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Showing posts from June, 2013

our story/part 2

In January I shared a piece of what I've been working on. I'm writing about being a parent and what this journey has meant for me. I'm writing about grief, loss, subsequent pregnancies, joy, hope, love, parenting after loss ... I've been worrying about what to do with all of these words when finished, but recently decided to focus my energies on writing and worry about what comes after later. I'm praying for God to guide me through this process, and help me know if this exercise is meant just for me and this space or a wider audience. Here is part one of our story . These are, essentially, whole chapters of the book I'm writing. Though their shape and substance may change right now they feel complete. This piece is about our first Thanksgiving without Charlotte. ********** It is often said that the first year after a death is the most difficult because one has to slog through the firsts: first Thanksgiving, first Christmas, first birthday, first annive

it's berry season! (aka: how to exhaust your toddler)

This morning we went berry picking before the weather warmed up too much. J found this great little place (Haven Hill Farm) out South that we will definitely go back to. The owners are really laid back and nice. They don't care if your toddler runs around eating as many berries as he can stuff in his mouth while you pick. And they run a self serve farm so their hours are really flexible (6am-9pm!) We were there early enough (thanks for waking up at 6, B!) to have quick, easy access to raspberries and blueberries. The blueberry bushes were so full and ripe they were crazy easy to pick. I picked raspberries for a while then sat myself down beneath a blueberry bush and picked for a while. It was nice not having to worry about B too much. If he wandered down to the parking area (all the berries were on a hill, which is a great use of land, but not so good for this pregnant lady) we had to turn him around, but he spent most of his time wandering and eating close by. Have I

bup! { and oh symphony giveaway winner}

The winner of the Oh Symphony lullaby CD giveaway is #11: Cassidy. Email me at with your email address and I will send you the link to download it. Sweet Symphony Mae (that name! so beautiful and creative) was born yesterday. Mama and baby are doing well. You can purchase Ty and Julianna's lullaby CD HERE . It's really, really good, definitely worth $10.00. ******************************************************** All day long, and at night too sometimes, B wants "bup." Little man is really, really into his daddy, which is as it should be, right? J has been so amazing this pregnancy. He comes home from work and dives right into spending time with B. J takes B outside to work on projects, on walks and to the hardware store so I can crash on the couch for a little while. He changes diapers, reads books, helps with the laundry and dishes and doesn't complain when I don't cook dinner because I'm too tired. J has been

kitchen adventures: homemade fruit snacks / energy bites {allergy friendly}

I wanted to make B homemade fruit snacks , but there were some hurdles to face first: - I needed grass-fed gelatin (what the what is that?!) - I didn't know how to use the juicer  Once the gelatin was sourced - online, by J - I asked how to use the juicer. J laughed and said it was easy, did I really need him to show me? Well no, no I don't, thank you very much, sir. This morning B and I went to the store then prepared ourselves to make homemade fruit snacks. One thing J did not take into consideration: I'm pregnant. And pregnancy makes me a little stupid. I couldn't figure out how to turn the juicer on. I put it all together, I understood the mechanics of it, but the on button was missing from our model. I had to watch a YouTube video to figure out how to turn the darn juicer on. (Why am I admitting this?) Once I learned that the button was at the back on the very bottom (the guy on YouTube was a little confused too) I did just fine. From there

22 weeks

I'm soooooooooooooooo tired. I had to crop my face out because I look quite exhausted and worn out. This is mostly my fault because I stayed up until 11:45 last night writing, but I'm placing some blame on the baby's shoulders. I'm back to writing, which always feels good, but I need more hours in the day. My brain is useless. I missed a dental appointment on Monday because I wrote it down for July 24. I asked a friend to watch B on the 14th of July, a Sunday, so I could go to a prenatal appointment. When she replied that she was out of town that weekend, and was it normal for my doctor's office to do Sunday appointments?? I realized the appointment is on the 12th and J will be home that day so I don't actually need help. We have a couple trips coming up, all of which require bringing food for B of course. I have three different packing lists going right now. Well, I did, until I lost two of them. I am trying lots of new recipes as we prepare for our tri

oh symphony {giveaway}

My cousin Julianna and her husband Tyson have been working on a lullaby album for a while. Julianna is a little bit overdue with their daughter Symphony (we can't wait to meet you, baby girl) and this album is all about their love for her. It's really good. Bennett and I have been listening to it over and over. My favorite song is their version of You Are My Sunshine. They wrote a sweet third verse in memory of Charlotte; I love it. And I have a digital copy to give away to one lucky reader! Leave a comment, I'll pick a winner Friday. You can purchase the album on iTunes . PS: If you follow this blog in Google Reader you can switch over to Bloglovin  if you like!

