Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sugar and Spice



"Well, guys, it looks like you have a sister."

My ultrasound tech smiled as she keyed in an arrow pointed right toward the open-legged proof. Nathan did a happy dance, Owen cried for his mama, Jonathan gasped with joy, and I entered a state of bewilderment. I blinked a few times to let it sink in and then I looked into the faces of my sons as the word "daughter" entered my vocabulary.

Once I hopped down from the table and Owen was soothed, I was handed the first pictures of my baby girl. I paged through them over and over and stared at the white words. It slowly started to sink in.

Y'all. At some point this summer, I am going to have a daughter. Her name is Nora June Bauer and I cannot wait to kiss her sweet face and watch her daddy quickly wrap around her fingers.


I'm not necessarily scared of this new adventure, but I am even more bewildered than when I first saw those three telltale lines. (I'm honestly not sure if I'm making sense now. My apologies in advance.)

Over the course of 48 hours, my head has been spinning with pint-size dresses, baby legs, and gobs of pink. Grandparents are texting me with tiny floral outfits and the promise of more to come. I find myself wading online through page after page of ruffly crib bedding.

Overwhelmed much?

In spite of trying to figure out exactly what a bubble romper is and determining an acceptable head-to-bow ratio, everything I said here still stands. More important than the shower of pink that will inevitably rain into my life, I am first and foremost so thankful that Nora is healthy, active, and developing.

The appointment started off a bit worrisome, to be honest. I woke up bleeding on Tuesday morning (which happens often, even in my successful pregnancies), and instantly phoned the doctor. Since I was scheduled to come in today, they decided to bump up my whole 20-week appointment to check everything out and ease my mind.

And ease my mind it did.

Her little heart was pounding away at 167 beats per minute. I counted the chambers - one, two, three, four. Good. I counted her little fingers as they flew past her face and tummy in a happy little dance. Nathan even counted the toes on her foot as it came into view.

She is a perfect little human being, made by the love between two people and the hands of God. The whole process still blows my mind, honestly, despite it being our third go-round.

We are so blessed and so much in love.

PS: It looks like this blog is going to be seeing big changes at some point over the next four months, as the title no longer covers the whole family. Do you have any ideas?? Share them. Please.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Holy Cow!


We're getting a SISTER!

So, long story short (long will be here soon, don't worry), my anatomy scan appointment was bumped up a few days and here we sit, completely in shock that a baby girl will turn our world upside down this summer. I can't even handle myself right now, but in the meantime, here's some proof. This is one ultrasound shot I have never seen:


We are over the moon thrilled and head over heels in love with our girl.

OUR GIRL.

More on this development and the whole story once we climb back down from cloud nine and convince our parents not to buy out Babies R Us. :)

Have an amazing Tuesday, y'all. I know I will!

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Balance


There have been a lot of extremes in my life these past few days, weeks, and months. A lot of ecstatic, overwhelming, heart-filling happiness, paired with an unfortunate amount of worry, heartbreak, and tears.

This morning, I find myself trying to simply hang in the balance. Find a spot in the middle of everything that's going on where I'm at peace, knowing that these curve balls make up life.

This afternoon an old friend and I are going to say farewell to another good friend's daddy. A man who has finally lost a very, very long battle. A man who now has healthy, working legs. Who can walk, run, and fly. Who has left behind a family who understands he is in a better place, but has a long, hard road when it comes to actually saying goodbye.

This just weeks after attending a funeral for a baby whose life was not nearly as long, but just as significant to those who love him. I will once again give hugs, wipe tears, and pray hard for peace and relief. I will once again feel the hurt I see on their faces.

This also comes just a few days after my own father-in-law, who is currently battling an unknown illness, came out of surgery for a completely unrelated issue. If anyone knows about unfortunate curve balls, it's him and my awesome mother-in-law who stays busy taking care of him and their future. We stay in a constant state of prayer for his fast healing, pain relief, and answers. However, when it comes to this guy in particular, there is an approaching date we know will make him smile despite a rough recovery.

