Reflections on Grandma Leavitt

My grandma passed away in June. This picture of her (taken in March of this year) holding Holden is the last *good* one I have of her. I was able to go back to Mesa in May/June to visit with her again before she passed, but the pictures I took of her then, she wouldn’t want shared.

Grandma loved babies. She had 6 of her own (it blows my mind; I can’t imagine having that many, and I know so many families with even more), 27 grandchildren and 22+ great grandchildren. At the time of her passing, Holden was the youngest great grandbaby and she loved him a lot, though she only actually met him twice. But I talked to her her often on the phone and she always told me how much she loved his name. “Hoooolden,” she’d draw it out. “That sure is a nice name.” 

When he’s older I will tell him all about his Grandma Great who loved his name. 

I’ve lost both of my grandfathers already, but my grandma is the one I’ve been closest to throughout my life—I grew up around the corner from her—and her passing has made me reflect on my life (and my death) in a way I never have before. 

When she was my age she was almost done having kids. When she was my mother’s age she had a gaggle of grandchildren and (in my opinion) was at her peak. Full of life and love, an evening spent at Grandma’s was always pure perfection. We played with cousins—red rover in her huge backyard, or chased chickens or made secret pacts to always be best friends. When we were older we sat around listening to aunts and uncles tell amazing stories of hilarious days gone by. And when it was time to say goodbye, she made sure her guests left filled up, both in heart and in stomach. She loved her family above all else. 

At 80 she died; she was the baby of her family and two of her sisters (her best friends) outlived her. Seriously? All those years together, and then having to part with your baby sister like that? It’s so wrong. Stupid cancer. 

The last time we visited her (before the trip in May/June which was really just to say goodbye and then stay for the funeral), she insisted that Kyle and I drop by her house on our way out of town. She wanted to say goodbye. She had a calendar of tractor pictures that she’d been saving for months to give to Hutch…22 great grandchildren and she remembered that one of them was obsessed with tractors, can you imagine?! Makes me cry just thinking about it. And for the record, he continues to love the calendar to this day. 

When he is older I will tell him all about his Grandma Great, who remembered he loved tractors. 

My crazy amazing family set up a 24-hour vigil so my grandma was never alone in the weeks before she died. I got to be a part of that and snapped this picture during a quiet moment that we had together.

I think she must have felt her life was short, in the scheme of things. She was 80 when she died. I am nearly 30. If I die in 50 more years…that’s really not much time. What do I want to do with it? Why do I waste so much of it? How can I make a difference? What is my purpose…my mission?

I want to answer these questions, and soon. But having children has, for me, made any sort of serious introspection difficult. At the end of the day I basically fall into bed and pray for 4-6 hours of sleep. Keeping my boys alive and relatively happy has been my number one priority for the past three years, and honestly most days that’s about all I can say I accomplished. My house is a mess, I’m super out of shape, my garden is pitiful, etc. etc. with the very long list of failures. 

But at the same time, having children (and watching Grandma die) has kicked my desire to change the world into high gear. I need to leave it a better place than it is right now. For them. So somehow I am going to have to find a suitable way to divide my time between them and…something else. What that something is, I haven’t quite decided. But it has to be soon because there just isn’t that much time anymore. 
Whatever I decide to do, I hope it can honour Grandma. 

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On Holden at 5 Months (though he’s actually 6 months now)


Holden 5 Months

At 5 months he has zero teeth (a fact which brings me great joy, because I am obsessed with his gummy little grin and I know that once he gets teeth he’ll start going through that weird-looking phase that all babies have). He watches us all like a hawk, especially at dinner time, so I’ve let him gnaw on cucumber slices, carrot sticks, strawberries, and the like. He really really likes to nurse (we are nursing exclusively!), and I think once I start giving him food for real he’s going to become a little addict.

