Wilson’s Birthday

Leading up to Wilson’s birthday, I thought a scheduled c-section would be less stressful than the emergency c-section I had with Gus almost four years ago.

I was mistaken.

Turns out when you’ve been in active labor for several hours without an epidural, and your baby is suddenly in danger, you don’t have much time to process what’s about to happen as you roll into the OR (and then almost sleep through the whole thing from sheer exhaustion).

This time I was wide awake, over-thinking everything, and walked myself into the OR past tables of terrifying surgical tools before getting my epidural on the operating table.

The actual delivery went well, but caught me a little off guard only because a few minutes before we got started they got word another baby in L&D might be in distress and they warned me they may need to go to the other OR for an emergency delivery (Been there! I’ll wait.)

The next thing I knew: the doors opened, doctors and nurses were everywhere, someone turned on the radio (raise your hand if “Despacito” was playing when your baby was born!) and they were just talking like it was another day at the office.

“Did you see Roberta’s haircut?”
“Who has the medieval torture devices I sterilized?”
“Let’s make the first incision.”

Wait, what was that last thing you said?

No, hello. No, we’re about to get started. No husband (wearing a beard cover) sitting patiently by my side. No, ready, no set.

Just, GO.

Mike was there a few minutes later, but surgery was well underway at that point. And while I definitely didn’t feel pain, the amount of pressure I could feel was so overwhelming that it was extremely uncomfortable.


Ultimately I needed two extra doses of my epidural during surgery, and three doses of additional pain meds while they closed my incision.

Recovery has been going well, and we’ve been home for four days now. Aside from the usual newborn woes (mainly not sleeping) this time has been a lot less stressful for all of us.

I already know how to breastfeed (even though my milk didn’t come in until last night), I’m sleeping as much as I can when I can, I’m staying on top of pain meds and physically I feel really good.

The biggest difference: my mom is living with us this time, so we have an extra set of hands to help with baby and Gus. When I think about one day getting this baby fed and out the door in time to get Gus to preschool on time, it makes my eye twitch but I know we’ll get there eventually.

Wilson is a pretty good baby, and Gus LOVES him. It’s only been a few days so we’ll see how long it lasts, but he loves to help with diaper changes, he kisses him constantly, and whenever he cries, Gus sings him customized lullabies (“Rockabye Wilson” is his go-to, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Wilson” is a close second).


I genuinely still can’t believe this beautiful, healthy baby is here right now, after everything that happened in the last year. And in a few weeks, we’ll celebrate Gus’ fourth birthday as a little family of four!

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Dear Gus: Three

Dear Gus,

The details are starting to get a little bit fuzzy, but here’s what I remember about the day you were born: the drive to the hospital was excruciating, the nurses were lovely, the anesthesiologist was eating a sandwich while I was demanding some drugs, and then the next thing I knew it was 3:57 AM and you were here — and we were parents.

You looked like this:

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Now, you look like this:

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In the last year, you have changed so much. You use the potty, like a big boy. You can walk up and down the stairs (all by yourself!) giving me a small heart-attack every time. You can sort of swim. You can do somersaults, and walk on a balance beam, and bounce all the way down a trampoline. You can run, and you jump on EVERYTHING.

You go to school now, and you LOVE it. You have friends from your classes, and in our neighborhood, and you ask to play with them all the time. You love your cousins, and you talk about them all time.

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You’d still rather play than eat (a choice I’ll never understand) but when you do want some food, you prefer pretzels, French fries, more pretzels, and cheese.

You never. stop. talking. You are so imaginative, and hilarious — the things that come out of your mouth are unbelievable, including:

“Mom? What happens if the moon pops?”

“Surprise! I’m in your birthday cake!”

“We have an emergency! I saw an ant!”

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And let’s get this out of the way: The Terrible Twos have a well deserved reputation, for being, well — terrible. And you sir, can be terrible with the best (worst?) of them. Usually, it was because you were sick, or teething (molars are the devil’s teeth) or we had just spent large sums of money on fertility treatments trying to make you a sibling, and God just has a sense of humor. Thankfully, those moments were few and far between, because when all those unfortunate things aren’t happening, you’re really a pleasure to be around.

Your counting skills, which used to include the occasional letter and color, are legit now, and you know your fair share of letters too. You also know your full name, and our names (this year you went through a “what’s your name?” phase, in which you asked everyone their names, including total strangers at the grocery store.)

You have names for all of your grandparents now: Nan, and Pop, and Grandma & Pacha. We have no idea what Pacha means, or how you came up with it, but it suits him.

You still LOVE Curious George, and now we can add The Incredibles, the Lion Guard, the PJ Masks, Daniel Tiger & Co., and the Paw Patrol pups to that list. You love to build planes, and towers, and animals with our blocks and duplos, and you love to sit at your train table and play with trains and cranes and cars.

