Monday, October 26, 2015

Worth Repeating / 04



"I smell something.... Maybe Royal tooted.... Or maybe it's your breath." 

"Daddy is a good friend."


Mommy: "Were you supposed to do that? No. But you chose to do it, anyway."
Emerson: "I don't think you should let the sun go down on your anger."


"I wish I had a ring to marry you, Mommy."


Emerson, to Mommy: 

"Daddy is my beeeessttt friend. You are my greatest friend in the whole world!"

Emerson: "Mommy do you like when I sing?"
Mommy: "I love when you sing!"
Emerson: "Okay. Lalalalala ABC..."

"Good thing I ducked down...I only have one head!"

Mommy: "And in the morning when the sun rises comes up, we call it sunrise."
Emerson: "But, I call it the morning time."

On a family walk:
"Let's run this town!"

Emerson: "Daddy will come outside and you go in-gide (inside) okay?" 

Mommy: "You just want some time with Daddy?"
Emerson: "Yeah, because Daddy is my friend. So, you go hide in-gide."


Mommy: "You're such a sweet big sister."
Emerson: "Thanks, Mom! I call you mom cause you're the best mom in da world."


"We love Brice and Rachel and Joey and Bethany...and we love Malachi! Even when he goed away...."


After telling Emerson about plans to go to the zoo with her Sunday School teacher:
"We're going with the TEA-cher?! ... That gon be fuuunnnn!" 


Talking about rules for the church service:
Mommy: "We do not talk."

(pause)Emerson: "Do we breathe?:


"I listened and callllllmed my body down."

Emerson: "I'm sorry, for ruining the fun we were having."
Mommy: "How did you ruin it?"
Emerson: "With my energy...."

To Brennan:
"Things are more fun when I'm around."

Emerson, in her car in the driveway, playing Sonic:

"My darlin' would like a strawberry movie (smoothie)". (To Mommy) "You be the roller gater."

"Daddy, we're going to solve this plob-lem. Mommy knows eh-zatly (exactly) where things are!"


"Oh yeah, oh yeah! I'm fancy in this house now!"



Listening to the Curious George song:
"Don't sing it with me. And don't smile. And don't say good job."

"Why did he borrow a car? Everybody getting new cars!"

"I'm going to be repectbubble (respectful) when Daddy gets home."


"Oh, blubbers."

"Tick-tess." (Success.)


Mommy: "Emerson, do you want to go play at Grandma and Grandpa's house today?"
Emerson: "Oh! Yeah! Wiffout youuu?"
Mommy: "Right."
Emerson: "Oh, good."


Emerson: "I'm not growing."
Mommy: "Yes you are."
Emerson: "No, I'nt."


"Are you wiff me?"


"Bubb-os" (bubbles)


Emerson: "I wish Daddy was here."
Mommy: "Me, too. He's such a special part of our family, and we miss people in our family when they're not there."
Emerson: "Right now we miss Daddy...."



Talking about the workers building the deck:

"Ohhhhh! That is going to be a lot of work por dem (for them). I think they need another smoovie...slushy."

"Mary had a little lamb...if he hollers let him go...little ones to him belong...yes, Jesus loves me."


Mommy: "Since the butter is in there, be careful not to spill it.
Emerson: "I'm always careful, Mom."


Mommy: "Are you sure you want the whole pear? How about half?"
Emerson: "No! Whole!"
Mommy: "I don't think it's very good for you to have the whole thing, how about..."
Emerson: "No, whole!"
Mommy: "Fine."

(minutes later)
Emerson: "You know? Say, 'what?'"
Mommy: "What?"
Emerson: "I don't like pears. So, you can have it."

Discussing potty accidents:

Mommy: "I don't know what to do about this. It keeps happening."
Emerson: "Maybe put some tape on my bum?"


Going to McDonald's after disappointing change of plans visiting the science museum:
Emerson, tearfully: "Where is Mr. Donald's house?"

"Dear Lord, thank you for our food. Amen."


"I'll take care of Brennan and Mommy when you're gone, Daddy."

"How does it thunder? ... I'm sure it has pipes. It must have pipes."


"I can pray.... Thank you, God, for the weather and for the am-uh-muls, to come out of their houses. A-men."


Mommy: "Grandpa knows how to whistle."
Emerson: "And Daddy knows how to whistle!"
Mommy: "That's right! But Grandpa is the BEST at whistling."
Emerson:"...But Daddy is the really best."


Emerson: "'re a good mom."
Mommy: "Aww, thanks, babe. What made you say that?"
Emerson: "You take good care of me!"

Mommy: "Someday Brennan will help with the weeds, too!"
Emerson: "Mom, she's already a gardener!"
Mommy: "Why do you say that?"
Emerson: "She's wearing a hat!"

Emerson: "Mommy, you're my friend."
Mommy: "You're my friend! Will you always be my friend?"
Emerson: "Yes."
(30 min later)
Emerson: "You're not my friend anymore."


To Mom, in the bathroom:

Emerson: "Mom, do you need some privacy?"
Mommy: "No...."
Emerson: "Okay. I'll keep you company then."

"I'm cleaning up our house. Brennan's not helping me. I'll do it my-delf. I'm trying my hardest, bestest to clean."


"Can I feed her? Then I would feel like a mommy, too."