Holden, 5 Months

By the time Hutch was this old, he’d spent many many hours alone with his daddy. Holden, on the other hand, has only had a handful of hours away from me, and I’m pretty sure zero one-on-one time with Kyle sans Hutch. It’s harder for Kyle this time because Holden is so attached to nursing. And Hutch’s little toddler needs are so all-encompassing that trying to manage both at one time without built-in soothers is very overwhelming. I don’t really blame him. But I look forward to the time that Holden is a little more independent from me so he can get to know his daddy better. And until then, I’m blooming. Or trying to.

In that way he is very different than Hutch, but in other ways they are a lot alike. Holden is a pretty mellow baby—we’ve been blessed with two blissfully non-colicky infants. He’s usually very happy as long as he’s well fed. He loves watching any action happening around, and complains very loudly when the action (usually Hutch) leaves the room. I have a feeling that once he starts crawling (as of yet he’s rolled over a few times but seems to have forgotten that he ever did it) he’s never going to leave Hutch alone.

And I *hope* that they are good friends and play together well so they can entertain each other and I can once again poop in peace.

Holden Chewing on Toes

People ask me if Holden is teething because he is always in search of something to chew on (including, lately, his big toe). But that’s just how he’s always been. Usually when he’s laying on the change table getting his diaper changed he will reach out with both hands and grab onto my forearm to try to chew on it. Same thing when he’s nursing—he grabs onto anything he can find: my shirt, a thumb, the blanket, the b00b—and holds on as tight as he can. It’s almost like he’s trying to somehow consume more than just milk. Like he wants to consume it all. I hope that means that he’ll set his sights high when he’s all grown up, but now look at me projecting my own adult dreams onto my infant son. It probably just means he likes holding on to things.

He’s a scrappy little baby. Even before he could roll over officially he started rolling from side to side to find me when he woke up in the night. (Oh yeah, we co-sleep. Call the parent police.) He makes sure he gets what he needs, and I think it’s pretty adorable of him, at least for now. I’m sure as a teenager it’s going to drive me kind of crazy.

He’s so soft and squishy. Everybody comments on it, even Hutch. Hutch loves to cuddle up next to him and cries when I have to take him away, to change a poopy diaper for example. Everything about Holden is soft. His back is squishy, his cheeks are squishy, his tiny little thighs are squishy, even his forehead is somehow, impossibly, squishy.

He’s started doing this adorable thing where I pick him up and he buries his face into the nape of my neck and squeals. The noise is muffled because of said burying-face-into-neck, but when I move his head up so he can not be muffled he just pushes it right back down again. I think he just likes the sensation. Try it on someone who won’t call the police—it is strangely satisfying.

He’s our funny little boy—”such a good sweet li’l baby” according to Hutch—and we are madly in love with him.

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Bloom When You Are Planted

Bloom where you are planted, they say.

How about bloom when you are planted.

It’s weird having two kids. And hard. I feel like too many instagrammers make motherhood seem just joyful and blissful and heavenly all the time, and it’s weighing me down. I’m here to say: it’s freaking hard.

I love my boys both so much but most of my days I’m left feeling like I haven’t done enough—haven’t given either child enough of my full attention, haven’t listened to Kyle enough about his day, haven’t cleaned the house enough or called my grandmas enough or worked out enough [at all] or nourished my soul enough, or, or, or…

I know when I am an old lady I’m going to look back on these years and miss them. I know I will. My struggle now is how to hold onto the joyful moments (scarce as they sometimes are) and let go of the overwhelmingly blah ones—or worse, the awful, punch-the-wall-so-you-don’t-punch-your-kid, close-the-bedroom-door-and-weep-for-how-mean-you-just-were-to-someone-you-love, hold-your-face-in-a-pillow-and-scream-until-you-see-spots moments. Those times are the weeds: you’ll never get rid of them completely but you can still grow pretty flowers.

I need to bloom when I am planted.

Here, now, today, this is where I’m planted. This day, this week, this year. This life—it’s hard times, guys. But maybe I can blossom despite it all, if only I can find one thing to love about every day, to habitually go out of my way to stop and think, “Yes. This. This is my purpose for today. This is why I got out of bed.”

Sometimes it might be digging a really massive crusty booger out of my baby’s nose. So satisfying.

