Monday, December 31, 2012

For auld lang syne.

Twenty twelve. One for the books.

Although 2011 was the year that gave us Eddy, 2012 was the year that we found our new rhythm. The year that our hearts grew bigger than we knew possible. The year that Lucy and I both grew a handful of gray hairs. The year that I fell more in love with this family, this husband, this life of mine.

I love that this is the time of year that we spread words of cheer to strangers and grocery store employees but what I love the most is when the phrase shifts to Happy New Year. There is a lot of promise in that little statement.

I've had years that I was so happy to see vanish in the rear view that each time someone told me those words, I clung to them with the tightest of grips. Yes, it's got to be better than the last. I always wonder if that's what my words are doing for someone else. In wishing Happy New Year, you may also just be saying Cheers! And here's hoping this year is just as good.

It's just the turn of a page on the calendar, the stroke of midnight. Just another day. But perhaps the start of something big.

I'm still cooking up a good resolution. I have found some inspiration on other blogs so I know that as a family, we will settle on something great.

Happy New Year. Or Happy New Year. Take those words as you need them.

Before tonight, you should learn all the lyrics to this song to impress your friends. Here's my favorite version.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp!
and surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
and pu’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d i' the burn,
frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
and gie's a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne.

A right gude-willy waught? If you say so.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Say Thank You Sunday

We had an Instagram-rific day over here. It started out chore-filled and totally mundane. I can't quite figure out why it feels almost as good to take Christmas decorations down as it does to put them up. I guess it just makes things feel fresh. A fresh start. Appropriate for a new year.

After nap, we sat down to eat lunch together and then loaded the diaper bag for a family date. The Austin Children's Museum is free on Sunday evenings and Eddy felt like a total big kid. Next, we meandered through town and climbed Mt. Bonnell, watched the awesome holiday light display coordinated to music at Mozart's by the lake and ended by hopping next door to have dinner at Hula Hut. There wasn't a dull moment.

My heart is smiling.

This week, we are thankful for:

rum cake and egg nog (so noggy!)
Lucy the foot warmer
warm, fuzzy slippers
inspiring young people
werewolf hat, y'all
time with our old friend Sadie
a hardworking husband
a phone call from an old friend
the exploration of new toys

hilly hilly and chilly, family photo on mt. bonnell, wannabe gamer, watching the lights, wereboy sighting, playing like a big boy, exploring with caution, dreaming big, young people spreading good

 It's New Year's Eve Eve. I'm still working on a resolution worth writing down and sticking to. I'll sleep on it.

Friday, December 28, 2012


This week, I'm obsessed with these two.

Peas in a pod, this pair. While the tinier of the two is currently exceptionally obsessed with me, Tim needs to know that there will come a day, sooner than we know, when the tiny one is a bit bigger and his papa coming home from work is the best part of his day. When he can't wait to toss a ball in the backyard or help build something. Sooner than we know.

And this week, Eddy is obsessed with - in addition to his "Mamamama" - clapping! His cue is the word good so anytime he hears "Good job!" or "Good idea!" or "Good boy!" he clap clap claps. He also checks to make sure that everyone around him is sharing in his victory and if you aren't, ooooeeee he'll cut his eyes at you.

Clapping sun up to sun down, he even claps as he nurses to sleep. I guess it's just that good.

Obsessed with this little crew of mine.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Say Thank *Tuesday*

It's Christmas. Really really the most wonderful time of the year.

Last Christmas, I never got out of my robe as I held a brand new, still fuzzy, cozy little Eddy who slept and nursed all day. It was magic.

This Christmas, I showered early while Tim watched Eddy and I had the chance, cooked breakfast for 10, and spent the rest of the day Eddy chasing, unwrapping, and nursing. It was magic.

It has worked out that just when Christmas had lost a bit of its luster, just when the focus had shifted more to whether gifts were disappointing to the recipient rather than to what it's really all about, a baby boy was born that breathed new life into the day.

If Christmas was scored by the stack of gifts sitting in front of you to unwrap then Eddy was the winner. But we got to watch him, catch his smiles, feel his warmth all day so I think we're the winners.

This week, we are thankful for:

Our one year old
A 12 mile run + 1 more for good measure (can't believe I'm saying I'm thankful for that)
Lucy after a bath (and always)
homemade gumbo and chili
A full house and a very full dining room table
Many miles traveled safely
New artwork for our house
handmade gifts
The generosity of friends and family
cozy new slippers
Egg nog
3 dog nights

fish under the bridge, flash card practice, water stop, first successful screen print, christmas eve run, looking up in san antonio, one in balloons, christmas day drum circle, bed head ed, luminarias, my sugar plum, his name in lights, early morning motivation, milk bank donation, trail of lights with my boys, one in candle

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Almost Christmas

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and this problem I have is catching up with me. All of my adult life, I plan and prepare for events in the order they come. This has worked out thus far but, you see, I now have a kid who has a birthday 3 days before Christmas which means that my mind can't fit Christmas plans until Eddy's party is out of the way.

So tomorrow is Christmas Eve and we need to finish shopping for Christmas presents - I've literally bought 2 - and do all of our grocery shopping for Christmas dinner.


I hope you have a good one, I hope Mama gets her shoppin' done, and it's Christmas all over again!
                                                                                                          Tom Petty

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dear Eddy, One Year {lump in throat}

Dear Eddy,

I'm am at once at a loss for words and bursting with things to say. I want to say everything but no matter how well I articulate how I feel, it won't come close to what is really in my heart. What is really in my heart is too big, too precious, too special for words. Sitting here on the eve of the day we met, minutes after nursing you to sleep, my mind is scrolling through thumbnails from the last 12 months.

A year. 365 days + 1 for leap day.

Pride and strength and patience and worry.

A molehill of frustrations and a mountain of triumphs.

Tears, a cup from exhaustion and gallons from happiness.

Shared naps, shared nights, shared giggles at 4 in the morning.

Bumped foreheads and bumped foreheads and bumped foreheads.

A busted lip and a bloody nipple.

Old wounds healed and smiles for strangers.

Runs and walks. Rolls and tummy time.

Winter in a Moby wrap, spring on a blanket, summer in the water, and fall on your toes.

A year since I realized my own strength.

You picked exactly the right day to come. You woke me up at 3:00 in the morning and together we worked hard. And oh was it worth it. I'd do it a thousand times over to feel you on my belly for the first time again.

I remember reading this poem in high school and being drawn to its words but mostly its style. As I read this part now, I can't believe it wasn't written by a mom.

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

ee cummings
(The first e is for Edward, naturally.)

I carried your heart in me for nine months. I cared for it a listened to it and hung on its every beat. But the thing is when you took that first gasp of air outside of me I could still feel your heart. I still feel it right now with walls between us. I will carry it always.

You made me a mom, what I've always wanted to be. I am forever grateful.

