Cecelia at Twenty One Months

Another monthly update for my girl?

I feel like there is nothing new to report this month after reading her last month's post, but that probably means this will be extra long and rambling;)

The biggest change for Cecelia this month is that she is now officially sharing a bedroom with Truman. We kept her in the crib for now but hope to move her into a twin bed in the next few weeks. It's not that she is busting out of her crib just yet, but she is definitely getting pretty tall for it. She seems to hit her head on the top and sides of the cribs all.the.time, just like Truman did at this stage and she now tries to crawl into the crib from the outside. If she wasn't going to have a baby brother who could use this crib in a  few more months, we might push the big bed transition a little bit more but probably not by much. Truman moved to a bed at 22 months and I feel like CC is probably ready, too. It's just that she is our wild child who doesn't always follow the rules so we might have to get creative with double big time railings on her bed or something. We will see.



But so far, CC has loved being in Truman's room. She will say, 'Tru Tru?' in the morning when she wakes up and I'm sure they both appreciate having each other so close in the middle of the night when they are up to no good, calling out for us multiple times. Oh, baby girl. Do I really need to pull the band-aid off and get rid of your nuk all together? Seems like that stupid thing is both the ultimate soother for you at night but if you lose it you will not happily search around for one of the three in your crib with you. Sigh. I don't know---you do like to suck on the nuk when sleeping. I just wish it didn't fall out of your mouth so much, I guess. And getting it down to JUST using the pacifier in the crib has gone better than expected, so maybe it's time to bite the bullet and ditch them forever. I did want to be done with them by age two---just worried the nighttime shenanigans will be detrimental to my health before anything gets better (and then worse again with a newborn).

(will miss her nursery so much!)

Cecelia will go down at the same time as Truman now, usually around 7:30 pm or so. Getting her to sleep in until 6:30 am has become a task and she is waking up a few times from 3 am on crying out. I wish I could just ignore her cries and let her figure it out, but that means another beast will wake and then we have double the trouble. CC naps alone in the crib from about 12-2 or sometimes longer (sometimes less). She loves that nap most days though and had one really perplexing day this month when she refused a nap on me. It was horrible. I pray to God she continues to nap until nearly four years old, like Truman has done. He only dropped his nap because we kind of forced it, in the name of an earlier (dual) bedtime, too. But sister is very very different than her big brother in a lot of ways. This we know by now.


CC is a fantastic eater (ahem, different than Truman). She seems to have a palate for spicy foods that blows me away since mild salsa is usually too hot for me. She's not a fan of raw veggies unless they are dipped in ranch or sour cream or any other condiment. Sister loves to dip random foods in random condiments, actually. Luckily this doesn't make me want to gag quite as much as it did in my first trimester---but come on! Tangerines in ketchup? Gross!

Speaking of gross, she had her first stomach bug this month. Poor baby. Poor mommy. Blech.


Little Miss Independent still likes to take charge of certain activities---like coloring, for instance. She does NOT want my help in opening or closing markers. And yet she will get super frustrated if she cannot remove a cap but prefers to freak out instead of letting me help her. We've definitely had a few more semi-scarring tantrums from baby girl this month, now that I think of it. One night in particular was horrible when I attempted to get her pajamas on for her, and she demanded to wear her filthy clothes instead. She was not pleased with me winning this battle and proceeded to cry a torturous scream for at least 5 minutes. Could NOT calm her down. This happened when she was overtired, too, but there are also mornings that she gets really angry at me for changing her diaper and getting her dressed for the day. Oh, boy. I still brace myself for a different experience with 'the terrible twos' with this child.




And yet, Cecelia is the sweetest, most thoughtful little girl. She gives kisses to people unprompted--me, Truman, Nate, her grandparents, Erin, the list goes on. She loves to talk about the 'bay-bee' in my belly and I'm hoping she presents her loving side to the baby when he comes. My mom brought a little gift for Dizzy's new baby, and upon hearing the word 'baby' Cecelia grabbed the gift bag, walked up the stairs (with us close behind since she DID take a major tumble down our stairs this month), and went right into the nursery. I told mom that 'she thinks this gift is for OUR baby,' and sure enough---she said, 'baby' and put the bag down by the rocker. OMG. That child melts me more often than she frightens me. ;)


CC loves Truman but she also loves to push his buttons. A lot of times I think she gets under his skin meaning well, as she tries to 'help' him with his puzzles by throwing the pieces across the room when he denies her that assistance. She's been on the receiving end of his frustration a few times this month and thankfully she is a TOUGH little girl. But we are definitely working on playing nice with these two because she can hold her own, but only for so long against her much bigger big brother. Lucky for us, they really do play wonderfully together about 75% of the time. Their favorite game is currently 'bridge' when they get all of the couch cushions down from the couch and make bridges with them to the ottoman. This activity results in tears from one or both children about half of the time, but it's been a long winter so we are a bit desperate.


Although CC is very independent and pretty awesome at playing alone for a good stretch of time, she still has clingy moments when she only wants to be carried around by me. I think this relates to being tired but sometimes I feel clueless about WHY she has these phases of neediness. A developmental milestone? Two year molars? General anger towards life? Just needing mommy? I don't mind, really, but it's the times when nothing I do is 'right' for her and she is STILL fussy even when I hold her and console her that are difficult. I'm glad she is in a great phase right now---having GoGo here for a week surely helps Cecelia's attitude. I haven't seen this child smile more than when she is with my mom. They are becoming best buds in no time and we all love it---except for when it comes time to say 'goodbye' again. Won't think about that just yet.


We are really into an 'Ariel' stage with Cecelia now, and she pronounces it 'Eel' which is extra hilarious. She has Ariel socks and an Ariel night light and an Ariel cup in the bathroom for brushing teeth. She doesn't actually care about TV at all yet, but that Little Mermaid is still a friend for CC, I suppose. Sometimes she talks about Elmo, too, but Ariel is her bud. Speaking of talking, CC is still a chatterbox at home but very much the observer with other people. She repeats pretty much any word we say and initiates conversations at home, but not so much to strangers. Truman gets really excited sometimes and will say, 'Mommy, CC knows how to say 'bus' now. And she can say 'truck' and 'car', too.' Pretty sure she has known and said those words for a long time now but it's cute that he picks up on certain vocabulary words as 'important' ones to know.

Something that is notable from this past month: I did not pull out my nice camera ONE TIME. This is a new record and it makes me sad, but at least I've still been snapping away with the iPhone. February has been a quick month it seems, and our CC is edging her way to being two years old! I can believe it though, since she really does act older/more mature than her years most of the time.


