Saturday, October 4, 2014

To All The "Mom-petitors" Out There....

This is something that has been weighing on my heart and my mind so heavily lately. I feel like it's everywhere I turn, and it has become an exhausting challenge to avoid it. 

It's mom competition. I thought teenage girls were bad. Whoa. Moms take it to a whole new level. 

It seems like there are so many women out there who just seem to think that they are doing this SO much better than anybody else. Or at least they want everyone to BELIEVE they are doing this so much better than anybody else. And it's breaking my heart that I associate with so many of them, and as a result, I have found myself in a deep, dark hole. Doubting myself as a mother, and as a woman. 

I recently spent two weeks having slipped back into a state of depression that I haven't experienced since college. And for what? Because other women chose to make themselves feel better by making ME feel bad. And you know what? I let them. 

I let them convince me that I wasn't good enough. I wasn't worthy of the beautiful life God has blessed me with. Above that, that I wasn't worthy of my two gorgeous boys. I let their voices be louder and stronger than God's. I let them take over my heart and get into my head in ways that NO mother ever should. I spent days crying, feeling defeated, feeling worthless, feeling like I had NO right to be a mother, a wife, a friend, a daughter, a child of God. 

I wasted two weeks. I let them win for two weeks. Not anymore.

So let me just be real. I'm not a sugar coater, a "everything is perfect" kind of gal. I tell it how it is. The good, the bad, the pretty, the ugly. I'm real. I don't like to lie and cover things up to make things look nicer. Who is that benefiting? Nobody. In fact, it would probably make other moms feel like crap suddenly because they think I have it all together and they don't. Well let me tell ya…..I don't have it all together. Not even close. Here's all the ugly.

My pregnancies aren't perfect; they're hard. Really, really hard. So no, I don't LOVE being pregnant. It's not my favorite season of life. There are parts I absolutely adore. Feeling my baby flutter. Watching him move around. Hearing his heartbeat. Seeing his face on ultrasounds. But there are other parts that are just downright hard. Getting shots weekly. Taking mountains of medication every day. Spending months in and out of the hospital. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Look what I got for it. But just because I wasn't glowing and telling everyone how amazing it is every single second, apparently means I'm not grateful. Wrong. I am SO grateful. So grateful for the miracles I have been blessed with. Grateful for the science that made it possible for me to carry those two babies as long as I did. Grateful for the experience because it made me realize THAT MUCH MORE how precious life is. I am so grateful. But I don't think it was all rainbows and butterflies. Sorry, not sorry.

I didn't breastfeed. Oh my God. Hold it. What? I'm a demon. I should burn in hell. Right? Wrong. I couldn't do it. Physically, my body couldn't do it. Emotionally, I couldn't do it. I beat myself up for MONTHS after each boy was born over the fact that I couldn't do it. I let myself feel like such a failure. And then I realized that my formula fed babies are just as loved, just as close to me, just as healthy. They're fine. We're all ok. And I was ok with it. And then I let other mothers make me feel bad again. Don't I know what they're missing out on? That's why they don't bounce back from colds as fast as others. They're never going to be as smart as that breast fed baby. STOP. None of that is true. And even if it was, so what?? I made a choice that was right for ME and for MY FAMILY. Just like you made the choices for yours. I don't criticize you for breastfeeding, that's insane. Part of me envies you. Other parts of me thank God that my husband could help with 3AM feedings when I just couldn't hold myself up anymore. I promise you, my boys are so fiercely loved, and that has NOTHING to do with where their food came from. 

I vaccinate. Yep. Shoot 'em up with crazy things every few months. That's what is right for US. It's MY peace of mind that they are protected from ungodly illnesses. I trust the science behind them, and that's that. I don't think you're less of a mom if you don't vaccinate. I know how loved your babies are. I know that you're doing what you feel is best for them. I applaud you. Good for you! YOU'RE the mom, you make the call. Same applies to me. So stop telling me I'm poisoning my kids. I don't think I am. And I won't tell you that you're careless and crazy. Because I don't think you are. 

My kid eats sweets. Cookies, cupcakes, ice cream. You name it. Does he do it every day? Nope. Does he live off of processed, high sugar, crap? Nope. But he does have it. Obviously more than some mothers approve of. That's ok. I'm letting him be a kid. I'm not going to deny him those things just because someone else shakes their head at it. And the subtle jabs in this department are insaaaaaaaane. I post a picture of my kid with a  cupcake, another mom posts a picture of carrot sticks saying how sick she is of seeing pictures of kids and sweets. Ok. Then don't follow me. Because I'm not going to stop. My kids get three well balanced meals a day. Fruit with each, veggies with lunch and dinner. They are strong, healthy boys. Right at the 50th percentile for weight, 75th for height, and guess what…..their heads are above 90!!!! Who knows….maybe the vaccines and sugar are so poisonous that their heads are exploding. Or maybe they're just so damn smart from their formula that they're brains are HUGE. Or maybe that's just them. And none of the rest of that matters. 

Did you know that there are preschools far superior to where I'm sending my child? And that it's important that I know that? Yeah, me neither. But I know now. This is the one that never phased me, for even a second. "Well MY kids school does THIS….." "His school doesn't do THIS?" My child ended up exactly where he is supposed to be. I am 120% certain. I'm more sure every time I drop him off and his teacher hugs and kisses him like he is her own. When he's so excited to go. When I get the chance to talk with the amazing women that I am now fortunate enough to call my friends. When I see him laughing and playing with his friends. When we are driving and he starts telling me about Jesus and how much He loves him. His school is perfect for HIM. I truly am SO glad that your child is in a  school that you feel is the best. That really IS great. Every parent should have that feeling, and every child deserves that opportunity. So I'm SO happy for you. But please don't try to convince me that mine is inferior. It's not. Don't make me call the state and get scores. 

And this is all just the MOM stuff. Don't even get me started on how I'm apparently horrible as a woman. I drink more pop than water. I don't run 4 miles every day. I dye my hair. I buy way too many clothes. I have been known to go through the drive thru. And use a can of "cream of something or another" as part of a recipe instead of going out back, wrangling the chicken, killing him, and cooking him up from scratch. I'm lucky if I get to shower every other day. 

