2/52

A portrait of my daughters once a week in 2017
Big: begged me to let her watch the baby while I made dinner, saying “please mama, I can take care of her”  She did a great job too.

Little: has decided she’s cranky as hell for those watching her while I’m at work this week.  Not cool kid, not cool.

1/52

A portrait of my daughters once a week in 2017

I knew I wanted to do another year long photo project this year, but was debating between a 52 or 365.  Then I realized I have 4 year old and a 3 month old, I work part time and am alone with the kids the vast majority of their waking hours.  So 52 it is.  I haven’t picked up my real camera anywhere near often enough since this little was born and need a kick in the ass to do so.  Damn the iPhone camera for being so convent ant and sophisticated.  I’ve decided to also include a few choice moments from their weeks with their photos.  

Big: received her first pair of clip on earrings  today and declared she needed them to hear better since she lost her ear.

Little: has found her voice and is using it nonstop.  We’ve referred to her as a howling cat quite often as she seems to like screeching the most. 

Two months

Last week she hit the two month mark.  She’s been happier and getting to be easier to please most days.  Photographing her is becoming trickier as she’s becoming quite wiggly while awake.  The few smiles we get out of her are pretty priceless and I can’t wait to see more of them as the days pass.  

One month

img_1409In a few short hours this little babe will be one month old. Time has simultaneously flown by and slowed to a crawl. It seems like just days ago we brought her home, yet some days have seemed incredibly long. In a way it’s hard to remember what life was like before she came along. She’s not quite the easy baby my husband was so certain she would be, but we are figuring out a rhythm slowly but surely. Seeing the love our two girls share is definitely the best part of it all. Watching her become more aware, and interested in her big sister is fascinating and I can’t wait to watch their relationship grow. The love that’s already developing is so sweet and genuine, it almost hurts my heart. The two of them are the best part of our world, and I can’t wait to see their friendship grow.

Little pumpkins

imageimageimageimageimageShe was far more excited about picking out little hats for her and her sister than the actual pumpkins, probably because we had already picked out a number of pumpkins at a different farm the day before.  But anytime you involve hats, this kid is in. 

6 lbs 14oz

We welcomed this girl into our lives last Friday night.  In a whirlwind of pain and excitement, it was an intense experience I won’t soon forget, but barely remember.  

My heart is so full as my achy body tries to slowly recover, quicker than I thought possible, yet not quite as quickly as I’d like.My husband looked at me the other day, while I was holding our brand new baby and said “you needed a baby”  He told me how I needed her to make me whole, and to heal me from the chaos that was the birth of our first daughter.   She’s 10 days old today and I’ve held her so much it feels like second nature.  The first time around I had barely just held my baby once at 10 days old.   In a way I feel like my first born was cheated, but I feel so grateful to have what I do this time.I threw my birth plan out the window pretty quickly after going into labor and this time by choice.  I realized that this wasn’t up to me, it was up to my baby and my body and I was just a passenger in the process so I decided to do what I felt I needed to cope and if that meant medication, I was ok with that.  I had an amazing team of people around me, from my husband and doula, to the nurses and the midwife on duty.  It was an incredibly painful, eye opening and amazing experience.  I felt stronger and weaker than I ever thought possible, but in the end I had a perfect little baby, who I got to hold immediately and who nursed within the hour (and didn’t stop for at least another hour).  After asking if she was ok about 20 times all I could do was tell her how soft she was.  And how shocked I was that she had hair.We took her home 24 hours after she was born and she’s fit in perfectly ever since.   The transition for her sister has been better than I could have ever imagined.  She’s smitten with her and wants to hold her and pet her and take care of her.  I’m amazed by her kindness and love and her patience with me and the changing dynamic in our relationship.  She’s made a process I was so scared of, easier than I could have possibly hoped.  I do miss sleeping next to her, as I did every night towards the end of my pregnancy, and she’s said she misses it too.  But she’s not jealous, or acting out, she’s accepting and loving and patient.I’m certain this will get harder, I know babies change rapidly, sleep is lost and patience is tested.  But for now, these two little girls are filling my heart more then I could have possibly anticipated. 

On being Four

Yesterday she told everyone she came in contact with that tomorrow she will be four.

Before bed last night she told me she was so excited for her birthday tomorrow and then asked if it meant she got to use sharp things and help Papa build because she was four. She was ecstatic when I told her she can help put the dresser together for her baby sister.

She loves getting new toys but waits to open presents. She took two days to open the gifts from her birthday party and another two days for a package that came in the mail. 

Things I love about this girl:

She begs me for a sucker, then takes one lick and says she’s all done and wants to throw it in the garbage.

