Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tea for TWO!

I had really good intentions of a follow-up post, a real one, after the last one filled with ridiculousness. But, it’s like the universe read that post and said, “Oh really, Katie? You thought that was a big deal?” So, promptly the following Monday I had to get a new tire after running over a bolt. Later that day, our laptop stopped working and we took it in assuming it would be a quick fix only to find out that the motherboard was gone and we needed a new computer altogether. And one other crazy thing that now escapes me happened that week, too. I’ve lost track of the crazy. My sister offered us her laptop for the following week until we could get to Best Buy one night and go buy a new one. Even that plan got thwarted…which you will get to read about ;)  But, the positive in all this is that I have Rachel’s laptop, and with it comes Rachel’s music. And that is a very good thing. 

That following week, we were gearing up for Abi Kate’s birthday party, so every night we had something to drop off or pick up or get together. I’m not a great party planner, but I really love putting her birthday parties together. Even when in the preceeding days I’m stressed that everything won’t come together. I was so excited for her party this year because it is the first year she had an understanding of what was going on.

In the months before her birthday, she started making “tea” and “coffee” every day, multiple times a day for us. That prompted me to decide that she should have a tea party for her second birthday. The week of her party, anytime she opened saw something with tea cups or tea pots she’d say, “Tea Party!!” I think I was equally as excited as she was for this party. This is also the first year that she has an understanding of friendship. She loves her little friends, and asks for them usually once a day if not more, by name. I couldn’t wait for her to have them all in one place together. 
 Kid's Food Table/ Birthday Book "Sign-in"

 Tea Party table

 All the little girls really did sit down and eat together! And drink "tea" (aka apple juice) together out of their little tea cups! So sweet!
 Our 2 year old!
 Blowing out candles :)
 And snacking...
 And lovin'...

Tea for two and two for tea!

We had the kitchen for the girls to cook in, dress up, and the big slide my parents got her for Christmas. There were so many fairies and beads and tea cups and squeals as they took turns going down the slide I almost couldn’t stand it-- and I mean because I loved it so much. She was completely taken with her little friends and playing with them and it was such a fun time just to watch her enjoy. I could’ve cried just watching her. She’s evolved from this little baby into this little girl with a big personality, full of extremes in her emotion like her Momma and full of her Daddy’s mannerisms and soft heart. She has the ability to wear me out and melt my heart all within a 2 minute span of each other. 

I was so thankful for the people in that room (and a few that were missing, too). They know her and they know us. They know that she isn’t a perfect child and they know that we aren’t perfect parents, and they just keep on loving her and loving us anyway. They keep investing in us and in her, choosing to dwell on the good things she does and we do, encouraging us as we parent her and encouraging her when they see Abi Kate growing. They have stayed near to us in hard times this year and genuinely celebrated the happy times with us. Their children have invested in her, playing with her and setting examples for her to learn from. To be surrounded in a room full of people like that… it is good. Abi Kate has learned in this year what friendship is at its most simplistic level. What it means to spend time with others and to put others first. She’s seen what it means to be the offender, to be forgiven , and to have restored relationship-- kids are so good at that. She’s learned what it is to forgive others-- kids are good at that, too. Funny how forgiveness, true forgiveness- the kind that fully releases the offense and returns immediately to loving the offender-- happens so easily in the hearts of little ones yet becomes so much harder as we get older, or at least to me. It seems outlandish that such big things would be learned at such a young age, but I'm certain they are. I've learned much about my own weaknesses from watching her...and it makes me want to press harder into Jesus so I can love all people that way, easily and simply. I am so deeply thankful that she is growing up in the knowledge of what it is to be a friend and to have friends and to keep them-- that others have given her that opportunity. There are a lot of things we hope for Abi Kate, and one of those things is that she would be a lover of people. I sat on the couch, and looked around at the adults and the kids, and felt so grateful that these people both big and little have placed themselves in her life so that she could learn those things, and moreover that she could apply them, in ways that I often struggle to as an adult. 

Last year it was really emotional to see her turn 1. There’s just something about that first birthday as a mom I think. This year, I thought about the two days before… one of the best text messages ever received from my doula- “Don’t have sex tonight, ok? Tell Tommy I’m sorry.” It had snowed earlier that day and she was iced in on back roads. I laughed when I remembered that. I thought about the day before, cleaning my house and watching movies with Tommy- the sweet solitude and the ease of spontaneity--savoring the last day of just “us,” though we didn't realize it at the time.  I even told him, “Babe can you believe 2 years ago today it was just us two?!” I thought of that night, the realization that she was probably coming in a few hours. And I of course, thought of the moment that my midwife handed me her warm little body, breathing her in, and the breath-taking realization that she looked exactly like her Daddy. I thought of all our moments of parenting her within this last year-- the hard ones and the easy ones. The shifts that took place in our family and the ways that she softened the hurts and made the sweetest moments sweeter. And I thought about the future-- what she will learn as a two year old, how she will become a big sister in this year. I still cried when we laid her in her bed that night, realizing that another year with her has passed. She rolled over in her crib and waved goodnight, snuggled her Minnie Mouse. She’s so grown and yet so little and I just wanted to soak in those moments because I know they will pass with an intensity that I could never be prepared for. 
Snuggling my big girl before nap time after her party
 Her birthday morning, ready for church & a little bit extra ;)

