Saturday, December 31, 2011

Little Grey Eyes

{A letter to Elle}

Over the past year, your eyes have changed from blue to grey. They remind me of the ocean. Depending on the light or your mood, they change, just like you have changed so much over the past year.

This year started with me as a newly pregnant mama and you as a barely walking baby. The spring spouted a new belly for me and you running fast through the yard. The summer brought a tired me and an excited you. So excited to meet your little sister. We waited for her and I worried for you. That your life would change, our routine altered. Less snuggle time. More stress.

And then she came. Early August, our lives changed. I remember that morning you and I headed to my doctors appointment. As I pulled you from your carseat and perched you on my massive belly, your grey eyes looking into mine, I saw a little girl in you. A little girl where for so many months a baby had lived.

After Brynn was born, you found all your words at once. As if she pushed you to not just talking, but speaking full sentences & making jokes. You hovered around me, questioning my mothering. "Baby Bin needs a diaper mommy!" "Mommy, baby bin crying!". You fell for her so fast. Faster than I even could.

Fall saw you and your little Bin laying on blankets in the leaves. We left the house less and snuggled on the couch more. We watched your favorite shows and got to know this new little person. As winter came, we ventured out in the cold. The world, a whole new place for you. You have become an active participate, instead of unable spectator. I see now how the world is truly at your fingertips. Your grey ocean eyes watching, learning and taking it all in.

I am so excited to see what this year brings. I am still so proud of be your mom and proud of the person, daughter and sister you have become.

I love you little. Happy 2!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Tree Farm.

{A letter to you both}

So, your dad and I have never been to a u-cut Christmas tree farm and we thought it would be a fun knew tradition. That is fun thing about having a new, young family- new traditions to be made. It was a bit chaotic because we forgot about getting rope and we had a fussy Brynn with us who pooped halfway through. But it was a beautiful day and the tree farm is situated on 75 acres with a beautiful mountain view when you get to the top. Elle, you were SO excited the whole time- running all around yelling "Tristmas tees mommy!!!"

Saturday, November 26, 2011


{A letter to you both}

Welp. We are pretty poor right now. Don't worry, I am not going to whine about it. It is 100% our choice and I am loving it, despite things being tough. When your dad and I got married, we both had good jobs and with that combined income, we were doing really well. We had tons of disposable income and we put $1000 in savings every month. It was really nice. Very little stress.

Then you were born Elle and I fell totally in love with you. I went back to work full time when you were 3 months old. It was very hard and I hating missing things you were doing and missing you. When you were 9 months old, we sold a car so I could go part time (got rid of the car payment). That was a nice balance. I worked a tough shift - 6am-10am Mon through Fri. I was tired, but we did it.

Then came along the magical little Brynn. Your dad and I could not find anyone we trusted to watch the both of you. So, I gave my 2 weeks notice. I have mentioned before that your dad only works 8 days a month. He is a firefighter and makes a good living but it is nearly impossible these days to live on one income. But we are doing it. We have to really plan every expense. We are hardly saving a dime. I KNOW how bad that is- I was a financial counselor in my previous job. BUT I just cannot seem to give this life up.

We all spend more time together than any other family I know. A typical week: Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs we are all home. We wake up, watch sesame street, make breakfast, snuggle on the couch. Then it is nap time. When you Elle wake up from your nap, we head out for our daily adventure. We go to a playplace, walk the mall, go to the park. Then it is dinner, baths and I go to the gym. When your dad goes to work for Fri & Sat, we usually have a playdate, see grandparents. Your dad is back home on Sun morning and it starts again.

I keep telling myself that because we are young, we have time to make it up. Time to make up the lost savings, the lost of sense of financial security. But we will never be able to get this time back. Someday soon, sooner than I want to imagine, you will both be in school and you won't think snuggling with your parents on the couch watching sesame street is cool at.all. And I will eventually go back to work and we will start saving and investing and not pinching pennies.

But that time is not now.

So I will embrace it. I will turn down invitations to eat out and I won't cry when I look at our bank account when we still have 5 days left of the month wondering how the heck we are going to make it. We always make it. We will try to do better every month. But there is no amount of money that would make me give this up right now. I am content and lucky and I know that.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A happy baby

Oh little Brynn. You are such a happy, sweet little person. All I have to do is walk in the room and you are all smiles. Your sister is going to spend the night with your grandma this weekend and I am so looking forward to having you to myself with no distractions. I am seriously running out of picture ideas with you so today I wrapped you up in my scarf! But it turned out pretty cute. Looks like you will have blue eyes like your sister (so random since your dad and I both have brown eyes).