Go ahead and call me guilty of trying to make others feel worse. And I will PROMISE you, I would NEVER want that. I've been in that dark place. I would NEVER wish that upon anyone. When I post a video of my kid walking at 10 months, it's not because I want to rub it in your face that yours didn't walk until 18 months, or that I think he's better. Not at all. It's because I'm his MOM and I'm SO proud and excited for him (annnnnnd, a little terrified….TWO walking boys? AH!). When I say that my kid sings his ABC's from sun up to sun down, honest to God, NOT trying to brag. Really probably more like complain because you can only hear that song so many times. I'm learning which women in my life I can say these things to, and which I can't. The ones I can are always excited with me, or sympathize with my pain over the alphabet. The ones I can't need to one up me; need to make me realize that because their child was breastfed he can say his ABC's in Spanish, but only twice a day because that's more socially acceptable. And only when he's eating his daily servings of granola and mango.

But on the flip side of that.... I'll also post a picture of the entire box of rice that my kid spilled all over the kitchen floor, my other kid slipped in, now everyone is crying, and I'm wondering who the hell ever thought I was capable of raising two boys. Surely, someone is up there laughing at me. My point? I'm not just going to show you the good, amazing things. No, I'm going to show you the messy, ridiculous things too.

I will probably always compare myself to other women. I think it's just my nature. Someone will always be prettier. Be dressed better. Have better hair. Be more patient with her child. Seem like a better wife. I'm really trying to stop this cycle, but it seems inevitable. BUT. I'm slowly realizing that it's all ok. It's ok if she's prettier and has nicer clothes. Applaud her for finding the time to put herself together, and be ok with the fact that I chose to sleep for 10 extra minutes instead. It's ok if she's more patient with her child (and her husband). I love mine just the same. Stronger than anybody realizes. 

Here's my point. Let's all just stop. Please. Every mother is doing her best. She really is. Just because her best doesn't look like your best, doesn't mean a DAMN THING. We're different. Aren't we all trying to teach our children that everybody is unique and different? And we should love them all the same? So why aren't we taking our own advice? 

I'm such a strong believer that girls criticize, and women empower. Let's be WOMEN. For the sake of our sanity. And for our kids. And our husbands. 

God made us to spread good and love. Not criticism and hatred. Not to make others feel like less, but to build them up. Motherhood can be lonely and isolating. Why make it harder? Look at that mother standing across from you and realize that she is going through the same things you are. She faces the same challenges, she wants the same things. Just because she goes about them differently does NOT make her unworthy.

And take a look at social media for what it's worth too. All those moms that seem perfect….they only post the pretty, never the ugly. Trust me, there's ugly too. And those same women are the ones quickest to make a statement about your ugly. That's ok. Be REAL. Show the ugly. But don't forget the pretty too. Let us NEVER forget that motherhood can be beautiful too.  

The point of all this nonsense is this: NO mother is perfect. And trying to be MUST be exhausting. Just trying to be "good" is draining me. So to those of you who choose to put others down, and paint pretty pictures of yourselves, let me challenge you. Challenge you to take those walls down. Be REAL. Show your ugly. The rest of us aren't here to judge. We're here to say "we're all the same". You make people like me think a bad day is the worst thing in the world. I'm here to make people like you realize that I KNOW you have bad days too. So stop telling us all you don't. Just let it out. Cry if you have to. We're not going to judge. We're going to hug you. And tell you to let it go. Because we ALL need that sometimes. Including you "perfect" people. 

Now….carry on. I'm about to go pick up my vaccinated, bottle fed crazy kid from his less than perfect preschool and bring him home to eat something sweet. Because he's cute. And I think he deserves it. 

….And just for good measure….let's throw in some Garth Brooks. Because I heard this the other day in the car (on my way home from ordering TWO cakes for my son to smash to his hearts content in celebration of turning one….both laden with sugar), and it's kind of exactly what I'm trying to say here. Just in better tune and much more eloquently.

People loving people,
That's the enemy of everything that's evil
Ain't no quick fix at the end of a needle
It's just people loving people
Words aren't what they seem to be
Talk is cheap, but lies are free
We fear what we don't understand
We've been scared since time began
All the colors and the cultures circle 'round us on a spindle
It's a complicated riddle, but the solution is so simple
It's people loving people

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Essential Oils

I'm dusting off my small corner of the internet because I have fallen into something amazing, and I've had a lot of questions about it, and this is the easiest way for me to let it all spill out. 

Essential oils, y'all. 

But first, let me make a few things clear. I'm not a doctor. I don't pretend to be a doctor. Don't ever take my word over that of a medical professional. Also, I'm the daughter of a pharmacist and the daughter in law of a nurse. I will NEVER completely cut modern medicine out of our lives. I will continue to vaccinate my children. I will continue to give antibiotics and fever reducers when necessary. I in no way believe that oils are going to cure every ailment we ever come across and we will never need anything other than them again. 

Ok. Now that that's out there.

I AM amazed by oils and I AM sure you would be too if you gave them a try. 

I kind of fell into oils by accident. I had seen and read a lot about them through blogs I follow and other accounts on social media. I was intrigued, so I was excited to attend a class about them. I was skeptical, but I took the plunge and bought the starter kit. You guys… decision ever. I got nine oils plus a diffuser….and I have used every single oil at some point and the diffuser is running in our home DAILY. 

People keep asking me how I use them and if they REALLY work. Ummm yes. 

Landon came down with croup….AGAIN. Every time he has a cold or ANYTHING, he seems to get croup at the end. Which usually results in at LEAST a trip to the ER for steroids and breathing treatments, and has ended in a hospital stay from dangerously low pulse ox levels. So naturally, as soon as I start to hear that hoarse bark, I panic. It started at 10:30 one night last week and Jeremy was ready to get dressed and head to the ER. I asked him to let me try something first, and if it didn't work, of course, we would get in the car and go, no questions asked. I rubbed Frankincense (seriously….a miracle oil) and Peppermint oil, in coconut oil, on his chest, throat and back. People…..the cough stopped within three minutes. Stopped cold. He fell asleep and we NEVER heard that bark again. WHAT!? How is that possible!? 

Well…..croup is inflammation in the wind pipe / vocal chords. Frankincense is a NATURAL inflammatory. And peppermint helps open everything up. I am telling you, I was sold. 400%. I was in complete shock, and so was Jeremy, even though he still refuses to admit that these things just might be little miracle workers. 

