about a boy

I decided my last blog post couldn't be about a dead dog, so ta-da! Nearly four months later, here's the tale of our most "recent" addition. 

Roger Ian surprised us and entered the world two weeks early, on Tues., March 8th, at 7:10am. 

Monday night, after a delicious girls' night out with my cousin Jen, I was feeling quite restless. I'd been having Braxton-Hicks for a couple days and was starting to sense that this kid might come early.  Around 9:30, I said to Doug, "You might wanna throw some things in a duffle... just in case." He probably thought I was crazy. 

Around midnight, I woke up to a cramp that felt very similar to what I had with Willa and immediately thought "this is it." I tried to go back to sleep but found myself lying there waiting for another contraction. Sure enough, about 10 minutes later, there was another. At 1:30am, my contractions were around 8 minutes apart so I woke Doug up and said, "I think we're having a baby today."

I told Doug to go back to sleep and got in the shower. After, I puttered about - gathering things and preparing stuff for my parents to watch Bo and Willa. Emily had stayed over at our house, so around 3:30am I woke her up to let her know we'd be leaving for the hospital in a bit - she was on child duty until my mom arrived. 

By 4am, my contractions were around 3-4 minutes apart, and I was starting to feel like we should head to the hospital. Doug remembered that the car was almost out of gas, so he drove down the road to the gas station. While he was gone, I had a handful of contractions under 3 minutes apart and the intensity had picked up, so when he got back, I was like, time to go. 

Once we were in the car, my contractions slowed way, way down - like 5-8 minutes apart. I told Doug we should turn around because they probably wouldn't admit us. He insisted that since we were already driving, we should just see what they had to say at the hospital. 

Once I got out of the car and started walking, my contractions started to come more quickly again. We got into triage and I braced myself for news of dilation - I remember thinking "oh please let me be at least 3 inches!" The midwife smiled and said, "We're at 7!" I was floored - and SO excited to be that far along!

We got up to the room around 6am, and I got right into the tub. Around 7am, my nurse and midwife were going off duty, so they both stopped by to wish me good luck. The nurse said she'd be back with her replacement to introduce us and to let her know in the meantime if we needed anything. Pretty much as soon as she walked out of the room, I suddenly had the urge to push. Since I had an epidural with Willa, I hadn't experienced that fully - but whoa. At first I was like "Yikes, I think I might need to push...?" and then with the next contraction, I was like, "I NEED TO PUSH."

Johnny Cash, a word, if I may? You know nothing of the "ring of fire". Sweet mercy. At any rate, I pushed for maybe 5 minutes and voila - a baby boy!! 

6 lb, 6 oz - 21.5 inches
So teeny! He's chunked up a bit since then...

Isn't he just delectable?! 

So life with 3 kiddos has been an adjustment, to offer a trite overstatement. We are all learning and hanging on for dear life and trying to love the good & the bad. I sure love this little pack to pieces. 

And now little bloggity blog, I bid you adieu, at least until the next child arrives. 
[wide-eyed emoji]
[crazy-eyed emoji]
[dead emoji?]



Our new year had a sad start, as Zooey was hit by a car and killed on New Year's Day.
She was definitely not a perfect dog & certainly drove me nuts at times,
but she was loyal & wonderful with the kids & we loved her & miss her.
Stories & pics of Zoo throughout the years on the blog found here.


our house: willa's room

Well, now that Willa is a year old and we've got another babe on the way,
and we are working on yet another room re-do,
I suppose I should do a post about her nursery. Oops.

Willa's room was originally designated as Bo's nursery when we first moved in.
Our decision was based on two key factors:
(1) This floor was the newest (read: least squeaky) and (2) the door closed the most softly.
Had we known that Bo would become the world's heaviest sleeper, we wouldn't have cared as much.
But I digress. Here are pictures from Bo's time in the nursery. 