Happy birthday, my sweet boy. This has truly been the best year of my life.

I so look forward to many many more.

All of the love in my heart,

brand new us.

Friday, December 21, 2012


This week, I'm obsessed with my almost one year old.

I'm not sure there's anything better.

And this week, my almost one year old is obsessed with me. Maybe he's feeling sentimental towards the space we shared a year ago, too. Or maybe he's just teething again. His pleas of "Mamamamama" have been going on for nearly a year but there is so much more purpose and intent in that word now.

It's my favorite word. Mama. That's me.

It's  big day for us tomorrow. Can't wait.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


This belly.

Maybe the tiny blue globe lights on our Christmas tree will always remind us of this belly.

Maybe the chill in the air, the first smell of the heater, the last few notes of The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole, the part that plays just a bit of Jingle Bells, will always remind us of this belly.

Maybe I will get a lump in my throat every time I hear the words "how a little baby boy could bring the people so much joy..." from Christmas Must Be Tonight by The Band because it reminds me of this belly.

I've been thinking, "One year ago I was doing _____" a lot lately. Our last pre-baby date. Our last midwife's appointment. My last belly picture with Ali. I thought I was the only one that was reminiscing until Tim walked into the kitchen holding Eddy and bent down to kiss my belly. He told Eddy that he used to do that all the time when he was in there.

It's hard to think back on a time when we didn't know who was in there. But of course it was Eddy. Of course it was.

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Say Thank You Sunday

I guess it's human nature to try to find reasons why things like this happen. Sometimes there may not be a reason but it should remind us to hold closer, hug tighter, listen longer.

I tend to feel pangs of guilt when I have good in my life while other people have such sadness. I need to keep reminding myself that I should never not be happy for all of this good. I will pray for families in need of comfort as well as give thanks for mine.

This week, we are thankful for:

Unplanned family naps
New breakfast spots in the neighborhood
Help around the house
Bundle up weather
Visits from brothers
Finding my running legs again
An enormous shipment of presents from California
Kid breath
A Santa visit with unexpected laughs
An amazingly beautiful gift from friends
Lucy's freckly chest

drinks at the four seasons, first pizza, christmas lights in the neighborhood, you remind me of george p. calhoun, embracing fall, love at first fry, sunset over ut, tractor next to us on the highway, drinks with this guy

Saturday, December 15, 2012


This week, I'm obsessed with messy meals.

Once you decided that you were a self-feeder, Mama feeding you is so lame. You also want whatever I have - a cup, a fork, a spoon. I handed you your own fork at dinner last night and you used it exactly the right way.

You know who else loves messy meals? Lucy. When you started eating in your high chair, she wanted no part of your healthy rejects but has since expanded her palette.

And this week, you are obsessed with feeding Lucy. Hands too dirty? Just let Lucy lick them clean! It sends you into a fit every time.

one year in one week! remember this belly?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sandy Hook

There are truly no words. Awful doesn't even come close. I taught elementary school for 7 years and can't - don't even want to - imagine what today is like for those teachers, children, parents.

I know how fiercely they tried to protect their students - everyday, not just today - and today they couldn't do their job.

As a mom, I don't know how you go on. You should feel absolutely confident that you will pick your child up at the end of the school day.

No matter the argument, I believe wholeheartedly that guns should not be accessible to people other than law enforcement. To say that guns can protect us in such situations is backwards.


I'm watching the live news report and just heard this:
The bottom line is there are guns, they are a part of our culture, I think what we have to do in the long run, we have to find a way within our culture to give people other means of problem solving.
                                                                                                       Clint Van Zandt, Former FBI Profiler

A gun should not have been available as a means for "problem solving". And should never be.

I'm sick and angry.

**Update: I just watched an interview with a student from the school and she described what it was like when her teacher directed the class to huddle in the corner. We practiced that drill all the time and I remember the difficulty of explaining the importance without scaring them. I'm relieved it was never real. Now I can't stop crying.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dear Eddy, Month 11

Dear Almost One Year Old,

I had this friend when I was younger that had an older brother who was popular at school. I remember thinking, "Man, I can't believe she lives with him and that they eat dinner together and joke around and it's so normal." My friend, my regular old friend, was related to - and lived with! - someone so cool.

That's pretty much how I've felt this past year. Except that I'm the friend that lives with the cool kid. I'm the mom with the ridiculously awesome, chubby-cheeked, always happy, super hilarious baby that everyone wants to be friends with. Everyday I can't believe that this is where I am, that you are my son.

I can't believe that I am your number one, your comforter, your favorite place to sit.

I can't believe that you want me to pick you up, that you fall asleep next to me, that I get to snuggle up to you.

I was mushy to begin with but the mushiness has reached new heights since you came into my life. I know that in the blink of an eye you will be in your own bed, you will be embarrassed if I try to comfort you when you fall, and you will prefer your dad's leather chair to my lap. But I know that I will be in awe of what's to come.

You will be a year old in 10 days.  From that point on, when I think back on moments from the year before you will be a part of all of them.

As unbelievable as this year has been it seems as though it's always been. It seems exactly right.

10 days and counting...


I love you more today than yesterday but not as much as tomorrow.


image by

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Say Thank You Sunday

I feel like I have to whisper this: Eddy has been fever free since Friday.

That right there is something to be thankful for.

This week, we are also thankful for:

A house full of laughter
The finish line after a long, hilly half marathon
followed by Epsom salt baths
Perfecting our spaghetti recipe
served with oven fresh garlic bread, of course
Jimmy John's delivery (it is freakishly fast, y'all)
grandmas that get along like gangbusters
baby bow legs
road-tripping parents
Eddie and Eddy Wilsons
cold fronts
helping hands
this beautiful city we call home

Run Papa Run, Deconstructed Breakfast Taco, Eddie and Eddy Wilson, Home, Hand-knit little boy scarf, Mama's boy, say "Lucy!", shirtless Saturday, Austin music on the trail

Also, I said these words to someone yesterday: Oh, he'll be 1 in two weeks.


Friday, December 7, 2012


This week, I am obsessed with sick snuggles.

They're the only good thing about having a sick bud for one week. I don't want to jump to conclusions but it seems (fingers crossed) that we may finally be on the up and up.

And this week, you are the opposite of obsessed with medicine. We've had to squirt it in your mouth more than a handful of times to bring your fever down and you act like we are trying to pull your teeth out. In the middle of the night a few days ago, you were on fire so we woke up to give you a dose. Half asleep and crying in the most pathetic way, you kept signing, "all done, all done, all done." Poor guy. You were trying so hard to communicate your desperate needs.

I hate when you are feeling blue but I'm happy to be your cozy spot.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Just in cases

We have found our perfect Christmas station. I happen to love Christmas music so it's not hard for me to find one that works but Tim prefers something more cool, less obnoxious. The Christmas Blues station on Pandora is where it's at. Last night we turned it on, popped open a couple of beers, and Eddy settled into a groove while I cooked dinner.