Hutch and Holden, May 2016
Holden is 5 months old, Hutch just shy of 3 years.

It’s true what they say about the days being long but the years being short. Although Hutch has gotten so much better with Holden than he was at the beginning, he still has his moments (hundreds of them daily) where I wonder what the hell I am doing wrong to be raising such a terror. Then I remind myself he’s two. He’s two. And this is how it’s going to be for awhile. So bloom when I am planted.

Isn’t it wonderful? So hopeful, so grounding, so immediate: bloom now, it says. Don’t wait. Do not wait around for that perfect night of nine hours’ sleep, or that glorious tantrum-free day that will probably—surely—never come. Those things are pipe dreams. Just bloom now.

Bloom anyway. Bloom, today, despite those fifty extra pounds, those droopy saggy eyes (and other things [so many things are saggy]), that dull lacklustre hair. Find one way to feel a little pretty today, even if it’s just flossing your fuzzy teeth. BLOOM, DAMMIT.

Sometimes my toddler throws me a bone to get me through the day—like in the photo above. I was taking Holden’s monthly progress photo and Hutch started to cry literal tears because he wanted to get in the picture too. And then both boys gave me smiles for days and I have hundreds of photos just like that, because it was so glorious and lasted so long. And sometimes he cuddles up to Holden and nuzzles his little face and says, “Ho’den is my best. friend. ever.”

And then sometimes (all the times) he fights putting on pants like he’s some kind of revolutionary. A pants-free pioneer.

And sometimes he poops everywhere else except the potty.

And sometimes he cries before bed that his tummy hurts just so we’ll bring him a snack and we know he’s stalling. And other times he’ll cry that his tummy hurts and then he actually throws up and I never know what to believe anymore.

But I can bloom today.



Posted in family, hutchface, kid stuffs, Married Life, mediocrity, motherhood, parenthood, self-actualisation | 4 Comments

Ming’s Garden Restaurant Menu | Chinese Food in Coaldale, Alberta

There’s this Chinese restaurant near our house that we patronize from time to time: Ming’s Garden Chinese Restaurant in Coaldale, Alberta. But every time we try to order takeout, we get frustrated because their menu is nowhere to be found online, and we never keep the ones we get with our orders from the previous time. So I’ve decided to post it here and then the next time we want takeout all our problems will be solved. 

Future Camille will thank me. 

(I recommend the deep fried wontons.)

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Nipple Confusion…

…Holden doesn’t have it. 

In fact, he is quite good at identifying the various nipples presented to him on any given day. And shunning all of them but the two attached to me. Half the time he even laughs in the process, because he’s just a little bit sadistic. For a baby.


Yes, it matters. 

When Hutch was born we gave him his soother the first day in the hospital, and he took to it instantly. It was basically pure heaven. 

However, despite the knowledge that he would almost always be immediately calmed by popping one of those little lovelies in his mouth, I never shook the suspicion that it was part of my problem with nursing him. Also, at 2.5 years old, Hutch is still obsessed with his soother and literally—LITERALLY—won’t sleep without one. As in, he never has. Not one nap or nighttime sleep in his entire life. While it’s nice to have that sure-fire way of knocking him out, it’s also awful to be so tied down to it. I can’t count the number of late-night pharmacy runs I’ve made in a panic because Hutch is wailing (or more often, lately, just whining really annoyingly) for his soo soo, with none to be found. 

Also, at his dentist checkup this morning (NO CAVITIES!) we learned his soother obsession has affected his teeth and though the damage will self correct, it only does so if the soother is trashed by age 3. I don’t relish the thought of orthedenture, but even so, this is a fight I’m just not ready to face. 


You don’t see many photos of Hutch without a soother in his mouth. He literally lights up when he finds one, like finding an old friend. It’s both adorable and troubling.
Holden, on the other hand, only takes a soother maybe 25% of the times he’s offered one. And of that, half the time it falls out mid-suck and makes him angry. So if I did the math correctly (never a guarantee mind you), we have about a 12.5% success rate, soother-wise. Definitely not the 100% I’ve come to expect from children within my care. 