We love our girl more than words, and knowing that she will be the only girl sandwiched between two boys makes her extra 'special' or something. And I think the tutus and pink frills will only be amplified from here on out. Can't help it.

(enormous V-day tutu and matching doll outfit)

You're the best, Cecelia. Love you! xo Mommy

Moms Make it Work: Meredith from Oregon

Today's poster is Meredith from La Buena Vida, a blog friend of mine who shares my sleep deprivation woes. Except her lack of sleep is improving as Becca gets bigger and mine is going to start allllll over again in a few more months. I loved her take on being a SAHM and her honesty about her struggles. Enjoy and find the rest of the series here



Hi guys! My name is Meredith, and I (occasionally) blog over at La Buena Vida, and can mostly be found on Instagram as @labuenavidamere. I'm married to Justin, and we have two girls--Lizzy (4) and Becca (15 months).

Julia and I have been blog friends for years now, but I think we originally met as part of the group that posted on the Decorating & Renovating board on The Nest back in like 2007 or 2008. There's a whole group of us, and I love that while most of us started posting right after we got married looking for tips on organizing and decorating our first apartments/houses, we've stayed connected after all these years! 

A few months ago, I saw a TED talk by an author named Chimamanda Adichie. The title of the talk was "The Danger of a Single Narrative", and in it, she discussed how sometimes we hear one story about a group of people and assume that it's the truth for all people in that group. Her talk was about racial and class issues, but I think it absolutely applies to the "mommy wars" between working moms and stay at home moms as well. Julia proposed the idea for this series just a week or so after I saw this talk, and I really love that it highlights how there are so many different stories when it comes to moms, and so many different ways to make it work. Thanks for hosting Julia!

-What is your background story? What was your career/schooling before you became a mom? And now where are you?

I have always loved law. I know that probably sounds crazy, but in high school, I can remember writing every paper that I could on the Supreme Court, just so I could read a few of the cases. I was on the mock trial team, and I basically always thought that I'd go to college, become a lawyer, and live in the city. 
Landscape (3)

Only, I went to college and quickly discovered that I *hated* living in a big city. As someone who grew up in a small town surrounded by lakes, rivers, mountains, and the ocean, I just didn't realize how much I'd miss them. It hadn't even occurred to me that in the city, you really can't see the stars. I ended up transferring back to a university near my small town (the fact that Justin and I were dating long distance and he lived there played a part too, I'm sure), and found the sweet spot for me in Sociology and Criminal Justice. I got to take a lot of law classes, while simultaneously opening up to fields that involved the law, but didn't necessarily involve law school, which I was no longer certain I wanted to do.


During college, I interned at the DA's office as a victim's advocate, and then after that I worked at a nonprofit called CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates), where we advocated for children in foster care. I liked my job at CASA a lot, but because we had access to the child's entire case file, it was an extremely stressful job, and I don't think I realized at the time how much it could sometimes affect me emotionally. I was sort of a crazy person at times. I look back now at some of the blog posts that I wrote during that time or think of comments that I left, and I cringe a little bit. I feel like that person is far removed from the person I am now. But that's neither here nor there...while I was pregnant with Lizzy, Justin and I talked for months about whether or not it was best for me to keep working or to stay at home. Ultimately, we ran the math and discovered that after daycare and gas, I'd only be bringing home about $50 a month by working, and for me, it just made sense to stay home instead. Ultimately, giving my notice felt like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, and I'm really glad that we made the decision that we made, even though it was kind of a leap of faith for us.


-What are the best parts of your situation? What are the biggest challenges? 

 The hardest part for me is that even with a really super stressful job, I was able to "clock out" and go home. That doesn't really happen now. Over the past year, when Becca wasn't sleeping at all, I felt a ton of guilt about basically dropping all my other activities and interests. I mean, you always hear how crucial it is to maintain your identity outside of being a mom, but I was just so tired that I was basically in survival mode. Coupled with that, Justin works a *ton* (his schedule isn't always regular or predictable) and he also goes to go to school for his apprenticeship at night, plays baseball, is in a band, and leads worship at church. These are all things that I *want* for him and want to support him in, but over the past year it was hard sometimes not to feel resentful that he "got" to do all those other things while I was a mom and nothing else. Literally.

This is something that I'm actively working on addressing, because the truth is that the opportunities for me to do things to cultivate my identity outside being a mom are there, and Justin is always supportive of them. I just haven't always taken advantage of the opportunities because things were so rough in the sleep department with Becca. I'm hopeful that now that Becca has weaned and is more consistently sleeping through the night, I'll be able to duck out more often with less guilt (and less exhaustion).

The best part is just being here. I don't think that being a stay at home mom is the "right" way to do things by any means, but I feel blessed that I'm able to stay at home with our kids and have this extra
time with them while they're little. Even when the days are long and hard, it's still a blessing to be here for all the little moments.


-Is this how you expected it to be pre-kids?

I'm not sure that I really had expectations about what it would be like pre-kids.  Both Justin and I grew up in households where we had a parent at home for part of our growing up years and also with both parents working for another part of our growing up years, so I feel like we were both open to whatever we felt would be the best fit for our family, while also recognizing that what works for us may change throughout the years.


-Is this your ideal situation? If not, what is?

 For now, yes, I think it's the ideal situation for us! The only thing that would make it more ideal would be for Justin's work schedule to be more consistent, but that's not something that I can control, so I just try not to think about it ;)

-Do you see yourself making a career change in the next 5-10 years, or is this current set up
staying put for the long haul?

I don't know! I could see myself potentially starting to work again as the girls/any theoretical future babies are in school, but I'm not sure in what capacity. I could see myself going to law school if the university nearby ever opened one, but I'm not sure that I could see myself actually practicing law. 

On the other hand, I currently do some photography on the side. So far, I have intentionally not become an official business (don't worry, I still pay taxes on that income!) due to some small business laws in our state coupled with a heaping portion of self-doubt about whether or not I'm really good enough to do that full time. Sometimes I can picture myself going all-in somewhere down the line, and sometimes I can't. 

Basically, I have zero answers to this question! I'm open to doing things differently, but I'm also open to continuing our current arrangement!

-Tips on how you make this work for you?

For me, the biggest key to making this work is constant, quality, communication with Justin. Talking openly and often about how we're both doing, what our needs are, and how we can support each other. Justin is very much an extrovert and I'm very much an introvert, so sometimes our needs are very different! 

