Baby Shower and Liam’s First School Music Program

April 22, 2015 at 2:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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DSC_0018We had our little baby shower for Violet on Saturday, and it was a perfectly lovely, low-key affair. We all met at the Olive Garden for lunch and presents, with seven in attendance. I got lots of cute girly stuff, including these purple (of course!) bibs from Jan and adorable outfits from my mom. My friend Tracy got us this wonderful framed photo holder with Violet’s name, which I can’t wait to hang up in the nursery. And we’ve received a lot of gifts from our out-of-town family and friends, very much appreciated. With six years between kids it’s amazing how much we still needed. We finished off lunch with these yummy homemade red velvet cupcakes. My mom made the little buttons, of course. They say, “Cute as a Button.”


Liam stayed home with his dad and grandpa while he play, play, played with his cousins. Apparently they had a great time and didn’t tear up the house TOO much. Sleeping arrangements were a bit chaotic – Evie ended up crawling into bed with my parents in the guest room because she refused to sleep on the couch near her brother (oh, the drama!), and Liam was upset that I wouldn’t let Evie sleep in his bed (from past experience, that never ends well). I fear everyone was a bit cranky from lack of sleep on Sunday, but we let the kids get all their wiggles out at Jumpy Jump Land for awhile. As always, Liam wished his cousins could stay the whole week. But, alas, they all had school Monday.

My parents decided to stay a few extra days to see Liam’s first school music program Tuesday night. It was flippin’ adorable, as you can probably imagine.




I’m particularly proud of Liam for actually singing and performing, something he wouldn’t do for his preschool performances. Just like his mama (and probably his daddy), he was in the front row, tiniest in the class. He did a great job following along with the music teacher, sometimes very seriously studying her every move, which was hilarious. And he was very proud of himself and his classmates for putting on “the best” show, as he put it. Very good, son!

No surprise, Liam wanted grandma and grandpa to stay the whole week. He said, “When grandpa leaves, I’ll just have to play with boring MOM!” Fortunately, I expect my parents will be back before we know it. We even joked that they may have to turn right around if Violet decides to come earlier than expected. I’m headed to the doctor’s tomorrow to assess exactly how ready she is at the moment. I still have four more weeks until my due date, but she really could come at any time. Exciting stuff!


8 months and counting

March 25, 2015 at 2:34 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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31 weeks sono

8 Months

We got another sneak peek at baby Vi last week, and all is looking good. We warned Liam that there was a slight possibility they’d discover she was actually a boy, so that was on his mind when we all sat down and started looking up at the monitor. And, boy, was he in rare form! It was all I could do to stop laughing long enough for the technician to wave that little wand on my belly. He had us all in stitches, just talking, talking, talking. I wish I could have recorded it. At one point we got a very clear shot of her girl parts, confirming once and for all that he was getting a sister, and he remarked, “I know, boys have a penis. You know what? I have a penis.” Oh lord. As we finished up our session, the technician handed Liam his very own 3D copy with “My Sister” written on it because he’d really brightened up her day.

Apparently Violet has a bunch of hair, just like Liam did, and I think I glimpsed her sucking her thumb. We’ve still got a ways to go – May 19 is still a couple months away – but I have a feeling it will go quickly.

Immediately after our appointment, Liam and I hopped in the car and drove three hours to grandma and grandpa’s house. I took one break to stretch my legs at a rest stop, and when I arrived at mom’s I noticed my feet and hands had swollen a bit. It astounds me that James and I drove three days from Kansas City to Maryland at this same stage in my first pregnancy. Granted I was in worse shape then – my feet were terribly swollen, I could hardly breathe through my nose, and I was bordering on gestational diabetes – but I’m still grateful that this spring break trip to KC is going to be my last until our little arrival.