hester comes for a visit

Hester is a sweet little doll made by a dear friend. She is traveling the world to raise awareness about stillbirth, infant loss and the group SANDS . When I heard about the project I thought it was a great idea and hoped Hester could stop by to see us. Hester is traveling with a journal each family records their week in - pictures included! When I sat down to read the journal the day we received her I cried. There are so many beautiful families all over the world missing babies. Bennett wasn't sure about Hester at first, but he eventually warmed up to her. He really liked the ladybug on her hat. Hester's next stop on her journey is Japan. You can donate to SANDS and read more about Hester's adventures HERE .

less than present

I've been floating in the fog. I am so far behind on blogs it's shameful. When I have a spare minute I fall asleep on the couch, or read a book, or watch television with J. Every few days I have to force myself to sit down and respond to emails. When that's done I usually resume reading (blessed escape) whatever book I am currently devouring. I am determined to read all of the "big" spring and summer books. Well, the ones I can stomach, that is. This evening I realized the " Right Where I Am Project " is happening again. Has been happening for a while actually. I don't know if I'll participate this year. I don't know where I am this year. Like I said, it's foggy.  I think some withdrawal is natural when expecting again. I have to protect my heart a little. It's usual fragility is thinner than normal as I process having another girl. This just so happens to be a very busy time in B's life as well. Most days I'm so busy cha

if you want to cry ...

... decide on a whim to search through the baby girl clothes in the attic. As you pull each item out you'll remember: your baby shower. your "last trip before baby comes" to Seattle where you bought the sweetest Gap coat on clearance. The moment you found the tiny pink sweatshirt with the tiny bird on it that you couldn't wait to dress her in. How you felt when you bought those sweet summer dresses. How you imagined what she would look like while wearing them on the few truly hot Oregon days. The feeling you carried - and perhaps still do - that everything you had for her was wrong somehow. That if only you had prepared better she would be here.  The time you asked your sister how tights on a baby worked. "Do I put the tights on then the diaper?" you asked. Your sister looked at you for a second then said, "Well, I haven't had a girl yet, but I would probably put the tights on after the diaper." And how you laughed so h


When B was a few months old I bought a newborn dress for the girl I hoped to raise someday. Of course it's a summer dress and this little one will be born in late October. I want to share my excitement about having another little girl with EVERYONE - including strangers. I hope this baby isn't born on Halloween. I don't like Halloween at all. I am terrible at making B pick up his toys. We ate out almost every night the week of Charlotte's birthday. I don't do much of anything that week: household chores, laundry, cooking. It takes two or so weeks to dig out and reorganize after it's passed. I'm so glad I married someone who can do things that are way, way beyond my skill set. This morning J made sandals for B. I have a pair of Keens for him, but J wanted something less chunky and closer to a barefoot shoe so he went online, found a place to buy a kit ,  traced B's feet, cut the sandals out and picked a way to lace them (he was going to have a

20 weeks: then and now

If you're an artist or graphic designer this lazy collage is going to make you twitch. BUT I am neither artist nor graphic designer. I'm a lazy pregnant mama who wanted to see a side by side of my babies at 20 weeks. Let's be honest: I just look awkward while pregnant with Charlotte. I was wearing a maternity shirt beneath two non-maternity shirts. Not a good look, sister. With Bennett I was carrying a lot higher. I like my hair that length ... it kind-of makes me want to go short again ... And with this peanut I'm carrying low. I always thought Charlotte was low, but this bean seems quite a bit lower. When I first looked at these pictures I almost replaced my 20 week with Charlotte for the 22 week picture, but I'm all about honesty and accurate representation. I think I look like a completely different person now, but maybe that's just my hair - and perspective. We're still waffling on the name. I love all the feedback we're receiving. Tha

remember today

I was not my best today. Thomas was on and I was asleep on the couch before 8 am. I lost my patience and snapped at B more than once (get. off. the. table. NOW!). I couldn't get B to settle down for a nap, though he did manage 40 minutes of play time alone in his room. I had to go in twice to let him know his time wasn't up yet (he knocks on the door repeatedly when he's had enough) but it's the first time he's settled in for quiet play time in his room with the door closed without losing his ever loving mind. At 3:00 we were both done. B was tired and he hadn't been out of the house all day. I was tired and not feeling well (morning sickness is back with a vengeance). I knew we had more time to kill than we normally do before J came home (I love that his work day ends at 4:00 most days) so I picked B up and settled him on the couch next to me. I talked to him about how sorry I was, how mamas get tired too blah de blah blah blah. When I ended my speech wit


