Saturday, December 29, 2012

Do You See What I See?

Me: "What do you guys see in the flames?"
Tuck: "I see a dragon!"
Me: "Good one! I see that, too."
Mags: "I see fire." 

What do you see? 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Take a Breath

Tuck: "Mama, whatcha doin'?"
Me: "I'm cleaning up and taking down some Christmas decorations."
Tuck: "Oh. Is that so you can breathe again?"
Me: "Pretty much. Yep."

Tuck and I had a conversation prior to the one above. I explained to him that although I liked the Christmas-y feel in the house, the clutter of the decorations made me feel squished, like I couldn't breathe. He referred back in his elephant-like memory to a time when the seat belt in his booster was too tight and he felt like he couldn't take in a deep breath.  

I appreciated that he understood where I was coming from. And he appreciated it when I told him we planned to leave the tree up for a few more days. I mean, really, who doesn't find a beautifully lit Christmas tree peaceful? Especially when you have someone to share it with. So, tonight, and for a few more nights in our house...all is calm, all is bright.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland

Mags: "Every time I step on the snow, I feel like I'm steppin' on
 little parts of Frosty."

Merry Christmas from our house to yours! 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Precious Moments

A blustery night outside, stockings hung by the chimney with care, a toasty warm fire to sit by, and two sweet children taking it all in. I thought to myself, 

"This will make a fantastic picture for my Christmas Eve post." 

And then, just like it always does, the post wrote itself. 
Read on to see what I mean.

"Oh my goodness, what a sweet moment.
Chris, come down here and get a load of this."
"Wow. Nice faces, guys.
Mags, no, no, no! Let Tuck go!
Hands to yourselves!
STOP!...WAIT!...Just SMILE for the camera."
"Tuck, quit tickling her! Just look up at me.
Mags, you can count his fingers later.
Look up at me and....
"Perfect timing, Honey.
That better be 'grownup' hot chocolate!"


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Trifextra: The Reason

This post is in response to Trifecta's Weekend Challenge. This is the prompt that inspired my entry:

"This weekend we want you to give us a pithy summary of your feelings about the holidays.  Your response does not need to be cynical or sarcastic. We welcome all thoughts and feelings about this time of year--so long as you express those thoughts and feelings in 33 words."

The Reason

Daunting lists crush your joyous spirit. Piles of mounting debt stare you in the face. Desperate for the immense weight to lift, you look up to
find salvation; the season through ingenuous eyes.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Me: "Holy guacamole. I've been blogging for one year. I've written over 300 posts and currently, I have four ideas for my next four posts rattling around in my head.  I should get to those, but first, I'd love to hear what YOU have to say. I've been quoting Mags, Tuck, Chris and myself for a year. But YOU fit in here, too! You're a big part of why I keep up with my writing."

If you were going to be quoted on According 
to Mags at the top of one of my posts, 
what would you say? Share it 
below in the comments.

 What a difference a year makes! 


Tuck: "Mama,  I'm always gonna love my sockies. And when I get married, I'll share 'em with my wife."
Me: "Awesome plan, Tuck."

Since Tuck was weeks old, he has had his 'sockies'. As a newborn he would often scratch his face at night after he 'Houdini-ed' his way out of the swaddled up blanket. We decided to try to put those baby mitts on his hands to keep the scratches to a minimum. We did this each night for a few weeks and those little mitts worked really well. Too well, in fact. 

Tuck had grown attached to them and when he had grown out of them, all heck broke loose. My husband, always one to see outside the box, solved the problem quickly. He grabbed some socks (the kind with the rubber on the bottom of the sole) and put them on Tuck's baby hands. It was an instant success and 'sockies' were born. We had pairs and pairs of these socks that went everywhere with us. They were the greatest "comfort item" ever because there were so many of them. But then, I just HAD to get creative. 

Santa decided to bring "special" sockies each year that went in Tuck's stocking. These became the most protected and loved of all the sockies. It didn't matter if there were 50 of every color all around him, the ones Santa had brought him were the ones he wanted. The ones he NEEDED! 

He was diligent about keeping them safe and sound. He'd tuck them in his pillow case each morning before he climbed out of bed. As the years have passed, his special collection has grown. 

