Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Being Mom

There I was, in the midst of a moment that could have easily been titled, "Why 2 under 2 is a bad idea."

My 2u2

Both kids were starving. Both kids were crying hysterically because of it. Okay, Clare's immediate cause of tears had something to do with the shoes she was trying to put on, but we all know that really, it was lunch time, and she was hungry.

There I was bouncing Peter in my left arm, trying to talk Clare down, and cutting her sandwich with my right. Meanwhile, I'm trying to use the powers of my mind to get my own lunch together so that I can sit down, nurse Peter, and eat my sandwich at the same time (an important skill for all moms of newbies), all while monitoring Clare eating her lunch.

I am Mom. Hear me roar multitask.

As I felt my blood pressure rising, I felt something else welling up, too. It wasn't joy. It certainly wasn't peace. But it was a type of contentment. A type of surety. A knowledge that I was right where I was supposed to be. I felt blessed to be tasked with taking care of these two hooligans, even at a moment when it seemed like they just might get the better of me.

I am Mom. I got this.

I wish I could bottle that feeling up. An hour later (yesterday), as I was first trying to write this post, Peter got fussy. I was typing one handed while I nursed, but it didn't seem to be helping. Then, whether because of the noise or her own rejection of sleep, Clare woke from her nap after 45 minutes in the crib. I closed the laptop.

They had gotten the better of me.

I was sad and mad and frustrated. I was annoyed that my own little sliver of "me" time had been snatched away. I could have used a large dose of that positivity. Instead, I resorted to this:

Afternoon dose of caffeine

I don't have a moral or a lesson or a conclusion. I'm still learning and fumbling along. I'm still figuring out how to mother these two wonderful, frustrating, loud, needy, amazing, snuggly, wiggly, hungry, beautiful blessings. I'm taking it day by day, and sometimes hour by hour. All I know for sure is that I'm where I'm supposed to be. For now, that's enough.

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Answer Me This, Vol. 2

1. Do you hate happy clappy church music? No. I actually (gasp!) like modern praise and worship style church music. I also like old, classic hymns. I like anything you can sing to (I definitely subscribe to "when you sing you pray twice," terrible voice and all) and is not accompanied by overly-plodding organ. What I don't like is 1) really slow organ music that no one can sing to, and 2) 70s/80s church music that is all about loving each other (with nary a mention of God). Extra demerits if there is too much of a focus on bread or banquets or food. Those songs really seem to miss the mark in an important way.

2. What is your priority: eating or sleeping? Eating. Definitely eating. I mean, I appreciate my sleep, especially with two under two. But I feel like I can/do/should eat all day every day. 

3. What type of milk do you drink in your house? We drink (gasp! again) non-organic, usually store-brand, cow's milk. Charles and I drink 1%. Clare drinks whole milk. I would like to get on the whole-milk bandwagon. All my other dairy products are full-fat, but I just can't handle the taste of whole milk (unless it is in the form of a latte). Organic milk is just not in the budget, but we are milk drinkers. Especially Clare who gets a love a milk from my dad and grandpa (who worked for/with a local dairy for most of his professional life, which definitely keeps me team dairy).

4. What is a book that changed your perspective on something? The first thing that really comes to mind is when I taught To Kill a Mockingbird. It was the first time I really, really got what a poor job teachers (including myself, up to that point) do of selling books to kids. I have always loved the book, but I remembered how hard it was to get into from my own experience in 9th grade. I took a ton of time to introduce the book, to sell the book, to make sure that kids really, really understood everything that was going on in the book, the structure of the book, the themes of the book. Heck, I tried unbelievably hard to get them to learn the darn vocabulary from the book -- vocabulary was my teaching nemesis. I am honestly proud of my success on that front, which was proved when kids transferred to my class from other schools 2nd semester and complained about the book -- only to have my kids defending what an amazing book it really is. I learned a lot about kids, about education, and about myself from that experience.


