Blog a la Cart

Month: August, 2015

Apple Picking // 2015

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Since Sunny went back to school last week, I’ve been experiencing premature fall urges. We visited The Apple Barn in Vermont on Saturday for Maple Soft Serve Ice Cream and Apple Cider Slushies. We then spent Sunday afternoon apple picking at Lakeview Orchard for the earliest apple varieties (Snappy Mac and Williams Pride) and consuming our favorite cider donuts. No doubt we’ll be back many more times this season. We cannot resist ripe, in season, crisp, juicy apples straight off the tree. There’s nothing better. (Spoken like a proper New Englander).

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“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015.”

Sunny: So begins the season when we consume five apples daily. Hurray!
Kaki: Our Co(u)rtland Apple.

More details about The 52 Project here. To view all the portraits in the series visit here.

The Gummy Bear // Week 12

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Our attempt to ensure that The Gummy Bear gets at least SOME documentation of his/her gestation.

Unlike with the girls, where I was so nauseous I could barely stomach white bread and saltines (and thus lost 10-15 pounds during the first 12 weeks), I have gained a solid 15 pounds with this little one. Looking at photos of Courtland’s pregnancy, I look about the same as I did when I was 4-5 months pregnant with her. But let me be clear, I would so rather take the hearty appetite and weight gain over the debilitating nausea. It may take more effort to get back to my usual pre-pregnancy size post-baby, but it is so worth it to be able to consume nachos with abandon.

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First Day of First Grade

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August 27, 2015 – Pownal, Vermont

The Gummy Bear

Me: Mommy and Daddy have something to tell you two. Courtland is going to be a big sister!

Them: …..

Him: Do you know what that means?

Sunny: That you’re trying to have a baby?

Me: I actually have a baby already in my tummy.

Them: slow, sweet smiles and wide eyes

Courtland: I’m going to be a big sister and Sunny’s going to be a big, BIG sister?

Me: Yes, that’s right. What do you think about that?

Them: Good.

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Not quite the righteous, enthusiastic reactions we were anticipating given their constant demands for another sibling over the past few months.

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Later that night…

Sunny: Mommy, can I come kiss your tummy good night so that the baby knows how much I love her already?

Courtland: Mommy, is the baby sleeping? Is she hungry? Does she like the food you are eating? You can’t drink grown up drinks (think: beer, wine, coffee) because kids can’t have grown up drinks and the baby is a little, little, little kid.

They are already proving that they’ve got everything it takes to be the greatest big sisters for this little gummy bear (which is what we’ve taken to calling her thanks to a clever ultra sound tech).

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Ed: Unlike with the girls, we are waiting to find out the sex of the baby until the moment of her arrival. The girls are excited about the prospect of either a baby brother or sister (though Kaki has stressed that she would really like a baby brother because Daddy and Ferdinand need some more boys in this house). But the girls have taken to using the female pronoun when talking about her, so rather than “it,” we’re using “she/her” for ease and comfort. More on this soon…

 

The Third

This was written the first week of July 2015…

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We’re 20 years old and 2 weeks into “hanging out” and “watching movies,” awkward college-speak for dating, and I ask him, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”.  He responds, very truthfully and without a hint of irony, “A Dad.”

And that has been the truest thing I’ve known about James in the 12 years since. And he excels at being a Dad. A true partner. In fact, I’d say he shoulders the larger share of the parenting responsibility in our home, and he does so willingly and with his signature quiet humor.

And thus, it comes as no surprise that James has been on campaign for Baby Number Three since Courtland entered the world on August 10, 2011. As the oldest of four boys, he grew up in and loves a big family. Without pressure, but with a clear enthusiasm, he has always been excited about the prospect of us having our own large family.

I, on the other hand, have been truly ambivalent about the notion of a third child. We have such a lovely family dynamic with our two girls in our little house in Vermont, why complicate life with additional life? The finances! The lifestyle! The social dynamics! The bodily fluids! The sleeplessness! The zone defense! The world’s overpopulated! The fact that I’m now in my 30s! I couldn’t wrap my head around all the changes three would mean.

But then the girls learned to wipe their own butts. And (for the most part), sleep through the night. And dress themselves. And are the most delightful little humans with such a wonderful bond and connection that I began to see how another child might be possible. I’d catch glimpses of how they would help entertain a baby, and provide support that was lacking when they were new. And then they began asking for a baby. TWO babies, actually. A brother AND a sister. And the thought of my sweet Courtland as a big sister was one of the most pivotal in helping solidify my cautious interest in adding to our family.

