Tuesday, May 29, 2012

home sweet home

Ahhh, the saying couldn't be more true--there's no place like home.

After checking out of the hospital Saturday morning & a quick stop by Walgreens to drop off prescriptions, Jared, myself & sweet little Lulla were eager to get home & begin our journey as a family of four.

Getting all dressed up in her coming home gown

That squishy face--love it!

All ready to go home

It was the sweetest homecoming ever--a little boy who met us at the top of the stairs & jumped into our arms, exclaiming "Baby home!", a tidy home, a hot lunch simmering in the crock pot & a homemade cake with the perfect little finger swipe through the center of it {I appreciated that Jett tried it out first, just to make sure it was indeed delicious}.

Jett showed more interest in Lulla than he had all four days visiting us the hospital. He showered her with kisses & asked again & again, "I hold it?" He proudly puffed up with pride when we'd ask what his little sissy's name is & would respond, "Wulla Cake". And while I know he had the very best time spending his week with Gigi, I could tell the moment we walked in the door that he felt complete. We all felt complete.

I wanted to get a few photos of Lulla in her beautiful homecoming gown--she was NOT going for it.

We've spent the past few days just settling in. Our days & nights are all mixed up {as they should be with a newborn in the house}, we're juggling two kiddos' schedules, sterilizing bottles & binkies, spending lots of time in our jammies, cuddling a toddler, snuggling a roly-poly squishy baby & enjoying made-from-scratch meals that friends are dropping by. It has been an amazing few days at home & we are absolutely relishing in this precious time. 

At 2 am, as I stumbled into the kitchen to prepare a bottle for my shift {Jared & I are splitting the nighttime feedings}, this little note from my hubby brought the biggest smile to my face. 

The adorable {& delicious} chicken pot pie my sweet friend brought us for dinner

Before I sign off & head to bed, I just want to take a quick moment to thank my mother in law for being here to make our homecoming one that we will remember forever. Your little touches on the day & the work you put into making our home so welcoming after returning from a five day hospital stay meant so much to us & we are so very thankful for all that you did to help us out! THANK YOU! We love you.

Well friends, I've got to squeeze in a couple hours of sleep before the princess wakes up for her next feeding! I'll be back as soon as I can.

Have a happy week!

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Princess Has Arrived

Hello world!

Meet our pretty, little princess...

Miss Lulla Cate
{pronounced Loo-Lah}
7 pounds/7 ounces
19 1/4 inches
Pretty as can be

It was an absolute perfect, flawless delivery & the past few days have been nothing short of amazing!  I can't wait to share all of the details once we are home & settled & finding a groove, but for now just know that your prayers for our family & my postpartum experience have been heard & the Lord is blessing our family in ways I never could have dreamed.

We will be going home tomorrow, a little bundle of pink in tow & will be taking some time to nestle in & bond as a new family of four. I hope to pop in here & there to say hello & of course show of my beautiful babies--that is, as long as I'm not too sleep deprived.

Until then, I'll leave you with a few photos of our latest happenings. Hopefully, these will tide you over until the next blog post!

 This little boy is a champ. He has been so sweet with his "Sissy" & has accepted her with open, loving arms.

The look on his face says it all--he is so proud to be her big brother!

Me & my beautiful babies

Have a wonderful weekend, friends! 

I'll be back soon!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Go TIme

Hey friends! Just popping in real quick before I head off to bed. I had every intention of writing the post I've had in my heart & head for days now, but time just seemed to get away from me & I ended up spending the last few sweet moments of today with my little boy & family.

I feel good. I feel peace. I feel support & love & prayers. And mostly I feel ready--ready to meet my little girl.


Tomorrow at this time, life will look so much different for us & I promise I'll do my best to update you on all our happenings just as soon as I can!

Until then, have a wonderful week!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Family {of 3} Night

Jared had no more than walked in the door from work & dropped his bags when I declared to him, "We're having a family night." 

Knowing that this is our last weekend as the Three Muskateers, my insides have been feeling all mushy & gushy & sentimental {yes, I know, nothing new} & it just seemed like the right thing to do--to go & have some sort of celebration to honor our last few days as a family of three, even if just a simple celebration. 

And I don't know about you, but to me, nothing says Family Night like a Friday evening, tucked in the corner of a favorite pizza joint. 

We ordered up a plate of cheesy bread, sipped on tall, fizzy Coca-colas & while we waited on our deep dish pizza to be cooked to perfection, we filled our wait time by buzzing motorcycles along a crayon colored highway, drawn by a very artistic Momma & Daddyboy. Aren't paper tablecloths too much fun? 

