6 months

Well, Miss Audrey is already 6 months old.  So, it's time for a bit of an update.  Audrey is such a wonderful little addition to our family.  Geoff and I are both entirely smitten with this little chica.  She's easy-going and smart and so busy.  She loves attention and is very pleased with herself when she completes a goal (like getting to the cable in the corner that looks so tantalizing).

She's crazy about him.
At her 6th month appointment she weighed in at 14 lbs 6 oz and 27 inches long.  So, she's not a big baby weight-wise, but she is long.

Our ridiculous doctor appointment selfie
About a month ago she learned that she could roll to get around and now she doesn't stay put for very long.  Will was pretty much stationary until he could crawl at 9 months (he scooted on his back a bit, but didn't venture far), so this has been an adjustment for us to have
a little one getting around the house.  She's started pulling those knees up a little bit under her, too, so crawling is probably sooner than we'd like to think.

We started introducing solids a few weeks ago as well.  She LOVES to eat.  She's mostly had cereals and fruits and veggies at this point, but she gets very excited when you put her in her chair to eat.  She's messy, too, because she wants to help so much.

She's a little obsessed with cups and if you are drinking while holding her you have to watch out.  However, she's also easily entertained if you give her a cup to play with.
Sweet lady
She's a little tentative around strangers and reserves her grins and giggles for those who she knows the best.  When we are out and about we often get told that she "looks like a cabbage patch doll" or that she "should be a Gerber baby."  The combination of her loads of hair and her big, expressive eyes seem to give off that doll vibe.

Will's a good helper
We are just crazy about this little lady and Will is, too.  He has to give her a kiss before she goes to bed at night.  If she's crying, he'll give her her pacifier and shout "I helped baby feel better!" or he'll come find Geoff or I and tell us that we need to "Go help baby."  He sometimes calls her "Baby Kookoo" (thanks, Geoff), but then he'll laugh and say, "No.  Her name is Baby Audrey."  Now that she can get into his toys he's gotten a little possessive if she's got one of his cars, but he's always gentle and careful around her.
Cars are fun!
So, there's your little update on our growing little lady.  We're so glad she's here.

Bed head and morning smiles


Breastfeeding's Ugly Cousin

So, it's World Breastfeeding Week this week.  As a breastfeeding mother, I wanted to do a little post with what has been on my mind lately relating to breastfeeding.

Disclaimer: I love that I can breastfeed my baby.  I do think that breastfeeding is the best feeding option for infants.  However, I know that breastfeeding is not possible or desirable to all mamas.  Please, feed your baby whatever and however you like.  :)

Audrey has reached the age where eating is more fun than it is functional. She likes to pop off and then give me this look:

She's adorable.  I love sharing those grins with her.  I love feeling her body relax when she's upset and feeding her can provide comfort.  In public, I try to be discreet (I'm not one to just pop my nipples out), but I don't hesitate to feed her when and where she needs it.  I think breastfeeding is a beautiful thing.
But, breastfeeding has an ugly cousin.  You may have heard of it: pumping.  As any working mom (and many other moms whose babies can't latch or choose to pump for other reasons) knows, pumping is the exact opposite experience from the beautiful, sweet one of breastfeeding your baby.  Pumping is cumbersome, sometimes painful, isolating, and stressful (Did I pump enough?  Why does she drink more from a bottle then I can pump? Is she starving? Am I a failure as a woman and mother? Why is this so hard!? - just a few of the thoughts I think nearly every pumping mama has experienced).  

I am VERY lucky to work from home most days.  Because Geoff is at home right now as well, this means I get to feed Audrey more-or-less on demand (she gets a bottle of breast milk when I've got meetings).  However, a few weeks ago I had an on-site week with my work team and I was away from home Monday-Saturday.  I pumped exclusively for that week.  

Breastfeeding while traveling can be hard sometimes.  I traveled a lot with Will when he was young.  I was new to breastfeeding and tried to hide a bit, but there were mother's rooms and chairs in the corner where I could go to feed.

Airport bathrooms are swanky
Pumping is different.  You don't pump in a mother's room. Maybe some mom's do, but when people are coming in and out changing diapers and the pump is exposing my whole chest, I'm not comfortable with that.  So, I ended up pumping in airport bathroom stalls, restaurant bathrooms, etc...this was not beautiful.  Public toilets rarely have lids, too, so I couldn't even sit to pump (and even when I could, it's still gross).