Also, I know first hand that sleep deprivation is a powerful, powerful monster. I didn't deal with it much with Lizzy, but I dealt with it BIG TIME with Becca, and I really went into survival mode over this past year. If you're in the thick of that right now, please know that it's okay. It's okay to drop everything non-essential for awhile. But it's also important (as I'm finding out now!) to add some of those things that make you feel like you back in once things settle down (and I promise, they WILL settle down, eventually).

Once you're out of the sleep-deprivation haze, even if there's dishes that need to be done, laundry that needs to be washed, even if the whole house is a mess, find {at least} 30 minutes in the day to fuel you--whether that be working out, reading a book, doing a craft, or trying something new. I've discovered a love for sewing quilts, rekindled a passion for Photoshop, and devoured a lot of books...each of which brings me a little closer to feeling like me again.


-How do you handle mommy guilt?

For awhile, I had some serious guilt that I had "wasted" my education by staying at home. I mean, here we were (and are) paying my student loans while all I was doing was nursing a baby and changing diapers all day. I mean, did I really need a degree for that? 

I've come to realize that when I was in college, I had no idea what my life would be like. I couldn't have anticipated when I'd have kids or whether I'd stay at home or continue working. I've come to realize that having a college degree will open up more doors in life for me by far, and that even though I'm not actively using my degree right now, I feel like education is never a bad thing. Period.

That's something that I hope we instill in our girls as well!


-Advice for new moms struggling with returning to work outside of the home? Or struggling to decide if staying home is the  right choice?

To me, this is one of those situations where there is no universal right or wrong answer, only what's best for you and your family, right now, at this moment. The truth is that there are *so* many variables when it comes to making that decision for your family--your personality, finances, available daycare options, work schedules at your job--and because of all those variables, it's really hard for anyone else to give you accurate advice about what's best for your family. So the advice that I do have is as follows:

Talk about it. Pray about it. Talk about it some more. Do what you feel called to do. And try to be open to the idea that your needs and your family's needs will change throughout the years--you're not locked in to any decision that you make forever! 

(find the rest of the MMIW series here)

Baby #3: 21 weeks

I'm kind of over the forms for my weekly posts now that I broke out of them last week. I like rambling a lot better;)

2.24.14: I'm twenty one weeks today!


Belly button is barely hanging on. Feeling huge at times and tiny at other times. Still in some regular pants and was shocked to find I've 'only' gained 11 pounds total so far. At my 20 week OB appointment last week, I braced myself to see a 2 pound per week gain after my huge growth spurt from weeks 16-20. But nope--just a pound per week during that time, bringing me to 11 total. Nice. I'm sure I will still top the scales at at *least* 30 total but I'm fine with that. Just prefer to stay less than 40 if possible. Not really worried since perspective is key this third time around---weight should come off eventually and it's more important for me to enjoy this final pregnancy and eat when hungry that let myself worry about the scale. We will see if this zen attitude changes when I'm huge.

My appetite is still out of control every few days, especially in the evenings. For example, Friday night is always pizza night here. I had a few slices, was starving, so we had ice cream. Still starving, so ate some cookies. Forced myself to chill out but I seriously could have had even more! And that is not our usual 'healthy' food either, obviously, but it all tasted great. Luckily we do usually eat healthy, acceptable portion sizes and I can contain the hunger most of the time. Just trying to follow my gut (literally!) and if I'm hungry I eat. Hopefully I don't eat an entire sleeve of Girl Scout Cookies but a few usually does it for me. Cereal is still my fave and clementines are disappearing by the dozen around here. Mmmmm.

Pointy bump last Saturday night, as we were getting ready for our much-needed date night (!).


WOAH. Bump is out of control at this angle!

We both accidentally wore blue to our dinner out. Erin watched our kids for us, since it was our turn for the date-night swap. Truman fell asleep in the van on the way over to Erin's house and was NOT the happiest to be left there when half asleep. He pulled through and they all had a blast….and Nate and I gorged ourselves on fantastic food. Nothing like a dinner with my husband to reconnect, make eye contact, and actually TALK to each other without breaking up sibling fights and spilling milk on the floor. I love date nights so much!

Just because food pictures are extremely appetizing to me, and eating is one of my life's greatest pleasures when pregnant, please note how amazing this meal looks. Then we will get back to the topic at hand;)

Our appetizer platter:

My amazing burger and fries. Had to take half of it home and it was still awesome the next day.

Nate's pork schnitzel and beer. Lucky guy with the brews.

Dessert #1: molten chocolate cake with raspberry sorbet.

And oops, dessert #2. Sticky Toffee Pudding. LOVE. We were only going to split one dessert but they hooked us up at Rumpus Room since we know one of the head honchos at corporate (ahem, Erin!). Don't mind it a bit!

Moving on from the food porn…

Last week was an incredible week overall. We found out baby #3 is healthy, first and foremost. We also found out that he is a BOY. Then three days after our ultrasound, we settled on a name. (!!) Let's discuss. It was the fastest decision ever for us, and it was not difficult to nail down our favorite. It's a name that literally hit me out of the blue one day in Target a few weeks ago---one I've never really heard in real life before, and one that has never been on our lists before. I had a light bulb moment like, 'I love that name. If this is a boy that has to be it.' I mentioned the name to Nate that night and was dreading his response, but he immediately said, 'I like it. A lot.' So I knew that could be it if baby was a boy, but at that time I still really thought it was a girl. However, from that moment of seeing this name I started to get really excited about a baby boy. So I guess it was meant to be;)

I had Nate look through my gigantic phone list again Friday night after the US and simply said, 'Which ones do you like?' He said the one we picked and Grant---which was our number two for Truman. Still LOVE that name but it doesn't feel quite as special or exciting for us anymore, since we've thought about it for over four years. Therefore, baby boy has a different name and we love it. Won't share it on the internets, I'm afraid, but rest assured it goes well with the other names we've picked. Truman loves it and will probably blab it to anyone who will listen, too.

Middle name will either be Nelson (my dad's middle name, but he uses it as his first) or Nathan. I love having family names for our kids' middles---Truman has Nate's middle name and CC has mine. Other top boy contenders (for first names) on my list that Nate did not like: Sullivan (Sully), Gilbert (don't laugh---it's my dad's real first name and he is a junior, I think 'Gil' is the cutest!), Wade, and Walter (Wally). Again, none of these are The Name since Nate shot them all down. Top girl choices of mine: Alice (totally could have pushed for it this time), Phoebe, Rosalie (Rosie), Francine (Frankie), and Gwendolyn (Gwen). I like nick-names and older names apparently. Nate only remotely liked Phoebe of this list, I believe. Baby names are so much fun!

