Easton is ONE

Easton is a ONE year old…as of Tuesday. 
Did you hear that? 
Just my heart breaking a little. 
We’re moving from baby to toddler at warp speed and it’s just so tough. His first year of life has flown by and although some of the nights have been long the days seem so short. There just isn’t enough time in the day to love on him enough. 
In the last month Easton….
  • learned to walk – He’s no pro, but he’s getting pretty darn good at it.  When he falls he let’s out a giant grunt of disgust.  Almost like he’s saying “awwww &*$# it!”  His first couple steps were at home with momma and daddy but they were just a couple at a time.  THEN the night that Gentry was born (November 2nd) he decided to shock us all and casually walk from Mamaw to Papaw Plank out of no where.  So, of course we grabbed some bribery tools and got him going back and forth between the aunts with some snacks to guide him and videoed it!
  • had his first Halloween.  We tried the cute and fuzzy wolf costume and he had a great howl down…but he was terrified of the costume.  So, he was an astronaut!  I was the MilkyWay and daddy was “Houston” as in “Houston, we have a problem.”
  • had another ear infection.  This is our second and hopefully his last.  It’s so hard when he doesn’t feel well and I don’t know what’s wrong and can’t take away the pain.  He’s pathetic and crabby and I wish I didn’t have to go to work.  It’s rough.  
  • has started to throw fits.  He has a great fake cry routine and it’s quite pathetic as well.  How do parents not laugh at that?  I know it’s probably not the correct reaction, but come ON!
  • gets upset over the loss of food.  Example – I like Oreos.  I don’t like to share Oreos.  Easton does NOT like it when I take the last bite.  See above.  
  • loves to dance.  Anything with a good beat.  That Ju Ju song really gets him going.  I’m old, don’t know the name.  You know the one I’m talking about.  We listen to Q95 in the kitchen while I’m making dinner so he loves some good rock as well.  He even jammed out most of this evening at Hooters.  Hands in the area.  Bobbing his head.  Bouncing his knees.  Kid has moves for sure.  
  • loves music.  Any music.  Christmas music, especially.  Just like momma!
  • howls, makes a surprised face, blows kisses, and we are working on more tricks each day.  
  • had a big huge COWBOY birthday party with all his loved ones.  He was so blessed with amazing gifts that will last for the next year, no doubt.  Some momma even plans to hide away for the summer time when we need something new to sneak out!
  • had dinner for his 1st birthday at HOOTERS!  Momma was craving it just like I was one year ago when he was born.  Weird?!
  • received tons of sweet notes, and even some gifts from my students.  They must know that each day is very hard for me to leave him.  I’m truly fortunate to work with a group this year that gets that.  They all encouraged me to stay home today but since I’m taking two days next week for our move and to remember my mom then I just couldn’t take another day.  So, they made him lots of homemade cards and even some a stuffed animal, a book, and a new outfit.  The little notes on the cards were the sweetest ever.  “Did you know you have the best mom ever?” one student wrote.  Melt my heart.  
  • doesn’t have his 12 month checkup until Monday, but I would guess he’s between 24-25 pounds.  And, he’s grown more than 2 inches in the last three months!  
  • hates being strapped in his car seat unless there is a snack to occupy him and eating out is becoming more difficult.  Without a dog to pick up the food he throws it gets a little embarassing.  
  • has pooped on the potty 3 times.  I can tell when it’s about to happen if I pay attention and why not waste a diaper if he will participate.  The first time he cried when I sat him down and now he just bounces up and down until it happens.  He’s no genius, but a friend at church recommended this to me and I figure, why not?!
  • still has 8 teeth.  Each time he’s cranky I wonder when those molars are coming through.  Not yet!
  • is very busy and talkative although most of the time we have no idea what he is saying.  He can say dada, momma, dog, hi, bye and we are pretty sure he’s said BoBo (Brody), Shai (Shailynn), and Holly (Aunt Holly).

    Waiting for Gentry to be born!


  • Getting ready to move to a new house!

    We voted in the most ridiculous election ever!
    His new mean mug

    Practicing his ONE finger!

    Celebrating Unkie’s birthday!
    Some mornings are rough..

    Getting so fresh and so clean for his big party!