Everywhere I went for a week, I was carrying around my pump, bottles, ice packs, cleansing wipes, storage bags (not to mention my computer and work supplies).  It was exhausting.  And by the end of the week I really felt frustrated that there aren't more appropriate public places provided for pumping mothers.
Breastfeeding awareness has come a long way.  It's no longer looked down upon to breastfeed in public (although I'm a LOT more comfortable doing it in the SF Bay Area then I was in North Dakota).  But, no one talks about pumping in public.  Employers are required to provide appropriate pumping spaces, but what about airports, restaurants, rest stops, coffee shops, etc...

Pumping exclusively for a week was very difficult, not so much because the pumping is hard (you get the hang of it), but because I felt relegated to bathroom stalls and hiding to do it.  Even my husband, who I was talking to about the logistics of pumping and the new (smaller) pump I had acquired before I left on my trip, at one point said to me, "That's great, honey.  But, you know, no one wants to hear you talk about pumping."  And he's right.  Pumping is weird.  It's not tender, it's not beautiful, it's not natural.  

So, here I am.  Talking about it.  Proud of myself for doing it and hoping that I can inspire at least one other mama to pump proudly.  It's not a beautiful experience like breastfeeding can be (although, let's all admit that the first few weeks of breastfeeding can be pretty terrible), but it allows us to provide for our little ones even while we're away - and I'd do anything for that little one.


The Baby Whisperer

Audrey is a very chatty baby.  Ever since she learned that she can roll to get around the house, she's been pretty much the happiest baby you can imagine.  She'll roll somewhere interesting and then sit and yammer on and on about whatever baby things are on her mind. 

So. a few days ago she was chatting and I asked Will, "Hey, Will - What's baby saying?"  I was a little surprised when he looked at Audrey and listened for a second and turned back to me and informed me that "Baby says she wants to watch School Bus." (As in The Magic School Bus, Will's current show of choice.)

So, ever since then he's taken it upon himself to let me know what the baby is saying.  Sometimes it's self-serving (i.e. she wants you to turn on my favorite show), but sometimes it's just down right adorable.  I was holding Audrey yesterday and she was making lots of noise.  Will got really close to her and said "What's baby talking about?"  I said, "I don't know, what is she talking about?"

He smiled at me and said, "She says 'I love you, mama.'" 

I told him, "I love baby!"  To which he declared, "I love baby, too" and he gave both of us a big hug. 

This turned into a whole round of "I love you"s.

I'm going to go ahead and assume that he's totally right and Audrey was just trying to let me know how much she loved me.  And, heck, maybe sometimes she just really wants to watch The Magic School Bus, too. 


Summer: Unplugged

My son loves to throw rocks.  Specifically, he likes to throw rocks into water.  Into the ocean, lakes, streams, puddles - you name it.  He also loves to run.  All the time.  He thinks running is the most fun when you are doing it with him.  He also likes to build train tracks and play catch and drive cars and paint and draw and cook and do laundry and brush his teeth and turn the fan (which he calls "the machine") on and off for as long as you'll let him.  And bubbles - don't even get me started on the bubble machine.

Today was a stressful day for me.  I've had a lot on my mind and after work I decided we could all use some time at the park. So, we loaded the kids in the stroller and walked to the park.  The nearest park also has a small beach which is where we spent most of our time.  Will wanted to throw rocks into the water and into the small tide pools left behind in the rocks.  I mentally prepared myself to just enjoy the rock throwing as long as he wanted.  Sometimes this is hard for me.  Rock after rock goes into the water and he squeals with delight, hunts for more and then repeats.  After 5 or 10 rocks, I'm done.  I've lost interest.

But, not tonight.  Tonight I was caught up in his joy.  Caught up in how fascinating it is to him that some rocks are black and some are brown.  Caught up in how he delighted in the big splashes.  Caught up in the excitement of finding a new pool of water or a waterfall.  He found so much joy in the whole experience and I was lucky to get to be invited to participate.

A couple of times as I was watching him I felt my hand wander to my phone, ready to peek at whatever inane information the internet had waiting for me.  Each time this happened I made a conscious effort to remind myself to stay present in the moment.  To remind myself that nothing on my phone couldn't wait an hour.  And you know what?  It was great.  I had so much fun throwing rocks and laughing with my boy.

For Christmas, my mom gave us a very cool old-school box called a "Phone Minder."  It was used in hotels in the past to remind users that they had a limited amount of time available to use the phone.  But, she encouraged us to use it to hold our phones during dinner time so that we weren't looking at our phones during this critical time of day with our family.  She said to us, "I didn't have these kinds of distractions when I had young kids.  I know that those times I spent with you guys were so special - and you'll never regret any time you spend with your kids without your phone or other devices."

Ever since Will was born, I've tried to keep my phone or computer away when we are together and I've done alright for the most part - but this summer I've got a new resolve to put away my phone after work each day until the kids go to bed.  I want to look back on these times and remember running and hopping and popping bubbles and dancing and laughing and even throwing rocks.  I want to foster my son's love of play and exploring outside and learning.  And, mostly, I want to be patient.  We live in such a fast-paced world that it's hard to focus on one task for too long, but I don't ever want my kids to feel like I wasn't interested about the things that make them excited.

So, here's to a summer (and beyond) of long, warm nights - unplugged.


4 Months

Well, my little gal is over 4 months old now.  I'd like to make sure I document a bit during this short infant time.  I know it sounds like a cliche, but I don't know where the time has gone.  She's growing so fast!
Newly born
She had her four month checkup with the doctor last week and weighed in at 12 pounds 12 ounces and measured 26 inches.  That puts her in the 10th-25th percentile for weight and the 90th-95th percentile for height.  This has made clothing sizes a little hard because she's too long for 3 month clothes, but doesn't fill out 6 month clothes very well.  But, she's got so many cute clothes (thanks to the generous hand-me-downs from friends and family) that it's an okay problem to have!  (For anyone interested and because I think everything is interesting, her brother was 12 pounds 15 ounces and 24 inches - between 5th and 10th percentile for both).

One month old
She is very good with her hands and likes to grab onto everything within her reach.  If she doesn't have a toy within reach, her hands will be in her mouth.  She likes her pacifier, but find her hands to be almost as good of an option if the paci isn't around.

2 months
She is happiest when you are looking her in the eye and playing with her.  She likes to smile and "chat" and only really gets fussy when no one is paying attention to her.  If she's being held, she's happy.  In fact, as I type this, she is sitting on my lap looking at the computer screen and holding my arms - happy as a clam.
3 months
She's totally enamored with her brother and loves to watch him do everything.  He often tells me that "baby needs a car" and will carefully select the car she needs from his basket and put it in her hand.  Usually after about three seconds he takes it away to get her a new one.  They both think this is a fun game.

She rolled from belly to back Thursday for the first time (that I've seen, Geoff informed me that he's see her do it before I didn't tell me!!).  She's been rolling back to front for a few weeks.  She doesn't have the most impressive head control, but her tummy time continues to improve every day.
4 months
The doctor, in an effort to encourage me to help her gain some more weight before her next check-up, suggested I start her on solids, but she's not ready.  We started Will around 4.5 months, but he was much more ready physically for solids.  I'll want Audrey's head control to improve more before we'll do that.

Overall she's just been a happy and welcome addition to our little family and we love watching her grow!

And, seriously, that hair.


What do you do in the Summertime?

Summer is upon us!

This is our second summer in California (and our first that I'm not also pregnant), so we are excited to make the most of this beautiful place that we live.  Our budget is small this year, so we can't do anything big, but there is a LOT to do for little to no money (and the beauty of a toddler is that everything is big - playing outside on the driveway is big stuff to him).

So [inspired by this Pinterest find], Monday night for family night, we went to the dollar store and got all the supplies we needed to make our own Summer Fun To Do List.

Now, mine isn't even half as cute as the pinned one, but Will had SO much fun decorating it with sponges and paint and stickers that it's worth the eye sore that it became.  It's now hanging on our wall as a reminder of all the fun we can have when we are sitting around on a warm summer evening or a slow moving Saturday.

Every time that Will sees it, he proceeds to tell me all about the parts that he painted and the car stickers he put on it.  It's going to be a great summer!


Mother Nurture

It's been really fun - and interesting - to get to know Audrey over the past 4 months.  She is smart and discerning and is more sensitive to sound than her brother was at this age.  She wants to move much more than her little body is capable of and gets frustrated if she's left in one position too long.  She's very alert and attentive and not much of a fusser.  She's happiest when someone is giving her 100% of their attention and staring into her big blue eyes.

It got me to thinking about nature versus nurture.  I think both are extremely important, but I thought back to this little video of my boy taking his first steps on his 1st birthday.

Adorable, right?  But, did you see what happened at about 3-4 seconds in?  He stumbled a bit and I caught him.  I was helping him to stand back up again when he did something so characteristically Will that it makes me smile still.  He pulled his hands away as if to say - I don't need help!  Let me do it.

And now, at 2 1/2, that is one of the most common phrases my little man says, "No, mama.  Will do it." He's very independent and, although he's willing to ask for help when he can't do something, he always prefers to do it himself if he can.  And, that was evident from a very early age.

Knowing that makes watching my little girl grow into herself that much more interesting.  I see so much in her already.  She's SO different from her brother in so many ways: her physical appearance, her mannerisms, her "milestone" achievements, her likes and dislikes, even how she nurses. But she's smart and fun and fantastic in her own ways.  So much of that personality does seem to be there right from the start.

As a mom, I feel like it's my responsibility to nurture those (natural) strengths that I see in my little ones, even from this young age.  I think sometimes that can be hard if your child's strengths are dramatically different from your own (like if you are an outgoing parent and your child is more introverted), but I still think it's vital that, as parents, we work to understand each of our kids as individuals so we can nurture their strengths without making them feel compared to another child's strengths.  My kids may both be great athletes, or one may trip over their own feet (like their mama), or neither may like sports at all, but no matter what they are talented at or how their personalities manifest I will encourage each to be their own best self - whatever that may entail.  And, I'm so excited to watch my little ones grow into the [undoubtedly awesome] people that they will become.


Hair Raising Experiences

I am no stranger to hair grooming-related emergencies.  I'm not a great "detail" person, so I tend to rush a little bit and this gets me into trouble.

I remember my first real grooming emergency happened when I was in middle school (7th grade, I believe).  I was trying to tweeze my eyebrows and I couldn't find my tweezers.  Somehow, my pubescent brain thought that nail clippers were the next best thing.  Fast forward to 10 minutes later when I had, literally, cut off half of my right eyebrow.  Luckily, my understanding mother let me skip first hour the next day and took me to the drug store to get a pencil and tools to draw my brow back on.

And three weeks ago, I was sitting in church when I spied a missed patch of hair on my leg and I spent the rest of the services with my son's blanket covering my legs.  So, it was very timely that Influenster and Venus razors teamed up to send me a VoxBox to try out their new Snap portable razor.  I gave it a try this week and I was pleasantly surprised!

If you don't know, the Snap razor is a Venus Embrace razor blade on an adorable tiny handle that comes in a clamshell case so you can easily toss it in a purse (or computer bag in my case).  Most days I get to work from home, but Wednesday I commuted into my San Francisco office.  Because I wanted to try out the razor, I "forgot" to shave one armpit and a patch of skin on my leg (this is not, however, an uncommon occurrence for a me. As a mom of two young ones - one of whom is still up 2-4 times a night for feedings - my shower routine is haphazard, at best).
Isn't is adorable?  Yes, I just called a razor adorable.
I tossed my Snap in my computer bag and headed out.  I had two primary concerns when it came to using the razor:

1) I have sensitive skin.  I always shave with moisturizer, so how was putting a little water on my razor going to translate into smooth, non-irritated skin?
2) How would I clean it after each use to keep the blade fresh as long as possible.  If I'm only using the razor for quick fixes, I don't want it to dull after a use or two.

Here's how things shook down.  I shaved with cold tap water in the bathroom at work.  I shaved my armpit and the patch on my leg.  The Embrace razor head has (what they call) a "water activated ribbon of moisture" around the blades and it was pretty amazing.  No irritation at all, even with a "dry" shave. So, that was great.
Me and my In A Snap in San Francisco
I did find, however, that my second concern was a bit more warranted.  I had trouble cleaning the hair out of the razor with just the pressure of the tap in the office bathroom.  I didn't want to rub it down with a towel, lest I prematurely lose my ribbon of moisture - so I generally feel like I didn't get the blades as clean as they would need to be to help extend the life of the razor.  The clamshell case does have some "air holes" however, so no moisture will stay trapped on the blades - just some little hairs.

I do love that the blade can be replaced with a standard Embrace razor head, however, as I've been pretty converted to the blade itself (that ribbon of moisture really is a life-saver for my sensitive skin).  So, I can buy a standard handle for my shower razor and then let my replacement heads do double-duty.

For anyone who likes to wear skirts/shorts on a regular basis or who showers in a bit of a fog every morning, I think a Snap razor should be a must-have in your bag.  You might not need it every day, but when you do need it, you'll be glad you have it!

Want to join Influenster?  Let me know your email address and I'll send you an invite! 


Family of Four

So much has been going on and how much of it is chronicled in my blog?  Oh, NONE.  Let me give a quick update and we'll go forward from there.  I am going to start setting aside some dedicated "blogging" time shortly, so keep an eye out for more regular musings coming your way!

Couldn't you just eat them up?!
1) Audrey is now 3+ months old.  She'll be 4 months on the 26th.  She is simply delightful.  She loves to eat her hands and chatter away.  She's a very vocal baby.  Will liked to make some noise, too, but not like this gal.  She's been a pretty good sleeper from the beginning.  She goes to bed between 7:30-8pm and "sleeps" until 7:30-8am.  But, we have a few wake-ups in between still.  She's not terribly physical (she can roll back to front, but is not a tummy time champ at all), but I think she's exerting so much energy on hair-growing, that something's gotta give. Other than that, she's just growing and learning and such a welcome little addition to our family.
Ready for a picnic.
2) Will is 2 1/2 now and he's his own version of delightful.  This is a really fun age and he's a really great little kiddo.  Since we last caught up he has given up his pacifier (pretty much his own choice - I'll write another blog about that later) and moved from the crib to a toddler bed.  I was nervous about so much change with little sis' coming on board, but he has adapted to her presence as if she was always here.  Will has never struggled with having her around.  We brought her home and it was as if she had always been there.  He's gentle with her and helpful with things she needs and generally tolerates her existence without any trouble.
Testing out his new camp chair before he and daddy went camping!
3) Geoff unexpectedly lost his job in March, so he's doing daddy daycare duty while he looks for a new one.  It's a competitive job market, but he's an awesome guy, so we are hopeful that he'll find something great soon.  He had the opportunity to watch Will when he was just a teeny one (he worked nights and watched Will during the day), so I think it's kind of cool that he also gets that time with Audrey at this age.  It's not something a lot of dads get.  Of course, we'd prefer he were working, but you gotta find those silver linings wherever they may be hiding.

Snuggling those kidlets.
4) Me!  I'm doing well.  Work is good.  Kids are awesome.  My house is nearly always a mess (hey, you can't win them all).  I really can't think of anything else to say about me.  There must be more, but I guess I'll mention it later.
Attempting selfies with a toddler.
Anywho, we'll call that "caught up" and, as I said, keep your eye out for more regular posts!


Welcome, Audrey!

Two week ago at this very moment I was being wheeled into my recovery room at the hospital feeling pretty dazed and elated from the labor and delivery experience I had just had with my second kiddo.  My beautiful baby girl, Audrey Dianne.  She was born on Sunday, January 26th at 7:59pm weighing in at 6 lbs 15 oz and measuring 19 3/4 inches.
Her entry into the world went nothing as I expected it to, but it was pretty incredible, nonetheless.  Because I was induced with Will, I had no experience with going into labor naturally or what I should expect that to feel like.  Because of this, I found myself pretty frustrated in the days preceding Audrey's birth. Had I known better, I would have known she'd be coming soon.  I had been having pain and cramping for a couple days, but didn't realize this was the early stages of labor.  Friday and Saturday before she was born I spent A LOT of time walking.  I'd push Will in the stroller and have contractions here and there and will them to continue.  Saturday night, Geoff and I left Will with Dizza and Papa and went out to dinner, figuring it would be the last time we'd get a night out for awhile.  We went to PF Changs and had a nice time.  At the end of dinner and on the way to the car, I was having some pretty strong contractions and feeling optimistic that "maybe I'd have a baby by Monday."
Well, in the middle of the night on Sunday morning, around 3am, I was woken up by contractions.  I took a shower and was able to fall back to sleep.  We went to church and I was having contractions about 7 minutes apart that weren't too painful.
So, I came home and took a nap.  I was able to sleep through any contractions I may have been having until about 3pm.  At this point, although they were still 7-12 minutes apart, the intensity was increasing.  So, I called my mom and said, "I need my mama."  She came over to be my moral support.  Around 10 to 4pm we decided to take a walk.  We loaded Will into his stroller and head out.  We walked for about an hour. We talked on the walk about how maybe we'd have a baby in the wee hours of Monday morning, maybe head to the hospital around 7pm.
The walk worked on speeding things up.  By the time we got home, my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart.  It was 5pm at this point, so I decided if things stayed steady for an hour, I'd head in.  By the time 5:45pm rolled around the contractions were averaging 2-3 minutes apart and were getting painful enough I'd have to stop walking or talking during them.  So, I called Labor and Delivery to let them know I'd be in before too long.  Geoff finished up Will's bath and packing up the final items on our "hospital" list.  We left just after 6pm.
We arrived at the hospital around 6:15pm.  Geoff asked me if I wanted a wheelchair and, honestly, the idea of sitting was pretty terrible, so I declined.  Once we were in the hospital, however, and I was staring down what seemed to be a never ending hallway, I regretted that decision.  We had to stop 2-3 times for me to manage a contraction, but finally we made it Labor and Delivery.  We checked in at 6:23pm.  They took me to triage to get me on monitors and see how far along I was.  I remember feeling pretty upset at this point - they seemed to be moving in slow motion and I told Geoff that they weren't moving fast enough, that this baby was coming sooner than they thought.
The midwife came in to check me and I was 6 centimeters dilated.  I remember everything after being told "6 cm" seemed pretty surreal.  Just before 7pm, while I was waiting in triage for them to admit me and get me to a room, I remember telling Geoff to tell my mom that my dad needed to get to my house (to take over Will watch) so my mom could get to the hospital.  She was going to miss the baby's birth.  It was at this point I started to panic - things were moving too fast.  I was in a lot of pain.  No one was moving fast enough!  A couple of contractions went by and I did not handle them well.
Finally, they moved us to a room and started working on my IV.  They had some trouble getting the IV in my arm (this happened with Will, too) and ended up putting it in my hand - for the sake of time.  Around now is when I realized that I probably wasn't going to get an epidural and the acceptance allowed me to really focus and manage the contractions surprisingly well.  Although, Geoff's may have some photographic proof that I was squeezing his hand pretty hard!
It was at this point (7:30pm) that I started telling the nurses I felt that I wanted to push soon.  They checked me again and I was a 9.5 centimeters.  Then, the anesthesiologist arrived.  Our eyes met and I shook my head at him. I knew there was no chance that an epidural was going to happen in time.  He came over and patted my shoulder and told me I was making the right choice and wished me luck.
Around 7:45pm the nurse told me they could have the midwife break my water, which would probably dilate me the last half centimeter and allow me to push.  I told them I really wanted my mom to be there, so we should wait another few minutes.  Gratefully, my mom did arrive a minute or two later and they called the midwife in for delivery.
She broke my water and, sure enough, I was ready to push.  Audrey was face up, but she did turn during delivery (Will was the same).  I didn't handle the pushing too great, but that was mostly because it actually felt really great to let go - I'd been so focused up to that point, I kind of wanted to just scream.  :)
After, maybe, 5 minutes or so of pushing, she was here!   I couldn't believe it.  I had really only considered my labor to have started around 4pm that afternoon.  Here I was, just 4 hours later holding my tiny little daughter in my arms - sans any pain meds.  
Now, two weeks later, I find myself getting tears in my eyes any time that I drive by the route that my mom and I walked on that beautiful Sunday afternoon.  And, although I probably should have been on my way to the hospital at that point, I'll never forget those moments walking and pondering the baby that would be soon arriving and musing over all the possibilities.  Welcome, Audrey.  You are a perfect little piece to our family and we're so glad you are here.
I'll try to write more soon about Will's first time meeting her and how things have been going since!


The Summons

Have you ever noticed that there's no good and easy way to tell a state that you no longer reside there?  Anyway, due to this, I recently received a jury summons from the state of North Dakota.  I put it in my "to do" list, but since I'm not actually a resident there and I've got a serious case of pregnancy brain, it did not get done.

So, I received my second notice in the mail yesterday.  This letter, in no uncertain terms, explained why I needed to respond to my summons.  It states "This form must be completed by 20-Jan-2014 [although I received it on 21-Jan-2014].  Failure to do so will result in further action being taken."
Uh oh.  Did you hear that?  Further action.  I'm going to start using that with Will.  "Will, don't you throw that toy or I'm going to have to take further action."  "Eat your peas or, you know, stuff will have to happen."

So, anyway, I'm already giggling as I head to the website to fill out the form, like the good law-abiding citizen that I am.  And then - the first thing the form asks me is my round trip mileage to the courthouse.  So, in all seriousness, I pull up google maps and chart my trip to the courthouse; 1,755 miles one-way.  So, I dutifully type in 3,510 miles as my round trip distance.

