Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Emotional Salad

I am an emotional salad today. It's not fun.
There's a little bit of everything, and it's all tossed together:


I feel bipolar in the way I can be calm and exuding peaceful vibes but then explode the instant I discover I've walked into a puddle of pee in the bathroom. There goes that happiness, in comes utter frustration (accompanied by a battle of trying to help Ender understand WHY it is not cool to pee on the floor just to take a bath...while Scarlett cries, desperately hungry...and I have to change my now pee-soaked pajama pants). It's almost warthog level. But warthog level doesn't have confusing moments of joy or bliss. I almost prefer that to this emotional toss-up (spin the wheel, what will it land on?) because I at least get what's going on.
And no, it's not something I can blame on birth control. (Although I CAN blame it on my period...oh that lovely Monthly of mine).
:'( I've been stressed. This week, my milk supply has suffered. Not exactly sure why, but I think I can pin it on forgetting to eat (honest, I'm not trying to miss meals), being stressed with Ender's recent renewal of whining and wetting, being stressed with what seems to be teething for Scarlett already...and not getting enough sleep, at all. I think part of Scarlett's discomfort is that my milk wasn't as plentiful, but she really does have the symptoms of teething, along with a little hint of tooth under the gums.
In my pumping this week, I've managed to get 2 oz in 20+ minutes (4 oz. when I did it in the morning once) instead of my used-to-be-usual 6+ oz. in about 10-15 minutes. This is too early to dry up...I just can't stand the thought of drying up yet! Nursing has gone so well this time...
I've read up some ideas to get the milk coming back. Nursing less frequently (you'd think otherwise, but I was going at it every hour thinking she was going through a growth spurt). Normally, I'd think nursing more often would help give my body the signals to make more milk. That's just how it works. But doing it so frequently, my body never really had the chance to make enough for Scarlett each time (which was hard for her), and she wasn't getting the better, nutrient-rich milk like she should have. I'm also pumping every night again. And I'll take my dietary supplement Lactation Ease, even though that's not the same as straight fenugreek. And we're praying...

I don't like feeling so unpredictable with my emotions. :( I'm not even sure exactly why I want to share all of this except that maybe there will be some comfort in reaching outside the walls of my house today.

Oh, haha. I just realized a joke in all of this. I'm calling myself an emotional salad...but aha, salads are good for us, aren't they.
That's not really what I want to hear.
But I'll try to learn from all of this.
I can't WAIT for Saint Husband to rescue me this time with his unfailing magic...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

He DID Care! ...and 200?

Remember this recent post? Guess what. A week later, while driving to pick up Michael, Ender announced, "Mommy, we're too far. Will you say a prayer?"
:) He got it! He did learn the lesson!
Of course, I had to explain that we were not lost this time, but we had a nice conversation about how we can always pray for help when we are lost (and that when we are not lost, we can pray again that we're thankful).
That just about made my day. I said my own little prayer of gratitude that Ender had actually paid attention.

Oh. Woops...apparently, this is my 200th post, and I had something cool planned for that. But on my blogger home page, it says I only have 198 posts. Maybe I'll go by that number...erm, in the meantime, Yay! Congratulations to me, and Thanks to you! My blog is now Mature (hehe!).
Here's what I wrote for the 100th post. Did I maybe not notice it was the 100th? Because why would I choose to celebrate potty training as my 100th post? And if I'm wrong and the 100th post was actually the next one, I really couldn't have known, because there I'm talking about my bad-mommy-ways and bemoaning a day-long poop catastrophe while struggling to maintain my wits. REALLY? But...but...then I missed it! I never noticed when the 100th came and went!
*sigh* It's probably not a big deal to anyone else (psh, 100? Piddly), but it makes me proud to blog. I love blogging. So it's an accomplishment. Which means! My 200th post will bring about a change to my blogworld!

At least, if this one isn't the 200th. Seriously, Blogger's a little off with its math.
(For the record, I'm quite certain this IS the 200th post, but I'm not exactly ready yet, so I'm pretending I agree with the home page).

August Creation

I almost feel like I should let that last post settle, you know? Give it breathing space. Because I think it's incredible. I keep coming back to it.

As expected, in August I did not try to be Martha Stewart with any creations. :) I simply rearranged the furniture so that Ender and Scarlett can share a room and have the other bedroom freed up for my sewing machine and bookcases and the TV. Nothing fancy! Although, it was sweat-inducing work.

