Monday, February 25, 2013

Jane Alice's Birth Story: Part Three

To read Part One, click here

To read Part Two, click here

Ornesha immediately starts yelling at me - BREATHE INNNNN THROUGH YOUR NOSE, OOOUUUTTT THROUGH YOUR MOUTH! INNNNNN THROUGH YOUR NOSE, OOOUUUTTT THROUGH YOUR MOUTH. Surprisingly, I didn't mind her drill sergeant style.

Despite Angela's calm demeanor and Scott's quiet presence, I felt out of control, and Ornesha's volume and cadence were somehow comforting. I did exactly as she said, because I've always been a people-pleaser, and Angela assured me that we'd gotten the best nurse in the hospital.

Ornesha said she needed to check to see how far dilated I was. On the hospital bed, on my back. There was only one problem with that, I couldn't lie on my back, or I WOULD DIE!

The pain and pressure were so intense that the only comfortable position was hands and knees, but again, I am a people-pleaser, and Angela and Ornesha both assured me it would be quick.

They helped me get on the bed, on my back, and then Ornesha quickly checked. She said I was at a 7 and right then and there I died.

Not really, but I distinctly remember saying, I CAN'T DO THIS! To which Angela and Ornesha both replied, YES YOU CAN. YOU ARE DOING THIS! YOU'RE DOING IT RIGHT NOW.

They quickly helped me get back on my hands and knees, strip down to my tank top, and resume breathing. Scott assumed his position at my head. Holding my hands and breathing with me. I remember that being so helpful, him breathing with me, and I remember the smell of his breath. It was sweet like the citrus flavored gum he was chewing.

Angela was busy doing what doulas do and I remember her praising my breathing and wiping my face with a wet cloth. Ornesha continued yelling. The only time in my life that someone yelling at me was welcomed.

This whole time my bare butt is waving in the air, and you know what? I didn't care. Not one bit. For once in my life I didn't care how my butt looked or who saw it. I was in so much pain and so focused on breathing that nothing else mattered. Not even my butt.

Before long someone said the doctor was in. I didn't see her because my head was buried in the headboard, but your daddy told me that she stood in the back of the room and watched.

(Side note:  The morning after you were born I noticed a bruise and scab on the bridge of my nose. It wasn't until that afternoon that it dawned on me, it was from having my head pressed into the headboard during labor!)

A few minutes later I felt the urge to push and my body took over. My exhales became grunts and then I was informed that before I started pushing, the doctor needed to check me.

I was still on my hands and knees, a position I don't think she's used to because her checking me took a few tries, if you know what I mean. My anatomy was upside down so I got poked in the wrong spot a few times. Fun.

When she finished, she said I was at a nine and I could push if I wanted to. IF I WANTED TO?! I was so ready to meet you!

Next contraction, I breathed in and pushed out. Ornesha, still yelling at me, and I mean that in the nicest way possible, told me that if I wanted to get this baby out, I was going to have to breathe in and then push for ten seconds.

So, as we all know by now, I am very obedient, and I did just as she said. I breathed in and pushed for ten seconds. Next thing I knew, your head was out. I vaguely remember people cheering me on, but honestly, I was so focused on pushing that I don't remember much else.

I think I had to push once more to get the rest of your body out, but you might have just slid out at that point. I'm not sure. Either way, you were born in just a few pushes, at 11:59 PM, and I have never felt so much relief in my life.

Some people claim to feel orgasmic as they're pushing their babies out un-medicated. I did not feel that at all, but the cessation of pain combined with the adrenaline coursing through my veins, made for a feeling I don't think could ever be replicated by a drug. Then again, I've never done drugs, so what do I know?!

Everyone in the room was telling me to turn around to see what I had done, and all I could think was,    I DON'T WANNA SEE THE POOP! I DON'T WANNA SEE THE POOP!

Finally, the doctor passed you up through my legs to my arms and I held your warm, wet body against my chest as I tried to catch my breath.