You are going to be 3 months in two days. And I want to cry. Time moves almost devastatingly fast since I know how much you will change just in the next two weeks. You are doing much better with sleeping since I moved your bedtime up. You slept 10.5 hours on Sunday night (a bit of fluke), your usual is 8-9 hours, 15 min to eat, then 2-3 more hours.

Here is the scarf pic:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Young Love

{A letter to you both}

Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and I cannot believe that I am a mother of two. I feel like I look so young. And I still feel young.

I met your dad when I was 15. I still remember the first date we had. I remember all the days we spent longboarding through the warm summer air, swimming at the beach. Life was carefree. Handholding. First kisses (took him 3 months to kiss me). I remember the first time he told me he loved me. We traveled the world together. He is and has been my best friend for so long.

I know I am in a very rare group of people who married their first love. Neither of us has any exes (beyond those little 2 week relationships you have in middle school). I am 26 years old and I been with your dad for over 10 years. Sometimes I worry that my experience will make it difficult for me to relate with both of you as you start start dating. All I know is that when I was still a kid, I met a boy. And he was the only boy I ever needed. We grew up together. We never wanted anyone else.

I cannot imagine it any other way. I cannot imagine having a past with another man. But I know that is normal. I am the weird one. But in a way, I wish for both of you what I found. That you don't have to go through relationship after relationship looking for a man. That your hearts are not broken so many times.

But watching both of you on the floor today: B, you cooing at Elle as she drives her train on your belly, I know you hold each other through the things I just don't understand. I know your hearts will one day break. That I will find you on countless nights, one of you in tears in the dim light of your room. Just listening. Supporting. At least I hope I can raise you both that way.

I cannot believe that one day will have little boys in the house. Little boyfriends. It makes me laugh to think about it now. But they will come. Just like your dad sat at my family's dinner table, so excited he just got his drivers license. So here is to young love. I hope it is fun and magical and when it all falls apart, you are there for each other.

I just hope these little boyfriends do not ruin your father :)

Here he is with you Elle. (yes, he is quite a catch, hehe)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


{A letter to both of you}

I keep having these scary dreams. They are all about the world ending. I am in this hotel. And Brynn, you are sleeping in a hotel room by yourself (something I would never let you do) and I am in another part of the hotel. Your Dad is with you Elle. I cannot find you guys. And I cannot remember what room I put you in Brynn. So I am running around the hotel which has about 100 floors, yelling and trying to find you. I know you are hungry. I know you are crying but I cannot hear you.

I look outside and it looks like a war zone. The buildings are all falling apart and this hotel appears to be a last refuge. The last safe place. Suddenly I am struck with this fear that Brynn, you are going to starve because I am out of formula. And there is no store, no place to buy it.

I am completely alone. I cannot find my family. Brynn, you are all alone. And even when I find you, I know I cannot feed you. I wake up in a sweat.

I know what prompted this. First I watched transformers (that is where the falling down buildings came from) but I also watched this excerpt from footage of Hurricane Katrina. There were all these people stuck at the convention center after the storm. They had no food. No transportation. Many of them had babies. And they had no food for their babies. For days. And that happened here in America.

I am so scared for the future sometimes. How will I protect both of you if something terrible happens? Something like a war or a disease outbreak or collapse of the government. I feel like this will happen in your lifetime. Something big and terrifying.

But there is nothing I can about it all. All we can do it spend our days well. And that is what we have been doing. Lots of playing, kisses, laughing (some crying) and snuggling. Brynn, you are such a trooper. Elle loves to "play" with you (as in shove things in your face) and you just coo. Elle, you are such a good big sister, always trying to kiss Brynn and you have to tell her goodnight every night. Life is good. And I hope it stays good for a long time.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The little one.

{ A letter to Brynn }

You have completely taken over my heart. To be honest, it took us awhile to get here. Not that I never loved you. I have always loved you. But connecting has ben hard solely because I have your sister to focus on as well. I questioned myself a lot in the beginning. Wondering if I was giving you enough snuggles and kisses. Hoping you were content and happy.

Over the last few weeks, you have started to show more of the person you will become. You are not a fussy baby at all. You fight naps but instead of fussing, you push the paci out of your mouth then decide you want it back and so we play the paci game A LOT. :)

You have had some issues sleeping at night. You were doing pretty well then you got thrush. Then you got a cold and got thrush again. But we are almost done with both and I am sure things will get better then. You have started smiling and cooing and it is just the cutest thing.

Sometimes, I wish I could spend all day laying the floor with you talking about things.