Friday, October 2, 2015

Brennan's Birth Story

Wednesday, October 1, 2014
(7 days until due date)

Months had passed since I had updated my pregnancy journal. I didn't make nearly as many entries during this pregnancy, and I knew that if I didn't make at least one more entry before the baby arrived, I would regret it. There were no signs of impending labor, no reason to believe that I couldn't make journaling happen the next day...and the later it got in the evening, the more I just wanted to crawl into bed. Still, at 39 weeks pregnant, writing an entry seemed like the right thing to do, so I sat on the floor of the living room, pen in hand.

"October is here...we are one week (or less!) away from meeting our daughter....and we are all so very excited. It seems entirely surreal, and so very hard to believe that her arrival is so near, and our time as a family of three so short."

Thursday, October 2, 2014
(6 days until due date)

I woke up at 6:45 a.m. feeling very definite cramping. I got out of bed and walked up and down the hallway.

Are these Braxton Hicks contractions? I don't think I've ever really felt those.... Baby isn't due for another week, and Emerson wasn't this early.... What are we dealing with here? What did this storm front bring about?!

I wasn't miserable, but the pain was growing increasingly uncomfortable...and closer and closer to being five minutes apart. I knew subsequent babies had a tendency to come more quickly, but what did that mean...really? Just how soon did I need to be thinking about going to the hospital? 

I had a doctor's appointment already scheduled for 10:15 a.m. My biggest question throughout the morning was whether or not I could hold out until then to see what was going on, or would I be heading to the hospital instead? Bobby and I exchanged texts as the morning continued, both of us wondering where the day was headed.

I texted my mom at 7:57 a.m. to fill her in on the morning's happenings. The plan had been for Emerson to come with me to my routine doctor's appointment. However, at some point in the morning, as my discomfort and confidence that this could, in fact, be the "real thing" grew, my mom (who had been on her way to babysit my nephew) turned the car around to take care of Emerson here. The contractions had decreased in frequency, but there had been a few that were intense enough that I realized I'd rather leave Emerson at home with Mom.

I drove myself to my doctor's appointment on the rainy fall morning, and as I neared the office, I began to cry. I was in pain. I was nervous, primarily due to continuing uncertainty for how the soon-to-be big sister would handle my absence during the upcoming hospital stay. I was hormonal and emotional, and the tears continued to fall. 

Sam Hunt's "Leave the Night On" was playing on the radio as I pulled into the parking lot. That was my jam, and it gave me a boost.

My contractions eased as my exam began (go figure) and had become less frequent. I was about 2.5 cm dilated...a half centimeter improvement from the previous week, and Dr. W said that "it feels like something has changed", that she thought I was in labor, but of course couldn't confirm before my water broke or things became more serious. 

Then, she broke the news that in order for her to deliver my baby, I had to "either deliver before 5:00 p.m. or wait until Monday" because she had to take a red-eye flight to Vegas for the weekend for some sort of technology demonstration. 


I didn't really care. I was more intrigued by the irony of the situation, given that she missed Emerson's birth, too. Honestly, as normal as the pregnancy had been and my previous delivery was, I didn't feel at all strongly that she be the one to deliver my baby. I'm perfectly happy with her as my doctor! But, I knew that life would go on if I delivered with another obstetrician. I'd done it before! She told me all about the two doctors that would be on-call over the weekend. I decided I'd be comfortable with either one.

"I'll be really surprised if you're still pregnant on Monday."

I drove home in a quiet van, trying to soak up the stillness...very aware that moments of solitude like that were about to become all the more rare.

I touched base with Bobby. I updated Mom, who assured me that she would be "on call" throughout the afternoon, and to let her know if I needed assistance. 

Emerson and I had a restful afternoon. She was precious...loving, understanding...sensitive beyond her two years.

"Mommy's tummy is hurting."
"I'll rub it for you. ... That feel better?"

For all of Emerson's tender moments over the past months, rubbing my belly and talking to her sister, I realized that I didn't have any of it recorded. So, we made a video. 

I bounced on the exercise ball as the afternoon progressed. Emerson napped for a while. I tried to sleep, too, without success. The contractions weren't all that frequent, but they were intense enough that I realized I didn't want to be alone. Around 2:50 p.m., I was ready for Bobby to come home. He did.

I began counting contractions using a contraction timer on the phone at 4:26 p.m. At that point, they were coming about 2:45 minutes apart.

I labored on the couch, changing positions as necessary, moaning with each contraction, trusting my body and the process and the Lord. Bobby and Emerson played in the playroom. She was happily distracted, and Bobby offered to help me, but there was little he could do. His time with Emerson was well-spent. 

The two of them went outside to watch the thunderstorm from the garage. I joined them for a bit, bracing myself against Bobby's truck as contractions were growing in intensity. After a few minutes watching the heavy rain, I realized that I needed to be back on the couch. I was writhing in pain as the contractions came...more frequently, and requiring more focus than before.

My parents offered to bring pizza by for our supper, recognizing that we were otherwise occupied. Bobby ordered the pizza online at 5:27 p.m., though eating was the furthest thing from my mind. Mom and Dad showed up shortly after; I didn't move from the couch. After dropping off the pizza, they left, and I had another big contraction. 

I threw up over the side of the couch, and I knew: it was time to go to the hospital. 

