Sunday, December 31, 2006

Little smiles

Here is Keziah's movie debut! She is smiling more often now and I was able to capture a little grin on film yesterday. Enjoy!

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And as I was going through old picture CDs to put together the new slideshow on my sidebar I came across some great little video clips of Micah. Here he is at 3 months old. The video was labelled "I don't need a soother":

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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Check it out

I updated the slideshow in my Photos section on the blog sidebar to include ALL the members of our family! Take a look ----->

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Oh the Drama!

I don't attempt to do much these days and I sure don't get out of the house very often. When I do, it is quite an event. A couple of weeks ago it was easy to go out since I knew Keziah would sleep soundly in her car seat the entire time. Now there are no guarantees.

Yesterday I planned a shopping trip to Superstore. When Micah was done napping and Keziah had eaten and seemed ready for a sleep I packed up the kids to head out. The trip started out fine and things went smoothly in the store but as I was paying at the check-out, Keziah started waking up and fussing. She wanted nothing to do with her soother and wasn't calming down. I quickly packed up my groceries and made the LONG walk down the Superstore ramp (by which point she was screaming!) got the groceries in the car, buckled Micah in his carseat, put Keziah's carseat in, took my cart back (I considered just leaving it, but I didn't want to lose my looney;). I come back to the car - yep, still screaming. As I'm driving out of the parking lot, I've got one hand on the wheel and one hand trying to stuff the soother in Keziah's mouth. At this point Micah starts whining for the candy that I had promised him when we were still in the store. Then, as I'm exiting the lot I see my friend E waving at me. I abandon the attempts at soothing Keziah to give her a quick wave (gotta make it look like I've got this all under control!) and then make the LONG drive home with a baby screaming in my ear. And just my luck, she fell asleep just as we were turning onto our street.

Well, today's adventure was going for a walk. This was my first solo attempt since Keziah's birth and I wasn't sure how it would go since we don't have a double stroller. So, I put the stroller seat all the way back and lay Keziah down and left enough room for Micah to sit up at the front. I was surprised he didn't seem to mind. It took me awhile to get Keziah calmed down enough to lay her down, but once we started walking she fell asleep. I had dressed a little too warmly for the walk and needed to cool off so I decided to stop at the park - bad idea. It had rained and then frozen overnight so all the playground equipment was slushy and dirty. I tried to wipe off sections for Micah, but it didn't get "clean enough" for him and he was really upset about having to use his mittens to touch all the dirt (even though I assured him they could be washed!)
Meanwhile Keziah woke up in the stroller since she noticed we are no longer moving. So, I left Micah crying at the top of the slide (since he's too paranoid to go down with a little bit of dirt on it) and tried to console Keziah. At this point I'm thinking - these are my own offspring and I can't even control them! I was very thankful nobody else was around. I decided to abandon the park idea and head home. So, I stuffed both crying kids back into the stroller and began the trek for home. Micah started into his whine, "want nukie too sleep big boy bed all night!" and I knew I needed to think of something since we had a good 15 minutes yet before we were home. So we started playing a colour game, "Can you find a blue car? How about a red truck?"

Thankfully it worked. And the moving stroller seemed to lull Keziah back into her sleep. After a few minutes all was calm again.
Now I am at home and both kids are napping. Sweet relief. I'm sure I will venture out again but at least next time I'll know what I'm in for!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas & more...

Even though our planned family celebrations had already taken place, we still enjoyed good food and family on Christmas Eve & Christmas Day. We took in an afternoon church service on Sunday and went back to Mom & Dad T's for supper and a chocolate fondue.

Micah hasn't grown tired of all the Christmas festivities yet...
Here's Keziah in her Christmas dress from Auntie Erin. I'm sad that she won't be able to wear it for much longer! Today she is 5 weeks old and getting chubby. She has a double chin and rolls on her legs - two things Micah never really had :)
Micah and Keziah hanging out...

Erik and I got a kid's table & chairs set for Micah's Christmas gift so we set it up and put it in his room while he was sleeping on Christmas eve with a couple of new toys on it. We heard him up at about 5:30 on Christmas morning and he played in his room for an hour before he was ready to come out and see us!

So peaceful...