So here's what you get to see... my messy house! :D It's not terrible, but it's not camera-worthy. Everything was clean after the arrangement, but I've obviously taken so long to even mention my August Creation that there was plenty of time for that to change (we all know it only takes moments, don't we).

There's Scarlett waving her hand in her crib!

Ender didn't want me to take a picture because his hair isn't spiky. Hah! 
I didn't want to take a picture because there's stuff all over the dressers! Including a weensy bundle of a diaper. Yes. The diaper genie is full (plus, I was lazy about it--that's the deeper truth).
But my laundry is folded, so it's not the worst mess to capture in a picture, is it! :)

July Creation

Scarlett is my July Creation. That isn't cheating, by the way-- I didn't count being pregnant all those months as my monthly creations, but giving birth? TOTALLY COUNTS.
Scarlett's birth story isn't necessarily graphic, but if you're ever uncomfortable about these things, skip (if you MUST). Because I don't try to be subtle, I don't try to abbreviate or euphemize.
I present to you...THE BIRTH STORY OF SCARLETT ESTELLE! I first started writing it July 26th, and finally finished today with a "third installment." Because I worked that way, there are just a couple things I repeat. Shouldn't matter, but they're separated into visible sections. In my rolly cursive, it takes ten and a half journal pages, and it's amazing to me to see Heavenly Father's love in all of it.
Incredible photography by my sister Rae (I can hardly express my thanks-- it means so much to have these moments preserved for revisiting. I am so deeply grateful she was willing to do this for Scarlett's birth).

