Wednesday, April 29, 2015

7 weeks 2 days

Dear Baby,

You are kicking my butt. Seriously, kicking it hard.

Last night Will said, "Mommy, I'm sorry you're sad." I wasn't acting particularly sad right then, but I certainly have had my moments. I was so touched. For all the empathy Will lacks toward Barrett, he gives to me. I said, "I'm not sad, honey. I'm just growing a baby. And so all my fun and my energy and my ... activities... are all going to the baby so it can grow strong and healthy."

"Ohh," he whispered. "I have a baby in my tummy too."

"You do?" I asked, smiling. "I don't think you have a baby in your tummy, Will."

"No, I do," he insisted.

Will likes to peer into my belly button and try to see you, baby. If only we could do that! Wouldn't it be amazing?

I'm counting down the days until I can see your healthy little heartbeat on May 11. It's not hard to have faith that all's well in there, considering how miserable I feel. I love you and I know it's not your fault. It's just a part of life. But you are going to be SO worth it.


Will, eating Cheerios and milk: "Mmmmm, this is yummy food. Did you make this food for us?"

After spilling said Cheerios: "Oh, no.... and I was trying to be careful."

Will, before dinner: "Mom we don't want steak. We want soup. We want chicken soup noodle."

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Think on THESE things

I know I come here and gush about how cute I think my kids are, and how wonderful they are, and what a joy they are. It's all true. There are negative things about my kids, about parenting, really, but I don't come to this blog to record the negativity. I come because I know that twenty years from now, these things will be lost, and my human tendency to remember the big, bad moments will need a little help to remember the sweeter ones.

Instead of only remembering that yesterday I wasted time and had a terrible attitude, I'll also remember that while I was cutting Will's hair, I took a second to bend down and kiss the back of his head. Of course, I got my mouth FULL of hair. Yuck. Duh. I'll also remember how I crouched on my bed, pouncing, yelling BOO! and making the boys laugh and laugh.

Instead of only remembering that Will displayed a bit of a mean streak yesterday, I'll also remember how he went outside to help Daddy cut wood, and when I opened the front door and called, "Will?" his tiny voice came floating in the air, "Yeah? Oh! Okay!" and then he tromped into sight, all hatted and mittened up, to come in and take a bath. With his cheeks flushed and his eyes sparkling, he told me how it was snowing outside and how he was helping "Dad". I'll also remember how he woke up during his nap, whimpering, "I don't like [the movie] Cars." And how as I was leaving his room he began repeating his phrase: "For the Lord ('ward') has NOT given me a spirit of fear..."

Instead of only remembering that Brian and I got into an argument at dinner, I'll also remember that he played and played with the boys all evening, when he knew he needed to work outside. I heard him being the Big Bad Bear, playing catch with the kids, reading Barrett books, and driving cars. And although Will didn't feel like going outside with Daddy in the beginning of the evening, by the time Daddy really had to go, Will didn't want to leave his side. And then how later, Brian came and apologized and hugged me and we made up and then I crashed to sleep because I am so tired. 

And how I took another test, just for the fun of it, at 6+2, and smiled to myself to see the test line stronger than the control, and just pondered that there is a tiny stranger in my body, someone I know nothing about, and I love it dearly already.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Haircut Day

Argh... I cut Will's hair too short AGAIN! The only thing more frustrating than trying to cut William's hair is trying to get him to stand still so that I can send a picture to Daddy.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


Barrett likes to pull up on my legs and yell, "MAH! MAH!" I know the dude could walk if he wanted to but he's just like Will was - uninterested. Will walked at 15 months, and maybe Barrett will, too.

Barrett is so, so cute. He's using his sign language ("more" is a fist pounding an open hand, like a tough thug). He's not saying as many words as Will was, but I'm sure they'll come. He likes to wave at windows, whether he sees anyone through them or not, and he'll often look through a window and yell, "Bah! Bah!" Bo, of course.

He loves the soft, fuzzy side of his blanket, and will suck his thumb and poke the fuzzy side with the opposite finger. He still naps twice a day, but sometimes he skips the first one. He poops constantly and with great volume. My gosh. No early potty training going on here.

Will says, "Ope!" As in, "Ope! it's right here.... Ope! I forgot my blanket." We read Clifford and he'll say, "Ope! He's behind the carousel!" (which he pronounces 'carouself'). The other day he was shirtless, admiring himself in the mirror, and said, "There's a baby in my tummy. And look! I've got nipples on myself."

