Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Daughters’ Dress


Before my first daughter was born, I was determined to make a dress for her.  I wanted to have it made in time to make the Christmas-announcement deadline of the coming arrival of a new grand-daughter.  As it turned out, I wound up buying a pink baby dress and wrapping it up under the tree for grandmas and grandpas to open (one of our more creative announcements, if you ask me).  That gave me the last half of my pregnancy to select fabric and a pattern and construct a piece of clothing I had waited seven years to have a reason to make.


We all wait for things in life.  Sometimes those things come before we are ready, and sometimes they come long after we are ready.  Sometimes they come after we stop caring about them at all; then we hardly notice we got what we were waiting for.  This dress, however, and the little baby girl that was going to wear it for the first time, were long-awaited.  Believe me when I say this dress was constructed out of pure mother love.  And they say mother love for a newborn is the purest there is because absolutely nothing is expected in return.  Every stitch was a little message to my daughter: “Mommy loves you”(especially on that hand-stitched rose garland).


Unfortunately, Anna only got to wear it once or twice before her chunk-o-love arms would no longer fit inside the banding at the base of the puffed sleeve.  Alas, all that time, money, energy and love for only two wearings.  I was a little heart broken when that petite dress had to be packed-up in the baby box labeled “baby girl clothes 0-3 mos.”.  Thankfully I had a reason to unpack it, run it through the wash and hang it on a tiny pink hanger about four months ago.  I think the only thing better than making this dress for my first daughter was being able to dress my second daughter in it, as well.  I feel like Job whose blessings were doubled at the end of his trials.  And what beautifully adorned little blessings they are.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Erik’s Shoot

On Mother’s Day Erik grabbed the baby and said, “Mom, take some pictures of me with Alyx.” 


How could a picture-taking mama refuse such a well-intended command?  So I rounded up the camera and put the two of them in my new favorite picture-taking spot and fired away. 


He is such a handsome little boy. 


And the baby’s pretty adorable, too.  ;>


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Baby Models

I’m sure babies come in an infinite variety of makes and models.  Ours have come in four completely different models.  I wonder if God would ever consider putting together an order form.  You could select the qualities you would like in a baby, or how long certain phases in a child’s life would last.  Of course all of this would only be helpful if the little “filled order” form came with the delivery so you could be reminded that you actually asked for all that stuff.

Here are the four Hawkins family baby models.  None of them are for sale.  You will have to figure out your own makes and models.

Model A:


Luckily our first.  We were so excited to simply have this little one that we did not know things could be better.  Model A will not sleep more than two hours at a time for the first three months, or so.  This model must eat every two hours, without fail.  This model must nurse practically 24 hours a day seven days a week because he will not take a bottle or pacifier.  At the age of four (we are talking years here, not months) the concept of thumb-sucking will finally hit home.  At this point, however, it is not a habit one encourages.  Also, this model throws-up constantly for the first five months, or until he can sit up on his own. The perk on this model is that he is the first and could not possibly be more doted upon (at least until the next one comes along).

Model B:

Adoption Pictures 11-16-04

Model B is most easily recognized by an over—active salivary gland.  Unlike Model A, Model B is rarely seen without a bulbous pacifier hanging from his mouth.  His lips never quite manage to wrap themselves all the way around the pacifier to form a complete vacuum, consequently the drool that is constantly being manufactured is not swallowed, but soaking his face and clothing (and you, if you get too close).  This model sleeps for three to four hours at a time.  This is a marked improvement over Model A; however, this sleep pattern continues for the entire first three years of life.  Perks on this model are a winning personality causing perfect strangers to declare “What a darling little baby!  Don’t you just love him?!?”

Model C:


Model C comes out of nowhere and will change your baby model expectations forever.  This is not a good choice for your first baby because no other model will be able to compete with the night sleep schedule.  This little one sleeps twelve solid hours every single night for the first six months!  The term “sleep deprivation” will never enter your consciousness (at least until the baby is  six-months-old and then starts waking once during the middle of every single night for the following six months).  Model C is not the best nurser, but takes a pacifier (and keeps the saliva in check).  She comes with the biggest, brownest, most gorgeous eyes you’ve ever seen (and believe me, she knows how to use them).  This model is also a great choice if you would like to forgo the “terrible-twos”.  A warning, though, this one will start hitting below the belt – and I mean hard – at three-and-a-half. 

Model D:

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Our most current and updated baby model is Model D.  This model wakes every four to five hours during the night.  She is an efficient nurser, and (here comes the major perk) is self-burping!  No more endless patting on the back.  No spewing forth an entire feeding because the bubble is at the bottom of all that milk.  Oh, no!  This model has a built- in signal to stop eating as soon as a bubble is detected.  Simply sit her up, bend slightly at the waist, and you will instantly and unmistakably know that bubble has been popped.  Baby Model D is also blissfully calm and content; not one to cry or fuss.  Model D is not a good choice for a first baby.  You will be spoiled, but you won’t realize it until you have a Model A or a Model B and then you will regret that you didn’t appreciate what you had when you had it.  

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Anna got a “sparkle bike” for her birthday. 

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She rode it in the house for a couple of days and on Saturday we took the kids out to the track to get in some serious riding. 

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Erik desperately wanted to ride his bike, but then couldn’t find his helmet.  He cannot wait to get his cast off, but so far it is not slowing him down one bit (the stench, however, is another story).  He is very proud of his “pop-a-wheelies”, although after falling off several times he told me that “the fast ones are scary - I don’t want to do those anymore.”  (And they were!  I kept my mouth shut, but I was preparing myself for another broken something.)

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My favorite part about our little foray was watching Sean with Anna. 

