02 September 2017

A Birth Story: Philippa Sarah Rose

I really wanted my little Pippa to come on July 20th. My other two kids were born on a multiple of 5 day and that’s exactly what I wanted for my third. Instead I had to settle for a hot and stormy July 21st, which was my due date, so I really shouldn't complain. I’m really glad she wasn’t overdue but still… a day early would have made all my neurotic number fantasies come true. 

The day Pippa was born was a good day. All the bathrooms had been recently cleaned, all laundry folded and put away, floors swept, mopped, and vacuumed, dusting complete, fridge full. Dan even took Jude to his school that morning for Kindergarten Screening and to our delight he placed in the gifted Kindergarten class! If I can’t brag about a gifted Kindergarten class, what is there actually left in life? Jude, 5 years old and already gifted. Gifted in yelling was previously what I thought, but I guess being able to count to 39 unassisted as a 5 year old gets you places. Really, I’d like to thank the poor kid that left his digital Timex watch at the park for that gifted placement. I heard what exact minute it was throughout the hours for days after that find and now Jude has to work extra hard in Kindergarten. How did this turn into a post about my sweet baby boyfriend? Pippa, back to you.

I went in for my 40 week appointment Friday morning and pleaded my case to the midwife about why she should strip my membranes. I have never been more swollen as I was during Pippa’s pregnancy. I swear I could barely recognize my limbs and face. My Birkenstocks were fitting super tight, and they have always been a safe bet, even for people with hobbit feet like myself. Those were just a few of my grievances, and also it was my due date. Apparently there is new research out that is showing membrane stripping to not be very effective or blah, blah, blah. It still sounds stupid to me. She checked me though and I was 5 cm dilated and 90% effaced, so she said as long as I swear to tell no other midwife at the practice she’d strip ‘em. Mischief managed! That was 9 am and by noon I was having contractions every 8-10 minutes.  They weren’t very painful though so I didn’t really start paying attention to them until a few hours later.

At around 4pm we took the kids to a dear friend’s house. Sweet little Greta could tell something was different and she was refusing to get out of the car. Of course it made me cry, cry, cry, and I just held her so dear and tight while she felt all her emotions too. But I guess 3 minutes after we left, that fair-weathered 2 year old forgot all about how much she loved her mama and went all Elmira on Maggie, my friend’s English Bulldog. I shall remember this, GRETA. Besides that, the handoff went really well and I knew I didn’t need to worry about my bigger kids.

Then Dan and I headed off to the hospital. Contractions weren’t too terrible, pain level was about a 6 and they were coming about 6-8 minutes apart. Triage was fun and I learned I was 6 cm and 100% effaced. I liked the triage nurse, met the midwife on call and her student, then off to my labor and delivery room. Contractions slowly started to progress but it took a long time. We hung out with the student midwife, Sydney, walked the halls, and rested. My water had yet to break and I think the cushion of the liquid helped my contractions seem more manageable than I had previously experienced. So that was a nice bonus. Dan and I walked the halls for a good 2 hours and I would slow down every time a contraction came or I’d lean against the wall. We walked the same loop, the chatter and busy computer noises from the nursing station in the background serving as good distraction, and wondering what some of the odd art on the walls was supposed to mean.

Now I just gotta say it. I LOVE hospitals. I also love midwifery. I’m so glad that I can feel 100% safe in a hospital with my choice of provider. I totally have anxiety, and for me, I just don’t think I could ever go on living if something happened to my baby and I did not have the option of surgical intervention at my fingertips. Of course, I’ve never needed that but I’m so grateful the option was always there. Becoming a mother changes you so much. All of a sudden you know exactly what you would be missing out on if anything happened to your baby or you. And all of a sudden you have anxiety. 

