Not So Great, Christmas Expectations

This Christmas season has been one for the books. A week before Christmas we made cookies as a family. Despite a last minute run to the store, due to having to start over thanks to a mom mess up, they all turned out great and were fun to share with friends.

And then the tables turned...

A few days later the girls went from runny noses to full on sick. Just in time for my parents visit to celebrate Christmas. What was planned to be a full three days of fun became a gross: puke in the van and bed, crazy spiked fever, and green goopy eyed few days for the girls. There were some high points. It really wasn't how I envisioned the time we would spend together.

Christmas Eve morning we contemplated taking the girls to the doctor. However, I recently examined the contents of medicine I just took, I wasn't thrilled about what I found. We decided to wait this out and give them a chance to fight it on their own. They hadn't gotten worse and did seem to have some good times where the sickness and goop subsided. We skipped making cookies and had a lazy day full of liquids and rest. We put them to bed hopeful that Christmas morning would be magical.

Tim and I played Santa, the scene was set. We were excited for the morning.
After a few hours of sleep I felt nauseous. Thankfully some good ol' Pepto helped me get a bit of decent sleep. I was fearful of a repeat of me being sick on Christmas a second year in a row. I woke up feeling better and readied the house for the girls. I stood at the bottom of the stairs to take a picture of their excited faces. This is what I got...
Not quite the reaction we were hoping for. And so began our Christmas morning...

Karoline was not sure how to react to being the center of attention or to the presents that were there. She was too confused and somewhat overwhelmed to want to go to the bathroom. After a few presents we did have to take a break so she could go. On the way up the stairs her sour attitude turned rude. Tim had to speak with her and remind her that while Santa brought the presents, mommy and daddy can (and will) take them away. Having to parent your child apparently does not stop on holidays. It actually may even be more important. This seemed to help...a little. The excitement of which we thought we would watch was not there as they went through their gifts. One by one they unveiled their gifts. When a box contained an item they would take it out completely and play with it for a bit before moving onto the next. I'm fairly certain two small pieces may be in our recycle bin. New rule, no opening the box until the paper is cleaned up. Glue all barbie shoes on barbies before wrapping. Identical presents may not be a good idea after all. One child sees "her" toy in the others hand and a fight ensues, even though there are TWO! Live and learn.

We had breakfast and then resumed playing. Somewhere in the midst of it all Karoline made a small mess in her panties. Something she NEVER does. I was in shock and had to laugh. The morning I had envisioned as so magical had go to, um, poo. It just was not at all how I think either Tim or I thought it would be. As I reflect back on it I have to remember that we do have a 20 month old and a 3.5 year old, still so young and they were and are both sick.

Present examining was quite slow and took us just about up to nap time. Alexandra went down easy. Karoline never slept, despite me laying with her for over an hour (pushing back our dinner time). Alexandra woke up screaming, a sure fire way to know she didn't get enough sleep. Sure enough, her nose was stuffed and had woken her.

With the addition of Uncle Matthew there was a bit more screaming and crying on Alexandra's behalf in the afternoon. She takes quite a while to warm up to people. She did eventually decide he was ok when she saw the present he had brought with him. Smart guy. I was somehow able to make dinner through this. I was so excited to find an organic stuffing and as I dumped it in the pot I noticed the package said, "Savory Herb," in small print. Those little letters were more like a giant red flag. I knew I was taking a gamble when I didn't get the stuffing I know my husband knows and likes. Our dinner was mediocre.

The ham, despite being in the oven for much longer than it needed to be, was cold two seconds after it reached the plate.
My garlic mashed potatoes weren't as creamy as usual and my second head of garlic had disintegrated inside the bulb. I'd never had that happen before.
The green beans weren't as soft and tastey as they should have been.
The gravy was from a jar.
And that dang stuffing tasted like an entire spice rack of "savory herbs" had been dumped in the bag. It was not good.

The girls did enjoy having sparkling apple cider in shot glass momento's from a wedding last summer. Side note, a shot glass can drop off the table, hit the chair and fall onto the hard wood floor without breaking. Just in case you were curious. I wouldn't test this. I was fully prepared to have to clean up glass as I cringed watching it fall.

