Her Blue Jellies

It all started when I unwrapped her new jellies. You know, the clear plastic shoes laced with glitter. I let her pick her own color one late night in the recliner, when "window shopping" became just plain shopping. Just us girls. Picking out swim suits for our boys and for ourselves. "Mingo" one for her, because she loved those pink birds at the zoo. Powder blue jellies for her tootsies. We were Summer set.

The jellies came and as I unwrapped them she said "Mmmm them smell good!" I took a whiff. Yes, they did smell good. Like cotton candy. Sparkly, blue, scented jellies. Girlhood just got better my friends. As she danced around in her new Mingo suit, tapping those blue jellies around I saw a little girl. Yeah, my baby was there still. I know she will always be. But I had a little girl on my hands. Delighting in the sunshine, the prospect of swimming, splashing, and silliness.

It's an image I can't get out of my head. Partly because she asks nearly everyone to smell her feet while wearing those silly shoes. I had a pair of jellies when I was a little girl too...and found a grown up pair for a dollar at Walmart while in high school. When I saw them online I knew I had to share that part of my childhood with her.

Childhood. That's where I'm at with my first baby now. We tried to sign her up for swim lessons, but they wanted her a bit older and that's ok. The summer library reading program has upped their age to kindergarten so we aren't doing that. We got a letter in the mail about Pre-School Prep and I giggled at the notion and threw it away. But those blue jellies? Well, they fit just right.

Her girlhood is here. She too small for some things, just right for others and it's only starting. Girlhood. It's fast and it's fleeting. It's simple and it's sweet. It's sometimes difficult and sometimes it's dreamy. I see it in the way she rocks her babies. In the way she is curious about the neighbors kitty. In the way she sings a song while she digs in the sand. The way she clings to her daddy and the way she says "I love you" about 30 times a day. Kisses for her puppy and smiles for her brother.

I get to watch this girl grow into a lady. I'm going to try to keep her in jellies as long as possible because there are some things it's ok to not grow out of. I'm going to feed her homemade popsicles and let the juice drip, drip, drip. I'll shake my head at the sass and smile at the sweet.

Millie. My little girl.



2 Months of August

Hey! I'm getting caught up on August's months here. It's been a busy last week and we haven't seen the sunshine. I don't mind the rain but oh my land. I missed the sun. 

Thankfully, I have two little sunshines in my house. I mean, check them out:

This has been August's life since day one. A big sister who dotes and loves on him constantly. That's really something I've been thankful for. There has never been a shred of jealously or anger about the baby. She loves him just like we love him. She's had to learn some things about babies. Like how they don't like their fingers bit, they spit up "when them too full", you can't just let go of them when the spit happens, and that they love cuddles.

August has been extremely tolerant and adores his sister. He sleeps through her antics-most of the time. He doesn't mind all the kisses, and he is all in all pretty easy going. Thankful.

We had August's first Easter and Thankfully Jerrel was still home for the Holiday so he was able to enjoy the day with us. We took turns getting some quick shots of us.

And photo-bomber Chester.

My people are cute. 

In August's second month we had a freak snow storm. One April morning where his sister woke up so excited that it SNOWED! Millie and Daddy went out and played in the slushy snowy stuff and baby and I snuggled and made hot chocolate. We didn't mind it so much but we also didn't loose power for days or loose our daddy to restoring the power like so many others did.

We learned that when God gives you snow in April you build a snowman. 

I love his smiles. So sweet, so innocent. This boy, we are just so happy to have him.


He's got some serious brows there. His laid back nature is not like his sister but the way he moves is. Always wiggling and jerking around. Legs and arms everywhere and every which way. He is also very alert, bright eyed, taking everything in. Just like our Millie girl.

He is also leggier than Millie was. Our girl was more compact. This guy, while he is getting rolls and filling out, overall he is longer and leaner. 

It's so fun how different and similar our babies are. They come from the same people but are anything but the same. 

We are cloth diapering again. And it's going well. I didn't really notice the loads of laundry last time. But where I was already doing a load a day, now I'm doing two or three a day sometimes. Still love my diapers and the reason why we use cloth, but I'm not going to lie, last weekend we did disposable on our Mini Vacation and the break was nice. It's all about balance. 

I have a strange, maybe unhealthy obsession with his precious head. It's just so pretty. And the little light brown fuzz hugs his head so perfectly. I just can't help but kiss it, rub it for good luck, and photograph it.

Milk face. Crooked smile.

Unless I'm right up in his cute little cheeks with my camera he really isn't interested. Unlike his sister was. Even at this age. She was always up for a photo op.

August at 2 months
See? There's always something better to look at than that darn camera. Boys.

I love 'em.



