Thursday, August 30, 2012


Finally, after months and months of asking me WHEN that baby would get out of my belly .... Anderson and Vivian met Mabel yesterday.

The big sister came into the room, gave mama a big hug, then spotted the baby on the bed and ran to her with the sweetest Vivi smile there ever was.  She crawled right up and snuggled in beside Mabel like she'd known her all her life.  She put her face up against her baby sister's and smiled.  Sisterhood is instinctual, it seems, and I had tears in my eyes knowing how much I love my own sister and that my daughters would have that same joy.  When they're not fighting over My Little Ponies/boys/whatever.

The big brother was calmer, quieter, in total firstborn mode.  He saw the baby on the bed, but first went over to the bassinet in search of something to do, a way to be a big boy and help.  He grabbed a pacifier and went to work.  Like he's been big brothering all his life.  Which he kind of has.

My three (three!) little loves.

And then, they discovered that mommy's bed had BUTTONS.  Up, down, up, down.  "Mommy's bed is like an elevator!"  A bed with buttons, it seems, is just as exciting as a baby.  When you're two and a half and juuuuuust about four, anyway.

One last day of our hospital "vacation" (room service!  naps!  housekeeper!  narcotics!), then back to the woods for a few more weeks before the big move.  We are doing great and just cherishing the quiet one on one time with our newest while we have it.  Because if yesterday is any indicator, life's about to get wild.  I hope they send me home with narcotics.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

hello, mabel.

Meet Mabel Gray.

As it turned out, she was as eager to meet us as we were to meet her.  Her Friday birth date turned into a Monday birth date as contractions came and came again, sending us to the hospital earlier than we'd expected wondering whether that day would be the day.  Indeed, it was.  Mabel was ready.

And at 7:05pm on Monday evening, our baby girl arrived.  A peanut by our family's standards, at 7 pounds and 14 ounces of flailing, screaming perfection.  We're resting, recovering, and falling more in love with our Mabel girl by the minute.

Background on the name: our Mabel is named for J's beloved mamaw, Mable.  Baby Mabel's middle name, Gray, is in honor of my grandpa Gary.  It's a perfect fit for our sweet girl.

Friday, August 24, 2012


I half thought that having baby Leo over yesterday while we babysat him for a few hours would make me less impatient about having baby #3 here.  Like, I was picturing tears and out of control madness and all kinds of insanity that would make me less "OMG IS IT NEXT FRIDAY YET" and more "stay in there until October for all I care, baby."  Too bad baby Leo happens to be about the nicest newborn I've ever been around, totally content to break in baby #3's Rock & Play and stare at the ceiling fan, and too bad my kids loved him and were gentle and quiet and pretty much made it seem like having a third child will be no big deal at all. (Which, obvi, will not be reality for longer than two hours after bringing baby sister home.  But for two hours yesterday, it was easy peasy.)  So, plan?  Backfired.  It just made me more anxious for next week.  NEXT WEEK!
Anderson, to Leo: "Hi."
Anderson, to Leo: "HI."
Anderson, to Leo: "HIIIIIII????"
Anderson, to me: "Why Leo not talking to me?  Because he doesn't have any teeth?  That's weird."

Monday, August 20, 2012

waiting. hardest part. true fact.

That Tom Petty really knew his shit.  Waiting?  It totally is the hardest part.  We feel suspended in Waiting Land right now.  I know, I knooooooowwwwww - that's no way to live, waiting for the next thing to happen when there are perfectly good days right in front of your face to be living.  Seize the day and all that.  I KNOW YOU GUYS.  But seriously?  When you've got a baby's butt in your neck and her head hanging somewhere around your mid-thigh, and you're living in a lake cabin made for vacations with two kids and three cats with all of your useful and beloved belongings gathering dust in your perfectly nice family-sized house across the country, and you're DYING to do the whole nesting thing but have no nest to actually, you know, "do" and pinning crap on Pinterest just isn't doing it anymore .... tick tock.  Waiting.  Hard.  Tick.  Tock.