For me, a hospital + midwife is the best recipe to ease my fears and help my labor to progress. I love those fluorescent lights, the noise and chatter, I don’t even mind being woken up every hour to check my vitals and bleeding. I’m all like, “If I’m hemorrhaging, please let me know! Check again! Are you sure you got enough blood in that draw? Take a few more cc’s, you never know! Is that microscopic blood clot too big? Should you just confirm my blood pressure is normal one more time? My legs were crossed, let me uncross them and breathe deeply and this time I’ll stop talking.” Ha ha ha. Do all the things you need to. Do them twice! But give me my damn midwife, also. I have been fortunate to never endure a bad hospital experience, I admit. My dad is a doctor and I grew up around medical talk, a medical office, going to the hospital with him when he was on call, watching him stitch up a few people here and there… I guess I’m pretty used to it. So for me, give me all the modern advancements, because I want/need them when I want/need them. For me, midwives are the perfect liaison for that and although I’m a little bit of a medical neurotic, they’ve always put up with me. Bless their hearts. You should probably count your blessings I’ve never been a patient of yours. Maybe not though, cause I’m like really really good at doing everything a provider tells me to – I’m pretty sure it’s a side affect of my anxiety.

Okay, so. After walking the halls for a while we headed back to my room and I just wanted to lie down and rest. About an hour passed and then contractions started to get really intense. It was okay though, I’m a good breather. I’m concentrating through contractions, and trying to conserve my energy. All the while it felt so surreal to actually be in an L&D room, laboring to bring a child into the world. Laboring makes me feel so connected to every other woman that has ever given birth and also to every orangutan. Those grunts, lady. In between contractions I was dumbfounded that it was actually me. Having a contraction! About to meet another human being! Who was in my uterus! How did I turn into a laboring adult female so damn fast? And then I wanted some fentanyl. You know, I’ve heard so much about it on the news and I was just so curious. They had an IV catheter in a vein on my wrist, should it be needed, making it just so easy for me to give this famous drug a little whirl in a completely legal and supervised situation. And according to my itemized hospital bill one dose for me was only $72.15. What’s the going rate on the street? IDK, but $72.15 seems pretty good to see how it makes me feel. It made me feel really dizzy. Unfortunately my contractions still hurt like a contraction does during transition, but I got to be dizzy at the same time. I go back and forth on whether or not the fentanyl took the edge off and I guess because I’m still wondering I’d have to say no or only a very small amount.  Oh well. Glad I got to take a hit and try it out.

After the dizzies wore off I said “I want an epidural and I want it fast and now.” So in comes my midwife and guess who is 10 cm and whose baby would be born long before they could even run fluids on me and get an anesthesiologist for me. This girl was! I was so goddamn mad at my midwife when she told me that. “Lies!! All of them!” I remember thinking, why do I wait so long, and also frantically thinking there was no way on earth I could do what I had to do. And then the urge to push was so great I couldn’t even stop it. Pushing happens to me, like someone getting hit by a bus.

As Pippa was crowning I remember mixing in some really emotional tears with my pushing. On the third push my water broke and I think it was the fourth or fifth push that delivered my sweet Philippa. With Jude and Greta, my waters had broken well before giving birth. For Pippa, because my water broke like a freaking huge water balloon right before she was born, it felt like I was giving birth to a very slippery giant squid. At 10:34 pm she was born. I remember asking if that was it, and if she was okay. Dan placed a tiny little 7 pound, 9 ounce girl in my arms where I looked at her up and down and side ways, then, matter of factly, decided that even though I’m too old for this, I did love her, surprise baby and all. I was really, really rooting for those hormones to come through. Thank you body! Oh! I DIDN’T TEAR. I honestly cannot believe my luck.

I love being in the hospital snuggling my babies. For me, it’s really relaxing. I love to spend all the time there that my insurance company will let me. When Philippa was barely a day old I remember being up with her at all hours. The monsoons were so strong that night it smelt like rain in room number 110. I’d breathe in the fresh rain and then the fresh baby, with thunder in my ears and lightning in my eyes. Dan was sleeping at home with our big babies so it was just little Pippa and I – cuddling and loving on each other in the dim light during a big storm. So magical I’ll never forget it.

