February 28, 2009


When traveling with a toddler, it is much more desirable to be the driver than it is to be the passenger.

*We made it home and I'm still sane. But only because I drove the last five hours.

February 27, 2009

All good things come to an end

We're glad to be heading home. We had a great vacation and we're ready to get back to real life. We are not, however, excited about returning to below-freezing temperatures.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this, though . . . we get home tomorrow night and we leave Monday morning for a CCCA conference that we're attending next week. It's on Lake Michigan and the high temperature on Monday is expected to be 29 degrees. Fun. Jack's going with us, of course, and he's not going to know what hit him. After that, we'll REALLY be ready to be home for a while.

In other news, we went to Lakeland, FL yesterday for the camp "Snowbirds" dinner. The Southern Michigan Conference of the FM Church holds it each year for the seniors from our conference who go to Florida for the winter. Dave always goes to represent the camp, and since we're down here anyway, we went too.

We started to make our way back to Michigan today. We're staying in Lynchburg, Virgina tonight because my brother goes to school here at Liberty University. We'll have breakfast with him tomorrow morning and then head home. I like Lynchburg. I could be happy living here.

About two hours into today's drive, I made Kyle stop and we purchased a new DVD player. Let's just say that Jack is pushing me to my limit. And it's frustrating because we can't give him time outs in the car. And he knows it. And all of the books that I've read say that delayed punishment doesn't really work until a child's around 3 years old, so threatening things is pointless. I'm had some moments that I'm not proud of today . . . moments in which I lost my temper and yelled at my 20 month old. Ugh.

I'm dreading the remaining 10 hours in the car tomorrow.

If I didn't already know I was pregnant . . .

. . . I would know now.

I've developed an aversion to bacon. Seriously.

Those of you who know me know how huge this is. I've always had affection for those artery clogging pieces of heaven. But now, I'm trying to suppress my gag reflex just thinking about the stuff. I've never liked ham. I had moderate feelings toward sausage. But now, it's all in the same category. A category called "stuff that makes me want to throw up."

One other surefire sign is that I will cry at the drop of a hat. I have to skip over the first scene in Finding Nemo when Marlin's wife, Coral, is eaten by a shark and he's left with only one of the fish eggs. And I was watching a Nooma video while Jack was napping in the car today and I was struggling to keep the tears back. Oh, and the floodgates open anytime I pray.

Jack really isn't sure what to do with a crying mommy, so he usually kind of looks me up and down, pats my arm and says, "mommy silly." I love that kid.

February 23, 2009

Two days at Disney

The first morning at Disney started out a little rough . . . simply because Kyle and I didn't read carefully enough.

We thought that the times sheet we received upon check-in said that the "Magic Hours" (extra hours only for people staying in Disney resorts) started at 8 AM. Which was perfect, because Kristi had a 9:15 meeting, so she wasn't going to be able to meet us at 9 to get us into the park. As we were boarding the bus, we double checked the times and realized that we had read incorrectly. The park didn't open until 9. In our defense, about 90% of the other people on the bus had also read that it opened at 8 AM. So I blame Disney. Because that's easier than admitting our mistake.

So, we waited until 10:15 to meet her and get into the park. Seriously, she went to so much trouble to get us into the parks THREE separate times. We owe her A LOT.

We started at Epcot because that was easier for her to get to from her office. We went straight to the Finding Nemo ride which was really great. The entire time we rode, Jack kept saying, "Nemo! Are you?" Even after the ride, throughout the day, we'd hear him saying that every so often. We went to Turtle Talk with Crush and The Mexico Donald Duck ride after that. We ate lunch in Mexico and Jack fell asleep within minutes after getting back into his stroller. Which allowed Kyle and I to stroll through all of the Epcot countries. He slept through the rest of Epcot and the monorail ride. He woke up on the Ferry to the Magic Kingdom.

