Sunday, December 30, 2012

Nathan Update

This kid knows how important it is to take care of his mama these days. Never know when falls may lead to fires.

The above drawing was posted on my dresser as I lay in bed on a quiet Sunday afternoon. Shortly before I was issued this warning, Nathan and I were deep into a discussion on human reproduction. He asked. I answered.

(Don't worry, it wasn't exactly the birds and the bees. He's more concerned with what the baby's doing, not necessarily how it got there. Not yet.)

During this discussion, Nathan asked why a baby can breathe in water but he can't, what exactly the baby can see once he can open his eyes, and how he can talk through my skin. He wants to know what his little baby eats, what he plays with, and why it takes him so long to grow.

He even explained how his youngest sibling has fashioned a tennis ball out of my body parts and was enjoying a rousing game this afternoon. I can't feel it yet because he's so tiny. Kind of gross, but very creative.

I can already tell Nathan's fascination with this pregnancy is going to be a wee bit different than last time. (read: awesome)

One of my favorite things about five-year-old Nathan is his constant fascination with the world around him. During Christmas break he made sure to tell his Aunt B that his favorite books are non-fiction. He soaks up as much information as his growing brain can hold. He listens, he pays attention, he asks questions, and he learns.

This seems like a common and simple process. Kindergarten kids do it every day, but to see my own flesh and blood take it in with such vigor and thirst, it blows me away. I've said it before and I'll bet you $100 you will hear it again, he's a smart kid.

And it is going to take him places.

However, I still don't think he is quite up to hearing the aforementioned baby-making details. :)

Happy Sunday, y'all!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Week 12

Week: Twelve
Size: Lime
Feeling: Pretty awesome, but pretty worn-down.
Symptoms: Nothing abnormal, a little sick in the morning and a lotta tired.
Maternity Clothes: Baby's starting to show himself, too, but not quite yet! :)
Sleep: Slept until 8:30 today and it was GLORIOUS.
Gender: See above answer. I'm still saying "he" despite everyone else.
Movement: Probably so! Can't wait to feel proof.
What I Miss: I would say Coke, but we all know that situation.
What I Want: A Coke.
Best Moment this Week: Well the best was a joyful Christmas with family, but I also got to hear baby's heart beat after a brief freak-out last weekend! My mom's NP friend met me at her clinic to provide reassurance and I heard those 180 BPMs just plugging away. :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

White Christmas

I will now interrupt what should be a proper Christmas post to bring you a real, official White Christmas.

After a rainy morning full of sleepy bed heads gasping at the half-eaten plate of cookies and wonders left by the big guy, we started seeing a change in the Christmas Day forecast. However, we knew to be skeptical of any December snow warnings and we shrugged it off.

The day continued as any normal Christmas would. Wrapping paper covered every inch of my living room and my oldest proclaimed each gift to be the "best one ever!" Owen snuggled his very own Woody doll as he sent cars flying down a loop-the-loop. Nathan's knights stormed his new play castle and bombed the drawbridge door. The boys went from toy to toy to toy, not knowing what to think nor where to go next. (However, they didn't have any trouble figuring out how to climb in their new dune buggy, fully assembled in the kitchen and ready for the snow to melt.)

Wait. I'm getting ahead of myself.

At about 3 pm Christmas Day, all presents were unwrapped and we fell into a post-joy haze. Then, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but ice falling from the sky and collecting in white puddles upon the grass. Eventually the sleet turned to giant snowflakes. REAL snow. On CHRISTMAS.

It was a Christmas miracle.

Despite the fact that it was now about 5:30 pm and the sunlight was giving way to a chilly nighttime, Nathan and his daddy suited up to engage in a snowball fight and cook Christmas steaks. (delicious, btw)

This morning, we woke up to a winter wonderland. After breakfast, we forced the children into triple layers, pulled the ear flaps of their hats down low and sent them out.

Not only was this Owen's first snow, it was a doozie. It was never properly measured, but it was at least six inches. Maybe even closer to a foot? I don't know, look at the photos and use your best judgement. Either way, the kid was a little freaked out.

After hearing Nathan give a lesson on how to shake snow from branches, Owen was ready. And he loved it. Every so often a mitten would fall off and the pout would return, but he had a blast.

And his snow-walk was one of the cutest I've seen. :)

When it was time to go inside (about 15 minutes later), Owen was not having it.

Had he been able to run away from us, he probably would have. But it was into the house and straight into the bathtub. Luckily, Christmas was yesterday and his bathtub was full of new toys to enjoy.

