Disney World!!

4 Mar

Y’all, I just got back from the best vacation I’ve ever had in my whole entire life (including my honeymoon) and I’m high on life and Mickey Premium bars.

 

We took the kids to Disney World. We surprised them by waking them up obscenely early (payback!) and taking them to the airport. We didn’t tell them where we were going until we got to the Orlando airport and there was great rejoicing…

 

 

I could basically go on and on and on and on about the incredible time we had, but I’m going to try to limit myself to a list of my favorite memories of the trip. Here goes!

 


Lil and I snuck away while the others rode Haunted Mansion on our first day, so she could eat some Cheetos and watch the parade. We were too far back for her to see, so I held her up while simultaneously wearing Remy and I’ve never been more uncomfortable, but I’d do it over again in a heartbeat just to see this face again.

 

 


I actually got a lot of one-on-one time with sweet Lily on this trip. She’s such a fierce, determined, sensitive little soul and I feel like I’m getting to know her more and more every day because, let’s face it, we’re so different. So, while the others rode rides and did things that she wasn’t ready for, we got to do a lot of Mama and Lily time. I’ll treasure it always. Her favorite things were Dumbo, It’s a Small World (she laughed about the name of the ride forever…apparently a small world is ironic and comical to her, haha!), and the teacups.

 

 


Vin and Ev got matching Buzz Lightyear hoodies and my heart exploded.

 


Vin spoiled me with so many sweet surprises…most of which were centered around Carl and Ellie from Up. Gosh, I love that man. And Carl and Ellie. But mostly Vin.

 


Maggie rode all the rides she’s tall enough for…so everything but Rockin’ Rollercoaster. She’s just fearless and, while there are a few she said she won’t do again, I’m so proud that she tried everything. Also, she met Kylo Ren and turned down his offer to join the Dark Side ’cause she’s a good egg is why.

 


We took a picture in the exact spot that Vin and I spoke for the first time. It’s right outside the safari at Animal Kingdom and I make everyone take a picture there every time we visit. I love it beyond words.

 


And we basically just had a ball the entire time. We met kind people on the bus and met a ton of fun characters. We ate turkey legs and Mickey rice krispy treats and danced. We played in the sand and went to the resort pool (where Lily inexplicably took off her bathing suit in public and we still don’t really know why, hahaha. Vincent is quick with a towel, though, so he had it covered…literally.) We walked and played and spent so much time just loving on each other.

 

I’m telling you guys, if you want to fall in love with your family all over again, take them to Disney World. My heart is so incredibly full. Siiiigh. Happy, happy sigh.

 


I’ll be doing a follow-up post on how to do Disney with small children, what worked for us, any tricks we discovered, etc. But before I do…do you have any specific Disney questions you’d like answered?? Let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them in an upcoming post!

 

 

 

 

Happy Blog-aversary!!

24 Feb

Guys, on Monday I was alerted by WordPress that..drumroll…I’ve been blogging for 4 years!

 

Holy cow. That’s weird and crazy and maybe a slight overstatement since I’m pretty sure I’ve taken like two years off at various times.

 

But I’ve had a blog for 4 years! So, in honor of this momentous occasion, I’ve compiled a few of my favorite posts from over the years. Take a walk with me down Memory Lane, won’tcha?

 

Baby Rodeo – All the way from 2012, here’s a good ‘un. I still think this should be a thing. Also, I’m open to any other event suggestions!

The Pharmacy – This basically sums up my hometown in a slightly wordy nutshell. Included in that nutshell are a Sheriff Armadillo lamp and some crystal bowls. God bless Texas and small town wedding registries.

Birth Stories – I have had three children since I started this blog. I have had three babies in four years. I am all that is woman, read my birth stories.

Stretch Marks – Cause I love mine.

Charlotte’s Web Party – This is probably one of my most popular posts…mainly because one nice person pinned it to Pinterest. But…the pictures weren’t working for like two years and I felt guilty for leading pinners on fruitless searches, so I fixed it the other night. Also, this was basically the best birthday party I’ve ever done. Love, love, loved it. Charlotte’s Web For-Evah!

