Before You: A letter to my second child

I have largely neglected you, blog. I apologize. I felt compelled to share some thoughts today relating to my now 100% shared “I’m Pregnant” news. I know, my timing is impeccable. It’s April Fools’ Day but I promise it’s fo real. I’m 15w4d and due 9/19.

You all might be just finding out, but we’ve known since early January. There’s a lot of anticipation, excitement and unknowns. I’ve written a letter to my youngest (and final!) child…

Dear Baby,

Sometimes I think about how difficult it will be to have two kids, to parent a “second” child. Not like “where will I find the time!” type thing, but like your father and I are first borns. I worry about being able to replicate Margo’s experience for you – give you comparable levels of attention, goods and services, photographs… You spoil your kids, and it’s no secret that first borns are the recipients for more of the above.

But then, you get something that Margo never got: you’re completing our family. When I think about my family growing up, it’s the four of us. There was this short period of time before Ashley was born and then she arrived and it was the four of us forever. The past 3 years where it’s been the 3 of us McQ’s has been so great. We feel blessed in so many ways but it’s really hard to fathom that in 20 years, we’ll look back and it’ll be the 4 of us, and the 3 years when it was the 3 of us will just be the time Before You. Margo won’t have a huge memory of life Before You, and I can only imagine the ways in which you’ll make everything feel more complete, different, unimaginable that we were a family Before You.

We don’t even know if you’re a boy or a girl yet. We’re all so excited. Your sister is already ready to shower you with gifts (she made me get a sippy cup for you for when you come out!) She tells everyone we meet that “Mommy has a baby in her belly!” and she says good night to you and sometimes even sings you songs. She sang Away in a Manger the other night – did you hear it?

I know before we know it, you’ll be here. Summer is coming and summer ALWAYS flies by (just really hoping it’s not a Too Hot summer this year!) Soon we’ll know if you’re a boy or a girl, we’ll make you a room in our house (you already have one in our hearts), and we’ll pick a name for you and buy you clothes. We have a lot to do, but now we’re just excited and the anticipation is joyful.

With love,

Momma (and Daddy and Margo)

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Sending Love to Mom-Mom

This post isn’t about me, or my birthday, or cancer. It’s about my mother-in-law, my husband’s mother and my child’s grandmother. We love her, she’s so important to all of us and she’s having what I can only assume is one of the toughest days of her life today.

She was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 2007, and underwent treatment (Intensive Interferon) in the summer of 2008. We were sad to hear the news a few weeks ago that… it’s back. Today she’s having a procedure done that essentially pumps her leg full of chemo (my words, if you want the sciency/real info, check this out.) Worth noting: it says 60% of patients don’t get the cancer again. While we know there are no sure things in cancer (or… life), we’re very, very hopeful about this procedure.

Though I bash them frequently, I think I actually started a prayer chain on Twitter. There’s a first. 🙂 And I think all of my friends who were thinking of us today and will continue to as Mom-Mom recovers.

There are a lot of unknowns ahead, and we’re even more helpless than we’d otherwise be since we’re stuck 450 miles away in NC. We’re sending all our thoughts, prayers and positive recovery energy to Mom-Mom, knowing recovery from the surgery will be tough, but not tougher than she is.

We love you, Mom Mom, and we’re sending all our love.

You can follow her journey and recovery here.

Movie Night!

Friday nights usually go a little something like this in our world:

YAY it’s Friday! Wahooo! Ugh, I’m so exhausted.

We’ve settled into this family tradition in the past few months of renting movie on Friday nights. (Sometimes we’ll buy if we are moderately sure we’ll like it and it’s nice to have several to choose from for road trips!) We order a pizza and eat like crap. (In fact, despite having eaten out one night this week, and having leftovers in the fridge, Scott and I were just talking about how we *cannot even consider* just regular leftovers… doesn’t feel right. Friday demands junk.) We snuggle on the couch, turn off the lights and put on our jammies. We let Margo pick which movie we want to watch, though we do often gently guide her based on what we’re in the mood for.

Side note: we do all of this on iTunes these days (since we’re a iFamily…) A few months ago, we took a big jar of change to a Coinstar machine. We turned it into itunes cash. It’s been great to slowly burn through “free money” on iTunes (ie, money we didn’t know we had.) And Coinstar doesn’t take a cut of it if you don’t get cash back & turn the coins into a gift card. We felt super smart, had to share that.

Our (current) favorites are:

The Lion King.This is by FAR the favorite; every time we say anything about a movie the answer is “Lion King!” She loves little Simba (and really, how can you not, he’s so cute, if a little bratty.) She doesn’t seem to understand why Simba’s daddy just falls asleep after that wildebeast herd. Weird. It’s not all that funny, although Timon and Pumba are obviously the grown up draw. Never realized how funny they were watching it as a kid. (Also strong communist themes with Scar. Too academic? Sorry.) This movie does hold a special place in my heart; me and my sister watched it at least daily one summer. Sometimes I recall just watching it until Mufasa died, cause then it gets heavy. Also, little Simba = cutie pie. <- Margo’s words, though tweenage Jamie & Ashley concurred evidently.

The Lorax. I love this one, and was sort of surprised since I never really loved the book or old movie. The addition of some characters & songs made a big difference. I love the message & love the music. My parents watched it with Margo the one night they babysat for us last month and I really would have given good money to see my dad’s face during “How bad can I be” 🙂 Not a real “pro-business” song.

We also own Up, Cars, Curious George, Finding Nemo and Ice Age, and they’re all good but I’d say The Lorax and LK are the big favorites right now. I really like both of her favorites, especially because, OMG you should see her face during the opening scene of Lion King. You know, when all the animals come running. It’s quite adorable how excited she gets. Here’s an impression:

*said with no breaths between words* “look! a tree! An elephant! A baby elephant! A giraffe! Canteloupes! Birdies, mommy, look! A waterfall! Where’s Simba!? Elephants!! Aw, Rafiki and Mufasa are hugging!”

And as much as we love our collection, we have so much fun watching new things every so often. Last week we watched Madagascar 3, might be the most I’ve laughed at a kids’ movie! Margo laughed a lot too, so it was a win. I would totally buy that one.

I have a great list from my Twitter friends on new ones to try but am always on the lookout for new movies to try. We did preview Cinderella last weekend and, well, it seemed so boring. Just not really up to the pace and witty banter standards of Pixar & DreamWorks that we’ve gotten used to (and enjoy as a whole family, not just the kid). I could be wrong, I haven’t watched a princess movie since I was a kid, but I sorta yawned and passed on it.

Anywho, is it quitting time yet!? Thinking maybe Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs or another Madagascar movie tonight! Anyone else do a movie night? What are the faves?