It takes time to process a "birth story." I've felt like I could pound out the medical half but that the emotional half is perhaps beyond words.
Friday, July 15th, began with very few, very irregular (and sometimes very mild) contractions. They didn't get my hopes up. I went around the house doing normal chores, talking with Ender and pretty much chilling. Finally the evening seemed slow enough that I figured I might as well try to start some labor! It would be nice to have Michael home from his last shift at Radio Shack. Since nipple stimulation had worked a bit before, I got out the breast pump and settled myself with some no-bake cookies and the "Nanny 911" show. I pumped for about 2 hours, and the contractions started really grabbing my attention-- I'd sit up and say "Oh..." and breathe carefully to divert my attention from the pain.
I thought of the contractions as waves or surges. A great, swelling feeling, which I could depend on to recede. I focused on the recession of each and didn't allow myself to think anything negative (non "pain" or "can't" words).
So as the pump-induced contractions seemed to pick up and burn through my lower back, I decided pumping wasn't fun anymore (since Michael wasn't with me and would still be at work a while). I figured I had done my part, so to speak, and labor would simply come or not.
The contractions slowed considerably. Michael came home, and we folded laundry while we watched Mystery Science Theater 3000 (after putting Ender to bed). Once in a while the contractions were very strong...and finally, we could tell they were not going to go away!
Once we realized that, there was a great buzz of excitement in our home! We happily bustled around, checking the overnight bag and grinning at each other. It was only at that point that Michael started timing the contractions. They'd become much stronger and more frequent. I sat at the harp and played through my favorite songs; it was funny to me-- my contractions either made me play faster or very clumsily! Once or twice I stopped playing.
It seemed like I had no true concept of time! I'd mention that I thought the contractions had slowed down, and Michael would laugh and say "It's only been [two] minutes since your last one!"
We were giddy with excitement! I couldn't stop smiling! We called the midwife, and she said we should head over to the hospital! Michael and I looked at each other... it's happening!
As soon as Michael's grandma came over to be with Ender (asleep, of course, at that point), we left. And it seemed as if the contractions stopped. I kept glancing at Michael, biting my lip and raising my eyebrows. He reminded me that it still hadn't been long. But for the 20-minute drive, I only had one strong contraction and perhaps two super mild ones. Somehow I still felt sure.
We arrived at the hospital about 2am.
I forgot to mention something. It's important, too. Michael gave me a priesthood blessing before we left. We were assured that I would have the strength to give birth naturally, unmedicated, as I hoped. My blessing called Scarlett and me eternal spirits, and I felt a deeper bond with her than ever before. I felt like her sister, her equal, and just as I felt honored to be her mother and teach her what I've learned, I felt honored that she would be teaching me as well.
I love the feeling of peace combined with excitement. The times I've felt that way are the best times of my life-- my very first time in the temple, all subsequent times, getting married, having babies, and performing a well-prepared harp piece.
Earlier in the day, my emotions had crashed. I had done so well keeping patient, but I suddenly felt a great wash of...what would you call it? I felt exhausted of Waiting. There's so much anticipation, and it had reached a peak. I started to cry. I wanted my baby here.
Knowing it would calm me, I washed my face and prayed. After sobbing my feelings to Heavenly Father, I felt the familiar comfort that it would be alright. I knew everything would happen "soon enough." Even if that meant more waiting, I was comforted. I dried my face and proceeded to do my makeup and curl my hair.
Writing this part 2 months later, I don't remember everything that happened before the contractions really started. I think I washed the dishes, checked email, and went about my normal daily doings. But my  house was moderately clean when we left, which helped me feel even more ready for the hospital.
When a nurse checked me, I was dilated to 5, I think. That was exciting, and things were picking up (the contractions, I mean). It was exponentially harder to lie in a bed during the contractions, but I grabbed hold of my sanity before it ever seemed at risk of panicking. I breathed the contractions in, out and away. I imagined the waves receding the moment they surged.
Michael and I grinned at each other the whole time. Michael tuned into my body and knew what its signals meant. He watched the clock and watched me. I felt his happiness, pride and concern. I felt his presence the entire time, whether he was touching me or not.
My sister Rae and my mother arrived, and we wasted no time getting into laughter. We all grinned at each other. I fed off the sparkles in their eyes, the sound of their voices. It was even funny--it was like a party in our room, and my midwife seemed in awe, delighted with the atmosphere.
We all chatted about numerous topics, sometimes random and always comfortable even switching from humorous to spiritual. At one point, Michael said "You should be having a contraction about now...," interrupting me with a note of concern. I laughed. "I am! Just trying to talk over it!"
We were sitting on the floor. I sat cross-legged with Michael behind me. As the contractions built, he pressed my hips while I breathed and rocked. It felt beautiful, and my midwife praised us. She said I was built for childbirth and made it look easy.
My midwife and the nurse were perfect for me. Kim, the nurse, went about her business unobtrusively, allowing us to keep a consistent, natural flow of events. And my midwife, Jennifer Walker, was everything I needed her to be. She talked with all of us in easy conversation, coming and leaving seemlessly. When she was in the room for good (things were going fast), she let me dictate the way things went. As she put it, she just sat back and let me have a baby!
I moved pretty frequently. The floor worked well for a good part of the time, and it helped to stand with Michael or Rae wrapping their arms around me, pressing my hips or shoving down on my lower back.
I'm not sure what time it was when I decided I'd like my water broken. It was a simple choice. I thought on it long enough to gear up for the faster pace it would bring on, and I knew I could handle it. I was ready for the next step.
It really did kick things up a notch! And while the excitement persisted, that was when I let everyone else carry the conversation. I formed a world of focus in my mind. I turned my body's work exclusively towards the task at hand. I felt so aware of my own body that rather than noticing much of my physical environment, I felt the strength and love of the spirits around me.
Michael, always there. Rae, watching every detail. Mother, loving me with all her might. Jen, confident in my body's instinct. Kim, quietly keeping things smooth.
I stood with Michael behind me. I pressed his hands on my hips. I rested my head back on his chest, against his chin. He didn't have to talk or whisper much. We danced; I rocked my hips in a circle, breathing and softly moaning, and he held me, rocking with me. It was timeless. Beautiful.
The contractions became one long ache. I never did let myself call them contractions. I didn't let myself think the words "can't," "hard," "pain," etc. Instead I would think about how I knew what my body was doing, and how I wanted to let it do that. My thoughts became progressively abstract.

At some moment, I needed music. I needed its wordlesspower to lift my mind into a higher plane of peace and endurance. I needed more than breathing. As the music filled my mind, I fell into my mother's arms and let her rock me while my body crouched and flooded with an inner weight aching to be released. I felt so much love from Michael, his presence the most constant support. I felt so much love, it was everywhere, even inside me.

