Ten

Ten Years of Marriage

The ham to my cheese.

Dear Josh,

Ten years ago today we exchanged vows and started our life together as husband and wife. I’m in awe that it has been a decade already. It hardly seems possible. And yet, here we are celebrating 10 years of marriage together.

Thank you for saying I do.

Our life has not been perfect—and some days it has been a real bitch—but having my best friend by my side through the bad as well as the good has made those rough times easier.

Thank you for laughing and crying with me.

So many of my favorite moments involve you.

 Our trip to Myrtle Beach in ’97 long before “intimate” was part of the vocabulary of “us”.

Our wedding. It was magical and amazing and personal and perfect. Right down to the very last song.

 Jamaica. Sunrises. Rum drinks. Beaches. So much food. Some day we will do it again.

Buying and fixing up our first home. It may not be our forever home but is our home of so many firsts. Moving will be bittersweet.

Becoming parents. The first time and the second. I cannot even put in to words how amazing this has been. Being a mom to our two boys is really my favorite thing in the world. Having you as their father? Perfection.

These are the big ones. The forever in my heart ones. But they are far from the only ones. The tiny everyday memories that make up our life together are just as important to me.

Making sushi together.

Waking up each morning with you, me, both the kids, and the cat in the same bed.

Trips to the zoo, the museum, the parks.

Sitting in the backyard with a cup of coffee on a chilly spring morning. Or with a beer on a warm summer night.

Road trips. Bike rides. Family walks.

No matter what we do together or where life takes us, you will always be the one I want to do it with.

Happy tenth anniversary, Josh. You mean the world to me.

Love,

Holly

Forget the Stroller, I’ll Wear My Baby Instead

I have fallen completely in love with babywearing. I’m even talking about babywearing at Curvy Girl Guide today.

Some might call it an addiction.

I cannot deny that logic.

I kind of—okay definitely—addicted to wearing my baby. So much so that I regret not discovering the wonders of babywearing when G-tot was a baby. Thankfully I discovered how much I love it while Huggy Baby is still small. Even better is that Huggy Baby loves to be worn.

doublehammock

Double Hammock in a Hoppediz Chicago woven wrap

What I love so much about babywearing is the sense of closeness and security I feel with having my baby so close to me. Chest-to-chest and close enough to kiss is perfect for sweet baby snuggles. High on my back in a double hammock and he can see the world from my point of view and still snuggle up against me. Plus, when you wear your baby you don’t have to worry about finagling a stroller through crowds and tight spots or up and down stairs. At the park a few weeks ago Huggy Baby and I would have been stuck on the shore instead of skipping stones and exploring the dried up spots of the Maumee River with Josh and G-tot had we not been babywearing.

park

Exploring the Metroparks

At the zoo

At the zoo

See, babywearing brings families together. Plus, the different carriers seem to come with sleepy dust. Huggy Baby is so comfy when he is worn that he falls asleep almost every single time. It’s magical.

sleepy

Sleepy Dust in woven wraps

It started with the Moby wrap which I wore sporadically for the first six months or so of Huggy Baby’s life. It was great but I knew I was barely scratching the surface of babywearing with it. Little did I know just how many options were out there when it comes to babywearing. Mei Tais. Woven wraps. Podageis. Wrap conversions. Ring Slings. Soft structured carriers.

happybaby

WAHM WC Mei Tai (left) & GMBB gauze wrap (right)

And then there are all the different types of carries you can do depending on the type/size/length of carrier you are using. Front cross carry. Poppins hip carry. Double hammock back carry. It goes on and on.

Like I said, I LOVE it.

I even belong to a handful of babywearing groups on Facebook (and on the internet in general) these days. These groups have been a valuable resource when it comes to learning about babywearing. Sure, it takes a minute or two to learn all the different acronyms for the carriers and carries I mentioned above. But no worries, the ladies in these groups are fabulous. So many of them are fiercely passionate about babywearing and are more than willing to share their knowledge with newbies and seasoned babywearers alike.

FRbiglittle

Front wrap cross carry (left) & Rucking the big guy (right) in Girasol's Fire Rainbow woven wrap

And although I’m far from a seasoned baby wearer, I even made a little YouTube video on how to do a FWCC for a colleague who babywearing curious thanks to the influx of photos I’ve posted on Facebook.

