Summer summer summer time for a drink.

Part of becoming a parent is slowly accepting that every stupid saying or cliché about having kids, especially ones you’ve heard from your own parents, is 100% true:

There is nothing like the love you have for your child – true

You will worry that you could never love another child as much as your 1st but somehow you do – true

Your dog will become significantly less important to you with each child – sorry, Lola, totally true

There’s nothing better than a well-rested kid – oh sweet Jesus, true

Summer break is not a break for you – OMFG I FEEL LIKE I’M GOING FUCKING CRAZY THIS SUMMERRRRRR!!!

Last summer I was so good about finding fun activities and camps for the boys to do. I knew I was going to be super pregnant and fat and miserable and cranky, so I planned. This summer? I haven’t done shit. Nothing. The only real “planned” activities we’ve done have been things other people have planned in my moms group. That and backyard swimming in the blow-up pool I got from Target. Speaking of which, helpful hint: if you buy a blow-up pool from Target, go ahead and also buy a quick pump so that you don’t spend hours each day smashing your foot down on a manual air pump that might as well be a fucking toddler trying to blow out birthday candles it’s so goddamn slow!! Andy bought a pump for a camping trip (yes I did say “Andy” and “camping trip” in the same sentence), but I when I used it on the blow-up pool for the first time, I had to hold back tears of joy. THE EFFICIENCY!! Man. It’s the little things, you guys.

So besides swimming and play dates, I’ve mostly been yelling at my kids all summer. Yelling at them to stop fighting. Yelling at them to get their fucking clothes on. Yelling at them to finish their food. Yelling at them to stop jumping on the couch. YELLING AT THEM TO STOP YELLING!! Yelling at them to go the fuck to sleep. Please. Just go to fucking sleep. As you may or may not know, all 3 of my children are sleeping in the same room. Like a goddamn orphanage. And for a long time, it was great. They went to bed great. They didn’t get up too early. Great. However, the past few weeks? Mmmmm…..not so great. Nick and Adam will stay up for sometimes over an hour just chit chatting away. Sometimes yelling. Sometimes fighting. Sometimes playing. Sometimes throwing all the pillows and blankets onto the floor. Sometimes wrapping themselves into a cocoon of blankets. Sometimes sneaking into each others’ beds. Sometimes lowering toys down to the bottom bunk using some kind of pulley system. But never sleeping. So Andy and I take turns marching up the stairs and threatening to take away some toy or Legos or fun planned activity (joke’s on them, I don’t plan any fun activities!) And eventually they fall asleep. But the whole process really fucks up our lives. We have a sleep book we like to reference called “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.” (Easy now! Try to hold back your eagerness to get your hands on this steamy, hot thriller.) So Andy decided to try to figure out why our children were turning into anti-sleep zombies. Turns out, Nick is an asshole. LOL LOL JK JK. I mean, he is an asshole, but more specifically, he was over-napping some days and under-napping other days, so it was screwing with his bedtime routine. (Turns out kids really need consistency and routines and summertime doesn’t really lend itself to being either of those things. Refer to above: Summer break is not a break for you). To remedy the jacked up schedule, the book suggests you only allow your kid to nap 1 hour a day (you’re supposed to set a timer), and make sure to keep a consistent routine at bedtime. Let me preface by saying, we’ve tried this method the past few days, and it seems to be working pretty well. And I know it sounds terribly straightforward and simple. However, you should know that when you are a parent, and you’re being asked to wake up a napping child whom you KNOW needs more sleep, every fucking bone in your body will resist. You will start to question whether or not it’s the right decision. You will start to question ALL your life decisions. Am I where I want to be in life? Why haven’t I accomplished more? Should I have waited longer before chopping all my hair off again? Is it too soon?!?!? PRESSING QUESTIONS!!!! But, after a few minutes of being kind of pissed and groggy, Nick has gotten his shit together and seems to keep Adam up for less time at bedtime. And when the kids are quiet and in bed, there is no greater time in all of the world.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, and I know you’re just DYING to know what is new in the lives of each my children. So let me fill you in…

Adam is going to turn 5 in August and go to Kindergarten. Fucking. Kindergarten. He got into a public charter school in the KCMO district called Citizens of the World and I’m prrrrretty jazzed about it. I will tell you, I’ve had to grapple with conflicting emotions surrounding charter schools and whether or not that’s the best decision and if I’m being hypocritical saying I’m pro-public schools and then going with a charter and if Adam’s taking the spot of a kid who doesn’t have many options for quality schools and if I’m choosing to send him there simply to be exposed to kids from different races and cultures and backgrounds but is that treating people of color like a commodity that boosts my own kid’s resume? etc. etc. ETC… Parenting comes with a fuck ton of guilt and you’re constantly feeling like you’re being judged or criticized for making the wrong decision. So besides saying, “Screw you! I’m doing the best I can!!” (to the imaginary people judging me right now), here’s justification for my decision: I believe Adam is ready to go to kindergarten. The public school in our district doesn’t allow kids to enroll for kindergarten unless they are 5 by August 1 (which Adam will not be). We are not Catholic so it doesn’t make sense (for us) to pay for him to be part of a faith community we no longer identify with. We aren’t interested in paying an amount comparable to college tuition (for real) for him to go to a private school. We want to stay in our community and have Adam be exposed to the entirety of our community – not just the areas that house people who look just like us. If you can’t tell, I’ve been feeling strangely defensive/nervous/excited about our choice. But above all else, I think Adam’s going to really love it. He started reading in the past month or so, and it’s been pretty wild listening to him read stories to us and to Nick and Tori. This summer, his behavior has been a little more challenging than usual. (Probably because of the lack of fucking planned activities). So I think he might be just as excited as I am for school to start up again. I try to tell him that he’s the big brother so he needs to set a good example and not do things like push Nick or physically pick up Tori and move her away from his Legos (although if I’m being honest, it’s kind of nice when he moves her so I don’t have to). The other day I was talking to Adam about an online story I read. It was about 2 preschool friends who ended up getting married when they were older. I asked him if he thought he would marry any of his preschool friends and I started listing some of them. Annabelle? Noooo. Charlotte? Nooooo. Lo? Nooooo. Tripp (a boy)? To which Adam said, “No because Tripp is a boy, too.” (Cue fireworks in my brain, flashing lights, sirens. Important teachable moment happening!! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!! Do NOT fuck this up!!). I started explaining how boys can marry boys and girls can marry girls and it just depends on who you love. Adam thought about it for a while and was like, “Ya, like I love Nick and Tori.” (fuck fuck fuck fuck you’re ruining this!) I tried to further explain that there were different kinds of love, but as soon as I started, Andy gave me a death glare from the other room and mouthed, “What are you doing??” Which, to be fair, I have no fucking idea.

Ohhhh, Nick. Sweet little asshole, Nick. Besides the whole sleeping/not sleeping bullshit, Nick has pretty much been the same. He’s getting better at building his own Lego creations and making up stories about different characters or construction vehicles. Much like Adam, he pronounces certain words with a kind of accent. And once he decides on a pronunciation, he will NOT be corrected. I got into a straight-up argument with him about how to say the word “regular.” He says, “regweelar”. So I tell him, “no, it’s regYOUlar”. “Regweelar!” “No, regYOUlar.” “REGWEELAR!!” “REGYOUUUUU know what? Who fucking cares, you’ve clearly already won this argument.” (The ending to every argument you decide to engage in with a 3-yr-old). Nick has also started giggling when he gets in trouble. As in, I grab him and take him to “time out” on the chair and he looks at me and grins and fucking giggles. So, that doesn’t make me want to hulk out or anything… And as much as he drives me crazy, he does have some funny little quirks. For example, he enjoys “hiding” things in random places. I found the TV remote inside the case of our couch pillow. When I went to get my sunglasses out of their case, I pulled out a Lego instead. I found my driver’s license inside the Paw Patrol airplane (I should probably keep better track of that…). And I’m afraid Nick will never be known for being light on his feet. When the kid runs, the whole fucking house shakes. There’s no heel-toe movement, it’s just FOOT, FOOT, FOOT, FOOT. And it’s always when Tori’s napping. In fact, both boys find it impossible to not do the loudest things in the world while Tori’s sleeping. It’s probably part of their evil plan to destroy my life. Seems the most likely explanation.

Well, any hope I had for having a baby that actually sits still is out the fucking window. Tori is all over the goddamn place. Her favorite activities include pulling up on everything, getting into cabinets, pulling everything out of cabinets, finding any and all cords, putting cords in her mouth, finding any and all Legos, putting Legos in her mouth, pooping out small Legos, crawling through the dog door, eating the dog food, climbing up the stairs, pushing the front door open, climbing onto the stool and onto the couch….basically, ALMOST FUCKING DYING EVERY FUCKING MOMENT OF HER LIFE!!! And maybe she wouldn’t put herself into such precarious situations if she was my first kid. If I had the time and ability to fully baby-proof and watch her every move. But she is my third kid and I have a third-time-parent mentality. Soooooo good luck, girlfriend! Along with being the largest of my fat ass newborns, Tori is going to be the first to walk. It seems like when I’m least expecting it, I look over and she’s just standing up. Giving me a ridiculous, fucking adorable grin, as if to say, “Muahahaha!! Nothing is safe!!!!” And, as with most milestones, I have a strange mix of emotions. I keep encouraging her to take steps and helping her walk while holding my hand and then I’m hit with overwhelming sadness and panic because once a kid starts doing something, they don’t stop. I can’t ever go back to having a kid that doesn’t walk once they start. It’s a very strange feeling. I’m constantly trying to get Tori to say, “mama”. But, she must be in on Adam and Nick’s plan to destroy my life because all she seems to say is, “dadadadada.” If you ask her where the fan is, she will point to it most of the time. If you ask where her doggy is, she will look right at Lola. (She fucking loves Lola). If you ask where Alexa is, she will look at the fucking Amazon Echo. But me? Her primary caregiver? Source of food and love and comfort? Vessel that shoved her out into the world?!?! She won’t ever look at me when asked where mama is. Betch.

Besides not planning anything and just trying to hold onto my sanity each passing day, this summer has been filled with mice. Yes, mice. It was first discovered that we had mice when my sister was babysitting and Lola started going insane; running after something that had scurried across the kids’ playroom floor. Lola eventually went outside and paced around in the garden, so I presumed (hoped to God) that she had “taken care of” the mouse and I didn’t need to worry about it anymore. This hope was strengthened when I found an almost-beheaded dead mouse in our driveway a couple days later. In my naïve mind, I assumed Lola had killed the mouse, taken it into the yard, and then the mouse’s family had dragged its body into the driveway to shame us for bringing such tragedy upon them. Obviously. So, imagine my surprise when another mouse was spotted walking out of our bathroom into the guest room!! I went and got the traditional mousetraps, thinking it would only take 1 or 2 nights to be rid of our mouse problem. WRONG! (#trumpsamerica). Instead of catching the mouse, we were essentially feeding the mouse. Each morning we would find the trap, still set, without the food. As you might imagine, I got pretty frustrated. Also, back it up. Shouldn’t my fucking dog be able to take care of the mouse?! Isn’t that one of the reasons people have pets in the first place? To protect them from strangers and unwanted animals?!?! Goddamn Lola. Anyways, in one of my obsessive searches, I decided to push the couch back and check. Since I had the couch moved, I thought I might as well clean behind there, so I got out the vacuum and sucked up an embarrassing about of dust and dirt and food. At one point, I noticed there were lots of tiny little brown things that all looked kind of the same. It only took me a second before I realized they were mouse turds. So, naturally, I didn’t want to just leave them there. I vacuumed them up. While I didn’t find the actual mouse, I felt better about the couch area being clean. I decided to Google “mouse turds”, like you do, just to make sure that’s really what I saw. The good news is, I was right. They were mouse turds. Duh. We have a mouse. Mice enjoy turding it up wherever they walk. Hence, mouse turds under the couch. The next sentence I read was something like, “Whatever you do, don’t ever sweep or vacuum up the mouse shit because some mice have Hantavirus that lives in its poop so when it’s vacuumed it shoots Hantavirus out into the air and then you breathe it in and your whole fucking family DIES!!!” I mean, that was the basic gist of it. So I immediately fell into a deep, dark, Internet hole of despair. I was absolutely convinced that I had killed my family. The mouse turds were probably everywhere. Knowing Tori, she had probably rolled around in mouse turds. Maybe even had some for a snack. All I could do was just wait for all of us to get fevers and throw up and shit until we die. I texted Andy, apologizing for killing our family, and I was literally on the brink of tears, obsessing about it. Listen. How is that supposed to be common knowledge? Whose instinct, upon seeing mouse turds while vacuuming, would be, “Waaaaait a minute. I think this is a potentially fatal situation, I should probably just pour bleach all over these tiny brown specks and then burn the goddamn house down so my family doesn’t breathe in a deadly virus. And then die.” Nobody thinks that! Unless you work for the fucking CDC!! So this fear started to takeover my life, which means it also took over Andy’s life. We ended up catching the mouse on a sticky trap. Its tail got stuck and it dragged the trap into the next room. So Andy found it and euthanized it in the toilet…… was trying to kill us, OK?!?! What were we supposed to do?? Dress it in little pants and a bowtie and call it Stuart Little?! No. That movie is fucking MISLEADING! Even though the mouse was gone, I was obsessed with finding any and all mouse turds. And I guess you could say, the moral of the story is: 1. No one got Hantavirus (shocking, I know). 2. I got back on anti-anxiety meds. Huzzah!! Praise Be!! Under His Eye!! Can I tell you how amazing anti-anxiety meds are? I’ve been off and on them since I was 19. They are fucking life changing. Every time I start back on them, I wonder why I didn’t start earlier. Sure, I still check my pulse at least once a day just to make sure it’s still there, however, I don’t spend hours trying to kill an incredibly rare virus that isn’t there. I mean, if Lexapro is looking for a poster child, I’m it. Lexapro: So you don’t burn your house down looking for mouse turds.