Keziah's napping habits have been on my mind a lot in the last week. She seems to have fallen into a pattern of having short naps of 30-45 minutes. Then she wakes up, still tired, but unwilling to settle back down again. So, she sort of drifts in and out of sleep for the next hour or so (usually in my arms or in the swing) and then it's time for her next feed. After which I try to keep her awake for a little bit and then start the cycle all over again. I've thought of trying to get her to nap on her tummy. Not the recommended sleeping position these days but I've heard lots of moms say that it helps their babies sleep longer. Are any of your kids tummy sleepers? Here's my question - how do you get them onto their tummy to sleep? I tried the other day and Keziah just fussed and bobbed her head around. I tried stuffing the soother in but she couldn't keep it in while moving around so much. Maybe I need to wait until she's in a deep sleep and then transfer her to that position...

But I am very thankful that she sleeps well during the night. I really can't complain. I would rather her have nap issues than night issues any day! Last night she slept from about 10:30 to 5:30! That's 7 hours straight! Unfortunately Micah was up before the crack of dawn today. Erik is working in Langley for the next 2 weeks and he has to be up just after 5. No matter how quiet he is in the morning, Micah just seems to sense that someone is up and then there's no way to get him to go back to sleep.

The kids getting ready for bed on Christmas Day. I think Micah and Keziah look alike in this picture - something in their expressions, maybe...

On the potty-training front, we haven't had any success since about a month ago when Micah went twice in one week. I'm not ready to push it yet and he doesn't seem ready to accept ;)

Maybe the next venture will be trying to get rid of his soother once and for all. He only has it for sleeping, but he really is obsessed with it. I've heard of cutting the end of the soother off a little bit at a time to wean him and I've also heard of going cold turkey and letting him cry it out - or giving him something to replace the soother like a new toy (as if he hasn't had enough new toys this month!)
Any advice???

I had to include this video of Micah from the other day. Every time he gets a little upset he asks for his soother (or "nuk-ie") and lately it's turned into this whole long sentence that he recites every time: "want nuk-ie too sleep big boy bed all night!" Can you hear it?

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Friday, December 22, 2006

One Month

Today Keziah is one month old! It is going by way too fast! It makes me sad that she can barely squeeze into the newborn size diapers anymore (but we're going to keep trying since we have so many to use up!). Even some of her first onesies and sleepers are getting put back in the clothing box because they no longer fit! I'm guessing she's close to the 10 lb mark but I haven't had her weighed in about a week and a half. I am glad, though, to see her growing because it assures me that she must be getting enough to eat!
I'm pretty sure she smiled for the first time the other day. It was a very "happy" look anyway. She did it once during the day when I was talking to her and then again for Erik when he came home from work. She hasn't done it since, but I think we're on the brink of smiling territory! I was trying to capture a smile in this collage of pictures -- no luck, but I got some other cute expressions in the meantime.

Yesterday I dressed Keziah up in this matching sweater and bonnet set that I received as a gift. Very pink and girly! As you can see, she's already taking after her big brother in the soother department. She's even holding up a protective hand to keep it from falling out!

<-- Keziah having some play time on the floor. She loves watching the fire - I remember this was a favourite with Micah as well. It's a nice way to give her some stimulating activity after eating.

That's Micah's foot in the edge of the picture - he loves to get right in Keziah's face when she's on the floor and I have to keep him from jumping on top of her. Keziah spends a lot more time in her bassinet than Micah ever did - mostly because I need to protect her from her over-zealous big brother!
So far we've had one close call. When I put Keziah in the swing Micah likes to "help" by giving her pushes. The other day as I was getting supper ready I saw him pushing her so hard that she almost flopped right out onto the floor. I ran over and stopped her limp little body just in time! Phew!

Now, to completely change the subject, I have to share the good news that Erik is almost done the house that he's been building since September! It has been a lo-o-o-ong project for them but they will finish either today or early next week! And the exciting news is that they signed two contracts this week to start building two more houses in the new year. So, things are starting to get rolling and Erik expects these next projects will be completed much faster. Very exciting! I will try to get him to take some pictures of the finished product.

Monday, December 18, 2006

More Celebrations, etc.

