Monday, March 26, 2012

his will be done

Some days I envy those mothers who were given the gift of pregnancy easily. Other days, I marvel at the medicine and science God created that allows me the same gift. Some days, I cry while I put away the syringe, not at the fleeting pain of the injection, but at the deep love I have for my children...the one in my arms, the ones waiting to be placed in my body, and the two already in God's arms in Heaven. 
I know that my struggle to conceive has allowed me to speak into the lives of so many women, hurting from their own empty arms. That Lila's conception, pregnancy and birth is a testimony to the ways God answers prayers. But some days, I wish I could trade all of the good that has come from years of those medicines for two quick little lines on a test. 
It's hard to think we are starting this all over again. With Lila's IVF, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into and we would have done anything for a child. But I know that God is not done with our family. Lila is meant to be a big sister. I am meant to hold more babies against my body and nurse them through the night. Brian is meant to swaddle a little one and gently rock them to sleep. 
Some days I have to remind myself why I suffer through it all. And other days, none of the shots or patches or hormone swings or early mornings sitting in a doctor's office under a paper sheet or silly crying over a spilled dog bowl of water even matters. Because this week, I will get on a plane to Chicago and go meet my babies, nestled in their little tubes, frozen and fast asleep. And God will give them life in my body in the miraculous way that only He can do. So this Saturday, pray for my babies. Pray that God gives Brian and I strength of body and mind. And pray that His will be done for our family.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

mom guilt

A couple of weeks, I had a doctor's appointment in the middle of the day, so I hired a babysitter for Miss Lila Bean. Not knowing how long it would take and knowing I needed to run by my office to pick up some papers, I scheduled the sitter for 3 hours. Luckily for me the doctors appointment was short and sweet and I was not detained into the black hole known as the "office drop in" for very long. 

After running by the pharmacy, I was left with a decision. Come home an hour early and feel bad for booking the babysitter longer so I would still probably pay her the full 3 hour amount? Or take advantage of the blessed free time with nowhere to be? 
I choose me time. Sitting on the patio of a little cafe, drinking a cold Diet Coke, reading a book, and eating a delicious salad. By myself. With no one banging a fork on a table or throwing a milk cup on the ground. No need for conversation, only smiles at people giving me odd looks for flying solo during lunch. I pushed aside the twinges of guilt that I should be taking advantage of this gorgeous day by playing at the park with Lila. Or getting in a few extra hours of cleaning or work. Instead, I sat there for a full 45 minutes, basking in the sun, and just being me. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

camping in style

Last Saturday was the perfect day for a birthday party. Blue skies, nice breeze, a yard full of colorful quilts and tents, and all of Lila's favorite people in one place. There is something so special about birthdays, that God allows us to celebrate and remember how precious life is every 365 days. As Lila gets older, I want to always install a sense of celebrating life's moments with her and letting her feel how special she is to all of us.

Many thanks to my parents for the use of their gorgeous backyard, my sister Auntie KK for all her creative touches and styling expertise, and to Brian's family for helping us prep all weekend. Throwing cute camping themed birthday parties takes a lot of work!

We celebrated with snacks and S'more Cupcakes and presents. Lots and lots of presents.

We made camp crafts, we swung on the play set till our hearts were content. 

 We had our cake and ate it too. 

 We snuggled with friends and rocked babies. And it was a good day to be two.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

pimp my slide

This evening park playtime with Mimi and Pumba brought to you by daylight savings time. And yes, Lila has now named her grandpa "Pumba." As in Simba's gassy warthog friend on the Lion King. No relation. Nor similarities for that matter. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

looking good

Since we so very rarely dress up and there is never photographic evidence of it, I felt very proud of myself for remembering the camera this weekend. We went to a good family friend's wedding and GASP, all of the kids, spouses and parents in my family were present. And looking fine I might add. 12 pounds down and one dress size, what what!
 What's your favorite dress up moment with your spouse? How often do you get all gussied up and go out on the town minus the little ones?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

two years of love

I walked into Lila's room at 12:38am on Saturday morning and stared at her sleeping body, wrapped around her Grinch, arms splayed off to the sides. I remembered that last frantic hour two years ago...finally getting my epidural at 7cm, my water breaking across the room, my nurse calling the NICU team because of the telltale green meconium, 20 people flooding through the door, Brian looking at me with a wide eyed look of sheer excitement. And then the pushing, the exhaustion, the renewed energy, and finally the cry. As she was whisked away to the corner and the NICU team, I asked over and over, "Is she okay? How is she?" Seeing Brian wipe away his tears as he hovered over the bassinet. And finally, too long, she was place in my arms. Staring into my eyes as I cuddled her as close as possible. So long we had waited to see her face, 2 years of long sleepless nights, 10 months of an uncomfortable and tumultuous pregnancy. 
We celebrated her on Saturday, not just the beautiful two year old she has become but the success of making it to this moment. Where our little girl has taken over our life in a way I could never have imagined. As we chowed down on pancakes and maple syrup "dip", my heart was full.  