You began to cry and everyone helped me turn around to get into a reclining position. They helped me get my tank top off and I held you up to my breast so that you could eat.

We sat like that until the placenta slid out on it's own and the doctor stitched me up. I had a grade one tear, just like I had with your brother, which I've been told, is not bad.  Although, it felt pretty bad to me. I was sore, and for the next two days my only complaint to every person who entered our hospital room was that my butt hurt.

As I mentioned above, I was very concerned about seeing the poop, but I didn't see any poop. Instead I saw you. Six pounds, 14 and three-quarter ounces. A striking resemblance to your brother. Red hair and all.

That didn't quench my curiosity, though, so the next morning I asked the nurse if I had pooped during pushing. She smiled and said something like, it was just the size of an almond, as she demonstrated with the tip of her pinkie.

I'll never think of an almond the same again. And neither will you.

Jane Alice, your birth was an awesome experience. One I had planned on and prepared for. Although, nothing could have fully prepared me for the miracle it is to give birth. Even a second time. Naturally or otherwise.

I am so thankful that you came quickly. My labor was only two and a half hours, if that!

Your birth gives me the confidence that I can do anything. Whenever I feel nervous or anxious, I try to remember how strong I felt during those two and a half hours, and then I press on.

I wish that confidence and strength for you too. After all, I couldn't have done it without you.

I love you,


Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, 
because her hour has come, 
but when she gives birth to the child, 
she no longer remembers the anguish because of the 
that a child has been born into the world.  
John 16:21

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Monthly Update: 48

Dear Foster,

Last month we celebrated your fourth birthday.  And by celebrated, I mean I got the stomach flu and had to miss your party.  Then I cried.

You wanted your party to be at Grandma and Grandpa's house this year.  A request with which I did not argue because I am not crazy.  No cleaning the house, no decorating, no un-decorating, no cleaning the house.  Thank you for being so thoughtful.  So prudent.  Or maybe, psychic?  I mean, I couldn't have done any of those things anyway and we would have had to cancel your party here.

About a week before your birthday your daddy and I noticed some maturity peeking through.  We hadn't seen maturity in, oh, a year?

Three was awful.  Whoever came up with the "terrible twos" obviously had never parented a three year old.  Geesh.  I even went back and looked at my archives and there aren't many entries from last year.

You were a turd.  The end.

However, at four, you are all the sudden agreeable and thoughtful.  Still silly.  Still busy.  And, dare I say, pleasant.

Your school work is phenomenal.  To me anyway.  You have learned to trace like a champ and even write letters on your own.  Your favorite letter is F, of course.  And when you see the letter F you immediately tell me, "there's the letter F for my name!"

Thankfully your self esteem is not a problem and earlier today when you were riding your bike, you were yelling, "I'm out of this world!"  A neighbor heard you, began to smile, then said,  "Now that's a positive attitude!"

Yes, your attitude is much more positive now that you're four and I am so thankful for that.  There were days last year I didn't think I would survive.  Now there are just moments.  You can still pitch a fit, but when I discipline you, it actually works.  One discipline doesn't lead to another to another.  It just works.  Sometimes even just the threat.

Minnie, our oldest cat, died just after Christmas and your reaction was velly intellesting.  One minute you were crying and running away from me and the next you were helping your daddy bury her.

Sometimes you talk about her as if she's still part of the family, which I find endearing so I don't correct you, but other times the memory of her death brings up questions about death and Heaven.

Having been told that we will get new bodies in Heaven, today you asked if we would have fins.  Like fish.  Or maybe we'll become mermaids once we're in Heaven.

Maybe so.

Your sister is now 8 months old and you are very sweet to her.  If she drops a toy, you pick it up.  If she's crying and I can't get to her, you distract her.  Sometimes you even kiss her for no reason.  You don't seem to mind that I have to leave you alone in order to feed and rock her.  You have become content to watch a movie with your friends.  Your stuffed animal friends.  The same friends we had to start confiscating when you refused to poop on the potty.

