Thursday, April 27, 2017

On Baby Number Three

The very fact that this is the first baby-related blog post I've written during this pregnancy, and it comes just shy of a mere two weeks from my due date, ought to give ample evidence of one of the key differences between this pregnancy and my previous two.

That being, there has just been so much less time to focus on it! Part of that is intentional...for having done this twice before, I've largely known what to expect when I'm expecting, what my body is doing, what's fascinating/normal/annoying, etc., and the need to document it all has just not existed in the same way as it previously has. I do not take for granted in the slightest, however, the miracle I am taking part in and the gift I am experiencing in carrying this baby. I just now know from a little experience that the "real" fun and memory-making comes once the little one joins our family. Raising the babies that are already here has taken most of my attention over the past many months, and rightly so, I think.

The other part of my lack of documentation is not intentional, I'm afraid, and to a degree, I do regret not having written more and photographed more and journaled more. (I have kept a pregnancy journal again this time, though! There was that one entry!) As it turns out, raising those aforementioned babies that are already here has taken most of my attention...and energy...and time...and energy...(did I mention energy?)...throughout this pregnancy. Truth be told, I am banking somewhat on the possibility that, since this newest member of the family is a boy, perhaps he won't have such strong feelings once he's grown in knowing every detail of his mother's pregnancy journey. In my mind, a little boy won't care as much about those things as his older sisters could. I could be wrong, though, and this may be my first lesson in figuring out how to parent boys as compared to parenting little girls.

In any case, here we are, anxiously awaiting our son's arrival that could happen, really, any time now.... Emerson was three days early; Brennan was born a full week before her anticipated due date. I've heard from more than one friend about how each subsequent child seems to come earlier and earlier; I'm trying to mentally-prepare myself for that possibility. I'm really just hoping to make it to May.... In some ways, his near-arrival has snuck up on me. I've mentioned to a few friends that I think we're going to get to the hospital and wonder how we ended up there! Bringing a baby into the world is always a somewhat surreal experience, I've decided. This time, perhaps even more so!

On being a boy. I'll be honest. My initial reaction to opening the envelope and reading "BOY" on the card was not an especially positive one. Bobby and I opened the envelope at midnight on New Year's Eve, and in hindsight, having such an emotional moment at a time when we were both weary was perhaps not the best idea. Lesson learned. Anyway, I was not immediately overwhelmed with joy. In fact, though I'd said I didn't care either way, I don't think it was until that moment that I realized that I did actually have strong feelings about having another girl. Three sisters. We'd both expected that it would be another girl, given my symptoms and our general "feeling". But, we were wrong. Bobby was happy, though I don't think he even got to savor the moment of learning he was having a son due to concern over the state of my mental health in that moment. I'm not proud of it, but that's what happened.

The next morning was Sunday, and we were still the only ones who knew the gender of the baby. I was struggling to wrap my head around the news, and "grieving" (though I know that's too strong a word) the little girl I thought we would have. But, tears (of the positive emotional variety) came to my eyes as we worshipped and sang songs with such lyrics as "...sovereign over every step...", "...You are perfect in all of Your ways to us...", and "it is well, it is well, with my soul". And, in that moment, it was.

Having a baby boy wasn't what I expected or thought I needed. But, in the days since then, I have grown to not only accept, but quite like the idea of having a little boy in our family. The Lord knows what dynamics our family needs now, and in the years to come, and I'm thankful that He is the One designing our family.

On being "ready". People often ask if I'm "ready" for the baby to be born, and it feels as though it's often implied that "ready" means "get this over with" or be finished with the pregnancy. And, in that sense, no, I'm not. I'm not miserably uncomfortable or desperate, and quite honestly, I find this last-stage of pregnancy to be one of my favorites. If I'm going to be pregnant, I might as well look good and pregnant, and there's something about the final preparations and excitement and suspense (and what I'm considering to be nesting-related adrenaline and energy!) that makes it fun. So, am I in a hurry for him to be here? No. It'll happen when it happens. Although I am certainly excited to meet the little guy! Am I ready mentally and emotionally? I think so. As much as one can be, I'd say. The hospital bag is packed, the laundry is all caught-up, and the house is tidy. Now...we wait!

