Thursday, October 31, 2013

Spooky


{He had no idea what lurked inside.}

See how happy my little guy was before his daddy scalped this pumpkin, ripping out its very guts?

That smile didn't last long.

If you have ever met Owen or read this blog, you know the kid is no stranger to dirt. He takes the long way around just to get ankle deep in a muddy puddle. The bigger splash the better when tossing rocks into a mud pile. When you give him a delicious plate of spaghetti, he ends up wearing more than he eats. Last night we learned the hard way that the stringy, orange fibers that live within every pumpkin strike fear in his heart. Who knew?


"Ew, gwoss!! That's DUH-sgusting."

I tried to solve the situation in a manner similar to ripping off the band-aid. I pushed the giant bowl of pumpkin guts toward my son, who withdrew like a vampire to garlic and began sobbing. He climbed down from his post at the kitchen bar and ran into the living room to catch some cartoons. I kept asking what kind of face he wanted, as he had been debating between happy and spooky all day long. All he could give me was: "None FACES! NO. MORE. PUMPKIN!"

Oops.

In yet another attempt to convince the smaller of the Bauer Boys that scooping pumpkins to prep them for carving is super fun, we asked the larger one to give it a try. He slowly brought his outstretched index finger toward the mass spilling from my hand and touched it as though it were on fire. "Ewww, it's wet and slimy!" That plan didn't work out, either.


Nathan didn't give up as quickly, though, and was happy to draw a kitty face on his pumpkin, as long as Jonathan and I did the scooping and cutting. I decided to guess a happy face for Owen and once it was finished, he was pleased with the results. However, he still had to peek in to make sure those yucky guts were gone.


Once night fell and darkness filled the front yard, we asked the boys if they wanted to see their {our} handiwork. Owen agreed, but would not let me put him down for a second. We walked onto the porch and they were delighted with what they saw. Owen's hands dug into my shoulder and he whispered in my ear, "It's 'pooky' outside at mama's house."


"Pooky" indeed. :)

Happy Halloween, y'all! Eat a ton of candy tonight, then check back tomorrow for Luke, Leia, and Darth.

Wait. You might have noticed something missing in this post. That's right, I have a third child, don't I? Unfortunately that baby has been sick this week and she slept through the entire pumpkin process. We always let a sleeping baby lie, no matter how cute, but I did grab a shot of her batty outfit this morning. I am in love with this bow by Sassy Sweet Pea Designs and this adorable monogrammed onesie from Lightin Bug Kreations:



Also, I am 100% sure she will be the one to chase the boys around the house with pumpkin guts next year. This may or may not be based on the fact that I did it to my own brother. What can I say? It's in her blood.

Muahaha!


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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

May the Force Be With You

.....and also with you.


Last weekend my fellow Bauer grownups and I broke out our light sabers and performed a Jedi mind trick or two to pull off a surprise birthday party for everyone's favorite Poppy.

Can you guess the theme?

This year, the founding father of the Bauer Bunch turns the big 6-0. His actual birthday isn't until this weekend, which sweetened the surprise. We sweetened it even more by making it all about his favorite movie... trilogy? Sixogy? I obviously needed help from my sister-in-law and Google to make this happen, but we did it! My father-in-law's dimples were extra deep as he pulled into the parking lot filled with vehicles he recognized. Family members, friends from church, work colleagues, and people he's known for decades all stood at the ready, anxious to greet him and get the party started.

I would say the weather didn't exactly cooperate, but that would be a lie. We prepared the food in a different city about half an hour from the party location. At that particular place, it was raining cats and dogs. The freezing cold kind. I'm pretty sure we all prayed the whole commute and the rain slowed turned to mist once we arrived. It wasn't particularly good hair weather, but it was much better than it could have been. We zipped our jackets, pulled up our hoods, and set to work.


As far as decor goes, we learned a sad fact about the lifespan of streamers. When the air is full of moisture, streamers become papier-mâché in about 30 seconds. We also learned that tortilla chips revert back to tortillas, but that's beside the point. We still had a star-studded birthday banner, dangling likenesses of everyone's favorite Jedi, and outer space tablecloths. We went for a minimalist approach. Very hip.


