Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Final Weeks

(Before I begin this probably very boring for you/definitely self-indulgent for me post, let me preface by saying I know what a blessing pregnancy is and how genuinely thrilled I am to be getting to do it all again and that no matter how/when this baby enters the world, I'll give no care, just so long as he is here, smelling of that incredibly addicting new baby scent, ah.) okay here goes:

Greetings from the couch of a lady late in her third trimester! I'm my worst self during the last four to six weeks of pregnancy.  I'm uncomfortable. I'm not sleeping well. I'm peeing every hour on the hour. I'm braxton-hicksing like a mother. I'm eating antacids like candy. I can't do anything longer than 3.5 minutes unless I take long breaks in between to heavy breathe. Aaaand it's right around the time I start googling all the things tagged with "signs of labor" like a true idiot.
All of this combined with staring at the calendar to see how close/far I am away from possibly (fingers-crossed) going into labor, along with tearing up over how much I enjoy the little kicks, all the hiccups, and the big belly poking out under all my shirts. I'm a bit of a mood swinging monster. Sorry fam.
 With both Gus and Birdie I was induced a week post due date. Third time around I'm hoping I can hold out long enough to be able to send a real, honest "honey come on home, I'm in labor!" text message. A pregnant girl can/will dream.
I'm 36 weeks on Thursday. 36 weeks marks the first day of my typical jump off of the "pregnancy is fine! I just need to sit down" pedestal and into the great eye-rolling, moody "get this thing out of me! I can't stop sweating when I stand and peeing when I sneeze" abyss. Ugly Truth.

So in order to stop my transformation into pregnant momster I decided to come up with a plan. My idea is to map out daily happy events to look forward to and to maintain the positive for the next four-six weeks. My doctor's appointments are now weekly so Fridays are devoted to the excitement that is hearing a sweet thumping heartbeat! :) The rest of the days will be filled as such:

Thursday: Create something
Friday: Prenatal appointment!
Saturday: Eat something delicious
Sunday: Rest
Monday: Tidy little spaces
Tuesday: Update ye olde blog
Wednesday: Wear something pretty

Hopefully this plan will tame the big bad swollen-ankled monster I usually become and help me go out in more of a delicate, graceful, glowing picture of pregnancy. Or at least keep my mind busy enough to not start googling things. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Dear Jared

(last year)

On your 29th birthday, you woke up before 6am because the 2 year old was crying.  You didn't grunt or make any noise that this annoyed you at all. You brought him to our bed, stuffed his little body in between ours and laid down for approximately 6 more minutes before you had to get up. During those 6 minutes, our son whisper-sang happy birthday to you and squirmed. A lot. You smiled. 

Soon after you got up, the baby started crying, so the toddler and I scurried off to get her while you showered. I brought the kids downstairs and nursed our daughter while our son ran around frantic trying to find "daddy birthday present". Apparently your birthday was news to him and he didn't want to show up empty handed. He quickly found a dime which to his very excited surprise had your face on it! (Roosevelt=Daddy) The luck! "It's DADDY! I find him! Daddy birthday present!" He paraded around the room, holding the dime in the air, pleased with himself (as always). He proudly showed the dime to me, then to his sister. Then he ran to the floor vent and unfortunately showed the birthday dime to it and in it dropped. Before his heart could break too much, I reminded him that he painted a couple of race car pictures the day before and he agreed. "Daddy present race car paint picture!" 

A moment later, you arrived at the steps greeted by a very excited birthday-loving toddler. His attention span rivals a gnat, so he'd already forgotten about the dime. and the race car paintings. He looked around and attempted to give you the the nearest thing, the iPad. I reminded him about the paintings and he happily ran off to present you with his gift. You gasped and told him they were beautiful. He beamed. 

As you put on your shoes, the toddler realized you were headed off to work and he did not approve. "Daddy birthday. Daddy stay. Daddy birthday!" I felt the same. So did you.

You kissed his messy blonde head and told him you'd be home real soon. Then kissed us girls, and grabbed your coffee & bagel and headed into work.

I dropped Gus off at preschool. On my way home, you sent a picture of the race car paintings hung at your desk. 