Now our sweet Philippa Sarah Rose is 5 weeks, almost 6 weeks old. She’s been a great little baby. We had her tongue and lip tie released at 1 week old, which was both heartbreaking and a smart decision, and she is nursing and growing really well! Jude and Greta both adore her and really don’t mind that she’s around. Jude loves her because she is so cute and doesn’t take his stuff (his words). Greta loves her because she’s a baby. I make enough milk to feed quintuplets but I’m working on decreasing my supply. It’s so painful and my poor boobs are really gonna take a hit after this nursing journey is done. SIGH. Having her around has been pretty good. Dan had 3 weeks paternity leave, and that was such a special time for us. The kids were so confused when he had to go back to work. So was I.

Things are going well though. I almost find myself waiting for the other shoe to drop. Three kids is busy, but not bad at all. We just have to do things right then and there when the moment presents. I did have to get a day planner like some idiot though. Two kids was fun. I could handle it without a planner and I always liked it when I’d be “surprised” about something. Oh we have a play date today? A doctor appointment? It’s soccer registration already?! Huh? Now nothing is a surprise and these events emerge in a much more boring, less exciting, more calculated manner. I’ll miss being slightly surprised about most things in my life. Things must be written down, checked and double-checked now. I rather enjoyed my aloof days of 2 kids, but I guess if I get a Pippa I’ll take 3 any day. BUT THAT’S IT, WORLD.

24 February 2016

Boo Hoo, 11 Months.

This Gretie Spaghetti is ELEVEN months old now. Wow. I know it goes by fast but when you are actually experiencing it, it goes by even faster. I took a nap, woke up, and all of a sudden I almost have a one year old. Mind blown.

I don't mind that she's 11 months old though. She is still just as dreamy as she was on day one. Oh, it's time to stop waxing poetic because GRETA CAN WALK. She took her first steps on Superbowl Sunday at ten and a half months. For the first ten days or so she still preferred to crawl, only taking 3-4 steps at a time but now if she can walk it she walks it. Her steps are a little wobbly and punchy but she gets the job done. It's so strange to see such a young baby walking around our apartment. I see her go by and I always do a double take, like who dat?! Oh my sweet walking Greta. She does not have teeth though but she can walk... ha ha. 

Greta still loves Jude. This is a good thing. Jude still loves Greta. Also a good thing. Sometimes he gets a little frustrated with her but I think it's cute and also just what he deserves. I mean, does he even know what he put us through?? Karma's a B kid. Nah, Jude was a wonderful baby and oh how I miss that baby boyfriend of mine. If I'm playing with Jude, Greta is right behind me ready to crawl all over us so she's in on the action too. It's really so sweet. Greta also still loves me. If I don't shut the door when I'm using the bathroom it's only a matter of seconds until I have someone wanting to play with my undies. I've gotten much better at shutting the door. Now that she can walk she loves grabbing my legs to get my attention - when I'm cooking, doing dishes, walking, Greta is right there holding on.

What else... bath time is still a hit, but now Greta insists on standing up most of bath time so her baths have gotten noticeably shorter. When she's actually sitting in the tub she loves to blow bubbles in the water and take little sips here and there. We are really encouraging Jude to not pee in the water. She babbles like a brook but no distinct words yet. She has a few baby girl toys to play with but Greta definitely prefers Jude's superhero toys. If you asked Greta she'd tell you just how delicious and chewable they are... mmmm.... that Martian Manhunter! She loves to chew on a good Superman but Greta loves food even more. Of course, she still has no teeth, but she can gum up anything. She usually gums up her veggies and then spits them out but will eat almost anything else. So I still give her veggie purees here and there because she will eat those. Greta loves a good smoothie as well so I've been sneaking veggies in those. Feeding kids is still a pain in the ass but at least this one likes to eat. I'm 1 for 2 people, that's progress. 

