Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Meet Steve.

I cordially invite you to meet Steve the Squirrel. He comes by every Sunday to have a nice snack of nuts and seeds on our back steps. Sometimes, if we're feeling gourmet, he even gets almonds! He's become quite friendly over the last few months, coming really close to eating right out of our hands. I'm legit so scared he's going to somehow get in the house and just make himself at home one of these days.

Steve's our pal and we think he's pretty cool. He's also the closest thing Alex is going to have to a pet for the next 5 years, so there's that.

And please excuse my snowman doormat. We're getting our patio poured back there in a few weeks (!!!)and I've just been too lazy to put a spring/summer one out, knowing I'll just have to bring it inside in 2 shakes.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Happy birthday, Jill!

April is a very active month for our family with birthdays for Kyle, Alex AND Jill. Happy, happy, happy birthday to my FAVORITE sister-in-law, Jill!!!!!!!

Obviously I picked this photo because we are both extremely delicious babes in it and I am an unapologetic, narcissistic blogger. And, I was 6 months post-partum when this was taken so I needed the reminder that this current and enormous version of myself isn't going to be around forever.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Our growing boy and also a PSA on vitamins.

Alex had his 4 year well visit earlier this week and is chugging right along his little kiddo milestones.

He's 44.6 lbs (95% percentile) and is 41.25" tall (71% percentile). In an unsurprising twist, our pediatrician told us we should probably expect a big growth spurt over the summer. I sort of knew that based solely on the amount of food he's been packing away lately. I swear sometimes he eats more than Joey at dinner!

I love our pediatrician. He's always so thorough in answering our questions and explains things in a logical way. For instance, we were asking about vitamins...and he asked if we buy them from Costco or another big box store (Of course we do. Have you met me?). Anyway, did you know that big box stores cannot and do not put iron in their chewable vitamins? This is because if a child were to get their hands on the entire bottle and consume it, he or she would be at risk for iron poisoning because there are so many pills in the bottle. So, if your child takes chewables, be sure to buy them from a non-big box store if you are worried about or at risk for an iron deficiency. When in doubt, check the labels.

And the same goes for gummy vitamins--ALL gummy vitams--even for adults. No matter the size of the bottle, it is scientifically impossible for iron to be suspended inside the gelatin of a gummy vitamin, so NO gummy vitamins actually have iron in them! So again, if you or your child take gummy vitamins and are at risk for iron deficiency, investigate some other options.

This PSA brought to you by my rockstar pediatrician and the letter I.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

My pregnant self has the same cravings as my 17 year old self.

And to whatever stoner who was on the marketing team responsible for creating this Munchies Cheese Fix blend of amazingness, THANK YOU for being a pothead and THANK YOU for creating what I believe to be the ultimate in snack nirvana. I knew it would be one of you that achieved snacking greatness. Way to go, kids. Way to go.

Also shown: my super kickass mousepad, which was a Christmas prezzie from my pal Jackie.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

14 weeks!

bV is the size of a lemon!  
At week 14, bV is 3.4 inches and 1.5 ounces, he's almost doubled in weight since last week and keeps on growing.

bV at 14 weeks:
He's probably sucking his thumb and wiggling his toes in there!
- His kidneys are making urine, and his liver and spleen are doing their jobs, too.
- And he's growing lanugo, a thin, peach-fuzz-like hair, all over his body -- it will help him keep warm!

So bV is peeing on me, which is fiiiiiiiiiiiiiine. In non-urination related news, every evening is still pretty much a vomit fest up in here, which is NOT fine. People continue to tell me lies that 14 weeks will be the "magical" week and I will finally start to feel better but I'm having none of it. Basically, bV is going to be grounded legitimately from the moment he escapes my womb for being such a jerk to me in his early days of life. Not cool, bV. Not cool.

