Sunday, May 10, 2015

Time lapse

The week of February 23, 2015
For days I've been feeling off. Tired. I've been super stressed. A lot going on, so it all made sense. Then I got light headed a few times. Nauseous. My coffee didn't taste right. Crap. Now I'm getting sick. I haven't been sleeping lately, stress. A lot going on, so it all made sense. It's been hard to sleep, I've started to get tingly extremities. It's been so cold, record breaking cold - it must have to do with that.  You know, it kinda feels like when I got carpel tunnel when I was pregnant with JJ. But it's so cold, it can't be that.

Wednesday, February, 25th
Messaging with a friend, I just say it. I don't know where it came from.

Me: I know I am NOT preg. But I FEEL preg. Is that weird?
Her: Have you been nauseated?
Me: yes. in the mornings / late mornings. not first thing.
Her: since I know I'm not pregnant, I've been worried that I have some terrible tumor or cancer or something. I kinda want to get a CAT scan just to make me feel better. but I know that's nuts.
Me: you won't be surprised to hear -  my thought after... "wait, if I'm not preg - I'm probably going to die."
Her: isn't it terrible?
Me:  and I have this pregnancy test. ... still from Cman. Do they even LAST that long? and part of me - just wants to take the test. but then another part of me... wait for it... is like: eh, do I really want to WASTE this test? They are expensive. What if we actually try again? then I'm going to have to buy a new test box.  seriously. I have issues. It's literally calling me from the bathroom draw.  "jeeeeeeennnnnyyyyy just find out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! what are you waiting for? you know you have to peeeeeeee!!!"

And somewhere between 12:35 and 12:45pm the world stops. I thought, taking the test would mean I would have some confirmation I was not in fact pregnant and could possibly be dying.

The line, it comes through.

The only logical next step? I need another test.

I figured, before I picked L up from school? I would shoot over to the store. My dad was visiting and could stay home with the baby. My plan is immediately foiled because he wants to come to the store. After a panic, I realized I would ask him to wait in the car with the kids. He was none the wiser and off to the store I went.

I'm going to stop here and say: pregnancy tests are freaking expensive. $25 for peace of mind, it must be the almost expired test!

I grab them. Pay for it and go. But not before taking the box out of the bag and shoving it in my coat. Because I can't go into the car with a hot pink box of pregnancy tests.

Lady behind the counter, "Giirrrll! I KNOW it!" 

I'm not quite sure what she knows. Does she know I have a 10 month old? That I was JUST pregnant? Does she know that the last pregnancy nearly killed me. Ok maybe that is some what dramatic. But when you are suddenly a mother of 4, you get to be dramatic.  Does she know we have 3 kids? This is 4? Does she know this is some Duggar shit? Does she know I've been talking about wanting 4 kids, but it was in theory. Not in for real life. Right? We weren't there yet.

I'll take the test.

And take the test I did. And you'll never guess what it said.

With my dad visiting, the kids awake and around, I wait. I have two sticks I peed on in my pocket for hours.  There is Criminal Minds episode somewhere in there. It would have been great to think of an adorable way to surprise the ball & chain with this news. But I also felt like the information in it of itself will be a surprise all it's own.

So once we got everyone to sleep, I threw the sticks on the bed.

"So, there's this." 

Thursday, February 26th
I called my doctor's office. Whispering about needing an appointment. When asked, "What's this about?" I whispered, even more quietly, "I think I'm pregnant." The natural response? Laugh out loud cackling, "You girls always call like you don't know how this happened!" I start to say, "Oh I know how I ... {she starts laughing again I think in response to my cleverness} got myself into this! I have 3 others!" To which she says, "Oh I see that! That's why I'm laughing now. You were just here for a post csection check in."


The next few weeks...
Pretty much living in secret we wander through the next few weeks. Some highlights...
  • Falling asleep at 8:15 on the regular. 
  • Coffee tastes like pure acid. I want it. But I don't. I have a conflicting battle with this every morning. 
  • One of my favorite pregnancy side effects (other than the baby) is my nails grow. And while I continue to have man hands, at least I have nails. And in true Wolverine transition form, the transformation has begun. 
  • One of my least favorite pregnancy side effects is how I turn into Teen Wolf in the way of unwanted random hair. I do not get a pregnancy glow. I get a 5 o'clock shadow and teen acne. 
  • We've been lobbing out preparation for the kids. "Wouldn't it be fun to have another baby???" "Look at how big Coal is getting? Don't you want another baby????" I asked L specifically, "What do you think - should we have another baby?" Her answer? "Don't you think it's crazy enough?"
  • I took all three kids to a restaurant, alone, by choice. And they were awesome. I was awesome. I can do this. 
  • I'm so tired. It's so loud here. Good god, there is always someone into something, asking me something. It's neeevver quiet. What the hell did we get into here? 
  • Many doctor appointments, a few sonograms and a visit with the genetics counselors and it turns out all looks good. Despite my continuous fears on a loop to the contrary. 
April 12, 2015
We told the kids. They are so happy. And we are so happy they are happy. And it's going to be insane. But it's going to be great. When it isn't not great.