The day after deciding his name, I got totally inspired via Pinterest for baby boy's nursery. At first I was just going to keep Cecelia's light blue walls, repaint the crib, and find a new rug. But after falling in love with my first ever theme for a nursery, I can't help myself but get this room started! Cecelia and I went to Home Depot and bought a gallon of dark 'Seal Gray' paint by Glidden and I did all of the rolling that afternoon when she napped for two hours (and Nate hung with T). Then on Sunday I did all of the trim and the dreaded radiator while both kids napped, plus one 'take Henry for a walk' break. I believe this second part took at least three hours start to finish. It looks so fresh and so different!



Ta Da!

Obviously, the pink roman shades will go along with the rug. Pretty sure I won't use the dollhouse bookshelf either, so those things plus the pink pom pons and I will have a huge hunk of 'girlie' storage in our attic, I suppose. I cannot part with any of it just yet---maybe someday CC will have her own room again and I can re-use the pink?

I cannot wait to pull this idea together and usually I'm not a big fan of cookie cutter 'themes'---this time I love the woodsy, outdoorsy, forest friends theme enough to make it work for my specific tastes. I can't steer away from bright colors, I'm afraid, and want to incorporate an outdoorsy Wisconsin and mountain-y Colorado feel into the room a bit, too. Here is my inspiration board on Pinterest if you care to peek. It will be such a fun nursery for our baby boy…and mostly for me. I have officially remembered that decorating a nursery is truly one of my favorite things ever. No joke. I wish I could just shop and craft and paint furniture all day long to make it happen ASAP but taking my time will be fine, too;) I guess we have plenty of time.

Another big milestone from this week? Nate felt his son hiccuping. Baby boy hiccups already a LOT and is so freaking active, I figured it was time to make Nate feel this kids' shenanigans. Sure enough, hiccups and kicks for his daddy one night. God, I love this stage of pregnancy so much.

A fantastic ultrasound, fun pictures, a great OB appointment, a name, a nursery idea, painted walls, Nate feeling him kick….could I be any more annoying as a 'high on life' pregnant lady? Probably not.

One 'thank god your life isn't perfect' thing you will appreciate is that mornings have SUCKED around here lately. Again. Cecelia and or Truman have both been waking up at 2, 3, 4, and 5 am…taking turns, it seems. Truman will sometimes frantically call us in there to ask, 'Where is CC? Is she still in her crib?' And she always is. Sometimes he will need a tuck in. Sometimes he will wander into our room to inform us he is headed to the bathroom. Sigh. Just do it, child!! And then his sister? Fussing for her pacifier, mostly, but also she seems to just want to start her days around 5am despite our pleads to last until 6:00. If she DOES win the battle and we let her get up that early she is a mess by 9:00. So yeah, lots of night time wake ups over here---blah blah blah, preparing me for baby, whatever. I'm not into it though and something must be done! Room sharing is going really well overall and I really think they'd be going through this weird early-morning stuff in different rooms, too. Heck, they both HAVE pulled this stunt before anyway. Still need to do that 'room sharing update' post but we are still loving the shared space. May officially move CC from her crib into a big girl bed and BUNK the kids in the next few weeks. Holy changes.

Comparing pregnancies: here is the 21 week post from Truman's pregnancy. First reaction is that I've gained 11 pounds this time and was at 13 pounds that first time, so that's good? Plus my belly was still microscopic at that point. We were pretty much settled on his name already but didn't solidify it yet because I wanted to wait---do not remember this in the slightest. Woah. And then Cecelia's 21 week post was sweet because we had just bought our house! Similar belly size to right now, same weight gain, but last time we were nowhere near deciding on her name. Ha! Oh yes, agreeing to Cecelia's name was painful for all involved. Happy that this boy was easier in that sense. Maybe he will be our easiest baby yet? (shouldn't be too hard when it comes to sleep).

So that was last week---a pretty eventual one! Not to mention that Cecelia turns 21 months on Friday, and Truman's fourth birthday is Saturday. Better start working on their posts and preparing for my mom and Memaw to arrive this week! Excited for Truman's party on Saturday and I think we are buying him his first bike for our big gift. Hopefully he can ride it before June if this snow ever melts.

And with that, I guess I have proved that not following a pregnancy form for my weekly posts = mega post with a ton of random stuff in it. Nursery and baby names and a date night HAVE to get mentioned, though!

Moms Make it Work: Pat (Memaw!) from Missouri

We are nearing the halfway mark with this series already--beginning in January we've been reading stories about how moms 'make it work' twice per week. And now I plan to have a total of thirty-five rocking mamas in this series, taking us through the beginning of May. WOW, right? I've had a lot of other readers email to ask about posting for the series, and while I'd like to continue this series indefinitely, I have to draw the line somewhere. I don't think I can continue the upkeep with prepping posts and pictures and email reminders and plugging in the dreaded html after four months of it. I DO want to do this series again in the fall or early next year, though, and have been telling the girls who've contacted me recently that I'd love for them to come forward and offer their stories again at that time. So stay tuned for the continuation of 'round one' of MMIW. It might show up again after May, as well, so be thinking of how you want to word your posts while we wait;)

So to 'celebrate' this series being so much fun, so informative, and so interesting thus far...I'm excited to introduce today's fourteenth poster. Not that I really *need* to elaborate on her post, but I feel like my very own grandma needs an extra boost of introductions.

As I said in a previous post, I considered asking Memaw to post for us one day after an email she sent me regarding the series. She may be an octogenarian but MM is one of the hippest grandmas I know---she is on Facebook, she reads my blog and provides critiques after each post, and emails me at *least* daily just to 'chat'. Memaw was quite proud of herself when she researched for this post and discovered that 'My Life in Transition' is the entire blog, and the posts are each entry within the whole blog. Prior to this discovery she always referred to each post as 'a new blog' and I never corrected her because I *got* it, but how cute is it that she is so proud to be up on social media lingo now?

Anyway, I've been fascinated by Memaw's take on how moms of today's age 'make it work' compared to her parenting norm back in the 1950's.

After Kate's post, Memaw emailed me some very sweet words of applause. I forwarded onto Kate and we both agreed that MM had some awesome feedback. I had warned Memaw that Kate miiiiiiiight have used a curse word or two in the post, something that I'm not brave enough to do since Memaw would totally call me out on it in a heartbeat as an avid reader;) Apparently, MM didn't seem to mind it coming from someone other than her granddaughter. A quote from her email about Kate's post:

"You'll be very proud of me. the "s" word stayed in the background since I was so intrigued not only what this mom wrote but the way she wrote it. It's a winner. I couldn't seem to read fast enough because I wanted to see how she was going to to say what:)  very intriguing. Informational. Honest. And very in love with her child.Total change in her life as  a pro to a stay at home mom. And she's doing it beautifully. She and her husband look like a great team, like you and Nate. I'm getting the hang at what you're doing now and I love it. I am getting the feeling that you are building up your name as a great blogger. Proud MM."

