Mo Mo turns two!


My baby boy turned 2 last week. TWO! He is such a goofball...and a stinker. that kid gives me a run for my money. Just a few days ago he started yelling "NO!!" at me multiple times while pointing at me with his chubby little finger. "NO! NO! MOM, NO!".... anytime...well, every time I asked him to do something, even if I KNEW it was something he wanted to do. If that isn't a sign of a two year old, then I don't know what is.

The kid is a maniac. A crazy, energizer bunny-esque boy who specializes in hitting, wrestling, scratching and/or pinching his sister and me, and even biting his baby sister until she cries (when he is at his most destructive). But a lot of the time, he is a loveable bear of a boy who cries when he sees someone else cry and feels bad when he truly hurts someone. He loves to give hugs and kisses, he loves to cuddle up with his blankie on your lap and read books. He loves to color pictures and build towers out of megabloks and show them off to you. He loves to "hold detta!" every day while patting her balding head and kissing her cheeks. He loves to play pretend with viv and copy everything she does. He loves baseball and playing outside in the dirt. He loves food and eats almost everything you put in front of him (when he's not completely destroying it and throwing it on the floor). His favorite thing to do is eat an entire apple, core and all.

He has a mad obsession with dinosaurs, dogs, horses, alligators, sharks and all other little plastic figurines and stuffed animals. At any given time, he will have at least two in his hands, and most of the time a big armful. He loves to pile everything onto the play baby stroller we have and walk it around the house, unloading and loading at various locations. He also, like viv, loves to line up all his animals with precision, making sure they are all standing or sitting just so. When he wakes up in the morning, he makes sure to bring every single stuffed animal and blanket that he slept with that night into my room and pile it on my bed before he will get in to cuddle with me.

He loves movies and is into princesses right now (?). His obsession with Mickey Mouse has never gone away. He is talking up a storm now and is always putting two little words together to give me the perfect insight into his silly and mischievious little brain. He will run circles around the couch for minutes on end, his right arm bent and pumping back and forth with what I can only assume gives him extra running powers. He loves to laugh. He loves nursery and Jesus. He loves to be silly and tease us. He loves swimming and will jump off any surface at any time into the water. 

He's sneaky and there have been many times when I put him to bed, go check on him 1/2 an hour later to see how he's sleeping and find him upright in MY bed on MY ipad watching a movie, the little sneak! In addition, many many MANY times he has come to me and said, "mom, no no, no no", taken me by the hand, and pointed out his handiwork of coloring over every single surface of his room and the table and the walls. MANY times. 

Mostly, he's so cute I can't do or say anything to derail him. His behavior at times can be maddeningly frustrating and I do yell so much more than I should, but most of the time, Dale and I are choking back loud laughs and trying to subtely hide our smiles because he's hilarious 99% of the time. Problem is that now he knows it and uses it. Time to bring out the big guns. Terrible twos WILL be happening with this kid.

We decided to celebrate his birthday we would go on a little family camping beach trip down near Santa Cruz. It was just a quick trip to a church-owned campsite named Camp Lehi. We pitched our tent and roasted hot dogs and went on little hikes, made smores, played in the dirt and ate chips, probably in that order. It was a good ole classic camping trip. The kids did great, we had fun. 



The next morning, we packed up and set out towards Capitola Beach to spend the rest of the day. It was kind of a lot to plan, to pack, to be completely ready for both activities, but seriously, how awesome is it to be able to go camping, then drive 30 minutes and make it to the beach? For all its other faults, Northern California has some seriously redeeming qualities.


The day was fun and went surprisingly well until the last 5 minutes when Greta was almost drowned by a rogue quick tide that instead drowned my brand new library book and all my towels and stole my sunglasses and almost all of our shoes. It was crazy.....and decided for us that we were going home. haha. All things considered, the trip was a success. Not that Mo would have known any different.

Then we went to our favorite San Francisco Creamery that night. Because we are gluttons for punishment.