Now he is down for a long winter's nap and the rest of us are enjoying a snow day movie marathon. I imagine hot cocoa and popcorn are on the menu.

I hope you stayed warm enough during this random Arkansas blizzard and I hope your Christmas was merry, bright, and full of joy.

"Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace to
people of good will!"

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Week 11

Week: Eleven (plus one)
Size: Fig
Feeling: Just fine, aside from fighting a cold.
Symptoms: No pregnancy symptoms, just a hit-by-a-truck kind of cold.
Maternity Clothes: Nope. Pajamas, but no maternity.
Sleep: See above comment. Always ready for a nap. (if only...)
Gender: Still saying boy.
Movement: Can't feel it, but I'm sure it's happening.
What I Miss: Nothing really right now. I'm all set.
What I Want: Christmas! My precious kids have improved my cheer situation. :)
Best Moment this Week: FAMILY TIME! Our long-lost seester and the in-laws arrived yesterday. Expect brief, joy-filled posts on our antics. (we'll be busy!)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Dirty Thirty

Today my oldest Bauer entered a new season of life. That's right, the old man has made it to his thirties.

Sorry, bud, you have to do this one all on your own. I'm several years behind you (1.5 probably counts as several, right??)

You'll remember that during my Thanksgiving posts that I gushed over the many reasons I love Jonathan. Today, on this his very important birthday, I just want to say I am so pumped to have such a silly, crazy, fantastic person to be by my side through the everyday. The everyday laughs, the everyday tears, and the everyday life with the great little family we are growing.

Garth Brooks said it best. Two of a kind, working on a full house. (see photo)

Happy Birthday, Jonathan! <3

PS: And in case you were wondering, he feels fine. (you are aware I couldn't leave an end of the world reference off of this, right?)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Cheer

Optional Title: Bah Humbug.

I know, I know. In years past you would have already seen the merriment of my little family decking the halls and posing with Christmas ornaments, baking cookies and wrapping gifts.

You're lucky I'm wearing pants right now.

Christmas during the first trimester, we meet again. Though the first time around was easier as I had zero children and a couch that welcomed my every nap. This year, the hustle and bustle of the season is something I keep tacking on the end of my "to do tomorrow" list.

If anybody has an extra cup or two of Christmas cheer (preferably laced with caffeine), I'd welcome it with open arms and groggy eyes.

I'm not a complete Scrooge, though. Here's what's going on in the Bauer Holiday department (sans photos, just trust me.) We do, in fact, have our tree up. It was not the week of Thanksgiving, but well into December. Jonathan and Nathan strung the lights on the house one mild afternoon while I watched Team Umi Zoomi through my eyelids. I went to Texarkana last Friday to pick up cupcakes for Jonathan's birthday party (dirty thirty, y'all!) and forced myself into Target.

Luckily Nathan has been spouting off the exact names of all toys advertised during Ninjago commercials and the Target aisles stay well-stocked with five-year-old dreams. Hopefully the Walmart in Nashville remains this way as I still need to complete my list.

Snapfish also emailed me and informed me I have one day left to make my annual purchase before it's too late for my family to unwrap joy on Christmas morning. Oops. Time seems to fly when you're permanently glued to the couch.

However, it's hard to keep the actual spirit of Christmas at bay when your kid comes home with the idea to play Santa's workshop while stuffing last-minute Christmas cards. He was Francis. I was Holly. He was my whip-snapping supervisor who continuously told me I was writing too slow. Oh it was good times, good times indeed.

With holiday guests arriving Friday, and me in my pajamas at 8:15 Monday night, I guess I will call this crunch time. T-minus four days and counting to find that holiday spirit, stick a bow on it, and place it under my barren Christmas tree.

Fa-la-la-la-la. La-la-la-la. ;)

(PS: I'm not a total Grinch. I'll find that Christmas cheer. Hopefully it's hiding under my covers somewhere.)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Week 10

Week: Ten (plus two)
Size: Kumquat
Feeling: Ehh.
Symptoms: Nothing too bad, just a general state of "blah" today.
Maternity Clothes: Nope.
Sleep: It's 6:47 pm and I'm ready for it.
Gender: Halfway to this answer! :)
Movement: I bet.
What I Miss: Energy and motivation.
What I Want: Peace and quiet (I see the irony in this.)
Best Moment this Week: Christmas shopping! I finally started Friday. Maybe that will get the ball rolling on Christmas cheer..

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Owen Update

Quick Update: He's still as cute as he is mean.

In all the excitement revolving around my womb, you can trust that I haven't forgotten the children who already made their way out. They're hard to forget while running circles around their tired mama.