However—and here’s some good news—Holden is now officially EBF (exclusively breast fed). This is exciting for me since it’s been my goal for both boys from day one, but never fully achieved with Hutchy. A lot of factors have come into play to make this possible (truly a whole post on its own), but I can’t help wondering if waiting a few days to give Holden a soother might have played a part in our breastfeeding success. 

Who knows, really. 

What I do know is that, as Hutch says, “Ho’den don’t want his soo soo,” and since he pretty much refuses to fall asleep or stay asleep without a nipple in his mouth, my own personal God-made soothers are certainly taking the brunt of his preference. 

Just one of the many joys of motherhood.

Good thing he looks like this or I might never forgive him.
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A Holden is Born

Let me be clear on one crucial point: the first word my sweet baby Holden heard on his earthly existence was shit.

More specifically, SHIT.


He looked so much like Hutch when he was first born we almost couldn’t tell them apart.

Here’s how it went down:

Because Hutch weighed 10 pounds 2 ounces when he was born at 41 weeks, and I had third degree tears from pushing him out (oy vey), my doctor was concerned that another baby that size would do similar damage…and apparently the second time around, third degree tears can be a lot worse in the long term.

Thus, despite all my best efforts (literally, all the efforts) to get this kid out of me, we decided that by 40.5 weeks if he wasn’t born we would induce. I was seriously displeased with this child because I hated being induced with Hutch. But the thought of a lifetime of rectal…issues…was compelling enough to agree to it anyway.

So Saturday, December 5th rolled around, and Kyle and I rolled to the hospital.

Side note: my angel mother had come up to visit us on November 20th, and like a roach motel, we sort of made her check in and refused to let her leave. I kept reassuring her (and everyone) that the baby would be born before his due date (December 1), so she just kept waiting it out. In the end she stayed a total of 3 weeks and her help with Hutch, both before the baby was born when I could barely walk, and after the baby was born (when I could still barely walk but for different reasons), speaks volumes to how much she loves me. And all of us. I seriously could not have made it through November and December without her help here.

We left that morning knowing Hutch was in good and loving hands, which made me feel calmer throughout the whole ordeal.

Anyway, the induction was set for 8. According to the notes I took on my calendar app, the rest of the day proceeded as follows:

8:00 AM: Check in, urine sample, monitor baby’s heart rate (all is fine). Dilated to a 1.5.

9:30 AM: Nothing yet

10:00 AM: Take drug to induce labour; doctor informs us that this drug can be taken once every 4 hours, up to 4 times; if nothing happens after 16 hours (!!!) then we will start oxytocin. Say WHAAAAA?

11:30 AM: Baby’s heart rate drops extremely low. Nurses freak the hell out and call in other nurses and the doctor. *TRIGGER WARNING* I get finger raped as one nurse rams her hand quite far up my hoo-ha trying to stimulate the baby and get his heart rate up. I am sobbing because of 1) the pain, 2) the fear, and 3) the fact that I really really need to pee.

11:45 AM: It is determined that the low heart rate was probably the monitor accidentally picking up my *own* heart rate, and that the baby was probably fine the whole time. I am now allowed to pee.

12:00 PM: I’m allowed to go for a walk for 45 minutes. I do so, and get lunch at the hospital cafeteria, enjoying the best bowl of cream of cauliflower soup I’ve ever tasted. It was so delicious and I’ve actually considered going back more than once in the past few weeks just to get some more of it. Kyle takes the opportunity to go buy me a push present and then comes back and joins me for the last 20 minutes of my walk. We roam the halls looking at pictures of nursing school graduates from the 1900’s and contemplating how weird it will be to have a second child.

12:45 PM: Make it back to the room, nothing changed except I am now dilated to a 2. I’m feeling great, having enjoyed my walk and thinking how lovely the whole morning has been. Kyle and I discuss possible name options and finally settle on Holden…probably. We  laugh and joke and all is right in my world.