After we were sufficiently stuffed, we took a little hop, skip & jump to another favorite hot spot of ours--Orange Leaf. We have fallen into the self-serve frozen yogurt craze & I honestly can't think of a better way to conclude our Family Night {or ANY night for that matter.} It's some goooood stuff.

We dished up our favorite concoctions--
Jared: brownie batter yogurt, chocolate chips & chocolate syrup. Someone's a bit of a choco-holic, I'd say.

Jett: vanilla yogurt, m&m's, chocolate chips & colored sprinkles. We let him choose his own toppings. I was actually pretty impressed at his little ensemble of yumminess. Pretty good choices for a two year old.

Me: cheesecake yogurt, strawberries, graham cracker crumbs. This is my favorite & it's what I always choose. I am such a creature of habit. I think next time I might go crazy & try something new. Be a little dare devil. Maybe.

We people watched, we laughed at our little guy as he raced around the crowded yogurt bar, making friends with all the kids in the room, often times pulling a chair up to join them at their table. 

And on the way home we turned up the music loud. Jared absolutely hates listening to loud music in the car, but also knows how much I love it--it's like a quick therapy session for me, rocking out in the car. So every once in awhile {not very often} he'll give a little smirk, reach for the volume knob & crank it up. And we jam out. Tonight's jam out session was brought to us by Maroon 5 & Justin Bieber {hey now, his 'Boyfriend' song rocks--I don't care what you say}. Even Jett showed us a few moves he's been saving up for a night like tonight. Who knew such moves could bust out of that Britax carseat?

It was a good night. It was night worthy of celebration. It was a sweet, sweet Family Night.

Our weekend is sprinkled with a few activities here & there, but for the most part it will consist of drinking in our last moments of togetherness as a family of three. My parents come in on Monday to get settled in for their big week of taking care of {aka:spoiling} Jett. And we will brace ourselves for the whirlwind of excitement that is about to be in just a matter of days.

I anticipate a few more jam out sessions, maybe another ice cream run, perhaps one more Family {of 3} Night before the weekend is said & done. 

Hey Justin Bieber... hit it!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Heart's Home

My heart's been having a little standoff with itself lately.

On one side, it's bubbling & fizzing with excitement, eager to turn the page on the next chapter of our lives, anxious to bloom into a family of four, dying to know the little bean that wiggles within me. I know in the depths of my soul that our little girl is going to change life forever--make it fuller, richer, more meaningful. I know that very soon, I will look back at the path behind me & wonder how in the world our lives ever moved about without our sweet daughter in the midst of it. I can't wait to know her, to learn her every feature, feel her tight fisted grasp around my pinky finger, watch her lungs fill with air as she sweeps into this world & her first breaths are taken. I have dreamt every single detail over & over again in my mind & as the day draws closer & closer, I find my patience dwindling quickly. I cannot wait to meet our girl.

And then there's the other side. The one that stands here taking a long, hard look at my beautiful little family of three. The family we have fought hard to establish & the one we have nestled & flourished into so perfectly. We have found our groove, carved our way & grown into a family that I am blessed & thankful for more & more with each passing day--one I am so very proud of. And as much as I desire to whip open my arms & embrace the new, the beginnings, the unknown that I know will bring joys that my heart can't even begin to fathom, I also find myself in a state of grief. I find myself mourning the fact that in just a matter of days, this little family of three that has become my heart's home, won't quite look the same as it used to.

I've decided to go ahead & let my heart work this one out on it's own--'cause I know that eventually, it will. For the time being, I'm letting this heart of mine clutch, with white knuckles, all the little moments that are at hand:

The mid morning playdates, just me & my boy, where he begs me to join him in his swingset fort, not having any clue how much work it is to get my big, pregnant self up that ladder & plopped into "Jett's house"---these moments are worth every bit of huff & puff it takes to spend that sweet, sweet time with him.

Our afternoon snuggles, where we sink into our comfy living room chair after waking from an afternoon snooze, & get lost in a stack of books & a bowl of goldfish--I am treasuring the time, memorizing the feeling it is to be a mommy to only one little boy.

The evening hours, spent outdoors until the sky starts to grow dark & that very first star is pointed out by Jett, where it's just the three of us, watching our energetic boy gallop & hop, skip & run--I am clinging to these nights, where he still looks little for just a while longer.

The quiet hours, after bathtime & bedtime & kisses & tucking in, when it's just me & my husband. Sharing thoughts, exploring fears, laughing til our bellies hurt, connecting in ways that are much needed before we fling open the cabin door of that airplane & launch ourselves into the unknown--I am finding so much comfort in these moments, peace in the strength of our marriage.

For right now, my heart is home. It is with my little family of three, soaking & sopping up every drip of life we have at our fingertips at this given moment. My heart needs to savor. It needs to cling. It needs to hold on.

