Sunday, June 30, 2013


When I was young, my family and my dad's side of the family (2 other families that include 7 cousins and my grandmother) went to a family resort in the woods of rural Missouri off the Meramec River for a week. They have little cottages with screened in porches where families stay, a lodge with a bunch of games, a lot of playgrounds and games and activities, plus family style meals with servers to refill drinks and food. Plus float trips daily and a heated pool. We stopped going for awhile when my siblings and I were too busy playing softball and baseball all summer, but then my parents started taking my youngest brother a few years ago.

It's a bittersweet place for me. We went when I was about 10 weeks pregnant with Olivia and made a reservation the following summer for "2 adults, 1 baby", so sure that it was a sure thing then, already. We didn't go the following summer at all. The next summer, we went with Lucas, who was only about 8 or 9 weeks old at the time, so I pretty much spent most of the time in our cottage breastfeeding or pumping.We went back this year for a full week after skipping it last year. I have a lot of memories there.

Joe was shockingly surprised that a "vacation" with a 2 year old and an 8 month old in a 1 room cottage is not very relaxing. I think it gave him a new appreciation for what my day is like while he's off at work. We were able to divide and conquer a lot, plus my parents and youngest brother and sister were there to help chase Luke around or help with the baby, so it actually was pretty relaxing for me, at least compared to a normal week when I'm on my own. I had to laugh when at one point when we were going to bed, Joe said, "This isn't vacation! This is HELL!" after an especially exhausting morning of chasing Luke all over the place. (While I was in our cottage laying in bed feeding Matthew and reading a trashy book.)

Anyway, it was mostly good. Our cottage was directly across the street from my parents' cottage, and in between us there was a nice climber with a tunnel and and wave slide. Luke woke up every morning saying "pway?" "pway?" (play). And he played his heart out. We spent many many hours sitting there watching him play and playing with him. He also carried his trains everywhere and played with them a lot. And in the lounge, he got several hours of play out of the shuffleboard table (where he unknowingly kicked my butt), and rolling the white cue ball across the pool table into the holes and then running to get the ball back provided another several hours of entertainment though that was a pain because he couldn't be 100% trusted to ROLL the cue ball. He just ran around from one place to the next, one person to the next, over and over and over. He took a good nap every day because he seriously exhausted himself though he stayed up at night later than we would have liked. Having both boys in the cottage was seriously hell on our sleep, if one went to sleep early, the other would be up late, and then the kid who slept early would wake up early and wake up the other kid. There was NO sleeping in. We were lucky when they slept past 6. Waiting for 8 am to roll around so we could go eat breakfast kind of sucked, my kids haven't slept till 8 am, like ever that I can remember.

It is nice to be home again, with internet and tv and comfortable chairs and all of the kids' stuff. Luke is going to have some serious Cobblestone withdrawal I think, though. I need a few days at home doing almost nothing to recover.

Anyway, some pictures:

If you follow the path behind my mom, that's where our cottage was. If you follow the path behind Luke, that's where their cabin was, with this play stuff right in the middle. Perfect for Luke, except he thought he would run back and forth across the path between cabins and pay no attention to running across the road which thankfully was not busy and we could hear cars coming since it was made of rock.

Not too sure about the barrel train ride

Get me out!

Brothers just hanging out at 5 am. It looks like they are asleep, but they were not, and Luke has his arm draped across Matthew's neck.

Of course we can't both look at the camera and smile at the same time!

Loving how much they love each other.
There are a few more on instagram, which I just recently joined and am still trying to figure out.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Our photographer put this collage together for me, and I love it, but I can't help but wonder if Olivia would be looking more like Lucas or more like Matthew. Or I guess since she was first I should say, if Lucas or Matthew look more like her. They all looked alike as newborns, well, as much alike as a 23 weeker can look compared to nearly full term babies, but now Matthew looks more like Joe and Luke looks a lot like my dad and brother. And I can't really or won't let myself really imagine what Olivia would look like now, at almost four. Or what she would have looked like at six months. Or two.

Geez. Almost 4 years. It seems forever ago and yesterday all at once.

The boys are SO ridiculously cute together (when Luke is not kicking or hitting Matthew), it makes my heart feel so full and yet hurt so much all at once without her here to join in the circus.

This weekend we went to Purina Farms since Luke has been asking to see cows nonstop even at the zoo. We ran into a casual friend who has a son in school, then lost her daughter, then has a boy Luke's age and is pregnant again. I hadn't seen her or talked to her since this winter, when she was pretty newly pregnant, and anyway, it turns out she is having her third boy. I can imagine that being me all too well.

I love my boys. I love that they both have a brother to grow up with. I love watching them laugh and play together. I wouldn't change either of them for anything (although if either of them decides to become a decent sleeper that would be great.)

But still, I miss our daughter and less importantly, all the "girl" stuff that we are missing out on now. We have talked about it and tentatively decided we might try this one last time, maybe around next fall when Matthew's around 2. I (Not going to purposely do the 2 under 2 thing again.I strongly do NOT recommend it although it has gotten easier.) I know we won't be guaranteed a daughter, even if it only seems to be fair for everyone to get a baby the same gender of the baby they lost, that isn't how it works. We could just as easily end up raising three boys as we could two boys and a daughter or even just not be able to have more. If this is how it is, we're still very very lucky to have our two healthy and awesome boys. And we would be lucky to have a third boy or second daughter. I have always wanted three living kids, so if Matthew had been a girl, I probably would have still tried to talk Joe into another baby (it would have been a harder sell.)

Anyway, I know this sounds really jerky. But I get really wistful about all the little girl rainbow babies. Not exactly jealous but it's just more in my face, that I hope I get to have a living daughter someday. Even though I hope for it, I am trying to expect and plan on any other baby being a boy (which would certainly save us money on toys and clothes), and it's a lot easier for me to picture being a mom to three boys plus Olivia.

It's hard to even describe my feelings, really. It's not typical "gender disappointment" because we had a daughter we didn't get to raise. But then on the other hand, I know how wonderful boys are, and I can so easily picture a third boy fitting right in our family. But then I am back to, damn. I hope we get to have a daughter someday. But then I am back to KNOWING that a healthy baby is really all that matters and hoping for a certain gender plus a healthy baby is practically downright greedy when I know how common loss is. "You get what you get and you don't have a fit". One more is definitely our limit, especially physically/emotionally, (it will be higher risk again, c-section #4 which starts getting not so nice statistically).

I have joked before that one way to get rid of "THAT question" is to have two close in age. No one has asked me how many kids we have in ages. If anything, I get sympathetic looks and "wow, you have your hands full!" or "god bless you" or stuff like that. Which suits me just fine. But still, I have already been asked, Don't you want a daughter? (UGH. That is a million times worse than how many kids we have since it strikes a chord.) Or if we are going to "try to have a daughter"...So I guess people come up with crappy questions and things to say, albeit well meaning, no matter what.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Pictures, 6 months and 2 years.

Our regular photographer is back from her maternity leave and we did the boys' 6 month and 2 year pictures today (a bit belated). Unfortunately, they were not very cooperative. Matthew cried 99.9% of the time and Lucas would not sit still for ANYTHING. So poor Amanda spent a lot of time chasing Luke (which at least made him smile), while Matthew cried and cried. She came up with MUCH better pictures than I was expecting under the circumstances.

This one makes my uterus hurt in a, "I need to have another baby" kinda way

Here comes trouble!

Amanda thinks the boys look a lot alike, but I really don't think they look much alike at all. (You can see Luke at 6 months on the side of the page, I guess I should update that soon.)

Anyway, way past time for bed!