In other-people-are-pregnant news, today is the magical day that my dear friend Lindsay finds out if her twins are boys, girls or a BOGO of each. I CAN'T EVEN STAND IT WITH THE WAITING. Mostly because I want to buy them this:

Monday, April 22, 2013

I have nothing else to say today, so here's a YouTube channel you should probably subscribe to.

Anthem Lights is the best discovery I've come across today. A coworker shared their 2012 mashup with me, because she knows I heart mashups like I heart Cheez-its and Slurpees. See also: a great deal. So I spent the better part of the day with my headphones jamming to their channel on repeat and I have yet to be disappointed.

Also, if you haven't seen Pentatonix's Evolution of Music video yet, you probably should also do that today. These are considered musical prioritites. You're welcome.

Friday, April 19, 2013

How we're different.

When it comes to raising Alex, I'm definitely the dreamer and Joey is the realist. Which, in fact, is a nice little balance because that means Alex will grow up to be a logical person who has the vision to see the other side of the rainbow.

For instance, Alex sees a water tower and instantly calls it a balloon. He and I play imaginary about all the things we could see from up in the balloon, and when we're done with that, Joey tells him that's it's actually called a water tower and explains how it works.

Or this morning, when Alex found Joe's old watch in a box and thought he discovered the world's greatest treasure. He went on and on with me about how he found a "new watch" and how he is such a great finder of things, and I told him he could be a pirate on a ship collecting treasures. When he went downstairs to tell Joey about his "new watch treasure," Joey explained that it was actually his watch, but he was sure glad Alex helped him find it.

I think it's important to have balance as parents. If Alex had two of me, he'd grow up to be a space cadet with a degree in underwater basket weaving and spend his life chasing unicorns. And if he had two Joeys, he'd probably end up with lots of wedgies and wearing a pocket protector. But since he's got both of us, he can still chase unicorns and dream big, but will always be the smartest pocket protector-wearing person in the room.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Look ma, I'm human!

On Sunday for Alex's party, I thought it best to not wear my uniform of late (see also: sweats, tshirts, hoodies) and put on some decent clothings and do something with my hair other than a ponytail.

Lo and behold, it's me 'n 'da bump:

Hair: courtesy of my new clampless curling iron. Tricky to use, but once you master it, it's great!
Sweater: Target
Shirt: Kohls, maternity
Bracelet: my grandmother's
Necklace: Purchased in NOLA with my bff, Cait

It's amazing what a little lipgloss and grown up clothes can do for the mood. Despite still feeling like garbage, I also felt a little human.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hump day, bump day!

Your baby's the size of a peach!
He's about 2.9 inches long and weighs about .81 ounces, and -- proportion-wise --his head's now about 1/3 the size of his body (remember? It used to be bigger!).

Your baby at 13 weeks:
Can you believe he's forming vocal cords and teeth?! And even though he's still teeny, he already has fingerprints. His intestines are moving from the umbilical cord to their more permanent place, in his tummy.

I'm still feeling like garbage, but it's mostly just in the evenings now which is nice little change of pace. bV is very punctual, and I fear that the 7 p.m. hour when he's born is going to be a hot, hot mess...cause that's pretty much when I'm hurling my brains out each and every night. Things other than Teddy Grahams finally sound at least edible, and my tub o' maternity clothes has officially been resurrected from the basement. Hello, comfort!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


After some thinking and creative sessions, Joey and I have come up with this baby's nickname: bV.

As some of you may or may not know, we've given all our babies nicknames in the womb to avoid calling them "it" or "baby" or "fetus." Alex was WIP (work-in-progress), and then we had the tWIPS (twins+WIP) and bDub (playing on baby+VDub).

For the most part, I had legitimately run out of ideas until this one came to me: bV! A twist on "Baby Van Wormer" and also "V" is the Roman Numeral for five...and this is our fifth baby.

Just a few more weeks until we get to hear bV's heartbeat again - next appointment is May 2!

P.S. - Things are getting a little facelift around here. Standby while changes are made! :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Four. My oh my, FOUR.

