I am not a graceful person. In any aspect of my life. Especially this parenting gig. I find myself stumbling a lot as they get older. Their needs are constantly changing and it's a job in itself to keep up with it all. Sometimes the tension builds up. My voice is not always calm and I am not always understanding, despite wanting to be so badly. It can end ugly. Tears from everyone and just a sour mood. Or, I can let it go. I can simply let it be and take it for what it is: a learning process. It's much easier said than done, but once I let everything go, it really feels like a weight lifted off my shoulders. I hope I remember this next time we have an off day.

I woke up before the kids so I could go through pictures from recently and now I can't stop smiling. These small moments are worth every ounce of pain. The third one down, of Hank and our dog, that was a frustrating moment. I was trying to take pictures of Hank since he was 9 months old and Bear kept playing with him. Then Hank kept crawling away. I finally gave up trying to get him to sit how I wanted him too, and the moments that followed were beautiful. A boy enjoying his dog is a wonderful thing. 


here we go again.

top: Penelope and I right after she was born
bottom: Hank and I right after his birth

I have two amazing children. They had equally amazing births, both at home but both as unique as them. Penelope took her time, days in fact, and quietly entered this world to stare up at me first thing. She is my slow one who takes her time in everything she does. She is careful. I've never worried about her shoving something in her mouth that she wasn't supposed to. We didn't bother covering up the electrical sockets, because she stayed far away from them. She didn't talk much at all until she was 2, then she started as if she had been doing it her whole life. I think she was waiting until she knew she had it perfected. She is my careful, calculating one.

Hank on the other hand is so different. He is my all or nothing guy. He's happy, but then he is not, and he is vocal about it. He came into this world much faster than his sister. The pain during my entire labor was much, much more intense. It only took a handful of pushes to get him out. He was crying before he completely left my body. He didn't want to nurse at first, then when he wanted to he was on there for a good 45 minutes. I had to pull him off so I could get up to use the restroom. It's true he is the happiest baby I have ever seen. He smiles at anyone and everything. But if he is tired or, heaven forbid, I leave the room, he lets you know about it. There is no middle ground. He is much more fearless than his sister too. Everything goes to his mouth and he pulls up on the most unstable things (on it has wheels? let's stand up there!). 

I love them both to pieces. I love seeing how different they are, trying to figure out their own individual needs. I feel like I'm just now getting the hang of it. I thought that these two might be it for me. I wanted more, but Bruce didn't want to try for another. He always said "if it's meant to be, it'll just happen". I thought that was just a bunch of bull. I guess not, because it did just happen.

A third and (presumably) finale sibling will be here in the spring. I am so excited to be able to add another person to our family and learn all of their quirks and personality traits. I am excited to go through the birthing process all over again. I am happy Penny and Hank will have another best friend. 

But I will admit I am scared. We got pregnant back in July 2011, and lost that baby at 11.5 weeks. The fact that this baby and that one have the same due date has me slightly freaked out. Part of me thinks I am doomed, while the other part thinks maybe this is just another way to help me heal. I will finally get my spring baby (as long as nothing goes wrong this time either, but everything seems to be just fine). We were also not planning on having another one so soon. I had to laugh at all the people who said "oh I didn't know you were trying for another!". There was no trying involved, just one night of not really caring and my extremely fertile uterus. My first reaction to seeing those 2 lines was "but I already have a baby!". Bruce's reaction was "how did that happen?!" (needless to say it clicked for him quickly, we didn't have to have the birds and the bees conversation). 

The fact is our kids will be close. I will not have to unpack my cloth diapers and nursing bras, because they're still in use. I will not have to mourn the loss of sleep since Hank still wakes up multiple times a night. I will get a chance to tandem nurse. We will have another baby to share our love with. We will have another son or daughter- and that is the most exciting thing in the world.


life gives you want you need.

(I really do believe that statement. Even when things are terrible and never seem like they're going to get better, the experience leaves you with a wealth of knowledge. I might be one of those people who needs to believe it, and that's okay with me too).

I've been in a funk the last couple weeks. I haven't felt completely like myself or motivated at all. Plans we've made are so vague right now. Bruce has been in the processes to get onto the fire department, but we learned if he makes it through his final interview the academy doesn't start until next fall. That's a lot of waiting for two impatient people. Money is tight too, which just exacerbates any situation. I had another babysitting gig lined up, something I felt I needed to do since I quit last year when Hank was born. A few days ago I found out that wasn't happening. It was hurtful in the way I found out, since the person didn't bother to call me at all yet told a mutual friend, and I dwelled on it for days. It did me no good. The realization finally hit me last night that I should just pursue what I've always wanted to do, which is photography. I have to get over my socially awkwardness to talk to people, though, and quit doubting myself. Two very big things for me. It makes me anxious and want to shut down just thinking about it, but I know it's what I need to do. That realization came after some other big news that made me completely snap out of my rut, but I'll share that at a later date. I'm not quite ready yet.

These pictures are from Sunday night. I was hesitant to leave the house the other night, it was getting late and the kids were tired, yet Bruce insisted we go down to the river to see some friends. I was sure I would be annoyed and want to leave immediately. Turns out, it was just what I needed. I was able to relax, enjoy being outside (without getting eaten alive by mosquitos), and the kids were fantastic. Funny how that happens.