My parents had barely left before I texted them asking them to return. Of all the scenarios I'd imagined regarding the timing for leaving Emerson, this was exactly the situation I hadn't wanted. Leaving in the evening, before bedtime, late-enough that Bobby wasn't going to be able to make it back to help with the nighttime routine. We'd never been away from her at nighttime. She would be scared. I was, too.

But, Mom in her "grandmotherly wisdom" showed up with a treasure box-shaped cardboard box, full of old Happy Meal toys and similar trinkets, and dumped them on the living room floor. Emerson was captivated with the "treasure" and with Grandma & Grandpa, and Bobby and I were able to give hugs & kisses and disappear quietly. Leaving her was every bit as difficult as I'd imagined it would be, but things were growing intense enough that I had other things to think about. 

Around 7:00 p.m., I got in the passenger seat of the van, thankful to be on our way. It was dark, and the drive to the hospital was different than the last time...seeing the city lights and evening traffic instead of the early morning calm. I had several contractions, and noted that I didn't remember driving through them when Emerson was born. 

"Leave the Night On" played on the radio again as the hospital came into view.

We pulled into the hospital, and when I stood up getting out of the van, the contractions intensified again. I was only able to walk a few feet at a time before needing to stop to focus through them. Bobby asked if I needed a wheelchair. Then I insisted that we needed a photo in front of the hospital for posterity.... He thought I was nuts.

The contractions continued as we walked into the hospital. I braced myself on the side of the elevator and on the hallway railing as we arrived on the 'Labor and Delivery' wing. We passed a family in the waiting area who seemed to have been there a while...they all had that impatient "look", and were flying paper airplanes back and forth to pass the time. 

I leaned against the counter in the Triage area while Bobby got the paperwork we needed. No one seemed to be moving as quickly as I thought they should be. 

"There aren't any rooms open right now", one of the nurses said to another coworker. 

You'd better find one, I thought. It was getting more serious, and I was having a hard time focusing on anything other than the task at hand...that being, working through each contraction...leaning against the wall...hips rocking.... Does this not look like a pressing situation to them?

I had to fill out paperwork of some kind. I scribbled something down, and would love to see what my handwriting on those documents looks like.

They found a room, I walked back to the Triage unit, and went directly to the bathroom for a urine sample. I realized then that I could probably stop using my contraction timer phone app; the professionals would probably take over the calculation then. At 7:24 p.m., I entered my last contraction into the app: :45 second duration, 1:38 minutes apart.

In the privacy of the bathroom, I realized that we didn't make it to the hospital at all too soon. I was ready to be taken care of.

I was examined. I was 7 centimeters. I said something to the tune of "I wasn't messing around." The nurse reported the (unsurprising) news that my doctor wasn't on-call, but that she'd check to see if she was around. I informed her that she was on her way to Vegas; she didn't really seem to care.

I was wheeled to a room, and instructed to put on a gown. Ready to be in a bed and getting the show on the road, I decided modesty was of little importance at that point and undressed and dressed myself quickly. A nurse gave me an IV and tried to make conversation. "Have you been here before? You look familiar." I answered her politely enough, I think...but I knew I wasn't as friendly as I would've otherwise been. I was very much in "the zone" and knew I had work to do.

Bobby turned on some Jim Brickman music on the computer, and the Royals first ALDS playoff game versus the Angels on the television. I didn't notice any of it.

"Has she done it naturally before?" I don't think there was time for an epidural at that point, even if I'd wanted one. (I most assuredly did not.) I got the impression that they were trying to see if I knew what I was in for.

Time seemed to pass very quickly. I remembered from my labor with Emerson that being on my hands and knees was both more comfortable (relatively-speaking...and I do emphasize the "relatively") and productive. I assumed that position pretty much straight away, and it did get "things" moving. 

I'll leave it at that. 

A new nurse came into the room, and I introduced myself in a most vulnerable state. She was so kind, sensitive, and compassionate, and it wasn't until after the birth that I even saw what she looked like. (I was picturing her as a much older woman than she actually was.) She was an encouraging presence. Bobby was, too, but I was so focused in those moments...I really don't even remember talking to him....

The nurse asked me about my previous delivery at some point. Yes, I did it naturally. ... No, I didn't push very long. ... It took seven minutes last time, can we beat that? She somewhat doubted it.

An especially-strong contraction came, and with it, a new pressure. I got the nurse's attention. Quickly. She checked me again.

"Nope, I don't feel anything left...."

She rushed to the door, and I heard her yell "I need an O.B. in here, NOW."

I wasn't worried. It wasn't an emergency in the "something is wrong" sense. But, I knew...our baby was coming.

Within moments, the room was abuzz. The warmer was readied (a stark contrast to Emerson's birth, where the warmer sat prepared...and empty...for hours), and nurses all took their places. It was fascinating, really. It was game time, and everyone had a job to do. 

I met Dr. L, a sweet, friendly woman who seemed to know what she was doing.... She broke my water, and I realized that I'd forgotten entirely about that piece of the process. 

I asked Bobby for my glasses. The tv was turned off. The mirror was positioned. 

I remembered from last time that the work was different now. This is where it got good....

A few (three, maybe? four?) pushes and five minutes later, we saw our daughter's head. Dark hair, just like her sister. I got a clear look at her tiny face; she was working hard, too! Entirely surreal.... That's her. This is me. This is happening.

