Friday, May 22, 2015

7 quick takes vol. 16: iPhone photo dump

linking up wtih Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum for some quick takes.

We are reaching waaay back to get you all caught up and to give me the opportunity to post some iPhone photos that you otherwise would never get to see.


On Mother's Day we took the train downtown to the St. Paul Farmer's Market where Johnny picked out some hanging baskets for me. Going to the farmer's market on Mother's Day has become our thing. And getting me hanging baskets for my Mother's Day gift has also become our thing. Every year I try really hard to keep them alive the whole summer and usually make it until August before they are totally dried up, but this year is going to be different. 

We had a blast riding the train. Shamefully it was our first time, even though it's been running for over a year and there is a stop 3 blocks from our house. We didn't even have to pay because I had two free passes that were included with my jury duty summons. Jury duty, the gift that keeps on giving. 


We've started potty training! Well, only a little.  If you've ever come to our house or spent any time with us at all you will know that Johnny poops A LOT. This is because of all the intestinal surgeries he has had. No joke, it's about 10 poops a day around here.  So we just figured we should get a potty chair and stick him on there a few times a day to try to reduce to number of diaper changes we have to do. It's been great. The first day he went 6 times in the potty chair.  He really likes to sit there and then peek in to see if anything has come out yet.  TMI? Ok, sorry. 


Also on Mother's Day, we became godparents again! Johnny's godparents, Ian and Jacqui, welcomed little bundle Archie about a month ago, and we were named his godparents. It's just a big circle of godparents around here.

Johnny really doesn't like it when I hold other babies. He has no idea what's coming. 


My husband is unemployed! It's ok though, we knew it was happening.  Actually, it was intentional. He's going back to school to become a Physician Assistant. His program starts June 1 and he's taking a couple weeks of vacation before he starts. And it has been SO NICE to have him home.  I just have to remind myself not to get too used to it. 

This is what staycation looks like. 

Actually we have a to-do list the size of Texas that we've been trying to get through.  But there's been plenty of lazy time too.


In related news, Alex started a blog! Yay! Welcome to my world, sweetie! He will be blogging about what's it's like to be in PA school and will also be doing lots a baking projects now that we no longer have the unlimited access to bread that a bakery manager's family is accustomed to. Find him over at The Baking PA.


Last week Johnny and I went to visit a friend in the hospital. It's the same hospital we go to for speech therapy, and the same hospital where Johnny was in the NICU. While walking to see our friend we passed right by the entrance to the NICU, the very doors we walked in and out of for 9 days while our baby was there. I haven't been back since we left and at first I was feeling kind of nostalgic, but that quickly turned into painful memories and the welling up of eyes. I don't think about it as much as I used to, but I know I will never forget what it was like to have our baby in the NICU. 

But we have come a long way from this:

to this:


Speaking of Johnny, he is turning into quite the budding photographer.  He takes even more iPhone photos than I do. In fact, hardly a day passes when I don't find something like this on my camera roll.

Here is one of his most recent selfies. He's still got the cheeks. 

And because there is nowhere else to fit it in, here's a picture of Johnny wearing Alex's socks. He loves to wear Alex's socks. I guess they're comfortable?

Have a great weekend!


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Tuesday, May 19, 2015


A girl! I knew it was a girl, just like I knew with Johnny it was a boy. 

Well, it wasn't just like with Johnny.  With Johnny I had a dream I was having a boy, and after that I just had a very strong sense that it was a boy. With this one there was no dream, but everything felt different, not the symptoms really, but me. I felt different. And I just had a feeling it was a girl.  My sister actually had a dream it was a girl this time around. So now we are both feeling very clairvoyant. 

The ultrasound tech got a face shot of little baby girl. She said cute. I said creepy. 

 Now that it's settling in that we are having a girl I'm realizing that I have no idea what it's like to have a girl. I only know what it's like to have a boy.  Honestly, I'm a little nervous about raising a girl because I know what it's like to be a girl. I know how competitive and mean spirited girls can be.  I know what the media bombards at girls in regards to image. I know the pressures, the worries, and the struggles. It's a scary world for girls.

But I also know that girls can be resilient, and confident. They can be shaped by the Holy Spirit and not by the world. They can see themselves through the eyes of God and not through the eyes of pop culture. They can be leaders, and not followers. This is what I want for my girl. And this is what we will pray for, as well and wisdom in parenting.

Feet! That's better than the face shot. 


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Monday, May 18, 2015


See! The winter is past;
    the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
    the season of singing has come.
-Song of Songs 2: 11-12


The seasons change whether we want them to or not. Sometimes we're longing for change and it feels like it will never come. Other times life is so busy a new season is upon us and we never even noticed the old one depart.

