Finding Out 4 And Other Things That Sound Like Jokes

 

If the fact that I’m pregnant with my 4th ever crosses your mind, and you find yourself shocked, so do I.  I find myself shocked when I say things like:

“I’m pregnant.”

“I’m 8 weeks.”

“I have a doctor’s appointment for an ultrasound.”

or

“I am going to have 4 kids in 6 years.”

I find myself thinking, “What is happening?  Is this real life?  Do my kids who apparently have a direct line to God who prayed this into my stomach every morning on the way to school have special powers?  Do they need a t.v. show?  Long Island Toddlers/Kindergartners?  I’m scared of my kids.”

I just thought I would let you guys know how the virgin conception of 2016 came to be since many have asked.  They might have asked because I told them I was done for sure, even wrote about it on here.  They might have asked what changed when they saw me selling off all of my baby stuff on Facebook which, by the way, I was doing in a Kroger parking lot 2 hours before I found out I was pregnant.  I have eaten many a crow since taking that test.  God is a miracle makin’ laugh factory sometimes.

Soooooooo, anyways.  Let me take you back to a cool December 15th night.  I was at Barnes and Noble with my friend and started to get a migraine so I had to split pretty fast.  On the way out I told her, “I’ve been having acid refulx for 2 days and peeing more…..”

“Maybe you are pregnant,” said the foreshadowing friend!

“That’s impossible.  I haven’t had any unprotected maritals.”

Dum Dum DUMMMMMMM….  Somewhere far off in heaven, an angel played that sound byte.

I ran to Kroger on my way home to grab a few baby food pouches (irony) and a few other things.  Even though I knew there was probably no chance I was pregnant, I stood in front of the tests and thought, “This is a total waste of 8.99 and it will be negative like a billion other times, but just to get even the slightest possibility out of the dark cobwebbed corner of my mind….”, I settle on a 2 pack of Kroger brand tests.

I come home to my house with my husband on the phone while my 5, 3, and 1 year old are running around.  I didn’t even tell my husband I had a test or that I even had the slightest inclination to take one so guess how surprised he was 2 minutes later?

I go straight to the toilet and take the test.  I look at the box to see what lines were supposed to be where and gasped as color shot across the screen.  “Whew,” I thought to myself, “that was just the color the pee made on the test as it went across the screen.

Two seconds later.

“Oh my gosh…”

“Oh MY gosh…”

“Heavens, angels and Justin Bieber!!!”

As clear as anything those 2 lines popped straight up.  I called clueless Lance in the bathroom to give him the shock of his lifetime.  He came in still on the phone so I hid my test while I still sat on the toilet. He thought I was hurling because of the migraine and that’s why I needed him.

I held up the test in the air like a white flag of surrender of a crazy uterus, “I’m pregnant!!!”

Lance’s face dropped in shock.  His eyes as big as ovaries, “That’s impossible!”

“I know!!!!,” I said.  How did this happen?!”

Literally we had been arguing after a bit of dry spell that we needed to practice marriage relations more and then here I stood, pregnant as a Duggar.  And I was starting to feel like a Duggar.  The girl who had infertility was now having 4 kids in 6 years and conceived this one ON CONTRACEPTION used with the accuracy of an FBI forensic investigator.  I literally took a screen shot of the test and Facebooked my ob’s nurse that night and said, “I have no idea how this happened.  This is basically another virgin birth experience.”  It was perfect.  Just in time for Christmas.

Lance legit asked me if I had a pregnant friend pee on the test as a joke. It was if we didn’t know where babies came from after all.  We were shocked.  Super style.

Within 5 minutes I called my mom, followed by Lance’s mom with the news heard round the world.  There were a few tears (on my end) and lots of laughing.  Many people have said, “I knew you would have another one.”  Uhhhh, did no one believe me?  Did everyone think I was a liar because I promise, those 10 different baby things I sold on Facebook were to actual people with actual items sold in real parking lots across America.  I was floored floored bo bored and I never thought I would have a surprise baby.

Even though I plan on seasons of delirium and crying, I am going to embrace this little person and the reality that, in fact, as I had once thought, I really WILL have four kids.  God is perfect and He has better ideas than me, anyways.

God either thinks I’m tougher than I think I am or He is planning on teaching me some REAL big lessons hashtag real life style.  He might just want to break me like a wild horse.

