My Little G… As In Gangster


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My second child. My little middle. My Itty Bitty Bumpy Little Chumby Chumby, Big Red, baby boy. Grant… is a gangster. A thug. An OG. For real.

I’ve known for awhile now that he isn’t made of all sweetness and rainbows, but his big blue eyes and unruly red hair has had me blinded. His flawless milky skin with those fluffy rosy cheeks, his beautiful, pearly-toothed mischievous grin, his wrinkled up little nose, and overall angelic appearance has had me fooled for so long, that it was nearly impossible to admit it when I first saw the signs of evil unsavory behavior.

He picks fights with his older brother. His favorite instigation technique is running up to Truman and ripping the cell phone (undoubtedly playing Spiderman videos) right out of his hands. Then, he makes Truman ask nicely before he’ll give it back. Grant will also sneak up behind Truman and hurt him. Punching, smacking, pinching or pulling hair are the usual offenses. Grant tries to smooth the action over by yelling, “Sorry!”  (“Sah-De!”) immediately over his shoulder as he runs away. Truman always cries and Grant, well… doesn’t care. He seems very remorseful when he gets in trouble but turns around and does it again as soon as possible.

There are other things too. The way he asks questions over and over even though he knows the answer, he just likes to hear you say it a million times. The way he takes off at a dead run, completely naked when you try to change his clothes. How he stands up on the couch and stares you down as you beg for him to sit before he falls and breaks his neck. Oh, and who could forget the whimsical sound of him screaming “POTTY!” at the top of his lungs until you take him. Not nicely. Not asking. A deep, animalistic growling. Demanding. Screaming potty potty potty over and over. He accepts no excuses, he wants a bathroom now. Even if you are driving. Or ordering your meal at a restaurant. Or trying really hard to find a bathroom somewhere…anywhere. He isn’t crying or angry about it, he’s smiling and happy… and insanely loud.

Grant is a little brute on many occasions but the ultimate display of badassery happened on Thursday. It actually all began on Tuesday when Truman and Grant were picking on each other incessantly. We were trying to get out the door to go to a farm and the boys were just being horrendous. Truman refused to help Grant find socks and they both took off running down the hall toward their bedroom. As I asked myself for the 50th time why I was attempting an outing of this caliber on a day when my children were being complete jerks so difficult, I heard a blood curdling scream from the bedroom. I ran down the hall to the kids’ room and Grant was sobbing on the floor. Truman was also on the floor but in the process of getting to his feet and already apologizing. Grant was holding his stomach and when I pulled up his shirt I saw this…



Yes. A really terrible bite mark. Truman has never bitten before, not even as a young toddler. Tuesday, he decided that biting was something he wanted to try. The farm trip was off the table, Truman was grounded to his bed until after nap time and Grant needed a lot of cuddling and a Spiderman Band-Aid before he stopped crying. (Mommy drank beer on Tuesday night.)

Wednesday was a whole new day with a new behavior chart, a new no-yelling policy, and a “let’s talk about our feelings instead of throwing a fit” policy. Wednesday was a smooth, good day.

Thursday we got up and cleaned the house. Grant is currently obsessed with the vacuum so he got it out, vacuumed the living room and hallway and then wanted to put the vacuum back in the guest bedroom. Truman, ever the helpful big brother, decided that he could put the vacuum away faster and attempted to take it from Grant. I was nursing the baby on the couch and heard the struggle in the hallway beginning. As I called to Truman to leave Grant alone and let him handle putting away the vacuum on his own, I was interrupted by another blood curdling scream, this time from my first born son. Truman came running into the living room holding his arm and screaming, “HE BIT ME!” Grant was hot on his heals, looking remorseless and determined.
I said, “Grant! Go sit in time out right now.” Grant ran to the mat by the front door and sat down.
I pulled up Truman’s sleeve and saw this…


Yep. More teeth marks. I pulled Truman close to hug him and that’s when it happened. I looked toward the door where Grant was sitting, stone faced, watching his big brother cry.

Before I could open my mouth to scold him, Grant slowly and silently lifted his t-shirt. Staring at both his brother and I, with his tiny first finger, my-not-yet two-year old child pointed – POINTED!-  to the Spiderman bandaid covering his own bite wound.

Like a straight-up gangster.

Like this entire situation was a beautifully crafted act of revenge that had been in the works for two days. I couldn’t speak. I wanted to laugh but I obviously couldn’t do that either. Keeping my composure, I simply said; “We don’t bite, Grant.” And got Truman his own Spiderman Band-Aid.

Grant. My little middle. My sweet, red-haired, Itty Bitty Bumpy Little Chumby Chumby… AKA ThugLife.




In Five Weeks


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I feel myself doing it again. With five weeks left until my due date, I feel myself frantically holding onto “normal” life with my boys before this new little one comes into our world and turns everything upside down. I remember these feelings before Grant was born. How would I love another baby as much as I loved my first? From the second I laid eyes on him I loved him just as much, so that is no longer a question for me. There are new questions though, new worries, new concerns. Mostly, just the realization that in five weeks from now, our lives will be something very different from what they are right now.

I’ve been picking up my insanely independent 18 month old and trying to hold him close, pressing my lips to his chubby cheeks while he giggles and squeals, pushing me away. I’m trying to savor what is left of his baby-ness but he seems to think he’s already too big for all that. He is sleeping in his own bed, asking to go potty every ten minutes, carrying on full conversations and answering my questions with, “Yeah! Sure!” My little Chumby, who has always looked tiny to me even though he’s tall and stout, maybe even a little larger than average; will look enormous compared to this newborn. He will be a big brother. In five weeks I’ll never see him as tiny again.