Mo's actual birthday fell on a Sunday, so it was a low key day that we celebrated with our family. We went to church, he took a nap, and afterwards we just played all day. It was a really fun day.


He specifically asked for a horse ROAR cake, which I loved. His two favorite animals smashed into one cake. He loved it.

I just love this happy boy who loves kissing all his animals and lining them up everywhere he goes. He's just the best.


Look at those beautiful brown eyes!

And just because it's so cute:

We love you Mo. Happy birthday little buddy.

Beautiful Greta


Isn't she beautiful? I love these newborn pictures my friend Alysha took for us a few weeks after Greta was born.

These last three pictures are some of my very favorite of Greta.

Miss Greta Beard


well, the day finally came.

Baby #3 arrived! Introducing Miss Greta Beard! She was born on March 29, two days past her due date, the little stinker. She is beautiful and sweet and the kids are obsessed with her. We're a month into this now and even I am still obsessed with her, and that's saying something, given that I'm sleep deprived and hormonal (but NOT as sleep deprived as I have been before...which could be why i'm still obsessed).

So here's the story of everything you don't care about but I do.

The weeks and days leading up to my due date were busy. Viv's birthday was happening and I just really didn't want the baby to come on or close to her birthday. Who likes sharing birthdays?  Viv had a doctor's appointment that I didn't want to miss. Easter was happening and I really wanted the kids to have a legit Easter without a baby spoiling things for them, and I really hadn't done anything at all to get ready for the impending baby's  arrival, so I had a laundry list of things to get done and seemingly not enough time to get them done. I procrastinated, waiting for my nesting instinct to kick in and it just didn't. Is your body too tired by the time you're pregnant for the third time? That's what it felt like.

So, we waited, but happily. I willed the baby to stay in until the weekend before my due date. I was due on Easter Sunday, but thought it would be juuuuust perfect if I could go into labor Saturday night and have the baby Sunday and everything would be wonderful and great, giving us enough time to get everything done and the kids could have a taste of Easter egg hunts and I wouldn't have any mom guilt.

Turns out babies have their own agenda. Who knew?

My mom came out early, because she was also convinced the baby would be early. She brought my dad. They stayed at our house and we all just stared at my huge belly, waiting (but trying to not be to conspicuous about it) for something exciting to happen. Nothing did. I got my wish. I got everything done, and we even got to do Easter together. The baby was SO cooperative, in fact, that she even waited to come AFTER easter, after my dad left and after I was so completely done being pregnant.

So, my due date rolls around, I'm barely dilated to a 3 (my doc only told me that to make me feel better. I was probably more like a 2), and nothing NOTHING NOTHING was happening. Nothing. So I walked curbs like an idiot, my giant body waddling and rolling down our busy street. We hiked up in the hills, Mo on my shoulders, trying to induce any kind of movement. The girls got pedicures, I ate a lot of candy, we went and ate spicy Mexican food. I drew the line at sex, because duh. I was 9 months pregnant and who even does that, you know? SO, you get the picture. Nothing was happening and I was getting super pissed about it. Because my due date happened to fall on Easter Sunday, when big 'ole me showed up to church (hard to miss me at that point), the remarks and pity looks from everyone were just too much for me to handle. Because hello? Who needs a bunch of people telling you what you already know? You're fat, you look tired, you look like you're about to pop, I can't believe you haven't had the baby yet, you must be so done, that happened to me....blah blah blah.


I went home and grudgingly ate the Easter dinner my mom made for me and walked more curbs in the hot sun by myself (and btw, Easter was fun, and super low key, which was really nice. Here's a picture):

Monday came and went. nothing. Tuesday was my scheduled induction and I just REEEEEALLY didn't want to be induced. My last induction was pretty much terrible and it freaking hurt and I really hated it. But, doctor's orders. And I have to say, isn't it the most surreal thing to have a time set up for you to have a baby? Like, you know you'll have a baby out of you the very next day? You know when you'll go into labor and your baby that is currently in will most likely be bawling in your face within the next 24 hours? It really is surreal and it was hard to wrap my head around. At 6 AM that Tuesday morning, we called to make sure L&D wasn't swamped. Turns out they were. So they delayed us 2 more hours. at 8, we called again, and they delayed us 2 more hours. Finally at 11, they told us to come in. So we did, nonchalantly. We said goodbye to the kids without me crying like a hormonal pregnant lady. Going to the hospital was so nonchalant, in fact, that we stopped by the post office to mail something and almost got a smoothie on the way. Anyway. 3rd kids will do that to you. Run of the mill...really not a big deal.