And then, within a matter of moments, I felt the rush of her body leaving mine. Brennan Elizabeth was born at 8:37 p.m., and immediately placed on my chest. We had experienced another miracle, this time every bit as precious as the last. What a gift we were given. Thank you, Lord.

Bobby cut the umbilical cord.

I was quickly stitched, after a minor tear. I barely noticed. Brennan was still in my arms, nursing readily and resting, wide-eyed and peaceful. It was incredible to already know how to be "mom" this time.... She looked like her big sister, with "a beautiful round head because she came down so quick." In the busyness of her birth, the instruction to hold off on eye cream and the vitamin K shot was missed, and I was disappointed by that, but what was done was done.

We called Emerson first. "Brennan Elizabeth is here!" It was precious to hear her voice...happy, but shaky and was after her bedtime, and we weren't there. She'd waited up to hear the news. She was in good hands, but hanging up the phone was hard. We sent her a video, showing Brennan nursing and saying 'goodnight' "in person", and she and Grandma sent us a video of her singing "happy birthday" to her new "baby 'tis-ter". It melted my heart, and I was so excited to have our whole family together in the morning.

Bobby called his family to share the news. They were gathered to watch the baseball game, and as the entire process happened so fast (we'd only been at the hospital for just over an hour!), they didn't even know I'd been in labor. 

The surprise of her birth, being that it was a week earlier than expected, made the entire delivery feel that much more surreal. Of course we knew she was coming, but didn't imagine that it would be that when she was in our arms, it was hard to believe, and seemed very much like an out of body experience. There we were! With our daughter! Another beautiful baby girl. Ours. 

Brennan didn't leave my arms until an hour later when Bobby held her for the first time and she was measured and weighed. (7 lbs. 8 oz., 20 3/4 inches.) She was never out of our sight, and having her with us constantly was a precious experience. 

The nurse filled out our admission paperwork. We hadn't had time to do that beforehand given the rush of the delivery. "Consent to treat?" "Oh, okay....  I suppose so." I was now in a much friendlier state of mind and body, and we had pleasant conversation.

The nurse brought me a soda. I felt incredible. Proud of what my body had once again naturally done with the Lord's strength. Enjoying the post-delivery adrenaline rush that is like no other.

I joked with our nurse about the hourly rate for the room and how much we'd saved by being so quick. I held Brennan in my lap as I was wheeled to a recovery room, passing the paper airplane-flying family in the waiting area. I felt proud, and a little guilty, for getting in and getting out with a brand-new baby while they were still waiting. Our nurse congratulated us again and helped us settle into our room.

Brennan was given her bath in our room. In the minutes we held her, we studied every inch of her face, noting lots of similarities between both of our daughters, & growing more in love with each passing moment.

Having missed cafeteria hours (and a pizza dinner at home...), Bobby left the hospital in the rain to bring back Burger King. (Tradition!) A burger and fries and more texts to loved ones later, we were all ready to rest. The three of us settled in to sleep, with anxious anticipation for our daughters to meet each other in the morning. It had been a most wondrous day, welcoming Brennan Elizabeth into our world. All was well. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

I'm Here!

Somehow, it is already September, and the fact that I haven't written a blog post since May makes me sad. Particularly because I know that there have been so many blog-able stories and moments and happenings that I haven't documented the way that I would've liked to. But, life keeps happening, we're busy, and at the end of the day...well...I am freakin' exhausted. I don't usually use the word "freakin'" least not in my "formal" writing...but, the tired I've experienced lately with two little ones can only be described in such a way. (And, to be very clear, it is THE BEST sort of tired.... But, I'm tired all the same.) Really, though, at the end of the day when the girls are in bed, I just want to BE STILL, and sometimes the idea of trying to sound eloquent or put together any sort of string of intelligent thought amuses me. Ha! It is so often impossibly hard to switch out of jumbled "mommy mode" remember that I have a voice...that I AM CAPABLE of organized thought...and to have the energy to do something with it.

I don't know how some mommies do it, taking care of the children AND blogging thoughtful, focused, meaningful prose during the day. (Maybe their children take long naps? Or, nap at all?)

I do know there are moms who make it happen. I know this because I often find myself reading their beautiful words while I'm sitting in Brennan's bedroom in the wee hours of the night, desperately trying to stay awake while I nurse her back to sleep...again. I applaud them for it, because they have to be bone tired, too. Right? RIGHT?!?!

If I made it more of a priority, I could write more often, I'm sure. And, I SHOULD make it a priority, because these are such precious, precious days, and I want to be more intentional about recording this tender time.

So, I need some sort of game plan here.
I'll get back to you when I figure it out.
Fingers crossed.

In the meantime, I'm still here! Doing life. Editing the never-ending photos and posting way too many of them on Facebook, writing Sunday School curriculum for the church we found and love, planning a 1st birthday party for the little girl who can't possibly already be this close to being "one"....