The green goop was coming back in full force as evening set in. I got the girls into the tub. They had my full attention. Thank goodness, because as I saw Alexandra take a squat position I knew that our insane day was going to finish with a bang. Oh that four letter word and that squat, "Poop." Thankfully I have become skilled in this department and on a poop tub scale this incident was only a 2. Thankfully Tim was home this time to bring me the cleaning supplies. *You know you're a mom to young kids when you have a poop tub scale.

The girls were content for part of the evening while I cleaned up the dinner mess. As I tossed the stuffing into the trash I managed to get a good majority of it on the floor. Par for the course for the day. I didn't even cry, go me.

As I sit here typing I am watching on the monitor as the two girls, who had such rough starts to the day and were so grumpy and whiney, take their sweet time falling asleep.

Today was not perfect. I had high expectations for today and realized very quickly that it would not be the joyous day I had envisioned. There were happy moments and those will be the ones I journal for the girls. A kiss from Alexandra. One piece of paper being taken off at a time by those sweet 20 month old fingers. A, "Merry Christmas, Mom," from my sweet Karoline. The smile on her face as she opened some of her gifts. Their joy of getting to use an actual glass at dinner. The smile on my husband's face as he opened his gift from the girls. The fact that he and I were so determined to have a good day that neither of us got grumpy or snapped at each other. These are the happy things, the little things.

There is so much hype and excitement in the preparation for a Hallmark Christmas. I think it's easy to get a Pinterest picture in your head of what you expect to happen. As the days draw closer we reminisce of happy memories of the past and compare them to today. Family members are far away or no longer with us. New families create new traditions that take place of old. Decorations aren't as we remember them as a child. Christmas lights are too expensive. Snow doesn't fall. Today was not how we hoped it would be. At one point I was ready for a new day to begin. I was ready to get back to our usual days with no great expectations. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I won't get this day or this Christmas with my girls again. We maybe have ten good years of fun Christmas' left. It might not have looked like the movies and attitudes might not have been as cheery as we would have liked. But, it was ours, there were bright spots, and it's one we will cherish. From here on out I vow to not have expectations for a great Christmas. My hope is for the mindset and attitude that each day, special or not, is a gift and a day I am thankful for.

We have one perfect Redeemer and for Him I am thankful this day and every day. Merry Christmas!

Summer days, slipping away!

Do you feel that? It's chilly in the morning! I'm astounded that summer is already slipping away. This summer was full of love and laughter with friends and family and is one that I will cherish.

So many exciting new things happening in our house (don't get too excited, there is no pregnancy announcement in this blog, just lots of fun pictures)...

Tim is recovering nicely from his ACL surgery and we are all hoping he will be good as new in no time.
Tim, post surgery (hence the pain killer bottle above Alexandra's head). Alexandra, with a 24 hour summer fever bug. 
We are adjusting to being a one car (truck) and motorcycle family quite nicely after our car accident. However, I do miss my van. I recently started working for BolderBand. I love the opportunity to contribute to our family all while working from home. We feel like the girls are also benefitting from having to learn that mommy is not always available right away.
LOVE my Mint Condition Lacy BolderBand. Alexandra still has the flu bug in this picture.
It's my birthday month. I have to say that I'm only 100% happy about this instead of 110%. I'm realizing that 28 is awfully close to 30. My hesitation is not age, but my happiness. I am so happy with the way things are right now that I don't want anything to change. I'm aware though that things can and I'm sure will only continue to get better as our girls get older and learn and grow. I'm loving every last minute that I have with my babies both being home with me. *Note, please note these two girls scream or fight every 10-30 minutes (30 is stretching it). Everything is not peachy all the time. I'm just learning to love all the little things and take them for what they are.
This guy. That backwards hat ... what can I say! I loved spending another summer with him. *Fun side note, my hair is 100% my own color. Hasn't been this way since I started dying it 10 years ago!