On my physical condition. There were the weeks and weeks of morning sickness and weariness and general exhaustion...the gory details of which have largely faded from memory. That's probably for the best, anyway, and really just indicative of the temporary nature of such things. "This too shall pass" holds true, and though miserable in the midst of it, it really doesn't last forever. Life goes on. Really, one of the biggest struggles I remember facing during those early weeks of pregnancy this go-around was the mental anxiety of wondering what in the world I'd done, knowing that I was too exhausted to feel like I was taking care of the girls particularly well.... Thoughts of "I'm too tired and lazy to handle two children...what was I thinking imagining that I can handle another baby?!" crept into my mind frequently. I was forgetting in my weariness, of course, that when I'm firing on all cylinders, feeling healthy and NOT in the early stages of pregnancy, I am absolutely up to the challenge. But, that feeling was defeating and difficult...but, it too passed.

The largest physical complaint of this pregnancy, though, is definitely the lower-back/rear end/hip (truly, I can't even place it or figure out exactly what hurts) pain that shows up at the end of each day. It really is brutal, and unlike anything I dealt with previously. I don't know if it's a result of carrying this little guy differently (everyone says that I am), or being that much older (hello, thirty!), or just the result of my body's changes for having done this twice already before. In any case, that has been a challenge. I must create quite the spectacle for Bobby, as he's helplessly watched as I try to get off the couch multiple times each evening, struggling to get upright and slowly shuffling to the bathroom as my back readjusts. It isn't a pretty picture.

I am looking forward to my postpartum workout routine more so than ever, hopeful that this back trouble is another temporary ailment. I enjoy being pregnant...but I think a lot of the "luster" of the experience has left, and I've been less patient with its unpleasantries this time. I'm reminding myself that I also enjoy not being pregnant...having my body do what I want it to do...and being able to keep up with these girls the way that I want to be able to.

On feeling confident. I'm so proud of having given birth to both girls naturally, and that has always been the plan for this birth, too. Still, it isn't particularly something I've looked forward to. I wasn't, and am not, fearful, per se...but I wasn't particularly confident about the event until about two weeks ago. Bobby was out of town for the week, and the big trashcan in the garage needed to be emptied into the dumpster outside. As he was away, the task became mine. Quite literally, strange as it sounds, in that moment of hoisting the big black trash bag up and out and into the dumpster, I thought "I can totally do this". "This", of course, referring to giving birth again. Silly, I know. But, it was a physical effort, one that I didn't especially want to do, but it had to be done...and I was capable. It was enough of a reminder of my ability to do something physically-challenging and unpleasant to give me the confidence that I can do hard things. It made me feel empowered and ready for another natural labor and delivery. I can totally do this.

On sentimentality. Over the past couple of days, I've begun to feel very sentimental about my time with Emerson and Brennan. I remember this happening in the days before Brennan was born, too...just an awareness that the family dynamics we've enjoyed are about to change. That isn't a bad thing, but it is the end of a precious era. I've loved our days as a family of four. Having two daughters is the family structure I know (and love) and it's difficult in a lot of ways to picture anything else. But, just as my concerns over welcoming another little girl into the family after enjoying my time with only Emerson were immediately eased, I know that this little man will fit perfectly into our home, too. Still, I am treasuring these final days at home with my girls...just the three of us. I am so in love with them.



On the big sisters. Oh, the big sisters. They are so excited. So ready. What joy they have brought to this pregnancy, seeing their enthusiasm and readiness grow as the months have gone by! Honestly, it was their initial excitement over having a baby brother that first helped me embrace the idea of having a boy.

Emerson largely knows what to expect in having a baby around, and she's confidently embraced the idea of having a baby brother. Lately, she's verbalizing the thought "I wonder what it will be like to have a baby brother...." Brennan can't relate to the idea in the same way, but in watching two cousins grow in the past year, she's been around small babies enough to imagine it. (Although, she has mentioned more than once that she will be the big sister, and I think she may be under the impression that that means that Emerson no longer will be. That may be a harsh reality to face once she figures that out.) She's woken up many mornings, the first words on her lips being "I have a baby bru-vver!" Her little hands often rest on my tummy, and she's enjoyed talking to him often. Emerson has appreciated feeling his movements in my belly, which is fun to share with her.

