Archive for April, 2012

Overheard: The “I’m only 30 weeks” edition

Various comments directed at me this weekend:

From a shop owner on Mass Street, after learning this is my third: “Let me tell you something no one else will: ALL OF YOUR BABYSITTERS WILL QUIT.”

A college student who appeared to be 14, though I am sure was old enough to legally consume the drink in her hand: “I just love that you’re pregnant and wearing heels. Like, seriously, I love that.”

A woman at the capital campaign kickoff, also upon learning this is my third: “We had three. BUT THEN WE STOPPED. Do you know how expensive college is?” (By the way, my reply here was, “Yes, I do, and that is why the University of Kansas announced a $1.2 billion fundraising campaign 20 minutes ago…”)

Another woman I met at the kickoff: “Oh my goodness! Must be any day now—I hope you make it through this event!”

One of the interns in my department: “When are you going to start maternity leave?” (My response: “About 12 hours after I go into labor.”)

Me, at the grocery store’s meat counter today: “Shhhhh.”

It took me a moment to realize I didn’t have my kids with me, and I had inadvertently shushed a grown woman. A LOUD woman, but still.

One month later…

So it turns out “neglect and then compensatory overwatering” are not secrets to raising healthy primrose. 


April flowers

This year, the peonies are in bloom almost a full month early.

The man and his new van

Bryan has finally realized his decade-long dream of owning a minivan. He looks pretty good in the “Man Van,” don’t you think?

Party of Five

We’ve spent the last couple of weekends securing the furniture and storage/organization systems needed to free up space for this new baby. It seems that the third time around, nesting isn’t as much instinct as it is necessity. Though tiny by comparison, our impending addition is leading to quite a bit of shuffling.

The girls will be officially sharing a room, though it’s worth noting they’ve both slept in Ava’s room since Olivia moved from her crib. Her toddler bed didn’t last long—she decided early on she’d rather snuggle with Ava. Even though Olivia makes a remarkably poor bedmate, Ava never argued. But now that they’re having to share a room, I thought they might appreciate having their own space therein. With that in mind, we bought a low loft bed and a trundle that lays perpendicular. I am willing to bet we end up with two girls crammed into a twin size bed, but we’ll see.

To accomodate the consolidated bedrooms, we moved almost all of the toys down to a new playroom in the basement. I think Bryan is spending just as much time down there as the girls—he even set up some vintage gaming systems, which Ava and Olivia are enjoying as well. Despite acquiring new shelving, bins and boxes, most toys are currently “stored” in the center of the room.

I took some time today to go through the storage totes filled with newborn supplies and clothing. I’d say at least half of what we have could pass as gender neutral—a benefit of not knowing the sex of the previous two babies in advance. Bryan set up the crib, which still needs a special part to secure the drop side thanks to a major recall last year.

In the coming weeks, we’ll replace the expired car seat, and maybe even the car . . . Bryan has his eye on a minivan, which admittedly, would be quite practical for a family of five.

Just 10 weeks to go!

Olivia Fix

A milestone of sorts

A few weeks ago, Doug pointed out that I was close to reaching 100,000 blog visitors on this WordPress site. I somehow managed to miss the actual rollover into six-figure territory, but I felt like I needed to mark the occasion by expressing my gratitude for your interest in our lives.

Bryan started blogging before Ava was even a thought—nearly a decade has passed since he launched his first site. Once we moved to Kansas, I continued it, with the goal of creating virtual baby books in place of the paper versions I neglected to start.

Four years ago, I moved the blog to WordPress, and since then, we’ve seen about 70 visitors each day, or about 25,000 each year. Those figures are both exhilarating and scary. I often joke that the moms must account for at least half of those visits, but in reality, I know they are far too busy to keep that close an eye on us. So, that means others are reading about the day to day happenings in the Smith household. Again . . . exhilarating and scary.

It would be disingenuous to claim that nearly 15 years in public relations hasn’t shaped my decisions of what to share (and how to share it), but I’d like to think that overall, we’re pretty open about the highs and lows of parenting and life in general.

Over the past four years, a few posts stand out as favorites, at least according to WordPress stats:

  • Thanks to what was an inadvertently obvious title, the post about our visit to the Disneyland princess salon has proven quite popular, though I’m not sure those who wandered in via Google were as impressed with my newly-minted five year old as the regulars around here were. Still, those photos—and the accompanying memories—make my heart swell nearly two years later.
  • A few recipe posts have also brought in serious traffic, like this particular martini recipe. As for the person searching for margarita cupcakes without alcohol, move along. Nothing to see here.
  • Of course, everyone seems to love posts in which I am a little too honestSeriously. You guys like those. A lot.
  • The posts about parenting are also popular. I assume it’s just because I am, ahem, so very good at it…
  • This post is easily one of my personal favorites. I suppose there’s a good chance I’m at least partially responsible for skewing the numbers here, but it’s something I refer back to when I’m missing the grandparents. Or Minnesota. Or both.
  • A few posts are just classics—exactly the kind of things we should be documenting in this virtual book of babies, like this post about Ava’s run in with a pair of safety scissors and the genesis of Olivia’s ongoing love affair with tiaras.
  • And, in the same vein, even some rather new posts are already appearing toward the top of the list. And, thanks to the new blog category that came along with that one, I suppose we won’t have a shortage of stories and photos to share in the next four years, either.

Living apart from our family and many of our friends remains challenging, but marking this milestone makes me realize we are far from alone. Thank you for being a part of our lives—both online and in person. We are grateful!

My girls

Olivia Fix

At Ava’s birthday party last year, Tom gave Olivia (and really, the rest of us) a little gift. I texted him later that night to tell him he forgot to take the kazoo home with him, but sadly, it was Liv’s to keep.

Normally, small toys are either lost or simply fall out of favor over the course of time. Not the kazoo, unfortunately. It has remained. Loudly. For many, MANY months.

I shared this photo with Tom via text earlier this week, and he responded, “I AM REALLY SO SORRY.” I assured him, though, that Olivia was actually becoming quite good at it, and now we were hearing recognizable songs, rather than just noise. I mean, I still hope it goes missing, but in the interim, it certainly keeps her happy!

Turnabout is fair play

Ava: “Dad, let me show you proof that leprecauns are real.”

Bryan: “Oh, I know they are. They live with the Easter Bunny in the summer and Santa in the winter.”