One of my biggest fears before Jane Alice was born was that you'd regress in the potty training department, and boy howdy!

You were completely potty trained just prior to her birth, but once she was born, you stopped pooping on the potty and here we are 8 months later still working on it.  Selah.  (Like amen at the close of prayer, selah stresses the importance or reality of what was said.  Or, as our pastor says, You think about that!)

Selfishly I miss your baby talk, as you can now make the "th" sound.  I preferred sank you over thank you and birsday over birthday and dat over that and bass over bath, but you are four now and your maturity means that when I say I love you, you say you love me more.  And sometimes you tell me I look beautiful, like a princess.  And often you ask me to keep you company and to get under the covers with you during story time.  So I tearfully say goodbye to your baby talk while I joyfully welcome your affection.

Foster, I love you more than I can say and I'm so proud of the person you're becoming.  You are very conscientious about how we treat others and the earth.  Very curious about God and His word.  Very smart.  And very cute.  I could go on and on.

You are my favorite boy.



Monday, December 10, 2012

Jane Alice's Birth Story, Part Two

To read Part One, click here.

Once home, your daddy began packing for the hospital and I showered.  We were mostly packed already, but there were a few last minute items to pack before the car was loaded.

The fluid would not stop dripping down my legs as I was toweling off and I was forced to put on a maxi pad for the first time in ten months!

Once we were both showered and in comfy clothes, we settled on the couch to watch a little Seinfeld - your daddy's favorite television show of all time.

We were both tired and thought about going to bed, but there was no way I could sleep with the contractions I was having.  They were not bad and were not regular, but they were there and Angela told me you would probably come that night.  Who could sleep under those circumstances?!  I was about to meet my daughter.  MY DAUGHTER!

About 15 minutes into Seinfeld, I felt a third POP!, but this time I swear Scott must have heard it!  He didn't hear it, of course, but what he did hear was my gasp and subsequent panic over the amount of fluid gushing out of me!

I stood up and headed up the stairs to the bathroom when BAM! I was hit with a breathtaking, toe curling contraction.

With your daddy's help I made it to the bathroom and called Angela.  I began explaining what had just happened, but was unable to finish my sentence due to BAM! another contraction.  They were coming back to back and the fluid was still gushing so that I could not stay dry.

Angela was on her way and I spent the next half hour on my knees, face buried in the rocking chair in your room, rocking back and forth through each contraction.  Between each contraction I would change into dry clothes.

At some point I realized that I had chills and wondered if I was already in transition...10 minutes or so after my water broke.  Was that even possible?!

My breathing soon turned to moaning and by the time Angela arrived, it was time to go to the hospital.  She came upstairs while I was glued to the rocker and then helped me get to the toilet once again, this time to poop.

Only, I didn't really have to poop, that was just your head.  The pressure down there was unreal and almost as uncomfortable as the contractions.  It felt like I needed to poop a bowling ball.  Because people poop bowling balls, right?  Right.

Angela helped me get dry clothes on (again!) and this time I put on one of your brother's pull ups, rather than a maxi pad.  Don't believe them when they say they're Super Absorbent.  They ain't.

It took to get to the car.  Contraction = drop to my knees + breathe in + mooooaaaaan out. I remember having to stop, drop, and breathe at the bottom of the stairs and then again on the front porch. It was close to 11 PM at this point, so luckily no neighbors saw me.

Once in the car I sat facing the back of the passenger seat - on my knees, arms and head draped over the head rest.  Your daddy said I turned into a black church lady with all my praying out loud for Jesus to come down and rescue me from THE PAIN!  I remember praying for Him to help me have you naturally and for the staff of the hospital to help me too.  There might have even been a prayer about getting there before you came out!

Angela and your daddy had previously worked out all the logistics of dropping me off at the Emergency Room and parking, so all I remember is walking in and dropping to my knees.  Between contractions Angela helped me shuffle over to the desk to check in, and by check in I mean answer a million ridiculous questions.  One of them being, Are you scheduled to be here?

