Just a Glimpse

Its been awhile. Life has changed a lot since Jonah came! I still remember the day I sat in this very spot and blogged about the dream I had.. When the Lord told me there was even going to be a Jonah. Its so crazy to think about how quickly life moves forward. You’ll totally miss it if you aren’t paying close enough attention. You’ll miss what matters.

What is it that matters, anyway? If you were to ask me, its the little things. The little things are the things that are most easily taken for granted and later, most easily forgotten. Like the way Esther always says “scuse, you, Mama” when she is trying to say “excuse me” or “bless you, mama/baby” when one of us sneezes. In fact.. I am going to take a few moments now and just list some of the sweet little facts about my people that I know won’t always “be”

  • JONAH:
    • He does that adorable new baby stretch with the puckered lips and the tiny hands in fists
    • He looks up into my eyes as he is nursing and I can tell there is absolutely no other place he’d rather be
    • He fell asleep on me yesterday, all curled up in a little ball, so content
    • He sleeps in the bassinet in the pack & play right next to our bed (soon to be changed when we get a bigger bed)
    • He falls asleep about 8pm and goes until 1… or sometimes even 3… eats, and goes back to sleep
    • He is cooing and loves when someone smiles at him and communicates
    • He is still in disposables; We are trying to decide what type of cloth we want to start him on
  • ESTHER:
    • We are trying to figure out a new “normal”; she doesn’t like to fall asleep on her own so naps are rough. Very rough. I try and snuggle her for quite awhile right after I get Jonah laid down and then I walk out and just have to wait…
    • She dyed eggs for the very first time today and she loved it. She was “rolling” the egg around with a fork in the dye and she just kept saying “rollin, rollin, rollin….”
    • She is quite obsessed with Veggie Tales & Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
    • She still loves cheese
    • She calls all drinks “wa-wa”
    • She is a great eater!! She often will walk up to me and say “Eat! Eat!”
    • She likes to snack on granola bars, goldfish, crackers, cheese, fruit….
    • She sleeps all through the night but has been harder to put to sleep lately… Often Thomas has been falling asleep in her room on the floor next to her crib
    • She has been missing her daddy… He’s been doing 6 days of 12’s/week so sometimes she’ll sweetly ask me, “da-ee home?”
    • She generally does well with Jonah. Sometimes when she wants attention or needs me she will get mad if he’s nursing and swat at him but for the most part she gives him kisses and encourages me to take care of him by saying things like “Eat, a-den (again)?” or in the mornings when we hear him on the monitor “Baby up! baby up!” Ah, she makes me smile.
    • She is your general toddler… Like yesterday, she pulled every single shoe off the rack and piled them up in front of the door
    • She loves to take walks. Thomas just found us a new double stroller (well, not new, it was on the QC buy & sell) and its awesome! Perfect for the fam.
    • She likes toast or bread a lot
    • She’s been crying in her room while I type this… If I go in there she won’t sleep though. Gah.

So that’s where things are currently. Yesterday I had her in the crib trying to fall asleep, him asleep in my room, and took the fastest shower I possibly could. But it was awesome. My hair was so dirty, I think I could have found bugs in it. That’s disgusting. Thomas has had to be gone so much I’ve really learned to find a new strength within myself that I didn’t know I had. I’ve had to learn a lot of lessons in patience. I’ve begun learning the art of mothering 2. Its definitely an art.

Well, I think I’m gonna go hug her. Who cares if she sleeps.

Jonah | Birth Story

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Let’s start with the good news up front – He is here. We made it. I’m alive. He’s very alive, stuffed full of milk. I’m stuffed full of pancakes and an omelet. Hallelujah. Praise the Lamb. We done. Ya hear? We done.

Who am I kidding? We just gettin’ started… But you know what I mean. Ok, so where do I begin?

Well, first of all, this labor started out very differently because I experienced a lot of prodromal labor for the 3-4 days leading up to delivery. It was different than just having contractions… They would get super regular, very close together, very intense, and then stop. Then it would repeat. Over and over and over. Soon enough the most break I got between them was about 20 minutes but they were still not “real” contractions, as in actually-dilating-the-cervix, “real.” That was super discouraging and exhausting. I had people asking me as the due date came and went, “Are you having contractions yet? Any news?” and I was too exhausted to explain most of the time that yes, I was having contractions, and yes, they we’re regular and painful, but no, I wasn’t in labor yet. Whew! This is not what happened with Esther. I had some hard contractions leading up to the birth but nothing that mimicked the pattern of real labor patterns that consistently.

