in june 2010, our lives got turned upside down in the best possible way: the birth of our awesome kiddo, john. in october 2013, brother charlie charged into our life to change the status quo again. and june 2016 brought us brother ben to round out our trio.

i'm proud to have "mom" at the top of the list of titles on my resume, but i'm also still a hard-working professional. how does a working mom juggle work and family? ride along with me and see if i can figure it out!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

how are you four, charlie?

charlie in his gymnastics suit

dear charlie,

when we met on an ambulance on the highway four years ago today, it became clear right away that you are your own little dude.

you have personality and charm and determination and yes, stubbornness, enough for a classroom of children. your clever little brain is always searching to understand and make use of the world around you.

now that you are four, you are so big. you are so capable and so strong. but you still flash the "i love you" sign through your classroom window, and oh but you melt my heart.

you have been so graceful at moving from littlest to "middlest" brother, and asking for extra time and love when you need it, but sharing your space and life with little bean and big brother john. you amaze me every day with how you communicate and use your words.

and your songs are the best, bitty. never stop writing and singing your own songs.

i hope you never stop climbing into my lap to snuggle up with me, and never stop telling me things are the best ever. (best birthday party, best mommy, best dinner, best game, best everything!)

i love you, baby boy. you rock my socks.

your very grateful mommy

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

to a one year old named ben

dear bean,

when your daddy and i found out we were going to have another baby, we were pretty scared. we didn't know how to be parents to three chaos monkeys and didn't know what our family would look like with a new babe.

it turns out we didn't have a thing to worry about, little one. from the moment you arrived you've been the happiest baby i've ever met. just like your brothers, you charm the people around you and endear yourself to everyone.

when we came home from the birth center that night, john and charlie fell in love and immediately wanted to hold you and love you. you fit perfectly into a bean-shaped gap we didn't even know our family had.

you've brought smiles and laughs to every member of your family every one of these past 365 days. even when you feel icky, like today on your birthday, your dear spirit shines through and you bring such light into the world.

your daddy and i  are really grateful that god knew we needed you. your oldest brother says he prayed for you even tho we said that charlie was the last baby - whatever the way, thank you for being our joyful little bean, the littlest chaos monkey, and just a fantastic little dude.

goodnight, sweet one-year-old ben. i love you.

your lucky mommy

Saturday, June 17, 2017

to john on turning seven

goodnight selfie

dear john,

i just finished putting you to bed for the last time as a six year old. you thought it was great to give me the last ever "face shake" (our secret goodnight kisses) as a six year old boy. i thought it was pretty great, too.

you have grown SO MUCH this year. not just gotten taller - though you have, you're huge - but gotten better and awesomer and amazinger. you are in control of your body and your actions in a way that is so very impressive. you work so hard to do things well, and take such pride in making people happy.

you are generous, and compassionate, and you amaze me with your capacity to give to your little brothers to help them be happy.

you are silly and fun and have a wicked sense of humor - even if i'm sometimes too old to get some of your jokes.

you're a fierce hugger and a brave tooth-loser.

one thing that makes me so proud is that you want so badly for things to be fair and right. they aren't always, and that's hard for you, i know. it's hard for me, too. but never stop trying to make things right, baby. that is part of what makes you such a special little dude. and your mama and daddy (and your brothers, too) have your back no matter what.

sleep well, my crazy little giraffe. it is you that made me a mom, and i am forever privileged to call you mine.

i love you, peanut.
your mommy

Thursday, March 2, 2017

a season of grace and good enough

my pumpkins in the pumpkin patch

i started writing this post in october. that's why there are pumpkins. that's why bean is small. that's why charlie looks like ... i don't know, a pound puppy or something with his shaggy hair in his eyes.

that i started this post five months ago and it remains largely unwritten - that there is also an unfinished post on a belated birth story for ben ... it is indicative of where our family is these days.

we are happy - look at those beautiful boys in a pumpkin patch!

we are grateful - we have so many blessings to count and recount and positively bathe in.

we are together - there are so many of us! ok, there are only five of us. but that is a lot when two are loud blustery beautiful big boys and one is a sweet busy baby boy. oh, yeah, and technically we're six, with the world's orneriest dog.

we are also certifiably insane. and by that i mean, everyone else is fine and i am crazy.

* * *

before we found out ben was going to exist, we had decided our family was complete. we were wrong, of course - now i cannot imagine our family without the littlest bean. but our plates were already full, our lives were already busy, and let's be honest - i was more than a little overwhelmed.

enter ben, who while the easiest and happiest baby ever is still a baby with baby needs and baby challenges. and who is also just one more person in our cadre of people who want things and need things.

enter the babysitter debacle, which left no physical or emotional marks on the kids, thank god, but surely scared and scarred my husband and i.

enter postpartum hormones and extended breastfeeding and a big job doing big things, and the end result is a wibbly-wobbly mama whose anxiety can sneak up on her and leave her feeling like it's all too much; like she's not enough; like it's not ok.

* * *

i have the help of a fantastic mental health professional, and i am improving every day. i have bouts of high anxiety, particularly around the children's health. a mere sniffle or gag, and mama's heart is racing, blood pounding, tummy-ache inducing adrenaline coursing through her. but i know what to do, and i do it, and we are all ok.

and the other thing that is getting me through is this: this is a season. some days i see glimpses of a time ahead, where these brilliant monsters are a little more self sufficient and a little more able to help themselves and us, and i know that we will get through.

some days i see a glimpse of the young men these boys will become, and i know i will lament the loss of their little bodies clinging all over me, their little hands grasping me, their little eyes turned to me to solve all the problems of the world.

and for now, i remind myself of this: this is a season. it is a season of grace and good enough. some days, the boys are going to eat king cake for breakfast. some days, i am going to yell.

some days, my sweet sensitive john will pat my shoulder and tell his tearful mommy, "it's a-okay, mommy, everyone makes mistakes."

some days, my beautiful mercurial charlie will cease scowling when he sees me in his classroom, and run to me for "one last huggy, mommy, i love you!"

some days, my happy little ben will crawl-scoot himself across the kitchen to reach up at me and purr in his little cooing voice, and i know he is saying he loves me just how i am too.

some days, my supportive and understanding husband won't blink an eye at the prospect of buying last-minute plane tickets because his crazy wife can't stomach the idea of a two-day drive with the kiddos in tow. and he also won't think i'm a crazy wife. because he loves me how i am too.

* * *
i have given myself permission to surrender the idea of "family dinner." oh, we will do it when we can. but that is a pressure that i don't need right now. we're not the waltons, try as i might. beaver cleaver does not reside at the heid house, for sure.

but this is a season.

it is a season of grace -- where i will forgive myself for the things i think i should do but can't.

it is a season of good enough -- where happy, fed, clothed, loving family is what matters, not how "well" i've achieved those goals.

this is a season of grace and good enough.

and some days, it's my favorite season of all.