I pull my 3 year old close and ask him about his thoughts, his day, his friends. I look deep into his eyes and give him as much time as he needs to fill me in on the exciting happenings of Spiderman-Truman, daycare time-outs and his invisible owies. He is so excited to meet his new brother and has big plans to help out. He already fancies himself the boss, a grown up, the leader. This second brother may push his ego into a whole new realm, forever setting him apart from the “little guys.” He is three going on thirty as it is and in five weeks, he will act even more so.

I welcome them into our bed in the mornings, pulling them close and breathing in their sweet sleepiness even though my hip aches, someone’s feet are in my chest and I desperately need to change positions before my back breaks. My belly pushes against them creating distance, almost symbolic of the space that a new brother is going to demand. As I lay there, uncomfortable but happily tangled in sleeping toddler limbs, I can’t imagine how I’ll do this with a newborn. With a third child. Where will he lie? Are there beds bigger than king size?

I worry. How can I give each one special attention, especially in the early days when this teeny, new human will need so much from me. He deserves that much of me. After all, his brothers before him got my all in their time of new-ness and he should get no less. When he arrives I know that I will fall in love. I know that not having him will feel impossible. That it will be like he’s always been in our home, in our family, in our hearts. But life will never be what it is right now. With my two silly, rough and tumble boys, best friends and partners in crime. Never again will my husband and I each grab a kid and know that everyone in our family is accounted for. We will have an extra, a third! We will be outnumbered five weeks from now. One of us will have to account for two kids at all times while the other has one. Triple car seats, triple clothing changes, triple bedtime, triple bath time, triple tears and triple love. How will it all work? I mean, it will work because it has to but how? I dread the thought of someone falling through the cracks.

For now, I make couch beds past bedtime and allow just one more snack. I play catch for one more second before we have to leave the house and allow three more minutes of YouTube before screen time is over. I wrap my two arms around my two sons and hold on for dear life because I don’t know how I’ll fit them around three. In five weeks my life is going to change forever. And I know it is changing for the better, but it is changing none the less. Right now will never be again, and as excited and ready as I am to meet our precious baby Clark, a tiny part of me is sad that our two-child chapter is closing. In five weeks from now, we will be a whole new family… of five.

A Peculiar Word


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My husband likes to tease me. Well, he doesn’t just like to tease me, he likes to tease people in general. Most of our friends have silly nick-names that my husband has given them. Our friend “G-Unit” wore a G-Unit T-shirt to our house ONE time. Once! He isn’t even a big fan, it was probably just the only shirt lying around that happened to be clean that day so he wore it to play poker at our house. Little did he know, his life would be changed forever. Brandon has been known as G-Unit ever since. I forgot his real name for close to two years. Seriously. There have been others. T-Bone, Jer-Bear, Paul Wall and Quiet Guy. Mike has a knack for finding one little flaw, a weak spot or just a quirky habit and he pounces. It isn’t mean spirited or anything, his intentions are always light hearted and fun; but it can get annoying… especially to me. It is also hard to get him back. He is pretty unbothered by what anyone else says. Besides, it isn’t really my nature to relentlessly tease, so most often I let him have his fun without giving him the payback he so deserves.

But awhile ago, I found something.

There is a word that my husband cannot say. It isn’t that he doesn’t understand what it means, or can’t spell it. No, he actually, literally, physically cannot speak the word correctly. That word is: Peculiar. I don’t even know how it came to my attention that he couldn’t say it, but awhile ago he either brought it up or he tried to say it and couldn’t and I laughed at him. He openly admits that he can’t say it correctly and I really never thought too much about it. In fact, I had completely forgotten all about his peculiar disability until last night.


We were watching Spy, a comedy action movie starring Melissa McCarthy. The kids had fallen asleep early and it was such a treat to sit on the couch and watch a silly movie without listening to someone cry, having to wipe someone’s butt or making endless amounts of food for ungrateful children who end up feeding it all to the dog. Mike and I were relaxing and content. At one point in the film, a character says, “Well, this is a peculiar theme…” It hit me like a speeding train. I turned my head and innocently asked my unassuming husband, “What did she say?”

“Huh?” Mike looked at me.

“What kind of theme was it?” He looked confused like he had maybe missed something, so he rewound the movie back a few seconds. “Well, this is a peculiar theme…” I asked again, “What kind of theme was it?”

Mike shook his head with a little chuckle and gathered his thoughts. He sat up straight and feigning confidence, said:

“A pecul-ul-liar theme…” And the laughter began.

“What kind?!?!?” I screamed though my giggles. I was becoming hysterical just by his first attempt.

Pecooolier. Pleckuuler. Pec – I can’t say it!” He was red-faced and we were laughing so hard it was actually silent. Every once in awhile a high pitched scream giggle escaped my mouth and thorough gasps for air, another failed attempt at pronouncing peculiar would escape his. “Peck…UUUU…uler. PeckOOOlaler…” We looked like lunatics. There were tears running down our cheeks, my stomach hurt, we couldn’t breathe. It went on for at least five minutes straight. Through my howls,  I kept saying it correctly and he kept attempting to repeat it but just, no. That word and my husband’s mouth are simply not compatible.

It was hands down the most fun I’ve had on a Sunday night in a long while. And now, I’ve got a definite stopper. The next time he teases me about my clumsiness, my constant worrying, my need to follow the rules or get to the airport three hours early. I’m bringing out the big guns.

Mike, repeat after me:

That was peculiar.

I bet it shuts him up. Or it will, at the very least, hand us a few minutes of pure glee!



The Joys of Pregnancy… Again!


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I am sure I’ve written about all of the fun stuff that accompanies baby-growing in a previous post, but this pregnancy is different so I’m going to do it again. This pregnancy is my THIRD. Three. Thrice. Triple. Three babies have lived in my body and each unique soul has come with it’s own bag of tricks. Truman was dramatic (hmm, some things don’t change.) and caused me constant worry. There was bleeding, progesterone supplements, a vanishing twin, heartburn, lazy movement requiring monitoring, induction and lots of post-labor stiches. I also got huge.