IMG_1755As much as I am an emotional robot, I feel like I need to say that Andy has been a fairly exceptional husband this summer. He surprised me on our anniversary with a weekend trip to New York City to see my favorite Broadway shows and go backstage (he obviously reeeeally wanted to get laid). I don’t work over the summer, but Andy still takes Tuesday afternoons off, so I get help with the kids to restore some of my sanity. He’s incredibly patient with my irrational fears and anxieties and supports whatever decisions I make as far as being on or off medication. He also reads any and all articles regarding Trump, so I rely on him to keep me informed about the state of the world, knowing he will filter as needed to keep me from spiraling into a full on depression. Pretty much everything he tells me can be summed up as: “Trump still sucks. Here is how he was a creep/a liar/an idiot today.” Or, “Psssh, caring about emails was soooooo 2016.” (You guys didn’t think I could get through a post without talking about Trump, did you? Don’t worry. I still hate him.) But I am grateful to have had lots of family time this summer. I know it’s only a matter of time before we will have 1 million activities to work around, so I can deal with going a little stir crazy. Because when I’m not losing my mind, I’m having a lot of fun being silly with my little monsters. Plus, I feel like summertime means you can start drinking whenever you want, right? So that’s worth a little crazy.IMG_1794



I’ve sat down to write a blog post several times over the past few months. Each time, it starts innocently enough, but inevitably becomes political. It’s been pretty hard for me to think about much else, especially since inauguration day. My anxiety became so overwhelming at one point that I even added a new “resolution” to my list: Limit social media time. I haven’t been the best at it, but I did delete Facebook from my phone. Although I can obviously access Facebook in other ways, I will say that it has made a huge difference. For some reason, Facebook especially, seems to be full of misinformation and division and straight up dumb shit. So, I know that you have all come here to read about my ridiculous failings as a parent, and never fear, my devoted millions of fans, I will deliver, however, I would be remiss if I didn’t at least say…

Donald Trump is the worst. You guys!! I still think he’s the worst. I’m “giving him a chance”, but he continues to be the worst. He’s the worst. Maybe you don’t think he’s the worst, but I reeeeeeally think that when we look back on this, he will be remembered as the worst. THE WORST! That said, if you voted for Donald Trump, it doesn’t mean that I think YOU’RE the worst. I mean, I think SOME people who voted for him are the worst. But, of course, not everyone is the worst. And I’m trying to be better about that separation. Some days it’s challenging. Sometimes it feels impossible. But I’m trying.

Ok. Now to give the people what they want…

img_0097Nick shit on the floor the other day. We’re attempting potty training. And he’s actually doing a lot better than I thought he would. But for some reason, pooping in the potty is a tough concept. Nick informed me of the poop seen above while I was trying to take a shower. He didn’t say that he pooped his pants. He said, “there is poop on the carpet.” As if it magically appeared out of nowhere and snuggled up betwixt the Legos. (When I sent this pic to my family, my dad said, “right off the coast of Antarctica!” And I laughed so fucking hard. I don’t know why, but the thought of a huge floating pile up poop, stinking its way down to Antarctica, cracked my shit up). Anyways, like I said, Nick is doing much better than I anticipated. And the thought of changing fewer diapers is VERY exciting. I don’t know that you can ever be completely prepared for how much you deal with pee and poop as a parent. And I’ve never been someone who is grossed out by germs or bodily functions, so for me it’s no big deal. I also have a husband who poops more than the average bear (I mean, literally, he probably has a higher volume of poop than a bear), and I think the group text with my sisters consists primarily of us bragging about who has had a better poop that day. I was seemingly destined to have a life that revolves around poop. (Fucking glamorous, right?) The other day, Adam yelled for some help in the bathroom because the toilet paper was out. He actually said, “I don’t see any toilet paper because I used it all for my first poop of the day!” Doesn’t “poop of the day” sound like some kind of special you would order at a restaurant? “You’ll see our poop of the day is multi-colored, exceptionally fragrant, and served warm off the coast of Antarctica.”

jurgensmeier_080As Nick starts to enter the “won’t shut the fuck up” phase, the conversations that I hear between him and Adam continue to get more complex and hilarious. One of Nick’s favorite things to do is correct others for “mispronouncing” certain words. So, in case you thought you knew how to say the following words, let me enlighten you…

Puke = pee-yoop

Helicopter = hell-doe-cop-tah

Doggy Daycare = doggy day-hair

Video = booty-yo

Tori = toe-wee

Pocket =    img_9836

He will also tell you if he thinks your answer to his question is incorrect. Yesterday, we were sitting on the couch and he asked, “Mom, are you sleepy?” (Which, duh, 100%, all the time, I’m fucking exhausted.) Each time I responded, “yes, I’m a little sleepy”, he would just ask again. “No, mom, are you sleepy?” It was so weird that by the 5th time we went back and forth like this, I felt like he was playing some kind of mind trick on me. I started questioning if I even WAS sleepy! …nope, still sleepy.

Adam has adopted some new phrases that make him sound like a tiny littlejurgensmeier_078 adult. I know it’s stuff that he’s heard either at home or at school, but I’m always caught off guard when it happens. For example, he was talking about a snack he had at school and he said, “I don’t care for the apples.” And immediately I envisioned him as some Downton Abbey character, brushing aside the help trying to serve him apples. “No, good sir, I don’t care for the apples. Now bring me my cigar so the men might retire to the study whilst the women powder their noses!” (#trumpsamerica) Another time, I was asking him about a certain part of his Lego creation and he told me “it doesn’t call for that piece.” What? It doesn’t call for it? And he says all these things so matter-of-fact. As if all 4-yr-olds talk that way. Even Nick the other day was like, “Where is my oatmeal? It is nowhere to be seen!” What??

Lately, both boys have been fixated on “bad guys” and taking them to “jail”. Adam will sometimes make a shooting sound like he’s firing a gun. As you know from any number of ranting posts I’ve made over the years, I’m not a big gun fan, even if it’s an imagined one. So the other day I asked him where he had heard someone talking about a gun. And he looked at me, dead serious, and said, “Mayor Humdinger.” To which I was obviously like, ummmm wtf? Apparently he’s a character on “Paw Patrol” who has a picture of a bomb on his hat? And Adam thinks the bomb is a gun? I’m not totally sure, but what I DO know is that Mayor Humdinger is going to get a strongly worded letter from this disgruntled constituent!

I would say the boys spend about 50% of the time playing well together and the other 50% fighting. Every time it happens I hear my mom’s voice in my head saying, “Just wait til they start fighting…” It’s the fucking worst. And sometimes one will tattle on the other. Which in some ways is good. I’d rather have Adam come tell me that Nick is pushing him instead of straight up pushing him back. However, they have both learned to gloat when they are not the one in trouble. For example, if Adam is throwing a fit after I tell him it’s time to turn off the iPad (spoiler alert: Adam throws a fit EVERY time I ask him to turn off the iPad), I will tell him that if he throws a fit, he can’t watch the iPad the next time he asks (spoiler alert part II: Of course I still let him watch the iPad because that means he leaves me the fuck alone and I can focus on important things like playing word games on my phone and seeing how many “likes” my Instagram pics get). Anyways, as Adam is losing his mind over the screen turning off, Nick will tell me, “I’MMMM not throwing a fit.” Which of course, prompts Adam to throw a fit even harder. Or, if Adam has finished all of his dinner and Nick hasn’t touched a bite (spoiler alert part III: Nick never eats his fucking dinner), Adam will be the first to point out, “Nicky, I get to have a treat but you don’t.” (Ya, I bribe my kids. What of it?) Again, suuuuuuper helpful. And in some ways, I feel like maybe they’re learning about consequences? Sometimes Nick will randomly spout out rules, but, much like his word pronunciations, make them his own. For example, “you get what you get and you don’t say ‘poop’”. He also likes to confirm random facts about the world, like, “Pee comes out of my penis, but poop comes out of my butt.” Yup. Future philosopher, everyone.

Tori is getting more and more fun, as babies usually do. She’s super interactive and sometimes I legitimately think she’s going to pass out because her smile is taking over her entire face. And it’s so funny how babies have no awareness surrounding bodily functions or sounds they might make. Any sound or bodily function Tori exhibits is usually accompanied by a simultaneous sound or bodily function. She will frequently laugh and scream at the same time. Cough and fart. Cry and fart. Babble and burp. Poop up the back of her diaper while staring into my eyes as if to say, “your move, sucka!!” I feel like we may have jinxed ourselves by talking about how good a baby she is. And she really is. Most of the time she is a sweet baby angel. But recently, she’s been getting up more frequently at night. I think she may be going through a growth spurt or something, because she does eat a lot when she gets up. But since I’ve been used to sleeping (pretty much) all night, I have no patience for her shit! And it doesn’t help that if she doesn’t feel like she’s having her needs met in a timely manner, she makes a sound that could legitimately be featured in a horror film. I felt a little scared for my life when she banshee screeched at me the other night. And then my anxious brain started going to ridiculous places, like, what if my child is a demon? My sweet baby angel Tori is actually goddamn nightmare. She’s going to somehow crawl out of her bed and I’m going to wake up to her just lying on top of me screaming. I don’t know, you guys! I JUST DON’T KNOW!! But when she’s not haunting my dreams, she really is a delightful little baby. I’m getting more and more nervous for when she starts getting teeth. It’s about at this age when all my babies start getting super distracted while I’m trying to breastfeed them, and Tori has started jerking her head to check out whatever sound she hears around her. The thing is, home girl has my nipple in her mouth when she does this, so every time it scares the fucking turds out of me. And once teeth become part of the equation…I’m terrified…

img_0013Breastfeeding is still such a crazy weird thing to me. And one of the weirdest/coolest parts is the physical reaction that I get once Tori starts eating. Whatever is released (oxytocin? serotonin? cocaine?) is basically happy juice. I’m serious. I can feel it happening and it gives me this sensation of just pure happy and love. And I get why this happens. Because ideally, I’m supposed to be gazing into my baby’s eyes the entire time I’m breastfeeding. Establishing this unbreakable bond and attachment. However, Facebook is not going to peruse itself, so lots of times I will be scrolling through my awful newsfeed when the happy juice gets released. So it’s fairly bizarre to be seeing political posts or animal videos or “she went to the bathroom and you won’t believe what happens next!” click bait and feeling all warm and fuzzy about it. Sometimes I will be watching TV and feel a weird connection to the characters (seriously, though, Rory from “Gilmore Girls”). Or if I’m eating something, it becomes the most delicious, nourishing piece of food I’ve ever tasted!! Am I worried that I’m going to become more attached to these outside things than my actual child? (Depends on what kind of food it is…) No! Of course not! But it is a terribly weird experience.

In other news – we are refinancing our house and are planning on making some improvements before moving (hopefully) in the fall! It’s both incredibly exciting and terrifying to think about. While I’m excited about these improvements, I also know that regardless of what we do, my living room will constantly look like a disaster zone. Because it doesn’t matter how many storage bins or closets or even rooms you have for kids’ toys, you’re going to step on a stray Lego while walking to the kitchen to get a drink and you’re going to think you might in fact be dying. But at least we might have a kitchen with countertops that don’t peel off! We are not the best homeowners. Probably because we aren’t handy and we’re also lazy. So simple things that should/could be done, don’t get done. There’s a spot in the upstairs hallway where a section of paint chipped off. We have the paint in the basement. It would probably take 5 minutes to just touch up that spot on the wall. But, nahhh. Almost 3 years later and we can’t muster the energy to do it. A more pressing issue that we really should take care of is a fucking animal in our wall. That’s right. There’s some kind of creature that we hear in our wall. And not just any wall. The wall in our bedroom. And how do we know there is an animal in there? Because it makes rustling/scratching/ominous noises while I’m trying to fall asleep. And I know that it’s time to actually do something about it because I’ve gone from being deeply disturbed, imagining what kind of animal it is and how many babies it’s had that are just scritch scratching around in there, to actually thinking it’s normal. Like, as I’m falling asleep, the animal in the wall is a part of the mix. Goodnight moon. Goodnight lamp. Goodnight bowl of mush (aka glass of wine). Goodnight creepy unidentified animal in the wall of my home. Totally normal.

jurgensmeier_152Well, that’s mostly what’s new in my life. Everyone keeps asking if we are done having kids. And I think we might be. I don’t know. I feel like I’m not far enough away from giving birth to have a clear perspective. All that breastfeeding happy juice clouds my judgment! But whether we are or aren’t done, each day reinforces the fact that we are so incredibly lucky to have the kids that we do. That having more kids is even a choice I get to make. I know I complain on here, but I try not to forget just how fortunate I am. Having a family, or the kind of family you imagined, isn’t always possible. And if it is, it isn’t always easy. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I’m trying to do a better job of putting myself in other people’s shoes. Of exercising empathy. Just because something might not affect me, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t matter to me. So I’m trying not to be someone who just pats a friend on the head and says, “that must be really hard” (Aka: “sucks for you, not my problem.”) I’m trying to actually imagine what it’s like to be that person. To have his/her experiences or background or worldview. It can be really hard. It can be uncomfortable. But it’s important. And I’ll keep trying.

2017: Don’t be assholes.