What can I say, my uterus loves a baby and God has some big plans for this one….just like He had for me when my mom conceived me, her 4th on birth control 34 years ago.  Yes, in just 30 something years, you too, little baby can be sitting on a couch with mascara on your face in your daughter’s hair tie, typing on a blog.  Something big is going on here….

 

 

The Slow Ache: Moving On In Motherhood

 

Being a stay-at-home mom, I sometimes catch myself seeing other couples my age with nice cars and big houses and thinking, “How in a mother’s uterus can they afford that?!  Oh yeah, two incomes.”  I forget that some households have double the take in when the paychecks come.  Nevertheless, I love our one income life and family and consider myself insanely blessed.  Nice home, cute kids, good clothes, food, two cars….all of what we “think” we need to be “taken care of”.  Still, having one income makes me REALLY hardcore love some extra money on the side.  Because of that, in the past year or so, I’ve taken a liking to selling off stuff from our home in groups on Facebook.  It’s sort of addictive, really. My life is sort of like a virtual yard sale.   It’s easy money and no matter what amount it comes in…money is money is money and cha cha cha ching!

As of late, I have been selling off baby items since we are done having kids.  A co-sleeper here, bath tub there and money all around, y’all  Even better?  Sweet SPACE!  One thing they don’t tell you when you have kids is that half of your house will be overtaken with large plastic, multi-colored baby gear.

It wasn’t until two months ago that I sold my first tote of baby clothes….the clothes all of my precious daughters have worn season by season.  Again tonight, eager to get things sorted, cleared out, and some more money on hand for the next thing, I began going through another season of clothes.  And just like the first time, a feeling of vunerability swept over me.  It’s the reoccuring feeling of a mother letting go…moving on.   My mother once said that motherhood is a long act of letting go.  She is right.  And while it is such a joy to see your kids grow and a blessing to have them grow older, letting go is a slow ache.  It hits you in moments, not in long drawn out weeks or months…in subtle moments standing over small clothes, thumbing down collars and pressing worn ruffles.

I pulled some shirts out of the tote and felt tears sting my eyes as they welled behind the surface.

“Aw, my firstborn worn this dress the first time I heard her laugh.  I was having such a hard time then that that laugh was like rescue to my tired heart.”

“THIS oufit!!!! I remember each of my little ones wore this on Christmas and that stain on the collar was surely from my last born.  She spit up as if she was getting paid to do so.”

I moved on to the next piece and just like the outfit before, I contemplated whether or not I should sell them.  Should I keep them for my grandchildren?  Should I save some things just in case?  Sometimes it’s not even letting go of the children that gets you.  It’s letting go of the symbols of when they were your babies.  I know I’m only a season or so away of clothes where the feet of footed pajamas, no longer fit in the palm of my hand.

I continue to fold each piece, recall the little people who wore them and the pictures in my mind of them all in that certain dress or those cozy fleece pajamas worn on late night runs to the grocery store.  I smooth the sleeves, fluff out cotton flowers and press down crinkled ribbons and I do so thinking of the mom who bought the clothes from me. I imagine that when she pulls them out, she will picture another little girl, her own, who will wear this outfit to her first Sunday at church and that outfit when summer hits and she smiles seeing her baby’s chubby white thighs.  For me, there was a lot of love held in those clothes and as I pass them on, I’m happy knowing that another mother will find her daughters just as sweet in them.

It’s hard for me to believe that I’m passing these precious tokens of my memory on already.  I’m moving on to a stage that another mother is just beginning. “It can’t be that this has come and gone so quickly,” I think to myself as my almost five year old runs through the nursery.

“Eden,” I call out.

“Yes, mom?”

“My heart is sad folding up all of these clothes.”

“Why, momma?”

“Because we are done having babies and all of my sweet girls wore these tiny clothes and I have a lot of memories of you guys in them.  I’m really going to miss them. I’m going to miss having babies.”

“I’m going to miss you being a mommy,too, ” she says.

“Well, I’m still your mommy.  All of my children’s mommy.  I always will be.”

“I mean, ” and she paused.  “I’m going to miss watching you being a mommy.  I’m going to miss watching you help someone grow.”

With tears in my eyes and a baby shirt in my hands I say, “Aw, baby thank you.  Me, too.  Me, too.” It was priceless validation that she thinks I’m a good mother and not only that, she has enjoyed watching me parent.

