Baby Bear Diaries – Week 4

When we first found out about you, your big brother was not thrilled about it to say the least.  He had always been the baby in our family.  He does not do well with change and I could see him struggling with all of the changes that come with being a new big brother.  He has had a few rough days, but overall you have won his heart over.  He calls you his “bud” and loves to snuggle you in my bed in the mornings.  He is the first to run to you when you start to cry and he loves to tell you stories about how he plans to share all of his race cars once you are “grown up” as he says.

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Your smiles always are the best part of my days.  Words cannot describe my love for you baby Bear.
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How you fit in my arms.  3 weeks and 3 days old.
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You had your first doctor appointment today.  You gained all of your birth weight that you lost in the hospital back and then some plus you have grown a whole inch.  While I am so excited to watch you grow and change over time I wish it would just take a little more time.
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Your swing is your happy, sleepy place in the mornings and evenings.  Every time we put you in it and you drift into dream land, your little hand goes up just like this.  We call it your bear paw.
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Maddox celebrated his 5th birthday today!  It didn’t go as planned.  His party got rained out.  And we had to stay home while Daddy and the big kids got to go out to celebrate at Monkey Joes and out for lunch.  We were going to go, but you were just a bit too fussy and it was just best to stay home.  You are teaching me balance.  And that I cant always do it all.  It was hard to have to stay home and not be with your brother on his special day, but I remind myself I am still learning how to be a mom to 3 kids.  And sometimes that means rolling with whatever life throws at us even if it isn’t what we had planned in the first place.
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My view of you at 4 weeks old.
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Baby Bear Diaries – Week 3


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Your first smile to my voice.
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Ten piglets.

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Your big sister is smitten over you.
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Your first time in a swing.  I thought I could be super mom and just make do with a bouncer and a sling to carry you in.  I mean you are my third baby afterall.  I have this down right?;)But it turns out I need more help than I thought so I gave in.  Thank heavens for Amazon Prime.  And for being able to cook dinner with both hands.
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Your first trip to the orchard.
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3 weeks of sleepless nights.  3 weeks of dirty diapers.  3 weeks of the snuggles.  3 weeks of feeling my heart beat out side of my chest.  3 weeks of bliss.
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Baby Bear Diaries – Week 2

Your sweet newborn features.  Wish they would linger a little longer.  I often wonder how it felt like you would never be here.  My pregnancy with you felt like the longest pregnancy ever, but now that you are here, each day flies by.

My new mantra:  don’t blink.

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You had a fussy, umbilical cord falling off, growth spurt growing, needing to be constantly held and nursed kind of day today.

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The way you suck in your bottom lip when you sleep.  This is the same lips you were making when I laid my eyes on you for the first time.  I laid on the operating table and a nurse brought you around to where I could see you.  That morning was a rush and full of emotion and beautiful memories, but the thing I remember most for some reason are these lips.

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My favorite spot.  My favorite baby.

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Rainy Saturday mornings.  I love the way your daddy melts when he holds you.

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13 Days new.

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After our early morning feedings and you fall asleep on my lap.  The rest of the house sleeps and I cant help but to fall in love with you all over again every single time.  {Happy 2 weeks sweet boy}

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Hitting the Family Trail: Waites Run Edition

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This post is sponsored by the National Center for Families Learning. As a Family Trails blogger, I receive financial compensation for my participation. Opinions and experiences expressed on this post are my own.

The sun rose up over the mountain, waking us from our slumber to start a really busy day. When you run a farm, home school, and are nine-months pregnant, every day seems to be an obstacle course with errands and a never-ending to-do list. Sundays are no exception. On Sunday mornings we have a tradition: a big, from-scratch farm breakfast made by yours truly. When it’s summer and you live in a cabin in the woods with no air conditioning, cooking and having to hand-wash all of those dishes may as well be a pregnant lady’s worst nightmare. My husband looked at me and said, “Let’s go out for breakfast and then swim in the creek today. It’s too hot for much else.” Music to my ears! I’m not sure if I was more excited to soak my poor swollen feet in the icy water or if it was because I didn’t want to wash dishes that morning. Either way, I knew it was going to be a wonderful way to start our week. Our days were starting to be taken over by prepping for our homebirth for baby number three, planning our upcoming school year, and the everyday task of tending to animals and our garden. It’s so refreshing when you can break away from the mundane and find something else to do with your family.


