21 Weeks and Some Days, But Who’s Counting?

I’ve currently rolled over to 21 weeks, which I will refer to as the top of 21st now that I’m a baseball mom.

(I mean, teeball. And there are no innings in teeball…)

I’m thrilled to be past the halfway point, but the reality of all the unknowns briskly approaching are making me a little unsettled! With holidays thrown in this pregnancy, I know the latter half will fly by. Am I ready for the sleepless nights? Hauling a carrier everywhere in addition to two wiggly little boys? Are my other two going to adjust without issue? Do I need to rearrange rooms to create a baby girl nursery? When I consider these thoughts, I’m glad I still have until February!

I am, however, so antsy to meet this little girl.

Some bullet points I’d like to remember (or forget, maybe) about this baby girl pregnancy:

–I think The Lord knew I’d need to ache for this baby in order to survive this pregnancy! Ha I am nothing short of absolutely thrilled to be experiencing pregnancy, especially after a good while of praying for this baby. I like to think that made the past few months more bearable, but I’ve been frustrated with myself for STRUGGLING! I was sick with my boys, but I’ve never been sick like this. I’ve been conflicted with my nausea medication. It undeniably lessens the severity of nausea, but, as a trade off, I constantly feel foggy. It makes me forgetful, extra tired, and consequently irritable…but functioning.

The past four months have felt VERY similar to the time I mixed up DayQuil and NyQuil several years ago. Don’t worry– I avoid purchasing the joint packs now. If anyone else has accidentally popped a NyQuil at 10AM while needing to carry on with their normal, pressing responsibilities, you know the blurry, fighting-to-think feeling. Or, what, you haven’t done that?

Recent weeks have been lots of trial and error reconsidering medication, dosage, and trying some holistic methods. (I’m not really a “natural” person, but I AM a desperate person!)

Does sipping Coke all day count as holistic?

In the end, it’s not a big deal, but having two active kids and keeping a house afloat from the bathroom is rougher than I’d expected. Brian’s about burnt out picking up the slack, and we’re both ready for me to be ME again! In a larger version, of course.

–My house is a mess.

–I hate meat, especially chicken.
…but, I can do fish.

–Everything is suddenly spicy.

–I have heartburn every day. Tum’s new-ish “Smoothies” are not terrible.

–I suddenly hate avocado and tomato.

–I wouldn’t use the word “crave,” but the only food I’ve really enjoyed since July are apples, celery, and citrus. I splurge on Honeycrisp because I keep getting squishy apples when I veer off the Honeycrisp course. Squishy apples are the worst.

–I make myself carsick while driving. I feel like that’s similar to tickling yourself! How is that even real?

–Baby girl is still nameless, and for some reason, that makes people suspicious that we’re keeping it a secret.

–I’m carrying higher than I was with my boys. I clearly have a tummy, but am not quite in maternity pants yet; I’m not sure if that’s as awesome as it sounds. The alternative is wearing my own jeans that are obviously tighter than normal. Squishing a 22 week pregnant girl in normal jeans isn’t choice, but neither is constantly pulling up maternity jeans and having your bum fall out the back. I don’t know if my maternity jeans are stretched out from a previous pregnancy, I’ve been sick since July, my body is whack, or what, but it’s a confusing time. (Still, a tender, tender mercy for a pregnant girl whose first purchase was velvet maternity sweats).

–Fall weather in Las Vegas has been exquisite, and I don’t even use “exquisite” in my normal vocabulary. That’s the only word to adequately describe the manna from Heaven that are brilliant blue skies and cooler (for Vegas) weather…70s. Glorious. I’ve never been pregnant during this time of year, and THIS is where it’s AT!

–A wardrobe change is often required each time I sneeze. The combination of my current limited apparel options and the fact that I only get allergies while pregnant has made this fall problematic. Gus sang me a Daniel Tiger potty training song a few days ago. “If you have to go potty, STOP! and go right away. Wash, dry, and be on your way!” Maybe I shouldn’t tell you this, but if Gus spills my incontinence issues, I just would like to explain myself.

–This baby is on the move! This little girl has been fairly quiet inside until recently, and I’ve long awaited these wiggles! I absolutely LOVE the special time I have being the lone person who can sense her teeny movements when I lie down. It’s the utmost honor saved for a new mommy alone. Feeling my babies safe inside me during pregnancy could be my very, very, very favorite part of the whole nine month party.