The days before her party I felt this recurrent need to just pray over Abi Kate’s health. So, I did. I prayed that she would stay healthy through the weekend and through her birthday so she could just fully enjoy them. She did. And sure enough, the night after her birthday, I woke up at 4:30 am to hear her in the monitor saying, “Oh my goodness. I need wash hands!” I didn’t think anything of it at first because she talks in her sleep, it’s not odd for her to talk or jibber in the middle of the night and go right back to sleep. But she repeated this statement and then added, “I need wash mouth! I need drink!” I just thought she had woken up and couldn’t go back to sleep, so I went into her room and sure enough-- vomit. Her first stomach virus. At least we made it to age 2? And bless her, she DID need to wash her hands and mouth-- and she definitely needed a drink and new jammies and new sheets. I was doing good cleaning up, and then my body remembered I was pregnant and I started gagging, so I called out for Tommy. We cleaned her up and laid her back down, both mentioning that we felt kind of queasy too and maybe it was just the dinner we ate. At 6:00, we woke up to the same, “I need wash hands! I need drink!” I was still nauseated, but let’s be honest, that’s just par for the course for me. But by midday, Tommy and I were both sick. As were various other friends from her birthday party, everyone’s sickness beginning within about 5 hours of each other-- 4 kids and 6 adults… lovely. Come on down to Abi Kate’s party, make sure you take a tea pot cookie, a balloon, and a little bit of norovirus as a parting gift! :/ She definitely shares her Daddy’s immune system (thank God he passed that on)-- she got sick those two times and that was it, though her appetite took about 3 days to return. She is SO much more resilient than me.  It seemed the majority’s lasted between 48-72 hours. Today is Thursday. It is the first day I have felt like a regular person since Sunday. The awful sickness stopped after 24 hours but the remains just hung around. I do not recommend getting a stomach virus while pregnant. Ever. Around 8 pm I started to get nervous that I was dehydrated. I hadn’t been able to keep any food down (the 4 saltines that I tried) and I couldn’t keep any liquids down. And the Braxton Hicks contractions were becoming a bit more, “Ow. That really hurt.” Abram was moving all around, more than he ever does--but I started to get a little freaked out nonetheless.

You know how when you’re caught up in a moment it feels really big and way more serious than it is-- like for example, I was certain I was going to die on the floor of the bathroom. So there I am, certain that death is imminent, and pretty dang sure I was headed towards dehydration-- and all the images of the NICU and IV lines and hospitals started popping up in my head. I texted Gaylea, my doula/midwife assistant, because, well-- I think she knows my freak-out level well enough by now to not be surprised… I asked her if there was anything to be concerned about, and sure enough she confirmed the contractions… and also reminded me of a few things to try. Am I the only one who responds really poorly to being  “in the moment?” Like I forget everything I’ve ever learned about pregnancy and should do?! (Clearly, I am NOT the person you want near your side in a serious situation. I’ve proven that I will just stand there and freak out. At least when the situation pertains to me.) Thank God for wise care givers and for my sister who ran to the store for coconut water and Epsom salts and dropped them on my porch. Much as I hate it, that coconut water stayed down and the bath helped too. The next day, I ate ¼ of a piece of dry toast around 11:00. And my sweet little Abram who had been moving and kicking non-stop finally settled down… He was hungry, people! How sad is that?! Starving my baby before he even arrives! (This also taught me that when he does arrive and when he’s hungry, I better be ready to feed little brother right then… I don’t need to be waiting around and taking my sweet time-- he doesn’t appreciate that. When he needs to eat, he needs to eat.)

It’s been a fun few weeks in our house ;) I think everything is finally settling down a bit-- at least for the moment. I’ve done a terrible job documenting Abram’s pregnancy and I have full intentions of doing a much more sufficient job of that in my third trimester, which is only a few days away… My word.
But here's a really fabulous 27-week shot for you Tommy took while I was putting shoes on for church... He's a looowww rider...

 All in all, we’ve had a busy but great month. I can’t believe we have a two year old little girl and that we’re on the downhill slide to meeting our little boy. It’s one of those moments to stop and soak in… because this season will be past all too soon…


  1. It was the most perfect little birthday party, ever. Everyone was so gorgeous - so well behaved...and seemed to have a great time. I just love that sweet, full-of-personality girl of yours. Your family is beautiful - and it's easy to see how incredibly blessed you all are...even in the times of distress! So sorry to hear about the stomach virus! We must have been one of the few that escaped it! But not to worry, we had our first meeting with it in November...and I thought I was going to die. I mean it sounds silly after the fact, but in the moment it really seems like a possibility. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy! I can not imagine being pregnant on top of it! Glad you have all pulled through :)

    1. Thanks, Amy! It was definitely a group of fantastic kiddos- they all shared and played so sweetly! And I am SO glad you all skipped out on the virus... Ugh. No one should have that more than once!