Kansas Anymore-A Mini Vacation

Ever want to run away from home? As an adult? Well last week I did and the feeling conveniently lined up with a mini vacation we'd been planning. Jerrel had a cousin graduating so we decided to make a trip out of it. It's just that it was in Kansas. And Kansas isn't exactly known for it's tourism. Actually I'm not really sure what Kansas is known for. But I'm from Nebraska so really, what do I know? 

Almost to the Oklahoma border, we really felt like we were gettin' outta town. We did a little looking before we left so we could have some fun with the kiddies. The Garden City zoo was perfect. Lee Richardson Zoo. About an hour from our destination we got out stretched our legs and saw some animals.

Free and fun. Right up our alley. 

Thanks for the warning.

Giraffes are my favorite. They are just so very unique, and odd, and beautiful.

This one was especially friendly because on Saturday they have "Giraffe encounter" where you can feed them. This cutie knew Saturday was only a day away!

Just so darn striking.

We found some flamingos. Their colors inspired Millie girl.

Inspired her to tell her uncles ALL the animals were pink. 

Can't blame her the pink is beautiful.

The boy liked the zoo and the chance to get outta his seat. He is a pretty good traveler but was ready for a break.

Crazy monkey. Lee Richardson Zoo. Check it out if you are in the area. It's beautiful and just enough for your littles. You can also ride your bikes and such. It's really more of a park with some pretty cool animals involved.

Next up is Liberal KS. We stayed in this town and checked out the sites. Liberal has claimed the title of "Home of Dorothy." We visited the museum and took a little tour they have where they tell the Wizard of Oz story. It was cute and small town. We enjoyed it. The picture above was taken to the tune of munchkins. Millie enjoyed it but may have been a little lost. We haven't shown her the movie yet.

During lunch this little guy needed to eat and he is currently looking everywhere while nursing. Doesn't want to miss a thing. So nursing in a quiet spot just goes smoother. So I ran to the car to nurse and change him.

I don't mind hanging out in the car with this cutie. Then upon returning Millie decided to be a threenager and I ended up back outside for a little chit chat. My lunch was transferred to a "to go" box and it was then forgotten in the hotel fridge so I never did finish my pasta.

Mom life. Right?

We found a couple cute shops downtown Liberal did some shopping, went to graduation, ate good food, Millie got bit by a was a full day!

But the main event for our girl was the pool. Always the pool. It's the little things and I love watching her swim. I love watching her and her Daddy interact. So much fun to be had in a silly hotel pool! 

It was a weekend well spent. With undivided time together on Mother's Day it was just what I wanted. Today I've been digging in the dirt so it's a good Monday following a great weekend. So I guess Kansas wasn't such a lame mini vacation spot. But for the record, WE WERE ALMOST IN OKLAHOMA! ...not that makes much difference. But it does sound better. Right?

There's no place like home.



1 Month of August

Since the boy is turning two months this week I should probably get his first month in review up to date! The newborn fog is beginning to lift around here and we are finding a rhythm just in time for the kids to throw in a kink and we have to re-find said rhythm. Kids. Right?  

My babies already have the sweetest relationship and I love it. Millie adores him. She is such a little Momma. It makes my heart soar to watch her. And he loves her and all her wild and crazy songs and kisses. So many kisses.

When August was born is was a cold, nasty March day. We had some cold days there after and then Spring suddenly showed up. I spent my days on my front porch, it's my new favorite place. We nursed and rocked and napped. While Millie rode her trike.

Millie decided he should be called "Luke Skywalker." She now only says it when there is an audience. But we have the photo with the light saber to prove that the force is strong with this one.

And thus ends my knowledge and interest in Star Wars. I just don't get it.

Sleep. It's a beautiful thing. And until you are a parent you don't really understand how beautiful it is. Because you miss it. You need it. You want it. But you can't have it.

This boy however, he likes to sleep. And he can sleep without being held which is a whole new ballgame for these parents. He takes long luxurious naps, in his seat, in the car, in his swing, laying beside me. It's mind blowing.

Of course he doesn't sleep quite as well when his big sister gets right up in his face and "whispers" "WAKE UP! WAKE UP!" Yeah, really helpful Mills. Thanks.

Jerrel was home for 6 weeks for August's birth and it was absolutely wonderful and needed. We all enjoyed the time together and it really helped with everyone's transition and bonding.

Like Millie, this boy just looks right through you sometimes. And I wonder what his beautiful mind is thinking.

August at 1 month old. I just love him. And his expressions. He keeps me grounded when Millie's threenager antics are in full force. 

Does that say something about my sanity? That a little tiny baby keeps me grounded? Probably.

Seriously, that is one handsome dude.