Let's start with the small one, shall we? Judging by the above photos, you can gather that he doesn't stay still long. He loves playing outside, doing absolutely anything to get a laugh, and his brother. However, my mom pointed out today that "Owen was born last year." Weird. Hasn't he been here all along? Screaming my name every ten minutes and lighting up a room with his grin?

Nope. Despite the fact that he holds his own in wrestling matches and runs like lightning at bedtime, he is still a baby. He's going to be a big brother, but for now, he's my baby. I can tell by the fact that I don't comprehend 80% of what he says to me.

"Dada no Daddy? Daddy quack quack, Daddy mumpmeeps. Nate, no Nate no toodies?! Toot, toot."

Crack that code. I dare you.

Owen is still cute as a button and hot as a firecracker. The smallest misunderstanding will send his Fruit Loops flying, along with a string of presumably not-nice words. The fuse is short on this one, but the heart is big.

When Nathan was a baby, I delighted in hugging him. Snuggling him as often as I could catch him and loving on him as much as I wanted. Owen is different. He finds me. He will stop what he's doing, wrap his little arms around my knees, and melt my heart into a bubbling mess.

I think that's worth a thrown cereal bowl or two.

(or at least I keep telling myself)

Have a happy Wednesday, y'all!

PS: If you'll remember back to October, I did a blogging challenge hosted by the Arkansas Women's Bloggers. I won a prize during that time and was awarded a blog consultation. I spoke to AWB founder Stephanie, The Park Wife, yesterday and she shared her thoughts. Notice a bit of a revamp today! Another suggestion she shared was firing up a Facebook page for those who want to listen. So, now I invite you to click here and then click "like" to see each new post on your newsfeed. Oh, joy! :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Pregnancy Polls

Even though you didn't know about the first several weeks of my pregnancy, I still felt it was important to document them. I don't know if it's just for those of you who care about the vegetable-to-baby ratio, my own memory's sake (which will soon become an issue), or the update-craving grandmothers. Whatever it is, here we go. Without further ado, the first few pregnancy polls for Bauer Babe 3.

I am writing this Wednesday, November 7. (yes, that's an extreme closeup.)

Week: Four (and five days)
Size: Poppyseed
Feeling: Good!
Symptoms: Nothing (please knock on wood)
Maternity Clothes: Heh, poppyseeds don't take up much space.
Sleep: is awesome.
Gender: Mama's thinking blue again, y'all.
Movement: He's swimming up a storm, but not that I can tell.
What I Miss: Is it okay to say margaritas this early?
What I Want: December 6 to arrive! :)
Best Moment this Week: Seeing that big fat positive!

I am writing this Friday, November 9. (during Owen's unexpected two-hour nap.)

Week: Five
Size: Sesame Seed!
Feeling: AMAZING. (Why wouldn't I? I'm pregnant!)
Symptoms: Um, emotional? (above) And a totally skipped period.
Maternity Clothes: Nope.
Sleep: Still awesome.
Gender: This question is mean. The answer is 15 weeks away.
Movement: I can move pretty well and I assume bean can, too.
What I Miss: Nothing. Feeling very grateful and very blessed.
What I Want: Owen's two-hour nap to turn into at least a 2.5
Best Moment this Week: Watching "A Baby Story" and weeping.

I am writing this Friday, November 16. (Nathan's debut as a mashed potato.)

Week: Six
Size: Small Pea
Feeling: Sleepy.
Symptoms: Yawning, still emotional, and sore boobs
Maternity Clothes: Nope.
Sleep: Can't get enough (literally).
Gender: Months away. Contain your anxiousness.
Movement: I'm sure.
What I Miss: My bed when I'm not in it.
What I Want: A nap. :)
Best Moment this Week: Owen poking me and shouting, "BABY!"

I am writing this Wednesday, November 28. (two days after my miracle.)

Week: Seven (plus five)
Size: Blueberry
Feeling: Blessed beyond measure (and still a little shocked).
Symptoms: Flabbergasted?
Maternity Clothes: Nope.
Sleep: It's a lot better this week than last.
Gender: Still don't know, but I'm getting more pink guesses.
Movement: YES! I saw him dancing. :)
What I Miss: Nothing. Today I am pregnant and that is awesome.
What I Want: Another ultrasound peek.
Best Moment this Week: SEEING MY BABY!

I am writing this Tuesday, December 4.