    His big ONE year old photo shoot with Didi!
    The night before he turned ONE

    Wow how time has flown by

    Birthday celebrations with his buddies at Jenny’s!

    A tattoo….

    and dinner at Hooter’s!

Here’s an amazing year sweet boy. 
And many, many more
Love you more, 
Momma

10 months

Our sweet boy is already 10 months.  
And the photo sessions are growing more and more difficult each time!  Imagine that!

He’s never before touched the “monthly” stickers and this time he did not want that thing on him at all.  

Nor did he want his photo with the lamb. 

Nor did he want that chalkboard sitting in front of him…

This time I wanted some photos with his new rocking chair that Papaw refurbished for him .

In this last month you’ve learned so much!

You’re growing and making your momma’s heart break and her ovaries ache for another one.

In the last month Easton has….

had some issues with biting, particularly his momma. When I figured out he had 3 teeth coming in one the same day I felt a little sorry for him. Thanks for sharing the pain.
made it a little difficult to nurse.  The biting and the latch with the new teeth have made me second guess or wonder how in the heck I’m going to make it a year with this.  But just like always, we kept going.  Currently the #1 question is “So…how long are you going to do that?”  “That” being nursing.  Some people I respond, at least 4-5 years just to see their reaction.  Most get the truth – at least a year and after that he and I will discuss things.  🙂
had a snotty nose a lot.  A lot.  Teething, cold, whatever it may be.  
Chapped cheeks….from the snot? 
been using his sippy cup much better and we even upgraded to a bigger sippy cup. 
He’s even become an independent stubborn butthead at times and won’t let anyone help him hold it. Not cool, man.  You always need your momma.  Always.  
had really smelly poo…..solid foods = let’s get potty trained quick so you can take care of this yourself, sir. 
8 teeth by September 11th and the last 3 popped through really fast…like within the same day
had his first trip to the Kids Express Clinic (Minute Clinic for Kids) after a night of wheezing and barking cough and no sleep for us. The diagnoses was croup and a steroid.  
4 days later another all nighter with inconsolable screaming and crying.  Went back to the doctor and within just those few days his ear became badly infected and went on an antibiotic.  
The worst feeling in the world was seeing your baby scream inconsolably and not even being able to comfort with nursing.  Not knowing what was wrong with him made me ill. Awful.  
developed a new love for the stairs….thanks to Aunt Cathy. 
a fondness for kissing.  Open mouth kisses.  Juicy kisses.  We are working on blowing kisses.  
He points to everything.  Especially that large buck mounted on Unkie Josh’s wall.  That thing really blew his mind.

a love for knocking anything and everything over and constantly diving over things giving me a heartache.  I even asked the Dr. at his 9 month check up – Is it normal for him to be suicidal?  To which she replied…yes, until he’s at least 4 or 5.  Yikes.

the crawl down….and he can go fast.  He can go particularly fast when you say “no” or his name.  As soon as he knows you’re headed after him he’s like lightning fast.

learned to make sounds with his finger and lips and even the Indian sound with his whole hand and mouth.  His new tricks are fun to show off.

the clap down.  He claps all the time.  And if you don’t clap with him he will give you a dirty look, try again, and basically make you want to clap with him because he’s so damn cute you just can’t resist.  
every girl wrapped around his finger.  He’s a big flirt.  Waitresses love him.  It actually works out nicely because he tends to make a huge mess at restaurants but they’ve already fallen in love so it doesn’t really matter.  
learned the game of Peek-a-Boo. 
We play a lot of, “Where’s Easton?”
“There he is!”
Even in the car with his blankie back and forth over his head. 
still had a love for books, particularly the ones with flaps, parts that move, or things he can feel and touch.  He’s basically gifted.  Right? 
started getting out all the toys in the living room even though he still enjoys the good ole TV remote.  At Mrs. Jenny’s he really loves the kitchen and play food so momma’s going to get him a new kitchen for his birthday.  Shhhh!
He weighed in at home at 22 lbs. 14 oz. so he’s been sitting at that 22 range for a few months.  Major movement all day long has him starting to thing out. 
Don’t worry, I plan on feeding him butter sticks to keep the wrist and thigh rolls going for as long as I possibly can.  
Our month in pictures….
Mikala’s College Goodbye Dinner

and Papaw’s Birthday dinner

Papaw refurbished this awesome rocking chair just for Easton!