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To me these pictures are worth a thousand words.

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If only every little girl had a daddy like that.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dear Annabelle

Our sweet, little Annabelle turned 4 last week.  Oh me, oh my!  I think if I had to describe this little girl in one word it would be Delight.  Not only is she a delightful little spirit, but she takes delight in everything (except her brothers’ singing).  To give you a taste of this little one I thought I would “delight” you with a couple of the things that come out of her mouth.  Oh, and some pictures, we can never forget the pictures.

Annaliese 008

Anna: Mom, do you know why I very like my teeth like this? (Teeth pressed together in a smile.)

Mom: Why?

Anna: Because I very like happinesses.


One of my favorite things that Anna has taken up is holding her sister’s hand in the car and singing songs to her when she cries.  Anna makes them up, of course, but I so love to listen to her lyrics.  She usually sings about Jesus and how he loves her and Alyx.  Once the baby settles down or falls asleep Anna tells me, “Alyxandria very likes my singing.”  Anna is my daughter through and through.  We hold the exact same position in our families – we are both the third in our family with two older brothers and a younger sister.  I love how, whenever I paint her nails, she insists on a different color for each finger, rarely in a pattern of any kind.  I love to see what outfit she will be sporting when she comes downstairs for the day.  Sometimes I think she has a really good eye for color and design, other days I just have to remind myself that artistic self-expression is critical for a person’s well-being.  I simply love being with her, experiencing life with my sweet Annaliese.

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Anna: Mommy, do you like my germs?

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Mother’s Day Tribute

Anna's B-day and park 022I am the proud owner of a new, I mean old, dining room table.  Our previous table was purchased at a yard sale about seven years ago as we were preparing to move into our first “real” house.  It was the ubiquitous pine kitchen table that it seems everyone owns.  It came to us with its own past, full of scratches and dings and a marred finish.  It served us well and it was nice to not have to worry about all the paint smears and fork-stabbing-pockmarks that accumulated under the busy hands of our children.

But on Tuesday last week we brought home a new table.  An old table. A table from my own past; from my childhood.  My parents are moving to smaller quarters and no longer have need of a large, formal dining room set.  I managed to inherit it thanks to Sean checking his email at 11:30 every night (it was up for grabs among my siblings and I).  We moved it in Tuesday night (the kitchen table was relocated to my studio and upgraded to a craft table (hallelujah!)).  Wednesday night was our first meal around our very own real dining room set.

The silly thing is I started to cry.  Thankfully, not hugely.  I don’t think anyone even knew.  I kept looking out the window to hide my eyes.  I wasn’t crying because our prayer for a dining room set was finally answered (and it truly was an answered prayer – I pray over everything – I think it’s a compulsion).  I was crying because of all the memories that were flooding into my mind as I sat at the table.  You see, before this table became my parents’, it was my grandparents’.  And as I sat there on Wednesday night I could see my grandpa and grandma sitting there with me.  I could see the little bowls of cottage cheese and pineapple and the plates of watered down spaghetti sprinkled with parmesan cheese from a can.  I could hear my grandpa Bible-swearing about the idiots at the donut shop.  I could see the bizarre wooden artichoke candy dish that resided on the table when no one was eating.  I remember my Aunt Vicki’s gingerbread train that covered the table each Christmas Eve.  And oh, do I remember dusting that table!  Every Tuesday and Thursday my sister or I dusted that table.  Admittedly, the table seemed much smaller as I sat there with my own growing family (I was seven years old the summer I lived with my grandmother).  My son was sitting where my grandpa used to sit.

When I went to bed that night I cried some more.  I cried for my grandparents that I miss so much, that I wish I could talk to and visit; grandparents that I wish could hold my sweet children.  Last night I asked Sean what he thought Alyx would say if she could talk.  Without a moment’s hesitation he said, “She would talk about how nice Grandpa Locken is.”  And I know if Sean had had the chance to meet my grandma, he would have included her in the thought.

I know today is Mother’s Day, and I hope my mom won’t mind, but I wish to spend it honoring my grandmother, her mother.  I remember so many things about her, so many things I loved her for.  I think what I love most about her is that I knew she loved me, and my brothers and sister, and my parents.  I knew we were important to her and she would do everything she could to love us and take care of us.  I never doubted we meant the world to her.  I imagine all of her children and grandchildren felt the same way.  I honor her goodness, her love and her motherhood, and her grand-motherhood.  I miss her so very much and I look forward to holding her hand once again.

In the meantime, I will sit at my dining room table and surround it with more memories of love and family.  Until we meet again . . .

Monday, May 3, 2010

Alyx's Blessing

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Our sweet little Alyxandria Brynn was blessed yesterday. It was such a wonderful, beautiful day. And it was a gift to learn a little bit more about my daughter and the wonderful person she will become. She was blessed in a dress I made in college. So far eight little girls in my family have been blessed in that dress, including Annaliese. I have loved pulling that dress out for each precious one.

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We had lots of loved ones with us to celebrate the occasion (and Annabelle's birthday, too). The house was full of happy cousins delighted to spend the day together. Sean's aunt and uncle came all the way from Wisconsin to be with us. It was an absolute treat of a weekend to spend so much time with them. If the whole world were made up of such people, what a wonderful place it would be. The only down side was I was virtually sister-less yesterday due to a variety of reasons. Katrina, thank you for filling in. ;> (To the rest of you, I missed you terribly.)

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Life is so beautiful. I am so in love with this little person; so in love with all four of my little people. What a joy it is to be a mother (on the good days). ;> 

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(Don't you just want to gobble up that scrumptious baby?!?!?)

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