Here are some recent photos:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Little Miss

{A Letter for Brynn}

We are getting our night time routine down this week. All but one day, you only woke up once between 10 and 6am. I tried to have your dad wake up with you but he really struggled to get you back to sleep so I ended up waking up anyway. When I first start rocking you, your little body is very tense. Every couple of minutes you will let out a high-pitched squeak and relax a bit. I am not sure what this is, gas moving through your belly or sleep moving in. Then you will close your eyes for a long time. But your body is still tense. In the beginning, I thought you were asleep, but it was a trick! Now I wait for your whole body to melt into my chest, like a bag of sand. Only then can I lay you in your bassinet. You truly are a puzzle. But I love that I know so much about you after only a month. Even though it has been a hard couple weeks, it is amazing to watch you grow. Today you rolled from your belly to your back. At four weeks. You are so strong. I cannot wait to see what this year brings.

Here you are lifting your head so high.

Friday, September 2, 2011

So Proud

{A letter to Elle}

I am so proud of the way you are handling being a big sister. You love Brynn. When I go into get you in the morning, you say "Baby Bin?" and I tell you she is out in the living room and you run out to give her kisses. Brynn has quite the loud screech and when we are up for midnight feedings, I hear you saying "Baby Bin!" over the monitor. I feel bad that she wakes you up but that screech travels in our tiny house.

Tonight, you and I headed out for some time together. We went to these local trails that you love and I am pretty sure you walked/ran a mile.

Sometimes, I miss just us. Because you are so wonderful and easy :) I have this weird urge to want to climb into your crib with you. To have it just be us and snuggle in the dark.

Here are some pictures from this evening:

Saturday, August 27, 2011


{A letter for mama}

Wow. Having two kids is hard. Really hard. Like tears everyday hard (here they come again just writing that). I am filled with feelings of guilt (for not being able to spend as much time with Elle), extreme fatigue (oh yeah, newborns BARELY sleep at night, or at least mine doesn't all the sudden- did for a few nights there), sadness (life is different, and I am having trouble adjusting), love (I love my little Brynn very much, a new fresh love), anger (at waking up every two hours for the last two weeks) and happiness (that I have two beautiful little girls). And I have this annoying trauma hanging around from my birth and my horrible doctor.

It is so interesting that our brains seem to block bad things from us when it pertains to kids. I forgot the pain of Elle's birth until I was trying to crawl out of my own body to escape it with Brynn. I forgot that feeling of frustration when you spend an hour and half rocking a newborn to sleep for the sixth time with tears streaming down your cheeks only to have them pop awake 45 minutes later. I forgot the confusion of wondering what it is that will calm your baby and trying all of them. Wondering how the hell you did this before. Wondering why the hell you are doing it again!

But here is what I remember most about when Elle was small. Her warm weight snuggled on my chest. That tickly feeling when she tried to eat my neck while I burped her. Her tiny feet, hands and nose. All beautiful things. Sacred things. I vaguely remember the hard stuff my brain has pushed away. No need for those memories. And I know in a few months when I have a snuggle bug smiler who coos at her sister, this will all seem like a distant memory. And I won't remember very clearly the times in the middle of the night when I felt inadequate as a mother, a soother and caretaker. The times I longed for easier days. The times I felt angry at her.

I will remember the times that swaddle worked, she fell right asleep, her first 5 hour stretch, her first midnight smile. But I admit right now, as I am functioning on such little sleep, I feel like I am grasping at straws. Trying to solve this newborn puzzle, when in fact the only way to solve it is time. Her time. Not mine. So I must step back. When we are awake yet again in those early hours, realize I am holding in my arms the most precious gift, a healthy tiny baby who is mine. Dry my tears, drink a cup of tea and squeeze into the rocking chair for a long stretch of midnight snuggling.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tick Tock

{Letter to Brynn}

You are 9 days old today and I cannot believe it. I makes me heart ache that time passes so quickly. You are a great sleeper and only wake up once a night to eat. I feed you and then we sit in the rocking chair and I rock you back to sleep while we listen to Ben Harper. There is this big clock in our kitchen and during the quiet moments of the day, I can hear the loud second hand clicking away. I am trying so hard to appreciate every moment. To not let this time slip between my fingers but is is like trying to catch sand. Life at our house cannot come to a halt. Your sister likes to keep things moving and so often I am whisked away from you on to the next activity. When ever I get the chance, we have chest napping and snuggle sessions. But how I wish there was a slow motion button on life.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The birth of Brynn Hadley

On Wednesday, I went in for my NST (non-stress test) because I was two days over due. During the test, they saw I was having contractions every 3 minutes (I could not feel them). I went down to have an ultrasound to check my fluid levels and Brynn fell asleep so she scored really low on the ultrasound part of the test. So I went back up to see the OB and she checked me and was surprised to find I was 4 centimeters already. She decided to check me into labor and delivery for monitoring.

While I waited for my husband, I just sat in the room all by myself for two hours. Since I was there for "monitoring" and they were really busy, I was put on the back burner, which was fine. I just watched some TV. As time went on, my contractions were stronger and getting painful. The nurses did not want to take me off "monitoring" and officially check me in because they were worried the on-call doc would be stressed about so many babies being born. That should have been my first clue that the on-call doc was not the best guy.

