Saturday, August 31, 2013

Video Blog No. 1 - Sleep and the new parent

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As I say in the video, I've filmed a couple of these, but haven't had the courage to post one...until now. 
My first video blog. 
This is what I've been reduced to.

So...there you have my first video blog.
I might do more, because it's my blog, after all,
and as a stay at home mom of three now,
talking to yourself in the kitchen during naptime
is the next best thing 
to having an actual friend here to talk to!

Or...is a video blog just one big selfie?
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I won't lie, I wish I could look like this throughout 
the entire video. But that might require botox
to freeze my face in place. 

I have a strict no-botox policy until I turn 30 anyway.

Kidding!

I'm holding off until 40, for sure.

Friday, August 30, 2013

The 4th Trimester

A random post...with 100% cell phone photos 
...and a selfie or two. 
Or three. 
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They call it the 4th trimester. 

The baby's {and mother's!} adjustment from womb to world.

It's true. You don't just go from 9 months pregnant to completely normal again, especially when you're recovering from childbirth {which, in my case, was also a major surgery} as well as breastfeeding, which is a full time job in itself. The 4th trimester: not for wimps.

Paxton is 7 weeks old.

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Though the third baby was way less of an adjustment than the first and second were, still, the fourth trimester. It's a real thing. We're adjusting. Adjusted.

{Also, I hate the breast pump. It hates me just as much. We hate each other, and yet rely on each other. And that's all I have to say about that.}

Justin and I got out for the first time since Paxton's birth, we went to my friend Kellee's birthday party. It was 1950s attire, and it was awesome. See more awesomeness here.
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As a new mom, you feel excitement at the idea of going out...then you get out and you feel nothing but anxiety about being away from your new baby and you want to get home asap. It's ridiculous. That, my friends, is the 4th trimester. The connection you feel from the womb & from breastfeeding means it's just that much harder to leave your baby behind.
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Tummy time!
Justin went back to work about 4 weeks ago now, and I've been on my own trying to manage the idea of homeschooling, entertaining Eisley and Violet, enjoying motherhood, trying out a completely new discipline style, and keeping house. My days are same as any other full time mom, full of simple moments and emotion. Nothing too different than yours, if you're a stay at home mom. Full of laughter and crying and whining and making lunches and love and anger and being thankful for bathroom breaks that aren't interrupted.
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{Violet found the Sharpie the other night and went to town on our beautiful yellow chenille bedspread, our thrifted vintage orange alarm clock, and a baby photo of Eisley that was framed in our bedroom. Justin was fixing dinner, I was feeding the baby. We thought they were playing nicely in Eisley's room, we check on them frequently. We thought wrong. I still have no idea where she found the Sharpie. Contraband. She got a spanking. {Yes, we spank.} She apologized--after prompting. We forgave--after swallowing bitterness at the ruined things. They are just things, remember? She went to bed well, but not before reminding us to pray. {Sweet!} She called to Eisley to come pray with us. {Sweeter!} And then I smothered her in kisses before turning off her light. Ups and downs all day, I tell you. Such is motherhood.}
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Breastfeeding a baby to sleep in the evenings means I watch more TV. {At least it makes sense to me, if I'm going to be stuck on the couch for an hour, I should at least enjoy a show, right? I'm too tired to read...} I admire the families I know who have no TV in their homes, I really do. I wish we were less into our shows, and I wish we relied on The Lion King and Monsters, Inc. a tad bit less to occupy the girls when we need to really get something done. It's a crutch...we've talked about getting rid of it. We don't completely want to though.

ON the other hand... it was nice to be able to turn our car's DVD player on today and let the girls watch Coraline while I pulled over to breastfeed Paxton when he got hungry during our errands this afternoon. TV...I love and hate it.
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Enjoying a cuddle after the 1950s party.
The evenings lately have turned into my TV time because I'm sustaining a small person, and he happens to like cluster feeding these days. I enjoy our time together. While breastfeeding can feel like a big chore and obligation, I've learned that once these days are over, I'll miss the time spent with my tiny baby. I spend a couple hours on the couch each night after the girls go to bed. We've been enjoying The White Queen, Devious Maids, Cedar Cove, and Broadchurch. Anyone else like these shows?
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Got my hair done this week.
The White Queen is a definite favorite, as I'm a fan of Philippa Gregory books, the Medieval/Renaissance period, romance, period costumes, scenes of old castles, and men in armour. So, how could this show not be a favorite? Justin called and asked DirecTV if we could get a deal on Starz and we got 5 months free, so now I can watch The White Queen, which Starz apparently co-produced with the BBC. Cool.

