The Magic Number? Deciding to Have Two or Three Children- May 27, 2015

Scrolling through my Facebook feed I came across another woman with kids the same age as mine. She proudly posed with her newborn as well. Her third baby. Then I saw another friend pregnant with her third. Last week I got the same question two days in a row from friends, “So, are you done? Or are you going to have more kids?”

Oh, wow. I really don’t know, ya’ll.

mother of two or three

I ask myself that everyday. I look at my kids’ faces and think, “We make the most adorable babies. We already have two, why not have another?!” I love babies. I love being a mother. I soak up the sweetness of my children and wonder how a third child would change our dynamic.

I’ve read the articles about how families with three kids are the most stressed and heard how miserable and awful middle children are. I don’t believe any of that! First of all, I’m not buying that “middle child” garbage. I know some amazing middle children. My husband Greyson is an amazing, well adjusted middle child who grew up to be a successful business leader in his company after following his dream of becoming a sportscaster. He’s a loving husband, father and provider. My Aunt Wanda is a middle child and is the glue that holds our family together. She raised twins, welcomed another child into her home to raise, had a career as an educator and has been married to my uncle for more than 30 years. I pray my children, no matter their birth order, are like these middle children. Recent studies show middle children are pretty much as well-adjusted as the rest of the family and “Middle Child Syndrome” is totally exaggerated.



Some people have told me that they assume we’re done having babies because we have a girl and a boy. I see friends with two of the same sex who may try for another. I get that. But, the friends I’ve seen lately are just like me. They already have one of each. Of course there is always the friend who…surprise! Just gets pregnant with baby #3.

But, I want to know. How do you/did you come to the decision to have, or not have, a third child? We’re not ruling it out, it’s just not as obvious as having two kids, you know? There was no question we would have at least two. SO MUCH goes into deciding about the third. Our ages, money, obstetrical health, parenting, careers and sibling relationships are just some of the things we weigh when thinking about this. Please, don’t think I don’t realize how freaking lucky we are that we COULD have a third. I know the struggles of infertility stop many parents from having more than one or two kids. We’re very blessed to have two healthy children. I have to imagine the impact of caring for sick children or kids with special needs may alter some parents’ decisions on family planning as well.

If we don’t have a third, I don’t think I’ll feel incomplete or anything. Life will still be great and our family will be fine. Again, we’re so blessed. Do we want to add another little blessing?

Last week in the car Charlotte asked from the back seat, “Mommy, are we going to have any more babies in our family?” I gave the answer I give everyone, “I don’t know.” I returned her question, “Do you want another baby in our family?” She said, “Yes! I want it to be a girl and I want to name her Starlight!”

Then she said, “How do you get a baby in your belly, anyway?” Oh, yikes. Maybe I’m not ready for another. Then my husband says, “Well, if we have three, we have to have four kids. You know…balance.”

Sure. Starlight and Fourthkid. I’ll sleep when I’m dead. I will say, if we have a little Starlight, no one is allowed to buy him/her anything. We have everything. Starlight will live in hand-me-downs. That’s just part of being the youngest. (Says the oldest child with a smirk, as she writes this blog post.)


Burrito Loading Zone- May 20, 2015

Monday evening my friend Jen and I had a the idea that we would take our kids to Chipotle for dinner. Our husbands were working, so why not treat ourselves to GMO-free, quick-service Tex-Mex? I pulled in to the parking lot after a quick stop to buy a toy box off of Craigslist. Relieved to have made this $10 exchange without being murdered, I was feeling good and ready for a salad.

I pulled in to what I thought was an empty parking space to find it was the “Burrito Loading Zone.” Ugh! I searched for another spot. That sign should have been a sign that this Chipotle trip was not meant to be.  By the way, who the hell faxes in their burrito bowl order?!

burrito loading zone

Anyway, I had to wake my 4-year-old who had dozed off in the car. Great. That will make bed time fantastic. She was foul and grumpy when I woke her. Promising a quesadilla and dinner with her friend did nothing to cheer her up. My 1-year-old had kicked off his shoes. I searched the floorboards as he wailed with hunger. I started sweating. I toted my thrashing son while scaring my daughter by telling her sudden death was imminent if she didn’t hold my hand in the parking lot. Did she not see all the other drivers being psyched out by the “Burrito Loading Zone” and circling the lot for a spot?!