I saw the OB this morning for my second to last ever OB appointment.  Which, really, was the highlight of my week because it meant I had a sitter for the kids and got to drive down to Wausau with MUSIC on and not cartoons, and got to eat at Jimmy John's afterward and read a book.  And go to Target, because duh.  All was well at the doctor.  Alarming, to find out your baby is measuring 40 weeks when you're 37 and two days, so really she's the size she should be when she comes out but she has ten full days to gestate and get bigger and bigger and bigger and she'll probably come out needing 18-24 month clothes or speaking in sentences or with a full set of teeth or something.  But somehow, she's managing to gain the weight without it reflecting on MY weight, so that's magical.  Actually it's not magic, it's me eating the blandest most boring diet in the whole world to minimize the night pukes.  Likesuchas the super tasty bowl of Rice Krispys I just had for dinner when what I really wanted was a freaking pizza.  Yays!

37 weeks, 2 days.  Officially out of shirts that fully cover the bottom of the belly and pretty sure my thighs DO NOT look that big in real life.  But fresh highlights!
Uncomfortable, impatient, but really .... just grateful, underneath it all.  We have a roof over our heads, baby three appears to be thriving, and soon enough all the waits will be over and life will be crazy in all the best ways.

And I can eat pizza again without vomming.


Friday, August 17, 2012


Bug got his hair cut today.  We've been on a hair cut hiatus this summer.  I was trying to be cool with the shag, and the curls that grew curlier as the shag got shaggier .... but I'm just not "cool mom" when it comes down to it, at least when it comes to moppy hair.  Though he was thrilled as ever to head to the barber shop (really - he LOVES that place), Bug was none too impressed that his MOM was taking him there.  That's typically daddy duty, one of their "man things", but daddy was busy.  And I was in a mood, if you know what I'm saying, so it was this or I was shaving his shaggy head at home.  I don't think V and I embarrassed him too badly in man-land.  Sister flipped through a fishing magazine and halfway through a hunting one until I saw a DEAD BEAR and yanked it (just sleeping, V, that teddy bear is just sleeping), and I refrained from taking pictures in front of the barber.
seriously.  he was that excited about the cut.
probably because they give him candy.
Otherwise, just your average Friday.  Oh, except for the gas leak my pregnant nose discovered - currently being repaired, LOUDLY, so both of my kids are awake well before they're supposed to be and NOT happy about that.  Nobody else could smell it, not even the WPS guy who came to investigate, but there's no fooling a pregnant nose.  I WIN.  Oh, there was also the toilet that overflowed and spread water all across the bathroom floor before A came running out yelling "Mom!  Mom!  There's pee water EVERYWHERE!"  Awesome.  (And no, he didn't flush his Elmopants OR his real pants, all clothing accounted for.)  I've got a pile of sopping wet towels to wash, whenever the gas/hot water is turned back on I mean, which is totally what I wanted to do with my Friday afternoon, anyway.  Wash soaking wet toilet water towels with cranky short-nap kids underfoot.  While 508 weeks pregnant.  Sounds way more fun than sitting by the lake with my feet up reading a book and sipping lemon water, but not like THAT would be possible even if it were possible to hire a nanny and waddle down to the lake, because it's like 40 degrees outside.  68, tops.  

Finally ..... our third child will be here in exactly 2 weeks.  Two.  Weeks.  I got in gear and packed my hospital bag (I mean, suitcase), so that makes it all the more real that there's going to be a hospital stay requiring a hospital bag/suitcase.  Not like I'm likely to need it a moment sooner than scheduled, because, you know, cervix of steel and all ...... but you never know.  I won't be caught at the hospital without five hats for baby girl and my brand new robe and yoga pants, that's for sure.  TWO WEEKS!  I'm getting more excited by the day to just have her here already.  I'm not sleeping, anyway, so I might as well be doing something other than coughing up acid and groaning my way through five-point-rollovers during my five nightly wakings, right?  I mean, doesn't feeding a tiny cuddly newborn sound like a whole lot more fun than that to YOU?  Andplusalso, having the baby here means it's almost Colorado time, which means getting to our new house and seeing our stuff (and our dog) and getting A to school and getting life back onto a more normal routine.  I'm craving that, for sure, even if it's going to be a "3 kids 4 and under in a new city" whackadoo kind of routine.

Monday, August 13, 2012

two very shocking things

I have two things to tell you.  Both are shocking.  Sit.