This is typically the one post a year that Mommy bloggers get all sentimental and "wah wah wah it goes so fast." Guess what? Not me!

Every single minute of this kid's life has been so awesome. Especially the giggles, and even the time outs. Because when those are over, I get a hug and a kiss and an, "I'm sorry, Mom. I love you, Mom."

Alex, next to your Dad, you are my very best friend in all the world. I love hanging out with you and I love when you teach me things, like why everything is better dunked in ranch and which "constructions" are best for which job. To steal a quote from a friend of mine, you are the best parts of me and your Dad, but in a mini version.

I love when I see little sparks of him in you, like when something must be done in such a certain way and with such precision. I'm so proud of you when you accomplish things. And I love when I see little sparks of me in you, like this morning when we woke you up with a birthday song and you pulled the covers back over your head declaring you wanted "Five more minutes of sleeping because it's so soft in here." That's me, and it makes my heart so happy.

And then, amidst the sparks of your Dad and me, you are totally, 100% your own little person. You are getting so good at trying new and adventurous things--like the big balance beam at gymnastics or conquering the biggest slides at the park. You love to watch "The Machine Show" ("How It's Made" on the Discovery Channel) and probably because of that love of how things work, you also love to build Legos and play with trains and cars and trucks. Pretty much anything that moves.

You LOVE to sing, and you are so good at it. Right now, our favorite song to jam to in the car is Francesca Battistelli's "This is the Stuff." You call it "The Key Song" and I love that. Now that the weather is getting nicer, I love to roll down the windows and sing loudly and dance so silly with you in the car. Other people look at us like we're crazy and we just laugh and wave.

Your laugh...oh, your laugh. I swear your laugh could end all the world's problems. It comes right from your toes and sometimes you stop breathing just for a second because it's so big. You get this twinkle in your eye and the tiniest little dimple on your left cheek. I kiss that dimple a lot.

Alex, I have loved every minute of being your Mom. Because you know what? YOU made me a Mom and that's such a cool thing. I can't wait to watch you turn 5 and  6 and 7 and 8 and see what you do and learn along the way. You're going to do great things, kid!

All my love and then a little more,

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I'll live in a van down by the river if that's what it takes.

I got two letters in the mail last week. Both from my OBGYN office.

One announcing the two! new! amazing! additions to their practice! One fresh out of med school eager to deliver 'da babies, and the other  a "friend of the practice" for years. Oh great, two more people that get to see my girlie bits between now and October. It's fine.

The second letter was not as exclamatory. My doctor, my beloved Dr. who has sliced open my stomach to remove one Alex Joseph Van Wormer, performed the procedure for my sweet tWIPs, and was there to hold my hand in anger and sadness with my bDub, is leaving the practice. In June.

The extreme tragedy is that I totally can't hate him for it, because he's going to some inner city hospital in the hoods of Ohio that treats the underserved and non-insured. And he's going to teach other doctors there how to be as awesome as he is.

But the internal struggle that I have is that I sorta do hate him for it because he's the only person I want holding that scalpel and slicing this child out of me. My scar from Alex is perfect & healed like a dream. He knows my body & what it's been through. I trust him implicitly.

I was able to squeeze in one last appointment with him before he leaves, during which I plan to kick and moan and groan and cry and otherwise act like a 13-year-old girl whose parents won't let her go to the movies past her curfew. Whhhyyyyy meeeeee?

There are 7 other doctors in the practice, and save the new girl (and one other one that should probably never meet me in a dark alley) they're all very competent, trustworthy, good doctors. So I'm sure I'll be fine. However, I do have a plan B to escape to the ghettos of Ohio (not hard to find?), shred my insurance cards and just do what I must. You know, mother's instinct and all that.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hump day, bump day!

my baby's the size of a plum!
The average fetus at 12 weeks is about 2.1 inches long and .49 ounces. Now that he's got pretty much all his parts, his main job is to keep on growing.

my baby at 12 weeks:
Most critical systems are fully formed!

