Tag Archives: new parents

1,055 days of Motherhood

I have been a mother for 1055 days.  There are days when I pause amidst the chaos and reflect on “what did  8 hours of sleep really felt like,” or “when was the last time I had 10 minutes completely to myself (showering doesn’t count).”  Today was one of those days. Little Miss Mae was up every 3 hours for almost an hour each time.  In her defense she’s cutting 4 teeth and is completely uncomfortable.  Little man coughed his way through the night, then all morning had snot streamers every time I turned around.  The dog is dire need of attention, this means he follows me and paces endlessly around the house, which would instigate anxiety from any relaxed person.  I shot their morning routine to hell, and realized at 10 AM we needed breakfast, I couldn’t even make pancakes right.  Might have something to do with having 2 blow outs and several snot streamers from both kids during that time.  Who knows what ingredients I missed. I was feeling sorry for myself and wanting a glimmer of hope.

Then I grabbed my camera.

I’m overdue in recognizing all that I have to be thankful for.  Check out what 3 AM looked like for me…

She has been title by many different people “the happiest baby on earth.” 99% of the time it’s true.

I need to do a bit of narrating for a bit.  I have my own photography & design company (Little-d-Tales) whose slogan is to capture the moments that tell the story of your life.  What you will not see is my lack of sleep or short fuse, instead you will see all the miraculous things that mold and shape who my daughter is at 7 1/2 months.  See how many little details (get it) you can notice in the next few photos.

Okay quiz time:

  • How many creases or rolls does Miss Mae have on her left leg?  5 is the correct number in the picture.  Trust me there are a few more under the diaper.  Did you notice the ankle roll?  I love her adorable little chubbs!  I took this picture to help me remember all the fun little rolls in the most peculiar places (wrists and ankles?!)
  • Do the length of her toes go in chronological order?  Nope, her 3rd toe is slightly longer than her 2nd toe.  She has funky toe nails too.  Why does this matter.  A little blemish of mine is the disgustingness of my feet.  My husband jokes all the time about how he hopes the kids end up with his feet!
  • Which pictures show her teeth coming in?  Actually 2 of them do.  The smiling and crying one expose different teeth.  She actually has her front 2 top teeth and front 2 bottom teeth coming in all at once.  One is more prominent on top so you only see 1 in the happy photo.  I try not to compare to my little man, but occasionally it’s interesting to me how different they are, despite how similar they look.  My little man had 4 teeth at 6 months, her’s are just starting to push through at 7 1/2, in fact the first one broke through last Thursday.
  • Based on her fabulous bed head, what do you presume her hairstyle was earlier in the day?  If you said pony tail sticking straight up on her head you would be correct.  With all that baby hair and new growth, there is hair of all different lengths.  Clips come out in .2 seconds.  Despite her longer hair, she HATES hair pretties and either pulls the out the second they go in or she fights you to the death while you attempt to put them in.  The pony tail on top of the head (think Bam-Bam) is our best option at this point, so it’s the fall back hairstyle.

These are all little pieces that we overlook in our everyday life, and yet at this age things change, develop and disappear before you have the chance to notice and appreciate it.  I have always LOVED her cry.  She puts every ounce of expression into it. Although I just noticed the bottom lip isn’t curled.  Either she was far enough into the cry or she has outgrown that too.  Gee, I hope not. Okay that was 3-4AM.

Here’s 11 AM….Bath time.  I am falling into the 2nd child trap (not having as many picture of the 2nd) as soon as EllaMae was wrapped in the towel and grinning from ear-to-ear, I realized I had a moment in front of me that I wanted to capture and share.  I should mention my husband is away for the week and misses these bambinos, so I thought of him as I sped to my camera before the moment passed. No quiz this time, just me narrating as needed.

True story, she is smiling all the time.  She smiled because she saw me with the camera.  She’s had some practice with a mom like me.  Either way I think she’s amazing.

