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Softly

The other night I looked at my son. I mean really looked, with all my senses. Starting at his tiny toes, moving up the soft curve of his ankle and calf, squeezing his chubby thighs, nuzzling his tummy with my nose and cheek…

His little fists and fingers were resting in mine, and I marveled at each crease on his palm, pressing gently with the pad of my fingers the dimples on the back of his hands. I made my way up his shoulders, his neck, tracing the shape of his head and shell ears, lightly feathering his baby-fine hair. I leaned down to smell his warm, sweet-earth baby smell. To feel the soft skin of his cheek on my lips. I kissed his forehead, his eyebrows, his eyes and little nose. I admired the color of his hazel greys and he looked back into my brown ones. He cooed. He smiled his big, meltingly perfect, dimpled smile. Oh, that smile. My heart flip-flops. You know me, I think. Of course you do. Your mama.

This newborn time is so fleeting. I’ll forget so much. Sometimes I think back on what it was like before he was born, resting my hands on my growing belly, him shifting and pushing beneath my skin, imagining what he would be like. Now he is here, part of our lives forever. I feel so blessed, so grateful. Tears form. Words fail. But oh, how I love, love, love this little boy of mine.


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Valentine Idea: Day 5 – Free Printable Cards

Print your own card – I had a little extra time to whip up two cards that are free to download and print! The “Your love means the world to me” flower card measures 3.5 x 5 inches and the diagonal label card that reads “Thoughts for you, my love, on Valentine’s Day” measures 4 x 6 inches. There are two versions of the flower card, one with the flowers printed on the cover and the other with the flowers printed on the side. The side flowers are there so you can cut them out separately and adhere them with foam tape for a 3-dimensional look (like in the photo). Enjoy!


Download version 1 | version 2 (3D)


Download Valentine Label Card

Need some more kid-friendly cards? Try this free Light-up Valentine printable.


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Valentine Idea: Day 1 – Heart Crayons

Heart crayons – learn to make your own here, or purchase cute, handmade sets from Etsy sellers like the ones shown below:


Valentine Love Heart Crayons Upcycled / Recycled (set of 10) $5.50


20 Valentine Crayons Individually Wrapped for School Class or Party Favors $20


Chunky Heart Crayons – Lil Scribblers (TM) – Set of 9 $9.95


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Back Home


Loving hands – Chloe holding tight to Grandma Sandy’s finger

We’re back. Both David and I had a wonderful week away in Colorado. Now that we’re home, I feel oddly… bereft. It was just so nice to get away. To take in a different scene. And most of all, to share the responsibility for watching and entertaining Chloe. I think that is what I will miss most – having the freedom to walk away from her, and knowing that she was in capable and loving hands. I felt this way when I returned from Virginia, too. If only our parents lived closer, I think raising baby would be so much easier. As it is, I realize that David and I are still very lucky. We have a strong relationship, and Chloe is not a difficult baby. Plus, Chloe has grandparents who love her very, very much.


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Dear Chloe, 3 months old

Dear Chloe,

You are 3 months old today. Even though you have only been a part of my life for a short time, you’ve had a remarkable impact upon it. You are my own little miracle, and I am honored to call myself your mother.

In a mere 3 months, you’ve grown from a tiny, vulnerable, 6 pounds 15 ounces to a happy, healthy 11 pounds. Every day something about you awes me, inspires me, humbles me. You’ve passed out of cradle cap, projectile vomiting and you’ve outgrown your newborn clothes. You can go three hours now between nursings (it used to be only two) and you can grasp a toy in your hand if we help place it there. You lift your head, tracks us as we move around, smile charmingly, and can even roll from your tummy to your back. Your eyes are still the gorgeous grey you were born with, though, and I wouldn’t mind at all if they stayed that way. Did I mention your fingernails grow like weeds? They’re like miniature lethal weapons, especially where my cleavage is concerned.

The weather is changing along with your growing self. In Greek, Chloe means “blossoming,” which is quite appropriate as the seasons pass from Autumn (your middle name), through winter, and soon into spring. I see evidence of it all around. I am looking forward to us learning and growing together, and fervently hope that I will be the nurturing guidance you need me to be as you continue to make your own way in this world.

Love forever my sweet girl,
Mom

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