In just three little days, I get to see my baby.

I get to walk into the OB office with two happy, healthy children tagging behind me to check on my belly that is brimming with life and joy, wonder and mystery. I will know who my third child is.

I will speak his or her name and I will know that all is well. I will revel in the beauty of my new family.

This will come just a week after seeing the first pictures of Baby Emory, another friend's firstborn, pink and bright and wrapped in a blanket bearing her name. My heart is bursting thinking about my wonderful friend's face looking into her daughter's. Seeing the chubby little fingers wrapped around her daddy's for the first time (and likely all of eternity).

Then there's the buddy who's accompanying me to the funeral this afternoon. It will be one of her first days away from her three-week-old Baby Trulee. A little six-pound thing with a shock of brown hair and a gorgeous face. I will talk to her about being a new mother, and revel in the joy that lights her face while she talks about her newborn baby. A warm glow will stir within me as I listen to her words and imagine being in her shoes. I will feel her pride as my own starts to swell.

It's an amazing thing, isn't it? How we can feel what others feel? How we can hurt, how we can struggle, how we can beam with joy, how we can erupt into tears of happiness?

Experiencing these emotions through others has brought me to the point of seeing life as an unbalanced basket, always close to falling over. And we have no idea what will come tumbling out. Whether today will be a good one, or a difficult one. Whether today we celebrate new life or mourn death.

I think knowing that, knowing that we have no way of knowing, helps me take it day by day.

It helps me find the balance.

I hope everyone else who is struggling with such strong emotions finds it, too. Also, say a prayer. I promise it will help.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Another One?

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{Nathan's and my 20-week bumps. We look good, right?}

Last night the boys and I joined the Montgomery clan for a delicious seafood supper in honor of the boys' Grampa's birthday.

Once the plates were licked clean and the whole restaurant was well aware of Owen's presence, I wondered (as I sometimes do) if there were any sideways glances regarding my life choices when I stood up to reveal that another loud little bundle was on his or her way.

Instead of looking into faces for surprised reactions, I gathered all of the toys Owen had thrown onto the ground amid the majority of his chicken tender dinner and headed for the door.

Now, the kid definitely wasn't bad by any stretch of the imagination - believe me I have seen bad. It doesn't come out often, but you'd better watch out when it does. He was honestly just being himself. Silly, boisterous, and commanding of all attention. Heck, he had more of the table's attention than Grampa did during the birthday song (sorry about that, Gramps).

He's the very definition of a ham.

I have no idea where he gets it.

I'm definitely not one to care too much about what strangers think of me (okay, may just a little bit), but I do wonder how many kids people think is too many. Although our personal number isn't set in stone, don't start printing any basketball jerseys or anything.

The number I do know now is three. We have three kids. Six hands to keep from throwing food at dinner time. Nathan, in case you start reading this soon, please don't throw food.. Three bodies to catch when it's time to load the Bauer bus in the mornings. Six legs to wriggle into pajama pants during the post-bath hyper hour and three sweet faces to kiss goodnight once they're wrangled into their respective sleeping quarters.

Although some people may see a third baby as a third pile of work, a third pile of money, and a third voice to shush during birthday dinners, I don't. Believe me, I know very well all of those things are true, but first and foremost, it's a third blessing.

Monster-like tendencies or not.

Fingers crossed for the not.