And lets take some time to talk about my sweet Jude boy as well. He figures things out pretty fast these days, draws conclusions, and makes logical bridges between ideas. It's so neat to watch his little brain working. Jude is in love with super heros, good guys, and bad guys. He's having a little Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles kick right now and can sing the old school cartoon song form start to finish. He's a great talker but still says "mine" instead of "my" and we refuse to correct him because it's so sweet and endearing. I'll leave that up to society. When he just can't believe it, or is really excited he loves to say "Oh. Mine. Gosh." and it's so cute. For whatever reason Jude really believes he's the smartest person in the world (hold on there kid) but while driving the other day he said "well, I'm the smartest boy in the whole world, I know everything, except math. No one taught me math yet." I told him I can teach him math but he insisted that his teachers need to teach it to him, so whatever. I'll be there for you though when you need to divide fractions, sweetie pie. 

This little family of mine has my heart. This early phase of motherhood has been so good. These little kids of mine, it's impossible to describe the love I feel for them. I know everyday and every moment I have with them is a gift and it will never happen. I just want to remember it all because everyday they get a little older and a little different but I guess that's beautiful too. 

31 January 2016

A 10 month post 11 days late!

                Ten months is far too old to be, Greta, but I guess I'll allow it. I have no choice.

The other day we were driving through a spaghetti bowl of over passes, listening to some music while the kids were babbling in the back, and it all made me so happy. It was a 'pinch yourself' moment and I just couldn't believe I am where I am in life. I have two beautiful, precious kids! One is rather loud and likes to stomp when he's upset, but if that is the worst of it, I'll take it. The other one is a smiley, sweet girl, with plump little thighs, that loves to giggle and tries to do everything herself. Oh mah sweet babies!

Well, at ten months Greta is standing on her own with wobbles here and there. She takes steps with her little walker toy and while holding on to furniture. We are pretty sure she calls me "mum mum mum mum", so maybe that's her first word but maybe it's not, she won't say. She loves to mimic sounds you make, play games with her binkie, and still loves her big brother. Greta honestly cannot take her eyes off him. She absolutely loves bath time with Jude. He makes her giggle and they splash the whole time. Greta also likes to dip her face in the bath water and wether she is trying to take a sip or see how it feels on her face, I don't know, but she does a cute little sputter every time. If Jude isn't with us she is always looking for him. And that Jude boy, he loooooves his baby sister, sometimes even softly and gently! He has to start his day off by kissing her on the forehead, because if he kisses her on the lips he gets too "goobey" (his words). Jude does not like goobey things, and he especially does not like it when Greta gets his toys goobey. Those are some difficult times. 

Recently my sweet baby Greta has turned into a grump a lump when she is put in her car seat. Awe man. Do I ever have to carefully wrestle her to strap her in and she cries and cries. But once we get going she's just back there babbling to herself and watching Jude. Jude likes to point out to Greta that he is very good at being strapped in and does not cry and that she should be the same way. Keep teaching her Jude. I'm not going to hold my breath. 

Greta is doing a little better with food. I give her what we eat and sometimes she likes it, sometimes she doesn't. I've been pushing blueberries on the kid for awhile and she finally tried them and seemed to like them- she's like that. I'll give her something and she takes days to finally try it. Honestly, feeding babies is such a pain in the ass. There! I said it! I'm looking forward to easier eating days, for both my kids. Good grief. Eat the food, CHILDREN.

My heart about stops dead when she waves. Greta is expert at waving which is best exhibited when she first wakes up. She is standing ready with her right hand waving back and forth as fast as permitted, smiling ear to ear. It's really so sweet. She will sometimes wave to strangers but mostly to us when we come and go. A wave is usually followed by some clapping because she's so proud of herself. Well, we were so proud of her when she figured waving out we would exclaim "Yay!!" and start clapping. It goes hand in hand. Ohhhh it's so sweet. I said that twice. That is just how sweet it is folks.