We celebrated Christmas with Erik's family last night - a week early since Doug & Elissa will be gone to Saskatchewan next weekend. We were joined by Erik's cousin, Mark (who's living here at the house for about a month) and Todd & Brianne. There was plenty of food and lots of gifts!

It's been fun watching Micah enjoy Christmas this year. He's much more excited about everything than he was last year as a one-year-old. Him and Nathan had fun playing behind the Christmas tree (check out N & R's blog for more cute pictures).
By the way, this is Micah's "CHEESE!" face and it comes out in all the pictures lately!

Micah playing with his new Fisher-Price Alphabet Zoo from Grandma & Grandpa.

Some shots of Keziah with her eyes open. She is almost 4 weeks and I think she's starting to look a bit more awake and aware these days.

Yesterday the girls from our care group held a Baby Shower lunch for me (to make up for the cancelled shower on Thursday night). It was a lot of fun and I got some more cute outfits for Keziah. I have felt so blessed by our care group. They made us a whole pile of food for our freezer that we've barely made a dent in, plus all the gifts yesterday. They even gave me a gift certificate to the Wild Orange Spa!

Here's a little glance into Keziah's closet - she's already got more clothes than Micah does, I think! But girls need more clothes than boys, right? (At least that's what I tell Erik when he complains that my side of the closet is over-taking his!)

Life around the house is going fairly well these days. I'm pleasantly surprised to see Micah falling into the role of big brother. He's quite concerned for Keziah when she's crying, especially if her "nuk-ie" falls out of her mouth. He has also become very affectionate with her in the last week - sometimes a little overly affectionate! But it's very cute and I'm excited for them to learn to play together in the future. Micah definitely could use a playmate!

Keziah has been sleeping really well at night. Last night it was 6 hours and the night before it was 7! The tough part has been getting her to go right back to sleep after feeding. The other night I was up with her for an hour and a half in the night. But last night she went down right after I fed her at 9:30pm and then when I fed her again at 3:30am she went right back down again! It was wonderful!

I've been reading a lot of the The Baby Whisperer lately which I borrowed from a friend a few months ago when Micah was starting his separation anxiety (yes, Ej, I'm talking about your book - I haven't forgotten that I need to return it and I plan to soon!) It has been very interesting and I've learned a lot of new things. But, at the same time, it has created more worries! I really related to Heather's recent blog when she wrote about how we hope baby will sleep better but when that happens, we worry they are sleeping too much! Reading this book has now got me worrying about how Keziah feeds. I mentioned before that she seems to eat really fast. They say a newborn should be nursing for 20-40 minutes at a time, but Keziah's usually done after 10-20. When I fed her last night, she only nursed for about 7 minutes and then she was totally out. The book mentions that there are some babies who are just more efficient and you'll know they're getting enough if they can go 3 hours between feeds. It's not that she's always falling asleep while eating - she seems satisfied afterwards and can go the full 3 hours. So, I don't know why I'm worrying so much about this but I just am! I find myself constantly watching the clock while she nurses and I'm going to drive myself crazy! Who said we were more laid back the second time around??

I'd also like your opinions on the Oprah show that aired recently about the secret language of babies - based on the theory that there are 5 universal sounds that newborn babies use to communicate with us. Several of you blogged about that episode. I watched it before Keziah was born and tried to remember the sounds. I was very excited to put it all into practice. But, so far, I haven't been able to distinguish any of the classic sounds coming from my baby. I can tell when she's hungry because of how she roots and smacks her tongue and I can usually tell when she's sleepy, too, but it's not because I hear the "neh" or "owh" sounds that they talked about on the show. I'm curious to know if those of you with newborns have heard your babies making any of the sounds? Maybe my ear is just not practiced enough! It sure would be nice to know what all the extra crying is about...