We had gone several nights where I contracted through the night very closely together. The first night we thought “this is it!” We called my sister in law, Monica, over so she could stay with Esther as we went in. We were going to go as soon as morning hit but just as she arrived, my contractions slowed down again. The next night and the next night the same thing kept happening but things just got more and more intense. I took Tylonel with codeine as my midwife had suggested so that I could get a little bit of sleep. By Wednesday evening though, the Tylonel didn’t touch the pain. I would try to lay in bed and rest but a contraction would quite literally rip me out of the bed to where I was crying out for relief from the pain. Try that every 5-7 minutes or so for 12 hours each night and you’re pretty much done kicking!

I wanted Thomas to get some sleep because I was figuring it would go through the night again and then come in waves as I got up and started my day. At least one of us could be awake enough to care for Esther is what I was thinking. T tried to sleep and I did my best to work through the contractions without yelling or making much noise. Eventually after I tried a bath and the ball and pretending I was a flower *expanding slowly* and picturing the color white and losing my ever-loving mind (it seemed like), I told T that we were going in tonight and if they sent me home I would just cry eternally. (Spoiler Alert: They didn’t send me home). [It was 4:30am on Wednesday night when we left our house]

BUT – get this… I was only a 2 when I got to the hospital. A 2!!!!!?? Ridiculous… I mean seriously. I was freaked out by this because I knew by doing basic arithmetic that 10-2 =8 and that means 8 more centimeters worth of H-E-Double Hockey Sticks. My midwife knew I hadn’t slept well in days and decided to start me on 2 pain meds (viscerol & tylonel codeine + pitocin). She wanted me to get some rest before labor really got going. Mind you, my first labor was 24+ hours in the hospital so nobody was really expecting this to go very quickly. Well, as soon as that pit was on board, my contractions took a walk on the wild side! They got SO close together, SO much *more* intense, it took absolutely everything in me to stay in control and not let them throw me into a tailspin. The repeating mantras that I had to say in my head about 15,000 times were “I can do this” “I can do this through Christ who strengthens me,” “My baby is coming,” & toward the middle/end “THIS IS GOOD” each time a contraction shook me to the core. I had to remind myself that each contraction was one step closer to my baby boy being in my arms. Without those mantras, labor would have been 39382x worse. They helped me focus in. That combined with very focused, intentional breathing helped me to stay in control of the way I reacted to each wave of pain. The other thing I tried was something I had read about in my Ina May book – I pictured some of the contractions as a huge rush of water flooding into a cave underwater and then rushing right back out. That kind of helped too. Its a mind game, this labor business.

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I have to backtrack a little bit. The first thing that happened when we got officially admitted into the hospital was they put my IV in. Without going into too much graphic detail, the IV got put in a little bit “choppy,” so there was some definite pain associated along with blood squirting out all over.. I unfortunately caught a glance of it and that combined with the sheer exhaustion & pain from the IV’s placement caused my body to “shut down” momentarily. When I blacked out, there was one nurse in the room and Thomas sitting in a chair to my left. When I came to, Thomas was right in my face saying “Ang! Ang! Are you with us!? Ang?” The nurse was in my face on the other side and there were about 3-4 other nurses running around the room, shoving an oxygen mask into my face, all of them looking a little bit panicked. It was at this moment I had the thought, “This is the beginning of labor. The beginning. Oh, sweet baby Jesus. I’m in for it.” Luckily, everything was okay after that but it definitely shook me up as we went in for our augmentation/induction.

So back to where we were earlier… Whew. I am very tired so I may have to shorten things a bit but I need to do this now or I will forget things. That’s what happens with labor. You go through the worst pain of your life… and then you just slowly begin to forget everything. You forget the intensity and the internal promise you make to yourself to never put yourself through this again… You see a cute baby on the internet, your uterus shrieks out, and before you know it you’re standing in the aisle at Walgreens debating between the fancy digital tests and the cheapie ones with the lines again.