At the MK, we went straight to Fantasyland and hit the rides there. We had fast passes for Peter Pan (and eventually Winnie the Pooh), but waited in line for Dumbo and It's a Small World. He loved Dumbo, so I guess he hasn't inherited his father's fear of heights. At the end of It's a Small World, Jack kept saying "more, more" which was ironic, because Kyle and I couldn't wait until the end. Jack did pretty well in the lines, but he wanted to be held the entire time so that he could see something other than other people's mid-sections. So it was pretty hard on our arms. Every time Jack would see a car (or boat, or jeep . . . or whatever it was for any given ride) he would clap his hands and say "YAY!" And he'd be so disappointed if it wasn't our turn to get on. It was a great chance for us to talk about waiting our turn.

Somewhere in there, we went on the Jungle Safari (with a hilarious tour guide) and caught the late afternoon Block Party Parade. Jack LOVED this parade and we were so glad he was able to see Mickey and some of the other characters he could identify.

We got back to the hotel late and he went right down to bed. That night, however, he cried out several times. I was patting his back when he was crying one of the times and he kept saying, "Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse." I was SURE that we had traumatized him in some way. Who knows what he was dreaming about?! At about 5 AM, he woke up (only half way) and cried inconsolably for about 45 minutes. We still have no idea why or what caused it. It was so strange.

On Saturday, we met Kristi at the Wild Animal Kingdom and, holy cow . . . having her there saved us so much time. She knew where to go and what we should do first. We saw the Nemo musical and it was SO good. Jack loved it and he was so excited to see "Mr. Ray." It's such an obscure character from the movie, but he was constantly looking for him and said his name over and over. He's such a random kid. We went on the Kilimanjaro Safari (which they say not to do if you're pregnant, and I'm not sure why) and ended at the petting zoo . . . which wasn't all that great. But Jack liked the train ride to get there.

Kristi told us that if Jack liked the Disney afternoon parade, we should check out the 3 PM parade at Hollywood Studios. So, after the Wild Animal Kingdom we headed there for lunch and the parade. Of course, Jack fell asleep about 20 minutes before the parade, but woke up about 5 minutes into it. It was awesome, and Jack even gave Sully and Boo (from Monsters, Inc.) a high five, without bursting into tears. That's progress.

After the parade, we went to the Playhouse Disney show. After that, we visited some of the characters (Mickey Mouse and the Little Einsteins characters) and called it a day.

We had so much fun and we'll definitely be taking a trip like this in the future. In fact, we've already been looking online and pricing future trips. While Jack won't remember this trip, he had so much fun and it was fun for us to watch him experience things for the first time.

February 22, 2009

Touching base

Disney was GREAT! I have a lot of stories and memories I want to record and I need to do it tomorrow before I start forgetting everything.

For now, I'll tell you that Jack got over his fear of costumed characters, but did get scared by a 3D cartoon. In his defense, it was a little dark . . . at least for the five minutes that we were there before we got up and left with him. After that everything went really well. His recent obsession with Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo did help. As did the neverending bags of pretzels and animal crackers that I brought for him.

I think sometime this week I'll also record some sort of list of things we loved, didn't love, things we'd do again and things we'd do differently. Partially so I'll remember for next time and partially because the advice and suggestions we got from other people before our trip was really helpful.

That's all for now. More tomorrow . . .

February 20, 2009

One-size-up pants

I'm in my 11th week of pregnancy. It didn't occur to me when I was packing for this trip, that I should pack some of my one-size-up, post- pregnancy pants, or perhaps a pair of maternity pants. I'm not one of the "cute pregnant ladies" who pops out a little belly and can just wear normal pants under it . . . as evidenced by the photo found here. There is nothing "cute" about pregnant Sara. I know that women get bigger faster with their second child, but is it normal to have pants fit tight this soon?

I'm wishing I would have thought it through a little. My pants are getting tight and are making it less comfortable to be on vacation than it would be with pants that fit. I did accidentally pack one pair of maternity capris (my summer clothes and maternity clothes are stored in the same closet), and I have one pair of regular capris that still fit pretty well. But when it gets cooler this weekend, I might be less comfortable in my jeans. I hate the idea of running out to buy some new pants, because I have SO MANY pair of one-size up pants and maternity pants at home and I need to save money for buying summer maternity clothes . . . I don't have ANY clothes for the summer.

