laborofwonder

Where Whine Meets Wine

Sharing Life…With You


I know, I know, it’s been…months. (*insert gasp here*) Don’t think I haven’t thought about you, dear blog, because I promise I have not. I have often thought of you. Almost daily. Which is how I knew I couldn’t let you go, not permanently. Now, now, don’t be so hurt… I had good reason. I have these things that require a lot of energy and attention and time…

There’s this one:

He lost his first tooth this summer! And now… He started kindergarten! My baby!!

And this one:

She turned 4!! My baby!!

And then there’s this one too:

He turned 2!! My youngest is no longer a baby!! He’s still my baby!

This summer has been filled to the gills. We went on a multi-state drive to visit family and spent days upon days in the water.

We pranced around Lake Michigan

We climbed on a giant elephant somewhere in Wisconsin

Even hubbyman got a picture on the elephant, but I thought you’d appreciate this one more.

Downside of the summer: Biggest ran a ridiculously high fever most of our vacation and his only request was naps. (Boo!) When we got home we realized he had an abscessed tooth! (double boo!)

Biggest E was the photographer. We had our first kiss on a swingset like this. I like it.

For her birthday, hubbyman built her a doll house, and her papa built her the furniture to go inside!

Navy Pier, the anchor. Watching all the Sailors almost made me miss military days. Almost. Maybe just the uniform.

And I’ve gotten to be a part of lots of births -2 a month!- since April… including this sweet little man’s! (Who also happens to be my nephew! Check out his shirt- he’s wild about Auntie! And it’s true! The feelings may be are mutual.)

So you see, dear, sweet blog, I  have been a busy mama. I have been a moving mama. I have been a travelling mama. I have been a tired mama. I have been the best mama I know how to be. And I think that if you asked my children what they liked best about me not spending hours on the computer, on a daily basis, they would have said that we played. Do you know that I also gave up cleaning? Ok, ok, so that’s not entirely true. But I stopped making them spend all day in the house, just so I could keep up with the laundry and dusting. We spent the majority of our days outside, in the dirt, at the beach, at the playground… playing. And I only stayed up really late cleaning…a couple of times, and I’ve been ok with it!  My kids seem happier, and I feel happier. And I’d say it’s a win in all departments.

Plus, now that I feel…organized, in our lives together (and you know how much I love organization). I feel that I can come back to you. I look forward to sharing stories with you. I look forward to sharing life with you. Know that you have been missed.

Advertisements
14 Comments »

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.

8 Comments »

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!

8 Comments »

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!)
5 Comments »

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.

5 Comments »

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.

11 Comments »

She’s Not Qualified


I know, I know… it’s been a week, and I haven’t posted anything. I promise you I’ve been using my extra free time for good. I witnessed the birth of my nephew, I’ve visited with him multiple times (I keep threatening to -gently- shove him in my shirt and take him home with me.) and can’t get enough of him! I’ve had my grandma from out-of-state here visiting. It’s so fun to watch my children getting to know her, and her them. It’s just so sweet. My sister-in-law and nephew also came in for a surprise visit from China! And I’ve gotten to meet and/or talk to some really lovely mamas-to-be about providing my doula services to them! It’s been a fantastic week!

We’ve got a fun family wedding this afternoon, and the “big” Es are at their grandparents’ house to visit with their cousin, so we are soaking up Littlest and all his dramatic flair- he’s currently a dinosaur.

Before I go, I want to tell you about a post I was tagged in on Facebook this morning. A friend of mine got a card from another friend, and she uploaded a photo of what it said and tagged me. I loved it SO much that I decided I couldn’t help but share it:

she said “So! you’re a stay at home mom…”

in a way that insinuated

she wouldn’t be caught dead in that job

…and I laughed until I cried

because

I knew

she wasn’t qualified.

Have a wonderful weekend and remember that sometimes

how you’ve enjoyed your life is more important than what things you got done!

3 Comments »

The Doula Houla


I know, I know, you’ve been waiting with baited breath. Just waiting for me to write another post. Pour out everything about how my weekend went. Surprisingly, I don’t feel like it. I know, I know…it’s weird. I think that it all just feel really personal, and maybe I’m not ready to share that just yet. Sound strange coming from someone who blogs? Yeah, felt a little strange saying it.

Yesterday, I spent a full hour staring at the screen. Never getting more than the above paragraph out. I still feel like I’m at a loss for words. Helping someone birth, and apparently, even the preparation for doing so, is much like giving birth yourself. It’s emotional, it’s physical, it’s beautiful. And it’s very personal.

My weekend was so incredibly amazing. I was truly surprised at the diversity in women. And I don’t mean just racially or culturally even. There were all ages. While I was not the oldest, I was definitely not the youngest. Actually, I was probably in the top half of the age bracket. Another thing that surprised me was that half of the class were not mothers. They just loved pregnancy/pregnant women, babies, and birthing. And wanted to learn more about it.

