Tuesday, April 01, 2014

First Food

I so wanted to wait until he was 6 months old.  I wanted his brand-new babyness to last as long as possible.  But I can't keep up with this kid!  Peanut nurses around the clock, every three hours; sometimes more, rarely a bit less.  And he certainly does not sleep through the night.  So we decided to give rice cereal a try last weekend and it was a hit!

He seemed to know right away that the spoon would hold something good and he went right for it.  He didn't really get what to do at first, but just when I was about to quit for the night he started swallowing and getting all geeked out excited.  He tried so hard and even though it did absolutely nothing to help him sleep longer, it was really fun.

In between velociraptor-like bites he was all smiles.  He's a fan of good food and good conversation.

Emphasis on "good" food.  I think he wants to like it, but he really doesn't.

Meanwhile, the past three rice-cereal feedings have been dismal failures.  Head turning, crying, refusing to swallow...total disinterest.  Not quite sure yet what to do about it!

While I'm at it, here's Sweet Pea and her first attempts at food.  I didn't remember that she was a velociraptor, too!

Also maybe Peanut got mad about his cereal tonight because I made it too thick?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Fields of Green

It's dark.  It's blurry.  It's noisy.  But this little snapshot is everything that is so, so good right now.

Late this afternoon I put my tiny baby in our old jogging stroller and buttoned the little girl's coat and we walked across a cornfield to my mama's house.

Because we just moved in next door.  Next door to my mama and daddy.  Over-the-river-and-through-the-woods we did not.  Or maybe we did, but on a very tiny scale.  It made my heart soar.

Things are crazy right now.  There is an ancient stove on my wood-covered porch and a rug is air-drying because a pipe burst in the laundry room.  Everything is a mess and it's beautiful because dreams are coming true.  And while they aren't fields of green yet, they will be soon.  Very soon.



Thursday, February 06, 2014

Notes from all over

I don't know how they do it.

I did it for so long, early on.  When it was just me home for the first time and a tiny girl who slept for so many hours and my hubby worked three jobs and went to school, I did it.  I took pictures and I edited them and I loaded them and I organized them and I blogged them.  I made beautiful, hardbound memory books.  I kept the house fairly clean and I cooked kinda often and I went shopping and I took naps and I probably told you it was "soooo hard."

And it was hard, because being a first time mom is hard.  It's really hard to reorient your entire brain to thinking about someone else's needs first and foremost above your own.  It was hard because I was lonely and missed my husband.  It was hard because I had a tremendous amount of post-partum anxiety and a pretty fair amount of stress over money.

This time around is not so hard in so many ways.  He's home so much more.  I don't have post-partum anxiety.  Actually, I kind of think that maybe I had finally had so much anxiety that something short-circuited in my brain and rendered me incapable of feeling any anxiety at all.  I kind of kid, I think.

But it's also kind of hard to have two kids and a few major life changes occurring all at once.  I am not organized.  I am tired.  My photos are untaken and unedited and unblogged and I don't know how so many moms make all this look so easy and graceful!

Last night I was picking up toys for the 8 billionth time and feeling whiney and tired about it when I saw this sweet gem.  It struck me what a mix my life is of mundane and magical.

It's so precious to me to find her little loved doll babies.

Mundane and magical.  Sweet and funny.  Crazy busy and a two-hour nap.  That's my life right now and it's good, so good.
She asked to nap behind the chair in Peanut's room.
Yes.  Yes, because why no?

Both my babies asleep near each other at at bedtime at the same reasonable time.
Only happened once.

All sweetness.

Tea parties.  We have so many tea parties.
The apples were her choice.

That funny little half-smile.
It slays me.

He was smile-laughing in his sleep whenever he heard my voice.

Sleeping like his sister.


He rolls over and gets stuck and yells.  Every time.

My boys.


Found his fingers on his 3-month birthday.


Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Two Months

Dear my sweet baby,

I don't know why, but all throughout my pregnancy with you had this feeling that you were going to be my joy-baby.  Your sister, who is my delight-baby, was obviously sweet and precious in her own right.  She was introverted though, even when she was tiny.  You, on the other hand, started trying to smile from day one and you haven't stopped.  Your dimples slay us.  