Arg. This is fun.

February 19, 2009

A rough start

Our plan for tonight was to meet up with Kristi and to go to the Magic Kingdom for the Main Street Electrical Parade (is it even called that anymore . . . I'm not sure). It was a lot of work to pack everything up, wait for a bus, ride to the MK, and do that all again to get back to the hotel. But we had some friends who said it was worth it and I was so excited to see the look of excitement on Jack's face when we saw the parade coming down the street!

We were off on the parade start time . . . by an hour. So we were there way early and had to sit a little longer than expected. But we weren't complaining because we had a great spot along the parade route. We ate hot dogs and caught up with Kristi . . . whose name is actually "Kristen" according to Jack.

We had the 10 minute warning, and then the 5 minute warning and finally we could see the first float making it's way down the street. When it finally reached us, I looked down at Jack so that I could soak up the look on his face . . . the look that I was sure would reflect the excitement that I had about him being at Disney World for the first time. But instead, the look was one of sheer panic. He tried to climb over me to get away from the parade and was crying inconsolably. It was reminiscent of the episode with the fireworks on the Fourth of July. He seemed to be most afraid of the costumed characters. I certainly am glad that we didn't make reservations for the breakfast with the Disney characters tomorrow!

My first instinct was just to hold him there until he calmed down and got used to it. But Kyle ended up taking him back a few steps and watching from the sidewalk. And eventually, he stopped crying and tolerated the parade from a distance.

I'm realizing more and more that he's going to be a little like I was as a child . . . hesitant about new things at first. I know it's hard for anyone who knows me now to believe that I was ever that timid! But one thing I remember from that time in my life is that I hated being pushed. I craved encouragement, but I needed to be left to do things in my own time. If I was pushed, I ran in the opposite direction. Or just cried.

I was a little disappointed that we went to all of the trouble to get down there just for the parade (and made Kristi come all the way down to get us in the gate) just for him to be scared to death. But it was a good thing in that I've let go of all of my expectations for what Jack will experience in the next few days. We'll do what he enjoys and encourage him to try new things . . . without pushing . . . so that we can all have a good time.

Ok, time for bed. We've got a big day tomorrow!

As heard this morning . . . the morning we leave for Disney World

Me: Jack, where are we going today?


Me: I'll give you a hint . . . it's the most magical place on earth.

Jack: IKEA!

Ohhh, buddy . . .

We are astounded at the explosion of development in Jack over the few days we've been here. He's speaking in short phrases and sentences. Things like "I don't like it!" (which is super fun when eating at someone else's house) and "Don't want that!" or "That's silly!" or "Jack do it!"). I'm not sure if it just happens to be taking place now, or if it's because he's had our undivided attention so much more in the last three days.

When Jack spills something, or wets through his diaper, or . . . um . . . throws up, we always start by saying, "Ohhh, buddy . . ." This week, we've started hearing him from another room saying "Oh, buddy" and knowing that we probably need to help him clean up or change his diaper. Today in the car, he took off his sandals, threw them to the ground, looked up at me and said, "Ohhh, buddy." I cracked up.

February 18, 2009

What I did on spring break, so far

I haven't really posted about the last few days because, well, there hasn't been much to post! We've been relaxing and taking it easy.

We lounged around on Monday and swam in the pool. The water temperature was 85 degrees . . . which made it a little like taking a really big bath. It was so nice.

Jack was really hesitant about the pool at first. And by "hesitant" I mean that he freaked out and screamed for the first 10 minutes. His first (and only other) time in a pool was a little more than a year ago and he didn't have any issues then. He eventually warmed up to the idea and was jumping off the edge of the pool to Kyle within a half hour or so. He loves to have us hold him up at his belly so he can kick his legs and flail his arms like he's swimming.

