August 28, 2011

A quck break

I'm taking a short break from helping Kyle install our new wood floors (yay!) to write a pregnancy update. Here's the update: My back HURTS. I remember my back aching sometimes when I was pregnant with the boys, but this is ridiculous. It takes me several minutes to make it to an upright position each time I stand.

A little public service announcement: When you're pregnant and already in really bad back pain, don't rip out carpet and install wood floors. Hire someone to do it. Ouch. We still have 3/4 of the way to go.

At my last appointment, I had relatively little weight gain. I've got to believe that will all end at my next appointment. I'm on to my "stage 2" maternity clothes. I don't even like to think about the fact that with Ben, I was still wearing one or two pairs of regular pants at this stage.

I still don't feel her move that often. Once or twice every 2 - 4 days. I know the whole anterior placenta thing has something to do with it, but it's still unnerving. On Friday night, however, she gave me a really good kick. Just one, but enough to make me feel better. I wish Kyle had been there, because it was strong enough that he definitely would have felt it. She did have hiccups on Tuesday. At least I think that's what they were.

I still have a lot to write about my feelings on having a girl . . . it deserves a post of it's own. I made my first purchases for her over the last few weeks and I'm becoming more comfortable with the idea. I love her so much already . . . I think I'm more worried about whether or not she'll love having me for a mom.

We have names narrowed down to 4 options. Last week, we had it narrowed down to 2, so we're not really making any progress.

August 27, 2011

Dear Bennett, Months 21, 22 & 23

Dear Ben,

I took a short hiatus from writing you letters . . . not because I didn't have anything to say or report. Only because I can't do it all. I certainly try, but when I try to "do it all" I never do anything well.

June 2011

The guilt of being pregnant with your sister has set in. I remember this when I was pregnant with you . . . feeling guilty that I was about to totally disrupt Jack's life and the perfect little routine we had established. And now I feel the same way with you. I felt like I was about to ruin his life and now I worry about how you'll adjust.

But I shouldn't be worried, because as we both know . . . nothing could be further from the truth. We can't imagine life without you. Jack was at day camp for two full days last week and you were both missing each other like crazy. You spent the day asking me where he was and Jack couldn't wait to see you when he got home.

June 2011

I'm not going to lie . . . it was nice having those two days last week just the two of us. You played so well in my office while I worked, and every once in a while would climb up into my lap and cuddle for a few minutes before climbing down and resuming your play. We chatted and I quizzed you on the sounds of the letters of the alphabet. And for any that you couldn't remember, you just made the "zzzz" sound.

July 2011

I really need to get some of the things you say on video. The way you pronounce words and say things is so funny. You're stubborn and won't usually repeat us when we try to get you to say something on cue, so we have to ask you questions and trick you into saying cute things.

June 2011

You are the King of "thank you." You thank me when I change your diaper. You thank whoever's driving every time we get out of a car. You thank me when I strap you in your car seat or buckle you into the stroller. You even thank people when they let you hold the door open for them. In the store yesterday, I asked an employee for directions to a particular isle, and before I could thank her you had it covered.

You've become so sensitive. If someone tells you "no" you walk off to a corner or a wall, lean against it and pout for a few minutes, consoling yourself. You throw a fairly typical number of tantrums with a pretty normal level of intensity for your age.

August 2011

You're developing just like the typical almost-2-year-old should be developing. But you're so much more than "typical" to me. I look at you each day and am still amazed that you're mine . . . that I was lucky enough to get you for a kid. I thought that maybe with the second child that awe would wear off, but it hasn't. I'm totally in awe of the fact that I get to be your mom.

August 2011

I see so much goodness and strength in you and I pray daily that God will make me equal to the task of developing those things in you. I love you, Ben.


August 25, 2011

Parenting Fail

Do you ever have one of those days in which you feel like you're completely ruining your children?

I've kind of felt that way this week.

I don't know what it is. A full moon maybe? Both boys are extra hyper, Jack has been horribly disrespectful and Ben has been remarkably disobedient. To top it all off, I'm stressed out and tired. I do my best to maintain a gentle, even voice when disciplining my children, but I lost it more than once today. I hate yelling at my kids.

During days like these, I feel a little bit like I'm losing them. I get emotional wondering what they'll be like as teenagers if they're like this NOW. I wonder if they'll start to resent me for all of the mistakes I make and never really understand how much I love them and want what's best for them. I'm sure the drama of all of it is heightened by pregnancy hormones, but I honestly hope I'm not screwing them up.

It's days like these that I'm learning to totally trust that the grace of God will fill in the gaps between what I provide as a parent and what they need as my children.

