About Me

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Springfield, Missouri, United States
Char-Marie * Twenty-Nine * College Grad * Stay at Home Mommy * Web Designer * My Husband Colby * My Son Emery * Friends * Family * Yoga * Sweet tea * Shoes * Shopping * Music * Independent Films * Sushi * Mimosa * My nieces Maggie and Macee * Missouri

Blog Archive

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Playing catch up.

Finding time to sit down and write about life when life is happening all around me is becoming increasingly difficult.

Since I last posted about Emery's birthday, another birthday happened! Cecilia Grace was born May 17th, 2013. We are totally in love. It has been such a crazy transition, but we're all pushing through it and it's getting better every day.

Cecilia Grace:  May 17th, 2013 born at 2:41 p.m, weighing 7lbs 6.5 oz (only 1 oz smaller than Emery) 19in long -although, a couple days later at a weight check Celia measured 21 in long.  I don't think that they had her stretched out all the way in the hospital. She has the most perfect features and the most ridiculous head of brunette hair, I adore it.

Just an hour old. 

Life as we know it around the Jennings' household has changed. In the hospital after I had Cecilia and family went home and I had time to think I had a mini panic attack. I was absolutely exhausted from the events leading up to this beautiful girl's arrival and the baby in the room next to us was screaming and I absolutely lost it. I was worried I couldn't take care of two babies, I missed the little boy at home who didn't really understand all that was going on, and the hospital staff really sucked. Breastfeeding was hard, harder than I remembered, and the lactation consultant kept telling me "breast is best".

The first man you'll ever love.

Colby was doing the best he could to convince me that I was just exhausted and to get some sleep, but Cecilia wouldn't sleep and therefore, I couldn't sleep. By the time it was all said and done I had been up more than 36 hours and was at my absolute breaking point. At one point during the day I was in the bathroom shower sitting in the corner vomiting and bawling all at the same time. Thank God for mom's. My mom came the next morning and sat with me in that bathroom and talked me off the proverbial ledge.
First family photo. Your brother looks concerned. 

When we left that hospital and the apathetic nurses and came home that next day I felt so much better. I was so uncomfortable in the hospital. I needed to have my own space, food, bed, and comfort. I came home and ate an entire container of watermelon and we made it through our first night at home fairly well. Colby's parents took Emery for the weekend so we could focus on trying to sleep. Turns out, this little girl is nothing like her big brother when it came to sleeping. She actually likes to sleep. I needed this- I deserve this. Emery woke up at least every 2 hours until he was 14 months old. Cecilia lets me get in the occasional 4 hour stretch and just the other day at 7 weeks old she let me sleep from 10:30-5:15 in the morning!!

This is what mommy looks like after a whirlwind labor. 
Right now sweet baby Cecilia is sleeping in her swing and big brother is asleep in his room while I take time out to recall things that have happened these past 7 weeks. I won't type out the birth story tonight, but that will come soon. Right now I'm just enjoying my sweet little family of four and feeling more confident that I am capable of juggling two babies and still maintaining part of myself in the process. Motherhood is the hardest job I've ever had, but it's also been the best job I've ever had.

Thanks for picking me to be your mommy.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Happy 3rd Birthday, Emery Jack!

Dear Emery,

I cannot believe that my little baby is no longer "2 and 3 quarters", but is a three year old big boy. As we're approaching your sister's birthday I cannot believe we're getting ready to start this journey all over again with a new little one. You are certainly excited about baby Cecilia's arrival and talk about holding her and kissing her all the time.

We had your birthday party on April 20th, 2013 a Saturday and all of your family and friends were there. You had a Jake and the Neverland Pirates birthday party and you were SO excited about it. The month leading up to April you woke up everyday and asked me what day it was and if it was "your April" yet. Then, when April came around you wanted to know what day it was because you knew that your birthday was April 24th.

There were so many people and fun, we BBQ'd and had a picnic out in our backyard. Daddy and I bought you a sand and water table for your birthday this year equipped with an umbrella to keep you in the shade and you, Maggie, Macee, and Cooper played in the sand and water all afternoon. Eventually you ended up with sandy mud all over your face thanks to your cousins.

Playing in your sand table with Cooper, Mag, and Macee.

Your pirate ship birthday cake. :)

Mommy had a massive melt down a few hours
before your party because it needed to be "perfect". I sometimes set super goals for myself and need to learn that you will have fun no matter what regardless of whether the streamers are hanging up where they need to be or not. I'm working on being more laid back. I think I'll always be working on that. It hit me hard that this would be your last birthday as an only child and next year we'll be planning a 4th birthday along with a 1st birthday and the thought of that is a little overwhelming at times.

