadryl. i spent 30 seconds searching for the f-stop dial.

fragile. temporal. fleeting. light. glimpses of focus. these are life. in small acts of creation we practice life and, paradoxically, fight death even as we rehearse it. little deaths and little lives encircling moments. moments a gift and curse.

i am alive.

girl in forest with lilac bouquet diptych black and white

lilac bouquet on railroad

girl with lilac bouquet
yellow flower and rippling pond diptych

girl laughing in forest


some days i can write. some days i can’t. these days, there are a lot of can’ts.

here is a paradox; that there is overwhelming relief in acknowledging that life sucks. we say it out loud, every day, like broken records, like broken people records.

“life isn’t what we want right now. things are hard right now. things suck right now. one day at a time. one hour at a time. it’s ok that life sucks. it’s ok that i accomplished nothing today. i lived. today is over.”

and the tomorrows become todays and then yesterdays and the weeks pass and the months pass and it still sucks, but each day brings us closer to days that might not suck. each day brings us closer to hope, even though the minutes and hours hold very little. i don’t have to hope right now; i just have to exist until the hope comes back, tentatively like a bud in a spring storm, unfolding each bruised petal.

perhaps it would be different if we had other children, but we don’t. we have no remaining little ones to bring joy and distraction, only silence, aching arms, and a vast chasm around us where our children should be. the consequences of 7 years of miscarriage and loss and “waiting for the right time” … 7 years of voluntary barrenness … loom like a haunted forest, forlorn ghosts of possibility.

we’re surviving. we’re holding on. we make plans, we teach children, we banter with housemates, we marvel at flowers, we laugh at jokes, we ache every hour of every day. and we smile. the smiles come frequently, perhaps as frequently as they used to. is that surprising? but they are not the same smiles as before. we fight for them, these smiles. they sear scars of choice into our faces, branding, like cattle irons, allegiance to this unfelt hope.

why? because we’re particularly strong? because we’re unusually brave? no. no, these are not the reasons. we are not heroes, because loss does not exist in the realm of choice. the battles of grief are daily mindless survival.

weary soldiers, we brand our faces to survive, because the alternative is to die a death that even sky did not die, a death of love. and so we fight all that is awful with aching smiles and the belief that hope eventually comes to those who hope for it.

joel and lani at georgetown pub in astoria

anne found that she could go on living; the day came when she even smiled again. but there was something in the smile that had never been in anne’s smile before and would never be absent from it again.

~ lucy maud montgomery “anne’s house of dreams”