Friday, December 27, 2013

Whoopsie poopsie.

I'm WAY late in posting Harper & the Hippo, month 2...but I did it today! To keep them chronologically accurate, I backdated the post to December 18. Click here to read it and see her sweet pictures.

In unrelated news, the treadmill and I became frenemies again yesterday. It was terrible and embarrassing and exhausting and it hurt a lot and I was excessively sweaty, which we all know I simply loathe. I'll probably torture myself again today...not because I'm a glutton for punishment, but because my ass is very large. Bah humbug.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry CHRISTmas!

This year more than any other of my life, my heart is truly in the right and Holy place for Christmas.

Last night at the opening of our Christmas Eve church service, the Pastor invited all the children up to the altar and read them the Christmas story. Alex marched up there with all the confidence in the world and sat right next to Pastor Jerry and listened with such concentration. When the story was finished, he came back to us, sat down, and proclaimed with such innocence and certainty, "Mom and Dad, Harper is a baby like Jesus and she looks just like him!"

In that moment, the reality of what the night of Jesus' birth truly meant to the world hit me. What it meant to us. To our Heavenly Father. He sent us His SON. His flesh and blood. But not in the grandeur of a King or a Noble World Leader. He came as a Child. As a helpless, crying baby.

This clip was also played at the opening of our church services, and one line in particular really struck a chord in my heart..."When the journey to the cross began with a shrill cry."

It's easy to imagine Jesus as an adult--preaching the Gospel, performing miracles and walking the Earth. I don't know that I'll ever be able to fully wrap my head around the fact that He came to us as a baby, especially after looking into the eyes of my own two babies and knowing how much I love and adore them. The love our Father has for us is more than that--it's bigger and grander than anything we can ever comprehend. And yet...He came to us in the smallest, most helpless way possible. God is real. God is good.

Merry Christmas, my friends!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Frosty the mouthpiece.

As a follow up to last year's Christmas hit by one Alex Joseph Van Wormer, "Feliz mommy-nah," I give to you our 2013 sensation, "Frosty the Snowman."

As a setup: The original "Happy Birthday!" cartoon aired on TV a few weekends ago, so we saved it to our DVR to watch for a family movie night closer to Christmas. Since then, we've watched it MAYBE four or five times.

He recited this to me in the car today, so I had to get it on camera once we got home. If you know the movie, it will get familiary very quickly. He's an amazing one man show.

For the record, I LOVE how he even uses Frosty's "accent" when he's doing the Frosty lines. "Let's make a paaahhh-tee out of it." And he just nails the "phew!" at the very beginning.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Harper & the Hippo.

Oh my sweet, smiley girl--you are already two months old! Let's recap what you're up to these days:
  • You LOVE to smile and coo. You are very, very chatty with your brother and I think the two of you are already sharing secrets and all sorts of things I'll never know about. Your brother loves to sing to you and "read" you books and he always wants us to leave you with him alone in the toy room for just "Harper and Alex time." I hope that's something the two of you will always want--time together without your Mommy and Daddy. It warms my heart to know you are creating a secret, special bond!
  • You have a healthy appetite, eating 3 ounces about every 2-3 hours. Mommy's still going strong with the pumping, but the pump is going to become part of the chimney soon, methinks. I love you more than anything, but I want my boobs back, kiddo.
  • I'm almost afraid to talk about it, but you are an AMAZING sleeper, just like your brother was (and still is)! You sleep from 9pm-6am every day...because of that, we sacrifice some longer naps during the day, but that's AOK by me!
  • Your hair is so long, so thick and so dark. It's always the second thing people comment on, right after how big and beautiful your eyes are.
  • I will never stop telling you how smart and special you are. You and your big brother are the two best things I've ever done, next to picking your Daddy to be mine. I love you, my girl!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

BDBC updates and a confession.

Check it: when it comes to blogging or snuggling with my girl, guess who always wins? Anyway, that's why we're lacking BDBC updates around here. I would say I'm sorry but I'm totally not. Harper's recently started smiling and it's all I can do to look away from her sweet face.

Days 2 and 3 updates: I got treats! and cards! and pizza!

...and tonight, I'm running away for a pedicure and (wait for it) ... crazy hair experiments.

