Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hugs for a huge mama


Behold, it is I. Thirty-seven weeks pregnant and with the gargantuan belly and puffy face to prove it. Glorious, isn't it?

At least Mary Clare digs on her pregnant mama. My friends, the unthinkable has happened -- Mary Clare thinks I'm the bee's knees. 

I'm not sure if it's because Chip was gone most of last week and all of last weekend, or that Mary Clare suspects things are about to change here at the ranch, but the little stinker is going through a bit of a mommy phase. Even though we're rapidly running out of lap room in the rocking chair and my back sometimes aches at the mere thought of picking her up, right now her hugs are so tight and her kisses are so fierce that I'd let her dance a jig on my belly if it made her happy. 

Naturally, this change in parental preferences has rocked Chip's world. And frankly, having to give Chip all these pep talks is downright exhausting. But he'll just have to deal. I've been waiting for this moment for two years now. So make your requests now, baby girl. Because there's a good chance I won't say no.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

This Memorial Day, we're flying our flag in honor of those who so bravely served and continue to serve and protect our country. A special thanks to Chip's cousin, Alexander, who departed for his third tour this past Monday, and will be serving in Afghanistan until 2012.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

It's raining babies

While Mother Nature has really shown us the crazy this week, she was also kind enough to bring two sweet new babes into the world as well. On Monday, my friend Kaly and her husband Rick welcomed Ann Emerson to the world. Annie is a long little thing, and it's clear from the pictures and stories on Kaly's blog that they are head over heels for that six pounds of sweetness. 

On Wednesday, my long-time friend Kara and her husband Chris welcomed Sullivan Christopher to the world, just in time for him to experience his very first Midwestern tornado warning. Sullivan, lucky dog, will be going home to two big sisters, Riley and Delaney. I would by lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to the stories that are to come out of the Lydon household. Riley will surely mother the heck out of him, and Delaney, well, she will likely just heckle him.

While I am beyond excited about Kaly's and Kara's new little bundles of joy, I must say that I will miss being pregnant with these two wonderful girls. This was Kaly's first pregnancy, so I was occasionally called upon for advice, which I found to be flattering and affirming, but mostly alarming. Kara, on the other hand, has been around the old pregnancy block before, and it was extremely comforting to share this pregnancy with her as well (Mary Clare and Delaney are less than two months' apart). I could -- and can -- always depend on Kara to provide reasonable answers and advice. And when you're pregnant, that kind of sensibility and support is priceless. 

And so I send my best to Annie, Sullivan and the amazing people they get to call mom and dad. Baby Lindh can't wait to meet all of you.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Severe spud warning

As my fellow Midwesterners will attest, Mother Nature has been downright crazy this spring. Batshit crazy, if you will.

So Sherri wasn't the least bit surprised when Brennan solemnly told her, "Mom, we had a potato drill at school today."

After having to tell both grandmas about the potato drill, Brennan must have realized something was amiss, because he later refused to call it a potato drill. Instead, he reduced it to something far less dire: a tomato drill. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

She makes a good point

I snapped this phone pic last night and sent it to my mom and sister with the caption, "I wear mama's shoes." Which of course is what Mary Clare kept repeating as she clomped around the kitchen.

All of 30 seconds passed before the phone rang. It was my sister. With nary a hello or how are you, she got straight to her point.

"Well, someone should be wearing your shoes, because you sure as hell can't right now. Okay, that's all I needed. Gotta go."

Ah, Sherri. How my shoes, feet and I appreciate your concern.

Friday, May 20, 2011

So tender

Like it or not, when Mary Clare utters a particular phrase or provides an incriminating response, more often that not we know where she picked up such things. And sadly, we can't blame school. Police officers are "po po," thanks to her dad, and the "ohmygod" she may or may not have uttered one time came from yours truly. However, I promise you, despite our respective habits of using street slang and taking the Lord's name in vain, neither Chip nor I ever talk about eating babies. Even we have our limits.

Nevertheless, when we ask Mary Clare what she had for lunch or what she would like for a meal, she inevitably responds with, "baby." And she's not talking about carrots. 

Baby Lindh's only saving grace is that Mary Clare doesn't exclusively crave human babies; occasionally she clarifies and tells us that she had a "baby hop" for lunch. 

So while she hasn't yet sunk her teeth into the tender flesh of any young babes, human or not, take heed, my friends. Mary Clare and her Chiclet-sized chompers are gunning for your young'uns. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The feet

So, the actual visual evidence of my hopelessly bloated feet elicited a few concerned emails and comments from some of my readers. Note that the word "few" prefaces "concerned" as, true to form, the rest of you just mocked me. Which is great. No, seriously, don't go changing. I need all the stability I can get right now. When I want sympathy, I go to the nun across the street.

To answer a few questions, no, my freakish feet don't hurt. Admittedly, it feels weird to have two blocks for feet and the other night I caught one of them under the stove, but other than that, they don't bother me. I elevate them when I can, but it seems to make no difference. Same goes for shoes. Heels, flats, flip-flops ... they all leave me a bloated mess. Actually, it's almost better to wear real shoes because it hides the evidence. Oh, and while I agree with Kaly that it seems counter productive to combating fluid retention, I do in fact guzzle water like it's my job. Which is awesome when every organ in my body is already pressing up against my pecan-sized bladder. 

