Thursday, September 18, 2014

Can't wait to hear when it's finished

Yesterday marked a 20 week ultrasound and the assurance that baby girl is still a baby girl. So I've decided to tell you her name because I like you guys and it's not a secret and I want to claim this name before someone else does. YOU HEAR ME, BEYONCE? IT'S MINE. 

We're naming our second daughter Ramona. 

I believe we're naming her after my favorite books from childhood, the Ramona Quimby series. 

Stephen believes we're naming her after The Ramones. 

We both believe this song is awesome, win?

Poor Ramona already suffers from second child syndrome. In fact the only thing we've really done for her so far is named her. At this point in my pregnancy with Ivy we had painted the nursery, stocked a closet full of tiny dresses, and filled a bookshelf with all the children's classics. This time, nothing. A few weeks ago a friend asked what colors I planned to use in the nursery, and I realized I'm not really sure where this child is going to sleep in our two bedroom apartment. I've done zero research on double strollers and I don't remember where we put the infant carseat. 

The logistics just aren't as thrilling this time around. But every night before I fall asleep, I put my hand on my belly. It takes a minute, but eventually Ramona starts her acrobatic routine, kicking and punching against my abdomen, greeting me with soft sensations of life. And it's totally thrilling. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Happy Weekend

Ivy and I cannot get enough of this song. Don't tell my hipster friends.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Dear Princess Kate,

Hey girl!
Congrats on the big news!

As a fellow second-time gestationer, I thought I'd offer some tips I've learned so far this pregnancy. You're welcome.

* There is no shame in eating half a bag of Cheetos in one sitting. For breakfast. 

*Anyone who says you won't feel as sick during your second pregnancy is a dirty liar. You might have the authority to have them burned at the stake. Look into it.

*Old Navy maternity leggings are frequently marked down to half price so watch those online sales. What's that? Top designers send you entire wardrobes specifically tailored to your growing bump? K. Never mind.

*Be prepared to look seven months pregnant at 18 weeks. Maybe give those top designers some warning.

*Your firstborn will never complain about watching too many movies or eating french fries for lunch. Remember that in your can't deal moments. 

*Some brands of prune juice are superior to others. Call me if you need recommendations.

*Ease up on the internet. Once you get that plus sign on p-test, it will seem as though every acquaintance on Facebook is sharing a link to a blog post about that baby that was born with that terrible disease that one in every 8 million babies has. Do not read these posts, unless you want to spend a month or more obsessing over the possibility of the exact same condition striking your fetus until you've convinced yourself it's an eventuality. Also, avoid pregnancy forums unless you've already lost all faith in humanity. 

* You will have moments when you realize that your offspring will double in the next year and that you will likely never make it out of the house again. You will find yourself paralyzed with anxiety and fear. This is normal. Go to Target and buy some eyeshadow or something to distract from the crippling sense of impending doom. It could be your last chance. 

*You will have other moments when you pull out the baby clothes you saved from round one and you will cry with excitement at the thought of having another tiny, squishy human to put that completely unnecessary newborn three piece suit on. Embrace these moments. 

Best of luck these next 40 weeks. Don't hesitate to call if you want to swap maternity tops or something.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Happy Weekend

Thursday, September 4, 2014

For every season Turn Turn Turn

Everybody be like, "Oh no! Summer is ending!", and I'm like, "It's about friggin' time." Summer 2014 was not the best in Walter family history. Stephen spent the majority of his time studying for and taking the bar. Watching someone study for the bar is like watching someone slowly get eaten alive by whatever kind of creature slowly eats human flesh. Ivy and I spent half the time in Provo with my parents to "give Stephen more alone study time" but really just escape having to witness the misery. So my parents had to put up with a frequent visitor who spent half her time complaining about nausea and the other half sleeping. They also had to parent her child since she was so busy complaining and sleeping. Some people handle pregnancy with glowing grace. I am not one of those people.

Also, summer is hot. And full of bugs. And dead grass. And the animals are always asleep at the zoo. And the slide at the playground will melt the skin off your body. Unpleasantness all around.

But today I stepped outside into cool air and shed a tear of joy. Stephen no longer has to study for the bar. I no longer have to take naps between doing dishes and vacuuming. Ivy can go down the slide without blistering her bum. We can wear sweaters and go outside without applying bug repellent and make soup. Good riddance, summer.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

First, let me take a selfie.

Welp. This happened.