He takes on a teaching role when he's with other kids, pointing out the things I show him when we're alone. I think he's getting to be kind of bossy, too. "Samuel, don't press that circle button. Barrett, this howcopter is mine, so it's mine, so don't touch it."

He's interested in drones, helicopters, and toy guns (as well as all kinds of big equipment and machinery). He loves watching Daddy shoot his bow. He likes tools and frogs and throwing things. He is also a little cuddler. I'll lay on his bed from time to time and he'll roll over and play with my hair, or touch heads, or put his arms around me. He's polite: if I say "That train looks great, Will!" he'll say, "Fank you, mom."

Of course, he still has meltdowns. Yesterday he went potty and received two small pieces of chocolate Easter bunny. Without explanation, upon handing him the chocolate, he burst into sobs. When he couldn't get himself together (and with the chocolate softening in his hand), I took it away and led him into my bedroom, where he sat with his blanket on my bed and wailed for five minutes. Meanwhile, Barrett was extremely delicate, breaking down into sobs at the slightest infraction. And I, having gotten about 5 hours of sleep over the past three nights, was exhausted! It was one of those days. Still, of course, even on "those days", there were wonderful little moments - for instance, Barrett bringing me books to read to him as I lay on my back in the playroom, while Will and Daddy were outside shutting up the barn. He'd lay on his back on top of my chest and we'd read, the very simple picture books that Will's grown out of but that he had loved at Barrett's age. I've not done much of that with Barrett, by himself, because every time I start reading books, Will brings me one, and then Barrett grows disinterested. Barrett also said some new words yesterday. I had the bright idea (if I do say so myself!) to put my fingers to my mouth and say a word, and then to put my fingers to HIS mouth. That action then made him repeat the word, rather than me just saying, "Barrett, say 'car'." He said "JoJo", "car", and "all done". All words I wasn't sure if he could say.

I know this post is all over the place, but it's truly how my life feels these days. I'm not complaining, just trying to explain that my day-to-day really feels like a dream. (And not as in dream-come-true, more like meandering-subconscious night time dream.) There are concrete parts of the day, our schedule: going to Meijer, making dinner, naptime, breakfast. But the filler is always changing. What the kids play with, what chores I tackle, how we spend the morning. And then, on top of that, there are sprinkled throughout the day little cute moments and funny phrases that I tell myself I've got to remember but then at the end of the day I can barely even remember what we did together. Last night, as I lay on my back in the playroom, waiting for Barrett to bring me another book, I thought about blogging and felt a little sad that there wasn't really a way for me to capture my day. I can write down the cute things and the funny mannerisms but I can't translate what it's like to get the kids up from nap or to sit at the dinner table with them or to take a walk with them. It's sad that I won't remember these things, but it's wonderful that I get to experience them.

Friday, April 17, 2015

We found a grader!

"Mom, I want to go find tractors," said Will as Kathleen and I were huffing and puffing on a long walk.

"I don't know if we're going to see any today, buddy," I said. "I've been looking but I haven't seen any."

I could tell the road had been recently graded - or at least the process started as there was a huge mound of gravel in the middle of the road. I was nervous the grader would come roaring back and we'd have to skedaddle off to the side of the road in a hurry. Those things move FAST.

Imagine my relief - and Will's delight! - when we happened upon the grader, completely driverless, sitting by the side of the road. We thoroughly inspected it, touched the tires, peered at the blade, pointed at the engine.

Took pictures, of course, because how often do you have a friend visiting from Montana, walking with you on an unusually warm April day, and you find a grader for your two year old?

Will wasn't entirely pleased. "I want to see a John Deere, mom," as though ordering a basket of fish and chips. "Can't promise we'll see a John Deere, Will." 

And then not five minutes later, what comes cruising down the road but an old John Deere tractor, completing the grading?

And THEN an enormous semi tractor-trailer, arriving to pick up the broken-down grader? 

Some kids get all the luck.


5 weeks 4 days

Dear Baby,

You are due on the same date as the little one we lost in 2013. On December 14, 2013, I was pregnant with Barrett and yet, that day, I also cried for the little one we'd never have, the little baby who would have been born that day. Could it be possible that, on December 14, 2015, I could be holding your brand-new little life?

It's taking great faith to believe that you are growing and developing as you should be. I believe that you're a little boy. It just feels so right to call you my little boy. While many ask if we'd like a girl this time, I can honestly say I'd be over the moon with a third healthy little boy.