Some days it seems as though they're just ready to get the show on the road...enough talking about the baby brother that's supposedly coming! Emerson has shifted to thoughtful curiosity of when this big event will take place, and she's revealing some first-born tendencies that I can relate to, including not liking the surprise element in the timing of it all and wanting to know when and where and what to expect. So much of my thoughts about the new baby involve Brennan's reaction, which is certainly fun to imagine. I know Emerson is a wonderful big sister already.... But, when I stopped to consider Emerson with a baby brother the other day, I was overwhelmed with excitement about that, too. It will be entirely different this time watching her with a new sibling.

I'm excited to share this experience with them; happy for them to be able to enjoy the gift of another sibling. Their love and enjoyment of each other has grown so much over the past months; I'm thankful they have each other and I know that their bond is going to have such a strong impact on what the weeks ahead look like for our family. Not to mention that the confidence that Emerson's leadership and companionship gives Brennan ought to help with my hospital stay and time away from home.... And, I'm counting on their ever-increasing ability to play happily together being a key factor in a healthy transition for all of us! It's going to be a fun summer, and I'm so looking forward to spending it with them. This is one lucky baby boy to have Emerson and Brennan as his big sisters. Also...I hope he's ready for them!

On being a mother of three. I joke about my readiness to handle the busyness and action and demand of three children...but, honestly? I feel pretty capable! I'm a good mom, and I don't pretend to have "it" all figured out, but I also feel like I'm pretty good at "this"! And, I'm glad to have that confidence. Homemaking is, I'm quite sure, my calling, and (as I would hope I would have the opportunity to say about any career I could have chosen)...I'm good at it. So, will I feel overwhelmed at times? Have hard days? Think I'm in over my head? Most definitely. But, I'm ready. And capable. And it's going to be great. Three babies in my nest? What an enormous blessing!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Worth Repeating / 11

December 2016

12/4

Emerson, getting Brennan away from manger:
"Get away! I need some alone time with Jesus!"

Brennan: "Know vut, Mommy? I yuv you tooow much. Know vut, Daddy? I yuv you tow much. Know vut, Em-sen? I yuv you toe much."

12/5

Brennan: "My cose on, Mommy?"
Mommy: "You're ready to put on your clothes? Which ones will you choose?"
Brennan: "Umm, pity (pretty) ones."

Brennan, with stethoscope:
"Docca he-uh, check you up. Fump, fump. Heffy, good."

12/9

Emerson, playing with Mary and Elizabeth paper dolls:
"My baby's named John and my baby's named Jesus and they're going to really get to know each other. Oh, what just happened? My baby jumped when he saw you!"

12/13

Brennan: "Good dob, mommy! You work toe hard!"

Brennan: "Can (can't) get (forget) fammee (family) hug!"

Mommy: "I love you, Brennan Elizabeth."
Brennan: "I yuv you, Mommy Izzuhbeff."

12/28

Emerson: "I can't wait to meet Jesus someday."

12/29

Brennan: "Why baby Je-Yus born?"
Mommy: "He came to earth to grow up and save the world from our sins!"
Brennan: "For me?! And, Em-Sen? And, Mommy! And, Daddy! And, Roy-Uh!"


January 2017

1/3

Mommy: "You are so lucky, because you'll have a baby sister AND a baby brother!"
Emerson: "I'm going to be busy...."

1/5

Brennan: "My hair es toe yong!" (is so long)
Mommy: "It's beautiful!"
Brennan: "Yeah, I know it is!"

1/6

Emerson: "What kind of macaroni are we having? Eyebrows or shells?"

Brennan: "I use my knockers!" (binoculars)

Emerson: "This is nice! Got the fire goin', having supper, watchin' a movie!"

1/7

Emerson: "You're distracting me by making me laugh to keep me from being sad that Daddy's leaving!"

1/15

Emerson: "I'm the worst. Just kidding. I'm the sweetest, and the funniest. I make people laugh."

1/18

Brennan, upon waking up in the morning:
"Baby in your tummy! I have baby bruvver! I cuddle wiff my baby. I love baby toe much."

1/20

Mommy: "Today we get a new president, President Trump...and it's hard, because a lot of people didn't want for him to be elected."
Emerson: "Can we pray for him? I think we should pray for him."

Mommy, watching President Obama board the helicopter as President Trump saluted from steps:
"It's their final goodbye, a way to show respect, and say 'okay, your work is done...it's my responsibility now...'"
Emerson:"'...I'll do a good job'..."

