Tag Archives: family

Oh, I forgot

Dear Life,

I was awakened from a deep slumber at 1 AM by my daughter’s cry and mumbling of something troubling her.  I walked into her room, rubbed her back as I stated soothingly “Shh, it’s okay Mae.  Mommy’s here, it was just a dream.” In true EllaMae fashion still in a confused slumbering state, she wittingly replied “oh, I forgot” and peacefully fell back to sleep.

As I returned to my bed chuckling I thought about how often I have forgotten what life is really like.  This blog is one stunning example of that.  The vision of this blog and several other of my endeavors has been with the best intentions to document life…notice a few gaps.  My son is 5 and my daughter is 3, and baby 3 is on the way.  You know what I forgot about? When I was up every 2-3 hours a night to feed the kids.  How my son would beg for me to sleep with him throughout the night or lay with him until he fell asleep (he still appreciates it when I do). How my daughter would sing herself silly trying to avoid sleeping (still does) and we would come down into the living room and dance to Christina Perri playlist on pandora with all the lights off in the house. How I would often crawl into bed with my kids so they could calm me and help me relax on a night when sleep wasn’t on my side.  Or, how before I had children I was up often at 2 AM with trouble sleeping and I would then get creative and do a project only to be interrupted at 7 AM with the need to go to work…you know my real job.  I forgot how after the kids went to bed I would take to the computer in obligation to create my next post, plan my next social media strategy or edit a batch of clients proofs.  These all seem like fleeting memories now.  

Perhaps it’s me avoiding the guilt, or perhaps it’s simply a feeling of content.  I fall asleep each night with relatively low level of anxiety, I often have the luxury to put both of my children to bed, then come back hours later kiss their cheeks, watch them sleep, and encourage them to “dream big.” While I may stink at documenting and sharing our life stories of the past few years, it’s moments like tonight when I remember how much I really do enjoy life.

When I rolled over at 2:30 AM, still unable to fall back to sleep, I decided to crawl into my daughters single bed attempting to snuggle her along with her 3 pillows, 4 cozy blankets (these are all separate blankets she requires, not the actual bedding) Willy the orca, Diego the seal, and my daughter flailed out across the bed.  As I crawled under the covers the baseball from spring break vacation found it’s way into my thigh and I pressed my 25 week pregnant body into a sliver of available space.  (Are you getting this visual- sounds relaxing doesn’t it?) I rubbed her head streaking the hair away from her face and watched in admiration of this beautiful girl sleeping peacefully.  I placed my arm around her chest snuggling her in close.  I could feel her heart beating in her chest and the rhythm of her breathing slowly calm me.  She rolled from her side to her back and placed both hands behind her head.  I remembered both of my littles as babies would sleep with their hands behind their head.  I always appreciated that and recalled someone saying “that’s a sign they are content.” I always followed it up by saying “this is the life?!”

Thank you EllaMae, for reminding me at 1 AM that we have a pretty sweet life.  I sometimes forget those little things.

Mom 🙂


Leave a comment

Filed under Daily Grind, Deep thoughts, Musings with Mae, Proud Parents

& baby makes 4!

On Thursday April 12, 2012 we awoke knowing that this would be no ordinary day.  My husband and I had dropped off our son at my parents the night before, so the eerie quiet that filled the house was setting the stage for something that will rarely ever happen in our house again (unless no one is home).  I woke up on the couch with our first-child (aka Diesel the 100lb Weimaraner) in my lap.  He was fully aware something was about to change, hence the snuggle fest.

At 40 weeks and 5 days, I was scheduled to be induced.

I was to arrive at the hospital for check in at 7:30 AM.  The hospital had remodeled since I delivered my little man.  This would be the room where I would be getting comfortable until she decided to make her entrance, then we would move to a different room for recovery.  Turns out my doctor had 3 others being induced that day…guess no one was in favor of a Friday the 13th baby 🙂

At 9 AM we started the Pitocin, and waited.  Having been induced with my first child I knew we were in for a few hours of waiting while the contractions got stronger.  We were prepared this time.  We contacted friends and family to see what time everyone thought our daughter would be born, I hunkered down to a crossword puzzle or two, and the husband tried to read Hunger Games to pass the time (but I kept interrupting him to chat).  Shortly after noon, the doctor came in to break my water, hoping to speed things up a bit.  At that point I was formally committed to having the baby and was measuring 3 CM.