Easton’s 1st Tornado Warning….we hid in the bathroom for at least a half hour…with the dog.
It wasn’t real enjoyable but we made the best we could out of it!

I need him to rest his hand right there and keep his arm chubby like this forever.  

First time Peppa watcher.
Definitely, a fan.
Daniel Tiger ranks higher currently.
Don’t tell our Dr. – no screen time til he’s two. 

LOVES his cousins. 

All the Waynes

Labor Day – Last swim!

Reading with his Colton

Spaghetti night was gross.  Really gross.
Definitely a bath night. 

Still loving his swing. 

His Chey got engaged!  He was mesmerized by the ring!
She appeased me and wore the sash I got her for a pic.  

After sitter playdate with cousin Josie!

Oh, these buns!

A sick day at home with momma

Kisses for the highly annoyed dog.  

Watching Colton play football!
I’ll just take the whole chicken finger, thanks ma.  

The kid dresses better than me. 

Cousin tower at the Plank family reunion!

Tormenting the dog

So tired he can’t even change into his pj’s. 

 Happy 10 months of life little buddy….
I know…I can’t believe it’s been that long either!

7 months

Another month has passed before us. 
It doesn’t even seem real that this little man has been in our lives for 7 months. 
7 whole months. 
Lots has happened in his life in the last month…
2 teeth (thank God they are finally in)
June 6th he got his first tooth on the right and June 13th the second popped through. 
started waving hi on June 10th…not a pro yet but getting there. 
almost 2 more pounds
Trying lots of new food – baby food, alfredo sauce, ranch dip, an oreo, a lemon
He loves everything he can get in his mouth but not so much on pureed peaches. 
He loves puffs and num-num’s
Loves the sippy cup and occasionally gets a little apple juice in with some water. 
Sleeping in his own room in his big boy crib. 
Not sleeping perfectly, but this too shall pass.  Right? 
Loving all his cousin time.  The days are long when it’s just the two of us and we don’t get to see them!

He would prefer to sleep in our bed and nap there too but I try not to allow that too much.
It’s so hard when all I want to do is snuggle!

His first visit to Mamaw Debbie’s grave. 

The big move from bassinet to crib.  

His 6 month doctor checkup!

His first attempt at baby food.
He wasn’t so sure about the oatmeal cereal but didn’t mind it as much with applesauce mixed in.  

Loving Shiloh even more and her loving him even less. 

His first Indy 500 Parade…a family tradition!

It’s finally swimsuit season and thank goodness for his amazing body and cool sunglasses from Mamaw to show off.

Sometimes first bites of new foods were a little scary…

Swinging outside is always a favorite and makes him very sleepy after a while. 

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Sitting up like a big boy on shopping trips is his favorite now!

Always loving his big cousin Brody. 

Celebrating Father’s Day with Papaw and family.
Papaw even fed him prunes!

and then he passed out…

A playdate with Jack

….and lots of playdates with Gracie now that Momma’s on summer break!

Mmmm….carrots. 

Naps with Aunt Cathy

He wasn’t so sure about the pool about first but quickly became a fan. 

He loved teaching Colton all about the ways of being a great big brother and helping with diaper duty. 

Slowly attempting this whole crawling thing but has only mastered scooting backwards and turning in circles. 

More visits with Great Grandma. 

Starting to look like a big boy and breaking his mother’s heart. 

Playtime in the evening with daddy. 

This boy has stolen my heart.
I never thought I could love someone as much as I love his daddy, but apparently I was wrong!
Now I head back to his room for his 3rd attempt at rocking this afternoon nap. 
He continues to be a nap fighter for his momma. 
I think he’s afraid he’s going to miss something. 
Don’t know where he gets that from?!

5 months

These days are flying by, folks.

Flying by so fast I barely have time to get on here and keep track of all the wonderful things that are going on in our lives.  Each day gets better and better and just when I think I have this motherhood thing out….BAM.  Life (otherwise known as Easton) throws me a curveball.

I may sigh.
I may roll my eyes.
I may have a slight panic attack.

But, I am seriously loving it.

This 5 month old is growing so fast. He skipped right through the 3 and 6 month clothing and has decided to move right on to 9 and 12 month clothes. 

