Category Archives: A Picture Worth 1000 Words

There Is A Season (Turn, Turn, Turn)

It was a change so suble that I wouldn’t have even noticed it if my husband hadn’t mentioned it to me earlier in the evening.

“He’s getting older,” he said, “you probably shouldn’t kiss him on the lips any more”

Is he really that old? I thought.


And then at bed time, my nearly 3 year old told me: “Kiss me on the cheek”

Did anyone else hear that?  That was the sound of a Mom’s heart breaking.  It was so quiet and so subtle that you only hear it if you’re listening for it, and you only listen when you know that it exists.  It was the first time that my son has vocalized that he is too old for something that Mom has been doing.  So are these now only okay when you’re sick, or have we grown out of those, too?  So where is the line now drawn?  Is it only bedtime?  Is it forever (an ever, amen)? Or was this just a one night thing? Oh please let it be a one night thing.

In the spirit of my kids growing up, Joshua started sleeping 10 hours a night this week.  Didn’t I just give birth to him?!image2


Except that was apparently 2 MONTHS ago!  Why didn’t time fly like this when I was knocked up?!  2 nights ago, he started sleeping for 10 hours and this is the face of someone who just slept 10 hours:


And THIS is someone who really, really, really appreciated that:


However, since then, he’s a lot less smiles and a lot more of this:


It would appear that my kid is going through his very first legitimate growth spurt that is a pain in my ass.  He’s sleeping through the night like my favorite child, but now he’s eating all of the time during the day, really fussy when I set him down, and some days he almost isn’t my favorite child.  But he can’t ask “why?” yet, so most days he still is.  Except that my house is a mess, I have a “To Do” list 6 miles long, and I would love to be able to set him down 3 days into this.

And because I’m not even going to pretend to try to catch you up on the last 2 months of my life with 2 kids that I’ve been MIA on my blog, I’ll instead just tell you that this last week we joined Angel on his audit in Chicago.  We took the boys to the Shedd Aquarium with our friends who live there, went to the Nature Center, and generally had a great week while Daddy worked.





Aaaaand there’s 2 months in one blog post, that doesn’t even begin what I’ve been up to for 2 months.  To summarize, my life is run by an army of tiny men, who I’ve created.

Our New Normal

Wow! Hard to believe that only a week ago I was posting about being 39 weeks pregnant, miserable, and ready to be done.  Little did I know that the clock was already ticking and it was the calm before the storm.

I’ve been letting the pictures speak the words that I didn’t have, but now that we are adjusting it’s easier to sit down and chat a little bit about how this all went down.

To start,  allow me to remind you all that I had been saying for weeks that this little man was going to be coming early.  Mom is always right.  I was scheduled to go in Monday morning for my c section but in my head thought that by Friday I would have everything done that needed to be done (doctors, last minute errands, laundry, etc).  Feeling rather accomplished on Thursday, Angel and I were sitting on the couch after putting Lucas to bed and I kept asking him what time it was so that I could loosely keep an eye on how far apart my contractions were to make sure they were only Braxton Hicks (they were, and at this point that was par for the course every day).  We went to bed that night, nothing out of the ordinary.

About 4am, I woke up with contractions, which was also par for the course at this point so I went back to sleep.  The third time that I woke up I realized that I should perhaps time them and to my surprise they were exactly 15 minutes apart.  Enter: concern.

I went downstairs to sit on the couch and watch TV while I continued to time them.  By 6am they were 8 minutes apart.  Enter: Worry.

When Angel’s alarm went off for work, I struggled up the stairs between contractions and told him “Yeah, you’re not going to work today.”  He got Lucas up for me and was feeding him breakfast when my contractions suddenly dropped to 6 minutes apart (the time the doctor told me to go straight to labor and delivery).  I started calling friends to come get Lucas.  Enter: panic.