The next few days & weeks
We've started to tell family & a few friends.  I'm not quite ready to go full fledged public yet. It just seems like a lot. Ideally I'd wait until closer to 20 weeks, I feel like that will feel better? I still don't feel great. But I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep all this to myself until then. Reactions have been interesting.  Though the most common reaction is disbelief. 
  • You are kidding. 
  • You are not serious. 
  • Are you crazy? 
  • If anyone can handle 4 kids, it's you guys. 
  • Whaaaaaaa??????
  • You are insane.
  • The minivan makes even more sense now. Thank The Lord.
  • I heard 4 is better than 3. 3 kids is the hardest. I read it on the Internet, it must be true. 
  • Congratulations. I guess??? 
I think most people are genuinely happy, but as much as I believe that - I do firmly believe there is some judgement by the few.  Misunderstanding or even some non-happiness. Like a sadness? Hard to pinpoint. They may never admit it, but I can feel it. And here's the best part? I don't actually give a crap.

And now you are caught up. 


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Belated holiday wishes and continued traditions

When your last holiday card is epic, it's a hard act to follow. When you used to write regularly, and now barely every - it's hard to think of what to do next. 

But you can't very well give up now, can you? 



Sunday, December 28, 2014

Her heart

If I were writing here anymore, you'd likely hear about how challenging things get. In particular JJ. She's a tough kid. She is (too) smart, a character, funny, charismatic, impatient, kind, selfish, giving, loving, whiney, the list goes on. A loved, adored, magnificently trying on my last nerve, kid.

But her heart? It's her heart that is most incredible.

Santa brought the movie Maleficent. I was nervous on how scary it might be for JJ. Dragons, fire, battle scenes, Maleficent in general with her magic. At first the plan was: watch it without her. But I researched it a bit and found that it wasn't as scary as the trailers made it seem.  Maybe we'd give it a go, during the day...



Battle scenes, fire, fighting, an army coming out of the ground, a dragon / serpent made of roots & wood - not a blink of the eye. But this scene? Where Maleficent comes face to face with baby Auroa?



Straight. Tear. Breakdown. The first 30 seconds broke her. I found it on YouTube titled "funny scene" - because it's cute. But to her? To not love on this little baby was pure evil. And that's my girl.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Coal {of} mine

Since (almost) last I wrote here, there were just sonogram photos I thought I would share his announcement. 

His arrival has been oh so very exciting for oh so many reasons. It's been over 3 months. It feels like we've known him forever and yet I can't believe how fast these months have gone, even when it feels like it's going slow. If that makes any kind of sense.  

To follow (our web friendly*) birth announcement. The front side is fairly traditional in terms of what information is provided. 

Side note: Why the hat?  Short(ish)** story: when he was born and we announced his birth we weren't I wasn't 100% on the name. 

It went a little like this: 

I posted the first picture 4 hours after he was born. I had hoped we would come to a decision before we posted anything, but word on the street (texts) was that it had been leaked. The baby was born, that he was a he & how (very) much he weighed. It does sound of so very Kimye, doesn't it? I mean, sure, I don't take naked selfies and the ball & chain doesn't talk about himself in the third person - but there were people scooping us on our own son's birth before we were ready.  (In hindsight I probably could have used another celebrity couple. Cause now you are thinking, wait? Does she have a sex tape? Does he hate on Taylor Swift? And other terrible things about the couple I chose. But you know what I mean, right? I digress...)

Since it was on an instant message circuit I figured, I'll deal with the stress of not knowing (for sure) the name. I didn't want anyone to hear that he was born and we were still silent. If it were me? My mind would go to something possibly being wrong, and it hadn't.

Baby BOY G. He's here. And he means business. 11lbs. 10oz. 22 inches.
and no name other than "oh my god" & "he's HUGE!"

And when I finally got myself together, a day later:


Name official: Coleman Bennett > nickname: Coal. Or Moose.
Or "yes. I know how big he is." #whatsmymotherlovinname
The moose comment was strictly random. I threw it in: an animal, known for it's size to make fun of a situation that was stressful (you'll see a watered down version of why to follow). And it stuck. And it makes me smile. 


The back was a (very necessary) FAQ because holy hell were there questions asked frequently (edited for the world wide web). And because I know this might come up (surprisingly so): 
  • No, we don't spell his name C-o-a-l.
  • Yes, sometimes I do call him Coals. 
  • No, not after the store either


A closer look of the back: 

Q: What took you so long to name him?
A: Coals was always "the" name. We had other name options: 6 for girls, 3 for boys.  I always feared without having options, the baby could be nameless if he or she didn't look like "the" name. You could announce the baby's birth but then not the name. And no one liked that! There would be phone calls asking, "when will we know the name???" Nurses coming in every few hours asking "And... who is this???" Messaging asking, "Do you know the name yet?" or "What about now?" or "What about now, do you know now?"  With both girls, we looked at them and knew.

