Where Whine Meets Wine

A Book For Aidan

Today’s post is really important. Like woah, really important. One of my dearest girlfriends from college has grown into the strongest and most amazing person I know. Ok, so she was probably that way to begin with (I’m pretty sure she was) but life has gone in a direction that has made her strength, and compassion, evident to everyone around her.

When I was pregnant with Littlest E, she was pregnant with her sweet Aidan. Aidan was born at 28 weeks and 4 days. This sweet, beautiful boy lived for 8 short days on this earth, but has spent the last 2 years being the driving force for his family and many others. Every time I think of my own littlest, I think of Aidan. They would’ve been friends. And when we were scared out of our minds about E’s survival, Maggie would encourage me with the words, I’m sending Aidan to watch over him. You see, Aidan and Littlest both had placenta/cord issues where they just weren’t getting the nutrients they needed. It’s so heartbreaking to not have Aidan here, but I will be forever grateful that he watched over my little man. When I think of our family’s miracle, I think of Aidan.

Aidan is now a big brother to the most beautiful boy I’ve ever seen (outside of my own) and I have no doubt he watches over his brother much like he did Littlest. Aidan is a driving force for his mama, sending her on countless new missions in her life. And you can read more of her story (and his) on her blog: Life After Aidan Christopher. She is a light in the darkness for other families who have gone through similar events. Her latest venture is probably the closest to her heart. It’s called Aidan’s Book Corner (and you should just go ahead and go “like” it on facebook to give support at the very least!). When Maggie was in the hospital with her hubby and baby, she found herself having to go home and bring in books to read to her NICU baby. For a parent having to go back and forth (or even one staying and just having to run home for odds and ends) having one more thing to think about or remember is a big deal. So she’s started ABC, where folks have donated books and NICU families have the bookshelf rolled in (on a rolling bookshelf so that they don’t have to leave their babies). Not only is this great for families and bonding purposes, but it is a great reminder for families of their journey- that they’ll get to keep with them, for the rest of their journey. If they get to take their baby home, they will always have a reminder of their journey. And if baby doesn’t get to come home, they have a tangible item to hold onto- which is really huge.

Help me honor Aidan’s memory, and the loving work  his family is doing to help other families, by sending books. It’s starting in one local hospital, but I know Maggie, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to find this program across the country in a very short amount of time! Right now they are asking for new books (as they will be used in the NICU- neonatal intensive care unit), such as board books or some of the Little Golden Books. I plan to take my children on an outing this weekend and have them each pick out a book to send.

Books can be sent to:

Community Hospital North
Maternity Services
Open Arms
7150 Clearvista Dr
Indianapolis, IN 46256

Please help me in supporting this wonderful program. Send a book (or 3, or more!), “like” them on facebook, and share! Share it on your facebook wall, share it on your blog, call your bff and tell her all about it… just share. It’s a small token to give, for a family in the NICU, but what a memorable one.


No Longer A Baby

I know, I know… how can I even show my face around here? And I deserve it. Leaving you all high and dry. Ok, so maybe I’m being a little dramatic. But bear with me. I’ve been parenting and vacationing and organizing and garage saling and birthday-ing and working… you know, living. I do have happy news, I have had consistent clients from the get go, which is pretty exciting if you ask me! In fact, I have clients through February! (How awesome is that?!)

But the thing that drew me back here… well, really I’ve been thinking about doing a post for over a week now. Sharing various stories and laughs and pictures, but the thing that made it necessary to do today… is simple. Littlest is 2. I know, I know…it does seem like just yesterday I was recounting his birth (horrors and wonders alike)! And then I was dealing with the aftermath of his birth around his first birthday.

And now here we are, his second birthday. My baby is two years old.  My baby is no longer actually a baby. My house will no longer contain any babies. My house will never again be home to a baby. A baby will never again belong to me. Do you see the digression? Do you feel it? I feel it. I’m pretty sure I’ve been feeling it for about a month. I’ve become incredibly emotional and perhaps even a little irrational. You see, I would’ve been the little old woman who lived in a shoe, who had so many children she didn’t know what to do… and I would’ve liked it that way. Lots of people look forward to the end of babyhood and enjoy toddlerville and the elementary years; I am not them. Ok, that’s not entirely true- I do enjoy toddlerville and I am enjoying the beginning of our elementary years. But I am not a mama who looks forward to babies no longer being babies.