–Thus far, I have escaped the very vivid, regularly occurring dreams of my teeth falling out that were common throughout my past two pregnancies. Ha! My teeth were always crumbling, loose, breaking off, disintegrating, or just gone. Weird, huh? I eventually Googled it, and, apparently, it’s one of the most common reoccurring dreams! Supposedly, it’s representative of anxiety or uncertainty about a change, or life transition.

Looks like my subconscious may not be as worried this time. 🙂

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From a Stylist: Hair Products That Are A Waste Of Money, Hair Products Worth The Splurge

People are always asking me how I have the most organized house.

LOL LOL LOL JK. No one has ever asked me that.

I DO get dozens of questions about haircare, though, since I’m a hair stylist (but I think it’s because I’m a hairstylist to really beautiful people) (not because I do much to my own hair during my first trimester) (as evidenced below on both counts).

Let’s do it. Let’s talk about hair product.

After nine years of salon experience, and dumping money into who knows how many hundreds of hair products, I’ve included my very favorite, tried and true products. While a good handful of items are a COMPLETE WASTE of money, I’ve found some little diamonds that are well worth every penny. I’m not loyal to any one brand, so the makers and price ranges vary! I don’t believe EVERY hair product needs to be professional. Am I allowed to say that?

Sidenote: I cannot (cannot cannot cannot) believe the number of people that are frustrated with their hair, but do not use ANYTHING in it. Maybe I can’t wrap my mind around that because I’m a stylist, but if you don’t like the way your skin looks, you put something on it, right? Makeup, lotion, something? If you don’t want frizz, use something in your hair.

I can change your color for you, but ultimately, your hair’s fate is in your hands.

That’s why, YES. YOU NEEEEEED at least ONE hair product in your own hair after washing. As a stylist, I usually use two or three:
1. A leave-in product for health/manageability (leave in conditioner, serum, balm, reconstructing lotion),
2. A product for styling (volumizing gel, mousse, sea salt spray, straightening lotions, etc), and
3. A product for finishing (hairspray, serum, oils, texturizing spray, etc).

If you choose just ONE product, a leave-in is most beneficial to your hair’s health. It coats your hair and adds a layer of protection against environmental factors, styling, and even water.

The following receive an Ashton Award (if Ashton Awards were real, I would prefer them be food related, but anyway) for being my favorite, general hair care items that I almost always have at the salon and can use on almost any hair type.

Best leave in leave in conditioner spray: Healthy Sexy Hair Tri Wheat Soy Leave In Conditioner. I use this on EVERY SINGLE CLIENT. It is perfectly light weight, adds moisture and slip to your hair. It allows you to comb through easily (gentle combing through tangled hair is THE easiest to avoid breakage issue, while rough combing the biggest perpetrator!)

*I would AVOID drugstore leave in conditioners as many tend to actually coat your hair with wax-y product, and over time, those layers and layers and layers of residue make it tough for me, your stylist, to get your color (specifically toner) just right. Toner cannot penetrate layers of built up hair product. Toner is what customizes lighter hair, and makes photos above achievable.

Best serum: Moroccan Oil. There are dozens and dozens of “Moroccan” knock offs, but this is my absolute favorite oil/serum. Even fine hair will appreciate the TLC (and smell!) of Moroccan Oil. Although the price tag is considerable, this bottle will easily last you a year. Use on wet hair as a leave-in, or dry hair to tame flyaways. (Paul Mitchell’s Super Skinny Serum is a second runner up.)

Best Hairspray: Meh. Don’t splurge on hairspray. While I think there are a handful of plain terrible, cement hairsprays at Walmart, most are all the same. (Don’t freak out at me, hairstylists.) Read the can, you know? You like strong hold? Get the strong hold. If not, don’t. That’s it! No need to spend much on hairsprays, but MY favorite that I constantly stock is Bed Head…mostly for the fragrance.

Best Blow Dry Spray: Goldwell Kerasilk Structure Balancing Treatment …but this isn’t necessary, honestly. I usually use one in the salon, but not at home on my own hair. It smooths out finished looks and perfumes the hair. It is one of my most asked, “Oh, what’s that amazing smelling one?”

Best Volumizing Product: This is a tough one, because what works for YOUR hair depends on YOUR hair type! My go-to Bumble and bumble Full Form Mousse, but I also love Big Sexy Volumizing Gel. Important!!: Work smallllll amount of product through the ends of hair (not just roots) for real volume. (I always recommend a mousse or gel over a spray because it’s easier to control. Sprays tend to get a little sticky if you get crazy…or the nozzle gets clogged and it sprays like a firehouse onto your scalp.)

