Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Bogyman and the Chocolate Man

We were watching football this Sunday when Isaiah saw one of the players take off his helmet. He turned excitedly to me and said, "Mommy! It's a chocolate man." Michael and I had quite a time explaining that the man wasn't actually made of chocolate. I'm still not sure he entirely believes us. We've begun to realize that Isaiah is coming into a stage that will involve a lot of creative answers on our part. Not that we plan to lie to him constantly; he just asks questions that we don't know the answers to. Tonight in the car, he thoughtfully asked, "Is God coming soon?" Michael told him he hoped so. Later he asked us who the Bogyman is and we told him a little man made of boogers. We agreed he was a little yucky.

Still, Isaiah's reasoning skills and thoughtfulness are amazing to watch. I was playing with Melora and telling her how adorable she is when Isaiah walked by and I took the opportunity to praise him too. "You're adorable, Isaiah." "No, Mom. I'm not a-dorable. I'm a kid." He's also showing an increased interest in cause and effect, which I learned a little too late after he flushed our friends' bath stopper down their toilet. He later informed me that was a particularly interesting experiment. We actually go to that friend, Andrew's house twice a week and I watch him along with my two kids while his parents work. It's been so nice to have another regular playmate for my kids. Isaiah is really learning to share more and play cooperative games. He has figured out how to bring one toy for himself and another for Andrew (who is 11 months) so they won't steal from each other, and how to take turns with a toy they both want. The one thing Isaiah refuses to share is Melora. When Andrew toddles in Melora's direction, Isaiah will run in front of her with his arms thrown out protectively and shout, "No! That's my brother!"

Melora is constantly busy when she's not asleep. She will do a full sit up if necessary to reach a desirable object, and her giant-bush-baby eyes are constantly searching for fun. She still has the laugh that bursts out of her like a cannon, but if possible, it's even more joyful. First, she starts wiggling her whole body for a second or two, then she gives a big smile that takes up so much of her face her other features are all scrunched. Then she laughs a giant laugh like a shout that's so infectious, I'm still not immune to its power, nor do I ever suspect I will be. Melora rolls and rolls all around the floor to reach shiny or interesting objects, and she already has definite opinions on how we should behave around her. If she is sitting on my lap, but I'm looking at something besides her, she will grasp my face in both her tiny hands and forcefully turn it so I'm looking into her eyes. I'm also forbidden to talk while she's nursing or I will get the stink eye and occasionally a hand covering my mouth.

We went to the Como Zoo two weeks ago and saw the baby oragutan in the habitat. He had giant, sweet eyes, stick-up reddish hair, and a mischevious look on his face. "Oh!" I exclaimed, "He looks just like you, Melora." I heard a small gasp and looked up to see a scandalized mother nearby who apparently couldn't believe I had just compared my daughter to a monkey. Melora, if you read this one day, please understand it was a very cute monkey, and I think you're absolutely beautiful.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Uncle Peter doesn't have any pretty

The car is such a great place to hear what Isaiah is thinking about. He just chatters the whole trip about anything and everything that crosses his mind. The other day our whole family was in the car coming back from Costco when Isaiah started up a conversation.
"Auntie Laura is pretty."
"Yes, dear," I replied, "Auntie Laura is very pretty."
After a pause, Isaiah continued.
"But Uncle Peter doesn't have any pretty."
"Um, well, no. No, I guess you wouldn't call Uncle Peter pretty per se," I stammered, caught entirely off guard, "I mean..."
"But Auntie Laura is cute...sometimes," interrupted Isaiah thoughtfully.
"Well, I think Auntie Laura is cute all the time," replied Michael, repressing his laughter quite a bit more successfully than me.
"Yeah," Isaiah agreed.

Isaiah also tells make-believe stories in the car, sometimes ones that he has memorized from books, and other times ones that are obviously works in progress. Today, Isaiah's story in the car was
The Buzz Lightyears
Starring: The Blue Buzz Lightyear and the Green Buzz Lightyear
The Blue Buzz Lightyear said "no," but then the Green Buzz Lightyear said, "But...I thought it was 'yes.'" But then the Blue Buzz Lightyear said, "no."
The end

Melora has been trying to eat all our food lately. At the state fair in August she grabbed for my turkey leg while she was riding in the sling, and later she was so interested in my frozen fruit whip I had to let her suck on the cup. She actually got a chubby little fistful of caramel from my caramel apple when I wasn't looking at the apple orchard a few weeks ago, and she watches our utensils like a hawk as they go back and forth from our plates to our mouths. Finally we gave in and let her have a first taste of rice cereal. It was a huge hit. She ate up the entire serving and had seconds. She was actually so excited about the spoon full of food coming toward her mouth that she couldn't restrain herself and kept grabbing the handle herself to shove it in more quickly. Finally we had to get a decoy spoon for her to grab so we could get the real spoon with food to her mouth instead of her ear or her neck or wherever else she tended to guide it. She's also tried parsnips and pears, and she's a fan of them all so far.

She already has a cute little sense of humor. She laughs when the wind blows on her; she laughs when you play peek-a-boo. She laughs when she sees Isaiah laughing; she laughs when she's being tickled, and she laughs when she wakes up in the morning or when she finds her toes. Sometimes she even laughs when she's getting her diaper changed. I pray she will keep her joyful sense of humor for the rest of her life, because her laugh is so beautiful it needs to be shared.

At bedtime tonight, Isaiah kissed Melora's head and said, "Goodnight Melora, sweet doll." I guess that ensured sweet dreams for our whole family.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Photo Post a.k.a. Please Forgive me because my Kids are Cute

So this is all I've got for now - please accept my cute baby and toddler apologies for leaving you for six weeks with nary an explanation!!

Back from Maternity Leave

I'm finally back here to write after six weeks off. It's been six incredibly short weeks off that have flown by so quickly it only feels like a week since I've written. Two tops. Our family took a week long screen break, meaning no T.V. and extremely minimal computer time. It was hard, to be honest, but really good. In fact, it was so good for me I realized I needed more time off, so I took it. I decided to take the six weeks of maternity leave from writing that I didn't take after Melora was born because I felt compelled to journal about every wonderful moment. I'm sorry I didn't tell my regular readers (that would be you, Mom) that I was going to take a break and just left without any note of explanation. But if anyone is still reading (that would be you again, Mom!) I have so much to write, as well as a big huge apology/bribe to read again. Photo post!!!