 

I could go on and on…it’s been a really fun four years. Thank you, dear readers* who have been around from the beginning. I’m grateful that you’ve hung around and been so encouraging.

I do have some new followers, too, and I’m so happy you’re here!

Now we get to the question…what do you guys want to read about?? I’m taking requests! Hit me with some topics and I’ll get on ’em. It’s the least I can do!

 

Much love!

Mary Susan

 

 

*Any time I hear the phrase “dear reader” I think of this video. It’s completely out of context here, but I literally cackle every time I watch it. There’s language, so don’t watch it around the babes or folks with sensitivities to that sort of thing…or do what you want, it’s a semi-free country.

 

On Bodies

22 Feb

I knew it would happen sooner or later. Kids are curious and vocal, so I can’t say I was super surprised by the question my five-year-old posed to another mom after story time.

 

“Do you have a baby in your belly?”

 

Shit.

 

She clearly didn’t. I mean, she was wearing an empire waist dress, but she was obviously not pregnant. Also, we’ve got a hard and fast rule about saving your questions/comments about other people’s bodies until we’re in a private place.

 

The mom (a new and wonderful friend even after the comment, thank goodness) brushed it off with a self deprecating comment about how her belly was just “big” – she’s got a body I totally envy, by the way – and we got on with our conversation. It really wasn’t a big deal, except it was. It is a big deal.

 

Body image is a huge deal to me, something I desperately want to get right with my kids. I know without a shadow of a doubt that these little souls in my care are completely and utterly beloved by their Creator. I believe that more than I believe almost anything else in the whole world. They are glorious creatures and I will fight to the death for them to know that and hold it as truth deep within themselves.

 

I feel like I’m in a losing fight, though. I mean, I’m just one person and these sweet babies are living in a broken world, a twisted system that has been screaming the opposite from the moment they were born. My five-year-old girl has already been so inundated with labels, and appearance, and the importance of prettiness…it’s second nature to her and to me, too, if I’m honest.

 

I also feel like I’m up against a ticking clock. Right now, these kids take my word for Gospel. But that window is rapidly closing and we all know the day will come when my opinion won’t count half as much as the opinions of their peers. And I get that it’s just the way it goes.

 

I’m also very aware of politeness. I mean, it’s generally pretty rude to make comments about people’s appearance. And the Southerner in me is horrified by the thought of having impolite children.

 

But, after the episode at the library, I couldn’t bring myself to chastise my daughter because I really didn’t feel that she’d done anything wrong. I refuse to squelch her curiosity and I felt like the whole thing was more of an issue of tact than anything else. Honestly, I had no idea how to broach the subject with her.

 

Because the whole damn thing is a catch 22, isn’t it? At our house we believe that all humans deserve dignity and respect because they are creations of God. We believe that all bodies are worthy of respect…big, fat, tall, skinny, whatever. Those are descriptors. All bodies are valuable and, because of that value, they are beautiful. But we also believe that words have power. So, even though I know the word “fat” is just a descriptor, and even though I know that  am fat and most days I’m okay with that because the word “fat” in no way negates my value as a human, I also know we’re functioning in a broken system. I can’t very well teach my kids that words like “fat” are just descriptors and send them out to the playground. The first time they describe someone as “fat,” they’ll be accused of being mean and that’ll leave them so confused and hurt.

 

So what do I do? How do I teach my daughter to love her body and to recognize all bodies as valuable and worthy of love in a world that won’t play ball?

 

I stewed over this for weeks and finally called my best friend who gave me some good advice, ’cause that’s what brilliant best friends do. Acknowledging the weird double-standard of the situation, we agreed that my aforementioned rule of “don’t talk about people’s bodies until we’re in a private place,” should stand. And then she suggested that I give the kids some options. And it’s brilliant. In my experience, children respond better to alternatives than to just being told to say or do nothing. Teaching kids methods of self soothing as an alternative to violent outbursts is far more successful than just telling them not to get mad, for example. Also, I don’t like the idea of children internalizing things and not being allowed to ask questions. We need more question askers in my opinion.