When you are awake, which is still the minority of the day, you are all smiles.  If you're not smiling, you're just waiting for someone to tell a good joke.  (In your opinion, a good joke is anything having to do with blowing some form of a raspberry.) I know it sounds crazy, but I swear you say "hi" already.  You don't make a lot of cooing sounds (mostly your talking is little grunts and growls and the yard sale lady sound), but whenever you're in a happy mood and I lean over you and say, "Hiii!" you look me dead in the eyes and say back, "Whooo..." and smile.  Always the smiles. 

You are still such a snuggler, but when you are awake and want to play, wow, are you strong!  I can't believe how strong you are.  You can practically stand unassisted and try to as much as possible.  You hold your head up and back and try to see everything around you, pushing against my shoulders with your strong arms or against my belly with your legs.  When you are happy or excited your little legs work back and forth, nonstop, like you're trying to ride a bike or just take off running on your skinny little legs.  

Apparently Daddy and I don't make chubby babies, but it's amazed me how much of a boy you are already.  I thought tiny babies were all just tiny babies, but no; you're so different from your skinny-mini sister at your age.Your legs have no chunk, but you feel so wide and heavy in your shoulders and little jutting-out rooster chest.  I think you're going to be able to do lots of pushups.  You and Daddy can have pushup contests.  He loves those.

Your current favorite things are Daddy, jokes, and ceiling fans.  Except I think in opposite order.  (Sorry, Daddy.)  Oh, and swinging in your swing.  You love swinging in your swing, so much so that you've slept quite a few nights in it.  And your carseat, for that matter.  You're a great sleeper but you still take after your mama and want to be awake and throwing parties from 11-1.  Usually I don't mind, but sometimes we've all got to rest, so after adequate snuggles and singing or listening to Daddy's heartbeat, into the swing or carseat you go.  

When you're awake you tend to want to be the center of attention.  You still have that one cry that sounds like a lonesome little lamb, and when no one is looking at you you make sure to get our attention.  You've already laughed a few times.  You laugh a lot in your sleep, but boy, was that ceiling fan hilarious the other day.  And you laughed at me talking to you last week, too.  

I still can't believe how seamlessly you've fit into the fabric of our little family.  You've made it easy, being the dreamiest baby imaginable.  Besides being tired, this has been a much easier time than I could have imagined and these slow, quiet days are precious.  Change is coming, but you've made this is a season of sweetness.



Saturday, December 21, 2013

Wilder's Birth Story

The doctor came in, listened to the baby's heartbeat, then did a quick "sweep" to see if it might help move things along.  She said if it worked something would happen in the next 48 hours, but she didn't seem or sound very convinced that anything would happen.

When she left and I got dressed, I thought I felt something trickling.  I went to the restroom, then went to the front desk to make my 40 week appointment.  I excused myself mid-sentence and went back to the restroom.  We were standing at the front desk to finish the appointment scheduling when I felt a pop, followed by a warm trickle.  I turned bright red, felt my panic button turn on, then interrupted the receptionists and said, "Um, excuse but I, uh...um...I think my water just broke?  Maybe?"

The poor girls' faces registered shock (which, really? I mean, you do work in an OB-GYN office...) and they told me they'd call the doctor while I ran back for the restroom.  Someone was in the restroom.  So I stood there awkwardly.  Then someone came and got me and brought me into a room and the doctor came in and started to explain some test she would do to check that it was amniotic fluid and I sat back on the table and suddenly, with a gush, everything was sopping wet.

"Um, I'm going to say that your water just broke!" she said professionally.

"Uh...haha....uh...yeah...ya think?" I said less professionally.  And not with any attitude so much as with panic, while glancing at my toddler who was staring at the table in wide-eyed shock.

"Mama!  What did you DO?" she asked.  While I stared at her blankly, trying to think of how to explain to a 3-year-old that Mama's water broke, the doctor told me to head straight to the hospital.  Soaking wet.  I asked her for a towel or something to mop up with while more water gushed out of me and she said, "Oh sweetie, I don't have anything!" (Which, again...really?!  I mean, this has to have happened to someone before!)

She left and I took a deep breath and explained to Sweet Pea that it was time for mama to push out the baby and that we needed to go to the hospital.  My heart was all a-flutter and I was convinced I was going to start having contractions immediately.  My doctor's office is 20 minutes from home, 30+ from the hospital.  I called Hubby, who was with a client 45 minutes away, then called my mom who was out shopping about 40 minutes from my house.  So then we walked (me, soaking wet...so embarassing!) to the car and I called a friend who lives right around the corner and dropped Sweet Pea off with her husband and daughter.

