"I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life;
to put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived." ~Henry David Thoreau

Monday, September 29, 2008

Daddy's Girl

No one can comfort this girl like her daddy can. When Hailey wakes up crying at night there is usually one name that she calls- Daddy. When someone makes her sad there is one person she wants to run to- Daddy. When life isn't treating her well, there are only two arms that she wants holding her- and those belong to Daddy. There is an unbreakable bond between these two and I know it will last into the eternities.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

We Made It One Year

It is gone. It is gone and it's never coming back; not with out giving birth again anyway. My milk dried up yesterday and I'm left feeling very sad about it. From day one I knew I wanted to breastfeed Lauren. I felt very cheated because I was only able to nurse Hailey for five weeks. The medication I was on was too risky for a baby to ingest so I had to stop.

So when I found out I was pregnant with Lauren I vowed to do everything possible to nurse her. I feel so blessed that the dream became a reality. I fully embraced attachment parenting this go around and I am 100% convinced that it was a large reason why postpartum stayed so far away. I know it's not the case with every mom, but for me it worked and I feel that I finally got things right. I suppose my third time really was a charm. As a result I've decided that one day I want to be a lactation specialist and help other women along the way. It's something I'll look into when kids get older.

As Lauren approached one year, I began feeling dreadful about quitting. There was never a day during those months when I looked forward to weaning her. I enjoyed that time with her like I can't even describe. But that day did come and it was a very hard decision. Last Thursday evening Cody and I were talking about it and I asked him if he thought it would be weird if I nursed her past 12 months. He was totally supportive of whatever I chose to do. I felt like I needed to make a decision that day before my body decided for me that it was time to stop.

I nursed Lauren again during the night. I wish I'd known that it would be the last time. She didn't nurse at all on Friday; she only drank from a sippy. Then on Saturday morning I woke up and rather than feeling "full" and ready to go, I was empty. It was completely gone. I even used a pump to try to get it going, but there was nothing. I went downstairs to load the washing machine and Cody was down there. He asked me what was wrong and I lost it. I told him my milk was gone and he was so sweet to me. He gave me a huge hug and let me cry and told me how sorry he was. I think he really understood.

So I cried for a while and then decided to close that chapter in our lives. Lauren has adjusted fine and really loves the sippy and occasional bottle at night. It wasn't fun for her when I started introducing those, but she is okay with it now.

There is a first time and a last time for everything in life. We almost always know when we are experiencing something for the first time, but rarely do we known when something will be our last. If I'd known that our Thursday nursing session would be our last, perhaps I would have held her longer rather than be anxious to get her back to bed. I would have cherished that time for a moment longer. But the silver lining in this is that we have so much more to look forward to with this sweet girl of ours. The next chapter in her life has only begun!

This is Lauren at six months. I love the dribble coming out of her mouth. She had just finsihed eating and was stuffed at the seams. What a happy baby!

Lonely Mommy

Today in primary Ethan's class did their class presentation. They were talking about prayer and each kid took a turn going to the podium and showing a picture of something they pray for. Then across the top the teacher had written it out. Each kid was saying stuff like "my baby brother, the kitten, my sister when she is at school..."

Then it gets to Ethan and he holds up a drawing of me and it says "Lonely Mommy" written across the top. WHAT?! Why on earth would he say that? Cody was in there watching and he turns to me and says with a laugh "Am I really working that much over time lately??" I was so embarrassed!
People must think that I sit around all day and cry and feel depressed. So not true!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Greatest Show On Earth

The day finally arrived. After weeks of anticipation and the kids nagging us, our circus excursion was upon us.

We got there at 9:30 to see a preview of the animals outside in their cages. Pretty intense to see the elephants and tigers up close and personal. Way better than the zoo! Then we went inside and hung out with the performers for a while down in the ring. Ethan thought the clowns were so funny! Then we found our seats and at 11:00 the show began.

After an opening skit between two clowns (which Ethan and Hailey have talked about all day) an elephant came out holding the U.S. flag in it's mouth and we all stood and sang "The Star Spangled Banner". Then it was on to the coolest acts one could ever dream up.

Between the hot dogs, cotton candy, lemonade, caramel apples, french fries, popcorn, licorice, and mom's sandwich, we all have tummy aches tonight but it was so worth it. We can't wait to do it again next year! That Mr. Ringling wasn't kidding; it really is the greatest show on earth!