Also, as if you didn't believe that Owen can be a little pistol sometimes, please notice that he would not participate in the above silly time belly pictures. That's because he was busy pouting that no one would push him in the basket swing:



Nathan, however, is always ready for a photo op:



Have a lovely weekend, from me and my sweet little ones to you and yours.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Week 20



Week: Twenty
Size: Banana
Feeling: Fantastic. Can't believe we're halfway there!
Symptoms: Nothing too terrible. Mostly heartburn and body aches.
Maternity Clothes: Yep. Shirts are getting shorter.
Sleep: This week's weather has been begging for a nap. I'll give in today.
Gender. A mere six days until the big reveal, but who's counting?
Movement: I'm LOVING it. And it's still soft enough to keep to myself. :)
What I Miss: My friends! I don't like that many favorites are so far away.
What I Want: To know whether the name of this blog will change.
Best Moment this Week: Another good friend of mine welcomed her first, a gorgeous, round-faced Baby Emory, on Tuesday. I love seeing my friends transform into mamas! Plus, hearing about their births only makes me more excited for my own. Bring it on!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Let's Talk About Sex



"So, what do you want?"

"Fingers crossed you get your girl!"

"Will you have another if this is a boy?"

"You really NEED a girl."


Okay, let me go ahead and apologize in advance to what may possibly be a sweet little girl stretching her limbs in my uterus. I love you very much, baby, and I am thrilled to have you. Not because you are a girl (if the case may be), but because you are mine.

Also, let me get out of the way a quick apology to the dozens of people who have uttered any form of the previously printed statements. I know you don't mean any harm. I know you are genuinely curious as to my take on the matter and want to offer your hopeful opinions. None of this is directed at you, my dear friend. I know you will love my baby either way.

PS: If you are dissatisfied with the sex of my baby, please know I had nothing to do with it. Also, you're mean.


With such disclaimers out of the way, here we go.

In exactly one week (9:45 am Thursday, February 28 to be exact), I will take my seat in the OB clinic with three anxious boys waiting to hear my name called by my sweet nurse. Our little family will then walk directly into the darkened ultrasound room. I will climb onto the table and relax on the soft pillows as the technician readies the warm goo.

We will watch her wand do its magic and start to see our family's newest addition on the screen. She will take measurements, count fingers and toes, and then search for what I consider the most important part of this sweet baby's anatomy.

The heartbeat.

As anxious as I am to know whether we add a third Bauer boy to the mix or mix it all up with the debut of a sister, I am even more anxious to know my baby is okay.

The reassuring little kicks help me know that he or she is alive, but I'm ready for some substantial proof. The last peek I got was at an eight-week blob with a steadily beating heart. I want to see limbs. I want to see movement. I want to see the stomach filling with fluid and whether the cheeks are as full as Owen's.

But don't get me wrong, y'all, I want to see the goods, too.

When Jonathan and I decided a third kid was in the works, our minds didn't instantly go to pink walls and bows. Our minds went to how much bigger our hearts and our family would grow with this simple decision. I don't need a girl. Owen doesn't need a baby brother. What we all need is a healthy, happy, growing baby.

I cannot wait to put a name to the one who's responsible for my frequent bathroom trips. (And believe me, y'all, we have some awesome names picked out!) However, I can honestly say that no matter what word is typed across the computer screen in that cozy ultrasound room, tears will fall. I will praise the Lord for his goodness and I will love. so. hard.

With all of that said, I think it's a boy. (shock and awe!) Maybe I'm the devil's advocate. Maybe I can't fathom adding any more baby clothes to my house. Or maybe it's just mama's intuition.

But maybe it's a girl?

What do you think?? You have a 50% chance of nailing it.

Happy Thursday from me and my secretly-sexed child!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mom Speak


Let me set the scene. You're a new mom. Your precious bundle was placed into your arms mere minutes ago. A new life, fresh and pink.

It's at this exact moment, when you look down at those staring eyes and squishy cheeks, that you begin your heartwarming vow of nurturing care, tender encouragement, and soft words. You'll never take a second for granted and repeat any of the harsh parenting that may or may not have hurtled your way at some point in your life.

You, my friend will ooze patience. You will be the most loving mama ever.

Then, you blink and your kid grows up. And you find yourself slipping into places you never imagined. I, Jessica, am that mama.