I'm here. Sitting on the couch with Bobby, watching a football game, enjoying a beer, celebrating the end of a Thursday...another day of this beautiful thing called "parenthood" in the books.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Brennan: Seven Months

May 2, 2015

  • You are still wearing 6-9 month clothing.
  • At your 6 month doctor's appointment, you weighed 18 lbs. and 5 ounces. This is only 8 ounces less than Emerson weighed at her 6 month appointment, which amazes me. The similarities between the development of you two is fascinating.
  • Your hair is getting blonder and blonder, and noticeably longer, too! 
  • You are finally sleeping in your own bed at nighttime! You're ready for bed between 7:30-8:00 p.m., and after nursing in the chair in your room, you fall asleep quite quickly in your bed. You wake up to eat late in the evening and then after that meal, you're back to sleep for a few hours. 
  • Napping in your crib in getting much easier, too. You never sleep for hours on end, but you're more willing to be placed in your crib for snoozes during the day. You still have to be asleep first, though. 
  • You've been taking baths with Emerson and you are both enjoying that time considerably! 
  • You are so strong! From lifting your chest to grabbing at sunglasses to holding onto've got some muscles!
  • Making forward motion is so close for you! You are scooting all over the place, and can usually get where you want to go, sooner or later. 
  • You are primarily self-feeding yourself, as you aren't particularly interested in taking food from a spoon. More fun to do it yourself, it seems! I'd forgotten how messy this stage is...and goodness, it really is. Avocados and bananas are by far your favorite foods...probably in large part due to your ability to eat them without help.
  • Your vocalizing has increased, too. Lots of shrieks and loud squeals to get in on the conversation, and it seems you have a new sound to master daily.
  • You "cluck" with your tongue often! It's hard to say if you like the way that it feels or sounds, or both, but you click and cluck often and are pleased when we notice!
  • We put your infant bathtub in the tub so you could share bath time with Emerson, which you both seem delighted in. She enjoys playing with you, and you're happy to have more water to splash. You love any chance to feel like a big girl!
  • You seem so very aware of everything going on around you. You are watchful and very "present", interacting and participating in your world! Now that you can move a bit more, you are truly content to sit and play and move in your space, and it's nice to have you enjoying your time just "being" with us.
  • You have two bottom teeth! They both surfaced simultaneously, with fairly little disturbance to your usual patterns. You drooled a bit more and seemed a bit fussy for a couple of days...but otherwise, you handled it like a champ. And, you look quite adorable with them there.
  • We are taking lots of afternoon walks through the neighborhood, and you and Emerson are both quite happy to be in the double-stroller together. You enjoy relaxing as we walk, and seem to enjoy being outside. We play on the blanket in the backyard, too, and it's fun to see you begin to move around and explore the yard around you.
  • You are really trying to get Royal's attention on a regular basis. I'm sorry to say that he usually doesn't give you much attention in return, but you are fascinated in him and so enjoy when he does let you pet him or tug on his fur.
  • You notice when Daddy comes home and greet him with a smile when he walks in the door at the end of the day. It's special welcome that makes us all smile right back.

Each day with you is a gift; YOU are a gift. 
I hope you always find such joy in learning about your world, delighting in the fun around you.
You certainly do make our lives full of wonder & happiness, 
and I'm overwhelmed by my ever-growing love for you.
You are so very treasured, precious Brennan.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Brennan: Six Months

April 2, 2015

  • You are wearing 6-9 month clothing.
  • You seem to be quite ready for food! It's obvious that you're watching while we eat, curiously eyeing what's on our plates. The general consensus among the family is that you'll eat solid food readily! We shall see! Daddy is out of town this week, but when he gets home, we'll give you that first taste.
  • You are having more awake time during the day. Which could be due to your sleeping so well at nighttime...on account of our togetherness. You and Mommy have been sleeping together on the couch at nighttime for weeks.... It makes nursing when you awaken so very easy, and it lets Daddy get a solid night of sleep. We definitely have some sleep-training work ahead of us, but between Mommy's sleep needs and knowing that any hard crying will wake up your big sister, there's just not been a lot of motivation to make it happen. But, it's been a long pattern of overnighting on the couch together and it has to stop sometime. 
  • You are rolling over quite easily, and it's so much fun to see you move! You spin in circles on the ground, positioning yourself to see what's going on around you. There's no sitting still for you!
  • You are beginning to lift your chest off of the ground, and even starting to pull up a knee occasionally. You are bound and determined to keep up with the action around here, and seem to be so ready to be able to move!
  • You sit with confidence, and have begun to rock forward when you're willing to do whatever it takes to have forward motion!
  • When you are unhappy (and it is becoming quite clear when you are!), you have a seriously high-pitched shriek. It certainly gets our attention...which is most definitely your intention. 
  • You have a rash all over your tummy and neck, likely eczema. It doesn't seem to bother you, though it does look so dry. Interestingly, it showed up at just the same time that Emerson's did when she was your age.
  • You are certainly recognizing (and not recognizing) people these days. You smile when Daddy comes home from work, and often greet Grandpa and Grandma with a knowing look, too. Likewise, you know when Mommy is close by or not, and typically show your displeasure when we're apart. (And if I'm being totally honest, I don't mind that a bit.)
  • You have been quite anti-church nursery, however, and that's been a bit of a challenge. We'll figure it out, though. Rocking you in the cry room and bouncing in the church hallways has been a joy; we're worshipping together.
  • You don't have any teeth yet, but I'm watching for them. Could be anytime!
  • Watching Royal around the house is one of your favorite activities. He makes you smile!
  • Your babbles have noticeably increased, and it feels more and more as though you're really trying to "talk" with us. You want to be heard! (And we are so happy to listen!)
  • You reach for toys that you're interested in, and easily pass them back and forth between your hands. You do love to play!
Brennan, I delight in you, and I'm in awe as I watch you discover & embrace your world. 
You are such a joy, and I'm thankful you're mine.
Six months have gone by so quickly.... 
Happy half-birthday, little one. 
I love you more than words can say.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Worth Repeating / 03



"I want to have a new baby!!"


