6.29.2015

Sweet baby boy.


At long last, our son is here.

   William Daniel entered our world on thursday, June 25th 2015 weighing 8.11 and 21" long.  He looks a little bit like....everyone, really.  I see Randy and Charlotte in his face when he's wearing a hat, and I see Jocelyn in his dark hair and furrowed little brow when he's worried, and I hear her voice in his soft, mewling cries. I see his uncle Shelby and his cousin Elissa and several other Maust relatives, and....a good healthy dose of his unique self. Of course he is perfectly perfect to us, as each child is to their parents and we are quite smitten with him.

  I will eventually crank out the birth story, but for now I am just really soaking in these moments and holding them close to my heart.  I feel as if the newborn stage was robbed just a tiny bit from me with Charlotte.....of no fault of her own of course, she was quite a good baby.  But rather just because of my own state of mind.  Everything started to blur together a little bit and I remember those days in a bit of a haze....even Jocelyn's newborn days seem clearer. I think it was a combination of things....having two close together and feeling like I very much had two babies to look after, the busy-ness of summer sweeping me up into activity and rushing me headlong into gardening and canning, and when she was a mere two months old, we became youth sponsors, which brought on a whole new set of activities.  


   And so this time around, I am determined to take things nice and slow and easy.  Of course there will be the normal summer craziness, (as it is the same time of year that Charlotte was born) but we have made some deliberate choices to streamline our lives, like getting rid of our chickens (sad, I know) and not planting a garden (shocking, I know).  

  I will miss tomatoes like CRAZY and freshly grilled zucchini will haunt me in my dreams, but I will also be snuggling my newborn instead of weeding.  And what am I going to be more thankful for in the years to come?  Pretty sure there will always be fresh tomatoes around.  That velvety fuzz on top of a newborn's head?  That lasts for like, 15 minutes.

    With the first baby, everything felt like such a steep learning curve and I remember really not wanting to be alone.  That felt overwhelming.  With the second, the needs of two littles ones felt so constant and draining, I felt the need to get out and socialize and do more things, because I needed the distraction.  This time around, things are so different.  First of all, being alone is like a day at the spa!  I can just sit in the quiet, hear myself think, snuggle my baby and soak it all in.  And when we are all together, I have children who help bring me things, hold the baby, or happily play together while I get the baby all to myself.  And I don't feel the slightest pressure to run into town or load everyone up to go to the park for the sake of distraction.  I just want to sit at home and be surrounded by my loved ones.  

All those people who tell you the third is the easiest?  They're not lying.



   HOWEVER, lest you think it is all unicorns and rainbows, it's not.  Nursing still hurts like crazy for a little bit, but thankfully, it's not as overwhelming.  By the third time around, you have learned tricks of the trade that help and you know what works for you, and just like doing anything else for the first vs. the third time, you've learned and grown and it's all just a little bit easier.

   And while my girls are at such a better place than Jocelyn was at 18 months when Charlotte was born, there is still some major acclimation that needs to happen.  Jocelyn has firmly slipped into her role as "the Oldest" and mothers and nurtures and thinks William is "her baby", rather than her brother.  This is all fine and wonderful except that she also thinks she is capable of quite a bit more than she is, and requires close supervision.

    Charlotte, while loving him fiercely as well, as seemed to struggle a little more with the change in our routines and normal, daily life, and attentions given to littler ones. Everyone seems a little tender emotionally and meltdowns happen more frequently than ever, and so we are all just trying to learn and adjust.  It's not going to be seamless, but it will all work out. 

Well that's all for now, I have some Mexican food in the kitchen calling my name.  Loudly. 





6.24.2015

Letter to my son.

//psalm 139//

Dear son of mine,

   We are still patiently waiting to meet you.  But how incredible that our Father has already searched us and knows us?

He knows when we sit down. 
He knows when we rise up.
He discerns our thoughts.
He searches out our paths.
He is acquainted with all of our ways.

   Even before I speak a word, He already knows what I will say.  He hems me in before and behind.  Even the night is as bright as day to Him, because with Him, darkness is as light.  

   THIS is the one who formed you.  The same One who created the heavens and the earth.  It is HE who knit you together in my womb and who sees you, even now.  

   How incredible it is that long before I've ever caught a glimpse of your sweet face, He has known your soul, and known it well.  Your frame was not hidden from Him.  In His book your days are already written.  

Yes dear one, without a single doubt, you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Love,
-Mama


6.21.2015

Miss Charlotte is three.


Today is Father's Day.   

   And as much as I'd hoped that I would have an extra-special gift in the form of a tiny, wrinkled little bundle of sweet newborn perfection to present to my love on this Father's Day, I suppose I'll just have to go with a new tie and a Diet Pepsi.  Or something.  Which I have yet to figure out because I simply cannot begin to figure out how to plan for days that stretch on and on and on into pregnancy and over-dueness when I thought we'd be long past this point by now.  Oh well.  Not complaining.  
Or am I.

   In any case, I am so thankful for this man and the father he is to our children.  I have loved every minute of watching him be such an amazing daddy to our girls and I can't wait to watch him be father to a SON.  A son!  Still can hardly believe it.  How is this my life??


