Such a big sister!

This morning, Kelsey came to me and said, “Mom, if you get me a bottle, I can do it so you can get dressed.” It was the sweetest thing. She is such a big sister and loves her little brothers so much. I live for these moments. (Nolan is 7 weeks old today!)

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Why I Love Maternity Leave

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Besides the obvious, being off work for 8-10 weeks, I am so thankful for the opportunity to bond with my newborn son without interruption while on maternity leave. I don’t take this time for granted nor do I take for granted how thankful I am to my company for providing paid leave.

Sure, we aren’t Netflix, who offers 12 months leave, but I do get a few weeks to bond, heal from labor and just enjoy quiet days like this one was. Yesterday, Nolan and I spent the day listening to the rain and talking to each other (that was mostly me). I snapped a few pictures to remember this moment by. I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend my afternoon.

PS – At six weeks old, he’s already growing out of this rocker thing!

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Those little piggies! I could just eat those toes up.

The Nesting Bug is Real

The urge to nest is in full force at the Cross household. Well, for me anyway. At 30 weeks pregnant, I’ve been busy going through boxes and boxes of Colton’s baby clothes to see what will work for Nolan. Since it’s getting hard to walk, squat, bend, stand, and shop (thank goodness for Amazon online shopping), I’m trying to get Nolan’s nursery put together sooner than later.

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I busted out the nursery toys for the third (and final!) time. Seeing these toys again is making this baby thing feel more real. The kids were really funny yesterday. As we were going through these they would pick them up and go, “OOOOH” and “Awww”. Colton said things like, “This was mine, but I’ll give them to baby Nolan.” And then Kelsey turned to me as she held a rattle and said, “Mom, what does this thing even do?” Nothing, child. You just shake it.

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As I sat in Nolan’s nursery last night, I thought: Are we really going to dive back into sleepless nights, burp clothes and breast pumps? I guess so! Exciting and terrifying at the same time. Even if it’s my third child, the fear of the unknown never really goes away. At least I have the nesting bug to thank for helping me prepare for a baby one last time.

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Kelsey Graduates Pre-K

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I cried. I did. Although, I didn’t cry at her graduation, but rather on my way home from work yesterday, just thinking about her graduation. She’s getting so big, so quick and I am overwhelmed with pride when I think of all she has learned and done in her 5 years.

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That … and the fact that her teachers gave me this print out where she said she wants to be “mommy” when she grows up. Is there a better reward than that? This girl is so incredibly bright. So smart! She is going to run laps around me. PS – Look at all of her favorite colors. Ha. I think you’re just supposed to pick one, but whatever.

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Seeing Colton watch with such endearment as his big sister got her diploma made my heart melt even more. And seeing him take flowers up to her as she performed on stage was the best. Even though parenting is tough work (many sleepless nights) you get moments like this where you think, we must be doing something right.

What’s in a name

Ryan and I went through so many (so many!!) boy names before finding The One for our soon-to-be, second son. We analyzed everything. You can’t do Ross Cross, you can’t do Christian Cross (hi, religious), Ryan wanted two syllables since our last name has one and he was adamant that this name couldn’t also be a girl name (see: Peyton, Reagan, etc.). Ryan had so many requests that I’m amazed we finally picked one.

These were some close runner ups:

  • Hudson
  • Jameson
  • Carter (Although Carter Cross is a mouth full of r’s)
  • Noah
  • Spencer (My top pick! Only, it’s my brother’s name and Kelsey kept reminding us, “We already have a Spencer.”)

We finally found a name that we love. It’s a name that my father-in-law introduced us to. We heard it and were intrigued. The only issue was, we knew this boy’s middle name would be Ryan, after his dad. And together, there is already a very famous baseball player with this name. Can we do that? Can we give our son a name that someone famous already has? At first, we weren’t sure.

Then, we looked up what this name meant. The meaning behind this name is “champion” alternative meanings are “famous, noble renowned”. And that sealed the deal for us. Our little champion’s name is: Nolan Ryan Cross. I wrote it on my chalkboard in our kitchen so you know I’m serious.

