Friday, December 18, 2015

Second Verse, Definitely NOT the Same as the First

The birth of my first child was a long, hard labor. It was an experience I wouldn't trade for anything. I learned a lot about myself through that labor. The birth of my second child was a complete surprise. Even my midwife, who had cautioned me that second labors often go faster than first labors, said it was almost unheard of to have such a huge difference in length and difficulties of labors in the same mama. Our second child, AL, was born 2 days after his due date, after a 5ish hour labor, and exactly 2 pushes. BC slept through the whole thing. We called my mom, who was on deck to be with BC while I labored, at 5:02 AM. "Okay. Real labor has started so you should come over now." Not in a panic. Not even especially to rush her. Just, you know, it's time. She walked in at 5:18 AM to see my husband on the floor, holding me, holding our new son. The midwife missed the birth by about 10 minutes. I now have the distinction, and distinct honor, of having "caught" both of my children. In case you're wondering, yes, I feel like a badass.

AL was latched by the time he was 15 minutes old and nursed for a solid 2 hours. BC asked to "see the placenta" and was fascinated. He may want to be a midwife when he grows up. We are all settling in quite nicely.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

To My First Born

My dearest son,

Today I am 40 weeks pregnant with your sibling. I have been trying to write this note to you for several months but am just now finally getting my thoughts about the impending arrival out of my head and into the world. You have been my only child for the past three and a half years. These years have been the best of my life, because of you. You made me a mother. You are my first born; the first to teach me how to love unconditionally, the first to call me "Mama", the first to let me not live up to that title and love me anyway, the first to walk through the world by my side as my child, the first Great Mystery I will never solve. My love for you is beyond compare to anything I have ever known. You and I, we've created a special world for ourselves. We are buddies. We are Mother and Child. Your Papa is the third in our cozy tribe and together, the three of us, face the world head-on. Not loving every minute of it, but loving one another fiercely through it.

Right now my belly is round and large. You scarcely fit on my lap because of it. With every inch my belly has grown, with every loss of an inch on my lap for you to sit, I have felt this deep, nagging worry that I cannot ignore. Will you ever wonder, I wonder, why your Papa and I wanted to make our cozy tribe of three into four? Will you be heartbroken to learn that the baby being out of my belly does not mean my lap will be free for you to sit upon whenever you choose? Will you struggle with suddenly having a sibling, feeling that you were not enough?

Son, you are enough. Enough to be my first born. You are perfectly you and fit perfectly into my life. Another child in our family is one more person to love. Another child in our family means a sibling for you. It's a gift I am giving you. Siblings, my darling boy, are the relationships that outstretch all other relationships. As your parent, I will have the honor of walking with you through the beginning and middle of your life. Your partner will, eventually, have the honor of walking with you through the middle and end of your life. Your sibling will have the honor of walking with you throughout your entire life. Your sibling will be the one to know you as a child, a young adult, a middle-ager, and an old man. Your sibling will know how you got that scar, be able to hold entire conversations with you only using quotes from the favorite movie you share, fight with you both verbally and physically (but always make up), wonder with you at the mental status of your parents, share your joy and your sorrow, hold your past, celebrate your future, and call you Brother. All of that is what I want for you. I want you to know the richness of siblinghood.

You are enough. You will forever be my first born child, the one who first called me Mother, the one I first called Child. Now it is time for you to be called Brother.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

One Year Later

A year ago I was in a pretty dark place. I wasn't sure how long it would take, or how I would even go about getting out of that place. But here I am, one year later. The emotional and spiritual scars from my miscarriage remain, at times, palpable. Leading up to this "anniversary" (as it were) I was filled with all sorts of irrational fears and worries about my current pregnancy. Knowing they were irrational didn't seem to help quell them. But here I sit, the day almost over, so grateful for what I have, sad for what I've lost, and hopeful for what will come. One year later and I am in a much brighter place. One year later and I am certain sure I will always remember the loss. Just as I will always know that, sometimes, hope is all there is.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Simple Life: Update

It's been 3 months since we moved into our tiny abode on the farm. BC is thriving. In so many ways he is like a different kid. Because his physical space is basically unencumbered, his gross motor skills have blossomed. As a matter of fact, his fine motor skills have also taken a leap. All that body-brain connection stuff I've read so much about is playing out right before my eyes simply because my son has been given space. Space to run, jump, fall, climb, garden, dig and haul, kneel and crawl. Space to be free. Space to explore and to experiment. Space to live. Space, even, to "cut the weeds" with his scissors.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

First Borns

My mom asked me to take a picture of her first born playing in the sand with my first born. At the time I sort of rolled my eyes but took it anyway, if only to humor her. But it has since turned into one of my favorite pictures. I don't know. There is something about it... JA and BC just look so... The same, somehow. I just love it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Strawberries and Grapefruit