That's right, I've lost my damn mind and I'm going to force my stylist do something like this tonight:

Yes, I'm (almost) 31 and I'm getting purple highlights. 1) Because I can. 2) Because I've always wanted to. and 3) Because if I hate them or they are terribly embarrassing I can hide in my house with Harper until I return to work in February. It's fine.

If I manage to shower and put on a speck of makeup tomorrow, you might get pictures. 

In unrelated news, since puppy chow is basically just cereal and peanut butter, it's TOTALLY acceptable to eat for breakfast, right? Mmmmmkk then.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

It's birthday bootcamp, bitches!

For day 1, I got a massage that never happened, the current issue of People magazine, and this card:

Joey thinks he's reeeaaaaaaaaaallly funny.

Oh, and regarding the will happen later this week; do not fret my pets. They are in the process of moving locations so all the appointment times got jacked up.

In unrelated news, this weekend Joey and I discovered something wonderful in the world of parenting that I can only assume all of you have known about all along and have simply been hiding it from me: INDOOR BOUNCE HOUSES. Um, hi. These places are remarkable. On Saturday when it was cold as balls and we were desperate to get Alex out of the house, I started searching online for something indoors that didn't include a pool, a McDonalds playplace or a Mall playland. Because swimsuits, SARS and righteous parents are not my jam.

It was the best $8 we've ever spent. We discovered a Bounce U location just a mere 5 miles from our house (but there are tons of different ones out there) and Alex adored it and was sweaty as a fat guy in a sauna after a mere 60 minutes of play. And better? Every other Friday night they have a "Parents' Night Out" where you can drop your kid off (and leave!) from 6-9 pm for $20. TWENTY DOLL HAIRS. That's nearly free and now I'm obsessed with owning an indoor bounce house place. Standby while I start Googling "how to own something" and also ask Joey how to purchase business-related injury insurance.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Harper and the Hippo.

I thought long and hard about what I wanted Harper's monthly pictures to be posed with, but I always came back to our friend, Mr. WIPpo. He was named  "WIPpo" because Alex's nickname in the womb was "WIP" for Work In Progress. I couldn't think of anything creative to do with bV (Harper's nickname), so we're going to stick with Mr. WIPpo and rename him Hippo so I can appease myself that, at a minimum, I used alliteration. Yay, me.

Anyway, here's my girl at one month old!

I KNOW, RIGHT? Gah. I can't get enough of her! She, however, definitely had enough of our photo shoot about two minutes in...

Also, mothers of girls: please stay tuned for a post later this month begging for help regarding hair bows. They confuse me and I don't know how they work.

And, if you're curious, here's Alex @ 1 month old.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Teaching an old dog.

With baby #2 (and I can only assume all babies thereafter), you find your stride much earlier. There's no panicked "How do I do this?" or "What should I do when...?" moments. For the most part, you're more confident in your actions and if you're not sure or don't remember, you just fake it with confidence because, hey, you've been there, done that and at the end of the day the child is being fed, loved and chalk one up to the winning at motherhood column.

However, I have had my fair share of "What the hell do you mean?!?" moments in the last month or so. In just the short 4 years since Alex has been born, it seems like SO much has changed. Items I used (and SWORE by) with Alex have since been recalled, carseat laws have changed and immunization schedules have been altered. I simply have not kept up with the times.

Therefore, there are a few things I'd like to bestow upon you all...hopefully, to save some of you the trouble of learning it (or re-learning it) all over again.

  1. Breast pumps are 100% covered under ALL insurances. It doesn't matter what kind of insurance you have, a breast pump will be covered. It was a law passed in 2012 under the Affordable Care Act. Even if you have one from a previous child, you can (and should!) get a new one. Just have your OB write you a prescription and fill it at a medical supply store (all hospitals have these, too!).
  2. Speaking of breast pumps, these now exist. Your nurses can get you a stash before you leave the hospital (ask them to be're paying for it, anyway!). Your nipples can thank me later.
  3. When in the hospital, ask for a binder. It's kind of the same concept as the Belly Bandit, but, you know, FREE. And wow...they are FAB. Mine was ordered in the hospital by one of the nurse assistants (without my asking for it), and I actually wrote her a thank you card and sent her a Starbucks gift card as a small demonstration of my eternal gratitude. It has helped so much with support from the C-Section and I honestly believe it's even helped in getting my figure back quicker. 
I'm quite sure there's more, but I've already forgotten more than I know. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A baby story: The only part.