We have had an amazing sprint to the finish line of summer. Although I missed blogging about all our adventures, I’m so glad I took a step back from the computer screen to actually have them.

Shortly after I last posted, we went to Wisconsin Dells with our church small group. We spent three days there splashing around the pools at our resort and smelling like a whole lot of sunscreen. Isaiah was too little to do any of the big waterslides, but we really enjoyed the lazy rivers and the housekeeping service. I may have enjoyed that last part slightly more than Isaiah. I think the trip will be more relaxing if we take it again in a few years, because this past time I was constantly on high drowning alert.

We then took our aforementioned screen break which was so challenging and enjoyable (eventually.) We took walks in the evenings, played for hours upon hours outside, grilled, played games together, and actually got to bed on time. I knew during that time that this was how I should live my life. I read so much more to Isaiah; I played all day with my kids; I spent hours staring into Melora’s beautiful blue eyes and making Isaiah double over laughing; I got lungfulls of fresh, evening air, and I snuggled with my husband as we read together in the evenings.

I wish I could say I didn’t miss the internet or T.V., but I did. I really missed T.V. during the day when I just needed 30 minutes to clean and couldn’t turn the boob tube on to entertain Isaiah. I missed the internet several times a day because I couldn’t sneak upstairs to read momformation or my friends’ many blogs. I missed T.V. in the evenings after Michael got home mainly on Tuesday night when Wipeout was on. How funny is that show? Oddly enough, after the first day or two, Isaiah didn’t miss T.V. at all. He’s smart enough to recognize a good change when it hits him, but I am stuck in my old, addictive habits. I’m glad I didn’t give myself a lifelong internet and T.V. ban, but I’m going to try, really try, to use them less. I’ve realized in the past six weeks how quickly my kids are growing up, and it’s shocking.

We celebrated our 5 year anniversary August 16th with grilled steak and cheesecake at home with our beautiful children. We have gone out to dinner for two the previous four years of marriage, and I was a little sad this anniversary was going to pass without the usual fanfare. But spending the night surrounded by our most cherished blessings was wonderful. We all enjoyed dinner together (Isaiah was a big fan of the cheesecake,) and I didn’t have any nagging worries in the back of my head about our kids left at home.

Then the Olympics hit and we allowed ourselves to watch T.V. again, and I will admit that I came down with quite the Olympic fever. I stayed up late to watch volleyball and gymnastics every night the games were on, and Isaiah even got excited when it was time to watch “Bali-ball.” Now that they are over, though, we are getting back to a somewhat normal sleep schedule unless I can think of a good excuse to mess it all up again.

So, yes, this summer passed in a huge blur, and I haven’t taken the time to write down the hundreds of wonderfully adorable things my kids have done, but a few favorites stand out:

Isaiah's version of "It's raining, it's pouring:"
Aaaaand the man went into his beeeeeeeed, and he didn't want to go potteeeeee in his potty seat in this morning.

Melora is extremely interested in food and has begun grabbing anything in my hand and trying to eat it. So far she has managed to get into her mouth, my cell phone, a vanilla Coke can, frozen lemonade, a toy train, and some cardboard. She likes it all.

Isaiah is becoming a more adoring big brother every day. He knows it’s his duty to protect Melora and keep her happy, so he has perfected his soothing “shhhhhhhhhh” sounds which he starts whenever Melora begins crying. Amazingly enough, she calms down for his “shhhhhhhh” much more readily than she calms down for mine. He also shares his toys with her (which is how the toy train got tasted in the first place) and makes sure she is given anything in sight that is pink. He is convinced that my pink underwear belongs to Melora, and I can’t sort laundry without him taking the pink panties and trying to dress Melora in them.

Melora can now roll over and hold her head up big and high. She has also begun talking, which starts first thing in the morning and only stops when she falls asleep again. She coos, shouts, and giggles all day long to herself and anyone around her. I’m absolutely in love with her laugh, which bursts out of her in a loud blast like she’s been trying to hold it in through an entire somber church service.

Isaiah has begun saying our family prayer before dinner some nights. I managed to record one the other night, which went, “Dear Jesus, thank you for this day, and thank you for this day…and for my corn, and thank you for this finger, and thank you for this Mommy hug, and thank you for these feelings. The End.”

Monday, July 14, 2008


So Melora's skills with the pacifier, well, suck to be honest. I mean, she loves to have her nuk in her mouth, she just can't keep it there to save her life. Consequently, Michael or I are usually holding her pacifier in her mouth for her, or at least re-inserting it every 15 seconds or so. Here's what commonly happens when we let her try to keep it in her mouth on her own:
"Ahhh, my lovely pacifier is in my mouth; I think I'll contentedly suck on it.
Suck...suck.........suck...(long distracted pause)
Oh no! My pacifier is falling out of my mouth - I should hold it in there with my cute little hands.
Oh my goodness! My hands touched something - I should grab whatever it is.
Hey! Someone grabbed my pacifier. I should flail my arms so they don't take it away.
HEY! Someone took away my pacifier. How mean is that? I'll flail my arms harder in protest.
Ouch! Someone hit me in the eye with a pacifier. Not cool. Waaaaaaaaa!"

One afternoon, in a desperate attempt to get some lunch made for Isaiah, I actually used a Band-aid to attach Melora's pacifier to her cheek. It worked like a charm for about 10 minutes, and then she still somehow spit it out. I haven't tried it again because I feel it might somehow be a choking hazard. I haven't figured out exactly how it would be a choking hazard, but something tells me it just might be one anyway.

I have to admit I'm not always a huge fan of the weather in Minnesota, but despite that, I'm still so glad we live here. "Minnesota Nice" is not just a legend - it's a fact of life that helps me get through every errand I need to do on a given day. I took Melora into a convenience store to grab a few fountain drinks on a hot summer day. On the way in, a sweet new dad held the doors open for me and proudly shared that he had his first daughter seven days ago. Awww! Once I got inside Melora got wiggly and frustrated because she had gas bubbles, so I held her tummy-down in my arms with my thumb precariously holding in her pacifier while I tried to fill up our fountain drinks. It worked for a while, but I was unable to carry our giant drinks to the cashier while keeping in the nuk, so it fell onto the dirty floor. Another customer picked it up for me and handed it to one of the convenience store workers, who rinsed it off and sanitized it in the sink. Then another cashier opened a checkout line just for me even though she was on her break, and someone got me a drink carrier and helped me out the door. My conclusion was that I either live around some pretty great citizens, or I look like a pitiful mess who needs all the help she can get. Or maybe both.