Yesterday, we went to St. Augustine. We took the ferry ride (on which we saw lots of dolphins) to Fort Matanzas and took the little tour they offer. It was very informal, informative and FREE. Kyle and I both like history so it was right up our alley, but it wasn't so scripted or scheduled that Jack got bored or antsy. There were plenty of little places for him to explore. I still can't believe it was free!

From there we went down to Henry Street and walked around for a while. We ate lunch at Scarlett O'Hara's and then headed to the outlet shops.

Last night, about an hour after Jack went to bed he woke up screaming. And I walked in to an awfully familiar smell and a baby covered in vomit. He had thrown up, seemingly in his sleep, and it was EVERYWHERE. It was smeared in his hair, all over his face and body . . . and was soon smeared all over me because all he wanted was to be held and comforted. Which, of course, I did.

Unfortunately, we didn't have a waterproof sheet for his pack and play and it soaked right through to the un-washable mattress. Lovely. I wish I could pinpoint what causes his throwing up. He was fine today. No throwing up. Yet.

We did A LOT today. We started the day at Blue Springs State Park to walk along the St. John's River. We saw DOZENS of manatees! And a couple of alligators. It was 80 degrees today and it was beautiful so we couldn't have asked for better weather. You can probably imagine, though, that I cried a little when I realized that the battery for my camera was still charging in our room. Fortunately, I had my rebel in my camera bag as a back up. It's old, and a little broken (the aperture can't be changed when in manual mode - which is why I bought my new camera last summer), but at least I was able to get some pictures.

We left there and drove to Daytona Beach to let Jack get his feet wet in the ocean for the first time. Once again, he was hesitant, but he got used to it and did well until the sand shifted under his feet and he lost his balance and he planted his face into the wet sand. Whoops.

We're headed to Disney World! Yay!

February 17, 2009

Not sleeping

I'm laying in our room at Kyle's grandparents house "taking a nap." But I don't actually nap. For me, napping is more like resting my eyes. I can't if it's daylight outside. Even if I'm in a completely dark room, in the middle of the day, after having been up for 24 hours straight, my body still won't let me nap. I think there might have been one time right after Jack was born that I drifted off for 15 minutes or so after nursing him. And I remember waking up thinking, "WHOA! Did I really just fall asleep during the day?!" I'm just not wired that way.

And, the other weird thing is that I only get one shot at sleep every night. If I have to get up out of bed, no matter how long I've been sleeping, there's no going back to sleep for me. I might lay in bed for a few hours with my eyes closed, but I rarely fall back to sleep. Which is why Kyle would normally be the one to get up when Jack was younger and bring him to me so that I wouldn't have to wake all the way up. But on the occasions that I did wake all the way up, my day had begun. Whether it be 1:30 or 6:30. And of course, I couldn't make up for it with a nap. I will say that I got a lot more done when Jack was little because I'd be doing laundry or cleaning in the early hours of the morning!

I'm so odd.

I think Jack will someday be like this too. He's never really slept much. He was down to one nap a day by 8 months and there are some days I think he'd skip over his afternoon nap now if I didn't lay him down.

It's not that I don't get tired. Actually, I've been constantly exhausted for the last, oh, 10 weeks or so. And not being able to nap during the day means that I'm always cranky and I'm usually in bed by 8:30. I'm hoping that baby #2 might cause some sort of chemical/hormonal change in me that will allow me more flexible sleep patterns.

But I'm not holding my breath.

February 15, 2009

On the road

Things I want to remember about our drive down to Florida:

Anytime we'd see an animal in the back of a car, or a bike strapped to the back of a travel trailer, Jack would say, "Dat's silly."

Our relaxing dinner at Chili's in Knoxville and the nice hotel room in which we were able to unwind. And Jack's fascination with the elevator, as well as his peaceful willingness to hold my hand and walk instead of throwing fits about wanting ot be carried.

Jack and Kyle's a mini-game of hide and seek / peekaboo using a blanket, during the two hours that I drove. He'd cover him up, make a big deal of searching for him saying, "Jackson . . where are you?" and then tickle him until he could barely breathe. When Kyle would take a break from the game, Jack would cover himself with the blanket and start saying, "Jackdon . . . are you?" It was precious. If only the video camera had been up front with us!