Happy home.

When this song came on, I got all fuzzy on the inside because it is in Love Actually, one of my favorites - not just of Christmas movies - of all time.

Press play below. Voila! So cool.

It's Love Actually season. I'll be watching it under a blanket very soon. You should too. It just might inspire something grand, like this:

I could really post a dozen clips from this movie but you should just watch it for yourself. That takes up too much bandwidth.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Frenulum, Frenulum, Frenulum

Long before you were born there was this incredible moment in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Michael Phelps, who was on a medal-winning tear, was competing in the 100M butterfly finals. What looked to be a very near second place finish turned out to be another gold medal for Phelps. The timing of his final stroke propelled him ahead of his closest opponent by one one-hundredth of a second. That moment had people all over the country screaming, me included. It was the very definition of exhilarating, Eddy.

One one-hundredth of a second.

That's how much I missed you by on Monday. You were Phelps and I was that Serbian swimmer and it wasn't your hand that hit the wall first. It was your face. On the arm of the rocking chair. Pop. Screaming.

I knew it was bad the instant that it happened so I did what I do when you need immediate, effective comfort - I started nursing you. You calmed down from your no-noise cry within a few seconds and when I was able to take a closer look we were both covered in blood.

I felt awful - beyond awful. You calmed down, the bleeding stopped, and you resumed play as usual. About 20 minutes later you settled down for your nap at the normal time.

We are now on day 6 of RSV - Really Sucky Virus - which has involved 6 straight days of a rising and falling fever, a hearty cough, and a runny nose. You alternate between being a happy, normal dude to being a melt down mess. When you woke up from your nap, you kept wiping your nose which caused your mouth to start bleeding again. Cookie had come over for the day and it took both of us to take a closer look. While she held your head, I opened your mouth and what I saw made me sick to my stomach. In all of that blood was an enormous flap of skin. And now it wouldn't stop bleeding. We needed to see a doctor.

Now I was feeling beyond beyond awful. When I called your dad, I lost it: "Ed is okay, we're on our way to the hospital because he busted his lip and it won't stop bleeding." Papa was on his way.

There was an incredible nurse at the registration desk at Dell Children's Hospital that took a look at your lip - your frenulum to be precise, that little flap that holds your upper lip to your gums - and told us that kids bust these all the time and that there isn't really a fix. She saved us from a copay and an eternity in the over-crowded waiting room, where I'm certain that the girl that climbed the wall in the preview of that one scary movie was in action. Papa was pulling into the parking lot just as we were walking out of the ER and you were as happy as ever to see him.

Crisis averted. RSV is still kicking your chubby tush but your mouth is just fine. Your frenulum. It's always been one of those words that I remember when I hear it but now it's stuck in my brain. I will never forget it. Frenulum.

One one-hundredth of a second. I'm so sorry you beat me.

A Popsicle was in order after a day like that. You weren't quite sure what to do with it.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Say Thank You Sunday

The first week of December - you wouldn't be able to tell here in Austin unless you looked at a calendar. We laid low this weekend with our sick boy, hung our stockings by the kitchen table with care, and organized organized. Our home is happy right now.

This week, our family is thankful for:

fried pies
Christmas decorations
repurposed space in the house
big leather chairs
year-round Christmas lights (they're already up!)
sick snuggles
friends willing to lend a hand
easy, delicious dinners
invitations in the mail
fire fighters
fresh tortillas
homemade pancakes

22 shopping days until Christmas! (And 19 until Eddy's birthday!) Shop local, make something, but start now so that you're not in a panic (she says to herself).

new/old hand made kitchen, one year invitation envelopes, the only good thing about sick days, at the park with charlie, quinoa for lunch, snacking on a run, cheeks in the beer aisle, blinding him with science, blue christmas

What are you thankful for this week?

Friday, November 30, 2012


This week, I'm obsessed with tippy toes.

They're all over the house, morning, noon, and night.

But with each passing day, they become steadier and stronger. They flatten just a bit and can nearly support you on their own. It's just a matter of time.

And this week, you are obsessed with crawling quickly towards the stove while saying, "ah, ah, ah" (hot, hot, hot) and when I pick you up to move you, you make the sign for "hot". I don't have a picture because I'm too busy scooping you up.

Obsessed. Both of us.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

ELEVEN months!

When he was brand new, just days old, Uncle Cory told me that when he saw Eddy's eyelashes he couldn't help but think of things at a molecular level. They were but wisps, only millimeters long. As I sat on my new mom's nest and nursed him, I swore that I could watch them grow.

11 months later, I feel as though I can watch his brain grow. He is making new sounds, learning new signs, and becoming more stable on his feet each and every day. His sense of humor is fantastic and I feel like we are really getting to learn about a little kid named Eddy.

This month, he has perfected his cheesy grin and knows it makes me laugh every time. To keep things balanced, he can also pout his little lip out to make an excellent, overly dramatic face.

Eddy started signing "milk" to me about 4 months ago and then kind of developed a general hand sign - flipping his hand up and down - that he would use in response to my signs. He signs "off" and "on" when we pass lights and fans and "leaf" when we are outside playing with crunchy, fall leaves. When he nears the end of a meal and starts to lose interest, I can ask if he's "done" and he will respond with that sign. His Pops got to witness how cool this was while we were at their house for Thanksgiving. At the end of lunch, I asked if he was done and he paused for a second, looked at me, and then signed "done". Brilliant. And as we drove home from Houston, I sat in the backseat with him and shared a snack. I signed "more" each time I gave him more Cheerios and he started signing back to me. I started laughing and singing, "More More More More!" which he totally loved. Besides getting to watch him flex his brain, it is incredible how much power is in those signs. Instead of grunting or crying with frustration, he can just tell me what he needs.

And just as he began with a general hand sign, his favorite word right now is "AAAHPOO", which sounds like apple, hammer, uncle, a book, a ball, etc. As he played with a stick at the park, I kept saying, "Stick!" and he responded every time with, "AAAHPOO!" I joked with our friend that he was probably thinking in his brain, "Geez, Mom! That's what I'm saying!" When he really really wants to tell me something, he takes his time to draw out each syllable.

He spends most of the day on his feet, perched by Lucy at the window sill, holding on to chairs and furniture, and playing at our 20-year-old table that Grandpa Gus made when Uncle Cory and Uncle Matt were little. He finds his balance a little more each day - that mommy/baby yoga must be paying off! - and can now ease his way down to his bottom instead of plopping all the time.

Our main man's 11 month birthday fell on Thanksgiving day and he proved to definitely be part of the family as he ate everything in front of him. That's my boy!

Look at those beautiful teeth!