That night, after your party was over, we had a scare and had to take you to the emergency room because you had a rectal prolapse. I have never been so scared in my life. We had no idea what was going on and even though you didn't seem to be in any pain I was terrified that something was horribly wrong with you. Your daddy did a good job of trying to calm me down, but I know that he was really worried about you too. I was crying and even you were looking up at me and reassuring me that it was going to be "alright, Mama" "We'll take you to the 'hopital' for a check-up." It broke my heart that I was the grown up and you were trying to take care of me. I'm totally in love with you. You are the best boy in the world.
The ER doctors told us we "lucked out" in the kid department.
They thought you were amazing.

We sat in the ER for 3 hours, but it seemed like an eternity and both sets of Nana's and Papa's showed up to keep us calm. They stayed with us until we were reassured that although this was pretty rare (only happens in 10% of children) that they
thought you would be fine and told us the steps to take if it happened again. I went to bed that night sobbing to your Dad that I wanted to put you in a bubble and keep anything bad from ever happening to your or your little sister. If I could stay with you your entire life and be your "shield" I would gladly do that and take any ounce of pain that might come your way, but I know that those are life lessons, and changing moments in peoples lives.

At the movies!

On the Wednesday that was your actual birthday daddy and I woke you up and took pictures of you before you were even awake in your room. This has sort of become a tradition. Then, we took you into the kitchen where I had made you pancakes with sprinkles and a candle. We sang you Happy Birthday and let you make a wish. Daddy had to go to work, but you and I made a day of it. First, we went to the theater and saw The Croods, we were the only two people in the theater and we sat really close so we could see all the action. You ate an ENTIRE movie theater sized hot dog with the bun, popcorn, and we drank lemonade. I had the most amazing time watching you watch the movie. You loved it. When daddy came home we went to Yogurtini, the frozen yogurt place by our home and had frozen yogurt with Uncle Jake and Aunt Gina.

You have grown into the best 3 year old I know and I cannot wait to see what this year holds for you. You are precious beyond words and I love you to the moon and back!

Did I ever mention that your definition of being "big" is being able to reach the Sixlets (candy on the high shelf) and being able to ride the school bus? I can't wait to see what you think being "big" is next year.



Friday, April 19, 2013

Gearing up.

I recently read an essay that a woman wrote about her first pregnancy and the things we forget about being a new mom.

"Can I see this little one?" said a smiling voice at my shoulder. I turned around so that the older woman behind me could peek at the tiny creature nestled against my poop-stained shirt. She sighed, looked deep into my bloodshot eyes, and asked, "Aren't you just on cloud nine?"

I can remember people saying these type of things to me and feeling torn up because the response I wanted to give was, "No. Is that how I'm supposed to feel because right now I'm absolutely exhausted all he does is cry and eat and no one can help me feed him because he absolutely refuses to take a bottle. So, No, I'm not on cloud nine....Not even close." Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved Emery with all of my heart, but being a first time mom was not "fun" like most people try to portray. 

I can remember feeling SO alone. At the time we had just moved back to Missouri with a 2 week old baby and didn't have a place of our own yet because we were waiting to hear from a few jobs until we decided we were staying in Missouri. When Emery was about 2 1/2 months old we finally settled on a job and were able to get our own place. That helped in a sense that if Emery was up all night crying, which happened a lot,  the only people it was bothering was myself and my husband. 

For many other reasons I still felt quite alone. Being a stay at home mom for the first year of Emery's life was the hardest job I had ever had in my life. My husband had something close to his dream job and was getting to interact with people all day long and I was at home, rarely getting to take a shower or have a moment to myself. When my husband would come home and tell me about his day and what he accomplished I thought to myself I didn't even get laundry done or I'm still in the clothes I was wearing yesterday. 

I didn't have anything interesting to say to my husband the only things in my repertoire were poop habits, if Emery took a nap, or what he had for lunch... 

Now I'm faced with going through this a second time, but a few things are different this time. I now know what to expect bringing home a newborn. I threw away my rose colored glasses. I have a toddler to chase after in edition to being at Cecilia's beckon call. We do have our own place and a stable job going into this. I am staying home with my children this time around not because we moved too late in the hiring season to find an elementary teaching job for myself, but because we've decided that this is the best route for our family. 

I'm hoping that given what I know about bringing home a baby that I will be able to move through this transition with more fluidity. I do know that I have a soon to be 3 year old little boy that doesn't need to see his mommy break down because his world is going to be turned upside down. I also feel like whether or not the first time was symptoms of PPD or just the newness and adjustment of being a new mother I am not afraid to ask for help. 

