Wednesday, September 30, 2009

For Baby III

I'll be there when you're feelin' down,

To kiss away the tears if you cry

I'll share with you all the happiness I've found;

A reflection of the love in your eyes.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This Love

Sometimes I ask Luke crazy questions like, "Is your mommy the prettiest person ever?" or "What does it mean when I say I love you?" And sometimes I get ridiculous answers like, "Mommy is a pretty man," but sometimes I get answers like, "I love you means happy, mama."

The other night as we were driving home, I told Shane what I thought love was. Because really, how DO you describe love? But then I turned around to the two sleeping boys in my backseat, and oh. I described it.

Do you remember when you were a child, and you'd be driving home with your parents at night? Maybe they'd have the radio on or maybe they'd be talking softly, but you'd be tucked safely into your seat, drowsily watching the lights flash by. And you felt so SAFE, like safer than you've ever felt in your entire life--safer than you'll ever feel as an adult. You knew that you were protected and you were going home, and you knew that if you fell asleep in the car, your dad would carry you inside.
THAT is what I love you means.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Double Vision

My new favorite thing is matching outfits

And I will dress them in them until they're old enough to say, ENOUGH, MOM.

A long time ago, when I was two seconds pregnant, one of my best friends told me this:
"isn't it hard to believe that before you know it, you'll be a family
of four and you won't even remember what it feels like to be a family
of three? Its true, I swear."

And I saved the email forever because it did scare me. I was afraid I'd miss it being the three of us, but she was right. I feel like I've always had two kids, two carseats, two sweet faces to kiss, two sweet heads to smell, the dreams of two boys sitting on Santa's lap, a big brother and a little brother, and two sweet boys to dress in matching outfits.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

You Capture: Happiness

I love that this week's You Capture theme is happiness. Of course I love happiness (who doesn't?), but also because I have a lot of happiness in my life this week. I have a new camera, which I LOVE SO MUCH. I have a gorgeous baby, who I also love so much. My friend Kristin is visiting, and I love her so much. And finally, we went to the Botanical Garden yesterday, which is full of flowers. Do you know how I feel about flowers? I LOVE THEM SO MUCH.
So basically, I found a ridiculous amount of happiness this week.

(Honey bees also make me very happy, because they make honey which is a delicious, sugar-y substance.)
Kristin makes me happy because she is a wonderful friend, even though it's not fair that she gets to be that skinny and gorgeous.

Lily pads make me happy because they seem like they're pretty low maintenance as far as flowers go. I really prefer it if flowers can live without any effort on my part, so I like flowers that don't need to be watered because, you know, THEY LIVE IN THE WATER.

But of course, this little slice of chubby cheeked deliciousness makes me happier than anything else in the whole wide world.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Favorite Flower

Today I wore him for hours at the Botanic Garden.

We spent hours walking amongst the beautiful flowers, flowers of all colors, shapes, sizes and scents. In awe of all God's creations, we couldn't stop exclaiming over how beautiful everything was.
But the most beautiful one of all? Is all mine.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

For Baby II

And the wind will whisper your name to me.

Little birds will sing along in time.

Leaves will bow down when you walk by,

And morning bells will chime.

For Baby by John Denver

Monday, September 21, 2009

For Baby

I have friends visiting all week, so it's going to be a week of photos (and also, I got a new camera). Lucky for you, I have cute subjects (no, I'm not biased at all!).

I'll walk in the rain by your side,

I'll cling to the warmth of your tiny hand.

I'll do anything to keep you satisfied,

I'll love you more than anybody can.

Lyrics from "For Baby" by John Denver

Thursday, September 17, 2009

You Capture: Love, Up Close

This week's You Capture was not easy because my camera currently has a broken zoom. So when Beth announced that topic, I was like, THANKS BETH... NOT. (Side note: I'm totally bringing back NOT as a response because it never ceases to be hilarious.) Although I do have a new camera coming, it's not yet here, so I had to make due with taking photos and cropping in closely.