Mike and Me, leaving for the hospital to have Truman at 39 weeks.

Grant was slightly less dramatic but gave me new symptoms like morning sickness to deal with. Early on he hid behind an anterior placenta which muffled his heart rate, and let me tell you, it is not fun to see your doctor run out of the room in full panic mode to get an ultrasound machine after a silent Doppler. Grant’s pregnancy caused heartburn so bad I was throwing up blood and had to go on medication. It was during this pregnancy that I began peeing my pants quite frequently, mostly when vomiting said blood or sneezing (or laughing, or driving over a bump, or…) Grant was born in a hurry, just one hour after arriving at the hospital. I had no drugs and only two stitches. His birth made me feel like Superwoman. The pregnancy did not. Looking back, I was moody, a little bit mean and oh yeah, I got huge.


Grant belly at 40 weeks

This time around, things have been vastly different. I’m tired. Not just a little sleepy, I mean alternate reality, down to the bone, sick from exhaustion. All. Of. The. Time. I had morning sickness, real morning sickness with vomit and misery from week seven to week fifteen. My skin is disgusting, ranging from acne-laden to flaky and dry. I get headaches and I normally NEVER get headaches. My brain is so frazzled that I feel like a crazy person 90% of the time. My legs are restless while sleeping lying in bed awake all night, in the car, at work or anytime I’m not moving around. The round ligament pain started early and is unbearable at times. I swear it feels like someone is ripping into my lower belly with a dull knife! And that belly? Wow, does that come out a lot faster for number three. It is a good thing I don’t try to keep pregnancy a secret for long because it seems like as soon as I told everyone we were expecting, my baby bump showed up. I’m weepy; not just over sad stuff, but over pretty stuff, sweet stuff, happy stuff, stuff that reminds me of my kids growing up and the reality that this is probably my last baby.


See this delightful red flaky patch? It is on both cheeks. Hot.

Baby Clark is active. He kicks and flips and drives tiny heels into my bladder all the live-long day. I don’t need to throw up or sneeze to pee my pants, a well placed baby kick can make it happen. Now I am contemplating buying incontinence underpants to wear for the remainder of this pregnancy. I’m only 25 weeks and my back is killing me already. I have outgrown most of my maternity clothes. Outgrown them. The clothes that are supposed to fit me until the end! My feet are bigger so my shoes all hurt, I am always out of breath, I want to eat constantly, I still have heartburn (though not Grant caliber heartburn) and I am trying so hard to cherish it all because my husband is refusing to make any more babies with me! (Can you imagine why? Don’t I sound like an absolute pregnancy Goddess?) Oh and you guessed it, I’m huge.


I know I don’t look huge… but remember this is at 23 weeks. Yeah.

I know it sounds like I hate all of this, but I really don’t. I do love some things about being pregnant. I love the excuse to have a huge belly, I love the big rolling movements of a baby flipping around and the pointy knee and elbow lumps that jut out alien-style when baby stretches. I laugh every time the baby gets hiccups. I like how (most) people are excited for me and ask questions about my family and tell me all about their families. I like that (most) people are concerned for my safety, hold doors open and offer to pick up stuff that I drop. I love coming up with baby names. I LOVE the excitement of announcing a pregnancy, announcing the sex and announcing the birth. I love that Truman places his little chubby hand on my tummy to feel his brother kick even while watching TV or engrossed in a video. Call me crazy, but I actually love pushing and the incredible elation of birthing a tiny human. The tough stuff is such a small price to pay for the most amazing end result. I just feel like it is important to share the not-so-fun details too. That way all of you other pregnant Mommas know you aren’t alone in being a swollen, sweaty, pee-leaking, cry baby. You are not the only one burping and eating and heavy breathing your way through each day.

It is okay to not love being pregnant. So often we are made to feel ungrateful for not cheerfully embracing every detail of this stage in our lives. Is it all worth it? Of course. Is it always fun? Hell no. Hating vomiting, headaches, weight gain, hemorrhoids, or general pain and discomfort doesn’t make you less deserving of a baby. Don’t even get me started on the ladies who have severe, life threatening circumstances surrounding their pregnancies! Telling women they should just be happy to be pregnant really discounts the amount of work, sacrifice and love that goes into bringing life into the world. None of this is for the faint of heart. Not all of us do pregnant gracefully and beautifully with a perfectly shaped bump and a stunning glow. Some of us just barely get through it… hopefully without ripping the ass out of our pants or farting loudly in public.

What was your worst/grossest/weirdest pregnancy symptom?

My Night: A Timeline


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8:00 PM – Exhausted from the dinner battle and afraid to look at the condition of the kitchen, I announce bedtime. Truman throws his body around the couch, flopping like a fish out of water. Grant shakes his head no and runs away.

8:20 PM – Mike starts on the war zone that was once our kitchen as I wrestle Truman into pajamas. He insists on doing it himself… yet refuses to actually do it himself.

8:30 PM – I change Grant’s diaper, (this is really just holding him down with one hand while clumsily digging wipes out of the container with the other.) I repeatedly tell Truman to go brush his teeth. Truman ignores me completely and rides his truck around the living room.

8:35 PM – I finish changing Grant into his pajamas and tell Truman to go to his room. I hand Grant off to Mike, and he immediately begins screaming bloody murder as I leave the room. Truman saunters easily into his bedroom. I breathe a sigh of relief, just knowing that tonight is going to be an easy bedtime night.

8:40 PM – We read a story. Truman begs for one more story. We read another story. I tuck him in and kiss him goodnight. I realize he never brushed his teeth. I decide to let it go for tonight. I turn on the nightlight and turn off the overhead light. Truman says he’s hungry. Grant’s sobs have quieted in the living room.