People always ask me how it’s been, going from 2 to 3 kids. Overall, I really do have to say that it’s been the easiest transition of them all. With your first kid, it’s obviously a nightmare. You feel like don’t know anything and you’re exhausted and you react to any and every movement/sound/look (or lack thereof). With your 2nd, you realize how fucking easy newborns are because they aren’t toddlers. But you’re also trying to figure out life with a baby, who does need things on a fairly regular basis, and a toddler, who needs things whenever the fuck he decides he needs things. With the 3rd, I think the biggest difference is that I’m not nearly as bothered by things I was bothered by with the other 2. I’m more willing to let her cry while I take a goddamn shower. I’ll let her fuss a little longer during tummy time before I get up and move her. Plus, when my 2 boys aren’t trying to kill each other, they do play together or play independently really well. I’d like to think this transition would be easier regardless, however, Tori is the best baby in all of the land. Seriously. This chick is super laid back, she eats well, and (most importantly) she sleeps All. Night. Long. (cue the angelic “Hallelujah” chorus). And I don’t remember my boys being bad sleepers at all. But this little lady is awesome. I like to remind her of how awesome she is by kissing her face constantly. I specifically like kissing the space below her nose, right above her lips. Don’t ask me why I’m obsessed with kissing that specific part of her face. But I am. And I will not stop. You can’t make me. Sometimes, I will also whisper sweet nothings to her to reinforce her awesomeness. This usually happens when the 2 boys are shrieking at each other because 1 wants the toy the other has, which is so fucking ridiculous because they have more goddamn toys than they know what to do with. And while the wrestling match begins in the playroom, I look into this fucking adorable face and whisper, “I love you the most. Shhhhh. You’re my favorite.”img_9639

While Tori has made life with 3 kids a fairly seamless transition, I’ve still had plenty of moments where I feel like I’m fucking it all up. All of it. At her 2-month appointment, I went in super confident. I just knew the doctor would praise me for doing all the right things. Tori would be on track with everything. She wouldn’t even cry after her shots, she would just look up with her tiny angelic face and smile as if to say, “Thank you for protecting me against disease. I love you.” However…we went in and she got weighed/measured. And let me just say that I think I set myself up for failure by birthing such fucking ginormous babies. Because they start out in like the bazillionth percentage for weight and then when they settle into a more average weight, it looks like this huge drop and a potential cause for concern. So, when the pediatrician sees this drop, she starts asking me about breastfeeding and how it’s going and if she’s eating well. And instead of taking a step back to understand why she would be asking this, I immediately get defensive. As if she’s attacking my personal character. I want to say, “bitch, this is my 3rd goddamn child and I am a breastfeeding champion. CHAMPION!!” Thankfully, I don’t, but I try to explain how the drop in weight has happened with all my kids, blah blah, blah. She still makes me schedule a follow-up appointment at a time when the lactation consultant is there to make sure Tori’s maintaining enough weight. Which, in my hormonal mind, translates as, “you’re unable to sufficiently provide for your child, so we’re going to have someone shame you into pumping every 5 minutes to get enough milk to make your baby fat and healthy.” By the way, the follow-up appointment went fine and did nothing but reinforce that if I wasn’t one of the super lucky moms whose body and babies’ bodies took well to breastfeeding, I would totally be like, “Fuck you. I’m out.” (mic drop…head to the store for formula). So after I almost tear up at the thought of not being as good at breastfeeding as I think I am, the doctor does her physical exam of Tori. After which she points out that one side of her head is flatter than the other. I think this is pretty common and, in all honesty, I probably have her on the ground or in her swing more frequently than the boys (#thirdchildproblems). But again, in my hormonally-charged crazy brain, I hear, “Stop neglecting your flat-headed child or I’m going to call CPS.” To top off the appointment, baby girl gets her shots and loses her shit. Now, all my babies have cried when they get their shots. That shit hurts. However, they usually get over it within a matter of seconds. Tori, on the other hand. Tori has some fucking stamina. She screamed at me while I put her clothes back on, while I put her back in her seat, while I walked to the check-out desk, on the way down the elevator, in the parking lot, until I clicked her in the car and started driving. Something tells me that for being so sweet, home girl has some serious sass just waiting to surface.

The boys continue to be pretty cute with Tori. Adam, especially. I think he likes the fact that he can make her smile and interact with her more now. He will get right up in her face and touch her little cheeks. img_9697Sometimes I can’t even handle it. He’s starting to seem more like a little man each day. For one thing, we’ve started applying for kindergarten next year. Which is fucking crazy. He has such a crazy curious brain, I love watching him try to sound out words and put together creative Lego creations. He’ll also try to use some deductive reasoning skills. The other day he told me, “honeydew is slippery because it has dew on it”. I’m not sure how he knows what dew is, or why his honeydew is slippery, but I feel like that’s a pretty advanced explanation.

Nick is just doing his thing, living up to the “terrible twos” stereotype. Yes, he can be very sweet, but goddamn that kid pushes boundaries. Naptime continues to be a struggle, although he had a really good stretch for a month or so when he would nap by himself, no problem. But when he doesn’t nap…I don’t know if there’s anything more frustrating to me. He’ll get out of his bed and just stand at his door like a fucking zombie. Sometimes he won’t fall asleep because he has poop in his diaper. But he won’t tell me he has poop in his diaper. So he will just be awake, chillin’ in shit, until I figure out that’s why he won’t lay down. The longer he resists, the more enraged I get. Sometimes, if I figure out the right strategy, he will give in. For example, I started telling him I would start a timer and come get him when it’s done. I’m not setting a fucking timer. But he doesn’t know that. And for some reason, it seems to work. When nothing seems to work, though, I start in with the threats (that I will probably never follow through with). “If you don’t nap, we are NOT going to nana’s.” (ya we are, my life is easier when my parents are helping with my children). “If you don’t nap, I am throwing away all your toys.” (oh, you mean the crap that occupies my kid’s time while I binge watch “Gilmore Girls”? ya right). “If you don’t nap, I’m calling Santa.” (spoiler alert: I am Santa). While these threats can be effective, sometimes Nick still looks at me with those cold, dead eyes of his, like he’s flipping me off with his face. He gives no shits. img_9570And I wonder what would get through to him. I think about holding his favorite toys hostage. Of bringing up Chase from “Paw Patrol” and just cutting off his tail, right in front of him. What would he think of that? Huh? Maybe he would close his fucking eyes and nap if Chase’s life was on the line! And the unreasonable behavior doesn’t stop at naptime. One morning, Nick threw a fit because I put his plate down in front of his chair, but he wanted me to put it down in front of a different chair. As if I was supposed to know that. Or if I fill up his milk cup and dare to hand it to him directly. You know I’m supposed to set it down on the counter so Nick can bring over the stool and get his cup himself. How stupid can I be?! When he’s not being a stubborn little asshole, he is pretty funny. His speech is becoming more complex and he will mimic phrases that other people say. Like Adam, he will also come up with creative ways to play. He likes to put koozies on his hands and pretend they are gloves. img_9231He will use my little monster wine markers as drivers of his construction vehicles. And he uses my wine preserver pump thing as some sort of tool he calls his “power”. And yes, I just now realized all of those things are booze related and perhaps I have a problem…

Although Tori is a perfect little angel baby, I still feel like I’m sometimes losing my brains with 3 kids. I knew I should probably take a breather when Nick kept shrieking (god, that kid can shriek), and Adam was “shhhh-ing” him, and I was so annoyed at all the noise that I yelled at Adam to stop “shhh-ing” and my yelling was so loud that I set off the dog’s bark collar. So, ya. I have my off days. What’s funny is when I will be out in public and just have Tori with me, or have Tori and Nick, and someone will say, “Oh, you have your hands full.” And I always smile and say, “Oh, ya.” But what I want to say is, “Oh, you think this shit is crazy? This isn’t even all of them! I have 3 fucking kids! I’m a walking disaster!” Trying to get places with all 3 is a process. When the weather was nicer, I would walk to places, which meant I would put Tori in the baby carrier while pushing the boys in a double stroller (the kind where Nick is sitting in a seat facing forward and Adam is sitting on a little stool facing backwards). If I was feeling extra ambitious, I would take Lola, too. I try to imagine what I must look like to people driving by, and I feel like it has to be something like this… dvd I’m the Dick Van Dyke of moms. And I’m still unsure whether or not 3 is the end for us. Some days I definitely think, yes. Like when the winter weather gives me PTSD from the morning sickness I had last year and I’m like, ya, I’m cool not being pregnant again. Pass me all of the beers, please!!

Since the election, and especially with a new year, I’ve been thinking a lot about things I want to do or change about myself and in my community. And trust me, I’m serious about getting involved and advocating and volunteering and making goddamn sure our ass hat future president doesn’t ruin all of the things. But I also have some more personal, smaller scale resolutions for 2017:

  1. Go to church regularly/join the church choir – Andy and I have gone to a Unitarian Universalist church off and on for the past few years, and every time we go, we enjoy it. It’s a progressive church that focuses on social justice. While there is no 1 “creed” or “statement of faith”, I feel like the overall message of the religion is “just be fucking nice.” It encourages individuals to figure out their own place on the spectrum of spirituality and instead of trying to point out who/what is right or wrong, they focus on helping others. And I dig it. So I’m planning on joining the choir so I can hold myself more accountable and try to attend the majority of Sundays.
  2. No hangovers – This…could be a tough one… These days, it takes very, very little alcohol to give me a crippling headache the next morning. I try to pace myself, I try to hydrate, but I usually end up feeling like death the entire next day. And the biggest problem with that is that I have 3 small humans I’m in charge of. So I figure it’s probably time for me to learn how to exercise moderation. (Full disclosure: I’m drinking a “Sunday funday” beer as we speak, so I’m already off to a rough start with this one.)
  3. Donate clothes/toys each month – We have so much shit. My kids especially. Just, so much shit. When you think they have more than enough shit, you find more of their shit. Nobody needs the amount of shit that they have, so I’m planning on donating that shit to others who don’t have any shit. Share the shit (as the saying goes).
  4. Audition for something – Music is a part of my job, but every time I join a choir or play a “gig” or audition for a musical, I remember how much I need to do those things for me. Despite my performance anxiety (which seems to get worse the older I get), I love singing and playing music that I love and I want to challenge myself to do that more often. My current plan is to audition for Theatre in the Park this summer, so when I break out as a community theatre star, you can say you knew me when…
  5. Take care of clothes – This one seems weird, but I don’t feel like I’m very good at laundry. I mean, I feel like I’m doing laundry every second of my fucking life, but I still follow the basic “you just left for college and are on your own” rules of laundry. Lights. Darks. Colors. Cold. Done. Now that I’ve started to accumulate some nicer, real person clothes, I figure I should start taking care of them like I’m supposed to. I should fold Andy’s dress pants along the seam. I should hang up his dress shirts. Or, even better, Andy should start doing his own goddamn laundry. Actually, yes. Let’s change this resolution to “Andy does his own goddamn laundry.”
  6. Run a marathon – I literally got butterflies in my stomach while I wrote this one. I tried to train for a marathon a couple years ago and my knees were like, “fuuuuuuuuck this.” So, I understand I need to probably prepare a little better this time. But, it’s on my bucket list and I figure my body is only going to get shittier the older I get, so I might as well make this year the year. If anyone is interested in being my training partner, let me know…I reward myself after each long run with brunch buffets and mimosas, FYI.
  7. Be better at Twitter – If any of you follow me on Twitter, you know that I’m super shitty at Twitter. I only have Twitter so I can pretend to be friends with celebrities. I’m not joking. The vast majority of my tweets are attempts to get my favorite celebrities to notice me. Sometimes it works. I mean, it’s not a big deal, but some of my tweets have been “favorited” by celebrities such as Maria Bamford, Jim Gaffigan, “Waitress” musical, “Hamilton” musical (ya motherfucker, that “Hamilton” musical). And while it’s not necessarily Twitter-related, who can forget proof of my lifelong friendship and lady romance with Sara Bareilles:IMG_5983 And while all of this is totally impressive and proves that I’m super likable and funny and awesome, I feel like I can do better with my Twitter-ing. I mean, I say original funny things sometimes. My kids do funny shit that I exploit on social media. I can do this. I can fucking do Twitter! Woo hoo! 2017!! (shameless plug: follow me @brjurgs)

In all seriousness, I really hope 2017 is a better year for the world. While parts of 2016 were amazing for me personally (see: sweet baby angel Tori), the end of the year left me with such a sour taste in my mouth. It’s easy to feel pessimistic and scared, but I’m cautiously optimistic about 2017. Last year, Adam’s preschool classroom had 3 rules that he would often refer to at home (mostly when Nick was being an asshole and Adam was trying to get him to be nice). And even though these rules were created for preschoolers, I think they serve as an appropriate mantra for this New Year: “Be kind. Be safe. Have fun.” (aka, don’t be assholes). So, don’t be assholes, friends. And Happy New Year!!