We had a wonderful trip to the Black Hills to see my family this past week. We went camping with our two kids for the very first time along with my parents, and Isaiah loved it. Melora was also a pretty happy camper, which made the trip happier for everyone. We had a great campsite that was just a short jaunt away from a horse corral, which we walked to several times a day. One evening, we had walked to the horses to say goodnight, and Isaiah had his back turned to me. He sweetly said goodnight to a beautiful chestnut horse, and for fun I answered in my best horsey voice, "Thaaaaank yoooooou, Iiiiiisaiah." Isaiah didn't seemed surprised in the least that a horse had just thanked him and politely replied, "You're welcome, horse." Their conversation went on for a few minutes before we headed back to the campsite to laugh about Isaiah's horse conversation over the campfire.

After we got back to Minnesota, some friends of ours invited us to go to the Minnesota Zoo with them. Isaiah did well for quite a while, but while we were looking at fish, I decided to keep him strapped in his stroller to avoid a runaway/meltdown because I knew he was getting tired.
"Mommy, I want to get down. I want to get down, Mommy. Mommy! Mommy! I want to get down Mommy. MommycanIpleasegetdownMommypleasegetdowngetdownMommy."
Finally, I told Isaiah I would ask the fish if he could get down, and in my best fishy voice I answered,
"Sooooorry Iiiiiiiiisaiah. Yooooou have to stay in your strooooooooooller."
"Okay," answered Isaiah congenially, and I knew I had stumbled upon one of those great parenting tricks of the ages. A few moments later, though, Isaiah again asked the fish if he could get down from his stroller, and before I could open my mouth, Isaiah answered in his best fishy voice,
"Yeeeeeeeees, you caaaaaaaaan."

Monday, June 23, 2008

Melora's dedication

As promised, I have pictures of Melora in her fluffy dedication dress. I just have to say, I love dressing a baby girl. At night, I will plan out her outfit for the next day with glee, and I don't even mind it when she gets poop or other bodily goop on her clothes because all it means is that I get to put her into ANOTHER CUTE OUTFIT!

Melora's dedication was really beautiful. There were actually eight families dedicating babies that day (our small church doesn't usually go a month without a new a baby in the congregation) and they were all very sweet and adorable up on the stage. Isaiah stayed in Michael's arms really most of the time up on the stage, and when Pastor Steve came to us to say a prayer for Melora, Isaiah joined by gently placing his hand on Melora's head as the church ooohed and aaahed. It was very sweet. Then, his fingers sort of crept over her face and threatened to poke out an eye, so we had to move her away. Still, though, Isaiah's adoration of his sister is very apparent.

In the pictures you can see us worshiping with our kiddos before the dedication, Isaiah gazing lovingly at Melora up on the stage, Isaiah helping pastor Steve by putting his hand our Melora's head, and a quick close up of the fluffy dress before I removed it and put her into something more comfy and spit-up-proof.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hooray for Super-Dad

This post is a few days late for Father's Day, but I still know how incredibly I am blessed to have Michael as my husband and the father of our children. He's absolutely amazing. He comes home from work just in time to save my sanity each day and gives our kids some much needed daddy-time. Let's face it; he's just more fun than I am. So with this post are some pictures of Michael the wonder-dad being absolutely wonderful!

We've gotten a bit knocked off our feet the past few weeks. Isaiah got another ear infection and was stuck on some super-strength medicine that gave him nasty stomach aches. Melora got her 2-month vaccinations and was feeling a bit off for a few days, and we were all hit with spring colds. We're finally getting back on track, though, and I'm happy to report I can again smell flowers and taste food. Yay! Even though we have had several nice days, I felt too tired and sick to venture out very much with my wee little ones, so it's really nice to get out into the fresh air and sunshine again.

We went to Como Zoo and Conservatory last Friday with the Walzes and saw their special butterfly exhibit. Isaiah was mildly impressed with the butterflies, but it was nothing compared to the fascination he showed about the tanks full of disgusting-looking fish and eels we saw at the Mandrin Kitchen later that evening. What a boy. He enjoyed himself at the zoo (despite the lack of eels crammed into a tiny tank) all afternoon, though, running around with Auntie Laura in tow on the other end of his monkey backpack/leash. Some older boys actually pointed to him with his backpack/leash thing on and commented "Look, he's a pet!" I wasn't offended at all because they were just kids, and it was obvious Isaiah was a very happy guy because he was able to run around somewhat free but still safe. I would much rather have a happy boy than happy strangers.

Melora has begun to smile a lot as us as well as coo and babble more. She loves staring at Michael, Isaiah, and me in the eyes, and she actually becomes upset if we break away our gaze to look at something else. She mimics the sounds we make and blows spit bubbles all over her clothes. Spit bubbles have never been so cute. Her dedication was June 8th, and it was really beautiful. It was actually the day after the little baby boy's funeral, and we stood on the steps of the same stage we had seen his family say goodbye just one day earlier. One of the questions our pastor asked us was, "Do you now dedicate your children to the Lord who gave them to you all, surrendering all worldly claims upon their lives in the hope that they will belong wholly to God?" Michael and I answered that we do, and the realization of surrendering all worldly claims on their lives hit us both so strongly. Melora and Isaiah are so precious to us, it's painful to think they won't be ours to hold forever; we know that we are only stewards of their lives for a short period of time. It's a beautiful and heartbreaking thought, and I don't really know what to do with it yet except to hold up my children to God with open hands.

Melora was dressed up for her dedication in the fluffiest dress I could find (I'll make a separate post of pictures for everyone to see,) and Isaiah thought she was pretty darn cute. Later when he saw pictures of her on our camera he told me "Mewowa is so beautiful." She sure is. He absolutely adores her and talks to or about her all the time. He tells her that her little outfits are "sooooo cute!" He tries to comfort her whenever she's crying. He tells us to pick up "baby Mewowa" if we have put her down for too long, and he just can't keep his ands off her soft hair and skin. He was very protective of her at the doctor's office when she got her shots, and once we were back to the van, he asked if "baby Mewowa is okay now?"
"Yes," I reassured him, "Baby Mewowa is just fine, sweetie," imitating his cute little mispronounciation. Then he looked at me like I was the biggest idiot in the world and said very slowly (so even a dunce like me could understand,)
"No, Mama, not's MEWOWA"
Ah, my mistake.

