My 2-year-old. I have a 2-year-old?

I remember what it felt like the moment they put you on my stomach. You were so gray-looking. I remember that the most. I knew I was supposed to immediately feel love but instead I just kind of stared at you in shock. I was a new mom. I had no idea what to do except stare as they toweled you off on my stomach. Instinctively, I wanted you closer. So I pulled myself forward just enough to grasp you and pull you into me. That was the first moment I truly held you in my arms. You stopped crying and just stared up at me and your daddy. Then I was able to soak you in a bit more. Your almond-shaped eyes, your squishy little face, your beautiful skin, your serious expression, and the way you just looked at us, even though you couldn’t see us, you knew who we were. I remember looking down at my stomach, still very swollen and huge and thinking “you aren’t in there anymore” and how distant that felt, how surreal. You wait for months and months for this moment and it was finally here and I felt like someone else was experiencing it. But I remember it clearly. I remember what it felt like when they took you away to clean you off and take your measurements, how empty my arms felt, how I craned my neck to watch you every second while the nurses had you. The weight of your dad’s hand on mine when they brought you back. I never wanted to let you go…but I did that night…so we could sleep 🙂 and I loved when the nurses brought you back in at 3 a.m. to eat again. I loved seeing you, I had missed you. Those first days were like nothing I had ever experienced before. You were my first child. My little boy. I had a son – and I was a mom.

Now here you are, our little man. You are two-years-old and you have brought us so much joy. We thank our Lord for you everyday. You are completely full of life and you remind us daily that we should be more like you. You are sensitive, caring, and sweet. You also are determined. You know exactly what you want when you want it, which can be trying for us as your parents, but we love you for it. We feel you will be a leader, you’re strong-minded and yet have a soft heart. You are incredible, Logan, and I hope you always know how much you mean to your Daddy & I. We love you so much.

Happy Birthday, little buddy.

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Introducing Cademin Jeffrey, 10 days old: Newborn Photographer

My beautiful and sweet friend (and job share partner at Target!), Stacia, and her husband welcomed baby Cade into the world on June 12 at 6:14 p.m. He was 7 pounds, 12 ounces and 20.5 inches long. I had the pleasure of his first photography session when he was just 10-days-old. What a sweet baby he is. He has the most gorgeous eyes and lightest hair color – so light you can barely make out his eyebrows. I loved capturing him at this very innocent, precious stage of life and I’m so excited for Stacia and Ben.

Ben & Stac, you are going to be the most wonderful parents and I can’t wait to watch Cade grow into the man the Lord desires him to be! You are both such loving people, there is no doubt in my mind how much little Cademin is going to be adored by you guys and all of your supportive family. I hope these photos are memories you can cherish forever – blessings to you guys on your sweet little boy.

Turn up your speakers and watch the slideshow – see below for additional still shots.

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Bennett’s Birth Announcement

I love designing digitally – I’ve done all of our Christmas cards, thank you notes, party invites, and birth announcements. In order to save money, we’re not doing an announcement for Bennett – too much for postage. But that doesn’t mean I can’t formally introduce him on my blog! So here goes, our beautiful 6-week-old, Bennett. We love you little buddy!

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Happy Father’s Day

This man. Oh, how I love this man.

This boy that I met when I was 18-years-old.

This boy that I dated all through college.

This boy that I then married.

This man that became my husband.

This man that then became a Daddy.

Oh, how I love this Daddy.

Happy Father’s Day – to the most amazing husband and father I could ever have asked for. Your humble and gentle spirit are so refreshing. Your smile still makes me melt. And yes, when you come in the door I am so excited. Still now, 9 some years later. I love you more and more everyday. I really do. And watching you with our boys – there is nothing better. It brings me joy to see you play with Logan and gently cuddle with Bennett. They love you so much. My life feels so complete with you in it. And I want the world to know. So I’m sharing – about you, about our love, about the things I love about you. You follow the Lord with all of your heart – and you listen to Him, you obey Him, you make career changes and life decisions because He’s asked you to. I am so proud of you. I am proud of the way you lead this family and I can only hope I’m the partner you need me to be. I will continue to pray for you, to pray for us and our family, to pray for wisdom and God’s grace. You are so incredible, B, and I love you for who you are. Thank you for all you do for us. You are the greatest husband and the most fun-loving Dad. We are so lucky to have you.

I love you.