5. Who is your favorite saint? Where do I even begin? My Confirmation patron is Therese of Lisieux. I have a deep devotion to St. Thomas the Apostle, and have loved St. Thomas More since high school (ie before he was cool again and before being Catholic was even remotely on the radar). My husband and I, as a couple, have a devotion to Francis, Clare, and Dominic.

6. Introvert or extrovert? Introvert. Definitely an introvert. I've learned how to talk to people in uncomfortable settings, like cocktail parties. I can talk your ear off one-on-one, especially if you get to know me. But, oh, how I deplore group settings/conversations. Even with family, more than a couple of people can be too much for me and I tend to get very quiet in those situations.
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Friday, April 25, 2014

7 Quick Takes, Vol. 63

Linking up with Jen for my weekly fix.

1. Last weekend, I took the kids on my first solo (with both kids) outing to my aunts' house/neighborhood park for an Easter egg hunt. What made it special was that my three cousins (which is the grand total of first cousins I have at all) and all their kids were there too. It was the first time all 11 grandkids (and even 10, if you don't count Peter, since he's so new) were in the same place at the same time. It was extra special/bittersweet knowing that I'm carrying the kiddos off to Wichita for a few years, so it might take a while to reconvene the group.

2. It also happened to be Clare's first-ever Easter egg hunt. She had a blast picking up the eggs and putting them in her basket. Then, when she figured out that they opened -- and even better, that there was stuff inside; some of it even candy!! -- she thought the whole thing was pretty darn great.
Ready to find some eggs!

Don't bother me while I'm eating, Mama.
3. And a few more Easter photos for the heck of it:

Baskets ready and waiting.
Yay! Easter!
Clare wasted no time putting on her Rosary.
And made sure Peter had his, too.
4. Peter, meanwhile, is still demonstrating limited interests, which include eating, sleeping (preferably on my stomach or chest) and avoiding diaper/clothing changes at all costs.

Doing what he does best -- passing out on my lap after nursing.

5. I published my birth story this week. It's unusually long, even for me, and the prose could have used another robust edit or 10, but I'm proud of it. Or maybe I'm just proud of having survived it. And I learned a lot about, well, a lot. It was definitely a crazy few hours!

6. I don't think I've mentioned it anywhere yet, but Peter has quite the set of lungs. Like from the time he cried right after birth, it was freakishly loud. He skipped the sweet newborn whimper-cry and went straight to big, huge scream! He's not unhappy often, but when he is (again, mostly when he's hungry or getting changed), he certainly lets us know!!

7. How is April almost over already? I can confidently say that April has flown by, and that I'm sure May is going to be even crazier. It will be a whirlwind that will include several doctor's appointments, Charles' last ever day of school, getting ready for moving, packing, the birth of my niece, Peter's baptism, and about a million other things. It should provide lots of fodder for writing -- I hope to find some spare moments here and there to do so!!

 Have a lovely weekend!

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Peter's Birth Story (Part 2 of 2)

Part 1 here

We got to the hospital about 9, got checked in, and landed in triage for assessment. 3 cm, 80% effaced, and strong contractions, but a bit too spaced out. The order: walking, so off we went.

This was when clock time sort of entered a parallel universe for me. I couldn’t have told you what time it was, which is something I experienced with Clare’s L&D, too. After 45 minutes of walking and contracting (and my weird commentary on the artwork), we headed back, as assigned, to triage to see what was happening. Not too much progress (up to 3.5), but since I was a second time mom, and since I was contracting regularly, we got sent to walk some more.  Additionally, the nurse told us that my doctor was on his way in for another delivery, and that we would touch base with him when he arrived in order to formulate a plan.

The second walk was not successful. My contractions were becoming unbearably painful, and that pain was radiating into my hips and bottom, which made it really hard for me to get through them. After about 10 minutes, we headed back to triage to wait it out there. We let the nurse know and began what seemed like an interminable wait, unmonitored, while I suffered through increasingly strong and increasingly close contractions. Charles said later that this period lasted about an hour. Because the pain was so low in my body, I was having an extraordinarily difficult time finding a comfortable position – I wanted every last ounce of weight off my lower half, but there was no way to make that happen. (In retrospect, I think water would have been the best solution, but again, being trapped in triage, that wouldn’t have been helpful knowledge anyway.)

