We’ve Moved!

I have some exciting news to share- I have moved to a new site. I will still continue to blog about family, being a mom, and the sweet little girls that made me one, but I have also expanded to write about some other passions of mine, like interior design and styling, inspiring spaces, learning with kids, and more. Please click here to visit my new site- and thank you for following along! If you would like to receive updates/continue receiving updates each time a new post is up, make sure you enter your email address into the new site to subscribe!

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Sweet Lu, It’s You

My Dear Sweet Girl,

I finally asked Daddy what the date was this morning, and discovered that you are almost 11 months old! While I may not be very good about remembering what day it is in this cycle of good morning snuggles, naps, walks, diaper changes, cleaning sticky hands and goodnight kisses that keeps repeating over and over again, I am very good about noticing all of the beautiful changes in you. As each day passes you become more YOU, giving us more doses of your personality and glimpses of what the future holds for us as your insanely lucky parents.

Since tomorrow you will likely be running around, calling us by name and solving algebraic equations in your downtime, I feel it is only necessary that I document my favorite things about you in this particular, oh so yummy I want to bottle it up stage in your life.

And so, without further adieu, some things about you.

You have the best eyes. I don’t know what it is about them. They almost have a sleepy puppy dog quality, one that makes me want to laugh with happiness when you smile and wrenches my heart when you cry those big fat tears that roll down your cheeks and make your eye lashes stick together.

You are starving first thing in the morning, and always yell at Daddy when he tries to change your diaper before bringing you in to snuggle with me and nurse. You get even madder when I insist on kissing you all over face before feeding you, hoping to catch a whiff of your morning breath that for some reason I just can’t get enough of. (I know I’m weird, but it’s my drug of choice.)

You like to play for a few minutes by yourself, leaving quite the trail of toys and opened books in your wake, but I eventually find you at my feet pulling up my legs and begging to be held. I’m often told you’re a Momma’s girl, and I can’t hear it enough.

You love to eat. Like seriously. You can be so cranky, tired, teething, sick, you name it, but if we put some food in front of you, you are golden. Until it runs out. Your favorites are fruits. You will always eat every piece of fruit first before moving on to anything else on your plate. And you always completely clean your plate, unless there are eggs on it. We will later find many pieces of food in your bib, behind your ears, and under your high chair, but you make a solid effort.

You don’t like it when your sister takes your things, and you are not afraid to show it. That is a nice way of saying that you squawk like a baby pterodactyl the second she takes something out of your hands (which happens fairly often I’m sorry to say… your sister seems infinitely older to you I’m sure, but she’s only 2). Can’t say I love the shrieking, but I do love the fact that you stand up for yourself. Passive is not a word to describe you.

Sometimes you get these little spurts of hyper energy where you bob your head up and down and make silly noises and start crawling across the floor super fast. The sound of your little palms happily slapping the floor may be one of my favorite sounds ever.

You love to talk, babble, smack your lips together repeatedly, and join in our conversations. And whenever you are done nursing, you let me know by sticking out your tongue and blowing big raspberries in my face.

You want to do whatever your sister is doing (shocking, right?) Your efforts to “help” her build her train track or lego tower are, sadly, not always appreciated. And neither are Mom’s efforts to distract you from your mission.

Along that vein, you are incredibly determined and persistent. That comes from your father, he likes to proclaim (with a mixture of pride and apology).

You love the outdoors. Whenever we open the back door to let the warm breezes in, you pull yourself up to stand at the screen door and stare out into the yard for minutes at a time. You also adore going for walks outside in your stroller.

You have a blast at bath time. My favorite part of bath time is seeing you and your sister’s cute naked butts leaning over the tub waiting for the water to fill up, but your favorite part is most definitely kicking your legs super fast to make splashes, and getting to be in such close quarters with your sister.

You like to sit on your butt and use your legs to make yourself rotate around in circles. It’s so silly.

You think its hilarious to feed us. You hold food out in your fist toward us and make the “num num” noise to indicate that we are to eat it, and we do because the smile on your face when we eat the food and say “Yummy! Thank you!” is infectious. True love is eating soggy puffs from your baby’s sticky hand, and doing it with a smile.

