Month: May 2015

Happy Birthday, Bea

Today marks the second year of life complete for our Bea.  What a great two years it has been!

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Bea was born early in the morning of May 18, 2013.    I held her with a second-time mother’s confidence and also a second-time mother’s love.  Loving her and all of the wonderful things that came with her, came easily.

Bea was an easy babe from the start.  Still to this day, it is rare for her to have an “off day”, be fussy, or to not have a toothy smile pushing up her chubby cheeks no matter what the day brings..

When she walks, she bounces, curls dancing behind her.  There are two things that strangers always comment on: her smile or her curls.  bDSC_0172 2 bDSC_0178_2

The only trial she’s given us is keeping her safe.  She is curious, a risk taker, and a mouther.  Each day that has brought us closer to the two year mark has helped me breathe little sighs of relief as she learns boundaries and we are able to communicate more effectively with each other.  Still, we have a much better ER track record with this one (0 times vs. 4 times for MG), and despite being a mouthy baby, she does stay relatively healthy.

Watching the sister relationship grow and form has always held intense interest for me.  MG has played a mothering role in Bea’s life upon meeting her and it has yet to cease.  Bea only half-heartedly accepts having another “mother” in her life.  I think it is only as of late that she enjoys MG’s company and companionship.  This is one of our most earnest prayers that their relationship will strengthen and flourish.

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One thing I have noticed lately is that whenever MG is not around, Bea is a bit lost.  She looks for her, asks about it, and doesn’t seem to know how to entertain herself when she realizes she is on her own.  Sharing a room, I think, has brought them physically, as well as emotionally closer.  They both find one another’s presence reassuring.  I do not regret that decision one bit.

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Bea is a great source of joy in our family.  She keeps me lighthearted when I am feeling off.  She shows her love with kisses and full-body hugs.  She is loud and boisterous and social, in a way I find totally intriguing.  I often catch her waving at strangers and they find her perma-smile nearly irresistible.

As I look ahead to year three, I anticipate many big changes coming down the lane….losing paci, potty-training, moving to a “big girl bed”, and joining us for the church service (rather than the nursery).  Year three is a hard year….but I do think our joyful little girl will do just fine.

Dearest Bea,

I’ll never forget the morning you joined our family.  I was waiting for you with big hopes.  I had spent many days hoping for you and many more hoping for your arrival.  I hoped you would be many things: a daughter, a sister, and a friend.  

In your two years of life, you have been a delight to our hearts.  You took all of my hopes, embodied them, and then completely surpassed them.   I can’t imagine there was ever an easier baby born.  Your sister has taken great joy in you and that has brought great joy to me.  You have brought something to our family that only a last-born child can bring…a sense of wholeness. 

Your personality is one that will be envied by many.  You are nearly unaffected by your surroundings, but are happy and content no matter the circumstances.  You are engaging and kind to strangers, welcoming to your friends and family.  I never worry about leaving you with others because I know you will just be yourself the entire time I’m away.  

Your personality, and the many people that love you, will help carry you through this big year full of changes. You are eager for some of the change, I can already tell.  Having a big Sis to look up to definitely gives you some hopes to aspire to.  But you get to do them your own “Bea way”.  That is the fun part about being the youngest.

I cannot imagine our family without you, though only two years ago, that’s where we were.  In my heart, I always knew there was something missing and you came along and filled that hole right up.  

I love you so very much,

sweet mama k

also, a video

Updates

The well has run dry.  I’ve been searching for my creative vein lately and all I can find is unsatisfying dust.  It seems as though I can only tap into this creative source so much before it blows and then I must search for a new avenue to draw from again.

A dear friend encouraged me to write again today…and well here I am, plopping away at the keys, not sure what’s going to come out, exactly.  But writing is a discipline and I don’t intend to ever let it go completely.

It’s 8:07pm and I am typing this on my favorite spot on the couch, feet propped up.  I had to perform tricks and jump through fiery hoops to get an internet connection.  I am typing to the hum of the massive tractor that is tilling our fields and which I find rhythmic and  comforting.

It has been a long evening, one in which I’m parenting by myself; and though the girls have been saints, it is still exhausting.  I’m praying they will need little from me in this next hour so I can use some reserves on this post.

Being a year into this house, I suppose it’s time for some updates.  But I can’t promise any pictures, not tonight at least.  So words, for now.

Since my last update, we have actually finished a few rooms.   The entryway and library are both complete.  That is a very settling feeling as it it is the first thing we see when we walk in the door.  With the addition of some new artwork and exposed pipe shelves, the living room is complete as well.  I’m sure I will still layer in a few pieces here and there but that is the fun part; filling a space with the things that make you happy.

The kitchen is our main push this month.  We’ve been fridge shopping, purchased subway tile & hardware, added a new light fixture, and N is building some new upper cabinets.  I promise pictures when it is complete.

We’re going to skip the laundry room for now, as it hasn’t been touched, nor does it feel like a priority.  Maybe not even a 2015 priority.

Going up the stairs, the stair runner is down, a gallery wall lines the steps, and there is a nice little vignette at the top.  All that is left to hang is a large family picture.  After the kitchen is complete, we will shift our attention to this hallway and add new flooring and light fixtures.  That should be easy to get to this summer.

Finally, we have the bedrooms.  All three need a little TLC, some paint in one, and some decor.  We did something we’ve been talking about for nearly 9 years and purchased a king size bed.  We moved our queen to the guest room, but both beds still lack a character giving headboard.

When those are complete, all that’s left is the bathrooms.  Both could use a partial, if not complete makeover.  We’ve had a few contractors over to  give us bids.  We’ve only received one bid and it was astronomical.  Even if we did scrape together the money to do it, we would probably never recoup it in a resale….so for now, we will probably stick to things we can DIY ourselves…new floors, shower curtains, countertops, and paint.  Our ultimate hope is that by the end of this calendar year we will be 95% done with house projects and can finally feel at rest in our schoolhouse.

Bea’s birthday is in just 4 days.  My parents gifted her a Jungle gym which seems perfect for our adventurous climber.  My dad and N stayed up late putting it together last night and it matches perfectly with our playset. I’m excited to add to this a sandbox for her birthday.  Every schoolhouse needs a play ground, no?

I’m intentionally slowing down on SMM.  Not as in taking less orders, but just purposing my time so it doesn’t consume me.  I never imagined it would take so much of my time, but it takes as much as I give it.  I’ve started giving myself my evenings back to work on fun things or relax and it has made a world of difference in my stress level.  When N has a few days a week off this summer, I plan to ramp up my output a bit more.  I have some ideas of new products to add, I just temporarily burned out the creative flame to pursue them.

Speaking of summer, I am mentally there, though not yet physically.  The weather has greatly improved my mood and all winter coats, gloves, and scarves, have been packed away.  This is the time of year where we start making our summer plans.  This gives us the final push to make it through the last trying weeks but also helps us not to waste our summer days away and forget about the memories we want to create as a family.

Our saintly neighbor tilled up our vegetable garden today.  Our seeds and seedling will go in the ground in between the promised rain storms this weekend.  I’m setting low expectations for our output this year.  I’m just hopeful that it is enjoyable.  That will be enough for this year.

I’m reading a book right now that I don’t really like but that everyone raves about the ending.  I’m only reading it to see how it ends.  Sometimes a good ending is enough to turn my opinion 180 degrees.  Does that make me fickle?

-smk