What we lacked in decoration, however, we made up for in food. We started planning this party when I was pregnant, so it's been a long time coming. About a month ago we had a meeting of the minds to decide the most important aspect - the names of the food. Guests munched on a Hutt Dog or a Boba Burger and washed it down with their choice of Yoda Soda, Leia Lemonade, or Padawan Punch, poured straight into their own Hans Solo Cup. What's that? Amazing? Oh, I haven't even gotten to the best part. They topped their Vader Veggies with Droid Dip and finished the meal with a Wookie Cookie or three. You're loving it, you say? Wait! I have one more. I'll go ahead and admit I have no idea who this person is. I assume I've lost all credibility at this point, but when my SIL told me to use Lando Calrissian, the Internet gave me this:


Although the yummy food and soggy decorations were spectacular, the best part of this sixtieth shindig was spending time with a ton of people who love our Poppy. It was great to see many family members we hadn't seen in a while and it was fun to watch our children play together. There were cousins galore, y'all, and they had a blast together. And if you know my FIL, you know a pavilion full of family was the best kind of pavilion:


Happy 60th Birthday, Poppy! We love you!

{PS: Do you like Star Wars? Do you like Halloween? Don't go too far, then. A post that's right up your alley is on its way.}


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Friday, October 25, 2013

Blog Friends


Online communities are wonderful for sharing ideas, searching for support, and creating a sense of camaraderie. However, it's nice to put a face with a link. 

You've heard me talk about the Arkansas Women Bloggers, right? If you're new here, I'll fill you in. It's a community of ladies who come together on the basis of owning a blog to let friendships bloom and learn lessons daily. We encourage new content by participating in blogging challenges, we answer questions for one another and improve our technological knowledge, and we boost the spread of our online brands by sharing posts. We grow, gather, and connect, as it were.

Pretty cool, right?

Every year, many of these women converge for a state-wide blogging conference to get to know the faces behind the screens. This year's event was in September and although I was interested in attending, I wasn't ready to leave that new baby of mine. That being said, I was so pumped when Karen over at Ting's Mom contacted me about a subgroup focused on the southwest corner of the state. Several people joined and we actually held our first meetup last weekend. It was so fun to actually talk to people who understand blog talk - let alone know what the word "blog" even means. We were just a collection of writers, sharing lunch and talking shop. It was awesome and I can't wait to do it again.

I already knew several of these ladies through their writing, and it's high time you get to know some of them, too. Here are links to each of the blogs written by the women who attended our meetup:

Ting's Mom
Simple Words By A
The Coffee House Life
Look at What You Are Seeing
Home's Cool

I know there are plenty of other bloggers in our little corner and I hope to see new faces when we do this again in a few months. If you or someone you know is a Southwest Arkansas Blogger, we would love for you to join us. Provide your information on the group's Web site and you'll be added to the directory. You can also click here to visit and "like" our Facebook page to keep up with what we're doing.

Now, don't you have some new blogs to read and plenty of links to click?

Have a spectacular weekend, everybody!


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Thursday, October 24, 2013

All-Around Academic


I'm going to brag a bit today. If you're not into that, please avert your eyes and go watch TV or something. If you're into first-grade success stories, then stay with me.

I am a very proud mama and I refuse to be ashamed of that. Plus, Nathan's grandparents probably want to read about how cool I think he is, and I know you can't argue with me there. We good? Great.

This dapper fellow is my eldest son, dressed as a stylish fourth-grade teacher for career day during his school's Red Ribbon Week. He was decked out with modified sunglasses, a tucked-in polo, and a grade book full of imaginary students. After a day of learning with the class veterinarian, a well-dressed lawyer, and a nationally-renown soccer star, it was time to go to his parent-teacher conference. We did this in kindergarten and were always given awesome reports, but this report card was a bit different than the check-off lists of days gone by.

As we entered the classroom, the first thing out of his teacher's mouth was, "Nathan you did great! You got straight As!" Three, to be exact {hence the post title}. Conduct, language arts, and math. I was not surprised. I had seen his test and classwork grades over the past nine weeks and I knew he was doing well. There was just something about seeing it printed on a piece of paper next to my baby's name that made my heart skip.

