Friday, April 11, 2014

….he's three…...

 …..the house played hookie for Brody's 3rd birthday…….granted, Elsie was off anyway, but by 7:30 AM I was emailing Callie's teachers letting them know we had some important business ahead of us……

…..cinnamon rolls and candles……
……chillin' out and celebrating our special boy…….

…..so he spent his morning with the ladies of the house and we showed him a good time…...



…..I watched him sleep on the eve of his birthday, just as I do every year with all of my babes……I reflect, I think, I plan and I pray……I have enjoyed everything about boys and the one I have been given is exceptionally special…….


…..If I could bottle up his voice, I would so I could hear the way he calls me Mommy……or the way he says he is sorry and genuinely means it or the way he blurts out his I love yous……..

……if I could freeze this season in our lives when he needs me so desperately I would remember in 50 years how he wants me to kiss any boo boo he has in the exact spot it hurts and the instant my lips brush his skin, he stops crying and thanks me with his sweet smile……

…..this season of life with you, Brody is so joyful…….your eyes have just changed from bright blue to green and you show me every day that your eyes are the same color as mine…….quickly charging toward me and peering so closely at my pupil to show me your new color…...we butterfly kiss with our lashes and then you laugh so hard as you fall into the crevice of my neck giggling and squirming like a typical toddler…….and I stop what I am doing to hold you for a lingering moment because I am too well aware that in this next year of your life you will gain independence and I will lose some of these precious moments that I cherish so deeply…….

…..in this season of life you love Spiderman…..we have collected things over the last 6 months for you and have been so excited to energize your passion for this super hero…..




…..you are our loudest talker, our perfectionist, our emotional and passionate force…..you love to draw and color, love your teachers and love the color blue……you do not like a crowded room or a new social scene, but you quickly warm up and then you are gone to go be busy…..you love the girls of the house, but the instant you see a boy to play with, we are all racing after you sprinting to be with your own breed……you love scooby doo, love books and puzzles, love trucks, tractors and things that move…..you could spend hours in Daddy's car pretending to drive..…..you love to choose your outfit, love a shoe that lights up and you love to talk on the phone…..

……Daddy is your best bud, but in the slivers of family time when you choose me to be your one and only, I will drop anything to be by your side……

……Happy birthday, love bug……


……you are my best boy and I love being your mama……

Monday, March 24, 2014

….uninspired and make up Monday…..

…..this blog has brought me so much joy over the last four years……in fact, this blog will turn four in two days and I can distinctly remember clicking submit for the first post……I remember what I wrote, where I was sitting in our NYC apartment when I typed the essay and the feeling of exhilaration staring at the blank slate of virtual paper…..for me, the birth of the blog was a place to capture the beauty in the every day and provide snapshots for the future me to reflect and remember…..

…..I love to write….and I love to take pictures…..both are therapeutic for me and both help me gain new perspectives…..they are both like new lenses where I can see my life with a fresh set of eyes…..this blog has taught me things about motherhood that I have wanted to change about myself and it has also validated my role in this season of life when I have needed it most…..

….since Mae has arrived, I have blogged a mere five times……granted, I took 10 weeks off and unplugged from everything……including my responsibilities of the household, as we learned one February day that we (or I should say me); forgot to renew our homeowners insurance that had expired the week Mae was born……oops……but I have had a hard time squeezing in anything for me…..not a lot of work outs, not much time for catching up with friends, and this blog has certainly suffered; as I have been too tired to write or take pictures for that matter…..

….I love the buzz of our household and thoroughly enjoy being tied up with my family…..Stefan and I had many long conversations about the demand that four children would have on our lives…….I expected life to have me spinning in many directions managing a household of six; however one of my goals has always been to preserve my personal identity so I can thrive as my own, too……..and not just in the role as mama…..aiming for this goal, as many women do, makes me a better wife, better friend, better caregiver, better me, better everything…..

…..I am meeting with a life coach tomorrow…...not because I feel that there is anything wrong, but because I know with some intervention and godly advice, I can be better balanced……there can be time to give to my family, but also time for me to thrive and grow too…..

……recently, I have seriously contemplated shutting this blog down…..I have always maintained that if I can't give something my all, I just won't half ass it…..excuse my french……and when I think of the many important events I still have to enter into this space (Mae's milestones, Elsie's birthday, Christmas, etc) it has been more of a mental block and has deterred me from getting started……presently, when I think about this blog, there isn't any joy and it feels more like a chore…..so I avoid it, procrastinate and feel my blood pressure rise when I see there are 199 pictures I have flagged to eventually be posted…...but as I have been preparing for my appointment tomorrow, I scratched that idea of ending this blog…..I love this place……always have, always will……I just need to alter my mind set and arrive ready to give and take a small piece of life so we can both gain from one another…..