8:50 PM – I grab a piece of bread from the kitchen. Bread is a test to see if Truman is actually hungry or only stalling. If he eats it, he’s hungry. If he doesn’t, he’s stalling. Grant sees me as I walk back through the dining room and resumes his bitter cry of abandonment. I give Truman his bread and tell him to eat quickly and go to sleep. He looks disgusted and asks for butter. I go butter his bread and return it to him. Off to the living room to rescue Grant.

9:00 PM – “Moooommmmyyyy!” Truman bellows in tears from his bedroom. Upon investigation, his bread has fallen down the crack between the bed and the wall and his leg is uncovered. He can neither reach his bread, nor cover his own leg back up. It is a serious situation, as he is now starving and freezing to death.

9:10 PM – I sit down on the couch and begin nursing Grant. “Moooommmmyyyy!” Truman. Again. I look at Mike, “You go.”

9:25 PM – Mike returns from the bedroom looking beaten and flushed. He has taken Truman to the bathroom, gotten him a drink of water, argued with him about having fruit snacks, (he did not give in!) traded his blanket for Grant’s blanket and tucked him in – again. Mike sits down. Grant is fast asleep on the couch, exhausted from crying and traumatized from all the abandonment. My nipple is still firmly trapped in his mouth in what feels dangerously close to a bite.

9:30 PM – Truman walks into the living room. Nonchalant and confident, he begins playing with his toys as if he has no where else to be but right where he is. Mike and I look at each other, mouths agape and begin a silent, eyes-only argument about who is getting up to handle this issue. Grant is still threatening to bite off my nipple, so Mike loses the fight.

9:45 PM – Truman is sobbing in his bed, shouting out all of the things he wants: juice, his monster truck, cake, his Mommy, a Spiderman lamp and whatever else he can think of. His demands aren’t working so he turns to concerns and issues: his blanket has fallen off, his shirt is irritating his tickle pit, his toy dragon is scaring him. With a few silent screams and prayers for keeping my flesh intact, I manage to wiggle my nipple out of Grant’s mouth. I slowly ease myself off of the couch and head back to Truman’s room. I cover him, attempt to reason with him about the importance of sleep and finally threaten major consequences if he doesn’t stay in bed.

10:00 PM – Too exhausted and near tears to relax, Mike and I decide to just go to bed. Truman is asleep, Grant is asleep. I carefully scoop Grant off of the couch and carry him to his bed. Just as my hands leave his body, he awakes with a yelp and sits straight up. The anger and betrayal in his eyes burns a hole through my soul. I pick him back up and carry him to our room.

10:30 PM – Grant is still nursing as I stay frozen in one position, afraid to move or even breathe for that matter. My hip starts to ache.

11:30 PM – Mike is snoring, the dog is snoring, Truman is snoring… Grant is still nursing. Well, more like holding my nipple in a vise-like grip between his pearly little razor-sharp teeth. Every time I attempt to move he clamps down a little harder. My hip is throbbing, my right arm is asleep, my eye itches, my blankets have fallen off and I am freezing. Grant’s mouth drifts open and I hurriedly remove my raw and burning nipple from his mouth. I carefully roll over and try not to cry as all of the pooled blood begins circulating through my body again.

12:30 AM – I get up to pee. I say a little prayer that the current silence in my home remains so until I have to wake up for work. I know in my heart it will not.

2:00 AM – Grant wakes up crying. I nurse him back to sleep. I hear Truman babbling about cake and his hoodie.

2:30 AM – I carry Grant into his room and put him in his bed. I run back to my room. I fall asleep before actually lying down.

3:00 AM – Truman wakes up crying. He has to go potty but is screaming and refusing to go. I sit him on the potty while he cries, probably traumatizing him for life but I was right. He pees a river. Truman insists on sleeping in my bed after the torture session and I can’t say no because… well, Mommy guilt.

4:00 AM – Grant wakes up. I carry Truman back to his bed, bring Grant into my bed and nurse him back to sleep. I hear Truman cry out, “Leave me alone!” I pretend he’s talking to me and I honor his wish.

5:00 AM – Truman climbs into bed next to me. I am now sandwiched between the nipple biter and the sleep-talker. I can’t move or roll over. I have a head in my ribs and a foot in my kidney.

6:00 AM – My alarm goes off. Not that I need it since I haven’t been to sleep yet. I get up and stand at the foot of my bed, looking at my family. One big guy and two little guys, sleeping soundly. Nicely covered, not crying, not kicking, not talking… hmph. I head to the shower. Time for work.

Baby Number 3… What Will You Be?


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In three weeks, we will know whether baby #3 is a girl or a boy. The wait is killing me. Why? I don’t know. We didn’t even find out until birth with Truman. I found out really early with Grant that there was a good chance he was a boy and then confirmed it at 20 weeks. This time, I feel like I’ve been pregnant with a mystery baby for a year already. It is the first pregnancy I’ve experienced that I don’t have a strong feeling either way about the sex. With Truman I was sure he was a boy. With Grant, I was sure he was a girl in the very beginning but since we learned fairly early on he was a boy, there were very few weeks of suspense. With this baby, I bounce back and forth. Everything about this pregnancy has been so different that I’m tempted to say girl. But actually having a girl seems so foreign to me, I feel like it must be a boy. This has led me to Google every single old wives tale and gender determination trick in history. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

The way I am carrying – High = Girl

Morning sickness – Yes = Girl

Craving sweets or salty food – Sweet = Girl

The baking soda test. Put a tablespoon of baking soda in a cup, pee in the cup. If it fizzes it is a boy, if it doesn’t fizz, it is a girl. = Boy

(While we are on the subject of urine…) Dull or Bright yellow – Dull = Girl

Moody – Yes = Girl

Do I eat the heel of the bread or the middle – Middle = Girl

Has my beauty disappeared – Yes = Girl

Face getting fuller and more round – Not that I can tell = Boy

Chinese gender chart = Girl (This chart has said girl through all 3 of my pregnancies.)