I'll be heading down to see the midwife on May 11. That's 24 days away. I will be holding my breath until then, and yet I feel a strange confidence that, surely, I can't lose another December 14th baby. Will May 6 come and go without issue? These dates are sealed in my mind from when we lost our little one. And you could redeem them.

Your brothers are going to love you no matter who you are, little one. We have a lot of love in this family. There is a lot of it, just waiting for you.

Love, Mama

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Since the weather's warmed up, I take the kids for a little walk in the evenings after dinner while Brian works outside. There's a culvert a little ways down the road and Will loves go ask, "Can we go see water rushing down?" The water has slowed to a trickle. It'll be fun to get rain and see it fill up again. Oh, the things that I look forward to.

Barrett's SO CUTE. Last night, Becca was cuddling him quite a bit. When it came time to change his diaper, I reached for him and he shooed me away! THAT's a first. The kids both got candy last night and Barrett was wired. He'd crouch down, holding onto the side of the coffee table, and pop up yelling "EYE!"

Last night as Becca and I were walking back to the house with the boys, Becca asked Will, "Do you want to go see if Aunt Kathleen is awake?" A minute or two later, I said, "Alright guys, let's go inside and play Duplos with Aunt Kathleen." Becca and I were talking but Will began trying to get my attention. Finally, I looked down and he said, "Mom, Mom, Mom... I have a question. We're not going inside to play Duplos, we're going to see if Aunt Kathleen is awake."

Saturday, April 11, 2015

April 11

This weekend, as I was getting the kids up on Saturday morning, Brian came into the room and crashed on Will's bed. "Daddy's gonna be working outside all day today!"

"Umm.... honey, no you're not," I said, a little alarmed. "I have to go to Cynthia's shower... remember?"

"You're kidding me!" This would be the second weekend his yardwork plans would be foiled.

It turned out fine. Barrett slept for hours and Will tagged along outside. Meanwhile, I rode with Kathleen and my mom to the shower. It was a "Mystery Shower", a very creative idea. Two guests at each table were characters in the mystery, and I was one, too. I wasn't the thief... and as it turned out, no one correctly even guessed the thief, but it was still fun. The food was delicious. The bride looked beautiful! It was fun.

But I got home TIRED. When the kids woke up from the nap Brian had put them down for, I was short on patience, especially when Will began to melt down because he wanted a banana and they were all green. Once we settled on an alternate snack, and we all ate, I think all three of us felt better. "Mommy, can you play blocks with me and build a city?" asked Will. But when I offered the chance to take a walk outside, he danced around a bit. "Wet's go outside with Daddy!"

We went upstairs to change Barrett and grab sweaters. While the kids played in the bedroom, I stopped in the bathroom. I'm a compulsive test taker (hello, 12¢ Amazon test strips) and I'd already taken a few the week before. Negatives, all. But it had occurred to me today that I was a bit late. I took the cheap test strip and watched the ink appear. At first it was like all the others, one dark control line. But as the ink settled, I saw another finer line appear.

Pregnant. "Unbelievable," I said to myself, smiling. I was sure it hadn't worked this month.

We visited Brian in the barn. He was finishing up a bench for the hallway. He got some great old barn wood beams when they demolished an old barn at his workplace, and he's making benches for the house. This one, his first, was turning out beautiful. Will ran up to him. "Daddy, we're gonna have a baby soon!" Brian looked at me with big eyes and I nodded with a "you got that right" look.

"That's great news!" he said, hugging us all. "That's awesome! I bet it's a girl."

"Well, we'll find out in December."

The kids and I took a walk down to the culvert, where we met a frog who eventually left us to go be with his friends in the swamp. Will yelled after him, "Bye, froggy! Go be with your friends! Have a good time!" Back home, we stopped at the pond for Will to throw rocks in the water. I'm looking forward to Barrett being able to walk; he'll get to throw rocks too instead of sitting on my back. We told Daddy all about the frog. We looked for more frogs.

It was a wonderful day.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


At dinner, Will leans forward and asks Kathleen, "So Aunt Kathleen, how is Mr. Nick's tractor?"

She answers politely, "Well, it's big and loud."

"Oh," he replies courteously, "is that how it dooz?"

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Beginning of April

Will, doing a 'big job' for Daddy and carrying his hammer back to the barn: "This is reawwy (really) heavy. I'm not free (3) years old, I fink I need a ride."

