24 Weeks!

Date: 5/24/16

Cravings: 7up & Trader Joe’s Mini Cheese Sandwich Crackers

Bump: Yes.

Latest Project: Papa S is working on cutting out the artwork I drew for you and I am almost finished binding your baby quilt.

Nursery Status: No change.

Fear: That we won’t get everything done in time – I think I had the same fear with your sister the entire time – and that you will come too early.

Excitement: Watching my belly move around and feeling you move EVERY time I eat something.

Complaint: The heartburn has officially started and if you move any higher in my belly I will be able to taste you!

20 Weeks!

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Date: 4/26/16

Cravings: 7up, Erberts & Gerberts, and Little Debbie Cupcakes (dear lord save me….)

Bump: Yes, if know me, you can definitely see it.  If not, it looks like I had Chipotle for lunch….. yummm, Chipotle….

Latest Project: The artwork for your nursery and we got the kitchen/living room painted.

Nursery Status: I finished making you some cozy flannel sheets but, other than that, nothing. Your sister is breaking it in for you.

Fear: I was very afraid something was wrong but the ultrasound this week made me feel a lot better. Just constantly worried about you growing.

Excitement: Seeing you and making sure everything was growing well at our 20 week ultrasound.

Complaint: I am really feeling pretty good but my lower back is fatigued frequently.

16 Weeks

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Date: 3/29/16

Cravings: Mambas and Crispix

Bump: It is definitely getting there.

Latest Project: Just finished your quilt and dropped it off for the quilter – hopefully you are a boy because daddy said it is “awfully blue”.

Nursery Status: Ummmm, your sister is still sleeping in it and probably will be for a while.  I  have been working on getting her new room cleaned out so – progress – .

Fear: The time is passing so much quicker this time and I feel we have so much to do before you get here.

Excitement: Feeling your tiny kicks for the first time.

Complaint: You are giving me crazy dreams but, other than that, things are pretty great.

Hello.

Hello BK,

I’m terribly sorry.  Here you are only the size of a lemon and I already feel like you are being treated as the second child. We have known about you for ten weeks already.  It seems like yesterday and yet felt like a lifetime ago. At this point, I had probably already wrote your sister a few notes – I’m sorry.  I don’t love you the same or think about you less, I just don’t have the time to document my feelings.

When we found out about you, we were ecstatic but I was guarded.  This wasn’t my first rodeo and I felt as though you could not have come this easy – something was going to go wrong.  It was a long first trimester but, all along the way, you reminded me that everything was okay.  Granted your reassurance was in the form of nausea and extreme food aversions but I guess I’ll take it. At each ultrasound, I expected bad news and it didn’t come. I still hold my breath and cross my toes, little guy, there is a road ahead of us.

So here we are. Second trimester already.  I feel excited, nervous, anxious. Your daddy and I are so excited to meet you.  Your sister doesn’t really understand the concept of you but, man, she LOVES babies. Get ready to be smothered in her love and literally smothered in her sloppy toddler kisses.

I not quite sure how you will fit into our family yet. It is hard to comprehend how I will find the time and energy to spread myself between the two of you.  I think it will just happen – it will just work but the anxiety is still real.

So keep growing little guy and we will figure it out together. With your daddy and sister’s help, I think we will be okay.  It will probably be chaotic and it definitely won’t be pretty but we got this.

You are already so loved.

Momma

Can’t Help Falling In Love With You

The Summer of Everything

This was supposed to be my summer of nothing.  Summer 2012 – we built a house and planned a wedding.  Summer 2013 – we became newly weds and figured out how to deal with major loss.  Summer 2014 – we learned how to be parents and how to love eachother through the parenting. 2015 – was to be our year of recovery; to focus on everything we had built together and enjoy it; to be us – all three of us.

Summer 2015 came at us with a different plan.