He's about to enter the growth and maturation stage, in which his organs and tissues will grow and develop rapidly.

He's now developing her reflexes -- if you poke his body, he'll likely move.

He's opening and closing his fingers and curling his toes, too.

His brain is developing fast!

Additionally, my bellay means business. Looking back at my pics with Alex, I'd say I look now like I did at about 16 weeks with him. Loosely translated, I'm going to be a whale this summer. Please google "miu miu" for all my clothing needs.

P.S. - I realize the stuff from thebump.com all says "he" but we won't know that particular detail until June sometime, so hold your horses.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

You are cordially invited to the pants party.

Well, not really because they don't fit. Nothing does, really.

Tomorrow is 12 weeks (!!) and I've officially entered that "Today is the worst day of my life because nothing fits and I don't really look pregnant yet but I definitely look fatter so I'll just go eat some more ice cream...but wait I can't eat ice cream because the only thing that doesn't make me want to vomit is air so I'll just go to my room and sleep/cry some more" phase. It's a joyous place to be.

I wholeheartedly am 100% positive that this blog will contain 79.5% more pregnancy-related complaining than it did with Alex. Mostly because I know what's coming next but also because I legitimately look, feel and all-around am worse. Which might be optimistically glass-half-full for you people, because it guarantees some laughs in the next 6-7 months. So there's that.

Per uge, I'm happy to provide your daily entertainment whilst chronicling the events of the human growing we call pregnancy. So, you're welcome. Hump Day Bump day starts tomorrow!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Happy birthday, baby brother!

Today is my baby brother's *cough* 28th *cough* birthday. That's not even real.

Anyway, in honor of his awesome self, he's our guest blogger today! I hope you enjoy his words below and take them to heart by squeezing your little babes a little tighter tonight and being thankful for all your blessings. Being a teacher is hard, yo.


I like to give my sister a hard time when there's a lapse in posting on “le blog,” as it is a little piece of joy I get to share in daily. I have loved having the honor to watch Alex grow a little more with each blog post, picture and smile. All of my family has a special place in my heart. Why? Bcause that is how my Mom and Dad raised us. They raised us to love God and each other and to respect the people in our lives.

Daily, I have the unique opportunity to try to instill some of those values in the lives of 25 4th grade students. It is my hope and prayer that each kid that walks through my doors (and most in the halls) leave me more than just a better student. They need love, to be told that they are worth something, to be put up on a pedestal. Too often, they come to me with so much hurt, pain, and fear. For the short span that I have them, I hope that I can shoulder some of that fear, give a little grace, and show them a love that is deeper than the one they have here on Earth. Not that I can “preach” to them, but as Mom and Dad would say, “actions speak louder than words.”

Recently, we have been writing autobiographies in my class. Here are some of the responses I got:
  • “Three years ago I got a phone call. I was like, 'Who is this?' And my Grandpapa said, 'Your Dad.' After I hung up the phone I asked my Papa why I never lived with him, and he said it is because he never really wanted me.”
  • “When I was 6 my parents got a divorce. It was because my mom asked my dad for $30 and all of the sudden my dad was mad. He smashed the computer and they were arguing. My mom called the police and the police said that they needed to get a divorce. After that we were all really scared and had to live with my aunt.”
  • “My mom had to quit college to take care of me, or at least that was what I was told. I think she quit because I was stressing her out and she could not keep up.”
I don’t write all of this so that you feel sorry for me as an educator. As a matter of fact, I love my job. Daily, I get to make a difference. I also do not write so that you think I have it bad. I don’t. Again, I love what I do.

Instead, I write this as a little reminder to keep the innocence of children. I can also say that most said they love my class. They like me as a teacher--they hated school before me & have learned so much. Again, I don’t say that to beat my own drum. I say that because I am not perfect…I just try daily. And I make mistakes doing it! They need love, respect, and grace. They do not need to be involved with adult problems.