I am self admittedly too hard on myself. I have for some reason or another felt the need to be this "perfect mom" someone who feels like her kids need to be on their best behavior all the time and I realize that it's too much. It's hard for me to release control and go with the flow because I feel like I need to have a handle on what's going on in my life. I used to feel like I was such an easy going person and that if you needed someone that was pretty laid back, I was your girl. I would be lying if I said that today. 

Children do something to you. For nine months you carry them with you and are able to keep them safe and dictate their every movements. Then, in the blink of an eye your baby is out in the world and it's like your heart is on the outside of your body wandering around. It's a very scary feeling. 

With all of this being said, I am very excited for this next chapter in our lives. Although Emery was a very fussy baby, he is a wonderful toddler, so very loving. I cannot imagine my life without him. I know Cecilia will be a wonderful addition to our family as well. 

I'll leave a link to the essay I read that brought back so many memories that I hadn't completely forgotten yet.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sweet dreams.

Last night around 11:00 Emery woke up pretty upset, in fact, I'm not even sure he had gone to sleep yet. I went in to try and soothe him and it was no use. He kept asking me to sleep in "daddy's bed" and every time I asked him why he thought he needed to he responded with, "Because I'm crying."

It's been quite  awhile since he's felt like he needed to sleep with us, although ever now and then before he gets into his own bed he asks if he can sleep in our bed and when we say 'no' he is perfectly content with that answer. Last night was the exception.

Emery asked for his daddy to come in and give him a hug and as soon as he saw Colby he started crying harder and asking, "Can I sleep in your bed?" Colby is a sucker for this and as I kept nudging him to tell him 'no' he would nudge me back because he was ready to cave. Eventually,  he ended up in our bed with the understanding that this was the ONLY night he could sleep with us and that tomorrow he had to be a big boy and sleep in his own big boy bed. Ha.

Colby carried him into our room and laid him next to me and as soon as he hit the bed his arms were around my neck telling me, "You're the best mommy. You're the best mom. We are best buddies." I have to admit it was super sweet. It reminds me how far we've come. He's not that squalling baby laying between us anymore. He's a boy, a very sweet, manipulative boy.

We laid in bed for a good 20 minutes talking with him and asking him why he had been so upset. First, he told me that he was upset because of the smoke detector in his room. Recently he's noticed this foreign thing on his ceiling and is convinced that it makes him sick, even though we continually tell him that it's there to keep him safe.

At one point in the conversation he rolled over and looked at me with his hands on each side of my face and said, "I had a problem, it was an emergency. I was sad because I was worried about you." I told him that little boys shouldn't have to worry about their parents and it was our job to worry about him. He replies, "Mom, I'm a big boy it is my job."

Excuse me, when did this happen? When did that little blob that cried all the time, never gave me any feedback as to what was wrong with him, or why he insisted on being up half the night, decide to grow up? Talk about tugging at the heart strings.

I went to bed so absolutely content with my life. I was very thankful that my husband was a sucker for Emery's late night antics.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Pregnancy thus far...35/35

Today marks the 35th week of pregnancy, which also means on paper I have 35 days left as well. We all know that is a fluke and Cecilia could make her debut whenever she feels like it. There have been several things different about this pregnancy than there were with my pregnancy with Emery.

  1. When I was pregnant with Emery I was sick for 3 months straight (morning, noon, and night). With this pregnancy, however, it wasn't nearly as tough on me. I was still sick, but I had some medicine that seemed to help out a bit. 
  2. Last time I didn't have a toddler to chase after all day long. After work I could just come home and put my feet up. Not so with this pregnancy, although I love it.
  3. My body has been MUCH more achy this pregnancy. I feel like an old lady and the pressure is HORRIBLE. 
  4. I feel much bigger this time around than I did with Emery (pretty sure it has something to do with all the biscuit and gravy cravings from McDonald's...)
  5. My skin early on and even in the second trimester has been a lot worse this time. With Emery my skin was flawless.... Cecilia has taken that away from me this pregnancy. It's much better now that we're in the 3rd trimester though. 
I'm feeling much more prepared this go around knowing what to expect. It also helps to have our own place and not to be moving half-way across the country after this baby is born. *Sigh of relief.

Colby just accepted a new job within the Art Department right where he wants to be. I'm extremely happy for him and for our family because that means that we'll get to stick around for quite awhile here with our families. It also means HOUSE HUNTING!

We've both been so excited looking online for a house, but its so scary at the same time!

Things are falling into place. :)

Monday, April 08, 2013

Filling in the gaps. Almost 36 months!

