Filed under: . babies . babies . babies .,babes,baby barden,bardenisms,just because,kiddos,my family — admin at 7:02 pm on Saturday, January 31, 2015

Enoch is 14 months old already. He’s such a little guy. Well – not really little. He stands 33 inches and weighs 29 lbs. He’s bigger than the 2 two-year olds we’ve run into recently. So – not so little. But not so much baby anymore – and developing into a little guy.

At 14 months – this is what I had to say about Fitzy –

Fitzy is AMAZING! He is so smart and joyful! He isn’t walking by himself yet – and I tend to compare to everyone else and wonder why he is so far behind – but crawling gets him there faster!

He knows where is nose and his ears and belly button are – and LOVES looking for YOUR belly button too!

He says ball and dada and mama and book and baba and a few more! He loves to shake his head no and wave his arms when he means yes! He LOVES to be in the water and looks forward to his morning bath in the sink!

Enoch is also a pretty awesome kiddo! He is crazy smart and so happy! He has been walking since about 10 months – and mostly just running.

He knows where his belly is – and wants to look for yours! He knows what a dog – cow – lion – elephant and pig say.

He says – momma – dada – this – that – I did it – thank you – all done – and pa. He shakes his head no and yes. He LOVES to see his brother and refuses any baby toys to play with guys and swords with Fitzy! He knows that candles need to be lit and blown out. He knows where his bananas are – and the cookies and graham crackers. He loves to carry around Fitzy’s little pirate guys. He loves to climb stairs. He loves to run.

He loves reading his books – mostly just ones with animals in them!

He loves to laugh!

He has 12 – yes – TWELVE teeth!

He absolutely ADORES my dad – pa – and Jared’s mom.

They are such beautiful – sweet boys. Sometimes – especially in the midst of (oh so many) sleepless nights – I wonder if I’m doing it right. Sometimes I cry. A lot. Sometimes I think that I was made to be a mom – of one. Because being a momma to two babes is really really hard. There. I said it. It’s hard. And exhausting. And heartbreaking sometimes. We have babies to raise semi-well-adjusted adults. But they are babies for such a short short time. Discipline. Independence. Sleep. Habits. Entertainment. It’s hard. Awesome. But hard.

Fitzy tells me that I’m the best mom in his whole life. Enoch rests his little head on my shoulder. And I know – I KNOW – that I’m where I am supposed to be. I am enough. Grace is amazing.

And God. God is good. Always. In the sorrows and in the joys.

And when Fitzy was 14 months old – we had a surprise. And we have a surprise now too. No – not the same surprise. Not a pregnancy. We are a two kiddo family. And sometimes my heart aches. Aches for the babies that were and are still in there. What would another sweet boy be like. And a girl? And being pregnant – or not being pregnant again. Sometimes the thought – the reality of it – scares me. Gives me anxiety. I feel like I have to put my head between my knees and breathe deep and slow. And then the thought – of having a newborn again – gives me the same feeling.

I think we’ve done well – exceptional – when it comes down to it.

Why is it that babies get birthday parties? Here you go – you turned ONE – great job. Dude. You didn’t do anything little baby. It should be – here you go parents. YOU DID IT! You kept this tiny crying babe alive for a year. You didn’t forget them in your car at the store. They ate some cat food – under your watch – and they’re okay. You somehow – miraculously – managed to be awake enough in the night to feed them. Night after night. Hour after hour. Somehow. In a year – you brought home this 8 pound crying human and now you’re chasing after an active toddler – with his own personality. His own laugh. His beautiful smile. He survived. I’m serious. It shouldn’t be about giving those babies presents – we – as parents – should be getting iTunes gift cards – and lakefront hotel rooms – with babysitting included. A plaque. YOU MADE IT!

But I digress. The surprise.

We. Are. Sleeping.