Watching the outside temperature increase the farther south we got.

Finding all of the things Jack told me that he put in his "pocket" were actually just shoved in his zip-up hoodie.

Getting a text from Ben & Jeanette saying that their baby had been born an hour before. And getting to talk to Jeanette a little while later. I'll save his name and details (of the fastest labor in the history of first time moms) for her to post.

When we pulled into a Georgia rest area, Jack sat straight up, looked out the window and said, "Wooo . . . Florda!" I guess he thought the rest area was pretty impressive.

Pulling into Palm Coast and seeing how excited Jack was to see Grammie and Grandpa.

Things I would like to forget about our drive down to Florida:

The realization that our car DVD player was broken. It was a nice one that I got for $80 on the day after Thanksgiving. And to discover this in the first few hours of our 18 hour drive literally brought me to tears.

Every minute in which he screamed incessantly. Which was more than I thought it would be, but probably less than I'm remembering it to be.

Realizing that I won't get to meet Ben and Jeanette's son until he's 2 weeks old.

Jack asking for water every 10 minutes and then throwing it and yelling "don't want it" after I handed it to him.

Jack climbing out of the pack and play and making his way into our area of the hotel suite. I knew he could get out, but I was hoping he wouldn't realize it.

Discovering I had left my favorite pillow at our hotel in Knoxville.

Realizing Jack had gone silent and looking back to see that he had thrown up. In the car. Sick.

Having to break down and take tylenol because of how badly my back hurt.

February 12, 2009

My two cents

I had 15 posts in my blog feeds today about the octuplets, and I only read one and a half of them before getting annoyed. So, I decided to throw in my two cents.

I think it's a mistake to treat this issue as black and white. We're dealing with human life here. Embryos. Babies.

And we can't change the past. Maybe things should or shouldn't have happened. Maybe the mom was making decisions for selfish reasons. Maybe these kids will be supported by our tax dollars (and, gasp!, by the good will and charity of people like me) for the rest of their lives.

But they're here. Which one shouldn't be? Which child was wasn't intended? Maybe their mother was acting irresponsibly by having any kids in the first place, but which child doesn't deserve his or her life? The one that might develop cerebral palsy? The one that could potentially be blind? It may sound drastic or harsh, but that's what the critics are ultimately suggesting, aren't they?

Like I said . . . lots of gray.

I know it's irritating that this mother is seemingly irresponsible and might get rewarded with money and diapers and other things that she can't afford. It sucks. But life isn't fair and she has 14 kids to take care of. So let's make sure they're taken care of . . . with grace and love, rather than judgment and condemnation. When did it become acceptable for us to judge and condemn for any reason, anyway?

I'm not saying we should ignore contributing factors to this dilemma . . . I hope that this situation brings attention to the need for regulation in the whole arena of reproductive technology . . . not just IVF. There are many embryos left from IVF patients who are done having children. Many of these people just throw the leftover embryos away. Would that have been a more responsible route? That's a different issue for a different day, I suppose.

There is one area of this whole thing that is black and white: This mom had 8 babies. 8 beautiful, miraculously healthy babies. And they're here. And they should be here. And they are acceptable, capable, lovable and desirable. And I hope that no one ever tells them anything different.

No gray area there.

February 11, 2009

We go there a lot.

We were pulling into the Target parking lot this evening and the car was angled directly toward the store so the sign came into Jack's view for the first time. And he started kicking and flailing and said:

"Dardet! Yay! Po-corn!"

I'm not sure if I'm more proud or ashamed . . .


The kind of morning that makes you feel old

So, I clicked "publish post" on my last entry and went upstairs to find Jack and Kyle both awake. Kyle looked like he had been hit by a truck. He has a cold and he has it bad.