Finally, the nurse came in to do a check and get me on the monitors. I was really struggling through contractions, and really struggling to lie down to get checked. Finally, I announced that the pressure was just too much and that I really felt like I needed to use the restroom.

Now, everyone jumped into action and got me checked again. I had gone from 3.5 to 6 pretty quickly, and because of the pressure, it was clear to everyone that things were going fast. Suddenly there were a ton of nurses and techs – trying to get blood for labs and fluids going to get an epidural going as quickly as possible. I was rapid-fire rolled into a labor and delivery room. Deep down, though, I already knew: I was doing this without meds.

Once they got me into the room, the urge to push became really intense. I was ready to push. I needed to. I couldn’t not push. It is so cliché, but it was primal. It was a knowledge that I definitely didn’t have with Clare’s birth (which was more “sure, there’s pressure. I could push”). They checked me again. Complete. That’s when they told me what I think we all knew all along: the epidural wasn’t going to happen.

In a flurry of action, everything was prepared. I continued to fight through contractions in disbelief. My doctor came in, seemingly ambushed and as surprised by this turn of events as the rest of us. I’ll never forget the look on his face when he surveyed the situation and said, “Oh, Ashley.” He got gowned and gloved, and we all got down to business. I have no idea how long I pushed or how many pushes there were. My one moment of clarity was when, early on, my water was finally broken, and there was an announcement that it “ruptured clear.” I hadn’t had a moment to think about my water not having broken or worry about a repeat of the meconium that we had with Clare, but it was a relief. It was a million pushes later and over in a moment all at the same time. It felt every bit as movies-dramatic as I can imagine with my pushing and the encouragement from everyone around me.

When all was said, screamed, and done, Peter Damien arrived at 12:53 am on Monday, April 7, 2014. Technically, he was two days late, but with so much of the work being done on Sunday, it felt like one. He was 7 lbs, 4 oz, just like his sister, but a half-inch longer, checking in at 20 inches.

Meeshtow Man (TM Clare)

I have definitely needed time to process everything that happened. As it was happening, I didn’t feel too upset or frustrated. It just happened, and time sort of stood still. On the other hand, Charles was really upset with his assessment of the situation (both personally and medically) and, in particular, with the triage nurse who let me labor unmonitored (in triage) for so long. Walking the halls the next day, I found myself pretty angry walking by “my” bed in triage, curtain 3. I still feel like the experience is what it is, and all I can do is learn from it. I am definitely a stronger person for it, but I don’t know for sure how I would feel if I were to walk by triage again.

Looking back on things, I am really proud of myself. I never planned on doing an unmedicated birth. In spite of myself, I have to admit that I felt really empowered to be able to say, “I did it.” My recovery has gone well, but I wouldn’t be too quick to give too much credit to the medicated/unmedicated situation – I think being a second time mom, having a less severe tear, and having a toddler to care for (both before and after delivery) have made a world of difference anyway. It’s just impossible to know how it would have gone if I had gotten an epidural. (Random thing I want to remember but doesn’t really fit in anywhere are the burst blood vessels along my jaw line from the intensity of pushing. Also healed up nicely.)

Through the whole thing, Charles was an absolute rock star, and my rock. He was so calm and confident and encouraging – I honestly don’t know if I could have done it without him at my side. I mean I guess I would have had to, but I’d have been an even bigger mess than I already was.

Immediately after delivery, I said that I never wanted to do it that way again. And I don’t. There was too much anxiety, tension, and fear, not to mention the intensity of the pain. I thank God for a lot of little things that went well (like my doctor being there for delivery, in spite of everything), and for a healthy baby and mama. I do, however, think that, if I’m blessed to have more kids in the future, I need to be prepared for another fast-moving delivery. I need to be more equipped with better pain management techniques, and I need to talk things through with my doctor so that any chaos can be better managed.

And no matter what else, the payoff was most definitely worth it.