It’s a beautiful thing having a gift so precious that handfuls of Gymboree and Old Navy clothes in a hot pink tote can drudge up a slew full of memories and joy with bittersweet fierceness. Even though I still have a 10 month old as we speak, the baby years, the babiest of babies is on her way to growing up.  Trust me, in the middle of the night I still pray that happens sooner rather than later but when you get a minute to stop, which milestones always cause you to do, it comes earlier than you thought it would, faster than you imagined, and pulls at even the heart that on most days, knows shes had her last.

As I went through the last few shirts, skirts, and tiny shoes, I went back to look at the closet one last time.  Tucked in the back on a hanger, I see a dated, color faded and stained romper.  “Huh,” I said thoughtfully to myself as pulled it off the hanger.  It was one of my baby outfits, my mother’s last baby, that she had saved standing in a nursery some 31 years ago.  It was a full circle moment when I found myself doing and feeling the same things my own mother did in 1980-something packing up things for the last time and keeping one thing that she just couldn’t part with. Motherhood, it’s moments, and emotions are all very timeless.  I’m reminded of that all of the time.

Today my precious middle child turned three.  Next week, my firstborn turns 5 and in 8 weeks, my baby turns 1.  As a mom, I’m forever in the middle of moving forward with excitement and tenderly looking over my shoulder as I see the phase we left behind.  I’m stuck somewhere in between ready to move forward and holding on tightly, both literally and figuratively, to a well-loved Onesie.  I know in my heart that my next babies will be my children’s children and that all too soon, they will be sorting through baby clothes remembering what it is was like to live through the chaotic bliss of having babies.

Having all three of my children in 4 years has been and continues to be a wild and exhausting joy.  One of my children will start kindergarten in the fall and another pre-school.  During those days, my baby and I will have those precious one-on-one times that my older two both had.  I will laugh on field trips, smile at the new art projects of my pre-schooler, be in awe as they learn, and watch my baby unfold into that toddler that is sassy and spirited like her sisters.

I will savor it.

I will wallow in it.

I will live in it and I will breath them in.

And when that time comes so unexpectedly like it always does where I realize we are on the precipice of another phase, I will let go.  I’ll look back.  I’ll feel the slow ache.  And just like every stage, as my 4 year old said tonight, I’ll think of how I will really miss being their mommy just as it was in that moment…in that season.  As my role changes and slips in to new seasons, I too, sweet child, will really miss helping my children grow in that specific way….just like every mother before me.  I will look forward with hope, glance behind me and long earnestly, and in quite moments like tonight, cling to a small shirt in silence in dim lamp light and honor those tugging feelings that this thing called motherhood, was more than I ever hoped it could be.

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Photo Credit:  Joel Ham Photography

Boobie Prison

 

Breastfeeding is unrelenting.  I am thankful to the tune of over 800 dollars in formula savings and thankful after two non-nursed babies that I have had the experience.  Other than that:  Boobie Prison.  I am in a prison of boobs.  I am bound by those guys in every since of the word:  bound literally to a human and schedule bound by my diary farm.

My newly turned 8 month old has decided to make me her full-service Kroger vying only for breast milk and rejecting most foods as gag worthy garbage cans. It’s all me, all the time.  I feel like I am just two jars of baby food or one mushed potato away from a little freedom.  Something…anything…just not my boobs.  Whole aisle of baby foods, 15,000 food items in a grocery store and all she wants is me (sobbing audibly).

I want some bond paid on these guys so I can get a little escape like a date night without a pint-sized person in tow or an outing alone where I’m not worried about being home by the magical three hour mark where she turns into a pumpkin if the clock chimes boobie time.

And I know what you are thinking, just pump and give her a bottle.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha (crazy person laughing continues) Hahahahahahahaha.

There is nothing a person who feels like she is in boob prison likes more than pumping, never mind you have to have something to pump.  I don’t want to shatter any storage records, but I have 8 ounces frozen in my freezer.  That’s not for a date night.  That is more for like, “Hey, I’m throwing up with a stomach virus.  Use the emergency dispensary.”  Furthermore, she has to take the bottle.  She has and I think she would again, but I make no promises nor bets on the poor babysitter who would have to venture the validity of that statement.

So, until then, I nurse in public.  I nurse in cars.  I nurse on couches.  I nurse on beds.  I nurse while standing.  I nurse while nodding off.  I nurse in boxes.  I sometimes nurse with foxes and because of that, I know what the fox says.  He says, “Hey, this is weird you are nursing here.  You must be in boobie prison.”  I breakdown and say that I am and we embrace.  He told me his wife has 8 nipples so I felt a little better.  People underestimate the compassion of foxes.