I sat down on the couch in the living room and Jack climbed up onto my lap with a book I mentioned to Kyle that my back was a little sore. We started reading and I shifted in my seat oh-so-slightly, which sent sharp pains across my upper back and across both shoulders. I started shifting back and forth in my seat, literally crying out in pain, trying to find a comfortable position and couldn't. I felt like an over dramatic little girl, but I made my way to the floor and was basically laying there writhing. Which I'm sure was equal parts annoying and amusing for Kyle to watch. It hurt to pick my head up and move either of my arms. It was so strange because there wasn't a pop or anything to trigger it. It just happened.

So, Kyle got Jack a banana and some water for breakfast and left me laying on the living room floor while he called my chiropractor. As he was on the phone explaining that yes, he understood that I hadn't been there in two years, but no, I couldn't have x-rays done because I'm pregnant, I heard the words that we've learned to dread over the last week:


And thanks to a rush of adrenaline that could have only come from God Almighty, I got to my feet, grabbed him and made it to the sink before he reintroduced his banana and water to the light of day. And I almost dropped him half way through because of the horrible pain one might associate with an old lady with back problems trying to lift a puking, 31 lb kid to the sink.

I went to the chiropractor and feel a little better, but am still in a bit of pain when I try to raise my arms or turn my head from side to side. However, I did receive "helpful" lectures about the evils of vaccines and the fact that Well Baby visits are pediatricians' ways of ripping you off and making a profit. I just said that my little guy was fully vaccinated and pretty healthy, thank-you-very-much. I kept the fact that I plan to use an alternative vaccination schedule with my next child to myself, because . . . well, my reasons are different than his and I think it would have given him too much satisfaction.

Anyway, Jack kept down the pancake he had later, so I have no idea what caused that little episode. And I haven't even checked with Kyle to see how he's feeling. He's been the one keeping things together this morning.

It's just not the kind of morning that sets you up for a great day . . .

The long road to Florida

It seems that we can't stay healthy around here. Jack's got a raspy cough (and after last week, I still have a natural reflex grab the blue bucket every time I hear him coughing). He felt warm to me last night, but his temp was normal, so hopefully this will pass . . . by Saturday.

Speaking of Florida, I CAN'T WAIT. Kyle's been e-mailing back and forth with his grandma to get some details set. For those of you that know us, the fact that we planned this trip more than three days in advance is a big deal. We don't plan vacations. We usually just decide at the last minute when we go somewhere. And I know three or four weeks isn't exactly "advanced planning" for most people, but it is for us. I think it's partially because we're never sure what our schedule will be. But it's also because I get SO impatient just waiting.

I still have a lot of packing and preparing to do over the next few days . . . and a lot of camp projects that I'm working to complete before we leave. I need to buy a few new toys/books for Jack and work on downloading some of Jack's shows from tivo to Kyle's ipod so we can take those, too.

Everyone's waking up . . . time to get to work.

February 9, 2009


Kyle and I were engaged on July 17, 2002. It wasn't anything elaborate, but it was PERFECT for us. We were at a park near our house . . . actually a park where we go to take a lot of Jack's pictures now. It was quiet and sweet and very low key.

My friend Heather entered a contest in which they created a video retelling their engagement story. It's SO good.

Click right here. Watch it. Vote for it!

February 8, 2009


If you subscribe via google reader or bloglines, you were probably inundated with confusing posts today that are completely out of order. I had been holding them until I was ready for everyone to read them. If you don't subscribe, you can see them all here.

How are you feeling?
Tired! I thought I was as tired as I could possibly be when I was pregnant with Jack, but I was wrong. I'm way more tired now. But otherwise, not bad. I had a little nausea a few weeks ago, but until I got the stomach flu last week I was actually feeling good. I lost three pounds from lack of appetite before the flu and five and a half during the flu, the irony of which is that I finally reached my pre-Jack weight while pregnant. Even though my appetite isn't fully back, I'm regaining pretty quickly. If you remember pictures of me from when I was pregnant with Jack, you'll know that weight gain is not a problem for me.

Was it really the flu?
Yes, unless Kyle and Jack were both having sympathy morning sickness, it was definitely the flu. Plus, the number of times I threw up in 8 hours would not be consistent with morning sickness. Trust me.