Doesn’t naming your unborn child make things that much more real? I had a doctor’s appointment today and little man is transverse and kicking – rather marching around in my tummy. He’s super active already, so Lord only knows how he is going to interact with his brother, Colton. We’re going to have our hands full, that is for sure.

Some people (hi, Heidi) think I’m insane for having three kids (it’s not like I’m having 8!) but Ryan and I have always said someone is missing. And now, with baby Nolan on the way, we know our family is complete (complete … you can quote me on that). I can’t wait to meet, hold, snuggle and kiss you, Nolan! 19 more weeks!

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Dear moms with kids on the go

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I don’t care if you’re a working mom or a stay at home mom – if you have kids, you are a mom on the go because your kids are on the go. Their social calendar is busier than ours and we seem to do this balancing act of motherhood 24/7.

In fact, I was talking to a friend of mine (she’s a mom of four in Texas) who had the best eyelashes. I mean, the best. They were fake and I asked her if it was pain to get eyelash extensions monthly. She said it takes about 1 hour and before I could ask, “How do you find the time to do that?” she jumped in and said, “But, that hour is soooooo relaxing.” Relaxing? Eyelash extensions? But then I got it. Of course! You are alone. With your eyes forced shut. Laying down. With no kids. That makes it relaxing.

In fact, I remember having to get a root canal when Kelsey was 4 months old. My back molar broke in half while I was eating an almond. “Breast feeding can suck the calcium out of your body,” they say. (of course it does) And so there I was, laying back in a dentist chair about to get a root canal and I literally thought to myself, “Ahhhhh … I can close my eyes for the next 45 minutes and do nothing.” I walked away thinking that root canal was the most relaxing thing I had done since my daughter was born.

That’s kind of sad. But it’s true. So … I have to give a big shout out to all of the moms on the go. The moms who get eyelash extensions to make themselves feel better and to get 60 minutes of shut-eye a month. Moms, I appreciate you. I understand you. I am you. Keep up the great work!

PS – I was at The St. Regis Monarch Beach (California) yesterday for a meeting and I was super excited to get the bed to myself and a full nights rest. As luck would have it the fire alarm at the resort went off at 2am – making it impossible to go to bed until 3am. Figures, right?

 

Party of Five

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If you know me, then you know that I have always wanted three kids. I’m 4 months pregnant now with my third child (sounds so weird saying that) and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us. We find out April 7th if we’re having a girl or a boy. Kelsey thinks girl. Colton thinks boy. Mom is torn. Dad secretly wants Colton to have a brother. I’m so excited to find out, I can hardly wait!

Why are boys so loud!

I mean it. Why are they? At 19 months, Colton can say, “NO!” and “I don’t want it!” but he can’t say, “I love you” or “Thank you for all you do for me, mom” … what gives? And why is he fighting with his sister over everything. Why does he want what she has, all of the time. It’s a princess doll, kid! You don’t want it. Trust me.

And why do they scream all of the time. It’s like, I am 2 feet away, I can hear him loud and clear, he doesn’t have to shout! And they have no fear. What’s up with that? Why do they jump down stairs and climb up rocks and stand on tree stumps only to come crashing down. I swear Colton has a bruise or a bump on every part of his body. Even his ear. True story, his ear has a bruise on it.

It’s insane how much energy a toddler boy has. All of the time. Ryan and I are just starting to see what every mom of boys has told us for years. Boys are loud. Messy. And they run around all of the time.

Oh, but when their energy fades or when your son gets a glimpse of his mommy after school, he suddenly turns into a snuggle bunny. And even if the cuddles only last for a few minutes, these little boys of ours transform from little hyper people to charming, sweet, soft, cuddly baby boys.

I get it. I get the connection between a mom and her son. It’s real. It’s genuine and it’s unlike anything I have ever felt before. Colton seriously melts my heart. And he loves me so much. Oh, he does. He kisses me and cuddles and snuggles and wants to be on my lap (Kelsey is miss independent and her mantra is, “Mom, I can do it myself. Mom, you’re suffocating me. Mom!”) I love her so. So. So. So much it hurts.

But this boy of mine tugs at a different heart string. He’s my son. He’s my little buddy and he is … the loudest person that I know.

Colton