When I walk around the house and she hears my voice or makes eye contact, she will give me that little toothless grin.  I love it.  If she starts to sort of whimper, oh no.  It’s coming. Smiling over…feast a’comin.  Still I’ll admit, it can be really sweet and I’m sure I will be a little sad when it’s over (although right now I  would bet my left leg I’ll do a cheer).  I feel like I can’t remember what life was like before the take over.  It’s definitely been an experience for me.  Difficult in the beginning, draining (Is that a pun?  I’ll never tell.), and all consuming.  Hallelujah it worked out for me this time because I really wanted to nurse but, help me mammories!  Have mercy! I’m drowning in baby and she’s zippidy- do-dah happily drowning in me.

I think she may be stalking me.  I really don’t like to talk about it.  But if I ever turn up dead and they do a 48 hour special on me, alls I’m sayin’ is…make sure they use only my Facebook cover photos for the episode.  THEN look into the baby as a suspect.  Her DNA will be every where, but it will be a confusing scene. It’s her. Dehydration.  Death by dehydration while being forced against her will.  Write that down.

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The One In Which You Call Child Protective Services

 

There is mom brain and then there is my brain.  You can call it what you will but I have been forgetting things to the point of “I hope no one notices what I did” degree.  You know like when I was leaving Chuckie Cheese a few days ago and a man waves me down because I’m backing out of the parking lot while pushing my stroller I forgot to load with my tailgate.  Yep, my van had its own little babysitting opportunity while taking my stroller out for a nice backwards spin around the parking lot.  There I was just confidently plowing my stroller over at the mall.  At least the baby wasn’t in it.  It was so embarrassing that I vowed never to forget it again until today when I did it.  This time, however, it was the stroller with the car seat still inside.  I was about to start nursing my screaming baby in the front seat when a man pulls in the parking lot and starts gesturing to me.

“What does he want?  My parking spot? Oh wait…the stroller and the car seat.”

I smiled and nodded like I knew it was there.  Silly man.  He probably thought there was a baby inside the stroller still. No way, mister.  I don’t forget humans.  I just forget 4 foot tall rolling baby devices in expansive lots.  Eden said, “Did you forget the stroller again and someone told you? This is embarrassing.”  Get all your laughs in but she heard “embarrassing” from me.  She yells to Elsa from Frozen over the music in the car while we run errands.

“Hey, do you want to throw snowballs when we get home?”, she shouts over Maroon 5.

“Hahahahahaha, okay!”, she answers herself as Elsa.

Her standards for what should make us self-conscious are very low.

Usually my mindlessness these days has been confined to the audience of my children who don’t care and two random men saving my Chicco’s life at large box stores.  However, today my husband’s family watched me walk out of a fast casual restaurant with only two of my three kids, not noticing until I hit the door that I was minus one. You would think I would have been more vigilant because just five minutes earlier in the restaurant I spun in a circle asking, “Where is Salem?”  Ohhhhh, she was on my hip.  I was spinning around looking for the 30 pound person on my hip.  It was the equivalent of looking for the cell phone you are talking on.

Next, we went next door to the chocolate shop and when we left,  the owners had to run out after me because I left my phone, wallet, and two drinks on the counter.  I blame hormones and being around so many family members that you get the feel of “someone else is always watching”.

Everyone laughed at the circus act that is myself.  When we pulled away after my three fails in a row, I had to stop in the parking lot because one of my kids wasn’t strapped in.  You see, I forget things but I remember before it’s a problem:  buckle before we drive away and retrieve credit card before a chocolate bandit makes way with my card and 45 chocolate horse suckers.

And to think this all started with giving birth to a third child whose birth announcements went out with the wrong birth date on them.

Such is life with two kids.  I mean three.

 

 

Breastfeeding in Public, Y’all

 

I have ventured into the brave new world of breastfeeding in public.  Why?  Because it’s either do that or be a hermit.  I’ve always hated the thought of being a hermit.  It’s the opposite of me.  I even hate hermit crabs.  Excluding the ones I had as pets and took on the school bus.  R.I.P.  It’s a hard knock life, crabs.  Sometimes you have bigger shells to run to when you abandon your shell and sometimes, you don’t.  Thanks, pet store.

I have had no issues nursing in public but one time while I was in a far back corner of a Starbucks at night, I did.   An older man leaned over while staring at me, covered his mouth so I couldn’t see, and said something to his wife. I had a huge nursing cover on and I was back up against a wall with a friend sitting in front of me. Whoa.  Drink some more coffee, bro.  Decaf.  With a Xanax.

