Friday, February 28, 2014


Ten days old.
Brothers trying to get acquainted.

"Aww..." I think he needs his toy...

Trying to console him...

Already learning to hold his own...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Abraham is ten days old. He is laying here asleep on my left arm and Jude is asleep in the next room over and has been for almost three hours. Since my mom is here, I was able to go and meet Dan for lunch. He is my partner. I'm so proud of how hard he is working in school and so much more proud of the righteous patriarch he is. I came home and put Jude to sleep while Abraham slept in his swing. Jude warmed up in a warm bath and did his usual crash-into-the-bean-bag-chair-while-all-wrapped-up-in-his-towel routine. It's his favorite. And mine! He laid on his tummy with his little hooded towel and I just wrapped my arms around him and hugged and kissed him and he giggled. I got him dressed and we read a couple stories we checked out at the library yesterday on our date. ;) We then laid together, so close, in the warmth of our handmade teepee. He turned to me and said "a kiss!" and gave me a big kiss on my lips, then my cheek, then my lips, then noseys, then ears, then eyes, then lips. We were both just giggling by the end. I love him so deeply. Every day he finds a million more ways to engrave himself deeper and deeper on my heart. I marvel a the little boy he is becoming.

I am mesmerized by this little ten pound boy of mine. He is the angel child. He sleeps all day and all night. He loves to nurse and I so appreciate it!

I have felt so much better these last couple days. I am just happy and so grateful. I know things will get crazy when my mom leaves, but I want to try to prepare now and just focus on my little family. Things will be undone and out of place and unorganized and a "mess" (as Jude always says). Babies will be crying and toddlers will be cranky and Mama will be tired and cranky, but these are special times I need to cherish.

My time is most well spent cuddling with my newborn and giggling with my toddler.

Like I've said before, we're very serious about our kisses around here!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

one week.

What an amazing whirlwind of a week it has been! There is so much, so much, to say! Right now I want to focus on this incredibly precious little Spirit that has joined our family. He has changed our lives with his precious little heart. One week ago today, last Sunday night, I was still in an altered state of reality, somewhat in shock of what just occurred. No amount of preparation or reading or praying or Hypnobabies or anything else could have prepared me for my natural birthing experience. Words are like a handful of sand thrown into an ocean of feelings and thoughts that can and never will be adequately expressed. And that's okay. I have an incredibly special bond with this little angel who didn't come easy and taught me a lot about myself. He wiggled his way right into my tummy, enjoyed his highly-nutritious placenta, and coyly gave his mama an extra fifty pounds to keep him comfortable for the 41 weeks and five days he spent there.

This little boy of mine has the most peaceful little demeanor. He has a very mild and content temperament, but also has a strength about him and is unusually alert for a baby his age. He had a perfect latch and has nursed like a champion minutes out of the womb and hasn't stopped. He likes to sleep by his mama all night and no where else and I don't mind. The first two nights home I tried to put him back in his bassinet after he nursed and that was not a winning battle. By night three I just accepted it and realized it was actually quite lovely to sleep next to my baby all night. I usually try to sit up and nurse him in the cross-cradle because that's best for babies learning how to nurse, but sometimes we just nurse side-lying and he eats it right up. We get a little sweaty. Who knew it would be miserably hot here in February?!

DISCLAIMER: This is in no way an indicator of real life. We had a family photo shoot on Friday and this was taken then. We don't normally coordinate and naturally look that peaceful and made up. :)
I had to stay at the hospital for two nights due to postpartum hemorrhaging and it felt like days on end. I was so elated to be wheeled out of that hospital and feel the sun on my face on that Tuesday afternoon with my circumcised baby and my non-transfused circulatory system. The first couple days home are kind of a blur of short spans of sleeping intertwined with diaper changes, cord cleaning, not making it to the bathroom (or even close), Symphony bars, headaches, squirt bottles, lovely dinners made by my mama, nursing, cuddling with my new little angel, and an ill-attempt at taking care of a post Mogen-clamp circumcision. I remember looking in the mirror for those few days and being frightened by my dangerously pale and yellowed skin.

Welcome to real life! I did not apply or fix my make-up before any pictures, obviously. I want to portray birthing and motherhood as it is naturally and embrace the beauty in that.

I feel more and more like myself and enjoy my sweet little boys more and more every day. I can't imagine Jude adjusting any better to the addition of a new baby. I'm sure it helps that Mimi has been giving him all the attention I haven't been able to. He loves "Abe!" and likes to help me care for him, but most the time he just does his own thing. He has actually just very naturally become a lot more independent since our little baby came. He spends more time playing alone with his "TRAC-TOR!" that he made out of his wooden train and his other little games he makes up. He has been a little more sensitive lately. The only "tantrum" he threw was when we first tried to put Abraham in his swing. That lasted for about ten minutes and now he has no problem. He is such a sweet little boy and I only love him more now that his brother is here.

much needed Daddy time

The father of the household got a head cold the day we got home from the hospital and wasn't really able to help take care of Abraham at all. He also had missed two tests that Monday and Tuesday and had to make them up on Thursday and Friday so he was so busy studying. That was the hardest part of those first few days home for me. I missed having him by my side because he was right there by me the whole time at the hospital. Thankfully, he has started to feel better and is back to his normal loving, sweet self. I missed him! (He was kind of zombie-like for a few days) It has been one of my greatest joys to see him come into his own as a father and love these babies.

My dear mother. She has kept this family together and we are so grateful to her. She takes care of every meal, all the laundry, all the cleaning, every errand, and every other task we need her to do. She takes care of Jude fully, from his medication routine to his intricate meal/milk preparations (which can be intimidating!). She cares for us not only physically (making me take my foul-tasting Iron supplement), but loves us and takes care of us just like we are her babies.

