Finding out the Sex of Baby 3

First off. No. I don’t know yet.

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Before we where pregnant with this baby I wondered IF we ever had another would I want to find out the sex before birth? We did with Harper, we didn’t with Willem, another could be a tie breaker. Once I was pregnant I did want to know but I was going to give the option to Chad- luckily within a couple hours of hearing about this baby he said “we should find out this time.” Good man.

Why I want to find out: With Willem we chose to try the surprise route, to see what all the fuss was about to see and announce at birth. I have to admit as much as I hated not knowing I loved torturing everyone else as well. Then, at the birth, I was the first one to look, to announce anyway he was a boy. Yes I felt joy and excitement over a boy and a brother for Harper, in the end I was underwhelmed by whether or not the baby was a boy or girl. Instead, I was over the moon excited about the little person I was looking at, he was an amazing baby to look at with lots of dark hair and the chubbiest cheeks. Not to mention his size! I was on an absolute birth high and obsessed with this new little person and I would have been no matter what his assigned sex was. The baby was the exciting part everything else was just gravy.

In finding out at an anatomy scan (when one typically finds out) I feel like its spreading out the excitement a little more. No matter what I’ll still be waiting 20-22 more weeks to see what this little person really looks like, how big they are, how long his or her fingers are, their demeanor so why not celebrate knowing one little secret halfway through.

The issue I’m finding is the closer I get to finding out the more obsessed I get with wanting to know. Last week I went to CareNet for a free ultrasound. I went there mostly for a peek at baby in hopes of easing my anxiety, one of those pesky pregnancy issues, but also knowing there was a small chance at finding out what was between this baby’s legs. No luck though it was fun to guess (we saw nothing between the legs from the bottom, saw a nub from the side and then baby crossed its legs). I’ve given in to attempting to decipher old wives tales (though I put zero stock in them). Did you know some web sites say that if you dangle your wedding ring over your stomach and it sways back and forth it’s a boy then the next site says back and forth means that it’s a girl? There are also some crazy tests involving mixing urine and baking soda, something with boiling red cabbage, the widening of your nose, the rate at which your hair grows… it goes on and on. One theory is based on how you carry baby, here is the comparable of my pregnancy with Willem (left) and baby 3 (right) both around 15 weeks. Now, if you grow high and straight out it’s said that baby is male, if wide and low, female. Or maybe I’m just getting used to this growing babies things and my body expands however the heck it wants to, well that and I can’t stop eating cinnamon toast crunch.

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I’m tired of speculating. I’m ready to know. The beautiful thing is, like with Willem, I (we) truly have no preference for either sex although Harper has told me that if it is a girl he doesn’t want it and we should have a boy instead. Not sure how that works.

Playing Favorites With My Kids

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Sometimes one of my kids does something amazingly cute, or says something amazingly cute, or simply just walks in a cute way and I think to myself “Oh my, he is the best, he’s my favorite of the little people I live with.” I relish the moment and begin to think about the other kid. Honestly there is always something equally as cute and I think “How can I ever pick a favorite, look how amazing he is as well!” It’s a vicious circle of not being able to pick one, though thankfully, one does not need to be picked.

Before we had Willem we wondered if we could ever love him as much as we did Harper, obviously we did and still do. It’s crazy how that really does work.

Example 1: Tonight after Willem fell asleep Harper got out of bed and chatted with me. He was super sweet, asking about the new baby, we talked about feeding babies with bottles and discussed his diaper changing duties (he’s to grab diapers and wipes as needed but I will do the actually changing). Eventually I forced our chat to an end and walked him back to bed thinking about how much I loved that time with him and he is definitely my favorite, when I saw Willem fast asleep in bed in the pajamas he picked out and put on himself my heart melted fully- no way could I pick one kid over the other.

Example 2: When I leave the house to do errands, I always offer to take a kid, one kid is always easier than 2 when leaving the house. Willem is very easy to take out and behaves wonderfully in public so I feel like I would favor him. Harper is not nearly as well-behaved and can tend to be crazy in public but he’s fun! I love talking to him and I love when he says “hi” to random people, even conversations in the car can be highly entertaining so I love taking him as well.