I'll never forget pulling my little girl out of the car and explaining to her that she was going to play with her friend while I went to the hospital to have the baby.  Sweet Pea said, "But mama!  If you leave me I will cry!" which, obviously, made me cry, so I pulled her in for a huge hug and said, "Sweetie, Mama needs you to be a big girl and be so brave."  My funny, Sophia-the-First-clad girl squeezed me back tight and went happily off to play with two of her favorite people, while I ran back to the car and drove home, blatantly breaking all cellphone-use laws and figuring I'd get off just fine if an officer pulled me over.  He could just look down at the soaking wet chucks pads on my carseat and then escort me to the hospital.

Thankfully, no heavy contractions had started by the time I got home.  I felt instantly braver as soon as I saw my husband.  I dripped my way into the house and showered and did my hair and tried to bring my heart rate to normal while Hubby made sandwiches and did the random stuff I called out for, like putting the washing machine load into the dryer.

Because clearly, that was desperately important.

Don't ask about the rationale of a woman in labor.

By the time we got to the car we were all, "Let's do this!" and the contractions were starting to really kick in.  We got to the hospital by 2:15 (my water broke about 12:45) and spent an uncomfortable half-hour getting checked in and rocking through contractions in the waiting room.  We finally got back to a room and our sweet nurse got us settled and asked me approximately one million questions while I paused every so often to breathe through contractions.

The next few hours were just a blur of contractions, trying different techniques to get through them, and me just breathing loudly and squeezing Hubby's hand.  My mom arrived around 4:30.  There was one heart-stopping moment when the baby's heart rate dropped very low very suddenly, but my nurse gave me some oxygen and it came back up.  At six the nurse checked and I was a little disappointed that I was only 4 cm.  She asked if I wanted an epidural and since I still felt like I had good energy and the pain wasn't overwhelming, I said I wanted to wait.  She came back in a few minutes later though and told me that the anesthesiologist was going into a C-section and that if I didn't get one now it might be quite awhile.

What I think she knew was that the baby was coming pretty quickly.  I don't know how she knew, but she knew!  I hesitantly agreed to the epidural and got a little emotional; I was afraid the epidural would slow things down and that if I ended up needing a C-section it would be all my fault because I got an epidural too early.

By 7 the epidural was in and I was pretty relaxed, although I was surprised that I was still feeling quite a bit and had total control of my legs.  (That was NOT the case with Sweet Pea; I felt nothing but some pressure after my epidural with her.)  At 7:15 I was relaxed enough to update my Facebook (hah!) that we were at the hospital, but by 7:30 I was pretty uncomfortable and feeling a lot of pressure.  The nurse checked again and I was probably around 6 cm.

The next half-hour wasn't too pleasant, but I wasn't nauseated and so thankful for that that I didn't even care.  The pressure was intense by 8 and my body was pushing on it's own, so the nurse checked again and I was 9.5 cm!  I was in total shock.  She started getting everything set for me to push and called the doctor and I couldn't believe it was actually happening.  Finally, finally, finally, the moment to meet the baby was coming.

At my first push I impressed both the doctor and the nurse.  I was not playing around; I wanted this baby OUT and out FAST.  I pushed through 2.5 contractions and he was born in less than 5 minutes.  They placed him on my heart and I was so completely overwhelmed with love and relief and happiness and was so glad that they left him close to me and didn't need to whisk him away for anything.  I got to hold him right on my skin and marvel at him while they checked him over and took care of me.

That brand-new mother moment is the greatest high in the entire world.  It's like nothing else in the world exists but your new sweet baby.  I felt so proud and so glad to get to share it again with my husband, the best birth coach in the world, and my mom, the best birth support ever.  I needed them both.

Everything went so perfectly.  It's amazing how you spend so many month feeling anxious over all the what-ifs of birth, and how you have no control over how any of it will go.  I couldn't have imagined the first part and it makes for a pretty funny story, and the second part went so smoothly that I couldn't have asked for more.

It goes in the record book as another of the most precious days of my life.  Welcome, Wilder!

Friday, December 20, 2013

One Month

Well...ahem...6 weeks.  Really more like 6.5.  Or seven and two days, if you're going by the day of the week you were born.  Oof.