I found Jen wrangling her one-year-old into a high chair and convincing her preschooler that the rice and beans would be good. We barely got a chance to greet one another. Oddly enough, our sweating stopped when we walked inside. My daughter whined, “I’m so cold, Mama!” Jen and I commented that the air conditioning in Chipotle was no joke. She asked if I wanted to move outside to the patio. I decided this brood needed to stay put. The thought of moving high chairs outside sounded exhausting. Plus, I had to pee. I couldn’t move outside because of my bladder. Don’t ask me why.

I think the one thing you can always count on at Chipotle is a line. I groaned as I hurried behind other customers, leaving my chilly, sobbing, hungry children to watch their friends eat. Jen pacified them with chips as I waited behind some lady who clearly had never been to a Mexican grill chain restaurant before. She was astonished to learn they had no carnitas after she learned what carnitas was. Then she had to ask why they didn’t have any. The employee yelled over the blaring Top 40 music about fair trade, sustainable, free-range pigs or whatever. Who could hear? I had to repeat my order no less than twice to each employee because they couldn’t hear me.

“Black or pinto beans?” “No beans on the salad, thanks.” “BLACK BEANS?” “NO BEANS. THANKS!”

“Guac?” “No, pico please.” “MEDIUM SALSA?” “NO, PICO DE GALLO.”

You guessed it. I had to send the salad back down the line to get pico on it. Adam Levine singing “Sugar” drowned me out and she thought I meant “No pico.” At least the music somewhat drowned out my screaming children. That was before the clerk revealed they didn’t have enough fruit for two kids’ sides. He gave one of the kids chips and the other fruit. My God, man! Do you know what that would mean?! Please! Just give them both chips!!!

At this point they can see me at the register and I pay as fast as my debit card will swipe. I get to the table and frantically open organic milk cartons and restrap the little one as he escapes his high chair restraints. Over the music I hear, “THIS ISN’T CHOCOLATE MILK!!!” I scold this spoiled behavior and mumble something about treats and sugar intake. I dunno. I had to pee really bad. My daughter said, “What!? Mommy, I can’t hear you! It’s so loud here!” She was crying as I rushed off to the bathroom. Of course the women’s room was occupied. Dammit! Come on Chipotle! It was a one-seater. I went to the men’s room. I had to. I hate doing that. Why are men’s restrooms so skeevy?

I came out quickly and started inhaling my salad. I couldn’t be in Chipotle for that much longer. The girl child stopped crying and actually ate her quesadilla. Baby boy ate some beans before he and his buddy across the table started throwing rice like it was a wedding a century ago.

I looked down and the floor was covered. Rice, beans, tortilla, chips and even some of my pico covered the floor under our table. An employee came by, looked at the mess and brought over a broom. He looked miffed at our mess. I shrugged and shouted over the music, “IT’S A BURRITO LOADING ZONE!”

photo 2 (45)


Screeching- May 15, 2015

Our darling, adorable, bouncing bundle of boy makes our lives amazing. At 18-months old, Henry is saying new words, discovering what he loves (cars, trains, Mama) and antagonizing us with his newest habit.

Screeching. He screeches. So. Loud.

Henry 18 months

It’s this brain rattling, piercing scream that leaves my ears ringing. There are times in a day I feel like I’ve just left a concert. You know, concerts. They’re those amazing shows with live music and no children. Don’t worry, I almost forgot what they are too.

I would film his screeching and post a video, but I can’t subject the Internet to this sound. It’s horrific. You’re welcome.

He does it anywhere. Most often at home, or in the car but he most loves to make this display in public. He’ll screech. People will look to make sure he’s not being murdered. They say something like, “Wow! He’s very vocal!” Then they quickly get away. Charlotte covers her ears. He does it again and again until he gets the desired effect.

Here’s the thing, I never know exactly what he wants. Attention? Sometimes he’s excited. It’s most often just to make noise. He knows what he wants most of the time. If he wants food or a toy, he whines and cries for the food or toy. But the screeching? I try to just turn away and give him no attention, but he makes it very difficult.

At the pediatrician’s office for his 18-month checkup he started up while we were in the exam room waiting. That was after tearing up the paper on the table, spilling water and pulling every book off the shelf. In the small, sterile room, the screams echoed and hurt my ears even more.

The nurse came in to give him his shots. (Great, that won’t cause more screeching.) I chuckled and said nervously, “Oh, no! I hope this doesn’t make him scream even more.” She said, “That was him?! I thought it was you screaming.”

