The Goodwin Family has grown by four paws!! Meet Tux:
"The Good Ones' Dapper Tuxedo," according to the American Kennel Club. :)
He's an eight-week-old Havanese puppy, and we're all really excited to have him as part of our family.
The kids and I have been begging Mike for a puppy for several months now. (I've been asking for years.) And he decided now's the time. We picked up Tux at his breeder this afternoon, and we're all settling in nicely.
Kirsten Smith, of Lovespun Studio, made these adorable bowties to go on Tux's collar. After all, doesn't every Tux need a good bowtie? :)
We chose the red bowtie for his homecoming, but you can barely see it's cuteness under all that crazy fur! Tux will be getting a haircut soon, and we'll get a better picture then! Thanks for helping make today a little more special for us, Kirsten!
The kids have their own Tux-related responsibilities, and we're looking forward to this next adventure as a family. :) Thanks for stopping by to meet our new family member!! We'll be sure to keep you updated!
Subtitled: Why My Flooded Basement is the Best Thing That Happened To Me Today!
We bought our perfect medium house. It had a finished basement, just like we've always wanted. The former owners assured us that they'd never had any water issues in the 10 years they owned the home. We were over the moon!
Until the basement flooded six weeks after we closed.
Then last night, the shower drain started to back up again...threatening a second round of thousands of dollars of damage.
The first time it flooded, I lost it. I cried. I got angry. I assumed the victim role with a vengeance.
But this time, I just didn't feel that way.
From the moment the water started coming up, I thought, "You know what? It's just stuff. Even if it floods to the ceiling and ruins everything in the basement, I'll still be one of the most blessed people walking this planet."
And that felt right. That felt truer than panic and worry and anxiety. So I went with it...
Sitting on the drain in the middle of the shower with a wet, numb behind, I started to work through my options. I called my brother, and he came to help me get the kiddos off to school. He stood on the drain while I got things in order to sit on the drain for a while.
Then, I started calling plumbers.
The good perspective was great and all, but *this* is why my flooded basement is the best thing that happened to me today:
My dad called. While I was sitting (wet, cold, and uncomfortable) on the floor of my shower, he ran through a list of options and offered (more than half a dozen times) to drive up and help me. When I finally convinced him that a trip up north wasn't necessary, he did the coolest thing. He said,
"Honey, you call me if there's anything I can do to help. I'll come up right away, because the thought of you sitting there..."
And then his voice broke, I could hear the tears spring into his eyes.
"...well that just breaks my heart."
My daddy loves me, has always loved me, more than I could ever deserve. Sitting in the middle of one of the most frustrating situations possible, I was reminded of his extreme love.
And then tonight, when I figured out a solution to the problem? He said,
"I'm proud of you! I'm glad you found a solution, because it really did break my heart to think of you just sitting up there." And then on Facebook, he said, "That's my girl! Won't take no for an answer." :)
It may be silly for a thrity-year-old woman to still need to hear her father's love and affirmation, but I do, and I won't apologize for it.
I love my dad like crazy, and I'm so grateful he's mine! Hearing these words from him today was totally worth every moment of frustration, every dollar spent on the solution, and then some! :) Thanks for being such an incredible dad, Dad! :)
November 26th, 2012 - 2:00 a.m.
Well, Baby Girl,
The time is here. You were scheduled for an induction at 9:15 this morning, but we were all hoping you'd come before that point. True to your procrastinating roots, you waited until the last minute. :) You missed your Uncle Kevin by about 24 hours, but you decided to come just in time for Uncle Mike to meet you before he has to leave on a business trip. Around 10:40 last night, your Mommy's water broke. She and Daddy were resting on the couch when it happened, and you gave them a shock. Your Daddy said, "When your wife wakes you up with 'my water just broke,' you wake up. You definitely wake up."
I had a deal with your Daddy during these last couple of weeks: He was not allowed to call me unless you were definitely one your way. Texting was the only acceptable form of communication. ;) When my phone rang at 10:45 last night and I saw my little brother's face, I started crying. I knew it was go time, and I was beyond excited. Mommy and Daddy were going to wait a little bit before going to the hospital, so I jumped in the shower and got dressed and ready for the big night and day ahead.
Around midnight, I couldn't wait any longer. I figured as long as I was going to be awake and waiting, I might as well be awake and waiting at the hospital. Uncle Mike agreed to stay home with Ruby and Burke while I came to the hospital to wait on you. :) I stopped by McD's and got a sweet tea, then headed to the Women's Clinic. I saw the Eight38 car as soon as I pulled into the parking lot, so I knew Mommy and Daddy were here. When I arrived in the lobby, I learned that your Grandma Linda (Mamie?) was actually the first to arrive out of all of us! :) To say that we're excited would be a bit of an understatement, my dear. You sure are loved.