When you are about to get something you really want (a bottle at bedtime, a certain food, a favorite toy), you chuckle. It starts out as a happy excited chuckle, but quickly morphs into an angry panicked chuckle if it takes too long to get said object.

You sleep with a soft snuggly toy puppy at nap and bedtime. As soon as Puppy is placed into your arms, you laugh with glee and rub him all over your face. It’s adorable.

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I know from experience that you are going to grow way too quickly. Soon the things that make those kind eyes light up will change. You won’t chuckle for bottles much longer, and the sound of your palms slapping on the floor will be a thing of the past. While a part of me will mourn the loss of those precious things that have made up your babyhood, a much bigger part of me will celebrate the things, still yet to come, that will make up your childhood. It is such a blessing to know and love you my sweet Lu.

Love,

Mommy

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I know you get plenty of letters before the main event, but I’m guessing you don’t get very many after. Once the presents have been torn open, wrapping paper flying through the air, and the toys have been fast and furiously played with before being tossed aside for others, the memory of you seems to fade into the background until December rolls around again.

So I am writing this letter to you, Santa, compliments of Miss Penelope and Lucy (and their parents of course),  to let you know that you have not been forgotten, and are still very much in our thoughts.

Your presence has been in our homes for weeks now, introduced at a time when a little girl was very much excited about the prospect of finding presents under her Christmas tree and was old enough to understand what you meant. When first asked what she hoped you would bring for her on Christmas, Penny’s only response was “brown.” We were as puzzled as I’m sure you were, but she eventually decided on Belle and a friend, a term she uses for all of her stuffed animals.

You provided us with many opportunities to get messy and creative with glitter and glue, all in the name of celebrating the Christmas season. We sang songs every night before bed in your honor, songs about reindeer paws and foggy nights and naughty and nice lists, after hearing those same songs blaring cheerfully from the speakers of our antique radio all day long. Our Christmas tree, which Penny helped to decorate (as I’m sure you could tell) and loudly exclaimed after each bulb was hung, “Oh my gosh I lub it!” gave Lucy endless hours of entertainment, and was surely one of her main motivations for learning to crawl.  You should have seen the gleam in her eye and her happily flapping arms when she was finally able to get up close and personal and grasp for every shiny bulb within reach. You also gave us an excuse to bake too many cookies, a welcome distraction when poor Penny was otherwise miserable with hand foot and mouth disease, and Lucy was cutting her first two teeth.

Thankfully, both girls were on the mend and in good spirits just in time for Christmas Eve, and I’m sure the excitement of your impending arrival was partly to thank. Unfortunately, by that time Dad had also caught hand foot and mouth disease, and we were forced to cancel our grand plans and have a quarantine Christmas. Yet somehow, as the girls donned their new Christmas jammies and Penny proudly placed a plate of cookies and a cold glass of milk near the tree before giddily hopping into bed, our cozy Christmas Eve as a family of four seemed to be just what the doctor had ordered. After watching George Bailey save Bedford Falls for perhaps the millionth time, and still getting that warm tingly holiday feeling when he was declared “the richest man in town,” Mom and Dad sleepily retired to bed, feeling pretty rich themselves.

I wish you could have seen the girls’ reaction on Christmas morning. Lucy of course dove right for the delightfully crinkly tissue paper, but Penny was in such a state of shock that she could only point with a silly grin on her face for several moments. The shock eventually wore off, and she was able to enjoy all of her wonderful gifts, savoring each one before moving on to the next. Her Daniel Tiger stuffed animal and Belle barbie were quite the hit, as was Mr. Potato head. Lucy adored her super soft stuffed puppy- it is now her favorite snuggling companion, and she sweetly nuzzles him with her face the second he is placed into her arms at bedtime.

It truly was a magical Christmas, just the four of us, in our tiny downtown home. Years from now, in spite of the sickness and cancelled plans, I know we will fondly remember this Christmas past as being sweet and cozy and so very special.

So thank you Santa, for playing such an important role in our family holiday, and we look forward to having you back again next year.

