Monday, October 21, 2013


ten weeks in, i feel it. progress. i can see that little shimmer of light at the end of what previously felt like a dark, unending tunnel. 

this shit is hard. 

and worth it. beyond measure. 

i felt a shift today. i went into today, knowing i'll be on my own all day and all night, with a sense of confidence i haven't had yet. i wasn't worried. i wasn't scared. i didn't get a tightness in my chest. 

i'll never forget the first time i was left alone with both kids. it was at the 3 week mark. exactly three weeks. wyatt had school that wednesday, but i knew i had to go pick him up from school with summer.  the thought of going into the school with a newborn to pick up my 22 month old scared the shit out of me. she was so tiny, and he seemed so large but still so little. it's hard to explain. i needed two more arms. two more hands. he was (and still is) just so over bearing when she's near him. he's quick and rough, and well, almost 2. and a little boy. and i was (and definitely still am at times) hormonal, protective, and insecure. obviously i had done the newborn thing before, but i hadn't done the newborn thing with my little guy. this was a whole new rodeo.  it was only going to be for a few hours. i could do anything for a few hours. right? i texted annie a stream of concerns. it was an outpouring of the fears and insecurities that had been building up all day. you see, up until that point, we'd been two on two. 21 days of balance. i was about to be out numbered and it was all brand new to me. 

it's so funny looking back to that time - now. i was afraid of my own kids. i doubted myself. i was afraid to be alone with them for a few hours. who was that? that was a new mom of two, a version of myself i didn't know. perspective i needed to gain in order to get to right where i am today. 

of course it's not perfect, and i am still a mess. 

but i am less of a mess. i'm a happy mess more of the time. and this, my friends, is what it's all about. i feel strong. and confident. and i know i am a good mom. and every day, i'm learning to be a better mom to these two kids. 

my kids. 

pretty much.

Monday, October 7, 2013

dear sj >> a look back to your birthday

hello my girl.

we just received all of the images from your birthday. there are so so so many that i love, but want to share a few here that are especially special to me. (jessica at one tree did a post and put together the most amazing slide/video show of this amazing day here as well.) i want you to know what i love most about the images that capture just how special your entrance into this world really was. i love having these for so many reasons but most of all, i can't wait until the day you see these, really see these, and know just how hard i worked to get you here. it was worth all of the struggle you might see, because sweet girl, your birth was everything it was supposed to be.

(you can double click on the image to see it larger if you'd like)

i love everything about the birth center where you were born. i love the way it smells when you walk in, the comfort of the lobby, the feeling of family that wraps around you the moment you sit down for an appointment. the first thing i did when i got to one of our appointments was take my shoes off and curl my feet under me on chris' couch. it's warm there. the picture of me above in the tub, with the candles behind me and reflecting on the tub reminds me of just how warm i felt on your birthday. the love and the light in that room was perfection.

i love every picture of your daddy. this one especially because i know how hard this part was on me - but this picture tells me just how hard it was on your sweet daddy too. at one point i snapped at him as i panicked my way through a contraction. the poor guy. but he stuck with me - like he always has and will. he let me squeeze his hand so tightly i hurt myself as i gripped it. he would squeeze my hand back, and it was the gesture i needed from him - the one that told me i was doing a good job and that i could do it. that i was doing it and that he was right there with me.

i love the pictures of your gramma and i. i know from last time, just how hard this was for her to watch when wyatt was born. she was so much stronger this time. she was strong for me. she knew i could do it when i doubted myself the most. she held my hand with both hands - and i always knew when it was her holding my hand. she's held my hand my whole life. i am always comforted by her sweet touch - she's my mama. i especially love this picture because i look like such a little girl, so it's fitting that it's her looking over me. she looks so confident here. she isn't worried, or scared. she believes in me.

just two weeks prior, your auntie and i were in the same place, just opposite positions. i watched as she brought sweet tate tate bean into the world. he slept in his little bouncy just feet away while she comforted me and cheered me on. i couldn't have done it without her and looking back now, i should have known it would work out the way it did all along. of course we'd have you two kiddos exactly two weeks apart - just the right amount of time we needed in between these two incredibly special and emotional events.

my daddy. he made it. the look on his face in this picture really says it all. he's so proud to be there. he's so happy. his presence was exactly the motivation i needed to get me to home plate. i will absolutely never forget the relief i felt the moment i heard my mom tell me he was there. definitely one of the best moments of my life, period.

kristin - my absolutely amazing doula. holy shit. what would i have done without her? i love this picture so so so much. she loves you sweet girl - she is an absolute angel. she pretty much rocks at her job, plain and simple. i hope she's still doing this when it's your turn chick. i really can't find the words to describe what this woman means to me. hands down, the best investment i've ever made because in the end, she wasn't "just a doula" - she's a lifelong friend. you will know this amazing woman.