Chad on the other hand has an easy time picking favorites, just yesterday he blatently claimed one of them as his favorite (I can’t tell you here incase the boys read this when they are older) and he had a valid reason for it. He didn’t say he loved this kid more, he just preferred spending time with him more that day.

I also know my parents played favorites, sure they loved us equally, but there is/was some definite favoritism as there is in most families. Any seasoned parent (one whose kids are grown) will inform you that some kids just make it easier on you, then you tend to “favor” them as the others see it. I’m waiting to see if this is true for me because as of now I have a somewhat sickening preference for both of my kids. Maybe their young age and innocence just makes them equally endearing to me? I’ll let you know in another 5 years if it’s turning true or not.

Through Harpers Lens

Last weekend was the wedding of one of my closest friends. Harper and I both had a part in the wedding but this may have been over stimulation for Harper as well as very distracted parenting from me and thus- Harper was a freaking mess of a kid. So, in order to make an attempt at controlling and appeasing him I allowed him to use my camera- with the strap on constantly.

He captured these gems, the watermelon shot is my favorite of them all.

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little things with little people

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Last night I took a beer out of the fridge looking to my chance at drinking a beer on my back patio and possilby enjoying some fine chocolates (potty training m&m’s) while my kids were in bed. Instead Willem came to the top of the stairs with the over tired cry of “mommmmaa.” Asking me to put him to sleep.

I was annoyed, I didn’t want to lay down with him, I wanted to enjoy our warm weather and my cold beer but I had no choice and I scooped him up and took him to bed.

As we laid down he took my face into his hands whispering into my cheek, his eyes giving me butterfly kisses and in that moment I knew there was nothing I would rather be doing.

In 20 years this is how I want to remember his toddlerhood.

Free Range Parenting

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Harper came bounding through the backdoor from the dark backyard. His cheeks where rosy, his breath was heavy and his eyes where wild. “Mom! We play outside!” I had been upstairs going through the night routine with Willem while Chad was downstairs doing dishes while our 4-year-old ran around outside playing with no adult supervision. “We played hide and seek, and bad guys and bad cars (?)” he exclaimed with a frenzied excitement. As he told me about his adventures outside I became just as alive as he was. My little boy is growing up and experiencing the world in his own way through his own eyes.

We are graduating as parents with Harper. I still carry Willem close and cuddle him to sleep (even as I type this they are both asleep in my bed on either side of me), yet Harper has gained an intense independence in the last year.

I just recently came across this op-ed in the New York Times about Free Range Parenting. I had only heard of this term once before on a Facebook thread but it didn’t stick long enough for me to google it. Once I came across the article I felt a strong gratitude that we are able to give our kids an imaginative and beautiful childhood free from fences and limitations.

Free range parenting to me is what we lived as children but it now has a name. It’s about trusting your child in the world and letting them play without the constant watchful eye. This does not work for every child and in every environment but it does stand to be talked about because as the parenting pendulum swings we can over-act when it comes to our children. This comes only for love of them and out of their safety but there is a point when we have to trust that they will make wise decisions and be ok. Think of it as little test runs to their adulthood (oh the thought of that hurts just a little).

“If you love someone let them free” is an  in my mama-bear opinion but I do love Harper in a way that I want him to be who he truly is and not a mold that I put him in and trusting him at 4 to play with the neighborhood kids in a safe environment without his mom constantly overseeing him allows him to be his sincerest, sweet little self.

Scary Story

 

Early before this morning, before the sun rose, I could hear Harper crying. It wasn’t too serious of a cry but I wanted to get to him. As I became more aware I tried to get Willem to let go of me, he nurses a lot in the early morning hours and I didn’t want both my children crying. I was able to work Willem off of me and walked out to find Harper crying in the kitchen! I had locked the baby gate with a dog leash (it clips it closed so Harper can’t lock or unlock it) and apparently he could squeeze past it to get in but now was unable to get back out. I still am clueless as to how or why he was in the kitchen. I took him back to bed where he wanted to sleep as close to me as possible. This wasn’t a big deal but the darn cat wouldn’t leave us alone. So I had to disturb everyone and throw the cat out of the room. I turned around and Harper was crying between me and the dresser, I bent down to console him asking him “what’s wrong bud? Why are you so sad?” and he just looked to his left, towards the ceiling and cried and pointed up at the ceiling.

I told him he was creepy and we went back to bed and to sleep.