love thursday: filled to the brim

The other day we laid Baby Blueberry down in the pack and play which is serving as a make shift crib in our living room and MM came in the room, looked around and seemed to panic. “Where’s the baby?” he immediately wanted to know – which shows you how rarely she is not in our arms – this little girl is going to be spoiled rotten. We laughed it off and assured him she was right there and fine but at the same time, my heart swooned. He loves her and wants her around.

There’s a lot of love in our home right now. Our newest addition has been tugging at the heart strings of every member of our family. We’re all simultaneously over the moon for our little baby girl, each of us experiencing new love again. We’re also falling in love with each other a little more every day, as we experience this new chapter in our lives. I am so proud of MM and how he is adapting to his Big Brother status, watching him get a little bit older and more independent and helpful – he’s no longer just my little baby boy, he’s a big brother and takes this job very seriously- it’s bitter sweet, watching him grow up, but mostly sweet. Watching my husband beam with pride over his little baby girl, I can’t help but fall in love with him all over again – he’s such an incredible father, very attentive and involved. I couldn’t do this without him

And my grandmother has been the biggest help – playing with MM and helping to keep him in good humor, watching him while I was in the hospital and helping to make sure I rest, even if I don’t want to. We’ve also had this wonderful opportunity to bond and spend some quality time together like we haven’t been able to since I was living with her in high school. My grandmother helped raise me and it’s been so amazing to watch MM with her – he is very lucky to have this time with her and we are going to miss her a lot when she leaves.

And I’m doing pretty okay, too. I’m told by Dan and my grandmother that I look great, I’m healing well and look how wonderful I’m doing. And maybe they’re just saying that, but it’s still nice to hear. I feel great. We’re dead tired and not without our complaints, but we’re also deliriously happy and glowing with our “new love.”

Love Thursday is the brain child of Chookooloonks. Check out her post today for more thoughts on love, and the comments section for other people playing along.

Aloha Friday: Prioritizing

It’s time for another Aloha Friday, the day that you take it easy and look forward to the weekend, in Hawaii and blog land anyway. As you should know by now, over at An Island Life, Kailani decided that on Fridays she would take it easy on posting and ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link at An Island Life’s blog. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

In eleven days I am going to have a baby (planned second c-section for my non-regular readers) – I know, I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this fact in every post I’ve written for the last month or so. At this point, that fact has become all consuming for me. And yet it still seems surreal. We’re going to be a family of four soon. I’m soon going to consider the pitiful excuse for a night’s sleep I’m getting now glorious in comparison. I’ll be reacquainting myself with nursing, changing the diapers of a non-solid food eating kiddo, and second guessing myself on the care of two children instead of just one. I’ll be orchestrating nap times on a continuous basis and recovering from major surgery.

So lately I’ve been busy thinking about all the things I might want to do now to get ready. And my husband has been the opposite in a lot of ways – “We can do that the week the baby is born,” is like his favorite sentence. Things like buying diapers and assembling furniture and installing the infant car seat. I’m not sure who is right. I’m not sure I’m remembering every little thing I should be obsessing over. So my Aloha Friday questions for you are…

  • (If you have kids) What are the essential things I should make sure are done before I go in to have the baby – keeping in mind I’ll be in the hospital for about 4 days?
  • What things can wait?
  • What things should I do now while I have the chance, that don’t directly have to do with the baby?
  • Is it okay to eat leftover lemon bars for lunch today?
  • Any last minute tips on siblings?
  • (If you don’t have kids) If you found out you were having a baby tomorrow, what would you do today?

Does Birth Order Affect Your Personality?