Oh, hey there. Remember way back when I used to tell stories 'round these parts? Yeah, I'm trying to get back to it, I promise!

We shall begin my Return to Greatness with the story of Harper's birth. If you remember Alex's story (in four very dramatic parts: here, here, here and here), I can promise you Harper's version is night and day. In fact, this is the only Part it requires.

As you are already aware (and much to everyone's surprise), Harper waited until her scheduled date of October 18 to arrive. Joe and I dropped Alex off at daycare a little early that morning (ever thankful to our Aunt Jane!) and arrived to the hospital around 7:30 am. What an eerie feeling to drive ever so calmly to the hospital, knowing your life is about to change forever. I can't explain how it was different from the dramatic water-breaking-hauling-ass-to-the-hospital with Alex...but it just was. It was the same level of life changing "stuff", but with a calm I can't really describe. Maybe it was the calm and peace of the dark of morning? Who knows.

Anyway, after a little bit of paperwork and hugs from Mom and Dad, I went to triage where they put in my IV (six attempts...they call me "pincushion"), did a quick ultrasound and I met my surgical team.

I actually walked into the Operating Room and hopped up on the table myself. What a difference it was to be in control in a calm, normal environment, vs. being wheeled in a whirlwind, emergent scenario. The OR looked so different this time, and yet it was the same room from nearly five years ago. All I remembered with Alex was the blinding overhead light, the blue drape and the white of the ceiling. This time, I took in the entire room, trying to memorize the last few moments of my life before Harper--the clock on the wall reading we were right on schedule, the baby station awaiting my little girl, the nurses and surgical staff in their blues and face masks, ready for the moments ahead.

The anesthesiologist was running a little behind, so I got to sit on the table for awhile, taking in all the pomp & circumstance of the OR team's very specific, very orderly pre-surgical routine. They counted all the things and did a "roll call," which was all surprisingly calming as I watching my surgeon pacing the floor in what I can only assume is his pre-surgery regimen.

The anesthesiologist came in and administered my spinal. To be honest, this was the part I was most terrified of, but it was nothing more than a small sting and some pressure. The weirdest part was as the drugs started to take effect...the warm, tingly feeling that takes over your body. Five minutes later, I was horizontal on the table and the team was in place.

Once the curtain was up, Joe was allowed in and came and sat near my head.

I was not tied to the table. I did not shake uncontrollably from fear and cold. In fact, the nurse anesthetist that was on my side of the curtain kept warm blankets on me the entire time, as she stroked my hair and kept me company. She had very cool glasses and her eye makeup was flawless. These are the things that kept me entertained.

We chatted with the surgical team the entire time--them keeping us posted on how things were progressing, and me keeping them entertained with questions like, "Will I ever wear a bikini again?" and "Please just take a little off the top."

When they were ready to take Harper out, the nurse put a mirror up for me so I could see her grand entrance--and she came out screaming with a pile of gorgeous, black hair. I cried. Joe cried. It was perfect.

As they closed me up, they brought Harper over to Joe and he got to hold her for the rest of the procedure. He put her near me, and since my arms weren't tied down I got to touch her face and kiss her head. She wasn't crying--and was perfectly content in her Daddy's arms for the remainder of our time in the OR.

When it was time to be wheeled into recovery, Joe got to transport Harper ahead of me and lead our little VeeDub parade down the hall. Once in recovery, I was able to nurse her and our family came back in pairs to meet our newest and littlest girl.

The days that followed in the hospital were pretty much par for the course. I got very dizzy and sick coming down from anesthesia, but once that passed I felt amazing. Joe and I enjoyed the sunrise from our room every day with a routine of hot Starbucks and the local morning news--just basking in the quiet and silence and perfectness of the here and now. Those days (and the quiet!) in the hospital will be something I cherish for the rest of my life.

In summary, Harper entered the world in a far less dramatic way than her brother, but I anticipate that she'll work to even the score as she enters her teen years. At least that's what I'm told.

We checked in as a family of 3 on a Friday and left as 4 on a Monday. Life's never been better.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

And now we are complete.

Oh, hey there. Long time no blog. We've been busy around know, adding to our family and stuff. In the last week we've gotten new furniture, a new shed, and a new baby. We sort of go all out when it comes to chaos and change.

