Monday, December 31, 2012

Motherhood Guest Post; AP @ I Love You More than Carrots

A guest post by: AP @ I love you More Than Carrots
There are days when I wish that someone prepared me for what Motherhood would be. 

Prepared me for what it would both bring to and take away from my life. How it would change my relationship with my husband, my friends. How it would change me as a person. For good. For the better

I mean, I wish someone had really sat me down.

There are days when I wish that someone sat me down, held my hand and told me, "motherhood is going to be the best, most fulfilling, incredible and awesome journey you will ever embark on but it will also be the most painstaking, worry-filled, most exhausting, most selfless position you will ever desire."

It will be both your greatest accomplishment and the most difficult responsibility you've ever owned.

I wish someone told me there would be days, many days, when I would doubt myself as a woman. As a mother who should be entrusted with the care and upbringing of two tiny precious souls. I wish someone told me that it's OK to doubt yourself but know that you're not alone in those doubts.

I wish someone had told me there would be days when I would high-five myself just for making it to the end of the day without seeing the inside of an ER. Days when I would practically meet my husband at the foot of the driveway, tossing the kids into his car through the open window. I wish someone had told me there would be days like this. Days when I wouldn't even feel the least bit of guilt for it.

There are days when I wish that someone sat me down and reassured me that "yes, I am doing it right. It's OK that the toddler didn't eat any vegetables today and if he watches three hours of Thomas the Tank Engine tomorrow, that's OK too. You'll both be better for it." 

I wish someone had prepared me. Maybe even just a whisper. A quick chat over coffee. 

I wish someone walked beside me and explained to me what it felt like to be so tired you can't fall asleep. To feel so emotionally and physically drained. To have not slept a really, really good full night's sleep since you don't know when. 

I wish someone walked beside me and prepared me for what it would feel like to be so frustrated that you can't even fathom another five minutes in the same room as your children. I wish someone walked beside me and told me that it's OK to leave the room, to lock yourself in the bathroom and curse really, really loudly.

I wish someone hugged me and told me not to worry about being able to love another child as much as I do my first. I wish someone reassured me that I would be giving him the greatest gift a mother could give him, a sibling and unconditional love. I wish someone had quieted that worry. It seems so silly now.

I wish someone prepared me for the amount of love I could cram into my heart, my soul, my very being. So much love that it spills out into everything that I do for my boys. Words full of frustration and rage but backed with so much love. So much consideration for their well-being. 

So much love that I finally understand what an incredible woman my own mother is. 

I wish someone had prepared me for the worry. The worry that comes with growing that precious tiny being. Feeling them breathe and move right there beneath your heart. Protecting them the best and only way you know how. Only to have to surrender that worry to God once they are born. Once you can no longer wrap your body around them and protect them from the world. 

I know all of these things now. I've felt all of these things on any given day during any given week during these past thirty months. 

I'm here to sit with you. To hold your hand. To walk beside you and tell you you're doing OK. You'll be OK. You are the greatest mother to your children and they will love you leaps and bounds and all the way to the moon and back. 

Even if you raise your voice. Even if you lock yourself in the bathroom and curse. Even if you wish, just for a minute, that you had your "old life" back. Even if they don't eat a vegetable at all on Tuesday and wear their pajamas to the grocery store every third day of the week. 

Even if you love them with every fiber of your being and it hurts so much to love them this way.

I wish someone had prepared me. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Hardest Part; Guest post By Aliya @ Double The Fun

Guest Post by: Aliya @ Double The Fun {Juggling Irish Twins}

Since the day we announced that Baby Numero Dos was on it's way, people have constantly said, "It'll be hard initially having two so close... but then it gets easier..."

Now, I'm not trying to wish the days away, but I'm already looking forward to the "getting easier" part...

Having Irish Twins has definitely proven to be difficult. It's hard that Ky isn't speaking or understanding us fully... so when Ariana is having a meltdown and Ky wants to be held, he just doesn't get it. Or, he doesn't understand, "no, that's the baby's pacifier / blankie / rattle / BOTTLE OF BREASTMILK" (yes, that did in fact happen).

And as much as I try to be like, "Ky, hand me a diaper, quick!" or, "can you just sit here for 2 minutes and then I PROMISE I'll get your sippy..." he just stares at me blankly. He also is just starting to understand, "be gentle" or, "Don't smack the baby. Don't lick the baby. Don't use the baby as a foot rest..."

When they were both under the weather, that was also awful. I couldn't bear the thought of Ky thinking I was giving Ariana extra snuggles/love/comfort, because I wasn't, I was just trying to comfort them both the best I could... but he's so young. He just doesn't understand.

Aside from all that, it's true that the simple things take 10x longer than they probably should. Taking a shower. Getting dressed. Making dinner.Eating dinner. But other things seem to go quicker than I would prefer. Like, going to the bathroom... Or, quiet time. Naptime. Morning snuggles with Hubs, etc.