 Charlotte's birthday was another one of those special days that I just did not know how to plan for this year.  I love birthdays.  I am a "big birthday party" kind of gal, scouring Pinterest for ideas and inspirations, and trying my hardest to implement them all, much to my dismay and frustration at times.  I even try to plan our babies around being born at ideal birthday times, but that has just turned out to be completely laughable.  I have a Christmas baby and twins.  Every party-planning nightmare.

   But this year, with my due date being June 14 and Charli's birthday being the 18th, I just wasn't sure how to plan.  Do I invite people and plan a big party and just cancel it if I need to, because of the baby?  But what if I plan a big party and the baby doesn't come which is nice, but then I just don't FEEL like doing anything by that time?  I just didn't know what to plan.  So this year was the perfect year to "downsize" on birthday craziness, as hard as it was for me to do that.

  I am loving our new tradition of a special daddy/daughter date for breakfast on their birthday, and I'm sure it means even more to them than I can know.  And so even though I had no idea how to plan for her big day, I knew at least she would get to go on a date with her daddy, and it would absolutely make her day.  And it did.


   But I still wanted to make the rest of her day special, and so I tried to think up an activity that would be low-key, laid-back, require almost no work, and that she would still love.  Thankfully I have family and friends who aren't afraid of a little spontaneity, and so after a very, VERY last minute invitation, they met us at the park  for a picnic lunch and some fun in the water.  They even managed to bring gifts, which I am still shaking my head at, because it was literally SO last minute.  People are so thoughtful and generous (and infinitely more prepared and organized than I ever would be) and it just blesses my heart.



    The weather was perfect, the kids had a lovely time, and I even got to soak my feet in the cool river water and catch up with the ladies.  It was definitely a win/win for everyone.




   These two seem to be entering that stage of being too cool to smile.  Oh a please don't miss Madison's little ziploc bag of very special rocks that she collected from the water.


  The Birthday Girl, precariously perching on the last remaining silver of her mommy's lap to blow out her birthday candles.  I wasn't feeling up to making a cake or cupcakes, so I just brought doughnuts, but then my dear mother-in-law brought some beautiful cupcakes along!  So the kids even had OPTIONS.  Take that, Pinterest. 


   There was a stuffed Piglet in one of her gifts that has hardly left her arms since.


   I have to say, I was so proud of Jocelyn that day.  Being 4 is still a hard age to comprehend someone else's Big Day and jealousy can thrive and abound.  But she seemed genuinely happy for her sister all day long.  She presented Charlotte's birthday outfit to her with as much glee and fanfare as if it had been her own.  She was a little sad when Randy left with her on their breakfast date, but immediately perked up to help me wrap some gifts.  She giggled and squealed as Charlotte unwrapped ours at home, and then later at the park, dutifully brought her bags and offered to help.  She remembered to ask Charlotte's permission to play with her birthday things and wasn't offended if Sis wasn't yet ready to share Piglet.  

   It warmed my heart so much to see her sharing in her sister's moment in the spotlight.  They are truly becoming the best of friends and I feel like a broken record with this but it is just seriously a dream come true.  They are so different.  They look different, they respond differently, they react differently, they approach life differently.  But they share something so much deeper than just "having things in common".  They share blood and parents and a room and soon, a little brother, and they are SISTERS.  I can't wait to seem them walk throughout life together.  Ups and downs, highs and lows.

  I will fight for them.   I will fiercely work to maintain this bond, this kinship.  I will try my best to prevent people, or situations, or things tear them apart or drive a wedge.  I will try to always steer them back to their love for each other.

  And now I guess a post that should have been about Fathers sort of ended up being about sisters, but I guess that's what you get from hormonal, 41 weeks-and-counting pregnant woman.  Not a whole lot of predictable consistency emanating from this one's head these days.

Just ask my dear husband.

6.19.2015

Baby shower blessings.


  I guess one other positive thing about going overdue is being able to catch up a bit on the sorely neglected blog!  And here I was sure I would never get the pics from my baby shower posted before he arrived.  Silly me.

   My dear sis-in-love Jessi (I feel like I have been mentioning her a lot lately---she does so much for me!!)  threw me a delightful baby shower to celebrate Little Mister and I felt SO blessed.  The third time around you sort of expect that you won't have a shower, but she went above and beyond, (she even drew that darling little fox print!!) and it was WAY too much fun opening up all the sweet little boy clothes.  Everything looked like a mini Randy to me and I just fell more and more in love with this dear little son we are still waiting to meet!






   See what I mean by a mini-Randy?!  That shirt looks almost exactly like one my husband wears.  Be still my heart.  A boy.  Our SON.  I still can hardly believe it!  Most women I know long for the day they will have a daughter to call their own, and I wouldn't trade my two little ladies for anything in the world, but I have always longed for a son.  For as long as I can remember, I have dreamt of what he would look like, what personality he might have, what he might grow up to become one day. And now that we are mere moments away from meeting his sweet face, I can hardly believe it's real.  Is this my life?  How did I ever get here?

I feel so unworthy.