Karoline is becoming such a little person. She can speak just as well as anyone she is having a conversation with. She may not know every state or letter but I have complete confidence that she could take care of herself for an entire day or show a stranger how we do things and where everything is located in our home. Many friends have asked if she is going to pre school and the answer is simply, no. She is my baby and I refuse to give up any more time with her than I have to. We did find a sing and dance class for her that she will start in October. The class is within walking distance and will make for a nice outing. She also enjoys play dates with friends and "church school" on Sunday. She is learning letters and shapes and how to be a happy kid. We learn on the counter top, walks to the mail box and everything in-between.
Karoline learned how to make pop corn on the stove this summer! She also fought every single nap. The naps she will take until she is 5.
Alexandra is growing like a weed. Her vocabulary is sprouting just as fast. I feel like as a second child she is picking things up so quickly. I love watching her follow her sister around and pick up on her habits. I often felt we were too tough on Karoline. Now realizing that Alexandra is learning from her I am happy that we set foundation in place that we did with her and her behavior. Alexandra has become quite the eater and sleeper. I'm thankful that she's caught on so quickly to those most essential life lessons. Parenting is so much easier when you can count on a good 11-12 hours of sleep from your almost 16 month old.
Her favorite place to be... when my hip isn't an option.
Our lives are ever changing and quickly at that. When I put my girls to bed I'm happy to reflect on another day well spent with them. Our rough days are getting fewer and farther apart. We had a great summer together and for that I am so thankful. Since blogs are better with pictures here are a few more from our summer!

 We had a great weekend getaway celebrating my cousins wedding in Buena Vista to kick off the summer.
 We made the most of our zoo pass. 
 We loved getting to go with friends! 
We taught Nana and Papa to take selfies.
There were many water/pool days. 
 We blew lots of bubbles! 
 We got to spend time with our adorable niece, Anna (and her parents)...

 And our family!
And some days we just sat and watched the world go by. 

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." -John 14:27

Heavy Load

Last Wednesday I took my husband to have ACL reconstruction surgery. I'm not sure what I was thinking when I thought it would be easy. I didn't prep meals, or set up help with the lawn, I almost didn't even have a baby sitter for surgery. 

I should have over prepped. It was a rough couple days. Maybe not rough but constant. Ok, it was rough.

On Friday just hours after taking Tim to Physical Therapy I had to return to the same building to get him another prescription. I wasn't thrilled, who has time for that. 

Upon leaving my mom (the baby sitter for surgery day-- thank you mom), the girls and I were hit by a driver who had missed his exit and cut across all three lanes of traffic to make an illegal U turn. I had no choice but to hit him. I knew there was no one behind me but was unsure if there were cars next to me and could not swerve. No one was hurt and we hardly felt the impact at all. 

This accident of course came with its fair share of phone calls and paper work. But if I had to do it all again, I would. Shout out to Country Financial for making this a seamless process. We ended up with two brand new car seats. 
It's been hot, don't judge the naked child.

We will have a rental car for a week. Here's the kicker, our loan on our van was paid in full AND we will also receive a check in the mail that is just about the same amount as what was paid on our van. I guess you could say my car accident was an investment in a weird way. Throughout this process I've tried to stay calm and focus on all of the positives. A broken microwave, falling down the stairs and a child with a fever of 102.7° for two days can't keep me down. I just keep thinking about Esther 4:14, that moment can be any moment. 

I've found myself wound up and anxious throughout the process from time to time. And then I read this ... 
On a grand scale my week has been a walk in the park compared to some. For me this is a lot in one week and I have to give that credit. However, it's all on me. I choose how I will carry this load. Lately I really have to focus on not getting worked up or ahead of myself. I'm having to ignore messes like this ... 
This "mess" is allowing my girls to play and me a minute of sitting down, something I really don't do often. 

I've picked going to the park over going to the store to allow for more enjoyable moments with my girls. 
We went to this park while Tim was in Physical Therapy... We didn't stay long after I saw this!!

There will always be something that I "need" to do. There will be a long list of things I "want" to do for years. Now I'm focusing on how I carry my load. I was breaking my own back (funny enough my fall down the stairs resulted in a nice bruise and scratch on my back). I was getting ahead of myself mentally and physically, you really should get down the stair before taking your next step. As I sit and watch the girls play I am fighting off the urge to vacuum and keep the house the way I like it. I know that all too soon my house will be the way I want it to be and I'll be wishing for messes. 