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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Peter's Birth Story (Part 1 of 2)

Clare's Birth Story
End-of-Pregnancy Thoughts

{Expect TMI of various types. If you don't like it, don't read it. Just don't say you weren't warned! Also, even broken into parts, it’s long. Again, fair warning.}

As I made amply clear in the days/weeks leading up to Peter's very much awaited birth, I was done, done, done with being pregnant. I was over it long before it was even okay to be over it.

I started noticing Braxton Hicks contractions fairly early on, with weeks to go, and they would frequently pick up in the evenings, but never to an alarming degree. Toward the end of pregnancy, I had a false alarm or twenty -- not enough to send me to labor and delivery, but enough to start timing and thinking things would pick up, but they inevitably died down instead.

It turned into a total, complete, disastrous mind game. I was exhausted, sore, frustrated, tired of waking up every day wondering if that would be the day, tired of going to bed disappointed every night, no longer confident in my own ability to listen to, know, and trust my own body.
Saturday, April 5 was my due date. Charles, meanwhile, woke up with a sour stomach that quickly turned out to be a nasty stomach bug, with all the fun that a stomach bug brings. He spent most of the day sleeping, trying to hydrate/put food on his stomach, and, um, clearing his stomach of its previously held contents. I was an emotional mess. I was cranky to say the least – I had a sick, miserable husband, a very busy toddler, and no baby (and no baby in sight). It was starting to seem unlikely that I would ever have a baby, in spite of all logic to the contrary. And the then-current circumstances were less than ideal for having a baby anyway. I found myself ignoring well-meaning texts and phone calls of loved ones checking in on me. I tried to make the most of it (referring, I guess, to life), but failed utterly, miserably, and completely.

Were there contractions Saturday night? Probably, but they were not the mind-twisting variety, so I certainly didn’t get worked up about them. I woke up Sunday morning feeling zen about things for the first time in weeks. I was overdue. If the baby hadn’t come in a week, Charles and I had agreed that we’d induce at 41 weeks, especially since I was super-duper confident about our dates (thanks, NFP). In that knowledge, there was, in some small way, an end in sight.

This is how Clare got ready that morning.

We went to our usual 9am Mass, and I could confidently say that it was the last Mass we would attend without a baby. It was the kind of thinking that lightened my step. As we were walking in, I noticed a contraction, but had stopped thinking anything of one silly little contraction.  They continued through Mass and after we got home, and they were getting closer together. Closer than any contractions I had had to date. My gut told me that this was the beginning of the end, even if we had a long way to go. At lunchtime, I talked to Charles and we decided to put his parents (who were going to watch Clare while we were at the hospital) “on stand by” juuuuuuuust in case.

We went to run some errands, and the contractions continued. Not very painful (but not painless!) and 10-15 minutes apart. I could still walk and talk, but things were continuing to look promising. I tried to get rest that afternoon, and by 4 talked Charles into letting his parents come over for dinner and to take Clare. I wasn’t ready to go to the hospital, but I thought I would most likely be at that point sometime overnight. I didn’t blame him for his initial skepticism. I had clearly been wrong before. Like I say, I didn’t trust my own instinct at that point, not 100%.

Proof that this is going somewhere

Before they came over, we went for a walk to (hopefully) get things moving. By the end, I could no longer walk or really talk through my contractions, and I think Charles and I both agreed that we had made a good call on the grandparent smoke signals.

I tried to rest some more, watching an endless stream of HGTV while Charles got dinner together, and his parents arrived. The contractions were getting closer (5-10 minutes) and were painful enough that I had to sit quietly and breathe deeply through them, but still not the intense, get-me-to-the-hospital-NOW contractions we both remembered from Clare.

As an aside, at our birth class before Clare was born, the nurse-instructor pointed out that you can tell a lot about someone’s pain level (and labor stage!) from their face as they are experiencing the pain. From his time doing the (student) doctor thing in labor and delivery, Charles has often said that he found that it really is true. As I went through all the fake­-out contractions (and even the early stages of the real deal), Charles often commented on my facial state and his “professional” assessment that I wasn’t really there yet.