You still adore all animals, and our nighttime routine now consists of pretending to be dogs, or sharks, or gorillas, or tigers, or elephants, or various members of the Lion Guard. If we’re not animals, than we’re race cars and a tow truck, or a train, or we practice gymnastics.

You’re still sleeping in your own room (thank you baby Jesus) unless you’re super sick, only now your menagerie of animals has grown to include: George, Duck, Mickey, Little Appa (the elephant), Cornelius the crocodile, Cow, and Big Appa (another elephant) — not to mention whatever little toy you ask to bring upstairs every night.

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You are not shy, at all. You talk to anyone and everyone, and the second anyone sets foot in our house, to ask them if they want to see your room, or play with your trains. You continue to charm older ladies whenever you get the opportunity to do so.

We finally found a place that can give you a decent haircut, without any screaming, or thrashing, or crying. I think the 1) pretty ladies who work there, and 2) lollipops and toy cars they give you help tremendously.

You are super affectionate. You hug all of your friends and cousins goodbye. You smother us with body slam-esque hugs, and huge sloppy kisses. Sometimes you’ll just take a break from jumping on the sofa, to hug us and say I love you, or lay with us to watch something.

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I swear we just planned your second birthday party, like three months ago. Time is flying, and I’m sure it’s only going to get worse.

You’re so sweet, and so funny, and so smart. You’ve learned so much in the past year, and we’re so proud of you.

Love, Mom and Dad

Dear Gus: Two

Dear Gus,

Two years ago, today, I was huffing and puffing on my way to the hospital where I made some jokes, batted my eyelashes at my newest BFF the anesthesiologist, and tried to catch some shuteye, and then – BAM! – there you were at 3:57 in the morning.

You looked like this:

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Now, you look like this:

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Last year on your birthday, I couldn’t believe how much you’d changed in so little time (even if some hours/days/weeks felt like an eternity). You seemed like such a big boy when you turned one.

But man. I was wrong.

Because a year ago, you were still a little baby. Now? You’re a walking, talking, running, jumping, climbing, screaming, hilarious, trouble-making, funny little boy. (Note to future self: I realize when he’s three, I’ll be like oh, but he was still such a baby when he was two, and so-forth and so-on).

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I don’t know how you’ve gotten so big, because you eat like a bird. Like a sick, lazy, distracted bird. You LOVE apple juice (which I’m sorry to tell you is 75% water. I live in absolute fear of the day you have pure, glorious, undiluted juice) and if I’d let you, you would exist solely on cheese. Not even good cheese! You’d just eat processed American cheese if it were up to you. You’re currently obsessed with pretzels, and if there are potato chips in the house we need to hide them from you. (I swear I routinely offer you fruits and vegetables!)

You adore all animals, and you love going to the zoo and the aquarium. You entertain us and yourself with animal noises. Every morning you enthusiastically greet Daisy and Jake, only to spend the majority of the day disciplining them if they so much as look at your plate of food (that you have no intention of eating).

You have learned so many words and phrases this year, I’ve lost count. You are only quiet when you are sleeping (and most nights you still end up talking in your sleep) or when you are getting into trouble. You ask a lot of questions. You boss everyone around constantly. You’re favorite word/question/demand is, “MEEEEE?!” which can mean anything from come/play/sit/slide/walk/lay/eat/read with me.

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You really enjoy counting things, in your own way (“two, three, nine, three, nine, Jake, two, nine!”) Don’t worry though, you’ll be fine. Most grown ups never use math. Hopefully you can get by on your good looks.

You LOVE Curious George, and Elmo. You will read the same book a thousand times, and you always need at least one more story before bed. You love to go for walks, ride your new bike around the neighborhood, and stockpile every rock and leaf you find.

You FINALLY sleep in your own bed (hooray!) but not without your gang of stuffed animals: Duck, George, Cow and Appa (the elephant), your fuzzy yellow blanket, your pillow, and your rainforest lullaby nightlight. You don’t even cry at bedtime – you just lay back with your hands behind your head and say, “bye mommy” like such a big boy.

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You are insanely ticklish and (unlike your father) will demand to be tickled again and again. You think farts are hilarious, and you love it when we’re repulsed by your stinky baby feet. A few days ago the letter of the day on Sesame Street was P, and I said, “Look, Gus! It’s P!” to which you replied, “and poop!”

I’ve never been prouder.

You say hello to every woman and child you see. Then you tell them to look at your shoes. Then you tell them who I am. Sometimes we circle back to shoes again.

Your crazy baby tufts have been replaced by a mop of stick-straight hair, which has been professionally cut once (traumatizing), and very unprofessionally cut by me ever since (budget-friendly!). In the last year, you’ve gotten 14 more teeth and boy, let me tell you, growing teeth is serious business. I hope you’re better about flossing than I am.

