Sunday, May 12, 2013

Catching up on Mother's Day

I've been feeling rather reflective on this Mother's Day. I keep saving my blog posts for "some day when I have time". That day isn't coming any time soon. So, here is a brief sort of stream of conscious catch up post.

Marlie and Tate had their birthdays in April, turning 6 and 2. They are both hilarious and adorable at these ages.

Marlie is sweet and kind and spunky. She is learning to read and has just as much energy as ever. She loves to draw and create more than anything else, but also really enjoys math so apparently she is a good mix of her dad and I.

Tate is the funniest kid I've ever known. I know I'm bias but for real, he is. He is talking in full sentences, loves "diggers", is his dad's biggest fan, still hasn't had a haircut, is really sweet with Hays, and keeps us laughing for sure.

Hays Baby is almost 7 months old. He is the chunkiest baby I've ever had and I love it. He is laid back and happy. He is still waking up at night a few nights a week. His first two teeth poked through a few weeks ago. Unfortunately he has been battling a virus mixed with his eczema that has been pretty awful. It has left him with some spots that might scar and me with an aching heart. I'm hoping this is just a short phase that will soon pass, but I don't know.

We went to Florida last month for a much needed family vacation. It was interesting to say the least. Hays' virus popped up right as we were leaving our house and we pretty much spent the week worrying and trying to figure out what the heck was happening to him. Mix that in with taking care of two other children, and two twelve hour car rides and it was more than a little rough. But, there were some really good moments too. Memories were made and despite the stress, we were thankful for the change of scenery and time together. Marlie and Tate were adorable little beach bums. My mom and step dad were there to help (praise the Lord). We are eternally grateful to our friends, Terry and Mary, for the use of their place in Florida. We've been going there now since before Marlie was born and it has become such a special place for our family.

Once upon a time, before stretch marks and sippy cups, I was a backpacking guide in Colorado during the summers in college. There were days I thought I couldn't possibly take another step. My feet were rubbed raw and wrapped in duck tape. My body was pushed to carry more than I thought I ever could and walk farther than I thought possible. It was emotionally, physically and spiritually exhausting. However, I also saw more, learned more, and grew more than I ever had before. I used to tell people that guiding was the hardest, but best thing I've ever done. I can now say that motherhood rivals those summers in Colorado. There are days I sit in my car and stare at the house, wondering how I can ever get the kids and all of the grocery bags up our stairs one more time. My back is on fire by the time I crawl in to bed and I'm asleep before my head hits the pillow. I wonder and worry and pray about what to say, and what not to say. About when to be tough and when to be compassionate and how to be both at the same time. But sprinkled throughout all of the really hard times, are moments so rich and meaningful that keep me going. One foot in front of the other, just like those days as a guide. This is a really hard, but wonderful season of life. I'm so thankful.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hays Baby and his bow tie

On Sunday Hays Baby was baptized. It was a sweet day for our family. Our friend and pastor did the baptism and did an amazing job. Hays was pretty darn cute up there. We celebrated with family and friends afterwards.

I decided to make him a bow tie for his special day just like I did for Tate's baptism. I went back and read my tutorial blog post from when I made Tate's, whipped up a bow tie, and then stuck Hays Baby in his bumbo to snap a few photos. He makes the funniest faces...

- Hi Hays Baby.
- Oh, hello there Momma.

- You look so handsome buddy!
- Awe shucks. You really think so?

- You're so cute, schmoopy booperton pants! Look at that face!
- OK mom, now I'm just embarrassed.

- I'm sorry. But can I suck on your cheeks later??
- Huh?!! Gross! You're out of control!

- Alright, alright. How about we wrap this up and go have some milk and a nap.
- Now there's a good idea! Thanks Momma.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hays Baby 3.5 mos

Remember how I had a baby 3.5 months ago? Poor Hays Baby, things have been so nuts that I have barely taken any pictures of him. Here he is in all his adorable glory.

He is the sweetest, most laid back little guy ever. He has squishy cheeks. His eyes look like they are going to be hazel like mine and Marlie's. He has a big bald spot on the back of his head. Even though you can't tell in these photos he loves to smile. He naps like a champ and sleeps pretty darn good at night too. He is already on his second type of antibiotic. Poor guy, winter baby with two germy siblings.

He is my third baby. He spends more time in the bouncy seat or swing then I would like. He cries a little bit more/longer because I have two others to care for as well. I don't get to stare at him lovingly for hours on end like I did with my first. But, I'm more relaxed this time around. I don't worry as much about the little things. I know that hard nights are a phase, that colds come and go, that its OK if he has to cry for a little bit, and that he is well taken care of and loved and that is all that really matters.

I love you Hays Baby. Thanks for going with the flow and being part of this crazy little family.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Christmas and kidney stones

We had a great Christmas. Some things I want to remember...

- Tate yelling "Christmas!" every time he saw any lights.

- Marlie giggling every time she talked about how she couldn't wait for Christmas morning.

- Carefully choosing presents for everyone. I love shopping for gifts. And all of them arriving on our doorstep. is a mom's best friend.

- Marlie exclaiming, "Mom, it's almost Jesus' birthday!" When Target first hung up their Christmas decorations.