Last week I touched upon the topic of birth order in my video response for the In My Opinion video meme. It was kind of a rush job because apparently tv is more important than a lot of aspects of my life, but I wanted to touch upon the idea of birth orders a bit more, specifically my birth order. While I am technically the oldest of like seven or eight children, I was raised an only child. What this means is that my parents divorced shortly after my younger brother (the first of many to come) was born and my father got custody of me, my mother got custody of my brother and for the most part we had little involvement in each other’s lives since then. My mother and I talk online a lot now and send birthday cards, etc. She went on to have a large family, making me technically the oldest of many, but since we are talking about the personality traits of being raised an only child and not the actual biological truths, that is kind of irrelevant for this purpose. I’m only mentioning all those other children because it seems heartless to not mention them at all, particularly given how awesome they all are, so far as I can tell from here on the other side of the country. 😉

Having grown up an only child I’ve always wondered what life with siblings might have been like and while I don’t necessarily begrudge being raised an only, it was part of my decision to have a second child. My husband grew up in a family of four children and is very close to his siblings. Our current plan is to go with the happy medium and we may likely stop at two children, but who knows.

Anyway, I went on a little scavenger hunt today for information about only children and what their personalities are typically like to see if I was right in my assumption in my video that I am typical of an only child personality wise. Here were my results:

iVillage tells us that:

Because you grew up with no siblings, you tend to interact well with adults and people in leadership positions. This is why you’re very comfortable working for high-status movers and shakers like senators, deans, presidents of corporations, and anyone who has authority by virtue of education, accomplishment, wealth or political power. You’re fascinated by tradition, you like reading biographies, and you love celebrity gossip. Despite what people say, you’re no more spoiled than any first- or lastborn. Like middleborns, you have a good combination of firstborn drive and lastborn creativity. Your best romantic match is a guy who has younger sisters. But if your mother is the older sister of sisters, your best match is a younger brother. This is because female only children tend to adopt their mother’s birth order personality. So if your mother was a firstborn, you’ll tend to have more leadership and dominance traits and should be highly compatible with laterborns. You have the same birth order as Brooke Shields. Your best celebrity love match is Keanu Reeves.

For more information, visit

I do admittedly have a thing for celebrity gossip, although I never would have attributed my birth order to it. Being a writer, I find the background info of people and the stories of their lives fascinating, so yes I do love biographies (preferring memoirs) and celebrity gossip. The behind the scenes stuff that you might not see if you aren’t looking. It’s good stuff. I definitely interact well with “grown ups” and have my whole life. My grandfather likes to tell stories about picking me up at the airport when I’d fly down to visit (I was flying alone by about the 2nd grade and did it frequently so that I could visit with family even if my father couldn’t get time off from work). I’d come off the plane in a crowd of “suits” and the business men would all be saying good bye to me in a way that made it clear we’d all become well acquainted. “Good bye Jennifer – we hope you have a great trip!” That kind of thing. It was cute. It was true. Grown ups make sense to me. I also moved around a lot as a kid and didn’t have an easy time making long lasting friendships so my family was my friends and a lot of my family was grown ups.

I like that this description says I’m not any more spoiled or less spoiled than others – that’s sweet of them to say even though it might not be true. I am pretty spoiled. The nature of my childhood left my father and close family usually treating me like a bit of a queen, maybe so as to make up for the lack of a “normal” family in my life. I was not silver spoon fed or anything, but my father took excellent care of me and made sure I had the things I needed and if I mentioned it, the things I wanted, when we could afford them. Perhaps it was because we couldn’t always afford them that I am not a complete brat. Oh and the dh has both a younger and older sister and a younger brother to boot, so I imagine that all my bases are covered there as far as our supposed birth order compatability goes. has a neat little list of common character traits for each birth order. Mine are:

  • Pampered and spoiled.
  • Feels incompetent because adults are more capable.
  • Is center of attention; often enjoys position. May feel special.
  • Self-centered.
  • Relies on service from others rather than own efforts
  • Feels unfairly treated when doesn’t get own way.
  • May refuse to cooperate.
  • Plays “divide and conquer” to get own way.