This afternoon I was nestled into our over-sized recliner, focusing on the soft kicks that were coming from within, when I heard a hair-raising pair of screams from the back of the house. I didn't miss a beat and let loose a classic mom phrase at the top of my lungs. I sank back into my chair in horror. My precious time with the one child who has yet to drive me crazy was taken by a moment of total "mom-ness." And I couldn't help but laugh.

What in the world did I just say?

It's ridiculous how easy it is to slip into mom mode, yet it is perfectly acceptable (if you're living life according to my opinions, that is). The original scenario is probably something every mom can relate to, followed directly by its epic fail. It's human nature, y'all.

It is 100% natural to turn into a ranting, raving sitcom mom when a block is thrown at a head one too many times or "Call Me Maybe" gets an octave higher on its seventh run.

It's okay to channel your mom when you walk into a room covered in Capri Sun because your oldest wanted to know if something bad would really happen if you blow it up and stomp on it.

It's okay to lose your cool on that 36th repetition of your child-given name.

I've caught myself tossing around a few gems lately and I couldn't help but put myself out there in hopes that someone (anyone?) could relate. Please, allow me to share a few classic phrases that I've let slip out of my mouth once or twice since my perfect cherubs morphed into regular kids.

Oops.

  • "Do you really need me to give you something to cry about?"
  • "Nobody tells on anybody unless someone is bleeding."
  • "Do you talk to your teacher like that??"
  • "You GET back in here before I GET you back in here."
  • "There will be NO WHINING FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE."
  • "Because I'm the MOM and I SAID SO."

If any mamas out there can raise your hand and tell me you haven't uttered anything similar to the above, let me give you a gold star and beg you for a lesson in patience and mouth control.

As for the rest of you, I hope you know it's okay to get angry and overwhelmed sometimes. It comes with the territory. As long as your kid knows he is loved and he knows that parents can make mistakes, too, you will not mess him up. I will be sure to let you know if I ever find that statement false.

This mama thing isn't always easy, but it is a lot easier to handle when you realize there is no such thing as normal, there is no such thing as right, and there is always room to laugh. And more often than not the best source of entertainment is yourself.

Now, have a fantastic Tuesday BEFORE I PULL THIS CAR OVER. :)


EDIT: A few minutes after I hit the publish button, the kid who has heard five years of this mama's nagging stopped mid-supper to share the following: "I sure like being your kid. Don't you like being my mom?" Yes, Nathan, I do. See? I haven't messed him up too much.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Always Together


Sometimes I get a little nervous about the impending rooming situation for our Bauer boys. Last night, I was given a little reassurance.

After a bath time during which their daddy could have used a poncho (re: every bath time), these guys piled into their warm jammies, got their hair thoroughly towel tried, brushed their teeth, and sat down to play tractors in Nathan's room. No matter which room they choose to play in these days, it's always together. See this morning's play time for proof:


Back to our Friday night: When we told the boys it was Owen's bed time, Nathan requested he first get to read his brother a story. The two climbed into the twin bed that still doesn't look full with both of their bodies and Nathan selected one of his favorite reads. "Pete the Cat and His White Shoes." Word for memorized word, he read the book with sing-song melodies and emphatic phrasing. Owen listened carefully and laughed at the silly parts.

Heck, they even agreed when I asked them to cheese for me. This was a rare, but perfect, moment.

After the story, Nathan gently pushed his brother down onto his own pillow and covered him with his very favorite blanket. I listened at the door and heard a smooch and then they whispered their good nights and i love yous. Shocked, I watched Nathan triumphantly walk out of his room. He turned off the light and held his head high as he made his way to the living room to finish his episode of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."

Then, from within the darkness, I heard a whimper.

I flicked on the lights and Owen had shot straight up in the gigantic bed. Terror filled every inch of his face. Whoops. Knew it was too good to be true. He's definitely going to have to get used to being Nathan's roommate when the time comes for a toddler bed to make its way in there.