Best deep conditioner: Enjoy Luxury Conditioner. Silky. That’s the only description you need. Luxurious and silky. I say “ehh” to having an amazing shampoo. The conditioner is where it’s at! (If you ever feel like a conditioner is too heavy, make sure you aren’t rubbing it in your scalp. Your scalp produces oil-a natural conditioner- so avoid the scalp and focus on the ends.) Close seconds: Redken All Soft Heavy Cream and Bumble and bumble Hair Dressers Invisible Oil Conditioner.

Best dry shampoo: Suave, man. Just plain ol’ Suave from the drugstore is, for blondes, comparable to every high end dry shampoo I’ve used. (If your hair is dark/red, try Bumble and Bumble’s tinted dry shampoo. It adds a little pigment, so your hair won’t look grey “dry shampoo-y.”)

Best Miracle Products

I made this category up, but these two are my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE products that I cannot live without. There is NOTHING on the market like them, and, in my opinion, they’re real break-through items that give my clients the “Ah-ha! I’ve been trying to make my hair look like this for years!” results.

BEST SMOOTHING: Kerastase Keratin Thermique Leave-In Heat Protectant. YOU GUYS. If you suffer from dry hair, this. Just this. I have never, ever used a leave-in product that is THIS effective. Your hair will never, ever be smoother or softer…IF you use the right amount and blow dry it into your hair. It’s a heat protectant…it’s intended to be used with heat. It’s pricey, which is why my link is to a travel sized product so you can try it first. If I could afford to send every single blonde client home with this, I would.

BEST VOLUMIZING: Bumble and bumble Dryspun. Bumble and bumble blew my mind with this, and I keep one in my salon and one in my bathroom drawer. It’s fragrance is head turning (truly, everyyyy client I use it on asks about the smell). This finishing spray adds texture without nasty grit. Spray through the ends for mega-volume, piece-y beach waves, or textured ends. I love it on straight collarbone length styles as well as waved styles of any length.

I’ve linked the products I’ve mentioned below for your online browsing convenience, or stop by The Hair Standard in Las Vegas to pick up your new Bumble and bumble staples.

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My Thoughts on the Las Vegas Tragedy: Things That Surprise Me, Things I Want to Remember

Writing always helps one process information, so that’s all I’m doing here. Nothing deep. I just pay for this .com, you know? This is my space to clear my mind, which, today, the day after a major devastation in my city, is a jumble of polar opposite emotions and thoughts.

Sadly, tragedies are not rare.

I become too aware of this when I accidentally swipe right on my phone, and inadvertently see scary news headlines.

I don’t let myself watch the news anymore.

Still, I’m not ignorant to the goings on of this life.

I was caught off guard by the emotional turmoil felt community-wide when the largest US shooting happened miles from our home.

It wasn’t just on the news…it was real.

It was real, live, see-all-the-time friends that were there. It was our friends’ law enforcement husbands, who left their homes and sleeping children, to help. My friends, and even coworkers, who are mothers, wives, and daughters, were there, running through a gruesome scene to escape. Brian and I, and EVERYONE in our community, have heard stories and stories, from the witnesses that are even able to discuss them.

The terrible, gory sights. The buzz of bullets for nine minutes. The feel of a bullet next to you. The disorientation.

Other things I don’t even want to type here.

The juxtaposition of that and the whole-hearted, compassionate reaction from the city of Las Vegas (and the rest of the nation) is emotionally overwhelming. Strangers driving injured to the hospital. People donating anything and everything. A massive response to the dire need for blood donations, nationwide.

My friend Rachel posted about a Starbucks patron leaving $200 to spread around for drive through drink orders.
Lines of people wrapped around Costco as they purchased items to donate.
My kids were offered free balloons, just because.

Our town has made a noticeable, conscious effort to be kind.

It’s heavy. With both the bloodshed and caring outreach within hours, it’s a lot to process.

Even on an absolutely gorgeous, bright October day, it feels a lot darker.

What’s it like to watch world wide headlines develop in your hometown?

The news frequently gives updates. Reporters keep you in the loop and supply helpful information.

A couple days later, the world has (what feels to be like) the audacity to move on so quickly. CNN find new interesting stories. A Kardashian has other news.

And your city is left just blinking and disheveled…with its own hashtag. #(yourcity)strong

That’s what it’s like (according to me).

It’s really, really…confusing?

Just for my own record, my experience was this:

Brian caught a glimpse of the tragedy (I can’t even say it) on his phone. It was immediately after it happened on October 1, right before we went to bed. He said, “This is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen.” At the time, just two deaths had been confirmed.

