Father's Day

I've got precious few minutes right now.  Camden is taking his afternoon nap and Hallie just finally dozed off, tucked snuggly against my chest in a wrap.  Roy went to pick his sister up from the airport and my parents are stuck on the freeway, but not too far away.  When they all get here, and when our friends arrive, we will celebrate Hallie and give her a blessing.  I need to clean this house before it all begins, so I'm typing frantically.

We're excited to see family and friends and to share our joy with them.  This little girl is amazing.  That being said...

Sharing the limelight is the story of Roy's life.  He's never had a birthday to himself, and now he has to share Father's Day too.  But honestly, that's the way he likes it.  And that's one of a million reasons why he's a fantastic dad.

Not only does a good father take care of his children, but he spends some serious time teaching them. Roy is GOOD at this.

Here's an example from this morning:
Camden is in the "why" stage, and sometimes I have less patience for it than I should.  I was busy trying to get clean sheets on the bed and Camden was rolling around on the mattress, hindering my progress and asking lots of why questions.  He held up his doll, Baby Fred, and asked, "Why is this a doll?"

"That doesn't even make sense," I snapped, trying to pull him off the bed and out of my way.  Roy walked in the room and I complained, "I hate it when Camden asks questions that are just unanswerable, it's frustrating."

Roy immediately said, "Questions are good!  He just doesn't know how to get out what it is he wants to ask."  Then he got down on his knees, eye-level with Cam, and said, "What's your question?"

Camden, having someone's full attention, pointed to words engraved at the base of the doll's head.  "Why is this on the doll?  What does this say?"

Then Roy and Camden had a nice little chat about what Made In China means - before you know it they're talking about foreign commerce!  (Well, preschool level of course.)  And I just stood there smiling, feeling a little ashamed of myself but really in love with my husband.

Something Roy has engrained in Camden's mind is "have courage and be kind."  He says it to our boy every night once he's read him a bedtime story and turned out the light.  Yes, we jacked that phrase from the Cinderella movie.  But is there anything better we could be teaching our kids while they are young?  When the world around them is confusing and selfish, they'll have those roots.  They'll have the voice of their father murmuring in the back of their minds, no matter what, "have courage and be kind."  And maybe a couple of other goofy things too, because their daddy is, without a doubt, a giant goof ball.

These kids are lucky.  I'm lucky.  Happy Father's Day, Roy!

Balancing Two

Hallie was two days old when word of her beauty spread throughout the hospital, and she soon booked her first  photoshoot.  :-)

Well, okay, what happened is a nurse who also happened to own a photography studio was looking for an extra cute baby girl model for a class about newborn shoots that she was hosting for a group of photographers.  Free pictures?  Yes, please!  So when Hallie was eight days old we showed up and baby girl gave them a perfect two hours of modeling.  

^^^ I really love this candid picture.  Mostly because I love how Grammy can't help but take her own pictures unobtrusively in the background, barely suppressing a smitten kind of grin.

Hallie is already a posing pro!

These days I'm trying to find that magical balance in mothering two.  My mama friends have made it seem almost effortless, but I admit I'm struggling.

Part of me wants to spend each and every day in newborn mode.  In our pajamas, feeling her little gusts of milky breath on my skin as we snuggle, just hunkering down in the house together and pretending the rest of the world has stopped moving beyond our bedroom door.

BUT another very insistent part of me wants to get out and play with my sweet toddler!  It's summer time, after all.  We need to be going to splash pads and eating popsicles and riding bikes and exploring the outdoors.

Sometimes we improvise and bring the summer fun indoors.

But we have been getting out a little bit.  And at times like these you'll see me walking around with this big stupid smile on my face cuz... there's TWO of them!  And it's amazing how my heart can beat outside of my chest in two different places, with two different little people.

But when Daddy's around Camden kicks us girls to the curb - haha!  He's always been such a daddy's dude.  Roy is his very best friend, he wants to do everything with him.  And he wants to grow up to be just exactly like his dad, too, which I'm perfectly happy with.

Of course there was a time when I felt a bit left out--when Camden only wanted daddy to read him stories, daddy to tuck him in, and daddy to take him on a bike ride.  Like, what the heck?

But now I wave happily as they leave on their manly adventures and I snuggle my baby girl a little closer.  Someday she will probably want daddy to read her stories, tuck her in, and take her on bike rides, because--I have to admit--he's really fun.  But I'm enjoying the now, when she only has eyes for her mama.