Obviously she doesn’t sit for long now that she is moving around.  She quickly rolled to a sit an attempted to take her towel off.  Proved to be more difficult that she anticipated, so she went back to smiling for the camera.

And of course, big brother (little man) has to do whatever his sister does.  He was in the bath with all but 2 toys, which means 82 were in the tub… he noticed a few  toys on the floor.  From Miss Mae’s perspective, “thanks for pointing that out.”  Just goes to show she doesn’t let much slow her down, including a towel.

I really hope we are functioning in a judgement free zone.  I promise you that the stuff on the floor was the product of my sanity.  When both kids decided to explode out the back, douse themselves in syrup from breakfast, and the never ending snot streamers tying us all together, I opted for the least restrictive path to the bath, which meant clothes of all shapes and sizes were dropped to the floor. Getting Miss Mae dressed I decided I NEEDED this shot.  Again- no judging me or this shot.

And then there is little man! Fresh and clean.  After each bath I always snuggle him up and pretend he’s my “little papoose.” He was a bit disappointed he didn’t get a hooded towel.  We’ve been trying to transition him into big boy mode.

I had pulled out his clothes, but he was determined to dress himself.  Clearly I underestimated him.

He was so proud of putting his own socks on.  We really should celebrate our little successes more frequently.  He has taught me that.

While I was finishing up with Miss Mae, little man continued his adventures in the tub.  I was so impressed after his bath to see him in his bedroom getting dressed.  No word quite capture his determine to dress himself.

To make this story even more enlightenting ( at least to me as a mom) is not just recognizing them as individuals with unique traits and characteristics, but also as siblings.  After bath time was an attempt to have nap time.  As I tucked little man in, miss mae kept trying to get on his bed.  When I set her down they broke into squeels of excitement.  As you can see they LOVE each other!

So this Thanksgiving day I’m grateful for chaos, chubby cheeks, curiosity and independence; Siblings and parenthood.  Cleanliness and messes, infants and toddlers.  May I not lose sight of the amazingness taking shape before my eyes and enjoy the beauty that I have created despite it’s imperfections. May I learn to recognize and appreciate the moments of silence when they do exist so I am prepared to embrace the chaos later! I am grateful for the opportunity to notice and capture the little details that will add to the chapters of our life story. In the past 1055 days I have learned how to be a better person, my husband and children inspire me everyday, and I am eager to continue to learn and grow together.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.  May you notice the little things that make your life grand 🙂

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Bittersweet

Dear Caleb,

Today marks your sixth week of life.  Each day I spend with you is a gift that shows just how blessed we are as a family.  Yesterday you were baptised with your cousin Keaton.  The entire weekend we were showered with support and love from family and friends.  Your godmother Megan flew in on Friday and spent the weekend admiring you.  And Gma and Gpa O came in on Saturday afternoon to drool over how cute you are for the rest of the weekend.  But today when everyone had left and dad returned to work it was just you and me again. Today marked the beginning of the end in several ways.

Today marked the end of you being a “newborn” according to your clothing as you are officially adorned in 0-3 month attire.  I learned this last night as we tried to stuff you into a newborn outfit only to have your toes be curled and the neck and armpits stretched to your chest.  I teared up a bit as I realized you were quickly outgrowing many things.  As of last week you were 9.75 lbs and 23 inches long.  Seeing you in your baptism outfit yesterday, you were so handsome and mature I felt you were off to your junior prom.  Thankfully you still fit into my arms and nestle your cheeks into my shoulder as we close the books on one more week together.

Today marked the first time your Gma and Pa would witness your charming AM routine with countless smiles.  They would hear your beautiful voice as you would daze into the dining room chandelier and flail your arms as if the ceiling were your orchestra.  You have become so active in a stationary position, which I realize is an oxymoron.  What I mean is you are so strong you kick and move and have begun to get your body moving while lying in one place.  I recognize this will be short-lived as you are nearly rolling over already.  Gpa O also felt the brute strength of your legs as you “jumped” while he was holding you in his arms. I fear the days you will crawl out of my lap or run off to play without me.