Party of 5

Well, I have 3 kids now. Fucking insane, right? 3 kids! And they’re all still alive! I’ve had lots of people ask if the transition from 2-3 kids is crazy. And honestly, it hasn’t been too bad. I have to attribute the majority of that to all the help I have from friends and family. Holy shit. I don’t know how people do it without help. But don’t get me wrong…I still use “I have 3 kids” as an excuse for any and everything: eating too much, drinking too much, drinking too early, not showering, not cooking, not cleaning, Netflix binge-watching, blogging when I really should be doing laundry because I’m almost out of sports bras and I only wear activewear regardless of if I’m actually working out because why would you ever wear pants that you need to zip up and/or button??!? I would say the biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is coordinating more schedules and allowing myself to let it go if we aren’t where we need to be exactly on time. I notice this the most in the morning. This morning, for example. (See below a visual representation of mornings: rough)

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Nick and Adam go to school from 8:30-2:30. (I fucking love Tuesdays and Thursdays). However, the act of actually getting them to school on time is a goddamn nightmare. Let me preface by saying that I could get all of their shit ready the night before. I SHOULD get all of their shit ready the night before. But rarely do I actually do that. I’m too busy sitting and/or drinking and/or watching TV. So this morning, here’s how the fiasco played out: Nick woke up at 6:30 and climbed in bed with us. Ideally, this would be fine. We’d all rest in bed until 7ish and then get up. However, Nick has restless everything syndrome and apparently can’t hold still for more than 1 second at a time when he’s in our bed. He will twist and turn and babble and kick you right in the back. It is NOT relaxing. So I finally force him to go back to his room for a little bit. Tori starts crying, so I bring her in bed to snuggle for a little while. She, on the other hand, is fantastic at holding still. My alarm goes off at 7 and I figure I should get out of bed since I already hear Adam and Nick knocking shit over downstairs. Now here’s where it gets weird. We need to leave the house around 8:20, so you’d think an hour and 20 minutes is plenty of time to get everyone ready to go. But somehow, it’s not. By the time I get up and dressed, pick out clothes for the boys, pack their lunches, gather their backpack shit, make them eat something that qualifies as breakfast, it’s already almost 8 and Tori has decided she’s ready to eat. So while I’m breastfeeding her, Nick waddles over to me and as I’m trying to figure out why he’s walking so strangely, I get a whiff of exactly why he’s walking so strangely. I hadn’t changed his diaper yet and it was sagging down to his knees, just marinating his butt in poop. But, I wasn’t gonna stop breastfeeding Tori, who also needed her diaper and outfit changed. So it’s 8:15 and nobody is in their clothes for the day, so I know I’m screwed. Before Tori was born, Adam wanted to do everything by himself. He picked out his own outfit and would be dressed before I even got out of bed. Now, he can’t do ANYTHING on his own. I have to help him take his jammies off and help him put his clothes on and help him carry his backpack and help him clean up the toys he got out of the play room and help him throw away the fucking crayon wrappers that HE took off the crayons!!!!! ….so basically, he’s worthless. I rarely get out of the house without all 3 kids crying at once. My apologies to any neighbors who are leaving around the same time as me. They probably think I’m a monster. Once I get the kids plugged into their car seats, I can breathe a short sigh of relief…until we arrive at school and I have to try to walk in with a carseat on one arm, lunch boxes and backpacks on the other, and somehow hold a hand of a kid who’s hopefully holding the hand of the other kid while we walk across the street into school. We drop off Nick first, but he’s decided he’s going to throw a fit so I have to hold his hand and essentially drag him down the hall into his classroom. Then I have to climb fucking Mt. Everest to get up to Adam’s classroom on the 50th floor or something. But then. Once I make the descent and snap Tori’s carseat into the car. I can breathe. It’s amazing. And even though it would make the most sense to run some errands or straighten up the house or go on a walk, I’m already so tired that I end up sitting down on the couch and not getting up until I have to go pick up the boys. And I tell myself it’s fine because babies don’t stay babies for very long, so I won’t be able to rest with a sleeping baby on my chest forever. So for now, I will cut myself some slack.

I guess I should probably tell you my birth story. I realize a good majority of you don’t give a shit about my birth story. But I don’t give a shit that you don’t give a shit. I literally shit out a huge goddamn baby so I’m going to tell you my birth story and you’re going to read every word of it!! Every. Fucking. Word.

…I don’t really know how to transition to the story because I’ve set it up to be enthralling and horrible, but it really wasn’t. I had a successful External Cephalic Version on August 16th. Which was basically like someone punching me in the stomach in super slow motion. It was not pleasant. BUT, it worked. Baby turned to head down! img_8438On the night of August 25th, I started having painful contractions. Not so painful that I couldn’t talk through them, but fairly regular and close together. So in the middle of the night, we thought it’d be a good idea to go to the hospital. I was dilated to 3cm, but didn’t really do much from there. They monitored throughout the night and then sent me home. With my boys, my water had broken and I’d been induced, so I had never really experienced “pre-labor” before. And let me tell you…it is balls!! You are having painful contractions that make it seem like stuff is happening. I mean, stuff should be happening. It feels like someone is wringing out your uterus, so shit better be fucking happening!! And stuff was happening, just not quick or intense enough to warrant going to the hospital. So all day on August 26th, I had contractions every 10-15 minutes. Some of them painful enough I had to stop what I was doing to breathe. But they never got regular enough to go in. It was so frustrating. My doctor had offered induction at my 40 week appointment (before I was having contractions), so I’d said I wanted to wait, but by this time it was clear that I wasn’t going to be able to relax or sleep until I had this baby, so we called and scheduled induction for the following morning, August 27th. The night of the 26th, my parents took the boys and Andy and I tried to stay occupied by going out to dinner and a movie. We got Indian food, which was delicious, but a fairly risky move to be going in and shoving out a baby the next morning. I mean, who knows what else I would be shoving out?! (Spoiler alert: I didn’t poop). When we walked out of the movie theatre to go home, it was raining harder than I think I’ve ever seen it rain. Andy had parked directly in front of the theatre and I was still drenched just walking 6 feet to the car. If you recall, this was the night with all of that crazy flooding in Kansas City. We actually made it out of Westport just before cars were trapped under several feet of water in that part of town. We got home (very slowly and carefully) and the people on the news were advising everyone to stay home and not get out if you could absolutely avoid it. So of course, I was convinced my water was going to break. My water was going to break and we were going to have to venture out into the flood and get stuck and I would have to deliver my baby in a fucking car. But, things just stayed the same. I slept for about 10-15 minutes at a time in between contractions. When I would wake up and breathe through the pain, Andy would wake up with me and hold my hand and talk me through it, feeding my ice chips and rubbing my feet…hahahah, are you kidding me? Andy slept his ass off. As I was breathing through immense pain, he was snoring his nuts off. I mean, I can’t really blame him. What could he really do? But it was still a pretty ridiculous situation. We went to the hospital at 6am the next morning. I was 5cm dilated. They started me on a tiny bit of pitocin and my contractions regulated really fast. I had to wait until I’d been given a full bag of fluids before I could get my epidural, so I probably had it placed at 8am. The doctor came in to break my water and I told her I was convinced I was shitting the bed. Just, straight up turds in the bed. She checked me and said it was actually my baby’s fat head. I was complete and could push! She came out in 1 contraction (3 pushes). And it was just as amazing as I remembered. Omg. Unbelievable. She was also my biggest baby, which is ridiculous. I guess I just specialize in shoving out fat ass babies. Put it on my resume.img_8519

At least for the 7.5 weeks she’s been on the outside, Victoria (Tori) Patrice has been an amazing baby. She eats well, she sleeps well, she’s fucking adorable. And I remember my boys being good babies, too, it just seems like this time Tori’s making a conscious effort to give me a fucking break. She’s probably like, “I heard you yelling for the majority of your pregnancy, Imma just chill.” And it is so kind of her. People ask if it’s different having a baby girl. And yes, it is a little different. Obviously, in the physical ways that she has girl parts and not boy parts. It’s weird that during diaper changes, I’m not nervous about getting sprayed in the face with a stream of pee. Instead, when Tori pees, it’s more like a mass exodus of pee. When it happened for the first time when I was changing her, I was like, “ohhh…ahhhh…uhhhhh”, because it’s difficult to identify where the liquid is coming from, it’s just kind of breaking free and soaking the changing table. With the boys, I could throw a diaper on top of their baby bits and things would be covered. But when Tori releases the flood gates, I have to kind of just let it happen. Tori’s facial features seem a little more petite than the boys. She has a little button nose and these wide eyes that make her look like a little baby bird.

And she has so much more hair than the boys did! And dark hair! As with my other kids, I feel the urge to eat her face. On more than one occasion, I’ve poked her eyeball with my nose while trying to kiss her eyelids. That’s right. I must kiss her eyelids. I just can’t stop. I mean, could you??

For the most part, the boys have been really great with Tori. Neither of them seem jealous and Nick especially likes holding the baby and helping her with her binky when she’s crying. Adam is fairly ambivalent, but seems to like her a little more now that she can look at him and smile and interact.

Nick continues to say more and more and really enjoys narrating what’s going on. One day, when I was breastfeeding Tori, he pointed and said, “that’s your BOOOOOB!! You’re feeding baby Tori with your BOOOOOB!!” Good. Speaking of boobs, Nick also grabbed mine to pull himself up off the changing table the other day. As if they were my arms, or handle bars or something. I guess my breastfeeding boobs also double as fucking safety rails. So that’s exciting. I think Adam is just now starting to regress a bit as he continues to adjust to a new baby at home. Like I mentioned before, he all of a sudden needs help doing EVERYTHING. Especially at times when I absolutely cannot help (like when I’m feeding the baby). He also lost his mind at Target the other day because we were there to get a birthday gift for a friend but he wanted something for him. Sometimes I try to have these deep conversations with him about how much stuff he already has and how other people don’t have anything and how he should just be thankful for how lucky he is and not ask for new things all the time. And he’s basically like, “I will pick out toys to get rid of so we can go to Target and get new toys.” Ugh!! So of course I freak out about having a fucking spoiled, entitled kid who’s going to expect things to be done for him his entire life. When I’m sure it’s more that he’s 4 and going through a pretty big transition right now.

With all this election shit, combined with having another kid, I do think more and more about the kind of humans I want my kids to be. It’s this constant pressure. And sometimes it’s hard to feel like I’m setting the right example for them. Above all, I want them to be kind. Just kind, compassionate people. I want them to be empowered to be whoever they want to be and to be comfortable with who they are. This year for Halloween, Adam is going to be his favorite Paw Patrol character…which happens to be a girl dog, Everest. And I think it’s fantastic. I love that his favorite character is a girl and I love that it doesn’t even cross his mind that it would be weird or unusual for him to wear a dress for a costume. And yet, I find myself nervous about it. I try to pride myself on being progressive and feminist…and still, I’m nervous that a kid is going to say something, or a parent is going to say something. And probably nobody will say anything, and if they do, it will be a parent. Because kids don’t care. Just like kids don’t care about skin color or socio-economic status. Kids have such a pure filter with all that extra bullshit. In Adam’s mind, he’s dressing up as his favorite character. The fact that she’s a girl is secondary. So I guess I just hope that I don’t have to change that. That I don’t have to explain that some people might think it’s strange to dress up like a girl character. This election stirs up so many conflicting emotions because I love that my kids will never remember a time when a woman hadn’t been a presidential nominee (and hopefully the president, please sweet lord please let her be the president). But it also highlights the fact that I will have to explain to my kids that some people never outgrow being assholes and that, despite what some people say and believe, bullying is never ok and sexual abuse – verbal or physical – is never “just” anything, locker room talk or otherwise. That different does not mean dangerous or wrong and that love is love is love. It can be overwhelming at times, but luckily I’ve surrounded myself with people who feel the same way. And if you honestly think this costume is anything but adorable, then that seems like your issue, not mine.img_8841

The other question I get asked consistently is if I’m done having kids. And I don’t know. If you ask Andy, he will say yes. And it honestly depends on the day for me. I think I’m done being pregnant. I’m fairly confident about that. But adoption might be in our future. Who knows? In the meantime, though, I’m pretty obsessed with our little family. The fun definitely outweighs the crazy…at least most of the time…


38 weeks: Turn around

The final appointments before having a baby can be some of the most anxiety-provoking/exciting. Each week you’re hoping that change is happening. That your body is doing something to prepare you for baby times. That you can have some proof of all the discomfort you’ve been experiencing. So, at my (almost) 37-week appointment, I was super bummed to find out not much change was happening, at all. No dilation. Baby still up high. Nothing. Fuck. So when I went into my 38-week appointment, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that: 1. I hadn’t gained any weight since the previous week (that has NEVER happened before), and 2. I was about 1.5cm dilated!! However, all this excitement quickly turned to full-on anxiety/rage when my Dr. started having a hard time confirming baby’s head was down. When she did an ultrasound, sure enough, baby had decided to flip around. Breech. Fuuuuuuuuuucccccckkk.

Let me begin by saying, I know this is not the end of the world. Sometimes babies are breech. People have C-sections. It’s fine. Why, then, can I not stop being pissed at the world about this?!? I’m pissed that the delivery I imagined is (likely) impossible. I’m pissed that I might have to go through a major surgery. I’m pissed that the initial adjustment of 2 kids to 3 will be so much more challenging. And, worst of all, I’m pissed at this baby. I know how that sounds. (Terrible). But it’s true. I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job of making things accommodating for her in there. I’ve kept her fed (with waaaaayyyy too many sweet treats), I’ve taken her on (up to) 13.1 mile runs, I stopped drinking for her, I even took her to see “Hamilton”. MOTHER FUCKING “HAMILTON”!!! Any fetus would dream of being privy to the original cast of the most successful modern musical ever!!!! So wouldn’t you think, the least she could do, would be to point her precious little head down?! Honestly. It’s not that fucking difficult.

So how am I coping with this breech business? As you can probably tell, not great. Since I received the news last Friday, I’ve been googling every recommended body position and movement to get babies to flip. I’ve rocked back and forth in a crawling position. I’ve done a downward dog move with my legs bent on the couch. I’ve laid upside down on an ironing board. I’m contemplating going to my parents’ tonight just so I can try to do a handstand in their pool. I. am. desperate. And I feel a bigger sense of urgency because tomorrow I’m attempting an external cephalic version (ECV). “Oooooo, ECV? What is that? That sounds glamorous!” Well, let me enlighten you. Based on what I’ve been told, (and what I’ve googled), ECV is when your doctor lubes up your belly and tries to manually move the baby to a head-down position. By pushing around on the outside of your belly (all while monitoring baby). They give you medicine to help relax your uterus, so it is ideally all loosey goosey and baby can just flippy floppy on down there. As you may imagine, I’m pretty anxious about this. I don’t really think it’s going to hurt (that bad), but I do think it will feel like a fully-cooked baby is doing a fucking Simone Biles floor routine inside my guts. Here are some factors that make the chance of success more/less likely:

Yay: I’ve had babies before, so my uterus is more likely to relax and stretch to make room for baby to move.