 

So, instead of saying, “Is there a baby in your belly?” my daughter can say, “I love the happy colors in your dress,” and then feel free to ask me about the baby thing when we’re one-on-one.When I discussed it later with the kids, it went a little something like this,

We know that it doesn’t matter what you look like, a person’s heart is what makes them beautiful. But not everybody knows that. Sometimes people believe that you have to look a certain way to be beautiful or people sometimes think that there’s something wrong with their bodies. And it seems kind of silly to us because we know that that’s not true, but those people are confused and it makes them sad to talk about their bodies. We always want people to feel loved when they’re with us, so we don’t talk about things that might make them sad or hurt their feelings.  If you have a question about someone’s body or how they look, that’s totally fine, but wait until we’re alone and then you can ask me about it without being rude.

 

And then I gave them some options of what to say instead.

“I love the way your eyes look when you smile.”

“I like your purple shirt; that’s one of my favorite colors!”

“You look really strong/happy/joyful/healthy today.

“I really like playing with you; you’ve got great dance moves.”

I also think it’s important to consider how to compliment and comment on the person rather than just their appearance.There was a fantastic article by Sarah Powers in the Washington Post on how to compliment little girls that addresses this really, really well. Haley over at Carrots for Michaelmas also has a good post on how to nurture a positive self-image in our girls.

While I certainly haven’t solved the world’s body image issues here, I think I’ve found a solution that will work for our family. We’ve practiced what we might say in certain social situations, but I’m not naive enough to believe that there won’t be more awkward gaffes in our future. And that’s cool because that’s how we learn. Ultimately I just want to raise some decent humans who make other humans feel decent, too.

What are your thoughts on teaching young kids about body image and respecting others? How would you have handled the situation? Lemme know!

xoxo,

Mary Susan

Things They Don’t Tell You

18 Feb

The other day, my dear friend Amy and her family were over for dinner. They’ve got three kids who fit right in between the ages of ours and our oldest girls are besties. We love getting together because we can just manhandle the craziness and the more the merrier and everybody loves chaos and sometimes we drink. Also, my sister-in-law happened to be over that night as well.

 

So, house full of people is what I’m saying.

 

Y’all, it was so fun. Because I’m a secret communist or because I’m dedicated to dorm life or something, we’ve got all the kids’ beds in one room leaving the extra bedroom as a dressing/play room and it. is. awesome. All the kids played semi-nicely upstairs. The grown-ups had real conversations and we ate pizza and it was great.

 

Until we heard a little voice yell, “Jovi just threw up!”

 

And, sure enough, she did. Poor kid stood right at the top of the stairs and just yakked straight down ’em. To say it was epic would not do it justice. It was a masterpiece.

 

And as Amy and I were cleaning vomit off of every stair in my house, she looked at me and said, “You know, you think you’re going to have this little baby and it’ll be so snuggly and sweet… But nobody tells you that your baby is going to turn five and throw up down the stairs at your friend’s house.”

 

And we both laughed like maniacs because it’s totally true. And also, when you’re cleaning puke, you might as well laugh ’cause what choice do you have?

 

The good news is, my stairs got cleaned for the first time since I’ve lived in this house. So, that’s a thing.

 


 

And I’ve been thinking a lot about the things they don’t tell you…

 

Like, nobody tells you about how little boys grab their junk from day one. That happens, guys, it’s weird.

 

And nobody tells you that someday you’ll be struggling to teach your daughter how to squat and pee because the dang bathroom at the park is locked. And wow, is it hard to teach someone how to squat to pee. It does not come naturally, unlike junk grabbing, apparently.

 

When they hand you your darling baby boy and tell you to take him home from the hospital, nobody tells you that someday (presumably after you’ve boasted to the internet that he’s knocking potty training out of the park) he’ll alert you to the fact that he’s pooped his pants…right as you’re changing the baby’s diaper. You won’t think this is that big of a deal until you see said poop running down his leg and onto your couch (damn you to hell, Burger King nuggets). They don’t tell you that this will happen when you have a friend over.

