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Our house is in disarray right now as we figure out how to add another person to our house; many of the items from mine and Jim’s bedroom are in the dining room or family room, and there’s a rug for baby boy’s room that is laying in the floor between the family room and dining room.

This afternoon, Molly came running at me full-speed from the family room and tripped over the rug. It never even registered on her radar. She hit the ground so hard and I fully expected a bloody nose or mouth when she looked up. I immediately bent down to scoop her up and held her for a minute, then we sank to the floor and as I held her hair back to look at her face, I asked, “What did you hit?”

Wailing, Molly said, “The floor!”

I tried to hold back the laughter as she continued to cry, but I was relieved she hadn’t broken or bloodied anything {this time} and I realized the ridiculousness of my literal question. So instead, I rephrased and asked, “What hurts?”

She held out her hands. I kissed them both, gave her another hug and finished getting her dinner together.

 

One thing I struggle with as a mom is trying to teach Molly how to be compassionate and empathetic. These are top-notch traits that I want her – any and all of my children – to embody. I definitely think she will learn to be kind and compassionate and understanding and empathetic by watching Jim and me and other people exhibit these behaviors, but I also think it can be directly taught. Being a mom really makes me stop and think about every situation, knowing that Molly is watching how I react and will imitate me. If I have the chance to do the right thing, I want to do it and I need to remember that sometimes I have to go out of my way to do the right thing, not just when it’s convenient because I’m already there.

I just read a blog post that I wish I had written and I cannot stop thinking about it. I want to tell Molly exactly what this woman is telling her child, and I want her to know I mean it because of the way we live and treat others and each other.

We don’t send you to school to become the best at anything at all. We already love you as much as we possibly could. You do not have to earn our love or pride and you can’t lose it. That’s done.

We send you to school to practice being brave and kind.

Kind people are brave people. Brave is not a feeling that you should wait for. It is a decision. It is a decision that compassion is more important than fear, than fitting in, than following the crowd.

I love it. Now go read the rest of her letter.

Birthdays all around!

The Giffin family had a lot to celebrate this weekend!

Our newest nephew Jack was born early Saturday morning – 8 weeks early. We talked to Lindsay and Geoff on Saturday night, and they are over the moon in love. Lindsay is doing well, and Jack is spending time in the NICU while he gets a bit stronger. We are so excited to welcome him to the family!

And Wrigley, our other nephew on Jim’s side of the family, turned ONE today! We couldn’t make the trip to Northern Virginia to celebrate with them, but Jon sent a video of Wrigley eating his cupcake, which was so fun to watch. I didn’t watch it until after Molly went to bed, but I can’t wait to show it to her tomorrow. I know she’ll think it’s hilarious!

Happy birthday, Jack and Wrigley! And happy *birth* days to Lindsay and Alisha. What a special day to commemorate.

Pregnant? Oh, yes. I’m pregnant. I’m in a weird place these past two weeks where I haven’t been physically sick and we’re not really doing anything around the house to plan for the babe’s arrival yet, and then throw in the beginning of the fall semester, a three-year-old and Junior League commitments, and I kind of forget about this pregnancy sometimes.

I’m not complaining, and I know this is typical of subsequent pregnancies. I’m so grateful that I’m not suffering from all-day sickness anymore and I’m glad I still have a bit of time to go before we become a family of four. But I’m also starting to panic that we haven’t done more to prepare for this baby, like figuring out where he’s going to sleep. I know that *he* won’t care if his room’s not ready, BUT it’s important to me and I want to create a sweet space for him, and get Molly settled in a new room. So, I’m officially moving that high up on the priority list. {Plus, it’s fun to decorate new spaces!}

Otherwise, there’s nothing to report. I’m still going to the doctor once a month. I’m finally back to my pre-pregnancy weight {and have a feeling I will have far surpassed that by the time I visit the OB again in September!}. My back and hips hurt. The vomiting and headaches have ceased. I need to stop buying summer maternity clothes and save up for fall ones.

I’m going to sell the pink cloth diapers and a few other “pink” items and start stocking up on green and yellow cloth diapers and find a neutral colored bouncy seat and some white and gray blankets. I loved, loved, loved all the pink stuff for Molly {and I still do!} but I’m anticipating that wrapping my baby boy in a pink blanket and strolling him around in a pink stroller with a pink cloth diaper cover on his bum will bother *some* people.

I certainly don’t want to rush this pregnancy, for several reasons. The main one being that we’re totally not ready for his arrival, but also because I’m trying to remember to focus on this time with just Molly. However, I am looking forward to eating a turkey sandwich, going out for sushi and having a glass of wine.