So here’s what’s been going on leading up to month 5 for our little E man. 

He’s a talker.  Not a quiet talker.  More of a loud mouth.  I have no idea where he gets it from.  Ha!  Poor little guy really didn’t stand a chance.  Between his mother running her mouth and his father schmoozing work people over all the time it’s probably all he heard in the womb.  Wah wah wah.

We celebrated his first Easter.  It was actually the day before I had to return to work and I have to say it was really nice to spend it with family to keep my mind off of the dreaded day.  I shed some tears when my sister offered to hold him for a nap at family dinner.  I realized it would be on of the last snuggly naps during the day for a while and I just wasn’t ready to give that up.  We visited the creepy Easter bunny and he was still little enough to just stare at the camera and not scream and throw himself around causing a scene.  We did some typical Easter poses with him grabbing an egg but truthfully he had no interest at all in what the kids were doing.  He just drooled and checked out all the colors. 

We also attended my sister’s annual EGGstravaganza.  Again, we posed for pictures.  We pretended he was enjoying coloring eggs.  He just sat there like a bump on a log God love him.  He looked so precious and had no idea why the paparazzi were back again.  He does love all the colors and his big cousins and the loud noises they bring!

After Easter, Easton met Miss Jenny and all of his new friends at daycare on March 28th.  I cried the night before as I read him a bedtime story.  I cried most of the night as I watched him sleep.  I cried as I got him ready.  I cried as I held him basically refusing to put him in his carseat.  I cried the whole way to Jenny’s.  I cried and she held me.  I cried as I walked out her door.  I cried the whole way to work.  I cried as I walked into work.  As soon as I saw my students I pulled it together and held it fairly well until lunch time when I cried again.

Then, all was well with the world.  No more tears.  When I picked that baby up and he was happy as can be with some new friends and friends he loves and a babysitter who loves him dearly all my worries and tears washed away.  He seriously loves it there.  She says he’s always a happy guy.  He loves the other kids.  He naps well.  He eats well.  He’s loving life because he’s socializing and I can rest easy knowing this is the second best option for us.  First would be hitting the lottery and me staying at home.  Miss Jenny is amazing and I don’t worry at all during the day because I don’t know how she does it, but she does.  She loves every single one of the kids like they are her own and she is a miracle worker. 

Being out and about more brought on the usual….runny nose….then cough.  That went on for a couple of weeks.  We used our best friend the “nose frida” and judge me all you want….using that thing is the most glorifying task that motherhood has brought me yet.  (kidding!)

Obviously the chick above is not me.  But it shows you hot to do it.  No, Easton does not lay there that happily and take it.  He’s becoming a serious mover and thrasher for nose suction and diaper changes.  However, he totally is starting to appreciate me a little more when he can breathe.  Then I get to clean the snot from the tube and wash it sludge down the sink.  It’s so gratifying.  It’s disgusting.  Really the disgusting part isn’t that you taste their snot because I promise you don’t.  It’s hearing the snot coming out, seeing it, and washing it away.  It’s like you’ve saved their life.  Just not that grand.  
We use it every morning and every night still because the congestion issue hasn’t gone away.  I know some day this boy owes me a lot for literally sucking the snot from his brain to allow him to breathe better.  I’m his savior, basically.  
On April 11th he rolled from his back to his belly.  He freaked out just a bit because I screamed like a lunatic and scared him and I think he scared himself trying to figure out how in the hell did he do that?!  Lately he’s doing it more often and just tonight he did it twice while chilling on the floor so momma could eat some dinner.  Still each time he does it he looks at me with this confused look about what he’s suppose to do next.  

He’s really starting to notice Shiloh now.  He watches her every move.  She could still care less about him.  She licks him occasionally and then walks away.  I think she’s thoroughly disgusted we brought him home and would like to return him.  Too bad for her!

His chunky thighs and man boobs are super ticklish and I love to get him going.  He sort of tenses up and forgets to breathe when he’s being tickled.  Not too the point of concern but certainly to the point of total cuteness. 

He’s still taking 4 naps a day, 2 longer ones and 2 shorter ones.  He’s up and at em ready to go at 5 am.  He eats and then talks happily while we get ready to head out.  Sometimes he falls back asleep and chills with daddy but that never lasts long.  This also means that he has no idea when it’s Saturday and Sunday and still wants to be up super early.  Not gonna lie, I totally miss sleeping in on the weekends.  However, you should see all the shit someone can really accomplish before 8 am on a Saturday.  It’s insane.

