Go Gators!!

>> Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mommy and her boys watching Gator football... doesn't get much better than that!!

It is a beautiful day in my part of the universe. The weather outside is crisp and sunny and I had biscuits and gravy (one of my favorite foods) for breakfast. But even better is the return of college football and College Game Day. Oh, how I have missed it!! I know at least some of you will understand my excitement. I LOVE my Gators and am so excited for the season to start. Watching football brings out a whole other side of me and it is not always pretty. But it is always passionate, that is for sure. Go Florida Gators!!!

Gator Baby!! We start em' young. :)


My AP Babies

>> Saturday, August 23, 2008

Before I had kids, I really didn't know much about attachment parenting. I learned some things from friends but mostly I just did what seemed natural to me and found out later that I was practicing many of the principles of attachment parenting.

Anyway....more on the merits of AP another time.

Two funny stories:

Lucas has this fascination with his Little People Nativity set. He never let me put it away after Christmas. Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus have frequently been seen driving cranes and tractors and playing with dinos in my living room. Yesterday as Lucas was playing and I was making frozen waffles, I heard my very verbal child say... "Mary, Baby Jesus is crying. Mary, you need to get off the tractor and be with Baby Jesus. He needs some nursies. Mary, give Baby Jesus some nursies and put him in the sling. Then he will stop crying." That's my little AP boy!

I have heard it said around AP circles that if a newborn is anywhere near a breast, they are able to manuever themselves in that direction and latch themselves on. I was always a bit skeptical but recently found out first hand that it is true. I woke up the other night because I felt something tickling me under my arm. Caden sleeps right next to me in bed and when I looked over I saw he had gotten his head under my tank top and was trying to latch himself on. Even as I type this, he is asleep in the sling. Oh, my little AP baby!!
You can check out the Attachment Parenting Blog or website for more info if you are curious. :)


Baby Love Redefined

>> Sunday, August 17, 2008

I promise a more substantial post, probably with a similar theme, soon. But for now, I want to share with you some glimpses of this new precious little bundle that has stolen my heart. Or more accurately, made it double in size. This little one, who squeaks as he nurses and wrinkles his face right before he cries (which is really only when he is hungry) and loves to sleep with his cheek against my chest, is the most humbling and amazing little person. I sit and watch him, as he perfectly sleeps or squirms around or even as he cries, and my heart just swells. And to watch Lucas love his brother is overwhelming in ways I could have never imagined. He comes and kisses Caden's feet and touches his face and makes up his own songs about Caden when he wakes up in the morning or when Caden is crying in the car. "I am trying to help him not cry, Mommy," he says. He comes and sits next to me as I latch Caden on and says "Mommy, please read this book to Lucas and to Caden." I would love nothing more. Truly.
I would never have thought I could love another like I love Lucas. And I would have never imagined I could love Lucas more. Yet both have come true. And my heart swells.


It's a Boy!

>> Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Caden Lauten Brown
9lbs. 5oz. 21 inches
August 11, 2008 at 1:23pm
All is going well. My platelets took a serious bump with the medication so they were able to use spinal anesthesia after all. More to pictures and story to come. I just wanted to introduce my newest little bundle... This pregnancy may have been unanticipated. But as he sleeps on my chest even now, I am changed yet whole and complete in ways I didn't even know I needed.


And just like that....

>> Monday, August 11, 2008

...life is different.

We are walking out the door now to go to the hospital. I remember this being such a strange feeling with my other two deliveries. When I leave my house I am pregnant, and when I come home life will forever be changed.

I am nervous but so very excited. I wish the blood work and the anesthesia and the operation were behind me... that is the part I am nervous about. But I am waiting with baited breath to hold my son and kiss his head and let him change me in ways I cannot even imagine.

Thanks for your friendship and your prayers. We will update when we can with pictures and details.

Love to you all.


So Very Blessed

>> Saturday, August 9, 2008

With the time for the birth of my child drawing nearer and nearer, my emotions (and the organization efforts) are in high gear as you may expect. Today was no exception.

This morning, we had a service project with our church. We went and packaged food to be sent to hungry children in over 40 different countries. I had heard from many people that had done it before that it was an amazing experience. But I wasn't totally prepared for the emotional impact it would have on me. From the introductory video, to praying over the boxes we packed, to seeing the amazing pictures of malnourished children before and after.... it was overwhelming. Here I am, less than 48hours from bringing a child into the world, and feeling like my life is full of drama. But then I see these kids, who have so little, and I realize how amazingly blessed my life and my family is. That sounds so cliche, that my drama seems so much less significant after being reminded of the suffering of others. But it was emotional and humbling and made me want to come home and kiss Lucas a million times.