Mommy: "God doesn't put us on a leash or keep us in a cage..."
Emerson: "But, I know where He does keep us. In His hands...."

1/21

Mommy: "It's grown-up time. Mommy and Daddy spend time together."
Brennan: "And, hang out?"
Mommy: "Yes."
Brennan: "I hang out wiff you? I have so much fun hanging out wiff Daddy and Mommy."

1/26

Mommy: "Brennan, what is in your mouth?"
Brennan: "Caw-cuh-it". (chocolate)
Mommy: "Brennan, HOW did you get that?"
Brennan: "Okay. Yemme sow you." (Let me show you.)
Mommy: "When you were doing that, was there a little voice in your mind that told you that you weren't supposed to do that?"
Brennan: (nodding) "My body ree-wee, reeeeee-wee hun-gee." (really, really hungry)

1/27

Mommy: "Brennan, do you need a blanket or your robe?"
Brennan: "Mm, no, I duss fine." (just fine)

1/29

Emerson: "I'll have to ask God about that. You can pray about anything! Say anything! One word, two words...anything! God likes to hear you pray!"

February 2017

2/1

Emerson: "Dear God, Thank you for Aunt Mimi. I pray that she has a wonderful life in heaven."

Emerson: "I feel loved. I feel loved every day."

2/9

Brennan: "You're toe 'pecial to me."

2/10

Emerson: "I have a really neat question. Is this whole wide world heaven? Because, Jesus lives in our hearts, and so He's making this world good."

2/17

Mommy: "Look at the buds in the tree!"
Emerson: "You're really anxious about that, aren't you?"

Brennan: "Mommy, can I cuddle wiff you? Because, you're my mommy!"

2/21

Emerson: "I thought something really silly. What if ---- and I grow up to be really helpful to each other, and we could marry each other. Hahaha. I don't think he knows anything about weddings, though. I don't, either. You have to be a little older. I was just thinking what if we got married...."

Brennan: "I have baby bruvver. We'll go on walk, wiff stroller. ... I don't want you to push da 'troller wiff me. I do it by myself."

2/22

Brennan, working with tool box:
"I a worker. You not a worker, I a worker. I not need hepp (help), cause I a worker."

2/25

Brennan: "I uh big guhl! Becauuuuse, I climb tings!"

2/27

Emerson, picking her cuticle:
Mommy: "That's not a good thing to do. I'm not very good at that...."
Emerson: "I am. I never make it bleed. I'm careful."

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Worth Repeating / 10

September 2016

9/18

Mommy: "You know what the worst part of being sick is? ... Not getting to really play with you and Brennan."
Emerson: "That's the WORST part?!"

"I'm just really sad for you...."

October 2016

10/12

"God's love is like a snake, because it's really long... and it never ends."

10/15

Revealing Mommy's pregnancy to Grandma:
"Brennan has a surprise for you. It has to do with the lump in mommy's tummy."

"I'm so excited that there's a baby in your tummy."

10/18

"I'm not scheduling it! I don't even have my own calendar!"

10/19

"Can I apologize? I'm sorry for my disobedience. Can I try again?"

"Mommy, I have to make my disobedience more comforting to you. I have to make you something."

10/31

With sticky residue on her shoe, dressed up as Cinderella on Halloween:
"I don't feel like a princess at all."

November 2016

11/1

"I just keep forgetting that it's November 1st! We haven't had this day in a very long time!"

11/8

Accompanying Mommy to vote in the presidential election:
"I can't wait to vote. When I vote, I'm going to vote for someone really special."

Brennan: "Mommy, nank ooo clean my poopy diahpuh."

Emerson, running laps around the couch, on lap 31:
"I'm going to do 100 and then if I don't make it, I'll take a break. I'm not going to stop until I do!"

11/26

"I don't really like to make a Christmas list, cause I like to just be surprised at what Santa gives me."

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Worth Repeating / 09

June 2016

6/1


"Brennan has a stinky diaper. That's her scent-marker, so I know she's around."

6/2


Emerson: "How do you like my art, isn't it nice?"
Mommy: "Yes..."
Emerson: "No, you have to be really impressed like 'Oh! Good job, Emerson!"

6/16


"This is my only dream come true."

6/23


Mommy: "Emerson, are we seeing the animals or going to the playground?"
Emerson: "Either both. If you want to see some animals and then go to the playground, that's fine with me."