 

But here’s the thing. When they hand you that baby and they tell you he’s yours, they also don’t tell you that you’re in the club now. You’re part of the larger fraternity of parenthood and we are tight-knit bunch. They don’t tell you that, if you play your cards right, you’ll be able to seek out some like-minded compatriots who will be there for all the other stuff they don’t tell you about.

 

So, sure. They don’t tell you that your kid is going to puke in public or poop on the couch when you have company…but they also don’t tell you that you’ll have somebody to commiserate. If you’re lucky, you’ll have someone right there with you, elbow deep in vomit. You’ll have a buddy who brings you coffee and then cleans poop off of your couch unasked while you scrub your kid upstairs. You’ll have someone you can text at 3 am to ask how to get horrifying stains out of microfiber or to message about how comfort nursing is making your skin crawl. They don’t tell you you’ll have brothers in arms, but you will. You totally will.

 

Which is good, because they also don’t tell you that while you let the Mad Pooper soak in the tub so you can run to check on the couch, he’ll poop in there, too. When you discover that monstrosity, the little guy will say, “Look, Mama! I made you coffee!”

Potty TRAINing

3 Feb

Allow me to set the scene:

Interior – Day – Chez Delagrange – Everett sits enthroned upon his Thomas Potty. (See Fig. 1)

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Fig. 1 – The Thomas Potty exactly as seen in Chez Delagrange…only my floor’s not that clean. Obvs.

 

The potty plays the melodic notes of the Thomas theme song and ends with the tell-tale “chugga-choo-shhhh” sound that can only mean one thing – The “train” has left the “station.”

All around the boy there is great rejoicing…much like this:

 

We’re potty TRAINing, y’all. (See what I did there? I had to or my dad would have and then he’d think he was real clever and we can’t have that.)

 

A few words on the Thomas Potty…Ev got it as a Christmas gift and was genuinely so pumped about it that he couldn’t even handle it. This thing has magical sensors in it so when a liquid (or presumably a solid) hits it, it plays music and makes train sounds. If that doesn’t pump your pistons, I don’t know what will.

 

The only down side I can see to the Thomas Potty is that your average two-year-old can easily figure out how to take it apart and make it sing without peeing in it. You can say a lot of things about a two-year-old, but if you need a button to be pushed (literal or figurative) they’re pretty much your best bet. Unfortunately, the button on the Thomas Potty is on the bottom, which requires said two-year-old to turn it completely upside down, something that I sort of expect to backfire on my aaaaaaaannny minute now…

 

And, because motherhood is basically an eternal experiment in “Things I Never Thought I’d Say,” or because I know you’ve just been wishing that you could experience this craziness firsthand, but haven’t called because you’re not sure if you really want to experience this crazy firsthand, here are a few of the phrases I’ve been recently repeating over and over…and over.

  • “Do NOT put your broccoli on your potty!”
  • “Dude, if you keep moving your potty around you’re going to forget where you put it and nobody needs that!”
  • “Guys, mind your own business! You really don’t need to see his pee.”
  • “I know you’re trying to help, but let’s just let Mommy be the one to empty the potty.”
  • “Drop. The. Potty. I said put it down!!”

 

Also, people have already asked about how we potty train and how the boy vs girl thing is going, here’s my two cents on that:

I am a hard and fast and firm believer that this is not a race. I do not know any 30 year olds who wear diapers to work. If your kid is toilet trained at 16 months old, cool! If your kid is toilet trained at 4, sweet! It will happen when your child is ready. I repeat: this. is. not. a. race. Follow your kid’s lead and you’ll be golden…probably literally.

Also, my friend Alisha just told me that her dentist’s wife potty trained their 9 month old. And we both basically said a big hell naw to that. I mean, if that’s your jam, it’s cool I guess. But I’m lazy and diapering a baby or even a toddler is a lot less work, at least for a while. You can slap a diaper on a kid or at least have stuff contained, right? Few things will prepare you for venturing out in the world with a newly toilet trained kid. You’re on their terms now and heaven help you if you dare to call their bluff or wait a moment too long. All I’m saying is, once you potty train, you’re signing up for the “Tour of Every Bathroom in America” whether you’ve got places to be or not. So, take your time. It’s not a race.

