Saturday, September 20, 2014

Let the Dreaming Begin

I remember driving to work one morning just a few weeks before Eden was born, and it hit me... I WAS ACTUALLY HAVING A BABY!  A baby.  A baby to see and hold and feel and love.  A baby that was MINE!

That seems ridiculous.  I had been pregnant for like thirty-three weeks at that point.  I had heard heartbeats and seen ultrasounds and felt her move.  But all of a sudden, it just became a little more real.  And I started getting insanely, insanely excited.  I had been holding myself back... that maybe the whole thing was too good to be true.  But at that moment, I let myself start dreaming... I imagined what it would be like to hold her for the first time, I imagined how her body would feel against mine, I imagined what she might look like, I imagined what Dustin's face would look like when she was placed in his arms, I imagined bringing her home and starting our new life together.  And unlike all my previous dreaming about how much I wanted a baby and what it would be like if I ever had a baby, this time it was different, because this time it was real.

You would think that the second time around I would understand how this works.  Nope.  Shit got real this week.  Next month is baby month, and it has finally hit me.  And the dreaming has started all over again.  I'm imagining that newborn cry, seeing her for the first time, the weight of her tiny body in my arms, her little eyes blinking at me as she takes in the bright lights, Dustin right there with us.

I'm imagining Eden meeting her and climbing up into my hospital bed to hold her.  I'm imagining the car ride home when there will be two little girls in my backseat.  I'm imagining that first night at home with her snuggled in her bassinet next to our bed.

Saturday mornings when we lay her in our bed on her newborn lounger and Eden climbs in too.  Her presence in the living room, sleeping in her nap nanny, as Eden and I play.  Fighting over who gets to hold her with Dustin while we watch TV at night.  (We used to argue every. single. night. over who got to hold Eden while watching our nightly shows.)

Let's call her "I" right now.

Eden's old baby clothes have been washed and put away in "I"'s room.  As I went through all of those clothes, I remembered Eden wearing them while dreaming about "I" wearing them.  She has plenty of new stuff all her own too.  I have so many of Eden's clothes tucked away in a box labeled "Special Baby Eden Clothes" - hospital outfits, holiday outfits, what she was wearing when she did major "firsts", etc.  "I" needs her own special outfits too.  I folded and put everything away so neatly.  And then I like to go in there and take things back out and look at them and imagine the little baby who will be wearing them soon.

At the end of August, I made a to-do list of all the things I needed to get done before she arrives.  I dedicated September to getting all of those things done so that once October hits, I can just relax.  Her coming home outfit has been chosen.  My hospital bag is packed.  The bassinet bedding has been washed.  Her crib (as you can see above) is set up.  That crib was mine.  And Marshall's.  And Eden's.  And now "I"'s.

And let's not forget Big Sister Eden.  Her hospital outfit is ready to go too.

It's been hanging there on her dresser for weeks now, and I tell her, "This is what you're going to wear when "I" is born."  And y'all... she totally gets it now.

After seeing it on Pinterest, I made this book for her...

We read it every day.

There are pictures of us holding her in the hospital and pictures of the people who came to visit and a picture of all the flowers people sent.  We read it and look at the pictures and talk about it.  I tell her how much all those people who came to visit love her, and now when we get to that page, she usually says it herself: "Them loves me!"  I tell her that, "This is a picture of you when you first came out of my tummy, and "I" is gonna come out of my tummy soon too."  We look at pictures of her tiny self, and I tell her how small she used to be and how she grew, and now when we get to this page, she says, "I was little, then I grew up!"

I love asking her when "I" will be born.  She always says the exact same thing, and I love that she really does seem to understand everything I've been telling her.  She says, "Her is little right now.  Her has to grow more.  Then her come out."

I've tried to involve her as much as possible in this.  We went shopping a few weeks ago, and I explained to her that she was going to get to pick stuff out for "I".  It would be just from her, and she could give it to "I" when she was born.

I LOVE that dress.  Great job, Eden!  At Barnes and Noble, I told her she could choose two books... one for her and one for "I".  (She chose one with Olaf on the front for herself... no surprise there!)  Then I let her pick out a stuffed animal.  As we walked around the store some more so that I could look for books for myself (duh!), she carried that book and that unicorn around and kept repeating, "This for "I", but I have it right now."  When we checked out, she reached up to the counter to put her stuff on it, and she told the lady checking us out, "This for "I", "I" right there", and she pointed to my tummy.

When we got home, I put everything into a box.  I let Eden pick out wrapping paper from my stash.  And after I wrapped the box in the blue paper she had chosen, I handed her stickers, a glue stick and pom-poms and let her go to town.