Around 1:30 a.m., Mommy was finally settled into your labor and delivery room, and she invited me and Grandma Linda back to visit. :) She looked beautiful! I am so proud of your mommy. She has been gracious, patient, kind, and joyful for the entire nine months that you've been growing inside her. During these final weeks, when many pregnant women resort to complaints and impatience, your momma has continued to be as sweet and lovely as ever. She's a gem, and you're a lucky, lucky daughter.
The lab came to draw Mommy's blood, and Mommy's night shift nurse, Ivy, came in to give us the low-down:
Mommy is supposed to try and rest for the remainder of the night, and the doctor will come in to see her in the morning. Grandma Linda went back home to rest up, and I popped a squat on the couch to document these first few hours of your labor. :) Mommy is tucked up snug under her blankets, and Daddy is reclined in a chair that's about a foot and a half too short for his tall frame. They're currently falling asleep to the sweet soundtrack of "Pawn Stars."
Yep. You read that right. Rick, Old Man, Big Hoss, and Chumley are the voices you're hearing as you prepare to make your way into our world. Hopefully that won't have any long-term affect on you. ;)
That's about it for now, sweetheart. It's 2:33 a.m. Your little perfect heart is beating away at ~145 bpm, and your mommy's contractions (which are still pretty weak) are coming along about every five minutes. We can't wait to meet you! :)
I love you more than words can say...
Mommy and Daddy got a solid four hours of sleep last night!! Good girl letting your momma get some rest before the main event! :) We all woke up around 6:30 this morning with the nurses' shift change. Mommy's primary nurse for these first few hours is Janey. The L&D unit is very, very busy today, so Mommy might be getting a new nurse here in a little bit.
So far, Mommy's contractions are coming every five minutes and they're mildly uncomfortable. Since your amniotic sac is ruptured (and has been for ten hours now), the doctor is probably going to want to get this show on the road soon. The nurse thinks he will order pitocin, so we took a walk to try to get the contractions started on their own.
Jarrod and Shannon (Mommy and Daddy's best friends) each stopped by to visit for a few minutes this morning before work. Shannon plans to pop in and out as the day progresses, since she works here in the hospital, and Jarrod will come back to visit later this evening.
Poppa, Nonna, Grandpa Sherwood, and Grandma Linda are still at home getting ready for the day. Uncle Mike is at home getting Ruby and Burke ready, too. They'll all be arriving shortly to hang out and wait for your big entrance. We surely do love you, Little Miss. Can't wait to hold you!!!
Hi Baby Girl,
Dr. Hoversland came in to see Mommy around 8:30. You were in position, and he felt that Mommy's body just needed a little bit of encouragement. He ordered Pitocin (a drug that helps Mommy's labor move along more quickly), and the nurse, Janie, started the line around 8:45. Within ten minutes, her contractions were coming nice and steady about 2 minutes apart. Now we're just waiting for the contractions to gain some strength and do their job.
Uncle Mike, Ruby, and Burke arrived around 9:45, and Grandma Linda got here around 10:00. Right now, we're watching Doc McStuffins and making small talk. We've taken a few guesses at your name: Grandpa Sherwood thinks you'll be named Esmerelda, and Poppa is stickin' with Pete. Ruby has guessed Lilly (along with Princess Snowflake), and Burke is guessing Optimus Burke. :) He originally wanted you to to be called Super Burke. :) We'll all know for sure in just a couple of hours...
Talk to you soon!
I forgot to tell you that Nurse Ivy is back again! She's pitching a double-header today, so hopefully you'll be kind to her. :)
Hey little lady,
You are taking your sweet precious time in getting here. Nonna and Poppa arrived around 11:20...right when your Mommy's contractions were starting to hurt a bit more. That's also right about when your cousins started getting a bit stir crazy. Grandma Linda tried to keep their attention by giving them a quick lesson in crochet. Ruby made a ring/bracelet for you, and Burke made you a snake. Yes...a snake. These are the types of things you should go ahead and grow accustomed to, baby girl. :)
Shannon came to visit again and explained some of the information on the screens to us. Dr. H also came in to check Mommy around 12:20, and she's nearly 100% effaced. She's still dilated to 2, but you've moved down to a -1 station.