 

I am also a hard and fast believer in the “Naked Weekend” brand of potty training. I’m also realistic and know that it takes longer than a weekend. Regardless, I’ve had the most success with hunkering down for as long as possible with a pantless kid and a potty you can move from room to room with you. Also, you have to do a potty dance that is so explosively celebratory you can’t even handle your own face. That’s part of the fun. For more information on this brand ‘o training, check out Kendra’s post on it over at Catholic All Year. (I have an unprofessed blog crush on Kendra…her family just bought a 10 bedroom mansion built in the 20’s and they’re remodeling it and I’m obsessed and creepy and not sorry.)

 

As for the boy vs girl thing…it’s totally not a thing. I’ll admit, I was initially intimidated by potty training a boy, probably because of some societal tendency to deify the penis or just the fact that I don’t have one, so I’m sorta clueless. Here’s the deal: he’s got a while to figure it all out. The main goal here is to get the waste into the proper receptacle. Everything after that will come with time. So the thing’s not a thing. I’m potty training him just like the girls and he’s knocking it out of the park.

 

He’s knocking it out of the park so much, in fact, that I basically never have to remind him to pee. Like last night he was (ill-advisedly) naked and on the loose downstairs while I got the girls out of the tub. He ran back upstairs yelling, “Mama, I peeeeeeeeeeed!!!” at which point I panicked. I asked where he went to the bathroom and the only response I got was, “Don’t worry about it, Mama. I show you.”  Umm…doesn’t really inspire much confidence. So I followed him downstairs and he lead me to the Thomas Potty and yelled, “Aaaaa-priiiise!! In the potty!! Ta da!!!” And sure enough, in the potty it was. Praise God from whom all blessings flow…and I do mean all blessings.

 

And Scene.

 

 

Monday Hunger Games

25 Jan

I guess you could say I’m using my college degree. I mean, the two year old is currently playing with my diploma, so…

 

I really should get that thing framed, but he screams at me every time I try to take it away and mama don’t have time for that. Not before coffee. My friend, Katy, says that our lives as stay at home moms are basically a never ending version of The Hunger Games. Only we didn’t know what it really meant to volunteer as tribute and our braids are not as cool.

 

Ev’s wearing cowboy boots and pajamas. He’s also been the source of almost everyone’s tears this morning. Maybe that’s not really fair…I mean, in his defense, the girls are operating in full out Charlie Brown mope mode today. As in, “I made Daddy this neckalace and he isn’t heah, and I can’t do annnnyfing, nuuffing, I caaaaaann’tuuuuhhh!” And then they mope out of the room like this:

 

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Never mind that the man’s been at work since, like 6 am. And they saw him leave because they wake up before dawn like devil children.

 

Fights and Meltdowns I’ve already refereed today:

  • “I just want to cook the food, but you’re NOT. LETTING. ME.”
  • “It’s NOT apple sauce! It’s PEACH apple sauce!!”
  • Everett called Lily a bully. She then “rawr-ed” at him, thus, “She woared at’a me and make’a me saaaaaaaaaadddddd…”
  • Me: You may not have pretzels until you’ve finished your breakfast.

Ev: That’s cooooffffeeeee.

Me: ??

Ev: That’s coffee on’a my bananaaaaaaaaa.

It wasn’t.

 

So, for those of you in the arena with me, I salute you. I’m gonna go wrestle my wallet out of some two year old claws and pray my debit card isn’t lost.

 

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Blogging! A birth story!! Huzzah!

21 Jan

Y’all. It has literally been a kazillion years since I actually sat down and took some time to write.

 

I’ve missed you. Seriously. I kind of feel like that Taylor Swift song where she goes back to December and regrets leaving and turning her man down, but with a blog. Stay with me, I’m rusty.

 

Anyway, here’s Remy’s birth story because I wrote it down like six months ago when he was actually born and never published it because I’m a whacko. This is the fog that is my sad brain.