Ok, so Thomas was my main support during the first half of labor. It was just him and I in the room. We had our worship music on, diffuser going, and we worked together. Well, he worked on trying to help me and I was kind of snappy and sassy but I think he pretty much expected that. My mom and doula showed up a little later due to some confusion (AKA my husband hadn’t had coffee yet, was sitting on the couch with 2 phones in his hand trying to remember who to contact, what to say, all the while… I am shouting out orders between contractions to please grab this, do that, turn this off, turn this down, etc etc). The poor guy did his best!!! I’m not real clear on all the #’s of dilation and exact changes but basically when I got to about a 5 or so I was begging for the epidural. I had lost all color in my face- I was just plain worn out from the days of labor before and then the pitocin-induced contractions. My midwife had me get in the bath for a few minutes (which returned color to my face) and then it was glory time…

Never did I ever think I’d refer to getting a needle stuck into my spine as “glory time” but I suppose there’s a first for everything. In fact, there’s a lot I don’t remember about labor already but I do think I remember telling the anesthesiologist “I love you” as he left the room.

After the epidural, things got much more bearable. I knew I had a little bit to sort of rest and catch up. Instead of numbing things 100% though, I could still feel pain from pressure as each contraction came through. My mom and Thomas were thinking maybe the epidural hadn’t taken all the way or maybe it was inserted wrong but we found out later the real cause of the lingering pain – Jonah’s head was already locked and loaded into my pelvis! I believe I got the epidural at noon and he was delivered by 12:44pm! The only thing holding him back was my water.

Again, I know I’m condensing this but its a general idea of what happened. Before we knew it, I was at a 9.5 and it was about time to begin pushing.I had read all the Ina May stories again this time around, done my research, and finally understood that pushing can’t just be “I’M A CAVE MAN HEAR ME ROAR!!!!!!” pushing. It has to be “I AM A CREATURE OF THE CAVE AND I CAN ROAR IF/WHEN I CHOOSE TO!!!” pushing. Still primal, but a little bit refined. Why, you ask? So you don’t tear your vagina in half. I’m not sugar coating that. That’s the reason. I’m sorry if you didn’t like that word. I don’t mean to offend anyone. Let’s move on.

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So because of this wonderful insight I had gained, my pushing went from 2 hours last time to 20 minutes this time. *dance, dance, dance, dance, dance* I took very careful measures to listen to exactly what the midwife and nurses were saying about how to position my legs, when to push, where to pull back, etc, etc. 20 minutes still felt like an eternity but I suppose its inevitable when you’re trying to squeeze a child through such a small passage.

Let me take a moment to say that you should probably work on your relationship with your husband before he sees you in labor. Make sure you’re confident and know that he loves you even at your worst because soon enough you find yourself making (what feels like) the most unattractive, scary, gruesome face as you push like your life depends on it! You give yourself about 800 chins, bear down, and its go time. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say the thought crossed my mind “I must look like a frickin sumo wrestler right now.” And if I wasn’t fully confident that my husband wouldn’t run at the sight of a sumo wrestler faced wife, I would probably be worried he’d leave me or something. That would be awful. Alone in the delivery room with 800 chins and a brand new baby.

Wow. That was quite a tangent I just went on there. Excuse me. I am still on drugs. Don’t worry. The doctor gives them to me. I don’t just walk on the street or something to find them. I don’t even know how to do that.

This is getting long. Focus, focus. Well, here we are at the pushing stage. Guess what happened next? You guessed it- He emerged! Woo hoo!! Onto my chest he went for skin to skin and it was the most blissful 30 seconds of my life…. Until they had to start stitching things up in the southern hemisphere. I hated my life then. But fast forward 15 minutes or whatever it was and I was home free!! Yay yay yay yay yay!

His stats were very shocking. So he was late, as you know. Even with him being late and Esther being a day early, she still weighed more than him and measured longer than him! Esther was 8’4; Jonah was 7;5. Esther was 20″ & Jonah was 18″. Jonah also has way more hair than Esther did when she was born and I actually had heartburn the whole time with her way worse than with him! I think that was one of the positive side effects of being on Plexus actually but still, really shocking!

He came officially at 12:44pm. Thomas got to pull him out and cut his cord. Beautiful. I’m so thankful to have a husband that LOVES children and LOVES being part of childbirth. He is such a rockstar dad.

OH, and PS: We had an amazing birth photographer who just totally blew my mind with her talent and the shots she captured. I am so glad we got to have her there!

I’d love to go into how things went after that but let’s just stop there and I’ll share more stories later. My boys are both asleep and have been for quite awhile so I might try and catch some shut eye before the little one wakes up and needs me!!