But in less than a week, my heart will take up residence in a new home. It will let go. It will surrender the fight of holding onto what was, & it will stretch forth it's arms as wide as they can go & bear hug the crap out of what will be. It will embrace. Because it knows. It knows that by letting go, nothing will truly be lost, but so very much will be gained. We will move ahead, find our groove, carve our way, bloom, nestle, & flourish-- this time as a family of four.

And when that takes place, when this heart of mine figures things out & lays to rest the little standoff it seems to be having with itself...

it will find that new homes can actually be a lot of fun.

Reading Hop On Pop--a new favorite at our house. 

Here's to looking forward. Here's to embracing. Here's to new beginnings. Here's to untravelled journeys. 

Here's to my heart's new home.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Photo taken as part of my Maternity Session--Kelley-Photo

It's a love that is fierce.

It is a bedtime story.

It's a protection that can rise up against anything.

It is a kiss on a boo-boo.

It's a journey that is winding & unpredictable.

It is a snuggle mid afternoon.

It's a part of the heart awakened for the first time.

It is peanut butter toast for breakfast.

It's a love with no conditions.

It is a bathtub filled with bubbles.

It's a quest to do right.

It is a living room scattered with toys.

It's a slice of humble pie.

It is one of life's greatest privileges.

It's a little boy who calls me "Mommy".

It is Motherhood.


To the sweet boy who calls me "Mommy"--thank you.

Thank you for taking me on the most wild & precious journey I have ever been on. Thank you for teaching my heart to love in a way I had never known before. Thank you for the smiles & giggles & tantrums you fill up my days with. Thank you for the the joy you bring to this life of mine.

Thank you, my little boy, for making me a momma.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

"Days like these are my favorite." 

It must've been said a half a dozen times throughout the day on Saturday. And every time either Jared or I sputtered it off, the other one would give an agreeing, "Ahh, I know it."

We love our simple Saturdays. We love schedule free. We love together time.  It was one of those Saturdays.

Jared got up before the crack of dawn to join some friends to run in a 5k race while Jett & I slept in a bit & then tinkered around the house until Jared got home. By late morning, the sun had already cranked  into full force & the day was promising to be a hot one.

We spent a good fifteen minutes going back & forth on what kind of possible adventures the day could hold for us & at the end of our deliberating, decided that Jared would finally tackle the garage he'd been wanting to clean out for months & Meatball & I would set up shop for a kiddie pool kind of day.

Momma dipped her feet in the chilly water while Jett man took no time getting down to business--he kicked & splashed & plunged himself in & out of that pool all day long. We had to change the water at one point because it had risen to bath water temperature & had grass & bugs & every other bit of nastiness that little boys don't seem to mind floating around in their pool.

We were thoroughly enjoying our afternoon of basking under the sun when we looked up to see our neighbor, Jim from across the street, lugging over an artificial, plastic leaved palm tree. He marched over to Jett's sun chair, proudly perched the tree right next to it & declared, "There. Now you're set."  A little sliver of Florida on our front drive? Heck yeah, I'll take it! Who cares if it's pretend? I apologized to Jim, but told him I was never giving that fake tree back. I am now the proud owner of it & every time the blue plastic pool makes an appearance, you'd better believe a plastic palm tree will be close by. I, myself find it to be totally awesome & plan to post up under the shady leaves of that palm tree, chilled lemonade in my hand, waving to all the passers-by who think I've gone & lost my mind--all. summer. long.

We spent the remainder of the afternoon with the top down on the Powerwheels Jeep {it actually doesn't even have a top, but I just wanted to say it because it sounds "summery"}, cruising A1A Beachfront Avenue {oh yes I did just go & bust out some Vanilla Ice lyrics--dun dun dun dun da dun dun--"let's kick it!"}.

We raided the stash of freezer pops in the deep freezer & ate one right after another--just like you're supposed to do. I tell ya, nothing takes me back to my childhood summers like a good old fashioned freezer pop popsicle. I remember my brother & I living on those bad boys when we were little. Make no mistake, freezer pops will be aplenty this summer.

 Jett tries saying "popsicle" & it comes out "hop-shee-u". 

And did you know...that if you build a fake Florida on your front drive...they will come?

It's true. Apparently, I'm not the only one that a rubber palm tree & plastic pool is alluring to.

Neighbors on all sides of us slowly began trickling over throughout the afternoon/evening hours & before we knew it, we had a full blown party on our front drive, complete with plastic Hawaiian leis {I'm still not sure who brought the leis, but we sported them. Somehow, they seemed fitting at the time}.

