Friday, December 6, 2013

An Alice Update...

This kid was born to be a big sister.
She's in her element, for SURE!

We probably have 100 pictures like this:





I'll spare you from the other 95. :)

The day after Clementine was born,
Alice made a birthday cake for her.

Listening to her heart with Jessica, our amazing midwife.


Alice, Clementine is so blessed to get you for a big sister!
Thank you for being so patient and understanding these past 4 weeks.
I'm so proud of you!
Love, your Mama

A Little One Update...

Well, in yet another change of events,
it's looking like the Little One will be reunified with her mama.

It's bittersweet.

We were devastated when we got the phone call that things had changed.
We were told we were on the road to adoption.
She's been in our family for over a year now.
It's going to be a sad, sad, sad, sad, sad day when we have to say goodbye.
(Could even be before the end of the year.)

But at the same time,
we are happy for her mama.
She's worked really hard for this.
We are praying for her success.

At least for now, we feel at peace about this.
We believe that our children are not our own.
They belong to the Lord.
We trust that He will continue to protect her.
He loves her more than we ever could.
She's a miracle and I know she has big things in store for her future! 

We'd love your prayers for her and for her mama.
This transition will not be easy on anyone involved.
And prayers for Alice.
We've been talking to her about it,
but we're not sure how much she's really understanding.
We're trusting God is preparing her little heart as well.

From a year ago...
We adore that little girl.

A Clementine Update...

In short, she's awesome.





Her great, great Grandmother made that quilt for her.



Thursday, December 5, 2013

From her first few days...




Alice, with Ben's help, made a birthday cake for Clementine.
She was quite pleased with herself. :)




Saturday, November 9, 2013

Clementine's Birth Day

Before my memory of Clementine's birth gets fuzzy,
I'm going to write it down. :)

Thursday 11/7:
Went to my midwife appointment.
She checked me and I was about 2-3' dilated.
41 weeks, 1 day.
Contractions on and off for the past week or so.

Went to see my chiropractor.
He gave me the "fight or flight" adjustment to help get things moving along...
for the 3rd time in the past week or so. :)

Then, went to Villa to take Alice swimming.
While watching the girls swim, I showed Carey how crazy 
my belly was looking during contractions.
It would cone up on the right side...all lopsided.
Then, go back to normal in between.
It was Carey who noticed, "Seems like you're having a lot of contractions!"
I started timing them when I got home.
She was right!
About 30 seconds long, 1 1/2 minutes in between.
Maybe this was actual labor!

After we got the girls fed and in bed, I texted Carey that I think this is actually happening.
She came over and helped Ben and I get things in order...just in case.
We all tried to sleep a little, but that's when the contractions really got going.
Jessica, the midwife, came over at around midnight.

Ben was by my side every second.
He was amazing!
It was nice when we could relax and laugh a little in between the hard times.

(Oh, Jack. He was very concerned about what was happening.
Stayed close by all night.)

At around 3am, I got in the birthing pool.
Best. Thing. Ever.

However, after about an hour and a half, things had really slowed down.
Jessica and Ben encouraged me to get out of the pool to see if that helped.

It did.
Things went from, "This is the hardest thing ever. ever. ever."
to "I'm certain I'm dying." very quickly.

Carey said I was squeezing Ben's hand so hard that his thumb was turning blue.

Thankfully, it wasn't long before my body was ready and started to push.
I wanted back in the pool ASAP!




After about 15 minutes, she came!
5:05am.



There was no rushing around.
I sat in the warm water cuddling Clementine for a long time.


I cannot say enough about Jessica (on the left).
She's amazing!
Her assistant, Katie, was really great, too.
So thankful for such a supportive birthing team!


Ben loved on Clementine while I took a shower and things were cleaned up.

Once I was checked and tucked into bed, we woke the big girls up to meet their baby sister.
Alice was ecstatic, of course!
She couldn't believe that Carey, Jessica, Nana, AND Clementine were all here. 
At around 7am, Jessica did the newborn exam.

Ben cut the cord...

And weighed her...
8 pounds, 8 ounces.

After Jessica listened to her heart,
Alice sweetly asked, "What did it sound like?"
Jessica was quick to pass the stethoscope to Alice to hear.
(One of the many things I love about home birth!)

By 8am everyone was gone. 
You never would've guessed there had been a baby born in our room a few hours earlier.
Carey went home to her sweet family.
Nana, being a total saint, took the big girls to her house.
It was quiet and time to rest.

Only regret: There's not even one picture of Carey from that night.
She was a HUGE part of Clementine's birth.
She helped get everything ready.
She was doing things before I could even ask.
I swear she can read my mind sometimes!
She took all of the photos,
read scripture when things got rough,
got anything we needed,
and so, so, much more.
She was our support person, our doula.
Ben said it best when he said, "How in the world are we ever going to thank Carey enough?!"