Do any other parents get weird when it comes to their kids' names? It takes a few months for me to adjust to others calling my babies by a name I picked. Then it gets even weirder when I see it in print or scribbled across the top of a homework paper. Naming a person is such a huge job and I sometimes can't believe someone let me do it. Maybe it's just me.

But I digress. Yes, Nathan aced his first report card that actually featured letter grades. He was proud and all, but he was anxious to leave the classroom and head to the book fair. Ahh, the book fair. Doesn't that fill your head with some amazing memories? {I giggled when I saw that kitty posters were still a thing.} Chapter books, picture books, comic books, science books - Nathan was in heaven! He didn't know where to start, but once he got over the initial shock of his library being turned into a store, he found the nonfiction section and stayed there.

We came home with a book about animals, a book about space, and a two-pack from the Magic Tree House series. A pretty good haul for his first report card prize. It's not quite the chunk of change his grandpa gave him, but still good. Who wants to take bets on how long the cash-for-each-A rule holds up? I hear there are seven classes in junior high...

Better start saving now, Gramps! If Nathan continues to do his best, that wallet's going to get hungry. :)


Also, in honor of Throwback Thursday, here is a picture of yours truly during the primary school days. Nathan and I were recently rifling through my K/1 box, reading silly stories I concocted and comparing our artistic abilities {I lost}. This little gem just happened to surface. Cute little thing, right?


Have a happy Thursday, y'all!


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Monday, October 21, 2013

Pumpkin Posing


{Does Nora look uncomfortable here?
It could be because she was squished between two pumpkins. No big.}

Saturday afternoon, the Bauer Bunch loaded up two strollers and a training-wheeled bike to enjoy a walk to the pumpkin patch. We were determined for the perfect photo.

Have I mentioned how hard it is to photograph three entire children? Oh, I have? Sorry.

As soon as we arrived and released the beasts from their stroller confines, the boys took over. They jumped across hay bales, poked every pumpkin, and avoided the camera at all costs. I wasn't surprised. I didn't expect them to fall into line with smiles plastered just so. That'd be too easy. So we started with Baby Nora, who was decked out in a cute little pumpkin headband from Sassy Sweet Pea Designs.

Being a mere three months old and having acquired quite a round shape in those short months, Nora's balance is slim to none. Best fix for a wobbly baby at the pumpkin patch? Stick her between two giant gourds and push them together until she can't move. Voila! The perfect autumn photo op!

Then there was Owen, who simply would not heed the advice of his mother, his grandmother, and the patch attendants that putting all of his 40-pound weight upon the wooden pallets holding delicate little pumpkins is not the best of ideas. I decided to take advantage of his ever-present stubborn streak and get a picture of his civil disobedience. The nerve!

Nathan is always a champ. Maybe he doesn't exhibit that award-winning, albeit toothless, smile when forced to pose, but by golly he will cooperate with only the tiniest hint of bribery. Luckily he was so excited to bike through the entire neighborhood that a genuine smile was easy to pull once we left the pumpkins in our wake.

Here's what I got:


As far as a group shot, let's just say we already have fall pictures booked by someone who did not give birth to any of the children pictured. I know she can do better than me, which is a good thing, or else you'll open your mailbox to a Christmas card that looks something like this:


Hands down, best shot ever. Someone call it a win and pass me the mom-tographer of the year award. Kidding. At least these kids were happier to leave than they were last year. Hope your day is full of agreeable children and fall fun. Happy Monday!


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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Holy Matrimony!

{Recycled from the anniversary post, but it's just too darn cute}

Today our church is holding a big celebration for all of its married couples, particularly the ones who have been married for 25 years or more. Being the youngest of the bunch, the hubs and I were asked to speak during Mass and give our take on the sacrament of matrimony while simultaneously revealing how much more we have to learn.

Gulp.

I figured we needed some form of preparation and I didn't want to pen a script, so I thought a post would help get my thoughts in order. Having no guide other than "talk about marriage for five minutes," these are my Cliff's Notes:

{Also, this will publish on the day of our talk, so there's a good chance none of this actually came out of my mouth.
Just take my word for it and don't ask the parishioners, okay?}

You may or may not know this about us, but Jonathan and I met at the same Catholic Youth Convention we take a group of teens to every May. We tell the kids each year to pay attention to who they meet as you never know what God has planned. An entire decade and a half ago, our teenage selves shared a dance or two, talked over lackluster sandwiches, and sat in the same group during an icebreaker. However, other than an email or two after the convention {this was the dark ages before cell phones and Facebook, y'all}, that was our relationship. Just one weekend out of the year.

