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It is 9:53 p.m. Both kiddos are asleep. The baby monitor is quiet. The dryer is tumbling with the last of the laundry. The living room lights are dim and cozy. I am stretched out on the couch with a cat at my feed, my knitting bag sitting next to me, ready for action. The remote control is also sitting next to me, in case I want a little background noise, but for now, the quiet is nice.

I should be enjoying the moment and looking forward to an hour or so of unwind time before heading up to bed. But instead, my heart just won't quiet down and my brain can't settle, and I keep neurotically looking to the baby monitor, to catch any sound before it happens. And why?

Because Sam said his tummy hurt.

We watched the end of Finding Nemo tonight, and ate some popcorn. He was happy and sweet and wonderful. He was full of energy tonight, and was in great spirits. He played nicely with Ellie. He was helpful. He was funny. He was a good listener as Matt read him bedtime stories, and even t…
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Eleanor - Five months, six months

For those of you keeping tally at home, here we are at the halfway-to-Ellie's-first-birthday mark, which blows my mind. I cannot believe how quickly this last half-year has gone, Eleanor!

You continue to shine as our our giggly, squirmy, happy, bouncy Ellie-belly.

Big brother Sam can't get enough of you these days. He wants to shove his face as close to yours as possible, and grab your arms, and help feed you. He wants to hold you in his lap. He will pile your toys on top of you when he thinks you want to play. He calls you "Ellie-belly" like I do, and likes talking to you in the same sort of high-pitched voice that grown-ups use when they are talking to kids.

I'm a little late in writing up this two-month update, so the timeline is a little out-of-whack, but this past weekend, at six months and three days or so, we decided to transition you out of our bedroom and into your crib in the room you now share with Sam. You'd had a good stretch of good sleeping:…

You have to laugh.

Otherwise you'd cry.

7:30 a.m.: While snuggling with Ellie in bed and feeling grateful that it is Friday (my day off), I realize that Sam is still quiet, and wonder if I should wake him up or let him keep sleeping. It was a late bedtime last night, and very frustrating, and the boy needs his sleep. Except that Matt is about to leave for work, and if I am going to start the morning routine, it might be better to get Sam up now while there are two of us grown-ups.

7:50 a.m.: Wake Sam up. (This was my first mistake). He wakes up happy, and sleepily jumps out of bed to put on clothes because he is excited to go to Magpie for breakfast, like we do every Friday. He tells me that he is going to order a yogurt parfait. Before getting dressed, Sam asks me to read him a book. So I do. Then he asks me to read another book. So I do.

8:00 a.m.: Realize that I really really have to use the bathroom. Sam asks me to read him a third book, and I tell him that I will do it as soon as I am done usin…

Mother's Day 2017

This is the original of the picture that I posted to Instagram and Facebook yesterday, on Mother's Day. I posted it with the following caption:

Never imagined I'd ever take a picture like this. My miracles number one and number two. #picaday #motheroftwo #babyeleanorann #bigbrothersam #mothersday #proudmama #ivf #infertilityjourney

For anyone who has ever struggled with infertility, loss, or childlessness (by choice or not), or anyone who grieves the loss of a mother or a relationship with her mother, Mother's Day is a complicated holiday.

For me as a daughter, I am one of the lucky ones. I have a fantastic mom, and we have a fantastic relationship. I have a wonderful mother-in-law, and we, too, have a wonderful relationship.

But for me as a mother, my emotions on Mother's Day are still plenty complicated. My life these days is busy. Pleasantly so. My days are full of church and family, work projects and home projects, cooking, not enough cleaning, not nearly enough sl…

Eleanor - Three months, four months

Once again, two months have flown by in the blink of an eye. All of the sudden, my little newborn is not so little anymore. Eleanor, you are bright-eyed, curious, emotive, sweet, smiley, easygoing, and feeling so much older than just your short four months on this earth.

On the health front, you are doing great. At your four month check-up last week, you checked in as a long skinny baby who is pretty darn ahead of the curve when it comes to developmental milestones. It was nice to be at the doctor and have only good news. Earlier in March, you had a weird vomiting episode that sent us back up to the St. Mary's emergency department to get checked out. The good news is that everything was fine, inside-belly-wise (you tackled the repeat upper GI test like a pro!). The bad news is that you had sprouted an incisional hernia under your previous incision (a little soft lump poking out of your belly), nothing that required urgent action, but which, they told us, would need surgery to fix…