Tag Archives: Family

Five for Friday

It’s late. What’s new.

1. I don’t always buy my lingerie at Goodwill, but when I do…it’s under $4. (Halloween prep at its classiest.)

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2. It was ALL KINDS OF HALLOWEENY up in here this week.

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3. Nightmares for days.

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Seriously, I watched “Beetlejuice” for the first time last week in anticipation of this costume and it is banana nuts! WTF is going on in that movie?!

4. We made our annual fall trek to the farm last weekend. It was significantly hotter this year than any other year we’ve gone, so while we tried our best to grin and bear it…

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by the end we all pretty much felt like Addie.

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“Are we done here?” But alas, any trip that ends at Capital Tacos is a trip well worth it.

5. And the scariest event of all is Asher deciding he’s almost ready to crawl.

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Not ready for ya, bro.

Halloween obviously has top billing this weekend. Per usual, we have a family theme and are planning to crush it. Mainly because we’ll be the only ones over 12 dressed up, but..details, details. And then the most glorious holiday on the calendar appears: November eat all the leftover chocolate week. 

Five for Friday

My mother in law is in town for a quick, impromptu visit to meet our little man and Clayton is off today, so my normal lazy Friday is out the window. Let’s jump in so I can get back to our holiday weekend.

1. When the in-laws are here, it’s time to dust off those pots and pans and present a finely crafted illusion of domestication. At least the rouse provided my family with one full, well balanced meal this week.

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Sorry if that half cooked meat grosses you out. I am imagining my pregnant self seeing that picture, and, well, gag fest. Still not changing it, though.

2. My dad took the day off Monday, and we took the troops for lunch and exploring at the park. This is a park we frequent, and I’ve always assumed the “beach” was saltwater. My mom thought it might be fresh water, so naturally we Googled and it turns out it does get fed by a lake on one end and Tampa Bay on the other. I say all that because saltwater = no alligators and fresh water = alligators. Thanks a lot, Mom, for that new red alert at our favorite park and paddleboard locale. I’m hoping the water is more brackish and the only possible threats would be bull sharks (which I am always on the lookout for while on the board because I would exaggerate the mess out of that story) and, worst of all, razor burn after getting in too soon after shaving. This one I can actually attest to after Monday.

pawpaw addie park

Ain’t no nap like a picnic table nap ‘cuz a picnic table don’t stop.

Or something like that.

table nap

3. Major Gap sale happening. In the store, the clearance sections were marked down an additional 50%. Hello, $5 kids clothes. My finder’s fee was an outfit for myself.

4. We went to the children’s museum this morning.

musem view ig

I could talk about how fun it was and how we stumbled on a secret patio overlooking the University of Tampa for lunch, which is true, but the reality is that we couldn’t find Addison for several minutes. I don’t know exactly how long it was because the seconds stretch on for eternities piled on top of eternities when that happens. It was probably close to 10 minutes. If anything like this has happened to you, 1. please let me know so I feel less like an absolute failure as a mother and 2. you know how long 10 minutes can be. I can’t talk more about it because it’s still too fresh and I can feel the remnants of that terror lingering in my wobbly legs and fingers.

5. I don’t want to end on that note because THANK GOD Addison is home, in her bed, napping peacefully. Instead, let’s get frivolous and celebrate this national treasure that starts Sunday! In related news, Florida is becoming a bit of a hot spot for great white shark sightings. Because gators and stingrays and pythons and panthers weren’t enough. We caught ourselves one a few years ago.

shark week

It was a wild one.

Have a festive July 4th! I hope the hot dogs are delicious and the fireworks are spectacular and, if you have kids or a dog, are over by 9 p.m.

An al fresco summer

This weekend we got out of the house more than my reclusive tendencies have been allowing lately. Friday night we were considering going out for an early dinner, but Addison snoozed for longer than expected and we got lazy. Enter a crazy idea from Mama: picnic dinner at the park.

We picked up some food and headed to a shaded park (because it was still 85 degrees at dinner time) with some grand plans of summer fun. With the exception of two falls with subsequent meltdowns, one flat on the mulch tantrum, one bruised cheek, three ant bites on my foot, one mosquito bite on the infant, one wasted kids meal and an hour late bedtime, it was a complete success.

park dinner

Despite the inevitable difficulties, I keep thinking, “This is it. These are the nights and moments that you will look back on. What will you remember?” I know my life is not the brazen string of exploring and adventures I once imagined. I am happy I had my fair share of those and don’t truly believe I’m fully done with that brand of trekking either.