- Breakfast together at The Mud House and picking out our tree afterward.

- Tate exclaiming, "Oh goodness!" when he unwrapped his "digger" trucks.

- Marlie and Tate "workin" and helping put up the tree and decorate. Tate with no pants and Marlie with one sock.

- Hays baby bouncing happily in his bouncy seat off to the side.

- Watching Home Alone with Marlie for the first time.

This year on New Year's Eve I had kidney stone surgery to take care of some stones that they found when I was still pregnant. This is not a chapter of my life that I would like to repeat. It was bad. Real bad. It was big though, so I feel the need to record it here. But I will make it as brief as possible...

They told me I had one big stone and several small ones. They told me the big one would not pass on its own so they needed to go in and get it. We met our deductible for 2012 so we begged them to do it before the year was up! New Year's Eve morning they knocked me out. I woke up to Shane telling me that the surgery went fine except...there were no stones in there.


Yep, they were gone. All that surgery for nothing. Super. And I had to have a stent in for a week. It basically feels like a straw is inside you poking your bladder and kidney because well, it is. Family and friends to the rescue again. Grandmas watched kids. Wonderful people made meals. I didn't leave the house for a week. Shane picked up my slack and kept me sane. Baby Hays got sick and Shane had to take him to the ER the night of my surgery. We all survived, but it was no fun.

I got my stent taken out. They told me it wouldn't be was awful. They told me I shouldn't have any pain after that. Two hours later I was kneeling on the floor screaming in to a pillow so that Marlie wouldn't be scarred for life. Doctor said it was kidney spasms. I had three of them. The longest lasted 2 hours, the shortest 30 minutes. I wanted to die it hurt so bad. And remember, all that pain and there were no stones anyway. Shane did his best to comfort me. He prayed for me and I screamed and cried and prayed that the pain would stop. And finally it did.

I'm finally starting to feel normal again. Here's hoping that kidney stones are just a horrible thing my body does when I'm pregnant.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

from 4 to 5

I thought I'd try something fun this pregnancy and take pictures along the way. I didn't take as many as I meant to, and I have no idea how many weeks along I was in each one, but I like the way it turned out anyway. Here is our family growing from 4 to 5....

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

newborn pics and some rambling

I knew that after I had Hays I would be too tired and sore and hormonal to get my act together to do my own newborn shoot. Emily graciously offered to come over and do the shoot for me. She is an amazingly talented lady and got some great shots of my little guy. Here are a few of my favorites...

Love, love, love them. Thank you Emily.

And now for a little mind dump about the last month and a half being a mom of three...

I'm so tired. I thought I was busy before but now...yowza. At the same time, tasks that seemed utterly impossible 3 weeks ago are every day normal now so I guess that means I am slowly getting a hang of this thing.

Hays is a really calm and happy baby. Praise the Lord for that! He is starting to coo and smile a little bit. His cheeks are getting rounder. He is pretty darn cute.

You'd think that the third time around I would have this job down...not so. I find myself pulling out the same old parenting books and asking the same questions I asked the last time around.

Having a baby in the winter is rough. We've all been battling colds and Marlie had the stomach flu over the weekend. I wish I could put Hays in a bubble and keep him safe from all the germs. But alas, I have no bubble and there are a lot of boogers around here. Its going to be a long winter.

Tate is so sweet with Hays. I kind of thought he'd be trying to sit on him and poking him in the eyes. Sure, that might come later, but so far he is adorably sweet and gentle with Hays. He gives him kisses on the feet and cheeks without being prompted, he gets worried when he cries. The whole thing is just too cute.

Marlie is wonderful with Hays. Its amazing what a difference 18 months makes. She is much more helpful this time around. She loves her little brothers and is such a little mother hen with them.

And finally, I'm so thankful for my family and friends. Without Shane picking me up pulling me along I would not be able to do this motherhood gig. Without my mom and mother in law helping me with the kids I would have lost my mind by now. Without the countless friends that have made us dinners over the last few weeks I would have had many more evening melt downs.

And now I must feed Hays one more time and get to bed. This last feeding before bed is wearing me out. I'm trying to relish these newborn days, but lets be honest, I look forward to sleeping through the night sometime in the future!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hays Morgan

Hays Morgan Duggin made his entrance a month ago tomorrow and I've been trying ever since to find the time to write this post :). The weeks leading up to his birth were some of the hardest in my life so far due to kidney stones. We were so ready for this little guy to come! Without going in to too much detail, it turns out that those kidney stones probably saved Hays' and my life. They kept me off of my feet, kept me from picking up Tate, kept me from going about my normal life. At the time that seemed horrible, but the Lord knew I needed that rest to keep Hays and me safe. I never thought I would say this, but I'm so thankful for those kidney stones. My friend Emily came to the hospital shortly after Hays was born to snap a few priceless photos for us.
Hays has lots of dark hair, dark eyes and looks a lot like Marlie did when she was a newborn with a dash of what Tate looked like.
Marlie and Tate are adjusting pretty well to having this new little guy around. Its busy around here, and loud, and messy, but wonderful. We love you Hays.