Um, yeah.  DO I LOOK LIKE I'M SCHEDULED TO BE HERE?  Give me a break!  I'm literally dropping to my knees every minute now and my moaning has morphed into other-worldly, gut wrenching sounds that I had no idea I knew how to make - yeah, I'm here for a scheduled induction.  NOT.

Meanwhile, all the patients and their people are staring at me like they've never seen a woman in labor before.  (Okay, maybe they had never seen a woman in labor before.)

Finally a calm, quiet young nurse offers me a wheelchair, which I decline, because OH.MY.GOSH. who could sit with a baby's head THAT low?  No thank you.  Besides, I needed to be on my knees to survive each contraction and we all know that our butt is not our knees.

The calm, quite young nurse leads the three of us down the longest hallway of my life and into an elevator.  Of course, this adventure took as well because, you know, I'm dropping to my knees every minute or so.

Each time I drop, I lean onto the birthing ball and rock while Angela is on her knees, facing me, holding my hands and talking me through the breathing.  I think your daddy is behind me with our suitcase, but really, I have no idea.

The elevator doors finally open, DING! and we bound into the closest hospital room.  In that room stands Ornesha (or-nee-sha), or as I like to call her, the answer to all my black church lady prayers.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Jane Alice's Birth Story, Part One

Dear Jane Alice,

Welcome to the world. You are my daughter. I am your mother. Here we go!

I started this blog when your brother was about seven months old as a way to record his childhood and all the hilarity it would entail. I never dreamed I would have YOU and get to record YOUR childhood too.

I thought my first letter to you should be your birth story. That's right, my dear. This post is not about your big brother and his potty training, or lack thereof, but rather, about the way and the day we first met.

It all started on Memorial Day, about two weeks before you were born. I just knew you were going to come a little early, like your brother, so every day for those two weeks there was some symptom, some sign - a cramp here, a contraction there - that led me to believe you were coming ANY MINUTE!

At 40 weeks you still had not come and I just knew you never would. I was going to be pregnant FOREVER. A freak of nature. And, I kept telling myself that it wouldn't be so bad. At least I wasn't nauseous anymore. I could handle this. I was a cute pregnant girl, right? Everyone said it was all in my belly. Imagine how great my hair and nails would look for the rest of my life!

But then, on Friday, June 8th - three days after my due date - I woke up with a "bloody show". That is, I peed and when I wiped, there was a little pink something.

Finally! This was the day! It had to be! My mom, your Patty Mama, had bloody shows and then had babies within a few hours. Surely, you'd be here by lunch!

I called my doula, Angela, to give her this update and told her that I'd probably have you by lunch. She asked a few questions and then gingerly told me to try to keep my daily routine as normal as possible. I was to let her know if anything changed.

Still thinking I was going to deliver you by lunch, I kept your daddy home from work and sent your brother to Grandma and Grandpa's house.

To pass the time, your daddy and I decided to run some errands, one of which was to Home Depot.

When I waddled in, the girl at the entrance asked if I was over due. Weird question, I thought, but I told her yes and that I was actually in labor. Her eyes got as big as saucers, but I reassured her that I was okay - baby wasn't coming 'til lunch!

I was okay.  I was having contractions, but nothing regular and nothing I couldn't breathe through. Even talk through.

On the way home we stopped at McDonald's. It was their grand opening and I thought maybe the quality of food would get things going in my intestines, thereby inducing labor. I was wrong.

We got home and napped. Nothing changed so we decided to go for a walk. It was too hot to go for a walk outside, so we went to Opry Mills Mall. I hadn't been since they reopened. They had been closed since the Flood of 2010.

We walked the mall, but still, nothing changed. Might as well cross the street and walk Opryland Hotel!