4 month sleep regression.  It’s real.  It’s totally real….and it sucks.  Big time.  4 months and back to work/daycare hit and I swear it’s like he knew I really needed my sleep and just lost his mind every night usually around 11:30, 1:30 and 3:30.  And 3:30 is just late enough that I really never could go back to sleep before waking again at 5.

But guess what?  That phrase “this too shall pass”?  It’s for real.  It passed and we survived.  He started sleeping 7:30-5 again.  Hallelujah!

Then, he got sick.  That whole runny nose thing turned into a cough.  A cough that woke him up and scared the crap out of me.  So I finally took him to the doctor this week.  I thought it was just a cold.  He never ran a fever.  He was never crabby.  A cold will pass too, right?  Well I was starting to feel like it might be something else and got advice from my sister and aunt and we headed to the doctor.  He had a sinus infection and got his first antibiotic.  His ears and lungs were good and clear but poor baby has his momma and poppa’s sinus issues already.

Good news is that he loves the medicine.  I think he would down the whole bottle if I let him but 4.5 mL will have to do.  I hate starting him so young on an antibiotic but I also want him feeling better.  You would never guess the poor kid is sick til you lay him flat and he starts to cough. 

He’s still totally breastfed and that works for us. We will try some food in a month but for now his mommas milk obviously does this little body good!
I take every nap snuggle I can get. That will never change!
He still loves loves loves his baths and found he’s toes and can’t stop playing with them!

His smiles are endless and we are so lucky to have a happy baby!

He loves to read, especially all the touch and feel books. 
Sometimes he watches momma get
ready in the morning. This is my favorite stage so far. Happy and Snuggly yet still immobile. 
We may not get to see his girlfriend, Gracie, as much but they are still madly in love. Can’t wait for the summer!
All dressed up for church. 
Cool dude in his shades. 
As each day passes I love him more and more and can’t figure out why my heart hasn’t exploded into a million little pieces. 
He’s not perfect. 
We aren’t perfect parents. 
But I feel like we are getting pretty damn good at it and our babe seems pretty pleased with our skills. 
I consider that a WIN!

Out West Part 1

Our trip out west was awesome.  Now, it wasn’t a sandy beach with tropical weather….but there is something just as breathtaking about the beautiful mountains and nature that Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana have to offer. 
The trip started a little rough, I’m not going to lie.  The night before we were scheduled to leave Mike couldn’t figure out why we couldn’t get “checked in” with United Airlines through Orbitz.  Finally, he gave up and figured he would try again in the morning since our flight wasn’t suppose to leave until 5 pm.  The next morning it was his first task to accomplish and roughly about an hour or two after waking up (still in my pjs) he informs me that our flight is leaving at 2 pm, not 5.  
I took a deep breath and made a mad dash for the shower and to finish packing.  I didn’t shed one tear, which is quite an accomplishment for me these days.  I was ready to go in 45 minutes and luckily our ride to the airport (FIL) was over at the house in an hour to get us to the airport.  I did take a quick minute to call Orbitz and scream my head off at some foreigner who proceeded to tell me, “it happens” and they were sorry.  Sorry?!?!  I’m just glad my husband thought to call or we definitely would have missed our flights.  Oh, and I originally booked a flight with one layover and now this one had two.  We had to go to Chicago BEFORE we landed in Denver to then fly again to Sun Valley.  
And wouldn’t you know it that Denver was having some rough weather so we were late getting to Denver because we flew AROUND the storm?  Of course!
However, everyone’s flights were delayed in Denver….so we didn’t miss the second flight to our final destination.  We were suppose to arrive in Sun Valley/Hailey, Idaho around 8 pm and finally made it in around 11 pm.  It was definitely a long day and my swollen feet were seriously unhappy with me….but we made it.  
Side note – Do you know how many moms fly alone with little babies?  A lot!  I was way more observant of this than ever before.  I was shocked.  There is no way I think I could ever do that by myself.  Those babies were perfect, too!  A few tears but mostly sleeping and seriously awesome little campers for a long day of flying.  
Unfortunately we got to the quaint little town of Hailey, Idaho when it was pretty darn dark so we saw next to nothing the night we arrived.  
But when we woke up the next morning….WOW.  My bro and sis-in-law have an incredible property in the mountains.  Right now they are in the process of building their dream home on this property and her dad and sister are there to help this summer.  We’ve seen pictures through text along the way but it didn’t hold a candle to the scenery they get to wake up to every morning.  
Here are a few pictures of their house coming along.  