I’m feeling pretty good this time around, all things considered. I’m wearing old lady nightgowns to bed now, which James finds highly amusing. The support belt is a daily must, and even with the whole getup on, I have to watch that I don’t push myself too much. Last night Liam’s school held a “Twilight Trot” at one of the school tracks. The kids and parents could walk around the track for an hour to get some exercise. I went about four laps, resting for a fruit break (Liam ate a whole banana!), and Liam left me in the dust once we found his teacher. He did a couple more laps with her and her friends…a little guy in a striped shirt pumping his little legs to keep up. So adorable. When we got home, the evening’s exertions made themselves apparent – sciatica pain up my left leg and side left me limping around the house. James had to take on the entire bed time routine while I soaked in a bath and went to bed early. Thankfully I woke up this morning feeling much better. And just in time for my monthly prenatal massage! Mmmmm…

We’ve got a lot planned for April: a trip to Botanica for the Fairy Houses and Forts exhibit, Easter with lots of big outdoor presents, tickets to the live-action Wild Kratts show downtown, and a small baby shower at the Olive Garden should keep us busy. We still have to put together the crib (you can tell from the photo), and we found a cute lavender bassinet that also needs assembly. My mom is hard at work re-upholstering our glider, and I’m sure to have a lot of girly baby clothes to launder and put away. I signed Liam up for a Big Kids & Babies class at the hospital May 2, and myself up for an infant CPR class the following week. I’m banking on Violet staying put for as long as she’s supposed to, at least to 37 weeks. Ideally she’ll wait until school is out, just a few days after her due date. But not too long – I have a feeling by May I’m going to be sick of being so fat and immobile.  

Finally, spring!

March 11, 2015 at 9:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Seventy-five and sunny, spring is here! At 3 o’clock I strapped on my full set of maternity belts and set off to get Liam at school. All winter long I’ve missed being able to walk with him to school and back, and I figured this might be my last chance. The belly is only getting bigger. I was doing great, even marveling at how well paced we were (normally he trails me as I holler, “C’mon, slow poke!”), but then about halfway back I noticed my hands and feet were starting to swell. Yikes! We made it home, but I had to take some time to drink some water and put my feet up. I had high hopes I’d be able to volunteer for his zoo field trip in late April, but now I’m not so sure. I may have to spend more time sitting and less time walking.

Our infant car seat and stroller arrived yesterday, and it’s so wonderfully new and shiny and…purple! Yeah! I figured Vi is going to have so many other hand-me-downs, we could afford to splurge on a few new things for her. Liam took the stroller for a spin in the basement, then told me he was going to have to practice pushing it every weekend so he’d be able to take her on walks. Heh, we’ll see how much actual pushing he does – if it gets him excited about walking to the park with me, I’m game, but I have a feeling he won’t be able to see once we’ve strapped the infant seat in the stroller. My poor kiddo needs to grow some more!

This weekend James and I are tackling the garage, rearranging boxes and bins, making our luggage more accessible, lining up our armada of strollers, and getting the last of the big baby items assembled. We just have the swing and crib left. My mom is reupholstering our glider in the coming weeks, and we’re planning a small baby shower in mid-April, so pretty soon the nursery should be complete. Then we just have to sit around and wait. And wait. I’m at 30 weeks now, so in theory we have 10 more weeks to go. James thinks she’s coming early, I think she’ll be late, and Liam thinks she’ll arrive exactly on her due date, May 19. Time will tell!  

We have a sonogram scheduled for next Tuesday, and I’m hoping to get a definitive answer on baby’s gender. Our sonogram technician seemed pretty sure, but I keep having nightmares that she’s going to come out a boy, and we’ll have bought all this pink and purple stuff for nothing! It wouldn’t be the end of the world, of course, but I’ve really gotten excited about having a daughter. Fingers crossed all goes well, and I’ll have some new sono photos to show off, too!

A Name is Chosen

January 27, 2015 at 11:36 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Right after our last sonogram, I sat down with the baby name book and made a list of girl names. It was at least 20 names long. I didn’t want anything too trendy, so I’d also printed out the top 50 girl names of 2014. Some names I put under first names, others as middle names. It was quite a list.

Then I handed it off to James, and he proceeded to cross off every single name except one. Well, that certainly helps narrow it down, dear! Then he suggested another first name, and a couple middle names to consider. We deliberated all month long. I wondered if we’d walk into the delivery room with two names in hand and decide after she was born. But I was really starting to lean toward one name over the other, and I think James was, too. We decided to table the issue—we still have a few months, right?

But then, as I should have expected, Liam made the decision for us. I’ve been bantering our favorite name about, perhaps a little too cavalierly. As he was watching the letter “V” on his beloved ABC Mouse videos last night, he turned to me and said, “I think we should name the baby Violet. That’s a pretty name.” Then, in a move that was almost too cute for words, he leaned over to my now bulging bump and whispered, “Your name is going to be Violet now.”