Another amazing testimony? My hair loss. It was bad, friends. I've written posts about it before, and after Luke was born, it took on a whole new level of craziness. I was at my wits end and nothing the dermatologist suggested was working. So I tried Cedarwood. I rub it in all my thinning (or BALD) areas before bed every night, and once a week, I add a few drops to my shampoo and let it sit on my head during my whole shower. Not only has my hairdresser asked what I've been doing, but the dermatologist herself was in shock when she saw how much new growth I have. I'm talking an inch and a half of hair on all my trouble spots. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you truly know how down I was about the struggle with the hair loss, you know how huge this is for me. And something so SIMPLE. And uh…cheap. My large bottle of Cedarwood that is probably going to last me a good 6 months was $11.25. Yep. And bonus: Cedarwood helps with sleep! So I rub it on at night and get new hair AND good rest! Winning!

These are just my two huge testimonies, but I have a million more small ones. A wart on my toe (so, so gross and no idea where it came from)….GONE. Thank you, Frankincense. Without freezing, cutting, anything. Just oil. The most stressful hour of our day (the witching hour….5-6pm, the last hour before Daddy gets home)….now peaceful and FUN thanks to diffusing Stress Away. Landon's craziness before bed and inability to calm down for at least an hour before falling asleep…..down to 15 minutes MAX thanks to Lavender and Peace & Calming. Stains on the leather in my parents motorhome that NOTHING would take off…..gone, thanks to Lemon oil. Ridiculous bug bites that would drive Landon crazy for a solid week….eased within a day by Purification. Strep ran rampant through both the boys a couple months back. We snuggled them, loved them, SHARED POPSICLES with them for two straight weeks. Jeremy and I came out unscathed….that's Thieves. Fevers that would be lessened but not broken by Tylenol or Advil….gone completely with Peppermint oil. Nasty stench in my washer and dishwasher? Disappeared with Purification. I could keep going….

And you guys….all of those oils (except the Cedarwood) came in my kit!! I was going to start off just buying a couple oils and see what happened….you have NO idea how glad I am that I just bit the bullet and bought the kit! I never would have known the power of these things, or how much I could change with them!

Honestly, there is an oil for ANYTHING. If you have something going on that you want to know about, ASK ME! I'll look it up and make sure you get something to do the job!

The next must haves on my list are DiGize which will help with stomach ailments (helloooooooo fear of puke), and Oregano which is another good one for germ fighting. I just stocked up on Thieves and Purification for the start of the school year as I send my baby off to preschool (!!!), because I can only imagine the kinds of germs that he'll be bringing home. I have a whole routine planned out using the oils, ask me if you want more information! 

For the record….I am NOT a distributer of Young Living Oils (at least not yet), so I'm not trying to make myself any money off of this. I truly believe in them and what I've seen them do for our family, and I would LOVE if they helped someone else too. Even if you're skeptical, seriously, ask! I can make you a believer!! :)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Happy New Year!! I hope everyone had a safe and fun New Years Eve, and is ready to welcome 2014!

Every year, I find myself making resolutions. And every year, I find myself swearing I'm going to keep them, and work really hard at them all year. Last year, I really did try to remind myself throughout the WHOLE year about my laundry list of resolutions, and I think I did a fairly good job at keeping them….most of them…..most of the time. 

But this year, it all seems a little overwhelming. All these promises to make to myself, when really, all I want to do is get some sleep and keep my kids alive and happy through each day. Right now, anything else I accomplish is just icing on the cake. And most days…..not much more DOES get accomplished. 

So….because of that, I've come up with ONE resolution, ONE word, to focus on in 2014. And I'm determined to make it work. 


That's it. Just simplify. (I'm starting with the simplifying of my resolutions… far, so good). 

I've been doing a lot of reflection since Lucas was born, and I'm realizing how overwhelmed and anxious I'm feeling about just about everything in my life. 

Our house… I feel like we're packed in, and I'm overwhelmed by the amount of, for lack of better word, CRAP, that we have and we don't need. So I need to simplify. I need to purge and clean and organize. I always feel better in a clean, orderly house, so I need to get on it. Plus, I'm drowning in toys. I don't know what Santa was thinking when he bought so many toys with so many small pieces that he KNEW a certain 2 year old would never keep all together, and as a result, his mother would spend a huge chunk of her day just trying to count and pick up said pieces. Going to drive me to insanity. Get it together, Santa!!!

My "social media" accounts…. They're getting overwhelming. And it's a love-hate relationship that I have with them, which is really hard to work through on some days. In one respect, I love having Facebook and connecting with old friends, new friends, family I don't get to see often, and I love having that outlet to share photos and news about the kids with those that we don't get to see or talk to by other means. And I have found a community of moms on Instagram that I'm slightly obsessed with. I love seeing pictures of their kids, hearing stories, and getting their input on my own. I feel like we're all a close group of friends, even though we've never met. The encouragement and kind words are wonderful, and they're just what a mama needs some days. It's also nice to see their bad days, because it makes me realize I'm not alone. Who doesn't need that? But I find myself checking in on both of these far too often. And trying to pose my kids for superficial pictures because "that'll be cute to show everybody". {Just for the record, those superficial photos NEVER work out, so whatever you DO get to see, is just real life. What two year old and 8 week old are actually going to pose for their mother? Not mine.} But it's all getting to be too much. And I need to simplify. I need to stop worrying about what's going on with my friends cousins girlfriend's brother on Facebook, and start getting down on the ground more and playing with one of those toys with a million parts. I need to stop worrying about catching Luke's smile on camera, and just enjoy them when they come. What really matters is what's happening inside the walls of our own home, and our own hearts, not anywhere else. 

My relationships…. Ok so this one isn't SO bad. In 2013, I truly did revaluate certain friendships, and tried to distance myself from any of the negativity and drama. And I'm proud to say that I did pretty good. Especially once I got pregnant. I realized how many more important things I had to worry about and focus on, than insincere friendships. And I found the friends that truly DO mean the world to me, and are always there, always care, and that quite frankly, I missed. And I focused on those, and I'm happier for it. There are certain relationships that I still need to work on, I still want to put forth more effort into, and I'll work on that in 2014, too. But mostly, I'm going to work on the relationships that are closest to me, and take up the most room in my heart, starting with my husband and kids. And that's simple in itself. All they want is to be loved and taken care of, and I can do that….without effort. 