I also fully believe that putting two babies, a diaper bag thats busting at the seams, a sippy, a snack box, my coffee cup/water bottle, keys, phone, two pacifiers, etc.. into the car under 10 minutes (all while making sure the dog doesn't escape) should be an Olympic sport. Because I'd own that shit and totally win the gold. Twice.

And let's not forget how simple tasks or errands are no longer so simple. What used to be an easy 5-minute stop, now takes the longest and is the most annoying to accomplish. Places like... the Post Office. The Dry Cleaners. The Pharmacy. Gone are the days of popping into the Post Office to buy stamps. I swear, I have an embarrassingly large pile of stuff I need to mail at the door that has been sitting for weeks because going to the Post Office is now my least favorite errand in the world. By the time I get both kids in/out of the car, into the stroller, and in line at the Post Office, I feel like I could have paid some teenage kid $20 to mail it for me and saved myself that much worth of headache!

So yes, it's hard. There are days it's really hard. And other days go by seamlessly. And while the "easier" part is getting closer day-by-day, I hope to always remember that even though these initial times were hard... they were also fun. Fun to laugh at Ky when I catch him drinking a bottle of breastmilk. Fun to see him crouch down next to his sister and make gurgling sounds... trying so hard to say what he wants to say to her. Fun to see her stare back at him and smile... just as she's starting to learn who he is.

And while it will get easier (hopefully...), it will get even more fun. I can't wait to watch them grow and interact together. The games they'll play and even fights they'll have. To watch their relationship develop as friends first... since they'll never have remembered a time without one another. To watch them share friends, and toys, and cars and inside jokes. I envision them hanging out on the couch together while I cook dinner... helping each other with their homework (bc you know, Ky had all those same teachers the year before, ha!). And maybeee the lovey-dovey mama inside me is going a little overboard, and maybe they won't be best friends, but still... I can only hope they share an amazing relationship throughout their years together. And by that time, the hardest part? Will just be a distant memory..

Friday, December 28, 2012

Pregnant [number two] Woman Problems

I was at work the other night, and as my shift was getting ready to end and I am sitting at the computer patiently waiting for the clock to turn to 7, I start getting a lump in my throat. And then the hand goes over the mouth. And then I say... "Oh my, I think I'm going to throw up."
Next thing I know, I'm in the restroom, vomiting, and I'm pretty sure I peed my pants at the same time.
I can't tell you how many times this pregnancy I have stepped on blocks. Or puzzle pieces. Or toys that all have sharp edges, and make me want to say "Jimmity Cricket" except the other words we are no longer allowed to say in the house... all while the toddler snickers at me.
Wich brings me to my next topic of discussion. Chasing balls down the driveaway. You see, my sweet precious princess thinks that it is quite entertaining to watch mama chase balls down the driveaway that she conveniently throws. Intentionally. And once? This ball chasing caused me to make a big plummet backwards onto the ground.
Speaking of ground, I must have recently lost my balance because I will randomly get all sorts discombobulated and fall. Like the other day when carrying the toddler back to the house {from our little play date down the street} and all of a sudden one of my legs decided to go the opposite direction of the other, and down I went. Skinned knees and all.
The heartburn is so over the top this time around, that I promise you, at times, I feel like I am going to turn into a dragon and shoot fire. No exaggeration there.
The stabs in the... you know area. What is all that about. Not jabs. STABS. Like with a knife. Twisting and turning. That's what it feels like anyway.
So what have I learned this time around? That being pregnant the second time around is quite different from the first.

No more laying around during the day watching reruns of the baby story with a drink and a snack in hand. Dozing off for naps. Surfing the net. And most of all? Propping my legs up.

No feeling"cute" and energetic as I did the first time.
No more quiet. No more

But? I'm just as grateful, blessed, and excited for this bundle of joy as the first and the next. 
Next?! Yes. I just went there. A post for the future.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

In Case You Haven't Heard

Mama and baby are doing wonderful

Thank you to all who have sent their love, congrats, and prayers our way.
We have read every comment, email, message out there. 
LOTS of updates to come.

In the meantime, we are just so blessed and taking this time to soak this bundle of joy in.
And yes, big sister is OVER THE MOON and is absolutely smitten by her little brother.

Dear Elliana, a big sister letter.

Dear Elliana,

Here we are, my sweet daughter. At the point where I am forced to sit down and finally write this letter to you. A letter that almost slipped my mind until I looked at the calendar the other day and realized... we are full term and could have this baby, your baby brother, at any point now. It's all happening so fast. So real. And I can't pretend any more that our lives are not about to change. For the better.

At this point in my pregnancy, I can't help but think back at what it was like just a little over 2 years ago with you. All the emotions. The nerves. The excitement. I was ready to welcome you into this world, to meet you, to snuggle you up and love on you. To see your features, compare you to your mama and papa, to kiss you, teach you, watch you grow.