….so instead of spending hours recapping the past four months of photos and memories I want to share, and more importantly, moments I want my family to have from the early days of Mae's arrival; I am going to use Monday as a make up day from days past……and slowly, I think reflecting on those days will enable me to be inspired again…...to find joy in this blog and to look forward to my quiet time with this computer screen……

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

…..my oldest baby turned 6 two and a half weeks after Mae was born…..luckily, the even birthdays fall on a "no party" year, so I did not have the pressure of throwing a bash at my house or planning one anywhere else for that matter……

……I met Elsie in her school cafeteria so we could have lunch together……I was able to meet her new friends, watch her interact with other students and then she had her glory in front of her class…….she beamed as they sang to her, positioned her birthday crown just right on top of her head, read a book to the class and then presented her "All about Me" poster, leaving no detailed uncovered…...



…..her chosen date with mama and Daddy was Disney on Ice which was running in Brooklyn…...so Stefan and I packed the car with our oldest and our youngest and made an appearance back in NYC……sleep deprived and baby on the boob, yes; but we made Elsie feel like a celebrity…...




…..Mimi held the fort down with the other two and was still surviving well enough upon our return to help us arrange the crew for our Christmas card picture when we got home…..



…..we didn't use any pictures we took that day for our card, but we did capture some sweet moments trying…...


…..and a birthday isn't complete without pampering, so we indulged and made it a girls trip…….



…..and during the month of November, I can't get within 100 feet of a Starbucks and resist the pumpkin spice latte…...I think I told Elsie that every birthday girl also needed a cup of hot chocolate……it was an easy sell…...


……parties are festive and loud around here…...and we consume an insane amount of cake…...


…..and when it is all said and done, I am thrilled the celebration was fabulous; but am so relieved I have another year to prepare for the next one…..


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

…..my favorite shots from our present here and now……

…..Brody is completely into his sister lately and she fancies him too…...


….looking for his pot of gold…..


…..skating sisters on the first warmish day of spring this past weekend…...


…..I am almost inspired enough to strap some skates on too…….

…..almost…..

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

…..my Callie girl is five…...

…..the five year birthday is a sappy one for me……it is the transformation year of my child leaving my side and venturing into new turf filled with independence and thrilling new adventures……in another five years, my child will be brinking on tweendom…….it is the marker year of knowing there will be more time spent away from our home than in our home……bus rides, new friends and kindergarten are in the not so distant future and the days of filling the lazy morning or afternoon hours feel very, very far away……

…..today, my second born is five…..

….my runt of the bunch……

…the one who came out screaming and howling…..no one had ever heard a 6 pound, 4 oz baby make such a grand entrance…..

….from the beginning you demanded an audience and I don't see that part of you changing anytime soon…..



…..Callie, your love for life is contagious…...you stop others in their tracks, bringing smiles and forcing us to just be in the moment with you…...






….today we spent a good part of the afternoon together where I was all yours and you were all mine…..I watched you in awe and am so thankful for the joy and beauty you have added to our family…...



….you are a joy seeker, a thrill rider, a compassionate lover of animals, people, food and fun…..you are dainty, but tough and you are bold, but sometimes shy…...


….you love chocolate, fresh flowers, all things pretty, and you are the girl who stuffed animals were made for…..each of your furry friends has a name and you ensure each one has your undivided attention for at least a few minutes a day……

….you sing, you dance, and you twirl…..

….this too, you have done from the start…..




…..thank you for being you….

…..my blue eyed, kind hearted, God loving, thumb sucking little one…..


…..there is no one like you…..

…..Happy 5th birthday……you are loved beyond measure…..

Xx

Friday, February 7, 2014

…..our final birth- welcoming Mae Elizabeth…...

….when Stefan and I were dating, he would ask me how many kids I wanted and I would always say four…..I didn't really think I wanted four, but it seemed like a good number to throw out; just so I could set the bar high…..just in case he only wanted two and I wanted three, it would seem like a compromise…...honestly, I just wanted to take it one baby at a time and after the first, I was hooked on this mommy role…..but I never thought we would actually go for the fourth baby…..

…..we made it to three, we had our first son and we gave away a lot of baby gear and clothes…..we didn't purge everything, but we purged most of it….and for at least a year, we felt complete..…..

…..it wasn't until we decided to move to the burbs that my baby thoughts began…..we would be looking for houses with our broker and I immediately would rule out a house if it didn't have room for six of us…..I began thinking about what kind of car would hold four children, plus a friend or two for carpooling…..I started to notice families with four when we were out and would stare at them, soaking in the dynamic and the behaviors of the children……I mentioned my new baby fondness to Stefan and I don't think he actually realized I was serious until the third time within a month when I brought it up…..