What?! I just stared at her. Yes, I have an 18-month-old and a 4-year-old. Sometimes I want to scream like that, but did she honestly think that was me?! Whatever, lady.

Anyway, please tell me what you did to stop this? How did you stop this habit in your child? What can I do?! On behalf of my ears, thanks in advance.


Mama’s Water- May 11, 2015

Since becoming a mother and my children got big enough to be interested in eating and drinking things other than milk, my water is never mine. I try to drink a lot of water. I keep bottles and cups with me all the time. My children cry and beg for a sip of my water. Henry just screams, “Ice!” Charlotte sometimes asks for sips, or just takes it. They chew my straw. They put their grubby little hands in it. They back wash into it. It’s gross.

I got a cute water bottle from a friend for Mother’s Day. I announced that “This weekend, my water is mine! It’s my Mother’s Day present! Ya’ll are not drinking my water all weekend!” I just wanted a cup all my own. No preschool ickiness. No snotty baby germs. Please!

That lasted for about 12 hours. I caved. They climbed on my lap and begged to share sips from the pink straw. They took it from my hands, shook it around and splashed cold drops on their clothes. Charlotte took a drink, “Your water is the best, Mama!”

Sigh. I thought of all the times I took my mother’s food or drink and she let me have it. I stole fries off her plate at the seafood restaurant we took her to yesterday. She let me. She didn’t say anything. That’s the kind of selfless thing mothers do, even if they want to be selfish on “their day.”

I think these pictures perfectly sum up my life and Mother’s Day 2015.

Mothers Day 2015



TV Soul Mates- May 8, 2015

tv soul mates

We’ve had “Undercover Boss” on for several hours tonight. You know, just…on. Occasionally we’ve looked up from wrangling children, answering emails and sorting mail to wipe a tear as a boss helps a single mother or pays for an employee’s education. My husband knows I’m psyched about “High Profits” on CNN, because who wouldn’t want to follow the journey of a couple of twenty-somethings navigating the new industry of legal recreational marijuana while getting wildly rich?

We know we have the new “Saturday Night Live” and the new “Last Man on Earth” on Hulu ready to go another night this week. If “Goodfellas” comes on one night or if it’s Harry Potter Weekend on ABC Family, that may go out the window and our channel will change. Next month when Season 3 of “Orange Is The New Black” is on we will stop the world for an hour a night. It’s a great part of our marriage.

We don’t like to say we’re “soul mates.” I’ve always thought that term was rather silly. We feel it lessens the commitment we made. We choose this life together. We choose to be committed. Fate didn’t magically make us “soul mates.”

So I don’t believe in soul mates, but I do believe in “TV Soul Mates.” Marry your TV soul mate. Seriously.

We like to watch a lot of the same stuff. My TV soul mate sat with me the night they found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in that boat after the Boston Marathon bombing. We live tweeted together as CNN gave us the play-by-play. We like the State of the Union Address, ESPN 30 for 30 documentaries or the occasional House Hunters. He just changed it to the special “Saturday Night Live in the 2000’s.” Why not? The more Tina Fey, the better if you ask me.

We also have an understanding about televisions in our house. We only have one that works. We use the iPad to watch other shows. We don’t have a TV in our bedroom. It’s just our preference. You and your TV soul mate have to have that kind of understanding.

We don’t always agree. I groan every time he turns on THE SAME DUMB MOVIE we’ve seen a million times. He turns on “Joe Dirt” or “She’s Out Of My League.” I remind him every time that those movies will end the same way. They are just not the same edited for language on Comedy Central. Come on! But, I’ll watch them with him. In turn, he makes fun of me endlessly for my fascination of the Duggars on TLC’s “19 Kids And Counting.” He laughs, but will stick with me during “Dance Moms.” He knows what’s up with Abby Lee Miller and her craziness.

You don’t have to agree all the time, but as TV soul mates, we indulge each other. He let’s me panic about kidnapped women and family homicides while watching “Dateline.” I glaze over during the NFL Draft as he panics for the Denver Broncos and takes to Twitter. We like indulging each other a little. It’s what you do for your TV soul mate. Plus, it’s 2015. Your TV soul mate can always roll their eyes and disappear behind the laptop. It’s part the indulging.

More than anything, TV time at night is our time together. We can talk. TV spurs our conversations. As much as it’s fun to have total control of the remote when he’s away on business, it’s lonely. Television is so much better with a soul mate.