Here's to going out for dinner for the first time in months (even if it is to Chick-Fil-A with a gift card) and enjoying now, instead of stressing over meal prep. Here's to Cheerios in the carpet and an insane amount of sticky finger prints all over the house. 

Re-evaluate your load! I know my pack will need lightening from time to time. Thank you to our friends who have helped me lighten my load. Thank you to those that watched our girls. 
Mowed our lawn and brought us ice cream (my go to) and bacon (because, "What guy doesn't like bacon?") and toys for the girls.

To the friends who offered and I knew I could count on if we needed you, thank you.

We have been in our house for two years and have made a group of great friends. One last goal I have for myself (and for all of you), make more friends, lots of friends. Friends are good for the soul. They will be there when your load gets heavy and that is an immeasurable blessing. 

One mom. Two kids.

It's not uncommon for a mom to have two kids. As a matter of fact, it's pretty average. Then why is it so hard? Why are there minutes that feel like hours? Days that seem like they will never end? Then they do. You gaze over your sleeping children and realize you won't get another today. You beat yourself up at this realization because you didn't make the most of the day you were given. You wonder why you don't have the patience that it takes to not snap or yell at your toddler while your one year old is screaming. It wasn't her fault after all, just poor timing. You wonder did they eat enough, sleep enough, did the oldest one even drink any water today? Then one of them stirs in their sleep and you get out and shut the door as quickly as you can while carefully making sure to not allow the doorknob to click. I hate that click.

For the most part life with two kids over the last fifteen months has been a fairly smooth transition in many regards. We are still on time for appointments. When we meet up with friends we are usually one of the first to arrive. The girls are clean and have clean clothes on. I should probably wash their sheets more often. When I do something happens where they have to be washed again within 24 hours. Every. Single. Time. I deep clean the house once a week and pick up all day, every day to keep my house the way I like it, kind of. When we go to an outing with our friends that have one child we can usually get ourselves ready to get going in about the same amount of time they do.
Over the course of the last three weeks we've had some of the most trying days that we've had yet with two kids. It started with Karoline throwing up one night. We thought she was just hot. After the carseat and van interior was covered in throw up the next day we realized she was not just hot.

A few days later we made our way to Canon City sure that our troubles were behind us. We were going to have a fun four days with my parents. I think they would agree that it wasn't fun. There were fun moments but it really just was hard. Alexandra didn't sleep well and cried a lot. Karoline who hadn't gotten sick in a couple of days now also had not pooped. She was extremely constipated.

After getting home I battled with not knowing what to do with Karoline. She potty trained before turning two. Here we are a few months after turning three and she was requesting diapers and didn't want to get off the potty unless she was in one. I took her to the doctor thinking it was a UTI. It wasn't, just constipation and the ability to have control over her little world and bladder.

Amongst all of the bathroom drama I noticed that Alexandra had four molars now showing in the back of her mouth. No wonder why she didn't sleep and was a little terror while we were at my parents.

While trying to trick my three year old back into underwear we caved and offered treats for dry panties. This was something we never had to do when she was initially potty training. We even decided to take her on a special breakfast, just mom and dad, to give her some one on one attention. Hoping that would help the situation and she would snap back into her potty trained self. She wanted to wear a diaper, we let her. I was embarrassed. As much as I hate to admit it, I was. That was where I let her down. I failed my daughter the day that I was embarrassed that she was in a diaper. A parent's job is to love their child through thick and thin. To support them through their trials and tribulations. God loves us so much that he sent Jesus to save us from our sins. True, endless and unmeasurable love.

I know that in the future there may be moments that I'm not proud of the decisions that my daughters will make. This may have been the first of many moments that test me and my devotion as a parent. I only hope that when these times come in the future that I am able to remember this and make a conscious effort to love first.

All the while we still have our teething, fiery one year old. The child who refused solid food for about three days. She and I were attached. As a result we had a lot of sheet changes and outfit changes. I've never been so consumed by poop in my life until becoming a mom. I had one who couldn't poop and one that couldn't stop. Both equally as worrisome in my mind and every trip to the bathroom or diaper change I was hopeful that they would be back to normal. All good things must come to an end and eventually they did, thankfully.