I told him I couldn’t hear about it before bed. Brian knows this about me. I can’t check my bank account or watch the news before bed because I can’t be in an adulting state of mind and expect to fall asleep. Besides, it was my son’s birthday the next morning!

The next morning, we woke up to several missed calls and texts from out of state friends and family. Brian said, “Babe, I think whatever happened last night was really bad because people are checking on us.”

I stayed glued to my phone, the news…and then we didn’t talk about it the rest of the day to be fun birthday parents! I didn’t want the mood to seep into my son’s birthday, especially because I already didn’t get him the presents he wanted. (Whoops.)

There was a pit in my stomach that I couldn’t shake. With 22,000 people in attendance, and almost 600 passed away or injured, I knew, knew, knew that I’d know someone. I just felt sick.

I took my kids to Chuck E Cheese so I could be on my phone more discreetly while they played and account for close friends.

The names slowly started coming in. The people that had passed, the people that were hurt, the people not responding and missing…

I was teary all day. Nothing had happened to me, personally, and my friends were all shaken, but okay. We felt SO, SO blessed. That’s why I felt being teary was odd.

I received countless texts from sweet friends in my area, trying to figure out what to do. What was needed? Is everyone in our area alright? Does anyone need babysitters to donate blood or take food to the long lines or police stations? I have really, truly caring friends.

Brian came home from work early. He said it just felt weird, and no one was productive.

My son had been asking to revisit a specific restaurant since February, and we’d promised him we’d go for his birthday; however, it’s located right behind The Strip. Reroute.

He was absolutely not having it. He’d been begging to go to the “chop chop restaurant” all summer.

And you know how moms are with guilt.

We went. We made the trek.

It felt haunted. I drove on the much-quieter-than-usual freeway adjacent to The Strip. What is usually packed, rush hour traffic was smooth sailing, but I still couldn’t look away from Mandalay Bay’s clearly missing windows. The visible concert stage looked like it was untouched. I tried to put out of my mind what I also knew was still there, untouched, as the scene was still being thoroughly processed. My car being just yards away felt horribly disrespectful…even though I was on a freeway. I immediately thought of the families, particularly those that had gathered in the area that morning to search for loved ones. (Many personal belongings of thousands, including phones and cars, were still at the inaccessible “scene,” and injured had been scattered to multiple hospitals across Las Vegas.)

Rather than glittering advertisements, the giant casino signs flashed one of three messages on a black screen. Something along the lines of:

To locate a missing loved one, please call 888…
Blood donations needed
Our prayers are with the victims families, and our gratitude to our first responders.

I held back tears again. Because, BIRTHDAY! Because, MOM GUILT! How could I be crying on my son’s birthday he was SO looking forward to for months?!

I also wondered, why am I crying? How dare I, a healthy, safe person, with a happy family, cry here?

I felt like praying would be more appropriate, and even though I’m religious, I wondered, what am I praying for, exactly?

I felt a little put off by the thousands of people out of state posting “Pray for Vegas.” Did they mean it? Do they know the bloodshed, exactly, as they drink their Pumpkin Spice Latte in the other hand? Do they really understand how our friends and friends’ families ran out of there with a smattering of strangers’ blood on their clothes, and ran and ran and ran? Do they know the heroes of this city that literally, without exaggeration, saved hundreds?

(So, again…why am I the one crying as I’m driving to dinner?)

I felt little flutters of a new life inside me, and that made me so overwhelmed/comforted/happy/anxious, all within the same second.

We had a fun dinner (which I also felt a little guilty/eerie about), and saw multiple candlelight vigils on street corners on the way home.

After kissing my kids, squeezing them extra tightly, and getting them in bed, Brian and I hopped back on the news and our phones. That’s when I started noticing strange Facebook posts about the Las Vegas catastrophe being a conspiracy.

Um, what?
Really?

I know better to comment on Facebook, but I did unfriend these people, for the record. (Haha)

I also noticed how quickly people flipped a switch from “Praying for Las Vegas!” “Love Las Vegas!” posts to infuriated Second Amendment related debates.

All while candles were being lit and prayers said at our local parks.

I’m unsure about what my personal reaction to all of this is. Confusion? Hope? Impressed by the kindness of my city? Fear for this world?

I’m not sure what the correct written response is. I’m not sure how the uninjured but shaken general public is supposed to act, feel, or what to say. I AM very thankful my kids aren’t old enough to require explanation.

Just had to write this all down, and highlight for my future reference this one thing: the genuinely compassionate, generous, and overall GOOD people may not always make themselves apparent, but they’re there and ready to give a good fight, and those people far outnumber the opposite. There is unyielding, immovable strength in kindness, unity, and service.

