Sunday, November 16, 2014

to the sweetest six year old

My sweet Ruby,

I used to be timely with such love notes and documenting your milestones.  Then I had two other little people to fraction my attention.  I'm going to go ahead and consider this being within the same week a victory.

Six years old.  It seems impossible.  Sometimes, it's hard for me to believe you are mine, let alone that you have been apart of our lives for that long.  You are the very illustration of the thought: my heart is walking around outside of my body.  Being that you are my first - my little guinea pig - there are so many unknowns.  Sending you to school is exciting and absolutely terrifying.  I love hearing about your friends and the things you love about school (everything!) but to think of anything negative happening to your precious little self makes me nervous every single day.

You have always had such an unselfish love for the rest of the world.  Compassionate and a caring heart that humbles me greatly.  After spending most of this year being pregnant and very sick, that appreciation has been magnified greatly.  Hearing prayers of healing being whispered over your lips repeatedly, your helpfulness with  Eisley and around the house has been so far beyond your years.  I'm thankful for your love and awareness for others' needs.

You learned to read at the beginning of February.  Watching the pieces fall into place and your look of delight as you read was amazing to witness.  You have since mastered the BOB books and point out various words and phrases that are familiar.  You love the idea of chapter books and we have begun reading them at bedtime.

Your imagination continues to embellish pretend play in the most amazing ways.  You love to play school and and recently, you spend a lot of time writing stories.  Your first story, written in October, was about you and Eisley being super heros and rescuing cats and catching bad guys. You are inspired by Doc McStuffins and create casts out of paper and stickers.

You sing along to the songs on the radio, count to 100, and teach Eisley addition facts to pass the time in the car.  You love going to ballet and I can always count on you to remember things at the store that didn't make my shopping list.

This fall, you went to a cheerleading clinic and then got to cheer at one of daddy's football games.  You told me, "All of my dreams came true, I am a REAL cheerleader!"

Most recently, I feel like the size of my heart must have quadrupled with the love I now hold for you (and your siblings).  Watching you love Luca and appreciate the smallest details delights me in a way I find impossible to put into words.  Just the other day, you helped me put his tiny clothes into a basket from the dryer.  It took you about twelve times longer than it should have, and upon inspection, we discovered you were pulling things out one at a time with excited squeals, "This is SO CUTE!"  You sing to him and rock him and just love him.  You marvel at the miracle of life and his tiny, perfect little body.

Other things you love include, but are not limited to: Jesus, waffles, princesses, arts and crafts, pedicures, family, singing, and school.

Six years old seems impossibly too old, but your wonder about the world and the way you love without question makes me realize how little six really is.  We are crazy in love with you and what you bring to our family.

Happy 6th Birthday, precious love!

Love you to the moon.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

luca's birthday

a week before peanut arrived.

Tuesday (the 21st) I had a long conversation with my doctor regarding the possibilities of accidentally birthing a baby somewhere other than a hospital.  She told me she would be in touch with the hospital and call me to let me know the plan after we decided an induction seemed safest (I have very mixed opinions - still - regarding this).  Months and months ago, I dreamt of meeting a baby on the 23 and have held onto the dream ever since.  Minutes later, my phone rang.  I was to check in at the hospital on the 23rd at 7:30 am.

The nice side of induction is the ability to make plans in advance and have no worries about the frantic nature of making plans at the last minute.  And despite the fact that I knew pregnancy had to end sometime, the shock of it all was astounding.  I found it worse to know for days about when exactly we would meet our baby.

Wednesday showed up with Aunt Sara's arrival and plans for pedicures after one last stop at Babies R Us.  Family rolled in that night - we did a last pre-baby dinner at Red Lobster where they made a special dessert for the girls and for the baby's impending arrival.  It was a nice way to stop thinking about the events of the next day.  The peace vanished when we got home.  We made last minute plans and arrangements, but my head felt like a never-ending reel of thoughts.  I slept a solid three hours before I was up and unable to sleep much more.

Six o'clock came early, but it was the start of something magical.  I called the hospital to confirm, and things started happening.  The girls were up and eating, and the rest of the house was abuzz with excitement.  I was so excited and absolutely terrified of what the day held.

Walking into the hospital with belongings and snacks and a whole support system felt a bit like we were checking into a hotel for a great time - the panicked flutters of my stomach were a different story.  And also the hospital gown sort of ruined the vacation vibe.  My midwife and doctor met us there at 8:00.  I could spend hours talking about my love for the both of them.  They have given me the absolute best care.  We discussed different induction options and ended up going with having my water broken first to see what my body would do.  That happened at 8:30, and basically was all fun until 1:00 when I found out nothing had happened.  Even with a prideful walk to the cafeteria in the aforementioned hospital attire PLUS the amazing hospital socks.  The doctor said she was pretty sure baby had hair; something I found hard to believe but something that ended up propelling my ability to focus through things later.  We don't make babies with hair!