One month. One more month and we will have a one year old. Ain't it funny?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Say Thank You Sunday

For months, I was in the Sunday habit of keeping track of what our little family was thankful for but quit for one reason or another. This week, I was reminded that, even on really crummy days, there is so much to be thankful for. Even when I'm so stressed that I could cry, the reasons that I am stressed are something to be thankful for: a house to clean, mouths to feed, family to be with.

We gathered around a very full table this past Thursday, Tim's family and my family all packed around gravy bowls and stuffing and cranberry sauce with one new guest at the Thanksgiving table - Eddy!

Our meal started as it does every year for most families I'm sure. I was the first to say what I was thankful for and I'm surprised that I got the words out. "I'm thankful for being a mom." Next went Tim: "I'm thankful for my family and for being a dad." Around the table it went, 2 uncles, 2 sets of grandparents, and everyone was thankful for family, friends, food but mostly for Eddy. By the time everyone had given their thanks, I was a mess.

I'm not sure what I did to have so much love in my life - and to have these people to love me - but I sure am thankful.

So let's try this again. This week, we are thankful for:

cranberry sauce
mashed potatoes
safe arrivals
friends and family near and far
beautiful weather
sweet potatoes with marshmallows
new running shoes
sleeping in
Notre Dame Football
days with no plans
our sweet Lou
family runs
yeast rolls
running into old friends
And, of course, everyone's favorite little guy

Couldn't be happier.
She skipped from lap to lap throughout the meal.

My 2 begging babies

Sleepy Ed mornings

So thankful.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Eddy's Wishlist

Since people have been asking - and since this was so fun to make! - I put together a little wishlist for our sweet boy. Links to websites are below.

1. Blocks! Every kid needs 'em!
2. Apparently split sole shoes are good for new walkers which is what we will probably have sooner than later. He wears a 3.5 - 4. How funny that he has a shoe size!
3. A name puzzle - but one that says 'Eddy' preferably.
4. We love Eric Carle around here and this kid's brain is growing by the day so flash cards would be cool!
5. A quiet book - doesn't that sound so nice if Mama has a headache?
6. And then a Walk and Roller for when Mama doesn't have a headache.
7. Our very stylish little guy looks particularly cool in clothes from Old Navy, Gap, and Children's Place. He is currently wearing size 12-18 months and will probably be in 2T by the spring.
8. How cute is Rody the Hopping Horse?
9. It's learning time!
10. Old Navy pajamas are our favorite. He wears 12-18 months now and will soon be in 18-24 months.
11. Eddy's very favorite book. We picked it out from the library months ago and he loved it. We think the main character is some kind of love pimp.
12. There is now an H&M in Houston and Austin! We especially love their kids' clothes because they have snaps at the neck - perfect for big-brained boys!
13. Bath time is a favorite time in our house and he is really starting to love toys that pour. This Green Toys company is very cool - all recycled, minimal packaging, and totally affordable.
14. Remember these parachutes from elementary school? Who didn't love these?!
15. The best part of building a tower is knocking it down.
16. Trucks. Enough said. (Another Green Toys item)
17. A friend gave us a few Sandra Boynton books when Eddy was teeny and she is totally our favorite author. These sets have books that we don't own yet.
18. Our boy has the rhythm in him and his music class teacher swears that this brand of bongo drums is the best.
19. We absolutely love our Fuzzi Bunz cloth diapers. Ed has the inner workings of a champ so he goes through diapers quickly. More diapers means less laundry! We like the One Size variety in fun colors.
20. Plan Toys are just beautiful. Affordable and hand-me-down quality for sure.
21. A Plan Toys shape sorter for my budding genius.
22. A rain stick - this is one of Eddy's favorite instruments in music class.
23. This was a puzzle that Papa really loved when we were searching online.
24. If you plan on buying him a warm winter hat, please overestimate :) 3T and up!
25. This was a record player that Papa and I had when we were kids. Classic.
26. It seems that his sweet, little bedroom sure could use a cool clock.
27. I just love this little sitting tuffet and think it's perfect for when we hang out with him in his bedroom.
28. He plays with these blocks at his friend Olivia's house. They are soft and great for building.
29. Swim lessons! They are tons of places near the house, including the YMCA and scuba shops, that we could take lessons at to prepare for an awesome summer!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Always and Especially

So so very.

We are thankful for each other and for you.

Happy Thanksgiving, from our little family.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dear Eddy, Month 10

Dear Sweet Boy,

Month 11 is very, very quickly approaching so this note is passed due. Month 11. My goodness.

A few months ago, I began training for a half marathon for the second time in my life. The first time was about 3 years back, training was spotty and after the race was completed I hit a few bumps in the road and totally fell off the wagon. This time around has been much better and I'm excited every time I reach the end of a run and realize that my body carried me the whole way and that I didn't die. I've heard people compare long distance running to child birth and I will say that there have been many challenging moments so far when I think back to the day that I pushed you out and I tell myself, "Don't stop. Don't stop." Seems to be working so far.

So, running and me are not soul mates or sole mates or anything remotely cute. We pretty much just tolerate each other. However, I do have to give running some credit. It allows me time to work out thoughts, plan ahead, and resolve problems. I think about what we should have for dinner. I think about Papa and if we've recently had an argument I will realize that it wasn't a big deal after all. But mostly, I think a lot about you, and about the person that you are becoming, about the kind of mom I have become and the kind of mom I want to be, about how you change everyday and how that change seems to have reached a fever pitch.

Despite advice I've gotten from running pals and training coaches, I plug into music while on my long runs. In years past, I spent significant time planning my running playlists - what I needed to hear at the beginning, middle, and end of a run - but recently I leave the mix up to Pandora and The Talking Heads station seems to generally match my pace. There is, of course, a hefty portion of David Byrne & Co., along with a little of The Cure, some David Bowie, The Cars, and Velvet Underground. And then there is also Paul Simon, who is responsible for more than a few lumps in my throat while I pound the pavement.

You and I listen to a lot of Paul Simon around the house. When You Can Call Me Al comes on during a run, I can see you bobbing in your high chair, finding the beat. This is one of your newest skills and perhaps my favorite yet. We have our own version of this song that we sing while we eat lunch together - "If you be my bodyguard I can be your long last pal. I can call you Eddy and Eddy you can call me, you call me mom."

During Mother and Child Reunion, I fast forward to you in college, road tripping with Papa (hopefully not too far). I can't see what you look like when you're all grown up but I know that I am proud of you and that the pride overshadows how much I miss you. You're not even a year old and I already miss you when you're at college.

And Loves Me Like a Rock just pretty much sums up my whole heart.

My mama loves me, she loves me, she get down on her knees and hug me. 
Oh she loves me like a rock! She rocks me like a rock. 
Oh baby, she love me love me love me love me.

I love that we are already creating our soundtrack and I know that it will continue to grow as you do.

Thank you for giving me a sweet distraction during those long runs. It is greatly appreciated and I don't think I could do it without you.

Sweet view.

