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Archive for the ‘esther’ Category

2015-01-18 21.42.47

Esther Andrews, almost 3

 

Esther,

I am sitting here on the eve of your 3rd birthday and I am overwhelmed in the best way. This time 3 years ago I was on bed rest anxiously awaiting your arrival. After months of barely breathing, or sneezing or lifting anything heavier than a toothbrush….afraid that trying too hard at anything would jeopardize your health, I could finally relax. Now there we were, finally in a safe zone and I allowed myself to actually feel excitement without added fear. We were ready…I was ready to meet you. I imagined what your face would look like. Would you have my eyes? Your father’s nose? What about my long fingers? I’d hoped for the latter because I wanted you to play piano someday 😉

When I first met you something changed in me. Immediately I loved you. I can’t adequately descried this experience, because it’s just something you have to go through yourself to really “get”. If you decide to birth your own children into the world, you will understand. Nothing prepared me for that moment. It was everything, I felt everything in a nanosecond- joy, pain, fear, excitement, anxiety, euphoria….the most important…LOVE. I’d read about it, heard GOD be described as it and now I had the honor of finally knowing, feeling it…meeting it. You are love. You are amazing and no matter what happens in this life, please always remember and return to that. Things with shake you, rock and try to destroy you…don’t be moved. Stand in your power. You are love- the most powerful force in the universe.

At 3, you are a threenager for sure. You challenge almost everything and most days it demands that your daddy and I become our best selves so we don’t throw ourselves out of a window. It is normal for you to test your limits at this age…but REALLY…does it need to be so much!!?? Then I remember. You’re our dragon baby so this is par for the course. I remember saying something to your pediatrician when you were a baby about your drastic swings. One minute you’re an angel the next…well…”challenging”. He gave me good perspective by saying it was a good thing. It was a good thing that you can cry your lungs out, that you can wake us up at night demanding our attention because he sees babies who can’t. Babies who are too sick to cry, too weak to be “challenging”. I try to remember those words even now. In the midst of those many tantrums I try to find an ounce of thankfulness. Do I always, no…but I try. That’s one of the many lesson you have taught me. Be thankful, even for the challenges. Sometimes I think you are teaching me way more than I am you.

 

This year Fiona joined our family. You adore her and the feeling is mutual. You are the only person who can get the good belly giggles out of her. I was worried about how you would be with her. You were used to having us all to yourself, but you’ve done a great job sharing and I’m proud of you. This is what I was hoping for- daughters who could also be friends. My hope is that you two will always be close. Allies. To be fair, I also worried about how I would accept another child. I could not imagine loving anything or anyone as much as you. I had heard from other moms of multiple children that your heart expands and you find a way. It was true. When I saw Fiona’s face, I fell again. I loved this little girl so much! Even though that is true, Esther, there is still a little corner of my heart always reserved for you. Why? Because you MADE me a momma. You were the first to call me “momma”. You were there when I was stumbling through new motherhood. You survived it with me. The mistakes. The times I questioned if I was doing it right. If I was enough. If I could keep you safe. You were there when I questioned why on earth the universe would give me such a gift. You were also there when I rocked it and kicked its ass! You journeyed with me when I figured out how to speak your language. When I could look at you and tell when something was wrong and get resources to help. You watched me as I confidently stepped into my grace. You ARE with me. So for that, my firstborn, you will always be loved by me in a special way reserved only for you. That doesn’t mean you’re my favorite. Both you and Fiona are my favorite! 🙂

Esther, happy 3rd birthday my lovie. I hope this year will bring new discoveries and new experiences that will continue to nurture who you are in this world. Each year I learn something new about you and it’s been so cool. Sometimes I look at you and think, “This is amazing! How on earth did we make such a cool person?” Then I remember, we didn’t. You have always been and were just waiting to pick us because you knew we’d give you the space to be who you are. Thanks for choosing us, monkey. This wild ride has been amazing and we can’t wait to pack for the next leg of this adventure.

 

Love you a million bajillion. You are my happy thought.