Now that I nurse a baby exclusively, I have some opinions for those people who act weird about nursing in public.  I’m an all out booby advocate when they need to be used in public.  I have a CBL:  concealed booby license.  They are safer than concealed guns. Nutritional even.

So here is how I feel about people who think the “girls” should stay at home.

 

1.  You’re dumb.

2.  Grow up.

3.  Okay, I need to grow up.  Refocusing.

4.  Breastfeeding is so time-consuming, especially in the beginning, and you wouldn’t be able to go much of anywhere ever if you stayed home every time you had to feed a baby.  I have two other children and I have groceries to buy, pre-schools to take them to, friends to see, and a life to live out in the world in my minivan.  If I had to go home every three hours, I wouldn’t get anything done. Hey, mommy gots to keep livin’ and baby gots to keep eatin’.

5.  Everyone should know that I still have boobs when I go out in public, even if I’m not feeding a baby with them.  Whether they are covered with a nursing cover or a t-shirt, I’m not sure why that matters.  They are covered.  Nothing to see here, folks. Everybody move along.  Just more boobs that you can’t see that are covered in fabric.

6.  I get that breasts are a sexualized part of the body, but they were made to feed children.  If breastfeeding makes you feel weird, please contact God at 1-800-Heaven.  He will direct you to customer service department:  What you think you are smarter than me, fool?!  That’s silly. God doesn’t have a customer service department.

7.  “There is a time and a place for that.”  Yes, I’m not going to feed my baby at a job interview, while singing a song on stage, when presenting an award, or when receiving a reward for this post because so many gals are gonna love it.  Holler!  However, I can while sitting at a park, at a restaurant, and living my daily life.  Legally, I can anywhere.  Please see next awesome point.

8.  It’s not against the law. I repeat, nursing in public is not considered public indecency and there are no laws prohibiting a woman from nursing anywhere.

9.  Hey, you think it’s cute when a litter of kittens do it and a mom cat has a good 8 nipples!

10.  You don’t have to look and you can remove yourself if a mom draped in enough fabric to make a circus tent offends you.

11.  If public breastfeeding wigs you out etc., please never go to a swimming pool where girls are half-naked in water proof lingerie. Please, never ever watch a Hardees or Victoria’s Secret commercial or 90 percent of T.V. shows because there are actual sexualized immodest uses of the chest I use to feed my baby.  A mom nursing her baby is NOT like a scantily clad girl in a Hollister Ad or a billboard 20 feet by 20 feet advertising a casino on the side of the interstate.  Don’t tolerate an uncovered sexy girl in print or media and then say it’s inappropriate for a woman to nurse her baby in public.  PUH-LEASE.  That’s as double of a standard as the boob is double on my chest.

12.  In lots of other parts of the world, girls just walk around topless and nurse their baby.  Heck, they even nurse their neighbor’s baby or any child within reach that may have looked at them sideways.  It’s just not that big of a deal.  If anyone ever says anything to me when I’m nursing my baby in public, I’m just gonna interrupt them by naming countries.

“Excuse me, couldn’t you nurse somewhere…”

“Liberia!”

“People are here and you are making them feel…”

“Philippines!”

“Why do you keep yelling geography at…”

“America!!! Because people do it everywhere and it’s not illegal here! Suckas!!”

Then I’ll walk away triumphantly with my nursing cover flapping like a gallant American flag behind me.

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Nursery Reveal: Home Sweet Home

Hallelujah!  It only took me 13,000 years to post this!  Okay, she’s 8 weeks old but it feels like forever. Especially it felt like forever to all my friends who weren’t allowed in the room the whole time it’s been done because I made them wait for this post. Off of our master,  this small little 10 by 10 room painted all white became the coziest little nursery and I love it.  Hope you do too! Read the captions to see what I did, what is still left to do, and where I got the decor.  Enjoy, pin, and please like this project on Project Nursery using the Facebook icon by my images and give me a star rating while you are at it!  Find it here. You guys are a bunch of rascals and I love ya’.