Another email critique that stands out in my mind, and started the ball rolling to consider Memaw's personal take on parenting, was after Erin's post. Memaw knows Erin in real life, of course, and her words in response were so sweet. I forwarded them to Erin and I think they made her day, too;) Memaw's response to Erin's post show she really does have a way with words:

"Just a few things. As a writer, I must say she expresses herself via words.  I didn't know or forgot that you met on blogging.

Henry: Many of his mannerisms remind me of Truman's.  In a few pictures he would have rather not been in front of the camera:)

The black and white of Henry and Erin. totally adorable. Also the first day back at work after the birth of her boys. Very touching.

The "me" time.. I honestly didn't ever think of  that. It wasn't in my vocabulary, but since I've heard this from Erin and you I assume I may have been a little strange. I do remember longing for some alone time and like you and Erin, I found it by watching a movie [too late at night]. Don was gone alot  so I took advantage of the time after the girls went to bed.

But this email isn't about me, but it does cause me to think back to those busy mom days.
When Erin wrote, "Our house is a happy place" that pretty well sums up the balance she tries to keep between home and work. IF there was a dark cloud over the house the majority of the time, like she said, "It's time to do some changing."

I try to be so open to today's moms. Just because I had no desire to work outside the home on a regular basis, doesn't mean that moms who HAVE a desire to work outside the home are wrong not to stay at home.  May I slide this in about my mom years. The girls learned to play by themselves at quite an early age. When I thought they needed some time away from each other I'd either have a friend to come over or often, the girls were invited to a friend's house to spend the afternoon.

Back to you and Erin.  Your husbands. As you know my generation didn't have that co-parent thing going for us. For you to have this is almost too wonderful for me to conceive at times.  I've told you before how I love to watch you and Nate work together around the house and also work together with the kids. 

These blogs are giving me time to think of the way the working moms make parenting work. Trust me, you don't have to be a working mom to feel, at times, that you're doing a lousy job as a parent. The stay-at- homes have those same feelings. IF you and Erin didn't have exceptional caregivers, I am sure you would be most miserable, but as Erin wrote: The kids [the big boys] are old enough to tell parents If "something is amiss."

Both of you moms, for the most part, have very happy, well  adjusted kids. That may probably be the best way to tell you that you're handling parenting/work well.

I want to say so much more, but won't. I will try to stop writing such long emails, but I didn't know how to cut this one short. Please relate to Erin that I appreciated her honesty, and for staying positive with how she juggles her many roles. 
LOve, MM xo"

So now you can see why I wanted Memaw to do a specific post on this blog regarding her take on parenting from two generations before us. She made it clear that she didn't want to give 'advice' to us moms of today, since we all get so much unsolicited advice anyway and can be hard on ourselves without all of that darn advice. But she was down for telling her story and providing some encouragement;) She had no social media, no mommy blogs, and truly no competitive 'mommy guilt' that stems from our ability to know too much about each other's lives (I still love the internet, though!). She didn't understand what 'me time' was before this series. Pepaw was a great father but dads back then did NOT function the way we expect our husbands to contribute to parenting now. The men weren't even in the delivery rooms at birth---something Memaw mentions below. Can you imagine not having your husband there to see the birth of your child? Talk about a different time. Perhaps a simpler time with a lot of positives we could all stand to remember. 

Memaw was a young bride at 21, earned an associates degree in education, and eventually became a published author after staying at home with her three girls. Pepaw was a Southern Baptist pastor so the family moved fairly frequently for his different church homes. My mom is the oldest of her three and each of the girls had two children of their own. So far I'm the only grandchild who has produced great-grand children for Memaw and Pepaw (come on, younger cousins!) and I've loved watching Memaw's matriarch role in our family change from amazing mother, to best grandmother, to heavily involved great-grandmother. She is a huge part of our lives even though she's in Missouri and we are in Wisconsin. She and Pepaw both fly up her to visit us regularly, Memaw probably coming at least four times each year. I think the pull of these great-grandkids gets her every time! Words really cannot express how much this woman means to me and my family. Everyone that meets Memaw falls under her spell of charisma and sarcasm and trust me when I say I fully realize how blessed we are to have such a fun, healthy, energetic great-grandmother for our kids. In fact, Memaw is flying in later this week for Truman's birthday. We can hardly stand the anticipation of MM's amazing home cooked meals and fun games she'll teach the kiddos. 

So without further ado, here is my Memaw's take on how she made it work as a mother in the 50s. Enjoy!


I have been following Julia's posts since their beginning.  I have observed that the concerns of today's moms aren't that much different from the concerns of my mom world.  Because I chose to be a stay-at-home mom, I didn't think there would ever be a time for me to do anything other than be a parent. But the time came!  I got my foot into the publishing world after our daughters began to signal that they no longer needed so much of “me” in their lives. Desiring to write but not having time to do it, my husband suggested that I start journaling after our third daughter was born. I wrote about what was going on in the life of our family. I wrote about the counseling sessions I had with myself when I wasn't sure if I was making a pass/fail grade as a mom. I wrote thoughts about my husband who, I thought, at times, he was not carrying his end of the parent load. I wrote prayers of thanksgiving and prayers that asked God for the strength I needed to get done what needed to get done. Years later, I began to read what I had written in  my journals. With that  material I began writing and getting books published. Some of my books were: “Mom, Take Time.” “I Now Pronounce You Parent.”  “A Frazzled Mother's Guide to Inner Peace” and “Help! I've Just Given Birth to a Teenager.” Once my career took off, and the girls were either beginning or out of high school,  I found myself on the speaking circuit. I spoke about my days as a stay-at-home mom. I also included information I had received from interviewing other moms. Encouragement was the undertone of my speeches, as I remembered how much it meant when someone encouraged me as a young mom.

(New mom to Pam--Julia's mom, our first born)


But to get this post in sequence, I will start at the beginning.

B.C. (Before Children)

Once upon a time, I was a single woman, exploring ways to attract a man worthy enough to marry me!  It happened. The man, Don Baker, fell for my plan.  After we were engaged, we had a few  general conversations about getting married, but  most of my time was taken up finishing my first year of teaching and planning the wedding ceremony while Don was miles away  finishing his college degree. As the date of the wedding got closer, I still only had a sketchy idea about what was involved with the word “honeymoon.” (probably a BIG difference between you and me!)

