Category Archives: Notes About Mommyhood

She’s Here!

Testing…testing…this thing on?

Just wanted to peek out of my hiding place to make a little announcement…

…our precious baby girl has arrived!

Baby N arrived on Tuesday, February 8 at 10:29 a.m. She weighed in at 6 lbs, 10 oz, was 20 inches long…and is basically the sweetest baby in the world (in case you were wondering). 🙂

She and I have spent much time bonding, and I am in love with my sweet little lovebird!

The past week and a half has been a wonderful time for our little family. M has been fortunate enough to have several days off of work, so we have been able to spend lots of time bonding as a family, getting to know our new little one, and adjusting to being a family of five (It feels so weird just to type that, by the way — FIVE! We have THREE children! Surreal!).

Anyway, I have plans to write about her labor/birth (preview: in my mind, baby N will forever be associated with the show Survivor-Man) and perhaps even her name…and no, though I am far behind, I have not given up on my Project 365 (trust me, I have at least a picture a day for the last couple weeks!) . I will catch up in due time. But not now. For now I am keeping plenty busy catching up with life,  and just enjoying this precious little dear that currently snoozing on my chest!

HEAVENLY!!! 🙂

 

Savor

It has been a long week. This baby within me is growing, as is my physical discomfort. Contractions — the painful kind — started making their appearance on Wednesday, and and have returned sporadically since then. I’m achy. I’m tired but I can’t sleep. Insomnia + achiness does not a good night’s sleep make. Going to bed has become the most un-restful part of my day. I’m tired of not being able to carry my babies or snuggle close with them on my lap, as they have been asking me to. I can’t keep my house very clean, and caring for the physical and spiritual needs of my kids has become a challenge. I have been blessed with a lot of help and understanding from my wonderful family and husband, but still — I have been ready to move on to the next stage of all of this…focused on hoping that baby N will be here soon (that hope increased by the fact that my other two babies arrived a couple weeks early) so that I can once again be comfortable and feel like the mom I want to be….

…but then I’ve been reflecting on a conversation I had on Thursday morning with a new friend from my Bible Study Fellowship group. We were talking about how I was nearing the end of my pregnancy, and though I can’t remember her exact words, she made a comment to the effect of “Just think of how bittersweet it will be to finish this stage of things”. At first I thought she was talking about pregnancy itself, so I said “Yeah…I’m sure I’ll miss feeling the baby move, and all of that…”, but then she explained that she was talking not only about pregnancy itself, but about this stage of family. These are the last few weeks (days) when we will be a family of 4 — when my two kids will be the only two kids. Once the baby is born, things will forever be different — GOOD different, but different.

So…with that thought in my mind, I want to focus on savoring this time as best I can before things change. I am uncomfortable and I don’t know how I can possibly make it for 4 more weeks until my due date…but I pray that I don’t lose sight of the fact that there is so much to treasure and enjoy, even in this moment when it’s so easy to focus on what’s next.

And I’m pretty sure this is a life lesson I’ll need to remember even after this baby has arrived!

The Cake

I grew up in a home where the cake was a key part of each child’s birthday celebration. Almost every year, on the night before our birthday parties, my mom (who is amazing in the kitchen) would bake a 1/2 sheet cake and coat it with a white layer of Betty Crocker buttercream frosting. She would also mix up the remaining frosting in a variety of vibrant colors. My dad (who is an amazing artist) would then go to town decorating the cake to fit whatever the theme of the birthday party was, decorating almost entirely with a star-shaped frosting tip. They would literally stay up almost half the night creating these cakes! I wish I had a photo of one of those cakes to share with you; they were true works of art (though, at the time, I didn’t realize how much work they took)!

So, as you can imagine, as we start to celebrate my own kids’ birthdays, the cake is key for me. For W’s birthday this year, I borrowed my mom’s 1/2 sheet cake pan, cake platter, and frosting decorating tips/bags. I also got the skinny from her on the cake mix she uses (3 boxes of Duncan Hines baked for 1 hr at 325) as well as the exact frosting recipe. She told me she felt like she was “passing the torch”, which is kind of fun. 🙂

As I mentioned in an earlier post, W decided that he wanted his cake to have his favorite things on it, and he even provided a handy list:

  • Crayons
  • Toy Story
  • Cars
  • Farm Animals
  • Star Wars
  • Legos
  • Waffles
  • Paper Towels
  • Napkins
  • Thomas the Tank Engine
  • Chips
  • Apple Juice
  • Mater (*made out of chocolate)
  • Fire Engine

I saw it as a challenge. I baked and frosted the cake, and then (after a few trips to Walmart and the Dollar Tree :)) did my best to decorate it according to his wishes. Here is what I came up with:

  • Crayons
  • Toy Story
  • Cars
  • Farm Animals
  • Star Wars
  • Legos
  • Waffles
  • Paper Towels
  • Napkins
  • Thomas the Tank Engine
  • Chips
  • Apple Juice
  • Mater (*made out of chocolate)
  • Fire Engine

As you can see, I got most of them checked off the list, though apple juice, Thomas, napkins, waffles and Mater-made-out-of-chocolate just didn’t happen (I mean really, where would one find a Mater-made-out-of-chocolate?!). I’ve forbidden myself for kicking myself over these omissions, however, and am choosing to focus on what did end up on the cake. 🙂

Yeah…not the most amazing work of art (do you like the way the brown frosting border is sliding off the edge of the cake in that one spot? :)), but it was fun to make.