Before: Believe it or not, this was the original master bedroom of the house.  Here is the before picture from when we purchased the home.     beforeafter 006After: Wah-lah!  White floor to ceiling with pops of color.  New paint, new fixture, new everything but beadboard and floors!   20140725ParrottRoom050 20140725ParrottRoom045 20140725ParrottRoom051This stellar handmade blanket was a Land of Nod knock-off of one of their quilts but in transverse colors.  Want to snag this blanket or have one custom made?  Buy it here on the Etsy shop Slumber Spun.  This blanket was made for me and it was all the charm of Land of Nod for less expense with ALL of the same quality!  Anyone that has seen my nursery has commented on the cozy, thick crocheted blanket.  Stacy at Slumber Spun makes lots of items including the fox you will see below and baby booties that will make you smack your granny they are so cute.  Check her out!  You won’t be disappointed. 20140725ParrottRoom041You can really see how small the room is now when you see the crib and the closet on the other wall in the same close-up picture! 20140725ParrottRoom021This dresser was an antique buffet I bought in Tennessee.  I adored that it had the two doors on each side and not only was it cute, it has great storage!  It was originally cherry and I painted it white and used the original hinges, spray painting them a light gray color.  I don’t consider this part of the room totally done yet.  I want a small, subtle pattern lamp shade with gray tones for starters.  Now just to find one….. This lamp was originally 80 at Hobby Lobby and I snagged it on clearance for 25!  This rug is HUGE and indoor/outdoor so great for traffic.  I bought it from Target and had it shipped to my door, tax and all for 160! 20140725ParrottRoom047 The subtle theme of the whole nursery is “Home Sweet Home”.  It’s unique and not a phrase you see in nurseries and doesn’t it make your heart swoon to see a tiny baby next to this print?  I ordered the print from Katie Daisy, thewheatfield on Etsy.  You will DIE at all of her prints she makes.  They are all custom water colors of original art and you are buying a reprint of her work.  I had this large rectangle print trimmed into an oval and matted at Hobby Lobby and this awesome frame is from Ikea.  Ohhhh, Ikea.  I love you. WP_20140626_10_29_49_Pro I knew I wanted white walls with bright colors.  The color scheme of the room started with this sheet that I LOVE from The Land of Nod.  I want to marry that store.  It’s serious. Emerald, two tone pinks, off-beat orange, bright yellow….I mean COME ON!!!! WP_20140626_10_30_08_Pro   This killer Ikea light casts the COOLEST PATTERN on the walls and ceilings for my little one to look at. 20140725ParrottRoom053 20140725ParrottRoom017 Meet Mr. Fox also handmade from SlumberSpun on Etsy.  Contact her for these little guys!  She also makes an elephant like this attached to a crocheted blanked.  So precious!  So perfectly made! 20140725ParrottRoom008   WP_20140626_10_29_10_Pro Colorful ceramic knobs I nabbed from my sister’s house for my closet doors. WP_20140626_10_28_06_Pro (1)   WP_20140714_14_22_31_ProThis adds to hint of Home Sweet Home.  This vintage door knob and plate are a line from Young House Love who are bloggers who happen to run my favorite blog!  They have the neatest line right now at Target that you must check out!  I sprayed painted this originally white wall knob a pop of blue to coordinate with the room colors. WP_20140626_10_30_31_Pro The ceilings are a light gray that coordinate with the hardware of the antique dresser and tie the room subtly together from floor to ceiling.  It’s less dramatic in real life but still a touch you pick up on in the overall feel. WP_20140714_14_20_35_Pro Do you love this 1950 elephant sculpture???!!! I do!  I found it at a local consignment shop and when I saw it on the sidewalk as I drove by, I called right away to claim him.  I love him in the room and one day he may move on to be coated in a rustoleum outdoor gloss spray paint to live in a garden or around a swing set.  So many possibilities!   20140619-IMG_1543 This coca-cola crate is also an antique that I took from my father-in-law who gave me one from his collection.  I thought it was a fun way to display books in her room. WP_20140714_15_36_11_Pro