If a toddler boy shows interest in my pregnant belly – Yes = Girl

Extra Clumsiness = Boy

Left breast larger than right breast  – Yes = Girl

Hold a string with your wedding ring over your hand – back and forth = Boy

Craving meat and cheese – No = Girl

Headaches – Yes = Boy

Mayan Tale adds moms age at conception and the year of conception – Even number = Girl (This holds true with both of my boys.)

Hands constantly dry – Yes = Boy

If you pull down your left eyelid and see a V or branches on the white part of your eye – Yes = Girl

The hairline of the previous baby – Grant’s is straight = Boy

Mom’s gut instinct = Boy (Usually)

Acne – Yes = Girl

Ramzi Theory – This theory can make you crazy by the way. See the photo. = Girl


Truman top right, Grant bottom right, New baby left.


Wedding ring on a string over belly – circles = Boy

Heart rate of baby above 140 – Yes = Girl (So far the heart rate has been 162, 155, 148.)

Nose is growing or spreading – No = Girl

Dreams about the sex means the opposite – No dreams yet! However, I only dreamt of girls while pregnant with my boys so I believe this one.

Totals: 17 for Girl and 9 for Boy.

So, as you can see I’ve made myself insane and all for what? I truly don’t have a preference. I would LOVE to experience raising a daughter. Then, I look at my boys and LOVE the thought of having one more. Three adorable boys who are close in age and may grow up being the best of friends. I think the hardest part is everyone else. Almost every person I encounter tells me how much they hope this baby is “my girl.” It makes me think no one will care about him if he is a boy! I certainly don’t want anyone pitying me for having three amazing sons. At one point in my life I was pretty sure I’d never have one child, let alone three. Who ever this baby is, I am so incredibly grateful to have him/her. In 20 more days we will know who will be completing our family. I can’t wait!

Did any of these wives tales hold true for you?

And Then There Were 3…


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So, the “Them” part of my life is growing by 1. That’s right! Our plans to have a third baby somehow got on the accelerated track and the summer baby that we wanted to have is coming a year earlier than expected. It cracks me up looking back at how much we did to bring this surprise upon ourselves. A month or so before I found out, Mike and I had this conversation:

Mike: “You better stay away from me January through March. I don’t want anymore winter babies.”

Me: “Yes! A summer baby next time would be great. So… that means I have to get pregnant right now or a in 1 year from now.”

Mike (Eyebrows raised in panic): “Ha! Yeah, a year from now.”

Me  (Exhausted at the mere thought of having a baby at this moment) : “Um, yeah. Next year.”

Then, I began obsessing over timelines. If I had a baby in the summer of 2017, how old would Truman be? How old would Grant be? How many years apart would that make them in school? How old would I be when the baby arrived? And because I’m weird and anal about certain things, I didn’t like the idea that 2 babies would be born on even years and 1 baby on an odd year.

I also began obsessing over girl names. We have always planned to name a girl after my grandma. When my sister got pregnant this year, she asked if she could use my Grandma’s name if she had a girl. Considering that the name belongs to her grandma as well, and there is no guarantee I’ll ever have a girl, I said of course. My beautiful little niece was born in October and has my Grandma’s name, which is perfect for her. But, not having a girl name on the ready was bothering me. (Why? Because I was unknowingly using the law of attraction to make myself pregnant.) We have a boy name locked in because Mike got to choose Grant’s name with the condition that I got to choose the next boy’s name. That girl name was plaguing my mind! I began pouring over name lists online.

Meanwhile, Grant turned one and I was busy with parties and Thanksgiving plans. Mike and I realized we were long overdue for a night out and my friend graciously offered to babysit for us on Friday November 20th. That whole week I couldn’t get a cup of coffee that tasted right. It was too strong, too weak, burnt tasting or bitter. I ordered McDonald’s, Burger King, Tim Horton’s and coffee from our pot at work. It all tasted awful. The night before our big date, I went to bed feeling nauseous. I woke up the next morning feeling nauseous. I hoped I wasn’t coming down with something because I really wanted to go out. Friday at work I peed six times… which is about four times more than I normally pee at work. Right around the third time, I decided I’d better take a pregnancy test later on. I stopped at the dollar store on my way home and grabbed two tests.

If you’ve never taken a pregnancy test before, I’ll tell you a little about how it works. You pee on one end, or in my case you use a dropper to put pee in a little reservoir on one end. (I’m cheap and buy dollar store tests because they work exactly the same way and are $14 less than the kind you buy at CVS. When you try to have a baby for three years and take 6,000 tests in that time, dollar store tests save you $84,000. Give or take.) The liquid starts to move through the viewing window and after 1 to 3 minutes one line will appear if you are not pregnant, and two lines will appear if you are. The “You Are Pregnant” line is first and then the control line. If after three minutes there is only one line, you throw the test away and make yourself a drink. If after three minutes two lines are showing, you drive to the nearest Target and start throwing handfuls of money to the employees in the baby aisle.

On November 2oth, I dropped four drops of urine onto my test and the darkest line imaginable popped up within 2 seconds. I sat frozen on the toilet alternating between giggles and whispering, “No freaking way…” I paced around the house excited and nervous, mostly because I had absolutely no idea how far along I was. See, when you breastfeed you don’t have a period for awhile. Sometimes it comes back in weeks, sometimes months, sometimes years. It is all very dependent on the woman. I still had not had a period since Grant was born (a YEAR ago!) therefore I had no clue if I was a little bit pregnant or ready to give birth. (Not really, I turn into a house while pregnant. There is no way to not notice my enormity after 13 weeks, so I knew I was somewhere in the first trimester.) I decided to tell Mike that night on our date.