Obviously (as I’ve said before, I know), I would never trade Littlest’s sweet self for the option to have more children. But it is still bittersweet to watch him grown and to know that this is the end of babyhood. And childbearing. I’m even sad that I’ll never labor and birth another baby. That’s right, I’m in that deep.

But in the midst of the sadness, there is this deep thankfulness and joy. I have my boy and I get to witness his growth! My itty-bitty boy who never should have survived the pregnancy and his mama who almost bled out without anyone noticing. I have him. I cuddle him. I teach him. I try to ignore him listen to him. I love him. And looking at him today, I still see the miracle he was the day he was born, and the miracle he’s been every day in between.

The day we brought him home

Littlest E, you will always be the baby (as all of my children will always be my babies) and a constant reminder that miracles happen every day and to every day people. I am so, so blessed and thankful to be your mama. Happy birthday, my boy.


Wanna See What Happens?

So you all know about my love for coffee… and it’s led to many very interesting conversations between fellow bloggers, family, friends, ad a couple strangers. Some share my love, some try and convince me of it’s demonic powers. I awoke to the latter in e-mail form this morning. Before I’d had my coffee.

They obviously didn’y get this memo…

For the record, this is really tongue-in-cheek. Especially because my coffee habit is ONE CUP of coffee in the morning. With the exception of some Saturdays, then it’s two.  Now I’m not touting the benefits of coffee drinking because I believe that while there probably are some benefits… I believe we find benefits to anything we like (wine, chocolate, brussel sprouts…). And  I’m not denying that there are downsides to any drink with caffeine in it. However, this is my vice. Leave me alone. At least until I’ve had a full cup of coffee! With that noted, here is my ode to coffee.

I LOVE this… it will find itself on my kitchen wall! (I already know just where it would go!)

“I believe humans get a lot done, not because we are smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee”- Flash Rosenberg

“I never laugh until I’ve had my coffee” – Clark Gable.

And lastly….

i dare you!

All of these lovely photos, sayings, and quotes were found on the facebook page of Whole Latte Love!


Beautiful Family, Friends, and Awards

Ok friends and family, I have some new and exciting news! I got my super cute, new business cards in the mail (photo to come) and since my cards have my website on it… I figured I should actually do some ironing out of it before handing them out! Ok, so I already started handing them out, and it’s a small amount of “ironing” that I’ve done… but still! Cards are here, website is client friendly at least! So… you should check it out, you know, just because you guys are awesome like that! And lastly, if you’re in my area… refer your pregnant selves, friends, and family to me! 

Also, I was nominated for the Beautiful Blogger Award by the lovely mama over at Going Coverless! Thank you, thank you! Mamas, papas, and everybody else (nursing, natural, wonderful) you should definitely check her out!

 In receiving this award you’re asked to nominate six of your favorite blogs to receive the Beautiful Blogger Award as well. Instead, I’m just going to give you the list of blogs that I read every time they post (usually via email) and think that you should also join me (again, that includes Going Coverless!)

  • Becoming Cliche   she is one funny, sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek mama… and she shares me love of turtles. I  love it!
  • Searching For Middle Ground she is one of those lovely ladies where you read their posts and you feel like you’re there with her, sitting and chatting over a cup of coffee. You feel like she’s talking to you and that you’re friends. She’s a doll of a lady!
  • Stuff I Can’t Put On Facebook   she is funny and life throws funny situations at her almost daily. And I love every moment of it! Seriously, through your posts you’ll feel like you’re chatting with your girlfriend at happy hour. It’s fantastic!
  • Windsomebella   she is wise, smart, an incredible writer and an amazing photographer. Seriously, you have to see her posts. I say see because the photos are breathtaking and the words thought provoking and they always go hand in hand. 
  • Somethingville she is also wise, smart, funny, and quick-witted who is also one of the top photographers ever. Plus she is an absolute sweetheart. Her current series on re-discovering happiness is a must read!
  • Confluent Kitchen funny and an awesome cook who shares my views on baking! Good thoughts, good foods, what more could you ask for?
  • Flamidwyfe’s Blog  she is so awesome I want to be her friend, or co worker, or even just a fly on the wall of wherever she is! Quick witted, says what she thinks, and lost 100lbs in the last year- this woman is amazing! And that’s not even to talk of her birthing love and support of mine! She’s inspiring and funny and someone I aspire to be like!