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Quick Update

Wow how I have neglected this beautiful thing called my blog. I love having the ability to blog. I have always been a journal-writer and this allows me to do that and attach pictures without using glue and scissors! It also is out there, for whoever to read, instead of me feeling obligated to send updates via email or other communication methods. I love it!

We have been B.U.S.Y. but good busy. Brian has recently left me for the boundary waters. I bawled when he left because when I’m tired I’m an absolute disaster when it comes to my emotions (my family would argue I’m always a disaster when it comes to my emotions – they may have a point). And I was scared he was leaving me for 5 days. How was I going to handle both boys when he was gone? We are on day 2 and things are good! The thing I’ve realized about parenting is that you kind of dive head first into most situations – and you usually don’t figure it out until you’ve hit the bottom and have to pick yourself back up. We have good moments and horrible moments. We have awesome moments and kind of icky moments. But they are our moments and I love that. I love my boys and am loving them more and more everyday.

Logan is hilarious right now and I love watching him try to figure life out. He is constantly singing – like this morning at the gym. I was changing his diaper in the women’s locker room and he started singing ‘twinkle twinkle’ soon this little girl was joining him and the ladies standing around thought it was the cutest thing ever. That was how Logan was going to pass the time as I was changing his diaper. He has always loved to read, but recently wants to hold a book other than the one you are reading while you’re reading to him. And as you’re reading, he’s kind of watching and listening, but also flipping through ‘memen’s book’ (= Logan’s book) and reciting it line for line. Toddlers memories are incredible. He has more books memorized than I do!

My mom was here last week with me which was so amazing. She is great with my kids and I always enjoy her company – thanks for coming to help out Mom!

Bennett is doing great. He is well over 11 pounds now and fondly referred to as my ‘chunky monkey’ my dreams of having a chunker might be coming true! He is a really good and happy baby right now and is becoming more and more alert as the weeks pass. I can’t believe he is almost 6 weeks old. Time has been moving much too quickly. Nights are okay – he is going about 4-4.5 hours inbetween feedings, which is a nice change from the 3 hours. Counting down until that gets even longer – but still trying to not wish away moments.  It is amazing how many months pass before you as the mom actually get to sleep through the night! We are pregnant for so long and getting up to use the bathroom all night for months leading up to delivery…then we have them and it just continues…whew.

I’m plenty busy but find myself needing to put my focus on other things than just my kids at times. My sister Michelle and I are planning our huge Perreault Family Reunion in 2012. This is not just our family – but my grandpa’s siblings families – so it ends up being hundreds of people. It is a blast but a huge undertaking. I have enjoyed pulling out my laptop and working on color-coded excel spreadsheets. Ha! I never thought I’d miss that busy work from Target but I do! I’m also looking into some other photography ideas and trying to get some work done there. There is only a few minutes, sometimes 1/2 hour a day, when I have time though…so it goes quickly and not many decisions have been made. Hopefully by the end of the summer though!

I’m working on the boys scrapbooks as much as I can. I’ve realized that by doing things differently I end up creating much more work for myself than necessary but I do enjoy it. I’ll try to post some of those pages as well so you can see them…all in all, we’re getting the hang of things around here and I’m soaking in those boys of mine. They keep me on my toes but are so worth it.

I’ll end with a few photos:

one of our favorite things to do right now is play with water on the deck – logan stays entertained for hours and loves it! my little guy is almost 2!

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A Mom of Two.

Being a Mom of 2 is so rewarding…Yet so hard. Ha! The past couple of weeks have gone by in a blur and I can’t believe little Bennett is almost 3 weeks old already. This morning I had some prayer time in the car (so needed) and I have been realizing over the past couple of days that this life, this crazy busy, boy-driven life of mine is a gift the Lord has given me. Seems easy to process, right?! Also easy to lose sight of. This is my family. These are His children that He gave to Brian and I to raise. He is honoring us with their life. Wow! When I think of the magnitude of that I am in awe. Yes, it has been an adjustment. Definitely. But my motto right now is that soon this life will be my ‘new normal’ and I won’t know any differently. I don’t wish away these moments, or at least I don’t try to, but I love the glimpses in my day when I feel caught up. When I feel a bit more normal. Like yesterday. And today. Everyday is getting better and better. I know there will be those days – ahh, those days when time could not go faster until you hear your husband pull in the driveway – but right now I am doing my best to soak in BOTH of my boys and love ’em up as much as I can. I was thinking of things I wanted to remember during this time – and I started making a list – something I wish I would have had handed to me as I walked out of the hospital and into this new life. Some are funny…some are serious…all are true.