Back to the beginning, when Karoline first got sick she was allowed to sleep in our guest bedroom. A queen size bed with no sister to wake her up. Getting her back to her room was a chore, but we were able to convince her. Alexandra was still teething and waking up despite sleeping through the night for a few months. I couldn't let her wake up her sister with her teething agony. In I would go to top her off and put her back in bed. Then up again before six in the morning. I was exhausted. Apparently after the newborn stage my body doesn't do well without the sleep it needs. I'm convinced we run on a different body clock when our little ones are brand new. The teething pain subsided, but she knew that if she cried I would come. Babies, they are the masters of manipulation I tell you.

Fortunately or unfortunately Tim's night shift rotation was upon us just in time. I had Karoline in bed with me and slept horribly waiting for Alexandra to wake up, she didn't, she slept through the night. The next night she was up from 3-3:45 a.m. crying. Say what you will and do as you will with your kids. For us, we know that she is manipulating at this point in time and only crying to see if I will come, she didn't really need me. I didn't go in. She went back to sleep and so did I. The next night, she slept through the night. As smart as she is at conniving she's equally as keen to pick up on the fact that I'm not coming until the morning. It usually only takes a day or two for her to snap out of this behavior. 

The last month with two kids has been rough. Probably one of the hardest I can remember. The day that Alexandra was teething those four teeth was down right miserable. The days spent trying to get Karoline off the potty and assuring her she wouldn't have an accident sucked.
Mixed in with all that madness there were these moments. Moments that seemed to stop time and allow me to soak them up. Little, tiny moments that I probably wouldn't have given much thought to if it weren't for a calm that overwhelmed me when they happened. A calm that seemed to remind me that these are the moments that make all of that poop and laundry worth it.

As Karoline was putting on her shoes she told me, "This is my left foot, and this is my right." She got them correct. While holding her bowl full of crackers and attempting to get out of the van she came to the edge and stopped. I was waiting to see if she would jump or not and already in my mind was trying to decide if I would just let her eat the crackers off the ground to avoid a melt down. I watched the thought process from start to finish. She sat and stepped out gently and told me she couldn't jump because her crackers would spill. I was overjoyed. After swimming with a friend we prepared to leave. She was following our friends out of the pool area and was getting ready to head to the locker room with them. I had gotten caught up with loading up our belongings and was not ready. The calm, which may also be part of our parenting style, allowed me to see what she would do. I watched her look at our friends and stop to look back and wait for me.
I can't explain the intensity of these moments. I am so thankful that I caught them or was prompted to see them, but they vividly stick out and I can replay them in my mind over and over with clarity. The reminders I needed to know that I am doing an okay job. She may not know all of her letters yet, but she has common sense and will survive and thrive.

Alexandra was helping me put on her coat. Her little thumb was stuck on the first cuff of her sleeve. Her other little hand came around to help move her coat off her thumb. She repeated this on the second sleeve. She exited our back door, turned around and closed the screen door. Just like she's seen us do. She fell asleep with me and when I picked her up to take her to her bed I got to just hold her like a baby. A wave of pride and joy waved over me with these moments. She is learning how to be a little person.

Moments like this take away the anger and frustration and remind me that courage isn't always getting it all right. It's having the strength to try again tomorrow and take what you learned today with you.

Three in May

To my sweet baby,

I have wanted to write your birth story since we brought you have from the hospital. Life happened and I'm finally getting around to it.

We had moved to Littleton. Your dad had just gotten a job at MillerCoors, which meant we had wonderful insurance. Naturally we wanted to have a baby. 

I had taken a friend to see the Royal Gorge Bridge on a slightly windy day but the motion of the bridge was making me feel much more queasy than it should have. I typically have a pretty strong stomach for motion. Over the course the next few days I started to feel an extremely sharp pain that sent me to the bathroom. On multiple occasions I would be huddled in a ball due to the pain. In the mean time I had a new patient exam to find a doctor now that we were in Littleton. I mentioned the pain, he jokingly said that I did not have listeria (there was an outbreak in cantaloupe at the time). He even joked about me being pregnant. He then said I most likely had ovarian cysts and gave me a very strong pain reliever. It didn't help. 