Here's one last picture... So far Micah has gotten more use out of the baby swing than Keziah :o)


Friday, December 15, 2006


Yes, that's one word that can sum up life this week. It's been a little hectic around here. It took me half the week just to unpack our mounds of bags and gifts from our trip out east. We also came home to the news that someone had backed into our parked car while we were away. So, Erik's trying to get that sorted out and get our car fixed. Thankfully the guy who hit us is really nice and has been very helpful and cooperative. Then I needed to think about Micah's birthday and get ready for that. Last night Erik and I were supposed to go to care group and decided to skip out just because we've been with people every night since we've been back. But, when we called to cancel we found out that it was actually supposed to be a surprise baby shower for us! So, of course I felt bad and also disappointed that we didn't go, but by then it was too late and they told us not to worry about it. Oh well! It turned out to be a very relaxing family night for us - we decided to not even answer the phone and it was kind of nice :)

Keziah is getting to be a bit more of a handful these days. She sleeps a lot of the time still, but when she's awake she likes to be held. I'm discovering ways to do a lot of things "one-handed" but I'm starting to seriously consider investing in a sling of some sort. I'm not sure if she's just fussy, or maybe really social and wants to be with people all the time. I have a tough time remembering what this stage was like with Micah. I probably just had more time to hold him and maybe didn't notice how much he needed to be held. I was worried that she may have thrush (Micah had a long bout of it when he was about a month old) but the doctor assured me earlier in the week that it just looked like milk solids built up on her tongue. And I've also been surprised at how quickly she eats, but reading Kerri's blog reassured me this morning when she wrote that her 1-month old seems to eat very quickly too. Keziah definitely looks healthy and all of her plumbing seems to be in great working order! I think she's about 9 and a half pounds now and has a bit of chub to her!

And Micah is a handful as always and I suppose I should expect it now that we've hit the "terrible twos" :o) This morning Erik was on the phone trying to sort out the whole car-situation and I was holding a crying baby - who apparently wanted to eat again even though it had only been a couple of hours since her last feed - and trying to tell a whining toddler that I wasn't going to open his play-doh right now! I'm not sure how to keep up with all the regular things that need to get done around here - i.e. washing dishes from 2 nights ago!

Another strange phenomenon - Micah has decided to go back to having 2 naps since we got back from our trip - I don't think this is really typical for a 2-year-old. It's not so bad, but I wouldn't mind getting him on a more predictable schedule. If it wasn't for having a newborn around I could probably keep him busy and distract him from his sleepiness, but with two to care for I don't have the energy to do that and I admit it's kind of nice to have that extra peace and quiet.

So with this new-found chaos, how do I manage to keep blogging? I guess it's the one thing that gives me an outlet and a way to connect and relate when I'm feeling a little tied-down. Besides our whirlwind trip across the country I haven't left the house much. I'm actually OK with that mostly because I'm a little scared to venture out with both kids! But I do need to stay connected with people and so the whole blogging thing keeps me from going nutty and feeling all alone. For those of you who live in the area, we need to schedule some playdates!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Birthday Fun

Last night we had a joint birthday celebration for Micah and Rosanna.
Here are the birthday boy and girl!

Micah was way more interested in his gifts this year than he was last year, and he took the time to play with each one before moving on to the next. Some of his gifts included a Magna Doodle from Granny & Grandpa Harder (to encourage his colouring skills without encouraging his skills of drawing on the furniture), a cell phone from Auntie Rosanna & Uncle Nathan and a broom and dust-pan set. For those of you who know Erik's incessant love for cleaning, sweeping the floor is just another way that Micah LOVES to be like his Daddy!
He also got a brand new bedding set from me and Erik for his big-boy bed. He was very excited to go to sleep last night with his new big pillow and blanket!

We enjoyed some homemade chocolate cake as well as a Dairy Queen Ice Cream cake. Micah loved the candles and had them almost completely blown out before we could even finish singing "Happy Birthday"!

Micah's had nothing but gifts and treats for the last couple of weeks and Christmas isn't even here yet. I'm afraid he's going to think this is a normal way of life from now on...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Birthday Boy!

Today Micah is TWO years old! It's crazy to think how the last two years have flown by and yet at the same time I feel like he's been in our lives for a lot longer. I can't really imagine my life as 'Micah-less' anymore...

Here's the birthday boy trying to show you how old he is today:

Yesterday when I asked him what today was he would say "birthday cake!" He knows there will be balloons and candles and cake - and I suppose that's all that matters :)

And Micah's birthday is extra special since he shares it with his Auntie Rosanna - Happy Birthday Rosanna!!

It will be a simple family affair this year - unlike his 1st birthday party last year. For some reason I lack the energy, motivation and creativity to make a big deal this time around... Hmmm, I wonder why ;)

Here's a picture of me and my firstborn exactly two years ago today!