Week: Eight (plus four)
Size: Raspberry
Feeling: A little sick, a little tired, a lot overwhelmed. :)
Symptoms: First-ever morning sickness. Yay!
Maternity Clothes: Nope.
Sleep: Still in need of more.
Gender: No clue.
Movement: Can't wait to see baby wiggle on Thursday.
What I Miss: I *might* miss the pretty drinks at Outback tonight.
What I Want: THURSDAY! My first actual OB appointment
Best Moment this Week: I'll go in the future and say announcing my bean to the world on Thursday. :)

I am writing this Friday, December 7.

Week: Nine
Size: Large Grape
Feeling: Awesome!
Symptoms: Other than disregard for my messy house, not much.
Maternity Clothes: Nope.
Sleep: I am planning a nap during Owen's.
Gender: No clue, but I'm hearing lots of hope for pink.
Movement: Probably.
What I Miss: Seeing my baby. I need weekly ultrasounds!
What I Want: The turtle cheesecake in my fridge.
Best Moment this Week: I called it. It was yesterday, seeing the heartbeat that made my pregnancy official. And then spilling the beans about my bean. :)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Part Three: Reality

I'm writing this one today. The day these words are published. It had to catch up to me, right?

I'm sitting in dark, quiet, and tidy house. Nathan and I just wrapped up a few rounds of Chutes and Ladders. He won every time. Owen is down for a late nap while the rain drips slowly outside his window. Their grape-sized baby brother or sister has yet to show on my body, but is constantly on my mind.

I wrote about the heart beats featured above a few days ago, when the video was recorded and Jonathan and I high-fived our way out of ultrasound room. However, the fact that this is my reality is slowly sinking in.

We told Nathan that he's going to have to pull double big brother duties and man was he pumped. His first words were, "I can't wait until you go to the hospital."

I told him to slow that talk on down.

Since we spilled the beans to Nathan and the world, he's started noticing. He told me the baby must be very small because my belly is (color me flattered and him blinded by love). He also stared at my bag of Doritos and told me to lay off. The chips are much "too big and too poky for the baby."

Seems he's already practicing his biggest brother routine.

As for the middle child, let's just say he's a little confused. He knows there's a baby. Somewhere. For a day or two, he would lift my shirt and jam his chubby finger at my bellybutton. Now, though, he's under the impression that the baby is inside his own rotund tummy. That may not be physically possible, but it is ridiculously cute, so I let it slide.

Also, expect to see photos of that in the near future.

Jonathan and I are counting down our seven months left as a family of four. We are playing board games, snuggling, hosting movie nights with popcorn, and helping with homework. Although that will continue when our home expands by two feet, we're making it count now.

Because before we know it, those heart beats will fuel a squishy pink body brimming with needs from all four of us. I can only imagine what Owen's caregiver role will be. :)

Happy Sunday, y'all!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Part Two: Miracle

This was written Wednesday, November 28. The emotions are real and fresh.

Today I am pregnant.

The week of Thanksgiving, however, I was not so sure. If you read my Attitude of Gratitude post you can see on that particular day, I was certain that I was not. I had discounted my impending child's life and was mourning a baby I hadn't lost.

I personally know not every story ends like this, but I feel so rocked by this experience that it's a story that needs to be told. Let's start at the beginning, shall we?
  • spotting at six weeks.
  • bleeding at six weeks.
  • bleeding and cramping at six weeks.
  • empty gestational sac at six weeks, any hope?
  • empty sac and bleeding at six weeks.
  • natural miscarriage vs. D&C
  • risks of D&C
  • fertility after D&C
  • recurrent missed miscarriage
The above list is the flow of phrases I mindlessly typed into Google from Saturday, November 17 until I saw my child's heart beating on Monday, November 26. The day I realized what I had forgotten. This is what happened:

I (assumed I) had a miscarriage. My doctor told me the only thing that would prove whether my empty sac was a viable pregnancy or not was time. But I knew. I felt in my heart my baby was gone. I wasn't just preparing for the worst to be surprised by the best. I was sure. So sure that I texted, called, and emailed friends and family to let them know.

That was a hard week. I slept, I cried, and I raged. I was angry. How could this happen? TWICE!? I was already the one in four, no need to drive the point any further. I don't know if I'll say I was to the point of being mad at God, but as the past few sentences show, I did not have my trust, my hope, nor my faith in Him. I pushed Him from my side.

I was on my own. All by myself.

And that is a really scary place to be.

Fast-forward through a fairly miserable Thanksgiving, four more days of googling the inevitable and it was time to go to work. Time to pull up the bootstraps, get through the day, then talk to my doctor about my decision (despite the fact that no options were yet presented.) A D&C to empty my uterus of the life that was gone. I needed it to be over.