But what you really want to know...we're all doing great. Better than great, actually. Harper's birth story will come later when I have more time to sit and thoughtfully write it, but the Reader's Digest version is that it was a night and day version of what it was with Alex. If I can go so far as to say it was an amazing experience, I will say that. Other than the dizzyness of coming down from anesthesia (which can't really be avoided), I felt and continue to feel amazing.

As for Harper, she's the world's greatest (and most beautiful) baby. If you don't already, check out my Instagram feed (link at right) to see loads of photos. She eats like a rock star and I'm not exaggerating in the least when I say she already damn near sleeps through the night. She goes down at 11 or 12, wakes up at 3 for a quick 2 oz bottle, and then sleeps again until 6 or 7. I actually feel like a human, instead of a more seasonally appropriate zombie.

As for Alex, he was BORN to be a big brother. He's so loving and protective of her and loves to hold her and feed her. He wants her to do EVERYTHING with him--here they are in a Sunday morning snuggle, something I hope continues at least into their teen years. He's adjusting well and I'm a proud Mom to report our house is a peaceful, happy, sleep-filled place for all.

For your viewing pleasure, here's the video taken when Alex met Harper for the first time (thanks for capturing it, Mom!). And yes, he's wearing toddler scrubs that say "big brother" on them...a real hit with the nurses! (Available here.)


Thursday, October 17, 2013


OMG. The day I thought would never, ever arrive is FINALLY HERE.

As the great Mary Katherine Gallagher would say, my feelings would best be expressed through a monologue of song sung by a magical (then) 2.5 year-old boy who's going to become a big know, TOMORROW. I feel how he does riiiiight about :48 into it. Fist pumps all day, yo.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hump Day, Bump Day: THE GRAND FINALE.

bV is the size of a watermelon!
Baby keeps growing, despite being so crowded in there. She probably weighs around 6.2 to 9.2 pounds and measures about 18.9 to 20.9 inches.

bV at 39 weeks:
- She's probably able to flex her limbs now.
- Her brain is still rapidly developing -- she's getting smarter by the week!
- Her nails may extend past her fingertips.

Bonus photo this week--me, giving her my "wtf" Mom face. Like, SERIOUSLY kid. You should be out by now. We've asked very nicely for the last week. I officially stop asking nicely on Friday, at which point you will be formally evicted.

We can't wait to meet you!!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Salutations from my couch.

It seems that all my very strong gut feelings that this girl was going to come early were dead ass wrong. I had an appointment this morning and she's all warm & snuggly up in there and probably not making her appearance until Friday. At least she appreciates a schedule?

Which is fine.

And also not fine.

So in the meantime, I'm eating copious amounts of Qdoba and ice cream while plopped on my couch watching the last 3 weeks of Chelsea Lately that I have on the DVR. It's like I'm living the dream, only I have to get up to pee every 5 minutes, so it's not as relaxing as it sounds.

In other news, big brother Alex is getting more and more antsy by the day. In fact, last night when we went to check on him before we went to bed, we found he had stuffed all his stuffed animals ("sleep toys," as he calls them) in his shirt. It was so cute - I think he was trying to be like Mommy and keeping all his friends safe and sound.

I suppose I'll see you around here tomorrow for the world's last "Hump Day, Bump Day." I'll bring the bump, you bring the tequila.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Work yo' magic.

Still here. Still pregnant.

However, I'm getting a massage today at 3 and I'm going to tell him to hit every labor pressure point he can find on my body to get this girl a-movin'. EVICTION.

In related news, it's our last Saturday as a family of 3. Time to enjoy it!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hump Day, Bump Day.

bV is the size of a pumpkin! 
Baby is about 18.9 to 20.9 inches long and weighs about 6.2 to 9.2 pounds. Her head is now about the same circumference as her abdomen.

bV at 38 weeks:
- She may have about an inch or so of hair already.
- She's slowly shedding that white goo on her skin (called vernix caseosa) but you might see some of it at birth.

Worst case scenario this is the second to last bump update you will ever have to read from me. Best case scenario, it's the last. Other than that, I have no new information for you. I'm still very large. I'm still very sore. I'm still very tired. I'm still very anxious. I'm just eating more cookies to deal with it all. Since I can't have tequila.

In case anyone wants to have pity on me, she kept me up ALL night last night with contractions. Which, for the record, I find to be TERRIBLY unfair. It seems that women who have scheduled C-Sections should not have to bear this sort of torture. And also for the record? Turns out Doctors don't think it's funny when you try to bribe them with Starbucks gift cards to move your C-Section date up a week. Or more. Whatever.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The littlest fan.