My dear, sweet Wild-man,

I've put off writing this first-month letter to you because I knew I wouldn't know where to begin.  All of the thoughts and feelings of my mother-heart sound trite when I start with, "I can't believe you are already a month old."  But it's true; I can't believe it.  All those months of carrying you under my heart were hard.  I loved them because I love you, but they were very, very hard.  I don't even remember large chunks of them because all I see a bleary, nausea-centered world of exhaustion and wanting so desperately to hold you over my heart.

This letter is also late because your sister consumes a lot of my attention and keeps our lives very fun and busy.  But when she rests, all I want to do is hold you.  Just you.  Just you and me in the quiet of the afternoon.  Sometimes we all rest together (which I love), sometimes I have to get things done, but mostly I just want to hold you and marvel at you in the quiet stillness.  I love the way you fold up your hands under your chin and I love your long alien-toes that look just like Daddy's.  I love the way you sigh little z's in your sleep.  I love the way you make little white-knuckled fists when you nurse and how lately you pull in your chin and pout your lower lip when you're mad.  I love your lips.

You are the very dearest baby.  I know I said that about your sister, and she absolutely was too.  I don't know why I am blessed with just quiet, sweet, easy babies but it sure does make it easy to love you completely.  All you want to do, day and night and in-between, is snuggle.  You want your heart right on my heart and you want to be warm and you want to sleep, then eat, then sleep some more.

You only get upset if you're hungry or chilly.  The chilly part happens at diaper changes, and mostly you are pretty unimpressed with those, mostly because of the chilly part but also because I've accidentally let you pee on your own little face a couple of times.  I'm sorry about that.  Changing a baby boy's diaper is a lot more complicated than a baby girl's.  When you do get upset, your little cries are so fully of fury and indignation but I can't help but love them.  You have this gruff baby voice already and you sound like a funny baby goat and I'm sad you're sad but I can't help but laugh.  I'm also sorry about that.

When you are awake you spend most of your time listening to your sister be loud and being extremely patient while she jostles you around and tries to love you but mostly almost kicks you or tries to accidentally step on you while showing you a dance move or something else.  You are already smiling; you starting intentionally smiling at 3.5 weeks and smiled first for Nana.  Even before that you were sleep-smiling constantly and smiled all the time at your favorite song.  Your very first smiles were so funny.  You would open your mouth like a little fish (I think trying to talk back at whoever was cooing at you) and crinkle up the side of your nose and upper lip.  It was so funny and you tried so hard.  You're getting better at it every day and smile all the time, mostly at Daddy or at Wavy and me when we both just lean over and coo at you and kiss you and treat you like a perfect prince.  You don't mind that one bit!  I know it sounds crazy but I swear you are already trying to say "hi."  I'm always leaning over you and kissing your nose and saying, "Hi!" and sometimes when you smile back you say, "Howwww!"

I am so glad you are here with us and a part of our sweet family.  You've made this scary transition to mama-of-two so easy and happy for me and I will cherish these days in my heart all my life.  I didn't know if I could love a boy baby as much as I loved my girl baby and I was crazy.  I'm so over the moon for you, so jealous for you, so glad that you are mine.  I never really understood before quite what it meant to say that God is a jealous God, but oh, now I get it.  I means that he wants us to be all his and my mother-heart gets it in a brand-new way and my greatest desire for you and your life is that you will understand that, too.

This family loves you so much, sweet boy, and the most incredible part is that all of this love that you are showered with so unabashedly is only a shadow of God's love for you.  He is jealous for you;  he loves you, oh how he loves you.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Called by Name

"But now the Lord Who made you, O Jacob, and He Who made you, O Israel, says, “Do not be afraid. For I have bought you and made you free. I have called you by name. You are Mine!"  Isaiah 43:1

Names are desperately important to me.  I've always taken them very seriously.  Maybe a little too seriously...my favorite childhood stuffed animal went through years of name changes before I finally settled on the very beautiful and very distinctive "Dixie."  We (okay, fine, I) struggled with the perfect name for our Sweet Pea.  She was born in the wee hours of a Tuesday, and didn't officially have a name until Friday.  Many a tear was shed over deciding on a name.  I think my poor husband thought I'd officially lost my mind.

That may have happened again if we'd had a girl, but I breathed a sigh of naming relief when we found out #2 was a boy.  Hubby and I have each had a boy name picked out since we were in high school, and when we put the two names together we decided long ago it was the best name in the whole world: Patrick Wilder.

