Monday, November 28, 2011


Kayden: Mom, when is your baby going to be born?
Me: What do you mean, K? Are you talking about Tessa?
Kayden: No, not Tessa. Your other baby.
Me: Honey, there is no other baby. Tessa is mommy's final baby.
Kayden: Well, then why does it look like there's another baby in your belly?

I might need to rethink my decision to wait until after the holidays to lose my remaining ten.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


It was my fault, really.

In true fashion, I waited until the last minute to start preparing my dish to pass for today.

Everything fell apart when I realized I had to get all three kids dressed, finish the Apple Crisp, change my clothes and put makeup on, and get the car loaded in a half hour.


Of course I needed a picture of all three of them to mark Thanksgiving 2011 on the books.

All three were bawling for the first 10 pictures. I may or may not have bribed them with candy.

Although our "photo shoot" was a bust, it's pretty clear what I am thankful for.

Psalm 145:7
They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sewing and Sitting

Have I ever told you how my love affair with sewing began?

We were newly married, living separate lives. Josh taught during the day. I was waitressing at night.

There were many long, lonely hours in our apartment.

Shopping is only fun when you have money.

My mom suggested I find a hobby.

Long before Project Runway made it cool, I watched a friend of ours sew a crisp red banner for Redlands Christian and it looked fun.

Excitedly, I told my mom about the new craft I wanted to master and she offered up her machine. A 15-year-old Singer, solid metal hunk of a machine. As I lugged it through three airports and two car rides, I am pretty certain it weighed at least fifty pounds.

"The next time I come out to California, I will teach you," said Jan.

Visions of new dresses, fabulous tops, and fashionable hand sewn accessories flooded my mind. My patience couldn't wait long enough for my mom's tutelage. Seven library books taught me the basics of about gathering, basting, buttons, and back stitch.

A new robe was the first thing I wanted to assemble, so I headed to JoAnns. To my surprise, the fabric would cost me $30.

I could purchase it new for that.

Futhermore, I didn't want to spend all that money to mess up and have to throw it out. We could go to In and Out three times for that kind of dough, after all.

Without a baby on the horizon, I decided that would be my first style to master. One yard would yield an entire outfit with booties, hat, and bloomers to match. I found a great deal on pink flannel and lace, and set to work sewing this:

Side note: Nastalgic to a fault, it was the first blanket I used with Tessa girl. I cherish this, although there are so many flaws and mistakes.

I wish you could see it in person. I actually hand sewed the entire binding. If you know anything about me, you will know that (now) I would rather break ten needles trying to shove it through my machine than hand sew a single stitch.

The next year was spent sewing everything. Nothing was off limits. I loved purchasing a new pattern from the store, picking out just the right material, and sitting down with a cup of hot chocolate and my Singer.

Josh parents gifted me with a brand new embroidery sewing machine on Valentine's Day in 2003. Working with a machine that threaded the bobbin without me hand reeling it was a treat. It remains one of my most treasured gifts.

Then I started sewing for work.

It was fun at first. The thrill of seeing something sell.

Three years and hundred and hundreds of hours into it, somewhere it lost it's luster.

I rarely wanted to sew on my time off.

I did not want to create.

Sitting behind the sewing machine for pleasure reminded me of the many projects sitting next to me that had to be finished. It was easier to get those completed than sit down with a fresh yard and an idea.

Even the fabric store, which I previously loved to peruse, lost it's appeal.

Being on bedrest forced me to, well, rest.

Let go of obligations.

Clear the schedule.

And as much as I miss going out and about with Tessa, there is such beauty in this season.

Before this happened, I would describe my life as a constant state of running (aren't we all?!)

23 round trips to Ypsilanti, regular OB visits, Kayden's basketball practices and Saturday games, Josh's coaching, church obligations, volunteering, room mom, class projects, committees, field trips, keeping the house clean, bringing meals, dinners, coffee dates, MiniMe BabyGear....the list goes on and on and on.

I never said No.

By the end of the day, I would lay down to start praying, and crash in the first few minutes of prayer. My intentions were good, I was just so stinking tired.

Running so much, I didn't have time to sit down with God. Relax in my favorite spot on the couch and read my Bible. Pray for others. Listen. Write things down I want to work on.

There is great fellowship with God in the quiet. Rather, the quiet and conscious. I didn't even realize what I was missing.

Two years ago, a lot of my friends did "Activity Buckets"- you put a bunch of ideas of things you can do together on crumpled up on slips of paper inside a bin, and then draw one out each day to complete.

I always wanted to do it, but was too busy.

We have instituted a new after dinner routine:

Each picks an activity and we play together until they fight:-)

I can say with certainty that I am loving this season of staying home. Although I wouldn't characterize our lives with a very feisty newborn as idle, there is charm in this stage of our lives.

I am even sewing again for fun:

"The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day." E.M. Bounds

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I have been working on a bit more substantial post.


I was messing around with my camera tonight, and Bryce wanted his picture taken. Looking through them, I realized my poor little boy looks homeless.

The two hours between Josh coming home and bedtime leave little time for Super Cuts.

Kid needs a haircut, stat.

I mean, other than the one he gave himself.

PS- isn't the " blue mustache" a special treat?

Oh, the joys of being outnumbered:-)

Friday, November 11, 2011

This rarely happens.

Josh was right.

9 lbs 1 ounce, and doing fabulous for her corrected age of six weeks (4 months actual).

Her height is 21 1/4", which is six inches longer than she was at birth.

