We didn’t originally buy this little vacuum for him. But then it came in, and he was a toddler, and it was perfectly sized for him. So he claimed it, and my floors rejoiced.
I looked down in May and looked up on August 31st, and it’s like summer never happened. Life has been BANANAS, and it was all I could do to remember Lowell’s birthday on July 30th.
I honestly, seriously, really almost forgot, but I managed to pull off a last-minute “construction” party for him, one friend that I invited a few days before, and our family. I keep meaning to share it! Not because it’s super fancy, Pinterest clever, but because I got most of the stuff from Amazon, and maybe it will inspire some of you who also have construction equipment lovers in your life.
July 30th is a pretty undesirable day to have a baby in Texas. Breastfeeding a newborn in 100+ temps is not an enjoyable experience, nor is walking around in an adult diaper with an icepack between your legs.
But, having a baby turn 3 on July 30th isn’t so bad.
Long summer days and a late golden hour make for special pictures of a little boy doing what he does best- digging in the dirt. In his jammies. (Which were thrown in the wash after he got his 2nd bath of the day.)
This has been the scene here every night this summer.
You know when you tell your kids, “Oh, maybe you can ask for that for your birthday,” to get them to leave you alone about wanting that expensive toy? And then they end up forgetting about it? No, that is not Lowell. Lowell has remembered for months that this one time before school let out we told him he could get a remote control excavator for his birthday. He reminded us every single day.
Every. Single. Day.
And so it came to pass that Lowell became the proud owner of a remote control excavator on July 30th, 2016.
He also helped us welcome Rosie to our family. July 30th, 2016 was a pretty OK day.
More on Rosie tomorrow.
I’d say this would maybe not qualify as a cake wreck. Sorry to disappoint?
Oh sure, it took me 6 hours to craft this beast that I wouldn’t pay money for, but it remotely resembled the idea I based it on- a choo choo- truck- dirt cake.
It was 3 layers, one big 3″ deep by 10″ diameter yellow cake on bottom, topped with 2 2×4″ round chocolate cakes. I did that thing where I added an extra egg to each box of cake mix (2 boxes for the bottom layer, 1 box for the top 2) and substituted milk for the water. So profesh.
The wooden circle of tracks fit perfectly around the edge.
The green icing was cream cheese buttercream dyed green, and applied with my super skillful slap and blob technique. I added some stippling with a silicone brush for a grass/how cute, she tried effect.
The chocolate frosting was canned frosting with a cup of powdered sugar mixed in. I don’t know why. Someone on Instagram said to do this. They seemed to know about frosting.
This was also applied with the slap and blob technique, then covered with the crushed remains of the 6 Oreos that were left in the full package I bought the night before. Because we don’t have a pantry lock. Luckily I had just enough “dirt” to fill Chuck the Truck (which I rescued from the playroom and gave a good wipe down) and sprinkle some around the edge of the cake.
The birthday boy was quite impressed.
I mean, he could actually make muddy tire tracks ON THE TABLE and then lick them.
The party continued on our driveway…
He got to gas up the rides. (We have gone bananas with the ride-ons since moving here because our driveway is glorious. Long, level concrete slabs really get you excited when you have kids.)
And he got some pink num, y’all!!
He had his first beer.
*Obviously, I’m kidding. If you’re new here, know I’m kidding.
And then he finished the day off eating leftover frosting.
And there was a lot.
Double batch, for the win.
So here’s to another year with LoLo, our little fearless comedian with the world’s cutest belly button. (Oh yeah, it’s totally still a swirl.)
Lowell turns 2 tomorrow.
If that surprises you, know that it surprises me more. So much so that I…. didn’t even see it coming?
Like, 3 days ago, I realized it was this week.
There will be no party, just a small dinner with our family and another family, who happens to have a little boy Lowell’s age. They’ve known each other since they were born. They are tiny besties.
So we shall call it an “intimate affair” and we will have pizza, and beer, and sippy cups of juice, and I think I will make a cake.
Maybe there will be balloons. Just depends on how long it takes me to make the cake tomorrow.
2 is a weird birthday, anyway. 1st birthday parties are for the grownups in this family. They are the WE SURVIVED celebrations. I go all out for them. By the time they turn 3, they have friends they can name off.
2? I mean, I don’t think they really recognize that they aren’t the only toddler on the planet. Except for tiny besties, and only because their moms get together for coffee or wine playdates often.
All that is to say that tomorrow this guy turns 2, and I nearly almost let it slip past.
But there will be a celebration. And there will be cake. And it may involve choo choos and a tractor and some Oreo cookie dirt. It may very well look hilariously horrific. So Friday’s post might be my contribution to Cake Wrecks.
I’m really glad we put a little effort into our bedroom before Lowell got here because it’s basically our own 2 man (or one mommy, one baby) cave. We spend a lot of time on that bed.
Though sometimes we have visitors.
Yes, 4 weeks and one day into this (you did not misread that nor did I mistype- FOUR WEEKS), and I’m still hardly able to get it together enough to get out of my jammies for the day or move past a sloppy ponytail.