…...when he did realize I was serious, he turned white and just stared at me…..speechless…...

…..there were many, many discussions for several months on this topic……some light and airy, some heated and emotional, some logistical and practical……I always left those conversations with some hope that Stefan would get on board, but I also knew if he did not fully embrace the idea, it would not happen…..

….when we moved into our new house, I told Stefan someone was missing…..the thoughts of this other child were all consuming and it was to a point that if I wanted to keep my marriage in tact and healthy, I needed to drop the subject……and so I did…..and in that time I prayed and prayed and prayed some more……I changed my prayer from asking for a baby to asking that either my heart or Stefan's heart would change…..and so I sat quiet for months and waited to see how my prayers would be answered….

…..New Years Day 2013, Stefan made mimosas to accompany a huge breakfast spread that I prepared that morning……the kids were in their new basement playing, the fire was roaring and it was just the two of us after a hectic and joyful filled week celebrating Christmas…..he raised his glass for a toast to the new year and among many sweet and kind words he spoke that morning,  he also attributed 2013 to the beginning of trying to add on to our family……it was a moment that I will never forget and one that brings tears to my eyes when I think of his words, their meaning and the way he looked at me while he was sharing his ideas and expectations for the year ahead…..he was sincere, he was well thought out and he had gotten himself to a place where he really wanted another baby……

….and so we did what we have done well three times before…...and the story of Mae Elizabeth was born….


….in all fairness, there was discussion about adding to our family with every pregnancy….and with each new child, the discussions became longer and more deliberate because there are more things to consider as our family grows…..adding four to the mix is an outrageous number to many, but when it came down to it; Stefan and I both have had dreams of a big family table filled with messy love, laughter and chaos…...

….I was sick for the first four months until one day I woke and the fog had cleared and the excitement of our last baby could truly be appreciated…...








….I knew that Mae was going to be one of my smaller babies…...after carrying Brody, who arrived at a healthy 8 pounds, 3 ozs; I knew Mae was going to be dainty by the way I carried…..sure, my bones ached as the pregnancy progressed, but it was definitely my age in this pregnancy and not because I was carrying a full sized turkey..….I assured Callie that she would most likely remain the "runt" of our bunch; a term that she boasts proudly after joining this world at a small 6.4 oz…...we do call her our runt with as much adoration and love as one can muster and she cherishes the role……it would be close, but I was estimating that Mae would probably be not much more than seven pounds…..

….after my Mom had arrived the night before Halloween, we did a lot of walking, enjoyed the gorgeous hues of our CT fall scenery and waited to see if the exertion induced any labor…..I definitely started to drop and knew that we were not far away from meeting our tiny blessing….two nights before my actual due date of November 8, I was tossing and turning hours after I had gone to sleep….Stefan's snoring was extra boisterous that night and in almost 10 years of marriage, I have never asked him to leave our bed due to his extravagant bedtime snores….something inside me knew I needed rest and so I leaned over and nudged him as lovingly as I could muster, and asked him to hit the road….three hours later, I woke up to contractions and knew that my power nap was a necessity to pull me through the hours to come……

….I labored at home for two and half hours, but could tell that things were progressing quickly; so we packed up our bags, kissed Mom good bye, whispered in the ears of our three sleeping children and we were off….but not before I could take my last selfie, flaunting would would be the last bump picture in the history of my own journey in child bearing…..

…….peace out bump…..

….game on…...


….I was already dilated to a six upon arrival and after birthing both girls without drugs and then trying the epidural at Brody's birth, Stefan and I opted for the epidural once again…..there are benefits to birthing each way, but Brody's birth was so calm compared to the other two and the ease of having less pain and more serenity as we welcomed our last child was how we decided we wanted to meet Mae…..

….the epidural slowed things down a bit and gave us time to enjoy the morning and savor the anticipation of the birth…..three hours after arriving at the hospital, it was time to push and I distinctly remember scanning the room…..Stefan's jaw was clenched, as it has each time I have been in labor…..his hand holds mine so tightly and I can see all of the worry and concern as he waits to make sure that all goes well with momma and baby…..the lights go on in the little bassinet that will hold our newborn in a few moments…..I repeat for the bazillionth time to the staff that I want my baby immediately…..no heat lamp, please…..the nurses give me reassuring smiles, the doctor excuses himself to dress in scrubs and I close my eyes for a few seconds to say my final prayer as a momma to be….

….and with only three pushes, she arrived…..full of red and pink color and the sticky film she had been swimming in for months……they handed her right to us, just as we wanted and and we soaked in the first few minutes of it being just three of us……..just like we had done three times before, adoring our new little baby; skin to skin, heartbeat to heartbeat…..our tears washed her head as we reveled in the joy that our family was finally complete…..