She is in the 25% all around.

Dr. Kruggel says she thinks her cheeks might just be a little bigger.

Good thing I love fat babies:-)

Oh, and I am kidding. Josh is right far more often than I am!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The outfit

The talented Katie DeBoer's gift to me when Tessa was born was the fabulous photo shoot she did, which captured our NICU stay so perfectly.

I cherish those photos, and am so thankful for that gift.

It was more than I could even ask for.

Imagine my surprise when she handed me a gift bag at school one afternoon, with this adorable outfit.

"Well, there is a story behind it," she said.

It has to do with the receipt, specifically the date on the receipt.

It took me a few minutes to figure it out.

Anyone want to guess why this outfit is so special?

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Familia update

So, how is Tessa girl doing?

Other than her lack of sleep at night, she is awesome. She sleeps between 2-3 hours between 11pm-5am. Around 4:30-5, I hand her off to Josh to catch some ZZZZs before our day starts.

This morning, I missed preschool.

Oops. Sorry Bryce.

She is still on caffeine, thus still on an apnea monitor. Once she has zero alarms for two weeks, they will take her off the caffeine, and then monitor her for another 2 weeks.

In all truth, I like the monitor most of the time. Especially when she is sleeping.

Tessa is not allowed out, except for doctor's appointments. The biggy for her is RSV. Because her bronchial tubes are already more narrow, it could be very detrimental to her. This month, she will start getting the ever expensive Synergis shot. At $1500 a pop, these monthly shots run through April and are supposed to help minimize the seriousness should she get it.

That girl has been feisty since the day she was born, and I think she gets more stubborn every day.

She hates to be put down.

Still in newborn clothes, but probably not for long.

In all seriousness, she farts louder than an old man. I cannot believe this girl's bottom. Her features are so dainty and she just lets them rip.

Already, you can tell she has brothers.

We take illness pretty serious around the Bird home.

Josh has worn a mask for the last week because he has bronchitis.

These boys are so happy we are home.

They missed their momma and I missed them.

My one goal lately is to spend more time in active playtime. I can easily get caught up in housework and tasks and to do lists, but the fragility of human life was never more present to me than with Tessa girl.

Tomorrow is not a guarantee.

We have a weigh in on Friday. My guess is 8.5 lbs.

Josh says closer to nine.

Any other guesses?

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Hello again.

Wow, it's sad that I didn't even remember my password for this blog.

Been a while.

My apologies.

As such, I also apologize in advance that this post is going to be a little all over the place.

You were warned.

I have mentioned here before that getting pregnant with Kayden was a surprise.

To be completely honest, I did not think much would change when he was born.

My mom came out for two weeks to put the remaining touches on the nursery and help once he arrived. She looked at me so funny when I told my dog Tia how much I loved her and that Kayden wouldn't take her place when he was born.

Naviety at it's finest.

I had no idea how intense my love for him would be.

The day I came home from the hospital in October of 2004, a Walmart run was neccesary. Blankets, bibs, baby shoes, diapers were all overflowing in his nursery. Unfortunately, I completely forgot about MY needs- aspirin, nursing accessories, etc.

Guess that happens when you are a first time mom.

With Josh holding a sound asleep Kayden, he repeated over and over "It's going to be okay. I got this" while trying to push me out the door.

I will not get into the nitty gritty, but Kayden's birth was tough. And long. And horrible.

Getting hit with a semi might have been easier.

I couldn't walk any measure of distance for about three weeks, so the challenge was how I was going to navigate the rows of discounted goods and racks of low priced bargains.

Enter: motorized shopping.

It is just as much fun as it looks.

Every last elderly person looked at me like I was very, very strange

After we checked out I remember sitting in my car, waiting for Josh to pick up the phone to tell me everything was fine. Afterall, the last six times I checked hadn't quite pacified me.

We hung up, and I started bawling huge crocodile tears, asking my mom how could I ever live without that kid now that I knew how great it was to be his mom?

I did not know what to do with the love pouring out of my heart.

Motherhood changed me.

Everything was different.

Since my last post at MiniMe Mom, so much has changed. I look at this blog and don't even feel like the same person that posted in April before our world fell apart.

I used to always feel that when I blogged about my relationship with God, it seemed forced or an afterthought or like I was trying too hard.

A red stool in my bathroom sits directly in front of my linen closet, and sometimes I use it to sit and pray on. Somewhere in February or March, I remember praying that I would be able to share my faith in a real way through my blog.

Be careful what you pray for:-)

Going through this past six months, I feel deeper. God isn't an afterthought or something to add on to appear more "Christian". Almost every relationship in my life has gotten richer because of this refining.

I wouldn't necessarily say I want to go through it again, but I can see so much beauty looking backwards.

So why close out Tessa's blog and come back here?

When Bryce was a baby, I was talking to a friend whose brother died after a long battle with cancer. She was in high school at the time and I asked her how her parents did at balancing time between kids.

She relayed that she understood why her parents spent so much time focusing just on her brother but knowing did not make her feel any less good about them missing her prom.

To say that I replayed that conversation mentally is an understatement.

I struggled all summer to try and make my other two kids feel loved and important, even though this has definitely been the year of Tessa.

Tessa's blog was hard to walk away from. I poured my heart out. I loved reading comments. It became an outlet and a support system simultaneously.

But it didn't include my boys.

So, here is to NEW beginnings with all three of my kiddos and Joshy B.

and maybe every once in a while the dogs.