Our little Wilder (he's going by his middle name, just like his mama!) is named after two very special men.  His first name, Patrick, is after Hubby's much-loved brother, who passed away tragically when Hubby was 16.  Wilder is after my grandfather, my mom's dad.  Wilder is my grandpa's middle name and was his mom's maiden name.  It also happens to by my cousin's middle name.

We liked the sound of Patrick Wilder better than Wilder Patrick, and we wanted him to go by his middle name because it's a throwback to me.  Also, Wilder is a bit unique, so we liked the idea that he could have a more classic first name to use professionally someday if he so chooses someday.  There are lots of W names in my family, so carrying on that tradition was fun for me, too.  (My first name starts with W.)

Finally, I love the name Wilder because I've always loved Laura Ingalls Wilder.  My grandpa is distantly related to her husband, Almanzo Wilder, whom Laura wrote about extensively in her books.  Farmer Boy is all about him, and in The Long Winter she recounts the incredible and dangerous journey he and a friend took to save their town from starvation during a winter of constant blizzards on the prairie.

To me, the name Patrick Wilder carries a lot of significance.  It carries the love and connection of family and tradition, plus all of the character traits of all the good men in both of our families.  When I think of my little boy's name, I think of all the traits I hope for him someday: faith, bravery, honesty, and integrity; being a dreamer, adventurous, hard-working, a good provider, and joyful.

In other words, even though he isn't named after him, I hope he is just like his Daddy, who is an awful lot like my Daddy.

Welcome, Wilder!

Our sweet, sweet boy was born October 30th at 8:22 pm after a safe and pretty quick delivery, weighing 7 lbs, 8 oz and 20 inches long.  He is the quietest, most content newborn and we all love him to pieces!  So far, this has all been too perfect.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Belly Paint

My mom had this adorable idea a long time ago to have Sweet Pea finger paint my belly.  It kept not happening, because I kept forgetting, and then one day last week Hubby dropped home early in between clients and even though it was rainy outside I decided we were randomly going to let Sweet Pea paint and he was going to photograph it.  

We had a blast.  She had a blast.  And Hubby did a good job with the photos!

I did no editing to my belly.  I only popped the color in these photos, leaving all the wonky shadows and highlights rainy skies create.  I left all my scars on my belly because I believe that permanent scars shouldn't be edited out; they are marks of who we are and where we've been.  While I'm one of the lucky ones who doesn't get stretch marks, my belly bears the marks of three different surgeries and, most recently, shingles.  

It's kinda weird to put bare-belly pics out there for the world to see, and I was kinda hoping that Sweet Pea's paint would go right for the scars first.  I think it's funny that she happened to paint everywhere there aren't scars.  But actually?  I like that the shingles marks are front-and-center (side?) in the photos.  That shingles was a big deal for me in this pregnancy, kinda scary and a part of all we've been through this time around.  I'm so, so thankful it wasn't worse; I had a pretty mild case.  

I love these images too because for me they are a little reminder of all the fun these two are going to have together.  They remind me of how Sweet Pea loves to pat my belly and how the baby always kicks back.  They remind me of how wiggly the baby always gets when Sweet Pea and I are snuggling and reading together.  They remind me of the bright and colorful moments to come.



Making an "ew" face.  She doesn't really like getting her hands messy!
Such a girl.

This is serious business, folks.

Waiting game

The day I was induced with Sweet Pea was pretty stressful.  I was 36 weeks and change pregnant, and while I expected something wasn't right for over a week before my doctors finally figured everything out, walking into my doctor's office at 9 am on a Monday and hearing "Whoa!  Your liver is freaking out and you need to go to the hospital and have this baby right now" wasn't what I was expecting.  I cried.  I resented missing the last month of having my baby all myself.  There were fears over having a baby early, fears of induction, fears of C-section.

In the end though, her birth went about as smoothly as possible and she was perfectly healthy and I only had to push out a 6 1/2 pound baby.  

So yeah...I guess maybe I was kinda hoping to do that again.  

Except without anything being wrong, of course.  I just wanted to deliver another 6-pounder.  