August 19, 2011

On leaking

Over the summer, Jack's become friends with several of our day campers and had a great time playing with them. His babysitter would take him up there, along with Ben, to play almost on a daily basis. So, during these last two days of day camp, we've let him spend the whole day up there.

I was a little bit emotional dropping him off . . . which was weird because he spent a good portion of the day all summer up with them so it wasn't really anything new. And I hired the staff up there, so I certainly wasn't worried. I knew he was in good hands.

I don't know . . . it just felt like a milestone. Ben spent the whole day asking where Jack was and pouting when I told him that he would see him at dinner. And this morning, Jack commented on how long it felt to be away from Ben all day. They really did spend almost ALL of their time together this summer. Yesterday, Kyle asked him what he did and after talking about few of the fun things, this was their conversation:

Jack: I leaked a little during rest time.

Kyle: Leaked? Like you wet your pants?

Jack: No. Leaked from my eyes.

Kyle: What do you mean "leaked"? You cried at rest time?

Jack: No, I didn't really cry. I just leaked out the corners. You know? Like mom does sometimes when we give her flowers. I just really missed you guys.

August 13, 2011


As a general rule, I won't post anything on my blog that I've peed on.

But I had to make an exception for this interesting batch of Clearblue pregnancy tests from when I had my positive results back in April. I thought I should share . . . you might have to click on in to be able to read it.

Weird, right?


August 12, 2011

"We have exciting news"

I don't think I ever wrote about telling people that we're pregnant with #3. We let Jack do most of the "telling" and I'll always regret not having the video camera on for those phone calls.

When he called my mom (who already knew) he said, "We're going to have another baby. It's going to be a girl and we're going to name her Leah." Kyle and I couldn't help but laugh because Leah isn't a name we had discussed, nor did we know at that point that Jack so badly wanted a sister.

When he called Kyle's sister Kristen, Jack said, "Aunt Kristen? We have exciting news! We're going to have another baby." The tone in his voice when he said "We have exciting news!" was cracking us up.

But nothing could really top the phone call with Kyle's sister Katie. "Katie? I have exciting news. I'll give you a hint . . . . Waaaa! Waaaa! Waaaa!" Kyle and I were laughing so hard that Jack wasn't really sure what to do.

When we called Kyle's grandpa, he told Jack, "Congratulations!" And Jack replied, "I'm not the one having a baby. I'm not even a girl!"

No matter what words he used, everyone he spoke to could tell that he was excited for baby #3.

August 6, 2011


When my friend Jeanette found out she is having a girl, she told me that at that moment her life flashed before her eyes. I can think of no better way to explain my feelings on Wednesday.

Like I said, I had a strong instinct during the first minute of seeing her pictures that she was a girl. Even so, when the technician started typing "IT'S A . . . " my stomach dropped. When I saw the "G" A thousand things flew through my mind . . .

I wondered if she'd get my freckles.
I worried about who would teach her to wear makeup.
I thought about how ridiculous I'll feel putting her in cutesy dresses, when I rarely dress up myself.
I worried that we'll so much alike that we won't get along.
I feared that she'll want to wear shirts that say things like "Princess" or "Diva" or with lots of glitter and sparkles.
I worried that she'll marry someone who will take her far away (which in all fairness, is a worry I've had with my boys, too).
I was frustrated that we might have to re-paint the nurse
I began rehearsing my modesty and self respect speech for when she wants to buy a bikini.
I pictured dolls and tiny little Polly Pockets pieces strewn around the house (God help the person who buys her Polly Pockets).
I thought about how Kyle won't be the only one who can take the kids to the bathroom anymore.

I love this little girl so much already, but I do not feel prepared for her. I don't feel nearly as capable of parenting a girl as I do a boy. Lots of women I know would be relieved to find out that they're having a girl after two boys.

I know I'll adjust and I know I'll be fine. I'm probably being a little overdramatic, but I'm still a little bit in shock. Up until the first 30 seconds of our ultrasound, I was certain we were having a boy.

What doesn't help are the people who leave messages and comments about how much better it is that I'm having a girl than it would be if I was having a boy and list all of the reasons. Often, the reasons are ridiculous and don't apply to me at all.

I was never someone who REALLY wanted a girl. But I know that I do REALLY want this little girl. I've always said that I believe the world needs my boys, and I think the world needs this little girl, too. I'm honored already to be her mom.

I just need some time to get used to the idea. Maybe 20 weeks or so.

August 5, 2011

Big brothers

Our plan was to bring home balloons for Jack and Ben after Wednesday's ultrasound. Blue if it was a boy and pink if it was a girl.