After his first year at the University of Central Arkansas, I joined him in the same dorm building, we became fast friends, spent the majority of our free time together, and the rest is history. Well, a bit of a complicated history when it boils down to it, but that's a different post for a different day.

We started our relationship in July 2005, became engaged in October 2005, and married in June 2006.

That period of my life was a complete whirlwind and I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I mumbled a shocked "yes" to my down-on-one-knee boyfriend. I didn't know how hard it would be to grow up. I didn't know that you have to work at marriage. I didn't know how overwhelming raising three kids could be. And I had no clue what true love could mean.

After seven years of marriage, I think I'm slowly figuring it out, but I can't wait to see what it's like at seventy.

From the moment we fell in love to this moment in front of friends and family, our love has grown every day. Perhaps we don't always show it and sometimes it feels like we take a step back, but we're human. There is one thing, though, that helps me know we can conquer anything life hurdles toward us.

There have been hard times over the past seven years. Financial woes, career confusion, pregnancy issues, and general frustration have created bumpy roads and wrong turns. But the one constant I see when I recall our problems is prayer. Maybe it sounds cheesy, but it's real. Whether we did it silently or aloud, holding hands or in completely separate places, we did it together. The one constant in our lives is the desperate need for God's intervention. Now I don't mean that He parts the clouds, greets us with a warm hug, and places a blinking arrow toward the solution. Far from it.

To get us through these times, we typically don't get obvious answers. We may want them, but it doesn't work that way. Instead, we look to Him for strength. For the courage to face these issues, work through them, and find peace. One of my favorite things about Jonathan is his unwavering faith. I need this in him as much as I need it in myself. I need to see him give his problems to the Lord, thank Him for all he has, and love Him unconditionally.

Together Jonathan and I try to keep the light of Christ in our marriage, we work together as a team, we laugh with each other, we offer limitless support, and we allow ourselves to falter. We are not perfect and we cannot be perfect. We will make mistakes and our relationships will take steps backward. It's the way we get back on course that makes us strong.

Don't get me wrong, I am well aware that we have barely dipped our toes into the ocean of marriage. We have so much to learn about each other and about our life together. We have a long way to go and no map to get there. I'm just thankful that I'm on this adventure with my best friend.

And to think, it all started at a gathering we attended because of our love for Jesus Christ. Imagine that.

"We love because He first loved us."
1 John 4:19


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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mom Guilt


Mom guilt. If you're a mom, you know what that means. If you're a mom, you've felt it.

Picture it. You're standing in the grocery store with one kid whose whining you can feel in your eardrums, a baby whose pacifier hits the floor every three seconds, and a third who is seconds away from a limp noodle tantrum. You're wearing last night's spit-up and counting the seconds until the four of you can plop in front of the television for a few hours. Yesterday's pizza is sounding like an adequate dinner {hey, it was good for breakfast, too}. Then, as you threaten your children for the fifth time in a row, you see her.

Impeccably dressed and not a hair out of place, she sashays past the canned beans while well-behaved children march in a perfect line behind her. A baby in a sling nurses at her chest and the items in her cart are sorted by both color and kitchen placement. She ticks off her list as her children grab the organic products from the shelves and set them down in perfect precision. She checks a separate list to ensure her coupon book will cover it and simultaneously responds to a work email without missing a beat. The children rush to action when she gives the call of crunch time. Those blinds aren't going to dust themselves and she has to get dinner in the oven before Mommy and Me rocket science at 6:00.

Crap. What am I doing?

{Disclaimer: The above scenario is fake and not a real-life experience. I scoff at the fact that you think I have the mental capacity to go anywhere with three kids and no backup.}

In every mom's head, they're struggling. They're not doing enough for their children. If they forgot to do that craft they saw on Pinterest, they're failing. If their kid's birthday party wasn't bigger than it was last year, it stunk. If dinner comes from a bag three nights in a row, they're ruining lives. And then there's the fact that every other woman who has ever been called "mom" is better than you. They hand-grind their own baby food, they clean their cleaning supplies, their kids speak Spanish and don't know who Dora is, and they have time for yoga, PTA, and a full-time job.