July 2016


7/12


"You look good, Mom! I mean, not AS good as I'm gonna look, but...."

7/18


Looking at an old photo of Daddy:
Emerson: "What's he wearing?"
Mommy: "That's from a game, called Headbands. You try to guess what's on your head."
Emerson: "I would know really quickly, cause I would say 'card'".

August 2016


8/11


"I'm sorry your head hurts, Mommy. I'll pray for you tonight. ... Brennan doesn't care."

8/15

"It's your anniversary, be niiiiiice."

Mommy: "Do you want to come help me fix supper?"
Emerson: "No, cuddling with mama is more important."

8/21


Mommy: "In 2020...I'll be ready."
Emerson: "For what?"
Mommy: "The Olympics. What sport could mommy do?"
Emerson: "Maybe stunning (?), cause lure really fast. Or, swimming. Cause you like to swim. Or...commercials. You can be in the commercials."

8/24


Mommy: "That's called the circle of life. When animals die, they're eaten by other creatures."
Emerson: "Well, we don't get eaten, you know where we get to be.... Living with God and Jesus in heaven."

Going behind tree in yard:
"Mommy, I'm going to have a moment with God..."

"You're my best friend, Grandma."

"I feel badly about what I said. I'm sorry, Mommy...."

8/25


Singing to Mommy at bedtime:
"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you. Your birthday is over, you have to go to sleeeeeep. Happy birthday to you. See? I made it into a lullaby."

Monday, November 28, 2016

Worth Repeating / 08

March 2016

3/12


"I gotta tell you, I slept SO peacefully. Like, I didn't hear nobody. I was so tired."

3/13


"I saw this and I thought of you cause you're da best mommy in da world."

3/18


Watching Mary Poppins, "We'll start with raspberry ice, and then some cake and tea....":

"That's not very healthy. They must be having dessert."

Mommy: "I am so lucky to be your mommy."
Emerson: "And I love being your child. But I'm ready to grow up...."

3/23


Mommy: "Emerson, will you pick up that grape-something off of the floor?"
Emerson: "Stem. It's called a stem. Apples have stems...grapes have stems...."


3/24
Mommy: "Isn't it fun to think about what you might choose to do someday? You might in the band or be the twirler or play a sport or something else!"
Emerson: "Well, I really want to do both."

3/29


"When I was a baby I knew about God, cause I was still in His hands."

3/31


"I really wanted to watch tv before bed, but I got distracted by the iPad!"

April 2016


4/1


Handing Emerson Cream of Wheat, cautiously warning about temperature:
Mommy: "Careful, it's hot...."
Emerson: "That's why it's called hot cereal."

4/20

Emerson: "I'm thinking about Daddy."
Mommy: "You'll feel safer once he's home, won't you?"
Emerson: "Yeah." (Smiling, but fighting tears and emotional.) "He's super strong!"

4/22


Mommy: "Someday you may choose to ask Jesus to live in your heart forever."
Emerson: "Well, I think Jesus already lives in my heart."

4/28


"Dear Mommy, I love when you say 'I love you'. Or 'I love you, Brennan'. It doesn't really matter. But don't forget that I was your baby. Love, Emerson"

May 2016


5/4


Interrupting mid-prayer at bedtime:
"And pray about Jesus, that God sent Him to the world, and made it beautiful, and He washed our sins away."

5/10


"You're the best mommy in the world. God made you just the way I like you."

5/16


"And thank you, God, that you didn't put us on the earth by ourselves, but you gave us Jesus."

"Mommy, pray for my disobedience."

5/22


"Mommy, I love you. And I love when you read the Bible to me."

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Worth Repeating / 07

December 2015

12/1

"This is what Grandpa was talking about! Joy to the world!"

"No, Brennan, no! This is exactly what I didn't want to happen. Now I'm going somewhere that you can't find me."

12/3


"I'm not afraid because I trust in God. God, and David, beat the bad guys. He's the good guy. He's the King, of the Lord. He wants to live in our heart."

12/4


"Sorry I sleeped in your bed. I just wanted to be with you. I promise, tomorrow I'll sleep in my bed."

12/8


Mommy, feeling envious and lonely (and clearly, dramatic): "I don't have friends or an office party...."
Emerson: "Mom, I'll have a party with you."

12/10


"Well, he loves treats but a treat wouldn't fit in a present. Ooh! He could have a bear just like me!"