A.C. (After Children)

Two years after the honeymoon our first baby (Julia's mom) arrived. Before she was born, I had read a baby book written by a man named “Spock.” A few days after our daughter was born I threw away the book. Our lives had no resemblance to what the book said they would be. So, together, my firstborn and I worked together to figure out what I was supposed to do as her mom. I was either totally dumb or extremely intelligent to believe that no one knew my baby as well as I did so my maternal instincts kicked in and both Pam and I stayed alive even without the help of google or the wikipedia. This never -before -heard -of technology worked in my favor, because I had few outside resources to inform me where children should be on the physical and mental growth charts so I didn't have to play the deadly “Comparison Game.” I pray you aren't either!


My husband, the dad:

Don and I knew that it took  two to make a baby. That was the least painful part of becoming a parent. But going through labor while the future dad was in the waiting room wondering what was going on behind closed doors was an extremely anxious and painful time for both of us. He wasn't even there to hear me yell that I was convinced that I would never get through labor and still be alive. But I did...barely.

Don began trying to figure out his dad role, as I was trying to figure out mine. All he had to go on was what he had seen his dad and other dads do.   It was the time when dads worked to “make the living”  and moms stayed home to take care of the kids. Don was somewhat ahead of the times because he did change a few diapers-- not the bad ones-- and walked the floor occasionally with a colicky baby even  though it wasn't his job. He found many ways to interact with his daughter.  Later, his three daughters edged their lives into their Dad's life, and it has remained that way ever since.


One miscarriage and two years later our second daughter, Dana, came into our lives.  She slept great, but I contend it was because I was a more relaxed mom the second time around.  By the time our third daughter, Beth, arrived I was a “veteran” mom.

Stress:  This word came up often in the posts I read. All moms know that babies add stress to their lives and that's okay because “stress” is  a good word. “DIStress” is not a good word.  There is a tremendous difference between these two words. The “not good” word first. Symptoms: Being terminally tired, due to an unconcerned baby who has no idea that a mom needs unbroken sleep to do her job.  Loss of sleep can make a mom think she is not a good mom. It can make her lose all hope that there will ever be a day when she can go to the bathroom without something dreadful happening someplace else in the house while she's away from her post. Distress can make a mom think, “There will never be a time to think “me” instead of “kids”  “These kids are never going to grow up”  “My husband can't do anything right.”

There are times when a mom might need medical attention if distress becomes a daily occurrence. Agreeing to get help is one of the most unselfish decisions a distressed mom can make in the name of “family.” I know!

Stress: The good word. Being a family of two and adding babies to the mix produces a change in  lifestyles that parents read about but don't really believe till they're living it. I did some searching to come up with a word that was similar to the word “stress” that didn't have negative connotations with it.  “Pull” won out. Moms are pulled in different directions-- constantly making changes and adjustments—both of which go with the territory of parenting.  This 'pull' creates energy to get things done at the speed of lightning, even if a baby only takes 10 minute naps throughout the day. The “pull” generates enough energy to fix the semblance of a meal while one child is hanging onto your leg, you are holding one on your hip and you have no idea where the oldest one is or what he is doing. Even in all the confusion, these really are the best  “Time Management Years” of a mom's life.  They teach a mom to know that on any given day, she must decide (for the sake of her mental health)  what has to be done, what can wait till the next day or the next week, and “I'll do it after the kids leave home.”

And then there were FIVE:

After # 3 baby was born, I kept doing the same things I had been doing  with the first two babies, but there was just more of the same to do. I was still tired from the first birth, so I assumed I would stay tired for the next ten years.  I fell into the same pattern of making the best use of my time: Cleaning or at least straightening the house, laundering, grocery shopping; paying bills;  searching for lost pacifiers, favorite blankets or toys—and in between I was doing what moms were supposed to do for/with their kids.




My husband has taught me to not live with regrets since they serve no purpose.  But I still remember my biggest regret. My mother was a tremendous mentor during the first years of my parenting, but I should not have taken her advice when she convinced me not to nurse Beth, #3. Her reasons were very shallow but evidently I believed her line of reasoning. 

Another regret: I was not always consistent in disciplining the children.  I think that being terminally tired  did that to me. When  I was tired or sick, my “patience”  fuse  was very short and I acted before thinking. When I was rested, I used more common sense when the girls needed correcting.

Best times: When colic became history.  When I folded the last “birdseye” and “gauze” diapers. The girls' “first” everything: smiling/ laughing/crawling/ saying “ma ma” before they said “da da.”When  the girls started sleeping through the night. Peeking into their room after they fell asleep. Seeing our babies first thing each mornings and looking at their smiles.  When there were needed breaks between each tooth's  painful eruption.  When I coaxed the girls to crawl and walk to me and a little later when  they let go of my hand and walked by themselves. When I stopped wiping snotty noses. 

I stayed so busy being a mom that I turned around one day [not really] and I could tell the girls didn't need me nearly as much as they did when they were smaller.  But that goes with parenting.  In my wildest dreams I could not have imagined how my little daughters were seeing me through their eyes. Years later I found out.

When one of our daughters was in her 20's she wrote me this letter:

“Dear Mother,

Thank you for all the sack lunches you made me.  As I fix my family's lunches and pack them into brown bags that look just like the ones I carried to school, I think of you!  In my early elementary school years, on the last day of school, I always got to take a sack lunch. I got a sandwich, a small bag of potato chips, a candy bar and a bottle of pop, usually grape.  What a treat!  In my later elementary school years I remember sitting with all the other 'brown baggers'. You always put in a little folded napkin, my sandwich was always cut into 2 triangles, you gave me chips, a piece of fruit, and “dessert.” Occasionally I would receive a secret note, “Have a nice day,“ I love you”or good luck on your test.” That made my day. I was so EMBARRASSED, but I loved it. All the little things you did for me will never be forgotten. You did good, Mom! I LOVE YOU.”


Here's where you and I are different.  You can't look beyond where you are now as a mom because you are so busy giving your kids baths, dressing them, kissing their skinned knees, getting them to brush their teeth, taking care of them when they're are sick,  encouraging them to try new things (as in food), holding them when they are afraid and all those other thousands things that baby books don't tell you about what it takes to be a mom.

Because Julia invited me to be a part of your mom world though this post, I'll wind  up by telling you that it's been a long time since I was a young mom. I am now a seasoned mom and I love it!  I know I was not a perfect mom,  but the love for my girls won out over the mistakes I made. 