Today also marks my last few days of maternity leave, and while I am only returning to work part-time I just feel like we just haven’t had enough time together.  You and I have become such good buds these last 6 weeks.  I seem to have memorized what works and when to pull out what tricks.  And while I can hold you and snicker at the sounds of your innocent cries, my heart breaks to hear your cry while in the arms of someone else.  I have been blessed with your laid back attitude and you have spoiled me with sleep.  We have established our morning bonding time with tummy time on my chest, often followed by dining room table exercises and entertainment.  I have learned that wiping your face with a cold wipe makes you scream, however a warm bath is the highlight of your week…as long as we can get you dried off and dressed in a timely fashion.  I have mastered the world record pace to change you diaper and keep you happy and have managed to find numerous ways to keep you content while buckling you into your car seat, as we make weekly attempts to get out into the world and mingle.  I have been as brave as I can as I trust you in the hands of others.  And I have attempted to maintain a calm and relaxed attitude recognizing that you tend to mimic my attitude and roll with the punches.  It certainly hasn’t been easy, but I love you for being so understanding as I learn how to be the best mom I can be.  I have spent countless hours the last 6-weeks completely mesmerised by you, gazing into your eyes, staring as you sleep in my arms, or enthralled as you find your voice and fine tune your movements.  I am trying to memorize every detail of you as you morph before my eyes.  I don’t want to let an opportunity pass where I choose let you go in light of something “more productive.” I choose my breaks wisely and will eagerly contend your dad’s claims that I should lay you down.

Your dad and I stumble occasionally as we try to figure out what it is you need, yet we continue to marvel at your every expression.  You have been so alert and aware since the moment you were born.  Having you in our lives has made us both better people.  In fact I think your dad and I appreciate each other more as both of us have had to respect and support each other through this learning curve.  We are both so excited as continue to write our chapter as a family.

So today is bittersweet.  We are so excited to share every moment of your life with you, but there is a hint of sadness as I turn the page of your 6-week milestones. I am so fortunate to have you as my son. You have made my life so much more meaningful and added so much joy to our family.  We are very honored to be your parents. And as I sing most nights…I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be 🙂

Love you More,
Mom
(Dad and big brother Diesel too).

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A photo-journal of my first week of life

A few minutes after being born- I had skin to skin time with mom.  At this point I hadn’t been weighed or measured…in fact I didn’t even have a name yet.

Grandma and Grandpa were there shortly after I was born, but with all the craziness we didn’t get pictures. Mom got a little sick right away so it took a while for things to settle down. Around 10 PM  daddy gave me my first bath.  I LOVED getting my hair washed!

At about 1 AM, just before heading to the nursery for the night, mom and dad had some time alone together.  That’s when they decided my name…Caleb Ashton (my middle name is after my great-uncle Harold Ashton Lange who passed away unexpectedly last summer).

Daddy went home for the night.  Mom was wakened at 3 AM to feed me, then sleep again until 8 AM.  Mom and I spent the first few hours alone together and she spent every waking minute checking me out and cuddling up to me. Since the epidural had completely worn off by morning mom was able to get out of bed and shower before the plunge of visitors came.  Meanwhile, since I was so alert right after I was born…by 10 AM I hit hibernation mode and wanted to sleep all day.

Our first visitors arrived around 10 AM- Uncle Josh and Cousin Dakota (you’ll hear more about them later)

Then daddy came back to the hospital after spending the morning with my big brother Diesel at home. We reacquainted ourselves quite nicely.