Dear Emery Jack,

Here we are just 16 days before your third birthday and so much has happened since I've last posted, imagine that.

Christmas happened and that was really exciting. You were so excited when you woke up from your "big boy bed", yes you're sleeping in your own big boy bed and we haven't had a single problem since we switched you over in January, we made sure that we had the camera ready when you walked into the living room. You barely finished opening one present before you were asking, "What's next?!" After all the presents were open (Leap pad 2, art easel, lots of dinosaurs) your favorite thing was a $3.00 squishy angry bird that we put in your stocking. We lost it in the wrapping paper mess and you almost had a melt down while we were searching through the endless paper for it. We did find it and it's still something that you insist on going to bed with every night.

Another wonderful thing we found out right before Christmas was that you were going to be getting a little SISTER! It was such a shock to your dad and me because there hasn't been a little girl born on daddy's side for 70+ years. I was particularly excited because I've always called you my favorite boy and the thought of not getting to say it anymore kind of made me sad. So, now I have a favorite boy and a favorite girl! It's been quite the adjustment in our household all of the sweet little pink things floating about. You are so sweet and so excited to meet your baby sister and you tell us all the time that you love her and that she can share "Monnie" your blanket. Her name will be Cecilia Grace.

Here's how we told you:


  • You are now potty trained and have been since February. We started working on this in January and you are doing amazing! NO MORE DIAPERS!! 
  • You sleep in your own bed and you do incredibly well. 
  • You know all of your colors, letters (even some lowercase), and your numbers to 10. You even know how to write the letters: I, H, J, X, O, V, Y, U. 
Funny/ Sweet things you've said: 

  • You walked out of the bathroom about a month ago and were clearly having an issue pulling up your pants and when I came to help you you told me, "Sometimes things are Wonderfully Complicated."
  • I love you mama. That's because you're beautiful. 
  • Don't ever ever let me go. 
  • You're my bestest friend in the WHOLE WORLD. (except it sounds like wuld)
  • Catastrophe! 
  • Awww come on, I was only kidding!
  • Good-bye World. (When the sun was going down on one of our drives you started bawling and saying, "Good-bye, world!" I explained to you that just because the sun was going down didn't mean the world was ending. 
  • Mama, do you know I love you?
  • I missed your sweet hugs and your sweet kiss.
This past Saturday, April 6th your Uncle Jake and Aunt Gina got married! You looked absolutely adorable in your tux dressed just like your handsome daddy. You wanted to dance with all the "Beautiful Ladies" and I'm pretty sure the feeling was mutual. :)

In a couple of weeks we are going to be celebrating your birthday with a Jake and the Neverland Pirate party. I can't wait! You are super excited and we mailed out the invitations today. This is the last birthday you'll have with it just being just the three of us. Next year at this time we'll be planning a 4 year old birthday and a 1 year old birthday- I cannot believe it.

Daddy and I love you so much Emery Jack! You are the brightest, best boy we know and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for you. 



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Emery Jack is 2 1/2!! Month 30.

Dear Emery Jack,

Today you are 2 1/2 years old. Time flies my love. You are spending a few days at your Nana and Papaw Jennings' house. I can't actually hug you and give you love today, but I am absolutely sending sweet vibes your way. I told your Nana this morning to give you a 2 1/2 birthday kiss from me.

You are the absolute light of my life and I cannot imagine not having your sweet face around. I am always so happy to come into your room in the morning to snuggle you when you wake up and listen to your "dreams" you had that night. Your most recent dream that you told me about was walking to the park with Nana and reading books, "LOTS of books". It amazes me that at 2.5 you are sharing with me the dreams you had the night before. Now, whether they're truly dreams or just imagination working overtime we'll never know, but either way it's pretty great.
You don't look thrilled, but I promise you love it!
My not so cowardly lion :)

This past month we went to a party thrown for your Great Gma Dot. Everyone got to dress up in costume and you dressed up as Mickey Mouse. You absolutely fell in love with the outfit when I took you to party city to decided on a costume. You decided early on that you wanted to be a pumpkin, but when you saw that it was possible for you to be Mickey Mouse you were sold. It is a very cute costume, it has ears, gloves, and a body suit. You are obsessed with the gloves, I even caught you eating your Cheez-its with your gloves on. A friend of ours also gave you a costume that her little boy grew out of it's a lion. It is adorable! You tried it on a few days ago and it's been really warm for this late in October you were sweating and I told you we needed to take it off. You had HUGE tears and said, "Please don't take it off!" So you wore it for a few more minutes. :)

Lots of family on Nana Cookie's side.
I love you to the moon and back!