Mommy: "Is Royal a horse?"

Emerson: "No, he not a horse. ... He's a donkey. ... Now he's a dog."

(After attending a baby shower)
"There's a baby in my tummy. See my belly button? That's the baby. It will get bigger, and grow. ... First me have to be married."


"And Gawwww-dddd is 'da Lowwww-errrrrd."

"Goli-aff wanted to hurt God's people."


(Just waking up in bed)

"I love my mommy and my daddy."

(After Mommy and Daddy helped Emerson sit up in bed)

"Thank you, Mommy and Daddy. You're a great team. You're on the same team."


Emerson: "What's that on your face?"

Mommy: "Lotion. It helps my skin."
Emerson: "Holy moly."


(Emerson settling into our bed at 4:11 a.m.)

"Turn dat way so I don't feel your face breathing."

Emerson: "I smile at those pictures."
Mommy: "When I look at pictures of you, it makes me smile, too!"
Emerson: "Aww. That's sweet of you."

(Saying goodnight to Brennan)
Mommy: "Merry first Christmas!"
Emerson: "Happy New Year, Brennan."

Emerson: "Do you have that...little...bracelet I gave you?"
Mommy: "Always. It's my favorite gift. That was so special."
Emerson: (Smiling) "Okay."


Emerson: "Mommy! Daddy!"

Mommy: "Yes, Emerson?"
Emerson: "...What did you say, Mommy?"

"Daddy, I love you. And I love playing with you! But right now, I have to play with my rock collection."



(Brennan distracted from her nursing by Emerson)

"I don't think she wants to eat. I think she wants to look at me."


Mommy: "Do you hear Brennan? She was happy when you were in there with her and now she wonders 'where did my big sister go?'"
Emerson: "I'm coming, Brennan!"

"I love you, Mommy. Even when I like you. That will never change."

(Banging on window to scare squirrels)
Emerson: "They're not leaving. Hmmm. Why are they not cooperating? Why they not obeyin'? Maybe they just want to keep eating."


Mommy: "Look, Brennan, we're doing the potty dance!"

Emerson: "Brennan say, 'I don't know about this!'"


Mommy: "Emerson, hand me the napkin so we can wipe your face."

(Hands Mommy napkin; Mommy wipes Brennan's face.)
Emerson: "My face, or Brennan's face...?"


Emerson: "He meant hot chocolate, right?"

Mommy: "Yes, did Daddy say cocoa?"
Emerson: "Yes. Hot chocolate is hot cocoa. Cocoa IS chocolate!"


"Somebody colored in this book. Maybe a boy, or a girl, or Emeteh did...."


(Fishing for alphabet letters in the bathtub)

"What a fun day to catch fish.... I wish I was a real fisherman."


(Taking care of doll)

Emerson: "Say, 'can I hold your baby?'"
Mommy: "Can I hold your baby?"
Emerson: "No. She's crying, and I'm da mommy."

(Swiffering kitchen floor)
"Look mama, I'm cleaning this. Say, 'oh I'm so glad you're cleaning that'.'"


"I just woke up this morning and I said to myself 'hmm, maybe I can help'."

"Mommy, this is not a big problem, it's just a lil pob-lem."


Mommy: "It's going to get cold again."

Emerson: "Oh yeah? Why do you tell me...?"


Emerson: "When I'm bigger, I'll ride a bussss."

Mommy: "And where will the bus take you?"
Emerson: "To, a, a gool. And I will ask my fwenns, 'can I draw wiff you?' And day will say 'hmm, maybe you can draw wiff us!' And then we will go to the nuseum, and then I will come home, when I need to come home."


"Daddy, she doesn't need to be roughed up! Gentle, daddy. She's just a baby! Have to be fragile. She might break!"



Emerson: "You make a good supper mommy!"

Mommy: "Thanks, baby girl. I love making food for you."
Emerson: "You're a cooker!"


Mommy: "Did you get Jell-O?"

Emerson: "Yeah because you couldn't hear me!"


Mommy: "You tinkled in the potty? And you pulled your pants up? What a big girl!"

Emerson: "I didn't wipe, mommy. I didn't wipe. I just wiped on my dress."


"The ice was hitting the window last night and that was beary scary. But now, it turned to snow! That isn't scary!"

(Looking out the window at the snow that fell overnight)
"Ooh! Let's go out there!"
"Can we go out now?"
"I just want to get dressed for the day."
"Awww. Can I go out there??"


(6:48 a.m.) "Mommy, can I go outside?" 

(Playing in the snowy yard)
Mommy: "Are you alright?"
Emerson: "No! I'm not alright."
Mommy: "Why are you not alright?"
Emerson: "Because I'm cold!"

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


A forgotten post, drafted last fall...but a pertinent personal reminder, always.