I have no idea about the incompetent thing – I’m either not understanding it or it just honestly doesn’t apply to me. We already covered the spoiled / center of attention thing. I certainly feel special. I think I am a bit self centered, as much as I think of the needs of others and have a tendency to be a people pleaser, the root of that pleasing is probably for my own benefit. It really wasn’t until becoming a mother that I stopped thinking about myself at all. I do not rely on the service of others, at least I don’t think I do. I have always been a hard worker, perhaps because my father and I were not wealthy growing up, I can value good work. However my husband might agree with that statement a bit, given that every morning I stumble into the kitchen moaning about how hungry I am and then wait for breakfast and coffee to appear in front of me… Hmm… The rest? I don’t know – I don’t like the negativity of this list. Surely there are good things about being an only child, hmm? has a creepy picture of Brooke Shields next to their description and tells me that:

Female only children like to have a patron helping them throughout life. Brooke Shields is a perfect example, She was helped by her mother throughout her career. Unlike the male only child, career is not as important to you. Brooke Shields, for example, ended a budding film career to pursue romantic interests with various high-profile men. Your best romantic match is an older brother of sisters. However, you must also consider your mother’s birth order since you, more than other girls, learn from her how to interact with men. If she’s a firstborn, your best match is probably going to be a lastborn guy. (Photo: Brooke Shields. Copyright © 1978 Paramount Pictures.)

So, hmm, did I mention the creepy picture? Yeesh, anyway, a patron helping my throughout life? What? That sounds weird. Does my husband count as a patron? I will agree that my career is not terribly important to me – I find motherhood much more rewarding, but I didn’t decide on this until shortly before becoming a mother. As a kid I did assume I’d go on to some snazzy career, which career that would have been changed week to week though. says of onlies:

Imagine if you grew up never having to share the bathroom, your toys, or the TV? Do you think this would affect your personality and relationships?

“Only children” spend a lot of time with grown-ups, so they can often be confident and well-spoken. Sometimes people even think of them as “little adults”! At the same time, they can find themselves under a ton of pressure to succeed.

Here are some common personality traits of “only children”:

Confident: Only children are usually not afraid to make decisions and are comfortable with their opinions.

Pays Attention to Detail: They like things to be organized and are often on time.

Good in School: Onlies tend to read a lot and have a good memory for facts and figures.

It’s MINE!: Only children might have difficulty sharing or going second because they have always been first in line for everything.

Overly Critical: While being a perfectionist is not such a bad thing, you may have a tendency to take this to extremes and be really critical of yourself and others.

I thought this was excellent and largely true. With the exception of the first, I do not consider myself terribly confident at all and I loathe making decisions. Can’t win em all, eh? I was frequently considered a “little adult” growing up, lost in my own little world of good books when I wasn’t hanging out with the grown ups and doing what they were doing. I was very good in school, at least until college and even then I was better than a lot of the other kids. I don’t think I’m terrible at sharing, but I also don’t think it came up much. I am very very much overly critical of myself, and maybe a little bit of others.

I am clearly very similar to the average “only child” – if only because when I took this quiz at blogthings to see what my birth order was, it had me pegged easily.

You Are Likely an Only Child

At your darkest moments, you feel frustrated.

At work and school, you do best when you’re organizing.

When you love someone, you tend to worry about them.

In friendship, you are emotional and sympathetic.

Your ideal careers are: radio announcer, finance, teaching, ministry, and management.

You will leave your mark on the world with organizational leadership, maybe as the author of self-help books.

What does your birth order say about you?

In My Opinion: April 15 (Double Time)

I’m still getting used to functioning in this bloggy world of mine with dh home all the time – things like taking a video of myself talking – when do I do that? I don’t want to take the video with him sitting in the same room because well, it’s embarrassing and I know I’d just giggle hysterically through the whole thing – and he’s almost always in the room. So last week I never got around to shooting the video and I was kind of bummed because I love this little meme and I’d been looking forward to the questions. So I’m posting both videos today – I’m going to warn you, I took both of them last night before American Idol and it was a bit of a rush job, so if I sound like a nut case I’m sorry. I might rerecord them sometime, but you know, I might not – I like doing these on the fly so to speak and just living with the results because I think it creates a truly real capture of me – I am that mumbling, awkward girl who doesn’t like arguing, even to herself – If I tried to pose myself as some totally together chick who creates professional videos of her well crafted opinions, well it would never happen and if it did, it would be a lie to myself. So here are my video responses in all their dorky glory. The first one (for this week) answers the following questions:

1. Tax Day. Boo! What are your thoughts on taxes? Necessary evil? Too much? Too little? How do you feel about Joe the Plumber’s mission to abolish the IRS? (You can find out more about the Fair Tax proposal here.)

2. Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage in it head-on? Why?

3. Which do you prefer: the hustle and bustle of city life or the quiet and serenity of the country life? Why?

Okay, I’ll confess I didn’t look up any of that tax information and I hope I spelled out my opinion on the subject at least moderately well. I don’t like taxes, because who likes having their money taken away? But if / when used properly I think the tax system makes sense, that it is necessary and that we all benefit from it. But like all beurocracy, I think the system is inflated and overly complicated and could stand to be reformed. I think the other two are self explanatory – I don’t like arguments and I want to live in Stars Hollow.

Last week we were supposed to answer the following questions:

1. How many siblings do you have? What is your birth order? Do you agree with the birth order characteristics? Why, or why not?

2. What’s the tastiest meal that you can cook? Do you like to cook? Tell us about your cooking experiences.

3. Has anything bad ever happened to you that turned out to be for the best? Has anything good ever happened to that turned out to be a bad thing in the end? Tell us about it.

Yeah I might have butchered that one. I think I nailed the last question, which by the way, that whole topic for me was like, “Woah I can’t believe I’m saying this on the internet.” It’s kind of the epitome of my dirty laundry even if the end result was so terrific. Numbers one and two I did a terrible job explaining I think – I might write out a written post going into more detail on them. Blame the fact that it was t minus 5 minutes until Idol was due on, Dan was on the phone with his old boss and I was only mostly paying attention. Kay? Anyway, next week’s questions look fun, I might have to answer them today just to make sure I get them done and hopefully devote a little more time to some thought out answers!

Are you playing along to the In My Opinion meme? I know that video taping yourself can be all sorts of embarassing and maybe difficult – impossible for some of you given the technology requirements. I know that my own awkward little videos probably aren’t the most, “But look how cool it can be!” examples out there but keep in mind you can do this in a number of ways – feel free to write your answers out in old fashioned bloggy format or even use a voice recorder and just get that audio of yourself answering. I think the questions are always pretty interesting and thought provoking, which is the main reason I’m joining in myself, but the challenge of video taping myself is an added benefit – I know I’m not good at it, I’m hoping somewhere along the line I get better. Anyhow yadda yadda,

So, About That Next Baby Thing…

So DH and I have been talking for awhile now about “the next baby” and when we should have our next wee little one (and how she should be a girl, unless he’s a boy, and what will he or she be like and where should we all go on vacation next year and…). Lately we are liking the idea of an early summer birth (with fall as a plan b) for several reasons:

1) I would get to be big and pregnant during the winter, when all that extra body weight could be put to use, making me warmer in our cold apartment!

2) The months of May and June are relatively calm for us so far, so having a birth and then birthdays then would be better than say April or July and August.

3) Warmer temperatures – nice for the wee little one and their little body temperature, etc. Not quite as severe bundling needed (which might mean pretty summer dresses and rompers – did I mention I’m secretly hoping for a little girl?). Also, more chances to take the kids to the playground instead of being cooped indoors.

4) NEXT fall we may be able to put MLM in preschool which would be nice for everyone I think. (If this doesn’t happen though, it’s not a big deal)

I really don’t want to wait too long – I’d like them relatively close in age, and MLM will be three by then. That seems pretty decent. He’s already starting to be a “little helper” and I’m sure by next year that will be even better. I may even be able to potty train him by then which would be sweet. I also know DH will be wanting some father / son bonding time soon, so then I’d also have another child to occupy my time while they are doing boring guy stuff like camping and forts and stuff. And I can enjoy infancy again while DH has a little tyke around to amuse him.

I know it won’t all be sunshine and roses like that, but there are TWO of us and only one MLM at the moment. I also know that MLM can get pretty shy in some social situations (don’t let him fool you!) and might REALLY like to have a built in friendship – something I never got to have growing up and really want for him. Plus, in three years he’ll be starting kindergarten, so this way he gets two years of time with said sibling before going off to bigger things.

Hmm so yes, the timing feels right. We’ll surely keep thinking about it until the end of August or so, at which point we will likely start “trying.” Wish us luck!