Please remember, especially on the days you're the busiest and nothing seems to be going right, that  in the years ahead your grown kids will let you know, in their own way, that “all the little things" you're doing with/for them now will never be forgotten.

(Having three kids, six grandkids, and two going on three great-grandkids makes for some fun family reunions! It also keeps life very interesting since we all live in six different states.)

Four generations of girls!

Baby #3: HIS big ultrasound day

Still riding the hormonal high from the excitement on Tuesday. I want to remember the details of the anatomy scan and also the gender reveal photo shoot, so I hope you don't mind the rambling. Spoiler alert in case you haven't seen my various social media updates: It's a boy ;)

On Tuesday morning, when I was exactly 20w0d pregnant, I was too excited to sleep after 5 am. Granted, this was the first wake up from one of my children but usually I don't have any issues passing out again after early morning shenanigans. Not this time.

I got up and showered around 6, applied actual make up (on a day off!), and did my hair. The kids and Nate gave up on the sleeping fight as a whole around 6:45 and we all went downstairs together. I was supposed to drink 24oz of water from 7:30-8 and then hold it all until my 9:00 ultrasound. I did drink lots of agua but didn't keep track of the time so much. I figured as a third time mom my bladder would be sufficiently full for them to get a good scan either way, but I threw in some coffee for good measure. Tony came over at 8 to watch the kids and I was ready to pee myself by 8:30 as we were on the road to the ultrasound. Fun times.

I had requested my favorite ultrasound tech that has done my other two 20 week scans along with a scan before my D&C and another 'growth ultrasound' with CC at 36 weeks when they weren't sure if my fluid was getting too low. We weren't sure if we could actually get our guy but when he walked out and called my name, I nearly forgot about my bulging bladder. Yes! He is so good and talks through the entire scan, telling us everything he sees and what the 'norms' should be. I told him this was the fifth time we'd seen him over the years, he asked how many kids I have and how many pregnancies I've had (I always bristle a little to say 'fourth pregnancy, third child'), and he asked if we wanted to know the sex. We said we did want to find out, but wanted him to put the ultrasound picture with The Shot in the envelope---just like he had done for Cecelia.

He started scanning and immediately said, 'Wow, look at you, mom!' referring to my huge black hole of a bladder. Um, yeah. Apparently I did down enough fluid. Then he scanned my cervix, and up to the baby quickly. He moved the wand a little and said, 'There is going to be no doubt about the sex of this one, since baby is spread eagle. You are going to have to look away a lot during this scan, I think!' Fine by us, and right after that he did have us look away as he printed off the results. Probably 20 more times throughout the hour scan he told us to look away because of Mister Modest's pose. Oh, boy. The tech told us he was 99.9% sure he would be correct with his guess and has only been wrong once in his career. I remember him saying he was 98.5% sure with Cecelia and 99% sure with Truman---so just his assuredness about the correct sex had me thinking more about a boy.

We remained strong although I admit I peeked a lot, but swear I never saw anything obvious. I was probably more confused after the ultrasound actually. Going in I really felt like this baby was a boy, then with the 'obvious' gender that caused us to look away so often I figured it HAD to be a boy. But once when I peeked I thought I saw the 'three lines' of a girl scan, so really cheating did me no good and I left feeling more confused. I just didn't want to miss out on any time seeing our baby on that screen! Nate was more of a rule follower than I and never peeked, apparently. He also officially guessed girl and I officially guessed boy but I promise that correct guess wasn't because I ruined the surprise at the scan. ;)

The technician walked us through the brain views and measurements, neck fold size (for Down Syndrome screening), the spine for signs of Spina Bifida, the kidneys, the bladder and stomach, the eye lenses (!!), the heart, the blood flow into and out of the heart and kidneys, the arm and leg lengths, and tummy/head size. It all looked really good! I might have been holding my breath especially when looking at the brain and heart. Just when I'd get panicked about something looking off (since I'm a fantastic ultrasound tech!) baby would do something especially cute. We got to see him trying to suck his thumb many times and only correctly landing it in his little mouth once. Adorable. He kept opening and shutting his mouth and his jaw is pretty much the sweetest thing ever. The tech kept saying, 'Wow, this is one active baby' because little man wouldn't hold still for a lot of the measurements. I KNEW I felt a lot of movement! Sure enough, he'd wiggle away whenever the tech tried will him to be still.

All of the anatomy looked healthy and normal, and I remember the tech even saying, 'Look at that perfect shot of the four chambered heart,' a few times. We got to watch the heart in detail for some time since the clinic just changed their policy to include much more detailed measures of the heart, something that used to be done at the Perinatology level and not a standard 20 week scan. Don't mind it one bit!

I was pretty much in awe the entire time and Nate was, too. It's just so freaking awesome to have access to modern-day technology that allows us to see our child in utero---a fully formed, growing, miracle in my belly. Pardon my emotions over this but it's beyond my comprehension how something so beautiful can start with a few cells and grow into an actual person. God really knows what he's doing with this whole gestation thing, huh? Boggles my mind. I love it.

A few of the pictures we got to take home. Little thumb sucker.



Sorry to post a picture of your junk online, baby boy. But this is pretty obviously a boy part, no?

After a little over an hour the tech let me pee (OMG, finally!) and then we did a few more kidney pictures. He reassured us that everything looked great but kidneys are just really difficult to see and he wanted the best possible images---and ended up getting good ones. The tech said that my OB would let me know if they wanted me to come back for anything else but he was pretty confident that all was well. The next day my OB's nurse called me to officially say 'your scan was normal' and although seeing their phone number on my screen will always stop my heart, it was nice to hear those words. Sigh of relief for sure!

We left the office and drove back home, discussing our predictions and our plan of attack to get the kids ready for the photo shoot. We arrived home around 10:45 and CC had just woken up from a nap in her Papa's arms---woah, early nap! I guess she needed it and I was happy she rested so that she wouldn't melt down mid-photo shoot. We got the kids dressed, got ourselves dressed, I packed up my goodie bag full of photography bribes and crafts, and freaked out when Cecelia started pulling the 's' off her shirt before we left. I found some craft glue and glued it back on, but come on, Big Sis!! Let's not destroy GoGo's creation!

We headed out as a family and said goodbye to Tony around 11:15. As we arrived downtown at Andrea's new studio we saw Erin parking her car, too. Perfect timing! We were all super excited and I couldn't wait to get the show on the road. Andrea and Erin peeked inside the envelope right away and did a good job of keeping straight faces after that;) We set up the banners, I fed the kids about half of my snacks before we took a single photo, and we were ready to go!