The family excursion to Lowe's had not gone well. I had needed a Saturday be out of the house for a feel productive. 

And, the errand did--not--go--well. Despite our best parenting efforts...the children won. 

I came home tired and grumpy...silent, but visibly frustrated by our discouraging and very non-productive experience out of the house with two small children. I walked from room to room, picking up this & that and tidying here & there. I saw messes that I had no idea when I'd be able to address. My annoyance with the clutter and with the day grew.

I bent down to pick up a few stray alphabet refrigerator magnets, that I knew had been lying on the kitchen floor for days. 

I'd better get these, I thought. No one else will. 
Does anyone else even see the mess? What's the point? Why do I bother? 

My attitude was poor; my spirit was weary.

"Thank you, Mommy."

What did she just say? Surely she can't have noticed. There's no way she's thanking me for this.

"Thank you for what, Emerson?"

"Thank you, for picking up my magnets off the floor.... You're having a rough day, huh?"

She noticed. My efforts, my mood.... Oh, wow. ... Wow.

And then, the tears began. She had seen, and genuinely affirmed me in the most precious way.

By her comment, through the innocent eyes of a child, the Lord was speaking.

I see you. I notice. And your work matters. 

I heard Him. 

I realized that it most certainly did matter. That my work is noticed and appreciated and valued, even when it doesn't feel that way. And that, as much as I value serving my family, I am ultimately working for the Lord.

23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,   24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. 
It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Colossians 3: 23-24

My attitude changed. I stopped tidying. I tearfully went to her & hugged her & held her. Tightly. 

"I love you, Emerson."

"I love you more, Mommy."

"Not possible, Little One.... Not possible."

Monday, April 20, 2015

All In

There are days when stay-at-home-motherhood just 'clicks'; I'm engaged in our activities and have the energy and enthusiasm to make it fun. I'm "all in". Last Thursday was one of those days.

(It is worth noting that these days are often directly-related to my having had a solid night of sleep...or close enough to one...and there being a decent amount of sunshine. Go figure!)

On Thursday, the girls and I went to the zoo, and it was so wonderful to get out of the house just for fun. Not running errands with any sense of purpose, not even meeting friends for a play date. Those are good things; outings that I crave and so enjoy. But, the times that the girls and I go out "just for fun", just for us, are rare. Although they will, no doubt, increase as the days become warmer and it gets increasingly easier to be out and about with Brennan. I hope that's the case!

But, on that day, I got to just be with my daughters.
Really be with them.
Focusing on them.
Enjoying them.

The three of us are together a lot. But, there are distractions at home...things to do, things to think about: the load loads of laundry needing to be done, the photos I should be editing, what dinner prep I can do during lunchtime, even wondering where I last placed my coffee cup, because goodness knows I'm going to need to finish that off.... There is a monotony to being here daily, and as unbelievably wonderful as it is to stay home with my children day in and day out, there's a danger in taking this privilege for granted. I realized again last week that, for being with the girls so much, I'm not always intentional about being fully-present with them and focused on my time with Emerson and Brennan.

I want to be.

And, they deserve for me to be. 

Motherhood is a calling. It certainly is mine, and I've never questioned if I'm making the right choice to stay home with my girls. But, some days are long & hard and feel every bit like the very real work that it is. But, then there are days like Thursday, that remind me just how much I can delight in this job of mine...just how much I should...and just how precious it is when I truly do.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Brennan: Five Months

March 2, 2015

  • You are wearing 6 month clothes...though these days are numbered. You're a growing girl!
  • You are rolling over quite easily these days, though never front to back. From your back, you can roll over to your tummy with no trouble, but then you decide that you're "stuck" and get frustrated quickly by your inability to turn over again.
  • The frequency of your eating has definitely declined. You nurse a few times each day, but you're usually able to stretch to a few hours at a time between feedings, and you're definitely not spitting-up as much as you were.
  • You seem to need a late-afternoon snooze to get you through the evening. After that 30-45 minute nap around 4:00 p.m., you're usually able to make it through the activity of the evening until bedtime prep begins around 7:30 p.m.
  • You've begun noticing toys, really playing with a few favorites these days. Sophie the Giraffe is  one of those favorites, and you enjoy the little stuffed tiger, too, and sucking on his nose.
  • The "Jenny Jump-Up" has been a lot of fun for you! You so enjoy being upright, and really move around quite a bit! We've all noticed that it seems that you get more enjoyment out of it than Emerson did. You really get going!
  • You've started to notice Royal walking around, and have made a few attempts at grabbing his tail. You certainly watch him closely when he's in the vicinity.
  • You're starting to seem to need Mommy to be close-by. Often, if I walk away, you'll fuss. Interestingly enough, though, if Emerson is close-by, having her around satisfies you, too. She's a comfort for you, that big sister of yours! 
  • Your hair is definitely continuing to lighten. It appears you'll be another blonde beauty. 
  • You've begun trying to sit on your own a few times. You enjoy the effort, and only need minimal assistance to keep you from falling backwards.
  • I think you look like Daddy, and see the resemblance multiple times a day. I'm curious to see how that resemblance changes (grows? weakens?) over time.
  • You are babbling nonstop, enjoying the new sounds of your own voice. You want to talk just like the rest of us do! 
  • Chewing on Mommy's chin and nose is a precious habit of yours that I just love. It's as though you're giving kisses, showing affection as you are able. Other times it seems that you're trying to tell me that you're hungry...either way, it's cute.
  • Your eyes seem so bright these days...lit with such happiness and joy at the world and the people around you!
  • You are definitely watching us eat our food lately, showing interest in this "food" we all enjoy so much. You are getting so close to eating it yourself! 
  • Emerson can make you belly laugh like no one else can. It's the most precious sound, and truly, no one else makes you laugh so hard. You both get such pleasure out of playing together. She loves to make you laugh, and is so anxious to play with you in other ways. 
  • You're looking longer lately...probably a growth spurt!