Poppa, Nonna, Uncle Mike, Ruby, Burke, and I headed out to lunch at Olive Garden, and we're going to take a pizza back to your Daddy for lunch.
We're hoping to pass some time and then meet you later this afternoon. :)
Hope to see you soon, pretty girl!!
Hey Little E!
(We know your name starts with E, because there's an E on your crib mobile.) :)
We're 15 hours into your labor, and Mommy is resting easy with her Epidural. When we came back from lunch (at Olive Garden), Grandma Linda was heading out to get her lunch. Uncle Mike picked up a pizza for Daddy (Thin 'n' Crispy - Sausage, Pepperoni, and Green Peppers - from Pizza Hut). Then he took Ruby and Burke home to rest up for this evening. Poppa is napping in the car in the parking lot, because he wants to be close. :) Hopefully you'll come soon, because Uncle Mike has to head out for his business trip, and I really want you to be able to meet him right away.
Speaking of uncles, your Uncle Kevin made it back home safely. We sure are sorry he can't be here, but he'll get to meet you at Christmas time. He's currently completing an internship at The National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MA. He thinks that he'd like to pursue his M.D. in Pediatric Cardiology.
Grandma Linda, Nonna, and I are sitting out here in the lobby shootin' the breeze. We've discussed weddings, sending kids to college, menopause... ;) Anything to pass the time.
It's 3:40 p.m. now, and the hospital just played the lullaby which means that another baby was born. Nonna and I joked that it better not be you and after the nervous laughter died down, Nonna popped out of her chair and went to make sure. ;) There's a baby squalling on the other side of the L&D Department, so I don't think it was you yet.
(She just got back, and it wasn't you.) :)
Mommy is awake again, and I think they're going to check her progress soon. You really do bring a whole new meaning to anxiously awaiting something, my dear! I can't wait to hold you!
Well, Mommy was still dilated to 2 at 4:00, but she's progressed to 3-4. :) Dr. H is happy, and he's going to let her labor for as long as she needs. He thinks we'll have you in our arms between midnight and dawn. :)
Poppa, Nonna, Grandpa Sherwood, Grandma Linda, Ruby, Burke, and I are going to go to dinner, let the doggies out, and grab a few things for Mommy and Daddy. Then, we'll all be back here to settle in and wait for you. :)
I probably won't check in again until after I've got your cousins in bed. I love you! See you soon!
Hey silly girl,
The doc just checked your Momma and said she's at 5. :) It's almost showtime! I'm getting your cousins in bed and laying out all of their stuff for tomorrow. Then, I'm heading back to the hospital to wait on you.
I love you so much I'm about to burst!
Uncle Mike is on his way to Ohio for a business trip, Ruby and Burke are at home in bed, and Poppa and I are hanging out in the lobby waiting on you. Nonna, Grandma Linda, Jarrod, and Shannon are visiting with you, Mommy, and Daddy in your room right now.
Mommy has made some progress since earlier this evening, and the doctor seems hopeful that you'll be here in the wee hours of the morning.
The play-by-play has gotten decidedly less interesting over the course of the day, but I hope that one day you'll appreciate knowing how the day(s) of your birth progressed. ;)
I love you, kiddo. You'll never be able to understand exactly how much I do do do love you you you.
See you soon, Stinker,
Baby E, it's Showtime!
Mommy is 100% effaced, fully dilated, and ready to bring you into this world. Dr. H has given her the go-ahead to push, and you should be here in no more than two hours.
About a half an hour ago, Poppa, Nonna, Grandma Linda, Jarrod, Daddy, and I prayed over you and Mommy. We thanked God for your incredible, healthy, full-term pregnancy. We prayed that He would continue to protect you and Mommy as you move into this final leg of your journey. Daddy thanked God for your Mommy and her rock-star-ness, and he asked God to be with you and to make this the first day in a life that is dedicated to God. I thanked God for his answer to our prayers that Mommy would start to progress and not need a c-section. I asked God to be with your Daddy during this time and to reassure him of what an incredible Daddy he is going to be. Jarrod thanked God for your amazing extended support network and asked God to lead us and guide us to be everything that you, Mommy, and Daddy need us to be.
As we stood there, hands linked to create a circle of love around you and Mommy, I was overcome with gratitude. We're here, Baby Girl. Less than two hours from your due date...a truly full-term pregnancy. You are healthy, and Mommy is healthy. Even though your labor has been long, it has been calm and uneventful. When Mommy stalled at 2 cm, we all joined together, praying and asking God to intervene and bring Mommy to full dilation. Less than an hour later, Mommy was measuring 3-4 cm. And now, just five hours after we initially started praying, Mommy is fully dilated and pushing! What a mighty, good God we serve!