Before leaving the hotel, I stopped to pee. It was a little after 4:00 PM and I didn't want to get stuck in rush hour traffic with a full bladder. We were heading to Grandma and Grandpa's house to eat supper and bring your brother home. Surely, as soon as we got home with him, you'd start coming! I mean, it was after lunch, and that pink something from this morning had lingered all day and was now a red something.

On my way out of the bathroom, I felt a pop and a trickle. Not sure what it was, I told your daddy and asked if he could see any wetness. Indeed, he could. I couldn't see it because of my big belly, but the front of my pants was a little wet.

Oh my! I wonder if my water just broke?!

I went back to the bathroom and tried to figure out if it was amniotic fluid or pee. Maybe I hadn't gotten all the pee out, ya know?

Everything smelled like pee, so it must have been pee. Oh well.

We drove to Grandma and Grandpa's house and had dinner with no change. After dinner we sat around talking and as I stood up to check on your brother, another pop and trickle. Uh-oh. This can't be more pee. I better call my doula.

As I stood on the front porch talking to Angela on the phone, I noticed an increase in pain during contractions and found myself leaning over the railing to get through them. I also kept leaking fluid and by the time we hung up, my pants were soaked.

Angela explained that your head was very low and was acting as a cork, keeping the fluid from gushing. I could either go to the hospital and be stuck there until you arrived, or I could go home, shower, rest, etc... and expect you to come sometime that night.

Since I had been planning on and preparing for a natural birth, your daddy and I opted for the latter and left your crying brother with Grandma and Grandpa.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pearl JOY Brown

Dear Pearl,

I remember the first time I heard Kim at The Village Chapel pray for you.  You, a tiny little image bearer.

You were still in your mother's womb, but I remember thinking that doctors don't know everything and that since I had worked with children with disabilities, including diagnoses like "incompatible with life", that not only could you survive, but thrive.

I remember praying for you every time I saw your name on the prayer list, Pearl Joy Brown. And, whenever I'd tell someone about you, I always said your whole name. Emphasizing the Joy.  Still do.

Now that you're here, and thriving, I count it all joy to continue to pray for you.  To rejoice in photos of you on Twitter. And to tell others about you.  Pearl Joy Brown.

I pray that your life will be evidence that God still works miracles.  Doctors said you were impossible.

I rejoice in your beautiful red hair and soulful big eyes. My own children have red hair, so I may be biased there. But, no one can deny the wonder in your eyes. They are convincing and convicting.

I tell others about you because, Pearl, your story is a reminder that we are not in charge. It is not up to us to decide which babies get to live and which ones to die. Which ones survive and which ones thrive.

May you and your family be blessed beyond measure. More than we could ask or imagine. And may all those who hear your story be transformed in mind and heart, with joy.

Hoping to meet you soon,


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Tribute to Aunt Lynn

Dear Aunt Lynn,

I thought I'd write you a letter to tell you just how special you are to me since I'm not able to be there for your memorial.  These are things we don't tell each other when we're alive - I guess it makes us uncomfortable.  Maybe we would tell each other these things if we knew that it would be the last time we'd have the chance.  

The last time I saw you was in November when I was home for Pop's memorial.  I was still in my first trimester of pregnancy with my sweet baby girl, Jane Alice, born just two days before you went home to be with Jesus.  Not far along enough to know the sex of the baby - except YOU already knew it was a girl and had been telling everyone that it was, in fact, a girl!

Scott and I got a kick out of your certainty and I whispered silent prayers that you were right.  Don't tell anyone I told you that, but I really did want a girl, and I believed that you have always had a special relationship with Our Father and just might have known something the rest of us couldn't know.

We couldn't know because our hearts and minds aren't where they should be.  Perhaps if we lived more like you - generous with our gifts, loving toward others, quick to laugh - we might hear the voice of God more clearly.  Or maybe it was just because you were chosen to have a special relationship with Him.  He gave you faith like a child while you were here on earth. The kind of faith I find so hard to achieve.

I've been thinking a lot about you these past two weeks and childhood memories of our time together bring a smile to my face or tear to my eye - depending on the moment.  