As I sat in the waiting room at the OB office, there were bellies full of life everywhere. Parents looked hopefully at ultrasound pictures, women filed in and out of the restroom and the lab, preparing for appointments to check on their healthy babies.

My name was called. I ignored the ultrasound tech's directions. I knew where I was going and I knew what I was going to say. I spouted it out the second she asked what was going on. "I'm pretty sure I had a miscarriage, but the doctor wanted to check again to make sure." The wand began to do its magic and she found the round, black hole within my uterus. She adjusted it this way and that and I settled in for bad news. Then, on the screen, I saw something white.

"This sac's not empty. There's the yolk sac and there's the little baby. You can even see the heart beating. Let's listen."

Y'all. I lost it. She had to tell me to control myself for two reasons. A) I was messing up the ultrasound. B) She was about to start crying herself.

My baby was there. And he was alive. There was no sign of miscarriage, only the sound of his sweet heart beats. We walked out of the ultrasound room in shock and tears. Once we were ushered onto the comfy couch in my OB's office, he smiled at us like we were crazy. He couldn't believe that I had talked myself into losing the pregnancy when he had no reason to believe it.

"From one week to the next, a baby grew larger in the gestational sac. Imagine that for a pregnant woman!" he joked with us.

Talk about a slap in the faith.

(see what I did there?)

I let my fears and my past mix into a truth that had no basis on reality. I dragged my family down with me and for that I am sorry. I am blessed more than I could ever imagine, and I've realized I need to open my heart to that. Open my heart to realize how amazing and wonderful and incredible my God is.

I thank God not only for this addition to the family, but for what He showed me. He asked me to not only follow Him and disciple for Him, but to trust in Him. Unconditionally.

God is still in the miracle business.

I saw its heart beating inside me.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Part One: Positive

This was written on November 6, two days after my first look at those pink lines.

When Owen was born in March 2011, Jonathan and I had already decided we weren't finished.

I knew I'd get to see those two little pink lines once again, carry life inside of me, and one day cradle it in my arms. We even knew that shortly after his first birthday, we would start trying to grow our family even more.

The official attempt for baby number three (spoiler alert: the baby growing in my womb now) began in Florida in May of this year. Might as well start it off in style, right?

A few months passed, summer turned to fall, and we went trick-or-treating. For most women, a few months of negative tests is no big deal, but my track record is unfortunately awesome. For my three last pregnancies, it took two months at the most to conceive. After five failed months of trying, I was worried.

Cycle number six started in October and it felt right. My brother was married and the month sped by quickly. When it was time to test, I took a deep breath, opened my drawer, and selected from my test collection. I chose a digital that would give me a straight-forward answer.

"Not Pregnant."

Darn. I knew I was testing early, but by this time every single "not pregnant" hurt. A few negative tests later and I had moved on to the next cycle... until Sunday morning. Something about the way my body was feeling and acting, coupled with the message of miracles in Mass, urged me to head straight to the Walgreens for another pack of hope.


Two lines. Pregnant.

I burst into tears (at my office. where I peed.) and screamed the word "POSITIVE!" over and over until Jonathan made it to the bathroom. We hugged, we cried, and we couldn't believe it. Another July baby is joining the Bauer clan. Owen will assume his rightful place as the mischievous middle child and Nathan has surely become a better baby-handler in his old age.

As I write, most of you don't know about my sweet baby. I'm waiting to let all of the beans spill until my first OB visit on December 6. Which is one month from right now. Which translates to basically four years.

However, I wanted to take time to write now, when emotions are high and my body is electric with the start of new life. My fourth pregnancy has begun and will hopefully result in my third child. I could not be more thrilled.

A family of five.

Immediately jumping to mind are the following a) We have to buy a bigger car, b) we'll never again sit at a square restaurant table, and c) the kids will outnumber the parents.

And that's just the start. :) Though some of that sounds downright scary, I'm not scared. At all. I wanted this so badly and I cannot stop shouting my thanks to God for letting me have it. There is nothing in this world I love more than being a mother. To be given the chance to play that role to another sweet bundle makes me happier than I can describe.

I do have one thing to add to that list, though. There is going to be more love. More love in my heart and more love in my house. That's worth it all.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Baby Makes Five

You totally knew after that last post, didn't you?

Question for you... what does it mean when the kids outnumber the parents?

I don't know, but come next summer, we are going to find out! It may seem like this blog has been pretty quiet over the past few weeks, but little did you know. There was all sorts of secretive story-telling, desperate praying, and drafting of the miracle of life going on behind the scenes.