Yesterday, Harper got to attend her very first MLB Postseason game, thanks to her Poppi who is a very cool old man and got us all the tickets. (Thank you, Poppi!)

Although it was a tragic Tigers loss to the Oakland A's, it was a great day! Everyone was hopeful that all the up-and-down the steps of the stadium would push me into labor, but no luck. I'm still here today, pregnant and annoyed about it.

The whole fam-damily, minus the Connecticut piece of us.

Harper and I managed to squeeze into this delightful non-maternity hoodie.
Also? Hi, Paws!


And I don't have photos to prove it because it all happened so fast, but Harper also got on the Jumbotron during the game! She's totally famous.

Monday, October 7, 2013

On why babies are the meanest.

Contractions all night on Friday.

But, you know, they were the "fake" ones. AS IF THERE IS A DIFFERENCE.

Also my pelvis is pretty much shattered by now.

I pee more than might actually be humanly possible. Someone at a University should study me.

I'm starving 24/7. This is actually not much different when I''m not pregnant, so make the connection however you see fit.

Sleeping is a real pain in my ass.

C'mon, little girl. Let's do this.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Hump Day, Bump Day!

bV is the size of a winter melon! 
Yay! Baby has reached full term. She likely measures around 18.9 to 20.9 inches and weighs about 6.2 to 9.2 pounds. She's gaining about 1/2 ounce each day.

bV at 37 weeks: 
- She's practicing some skills: inhaling, exhaling, sucking, gripping and blinking.
- She's getting her first sticky poop (called meconium) ready for her first diaper.

Fun Fact: I don't know what meconium looks and/or smells like, because I never actually changed a diaper in the hospital with Alex. Super Dad Joey was all over that. Also, I just realized that fact was not, in fact, "fun". It was actually rather gross.

Anyway, it's just a lot of hurry-up-and-wait around here. Alex wants his sister to be here every day, and the doctors actually seem shocked to still be seeing me in the office week after week. All the loose ends at work are more or less tied up, my bags are packed and her room is, we're ready when you are, little girl. Also? Please don't be 9.2 lbs. Love, Mom

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Dear Dad:

Thanks for the premature greys. Not.

Dear Harper: Please don't arrive prior to Saturday (aka hair appointment day). Momma doesn't want to look a mess in the hospital.

P.S. - Isn't my cell cover the cutest?!?

Monday, September 30, 2013

Big brother.

I realize this blog has been very overwhelmingly "look at all the cute/hilarious/awesome things Alex is doing" lately, but pretty soon I'll have to start balancing between Harper and Alex, so I'm getting my fix in while I can. Deal.

Anyway, this morning he decided to wheel Harper's bassinet from our room into his room because "she should sleep in MY room, Mom, because I love her the most."

Then, when he finally brought it back into our room, it looked like this:

That's his beloved "sleep toy" Jake & Emma, resting on a Tractor pillow (because "Harper will need a pillow, Mom") and covered with his Cars blanket "to keep them soft and snuggly."

"This is how Harper will sleep in here, Mom."

Someday when I'm crazy and sleep deprived and want to run away to the beach and live by myself in a tiki hut while surviving on nothing but sunshine, fish tacos and margaritas, someone remind me of this magical moment, mmmmk?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

This kid is a DREAM.

Yesterday on the way to daycare, Alex asked to play with his Magna Doodle to draw me a picture. (Mom tip: the small bin of car-friendly toys I keep in the backseat has saved my life more than once.) Of course, I obliged and when we got to our destination I asked him what he drew for me.

"Mom! I drawed Harper! She has eyelashes and a ponytail."

This boy loves his sister so much already, I honestly can't imagine how it will grow when she's here. This morning he told me he can't wait to teach her math. MATH.

Alex, I am SO proud to be your Momma. You are one cool cat and your sister is so lucky to have you for a big brother. xoxox.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hump Day, Bump Day!

bV is the size of a honeydew! 
She's still in the 17.2- to 18.7-inch and 4.2- to 5.8-pound range and continues to beef up.

bV at 36 weeks:
- She's getting closer and closer to being able to breathe on her own.
- Her skin is getting smooth and soft and her gums are rigid.
- Her liver and kidneys are in working order.
- Circulation and immune systems are basically good to go, too.