This waiting game at the end, especially when you've heard from a couple of doctors the whole pregnancy long that it's very possible your baby will be brought early again, is kind of a doozy.  I had no idea.  Here I am having my second baby but with no idea what it's like to go into labor on your own.  I've had constant Braxton-Hicks contractions since about 5 months, but in the past two weeks I've had 5 times of real contractions that started making me think, "This is it!"  Then I panic a little/want to cry a little/want to throw up a lot and after about two hours they've completely stopped and never got regular enough to call the doctor.  

It's kind of like being slapped around a little but anticipating that at any second you're still going to get punched in face.  Except after getting punched in the face everyone will say "CONGRATULATIONS!" and you'll feel like you're on top of the world, which I guess is actually why MMA is so popular?

Or it's kind of like waiting for any second to be Christmas morning, except first you have to carry a torpedo-shaped baby elephant around with only your pelvic joints and hip ligaments and before anyone gives you a present you have to get punched in the face first.

Or kind of like the second time you ride a roller coaster.  The first time you're so brave and you're all, "Oh man, what have I gotten myself into??!" but you're not going to miss it for the world because everyone says it's so awesome so you just jump on and try not to think about it and it's horrible and awful and even better than you thought.  So you get in line to go again and this time you decide to sit in the very front because you're super brave now but as you're about to go over the top the ride stalls and you have to go all the way back down backwards and start over and your hands are all sweaty and you're like, "Oh man, what have I gotten myself into??!!!??!!" 

Like that, except the person next to punches you in the face the whole time and at the end they give you the awesomest present ever as a prize for making it through the ride.

So we're 38 1/2 weeks give-or-take and it could be any second or it could be like two more weeks.  Every tiny little pattern of my bodily functions, from being tired to having energy to how hungry I am or what I'm craving or how much I'm peeing, could somehow be a sign that I'm about to go into labor any second.  Or that I could go into labor next week.  Or in two weeks.  

I was super encouraged a few days ago to look in the mirror and feel like I'd dropped.  I said to Hubby, all excitedly, "Does it look like I dropped?!" and he looked at me blankly and said, "Uh...yeah!  Definitely!  Definitely dropped."  

Then two hours later he asks me sheepishly, "Babe...what does dropped mean?" and I glared at him.

Last night my girl and I finished reading our first "big girl book" together, Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  We were so snuggled and I was having a million contractions and the end of that book is so sweet and the whole moment was so significant to me that I was sure I was going into labor and it was going to be perfect.  She went to bed and we made sure everything was packed right in between contractions.  I even did my hair!  Then they stopped and I slept until 6:30 when they started again but stopped at 7:30 and today I'm just exhausted.  

Stop being the baby who cried labor, Baby!

And please, while you're so comfy in there and making me crave brownies all the time, try not to get to be 10 pounds, okay?  Thanks.  


Tuesday, October 22, 2013


One time a friend asked a group of friends to describe what we each love most in life in one word.  He basically wanted one descriptive word of what we value most.  It was hard to pinpoint for me, but the bottom line is that I'm a stop-and-smell-the-roses kind of girl.  I love quality time with those I love and I love to gather up moments and store them up in my heart and photograph them and remember them forever.  The friend related this to a museum curator, which I found a little funny.

I'm kind of like that though.  I love the present and I love the past.  I hold onto moments in life very closely, sometimes too closely, and while I'll be the most spontaneous person you could ever meet when I'm chasing a precious moment, I tend to be very afraid of change.  I think it's easy to be afraid of the unknown when the known you have is just so precious.

I was never, ever the kid who said, "I can't wait to grow up!"  Why would you want to grow up when playing with dolls and having sleepovers and listening to your mom read bedtime stories is so fun?  But grow up I did and soon I was in high school and driving a truck and applying to colleges.  And it was awesome.  When I graduated high school, and I've talked about this before, I was so afraid to go onto college because, honestly, what could beat high school?  Except then I went to college and it blew high school out of the water.

For the entire month leading up to college graduation I walked around with a sinking feeling in my stomach.  I did not want to leave that precious place.  I didn't want to leave friends.  I didn't want the real world or a job or anything of that grown-up stuff.  Sure, I had dreams and plans and even a boy I wanted to marry, but oh, college was so good.  And everyone always says that college is best time of your life.  Someone gave me a silly graduation card that said, "Congrats, have fun spending your money on toilet paper!" and I laughed and cringed at the same time.

