August 28, 2013

High and Low

*highs: Hearing Little Smith say 'night night Woo-bee' to his sister as he heads off to bed. * James settling our baby on his chest, when she refuses to go back to sleep at 5AM each morning. * Sharing real sincere laughs with Little Smith (especially when he imitates me- he does a good impression!). * Nursing during nap time, just the two of us, in absolute peace. * Getting out of the house every day, it's been a giant challenge for me to juggle everyone on field trips solo and I'm really proud that we've been making it happen. * Watching Little Smith rock and gently pet the baby so lovingly. * Delighting in the most perfect summer weather, crisp and sunny and cool. * The whole family piling into bed in the middle of the day. * Getting back to the garden and lugging home baskets heavy with veggies. * Seeing those mirror-like newborn eyes taking in the new world. * Singing songs for hours. * Fitting back into my shoes (some of them). * Reading in the park with my toddler by my side and my baby in the sling... and feeling like I've got this parenting thing down!

*lows: Two unhappy little people screaming at me at once. * Lugging bodies and bags up and down the stairs just to do a simple errand (never have I been so aware of living on the second floor!). * Running out of wipes, again. * The transition from 'baby that always sleeps' to 'baby that never sleeps'. * Having to say 'no' when Little Smith asks me to pick him up, because I don't have any free hands. * Having zero time to myself- seriously- zero. * Finally getting her to sleep, only to have him wake up thirty seconds later. * Little Smith suggesting we 'put Woo-bee down wight there' and motioning to a bush (during a particularly chaotic outing). * Still not fitting any of my rings. * Having my baby wake up and try to claw her way out of the sling in a crying fit... just when I thought I had this parenting thing down. 

It's been a completely crazy and amazing first three weeks as a family of four. I did prepare myself mentally for many of the challenges that we're now working though, but there are always the ones you just can't anticipate. Some moments have been tough, and sleep deprivation and surging hormones tend to amplify those little dramas. Any struggles though are overshadowed by the love and sweetness that's filling my home right now. These are good days. Deliriously good.

*These pictures were all taken by James last Sunday when we went peach picking at Lookout Farm. It was more of a big commercial operation than I typically enjoy for my pick-your-own excursions, but Little Smith was so excited by the train ride and grape arbors that it was well worth the entry fee.

August 26, 2013


a portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2013

Wide awake. She is changing so quickly, it's so easy to forget the wild speed of this newborn stage. I'm not rushing it this time, but I do always look forward to those real reactive smiles.

At the table. He got a big boy highchair this week-end. He wasn't sure at first, but quickly decided that he loves it. It's fun looking across at him during meals!

August 22, 2013

Details B8.01

slowly deflating feet catch-and-release fireflies nap time awaiting new seed brother and sister so many tomatoes parallel play stretching plums are our favorite check out that sweet cantilever 

These days are slipping away so quickly. I'm working hard to get the swing of having two little people to care for each day. Our baby girl is so even tempered (at least so far!). She does wake every few hours to eat, but usually is easy to get back to sleep. We typically have one mini-crying fit a day, but she is far less fussy than Little Smith was at the same age. I'm sure some of that is my comfort level as well. She's just a sweet little thing right now.

Little Smith is hanging in there. He loves being a big brother and gives the most gentle pets and kisses. I can see he's aware of all the changes though. James has had a deadline this week so there's been very little time with pop, a big shift from the last month when we were spoiled having him around so often. That coupled with my split attention has lead to a lot of clinging to mama and a handful of epic tantrums. He is also nearing three, I know it's a complicated age. In between those tantrums he is still his happy and curious self, and I expect this transition will just keep getting easier with each new week.

I'm feeling completely exhausted. We aren't getting to bed early enough which is leaving me with just a few hours of interrupted sleep. I need to fix that... soon. I'm also feeling so lucky and joyful. It's just right having this new tiny person in our family. I'm so in love with her already and I am daydreaming of all the adventures she and her brother will have in the months and years to come.

August 19, 2013

Growing Belly

It's bitter sweet to wake up and no longer have a round and pregnant belly. Growing a baby is such a gradual process, feeling flutters give way to flips and then kicks, watching your body change shape and accumulating new aches and pains with the passing months. Then suddenly there is a perfect baby in your arms and that belly is empty. 