Guest cabin

Mountain outside their deck

View from their bedroom

Inside look at the loft and the stairs leading up

Kitchen

By the time we left they had installed the deck door here but I forgot a pic!

There’s the deck door.  This is also the camper they are living in while they build. 

Just out their driveway

The next day we all packed up and headed to Stanley, Idaho.  Along the way we made some pit stops to take a look around and see some fabulous scenery of beautiful Idaho.  

There are hot springs EVERYWHERE out west and here’s one of them.
That’s my brother-in-law, David, testing the waters.  

and his lovely white legs

Isn’t my husband adorable? 

I have just about given up on being cute while pregnant.
The scale hasn’t changed a whole lot but boy I feel huge.
And I know it’s only going to get worse!

This overlook was incredible.  

Look at that bump.
Everything is getting larger…ya hear?

Here’s my sis-in-law, Louise, her dad Rich/Dick/Richard/Funny Old Man, and her sweet sweet sister Elaine

Brothers

We stopped at Red Fish Lake on the way.
Beautiful lake and LOTS of kiddos swimming in some super cold water.
They even had a dog beach for Judy and VooDoo!

Judy’s their sweet stinky dog.
She’s a lot like Shiloh. 

Meeting other dogs on the beach. 

Judy and VooDoo

Here’s another hot spring in Stanley, Idaho.
Of course, being pregnant, it was one of the many things I couldn’t enjoy on the trip.
I’m definitely traveling back out west without a fetus so I can horseback ride, maybe whitewater rafting, and enjoy some hot springs. 

Here’s the cabin we stayed at in Idaho and the boys grilling dinner.
We had delicious trout!

This was looking out behind our cabin.
A beautiful cattle ranch on the Salmon River. 

There’s always part of vacations where the husband wants to do something that totally interests him and sounds terribly boring to me.  I love him dearly so I roll my eyes and go with the flow for a bit to see his eyes sparkle and his smile shine. 
This was that part. 
The dredge. 
He can probably tell you way more about it than I can because I had to pee most of the tour and couldn’t pay attention.  I was also terribly bored and wanted to stick a fork in my eye.  

Basically it’s a huge machine that works like a CoinStar except they were looking for gold.
He would kill me for explaining it like that, but that’s how I understood it. 

Looking sexy at the dredge waiting to hear where the bathroom is. 

The rest of these pics were totally my husband.  I have no freakin clue what they are but I know he wants to show his buddies….sooo……scroll down til something sparks your interest. 

Then we stopped at a ghost town, Custer.  
It use to be a hopping little town for those who worked on the dredge and now it’s nothing. 
BUT, you can walk through some of the buildings which is really neat and see what life use to be like.  
Kind of reminds me of Conner Prairie, without the cool people to reenact.  

I wanted to see inside this house until a rodent crawled across the floor, then I was out.  

Children’s graves who had been lost in an avalanche. 

Still taking work calls.
The man never stops. 

Loved looking at these horses outside of the cabin. 

That’s all for now!
After Hailey and Stanley, Idaho we headed up to Idaho Falls and Yellowstone….part 2 later!
Truly Fortunate for a Beautiful Vacation, 

Book Talk: Motherless Mothers

“There is an emptiness inside of me — a void that will never be filled. No one in your life will ever love you as your mother does. There is no love as pure, unconditional and strong as a mother’s love. And I will never be loved that way again.” 
― Hope EdelmanMotherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss

It took me years to complete Motherless Daughters. Years.  It was a tough read and I jumped around and read what I needed. 

 Recently on vacation I finished the book Motherless Mothers which I had started as soon as I found out I was pregnant. At first it was way too tough to read but gradually it got easier. 