It didn't take nearly as long as I expected to settle on a name. We have two at the top of the list, but we're having a hard time deciding which one we prefer. I asked B his opinion, but he just said, "the bus!" I'm sure I've explained why I want to share the name before birth, but I'll tell you again anyway. We decided to keep Charlotte's name a secret, but I regretted doing so when she died because I felt like friends and family weren't as connected with her. They didn't know her as Charlotte like we did. Now I want my babies to be known and spoken of as soon as possible just in case our time with them is limited. Therefore I present our top two name choices: OR

so ... it's a girl

I was pretty sure this babe was a girl. I had my gut feeling, which has been correct all three times. When I had a scan at 12 weeks the tech said if she guessed, which she does not, she would guess girl. At 16 weeks, when J did a quick scan, baby was curled up in a ball and then I looked up at the screen and said, "Oh! Three lines, just like with Charlotte! That's a girl!" And yesterday the tech confirmed (99.9% sure) that we are, indeed, having another girl. When we found out Bennett's gender I was by myself and I cried through the entire ultrasound. I thought I might cry when we officially knew it was a girl, but I didn't. I just feel really, really, really happy. If it's possible I want to carry the happy feelings through the rest of this pregnancy. This is difficult to admit, but I haven't connected with this baby. I haven't put my heart into it because I didn't want to get hurt. But now? I'm all in. Last night all I could think was, &

it's a ...

Healthy baby girl! We got one picture and then the balloon popped. Not the picture I imagined, but beautiful all the same. And that makes me three for three on knowing the gender of my babies.

food! (it's all I can think about)

You know how much I hate cooking. As I develop my skills it gets a little easier, but most of the time I don't enjoy it. Having a toddler with food allergies has forced me to cook a lot more often than I would like, which I hate, but on the positive side of things, it's also made us eat a little healthier. J is doing really well with cutting back on sugars and eating well. Me on the other hand ... Well, I'm pregnant. I had a dream about Oreo cookies last night which resulted in a 9 am shopping trip. I'm hungry all the time right now and I want to eat bad, bad things. Bennett is absolutely fascinated by my Cheez-It obsession (shameful). He calls the Cheez-Its mama (really shameful). Our kitchen is too small for us to attain true self sufficient food production. I'm not even sure I want to go that far, but J keeps nudging the Paleo diet my way and eventually I won't be able to say, "I'm pregnant, not right now." This especially applies to the to

gentle sleep training tips

My first tip is to ignore all books / articles / your friends. Except me. I'm not going to tell you our method is perfect, or the best, but if you have a stubborn sleeper like ours, perhaps it will work for you. This post ended up being much longer than I expected, but maybe there's a tip or two that will help you and your little one. Bennett is sleeping really well. Better than I thought possible considering we're only two weeks (plus a little change) into the process. He is napping better as well, which is wonderful and what I desperately need right now. On to the tips: - Give your training method one solid week before giving up. I wanted to quit on night four, but we pushed through and things quickly improved. You will be so sleep deprived you will cry - and possibly scream at your spouse (sorry J) - but if you stick with it you will see results. - Be consistent. Honestly, I think this is where we failed before. We would kind-of try a sleep training meth

picture books!

I don't know if I trained Bennett to love reading, or if he just loves to read. Either way, we read a lot. Bennett is very, very busy, but he will sit down and read for a long time. We read forty-five minutes or more every day and go  to the library at least once a week to pick out new books (and play).   We read so much I actually get a little tired of it (imagine that!) We own a lot of books, but I can't stop buying more. I also have this little problem where I go to thrift stores every few months and buy stacks of picture books. I have a long list of books I want to add to Bennett's library. Here is my short list of books to buy soon. The long one is too intense to share: I would love all of the Elephant and Piggie books, but we don't have a lot of shelf space left. I miss working at the book store where I had access to glossy publisher catalogs full of picture books. I'm afraid I'll miss out on something now