Today, on my way home from work,  I joined many other parents with panicked looks on their faces in Target. I had one mission and one mission only. I was in search of something just as magical as Christmas itself. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Me: "Hi, Dad! How are you?"
Dad: "Better now that you called."

For my birthday, when I was 25, I asked my dad to write down seven of his favorite memories about me. Just like every part of his life, he poured his heart and soul into this project. I expected a list, maybe some stories written out. But instead, he presented to me a book, covered in dragonflies, full of his favorite moments with me as his daughter.  I often read through it. It makes me laugh, cry, and laugh until I cry. 

My dad has an incredible sense of humor, a quick wit and a heart of gold.  When I get HIM laughing, I feel victorious. Not to mention that it's infectious.  

I can recall as a young girl listening to him laugh so hard while we were on the Tea Cup ride (now called Mad Tea Party) at Disney World. He spun that oversized cup until I swore it was going to fly off the saucer. I can remember screaming, "FASTER!" even though I was plastered to the back of it. When we finally stopped, he had a huge smile on his face and was catching his breath after pulling on that metal wheel thing in the middle to keep us going at warp speed. 

He included that exact story in my book. I wasn't surprised because he used to tell it to everyone. Melissa on the teacups...her pigtails were sticking straight out...we were spinning so fast. I always just thought he really enjoyed that ride. And he did, but not because it twirled and whirled us all around.  He shared the reason with me in his writing. 

"It was one of those once in a lifetime experiences. The moment of 
joy that a parent feels when their child is experiencing 
pure happiness and they're part of it."

It wasn't until Chris and I had our own children that I could fully grasp exactly what he meant by this. But, as a daughter, the reason I looked forward to that ride was because it was "our ride". 

So, when we met up with my parents in Disney World a few summers ago, it was no surprise when my dad and I wasted no time hightailing it to the best ride in the park. 

Well, at least to us. 
Happy Birthday, Dad! 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Da Tooth

Tonight, we were dining at a delicious hamburger joint when the following conversation occurred with our son: 

Me: "Buddy, we need to get that tooth out tonight."
Tuck: "NO.WAY! Don't touch it. It will hurt."
Chris: "It's okay. We won't touch it."
Me: "Right. Whenever you're ready. But seriously, that tooth is hanging on by a thread."
Chris: "Let's change the subject. Who wants to go to the toy room and play dodgeball when we get home?"
Mags and Tuck: (in unison) "I do! I do!"
Chris: "Perfect. It'll be fun. You guys remember how to play, right? We try to get the other person out by hitting each other with the balls?"
Mags: "Oh, yeah, baby!"

(Quiet interlude of chewing, french fry dipping, sipping of drinks)

Tuck: "Hey! Wait a minute. I see what you're doing. You just wanna knock my tooth out with the ball! You can't trick me."
Chris: "Well, there goes that plan."
Mags: "BUSTED!"

But honestly, anytime now would be great!  

Monday, December 10, 2012

Just Another Day In Paradise

Mags: "Mama! That is the craziest thing Daddy ever did!"
Me: "To be fair, you've only been with us for five years. You haven't seen anything yet."

Here is a quick summary of our weekend. 
I don't want to bore you, so I'll just hit the highlights.

Saturday morning, I walked in the kitchen to find this:

Saturday afternoon, I walked in the kitchen to find this:

Also known as, just another Saturday in our house.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Cadbury Christmas

Me: "Mags! Guess what I found at the store today?"
Mags: "A unicorn?"
Me: "No. Better than a unicorn. Cadbury Mini Eggs in Christmas colors!!"
Me: "Nope! I'm serious."
Mags: "I can't wait to have some."
Me: (inner turmoil between sharing with your child or acting like this conversation never happened) Of course...I'll...share (insert pain)

I adore that Mags shares my enthusiasm for our favorite candy, Cadbury Mini Eggs. They come out in March and I eat bags upon bags upon bags of them throughout the spring. Oh, how I love the smell, the crunch, the way the chocolate melts in your mouth....sorry, where was I? But then I started to hear rumors of these delectable treats coming out in Christmas colors! Could it be? 