My friend arrived and we said goodbye to the kids. We decided to go eat sushi, which is a no-no while pregnant but I decided to go for it anyway. We sat down and ordered and I told Mike I had a present for him. I slid the wrapped package across the table to him, and half of me thought he would figure it out before he opened it and the other half worried I might be blindsiding him completely.


Turns out, I was blindsiding him. He had absolutely no idea that this was a possibility. His face turned white. Then red. Then he got crazy eyes and said, “Woooooowwwww… really? Woooooooowwww…” And then I started worrying that he might run and leave me stranded in the sushi restaurant. He smiled though and I felt better. He laughed nervously and I laughed nervously and we talked about how crazy this was and how amazing that we were infertile for three years and now we will have three babies 3 years old and under. We ate sushi and saw a movie and came home to our boys.

Since that day, I found a new obgyn office and met with a certified nurse midwife. I had an ultrasound which determined I’m due July 12th. I have thrown up more times than I care to recall and have felt down right horrendous. I am emotional, I am sick a lot, I am starving when I’m not throwing up, and I have acne all over my face and shoulders. So far, I’ve not had fun. I am praying that the second trimester will bring some relief. We have settled on a girl name and we are ready for whichever kind of baby finds it’s way to us. I would love to have a girl, but if we have a third boy I will be thrilled. We told Truman that there was a baby in my tummy and he was very excited. He immediately put in a request for his new baby to be black. We gave him a brief lesson on genetics and explained that Mommy and Daddy are both white so unfortunately, our new baby would be white as well. He understood but he was disappointed. Truman has also told all of his teachers at school that he is having a sister, which caused some confusion about how far along I am and I had to clear all of that up. Our families and friends were shocked but supportive and we’ve heard lots about how full our hands will be.

So, we are just rolling along with our third and final pregnancy. I’m trying to savor it all, enjoy it all and really remember it… but so far it hasn’t been easy. I do feel comfortable with this being our last baby though. I feel like our family will be complete.

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


The Yeoman Family

Annie, Mike, Truman, Grant and Baby #3



Dear Grant, You Are 1!


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Dear Grant,

Today is your first birthday! On one hand, I cannot believe an entire year has gone by already. On the other, it is hard for me to remember my life without you in it. It seems like you’ve always been there. Maybe not physically, maybe not right before my eyes where I could squeeze you and giggle at your expressions and breathe in your sweet and perfect scent, but there. In my heart. In my soul. In a subconscious promise to be. A year ago, that promise was honored and you arrived, straight from my dreams and into my arms.


You have been a beautiful addition to our family. Your brother adores you, though he has had moments of jealousy and he sometimes gets frustrated with you touching his stuff. When you were tiny, Truman would beg to hold you, would run to get anything you wanted and was your voice when you needed something. He made sure I was on top of getting you milkies, a diaper or anything else he thought you may want. As you grow, you two have learned to play together so well and are always making each other laugh. Truman calls you, “my baby” “my brother” and “Gran-Gran.”

Your Daddy is enthralled with you, Grant. With two small children in a family, parents have to split up and each take a kid sometimes. Daddy did not get as much time to bond with you at first, since Truman needed attention and I was who you needed most often. Now that you’re a little bigger and less dependent on Mommy, your relationship with Daddy has soared. You will settle down and cuddle with him on the couch in the evenings, even allowing yourself to fall asleep – something you never do with me. Your face lights up when he enters the room. Daddy is so proud of every one of your milestones and loves to watch you grow. He is also impressed with your pitching arm and hopes your love of catch will transition into a baseball career!

Grant, you are the star of your class at daycare, and Miss Helen’s favorite. She carries you and coddles you – maybe more than she should – but I am not complaining. Over and over I hear how happy you are, how good you are, how smart and sweet and cuddly you are. Strangers stop me to admire you, especially that fiery red hair standing up all over. You are almost always smiling, and when you aren’t it is because you are either very sad or very mad. You don’t really cry without reason. You are fairly sensitive and you don’t like loud noises, yelling, or being startled. You don’t like being left alone in a room. You are loud. You like to make noise, humming, moaning or talking. You are repeating pretty much everything we ask you to and you get most letter sounds correct, even if the words aren’t completely clear. You give hugs and kisses and can follow basic commands. You love “big kids,” nursing, being on the move and eating. You are a speed crawler. You pull yourself up to standing and are trying to walk. You are getting a little further every day and I know soon you will just take off and run!


You are so big… yet, I think of you as tiny. I am afraid that may never go away, Grant. Most of the time you hear about parents relaxing more with the second baby. Having been through it all already, they loosen up and stop worrying. For me, it has been the opposite. I worry about you constantly. How you feel, what you are eating, if you sleep too little, if you sleep too much, if you fall down, if you cry. I call you a zillion weird, made up pet names that sound an awful lot like baby talk (I mean, if I was the type of Mom that ever talked baby talk to her children, gasp!) I am often shocked when you can do something age appropriate because in my head you are a teeny baby still. I am sure it stems from the incident on your one month birthday, which holds the number one place in my heart for The Worst Day Ever. I still rub your head and can feel a small bump. I can picture you tiny and broken in that hospital bed and it brings tears to my eyes and sucks the breath from my lungs every single time. It still seems impossible that you pulled through just fine, but you did. You were so strong! You are so strong… but I will remain fiercely protective of you, my Itty-Bitty Bumbey. I can’t help it. I love you too much.

Today you are 1, Grant! You are no longer a baby. Your first year, your infancy is behind us. Welcome to toddlerhood! You will undoubtedly rock it, my little love. My wishes for you are the same as they always have been, they always will be, and they are for all of my children, current and future.

