Friday, March 21, 2014


I have a cassette tape of my 4 year old self singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow and various church songs. On the audio, you can hear my brother trying to sabotage my epic performance and you can hear me whining to get him out of the way.  I absolutely love listening to my brother's sweet, mischievous voice and my high-pitched, girly, bossy voice.  That tiny tape has brought me so much joy, which is why I try so hard to catch voices on film these days. I know my four readers are probably tired of seeing Frozen songs and videos, but I want to post them here so my girls have a place to visit to watch their tiny selves when they aren't so tiny anymore.

Mom convinced Sylvia to sing for the camera a couple weeks ago. Someday I hope she closes her eyes to listen to herself and remember how sweet things were when she was little.

Monday, March 10, 2014

It's a BOY!!!

I didn't care one way or the other, I really didn't.  I just wanted to KNOW if it was a boy or a girl so we could get on with the business of growing a baby.  I didn't have a "feeling" and I didn't do any crazy tests to find out.  All of my pregnancies have been nearly the same and I thought Sylvia and Margot were both going to be a boy, so I stopped guessing with this one.  I have to say, though, when we found out it was a boy, I was SURPRISED!  I guess I would have been surprised regardless, but still....a BOY!!! 

The squirmiest little foot you ever did see!

Left hand with a placenta ghost!  Creeeeepy.....

Oh, the FACE!  His nose looks like Margot's.  I can't wait to kiss his cheeks!

Here he is flipping the bird, and after that little stunt he pulled at 12 weeks, I think it totally fits his personality.  Trouble.
Mom kept the girls while Sylvain and I went out to lunch, visited the midwife and ended our day with an ultrasound.  We stopped at Kroger to pick up balloons for the girls, and here's why that was a great idea: it's impossible for a child to be sad or disappointed when balloons are involved.  Sylvia has been saying recently that she wanted a brother, but she would also tell anyone who asked, "...but it's okay if it's a sister."  Needless to say, between the news and the balloons, the girls were excited!  Margot still has no clue what's going on, or what the difference is between a boy and a girl, so she was just happy to see balloons.  Everyone was happy.  Balloons!!!  Yay.

Yes, that's a Jasmine dress.  If it didn't stay at Grammy's I'd have burnt it by now.

Mom and Sylvia made this adorable baby cake while we were out today.  For anyone who's counting, Mom and Jay will have six grandkids in five years!  This boy has our family sitting at an even three boys and three girls.  Perfect!

So, now we're contemplating names and working on finding some middle ground.  We're down to two or three that we both like, but we have pretty strong opinions about our top name.  In fairness, I really did pick the girls' names, so I'm trying to keep an open mind and surrender my favorite boy name for Sylvain's favorite boy name, especially since I love them all. 

I'm also trying to wrap my mind around the task of raising a boy.  The idea of a baby boy, or a toddler boy, or even a fourth grade boy is understandable, but a teenage boy?!  A grown up MAN BOY?!  What do I do with that?!  At least he has a wonderful grown up Man Boy father as a role model.  Because I don't know the first thing about being a grown up, much less a man.  Yikes!!  I already want to keep him little forever and he's not even here yet!  I can't wait to watch these three kiddos grow together.  What a wild ride!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Loud and Proud!

Last weekend I was cleaning out the guest room to make way for the newest one, so to keep the girls busy I bought a few of the Frozen songs from iTunes.  Smart move.  Never has $4.00 brought us so many hours of entertainment.  Sylvia has seen the movie three times and we watch the videos of the big numbers on You Tube every once in while (okay, almost every night).  I don't like the girls having free reign of my computer when I'm busy doing other things (too many scary things out there in the interweb world), so I plugged in my phone and played our new songs in the kitchen.  By round three or four I realized that Sylvia had choreographed almost every song to be exactly the way it is in the movie and Margot was "singing" the last word of every line.  By "singing" I mean yelling.  That's what she does best.  I stopped in mid-clean-out and grabbed my camera.

Side note: it's really hard to dance like a ballerina with a head this huge and arms this small...

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Twenty Months

Dear Miss Margot,

You are first on my to-do list these days, my dear.  I owe you a good, long, decent letter about how awesome and fantastic you are.  You are growing faster than I'd like to admit and we continue to notice new things you can do every day.  Today, for example, we were working on an alphabet puzzle and I'll be darned if you didn't know almost every single letter!  How did you learn that?!  You are communicating and talking more and more, which is a blessing and a curse because sometimes you get SO frustrated when we can't understand what you're trying to say. 