Do you have any experience babywearing? Do you have questions about babywearing? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!

9 Years

IMG_1352

Three thousand two hundred eighty eight days ago I recited hand written vows with my best friend.

IMG_1514

Four hundred sixty nine weeks ago we danced hand-in-hand in a huge circle with a slew of our closest friends to All Together Now by The Beatles as our last song of the night.

IMG_1757

One hundred eight months ago I married an amazing man.

IMG_1802

Sure, our relationship isn’t perfect. Sometimes we fight. Sometimes we go to bed mad.

Photo 21

But every morning a kiss starts off our day and I love him to pieces all over again.

DSC03609

He  is the one for me and I am the one for him.

DSC01841

I’m certain of it.

DSC01559

He gets me. In ways that NOBODY else could.

DSC00750

I’m so lucky he said “I do” nine years ago.

Happy Anniversary, Josh. I love you.

Two Two-Four

momandme

This is my Mom.

I would have to say she is my most favorite lady ever. Over the past 35 years she has loved me, guided me, taught me, and cared for me in a way that has made me feel like I hit the lottery when it comes to mothers. She has been a friend, a disciplinarian, a cheerleader, and a shoulder to cry on when I’ve needed one.

She is pretty fantastic.

Today is her birthday.

And although I’ve already wished her a happy birthday on her Facebook wall and I will call her later to tell her the same since we live too far away to celebrate together in person, I want to tell her here too.

Happy Birthday, Mom.

You deserve every wish you have ever made as you’ve blown out the candles on your cake each February 24th.

Happy Birthday To You!

Today is my Dad’s birthday.

He is celebrating his 59th. The fact that this is his last year as a 50-something seems almost impossible to me. For some reason my parents fall into this category of being perpetually in their late 40s or early 50s. Which is ridiculous since I’m 35. If I’m getting older they certainly are.

But… they have this air of youthfulness about them.

For my dad it probably has a lot to do with the fact that he still loves to hunt. He still loves his rock ‘n’ roll. He just refuses to grow old.

It is pretty spectacular.

I hope that’s hereditary.

IMG_6611

Happy Birthday Dad!

Wishing You…

Whatever you may celebrate this time of year, my family and I wish you the happiest moments and memories with the ones you love—today, tomorrow, and always.

2011 Christmas Card—probably my favorite yet.

2011 Christmas Card—probably my favorite yet.

The Dimple. A Yawn.

Totally in love with this kid.

The dimple.

IMG_2200A Yawn.

IMG_2201

23 Days old—taken on 9.27.11.

Becoming a Mother of Two—Huggy’s Birth Story

He has a lot of hair and it’s really dark! —JQ’s first words upon seeing the baby.

Saturday, September 3rd started out like most days—shower, coffee, chocolate soy milk for G-tot along with breakfast. It’s the way we do things. But that would be the last morning our routine would be just that way.

September 3, 2011

September 3, 2011

The next morning we would become a family of four.

I went to bed Saturday night feeling incredibly emotional about the state of my life at that moment. Part of me mourned the fact we would no longer be a family of three—life as we had known if for the past four and a half years would cease.

At that same moment I was elated about what was ahead for us. Meeting our second son. Becoming a larger family. Seeing this pregnancy through to an end that we all hoped for—a healthy baby.

We were in the midst of a major life change and I was kind of overwhelmed.

I felt a little lonely that night. G-tot, our first son, was staying overnight with my mom. My husband, JQ, had a gig that night and wouldn’t be home until late. My dad was in town and staying the night at our house, but he was asleep by 7:30.

It was just me and my thoughts for the rest of the night.

I packed up the last minute items in my hospital bag. I finished the book I had been reading. By 11:00 I was turning off the light and hoping for a little sleep before my alarm went off at 5 a.m. the next day.

I think I managed 3 hours of sleep.

A hot shower for me on Sunday morning and by 5:40 we were on our way.

The hospital seemed really quiet that that early.

