Kate As of Late – March 2017

Like most moms, the documentation of my youngest child’s growth and development is greatly lacking as compared to her older siblings. I have tons of photos of her, but there’s been no nicely bound book printed (to be fair, I’m 1+ years behind on that for all the kids). I started one of those baby milestone calendars (actually, two), but I don’t think any stickers were added after the first few months as the calendars got lost into the piles of papers that comprise our life (important tax receipts, school/daycare notes, bills to pay, etc.).

The more I’ve thought about this, the more my mommy guilt has grown. I know it’s not reasonable to think that I’m going to get caught up on my printed photo books (I mean I hope I will, but let’s be realistic, it’s not happening in the next month or two). So I’m setting a new goal; one that I can apply equally to all my kids and is hopefully more in line with my available resources. I’m going to schedule time on my calendar each quarter to write a blog post about each of the kids spotlighting the great (and not so great) happenings of the past few months. Hopefully that will allow me at some point to look back, and in better clarity, remember these moments and attribute them to the right kid (because sometimes even that’s a bit tricky!). And since Kate’s not had one of these posts written about her yet, she’s where I shall start.

  • My meatball. Kate’s in Toddler One class at daycare and is well liked by both her classmates and her teachers. So well liked, that they’ve given her a nickname – Meatball. I’m not 100% sure how this name came up. It’s possible that it’s due to her adorable chubbiness, but it may also be that she loves meatballs…? I don’t honestly know, but never the less, it’s stuck. I had considered dressing her as a meatball for Halloween this past year but thought maybe that was taking it too far. I don’t want her to look back as a teenager and have a complex about it.
  • The tides are starting to shift. Loveable, go-with-the-flow Kate is beginning to develop her own personality. We’re starting to see a bit of her temper flair as she’s playing with the boys. She’s not quick to cry, but she’s a fast draw with a slap and isn’t afraid to hit anyone that she thinks deserves it. When Kate does cry, you know she’s super pissed. And it’s not exactly a cry, it’s an all out, hold-my-breath-so-long-people-start-to-get-concerned blow up. She’ll turn bright red and throw herself backwards as she’s having her melt down. Even if it means she’s throwing herself into a wall, or back onto a concrete floor. I’m sure this one will get even worse before we get through this fun little phase.
  • Kate’s talkative. But at the same time, not exactly talking. She knows several words and uses them when she wants to. Mostly what you hear from her is babbling. She’s just talking away, but it’s not understandable. Yet. At this point her vocabulary is pretty large: mom, dad, brother, Alex, Leo, dog, cat, ball, milk, more, yeah, no, cracker, sit, etc. She’s able to repeat almost anything you ask her to say.
  • A tomboy, sort of. I can’t really tell if Kate’s really going to be a tomboy, or if she just doesn’t realize there’s so much girlie stuff out. I wouldn’t say we’re actively keeping her from girlie things (well, except the whole Disney princess concept), but with older brothers around, she’s just naturally surrounded by their toys and watches cartoons that I’d consider to be gender-neutral (Paw Patrol, Bubble Guppies and Mickey Mouse Club are mainstays in our household). Kate loves her baby dolls, and can be seen carrying one around the house by the neck on a pretty regular basis. But she’s also quick to play with one of the hundreds of balls or grab a big handful of dirt from the back porch.
  • Hat girl. Well, bucket hat girl. Well, bucket girl, really. Kate simply loves to wear the Mr. Potato Head bucket around like a hat. She’ll put it on and walk around the house all morning/evening without a care in the world. I’m just glad she hasn’t insisted we wear it to daycare. Yet.

6 More Weeks

We're all having a baby!

We’re roughly six weeks out from Baby Menke’s due date. And while I’m super excited, just typing that takes my breathe away…

I’m not nervous or scared about actually having the baby. Been there, done that. (Leo.) It’s what I’m created to do. My Grandma Stahl had 11 children and didn’t even go to the hospital until she was having her eighth. (And she was a short, petite woman.) I’ve always thought the natural childbirth thing suited me. It’s such an amazing superhero-like process. I’m excited that Tony will be there to experience it with me.

I wouldn’t say I’m terribly concerned about how Leo is going to adjust. I realize it will be a process, but he’s been asking for one for a brother or sister for more than a year now. Leo and I spend a lot of time talking about the baby, reading books and discussing how life will change once he’s here. Leo’s really excited about being a big brother and is looking forward to teaching Baby Menke all kinds of things. The only thing that he’s been sad about is realizing he and the baby will have different last names. It broke my heart the night that he was so upset. But it is what it is. I just reminded him that different last names don’t change the fact that they’ll still be brothers and best friends.

I definitely don’t have things ready to go around the house, or at work for that matter. I’m certain they’ll fall in place over the next month or so, though. A trip to my parents to grab some of Leo’s baby stuff from storage and a day of moving/assembly will get the boy’s room ready. And work probably won’t be completely wrapped up, ever. But I’ve already came to peace with the reality that I’ll need to work some remotely during my maternity leave to keep all of my digital campaigns in good shape. It shouldn’t be too big of a deal though.

At this point, I think I’m just nervous about the unknown. Like how the new baby will change the dynamics of our family and impact our schedules. How I’m going to be able to be a good mom to two boys. How it’s going to change things between Tony and me. How I’m still going to be able to work in some “me time” so I don’t get lost again.

Deep breath…


I’m certain things will work out just when the time comes. It’s okay to not have complete control of the situation, and everyone will thrive if we can just go with the flow. I just have to remind myself that every now and then.