Thursday, May 19, 2011


Part I:  Baby Moses
My big 20-week ultrasound was Monday morning, and we learned that Baby Moses is a BOY!  I realize the odds were roughly 50/50 that this baby would be male, but I was still shocked.  As in, I didn't know how to react, I asked the ultrasound tech to look again just to make sure, I still have trouble calling the baby "he."  I was just very convinced this one was a girl.  My intuition regarding pregnancy seems to be worthless.  

Daniel and I can't decide yet what we want this little guy's name to be.  We looked at a list of Old Testament names online the other night, and it was just comical.  We were trying to find some fresh options in all seriousness, but we ended up in fits of laughter multiple times.  You know how sometimes you're in situations at church where you have to read some weird biblical name out loud, and someone makes a joke about how you should name your kid that?  It was like that, except we're actually trying to figure out what to name our kid.  We still have plenty of time to decide, but I am a psycho and want this baby to have a name yesterday.

Baby Moses, if you read this someday, please know that my thinking you were a girl and failing to have a name ready for you is no indication of how I feel about you.  I love you just as much as I loved your older brother when he was "in my tummy."

Part II:  Baby Ben
It's that time again -- time for a new round of Funny Stuff Ben Says and Does! 

  • For a little while, Ben knew Daniel's and my first names.  But now when you ask him what Mommy or Daddy's name is, he answers, "Honey."
  •  He has a freakish memory.  We can read a book or sing a new song once or twice, and he can suddenly fill in the blanks if you ask him to.
  • While reading a favorite book about a visit from Nana, he showed extra interest in the page where Nana gives the little-girl protagonist a nightgown.  I usually call the nightgown "pajamas" to keep it somewhat relevant to my non-nightgown-wearing son, but I explained it a little further this time, and the following conversation ensued:
Micah: That's a nightgown.  Girls wear nightgowns.
Ben: Giwls wear nightgowns.
Micah: What do boys wear?
Ben: Boys wear... shirts.
He states both of these facts several more times, then out of nowhere...
Ben: Giwls wear... nuffins! (hysterical laughter)
I had no idea this sentiment was one boys spontaneously created before age two.  I am in big, big trouble.
  •  He's started calling things "cute."  Mommy is cute, Baby Moses is cute, a random baby at the library was cute, animals are cute, etc.  And he raises the pitch of his voice when he says it.
  • He thinks it's really funny to say that things smell like pepperoni (which sounds extra cute when you can't say the letter R).
  • We took him to Lowe's recently, and he is in love.  He talks about the "tool store" alllllll the time now.  The morning after the Lowe's trip, I loaded him in the car to go to Wal-Mart and told him we were going to the store.  He excitedly asked, "Tool store??  See jigsaws?  Miter saws?"
  • On that same special trip to Lowe's, we bought him a pink sprinkler - an item he dreamed up and has specifically requested for weeks.  Apparently our green sprinklers weren't cool enough for him.  I didn't even know pink sprinklers existed, so we pretty well had to get it when we saw one for under $3.  Maybe someday it will get warm enough to go outside and play with it.
  • Have I mentioned before that he is insanely opinionated?  And bossy?  He will tell you to sit on the floor, and then get upset because he actually wanted you to sit one foot to the left of where you sat.  He also tells us frequently, "No say that!"  I considered it a milestone tonight when he, without being told to ask nicely, said to me, "No say that, Mommy.  Pwease."
  • He sort of has an imaginary friend?  Her name is Goggy (which is all the more bizarre because I had an imaginary friend named Coggy when I was a kid).  Goggy started out as a nonsense word that Ben made up to amuse himself.  So we might ask, "Ben, what do you want for breakfast?"  And he would reply, "Goggy (hysterical laughter)!!"  Somehow over the course of a few weeks, Goggy has morphed into a person that he randomly talks about.
  • One of his new favorite play areas is a "cave" I made him on our loveseat.  The cave is really not that awesome, but crawling in/out and throwing items in/out of it entertains him for long stretches.  We're talking minutes at a time, people!  He also cleans his cave with an ear thermometer, which he calls a "dust-buster" (the handle part really does look like a dust-buster -- props to my clever boy on that one).