The fact is….I’m about to be a motherless mother. Whether I want it to happen or not, it’s happening.  It’s tragic and it majorly sucks but I’m the type who likes to read books to deal with things or learn about things and this book did exactly that.  I’m dealing with this situation better than I was before because I read Hope Edelman’s book. 
i learned that becoming a mother meant mourning all over again.  When I was 17 and lost my mom the furthest thing from my mind was getting married and having children.  The thought hadn’t crossed my mind that I would someday be a motherless mother. I couldn’t mourn that loss because it was too far away.  Now it’s happening. I’m more scared for the time following his birth than now. Now I can maintain my emotions and I’m only taking care of myself. When I have a meltdown or bawl like a baby and want to curl up and die….I can (minus the dying part). After he arrives I can’t just break down I have to take care of him and I’m not just going to be taking care of myself anymore. 
The first person I wanted to share my news with after I told my husband was my mom.  After all this time she is still the one I want to share my news with. Seems crazy. I mean, my goodness, this December it will be 14 years since she has been gone. Yet she’s still the one I want to run and tell everything to. 
I’ve learned that having my first child is, in general, a time of immense uncertainty.  I feel most days like I’m acting more like a child than an adult and regressing just a bit.  Just before our vacation I had an entire day of meltdowns to the point where I curled up and didn’t want to leave the bed. I really didn’t want to go on the vacation or leave town. I’m very glad that I did…but at that point in time I didn’t want to leave my room or my bed. 
Probably one of the hardest things (and always has been) is seeing other women with their mothers.  It’s just a painful reminder. I have an amazing group of women who have been there for me since I lost my own mom.  Unfortunately, it’s just not the same. I don’t want anyone to try and replace her. It’s just not even possible.  I tend to get very angry seeing mothers help friends become mothers. Or hearing about mothers getting ready for their own grandchildren.  I get angry because that will never be a possibility for me. And it sucks. This pregnancy has just magnified an already existing problem of me seeing women with their mothers. I will probably forever be a “wishful thinker” missing her emotional support and even her practical help like babysitting, information, and sharing her own personal pregnancy stories. 
I never got the chance to talk to my mom about her own pregnancy with me. I can’t believe I didn’t ask those questions when she was around. It just never crossed my mind. I hate that. I wish I knew how long she was in labor for with me.  I wish I knew if the birth was fast and easy or painful and slow. There’s just so much I wish I knew. As Edelman puts it, “it’s helpful to have a blueprint for comparison as the trimesters progress.”  I have no blueprint from my own mother. Yup, that sucks too. 
I imagine that my mom would have eagerly anticipated another grand baby and been waiting after each prenatal visit for a text or phone call for me to report an update. Right now my husband is amazing and attends every visit with me and occasionally I send my sister or best friend an update but she isn’t there waiting for an update. It’s rough each time I leave because besides my best friend and sister there’s still something missing. I want to call her. No one can replace that. 
According to the novel, “79% of women admitted to having a gender preference during their pregnancies.” I’m one of those. I will fully admit that although a healthy baby was exactly what I wanted I also wanted pink balloons to fly out of that box. In fact I had convinced myself that it would be a girl simply because I wanted him to be. This book helped explain to me why I wanted it to be a girl so badly. I was longing to replace or relive that mother daughter bond in my life by having my own little girl. This was a major lightbulb moment for me.  It actually made me feel better about wanting a girl so bad and being just a little bit bummed when we found out.  I hope that someday I will get the chance to have my little girl and have that mother daughter bond…there’s really no telling.  I certainly don’t want to be greedy, I just miss that bond and having a relationship where my mom was my best friend is something I truly wish to share with my own daughter some day. 
In just a few months (I can hardly believe it) I’ll be in the labor and delivery room.   I’m scared of this part.  I want to have my husband and my sister there as my support team to ease my fears. I wish my mom could be there, of course, but I know that my husband and sister will tag team and keep me calm and comfortable the best they can. I’m fearful of all sorts of things. Things you probably can’t even imagine or wonder why in the heck I would worry about that. It’s just what I do. Sudden loss does that to people. I know I’ll be sad. I hope it doesn’t consume the day that’s suppose to be so wonderful as our first child enters the world but I’m sure at some point….I will be sad. 
Poetpartum? Yes, I’m worried about that too. I think our timing is great because I will be soaring through the holidays with the new bambino and what is not to love about a new baby and Christmas? But after Christmas I always get the winter blues when the excitement is over and the overload of family time fades. 
I’m worried about colic. I’m worried that breastfeeding won’t be successful. I’m just worried it won’t be picture perfect in our house once we bring him home. I know, deep down, that it won’t be. I also know, deep down, that it’s going to be totally okay if it isn’t. No one is perfect and probably more so than that….no first time parents are perfect either. 
Probably the hardest part to read was about the absent grandmother. This little guy will have a ton of loving and caring women in his life that will treat him so special but that doesn’t replace her.  I plan to talk about Mamaw Debbie and let him know all about her. I want him to know what she looks like and talk to her just like his momma does. I want him to ask all the questions in the world to find out more about her. I don’t want her to absent in any way but her physical presence. I want him to feel her around him all the time and know he has his very own guardian angel. He has a grandmother in heaven and not everyone is “lucky” enough to have their own guardian angel.  
This book was like a knight in shining armor that saved me from my worries. They are all still there but I have coping mechanisms to deal with them and someone (Hope Edelman) who gets it. Someone who gets it and has shared stories from other motherless mothers as well. She wrote several other chapters I read that I haven’t discussed her……. about all the years of being a parent up until sending him off to college and I plan to look back quite often for help and guidance. I’m also super fortunate to have an amazing big sister with advice to get me through. 
Through all this I want to thank YOU, the reader, for just listening to me.  I’m not asking for your sympathy or advice but just thank you for being an “ear” to “listen” as I travel on this path to being a motherless mother. 