My body felt heavy with pressure. I gripped my mother's shoulders and knew she understood the world we were wrapped in together. As the Danse Profane by Debussy climbed to climax, so did the tug of birth. Gravity hugged me in a wash of pain--though I called it desire. I felt like my body was reaching for Scarlett, furiously strong in its coaxing. I breathed her name, wanting her.
We moved--everyone around me--closer to the bed, and I crouched deeper. As my moans picked up, they got higher in pitch, and I felt like I was singing. My midwife (and everyone else for that matter) coached me into lower moans, even moaning with me. But I decided I didn't want things to happen that way. My moans were too distracting if I had to change the way they wanted to come out. Everyone helped me onto the bed. Scarlett was close, I knew it.
Again, I felt surrounded by love, by strong and supportive spirits. But my mind went to a secluded place. In a jungley garden of green, I was Eve. Giving birth to the first baby of the world. I roared like I had seen the leopard do. I bent and pushed with my entire body. I roared through the searing burn of things spreading. I was Eve because I was mother. I was letting my body take over, feeling the deepest reality of Nature and Life.
I roared and roared. My body burned, raging in heroic strength. "Push," they told me, "one more time." And could it be I wasn't done? She wasn't here? That last push had been everything my body could do! But I pushed again, again, willing it to be bigger. Roaring. In sudden delight, everyone exclaimed "We see her hair!" And everything halted. I opened my eyes.
"She has hair?!" I asked.
And with new ferocity, I mentally opened my body, and I roared Scarlett into the world.
*     *     * 5:07am *     *     *
The world changed that instant. Holding my wet little girl, I basked in the mother-euphoria. My legs were warm with blood, and I learned later that it was more blood than anyone had seen with a birth. I heard the midwife's calm concern about getting the placenta to deliver, but beyond obeying her murmured requests to push, I ignored her and gazed into Scarlett's eyes, the darkest blue.Neither of us had words; we shared with our souls, feeling the after-peace of what we had just been through. Michael and I smiled at each other, love in our eyes. I cried quietly.
I felt so good. Even hungry. I even enjoyed the fact that my throat was sore from roaring (I did not exaggerate). Perhaps tired, but sleep was almost impossible the next 24 hours at the hospital. I was just so pumped full of natural birth adrenaline.
Michael slept (sharing my hospital bed), and Scarlett slept, curled on my chest. And I lay there with a smile on my face, so in love.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Do you know...I read a woman's blog that makes me laugh every time. And she recently did this post where she mentions "farting loudly in public." Specifically, that she almost never does.
Me too, I thought.
It reminded me of church yesterday.

Michael and I were a little late for Stake Conference, so we sat in wooden overflow chairs. Yes, wooden chairs-- you see where this is going!
And I just...tilted...

I didn't even try to be subtle. My wickedness had me laughing to the point of tears. I looked at Michael helplessly, gasping I was laughing so silently-hard, and he widened his eyes at me. "QAIT!" he whispered, trying not to smile. (After all, I'd done him no favor-- if anyone looked at us, they'd just as easily wonder if he'd done the crime). And this time, it wasn't the sort I could "pass off" (haha) as the kids' faults. No way.

The end.

Oh, PS: I did it three times.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A New Faith Experience

As expected, I'm busy enjoying my new baby (who is now two months old! GAH!), so the blog piece of my world is somewhat dormant. I don't care. :D
But I have thought about all of the blogs I follow, and I've even written posts in my mind.
I haven't forgotten my monthly Creations (in keeping with my New Year's resolutions), I'm just taking my time. Like a good girl.
(And sometimes it is HARD to slow down like this; I'm very pleased with myself).

But I feel like sharing today, at least as long as Scarlett stays happy resting her beautiful head on my arm while I type.

