Sunday, October 30, 2016

What I Wish I Would Have Known

I remember walking into my house with our tiny bundle. I remember my familiar home feeling different. There was an eerie calm. Our daughter was napping while my sister ordered pizza to welcome us all to our new normal. The calm that seemed so out of place? It was the calm they talk about that occurs right before a storm.

The storm was the next few months of our lives as we slowly adjusted to a family of four rather than the family of three we had known for the seventeen months prior. Our daughter eventually awoke from her nap. I sat down to nurse the new baby and she immediately tried to pull him off my lap while simultaneously throwing a fit herself. My husband took her to the grocery store. I sat alone with the baby I barely knew wondering what in the world I had done.

I wish I would have cut myself some slack at that exact moment. I wish I would have enjoyed nursing my son, shut my eyes and taken a nap!

I wish I wouldn't have had my daughter come to the hospital to meet her brother. If you’re one of those families who has sweet photos of your children meeting… skip this next paragraph.

My “sweet” photo from the hospital includes an obvious swipe from my daughter in the direction of her new brother (while ironically wearing a shirt that read, "Best Day Ever!"). The truth is, my son deserved that time with just his parents. Heck, I deserved that time and so did my husband! I wish we would have realized it was okay to wait a few days to introduce chaos into our new normal and allowed ourselves quiet bonding with our son.


I wish I could have suppressed the guilt I felt for sending my daughter to daycare while I was on maternity leave. I wish I could have seen that routine was good for her, and that it's easier to get a baby to sleep without a screaming toddler around.

I wish I would have realized sooner that what I thought was a serious breach in trust between my daughter and I was nothing of the sort. I wish I could have seen the future through the clouds of sleep deprivation and toddler tantrums.

I wish I had known then that the baby boy I barely knew would grow into my daughter’s self-proclaimed “best buddy"!


I wish I would have known that it would take a few months, but eventually she would stop plugging his nose and start kissing his cheeks.

Ultimately, I wish I had known that sometime in the future I would awake to giggles coming from that sweet baby boy’s room. Those giggles would belong to siblings, and friends, and would be a sign of the forever bond that was forming. 

A version of this post previously appeared on Today Parents.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Why I Write

This little world where I come to write is growing. And, I’m happy and proud. And nervous. It’s hard to sit down and put my feelings into words about complicated things like life, parenthood and baked goods. Heck, sometimes it’s even hard to find the time. To add to the complexity, the world around us feels noisy right now.

So, I’ve been a little quiet lately as the noise has gotten to me. I've taken this time to sort through my thoughts about why I write. Some of the reasons are simple… It’s an outlet. I like words. I think words are important. I also think it’s important to do hard things. But, really, I kept coming back to a Sandra Bullock movie. Because, of course!

Remember Crash? There was a line in there that always stuck with me;
"I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something."
I got a note from a reader recently. She’s expecting. Her and her husband had tried for years. They decided IVF was right for them. Then, about the time she was to start the whole process, she found out she was pregnant. She’s thrilled. Excited. And, nervous. She crashed into this little corner of the universe and learned she’s not alone. She found comfort in our sharing.

I cried.

I recently wrote about parenting after infertility. And, I heard from an old friend. She crashed into some words she needed to read;
"Unfortunately experience isn't something you can wrap-up with a bow. Instead I can gift them this... the dark moments will eventually give way to sunshine."
She thanked me for sharing, and I cried, again!

In short, I write to crash into all of you. To feel what we don’t stop and feel without intention. To be scared, happy, sad and nervous – together! We can do hard things – life, pregnancy, parenting, running, juggling – but it’s a little easier if we do them together.

Why I write... It's important to do hard things!
So, thanks for reading! Thanks for crashing into my little place in this big world. And thanks for sharing. Please come back. And bring coffee and scones!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Talking About Scones, Again!

To say the months leading up to welcoming our son were stressful is an understatement. My work was going through a merger which included a name-change and massive re-branding. As the marketing director, this meant long hours for months on end (for me and the little man in my belly). In addition to that, the daycare our daughter had attended since she was three months old made the decision to close. We were on a search for a new place to love our littles after starting at a new place that was proving to not be a good fit.

I’d wake up each day tired and sore. I’d drop my daughter off at school and leave with her in tears. I’d answer emails, that weren’t always pleasant, at all hours of the day, and head into work to deal with a team that wasn’t quite integrating. In between it all, I’d stop at our local co-op and treat myself to a scone.  I’d made friends with the workers there. They watched my belly grow and on the day my son was born asked, “When are you due?” To which I replied, “Hopefully today!”

This is all to say this scone obsession started long before my maternity leave. In the week after Weston was born, Andy went to grab a scone and surprise me with it. After entering our member number at the check-out, the lady working exclaimed, “Did your wife have her baby?!” I had been caught! I had to admit that our son was made primarily of raspberry cream scones.

As I slowly figured out the recipe that made our new family of four hum, I also figured out a recipe to make my own scones. I figured out how to put one little down for a nap without the other one completely losing it about the time I realized I needed more cream in the scone recipe. I figured out that we run best with structure as I added another tablespoon of sugar to the scones. I learned that my heart would indeed grow so big with this new addition that sometimes it felt it might explode as I finalized the glaze for my baked goods. And, as a result, I might have the only two year old who counts “scone” as one of her initial words.

So, please enjoy my tried and true recipe. It really is a labor of love!

Cheers!

Raspberry Cream Scones
(from someone who really doesn’t know her way around the kitchen)


Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Then, mix the cream, egg and vanilla in a smaller bowl and place it in the fridge (Google why having very cold ingredients is important for scones). Next, cut the butter into small cubes and mix it in with the dry ingredients. I use something like this to mix it. Using your hands is not ideal as, again, you want your ingredients (especially the butter) to remain as cold as possible.

Next, mix in your "wet" ingredients. I typically fold them in with a spatula. Then, mix in about a cup of the fruit of your choice. The below finished product shows blueberries instead of raspberries. Finally, I brush on a little cream and sprinkle sugar and salt on top to ensure they are crispy on the outside and flaky on the inside.

PS - Other uses for scones include; toddler bribery, husband bribery and exhaustion relief... they really are a cure all!

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