My life in general…. There are days when it all just feels crazy heavy, and I feel panicky. I'm not so unrealistic that I believe that I won't still have days like that. I have two kids, there are always going to be days when it's overwhelming. But on those days, I need to remind myself that laundry CAN wait, and the dishes in the sink don't HAVE to be cleaned right this second, and the house hasn't been vacuumed in two days? That's ok. And I don't want to go out and do that with those people? IT's ok to say no. Let's be honest, this will be the hardest one for me. My OCD can't handle a lot of those things. BUT, I'm hopeful that once the simplifying takes place on the house front, and things are more organized, and there's LESS, that it will come easier. That could be naive, but going along with one of my resolutions from LAST year, I'm trusting God and hoping that He'll show me the way to make it work, and to help me feel ok about it all. Because, yes, all of these things are enough to cause anxiety in and of themselves. 

So… what this is all means, and that this might be my last post for a while. Then again, it might not be. But when I'm not here, and I'm not posting pictures and status updates, I'm busy enjoying my SIMPLE life with my beautiful boys. Lucas is already 8 weeks old. 8 WEEKS!!! He's becoming a little person. I'm being reminded every hour of how quickly it all goes, and how little time we really have to soak it up and enjoy it all. I don't EVER want to look back and have regrets, and have to say "I wish I would have set my phone down and enjoyed them more". Nothing is worth feeling that way. And why in the world do I feel the need to have every random person I'm "friends" with know what I'm doing at any given time? It's kind of weird, honestly. And who REALLY cares? Aside from my mom? And she knows what's going on all the time anyway, does she really need a Facebook status to tell her? Probably not. Although, she may argue otherwise. Sandra, you don't. I'll call you instead. 

So my friends, I hope you have lofty goals for yourselves in 2014 too, even if it something simple. Because no matter how simple, change is always hard to execute, so congratulations if you're setting your mind to it, whether you accomplish it or not. And nobody says that your resolutions HAVE to be accomplished by December 31 of this year, I'm STILL going to work on my resolutions from last year, I know I haven't perfected them yet, but what matters is that I'm trying. And my "simplify" efforts will need to continue long past this year as well, but you've got to start somewhere, and I'm starting here

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Remember Me?

Remember way back in the day when I used to blog? And I actually really enjoyed it? And then I suddenly fell off the face of the earth? And then I showed back up one Sunday and I was another kid richer? That's happening today.

So why exactly did I stop back in the summer? Well...things got crazy, for one thing. And it's a real long story, so I'm just going to give the short, edited version. On July 4th, I started having what felt strikingly similar to contractions. At only 21 weeks, that was obviously pretty unnerving. I downed my water, and tried to ignore them as we headed off to our annual family dinner and fireworks. But by the next day, it was obvious they weren't going to go away on their own, so we headed into Labor & Delivery, panic stricken. They hooked me up and confirmed that I was contracting, and did a fetal fibronectin test, which came back positive. For those of you who are lucky enough to never have had to worry about preterm delivery, it's a test that picks up a certain protein that is generally only present within two weeks before you deliver. A positive test means that you have a higher chance of delivering in the next two weeks, and a negative means you're probably good to go. Through all the drama and hospital stays with Landon, I never once had a positive. Never. But on July 5th, at 21 weeks, I got a positive with Lucas. And since the age of viability is 24 weeks, I was told pretty much just cross my fingers, say my prayers, and don't move too much.... there was nothing else they could do for me. And so we left the hospital in tears, thinking this was the end, and we had to just go home and wait for it all to come crashing down.

If you know the rest of the story, you know that I made it to my scheduled c-section at 39 weeks and 1 day. Ridiculous, right? A lot went down in between there, including a few more trips back to the hospital, an overnight stay, a LOT of progesterone shots and NST's, every day spent with my mother in law in the morning, and my mom in the afternoon, some weird reactions to medications and a lot of tears and frustration. But, at the end of it all, I was a staple at the doctor's office, closer to my mother in law, and I had a beautiful, healthy baby boy. And the cherry on top was that my two year old didn't completely hate me for being a big blob all summer long.

But the real point my return to this world is that I want to document Lucas' birth story, before all the details start to get blurry. Landon's was traumatic, and every second seems like it is just burned into my brain and will never leave. Lucas was a completely calm, peaceful experience, and I feel like small bits are already starting to fade as I adjust to life with two boys.

So around 34 weeks, my doctor told me we could officially schedule my c-section, and if I made it that far, great. If not, I was past the critical point and we knew would be safe. So we scheduled me for Wednesday, November 6 at 9:45 am, never thinking I would actually make it that far. I had this ideal dream of an October baby, but was petrified of a Halloween baby. So naturally, I was fairly certain he would show up on the 31st. But....October came and went, I passed my 35 week 4 day mark, which was when Landon was born, and pretty soon it was November and it was obvious that since I had made ZERO progress in over three weeks, I was going to make it to November 6th.

The night of November 5th was a surreal one. It was our last night as a family of three. The last night I would be tucking Landon in as an only child. The last night I would be struggling to sleep with the now GINORMOUS belly. I cried when I put Landon to sleep, lingering next to his bed, holding his hand for just a bit longer, taking in every ounce of him. And I was grateful that it took him a little longer to drift off. When I finally tore myself away, it's safe to say that I maybe slept for 20 minutes the whole night. How do you sleep when your life is about to change so monumentally in just a few short hours? You don't. Not if you're actually putting any thought into it at all.

When the alarm when off at 4:45, I knew there was no turning back. This was it. So I got up and showered, and did my hair and my make up (ridiculous most of you will say, but to me, I knew it was the last time for a long while that I would have the chance to do this, so I was going to live it up.....and look much better in post birth pictures than I did in Landon's). Of course, Landon isn't stupid, and he heard us both up, so we had a 2 year old up and joining the party at 5:15. But again, secretly, I was thrilled....I couldn't stand the thought of him waking up and us not being there and then when he did finally see us again, his whole world would be changed. So the 5:15 wake up was welcome, and the early morning snuggles were exactly what I needed.

It's strange, but I wasn't nervous at all. Maybe a little anxious, but I think it was more just excitement to finally meet him, not so much worried about the surgery. Which, after Landon, it was kind of amazing to me that I had such a sense of calm going into it, but I did. I was confident with the doctor delivering me, and something was just telling me it was all going to be ok. I don't know which of my angels it was, but I'm thankful they were there. Shockingly, I didn't even cry when leaving Landon. We got our hugs and kisses, told him we were going to meet baby brother, he told us he was excited, and we were off. Everyone was just....ready. And happy.

We walked into the hospital together, calmly, in no real hurry. Checked in, relished in all the congratulations and "good lucks" we were wished, and made our way up to Labor & Delivery. We were thrilled to find that our favorite nurse was there, and she was taking me. She would be with me through pre-op, the surgery, and recovery. Any anxieties I had lingering at that point disappeared. Everything was lining up. 

