New Mercies

20160805_101413

DISCLAIMER: Before I go any further, I should probably warn you: I am so sleep deprived right now that it’s not even funny. Except… it is funny, because now I’m at the slap-happy stage (this comes immediately after the hysterical crying stage and is shortly followed by a state of semi-animated sleep-walking. I have this whole thing down to a science, guys). You have been warned. Continue at your own risk. END DISCLAIMER.

After two nights of waking every hour and a few days of near-constant crying (from the baby, haha… although, to be honest, there was definitely some crying on my end too), I decided to cut dairy from my diet this month, to see if it makes this poor little guy feel any better. Crushingly, this means no heavy cream in my coffee. Coffee without cream is pointless and gross, but I need coffee to avoid system failure, so… how will I survive?!?

Sleep deprivation without caffeine makes me very over-dramatic.

However, on my way home from picking up peaches at Whole Foods (annual one-day sale!), I decided that I was determined to find a coffee shop with a drive-thru that could make a creamy, highly-caffeinated latte without milk or soy (the other thing Charlie’s pediatrician told me to avoid), come hell or high water!

I pictured this as a sort of quest that might take some time and heroic determination, but apparently Starbucks makes coconut milk lattes, and so the quest ended happily almost as soon as it began. Incidentally, I think I like Starbucks’ coconut latte even more than their regular sort, and Charlie likes hanging out on the porch while big sister naps… so here we sit, listening to the cicadas and sweating gently in the TN heat. :)

So grateful for this chance to take a breath and redirect my thoughts to hope, beauty, and thankfulness in the midst of this crazy week.

His mercies are new every morning. :)
Advertisements

A New Beginning… Take II

Surprise! How has everyone been for the past six months? :)

I never quite know how to break long, awkward blogging silences. Once I neglect to write for more than a month, it feels awkward to sit down and write something. Do I try to catch up? Do I continue like nothing happened? Do I make an over-dramatic gif? (Yes).

blog lotr rotk how do you pick up the threads

Of course the longer I procrastinate, the stranger it becomes, until finally I’m trapped into writing one of these pointless posts to spring onto my unsuspecting readership who forgot they were still subscribed. Surprise! :)

AGH!!! I know, terrifying.

But what prompted my disappearance? And why have I returned?

The short explanation for my six-month blogging hiatus is that (coincidentally, just like the time I pulled this stunt on my previous blog) I’ve also been pregnant for most of the last 6 months. :) Something about the combination of morning sickness and computer screens just really does not go well together in my world.

Thankfully, I’m beginning to feel much better with only the odd day of morning sickness here and there, and I thought I might try to tackle a cautious return. With Beatrice growing more into a little girl every time I blink, and another dear little one due to arrive this summer, and the everyday moments of sharing life with my best friend and true love and our little, growing family, I’d like to have a spot to share some snapshots of this sweet and crazy life again, so here’s to (another) fresh start. :)

For now, I think I’ll leave this post at that. The silence has been broken. The deed is done.

03b.gif

See you soon. :)

Six Months of Beatrice

Today my baby is six months old.

IMG_20150507_124023

How was she ever so small!? On the one hand, it feels like I was holding her in my arms for the first time only a few days ago, and on the other hand, I can’t imagine life without her mischievous, crinkly-eyed, gummy grins.

IMG_20150507_105528

I was telling Beatrice this morning about the first time her Daddy and I saw her and I almost started to cry. I still can’t believe God entrusted us with this beautiful, precious, sweet daughter. How can she hold my whole heart in those tiny, chubby hands, and enchant me with one conspiratorial grin?

IMG_20141120_164211

Will and I were broken-hearted when we lost our first baby two summers ago, and I still don’t know why God wished to take that little child home to Himself so soon. He is good though, and He is kind, and though I still remember the pain and ache of loss, I realize that if He hadn’t taken our first child we would never have met little Beatrice. I don’t understand God’s ways, but when I catch a glimpse of them I am always filled with wonder and quieted by His goodness, and love, and mercy. It comforts me to think that we didn’t really lose a child, but gained one, and while we hold our precious Beatrice in our arms, God holds the baby we never got to meet. It makes me think of what Joseph said to his brothers in Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”IMG_20150120_051355

We chose the name Beatrice because it means “Bringer of Joy,” as well as “Blessing,” or “Blessed.” Beatrice has brought so much joy into our lives since the moment we knew of her, and she is indeed the dearest blessing God has given Will and I. Her middle name means “Grace,” because God gave us a daughter when our arms were empty and we cried to Him. I don’t know how He ever trusts us with these tiny, precious souls, but He is gracious indeed! :)

IMG_20150507_114130

Beatrice, you have your father’s dancing blue eyes and impossibly long eyelashes. You are always ready to share a conspiratorial grin with him that only you two understand, and he is the only one who can always make you laugh. When I catch you smiling at each other adoringly, my heart melts.Will & B

You are a serious little lady. You sit in your highchair and watch me cook with eyebrows raised in mild interest. You seem to enjoy walks in the stroller even though you frown and furrow your brow in concentration. You love to hold books and try to turn the pages when we read to you.

serious 4

You are also a cheerful, pleasant soul. You enjoy baths and smiling at yourself in the mirror. Your favorite songs make you laugh. You are quick to smile and your eyes often twinkle with a look of secret mischief. You squeal with happy delight at being alive and then you try to eat your toes.

