Dear Finley James

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Hi sweet girl.
I overheard your Dad telling you this morning that he was so glad you were part of our family. It could not be more true. You are the perfect match. It’s funny but even though you are so little, I feel like I can already see who you are going to become. You are going to be so kind, sweet and gentle hearted. You are so easy going, easily entertained and love to be around people. You are curious yet a little cautious. You like to give a furrowed brow, but in the blink of an eye you are all smiles. You smile with your whole body. It’s as if your smile takes over, your head tilts, your eyes get big, and your little body wiggles side to side. Rowan has been getting you to smile a lot lately and it’s pretty dang cute to watch. I hope you two grow up being best friends. I know the fighting will come but I hope that the love you have for each other will always prevail.

You are almost 10 weeks old. You have been sleeping consistently from 9pm-7:15am for about 2 weeks now. It is heaven. We have a check up tomorrow and I am so curious to find out how much you weigh. I don’t know why it’s always so exciting to find out how much a baby weighs, but I look forward to it. I think you will be getting a few shots this time around too. I hate that part though.

I’ve been enjoying you so much lately. I just want to eat you up. I wrote a post a while ago about how I didn’t think I was much of a newborn person. It makes me a little sad to think that’s how I felt with Rowan, when I feel so completely the opposite with you. It in no way means I wasn’t head over heels in love with Rowan, but I think we were so filled with fear that I couldn’t relax. Of course I loved so many precious moments with your sister, I just think my perspective is so different this time around. I want every day to stand still so I can soak up each moment with you. We always knew we would have more than one kid, so with Rowan I knew everything we were experiencing we would eventually experience again. This time around I don’t know. We could very well feel like we are happy and complete with 2. It is something we are praying over and will ultimately decide one day in the future, but for now I am trying to soak up all your newborn goodness. Your sweet smells, your little coos, your whole body smiles, your little leg rolls, etc…

This newborn stage is pretty amazing.
xoxox
Mom

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Dear Finley James 3/52

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My Sweet Girl.
I can not express what a joy you are to our lives. We honestly call you “angel baby” because that is exactly what you are. I would have a hundred (well maybe 3) more babies if they were all going to be like you. I think you and Rowan are going to be the perfect match for each other. You each have such special personalities. I can’t wait to watch your’s grow and develop as you get bigger! You have been smiling a lot lately. I was always so unsure of what it would be like having a second. I wondered if all the little milestones would be as exciting to experience with the second? Well let me tell you… they most definitely are!! My heart feels like it is going to burst every time you smile. Your eyes light up, your mouth opens wide and you just look so happy. Love is an amazing thing. Just when you think your heart is full, it grows and you instantly can love another like you have loved them your whole life. Your dad, you and Rowan make my whole world go round.

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You got weighed at my midwife appointment last week and you weighed 11.6 lbs! You are growing big little girl. You are sleeping great too. The last 4 nights you have slept from 7-9 hours straight and boy, oh boy it feels good. ha! We are taking our first trip this up coming week to Canada. I can’t wait to show you off to your Great Grandparents and Great Aunts and Uncles. We also took a mini trip this weekend to visit both your grandparents. It was a beautiful snowy weekend. Your Dad and I got to take you out for a fun adventure this afternoon in the snow. You seemed to really enjoy the fresh air. I get so excited thinking about all the adventures we get to take you girls on.
Love you to the moon and back,
xoxo
Your Mama

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The Birth Story of Finley James

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It has been 6 weeks since Finley came into this world. In a lot of ways it feels like she has been part of our family forever. In other ways it feels like it was just yesterday that I was down on all fours in the midst of labor. After Finley was born I wasn’t sure I was even going to write a birth story. It seemed too raw, too personal and too real to share. I had grand plans of making a video (we took some over the shoulder footage of Finley’s birth) and talk about all the details of our home birth. After it happened though, I just wasn’t sure.

When Rowan was born I felt like super women. Like no matter what life threw at me from then on, I could knock it out of the park because I had given birth to her. In the weeks leading up to Finley’s birth, I held on to that strength. I wasn’t scared. I remembered Rowan’s labor being hard, but I remember feeling strong throughout and digging deep to find strength to get through. As I starting getting closer to my due date with Finley my courage starting slipping. My due date came and went and fear starting creeping in. Going past your due date is a very emotionally tiring thing for most women, at least for me it is. I was tired, anxious and loosing confidence that I wouldn’t be able get through having a home birth. I don’t know why I let it get the best of me. I knew I was stronger than that. Labor is a funny thing though. It really is one of the most life changing moments you experience and you have absolutely no control over when it’s going to happen. Yes, you have a ballpark but being a ticking time bomb really does a number on your mental state.