It’s a…..BOY!

Wow, baby boy, you sure are loved so much already.  Look at all these people who showed up last night just to see if you were a girl or boy.

You literally had a whole “team” on your side and even those, like your momma, who wore pink wishing for bows and tutus will love you just as much.  They were just trying to support your momma who truly wanted to over rule your poppa and flood him with estrogen.   Maybe next time! 😉

It was so fun having so many of our loved ones around to find out what you would be.  We were hoping to have this little party in our back yard where you will spend time running like a wild man eventually.  However, this summer in Indiana has been nothing but rain and we had another crappy weather day.  I don’t feel nearly as bad for myself and not having our party there as I do all those farmers we love so dearly.

Of course we had a few of our favorite little people who really wanted to help us open the box….Brody and Willow.  You see, they were married the same day we were and thought it was only right.  
At this point I was so nervous about opening this box I truly thought I was going to puke everywhere.  

And then it was time to open!

and OH MY GOODNESS I was definitely shocked when those blue balloons popped out. 
I thought for sure you were a girl!

Check out momma’s face. 
Seriously shocked. 

But so happy!

and I instantly wanted to find that ultrasound pic to see what the tech was so “confident” about!

And then there was the “turtle” they claimed we would see. 
And yup, it looks like a turtle. 

Look at your daddy’s face.  He is so stinkin proud. 
And this one below is where I figure out your cousin, Shailynn, is not so happy about having another boy cousin.  I felt really bad, but there is nothing I could do!

Mommy and Daddy are happy!

 and so are your grandparents! 

Notice how all the grandparents wore blue.  They wanted you pretty badly!
I couldn’t have pulled it all off without a BUNCH of my favorite women and definitely this one, my best friend, for allowing us to backtrack from her clean party barn and make it happen.  She has a little guy too who will probably teach you all the bad things you need to know!

Kynsey’s excited!

The happily married couples!

Here’s a photo of your future wife (inside Melissa’s belly) who should arrive in this great big world about the same time as you.  We’ve already arranged your marriages.  You’re welcome!

Now all I can think about is your nursery and all the little things I want you to have and how I can get ready for your arrival.  20 weeks away!

I can’t stop thinking about watching you and your dad outside in the barn working on things.  I can’t wait to watch him teach you everything he knows….and he knows a LOT about fixing things and building things.  You are truly one lucky little boy to have a dad like him.

I can’t wait to love on you and snuggle you, my very own little boy.  I’m excited to welcome you to this world.

I know that despite the difficulties that come with this last name it’s very important for a family name to be carried on, and you will carry it on well my little man.

There are great big things in this world that are waiting for you and I can’t wait to show you them all.

Love,

Your Truly Fortunate Momma