1:45 PM: My doctor decides to forgo the 16-hour process and just break my water and give me the oxytocin, because of the scare with the baby’s heart rate. Even though it was probably nothing, she wants to move things along. She says if the baby is at risk then this way, if we have to have an emergency C-section we will know sooner and just get it over with. I cry. And then pray. I really really don’t want to have a C-section.

2:00 PM: Moved from induction room to delivery room, next door to the one where Hutch was born. It’s nice to feel a bit more settled. Kyle is giddy to have a reclining chair again.

2:20 PM: Oxytocin starts.

3:20 PM: Mild contractions begin. Kyle and I hear the horrific moans and groans from a lady giving birth next door. She sounded like a terrible sort of animal. We chortle smugly because when Hutch was born my epidural was so strong I literally could not feel any contractions. I only grunted when I was pushing him out.

At this point my notes disappear, so I’m recalling the (already hazy) rest of the experience to the best of my ability:

4:20 PM: Contractions sort of start to hurt. My doctor recommends I start with morphine for the pain rather than the epidural, because of my “high risk” situation. I ask if morphine will make me feel better and am told “it will take the edge off.” Liking the sound of that, I agree to the morphine.

4:45 PM: Twenty five minutes into the morphine nonsense and I have gotten zero pain relief. I ask my nurses WTF is wrong with the morphine and I’m told morphine actually only helps relax the patient between contractions, and in fact does nothing to dull the pain. I say, and I quote, “I don’t need help relaxing in between. I’m perfectly relaxed. I need pain relief.”

5:00 PM: Contractions have become more and more intense. They feel exactly the same as they did with Hutch (like a terrible need-to-poo stomachache and a horrible UTI need to pee all at the same time). I am now making my own animal noises, moaning really loudly and embarrassingly during each contraction. I try different positions and hate them all. The only thing that helps a little is Kyle pushing on my back, but eventually even that starts to bug me. As soon as they become really horrible I ask to get checked. I am dilated only to a 3, so I officially ask for my epidural. The nurse tells me she will check on it.

5:15 PM: I’m notified the anesthesiologist is in the OR with a C-section patient, and his understudy is eating lunch. Looking really sorry, the nurse tells me it will likely be at least 45 minutes before I can get the juice. I curse the woman getting a C-section even though I feel bad for her. I also curse the understudy for having the gall to take a break, and society at large for ever coming up with the concept of lunch in the first place. Panicking at the thought of no relief any time soon, or possibly ever, I resort to cussing my way through contractions. Loudly.

6:05 PM: True to his word, the anesthesiologist saunters in 45 minutes later. I hate the sight of him. But I also love his guts. But then he starts giving me a damn spiel about the risks of an epidural and I hate him again. But then he gets out his magic needles and I love him again. But then he takes FOR-DAMN-EVER to give me the epidural and I really, truly hate him again. I am fairly certain when I got my first epidural with Hutch it only took like 5 minutes before I felt relief; with this guy I suffer through what feels like 20 contractions (but I believe was 4 or 5) sitting perfectly still leaning against Kyle while that shit-ass anesthesiologist took his f*cking time getting me epiduralled up. I seriously hate him so much. Why is it taking so long? WHY?

6:25 PM: The anesthesiologist says, “Okay, that’s it, the drugs will start kicking in within 10 minutes.” And I say, “These contractions are getting really BAAAAAAAAAAAD!” And my nurse says, “Okay, tell me if you feel pressure in your rectum,” and I say “I FEEL PRESSURE! SHIT! I HAVE TO PUUUUUUUUUUSH!” And the nurse says, “Well let me check to see what you’re dilated to,” and I say, “CHECK ME THEN!” And she checks and quietly pages my doctor and I say, “WHAT AM I DILATED TO? WHAT AM I DILATED TO??” And she won’t answer me and [Kyle says] at this point the anesthesiologist books it the heck out of there. And my nurse still won’t tell me what I am dilated to.