But time moves on and you're not allowed to stay in college housing if you're not in college so I moved into a house, a dear house, a house we called the Ashley House after the street it was on and eventually it was also nicknamed the Booty House (long story) and I lived there with half a dozen girls and it was glorious.  Working wasn't nearly so bad as they all said; when the day was done you got a paycheck and didn't have to worry about writing papers.  Then that boy asked me to marry him and I was beyond thrilled but here it was coming again...change.  Couldn't we get married and just keep living at the Ashley House with all my girls?  

But no, that's not socially acceptable, so we moved into a little apartment and I got to set it all up exactly the way I wanted it and keep it totally clean and have whatever we wanted on the TV and wow, it was pretty good.  Really good.  I was playing house for real and I had my boy and we got cats and life was sweet and when the time came to move I didn't understand why he wasn't crying in the middle of the empty living room like me.

Then we found out we were becoming parents and actually?  For the first time I wasn't afraid of change.  I wanted the change so badly.  I wanted snuggles and sweet little baby sounds and being parents together.  I knew it was going to be good and I was excited.

I had no idea- none whatsoever- how incredibly good it would be.  

Everyone will tell you hard parenthood is.  How you'll never sleep again and how your life and your time and even your very body is never your own again, but you don't realize that what they mean is that stuff this good requires sacrifice and that very sacrifice becomes so automatic that it isn't even like a sacrifice anymore.  It's just love and it's hard and it's good- so, so good- because it's hard.

We wanted to do it, this parent thing, this new-baby thing, all over again and here we finally are and I'm sitting on the edge of another change.  I honestly thought excitement for this change would come as easily as the last one; after all, this was a change I asked for, hoped for, wanted for with all my heart.  But the truth is, it's not coming easily.  I'm afraid, afraid of the exhaustion and being enough for two babies and a husband.  I'm afraid of the new-big-sibling tantrums and sharing my heart and hands with two.  I'm afraid of the change.  It feels like the end of an era for me and my sweet, sweet girl, the girl who made me a mama, the girl who brought out a depth of love I didn't know existed.  The girl of tea parties and tutus and the favorite color pink and the long, quiet afternoons of reading and cuddling and often napping together.  The girl of new adventures and shining eyes and experiencing life through the wonder of a child.  It's been the sweetest three years of my life, years dear and precious to my heart, and I just don't know how it could ever possibly get any better than this.

Yet every time I've thought that, thought it couldn't get any better, it has.  So I'm waiting with an expectant, albeit anxious, heart to see what sweetness lies next, while cherishing every moment left of just us three.  It feels like I've spent hours the past couple weeks just staring, staring at my girl like a museum piece on a shelf, a little blue-eyed giggling relic of goodness and memories who is growing up way too fast and who is a constant reminder of all the sweetness past and is still to come

We are about to be four.  Some days will be hard.  I know it will be hard, but I know it will be good and better than I can ever ask or imagine.  And I think we're ready.      

Sunday, October 20, 2013


I think I've accomplished everything on the list.

The boppy and the swing are out of storage.

The newborn clothes are washed.

We embellished onesies and I made upcycled pants.

The Moses basket is in place.

The double stroller has been purchased.

The car seats are set up.

We have a van.  (A van!)

I have diapers stashed all over the house.

And burp cloths.

His room is ready, pictures hung and all.

Well, actually, it's not just his room...it's actually a Nuroffiguestsery.

We kept it pretty simple because he won't really be sleeping in here and if all goes as planned we will be trying to find a new house soon.  But my heart needed him to have a place and I needed to nest, so setting up this little space was fun.  

I've always wanted a vintage cowboy theme for a boy and I loved making that happen!  I have so many big plans already for his next room, but this was fun in the meantime.  The big, comfy chair is a Craigslist find that pulls out into a twin bed for guests.  

The front of the mini-crib is currently off so that it can be rolled up right next to our bed as a co-sleeper.  
This set-up is my favorite.  The guitar belonged to Hubby's brother who passed away, the same brother our little guy will share a name with.  It was so fun to find the cowboy-themed music art.  The top piece is a laser cut record of "The Littlest Outlaw" and the the bottom is a Willie Nelson record.
 The armoire is Sweet Pea's baby armoire with new fabric.  I love the tiny red cowboy boots (a thrift store find) and the Etsy newborn knit cowboy hat.  The framed picture on the right is of Hubby and his brother as little boys dressed up as old West outlaws.  Love.
We're ready when you are, little man!  Hurry up!