FIRST.  I took both of my kids to my 36 1/2 (!!!!!!!) week appointment this morning.  But that's not even the really shocking part, that's just the "third baby" part, and also the "not good at asking anyone to help me EVER GOD FORBID" part.  Anyway, I took them both, and it was ...... uneventful.  For real!  They both sat in their chairs and played with their Leapsters and ate animal crackers they kept dropping on the germy chair and then putting into their mouths which totally made me gag but WHATEVER.  They weren't screaming or choking each other with the blood pressure cuff cord or asking me too many questions about why the nurse made me take my pants off.  And when the nice nurse ushered them out to an adjacent room so the doctor could, you know, do doctory things, they just walked obediently right on out of the room.  I fetched them shortly after, they were covered in stickers, but the nurse wasn't crying or anything!  I drove them directly to the park, so impressed was I with their model behavior.

SECOND.  I gained zero pounds since my last appointment 12 days ago.  You don't even KNOW how huge this is, because I can count on one hand the number of zero gaining appointments I've had in my collective pregnancies, and I'm telling you- that grand total would be somewhere around, um, zero.  I've got a hunch it had more to do with being swollen in the heat wave of the entire last month and NOT being swollen after the past few days decided to be all autumnal and such .... but it was SO NICE.  I don't look at the scale anymore, and I requested the nurse not tell me because then when the number is bad I go home and throw out all of J's tasty foods and eat lettuce for dinner and cry and THAT all makes for a really fun household, you know?  But the doctor, when doing my belly measurement, was all "let's just make sure this number looks right since you didn't gain anything since your last visit" and I was all "I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!"  And for the record, yes, the belly measured right at 37 weeks.  So baby's not shrinking or anything, I'm just not a hippo this week.  I'm sure next week I'll break the scale in half or outgrow my last pair of sweatpants or something.  Stay tuned.

Were you shocked?  Or slightly disappointed about my overselling/underperforming with the whole "shocking" thing?

And now, I need to go open more windows.  I thought shredded buffalo chicken sandwiches for dinner sounded all amazing a few hours ago, so I threw them together in the crock pot.  And now?  The SMELL of it is giving me heartburn, and our current size small house smells like one big pot of buffalo chicken.  So since I'd rather not be up vomiting acid at 2am, I moved the crock to the garage and will probably have a PB&J for dinner.  Wah, me.  18 days until no more puking in my mouth at night! YAYS!

Some randomness:
vivi, rolling like a homie.
the family, washing my car, because i said so.
dear nap time, i love you SO SO SO MUCH.
And no, that's not a particularly good book I'm reading.  I'm 25% of the way through 'What the Nanny Saw' and I'm just not into it so much.  My mind keeps wandering or I fall asleep.  But I spent $12.99 on it and quitters never win and winners never quit, you know?  Has anyone read this?  Does the remaining 75% pick up any?  Or do I cut my losses?  Please advise.  Or if you have a great book rec, send it my way.  Something light and easy and with minimal big words because I'm too tired for big words, you know?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

the only child

At first, the idea of J and A flying out to Colorado for a week without me to handle the movers and the setup and do fun Colorado things while I'm grounded back here near my doctor?  Not going to lie, made me pouty.  And actually dropping those two off at the Minneapolis airport on Sunday and driving away with a screaming Vivi who DEFINITELY knew she'd drawn the short "stay with mommy" straw was not fun.  Especially when she threw in a "I don't want you, I want my DAAAADDDYYYY!"  I cried, she cried, we both sniffled and pouted our way down I-94.  Then found a mall and felt WAY better, but I digress.  The point is, I was a little sad about this week.