Ok, it is nap time for Littlest… but I have just a few more I wanted to add. If they all sound very similar (caring, funny, honest, inspiring… it’s because they are! Each of these woman make me feel like I want to be their friend and that they are! It’s an amazing family that I’ve found here in blog-land!) And here are the rest of the blogs and bloggers that I follow and love and are no less than amazing!

  • Party of Five Love (she makes the cutest bows ever, I have yet to try- but I will…someday!)
  • A Mom Inspired (she is so sweet and thoughtful and I love listening her thoughtfulness as she raises her children and lives life!)
  • We’re Jumpin (honest mama with a focus on her living the life God wants for her)
  • Delete Wheat with Christine Petty (recipes, life, love, and now weight loss- you go, lady!)
  • House of 34 (she has 34 bookshelves in her home and is a serious DIYer and is fabulous at it! I love her ideas!)
  • Mommy Man (I love hearing the daddy perspective! He and his partner have such love for their twins that it overflows the page is just beautiful… and he -and his kids!- is/are really funny!)

The Lowest Of Blows

I know, I know… I’ve been MIA, continuously. And I’m still clinging to the fact that I will be back to blogging on a more regular basis! Last weekend (yes, just shy of two weeks from when hubbyman fixed my laptop) hubbyman accidentally knelt on top of my laptop’s screen. Don’t ask how it happened, I’m still not sure. I saw it coming, and even though it seemed to happen in slow motion, I was not able to react in time. Sadness. But at least he had practice in fixing it. I teased joked half-joked seriously told him to buy two screens, just so we were prepared. As a good hubbyman, he immediately ordered a new screen the next morning. And yesterday, it arrived! He tried to tell me he wasn’t sure if he had the tools to fix it at home, but I caught him trying to fix it a short time later. And he did! Yay! So now he’s not allowed to use it. I may have to hide it from him.

That fun stuff said… I couldn’t help but include you lovely in something I witnessed in our crazy household this morning; I heard some yelling and went to investigate and this is what I witnessed:

MissE is standing at the top of the stairs and delivers what those who know her best is the lowest of all blows, yells down to her brother:

FINE! You are NOT handsome anymore!

When there’s no response, she continues yelling it again.

Finally, her smart brother responded by yelling back up to her,

FINE! You ARE the prettiest girl!

Oh, I am so thankful for those funny, fleeting moments that get me through the day! And the kids who spurt them! And I’m also thankful that I get to go and babysit my nephew tonight! A few days ago- he smiled at me! I need to keep up with that trend and since I won’t see him for a month! (He’s only just a month old, so the idea of not seeing him for a whole month is a little devastating!) Anyhow, so I’m thankful for the opportunity to get a few more smiles, solidify my role as Queen of all Aunties, and maybe give his parents a bit of a break. I’m also thankful for the Kings of the Uncles who will have my kiddos on Saturday while we go have a day/afternoon/evening of fun and outdoor games with friends (and cocktails)! And I’m thankful for a hubbyman who is able to fix most of the things that he breaks.


Cherish It All

I should get a tattoo of this. Ok, maybe not seriously, but seriously…  I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that I love me some coffee.

So as I was sipping coffee I was thinking about/listening to my children talking amongst themselves, and just so I don’t forget one precious minute, I’m going to share some of our latest things.

