One year ago…

One year ago, I was eight huge months pregnant with the Scooters man.

Except.  I didn’t know.

I mean, I didn’t know it was the Scooters man.  I knew it was a baby.  And I knew it was a boy.  But I didn’t know the lusciousness that is the Scooters man.

What I did know was that I still thought a lot about the baby I’d lost before the Scooters man and I was scared.  Scared that I might lose him, too.  Scared to love him.  Scared to be excited.  Just scared.

So, here I was, a month away from giving birth to this precious gem within me and, emotionally, I felt light years away from being attached to him.  From really opening myself up to him and loving him like I knew I should.

One year ago, I was also car-less.  My untrustworthy car was at the mechanic.  Again.

And one year ago, I wanted to go to a playgroup…

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…  At Emily’s house.

Emily is a woman from my church with a fantastic sense of humor, a love for photography, a killer talent for cooking, an adorable son named Jack, and one of the most thoughtful hearts I’ve ever met.

I met and got to know Emily after I was invited to attend a small playgroup she helped organize.  Bubbers and I loved it and we tried to attend as often as we could.  And about three months into it, we wanted to attend a playgroup that Emily was hosting at her house.

Except.  My car was in the shop, so I couldn’t get there.

So, I asked Melanie (the kind mother of Efan) if I could get a ride with her and she said, “Sure!”

That morning, Bubbers and I piled into Melanie’s car and arrived at Emily’s house.

And when we opened the door, we heard…

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…  “SURPRISE!!!!” as a room full of women jumped out from behind Emily’s couches.

Well, I was definitely surprised!

Laughing, I took off my shoes.  And Bubbers’ shoes.  And then I looked around.

I wonder who this party is for? I thought as I noticed Emily taking pictures of us all.

It must be Melanie’s birthday, I realized as I looked back at Melanie.  I was still so new to the group, I had no idea when their birthdays were.  It’s strange she didn’t tell me while we were driving over here together.

I hung back to let Melanie go ahead and take the spotlight.

Then one of the women asked, “Were you surprised?”

I looked over to see Melanie’s response.  But Melanie just looked at me.

Why is she looking at me? I wondered with confusion.

“Were you surprised, Heidi?” the woman asked again.

I stared at her.

“What?” I asked.

“Were you expecting this?” she asked.

I stared at her.

“This is for me??” I finally squeaked out.

“Yes!” the women crowded around, “Who did you think it was for?”

“Well–I wasn’t sure–I thought maybe it was Melanie’s birthday…” I trailed off.

Then.  A little hope sparked in my heart.

This is for me? The possibility was still echoing inside my head.

Could it be?  Dare I hope?

I placed a hand on my belly.

Are they throwing me a baby shower? I finally allowed myself to wonder.

The little spark of hope in my heart began to fan into a little fire.

When I found out we were having another boy, I naturally assumed there would be no baby showers for the little guy.  Since we’d already had a boy, we had everything we needed and we’d just reuse it.

But now.  Here I was.  At a baby shower for me.  Me.  The mother with a heart held together with scotch tape.  A heart that wanted to open to the new life within me, but was so afraid of breaking again.

None of the women in that room knew what I was feeling.  But all I can figure is that Heavenly Father knew.  And through these incredibly kind and thoughtful women, He was giving me a chance to celebrate my baby.

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And as I opened the gifts.

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And held up little clothes meant for a little body.

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I began to remember.

To remember what it was like to anticipate with reckless joy and abandon having a brand new little person placed in my arms.  To imagine himmy little baby–wearing this or being wrapped up in that.

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And my heart was happy.

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I was going to have a baby.  A dear little baby.  Who would love me.  And who would have all these new things that had been given just to him.

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And celebrating it with my wonderful Bubbers King made it even more meaningful for me.

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And can you believe it, Emily even asked Charming what my favorite dessert was and made strawberry cheesecake for me!

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Thank you, Jessica, Chalonn and Anjee.

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Thank you, Shauna, Leah and Amanda.

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Thank you, Melanie.  (And Sarah and others not pictured).

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And thank you, Emily.

Thank you for reaching out to someone you didn’t know very well.  Someone who was hurting.  And didn’t know how to fix it.  Someone who will always treasure this baby shower.  And the little spark it started that has fanned into a raging fire of love.  Thank you for letting me celebrate.

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Him.

Snapshot in Time: 8 Months Old

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Hi Everyone!!  I’m 8 months old now and my parents can’t believe it!