12/16


"Mom, why do you work so hard on things? Why do you have so much to do?"

12/18


Emerson: "Is it hard work being a mommy?"
Mommy: "Yes, but it's the very best kind of work. There's nothing I'd rather do."
Emerson: "Without you, I wouldn't be Emerson. Which, it is. Without you, I wouldn't be here!"

12/23


"This is the life. Fresh air, fresh van. I'm happy."

12/24


"Dear Je- I'm going to do it a little different.... Dear Jesus, I hope everything goes well in Bethlehem. We love you. In Jesus name, Amen."

12/27


Emerson, having a serious conversation with 'Siri', on Daddy's phone:
"I'm not Robert! I'm Emerson. E M E R S O N, Emerson."
"Why do giraffes have long necks? Why do elephants have long trunks?"
"Siri, do you have high heels?"

12/28


Emerson, regarding Brennan: "She has more energy than I do!"
Mommy: "Yeah, that's what happens when you get older. Now you know how Daddy and I feel!"
Emerson: "Yeah. Happy."

12/30


Calls Mom to room after bedtime:
"Today was a super great day. I just wanted to tell you that."


January 2016

1/4


Emerson: "Do you need company or privacy?"
Mommy: "Either one."
Emerson: "Well, I'll give you privacy cause I think that's the most kindest thing to do, so...."

1/11


"Mommy, you're just the sweetest mommy I've ever seen. You're not silly. You're not mad. You're just the sweetest mommy ever."

Talking about Heaven before bed....
Emerson: "Do you go on clouds? Or a rocket ship?"
Mommy: "We don't take a rocket ship. I don't understand it all, either. But, when we die, our soul...part of our heart and our mind...goes to be with God. Let's keep praying.... God, I pray that you'll continue to guide Emerson's heart and mind as she asks questions about You..."
Emerson: "No, I'll pray now.... Lord, we pray that I'll know how to get to heaven. In Jesus' name, Amen."

1/13


Putting on socks:
"No, I can do it all my myself. Cause I'm the big girl. I make the choices but you make the rules."

1/16


"My God is so great, so strong and so mighty.... Let's make that our prayer. (Singing at supper table) Amen."

"Thank you for making our supper. I don't really like quesadillas, but thank you for making them!"

1/30


Mommy: "We can cast our burdens on Jesus. That means, give God the things that worry us."
Emerson: "I want to do that right now. About giants, because I worry about them outside, too. Jesus, please help me not worry about giants anymore. Amen. Here you go, Jesus."
Mommy: "Doesn't that feel good?!"
Emerson, with a big smile: "Mm-hmm."


February 2016


2/8


"Is it on Neck-flix? I can't really say Neck-flix. It's kind of a hard word for children to say."

2/10


"Did you know that H2O is water?"

2/13


"I'm so glad when God made this church."

2/14


Mommy: "Look at the sky! It looks mysterious."
Emerson: "Yeah. And ominous."

2/18


Mommy: "Aren't you tired from all that exercise?"
Emerson: "No, cause remember God made us to keep going!"

2/15


"Brennan, I love you. And you say, 'I love Daddy.' I love you, Brennan."

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"My Friends"

Emerson ran excitedly to the sandbox at the softball fields. There were a couple of older girls playing there, likely six or seven years old. After introducing herself to them, and asking them to play with her, she looked over at me, giving a confident "thumbs-up". My heart practically burst with pride.

I watched them play. The group grew throughout the evening as they built castles, chased one another, made "sand angels", and dug in the sand. Emerson was happy and carefree and everything a three year old should be.

We talked about her time later that evening. Over and over again, she talked about "my friends".

She could not, I'm quite sure, have told me their names. She knew they were older. She could recount the games they played. It never seemed to dawn on her that she may never see them again, and their relationship would likely never amount to more than the play they shared on that summer evening in June. Nevertheless, they were her "friends".

I admire her for that. Without knowing anything else about those children, the fact that they played together made them her friends. Why shouldn't they be?

I find myself, for whatever reason, more inclined to see other people...other women...as competition (in what?), as a threat (to what?), or as a challenge (for what?) than I am apt to see them as potential friends.

When did that happen? How did that happen? And how in the world do I change that? Because I don't think it's healthy. It's certainly not Christ-like, and it isn't the example I want to set for my girls.