For right now, though, the exploring hovers close to a suburban, single family home. My adventures involve a packed SUV instead of an overstuffed backpack and overflowing passport.

But these days are no less memorable. In many ways, they are more so. And I want to remember a husky laugh echoing from the swings, a breathless “Mommy, look at me touching the sky!” I want to soak in a summer night that radiates the thrill of breaking from routine, to take advantage of days that pour sunlight over the witching hours and draw us out of a physical and mental hibernation.

I want to borrow my daughter’s immediate agreement to new ideas: “Sure!” And then go. Do. Create. Swing, climb and jump. Maybe not across the world, maybe in no way that garners attention or envy. But in our way, the way that will linger in our minds throughout any looming winters. In the way that these four souls will remember long after the mulch has been washed from stringy, sweaty hair and the ant bites have healed and the bruises have faded and so has the thrill of playgrounds or hanging out with your parents on a Friday night.

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So yes, it was muggy and strenuous at times and my toes itch like no one’s business right now, but it was a really good summer night.

Showered Up: The Sequel

This weekend my more-talented-than-she-realizes mom and some dear friends threw me the loveliest, dinosauriest baby shower. I wasn’t sure of the etiquette surrounding second baby showers; this is my first second baby. But they generously offered, and I tried to make myself scarce during the planning and prep, leaving my bedroom 10 minutes before go time.

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I was nervous about how I’d fare in that kind of social setting given my bouts of anxiety over the past year, so I agreed to/jumped at the idea of having it at my house. Everything was so thoughtful and the morning ended up feeling completely laid back, even though I was wearing eyeliner. There were about 20 family members and close friends. We ate delicious quiche, banana bread, croissants (with chicken salad for those not currently vehemently opposed to poultry) and cupcakes. Carbs are a girl’s best friend.

My hostesses accommodated my persnickety wishes about games—not many, as little interaction as possible—and presents—they left it up to me to open them in front of everyone or not. By the time a natural gift-opening break appeared, I was feeling swell, so I made all the aunts and grandmas happy by cooing over little boy onesies and baby socks. Which wasn’t hard because omg so tiny and cute and blue and new and we really didn’t have any boy clothes and this one has a monster on the butt and I think I might cry it’s so adorable.

I was a straight up pro out there.

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Remarkably, even the ongoing, very public “she’s so much bigger this time/no, she is so much smaller this time” debate didn’t faze me. Because it’s clearly acceptable to argue over the state of someone’s physical appearance in front of said person when they are at their most physically and hormonally vulnerable. Now I’m wondering if a party goer secretly spiked the beverage jug with some liquid valium. And to that guest I say, THANK YOU, KIND LADY.

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The shower also marked a much anticipated lull in pre-arranged activity up until Falcor’s arrival. It was sitting on the calendar with glorious, unspoiled, quadratic white space behind it. Granted, we’ve already filled in like half of those once open dates with potential commitments, but the idea of them filled me with joy and made the shower all that more exciting.

I can’t thank my mom enough for rolling with my nonsensical, multiple personality texts and conversations regarding décor, games and guest lists. She knows me and made this day as stress-free as humanly possible, mainly because she took all of that stress on herself, striking a miraculous balance between my antisocial, pretentious ways and the normal, generalized expectations of the rest of society. Not an easy task, and I adore her for the effort she put into achieving it.

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So much belly touching for a modest introvert.

And my pals who each have several babies to care for, homes to manage and crazy schedules of their own who graciously gave time they didn’t have and brain power they didn’t need to spare to make this a really beautiful day.

Up next: one nursery, one name and a whole lotta napping.

Recap of my baby shower for Addison here. I guess I like those earrings. Feel free to play along with the “she’s huge! she’s tiny!” game. It’s my favorite. 

Five for Friday

At this moment, Addison is babbling away in her room instead of napping, my mother in law will arrive any second, I’m nauseous from needing to eat and tomorrow we are having my baby shower at my house. So, in speedy fashion, here are some things that amused me this week.

1. A visit to the new Tampa Riverwalk complete with actual physical activity (gasp!), fountain splashing and divine spring weather.

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2. Easter adorableness accentuated by unintentional cousin coordination.

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3. Because I’m 13 years old.

photo 54. An impromptu trip to the beach on a Monday, which I nearly missed due to inane reasoning that “I had too much to do.” If someone asks you to go to the beach on a Monday, shut up and go. 