So then, pitocin happened.  And for awhile, it was still fun.  My sister made me laugh so hard, the nurse came into see if I was laughing or puking as the spiked lines on the contraction monitor picked up.  For once in the entire pregnancy, the puking was trumped with uncontrollable laughter.  Let me just say - my nurse?  Also absolutely amazing.  She left with the instructions to keep laughing; life is better that way.  I laughed my way to three o'clock when I had to stop laughing so hard, as they made my contractions a bit more intense.  And then four o'clock happened and I wished I could see 3:00 again.  I had feelings that baby was turned funny which was likely halting the rapid progress everyone had expected.  We walked and rocked and suddenly, I wanted to disappear.  I knew things were happening.      The trips to the bathroom with my pole and my husband were things I will never forget.  It always ended in laughter which seems quite inappropriate, but it was more like I needed to speak without a filter for a few solid minutes before returning.  4:00 also put the kabosh on this.  Instead, I said things like, "I'm not gonna get a gold star for doing this without medicine, right?"  I also (allegedly) said, "I feel like an animal in the zoo."

By 5:00, the contractions were on top of one another leaving my body tense and tired, something I knew wasn't good for productivity.  I asked about my pain options, and we decided on a dose of Fentenyl.  Something that immediately sparked jokes about margaritas.  The idea was that you are to have back to back doses for it to maximize the potential for relieving pain.  The second dose never happened.  After receiving the first one at 5:24, the pitocin was shut off and my doctor was on her way.      I was in another world.  The nurse made a comment to Jimmy in reference to peanut's heart rate - she showed him that it had responded when the doctor had touched its head.  I remember thinking I wanted to yell, "WHO CARES!"  Now I think it's extremely amazing that things like this happen, and I'm glad she took the time to share the moment with us.

Right before six, I was told baby was a bit crooked (I had mentioned this many hours earlier - I just felt like it wasn't quite in the right position) and after an extremely uncomfortable encounter with the peanut ball, I knew my baby would be here soon.  Shortly before 6:00, my body began working - something I am absolutely amazed by.  There was not one time of counting, nothing forced and unnatural.  At 6:07, I pulled my baby onto my chest and felt the biggest rush of relief.

We heard, "What is it??"  I hadn't even cared.  I had a perfect baby on my chest, and it was over.  I picked baby up and saw boy parts - UNREAL.  It was absolutely shocking and such an awesome surprise.  And he had hair!  I will never forget the moments each of my babies were placed on me and the moments beyond.  Luca spent the first hours of his life showing us that he knows his hands and their comforting abilities very well.

Fun fact: my placenta was heart-shaped.

He weighed in at 7 pounds, 10 ounces and was 20 inches long.  Jimmy and I welcomed family to love on him, and then spent the night admiring him...after the most delicious dinner of my life - a sub sandwich and a huge soda.  Jimmy took this opportunity for Luca's first lesson in sports as Sports Center played in the background.  You know the hospital thing where they want vitals every fifteen minutes (fine, three hours.) so I basically slept for two hours and spent the rest of the time staring at my perfect baby or staring at my poor, snoring husband crammed on a reclining chair.

The following morning, I didn't even care about the exhaustion.  I was determined to get a shower, a coffee from Starbucks, and actual clothes.  I didn't let myself down.  We also had visitors, and Jimmy ran off to a parent-teacher conference and to pick out the surprise coming home outfit.

So, the lack of sleep part made the desire to be home that much greater.  We got to order a delicious celebratory meal and once Luca was cleared by the lab, we were set to go at 9:00 pm that night.

We had the sweetest greeting when we arrived home. Ruby has talked about baking a birthday cake for the baby from about the second she found out there was a baby.  They made a strawberry cake with chocolate frosting, and topped it with fresh strawberries, sprinkles, and a 0 candle.

daddy pretty much nailed the coming home outfit.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


I am obsessed.

This is the sweetest boy.  His long-lashed blue eyes, his milky breath, the way he likes to hold my hand.  The snuggliest, handsomest little love.

The way his hair is disheveled after a night of sleeping in a tiny hat.  

His itty-bitty stretches and the accompanying wrinkled faces.

The way he keeps his hands beneath his chin to sleep.

The way he still fits perfectly on my chest, so scrunched up still.

His button nose and his perfect little ears.

Oh, my sweet Luca.  May you always know how much we absolutely adore you.

The love these two have for him is something I can't describe - they show it in different ways, but they are crazy about him.  And they both share my appreciation for good boy fashion.

Life is good.  So, so good.  I'm sorting through pictures and the birth story in my head.  Some day, I will share it.  As it turns out, life didn't stop for baby #3 and when things are slow, I'm busy soaking up his tiny baby snuggles while he's still so squishy and sleepy.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Luca Jack

It's already hard to imagine a life without him.  The most precious boy.

We welcomed our sweet Luca Jack on Thursday, October 23 at 6:07 pm.  A day that will be burned into my heart and mind forever.  I am beyond thankful and living in a euphoric state of bliss.  He is the sweetest, snuggliest baby.