I am the luckiest girl in the world. I can not imagine being more blessed. I am so grateful to be the wife to an incredibly sweet and faithful husband. I am humbled to be the daughter to the most supportive and loving parents who sacrifice everything for their children. I am brought to my knees in gratitude to be the mother to two absolutely perfect angel babies. I am blessed beyond measure. My overall love, which I thought was already overflowing, has been expounded upon and magnified exponentially. I am happier and more filled with love than I knew I could be. The arrival of Abraham has not only added the enormous, indescribable love I have for him, but because of him, my love for my husband and my precious Jude has grown so much stronger as well.

Monday, February 17, 2014


My joy is full.

Abraham Garth Mulder 
joined our family on 
February 16, 2014 at 10:30 am.

Twelve days after his "due date," he chose a beautiful Sunday morning to make his way into the world.
He helped us all with our patience, especially his mama, and definitely gave me my "story" I had been anticipating and dreaming of for so long. 

This boy is special. He is my pioneer baby. He fills me with contentment and peace like a big, deep breath into my lungs. I gave him the breath of life and now he gives me mine.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Although I am tired by the end of the day, putting Jude to bed is the most precious time. I used to wonder and worry how I would put Jude to bed once we stopped nursing, but it is truly more a joy now than ever. After his bath, we giddily climb into his magical little tee-pee (which he lovingly refers to as his "house") and change his diaper, lather up in lotion, and put on his pajamas. He then lays on my arm and he makes sure his little head is lying on the yellow pillow I made him just for his tee-pee. We then nestle in and read a story or two. Lately, we must read the hit we recently rented from the library "Dig!" (Zimmerman/Clemesha). We both have it all but memorized. (One night I read it to Jude and then he made me read it again to the baby.) We then read a verse or two out of Moses and say prayers. Daddy usually joins us at least for prayers and then brushes Jude's teeth for me. (It's gotten a little hard for me to get up and down and do the toothbrush battle.) We then turn out all the lights and lay together in the dark and I sing him a few church songs. No matter what I sing, he usually before long pipes in with, "POP! POP!" and continues until I sing him "Popcorn Popping." He makes sure that I'm using my "hands! hands!" even though it's dark and he can't see them, he wants to be sure I'm doing the actions. He then usually says "temple! temple!" and wants me to sing "I Love to See the Temple." He is the most precious, tender little heart. After a few songs I will ask him, "Jude, are you ready to get in bed?" and he'll usually respond with, "house..." or "mama..." (meaning he wants to stay in his house). If he's tired he'll say "seep, seep" or "bed."

Tonight, I asked him if he was ready for bed and he said "house..." He then started to get up and I wondered where he was off to. I was laying on my side and he came over and laid right on top of me, with one hand along my back and the other resting on my neck and face. 

After a minute he quietly whispered, "Happy."

"Jude, are you happy?"

"Yeah... happy."

"What makes you happy, loved one?"

(You can hear his voice rise as he gets a big smile on his face...) "Mommmmy."

"What else makes you happy baby?"


Words can not express the feelings I had at that moment or now. I feel so incredibly humbled to be the mother to this precious, tender little spirit. I refer to him as my "angel from heaven" many times each day and I truly believe it. I can not even begin to adequately express the gratitude I feel to be so blessed to be his mother and to have a faithful husband by my side. 

There is no calling I honor more than that of "mother."

Friday, February 14, 2014

A day at the park for three, one of which is two.

The day of Jude's birthday, we dropped Mimi and Papa off at the airport early Sunday. We enjoyed a day at church and took Jude to the park that afternoon to try to do something special for his birthday. He tried out his new bike and we enjoyed the ducks and our beautiful world. As I look back at these pictures, I just feel so grateful to have these two in my life. They bring me so much joy. I mean, is it just me or are these two really cute?!

Dan and Jude were walking along and Jude just wanted to sit. So they plopped down by each other and just there as content as can be for like, thirty minutes. It was adorable.

Throwing rocks with Daddy

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Jude's birthday party... he's TWO!

We had a little party to celebrate Jude turning two. Our cutest friend Trace Martin was born December 13 so they are only two days apart so we had to celebrate together! It was probably the windiest day of the year, but we managed to have a great time!

We had yummy fruit and vegetable trays and played fishing! My dad hid behind the sheet and the kids would fish (with the broom) and my dad would hook on a snake. It was really cute. We used to always play that at my birthday parties growing up except we'd play over the shower curtain. :)

The man behind the curtain...

THIS CAKE... What can I even say about this cake. I procrastinated on it too much but it managed to work out. :) I made an entire cake's worth and since it had such a hard time sticking together I was able to carve out about one cupcakes worth. The rest was a crumbly mess. I honestly don't remember how I made it. (I think I've tried to block these things out...) I can tell you it had no dairy, eggs, wheat, soy, barley, rice, corn, potato, nuts, mustard, peas, or lentils. This was no easy task, I tell you!! Those sneaky ingredients make their way into about EVERYTHING. For the frosting, I used this recipe for Vegan Whipped Coconut Cream. It worked out fine but don't get your hopes up for a pretty, Pinterest-able cake. The piece below was the prettiest thing I could come up with! Anywho... Jude was anxious to try his cake and before we could get a fork his way, he had his way with the cake and just went for it!

And.... he liked it! I was the. happiest. mama.

The boys of honor shared a couple glasses of Martinelli's. CUTIES.



Mimi and Papa surprised Jude with a brand new bike!

He was pretty excited about it. :)

Jude quickly became the envy of the kids (party-goers and the random, parent-less Islamic kids that joined our party).

The birthday boys exploring together...

the mama's

my happy family :)

smothering once again...

We love our little boy sooo much!!