The holidays just got a little merrier and brighter!
As I was stuffing handfuls in my mouth on my way back to the car, I noticed three things:

1. They tasted JUST like the pastel colored Mini Eggs.

2. Cadbury did not have a name for them. They simply called them "Cadbury   Solid Milk Chocolates". 

3. They were not egg-shaped. They were round. See? (I said look, not touch.)

So, I thought we should help Cadbury out by naming their holiday, solid milk chocolates. They are known as Mini Eggs in their pastel, egg-shaped form.

What could we call these red and green, round, tasty morsels? 

If you help me come up with some catchy names (remember this is a PG blog) I will compile a list and send them to Cadbury in a chocolate covered letter. Not really covered, but it might have some chocolate fingerprints on it. 

I may need an intervention.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lego Girls Have All the Luck

Mags: "Don't you wish you were a Lego girl?"
Me: "Yes. Yes, I do!"

Have you seen the new Lego Friends sets for girls? Mags got one of the sets from my parents as an early Christmas present. As Mags and I played with her new Lego house, I was a little jealous. 

I know, I know. Silly of me, right? But wait, let me explain by giving you a tour.

We'll start in the living room. First off, there is not a toy to be seen (ignoring the fact the whole thing is a toy).  There are flowers on the table (still upright and looking lively), a huge screen TV (without fingerprints all over it) and a couch (free of random stains on the seat cushions). There's also a MATCHING oversized chair. And they are purple. My favorite. Oh! A cute, little bunny to sit with you on the couch, but since it's Lego, there's no poop cleanup. Perfect.
Moving on to the bathroom. The white flooring and the toilet are SPARKLING white. There's not a pee stain to be seen or to smell. The sink doesn't have toothpaste art all around and in it. The mirror on the wall is free of toothbrush spray and fingerprints. Do you see that counter space next to the sink? It's clean and not flooded (by an accident). And the shower? No scrubbing bubbles for those glass doors! They are crystal clear. 
The kitchen is full of delicious treats. Fresh fruit, warm muffins and a smoothie in the making. Scrumptious. Best of all, there's no need for a broom. You won't find a crumb to be gathered on the bottom of your bare feet. Best of all, Lego food, like the bunny, never makes a mess, so kiss your dirty dishes good-bye.
The bedroom is delightful. There's a well lit vanity for you to sit and apply makeup properly (no more feeling your way through makeup application as you make the kids' lunch and load the dishwasher). And there's a place to store the makeup so your five-year-old won't decorate all her dolls and herself with it. What's that on the neatly made bed? A book? Oh my goodness! Let's read! Even though there's a cat in the room, allergies won't be a factor, since it's Lego. And, you guessed it, no need for a litter box. 
Well, well, well. Lookie here! There's a little deck on the roof of the house. A chair, some flowers, a butterfly and a cool beverage with an umbrella in it (although I think the drink goes to one of the Monster High dolls and that might be brains in the cup, but beggars can't be choosers). 
Walking out the door, you see a freshly-painted, white picket fence. The pathway leads you into your garden, which actually GROWS things! Actual fruits of your labor!
On the other side of the yard there are more vividly colored, BLOOMING flowers (a rarity at my house). The grass is more of lawn and less of a meadow (with tall, waving grasses). A tasty dinner is sizzling on the impeccably clean grill. This is meant to be.
The only setback is that it's located smack dab in the middle of the railroad tracks. But, no worries!  The trains are courteous, thoughtful, talkative and only run during the hours of 6am-7pm.

So, there you have it. Now, do you see why I'm so envious?
(This is where you appease me.) 

Monday, December 3, 2012


Tuck: "We'll just drive home with Meme and Papa. Have fun. But don't go to the movies without me. Or eat anything good. Or buy any Legos."

Well, we did everything he asked us NOT to do, except the movies. That was only because we didn't have time to go.  

My parents came to visit this weekend. We drove out to the "real" mall, which was about an hour away. Since there were six of us, we had to take two cars. After we finished our shopping together, my parents graciously took one of the cars and the kids home so that Chris and I could do some secret jolly old man shopping (you know what I mean). 