Let’s face it. For those of us who are mamas, our birthing stories are highly personal. So much so, that they affect how we feel about ourselves. A mama who had a birth that left her feeling like Wonder Woman? Well, studies have shown that it can turn a previously low-self-esteemed woman into someone with much more confidence in herself. A woman with good self esteem and then has a birth that made her feel out of control and like it happened to her (rather than something she chose), well, studies have also shown that that will knock her self-esteem down a few pegs.

I think that I am also more aware of my role, as a doula, in doing all that I can to make sure that it’s a birth they can look back on in pride. Always keeping the How will she remember this? in the forefront of my mind as I offer suggestions and support. Obviously, I can’t birth for them. And births can kind of have a mind of their own… I’ve certainly had a birth that did not go the way I’d planned in my mind. It’s all about support.

I have received some awesome support this last week. Support of my friends encouraging me (and saying they’ll use me for their next babies!), my husband who listened to me unload and process through all the information and feelings at the end of each late night. Support of my family who kept my babies for a weekend. (The kids had a blast. I’m still feeling the repercussions of being separated for so long. I feel like it was too long- for me!) I am thankful for the wonderful women I trained with (and the oh so amazing wonder woman who led our training). They were a support, a help, a community. Some women had some great stories about birthing their babes, and others shed tears as they told theirs. As women, I think when our births don’t go according to plan, we tend to feel like failures. I mean it’s birth, it’s kind of what we do. What our bodies just know how to do. There is a lot of deep-seated emotions that go along with the thought I failed at something my body is supposed to be able to do instinctively, on its own. 

If you can’t tell already, I’m still processing some of my own feelings about birth. I’m learning to let it go. To accept it was it was. And to focus on some positives. Like the fact that when I wasn’t scared out of my gourd in previous births -especially my first- I felt like a rock star. I labored quietly in the night, letting my hubbyman get some sleep. I was relaxed enough to sleep in between contractions during the day, so much that the day seemed to go by quickly. I labored at home. I moved around. My water broke just as we were going through the gates to get on base (military). An hour and a half later… I was a mother. And he was perfect. And I felt like super woman. Like I could do anything. I birthed a baby, ok, that’s somethin‘.

The next two births left me with beautiful, perfect, healthy babies… and a little bit disillusionment of the medical world. I felt like this long, intensive, informative weekend helped in that aspect. Not that I now have unshakable faith in the medical community, but it was healing to hear of midwives, Drs, and nurses who have done things to protect the process I so fiercely believe in.

There is a secret in our culture and it is not that birth is painful but that women are strong.

-Laura Stavoe Harm

That is not to imply that if your labor didn’t go as planned, or it wasn’t what you wanted, that you are not strong enough. (Feel like that’s not a helpful quote for women? I can see why- read this.  The truth is that the quote actually is from an essay talking about how we need to talk more about our births. You can read about it here.)

After my weekend, I feel like that quote resonates. Even though I did not feel strong during the birthing of my last baby, looking back, faced with insurmountable odds and lack of support (outside of my  hubby and doula)… I birthed my baby. And that’s what really counts.

6 Comments »

I SHOULD Be Napping


I was hoping to do a post on maple syruping today… but I left my CD with all the pictures I took during the season in the truck… that is currently being driven by hubbyman. And can I just reiterate how annoying it is to have letters that don’t work on your keyboard! I had no idea how often I used those letters! Ugh. So I may still do the post later today, as he should be coming home for lunch. But the day has yet to unfold so we will see how it turns out! But you will see a post on it eventually, because I love the photos, I love the season, I love the syrup, and my syruping family!

I stayed up waaaay too late trying to catch up o the ever mountainous piles of laundry. It was pretty successful, but I am completely exhausted. I am hoping that it means we can just enjoy our day today. So far we’ve had movie snuggles, breakfast, and we’re currently doing some school work. Littlest is coloring Elmo. (Or Melmo as he calls him) MissE is requesting she get new letters in her name so she can try writing something else. I told her that she could just write other letters, but apparently she can only write letters that are in her name. And biggest is practicing his number writing skills. I am so thankful they enjoy learning and sitting and doing their lessons. Even if it’s just for now.

Aaannndddd since it took forever to write this with the on-screen keyboard… here are some things I’m really thinking.

(credit: designismine.blogspot.com)

(credit: www.someecards.com)

This is why I live in Minnesota!

(credit: pinterest.com)

(credit: someecards.com)

(credit: someecards.com)

And lastly….

(credit: someecards.com)

3 Comments »

My Words…Kinda


My B button and my N button (on my keyboard) are not working. And so I’m having to use my on-screen keyboard. While I am thankful for this handy-dandy feature, it is not conducive for blog posts. So today I am attempting to tell you how I feel, or things I’d like to say, in other words… All found on pinterest. I tried my best to find their original links. Or as close as I could get (I tried!)!

(photo credit: Urban Walls on Etsy)

(photo credit: chphotographics’ photostream)

(photo credit: i.imgur.com)

(photo credit: Pinterest/Deb McFadden)

(photo credit: BabyRabies.com)

Hope you find some reasons (and strength!) to forgive, edure, love, play, energize, and giggle your way through your Moday!

Leave a comment »