Then again, on that night, Emerson was the example. She showed love, she demonstrated kindness, and she reminded me that the world is full of "my friends"...most of whom I just haven't met yet.


Brennan: 18 & 19 Months

May 2, 2016

Sweet Brennan, I cannot tell you how many times I have wanted to sit down and write a monthly update for you. Actually, I have quickly-written notes from several months ago that never made it into blog-form that I will try to decipher in order to recall the details I was trying to capture...but I know I won't be able to remember all of them. It bums me out already that I have not written more specific details of these early months of your life. There is no shortage of photos, though, and I hope the pictures tell the story. The happy, happy story of this life we are getting to enjoy with you. (This age of social media, I tell you! A girl has to pick her medium! There are only so many hours of the day!) Truly, though, I am sorry for not making more of an effort to document these things for you, and for myself. But, grace is greater than guilt, and that is a lesson that your mommy is learning and clinging to.

  • You are currently wearing 18 and 24 month clothing. You would probably fit into some 2T styles, but I just cannot allow it. Not yet.... At your last doctor's appointment, you were in the 85th percentile, I believe, for height and weight. You're just right.
  • At one point, Emerson was regularly asking for pieces of gum, which she received and you did not. You have associated "gum" with a treat of any kind, and you will frequently reach in the kitchen cabinet and try to pull out "gum-ma" for yourself. You (and your sister...and your mom) really love treats!
  • You are still waking up at least once in the middle of the night, and for a couple of months upon awakening, you would call to me in a short, disgruntled, and determined tone of voice. "Mommy! Mommy!" As if mad at me for having the audacity to not be in your room when you awoke. The moment I walk through the door, however, you immediately change your tone and greet me with a "hiiiiii! ... hiiiiii!" Cheerful, high-pitched, and pleasant. How can I possibly be frustrated to have been awakened with such a perky greeting?!
  • You continue to be Emerson's shadow, repeating her movements and following her lead. I am so thankful that she is the example you have to follow. I don't want you to become her, and I don't get the impression that you want to be her, either. It's as if you are determined to be your own person, and you are using all of the resources you have available to you to figure out this thing called "life". You do so love your big sister, though! And, she loves you more than you yet know.
  • You call Emerson "Eye-yah", and it has become increasingly easy to tell when you are calling her by name, or trying to get her attention. I love that.
  • You love your books, and consistently choose your "Elmo" search-and-find book, "Bob the Builder" opposites board book ("Baaa, Da Bah-Da!" you sing as you pick it up), "Bobo", and "Duck and Goose". You are so proud to know those books well.
  • You enjoy television, and are able to ask for "Sophia the First" ("Iii-aww!"), "Zoboo" ("Ah-bo!"), and dear old "Daniel Tiger" ("Die-yah").
  • Your hair is really starting to grow, and has become increasingly blonde. So beautiful.
  • You have a "look" and a pout that is quite serious. You furrow your brow and really put on a show. More than anything, I think you're proud to know how to make your face look that way.
  • When you swing in the backyard, you lean your head back, close your eyes, and make the most delighted face. I can only imagine what you're thinking, but you just radiate joy in that moment, and I love the delight you take in it.
  • Fighting the car seat has really taken hold in the past month. You have consistently enjoyed riding in the car seat, and even now (once we hold you down and force the seat upon you) you seem to enjoy car rides, but goodness...it's been a willful struggle lately!
  • "App-uh!" (apple) 
  • "Guy-de? Guy-de?" ("Outside?" OR, a request to nurse on the other side...depending on context.)
  • You recover quite quickly from frustration or hurt or disappointment.
  • "Yeah-yeah." ("Thank you!") You are so very polite, and love saying thanks. Actually, until you are acknowledged, you continue to express your gratitude in an increasingly loud manner until you know you have been heard.
  • "Ah-you." ("Love you.")
  • "Ah dooo!" ("I do!")
  • "I knowwww!"
  • "Doo-se?!" ("Juice?!")
  • "Ah-bah!" ("Amen!") You love to pray and bow your head at the dinner table, reach for my hand and Emerson's, and wait patiently for the "Amen". Often, you'll clap and cheer once we've concluded. You know it's something special that we're doing, and you are so proud to participate. How much the Lord must smile to see your joy in talking to Him!
  • You love your yellow blanket! It was on the back of the recliner in your room in the early days of your life, and as we sat there to nurse, it must have unknowingly become a comfort. You now find it at nap time and bedtime and love to cuddle with it as you nurse and when you wake. Adorable.
  • At bedtime, you generously offer hugs and kisses to Daddy and Emerson, and sometimes Royal, and those genuine end-of-day shows of affection melt my heart.