The whole pre-op process is kind of chaotic. There are a ton of people coming in and out, taking blood, asking questions, making you sign things, telling you things, overwhelming you. But still, I felt good with Jeremy, my parents and my nurse by my side. I was thrilled when the doctor finally came in, talked to me for a few minutes and told me we were about ready. This was it. And just after 9:45 am, I kissed my parents goodbye, watched Jeremy get suited up, and walked myself down to the operating room. That's when it started to get real. 

Operating rooms are never calming. Ever. They're stark and they're scary. Thankfully, I had a group of women in the room with me that was hilarious, and we clicked well. I laughed through getting my spinal while my doctor held my hand and told me jokes. The anesthesiologist and I had an understanding, and she loaded me up with anti-nausea meds every time I started to feel a little woozy. And my nurse was right there to continually assure me that I was doing fine. If you've never had a spinal, then you don't know how weird it is to suddenly look down and see people maneuvering your legs and realizing you can't feel a thing, like you're just a torso and head laying on a table. THAT freaked me out. Not a fan. But....hey....better than feeling them slice me open, I suppose. 

It didn't take long, and pretty sure Jeremy was back next to me, and they told me it was go time. My only job was to lay there and wait for them to tell me I was officially a mother of two. It felt like an eternity laying there waiting. I know my stomach is huge, but come on, how long can it take you to get to this kid? And then suddenly my doctor looked over the drape and told me they were about a minute away. Holy crap. One minute. In one minute my second son would be here. And I am not screaming in pain, or exhausted from pushing for 4 hours. This is amazing. And sure enough, about a minute later, at 10:22 am, I heard his first screams. Beautiful, gorgeous screams. They held him up for just a second and I got to finally see the face I had been praying for and loving for 39 weeks. And he was damn gorgeous. 

Lucas Michael Teltow
November 6, 2013
10:22 AM
7lbs, 7oz. 20 inches. 

And just like that, we went from a family of three, to a family of four. Another very surreal feeling. 

Because he was born via C-Section, he had some fluid on his lungs that didn't quite get squeezed out, so my fears came to fruition when they whisked him off to the special care nursery. I had this vision in my head that since I made it to 39 weeks, I would have him with me from start to finish and we wouldn't have to see another child hooked up to monitors and IV's. No such luck. But once again, we were so fortunate, and anything "wrong" with him was minor, and our stay in special care was short lived, and by Friday afternoon, we had him in the room with us. 

Next came some lessons. Things they don't tell you about when you have a C-Section. The spinal will take HOURS to wear off. And you will feel certain that you are paralyzed for life when they ask you to move your toes, and you realize your brain can't even compute how to tell your toes to move, let alone actually make them move. The morphine they give you will make you itch like crazy. And you will continue to itch, especially your face, for hours. You will swell. And I mean.....swell. Like crazy. So crazily that you won't even recognize yourself. Case in point....


But on the flip side, there are the side effects of becoming a mother of two that people don't warn you about. There is more swelling. Of the heart. Way bigger than any bodily swelling you'll experience. When people say you don't realize that your heart can love another human as much as you already love your first, they aren't lying. But it's a completely different kind of love. The love I have for Landon can't really be explained....he made me a mom. He taught me everything. That's not the same love I have for Lucas. Lucas completed me. I thought was complete, but I wasn't. I thought our family was perfect, but we were missing something. Now we aren't. That's pretty big stuff for such a small little dude. But he manages to pull it off well. 

The first few days were challenging. I had hormones to deal with, I was missing Landon, I was in pain, I wanted Lucas with me, I was struggling with breastfeeding and all the emotions that go along with it (that's a post for another day), and um.....having a baby is just a lot in general. But we had a small birthday party for him, per Landon's request, and there were lots of visits from my favorite two year old to pull me through. 

We finally made it home three days later, and life officially began. Landon fell right into the role of big brother perfectly. He has been wonderful. He has his moments of desperation for our attention, but he is such a great helper, and he truly loves his brother, which makes it all worth it. 

As for as a mother of two is intense. It's non-stop chaos. But it's also non-stop love. I am running on fumes most days it seems, but neither of my boys seem to notice. And they love me just the same after a full nights sleep, or only a few hours. And the feeling is mutual. Although.....I do have a slightly higher appreciation when Luke will go for a four hour stretch in the middle of the night ;). 

I don't know how frequently I'll be back here to update on every day happenings, but I do have a lot of things I want to write about, and this little session here has been incredibly therapeutic. I snuck out this morning to a local coffee shop, and I'm sitting here with a coffee in hand, by the fireplace, listening to Christmas music, and writing. And for the first half hour or so, I was trying to decide if I was proud of myself for taking the time to do it, or if I was guilty for not being at home with my boys. I'm thinking now that it's the first. I'm about to head home refreshed....which means I'll have more patience with terrible two happenings and spit up. So this might have to become a ritual. It's a nice recharge. 

So, until the next time, I'll be with these dudes, loving life. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Trials (and Errors) of Being a Mama

This parenting business is tricky stuff. And it's no secret that I feel like I'm screwing up daily. I have this phenomenal support system that takes every opportunity they can to remind me that all parents feel that way, and that I'm actually not ruining my kids life. I am so beyond grateful for them, and I know that some days, those reminders are what get me through.

But...there are always those moments. Those decisions. That you look back on and you think, "WHAT!?". I've had a couple of those lately. And I've taken my time to feel down and awful about them, and now I'm onto the next phase. The phase of "Ok, it happened, we fixed it, I still live and breathe for Landon, and he still loves me. Let's move on."

Case study #1? A traumatic case of croup and a hospital stay. While in my deepest core of common sense I know that I didn't do anything to make him sick, there is still a very large part of me that is screaming, "But you didn't keep him healthy!!!". And that part....well she's a real bitch. I was so embarrassingly proud of the fact that we all got through the winter without really being sick. A cold was the worst of what hit us, and it was so minor, that it's almost not even worth mentioning. I somehow got my kid through the one of the worst "puking seasons" I've heard of in a loooong time, unscathed. I was amazed. I had this crap under control. Hand sanitizer, lots of wiping down surfaces, and basically being hermits.....that's the ticket. But....spring came, and brought with it warmer weather, and I got too confident. Yes, we still washed our hands and wiped down the grocery store carts. But I didn't think twice about putting him in the swing at the park, and going out to eat just didn't seem like that big of a deal anymore. And, sure enough, a rash turned into a fever, that turned into a cough, that turned into the worst 72 hours of my life.