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5. I accidentally left our bedroom door open when I ran errands Thursday. Maya took complete advantage and discovered a brand new box of tissues. Just imagining her confusion, wonder and sheer delight when MORE KEPT COMING OUT makes me giggle uncontrollably. I wasn’t even mad, I was really wishing we had a nanny cam in there to see that play out.

tissues Back to the to-do list! And a snack.

Five for Friday

This week flew by. Thankfully, I wasn’t quite as run down as last week, despite a tough outing with Addie. I’m beginning to realize just how much I’d like to get done before the little mister makes his debut, so I’m not as “omg get me out of this pregnancy.” Here are some other tidbits from the week.

1. Work is more entertaining with this gem staring back at me. It was a birthday present for Clayton from his sister and somehow migrated to my desk. I’m allowing it. For now.

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2. UUUUUGGGGGGHHHHHHH.

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Don’t be fooled, Clayton stays a hefty distance away from the taxes since my work situation can be complicated. We always cross our fingers that between his normal job/income tax and my self-employment, we can walk away breaking even. Never happens.

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3. Speaking of nesting (roll with it), I chipped away at the ol’ list. This week I ordered the crib and crib mattress and bought some more organizational supplies for my “office,” which is now a corner in our master bedroom. Weirdly, I’ve been more productive since the move? One of the most exciting purchases so far is this sucker:

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I didn’t have great success with the Moby the first time around, but my friend swears by this carrier, so we’ll see if I am suited to be a baby wearer after all!

4. Some of Clayton’s family is coming in town this weekend and we may or may not withhold food and water from them until they help us finish a major project in the nursery. We are the best hosts. Like a prison camp run by a two-and-half-year-old drill sergeant.

5. This Sunday will be chock full of church and casseroles. You know how the Protestants do. Have a happy, happy Easter weekend!

“He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said.”
Matthew 28:6

Dear Addison: Before You’re a Big Sister

Dear Addison,

Before anything else, I should mention how much I love you. Not like I love ice cream or doughnuts right now or even coffee. I’m talking about that Mama’s love that aches in its insistence, blinds in its radiance, distracts in its omnipresence and overwhelms in its depth. How much my heart tugs in my chest when you let out a deep, raspy giggle, how a small but constant weight lifts off my shoulders when I see you after being away for any amount of time, how my hopes and dreams for myself and for you are so intertwined that I often can’t tell them apart.

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It has been a rough season for you and me, little girl. At times, I question whether I was the best choice to be your Mama. Maybe I’m not wise enough for your independence. Maybe I’m not patient enough to reach you in your strong willed stances. Maybe I’m not nurturing enough to comfort you when you feel hurt or confused or misunderstood. Maybe it shouldn’t have been me.

It positively doesn’t matter, though, because I would not choose to be anyone else’s Mama. Not on the very best days,
when we laugh about beating up monsters and let the breeze whip our hair around swinging peacefully at the park,
or on the very worst days, when tears and tempers flow freely from both sides of this union.

You are mine, and I am yours. For the yesterdays full of chubby cheeks and napping on my shoulder, for the todays mixed of delight and destruction, and for all the tomorrows that may be ahead. I knew from the very first millisecond of your life that I was inextricably bound to you, that this new person had in every way rewired my soul to its own.

So before life changes in a monumental and irreversible way, I wanted to let you know that even though some things will never be the same—
how much sleep Mama gets, how many clean clothes you have at one time, the number of days we get to spend just the two of us–
the way I feel about you is not one of those things. That is constant. That is eternal.

Some of my favorite moments with you are the quietest, so rare in this endless marathon of energy and noise that is toddlerhood. I love doing puzzles with you. It’s one of the few activities you will concentrate on for a half hour, determined to finish the whole thing at one time and so proud when you tap that last piece into place. When I give you a piece, you study it, try it one way, furrow your eyebrows, turn it around, and try it again until it fits. I was so surprised to learn that you actually do have that kind of patience and persistence. It’s mesmerizing.

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I hear “I can do it myselp” or “all by myselp” 219 times a day. You can go right ahead and thank your “me can do it” daddy for that little trait.

You love to have braids in your ever lightening curly hair, either one Elsa braid or two Anna braids. You are specific, and it’s unacceptable to give you a ponytail when you want braids or leave your hair in one braid when you want two. I’ve learned to take my marching orders seriously.

We still have Flapjack Fridays. You’ve started asking to help, so now you carry your stool into the kitchen and will help pour the pancake mix, milk and blueberries in the bowl. I once let you crack the egg. Yeah, just once for that. You’ll mix it a little and then scoot away to wait for them to cook. Though you’re extremely strong willed, you are very task-oriented and like completing a job you’ve been given.