With my first pregnancy, I truly mourned the end of carrying my baby. Of course I was thrilled to hold him and look into his eyes, but he came early and I wasn't prepared for the transition to not being pregnant. 

This time, the journey ended with a month of bed-rest, which gave me a chance to prepare for the shift from pregnant to new mama. I've also done this once before, so it's all been far less shocking. Still, I find myself waiting for kicks and feeling a little sad when I remember they aren't coming. Cuddling my baby girl is so much sweeter than a stretched belly button and relentless heartburn, the pregnancy did have to end. I've never handled change with grace, and I'm grateful to have this beautiful pink baby kicking in bed beside me to help make sense of the now hollow belly. 

Goodbye to being pregnant, and hello to being a mama of two.

August 18, 2013


a portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2013

Very serious about cars and blocks. I have been so proud of my little guy this week. He is sweet with his new sister and trying so hard to be a big boy. He's also looking for lots of extra cuddles from mama, and I am happy to give them.

Sweet sleep. Our baby has started to be more alert. She is still very easy tempered so far, although she does want to either be eating or sucking on a pacifier at all times. The mouth must be in use!

*part of Jodi's 52 series.

August 16, 2013

Fresh Air

After a month of being confined to bed-rest and missing out on some great summer weather, I couldn't get outside fast enough after giving birth. It's always a little nerve wracking taking a very new and tiny baby anywhere, but for me exposing her to some fresh air is much more comfortable than lots of people or germs. I also have this magnetic pull with my babies (I felt the same bond with Little Smith) where I really can't relax or enjoy myself if they're out of my sight. I'm sure I'll loosen up over time, but for now I need to have this baby with me and I also need my fix of outdoor time. At a week and a half old, she has already joined us on several long walks and trips to the garden, and I'm more and more comfortable with each excursion.

Physically I am feeling very strong. I was lucky to deliver without any medication or fluids this time around and I've been really astonished by the difference in how fast my recovery has been. I am still lugging around thirty extra pounds and lots of puffiness (I can't yet wear my rings or any shoes besides flip-flops!), so I do feel out of rhythm with my body simply because it is different from my norm. I have no idea what to wear and definitely miss the comfort of the heavy sweater and leggings that was my postpartum uniform after Little Smith's winter arrival. 

Body issues aside, the more I'm able to get out and put my toes in the grass, the more I feel like myself again. I'm so grateful that Little Smith has reached an age where he can march ahead of us on walks and leave my hands free to care for this tiny baby. It's a little chaotic getting out the door... but we're all so happy once we finally make it out.

August 12, 2013

New Baby

Oh goodness, it's hard to know where to pick up here! Things are very good (and exhausting) at the moment. We're finally starting to remember what life is like with a newborn, it's amazing how much you can forget in two and a half years. 

Of course it's a very different experience the second time around too, so much of my energy and concern is still devoted to Little Smith and ensuring that he is adjusting well to his little sister. He seems to be doing great, initially he was pretty quiet and didn't really want to look at her (I was worried!), but within an hour he'd warmed up and was asking lots of questions. Each day he's growing more curious about baby and even helps getting diapers and blankets for her. 

At one week old, this baby is still a sleepy delight. She has just started to wake up to the world and let out a few cries, but overall she is very mellow and sweet. She is more interested in sleeping during the day than the night (just like her mama!), so we're working on that one with some pretty serious circles under our eyes. She is such a cute little munchkin and we feel so insanely lucky that she is finally here to enjoy life with us.

There is so much to share, including her birth story (happily less of a story than my last birth experience), and I will record it all here eventually... but just trying to leap back in to this journal little by little. It's such an important space for me and I truly value all of the relationships formed here- I've missed you all!

August 9, 2013


a portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2013

Proud big brother. Watching these two together just makes me smile.

*part of Jodi's 52 series

It's been a wild, blissful, and just a little stressful week. We had a very smooth delivery and an early discharge only to have baby and me return to the hospital for 24 hours of photo-therapy to treat jaundice. Little Smith had jaundice as well, so luckily we weren't too worried... just tuckered out and happy to be settling in at home now. I'm finally getting my bearings and will be back in this space and checking in with all of you very soon- looking forward to it!

August 4, 2013


+++ We are one happy little family of four! Much much more to come soon. +++