Teach this to your kids, Ashton.

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Birthday Eves: The Most Bittersweet Nights of the Year

I don’t believe I understood the definition of bittersweet in it’s entirety until my kids started having birthdays. As much as I cringe at the thought of my babies getting older, it is SO fun to see them grow into fun, new stages.

(And, like, feed themselves.)

Gus turns four, and it’s one of those bittersweet, birthday eve nights. I surrender my self control and browse baby photos while crying and eating chips (and Tums, this year).

Dads don’t get like this, right?

Maybe it’s because women are more hormonal.

Maybe it’s because dads don’t save 12,094 photos on their phones.

Or maybe, for me, it’s because four years ago right this second, I was experiencing one of, if not the, most magical, exciting nights of my life. I was about to become a mom…a completely unknown identity.

Four years ago at this exact moment, I was well into an almost sixteen hour labor that was a whirlwind of emotions.

My water broke that late morning, and since I’d already been sent home from triage a few days before, I questioned the source of the fluid for a while…

I ate a tiny bit on the way to the hospital, but I was too nervous.

I loved being hooked up to a monitor in the hospital to hear his heart beating all night.

The anesthesiologist was a family friend, I loved my doctor and nurses.

My mom brought pumpkin cookies to everyone, and I was starving and jealous.

Only Brian and I were in the room when I had Gus. It was the most peaceful moment of my life.

When my doctor placed my seconds old baby on my chest, that was it. I was a mom. I was one of those women who instantaneously loved. I obsessed over him. I was shocked that this actual human had been inside me this whole time, but I felt like I’d known this baby forever.

After a long labor, Gus was pretty banged up. He had a swollen eye that didn’t open for about five days…but I thought he was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Ever. In my life. (Brian later said he disagreed, which makes me laugh hysterically when I look at Gus’s brand new, cone head, bent nose baby photos from the hospital. He became the beautiful child I saw him as a few weeks later. 😊 )

This boy has been THE happiest, agreeable, easy going, hilarious best buddy. He is kind. He is gentle. He is SUPER physical, and that spills over to all aspects of his life. He’s a runner, climber, toucher, kisser, and cuddler. He is friendly and social. His memory and sense of direction leaves me speechless. He worries about the happiness of the people around him, and if he questions your mood, he’ll directly ask you if you’re happy.

He WILL make you laugh.

He is just learning how to play WITH friends, rather than side by side.

He loves all sports (he refuses to narrow it down when we ask), “emergency vehicles,” hanging out with boys that are five years older than him, his finger in his nose, the beach, snail and lizard catching, cleaning supplies, has his daddy’s sweet tooth, loves salty olives, pickles, and capers like his mama, and is best, best, best buddies with Roscoe.

We are so happy to celebrate my no-longer-toddler Gus all day.

I can’t wait to spend another year with Gus leading the way, teaching me all the unknowns of motherhood I have yet to experience.

A few of the photos that bring the water works because Gus has always just been so GUS:

About to have Mr. Gus right here.

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What’s Going On Wednesday

Originally titled, “What The Hell is Even Going On Wednesday,” because it seemed most appropriate to describe a week of functioning/working/momming with my foggy, nausea-medicated brain. You know, like, “Wait, what? That happened THIS week? Am I supposed to be somewhere right now?” With my increased caffeine intake to balance this medication, I’ve noticed a little more clarity in my life, so now it can just be a more ladylike, “What’s Going On Wednesday.”

You’re welcome, Mom.

Anyway, today is the day I am holding myself accountable to at least document our week’s happenings.

I felt my baby girl move for the first time a few days ago! Baby GIRL. I still can’t comprehend it! That feeling of a tiny life inside of you is indescribable, and something I always miss after birth. While I’m pregnant, it’s me, and me alone, that is the special recipient of these little flickers, and it always feels like the baby and I share a little secret (or maybe just “Why did you eat that, Mom?”). Since it’s a sensation I’ll only get to experience a handful of times in my life, I’m thrilled to enjoy every little butterfly movement (but maybe not the jabs down the road)!

My boys have LOVED firemen and policemen recently, but firemen have had a slight edge lately. G had a field trip to a fire station, and Roscoe tagged along.

I threw up within two minutes of getting there (um, embarrassing), but the boys were unconcerned and completely entranced. They’ve currently checked out every fireman book they could find at the library. (I’ll be ready for all the late fees.)

