Baby girl, right now you are 39.5 weeks, and we are preparing for your arrival any day. Your dad is making cookies for the nurses, my hospital bag is packed and re-packed. My energy is like a million bouncy balls flung off a high rise, bounding in a million directions. I don't know what to focus on (the house is clean, the baby clothes washed, gifts from all who love you, carefully tucked into my bag.) To say you were a surprise doesn't even begin to describe the wonder of you. From the moment I first had an inkling you were even a possibility, my heart hasn't stopped exploding. To understand all of my complicated emotions would take years to unravel. The years of wanting, the years of trying, the years of growing your siblings under sterile conditions, in Dr.'s offices. And here you came, carefree and easy, lightning in the middle of summer day. I've had a hard time believing in you, but you constantly proved to me that you are here, and a force all your own. Now we are days, hours, heart beats from meeting you, and I've barely registered that you are my last baby. The last one to claim occupancy in the physical space below my heart. You are the beginning of all my lasts. I've vowed to be present in this final stretch. To not be scared. To embrace what my body, so foreign and unyielding for so many years, was capable of.
We all love you and dream of you. I watch you move, a constellation in your own orbit. I hear your heartbeat, steady and comforting. Your siblings, who talk to you every day, Lucy, whispering she dreamt of you and your brother, who named you. Your Father magically soothing all the crazy that becomes me, when combined with you. We love you with all of our beings, baby girl.
Please come soon.
My sunshine friend Sarah Knight, documented three stages of my pregnancy with the now discontinued Fujifilm FP-3000B. These instant photos are so fleetingly beautiful. A moment, a smile, a growing belly, a spontaneous tackle hug, never to revisited except in my heart and these tangible witnesses. I'm forever grateful Sarah!
Every year we pick out a fresh tree. Scott has been trying to convince me for the last 11 years to buy fake, but to no avail. I agree the set-up, maintenance and take-down is much easier, but there is something about loading up the kids (kid in our case) and driving out and picking a Real Live Christmas Tree! Sure, it isn't as cool as actually going to the woods and finding on yourself, but we are a bit of City folks too. Scott and I have a very intense selection process. It needs to be only so high and wide (mini baby house,) look a bit like a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, with lots of spaces and gaps, but also be perfectly symmetrical (no weird flat sides.) And we always have the bottom freshly cut off. One year we didn't do that, and it didn't work out so well.
I love our tree, and every morning when Lucy wakes up, she goes in and says, "Ohhhh, pretty!" I have always loved Christmas, but I love it a gazillion, billion times more with Lucy.
There are times as a mom you know you might have taken on too much, but you still do it anyway. This was one of those days. Garden of the Gods, is an amazingly beautiful red rock garden, just at the footsteps of where Taryn lives. And we decided to take all 4 kids, all under the age of 5, on a walking tour. This, in itself was no big deal. Taryn had Harper strapped in her carrier, and Cooper, the 5 year-old, is a good walker, but our fatal mistake came when not anticipating the length of the walk, and the need to bring the strollers. Why didn't we bring the strollers? I will never know. The entire thing was paved, just waiting for strollers, and happy toddlers. But we didn't, and about one mile into it, both Lucy and Liam were done. Unfortunately for us, we were slightly lost and a long way from our car. Was it a mile? 5? or only a 1/2 mile? It felt like forever. Liam, fortunately was content to be held. Unfortunately that meant Taryn had a newborn strapped on her chest, and a solid 3 year old hanging off her back. Lucy, meanwhile, was in the stage where she did NOT want to be held and did NOT want to walk. She preferred to lay on the ground and whimper. So, I did what the situation called for, and picked her up, kicking and screaming, and force carried her back to the car, asking strangers along the way how to connect to the main path. It all seemed very desperate.
After monumental effort, we eventually found our car, and all being right in the world again (kids safely strapped in!) we decided to be gluttons for punishment, and head over to Manitou Springs, and get some ice cream. Sweet Cooper, when told the plan, quietly said, "more walking?" Ahh, the unfairness of being the oldest. Cooper, I feel your pain (oldest of 6). Manitou ended up being a cute little resort town, right at the base of the mountains. It was charming and winning, and had several ice cream stores to tempt us. Lucy slept through the whole thing as did Harper. It was a long, but really fun day.
And look, I documented it all! Thank you Taryn for being patient with me as I stole a few pictures, amongst the melt downs.
The anatomy of a melt-down. First, refusing to walk. 2nd refusing to be held. 3rd complete and utter despair, with an inability to function.
I learned a valuable parenting skill near this street vendor. I had one dollar, and I gave it to Liam to give to the guy (or was it Cooper?) and subsequently broke the heart of the other little guy, leading to tears and a fight. Always, ALWAYS have two dollars, or two quarters or two nickels, or two something, when you have two kids.
One of my favorite things about having Lucy, is introducing her to all the things Scott and I love, and watching her love them too. And don't even get me started about how much Ollie loves camping. The dog was in his element. And so were we.
Hopefully this is the beginning of many grand camping adventures!