6:26 PM: More contractions that make me say SHIIIIIIIIIIT, WHEN WILL MY EPIDURAL START WORKING? I HAVE TO PUUUUUUUUSH! And my nurse says, “You can push, you can push,” but my doctor isn’t there but a whole crapload of nurses suddenly appear and—

6:27 PM: I start to push. I literally cannot control it, the pushing. And I am not quiet and mellow and serene like I was when I had Hutch. I am ugly and scream-y and moan-y and cuss-y and I feel like it will never, never end and I hate life and the anesthesiologist for taking so long and especially that C-section bitch who stole my drugs from me.

6:28 PM: My doctor runs in and ties up her hair and immediately tells the nurses to turn on the vacuums. I don’t know why I care so much but that really pisses me off, that she doesn’t even stop to check things out without assuming I’d need the vacuums. For some reason I hone in on that one detail and yell, “NO! I DON’T WANT VACUUMS!” (I’m embarrassed now. I was embarrassed while it was happening actually.)

6:29-6:36 PM: I vacillate between yelling SHIT! SHIT! and apologizing to the nurses for yelling SHIT! so much. I also continue to ask when my epidural will kick in. The only thing—literally the only thing—getting me through each contraction is the hope that the epidural will have kicked in by the next one. In retrospect I don’t think anyone ever even had time to push the little button to make the drug drip into the tube. I never did get numb. I was beat when I was born.

6:36 PM: I CAN’T DO THIIIIIIIIIIIIS! I yell, and one of my nurses says, “Yes you can, you have to and as soon as you do it will all be over.” And it strikes me that I really need to make this end as quickly as possible, so I push the hell out of that next contraction.

6:36 PM: All of my hippie childbirthing reading from my first pregnancy rushes back to me when I suddenly feel my body being torn asunder from the worst place imaginable. I know immediately what everyone means by the “ring of fire,” and the minute I realize that’s what it is…it is over. Holden Fairbanks is born.

6:37 PM: HA HA, JUST KIDDING SUCKERS, that was only his head. Still have to push the rest of his squirmy little self out of my crotch. But I do, and this time instead of being whisked away for the NICU nurses to poke and prod at, they slap him right up on my chest, gooey and gunky and everything, two seconds after he’d been inside of me. It is the grossest thing ever but I also don’t care because it is finished. The pain is over. And I love my baby so much, not in that automatic motherly way (though that came very shortly after), but simply because he’d finally—gloriously—put me out of my misery.

When women give birth without an epidural and describe it as “euphoria” afterwards, I never quite understood that. But then I did it (well, annoyingly I *did* have the epidural, but I’m acting like I didn’t because I felt every damn thing [PLUS I suffered the misery of actually getting the epidural, so it was the worst of both worlds]) and I understand. For me, it wasn’t really euphoria in the sense that I was proud of myself or anything. But the idea that it had been so hard—SO HARD—and then it was over, just like that! I couldn’t believe it. I was in this blissful state of shock. I kept saying to Kyle, “Can you believe it’s over? It’s OVER! He’s born! This is so surreal. I can’t believe I’m not pregnant anymore; I’m so happy not to be pregnant anymore!”

I kept apologizing to Holden for scaring him by being so loud when he was being born. I think he’s forgiven me now, but who can be sure. I also ap0logized to the nurses and they laughed, saying I had every right to cuss so much and that it was nothing compared to a lot of ladies. And FYI: I only tore a little bit with Holden, and only had 5 stitches. The recovery has been leaps and BOUNDS better than it was with Hutch.

When Hutch was born he was really fussy for about 30 minutes—he whimpered on my chest for a long time and wouldn’t settle, probably because of the trauma of the NICU situation. But with Holden, after his first couple of cries he just settled right in on my chest and stayed there quietly, and has remained pretty much the same ever since.

He weighed 9 lbs 1 oz and measured 22.5 inches. And we love him to bits.

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On Change, and Autumn

Mornings lately have had an autumnal feel about them. Chilly, crisp, fresh. Fall is near, and I’m reflecting on the events of the past six months.