I wrote a few words about Mommy and Daddy on my Facebook page tonight, and this is what I said:
"When I was 29 months old, a bald baby with a big ol' head came crashing his way into our family. Within 2 years, he had caught up to me in size, and, not long after that, he surpassed me. My big little brother has been with me every day for the past 27.5 years. I have so many incredible memories with him, from playing Mall Madness together to pass the time on Christmas Eve to seeing the sheer joy on his face when he held my baby girl in his arms for the first time. Tonight, he will hold his baby girl in his arms for the first time. His life will change forever in the span of a moment, and he is going to be an incredible Daddy. I have never before felt this kind of pride, love, and joy. Happy Father's Day, Kyle Burke! I love you more than you'll ever know."
"When I was teenager and started to realize that one day another girl would join our family, I started praying about that girl. I didn't like a lot of my schoolmates, and I dreaded the thought of spending the rest of my life sharing my family with them. The day I was introduced to Kim Cherry, my brother told me that he was pretty sure he was going to marry her. I wasn't sure if he knew what he was talking about or not, but she seemed alright to me. Now, more than six years later, I can say, with all of my heart, that I couldn't have hoped for a better woman to join our family. She is amazing in so many ways, and I love her more than I can express. Watching her become a mother in the next couple of hours is going to be one of the greatest joys in my life. :) I love you, Kim. Thank you for being my sister."
And I mean those words with every fiber of my being, E. So, here are my words to you:
I've dreamed of being a Mommy since I was a baby myself. I thought God would give me a house full of kids, and I prepared my heart to love dozens and dozens of children. When Uncle Mike and I learned that we wouldn't be able to have anymore kids after Burke, that big heart that was ready to love dozens of kids broke into thousands of tiny pieces. I couldn't see past my grief to understand how God was going to use up all that extra love if I didn't have anymore kids of my own.
But over the past nine months, I've realized at least part of how God's going to put it to use. Tonight, I can feel some of the pieces of my heart mending themselves together and brimming with a love that's meant for you, my sweet. I am your aunt. I love you (and I will continue to love you) like my own. I will look out for you, and I will be here for you. I will make you laugh, and I will hold you when you cry. I will stand behind your Daddy and your Mommy, and I will love and support them as they love and raise you. You will always have a place right here in my arms, sweet girl. I love you.
I am so very ready to meet you, Little E.
November 27, 2012 - 12:19 a.m.
Well Baby Girl,
You've done it. :) You've made it all the way to your due date. You are perfectly full-term. :) You're the first baby I've ever known to be born on your due date.
Mommy's been pushing for about 2 hours and 20 minutes now, and she's sounding pretty tired. Daddy's standing right by her side and cheering her all the way. Grandma Linda is lending her support, and Poppa, Nonna, and I are holding down the fort out here in the waiting room.
We've been having a great time with another family that's also waiting on their newest member. It's a little boy, and he's two weeks late already. He's a big boy, so they took him back to c-section. He should be making his debut any moment now. (I think you should follow his lead...) ;) I've been teasing that you guys must be a match made in L&D, because you're both being stubborn and refusing to come out.
I sure do hope I get to meet you soon, sweetie. Nonna doesn't think I'll be able to hold you tonight, but I'm crossing my fingers. ;)
I love you.
Well, we have no idea what's going on back there, so your Nonna keeps trying to sneak back and listen in at the door. Unfortunately, the nurses are being very strict and not letting her roam the hall or stand outside the door. She keeps scoping it out and, when the nurse's station is abandoned, she tries to hurry back there.
The little boy that I was talking about earlier was finally born just a little bit ago, and that was the last straw. Your Nonna said, "That's it! I'm going back there!" And she got right up out of her seat and started to march back there to your momma, but no more than 30 seconds later I heard her shoes clip clopping quickly back down to the waiting room. She was giggling and said, "Nevermind! The Sargent of Arms is on duty!" :) Needless to say, she lost her spirit of rebellion pretty quickly...
She's now wondering (outloud), "I wonder if you can go around the other direction...I bet you can." ;)
We're desperate for news about you, my darling. Please come out and meet us.
Happy Birthday, Baby E. You are officially out of your Mommy. We haven't been able to see you, Mommy, or Daddy. 27 hours after your water broke (and after 3 hours of pushing), the doctor tried to help you out with forceps. When that didn't work, they took you both back to c-section. Unfortunately, you got a bit of your mom's anesthesia and you're in the NICU. We're all going back to meet you right now.