Eventually we got hungry so between all of the neighbors, we compiled a hodgepodge smorgasbord of steamed tamales {courtesy of Melinda & in honor of Cinco De Mayo}, leftover strawberry cupcakes {courtesy of Alyssa & her third birthday bash}, a couple bags of half eaten chips, some cheese & crackers & a bucket of goldfish. We were good to go.

It was a splendid evening, set to the perfect background music of little bare feet pattering across the pavement & shrieks & squeals coming from our babes, when a buzzing June bug had interrupted their playtime. 

We stayed out long past our kids' bedtimes & eventually called it a night--but only after making our status of "neighbors" official-- by letting our diagonal neighbors bum a cup of milk from us for their two year old's bedtime routine--doesn't get more official than that.

Each of our neighbors promised one another that there'd be many more summer evenings just like the one we'd had, & that they'd anxiously be waiting for the signal--a plastic palm tree perched out on our front drive. 

 My hunka hunka burnin' love of a husband strikin' a pose for summertime.

A beautiful day in the neighborhood if I've ever seen one.

{"Yo man, let's get out of here. Word to your mother."}

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Memory Lane Monday: The Name Game

I woke up at 2:30 this morning out of a dead sleep to a dull, aching sensation in my belly, my mid section tightened into the hardest ball I'd ever felt. I shimmied around on my side of the bed trying to get comfortable, got up & tried going to the bathroom, settled back into my sheets & into a different position but lo & behold after about fifteen minutes or so, the aching {I liken it to menstrual cramps} & tightening would start up again. I quietly tiptoed out of our bedroom & into the living room, popped open my laptop & sat in front of the glow of it nervously googling, What do contractions feel like. 

I never experienced early contractions when I was pregnant with Jett. I was induced a day after my due date & the moment I asked for a little something to help me sleep, my doctor ordered my epidural {yes, the man is a saint}. I never had to suffer through those first pains of child labor {oh trust me--I made up for the suffering part later on-- tenfold}, so I have no idea what to look for this time around. 

I found there were a million different answers to my What do contractions feel like question & honestly, at the conclusion of my Google search I had no clue if the tightening & cramping that I felt sporadically from 2:30-6:30 am were indeed contractions or if I'd just eaten something that didn't agree with me. But to be on the safe side, I hopped in the shower while Jared sat, droopy eyed, with his stopwatch in hand, attempting to keep time of my waves of discomfort. Eventually, by the time the sunlight began spilling into the bedroom, the tightening & cramping began to fade & I never felt another one for the rest of the morning. 

I have to admit, it was all kind of exciting. A new life--right at our fingertips. 

But you know what else that kind of surprise will do to you at 2:30 in the morning, when you thought you had a whole two weeks left to tie up the loose ends on your baby to-do list? It'll bring to your attention REAL quick just exactly what you don't have done. Those last few items you haven't dropped into the hospital bag--crap! The instructions you meant to type out for the grandparents who will be taking care of your first born--whoops! The hospital favors, sitting downstairs in the craft room, half assembled--dang nabbit!

I'll tell you one thing, the second that last belly pain dissolved away with the breaking of dawn, this momma was running around the place like a mad woman, getting all those loose ends tied into perfectly, pink, little, polka dot bows. Who knew so much could be accomplished by 8 a.m.?

Hospital favors--the ones that will announce our little girl's name to the world--CHECK!

It's no secret that Jared & I like to keep our baby names a secret. We do this for a couple of reasons: 1) We think everything is just a little more fun when there's a surprise spin on it & 2) We don't really care to hear what other people think of the name we have so carefully chosen. I never want the outside influence--{whether it be a snide remark or a facial expression} of someone besides my husband to sway my feelings on a name we absolutely love. 

So we keep it between ourselves. And it works for us. And we have a lot of fun with it. Taking an already amazing day & sprinkling just a tad more excitement & anticipation on it--I'm 'bout it.

Here's how we announced our little boy's name to family & friends who waited on pins & needles in the hospital waiting room: 

"Jett" plane favors to hand out to everyone

His name was printed on the back of the package & it made for such a sweet keepsake!

And since for nine months our baby girl has gone by the sweet little nickname of Jumping Bean, we thought it only fitting that pink jelly beans be incorporated in the announcement of her real name to those who will once again wait on pins & needles in that same hospital waiting room. Attached to these jelly bean jars {& hidden in this photo} are little tags with our girl's beautiful name printed upon each one of them.

And as soon as some real contractions start rolling in-- ones I don't have to sit up in the wee hours of the night, googling whether they are real or not, as soon as we are holding a brand new life in our very arms--I promise the name game will be over & we'll fill you in!

Happy {Memory Lane} Monday!