I am not going to go into all the details of her birth but here’s the quick little story… It was Saturday the 5th. I wasn’t feeling all that well. Kev drew me a bath and then he left to go sledding with Rowan to give me some peace and quiet. I started having some really randomly spaced contractions. Some were a few mins apart, some were 15 mins or more apart. Didn’t think too much about it. About 45mins later- Bam! Contractions were 2 mins apart and consistently 2 mins apart. I called Kev and told him to come home. Home he came. We called our Midwife at 2:30pm. She arrived by 3pm. Contractions were pretty much a minute or less apart. They were right on top of each other, I hardly could get a break. It was extremely intense and I think that is what caught me off guard. I had no time to even gather some strength or dig deep inside. I honestly felt like I was just barely getting by. I cried. I screamed. I wanted to give up. The fact that she wasn’t tucking her chin down and that I had a full bladder left me in some pretty intense pain on top of the contractions. I didn’t even make it upstairs to our bedroom where I thought she would be born. 2.5 hours after it all started, little Miss Finley James was born in our family room as Rowan took a nap upstairs.

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She was healthy, beautiful and our home birth was more than I ever expected it to be, but I was left feeling really defeated after all was said and done. I hate to admit that out loud, it makes me cry even thinking about it. Her birth really was amazing and I wouldn’t want to change any of it, but for a few weeks I struggled with this feeling of embarassment over how I thought I handled it mentally. I felt like I only got through it because well, there is no stopping a baby once they decided to make their entrance. Then one day as I was holding her, staring at this mini version of myself, it hit me… A wave of emotion came over me and I finally felt proud. In that moment with the sun shining in, cuddling my sweet baby girl, I felt invincible. Who cares how I think I handled it. You are always your worst critic, right? Finley was a part of me. She will always be half me, half Kev. I slowly created her with my heart, soul and body for nine whole months. Psalm 139:13 says “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” And here I was stuck on the fact that I thought I did a bad job bringing her into this world. She was absolutely perfect and nothing about how she came into this world could change that.

I was able to have a 9lbs 8oz. baby girl at home, with no drugs, in 2.5 hours and for that I have decided I deserve a jump high five and a piece of chocolate.

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p.s. I think any way you end up having a baby deserves a jump high five!!

p.p.s Having a home birth was so dang awesome! Nothing about me feeling defeated had anything to do with being at home. If anything it made me feel more relaxed, more comfortable and more in charge of what was going on. Let me just say there is no better feeling than going through labor and then being able to get into your very own bed, in your very own pjs and have your mom bring you a home cooked meal and then falling asleep cuddled next to your new little one and your husband. If we are blessed to have any more kids, each and every one of them (Lord willing) will be born at home.

& the picture of all of us the morning after her birth cracks me up. Talk about bed head!

Dear Finley: 2/52

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Dear Finley James:
We hit the 3 week mark over the weekend and to be honest I keep waiting/looking for something to go wrong. I don’t know why. I just keep thinking it can’t be this easy. You can’t be this good. You are such a little angel. I know we are still in the newborn, sleep a lot stage but you are so easy going. Every one keeps telling me to stop worrying when there is nothing to worry about. I know they are right. This week I am trying to focus on just how wonderful you are, instead of waiting anxiously for something to go wrong.

This weekend we got to drop your sister off with your Meme and Papa for an overnight visit. On our drive out to meet them, both you and your sister fell asleep in the back seat. It will be a moment I always remember. The sun was warm and shining on me. The catskills were off in the distance and your dad and I were holding hands and listening to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis- first time in forever we actually got to listen to something that wasn’t Dora or Yo Gabba Gabba. For some reason in that moment I felt overwhelmed with gratefulness. Gratefulness for our family. I don’t know what it is, but driving around with both of you girls in the back of the car makes me feel like such a parent. In that car there was so much love. I sat in the car- soaking up the sun and day dreaming of adventures all of us could take. I am just so excited to watch you grow up. To see who you become. I know you will be one in a million just like your sister.