Now, my house will NOT smell like Cinnamon Pumpkin nor Cranberry Woods lest I undergo a series of fire safety questions and list of concerns before lighting a candle. The wick will be closely monitored and blown out within one minute… but I think that’s unrelated to his recent fire unit.

My home will not be fall scented for a while with this serious fire marshal on watch.

Roscoe and I are enjoying special one on one time while Gus is at preschool. It took Roscoe a few times to shake off the confusion of his best bud leaving him for a couple hours, but now he is feeling less left out and more like the king of the castle. He even wanders into Gus’s room and requests, with a shy grin, that I change him into a shirt of Gus’s. We’ve pulled up to Gus’s preschool pickup with Roscoe in his brother’s wardrobe more than once.

Gus has a birthday coming up next, and has been asking to go to a certain restaurant since February (kids’ memories are super impressive, I might add). This restaurant is pricey, and Brian keeps trying to suggest other places, so we’ll see who wins.

(Gus will win.)

Gus also started teeball, and I am excited as he is! Because we live near baseball fields, Gus has grown up on them. We walked sloooowly around baseball fields when he was merely a week or so old, and I remember shuffling a little by the time we arrived to the field area, and being surprised and frustrated that my body couldn’t keep up. I needed more time to recover from his birth, but I had to get out, and he didn’t seem to mind me using his stroller as a walker. My extremely slow pace is what made it leisurely and extra memorable.

We’ve tracked red dirt into our home after I’d let babies sit to play in the sand on the pitcher’s mound.

We’ve ran bases with Fisher Price bats hundreds of times, and had countless picnics in the outfield. I wonder what third baseman found an abandoned granola bar at his feet.

To see Gus all dressed out and big enough to actually play was surreal. And emotional. And I’m definitely pregnant with feelings.

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The Difference Between Mom Brain and Needing an MRI

Today, I envisioned myself being interviewed on a reality show. What would my dialogue be? Just beeping.

A lot of beeping.

Not the “I’m saying bad words in an angry rage” beeping, just, like, laughing with indiscernible talking and beeping because my brain is misfiring.

All of America watching would be like, “OMG WUT but I hope they don’t medicate her before the season ends so it doesn’t stop, LOL!” and there would be memes of me all over the place the next day.

I think this is my real life sometimes. Brain malfunctions. Forgetfulness. I’m not sure if I even make sense to the guys at the carwash anymore.

Actually, I’m sure they’ve already written me off as the “WUT” category after going through the car wash multiple times in a row with my boys. (We have a monthly membership for my boys’ enjoyment, so we literally get popcorn at a soda shop first, drive through the car wash a few times while they eat it, and then vacuum up the popcorn that is all over the car before we leave. We wave every single time we see the same, non-expressive guy. I used to change sunglasses, but that made it weirder.)

Anyway.

I’ve voiced my concerns to Brian about my brain’s capabilities seeming suddenly sub par. The headspace that was once a very efficient, sharp, creative funland is now…taking a sabbatical. Am I ok? Don’t even ask my where my keys are. Next thing I know, I’m probably going to start paying full price for clothes at Baby Gap like a full fledged idiot.

I’ve told Brian I’ve wanted an MRI for years. Three or four years. Same amount of time I’ve had children…interesting.

I know, I’m currently pregnant. I AM on a medication that truly makes me tired (don’t worry, hair clients, I write down my color formulas), but I don’t know if it’s that + mom-brain full throttle, or if I need a neurologist. I’ve been self-diagnosing.

The key to this diagnosis, though, is to first decipher mom-brain from everything else that will force you to read the fine print of your insurance coverage.

Mom brain is a bunch of browser tabs consistently open in your head, at all times. Right? I mean, even on Black Friday, I get confused and overwhelmed with nine pages open at the same time, and I am hiiiighly motivated then.

Mothers may be seemingly more discombobulated because they have tabs on tabs. We can’t be flitting through all of these tabs 789027054x per second. Ask anyone at Apple. Memory is not infinite… unless you’re going to pay for that.

Browser Tabs constantly opened in a mom brain:

Home
Groceries
School Schedules
Work
Car Pool Rotation
Paw Patrol Names
Laundry Switching to the Dryer
Appointments
Church Obligations
Husband’s Work Schedule
Last Four of Your Own Social
Hair Washing Cycle
Passwords
Bill Payments
Gym
Friends
People You Never Texted Back
Sports Practices and Games
Kids Birthdays
(Don’t look at me like that when I pause to think, pediatrician office girl.)

Even an iPhone X would freeze under the browser abuse!

Justice. For. Moms.
Say it again.
JUSTICE FOR MOMS!!!