    Parenting at this stage is quite an adventure.  It's more and more fun all the time to see the sweet, cute, witty parts of his personality develop.  But I have to get more and more creative to manage the strong-willed, whiney, stinkery parts that are also developing.  I complain too often about those latter parts because they sometimes take up a lot of the day, but I honestly LOVE having a toddler.  He is a gift that I do not take for granted!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


One of the 30 Before 30 items I've been most excited about is paying a surprise visit to my parents.  I started realizing, though, that if I waited much longer, I would either have to fly by myself with two kids or pay for an extra plane ticket to make Daniel come with me.  So when some of my oldest, dearest friends tried to convince me to pop into central Arkansas at the end of April, I (very, very excitedly) agreed.

me, Rebecca, Whitney, Angela
These are my girls :)  We try to get together and go to a major-league baseball game at a different park every summer, but two of us didn't stagger our pregnancies very well this year.  So we settled for a minor-league game in Little Rock, followed by a little sleepover.  We also got to celebrate Whitney's daughter's first birthday and go to a baby shower for Rebecca (who is expecting baby Caroline at the end of June).  Have I mentioned that I love these girls?  Because I love these girls.  I'm beyond thrilled that I got to spend some time with them and celebrate fun things in their lives.

My girls knew I was coming, but they were just about the only ones.  But even with all my secrecy, I didn't quite get to surprise my parents.  I knew I would have to call my dad before I got there because I needed a ride from the airport from someone who had a car seat.  Then he had to spill the beans to my mom because she kept trying to make plans that interfered with our arrival.  So they both knew a few hours before Ben and I landed in Little Rock.
His hair was almost this curly the whole trip.  That Southern humidity is crazy.

I mentioned here that I was nervous about flying with Ben.  I wish I had wasted all those valuable minutes worrying about something else because he did soooo well.  I'm still in shock.  Everything about flying was the coolest thing he had ever seen.  The wings!  The machinery (he still talks about "machine-wee") inside the wings!  All the people!  With suitcases!  Different colored suitcases with handles!  The air conditioner things above our heads!  He was hilarious.  And never shed a single tear while we were flying (I gave him raisins or jelly beans during take-off and landing, just in case). 

He was also pretty excited about seeing Nana, Granddad, and the rest of the familial crew.  So excited that he barely slept the entire trip.  We never managed to get him to bed on time, and he would wake up around 6am and talk, talk, talk to himself.  For at least 30 minutes, non-stop.  I guess he had to review all the fun things he had been doing?  Who knows.
A smooch from aunt Mindy (my big brother's wife)
We were there Wednesday night through Monday morning, and we squeezed in time with all my siblings, both sets of my grandparents, and a handful of aunts, uncles, and cousins.  I can't really remember the last time I went home when it wasn't a holiday, so it felt kind of nice to see everyone without having crazy holiday rushing-around.  I'm counting the trip as a success all around.  Thanks to all of you who made it possible and made it special!
Could they BE any cuter?  Cale and Jude (big brother's sons), Ben

PS - I did a terrible job of taking pictures (I was having too much fun to bother), so most of these were stolen from my mom.  She has more pictures and stories on her own blog here and here.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

He knows me so well.

Daniel took Ben to Target this week and let him pick out a Mother's Day gift for me.  According to Daniel's account, Ben understood that he was picking something for Mommy, and he was adamant in his choice.  All I can say is, that kid has my tastes pegged:

You can't tell here, but it has a purple leopard-print design on the other side.  It also has a companion cup with a more masculine dog and the message "King of My Castle."  After this home run, I think I'm going to let Ben do all our Christmas shopping this year :)

As excited as I am about that cup, I'm a teensy bit more excited that I've trained Ben to give me "special kisses" on command (excuse his pre-nap crankiness, please):

We are having gorgeous weather here this weekend, and I am maybe a little too excited to wear some of my favorite Spring clothes before I'm too spherical to fit into them.  And since I'm rather fond of the dress I wore this morning, I made Daniel take Baby Moses' first official belly picture.  Here he/she is at 19.5 weeks:

I am indescribably thankful for Ben and Baby Mo.  They are treasures, and I can hardly believe I get to be their mom.  I'm also more and more grateful all the time for my own mom.  It's fun to be at a stage of life where I still need her support/advice/wisdom/mothering, but I can also call her just to talk as friends.  I can't do my mom justice in a few sentences here, so I'll just sum it up with a big ol' I LOVE MY MOM!  