The baby and I made our way to your side of town to see about an early lunch. You were able to sneak away for an hour so I told you to meet us at the nearby Hallmark. As I was browsing, I caught myself glancing at the door waiting to see you walk in. I must have lifted my head and smiled awkwardly at three women before you slipped in. You kissed me and the baby and asked her if you could hold her. She let you.

As we were walking out of the store I showed you a little doll that the baby waved at and before I could finish my story, you picked it up and headed to the register. She was delighted.

You mentioned you weren't hungry just yet and suggested we go to another store to browse. As if on an agenda, you headed straight for the women's clothing and picked out a "caftan robe" for me. It was incredibly colorful and a bit fashion forward but you told me about how you read an article about how these were the newest summer trend making its way from the west coast. It was romantic. 

With a baby in one arm and my new caftan in the other you browsed the toy section. I made attempts to plead that it was your birthday and we want to shower YOU with gifts, not the other way around. But I know you better than that anyway. You picked out a Cars puzzle for our son. 

After we checked out, we headed to ChickFilA and asked me to order while you set up our table. You grabbed a highchair and got a placemat and played with the baby until I came back with food. You thanked me for knowing your order and before you took a bite, you pinched little pieces of bread off the top of your bun and put them in front of the baby. She was so pleased.

When we were all finished eating, we headed to the car and you put the baby in her carseat. You talked to her and placed her new doll in her little arms then walked around and got in the car. You kept glancing back at the baby and telling me exactly how she was holding her doll. You had a gleam in your eye.

I dropped you off at work and headed to pick up our toddler. On the way home, I got a text from you with a link to the article about how caftans are the newest look. Then you quickly texted and clarified that "it's a fun article, but your body is bikini ready already." Apparently the caftan is a very forgiving summer dress. 

You spent the early evening on the floor teaching the toddler how to work his new  puzzle and encouraging him to work harder and not to give up. Once the puzzle was complete, you cheered. It was genuine.

You are selfless and kind. Hardworking and romantic. Optimistic and encouraging. A true gentleman, a true family man, and a true friend. Happy Birthday, my Jared. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

In Like a Lion

I have been notified that I have not posted on this blog in a long time (hey Mrs. Terri!) so here's some photos of the Buchanan four being hooligans in the snow. 
We got a good 6 inches of snow last week and just as it is starting to melt, the possibility of more is in the forecast. March has the "in like a lion" part all right this year. Let's all collectively wish for March to follow suit and go "out like a very tiny itty bitty sweet and sunshiny lamb". 

Turns out August is a little snow baby. He would explore out there all day long if I let him. But, alas, his very Southern parents are, well, southern, so after 30 minutes we rallied the troops for hot showers. But not before we built an Olaf and did a little cardboard box sledding.

A few months back, we told August that O'Toodles was in the lens of the camera so that he'd look at the camera for a photo. Now whenever we pull out our Canon, he comes at us like this:
It gets me every time. (insert laughcrying emoji here)

He also enjoyed snowball fights very much. But being the little "lover not fighter" that he is, it was a lot less of a snowball fight so much as it looked like this:
I can't stop looking at his little face and wide arm stance. And while he is most definitely a two year old in all the ways two year olds are two year olds, he is hands down the most fun and the happiest person I've ever known. I don't know why or how I get to be his mother, I just know that I'm gonna spend my life trying hard at deserving this beautiful baby with such a joyful soul.

And lest you think little Miss Birdie didn't join in on the winter play, here's a photo I staged of her: 
We all got a good laugh at this. Except for her. She was not amused. This was her face for the entirety of our snowventure. She was all "s'No thank you".
I don't think it was a coincidence that she learned how to clap shortly after we arrived inside. I got you, Birdie. I'm no snow bunny either.

This is where I'll leave you because our family is currently waiting to close on our very first home and I must return to my very busy day of dreaming of wall painting without asking and wishing for warm moving weather. xo

Monday, December 15, 2014

Auden Bird 6 months old

At six months old, Auden loves being on my hip and included in all my conversations. She belly laughs when her brother throws his little tragic tantrums. But giggles even louder when he shows her attention. She gets very offended if it turns dark outside and she is not starting her lengthy bedtime routine. She beams proudly when her father compliments her.

