Welcome to Growing a Person

on Jun 23, 2013

Hello! I’m Carter, Collin and Rory’s Mama, known to some as Jenni. I started this blog when I was, quite literally, growing our first person in my belly, then started it back up when I was growing our second and continued through our third and final pregnancy.  It’s where I record the thoughts and moments I want to make sure I remember someday when these crazy kiddos of mine are all grown up. In my spare time I run Perceptivity Studio, a small graphic design firm, from my home, with the three most demanding “bosses” I’ve ever had. Life is all balls up in the air, all the time, but it’s always interesting, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!


on Sep 14, 2015

So if you missed the news, we didn’t get the Woodcrest house.  We waited and waited and hoped and hoped, but it just wasn’t meant to be.  But I’m hoping the reason Woodcrest didn’t happen was so we could find this beauty. This lovely home in Dunedin caught our eye when we were in the process of talking ourselves out of the house hunting process.  But try as we might neither one of us could give up our Zillow addiction and a price reduction dropped it into Glenn’s search range.  When he showed it to me I felt the same familiar quickening of my heart that comes with finding a truly special house.  We immediately drove over to check it out and contacted our realtor to schedule a showing, all while hoping someone else hadn’t beat us to the punch again. Our showing was with all three kids again on a rainy morning.  They ran amuck around the empty house,...


on Aug 2, 2015

Glenn and I have been “driving” around Zillow a lot lately, looking to see what’s out there in the real estate world since we know we need a lot more space for these growing kiddos of ours.  Between the two of us, we’ve virtually driven all around north Pinellas county where we live, pausing to show each other something here or there, swiping through pictures of bungalows, ranches and, our very favorite, mid-century moderns. On Wednesday night we were in the living room, “driving” around together, and there was a particular neighborhood I was trying to find when THIS house popped up in the right column as one of the suggested houses.  Even as a little thumbnail my heart quickened and I immediately clicked on it to see more.  One of the top things we are looking for is a house with character…nothing cookie cutter…a house that looks like an...

Dear Carter at 5.5, Collin at 3.5 and Rory at 9/10 months,

on Apr 18, 2015

Dearest kiddos, I just went back and read the last McKay state of the union post from last January and I can’t believe how much you have all grown up since then.  (Especially you, Rory, since you were still in my belly!) Carter, you get taller and smarter every day.  You are such a string bean, tall and skinny, and you have SO much energy!  Your latest move is doing the funny chicken dance you learned from Walker at school, and you do it to make Rory laugh and sometimes when you don’t feel like answering our questions (or you just stick your tongue out at us…you can be delightful!). VPK has been so good for you this year.  I was so nervous when we found out that you were in a class with none of the kids from your class last year, and I was so afraid you would have a hard time.  But instead you’ve just flourished even more.  Mrs. Hibbens and Mrs. Karalis have...

Ten Things I Wish I’d Known When I Was a New Mama

on Oct 20, 2014

In honor of my Carter’s FIFTH BIRTHDAY (seriously…how is that possible?!?!), I wanted to finally get this post published.  It’s something I’ve been making a mental list of for years now every time I have one of those AHA! moments in parenting, and the actual post itself has been hanging out for months now as I have a few minutes here and there to peck away at it. Between work, three kids and everything in between, this poor little blog doesn’t get much love. But as I was saying, my Carter turned FIVE yesterday, so looking back at that new mama Jenni in 2009 with her adorable (but kind of cranky) newborn, these are the things I wish I could go back and tell her. I will preface this by saying that if you know me, most of it will not surprise you in the least, but if you don’t, I consider myself to be a...

Rory’s Birth Story

on Jun 15, 2014

As I type this, my sweet, soft, cuddly, adorable, amazing baby girl is sound asleep on my chest.  We are home, healthy, safe and sound, and I thank my lucky stars that everything went relatively well this time around.  So here is my last birth story… After our false alarm on Sunday, I was feeling pretty down.  I moped around most of Monday, and I had convinced myself that Rory was going to make me wait way longer than I’d planned.  But at my doctor’s appointment on Tuesday morning, which I went to on my own just in case I ended up being sent to the hospital, my blood pressure was up again.  This had started the week prior, and every time since, it had been high (like 140ish/90ish) the first time it had been taken and then had gone down again enough that they would not completely freak out. But pre-eclampsia had been thrown out there as a possibility, and after never...

Faker: Rory’s Birth Story Prequel

on Jun 3, 2014

Well I suppose one false alarm out of three pregnancies isn’t the worst thing ever, but last night was a less-than-fun practice run for Rory’s delivery.  Knowing when to go to the hospital is such a fine balance…go too soon and you very well might end up headed home again with no baby, but go too late and you might end up delivering on the side of the road.  This gets especially complicated when there are older children that must be situated before you can leave.  Apparently I have gotten worse at figuring out what that magical “go” time is with my third pregnancy. Yesterday I decided it was time to push myself and try to go into labor.  I did this when I was pregnant with Collin and it actually worked, so I thought there might be a chance of a repeat performance.  So I mopped our whole house, then we went to the mall and walked around while Glenn was...

Five Minute Friday: Close

on May 23, 2014

We are so close to welcoming a new baby girl into our family.  My belly is a taut, squirming drum full of hopes and dreams about to become a reality.  Our family is about to irrevocably morph into something mostly the same but also very different. We are so, so close to meeting the new little person I’ve dreamed about for the past 9 months, wondering who she will look like, what her personality will be like, how everyone will react to her grand entrance into the world.  Soon those questions will be a distant memory and we won’t be able to imagine a time that she wasn’t here.  That I hadn’t memorized every curve of her face, every soft wrinkle, every coo and squirm and warm snuggle. So close to the bone-crushing tired of being a parent to a newborn, especially with two big-but-still-small kids who need so much attention and especially reassurance that while...

The Push and Pull

on May 9, 2014

I type this post with one hand as Collin sleeps on my chest, Rory fidgets in my belly because Collin is squishing her, and Carter is begging for a snack.  (He just got himself some yogurt and I am reminded that independence is one of the benefits of his getting bigger.)  Just a snapshot of life lately.  At 36 weeks pregnant, we are on the verge of a huge life change and I think it’s pretty electric in the air that life as we know it is going to be capital-D Different.  And soon. Life is such a dichotomy right now. Sometimes it’s so hard I just want to scream, run and hide.  When the whining is incessant, the NEED is just so, so, so intense, and the anger swells inside my chest until it boils over and I find myself screaming like a lunatic and wondering who the heck I am.  But then other times it’s EASY.  When my guys are playing nicely together in their room, giggles...