How far along are you? When are you due?
I'm about 9 weeks. I'm due in mid-September. We had an ultrasound at around 6 weeks and the heartbeat was steady and strong.

Did you plan this or was it a surprise?

Um, yes. To both.

We really wanted to start trying again and were trying to sort all of the financial stuff out. I had been to the RE clinic and had begun discussing things with my doctor there. I actually called them first when I had the positive test because I had seen them more recently than my other doctor. And even though we weren't necessarily trying to get pregnant yet, we like to think that this was well-planned by the One who has ultimately planned for all of us.

We weren't "trying" but we weren't "not trying" . . . if you know what I mean. We didn't think it was possible for me to get pregnant on my own so the thought of birth control was laughable. Who knows when or why I ovulate. Up until last month, I didn't think I ovulated at all. The doctor called it "spontaneous" which cracked me up. But I can't stress enough that we wanted another baby and that it was the best kind of surprise.

So, it was a surprise?
Surprise does not adequately describe our reaction to this. I put Jack down for a nap right before I took the test and we were still sitting there staring at it when he woke up. And then I realized that for more than an hour I had been holding something that I had peed on and kind of got grossed out.

We knew that this was possible, but we thought the chances were so slim that it would be, well, impossible. We were stunned. We still are a little.

What does Jack think?
We don't talk with him about it a lot . . . I mean, we've mentioned that there's a baby in mommy's tummy, but he doesn't really know what that means. We'll probably wait until much closer to the baby's arrival to really talk to him about stuff because 7 months is a long time for a 20 month old to be anticipating something. Shoot, I told him today that his friend, Eli, was coming to play on Thursday and I'm not sure he'll be able to wait that long. We did ask if he thought the baby would be a boy or a girl. He said a boy. He also said we should name him George. We have NO idea where that came from. Nicole e-mailed some suggestions for "older sibling" books and I'm excited to look at those, but like I said . . . we'll probably wait a little while.

Are you hoping for a boy or a girl?
Yes, I am. One or the other.

Any chance of twins?
Nope. The ultrasound shows one baby. I was actually a little relieved to not have to go through fertility treatments this time around . . . the chance of multiples made me really nervous.

Does this make you dread the drive to Florida more?
Not really. I'm only 9 weeks. I'll be about 12 weeks when we come home. It's early enough that I won't be uncomfortable, so I'm not feeling too worried about it. And, I'm sure many, many women have made the trip a lot more pregnant than I will be. I am bummed that there are A LOT of rides at Disney that I won't be able to go on. Oh well. We'll find plenty to do.

As heard on January 4, 2009

Me (yelling from our bathroom): Uh, Kyle?

Kyle (yelling from our closet): Yeah?

Me: Is that a second pink line?

Kyle: What?

Me: Is that a second pink line? IS THAT A SECOND PINK LINE?!

Kyle: I think so. What does that mean?

Me: It means I'm pregnant.


Kyle: But you can't . . .

Me: I guess I can.


Me: Unbelievable.

Dear Jack, Month 20

Dear Jack,

I find myself thinking about your high school graduation party quite a bit. Weird, I know. But I wonder where we'll be living and what your plans will be. I wonder what you'll look like and what interests you'll have.

I think my mind wanders to these things because ultimately, I wonder how the things we're teaching you now will affect you when you're 18. Or when you're 12. Or 30.

This month has been full of . . . um, let's call them "teachable moments. " You call them "mime outs." We've had plenty of opportunities to teach you the difference between right and wrong and to show you which things are acceptable and unacceptable. It's a part of my job to demonstrate and enforce appropriate boundaries and behavior. I know that you don't always appreciate it. And I suspect that even looking back someday, you still might not completely get it. But while we don't always know what we're doing and a lot of what we do is trial and error, I hope you'll always know that everything we do is with your best interest in mind.