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You are so social, goodness gracious. If there are any other kids at the park, you can’t get to them fast enough. You’d be up for anything if I told you your friends would be there. You also like to call the shots with all those friends and have recently been referring to people, even little kids you met five minutes prior, as “baby.” Not like a little newborn baby but in a saucy, probably offensive way.

“Come on, baby!”
”Let’s go, baby!”

This is usually my cue to take a very important call on the other side of the playground.

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You like dancing, singing, jumping, sprinting and twirling, all prefaced with an unending loop of “Watch this. Watch this. Watch this. Watch this.” I promise we are watching. Sometimes.

At this particular moment, your favorite movie is “The Little Rascals.” You have a massive crush on Darla and don’t like “Panky.”

You’d live in a tutu and heels if allowed. Trying to put jeans on you is declaring all out war.

I paint your toenails and have, more than once, contemplated bringing you with me to get a pedicure. Maybe when you’re three, professional salon treatments will feel more appropriate.

You’re a lot pickier than you used to be when it comes to food, but luckily there are still a handful of healthy eats you like: fish, peas sometimes, avocado, chicken usually, bananas, eggs, peanut butter, blueberries like a fiend. And because you’re two and I guess signed some sort of contract, you must have regular servings of mac ‘n cheese and Cheerios.

I think you’re going to make an excellent big sister. While at the park with BeeMa the other day, she was telling someone you were about to have a baby brother. You mistakenly thought another little girl was talking about your brother when she said, “It’s icky.” She was referring to the slide, but you were not having any of that and told her, “My brother is NOT icky.” For all the worrying I do about how this transition will affect you, that story is singed onto my mind so that I remember not to shortchange my fiery, passionate girl. You are capable of nurturing, of defending, of bonding with this baby more than I could probably imagine.

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Your brother and I will have a new, special relationship, of course, but I am so intrigued at the thought of your relationship with him. To see it spark, to see it grow and evolve, and to see it become one of the most meaningful parts of your life and your identity. I am a completely different person than I might have been because I am a sister, and I believe the same will be true for you, in the very best, beautiful way.

I know I always place the blame on you, but thank you for loving me despite my impatience, my tantrums, my mood swings and my refusal to share dessert with you. I am here for you after the toughest days, but you also come back to me for bedtime stories, for pretend “hot coppee” from your kitchen in the mornings and for kisses and hugs on knees and elbows and foreheads.

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I’ll always be yours, Addison Brooke. When you’re a “terrible two,” when you’re a terrible first time driver, when you date a terrible boy that I despise, when that terrible boy breaks your heart and I break his terrible face, when you choose a terrible major or choose to become a terrible University of Florida Gator, when your own toddler is being downright terrible,

and when you suddenly have a terrible little baby taking up space in your house, your car, your schedule and your Mama’s arms,

remember that I am still yours. And you are mine.

nat addie dockFrom My Whole Heart,
Mama

Potty Party

Even though I wanted Addison potty trained months and months ago, she wasn’t cooperative with our early efforts. Knowing her personality, determinedly independent plus strong-willed, I decided to wait until she seemed ready and not stress about it. And then I got pregnant. The window of riding it out became smaller: I firmly did not want two kids in diapers.

We planned a “naked weekend,” which sounds highly more scandalous than it is. I didn’t do a ton of research, so my plan was simply to keep her out of a diaper for three days. She didn’t necessarily have to be totally pantsless, but if she was wearing clothes at the house, she only had underwear underneath.

Great plan in theory. In reality, we were all fantastically stir crazy by Saturday afternoon. And the little stinker waited until the two times we left the house to go in a pull-up. (As committed as we were, cleaning up an accident in the car was not even considered, I don’t care how far back those pull-ups set us.) She seriously waited for hours and then went within minutes of having the pull-up on. Strong-willed, much?

She ended up having two accidents in the house and one at the park – we had to get out! – that weekend. She hated it. After those, it was game on for her. It took about two weeks for her to be nearly perfect peeing on the potty. Soon after she got the hang of using the toddler potty, she wanted to use the “big potty,” so I bought her a princess seat for the top of the regular toilet. Because princesses make everything better. Can I tell you the quote on the potty seat? “Glamour begins with confidence.” I am so close to taking a Sharpie to that thing and changing it to “Book smarts are the ultimate goal.” or “You can’t wash your hands or read too much.” This princess culture is too much for me sometimes.