If I'm not feeding her fast enough, she grabs my face and begins to gnaw on my chin. If her father doesn't talk to her while buckling her into her car seat, she cries crocodile tears. If her brother is not paying her the proper amount of attention (all of it) she squawks at him until he does.

I spent Friday night all weepy-eyed compiling a video montage. Saturday morning, she awoke all rosy-cheeked and bright-eyed, and six months old. My heart breaks for the chicken legged sweet smelling newborn with the spiky soft hair that could fit in her father's palm and at any moment cuddle asleep on my chest.
But, at the same time, my heart has never felt so whole because I know so much more about her now and as she grows older that will only become truer.

So, grow on, sweet Audie Bird, grow on.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Truth

Excuse me while I dust off the old keyboard and clear the spiderwebs from ye olde blog. AHEM.
Hi there. I'm still over here wearing pajama pants, praying that the shower I took on Sunday is holding up, and spreading the peanut butter on the bread that will most certainly not get eaten by the toddler. Although if you have instagram, you may have not missed me much. Because, well, I'm a a gram glut and can't stop won't stop slapping pretty filters over the best of 20 shots taken of my (for the moment) not screaming child. I also crop the crap out of it so that you can't see the large pile of mail that hasn't been sorted or the rolled up dirty diapers that I haven't yet thrown in the trash.
Sometimes I think I'm just adding to the perfect pinteresting mother lie that the big bad internet has us all fooled to believe. And I hate that. But there's every chance that I'm not and it is quite evident, even through the internet, that I'm a complete mess who hasn't worn proper pants in four days.
I remember after August was born I was addicted to hearing that I made it look easy. It wasn't easy, but boy did I want everyone I encountered to think I had it all together. Pretending to be unscathed by keeping a tiny crazy human alive was my name and getting complimented for it was my game. It got me through some tough times.
But now with two, I have retired that game. Or perhaps, the game retired me. I make motherhood look hard. Possibly as hard as it is. Instagram might have you fooled that all I do all day long is kiss the cheeks of my babies. I don't. And all they do all day long is be sweet. They don't.
No. I have plenty of moments where I say "FOR THE LOVE" in my head. Honestly? Out loud. Out very loud. So loud that the toddler is a fit of giggles at his Hulk mother. I crytext Jared with SOS rhetorical questions like where did these adorable crazy children come from and why do they hate/love me so much that they won't let me pee in private? I think of Mother's Day and how I read about husbands fawning over their wives who do motherhood so gracefully and never complain and all I think is JARED CAN NEVER SAY THIS ABOUT ME!

I imagine his words about me to go something like "My wife tries really hard everyday at being a nice person and a good mother. And while she is trying, we give her grace."

Well, that would be the truth.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Big Not Beyonce

I spend a lot of my day repeating mantras in my head and sometimes aloud. "You can do this." "You are strong and capable." "Find your inner Beyonce." Along with many other Beyonce inspired quotes.
To me, Queen Bey is this fierce, happy, and grown woman that laughs in the face of hard times.
A photo taken when I thought one kid at the grocery store was difficult. I have no photos of a grocery trip with two kids because busy.
My mantras usually come out full force during trips to the grocery store and other various errands. I repeat these inspirational quotes over and over in my head while I bribe the toddler with character gummies to please for the love sit on his bottom. I pause occasionally to baby talk to a not listening not caring 3 month old who would just rather attract every person in the store by crying causing them to grace me with a never welcome side eye. I see you and I smile in your direction while calming my inner Beyonce. bow down, bow down, ya know? All the while trying to complete my poorly written grocery list without buying the 2 year old too many consolation impulse items.

Full disclosure: last trip he scored a balloon and two boxes of character gummies. I did, however, manage to get outta there without the purchase of a large bouncy ball. No thanks to the evil store designer who placed a vat of them right there in the middle of the freezer section. You rotten ol' mother hater you.