It’s hard to believe it was only six months ago we got serious about decluttering and listing our house for sale. We rented a storage unit, had a yard sale, hired a professional photographer, and got a realtor. We listed and waited. We had a lot of showings, but it seemed to take forever for anything serious to happen. Finally the house sold, and in somewhat of a daze we proceeded to search for a new house in a nearby bigger city. We found it, bought it, and moved in. And although it is far from my dream home, it’s been a good move for us. Slowly but surely it’s starting to feel a little less foreign. We’ve even had a houseguest and a dinner party here!

Utah back in June, just days before our scheduled move.

Amidst all that, there have been trips. We took a family trip to Utah to see my parents and nephews (mini family reunion). Hutch and I took a spur-of-the-moment trip down to Arizona to visit the rest of the bunch, and then a month later Hutch and I went back to Utah for a book signing and presentation at Sunstone. There have been a couple of quick weekend getaways here and there as well—one to Kyle’s sister’s cabin in Montana, and a couple of quick jaunts up to Calgary just for fun (and for Ikea, which is actually redundant because Ikea = fun).

Plus I’ve had work to keep me busy.

Pancake Breakfast family picture
Hutch threw up the night before a big event I was in charge of at work, so Kyle had to stay home with him the next morning (rather than send a pukey kid to daycare). After a while he seemed to be feeling better so Kyle brought him down to visit at the pancake breakfast I was in charge of. It meant a lot to me that my boys came to support.

Anyway, the point of this recap is to say that this summer has been intense, and adding to that intensity is the fact that I’ve been pregnant since March. It’s kind of funny, maybe a little sad even, that this pregnancy has taken quite the back seat to…well, life…when my pregnancy with Hutch was my life for 10 months. This time, though, I’ve been so busy that I kind of barely even think about it. That’s both good and bad: good because it has been an easy pregnancy and I haven’t needed to think about it much (knock on wood), but bad because I feel like this baby is getting the short end of the stick, life-wise, especially compared to Hutch.

When I was pregnant with Hutch, I knew to the day how many weeks along I was at any given moment (20 weeks, 3 days; 21 weeks, 0 days). This time around I can barely remember what trimester I’m in.

But despite how distracted I’ve been these past few months, the knowledge that life will soon be changing for us is never far from my mind. I can’t decide if having a second baby will be a bigger change or a smaller one than having the first. On the one hand, we’ve already done this once, so it *should* be a little easier the second time around (supposing this baby is as healthy and mellow as Hutch was, knock on wood and pray for me). On the other hand, though, this time we’re not just changing two lives…we’re changing three. And Poor Hutch really has no idea what’s about to happen. We’ve tried to tell him Mommy’s having a baby, that he’s going to be a big brother, but he just doesn’t get it. How could he? He has no frame of reference for what this means.

So with that in mind—with the knowledge that Hutch’s tiny little world will soon be shaken forever—I’ve been trying to make this summer as magical as possible for him. Pretty much anything he wants, he gets (I mean, within reason…but then his wants are pretty reasonable at this point: donuts, ice cream cones, visits to dad at work, tractor rides with Papa, sliding down slides, reading The Cat in the Hat seven times in a row). I don’t have much energy to do any of these things to be honest, but I try to do at least one joyful thing a day with him, so that as he lays down each night he might sort of feel like his life is a little bit awesome.

Yesterday we drove by a parking lot carnival and Hutch saw all the lit-up rides, something he’d never seen or imagined before, and in childhood exuberance and with perfect clarity he squealed, “WHOA! THAT’S A LOTTA TOYS!” After dying laughing, Kyle and I agreed it had to be done.

Anyway I don’t really have a point to all of this except to say that change is in the air. I feel it, and I’m both excited and nervous for how it will all work out in the end. I hope Hutch loves his baby brother. I hope they get along. I hope I don’t zone out with Baby #2 the way I did when Hutch was born—these boys need their mama to be present. I hope we’re all healthy and happy for the rest of our lives. I don’t even care anymore if we ever get rich. I just want everyone I love to live long and fulfilled lives.

Happy autumn, everyone.

Posted in change, family, hutchface, introspection, pregnancy | Comments Off on On Change, and Autumn