August-A Birth Story

It's been seven weeks since we met this sweet little face. Weeks that have flown and crawled all at once. I call it a newborn time warp. 

My midwives told me not to labor at home. But it took me all day to come to grips with the fact that I was actually in labor. And I'm a bad patient. And I do what I want. Sometimes to my own detriment. 

On Friday March 10th at 40 weeks + 6 days I woke a few times in the early morning to pee. Only I really didn't think I could get out of bed without peeing my pants. My braxton hicks were strong. But in my sleepy state I thought I had to "go" really bad. As soon as I've got a bump I can feel those practice contractions. My uterus likes to get nice and toned for birth. After waking up completely, I soon realized they weren't my usual contractions. I told Jerrel who was anxious to get this baby out (join the club), that we might be getting somewhere. 

I needed to vacuum. I had a couple loads of laundry I'd like to catch up on before we left. Jerrel looked at me and said "I think having a baby takes precedence over housework." Whatever. I went ahead and did my thing. He did his. I tried to time some contractions and really wasn't getting anything regular. So again, I went about my day. I found my yoga ball and kept Jerrel company while he worked in the basement. I helped lay carpet tiles all afternoon. At nap time I snuggled with Millie a little longer. My heart knew what my head wouldn't quite admit.

Still not taking my contractions seriously, we decided to go to my parents for supper. It was at the supper table that I got pretty uncomfortable. I didn't say anything but my husband, my husband could tell. Two pieces of pizza later I was on the couch riding waves of contractions. He decided we needed to time them, we found they were 5-7 mins apart.

We quietly timed because my father, bless his heart, would have had me loaded in the car before I could even finish the word "contraction." At 9:30 pm Jerrel said, "You seem uncomfortable, I think it's time to go." Apparently closing my eyes each time was a giveaway. So we told Millie it was time to go. She didn't want to leave Grandma and Grandpa, I tried to entice her with the fact that we were going to the midwife. That seemed to overwhelm her. So we reminded her that we were picking up her Aunt-to-be Kenzie. That helped some. Hugs and kisses were given and we ran home. 

Again, our girl got worked up when I couldn't get her out of her seat at home because of a contraction. We had a little cry together-I told her how much I loved her and that I needed her to be a big sister now. That I knew this was big and overwhelming but it was going to be ok. I helped her find and put on some jammies, kissed her again, and we headed out. She thankfully fell fast asleep. We texted Kenzie and were on our way. 

20 mins into the ride I could tell things sped up. Like really. Strong contractions every 1-2 minutes. Sitting in the car was not stalling me out and I began to worry. We had over 3 hours in the car left. I cried and felt so unprepared this time. Oh, and I felt like we weren't going to make it! Jerrel said "We need to pray." I grabbed his hand and we came to the Lord, for courage, for comfort, and for time. Sweet, sweet time.

50 mins in I felt the urge to push. Oh Lord. Please. Just more time. Get me to my midwife. Why did I wait so blasted long?! They told me not to labor at home. We kept driving. Made it to K-town to get Kenzie. Jerrel informed me we needed gas. SERIOUSLY? Kenz was just supposed to jump in the moving car and were going to go! Right?! So we stopped. I sat. Rode each wave. Kenzie silently got in the car. My brother followed behind so he could take her home the next day. Onward.


When we arrived to the birth center I ditched the car and the crowd that rode with me and went in to see my midwife. Millie had woke up upon our arrival at 2 am. I hoped she would go back to sleep. I got inside and waited out a contraction while the midwife listened to baby's heart rate. Then finally was able to lay down and stretch out. I was fully dilated and a wave of relief rushed over me. We had made it! I had progressed! This whole baby havin' thing? I still had it. I hopped in the tub and started to relax. I asked when to push. They said to push when I wanted. I asked how long to wait. They said I'd know when. That's why I so love my midwife and the birth center. They trust in the process. They trust me. 

Another reason I love the birth center? The support, the tribe that comes along with this type of birth. In between contractions we connect. We build this little cocoon. We talked about their kids. We talked about my kid. Our home. Anything that came up. I'd pause for a contraction, they would stop and wait for me or finish their thought in low voices. They read the situation beautifully. 

About an hour passed and I decided to try and push. After suppressing the urge for much of the ride it took me a while to feel safe and relaxed enough to push. Two pushes in and they got the baby blanket out. Said I'd have a baby soon. REALLY?! Then they realized my water hadn't broken. They said I could have a caul baby. Next push, water still not broken. Next push, water still not broken. Finally delivery and I had a baby born in the caul, in the tub! 

A boy!
7 lbs 14 oz 21 inches

It is said that babies born in the caul are special, because it is so rare. I guess we will have to wait and see if August can read minds or something. 