The contractions went back to 7 minutes so I went upstairs to get in the shower quickly and see if the warm water would calm them down.  I’m sitting down drying my hair and Angel comes up the stairs “Do you really think we’ll have to go to the hospital?” he asks me.  To which I reply “I think my water just broke!”  Enter: extreme panic.

According to the doctor, if my water broke, I needed to be in labor and delivery at the hospital within the hour.  I hurried to throw a few things in a bag, call my friend to wake her up so we could drop off Lucas on the way.  We threw things in the car as quickly as we could, ran down the street to drop off Lucas (literally with a bag of diapers and a sippy cup of water and told her “I’m sorry, we’ll call when we know more”), and flew to the hospital.  Checked into labor and delivery where they quickly confirmed that it was my water, and they were prepping me for a c section, which would take about 45 minutes.  Here come 4 nurses who are all setting me up with IVs, asking me questions, doing paperwork, etc.  I started sobbing all over again, having never had the time to take a breath and process what was going on.  My water broke at 9:30am, and at 11:58am, Joshua Nicolas Rivas was born into the world:



and put into my arms:


It was that fast.

A few hours in recovery waiting for me to regain the ability to feel and move my legs (while we surprised folks with a “so guess what we did this morning?” message), and Joshua and I made it upstairs into a regular room.  Angel went to go pick up Lucas and bring him to meet his brother while I enjoyed the morphine on a push button every 8 minutes.  My only complaint about it is that it made me sooo sooo incredibly tired that I literally couldn’t keep my eyes open when paired with the fact that I woke up at 4am and JUST HAD A BABY.  So I dozed in and out for the rest of the day while my boys met each other for the first time:


Angel had to go home at night to put Lucas to bed and let the dog out, and I stayed in the hospital with the amazing nurses to take care of the smallest of our clan and myself.  A few days of this with Lucas spending the day with us in my hospital room and nights at home and an occasional break with friends in the area, Angel was on his way to get my parents from the airport while I was working on the discharge paperwork to go home.

Now we’re working on a new normal.  Lucas loves his brother, who is a champion sleeper and eater.  So far, if I feed him when we go to sleep around 11, he wakes up once around 5am and then again around 9am.  We’ve made it out of the house a few times even, and Lucas is doing as well as you would expect a 2 year old who just got his mom’s attention cut in half to do.  Today he seems pretty desperate for my attention, but he’s so in love with his grandparents being here that it’s been easy to keep him occupied.  He may be giving them a run for their money though, because this afternoon I caught them both sleeping on the couch while I could hear Lucas playing with toys in his room during “nap” time.  They were successful in wearing someone out, just maybe not who they intended.

Cheers to my life full of boys!

Rivas_Maternity-24 Rivas_Maternity-20



The End.


Baby is:

  • Get out.
  • Get out.
  • Get out.

I am:

  • Get out.
  • Get out.
  • GET OUT!

Oh, the memories:

  • Seriously, get out.


  • You haven’t lived until you’ve been 40 weeks pregnant in the summer.  I love my old doctor even more for inducing Lucas at exactly 39 weeks because GET OUT.
  • Getting a mix of contractions and Braxton Hicks all day, all  night.  So far the closest they have gotten together is 10 minutes, but if they hit 6 I’m to go straight to labor and delivery.  Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.  And some of them- ouch!  This kid hates me already.

Lots of love this week to my friends with pools who have had pity on me and let me be a beach whale in their backyards.  You saved my life and made these last few days of pregnancy as enjoyable as they could be.

I’ve ended this adventure about 30 pounds heavier.  “Healthy” for my weight range was 25-35 so I pretty much nailed it.  My blood pressure still rocks, baby’s heart rate is still awesome, and no alarming swelling.  If I didn’t hate being pregnant so much, it would look like I’m great at it.  But alas, I’m like a turtle on its back and move about as quickly as a sloth.  My 2 year old knows how to put on my shoes for me and likes to remind me that he’s “too heavy for mama to carry” which is an adorable slap in the face.  At least he’s too small to realize that he can use this to his advantage and willingly does what I ask instead of throwing himself on the ground.