We are so, so, so fortunate that Scott just went back to work, and that he works from home quite often. It’s been much easier on all of us as we try to transition into a functioning routine again- one that now involves mandatory punctuality when it comes to getting Kendall to kindergarten. I am not exaggerating when I say I am scared of how much I will fail at that part when I’m on my own.
I’ve done a pretty good job of fighting off the urges to jump back into life and laundry and menu plans and to-do lists. It’s not hard when you get to lay on your bed and look at this all day.
I love to count the rolls starting to form on his chubby arms and legs. I love marveling at his cheeks as they fill out.
Can’t we just hang here until he’s old enough to run away from me?
Real clothes are overrated anyway.
I’d been pregnant for about… 7ish years. In my head. Technically, I was 40 weeks, 5 days, but in my head? A full seven years.
My body was revolting against me. I had a testicle/cyst growing larger each day (oh, you really should read all about that), and at my 40 week + 4 day appointment, my midwife had to utter the word “induction” to prepare me for the possibility that it might be the only way to stop me from being pregnant for ETERNITY.
(Please do stop yourself if you’re about to comment about how nobody is pregnant forever, babies pick their birth dates, blah blah. Rational arguments were lost on me at that time. That’s what I’m saying.)
The next morning, July 30th at 7:30am, I woke up to a small gush of something down there. My first thought as I shook off the fog in my brain was, “Oh, hell yes. Please let this be it.” Followed very quickly by the following train of thought:
“Oh. Shit. Get off the bed, get off the bed, VERY CAREFULLY GET OFF THE BED. Back your ass out of this thing. Scoot backwards. Don’t roll over. Oh, holy crap. Please don’t be my water breaking, please don’t be my water breaking.”
See, we recently purchased the bed of my dreams. A very expensive bed of my dreams. One made of foam that I imagine is pretty absorbent. One that we did not have any sort of plastic barrier on because my water NEVER breaks on it’s own.
And that’s a good thing, my midwife told me the day before, because I had SO MUCH amniotic fluid this time and the baby was floating so high up in it that IF my water did break, we might have a serious situation on our hands. A situation that would definitely require an immediate drive to the hospital, and possibly an ambulance ride if I felt “anything slipping out down there, like an umbilical cord… or an arm.”
After getting to the bathroom without dropping a water balloon out of my vagina on the way there (or an arm), I determined it was probably my mucus plug I felt, not my water. PHEW. And EW. There was spotting, and then a contraction.
The contraction was nothing to get excited about. I’d been having them for about 6 weeks. But the other signs were making me a little giddy. Scott was working from home that day, so I told him he might need to let his boss know he needed the day off (and the next month- three cheers for a month of vacation days saved up!). After about an hour, I called my midwife’s office. Contractions were pretty irregular and not painful at all. Sometimes I’d go 15 minutes without one. I didn’t expect things to happen anytime soon, but the office wanted me to head to the hospital anyway.
We live 45 minutes from it, and I knew that I was capable of going from 0-60 very fast, based on my 1.5-2 hour labor with Leyna. So we calmly packed up the car and left about an hour and a half after that. Then we stopped to get something to eat. It was all very casual. I’m sure the good people at Panera had no idea I would walk out with a bagel and cream cheese, then push a baby out by the end of the day.
Last bump selfie, just before heading to the hospital. Who’s happy to get this baby out? THIS GIRL.
The contractions were such a joke that by the time we got to the hospital, I was expecting them to just send me home. Nope. I was at a 4/5. (I was barely a 2 the day before.) Problem was the baby was still very high, not at all engaged. I was admitted anyway because everyone was confident I was in active labor, but I was preparing for a long day and night. Scott and I took off for a walk, which seemed to make the contractions stop. When we got back, I was monitored for a bit, then I opted to take a little nap. I was suddenly very tired.
The whole time I rested, I didn’t feel a single contraction. Not for the entire 40 minutes. But my anxiety started to ramp up as I started to feel really hot, and like I couldn’t breathe. I was dizzy. It made me freak out. OMG, did I have a blood clot? WAS I GOING TO DIE? Maybe my testicle-cyst was trying to kill me!
Seriously, the anxiety was a bitch. I begged Scott to get the nurse. I explained to her that I was afraid something was very wrong with me. She asked if I’d felt any contractions. In my head, I was all:
“Contractions? Let’s forget about the labor thing for a minute and focus on how I’m ABOUT TO DIE because CLEARLY something is not right.”
But she insisted on checking me. Hilarity! I hadn’t had contractions in more than an hour.
I was at a 6, almost 7. Baby was definitely engaged, much lower, I was 60% effaced. So a good portion of this labor progressed with the help of a panic attack instead of contractions. Lucky me?
Mostly confident that I was actually NOT dying (at that point), I decided to get in the labor tub. I was suddenly really worried that things were going to go super fast. I texted my birth photographer- Monica of A Sacred Project– and asked her to head on up to the hospital. Then I just… hung out. Just all chill in the warm water, casually kicking back. I felt contractions every 5ish minutes, but they didn’t hurt. I was laughing and talking through them. I was that woman in labor that people probably hate.