But we'll get to those posts. (a three-part series, even)

Today, when I heard that heartbeat galloping and saw my raspberry-sized baby on the black-and-white computer screen, I swooned. Even though it was my second time to hear that beat, it was official. I am pregnant and I am soon to be the mother of three. Awesome.

I am proud to announce that my boys and I are expecting a third bundle of joy in July 2013. Our official due date is the 12th, but Nathan is already planning on sharing a birthday with him or her.

Thank you so much to those who have already poured out your congratulations and best wishes. Please continue to keep my little bean in your prayers. It may seem like easy work, but growing in a womb can be complicated.

PS: Be sure to check back tomorrow for part one of the story. (NO, not that far back, get your head out of the gutter!) This goes back to the morning of Sunday, November 4, when I cried in the office bathroom with a positive pee stick in my hand. It's good times. :)

Until then, the happiest of all Thursdays to you!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Food for Thought

and maybe a little foreshadowing...

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."

Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, November 23, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude

This year, I am extremely thankful for the love of those in the photo above (Especially the two sweeties who aren't actually in the picture, but have already gone home. More on this at a time when I actually feel like writing about it.)

{EDITED TO ADD: See bottom of post for explanation.}

For now, though, it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without counting each and every one of our blessings. Since the "each and every one" lists get lengthy, I've again asked each Bauer to narrow it down to three. Click here if you'd like to check out last year's post. (Owen's was my favorite.) Now, take a look at the Bauer family's thanks, plus a few peeks at this year's family photos:

Name: Jessica
Age: 28
Thankful for: "A supportive husband, fantastic little boy hugs, and the hope my God provides."

Name: Jonathan
Age: 29
Thankful for: "Loving family, faith in God, you." (That's ME!)

Name: Nathan
Age: 5
Thankful for: "God, that God gives me everything I need, and that Santa gives me everything I want." At least it started off good.

Name: Owen
Age: 1
Thankful for: "Being a baby, having my own room, and Toy Story" This was dictated by big brother, but it's all probably true (except the second one).

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever."

EDITED TO ADD: The vagueness at the beginning of this post was due to the fact that I was having trouble early in my pregnancy with Nora and assumed I had miscarried. It would be the next week that I learned exactly how much thanks I needed to give. Read more here, if you'd like.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Mama's Mashed Potato

I may not have a secret recipe for turning leftover turkey into a fabulous new delicacy, but I have a mashed potato that'll melt your heart.

Before I jump in, let me tell you one thing, there's nothing like the joy in a mother's heart the day her kid comes home proclaiming that he will play the part of mashed potatoes in the school's upcoming musical. It was early October, but I circled the date on my calendar and made immediate plans to charge my camera battery.

When I realized the Thanksblogging Challenge's {Foodie Friday} coincided with said Thanksgiving Musical, I knew I had no choice but to write about my own tater. (This is way better than any recipe I could dream up.)

Nathan and his crew of five-year-old mashed potatoes were flanked by shiny red cranberries, a group of hip-hop turkeys, pumpkin pie topped with dollops of puffy whipped cream, and some elderly people who seem to have eaten a bit too much.

It was pretty awesome.

You don't know a Thanksgiving Musical until you hear a love ballad dedicated to cranberries. And trust me, I've heard it a couple dozen times over the past few weeks.

Nathan stole the show with his butter-pat hat and sweet dance moves. He concentrated hard on hitting every beat, with both lips and hips. Although I don't have the video feed to share with you now (trust me there will be video), here are a few photos to tide you over:

Now, if you want some recipes that are more yum than cute, head on over to the Arkansas Women Bloggers by clicking the icon below for more of {Foodie Friday}.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Facebook Fun

In my Thanksgiving blogging challenge, today's prompt was a bit of a curve ball. We were challenged to link up to our blog's Facebook page to promote social media and all that jazz.

Problem is my blog doesn't necessarily have a Facebook page, and to be honest, I'm not quite sure it's to the point of deserving its own space. (although the top ten reasons I should have one has the wheels turning). In the mean time, I'm going to spin this to make it work for me.

I won't link you to a page dedicated to my blog, but I will link you here, to my personal page. Stop by and make friends! You can keep up with all the zany antics brought to you by my boys and every so often, I'll post a blog link. THEN, one day, if I get my blog into Facebook-worthy shape, you can bet I'll promote the heck out of it.