They finally checked me in and my husband, mom and dad arrived. They checked me around 3 and I was still a 5. So I asked for some IV pain meds just to take the edge off. They did not stop the pain but they helped me not really care about it. At about 4:45, those meds had worn off and I was still a 5, so they broke my water. Things went from 0-60. Contractions were really, really strong and painful and I asked about the epidural. She told me that by the time the epidural was put in, I might have a baby. She checked me again and I was already a 7. I was in the worst pain of my life and had my mom holding one hand and my husband holding the other, helping me breathe through.

At 5:15 the on-call doc came in and just stood in front of me with his arms crossed. I was already feeling the need to push and the nurses were trying to get my legs up. He was no help to them. I even said to him "help!". He said, "well, next time you feel the need to push, I will check you". So he did and I was 9. With the next contraction I bore down with all my might and out popped her head, two more pushes and she was born! She was perfect with dark black hair just like her sister.

The next part still makes me queasy. While Brynn was being checked, on-call doc began stitching. He gave me a couple shots of local but they did not do much. He would stitch then roughly shove this gauze around to "clean up". He kept telling me in a not nice way to "please relax my legs and scoot down and this would all go a lot faster". I hated him. He was so rude. My mom was holding my shoulders telling me to look into her eyes and think about Brynn. She saved me. When he was finally done, he just walked out of the room. I started to cry and said he was just horrible and the nurses said "yes, we are all walking on egg shells with him". What the hell kind of OB creates that environment? Everyone around me was encouraging and rallying to help me through the pain, and the person doing the actual work seemed totally disinterested. Natural childbirth is so, so hard and not feeling supported by him was such a frustrating feeling. Ugh. Luckily, one of the nurses complained about him and he later came into apologize. We also had two hospital administrators come in to talk to us as well.

But, she is here. And perfect. And we love her.

Last night she slept from 10-2:30 and 3-7. Yay!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

Welcome Brynn Hadley :)

Introducing Brynn Hadley. Born 8/10/11 at 5:21pm. More pics and birth story to follow.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The waiting game starts

With you, you came at 37 weeks 5 days. So I was ready but not waiting. Since everyone tells you the second birth is both faster and earlier, I was expecting your sister sometime this week. Now I know how it feels to wait for labor to begin. Even though I am only 38 weeks and 3 days right now, I have this fear that I will go over my due date or require a c-section. I am working hard on not thinking about it. In the mean time, I am enjoying the last few days/weeks of time being a mama to one.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


If you are anything like me, you will probably start imagining what your life as an adult will be as a young child. When I was really young, I thought I could grow up to be a dog...which fell through. Then a surfer, then a professional snowboarder (hey, I came kinda close to that one), and then around 18 I knew all I really wanted was a cosy house, a good husband and kids. Because I was a tomboy, I always pictured myself with one boy. I thought I would make a good boy mom because I know how to skateboard and I play most sports. When we found out you were a girl, I was a tiny bit sad only because I always wanted an older brother. But having you I realized I was mean't to have girls. I am just a girl kinda mom. Now being pregnant with your sister, people ask this annoying question "So, are you going to try for number three to get a boy?" No. We will not being trying for number three unless your dad figures out a way to carry babies in his belly.

Because I seem to get asked this question all the time now, I have become impatient and my response is now that I really have no desire for a boy. Which is true. I know I will be perfectly content to have two girls. I hope you have a great bond like I do with my sister. That you stick up for each other on the playground, hold each other through the hard trials of life, cry at each other's weddings and swoon over each other's babies. That you find love, try new things, have adventures but also that you always have your sister. That I as your mama can teach you how to be good to your little sister, and she good to you.

So heres to new expectations of manicures, shopping trips, girly movie nights, forts, skateboarding (yes, girls can do it too), broken hearts, high heels, daring adventures and mascara. While you may start dreaming of your future life when you are young, leave it open for change, as you may just love what is in store. I love you little.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

This baby needs a name!

When choosing Elle's name, it was pretty easy. We had a very short list and we both loved the name Elle. Her middle name is Rowan, another one we both loved. This baby is much more difficult for me.

Here is the list for little sister so far:
1.Parker- I really like but I worry it is too masculine with Elle's literally meaning "her". This is DH's top choice. Middle name would be something very feminine like Mae or Emmeline.
2. Molly
3. Lily
4. Halle
5. Lucia
6. Brynn
7. Edie
8. Leighton

Nothing else is jumping out except Emma, but it must be vetoed due to being the most popular name in the world.

I feel like maybe putting this out into the internet world will help me somehow. Any other suggestions?

A few recents of Elle: