Dear Collin at 22.5 Months

on Jul 26, 2013

Dear Collin, 22.5 months may not seem like an important milestone to mark, but it’s the age Carter was the day you were born and this time around it just so happens to be the same time we started trying to have your future brother or sister.  It amazes me when I look back at little Carter and how big I thought he was at this age, then look at you, my baby, for whom I’m unwilling to mentally flip the page from baby to boy.  (Don’t worry, I’ll get there eventually.) It’s so special to watch your personality develop as you find your voice and choose your words. Speaking of words, your favorites are:  NOOOOOO!  MINNNNNE!  STOOOOOOOP! and MEEEEEEEE!  Which goes to show that you are most certainly a toddler now, and entering into those perilous terrible twos.  After months and months of the mellow boy, you’ve decided that it’s time to stand up for...


on Jul 22, 2013

My childhood best friend just lost her baby.  He was stillborn very far along in her pregnancy, and I was devastated to hear the news.  I keep thinking of the happy little girl she was when we were friends and how very sad she must be now.  It’s not fair.  These are the moments that make me wonder why such tragic things happen to good people.  I’m usually pretty good at rationalizing why things happen, because they make us stronger, because they lead to better things down the road.  But losing a child before you’ve even had the chance to know them.  Sigh. However, this also reminded me how very grateful I am for my life, my boys.  Grateful for each poopy diaper I change because it means Collin is here, and eating.  Grateful for every meltdown either of them has because it means they’re here, and they have opinions about life.  And of course grateful for the...


on Jul 21, 2013

Having small children has taught me what it must feel like to be the prom queen, student body president and head cheerleader rolled into one.  I am the most popular girl in the world in their eyes.  It can be oh-so overwhelming at times, but I hope it lasts as long as possible.

Living the fairy tale

on Jul 17, 2013

My hubby and I have been together a long time.  Eighteen years now, to be exact, which is longer than a lot of marriages last. (Our marriage will mark half of that time this September when we celebrate our 9th anniversary.)  When we started dating, I was 14 and he was 16, which I realize now was oh-so young.  I remember hearing the old Beach Boys song “Wouldn’t It Be Nice?” and daydreaming about what our future would be like.  You know, just like everyone daydreams about their high school sweethearts, only my high school sweetheart ended up actually being THE one. And now suddenly here we are, right in the middle of this amazing future that used to be a hazy promise of what could be.  We are married and (95% of the time at least) happy.  We have a small, but cozy house.  And we have these two incredible children that WE MADE, that are part me and part him and yet...

Time to grow another person?

on Jul 15, 2013

Tomorrow my Mirena IUD gets removed so we can try to get pregnant and grow another person for our family.  As an only child, I never even considered having a lot of children (I would have been fine with one, but Glenn wanted four so we compromised at two) but even with all of the challenges, the bad days, the meltdowns (both theirs and mine), the poop, and all of the other less savory parts of parenting, the love I feel for my kiddos is so strong that it outweighs all the bads and makes me think that I actually might be able to handle this whole being outnumbered thing.  On the bad days, I really consider my sanity for rocking the boat when it’s just starting to get a little bit easier…well easier in some ways, I guess…but on the good days, I’m excited to think about what that third child will be like.  Will we finally get a girl?  Or will it be another adorable...

5 Minute Friday: Present

on Jul 12, 2013

As a work-at-home mom, I often struggle with truly being present in my children’s lives.  It’s easy sometimes to turn on the television so they are occupied and get lost in a project that needs tending, or, often, Facebook status updates from people I don’t ever see in person and blog posts from people I’ve never even met.  I struggle with needing some time to myself to tune out all of the “mama, mama, mamas” I hear all day long.  The “I want a snacks,” the “I want to watch Blue Clues.”  Sometimes I just want to block it all out and make the time go faster. But the time is already going fast enough.  I see it in the extra inches Carter grew overnight.  In the floppy brown hair on Collin’s head that we just got cut that already needs tending again.  In the way they are starting to play and interact with each other in the...

5 Minute Friday: Beautiful

on Jul 5, 2013



on Jun 29, 2013

As a work-at-home mom, I freely admit that my boys are fans of the television, or as we call it in our house–thanks to toddler Carter–the TVT.  (When I was little I called the cable box the Fraggle box–because that’s how I saw the Fraggles on TV–and my parents still call it that.  So I think cute names for electronics must be a family tradition.) When Carter was little, we watched Teletubbies and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse over and over and over again (seriously, I can still give you a plot summary of every Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode, that’s how many times I’ve seen them!).  Since then I have seen every episode of WordWorld, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Yo Gabba Gabba, and we are working our way through Blues Clues. Collin, on the other hand, is a movie fanatic.  Some of his first words include Wall-E, Wah-dy (Woody), Buh (Buzz) from Toy...