While contractions were still tolerable, I knew that my body responded much better after the epidural last time, so I went ahead with it at 3 PM.  At that point I was dilated to 5 CM (halfway there). A sigh of relief. We settled in and turned on the Brewer’s vs. Cubs game and waited (Cubs won).  While the epidural was extremely helpful in getting my body relax, there was a small “window” where the epidural didn’t take.  Meaning while a majority of pain was gone, there was a small spot on my left side where I felt everything.  In that spot, the epidural had taken the edge off, but the pain was quickly growing extremely strong.

At 4:45 PM we still were passing time by texting family with updates and checking out Facebook.  When the nurse (Maureen) came to check on me I shared the growing discomfort on my side. I had already pushed the button to up the meds with no relief.  At that point she checked me and exclaimed, “You’re going to have this baby within an hour.” I was in transitional phase.  She prepped everything to prepare for doctor and baby.  I did one practice push, and was quickly halted, “Okay, no more pushing.  This baby is going to arrive within the next 15 minutes.” The nurse  called my doctor (who is incredibly laid back doctor) and told him he needed to come immediately.  My doctor asked “do I have time to get caught up on some work?” to which she replied, “No, you need to come now, she’ll be done in 1-2 contractions.”  Doctor arrived just in time to gown up and get his gloves on.  I patiently breathed through 3 contractions while the doctor prepped.  1 push- head was out, 2nd push- shoulders were out.  At 5:07 PM we welcomed EllaMae Sandra to the world.

I was very excited to have a friend capture the precious moments immediately after she was born, as both my husband and I were busy and caught up in the moment with the birth of our new daughter (I’ll share those soon).  Being that I wasn’t sick this time, I was able to enjoy skin-to-skin time with our little girl.  She was eager to look around and check things out.  Within 5 minutes she had found her fist, and managed to put her thumb in her mouth.  The nurse came in and was shocked…”Get that thumb out, let’s get a boob in her mouth!” And she hasn’t stopped eating since! After a little snack on her part, there was a nursing shift change (good-bye Maureen; Hello Emily) and both were fabulous to work with!  EllaMae was officially weighed in at 7 lbs 15 oz (just 7 oz. heavier than her brother) and 19.5 inches long (1 inch shorter than brother).  I will say her feet and fingers are SO long!  Literally her foot is slightly shorter than her entire calf, and just longer than my middle finger.

As you can see, she is very fond of her daddy.  I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!

Around 7 PM my little man arrived with my parents.  While he had been prepped and excited, saying “mommy,” “baby” the entire drive to the hospital, the sight on mommy in the bed and our photographer set him into a panic mode.  He was very scared and left the hospital room with my mom.  Thankfully I had a gift and our photographer had a few suckers to coax him in and comfortable enough to sit next to mom for a while.

It wasn’t until his big cousin, Dakota- a familiar friend, came shortly after he arrived that he really became more relaxed and interested in the baby and mom.

Everyone gathered around as EllaMae got her first bath.  She was NOT happy, until she settled into the warm water and heat lamp. (She gets pissed when she’s cold!) And yes she really was this red.  According to my neice Dakota, she was so red “because she must have been in there too long.”

It wasn’t long after bath time that we transitioned to the other room.  The family went ahead as our Nurse (Emily- who was so amazingly sweet) got me prepped for the move.  She wheeled me down the hall in the wheelchair as my husband drove the cart with all our stuff.  When little man saw me in the wheelchair, he was so upset that he threw himself on the floor with a complete meltdown (when he saw the wheelchair in our last room, he thought he was going to ride with mom).  Without skipping a beat, Nurse Emily told him it was his turn for a ride.  She helped him onto my lap and away we went down the hall for a ride.It was just what my little man needed, and when he returned to the room, everyone cheered and we was back on top of his game ready to take on the big brother role.  We nestled into the double bed where big brother held EllaMae.  He must learn a lot from those girls at daycare because he immediately looked at her and started shushing her like mom!