"Mommy, can you way (lay) with me? Thank you. Can I kiss you?"

When the boys go upstairs, Will runs to the top and lays on his belly waiting for slow-moving Barrett to climb, yelling, "Barrett, poke my nose! Poke my nose, Barrett!" Despite this routine multiple times a day, Barrett has never 'poked his nose' nor even understands what Will wants him to do.

I can always tell when Will has a chocolate craving because he'll run up to me and say, "I fink I need to go pee and get some M&Ms."

Last night Will was calling me. "Mom, you there? Mom? MAEGAN?" He'll also call me and Brian "guys": "Guys, I fink my sausage is a wittle bit too hot. Can you blow it down?"

He loves "belly zerberts" from the book Mimi. Last night after the FINAL TWO, NO MORE WILL - he asked for "an eye belly zerbert? a face belly zerbert? a cheek belly zerbert?"

Every night I ask Will three questions. But now he anticipates it and prompts me to ask them: "Somefing that made me smile." Will, what's something that made you smile today? "Daddy made me smile. Somefing I wearned (learned) today." What's something you learned today? "Uncle Joel and Uncle Maffew frow (throw) gummies in their mouths. Somefing that made me sad." What's something that made you sad today? "Barrett made me sad." Why did Barrett make you sad? "Because we saw the orange and yellow tractor at the store. Can we do that again?"

The answers are ALWAYS the same and I have no idea what tractor he saw at the store! Or why that has anything to do with Barrett! And the gummies-in-their-mouths thing was several weeks ago, a silly moment at a family dinner that has now been etched on his brain. And I guess Daddy is the only thing that makes him smile!

Barrett is so resourceful. When Will was his age, if he encountered an obstacle, he'd whimper and cry for me and of course I'd come running to help him. Barrett doesn't do that. He figures it out himself. I think I can mostly attribute this to first child/second child dynamic. A couple nights ago, as Will and I were playing on the floor, I noticed that Will had left three chocolate chips on his little white table in the playroom. Didn't want them, I guess? Or wanted to save them for later? Anyway, I knew Barrett would soon be joining us in the room so I shoved them to the back of the table (it's up against a wall) so he couldn't reach them from any of the sides. There were other toys on the table so I wasn't sure if Barrett would even spot the three tiny brown chocolate chips. Well, of course he did. I watched him out of the corner of my eye as Will and I built with blocks. He immediately threw the toys onto the floor and focused on those three chips. I doubt he even knew what they were, but they were small and brown (like woodchips and dog food) so of course he wanted them. He stretched his arm as far as he could reach, grunting a bit, but the chips were too far back. I heard him make a small whimper of complaint but he didn't stop. Holding onto the table, he shuffled his way around to another side. Same extended reach, same little grunt, no luck. Undaunted, he shuffled all the way back around to the third side. Three strikes and it was clear he couldn't reach them. The table was just big enough and the chocolate chips were just out of his reach on all three sides. So then he reached down, pulled out the chair and pushed it away, and then started to heft and haul and grunt and move the table away from the wall. It's not a very heavy table but I expect it was for him. In about 30 seconds he had wedged himself between the wall and the fourth side. The chocolate chips were easily within reach, and he ate them with glee. His eyes sparkled.

Last night we were in the basement, I was doing a workout and the boys were playing and Brian was busy with something and Barrett was riding his little truck. His feet tough the ground but he doesn't know how to push and roll. Instead he "walks" it around, dragging the front of it and lifting and thumping the back wheels. The whole time he was making loud raspberry noises for the engine. I could have died from the cuteness. He's such SUCH a cuddlebug. On Sunday he wasn't well enough to go to nursery (snotting all over) so I sat out in the vestibule with him. He squirmed a bit on my lap but I told him no  and like the easygoing little guy he is, he sat still and FELL ASLEEP on my lap! His sickness has continued, pretty nasty congestion, and when he wakes in the night and I go upstairs to help him, he presses his face up to mine as if to reassure himself that I'm there.

I am so in love with him. With both of them. Sometimes I look at my kids like a lovesick girl. They are so cute and wonderful and funny and sweet. Sometimes I look at them and I know I am 110% "mom face". "I know you didn't mean to throw your food on the floor, Will."

I call them my two dudes and Will has started saying that too. Last night in the basement Brian put his arms around me and we watched the kids play and Bo shoved his face in between our legs and I was just blown away that we had made this little family. It seemed almost sudden. We have a family.