March 11, 2017. Another best day ever. Oh how our lives changed instantly. So much love.

He was immediately put on my chest. When the midwife caught him the bag broke and we removed a few pieces when he got to me. He was so cheesy, so much vernix, and he snuggled right up. Ah, we made it. We did it. We had a sweet boy. Joy rushed over us. I had Jerrel run get Millie. 

We sat for a bit looked him all over. Millie was in awe that there actually was a baby in the tub now. We talked about how we all thought it would be a boy and it was! 

Over the next few hours. baby nursed, nursed, nursed, newborn screenings were done, vitals taken, I took a shower, and Millie stayed awake the entire time. We tried to have to nap during a movie. No, she watched the whole thing. She came and laid with us during some quiet time, she stayed awake.

While I showered they got more snuggle time. We mentioned it was time to get ready to leave and Millie was ready. She wanted to go to "Aunt Befs." She threw on her hat-backwards and was hot to get that baby dressed. She was ready for him to be hers, all hers.

August didn't have a name yet. We were still getting to know him. He was the most laid back baby. No fussing or fighting. Millie delivered the news to her grandparents over the phone. They were thrilled.

Kenzie was incredible. Picking up our slack, taking charge of Millie, our over tired, over stimulated, three year old. Sending pictures to our family. And she was the first outside of us to hold her new nephew. A well deserved privilege.

We got a family picture taken and the on to to my aunts house for the weekend. We had a check up on Monday. We were met there with a big brunch, hugs, and lots of love. The adults and newborn took a nap. Our parents came to see us in the evening. Millie didn't sleep until 11p.m that night. Yeah, we had a crazy on our hands.

I just kept thanking the Lord we had made the choices we had this time around. Thanking Him that our travels were safe and timely. Thanking Him that our baby was here, safe, heathy, and so beautiful. And that Millie loved him. So much.

We took the weekend to get to know him, decided on the name August-a name I'd dreamed about since high school. It still makes me swoon. Jerrel had final input on the middle name, Jones. Because he said, "I don't like your family or anything." Silly Sarcasm. Made my heart melt.

August Jones. Sweet boy with a big name and yawn.

All and all we had a wonderful baby moon weekend. My aunt and uncle were fantastic and my cousin was so patient with a little girl who thinks the teenager is pretty darn cool to follow around.
We couldn't be more thankful for our time there.

So that's it. That's how August got here and how we almost had a baby on the road. But I'd do it all again in a heartbeat. The same way. Ok, well maybe I'd leave like an hour or two sooner. But really, August's birth went exactly the way it was supposed to go. Couldn't be more thankful.



Millie's Turning Three!

Looking back turning two wasn't so hard. It didn't seem as big of a milestone. Three though? I just sounds like a kid. A big kid. 

Millie's 3rd birthday is tomorrow and we are all excited. This year is fun because there are choices to be made. There are opinions to be listened to. There are projects to be involved in. They go as follows. 
"I want a puppy party."
"I want a puppy gog (dog) cake."
"I want sloppy joes to eat for my party."
"I want to go ice skating"

Alright. We can do that. The ice skating thing is going to have to wait until we can get to K-town though! 

In the last year so much has changed with Millie. Last year she really wasn't saying much. She was understanding every-loving-thing but not actually speaking much. Well. That has changed. She says everything now. She carries full conversations. She doesn't shy away from any word, large, small, naughty, or nice. Stethoscope and delicious are a regular part of her vernacular. Her imagination is wild and her curiosity is deep. 

She enjoys Daniel Tiger once a day, playing in her sandbox, and feeding her animals. She has multiple costume changes throughout the day making laundry my hobby. Playdough and paint are her forever favorites. Millie is also quite the entrepreneur and has a "Shop" in our dining room at her desk. We hear "Come to my shop and look around." About 30 times a day and almost everything she sells is "Five hundred dollas." She also loves to cook in her kitchen and has treated her father and I to a few date nights full of pretend tea and plastic waffles. 

We are always in awe of her intelligence, her comprehension of books, questions, and conversations. We adore her spunk and giggles. We are challenged by her persistence and willfulness. But all of these things add up to a girl that we couldn't have created better if we had tried. We just love the girl He gave us. No matter what the day brings. 

And now, we look in those big eyes and see "The best sister ever." and she hasn't even met the new little one yet. She loves so big. We see our baby and our little girl all at the same time. We see someone who we've somehow only known for three years yet it feels like forever. Funny how that happens. So I'm off to finish a "puppy gog" cake and hoping my feet don't swell too much in the process.

I'm so thrilled to celebrate 3 year of being this chickies Momma. She's just the best thing ever.

Happy 3rd Birthday Millie girl.

Love, Momma and Daddy