Every once in a while, I show her the gift and ask her who's it for to make sure she hasn't forgotten.  "THAT'S FOR "I"!!!!", she always yells.

And I'm dreaming about the day that she carries it into my hospital room to meet her baby sister.

I'm also dreaming about the day that I can once again eat a cupcake.  Or even just a bowl of cereal.  Because gestational diabetes... OVER IT!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Happy Things

What perfectly lovely, dreary, gray, rainy days the past two days have been.  The perfect kind of days for staying in your pajamas, reading books, watching movies (in bed!), putting together puzzles, coloring, and taking bubble baths.  Which is exactly what Eden and I did yesterday.  It looks like that's what's on the agenda for today as well.  As far as housework, I've done nothing productive, but oh well... It's been a long time since we've had rainy days to enjoy around these parts!

Here are a few things that are making me happy lately:

  • the rain... before we even had breakfast this morning, I took Eden outside to run around in it.  I tried running around with her.  It'll be really nice when I don't have a giant belly always in my way.  I'm really glad we don't have neighbors.  Because when she got tired of running, she wanted us to dance in the rain.  There's no telling what THAT looked like.

this is what her hair looks like every morning when she gets up... POOF!

Daisy played too.

  • Kids are back in school which means Eden and I can go back to The Children's Museum.  I stayed away all summer for fear that I would punch somebody.  I get ragey when places are overcrowded.

  • these matching bunny slippers that my Godmother made for Eden and her little sister... Eden likes to put hers on and hop around yelling, "I GOT MY BUNNY SHOES ON!  THEY MAKE ME HOP HIGH!"  (She also likes to put on her blue tennis shoes and run laps around our kitchen island yelling, "I GOT MY RUNNIN' SHOES ON!  THEY MAKE ME RUN FAST!")  And I'm imagining the day that I have two little girls wearing bunny slippers.

  • our back door... Eden makes pictures for Dustin, and then we hang them on the back door so he'll see them when he comes home from work.

  • how cute it is that Eden has named her baby doll after her baby sister and insists on taking her with us places

  • making the most of what's left of summer... September is the month when most people start throwing themselves into fall, and I start panicking that summer will be over soon.  I took Eden to the water park a couple of weekends ago, and we have plans for another beach and fishing trip to Matagorda on Sunday if the weather cooperates!

She's brave.  And it's amazing that at the beginning of summer, she was afraid of these big slides, but just a few months later, she preferred them to the toddler slides.

  • that Eden's favorite book to read at bedtime is her Children's Bible... She can already answer questions like "Who were the first man and the first woman?" and "What did the dove bring back to Noah?" and "How many days was Jonah inside the big fish?"  (And also, every time we read Jonah and the Big Fish, she says, "The fish is big like YOU!"  Awww, how sweet!)

  • our lab collection being oh so good so that they don't get thrown out into the rain

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Livin' the Dream

Life has been slow lately, and for that, I am thankful.  As my due date approaches, all I really want to do is spend as much quality time with Eden as possible, and lately it seems that we have plenty of days to just stay home and play.

I have no desire to be away from her at all right now.  Now that I've entered my third trimester, I have so many people offering to keep her for an afternoon so I can rest, and I'm so grateful to them, but I've turned down every offer. These are our last days of just me and her, and I'm gonna make the most of them!

Dustin and I are both trying to do everything we can to make sure she feels special before her little world does a 180.

Last weekend we took a day trip to Matagorda.

After Eden ran around the beach for a few hours, we went back to a friend's house (the house we stayed at back in June) so Eden could fish off the dock, and we could all shower before driving home.

All the fish they caught were teeny-tiny, and Eden kept saying, "They're little like ME!"

When it was time to leave, Eden cried and cried and cried because she did NOT want to leave.  She wanted to keep fishing.  Dustin was so proud, and we promised her we'd be back soon.


So I love back-to-school shopping.  That was always right up there with Christmas and Easter for me.  Brand new shoes and backpacks and outfits and fresh pencils and binders, etc...  Everything so pretty and clean and crisp and ready for a brand new year.  I'm not ready for Eden to be school-age yet, but I'm already really looking forward to when I get to take her on back-to-school shopping trips.  After a doctor's appointment last week, I told Dustin we needed to stop at Academy because Eden needed new tennis shoes.  She's never had a pair of nice tennis shoes before.  Up until now, she's never had much need for them, so usually I just get the cheapest pair of no-name tennis shoes that I can find at Wal-Mart.  But I figured it was time she stop wearing sandals or crappy shoes with no support to the park or museum or wherever we go that requires a lot of walking.  The girl needed some good tennis shoes.  I told Dustin this.  And it was all true.  But also, I wanted to feel like I was a part of the back-to-school shopping experience.  :)  So we went to Academy and had her little foot measured, and since her favorite color that day was blue (it changes every day), she picked out these beauties.