However, I have a feeling that just like his mom and dad, Owen's big brother will not be okay with hearing any scared little whimpers. Maybe Owen will do even better in a big boy room just knowing Nathan's body is lying still in the same room as his.

Maybe this loving, sweet experience and closeness that is coming as Owen leaves the baby stage and becomes a kid will be the end of fighting over toys, karate chops for no reason, and screaming matches before Mama is fully awake. Just maybe...

Probably not, but it sure is a nice thought. :)

Have a happy Saturday, y'all!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Week 19

{Yeah, I won't even get into the above picture. COME ON, GARDEN TIME!}.

Week: Nineteen
Size: Large Heirloom Tomato
Feeling: Fantastic - knock on wood.
Symptoms: There's a person in there. And he's giving me heartburn.
Maternity Clothes: Still in regular tops, but there is no way I could zip pants.
Sleep: Took an amazing five-minute power nap. Need about 10 more.
Gender. We've been calling baby by our chosen boy name. Jumping the gun?
Movement: Yep. :) I'm pumped to say I feel him knocking around in there.
What I Miss: Seeing my baby. Ultrasounds are much too few and far between.
What I Want: Chocolate-covered strawberries. WANT SO BAD.
Best Moment this Week: Thursday morning's doctor's appointment. For the curious minds left hanging by this post, Owen tested negative for both strep and flu and his fever was gone this morning. Hallelujah, it was just some random virus. Hopefully this is the end of any and all Bauer family illnesses.

Oh, and also this moment, too:


I had a fantastic Valentine's Day, y'all. I even have a vase full of gorgeous yellow roses and a shot glass full of purple clover blooms to prove it. This is just one of the many reasons I love being the lady of the house. However, I sure won't mind sharing a rose or two next year if a baby girl were to join us. :) Hope your yesterday was spent with the ones you love and I hope you all were given the best gift of all - time together. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Round Two


Apparently you can run, but you can't hide.

As soon as we send one happy-go-lucky kid back to his normal life at kindergarten, the call from day care comes in. "Oh, Jessica, this baby is sick."

Sigh.

Nathan is doing much better. He's been fever-free since Sunday and the only lingering flu symptom is a cough. He returned to a cheering class Tuesday and today, but timed it just right. He has winter break for the next five days. He was so happy that he made his Valentine's Day party this afternoon; however, he was probably bummed that his mama and little sidekick weren't there.

Owen didn't even touch his lunch, not at Nannie's and not at home. He just rolled around on the floor, watching TV and staring at books with glazed-over eyes. Those of you who know him (or have read about him) know this is not the norm.

We have a date with Dr. Payne in the morning and we have our fingers and toes crossed that this is a fluke. Maybe it's just an ear infection, sinus issue, or mild 24-hour bug. Here's hoping we don't walk out of the building with another Tamiflu prescription.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Getaway


Each year Jonathan and I try to take a few days to ourselves. A quick break from overturned Fruit Loop bowls, brawling brothers, and late-night cries for milk.

We usually go to celebrate the anniversary of a hot wedding in June, but seeing as how I'll be a giant pregnant woman on our seventh anniversary, we scheduled it for Valentine's Day.

Our getaway of choice was the scenic stables of the Panther Valley Ranch in Hot Springs. I was a bit reluctant to actually attend this long-planned vacation after missing my flu-ridden kid for a week, but we decided to go. I missed my boys the whole time, but I truly enjoyed myself. How could I not when I woke up to this?


Don't worry, Jonathan didn't spend his whole time in front of the stove. I, however, did spend the majority of my time in one location. Here's documented proof:


Yes, I packed my fabulous, fluffy blanket for this trip. Yes, I stayed in my pajamas the whole time. Yes, I had a cold, rainy excuse for that. And yes, I loved every second.