IMG_20150507_091022

You are intense and calm, serious and cheerful. You wish to be held constantly, or at least be near enough to touch, and have no interest in crawling or standing – you prefer to be carried. We are thankful that you like to cuddle (even if it’s inconvenient when I am trying to make dinner) and love to watch your quiet, calm, serious little ways and joyful smiles.

trio

You are the loveliest, most perfect, beautiful gift I have ever been given, and it fills me with awe to hear your happy singing begin from your crib at 6am each morning (even if it is a tad early), or see your eyes light up in a smile, or stroke your fluffy head and hold your tiny fingers while you sleep.

IMG_20150505_111218

As I write this you are crying because you are tired and you do not want to sleep. You want cuddles, and books, and kisses, and to grab tightly to my shirt with chubby fingers and bury your face in my neck, while you choke back sniffles dramatically (you know I can never resist you when you do that). You are tiring and demanding and amazing and worth every minute.

IMG_20150507_091533Your Daddy and I love you so very much, Beatrice, and we are thankful for every moment we are given with you.

How to Make Coffee with a Baby (in 15 Easy Steps)

IMG_20150312_092120 I don’t always get to drink my coffee, but when I do, it goes something like this…

– Swaddle baby and rock to sleep. Place gently in crib. Tip-toe away. Feel hope bubbling up inside you… you have time to make a cup of coffee!

– Heat water in tea kettle. While water is heating, grind coffee beans. Don’t worry, none of this will wake the baby. If you’d like to vacuum the house or practice a little chainsaw art, that is also acceptable.

– Place grounds in French press and pour in the hot water. Let steep several minutes before pressing the coffee. During this time, set up a cozy nest of blankets and pillows with maybe a book to keep you company while you enjoy your coffee. Grab your favorite mug (happy humming optional). You’re almost there!

– Pour coffee into mug. You will immediately hear your baby scream, obviously woken by the delicious whisper and froth of the coffee swirling into your mug. Congratulations! Your baby has the hearing of a bat. Go investigate crying.

– As you enter the room, your baby’s eyes will pop open and she will give you a big cheeky grin. Apparently naptime is over. This development would be more frustrating if that baby wasn’t so cute, dagnabbit.

– Change the baby’s diaper.

– Baby suddenly remembers she is ravenous and immediately bursts into tears. Cast a longing glance at your mug of coffee as you walk past the kitchen and settle onto the couch to feed the baby.

– Change the baby’s diaper again.

– Set baby down to play. Check coffee. By this time it should be right in that sweet spot between lukewarm and frigid. Briefly ponder drinking it as is (it’s not THAT scummy…) but then decide you’re not THAT desperate (yet). Pour coffee into saucepan and place on stove to reheat.

– Baby is bored and will be crying again. Pick up baby. About now, a blowout will inevitably hit.

– Change baby out of dirty clothes and apply stain remover (your shirt was probably a casualty as well. Sorry). Send Husband a melodramatic text about how you are having a Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and are definitely considering sending the baby to Australia. Take a deep breath. Visualize that coffee. Focus on that particularly cute smile your baby is directing your way (how can you be so cheery when you have done this to Mommy?). Bathe, dry, and dress baby.

– You’re feeling better now, cuddling that cute little chubbers close and getting lost in the sweet scent of clean baby hair. Mmm. Being a Mom is the best ever.

– Suddenly remember coffee. Dash into kitchen to find it has boiled away to a dark sludge. Crestfallen, wash the pot. Good feelings gone. Meanwhile, baby is tired and hungry again, so the crying has commenced. Feel your heart start to race and the panic set in. NEED TO FEED BABY! Decide tea will suffice. Heat water and pour over tea bag to steep.

– Scoop up crying baby and settle in to feed her. Those sniffles! So pathetic and yet so cute. Your heart melts. “This is better than coffee,” says your shoulder angel. “But what if you could have this AND coffee?” pipes up the shoulder devil. Oh hush.

– Baby falls asleep eating. Gently place baby in crib and go check on tea. Cold and bitter. Mmm. Dump down drain and put on the water to make coffee again. Hope springs eternal. :)

DISCLAIMER: This is a dramatization. I would not actually consider sending my child to Australia.

~ ~ ~

Although this used to be the story of my life, now that Beatrice is 4 months old she actually takes real naps (hallelujah!), and after I put her down for her morning nap at 9am, I (usually) get to make my coffee and drink it too. So, to any other new moms out there, the struggle is real but there is also light at the end of the tunnel (and coffee). :) IMG_20150312_092405