After an hour of sprinting from store to store, I raised my white flag and begged my husband to sit down with me at the nearest restaurant for a beer and some food. That was when we really stopped, took a breath and realized we were alone. So, you know, when given time to ourselves...what happens? 

We end up in the dressing room of Abercrombie & Fitch 
trying on their matching reindeer sweaters. 


Friday, November 30, 2012


Mags: "Finally! I've been waiting my whole entire life for a booster!"

And just like that, we have two booster seats in our car.
 I really need to stop blinking altogether. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Tuck: "I didn't get to finish writing my list in school, but I'm also thankful for recess."
Me: "And me?"
Tuck:"Oh, sorry. What are you thankful for, Mama?"
Me: "No, I mean, you forgot to put recess AND ME?"
Tuck: "You're thankful for recess, too?"
Me: "Who's on first?"
Tuck: "And your thirst?"

Me: "Yes. Good talk."

Tuck and I have about 5-10 precious minutes of  "just us" time when he gets off of the bus. We either drive or walk, but it's time when I'm able to find out about his day in a nutshell. I love it. And we have some great talks in that little time span. So, when I saw the following list he made in school of all the things he is thankful for, it didn't surprise me.

1. Nana does knit comfy booties and hats.
2. School is fun for him.
3. We did have a talk that morning about his "soul". 
4. What can I say? He is all boy.

Check it out:

And when I finished laughing, I was pretty impressed 
with how he phonetically spelled "buttocks".

Monday, November 26, 2012


Chris: "Bye! I'll see you in a couple of days."
Me: "Have a safe trip! Good luck with your presentation." 
Tuck: "I love you, Dad."
Mags: "Have a fun trip. I can't wait until you get home and don't have a beard anymore."

Sigh. Chris decided to grow a beard this month. It's "Movember" to raise men's health awareness where men grow mustaches. It's also a catchy little thing called "No-Shave-November". And let's be honest, taking time off from shaving is always desirable. That's one reason I was so excited when the crisp winds of Fall blew in. (That and pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING!) 

Colder Weather = Long Pants = No Shaving

And who doesn't like a break from a mundane, daily task? I wish someone would think up something like "No Dishes September" or "No Laundry July". Get on that, will you? Thanks!

However, much like when I dyed my hair a reddish brown, our children were not good with the change. Even though my hair was a temporary color, the kids rejected it big time. In fact, when I told them it would wash out in 28 washes, Mags' response was, 

"Better get washin' then."

So, I don't know why Chris expected the kids to be heading up his "Beard Fan Club". It's itchy, collects stuff, and, well, it's itchy. He looks cute, yes, but it's not fun to kiss him while he has hair on his face. The kids have moaned and groaned about it all of November. Now, we have four days to go until he shaves. They are counting down, as am I. 

It's not like my Uncle Tim who has had a beard my whole life. Literally, if I passed him on the street without a beard, I most likely would not recognize him. It's just part of who he is. 

However, I did find a fun option for Chris if he missed his beard. The Beard Beanie. Best part of these? When he takes it off, I can kiss him without getting a brush burn. It's a win/win situation for all involved.

And, no. That's not blood on my face from his beard rubbing against
 my cheek. I had paint on my face from Mags' birthday party. 

But that would make for an interesting...and slightly disturbing post.


This post is in response to two fantastic weekly writing prompts. The first is from Lance's 100 Word Song and the second is from Velvet Verbosity's 100 Words. Lance is asking that we respond to the song, Landslide by Fleetwood Mac and Velvet Verbosity is asking us to respond to "what remains". The following is where these prompts took my mind and my writing. 


Insecurity fills my being. Every step I take is questionable. The words of frustration hang in the air, remnants of my day.  And then the creak of floor boards under the the rocking chair soothes my nerves like a lullaby. Two of the greatest parts of me melt into my weary lap. Warm cheeks, hearty laughter, genuine smiles and sweet words rearrange my atmosphere. And in an instant, it happens. Insecurities are erased, questions are answered, frustration is tamed and priorities are in check. Those previous lingering remnants are swept away. And how they see me is who I am.