Don’t worry. I paid for it later.
Anyway, Monica got there about an hour after I got in the tub, so this is the point in the story where I’ll start to provide her lovely visuals for you all. And by “lovely” I do mean that some are terrifying. (But NONE are of anything below the bump or NSFW.)
(This post is going to be crazy long, so please click through from my homepage to read the rest and see the slideshow at the end of the post!)
When I was 16, I was one of those girls who had long lists of names for my future children, but as I’ve aged, I’ve come to hate all of them for very valid reasons. Mostly, I’ve met people named those names and they ruined it for me. The longer I’m on this earth, and the more people I meet, the harder it is to name children.
I really dislike naming my children. I’m ultimately happy with what we’ve chosen for all 3, but the process it took to get there was not my favorite.
This time around was doubly hard since we had to pick out boy AND girl options.
I didn’t take on the task of even thinking about them until I was past the first trimester. Then I saw a boy’s name in the credits of some movie. Don’t ask me which one. Pregnancy brain lives on.
Immediately, I thought, “Hey, I kinda like that!” Followed by, “Pretty sure Scott’s going to hate it.”
But I started to fall in love with it, and then I was scared to even suggest it to Scott because it was pretty much the only boy name I thought I’d ever like again. I tried to play it cool and casual when I suggested it to him one night before we fell asleep. I braced myself for the veto.
“Hmmmm…. yeah…. yeah? Yeah. I like that. I like it! Sounds like… a scientist!” he replied.
So obviously since that was way too easy, I just knew it had to be a girl.
And the girls names continued to spin us in circles, right up to a few hours before I gave birth. We considered quite a few, but our top contenders were:
Eloise– I liked how this sounded with Leyna. It’s origin is German, and Scott’s family is very proud of their German heritage. But I figured it would get shortened to Ella, and I didn’t know how I felt about that. Ella is far more popular than Eloise.
So that made me think about…
Elsa– Similar to Ella, but different. Just different enough to not run into a lot of other little Elsas on the playground, maybe? Also German. But Scott wasn’t sold.
With a due date in July, I let myself consider…
Juliet- And I LOVED this. For a hot minute. After that passed, I just didn’t feel 100% about it. I came back to it a lot, though. And Scott liked it, too.
Then I mentioned…
June– This was Scott’s favorite, and I loved it more and more each time we brought it up. It was our final choice, going into the hospital to deliver.
If we had come out of the hospital with a little girl, she’d be named…
The middle name would be in honor of Robinson, a family surname on my mom’s side.
As the story goes, though, we did not come home with a little June Robin. Instead, we stuck with that very first boys name we fell in love with back in February. And we gave him his daddy’s name as a middle name, though there will be no calling him Scotty or Scott Jr.
And maybe he’ll grow up to be a scientist.
::sits on pillow, dusts off blog, adjusts breast pads::
Lowell was born 8 days ago. Life is lovely and chaotic all at once. I’m ridiculously overwhelmed and happy all at once. I’m also getting my postpartum ass kicked by another horrific postpartum rash and some super sore and engorged boobs to go with it.
Here are some pictures. I have no energy for many words. Though I promise the birth story is coming soon.
He’s already so much bigger than this! Fresh from the womb here, not even 24 hours old.
We took pacis with us to the hospital. Scandalous! He’s been a comfort sucker (like his sister) from the beginning. Of course, I was and have been careful to only offer it to him after he eats. I’m pretty sure he was a thumb sucker in utero, based on the feeling of him punching me in the bladder all day in there.
I love this little sleep sack I bought for his coming home outfit (from BabyPint on Etsy). I packed a pink bow to attach to the hat if he was a she. It was adorable and snuggly, and then he peed all over it and we had to change him into a Target sleeper to actually bring him home in.
This girl suddenly grew to the size of a 12 year old the first night we were home.
First family morning, piling into the bed.
Lowell is a BIG fan of the mamaRoo. Huge. He’ll sleep for hours in it. Leyna’s reaction to seeing him in it the first time was priceless. Her reactions to a lot of things with him are priceless. She’s pretty much the cutest big sister ever.
Aunt Kelly came up the week before Lowell was born (because oddly? I was afraid I’d go early LOLOLOLOHAHAHA). Then she had to go home a couple days before he made his appearance. Luckily, she kindly braved the drive up 35 one more time to meet him (and clean my dishes and get my other kids dressed and fed).
I’ve been spending a lot of time in our room, on our bed, with my boobs hanging out. I have no idea where to put any of his tiny clothes, and it looks like the laundry threw up in there.
He’s fitting right in, even hanging on his first family WiiU game night already.
He’s… different, this one. Kendall and Leyna seemed so similar in so many ways (and they still do). Lowell can resemble each of them from time to time, but there’s already something about his temperament… his being. He’s his own little person, for sure.
And I’m loving getting to know him.
It might be a while before I’m back here, but you can find me on Instagram a lot lately. I’m addicted to sharing all the little moments we’re living right now. Like this.