I sit back now and think about the feelings that are rushing over me with this pregnancy. They're similar, very much so. The nerves, the excitment, the anticipation. That's all there. But there's also another component that is quite different from the first time around. That being the fear that I feel.

The fear of not knowing what's to come. The fear of not knowing how it will change your life. The fear of not knowing if you will fully comprehend the joy and blessing and the reason behind why we chose to bring another little family member into our family. But most of all, the fear of something happening to me.

I can't help but have that little anxiety now that we are almost at the point. The anxiety that is eating away at me thinking about the "what if. "

I would never want you to go through life thinking that your mama ever thought that you weren't enough. That something was missing that you weren't giving us. That our life wasn't full of love and happiness with you in our lives. Because believe me my sweet baby girl, your life is more than anything we could have ever dreamed of.

I would hope you know that your mama did all this for you. I know how important it is to have a sibling. To have someone so utterly similar to you, and to share such a unique bond with. To grow up together. Share memories between the two of you. Watch the world change. Together.

I know that you are still too young to completely understand what all this means. But I know that one day, when you are older, you will get it.
I hope you know that bringing your brother into this world does not mean that we will love you less. You will always, and forever, be our first born, our love, our happiness, our everything. You have made us into parents. A gift that nothing could ever compare to.

And if something were to ever happen to me, I hope you know that your mama loved you more than life itself. That I will always be present and nearby, even if I can't physically be there. That I trust in you, believe in your strength, and know that you will be something absolutely, utterly, beautiful and amazing in life. To watch over your papa and your brother. To keep them in line. Don't be afraid to let that sass shine through {your papa is used to that you know}, to stand your ground, and to remind them of the beautiful things in life.

I won't even sit here and go into your role as the big sister. What I expect. What I hope for you. Why? Because I just know in my heart that you are going to be the most loving, kind, gentle, loving sister to your brother. You're that way already. You have such a warm heart and you amaze me day in and day out with the amount of love that you share wtih us all. I know the same will be felt by your baby brother. So I thank you now, before he is even here, for being who you are.

I know that everything will be okay. I trust in that. I know that our family will be together, and pretty soon we will be bringing your little brother home.I can't wait for that Elliana. I can't wait for the new life that is about to begin for us all.

So again, I thank you. For your smiles. Your joy. The happiness you bring into our lives. And soon your brother's life. You are truly the most amazing little girl, and we are so thankful and proud to be called your parents.

We love you, more and more with each passing day, forever and ever, to infinity and beyond.

Mama and your Papa. And baby Graham And Carson too :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Twas the night before Christmas...

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads. And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below. 

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.  

With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name! 

 "Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!" 

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky. So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.  

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound. 

 He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot. A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack. 

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath. He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly! 

 He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself! A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread. 

 He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk. And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

 He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Birthday to my Soul Mate


Happy birthday my dear. Happy happy birthday. I feel like I should sing to you, and I probably will {or have already}. Like that one time in college when I left you that voicemail. Remember that? Need I remind you how much you LOVE my singing voice. Perhaps, I should relive that moment? Yes?

But in all seriousness, I am so happy to be celebrating YOUR LIFE today. I am sorry that I don't write these letters to you enough. I know that our lives are now so revolved around the kids that we often forget how essential it is to remind one another of how important they truly are.

And you, my dear Andrew, are absolutely the most important person to me. Without you, I would be no where. Without you, I wouldn't have these two beautiful blessings in my life. Without you, I wouldn't know the life that I know today.

We have been through so much these past 7 years. And even more the past 3 years. But there is absolutely no one else that I would want to share these adventures with. No one else that I would want to raise these beautiful children with. No one else that I could imagine laying my head down next to every night knowing that we will one day grow old together. That one day we will have grandchildren. And hopefully live to see our great-grandchildren.

You are such a remarkable man. I know I don't tell you this enough. I have always wondered how and WHY God chose ME to be your wife. How I ever did get so lucky to find a man that believes in love as strongly as I do. Believes in the importance of family the way I do. Believes in the sacrecy of marriage the way I do.

I could go on forever. But I know I don't have to. Because I have the honor of living each day showing you just how much you mean to me.

And that I am truly thankful for.

So happy birthday to you my dear today. To celebrating 26 years of life and 80 more to go. Thank you for being the person that you are and making ME the person that I am.

I love you my heart and soul, my best friend, my soul mate, my companion, husband, and partner.

I love you,
Your one and only wife.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

How To: Salt Dough Ornament

Don't Laugh. We aren't the most artistic family over here.
On rainy {although I wish it was more like snowy} days, Elliana and I love to do crafts. I am always on the lookout for new things for us to do. And with the holiday season? I obsess over Christmas-related crafts. So we did this the other day. The salt dough ornament thing. Not going to lie, ours definitely didn't turn out as pretty as the picture's did. But guess what? I still think it's perfect because it is my baby's hand after all. It's super easy to do and Elliana absolutely loved it!