5 Minute Friday: In Between

on Jun 28, 2013

This is my first 5 Minute Friday post.  Deep breath, and go! There have been so many times I’ve felt like I’m in this limbo place of life.  Stuck in the in between what came before and what’s about to come.  I wrote a post about it in the final days of my first pregnancy with Carter and never had it been more obvious that I was on the precipice of something so huge, so different. Another major in between moment for me was dealing with Carter’s sleep drama as a baby.  I would read a book about a new technique for magically making your child sleep through the night and I would hold my breath and think, “Maybe this will be the one that will work for me!  Maybe I will finally get more than 5 hours of sleep in a chunk.”  But alas, there was no magic bullet for the sleep problem, unless you count co-sleeping, which…wait, I changed my mind, it was our...

Welcome to Growing a Person

on Jun 23, 2013

Hello! I’m Carter, Collin, Rory and Owen’s Mama, known to some as Jenni. I started this blog when I was, quite literally, growing our first person in my belly, and now that I have grown four kids and continue to “grow” them every day, 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 four 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 Jun 23, 2013

I take a lot of pictures.  Actually,  a lot is kind of an understatement, which became clear as I was reminded today that I’d completely filled up my 16GB iPhone’s storage capacity.  Ever since Carter was born, and later Collin, I’ve tried to capture all of the special memories, everyday activities and fleeting moments with my camera.  And once I got my iPhone, it became even easier to carry it around with me, so my habit became even more addictive.  Some of my friends make fun of me for being the one who’s constantly shooting our kiddos as they traverse the playground, splash in the spray park, and explore the museum, zoo or aquarium…their very own paparazzi (or mamarazzi).  But I know how fast they are growing up, and I don’t want to miss out on the chance to freeze these moments in time.  Because someday I won’t remember how bored we were on...


on Jun 19, 2013

I’ve never been big on self confidence.  First it was the glasses, then the braces, then puberty and the pimples and big hips that came along with it, and oh yeah, the boobs that didn’t get anywhere near as big as a girl and society in general hope they will be.  I’ve always compared my body to my friends’, most of them beautiful and skinny, with sidelong glances…which while I don’t resent them for their beauty, I couldn’t help but wish my exterior was a little more that and a little less this.  In fact, for the first four years we were dating, I wouldn’t even let Glenn see me wearing my glasses…I insisted on putting my contacts in before I would let him see me.  That’s one insecure little girl, folks. And I grew up before the advent of social media and cyberbullying, sheesh. I wish I could say all of that has changed.  That I...

Mama Time

on Jun 11, 2013

Time in general, but especially time when you are staying at home with small children, or Mama Time, is a tricky thing.  It’s both your best friend and your worst enemy, going simultaneously too fast and too slow. One minute Carter is lying on the ottoman cooing at the ceiling fan, then I blink, and he’s writing his alphabet and reading words that no three year old should be able to pronounce. One second Collin is sleeping on my chest in the Baby Bjorn, then I blink again and he is drinking from a cup and trying to put on his own shoes. The months pass like those cartoon calendars that shed pages like confetti when they’re trying to segue from one time to another.  Like in the movie Notting Hill (does anyone else love that one like I do?) when Hugh Grant is walking down the street and the season changes from autumn to winter to spring while he strolls. Calendar time...

Dear Collin at 18 Months

on Mar 14, 2013

Dear Collin, When I was pregnant with you, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like having two children.  Your Auntie Lauren told me that the moment I first saw you, my heart would double in size, and she was so right!  I instantly fell in love with your squishy face, your dark hair (just like mine) and your sweet nature.   Having you, my second baby, was so different from when I first had your brother.  I knew what I was doing this time around.  I was calmer, which I think made me a better mother.  Carter may have gotten more of my undivided attention as a baby, but you benefitted from my experience, your Dada’s experience, and from having your brother around, too.  (Though I do give YOU most of the credit for your easygoing nature.)  Having you around as a newborn was never a struggle, and you were just so content as a baby.  You loved tagging along with me in the Baby...