All in all, I just want to say THANK YOU, JESUS. Thank you for this handsome, perfect, little baby boy. We are truly blessed. I’m honored that you chose me to be Jonah’s mother and I commit myself fully to the cause. Ready, set, go – let’s hammer out the next 18 years and then we can reevaluate my duties and responsibilities from there. Ta-ta for now ❤

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Stick A Fork In Me.

Well, here we are. February 16th. Officially 2 full days past due date, Mr. Jonah. Let me just start out by saying, I am releasing all control over the timing of your birthday. I am accepting the fact that I have no control anyways and any previous control I thought I had was only a figment of my imagination. Ok, so there. I surrender. You decide. Well, actually God decides. But not me. Nope. Not anymore. My job is to work through contractions for as many days as you need me to until you’re ready to be in my arms. Alright.

Now for a bit of a vent session. Everyone always says that the 2nd labor tends to be a lot shorter than the first. This one has not been like that and I wish I never would have gotten that idea in my head. Friday night (2/10) I began to have consistent Braxton Hicks contractions. After that, I have been having “prodromal labor.” This means painful contractions that may or may not dilate the cervix..  They start and stop around the same time each day/night. And they’re just plain torture. There, I said it. TORTURE! I hate them! Ok, so here’s one positive thing… It helps you learn how to cope with and breathe through contractions more effectively because you get them all the DANG time with (seemingly) no real progress.

I am just so, so, so ready for this to pick up and be real. I can’t tell you how many texts and messages I’ve received asking me if the baby is here yet. I really appreciate all the love and concern but each one but drives in the further the saddening fact that, no, he isn’t here. And yes, I am in labor. And no, those two do not equate or make sense in my head or probably yours. I’m physically and emotionally spent. I have been seeking out fellow women on Facebook that have dealt with similar issues in labor because I don’t know very many people that can relate or even really know what I’m talking about when I say prodromal labor.

These last few days have been a very trying few. There is honestly so much more to these last few days that I can’t even include because I’m just plain tired. I’m trying to change my perspective though. As I said in the beginning, I’m dropping my need or desire to control the situation and choosing to see the silver lining. This isn’t how I pictured my “birth story” with Jonah to be but I trust that it is going to be perfect and the timing is just what is needed. Thank you, Lord, for this life within me. I trust that You are giving him exactly the amount of time he needs and that You’ll release him to me at EXACTLY the right moment. In the meantime, I surrender myself to Your will – Your ways – Your plan.

Whew. Another contraction.

The only way I have been able to get through all of these is through intense breathing and repeating “I can do this/I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” & “Your baby is coming.” I’ve also tried picturing a flower opening up. Its crazy the things you have to do to move through the contractions.

I’m done venting and being mad. I’m choosing from this moment to cherish every last minute I am blessed with, whether that’s before, during, or after this labor. This is me surrendering. Jonah, come when you’re ready, sweet boy. Your mama loves you very much and is really looking forward to meeting you. In the meantime I’ll just be over here breathing heavily, taking lots of baths, and popping the occasional Tylonel with codeine. Alright, peace out.. I better get some rest.

Signed,

The Mama that Could

 

A Special Birthday

Eden, today marks 3 years since we said “see you later” for this side of Heaven. I was reminded this morning of how special you are to us and I just can’t wait to hold you, smell you, and kiss you one day. I know you are so beautiful. Abba Father decided to keep you in His care instead of placing you down here with us but you know what? Your siblings have a special guardian angel watching over them. They will love meeting you one day. As for now, we celebrate your life and the time that we did have you. I love you, Eden.

Today has been a pretty relaxed day… We are all catching up on rest from a couple late nights. I still haven’t packed my hospital bag. I’m beginning to think I might be packing it when I start having contractions… Hopefully it’ll happen today.

Lately I’ve been on a huge minimalism kick. I have been tossing everything that we don’t need or use on a consistent basis and it feels incredible!!

Otherwise, I am just slightly emotional but also kind of numb. I don’t think it will hit me fully until I’m going into labor and have to walk away from Esther to give birth to another child. I can’t wrap my mind around how I’ll care for and love these TWO babies… I obviously know it all will work out but its hard not to feel guilty for having to share the attention. Today as I rocked sweet Esther to sleep, I took a look at her face and had a flashback of the countless times we rocked together in that same chair when she was a newborn. Typing this, my eyes are filling with tears. I never knew how hard it could be on a mama’s heart to watch their babies grow. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful she is healthy and happy and growing. But the emotions that come with thinking back to those sweet moments of nursing, holding her sweet, tiny feet… and contrasting that to now, my toddler with a vibrant personality who can say lots of words and legitimately communicate with me. Its just mind-blowing. Esther, if you are ever reading this, I love you so much. So much of my heart is yours.