1/2 Cup Salt
1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Water {pour a little at a time until you get desired mixture, may need more}

Mix all the ingredients until a nice dough like mixture forms. Make sure it's not watery! If it is, no worries, add more flour!

Make the Kiddos' impression and then use a knife to cut off extra dough while leaving a small border.

Poke a hole at the top with knife for hanging.

Bake at 200 degrees for 3 hours! Let cool. Paint. And hang! {I actually used permanent marker instead}

Meet Jennifer; Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This

1. Miley as a baby
4. Taking Miley to Disney
5. Concerts with good friends
2. Picking out Delilah
3. Seeing Tebow play

Friday, December 21, 2012

Bump Attack; 37 weeks

I am still here guys! Obviously if you follow me on twitter, instagram, or facebook you know this already. Speaking of being up to date, if you would like to know firsthand when the "big moment" happens be sure to follow me here on twitter, facebook, and instagram {@frommrstomama}.

Okay okay. Lets talk about this week. What happened. What didn't happen. What is happening.

First and foremost, I had my doctor's appointment on Monday. Details? I am 4.5 centimeters {I know I know, how is this even possible}, 75% effaced, and head is engaged and water bulging {as we already knew}. Mucus plug gone {TMI, I know}. Does this mean anything? Again, no in the case of when he will arrive. It just means my body sure is preparing. It's a waiting game at this point. The baby could come Tomorrow. Or the next day. Or not for another 2 weeks.

Well, we know it won't be another 2 weeks. I will be able to go to the hospital at 39 weeks {in a week and a half} at the latest. So? 10 days until we meet baby at the most! 10 days!

Moving along. I have always predicted that he would be here around 38 weeks. Which is right at Christmas. However, I am thinking {hoping} we will be able to celebrate the holidays and meet baby boy after wards? Even if it were the next day? What do you say Graham.

Another prediction? Baby boy will arrive on his papa's birthday. Which is? Sunday the 23rd. You see, the hubby is very adamant about that being the one day the baby doesn't arrive. Why? Because he already has to share his birthday with the CHRISTmas, and now to add his son on the list? Poor guys birthday will completely be forgotten then. I assured him this wasn't the case though.

So enough prediction talk {I'm just going to jinx myself} how was this week?

Terrible. Ha. No seriously. The amount of contractions that I have had since Monday alone {after my appointment} is just ridiculous. And intense. But of course nothing regular. I don't even count then, time them, or anything. Which I probably should because things could go pretty fast once the big L starts. Real fast.

We haven't talked about this on the blog... but what if. What if I had the baby at home. Or in the car.

I would totally be the girl yelling at my husband while he is driving {insanely fast}... "AAANNDREWWW #@%$% he's coming he's coming!"..... all while trying to hold his head in.

Picture THAT.

Happy 37 {and a half} weeks baby Graham.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Fears for the Hospital

1. Going into labor after work. In other words, no makeup, stinky, crappy hair, and feeling like a truck had run over me. Last time? I worked a whole 12 hour shift and then drove to the hospital {across the street} not knowing I was going to have a baby that night. And? I looked hideous and felt hideous throughout the whole birthing process. I want to be that hott mama with perfect hair, makeup, and big smile on face while I push!!.....  

Wait. Does this exist? {Please sense the sarcasm in this number one. Clearly, I don't care how I look when I deliver... as I have been there, done that, and looked my worst before. So I can surely do it again with no hesitation}.

2.   Something going wrong. It's really a curse to be a nurse. It's even a bigger curse to be a critical care nurse. Why? Labor is 95% safe. Me? I see that other 5% where these young, healthy women end up in our unit fighting for their lives. On life support. I know I know. The chance of that happening is so slim.

But me? I just can't help but think of the worst case scenarios.

3. Ripping. I know. Who wants to actually talk about the lady goods doing damage? The thing is, I only had a 1 degree tear last time. And? I was scared to do the dirty deed. Like even at my follow up 6 week appointment I told the doctor of my fears....

Clearly that fear eventually went away ;)

4. Bonding. I think this is a natural fear that every mother has, but I just can't help but wonder whether it will be right away or if it will take me some time. Time for what, you ask? To feel like a mother of two. To have it sink it. To look at this little human and open up my heart and let him in next to the spot that is so dear to me... Elliana.

I know it's silly... I already love this little boy so much.

5. Not making it to the hospital. In other words birthing my baby anywhere but the hospital. Like the car. Or at home. My first labor was only 3.5 hours. And after my water broke? I immediately went from 4 to 10 cm. So if it breaks at home? I will pee my pants.

But seriously, you women are amazing who birth babies at home! Or the car!

6. That brings me to.... my husband missing the birth. What if I go into labor at work and then my husband {who has to drive 35 minutes to the hospital} doesn't make it? 