Yesterday at nap after I read Lucas a book and we were snuggling in the “big boy bed” he showed me his Mickey Mouse doll (kid’s favorite toy.  I’m rarely allowed to take it long enough to put in the washing machine) and said proudly “I’m going to give this to baby brother when he comes.”  I cried big, fat, hormonal tears over how sweet my little boy’s personality has become.  We play this game where I’ll say “I love you” and Lucas says “I love you, too” and I’ll say “I love you, too, too” and you get the idea.  This week he came up to my belly and said to his brother “I love you, too, too, too!”  I hope this baby grows up to be as sweet as Lucas is growing up to be because I’m loving my caring, snuggly, little toddler tornado.

And if all else fails, they’ll make for great slave labor.



Baby is:

  • 38 Weeks
  • Huge
  • Enjoying the caffeine that I had for lunch.  First time in 9 months but I just could not resist the cherry coke so I had a small one and it was as amazing as I thought it would be.  Mmmmmm, cherry coke.  Besides, maybe by giving this little man some caffeine will be the final shove that he needs to break free.

I am:

  • 38 weeks
  • Huge
  • Also enjoying the caffeine that I had for lunch.

Oh, the memories:

  • I feel like a time bomb.  I waddle.  I wake up 10 times a night to pee.  The taste of Tums makes me gag.  I have morning sickness again.  All of these things are coming back to me one nauseous wave at a time.


  • Yesterday I guess I didn’t drink enough water so in the evening I was getting some serious contractions.  At first I wasn’t sure if they were real or braxton hix but after about an hour it dawned on me that I should maybe time them  because they were really getting painful.  So I sat on the couch with a GIANT glass of water and a timer and put my feet up and they started to calm down eventually.  Before they started calming down and I thought they might be real I started to panic.  PANIC.  I’m so uncomfortable, but I’m perfectly comfortable complaining about how uncomfortable I am and the thought that I need to leave Lucas for 3 days, go get surgery, and come home with another tiny human who I’m responsible for… nope!  I’m not ready but the train is approaching the station and the tracks only work in one direction.

Lucas is so excited to have a baby.  He came running up to me crying this week, hugging my belly, and telling me that he wanted to keep Mama’s baby.  He loves to tickle my belly, talk to his brother, and give him hugs.  He’s going to be so in love in a few days when he sees his little brother for the first time and I can’t wait to witness it.


Still Pregnant…


Baby is:

  • 37 Weeks
  • A free-loading, full term baby
  • A leech

I am:

  • Pretty over being pregnant, let’s be honest
  • Remembering why I hate pregnancy so much
  • Huge

Oh, the memories:

  • The feeling of “last minute” panic that there is still so much to do (there’s not) and no time to do it (there is) because this baby is coming tonight (he’s not).
  • Only gaining a pound a week.  “Only” should be the shocking word here, not the fact that I’m adding weight and stretch marks as quickly as I am.


  • With Lucas I was purely anxious to meet him and ready to have him.  With this one, I look at my screaming 2 year old throwing balls in the house and chasing the dog, and I appreciate the fact that this one is staying put.  But then I have to get up to pee and I start grunting and waddling my way to the bathroom and I’m like “yeah, now I remember why I was just telling you to get out.”
  • Absolutely cannot believe that my time is up, this pregnancy is about over, and my entourage is growing (again).  I can’t wrap my head around the fact that the c section is now and not months from now.  I have 17 days left.  That’s nuts.

I would like to say that this week it hit me that I was done, but my mind is still hanging out somewhere between “the baby can come any minute” and “maybe I should take a pregnancy test to confirm that I’m pregnant.”  I’m in for a huge shock in a couple of days. Days.