Devious Maids is my guilty pleasure show, created by Marc Cherry, who also created my guilty pleasure of the past--Desperate Housewives. A sort of snarky satire/drama/comedy with juicy plot lines, Devious Maids is just fun to watch. Justin likes it too. The maid Rosie is my favorite. And I'm wracking my brain trying to figure out who killed Flora.

Cedar Cove is my "peaceful show". It's been praised by critics for being completely opposite of all the Hollywood flash/drama/gore/sex you see these days. It's also a fictional show about the town of Cedar Cove, inspired by a town we loved and visited frequently in college, called Port Orchard, Washington. An easy watch that makes me feel cozy, like catching up with old friends over coffee, I've been sucked into it's easy going plots.

Finally, Broadchurch, our latest discovery of BBC greatness since Downton Abbey. It's a creepy, modern whodunit from England, sort of a heavy show so far, I'm looking forward to watching more. We watch it with the closed captioning on because, sorry Brits, but you tend to mutter...and too quickly! {They probably say the same thing about us.)

So there you have it. The 4th trimester and TV go together around here. I remember  watching a lot of Big Love after Eisley's birth and Homeland after Violet's. 20130818_212809
I'm so looking forward to September, because not only is it my favorite month of the year, we have NO PLANS! No birthday parties to plan, no obligations with church, no nothing. I'm excited. Because I feel like the last 7 weeks have been go-go-go and get-it-done...but not before pumping a bottle for the baby!
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The 4th trimester is coming to a close, I can feel it. Paxton is over 9 lbs now, he's holding his head up, he's looking less like a newborn and he is smiling and cooing and we know we're moving into this next phase...

I'm already thinking about busting out the Exersaucer, for crying out loud! He was just born...or so I thought.

Kids. They grow up on you. Punks. I mean, yay!
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So, welcome September! You beauty, you! I plan to spend your days cuddling and nursing and sniffing my baby while watching some indulgent TV shows.

I already feel like I've missed out on too much of Paxton's babyhood. I plan to be more selfish, honestly. I plan to cuddle more and share less. Sometimes when they are newborns I feel like all I do is feed them and then hand them off to someone wanting to hold the baby. Of course everyone wants to hold the baby... but, I earned him. I grew him, from scratch. 

We have that baby-momma bond, no one can ever replicate. I just want to treasure this time, it is fleeting. I'm too experienced of a mother to call myself actually experienced, but I'm experienced enough to know: treasure this, right now.

The 4th trimester, it's between him and I, no one else really lays claim to this time. He's mine for now, for this short period of life {like the 4th trimester} he is mine and I plan to be more selfish and love on him as much as I can before he grows up and leaves.
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I'll just come out and say it: I never knew I could love a son so much. He is wonderful.

Happy September to you!

And now...


Silly selfies!
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I hope you enjoyed my cell phone pictures.

XO,
Heather

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Shower of Books

A handful of people asked me if I was having a baby shower before baby #3 came along, but I kept answering that I didn't think I'd want one this time around. Traditionally etiquette once said you only throw baby showers for the first pregnancy anyway, and I'd had a shower thrown for me with both of the girls. We already have plenty of baby gear {sorry it's all pink with teacups, Paxton} and as you know, I'm a boy clothes fussy pants {though less of one now that my baby is here and I think he's cute in ANYthing}, so I decided to turn down the lovely offers that came regarding a third baby shower.

But some people just won't listen...
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Jan & Kellee showed up at Eisley's 5th birthday party with a bit of a "mini-shower" for me. It was the sweetest, most unique way to celebrate Paxton with some of my friends, yet in a simple and meaningful way and without the lame baby shower games.
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Jan even threw a little Pyrex and some of her sewing creations into the mix--it was just perfect.
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Poor Paxton has been brought into a house full of toys that already have Eisley & Violet's names on them. It's really sweet to have something so personal, with his name on it, to start him off with. Behold: a shower of Little Golden Books!
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From all my "Lutheran Texas friends" {none of us are actually from Texas, but this is what I call them since we all met in Texas last year}. No child in America did not own at least one of these golden foil spined books as a child, they are classics and loved by all.
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They each sent Paxton a favorite Little Golden Book.
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Each one inscribed by the giver.
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Along with sweet little notes and cards that I'm tucking away in his "baby box". I have a baby box for each of my children, filled with things like their hospital bracelets, ultrasound photos, Baptism certificates, etc. I'm serious when I say I'd actually felt bad that Paxton had no baby shower cards in his, unlike his sister's boxes. {This is the little sister in me, being the youngest, it pulls at my heartstrings when my youngest child doesn't get what the older ones got. And yet, life is full of different experiences, I know, I know...it's silly. I am an emotional creature.}
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I was sincerely touched, and it was such a sweet thing to open up, to read the notes, and to set aside a nice little book collection {many classics there!} just for Paxton.