I decided to photograph Luke, Tommy, and I wearing our shirts from Love. I chose to do this because I adore these shirts, but also because right now, as I'm typing this, Lovelyn is up and close with the babies at the orphanage in Uganda. Perhaps she's already chosen her babies and held them up close to her. I don't know about you, but I can't wait to hear about her journey.

Speaking of love, one of my favorites is celebrating a first birthday today. Won't you please go wish him a happy birthday and his mama a happy birthing day?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

Luke and I are both feeling out our places in life right now. Some days we share a lot of tears and bad behavior, but we always begin our mornings with the best of intentions.

Every Monday, we go to Evelyn Bay for breakfast, then play at the park. Luke said we'll do that until it's too cold, and I think he's right. What's left unsaid is that after January, our Monday morning dates will be over, and I think when that happens, my heart will shatter into a million little pieces.

For now, though, I get to enjoy my double dates.
And watch him grow so fast, too fast. The first time he climbed this ladder, he went slowly and shakily with my hand on his bottom. The second time, he let me stand next to him. The third time, well, he told me to go sit down because he didn't need my help.
I cheered him on, but in my head, I was thinking, Slow down, and I'm not sure if I was talking to him on the ladder... or just to life in general.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Your Love Is Better Than Ice Cream

Thursday morning I woke up and still had a headache. In complete defeat, I dressed Luke, fed him, and walked him down to the sitter's. Afterward, Tommy and I climbed into bed and napped for FOUR HOURS curled into each other. When I woke up, I still had a headache, but I felt refreshed. Shane came home, and we got Dairy Queen for dinner. I ate a Blizzard and didn't even think about working out.

Friday, I still had a teeny tiny headache, but much less of one. Friday night, I cried to Shane that I felt like I was losing control of everything, that I felt like a horrible mother and wife. He rubbed my back and promised me that he didn't care if we lived in the messiest house in the world, as long as I was happy.

Saturday morning, I didn't have a headache. We went to a farmer's market, and I carried one sweet boy tight against me.
And laughed with delight while the other was turned into a tiger.
When we got home, I did some housework and laundry, but I stopped when I got tired. I ate three pieces of apple cake and still didn't work out. When it was bedtime, instead of rushing Luke into bed so I could clean or work out or whatever stupid thing seemed to matter a week ago, I cuddled with him in our bed, which we haven't done since the night Tommy was born. As he grabbed my hand tight in his and pressed it against the sweet, soft spot of his belly where his pajamas don't quite cover because he is growing, growing, GROWING so big every day, I cried quietly into my pillow.

I cried because for the first time in days, maybe weeks, I really enjoyed being a mom. I cried because letting go is hard and forgiving yourself is even harder. I cried because it's going to get better, even when it doesn't seem like it, it will. But mostly I cried because there is so much love in my life, and somehow, over these past eight weeks, I forgot that these two don't care if the floors are swept or if I get my post-baby stomach back in shape. They just care that their mama is healthy and happy and loving on them all day long.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I'm No Super(wo)man

Despite my blog title, I'm not a superhero. Despite my own beliefs, I'm NOT a superhero. I'm not, and I have to tell that to myself.

The past two days, I've had a headache that can be described as somewhere between "maybe it's a tumor" and "OH GOD KILL ME PLEASE!" I get migraines, so I'm used to dealing with these, but I'm not used to them last overnight. This one did. This one lasted through a desperate attempt at Tylenol with codeine at 1AM. This one lasted through the night, and at 7AM, I did what I so rarely do: I called my parents and begged for help. Actually, I didn't have to beg, they came over within 35 minutes of my calling. I felt like a failure, lying in bed with both boys. I knew they both had wet diapers, but I couldn't even sit up to change them. And while there are worse mothers in the world--far worse--it was awful for me.

My parents came and changed diapers and pitched in while I slept. When I woke up, my mom was ready to take me to urgent care, but I chased the headache enough away. I'm still achy and a little lingering headache is still there, but I'm better.