When our doctor said "Oooh Bubba!" and we were officially shown our son we went into shock. A baby boy! My shock lasted longer than the ball&chain's and Bubba or Baby Boy Guarro was nameless. In addition to being shocked he was a boy, did he look like a Coals?  The ball&chain always knew he was our Coleman, but I wasn't sure.  He could have been a Coals or a Ben. He could have been a Jack, Gus, or Tony (insert a full day of revisiting 7-10 name books).  I finally caught up with the ball&chain and Coleman was officially named.

Q: Where did the name come from?
A: Coleman is my maiden name.  Bennett means blessed, and we are blessed to have Coals join us. His initials are CBG, the ball&chain's initials are CBG.  Elle's initials are Nana Lu's and JJ's initials are Poppa's (Guarro).

Q: Wait. Coleman? Isn't that a last name?
A: Yes. Last name for a first name, with the exception of the fact that Coleman is actually a first name.  We typically call him Coal vs. his full name. We'll reserve that for when he's in trouble, like everyone else.

Q: Did you know he would be this big? Did you break any hospital records?
A: No & not that we know of. We knew he was big, but no not this big. We were told by countless hospital staff, nurses and doctors it's the biggest baby they had seen all day / week / month / year or career - but no official word on record breaking. He broke our record, good enough for us.

Q: Can you believe it?
A: No, I don't believe it. It was certainly a déjà vu moment to be in yet another operating room and have the entire staff mouth or say "Oooh my G O D! He is HUGE!"  

Q: Was it a c-section?
A: What kind of question is that?  Yes.

Q: Were your other babies as big?
A: Yes & no. Elle was 10 lbs 14.8 oz and 22.25 inches. That's where the déjà vu of "Oh my GO D! She's HUGE!" comes in. JJ was 7 lbs 6 oz 20.25 inches.

Q: How are the girls?
A: Amazing, they love their little brother something fierce. Elle is so grateful to get her wish - a baby brother. JJ loves her baby, very much. Both are more loving than one heart can handle.

Q: How does it feel to be outnumbered?
A: Controlled chaos is still chaos. For example, family photos? We are going with majority rules to measure success. If most people are looking and almost smiling? It's printable.  We don't anticipate any peace, any time soon. But it's wonderful, all the same. A chaotic wonderful. We are happy, feel blessed & beyond lucky. With a health side of "what did we get ourselves into" & a deep appreciation for sleep.

*I updated some of the details / names / references it isn't the exact image word for word.
**Fine, it wasn't a short story & could have been shorter. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

20 questions - JJ v1

I once said I would interview L yearly, that was 2 years ago. I haven't interviewed her since. It was just JJ's 3rd birthday. And let's not discuss how much of her 2nd year I missed out on here. Um, I just looked. Turns out? I missed her entire 2nd year. Pretty much. So why not interview her? 




  1. What is your favorite color? Pink.
  2. What is your favorite toy? Umm... Ariel. (I asked for clarification: which kind) Dolls.
  3. What is your favorite food? Hot dogs.
  4. What is your favorite fruit? Umm.... hot dogs.
  5. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Umm... pamkakes (pancakes).
  6. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Umm... hot dogs.
  7. What is your favorite snack?  Umm... bananas.
  8. What is your favorite drink?Umm... Nanas (Bananas)
  9. What is your favorite tv show? Umm... a show. Like something.
  10. What is your favorite outfit? Umm... this. (points to mismatching PJs that she has never worn before)
  11. What is your favorite game? Umm... wipes. No not wipes... books! And baby!
  12. What is your favorite animal? Umm... lions.
  13. What is your favorite song? Umm... ABCs
  14. What is your favorite book? Umm... library
  15. Who is your best friend? Umm... (L interrupts for the 4th time and says "Rachel" she is sent to time out, as she was told 3 times prior to not prompt JJ) Rachel
  16. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Umm... kitties.
  17. What is your favorite holiday? Umm... bugs.
  18. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Umm... my tiger (she doesn't have a tiger)
  19. What do you want to be when you grow up? Umm... get my tooth out!
  20. What's your favorite thing about school? Umm... paints!
  21. What makes you happiest? Umm... you! (points to me & wins)
  22. What are you scared of? Umm... mermaids! (Which is one of her favorite things... did she understand the question?)
  23. What is the one thing you want to try this year? This! (Points to book that has a picture of Sponge Bob.)
  24. Where in the world would you like to go? Splash park.
  25. What is the best thing about being 3? I'm FREE! (how she says 3)
  26. What makes you excited about being 4? Umm... babies.
  27. What is your favorite thing to do? Umm... babies. No not babies. I wanna sing! (back and forth on what she is actually saying - turns out she says "ONE THING!" and then decides she likes to paint.)
  28. What do you like most about our family? Umm... baby.


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