Fuck: Most ECV’s are attempted at 37 weeks. The closer you are to your due date, the bigger the baby, the tougher it can be to get her to scoot.

Yay: I have a good amount of amniotic fluid in there, so she can just Michael Phelps her way down toward my vagina. (I mean, if Michael Phelps wanted to swim that direction, too, I’d be fine with that. Just sayin’….)

Fuck: My placenta is attached on the side of my uterus, which apparently isn’t the worst placement, but it also isn’t the best. Nobody wants baby bumping up against that shit and knocking something loose.

It’s essentially a 50/50 shot. Baby could refuse to move. Baby could move and then flip back again. Baby could get too distressed and my doctor would have to stop. I could get too distressed and my doctor would have to stop. I told Andy I’m really nervous all that pushing on my belly will make me fart everywhere and then EVERYONE would be distressed and we’d have to stop. OR…it could work. She could flip to head down, I would hang out for awhile so they could make sure baby looks good. Then I’d go home and start having a different kind of anxiety about when labor was going to start. My ideal scenario: the procedure is easy, goes well, as soon as baby settles her head down, my water breaks and I have her tomorrow!! Huzzah!! (yeah, right).

In the meantime, I’m trying to wrap my head around what a C section birth will be like, if that’s what ends up happening. I’ve already had several people reach out to tell me they had C sections and that the procedure and recovery weren’t nearly as bad/scary as they had anticipated. And this is very encouraging for me to hear. The main reasons I don’t want a C section are that: 1. I’m extremely anxious about the procedure itself (Will it hurt? Will I feel sick? Will there be complications? Will there be strange smells? Will I be out of it? Etc.) And, 2. I’m nervous that I won’t get to have that magical moment once baby comes out. You know. Once you hear that cry and look down and there’s a fucking baby that you’ve created and fucking pushed out and they plop it up on your chest and it’s the most fucking amazing thing you’ve ever experienced in your life. (I’m literally tearing up as I’m writing this part. Please let that be an indicator of how amazing it is…and how goddamn hormonal I am). But I don’t know what that moment will be like in a C section. And that’s really scary for me. And all of these bullshit, dumb ass, online articles I’ve seen keep popping into my brain –  “A medicated birth doesn’t allow you to feel all those hormones you need to bond with your baby!! You can have attachment issues!! A natural, home birth in a beautiful whirlpool of distilled water and gluten-free, non-GMO chia seeds is the only right way to have a baby!! BLAH BLAH BLAH!!” I know I’m perpetuating this craziness in my head, but right now it’s hard to escape it.

So I suppose the only real thing to do is take it 1 day at a time. Tomorrow morning, we will see if this baby girl decides to flip. And if she doesn’t, I guess I will just go from there. I’m going to try not to feel too bad about my anger. It’s probably natural to be frustrated. And I’ve been lucky that my past pregnancies and deliveries have been pretty textbook, without complications. Pain. Epidural. Pushing (out huge babies). Magical moment. Even if I have to take a slightly different route to get there, I’m sure I will still arrive at that same place this time. And I’m sure it will only be the first of many times this girl challenges to be different. And maybe that’s not such a bad thing after all.

36 weeks: Are we there yet?

I knew this was going to happen. As soon as I got pregnant and realized I would be due at the end of August, I KNEW this was going to happen. I knew that as soon as August hit, I would be counting down the minutes, second guessing every little cramp and twinge, thinking that maybe, just MAYBE this baby will show me some mercy and make her appearance early so I wouldn’t have to endure the absolute worst month to be living in Kansas City. So I tried to prep myself from the beginning: “You will be late. Just plan on having this baby late. Know that August will suck. Don’t even consider wishful thinking because you will only be disappointed.” Turns out, I’m still fucking fixated on wishful thinking. And here are some reasons why:

1. It’s fucking hot. IMG_8338There have been some tolerable days, I will admit, but I know this month is bound to be filled with more intolerable days than tolerable ones. Just this morning I saw something about a heat wave coming. Lovely. Because who doesn’t love breaking an offensive sweat while waddling 5 feet to go get the mail? Aggressive boob sweat? Sign me up. Ankle and hand swelling? Sexy. Being trapped indoors with 2 monsters because it’s literally to hot to even go to the pool? Oh man, I’m just giddy with anticipation. And maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it won’t be so awful. A few days ago, I actually got outside to work in the garden for awhile because it was an almost pleasant temperature. However, my gratitude for not getting heat stroke can easily be replaced with intense fear of…

2. Mosquitos. That’s right. August is a time when I walk into the backyard and am instantly covered with 500 mosquito bites. After feeling so pleased with myself for trying to make our garden look socially acceptable the other day, I walked inside and had at least 10 little mosquito bites. Of course, my immediate thought was…ZIKA!!!! I have Zika. I know I have Zika. I’m going to give Zika to this baby and somehow her fully-formed brain is going to shrink to the size of a raisin. All because I wanted to do some goddamn yard work!! After texting Andy to ask if I’d ruined our baby’s life, she started moving around like crazy. Which, of course, I took as her way of saying, “Zikaaaa!! You’ve given me Zikaaaa!!! WHHHYYY?!?! I’ve survived the perils of your ‘every once in awhile’ small glass of wine, your soft cheeses, your deli meat (sometimes not even heated up thoroughly), even your cursed Diet Cokes. And now you give me fucking Zika?!? …betch.”

3. Irrational thinking. If reading #2 doesn’t already give you a picture of how my brain is currently functioning, let me tell you, sometimes (most times) I feel like I’m losing it. It’s happened with each pregnancy. There’s usually some aspect of my life that because a crippling obsession for me. This pregnancy, it’s garden-related. I know. It’s weird. But it’s true. Gardening is a fairly new endeavor for me.

I’m not terribly good at it. But I care enough about trying that I’ve invested a good chunk of time and effort into it. So when I look out the windows in our dining room and see bushes that I apparently needed to trim early in the summer (but didn’t) so they wouldn’t fall over from growing too tall and heavy…I freak out. When I see weeds everywhere that I dread going outside to try to pick because it’s too hot, there are too many mosquitos, and it’s really hard for me to bend over…I freak out. When I see a fucking squirrel running away with a fucking branch of our fucking peaches from our fucking peach tree…I freak. the fuck. out. (We have zero peaches, you guys. Zero. Mother. Fucking. Squirrels.) Now in the scheme of things, does our garden look like total shit? No. It really doesn’t. And besides our next door neighbors, we are the only ones that really get a good view of it. But for some reason, I spend an unreasonable amount of time thinking about what I should’ve done or need to do but don’t want to/physically can’t. And that “physically can’t” category is growing by the minute…

4. My body hurts. My stomach is big. Real big. Big enough now that I accidentally bump into people and things. Big enough that simple tasks like putting on my shoes, or trying to shave my legs (ha!), or bending over, or getting out of bed…these things are challenging for me. Plus, this baby is big enough now that her movements are super uncomfortable. There are times I literally feel a foot kicking up under my ribs. Or something will feel like it’s twisting down at the base of my lady bits area. Sometimes she will move or I will move and I will get a weird “zing” of pain down the side of the butt. Or the inside of my leg. Or directly out of my lady bits!! That’s right. Vagina zingers. And I’m having more and more Braxton-Hicks contractions. Which I know is a good thing. Stuff is getting prepped. But it still feels like someone is slowly tightening a fucking corset around my abdomen. Which then leads to the wishful thinking I mentioned. I mean, maybe she will come early. Right?

Overall, being home with the boys over the summer has been good. We’ve been busy and had a lot of help, and it’s gone pretty fast. But much like the end of my pregnancy, the countdown to the end of summer (aka starting school) has begun. Don’t get me wrong. I love my children. But I’m ready to let someone else love them for a few days a week. We made the bold move of transitioning them to bunk beds last week. IMG_8346Nick was still in a crib and Adam was in a crib transitioned to a toddler bed. And I didn’t want to buy another fucking crib for the baby just to have Nick move to a bed in a few months. So, we went for it. I must say, it’s gone much better than I anticipated. Granted, the first night, Adam came downstairs no fewer than 8 times to let us know Nick had climbed up into his bed. But since then, there have been relatively few issues. Nap time is a bit challenging, since Nick is prone to resisting naps. When he was in a crib, I could just leave him in there, even if he was shrieking, and he would usually (eventually) fall asleep. But now that he can just walk out of bed, we’ve started using the lock on the outside of the door. That’s right. You heard me. I lock my kid in his room to force him to nap. Which he does maybe 70% of the time. The other day he just read books on the floor and emptied all of his clothes out of his drawers. So helpful. And before you worry about something terrible happening to him while he’s in said locked room, know that the door has a huge window in the middle of it, so I can keep an eye on him to make sure he isn’t destroying anything (or himself). It’s not a perfect system, but it usually results in him at least being quiet in a sequestered place for an hour or so. And I will fucking take it.IMG_8315

I think the biggest developmental change that has happened with Nick this summer is his language. I know I’ve talked about it before, but it is amazing how quickly things change. Every so often he will add one more element to his sentence structure to make it sound like an actual, real sentence. For example, in the car yesterday, he dropped his toy and asked Andy, “Can you please get my taxi, dad?” And we were like, “Whoa! I mean, no, I’m not going to search under the passenger seat feeling around for your tiny toy while I’m driving. But, whoa! Good talking!” Adam makes some of those changes, too, but his have become more subtle and less frequent. And it’s always a weird mix of excitement and sadness for me when it happens. I love that they are growing and learning, but I hate knowing they aren’t going to be little forever. And once it happens, it’s not like you can go back. They just keep growing up. Yesterday, Adam said the word, “fire”. But instead of pronouncing it like he usually does – “fi-ya”, he said the actual “r” sound. And my initial reaction was, “No!! Stop!! Stay my little toddler forever and ever and never, ever leave meeeee!!!” (refer to “Irrational thinking” above)

Generally, the boys do a nice job playing together, especially first thing in the morning. They have a nice routine of getting up and playing a little upstairs, having breakfast, then playing together in their playroom. Until suddenly they aren’t playing together anymore.

And someone has something the other person wants and everything goes to shit. But those moments when they are building Legos together or driving around their dump trucks or narrating a scene about their toy animals. Those moments are pretty goddamn adorable. And I try to take note of them. To play with them sometimes, instead of trying to do something else or fucking around on my phone (no, I haven’t downloaded Pokemon yet. At least I get points for that). But sometimes, I feel like I need to “check out” for awhile, so I resort to screen time. Magical, wonderful, brain-melting screen time. It’s usually a guaranteed amount of time when I can relax. I don’t worry about anyone getting hurt or fighting or destruction. Except the other day. Adam must’ve been overtired or something because he was really restless while watching something with Nick. And instead of reveling in my blessed “alone time”, I’m interrupted by Adam crying. Not his whiny cry, but a really distraught/concerned cry. And he says, “Nick has a scratch on his baaaack!” …I was confused. Why was he concerned about Nick having a scratch? Oh, because he gave him the fucking scratch. With a plastic fork. That had been broken in half. Ya. He secured a makeshift shiv and fucking scratched Nick’s back because he was lying on a bean bag he didn’t want him to be lying on. Further questioning revealed that the “shiv” had been found in the basement. There was probably a plastic fork that I stepped on at some point that was then found and used as a weapon. To be fair, Adam’s reaction made me expect some gaping wound, dripping blood down Nick’s back and staining his shirt. When I went in the living room to investigate, Nick wasn’t upset at all. Just lying on the coveted bean bag, watching TV. It was a small scratch that wasn’t bleeding, but Adam kept saying, “I’m really sad that I did thaaaaat!” So I walked away feeling like it was a “win” for me. I mean, Nick wasn’t severely injured, and I’d taught Adam to be so sensitive to others that he was distraught by the thought of really hurting his brother…with a broken fork…found in the basement…and taken without me knowing…and used while I was playing a word game on my phone…whatever, it’s FINE! Parenting WIN!!

As much as I complain about wanting this baby to come out now, I’m not really ready for that. I don’t know if anyone is ever REALLY ready. Fortunately/unfortunately, I’ve been through this process before, so I know what labor pains are and how much they fucking hurt. But I don’t know if my experience this time will be the same as the last times. Maybe my water will break. Maybe I will be induced. Maybe I will slowly labor for a couple days before things get going. Maybe I will have this baby on my living room floor (oh please, sweet Jesus, no). But I at least know it’s possible. And that the end result is so fucking awesome. And how lucky is she to have resourceful, strong-willed brothers who can teach her how to fashion weapons out of plastic silverware and resist naps to the point of pure exhaustion? (Nick is doing that right now, by the way.) So I will continue to cope, usually with non-alcoholic beers and excessive amounts of calories, because “this too, shall pass”. And I’m sure, once this little girl starts learning and growing at the same rate her brothers are, and especially once she becomes an adolescent and realizes how terribly weird and uncool I am, I’m going to wish I could go back in time. Wish I could remember when she was safe and snug in my belly. Which, even the 3rd time around, is such a strange and incredible thing. So bring it on, August. And see you soon, baby girl. IMG_8349

31 weeks: beginning of the end

If someone asked me what my current favorite hobby is, I would say food. 100% food. The carb-ier the food, the better. And I shouldn’t be surprised that I’m in love with food right now. It happens every time I’m pregnant. Pretty much as soon as I stop feeling sick, I immediately switch to “shovel in all the things” mode. The thing is, it’s much easier to get away with that in the 2nd trimester. During that time, you’re still fairly active, you’re not uncomfortable, you still have plenty of room for a baby and a food baby to exist simultaneously. It’s a magical time. But once the 3rd trimester hits, game over. Oh, you still want to eat everything, and you do eat everything, but then it has nowhere to go. (By the way, when I say “you”, I mean “me”. I do this.) So now, after I enjoy an over-serving of Indian food, I’m graced with waves of nausea, heartburn, and wet burps. You heard me. Wet. Burps.