While lying there in pain, I realized that, you know, I just had a baby 7.5 weeks ago. I realized that I never gave myself time to recover. I didn't. I had such an easy birth and such an easy physical recovery that I jumped back into working out, going out, cleaning, and all of those things that maybe were too much. I like doing all of those things (okay, except cleaning), but I need to step back, I think. I never like to have people over because my house is not very big and I have to clean it and it's out of the way, but maybe I need to do things like this more often. And maybe I need to stay in my pajamas more often.

Because when I think of how poorly I've taken care of myself lately, I want to cry. When I think of how I make sure Luke gets three meals a day, but do I ever? Or do I just snack as I go along? And when was the last time I took a vitamin? It's true that with the second baby, you don't get the help you did with the first. We didn't get nearly as many dinners or house cleanings, and that's completely okay. But what's not okay is that I took it on myself to make up for all that. What's not okay is that I should have spent so many days lying in bed with my new baby, and instead, I pushed myself to a point where I have headaches that don't go away and jeans that are too big and I'm so tired that I could fall over at any minute and I'm still finding it so hard to just take a deep breath and let it all go, to let myself just sit still and just BE.

Because even now, as I'm typing this and brushing at tears, I'm eyeballing the kitchen table that needs to be cleaned. It'll still be messy in the morning, though, and right now, I'm going to give a kiss to the two year old that's still awake... and then I'm going to snuggle down with a sleeping baby. And starting tomorrow, I'm going to work on recovering.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day: His Story

The following is Shane's entire recollection of the night Tommy was born. I told him that I can't believe he didn't make fun of me more, but I love what he wrote. I hope you will, too.

After correctly predicting baby Luke coming out a boy--and “enduring” (happily) a 22 hour labor experience, I was ready for a baby girl (my prediction) and another longish labor. Little did I know…

In anticipation of Erin’s due date of July 16th, Erin, Luke, and I made a slew of enjoyable trips to Coffee Creek, where we walked a three-mile nature hike in order to get the baby ready and to avoid the 22 hour marathon labor--and of course, to enjoy a healthy birthing experience, which many don‘t have the fortune to experience. We walked the trail twice on Thursday, July 16th (Tommy’s due date), and Erin began having major signs later the next day. We were prepared to go to the hospital soon. I went to bed Friday evening in order to get some rest while Erin was taking a bath. She woke me up at 11:40 p.m. In order to get going to the hospital, I staggered around and quickly got dressed while Luke slept, and I made my way to the downstairs bathroom to put my contacts in. I had one contact in when Erin shouted to get upstairs. Next thing I knew, we were prepping for an unplanned homebirth. In addition, this lucky “veil” baby first appeared as a water balloon. We had no idea what that was at the time. Thus, Erin frantically mentioned how “I think we waited too long!” and I thought to myself “No shit!” We called 911; eventually, of course, Luke woke up as Erin made it to the landing of the staircase (at one point I shouted how we have to get Luke out of here, and Erin said, “There‘s no time!”), I was on the phone with 911, and the next thing we knew, Thomas John was born! Erin caught the baby, she announced the fact it was a boy, and I made an exhausted, excited attempt to tie the cord with my kitchen twine. The poor young saps from the Fire Department showed up, and it was a male-idiot fest while Erin held the baby on the stairs. Finally, the wonderful FEMALE EMTs showed up, I knew Erin and Tommy were fine, and I was the proud father (for the 2nd time) of a healthy baby. Although many called me “Doctor”, Erin really did most of the work. With regard to the grandparents, what really sticks out in my mind is Erin’s parents running up to the house (imagine pulling up and seeing an ambulance and fire trucks) and me announcing, “It’s a boy!” Neighbor Wally joined those of us on the lawn outside while the ambulance drove Mommy and Tommy off to the hospital. I called my parents shortly thereafter, and my mom kept asking me if Tommy’s birthday was 7/17 or 7/18, since he was born around midnight. I had no idea; one can understand I was not checking my watch through this…thanks to the 911 transcripts and me saying, “The baby’s out!”, we now know Tommy John’s birthday is officially 12:02 a.m., July 18th, 2009.