Other than Melora's name, Isaiah has gotten pretty adept at pronouncing words, and it's a little sad to hear his baby talk disappearing. Consequently, I actually get excited when I hear him mispronounce words, and I dislike it when Michael teaches him the proper way to say things. I love that he says "snignal" in place of "signal" and refers to Michael's game of Pac man as "the packing man." It makes me feel as though maybe he really isn't growing up too quickly after all. (But he really is....) On the other hand, there are some grown-up things he says that just melt my heart and make me dizzy with joy. The other night I was tucking him into bed and I whispered, "I love you, Isaiah." He wrapped his soft little arms around me, nuzzled my cheek, and whispered back, "I love you too much." You have no idea, Isaiah, how my heart burst with your little whisper.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Enjoy your babies

So many wonderful, beautiful, sweet, cute, funny moments have happened this week. But I'm not going to write about them today. (Don't worry - I'll write about them later.)

Instead I'm going to keep it short. This afternoon Michael and I went to the funeral of a beautiful little boy would have turned 11 months old today. We sat near the back and wept, feeling only a fraction of the pain his parents were feeling up in the front pew. We sang songs of hope and peace as we acknowledged the fact that he is in heaven in the arms of God, but few times have I so acutely felt the pain of not being in paradise with Him. We saw pictures of the beautiful little life taken from this world and, as his dad said, "the world is a far worse place without him."

After the service I came up to give his dad a quick hug before we left, and he looked down to see Melora asleep in the sling. "Enjoy her," he told me. So instead of writing a long blog, I'm going to back downstairs to enjoy my babies who I need at this moment so much more than they need me. You can visit his caring bridge site at I know their family would appreciate prayers and encouragement from everyone right now.

(This is a picture of me enjoying my two babies this afternoon who were both asleep in my arms.)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Zacchaeus was a wee little man...

Michael had Monday off for Memorial day, and it was so wonderful to have a long weekend with him. I always miss him so much while he's at work. We planned to have a relaxing long weekend together without much fuss or crazy running around, which is exactly what we did.

On Saturday we had a picnic in the park, which actually less fun and more like a disaster than I had hoped. We got to the park right at lunchtime, and we foolishly tried to eat our picnic right away instead of letting Isaiah run around like he wanted. Much crying ensued. Then we realized that the particular park we chose was a little unsafe because it was an island with murky water on every side that Isaiah wasn't allowed to go into despite the fact that he really wanted to get very near to the steep banks. Much crying ensued. I had also promised Isaiah that we would be able to feed the ducks because I had seen vast quantities of ducks in the park that very morning as I drove by. Once we got there, though, the ducks had apparently migrated far, far away. Much crying ensued. Then Isaiah got too excited by his environment to go potty in his little portable toilet and instead went in his pants. Much crying ensued. Then he wanted to join in on the other family barbecues that were taking place around the park, but he wasn't exactly invited. So he patiently listened to our reasonable explanations and cheerfully stayed away from the strangers and their red-hot grills. Just kidding...much crying ensued.

The next day was much better, though. Isaiah had fun in church during nursery, as he always does. Michael and I also had a pretty great time during the service. Melora has begun smiling, and she kept flashing quick, beautiful little smiles to me during the first 20 minutes of church before she fell asleep. I didn't pay very much attention to that part of church because I was busy grinning at my daughter like a love-struck puppy and elbowing my more-pious husband to look at her. That afternoon we built a giant marble track in our dining room out of things from our recycling bin like paper-towel-tubes and soda bottles. Michael did all the work while Isaiah played with marbles and I bounced Melora up and down. He's a pretty sweet dad, though, so he didn't seem to mind. Then on Monday we went to a giant indoor playplace called Edinborough. Isaiah spent hours climbing on the equipment, bouncing in the bouncy castle, and kicking balls around the gym. I played with him for a while, but Michael got the better part of the workout. It was pretty cute to sit on the bench and watch happy kids being chased by their sweaty dads up mazes and down slides.

We have started doing family devotions in the evenings which has been really sweet. I've also found a great blog with the words to some of my favorite Sunday School songs as a child, so we've had fun dancing and singing to those. I've always dreamed of my family reading the Bible together and just living in a home full of love for Christ, and I feel like we're taking some really good steps to be that way. Isaiah doesn't really understand the spiritual applications of the devotions we read, but he likes the stories anyway, and he hears Michael and I talk about God's love. He also has begun singing the songs all by himself sometimes. It's so sweet to hear him sing a verse of Zacchaeus or Deep and Wide as he's playing. Also, Michael and I decided to choose verses to pray over our kids for the next year. Melora's verse for this year is Psalm 5:11
Let Melora take refuge in you and be glad; let her ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over Melora that she may rejoice in you.
and Isaiah's is Romans 10: 9, 13
I pray that Isaiah would confess with his mouth that Jesus is Lord, and that he would believe in his heart that you have raised Christ from the dead. Cause Isaiah to call on your name, Lord and save him.
I can't wait to see what God has in store for our family as we pray for our kids.

Free from TV

A few weeks ago in his sermon, our pastor mentioned that he took a break from watching TV for a month and only then realized how much he had become dependent on it. I began thinking about how much TV I let Isaiah watch during the day and realized it was more than I liked. On the one hand I told myself that he was only getting half an hour to an hour a day of Curious George, but in reality I knew that I used that time to get things done (like my blog,) and so I would often extend it and let him watch a good 15 minutes of the next show on PBS kids after George. Sometimes, if I was either really behind on stuff or just feeling a bit lazy, I would let him watch up to 2 1/2 hours a day of TV and movies. When you realize that he also takes a significant nap during the day as well as 45 minutes of sitting in his high chair at lunch, that adds up to a lot of inactive time. So we have stopped watching TV during the day for the past two weeks. I've allowed a 1/2 hour of Veggie Tales on Fridays as an end-of-the week treat but beyond that, our TV has been silent, forlorn, and dark. Our days have been so chock full of things I wanted to write about. But every night I've collapsed into bed exhausted from so much playing. It has been wonderful. Isaiah smells like fresh air, sunscreen, and grass, and I no longer feel like a mama bear stuck in hibernation with a couple cubs.

I really feel like I've grown as a mom in the past two weeks without TV to do a little daily babysitting, and I've learned so much too. First, I've learned that I really did rely on the television more than I was admitting to myself. I also learned that we have a sweet little robin's nest (complete with four baby robins) just outside our back door. I've learned that the best way to start the day is with a cup of hot coffee on the steps outside while blowing bubbles for my little guy to chase around the yard. I've learned that we are in walking distance of three great parks and a library, and that ants look really cool under a magnifying glass.