Once the rain stopped and I put on appropriate clothes to leave our stable-turned-romantic-retreat, we stepped onto the back porch to see some equestrian friends. We didn't attempt any trail rides (which wouldn't have been a good idea for my with-child state anyway), but we got all sorts of photos. These were the friendliest two:


This one even decided to pose with me and baby:


But then he sniffed me:


As you can tell... I am no cowgirl.

But I survived and even managed to bring home all ten fingers after petting these beautiful animals. As for the rest of our stay, Jonathan and I were set. This ranch featured every accommodation we could imagine. We settled down in front of a roaring fireplace and watched hours of movies and TV shows with no interruptions other than a trip or two to the kitchen for snacks. It was the life, I'm telling you. Heck, we even slept past 8:00 both mornings and ate dinner sans kiddie menus and crayons both nights.

Here are a few more sneak peeks at our weekend digs:


Although the hubby and I were comfortable and welcomed in every way possible, we were ready to hit the road running Sunday morning. We flew down the highway to get Owen from Conway, but unfortunately returned home to Nashville from there. However, I am happy to announce that as of Monday night, the Bauer family is back together. Nathan is still running a low fever, but we decided to bring him on home.

I love spending time alone with my husband, but there is no place like home. House full of kiddos included.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Week 18

These are what bell peppers look like to me. They're not as pretty or perfectly formed, but they're amazing. I cannot tell you how badly this picture makes me wish for planting season. I'm ready to get my hands dirty this year, y'all.

Week: Eighteen
Size: Bell Pepper
Feeling: Not too shabby.
Symptoms: There's a bit of a belly situation going on.
Maternity Clothes: Mostly just the jeans, but I've rocked a couple cute tops.
Sleep: LOVE.
Gender. Two weeks, six days, and counting.
Movement: Nothing official, but perhaps a thump or two.
What I Miss: Nathan Thomas Bauer. He has the flu and I miss him terribly.
What I Want: Dinner.
Best Moment this Week: This one right now. Just pulling into Hot Springs for our valentine's weekend rendezvous. No cell service, no Internet, just a cabin, a fire place, and a TV. Time. To. SLEEP. ;)

Also, how's about the very first belly shot for Bauer Baby #3? In comparison to my 18-week shot with Owen, the belly appears rounder and higher. Wonder what that could mean? Friends have theories, but we shall see!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

"Sowwy, Nate"

This is our single form of communication with the oldest Bauer boy. Sad week in quarantine, guys.


Remember that one time this week when I told you Nathan had a fever? And I listed the illnesses I hoped were not invading his tiny body? No such luck.

Owen says it best every time his brother's face pops up on the screen for their nightly Face Time. "Sowwy, Nate."

Nathan has the flu. Thankfully, it's been a mild case. He's had fever since Monday, but regulating it by eating chewy Tylenols like a champ. He also has a bit of a runny nose and cough, but other than that he's his perky, polite little self. He's been living his life just fine.

Unfortunately he's living his life about 40 miles south of my house. When the good doctor went against his judgement of Nathan just having a mild case of the sniffles and administered a flu test, the first thing he thought of was Baby B. And how his/her mama does not need to bring the flu to him/her. My mother had taken him to the doctor that day as it was a busy day in the office for me. The doctor's first question was... "Can you keep him??"

Nana was happy to oblige, but I was hesitant.

Although he wasn't feeling as horrible and awful as others plagued with the flu, he would be contagious for a week and had to skip school. I'll admit I have been looking forward to this upcoming weekend's Valentine getaway with no kids and no worries, but this no-kid situation was a bit different and not nearly as fun. (Even though we do still have one spunky kid).

But we carry on. As of this morning, his fever is still at 100, but his face brightened when I (covered my mouth) and brought him an air hug, an air high-five, and a stack of school work from Mrs. Dodd.

"I want to do my math sheets first!!"

What can I say? The kid loves his school.

Here's hoping the fever drops and Owen can stop asking for his brother every time he walks into a room. Prayers, good vibes, positive thoughts, and all that are appreciated. I miss my sweet boy!