The “system” we’re using somehow morphed into a complicated algorithm of rules and rewards. I printed charts and hung them outside the bathroom with a sticker book.

potty chart stickers

At the beginning, Addison would get to put a sticker on the chart and get a treat every time she used the potty. Because I was desperate to have this milestone behind us, I also offered a small prize when she finished a row and a great big awesome prize when she finished a whole sheet. It was way too much, and of course she remembered everything I’d promised and made us hoist her up for a sticker and drug us to the treat jar after every pit stop.

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Also ridiculous were the treats. We had tons of leftover candy from Christmas stockings, so instead of one M&M or one jellybean, homegirl got a full size York Peppermint Patty or a fun size candy bar. There was no messing around. And she learned so quickly that she was having five of those things before lunch.

The small prizes mostly came from the Dollar Store or repurposed Christmas presents from other people. Lots of stickers, some little books, temporary tattoos, that sort of thing. The favorites have been a set of “Frozen” rings and “Frozen” headbands.

IMG_7438Once she finished the first chart, Clayton and I took her to Target and offered her three different presents to choose from. We came home with…surprise, surprise:

elsa doll

Since then, the rules have changed a few times and she’s been surprisingly flexible about it. First, I casually stopped giving her the small prizes. Then, if she didn’t mention it, I bypassed the stickers because it became such a chore to lift her up that much. Now, the stickers and treats are reserved for non-pee scenarios only. This helps buy us a lot of time in between full charts. Otherwise we’d have gone through about four sheets already.

In a month or so, she is about 95% potty trained. She still wears pull-ups, but I think we’ll get rid of those during the day soon. I have been quite impressed with how well and, I don’t even want to say, easy the whole process has been. I mean, there have certainly been messes that I’d like to block from memory and potty training out in public is a whole other nightmare, but overall it seems like we waited until Addison was good and ready. And if she’s like her mama, she’d do just about anything for a constant stream of chocolate throughout the day.

Finally, there’s one item on our Before Baby checklist that’s actually complete!

That one time I was pregnant for the second time

The dreaded pregnancy post. As usual, feel free to move along if food aversions and placenta placement aren’t your bag, baby.

This will be my only prego recap this time around—the second child neglect is already starting—so I will try to cover everything.

When I found out I was pregnant, it couldn’t have been better news. I know the old cliché of having a baby to improve a crappy situation usually ends up with a bigger mess than before, but for our little family unit, it’s exactly what we needed. We could be distracted from other people’s messes and had a teeny tiny acorn-sized reminder of hope and possibility. It was a good day.

Addison was the first person I told. After I picked her up from preschool on a Thursday, I asked her if she wanted to know my secret. She said no, but I spilled the beans anyway. She did a fabulous job of not telling anyone by accident for several months. When we were ready to start spreading the news to close friends and family, she was our accomplice. I would ask her, “Addison, what’s mommy’s secret?” And she would whisper, “There’s a baby in mommy’s tummy.”

And then we all died from the adorableness. Except me. I belched because I was disgustingly bloated.

Trimester Uno

The first trimester…well, it’s over. So that’s reason to celebrate. Much like last time, it wasn’t earth shattering but it was zero fun. I had to take progesterone, which comes with familiar side effects like nausea, bloating, headaches, hot flashes and aching boobs. Need I list the symptoms of first trimester pregnancy? I don’t know if my nausea and excessive bloating were from the itty bitty babe or the meds, but they raged until trimester two. I had Clayton bring me home hospital scrubs from work and lived in them for about two weeks when the idea of a waistband grazing my stomach was too much to handle.

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Hence the oversized t-shirt as a Halloween costume.

I ate way too many Chick-fil-A fried chicken sandwiches with extra pickles and Chick-fil-A sauce. Like, way too many. Almost nothing sounded appetizing, so I tried not to worry about the junk I was eating and told myself it was better to eat something than nothing for three months. As my doctor pointed out, “There’s protein in there somewhere.” Amen, sister.

Trimester Dos

Once the drugs and the first twelve weeks were behind me, I sailed into the sweet spot. I hadn’t really planned out the timing, but this pregnancy has been impeccable for the ol’ schedule. Most importantly, I will avoid being pregnant during the hottest months of the year. Holla! (Are we still saying holla? I don’t know. I’m old.) And as it turns out, the weeks I felt my best coincided with the chaos of the holidays. They were a normal level of exhausting rather than a send-me-into-a-month-long-hibernation level of exhausting.