On Wednesday the 21st – I took Enoch to our pediatrician. HELP. ME. There has to be something wrong. A vitamin deficiency. Something requiring a sleep study. Well Danielle – what you are describing to me is purely behavioral. Cue the sobbing. On my part. And I mean sobbing. Well then – I can’t do this. I mean – we made it through the most stressful time of our life two summers ago – but this. I can’t do this. I don’t think I can do this. Nope. I can’t. So I got the print out. How to let your child CRY IT OUT. The font for CRY IT OUT had teeth. Blood. Red eyes.

Crap. I have an almost 4 year old and a 1 year old – and here I am walking out with paperwork that isn’t meant for a “veteran” mom like me. (Yes – I realize that my kids are under 5 – a veteran I am not – by any means – but you get my point) What is wrong with me? Why am I failing. OVER. AND. OVER.

And there it is. Those little whispers that satan loves to see you listening to. Believing. Living. You start living like you are indeed a failure. I’ve been in that mindset for longer than I’d like to admit. I’ve painted on my walls. ON MY WALLS. Painted reminders that I am NOT a failure – but when Enoch pops up after sleeping for 2 hours at night – only to be up every hour – those words disappear. Tears. Just tears. And reminders that again – another night. Fail. Sigh. It’s exhausting. And truly heart breaking.

Because I am not a failure. YOU are NOT a failure.

Failure – the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective and may be viewed as the opposite of success.

Fail – to be unsuccessful in achieving one’s goal. To neglect to do something.

What objective. What success. While there are definitions of success – it can be objective.

A friend and I were texting – I told her that I felt like a failure. She said – you are not a failure because your kids don’t sleep.

But I felt like it. Kids are supposed to sleep – and it’s not supposed to be this hard. I must be doing something wrong.

I left the doctor’s office that day upset. But determined. We. Will. Do. This. TONIGHT.

So – we jumped on board. Together – a united front.

Bath. Books. Bottle (for Enoch). Bedtime.

What a night looked like – maybe a bath. Get a bottle for Enoch – give him to Jared so he can fall asleep with him in the chair watching TV. Go up with Fitzy – read a book or two. Sing a song until he falls asleep. Come down and get Enoch and lay him in his crib. Two hours later – Enoch is up – crying. Put him in bed with me – where he falls back asleep for 3 hours at a time – maximum. One hour at a time usually. Fitzy calls out for Jared around midnight – so he ends up in his room until morning. Enoch is up at 5 am – every day – to start the day. Naps. Rocking and fighting with him for 45 minutes for a 45 minute nap. Every night. Every day.

So – bath – books – bottle – bedtime.

I rocked Enoch with his bottle – made sure he was awake. Kissed his sweet little face. Told him I loved him. And put him in his crib – which is moved into our (oversized) closet. He cried. For 45 minutes. We checked on him once. It made it worse – screaming. But – at 8.20 – he stopped. And slept. And we heard him cry twice in the night – but didn’t get him. Didn’t check on him. And he woke up at 7.30.

Fitzy was a little harder. Mostly because he can voice his concerns. What if I lose you. What if I don’t know where you are. What if someone comes in my window. What if I get scared. What if I don’t know what that little shadow is. Mom. I just love you and I just miss you. Sobbed. And sobbed. It was awful. I checked on him twice. Told him to pray. He said – I’m never alone right mom? I have God and my Christmas lights. Yes – sweet love – you are so right. God and Christmas lights. Pray. Think of happy things. Play-Doh and your little guys. Puzzles and Sammy and G.

When I checked on him at 8.20 – he was asleep – tears staining his round cheeks. His hands clasped together as tight as they could be. He woke up at midnight – we reassured him that he was okay and we would see him in the morning. Not to get out of bed. Unless you see light in your window. He slept until 6 that morning. Off and on again till 7.

A nap for Enoch on Thursday – put him in his crib at 12.30 – he cried for 10 minutes. And woke up at 3.15.