Long story short, a couple weeks ago, we noticed a rash on Landon after playing outside all day. We figured it was either heat rash, or some random reaction to his sunscreen, and didn't think much about it. That night, he spiked a fever. He woke up the next morning with an insignificant cough, but the fever was higher and the rash was worse, so we went to urgent care. Did a strep test, came back negative. Determined he had an ear infection and a viral rash that would clear up on its own. Satisfied with that answer, we headed home. By late that evening, the fever was through the roof and the cough had become that unmistakable "seal bark". We tried everything to get him through the night so we could go and see our doctor Monday morning. Steam, cold air, snuggles, popsicles, everything. But around 1:30, his lips started turning blue, and it was a whole different ball game. Two breathing treatments, a round of steroids and several hours in the ER later, his oxygen levels were still way too low, so we were admitted to the hospital. At this point, I had to watch them hook my baby up to oxygen, load him onto a gurney, and I had to follow an ambulance down to St. John's Main. Yes, he was with his father and I knew he was ok, but still.....that had to be the worst feeling in the world. Following behind this ambulance, not knowing how he's doing at that very moment, knowing that we are about to be admitted to the pediatric floor and not knowing what would come next. Yes, most kids come out of croup fine, he did before, when he was 6 months old. But this time was different, this was serious, and every horrible thought I could possibly have was going through my mind. There is no way around it, I was a complete mess, who hadn't slept in 24 hours. We spent the next 24 hours trying to comfort a scared, miserable little boy, while nurses and doctors tried comforting us. I had to listen to countless people tell me to go home and sleep, that the baby needed me to. I had to then tell those people countless times that they were out of their damn mind if they thought I was leaving my hospital gown clad toddler and going anywhere. So I stayed awake for another 24 hours, truthfully, not even thinking about what I was doing, just watching his numbers on the monitor, and watching his chest rise and fall, and listening for any sign of him struggling to breathe. By that 48 hour mark, I don't think tired was even registering on my radar anymore. Thankfully, after one full night of monitoring, they let us go home. He was much better, but still not himself, and it would take days until he was. We came home on Tuesday, and it was Friday morning before the crazy kid I know was back. Of course, he came back right as I was being struck down with whatever insane virus had attacked him. It's now the following Thursday, and I can finally say that I feel like I can rejoin the human race today. Amen!

Moral of the story? It's going to happen, he's going to get sick. God forbid it ever gets that bad again, I will be a complete and utter disaster of a person once more. But I didn't do it to him. I couldn't stop it. At the end of the day, I listened to my mama gut, got him where he needed to be, and I did the only thing I could.....I didn't leave his side, I loved him, I let him know it was ok, and he knew he wasn't alone. Maybe I shouldn't have been sobbing uncontrollably alongside him when we were holding him down for breathing treatments, maybe seeing him in a teeny tiny hospital gown shouldn't have made my heart break into a million pieces. But....that's me. It hurt him, so it hurt me. In the end, as a mama, I did ok.

Case study #2? The damn toddler bed. We got a positive pregnancy test back at the beginning of March, and my mind went into overdrive. Oh my God....he needs to be potty trained, and out of the crib.....NOW. We only have 9 months. It needs to happen NOW. Well now I'm stepping back and doing that "What???" thing.

We nearly immediately switched his room, put him into the old office room, and put him in a toddler bed. That had been the plan all along. When baby #2 came, they would go in the green room, boy or girl, so we could avoid painting, and Landon would get the blue room. Yeah, well, I don't think the plan was to traumatize us all at once. Quite honestly, he did awesome the first week or so, he truly did. But then he got sick, and he was in the hospital, and he refused to sleep without being held. Cue the last week. He has refused to stay in bed, he doesn't fall asleep until nearly 11, and then is up at 6:30, and he's miserable. If he's not sleeping, it means we're not sleeping, and it has all just been basically awful. I have done countless hours of research on how to make this easier, and in the end, it all came down to one truth: he's just not ready. He's still a baby, let's be honest. And he's just not there yet. So what the hell was I doing? I have no idea. Trying to save us money by not having to buy a new crib for a new baby? Stupid. Needless to say, after a long talk, his crib was moved into his new room last night (and yes, he went right to sleep at 8:30, and slept through the night), and today, we'll move the rest of his "old" furniture in as well. The baby will get the green room, but it'll get new furniture, and Landon will keep HIS. And he can stay in his crib for as long as he needs to, and I can soak up the fact that my two year old isn't a COMPLETE "big boy" yet.

Moral of THAT story? I made a mistake. I pushed him too far, too soon, for no reason. And yes, I feel silly and pretty awful about it now. But, we're fixing it, and we're making it right again. That's all we can do. I can't go back in time and change everything, or I would. I could sit and sulk and cry and beat myself up over it, but what will that do? Not much. What matters is that we figured it out, and he's feeling comfortable, safe, and well rested again. That's a win.

And now we're into panic mode with his birthday party this weekend. Jeremy has had the whole week off, thank God, because I have been useless while I fought off this sickness, but we haven't gotten nearly as much done as we wanted to have done by Thursday morning. So today, after a hot shower to wash off any remnants of the "grossies", I'm off, to tackle the last minute needs of a two year olds birthday party. And, most importantly, I will make sure that he has the best damn Diego party I can give him. This ain't gonna be no "case study #3", kids.

Oh...and lastly....I felt baby's flutters for the first time yesterday. One of the upsides of being stuck in bed and not able to move. It's amazing how much you forget about that feeling when it's no longer there. But let me tell's pretty damn cool. And this bambino can flutter to its hearts content, mama is soakin' it up.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Stop and Smell the Roses....errr....Dandelions

Life with an almost two year old is a little.....hectic. Emotional. Bipolar, really. Add to it pregnancy hormones, and those around me, specifically my husband, probably deserve a medal of honor.

Although.....Tuesday marked the end of my first trimester (and I loved that it fell on my bestie's birthday....there was just a whole lot to celebrate that day), the weather has FINALLY turned beautiful, and I do actually think that the second trimester brought with it a batch of feel good hormones. I've found myself more patient, happier, and just generally lighter, the last few days.