Monday came with a chunk of stress wrapped up in the middle. We started our schedule kind of late, but it wasn't a big deal since we still managed to get our full our of exercise at the gym. After dropping Michael off at school, the kids and I left for our errands. Between a couple of them, I took a wrong turn.
Complete surprise! I'm fine with directions, and when I get lost, I neither panic nor stay lost for long. It's just not a big deal. But that day, it all seemed so unfair and crazy that I couldn't orient myself. And what luck: I'd forgotten my phone that morning.
I saw that I was on the right road, but I couldn't tell which direction I was heading (except that it was unfamiliar and wrong). But before I could correct myself, the lane turned into a left-turn lane, and I was suddenly on I-15.
I could feel the stress seeping into my mind. I prayed in my mind-- constantly, actually-- and still couldn't seem to shake the awful feeling of being in the WRONG direction.
I figured I'd take the first exit I saw, no problem. The first exit didn't come along until I was two cities away from where I needed to be in under an hour for Scarlett's 2-month appointment. And that exit was closed for construction.
I finally decided to pray aloud, which might be a great lesson for Ender...except that with Scarlett crying (and a window secretly open a half-inch that I had no idea about, adding so much wind noise to everything), I had to yell a few times before Ender understood that I wanted to pray...and then he just didn't care. He didn't want to pray. So I felt a bit lonely in my prayer, lonely depending on my faith alone. I'd wanted Ender's perfect little simple prayer to help us get unlost. But I had to say it (yell it, practically).
The strangest thing to me in all this is that I experienced a new flavor of faith. I don't think I have ever felt this way, and it's almost embarrassing to admit. All my life, the way I've understood faith and life and the gospel, I've been able to calm myself with the belief that everything will work out. I pray, and even if things don't go the way I hope, it works. It just does. Sometimes it works in rough ways, but it WORKS. So I don't have to worry, stress or be afraid.
Monday, I couldn't shake the stress. I actually cried about being lost. I never stopped praying, but I also never waited for the feeling of peace to come, the assurance that I wouldn't stay lost forever. I prayed and prayed. I felt so awfully helpless.
But right after praying aloud (and trying not to let Ender know I was crying--enough that my chin wobbled, guys, and I rarely cry to begin with), I felt like my attention was tugged towards a sign that said a familiar street name with the next exit. Saved!
I kept praying my thanks, and still I felt like I wasn't finished being lost yet. I had to get there before I could feel the relief. Scarlett's appointment time was growing closer, and I couldn't predict yet how far I was from getting there.
When I told Ender finally that we weren't lost anymore, he didn't really care. He didn't know the difference, he was just enjoying looking out his window (so like me as a kid). I said a thank-you prayer aloud and kept saying more in my mind.
We had time for the briefest stop at home so I could run in and grab my phone before we headed to Scarlett's appointment (we were 10 minutes early).
My phone wouldn't turn on. That was just dumb.

So everything seemed fine. Oh yeah, except that Ender accidentally peed on his clothes while trying to pee in the toilet (and I mean a LOT), so he had to wear one of Scarlett's diapers stretched over his bum (poor guy. He was such a good sport about it, not in least embarrassed even though I knew he hated it).

I don't know if the doctor was inspired, but it was so good to hear what he had to say. We talked about how Scarlett still nurses every 2 hours but how I was sure that was normal since she sleeps through the night and has for a month now (shhh! Pretend you didn't hear that if it makes you hate me). He said he thinks that babies kind of feed off their moms--ha, literally!--in the way that if mom is calm, baby is calm. He said I seemed really calm and comfortable and that it must play a part in how I feel like Scarlett is such an easy baby, easy to comfort and easy to care for.
I laughed a bit about how I hadn't been so calm that day, but I knew what he said was true. Our family is not a very stressful one. Even when we do feel the stress (and we do), we seem to handle it alright. But I really needed that reminder, that compliment. I had felt so wound up until then.
I suppose I needed the assurance, too, that I hadn't lacked faith. I still felt apologetic to Heavenly Father about how I hadn't really left room in myself for comfort, but I did pray. I knew He could help me, so even if I didn't know whether He WOULD or not, I knew He was the one to turn to. That is faith. It just felt scarier. And today I'm grateful for Monday.

To wax even longer, I'll tell you a bit about Scarlett, if you don't mind. :)

Scarlett is patient. When she is hungry, she does cry, but as soon as she understands that I'm about to feed her (holding her, getting the boppy, sitting down), she is quiet. She waits. And this morning she even grinned before she latched on, which made me burst with happiness.

Scarlett loves music. I can tell she's listening. She gets such an intelligent, deep look in her eyes. I held her while I taught a harp lesson yesterday, and she furrowed her brows thoughtfully and held absolutely still. I expected her to be asleep every time I glanced at her. She had a look on her face that seemed to say "I know this sound!" I would love it if she wants to be a harpist...

Scarlett loves her brother and already seems content to let him be her leader and protector. He talks sweetly to her and laughs at her smiles, and she doesn't mind at all when he squishes her face or pats her tummy to burp her. She's not just tolerating it...she may even like that he's playing with her!