The Edublog Award Nominations

Hi All,

I know this is not my typical style for a post, but as most of you know, I am a special educator. Even though I've been in the field part-time the past seven years, I still make time to keep up with the recent strategies and techniques being used in classrooms across the country. Some of the easiest ways for me to do that is by reading blogs and listening to podcasts full of recommended resources and current practices.

The resources you are going to find below are not only great for educators and students, but also for parents. You can find out more information about how to participate over at The Edublog Awards.

Best educational use of audio / video / visual / podcast-
by Chris Bugaj creates a podcast that shares practical technology tips while entertaining his audience. Each of his well produced episodes include current strategies that are being used in the educational field. Chris focuses on finding strategies and resources that are free or commonly found.

Best Individual Blog -

Teaching All Students by Patrick Black – ( – This is a blog that is full of ideas that can be implemented  in a classroom immediately, multiple resources, and practical solutions for making instruction accessible to every student. Patrick's passion for enhancing learning for his students is apparent in each post.

Best Teacher Blog -

Speech Techie by Sean Sweeney - ( -  This blog focuses on the topic of using technology in the practice of speech-language pathology. Winner of the 2010 Best New Blog Edublog,  Sean shares strategies that are useful for every educator.

Best Mobile App -

Flying Books App (Free – Flying Books App This free storybook app provides users with a unique reading experience. The Flying Books app provides users with the ability to listen to text read aloud. There's an opportunity to record narration of the story which results in an increase in reading abilities of the user. You won’t find random, unnecessary interactive components that distract students from the story in the Flying Books app. Although the books in the library require a purchase, the app also allows students to create their own book, complete with full audio recordings, for free.  It is a great way to practice re-telling of a narrative and/or reading fluency.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Trifextra: My Favorite Things

This post is in response to Trifecta's Trifextra weekend challenge. They asked us to write exactly 33 words about the following: 

1n 1959, Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote the music for the Broadway production, The Sound of Music.  One of the most famous songs from the musical is "My Favorite Things."  Since its inception, the song has been covered by countless artists, and we're asking you to follow suit.  Give us a few of your favorite things, in whichever form you want.

Today was our little family's traditional Christmas decorating day. I was inspired by this to write my entry. Enjoy!

Sparkling lights that all glow when they’re plugged in.
Boxes of decor that hold memories within.
Our history hung on each pine bough with strings.
These are a few of my favorite things.

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Toothless Thanksgiving

Mags: "I love my family."

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. And there was much to be thankful for in our house. Like everyone else, Chris and I have been busy with work, school and our little side projects. I was thankful that both the kids had off of school for the whole week so I could spend some much needed time playing, cleaning and hanging out with them. I was also thankful Chris had Wednesday off from work so that we could finish up the last bit of grocery shopping and yard work.  As a nice surprise, Chris sent me away on Wednesday afternoon to the movie that had a certain sparkly vampire and shirtless werewolf in it

I was hesitant at first with so much to do, so little time and all that jazz. But then the idea started sounding fantastic and so I took a leap and went to the movies...all by myself....the day before we had family coming to the house. And it was glorious. I sat and drank my Cherry Coke all by myself. It was very peaceful and it gave me time to shut off my brain and be sucked into the movie for two mind-numbing hours. 

The rest of Wednesday went well and we finished our preparations for the feast. Yesterday was a success. The dinner was yummy, the guests were funny (and super helpful) and our kids were in heaven with all the added attention. Tuck was especially thankful because yesterday morning, while wrestling with Chris, something happened. His tooth that had been dangling like a shutter after a storm FINALLY fell out. And the first thing he said was,

"Now I can eat Thanksgiving dinner without worrying about my tooth!"

And in his 7 year-old-world, that was a LOT to be thankful for! 

Oh! One more thing I am thankful for is my writing partner-in-crime. I co-wrote another article with my friend, Michele, for the Manilla site/blog. I linked to both of them below. Enjoy! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Me: "Hey, Mags. Wanna help me vacuum?"
Mags: "ARE YOU SERIOUS? Yes! Yes, I do!"
Me: "Alright, let me get you plugged in and ready to go."
Mags: (vacuuming, singing, happy)
Me: (loading dishwasher as fast as I can)
Mags: (over hum of vacuum) MAMA! THE VACUUM IS TIRED!"
Me: "Okay. Let's put it away."