On occasion there will be a sweet lady with grown children who will stop to tell me her children are grown up now but she still remembers just how hard it is with small children then she pats my shoulder and says bless you. This is a nice breath of fresh air amongst the ten or so other people who stop to tell me not to blink because I'll miss it. This is usually told to me as my toddler is trying his best to lick the cart while my newborn cries decibels I wasn't sure existed. I get it, I do, but all I'm thinking in that moment is I wouldn't mind being able to blink and miss this grocery trip from hell.
Well that and "you can do this" "you are strong and capable" "beyonce beyonce beyonce...".
Once my mantras are repeated about one trillion times and my cart is full of everything on my list plus one or two toddler bribes, we make the trek outside and if I'm lucky it won't be raining cats and dogs. Lately, I have been not so lucky.
Then there's the calamity of unpacking the children into the van and then the groceries and then assessing how far the cart corral is and making the quick decision to lock the van and properly replace the buggy or just leave it in a strategic manor and say a quick "let this cart not cause any car damage" prayer and be on my way.
The ride home is always a treat of tired, hungry baby and a toddler who dropped something and would like it back 4 minutes ago. Once we are home, I hoist the baby's carseat and balance the toddler on my hip shuffling them inside quick with a distraction so I can get the cold stuff in the fridge before I answer their requests for food, diaper changes, and glorious mother loving naps. Once the babies are asleep, well that's usually when I remember that one important ingredient that is still at the store and this is precisely when my mantras no longer work. And I cry like a big not Beyonce.

Business idea*:
There should be a sitter service that offers to just ride around with you, sit in the car with your babies while you run in the store to buy toilet paper or go to the post office. That person will also check your grocery list twice, kinda like Santa, so you don't forget anything. And then they will help you unload the car and make sure no banana gets left behind (that's happened(ew.)) And after you put your children down for a nap, they tell you how pretty you are while you eat the dark chocolate that they convinced you that you deserved.
*realizing now that this business idea is modeled after my husband.

I wonder if Jay takes care of Bey the way my J takes care of me?          Huh.

Monday, September 8, 2014


photo by Carrie Coleman
We moved to a new city at the end of last month. Jared scored a new job that is good in all the important ways. Once we learned we were moving, I cried. I cried happiness for my husband and I cried sadness for my own pathetic self. They say that change is good. And that's true. But, you know what, change is also terrifying. It is. So there.
Leaving Charlottesville was emotional. Although it was the backdrop of only three years of my life, I feel as though my life truly began there. My mind was full during our last few days in Charlottesville. I thought of meeting Jared and falling in love and getting engaged and then married and then pregnant and then pregnant again. We were so busy with life. But more than just leaving the city, it was hard to leave our home. The home of August's first steps, of his first and second birthdays, of him learning how to climb up and down stairs, the home of kissing his noggin everyday when he would round the corner too fast. every single day, silly kid. 
The home that I found out we were going to be a family of four. Like it was yesterday. I took the test early before anyone was awake. Negative. So I crawled back in bed trying not to look so sad. But even Jared's sleepiest eyes could sense my disappointment. He kissed my forehead and simply said, "soon". I scooped August from his bed and brought him down for breakfast while Jared dressed for work. I had a silly quick thought to recheck my test. Positive! I yelled to Jared to come down quick. And we rejoiced and rejoiced and then took this picture.
The place we introduced Auden to as home. Fresh from the hospital, we walked up the path and  before reaching the screen door we saw our so big baby boy who was now a big brother watching for us. My heart broke.
I became so comfortable in that home, in that neighborhood, in that city. 
As I followed the moving truck out of the city, we drove past the hospital both of my babies were born and I took one deep breath, didn't even try to hold back my tears, and I said a quiet prayer. The drive was dark and drizzly. On occasion I like to equate my mood with the weather. You do that too, right? Well, this was one of those occasions. But before I could go full out Charlie Brown, the sun started to find its way through the clouds and the rain began to cease and I felt like it was my message to cheer up. So I let my heart be light and I have to remind myself daily to do so.
We are now here in Richmond and I'm realizing that it's what we took with us that is important, not what we left behind. I have my memories of Charlottesville and I hope I always do let my mind wander to that magical little city that gave me so much life.
But this new house with my husband and our babies, this is home now. And it is going to be beautiful, just you wait.