 

I never really know how to start these, but I guess I’ll start two days before the little guy was born and I was randomly contracting, on and off and off and on again for-ev-errrr. Every time I was convinced that I was truly in labor, things would peter out and I’d get all discouraged. Usually I am a total champ the entire way through pregnancy, but this one was just a lot harder for some reason. Suffice it to say, the closer I got to our due date (the 27th), the more I was feeling it. I was just so huge, and so tired. Also, everyone in the family (except me) was just getting over a horrible stomach bug…because if there’s a stomach bug within the tri-state area my family will get it. And as my wise friend, Katy, says, we’ll probably get it twice. She knows us.

 

So, the day before Remy was born I had an appointment with my midwife, Genny. I think I was at 2 cm, not great but not completely horrible, I guess. She “stretched me out a little” (sidenote: why do all things obstetrics have to sound so horrifying?) and sent me on my way. We were both hoping to get things started because we really wanted to have a water birth this time and the hospital doesn’t allow water births if they think your baby will be over 9 pounds…and guess who always has “gigantic” babies? (I need you all to know that I just jumped on my mental soapbox about how my body grows babies that are the right damn size for it thankyouverymuch, so don’t even talk to me about “big” babies…but then I realized that don’t nobody want to hear that soapbox, and down I hopped. And I curtsyed in front of my mental soapbox because in my mind I curtsy and it’s cute, the end.)

 

So, I left and felt completely overcome by anxiety. Everything in me was stressed and wigging out and wishing, wishing, wishing that this baby would be born that night. But he wasn’t. Not even close. So I just had to get it into my mind that I had to surrender to the fact that I couldn’t be in control (and if any of you want to know the secret to natural childbirth, that’s it. Just surrender and let it be. [Easier said than done, obvs. Brackets!]) I gave myself a little pep talk and resigned myself to the fact that I never have babies early and that I might as well enjoy the time we had before Remy got here and just not stress over things we can’t change. Babies come when they’re ready.

 

And I totally bought my own speech! I woke up the next morning feeling nary a contraction but very much better emotionally and spiritually. I really thought that it might actually happen that day, but I definitely didn’t let that thought stress me out. Vin had the day off, so we took the kids to the zoo so I could walk around and they could blow off some steam. It was just a gorgeous day. We saw all of our favorite animals, fed the giraffes some lettuce, Ev inexplicably freaked out in the elephant house, it was wonderful. And I didn’t have a single contraction the whole time. We all got home and took naps before Maggie’s last t-ball game of the season and I started feeling crampy on the walk to the field.

 

About halfway through her game I started having definite contractions. My dear, dear friend Amy was there and I told her I thought this was the night and we squealed and got super-excited and it was lovely because Amy is lovely and wonderful and good. I love Amy…but I digress. After the game, we headed home and Vin ordered pizza just to tide the troops over and so I could have something to look forward to throwing up later. (I’m sure you recall the Ole Burger Incident of ’12 or the Salisbury Steak of ’13…no? Just me and the hospital staff, huh?)

 

So, an hour or so later, we decided it was probably a good time to call in reinforcements. Vin’s parents headed our way and I let my friend, Lauren, know that we were heading to the hospital since she was going to be at the birth, too. We got to the hospital around 10 or 10:30 and did all of the miserable triage junk…may I just say I hate answering questions when I’m in labor? I also hate the stress that comes before that very first check when you’re secretly afraid that you’re not dilated past a 2 and they’ll send you home and you’ll have to be like, “Oh sorry…I’ve only done this, like, three times before, so…yeah.” Shudder. But I was a 4 or 5, so I got to stay and they moved the birthing tub into my room and I got super excited about the fact that I was really going to get to have a water birth this time!!!

 

Until…

 

The house doctor confirmed that my last baby was almost a 10 pounder. She got that shady look in her eyes that means hopes are about to get crushed and said she was going to call the OB that Genny practices with just to get his opinion. That guy is seriously a fun sucker, so I knew right then that there was no way they’d let me do it. I was, however, promised that I could labor in the tub, which I figured was the next best thing and in the meantime, I negotiated for no effing monitors once I was in the room. Boom.