This year on Mother's Day, I'm also doubling up my prayers for sweet friends who are remembering babies they've lost and for sweet friends who are waiting and hoping for children.  Love and BIG hugs to you!

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

An update that uses actual words

  • This requires a post of its own (which I hereby vow to compose within the next week), but I crossed another item off my 30 Before 30 list!  Last Wednesday, Ben and I made a surprise visit to my parents in North Little Rock.  I think my parents were excited, but they kept commenting on how they wished Ben were a little bit cuter.  You can't please everyone, you know? 
  • Ben is hilarious.  I don't even know where to begin talking about the funny things he says and does these days.  Some of my favorites:  
    • He says he is "medium-sized" and that he is a "person" (not a baby, a girl, a monkey, etc.). 
    • He routinely says "Oh my!/Oh goodness!/Oh my goodness!" at appropriate times.
    • He likes to attempt to juggle.  
    • He loves girls of all ages (any female, including our 70-year-old cashier yesterday, is a girl to him) and points them out, sometimes creating awkward moments with strangers.  
    • I think he tries to plant subliminal messages in our heads -- sometimes he'll lean into me or Daniel and whisper "ice cweam" (or something equally delicious) while making a hopeful, mischievous face.  
    • He tells me to do things "differently" -- with the -ly at the end.
    • He randomly recites parts of books, even ones I didn't realized he liked.
  • The flip-side of all that cuteness:  he has started throwing impressive fits.  Usually about something very minor and illogical.  I haven't quite figured out the best way to handle him when these happen because he is usually a pretty logical kid, and I can reason with him to some degree.  Note:  I am NOT asking for your advice here -- I'm just being honest about what's going on in my household.  I'll gladly accept your commiseration or encouragement or prayers, but I'm not asking the Internet how to parent my child.  Yet ;)
  • As of today, I am 19 weeks pregnant with the child still known around here as Baby Moses.  I'm counting this as my halfway point because my doctor indicated that I'll probably deliver around 38 weeks (I don't think I've ever posted the story of Ben's delivery here, but he was kind of a booger, and after his extra-special surgical removal from my innards, I am not supposed to do the whole labor thing.  Like, at all.) 
  • We'll find out on May 16 if Moses is a boy or girl.  It's weird how differently I think about this pregnancy.  With Ben, I could barely wait to find out.  And I'm still plenty excited this time, and it will be fun to have a real name for the baby and start to prepare a little better, but I guess I think more this time about the baby at the END of this pregnancy.  In some ways, having Ben around makes me marvel more at this new baby -- because I see concrete evidence that what starts as a little baby inside me turns into an awesome little person outside me.  In other ways, Ben's presence is so very tangible that Baby Moses almost doesn't seem real yet.  I'm really not explaining this well, so I'll just add one more disjointed statement:  On a pretty regular basis, Daniel and I laugh about something Ben has done and say, "Can you believe we get to have another one of these?"  We're pretty excited for September.
  • I guess my belly has started sticking out more because I catch Ben looking at it and talking about Moses more often.  He tells me what Moses likes (today it was purple trees).  And yesterday he threw a ball (a very soft one) at my belly and said, "Toss it to Moses!"  We've read a couple of little books about baby siblings/big brothers, and he likes the idea of a baby in our family.  However, he is definitely still clueless about what it will really be like (I'm not sure I can process what it will be like!).  I'm gearing myself up for a tough adjustment period, but I am so thankful for both of my babies and can't wait to introduce them to each other!
  • This never, ever happens anymore, but I actually have something new going on in my own life.  Whoa.  I'm starting to volunteer at our crisis pregnancy center in town.  I'm in the middle of a 21-hour volunteer training right now, and despite how intense that seems, I am loving it.  After every training session, I come home more excited about being involved there.  I'll probably be working with their Life Steps program, which provides ongoing support/education for women who have decide to keep and parent their babies.
  • Anyone who has read this post deserves a reward.  So... Mom, let me know when you've read this, since I'm quite sure you're the only person who will make it this far :)