I explained this to Brian while cleaning the kitchen with no pants (in the least sexy, “I took off my pants because I just feel fat but don’t throw out the rest of that pizza” way), and an ill fitting shirt that says VACATIONLAND on the front.

He gave me a hug.

I just need to buy iCloud space for my brain. It’s at capacity. Possibly some glitches, but full memory over here. Can I save my high school math skills on an external hard drive and delete it from my brain? (In actuality, the “math” tab in my brain cannot be occupying significant space.)

I still want the MRI to be safe.

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16 weeks and Thoughts from My Bathroom Floor

I have been getting ROCKED by this baby girl lately. I’m sixteen weeks now, and on a max dosage of nausea medication, so I’m not sure why I’ve recently had my most sick week. Maybe I’d been in the eye of the storm for a while, and now I’m hitting the fury of the eye wall and outer band.

Maybe I’ve watched wayyyy too much Hurricane Irma coverage while I’ve been sick.

Here’s a quick, what-we’ve-been-up-to rundown (low quality iPhone pics included) and thoughts from my bathroom while I sip Diet Coke on the floor:

I became OBSESSED with Hurricane Irma. I tracked Irma’s every move for no apparent reason.

When I wasn’t checking out Irma (she was just so slow for the frequency of my stalking), I found new myself wide-eyed reading the feed of my most diabolical social media outlet, Facebook. Although it’s not in response to anything I post, people get CRAY on Facebook. SO OFFENDED. ALL THE TIME. Your daughter wore a romper? OFFENDED. “God bless America” as your status? OFFENDED. A little boy drinking water out of a Starbucks cup? HORRIBLE. CPS ALERTED. A funny meme about parents not wanting their kids to have school projects? THE NERVE.

Are these people my friends? Aren’t the busy at jobs or something, or are they just licking Saltines while scrolling, too?

I’m equally parts entertained + whatever that feeling is I had about my neighbor’s three outdoor chihuahuas. (I did pray for coyotes, I will say that.)

We already flaunt marijuana dispensaries in Las Vegas, but judging by my Facebook feed, this nation would most benefit from Xanax dispensaries. Xanax brownies and gummy bears for all!

There it is. I figured out world peace before my Tums dissolved.

OMG, don’t tell Facebook I said this.

I’m still taking crackers with me everywhere. I alternate between Saltines and Ritz, which is proven by the 3″ of crumbs padding the bottom of my purse.

I also am constantly sipping Coke, preferably Pepsi, but sometimes preferably Diet Coke because I don’t even know my own preferences anymore. We frantically hauled ourselves to the library for story time last week , only to find it had been cancelled. The quick pace forced us to take a “too much sudden movement” restroom lounge while I sipped whatever I was drinking and put cold water on my face, while Gus suggested ditching the library for “Tacoooo Rioooo” (Café Rio) with gusto.

Before my sickness took a hard turn (the eyewall…can I call it that? I’m going to start mixing obstetrical and meteorologist terms), I beat my PR at Chuck E Cheese skeeball with a 10,000 point ball. I got, like, 4 tickets and I’d like to dispute the ticket allotment with someone at corporate as skeeball actually takes more talent than the higher payout games.

The price of snow cone and lemonade stands has increased substantially since I was selling on the streets. Inflation, I guess…and the financial offset of the generator needed for their actual ice machine. Elementary entrepreneurs don’t understand the struggle of we early 90s snow cone shavers.

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One of the Best Things About Boys & Why I’m a Little Jealous

As a mom, I can always gauge my babies’ ages by my favorite little sweet spot on the back of their necks.

Do you know the place I’m describing?

It’s right where their little heads wobble when they’re brand new, raising their heads from their daddy’s shoulder with no little effort, trying REALLY hard to check out the world around them for the first time.

It’s where that little roll forms when determined babies lift their heads when they protest tummy time.

It’s the spot that fluffy little baby bird hair covers when not-quite-a-baby babies need their first haircuts.

After a birthday or two, that little spot slowly fills in. It’s strong. It’s not as rounded. The shoulders do the same thing as toddlers turn into little boys or girls.

Does this sound weird? It can’t if you’re a parent who has spent a BILLION hours laying down with your child. Sick, to sleep, playing hide and seek in the exact same spot over and over…you know.

Roscoe still has that little spot. Gus? it’s barely distinguishable.

After many nights of laying with him as he falls asleep (but mostly during failed naptimes) (I know naptimes are over for him, but I still try out of desperation), I’ve admitted it. My baby boy grew into a little boy. B-O-Y.