Meanwhile, my toddler is cracking me up lately now that he’s getting more words.  I could fill a blog on what comes out of his mouth, but here are a few of my favorites from this week:

Me: Do you need a timeout?

Lucas (suddely very serious): No, I’m calming down now.


Lucas (who is supposed to be taking a nap): Hey, Mama?  Hey Mama?  Are you coming back?  I want a cooooookie.  Hey, Mama!  Mama, what are you doooooooooing?  I want a cooooooookie.


Lucas covers my feet with a blanket: Say “Thank you, Lucas”

Me: Thank you, Lucas.

Lucas: You’re welcome, Mama.


Me: Are you stinky?

Lucas: No, I just farted.

Try having a pint sized 2 year old tell you these things while you keep a straight face.  It’s not easy, friends.  At bedtime tonight he got off of the toilet and strutted back to his room butt naked and singing to himself.  Angel and I both just started laughing at him because how can you not?

So I leave you with these deep thoughts by a 2 year old and wish you all a wonderful evening.


33 and 34 Weeks


Baby is:

  • 34 Weeks
  • Just packing on pure baby chub at this point and perfecting his lungs.  You know, for all of the screaming and crying that he’s going to be doing

I am:

  • Tired.  If I don’t nap in the afternoon, I’m a pure bitch.  There’s no way to sugar coat that.
  • Waddling now.  I couldn’t walk straight if I wanted to.
  • Peeing every 2 minutes.  I’m like a dog marking my territory in the most annoying way possible.
  • Pretty sure that the baby is dropping or has dropped with these last 2 symptoms.

Oh, the memories:

  • It’s all coming back to me how hard it is to function.  It’s hard to get in and out of cars, up and down from the couch, on and off of chairs, and in and out of bed.  Readers, think of me fondly next time you pop off of the couch and grab a glass of water from the kitchen.  I’m like a sloth…. who makes a lot of grunting noises.


  • So with Lucas ignorance was bliss.  I didn’t realize that his movements went down and I should be concerned and after his delivery and fact that he was so tangled in his cord I’m now terrified that it’s going to happen again.  I haven’t felt the baby really wack me in the last 10 minutes, should I be worried about this?  Maybe I should call the doctor to check.  Oh, there he is.  But is that enough movement?  How long between movements was that?  They don’t seem as strong as I thought they were, maybe I should go get checked out?  All.  Day.  Long.  If he’s not moving, I’m freaking out why and when he is moving I’m freaking out if it’s enough.  I can’t wait until this kid is here already so I can obsess over him in person while ignoring him at the same time (because isn’t that what you do to a second child?).

I’ve been slacking, I get it.  I’m writing about 34 weeks, even though I’m 35 already.  Just pretend that this was about 5 days ago.

I also missed week 33:


That’s right, week 33 was partially spent on Mackinac Island.  It’s a tiny, historic island between lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (the bridge between the two is in the background of my photo).  The cool thing about this place is that you have to take a ferry, and there aren’t any cars on the island.  We’ve been meaning to go since we moved to Michigan and the reality of needing to go before there were 4 of us was sinking in, so we went.  I was excited, but also secretly terrified that something was going to happen while I was a walk, boat, and 4 hour car ride away from my doctor and hospital.  Yep, probably risky at 33 weeks and that’s why I never asked my doctor for permission.  It all worked out and was soooo  much fun but I was swelling up and hurting pretty bad by the time we got home.  It was a lot of walking this late in the game and there were some things that I just wasn’t able to do, which really made me sad.  There’s a fort at the top of the hill on the island that we wanted to go through and I just couldn’t bring myself to admit that it was out of my reach, but we never got to go because I “wasn’t feeling well” which was as close as I could come.  It was a tough pill to swallow to try to do something and see something that would normally be no big deal and struggle and not be able to do it.  I hate asking for help for things that I should be able to do, and I hate making people not do something they want to because I can’t.  While I had a blast on the island and I’m thrilled that we went, it was in the back of my mind that I felt like I was holding everyone back.  So we’re going to have to return so that we can scale that hill and fort and go check out some of the historic hotels.

