Wednesday, September 15, 2010


This post has been brewing in my head for months now. It came to me one day that I HAD to write about this, but I've been thinking over how I would want to do it. I still don't have exactly what I want to say and how I want to say it planned out in my head, but I'm going to give it a go anyway.

Like many pregnant women, I found out around 20 weeks the sex of my baby. And this time around, I again found out I was having a boy. A healthy boy, at that. A boy with 10 fingers and 10 toes. A boy that was developing perfectly. A boy with a normal brain, heart, spine. A boy! A BOY!

I was ecstatic. Was there part of me hoping to hear that it was a girl, so that I could run out and buy a pink outfit for my own child for the first time? Absolutely. Was Scott a tad bit sad that he would never have a daughter? Yes, he was. Would we have welcomed a baby girl with open arms? Of course! But we were thrilled beyond belief to have another son to fill our busy home. We've watched Carter and Tyler grow to be the best of friends, and we were so happy that they would have another brother to play with. I began to have visions of football games in the backyard, wrestling matches in the basement. My three boys giving each other a hard time, but in their core, really loving each other.

Then came the sharing of the news. Most friends and family were thrilled for us. Excited for our boys to have another brother. But then it started. The "ANOTHER boy???" comments. Mostly from complete strangers.

"Did you get a girl this time around?"

"Please tell me there's a girl in there."

"I guess you're going to go for a 4th now, huh?"

"ANOTHER boy? Wow. Good luck with that."

"3 boys? Oh my. You're going to have your hands full."

"Oh, a boy? Were you hoping for a girl?"

I was shocked by how many people felt sorry for me. They would have hopeful faces when asking about the sex of the baby, and after hearing my answer that it was a boy, their faces would fall. They felt so bad for me.

Seriously? I didn't just tell you that I lost the baby. That he was going to be born with a major abnormality. I told you that he was a BOY.

I know that these people did not mean to offend me. But they did. I'm guessing that most, if not all, of these people did not have 3 sons. They didn't know the never ending excitement and fun that comes with boys. The true love that a mother can feel from her boys. That we wanted another child, no matter a boy or a girl.

The first few months of this, I would get so irritated inside when I would get one of these "ANOTHER boy???" comments. Now, I just smile and tell the commenter how thrilled we are to be having ANOTHER boy!

I mean, look at these guys. Why wouldn't I want ANOTHER one????

We love you, Cupcake!

Cupcake's big blog debut....

With the last post dating all the way back to March, I realized that baby Cupcake has yet to make his debut on this blog. Who is Cupcake, you ask? He is the new little guy growing in my belly, who has so fondly been named Cupcake by his older brothers. Carter's friend, Andrew, has a new baby brother, and before that new baby brother was born, Andrew decided that he would be named Cupcake. Shockingly, Andrew's parents chose a different name for their newest addition, James, but Carter held on to the idea of naming the unborn sibling Cupcake. And thus, many months ago, when the subject of naming the baby came up, Carter proclaimed that he would be Cupcake. No questions about it. No consulting Scott or me. He's Cupcake.

At first, I would remind Carter that he could call him Cupcake, but that isn't going to actually be his name. After a while, though, all of us just began to call him Cupcake. Scott and I are still working on deciding his "real" name, but I wouldn't be surprised if this little guy's nickname ends up being Cupcake. Not the most masculine nickname, so hopefully a new one will emerge by the time he's in school.

Cupcake may have not made the blog yet, but he has been receiving lots of love here at home. He has a newly repainted room- that I painted ALL BY MYSELF in my energy-filled second trimester. (Can you tell I'm proud of that?) He has new bedding, a few new outfits in the closet, and a new car seat. But more importantly, he has been getting hugs from his older brothers every day. Literally, every day. When I drop off Carter at preschool, he gives me a hug, gives Tyler a hug, and then hugs my belly and says, "Bye, Cupcake. I love you." Tyler asks about every other day when Cupcake is going to come out. "In two minutes?" he always asks. Just this morning, Tyler was telling me how he would share his Elmo blankie with Cupcake when he cries. Now, that's love, because Elmo blankie is sacred around here. I know full well that the boys may change their tune once this Cupcake has arrived, and they get less attention from me, but I'm enjoying the brotherly love while it lasts.

Now, I'm a "never say never" kind of girl, but this is most likely the last time that I will be pregnant. I never had any maternity photos taken when I was pregnant with Carter or Tyler, so I wanted to do that this time around. I enjoy being pregnant. I want to remember these days. So, we got Melissa E Photography to do a maternity and family photo session with us. It was literally in the 90s that day, and I was sweating my butt off, but somehow, Melissa seemed to capture some amazing photos. Check them out:

So, Cupcake, you might be our third baby. You might be our third BOY. And you might be wearing a lot of hand-me-down outfits from your brothers once you get here. And your blog debut may have only been 4 weeks prior to your due date. BUT...


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Two Adventurous Years

Tomorrow, my Tyler turns two years old. He's not old enough to appreciate hearing about the day he was born, like his brother did this year, but I've been telling him the past few days that his birthday is coming up. Between Carter's two birthday parties earlier this month and receiving gifts and money in the mail from different friends and family, it has seemed that Carter's birthday has practically lasted all month. So, whenever I mention to Tyler that it's his birthday soon, he gets excited and says, "Bubba's birthday!" He sang Happy Birthday to Carter many times this month and naturally, he thinks that once again, it is his brother's birthday we are celebrating. In fact, I'm beginning to think that Tyler just thinks he is an extension of his big brother, whom he just idolizes and adores. As the boys were watching a show this morning that asked them to say their own name, Carter shouted, "Carter!" And of course, Tyler shouted "Carter!" too. I kept telling him to say his own name, that he should say "Tyler," but he kept saying, "No! Carter!" He adores his brother so much that he thinks his name should be Carter, too, and that his brother having a birthday is just as exciting as having a birthday himself. I'm sure this won't last forever, but for now, it's pretty sweet and endearing.