In November and December we traveled for Thanksgiving, shook our groove thangs at Clayton’s work party until the wee hours, saw The Black Keys and hosted a Friendsmas dinner, all while smiling and not dry heaving.

After PDQ mistakenly gave me a grilled chicken sandwich instead of turkey, I haven’t been able to eat chicken. Something about biting into that thing expecting one taste and getting blindsided by different poultry was more than I could take.

This was also the trimester I realized no one cares that you are pregnant the second time around, especially your other offspring. People will ask you the obligatory questions, but since there’s an actual named little person running around, conversation and activities revolve around the kid that we can see. The bump better hang on tight because little changes in day to day life. Gone are the days of foot massages and back rubs. Toddlers still gotta eat, take baths, have their teeth brushed, get to preschool and not impale themselves on household objects.

Oh, and we found out the little peanut is a BOY. Much giggling and baby clothes swapping occurred.

baby boy ornament

Trimester OMG This is Really Happening

I am legitimately fuhreaking out that I will be full term in six weeks. I can’t even type that. We have, shall we say, slacked in the preparation for baby department. The nursery is still an office/guest bedroom, only now there are bins of unsorted clothes and baby toys stacked in the closet. My nesting translated more into maternity clothes shopping sprees and sorting through seven years of utility bills rather than more productive tasks like choosing paint colors and buying a crib. Oopsies.

closet before and after

Some progress is progress, right?

Luckily, I still feel pretty good—albeit very, very round–and can wrangle some energy when I need to. There was the tiniest of worries this week that had a very distant possibility of bed rest, and well, that just would have been laughable considering the state of our to-do list. I’m not too concerned because at least this time I know we have a few weeks after his arrival before the nugget will actually be sleeping in his own room. (I do, however, have concerns about a certain father attempting to operate power tools to finish some elaborate projects while sleep deprived.) Basically, I’m just trying to stay as zen as possible until I can drink wine again.

IMG_7163They give you 35 minutes to kill and a mirror on the door. You do the math.

Similar to my first rodeo, I haven’t had too many cravings and instead experience more food aversions. My cravings are more moment-specific. One day all I can focus on is downing a huge salad and the next day lettuce sounds like an abomination. Doughnuts are back, and much like before, I’ll cut you for a Boston cream.

socks and granola

What else, what else…my wedding rings still fit, I don’t have that dark line on my stomach (yet), I found the world’s most comfortable pajama pants that aren’t even technically maternity and I don’t have gestational diabetes. Holla! (Whatever, I’m rolling with it.)

This kid moves ALL THE TIME. With Addison, my placenta was in the front, so I couldn’t feel her very much. This little break dancer parties all day, every day. I never thought I’d be into it, but I sort of love it.

Ambivalence tends to be the name of the game. I am not the girl who loves being pregnant. It’s strange and achy and everything abnormal is normal; I have no idea whose body this is. On the other hand, I realize how very fortunate I am to have such smooth, healthy pregnancies and am thankful the most serious complication has been picking a name. Which we still have not done.

Nameless or not, I absolutely cannot wait to meet my baby boy.

Moving Forward

Today was an emotional day as we said goodbye to our family’s first church home. After several months of feeling uncertain about our place there, we decided it was time to move forward. 

In the three years Clayton and I spent at NBC as members and leaders, we welcomed our first child, celebrated Addison’s dedication and her first two birthdays, and each turned 30 joined by friends from NBC. Clayton found his passion for leading worship, and I found the sometimes hilarious, always exhausting business of baby and toddler ministry. (As it turns out, the same can be said of women’s ministry.)

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NBC became a warm, comfortable and comforting solace on Sundays and during the week at LifeGroups. In varied seasons over the past few years, we have found pastors and friends who have shared their lives openly and honestly and who have made us feel safe enough to do the same. We have hosted and been invited, we have served and been served, we have been both accepted and challenged. As neurotic new parents, we could not be more grateful for the ease with which we drop Addison off into arms of people who sincerely love her every Sunday morning.

dedication

When it doesn’t come naturally to meet new people or develop new friendships, moving on is met with resistance–not questioning the decision but mourning the loss of the comfortable and familiar. NBC was that familiar coffee shop on the corner, walking inside felt like second nature, time there felt refreshing and nurturing. We will always think fondly of NBC, the friendships that it brought us and the spiritual home it provided us. We’ll keep praying for its heath and its mission, but mostly we’ll pray for its people.

P.S. Sorry for being that annoying stage mom who recorded Clayton’s entire worship set this morning.