As with most photo opportunities, I had this idyllic picture in my mind of how it would all go down. We'd take them outside, hand them the balloons and they'd squeal with excitement at the revelation that they were going to have a sister. And then they'd stand there politely with the balloons while I took their picture.

Yeah, right.

They were excited and Jack was jumping up and down (remember that he really wanted a sister), but it lasted about two seconds because it was right before nap time. And remember how I had only had 2 1/2 hours of sleep the night before? Part of it was because Ben was up and 4:45. He was beyond tired.

Jack was so stressed out that the balloons would fly away that he wouldn't even hold them. I tied one to Ben's arm and he was having fun with it until Jack started yelling at him not to lose it.

I have zero pictures. WHich is okay, because I'd like to forget all but the first 20 seconds of it. After their naps, I took them outside with the balloons and tried every bribe in the book to get them to stand there nicely. It just wasn't going to happen.

So on Thursday, when camp was over, we sat them down at the table and showed them all of the photos.

Big Brothers

Jack's already asked if we can name her "Leah Pretty Luke." His second choice was "Cassie Lifeguard Luke." This is a prime example of why we don't let 4-year-olds name their younger siblings.

Big Brothers

Soon, Jack insisted on "organizing" the photos based on which ones he liked best.

Big Brothers

They're going to be great big brothers.

Big Brothers

August 4, 2011

Pink balloons

Wednesday was a really good day. We got to meet this little girl . . .

First photo shoot

The balloons in the picture are from telling Jack and Ben. I'll write more on that later.

On Wednesday morning, We had to wake up early to get to Ann Arbor . . . of course it was scheduled during our busiest week of camp all summer. I love U of M, but I do wish it was closer. I had only had 2 1/2 hours of sleep that night and was CRANKY.

We grabbed breakfast at a McDonalds drive through and we were back on the road before I realized that they got my order wrong. So when we got there, I was tired, cranky and hungry.

Then we made the trek through the hospital to the PAC, only to find that it was really cold. So I was tired, cranky, hungry and cold. Not a great combination.

But my crankiness faded when the technician started taking pictures. She is beautiful. I'm not 100% sure why, but I knew from the first minute of the ultrasound that it was a girl. It's just that everything about the pictures was different from the boys.

She didn't stop moving the entire time! The technician wasn't crazy about it, but we loved it! She was sucking her hands and fists and feet. She was wiggling her little body all over the place and twisting and turning. With the boys, I remember them wiggling a little, kicking and waving their hands back and forth, but it was nothing like this. After the technician finished, the doctor had to come in to re-take a couple of the shots and she had completely flipped around with her head on the opposite side! It was so much fun. She's energetic, for sure.

It was a relief to see her move, because the movement I've felt has been so strange and so much less than it was with the boys. I had wondered if my placenta was in the front . . . I had heard friends say that it lessened how much they felt the kicking. She confirmed that my placenta is anterior. That's probably also why it took a little searching for the doctor to find her heartbeat at my last appointment.

I know that I said I wanted a boy. And I did. Everyone's question is how I'm adjusting to the idea. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. I'll write more about that later too.

Remember when . . .

Do any of you remember this post? Were any of you even reading back then?

When I read that, I remember how nervous I was to even post it. I felt a little silly for opening an etsy shop and thinking that anyone outside of my friends and family would purchase designs from me. I wondered if people were laughing at me. I knew plenty about graphic design, but knew relatively little about the custom stationery business. I've learned so much.

If it weren't for the encouragement of friends and family, I might never have even opened it. If it weren't for Crystal (she was my very first etsy customer), I might have closed up before I even hit Christmas that year.

So you can see why it's such an honor to me that, almost 4 years later, I was in Babble's top 50 etsy moms of 2011 at #22, and #3 in the "for Mom" category. I'm humbled.

Who would have ever thought?!

August 2, 2011


Tomorrow's our fetal survey ultrasound. The big one. I'm so nervous. At dinner, I almost made myself sick thinking about it. Don't get me wrong . . . I'm excited to see pictures of this little one. I just feel so aware of all of the things that could be wrong and I can't seem to push them out of my mind.

Of course, to everyone else, tomorrow is "the day you find out what you're having." I'm excited and nervous about that too. Jack so badly wants a sister. Kyle and I want another boy (but of course, won't be disappointed if it's a girl). Ben just rubs my belly, kisses it and asks, "Baby? Baby?" Which is good, because up until a few days ago, he thought the baby was further north of my belly and couldn't be convinced otherwise. This made for some awkward moments in public.

I've been feeling movements for several weeks now, but nothing really strong. The movement is way different than it was with the boys. Which, of course, makes me worried that there's something wrong. I know that he could just be positioned differently than they were, but my mind won't let me rationalize right now.