We have been trying to get back to a pretty regular schedule around here. You sat through your second gymnastics class today. You slept through the whole thing like a champ while I helped Rowan tumble and climb around the gym. You are also nursing and sleeping great! You slept almost 8 hours straight through the night 2 twice last week! Boom! You love having baths- your hair gets so fuzzy and soft afterwards. You don’t cry all that much, but boy do you like grunting! I like to think it’s your way of talking to us at the moment. You hate being changed. I’m pretty sure it makes you feel too vulnerable because you do that baby reflex that looks like Frankenstein arms like whoa when we are changing you (and yes I just said “like whoa”). It’s always sad when babies grow out of that reflex because it’s my favorite. It’s like the funniest thing ever to me. I know you do it because you are slightly scared but it cracks me up every time.

Here comes the embarrassing part… So you aren’t much of a pooper. You know you are a parent when your kid finally does poop (we waited 10 days!!) and you pretty much have a little party upstairs in their bedroom as you change them. I am all for not having to change dirty diapers every day, but that was a little too long for me to not start freaking out (and yes, I had talked to our midwife in those 10 days and was reassured you were fine). Well, I better wrap up this week’s letter. I can hear you upstairs starting to fuss. I love you sweet girl.
xoxo
-Mom

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenloveskev/8426204330/

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenloveskev/8425112185/

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A few last photos from our photoshoot with Aimee.

Dear Finley: 1/52

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I didn’t get around to writing letters to Finley while I was pregnant like I did with Rowan, so I decided to start a little 52 week series now for her…

Dear Finley James,
Hi sweet girl! I can’t believe that you are 2 weeks old already. The moment you entered into our family, it was as if you were always suppose to be here. All of a sudden we can’t imagine our lives without you. You filled a spot that we didnt even realize we had open waiting for you to take. You are a perfect little angel. We go back and forth deciding whether you are just a super chill little girl or if it’s just perspective the second time around. Your Dad and I were crazy when Rowan was born. We had no idea what we were doing and it really took us a long time to get use to having her around. We loved her to pieces, but it took us time to figure it all out. You on the other hand have blended into our family in a blink of an eye. You eat well, you sleep well and this time your Dad and I aren’t so scared to have a little newborn around. In fact we are embracing every part of it. The late night feedings we have down to a science. We are a tag teaming, super hero duo of nursing, diaper changing, swaddling, and burping. Your Dad is so hands on! As you grow up you will learn just how lucky you are to have him as your Dad.

The hardest thing about having number 2 is balancing time between your sister and you. I want to give each of you my full attention, but sometimes I just can’t. From time to time one of you needs it more and that means the other has to wait. It makes me feel so bad, but I promise to always make each of you feel special and loved in your own special way. You my sweet Finley are my little mini me. You have the softest, fluffiest brown hair. It’s not a ton, but you have way more hair then Rowan ever did. I can’t help but rub my cheeks agains’t it when I hold you. With each pass I breath in deep to smell your sweet little baby smell. These newborn days pass way too quickly. It always bums me out that as the Mom, you spend these precious first weeks after birth so uncomfortable from your postpartum recovery. All you want to do is focus on your sweet little baby and not worry about anything else. This weekend was the turning point for me though. It took 2 weeks but I can finally say I am starting to really feel healed and sort of back to myself. Nursing is still a struggle but that is a story for another blog post.

Well my little Lovey, we welcome you with open arms and are so glad you finally made your way out to join us. I am looking forward to writing you these weekly letters over the next year.
With all my love,
Your Mommy

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Headband from Little Hip Squeaks

Our Newest Addition…

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I am a pretty proud Momma today to be able to introduce you to the newest addition to our family. She entered the world at lightening speed and has captured our hearts just as quick. As I like to think of her, Finley James is our little powerhouse peanut. Weighing in at 9lbs 8oz, but still looking oh so tiny. Finley was a name Kev and I decided on together from the very beginning. We never had another name picked for her, she was always Finley to us. James is a family name and also a name I’ve wanted to use for a girl since I was little. I guess we really like gender neutral, Gaelic names in our household.

I just want to say a big, HUGE thank you to everyone for the kind words, tweets, emails, etc… we are truly blessed by all your kindness and support. I am so excited to share this new journey we are about to take as a family of 4. Our hearts are exploding with love and we couldn’t be happier!
xoxo
-Jen

p.s. she has dark hair!!!! I was hoping for a little mini me since Kev’s genes won the first round…

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Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!


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Jen Loves Kev
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