Until then, here are a few of my favorite bloggers whom I read as often as I can. Check their fan pages out and I'm sure you'll "like" them, too. In no particular order are:
Also, one more treat for you. (score!) Since I can't give you an actual blog Facebook page, I'll happily share a few recent status updates. Each of them reminds me that sometimes, you just have to laugh:
  1. Woke up to Nathan drinking a Coke and eating my Milano cookies. Happy weekend, y'all.
  2. "Mom, I know your PJs are comfy, but you were looking foxy in your church clothes." - Nathan.
  3. Started my Friday by googling "baby drank laundry detergent." Oops. He's fine, though, and smells great!
  4. "There's nothing as awesome as getting your first library card!" He's definitely my kid.
  5. It's probably not a good thing when your toddler walks out of the bathroom sopping wet and brushing his hair with a toothbrush.
  6. "‎Today in music we learned about the national anthem and who wrote it a hundred years ago. It was Carrie Underwood." -Nathan
  7. A blue crayon in Owen's chubby little hand is a recipe for disaster. Thankfully stuffed animals are washable.
What are you thankful for? Click the icon to read more of today's topic from other bloggers in the Thanksblogging Challenge.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Love Story

Here I sit staring at a blank computer screen, sporting fuzzy pajamas, sipping a glass of iced tea, and smiling at the bedroom door, shutting me off from the chaos on the other side.

It didn't take long to figure out today's topic, y'all.

In this week's blogging challenge, today's idea was very open. The simple prompt was "I'm thankful for..." On the first day, I covered my babies and my motherhood, which rank pretty high. Today, I'm going to talk about the guy I met at the youth convention many moons ago who made it all possible.

You know, the guy who is herding children as I leisurely type.

Ahhh, love.

I met Jonathan when we were both in high school, it was very passing and we were more acquaintances than we were friends. That all changed in college. We didn't date at first, but I loved him. Maybe not in the way both he and God wanted me too, but he was a very important piece of my life. We told each other secrets, we talked all night long, we took care of each other. He was my best friend.

Fast forward to a year or so later, he popped the girlfriend question in July and the wife question in October, we said our vows in June, and announced Bauer Baby #1 in November.

Oh yeah, kids, we work fast around here.

Jonathan is a great husband, but the boys might argue he's an even better daddy. The last person on his list is himself. He does so much to take care of us all, making sure we're happy, healthy, and always laughing.

Even if it means letting me sit at my desk while the boys ruin the house he cleaned today on his day off. When I walk in to check on my three favorites, I can guarantee he will be involved in the pick up. You've got to give credit where credit is due, and this man wracks it up.

Although I still look at Jonathan as the guy who drove me home after hanging out with friends (just to make sure I was safe, not because he was madly in love with me or anything), I can tell he's changed. He has evolved into this awesome grown-up version of himself. He's still goofy, and I'm still his number one, but he's better.

He is an incredible father. I am thankful that he not only gave me the chance to become a mama, but that he is my equal when it comes to parenting. (heck, right now, he's winning).

I am so blessed he chose me. And I thank my lucky stars that I chose him.

And because I do enjoy a list, here are ten quick reasons (in no particular order) that I'm thankful I caught my husband's eye many years ago:
  1. He has a humongous heart.
  2. He is an excellent cook.
  3. He loves his friends and genuinely cares about others.
  4. I don't know how to mow the lawn.
  5. He takes me to see Twilight movies.
  6. He likes to be outside and appreciates nature.
  7. He came packaged with a fantastic family.
  8. He stays up at night with me, just to talk about nothing.
  9. He loves God.
  10. He is still, first and foremost, my best friend.
What are you thankful for? Click the icon to read more of today's topic from other bloggers in the Thanksblogging Challenge.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Kids' Table

I found this picture in the catacombs of my pre-baby computer folders. The image was named "Kids' Table 2005" - there's no escape, is there?

Today's prompt in the Thanksblogging Challenge invited me to write about a favorite turkey day memory. I set my brain to work and the results were all similar. Every single memory I conjured up involved eating from fancy china, drinking Coke or tea from a glass goblet, and being banished from the main dining room.

And loving every minute.

Sometimes we would tell inappropriate jokes, sometimes we would see how many olives we could stuff into our mouths at once, sometimes we would be summoned by a parent to fetch a Diet Coke, but most of the time we laughed. A lot.

My cousins, my brother, and I grew up at the kids' table. Just me and a couple of silly boys until our youngest cousin joined us a decade later. Even when a wife and a fiance joined the table (see above), we were destined to be away from the grown-ups. Little did they know, it's just where we wanted to be.