So yada yada yada, we get there, get checked in, get hooked up, get the Pitocin rolling, answer a lot of dumb questions and settle in for a loooooong wait. I told those nurses that it would be a while. They said "nah, this is your 3rd. Once this pitocin gets going, this baby will be out by 2 (it was noon at that point). I laughed in my head, because there's no telling new trainee nurses that you actually know a thing or two about your body, because you've done this a time or two before. They won't listen. Nope nope nope.

I caught up on Grey's Anatomy. Finished a grueling Walking Dead episode saved especially for this waiting time. Tried to finish a book for book club. Face Timed the kids. Meanwhile, the nurses are upping my meds every 30 minutes as much as they can, surprised it was taking so long (TOLD YOU SO!), waiting and waiting for my body to realize that it WILL HAVE A BABY TODAY, DAMNIT! Water broke, more pitocin....
Nothing. Nothing at all.
So, here I am, about maxed out on the meds, and finally I start getting a little uncomfortable. Nothing bad at all, but because I knew how long it would take, and at this point it was already 5 PM, I asked for the epidural, because if I'm gonna pay for it, I sure as hell am gonna get my money's worth, you know?

My anesthesiologist was awesome. I told him how my other epidurals had only worked a little bit and about killed me during labor (I'm a wimp, I know. I can see you guffawing through my screen). He told me he'd do his best and boooooy did he. Best epidural in the world!!!

Finally, probably around 6, I start getting harder contractions (kind of). By 7:30 I'm feeling some pretty good pressure and hard contractions. By 8:00 I'm wondering if my trainee-nurse-i-don't-like is ever going to check me to see if I've actually ever progressed from a 5. I ask  her if she would and she says, "well, I will when you feel a lot of pressure. Just let me know when you feel it continually". So I said..."well, that would be now. I really feel a lot of pressure."  So she says, "well, let me know when it gets bad and you feel the urge to push and I'll do it then."

At this point, I'm like, pretty pissed that this girl will not believe me when I say I really feel a lot of pressure, AKA I've done this twice before, AKA JUST LISTEN TO ME OK!!!  So I say to her, "Listen, I really do feel continual, painful pressure and I feel like I need to push. Like a lot. Can you just check me please?"  She nicely, professionally does the equivalent of rolling her eyes, like, again, I don't know what the hell I'm talking about, and grudgingly checks me. Suddenly she gets a surprised look on her face and is like, "Oh! wow! You're there! I feel the head, you're at a ten, wow we need to get the doctor in here!". Freaking told you so, idiot trainee-nurse-I-don't-like. Seriously, I was about to pop out a baby without anyone paying attention to me!

Slowly, slowly, they get things ready and wait and wait and wait for my doctor to get to my room. Meanwhile, I'm dying, like feel like I am gonna pop this baby out annnnny second, and they tell me to "hold on...just hold it in" that's something that's easy to do when all of gravity and instinct are basically pressing you to do the opposite. Ha! The audacity.

Finally my doctor, Dr. Wells (who I loooove so much), comes and gets ready. He has me take a practice push with a contraction and it's obvious this isn't gonna take long (once I finally get to a ten, I push out them babes in 2 pushes). So he looks at Dale and asks him what he did at the last delivery, whether he cut the cord or not. Dale said he had. So Dr. Wells starts taking off his gown and gloves and gives them to Dale. Tells him he is going to deliver the baby!