Not to be outdone by your cousins, you have decided to spend a bit of time in the NICU, sweetie pie. But before I get into that, please let me introduce you to yourself:
Eleanor Lynden Burke, you were born at 2:55 this morning via c-section. You were 22 inches long, and you weighed 7 lbs. and 7 inches. You have golden blond hair, the longest, most slender fingers I've ever seen on a newborn, and feet that you definitely got from your Daddy. :) You have got an incredibly strong sucking reflex, and I think you're going to be a natural at breastfeeding.
Right now, your respiratory counts are a bit high, and you're running a fever. You got some of Mommy's anesthesia during the c-section, so you had to be taken back to the NICU and woken up. You swallowed a bit of meconium, as well. Because of all that hooplah, you've already had your first chest x-ray, and the Neonatalogist has ordered a round of antibiotics for you, as well as a CBC. They're trying to rule out any infection and/or pneumonia. Hopefully you'll only have to be in the NICU for 48 hours and then you can go be with your Mommy.
Speaking of Mommy, she hadn't gotten to see you yet when I left the hospital. She was still in Recovery. I snapped lots of pictures for her and took some video to hold her over until she gets to come see you.
Actually, by this point, she's probably already met you and hopefully held you, as well. She sure was a trooper, but labor put her through the ringer. I can barely contain myself until I'm able to get back to you, Mommy, and Daddy.
Hang in there, Ellie. I'm praying that everything gets cleared up ASAP and that you're in Mommy's arms and on your way home before we know it.
March 6, 2013 8:22 p.m.
You're three months old, and I'm finally getting around to changing the settings on this post to "Published." ;) You ended up spending an entire 10 days in the NICU for antibiotics. Who knows if you actually needed all that medicine or not, but we're glad you got healthy.
You are amazing, Ellie Lyn. I can't get enough of you. Kissin' cheeks, pattin' backs, snugglin' you up! Shew, buddy...I sure do love it. :)
I'm lookin' forward to the next few dozen years with you, baby girl. :) LOVE YOU!
How in the world has it been four years, my sweet boy? From my tiny little baby miracle to my ever-changing, full of personality big boy miracle... It's amazing to me. Ten days ago, we celebrated your fourth birthday.
Your family came to celebrate with you, and we had tons of fun. It all started with a Perry the Platypus cake (requested a couple months in advance and crafted by yours truly out of pound cake, graham crackers, and marshmallows.) Just in case the Perry cake was a flop, I made sure to get a sheetcake, too. We used that for your birthday wishes:
I'm not sure what wishes you made. However, based on your reaction to your presents, I think a few of them came true. :) You had asked Daddy and I for Transformers about a week before your birthday, and Pop and Gigi had the same idea. You ended up with Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and Boulder (from the Rescue Bots.) We're still on a search for Heatwave, Chase, and Blades, but the best thing about these dudes is that MOMMY CAN TRANSFORM THEM, TOO! :)
I'll be honest: I bought your main birthday gift more than a month ago. I was absolutely sure you'd fall in love with it and think I was the best Mom on the planet. At first, it was lookin' good...you flew down the stairs...
...straight to the train table that I thought would steal your heart.
You and Daddy played around for a bit, but then it was right. back. to the *REAL* star of the Birthday Party: Uncle Jordan's Remote Control Car.
You, Daddy, and Pop were trying all kinds of tricks with your new car, even ramping it off the discarded boxes of your Transformers.
Unfortunately, Uncle Jordan was working, so he missed out on the ramping fun. Instead, you chatted with him on the phone. I think he would have been proud of your atypical approach to the conversation.
We finished out the evening with dinner at Olive Garden (your choice), and I noticed that one of your frogmuffs (a gift from Nonna and Poppa) had lost an eye. When I mentioned that fact to you, you assured me by saying, "No...he's jus' winkin'."
You spent a good portion of the day dressed up in some form or fashion. You enjoyed the superhero cape and mask that we got you for your birthday. So much so that you continued to wear it even while we went out to lunch and to Toys-R-Us.
I guess I'm sort of back-tracking here, but you spent the morning at the house with Poppa and Nonna while Daddy and I led worship at a women's event. When we got back home, went to lunch at Cracker Barrel where you scored those amazing frog earmuffs. Then Poppa, Nonna, KyKy, and Aunt Kim took you on a birthday shopping trip to Toys-R-Us. Whenever someone would ask you if you wanted something, you'd say, "Okay." We couldn't get you very excited about anything, but you seemed pretty happy with your choices: a police response unit Lego pack, an electronic semi-truck, and a big ol' honkin' TONKA truck.