After dinner, we got Clare loaded up and ready to spend the night with Grandma and Grandpa. I got super teary saying goodbye, knowing that it was the last time I was going to be the Mama of one, and telling her that she would always be my Girly Schmirly (my silly nickname for her). I tear up again just typing it.

As I was walking back inside, a contraction came and hit me like a ton of bricks. I was doubled over on the wall. Definitely breathing, not walking or talking. These were for real, and they kept coming, 3-6 minutes apart. Since we live about 30 minutes from the hospital, we decided to get moving. As I said then, I’d rather walk there, if they needed me to, than here. We got the last of our stuff together and headed out.

To Be Continued . . . (Link to Part 2)

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Answer Me This

Remember when these were really popular chain mail email things? Like (totally dating myself) my first couple of years of college?!? I've always been a big, huge sucker for them, so I can't help but join in Kendra's fun!

1. What did you and your family wear to Mass on Easter Sunday?

I'm sure that I've mentioned before that I am a big, fat failure at getting pictures either before or after Mass. I had really good intentions to be a good mom and get some Easter Sunday pictures. But we were running out the door before Mass, and came right in and started making brunch and changing clothes without thinking "pictures" after Mass. Theeeeeen, I was totally going to get some pictures at Charles' parents before dinner, and that didn't happen either. So you get Clare and Peter with their baskets instead:
Peter was clearly thrilled

2. Easter Bunny: thumbs up or thumbs down? Thumbs down. It steals too much value from the real meaning of Easter (and the last few days of Lent) without much payback, in my opinion. I mean, my kids get Easter baskets and can have fun with Easter eggs without getting a bunny involved. In full disclosure of my lack of subject continuity, I have no issues with Santa or the Tooth Fairy. My kids are little enough that I haven't had to work out the logistics of this yet. ;)

3. Do you prefer to celebrate holidays at your own house or at someone else's house? I like to mix it up. I LOVE hostessing, but going other places for some holidays keeps doing it fresh and fun!

4. What is your favorite kind of candy? Chocolate. I love plain old Hershey's, but won't turn away something better. And I've been on a major chocolate covered raisins kick lately. Is that too grown up?

5. Do you like video games? Nope. Never have. I've never owned a game console, never plan to.

6. Do you speak another language? I'm ruuuuuuuusty. I double minored in French and Spanish, so speak both passably well. I took classes in Italian, Portuguese and Russian. I could study and piece together enough to get by in Italian or Portuguese. I can come up with a handful of Russian words and phrases. 

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lent Wrap-up

When it comes right down to it, I'm not good at Lent.


I give stuff up with good success, and I do a good job of praying/going to Mass/whatever more for awhile. then the added stuff slips away, as it does for too many, too often. I know, at least, that I'm not alone in that.

This year was particularly bad. Between a late Easter, end of pregnancy discomfort, a toddler, the Match, moving plans, and Peter's birth, let's just say the last few weeks haven't felt like Lent. At all.

In spite of all that, I feel like it has been a fruitful Lent. I've identified places where I really need to work on my spiritual life, like trusting God with my heart (not just my words), and deepening my personal prayer life. I can continue to work on those, even without a Lenten mandate.

With those that in mind, I'll be entering the Triduum tomorrow prepared to make the most of Lent's waning moments, to make a trip to the confessional, to give thanks for all that I've received this season, to pray for continued blessings in the weeks and months to come, to reflect more deeply on Christs' Passion and His Mercy. I plan to unplug, at least somewhat, and I look forward to celebrating His Victory on Sunday.

May His peace be with you during these most holy days.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Naming Baby Peter

He makes the goofiest faces!

 {This is a non-redacted revision of my baby names post. A couple of people mentioned rereading that one when Peter had arrived, based on my vague terrible name redaction techniques.}

The beginning of the post. . . Naming Peter (still getting used to using his real name here!) has been much more interesting. At the beginning of pregnancy, we had first names picked out. The beloved and leftover girl name from naming Clare, and Peter, the unused boy name from the same.