Love,

The Kiernicki Family

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Just One of Those Days

My Dear Sweet Girls,

Today was one of those days. Nothing very monumental happened- it was rainy so we stayed inside, cranked up the Christmas music and spent the morning gluing sequins and fuzzy balls onto foam shaped Christmas trees. I helped to peel a hundred Santas off of sticker sheets so they could be carefully placed onto construction paper by tiny pudgy hands. I saved a baby who is desperate to crawl (but can only scoot backwards as of yet) from under various pieces of furniture that she kept getting stuck under. I removed a thousand soggy socks from that same baby’s mouth and wrestled them onto cold wriggly feet. I listened as a helpful little girl read a counting book to her sister before her morning nap (one, tyoo, pree, pour, pive, six, seben, eight, nine, ten!) and prayed that she never learns the correct way to say things. I brushed soft curls from eyes and inhaled said hair, wondering when I would have to switch from baby shampoo to big girl shampoo.

I poured boxed mac n’ cheese into bowls for lunch, feeling mildly guilty until I was greeted with “Yay, mac cheese!” and happy flapping baby hands. I tucked two sleepy girls in for naps after singing yet another round of Charlie Brown’s “Christmastime is Here” and the theme song to Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. I scraped dried noodles off of plates and picked pajamas off the floor and hung artwork up to dry and exhaled after plopping down on the couch for what felt like the world’s shortest break, only to hear the squawks of a wide awake baby coming from the bedroom. I kissed warm red baby cheeks and replaced socks. I blew raspberries on a chubby little belly over and over for goofy grins and chuckles. I tried in vain to feed a baby who was much more interested in watching her sister play.

Once the sun peeked out, I went for a walk that was much more about a little girl continuing her quest to remove every flower from every flower box in Charleston than anything else. I rinsed bubbles from clean wet heads and rubbed lotion onto soft skin and sang another round of “Christmastime is Here” and “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.” I retrieved a lost teddy bear. I said good night. Moments later I took a little girl to the bathroom to pee. I unzipped fleece footed pajamas, re-zipped fleece footed pajamas. I returned a little girl to bed, startled to see a baby sitting up clinging to the bars of her crib. I laid the little monkey back down and stuck a paci in her mouth. Moments later I took a little girl to the bathroom to poop. I unzipped fleece footed pajamas, re-zipped fleece footed pajamas. I returned a little girl to bed, laid a baby back down and reinserted a paci. I picked toys up off of the floor and loaded the dishwasher. I plopped onto the couch with a sigh, ready to zone out, only to be filled with this sudden need to record this not so monumental day.

Because it was just one of those days I knew I would want to remember.

Love,

Mommy

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Photographs by Amanda Seifert Photography

A Perfect Day

I’m a little late in posting these (about 6 months late), but these images taken by my sister captured Penny’s 2nd birthday perfectly.

It was exactly the day we had envisioned in this post– a fun, laid-back day surrounded by family and yummy food and cake. And presents. Too many presents. And even though Penny never napped and crashed super hard after a dangerous combination of no sleep, lots of sugar, and gifts that had a very clear Frozen theme for this Anna and Elsa obsessed girl.. and even though about an hour before the festivities began we had a last minute showing request on our house and had to run around like crazy people shoving food and decorations into random cupboards and closets… it was still pretty perfect.

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To My Sweet Lucy (and all the other little sisters of the world)

Lucy,

Today, as I sat on the floor with you in my lap, toys scattered at our feet and you in a state of discontent, I suddenly heard a tiny laugh escape your lips. Your sister had scurried into the room, on a mission to bring every toy from the playroom into the living room, and I looked down to see that your cheeks had turned up into the goofiest grin and your eyes had lit up as they followed your busy bee of a sister across the room. She took a brief pause to hand you a toy banana, proudly exclaiming, “Here you go, Lulu!” and was off again. Your smile got even wider, causing your pacifier to fall out of your mouth and onto the ground, and the toy was immediately shoved in its’ place. Penny was completely oblivious, but I saw it. Right then my heart broke just a little bit inside.