The Co-Sleeping Closet: Part 2

on Jul 10, 2012

Click here to read the Co-Sleeping Closet: Part 1 So where was I?  Oh yes, co-sleeping with one child in the bed and the other in my belly, wondering how on earth we were going to make this work once he came out.  We tried not to stress too much about it, because if Medium Boy had taught me one thing, it was that no matter how much I planned, he was really in control, not me.  But I was definitely worried about how Medium Boy was going to deal with becoming a big brother and sharing his Mama, and how on earth we were going to apply our parenting philosophies to two small children simultaneously. And sure enough, once Baby Boy came home from the hospital, our first few nights were full of tears, and not from Baby Boy.  All Medium Boy wanted at bedtime was his Mamaaaaaaaaaa, and of course his Mama was tied up taking care of the newborn who usually wanted to nurse for hours on end in the...

The Co-Sleeping Closet: Part 1

on Mar 30, 2012

Baby Boy stirs and I lean over to kiss him good morning. He looks at me and smiles a huge gummy smile, and we snuggle a little closer to start our day. I roll over and look at Medium Boy, his sandy hair splayed across his pillow, sleep still heavy on his features. If you’re following along you will note that I have two, yes two, children in our bed as we wake to start another day. I didn’t intentionally choose to follow an attachment parenting philosophy and I certainly didn’t intend to co-sleep with my children as I was finding my way as a parent.While pregnant, I’d read Babywise, a book that emphasizes routines for babies as a blueprint to get them to sleep though the night sooner, and thought it sounded like a great philosophy…great, that is, until I met my first son.He was intense from the start—collicky as a newborn and the world’s worst sleeper from day one.I take that back…he...

Tint Jeans

on Feb 1, 2012

Today I’m wearing one of my two treasured pairs of size 12 Tint jeans. When I first put them on many years ago, I had no idea how long they would remain my favorite jeans. When I bought them I was miserably unhappy at my last job, and I weighed the most I’ve ever weighed in my life (yes, that includes both pregnancies). I assume they fit me like normal jeans at that point, and I remember them being so comfortable that I went out and bought another pair in the exact same size and style so I would have two. When I quit my job and lost a lot of weight they grew looser and looser until they were eventually folded and put in the back of my closet, my “fat jeans” that I didn’t anticipate ever wearing again. But I just couldn’t get rid of them because I loved them so much. In December of 2008 I was pregnant for the first time, but literally days after...

Falling Asleep

on Jan 5, 2012

I don’t know if anyone is still reading this, but I want to start writing again, so here goes… I try to sing him to sleep without curling up with him anymore since he’s two now—my medium boy—but today at naptime he wants to cuddle. He slips his silky head under my arm and wiggles his way under until my arm snakes around his neck, my hand wrapping around his head and resting atop his ear. I breathe in the smell of little boy…a tiny whiff of shampoo mixed with undertones of sweat (but not in a gross boy-sweat way, but the sweet-sweat of toddlerhood). I turn my head slightly to look up at the ceiling, but a quick hand darts out and pulls my cheek back, where a little face is looking at me. He presses his little lips to mine, then turns his head back around on his pillow and shuts his eyes. “I love you, Carter,” I whisper. “I love you too, Mama,” he whispers back before...

Welcome to the world, Collin

on Sep 11, 2011

Warning:  This post is very long and graphic.  If you are squeamish, you might want to skip it! Collin’s birth started weeks ago, when I started having contractions at 34 weeks pregnant on the ride home from my parents’ house on July 30, 2011.  After having some back pain the week before and realizing that I’d already started dilating and effacing my cervix, it became a reality that our second son very well might be joining us a bit earlier than we planned.  And quite honestly that terrified me!  Thankfully the contractions stopped that evening before it became necessary to go to the hospital, but at the time, I didn’t know I would make it as long as I did, which was so scary.  Everything with Carter’s pregnancy had been so textbook and simple that it never occurred to me that everything wouldn’t be the same for his little brother, and I was terrified that he would be born early and...

37 Weeks Pregnant = FULL TERM!!

on Aug 20, 2011

Best Moment of the week: Making it to the 37 week mark today! I never thought I could be so proud of myself for being so lazy, but I have to keep reminding myself that I’m actually doing something very important by forcing myself to do nothing. When I started dilating and having contractions almost a month ago, I’d really prepared myself for having a preemie, and I was scared to death about it. But with each day that goes by, I’m grateful for Collin having that much more time to be prepared to face the world…whenever it is that he decides to come. Will we actually make it to September, after all? My doctor’s appointment this week was relatively uneventful since it’s perfectly normal for a 37 week pregnant woman to be where I am right now. I have progressed since last week…I’m now 2 cm dilated and 75% effaced, and his head is really low...