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.
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.
It’s been almost a year since my last Leo Lately post, but it’s been so much fun raising this kid that I haven’t made time to document the experience the way I should. He’s become such a comical little guy. The things he picks up, how he processes the world and the way he’s started to express himself constantly amaze me and crack me up at the same time.
Here’s some of my favorite Leo-ism lately:
“Let’s shoot bows!” This year Santa brought Leo his first bow and arrow set for Christmas. Ever since then, Leo’s been particularly interested in going downstairs where Tony’s created a nice target practice area. Tony & I shoot at a target about 12 yards away in one lane, and Leo shoots at his inflatable deer from about 3 yards in another lane. It’s been fun watching Leo learn proper protocol when it comes to shooting and retrieving arrows.
Jeff Whippy. Leo was a big KU basketball fan this year! While he still struggles to watch games for any long period of time, he’s always quick to cheer for the Jayhawks. He specifically loved finding his favorite player – number five – on TV, whom he called, “Jeff Whippy” (Jeff Withey).
“Can I have some candy?” This year Leo’s really started to figure candy out. Ever since Valentine’s Day, we’ve had a small stash of candy that he’s received from school friends and family that we keep on top of the refrigerator. Leo asks several times a day if he can have some candy, doesn’t matter if we’ve just woke up in the morning, or if he’s finished dessert. In his mind, candy’s always a possibility. In reality, I think his requests maybe work 2-3 times a week. (Thus the ongoing stash.)
T-ball time. Leo’s been excited to get back into playing T-ball this year. We just wrapped up a 4-week skills session through Parks & Rec, where for the most part, he was a star. His interest is even stronger this year, and he’s even happy to go out in the field and wait for his turn to bat. Next week he’ll have his first official practice for a T-ball team. I can’t wait to see how he reacts to an actual game experience. He’s watched Tony & I play for several years now, so he’s pretty pumped to get a turn!
“You heard me.” Leo’s speech continues to improve, but sometimes it’s still a bit difficult to understand what he’s saying. (Particularly with his growing vocabulary and the fact that he doesn’t usually talk very loud.) Every now and then when he says something, and I’ll respond, “What did you say?” Leo will come back with some attitude, “You heard me.” It cracks me up every time.
“Can we go visit the neighbors?” Over the course of the last month or two, Leo’s become really interested in going over to visit our neighbor Rod when we get home from work. Rod’s in his 80’s and spends a lot of time in his garage which overlooks our house. I think both Leo & Rod enjoy seeing each other. Leo’s always telling me he needs to go over there to “help.” It doesn’t matter if they’re fishing or burning, he’s convinced that they need his support.
Big brother. At Leo’s 4th birthday in March, we let him know that he was going to become a big brother. Up to that point, we’d been talking with him for several months about having a baby someday. (He’d become pretty obsessed with the idea around October of last year that we really needed a baby.) When we’d have these hypothetical discussions, Leo was always insistent that we needed a baby boy. Once we told him that we actually were expecting, Leo did a total 180. From that point on, he was only interested in a sister. So six weeks later when we found out that it’s a little boy coming in September, we were a bit nervous how Leo would react to the news. Initially, Leo was great. You can see in the video we shot where he told the family. But about 10 minutes after we finished he was laying in bed, and out of no where said, “But I wanted a girl!” He’s pretty much adjusted to the idea of having a little brother, and is very excited, but every now and then he still asks when he’s going to get a sister.