….Mae Elizabeth Balderach joined us on November 7, 2013…..
…6 pounds, 11 ozs…..
….born at 8:56 am……

…..and she reserved the runt status to remain with her big sister…..

….Callie would be over the moon…..



….there were a lot of tears from me that morning….the story leading up to her finally being here with us had me overcome with gratefulness and humility…..the Lord had given this child to us…..the one we prayed for, the one we yearned for and the baby that taught us a lot about faith…..

….there is more to the story on our faith journey with sweet Mae, but some things are saved for private thoughts and discussions apart from this blog…..God is good and He shows us His mercy in His own way, in His own timing…..




…..when Brody was born, the girls were 2 and 3…..sure, they were interested, but they also lost their zest about having a baby in the house very quickly…..

……this time at ages 2,4 and 5, there was a lot of excitement…..and at the three month mark, our girls are the ones who are especially still smitten…..but the night of her birth, all three kids were on fire and ready to celebrate their baby sister…..

….I could hear the entourage 50 feet down the hallway as they approached my room to meet Mae for the first time…..the running foot steps, Stefan and my Mom asking them to slow down…..please stop running…….please stop yelling……and they all barged in like a freight train demanding to touch her, hold her and stare at her……

….it was just as I had imagined…..


…..Brody went first, picked at her eyes, laughed at her small wiggles and whimpers and within 90 seconds, he was done…...


…..Callie was next…..and as our only child who adores and pampers baby dolls, I knew this moment wold be very special to her……she has an sweet nature toward babies and animals and shows her love through affection……if it were up to Callie, she would have slept right next to me my entire stay at the hospital so she could hold Mae……her eagerness to have a little sister was a joy to witness throughout my pregnancy and her adoration with those she loves is precious…..


….this was second nature to the biggest sister…..Elsie clearly remembers meeting Brody and loves her role of being the oldest…..she does such a great job vocalizing her thoughts and spent her first moments with Mae telling her how excited she was to meet her and how long our family had waited for her to arrive….I wish I could bottle up Elsie's little voice and the kind and compassionate tone she uses with everyone…..


….while Brody played with the toys that Daddy packed, the girls took turns hopping back on my bed to dote on their little sister…...



….and it never gets old for the grandmommas, either…..we have been so lucky to have both of our moms experience the first few days and weeks with all of our babies…..not a birth has gone by when I haven't taken note several times on how lucky and privileged we are to have mommas who actively help and support us as our family has grown…..



….and this one was special because we all knew that this was the last….

….our new party of six….


…..Stefan made it a point to spend as much time with me and Mae at the hospital as he could…..we wanted to take advantage that Mom was here and we also knew we only had two days in the hospital before the baby nurses were gone and the quiet moments would be replaced with sheer craziness from three other children who would be vying for the baby and attention from us…..

…..Stefan brought great meals to my room, spent long periods of time doting on Mae and enjoyed the rare moments of having me and Mae to himself……it was almost as if we were on vacation…...



…..but before we knew it, the freight train had come back to take us home…..


….our ride was full and we were headed home to settle….


….I find it appropriate that on Mae's three month mark, I finally have published her story because we are all just coming off the roller coaster the last 12 weeks has been…..Mae's birth, Thanksgiving, Elsie's 6th birthday, preparations for Christmas, family visits, Christmas Day, potty training Brody and a new year…..all while settling, adjusting and trying to get into a new groove……

….the three month mark is always the one where I take a deep breath and think, how did I just get through that period?…..the first three months, at least for me, are the most precious, delicate, joy filled, and exhausting as a new mother…..and I would do them over and over and over with each baby because I love staring at the newness of my child…..I love exploring their newborn features…..I love to pray over them, bless them, sing to them and hold them…..time stands still and it feels so good…...


….Mae, your life has marked a new meaning of faith for us….you were born into a party and have joined it with your gorgeous smile and your blue eyes that sparkle…..you are adored, cherished and loved immensely by five of us and we constantly shower you with affection…..I know you know how much you are loved and that fills me with so much happiness that I could burst…..if the next 3 months are anything like the first three, we are in for another wild ride…..although, we will be more rested for this next set because you have already given us the gift of more sleep than we should have at this point…..

…..I still pray for you every night, just I like I did when we were deliberating four babes and just as I did when you were being woven together within me…..and you have made me the most grateful version of me I could possible be……

……Mae, you have made our family connect and grow in a beautiful way…..I can not wait to see how you continue to weave yourself into our lives in the years to come……it will undoubtedly be precious, just as you are to us…..

….we love you…...


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