You’ve stopped calling us Mama and Dada, and for awhile we were just Mom and Dad, which I didn’t really like. I guess it’s better than Mother and Father though, so I got over it. In the last three weeks, you’ve started calling us Mommy and Daddy (so sweet!), which you technically learned from Jake and the Neverland Pirates, so who says cartoons are all bad?

You’re stingy with your kisses, but give great hugs. You are the most empathetic child I’ve ever met, running to one of us, pouting and pointing “he’s sad!” anytime someone in one of your books or shows seems upset. 

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It’s true what they say: the days are long but the years are short. I can’t believe you’re two. I can’t believe how big you are. I can believe how handsome and smart you are, because, well, you have excellent genes.

Happy Birthday to my favorite little monkey! I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us in year three (oh god, here we go).

Love, Mom and Dad

Surprise!

Well, I made it to my cousin’s wedding on Saturday, but then Mr. Baby decided to make a surprise entrance before our scheduled induction later this week.

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August “Gus” William was born on Monday, October 21 at 3:57 a.m weighing in at just over five and a half pounds.

He has blue eyes and the longest fingers and toes I’ve ever seen on a baby. My labor progressed really quickly, but then not quickly enough, so I needed a c-section.

Everyone is happy and healthy and I’m looking forward to eating real food as soon as they let me (Stupid liquid diet! Beef broth for breakfast?! Say that three times fast.)

In the last two-ish days, we’ve slept maybe seven hours. And epidurals are my new best friend.

Birthday Shoutout

I’m pretty sure I just turned 21, not that long ago.

What? That was ten years ago, you say? Well, I say, shut your filthy mouth.

Today — right now, actually — my wee cousin Rachael is turning 21. She invited me out to the festivities. They started past my bedtime. Because I’m old.

She was all, “Why does Matt get a blog about his birthday party?! You’ve known me my whole life!”

And so here we are.

I changed her diapers. I babysat her, on the regular (in my aunt and uncle’s freezing house).

She is painfully pretty (as is her younger sister, Claire, who will force me to relive this horror in five more years), and they are skinny. Like, willing to post pictures of themselves in bathing suits skinny. Like, her prom dress was a size zero, and was too big.

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And I love them anyway.

Thankfully, she is clumsy. At least I’m not clumsy.

I’d bet she’s super clumsy by now.

Anyway. I can still remember when she looked like this…

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And now, she looks like this…

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And omg, she’s an adult now.

Happy Birthday, Rach. Please eat a sandwich or ten.

Bacon & Birthdays

Next week, I’m throwing my BFF a party to celebrate his 30th birthday.

First of all, I’ve been friends with this man since 2001. I’d say I’ve been best friends with him since… 2004? And even now, after 11 years of friendship, I keep learning new things about him.

Like, he is irrationally afraid of things. Particularly seagulls. And he hates anything that touches his neck. His biggest fear, is that a seagull will attack, and go for his throat. But I’ve known this for awhile. (Our other best friend is afraid of mascots. Ironically, our college mascot was a giant seagull — so they were both essentially terrified for four straight years.)

He also hates surprises.

This was new information for me.

I happen to love surprises. But I’m nosey, and sneaky, and am therefore rarely surprised by anything. Maybe that’s why I love them so much — because they are few and far between.

Anyway, in an attempt to not kill my best friend via heart attack, I decided to include him in the party planning.

It went like this:

Me: Do you want to have your birthday party at my house, and do you want to eat bacon pizzas?
Him: Yes. And yes. I think the party should have a theme. Bacon is a good theme. Bacon and pajamas.
Me: Mike just pointed out that he sleeps naked, so I guess that’s your present.

And that’s how I found myself planning a bacon-centric birthday party. I even found bacon desserts (but have decided to improvise a new favorite to include bacon, I think).

Our sole vegetarian friend is really out of luck.

But the rest of us are really looking forward to it.

Dirty Thirty

Yesterday was my husband’s 30th birthday.

This is great news, if you’re me, and you’ve been listening to jokes about already being 30 for the last eight months. This is horrible news, if you’re me, and you realize you’ll be 31 in four more months.

We celebrated in style at his parents’ house — because we still don’t have electricity, and our house is a lot hotter than we thought possible — and then we spent the night with the puppies. Technically, we moved in — because I’m not leaving until our house has lights.

Oh, what did I get him?

Pencils.

Yeah, that’s right.

See, Mike loves Twin Peaks, and we love Psych — and I just happened to stumble across an Etsy shop selling Twin Peaks and Psych pencil sets. So, I bought them, because they’re hilarious.

Does he use pencils?

I have no idea.

Happy Birthday, Booper! You’re my best friend, and favorite husband, so far. I’m very much looking forward to making the babies with you. I guess that can be your real present — since I only got you pencils. If it’s a boy, I think we should name him Lavender Gooms.