I was put in triage and began the routine of being hooked up to various machines, injected, questioned, and informed of what the next few hours might look like for me. Thankfully, the nurse who put my IV in did a great job this time and got the IV in my arm instead of my hand. However, the phlebotomist that took my blood sucked and managed to inflict more pain than every other person putting a needle in me did that day. And there were several. The nurse that would be with me during surgery and in recovery was the same nurse we had in OR and recovery when I gave birth to G-tot. Erika. I liked her.

At 8:05 a.m. I was checked into the operating room.

It was weird to feel so on schedule with this birth experience.

JQ was not allowed in the OR right away while they prepped everything and for about 15 minutes we were apart that morning. I wonder what he thought about sitting there alone? Moments before everything really big was about to happen.

Part of the prep included anesthesia. This time I was getting a spinal block instead of an epidural. As the anesthesiologist was getting ready to apply the local and do the spinal block, my nerves took over and I started to cry. This is what scared me. More than the actual surgery, I was afraid of the anesthetic. My sweet OB hugged me and consoled me that it would all be alright. She was right. The spinal block was a much better experience than the epidural was for me. I would chose that again in a heartbeat. Dean, the anesthesiologist, was fantastic.

Music played in the background of the operating room. Classic rock—chosen by my OB but very likely what I would have chosen. There was an air of calm confidence in the room and I felt really at peace and joyful about what was about to happen.

As soon as everything was prepped, JQ was let into the room. He took a seat near my head and minutes later we heard the first cry of our second son.

My first moments with my newborn son.

My first moments with my newborn son.

At 8:37 a.m. on Sunday, September 4th Harper Otis was born.
21 inches long. 7 pounds 3 ounces.
Absolutely perfect.

39 hours old. G-tot loves him.

39 hours old. G-tot loves him.

I fell in love the moment I met him.

4 days old.

4 days old.

Babbles, Boobs, and Baby

It’s 11:22 a.m.

If all goes well and some moron doesn’t set themselves on fire or blow off any of their fingers “celebrating” Labor Day weekend, by this time next week we will be a family of four. I could be in my room eating a post surgery meal and basking in the love of my three guys.

I’m still in shock that we are so close to the end.

I’m also completely unprepared when it comes to having “stuff” for the baby.

I have my boobs.
I have a pack of diapers.
I have some clothes.

That’s good enough, right?

Speaking of boobs, I wrote a letter to mine this week. I also discussed whether or not a porn star should be able to breastfeed in public.

I probably won’t get that pregnancy massage but I will be in for one as soon as I can after giving birth. Along with some new tattoos.

The hospital I’m delivering at has a kick-ass cafeteria. That may be what I’m looking most forward to during my hospital stay. Well, besides the baby of course.

I wonder if they could send wine in one of these care packages?

And these? These make me think I should get to designing some birth announcements sooner than later.

Oh, and since some of you have asked, yes we have a very small registry.

Nine Days

Pooping on the table.

Having to get an epidural.

Those were the two things I feared the most when I headed to the hospital four and a half years ago to give birth to G-tot. After 20+ hours of labor the doctor’s strongly suggested an epidural—which I succumbed to after a mini-nervous breakdown.

A few hours later I still hadn’t progressed enough to push so we went the c-section route. Plus side? No pooping on the table.

I’m nine days away from having another c-section. NINE DAYS. Single digits.

This time I’m scared to leave G-tot behind.

37.5 weeks

37.5 weeks

Just thinking about leaving him sleeping in bed early in the morning on September 4th brings tears to my eyes. I know he will be in great hands. I know I will see him as soon as I can. And yet, it won’t be quite the same. I will be coming out of major surgery. He won’t be able to climb up on me and snuggle quite like we will on Saturday night. We will no longer be a family of three.

It will be the end of one chapter of our lives and the beginning of something completely new and unknown. For some reason that makes me weep.

Over the past year and a half I doubted we would ever get to this point. I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to give G-tot a sibling. A comrade. Someone to vent about his dad and me to in years to come.

Now we are just nine days away.

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around it.

I don’t want to stay in the hospital for days this time. I want to leave as soon as possible and be with my family in our own home. I want to start our new life away from IVs and nurses. I want to create our new routine.

I want G-tot to know I will never love him any less than I do in this moment.

I want to not be scared of the next nine days.