But when did it happen? When did everything change from learning to crawl, nursing to your hearts content, milk comas….. to telling me you want to “splash,” helping me unload the dishwasher, pushing your pretend kitchen across the living room to come bake cookies with mom… You are changing so quickly and I don’t want to take a single second of it for granted! Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to be home with these sweet babies. God, You are good. I am so blessed. Motherhood is hard but its easily the most rewarding job I have ever had.

Alright, well now that I’ve officially weeped through this entire blog post I think I’ll be going now. On a proud note, I got 2 more freezer meals done this afternoon. Feeling much more prepared this time around. Except that hospital bag thing…

Break

Today is hard. 

I’m at my limit.  

Today in the car Esther’s meltdown caused me to erupt into one of my own. (How can she still hate every single car ride after a year of life?) At first I stayed numb. It’s not worth messing up my makeup, I tried convincing myself. Well soon that excuse didn’t hold up and I was slowly falling apart in the passenger seat. 

Thomas placed his hand over mine on my thigh. We both braced ourselves for another one of these rides. Esther screamed louder. Tears streamed down my face. He asked me, “What’s wrong?” and for a few moments I honestly wasn’t sure how to answer. Finally I replied, “A person can only go so long feeling like their entire life is spinning out of control.” Behind that blanket statement lied images in my head of sticky macaroni sauce, a nonstick skillet scraping against my glass measuring cup, pasta noodles and blackberries tracing the floor, a stained up high chair… Clothes strewn across the living room, beds unmade, random trash dumped by Esther into the bathroom tub. Not to mention the emotional mess I felt like. It’s like each day we move 500 miles an hour and give it our everything just to make it to the other side of the day. No ground is gained. Nothing is organized. Nothing is under control. We’re just making it. 

When I am actually home and want to try and tidy up, I have to do it like a silent little mouse or Esther wakes up. That sounds minor but it is SO hard for me, you guys. My attention is constantly divided and I wonder what good I’m really doing. 

There is so much more I could explain but that’s the tip of the iceberg for where I’m at today. In this season. I feel like if we had a bigger house with carpeted bedrooms upstairs I could actually clean the rest of the house without her always waking up. But that’s not something that changes over night. 

Thomas kindly dropped me off at the coffee shop in town. I knew he was purposely doing this to give me a few minutes to myself. And I gladly took it. 

When I stepped out of the car, I opened the back door & kissed Esther goodbye. Then I lost it all over again. She means the world to me and I love her so much – I felt guilty for even being frustrated with her. She doesn’t understand. Obviously something is wrong to her or she wouldn’t freak out like that. She can’t talk. So she cries. I can think rationally like that when I’m outside the situation. So I walk down the sidewalk for awhile until I can get myself together enough to walk into the coffee shop. 

I know it’s all about perspective in these moments. These seasons. And I won’t dwell in defeat. But I will allow myself to feel what’s going on in my heart. Even when it isn’t pretty. Through that, I grow. And guess what? Growth is painful sometimes. 

It’s going to be okay. I just need to stop and reevaluate and breathe and swiffer the dang floor without a baby screaming to be picked up. Oops, got off track on that last part. 

Thomas is here to pick me up now. 

Time to put on the big girl panties again. I can do this. Just needed to process. 

Jonah?

Around June 1st I had a dream that Thomas & I were introducing our children to someone. We started off by introducing Esther. Then we introduced our baby boy named Jonah.

The next night I had a dream that I took a pregnancy test but it came back negative. A friend was there when I walked in and said “I knew you were pregnant. He (God) already told me! Its just too soon. That’s why its negative.”

Oooookay, weird.

The next day, I am picking Esther up from her sitter’s house. A little boy she watches went to grab me a book from her big library selection. He picks out one particular book — All. About. Jonah.

Fast forward a few days. We’re headed home from a family wedding (Emili & Dan) and I begin feeling sick/nauseous. I thought maybe it was from eating Wendy’s earlier in the day since we don’t eat fast food a whole lot. It didn’t let up.