There is so much change going on in our little family right now. I go back and forth between yearning for the next step and feeling that bittersweet tug of wanting everything to stay the same. 

My boy is getting so big. He sleeps in his own bed. He feeds himself. He explores the world around him. He doesn't need me for sustenance or security like he used to. Our days are crazy, but routine and predictability have brought a peacefulness. I can feel us making room in our lives for a change, a new little family member. I'm really enjoying this time with Johnny, and cherishing the calm before the inevitable chaos that having two will bring. 

My teaching year has come to an end. My students and I gave a recital last weekend, the music of which is still running through my head. I said good bye to some students, others I will see again in the fall. Now I can exhale and enjoy a slower paced summer. I'm downsizing my studio in preparation for the new baby. It's been harder and harder to switch back and forth between my mommy brain and my working brain.  I'm feeling more and more that this is the season of my life that should be devoted to motherhood, and I'm ok with letting other things go, for now. 

Our biggest change happened last week. Friday was Alex's last day of work at a company he has been with for 13 years. A very long and significant season of his life is over. He's leaving the job we met at, the job we started dating at. This job saw us through the beginning of our marriage, the purchase of our house and the birth of our son. He's leaving security and familiarity and starting something totally new. This is a new season and a new adventure; one that we're embarking on together.

We went to visit Alex on his last day.
This change was no surprise. In fact it has been three years in the making. Prerequisites, night classes, weekends spent studying, the GRE, grad school applications and interviews, hours and days and months of preparation have all gone into this. It felt like we would be in the season of preparing forever. But now it's over and the next season is here. Two weeks of staycation and then Alex will be a full time PA student. 

We have no idea what that will look like. 

But I know it's what's supposed to happen.

These flowers arrived on our porch Saturday, a token of thanks from Alex's boss.


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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

On Rising Early

An excellent wife who can find?...
She rises while it is still night.
Proverbs 31:10, 15


I have moments of realization in motherhood.

Like when I realized why my own mother would never deliver our clean laundry to our rooms, but rather make us come collect it from the neat piles on her bed.

Or why my mom would declare at 8:00 pm that "the kitchen was closed" and we weren't allowed to dirty any more dishes. 

Or why my own friends would cut our coffee dates short and herd their kids home for nap time as if their lives depended on it.

I never understood why generations of mothers would choose to steal out of bed before the rest of their families, even before the sun itself had risen, when they could stay beneath the covers for a few more moments of sleep. 

But now I understand. It's because starting the day with a toddler who had soaked through his pajamas and sheets is no way to start the day. Just like starting the day with a mad race to get everyone dressed and fed doesn't make for a peaceful mindset. And wrestling a baby, kicking and screaming, to change a dirty diaper first thing in the morning just sets me up for the grumpies. 

Today I got up before anyone else. I'm not sure how it happened. I was lying awake in bed and I knew  I wasn't going to fall back asleep, so I got up. I turned off the baby monitor so my husband wouldn't hear our two year old stirring. I put on my slippers and robe. I went down stairs and made a cup of pour-over. And then I sat in silence with the Word of God. 

Uninterrupted. Silence.

I inhaled and exhaled, I contemplated, I prayed, and I listened. And thirty minutes later when my son woke up I didn't groan and try to tune him out. I wasn't annoyed by his existence. I was ready, and even happy to great him. He sat in my lap and started to make the sign of the cross, as we have taught him to do, and as he does so often throughout the day. And I thought, this is truly the way to start the day. 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit....


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Friday, May 1, 2015

He's Weaned, and I'm Processing

And just like that, my baby is weaned.

Our breastfeeding relationship, which had a rocky start in the NICU, was so strong and beautiful, and at many times intense. I had mixed emotions as I thought about what it would be like to have Johnny weaned. Some days feelings of exhaustion and being touched-out had me yearning for the day when my body could be my own again, and when I didn't have to be the human pacifier for the baby who would take no other form of comfort. Others days I craved the still moments nursing gave me with my otherwise constantly-in-motion tot.

Throughout breastfeeding Johnny I have always used my instincts. I knew it was time to begin night weaning him when sleep deprivation had me constantly melting down in tears. I knew it was the right thing to do when night weaning resulted in Johnny sleeping through the night for the first time ever.

For breastfeeding the rest of the time I felt strongly that Johnny should stop when he was ready to stop. When I became pregnant in January and Johnny showed no signs of wanting to stop I became a little nervous that I would end up tandem nursing. But I had seen women do it before, and if I had to do it, I figured I would.

But little by little, on his own terms, Johnny began asking for "milkies" less and less. Until it was only before nap and bed time.

Then this week, when it was time for nap, he laid down in his bed, held my hands, and then closed his eyes. And that was all he needed.

And just like that, my baby is weaned.


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