But that doesn't change that I still live with a small monster, that wants to test me every minute of the day. This week has been a whirlwind of great moments for Landon, and really, really awful moments. I could just write about the good ones, but that would portray us as this perfect, always happy, always together little family....which we are NOT.

Wednesday night, Jeremy decided to take Landon to a soccer game. In all fairness, I feel like his expectations for Landon's behavior may have been a little too high. He should have known the wiggle worm would never sit in the stands without argument and watch high school girls kick a ball around. However, I still know that he witnessed the utter mess that Landon can know....the mess that I'm always telling him about, but he never seems to be around to see. Yes, well. They came home about an hour later, and I could hear Landon's screams before he even opened the car door. Jeremy looked like he had just run a marathon, and he was just beside himself. I listened as he told me all about how he threw himself on the ground, walked over a woman's north face jacket, screamed when Jeremy tried to pick him up. I know he wanted a lot of sympathy, but really, I couldn't help but laugh. Especially when he told me, "No, you don't understand. He was awful". Oh, I don't understand? No, but I do. This meltdown is equivalent to the ones that I have sat and cried over at the dinner table. The ones that happen in the middle of Target, or in a restaurant. The ones that my dear, sweet husband always tells me, "He's two. He doesn't know any better. It's ok. He'll get better." So I said those same words to him. Funny enough, they weren't much comfort.

He was embarrassed. And I get it, totally. The funk hung around him for the rest of the night and into the next morning, despite our sweet, loving Landon having returned. My hope is that the lesson behind this is that the next time I'm mortified and frustrated, he gets it. I'm probably asking for a lot, but my fingers are crossed.

That day was followed by yesterday, when that ugly creature didn't rear his head at all. I had a perfect toddler all day. We played outside, we went for walks, we watered our seeds, we read books, we took a three hour nap, we ate all three meals PERFECTLY, and we ended our day with a wagon ride with Daddy. He went right to sleep, never got out of bed during the night. All in all....he really did have a "perfect" day. He has those days.....where he really does seem like he might bypass the terrible twos.

But those days are always followed by days where we are reminded that no, he will not skip over them. He will land right in them, really sink into them, and who knows how long they'll last.

Today in between. There was a lot of whining about nothing this morning. But he was phenomenal in Kohl's and Michaels during our errands. He wasn't happy when I told him we had to come in to eat lunch, and he threw himself on the ground and kicked and hit. But, he ate his whole lunch, and then fell asleep on our walk afterwards. He took a short nap, but woke up with a smile on his face and a hug for me and a kiss for baby.

So we went to the park. And I made a decision. Just him and I were going to the park. Not my phone. I wasn't going to wait for the perfect moment to snap a picture that would be great on Instagram. I didn't want to follow him around waiting for a cute face to share on Facebook. No. I wanted it to just be about him and me. So we swung on the swings. We went down the slides. We climbed the huge sled hill (and ran down) three excruciating times. He stopped to smell every single dandelion in a field of dandelions. He ran the bases on the baseball field. He was thrilled. And he was....again....perfect. He listened wonderfully, he laughed, he reached up and grabbed my hand while we were walking the trail. He kissed me, he said "Mommy!" with such glee. My heart exploded at that park. And I was so grateful that I made it just about us. In 6 months, it won't be "just us 2" anymore. There'll be another little bug hanging around, so I need to savor every moment of "just us" that I can. And today I did. Until it was time to strap him in his carseat.

He walked to the car perfectly. I told him we would go home and have a popsicle, and he kept chanting "opseeecle, opseeeecle". Picked up and put him in his seat, and that happy child disappeared, and out came that monster. There was kicking, there was screaming, I was even slapped across the face. I assured him that he would not be coming back to the park if that's how he acted, and he proceeded to kick his DVD player off the seat, to what I was sure was its demise (I'm happy to report, that the monster got INCREDIBLY lucky, and didn't break it). There were crocodile tears all the way home. And I felt myself starting to get angry, but those feel good pregnancy hormones must be little heroes, because they stopped me. Instead, I was thankful for the hour we just spent together. For the laughter and the happy. And I reminded myself that these tantrums are going to come, but they are far outweighed by the good. And I somehow managed to calmly (me, not him) get him in the house and let him finish his fit, which included some books being thrown. Sure enough, once he got it all out of his system, in an instant, that happy boy was back. Crawling onto my lap, giving me hugs and saying "orry Mama".

The thing is, he knows when he's being bad. And he knows how to behave better. But, just like his mother, in the heat of the moment, it doesn't matter. He's upset, and he has to just get it out. I know how that feels.....needing to just "get it out". So I let him do it. Because it never fails, that once he's done, he appreciates having had the chance to scream and be sad, and I get the reward for it. The hugs, the kisses, the "orry"'s, and the "love ya"'s. And those are so much more important than stressing out over the screaming.

Does that mean I will gladly let him throw a fit in the middle of Target if he doesn't get his way? Hell to the no. But it means I will let him feel upset. Feel anger, and sadness. I won't just give in and give him his way to make him always be happy. It's a part of life, and he is learning that he isn't always going to get exactly what he wants. I'm praying (hard), that with time, he finds better ways to express those emotions, but in the meantime....he's two. And this is what he does. And we aren't going to change him, I wouldn't want to. So we're going to roll with it. And we're going to learn from it. And we're all going to be ok. 

By the way...the other peanut, the small one inside, is doing phenomenal. But it's already taking a hint from its older brother, and is very stubborn. It hid from the poor ultrasound tech for forever on Wednesday, and it likes to hide from me every time I try to find it with my doppler. But when we do find it, it's adorable, with a perfect heartbeat. And really.....that's what counts. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Secret Is Out!

Again....I haven't forgotten about this corner of the internet. But when trying to keep a major secret, the last thing I need to do is start writing. It's sure to come out.

I have gotten asked so many times why we didn't say anything about baby #2 the second the test turned positive. And we some. Our parents, Jeremy's brothers, my best friend, my DOCTOR.....all got calls or text messages the instant we knew. Slowly, we let other people in, close friends, other family members, but for the most part, it's been our little secret.

We're cautious. We have watched people lose pregnancies. We've watched the hurt of going back and telling every person they know that it didn't stick. It's such a personal thing, such a heartbreak, and while I am an open book, there are certain things that I don't need every member of my high school class to know about. Not everyone needs in on that pain. But of course, if God forbid something did happen, we would need support. So our families and our closest friends knew right away.....they're our rocks.