The organization we worked with today is called Feed My Starving Children. They are admirable and honest and commited to responding to Christ's command that we feed the hungry. And I was honored to be a very small part of it today.

My parents are both in town for the big event on Monday. Lucas loves his "Pa" and had a blast today playing in the dirt and feeding the ducks and collecting sticks. My dad gave him a bath and he was a little out of sorts when he got out. I was in his room putting laundry away and he ran over to me, nakie in his towel, and collapsed into my lap laying his head on my chest. I sat there on the floor, holding my baby, rocking him and resting my cheek on his little wet head. With my eyes closed, I soaked in one of the last moments that Lucas will be my baby. I couldn't help the tears, for the second time today. He got up to pick some books and I asked if we should put on his diaper and jammies. "No Mommy, I just want to snuggle with you" has said as he crumpled back into my lap. I gladly held him a little longer, not really wanting that moment to end.

Life is about to change... a lot. For the better....probably. I mean, of course for the better. I already can't imagine life without this baby and I haven't even met him yet. But it is still change and that always requires some adjustment. But after the high emotions of today, I am just feeling so grateful for what I have and acutely aware of the ways I am blessed.



>> Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Right now, I am sitting on my couch. That's all, just sitting. The dog is sleeping somewhere, the toddler is with some friends watching work crews clean up fallen trees after last night's mega-storm... There are no sounds, no demands.... a million things to do but that can all wait. Right now, I am being QUIET. And that is all. And it feels wonderful!! You should all try it sometime.

I am trying to soak in all the calm and let my mind decompress before the whirlwind really begins.

Baby countdown... 6days to go!


Generations- Psalm Sunday

>> Sunday, August 3, 2008

We read this Psalm in church today and it struck me as so appropriate for me at this point in my life. I am getting ready to add another son to our family and I spend my days explaining any number of things to Lucas. "Mommy, talk about..." police cars, babies, delivery trucks, trees, car washes, light, stars... you name it, he wants to hear about it. He is a very curious kid and soaks it all in like a sponge. And although we have been reading to him out of a little toddler Bible for awhile, we have just recently begun to tell him bible stories as he is falling asleep instead of or in addition to singing "Jesus songs" (as he calls them). "Mommy, talk about Jonah" or Noah or Zacchaeus or "Jesus feeding all the people." It is my job as his mother to teach him these stories and about all the wondrous things our God has done. And it does my heart good to hear him be able to tell the stories right back to me and even correct me if I leave anything out.
This week's Psalm is on the long side, so I just put in an excerpt. It talks all about how God took care of His people but they did not always appreciate it. They rebelled against Him, they did not put their trust in Him. Yet He still took care of His flock and protected them and met their needs.

God takes care of His people. Even when we don't see it, even when we are afraid, even when we have very low platelets and are nervous about giving birth in 7days.... My response to His faithfulness should be obedience and praise and thanksgiving and to pass on the news of His goodness to my boys. So when they have times when it is hard to blindly trust, they too will be able to stand confident in His faithfulness and walk where He leads. Lord, help me to remember your faithfulness and trust in your goodness. And most of all, to teach my boys to do the same.

Psalm 78
1 O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old-
3 what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.
5 He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children,
6 so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.
7 Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.
8 They would not be like their forefathers— a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him.
9 The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned back on the day of battle;
10 they did not keep God's covenant and refused to live by his law.
11 They forgot what he had done, the wonders he had shown them.
12 He did miracles in the sight of their fathers in the land of Egypt, in the region of Zoan.
13 He divided the sea and led them through; he made the water stand firm like a wall.
14 He guided them with the cloud by day and with light from the fire all night.
15 He split the rocks in the desert and gave them water as abundant as the seas;
16 He brought streams out of a rocky crag and made water flow down like rivers.
52 But he brought his people out like a flock; he led them like sheep through the desert.
53 He guided them safely, so they were unafraid; but the sea engulfed their enemies.

Shelter (To every Generation) - Bill Batstone
You have been a shelter Lord
To every generation, to every generation
A sanctuary from the storm
To every generation, to every generation, Lord.

Though the mountains fall, Though the earth should shake,
Though the seas should roar with all the heartache.
Though our hearts should pound, Though our throats be dry,
We will lift Your Name on high.