After a particularly long evening of pain I got myself up and to the store and to purchase a pregnancy test. I just had a feeling. It was positive. I dug through the trash to find the one I had taken the night before, the one that was negative. It now read positive too. I quickly got the display that I had in my mind ready for your dad. 

I wanted to make him breakfast but the oven was "broken."
When he opened it there was a "bun in the oven." 

We were overjoyed and a bit shocked since it really had not taken long for us to get pregnant. I continued to experience extreme pain. We weren't scheduled to see an OBGYN for a few weeks. When I explained over the phone my pain I was instructed to go to the hospital. They drew blood and performed an ultrasound. I had one a few days earlier that didn't show a cyst, or a baby. This time it showed what could have been a baby. However, they told us that the hormone numbers were not increasing like they should have been for a successful pregnancy. 

We left the hospital with the idea of knowing that there was a chance that this baby would not make it. The pain subsided before my first appointment with my OBGYN. Tim was working so I had to go by myself. When the doctor came in to talk with me after the ultrasound I must have had quite a look on my face. The doctor asked me if I was ok. I wanted this baby, I spent nights praying endlessly for this baby and now here we are, is this baby going to be in my arms in a nine months ... or not? She asked again if I was ok and if we wanted this baby? WHAT? Of course I want this baby. After she learned that my shock, scare and fear was because I had been previously told that this baby might not make it she informed me that everything was looking good. You, our sweet baby were growing right on track. 
 8 week ultrasound

After our first initial scare, which we still aren't sure the cause of, the pregnancy went quite well. I never got sick. However, I had to eat non-stop to not feel sick for about three months. Bread and canned peaches were my go to! 

 16 weeks
 20 weeks
 22 weeks
 26 weeks
 31 weeks
38 weeks
We went in for a weekly appointment when I was 39 weeks pregnant and were asked when I wanted to be done being pregnant. I was not ready for this question. I agreed to being induced on May 26th, the day before our due date. I didn't want to be induced. We went to bed on the 25th and could hardly sleep. I got up super early to shower and while I showered I missed a call. The ward was busy and they could not take us. I was relieved. Your dad was upset that I agreed to do an induction if that wasn't what I wanted. He liked the idea of knowing when you would come, I can't blame him, waiting was hard. I was upset, I was crying and went up to the gym at our apartment and walked on the treadmill until I couldn't take it any more. I got home and bounced on my ball for what felt like hours. That night I went to bed and when I woke up it was early and I had contractions that were pretty close together. I laid in bed and kept track of them, they were getting closer together and not stopping. I got up and took a shower and got myself ready while I let your dad sleep. I finally called the doctor when the contractions were about 5 minutes apart. When she found out that I had been told I was dilated four centimeters a few days earlier she told me that I needed to get to the hospital, now. I woke up your dad and we got ready to go meet you.

When we got to the hospital I changed into my hospital gown. They checked me as well as monitored me for a little bit. It looked like we were most likely going to be sent home. I requested an exercise ball to sit on, while we waited to see if we would be discharged or not. I had read every single pregnancy book the library had, I was going to do this thing right! Unfortunately I was not giving very good signals while on the ball and was forced to lay on the bed. I knew this was not the position to be in to help labor progress. At one point while on the phone with my mom, your Nana, and I had rolled onto my right side to get comfortable. The nurse came running in and informed me I needed to lay on my back.

You, our sweet baby, weren't responding to contractions. Not only were you not responding, but your heart rate dropped and did not come back up. Knowing what I know now I am so thankful you were my first pregnancy. Had we known that what I was experiencing were most likely Braxton Hicks contractions, we would have probably stayed home. Furthermore, in the days leading up to your birthday I had thought you were simply running out of room and that was why you weren't moving around as often as you once had been. At some point in this time frame I had told Nana and Papa they should probably get in the car and head to the hospital. Little did I know we would have you before they got there. We were going to be taken back for an emergency C-Section. Once that decision was made we were whisked back to the operating room before I could even call your Nana again, I had wanted another chance to tell her I loved her, but I didn't get one.