I could not stop getting them out of the box and looking at them on the way home.  I told Dustin, "You know, these are her first pair of REAL tennis shoes.  It's kinda a big deal!"  He said, "Let me guess.  You're going to frame them."

I was really emotional about the whole shoe experience, and I know that seems silly, but to me, it really was a big deal.  Back when I thought I may never have kids, I used to dream about all the things I would do if I had them.  Big things like Disney World and little things like taking them to the store and buying them a pair of tennis shoes that they picked out.  It really was as much fun as I imagined, and Eden is so proud of her shoes!

I've started taking a picture of Eden every Sunday before we leave for church.  I wish I would've been doing this all along.  Most people don't get dressed up for church anymore, and whatever - to each his own.  But I LOVE getting Eden dressed on Sunday mornings.  I just don't think there's anything more precious than little girls wearing ruffly socks.

Here's Eden with her friend Lily after this month's Toddler Art Class:

Eden and I play the Goodnight Moon Game almost every single night during her bedtime routine.  Occasionally Dustin will come play it with us, but when he doesn't, Eden insists that her princesses get their own board and play with us.  This causes the game to take approximately one thousand times longer.  She helps each princess draw a card and find where it goes and gives them high fives, and that doesn't sound like much, but it takes FOREVER.

Someone asked me recently after reading my blog how I can always be so upbeat about the whole mom thing.  For starters, Eden really does make it easy.  She's easy.  But of course I have moments when I get frustrated too.  Plenty of them.  Like when playing the Goodnight Moon Game should take ten minutes and instead takes forty minutes because the princesses have to play.

I'm also well aware that if my biggest problem with my child is that a nightly game takes a really long time sometimes... well I have it made.

Two year olds aren't known for making life easy.  Enjoyable, yes.  Easy, no.  But I don't care.  Because THIS is what I wanted.  THIS is what I hoped for, dreamed of, prayed for.  And now that I have it, I'm not going to complain about it.

In an interview once, Julia Roberts talked about her time filming Steel Magnolias in Louisiana.  She said that everyone complained and complained and complained about how hot it was while filming except for Dolly Parton.  Finally someone asked Dolly why she wasn't complaining too.  And while I don't know the exact quote, it was something to the effect of, "I dreamed of getting to do this my whole life, and I told myself that if I ever got to do it, I would never complain."

Now I'm not saying I've NEVER complained.  It's usually to Dustin that I vent about my morning sickness or if Eden is crabby and difficult one day or about the fact that I have gestational diabetes AGAIN, but for the most part, I try REALLY hard not to.   Because this is what I wanted.

I am living my dream.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Eden = Amazingness

 We dye the trough water blue this year because we're fancy like that!

So at the beginning of last week, I got sick.  Like really, really, really sick.  To the point that I became so dehydrated that I started having contractions, and I was ordered by my doctor's nurse to STAY DOWN.  So for three days, I pretty much never left my couch.

I'm telling you this lovely information so that I can tell you just how amazing my daughter is.  For three days, she pretty much took care of herself.  She was so unbelievably understanding when I explained to her that I couldn't get up.  I told her, "Mama's tummy hurts", and she made sure to kiss it for me and sat quietly on the floor next to the couch playing with toys and puzzles and books.  Dustin came home to make her lunch each day, but for snacks, she just went and got them herself.  She even brought me crackers when I asked her to.  She went to the bathroom all by herself each time she needed to, and she curled up quietly next to me to watch Mickey Mouse or Frozen while I napped.  

I kid you not, she even did her CHORES without me telling her to.  From my spot on the couch, I could hear food being poured into Daisy's bowl in the mornings.  Then Eden would come running into the living room to move her little clip to the side of her chore board.

She brings me more joy than I ever thought was possible.