There's always photoshop.

7.  Leaving Elliana. I could devote a whole post to this. In fact, I started writing one. But then any way I wrote it, I felt like my son {when he reads this} would feel hurt by it. But in reality, I am just so worried about being away from her. I know she will be fine, but I have those little fears of what if. something happened. I also have the fear of her thinking that I had left her. I have the fear of her wondering why mama wasn't around to tuck her in at night, make her her favorite pb&j sandwiches, take her to craft time, and tickle her until it hurts.

In reality?I fear that she will be okay, and I won't.

Meet Emily & Lauren; Stella & Dot Giveaway

Two beautiful ladies, two different blogs, and two different stories to share with you guys. Be sure to check out each one, go say hello, and follow along their journey.
1. My wedding day, the days planning, and our Honeymoon are all part of an AMAZING memory!
2. Another precious memory is the day we found out we were having twins. Oh how I long to relive that day. If only I had know...
3. Having our first child and losing a child in the same day was another day I will never forget. The emtions are really hard to type. The joy Wyatt brought to our lives along with the lives of others is unreal!
4. Oh baby girl...having this little princess was just perfect. An amazing experience and the day we had her was unforgetable!
5. A recent memory was the day Mark became a Dr. This is something he has worked so hard to his wife it was such an amazing day to watch his dreams come true! 
2. Getting our puppy Mochi
3. Meeting Tori Spelling
4. Going to my first Angels game (plus my hair was red!)
5. Graduating Chapman University
Lauren has also offered today to give away $25.00 to one of you lucky readers to win to Stella and Dot! Please follow the rules below via rafflecopter. All entries are verified, and you will have 24 hours to respond once emailed with the verification.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Motherhood life lesson; A Child's Unconditional Love

**A guest post written for a friend months ago, but I wanted to make sure it also made it in my blog book. I know there are a lot of "mommy" and mushy and hearty posts lately... but how could I not post these with all that has been going on? And knowing that any day now, we will be welcoming another little family member into our family.

Motherhood happens to consume 90% of everything I do, how I breathe, prioritize my day, and function as a whole.
Motherhood has also taught me a lot. In the two years that I have been blessed with this role, I have learned more about life than in my previous 24 years here on Earth. Motherhood has changed me. Molded me. Made me stronger, wiser, and more of a delicate individual. Motherhood has opened my eyes, my heart, and my soul. It's taught me patience and determination. It's tested my limits and questioned my actions. It's shown me beauty in the little moments in life.

And motherhood? Well motherhood all began on November 8th, 2010 when I gave birth to my daughter, Elliana. And without her? Motherhood wouldn't exist. All those lessons learned? Wouldn't be there. And so today, I want to focus on one of the most important things that MY daughter has taught ME.

When I initially sat down to think about what the biggest lesson that I have gained from my daughter was, I had a million and one thoughts run through my head. Although all were valid and important in their own way, there was one that stood out to me the most.

A child's unconditional love. I actually had {have} a post sitting in draft about this. I sat at my computer typing it over and over again trying to find the right words to put it all together. And if I'm going to be completely honest here? I still don't have it all sorted through. Because when I think of a child's undconditional love? I get lost. I lose my speech. And I forget how to think. And any way I write it? Brings me to tears.

Because I hit a moment not too long ago, in between the tantrums, frustrations, and the i'm-not-sure-if-i'm-doing-this-right, when I looked at my daughter and realized... wow... this child loves me no matter what. She doesn't compare me to anyone else. In her eyes, I'm her hero. I don't have to always do the right thing, say the right words, do the most fun activities, or buy the biggest toys. In fact, I could do none of those things and she would still love me all the same.

That's the beautiful thing about children, you know. They truly define unconditional love, and there is absolutely no other kind of love out there like it on earth.

So when I think I've failed as a mom....when I've had one of those "oh man" moments... when I feel like I've done it all wrong... I remind myself that my child {and future children} will love me nonetheless. That tomorrow is a new day. And that to them?

We, their parents, are as perfect as perfect gets.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Moment

*written a few weeks ago
I had another one of those moments. Motherhood moments. A moment that has me sitting here late at night, 5 hours later, recalling this amazing memory of me and my daughter from earlier this evening.
It was simple, nothing exciting, but definitely special in its own way. You may even read this and by the end wonder why I ever wrote it. The significance. The meaning behind it?

I don't have anything grande and elaborate to say. But that's the beauty of motherhood, you know, its the simple things that can have the greatest effect on us. And something as simple as today? Really had this powerful impact on me.
I wish I had a picture from this moment. Better yet a video. And to be honest with you, there were a couple instances where I so badly wanted to run off to grab the camera. But just as quickly as that thought entered my head, so did the thought that I absoluely did not want to miss a second of all this.

And this moment? Was as simple as us, in the living room, blaring the iphone on  the bose to none other than Christmas tunes. Or, as Elliana likes to call it, "kissmas music."

