Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Big Feelings and Normal Days

Greg mowed the yard Sunday. Our neighbors shared a few choice words with him about it. Once one starts, they all have to start. It is March and no one else was ready. The yard looks great though.

I took Ty and his buddy bowling Saturday. They loved it. We followed up with ice cream and I relished in their chatter despite it being full of body function humor and silly jokes. Before I am ready, they will be graduating like their older sisters who sounded a lot like them just a few short years ago.

I then took Kate and her friend out shopping. The mall on Saturday evening is no longer comfortable for me. The girls weren't out of my sight as result.  I then took them out for Greek food. They were good sports about trying something new but neither was impressed. They didn't even like baklava! I am a little disappointed.

Greg and I met with the school on Friday to discuss our son's needs. We entered it with a lot of strong emotions and feeling defensive but left reassured he is in good hands despite Ty informing everyone he has made the decision to join his sister at the smaller school because second and third grade gets two recesses instead of one. As valid as those reasons are, his academic and emotional needs are being met where he is. We were a little stunned to discover he had in fact started saying goodbyes and believed he would start his new school after spring break.

Kate has begged for her own laundry basket for several months. I kept declining, assuring her I will not go seeking laundry and once the basket is purchased, she will be doing her own laundry. She found one she couldn't resist Sunday and Monday  I wrapped up all her laundry for the last time. I suspect the novelty will last approximately eighteen seconds. But like her sisters before her, she will learn the art of finding time in her schedule to insure she has clean, or mostly clean clothes as the case may be.

The dog is on anxiety meds and frankly the process of making adjustments to that is colorful enough I too may need medicated. Sometimes I look around and marvel at my life. Blessings often resemble chaos.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Labels and Oreos

Ty has been through a lot of extensive testing and evaluations the last few months; the results tough to swallow. I remind myself he is the same great kid today as he was before we had labels attached to him. But I am not going to lie, labels are hard. I waiver between the need to fight for him and denial.
It is unfortunate he is so reluctant to be in front of the camera with lashes like his. But a stack of Oreos happen to be his price point. I am not above bribery.
We are navigating school meetings and evaluating educational options. He has strong opinions; none based on anything of real importance unless you are Ty. After all, the amount of recess and access to electronic devices are the key factors in choosing the best learning environment. Sigh.
As I said, he is the same today as he was when we began this journey last fall; labels or not. He is awesome (a label I am comfortable with) and I am his biggest fan.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Austin Ryan Baird

We could not be more excited to announce the arrival of Austin Ryan Baird. He was born Wednesday, March 7 at 8:44am. He weighed 7 lbs 6 ounces and was 20 inches long. In our totally unbiased opinions, he is absolutely perfect.

Lauren was sent to labor and delivery from her doctor's appointment on Tuesday afternoon due to some unexpected issues and was supposed to be induced that night. Our rock star of a daughter went into labor on her own.

Whereas I realize I am not the first new grandmother on the planet, you guys have to know this gig is amazing.  I cannot fully express in words the emotions I am processing. I am so proud of Lauren and Taylor....like gushing levels of pride. They worked so well together in that delivery room. They were strong and together did this hard, painful but beautiful thing like they owned the experience. Taylor proudly smiling about Lauren dressing down a rude a doctor with class and how they advocated for each other in tough moments. But hearing my baby cry as she brought her baby into the world? I cannot yet pull it together. Every time my mind goes back to that moment, the tears flow. I swear this is as emotional as bringing one of my own babies into the world, but better. Austin is perfect, healthy and according to all his unbiased grandparents, obviously very advanced ☺.  He was alert and checking us out for a few hours Wednesday evening.  His bright eyes turning to hear his Papaw Keith and lifting his head off Gigi Brooke's shoulder for a closer look at a light.  His little forehead creased into a serious expression as we welcomed him into our family with stories of so many excited aunts and uncles. This baby was born into the best kind of crazy and he is so loved. I am beyond smitten.

Lauren and Taylor navigated this experience beautifully together. I could not be more proud of them.

After all, the results are perfect.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018


Anne called yesterday and mentioned she can't believe the milestone my daughter will be reaching this year. I questioned which daughter. One is getting married. One is having a baby. One is graduating high school and one is becoming a teenager. She laughed. She was referring to Kate. To which I replied, "you would believe it if you lived here". And from there we decided we should use our health savings accounts to buy wine.

All three of my children returned from school in tears on Monday. And then they all went to bed crying once again. This morning one child decided to pick up where she left off last night. This mom is over it. ALL.THE.TEARS! We Baughmans need Spring Break.

The combined energy of this crew is no joke. Trevor, who happens to be celebrating his first birthday today is a sweetheart. However, he watches the other two so closely we are bound to ruin him despite all my pleading he just stay sweet.

Big brother Levi has always been a force to reckon with. He will do great things in the world. This is what his momma and I tell ourselves anyway. Isn't it the truth? We want them strong and determined but also want them to just do what we say!

And then there is this little girl. Ava's spirit is second to none. I love her contagious laughter and pure zest for life, even if she wears me out.

Add the dog I swear needs medicated and my days are full of questionable commentary and insane requests like, "please stop licking her" (directed at children, not the dog) and "are you new here?" This is why God gave me nap time.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Living the Dream

Friday night at 6:30, I handed Greg the proverbial baton. Goodnight, I said and went to bed. He didn't believe me. Twelve hours later, I woke when Ty crawled into bed with us already talking about something he saw on Star Wars at Kellen's. Within minutes, Kate also joined us and acted like she was going to kiss her brother. This lead to some tickling and whole lot of laughter. Intriqued, Layla whom we affectionately call Big Girl hopped up full of her wriggly self and started kissing everyone good morning. It was then I declared we needed a bigger bed and my hubby trumped me, "nope, better locks on the bedroom door."