Melora has seemed to enjoy the time outside as well. I'm trying to give her little butt lots of fresh air because she has thrush, which is a yeast infection babies get in their mouths and on their bums, and keeping her dry and undiapered is a great way to make her feel better. So several times this week I would just lay out a bunch of towels in a shady spot on the grass and let her kick her little free, naked legs in the air. Then when she got tired, I piled soft blankets around her like a nest and let her fall asleep in the gentle breeze. Sounds pretty great, no?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

No Ice Please

This week I've been reminded in several hard ways that I am so blessed to have two healthy children. I'm among the privileged to be able to put food in front of them daily and to have a safe home to shelter them. I'm incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by family and friends who love my children and I'm blessed beyond measure to know that God loves my children with an endless, selfless love I can't even fathom. Thank you, God, for protecting my precious babies in ways I don't even realize or understand.

Isaiah, Melora, and I usually take our afternoon nap together our my bed so I can spend some time snuggling between them. Earlier this week I was nursing Melora while Isaiah snuggled on the other side of her. He was stroking her soft hair and soft cheeks very gently when he got too excited and wiggly, and he bumped her head with his own. She started crying, and I gasped, worried that she was hurt. Although Isaiah's used to hearing Melora crying at various times during the day, hearing me gasp so loudly really scared him because he thought he had done some serious damage to his little sister. He immediately started crying - hard - and wailed,
"Oh no! I hurt baby sister." He put his hands over his face and didn't calm down until he was completely reassured that she was alright. I felt terrible for making him feel guilty, and he felt terrible for hurting Melora. Melora, on the other hand had gotten over the surprise of being bumped very quickly and was feeling fine. So Isaiah kissed her head to make it better and told her sorry for bumping her, and we all fell asleep.

Melora and I spend our time together just being with one another and snuggling. When she's awake, she is content to bounce along in the sling and stare up at my face as I go about my chores. I walk with extra springy steps and dance to Isaiah's CD's in the kitchen to entertain her, and I sing and talk in the high mommy voice I've honed during the past two years. The real magic happens, though, when we get time to just stop and gaze intently, uninterrupted in to each others' eyes. She has my eyes, and oh my goodness, I've never been so in love with my own eyes. Hers are blue while mine are brown, but they are the exact shape - more round than olive and really big, especially on a delicate, 5-week-old face. I love to see them take in the surrounding room; I watch with rapt wonder as they follow the light as we move; I giggle when they unintentionally cross as she works to focus on my face. I am smitten. And when she falls asleep and her eyes close, her face changes from cute to absolutely lovely. She looks like a china doll instead of a real person because she is so perfect, so winsome. She has no idea that I can hardly peel my eyes away from her, that I can't help but stroke her velvety skin, that I am head over heels in love with her.

Our weather has finally warmed up enough to allow us to spend a significant amount of time outside. I guess one advantage to a long, long winter is that you really cherish spring when it comes. We have played outside every day it hasn't significantly rained since the beginning of May, (as well as some very wet days when we decided it was worth it anyway.) Little boys are really meant to live outside, and so Isaiah has been busy running around, messing up anthills, digging for worms, painting under the sunshine, chasing bubbles, and kicking balls. We took out a bucket of soapy water one afternoon and "washed" marbles in it for over an hour. Friday evening we put Isaiah in his painting clothes and let him paint outdoors with nature as his inspiration. Oh, and by nature, I mean Pixar's Cars movie. We even ate in our back yard that night because it was way too nice to go back inside. We grilled steak and had a picnic with macaroni salad, corn, and potatoes. Isaiah loved it so much he ate every bite on his plate, plus some of Daddy's steak. Then, the next morning, he woke up and asked to have "steak and corn outside" for breakfast. Unfortunately, it was gray and rainy again, so we had an inside day.

Here are a few of my other recent favorite Isaiah quotes:

I pulled up to the drive through teller at our bank this morning to deposit some checks, and when I rolled down the window, Isaiah called out,
"I'll have a number 2 with no ice please. NO ICE PLEASE!! THANKS!" (I always take my drinks without ice, if you couldn't tell.)

Isaiah often comes up to Michael in the evenings when he's in the mood to play with a sweet, flirty smile on his face. Then in a baiting voice he says,
"Oh no...don't get me Daddy. Don't you tiiiiiickle me!" So Michael always chases and tickles him, of course. Tonight, though, Michael apparently wasn't quick enough to take the bait, so Isaiah said,
"Daddy, don't tiiiiiiiickle me!...Don't get me, Daddy!...Hey Daddy! Come tickle me!!"

Oh the might! Oh the fury! Oh the poop!

This weekend began with what Isaiah might describe as a veritable utopia, if he knew those words, that is. We went to the petting zoo! My wonderful mom friend, Tammy, clued me in on a free petting zoo happening in the cities, so we decided to meet there with our kids and have a playdate. Michael's parents also had the day free, so they came with to be extra kid wranglers/paparazzi for us. Isaiah was pleased as punch to see his grandparents waiting for him by the big white tent. He was thrilled to see some of his favorite kids arrive shortly thereafter. But he was beyond ecstatic to be around the animals. There were goats, a zebra, goats, ponies, goats, a llama, goats, a calf, goats, a donkey, oh and some more goats. We brought Isaiah into the tent and let him roam free with the goats. Most of the kids under the tent were doing normal things like petting the goats or feeding them 50 cent handfuls of goat food. Isaiah, however, was not content to do such things. He decided the full potential of petting zoo joy could only be reached by throwing straw at the goats. So he did. For an hour. He picked up fistfuls of straw (laced with goat poo pellets - I know) and threw it onto unsuspecting, and rather apathetic goats for the entire hour we were there. The best part was that he laughed hysterically every single time he did it. I wasn't sure if I, as the mother, should stop him from throwing straw at the goats, but I didn't really see the harm in it. Sure he was getting goat poop on his hands, but I knew enough farm kids who survived to adulthood to worry too much about that. He never threw straw at the baby goats, and he never threw it at the other kids, so I considered the situation under control.

A few other factors that made the day so wonderful for Isaiah were that it was raining, so he got to use his frog umbrella, he got to hang out with his Walz grandparents and uncles, he enjoyed a McDonald's kiddie cone with his friends, and he had pizza for dinner. If I were a kid, that would have been a pretty perfect day for me too. In fact, it was pretty perfect for me even as an adult!