14 January 2016


Oh wow, here we are. Another month, another update. Time keeps marching on. I was looking at my sweet baby today, or maybe yesterday, and marveling at how large she is getting. The other day she let me rock her to sleep instead of pushing away from me and lunging for her crib. Her sweet chubby legs wrapped around me, past my hip is where her piggies lay, and her tired head rested in the crook of my arm. My sleeping baby in my arms feels so magical. I'm so mad at time. It feels like just yesterday I was snuggling my little baby blob, who, by the way, did not lunge off of me for her crib; and now I'm snuggling an almost one year old. Boo hoo hoo. Oh but I love her just the same, and really, she's kinda a little shrimpy so she seems a little younger to me than she actually is.  I am really glad she is a good sleeper though, but ohhhhh time, give me back my sweet baby blob. (I like to call them baby blobs when they don't really move.) Is there anything better than a baby blob? There is not.

Our Greta Ann. Oh she is a happy baby. She is constantly on the move. If we are all in a room and she isn't, it's just a matter of seconds before you hear her pitter patter crawling to meet us all. Greta likes to pull herself up onto anything and everything. Thankfully, she is understanding gravity a little better and has had fewer accidents with it. Except today she bumped that head of hers twice so maybe I shouldn't speak so fast. My busy little baby, she wants to know what everything is, where everyone is, and what everything feels like if she puts it in her mouth. Kill me now she is so cute. GRRRREEEEEETTTTAAAA! Really, you'd have to prove to me that there is a baby girl more loved than this one.

Food. She is loving almost everything she tries. She's eating more table food these days which has been a lot of fun. And also messy. She still gets some purees here and there just to make sure she's gotten enough but so far Greta agrees with food and it with her. Some of her favorite things to eat include cheese, cheerios, gnawing on fruit and veggies, brown rice pasta and sauce, sprouted wheat toast... oh, she had some Christmas ham dinner and loved almost everything I put on her tray. Greta also loves squishing up all the food in her hands. I think I'd like that too if I were a baby. Mmmmmm squishy...... What kind of foods does your baby like? I need more ideas!

--This was in my drafts since December, just waiting for me to post... so post I did. sorry about all the delays. It was written in time for her 9 month mark in life. Sigh. Nine months in, nine months out. --

23 November 2015


Oh look, I'm getting busy on the ole' blog again. It's because my sweet little pile of smiles and coos is eight months old! My dear friend had a baby just yesterday and I feel like that should be me. I should be the one holding that sweet little baby blob against my chest. Oh well. I love Greta just the same and am just as grateful for her as I was the day she was was born, even though she is probably double her birth weight and will no longer curl up on my chest. Apparently there is far too much for her to do now.

Greta gives the best smiles. One of my favorite smiles of hers is the good morning salute. Dan brings her to our bedroom and as soon as she sees me her arms start flapping, her big bright eyes turn into tiny squints, and her mouth opens so wide surely you'd think donuts were involved. She likes to paw at my face and then quickly moves on to more important things. The tags on the pillows, Dan's nose, or the cord for the blinds are all big draws. That morning salute, it's oh so sweet. "Good morning Mother, today is a happy day!" I just know that's what she's trying to say. 

Without consulting her parents, approximately four days ago, this little girl started pulling herself up on to anything that can be pulled upon. It was so rude, her growing up without consent. From month 6-7 she still wasn't sitting up on her own, rather reclining as nudes do, at almost exactly 7 months she figured enough was enough and learned how to take a good sit, and now, almost 8 months on the button she is pulling to standing. And I'm tear-faced emoji all day long about it all. She pulls herself up on the coffee table, the kids Poang chair, the kitchen step stool, the ball table, the book shelf, the pantry shelf, ... the couch - but that one's not near as successful. The thing is, once she's up she doesn't really know how to do anything else, but she did master the graceful fall about two days ago so at least less crying is involved. 

