Making the case to BE SURPRISED

Thursday, July 3

Yesterday I had an OB appointment, and this one included my ultrasound. You know...THE ultrasound. The one where they check the baby's heart chambers and brain and all kinds of medical stuff, and they can also tell you what you are having. And so, without further delay, I should now tell you that we are having a......

baby. 

Either a girl or a boy. We will find out when it arrives!

Everyone has been asking me so now you all know: YES, we are going to be surprised again. Being surprised was the most fun, exciting thing I've ever done in my life and we can't wait to do it again.  I know that almost no one is surprised anymore, but I'm here today to make a case for doing it. 

When I was pregnant with Clark (and now again), and we would tell people that we didn't know the baby's sex, without a doubt the number one response was: I could never do that. I'm too much of a planner.  It's annoying and it grates on my nerves. I'm sure no one means anything by it, but it implies that I'm NOT a planner, and it implies that you cannot plan for a baby unless you know it's sex, which makes no sense whatsoever. Of COURSE we planned for a baby. With Clark we read books. We learned all we could. We bought a car seat and a stroller and furniture and a co-sleeper. We bought onesies and jammies and a going home from the hospital outfit. We planned for either sex, and so now, thankfully, everything we own, all of those big ticket items, we can re-use for this next baby. I never got suckered into a pink car seat or a blue stroller. We have all we need. When you don't know your baby's sex, the ONLY think you can't buy is clothing. 

And now let me tell you what. People would often ask me what I would do about baby clothes. By the time I left the hospital with Clark, he had more clothes than he could ever wear. When he was born, our friends and family all showered us with cute little outfits- many of them telling us that they had been so excited to finally shop for the baby. And in the year 2014, guess what? You can hop on the internet from your hospital room and have a Baby Gap box waiting for you when you get home. The clothing is a non-issue and we were sort of glad that we couldn't stock up ahead of time. I know sometimes it's easy to go overboard with the clothes and many moms have told me that they never wore half of what they bought. We were forced to sort of spend our money more wisely, and because of that, we could afford a nicer stroller, nicer bedding, nicer of the "bigger" items.

I get it. It was hard to not buy cute little baby outfits when I was pregnant. (Although it's really fun to take your new baby out and go to town shopping for clothes, guilt-free I might add, since you haven't yet spent money on clothes!) And it's hard not knowing what you are having...until you get past that ultrasound. Once you've made the decision, it's done and I promise it feels SO GOOD. Whatever you lose by not being able to buy clothing you MORE than make up for in other ways.

When you don't find out what you are having, I think there is a special part of pregnancy that most women don't experience. The build up to your delivery day just gets more and more intense. And fun. You spend your days wondering...guessing what you are having. Every day it changes because of a dream, or some heartburn, or something an old lady at the grocery store said. Other people love to make guesses. They look at your belly, ask questions, dangle rings over your stomach with string, tell you all the wives tales. It's SPECIAL to have that surprise.  And it builds and builds and builds...

I know that delivery day is exciting for everyone, but man...after spending nine months not knowing what you are having, the anticipation that day is unreal. I remember being in labor and Jared and I kept saying we finally get to find out!!! Even when I was PUSHING, I was thinking about how excited I was to finally know.  Up until the final push, Jared and I kept making last minute guesses. 

BOY! No wait, GIRL! No wait...OMG we will find out in like one minute! 

And then the baby comes. And you get that moment- the moment that most women don't get- where the doctor proclaims "IT'S A BOY!" or "IT'S A GIRL!" and...

IT. IS. THRILLING.

And then it's still special because everyone asks you if you knew and you sort of forget if you knew or not. It's all so blissfully confusing and surprising and overwhelming. And I think it took me a good five minutes to really digest, with Clark, that it was REALLY a boy, because you finally KNOW, and it's such a strange feeling. And I don't really remember if I was really surprised or not, because very quickly it just....IS. 