Jan sewed him up some darling burp cloths! Babies are so funny. I keep thinking things like, Here is the only gift you'll ever get that is acceptable to vomit on, Little Buddy!
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I never though I'd say this but, what cute fabric with cars on it! Well done Jan! And we actually really needed burp cloths. Perfect.

Along with the Little Golden Book theme, she also made a fabric Poky Little Puppy book.
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Inscribed and everything, how sweet. We will play with it and take it to church lots of times and then when he gets too old for it someday, we'll stick it in the baby box with his other baby treasures.
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Finally, a baby bath towel. With bicycles. Babies. Baths. Bicycles. {Why did I never make one of these for the girls? The store bought ones we had were flimsy and thin, but the one Jan made for Paxton is big and soft, we love it.}
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All presented in a Pyrex dish--the huge, legendary 4 quart casserole--the size and pattern that I've been looking for, no joke.
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Hands off, Violet! These are for Paxton.
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I may not have wanted a full blown baby shower, but what my friends did do was the bee's knees. I was really touched by the unique and personal gifts.
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Kellee brought a little something just for me too. I have to say, when I saw this sitting in my kitchen during and after the party, I thought she'd just haphazardly tossed a teacup on the counter for some unknown reason, she didn't make a fuss about giving it to me, so I wasn't sure what it really was. After Eisley's party was over I picked it up to take a closer look, and it turns out the teacup is glued like this, and it had birdseed inside! A handmade Pyrex birdfeeder!! It's hanging in our tree now. Such a creative use for extra Pyrex dishes. Not that I have much extra Pyrex sitting around. :::cough cough::: This is cute and I might just make some myself. Guess I should go thrift some more Pyrex...
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A huge thank you to Jan & Kellee and my Texas girls for the heartwarming mini-baby shower! I am blessed to have these friends.

Cheers,
Heather

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Paxton, God's own child, we gladly say it!

Holy Baptism is a wonderful, mysterious thing. We Lutherans believe Baptism is not merely symbolic, nor is it a work of our own, but that it is something that God is present and active in. God Himself is present when a Baptism into Christ is happening. It's something very, very special.

So just as we welcomed Eisley and Violet into the Lord's family as infants, today we also welcomed Paxton. His four grandparents and great-grandmother were all there. This time we didn't choose sponsors, we presented Paxton ourselves. He wore the same outfit his daddy wore for his baptism some 29 years ago! What a sweet relief it was when my mother-in-law presented us with this gift, as you know I had formerly bemoaned picking out something for him to wear. Vintage and heirloom. Perfect. I thought it was really cute, and it even fit him pretty nicely! I also made Paxton a cake for a sort of mini-reception after the service. I requested the hymn, I Am Jesus' Little Lamb, which we sang right after the Baptism--I find that hymn so endearing and appropriate for little ones. It did make me teary...

Here are some photos from the day, along with the words of another great Baptism hymn,
God's Own Child, I Gladly Say It.
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"God’s own child, I gladly say it: I am baptized into Christ!
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He, because I could not pay it, gave my full redemption price.DSC_0921 
Do I need earth’s treasures many?  I have one worth more than any
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That brought me salvation free, Lasting to eternity!

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Satan, hear this proclamation: I am baptized into Christ!

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Drop your ugly accusation; I am not so soon enticed.
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Now that to the font I’ve traveled, 
all your might has come unraveled,

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And, against your tyranny, God, my Lord, unites with me!

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Death, you cannot end my gladness: 
I am baptized into Christ!
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When I die, I leave all sadness to inherit paradise!

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Though I lie in dust and ashes faith’s assurance brightly flashes:

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Baptism has the strength divine to make life immortal mine."

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Happy Baptism Day, Paxton!

It's basically like re-living his birth all over again. 
Except this time, it's not just the start of his life.
It's the start of his forever. 
As Luther said, 
"No greater jewel can adorn 
our body and soul than Baptism."


Cheers,
Heather

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