Tri-colored bird cages that I mixed and matched from Hobby Lobby.  On the inside are these neat little birds from West Elm that are made overseas from seed pods that look like birds!  They are 9 dollars each and ship for free.  I plan on hand painting some of them different tones down the road to compliment the room a tad more in spots.WP_20140714_15_34_48_Pro   WP_20140714_15_35_29_Pro WP_20140714_15_35_57_Pro   A stork seedpod bird in a nursery?  Of course. WP_20140714_14_23_52_Pro These prints that are the original artwork of the amazing Etsy shop SealDesignStudio.   For the home theme, I bought these row houses that are homes in Australia and the nursery print of Golidlocks and Three Bears, not only showed a little girl at home, but what is more perfect for a nursery than a fairy tale print?  Woo hoo!  Just wait until you see the other fairy tale print I bought for another daughter’s room.  This Etsy shop has all of my heart strings and I wasn’t surprised when I saw they were featured in West Elm.   WP_20140626_10_29_28_Pro And I HAD to end my home sweet home nursery with this amazing barnwood Kentucky silhouette for my Kentucky babies.  It’s personal and therefore has intention in the room.  It’s made of old barnwood so it’s unique and old.  I can use this in any room for the rest of our lives and I’ll always remember when our homestate hung above one sweet little baby. Love it!  I bought this from a local shop in hometown called Digs on the River and these states are made by a man in Tennessee.  If you are interested, contact me and I’ll get you the info.   Like on Project Nursery here!  Thanks!

Crazy Things Moms Do With Their First Baby

 

Bless our bones, we all have a first child experience.  We’ve all been the crazed overprotective mom doing something totally un-necessary with our first baby.  Hey, we were worried about them and didn’t know any better.  You know, like a mom spraying the air with Lysol after someone sneezed to prevent sneeze inhalation of the invisible particles via the wrinkly ball of baby in the corner.

This post was compiled of stories submitted to me and I enjoyed the diapers off of reading them.  Thanks to everyone who messaged me their stories and thanks to Dawn for the blog idea!  Send me ideas anytime you have something you would like to see me write about.  I’m on it.  Now enjoy the crazy…..

 

“I work with a girl that has an eight month old and a week or so ago she accidentally scratched the baby’s face with her fingernail and she felt so bad that she called both sets of the baby’s grandparents and asked them each to get her a new toy and she herself went out and bought her a new toy. So the little girl got THREE new toys all because her mom accidentally scratched her and it wasn’t even that bad of a scratch.”

 

“I made my husband get up with me in the middle of the night when I nursed.  You know, it was a special moment to share…4 times a night.”

 

“With my first, I refused to eat peanut butter for months in fear of accidentally touching her with it on my hands and triggering an anaphylactic reaction. With my second, I’m pretty sure I dropped peanut butter on her head on several occasions while nursing….”

 

“I use to ride everywhere in the backseat with my newborn while my husband drove and now, I’m not sure why.  Afraid the 5-point, rear-facing, safety harnessed car seat wouldn’t hold him?  Maybe.  Spontaneous combustion?  Always possible.”

 

“A friend of mine was so afraid her child would choke on any food that she used to cut puffs into fourths to feed him. She didn’t let him have Cheerios until he was nearly a year old.”

 

“I ironed my baby’s onesies.”

 

“I took my first baby to the doctor because they cried all night.  Diagnosis: newborn baby.”

 

“With my first baby I would sanitize all of her passies after company left just in case they breathed on them. Seriously.”

 

“I had so many gadgets for my first baby that I was like a CIA agent.  I had gadgets for my gadgets and I went in the hospital to give birth with enough paraphernalia that I was more prepared than the E.R.”

 

“We went to some extreme measures so my 1 year old firstborn could take a nap. We left Holiday World & my parents drove up from out of town and met us to take the baby so they could take him to nap while we rode rides! My parents drove to a hotel lobby and set up a pack n-play. I don’t know if he actually slept in the bed or just on a couch in the lobby. It was a nice, cool place! Why not?! And to get my parents off the hook…it was my idea! Not theirs. I had them come and suggested they drive to a park or the hotel lobby for the nap. It seems so odd to go to those measures now that I have 3 kids!”

 

“A friend of mine would make sure her baby’s ears were folded a certain way when you held him because she was afraid his ears would stick out if they were pressed the wrong way.”

 

“My cousin made his mother gargle with Listerine, put on a hospital gown, shoes and hat before holding his newborn daughter!”

 

Losing Baby: The Death of the Pacifier

I knew when the package arrived that tonight would be the night.  On my front step were the gifts that Santa was going to leave for Eden when he took her box of passies that she had left him.  Straight from Amazon’s North Pole distribution center to my house.

She was sleeping when the packages came with a thud on to my porch.   I was excited to get the gifts but unexpectedly, my heart sank a little bit.  I started to think about how I’ve seen that little precious face of mine with her favorite passy in her mouth every day for the entire three years of her life.  For all different reasons than anticipated, this was starting to feel like it was going to be hard for me, too.