Big kids, older siblings, teach their younger ones lots of new things. Occasionally, it works backwards. Littlest says thank you as soon as you give him anything or do anything for him (dress him? thank you. change his diaper? thank you? feed him? thank you. kiss an owwie? thank you.). It’s very sweet, and an obvious homage to my parenting prowess. Or he’s just a big copycat. One of those. But lately, it gets better. Every thank you is followed by a Wuv Uuuu! (= love you… obviously!). Heart melting. And his siblings have taken note. They all now follow all their thank yous with Love Yous. And this mama is totally lovin’ it!

Another thing that has passed from one kid to another. When saying our I love you’s, I frequently followed it with a series of questions: the most? forever? always? 16? (It was Biggest’s favorite number and when he was under 2, 16 was the biggest number he could think of, when asked… and it just kinda stuck. He occasionally tells me that it’s now one hundred and 81 hundreds. His love for his mama is growing. Or he’s more aware of higher numbers, one of the two. I’m picking his love is growing.) Anyways, Littlest now does this too and it is just sooo cute. Even daddy can’t help but stop whatever project he’s working on to listen to littlest say these things. I tried to catch it on video to share with you all, but his siblings kept chasing him by trying to get themselves in the picture. Aaaand, all his kisses still end with the MWAH! sound. I love that boy.

And Miss, well she eats like a 14 year old boy. And I am not kidding you. My MIL says that she’d put my Miss up against any teenage boy in an eating contest, and that my girl would win. She eats a million times a day. It’s to the point that by the time I need to be making dinner I am so burnt out from getting meals together allllllllllll day that it’s not as fun as I usually find it. And she’s freakin’ tiny. Seriously. Found an outfit she wore as a baby (it’s 3 months I believe) and she could get it on her little body. Granted it’s capris instead of pants and the shirt is more of a belly shirt, but it fits. Metabolism of a horse, I tell ya!  We can frequently be overheard muttering the words So much attitude in someone so  tiny! Seriously!  The way this girl can express herself and articulate her thoughts is amazing. Especially when you remember that she’s still only 3! And she’s so literal, in a way that you would never expect/believe from a 3 year old. I’m telling you- It’s mind blowing!

And Biggest, well, he’s going through a stage that he finds exciting and scary. He’s growing and learning. Becoming more independent, even. Stages where more independence is learned is usually accompanied by some clingy-ness/whining while they adjust. Lately, he’s been declaring that I love Littlest more than him. I respond with, I love all my babies, and you were the very first baby I ever loved. He hasn’t been saying I love Littlest more lately, but I still get an occasional, Was I really the first baby you loved? And he’s becoming embarrassed about things. He doesn’t like me to share things he’s said and especially to be laughed at. And he’s starting to notice that girls are cute. He and I  had a date last night and I caught him staring at a little girl. When I turned to look at her, he turned red, grabbed my hand, and said Mooom, don’t look at her! I looked at him, smiled, and just said, What, it’s ok! To which he sighed and said, ok you can look at her, but it’s just one of my big kid friends. (We’ve never seen this girl before.) When recounting this story to his daddy, he walked into the room midstory, and was pretty horrified that I would tell daddy about it. Hubbyman had a good laugh and was like, Ah! He’s starting to think girls are cute! He then told Biggest that he thinks girls are cute. Which made Biggest eye his daddy curiously. Hubbyman responded with, Yeah, I think Mommy’s cute. Biggest rolled his eyes and said, Dad! Mom is not cute, she’s just a mom! (Thank you, very much, for that ego boost, son I labored with for over 24 hours.) *Sigh*

My babies are growing and changing. And really, none of them are babies anymore. How did that happen?! When did that happen?! Moments, all these little, tiny, lovely moments… they go fleeting by. I hope I cherish all that I possibly can.


High-Larious Collections

I sat down at the computer to e-mail a couple of clients while I sip guzzle my morning coffee, and happen to catch a snippet of conversation going on between my “older two.” It was too good not to share.

Biggest: Miss! Don’t open that!

MissE: Why not? I just want to check.

Biggest (emphatically): Because! That’s where Mommy keeps her poopy diaper collection!!

MissE (turns to me): Why do you only have poopy diapers in your collection? What about all your necklaces?!