Remember back when it seemed like Jessica Simpson was pregnant for 14,563.92 years? Yeah. I get it. So today you get her terribly unflattering picture instead of mine. Partially because I forgot to take mine, and mostly because I'm too lazy to do it now. Enjoy & you're welcome.

Also, today I made a hair appointment for October 8, knowing full well that I will be there. But secretly, I'm hoping not to be. I know with a scheduled C-Section that I'll just want everything to go delightfully & uneventfully according to plan, but I'm sooooooooo very, very over this whole thing that a part of me also hopes maybe she'll come early.

And in "I'm not totally sucking at this parenting thing" news, last night we asked Alex what the "best part" of Harper would be, and he told us her "smart brain." Turns out he's listening, after all.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

On the Internet, everything is free.

Isn't it amazing how a 4 year old's mind works?

Last night, for instance, Alex was asking me if we could buy a glow in the dark iPad case that he saw a TV commercial for. Here's how that conversation went:

Alex: Mom, can we buy it? Please? Pretty please?
Me: That depends, Alex. Do you have money to buy it?
A: I don't need any money, Mom. We can buy it ONLINE.
M: (confused) Things still cost money when you buy them online, Alex.
A: No they don't. You just use your tappage and they send it to our house on the UPS truck!

His train of thought is spot on, because whenever he finds an app he wants to "buy" on the iPad, he has to bring it to me to "tap in the passoword" and then the app magically appears. (As a note, we only download free apps.) And, whenever he's watched me buy things online, there's never money or a credit card involved that he can see like at the store. Makes perfect sense!

Then this morning he told us on the way to Aunt Jane's that he was "writing a thesis" for his "Lego prototype" that he's building. WHERE DOES IT COME FROM, THIS 4TH GRADE KNOWLEDGE?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Still pregnant.

You know, in case you were wondering. Because apparently, EVERYONE ELSE is.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hump Day, Bump Day!

bV is the size of a coconut! 
She's about 17.2 to 18.7 inches. From here on out, she won't get much longer, but she's plumping up. She's now about 4.2 to 5.8 pounds, and she'll put on a pound or more of baby fat before birth.

bV at 35 weeks 
- Now, her hearing is fully developed, and she responds best to high-pitched noises.
- If it's a boy, his testes have probably fully descended.

I find it odd that last week she was compared to a butternut squash and this week it's a coconut. I mean, isn't that a little backward in terms of both size and weight? Ahhh, well. Regardless she's growing and getting fruitier by the day.

I'm down to just 16 days of work left, which only gives me moderate panic attacks every 6-7 minutes. As much as I'm over being pregnant, I genuinely hope that Harper waits until her scheduled date to arrive. I had a week off planned before Alex (like I have with Harper) and Alex decided to come on that first day off - Monday. Even if Harper decides to give me just a few days to relax and enjoy my last days as a Momma of 1, I would be ever so appreciative.

Physically, I'm over it. I waddle better than Donald Duck himself and my pelvic area feels like a war zone with every step I take. So, you know, overall enjoyment. "Pregnancy is a real dream!" ...said no one, ever.

See also: ONE MONTH EXACTLY until little girl makes her arrival.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pregnancy, round four.

So you know how every mother on planet earth who's had at least 1 of each sex will tell you how every pregnancy is "sooooo different" and how she knows all the things and wants to impart every last bit of knowledge onto you?

As it turns out...those assholes, for once, are right.