Around 9 PM the extended family left and it was just our time to cozy up to our little one.  After a few hours of shady internet connection, I finally emailed the news and pictures.  Facebook would have to wait until tomorrow.

At 11 PM EllaMae went to the Nursery for the night and dad and I settled in for some much needed sleep.  Brent kept commenting how tired he was, and that he didn’t do anything all day- but that wasn’t exactly true.  He waited on me hand and foot, he was so supportive and comforting throughout the entire process.  The rush of emotions to meet our little daughter was enough to send us into a deep slumber.  And luckily, EllaMae held up her end of the bargain.  She came in to eat every 3 hours to eat, plus a little snuggle time! Welcome to the world Little Miss Mae, have a good night and dream big!


Filed under Bundle of Joy, Proud Parents, The Caleb Times

Boy: A noise with dirt on it {16.5 months}

Dear Little Man,

I know I missed the 16 month landmark- but you’ll have to forgive me.  We were on a less that spectacular vacation (see Christmas Vacation post for more details).

If I could sum up this month in one word it would be whirlwind.  This past month has been so fun and crazy all rolled into one.  While you are generally mellow and laid back, you have developed quite an attitude and you know how to use it.  There are days that I want to scream, yet sometimes it takes everything in me to not laugh at your crazy antics.

Much like 15 months, your food selections are pretty slim.  The monumental moment was the day you ate a whole chicken nugget.  Hallelujah, right?! You also tried a fresh pea pod, but discovered the peas fly pretty far when you whip them across the room.  Let’s say Diesel is getting a little bit of a weight problem- but at least he tends to a dirty floor. Cereal is still a staple- only now it’s in a bowl with milk and several attempts to use your spoon.

You amaze me everyday.  Your little brain is like a sponge soaking up new things all around you.  I could go on forever about all the little things this month.  I try to remind myself everyday to recognize and pay attention to all these little details.  You know your stuff.  You can point to identify people, shapes, colors and some animals. While the floor in every room of the house bookshelf holds most of your preferred “toys”, the shape cube (you know the thing that you can drop the shape blocks into) is a close second.  Your dad and I  offer the 3 blocks for the side facing him, and you are able to match the shapes. Being the goofy and happy boy that you are, every time you get it right we cheer with a gleeful “yay” and clap.   New tonight  you added “Moo” to your vocabulary- what can I say, we are a wisconsinites  (Your work grandpa Zen would be proud)! We are able to ask simple commands like, “Can mom have a cracker?” and you’ll play fetch.  Speaking of fetch, you LOVE to play fetch with Diesel and get frustrated when he doesn’t follow the rules.  Sharing this makes me realize how many goofy things I need to get on video!

One of my favorite developments this month is your ability to  identify body parts.  Here’s a test, “Where’s your tongue?” (with a little bit of breakfast too)

Summer weather is upon and you have shown me your affinity for water and then dirt (or sand).  From a drinking fountain to a kiddie pool,  If you spot water, you’re in it.  I have also learned that dirt and sand are the next best thing and tend to act like a magnets to little boys.  It’s next to impossible to keep you dry and clean these days.

Sometimes it’s impossible for me to stay clean and dry in watching you.  To you water was meant to be splashed.

On Sunday night during bath time we had a huge mess on the bathroom floor.  As mom turned away to grab a towel to dry the floor,  I turned back to find you dumping the bucket of water we use to wash your hair all over the floor.  The bath mat and towel already down were soaked.  How did you respond?  With a gleeful cheer and rapid clapping. Recognizing I wasn’t as cheerful you immediately changed your response to a stoic look and responded with “uh-oh.” How does one keep a straight face to that!

If I could ask for one thing this next month (and maybe the rest of your life), is just a tad more fear.  While you certainly aren’t a rebel, I’m seeing more of your adventurous side emerge.  For example,  jumping off your rocking chair…I’m really proud that you can jump and glad that you have the confidence to attempt such things, but maybe we could master jumping on the ground first (which is ridiculously hilarious to watch).