That girl has priorities, and jewelry top the list. Poopy diapers, not so much. Apparently, she’ll just leave that to me. Since apparently I’ve got a collection going, I’d better get to some laundry…


Not Gone. Just Living.

I’m hoping to get back into blogging…I know I’ve been far and few between lately. I’d made the decision to keep the computer off, or at least in use minimally (and I mean minimally) during the day and evenings… and if time was going to be spent on the computer, it would be after the kids had gone to bed. By the time that happens… I’m usually about spent. So I haven’t gotten there yet. We’re in the constant process of streamlining. Our lives our activities, and especially our things. I’m working on getting things more organized (well, I’m pretty  much always working on that, but it’s been a more active process lately.), and paring down all the things that we have. A house full of things will not make anyone happy. A house full of love could make anyone happy.

It’s not just the distraction of electronics though. I’ve been guiltified (That’s right, it’s a new word. Accept it and move on.) about housework too. How many afternoons have we skipped the walk or trip to the playground because the whole house wasn’t clean? A lot. How many days have I wished we wouldn’t have gone to the playground and stayed home to clean? Absolutely none.  So in the last two weeks we have spent afternoons on the deck, sitting in the pool. Making and playing playdough on days when it’s been gray and raining. We have been living and loving.  And I have still gotten a few loads of laundry done in between. I’m calling success. There’s food in their bellies, clothes on their backs (or at the least covering their bottoms- hey, they’re little!), and definitely smiles on their faces. They’ve been happier with me, and I’ve been happier with them.

I have another confession. I thought I would feel really resentful of not getting the day time to process out blog posts, but I’ve actually found it to be freeing once I let it go. I don’t want to lose the blog (or my lovely, wonderful followers), but I do feel like I’ve found my life. You see, I was   trying to have it “all.” (But really, aren’t we all?) I wanted to have a perfectly clean, perfectly organized home; a well-loved family who I spend intentional time with; a successful blog; an abundant garden; and the start of a new career. Most of these things could take up most of your day if not all of your day, individually. And I was trying for it all, simultaneously. I felt like everything was only being half-done and half-heartedly at best. So I’ve already mentioned how freeing it feels, but I’m going to say it again. Totally freeing. I can throw in laundry in between games, activities, and outside fun with the kids (and gardening too). And TV has been limited too! So there is no doing things around TV times, we watch TV as it fits around our life! Which is obviously, how it should be! Totally freeing. And I feel so much happier and content the more and more we move towards our intentional living ideals. It’s awesome. I’m less stressed, I’m less frantic, and I think I actually do get more things done because I have less distractions and aren’t trying to do 100 things all at the same time. As the kids get older, some things will be easier and time may be more easily managed (and maybe some day I’ll have help with the laundry), but for now this is where I’m at. And I’m loving it.

For my fellow bloggers- I’m still following! I do most of my reading on my phone which makes it impossible to leave comments, but I am still reading and enjoying all the lovely and funny things you have to say! One of these days you will each have a million notices from all the liking and commenting catching up I’ll do! I am also intending to get some posting done this week (and hubby has agreed to help make some time available for me on the weekends too so I can do some posting and scheduling.) so I’m not gone, just living.


Life Begins After Coffee

Well, folks… there are some changes coming. Our family had agreed to do in-home daycare for some dear friends of ours. And they’ve since changed their minds. Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled to have been asked and excited to have a tiny baby in our home again… but I am relieved. I can’t say I’m not at all disappointed, but overall I feel like this is the best for everyone. They will likely use a center so that they don’t have to worry about what they’ll do if I get sick, and I will have the freedom to continue taking on doula clients instead of only being able to do “scheduled” ones. Plus, it means I have some freedom still with the kids- we can go on day trips to visit friends and family, and we can still leave early for weekend getaways, without having to wait until pick up and leaving at bedtime. These are real advantages. I figure I’ll settle for being friends and maybe they’ll let me babysit once in a while! (Yes, I do love babies *that* much!)