Saturday, March 10, 2012

growing too fast

Lila Addison, 
I cannot believe you are two today. As I stand over your crib, looking at this tall, constantly moving, head full of hair child, I can barely believe that you are mine. Two years seems like a grown up, and yet still my baby. One minute you are dancing around in circles to the Fresh Beats Band, holding hands with your daddy while you twirl, and the next minute you are snuggled up in my lap with your Grinch. You repeat every word we say now and will just make up your own words when you cannot find the right one, babbling to anyone who will listen to you. You are fiercely in love with your family, asking to call them the minute you wake up in the morning and running into their arms when you see them. You have such a sweet heart, wrapping your babies up in dish towel "blankets" and rocking them to sleep. 

Some times you just stop and stare straight into my eyes like you are trying to figure out how God knit us together that tightly. And those moments when you cry out in your sleep for your momma and daddy just melt our hearts, that even in your dreams you know we will come running to you. 

I can see how your child grows in a moment, a snap of your day I was holding you in my arms, covered in goo, smushed nose and that little tiny cry of protest at the cold, bright world. And the next you are asking me for blueberries and following Zaxby the dog around to give her hugs. In an instant, two years has flashed by. No matter how fast you grow up little one, always know that you are never too big for my lap, never too independent for me to hold your hand and never too far away for me to come running. Happy birthday my first born, my littlest one, my love. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

pink is my favorite color

I will spare you photo documentation, but pink eye has infested the house. Lila has been cutting her two year old molars and had a runny nose earlier this week. Then on Tuesday, I of course had to drive down to Wilmington (about a two and a half hour drive) for a work meeting. I got a call from my mom half way through the day "not to scare me, but Lila has green gunk coming out of both of her eyes, a swollen face and a low grade fever." I tried very hard to stay at the speed limit on my drive back. 

Once we were loaded up with eye drops and oral antibiotics (for the double pink eye AND ear infection), we have hunkered down at home to wait out the sickness. I have washed every fabric surface in the house and wiped down everything else in Lysol. So far, Brian and I have been spared. 

Lila has been very snugly these last few days since she feels so lousy. Which is just fine with me since she is usually doing acrobatics out of my arms when I try to hug her. It has also given me plenty of time to laugh at her newest silly toddler sayings:
  • When Zaxby the dog tries to steal her crackers out of her hand, she looks very seriously at her and says "No ma'am"
  • Our favorite part of the ABC song, which is repeated over and over, is "M&M&M and P" 
  • We spent 15 minutes yesterday changing Oo-Ee the Grinch's diaper and wiping his bottom with wipes since Oo-Ee had a poopy
  • Lila likes to repeatedly stand and squat down in front of our fireplace glass, looking at her reflection and saying, "Oh hi Lila!" as if surprised that her best friend just showed up 
Hopefully we are on the mend today and will be cleared to go back to day care tomorrow. Since SOMEONE has her second birthday on Saturday! And clearly it is time to get back to our pigtail wearing, strawberry chomping self. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

get it my belly: pinterest edition

I have found Pinterest to be my favorite place in years for recipes. No other blog or cookbook (other than the Bible...our Father, who art in the crockpot, hallowed be thy Make It Fast, Cook It Slow cookbook) even comes close to giving me this much inspiration. No, this is not a sponsored post. I love finding fast recipes with only a handful of ingredients which are good for my family and make big portions. Here are my favorites I have found so far on Pinterest/my daily crack. 

Skinny Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken: I actually just tried this recipe for the first thing this week and it was fabulous! The green onion and cilantro was genius. We actually just scooped it up with tortilla chips instead of rice.

Pumpkin Dump Cake: I am pretty sure I have posted this on the blog before. Eh, sue me. It is just that delicious. I love any dessert this easy. Especially if it has my favorite holiday themed orange vegetable in it.

Penne with Artichokes: Shut your mouth, this was the best recipe I have ever stolen off the internet. It was one of those, "Huh, that has all my favorite things in it...why didn't I think of it?" recipes. Make it tonight. Now.

Mediterranean Seven Layer Dip: I love Mexican 7 Layer Dip but I always feel like a poser when I bring it to potlucks. "I brought this great di...oh wait, you've had this before? Oh at every other potluck ever since Moses? Oh..." So this was a great way to sub the easy for a whole new taste. Delicious!

Zucchini Fritters: I am posting these on here as a challenge to myself to actually make them this weekend. I have been looking at this recipe longingly for months now but the idea of a fritter makes me feel all nervous and sweaty, like it sounds super complicated even though it only has like 7 ingredients. Well now I have posted it and have to actually try it. I will post a recap on Monday and let you know how it goes (accountability! haha, take that!)