chris, our midwife, has the softest hands. i mean, really - again, with the warmth in this place, she's the reason why. i remember this moment all too well. i was at the height of my panicked state here. i was in the most uncomfortable position i had been in. and i was scared. the heat of her hand shot through me. it reminded me that i wasn't alone and when i saw that jessica captured this i think i lost my breath. chris was there for wyatt's birth and she made a point to be there for yours. we were so lucky to have her because chick, this team of ours was irreplaceable.

i love that jessica captured our early moments together without me even realizing she was there. i don't know how she did it, but she did. i love this one so much. you felt so tiny, and you were the best distraction for me in this moment as i was getting "stitched up" and it was anything but cozy until i had you in my arms again.

these pictures of the four of us in the bed - you and me, auntie and tate. we had talked about this moment for many months - 9 to be exact. who would go into labor first, what would you two sweet babes look like, what would it feel like to each have you in our arms knowing that labor was over and together we could step into this next phase together? this was it. we were both done. we both did it. you were both here. it was the best feeling in the world to know that the moments we had talked about and dreamed about were here and we were still us - silly and happy. mamas. proud mamas.

sweetest girl - your birthday was so special. it was perfect. just like you are. thank you for making me work hard for you, for setting the stage for one of the best relationships i'll ever have.

dear summer >> happy 2 months sis!

well, littlest love - you're already two months old and i could swear it was just yesterday that you joined our family. i just got all of your birthday images so i'm working on a post now to share more of those.

our second month together was obviously even better than our first. you continue to be more engaging and the smiles are such a fun surprise. your bro was so serious when he was a little nug. you are this little twinkling star. even in the middle of the night, when i am blearly eyed and doing my best to not be annoyed with the very short spurt of sleep i just experienced, you flash a grin (or 10) at me as i reswaddle you. it is impossible to be annoyed when i see that sweet dimple.  you are a charmer - i know i am dead. you're dad is even worse off. he is so tightly wound around your finger already. i am scared for what's to come. please don't come downstairs in cut off shorts about the size of your undies and a cropped top on. you'll break him.

you and wyatt are continuing to get to know each other. i hold my breath less and less when you two "interact" and you're doing better too - you tend to tense up and freak out when you hear his voice, especially when you nurse. poor girl. yesterday was the first day you ate downstairs while he was only feet away from you! things are looking up.

you took a bottle a couple of weeks ago - you're growing up so fast honey buns. i am already loving every stage. i am looking forward to the stage where you sleep through the night. any day now my love. pretty please? i am definitely having fun with all of the girly things i get to do with you - the accessories especially. loving you in headbands - and each day i learn more about your "style". what i like on you, what your daddy likes. it's fuuuuuun!

you have changed so much since your last monthly shot. you're rollier, and have many more expressions! i am hoping you are animated like your mama. i am dying to see more of your sweet and funny personality. you still have your hilarious cheesy smile, just like you shared with us last month:

you're a gift my love. everyday is like christmas with you. you are a wish granted.

we love you more than rainbows.

your mama.

Friday, October 4, 2013


hey kid - little boy. almost 2 year old. yah, you:

first time in a booster. ever. you're huge here.

you're almost two years old, and there are more and more moments each day where i see a little boy more than i see a baby. it is... sad. and amazing at the same time. you are coming into your own more and more. you surprise us everyday with something new - new words, a new expression, a new obsession. you are a big kid. a brother. you have a personality. it's weird.

you are silly. you are full, i mean like really full, of energy. when you run, your hair moves now. ya, you have hair. and we aren't cutting it. for a really long time. even though it's taking a turn for the mullet. (you're dad cut, what he says to be, a verry small amount off your bangs because you had this dangler of a strand and it actually got stuck in your eye. he didn't tell me. i noticed and kind of freaked out. well, really freaked out. then he told me the story. and lucky for him (and his you know what) he kept the strand he cut and i got a grip. you'll learn this about me. i need to get a "grip" at leeeeeeeast once a week day.)

you are passionate. aka - you scream a lot. and i know you do it to annoy me. it really annoys me. i turn into a giant red button when you do it and you push me, hard. verrrry hard sometimes.

we're learning a lot together these days. this maternity leave has meant more for you and i then it has for your sister and i sometimes. we needed this time together. like, bad. i missed you, kid. really missed you. and i'm in love with all things "hyatt" - that's how you say your name right now. your little language is better than hot brownies with ice-cream. water is "halo", "meal man" is milk man, "ali" is for ali du and maddie, "mama" is for me and gramma, "mommy" is for me and grammy. i'm your translator. "cacton" is paxton. "kaaaa" is car. "bean" is ben. i could go on and on.

you're almost 2. two. years. two years old. i'm getting my head around this so i am not a basket case on your actual birthday. i think i am going to be like this every year around this time. even when you're about to turn 50 and i am an old hag celebrating my 80th the week prior. i think you were born a week after my birthday to take the pressure off me getting older. i kind of look right past my old ass taking on another candle and hone in on yours. with me?

you're more than with me. you're stuck with me. like white on rice. (rice - another fave of yours these days.)

xoxo, times infinity.
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