I have many more things to share, but to pull the post to an end I need to recognize the love you have for your dad.  While I didn’t post about it on this blog, mommy’s shoulder surgery in May really put a crimp into our routine and dad stepped up to take care of us.  You two have developed a stronger bond that sometimes makes me jealous.  He now MUST put you to bed or you scream “DADADA” in a helpless tyrant.  But you also search the house for him, or run to the door when he arrives home.  You love to help him with whatever he might be working on, such as laying the stones in the garden path.    You have grown to trust him and know that he will protect you and care for you and I, and you still know when it’s time to wrap him around your finger to play!

I can’t say it enough, I feel so blessed to be your mom.  Your expressions, knowledge and even your attitude make me appreciate each day.  You are a gift that I couldn’t be more grateful to receive.

Love you More,

Leave a comment

Filed under Proud Parents, The Caleb Times

These are the hands….

One of my most favorite parts of our wedding ceremony was “The Blessing of the Hands.” Everyday I am reminded of how true this saying really is to me.  Having surgery last week, everyday tasks like getting dressed, or changing my little mans diaper are difficult.  I snapped this picture a few days ago as a reminder of the all the strength, love and nurturing works that my husband (as his hands) provide our family.

The words in the Blessing are as follows… (Btw- the author is unknown, I did not write this, but modified it slightly for our reading. I’m sharing with you how it was read at our wedding.)

These Hands that are holding you on your Wedding Day, are the hands that will passionately love and cherish you throughout the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will comfort you when fear or grief wrecks havoc on your mind, or the hands that will wipe a tear from your cheek.
These are the hands that will hold your children in tender love, soothing them through illness and hurt, supporting & encouraging them along the way, and knowing when it’s time to let go.
These are the hands that will hold your family as one, and give you strength when you need it.
These are the hands that, even when wrinkled and aged, will continue to reach for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

I’m grateful for theses hands everyday!

Leave a comment

Filed under Daily Grind, Deep thoughts, Quotes, wedding, wedding jazz

Center of attention

While Little Man has taken the lime light in our life since his arrival, this weekend he also stole the hearts of many aunts, uncles, and cousins as we celebrated our annual labor day family weekend at Onaway Island.  I managed to sneak in a few action shots of others and apparently someone stole my camera for a few of me doing something physical (hard to come by these days). Here’s a few sequence of picture to play out the mean boys vs. girls badminton game we had going.

This was followed by the next generation of girls playing the guys…I should mention that there are so many flipping cousins in this family that there is sometimes there isn’t much age difference between the “generations”.

While I played a fierce game of badminton (we lost 21-19), others were off influencing my son!  Apparently, Caleb took a liking to beer bottles.  My Aunt Patti (er cousin?!?!) was taking a sip of her beer when Caleb got a serious grip on it and decided to have a taste (of the bottle, not the beer).  If his reaction and amazement by the beer bottle is any indication it looks as though his first word might be beer!

Essentially this weekend was meant for the family to get together from all over to have a fun-filled weekend where the adults and kids alike all manage to have a good time.  The next series of candid photos will offer a bit of insight as to how the weekend played out!

(This would be my 5 year-old niece pulling my 16 year-old cousin, my 8 year-old niece and my 2 1/2 year-old niece around the island in a wagon….can we say ambition!)

As you might imagine I hardly saw my son as he was quickly snuck out of my arms and passed around from person to person.  A nice little break and comfort knowing that he was always in good hands 🙂

While the weather was a bit cooler than years past (in fact this was the first time we had rain in 7 years- can’t complain about that) it gave me an opportunity to dress little man in a few adorable “Costumes” (as my brother would say)  to keep him warm, that he either didn’t fit into earlier or the warm summer didn’t cooperate with his wardrobe.  As you might gather we also discovered Caleb’s appreciation for Corn on the Cob.

As usual his personality shined through and everyone got to experience how happy, laid back, and fun it is to be around my little man.  He laughed and played in more people’s arms than I thought possible.  Little man was quite the social butterfly and trooper when it comes to roughing it, as we now have 2 camping experiences under our belt.  One via tent with big brother Diesel (where I forgot the camera and am still beating myself up about it) and one in cabin during low 60 degree weather.