We saw each other as much as humanly possible. My brother lived in the next room for crying out loud, but there was something special about that day. I don't know if it was the fact that after years of attempts, we were all skilled at making our crystal glasses sing. It could have been that we were stationed in the same room as the colorful Thanksgiving spread. Maybe it was the unspoken feeling of being on each others' thankful lists. It was just different.

And it was awesome.

When I think about all of those years telling secrets and spilling gravy with kids of my own kind, I get so psyched at the possibility of a kids' table in my own home.

Although I lament actually making the move to the grown-up table with the addition of children of my own, I can't wait to eavesdrop on Nathan and Owen and their future siblings and cousins. Lord only knows what their inappropriate jokes will be.

What are you thankful for? Click the icon to read more of today's topic from other bloggers in the Thanksblogging Challenge.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Birth Days

D'awwww, right?? Cuteness. Overload. (Owen above, Nathan below.)

Today begins a fresh new blogging challenge, brought to you straight from the web-savvy minds at Arkansas Women Bloggers. This month's challenge encourages writers from across the state to concentrate on the blessings in their lives.

I'll go ahead and admit that I started Day One by cheating rule-bending. Our first prompt was to show what we are thankful for by snapping a picture and then editing with Pic Monkey.

Here's today's two-step process in deciding what to write:
  • Step 1) Think of something you're thankful for.
    Immediate Answer: Bauer boys.
  • Step 2) Peruse Pic Monkey.
    Immediate Answer: "Create a Collage."
Boom. Here we go, with admittedly old pictures.

When I count my blessings, near the very top of my list are always birth days. No, not the ones where I painstakingly search out the perfect pinatas, scour Pinterest to find recipes to match themes, and herd cat-like children through rigorous activities. Although that's a blast, today I am talking about the days of actual birth. The days that made me a mother.

I remember well the days I pushed life into this world and at this point I don't remember pain. Funny how that works, isn't it? I remember feeling like the most incredible person in the world. I remember feeling super human, indestructible, and very, very woman.

Those birth days not only introduced me to two of the most precious people I know, those screams of life woke something deep inside of me. A brand-new Jessica began the day a brand-new Nathan opened his eyes for the first time.

So, there you go.

I am thankful for 07.07.07 and 03.10.11. I'm thankful that God blessed me with two wonderful sons and gave me the chance to do my best as their mother. I make mistakes and I only learn through error, but this aspect of my life is by far my favorite.

What are you thankful for? Click the icon to read more of today's topic from other bloggers in the Thanksblogging Challenge.

Friday, November 9, 2012


It wasn't your average, everyday messy lunch.

Every time I crack open a can of Chef Boyardee, I know I will be wiping orange gook off of the floor, the counter, the high chair, and the baby. I went all out today, though. Raviolis for lunch and apple sauce for dessert. Look closely at Owen's hair:

The light colored globs are hardened apple sauce chunks. I figured the longer I let it sit, the easier it would be clean off. Well, it turned into some sort of delicious hair gel instead:

Oh well, he loved his lunch and was delighted with the surprise of an afternoon bath (facial expression above). The kid loves to get clean as much as he loves to fling raviolis at my face.

Also, I will give you an entire quarter if you can search through this blog and find at least three photo sessions of Owen in the high chair with raviolis on his face. It's a common theme, but you know what, it is beyond my control that it's so stinking cute. It is impossible to keep the camera at bay.

Hope you took the time to clean your lunch out of your hair this afternoon! Happy Friday.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Owen the Patient

It takes serious work to look this good with an ear infection. Yep, he works out.

Poor Owen is sick. Unpleasant liquids are simultaneously draining from his nose, mouth, and ears. His barking cough is keeping everyone awake as it rattles his 32-pound frame all night. He has the saddest (although hilarious) little voice, hoarse and manly.

It's hard not to bust a gut when a baritone, "Mommy!" rings loudly through the monitor.

Oh, and he's calling me Mommy.

I kept him home today as the thermometer showed triple digits both last night and again this morning. We took a visit to the pediatrician's office and returned with requests for antibiotics, cough medicine, allergy stuff, and ear numbing solution. Nice. Although the previous list of meds will help this little guy feel better, I think I have my own solution.

In the few hours we had between doctor's office and car line, Owen grabbed his Mickey Mouse juice cup and favorite blanket. He walked over and handed them both to me. He then looked me square in the eye and managed a squeaky, "Mommy?"

Oh yeah. Snuggle time.

As pitiful as Owen looks and as bad as I can tell he feels, I love those moments. I really want him to start feeling better, but until then I guess I'll have to suffer through the free cuddles.

Send prayers, good vibes, and tissues our way, y'all. Happy Tuesday!