I had to post pictures from when my grandma and aunt came to visit and meet Hallie.   My mom was still up here at the time, and I got to go shopping with all of them.  It made me think of when we all traipsed across England and Scotland together--they are too much fun.  (Missed one of my aunts, tho!)

My favorite pic of the day right here: Hallie Lois with her great grandma Lois.  I love and admire my grandma, and feel so blessed my daughter gets to have her in her life as well.  

When Grandma and Debbie left for Tucson they took Mom with them.  We sure do miss her living with us!  Come back!!

In the meantime we'll keep trying to figure out this balance.  Camden is on the case.

Family of Four

There's no way we are already knee-deep in June!  Really?  You sure?  'Cuz I just had this adorable little baby, like, last week.  That's what it feels like, anyway.  Not post-surgery-wise — I'm feeling fantastic — but the idea that little Hallie is already one month old???  It kills me.

I'm already mourning the fact that she's growing up, and she's not even out of newborn clothes yet.  Ridiculous, but real.  Gimme all the sleepless nights, I'll keep this yummy newborn stage for as long as I can.  We love her to bits.

Trying to capture the sweet baby freshness, we had the amazing Sam George come over and shoot a few pictures for us.  I think our giddy adoration was well captured.  But it's when I look at this picture that I feel the need to pinch myself.

Guys.  The Buckmasters are a family of four!

I'm living the dream.  Partly because I'm living with no sleep, so I'm sleep-walking most of the day, but like I said— WORTH.  IT.  The only thing better than loving on my new daughter is watching my husband and firstborn dote on her.  Nothing better.  I mean, I just, I can't even talk about it.

For one thing, I love Roy even more.  I remember feeling that way when Camden was born, too.  After the pregnancy hormones wear off and I'm not so scary {sorry babe!} I fall in love with this man all over again watching how tender and loving he is with our sweet girl.

Coming home from the hospital, Camden took over the big bro responsibilities quite flawlessly.  He's always been good with younger kids, but for him this gave a whole new meaning to the word "young" and I wasn't sure how he would handle having her encroach on his only child status.

But if she cried or whimpered he would run for a pacifier {we had to learn that we don't shove the pacifier down her throat} and pat her on the head while whispering "shhhh!!!".  {Also had to learn how to gently pat on the head!!}  All in all, good intentions.  He has watched many of his little friends take care of/protect their little sisters, and he's proud to do the same.

The other day I walked out of the bathroom when I heard her crying, and Camden was already there rocking her cradle and singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".  I melted into a puddle.

Hallie is a lucky girl to have these dudes in her life.

Recovering from the surgery has been great.  Much, much better than the first time, since I didn't have both surgery and labor to recover from.  And my mom stayed with us for two wonderful weeks and took great care of all of us.  We love her so!

Hallie is some kind of super baby.  At ten days old I put her on her stomach and she promptly rolled onto her back.  No one else was around, and I was thinking, That must have been a fluke.  I put her back on her stomach, and thirty seconds later she rolled over again.  I was sure no one would believe me.  So the next day I showed my mom.  She did it again!  And she does it all the time!

At her checkup I asked the doctor if she was superhuman.  Basically he said yes, but that it isn't totally unheard of for babies to roll over this young.  So we are expecting her to stand up and walk any day now.  {I actually had a dream that she did - haha!}

She also began social smiling really early—3 weeks!  Her first smile was for her daddy, who was talking to her at the time.  Roy must be the newborn whisperer because Cam gave him his first smile, too.

Now if Hallie is in the right mood she will smile her head off for ten minutes at a time.  And we are always in the mood for her twinkle-eyed smiles.

The first day Roy left for work after Mom had gone I was a little nervous.  Although I've certainly been responsible for multiple children before, throwing in a newborn is a whole different game.  For some reason the idea that she would cry while we're in public and out of my comfort zone is mortifying to me.

But since I'm grudgingly admitting that it's been four weeks, I do feel like in that time we've been getting the hang of this.  I've managed to take both kids to the park a few times, the grocery store, and even made it through three hours of church last Sunday.  And no one ended up in the ER from negligence nor excessive crying.  Go me!

 That being said, I'm not in a hurry to "bounce back."  I'm enjoying this precious, fleeting time with my kids.  {Plural!  So crazy!}  We aren't bouncing anywhere anytime soon, we are just going to nestle down and take it slow.  Play board games with one while feeding the other, then all snuggling for a movie.  Okay, who are we kidding, it's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  Always.  Point is, we are loving this.

So much.