I wish she could stay this age forever.  Okay, maybe not forever because I'm looking forward to other ages and stages too, but can't they be two for two years or something?  I just like her so much, ya know?  And sometimes "liking" someone is even bigger than "loving" someone.  Of course I love her, she's my child!  But every single day, I wake up, and I just like being with her.  She's my little pal.  We have donut dates and play at the park and go on walks and bake and color and put together puzzles and watch Frozen for the one millionth time, and she just makes it all so easy and enjoyable.  It never feels like a hassle to have to take her somewhere or take care of her.  Because she is just so easy-going and fun and good-natured.  Grocery stores, restaurants, doctor's offices... doesn't matter where we go, she's always good.  Like seriously, ALWAYS good.  Her first dentist appointment?  She was a pro.  The dentist couldn't believe how good she did.  I got a lot of, "Wow, most kids her age scream the entire time" from pretty much every one working there.  If this next baby is even just half as good as Eden, I've got it made.

People always tell me how good she is when they're around her, and I WANT to take credit.  I WANT to be like "Oh yeah, she's such a great kid because I'm such a great mom!"  While I do think Dustin and I deserve SOME credit, really it's just her.  And God.  It's just her sweet, little, God-given personality.

  Eden and Max napping together

She is talking so much now!  Full sentences!  She has been a late talker, but all of a sudden she has just taken off.  I still have a little moment of shock every time a sentence pops out of her mouth.  If I try to help her do something, I get a "I CAN DO IT BY MYSELF!"  When she is putting together a puzzle, I can hear her talking to herself: "This one goes here.  This one goes there." 

I have a few favorites.   When we're driving and we come up to a red light: "IT'S RED!  BOP!"  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE her little "BOP!"  There will be so many things that I miss about this age, but number one will be her little voice.  Her sweet, little, tiny, innocent voice.  After hearing her "BOP!" while we were visiting a few weeks ago, my mom said, "It'll be so good when she starts saying that correctly, but you'll be sad too."  Yes, I will be.  Then there's the jellyfish.  She hates jellyfish.  They completely freaked her out when we went to the aquarium in Corpus Christi.  There's a picture of one in one of her books, and any time she sees it, she yells, "AH!  I DON'T LIKE THEM!  THEY'RE YUCKY!"  It cracks me up every time.  And then every night after she has done all four things on her chore board, she gets a quarter to put in "Dino's tummy".  She always pretends that the dinosaur has bitten her during this process and runs away yelling, "OW!  THAT HURTS!"  Then she comes back to scold the dinosaur and let him know that he's being bad.

The first thing we did after I started feeling better was make icebox pickles from all the cucumbers we've been collecting from The Garden of Eden.

The girl loves to be in the kitchen.  When she sees me or Dustin in the kitchen, she drags a bar stool over to us and stands on it to help pour and stir and all that good stuff.  SHE made those pickles.  I cut everything up and measured everything out, but she's the one who sat on a bar stool at the stove stirring the brine, and she's the one who put everything into the jar.  

It makes me so happy that she likes to bake with me.  I LOVE to bake, and I love it when we do it together.  The past couple of Sundays, we've spent the afternoons baking a dessert to have for the rest of the week.  I'm thinking Sunday tradition.

the best part!

Eden has two obsessions right now.  The first is puzzles.

She is GOOD at puzzles.  Like scary good.  That twelve piece dancer puzzle in the picture above?  She can put it together by herself in under two minutes.  Now maybe I'm just really impressed because I'm her mom and think that everything she does is amazing, but seriously... I think that's super impressive for a two and a half year old.  She will sit for an hour straight just putting together all of her puzzles.  Then taking them apart.  And doing them all again.  And again.  And again.

I ordered her a puzzle of herself.  Because we're narcissists like that.

Her other obsession is Frozen.  She would watch it over and over and over and OVER if I let her.  She has it memorized.  She tells me every time Olaf is fixing to make an appearance onscreen.  While listening to Toddler Radio in the car the other day, "Let It Go" came on.  I think maybe two notes from the song played, and Eden was already yelling, "FROZEN!  FROZEN!"  Not gonna lie, it made me a little ashamed.  Kinda felt like a bad mom that my child could recognize a song from a movie THAT fast. 

By the way Kate, Eden LOVES her "pincess soot"!  She wants to wear it all the time.  She wasn't really into getting her picture taken in it though!

We had a few weeks off from gymnastics while the instructor took a vacation, but we started back up for the fall semester this past Tuesday, and Eden got a new leotard for the occasion.

Donuts followed by the park has become our Wednesday morning ritual this summer.  Planning on keeping it up, and adding story time at the library once that starts back up again this school year.

See that giant donut?  She eats the whole thing.

She has her own little lounge chair at my dad and Susie's pool.  It's the cutest.

I believe her expression in the following picture means, "Why is she still taking pictures?  I already smiled for her!"

28 weeks

I'm still not sure what little thoughts are running through Eden's head about this whole sister thing, but she can feel the baby move and kick her now.  We're all pretty excited about October over here.