Details coming soon.  I'm hunting the best of tiny old man apparel (hellooo, sweater vests!) and feel like I'm in a fun new dimension.

Friday, October 10, 2014

baby's shenanigans

The thought of stumbling off this roller coaster is enough to flood my brain and my heart with enough emotions to last a decade.  Reliving the last nine months has raised fears about whether or not I'll actually be able to step off the roller coaster quietly.  Last Sunday was particularly panicking after I deemed baby's movements too lazy.  Being my most active baby, the slow down was stressful, and accompanied by some scary tagalong thoughts.

There is something so painfully vulnerable about pregnancy.  The miraculous and fragile nature of life, completely out of my hands.  A lesson in trust and patience.  I voiced my fears to my doctor on Tuesday.  After an ultrasound and a mess of an NST in which it took multiple people to track down baby on the monitor for the allotted time to be monitored (nothing like my unborn child showing the world I'm a liar - the minute the words were spoken aloud to my doctor, active baby showed itself).  It looks just as it should, and my mind is at peace again.  I walked away so thankful for the life that blooms in there, a sweet little person so oblivious to the frightening things of this world.  And also, the staff at my doctor's office is absolutely unbelievable.  Aware that fears are real, whether or not they are reasonable, they have held my hand through so many scary and unknown moments on this journey.

Peanut had the last laugh, knocking off the monitor with its big movements.  I'd rather be made to look silly, then to have kept my mouth shut, but does this ever pique my curiosity about the little love that lives in there.

We received our traditional hospital bag snacks in the mail today - baby can officially be arriving any day now.  Though, I would appreciate it waiting until I get my hair done next Wednesday. (Because, priorities.  If my hair doesn't get attention now, it could be a year from now that it sees some love.)  If I was physically capable of jogging, I would begin on that day.  Aside from the frantic crocheting going on to ensure baby has a sufficient amount of animal-eared hats, my joints are also rocking 80 year old status.

Come on, peanut.  We are so ready to see your sweet face.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

the last few weeks

So much of this every year, but this year?  I can't even describe the euphoric feeling that has accompanied the turning of the calendar this month.

I recently heard from Eisley as I pulled her out of the car: "You still got that baby in there?"

I share the precise sentiments, little love.  Baby is doing it's last little bit of growing before it enters a world so full of love and chaos; I can hardly imagine a life not pregnant and not nauseous.

My body hurts, my mind is exhausted, and I'd just assume spend my life in the hot shower where warm water seems to be nicer to my joints than real life.  Our countdown chain looks pitifully small, almost worthless.  Jimmy has probably lost pounds from shivering through the night - his mockery makes me laugh until I contract.  I know this is the end.  I'm thankful to be here.  I'm thankful for the hiccups and practice breathing witnessed from the outside.  The alien lumps that stick out and the little body parts that slide by.  I am so anxious to meet this little person.

The nesting is out of control.  Cabinets are organized, closets are organized, and dressers are full of clean, properly-fitting clothing.  I keep thinking I am finished with putting things in their places, and then I get a wild notion to some more rearranging.  Part of me wishes the extra neurotic type A would stick around to keep this house on a very tidy schedule, but then I drive myself sort of nuts and I can't wait to see her go.

Also, the mints are still happening.  And ice crunching.  I don't even know who I am anymore - I find ice chomping one of the most obnoxious habits known to mankind.  And here I am.

We're at 24 days.  Somehow, this still seems impossibly long.  Cherishing the last moments of this.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

yellow, crunchy leaves and pumpkin spice.

She still calls me mama. 

 A consolation prize alongside the growth she has done in the last several months.  I love this age.

 One thing the last two weeks has brought (that I am not in love with) - the idea that shiny floors which happen to reside in most places we need to go at least weekly (Ahem, TARGET.)  will swallow her whole.  This leads to stammering, snail-walking, dramatic falling, and copious amounts of sweat for me.  It also leads to stares, as I get on the floor with her and knock on it, letting her know it's entirely whole, the shine is a reflection from the lights above.

She has taken full advantage of my melty mama heart with new bedtime stalling tactics - "I want to feel the baby!"  So she climbs into my arms, and we poke baby until it pokes back and Eisley laughs and laughs.

I'm doing weird things like pantry organizing and standing on my head to fight specks of dust in the most obscure places.  We are 34+ weeks, and according to the doctor, baby has been reading the text books.  Baby is head down and measuring right on.  By far my wiggliest little peanut, I am so curious about the life that grows within me.  My appointments for the remainder of the pregnancy are scheduled and I am under strict instruction to have my things ready in the next two weeks.  I'm starting to revisit that old notion where I planned a closet full of handmade baby things and a freezer full of meals.  I usually revisit these thoughts at 3 am as the heartburn starts its party.

We are spending our days in the comfortable arms of fall.  My baking desires have returned, full-fledged, and my freezer is filling with treats.  The vibrant leaves are a tangible reminder of the extra love that is in store for us this fall.  The pumpkin spice lattes pale in comparison, but given my limited intake, I cherish those too.

{39 days}
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