Momma.

 

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Hi. It’s been awhile. I won’t waste time with inserting a bunch of excuses. Basically we had the baby. YAY! She is perfect and delicious…see 10497917_10152415248501195_8709602348851770029_o
Esther loves being a big sister…see
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So life has been good to us. Life with 2 kids is like playing man to man defense (that’s a thing, right? I don’t know sports), but most days parents win! Hooray! I love saying, “my girls” and so here we are.

Esther is almost 3. People refer to the “terrible twos” and while I won’t say she’s been “terrible” she has been full of tantrums. It has been our goal as parents to make our home a haven. A place where our kids feel loved, safe and most of all have a place to decompress. With that being said, we all still have to maintain our sanity. Lately it’s been difficult for E to follow some basic requests like “ok, time for bed” “let’s brush your hair” “let’s not go outside in just our underwear” ya know…easy things like that. I want to nurture the “free spirit” in her, but I also want her to realize that we live in a greater society that has rules (sometimes they’re ok to break, and sometimes not).

We’ve found that E responds to lots of praise and positive reinforcement. So, if that works best, why not go with it. To me, that feels better than punishment or the threat of fear. So we’re going to try nifty little charts I found on the Handbook of Life also known as Pinterest.com. We’re going to start by placing magnets after doing each task. I’m hoping that this will make our bedtime and morning time routine go much smoother. I’ll let ya know how that works out for us.

Have you found anything cool that works for your little one(s)?

I already made Fiona’s a chart but I didn’t post that because it just says “Eat, Sleep, Smile at Mommy/Daddy/Sister, Play with my Hands. and Poop”.

I didn’t think you’d want to see an icon of poop, am I right?

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I have News

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When I was growing up, especially during my teen years, whenever my mom would act a certain way or enforce some rule that I always deemed irrational and or ridiculous, she’d always close with, “One day when you have your own kids you’ll understand!” And in my youth driven naiveté I’d always think, “the hell I won’t….my kid won’t have a curfew I’ll trust them enough to come home whenever they want!” Ahhhh to be young and dumb. For the record, my mom was right… as moms usually are. Better to learn that lesson young, folks. Anyway, I have my own kid now and I DO understand.

Parenting is not at all what I expected. In some ways it has been. I expected to have an increase in responsibilities- normal parental duties like feeding, changing bathing etc. I expected the strain it can have on a relationship, “No…I can’t do (fill in the blank) I’m tired and the baby has taken all of my energy!” What I didn’t expect, and I’ve expressed it before in this space, is the constant feeling that I have to protect this little being at all costs. Does this feeling ever go away? Now I get why my mom enforced a curfew, insisted that she meet the parents of whomever’s house I was going to go play at and made sure she loved me enough so I felt I could come to her with anything. What she was good at, which I think currently I am failing miserably at, is her ability to run a tight ship, while also granting just enough room to fall, make mistakes and learn the lessons.

Esther is fearless! She runs, explores and throws herself into experiences….just as she should. She’s interested in the tiny ants on the ground and then a second later looks up and notices the vastness of the sky. It is refreshing to watch as it’s an invitation for me to reacquaint myself with the beauty around us just waiting for us to notice it. But, sometimes in her boundless curiosity she runs too fast, or doesn’t look where she is going and almost falls, or almost runs into a wall or ALMOST_____. Sometimes, she does fall. The momma part- the need protect part- then wants to make sure “it” doesn’t happen ever ever again. Also, I’ll think to myself, “It’s a good thing I was there, she almost____.”

Lately, I’ve been thinking about parenting and the impact I want to have on E. I’ve realized that oftentimes, I’m being selfish. I mean that in the sense of what I’m getting out of our relationship vs. if she’s getting what she needs from  me. Let me make it plain: I hover because it makes me feel needed even if it’s not necessarily fostering her growth and independence.