This photo has now appeared in/on:

-Three different issues of the Ensign
-The Liahona (I received many emails from Latvians)
-The For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet
-The 2011 Gospel Doctrine manual
-The Oklahoma City Temple brochure
-The Service page of

I've grown so accustomed to this photo popping up everywhere Mormon related that I'm not really mortified anymore. And this is the better version. Yeah, I wish I had brushed my hair, but the original picture features me, my scraggly hair, and my second chin. This is just my scraggly hair and like 1/8 of my face, which somehow people still recognize? Whatever. The elderly lady looks great and that's probably why this image is making the rounds as often as it is. The elderly lady wasn't great though. The whole hour I sat next to her bed, she told me no one ever comes to visit, and the photographer would say "Smile!" Her husband died of some horrible disease, and the photographer would say "Look over here! Smile!" Her children rarely call, "Smile! Why aren't you smiling?" The photographer would coax and I'd do my best to not reflect the depression and guilt that I felt for only pretending to serve this woman and not actually doing anything to lighten her load. So now every time I see this photo, which as I've already explained is more often than I'd like, I'm reminded to try and not be a terrible, selfish human.  I'm also reminded to buy a brush.

It's one of a few photos that serves as an important life reminder. Another is one that I won't post because...I just can't. Also, I've done everything possible to make sure it's buried deep in the internet and I don't even think I could find it if I tried. But I'll describe it for you.
I'm a missionary, dressed in a frumpy turtleneck and skirt with a name tag reading "Masa Morlija" on my shoulder. My hair is carelessly pulled back and I look, well I look like I ate my companion. Six months into my mission in Latvia I had gained a significant amount of weight. My small frame looked and felt like it might break under the pressure of the inflated person it was struggling to keep upright. You know how people get their lips done and the plastic surgeon injects fat until the lips are nice and puffy? It was like someone did that to my entire body but added even extra to my face. It was a long, dark winter, I could barely understand anything anyone was saying, I missed America, and chocolate was my only coping mechanism. I was coping a lot. It was a pretty low point. Things got better though. I learned Latvian. I learned to love a lot of things about Latvia and a lot of Latvians. I continued to eat a good amount of chocolate, but eventually the sun came out and the warm Spring weather allowed us to walk and I could successfully button my shirts again. My mission was always hard, but the good kind of hard. Like the boy, I'm glad I don't have to do that again, but I'm also glad I did it kind of way. After I had returned from my 18 months away and lost about 30 pounds, that dark days photo showed up on Facebook. I of course yelled in horror and promptly untagged myself, but I also felt proud that I wasn't the person in that photo anymore. That I had improved and finished the job that on that December day had seemed so impossible. I never look at that picture, but when I think about it, I'm reminded that things usually get better. Also to go easy on the chocolate.

Then there's this one.

This is week 38 of pregnancy. Looking back on the progression, in most of the photos leading up to this, I look excited and smiley in fresh maternity clothes. But here I just look tired. Tired and ready. That maternity top barely fit. Again, why did I not brush my hair? Anyway, I didn't want to be pregnant anymore. I wanted to be holding a baby. This is the last photo of Meg as just Meg, before Meg became Ivy's mom.  I was just so ready to be Ivy's mom. And even though becoming a mom was overwhelming and difficult and scary, more than I expected, it was also absolutely the best thing to ever happen to me. This photo reminds me that even on days when motherhood feels tough, I'm so much happier having Ivy to hold, being Ivy's mom than I ever was as just Meg.

There are worse things than an unflattering photo, I guess. But don't you dare post one of me without my approval.

Friday, August 15, 2014

And everything nice.

Things got real yesterday when a kind friend did an (early) ultrasound and revealed that Walter baby number two is female. I'll spare you the between the legs photo, but I can't resist sharing this shot of her profile.

I'm well aware that only parents think their child's ultrasound photos are ahhhh so adorable! but look- she's smiling!

Now that I know what kind of human is growing in my belly, this pregnancy feels less like food poisoning and more like The Miracle of Life. And if I'm being totally honest, I'm very relieved baby girl is a baby girl. I feel ill-equipped to raise a boy, maybe because I'm not one?

Or maybe I'm glad we're having another girl because I like our first one so much. 

Of course I have moments when I cry in the shower because my toddler is being mean to me, but for every terrible moment she has five hilarious moments. Like when I'm in the bathroom, she knocks on the door and says, "Mom? Can you hear me? Are you okay?". And when she gets dressed for the day, looks at her outfit and says, "Booful. I lub it." She's concerned every time Ollie poops and yells "Oh no! POOP!". A while ago we taught her to say, "Happy Birthday Nick!" for my brother's birthday, and now she says it  every time she's in the bathtub. She calls me "Meg" and Stephen "Papa Steve." She doesn't really seem to understand the concept of pregnancy, but I'm getting really excited to hear what she has to say when we bring the new baby home. Hopefully it's "I lub it" and not "Oh no! POOP!"