And Then There Were Four

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I am happy to announce that I am no longer pregnant.

James Eli was born via C-section on March 5th, 2014 at 1:55 PM and has been charming the pants off us ever since. Isn’t he a handsome devil?

We are tired, busy and tired. Some days we don’t shower. Did I mention we are tired?

Big sister is warming up, ever so slowly, to her new little brother and we think they may be friends one day. Recently, she has begun showing genuine concern when I enter a room without James in my arms. She asks “What happened to James?”, and sometimes her tone sounds accusing.

Big changes happening in our house and once I stop using my “spare” time to eat, sleep or shower I will fill you in.

In the meantime, here are some pics of our first day with our beloved baby boy.

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Good God. 40 Weeks and 2 Days.

jackie mar 2 2014 075_phixrNo sign of this baby yet.

Reese was ten days late and a little part of me is dying imagining the possibility of being pregnant for another 8 days.

Aside from attempting to eat myself into labor, I am not doing much else. I’m not sure how I feel about those weird natural methods for inducing labor that you read about, but talk to me in a few days and I may have changed my tune.

My “birth plan” (I use that term loosely) includes trying for a VBAC (or C-VAG as my brother-in-law referred to it ) so my doctor is trying to avoid induction for as long as possible,  because apparently risks can be increased by an induction. She said we will talk about our plan at my next appointment and we can “see how I feel.” I thought it was pretty clear how I feel. I mean look at me. But ok.

We had an ultrasound last week that showed a 7lb 12 oz baby.  I know that the weight estimates are rarely accurate, but I am relieved that they aren’t telling me I’m having a giant baby, like they did with Reese.

33 lbs gained. I cannot even believe the fact that I was a full 22 lbs heavier than this last time. What a beast.

And so we wait….Will keep you posted.

Talking Back

Reese: I want to touch Miles’s bum bum


Me: Reese if you don’t stop drinking the bath water out of that cup I am going to take the cup away.

<starts drinking bath water straight from the tub>

Reese: Mama gonna take the tub away?


Me: <One morning, after watching Reese pick up something off the floor and eat it> Reese, what is in your mouth?

Reese: It’s probably a piece of my dinner.


Reese: Are you ok, Jackie? <said to me in an ultra sympathetic/almost mocking voice, with head cocked to the side>

Big Girl Bed Still A Big Hit

We are probably setting a bad precedent, but Reese’s favorite thing to do is jump on her new bed. She says “I want to jump!” and she likes to have an audience when she does it. When her cousin joins, it is even more fun. My mom, sister and I were cracking up as the two of them went crazy on the bed (Mira got so crazy she lost her pants.)

There were some tumbles, a couple of collisions, and some run ins with the wall, but I think this my have been the best day of Reese’s life.





Oh My God I’m Huge. 36 Weeks

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I am officially all set with being pregnant.

It kills to put on my shoes. I walk like I am 90 years old and have spent the day on a horse. I pee probably every 12 minutes.  I am living in a polar vortex and my coat no longer buttons over my belly. The baby moves constantly and when it kicks, it actually hurts. It feels like I have a 2-year-old in there.  Maternity pants are not even comfortable. I am itchy all over. The only place I am fully comfortable is in my bed, with my maternity pillow. It takes a little too long for me to get out of my car. I am thirsty all the time, thus contributing to the peeing problem. Reese keeps pointing to a freckle on my stomach and saying “baby” so we have gone wrong somewhere with our explanations.

Done complaining (for now), and hoping these last 4 weeks go by quickly. Was it this bad last time? I can’t remember.

Talking Back

Reese: <After giving me a hug then running across the kitchen> I run away from the baby!

Reese: I need to watch some Elmo

Reese: <standing at the top of the stairs calling down to me>: Jackie! Jackie! Are you down there?

Reese: <to Daddy>: Put on your coat jackass.
We have no idea where she learned this. Honestly. We try really hard not to swear around Reese and that is not even a swear word of choice for us! She does have a book about a mouse and a donkey and in the book the donkey is referred to as a jackass, but when we read it we always call it a donkey. We are mystified.