I wish for you a lifetime of:

Happiness – however you may find it.

Health – physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Love – shared with people who cherish your happiness and health.

It is that simple.

Happy 1st Birthday Grant. (Big Red, G, G-Man, Itty-Bitty Bumbey, Little Chumby-Chumby, Pumba, Pumbey Little Bumpy, Little Chunky Chunky…)

I love you immeasurably,



This Is Why I’m Crazy


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I am sure you’ve heard the funny saying, “This is why we can’t have nice things” by now. It is all over funny memes and used pretty often in conversations between awesome people. I honestly don’t know where it came from, (I could Google it, but I don’t want to.) or how it got to be a “thing,” but I use it often and love it.


I know exactly why I can’t have nice things, and it has a little something to do with my two messy, rambunctious children; so instead I have decided to write a list of reasons that I can’t be sane. Why I repeat my stories, sometimes within the same hour. Why I forget what I’m doing, in the middle of doing it. Why I never know what day it is, where my shoes are or how much gas is in my van. Why I continually question whether I am doing a decent job raising these boys that I love so fiercely. These are also many of the reasons that I can’t seem to find twenty minutes to write a blog post more than once a month. So, This Is Why I’m Crazy:

  1. My children alternate sleeping. One child falls asleep. The other child falls asleep. I get a warm (or cold) drink, I sit down, I exhale… the first child wakes up crying. Repeat. All night.
  2. One of my children is covered in poop. Or pee. Always.
  3. Truman is holding something messy, or breakable, or sharp, or dangerous and is seconds away from sprinting across the house with it.
  4. My husband can’t find the ______ he is looking for. (Insert every single thing he is ever looking for.)
  5. The lady in front of me in the left turn lane is texting… through two green lights.
  6. I am reading yet another news story about some hideous whore of a mother woman who has killed her child.
  7. I decided to look into the harmful effects of _____ (insert anything you can imagine that we encounter on a daily basis) and now I can’t stop researching and worrying.
  8. Grant is eating something… from some secret reservoir inside of the carpet. Again.
  9. The holidays are coming, as well as ALL of the birthdays. My schedule looks like this from October to December: Niece’s birthday, Niece’s birthday, Auntie’s birthday, Halloween, Niece’s birthday, Auntie’s birthday, Grant’s birthday, GG’s birthday, Mom’s birthday, Thanksgiving, Truman’s birthday, Niece’s birthday, Christmas. There are parties and dinners and travel required.
  10. Grant is learning that he has a choice in his behavior. He can smile and peacefully go along with something or he can completely freak out about something minor, (like losing sight of a green plastic cup) stiffen his entire body out while smashing my nose with a backward head butt. He prefers the latter.
  11. My patient doesn’t know what is wrong with her glasses, how to describe the problem, or how I can help… but something is definitely wrong and I need to fix it. Now.
  12. I have wasted ten ounces of precious, liquid-gold breast milk in three days time. Five ounces forgotten in my bag overnight and another five ounces dumped all over the break room floor. It hurts my heart.
  13. I am still not unpacked.
  14. I still don’t have anything hanging on my walls.
  15. I continually convince myself that I am pregnant. (I am NOT. Settle down Mom.)
  16. I bring the tote of larger sized baby clothes for Grant up the stairs from the basement. I wash it all, I hang it all, I try to put an outfit on him and realize that he has somehow outgrown the clothes already. I put all the clothes back in a tote and take it back to the basement. Repeat. #elevenmonthsoldwearingsizeeighteenmonths #whathappenedtosizetwelvemonths
  17. I cannot, absolutely cannot, find an extra five minutes to shave my legs. They are awful. Thank God for fall and winter in Michigan because I probably won’t really need to worry about this for another eight months. Unless I visit the gynecologist… oh, what if I get pregnant…(see #15.)
  18. I want to make everything I find on Pinterest. The choice to do so would mean quitting my job. Or quitting sleep. Something’s gotta give.
  19. I continuously have to bite my tongue while scrolling through Facebook stupidity. My tongue is sore.
  20. On paper we should have a whole hell of a lot more money then we have… Oh wait, I forgot to account for food. And gas. And diapers. And… nevermind, we are not supposed to have any extra money after all. In fact, I do not know how we are still alive.
  21. My patients do not know the difference between “stigma” and “astigmatism.”
  22. My husband asks me to trade five minute backrubs at the exact second between the time I sit down after laying a sleeping child in his bed, and before I exhale. (See #1) I angrily growl NO, even though a five minute backrub sounds delightful. I really just want to have ten seconds when no one is touching me.
  23. Truman looks me right in the eye and tells me he wants to pee on the potty and never in his pants. That he knows that poop and pee go in the toilet and that he loves big boy underwear. Then he pees in his pants and says, “It’s pee pee!” with glee.
  24. Grant is repeating every word we say which leads me to believe he will speak in full, intelligent and sassy sentences even sooner than his brother did. That means, I will be losing arguments with two of them very shortly.
  25. I want to lose weight, I want to eat only whole foods, I want to refurbish furniture, I want to meal plan, I want to can fruits and vegetables, I want to update the kids’ baby books, I want to paint my two pregnant-belly casts, I want to organize the basement, I want to streamline my wardrobe, I want to have a date with my husband, I want to decorate for fall, I want to write up a detailed budget, I want to write a fiction novel, I want to mentor, I want to learn new skills, I want to volunteer, I want to buy all new makeup, I want to crochet a huge amount of stuff and sell it. I want to have time to do even one of these things.

And this is why I’m crazy.