Heart. Melting.

So now it’s decided. Violet Annabelle Fletcher. I thought of the first name, James thought of the middle, and Liam decided for us. Perfect.

Baby Update: 6 months

January 22, 2015 at 2:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I’m sitting pretty at 23 weeks, and just as I mentioned during my last pregnancy, I’ve hit the pregnancy sweet spot. No back pain, no nausea, no swelling. Just my sweet baby girl kick, kick, kicking away. I went in for my 24-week exam just a touch early, and everything was measuring fine. Including my weight, woo-hoo! The doctor seemed a bit taken aback by the size of the, erm, bump. But then he reasoned that I’m a short person, so it’s going to show more on me. I look forward to hiding my ever-increasing belly (and boy, will it ever increase) under cute spring dresses this time around.

6 months

Oh, if only I could stay this size for the next three months! I saw an actress on TV who was sporting the same size bump at 8 months along. So not fair.

The only downside at this stage I’ve encountered is some slight discomfort when lying on my back for a long time. I read that I should be sleeping on my side, that sleeping on my back decreases the blood flow to the baby. So every night I dutifully cocoon myself in with a body pillow, just to wake up several times back on my back. Doc says not to be too concerned. I will have to be mindful in my Pilates class of not staying on my back for more than a couple minutes at a time. I’ve gotten pretty accustomed to modifying, and my instructor is a veteran mom of three, so I’m in good hands.

Next visit is the dreaded glucose test. I’ve got to drink (chug) this sickeningly sweet liquid, wait an hour, then get blood drawn. Even more dreaded is the possibility of needing to take the second test, which I had to do last time. As I recall I only passed that second test by one point, and my doctor suspected one of the reasons Liam came so early was that I had gestational diabetes after all. So I’m crossing all my fingers and toes, hoping this time around I’ll be in the clear. Otherwise trimester three will be an even bigger bummer than usual. Wish me luck!

In other news, I ordered a new dresser set for our bedroom, so come February we’re going to get serious about setting up the nursery. We have to do some massive rearranging, moving everything out of the guest room and putting it…somewhere. After careful measuring we did find a home for all of the bookshelves, and I think if we clean out our big downstairs closet, that will buy us more space for all of James’ crap…um…I mean, precious role playing and audio books. The loft, which has been a repository for most of James’ stuff, will be our new guest room. I’m really looking forward to actually having a nursery to decorate this far in advance. Last time I felt like we just threw the room together a few months after Liam was born. This time I can leisurely go through and put away clothes, get the crib put together, and decorate the room to my heart’s content. We’re doing a teddy bear theme, which wouldn’t have been my first choice, but the rooms in this rental house are pretty elaborately painted. I’m sure it’ll be super cute. And it’ll keep me from going overboard with the pink and purple.

And the verdict is…

December 23, 2014 at 6:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I said I was having a strong girl vibe, and mama’s intuition was correct! Liam tried to argue with the sonogram technician. “You must be wrong…I see a pee pee!” But after three swipes, she confirmed that we were definitely having a girl. Yippee! James and Liam weren’t nearly as excited. Liam was angling for a little brother, and James dreads the teenage years with a daughter. However, I think the idea is growing on both of them.

So, of course, we’re completely unprepared for a girl. We have all boy clothes, boy toys, and we even had a boy name picked out. But to me that’s the fun of it all – now I get to brainstorm name combinations, buy a girlie car seat, get some cute little tights and dresses. The grandparents are super excited to finally be welcoming a girl to the family, and Evie is excited to be getting a girl cousin! And I’m glad I get to experience motherhood from a mother-daughter perspective this time around. I’m sure it’ll have its challenges, but I’m sure it’ll have its rewards, too.

And Now Three becomes Four

November 15, 2014 at 5:13 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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12-week Sono

Back in January I set myself a deadline – if I wasn’t pregnant by my 37th birthday, we’d give up trying. We’d gone almost four years without actually preventing a pregnancy and had gotten nowhere. Maybe I’d passed my prime? Maybe James had passed his? Timing is everything, so this year we made a concerted effort. And just as I was making my peace with having an only child, just as I was wondering if I really wanted to start all over again with a new baby…it finally happened. After the initial shock (I think James had figured this wasn’t going to happen for us, either!), we couldn’t be happier. I turn 37 in a couple of weeks, and this little guy or gal will have been in residence for 15 weeks.  