I don't know if I have the words to ever convey how special and how fun it is to be surprised, and my attempt at doing so is undoubtedly a poor one. But I will tell you this: when I told Jared that I was pregnant again, after his initial disbelief and excitement, his VERY FIRST WORDS were, "Can we be surprised again? That was so fun." 

And that's a true story. 

A Profoundly Stupid Analogy

Friday, June 20

I noticed today that I've been blogging about once a month, which is far less than I'd like, but the truth is that for the past month, I haven't know what to say.  I'm pregnant...which everyone NOW knows.  And also, at 16 weeks along, I am still getting sick.  Not NEARLY as much as I was at around eight weeks, but still... This pregnancy has been so much different than Clark's already.  I spent about two months being completely miserable and depressed and feeling like I was going to be sick.  THANK GOD FOR ZOFRAN.  That's like my new personal motto.  Up until about two weeks ago, I didn't do much except lay on the couch and watch Clark slowly become a big boy right before my eyes.  Which was sort of awesome, but look, here's the other thing.  Clark is like the craziest little baby I've ever seen and I love it.  I love him so much and he is such a joy to watch, and let me tell you, watching him never gets old because he NEVER. STOPS. MOVING.  

EVER.

I don't know why no one told me that little boys were such maniacs, but I have to say that it's sort of a fun surprise.  I MEAN.  This kid, at 13 months old, just goes around the house conquering one piece of mischief after another.  I call it the circle of destruction.  First he figured out how to unroll the toilet paper.  So we moved it higher.  So he learned how to splash his hands in the toilet water.  So we got locks for the lids.  Then he learned how to flush the toilet.  Like over, and over, and OVER again. (Can't wait to get our water bill next month.) He just thinks it's hilarious.  He's taught himself how to open the refrigerator and pull out glass jars of hot peppers, shattering them on the floor.  And soy sauce.  And cherries. He's pulled out every single outlet protector in the entire house one by one, stacking them in a neat pile in the living room for me.  He has learned how to open all of his dresser drawers and pull out every article of clothing, make a pile, and then laying in the pile.  (Although he's also learned how to put the clothes back, which is sort of nice, except he can't fold.)  He's taught himself how to work the remote control for our ceiling fan light, and will click it on and off relentlessly until you are positively dizzy.  Today I turned my back for only ten seconds and when I turned back, he was sucking peanut butter out of a Kong that hasn't been touched by either dog in at least a year, so I don't even know what to say about that.  Then ten minutes later, I found him playing with the toilet scrub brush.  

AND...if you are wondering why I don't shut the bathroom door to prevent the various disgusting toilet scenarios I've just detailed for you, let me also tell you that this week, my baby learned how to open doors, including the back door.  Yup.  He now lets himself outside.  Like, BY THE POOL.  Seriously.  A closed door means nothing to this child.  

My days are spent circling the perimeter of my house, approximately two feet behind Clark, watching to see what shenanigans he can think up. His creativity is mind blowing. And although it's exhausting, it's also sort of amazing and fun.  I'm constantly in awe that my tiny little baby is becoming a big boy, full of his own ideas, and his own strong will.  It's so fun.  And exhausting.  But in the best possible way.

Have you ever spent all day at a water park when you were younger?  You start your day all excited, right?  You wake up,and your first thought is that TODAY IS THE DAY YOU GET TO GO DOWN A GIANT WATER SLIDE.  The whole day seems full of possibilities.  And then you get there, and it's awesome.  And you are in and out of the water all day long, up and down the dangerous slides, down the log ride.  Your fingers get all bleached white and wrinkly, your face gets all sunburned.  You spend the day alternately terrified and thrilled because it's just so dang fun.  The scarier the ride, the more fun it is in the end, right? A whole day of thrilling adventure! And then toward the end of the day, you start to get tired.  (You get out of the water and your skin has that fine film of chlorine powder on it, which is arguably the best thing ever.) And then you eventually are allowed to eat a giant hot dog and nachos for dinner, and you head toward home and then you get a shower, and you suddenly realize how awesome your day was, but you feel like you might pass out at any moment.  So you go to sleep and sleep the best sleep ever.  