And we danced. We danced like we were rockstars. Elliana following my every move. A kick of the leg here. A swing of the arm here. And the sounds. Lets not forget the sounds that we would make." Her little body was moving so fast. And she was giggling. And those giggles, someone hold me, were so contagious and beautiful. By far, the most perfect thing on earth.

Before you knew it, I had tears rolling down my face. Ugly, big, fat, tears. From nothing but pure happiness. As I am dancing with my daughter, I begin to think about how thankful and blessed I am for this child, that grew inside of me, and has transformed into this beauiful little girl. No longer a baby. Less dependent on me. And resembles me in so many ways. The innocence. The happiness. The trust that she has in this world.
It was all so powerful.

I thought about how thankful I am to be able to dance in the living room with my daughter. To be able to dance, period. To have a warm home to do so in. To have the luxury of music played in our home. To be able to watch my daughter move around with such happiness streamed all over her face. To be blessed to watch her every move, every day.

I cried those tears because even after 2 years, I still cannot believe this life that I am living is MINE. That this child actually mine. These moments that we were living. Mine.
What could I have possibly done to deserve all this....

The answer? I don't have. But what I do know is that sometimes what isn't caught on camera, or video, are often times some of the greatest memories of life.

And today, I never want to forget. Yes, hormones probably played a major part in my sob fest, but I think more than anything, it was the overwhelming emotions that overpowered me in this one little moment.

A moment that left me feeling utterly blessed. Thankful. And loved.
Motherhood is truly amazing.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Talk; Show & Tell Monday

This Week's Questions: Christmas talk

1. Tell us what your favorite thing about Christmas is.
Family. Opening presents together. Sitting around laughing about who got the worst gift. Reminscing over the previous years and some of the funny gifts my mom would give us. Like one year my mom gave all the girls "in the bedroom" type undergarments that should only be gifted by your significant other. If you get what I mean. I don't think we all laughed as hard as we had that night. Here is the kicker, they even had our horoscopes on there. Problem? They weren't right. And now? I can't stop giggling just thinking about it.

The best part of Christmas is just that. Having the ones you love closest to you and making and sharing memories together. Opening the gifts and seeing the kids' faces light up is up there as well. The traditions. All the little things we do the month of December. It's such a special time of year. And it goes by way too fast.

2. Tell us what your plans are for Christmas this year.
Well. Here is the thing. I work this year on Christmas Eve and Christmas. That is unless baby Graham decides to grace us with his presence into this world before so. Otherwise? Whatever day it may be, we plan on celebrating Christmas at my parents' house one night, and then having Andrew's side of the family over another day. 

3. Show us a picture of Christmas in the past. Or present.

4. Do you wrap your presents all in one box, or do you like wrap each present separetely?
It's terrible. I am obsessed with wrapping each and every present separately. No matter what it may be. Two pairs of the same shirt but in different color? Separate box. Pieces of jewelry, earrings and necklace? Separate. And so there are a million and one presents under the tree, but trust me... it's not as extreme as it may look.

Or is it.
5. Tell us about any special traditions that you or you and your family like to do.

I did a post on this here. We are always adding on traditions, especially as the kiddos grow.
**Grab the code below, paste it in your HTML, write your post, link up and hop around!**


Sunday, December 16, 2012

You know you are ready when....

Bags are packed, both yours, baby boys, and big sister's. What? Big sister's? Well yes, her bag contains her outfits for her to wear to the hospital {including her big sister shirt} as well as some books and stuff to bring with her when she comes.

The big sister gift from baby brother is bought, wrapped, and with big brother's stuff.
January bills are stamped, mailed, and online confirmed. No worries of electricity getting turned off while in the hospital.

All Christmas presents have been purchased, wrapped, and under the tree.

Bedding in all bedrooms has been washed and put back on. Although if it's still going to be a few weeks we will be doing this all over again.

Swing and baby bouncer are taken out of he attic, deep cleaned, and put back together.

Pack n play is set up and next to mama and papa's bed.

Nursery is complete {with exception of a few decorations}. Bedding washed. Clothes washed and put away. Might I mention here how scarce the amount of clothing for Graham is in comparison to Elliana.

Big sister list has been finished and placed neatly on the fridge. What she likes to eat, breakfast lunch and dinner. Favorite snacks. When she naps. What she wears. Things she likes to do. This is the first time she will be away from mama, and I'm sure SHE will be fine... but I know I won't be.

Car seat is installed next to big sister, washed, and ready to go!

Happy 37 weeks. Happy Full Term. Happy-We-Get-to-Meet-Our-Son-Soon.