Then we started talking middle names and things got interesting. The girl name never changed, and after lots of hemming and hawing and debating we settled on a middle name we'd have probably stuck with had Peter been a Little Miss. If we had had a delivery room surprise, it's probably the name we'd have gone with!

The boy name on the other hand . . . Charles had his heart set on using a particular middle name. I, however, don't like the way it sounds with Peter. The way the name sounds is important to me. I have to be able to yell it across the house/yard/playground. I have to be able to imagine a priest saying, "________________________, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." I have to imagine that slow, loud proclamation at graduation. There were lots of things wonderful about the middle name, but the sound with Peter was not going to cut it for me. I suggested changing the first name in order to use the middle name.

We discussed. We debated. We finally decided to table it until we knew whether we even needed to select a boy name.

Sure enough, we've got a little boy. Driving home from the ultrasound, we didn't make it out of the parking lot before we started talking. We decided together that keeping Peter was more important than a middle name. So, we set out to decide on a middle name we could both agree with. We tentatively decided on Damien, but still didn't feel like we could say with 100% confidence, "His middle name is Damien." It is not the middle name we had chosen when I was pregnant with Clare. Anthony was never ruled out entirely, but we slowly decided that Damien was right and stuck with it. :) [For the record, we made the final, final, final decision as we were filling out the birth certificate paperwork, so I mean it when we say that we were slow to feel set on it. Now, though, we are thrilled and agree that it is the perfect name for our little guy!]

So, we ended up with our sweet little Peter Damien. Peter was chosen for St. Peter (Apostle, first Pope, precocious thrice-denier of Jesus raised to glory thanks to His Mercy), and Damien for St. Damien of Molokai (who died of the leprosy contracted serving the Hawaiian leper colony). We pray that he may walk his own path to holiness and live a life pleasing to God.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

7 Quick Takes, Vol. 62

Linking up with Jen, Friday-style. We'll see if this actually gets finished on Friday. :)

1. I am the luckiest girl in the world. Somehow, this (our awkward/embarasing/totally wish we could forget it slow dancing to Matthew West's "When I Say I Do." We ended the night with an even worse rendition of Rascal Flatts' "Bless the Broken Road."):

HA! I don't even have any (terrible, terrible) dancing pictures on my computer, so you get this one instead!

turned into this:

Monkey Face

and this:

Baby Selfie

See how I did that? Linking up with Grace.

2. Overall, things on the baby front are going well. Even though it is hard to judge in the very early sleepy newborn phase, Peter seems like he's going to be a "good" baby. He sleeps well. He eats like a champ. Best of all, he can be soothed pretty easily -- unlike his never not temperamental sister. He's a snuggle bug, so I think that once he wakes up a bit more, he's going to love the ol' Moby while I'm busy chasing Clare. His first go 'round in it yesterday was a big success, so that's hopeful.

Sleepy Newborn

3. Last night, though, was . . . rough . . . to put it mildly. Let's just say that the toddler was up as many times (or more?) than the infant. And that, as a result, Mama didn't exactly get a restful nights' sleep. Yes, I'm going on caffeine today. Why do you ask? (And yes, I should be taking a nap, but I'm dealing with that exhausted but not sleepy feeling.)

Did you know this thing has buttons? (From Monday)

4. Today, meanwhile, has been Charles' first day back at the hospital (and so, the kids' and my first day alone). So far, so good. We're all dressed, fed, and the house hasn't fallen too deeply into disaster. As scary as the first day alone with the kiddos is, I'm actually glad that it has come early both times we've done the new baby gig. Getting through it in the early days gives me a lot of confidence that I can get through it on any day. We can and will find a new normal and settle into a new routine. I just have to be patient. (There's that stinkin' word again.) [ soon as I typed that, of course, I got the "my preceptor is keeping me for awhile" phone call. Blah! Still got it . . . just for longer than I'd like!]

Post nap bedhead selfie.

5. And Clare, oh Clare! She's already a great big sister. She's really into showing us Baby Peedow's eyes and socks and mouth, telling us that he's very soft (so true!), and trying to make sure that his paci (that he rarely gets/takes) is readily available. But she's still getting used to our divided attention, which is a challenge. We'll get through it, but it has definitely been the roughest part of the transition.