Melora slept like an angel through the entire petting-zoo experience, and she even slept through the part of the day where I was running through pouring rain with her in the sling under my coat and not very well protected by her ladybug umbrella (which she was gracious enough to share!) She's still a really great sleeper, especially at night. We swaddle her before we go to bed, which really keeps her calm and happy, so the past few nights I've been getting really nice long stretches of sleep. The one problem is that I don't wake up to change her diaper because she doesn't cry to be fed. So I wake up at 6a.m. with the realization that I haven't changed her for seven hours, and then I feel terrible for leaving her in a dirty diaper all that time. Sometimes the poop is still contained in the diaper, but on more than one occasion her diaper hath runneth over onto her nightgown and our sheets. This morning, though, was a whole different story. Melora's diaper was fairly dry and clean because she had been changed recently when I got up to go to the bathroom and get a drink. I was just beginning to wake up as the sun rose and filled our room with a relaxing spring glow. Suddenly I heard a low rumble and felt a tiny cannon blast beside me. Still groggy, I reached over to pull Melora closer to me when I realized my arm was wet. In my half-awake state, the solution was to simply use my other hand, which also became mysteriously wet when I touched her. So I pried my eyes open thinking that perhaps she had wet the bed. Nope. In that one mighty blast, Melora had shot poop up the front, up the back, and out the sides of her diaper. I woke up Michael, whose mind is even more clumsy than mine in the morning hours, and together we changed Melora's diaper, her outfit and our sheets. Then, like the second-time parents we are, we laughed about it and then fell right back asleep. If this had happened with Isaiah two years ago, we would have sat up and talked about how gross it was, perhaps taken a shower, who knows. In fact, in a similar episode when Isaiah was two months old, I actually screamed when he got poop on me. It's nice to know I'm not such rookie now, or maybe I'm just grosser.

Isaiah has shown some real acting talent recently. We've been reading a lot of Curious George as well as watching our daily dose of George during lunch. Isaiah began making monkey sounds quite a while ago, but it has grown into full recaps of his favorite episodes. For a long time I had no idea what was going on when Isaiah would say
"Ooo, ooo, aaaa, aaaah! I feed the ducks. Okay George!"
Then he would walk around the house flinging invisible duck food into the invisible duck pond. I sort of just nodded and tried to keep up.
Another time he was acting out a scene from a Curious George story where George apparently did something naughty. Then he told me,
"Sometimes naughty...need a time out." And he walked over to a corner and sat down. I was completely bewildered because I had never given him a time out in his life. Plus I didn't know what naughty thing he had done.
The lightbulb finally went off because we watched a Pixar short where a little girl loses her penny down a drain and makes an angry face to the men who caused her to drop it. Isaiah was eating dinner that night when he put on his best angry faced and pointed right at me.
"Isaiah, why are you angry?"
"I don't have a penny," he said with his accusatory finger waggling.
"Oh! I made you drop you penny down the drain, right?"
"Yeah!" He said as his angry face changed in to a grin. He quickly reassembled his features to be appropriately angry, and we acted out the scene again. He angrily pointed at me, and I gestured that I didn't have any pennies in my pockets to give him. So instead he took my pretend violin and played it until he got some pretend pennies from a pretend passerby and threw them into the pretend wishing well. (It makes a lot of sense if you've seen the Pixar short I'm talking about.) He's also acted out scenes from several other favorite books including Tom the TV Cat, Rainbow Fish, Peter Rabbit, and George goes Camping. It's amazing to me that a little boy can be so much fun every single day.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Highs and Lows

This week has gone by so quickly. Actually, every day since Melora's birth has gone by quickly. She's already a month old, and I feel as though I've only had her for a week. I'm still captivated by everything she does, her daddy is still hopelessly wrapped around her tiny slender finger, and we're still trying to figure out how to go grocery shopping with two kids. Any hints out there?

Last week was the first week alone with my kids during the day while Michael was at work. By Friday, I felt as though I had a large part of being a mother-of-two under control. At least under control enough not to be curled up in a ball, shaking and sweating on my living room rug. Both of my children survived a whole week without my mom or mother-in-law living with me to take care of them, and the pile of dishes is no taller than I am. Since I'm not particularly tall, I consider that a pretty successful week. I was worried before Melora was born because I just couldn't imagine how I would take care Isaiah's needs, Melora's needs, and my own needs all at the same time. Somehow during that fearful pregnancy time, I forgot that Isaiah is a really capable, easygoing two-year-old, and my husband is superman. Honestly, Michael has been amazing at helping me take care of household chores (including laundry, which is the chore I despise) as well as being a jungle-gym for Isaiah and a giant teddy-bear for Melora every night.

So, with that good week under my belt, I was feeling rather confidant and cocky, and I maaaay have developed a know-it-all-mom-swagger. I guess it was time for a downfall...enter the ear infection (and change the music to a minor key.) Isaiah was up all Monday night holding his head and telling me his ear hurt. We finally got some Motrin into him and he fell asleep around 7 in the morning. My poor baby. It doesn't matter how big he is compared to Melora, how well he enunciates his sentences, how hard he can kick a ball, or how independent he has become - Isaiah will always be my little baby. Tuesday was another rough day because he was lethargic and sad all day long, but he woke up the morning after a fresh, happy little boy again. We played inside and outside, and I just took the time to enjoy my Isaiah again. Melora has also had a stuffy nose the past few days, so Monday night was doubly tough because she didn't get to sleep until late, and at one point in the middle of the night, I had my sniffly little girl under one arm and my crying little boy under the other. Hopefully we've gotten through the tough part of the week and can now move onto the fun part. Needless to say, though, my house is pretty disheveled, as is my hair. That's alright, though, because my living room can be picked up in a flash, and my babies needed me.

Isaiah is still an adoring big brother, and it's fun to let him help us with the baby. He likes to open her new diapers for us when we're changing her, and he also likes to sweep the kitchen floor with the Swiffer. Sometimes he even likes to dump out a giant Costco container of 14,000 animal crackers onto the couch for me. (Oh well - at least he has a sweet heart, and two out of three really isn't bad.) For her part, Melora is extremely tolerant of her big brother, and as far as I can tell, a little fascinated by him. He comes up close to her face and almost kisses her but erupts into a fit of giggles instead and dances away, and she just stares at him with her giant, beautiful eyes. Although he really does love Melora and hasn't acted jealous, I can tell he really appreciates time focused on just him. It doesn't even matter what we do; as long as Michael or I (or both of us, every once in a while) are paying attention to him and only him, he's giddy. I'm trying to make sure I set aside some time every day to put Melora in her hammock and focus on Isaiah. It's so tempting to take that time instead and quickly vacuum or empty the dishwasher, but whenever I choose to pour extra love on Isaiah, it's so obvious I made the right choice.