And I guess there's really no proof as to what the differences are from, exactly, but I can tell you that Harper? She's WAY different than Alex. Let us count the ways...
  1. First Trimester. Remember how with Alex I was just tired all the time? My thyroid was whack. With Harper, I never even had to take Synthroid. I did, however, throw up all the time.
  2. Second Trimester. See also: #1.
  3. Swelling. I'm probably totally screwing myself right now and I'm knocking on every piece of wood within reach, but with Alex I was a hot, swelly mess of cankle. Remember these feet? Granted, that photo was taken 12 days before I had Alex and I'm still >30 days away with Harper, but so far, I haven't even entered the spectrum of swelling I had with Alex.
  4. Blood Pressure. Same story as my feet. My blood pressure was an issue for most of my 3rd trimester with Alex. With Harper it's been "great" every time.
  5. Hunger Games. With Alex I'm pretty sure I would have eaten a tree if you'd have put it in front of me with a bit of ketchup to dunk it in. Harper has a pretty steady appetite, and for the most part, I eat pretty normally, if not lighter than usual.
  6. Escape Routes. I never felt pelvic "pressure" with Alex. Harper, on the other hand, tries to escape out of my lady garden with every step I take. I literally cannot even walk DOWN stairs anymore because it hurts so bad and also I fear her feet will pop out by step #3. I sit on my butt and scoot. It's very embarrassing and I would like to take this opportunity to thank architects everywhere for inventing elevators. (And for the record, I had a c-section with Alex, so it's not like I'm all Michelle Duggar loosey goosey down there. It should be business as usual.)
  7. Ninja Moves. Alex was a squirmer. Harper, on the other hand, is an extreme warrior ninja. I will be flabbergasted if she doesn't come out doing cartwheels and also punches my surgeon in the face upon her exit while simultaneously flipping off the anesthesiologist. 
What this also leads me to believe is since they were such different babies in utero, that they will be equally as opposite on the external. Please recall that Alex was an Angel child and ate and slept like a champ. 6-8 hours through the night at 6 weeks, amen, amen. 

I'm terrified of this girl. Terrified.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A sentimental journey.

My mom was taking a walk down memory lane (see also: probably a hot mess on her living room floor) the other day and started texting me pictures of pictures of the day I was born. A little unorthodox, sure...and crazy to think Alex & Harper will just have to look at Shutterfly, Facebook or my Instagram feed to see their lives from the very beginning, while I have to haul out 75 lbs. of peel-and-stick, 3 ring, leather-bound old school photo albums.

Anyway, the pics were too cute NOT to share, and it'll be fun to see how much Harper looks like me.

Mom on Dec.7, 1982.

Welcome to the world, self.

"Oh, hey dere."

Kelli holding me.

ABOUT my Dad's tracksuit. And glasses. And beard. #sexy

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Hump Day, Bump Day!

bV's the size of a butternut squash! 
At less than two months to go, she weighs in at about 4.2 pounds to 5.8 pounds and measures about 17.2 to 18.7 inches.

bV at 34 weeks 
- She's recognizing and reacting to simple songs, if you're singing them. (If you're not, start! She may find them soothing after birth.)
- She's also urinating about a pint a day.

I'm very, very, very, very ready for this child to be born. Five weeks seems like a suspiciously unreasonable amount of time left to wait, but I will try to practice patience and all that crap about it being a virtue. And the "At less than TWO months to go..." text from the bump is a little misleading. It's WAY less than two months. Way.

I have 21 days of work left (not that I'm counting), so it's kind of getting stressy and down to the wire to make sure everything is in place for my leave. I'm actually kind of excited that this time overlaps with the holidays--even though Harper will probably have us on her own little version of a schedule, it will be nice to be home and semi-relaxed over the winter. I see lots of fireside snuggles in my future.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Things Alex says.

"Mom? Harper is coming soon, right? Because you are going to explode."

"The park at Aunt Jane's house is very familiar to me because I play at it every day."

"Can Harper have some ice cream in your belly button?"

"...but I said 'please' so that means it can happen!"

"I pick you flowers every day because that means I love you. Can I marry you someday?"

And a recent fave that was told secondhand...

Aunt Jane was telling the kids about Grandma Davis' recent 92nd birthday, to which Alex replied, "Wow! That's old! She should go to heaven!"

Friday, September 6, 2013

Global love.

I work at a global company, so lots of my coworkers and teammates are from all over the world. Yesterday, I received a DHL package all the way from Mexico City with a gift for Harper in it. I cried! :)

The note reads:

Mexico City, Sept. 2nd
Dear Kristi,

In this incredible journey with your new baby girl, I wish you and your family the best: love, healthy and, if possible, some sleeping. Enjoy it!!

This is a small gift for her: a dress from the Mexican state of Puebla, hand-made by the native group called "totonacas".

I hope you like it! :)

Please receive a warm big hug...

Ivette Camacho

Won't Harper just be the CUTEST in this dress? Oh, I can see it now with her fluff of dark hair, chasing her big brother around the back yard in a swirl of color from Mexico.

She is loved from all corners of the world, for sure!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Harper Land.