Brennan, you are the perfect fit for our family...
and we love that you are a part of it.
It brings me such joy to be your mommy. And, I just love watching you grow. 
What will you do next?!
I love you, precious.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Brennan: Four Months

February 2, 2015

  • You are wearing 6-9 month clothes. I remember Emerson being in so many of these outfits, which is such fun! 
  • Disposable diapers at nighttime continues to work well for you, with cloth diapers during the day. Unless I'm running behind on laundry, and then it's disposables during the day, too. These things happen.
  • At your four month (+ 2 days) doctor's appointment, you weighed 15 lbs, 9 oz. and were 2' 2" long. You are a healthy baby, growing right on track. When Dr. J walked into the room, he said "well, I've seen that face before!" Clearly, there is a fair amount of resemblance between you and your big sister! You got four shots again this time, but calmed remarkably quickly as soon as I picked you up afterwards. I love being able to comfort you. No fussiness or fever post-vaccines, either!
  • You continue to sleep through the night well, though you've woken up early a couple of times lately, at 5:00 a.m. or 6:00 a.m. You are usually able to nurse and go back to sleep on those occasions, but it's enough to throw us off. I still nurse you to sleep on the couch at bedtime, though have learned the hard way that, no matter deeply asleep you may appear, you wake up almost immediately when placed in your crib...if done so before 10:00 p.m. For whatever reason, you're not ready to be in your crib until 10:00 p.m. or later, so we stay up until (at least) then.
  • You love being with and around Emerson. You so obviously look for her in the room, and regularly perk up with a smile when she comes close. She makes you giggle more than anything else. I love watching your relationship develop, and I love that you're already friends. 
  • You are recognizing people these days. Daddy usually gets a big smile when you see him in the morning or after work, and you know Grandma and Grandpa, too. 
  • When I look over your crib in the morning, you are so happy to see me. You have fresh eyes and a wide smile that makes my heart burst. You are ready to enjoy the day, and I get to help you experience it. What a gift.
  • You have begun to find toys next to you on the mat, or reach over to grab one on the changing pad. It takes such effort to close your fist around one, and slowly bring it to your mouth. But, you're doing it!
  • Your favorite "toy" at this point, though, is our fingers. You love to gnaw on our knuckles, and will "chew" for as long as we'll allow it. It must provide some relief on potentially tender gums. Emerson got her first tooth just before turning five months, so we're on the lookout for teething symptoms from you, too. Other than the gnawing and slobbering, nothing yet. 
  • Laying down to nap in your crib is becoming a more regular thing. You still nurse to sleep, but are more willing to be placed in your crib afterward, where you'll sleep for anywhere from five minutes to thirty or so...usually dependent on the amount of noise and activity going on in the rest of the house. 
  • You so enjoy time on the changing table, and you really move your arms and legs constantly when you're up there. You "talk" and squirm and it seems like it's your "happy place".
  • You seem to really want to sit up, straining to lean forward when leaning back on a pillow or up against me. You're not quite there yet, but certainly gaining strength and confidence. You know that's the next step!
  • There is a definite ease to your time with Daddy. You enjoy being together and you are comfortable and trusting in his arms. 
  • There is a lot of "cooing" and blowing bubbles going on! You want to communicate and are certainly exploring ways to do that. I love hearing you!
  • You have the cutest bashful smile, especially for Daddy. You see him, smile, and then shyly turn away and nuzzle back toward Mommy. It's precious.
  • You seem quite easygoing, and relatively low-key. You want to be a part of things, and you let us know when you're discontent...usually when you aren't as much a part of things as you'd like to be. But, otherwise, you're happy to watch the action and just be around it all.
  • You giggle when Mommy nibbles and kisses on your neck. It's become "our thing" and your smiles and happy laugh make me feel so loved right back.
  • You have a somewhat high-shrieked voice when you're trying to get our attention...lots of cute little squeals!
  • You're really enjoying bath time lately, turning towards the mirror and smiling at yourself. I'd say being able to sit up a bit better in the tub has impacted that. You are patient as you're washed, quite tolerant of water dribbling in your face, and happy for the change of activity. But, when you're're done. All of a sudden, for whatever reason, you begin to fuss, and the fun is over. 
  • Finding your toes has been a fun source of entertainment recently, and you seem so proud of yourself. You quickly lift them to your mouth on the changing pad when your diaper is removed, and we have lots of "diaper-free" time on the floor so you can continue to explore. 

Brennan, you make all of us smile...and smile...and smile. 
Watching you grow is nothing short of incredible.
I'm grateful for the gift of you, precious. 
I love you with all of my ever-growing heart.