Today he was sitting on the floor with no pants and his legs sticking out in front of him, and he began squeezing the skin on his knees.
"I'm angry - it's a angry face," he said to one of his squishy knees.
"It's angry too," he said to his other knee as he squeezed it.
I finally realized he thought the lines on his knees looked like an angry face. Oh Isaiah - how much I enjoy you every single day!

Monday, April 21, 2008

I get by with a little help from my friends

The past three weeks have been absolutely amazing. Melora is sweet and beautiful, and I've thoroughly enjoyed the mommy-privilege of cuddling with her for hours on end. Her skin feels like it's made of rose petals, and her hair feels like down. I can't help but stroke her cheeks and tiny fingers any time she's within reach or rub my face against her head whenever I hold her. I love to just stare at her when she nurses and marvel at her miniature, perfect ears or her impossibly small wrists. I had forgotten just how beautiful little baby sighs are - so breathy and light. When I hold her against me and she snuggles her little body into the crook of my arm and lets out a contented murmur, I feel like the best mom in the world.

She's such a mellow baby, which really surprised me. Isaiah was very easy too, and I thought my penance for having such an easy little boy would be a colicky baby the second time around. After all, I was very colicky as a baby, and everyone knows that what goes around comes around. Melora has actually managed to out-easy Isaiah, though, at least in these first three weeks. Isaiah nursed every hour for the first two months of his life, so I was prepared to again nurse for a half hour, rest for a half hour around the clock. Melora is content to eat every three to four hours, though, and then sleep peacefully or stare at the world quietly in between. I was pretty worried that she wasn't getting enough milk and that when I took her in to see the doctor, I would get yelled at for starving my baby. When I expressed my concern to the nurse practitioner, she assured me that most babies only eat every three or four hours, and Melora had already gained seven ounces since leaving the hospital, so I had nothing to fear.

She had already grown enough that I can see a major difference in her size. She fits into her newborn outfits perfectly when only two weeks ago she was so little her hands didn't reach the end of her sleeves. She has also begun to spend longer periods of time awake and interested in the world around her. Her facial expressions are so cute; she looks rather mystified as she stares at people with her big eyes and her mouth shaped into a little "O." I understand that for parents who have babies that wake several times during the night or cry for long stretches of time, it's a blessing that this newborn phase only lasts a few months, but for myself I wish it would go a little more slowly. I look at how quickly Isaiah has grown into a fun little boy, and I realize that I just don't have long to enjoy Melora as the small newborn she is. Luckily, I know from Isaiah that every day is more fun than the one before, and I have so much to look forward to.

Isaiah is still enjoying his new big brother status. He hasn't shown any signs of jealousy yet, which is wonderful, but then again he has been getting more attention than usual. Up until today, I have had someone else here to help me with the kids every single day. Michael's parents stayed with Isaiah while we were in the hospital as well as three days afterwards to help out and enjoy their grandkids. Then Michael was home for the rest of the week with me, and after that my mom was here for two weeks. As far as Isaiah's concerned, it has just been one giant party. He truly is a gracious little boy, though, and instead of wanting me to put down Melora if I have been holding her for a long period of time, he shows concern for her when she's not in my arms. He shares his toys with her, gives her soft blankets, and continues to speak for her, telling us in his high, squeaky baby voice "I want some milk," and "I burped, excuse me."

On the other hand, I miss being able to give Isaiah the time we had before. Two weeks ago in the evening, I was feeling as though I hadn't really spent any time with him for the entire day. Isaiah had happily played with Grandpa and Daddy, but I really missed my little boy. So Michael took Melora to bed and Isaiah and I stayed up late dancing and tickling. It's sweet to be me.

*Melora at one week old and Isaiah helping me blow out the candles on the birthday cake my mom baked me!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Melora's Birth

If you read the post "Bathtub of Horrors," you will recall that Saturday night we had company and then a gross experience where Isaiah pooped in the tub followed by Michael puking in the tub. Ah, what classy lives we lead. Anyway, Michael cleaned all the bodily refuse out of the tub and got it sweet and sparkling for me, and then he began to fill it while I ran upstairs to blog about the hilarious night. I was still having contractions, as I had been having all day, but I was convinced that they were only practice ones and that a warm bath would make them stop as usual. Unfortunately, after filling up the tub for Isaiah's bath, then draining it and using hot water to clean the tub for several minutes, we were out of hot water. So I sank down into a rather cool bath, and Michael again came to the rescue by boiling water on the stove to try to warm up the temperature. By that point, it was a rather hopeless cause, and since my contractions were getting stronger instead of weaker, we decided we should just try to go to bed and get some rest in case it really was the night.

We tried to sleep for a while and then timed contractions when it was obvious I couldn't sleep through them, and at 1:30 in the morning we decided to call our doula, Katie, and Michael's brother, James to watch Isaiah. We arrived at the emergency room at 2:30 and I was wheeled up to the maternity ward. The contractions were so mild and manageable compared to the pitocin-induced ones I had experienced with Isaiah, I wasn't even entirely convinced I was really in labor. I was really worried they were going to laugh at me for being so silly and send me home, but instead they saw I was dilated to 4 cm and admitted me right away. I desperately wanted a warm bath, so as soon as possible, I got into the tub and stayed there for about an hour before I decided to get out because my contractions were slowing down. I was so tired after a sleepless night, but I wasn't able to sleep because my contractions were coming every few minutes, so after several hours of walking, resting, rocking, and showering to try and get things going, I finally decided I needed an epidural to help me get some sleep.

The anesthesiologist came in for my epidural, and started loudly cracking one-liners and talking obnoxiously mostly to himself. When he put the tube in, I felt a powerful jolt of pain run down my spine through my hips and began to hear a ringing sensation in my ears as the room darkened and my head spun. I told him that I heard ringing in my ears, and he asked me if that was normal for me (as if I walked around all the time with ringing in my ears,) and then he wanted to know why I hadn't told him sooner. If I hadn't been woozy and semi-paralyzed I may have kicked him. I was pretty sure my doula was moments away from doing it herself. My blood pressure had dropped to 60/45 and I needed a shot of epinephrine to get it back up, which worked immediately. Luckily Michael, who has quite an aversion to needles, had stepped out of the room so we were both still conscious through the rest of the labor.

