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Good Gourd

I don't know about you and your neck 'o' the woods, but we have been so busy gettin' our gourd on this month that we've got pumpkins coming out of our asses over here.

Pumpkin families frozen in various states of pretend play litter the kids' playroom, pumpkins scattered on our front porch perching jauntily atop bales of hay, pumpkin corpses lay around the backyard, abandoned after hardcore pumpkin play sessions. I should really learn to make some pumpkin pie because they are starting to look at me accusatorially. MURDERER! They silently scream as Henry carts another "Mommy" and "Daddy" pumpkin off to what will certainly end in torn stems and dented heads

We grew some of our own in our backyard before a mysterious white powder I now know to be fungus swept in and destroyed our humble crop. We've been on no less than three hay rides, strolled several pumpkin patches, drank gallons of hot chocolate, eaten enough home-made Amish pie to kill a horse, attended several fall festivals where Violet and Henry painted tiny pumpkins but mostly each other, and we are, as I type, preparing ourselves for a haunted Halloween train ride (costumes included!) tomorrow evening after which we will most likely come away with more pumpkins. Good gourd.

Happy fall, y'all.


Hot Mom Isn't Fat Shaming, You're Just Too Sensitive

If you aren't exhausted by Hot Mom and her abs of steel, here's my two cents. It's more like four cents but more cents are better than no cents. Or something.

And yes, in case you missed it, the sex of the newest member of our family can be found in the blog banner up there. Thank you for all the kind words both here and on Facebook. We love hearing YOUR two cents.

Standing at the Crossroads of the Rest of Our Lives

Tomorrow is the big day. We find out just who exactly has been playing bongos on my bladder these past few weeks. The bumps and thumps are big enough that I can feel them on the outside when I press a hand firmly on my belly, which is always reassuring, but the 20 week ultrasound is always the most reassuring of everything you experience during pregnancy. Especially when, like us, it's the only ultrasound you plan on having barring any unexpected complications.

A couple days ago someone left a comment on this post about how finding out the sex of this baby isn't really a cliffhanger. I get what they're saying; I have a girl and a boy already so anticipating the sex of this baby isn't really a white-knuckler. And while that's true and the fact that we really have no preference is also true, the anticipation I've experienced waiting to find out whether we're adding a boy or girl to this wild bunch is more than I experienced when pregnant with Violet or Henry.

Maybe because we kind of plan on this being our last child? I mean, we're smart enough to never say never but three has been the plan and we ain't spring chickens. Hell, we ain't even summer chickens so this is it for us - the final addition. So it's not that we have a preference, it's just that I feel like I'm standing at the crossroads of the rest of my life. Our lives. Tomorrow everything changes forever for all of us. One path leads to this whole other boy person. A new dynamic that will change everything in our family. Brothers. A boy that will be a man one day. Henry and his brother, just a couple years apart and, fingers crossed, best buddies. Violet will always be an only girl. Like me. I've envisioned a whole life around that scenario.

I've also envisioned a whole life around the opposite scenario. Sisters. Violet will have a sister, something I have always longed for as the only girl of four children. Sisters! A family dynamic both Serge and I have never experienced. Two girls! Two daughters to teach to be strong women, to raise with a powerful knowledge of equality and limitless possibility in life that was never imparted to me as a little girl.

Tomorrow we take the first steps down one of those roads. I'm on pins and needles here waiting to start the journey, to fit that last puzzle piece into our family.

I asked Violet to snap this shot of me at 20 weeks and I like how it turned out because it's exactly how the future appears on this last day of not knowing: blurry but filled with expectation, barely contained excitement, and hope.


Boy or Girl and 9 After 9

We find out Tuesday if we're adding a boy or a girl to this wild bunch. Before we do I want to try out all the old wives tales type tests that allegedly predict the sex of your baby. Dangle ring above belly, pee on Baking Soda, that kind of thing. Anybody know any good gender prediction tests? Something your grandma taught you? Leave it in the comments below and I'll test 'em all out and then we'll find out which ones worked on Tuesday.

Also, we just celebrated our nine year anniversary and figured we'd impart some of our hard-earned wisdom with you. 9 Things We've Learned After 9 Years of Marriage. First up, you should TOTALLY go to bed angry. Click onward for more tips, plus photos from each year of our marriage.


36 Hours Later

I decided not to take Benadryl and just iced this bad boy. The swelling went down overnight and is all but gone this afternoon. Turns out, we got attacked by Yellowjackets. They're a type of wasp and are more aggressive than bees, particularly in the fall. They can bite as well as sting and since they don't lose their stinger they can sting you several times and will do so unprovoked. Yellowjacket colonies are largest in late summer/early fall. If someone happens by a nest, which are usually built underground, they will swarm attack.

Uh, yeah. Good to know.