On the flip side, it's such an exciting thing, it's nearly impossible to keep inside. And I have been wanting to shout from the roof tops since the day we found out. And as much as you want to be positive, and believe that everything will just be fabulous and perfect, I'm also a realist who knows that it doesn't always work that way. I went through hell to get Landon into this incredibly hard, long 8 months, followed by a miserable birth experience. During his pregnancy, I found out so many things about myself, my body, and my health, and those things make eternal optimism rather difficult.

Point blank, myself, and two of my cousins, have a blood clotting disorder. This nasty, mutated gene that we have, can cause a clot to travel to the baby, and cause a miscarriage. I watched my cousin go through it three heartbreaking times. When I was first pregnant with Landon, I demanded to be tested right away, to avoid going through the pain I watched her go through. My first doctor refused, and I switched. When I finally got to a doctor that would test me, I tested positive.....which meant had I NOT been tested, Landon might not be here today. I was insanely fortunate with him. We did what we had to do, and I got a healthy baby out of the deal. But every pregnancy is different, so every pregnancy brings a new set of fears and anxieties.....especially about what is going on inside your body.

This time around, I am with the single most incredible doctor I know. She knows me, she knows my story, she knows what I need, and most importantly.....she knows what I need emotionally. I feel exponentially better about this go around, just because I have her on my side. It's a huge relief.

All of that being said, anything can still happen. But we chose to look at all the positives of the past 11 weeks. So far.....this pregnancy has been completely different. I feel sick SO much more often, but the BIG things, have all gone smoothly. All my initial blood work came back flawless, which is insane for me. My doctor even told me she read over it 3 or 4 times, sure she had to be missing something that was off. But NOTHING was. Hurdle number one crossed. Our first ultrasound, even though incredibly early in the game, showed us a small little kidney bean, with a beating heart. Hurdle number two crossed (For those that don't remember, Landon's first ultrasound didn't show a heartbeat, and we were told the pregnancy may not be viable). And each subsequent ultrasound has shown a growing, gorgeous little person with a strong heart rate and last time, two legs and two arms that were waving.

We're having a baby.

And every single day, that still blows my mind. We were blessed again. Our luck is immeasurable.

I thought the second go around would be different, emotion wise. I've been through this, the heartbeat is cool, but it's not like it's my first growing child inside me. No. So wrong. It's the same exact feeling. We made another life. It's such a fragile, precious miracle, that it is such an incredible blessing to have it ONCE. But twice? Someone up there really, really loves us.

And this time around? I get to see Landon watch it all. He points at the ultrasound pictures and says "Baby"; he kisses my belly goodnight every night; when we ask him if he wants a brother or a sister, he tells us he wants a cow (yep....daily). It's already amazing to see him.....I cannot imagine the feeling I will have when I see him HOLD his baby brother or sister. Kiss its cheeks. Share his toys. Comfort it when it cries. If anything, the emotions are even HIGHER this time.

So we're starting the journey again. We're still nervous, we're still on God's plan, and only he knows what this baby will be, and if this baby will make it to us. But today, we're choosing to believe that yes, it will. This is the tiny soul our family is missing, and we cannot wait to welcome it.

We are SO thankful for all of your well wishes and congratulations. It's wonderful to know that you are all as excited as we are. And for those of you in the "inner loop"'ve been amazing.....and thanks for keeping your mouths shut ;) Well....except you Dad.....I've been hearing that most of Port Huron has known for a while now. But hey, an excited Papa can't be blamed. And we LOVE that you're that excited.

As for what's been happening while we've been doing all this secret keeping? I've been crap. Much worse than with Landon. Landon's could be described as "occasional bouts of nausea that passed quickly". This kid can be described as "all day, every day misery, broken up with occasional urgent cravings that need to be satisfied RIGHT THIS MINUTE". Zofran and I have become very good friends. As have me and pretzels, lemonade, Olga's Snackers, Chicken Ceaser Pitas, and McDonald's french fries and chocolate shakes. And one night after dinner, an entire package of cinnamon rolls. Hey man, baby wants what baby wants.

I've been laced with so much mommy guilt for the days spent just laying on the couch and not doing much to entertain Landon. Fortunately, he's been great. We do a lot of snuggling, watching Diego, and reading. And I am soaking up every single second of life with just one child. Savoring every inch of him. That makes all the sickies seem worth it.

However, the Michigan weather is making for a very bored, stir crazy toddler, and this mama can't blame him. We've been teased with a few beautiful days, and we spend every second we can outside. Spring and Summer have to be coming eventually....right??

In other news, he's officially in his new "big boy" room and "big boy" bed. The transition, so far, has been harder on me and my mama heart than on him. Last night was our first rough night, and I'm sure we're in for more. But as I was laying on his cold, hard floor, trying to reason with him why 4am was NOT a good time to be awake, I kept telling myself that this won't last forever. Just like his waking up every 2 hours didn't, or any of the other precious newborn things. So I need to cherish it now, when Mommy sleeping on the floor next to your bed is still "fun".

We're also planning a Diego birthday party, because as crazy at it is, this little dude will be TWO in just  25 days. THAT is insane. But it has been so much fun watching him get into this year. Helping pick out decorations, telling everybody he's having a "pawty" with "Deeeeaygo" because he'll be "TWO!". But it DOES still feel like we were just telling everybody that I was pregnant with HIM. I'm still wondering why the years WITH the babies fly so fast, yet the time being PREGNANT with them goes SO slow? It's a weird time warp thing that I'm reeeeeeally not a fan of.

We went camping with my parents a couple weekends ago to test out their new motorhome.....which is beyond gorgeous. It was rainy and cold, and kind of miserable weather wise, but Landon was ENTIRELY into it. I cannot wait to take him this summer and let him get the full effect. He would have stayed outside jumping in puddles all day, every day if he could have convinced someone to stay out there with him. But taking trips to the campground store with Papa was the highlight of his day, and swimming was maybe his favorite thing ever. Just goes to show, again, what a little person he's becoming. And....he is ALL boy.

Other than that, we've just been here, hiding out, trying to conceal my growing stomach and avoid the last traces of winters illnesses traveling around. But it's a huge relief to say that I don't have to hide the pooch anymore, and hopefully the cold weather is headed out, and the beautiful spring will coincide with the end of my miserable first trimester! THAT will be a beautiful day.

**Edit: As I was finishing this up, my beautiful boy sat up from his nap, leaned back and fell out of bed for the first time. To which.....he laughed. Thank ya, Jesus!**