The gift of motherhood – 1 Month!

For old time's sake...

For old time’s sake…

Well, here I sit five weeks later.  We are slowly sinking into some kind of familial rhythm again and it feels great.  We have not yet accomplished sleeping through the night, but this time around, I have more confidence in our method that has worked twice before.  I am not completely plagued by “if” it will happen, and trying more and more to let go of the when.  I know it’s coming.

We are less stressed overall.  Tired, but less overwhelmed, surprisingly.

I remember just over a year ago when Luke and my constant conversation surrounded whether or not to “go for the third.”  We had a tally of yes’s and no’s (that I kept and will make it into Quinton’s baby book..te he).  No won out then.  We were over thinking it.  Clearly yes won out in when we lived abroad.

I think we convince ourselves that whatever choices we make, it is always the best and “right” decision.  It’s one of those wonderful human defense mechanisms.  So to say it was the right decision sounds trite.  Of course I think it was.  I would have thought the same had we stuck with two.

My first time through pregnancy and after was so completely about me.  Do I want a boy or a girl?  How much weight was I gaining?  How will I decorate the nursery to fit my style?    What kind of mom will I be?  What does this mean for my career?  And then how will I get back to me?  My sense of self…my body…my routines…my relationship with my husband. Me me me me me.

This time, I bring a different me to the experience of motherhood.  Now, in the space that held fear of what will be, there is confidence in what can be.  As I see my baby girl go off to kindergarten…as I see my first born son making his first friends independent of his sister…I suddenly care less and less about those things that used to matter so much to me.  This time with littles is so incredibly and devastatingly fleeting.  This time will fade and I will always come back to me.  The thought simultaneously elevates, and guts me.

Watching Cora run to line up in the morning and not look back when the bell rings…seeing her dash around the playground with her friends at her school carnival and hearing her laugh and make nonsense jokes with them that only a five year old would understand fills me in a way that my own self-absorption never could.  Only I didn’t know it then.  To care about someone else so completely and to see them happy is the most satisfying part of life, I am learning.

So, today I cherish the gift of motherhood.  The opportunity to be pregnant and have small children is such a small window of a woman’s life.  As I see my own window closing, I feel lucky to get to go through it once more.

Having Quinton reminds me of how deeply I loved my other babies when they were small, how deeply I love them now, and how much things will change in just one year’s time.  Quinton reminds me that what at times can feel like such a burden is an incredible opportunity for self-understanding and reflection, so long as I choose to let it be so.

 

Orange Pride

This weekend was Cora’s first Landsharks race.  It was so darling, I almost cried.  Having grown up a runner myself, watching her enjoy running brings tears to my eyes.  I told Cora to make sure she came in first and use her elbows if anyone got in her way.  I am totally kidding.  We just told her to have fun.  Pretty sure she did!

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Kierian cheered loudly with Grandpa and Grandma, and Quinton slept through the entire thing.  A success overall.  And then we came home to watch the Donkeys win.  Good time had by all.

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Decked out

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Seriously, how cute am I?

Quinton Lately…3 weeks

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This kid is so much fun.  There is something about going through this the third time that leaves us feeling less overwhelmed and a whole lot more joyful.  Babies are such a gift.  And we are loving the crud outta this one…siblings included.

  • First smiles at only Daddy..
  • Losing his hair in front and sides..
  • Little gerbil noises…
  • Kierian constantly kissing his head..
  • Cora showing him off to all her friends in kindergarten..
  • Giving us good stretches at night..
  • 99% in height and head size…yowza!

We are LOVING having this baby around.  So glad he chose us!

School Girl

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The girl’s clearly got more style than her mama

A Couple of Firsts

This has been a big two weeks for us.  Kierian started Pre-school, Cora started kindergarten and Quinton started, well, life.  I thought I would do just fine with everything, but Cora starting kindergarten cracked me.  I didn’t cry in front of her, but as soon as I made it to the car, I cried all the way home.  When I got home, Luke hugged me and asked: “Was it harder for her or harder for you?”  I sobbed.  Harder for me.  She was all smiles.

But it was like her tiny life flashed before my eyes in that moment.  I remembered the day she was born. I remembered the hours I spent looking at her, singing to her, bathing her, taking her to music.  No more will we have lazy days together at home doing crafts, baking or hanging in our jammies (or much less frequently I should say), no more will she be my lil errand monkey.  She is off to have a life of her own.

Of course, I am happy for her.  But cannot believe her time at home with me has come to an end.  I feel so thankful I was able to spend those fleeting five years at home with her.

If anything it makes me remember to appreciate the time I have with my boys (crazy to pluralize that-ps).  Cliched, but this time goes way way too fast.  Before I know it they’ll be marching off to college.  I suppose this is just one of many firsts.  I guess a mama’s biggest job is learning to let go..again and again.

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Little brothers

Poor sweet Cora.  And now she’s got two.  Lemme tell ya, I can relate.  This video kills me and perfectly exemplifies who my two big kids are.  Lil bro’s sure know how to keep things interesting…just when you thought you had everything perfect.  Enjoy (watch the whole thing if you can).

Introducing Quinton Jack Vernon!

We are happy to announce the birth of our baby BOY!  Quinton Jack Vernon was born August 11th at 8:28 am with the full moon high in the sky.  Here are a few pics with our new lil lover boy:

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More to come…

Remembering what this weekend is about

memorial day 1I saw this picture yesterday and it gutted me.

I think sometimes when we say we oppose war we inadvertently create a comfortable space for ourselves between our lives in our bubbles, and the men and women who give up everything on our behalf.  And it isn’t fair.  War is complicated and involves too many to be so black and white, so distantly privileged and self-centered.

Here’s to remembering who this weekend is really about and what courage truly means, despite our personal stances on war.

Deep gratitude, love and honor to all those who serve and have served our country, including our own Grandpa Vernon.

I am proud and lucky to be an American.

Happy Memorial Weekend.  May our hearts send strength to those who need them this weekend.

3rd Trimester, y’all

28 weeks baby 3

28 weeks and counting…all black everything at this point, folks…

One day…

One day he’ll be so big, he won’t be swallowed by his backpack anymore…

 Kierian backpack

One day he will walk out the door and won’t waive goodbye anymore.

Kierian waive

And I’ll wonder how something so tiny can grow to be so big.

 

One day she’ll roll her eyes when we talk about the Easter Bunny coming to visit…

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One day she’ll be too cool to wear princess clothes to eat dinner and to the grocery store…

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One day, pigtails and pretend pets will be a thing of her past…

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And when that day comes, I will remember these days and treasure them.