All in all, you had an *awesome* birthday, big boy. We sure do love you! Happy 4th Birthday, Burke!
Roo, you make me smile. :)
You have settled in to school just perfectly. You have friends sitting with you at lunch now, and it seems that was the missing piece. You've been coming home with "Ruby made OUTSTANDING choices at school today!" badges nearly every day, and you're learning sight words and math concepts at an incredible pace. I love hearing you read your stories each afternoon.
Today, I sent a special note in your lunch. I think it's one you'll be able to read all by yourself. :)
Last week, you got to check out a book from the school library for the first time. You chose The Berenstain Bears' "Ready, Get Set, Go!" This morning, you packed it back up in your bag to return, and you were *so* excited when I told you that you get to choose another book today. :) I can't wait to see what you bring home this afternoon.
This past week you got a new bed. It's a good thing because last night you were up sleepwalking again.
We had a busy weekend this weekend. Daddy and I took you and Burke to see Finding Nemo 3D in the theaters. It was fun to tell you and Burke the story of our engagement and take you to see the tree outside Class of '50. You guys thought it was pretty cool to see where Daddy proposed. :)
Mike, Sam, and Corinne visited on Saturday and Sunday. We had dinner with several of Daddy's co-workers on Saturday night and breakfast with the Roths on Sunday morning. You were more than happy to pose for me outside of Cracker Barrel since you were wearing one of my favorite current outfits of yours. :)
I sure do love you, kiddo. See you in a few hours!
And so here we are, two weeks into this Kindergarten gig, and you're killin' it, kid! Killin' it!
You've learned how to spell red, blue, yellow, green, and orange. You've learned the basic structure of a math equation. You've been on green (good) or pink (better) every day, and you're taking this whole lunchtime thing in stride. Really, better than in stride, get this:
There's a student in your class (T) who can't play on the recess equipment because of a developmental disability. T has to sit alone on the benches and watch the other kids play. Last week, you came home and told me about T.
"T has to sit all alone, Mom, just like me at lunch," you said. "But it's even worse! I have to sit alone, but at least I get to eat food. T has to sit alone and T can't even play on the play equipment. Isn't that sad? So I spend part of my recess sitting and talking with T. It's kind of boring, but I don't want T to be alone."
So, this week, we made it less boring. You took some coloring books and crayons. Then you took a playmat and cars. And now we've put together a whole recess kit: bubbles, a yo-yo, little helicopter flying thing, more coloring stuff...
Ruby, of all the things you've learned in these two weeks, this is the thing that means the most. To feel compassion and to act on it isn't always easy. Sometimes you've got to give up something you like...something like recess. Sometimes you've got to do something unpopular...like sitting on the benches instead of playing tag. This week, you made a distinct choice to sacrifice your own wants to help someone else feel happy and included. I can't imagine how much that meant to T. It means a lot to me.
We also had the Kindergarten Parents' Meeting this week, and a few parents offered to pack nut-safe lunches so that you can have friends to sit with you at lunch. I'm hoping we're getting close to a permanent solution. :)
It was a short week because of Labor Day, and, this weekend, we went to Exploration Acres for Daddy's Employee Appreciation. You had fun playing in the sand box, racing the ducks at the water pumps, taking a hayride, and making our way through the corn mazes. It was great to spend some time together.
Altogether, it was a good second week! :) You and Burke even got a cool new pirate ship sand/water play table.
I love you, kiddo! I'm looking forward to Week 3!
A whole week under your belt! :) Can you believe it?
Ruby, you really are a great kid. Your first day of school didn't go exactly how I pictured it in my rosy-colored dreams. Actually, your whole first week of your educational career was a little less than ideal. Because of your peanut allergy, you have to sit at the allergy table during lunch. Daddy and I never dreamed that you'd be the only kid during your lunch period sitting at that table. It wasn't a pleasant experience for you.
On top of that, you accidentally got sent home on the wrong bus, because our change of address forms didn't get filed quickly enough... I had to hurry and drive to meet you at a different bus stop. Thank goodness Nonna was already here and able to stay with Burke!!