The Big Trip: Part 4


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We were on our way out of Oklahoma City but we had one major thing topping our to-do list first. The van needed an oil change. We were supposed to have had one before we left Las Vegas but all of the last minute stuff took a lot longer than a minute so we never got the chance. Then, we were going to get one in Albuquerque. Well, we were looking for fast and cheap and the fast ones weren’t cheap and the cheap ones were packed full with a two hour wait. Valvoline was dead but they wanted $55 for an oil change. My inner cheapskate would just not allow me to spend that much. We decided that we would try Oklahoma City since everything seemed to be cheaper in the south. (Nice job on those gas prices guys. Wow!) That left us driving and Googling all around Oklahoma City on Tuesday morning. We finally found…Valvoline. We pulled in and saw a big sign that read, “$10.00 off with 7-11 receipt.” Across the street was a 7-11.

Mike rolled down the window when the middle aged gentleman came toward us and asked, “So. What’s with the 7-11 receipt?” The gentleman replied in a lovely southern drawl, “You go on over to the 7-11 and bring back a receipt and we give you $10 off of the oil change.” Shocker. Now that we knew the sign meant EXACTLY what it said, Mike arranged the oil change deal with Ivan, our new Valvoline Auto Specialist and trotted over to 7-11 for water and road snacks.

A full service Valvoline oil change is no freaking joke, guys. Ivan turned on headlights, checked brake lights, checked turn signals, checked every fluid level imaginable, inspected the wiper blades, tested the belts, the gadgets, the whoosey-whats-its and all of the whirly gigs. He washed our windows inside and out, washed off the head and tail lights, all the while chatting with me about where we were going and where we came from. He warned me about the dangers of Detroit, all of which he knew from a documentary that he watched a few years back. I explained that we were originally from the Detroit area and were going back and he said, “Oh, well then you know more ‘n me ’bout it up there!” After Ivan gave us the results of the van’s full body check-up and we paid him, Mike and I drove away feeling warm and cozy. It was truly the best oil change I’ve ever even heard of, much less received. Plus, Ivan was the nicest man ever. We left Oklahoma City on a much better note than we entered it.

So, not much really happened on our way to St. Louis. We drove and chatted, the kids slept a lot which was amazing. I had brought a bunch of yarn and crochet hooks and had full intentions of getting something made. I complain about the fact that I have no free time and can’t crochet when I am constantly being mauled by my monsters babies. This trip was an amazing opportunity (pretty much forcing me to actually sit, while my children were restrained and unable to damage anything or themselves,) to start and finish a big crochet project. I never opened the yarn bag. I just didn’t feel like it. I played on my phone and helped navigate. I took care of the kids when they got bored or tired. I enjoyed the scenery.


We watched the landscape turn greener and greener the closer we got to Michigan. We stopped in Tulsa. We stopped in Dotyville. We stopped at the Missouri welcome center. We wondered if we would make it to St. Louis and Gateway Arch before dark.

As it turns out, Gateway Arch is very visible from the highway and it was dark when we got to St. Louis, so we decided not to stop anywhere. I snapped as many photos as I could and we drove on through.


There was the most amazing moon that night, huge and orange hanging low in the sky; but of course you can never get decent photos of the moon with a cell phone. We finally crossed the Illinois border and started looking for our exit. Our hotel was in O’Fallon. When we pulled up in front of the Quality Inn, I was slightly concerned. The building looked a lot older than the previous two we had stayed in and it was set way back from the road, making it look really secluded. I walked inside the lobby and waited for someone to check me in. The desk was straight out of the 1980’s, wood paneled walls and a silver bell on the shabby counter. There were obviously still smoking rooms because the lobby smelled like cigarettes. Weird. After seeing no one for a few minutes, I decided to ring the bell. Ding, Ding!

And around the corner came *Marge. Short, plump and angry looking; Marge had frizzy hair and a furrowed brow. “How can I help you?” She asked, obviously less than amused by my presence. I gave her our information and she found the reservation. “Ok. It will be $10 for the pet fee.” I pulled out my debit card as I had at every other hotel along the way and held it out to her. Marge looked at it and then looked me right in the eye, “You can only pay the pet fee in cash.” Initially, I started to put the debit card back. I was a little confused and tired and did that weird pat down of my own pockets wondering if I even had $10 cash on me. I didn’t. Then it hit me.

“I paid the pet fee with my card at two other Quality Inn Hotels in the last two days. I don’t have cash.” I gave her the look. Steady, stern and maybe a little crazy-eyed. I knew what she was doing. No one was around to keep Marge honest and no one was recording how many pets entered this building. Marge was going to pocket my $10! She went from looking annoyed to uncomfortable.

“Oh…well…uh… I can see if I can get the computer to take it… uh… ok let me look here…” Marge began tapping at her keyboard and twenty seconds later accepted my debit card and gave me a receipt; all the while telling me how she’d never entered a credit card payment in for a pet fee before. What? Why? Are pet fees entered on a separate cash only computer, Marge? I think not. I thanked her and went out to get the kids and pets and husband. (Otherwise known and Him and Them.)


Our night was uneventful. We got pizza, slept well and left in the morning excited to reach our new home. We saw the world’s largest wind chime, golf tee, knitting needles and crochet hook, all in the tiny town of Casey, Illinois.




We cruised through Indiana, a corner of Ohio, and made it to the Michigan border just before nightfall.

Our house wasn’t ready and our belongings hadn’t arrived yet either, so we stayed with Mike’s Aunt and Uncle for a couple of nights. When we finally unloaded the truck and got the keys to our new home, the real work began. It hasn’t stopped. We have been “Michiganders” for three months and we still aren’t unpacked. We have nothing hanging on our walls. There are little odds and ends that I haven’t been able to locate, so I’ve just given up hope and bought new. It has been an adventure. But, we are here. We made it safely. The journey went well, we are employed, we are all healthy and happy. What more can I ask? For a little sleep, I guess… I can always use more sleep.