And…we have LOTS left over. Lots. Turns out a 1/2 sheet cake is a lot of cake for 13 people. A LOT. LOTS. In retrospect, I probably should have invited you all over for a cake party earlier this week.

We could have dined on cake and Spumoni ice cream and discussed our favorite things.

Now He Is 3

3 years ago tonight I woke my husband up at 2 am. I was a week away from my due date and I thought the baby had punched a hole in my belly (I was a little tired). Turns out, I was in labor. 🙂

12 hours later, this happened:

Aaaaand…BAM!

Suddenly we were parents to a beautiful baby boy, and things have never been the same…and my, how time has already flown!

Today we are celebrating the birthday of our little buddy — 3 years of his joy, his hugs, his silliness, his strong will :), and his growing heart.

I sure love everything about him and thank God for him every day!

Dancing

OK, I have lots to be working on right now. But I couldn’t resist posting this scene from earlier today.

It happened while I was making dinner in the kitchen. S was playing near me, and W came up to her and asked her to come dance with him in the living room. She went with him, and after giving them about 30 seconds I decided I should probably grab my camera and peek around the corner to see what was happening in the living room.

This is what I saw:

and then this:

and then (brace yourselves for cuteness) this:

(which, I might add, happened with NO PROMPTING from mommy!)

Of course, lest you think that it was all sweetness and gentleness, this video will show you what it was really like. 🙂 Still, their love for each other was evident, which is such a blessing to this mommy’s heart!!!

The Birthday Party Post

(Please Note: All the good photos in this blog post were taken by my sister. Yes, that’s right, all the good photos. The rest were taken by me. Once you see them I think it will be fairly clear which is which. :))

Baby S turned 1 a couple of weeks ago, so it was time to par-tay! We invited the grandparents, aunts & uncles over and had a fun evening.

I decided on a “flower/garden” theme for the party. I’d originally envisioned a room decorated with tons of homemade tissue paper flowers like these ones from Badgers On the Loose, and a cupcake stand full of beautifully decorated pastel cupcakes much like the ones on the front of my Magnolia Bakery cookbook:

(except with some cute little candy flowers kind of like the ones on the cupcakes pictured here. )

Alas, reality hit. The party ended up coming at the tail end of a crazy week, and, long story short, I ended up with only 4 hours free before the party to prepare dinner, bake the cupcakes, decorate the cupcakes, and decorate. And clean. So…with all of the craziness, the paper flowers ended up becoming an activity for the guests (which they did a better job with than I would have, anyway :)) :

…and the cupcakes ended up looking a little gloppy since I decorated them all in, like, 5 minutes…

…but we still had a lovely time celebrating the most important part of the event: sweet baby S!


(OH! And I should tell you about the cake. Did you know that Lunds offers free first birthday cakes? We got one and used it as S’s own personal cake to destroy (though, I admit, I snuck a piece or two from the untouched side of it…once the party was over, of course :)). Anyway, they are beautifully decorated, custom ordered, and absolutely delicious! All you need to do is bring your baby’s birth certificate in to the bakery to prove your babies birthdate, and you are all set to order! Quite a deal that I would highly recommend.)

Anyway, all in all a great time…though I’m still working on accepting the fact that my baby is 1!!!

The Love of a Little Child

It’s almost 2 pm. I’m kind of frazzled. I’m kind of gross. I think I may have quickly run a brush through my hair this morning. Absolutely no make-up is on my face. I don’t think I’ve brushed my teeth all day (can’t remember).

And you know what? My kids don’t care. It’s been a day full of snuggles and hugs and kisses and fun. I woke up feeling discouraged by the many sad circumstances I keep hearing about around me, and God used my kids to encourage me today through their sheer sweetness. They love me no matter how gross I am. Not that there aren’t other people who love me no matter how gross I am — my wonderful husband chief among them — but there is something special about the unconditional love of a little child. There’s an innocence about it that exists in no other human relationship I can think of. They really don’t care. They don’t even notice! They’re not even thinking “Hmmm, mommy’s gross but I will choose to love her anyway.” No, they are completely oblivious to my grossness. It’s not even on their radar. I’m their mommy, and that’s reason enough for them to love me and hug me and snuggle with me.

I think there is much I can learn about the love of my Father — and therefore how to love others — from the love of my kids.