This digression really began after I did my glucose test. About a month and a half ago, I got to drink the sugary drink that everyone says is disgusting but I think is actually pretty tasty. They made me wait an hour. Then they drew my blood to test for diabetes. I didn’t think too much of it, until I had a voicemail from my doctor’s office saying to call them. I knew this HAD to mean bad news, because if it was something routine or benign, they just would’ve told me in the message. I knew it HAD to mean I had diabetes. This was the pregnancy it was going to happen. I just knew it. So, I was pleasantly surprised to call back and discover that, no, I did not have diabetes. In fact, my blood sugar was a little low, so I needed to make sure to eat snacks, especially protein-based snacks, between meals. OMG. Best. News. EVER!!!! …except, I interpreted “protein-based snacks” as cookies, and candy, and brownies, and all of the sweet treats!! Oh, and cheese. Cheese in all its forms. Sure, you might say I was indulging, but really, I was following my doctor’s orders. I was doing it for my baby!!!  Then, at my next doctor’s appointment 4 weeks later, I found out I had gained 6 pounds…in 4 weeks… Sooooo….that was exciting news. In the scheme of things, it’s fine. I’m probably going to gain what I gained in my other pregnancies. And it’s fine. Sure, I’m going to be 40 more pounds of person during the hottest time of the year. But IT’S FINE!!! IMG_8213

Speaking of heat, can it stop being so fucking hot already?? Honestly. For only being June, I’ve already had record amounts of under-boob sweat. So much sweat. The surprising thing is, it hasn’t been as awful as I’ve anticipated. Granted, I still have 2 months to go, and it should only get hotter from now until then, but I haven’t been as miserable as I thought I’d be. Maybe I’ve mentally prepared myself for the worst, so I’m able to manage it. Also, I sweat like a monster in the summertime, pregnant or not. So at least being pregnant I have an excuse and can eke out some sympathy from strangers. “See that waddling woman with a glistening sweat mustache? Ugh, what a…oh wait…is she pregnant? Poor thing…”

The waddling seems to have set in a little earlier this pregnancy. I’m starting to enter the “movements are uncomfortable” part of this journey, so somehow that results in me swaying aggressively side-to-side with each step I take. I’ve been trying to stay fairly active. I started out so strong with that half marathon, and then I guess I figured that could suffice as the total amount of exercise this pregnancy. Running doesn’t work so well anymore. I feel too nervous about tripping and falling over, and once I stop running, it feels a little like my pelvis is cracking in half. So, that can’t be good. The frustrating thing is, even walking is starting to give me that sensation. WALKING! The easiest form of exercise. You know videos or images you’ve seen in school or books that show how the earth’s continents really started out as 1 big land mass and then slowly separated into different chunks? That’s what I imagine is happening with my pelvis. Each step I take is creating a larger space between continents. Science.

I have been able to keep up with my Body Pump classes. And the answer to your question is yes, a 31-week pregnant person doing body pump looks as ridiculous as you would imagine it does. IMG_7717Last week, I wore a maternity workout tank top to the gym. It’s a super comfortable shirt, but leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination. I mean, you know exactly where my belly button is and how fucking weird its shape and size is. Anyways, at one point during the class, the instructor asked everyone to look in a side mirror to check their form. As I turned to view my side profile, I think I let out a semi-horrified gasp. I don’t know what I was expecting, but man, there is definitely a growing baby in that fat ass belly. As I’ve gotten bigger, I’ve had to modify for different parts of the class. For example, instead of loading up weight to use during squats, I basically just use my ever-increasing body weight. I also have to keep the bench at an incline and do a series of weird maneuvers to get up and down during the bench press part. For awhile, I tried to keep up with the abs workout, just using a slightly inclined bench. But eventually, it became difficult to know exactly where my abs are. Do they exist anymore? Have they begun to separate like my pelvic continents? Who knows. All I know is during 1 class I tried to attempt a hover, and when I looked down my stomach was no longer round but more pyramid shaped, and I thought, “ummm, fuck this”. Later, abs.

I was really worried this summer would drag on forever since I’m no longer working and the boys don’t have school. So far, it’s been ok. We’ve been fairly busy and (as always) I have lots of help from family and friends. The boys really like going to the pool, and besides the time it takes to lather up my whale body with sunscreen, the pool has been fantastic for me as well. It’s nice for the boys, they get to have some active outside time without melting, and I get some relief from the heat and fucking humidity. IMG_8153I try not to feel too self-conscious in my maternity suit. I have 2 different “tankini” tops that work well, but unavoidably make my boobs look like sad sausages. Don’t ask me why that’s the image that comes to mind, but for some reason it is. It’s like they look skinny, length-wise, like link sausages, but they’re falling down. Like someone is dropping 2 link sausages. But instead of hitting the ground, they’ve come to rest on top of my fat belly. That’s what it looks like. I also had to buy some new bottoms, because somehow the ones I had became crusty? Nothing says, “you’re disgusting” like a crusty old pair of swimsuit bottoms. So I bought some generic black ones at Target. Of course, I needed a size up from what I usually wear, but overall they have worked well. They aren’t bikini style, though, they’re more like spandex shorts. In fact, I probably could’ve just used some spandex shorts I have from my volleyball days. They are just as long as those. And before you go judging my stylistic choices for a suit, know that: 1. I don’t give a shit, and 2. I’m much happier knowing that whatever situation is happening down in that region (because who the fuck knows what’s happening down there anymore), it’s going to be covered. I’m sure I already get plenty of looks/genuine confusion regarding the sausage link boobs and the offensive paleness, I don’t need any other questioning looks targeting my lady bit situation. Uh-UH!

As the boys continue to get older, the general trend that has surfaced is: some shit gets easier and some shit gets shittier. For example, Adam is old enough to understand more things. He still loses his patience and wants what he wants when he wants it, but he can be talked into or out of things and bribed fairly easily. He will even offer up his help every now and then. However, this means he’s also smart enough to manipulate. Manipulate me and, of course, manipulate Nick. Lying has become a fun, new behavior. And he is a shitty ass liar. To be fair, he gets himself into lose-lose situations quite frequently. The most common scenario is: Nick has a toy that Adam wants. Adam takes the toy from him by force (grabbing, pushing, etc.). Nick cries. I ask what happens and Adam says, “nuffing”. Me: “Did you push Nick?” Him: …”no…” Me: “If you’re lying you’re going to be in more trouble. Did you push Nick?” Him: “….” Me: “Yes or no?” Him: “I don’t know!” Me: “Yes or no?!” Him: “Yes, but I wanted…bla bla bla” Me: “Timeout.” So really, attempting to lie is probably his best bet at avoiding punishment, since he’s likely going to get punished anyways. It’s a tricky situation. And Nick is definitely not always the innocent one…

IMG_7707Nick is a stubborn little shit. And as my patience continues to dwindle with every pound I gain, I find myself getting in more and more battles with him. The most recent one was at breakfast. I asked what the boys wanted to eat. Which, by the way, is a terrible fucking idea. Why do I ask them what they want? They are CHILDREN! Why I don’t just decide what I’m going to make and then force them to eat it, I don’t know. Maybe I innately enjoy fighting with 2-yr-olds. Either way, I ask if he wants some scrambled eggs and he says yes. So I slave away making gourmet scrambled eggs for him (aka, cracking the egg into a coffee mug, scrambling with a fork, and heating it up in the microwave). Surprise, surprise, once the eggs are ready to eat, Nick doesn’t want them. Fine. The rule we’ve established for both boys is, they need to eat what’s on their plate. If they don’t, that’s fine, they can be “done”, but when they ask for a snack, they have to finish their plate before having anything else. So, as expected, Nick asks for something else a few minutes later, and I tell him he needs to finish his eggs first. To which he replies, “No!” (while giving me the demon look). I remain calm and explain his options again. Followed by more “no”s and demon looks. Eventually, he tries to pull a sneaky one by taking his plate toward the trash. I catch him and put the plate back on the table and tell him he needs to finish the eggs. More pouting and demon looks. I leave the kitchen for a minute, only to return to Nick pushing his plate of eggs into the sink. As I’m reprimanding him and picking eggs out of soapy water to put back on the plate (it’s fucking fine, a little dish soap never hurt anyone), I see he has one piece of egg that he’s slowly pushing into a space he’s discovered under the counter, between the sink and the cabinet. I don’t know why there’s a space there, but I do know that if (more) food gets in there, it’s going to do nothing but add to the likelihood of (more) unwanted bugs and smells in the kitchen. So I lose my shit and yell and threaten and then feel bad and stupid for even engaging in an argument…with my fucking 2-yr-old. I honestly can’t remember how it was resolved. If I had to guess, I’d say I probably left the plate on the table for Nick to finish and at some point my terrible dog got on the table and ate the eggs and I was too tired to make new ones for him to eat so I just gave him whatever snack he wanted in the first place. A+ parenting, ya’ll.

I chalk up some of my emotional outbursts to pregnancy hormones, but other times, I just become a lazy parent. Being consistent can be really difficult, so I shouldn’t be surprised if my kids’ behaviors don’t change when I don’t follow through on consequences. Summertime is also tough because it seems like there is more going on, later in the evening, so schedules get thrown off and then kids get all dysregulated. A perfect example is Nick’s recent nap regression. We had a couple weekends in a row of late nights with friends, plus random viruses going around, plus me going out of town…resulting in Nick refusing to nap for a week straight. Now, Adam gave up naps not long after he turned 3 (this is early for most kids – lucky me), so it’s not like I’ve had afternoons with both boys asleep for awhile. However, Adam has gotten pretty good at “quiet resting”, so I’m able to get some things done or just sit and relax for a bit in the afternoons. With Nick, however, missing a nap means that by 5pm, he loses his shit. The process of trying to get him back on track with napping was so incredibly frustrating. Listening to him yell in his bed for over an hour straight, knowing that he’s exhausted, knowing that if he doesn’t sleep that the rest of the day will be miserable, also knowing that if I wait too long and he falls asleep too late, I risk a successful bedtime…my sanity was like a pot of water slowly boiling over. I had to do a lot of deep breaths and self-talk. Plus, I googled. I tried to limit myself to sites and suggestions that seemed legit. The internet is full of people who think they are experts and before you know it, you’ve read 1 too many comments on “Baby Center” and you’ve been shamed into thinking you’re doing all of the wrong things. We have a book that we’ve used with both boys when establishing sleep schedules early on, so I figured that was a somewhat trustworthy source. What I discovered is that when kids are overtired, their bodies will actively fight sleep. So instead of napping, which seems like the intuitive thing for a tired body to do, kids will fight it and then fatigue early in the evening. The solution: push up bedtime. Somehow, getting more sleep at night is supposed to make kids rested enough to sleep well during the day. It doesn’t make the most sense to my brain, but I’m on board with my kids sleeping all of the time. I don’t know if there’s a time I love my kids more than when they are sleeping. It’s just wonderful. So, after several failed attempts at naps and pushing bedtime earlier…Nick finally seems to be back on track. Which is actually how I’m able to spend an afternoon writing this blog post, instead of deep breathing and stress eating as he screams in his crib. IMG_7587

As I approach the end of this pregnancy, I can’t decide if I want time to speed up or slow down. Part of me sees that side profile in the mirror at the gym and thinks, “2 more months?!? How?!? How much bigger can my stomach get?!” But another part of me, the part that looked through newborn clothes the other day thinks, “I’m not ready to do this again.” Having been pregnant before is such a blessing and a curse when looking ahead to the end result. There is nothing more amazing than giving birth. Hands down, the most wonderful, amazing thing I could ever experience. However, that process involves lots of pain and discomfort and (sometimes literal) shit. So I’m going to try to enjoy the last couple months of this. Even though it feels like this baby girl is trying to screw something into my bladder when she moves. Even though Tums are now a routine part of my meals. Even though my body is expanding and shifting and waddling. Because eventually, I won’t have a legitimate excuse for sausage link boob sweat and weight gain. I will have another little human to defy me and give me demon looks and sneak her eggs into the trash. And I wouldn’t want it any other way. ❤


26 weeks: Down the rabbit hole

Even though I’m not a student or a teacher, I am very excited that most schools are now out for the summer. This means that summer break has begun. And since it has begun, the end of the summer seems less far away. I know it’s terrible to want to wish away the summer, but I’m due August 28th. So the closer I can make that date seem, the better it is for my anxiety about having a terrible summer. I know it will be fine. Towards the end of pregnancy everything seems uncomfortable no matter what. But I won’t lie, I’m pretty nervous to be an extra 40 lbs in temps that feel 100+ with out of control humidity. You can’t deny it. If somebody asked you, “when is the absolute worst time to live in Kansas City?” You KNOW you would say the end of the August. YOU KNOW YOU WOULD!! Because it is!! It’s the time of year when walking out to your car seems like a task because you know you’re going to break a sweat as soon as you open the door. When going to the pool isn’t even refreshing because it feels like you’re taking a warm bath (with dozens of other hot, sweaty people). When you spill some of your drink on the sidewalk and it literally steams from the heat. THE WORST!! So the sooner I can cope with the miserable heat by chugging down an ice cold beer, the better. God I miss beer. IMG_7592

Generally, this part of pregnancy is my favorite. I feel good, I’m not so large that I’m really uncomfortable, people know that I’m pregnant and not just gaining weight in a weird, isolated location. It’s fun! Plus, this baby is moving around all the time so I KNOW she’s still in there. I’m not sure what I worry about happening, or how I think that somehow she’s just not going to be in there anymore, but it’s how my anxiety operates. Deal with it. I also feel like this part of pregnancy is when babies move around the most because they aren’t so large that they are stuck in one place. They can move up and down and side to side and flip around and upside down. It’s fucking weird. Some sensations are clearly kicks or stretches, but others are downright bizarre. For awhile, it felt as if she was falling down. Like she rolled off the bed or something. I don’t know how that movement is even possible or what she was actually doing, but I kept picturing my uterus as that rabbit hole that Alice in Wonderland falls down and my baby slowly descending and turning flips along the way. Who even knows what weird shit is in there?! Maybe there are rabbits and clocks and furniture. I don’t know!! Nobody knows!!


baby feet!