I asked Thomas to run out and grab a pregnancy test. He pointed me to the drawer in the living room where we conveniently had two. This all seems too smooth, right? That’s what I thought.

I didn’t have a lot to work with but I was determined to pee on that stick.

10 seconds later, I saw 2 lines. It was faint. But it was 2 lines.

I calculated my due date. He (or she) is due on February 14th. A Valentine’s baby. This is such a blessing. Jesus, thank You. I’m floored. I’m shaking. I’m at a loss for words. I dedicate this 2nd baby just like the 1st (Well, 3rd including Eden) to You.

jonah

Happy Birthday, Esther! (1 Year)

Part of me feels like its been a year. Part of me doesn’t. Its hard to fathom life without you. I almost don’t even remember what it was like. And I never want to. You have changed my life 500% but you’ve also expanded my heart & ability to love 1000%. We had your party on Monday of this week, Memorial Day, because that’s when it worked best for family.

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Hilary made the beautiful centerpieces!

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The theme was “My Little Sunshine”

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You actually partied too hard at the parade beforehand and we could barely wake you up for your smash cake!!

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I’m really looking forward to celebrating tomorrow though. Just me & you. Until daddy gets home, then all of us. Then we will have some close family over, have a cookout, and celebrate YOU all over again. I even have a special present for you to unwrap! I think your favorite toy from the party Monday has been this big bag of pink/white/purple/green building blocks. There’s tons of them and you have a blast throwing them around, hitting them together, etc. Thanks, Mallorie & Andy!

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I’d like to do a birthday “interview” with you each year to see how you change & grow!  (Anyone else reading this may get bored during this section. Feel free to browse ahead!) This year I think I will answer the questions for you but next year you should be able to answer. That’s weird to think about! Here goes:

How old are you? One

What makes you happy? Being around lots of people! You feed off of their energy. Especially the kids at Ms. Cindy’s house! You make friends very easily. Food also makes you very happy. You make that crazy food face and its all history from there.

What is your favorite toy? You are always playing with my candles lately. And this broken cd-rom cover. I really should get rid of that. Oh, and can’t forget the trash, toilet bowl cleaner, and toilet paper roll in the bathroom!

What is your favorite stuffed animal? You have one little puppy from either my mom or T’s that you love and *every time* give it a big old kiss. Its the sweetest thing! You love that puppy!

What is your favorite real animal? You really like cats. You always say hi to the cats at Nana & Papa’s and also cats at other people’s houses now.

What is your favorite thing to sleep with? I put you to sleep with 1 Aden & Anaias blanket + your binky. That’s it!

What is your favorite color? Really not sure on this one yet!

What is your favorite fruit? I’d have to say… Blackberries or strawberries. You go to town on those!

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Mama milk! And then whatever else I’m having.

What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Whatever mommys having.

What do you want to eat for your birthday dinner? Hopefully you want to cook out because that’s what we’re doing!

What is your favorite drink? Mama milk. You also love to take my hospital jug/cup and use the straw to drink my water! I let you try a little whole milk yesterday/today. You took it like it was nothing. YOU LIKE EVERYTHING! In that sense, you’ve been so easy. You take to anything. You like everyone. You eat everything. Its pretty great.

What is your favorite dessert? You’ve had an awful lot of cake the last week!! You like sugar like your mom.

What is a food that makes you want to puke? The ONLY food you’ve even remotely turned down has been rice cereal. That’s IT. Again, you like everything!

What is your favorite thing to do? You really like it when daddy is home and you can play with him! Otherwise… we like to take walks together or just go outside. You like to stand up at the front door and watch/wave.

What is your favorite TV show? You don’t really watch TV. Sometimes we watch Ellie & Jared vlogs together when we eat breakfast or something.

What is your favorite movie? Not applicable!

What are you really good at? Walking! Singing. Dancing. Clapping. Waving. Saying “hi!”

What is your favorite song? Any!!! All I have to say is “Do you hear the music?” or “Dance, Essie!” and you get your groove on!

Who is the Coolest Person on Earth? I’m sure you’d say mom if you could answer.

What do you and your mom do together? Kind of answered earlier. We hang out in the kitchen. I clean, you raid the fridge. I hold you in my tula. We play peek-a-boo or in your case, “Where’s Estherrrrrrr?” We indulge in diaper changes multiple times a day.