My challenge to you tonight: turn off the TV. No cell phones, iPads, iPods, leapsters, DS, PSP, PS3, or XBOX. Have a dinner with your family--the ones you love in your heart but sometimes hurt. Tell them that you love them, you respect them, you appreciate them. Then after dinner play games and read books. Enjoy your family. Love them and love on them!

Friday, April 5, 2013

The combination is obscene.

Oh heyyyyy girl, hey. Remember that one time I told you that story about how we all got the flu and it was the worst four consecutive days in our family's existence? Oh, and remember how then then next day I told you I was also pregnant and feeling like a dumpster fire 24/7?

Oh yeah, put THAT brilliant combination together and make it tango.

What I'm saying is that even when I was feeling better, I wasn't feeling better. The upside to this parade of vomit and nausea is that I haven't gained an ounce in 11 weeks, and baby is doing just fine. The downside is that my current existence and nutrition is totally dependent on buttered toast, Teddy Grahams and water.

But then, in a moment of glory, the other night for dinner I HAD to have a crispy chicken sandwich. Eegads! Food! Sounding delicious! Must. Get. Some. Now. Like, some crispy chicken sandwich magic maker probably should have just delivered it to me in 2.9 seconds with a side of light mayo and fries a-la the freaky fast Jimmy John's commercials. But no, we had to driiiiiiive to Red Robin, where they do make a delicious crispy sandwich and as an added bonus offer bottomless steak fries. Word.

But then, as we pulled into the parking lot and curses if you wouldn't imagine it, CRISPY CHICKEN SANDWICHES ARE NOW MADE BY THE DEVIL. I shall never eat again! More toast! Begone, chickens of the world!

This is my life. In rare, glorious moments, some foods sound amazing and I must have them immediately. But in the time lapse it takes to actually get said food that is not a Teddy Graham to my mouth, something goes horribly wrong and my body denies its very existence and tells my brain that it's made of poison and will likely a) kill me; 2) give me a real show of the gags; and/or c) ruin my life. Or quite possibly a combination of all three.

Because, no. Just no. I like food too much for all this to even be real. 2nd trimester feelings of Super Mom, pleasepleaseplease come soon!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Big brother.

After yesterday's announcement, we got a lot of love via the social medias. (Thanks, btw!) What most people asked after the OMG! OMG! Congratulations! was how Alex is taking the news, which I LOVE because that means you people all love him as much as we do and can pretty much assume that his reaction will be Oscar-worthy.

The funny thing is, we haven't actually told him yet. Sure, we've talked about being a big brother and babies and he asks all sorts of questions about family and what that means, but we haven't really said the words, "Mommy is having a baby!"

You see, he's wicked smart. He's like a 17 year old pursuing a Ph.D. in that little mind. So when we DO tell him, he will get it. He will totally understand and want a baby, like, ASAP. He's already told us that he would like to be a big brother to "teach the baby to sing and color," and that he will "help feed the baby tiny bottles and change diapers...even if they are poopy, Mom."

So, heaven forbid we travel down that same road we've been down before and we have to UNtell him. How do you do that? I don't know that I could.

So we're going to wait awhile--maybe until I'm showing a little more--to really explain it to him. But in the meantime, thank you for all the heartfelt congratulations and wishes of health and happiness. I sure do love the internets.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

2013 is going to be amazeballs.

Two legitimately amazing things are going to happen in 2013. First, the Anchorman sequel comes out. I have been waiting for this movie honestly since the opening credits of the original Anchorman movie. And if we’re all being honest with ourselves, I’m probably gonna take the day off and see the midnight showing. Maybe in costume. We’ll see how that all shakes out. Then, I will see it again but with pen and paper to take notes of all the one liners that I will quote for the rest of my life. And it will be glorious.

And that other thing? No biggs:

I suppose the photo needs no caption, but in case it does, we’re expecting an addition to our family in October!