Paci Patrol

6. I think there is a lot of value in encouraging women to be easy on themselves and their postpartum bodies. God did a great thing with them, and it takes time for the ol' bod to recover and return to its new normal, whatever that might be. Add in sleepless nights, breastfeeding, etc., and well . . . we (not so) shockingly don't exactly bounce back in 2.3 seconds flat. All of which is a preface to my story from our first family trip to Target. In typical second child fashion, we loaded the kids into the minivan and headed out on some errands Wednesday afternoon. We had Clare in the front of the Target cart and the infant seat in the basket. As we were considering our options for wares, a fellow Target patron comes over and comments on how I've "pouched out" and turns to ask Clare if she's going to be a big sister soon, clearly without seeing/processing the infant seat right behind her. So, there you have it. I am miraculously 4-5 months pregnant days after childbirth. I'd also qualify the story as an example of why you should be cautious about assuming women are pregnant. But I digress . . .

7. On that note, I just wanted to echo a hearty "Amen" to almost everything Colleen said in her post this morning. So, basically, this take is a long way of saying, "what she said."

Have a lovely weekend.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

5 Favorites -- Newborn Pics Edition

Doing like all the moms of newbies and using Hallie's 5 Favorites to show off some early pics of Baby Peter, pretty much all taken with iPhones, 'cause who has time for grabbing a real camera?!?

Daddy holding a brand new baby


So hungry he could eat a nose

Meeting Big Sister

Heading home

And now, back to trying to get some much needed two-babies-asleep-at-the-same-time rest.

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Monday, April 7, 2014


Peter Damien. 

He arrived at 12:53 this morning. 7 lbs, 4 oz (same as Clare!) and is 20 inches. He is healthy and well. I'll post a birth story (and a million more pictures) eventually. In the mean time, I'll go back to staring at my little guy.

Friday, April 4, 2014

7 Quick Takes, Vol. 61

Linking up with Jen.

1. Still here. Still pregnant. Still trying to not obsess over those facts. Photographic evidence of 40 weeks. Blegh.

2. I'm genuinely trying (without much success) to be more at peace with the waiting on baby situation. I'm blessed that we're both healthy, so I'm able to continue to give my guy the time he needs to cook. I know that I will eventually have a baby. I know that God's plan and will are bigger than my own. I know that I will grow from this as a mom and as a follower of Christ. I'm trying to pray and distract my way through it, and to remember that giving up control is an important lesson for moms to learn (and relearn), since kiddos certainly have minds and (free) wills of their own.

3. Moving right along, on the topic of God's goodness, yesterday morning (really still night), I was stirred from my attempts at sleeping by the always-fun combination of toddler and vomit. Needless to say, it turned into a long morning. I mentioned to several people that I didn't even know what I wanted, besides that I knew I needed prayers. Promises of prayers followed, along with lots of mentions of hope that I got some rest. Apparently, that was God's way of letting me know what I needed. I marvel at His ability to guide us (even using others) when we can't quite navigate ourselves. (And I actually slept pretty well last night, and got a cat nap while Clare napped in the afternoon, so I can't complain.)

4. The weather has been perfect for afternoon stroller strolls. A couple of days ago, Clare came equipped with all of life's necessities: sunglasses, phone, rosary (or, as she calls it, "bracelet").

Taking on the world.

5. Charles might not graduate until June, but he got his graduation regalia in the mail yesterday. Needless to say, he decided it needed to be tried on ASAP. And I needed to share with social media just as quickly (#proudwife).


6. Clare was less enthusiastic:

The blur really adds to the sense of discontent.

7. He also officially signed his first-year residency contract this week. Being the #proudwife that I am, I jumped off the couch to photograph the monumental event. It's not exactly presidential, and he only used one pen for his already-primed-for-the-prescription-pad signature, and he laughed at me the whole time. But document it I did. I am not just a #proudwife. I'm a #21stcenturywife, too. Hashtags and all. :)

Photo journalism at its finest.

Have a lovely weekend!

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