An hour passed as she was taking an unusually long nap.  I tip toed to her bedside and laid beside her and watched her sleep with her blanket by her face and her passy in her mouth.  I felt a lump in my throat.  I reached for my phone to snap one last picture of how I’ve known her all this time just as a sound I made woke her up.  For the last week she hasn’t been allowed to have her pacifier in the car on in the house unless she was sleeping but, I let her have it a while longer this time knowing what was coming.

We went on with our day and I got the Christmas gift box out and left it on the island for her to put her passies in later.

Later that night, we went to the ballpark to eat Dippin’ Dots, popcorn, and dance to the music they play during the game: her favorite.  The night ran a little late so when we came back home, it was already close to bedtime.  I told her on the drive home that we were going to leave her passies for Santa tonight and she cheerfully agreed.  As soon as we walked in I said in my most excited and easy going voice, “Okay, let’s get your passies and put them in the box for Santa!”  She went to the places she had seen some last and plopped them into the box.  I went in to the living room to grab one off of the mantle and as I did, I felt it welling  up in me.  I knew that I was going to cry.  It sort of felt like saying goodbye to someone at the airport who was moving away.  It was the loss of something we both loved: for her the passy and for me, my baby.  I sucked it up, sniffed it back, but the tears were coming down my face.  I tried to keep my voice light and keep moving room to room as I found the one hidden under my pillow, the ones that fell through the crack between the wall and her bed as she tossed and turned at nights, and so on. Honestly, I ached a little to be searching the house for her beloved pass for the last time. She always lights up when we find a passy.

She was so big and handled it so well.  And truly, I guess that’s why I was crying: because she’s so big.  She still loves her pacifier and I know she will probably ask for it tomorrow at nap or when she’s sad or tired but tonight, she gathered them up in a box and left them for Santa.  I told her she could pick anywhere to leave them for him and she chose inside a play tunnel in our living room.  I asked her who she wanted him to give them to and she said, “Baby Tessa because she never has a pass.”  With my red eyes and wet cheeks I told her confidently that it was a great idea.  We put the box in the tunnel and she didn’t ask for them again.

I walked down the hall, again masking my tears, and Lance said as I walked off, “You’re a sweet momma.”

It’s nights like this when you are hiding from your toddler, crying in a bathroom over a 4 dollar Mam pacifier that you realize that motherhood is the most joyful of heartbreaks….a series of advances and retreats, of holding on and letting go….of wanting them to live and grow but bracing your heart for it as they do.   Even now I cry typing this because it’s not about an overpriced pacifier.  It’s not the particular onesie you loved or the crib you didn’t want to take them out of.  It’s the people in them and more specifically, it’s them not needing those things anymore.

This is how we lose our babies.  It’s not only in the simple days that slip by un-noticed.  We lose them mostly in milestones and moments.  It’s in the favorite toy they no longer notice or in closed doors in the bathroom when they potty because they need privacy.  It’s in them leaving the blanket in the bed, making it a whole car ride without noticing or in a pile of pacifiers in an old crumpled Christmas box.

I imagine that a first child growing up and leaving small traces of them being a baby behind is sad because its a tangible way of seeing in time of how far you’ve come from the beginning.  A last child growing up is reminder of how close you’ve come to the end.  Motherhood is the epitome of the fullness of love and all the bitter-sweetness therein. Motherhood is an abundance of the greatest of joys seasoned with some of the mightiest of  aches along the way.  With such a great love, it’s not possible to have it any other way.

Tonight when I layed with Eden in bed pacifier-less and we said our prayers, I asked her what she was thankful for.  She said, “Chicken nuggets, lemonade, french fries and ketchup.”  I told her I was thankful for a big brave girl who rode a roller coaster at the carnival this week and one who gave up her passies without a tear.  She was about three inches from my face and she squinted her eyes up close to mine and grinned.  Then in true toddler fashion she asked me to sing her the National Anthem….twice.  And I did.

As I sang it, I had tears running down my face while I thought more about the moment than about her sudden interest in patriotism.  There she was and there I was in a milestone moment where a little bit of what had been was over.  We know our children are growing but it’s in the tangible acts of them moving on that we sit with the weight of it undeniably.

When the song ended, I kissed her and told her to check the tunnel in the morning and she excitedly squirmed.  I shed a few more silent tears and stepped out of her room.  She never made a peep.

In a twist of real life, it turned out that she was prepared to go without them and in her losing them, I realized that I wasn’t. Because after all, it was never about pacifiers, anyways.  It’s losing the babies who loved them.

 

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