The best running partner.

But, oh man, if I hear "Ground control to major Tom" one more time...

Monday, November 12, 2012

A day at the McNay

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
                                                                                   Thomas Merton

Sunday, November 11, 2012

California dreaming

A few weeks ago, Eddy and I acted like jet-setters and split a week between northern and southern California. The weather was a dream, the scenery was a postcard, and we ended every day with smiles on our faces.

On our trek, Eddy:

I am still finding sand in interesting places.

We can't wait to go back.

Friday, November 9, 2012

love letter

I could write you a love letter everyday

to tell you that I love that you have dimples instead of knuckles,

and that I love that, even though you are growing and stretching, you still haven't lost your rolls,

and to tell you how it makes me feel to make you squeal with laughter,

and to tell you that I am amazed everyday that your papa and I made you,

and to tell you that sometimes right after you fall asleep, right after your breath slows to a rhythmic in and out, right after your eyelids become too heavy to hold open, you chuckle straight from your belly and I wonder what your beautiful brain is thinking,

and to tell you that I may wash your clothes in Dreft forever so that you always smell just like this,

and to tell you that we are just starting to hear what your voice sounds like and it sounds like music,

and to tell you that I count my blessings a thousand times a day that I get to spend it with you,

and to tell you that my heart swoons because you don't dance to every song you hear, only the ones that make you groove,

and to tell you that I love how much you love when your papa comes home, and how you have a best friend named Lucy,

and about this and this

I could write you a love letter everyday to tell you that you are my boy and I am your mom.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I ain't afraid of no ghosts

Pieced together from thrift stores, the garage, Cookie's sewing machine, and things borrowed, it was a team effort plus one late night but our costumes turned out better than I had hoped. We paraded in Cherrywood, walked the streets in our neighborhood, and everywhere we went we made people smile. I had a portable speaker set up in the wagon playing songs from the Ghostbusters soundtrack and Eddy found his groove. He danced all night, pointed at flashing lights and cool costumes, and loved staying out past his bedtime.

It was a good night for our family. I rode this high for days.

Ghostbuster, Slimer, Janine Melnitz, and Stay Puft. I'm obsessed.

Cookie the ghost!

Now, I imagine that future costumes will be a bit trickier as the kid develops what I've heard people refer to as an "opinion".

We'll see! Halloween 2012 - success.

Bustin' makes me feel good.

PS - I used my very novice Photoshop skills to take a photobomber out of the top pic, so if you thought you were seeing a ghost, worry not. We busted it.

We VotED. Have you?

It's an exciting day in our country! We get to exercise the incredible right to choose our leader.

Still undecided? Vote for this kid!

Left or right, red or blue, Eddy likes you all the same. He just wants to make sure that you get out there! 

Polls close at 7. Hurry hurry!

Monday, November 5, 2012

10 months!

What an awesome month we had. We got to split a week between northern and southern California to visit Aunt Jen, Uncle Jeremy, Bongo, Aunt Hanna, and Pam. There were new trees, dogs, birds, plants, and buildings to see everyday and you made sure that we looked at all of them. And it comes as no surprise that you are in love with the beach. I really think that you could have watched the waves roll in and out for hours. Oh, and sand? Delicious.

Your Papa was very happy to have you home and he swears that you grew while we were gone. I totally disagreed until I realized that you really are growing and changing everyday. It is kind of incredible. You are crawling quickly, pulling yourself up and cruising all day long, laughing until you can't any more and even doing things that you know make us laugh, feeding yourself and leaving lots for Lucy to clean up, and the day we came back from California you tried your very darndest to tell Papa everything that we did by making all kinds of fantastic, jibber jabber noises.

So this is what a 10 month photo shoot looks like when Mama is alone with you, forgets the fancy camera, only has 15 minutes on the meter, and parked a block and half from the Capitol. I don't think you stayed still for even half a second. I picked the X - Roman numeral 10 - in Texas to represent your tenth month.

Ten months old. You, my boy, are awesome.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy HallowEddy!

I know it's be a whole long while since I've made an Eddy update - it's coming, it's coming, I promise! - so here is just a short post for now.

Remember when we didn't know who was in this belly? Seems like a lifetime ago.

Happy Halloween! I hope you get lots of treats tonight!

*** Pictures of our awesome family in costume coming soon.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Dear Eddy, Month 9

Dear Eddy,

I bought this calendar when you were born. You can find tons of options on Amazon. It's a calendar to keep track of your baby's milestones. I bought the least obnoxious, baby-ish one (complete with cute stickers to commemorate First Teeth and First BooBoo!). It sat on our dining room table for a while. Then it sat on the bar in our kitchen. Then it sat on the coffee table by the couch. Then your papa put it away in your closet and when he did this I said, "Hey, where's that calendar for Eddy?" He told me that he put it away because he was cleaning and I quickly retorted, "Well if you put it away I won't see it and won't ever work on it!"

You see, it's Papa's fault that I haven't been keeping up with that dang calendar. For all of the days that it sat in plain sight, that one moment that it would've caught my eye and I would've worked on it was the one damn day that Papa had hid it from me.

Yeah, that's the ticket. I would be record-keeping-scrap-booking-Mom-of-the-Year if it weren't for that one day.

Who am I kidding? I ordered that calendar because it's what you do when you have a baby and then there it sat. I convinced myself that I was capturing more genuine emotion on this blog and let it slip away from me everyday.

And then!

One day I sat down and decided that I was going to piece together memories through photos and text messages and emails and start filling in this calendar. I was going to make record of your first laugh and first smile and first play date and first tooth bud and first explosive poop. Things were going famously, this calendar was coming together, I was feeling all momish.

... and then...

I f'ed the months up. I was calling December month 1 because that's when you were born and then I fast forwarded to write something in April - when you were 4 months old - and I should've written it in month 5. And it was in big, fat Sharpie, and it looked all stupid when I tried to cross it out, and I said to myself, "This is why I never did this!" and I chucked it in the recycling bin.

I convinced myself again that I was capturing more authentic memories here on the blog but a part of me does feel bad for the passing of memory-filled days. I have a picture of your first day of real smiles but I don't remember exactly when it was. I know that you cut your first tooth right after you turned 6 months old but I don't remember which one it was or the order in which the other 7 followed, but holy holy I sure do know what each of them feels like when you're nursing.

I do wish I had stayed on top of that calendar. I know that it would be fun to go through one day. Memories happen in front of my eyes and I think, "Oh I will never forget this moment!" but then it gets 10 other memories stacked on top of it and it's in there but when you try to find it, it's a bit wrinkled and smudged.

So basically I'm not a perfect mom. Far from it, in fact. I have met many situations with frustration. I have swooped over the moment just after you toppled onto the hardwood floor head first. I may have even dropped the remote control on your head when you were just a handful of weeks old and we would spend hours on the couch.

