Wednesday, June 24, 2015

38 Weeks

Ugh. 38 weeks pregnant. Nine months for all you out there who need a monthly count.

How do I feel? (I've been getting asked this question a lot in the last couple weeks.)

In no certain order...

- Hot
- Huge
- Uncomfortable
- Like I've been pregnant forever
- Hot
- Tired
- Overwhelmed
- Hot
- So incredibly blessed

But mostly I'm just hot and tired. Seriously. Mad props to all those mothers who went through third trimesters in July, August and September in Texas. It's only June, and I'm nearing the end, and I still want to climb into an ice bath every day. You made it through those hellish months. You deserve an award.

I've enjoyed this pregnancy and getting to carry Butternut with me these last nine months. But I am ready to evict this child and claim my body back as the sole occupant.

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We've been talking a lot with Willa lately about her baby sister. Where baby sister will sleep. Which one is her seat in the car. Which toys are hers. As we've pulled out the baby stuff in preparation of Butternut's arrival, she would use every toddler's favorite word: Mine! After we explained to her that it was for baby sister, she seemed to accept it. Fingers crossed she'll accept her actual baby sister as quickly. And if she doesn't... well, she will eventually as I know years from now she's not going to remember her life without her baby sister in it.

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Life feels a little surreal these days. We're standing at the edge of another huge life change, and we're just waiting for it to happen. A life changing event can happen any day of your life. But much of the time, you're not expecting it. Knowing how drastically our lives are about to change and just wondering which day it will be (Is it today?) is a weird feeling I'm not sure I'll ever get used to.

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Mostly, I'm excited. To see this new beautiful baby of ours. I've dreamed about her so much lately. Part of me wonders if there is room for her. Intellectually I know there is. It's just hard to imagine the emotional side, how it's possible for a heart to expand that much. But that is exactly what I expect my heart to do.

Life is going to get harder. But it's also going to be more vibrant and fuller than ever.

Butternut, I hope you're packed. Moving day is coming soon, and we can't wait to meet you.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The C Word

I knew eventually that I would have to watch what I say around Willa. That she would start aping every word that came out of our mouths. 

Swear words were the obvious ones on the list of what not to say around a two year old. But there was one word that I didn't expect. That four-letter, c-word... cake.

Willa loves cake. I mean LOVES cake. This became obvious one particular Saturday a few weeks ago.

I woke her up from her nap to get ready for a birthday party for a friend's two-year-old son. She was cranky and not cooperating with my requests to change her diaper and clothes. So I decided to bribe her with the promise of birthday cake.

BIG mistake.

She heard the word cake and then would not let go of it for the next couple hours.

Not while we all finished getting ready to go to the party.

Not during the drive to the party.

Not when we got to the party.

We tried to distract her with other things...

Willa, do you want to play on the playground?

No. Cake.

Willa, do you want to play with your cousin Lily?

Cake. 

Willa, do you want to eat a hot dog?

No. Cake. (Though Cheetos were an acceptable alternative.)

Willa, let's watch him open presents.

Cake.

She was singularly focused and was not to be deterred from her goal of getting some cake. At one point as we drove to the party and she kept asking for cake, John looked at me and said he hoped there would be cake or we were going to be in trouble.

Cake can even be demanded at breakfast though at that point she usually means of the flat and pan variety.

Now if anyone mentions cake around her, they better be prepared to fulfill the promise, no matter how obscure, or they're going to find themselves with a new two-year-old member of their family.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A Case Study in Pregnancy Announcements

When I was pregnant with Willa, I knew exactly how I wanted to announce it. So we did a photo session that I used in a blog post to announce the news.

With Butternut I didn't think I'd do another pregnancy announcement photo session. But, I knew I wanted to use an image of Willa. Eventually, I had my revelation... #WillaWednesday.

In an effort to be somewhat regular in sharing pictures on Instagram, I started sharing a picture every Wednesday of Willa with the hashtag #WillaWednesday. I also share the pictures on Twitter and Facebook. It was the perfect opportunity to share the news that we were having baby #2.

I looked through my album of recent photos I took and found a couple contenders. Trying to land on the wording was a little harder. But once I did, it came together.



What my inner (okay sometimes outer) marketing geek found interesting, is the difference in engagement (fancy marketing word for number of people liking and commenting) between the two announcements.

Willa's was a blog post that I shared the link on Facebook with the cryptic message "I wrote this, and I promise you don't want to miss it. So please read... Nugget"

Butternut's was a picture with the caption "So this is happening #WillaWednesday"

Willa's Facebook announcement had 34 likes and 22 comments. Butternut's had 139 likes and 56 comments.

I don't think it is because people were more excited to hear I was pregnant the second time. I think the difference comes down to what all those social media tips and tricks articles are always saying... images get better engagement. Period.

It's not something most people care about or even pay attention to. But this marketing geek found it interesting and a little validating to see the proof that what she knows to be true is actually true.