We are ready baby, whenever you are!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

All you need to know about Summer

1. Tell us why you blog
My primary purpose of blogging is to document my journey with DM as well as raise awareness for this terrible disease, and help others who may just have been newly diagnosed. My blog is also my journal to document everything for my Kelcee and the hubs. I want her to be able to look back at these books I print out some day and be inspired to the point of knowing that no matter what life may throw your way never ever give up!  I also want her to know she is the reason I fight so very hard to get well, she is my inspiration.  My purpose is to tell my story and if one person benefits from it then I have accomplished something!  Here is a link to my story!  A post I did. Summer's Story I wish I would have found someone when I was first diagnosed, because it is a scary thing to here, so scary.  I new mommy, a wife and now a life threatening disease with no cure and not much knowledge about.  It’s a lot to swallow.  So I created this blog to tell my story, to document all of our precious miracle babies milestones, to be support for those who have battled infertility and to without a doubt show people that even when it is pouring rain, you can still find the rainbow!  As one of my bestest’s cards sent me yesterday said, even if she has to paint the rainbow on my ceiling, it is there!
2. What is it like to have problems with your health and how does it affect your life?  A Day in My Shoes Here is a post I did that pretty much sums up what it is like to have problems with health and how it affects my life.  I am pretty stubborn, I get it from my Daddy.  I am so glad I am.  I fought so hard and battled infertility so long and when I was finally blessed with our miracle angel baby Kelcee I felt like wow if we can overcome all of this we can overcome anything.  Then when she was almost three, bam we were hit hard with the diagnosis of my disease and scared silly.  I will say that I try not to let my disease affect my life. I voted with a port in place and just taped it up and wore a sweatshirt.  I do not tell many that I am sick. I don’t want Kelcee to feel like the kiddo with a sick momma.  I do all for my Kelcee and over do it a lot but I wouldn’t change it for the world.  So if you ask the hubs or my friends and family they will tell you that I fight so hard to not look or act sick, unless you know me you would not know.  I don’t want to be that sick girl.  Here is a post I did from your link up sums up how my health affects my life, it was from your Women’s Connect Link Up, I was told it was one of the best posts I have ever written, maybe it is because I actually used proper grammar lol!
3. What's your favorite thing about being a mom?  Everything.  I without a doubt love every.single.thing. about being a mom.  I love being able to say I have a daughter.  I love waking up to her smiles and good morning mommy in her sweet little voice in which I reply good morning sweetheart.  I love how when I ask her what she dreamed about she says cows each and every time.  I love listening to her stories, watching her grow into the most kind, sweet tender hearted little girl, I love baking with her and doing crafts, I love listening to how her day was at school even though I almost had a breakdown that she had to go to school lol.  I love being able to snuggle with her and wind down at the end of the day.  I love reading her stories at night and listening to her read some to me!  I love watching her sleep. I sometimes lay in her bed longer than usual just to snuggle with her.  I can’t think of one thing that is an absolute favorite because I love it all!  I love being her mommy and I am so glad GOD blessed me with her!
4. If you could have one dream for your daughter, what would it be?  My dream for my Kelcee is that she grows up without ever having to feel any pain or heartache. I wish on every star that all her dreams come true and that I am well enough that she won’t have to endure to much of me being sick.  I dream I get in remission this year for her!  I dream that all her goals come true.  That she is a successful, loving, kind hearted, beautiful girl (which she already is) and that if I can shield her from being hurt in this cruel world that would be my dream.  I nearly had a break down the start of Kindergarten, for I knew I was turning our baby over to a big world of uncertainty and sometimes cruelty.  I hope she never has to endure it and I just hope that every.single.thing she ever wants to come true does.  That she goes to college and becomes a Veterinarian or Paleontologist as she often speaks of, that she makes her mark in the world, that she makes this world a better place.  That is my dream for my daughter is that all of her dreams come true!
5. Tell us 3 things that make you smile :)  Kelcee and the Hubs without a doubt is the number one that makes me smile. Being around my friends and laughing until our tummies hurt and maybe indulging in a glass or two of bubbly, that makes me smile. Being able to be blessed to be a SAHM and watch every.single.milestone with my Kelcee, that makes me smile. I could go on and on...but those are my top three! 

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Moment of Silence.

It's very hard for me to write this right now. To sit here and publicly post on my little space on the internet about a tragedy that will be talked about for weeks to come. A tragedy that surrounds all of the social media. A tragedy that will one day be placed in the history books. One that our children will one day read about.

The thing is, it's not about me, my pain, or my heart ache. My tears are not about me. Not for others to feel sorry for me. Not for attention to be drawn to me. It has nothing to do with me. Nor does it have anything to do with you, you, or you.

I was in the car. Driving home from what was a beautiful and thoughtful shower thrown for my husband by his fellow co-workers. We had a great time. We enjoyed one another. We watched Elliana show off her skills at throwing balls, counting "duckies", and out-laughing everyone else in the room.

I kissed my husband goodbye, and waved him off as he walked back to work. Elliana and I were on our way home when my husband called to tell me the news.