My baby isn’t a baby anymore. Fact. She is a card carrying toddler- ready to embrace the next step and I’m still stuck in the “she’s so tiny and needs me for everything” stage. I miss my baby sometimes. Yes, it was hard to wake up for feedings every 2 hours, but the physical contact, the snuggling afterwards and the look of satisfaction on her face was divine. The smell of her head was indescribable (you’d think someone would make a candle scent out of it already). Maybe it’s just me, but I would imagine that if you dig down deep enough- this is the root of most issues between parents and kids- the balance between letting them go yet hanging on enough to make sure they learn the lessons and you still feel somewhat needed. I don’t know, I’m just thinking out loud.

Esther is craving independence. I can sense it and see it. This indeed means that yes, she will need me less. I should be proud because it means Jim and I are doing our jobs. The toddler stage has been challenging, but I’m starting to appreciate that each stage has its blessings and moments of sadness.

This morning at 5:30 I heard her say “uh oh” on the baby monitor. So, I went in to check on her and she was on her tummy in her crib trying to go back to sleep while reaching around her body to pull the covers over her butt – it was cold in her room.  I swooped her up and we snuggled on the ground with a pillow and a blanket .She faced me and cradled my face with her hands and said, “momma, MOMma” and it was the sweetest f’in thing you could ever imagine. I suppose this stage has its fun/sweet/tender/ she still needs me parts too. So, there’s that.

Family Portrait, Andrews, Tanisha, Jim, Esther, Burwell House, Minnetonka

Photo Credit: Julie Hruska Photography

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Oh hey! I do still have a blog. Time has gotten away from us. We’ve been busy living life and going through the motions of each day. Those days have included graduating from grad school (me-Tanisha) and Jim plugging away at his MBA. In addition Esther has been blossoming right before our very eyes. She is curious about the world around her. So much so that her favorite phrase is, “Whatz zdat?” and “Dis? Dis? Dis! Dis!!” Yes, she’s got an edge too, that girl. She gets very frustrated now when she tries to communicate something and we don’t understand. Tantrum CENTRAL! We usually finally figure it out or just look at her and laugh because she’s acting completely and totally irrational and it’s hilarious. Hopefully we don’t permanently damage her resulting in years of therapy.  Isn’t that all parents’ hope though, really? Hoping we don’t screw up these perfect little angels dictators? Sometimes living with Esther is akin to what servants of Henry VIII must have felt like. One wrong move and OFF WITH MY HEAD! I wonder where she gets it from? Haven’t a clue, (;

E is 18 months. She had her checkup today.  She’s 27lbs (83%) 33 inches (85%) and head circumference, 19 inches (90%). Esther was talking up a storm and even told the doctor “Thank you”. That’s my/our girl!

In other news, our girl is moving to a new school and we couldn’t be happier. To make a long story short, where she has been going is no longer reliable. More importantly, Esther is older now and she needs more activities and stimulation throughout the day. We don’t need her to learn how to play the 16th Concerto, but she does need to start building her social muscles and learning how to work in groups. The new school is all about learning through moving and playing which is in line with our belief structure.  We are very excited for this new chapter, but it comes with a high price tag. So, if Jim and I start looking all slim and trim I can assure you it’s not because we went on some new diet and started working out. It will be because we had to slash our grocery budget by 95% (:

Is this what they meant by “sacrifices” when you become a parent?

Well, just wanted to pop in to let you know we’re still moving and shaking over at the Andrews household. I won’t let so much time pass next time.

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I cannot believe our girl is 7 months old!! Dear Time: Please slow down, thanks! Love Always, Esther’s Mom.

“I am 7 months old! I can almost crawl and I’ve just started to wave. My favorite food is still sweet pots, but squash is a close second. I LOVE LOVE my dog and I look for him every morning. School is so much fun and I have a hard time leaving each day (don’t like my car seat much anymore). Maybe next month when ya see me I’ll have some teeth. xxoo E”

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I am 6 months old and loving life. I love my feet and hands. Also I can roll both ways now. I started solids this month and so far I love sweet potatoes, peas, oatmeal and pears. I continue to be interested in my dog and everything within reach goes into my mouth.

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