I've had Harper's room designed in my head from the moment the ultrasound tech said she was 80% sure it was a girl. (Yes. I still lose sleep that she MIGHT come out a's fine.)

I knew it had to be a cheery, happy place with no pastels. Pastels depress me and make me want to vomit.

I knew it had to be girly and bright with personal touches so she knows how much she is loved.

I also knew I had to do it on a budget, Kristi style. Challenge, accepted!

Here's a quick 360 tour in photos...

Crib was Alex's. Ceiling tiles were a 30th bday present from my parents
...and yes, we'll have to move the tiles when she's older and more mobile

Chevron baskets and dot tin from Michael's
"harper" bunting handmade by the lovely Sarah of so sarah designs
The little doll was my Mom's when she was a girl
The cross was a gift from Joey
Everything else was crafted, found or spray-painted

Sources for this image in this post
Quilt was a handmade gift from my friend, Katy

Print was a gift from Uncle Kyle & Aunt Jill.
Stool is old - from Target

I ordered this piece from a Rendi party and it hangs on the closet door knob. I'd never heard of their products before a friend of mine became a consultant. Visit her page, here to see all the cool & customizable Rendi products that are available.

So that's a tour of our lovely little lady's room. I love it because it's a mix of new, old and meaningful pieces that will grow with her. Unless she wants to be a tomboy, in which case I guess I'll just start over in 5 years.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hump Day, Bump Day!

bV's the size of a durian!
She weighs about 4.2 to 5.8 pounds and measures about 17.2 to 18.7 inches. And she may grow up to a full inch this week -- amazing.

bV at 33 weeks 
- She's keeping her eyes open while awake.
- She's also starting to coordinate breathing with sucking and swallowing.
- Her bones are hardening.
- And she going through (more) major brain development -- that's one smart baby!

A durian? I feel like that's a Star Nerd character, no? Anyway, I googled it and allegedly it's a real spiny and smelly fruit native to southeast Asia. So, you know, a perfect comparison to my baby.

We had another appointment this week and all is well in Harper Land. She's head down (not that it particularly matters in my case) and is very much an evening baby. Yesterday she was practicing her roundhouse kicks for me and putting on quite the show for her Daddy...and all he could do was laugh at me and my earthquake of a belly.

As far as preparedness, we're physically ready for her. She has food, (TONS of) clothing and (a SUPER cute) shelter. Mentally, I'm not so sure I'm there yet. I did a few loads of very pink laundry over the weekend and had like 12 panic attacks as I was folding it all. PINK. It's very weird and alien-like to me.

After my next appointment we start going weekly. YIPES! And then, it's only just a matter of time before she joins our family officially!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


While hanging multiple things on the wall over the weekend in Harper's room (tour later this week!), I was getting nervous that we were putting lots of holes in the wall.

Says Joey, "It's ok. There's going to be 'One Direction' posters covering all the holes in a few years, anyway."

Saturday, August 31, 2013


Six years ago, I was filled with more nerves and anticipation than every 30 year old in the world on Sunday night, waiting to see if N'SYNC was really going to reunite at the VMAs.

But, unlike N'SYNC's disappointing 30-second performance, my anticipation six years ago has lead to so much more.

Vacations. Alex. Adventures. Babies. Unfathomable loss. A new home. Heartbreak. #VW3040. Laughter. Tears. Partnership. Harper.

And yet, through all of that, nothing has really changed. I still look at him the same way I did six years ago from the other end of the church aisle. Sure, there might be a few more pounds, wrinkles and sparkles of grey hair (on both our parts), but we've traveled our journey together--the best way.

If there's one thing that marriage and these last six years has taught me, it's that lots and lots of things change, and you actually have control over very little of what actually happens in your story. The one constant? The characters you choose to be a part of your story. And I'm so glad I chose THIS leading man for my story.

Happy Anniversary, my love. Damn, we look good.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Reality sets in.

I'm starting to get all hormonal & emotional about how ENORMOUS Alex is going to seem once Harper gets here, so I did the obvious thing and started looking back through his pictures. Bad idea, Kristi. Bad idea.

Alex, fresh out the womb:

Happy FIRST birthday!

Happy SECOND birthday!

Happy THIRD birthday!

Happy FOURTH birthday!

Gah. Nostalgia. But, like I said in my birthday letter to him, I wouldn't have time move any faster or slower. It's perfect just the way it is. But if anyone is curious, 2 was my favorite.