What I thought Mags meant from that comment about the vacuum being tired is that SHE was tired. It turns out when I pulled my beloved Dyson vacuum later that day, she really did mean THE VACUUM was tired. I noticed it did not have it's usual 'suck up the crumbs from across the room' kind of power. And then there was the noise. It sounded like a buzzing.

Quickly unplugging it and flipping it over, I couldn't see anything stuck under it. I pulled out the hose that Mags had been using and looked through. Nope. Nothing. So, I decided to call the 'HELP ME, MY VACUUM IS SICK' phone number on the side of the handle. A very professional man answered the phone and this was the conversation that occurred:

Miguel: "Hello and welcome to Dyson. My name is Miguel. How can I assist you today?"
Me: "Hi Miguel. My name is Mel. My daughter was vacuuming today and I'm pretty sure she vacuumed something up that is stuck in there. It's just not sucking like usual."
Miguel: (very professional sounding) "Okay. Could you please read me the serial number on your Dyson. It will be on the handle of the canister."
Me: "All it says is Dyson on the handle. No numbers."
Miguel: "Try flipping your vacuum over and looking on the bottom. It should be on a white sticker."
Me: "Found it! We're cooking with gas now. Here it is <insert very long number>.
Miguel: "Great. I have found the model to your Dyson. Please hold."
Me: (listening to elevator music, drifting into a dream state)
Miguel: "Hello. Mel? I'm back and I have the same model Dyson as you in front of me."
Me: "Well that's handy. So, where should we start?"
Miguel: (chuckles, leads me through a series of steps to test the motor, canister, and hose)
Me: "Motor's working, there's sucking coming from that hole you described and the hose is clear."
Miguel: "Alright. Now I want you to locate the two yellow buttons on the sides of the grey 'U' shaped  piece below the hose. Once you have located them, push them in at the same time and slide the piece out."
Me: "Got it. I just pinch and pull?"
Miguel: "Yes. It should release that 'U' shaped piece."
Me: (pushes buttons, pulls piece off vacuum, watches a large green marker fall out) "OH! MIGUEL! I found the problem. There was a MARKER in my vacuum. Wow. These things really suck up anything, huh?"
Miguel: (stifling a giggle) "Yes. They are pretty powerful. You'll want to clear out that piece of any debris and then you can place it back on the vacuum and then we can test it out."

Me: (snapping vacuum back together) "Alright, let's give it a go, Miguel"
Miguel: (still stifling a giggle at my ridiculous excitement) 
Me: (vacuums up half of lunch and dinner from under the table with no problem) "Miguel. It's back to normal. I can now suck up small children with this thing again."
Miguel: (laughing while trying to remain professional) Great, Mel. Thank you for calling Dyson. I'm glad we could help you fix the problem. If you need anything else, don't hesitate to call. 
Me: "I won't. Thanks for all your help!"
Miguel: (laughing) "Thank you for using Dyson. Have a good night!"

And the Dyson and I vacuumed our way into the sunset...
right after I took a picture of the culprit.

Have you ever sucked up anything besides dirt in your vacuum?


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mags

Happy Birthday to our spunky, goofy, playful, courageous, adorable, charming, tenderhearted, fierce, devoted, motivated, high-spirited, 

You were a spit-fire from the second that line turned blue. 
Keep it up, girlfriend. You have big things ahead of you.

 And you have one of the greatest side-kicks in the world by your side! 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Read how Mags made her grand entrance: 

The Contraction That Started It All : Part 1
The Contraction That Started It All : Part 2
The Contraction That Started It All : Part 3

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Contraction That Started It All : Part 3

Mags: "What did the doctor say when she pulled me out of your belly again, Mama?"
Me: "She told the nurses to hurry up and grab this wiggly baby out of her wet hands before she wiggled right out of her hands."
Mag: "I was a crazy baby!"
Me: "In my belly. Yes. Yes you were!"