But it turns out, a week with my soon-to-be middle child was just what we both needed.  It's been nothing but My Little Ponies and Minnie Mouse movies and play food cake baking and coloring.  With only the pink and purple crayons, might as well throw the brown one out, "THAT'S FOR BROTHER NOT GIRLS."  I haven't raised my voice, I haven't counted past one (and that was just once when she nearly strangled the cat with a strand of "pearls") (because cats are princesses even if they are boys, FYI), I've let her change her pajamas four times a day and run around barefoot in the rain dancing "wike a pwincess" despite the sniffly nose she's come down with.  We've done her very first pigtails, dressed and undressed her babies fourteen times each before she tucks them into the stroller to go shopping and bring me treasures from around the house.  (Including Grandpa's poker stash, NICE FIND!)  We've sat out on the dock for snack time in a most companionable silence, fed the fishies, cooled off in the lake in various stages of undress (her: total, me: a bikini nobody but my kids are allowed to see me in).  Mealtime is Vivi time, nothing but quesadillas and mac and cheese and slices of wheat bread plain and blueberries to her heart's content.  Basically, I've spoiled her rotten and she's rewarded me with snuggles and unprompted "I love you"s and bedtime routines that take five seconds flat and a breathtaking appreciation for the easygoing, enthusiastic, big loving manner of my second born.  We miss our boys, no doubt, and she's stopped mid-play at least a few times a day to ask me if it's time for brother and daddy to come home now.  But they will be home, very soon, and while you KNOW I'm going to cry happy tears to have them both back with us again .... I have a feeling this one on one time with Miss V will be a sweet memory I'll carry with me forever.  Her days as my only girl are dwindling, I'm all too well aware.  And while a sister will undoubtedly be a cherished part of her life, she deserved this time with the spotlight all her own.

In honor of my "only child", my favorite Vivi shots from the past week.

Monday, August 6, 2012


8.75 kids, three happy to be reunited mommies, and three great dads on hand to man the grill and keep the kids alive by the lake .... GTG2012 was a smashing success.  The weather wasn't as perfectly lake-worthy as we'd hoped, but hanging out in sweatpants watching the Olympics and eating (Red Pepper salsa, you guys, OMG!) turned out to be just as much fun.  Maybe more fun.  I maybe overdid it on the snack purchases, but HELLO, who put the pregnant lady in charge of bringing snacks?  Maybe I did.  I don't know.  All I know is my kids ate their body weight in cornpuffs and Twizzlers and I didn't even care.  That much.

It was a very good weekend.  You know you've had fun when a whole 12 hours after we pulled away from the lake house, we were back at it, emailing about next year.  I can't wait.  I might even stay up past 10pm next year!  And not weigh 400 pounds!  And bring a veggie or two!

In the grand tradition of GTGs, the group photo.  Quite an effort.

don't mind the mystery limbs on the far right.
GTG backstory located here.  In case you cared.  Which I'm guessing 0.8 of you do, but look at the BABIES!  They exploded in size in the past 12 months, it seems.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Goodbye, house in the woods.  It's a done deal as of 10am today, when we signed a stack of papers and collected a check and handed over keys to giddy buyers and walked out the door of the Realtor's office one house lighter.  Then got in our car, realized we had no kids, no mortgage (for two days), and a significant check with our names on it .... and briefly entertained the idea of hopping on a jet to Fiji.  However, we'd miss the kids, I'm probably not allowed to fly to Fiji, and there might be a pesky little lawsuit if our funds don't show up for closing #2 in Colorado.  Oh, well.  It was a fun little fantasy for the thirty seconds it lasted, anyway.  And it distracted from the obvious emotions I was having over signing away a house we really, really loved.  Relieved as we were to have a quick sale, it was bittersweet to see the (very nice) new people jump in their car and imagine them headed over to "our" house to unload their boxes and repaint their rooms and make it all theirs, not ours.

We said our goodbyes last night.  Goodbyes are hard.  For me, anyway.  I lingered in the kitchen remembering holidays and birthdays gone by, stood for awhile in the foyer thinking of the friends we welcomed there and the late winter afternoons when the kids would stand with their faces pressed to the glass watching for daddy's headlights, and sat on the front steps taking in those last moments while the kids played ball in the yard.  The rest of the family was just ready to lock up and go get dinner.  Onward and upward and hungry and such.  But they humored me with a few last front step shots.  They were our tradition here, you know?  Pretty red backdrop, pretty afternoon sunlight, pretty trees reflected in the windows.  Remember the very first front step shot? WHEN THEY WERE TEENY TINY BABIES?  :::sob:::
october 2010
So last night, with these last photos to take with us, we finally closed the door and drove away and everyone waved until the house was out of sight.  Goodbye, house in the woods.  May you be as good to your new people as you were to us.  Which was very, very good.