And I'll probably continue to f' up. I might get you to school tardy more times than we'd like to count. I might forget which park your friend's birthday party is at making us late and frazzled. I might forget to sign a permission slip and you will walk into class with a hot face when you realize, in a panic, that you can't go on the field trip unless you call your mom this second.

I will try to fix what I can. If I can't fix it, I will apologize and take you out for ice cream.

I will remind you - everyday - that I love you. Very much. Times infinity.

Make no mistake about that.

We ain't perfect but we in love.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

9 months!

I read something when I was pregnant that said that humans, unlike most other animals, are born completely dependent on their mothers. They cannot move to escape possible danger which also means that they can't seek out their own food, although Eddy sure did figure out a way to shimmy towards me in the middle of the night like a heat-seeking missile even when he was brand new. This book suggested that human babies have an exo-gestational period of 9 months in which they gain mobility and learn to manipulate food. Now, I'm not quite sure that Eddy could survive on his own if we plopped him in a forest - who would hug him when he bonks his noggin?? - but he certainly is a much more independent little creature than he was 9 months ago.

In a nutshell (I always picture Mike Myers as Austin Powers when people use that phrase), 9 month old Eddy is:

eating bits of food with his hands, crawling at an impressive clip, responding to more and more words and signs, getting in to cabinets, pulling himself up on furniture, constantly practicing his standing, sleeping for longer stretches, petting and grabbing Lucy, tossing and turning in his sleep like a real human, pointing very purposefully at objects he notices and wants, talking about his Mama and things that look like his Mama and things that remind him of his Mama, engaging in story time before bed by touching pictures and looking at the words, and playing and playing and playing all day long

He had his 9 month well baby visit today and he is weighing in at 23 pounds (75th percentile), is 29 3/4 inches long (95th %), and his head is making his Papa very proud at 19 5/8 inches ( >98th %). As a point of reference, my head measures 23 inches. So he's roughly 3 feet shorter than me with a head that is almost the same size. When the doctor was going over his stats and percentiles, she looked at Tim and said, "I guess you have a pretty big head, right?" And just as was predicted, he is thinning out just a tad as he becomes mobile.

We took Eddy's picture in front of The Tavern this month, which has the address 922. We celebrated my birthday and Eddy's 9th month on September 22 and marveled at the fact that he has been with us on the outside as long as he was on the inside.

Hey, is that a little thing on the ground?
It is! Sweet! I think I'll put it in my mouth.

And, holy crap, it's nearly time to start planning a first birthday party.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Eddy Waymon, A Birth Story

I realized soon after Eddy was born that I was very intimidated by the thought of his birth story. I was worried that my words wouldn't do the day justice. I think about this day, and this story, everyday. I look at the pictures everyday. I have sat down over a dozen times with the intention of punching it out but my worry gets in the way. Well, worry be damned, here we go. 

I am plugged in to headphones, listening to the playlist that was queued up for immediately after Eddy was born. It's been 9 months since that day and I still feel it in my bones. In the best kind of way. I guess it's a bit appropriate that I am finally 'delivering' this story that I've been chipping away at for 9 months. It took me that long to grow a human. And that long to grow his birth story.

The last guess written at our shower and the only one with this date.

There is no dramatic pivot. I can't offer you a comedic twist. All I can hope to offer you is a glimpse into the most important, beautiful, soul-shifting day of my life.

If you want the short version, it goes something like this: woke up early, moaned, pushed really hard, had a baby.

If you want the details, read on.

I must start with an introduction of the key characters of the day.

Tim - now referred to as Papa. The only face that I needed to be able to see all day. My husband. Eddy's dad.

Michele - our midwife. Wow. I'm so happy that we found her. She showed me my own strength. My mom has always said that her midwife changed her life. Ditto.

Genevieve and Cindy - Michele's apprentices and also our midwives. The three of them make an unbelievable team.

Sara - my best friend. I was present at her home birth nearly a year before Eddy's. We've been through a lot, but nothing compares to this.

Ali - our amazing, brilliant, and generous friend who also happens to wield a mean camera. This day's beauty was captured in a way that I am forever grateful for. She is also a fellow home-birther.

And last but certainly not least, my mom, Eddy's Cookie - Not only the reason that I am here, but also the reason that I am here telling the story of my own home birth. For me, she is the original home-birther who introduced me to the amazing power of a mom nearly 23 years before it was my turn.

The most wonderful time.

Our day began at 3:00 a.m. I was used to waking up several times during the night to eat or use the restroom but when I awoke this time, things felt very different. I suppose that when it's your first time to experience early labor, you can't be certain that it's the real thing and I wasn't. I sat up in bed for a few minutes and it wasn't long before Tim woke up to see what was going on. When he asked I said, "I'm not sure. Something feels different." This jolted him upright and he asked, through the grog, "Really?" I told him that it could be a false alarm so I was going to take a shower and see if the warm water falling on my belly might calm things down. Since Tim woke up, we had established that these "waves" were coming about every 3 minutes. My contractions were already 3 minutes apart. I had always heard and read that things started gradually, with contractions 8 or 10 minutes apart. Or it started by waking up in a pool of fluid. Not the case for me.

I made the shower as hot as I could stand and tried to keep things normal. It crossed my mind that this might be my last shower of the day so I oughta, you know, wash my hair and stuff. Just after I rinsed the conditioner I had my first contraction that brought me to my knees. While I was down there, the water getting cooler against my back, the thought of I'm going to meet my baby today washed over me. That realization was more overwhelming than I ever imagined it would be - and I had been imagining it for a long time. I remember noticing that it was December 22 and I almost felt like smacking my own forehead. 22 has long been my lucky number and the fact that I hadn't even considered that my baby knew this seemed all of a sudden ridiculous to me. I called Tim in to help me out of the shower and asked that he get the exercise ball for me to bounce on. As I sat on it, I brushed my teeth, put lotion on, and even blow dried my hair. I was calling the contractions out to Tim and he kept time. I came back into our bedroom and asked him for the update and he said, "Still 3 minutes." Nothing had slowed or calmed so I told him that I thought it was time to call Michele to see what she thought.

Tim got her on the phone immediately and she asked for the details and then asked to hear one of my contractions. After one had passed, I got on the phone with her and reiterated what Tim had told her. I suppose I expected a hurried list of things to do or signs to look out for or notes to take, but instead what I heard was, "Well, this is very exciting! I'll call Cindy and Genevieve and let them know and we'll be there shortly." That was the moment that things really felt real. The alarm had officially been sounded. I was in labor.

It was around 4:30 when I called my mom who was in San Antonio visiting family. My exact words were, "Mom, I think it's time to get this party started." She assured me that she was up, would hop in the shower, grab a bite, and be on her way.

I then sent Sara a text that said, "Maybe having a baby today" to which she replied, "Ok, love - keep me posted! I love you so much!"