3 MonthsThe first trimester was full of morning sickness and fatigue, though less morning sickness than last time. As I neared the end of my first trimester, we decided to tell Liam, and that’s where the real fun began. His reaction was…priceless. I’ve never seen him so excited! He talks about the baby every day, and his questions absolutely crack me up. I’ve been keeping a “secret” pregnancy diary, which I’ve finally published here. You can read more about Liam’s hilarious insights there. Now that I’ve let the cat out of the bag, as it were, I’ll post everything pregnancy-related on my main blog.

<< I’m already showing more now than I was last time (egad!), but we were assured there are NO TWINS in there.

We should know the gender right around Christmas. And yes, we’re finding out. James wants to know everything he’s getting for Christmas every year, and this is like the ultimate Christmas surprise. Plus, I’m a consummate planner, so I think I’d have a hard time waiting until May to find out, too. I’m getting a strong “girl” vibe, though that may just be wishful thinking. My parents have three grandsons and one grand-daughter, and my in-laws have six grandsons and no grand-daughters. I think we’re due for a girl in this family! 

A visit from the poop fairy

August 31, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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My kid is somethin’ else. For the past couple of nights I’ve been leaving Liam’s potty chair in his room, reminding him at bed time that it’s there if he needs to go. Typically in the morning he lays in his bed or plays with his books until I get him around eight. He never, ever leaves his room, even if the door is cracked. (Believe me, I’ve tested it. I left him in there until almost nine once, and I could hear him hollering “Mommy, come and get me!!” He knows I can hear him through the video monitor.) His pull-up is usually quite full, leading me to believe that he’s just going in his diaper when he wakes up.

The first morning we tried the potty chair in his room, he sprang from his bed and announced he had to pee. But he whined that he couldn’t pull down his pull-up, so I helped him with that part. It was still a bit damp, but not nearly as soggy as most mornings. Progress!

Last night I put him to bed well past his usual bed time, but because he’d had a long, late nap, he was completely wired. But he stayed in his room and played, then tucked himself into bed when he got sleepy. The next morning, imagine my surprise when I found a lone turd in his potty! I asked him when he’d pooped, and he said he’d done it the night before. Which explained the smell. Yuck. But it appeared that he not only pulled down his own pull-up, but pulled it back on, and his pajama shorts, too! That little bugger is totally playing me! Here I am constantly asking him if he needs to poop, getting exasperated when he goes in his pants, and all I had to do was shut him in a room with a potty chair for eight straight hours. Something tells me I can’t get away with doing that during the day…

The Elusive BM

April 2, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Lest I look back and think potty training Liam at age three was a cinch, I feel I must mention one hitch we’ve encountered. I hear it’s common, especially with little boys. With the exception of a couple of accidents, this kid has mastered peeing. He’s even gone outside standing up a couple of times. We’re all set there. It’s #2 that’s giving us some problems. He just goes in his pants and then calls to me to clean it up.

Now that we’re on week two of potty training, I’ve decided to step up my game. It’d been a couple days since his last BM, so with much anticipation I’ve been watching his every move. With a bellyful of bowel-inducing peaches, he retreated to his favorite pooping place: the playroom. With eagle eyes I watched, waiting for the moment. At quiet intervals I’d ask if he needed to go. He’d cry,”Noooo!” I offered him treats for sitting and trying. I told him he’d get a special present if he went in the potty. Then things got really quiet. He made the poop face. I quickly scooped him up and ran him down the short hallway to the bathroom. But, alas, I was too late. This was the closest we’ve come, though!

Advised by another mom, I made him dump it in the potty himself and flush it away. Sigh. I’m sure he’ll get it someday. Someday soon, I hope.

Conversations with a three year old comedian

February 9, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Me: Baa baa black sheep have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full…

Liam: No, no! That’s not how it goes, Mommy!

Me: Okay, you say it.

Liam: It’s two bags full. One for my master and one for my hand. And one for my butt. (grin)

Me: … (childish snort) You’re gonna kill ’em in preschool, kiddo.

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