I love you so much, Nathan, and miss you like crazy!! I can't wait until those germs jump out of your body. You better get ready for all the snuggles and kisses headed your way when that happens.

Until then I'll just listen to your funny Face Time jokes and stare at these hand-made Valentines you sent to us:


And don't worry, we already knew that Owen was your favorite. :)

I love you!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Footprints



"I love you and would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you only see one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you." --Footprints in the Sand

I've been thinking a lot about footprints lately. And the impressions they can make. Not just on the sand or onto a birth certificate, but in lives.

Over the past couple of weeks I have seen firsthand how even the tiniest of footprints and shortest of lives can rock so many people so hard. A few weeks ago a friend of ours gave birth to a baby and shortly thereafter, watched him return to the One who silently knit him in her womb.

"It was then that I carried you."

After attending the memorial service for heaven's newest angel, this poem has stuck with me. Sitting in the pew with family and friends mourning the loss of a life, I studied closely the program handed to me. It featured a set of his footprints. Tiny, tiny little footprints. Just a little bigger than the ones I've yet to feel rubbing across the inside of my belly.

I closed my eyes and I pictured him. Perfectly formed. Alive. I imagined this precious person spending his entire life in his parents' arms.

I refuse to say that was enough. There must be nothing worse in this world than a parent burying a child.

I am, however, thankful for the time they had. This particular service was not just about a death, but also a birth. A celebration of life. Before they all fell into the arms of the Lord, they rocked their miracle.

"It was then that I carried you."

I have seen my friends grieve, suffer, start to laugh again, and smile as they cling tight to the memories. I have seen giant steps made by tiny feet.

Life is not fair and to be frank, it sucks sometimes. But it is so unbelievably short. Our time here is precious. We really should take advantage of every opportunity, hug our babies at every turn, and shout our praises louder in the darkness than in the light.

"But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me..."

"It was then that I carried you."



(If you know this sweet family, please continue to pray for their peace and relief. If you do not know them, I do want to keep their identities anonymous; however, God can still hear your prayers. Thank you.)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Showered


Although I've showered a few brides-to-be and moms-to-be in my day, this is the first time I took it in the literal sense.

This is also the first time the baby stayed with his daddy while his mommy opened presents, chowed on cupcakes, and felt the love from friends and family. It's okay, though, Baby Carter, we won't hold that against you. :)

One perfectly rainy Saturday, my mom and I threw a perfectly rainy-themed shower for a close friend of mine, Ashley Mhoon. This party had been in the works since the end of the year and we chose January 26 in hopes that it was safe enough to beat her son's impending arrival around February 23. Whoops! Carter Harrison greeted the world six weeks early on January 11, at a healthy and happy 4 lb 10 oz. After an impressively quick week-long stay in the hospital, he was home in his parents' arms... without a diaper in the house. :) Needless to say, the baby shower stayed as scheduled.

Let's talk details, shall we?

The room was decorated in various shades of blue and crisp whites and gray with raindrops and clouds at every turn. Pops of yellow and Ashley's favorite orange brightened things up a bit. The dozens of guests who "dropped by" (see what I did there?) signed in by leaving thumbprint raindrops around an umbrella printout. Although my mom and I will gladly take credit for such crafts as the tissue paper clouds, upside umbrella decor, and lemon drop favor bags, I have to give props to my husband for the decoration featured below.

That guy hand-cut the cute little quilt batting cloud. Carefully glued two sides together to make it sturdy. Threaded felt rain drops delicately through fishing wire and glued it in a way that wouldn't show when hung. I think I stuck Carter's name on there, but hey, it was all him. Needless to say, Ashley was pleased and Carter's room is that much cuter.

At left, Ashley poses with her mama, Becky (my mama's BFF). At right, the lady of honor and I show off Jonathan's handiwork. Cute, right??