The nights after – Enoch cried for 10 minutes – then just 2 and now – between almost nothing and 10 minutes. He stirs once in the night – but we don’t do anything – and gets up between 7 and 8. Fitzy – falls asleep on his own with his Ipad (playing The Loft Sessions) and wakes up at midnight – when Jared tells him he’s okay – go back to sleep (working on not going in his room at all) and then he’s up by 6.30 to use the potty. We stay in his room till 7 – talking. Singing. Reading. Praying. How’d you sleep mom? What’s the plan for the day? Who are we gonna see? What are we gonna do?

We’ve been going to bed around 9 – and sleeping until 6.30 or 7. OH. MY. WORD. It’s been a little over a week. And I feel like a different person. The world is brighter. Snow isn’t as cold – okay – maybe that’s stretching it. But really. I lived under such a cloud of despair – it dictated everything. I feel like that cloud has lifted. I can breathe deeper. Laugh. Smile. Enjoy these precious moments. I can manage being firm without yelling. I don’t cry. I haven’t cried in almost a week – except when my mother-in-law brought over Mom’s Night Out – then the tears flowed and flowed.

Thank you so much for the prayers everyone – the advice – the hugs. The tears. Thank you. Thank you for being the good whispers in my ear. The you are NOT a failure friends.

This parenting thing. Crazy beautiful. And those babies. God gave you those babies. Those specific children. He chose you as their momma. I tell Fitzy – I am so glad that God gave me YOU. Your specific genetic make-up. Had we had our first baby Enoch – he would be a completely different child than the two we have. I can’t imagine my life without Fitzgerald Derek Douglas – not having known him. I can’t imagine another child instead of him. The same with Enoch. We lost two babies after Fitzy – if we hadn’t lost the first one – we wouldn’t have been able to be pregnant with the second. If we hadn’t lost the second – Enoch wouldn’t be here. Sure another baby would be – but not the child that is Enoch.

YOU ARE ENOUGH. YOU ARE ALWAYS ALWAYS ENOUGH. ALWAYS. And sometimes you need a reminder. So I paint it on my walls. Put index cards on my mirror. Cover my walls in hand written reminders. Reminders of God’s love and grace.

His grace upon grace upon grace upon grace. Upon grace. Upon grace. Upon grace.


*C* – 6 MONTHS

Filed under: . babies . babies . babies .,babes,family,just because,kiddos,portraits — admin at 12:42 pm on Wednesday, January 21, 2015

*C* is 9 months old now – I actually just shot that session a few days ago! But I’m just getting caught up to blog his 6 month session!

Isn’t he GORGEOUS!!!

These are the moments I love to capture! Beautiful – candid moments.

Kelly & Dane – you have such a beautiful boy! I am so honored to capture his first year!

And we couldn’t forget their first baby!


Filed under: . babies . babies . babies .,babes,baby barden,bardenisms,just because,my family — admin at 11:55 am on Monday, January 19, 2015

Enoch turned 13 months old in December!

These boys – brothers. They are the sweetest – happiest boys around!


Filed under: babes,family,just because,kiddos,portraits — admin at 1:59 pm on Sunday, January 18, 2015

It’s been a little while since I’ve photographed the *K* family – I’ve missed them!

*C* is the same age as Fitzy – isn’t he darling!

Little *D* – she’s a shy one – but I always manage to capture her sweet personality!

You guys are AWESOME! I can’t wait for our next session! Thanks for making the trip over!


Filed under: . babies . babies . babies .,babes,expecting,family,holiday,just because,kiddos,love,portraits — admin at 12:37 pm on Thursday, January 15, 2015

Megan is a great friend and fellow photog! We take pictures for each other when we need them – which works out FANTASTIC!

*J* is such a sweet (and really funny) kiddo!

Oh! That shot on the right. A momma’s love. There is nothing like it!

And again in black and white – just because it’s beautiful!

She needed some shots for a Christmas card – and to document their growing family!

After I took their Christmas pictures – we went back to their house for their gender reveal!

Another sweet boy or will there be a baby girl in the picture?

It’s another BOY!

Megan & Seth – I’m so happy for you guys! You are dear friends and we LOVE you!!