You see, I am the big sister in my family. i know what it is like to have a little sister constantly at my feet, wanting nothing more than my attention and time. I remember wanting to be left alone to read, or play with my friends. I remember the heavy sighs when my mom would make me let her play with us, and the eye rolls when she would ask to sleep in my bed yet again.

Penny is only two, and it is already starting. Protests that she doesn’t want to give you a kiss goodnight, or snatching a toy from your little hands after you have just worked so hard to get it and are so incredibly pleased with your efforts. Being so completely consumed with building her lego tower or babying her stuffed animals that she barely pays you any mind at all. And yet when that small ounce of attention finally comes, as it always does, that “Hi Lulu!” or that toy shoved into your hands, the glee you feel is infectious. As the little sister, you will idolize and adore that silly, busy big sister of yours even when your feelings aren’t justified. And thats ok, because even though she will break your heart a thousand times, she will repair it again and again.

You see, I also remember secretly wanting to stay home and play with my sister when I was asked to go to a friend’s house to play. And hoping that she would ask to sleep in my bed with me for another night. I remember when something exciting would happen at school, and she would be the one I couldn’t wait to come home and tell all about it. And mostly, I remember the almost maternal feeling I had toward her, a combination of pride and fear, as I watched her learning and growing, finding her own friends and interests and taking her own path in life.

I’m not going to lie Lucy, it’s not going to be easy. There will be some name calling and door slamming. Hurtful things will be said, and tears will be shed. But I promise you, as a big sister myself, that no one will ever know you and love you like your big sister will. So keep adoring that amazing big sister of yours, because one day she will not only recognize and appreciate it, but she will surely adore you for the sweet and loving sister you are in return. But until that day comes, I promise to be around to make her give back that toy and to wipe those fat salty tears from your sweet little cheeks.

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On the Street Where You Live

“Let’s just look for fun.” Famous last words.

While it was totally unfeasible, while there was surely no way we could find a place we could afford to comfortably live in the middle of downtown Charleston with two small children and three pets, while we had finally finished Lucy’s nursery, the final room in the home we planned to raise our children and grow old in, we still decided to look. Because living downtown had always been a dream of ours. And maybe one day we could do it…one day we could pay off our debt, sell most of our belongings and sacrifice square footage to live in the center of everything. But before we took the steps to reach that goal, we needed to at least see if the goal was something we even wanted.

And so we parked near our favorite downtown coffee shop, armed ourselves with caffeine, and traipsed through several cute dwellings in downtown Charleston. One was very spacious, but a little far from where we wanted to be. Another was a great location but super small and had two stories, something we wanted to avoid in our next home. Another had no counter space (unless you counted the top of the washing machine, which I didn’t), and was located next to a fire station. Still, every place had charm and character, and we agreed that while we didn’t feel a strong desire to live in any of the places we had seen, we also felt confident that when the time came, we could find a place that would suit us.

Then Kevin remembered that we still had one more appointment, for a place on Queen Street, right in the historic French Quarter district. “But we should probably just cancel,” he said. “It says no pets allowed.”

“But we’re just looking for fun! Let’s just go check it out. I’m curious to see what a place on Queen Street looks like.”

An hour later, we were putting in an application and pleading with the owners to forgive our three “very well mannered you’d never know they’re even there pets.” While we waited with baited breath for the landlord to decide if we were worthy of the adorable flat we had fallen in love with, we made a game plan. Before we knew it, we couldn’t remember why we had decided to wait to make this move. Just like that, there was no turning back.

A few days later, our house was on the market and we were purging our belongings. Big time. Between trying to keep the house spotless and rushing the little ones out of the house for showings, often with little notice, it has been one crazy summer. Crazy enough to keep me from posting about the fact that Lucy is almost 5 months old, and has left the newborn stage of endless naps and feedings and tears and emerged as the sweetest of girls who is quick with a smile and full of giggles for her silly big sister. Who instantly calms when you hold her tiny hand, and loves to be a part of the action. Or the fact that Penny is speaking in full sentences, says new words and phrases every day, and is so eager to communicate about the world around her. Who loves to help with her little sister by giving her a toy or pacifier or saying a very enthusiastic “Hi Lulu!” in order to elicit a gummy little smile.