We’re on our way to Molly’s three-year well visit. I’ll report back this weekend with an update! Also, please say a prayer for my sister-in-law Lindsay and brother-in-law Geoff; they are sitting on pins and needles, I bet, while their sweet baby decides whether to come several weeks early. Lindsay is on hospital bed rest and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the babe decides to hang out right where he/she is for the moment!

She melts my heart. Really.

Molly and I had a particularly difficult afternoon one day this week. She was testing every limit, I had multiple deadlines I was trying to meet, and we were both tired. We ventured out of the house for a change of scenery and I’m not sure that was the best idea. I pretty much wanted to leave her in a parking lot by the time we were done with our errands. {I didn’t leave her, obviously!} By the time we got home and fought some more about dinner, a bath, how many books at bedtime, etc. we snuggle in her bed for prayers.

After we said our normal prayers, I suggested we say extra prayers: for my patience and her listening. She readily agreed.

Without prompting, she looked at the ceiling and said, “God, help me listen to my Mommy.”

Then she looked at me expectantly and said, “Now it’s your turn to ask.”

I died. I mean, how sweet is that? So I immediately asked God for patience with Molly and to remember that she is growing and learning. She won’t do that without testing her limits and I *know* that. I just sometimes need a little help accepting it.

And I’m glad I prayed for patience because then she got out of the bed three times and needed to be tucked back in. But I did it gladly, with a smile.

We celebrated Molly’s birthday in typical Heidi fashion, with a week of festivities. On her birthday, Jim and Molly made chocolate chip pancakes to start the day.

Molly had camp at her preschool, so Jim and I took cookies at the end of the day. Molly was so proud to pass out the cookies and have her buddies sign “Happy Birthday” to her.

After school, we went to Loco Lime where Molly had chips and queso, then we came home so she could open her gifts from us. I put the wrapped gifts on the ottoman before we went to pick her up, and when she walked in and saw them, she was thrilled that someone had left presents for her. I’m pretty sure she said that the Easter Bunny had been here, but I can’t remember now! She wasn’t thrilled that we wanted to take a picture of her before she could open her gifts.

Later that afternoon, we had some playdate friends over to play in the baby pools and have snack and cupcakes with us. It was just the right number of kids, I think, and Molly really seemed to enjoy herself.

Then we continued the celebrating with a pool party for Molly and Addison on Saturday – pictures to come soon on the SBN blog!

Dearest Molly,

As I was assembling the cupcake toppers for the cupcakes for your playdate tomorrow afternoon, it took me a few minutes to comprehend those cupcake toppers with the number “three” on them were for YOU! How did that happen? I am not the first mom to say this, but it’s so true that the days can sometimes be long and the years quick.

Your dad and I joke that you are turning 13 or even 23 instead of just three, but now that I’m typing this, tears are forming when I think about how soon 13 and 23 will come.

There are so many things I want to say to you today, on your birthday, but it boils down to this: I love you. I love you. I love you.

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You are so wonderful, Molly. You are pure joy, pure passion. You have such an intense spirit and are one of the most compassionate preschoolers I know. The other day, you asked me if there would be decorations for your birthday. To be honest, I hadn’t planned on doing much; Aunt Beverly and I planned a family pool party for you and Addison, and I invited some of your playdate friends over for cupcakes for your actual birthday. But after you asked me about the decorations, I told Beverly that I needed a banner and cupcake toppers, and I bought some pink and green ribbon and let you pick out cupcake liners.

Tonight, after I printed and assembled the cupcake toppers, you sweetly asked me, “Are those for my birthday?”

“Yes,” I replied, “they’re cupcake toppers.”

“Thank you, Mama, for making those,” you said and my heart soared at your sweet declaration of thanks.

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You are so very clever, just like your dad, and you seem so grown up a lot of the time. You already know who to ask for what and you always have “an idea.” Tonight, we were trying to decide what to eat and we originally thought pizza, but then changed our minds to Mexican. When I asked you if you’d eat a taco instead of a Mellow Mushroom pretzel, you said, “Dad, I have a question. Would you like to get pizza and pretzels? Instead of a taco?”

And then, in the blink of an eye, that grown-up girl becomes silly and loud in the bathroom of Mellow Mushroom, shrieking at the automatic flush toilets and very loud hand dryers, and then bouncing up and down on the bench with a fork in your hand and pretzel in your mouth.

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Molly, I hope and pray that you will have a happy, healthy and fulfilling year. We love you more than words could ever explain. You fill my heart beyond capacity every day and I am so grateful that God chose me to be your mother.

Happy birthday, my sweet peach.

All my love,

Mama