Keep exploring little man, it’s a big world out there!  Thanks to all the family who offered a few kind words and snuggly arms to love up on my little man 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under The Caleb Times

Gateway to the Holidays

While the Holiday season has nearly passed I thought I’d share a few highlights thus far! surprisingly I’ve been extremely good at getting everything done in a timely fashion.

Christmas cards were completed and in the mail the Sunday after Thanksgiving (Sorry some were WAY later, I had to search a few addresses since our computer crashed last year).  In case you weren’t on the NICE list this year- here’s a glimpse at our 2009 Christmas picture

The following weekend, the husband and I spent cleaning and decorating for Christmas.  I don’t have pictures of the outside, but I assure you-it’s magical 🙂

We barricaded Diesel into the living room so we could clean the floors.  He was bound and determined to help however he could.  He even fore-went the treats to Supervise.

Speaking of Supervising…here he is, being all authoritative!

Unlike last year, decorating was much less dramatic.  There was no lifting of the leg, or getting tangled in the lights.  Things went quite smoothly….

(recognize the revolving apothecary jars- Spring, Fall, now winter)
the following day I left for Washington DC for work for the week, and everything seemed to go to hell.  The fully decorated tree was no longer lighting. Eventually the husband figured it was the bottom strand on the tree creating havoc, so he surpassed them in the pecking order and moved onto strand 2.  That same day Diesel discovered ornaments and decided to try a few. He’s particularly fond of the “kid’s tree” I have on the window ledge in the dining room decorated with a bunch of stuffed ornaments from my childhood and adorned with festive stuffed animals.  While no major surgery was done- everyone survived unscathed- he certainly took a liking to them.  He also found my gingerbread cut-out ornaments rather tasty (or maybe not- he only devoured 1).  The following day, Wisconsin experienced a TRUE blizzard.  The entire state was mandated to be closed via the Governor.  Off course, I was still working in Washington with blue skies and 50 degree weather.  The husband attempted to snowblow (we upgraded from 2 shovels from last winter) the 14 plus inches off the driveway. Only to have several equipment malfunctions- thus taking over 8 hours to snowblow the driveway and 2 sidewalks.  All the while the dog’s in-ground fence and collar decided not to work either and Diesel kept making friends with the neighbors next door!

I arrived home Friday that week and took to baking.  After 1 1/2 days we made caramels, peanut butter balls, peanut blossoms, Christmas Wreaths, snowballs, a few snacks for upcoming pig outs, planned some home cooked meals (for a change) and tried a fabulously easy recipe: Ice Cream Sandwich Torte- amazingly delicious, and easy! Diesel helped clean out the cool whip container!

It was the first time in years I accomplished all the mandated Holiday to-dos before the holidays struck.

Something that took a backseat this year was shopping, but we managed to fit a few power hours in this past weekend and accomplish the task.  As of right now (Tuesday, Dec. 22nd at 6:41 PM), Cards were created and sent, all decorating was done, 7 different holiday cookies and candies were made and some even shared, all Christmas shopping has been done, the house and car have been cleaned and all gifts are wrapped and I am partially packed to head to the other side of the state (just awaiting some laundry).

Hope you all have a fabulous holiday season 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Daily Grind, Proud Parents

Rationalizing our new toy, er necessity!

I had been doing my research for a long time.  Looking up reviews, reading consumer reports, trying to find the exact qualities I was looking for at a price which wouldn’t require a second mortgage.  On Sunday (July 26th) the husband and I were putting together our packing list for our bike trip we were leaving on the next day to North Carolina (which we have been back a week now), and decided we needed a high quality camera NOW (as in DSLR).  With baby on the way and me becoming a self-proclaimed photographer, it was time we invest in something GOOD! Amazing, within in hour we were at the store, Canon Rebel EOS XSi in tow with our newly beloved EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS telephoto lens in hand, and nearly $1,000 poorer.

We headed to my Aunt & Uncle’s new outdoor in-ground pool that could qualify as a resort, for a get together with the family. What’s a girl with a new camera to do…but take some fabulous pictures.  Simply put, we are satisfied!  Here is the evidence…
Brooke, Kenna & PaytBlake approachBlake approach 2IMG_0413





Good times!

There’ll be many more posts with pictures to follow 🙂 Here we come North Carolina!

1 Comment

Filed under Exploring