Only a couple of months have passed since that fateful day, and now here we sit in this small flat with its’ impossibly tall ceilings, creaky old floors, and sooty brick fireplace. And we can’t stop pinching ourselves. Because we will always appreciate our first family home, the place that sheltered our babies when we brought them home only hours old. But our new residence on Queen Street, around the corner from an ancient cemetery and beautiful churches that remind us of each passing hour with their chiming bells, has felt more like home, more like us, than any place ever has. While Lucy will never get to sleep in that perfect little nursery we spent hours working on in preparation for her arrival, she will get to share a cozy room with her big sister, with a view of an ivy covered worn brick theater out her paned glass window. We will no longer have ample cupboard and closet space and shiny new floors. But we will finally know the convenience of stepping out of our front door and walking to everything. Of living in the center of a city that is seeped in charm and history. We only live once, right?

And we are living a charmed life indeed.

To My Daughter on the Eve of Her Second Birthday

Dear Penny,

At this time last year, I was busy preparing for the big party we were having to celebrate your first birthday. As many parents say when they are having a big first birthday bash for their child, it was a party for us more than anything, to celebrate our first year as parents. While you enjoyed your first cupcake and being surrounded by lots of smiling faces, you really didn’t know what was going on or fully appreciate all of the work that went into that day. And the funny thing is, your Daddy and I didn’t get to enjoy it much either. Between all of the decorations (mostly made by hand) and the food prep, and stressing about the weather forecast, and then trying to visit with each of our guests who so graciously came to celebrate with us, we hardly got to sit back and enjoy ourselves at all. At the end of the night, when we were finally able to put our feet up and you were nestled cozily in your crib, we promised ourselves that we would keep things low key the following year so the we could actually enjoy being with you on your birthday. And we did.

Tomorrow when you wake up, you will come down the stairs to a festive banner and some balloons, and a special present that you will be allowed to open early (a cute new bathing suit) so that you can use it when we take you to the water park later. You will be thrilled to discover that Daddy is not going to “wort” like he normally does, but will be joining us for breakfast at your favorite dining establishment, The Waffle House, where we will share the All Star breakfast with an extra side of grits and hash browns smothered and covered. We will burn off our breakfast splashing around in the water, and will come home just in time to take a nice long nap.

Mom and Dad will most likely use this time to snuggle with your sister and reflect on all of the ways you have grown in the past year. From learning to walk, to running, to trying unsuccessfully albeit adorably to jump into the air…from making sounds to saying first words to forming actual sentences and having conversations with us…from sleeping in a crib to sleeping in a big girl bed…from being an only child to a super sweet and loving big sister…it has been truly amazing to see all of these changes take place in you. And yet you are still the you that I wrote about in this post last year- still the sweetest, silliest little girl that we could ever hope to call our daughter. After all of this marveling is done, your Mommy will probably have a good cry and your Daddy will be ready with lots of tissues because he knows how your Mommy gets when she thinks about how much she loves you.

When you wake up well-rested and refreshed, you will be delighted to hear that your favorite people in the world, Nana, Papa, Grandma, Auntie Manda and Uncle Brandon are all coming over for dinner and cake. You will feast on cheesy bites of enchilada, blow out your Happy Birthday candles on your sprinkle-dusted confetti birthday cake, and open more presents. You will get super silly and hyper as you always tend to do when we combine the element of sugar, the excitement of being surrounded by family, and staying up late. Just as it gets dark outside, you will sleepily watch as two lanterns are lit and float up into the sky to commemorate your second year of life. We will all go to bed happy and fulfilled, grateful to have spent such a perfect day with the ones we love.

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Happy 2nd Birthday Penelope Joy- we love you more than you ever will know.

Life with Lucy

While I can’t believe our little Lucy is already 7 weeks old, it is hard to imagine life without her. She has fit perfectly into our lives, the final piece of the puzzle that completes this beautiful picture that is our family. From the moment she arrived, gifting her Mama with what was quite possibly the quickest and easiest birth in the history of the world, she has been happy just to go with the flow.