Aunt Amber came over her lunch break and then the fury of excited visitors started arriving around 4 PM.  Grandma and Grandpa came with my uncle Jeremy and cousins McKenna and Payton.  Shortly thereafter Aunt Cindy and Cousin Dakota arrived to join the party! While everyone was there, Pastor Greg arrived to enjoy a happy visit at the hospital.  Just as they were about to head out the door…mom and dad’s friend Kelly stopped by after work.  Finally we ended the night of visitors with Grandma & Grandpa O.
Mommy’s room quickly filled with smiles, laughter, flowers and gifts.


(As of Tuesday at 5 PM these were ALL my cousins on my mom’s side.  That changed on Wednesday about 6 PM…You’ll meet him later)


Everyone saying their good-byes

Seeing how long and beautiful my hair is…daddy had some fun.  I think he’s a little jealous of my hair.  Thankfully mom stopped him before he pulled out styling products 🙂

Our last day at the hospital began with one hungry baby.  Mom spent 3 hours straight breastfeeding me…and she felt it later!  Thankfully when daddy arrived I had settled and was ready to rest.  Daddy got me ready to go home while mommy got up and showered for the big day.  Believe it or not this is a newborn outfit…but everything is too big on me!

Nurse Lori was one of mommy’s favorites.  She was there all 3 days, but unfortunately her shift was ending just as I was about to be born.  She really helped mommy a lot!  Here she is helping daddy get me into my car seat for the ride home.  We officially left the hospital at 11:30 AM.

It felt so good to be home at last.  Daddy was so good about taking care of things around the house which allowed mom a chance to sneak in a nap before dinner.  A few people stopped at the house on Wednesday night, Jeremy and the girls stopped after school,   Mom & dad’s friend Kris arrived just before dinner,  and Uncle Andy and his girlfriend Megan came after dinner!  Before the day was over we had one quick impromptu family picture on the couch- Big brother Diesel, Dad, Mom and baby Caleb.

At 6 PM on Wednesday night we got news that Caleb was no longer the little cousin.  Uncle Josh and Aunt Cindy welcomed Keaton, the newest little cousin to the clan.  On Thursday after Caleb’s first Dr. Appointment we swung by the hospital to meet him.  Caleb cleared the doctor’s appointment with flying colors.  Despite mommy’s efforts to feed round the clock her first night home was exhausting.  Caleb was up every hour- feeding for about 20 minutes at a time only to wake up within a half hour to feed again.  Seeing how mom was breastfeeding, daddy felt helpless and mommy seriously considered switching to formula.  Thankfully, staying true to what everyone says- the first night is definitely the worst.  Caleb averted a needle to the heel for the jaundice screen since his color was so flush, and with the plumbing back in order follow the male surgical procedure we were cleared for launch.  Next up- go meet cousin Keaton.  Can you tell which is which?


put it this way- Caleb knows he was number 1.  The dad’s took the proud honor of sharing their pride and joys as the mom’s took pictures.  In fact I believe there were a few select quotes from the movie Hangover and predictions of future conversations our sons would share.  Very precious!

Friday was the day that Gma & Gpa O would head for home,  so of course they jumped at every opportunity to hold me.  They left around 12:30 PM and the whole house became silent.  Daddy and Diesel curled up on the couch while mom and I cuddled in the recliner.  The silence and the nap was a slice of heaven.

One thing mom and dad have learned by now:  Being changed is my LEAST favorite thing.  But here I am before the screaming begins.

On Friday night mom and dad were scheduled to attend Grad class.  In mom’s panic she realized she needed to find a way to feed her little guy while she was away.  Thankfully Gma was coming over to watch me and mom had managed to pump enough for my first bottle feeding.  Mom and dad did indeed leave for class, but made sure to check in several times and hurry home.  Saturday, dad returned to grad class but mom made other arrangements since 8 hours away just was more than her body could handle (Note from mom: the kids eats every 1-2 hours which allows very little time to pump excess) instead we packed up Diesel and I and headed out to Gma & Gpa’s for the day.  My Cousins were all there and loved having hte opportunity to hold me yet again.  We also got a visit from Great Aunt Diane and Uncle Norm with some pretty cute outfits!