Perhaps it’s my bizarre imagination that can help explain some of the crazy shit Adam says. He really loves playing on his own and creating little stories or scenarios with blocks or Legos or toys. He also likes reading books about animals and watching shows about machines, so lots of random knowledge gets thrown into his imaginary world. For example, it’s not uncommon to hear him use words like “front-end loader” or “conduit” when building new machines or vehicles. I’d like to say that’s because he’s gifted and/or I quiz him with advanced vocabulary on a daily basis. But it’s really because his favorite show is called “Mighty Machines”, which involves all kinds of real-life machines that are voiced (with Canadian accents) to explain how they work. It’s pretty fucking corny. He also knows lots of random facts about bugs and insects. I think he’s learned some of that from school, but part of it is taken from books that he gets in kids meals from Chick Fil A. (Side note: I know the people that own Chick Fil A are super conservative and have made ignorant statements about issues I care about. And that I should be a progressive adult and choose to get my fast food elsewhere. But you guys. Their chicken sandwiches are the most delicious things in the whole wide world. So fucking good. And I hate that I go there. But I do go there. And apparently I needed to confess this to you, so now you know. Also know that I make annual donations to the Human Rights Campaign, so I’m reeeeeeally hoping that evens things out. It probably does, right? Ok. Confession over.) So these bug facts that Adam knows, they also surface at strange times. For example, he was sick a few weeks ago and woke up in the middle of the night, sweaty and shaking with a fever. We let him sleep in our bed, and as he was trying to fall asleep he says, “A caterpillar is not an insect.” (Which I think is not completely true. Full disclosure I googled it just now because I have no fucking idea. Seems somewhat controversial since caterpillars turn into butterflies, which are insects. Also, how fucking crazy is it that caterpillars change from a crawling, long bug, into a beautiful creature that can fly?!? It’s insane, right?!? Nature.) After this fever-induced “fun fact” game, Adam proceeded to ask, “What do crabs eat?” Which, by the way, I don’t fucking know. Having a kid really highlights all the shit you do not know. I mean, bugs? Wouldn’t you assume crabs eat bugs? Or maybe some kind of small fish? Or algae or something? Who knows?!? The same people who know how a caterpillar can turn into a fucking butterfly. And the people who know what’s really inside my rabbit hole uterus…

IMG_7578In addition to his ever-growing number of questions (all of which are preceded by, “mom”, “mom”, “hey mom”, “mom”, “moooooooom”), Adam continues to develop his own personality. Which I’ve discovered is a lot more like Andy’s than mine. For example, Adam LOVES talking to people. Random people. People walking by on the street. People trying to do work at coffee shops. People riding bikes. Everyone. Which forces ME to talk to people. And I fucking hate talking to people. Not all the time. Of course I enjoy talking to family and friends when I have things to say. But never in my child or adult life would I go out of my way to say “hi” to a stranger. If I have the option to do something online vs. calling, I will do it. Every time. But Adam loves talking to everyone. And telling them what he’s doing. “HIIIIII! I’m Adam. We’re playing with sidewalk chalk!!” “HIIIII! My name is Adam! I’m eating a strawberry!!” “HIIIIII! We are going to the store!!” After which I have to smile nicely and wave to the person, hoping they don’t come over and try to socially engage any further. Ugh! Adam illustrates his confidence in other ways throughout the day, too. Like when he has to go to the bathroom. He can pee on the potty by himself, but I always know when he’s pooped because he will just yell, “WIPE!!!!!” (Rude). Another time, he walked into our room in the middle of the night and woke me up to tell me the ninja turtle night light in his room needs new batteries. I told him we would change them in the morning and he just said, “Ya. Good!” and walked back into his room. (Rude). He’s definitely the boss in his relationship with Nick, too. I’m sure part of that is just an aspect of being the oldest. I’m sure I was a total dick to my sisters when they were little. But that’s because the oldest is obviously the wisest and coolest and most interesting. Duh.
IMG_7594Nick has entered the phase Andy likes to call, “language explosion”. A month ago, I started freaking out because he wasn’t using 2-word phrases (which my developmental book tells me 2-yr-olds should be doing). Literally the next day, he started doing it. And then it seemed like each day he started saying/doing something new. It’s still fairly Yoda-esque sometimes. He likes to say phrases that he knows I’m about to say, or things I say all the time (“Don’t spill, please!” “Don’t fall!” “There you go.”). But he might express it, “Fall, don’t please, Nick.” (close enough). He will also attempt new words or phrases that he didn’t used to. Much like Adam, he likes all kinds of vehicles. Planes, trains, cars, boats, dump trucks, taxis…the whole shebang. Police cars and fire trucks are some of his favorites. Lucky for him, we live not far from a fire station, so we will frequently hear sirens coming and going throughout the day. So when he hears a siren, he will attempt to yell, “FIRE TRUCK!!” Which comes out as, “FAH CUCK!!”. Which I hear as, “FAT COCK!!” No joke, you guys. That’s exactly what it sounds like. The first time I heard it, I was like, “Ummmm, what’s up?” I mean, I’m not always the best about not cursing around my kids, but I don’t think I have ever uttered that phrase in my life. I just don’t really find a use for it. I’m saying, it doesn’t work itself into my daily life. So I eventually figured it out. “Ohhhhhhhh. Fi-YeR TRRRRRRuck”. Somehow I think if I over-annunciate each syllable he will immediately say the word appropriately instead of shouting about obscene body parts. I just hope his teachers don’t report me. Speaking of teachers, I am so grateful for them. Nick randomly started identifying colors and (a few) letters the other day. And while I probably took the time to sit down with Adam when he was Nick’s age and quiz him over all that stuff, I know I haven’t done that with Nick. (Sorry 2nd child). Hopefully his teachers will continue to compensate for the lack of shit I do at home. The newest thing I’ve “taught” Nick, is how to ask Alexa (our Amazon Echo), to play “Hamilton”. I’m just a model mother, you guys. I should probably home school…

And let’s just carry that over into pregnancy. I mean, I eat suuuuuuper healthy, you guys. Honestly, I do start the day out ok. But around lunchtime, it all goes to shit. My problem is, I don’t always anticipate my increased appetite, so I let myself get hangry and then I make poor choices. The worst is at work, when I’ve eaten everything I brought for lunch/snacks, and I raid the vending machines. Oh, what’s that, King Size Milky Way? You come split in 2 and suggest “save one for later”? Fuck you, I’m eating both right now PLUS a bag of Sun Chips!! Oh, I had a healthy salad as (part of) my dinner? I should probably eat 6 cookies. It’s nice outside and I can’t drink beer? I definitely need to compensate with ICE CREAM!!!! It’s pretty bad. My mood gets thrown into the mix, too. I’m a hangry person when I’m not pregnant, so when you add in some hormones, I become a monster. I hate all of the things. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I don’t want to be touched. I just want someone to spoon-feed me greasy cheese pizza and chocolate chip cookies. Oh, and if someone could come over to clean my house and do my laundry and maybe rub my feet, that would be cool, too. Totes cool.

Honestly though, things are going pretty well right now. I’m done with my job, and while I’m a little nervous about going stir-crazy at home, I’m looking forward to spending time with my boys. They drive me nuts, but they are so fucking funny and cute.

It’s weird to think about how the dynamic will change once this little girl comes into our world. It seems impossible that I have the capacity to love another living thing as much as I love my boys. But I know I felt that way before Nick was born and as soon as he was out it was just instant. I’m already starting to have anxiety about raising a daughter and making sure I’m teaching her the right things and teaching my sons the right things and empowering all of them to be good people, bla bla bla. It can get overwhelming to think about all the responsibility you carry as a parent, so for now I think I will choose to be ignorant about it. I will choose to enjoy the summer and not wish the time away, because in reality, 3 months is not a long time. I won’t have pregnancy as an excuse to over-eat forever, so I might as well enjoy it.

I will leave you with wise words from Adam, spoken as he was describing the colors of the sunset: “They come into my eye and then into my brain and that’s why they are in my dreams.” (He’s brilliant. Or he’s high…)

21 weeks: bumps

It has been confirmed. There is no mistake. It’s actually a little girl in there. We are really, really excited. Surprised, but excited. And my mom has already purchased an outfit and 2 headbands…


We’ve been trying to keep Adam and Nick informed about the baby and new happenings with her. Adam seems genuinely interested, while Nick seems convinced that his belly button has a baby inside of it. I think he may have a difficult time giving up his “baby” status when the time comes. He still loves to be held (which is getting more difficult by the day) and gets really fussy if I’m paying attention to any small human besides him. I guess I still have 4 months to worry about it. I’m sure by that time Nick will have come to his senses and discover a new sense of excitement about being a big brother for the first time. That seems likely.


Nick continues to push boundaries and throw more fits as we approach the “terrible twos”. I don’t know if it’s because his verbal skills are expanding, so he’s able to verbalize what he wants more clearly, but he never seems satisfied with his current situation. For example, going shopping has become a goddamn nightmare. The kid wants to be held, then he wants in the cart, then he wants in the back of the cart, then he wants to walk, and he wants to do all those things how and when he wants to do them!! A few weeks ago, this irrational behavior led me to experience my first fairly blatant “stranger judgment” in public. To be fair, the morning’s events set me up to be irritable no matter what…

I had been waiting to hear about a job I was really, really excited about. When I got into my car after going to a class at the gym, I saw a missed call and voicemail. I assumed it was this potential job and that they were telling me I got it. (I mean, I’m fucking awesome so it couldn’t possibly be bad news, right??). It was bad news. My disappointment, and body full of raging hormones, couldn’t contain the tears. So I sat in the parking lot, trying to conceal my sobbing, while my 2 children were strapped in their car seats in the back. I gave myself a few minutes, tried to pull my shit together, and drove around the corner to get a few things we needed at Target. Now I don’t know if you’ve seen the 3-seater cart at Target, but it’s fuckin’ fancy. There are 2 spots for kids to face forwards, plus the usual kid’s seat. The boys climbed into the 2 forward-facing spots, only to realize the straps to buckle them in were broken. Instead of searching for a different, safer cart, I said “fuck it” and just let them sit in the seats unbuckled. It’s not like I was going to try to set a record for speed down the aisles of Target. It was fine. As I made my way through the store getting stuff I needed, Nick started up with his dissatisfaction. I kept switching him from the forward seat to the backward seat to the forward seat to the backward seat…all while trying not to think about the job and start snotting everywhere. We were almost ready to check out and Nick decided that he wanted to be held. In some situations, I would’ve just given in. But on this day, I was in a glass cage of emotion and was not going to be able to hold a heavy toddler and push an oversized cart through the make-up aisle of Target. So I didn’t give in, I kept him in the seat. And, unsurprisingly, he started crying…loudly. I tried to think happy thoughts and remain calm, as I internally freaked out about all the looks I was getting. Finally, we were on the way out the door. Nick was reaching for me, so I went to move him to the forward-facing seat. As I put him in there, while he’s shrieking, he immediately arches his back and starts to slip out of the chair (less than a foot down onto the floor of the cart). A lady is watching me the whole time this is happening and when Nick starts to slide down, she (very dramatically) gasps. Like, a theatrical, clearly audible gasp. The kind of gasp you might utter if you looked out your window and saw a ferocious bear. Even as I’m typing this, weeks later, I wish I would’ve given in to the emotions bubbling up when this happened. I imagine myself saying, “Do you have a fucking problem?!?! He’s fine!! He’s throwing a fit, he’s tired, I’m pregnant and have already had a shitty day. Would you mind backing the fuck off with your Judgy McJudgerson GASP?!?” But instead, I just looked at her (while she was open-mouthed staring at me), and gave her a kind of half-smile, eyebrow raise, “I’m doin’ my best, lady” sort of look. Because I was doing my best!! Ok?!!?

I wish I could keep my cool all the time. Even if I’m a little irritated on the inside, I wish I could deal with my kids without yelling. And I really try not to. Maybe it’s being pregnant, or maybe it’s just a waning level of patience in general, but it’s hard not to feel like I’m always losing my shit. It’s usually in response to Adam. Most of the time it’s just me raising my voice more than I want to, I calm down while he’s in timeout, and it’s not a huge deal. But other times, I really feel like an asshole. Most recently, the boys were playing on the couch. And by playing, I mean throwing all the pillows on the ground and jumping off the couch, into the huge pile of pillows. Sometimes, part of this process involves Adam trying to climb up to the very top of the couch. Basically so he’s lying flat, resting like a cat. As you might imagine, I’m not a fan, so I communicated this to him when he tried it the other day. He did it again, I asked him not to. He did it again, I told him he’d get a timeout if he did it again. He started to do it again, and I jumped up and grabbed him to pull him down myself. Looking back, I should’ve just calmly sent him to timeout the first time he did. Yes, I know. I’m too lazy to be consistent. But instead, I let myself get so flustered that I aggressively pulled him down, accidentally catching his chin with my thumbnail. He immediately started crying. I immediately felt like the worst parent in the world. And he starts cry/yelling, “Wh-hhyy ddd-iii—dd you sccrr-aaat-chhhh meeeeeee?!” Not my best moment. But somehow we all survived.