Big Girl Beds


Andrew and I had been talking about moving Reese out of the nursery and into one of our spare bedrooms for awhile. We thought it would be best to transition her from a crib to a bed before baby # 2 came, but I was procrastinating because I wasn’t sure she was ready.

Just before New Year’s, in a momentary episode of panic that occurred when I realized that the baby would be here in less than 2 months, we set up a twin mattress on the floor of Reese’s new bedroom.

We didn’t put anything else in there aside from the mattress. Too risky.

On multiple occasions in the nursery, I had witnessed Reese take down her humidifier, stand up and surf on her glider, try to swing from her curtains, and attempt to pick up and move her diaper pail. God knows what she would do when left to her own devices all night.

I had serious angst about this. Visions of her busting out of the room and wreaking havoc on our upstairs, or worse, trying (and succeeding) in opening the baby gate and falling down the stairs haunted me.

Before bedtime that first night, we realized that we would have to have her monitor and her CD player (she refuses to go to bed without her music playing) on the floor of her room. I told Reese that after stories Mom and Dad would leave the room and Reese should stay in her bed and sleep.

Yea right. I felt ridiculous even saying this to her. I know she was laughing at me on the inside.

This is how the first night went.

7:15 – Andrew comes downstairs after reading Reese stories.

7:18 PM – We hear a clicking noise and the monitor goes off. Andrew goes up to turn it back on. He opens the door to find a small individual, clad in a snowman onesie, hunched over the monitor. Upon seeing him in the doorway she quickly darts back to her bed. Andrew turns the monitor back on.

7:20 PM - He goes back downstairs and the monitor is promptly turned off again. He goes upstairs and takes it out of her room.

7:25 PM – After refusing to go the night without a monitor, I go back upstairs and set it up outside of her door, hoping we will at least hear her if she gets out of the room. While I am setting it up, I hear a loud fumbling with the doorknob and a small, pathetic little voice saying,  “I need some help with the door.”
I go into the room and lay with Reese until 7: 50 PM. She babbles for thirty minutes next to me in the bed. Some snippets from this convo with herself include “I eat ALL the chocolate chips”, “We allllllllll sleeping in the bed”, and “Where’s the Mama monkey?” When I tell her I am going to leave she wraps her arms around my neck and pleads for me to sleep in the bed with her. My heart is ripped from my chest.

7:58 PM – I leave the room after succumbing to requests for more books and following instructions on which stuffed animals should be put in the bed with her. She also throws her pillow at me and says “no pillow!” There are a few moans, a little crying, and then when I get back downstairs we hear silence through the monitor. Silence is the scariest thing to hear. I don’t know if there is silence because she’s actually being quiet and settling down, or if we just can’t hear her through the door. We hear various other bumps and thumps over the next hour or so, but no crying, so we are good.

10 PM – I peek into the room to find Reese asleep in the bed, on top of all the covers, using her Elmo as a pillow. Victory.

I feel that we got off pretty easy that first night. The second night was similar to the first, except with the monitor being taken from the room, she focused her attention on her CD player. She kept turning up the volume and blasting her nursery rhymes until they echoed through our house.

Now, the novelty of the room seems to have worn off and she usually just goes right to sleep after stories. She does wake up in the night sometimes, which she never did before, and scares the crap out of me when she shows up next to my bed, two inches from my face; but it doesn’t happen too often. When it does, she refuses my offers to come into our bed and insists that I lay with her in the “big girl bed.”  And so I roll myself out of bed, flop onto the mattress on the floor and snuggle up with Reese, all three Elmos, Zoe, Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Nahla, Froggy and the Octopus until she is able to drift off to sleep again.



2013 was a big year for us.

Reese turned two in November.


This is what a lot of two has looked like so far…..110_phixr

She may not have loved her birthday party, but some people had fun.


My sister got married in November and Reese was a flower girl. We got her to walk down the aisle by bribing her with lollipops. I learned an important parental lesson; candy gets shit done.