Once the epidural kicked in and I was reasonably certain Katie wasn't going to hunt downn the anesthesiologist and throttle him, I was able to sleep for a while, but my contractions slowed once again and I stalled at 7cm for about four hours until we decided I needed some pitocin. Within two hours I was ready to push, and I never had to push hard because she was already within an inch of being out into the world. I pushed gently for 25 minutes, and Michael was able to receive her instead of the doctor. He immediately put her onto my stomach, and she cried, and we cried, and we welcomed our precious daughter into the world! Michael said watching Melora come out and being the very first one to touch and hold her was one of the most powerful experiences of his life. The instant I saw her, my fatigue vanished and I fell desperately in love with my little girl.
"Melora, oh my little Melora," I remember saying to her, "I love you so much my baby girl."

I don't think I will ever be able to describe the moment I met my children for the first time. An entire lifetime of love came rushing into me, filling me up and overflowing so I could pour it onto them. Pain is forgotten, and the other people in the room are non-existent; only me, my husband, and my precious baby are there.

We have been enjoying every moment with her, and Isaiah is particularly sweet to watch. He has begun "speaking" on her behalf, using a squeaky high voice to tell us what she wants. He will come over to sleeping Melora with a toy and squeak "I want frog!" before placing the toy frog on her chest. He also squeakily informs us "I need a new diaper," or "I'm cold, need blanket," when he feels it's appropriate. He wants to hold her all the time and loves to rest his head next to hers and give her kisses. He often gets a cute, dopey grin when she's around and giggles for no reason, and it's so sweet to see that he's falling in love with her just as we are.

Watching Isaiah take care of Melora in his own way has added a whole new dimension to my love for him. It reminds me of when I watched Michael become a dad for the first time (and again with Melora) and realizing that his love for his child was the most beautiful thing I never knew about him. Isaiah is an amazing brother, and I am so blessed with both of my healthy, happy children. Thank you, God, for my Isaiah and Melora. I know I have done nothing to deserve the privilege of being a part of their lives, and I am awestruck at the beauty of your spirit I see through them every day.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Welcome to the world, Melora Karine!

Our beautiful daughter, Melora Karine Walz, was born Sunday March 30th at 2:28 p.m. She weights 6 pounds, 11 ounces and is 19 3/4 inches long. We have all fallen desperately in love with her already and want to do nothing more than stare at her and kiss her sweet head all day. Isaiah is already a sweet, attentive big brother and a good helper to us. We are so thankful, so blessed, and so in awe of our two amazing children. I will write more later, including her birth story, but I am now off to take a bath and go to bed! (You know you just wanted to see pictures anyway.)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Bathtub of Horrors

Warning: This post is a gross one, so you had better posses a strong stomach and the humor of a 12-year-old boy if you plan to enjoy it.

We had a really fun, wonderful night tonight. Also, we had a really terrible, disgusting night tonight. The fun part began when our friends from our Music Together class came over. Isaiah's little friend Ava was decked out in her usual pink fluffy glory, and they had lots of fun playing while we talked with Ava's parents. We found out we got married on the same indescribably hot August day back in 2003, and we had lots of fun laughing about our similar experiences. I was having some contractions throughout the entire meal, but I didn't really want to call attention to them because they weren't too painful to talk or move through. So I just enjoyed myself and discovered that Ava's mom and I share a mutual, amateurish love of scrapbooking as well as a mutual lack of time to scrapbook. We also had a yummy Italian chicken dinner, which was a new slow-cooker recipe for me and they brought over some delicious cheesecake from Cafe Latte.

After our friends left, we let Isaiah play for a little while as we loaded the dishwasher and cleaned up the kitchen. I was still having contractions, but a warm bath usually relieves the pain. We decided we should give Isaiah a bath before I took mine, though, to help him calm down for the evening, because he was still pretty pumped up from having a really cute little girl over to play. So we filled his bath and Isaiah and I read stories together. Once it was all ready, Michael got Isaiah into the tub and began playing with him for approximately 20 seconds until Isaiah pooped in the water. This has happened about four times in Isaiah's life, but we thought we had learned how to deal with it as quickly and efficiently as possible. When you're dealing with poop floating in water, the learning curve is steep and sharp. So I ran into the kitchen and pulled out a ziplock bag, into which I cut slits so the water could drain out while still retaining the offensive poo. As I was doing this, Isaiah pooped again in the water, even though he had insisted he was done. So then Michael ran back into the kitchen for another bag while I tried to fish out toys as quickly as possible to avoid the poop raft. Suddenly I realized there were three poop rafts in the water, and I simultaneously realized we were huge idiots for not getting Isaiah out the instant he pooped his first poop. So Michael came back with more baggies as I dried off Isaiah and put a diaper on him. Unfortunately, the fishing baggie Michael had gotten didn't work because the holes were too big, so it let out water and soooo much more back into the tub. Then there was nothing we could do except wait for the tub to drain and clean it out.

I was still having somewhat painful contractions and couldn't lean over the tub very well, so the job fell on Michael, who dutifully grabbed a gigantic fistful of paper towels as I brought in the garbage pail. He began mopping up the disgusting mess when he started to gag. He's not usually a gagger when he changes a diaper or anything, but this was one seriously gross bathtub.
"(Cough, choke...) Wow; I really didn't expect it to smell quite that much. How about you slide that scented candle over my way, sweetie...(gag, cough, gag...)"
He continued trying to clean the mess up despite his ever-strengthening gag reflex until suddenly his body couldn't take it anymore, and he threw up right in the tub, losing the wonderful chicken dinner and cheesecake we had enjoyed.
"Oh wow!" Michael said incredulously, "This is a really disgusting night. I'm sorry it's all happening right in the tub, honey."
Just at that moment a rather powerful contraction hit as I was overcome with uncontrollable laughter. I sat down on the toilet and shrieked with laughter and pain.

So Michael had to clean and bleach the tub, (which he did amazingly; it now sparkles like an alabaster effigy and smells like a fresh spring day,) and I soaked the bath toys in a bucket with 409. We agreed that it would be pretty awesome if our baby girl was born tonight, because this would make for one unforgettable story. Maybe I could even deliver her in the tub!

*I thought the picture was appropriate for the bathroom humor contained within the post. Hopefully you will all be brave enough to read another post one day. I can't imagine having one as disgusting as this for a long, long time.