Tim took over the communication at that point, asking Sara to keep Ali in the loop.

The wheels were in motion. My birth team was being assembled.

Our girl watching over our new baby.
I continued to labor on the exercise ball while watching the morning news in the living room. My contractions remained consistent but were still easy enough that I could talk in between and a little during. Genevieve breezed in very bright eyed at about 5:15, gave me a reassuring look that said she was happy to see me, and asked if she could check me and the baby out. I was progressing nicely and baby's heart tones sounded beautiful. Cindy arrived shortly thereafter and immediately said, "I just knew you were going into labor soon!" I'd had an appointment with them the day before and would have a contraction - what I thought were still Braxton Hicks - just about every time they touched me. Looking back, I was obviously in labor already. 

Tim had started asking if he could take a shower. I think he was anticipating a long day and I told him that I wanted him to wait until my mom got there. I needed him within reach and could only imagine him not being there briefly as long as she was there. She and Sara arrived within minutes of each other and Ali came soon after. Tim was granted temporary leave. Michele arrived, gave me and the baby a quick check, said everyone was doing great, and from there it seems that things really took off. Maybe my body was waiting for everyone to be in place.

Michele suggested that I try relaxing in the bath because my contractions were growing stronger each time. She showed Tim how to keep me warm by covering my belly with a towel since I was far too enormous to be submerged completely. I climbed into the warm tub, Tim covered me and I let a few contractions pass. I think I was expecting immediate comfort and relief based on what I'd heard about laboring in water but being in the tub made me feel very slippery and out of control. I felt a very strong urge to feel grounded, rooted, and being unable to stabilize was unsettling. I didn't spend long in the tub before I got out and moved to the couch.

Between contractions, I was getting cold so a nest was set up for me. Contractions were growing more and more intense and I was pulling more inside of myself with each one.

Sometime between the bath and the couch, things shifted into primal mode. Bits of my animal self had been peeking out here and there but when it officially took over, oh man.

Many little girls dream of their wedding day. That is their fairy tale. Not me. I dreamed of the day that I would get to have my baby at home, just like I had watched my mom have my brothers at home years before. It was all happening but in this fairy tale, I did not turn into a princess - I turned into an animal. One that moaned and groaned and crawled and grunted. At this point in the story my dialogue stopped. I stopped using words to communicate, only mono-syllabic sounds and head movements. This is when something else took over, something beyond my consciousness, something that told me to save every ounce of energy for getting my baby out.  

I guess I did get one more full sentence out. Earlier in the morning, Cindy made a breakfast taco run for the team - definitely not for me because I was having trouble keeping down water and apple slices. Tim quickly inhaled a taco and after clutching his shoulders through one powerful contraction, I looked at him a said, "Go brush your teeth." 

I felt a very 'out of body' sensation for much of the day, like I was watching a home video playback of me having my baby. It was like wedding day haze times a thousand. My memory from this point on is spotty and is pieced together by these beautiful pictures. The first time Ali showed them to us, I sat trembling at the amazing images that so perfectly captured the day - not trembling with a memory of pain but trembling in awe. The love that was in my house that day could have filled an ocean.

The team plus Ali behind the camera.

Checking heart tones: beautiful.

Ali said that this was my labor face. Not as beautiful as I had imagined it would be but definitely matches my determination.
Not only was Ali responsible for documenting, she was just as much a source of strength.

Seeing pictures of my best friend and my mom cradle my head and guide me through a contraction is indescribable. I have said that labor is like getting a glimpse into a parallel universe where you are watching yourself and have knowledge of all that is happening but no control. While I was in it, I know I needed their strength and encouragement even though I may not have been aware of whose hands were comforting me at the time.

One of my favorites from the day.

I have a memory of being in the kitchen during a contraction and seeing a clear blue sky outside. I stepped into the backyard and noticed that the chilly morning had turned into a beautiful day. I had one giant contraction outside, crouching down on my knees and letting it all out. My brother, Cory, later pointed out that he heard kids playing outside during the afternoon and wondered if they had been outside then and heard me. My I am Woman, Hear me Roar moment.

Given the ever-important task of hanging with Lucy.
She's so beautiful. And probably wondering, "Is my mom okay?"

While I was pregnant, I read parts of Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth and in one story a woman wrote about how she slept between contractions to get rest. At the time, I thought this was completely ridiculous and probably hippie mumbo-jumbo. I'll be darned, I fell asleep between contractions. This memory came to me a few days after and when I asked Tim about it he said I was most definitely sleeping between contractions. I will forever marvel at the things my body did that day and how it found the energy to keep going. When Michele noticed me getting sleepy she suggested a shower to help me perk up.

I kept my finger here for much of the day. My "direct line".
I have another memory of Michele suggesting that we turn on some Beatles. She and I share a love for them and I think she knew everyone could agree on that choice. I had long debated what music I wanted playing while I was in labor and thought yoga-type meditation music was good but when it came down to it, I let it play out on its own. Surprising if you know me. I did, however, know exactly what I wanted playing after the baby was here. Ali took over the record player, first putting on a few Beatles albums and then John Lennon. After the first song, Yoko Ono's voice came screeching out and Ali quickly turned it off. I very clearly remember thinking, "Nobody should've ever given her a microphone."

Working in shifts.

When I started feeling the strong urge to push we moved into the bedroom. I remember seeing that the clock on our dresser read 3:00. I had watched Sara have her baby girl, Olivia, at home nearly a year before and she was born at 3:19. Seeing the clock, I thought, "Oh wow! Maybe our babies will be born at the same time!" First-time-mom wishful thinking, I guess. 19 minutes of pushing? Hardly.

I was 8 centimeters dilated but my water still hadn't broken. Michele suggested to Genevieve that she break it to help things progress. I had a fear that it would hurt and Genevieve saw this and assured me that I wouldn't feel it. She was right. She used a tool that looks exactly like a crochet needle and I didn't feel a thing. They did another check of fetal heart tones - still beautiful - and things picked up considerably from there.

Pushing my baby down and out was by far the most out-of-body time of the day. I remember pushing with all of my might and then pushing even more but the entire time I felt like I wasn't pushing as hard as I could. I felt like I was looking down at myself in my bed trying to figure out how to push harder but couldn't. I alternated pushing in a squat position on the side of the bed and pushing while lying on my back. My mom was on the bed, hoisting me between positions. A few days later during Cindy's followup visit to our house, she told us that she witnessed the true meaning of midwifery while in our bedroom watching me labor. My husband was by my side coaching me, my mom was literally supporting me, my best friend was holding my hand and willing my baby out. This was a team sport. She said it was her favorite Christmas present that year. Mine too.

Looking at images of the whole team watching me, hands touching me, every one in the room trying to help me push, I see how it's all possible. While I was the only one in the house with the physical power to do the work, my efforts would have been defeated without every other person. When your husband and 6 women who have had babies at home are telling you that you can do it you believe them. Even when you don't believe it yourself.