Check out more of our adventure over at Family Trails!



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Baby Bear Diaries


Welcome to the world James Bear McCasland.

The eve before my scheduled c section I stayed up late to catch up on my favorite shows while the rest of the house slept.  It was a full moon weekend, a super moon to be exact.  I had felt a bit off all day and was wide awake.  I dozed off on the couch around 1am.  I woke up at 2am and when I tried to roll my almost 42 week pregnant self off of the couch I felt a ‘pop.’  I froze.  Nothing happened and I just brushed it off and went to climb into my bed.  While I laid on my side and tried to rest my eyes an overwhelming contraction took over my body.  4 minutes later another I was taken over by another rush.  I had been envisioning your birth for months and we were planning a home birth, but the week prior to your birthday we discovered another c section was the best and safest option for us both.  We didnt have a plan for “what if I went into labor and we needed to rush to the hospital.”  We figured you had waited this long, we would have no problem getting to Tuesday for your scheduled birthday.  I stood up to go pee and well…needless to say, 5 minutes later of sitting there I was still “peeing” so I knew it was my water breaking.  I woke up your daddy and told him we had to go.  We both rushed upstairs and grabbed your big brother and sister to head to the hosptial.  Your big sister didnt mind that it was 2:15 am and we needed to jump up and go, but your brother would not get out of bed.  I stood outside with your sister with contractions rushing all through my back wrapping themselves around to my stomach and it was getting more intense.  I panicked a bit knowing we had atleast a 45 minute drive through the middle of nowhere to get to the closest hospital.  We finally got the car loaded up with your excited sister and grumpy brother and we made our way down the back mountain roads to meet you.  I kept my eyes closed most of the time to try to help me relax through the contractions that were just coming stronger and stronger.  At one point I was certain I was going to have you on the side of the road.  We made it to the hopsital and they got me all checked in and monitored my contractions.  I put my hypnobirthing techniques to good use even though i was not home birthing any more and it helped get me through the worst of them.   Your daddy had to stay in the waiting room with your siblings and they rolled me back into the OR to meet you.  I was scared to death, but also overwhelmed with joy knowing that in just any minute you would be in my arms.

After a few minutes I felt the pressure and relief of them bringing you earthside to be with us and the doctor announced “Its a boy!” at 5:11am.

All of the nurses were giddy with how big you were and I couldnt wait to see you.  One nurse brought you around so I could take a peek and I will never forgot how you looked in her arms, your bottom lip sucked in, and then releasing a big cry.  They took you over to the scale and I heard them announce that you were a whopping 9 pounds and 5 ounces.  They cleaned us both up and you went immediately to my chest for skin to skin and began to nurse so naturally like you had done it a million times before.   That early morning on August 31st, my heart grew 10 times bigger than I ever thought possible.

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Your 2nd day here was spent at the hospital with just your dad and me.  We had a friend stay with your siblings and your daddy brought me lunch and we had a quiet hospital date.  We took in every second of snuggling you up and covering you in love.

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Our last day in the hospital.  I snuggled you extra hard today.  As much as I couldn’t wait to get home and back to a routine I know that with each passing day, you are going to slowly grow out of your newborn stage and it breaks my heart a bit.  If I could just bundle you up like you are right now and keep you like this forever, I would.

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Your first day at home.

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Your brother and sister are absolutely smitten over you.  You are so, so loved sweet boy.

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Early morning diaper changes with the early sun.  Just one of my favorite moments in our new routine.

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Your first trip to the creek resulted in getting a diaper change on a rock and getting nursed as I was in the creek and the water rushed around us.

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Today was bittersweet.  We had to say “see ya later” to your Mimi, Pops and Aunt Livie.  They drove up from South Carolina a few days after you were born.  We enjoyed having them over so much and hated to see them hit the road again.  In typical Mimi fashion she made sure to leave your cheeks covered in her red lipstick kisses.

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