What I’ve learned in 2 weeks as a Mom of 2.

  • there is nothing sweeter than a newborn in your arms. the smell of them. the softness of them. the teeny-tininess of them.
  • life as the 3 of you is gone. your toddler feels it. you feel it. your husband feels it.
  • being a mom of 2 is a balancing act. one that doesn’t come with instructions. you have to figure it out for yourself.
  • I ask for grace daily.
  • baby needs you constantly. your husband handles the toddler most of the time while you’re getting used to having a newborn around again.
  • when your husband comes home from work, YOU spend time with your toddler. he misses his mommy.
  • ‘tickle’ your newborn with your toddler. read to him. do things with your baby that your toddler enjoys so he can help and watch.
  • don’t try on your pre-prego pants in the first 2 weeks post-delivery
  • remember your hormones are CrAZy…cut yourself some slack!
  • both children can have your attention at the same time. try to include your toddler in feeding times, or have him ‘help’ you change baby’s diaper. another tip i learned: have a box/bag of toys that your toddler can only play with while you’re nursing. gives them something to look forward to the countless times a day you’re feeding your newborn!
  • let people help you! when they offer, accept!
  • cereal is just fine for dinner.
  • laundry can wait.
  • cleaning can wait.
  • sleep when your toddler sleeps!
  • remember that this is a season – a season that goes by way too quickly.
  • smile. everyday.
  • laugh with your toddler.
  • hug your husband as often as you can.
  • spend time daily in prayer.

The list could go on – but these are some I had written down right away. Hope they make you laugh or come in handy! 🙂

An update on Bennett – at his 2 week check-up he weighed 9 lbs. 6 oz. He is a big boy! He was born at 8 lbs. 2 oz. and when we left the hospital he was 7 lbs. 13 oz. He has more than passed his weight requirement! He sure doesn’t seem like he’s such a big boy but he’s really strong already and quite the little wiggle worm. Such a different body type than Logan. I’m hoping for a chunky baby 🙂

We did find out, however, that his urine test came back positive for CMV. It was quite a shocker. We don’t know what this means – just more tests, bloodwork, and further tests as he grows. He went in today for lab work and they drew a bunch of blood for various tests. Then at 6 months they will re-check his hearing (which he passed in the hospital) and also check his eyes. So far the initial tests are all really positive. It just turns into another waiting game as sometimes CMV can produce symptoms in toddlers – all of a sudden your 3-year-0ld can start to loose hearing as a result of CMV- so we’re just praying for healing and protection from any of that!

Life in the Senske household is crazy but fun! We are heading up north for Memorial Wknd and I honestly can’t wait to spend time with my parents, siblings, and wake up every morning to the beautiful lake and green grass. Ahhh, heaven! We are pretty excited. Happy Weekend!

I took these today…

look at that little man!

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Introducing Bennett Harker Senske {7 days old}

We’re happy to announce that we had another little addition to our family – and he was a BOY!

Bennett Harker Senske
May 9, 2010 – yes, Mother’s Day!
8 lbs 2 oz.
21″ long

First, I’ll give you the meaning of his name. Bennett in Latin means ‘blessed‘ We had always loved the name but for me it was more solidified during the rough patch we hit this winter with sickness in our house and the worry over this little baby inside of me and whether or not he/she would have CMV. After that, I loved the name even more and truly felt blessed to be carrying another child that seemed healthy through the ultrasounds – the initial tests done at the hospital on little Bennett are also very positive and all looks great with him!  Harker is my mom’s maiden name –  my grandparents are my godparents and have played a huge role in my life growing up and into adulthood. If this little one was a boy or girl, the middle name was going to be Harker. We loved it and love middle names with meaning – Harker suited Bennett. Logan is now calling him ‘baby Binit’ and the name fits.

I had a little mini-session with Bennett when he was 7 days old – luckily my husband likes what I do because he was a great help with my props. Every time I look at him I can’t believe he’s ours. And that I’m a

{mom of 2 boys}

It feels so right to me. We are so blessed. Even though this is a huge transition in our life, and some moments are harder than others, the joy these boys will bring us over the years is unimaginable. This is our family. Wow. Thank you, Lord.

some awake time in his bouncer…

{brothers} at the hospital…love these…

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