 

Once Genny got to the hospital, she checked me and I was already at an 8, so we agreed that it probably wasn’t a great idea to get me into the tub because I’d never get back out in time. Le sigh. But at that point, I had been yacking my lungs out (oh, haaaay there, pizza!) and didn’t really care. I will say that my guilt complex was still quite strong because I felt (and still feel) horrible that they filled that entire damn tub up with water only to immediately drain it again. I’m pretty sure I apologized to the state of California while in labor. And I’ll say it again, sorry I wasted all that water, California. I am so. sorry.

 

At some point Lauren showed up and she was gorgeous and soothing and jumped right in with Vinnie. That man was on point with this labor, y’all. He was so calm and in control. Lauren was a seamless addition, despite the fact that she had never been to a birth before. They kept me happy with cool cloths for my eyes and Lauren fanned me with one of those cervix dilation charts (cause we’re classy is why) and they caught my vomit and were all around the most fantastic team ever of all time. Seriously, you should hire them!

 

Around midnight I started feeling really pushy. I can honestly say, this is the first time in labor that I’ve really felt like it was all my show. I don’t know if this makes sense, but usually I feel like I almost have to wait for permission to start pushing, like I want validation that it’s okay maybe? (And herein lies the metaphor for my entire life…so many asides in this post, geez!) Regardless, this time was different.

 

A lot of women say that they can feel their baby moving down. Usually I just feel a lot of pain…it’s like Madeleine Khan in Clue or something. But this time, I could really feel Remy making progress down the birth canal. I had just been checked and was almost complete, had thrown up yet again, and then really felt like I needed to push. I knew that the baby was low and I just kept saying, “I need to push!” Genny came in, told me to go ahead and push, and started suiting up. I think they thought there would be a bit more pushing because Genny was still getting her apron thingy tied, the bed hadn’t been transformed into a space station yet, and everyone just seemed generally a bit laissez faire about the whole thing.

 

Vinnie, on the other hand, stepped it up. He must have somehow known that it was really, really, really  go time because that man was on point. He went into full commander mode and told Lauren to grab my leg while he grabbed the other. I gave a push and that baby’s glorious head was born!! I was shocked that it was that fast; I believe my exact quote was, “Is that a head??!” because that’s what smart people say. Anyway, another little push and we had a baby! It all happened so fast that Genny raced to catch him in time and we were all in shock. Also, I went all evangelical and I’m pretty sure I kept repeating, “Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus!! Praise God!!!” over and over again in a very Southern way. You are welcome, little Northern nurses.

 

We kept Remy’s gender a surprise this time, so I was super anxious to know if I was getting the boy I desperately wanted. Vinnie got to be the one to tell me that it was indeed a boy, which was just magical. Honestly, it wasn’t that surprising because Vin had dreamed that it was another boy. That guy is 4 for 4 on gender predicting dreams. 4 for 4. 100%. Take him to Vegas, somebody, because that man is a winner!

 

Anyway, we had sweet Remy Vincent in our arms at 12:14 am, 8 lbs 10 oz and 21 inches long. The entire time we were in the hospital people kept saying he was such a big baby, which cracked us up because Everett was over a pound heavier. Remy nursed right away and snuggled and peed on me and he was just perfect from the start. That boy had/has so much dark hair, which is amazing since we’re so used to bald babies around here. He looked like a perfectly grouchy old gentleman, as all newborn babies should.

 

remy

 

After he was born, Lauren headed home and Vin promptly got a resurgence of the stomach flu. Because why not?? Poor guy. He was miserable. And we ended up being dropped off at the hospital, so he couldn’t even go home and had to “sleep” on the world’s most pathetic cot. It was the worst, even for hospital cot standards. But he was a trooper and got me a glorious bagel with cream cheese and I love him forever and for always, duh.

 

And honestly, life’s been kind of a whirlwind since then. The kids fell in love immediately. Lily immediately forgave Remy for not being a girl and she is seriously his number one fan. Gosh, she loves that kid. Ev had one rough night and then decided it was whatever. Maggie is genuinely my right hand man and I really couldn’t get by without her.

 

So, almost six months later, Remy’s teething and here we are. Here you are. Happy to see you again, friend. I missed ya.

xoxo,

Mary Susan

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