You can't compete. Your children are doomed.

Sounds silly, doesn't it?

{Secret: That's because it is.}

I know I like to spout rainbows and sunshine most of the time, because parenting really is the most amazing thing I've ever done, but being a mom is hard. It's mentally draining, it's exhausting, it's painful, it's heart-breaking, and it's frustrating.

Adding to that pile of stress the task of having to compare yourself to every woman you pass on the street {or notice online} is just too much. It's the last straw of self-doubt for lots of women. And it has to stop.

If ever there was a community of people who could build each other up through sympathy, empathy, and a safe conversation free of judgement, it's moms. We are a band of brothers {mothers?} and we've all battled in the trenches. We have to be there for one another.

Truth: Your husband doesn't know what postpartum depression feels like. It's been a really long time since your mom struggled with breastfeeding issues. Your kid-less friend might not believe your desperate need for a break from your "cushy" SAHM gig. Other mothers should not be the enemy. They are your comfort, your support, your allies.

In the same breath, don't be ashamed of how awesome you are. If any of the examples I listed above apply to you, that's fantastic! {heck, I make baby food with the best of 'em} You are doing an amazing job and it shouldn't matter if you're doing it differently. Chances are, if you're that obsessed with doing right by your kids, you're already a pro. Do what you think is best for your children and that, my friend, is the right thing to do. Share your joys, don't compare them. Share your failures, don't be embarrassed by them. Every single second of every single day is an opportunity to learn and grow.

Don't waste your time watching everyone else. You might just miss something.

In closing, you are an incredible mom and you are so, SO much better at it than you think you are. Promise.


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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

{At least they're all looking at the camera in this one?
Don't worry. We'll get there.}


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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Owen Says


{Did you enjoy the rain today? We did.
Evidenced by this photo and the soggy shoes tumbling in the dryer.}

Back when Nathan was a little bitty four-year-old, I did a round-up post on some of the silly Nathan-isms I still hear on a daily basis {and if you're a Facebook friend, so do you}. Let me tell you, Nathan is just full of them. He's quick-witted, he's hilarious, and the kid loves a pun. The older he grows, the funnier his jokes and stories become; however, his second banana is developing some material, too.

Over the past few months, language has just exploded for Owen Charles Bauer. We all know the fear that strikes us somewhere around age two.

"Oh no! My kid is never going to talk. He's only going to mumble, grunt and produce incoherent syllables, and then cry from frustration when I don't understand."

We all do it. We all look at the sheets from our last pediatrician check-up and attempt to count the words he says to make sure we're on track. "I think we can count both 'no' and 'no-no' right?!" But then... something weird happens. He starts to figure it out on his own and watch and mimic and learn and before you know it, you'll be uttering this:

"Oh no! My kid is never going to be quiet."

And so, here we are. Owen the chatterbox has had some doozies recently and what kind of mother would I be to keep them to myself and not spread them across the Internet? An awful one, you're right. Here's just a handful of Owen-isms:

  • Lying on the ground next to one another, I rose to all fours and asked Owen if he wanted to play horsey. After rising to all fours himself: "Okay! I'll be the piggie. Oink, oink!"

  • Nathan and Owen were playing puppy. Naturally, Owen was the dog. Nathan was giving commands and he wanted his puppy to chew on his bone, but he hesitated on the delivery. Nathan: "Okay, now uhhh... CHEW!" Owen: "Oh, God bless you!"

  • After the 4956th time I called a kid by the wrong name: "I'm not Nathan. That's IMPOSSIBLE."

  • While pumping gas at a gas station: "What is this place? Oh, a gas station. Do they have hot dogs? Oh, HOT dogs? At a GAS station? Well, isn't that just delicious?"

  • To me, while on our daily commute: "Mommy, are you a hobo?" {Thanks a lot, Wreck-It Ralph}

And this is just a sampling of the ones my mom brain is letting me remember. This kid is ridiculous and he hasn't even hit three. Who knows what's going to happen when he actually realizes the majority of things that come out of his mouth are hilarious. I suspect Stand Up Night will have to fit in somewhere between Taco Tuesday and Pizza Weekends. We may even host an open mic night if you're interested. This is some pretty stiff competition, though.