Additionally, while I feel very much whole, as though our family is complete in its current state, when I would close my eyes and envision life 20 years from now, I would see more than just the four of us. I saw us with more adult children – a built in party, support network, and core. I’m not one of those women that leaves L&D yearning for a repeat of what I just experienced. Very much the opposite. But I am a woman who believes that my children, this family, will always be my life’s greatest joy and accomplishment. The thought of adding to that is what finally tipped the scales.

In December, the goalie came out of the net, as it were, and while I remained equivocal, I was willing to see what would happen. I noticed that with each passing month that my period would arrive, I would feel a hint of sadness, which signaled that this was the right course.

On Friday, July 3rd, over the holiday weekend at James’ parents’ cabin in the Poconos, I peed on a stick and two minutes later was greeted with a blue plus sign.

A third.

A third pregnancy.

A third baby.

A third child.

A third.

The Third.

I have been riding a high of excitement since. Yes, there are moments where I can hardly believe it. Yes, I loathe the predictable first trimester sinus infection that I was struck down with within days (just like I was with Addison and Courtland). I feel rather physically miserable (just as I did with both girls), and yet it is so liberating and wonderful to carry a third child. My emotional and mental health is so much more balanced and calm and happy.

With the first pregnancy, well, EVERYTHING is overwhelming and new and scary and exciting and WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING?! And with the second there was constant worry about the beloved first born and what would the arrival of a baby do to her and how is it possible to have room in your heart to love equally more than one child?

But now? With the third? I’m not afraid of all the bat shit craziness my body is experiencing. That’s par for the course. I’m not scared of how James or I or our children will adapt to another family member, because the four of us are living proof of just how capable the human heart is to love deeply and unconditionally multiple children. Sure, it’s going to be madness and if I dwell on it too much I’m a bit daunted by the mechanics of parenting three children with two working parents. But I never doubt our ability to adapt and make it happen. And I never doubt our ability to love and welcome new life into our family.

James and I can do that. We have done that. And we couldn’t be more excited to do it again.

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I am due in early March 2016. This week marks my transition into the 2nd trimester. Here’s hoping that I feel a much needed surge in energy now that I’ve made it through the first three months.

Purple Sweater Wearer

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Courtland requested that I make her a purple sweater for her fourth birthday. Naturally, I obliged with my favorite little pattern. And I could not resist those cow buttons. Because purple and cows go together like peanut and butter. #spokenlikeanEph

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Ravelry details

 

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“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015.”

Sunny: Her summer has looked and felt very much like this.
Kaki: A little less sure of leaping into the lake full tilt. But excited to swim nonetheless.

More details about The 52 Project here. To view all the portraits in the series visit here.

A Whale of a Time

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We held Courtland’s 4th birthday party on her actual Birth Day; a Monday evening at our local swimming pool. We invited her preschool class, ordered up some pizza, supplied a plethora of bubbles and some ice cream cake in Kaki’s favorite flavors, and called it a win.

And it was. No grand decorating or theming or prep. We reused the whale banner Kimmy made for Courtland’s baby shower in Summer of 2011, strung up some balloons, and celebrated with friends and family. It was a perfect evening for it (a rare but wonderful gift in my world of event planning where it rains on most occasions), and Courtland hardly removed herself from the pool long enough for her friends to sing to her before diving back in.

She’s really learned to love the water this summer and is now comfortable swimming fully submerged. This party was a wonderful celebration of that growth! I took very few pictures but here’s a glimpse of the fun.

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^^Twin so hard in our Emerson Fry caftans per Courtland’s request.^^

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Maisie

Early Sunday morning, I had the privilege of being with a dear friend while she welcomed a beautiful baby into the world. In those moments, I was reminded of the sheer badassness of the female body, its strength and power and life-giving awesome. It is such a gift to be trusted in that space with a woman who is simultaneously her most vulnerable and most powerful. I’m filled with a sense of awe by the memories of those experiences; this one was no exception.

I walked into the hospital at 12:30am, arriving only 20-30 minutes after mom, and sweet Maisie entered the world just over 30 minutes later. Now THAT is how to have a baby.

It was truly awe-inspiring.

I was not only humbled by the immense strength and focus of the laboring mom, but of the skilled caregiving of her midwife. I was reminded of why I believe so intensely in midwifery care for healthy moms and babies. To witness a trained and experienced caregiver listen and respond so intently to her patient, to watch her trust the mother engaged in a normal, life-giving process and respond to her instincts was unbelievably inspiring. The midwife did not try to control the situation, but rather assist and support the mother. It is the kind of caregiving I wish for all mothers.

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To hold life that is mere minutes old… well I think my face says it all. What a gift!