Your class was super, super full for the first week, kiddo. 31 students and 1 teacher. Whew-EE! You brought home a lot of coloring sheets and easy, easy pre-writing worksheets. You claimed that school was "boring," and we had a bit of a battle getting you out of bed each morning. I have a feeling your poor teacher was simply doing her best to survive! I'm so glad she didn't quit. :)
On Tuesday, I ate lunch with you. Then KyKy and Aunt Kim took a turn on Wednesday, Daddy on Thursday, and Nonna on Friday. You got to eat outside on the benches a couple of those days, and those little excursions seemed to brighten your spirits.
The week smoothed out day by day. By Friday, it only took a tiny bit of coaxing to get you out of bed.
You're a lucky duck, too! Labor Day was the first Monday after you started school, so you got a holiday straight away. :) Our Labor Day weekend was full of fun! We had Aunt Kim's baby shower, the Community Meal at Trinity, a visit from the Goodwins, and you and Burke helped us build a new wire pantry in the kitchen. :)
You're still as dedicated as ever to your art. :) I'll add a couple pictures of my favorite pieces to this post.
I got Mrs. Bearden's permission to post her picture with you! :)
You were all about your curly hair and pretty shoes on Thursday!
On Friday, I could barely supress a laugh when you came out wearing this outfit.
I don't know why...it just tickled me.
We did some hard work Labor Day weekend.
(I'm trying to be intentional about teaching you and Burke how to follow instructions and use power tools.)
But we made plenty of time for fun, too.
(Balnerina Girl and Fix-It Man even made an appearance!)
A couple of my favorite pieces of your art...
(This is currently how you say ballerina, and there's no way on God's green Earth I'm correcting you.)
You love rainbows right now. :)
You're continually talking about our impending trip to Disney World (hopefully Fall 2013)
or watching Disney Documentaries on Netflix. :)
Your dragon! (Most likely from "The Paper Bag Princess")
I sure do love you, Baby Girl. I know, I know. "[You're] not a baby." But you'll always be my baby...
You did it, kiddo! You completed your first day of Kindergarten, and we are so proud of you!
We started off the day with a hearty breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and bacon. I set the table especially for you:
Nonna came up to spend the day with us, and she even got up early to have breakfast with you. :) Poppa, Pop, Gigi, Uncle Marc, Aunt Stephanie, and Aunt Megan sent you notes, and we read them while you ate your breakfast. Uncle KyKy and Aunt Kim called you to wish you good luck on your very first day. :)
After breakfast, it was time to get dressed, take pictures, and head out to the bus stop. You picked out your long jean maxi dress from Old Navy with a pink undershirt and your pink sparkly shoes. You also wanted your hair in double french braids. :)
You were cheesin' for Daddy a little bit before we went outside:
:) These new faces are crackin' me up. I'm so thankful you've got so much spunk, and I hope we continue to foster an environment where you feel free to let it all go! :)
Daddy made you a really cool sign to hold for your first day of Kindergarten, and you finally got to wear your brand new bookbag and take your lunch box. I wrote you a special little note to read at lunchtime.
We sure do love you, Ruby-doo, and we took our chance to get a last shot with our little girl before she headed off onto her next grand adventure.
And then it was time...
I watched a big honkin' piece of my heart climb onto that big ol' yellow school bus and drive away... I turned to your Daddy, and the tears were slowly making their way down my cheeks. We began the walk home, and even your little brother could tell that an important piece of our puzzle was missing. (He was crying, too.)
Don't worry, he recovered just fine on his "king's throne" (thanks to Nonna.)
I'm so glad Nonna came to spend the day with me, because she kept me busy, and it still felt like it took forever for you to get home. :) But it didn't take forever. Before I knew it, I was heading out the door to meet you at the bus stop.
I watched one kid climb off the bus (a piece of someone else's heart), and then another kid climbed off, and then another, and another, and another. Eventually, the kids stopped climbing off, but my piece of my heart was nowhere to be found! The bus driver radioed the other busses and found you riding on the Orange bus. I made plans with the driver of the Orange bus to meet you at a different bus stop, and I raced as fast as I could to the other side of 18th.
I've never been so glad to see a bus coming down the street. You climbed off and ran straight to me.
"I missed you SO much!" you exclaimed. I missed you, too, honey.
I took an After School picture, and I got another silly face!
Once we got home, you sat down and had a snack of cinnamon graham crackers and milk. I interviewed you while you ate, and Boy! Were you thirsty! As soon as we finished snacktime, you headed straight down to watch a t.v. show. (How did you survive ALL. DAY. LONG. without a single minute of screen time??) ;) I sure was happy to see this little mess sitting in the living room:
After work, Daddy and Poppa joined us, and we headed out to dinner at Chuck E. Cheese (your choice.) Aunt Kim joined us for the fun, and it was a great way to cap off a monumental day.