She doesn’t understand why I don’t like some of the games the older neighbor teaches her. All she sees is how much she loves this little girl and the kindness in this child.

She is becoming so brave and bold and fearless. On the playground with her friends, at school and work in ballet class. I never expected her to walk into her second ballet class alone and dive right in. She absolutely loves it and smiles and giggles and socializes the whole time.  

Her favorite foods are things like Mac and cheese, doughnuts and pasta, yet at dinner yesterday she only wanted to eat plain green beans for dinner. No butter, no salt. 

She rotates favorite people. Right now it’s Grandpa, and she’s constantly demanding “Grandpa play with me” which means, sit on the floor with all the small toys for as long as I demand and don’t you dare think you can get up.  

She wakes up almost every single night around 4am hungry. So much so that she can’t go back to sleep. I’ve started stocking fruit pouches in her bedroom so I don’t have to make it all of the way to the kitchen at 4am. 

She suddenly loves chapter books. Every night we read a chapter in one of her magic tree house books and she watches with such intensity it makes my heart hurt. She only wants one chapter per night however and immediately puts the book back on the shelf when the chapter is finished.

Last night while making her bed she found a small stuffed rabbit and said “oh cuddly fluffy bunny I love you so much!”  She then turned to me and said “Mama, I wanna give this bunny to my baby sister”.  I asked her if she was absolutely sure and she said yes and asked that I put it with all of the baby’s things awaiting her arrival.

This sweet girl has grown into such an amazing person, I barely recognize the baby she used to be.  She is the bright spot in our days, day after day, she is our reason for joy and for happiness.  The happiest of birthdays to you today sweet girl, I’m honored to be called your Mama.

Freckles

I discovered last weekend that she has the tiniest, faintest freckles on both of her cheeks.  Upon pointing this out to her she proceeded to sing this little song to me, over and over again.​

Transitions (and a giveaway)

IMG_1360

*Giveaway is now closed.  Congrats to Jenny!  Winner has been contacted via email*

It’s been a few months since we told her she is going to be a big sister this fall.  From the second we told her, she has been in love with the idea.  Before we even knew or were sure we wanted a second child, she was telling us she wanted a sister.  That she wanted to take care of a baby.  She picked a book out at the store, months before I got pregnant, that was all about being an older sibling.

She’s been a sweet nurturing little child since the day she began to show her own interests and independence.  Always caring for her toys, talking about babies.  Becoming a big sister seems to be something she was ready for, before I was even ready to think about it.

When I told her she could pick out some new moccasins and asked her to look at colors with me, the first thing she said was “I know!  We can get her the same kind and we can match!!”  She then proceeded to tell me all about how she would give the baby the moccs she had outgrown and she was so excited to know that her little sister would get to wear her shoes.IMG_2742She gives my belly hugs and kisses on a daily basis, and loves to talk about all of the things that will happen when the baby gets here.  Sometimes she gets sad when she realizes she still has to wait a while.  I’m really hoping this love, enthusiasm, patience and sweetness stick around once there is an actual infant around to care for.

This time she picked out pink moccs.  Which worked out incredibly well as her grandmother had just finished knitting her a little sweater in a similar shade.  She’s been very careful with her moccs, talking about how she doesn’t want to get them wet or dirty.

Now that it’s finally warm enough, she’s been wearing moccs to school every day.  Year after year, they are, and have been, my favorite shoes to put her in.  They’re clearly comfortable, and are great for whatever the day might hold.  The way they mold to her feet after a little time is wonderful and I find we get far longer use out of them than any other shoe, as they grow and stretch along with her little feet.  I love that these shoes look great with a dress when we go out to eat, or with shorts and a t-shirt at the park.  She’s been able to get them on and off herself for years now, but they are so great for little hands just learning how to put on shoes.  I honestly can’t say enough good things about these moccs, and often wish we had a pair in every color.

Here’s your chance to score a pair for yourself.  Just follow the directions below.  Winner can not have won any other giveaway containing a pair of Freshly Picked moccs in the last 60 days. Winner will be announced here on June 8th.

You have 3 chances to win.  1.  To enter simply sign up to follow this blog and then head over to Facebook or Instagram and follow Freshly Picked.  2.  Follow The Night Bakery on Instagram for an additional entry and 3.  Follow us on Facebook for one more.   Leave a comment below and let me know when you’ve entered and what other follows you’ve completed.

Vacation

We went on our first, albeit very short vacation in years.  Her very first vacation.  She absolutely loved it and did so amazingly well the entire time.  I am having serious withdrawal wishing we would have had more then just two days away.  I would pretty much cut off my arm to have a week or two on beach right now.  She is missing the pool desperately, so much so that she’s currently in her wading pool in her underwear.