Freshly Born...

My water broke on Sunday, Dec 12th just before church. It was only a trickle and I felt totally fine so I sang in the worship team as planned and joined the family for lunch. By mid-afternoon I decided to go into the hospital just to check things out but I didn't think it was the real deal even though I was already 2 days overdue. Sure enough, I was leaking amniotic fluid. But the hospital was full so they gave me my group B strep antibiotics and sent me home. They told me to come back the next morning to be induced. At around 2:30 am on the morning of the 13th I started having mild contractions. We went in at 8:30 and my contractions were still pretty mild and irregular. They started me on some oxytocin to get things moving and soon they were getting stronger and more frequent. My back labour was intense so the only thing that felt good was Erik pressing with his knuckles on my lower back as hard as he could. He said his arms ached afterwards (I didn't feel that bad for him!). I tried the laughing gas for one contraction and hated it, but with the next contraction I was fully dilated and ready to push. I pushed for about an hour and Micah came into the world at 2:15 pm weighing in at 7 lbs, 15 oz and measuring 22 inches long!

In the last two years, Micah has become an active and entertaining little person! We often find ourselves laughing at the things he says and does. He seems to take after me in his looks, but his daddy in his personality. He can be high-strung and emotional (like Erik) and keeping his mind focused on one thing for more than a few minutes isn't an easy task! He loves everything his daddy does - drumming (especially on Daddy's real drums), hammering nails into his toy work bench, and playing hockey!

Happy Birthday Buddy - We love you!!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Home Sweet Home

We had a great time in Manitoba visiting my family but it's good to be back home! We arrived back in Abbotsford at 1 pm yesterday and it was nice to have the rest of the afternoon to recuperate and visit with Erik's family. Gaining 2 hours was also a nice treat, but I was EXHAUSTED by about 8:30. I couldn't even keep my eyes open to watch the Amazing Race finale and ended up in bed by 9. Can anyone tell me who won?

Erik and I both agreed that this past week wasn't one of those "restful" vacations since we came home more tired than when we left. Of course, that has mostly to do with having two kids. Micah is pretty inflexible when it comes to sleeping arrangements, so we had to be creative in order to get him to sleep in the various places throughout the week. In the end we were extremely thankful we had brought our laptop on the trip since Baby Einstein came in handy several times in helping him to nod off. Here he is watching his favourite DVD in the bed that we made for him in my parents' walk-in closet...

Amazingly, Keziah slept 4-6 hour stretches every night which was wonderful. However, I didn't always get to take full advantage of those stretches because of Micah :) Hopefully that will improve now that we're home. Micah seems to be happy to be back in his own "big-boy" bed and slept quite well last night.

We left Boissevain and went into LaSalle on Thursday. That night I had the chance to see two of my old friends, Rachel and Erin. I got to meet Erin's daughter, Sadie, for the first time. She is SO cute!

On Friday the whole family was together for Christmas. Even Noah came home from the hospital after a 69-day stay! He looks so much healthier than he did 5 months ago when they came to visit us here in BC.

My family definitely enjoyed having a newborn around and Erik and I barely held her since she was passed around so much.

Top L: Cousin Kailyn
Top R:Cousin Noah
Bottom L: Auntie Erin
Bottom R: Auntie Laura

The cousins had a good time together as we could tell by the noise level in the house! There were lots of treats and gifts and even some crafts that Auntie Laura had up her sleeve...

Finally a family photo!

Here's a great shot of all ten cousins. Granny bought matching outfits for all the older kids.

My sister Erin and her husband Steve took some family shots. It was a bit of a challenge with all the kids. One of the best pictures was this silly one that we took right at the end:

Yesterday we boarded the plane with TWO extra suitcases FULL of stuff! Thanks to everyone for all the baby, Christmas and even birthday gifts! And we came home to a wonderfully clean house (thanks to Rosanna & Nate) and a full freezer (thanks to our care group)!

Today I will attempt to unpack our many bags and get things back in order. I also have to think about Micah's 2nd birthday which is in TWO days! We are just planning a simple family get-together this year but I would still like to make a fun cake for him. I have a couple of ideas, but I will need to do some more thinking about that before Wednesday.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Manitoba Pics!