I love you so dearly, Precious. We are making so many treasured memories together, and I am loving every moment of watching you grow. Each season with you has been a blessed one! 
You are full of life and personality, confidence and energy. 
You have such a special place in this family of ours, and you fit in so perfectly. I hope you always know what a gift you are to me, Brennan Elizabeth, and what a gift you are to this world. I love you.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Brennan: 12 Months

October 2, 2015


  • Putting finger in mouth while nursing
  • Personality, knowing glances and smiles
  • Uh-mmm
  • Done, again, woof woof, daddy, squirrel, dog, oww-guide (outside)
  • Little tantrums
  • Playing in Emerson's bed
  • Enjoying light switches
  • Shoes

Worth Repeating / 06

September 2015

9/2

Mommy: "We're on the highway!"
Emerson: "Actually, this is the low-way."

9/3

Emerson: "Where is the giraffe?"
Mommy: "What about your treasure box...?"
Emerson: "It's right there. That's not hard to find."

9/9

"You're mine."

Emerson: "What's wrong with Brennan?"
Mommy: "She doesn't want to go to bed...."
Emerson: "Yeah. But I do!"

9/10

Dear Santa
I love you.
I want a princess dress just like the big sister on Frozen.
Love, Emerson


9/15

Asking Emerson to leave Brennan's room:
"But there was llama drama in there. There's llama dramas everywhere.... Only one room has no llama drama so that's why I came in here."

9/21

Mommy: "That isn't a choice."
Emerson: "Yes it is. It's what I chose. So, it's a choice."

9/22

Daddy, singing: "You can't always get what you want, but you get what you need!"
Emerson: "And you don't complain!"

9/23

"I have a LOT of energy. Like, I have a really full tummy of energy. So I have to get it out by gymnast-icing! And then, I'll never play again."

"Grandma, now I want to be a bride... walking down the path... with a baby in my tummy."

Emerson: "Say, 'Emerson will come home in a little while. I will be be back in a little while. I'm going to be back in just a little while, Brennan.'"

9/28

"Look, Mom, I'm a flower starting to bloom!"

"The squirrel is gathering up food to store in the winter. And we need to store...in our heart. That's what the Bible tells us. To store in our heart!"

"I try what I can!"

"Is God a little God or a big God?"

9/29

"Does God have a wand?"

9/30

"You're tougher than that."

October 2015

10/22

"Mom, I'm glad you're putting makeup on, but you're here and Brennan is on the bathroom stool."

10/23

Mommy: "I haven't been able to find a ballet class for you yet."
Emerson: "Yeah, so I'll wait till I'm four.... Or maybe I could just buy you a new computer so you can find a three year old class."

10/24

"Dad, do you wanna go watch football while we eat our cereal? Cause, you really like football, and I do, too, so maybe we should!"

10/26

Mommy, regarding Daddy's search for a Halloween costume: "They don't have the wig he needs."
Emerson: "Well, he can go to Pinterest."

"God laughs at our jokes."

10/28

Emerson: "Mom, you know what you are?"
Mommy: "What?"
Emerson: "You're a sweet, loving mom."

November 2015

11/1

Mommy: "You won't always be a little girl. You'll grow into a woman."
Emerson: "Yeah! My brain will say 'I've had enough of this!'"

Mommy: "You know what sounds good? A nap."
Emerson: "Okay. Dad, can you handle us?"

Mommy: "Is your banana good?"
Emerson: "Yeah. Compliments to the chef."

11/7
Dear Santa,
I want an Elsa doll and an Anna doll and a pink dress, that is all I want.
Dear, Emerson

11/9


Mommy: "You're really working hard on that!"
Emerson: "It's what I do.... I'm master piecing."

11/12

"Everywhere I go, there is God. All around."

11/21

"It's snowing!!!!!!"

"You give me a lot to do. So, next time, you do my job for me."

Mommy: "Mommies get tired, too."
Emerson: "Sometimes. Not a lot of times."

11/29


"I was in my room, worshipping Jesus."