Mags gave us quite a ride. Chris nicknamed Mags "Trouble" from the second we found out I was pregnant. My pregnancy with her consisted of the following:


And those contractions made us all nervous. My doctor included. I was in there every week being monitored from 22 weeks on. And then, on the Thursday, one week before Thanksgiving it all started. If you haven't read The Contraction That Started It All : Part 1 and Part 2, I suggest you start there first. 

So, after my adventure in the triage area, I went home. The contractions remained inconsistent, but intense. Every time I got up, I felt like there was a bowling ball between my legs. I knew the baby was coming soon, it was just a matter of when. Sunday morning at 3am, I was woken up by the pain. I counted two contractions in 15 minutes, but then was so exhausted, I fell back to sleep. I figured if it was the real thing, the labor would wake me up to my water breaking or a baby crowning. Neither happened. We all slept until 7am, which is unheard of in our house. 

The day lingered on with contraction after contraction. We did some errands, called family to update them on my lack of progress, and then decided we should all take a nap. I got into the bed and laid down. I had three strong contractions in 15 minutes and decided maybe it was time to call the doctor. After telling her to hang on twice to breath through my my contractions, she told me to come in. Chris packed the car and then grabbed a sleeping Tuck. I was on the phone with my aunt and uncle who lived in D.C at the time. They planned to meet us at the hospital to pick up our little man and take him back to their house

So, off we went. I tried to keep count of the contractions, but I always got confused about how to count the time in between. Do I count from the beginning of the first one to the end of the second one or the end of the first one to the beginning of the second one? No matter, they were persistent and becoming very consistent. 

When we got to the hospital, my uncle was almost there. Chris dropped me off at the door and I kissed Tuck good-bye pointing out two bags to Chris that should go with my uncle for Tuck. I walked through the familiar doors and hallways to be greeted by a nurse. She wasted no time having me get the gown on, hooking me up and getting my blood pressure. A million questions later, Chris came into the room, big smile on his face, holding one of the two bags that was supposed to go with Tuck. 

Me: "What are you doing with that, Honey?"
Chris: "You told me to bring this one in." 
Me: "No, they were both supposed to go with Tuck. That's his diaper bag with his diapers, wipes, and milk cup. The other bag had his jammies and clothes in it."
Chris: "I'll go call your aunt."

When he came back in, he let me know that my aunt (a veteran mom of three) was already on her way to the store to get diapers. Awesome. Soon after my doctor came in to tell me that I was contracting every two minutes and that they were going to do a c-section within the hour. Then she remarked,

"Guess I was wrong. You aren't going to make it until Thanksgiving. 
But you should definitely be home for it!"

She did one final exam, let me know the anesthesiologist would be in within minutes to prep me (I could have kissed her) and told me she'd meet me in there. 


And then, things went fast. The nurses were getting everything set. Unlike Tuck's birth, everyone was relaxed. The anesthesiologist came in and said he was going walk me to the delivery room so that they wouldn't have to move me after he inserted the needle in my back. He didn't have to tell me twice. I was at the door to the operating room before him. He laughed at me saying that I was the fastest moving pregnant woman he'd ever seen. 

I was numb in no time and every nurse there for the surgery walked over to me to introduce themselves. Chris walked in the room and looked a little panicked. I immediately asked what was wrong. He told me that he had lost his other sterile bootie to cover his shoe. He was worried his exposed shoe would contaminate the whole room. He was assured by everyone it was fine (as they all chuckled a little) and then it began. 

There was a lot of laughing and joking throughout the surgery. Before we knew it our doctor announced that I'd feel a ton of pressure. Just as she was about to pull Mags out of my stomach, she asked the nurse for the time. The nurse commented if we waited just 30 more seconds, she could be born at exactly 5:00pm.  Before I could stop myself I shouted, 

"That's okay. Just get her out!"

So, at 4:59pm (and 50 seconds), Mags was brought into the world, screaming and wriggling with all her 6lb 10oz might. The doctor welcomed Mags into the world, told us that she was a spitting image of her brother and ordered the nurse to quickly come take the wiggly baby. 

And poof! Just like that, our family was complete.