Now on to 34 weeks.

This week included Father’s Day.  What a better way to celebrate Angel then by getting ready to welcome another little boy into our family?  And because Angel is such an awesome dad, you know how he wanted to celebrate? He took us out to a nice brunch, and then took Lucas to go get a new truck toy.  It was so adorable and selfless that I wanted to cry hormonal tears into my Tums bottle.

Once you have kids, your words come back to bite you.  I’ve been working hard on “please” and “thank you” with Lucas.  I know he’s understanding it because not only is he using it (correctly), but today he told me “say ‘thank you, Lucas'” when he got my shoes for me.  Touche, you pint sized component.  My mom and I were laughing about it and she reminded me that it never ends and used the snippit that I posted on Father’s Day as an example (that wisdom came from her).  Here’s another piece of proof that your daughter hears what you say, mom: My kid is really starting to get a personality and be a mini me.  It’s never too late to decide what kind of Mom that I want to be and I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately.  Here’s what I’ve come up with: I don’t want to be a cool Mom.  I’m not going to be a friend to my kids.  My kids are going to have a life time of opportunities to make friends but I am the only mom they have the chance to have.  They don’t need a friend, they need a Mom.  I want them to know that my “yes” means “yes” and my “no” means “no” and I’m well on my way when my 2 year old is pointing out to me that I asked him for a favor and never said “thank you.”  The rules apply to Mom as well.

There’s my verbal vomit for 33 and 34 weeks.  Stay tuned for week 35, which should be coming any day now.


32 Weeks


Baby is:

  • 32 Weeks
  • Making his presence known with some painful movements.

I am:

  • Feeling my sciatic nerve.  This baby is literally a pain in my ass.
  • Hauling around a chest to feed a nation.  Let’s take a minute to talk about my boobs.  No?  We don’t need to because you can see them from wherever you are reading this?  I believe you.
  • Feeling pretty exhausted by this whole pregnancy thing.  I’m mastering the “I’ve given up” look and if I didn’t feel obligated to shower and put on makeup once a week for these blog photos it would probably never happen.  I feel so big and fat sometimes that it’s hard to keep my chin up.  Luckily, I can just prop it up on my boobs.

Oh, the memories:

  • I’m suddenly scared of delivery.  Terrified. It’s one of those things that I don’t think about until I’m fully committed and without it being that way this would never happen.  I’m so freaked out by having another c section that I woke up in the middle of the night this week and started crying.  I’m even more scared this time because I already have a little boy at home who needs me and I’m going to be gone for 2 days having surgery.


  • I take prison showers: 5 minutes, cold, and with an audience.  This time around I have a tiny man in my bedroom getting into things and yelling at me while I try to shower.  Not really pregnancy related, but is a new experience when mobility is already limited.

I want to take a moment to pat myself on the back.  Lucas and I were at Target this week and at the check out line, Lucas reached down grab a box of animal crackers off of the shelf and gave it to me with a big smile and said “aminal crackers please, mama?” so I said “okay!” and told him to give it to the cashier.  After she gave it back he asked me to open it and when I did and gave it back he said “thank you” with a big smile and started eating them while I finished checking out.  The cashier looked at me and said “You have such a polite boy!”  I thanked her but in the back of my head I’m proud of the fact that all of our hard work at not raising an asshole is finally paying off and being noticed by strangers.  By all means, don’t think that he acts like this all of the time.  We’ve been that family more than once in many different types of venues.  But for just a moment, I looked like the mom who’s son acts like that all of the time and I felt the glares from all other moms in the store.  It was everything I dreamed it would be.

Short post this week (4 days late), but I have a husband who is outside grilling dinner and pushing Lucas on the swing.  It’s like mom porn and I’m dying to go join them.  So frankly, you all just aren’t as important.