You also tend to throw fits when you don't get your way and your favorite word is "MINE!"  This brings me to our most recent disciplinary measure: the introduction of time out!  You hate it, as you should, and I hate it because there's nothing worse than hearing you scream in your bed for one whole minute.  But darlin', you just can't go around hitting people whenever you want.  The good news is, it seems to be working and you are getting much better!

I think your favorite time of day is right after I get home from work.  It doesn't matter if I've been gone for 20 minutes or the whole day - when I walk in the door you run and scream "Mamaaaa!!!" and bury your head in my knees.  You raise up your arms and fuss until I pick you up and you snuggle your head into my neck and shoulder, shoving your hands down between your knees as you curl up and try to get all of yourself into as much of me as possible.  We are a snuggle-filled family, but you win the Greatest Snuggles Award!  Daddy thinks I shouldn't hold you all the time or snuggle with you as much, especially since the new baby will be here in July, but I tell him that you won't always want to be this close to me, so I'm taking every minute of snuggle I can get!  Someday you'll want nothing to do with me, so if you want me to hold you while I pack my lunch in the morning, so be it!  I'll hold you all day long and when the baby comes, I'll hold you both at once if I have to. 

I'm not too worried about your reaction to the new baby, mainly because we have a secret weapon that will act in your favor - the Big Big Sister.  You think Sylvia is the greatest person on the planet and you follow her everywhere she goes.  You try so hard to run like her, color like her, climb like her, and right now she doesn't mind one bit!  She loves teaching you things and her favorite phrase is, "C'mon, Margot!"  She takes such good care of you and I know that you two will keep each other busy when the tiny one arrives.  I'm sure you'll have your moments, just like she did when she was a two year old with a new baby in the house, but we'll survive.  I can't wait for you to be a big sister, too!  You get the honor of being a big sister AND a little sister, so you are extremely special!

So, Miss Margot, I want you to know that I love you to death and I want the very best for you and your big sister.  I love watching you grow and learn and laugh and play.  You are the most wonderful little middle there ever was and I hope you know how special you are! 

Here's GG, my Grandma Margaret, your namesake!  You love our visits to her house.
Love forever and ever and always and ever,

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


I mentioned in my last post that I was toying around with the idea of giving up Facebook for Lent.  For one thing, it's a crazy time waster and I have a million better things to do, like read good books and play with my kids.  For another thing, I'm starting to notice the way it has slowly consumed my life.  I'm obsessed with finding out EVERYONE'S NEWS!  I get that from my Grandma Neltner.  She is notorious for spending her evenings dialing up everyone she knows just to say hi and see how they're doing.  She knows everyone's news.  It's an addiction, I'm sure of it.  I'm obsessed with other people's families and baby pictures and recipes and vacations.  It's just not a very good way to live, constantly comparing myself to others this way.  Also, I tend to spend my entire day thinking in status updates.  Something amazing or noteworthy (or cute or funny or ridiculous) will happen to me and I immediately draft my status for Facebook in my head.  I believe this is also unhealthy and downright exhausting, so I need to cut - it - out!

However, Facebook sometimes feels like my only connection to the real, adult world.  It's where I hang out at night to chat with my friends, because we can't go out to bars anymore now that we all have kids and jobs and grown up things in the way, not to mention we're all exhausted and the thought of leaving my house after 8pm is terrifying.  I also like that I can shout my news to the world and only say it once, like when our babies were born.  It's a great way to give important information quickly!  When I first considered the idea, I thought it really was an impossible task.  I just NEED it too much, and when I examined that feeling of NEEDING it, I knew I had to quit.  Cold turkey!

I've been thinking a lot about the sacrifice behind my idea and wondering if it's a good enough sacrifice to honor God's son.  The truth is, I'm starting to look forward to my Facebook-free time and now I feel like it's not ENOUGH because it might not hurt as much as I think it will.  It might be kind of fun.  And Lent is a good excuse, so no one will chastise or judge me for going off the grid, so to speak.  In the end, I've realized that no sacrifice is ENOUGH and I won't know how much it hurts until I try.  It will be hard not to jump on there and tell everyone the funny things that Sylvia says.  Or the news about the sex of our baby!  But at the same time, I'm not giving up communication altogether.  I'm hoping to blog more and "status update" less.  I want to stop recording all the teeny tiny moments and start recording my thoughts and feelings about the BIG moments and the IMPORTANT issues that I want my girls to someday read.

So, before I hop over to Facebook and bid my farewell, between the end of this post and the beginning of that one, I'll close my computer and say my prayers.  I'll pray for willpower and stamina to see it through.  I'll pray for patience and peace.  I'll pray to be closer to God and to bring him closer to my family while I'm NOT checking Facebook all day long.  We'll see how it goes.  I'm looking forward to the journey.