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I’ve turned into such a little man and sprouted a full head of blond hair almost overnight.  Mommy loves how it sticks straight up and rubs it at least 50 times a day.

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My personality is pure joy.  All Mommy has to do is look at me and I beam enough love and adoration to light our entire city!  Our favorite thing to do is sit across from each other on the floor and just smile and smile and smile at each other!!

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And Mommy’s not sure, but she thinks my eyes are green.  At least, they look green when I wear green. But then, they look dark blue when I wear blue…  So, she’s not really sure.

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However, she is sure that I’m teething.  And that I have a kung-fu death grip.

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See my two teeth on the bottom?  I also have one tooth on the top now and another one due to break through any day now!

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I’m still a really good sleeper and Mommy was delighted when I easily transitioned to falling asleep on my own full-time at my five-month training.  I currently sleep from 6 pm-6 or 6:30 am and take about three one-hour naps during the day.

My bedtime routine currently includes:

Heading upstairs right after dinner with Mommy to change my diaper.  Then Daddy and Bubbers come upstairs, lay outside my room, stick their fingers under my door and sing “We Are Siamese If You Please!” while Mommy smiles and I rear back for a look-see.  After that, they come inside my room and Daddy puts on my pajamas.  Then we all gather for our evening family prayer.  After that, Mommy and Daddy alternate nightly turns of snuggling me while everyone sings the “We love you, Scooters!” song.  Then everyone kisses me good night and I’m laid in bed.  Mommy and Daddy give me one more round of hugs, squeezes and kisses and then they turn off the light and shut the door.

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I love to play!  My favorite independent activity is my “basket-o-toys”.  My favorite song is “Patty Cake”.  My favorite tickle spot is my neck.  My favorite game is Peek-a-boo.

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Oh. And I love to eat and have yet to meet a food I didn’t inhale.  Mommy has taken to hiding if she eats something I can’t have (darn the peanuts in those peanut butter bars!!!), because she can’t stand telling me no when my eyes light up with eager anticipation and I start smiling, squealing and swirling my arms with excitement the moment I see her food!

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Sadly, my esophageal sphincters haven’t changed much, so now I’m spitting up my solid foods along with Mommy’s milk.  In the picture above, I woke up from a nap covered in tuna fish sandwich spit up.  Whoah!  That was smelly!

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But that’s okay!  I’m so darn cute and sweet I could swallow and spit up our entire house and Mommy wouldn’t mind.

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And do you want to know a secret?

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I’m a giant.

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It’s true!  Mommy had to bring in the 18 month clothes bins when I was only 6 months old!

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And I just outgrew my second car seat (on the left), so Mommy got the biggest convertible car seat she could find (on the right) and I love it.

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And, truth be told, when I’m next to my brother–parts of my body look almost the same size as him!

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I’m such a sweet giant, though, so Mommy doesn’t mind (too much) that her baby is growing up way faster than he should be.

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My brother sure loves me and I adore him, too!  All he has to do is look at me and start talking and I giggle up a storm!

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And every time I wake up, Bubbers races to my room, turns on my light, climbs into my crib, yanks off my arm socks, tosses them over the side of the crib and then spends special “alone” time with me.  We just love it!

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When we play, Bubbers is very sweet and attentive toward me.  He often brings me a toy if I don’t have one or sits and plays with me.  When we play together, Mommy loves to watch us and hopes we continue to enjoy our time together as we get older.

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Oh–and he’s very good at imitating me. :)

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Mommy and I are really special buddies.  She says I healed her broken heart the day I was born and we’ve been connected at the heart ever since.

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She loves…the way I grab at her lips when I nurse…the smell of my hands after I’ve been wearing my arm socks…how I smile, kick and bounce my crib mattress with my belly when she comes in to get me…hearing me and my brother giggle together in the back seat of the car…my intense squeals..when I snuggle into her after I wake up…and, well, everything about me.

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I love my Daddy! I just light up whenever I see him and love it when he comes home!

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He loves…how I smile every time he looks at me…pinching my cute little cheeks…tackling me after counting to 3…when I don’t spit up on him…when I try to eat his leg or lick his pants…trading raspberries with me…kissing and hugging me and holding me when I wake up in the middle of the night…and everything else about me.

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Oh, how my family loves me and I love them!!

p.s.  *Tickle-tickle-tickle!!!*

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Dear Snuggles

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Dear Snuggles,

Before you were born, your father and I had so many questions about you.