You're my special girl, Ruby. You are being such a champ through some difficult situations at school, and I'm really proud to call you my daughter. I love you, Rooster. Happy 1st Day of Kindergarten!!
Yesterday, while you and the boys were at the football game, I took a quick picture of myself as a "Before" picture for an experiment I'm doing with my hair. This is the picture I took:
I almost deleted the picture, because I thought I looked really ugly. Instead, I just went ahead and took another one from a more flattering angle in more flattering light:
I still wasn't really happy with it, but I figured it would do the trick. For the next couple of hours, I was feeling a little self-conscious about my appearance. And, true to my masochistically introspective nature, I started wondering about all of my other flaws and insufficiencies. Did I say the right thing that time? Why doesn't this friend speak to me anymore? Am I a good mom? What am I supposed to be doing with my life? Do I even matter? What difference am I making? Is this really all there is? And on it went...
But then you came home, and this happened. And this happened. And I completely stopped thinking about myself, because I was just so excited for you and proud of you and overwhelmed by the fact that my baby, my sweet little baby girl, is FIVE years old and has LOST her first tooth and will be GOING TO KINDERGARTEN.
Later, Daddy showed me the video of us pulling your tooth. Do you know that I didn't even realize Daddy was video taping us until we "posed" to show him how the string was tied on? That's why we stand there like that in the video, because I thought Daddy was just taking pictures. When he just kept holding the phone up, I realized he was recording.
The weirdest thing happened as I watched that video of myself when I didn't know I was being recorded: I saw myself clearly for the first time in a really long time. I was able to see myself from the outside. I got to see you and me being us. It was amazing.
I'll probably talk to you about this when you get older, but earlier this year, I had a pretty ugly bout with depression. About ten months ago, I started feeling really worthless. I felt like no one really needed me and that I didn't really have any reason to be here. I felt like a terrible mom, and I honestly thought you guys might be better off if someone else was caring for you. I got to the point where I just wanted to run away. :(
And I know this letter probably seems like it's all over the place, but here's the point:
I sat on this couch. I watched that video. And tears started streaming down my face. As I watched myself loving you and helping you and comforting you in your fear and stepping with you into a new phase of life, I felt beautiful and fulfilled from the very top of my head to the tips of my toes. I still had the double chin, the extra pounds, the red blotchy skin, and the bulbous nose, but I felt like a completely different woman. I felt like God was saying, "See? This is what I made you for, Lindsay. No one else in the whole wide world can be her Mommy. Just you. And when you lean into it, when you fully embrace your roll as her mother, you become the person you've always wanted to be...the woman that I created you to be."
Ruby, I don't know how to explain it in words, but that experience last night changed my life. I'm so sorry that it took me five years, six months, 20 days, three hours and your first pulled tooth to realize that my role as your mother (as Daddy's wife, as Burke's mother) is the greatest role I'll ever play. I'm sorry that I've tried to find my worth in my appearance, or my occupation, or what others think of me. I'm sorry that I haven't always turned to God and trusted Him when He's told me that I'm enough, that you're enough. I'm sorry that, at times, I haven't been content when He's calling me to be your mommy, "just" your mommy.
Thank you for loving me so well, Ruby. For forgiving me when I've made mistakes. For seeing the best in me when I haven't been able to see the best in myself. For needing me when I felt so utterly useless. Thank you for showing me the best in myself while spurring me on to shore up my weaknesses. Thank you for making me laugh, for making me cry, for helping me to live deeply. It seems so backwards that you should be the one teaching me so much, blessing me so much. Whether it's backwards or not, I wanted to take the time to stop and give weight to these words:
I love you. I feel so incredibly privileged to be your mom. I hope that, from now on, you'll have no doubt in your mind about how much I treasure being your Momma. And I'm praying that God will teach me how to live confidently and contentedly where He plants me so that you will be able to grow up confident and content with where God leads you.
You really are an amazing gift Ruby...a gift that keeps teaching and surprising and blessing and delighting me moment after moment, day after day, year after year.
I love you, kiddo.
You and Me [and Daddy] June 2006
You and Me January 2007
You and Me February 2007
You and Me November 2007
You and Me February 2008
You and Me November 2008
You and Me December 2009
You and Me April 2010
You and Me March 2011
You and Me November 2011
You and Me March 2012
You and Me July 2012