However, at this point I'm laughing so hard I'm almost in tears as I picture myself, 39.5 weeks pregnant driving 1700 miles for jury duty in Cass County to avoid "further action."  On the bright side, they reimburse your mileage at .565 per mile.

Road trip, anyone?



I feel like it's been a really long time since I did a post to update on my favorite little man, Mr. Will.  So, before I'm writing up a birth story about his little sister, I wanted to get a good post in to remember what my little guy was like when he was my ONLY little one.

Will is 26 months old now (we just call him 2, however) and is just the light of our whole lives.  In the last couple of months since he turned two, he's come a long way in speaking and communicating with us and gets better every day.

He likes to hug and give kisses - but mostly on his timetable.  If you ask for a hug or kiss, you've only got a 50% chance your actually gonna get it.  Along those same lines, he's pretty headstrong.  He knows what he wants (or more accurately what he doesn't want) and he'll make that clear to you.  I was joking with Geoff the other day that the key to a happy day with Will is convince him that everything is his idea.  I'm surprisingly good at that, too.

I've given Will a bad rap over the past few months as someone who won't let me take his picture.  I discovered on Christmas Eve that wasn't the case.  He just doesn't respect my phone as a camera!  When he had his picture taken with a real camera, this kid was a HAM.  So, my picture-taking philosophy has changed.  So, you'll probably see less instant Instagram posts as I take more photos with my real camera.

Will's favorite things right now are the Rescue Bots.  He got 4 bots for Christmas and they are his favorite toy as well (although he still LOVES his matchbox cars).  He may need to get the last bot as a gift when baby sis arrives.  Geoff and I really liked the show when we found it because it was very kid friendly, but also entertaining to us.  By now it has become almost unbearable as we've seen each of the 24 episodes enough times to act it out.  But, Will loves it and he is too cute to turn down when it's time for a show and he just looks at you and goes, "Bots?  Yeah, bots." and nods his little head.

Along with that, Will is also in the habit of asking you a question and then answering for you.  "Crackers?  Yeah, crackers." or "Car? Car." And he'll nod at you while he says it waiting for you to nod as well.  It's extremely adorable.  The upside to this is he asks for almost everything and doesn't just do whatever he's thinking.  And, if I tell him no, he may pout, but he usually listens.

My pregnancy has confused the whole issue on body parts for Will.  He calls his belly (and everyone else's belly) a baby.  We correct him and try to explain that only mommy has the baby, but sometimes hearing him exclaim "Oh, no! Baby!" when he spills on his shirt is too cute to correct.

Will can point to and name his mouth, nose, eyes, ears, head, belly, arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, and toes.  He can also count to 10 (he usually needs a little help, as 4 gets repeated a couple times).  He is also getting better at his letter recognition.  He can mostly recite the ABCs with me and he for sure knows what an R, P, O and E are and he's learning more each day.  He calls letters Rs and numbers 4s in general.  So, if you are looking at a sign with him, he can differentiate the letters and numbers, but you'll think he's telling you all the numbers are 4s and the letters are Rs.

Will has recently developed a deep and abiding love for "machines."  This means fans, essentially.  But, any kind of fan.  A space heater, a heater vent in the wall/ceiling of the house/store, a regular oscillating fan, a bathroom exhaust fan, etc.  Even the grate at the bottom of the fridge he will kneel and point and exclaim "machine!"  When we are in the store he will point out every vent and then proclaim, "More Machine!"  His loves to turn fans on and off.  So much it can be used as a reward.  After you take a bath, we can turn the fan on!

Will also learned a very important word last week - "Mine."  He hasn't been using it in a possessive way too much yet, but just in a way that indicates he is understanding possession.  He likes to explain who things belong to.  "Mama's pancake, Dada's pancake, my pancake."  Occasionally he'll proclaim something "mine" that wasn't really.  So, we use that as a chance to talk about sharing.  Last night he pushed away his own baked potato and pointed to mine and said "my tato."  I said, "well, this is actually mama's potato, but we can share it."  And, we did.

He's really a very sweet kiddo.  He doesn't like to be punished and punishing him is really hard because of it.  Luckily, his punishments are few and far between.  He makes us laugh all the time and keeps us active and having a blast.  I'm ready to get this pregnancy over with so I can keep up better with him again.  We are SO lucky to be his parents and can't wait to see him continue to learn and grow.