I absolutely love this cabinet on the wall:
I was not as huge a fan of the wallpaper border or the 3-curtain closet:
This wallpaper did NOT come off as easily as the hockey border in Bo's big boy room,
so I was very glad it was just a border and not the whole wall.
After that, we had Mark Miller of Brush & Hammer paint.
Since we weren't finding out the gender of the baby, I wanted a nice neutral,
and it doesn't get more neutral than beige. Here's an in-progress picture.
After Mark painted, we had our dear friend John come and help install closet doors.
Which we thought would be fairly routine. Because... it's closet doors.
However, this project turned out to be much more involved than anticipated.
Let's just say that it quickly became apparent as to why the former owners 
chose to put up curtains rather than install closet doors.
The boys ended up removing the molding, adding slabs of wood 
(don't be jealous of my construction lingo knowledge),
and to make a long story short - expending a lot of energy and emotion on this project.
(Meanwhile, Sarah & I went on fun shopping adventures.)
Anyway - eventual success!
In hindsight - should have tackled the closet doors before we had Mark paint, but oh well!
My 8-month pregnant self had fun touching up the molding and painting the closet doors.
A few weeks before Willa was born, the room looked like this:
Ready & waiting for accent colors!

After our sweet girl arrived, I slowly but surely got to work making it a girly nursery.
Crib: Target (formerly Bo's)
Changing table: IKEA (formerly Bo's)
Curtains: homemade, fabric from JoAnn's
Bookshelf: Target
So, I absolutely love that the bookshelf above was "styled" by Doug! 
We were "digging out" the house after Christmas, and I came upstairs and he had
organized all the little horses and put Raggedy Ann & Andy on the shelves!
(Sidenote: Raggedy Ann & Andy made by my step-mother-in-law!)
My grandma cross-stitched the sampler with Willa's birth info in the photo above.
My cousin Victoria made the tiny "wreath" in the photo below. 
The painting was the first one I did a few winters ago.
Opposite side of the room - originally the white bookshelf was against the wall where that desk is.
Like I said, we're already moving some things around in preparation for Baby P #3!

Rocker: hand-me-down from a family friend in Michigan!
Desk: mine growing up!
This painting is one of my favorite pieces of art that we own, along with the watercolors done by my grandpa.
One of my former students and small group girls, Lindsey, painted this portrait of an Ethiopian girl, 
based off a photo I took on a trip to Ethiopia (you can see the photo here).

So there you have it! Willa's girly little room.
My favorite thing about Willa's room is all the personalized touches from beloved family and friends.
Naturally, Willa's favorite thing about the room is getting into the creams & wipes on her changing table. 


Grandma's Christmas Cookies

My grandma's chocolate-molasses cutouts were always my favorite Christmas cookie.
My mom sent me a photo of the recipe from an old family cookbook, 
and I decided to post it here so I can pin it and have it easily accessible.
The family cookbook credits these as "Aunt Ethel's Chocolate Jumbles"
but to me, they'll forever be "Grandma's Christmas Cookies".

Grandma's Christmas Cookies
Warning: halve this recipe unless you are baking for hundreds.

Mix together:
1 c sugar
4 sq Baker's chocolate, melted - or - 3/4 c cocoa
1 c shortening (+ 3T if using cocoa)
2 eggs
2 c molasses

Add in:
2 t soda
1 t cinnamon
1 t cloves
5-6 c flour

Make dough stiff & chill.
Roll thin & cut out. 
Bake at 350 for 7-12 minutes.
Frost & decorate.


gender game, round 2.

As with the last pregnancy, we are not going to find out the gender until baby makes his/her arrival!

Here are the stats of the old wives' tales this time around!

Baby's heartbeat: above or below 140?
12 weeks = 150
16 weeks = 150
20 weeks = 140

Mom's cravings: sweet or salty?

Morning sickness: yes or no?
Yes, from weeks 6-8.
No from that point forward!

Mom's skin: soft or dry?

Mom sleeps on: right or left side?
Back & forth & back & forth.

Chinese Calendar: 

Mom's emotions: moody or happy?
Eh... pretty moody.

Mom's headaches: more or less?

Girl tally: 4
Boy tally: 3

I think it's a boy.
Bo thinks it's a boy.
Doug thinks it's a girl.

What about you guys?? What do you think?