Greta still loves her brother. Jude loves to climb into her crib with her when I retrieve her from a nap and smother her in loves. Sometimes he loves too hard. Jude is also very good at telling and showing her what toys she can and cannot play with. He does not like it when I correct him by saying she can play with allllll the toys, but oh well. He already didn't enjoy sharing so it's really no big deal. The other day Jude had some ice cream in the car and gave Greta a lick!!! Neither Dan nor I noticed until it was too late. Jude was so proud, it was hard to be upset. Jude's report was "she liked it, she just licked it up" and then he proceeded to slurp like a baby. My big baby and my little baby. I love them. 

And also we moved to Maryland. It was so difficult to say goodbye to a place and people that we love dearly but so far things a state up have been good. We are just trying to find Jude some friends, which always takes time. Yesterday at the park as we pulled up I told him some kids were there and his reply was "oh good, then I can make some friends!" It kind of broke my heart but also I know he's doing fine. Why just this afternoon I was his friend and we played and played while Greta slumbered. Preschool will probably start next week for him so hopefully there will be some little friends to invite to his birthday party in March. He talks about his birthday a lot and he is a little concerned about the guest list, if I'm being honest.  

So Greta is 8 months old, Jude is adorable, and we moved. Life.    {pictures come soon.... i hope}

14 October 2015

6 1/2 months

I am terrible at getting these things out in time, which annoys me. I wrote monthly for Jude and I want to do the same for sweet Greta. And, I had something funny to blog about, though "oh I should make a note of that idea," while having an extra hot shower the other day, never did make that note, and now I forget what I was going to say. But I know it was funny, so you can laugh if you want.

Okay. Greta is adorable. I think she is made of pure brownie batter, she is just so yummy. And she can CRAWL. She started at 6 months old, no joke. A little earlier than I expected but I don't even mind as it is the cutest thing ever to watch. She's like a baby Godzilla, terrorizing all of Jude's toys, and it's hilarious. Sometimes Jude is fine with it and other times he gets all red in the face and says "Grrrrrrrrrreeeeta!". Ha ha ha. I love it. She still can't quite sit up on her own, but has mastered the 'reclining nude' stance, a la George Costanza. And you know, it really gets the job done. I need to get a picture of that because it kills me. I'm her mother though, everything she does makes me want to drop dead because she is so sweet and cute I can't take it anymore. With Jude and Greta around I just don't know how I'm still alive, breathing and blinking. They KILL me dead in mah tracks all day long. Like I've said before, I really love this mom gig, way more than I ever thought I would. Oh! She is also eating food a little here and there! So far she likes sweet potato and carrots with a no thank you ma'am to the butternut squishy squash. She will also gnaw on pear and apple slices (with much supervision) and seems to really enjoy those.  I'm going to devote more time to her food in the next week as right now she's just eating one 'meal' a day and I know she'd like more. So on to that.

Greta is a baby full of smiles. She is pretty calm and typically only cries when we have stretched her awake time a little too far. Greta loves her Jude brother. He can make her smile and coo just my entering the room. Jude loves to kiss her and try to pick her up. Greta is a baby on the move who prefers to be crawling around rather than in any contraption, even if you can jump in it. She still has no teeth!! I'm slightly concerned but I know I don't need to be. She loves her mommy but she also loves her daddy, which is awesome. We had her cry it out a few weeks ago and she did great! Going to bed is easy these days and if she fusses at night she typically just needs a little cuddle and she's off to dreamland again. In my sleeping stupor, I sometimes pull her into bed with us but she really prefers to be on her own, both breaking my heart and making me so happy. Babies are little for far too short a time.

Dan and I have been eating really healthy the past few weeks and I'm so proud of us. I've been learning a lot about food and what my body needs and I love it. So does my rump. I'm really hoping I keep this up and continue to be brave about trying new whole, healthy recipes even if they look weird. What I really want to do is eat mashed potatoes and grilled cheese sandwiches all day long but who doesn't. I've found out I actually do like sweet potatoes (yams, technically) and they do make a great base for a meal. THIS IS MONUMENTAL. Previously, I did not believe this. Now to just keep the wheel in motion- I can do it!

