Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A little, big girl bed

Three weeks now.  In your big girl bed.  Well, your little bed.  Which is what you insist on calling it.  Because Mama and Daddy have a big bed, and obviously your bed is not as big.  Hence, you’re so proud of sleeping in your little, big girl bed.

We take turns lying down with you each night, usually for 10 to 15 minutes.  I love it.  You’re giddy.  Like your very own slumber party every night.  You snuggle and pat my neck.  You talk to yourself, random thoughts and words and names.  I struggle to stifle a laugh.  You whisper, ‘hey mama’, in your giggle, sing-song voice, and reach out in the darkness trying to find my face where you cup my cheek with your hand.  

When I gently remind you that it’s time to go to sleep, you direct your attention to your unborn sibling.  You hug and kiss my belly, resting your head on the swell.  I once again have to intervene when you begin trying to tickle the baby, squealing, ‘tickletickletickle!’.  You don’t object.  You just settle back on your pillow, one more pat on my arm to confirm my presence, and I hear your breath become louder, heavier, slower.  I roll off the side and tiptoe out to the hallway, trying to avoid the squeakiest floor boards.

The first two weeks we would usually get a visit in the early morning hours.  A little hand reaching over the bed, a little voice asking, ‘mama, daddy, big bed, big bed?’  We take you back to your room for the remaining few hours.  Explaining that the moon is still out, which tells us it’s still time to sleep.  But even that no longer happens.  You are back to sleeping through the night.
I've become just as anxious for daylight as you are.  No more waking to cries for freedom and removal from your crib.  Just a pitter patter and a ‘hey mama!’ 

Not a bad way to wake.

*a special thanks to Nana for coming to help with the finger painting wall art and the stars on the wall, Lucy refers daily to Nana's stars :) * 

And just like that, another glance over our shoulders at our first baby and one more nod in the direction of this amazing little girl you're becoming.

Friday, February 15, 2013

35 Weeks

Dear 2nd baby,
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)...
~e.e. cummings
I love that this beautiful  poem holds such a literal meaning during pregnancy.

Only a few more weeks until you join your sister, another part of my heart living and breathing outside of my body.

But until then, we get to continue along together.  Never apart, not for a second.

To carry your heart inside of me is something I can assure you I do not take for granted.

I dare not rush these last weeks.  No amount of eager anticipation for your arrival can overshadow the peace that comes from having you tucked away in the safest of nests, spending your every second growing and resting to the sounds and vibrations of our heartbeats as physically close as they ever will be.

All my love,

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How he loves: to my valentine

It's Valentine's Eve, and I've been thinking about my Valentine.

The way he first pursued me and the way he still pursues me in a hundred tiny ways.

Ways that could be missed if I didn't choose to take note, give thanks, and continue to learn how his heart speaks to mine.

He gives and he serves.  He protects and he guides.

His 'I love you' doesn't always look like mine.  Sometimes it's even hard to recognize in the context of my own preconceived notions of how love should be expressed.

But it's there and it's real.  So, so real.

I'm thankful for the real stuff.  The kind that stretches and pulls and shapes you into a better person then you were before.

I want to start compiling all these stories and examples of what love looks like in a marriage.  Things to share with our children.  The beautiful and powerful stuff.  The vulnerable and challenging stuff.  The wide open way God takes the selfish and ugly parts and uses this other person to hurdle each other toward the cross.  To look at the example of Christ and see that He is the way this kind of love all works out.  Learning to give mercy and grace and to receive it even more, transforms and unites more than I could have ever imagined.  What a gift that is.

There's a particular memory that's been on repeat in my mind a lot lately.  Gearing up for birth number two, it's a memory that makes me smile and washes me in peace.  It steadies me for what's to come.  It makes me send up just another infinite prayer of thanks for this man who is my husband.

The plan was for him to be the one to catch our first child.  To be the first to place hands on this new life we created.   But by the final hour of pushing, I was exhausted.  Beyond exhausted, I was spent.  I felt like everything I had was already given, yet no child had emerged.  Without thinking he climbed up on the bed behind me, this protective shell with strength to lend me.  He literally held me up, curled me into each push.  And looking over my shoulder, we both watched our firstborn enter this world.  Different plans, different perspectives, becoming one.  The same view.  That’s what we do.  Never a so opposite two, but looking, moving, working, and loving in the same direction. 

Happy Valentine's Day

Friday, February 8, 2013

34 weeks

Sweet baby,

I get to meet you next month.  And this month happens to also be the shortest.

That means soon.

I was thinking about the differences this time around.  I feel like I get worn out easier.  A shortness of breath and difficulty getting up and down that I don't quite remember with your sister.  Even though with her I had already gained close to 40 lbs by this stage and with you I've barely gained 20.

Speaking of your sister, I have a feeling she is part of the puzzle.  You know, that voice that you hear all day long.  Shrieks of laughter, sneaky giggles, intense conversations, plus a good dose of whining these days.  Or the sudden thud as she lands on top of us, the countless elbows, knees and feet jabbing into your wall of protection because she can't seem to ever get close enough.

But baby, do you also feel her hugs?  Her kisses?  Do you hear her tell you good morning and night-night, and the sporadic 'hey baby, luv you'?  Of course you do.  I know she will be as familiar to you as the beat of my heart.  Her awareness and love for you has been growing along with my belly.  But oh my, is she still in for the surprise of her life :) 

But even with the differences of how I feel and with the added company of a toddler, there are things that have not changed this go around...

I still relish the thought of being a vessel for new life.  It will always blow my mind.

There's never another time when that voice deep inside of me is as quiet and content.  Completely accepting my heart's longing and body's ability to grow, carry, and give birth.

I never feel more beautiful.  Not in a worldly sense, but it's a chance to shut off any notions and ideas of how I'm supposed to look and to just let my body grow and change and be.

And your father feels the same way too :)  I never have to question it.  I see it in his eyes, his smile, his touch.  He delights in this time too.

We continue to gather things for your birth, things for your arrival.  You just make sure to keep on growing.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

How he loves: tea time

He walks through the kitchen and sees that I’ve put a pot of water on the stove to boil for some tea.  

He sets the kitchen timer, and goes about his business.

Only minutes later, mind already wandering about something, I hear the timer go off.

What in the world is he baking right now?  

Oh, goodness.  I totally forgot I had put water on.

No words spoken, but a clear I love you just the same.

Thank you honey.