  I am so grateful for this girl.  For her friendship and for the gift of sharing two pregnancies together and for the blessing of being part of her family.  I loved what she shared for devotions about that all-too-familiar phrase, "God won't give you more than you can handle."  And I couldn't have agreed more with her when she pointed out the inaccuracy of that statement.  It's simply not true.  People walk down valleys of the shadow of death and roads frought with peril every day that they could never begin to handle on their own.  We don't have what it takes.  That's why we need HIM.  We need to fully rely on Him for everything we need, and that applies to parenting as well.  


   It was so special to have each family member and friend that was able to attend, and such a treat to have my mom there as well!  She had come out to Oregon to help my sister move into their house, and she painted and painted and painted like a trooper.  My girls are so privileged to be able to have grandparents that invest in their lives, and I can't wait for baby boy to get to meet all his family soon!

   Well that's all for now.  Hopefully my next post will be announcing the little man's arrival, but you never know!  In any case at least I will get caught up on this back-log of pictures and posts that are about as overdue as I am. Ha.

6.16.2015

My womb, a.k.a The Hilton.



So apparently my womb is a pretty comfy place.

   Jocelyn decided to stay in there three days past her due date, which really isn't much at all, but with your first child you start thinking "Is baby coming yet? It could be today!!"  from like, 36 weeks on.  Ha.

   And then Charlotte infamously snuggled in for a long winter's nap and was ousted via induction a week past her due date, because the fluid in my placenta was getting dangerously low.  I am trying to avoid the whole fluid thing again by guzzling raspberry/nettle/alfalfa tea by the quart-full and feeling very "crunchy granola" while I'm at it, but we shall see if it all pays off in the end or not.

   So of course I shouldn't have expected baby boy to break any trends, but it being my first son, you just never know! Things might be different! But....my due date came and went, as did the next day, and the day after that, and the feeling of deja vu just continues to wash over me day after day.

But!  Not all is merely waiting and torment.

   We were able to go with Randy's family to a reunion at Drift Creek Camp over the weekend, and I am so glad we didn't let "waiting on baby" keep us home.  YES, it was over my due date.  YES, it was at a camp down winding, gravel, forest service roads that stretched on for mile after mile.  YES, there was no cell phone service.  And so I guess yes, it was a little bit crazy.  But it all worked out!  And baby boy stayed comfortably settled inside for the entire time, and we returned home safe and sound, and still very much great with child.


   While the waiting is not easy by any s-t-r-e-t-c-h of the imagination, it has given me the opportunity to finish up a lot of nesting projects, of which I am very grateful for.  Crocheting a baby blanket, making freezer meals, decorating the nursery, and whipping up batches of baby lotion and diaper cream with essential oils in them, and feeling once again, very domestic and crunchy.



  And perhaps the best perk of being overdue of all time??!  People start to feel sorry for you and offer to come over and clean your house and walk through the door bearing gifts of Black Rock iced coffee and lunch.  Or at least if you're lucky enough to have sisters-in-law like mine.

I. Am. So. Blessed.


   Today, which was shaping up to be a real hum-dinger, what with being pregnant still and all, and two very grumpy girlies, turned out to be one of the best days I've had in a long time.  Jessi, Amy and Kayla worked their cleaning wonders on my home, and seriously gave me the most encouraging shot in the arm I've had in a long time.  And this office??  Well.  Let's just say I definitely always kept the doors closed.  I wanted to cover my eyes every time I walked by it.  Various projects, empty baskets, boxes of various things and items ranging from sewing items, scrapbooking supplies, picture frames, paperwork, and electronics littered the floor.  It was getting dangerously close to qualifying for a prime feature on a episode of Hoarders.

   But they didn't let it deter them, and they rolled up their sleeves and I choked down my pride, and we tackled the room.  Now I just want to find excuses to walk into it and look around at the neat, tidy, blank spaces and clear surfaces.  I mean, I even found the energy to blog!!  Probably because the thought of sitting in this room for longer than 2.3 minutes didn't make me want to scratch out my eyeballs anymore.

   So, I think it's safe to say that if you bring me iced coffee and clean my house and organize my absolute worst, scary, dungeon, go-in-there-and-you-might-not-come-out-alive room in my house, I will be your friend for life.  Or maybe even servant for life?  In any case, you will MAKE my life.  Seriously.

   Speaking of those eyes that I want to scratch out sometimes, this is what they look like these days:


 I just have to post this because I don't want to forget this time.  That strangely awful/beautiful time of nearing the very, VERY end of your pregnancy and a sort of animalistic haunting comes over your eyes, tinging them with sadness and weariness while somehow at the very same moment, brimming with hope.

   There is something so unique about the eyes of a woman nearing labor.  I was at my appointment on Monday which ended up being super long and complicated and we won't go into all of that, but I passed a woman in labor in the hall, and I just wanted to stare into her eyes.  I felt such a kinship, such a bond, such a, "I know exactly what you are feeling right now".  Her eyes ached with fatigue and the strain of contractions, but there was a quiet peace to her.  A focus.  A determination to see through this pain and meet her baby.

That is the goal.  That is the pot of gold at the end of this rainbow we call pregnancy.

And my eyes are on the prize.

Come soon, sweet son. 
   

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