Happy Tuesday, y'all!


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Friday, October 11, 2013

My Friday Five

{Linking up once again with Darci from The Good Life Blog and sharing five random things currently on my mind.
In no particular order, but all equally awesome.}


ONE: I mentioned in Nora's three-month stats that one of my favorite things about having a girl is the head-wear. {I'll allow four seconds to let everyone who heard me say "NO BOWS" roll their eyes. We good? Okay.} However, now that there's a chill in the air, I am 100% all about the leg-wear. I am talking Baby Legs, y'all! Sure, Owen wore a pair here and there, but I longed for the day I could go all out with a girl. And here we are. Also, feast your eyes on baby's first jeans.


TWO: Nathan has been rocking those first-grade skills. Math tests, reading groups, spelling homework - and he does a great job of staying on top of it all. However, the writing assignments that have been rolling in lately are incredible. They're creative and funny, and he's good at pouring that active imagination onto paper. Also the opening line pictured above stopped me in my tracks. Adorable.

THREE: Speaking of Nathan, I think he's discovered the best way for a six-year-old to make money. He doesn't know he can get paid for chores {shhh!} and he's a bit too young to man the fry station, so he's settled on the next best thing. The Tooth Fairy. He even woke us up at 5:30 recently, tooth in hand. He's up to four missing, including the big ole front ones. Christmas pictures will be a delight.

FOUR: After a disgusting September electricity bill, I am pleased to report that my windows are wide open. As I type, I can hear the squeals of my boys chasing each other and feel the breeze from the comfort of my living room. This might be my favorite weather. The mid-point between fall and summer is a winner in my book. Not yet bundling season, but past stuck-inside-for-fear-of-heat-stroke season. I'll call it playing-in-the-yard-without-sweating season. Lovely, right?


FIVE: Darth Vader doesn't look too intimidating in his jammies. The Halloween costumes for the two smallest Bauers were delivered today and I almost couldn't handle it. I could barely make it past the Leia buns, but when Owen donned this mask and informed me that he was my father, I lost it. Everyone who gets a trick-or-treat knock from this trio will not regret opening the door for "those dang kids." A photo shoot/battle scene will probably take place. And probably be posted here.

Hope y'all are having a fabulous Friday! Be sure to click the button below to see what other bloggers have been up to this week and leave your own Friday Five to share with the world. I'd love to know what you're up to. Now, Nora and I are off to enjoy that lovely weather. Have an awesome weekend, y'all.



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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pregnancy Loss


Three years ago on today's date, my second child was due to be born. If you do your math and you've been paying attention, you know little Owen is only halfway through his terrible twos.

The second baby I'm referring to is one I never got to meet in person. One who only felt my love from within, not from my touch or my words or my kiss. One who was only around for a couple of months before I suffered a miscarriage and my family was changed forever.

Each year about this time {and again in March, which marks the month that sweet baby left us}, I bring her up. I don't do this to make you sad or to force myself and my family and friends back into that emotional roller coaster. I don't want to be a statistic. I don't want to have to tell doctors that I've had four pregnancies, but only three children. I don't want to look at Owen and Nora and think about how different things would be if it hadn't happened. It's a weird pull on my heart and it hurts to think about the missing piece.

But it's there. It happened. There was a real baby - my baby - who left too soon. Because of that fact, I will do everything I can to honor her memory and the love created the second we knew she was formed. October is nationally recognized as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and chances are, you can relate. Maybe you experienced it firsthand. Or maybe it was your best friend or cousin or coworker or parents. No matter how you're connected, you know the devastation and confusion it brings. Unlike the many months designated to raise awareness about certain illnesses or issues that plague our fellow man, we're not looking for a cure. Miscarriage is something no woman can prevent. This is a hard pill to swallow, but there is usually no rhyme or reason associated with pregnancy loss. Although we can't fix it, what we can do is remember.

I don't know your story, but if you can relate to this post, I can't imagine the heartbreak you've felt. The only feelings I know are my own and my biggest reason for writing about this tough topic is to remind my readers that it's real. It's a thing that happens and it should not be a taboo subject. We should honor these babies and their mothers for the strength they've built to pick themselves up and deal. To carry on through life with a missing piece and try to focus on the love more than the loss.