Michele was encouraging everyone to let me hold my own legs back to get leverage during pushes. All my effort was causing me to sweat quite a bit and I couldn't get a steady grip on my legs. I didn't want to say, "I can't get ahold" because I knew that I may only get out the words, "I can't" and was determined to never say that so I just shook my head furiously at this request. She also had me walk to the front door and touch the door knob every few minutes. While it seemed like a marathon at the time, I am thankful for the downward pull of gravity.

She actually jumped on the bed during one big contraction. Trying to help I think :)

Having watched babies be born, I knew this was the part of labor where I was taking one step forward and two steps back. During each push, my baby's head would peek out and when the contraction ended, it would retreat back in. The excited looks on everyone's faces (except for mine) are premature. They think, "There it is!" and then it's gone again. For onlookers, it can be a very frustrating time. When the midwives told me to reach down and feel my baby's hair, it was at first exciting but after a while I thought, "Okay but when will it budge from that spot?"

From left to right: excitement, extreme exertion, excitement.
Almost there.

It's a brilliant design, labor. Just when you're about to say, "I don't think I can do this," just when you think you've pushed all that you can, something incredible happens: it ends. That glorious head finally makes it's way out and then a little body squirms out quite easily and the room erupts. I told Michele this a few days later and she said that it's great preparation for motherhood. Things are hard and then they're harder and then they're so hard that you want to quit -- and then something amazing happens, like they laugh or smile or say your name or hug your neck.

4:30 pm

Just like that.

My baby is here.

The head is out.

The pushing is over. Well, almost.

Tim caught our baby. Michele was close by and covered the baby quickly with a receiving blanket and asked, "Are you ready to call it, Papa?" When she removed the blanket, Tim responded, "It's a boy!"

Of course it is.

The answer that we didn't know for nearly 9 months was so obvious. And so worth the wait. My son. My beautiful boy.

Tim placed him on my belly, his umbilical cord not quite long enough to reach my chest. I felt immediate relief when I saw and felt his size. Thank goodness a big baby came out of that giant belly. I had worried that a tiny little thing was going to come out but he matched. The midwives told me that on my next contraction that I would deliver the placenta. It came out easily and I was able to bring my baby a little closer to my chest. Immediately after he was born, we realized why that pushing was such hard work - he had come out with his right fist against his cheek, adding that much more to the circumference. His little hand was a bit blue for it. He also slept with that little fist against his cheek for months, leading us to believe that it was probably his preferred position for some time in utero. 

His father's son for sure.

I spent so much time imagining this moment, shutting my eyes so tightly and trying to picture what my baby's face would look like. I don't think it's possible to know this moment before you are in it. In this moment, our bedroom was the center of the universe. Time slowed enough to listen to first breaths, to watch a little fist turn pink, to memorize the shape of a tiny nose and perfect lips.

And although it's all brand new, I felt like, "Oh, I know you."

To hold your new baby, to watch them see you, recognize your sound, to see them root around for their first meal is like first-hand, ancient history. Another brilliant design, every miniscule nuance meant to validate your hard work and to bring value to the pain that was present just minutes before.

And to erase it. I had heard and read over and over that the moment you see your baby the pain of labor vanishes. While I was in the trenches, I had some crazy thoughts.
This baby will be an only child, I will never do this again. I totally get epidurals. If someone walked in the door right now and said, "I can make this go away..." Moms say this is worth it but how the HELL will this ever be worth it?

But it does vanish. It is worth it. And I pray that I get to do it again.

That first meal was beautiful - a rare frozen in time moment that I was aware of while I was in it. I knew to let that moment penetrate my being so that I could bring it up in the future and recall the feeling. He still nurses in that position from time to time and when he does it takes me right back. He nursed for a while, I studied his parts and learned how he felt on the outside, and my birth team started the flurry of texts and phone calls to spread the good word.

After he had finished eating, the midwives cleaned him up a bit and then started his newborn exam. It was just me and Tim and our new baby in the room at the beginning but when they got to the weighing and measuring portion they let us know that it would be a good show if we wanted to invite everyone back in. We had a private moment where we agreed on the name we'd been holding onto for months. We had both said previously that we would wait until we met our baby to commit to a name - wait to meet him and see his face and make sure it felt right.

The midwives called my mom, Sara, Ali, and Cory back into the room and Tim's parents had arrived in the meantime. I announced, "We would like everyone to meet our son, Eddy Waymon!" More erupting.

I love a home birth weigh in. That little sack of baby with tiny feet peeking out. My healthy boy measured 8 pounds, 12 ounces and 22 glorious inches. And I still wonder, "How'd you fit in there?"

As I watched the midwives measure, watched everyone marvel at his wonder, learned more about this tiny human that was in my belly only hours before, it hit me like a truck. The joy and overwhelming relief came immediately when he came out but to watch the room shift its focus from me to him is when everything flooded.

There's my baby. For the whole world to see. And he's perfect.

Then Cookie brought in a cupcake with a single candle in it and we sang 'Happy Birthday'. What an important birthday it was. On that day a baby was born, a mother was born, a father was born, a big sister was born, grandparents were born, aunts and uncles were born. I got through the song until we said "... Happy birthday, dear Eddy" and that's when the lump in my throat took over.

I floated through the evening. Night fell, the Christmas tree glowed. We settled in for our first night as a whole family in our cozy bed.

And that's where we all woke up, too. It wasn't a dream. In the span of a day we had added a new piece - a piece that seemed as though it had always been. Best morning ever.

Matt, my brother and my stepdad, Gus would arrive by morning from Colorado and my Dad would finish his trek from California to meet our son. I can't be certain but I have a feeling the road was open and the weather was cooperative. Just for a time, all roads led to our house.

Every day that has passed has put me further away from this day and has allowed me to watch my son grow. Every month brings me closer to the anniversary, birthday, of the day I became a mom. It has now been nearly the same length of time that I grew him inside of me that he has been a part of our world, and today is my birthday.

Hardest work I've ever done in my life.

Most life-changing work I've ever done in my life.

Couldn't have unfolded any more perfectly.

Worth every every moment.

There ya have it, Eddy. The day you were born.

Happy Birthday. To me and you.


When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love

When the evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one there to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love

I know you haven’t made your mind up yet
But I would never do you wrong
I’ve known it from the moment that we met
No doubt in my mind where you belong

I’d go hungry, I’d go black and blue
I’d go crawling down the avenue
There’s nothing that I wouldn’t do
To make you feel my love

The storms are raging on the rollin’ sea
And on the highway of regret
The winds of change are blowing wild and free
You ain’t seen nothing like me yet

I could make you happy, make your dreams come true
Nothing that I wouldn’t do
Go to the ends of the earth for you
To make you feel my love

Bob Dylan

all photos taken by the incomparable alison eden.