With Derek’s work schedule, we were used to carefully prioritizing events and deciding which he would be able to attend and which Hammie & I would take on solo. Full weekends with Daddy were special and only once a month. But as life would have it, Summer 2015 brought a major and unexpected career change for Hubs. Suddenly, we had countless weekends and much more time during the week to spend together.  My “summer of nothing” became a summer of everything.  We had picnics, discovered countless breweries, camped, spent a weekend at Grandma & Grandpa’s, took a week long family trip with Grannie & Grandpa, finished a full marathon on rollerblades, went on LONG walks almost everyday, saw friends get married – and best of all – attended every weekend event as a family. It was amazing.

As blessed as we were with all the fun, every new adventure has growing pains.  It was hard.  It was uncertain. It was adjustment. For the fourth year of our lives, it was hard. Hubs and I used eachother – as punching bags, as sounding boards, as strength, as a place to store our fear, as a reminder of why it is all worth it.

Looking back now, as we recover and rebuild, I see we grew again.  January 7th will mark our fifth year as partners.  I know marrriage isn’t easy for anyone but this relationship has got to be special to survive such major changes in the first half decade. I am proud to say we are survivors. We are fighters.

We are each others lighters.

Riser
(ps – if this video doesn’t make you bawl, you aren’t human.)

The End.

445 Days. 64 weeks. Just shy of 15 months. And that fails to take into account the 9 months prior.

I have supported life for the past 24 months. It makes me super proud to say that.  I makes me feel extremely lucky that my body was able to sustain another human life for two years. It also makes me extremely sad to say that it is over.

People worried that I was “spoiling” my infant. Feeding her too often. Not setting her down often enough. But thanks to biology, instinct, and fierce love, Hammie and I pushed through.  We pushed through four months of soreness, weaning from a nipple shield, and 445 days of refusing to even discuss taking a bottle. It sucked but, man, it was amazing.

It seems perfect that we are celebrated our first full week without breastfeeding just as the world celebrates “World Breastfeeding Week”.  Because, even though we are done breastfeeding, I am ecstatic – I accomplished my goal. Hammie doesn’t have any idea what formula tastes like, I never spent a penny on cans of formula, and we made it through winter cold season with only one illness.

I feel like a rockstar.  Not because I am any better than any other mother, but because I did something amazing –  I singlehandedly sustained Hammie’s nutritional needs for months, the better part of her first year. I trusted my biology, leaned on a few helpful mamas, and kept my baby close at all times.

People often say that they plan to “try” to breastfeed when their baby arrives.  I can, without a doubt, say that it takes much more than trying to make it work. It takes desire and drive.  It takes selflessness and patience. So many times, it would have been easier to hand a bottle over to Hubs and head out to dinner with friends but that isn’t what having children is about.  It’s about sacrificing for their happiness.  It’s about making sure their needs are met before your own.  It’s about scheduling 8:30 girls’ night dinners so you can put your baby to bed at 8:00.

So as I mourn the loss of my baby and our special time together, I celebrate the new independence and the start of toddlerhood. I celebrate the new closeness we get to experience when we cuddle before bed. And I especially celebrate the new special time Hubs gets to enjoy as he can now participate in bedtime.  He gets to share in the cuddles and bedtime routine.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week – past, present, and future breastfeeding mamas.

Renegades

One

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Dearest Hammie,

You are one. We officially celebrated with yogurt and a picnic and unofficially celebrated with a crap load of people, a tutu, tails, and one gigantic cake of your very own.

I still can’t believe a whole year has passed. Some days I still can’t believe you are all mine forever. I know I have to share you but you will always be mine.

We have survived your first 104+ temperature, countless boo-boos, and thousands of hours spent cuddling and nursing. I know everyone thinks their kid is perfect but you truly were a great baby. Sleeping through the night early – you know your mama doesn’t do well without sleep – and unbelievably happy.

It is so much fun to see your personality beginning to show – although the stubbornness and independence is trying some days. Everyone always comments on how smiley you are – seriously, you make friends with everyone you see and love to smile to make others smile back. You have no problem leaving mom in the dust at “school” because you know I’ll be the first to pick you up when you fall.

Thank you for making this first year amazing. And exhausting. Incredibly fulfilling and highly emotional. Thank you for pushing Daddy and I to grow into new people. Hopefully better people.