Just you, me, Joni & Codie piling in your bed with a dog or two for sleepovers, eating Vienna sausages out of the can, fishing in the pond with earthworms YOU dug up (Lord knows I wasn't going to dig 'em up!), being tickled to the point of tears, picking out Christmas gifts from the Sears catalog and trying to cross stitch as well as you - just to name a few.

You were a constant in my life.  There was never any doubt that you would be there.  Always happy to see me.  Always with a story to tell.  Always ready to laugh at a story I told.  Always with a cross stitching (or two!) in progress.

I cherish all the cross stitchings you made when I was a baby and those that you've made for my babies.  There are some that deck the walls of Foster's room and others that swaddle the bottom of Jane Alice.  They may not remember you the way I will, but they are covered in your love.

Until we meet again,


Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall return.  The LORD gave, the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.  Job 1:21

Friday, May 11, 2012

Monthly Update: 39

Dear Foster,

I wasn't planning on writing an update until after your baby sister was born, but there is just too much material here lately.

Like, you just walked into the kitchen where I am sitting, and said "Watch dis!"  Then proceeded to pull your pants down.  Twice.

What the heck?

Our day starts off between 6:00 and 7:00 with you climbing out of your big boy bed - THUD - and pouncing into my and your daddy's room holding as many of your "fwends" as you can.

We immediately greet you with a loving chorus of good mornings and then tentatively wait to see what side of the bed you woke up on.

Usually you're in a good mood and climb into bed with us to watch cartoons.  Sometimes, though, you have to pee and will handle the whole process by yourself.  And, I do mean, the whole process...pulling your pants down, pulling your DRY pull up down, peeing, emptying your potty into the big potty, rinsing out your potty, washing and drying your hands and then getting yourself a candy corn - your treat of choice.

I'm equal parts loving this new found independence, even if it does take us eight times longer to get anything done around here, and terrified that you're going to spill pee all over the bathroom floor and then slip in it and bust your head open.

Sometimes, though, you wake up on the WRONG side of the bed and your alter ego, Fuss-ter, comes for a visit.

I don't know what it is about your fussing, but I literally, can. not. handle. it.

Those are the days I am so thankful you attend Mother's Day Out and go to Grandma's house a few days a week so that I can work part-time.

Perhaps there are other mothers who can deal with the fussing with grace and patience, but I am not that kind of mother and right now dealing with your fussing is my biggest challenge because when you start in, I really just want to scream and stomp and slam and WOULD YOU PLEASE JUST SHUT UP ALREADY?!  UUUGGGHHH!

Your daddy loves to point out that you get your temper from me.  And I like to point out that I am nine months pregnant and he better WATCH OUT!

The other day I was feeling so hormonal that I actually rolled down my window and screamed at another driver to USE YOUR BLINKER!

That is not typically how I handle bad drivers - normally I just take a deep breath and go on my way - but again, I am nine months pregnant.  WATCH OUT!

So, once you're good and awake you start asking me to take you downstairs for breakfast.  Usually I make you wait until 7:00, when Curious George comes on, and then we head downstairs so you can watch while I get breakfast ready.

We have a really good routine and your breakfast of choice is a pancake with nothing on it and a side of fruit.  You choose to have a dry pancake so that you can eat it in the den while you watch cartoons.

Meanwhile, I get to have a quiet start to the day in the kitchen with my coffee.

I'm the type of person that is not awake until I've had coffee and food.  It's not that I'm in a bad mood, I'm simply not ready to talk.  To anyone.  About anything.

This personality trait of mine does not correlate well with Fuss-ter, as you can imagine.

Once Cat in the Hat (your favorite cartoon) is over at 8:00, we head upstairs to get ready for the day.  You usually play well while I get dressed and then have to do everything yourself when it's your turn.  From putting the toothpaste on your toothbrush to putting your socks on.

This routine involves a lot of patience and praise on my part and it isn't lost on me how hard you're working to do it all by yourself.  Good job, bud!  I am so proud.