Strawberries and grapefruit. That's about all that has "sounded good" to eat to me for the past several months. Luckily, it has been strawberry season here in the old midwest. Double lucky I have access to organic grapefruit and grapefruit juice year-round (because, America). Although it has been a long road to get here, here it is at last. In December we will welcome our second child into this world. So many thoughts, so many emotions, so much fun explaining things to the Big Brother to be. I asked him what he thought about being a big brother. His words, verbatim, "not very bad. It's just a little odd." Exactly, my little wise one. Exactly.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Creek Stompin'

Well, we moved into our tiny abode. Thanks to my brothers, the move was fast and painless. Of course, when you're moving into 400 sq ft there really isn't all that much "stuff" to move. We are not even two weeks in and I am down to only 2 boxes left to unpack. Woohoo! 

The move was harder on BC than I had anticipated. Even though he had been included in the process, had had endless conversations about the move in the months leading up to it, and had been encouraged to tell us what he was feeling about moving to a new home, it was still a change. A big change. The house we moved from was the house where he was born - literally - it's been all he's known of "home". And I can only imagine what that must be like for him. Truth be told, I was surprisingly emotional about the move myself. Don't get me wrong, I was and am elated to be out of that neighborhood, in a place where we can feel safe and comfortable, and well on our way to our ultimate goal of owning a sustainable homestead. But my son was born in that home - literally. It's the home where he took his first steps, had his first bath, at his first solid food, recovered from his first fever, and on and on. We were leaving behind a wall marked with dates and heights and others with beautifully random and meticulously intentional crayon and marker artwork. We were leaving behind many memories of late nights with a newborn, dreams of what the baby growing in my belly would bring, and fears at the thought of "starting a family". We were leaving behind so much. 

Except we weren't really. Because all of those things (even the walls) are held fast in our memories. The things that I want to remember I will remember because of what they are, not where they happened. But still, the move was somewhat emotional, which made for some difficult days. Our solution was to go creek stompin'. Turns out it was just what we needed. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Each year for the past 2 years, on a warm June morning, my mom, son, and I have gone blueberry picking at a local u-pick blueberry farm. Today marked the third year for this. It was breezy, overcast, and just sticky enough to remind us we were in Indiana, after all. He made sure to bring his little tin pail, "just like" the one Sal carries in Blueberries for Sal (which we read last night in preparation for today's outing). Kaplink, Kaplank, Kaplunk really is the sound those berries make dropping into the bottom of an empty tin pail. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Another Summer

Although the first day of summer has not officially made its appearance, here in Indiana, summer is upon us. Summer with a toddler is the best summer I have ever experienced in my adult life. Museums, parks, farms, camping, dirtying, hoses, sprinklers, water guns and balloons, bubbles, fires, treats, and cloud dough. So much cloud dough.

What's that, you say? Never heard of cloud dough, you say?? It is magical stuff. Flour and baby oil (note, use unscented baby oil) mixed together forms a soft - one could say cloud-like "dough" of sorts. Not quite sand and not quite mud but something equally deserving of child's play in its own right. Try it. Make it and put it in a large container (large enough for a toddler to sit it = bonus), and GO. It's never-ending fun and oh-so-summer.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

On This Day

This was mostly my Mother's Day:

 What good is dirt if it is never made into a mud hole?

Friday, April 24, 2015


All the things that make up you are all the things I love. Okay. Maybe not all the things. But all the things that make up you are all the things that have made me grow exponentially over the last three years, that's for sure. Since the day you peacefully entered the world, your sweet spirit has enabled me to reach towards being a better me. I'm not sure if that's part of the job description of "Mama" or if it is just what I needed in my life - but the pull is undeniable. I need to be better. I have to be better. Because you are here. Because you are, every day, the best you can be. Because you know no other way to be. And I strive to do the same. It is not perfection I am growing towards. It is living fully and with arms wide open to the world. Be patient with me, for living as you do takes a lot of unlearning for an adult like me. Luckily, I have the perfect teacher. Thank you for taking me under your wing.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Boy.


Sunday, February 15, 2015


This summer we will move from our 2,000 square foot house into a 400 square foot apartment. Yup. This move it temporary, and all part of our larger long-term plan. It is also something that I am greatly looking forward to. We have wanted to downsize and simplify our life for some time now. We want to eventually build a small, sustainable home on some acreage and the move this summer will help us be able to do that in the next few years.

Last fall we spent three weeks traveling around in our 28-foot travel trailer. We loved the close quarters so much more than we thought we would and that gave us the final push we needed to make the move into a tiny space. I've already started purging lots of stuff we have accumulated (for no good reason) and it feels great. Simple is what I crave these days and simple is definitely where we're headed.

To be continued...