Hello from the winter-y province of Manitoba! I'm finally able to upload some pics to blogger, so here's a little look at our first few days that we spent on the farm in Boissevain...

Here was the scene on the plane ride from Calgary to Winnipeg. There were TONS of empty seats on the plane so Erik and I were able to spread out with the kids. Here's Micah stretched out on three seats for his nap:

And here's Keziah stretched out on one seat!

Me and the kids enjoying a lazy morning at Granny's...

Erik has been looking forward to snowmobiling on the farm and there was just enough snow for him to get out a few times. He even took Micah out and we got a couple of shots of them going around the yard. Micah had fun but it was a little too cold for a long ride. Micah also enjoyed meeting "Sheba" - the dog that used to belong to Erik and his family when they lived in Calgary and has now retired with my parents on the farm...

A few shots of some of Micah & Keziah's cousins. We spent a bit of time with some of them at the beginning of the week on the farm.

Micah and his Grandpa Harder. He's really warmed up to his Grandpa & Granny this week.

Now we are in LaSalle at Brad & Nichole's and today we've had a long day. We went to my Aunt Martha's funeral earlier this afternoon and then we went ahead with our Harder family Christmas this afternoon and evening. It was a zoo with all the kids, but it was fun watching them open presents and enjoy playing with each other (minus a few scraps here and there which is to be expected!) There will be lots more pictures to come, but for now I need to feed my daughter and get to bed!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Greetings from Boissevain

(Apologies in advance for not including pictures - my parents' computer won't let me upload anything to my blog...)

We arrived in Manitoba safe and sound on Saturday afternoon. All went well on our two flights to Winnipeg and Keziah was a big hit with all the flight attendants. Micah charmed them as well with his recitation of the alphabet - he gets stuck on "hijklmnop" and repeats it over and over again ;)

Once we arrived in the city we went with my parents to visit my nephew Noah in the hospital. We are hoping he will be discharged this Friday to be part of our family Christmas celebration. He is doing well these days and is up to about 10 and a half pounds!

We drove out to Boissevain later that night and Micah has had a chance to spend some time with his cousins here at Granny & Grandpa's house. The first night Micah didn't want to go the bed and kept walking to the door saying "see friends!" On Friday, all 10 cousins will be together at Brad & Nichole's house in LaSalle. It's going to be a CRAZY day!

We had some rough news here yesterday. My aunt (my mom's oldest sister) died suddenly yesterday morning after a brain hemorrage. She was only 67. I haven't seen her much in recent years, but we actually spent about an hour with them on Saturday night in the city before we drove to Boissevain. She was very excited to hold the new baby. It's strange to see someone in complete health one day and then hear of their death only a couple of days later. We are all encouraged to know that she made a personal decision to follow Jesus only a couple of years ago. But, you can keep the family in your prayers, especially her husband, kids and grandkids.

Friday, December 01, 2006

1 more sleep!

Tomorrow morning at 9:15 we will board the plane for Winnipeg! Hopefully all will go off without a hitch. I've been talking to Micah about the airplane and we've been reviewing the pictures of his EIGHT other cousins! Micah seems especially interested in Liam (but says it more like "G-iam"!) which is interesting since they are the closest in age being only 5 months apart. I think he is going to have a blast playing with all the other kids.

Keziah is doing well. Her jaundice seems to be better and she's not acting "sick" so that's an answer to prayer. She seems to be a very content baby so far and barely cries even when getting changed or bathed (as compared to our screaming first child!). She has developed the wonderful habit of only waking me once at night to feed since she does two 4-hour stretches! I don't really remember what Micah did at this age, but I'm pretty sure I was up with him more than once a night.

Yesterday we ventured out as a family (since Erik was still unable to work!) and went to Old Navy. I've been wanting to go ever since Keziah was born because they have such cute girls clothes that I've never really allowed myself to look at before. But, yesterday I bought her a full outfit to wear for all the upcoming Christmas occasions. Here she is all decked out:

And finally a picture of me and her together where I look half-decent! I admit I've been living in sweat pants for the past week...

I have felt so blessed this week when I look at my little family. It's amazing to have two children and it seems especially amazing to have a rambunctious little boy and sweet baby girl! It's like the best of both worlds!