Truman kept asking, 'When are we going to find out if the baby is a boy or a girl?' over and over again, and we weren't sure if he'd ruin the surprise by yelling it out or something. Cecelia was mostly oblivious and straight faced but both kids were so well-behaved and cooperative, it was shocking.

When Erin put the 'lil' brother' onesie in Truman's hand and the ultrasound in Cecelia's hand, Nate and I had our eyes closed and did not peek. The kids were silent and followed Erin's and Andrea's directions perfectly....so that when Andrea told us to open our eyes we saw the blue onesie right away! Truman just smiled and looked so proud, Cecelia was just staring at Andrea, and after we celebrated a bit T ran up to Andrea to look at the back of her camera. He did this a few times at the shoot--I guess he likes to check his angles to make sure Andrea catches his good side;)

Nate and I hugged and kissed, we picked up the kids and hugged them, and I hugged Andrea and Erin. A boy! A baby brother! I was too excited to cry tears of joy at that moment but they definitely came later on in the day. Not because I secretly wanted a boy, or because I was sad this baby isn't a girl. But I just keep getting hit with emotions about this baby in general. It feels so real now that we've seen him moving around, sucking his thumb, opening his tiny mouth. Now that we know Truman is going to have a brother and Cecelia will be sandwiched between two protective boys----it just makes me feel so blessed. I can picture our family so much more clearly now. And I'm overwhelmed with gratitude for these children and this husband.

Wow, sorry, went down a path of epic emotions there for a second.

Pretty freaking awesome to share in this moment with my girls. All of us are pregnant with our third babies. 11 weeks, 20 weeks, 12 weeks.

I won't post all of the pictures again, since you can see them all here. But these are a few of my faves:

View More: http://andreaweissphotography.pass.us/hornungbaby3

View More: http://andreaweissphotography.pass.us/hornungbaby3

View More: http://andreaweissphotography.pass.us/hornungbaby3

View More: http://andreaweissphotography.pass.us/hornungbaby3

View More: http://andreaweissphotography.pass.us/hornungbaby3

And I made an iMovie with the videos and a few of the still shots set to music. I might watch it 500 more times before this kid is born and will smile through the whole 3 minutes every time;) What a day.

Baby #3: Gender Reveal from Julia H. on Vimeo.

After about 45 minutes we had all of the shots we wanted. All of us walked across the street to the Public Market (for the locals) to grab a bite to eat since it was about 12:30 and we were hungry. I tried to text and email a few people while we waited in line for food but my phone seriously DIED on me mid-text. Uggggh. Really, iPhone? Dead at 12:30pm? I figured I would just call my mom and Memaw from Nate's phone but felt badly about leaving my good friends in suspense while we happily chomped away on our meal.

We drove home and T kept saying, 'Mama, we are having a boy!' over and over. The cutest. Then he announced that he was very tired and closed his eyes at 1:30---I guess he needed a nap after such a big morning! CC stayed awake and was singing to us on the way home, also in a fantastic mood all morning and seemingly very into Nate during the photo shoot. She's such a daddy's girl and will be the only princess of the bunch!

I called Mom and Memaw and when we got home, I charged my phone and sent off my texts and emails. As the kids both napped I tried to do some paperwork, Nate had to get his car's emissions tested, and I eventually caved and went through the videos and iPhone pictures I had waiting for me. The videos are what did me in. Such a happy moment for our family.

I'll say it here: I realize that an elaborate gender reveal photo shoot is not for everyone. Heck, finding out the sex is not even for everyone, let alone making it a big production to 'announce' like this. I get it and admit this is a bit 'attention whore-ish' and fully embrace it. I think all mommy bloggers who put their lives out there publicly probably have a teensy bit of AW in them anyway, or at least we appreciate the connections and positive feedback related to events in our lives. I mean, I'm not calling *you* an AW or anything---but I'm owning up to it for this gender reveal;)

We've enjoyed doing this for the last two kids and I adore the pictures we have of us 'finding out' both times, so to us it's worth the effort and AW-ness. Any excuse for me to make crafts and any excuse to plan coordinating outfits for my family makes me happy. Plus, this is very likely my last pregnancy so I fully intend to make a big deal out of everything I can----there is so much to celebrate. I promise not to have huge photo shoots and 100s of pictures for every week of pregnancy here on out or anything. One time deal for now.

We haven't officially discussed names since finding out it's a boy, but I realized that now we won't have to duke it out over the name 'Alice' for a girl. I wanted that one BADLY for Cecelia and Nate shot me down. I was prepared to put up a serious fight this time around and I'm still in love with that name---although he already told me he was 80% sure he'd never like it. Maybe having a boy was a blessing to our marriage;)

I will share a few of our contenders at some point. Let it be known that Truman said 'I think we should call our boy Cranky,' a few minutes after the shoot and he has not stopped offering this idea since. Cranky Crane from Thomas and Friends, duh. He also threw out the idea of 'monkey' while staring at his lovey and 'Mike Wyzowski' a la Monsters Inc. Hahahahah. Oh, buddy. Thanks for those stellar ideas! I have given him a few of my top picks and he likes any of them that can be related to a train or cartoon of some sorts.

So many hilarious questions are emerging from Truman and I love that he really 'gets' it this time. He will count the number of boys in our family now, including Henry, and announces 'there will be four boys and two girls in our family.' He will randomly say, 'I can't believe we are having a boy! I'm so excited' at any time of the day. Originally he said he wanted a sister but I think his preference changed around the time that my intuition changed from this being a girl to a boy. It's neat to think about Truman and his brother being a little over 4 years apart, just like Nate and his brother. Truman being the oldest of three fits his personality so well---my proud first born, paving the path for his siblings in a lot of ways.

Cecelia and I are going to hold down the pink fort among the men. She will stay our 'sister' and we can have lots of mommy-daughter girlie dates along the way. She will have two brothers picking on her and protecting her. I just wonder if she will be tougher than her baby brother?

And the baby boy will always be our 'baby'. All three kids will have their own personalities and place in the family. I just can't wrap my head around having a boy that is not my Truman. Will he look like Truman? Cecelia? Completely different? Will he sleep like his siblings (please, no)? Will he be super laid back since he will be a third child, or extra high maintenance as our baby? Will he nurse as well as his sibs, be as happy as them, get along with them, be as healthy as them?

We can't wait to meet you, little man. You are already so loved. I hope you love being a part of our crazy family as much as we'll love to have you.

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