Within hours, the bickering between siblings resumed and a door was slammed. Ty discovered like his sisters before him how awesome it feels to open and close a door silently ten times. This tends to diffuse the impact of a slammed door.

We are on baby watch. Little Austin's arrival is anticipated in a big way. Poor Lauren is hearing from all three sets of parents inquiring how she feels and if he might be ready yet. Austin may not be but his momma sure is. She says she cannot wait to never be pregnant again!

Bridesmaid and wedding dresses have all been purchased including two for me. I wasn't looking for dresses when I found mine which is likely the easiest way to achieve such lofty goals. So I have both a dress for the wedding and also the shower. Kristin has a pair of strappy heels that should work with both so I have mentally checked myself off as ready. Makenna objects to the shoes and continues to shop for alternatives she finds appropriate. Erin has also declared I need to wear makeup for the first time in a decade so I don't look washed out in her wedding photos. Teach them to talk they said. Empower them to find their voice they said. It will be fun they said. "They" are not my friends.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Still Here

The grandpups graduated obedience classes just in time. Baby Austin is due any moment. We cannot wait to meet him. Lauren fears he will be just like her and this makes me laugh. I am not going to lie, there were seasons I wished very much for her to someday have a child just like her. As delightful as she is now, this was not always the case. Ahem.

Taylor found out he is being relocated to Texas this summer. We are heartbroken. Nine hours was far enough away, thank you very much. Fifteen feels so much further. No one wanted this news two weeks before the baby was due.

Erin and Jake are actively pursuing wedding venues and have some beautiful ideas. She has a birthday this month and is requesting gift cards to Michaels for crafting supplies to make a lot herself.

Ty had a bought of strep and tackled medicine like a trooper after choosing it over a shot.  He has fallen in love with his basketball and rushes through his morning routine in order to spend a few minutes shooting hoops before the bus arrives. I love this. He also completed a robotics course with his buddy, Gavin. It was a great learning experience.

Greg is experiencing a significant amount of pain in his foot and ankle. Given it was fused nine years ago, we worry he has stress fractures due to his foot bearing the impact his ankle was designed to take. His surgeon has retired and was located in Ohio so we are seeking someone qualified and willing to take over treatment at this point. This is proving to be challenging. Greg doesn't easily admit pain so seeing him miserable is difficult.

We are otherwise good. I finished the school yearbook this week and submitted a formal request to be replaced next year. The project was not enjoyable either of the two years I managed it so it was time to pass the reigns. I am relieved to be walking away from it.

Saturday, February 24, 2018


When Erin was two, her friend Keaton pushed her down. Erin quickly informed him he was sorry and for years to come, his name was "Keaton pushed me down". We knew then we needed to pray for Erin's future husband as grace was apparently not her strong suit.

Erin met Jake almost two years ago after finding him on tinder. Greg and I were apprehensive, to say the least. But much to our surprise, Jake has proven to be exactly what Erin needs in her life. He balances her free spirit with level headed decision making. He likes lists, balanced budgets and detailed plans. She prefers to throw caution into the wind and see where she lands. We like Jake. Erin needs Jake.

Erin has always maintained we will find out after she elopes during a lunch hour someday that she is married but Jake says as an only child, a wedding is important in his family. Time will see how that shakes out, but they both contain the capacity to laugh through a lot. We pray they navigate life with humor and love well.

Welcome to the family Jake. We have been praying for you and already love you.

(P.S. Ty has done the math. Adding Jake and the baby this year will even out the numbers in our family. We will have five boys and five girls. Obviously this is good news.)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happening Here

On Tuesday of last week, Erin got really sick at work. So much so, they started IV's and a heart monitor. When I picked her up, I brought her home to watch her health for the next 24 hours. Roommates are great but when it comes to scary illnesses, I will just do it myself thank you very much. This is the second time Erin has literally collapsed with an unknown illness and scared the snot out of anyone witnessing it. What concerns me the most is the lack of explanation.

On Tuesday of last week, Lauren met with her new high risk obstetrician. The remainder of her pregnancy will be under his care now that she has officially been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. To say we are all surprised would be an understatement. But the good news is she and the baby are both very healthy and her diet alone is controlling her blood sugar. We are within a month of his birthday and very excited to meet him.

On Wednesday, God reminded me He is in control in all the areas I am not.
There have been Valentine parties at school and glimpses of spring in between ice storms and freezing rain. Sidewalk chalk took an interesting turn on Friday as Ty was drawing a cemetery alongside Kate drawing hopscotch games. Anna, blissfully unaware of Ty's unique game was happy to play along. It's a wonder I haven't been fired.

A large fort adorned the living room all weekend and housed a sibling sleepover Saturday night. I love the moments they stop bickering long enough to cooperate on a project. The results are as sweet as the silence. Winter doesn't bring out the best in us Baughmans as we tend to get on each other's nerves.

A jet pack was a necessary addition to Ty's wardrobe this weekend as well. Thank goodness enough neighbors and friends collect two liter bottles we were able to provide a matching one for his friend. My only hope is no one tests their ability to fly off high places.