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Not only does she nurse in under ten minutes, (while still gaining weight like a champ, with chubby cheeks and thighs to prove it), but she is content to do it while Mama holds her like a football in one arm, running around the house chasing after her sister and getting her on the potty with the other. Grocery trips now involve wearing Lucy (who falls asleep almost instantly in her carrier) while pushing Penny in the cart, and we have upgraded to a double stroller for outings and walks. Things that I never used to think about, like getting both girls down the stairs or getting Penny fed while getting Lucy to sleep (or vice versa), have required me to plan ahead and multitask, but I am finding my way as a mother of two under two.

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Lucy is also a fantastic sleeper. Since she was two weeks old, she has been giving us nice long stretches every night, anywhere from 5-7 hours, and the last two nights she slept completely through the night, for over 8 hours. I am not supposed to look this well rested with a newborn in tow (and realize this gives other moms license to hate me, which I wouldn’t blame them for at all), but I am certainly not complaining.

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She loves her pacifier, being worn, snuggles with Daddy (who has mastered the baby jiggle and as a result has been crowned the official person who gets Lucy to sleep during her fussy witching hour each night), and has even started to give out sweet little smiles. They are lovely, and always start with her eyes first, which light up and crinkle before her tiny mouth follows suit. I won’t even complain that Daddy got the first several smiles, even though Mom had diligently reminded her who had been feeding her every two hours since the day she was born, not to mention carrying and birthing her from her body (Mom guilt at its’ finest).

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Time is already flying by, and while I am so excited for all of the milestones we are about to hit, like hearing that first laugh and seeing her sit up to play with her sister, I am also trying to enjoy this time of endless cuddles and coos, and gazing into the eyes of a person who is so in awe of the world. Because it is all so precious and fleeting.

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How I got so lucky to have brought another amazing little girl into the world I will never know, but I am still pinching myself.

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Lucy’s Birth Story

In the last few weeks of my pregnancy with Lucy, I started to feel really uncomfortable. In the last few months, if I’m being completely honest, but those final weeks were especially rough. Strong kicks under my ribs, sharp pushes on my bladder, cramping, and the constant feeling that I was trying to hold a bowling ball between my legs…it wasn’t an exaggeration to say that I was ready to get this baby out. Somehow I became convinced that she was going to come early. She just felt so big and strong in there, that I couldn’t imagine carrying her for much longer.

Expecting Lucy to come early was a mistake, however, because that made the waiting seem even longer. By 36 weeks, I was all ready to go. Bags packed, clothes washed, rock and play and swing set up with fresh new batteries. And yet, a month later, she had yet to arrive. My due date came and went, and I couldn’t believe that I was still pregnant. I went to my prenatal appointment 3 days later, (one I was sure I wouldn’t be keeping at the time that I had booked it), and we talked about options. My midwife Laurie suggested I take a special cocktail, their own recipe, that was almost sure to get things rolling, and asked if I wanted to take it the following morning. Funny, even though I had been dying to go into labor every day for weeks, I still got butterflies in my stomach at the thought of knowing I would probably be going into labor the next day.

Still, I took home the ingredients (castor oil, champagne, and nectarine juice among other things), and found myself forcing it down the following morning with a mix of eagerness and trepidation. I had been told it usually took between 3 and 6 hours to start working, yet when lunch time rolled around, then Penny’s nap time, and still nothing, I started to worry that it wasn’t going to happen. I decided to lay down and rest. Around 2:30pm, almost 6 hours after drinking the cocktail, I began to feel what I thought might be a contraction. Sure enough, 4 minutes later there was another, and another just 3 minutes after that. They weren’t very strong yet, but because my labor with Penny had been relatively short (8 hours in total), the midwives wanted me to come in as soon as labor started just to be safe. Kevin called my dad and brother in law Brandon, who would be coming to take care of Penny while we were at the birth center, and I called my midwife to let her know we were on our way. A half hour later, my contractions were getting stronger to the point where I was anxious to get going, and Brandon pulled into our driveway just in time. I knelt down to embrace Penny and kiss her goodbye, struck by the thought that this was our last moment together as a family of three. As we drove away, Penny waving to us from the front door, I thought about how in just a matter of hours, she would be meeting her little sister, and her life would never be the same.