So Dale starts getting dressed in a gown and gloves and Dr. Wells is giving him the quick and dirty version of Baby Delivery 101: How To Maneuver a Slippery Tiny Body Out of Your Wife's Body Cavity Without Dropping It The Office Style. Meanwhile, i'm just hanging out, a baby head pushing against my lady parts, NBD.

Finally, things get set and Dale's literally in the spotlight and they tell me to push with the contraction, and Dr. Wells is still explaining to Dale how to hook fingers under arms, twist this way, twist that way, etc. After a 2nd push, the doc tells me to push again without waiting for the next contraction, and so I did. Annnnnnd out came the squirming, screaming little fetus, delivered perfectly by her daddy, right onto my chest. The first sight of a human coming out of my own body still takes my breath away and brings me to tears in the very best way. She yelled and screamed and looked at me like only newborns can and brought out the intense, instinctual love of mother and baby. I loved watching her half emerged from me, Dale holding her and manipulating her body out of mine. I was crying before I even saw my baby because I was watching Dale hold her and bring her into the world, halfway in, halfway out. It really will always be one of the highlights of my life, and I think Dale would say the same thing. It was a really cool experience.

The rest is history. She got cleaned up and weighed and poked and prodded and she was pretty mad about it, but then we cuddled and she nursed and I just didn't ever want to let her go. She came around 8:30 pm and clocked in at 7 lbs 4.2 oz and 19 inches long (a tiny thing!). She had dark hair, but less than her two siblings, a major long, dark mullet in the back, and the same beautiful eyes as Viv. The same squishy cheeks as Mo. When she first came out, Dale and I both agreed she looked a lot like Mo when he was first born, but she alternated the next few days between the two. I'm still not sure who she looks like, but I guess time will tell.

The next morning, my mom brought the kids in to meet the new baby, and I have to say, this is one of my very favorite parts of having new babies. As soon as Viv and Mo walked into the room, I instantly started crying (HORMONES). They timidly walked up to us, Viv with wonder and excitement in her eyes, because she got it. She totally understood that the baby in my tummy was the same baby I was holding in my arms, and she was so happy about it. she instantly loved the baby and wanted to hold her right away, asking if we had named her Mary Poppins (her final name choice). Mo surprised us all by being very interested and so lovey towards the baby, giving her kisses without even being prompted and hugging her with his cute huge cheeks smashed up against her tiny head (he looked so massive compared to her!). It was definitely the most adorable thing I've ever seen.

My friend Alysha offered to take some pictures of Greta in the hospital for us. There really is nothing like the first few days with a new baby. It's one of my favorite times, and I'm so happy we have people in our lives to capture them for us.



So there it is! Greta is a month old now and I don't think I could've dreamed of a better baby. She sleeps great, eats great and doesn't cry much. Even as she has woken up the last few weeks, she has her fussy times, but generally does amazing. She puts up with Viv and Mo being in her face all the time and is a sweet little babe, content to watch things happen around her. She has big, bright eyes and chubby little cheeks. She has a little cleft chin and pretty little lips. I'm thinking her eyes might turn brown and her hair might be curly. She throws up a lot, and I can't tell if she's allergic to dairy like her brother and sister, but she's doing great so far. Really, I'm still waiting for shiz to hit the fan....because it usually does within the first 3 months....but for now I'm taking the days one at a time and appreciating the good times.


As for handling three kids.....that's a different story. Even with Greta being a great baby, add her fussy times in with the other hectic kid shenanigans, and my patience is completely exhausted by the time Dale gets home. three kids is hard. We look like a circus wherever we go, I am a hot mess of puked on, makeup-less, messy-haired mom with frumpy clothes and too much baby weight still clinging unattractively everywhere on my body. But you know what? That's not the good part of babies. Everything else is the good stuff, and I'm loving it allllll this time.

We love you Greta girl.

Ps: sorry for the crappy, grainy, unedited, uncropped pictures. I don't have time to sensor, edit or pretty up things these days like I wish I could.


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