Just practicing for Easter

On Sunday, mom and dad both got me all ready and we went to church as a family.  Afterwards Great Aunt Amy and Uncle Dan came over with my 2nd cousins Brooke and Blake.  Blake was able to calm me after having a bout of chaotic fussiness.

Apparently I learned something at church today…You are never too young to start praying 🙂

After everything was said and done…we spent the rest of Sunday as a family.  Mom and I cuddled like usual, daddy spent time introducing me to my big brother Diesel and I even managed to water the flowers from a prone position (Boys add tricks to getting their diaper changed!)

Which brings us to today- my 1 week birthday.  Mom and I slept downstairs last night to allow daddy a good night sleep.  He went back to work today and mom missed him…but we managed.  I have somehow figured out a schedule that allows mom to get a decent amount of sleep (in fact I’ve been sleeping since 9:30 tonight- she should be sleeping with me, but instead she’s blogging until 11:30 PM).  After daddy came home from work, I got daddy time.  Mom had attempted to take me for a walk all afternoon seeing how the weather was well into the 50’s, but instead her and Diesel went for a walk when daddy came home.  And the rest of the night- we vegged.  Just some dinner and lounging time.  The tv never even managed to get turned on today.

Mom is already sad that things are happening so fast.  In 51 weeks I’ll be 1-year-old.  But for now, we’re just going to enjoy every moment we can 🙂
Thanks for all the warm wishes and thoughtful gifts that have been shared with us.  We really appreciate them all…and couldn’t agree with you more.  I am absolutely beautiful and by far the best thing that has happened to my mom and dad!
Sweet dreams- Love, Caleb

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Sorry I’ve been away; I’ve had a puppy wrapped around my finger!

Several weeks ago a surprise phone call came: “your puppy is ready”

Having moved into the house exactly 1 week prior, the house was far from being puppy proofed! So we pondered and tried to figure out how the puppy would fit in the unexpected 2 week schedule. Long story short, the last 3 weeks have been some of the most rewarding weeks of my life. 

Without any further ado… meet Guest Blogger…Diesel

 The first night my mom and dad had me they were a little crazy!  They set an alarm and woke up every 2 hours to take me outside to go potty.  I cried when I couldn’t see them, so they took turns laying by my kennel as they convinced me to sleep.  I was really good at sleeping.  In fact the next day we left gma and gpa’s house and I slept the entire 4 hour ride home.  I’m still really good at sleeping.

 While Mom and Dad do have rules, like I can’t go in their bed or on the furntiture (although I’ve been working really hard to change that rule).  One rule that is for certain, I get morning and evening cuddle time with both of them.  Even today!  I don’t quite fit as well into their laps as I once did.  I can’t wait until I’m 80 lbs and sitting on their lap.

But there are other rules:

This is my rug in the kitchen. 

This is my yard.  My parent’s tell me I’m a “Good Boy” when I go potty here.  Which I almost always do, but I really dread it when it’s raining.  The thing that is really cool is that they have all these cool weed things in the grass that get all puffy and fly away.  The taste the best.  Sticks are good too.  I’m still not sure how I feel about the pinecones.

Yeah, that was then…now I’m even bigger.  I learned how to dig when we went camping with my friend Rosco.  Rawhides consume hours of my time.  And somehow my parents keep saying that they don’t get anything done cause they always want to cuddle and play with me. 

Here’s a few final pics.  I might have to start charging, but I’m sure since my mom takes more pictures of me than she will of her first born there will be many more postings with my sweet smiling face. You can watch me grow.  Isn’t this going to be so exciting.  I would really love it if all my mom & dad’s friends and family would come see me.  I LOVE PEOPLE!

Okay, I must get back to wrapping myself around my mom’s finger.  It’s cuddle time!

Aren’t I dreamy!! Trust me, you’ll have dreams about me tonight.

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