27 dead. 18 children dead. Shooting. Elementary school.

It's numbing. It is horrific. There is a lot to be said about those short few words that were spoken over the phone. And at the same time, it's so real.

I won't turn on the news. I refuse to read anymore facebook, twitter, or any other social media chat out there about today. It's going to be the topic of the day. All you will hear about is how much pain everyone is in. How angry they are. Gun control. Mental illness. Something must be done.

People are furious. People are sad. People are waving their arms in the air. They are demanding change. Demanding law changes. Screaming for help.

But those same people? Their lives will go on.

In no time, maybe hours, days, or a week, they will have forgotten. They will be able to laugh again. They will be able to enjoy the holidays. They will read bedtime stories to their kids, and be able to kiss them goodnight. They will post pictures on instagram of the meal they cooked, the outfits they wore, or the things that came in the mail. They will continue on with their lives.

And by they? I mean all of us. The public. The outraged public. We, as hard as this may be to say right now, will have moved on. Maybe not forgotten, but moved on.

But, lets talk about those families. Those children. Those that are affected.

This is absolutely the worst time of their life. This has literally torn their world apart. Nothing will ever be the same. No one can bring their children home to them. No more bedtime stories. No more kisses goodnight. The presents underneath the tree? Will merely be a reminder of what will never be again.

So as we go on about our day, think about those families that have to now learn how to go on in this scary world we live in.

Think about when will they be able to laugh again. When will they ever be able to enjoy the holidays again. Think about how they will ever learn how to put one foot in front of the other. How to sleep through the night. How to breathe. Without their children. Those children that they have fought so hard to protect from the evils of our world. Those children that were so innocently taken out of this world by that same evil.

Think about the families. Pray for the families. Close your eyes and take just a moment of silence. Take this day to devote to these families and children. Go hug your children. Go hug your husbands. Go hold those that you love close to you. Sit by the fire. Look at old pictures. Smile for those families that have now lost their smiles and laughter to this tragedy.

Forget about the gun control. Forget about mental illness. Forget about your pain, our pain. It's not about any of us. Not now.

Pray for the families and that one day, they will find life again.

**Comments turned off.

36 week Bump Attack with a "Progress Report"

Why yes, I lost a brain cell or two when I decided that I was in the mood for heels at 9 months pregnant. And to top that off... I accessorized those beautiful boots with one active I'm-definitely-two-mom toddler. Good news? I survived. And? No one was hurt.

Moving right along.....

Well. If you follow me on twitter, instagram, or even facebook than some of this update will be old news to you. Why? Because Monday, after my doctor's appointment I posted my "progress report" for all my readers. In other words, how things are going down THERE.

So. Here is my progress report for those that are not aware.
Centimeters: 3.5
Effaced: 60%
Head: VERY low
Water: "Bulging"

Yes, I do realize that this may mean nothing in the world of when baby boy will make his arrival. To me though? What it DOES mean? Two things. That these bloody wild crazy contractions are doing something. And that my body is preparing for Graham's arrival. What it also means to me? That things could go super fast {especially after only being in labor with E for 3.5 hours}.

Other things going on this week? I think I gained 2 pounds. So I'm up to about 28 pound weight gain. Not bad, I am totally okay with this. I still fit in all my non-maternity clothes so honestly not complaining. No stretch marks. Linea Nigra {finally} made its appearance. The belly button is popping out and about to do some damage with how far its sticking out. Baby boy is super low. Lots of trips to the bathroom. Still sleeping through the night though. Have had my periods of nesting, and periods of completely wanting to do absolutely nothing {which is okay too}. Lots of braxton hicks. Lots of pressure down there.

Mucus plug? Oh what... you weren't wanting to know this kind of information? Plug your eyes. I'm about to talk about bodily discharges from the down yonder region.

Are we nervous? Andrew is. I'm doing okay. Are we excited? Certainly. Are we ready? As ready as one can get. Elliana? She loves her baby brother already. Talks about him all the time. I think she will be an amazing big sister. I say that with true confidence.

In the past couple days alone, the girls at my work noticed a "significant drop." I never even said anything. They would come up to me and comment on how much lower my belly looked. Does this mean anything? Who knows.

What I do know is that being 9 months pregnant and working in a such a high acuity critical care unit has been really tough on me. Mainly the other night when I got a new admission that was the sickest of the sick. I nearly fainted toward the end of the night. This mama just doesn't have the pep in her step like she used to.

My prediction? I still stand by the 38 week mark. Which actually happens to fall right on Christmas. Do I want him to come on Christmas? No, not really. But I do want him to come when he's ready. And this certainly is just my little prediction. But lately? I've been thinking sometime within the next week. So before Christmas.

Full Term in just a few days!!! Hello 37 weeks. You have been long anticipated!

So, I'm going to do open this up to a little prediction test here. Put in your dates and times! Whoever is the closest will win a medium AD space on my blog.

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