So… it means I need to set up a website for doula clients to find me, refine what my services will be, and fun things like that. Plus, we’re wanting to start selling some of our homemade personal products! So you can be looking forward to some giveaways in the near future! We’ve decided that since natural and organic and living with intention are things that we’re passionate about and believe in, we will offer the recipes along with the products! So if you want to make it yourself- fantastic! We’ll help you! Just want to try it out, before you invest in the ingredients? Perfect- we’ll sell you some samples. Or you just don’t want to go through the hassle of making it yourself, no big deal- we’ve got you covered! Sound exciting? I think so too!

And… my hubby is fixing my laptop!! I’m not sure if it was becomes of the time lapse, or just a different customer service rep, but they were no longer willing to cover shipping, and we will had to pay for the repairs… so he took it to work today to take it apart and check out if he could just buy a replacement screen and exactly what kind he’d need. Apparently it’s cheaper. I’ve got my fingers crossed that it happens before our big trip in June! Between no laptop and my tablet dying… (which we’d always used in place of getting a new portable dvd player) it may be a really long trip for the kiddos. So that’s pretty exciting. I’ve been waiting since February for that!

And because I have so many new and exciting things and adventures that I want to begin… I need some organization. At home. At my desk. In my life. So I’m signing off here (for today) and getting to it… but I couldn’t help but leave you with this first:

I need this put onto a tshirt. Then I could rotate between that one and my current favorite T, which reads: Life begins after Coffee. 


A Love To Last

So, I’ve been thinking, lately about the way children grow. This weekend I attended the beautiful wedding of one of my cousins. Now this cousin happens to be one that I carried on my hip for years. I’ve always loved children, and especially babies. And he was “my” baby. And I just witnessed him becoming a husband. Thinking about how old that must’ve made me feel? I hadn’t thought of that, but thanks for rubbing it in pointing it out. And it left me thinking about how just a few minutes ago, it seems, I was a tween, and he just a baby… it makes me realize that in seemingly a few more minutes, I’ll be watching my own children walk down the aisle. And that is truly mind blowing.

While I thought about what it would be like to watch one of my babies pledge their lives to someone, other than me, I couldn’t help but think of all the things I hope they find in a partner. I mean, how many times have we watched friends and family in relationships where we’re like Ugh, what do they see in him? Or How can he not see the way she treats him? But, let’s face it, it’s fairly safe to say that lots of us have been in a relationship like that. Where we couldn’t see what was right in front of our faces. So how do I teach my children to avoid that? How do I tell them about the things to look for in a spouse?

The long and short of it is that I show them.

I teach my daughter that although sometimes it feels like she will never stop talking, all of her words are worth listening to. I teach my sons that honesty is more important than being the one that is right. I show my daughter that true beauty is in showing kindness to those who are undeserving, because in reality, everyone deserves a little kindness. I show my boys the importance of gentleness. I show my daughter that her dreams are as important as anyone else’s by living out my own. I show my sons that raising a family is thing to be proud of, by having pride in our daily interactions. I show my children what commitment looks like. I show my children that their father is a man worthy of respect, by the way that I respect him. I show my children that I am not servant to their father, who follows behind him, but a partner, who walks along side of him. I show my children these things because this is how they will choose their partner. These are the ideals they’ll carry with them. The way their father and I relate to each other, and the way we relate to them. I can only hope that they see all the things I am trying to show them. And that I can remember to behave in a way that is intentional, so that I am showing them, and teaching them patience. With each other. With me. With their future partners. Because heaven knows, in marriage, and in life, you need a lot of patience to get you through.

To my baby cousin, who is now a married man, and his sweet wife: Hold hands, even when you don’t feel like it. Kiss each other goodnight, even when you don’t want to. Have a tradition that you stick to, and really stick to it. Because when you continue to behave as if you’re madly in love, it’s hard for those feelings not to follow. And in the hard times, that will get you through. And DO go to sleep mad once in a while. Sometimes you do need some sleep to think clear-headed and not to just say words out of frustration, anger, and sleep deprivation. Don’t look at arguments as an end, rather as a beginning to learning better forms of communication between each other. And from a former young bride to another, remember that while others may think you young and naive, really it just leaves you with all the more years of growing old together- and making fun of those that stood in your way.  Love you!



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