We found out that baby number 2 would be coming to us in February 2014 and that Reesie would be getting a new cousin (her third!) in early March.


Glasses were a big hit this year.



Reese understood Christmas a little more this year. By this I mean that she knows nothing about the day being a celebration of the birth of Christ but everything about Santa, candy canes and presents.



It was a year full of exciting firsts; first time eating an ice cream cone, first time swimming in a lake, first time riding an unenclosed train in frigid cold temperatures when Mom forgot your hat and mittens, etc. There were also some  “oh my god she’s no longer my baby” lasts. Your second, and last year as an only child, the last time you used a baba (pacifier), the last time sleeping in your crib (more on this soon.) The list goes on, and we know it is only just beginning.

Cheers to 2014. We can’t wait to see what it will look like.


At Two Years


Dearest Reese, Reesie-Roo, Reesie-Pie, Reese-a-roni,

On November 29th we celebrated your second birthday over a chocolate cupcake and a peanut butter and banana sandwich.

At two years old you are talking up a storm (in a weird Boston/NYC-ish accent) and we love coming home from work and hearing about your day, even if most of the details are fabricated.

You are a little boss lady and one of your favorite things to do is to tell people where they should sit. “Mama, sit here!” “Dada, sit on the floor, read a book!”

You love music, instruments and dancing. Every night after your bath you run to your CD player, press play and dance like a naked maniac to whatever song comes on. Most nights the dance party ends in tears when I pick you up to put you in your pajamas. From your changing table, with fat tears rolling down your cheeks, you often cry out, “I want to dance!” Jessie Spano style. It’s both sad and hilarious.

And oh yea, you are a drama queen. You have taken to burying your face in your hands and shaking your head when you don’t get something you want.

You love telling us what you don’t like. You say it sternly and tersely, “I don’t like it!” Your father and I often use this and a few of your other catchphrases (said in your voice) when we are talking to each other, and we crack ourselves up. Dislikes noted include the doctor, your unborn sibling, Miles, whatever I make you for dinner, candles, and Elmo when he wears a disguise/costume (you get particularly offended when he dresses like a cowboy.)

You are a Daddy’s girl. You want Dada to give you a bath, Dada to read you stories and Dada to sing “Kookaburra” to you around the clock. I am accepting the fact that you have no loyalty to the one who carried you for 9 months. I see how it is.

We know you are our child because you love food. Certain food. You are super picky but you would eat all day long if we let you (sorry, girl.) You like to say, “I eat like cookie monster”, and then shove food into your mouth with both hands. At Thanksgiving, when Dada asked you what you were thankful for you said food first, then your books. We like your priorities. You love graham crackers, Cheerios, apples, oatmeal, bananas, peanut butter and banana sandwiches, cream cheese and jelly sandwiches, raisins, rice and beans, and little else (aside from the obvious; cookies, cakes, ice cream, chips etc.)

You let us put you down to sleep every night with no problem.  When we go downstairs we look at your monitor and see you sitting in your crib, turning the pages of your books in the pitch dark. In the morning when we open your door the first thing you say is, “Go downstairs and eat oatmeal!”

You are coming out of your shell a bit more around other kids. You are slowly getting braver and don’t always run away from other kids, especially if they have the good toys. It takes you awhile to warm up to new people, but usually after 15 minutes or so you feel comfortable enough to tell them where they should sit and what they should do.

We look forward to your third year so much; to seeing you as a big sister and to hearing more of what you have to say. We wish you would stop growing up so fast, but we love seeing the little person you are becoming. You make it really hard to not be one of those parents who brags about their kid all the time, so I just do it on this blog instead.





Talking Back

Me: Reese you did such a good job with your dinner. That makes me so happy!

Reese: I feel pride

Reese: We goin’ to Gammy an Grandpa’s house. I wear my necklace, my earrings and my ring.

Reese <to me, while I’m holding my cousin’s new baby>: That baby wants to get down!

Reese: Mama’s belly has a baby

Me: That’s right, it’s your little brother or sister.

Reese: I don’t like the baby.