Your dad and I love how quickly your language is developing . . . most of the time. You've become very demanding, and quite specific in those demands. You want water WITH ICE IN A RED CUP. You want to wear socks, but ONLY YOUR FOOTBALL SOCKS. You want your cheerios IN A BOWL WITH MILK AND A SPOON. You want to read a book IN MOMMY AND DADDY'S ROOM WITH COVERS. The number of demands you make increases proportionally according to how tired you are. I've wondered if this is the beginning of OCD tendencies, and that we'll someday look back on all of this and think, "That was just the beginning." But I'm pretty sure it's just toddlerhood.

On the flip side, this little burst of verbosity means that we can carry on mini-conversations with you now. You tell me what you like and dislike. You can tell me what makes you happy or sad. You re-cap for us what you had for any meal that we don't eat with you. We ask you questions and you answer, and sometimes call yourself "silly" before we even get the chance. You ask us questions, too . . . and I'm trying to enjoy this brief time in your life where I'll always have an answer for you. I know that there will be a day that you ask questions that leave me stumped. Or unsure of how to answer.

Part of the reason that this letter is late is because of the stomach flu that all three of us have had this week. While I hated the fact that you were sick, and would have done anything to make you better, I savored every minute of being able to cuddle with you and comfort you. Every time you got sick, you'd come lay back down in bed with me and look for a spot against me to get comfortable. I would stroke your hair or rub your back and think about how lucky I am to be your mom.

I thank God every day for you.


February 5, 2009

To be a kid again . . .

By last night, Jack kept down a half piece of toast, a few slices of banana and a dish of applesauce. This morning, he was back to normal.

Now, it's my turn to be curled up in bed with the blue bucket. If only Jack would return the favor and sit in bed with me stroking my hair and patting my back when I throw up.

But he does stand outside the bathroom door and say "Mommy go?" and "Feel okay?" and "Dink water?" Which is just as helpful.

February 4, 2009

The bucket

Last night, Jeanette came over and I was telling her about how lucky we are that Jack's been so healthy. No ear infections, few fevers, no stomach flu . . . yeah, I said all of this out loud.

Which, of course, is the equivalent of putting my thumbs in my ears, wiggling my fingers and yelling "you can't catch me" to Fate.

We were supposed to be watching my niece Emma today but I had to call my sister-in-law about a half hour before she was supposed to be here to let her know that Jack woke up throwing up. He proceeded to throw up 7 times before 8 AM. Neither Kyle nor I do well with watching people throw up, but we've been forced to work through that today.

So, the three of us have been sitting in bed with a blue bucket watching Little Einsteins and Finding Nemo. Jack is pretty good about hitting the bucket . . . as long as he makes it there on time. Kyle and I are both feeling queezy, but I'm sure it's from watching Jack be sick more than it is us being sick.

If there's a bright side, it's that we were already planning on staying home today. But I seriously hope that this bug doesn't last long.

February 2, 2009

Forty-five minutes

I haven't posted in a week, and that's a little painful. I've been in a little bit of a funk . . . I'm tired, I guess. And Jack's been testing us at every turn which compounds things. I had an entire post re-capping the last week and this last weekend with friends and I lost the entire thing a little bit ago. Thank you, blogger.

Last Friday, Jack sat in time out for 45 minutes. I don't even remember what started it, but I'm sure it had something to do with having his diaper changed. Diaper changes have become quite difficult.

So, he went into time out. I came back a minute or two later and asked, "Are you ready to obey?" He reached out and hit my arm and yelled, "NO!"

Um, excuse me?

What on earth made him think it was ok to hit his mother? Or anyone, for that matter? I did my best to keep my composure and firmly told him that hitting was a "no-no" and that he needed to stay in time out.

For the next 40 minutes, we continued to ask if he was ready to obey and while he didn't try hitting us anymore, he yelled, "NO!" every time. He sat in the chair the whole time. He wiggled and squirmed, but never tried to get down. He fussed a little, but never cried. I have no idea what was going on in his head.

So, we opted to keep him home from grandma's on Friday so that we could be consistent and see this through to the end. I have no idea what made him finally start saying, "Obey, obey."

What I do know is that sometimes, parenthood is a mystery.