The 25 minute drive to the center went quickly. While I had not prepared much for labor in the months leading up to this day (unlike last time, when I had spent countless hours listening to hypnobirthing cds and reading books), I had told myself that when the contractions became intense, I would try to relax as much as possible and just let them come instead of tensing up and fighting them like I remembered doing last time. As each wave came, I tried to embrace them (as much as one can, anyhow), and think of them as bringing me one step closer to having my baby. It actually really helped, and I felt surprisingly good as we walked into the center at 3:30pm. I was checked to see how much progress I had made, and Laurie was pleased to report that I was already 7 cm dilated. I was hooked up to a machine to monitor the baby, and continued to stay relaxed and breathe through contractions. It wasn’t until a few minutes later that I started to feel desperate to be unattached from the machine and free to walk around. Finally, I was told the tub was ready and I could get in.

I stepped into the room that I would be laboring in, the very same one that Penny had been born in, and took in the dim lighting, candles, and calming music playing in the background. I had decided a few days before that I wanted to listen to the Norah Jones Pandora station, and it was the perfect choice. My mom and sister greeted me with supportive smiles, and I eagerly got into the tub. Almost instantly, memories of having Penny came flooding back, and for a second I panicked and let feelings of doubt creep in, thinking there was no way I could do this again. Still, I pushed those feelings aside in an effort to stay positive, and told myself that this labor was bound to be quicker and easier than the last. I had no idea how true that statement would be.

Moments later a contraction came, and I felt a strong pop and an intense amount of pressure that made me gasp for breath. It took me a minute to realize that my water had broke, and I felt the baby drop extremely low. My midwife checked me and confirmed that the baby was ready to come out and I could begin pushing. I was shocked and relieved to hear this, because as strong and painful as my contractions suddenly felt, I knew that it was only a matter of time before it would all be over. Kevin lowered himself into the tub, and I leaned against him, bracing myself. With the next contraction, I began pushing with all of my might, determined to get her out quickly.

Four pushes later and Lucy came sliding out at 4:34pm, and was immediately placed on my stomach by Laurie, the same midwife who had caught Penny only 21 months before. She had dark hair and similar features to her sister, but what I noticed first were the sweet little whimpering sounds she made as she tried to catch her breath for the first time. She was so unlike Penny, who had come out wailing at the top of her lungs, and I was utterly overwhelmed by the feeling that this was an entirely new little person that I would get to know, with quirks and tendencies all her own.

View More: http://amandaseifert.pass.us/lucy-birth

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View More: http://amandaseifert.pass.us/lucy-birth

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View More: http://amandaseifert.pass.us/lucy-birth

Soon we were out of the tub, and after Lucy was cleaned up a bit, we took turns snuggling, bonding, and just taking everything in. It all felt so surreal- the fact that my labor had lasted only two hours from start to finish, that we were finally holding our sweet daughter, that we were now parents to two beautiful little girls. I honestly don’t think I could have asked for a better birthing experience; we were both giddy and couldn’t believe our luck that everything had gone so smoothly and we had such a perfect little baby to show for it. It wasn’t until later that my nurse Ashton asked me if I realized what song had been playing the moment Lucy was born and placed into our arms for the first time. I honestly had no idea, having been a bit preoccupied at the time, and she told me it was “Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop” by Landon Pigg. As I looked down at tiny Lucy, her velvety smooth cheek resting on my chest, I played back the chorus in my head:

I think that possibly, maybe I’m falling for you

Yes there’s a chance that I’ve fallen quite hard over you.

All of the while, I never knew

All of the while, all of the while,

it was you.

and I thought, how appropriate. In the days since that memorable afternoon on March 31st, 2015, I have only fallen harder and harder for her, the girl who made me wait patiently for her arrival, but zoomed out as quickly and painlessly as possible once given the nudge. We are so beyond happy to finally have you here with us, Lucy Pearl!