So there you have it. Way more than you ever wanted to know, much less see, about my feet. And don't forget, we have five more weeks to go. It's only going to get bigger and better, my friends.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Books, always with the books

Mary Clare is increasingly starting to do more imaginative play, which is equal parts darling and hilarious. Last night I caught her washing her hands at her play sink -- complete with sound effects -- and later that evening she subjected her Raggedy Ann doll to a few beauty treatments and a new hair style. 

But despite her newfound appreciation for stuffed animals, and her continuing love affair with puzzles and her play kitchen, hands down, books are still the girl's favorite go-to source of entertainment. 

As someone who kept a different book in every room of the house and never left home without a book in hand, I am of course delighted by her book obsession. In the words of my late Grandma Klostermann, "I just hope she stays that way."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Told you

Freakish, aren't they? 

Despite looking like they should be attached to a corpse with a preference for boldly colored toes, these are, in fact, my feet. This is what 35 weeks of weight gain and who knows what sort of fluid retention will do to the old tootsies. 

Seriously, abstinence advocates should use this photo as a form of birth control.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Reason # 1,125 why I love my mom

The woman bakes. Like it's nothing.

If I were to bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies, it would have to be planned in advance and would likely require a few hours of dedicated attention. For my mom, whipping up a batch of cookies is the equivalent of unloading the dishwasher.

Which is why I awoke from a Saturday siesta at my parents' house to find a pile of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies sitting on the counter. And in case you're wondering, no, it wasn't that long of a nap.

God bless her and her love of baking.

And maybe someday I'll master the art of quick-turn baking as well so Mary Clare and Baby Lindh can awake to something other than an empty dishwasher. Or a well-rested mommy.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Wooden blocks

Sadly, I am not talking about Mary Clare's toys, but rather my feet. I kid you not, they look like two wooden blocks. On Tuesday I couldn't even get into a pair of flip-flops. FLIP-FLOPS.

It doesn't matter if I wear flats, wear heels, walk all day or sit all day, they stubbornly refuse to morph back into anything that resembles a foot. I lovingly prop them up every day on a pretty pink stool, but it makes no difference.

Give me a few days to get over the trauma, and maybe I will post a picture. Maybe.

A big belly I can handle. Fat feet I cannot.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Mary Clare and I ran errands on Saturday morning while Chip knocked even more items off the rapidly shrinking (!) to do list.

As I packed up the diaper bag so Miss M and I could be on our merry way, Chip glanced down at my flat-shod feet and said, "I'm sorry, but that's just not right. And it can't feel good."

Sure enough, my feet runneth over the flats. It didn't feel bad, but it certainly didn't look good. Back upstairs I went -- with minimal huffing, I might add -- in search of a wider pair of flats. Which looked better and met Chip's approval.

So thank you, Old Navy, for your poorly constructed ballet flats with flimsy sides and superior stretching potential. You are the only reason Chip let me out of the house on Saturday.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Much love

Love my mom.

Just as much as I love being her mom.

Happy mother's day to my mom, my sister and all the other wonderful mothers I know who provide endless amounts of inspiration and entertainment.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thirty-nine years

Today marks 39 years of wedded bliss for Mom and Dad Thole.

Every day I thank my lucky stars that I have such kind, supportive and loving parents. And it's pretty clear to me that the reason I hit the old parent jackpot is because they have a marriage that is equally kind, supportive and loving. 

Of course, no marriage is perfect, and my parents love nothing more than to do some good-natured grumbling about my mom's tendency to overreact and my dad's tendency to underreact, but all in all, I'd say things are pretty darned good over at the Highland homestead. And with two amazing daughters, two satisfactory sons-in-law and three adorable grandchildren, with another one on the way, I'd say those are 39 years well spent.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bump love from the big sister

The great thing about two-year-olds is that they don't judge. Mary Clare loves the bump, even if it does make things a little tight in the rocker during story time.

She pats it. She kisses it. She greets it. But most of all, she likes to remind me that the baby is always with me. You see, I am no longer mama, but rather Mamababy. This, I should mention, is a vast improvement from my previous name, Babymama.

I am not at all surprised by my new name, because at 33 weeks, I am in the thick of this Mamababy-Babymama business. There is no ignoring that bump. A bump that still has seven weeks to grow, I might add.

Oh, well. Just more surface area for Mary Clare to kiss.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Everything Easter

For those of you who can't get enough of flour-covered kids' faces, egg-dyeing dramatics and egg-hunting fun, then you're going to want to click on over to Flickr to check out the rest of the photos from the Easter festivities at Nana and Papa Thole's house.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sentimental spring

I am all kinds of in love with this girl lately.
It could be the pregnancy hormones. It could be the realization that she will soon be sharing my love with another little peanut. It could be that Mary Clare is just in the midst of a perfect two-year-old stage where everything she does is either adorable, hilarious or so insanely sweet that it makes my heart hurt. (For real, sometimes I am overwhelmed by waves of love and my heart actually hurts. Not even kidding.)

Whatever it is, whatever the reason, I cannot get enough of my girl.

I love how she doesn't miss a thing.

I love the cheese.

I love this the most.

Be still, my aching heart. We have seven more weeks to go, and I'm not sure how much more love I can handle.