This post goes out to all of my readers who have children who left this planet too soon. I am here for you. So are your friends and your family and the people in this life who love you. The tiny angel your heart aches for is real and his or her loss is real and that's okay. Whether it's been a few years, a few decades, or the shock is very fresh, there's pain. However, I ask that you try not to let that push back the memory of your child. In his or her memory, stand up. Be the one in four. Hurt and grieve and share and lean and let people know it's okay to do the same.

Be proud of your angel and the love in which he or she was created. It is my personal belief that we will see them all again one day and it's also my personal belief that they're all having a pretty sweet play date right now. :)

Don't be afraid to speak out about your babies. You are not alone.


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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Nora {Three Months}


{Hello, sunshine!}


My blue-eyed baby is growing up on me, y'all, and getting cuter every day.

Yesterday marked the three-month anniversary of Nora June's spectacular entrance into this crazy world. Since then, she appears to have tripled her weight, gained a couple amazing cheeks, and developed rolls all over. She's also growing sweeter with each passing day, sharing smiles and coos with all who take the time to talk to her, and using those bright eyes to focus on her brothers. Although we don't have a doctor's appointment until next month {whew}, why don't I just give a list of mommy-written stats? They're the best kind, anyway:

  • Nora loves faces. She loves it when anyone takes a second to actually look at her. Not fawn over her cute outfit or sweet face, but really pay attention to her as a tiny fellow human. The grins will start in the wrinkles of her eyes and spread into a wide, gummy smile. She will work hard to form an "Ooooh" and an "OH!" to answer your questions and she'll hang on your every word. Next time you see her, try it out. It's incredible.

  • As much as I was convinced that there's no way I could have a blue-eyed baby, I still do. Who knows how long they'll stick around, but they're still as clear as the autumn sky. Her eyelashes go for miles, too. Try looking into those peepers and not melting into a puddle of goo. Bet you can't!

  • Bathtime is another favorite of my baby daughter's. At just three months old, this chunk has graduated from sink to tub. We still use her bath flower to keep her comfy and in place and she just splashes away. I love this thing. I swear, baby products get better, smarter, and easier to use with each child.

  • Headbands. As you can see, Nora has inherited the classic Bauer noggin. What better way to dress it up than with the most adorable headbands on the Internet?? She's growing quite a collection and I'm pretty sure there will be a package of fall-themed headwear waiting for me in the mailbox this afternoon. A photo shoot may follow. You can find a couple my favorite Etsy shops here and here.

  • Nothing much as changed in Nora's diet. She still eats and she still enjoys it. However, I did make an addition this month. Karo. I don't know if you hang out with many grandmas, but we do. From her own two grandmas to her baby-sitter who is practically a third, we have enough wisdom to write a baby manual. Also, if you've hung out with grandmas, then you probably know what to do about baby constipation. Therefore, Karo. I won't go into details, just know that it's helping.

  • Last night that sweet baby giggled for the first time. I'm talking a high-pitched squeal followed by laughter. I'm talking run through the house looking for my phone to record the magic only to find it was on the bookshelf in the nursery the entire time. Once I made that revelation, the giggles turned into fusses and I gave up. I'll get it one day though, and I'll be happy to share it.

  • In the tradition of her brother Owen, Nora seems to be a texture-loving lady. Thank goodness we built her her own stash of muslin swaddles because she's already figuring out how to wrap her fingers around the soft fabric and soothing tags. A blanket in the hand paired with a paci in the mouth while rocking in the swing is Nora's recipe for a nap and my recipe for hands-free time {which I totally use to clean and not hold the remote...}

  • As sweet as it is to imagine Nora laughing and grinning, the kid has a mean streak. If that bottle's not ready at straight-up three hours from the last one or if that poop is in her diaper for more than five seconds, she will let the baby monster loose. And don't think about even whispering the phrase "tummy time" or you'll get a wrath not cured by paci nor blankie. :)



{If you look closely you'll notice the progression of Nora falling over.
That big head is heavy!}




Have a Happy Hump Day, y'all!


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