Cody was soooo hot for this performer.

Lauren was mesmerized through most of the show.
During the National Anthem.
What a great show!

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Great Day For The Zoo

What a great afternoon! And it's even greater that we got to spend it with friends. Brandi and her kids met us at the zoo. We got there about 3:30 and it has proved to be the perfect time. Not too crowded and this time of year, not too hot. Ice cream, animals, a train ride, the carousel, and a cool playground. What could be better than that? We love our zoo pass!

One very tired baby by the end of the day!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lauren's 12 Month Check Up

Weight: 17.5 lbs = 4%
Length: 28.25 inches = 23%
18.1 inches = 76%

Lauren's 12 month check-up was today. She got FOUR shots, including the first dose of her flu vaccine. The poor baby! Ethan and Hailey also got their flu vaccines, but they have changed it from a shot to a spray that is snorted through the nose. That made it much more pleasant for everyone. But Lauren cried VERY hard after her shots. Good thing I'm still producing milk because she needed serious Mommy comfort.

All is well and her tinyness is nothing to worry about. Dr. Allred says she is still following her normal growth pattern and she is right on track for where she should be. He said she will love it when she is older and is petite. I know I always wanted to be. I was very skinny until high school, but I was never small framed and definitely not short. Hailey and Lauren will likely have the same build and that all comes from Daddy's side.
We Love Dr. Allred! Of course Lauren doesn't look like it in the picture. She was being very apprehensive, as if she knew something terrible was coming.

Elephant Parade

The circus has come to town! Last night was the first show, so yesterday afternoon was the annual parade through the Gateway. The kids and I got lunch and picniced out there while we waited. Jen G and her kids were there, along with several other people from the neighborhood. My only complaint is that the parade is too short! But we had a fun time anyway and Ethan made it to school just in time.

Kaden stealing a kiss from his girl! These two are betrothed.

A Room Of Her Own

I spent a few days last week cleaning out what will be the girls' room. Hailey and Ethan have shared since summer 2007 and Lauren has been in our room ever since she was born. It worked out great because of nursing her and I really loved having her close to me. But she has since moved from the portacrib and is now in her big crib in her room. In a few months I will move Hailey into the room with Lauren, but I'm waiting until she is sleeping more soundly at night.

This room has served as the office/sewing room/ storage room for over one year and I'm very happy to see it being used as a bedroom again! Lauren did not like the crib at first, and I felt very anxious at night after I put her down. We both are so used to being very close to each other at night. But I think we are used to it now and Lauren (and I) are sleeping great again.
Right now her room is so boring, with the exception of these butterflies. I found them at a garden shop in Texas this summer and had to buy them. I am going to use them as a "theme" for decorating. I am going to stick with pinks, purples, and yellows. Oh how I love having girls!

Right after the crib was all set up, Hailey had to jumo right in. She had fun giving Lauren the crib orientation.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lauren's First Shindig

I love it that she's holding up one finger!
During the wee hours of her birthday, Lauren woke up crying. I was going to let her cry it out, but then I remembered it was her birthday and I would have been the meanest mom ever if I did that to her on her special day! So I nursed her and loved on her and took it all in, that it would be the last time I'd nurse her as a baby. In the morning she would be a big girl. [SNIFF] (I am still nursing, but now that she is one we are seriously weaning and it's not fun for either of us!)
It's fun that her birthday fell on Sunday because we got to show her off at church and everyone wished her a happy birthday. They even sang to her in primary. I am the pianist, but cute Gabby held her up at the front for me.

Like the one finger again? That evening we had a bunch of people over for a party. We had family and a few old friends. It's fun that we still get together for special ocassions and it's great to watch our families grow!

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to! Baby Girl was over stimulated all night long, but she got really distracted by the wrapping paper.

Good thing Ethan and Hailey could lend a hand!
Ethan and Hailey had been excited about the rainbow cake all weekend and kept sneaking peeks in the garage fridge. They even sneaked all their little friends down there at the start of the party to show it off.

Mmmmm, Carli that cake must be delicious!

Poor Brandi still has ten weeks to go!

Lauren was a good sport all night, but by bed time she was cranky and wanted some sleep. And sleep she did. Happy birthday, Sweet Heart! We love you more than you'll ever know!