Then, as if she hadn't done enough, she brought us coffee this morning. :)
I'm at a total loss of words for how to say what my heart feels,
so for now I'll just simply say, 
Thank you, Carey!

Introducing...

Clementine Mae
11/8/2013
5:05am
8 pounds, 8 ounces
21 1/2" long






Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween...slacker style

We were really hoping we would be snuggling Clementine on Halloween.
Alas, she's still living on the inside.

So, Halloween was anti-climatic in a really great way.
There was no pumpkin carving this year.
No actual trick-or-treating.
And it was perfect.

We went to a little Harvest Party a friend's church the weekend before.
Then, on Halloween, went trick-or-treating at Ben's office,
followed by a little party a friend's house.

I also spent exactly $0 on Halloween, so there's that extra piece of awesome.

Alice came up with her own costumes...
A ballerina (shocking) and the tooth fairy...complete with a mirror and magic wand.


The little one was a lion.
SUPER cute.
I'll spare you another awkward blurred out eyes picture.
Let this be your warning that if/when she becomes a Bolton,
you will be bombarded with pictures from her first year of life. :)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Preschool

I love preschool.
I taught and directed a preschool for 7 years before becoming a mama.
I love, love, love, it. 

I'm THRILLED we found an in-home preschool that Alice and I both adore.
(I'm pretty picky about these kinds of things.)
She's been going there for a little over a year now.
It's a loving, enriching, learning environment.
I couldn't ask for more!

The following pictures were taken by Ms. Katie, 
Alice's awesome preschool teacher. 
(Shared with her permission. :) )







I love these little peeks into Alice's mornings at school
Thank you, Katie!

Life Lately...

According to my phone app, I'm now 9 3/4 months pregnant.
39 weeks, 3 days.
Hoping she'll make her grand appearance soon, 
but keeping in mind that it could easily be another couple of weeks.

Everyday I think, "Maybe she'll come today!"
And then I make toothpaste, or elderberry syrup, or bread to put in the freezer...
Or clean something.
I'll be right one of these days!

------------------------------------

This one= completely obsessed with ballet.
She now takes a 45 minute ballet class once a week.
She's on Cloud 9.
I watch her ballet class on the spy cam. 
(Parents aren't allowed to be in the room- we're distracting, or something. :) )
She does every single thing the teacher does.
She's incredibly focused and determined. 

Ben and I hope she moves on to some other activity one day.
We're fine with having kids who try out soccer/ballet/fencing/gymnastics,
but then move on before it gets too expensive and time consuming. 
Minus 25 Parenting Points!

------------------------------------

I love Chick-fil-A.
Honestly, I could take or leave their food,
though I'm very thankful for their wheat-free options!
Last weekend, they put on a little Princess/Pirate Party.
Free activities and food for kids.
They are so awesome.

Then, Ben and Alice took a train ride around the mall. 
Our girls are so incredibly blessed to get to have him for their Daddy.
He is so, so, so good with them.
He's patient with all of our mood swings, irrational requests, 
and he always reminding us how beautiful we are.
He is amazing!

------------------------------------

These two...
They adore each other.
They are at an age where they actually play together and it's the cutest thing ever.

My theory with our current season of life is that it's going to be pretty nutty for the next 3 years.
Whenever we think about how we're about to add another little one into our
existing season of craziness with the foster care stuff,
we just chant,
"3 hard years! 3 hard years! 3 hard years!"
We can do this.
(I'm aware there are other challenges that will come as they get older,
it'll just be easier in a lot of ways when everyone can communicate,
walk, feed themselves, sleep through the night, etc. :) )

Speaking of foster care, 
I still don't want to share much here,
but it's looking more likely that the little one will be joining our family forever.
We still have a long, hard, road ahead...especially the next 3ish months.
We are so thankful for the prayers!

------------------------------------

Sunday, October 13, 2013

"Pumpkin Patch"

We decided to take the girls to the "pumpkin patch" today.
Whole Foods.

You see, we've taken trips to actual pumpkin patches the past 3 years
and it has yet to be really worth it.
Long drives, kind of a lot of money, and either hot/cold/windy.
Also, we have to get permission to take the little out of the county,
and sitting (or standing) for a long time is not super fun for me right now.

(Wait! There was that one time we went to one a church hosted.
That was great, but I hear they no longer do it.)

So, this year, we went to Whole Foods.
I got the pumpkin pictures I wanted,
a pumpkin for our porch,
and some apple cider.
30 minutes later,
done!






Here's Alice wearing the same little pumpkin shirt the little one wore today:

Nothing gives me the stereotypical "my kids are growing up too fast" mom nostalgia
like when the little one wears clothes that Alice just wore. 
No really, she JUST wore that shirt!
(2 years ago.)