That's how I feel every single day of my life.  My days are thrilling and so fun and so very exhausting.   Spending the day with Clark is like going to Geauga Lake, except you get to keep going back EVERY SINGLE DAY.  In fact, you don't have a choice.  You HAVE to go back the next morning.  Even if the new baby is pressing on your bladder so much that you have to get up to pee six times the night before. 

Oh, that was profoundly stupid, was it not?  Clark is like Geauga Lake.









Toddlerhood....I'm not ready for you, but bring it on anyway.

Last Day as an Eleven Month Old

Wednesday, May 14

 (This photo is not at all related, but that's ok. My two boys are checking out the neighbor dogs. Clothing optional.)

I don't understand how, but I'm pretty sure that babies understand when their birthday is coming. I mean, how else can you explain the overnight changes in Clark? Last night I put a baby to bed, and this morning, I'm pretty sure I pulled an almost-toddler out of his crib. I say this not because he looks any different, but because the toddler shenanigans were in full swing this morning. 

SHENANIGANS I SAY. 

We started our day as usual, with snuggles in bed and breakfast in the kitchen. Except that today, instead of just eating his blueberries, Clark, with his amazing pincer grasp abilities, held each individual blueberry out for Little Dog to thoroughly lick before popping it back into his own mouth. It was amazing really. Despite her vigorous attempts to eat the whole thing, Clark didn't lose a single one.  She licked it. He laughed. He put the slobbery blueberry in his mouth. 

Repeat x 25ish times. 

When we moved onto the clean-up the kitchen/playtime portion of our morning, I was suddenly (and too late) made aware that Clark knows how to unroll an entire toliet paper roll. Like...the whole thing! And I must say, I don't blame him. It does look like fun, just pulling it out and watching the roller spin and spin while you create a beautiful, white pile of fluff to lay in.

So. Cleaned up that mess and then headed to the office so I could pay the bills. What normally takes me twenty minutes took me over an hour because sir demanded to sit at the computer and pound on the keyboard. Any attempt made by me to control the keyboard and actually be productive resulted in angry cry. So I put him down, only to watch him systematically pull every single item out of the drawer of the desk, one at a time. He examined each item thoughtfully before finally looking bored and flinging it over his shoulder rather dramatically, and picking up something new. Repeat. At one point he ripped the checks out of the book (whoops), tried to stick his finger in the shredder (it's now unplugged...permanently), and finally surprised me by handing me a large pocket knife that was apparently hiding under our desk. And by the way, I have no idea where it came from. 

We left the office (bills still not paid), and went into my bathroom so I could brush my teeth. As I was doing so, I felt Clark behind me, using my legs to pull himself up. Except when he finally got to the full standing position, his head was stuck...UP MY DRESS. The poor baby was yelling and trying to get his head out of there but he got disoriented and kept head butting my butt, and he couldn't  figure it out, and quickly fell down and hit his head. Tooth brushing over. They are now at least sort of clean. (I have gum thankfully.)

This brings me to 9:00AM, when I decided the best course of action would be to just leave the house (shower or not) because we clearly needed a change in scenery. So of course we went to Trader Joes, where my boy waved like Miss America to EVERYONE for the entire 45 minutes we were there. He fake coughed for all the other customers, and waited for them to do it back. (Two people did.) Then we went to Chipotle and shared a burrito bowl and had a grand time throwing beans on the ground and looking for Little Dog to come eat them. Very confusing I suppose...

And then we came home and my baby took a three hour nap. And you'll notice that there was no morning nap in this day. It's suddenly disappeared. Tomorrow my baby turns one, and like clockwork, RIGHT ON CUE!, he's becoming a big boy.  Morning nap dropped. Acting all crazy and fun.

And I suppose maybe I should be frustrated or annoyed with all these things he did but I love it all. I love watching him change and I love how funny he is and and I'm pretty sure this next year is going to be spectacular. Maybe turning one won't be as sad as I anticipated. 

(But hopefully we don't have any more head-up-the-dress incidents.)