Although my favorite part of this party was spending time with Ashley, who I don't get to see enough, another favorite was the food. I like to label dishes at parties so guests know what they're in for and for some reason I came up with rather goofy baby-related names for each dish. Perhaps I've focused on kid parties for too long. Everyone who stopped by nibbled on items like Midnight Feeding Meatballs and Surprise Birthday Spinach Dip. They washed it all down with a new recipe (that we will use again). We called it Over-the-Mhoon Pineapple Party Punch.

The Ready or Not Rainbow Fruit Kabobs turned out as pretty as they were tasty. This was the one thing I "cooked" for the party. I stick to what I (sort of) know: decorations.

Although I liked naming food, I think Ashley's favorite part of the shower was the present opening! The poor girl held off as long as possible with as little as possible, not knowing what she would get at her shower. And what a haul it was! She tore pastel-colored paper off of several everyday needs like diapers, pacifiers, bibs, bottles, and lotion, as well as big-ticket items like a swing, a stroller, and a pack-n-play. She also did very well in the handmade and monogrammed department. Carter, man, you got hooked up.

So many presents. So little time!

Although the news of Carter's very early arrival came as a shock to his parents, I cannot be happier to know that the three of them are all healthy at home and now have a house full of shower gifts from family and friends who love them. Their new adventure has just begun and I can guarantee you now they're ready for anything.

Even a cupcake or two. :)


Happy Monday, everyone!

PS: All photos were taken either by Ashley or her friend Megan. I'm not a very responsible photographer when I'm trying my hand at hostessing. Thanks for sharing, girls!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sickly Snuggles



Even with one of this dynamic duo running a fever, these guys are incredibly good-looking.

(Edit: I'm aware that one with fever and one without should not participate in snuggling. After a quick "aww" and a collective cheese, I pulled them apart and told them hugging was not allowed. Swear.)

Yes, I'm afraid that the elusive sickness that has been plucking kids from Nashville Primary one by one has made it into our house. Fever and a general feeling of "blah" is all that plagues young Nathan today, but we are going to try to get him in the doctor tomorrow to nip that mess in the bud.

He's had friends with strep throat, the flu, and (what I'd consider worst of all), an impossible stomach bug. Fingers crossed it's just some sort of fever virus that goes away tomorrow. However, according to school rules, Nathan is already set up for his first-ever kindergarten absence.

To be honest with you, he wasn't too bummed with the news. He wasn't too excited to take Tylenol all day (despite the yummy grape flavor, too - crazy kid!), but he said he'll muddle through a day at home. Thankfully his Nana is coming to the rescue and seeing to his every sick-day need while Owen and I trudge on to Hope. This may get ridiculous.

He told me his plans before heading to bed. Tomorrow he will pile up his pillows on the couch, snatch the comfiest of my blankets, and settle in for a cartoon, Capri Sun, and catnap marathon.

It is a well-thought out plan and I only have one question.

When's my sick day? :)

Happy Sunday, y'all. Keep your kiddos well and I'll pray those rude little germs don't make their way into your home. Just to be safe, though, better stock up on Capri Suns.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Week 17


{Yes, I did skip Week 16. Honestly, there was no real change between that one and the week before. For what it's worth, he or she was a really cute avocado.}

Week: Seventeen (plus one)
Size: Turnip
Feeling: Starting to feel pregnant, y'all.
Symptoms: Growth!
Maternity Clothes: Acquaintances were brave enough to ask today. Score!
Sleep: I like it.
Gender: It's. So. CLOSE!
Movement: I'm not saying just yet, but it should be happening soon.
What I Miss: Sneezing without crossing my legs. If you don't get it, you're lucky.
What I Want: To know who is in my tummy. These next 3.5 weeks will draaaaag.
Best Moment this Week: Hearing that sweet thump! My 16-week appointment went great last week and the next time I visit the old OB clinic we will leave with a name for my third child. Excitement!