IMG_7360Both boys continue to change in interesting, unique ways as they grow into their own personalities. Nick is definitely a sensitive soul. It doesn’t take a lot for him to get upset. For example, today he was very distraught by the carwash. (Although, I think I was too as a neurotic, anxious child). He also gets really upset about half the time you give him his milk. He has 2 cups he likes to drink out of, the “cars” cup, and the “balls” cup. And you don’t always know which one he’s going to want. I never thought I would be the type of parent who would pour milk from one cup, into another clean cup, just because my toddler decides he prefers that particular design on the outside of the cup. But, I am that fucking parent you guys. It’s not worth the drama. And even if you do choose the right cup from the beginning, sometimes he loses it when you try to physically hand him the cup. I still haven’t figured out what he’s hoping for in this scenario. I’ve tried putting the cup on the counter or on a shelf or on the floor for him to grab. And he just cries and walks over to the cup and tips it over…like the video of those asshole cats who knock things off of tables. WHY?!?! Nick had a surprising emotional response when we were reading a book a couple weeks ago. It’s a pop-up book about the Arizona desert and has lots of cool visuals of animals that can wiggle and move. One of these visuals depicts a pretty large tarantula. You pull a tab and his long legs move around. While we were reading that page, Nick gets a terrified look on his face and starts crying and backing up, as if the spider was real and going to walk off the page. We had read this book several times before with no issues, but I guess this time my tab-pulling skills were just too realistic for him. I tried to console him and show him it wasn’t real by touching the visual and closing the page, etc. And then…as he continued to get more upset…I slowly started feeling scared that the spider was real. That’s how easy it is to get me to have an irrational fear. For my toddler to have one. And I think I know whose personality Nick has inherited….

IMG_7190Although I give Adam his fair share of timeouts most days, he really is getting better. He asks lots of questions, but also seems to understand more and more. He has started giving compliments, which I’m not going to complain about. But he’s smart about it. For example, when he’s having “resting time” (aka he doesn’t nap but I still need a mental break so I make him sit still for as long as he’ll tolerate), he starts dishing out the compliments. I usually tell him that I’m not going to talk to him during resting time, it’s time to lie still and be quiet. So the other day he gently interrupts with, “can I talk to you for just a little second?” And when I look at him he says, “I like your pants”. Which I know isn’t true because I was wearing 1 of 3 pairs of leggings I rotate through regularly!! It was still pretty cute, though J He also has some very clear preferences for different things, people, or activities. He really likes listening to musicals, specifically “Waitress”, “Hamilton”, and “Book of Mormon” (yup, parent of the year). He loves his friends Annabelle and Felix from school. And he LOVES listening to this audio book while we’re in the car. It’s a narration of “Carnival of the Animals” with the classical pieces played throughout and John Lithgow narrating. It’s really cute and the music is great, but we listen to it all. the. time. Adam has asked lots of questions about this recording, specifically the voice telling the story. We tell him that voice is the narrator, someone who tells the story, and this particular narrator is John Lithgow. I’m not sure if that makes sense to him, but he does try to put things into context. Like when we were at the St. Patrick’s Day parade, there were cars with local politicians going by. Adam asked about the people and seemed to be taking it all in when he asked, “Where does John Lithgow live?” ….what? I’m not sure if he thinks that a narrator is a politician or what, but I don’t know where the fuck John Lithgow lives.


As far as pregnancy goes, 2nd trimester is the bee’s knees. I’m not nauseated anymore, I feel lots of baby movement, and I love eating more than anything in the whole world. All of the food. All of the time. The more cheese and/or sugar, the better. The only time this isn’t awesome, is when I allow myself to wait too long to make a choice about food, so I’m starving and full of rage and can’t find the energy to make a decision or pick up take-out. It’s a rough life, you guys. I have more energy. I have a more obvious bump. And I get to imagine my life with a little lady thrown into the mix. Let’s just hope she gets a good mix of our genetics…943986_10102824592091771_634860435543193069_n

15 weeks: Caring about caring

This week is a big week. It’s my birthday this week. I find out about a job this week. And I get to find out the gender of my baby this week. Eek!!!

In my previous pregnancies, I didn’t have the option to do this early blood test, so I don’t quite know what to think about it all. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to find out the gender with this one, but Andy does, and fuck if I’m gonna let Andy know and not know!! Plus, everyone’s natural reaction to finding out I’m pregnant is, “Oh, you hopin’ for that girl?” “Do you think it’s a girl?” “Trying for that girl, huh?” And it’s such a benign thing to say. It’s an instinctual thing to say. But it drives me absolutely crazy. And I think a big reason it drives me crazy is that it’s partially true. No, we did not get pregnant to try to have a girl. I don’t know anybody who gets pregnant to try for a specific gender. That seems a little ridiculous. However…I do want a girl. I grew up around girls. My sisters are my best friends. I’m really close with my mom. It would be fun to experience what a relationship with a daughter would be like. But then I immediately get defensive of my boys. I love my boys more than anything in the universe. I think being a “mom of boys” suits me. So I would love to have another one. But it will be nice to know the gender early this time so I can just tell people before they ask any questions. Although I can already anticipate, “Oh, so will you try for another one to get a girl?” or “So are you done now that you’re having a girl?” Grrrrrr. Hormones make me hate people.

Which reminds me…I’ve recently had to have several chats with Adam about words/sounds that aren’t very nice. For example, he makes some kind of “pew pew” sound when he’s playing that, to me, sounds like a gun. And we all know how I feel about guns. So I always ask him, “what does that sound mean?” And his response usually involves something about exploding fire at something else. And I try to explain that it’s not very nice to explode fire because that could be dangerous. And he obviously gives no shits about that. He’s a little boy. As we speak, he’s flying his toys through the air while wearing a batman cape. So I don’t think he means anything malicious by his “explosion” sounds. But it’s hard for me not to cringe when I hear it. And I’m sure it’s only going to get worse… One behavior that I’ve made more of an effort to stop is using the word “hate”. It doesn’t seem like it would be that big of a deal, but over the past couple of months, Adam started saying he “hates” certain things. And when he says it, it becomes apparent how harsh that word can sound. So we’ve emphasized that “hate” is a mean word and you can say that you don’t like something, but not that you hate something (or someone). This has actually worked pretty well, except, now I realize that I frequently use the word “hate”. Mine is usually used generically like, “ugh, I hate that” or “I hate when that happens”. But now, Adam points out every time I slip up and use this forbidden word. A couple weeks ago, he told me, “Next time you say ‘hate’, you will have to get a timeout.” Which I thought was a fair punishment. Although, after the fact, Andy pointed out that a “timeout” would actually be a reward for me. You mean, you want me to go to my room? By myself? For an extended period of time? Deal. I will be in timeout for the next 2 hours. Just learning my lesson.

IMG_7221Both boys continue to change and mature so fast. Though I can definitely see changes more drastically with Nick. He’s nearing what we called the “language explosion” phase with Adam. It seemed like at 2, all of sudden Adam was talking like a little person. Nick isn’t quite there yet, but it seems like every day he says 10 more words than the day before. Some of my favorites are “bussssss” (heavy emphasis on the “s” sound), “fawk” (supposed to be “fork” but toooootally sounds like “fuck”), “shht” (I think he’s trying to say “shirt”, but he might honestly mean “shit”), and “ouch” (which makes me think of E.T. every time). It’s really, really fun to watch him try out new sounds and words. He gets actively excited when he can make the connection between a word and the actual thing. For example, any time he hears an airplane sound, he points to the sky and shouts (yes, shouts), “PAAAAAAAANNNNNE!!” He did this repeatedly at the park the other day and I had to reaffirm, “Yes, plane. Yup, that’s a plane. Ya, I see it. Plane. PLANE!!” You would think he was warning us all of some impending alien invasion. He’s very, very concerned about that fucking plane.

IMG_7206Nick continues to be much sweeter than Adam…and much more dramatic. He demands to be held much of the day, which is only getting more and more difficult. But he will nestle his little head into the crook of my neck and pat my back. Which I find fucking adorable and worth carrying the extra weight. But it’s also becoming more apparent that we are approaching the 2’s. Nick can say “nnnno!” like a sass. a. frass. He will also get this pouty face that you can only partially see because he will turn halfway away from you. Not far enough around that he can’t see that you’re watching his little act, but far enough around that you know he’s making a point. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, his little fits will escalate to the point where he just lies flat on the floor. Completely flat. He doesn’t usually cry or kick or anything, he just flops down. Like a rug. Sometimes he will try to collapse like this while I’m picking him up to change him. So I have to do my best to not drop what feels like a 30lb noodle. It’s good times.

IMG_7198Adam’s fits have actually gotten a little better. I feel like now that he can communicate so well, he’s able to talk through stuff easier (and I’m able to bribe him more effectively). I think we’ve entered the “I’m going to ask you 30 million questions a day” phase. Which in some ways, I’m excited about. He can ask some really interesting and pertinent questions. However, other times, not only do I not have the energy to respond to his questions, but I don’t always know the answers! Adam has become really interested in Andy’s medical journals that come in the mail. By interested, I mean he looks at the pictures. So now he’ll ask me questions about medicines and bodily organs. And I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about. One time he asked me what the baby in my tummy eats and I tried to explain how food breaks down in my stomach and nutrients are shared with the baby. And I quickly realized, I don’t know how the fuck food breaks down. I think I threw in words like “proteins” and “vitamins”? What? Many of my answers have become, “ask your dad”, “you’ll have to wait to til your dad gets home”, “dad will know”. One of Adam’s recent fascinations is with blood. (That doesn’t sound creepy or anything…). I think it’s hard for him to understand that bodies have lots of blood in them all the time and that’s a good thing…vs. when you get hurt and you bleed. One time he asked me, “what happens when the blood stops?” I had to consciously stop my anxiety-prone brain from thinking about all of my blood just spontaneously stopping all at once and me collapsing to the ground and dying!!! …”Ask your dad”

Now that Nick is able to communicate and interact more, he and Adam do a lot more playing together. I’d say 30% of the time, this is great. They will look at books together, Adam will make Nick laugh, they will chase each other around.IMG_7160

But then, the remaining 70% of the time, they are fighting. Adam is saying “no” to something Nick is trying to do and Nick is shrieking. That might seem like an exaggerated description, but I assure you, it’s a shriek. I’ve gotten to the point where, if it’s clear no one is getting hurt, I just yell, “figure it out!” Which never works. I don’t know what I’m expecting. That my 3.5 yr old and almost 2 yr old are going to engage in some kind of conflict-resolution meeting. That seems reasonable. Obviously, I’m just too lazy to deal with their shit. But I’ve never felt more like a mom than when I take away a toy they’re both fighting over and say, “if you can’t share, then NOBODY GETS IT!!” Ugh, I’m the worst.

Speaking of me being the worst, it never hurts to remind you that being a mom (especially a pregnant mom) involves constant self-judgment. I rarely think I’m doing the right thing. I feel like I yell too much. I’m on my phone too much. I let my kids watch too much TV. I give them too many fruit snacks. I even let them take sips of my diet soda, for crying out loud. PLUS, I’m pregnant and drinking diet soda. There are SO. MANY. THINGS. you can fuck up when you’re a parent. And pregnancy just seems to bring all of my insecurities out. Running is the most recent example of this. I’ve made the decision to run a half marathon in April. Which means I will be almost halfway through my pregnancy and attempting to run 13.1 miles. Here are some of the conflicting thoughts that go through my brain on a daily basis:

  • You’re running too fast and breathing too hard, your baby isn’t getting any oxygen to its brain. You’re the worst!
  • You are being healthy for yourself and your baby. Go you!
  • You’re going to hurt yourself or fall and then really hurt yourself and your baby. You’re the worst!
  • Exercising is so good for you and will make everything easier. Go you!
  • You’re heart rate is too high. I don’t even know why that’s really bad, but it’s really bad. You’re the worst!
  • Increased blood flow is a good thing. Go you!
  • You’re spending too much time worrying about this, why are you even risking it? You’re the worst!
  • Etc.
  • Etc.
  • Etc.

I’m sure part of this is related to my predisposition for anxiety. If I didn’t freak out about exercise in pregnancy, I’d be freaking out about something else. But there is also judgment that people impose on one another. The fucking CDC just suggested that anyone of childbearing age who isn’t on birth control should completely abstain from drinking. Meanwhile, I celebrated entering my 2nd trimester by having a small glass of wine with dinner the other night. (Also, dinner included salmon and goat cheese. So go ahead and chew on that one). Don’t get me wrong. I know there are reasons for guidelines and restrictions. What’s frustrating is when I educate myself on all of these issues but still feel judged for my informed choices. And all of you are my friends. You are nice people. I’m sure you aren’t concerned about my soft cheese intake. But I worry about it. Just like I worry about reacting a certain way when I find out if I’m having a boy or a girl. I know it doesn’t matter. I should feel lucky to have a healthy baby. But I’m also human. So, if I act disappointed, or excited, or ambivalent, or whatever…try to cut me some slack.

And if it’s a boy and you ever tell him I wanted a girl, I will tell him you sit on a throne of lies. LIES!bf834d10d2a8d3cc8839c7eb3aa14c24