I promise to spend the next year continuing to help you grow into even more of an amazing toddler. I also promise to start watching my f*bombs – I know you are listening.

I love you in the morning and in the afternoon. I love you in evening and underneath the moon.

Always my baby.
Momma

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The Year of Me

Well, 2014 was a success.  I fulfilled my New Year’s Resolution of finding “my happy” – of finding my happiness for others.  This resolution made me the most whole. I was able to fully appreciate the happiness of others and truly enjoy it.  I found my happy in Hubs being the first person to hold Hammie’s hand, Cousin IJ losing her 7th tooth, Uncle T finding a love for crossfit and Auntie A starting a new career adventure.  I could feel the joy in Auntie T learning to drive and Auntie R starting life-altering fitness plan. My heart grew as Grandpa and Grannie celebrated 30 years together and Grandpa and Grandma S started running 5Ks.  It amazed me to watch old friends become new moms and buy new houses and when great moms announced they were again growing their families. My pride swelled as Hammie learned to rollover and grew six teeth.  When she discovered how to crawl, sit, and smile.

2014 was great. G-R-E-A-T. 2014 made me a mom.

2013 was amazing. It made me a wife.

The past two years, I have spent learning a new identity.  First how to be a wife and second how to become a mother. It was incredible and challenging. It was invigorating and exhausting.  It made me cry a lot, love a lot, and laugh a lot.

So what does that mean for 2015?  A month has already passed. Hammie has grown 2 more teeth and cousin IJ lost her 8th. I have turned a year older and celebrated another year as a partner to my Hubs.

2015, I  have decided, is about me.  It is about learning what I need to feel whole and fulfilled. It is taking time to build new friendships and salvage old ones.  It is about letting go of grudges and letting things slide. It is about loving people for who they are and appreciating them for their capabilities. 2015 is about regaining my style, my fitness, my drive.  It is about having more conversations that don’t involve breastfeeding, nap schedules, and diapers. It’s about maintaining my identity outside of my family so I can better enjoy my time with my family.

2015 is the year I learn how to be the best me so I can be a better wife and momma.

Ready or Not

#Thankful

Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season. It is the approving nod to put up those holiday wreaths, pull out those dusty stockings, and cut down that fresh scented tree. We string hundreds of bulbs of holiday cheer in the form tiny twinkle lights and put on those corny holiday albums. Thanksgiving is the start of it all.  The day we reflect on the amazing lives we have been blessed with, stuff our faces with family bonding (and food), and go around the table stating the one thing we are most grateful for.

Turkey-Day is the only holiday that has only two requirements – food and love.  Seriously, how amazing is that? No fussing with presents and unnecessary décor. Just load up the table with hungry faces and fill the plates with steaming piles of carbohydrates! That’s it.  We get to focus on the real meat – not, just the turkey. We think about the people sharing our table and growing our lives. The ones who make us smile and make the minutes of our lives memories.

This year, my heart is happy. It is full. Hubs and I have survived the first six months of parenthood and are beginning to figure out our path as parents and spouses. Hammie has survived her first six months as our first born and is beginning to figure out how to make our lives more complicated by becoming mobile.

I know we meet the two necessary Thanksgiving requirements. I am beyond lucky to say that my heart is as full today as my plate was at dinner.

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Great

Dearest Hammie,

I am not good at a lot of things – sharing my favorite snacks, asking for help when I desperately need it, saying I’m sorry – but thank you for making me really good at one thing. I am really great at being your momma.

The days in the hospital were rough but, once we got home, things kind of just fit. I learned your different sounds and you learned to navigate my twice-the-size-of-your-head boobs.

Six months ago you made me a momma and everyday I am proud to hold that title. So much has changed in those few months but you and I just seem to work.  You are the white to my rice. My sidekick. I am going to hold on tight to these few days that you think I am the greatest because, I fear, soon you will realize how fab your daddy is. You look just like him and you already have his silly sense of humor.

But ***shhhhhhh*** for the next little while you are still mine. I am going to keep reminding myself that you make me great. You make me really good at one thing…. being your momma.

Love Always!

Your Momma