To end this unique and unpredictable experience, the “girl” ended up a boy, I witnessed a woman trying to keep the baby in as opposed to painfully push it out, and the anticipated 22 hour labor turned into 22 seconds. He had such a special entry into this world, he is destined--like his brother and his grandfathers (for whom Tommy John is named)--to be extra special.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Luke's Story

(I hate that stupid pug pillow and every time I try to get rid of it or move it elsewhere, Shane revolts. Sigh.)

Shane is still working on Tommy's birth story (or he hasn't started yet, tomato, tomahto), but lately, Luke and I have been talking more and more about the night Tommy was born. Right after it happened, Luke wouldn't talk about it, to the point where I thought he just didn't get any of it. I think that he was just so overwhelmed by everything that happened that he couldn't put it into words.

Luke can't type, so I'm transcribing for him! He told me that first, I played on the pink basketball. Very true, as before he went to bed, I was bouncing on my pink birth ball. He kept pushing me off and saying it was his turn. Then he told me that I was loud and woke him up but "you didn't have baby yet, no," and it was very dark. Next he told me that mama had ouchies, then he saw Tommy's head and then his baby brother or sister (he still says that sometimes, after spending nine months saying that he was having a baby brother or sister) was here. After that the firemen came in the big red truck and the yellow clothes because "firemen help people." Mommy went in the little red truck (the ambulance) and Grammy brought Luke in to see mama and baby. After that, Luke rode in Mommy's blue car with Daddy and Papa (side note: my dad drove because Shane was so flustered that he tried to put Luke in Tommy's carseat, ha!) to the hospital where all the other babies had hats. So far, the story ends with him saying that he held Tommy. Oh, and sometimes he asks where all the other babies went, referring to the babies he saw in the nursery. We tell them they went home with their mommys and daddys, and he says they must be happy. I tell him they are, but not as happy as he and Tommy are.

I love his version of Tommy's birth so much that we talk about it every single day.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

All's Fair

So, you may have gathered that I really enjoy eating. And I totally get it when people are like, Why don't you weigh 500 pounds, you JERK? because I should, but unfortunately (or fortunately) there's no justice in this world. I love food so much that I sometimes go to Google images just to look at pictures of food. Oh, and also, I think that in Heaven, you have to eat, but everything is calorie free, so you can eat chocolate chip cookies EVERY DAY and never gain a pound. Also, in Heaven, chocolate chip cookies are always fresh, hot out of the oven.

Let's say that someone threw a bunch of money at me, while holding a gun to my head and insisting that I open a restaurant (someone do that, please). I wouldn't open a pizza parlor or an Italian restaurant. No, I'd open a restaurant that serves nothing but fair food ALL YEAR LONG. After tweeting about my idea awhile back when Beth (p.s. SHE'S PREGNANT!) tweeted about an elephant ear delivery service, I was informed that such a restaurant does exist somewhere in my state. Until I get to go there, though, I don't totally believe that such a magical place could exist.

So anyway, my restaurant. I think I'd call it Charpie's Carnival Emporium, and it'd be the tackiest place ever. Flashing lights, little plastic ferris wheels, you name it. 90% of the menu will, of course, be deep fried, with the other 10% being the usual fair goodies. Lemon shakeups, cotton candy, giant turkey legs (even though turkeys and I are sworn enemies, I recognize that many people enjoy eating them), all that deliciousness. And all of it would be available on a stick. Here's the best part, though. My restaurant would also have a martini bar, and not just because I really like my drinks. Think about it for a second. Martinis are delicious, fair food is delicious... it's a match made in Heaven! (I also think that the real Heaven has all the alcohol you can drink, but you only feel the effects of it if you want... oh, and no hangovers.)

If this place opened up down the street from you, you'd be there on opening night, right? Now quick, someone throw cash at me and make me open this restaurant!