What do you and your dad do together? Roast coffee beans! Play in the living room. You guys planted blackberry bushes the other night.

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When you were little, what did you do? Hmmmmmm… Cried a lot!

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? Not sure!

What do you think your parents are too strict about? They always want me to be happy in the car. Like, they think screaming at the top of my lungs is unnecessary. So lame.

Who is your best friend? Mom & dad! Duh!

What are some of your favorite things to say? “Hi,” “Mom/Mama,” “Dada”

What is your favorite thing to do outside? Anything really.

What is your favorite book? We read our sign language book the most, I think.

What do you want to be when you grow up? I’d love to know! You will be great at anything.

Well, that was fun! I think I will go plan out your/our special day tomorrow and try to catch some Z’s!

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Esther,
I love you. Tonight as I put you to sleep, I kissed you (lots) for the last time as a 0-year old. When you wake up tomorrow, you will be ONE. A ONE YEAR OLD. I can hardly even believe it! What should we make you for your birthday breakfast?! Oh my!! Its only going to get more and more fun from here. I can’t wait to start getting to know your sweet little personality more and more. You already make me laugh and smile so much. This past year has been the most challenging year of my life but its been worth it all. I’ve learned how truly selfish I was by being stripped of everything I knew to be “normal.” Its like you detoxed me. Obviously you had no control or intent of doing anything of the sort but it happened naturally. The 1st three months of your life you had some really bad tummy issues/colic. That was extremely hard on everybody. Fortunately, family came together and we got through it. After those first 3 months, everything has been smooth sailing, so to speak. You’ve gone through your rough patches where you didn’t sleep or were teething or whatever. But I’m so thankful that each and every day I woke up to your beautiful little face. When I heard you cry on the monitor I may have cringed due to the lack of sleep I got but I always felt a little excited that I got to see you again. There is so much I could share but I am going to close this out with a few little “bullet points” of things that pop in my head that have to do with this 1st year together.

  • You started walking around 11 months
  • You light up everytime you hear your daddy come home
  • Today we found out Exelon, daddys work, will be closing but probably not until 2018
  • The 2 scariest moments of this year have been when you flipped yourself out of the crib onto a hard wood floor and when you choked on a penny
  • Sometimes I squeeze you really hard and hug you even though you squirm away
  • You have not really been a snuggler at all this whole year. You are very independent. The closest I get is when we nurse every night!! I cherish those moments
  • I am so stinkin proud of us for making it to a year of breastfeeding, like honestly. Those first few weeks/months…. Whew. Talk about selfless again… That was like living isolated from society with my shirt off 95% of the time, cracked you-know-whats, bleeding, disgusting. Whoever said breastfeeeding was natural and beautiful at the beginning must have had a different experience than me! That being said, after I made it through the hard times, breastfeeding has become a pretty regular part of our daily routine. Its weird to think that someday soon that could be done. I don’t know how to wean you but I’m sure we’ll figure it out. I haven’t had a manual for anything else so far and I’ve managed to keep you alive.
  • You got really sick one time and that was hard too. I remember we tried to give you this one kind of medicine and you HATED it. You threw it up! I’m so glad that’s over
  • We didn’t “co-sleep.” It was mainly because I can’t sleep without moving 3984938 times and you aren’t a very hard sleeper. That combination is not safe. Especially when I only had 25 minutes to sleep!! Fortunately, you’ve done great in your own room from the start. You started out in your Rock n Play and we eventually shifted you into your own crib.
  • The shift into your crib was actually accidental. Which was awesome. One night I laid you in there to get something ready for you and you actually fell asleep in it. No idea how that happened but thats how I knew you were ready for the crib! Haha.

Well that was super random. I just wanted to get some of this documented. I tend to forget things and I don’t ever want to forget about this season of life. It is so special.

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You are so special to your daddy & me, Essie Hope. You are loved by so many. You will do great things in life. You are an inspiration, a ray of sunshine. Your Anchor of Hope is Jesus and He will always lead you and protect you. Daddy & I are your #1 fans. Let courage fill your heart and kindness explode out of your soul. This world could use the love of Christ that lives in You. Never hold back. Never rob someone else of a blessing that you can give them. Look for the beauty in everything and everyone around you. There is always something to be thankful for.

And tonight, that “thing” (or person) we are most thankful for, is you, sweet babygirl. This is a picture of you tonight after I gave you that last kiss as a 0-year old. Just darling.

EssieBedtime