“What will he be like?” we wondered.

“Can we possibly have another boy who is sweet and good?”

“How do we integrate another member into our family?”

And the question that worried me the most:

“Will I bond to him?….. I mean really bond to him?”

You see, when we got pregnant with you, I was still mourning the loss of our child before you. And no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t dispel the underlying worry that I would lose you, too.

And this worry kept my hurting heart from fully embracing you while you were still inside me. I knew it was happening, but I didn’t know how to stop it. And I worried that it would permanently affect my ability to bond with you.

I was still worried about this on the morning you were born, though I didn’t speak of it.

I was also worried about having another C-section and the risks that come with surgery, so I asked your Dad and our wonderful doctor to give me a blessing.

Right before we went into the operating room, we closed the door to my hospital room and your Dad placed his hands on my head and gave me a Priesthood blessing from Heavenly Father.

He spoke wonderful, reassuring words about a safe operation and recovery for both of us that brought peace to my soul. And then quite unexpectedly, he blessed me to bond quickly with you.

And my heart jumped.

For the past 9 months, I had wanted to bond with you. I had wanted to feel that deep love that only a mother and child can feel. That love that no words can adequately express and a lifetime of service only hints at.

But I hadn’t. And I was afraid that I wouldn’t. And Heavenly Father knew that. And He also knew that that’s what I wanted more than anything else. And He had just promised me that I would have it.

My heart started beating faster with hesitant anticipation.

Then I was in the middle of surgery and I couldn’t believe I would finally be meeting you. For the thousandth time, I wondered what you would be like.

As the doctors pulled you out, they remarked on the large size of your head and what a big baby you were. Then the nurse took you and cleaned you up.

You cried a little, but quickly quieted down. And after what seemed like forever, you were given to your father and he brought you to me.

I stroked your soft face and talked to you while you made sweet newborn sounds that I loved and had forgotten about.

You were beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

And looking into your face, I immediately felt who you were. You were as sweet, gentle and loving as you were beautiful.

And I loved you. Absolutely loved you.

Just like He said I would.

“Resting” in the Backyard, Part 2 (a play-by-play…)

One or two of you may remember a certain afternoon a few months ago when I was still recovering from my miscarriage.

On this particular afternoon, I had promised myself I would sit in a chair and not move, thus allowing my poor recovering uterus time to….. recover.

But alas, my self made promise lasted less than 2 minutes.

And before I realized what I was doing, I was knee deep in a pile of weeds I’d pulled and vines I’d clipped.

That’s when my aching back and uterus called me back to earth and my goal of just resting.

So, I hot-glued myself to a deck chair and played bubbles with the Wooga man.

He loved it!

And then he ran off!

Which is where our story continues…..

“Bubbers!  Hey, Bubbers!  Come back and see what I’ve got!” I called to his back.

Suddenly, Bubbers halted and turned to look at me.

“Uh?” he asked, with interest shining in his beautiful eyes.

“Come see what I’ve got!” I called again, holding up a canister he had never seen before in his 15 months of life.

Eagerly, Bubbers redirected his toddling up the deck stairs and to my side.

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“What’s that, Mom?” he asked, smiling up at my canister.

“It’s Play-doh!” I said with great enthusiasm and then handed the canister to him.

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Excitedly, he reached out to take it.

Then he plopped himself down on the deck.

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And commenced to shake.

[Holy toledo, I love that picture and his cute hooked wrist!!]

But nothing happened.

So he shook again.

But still nothing happened.

So he looked at me and asked, “Uh?”

“You need to reach in and pull it out,” I tried to explain from afar.

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So he reached in and pinched out the tiniest piece of Play-doh ever.

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And stuffed it in a crack.

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And looked at it.

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And stuffed some more.

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And looked some more.

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“Huh, would you look at that?” he said to me, “This Play-doh stuff is pretty cool.”

“Isn’t it?” I smiled, “Would you like a different color?  How about white?”

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“Sure!!” he said and reached out his cute, chubby hands.

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That I couldn’t resist zooming in on.

And then, in a sudden burst of generosity, I gave him yellow, too.

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And he reached those same cute fingers in and pinched off an equally minuscule amount of Play-doh.

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And tried to stuff it in a crack.

But it didn’t stuff.

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So he tried again.

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“This time it stuffed!!” he laughed.

And I laughed, too, and then handed him the red canister.

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“Boy, Mom,” he smiled…..

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“I could stuff Play-doh all day long!!”