We entered the operating room at 12:34 in the afternoon. I was sitting up to be given my spinal block when I had a contraction come on. The anesthesiologist said I seemed tense, I informed her I was having a contraction. My original birth plan was to have you without an epidural, a needle in the back was not what I wanted. Since I had no choice I certainly was not going to move even a fraction of an inch while it was being inserted! I focused on your daddy in front of me, I was so glad he was there.

With your dad by my side the doctors and nurses all introduced themselves to me as they quickly ran about the room. I asked if I was exposed from the waste down at the time (the curtain was already up so I could not see), I was. Wonderful, I really had to laugh off the fact that I was meeting people while they were seeing all of me.

We were asked one last time what we thought your gender was. We both answered, "A boy." Then just as quickly as we had entered the operating room there you were! Your dad looked at you first and then looked at me and excitedly announced, "It's a ... a girl!" I think my exact words were, "Really?!" It was all I could get out because I was in such shock of the whole situation. You took a few minutes, or so it seemed, to let out a cry. Once you did I was able to feel some relief. I could see you to my right while they were checking your vitals. I could see your feet and counted all ten toes (a silly thing to do since they were all accounted for during your anatomy ultrasound). Again, more relief. Then your dad brought you over to me and I was able to hold you, my baby, for the first time.

Karoline Christelle Reed, 7lbs 10oz 20.75 inches, born at 1p.m. on May 27, 2012.
I remember everything about this moment, and I tear up just looking at this picture. 

The doctor finished up everything with me while your dad watched over you, sweet girl. Then we all were rolled to the recovery room, together. When I got to hold you again I said, "Hi Karoline Christelle." The name we had picked out for you, it fit and was perfect. 

While in the recovery room I realized that I hadn't called my brother, your Uncle Scottie, or texted him. He was the only one that didn't know we were headed to the hospital to have you! Of course Nana and Papa told him but I was not coherent enough to think of that. I'm not sure how but I ended up with my phone and called him (those spinal tap drugs sure do mess with you a bit). He was the first person to find out that you were a GIRL and that your name was Karoline Christelle. Right at that time your grandparents walked into the recovery room and over heard. That's how they found out. Not exactly how I had it planned out in my mind, but perfect none the less. 

The following days in the hospital were a blur. We had visitors. I attempted to learn how to feed you. You had your first bath. You slept in your dads arms the entire first night and on my chest the second. We went home after two days. That night your dad went and got Subway for me and a Domino's Pizza for himself. I remember you sat on your bouncer chair on the ground in front of us while we ate dinner. We were now parents to the most beautiful little girl.
 You were so calm during your first bath.
I love the look on your dad's face.
A few days later we were told that my placenta had "expired" and you weren't getting the oxygen you needed. Thank the Lord that we went to the hospital when we did. We are forever grateful that you came into this world a beautiful and healthy baby girl.

So many memories and so much fun with you our sweet girl.

 We had your first birthday party at the zoo!

 Your daddy sure is a a handsome daddy... 

You became a big sister...

You turned two ...

We had a ladybug themed birthday party for you in Canon City. 

Everyone told me not to, but I blinked and you are three, THREE. I can't even begin to understand where the time has gone. Leading up to your third birthday people would ask, "How old are you going to be?" You would put your tiny precious thumb and pointer finger together and make the "OK" sign and hold up your three little fingers and reply, "Three in May." You are an amazing young lady with such a fun personality. You are one of my most favorite people to spend time with. When I wake up in the morning and hear that you are awake I am grateful that I get to spend another day with you. Another day to try and be the mama you need. I don't always get it right, sometimes (more often than I should) I get it wrong. We are learning together my dear sweet first born. My goal has been and always will be to be the mom that you need me to be.
 We had a Mickey Mouse ice cream birthday party for your third birthday. 

We had a little photoshoot on your third birthday ...

You amaze your father and I. Our lives are better because of you, we love you!

Your Mom