This whole process has been quite a ride, and I waited as long as I could to let the cat out of the bag for obvious reasons. Today marked a big milestone we haven’t hit in awhile—the second prenatal appointment. We heard baby’s strong, healthy heartbeat for the second time and it was awesome.

We saw baby for the first time on March 7, which was both heart wrenching and ironic because that was the day our sweet BDub was due. With a lump in my throat, very sweaty palms and Joey by my side, I walked into that same room with the same ultrasound machine and the same tech who has given us a roller coaster of good and bad news over the last year and a half. But then, when she clicked on the monitor and we heard that unmistakable ‘thumpthumpthumpthump,’ I just knew this baby was meant to be mine.

That’s not to say I don’t have my scared days, because I most certainly do. There was a day about a month ago when my chapstick (red) exploded all over my face and I used a tissue to wipe it off and then tossed it in the toilet. Then I peed. Then I looked before I flushed and nearly had a heart attack until I realized what I’d done.

My body is exhausted and I feel like a dumpster fire, but everyone tells me “that’s a good thing,” as if that somehow makes the 24/7 nausea and general feelings of poop sandwichery better. I’m sure it has something to do with the fact that my body has spent its fair share of the last 18 months pregnant with nothing to show for it…so this time it’s working overtime. And I’m cool with that.

I freak out at the littlest signs of a cramp or a sneeze gone horribly wrong. And I think that’s totally normal. Honestly, any woman who has experienced loss at any stage during pregnancy has her own trepidations or fears—no matter how seemingly irrational. And I’m an irrational person to begin with, so the combination is really just asking for it.

But enough about that—this post is about joy and life and celebrating a very cool thing: Anchorman 2 is coming out! Oh, and we’re gonna have a baby!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Down on the farm.

On Saturday, when we had all recovered from NinjaDeathStarFlu2013, we headed out to Northfork Outback for a fun Easter farm day to celebrate our little friend Jack's 2nd birthday.

What a FUN day at a VERY cool place! The whole day was organized into activities that were age appropriate--including a craft, puppet show, pony rides, train ride, egg hunt and petting zoo. If you live near the area, I highly recommend a visit. It's a small family-owned farm, so no crowds and no corporate shenanigans.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Quesadillas BE GONE.

Oh mercy, mercy, mercy. Where to even begin this post? I suppose we should start with about 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, when Jane texted me to tell me Alex had thrown up. Ugh.

By the time I got there, he'd thrown up 2 more times. Then twice on the way home. Joe got home from work  around 6 p.m. and I am not exaggerating in the least when I tell you that I honest to cheese lost count at 20--the number of times he'd thrown up SINCE WE GOT HOME.

We called the pediatrician, and to no one's surprise they sent us right off to the ER at the risk of severe dehydration. Fast forward 5 hours and with a little help from some Zofran, popsicles and pedialite, we were on our way home. The next day, his other end started acting up so he stayed in Pull-Ups for a few days because his "toots had some poops."

 See also: why is he so big?!

And then, in the middle of the night on Wednesday, guess what came knocking on MY door? Yeap. Listen, I won't go into the gory, graphic details in the here and now, but suffice it to say I spent many, many hours seated ON the toilet while simultaneously hurling my brains out into a trash can, sweating profusely and shaking like a patient in detox. Never in all my life have I been that sick. It. Was. Terrible.

And then, as only the VW's luck would have it, Joey was next! He didn't get it quite as badly as me, but I did hear him wish death upon himself a few times from outside the bathroom door.

So what's with the subject of this post, you ask? Well, we watch our fair share of Doc McStuffins and if you aren't aware of this little cartoon gem, she's a "doctor" to her stuffed animals and makes their ouchies go away with her magical toddler doctoring. Every diagnosis is a "Case of the _____," so when Alex morphed from vomit to diarrhea, he self-diagnosed himself with the Quesadillas.

At least we had something to laugh about over the course of the last few days, right?

I'm happy to say we're all on the mend and looking forward to sunny, spring days ahead!