On more than one occasion you have worn your underwear backward because that is how you wanted to wear them and you know what, that is fine.  You look like you're wearing bikini underwear from the back and you have to pick a wedgie out of your butt all day, but it's your choice and it's not a battle your daddy and I think we should fight.  Go us!  Aren't you proud?!

Thankfully you still nap most days.  Not necessarily at school, but that just means when you're at Grandma's house or home, we can usually count on a 2-3 hour nap after lunch!

Seriously, I am so thankful for that quiet time and I'm praying you continue that habit for a while after your baby sister arrives so that I can get some rest too.

On the days you refuse to sleep, we ask that you play quietly with your "fwends" and if you get too loud we go into your room and take them one by one.  Sometimes this tactic works to our advantage and you go to sleep, but other days, we spend the whole 2 hours in and out of your room taking friends.  Sigh.

The last time this happened you blamed me for not being able to sleep, "Mommy kept coming into my woom!" is what you told your daddy.

I love hearing your stories about school.  Whether you're telling on your classmates or yourself, it is always eye opening to hear what really goes on there.

You recently told me that you have to say "Yes Ma'am" to your teacher.  This came as a surprise to me, but not one that I mind.  Your daddy and I don't require you to say Sir and Ma'am to us, but it is a good habit to have here in the South, and especially when we visit your Papa and Nonni.

I was required to say it to my parents when I was growing up, but your daddy wasn't.  His yes had to be "yes" and his no had to be "no", but his dad (your Grandpa) was an officer in the Army and was called Sir all day long.  He didn't want to come home to his children calling him Sir too.

We simply require you to say "Yes, please" and "No, thank you".  Or, in your case, "No, sank you."  Until recently you were even still signing, please!

As soon as we get home from school, or if we're spending the day at home, you want your pajamas on.  My little Hugh Hefner.  I have no idea what the deal is with pj's, but this is another battle we don't fight.  So, most days when your daddy comes home from work, you're in your jammies.  We make you get dressed to go most places, but the marina to feed the ducks and the library after dinner are fair game.

Your sound effects are getting better and better and I am truly impressed by how much your Mac truck sounds like a tractor trailer truck and your airplane sounds like an airplane.  This skill has always impressed me about your daddy, and boys in general, and I'm loving it's development in you.

Dinner time is interesting around here, as you rarely eat your meal when it is first served, but rather, you wait until it's time to go upstairs for your bath and then decide you're still hungry.  Unlucky for you, my mom (your Patty Mama), taught me to leave your food out and that is what is offered.  You usually finish eating your dinner at that point and then ever so politely ask for a "tweat".

Bath (bass) time is one of your favorite times of day and your daddy is now the official bath giver since my belly is too big to bathe you comfortably.  And, after bath time is bed time, of course, and that is one of my favorite times of day!  I am exhausted by the time bed time rolls around.

Your daddy and I take turns putting you down and the routine consists of a few books, a few cuddles and a prayer.  Then just as we're leaving your room, you sit up and remind us to put your milk in the refrigerator and leave the light on under your door.

This is a request that your daddy and I repeat to each other in your voice just to make the other smile.

Foster, you are such a delightful child.  Full of surprises and demands that we never expected.  Equal parts sweet and sassy, fun and fussy.  There really is never a dull moment.

I am so excited to welcome your baby sister into our little family and I can't wait to get to know her!  I'm even more excited to introduce the two of you, though, and I know she's gonna love you so much.

I hope you teach her all the cool stuff you know, except how to fuss.  And, I hope to teach her all the cool stuff I know, except how to fuss.  Maybe she'll be like your daddy - calm, cool and collected.

You and I, we're like peas in a pod.  I get you.  You get me.  We get on each other's nerves, but we love each other like no one else can.

We've spent the past two days together hanging out at home and it has been great!  It's days like these that remind me to write about how wonderful you are and how much I love you.