Jude is our little dude and I sure love him as well. He is loving preschool, except for on Tuesday when he told me he didn't want to go because his "feelings [were] tired." Jude loves anything Star Wars, which I do not love. I'm learning though and still, it is rather annoying. He is really good at imagination play with his cars, Transformers, Avengers toys, blocks... it's really fun to watch. He often makes them talk and then says ".... , said Ironman", like he's reading a book. It's really sweet. He is yelling less and less in other kids faces, which is so great. He's never been a hitter, pusher, or biter, but.... that kid can yell. It's his thing I guess and he is doing it less and less. We recently took him to Build-A-Bear and this kid loves his stuffies. It's sweet to see him care for Closing Stuffer (what the heck kind of name is that, Jude??), he makes him little beds, hugs him really tight and while closing his eyes says "ohhh I love you so much!". I love Jude so much, we love Jude so much. Kids.

A couple sweet things he said: The other day he had a rough morning and was not being very nice to me. When I dropped him off at preschool he gave me a big hug and whispered in my ear, "I'm sorry I was so mean to you this morning..." and, again, I almost died it was so sweet. Then at the park with Dan the other day, Dan was at the bottom of a tube slide making silly sounds that travelled up the slide and Jude was at the top with another kid. He said to the other kid "oh, that's my dad, he makes funny jokes, and tells funny stories, and he's funny." Oh Jude, stay little forever, kid.

So that's that. My kids are getting bigger and bigger. It's really nice to be the one to care for them on a daily basis. I'm grateful for the opportunity even though it comes at a high cost. Babies, babies, babies!

20 August 2015

And Now She's Five Months Old

GRETA!!! Baby lady, you are 5 (I would like to use the F word as an adjective here, but will refrain) months old. Seriously, my mind is blown. We have made it almost half a year. And just to let you know, my Gretie Spaghetti, I am still pumping milk for you 5 times/day. I love you that much. It really sucks, but I love you more than it sucks. You will, however, nurse your left big toe and I am honestly offended and jealous of that piggie. That piggie is not going to the Market anytime soon. You are a champ at rolling over and once you have done it a few times and you are on your tummy you dig those little feet into the ground, stick up that little tush and grunt and groan, trying with all your might to propel forward. It is so cute, I even let you get a little frustrated doing it because I'm so tired I need something to make me laugh... where do you think you're going anyway? My poor kids. I mean, what kind of mother does this kind of stuff?  I do! And one of my friends recently told me I'm a 'fun mom', so I'm not going to stop. You laugh and you giggle and it is so sweet, my black heart turns pink for a few minutes and prickles recede. The best way to make you laugh and smile is to make a modified monkey sound, to repeatedly kiss your chubby little thighs or cheeks, or to have you watch Jude do anything. We all love you soooooooooooooo much. Oh baby, we are glad you are here.

^where does she think she's going, anyway??^

Happy happy 5 months to you. We are anxiously awaiting your teeth. 

Okay, onward we go. Jude is, of course, super cute these days too. He talks and talks, likes to 'joke' Dan and I, will do anything for a lollipop, and knows who is an Avenger and who is not. He's really interested in spelling and what letter a word starts with. His repertoire of songs he can sing is slowly growing and he can hold the tune pretty well for a Three Three. And we got rid of his binky/soother ages ago.... but sometimes the binky fairy brings it back when extra hard days hit and Dan does not like this. My favorite thing is when he starts really laughing on his own. Usually America's Funniest Videos will get him going and it is so incredibly adorable. Jude is also really good at playing make believe these days, all on his own too. He's so sweet when he does it, he will say "Hulk is angry again, said Ironman," like he's reading a book. It is so endearing.

My heart is full. My days are full. I am exhausted. I love these sweet little people. My back aches. My eyes pulsate. I am spent. This is what anxiously engaged in a good cause looks like for my life right now and I love it, I love this full, exhausting life.

(I'm getting a massage this weekend to help with a few of those things.)