Bridesmaid dresses

>> Saturday, August 2, 2008

In all this "getting ready for baby" cleaning and organizing, we have been purging closets like crazy. I had a bunch of stuff I didn't really know what to do with stored in the back of the nursery closet but it all had to be taken out to make room for two boys worth of clothes, etc.. Included in those things was my collection of bridesmaids dresses - five in all, two maternity. My collection started in June of 2000 with the most recent addition being from my sister-in-law's wedding a few months ago. I have never worn any of them again, probably never will. But the sentimental side of me has kept them in the back of the closet for years.
I pulled them all out today and thought back on all the memories that the dresses represent. My sister's wedding when I was pregnant with my first son... my friend's wedding where another friend and I stayed up all night after the wedding dying our hair... my sister-in-law's wedding where Lucas was only a few months old but still wore a tux and was the cutest thing ever... But, do I need to keep the dresses? I don't really have the closet space, truthfully. But I still have a hard time parting with them. I tend to be a keeper, thus the need for closet purging.
What have you done with your old bridesmaid dresses? Do you think the friends and family whom I originally wore the dress for would be offended if I donated them to some charity for someone else to hopefully get some use out of?
If you are reading this and one of these dresses was for your wedding (you know who you are), know that either way I was honored to stand with you on your big day. I would love your opinions, all of you.... Donate or keep?


Could this be it?

>> Friday, August 1, 2008

In the early part of last December, I sat with some close friends as we celebrated a precious little girl turning one. Being people whom I trust deeply, I asked them if it was weird (I think I actually said "counter-cultural") for me to not want any more children. Pregnancy for me is complicated, and choosing to do it again seemed a little like leaping in the dark and not knowing where I would land. OK, it felt a lot like that. Well, in God's perfect yet sometimes baffling timing, I peed on a stick about a week later and it was positive. Whether I wanted to take the leap or not, here I was... jumping.

So here I am, about 9 days away from delivery. All signs point to my feet landing from this unanticipated leap on solid ground. However, I admitted to a friend today (I hadn't let myself verbalize this before) that I have this feeling I can't shake that something is not going to go as predicted. Family and friends are naturally asking about the plan. When can we see you/him? When will you come home? Etc, etc... I give the answers that I think are true but always with this check in my gut that it may not turn out that way. Maybe it is a bit of self-protection, just in case. Maybe it is my heart's inability to feel secure and confident that things will be "normal" or straightforward. What if I do have to have general anesthesia or what if Baby has issues or what if I get the spinal and something goes wrong? I am honestly expecting things to go as planned. But, then comes the gut check.... What if....?

As if there are not enough things to think about when you are 9 days from giving birth, there is something else fairly significant on my mind. Hubby and I have been discussing for awhile (since the 1st OB appt. actually) whether or not we would have my tubes tied during this c-section. At first, I thought definitely yes. I mean, I didn't expect this pregnancy at all and if I could take a step to prevent this roller coaster again, why wouldn't I do that.

Could this be it?

This decision is a bit complex, to say the least. I am 90% (maybe more) sure that I do not want to have more kids. But yet, I am not sure I can give up my ability to do so. Not that it takes away from my womanhood or makes me any less maternal. It just feels so.... final. And I am not sure I am in an emotionally stable place to make such a final decision. But yet, I do not really want to be pregnant again. I don't want to live the drama of pre-ultrasound, low platelets pregnancy after we finish this round. So why not do it? It is practical, it would certainly give Hubby and I a peace of mind we wouldn't otherwise have. But....yet....

I sit here with my hand on my belly as my third son kicks and flips inside. And I am so very anxious to meet him and discover his personality and begin living life with him on the outside. I wonder what the moment will be like when I meet him and Hubby meets him and Lucas meets him. I wonder how I will feel when I hold him and my heart redefines what it is to burst with love. With my newest son in my arms, will I be glad the leap is done and feel certain I don't want to leap again? Or will I, in that moment, wish there was at least the possibility of expanding my world, my heart once again? Or is this even the time to make such a life-altering decision?

Are these next 9 days the last my body will ever experience with life being nurtured inside? I love being pregnant, I love my boys... but I am not sure I could ride this roller coaster again. This feels like a leap of a whole different kind. I am a bit tired of jumping right now, ready to keep my feet planted for awhile. But yet I still can't help but ask....Could this be it?
P.S.~ By request, some real belly pictures coming soon...


Baby Love Slings


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