He headed to preschool this week and he couldn’t have been more excited. I know I’m his mom, but I could gush about him forever.

The best, most enviable part of boys is that no matter how broad their shoulders get, no matter how tall and strong they grow, they never really grow up.

Not in 100% totality. Sure, boys grow into “men,” and definitions may vary… but all the best men I know still have a little bit of boy in them.

That ease, that ability to separate themselves from their other roles and titles of responsibility to let loose for a minute, the ageless appreciation for the funny if not immature…all of it. If you look at an elderly man’s eyes when he laughs, a younger boy is still visible there.

(In general, I don’t think women can shake off their stresses/motherhood responsibilities/worries as easily. Women would argue that is favorable, or that someone has to be the adult…but, maybe, it’s suicidal to that youthful, lively, sometimes abandoned side of us.)

My husband is this way. I love this about him. He is a mature, professional, and driven adult, but…treading water underneath all the work clothes, contracts, work emails, phone calls that interrupt dinner, bills, and daddy duties is that super fun, charming, seventeen year old boy.

Brian had his longest running Fantasy Football League in town, and they were ridiculous.

I’m a big fan.

To determine their draft pick, these men (I didn’t use quotation marks around that as not to offend anyone), who are adult professionals, shed blood racing through a bounce house obstacle course, sweat through a home run derby, raced scooters, pounded soda and hot wings in a contest…and I didn’t ask for elaboration beyond any of that.

My only real contribution was generic Advil.

I’m grateful my little guys have a strong daddy, who will help raise them into great men who never lose sight of the boy inside.

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Baby GIRL!

There are a dozen or so milestone moments in your lifetime that are completely surreal. They elicit so many overwhelming emotions competing for the spotlight, there truly are no words to describe them.

Getting a long awaited positive pregnancy test and learning gender of EACH of my babies was incredible.

Discovering our baby is a GIRL yesterday added to these once-in-a-lifetime, total Cloud 9 moments.

We waited an extra couple of hours to do a gender reveal. I’m too antsy…I never could handle the wait with my other two pregnancies! Even though I love my friends and a party, I loved having just my little family gathered (with my photog friend Chelsea). I didn’t think of entertaining, food, or anything else. We were totally undistracted and absorbed the moment!

(Brian had previously joked that he only makes boys because of his Mountain Dew and fried chicken intake, and I was totally THRILLED with the three boy family I’d half anticipated…but me closing my eyes as I opened the box suggests that deep down, a girl tipped my hope’s scales.)

Don’t ask how much I’ve already spent on her wardrobe! We CANNOT wait for February.

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It’s Really Happening! New Baby in February!

After lots of prayers and a bumpy year of hoping for a baby, we absolutely could not be more over the moon to welcome a new addition to our family in late February!!

We are THRILLED and are eagerly awaiting this baby’s arrival!

(I am also eagerly awaiting the day I am no longer sick, although I’m always relieved by my new close friendship with the bathroom because it’s a sign that things are progressing. 🙂 )

Now that I’m 14 weeks and past the scary first trimester, and the baby has a strong heartbeat, I am ecstatic to share this pregnancy! It makes it real!

(It has to be said: I am also getting myself in check for the inevitable, “Ohhh, what if it’s a boy? Would you be so sad?” “You must be dying for a girl.” “Are you going to keep trying if it’s a boy?” Am I just hormonal, or would those comments make you legitimately angry?

Do you know how badly we want a baby? Do you know how much we (and any mothers) are continually keeping this baby’s good health and safe delivery in our prayers?

Did you know I’ll punch your face?

Gender is secondary, and although a girl would be so, so fun, I sure adore my boys! I am truly just grateful to tears that I’m pregnant!)

My boys have opinions, though!

Gus says he already has a baby. “No thanks, I already have this Roscoe Bear one.” Gus is usually hoping for a brother, sometimes a sister.
Roscoe is hoping for a kitty.

Gus also thinks we’re having three babies: one in my tummy, two on my chest. “Wow, all those babies are getting bigger now!” Hahaha

And me? I’ve been super not fun, and even though I’m on nausea medication, I’m sick almost every. every. every. evening. (It’s kind of reassuring, though!) I loathe my favorite foods, with a special hatred for tomatoes, avocados, and meat in general. I’ve never been a big soda drinker, but now I drink Coke everyday, and I prefer the species of Coke I used to “Eww,” Diet Coke. The only things I enjoy eating are Coke, cucumbers, celery…lobster. Talk about high maintenance!

We are giddy to share our news with you and cannot wait to have a brand new baby in our home again!

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