Scarlett is happy. She is easy to comfort; she responds immediately to us when we hold her and help her. This, I think, is a gift for all of us. She smiles so often. Michael got her to laugh when he was being goofy for her, and it was such a cute intake of breath (not a belly laugh yet) I heard it from another room. She seems to enjoy us.

Michael and I have talked about possible reasons my pregnancy with Scarlett was so easy...the labor was better, too (even though I love my birth stories equally, I prefer the unmedicated experience I had with Scarlett). Nursing is a new experience the way it's going so well, and she's a very different baby. I'm sure my confidence is much higher, and I realize that makes a considerable difference. But Michael and I have pondered the way things went with Ender, and we feel like our blessings are not chance.

When I was pregnant with Ender, I had some really serious kidney problems. I was induced because my doctor worried that if I went any longer, we might be looking at an emergency kidney transplant following the birth. I don't usually mention that part because things obviously went well, and my kidneys healed perfectly. But we realized that if I my next pregnancy went the same, it would be unwise to have more children. And we wanted more.
Knowing what we might be getting into, we prayed and felt sure about having another baby. We prepared by studying special kidney diets and talking with the eurologist and OB-GYN. I ate well and exercised. I practiced the kidney diet before I was pregnant to be sure I had the discipline to do it (and so that it wouldn't be too scary/weird of a change later). We prayed and prayed. In priesthood blessings, I was assured that if I kept taking care of myself, we would have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
At the very beginning of my second pregnancy, I felt the slightest bits of pain in my kidneys and was careful to be less lenient with my diet. The pains never came back.
I threw up a total of ten times, and nearly every time I knew the reason (I'd gone too long without food).
I felt good. I felt flexible, I felt energetic, I felt happy. I was more emotional, that's for sure. But those times came and went with little or no damage. :) And there was about a week that I had some extremely uncomfortable heart-burn-like sensations. I had air trapped in my throat, and I do not wish that on anyone. I suspect I have a small esophagus like my papa. It's a good thing I eat slowly and chew my food as diligently as a cow! ;)
The labor also went well, and perhaps just as significantly, so did my recovery. After I had Ender, I couldn't get up without passing out (is this normal? Seems to be). It was so bad, though, that they wouldn't let me have Ender with me. Can't tell you how annoying that was. Anyway, after Scarlett was born, I got out of bed just fine, and I felt fantastic. I was ready to go home! Ready to show Scarlett off! Ready to do anything I wanted!
Not climb Mount Everest. I'm not that crazy. Besides, I don't really want to climb that mountain.
Nursing Ender was a pretty difficult experience. I never even realized until now that I never felt my milk let down (too graphic for a blog? Go away!). And how weird is that! I had milk, but I wonder now if I ever had very much, because I never got engorged, and I was never able to pump more than about two or three ounces. I nursed him for long periods because I was never sure he was getting enough (and he fussed SO much if I stopped before he felt ready). All of that, and nursing hurt. I'm grateful (and rightfully proud) that I kept it up until he was 9 months. And I'm grateful, too, that I supplemented with formula-- it gave me a break and comforted me that at least somehow I'd know he was getting enough. It may have played a part in my drying up (which could be why Ender stopped at 9 months).
So! Nursing Scarlett? Easy. SO easy. And so wonderful. I never really felt that whole "bonding" thing through nursing before, and I absolutely love it.
And...Ender cried a lot as a baby. He spit up a lot, he fussed a lot, bla bla bla. Scarlett doesn't fuss much at all. And of course I love both my babies and I'm not comparing their...I don't know, their Coolness. They are awesome kids.

But in all? We wonder if Heavenly Father has rewarded us for having the faith to have more children while knowing it could be quite the trial.

That's all very personal, but I hope you understand what I mean. Things may not work like that for other families--but that makes sense because the gospel really is personal. Because Heavenly Father knows us perfectly.

Even if my next pregnancy is rough like the first, I feel so happy to have had it easy this time. Now I know what it can be like on the other side of the spectrum, and that's enough for me. And I feel like I believe with even more conviction that I am meant to be a mother, meant to have these children. I always knew, but now I feel even more suited for the task.
I love it.

I'm fairly busy loving it, too, so you may not hear from me again soon. Who knows? So I hope that was a big enough chunk to fill the void in my blogging (not that you've noticed, but I have).