Nevertheless, we WILL be celebrating Tyler and the two adventurous years he's led on this Earth so far. Today, I was thinking back to the day he was born, and how this adventure with Tyler all started. Labor was pretty uneventful, until Tyler came out blue, with the cord wrapped so tightly around his neck that the doctor had to immediately cut it off of him. Before I even really knew what was going on, several doctors and nurses rushed into the room to attend to my new baby. Scott was no longer by my side. I was confused. My baby was supposed to be healthy. I had had an uneventful pregnancy. Luckily, after a few short minutes (that seemed like hours), Tyler's color was normal and he was doing well. However, to make a long story short, we spent the next 18 hours worrying that Tyler may have something wrong with his heart and/or lungs, and he was kept in the special nursery, where I could hold him, only while being hooked up to numerous machines. In the end, we left the hospital with a new healthy baby, who just gave us a good scare. That was his first test run. He's been giving us good scares ever since. Only now, they're while riding his scooter. Or hanging from the top of the playground set. Or jumping off the 5th step of the stairs. Or dislodging my hand from his and bolting across the parking lot. Or shoving the entire piece of pizza in his mouth. Or jumping from the top of the couches. I could go on and on. Tyler is quite the expert at scaring adults with his daredevil acts. I've been joking lately that I am totally going to be one of the moms at the X Games, sitting in the stands with hands half covering my eyes, as my Tyler performs in some daredevil competition. I'll be scared. But I'll be proud of my baby.

So, my baby isn't such a baby anymore. He speaks in sentences of several words, rides a scooter like a pro, sleeps in a toddler bed, has figured out how to blame everything on his big brother, and has strong opinions about everything in his world. For about the past year, I've been able to ask Tyler, "Are you Mama's baby?" and he would respond with a yes, a head nod, or at least a hug. But more recently, Tyler laughs and says, "No!" when I go through this little routine with him. This morning, he even picked out his very own birthday cake at Harris Teeter... a Cars themed cake with Mater and Lightning McQueen. Though, I have to say that I was a bit shocked that he didn't pick out the same type of cake that Carter got this year.

Tomorrow evening, we'll celebrate with my parents, Ellen and Kevin and their girls, and Ellen's parents over a casual dinner at my parents' house. And we'll all sing Happy Birthday to Tyler, who will probably sing the song at the same time, and substitute "Carter" or "Bubba" for his name. That's okay. I'll enjoy the brotherly love while they still show it.

And Tyler, I don't care what you say. You're still my baby.

Happy 2nd birthday, my Tyler! We all love you so much!

So, my memory was jogged by this picture I found. I DID get to hold Tyler for a minute before they took him to the special nursery.

The brotherly love started early... with Carter obliviously smothering Tyler.

My three boys, just a few weeks after Tyler was born.
Even before he turned one, Tyler was trying out his big brother's scooter. We got him his very own scooter for his birthday this year. We're hoping that solves the fighting over the coveted scooter.

And a year ago, Tyler on his 1st birthday. Already planning his stairwell daredevil acts.
Fast forward a year...By now, he's perfected the scooter. Here are all my boys, on a recent March Saturday morning.

And my birthday boy. I'm sorry, but that is one cute boy. Happy birthday, my Tyler!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My baby turns 4

As I tucked Carter into bed tonight, I began reminiscing about the night before he was born. I told him how Scott and I went to dinner for our "Last Supper" with Mimi, Dudaddy, Gigi, and Papa. Carter's smile grew, listening intently. I told him how I had a big ole belly with a baby in it, named... And he squealed, "Carter??!!??"

I had talked with him before about when he was born, but tonight was the firs time that he actually seemed interested, so I kept going. I went on to tell him that I was so excited that night that I couldn't sleep, and how I cleaned the house and watched TV to pass the time. And how I only got to sleep for a few hours before it was time to get up (when it was still dark!) and head to the hospital to have my new baby, named.... "Carter??!!??" Yep, named Carter Hale Duncan.

I told him about all the people who loved him and came to the hospital to see him, and how he only weighed about 6 pounds. "6 pounds??? Mommy, that's a lot," he said to me. I held out my arms and showed just how small he was, and he mimicked my movements, saying "Like this?" Yep, just like that.

And then he said, "I'm going to get up early tomorrow, Mommy." Change of subject. A little too much reminiscing for the 4 year old, I guess. "Why, Carter?" "Because it's my birthday, and I want to eat cinnamon rolls and open my present!"

Here are the requests he had for his 4th birthday. All have or will be carried out in good ole you-get-whatever-you-want-on-your-birthday fashion.
  • Cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Got 'the Pillsbury cans in the fridge and the pan sitting out for the morning.
  • Pizza for dinner. We'll be contacting Papa John's for that tomorrow evening.
  • A birthday cake with football players on it. Not just a football. It HAS to have the football PLAYERS, he said. We can thank Harris Teeter for having a football player scene as one of their screen printing icing options. It won't be a beautiful cake, but it WILL have football players. And that's all that matters, evidently.
  • His two gift requests: A hard football outfit (meaning, a hard football helmet with a uniform to go with it) and real golf shoes. Luckily, we found a Go Tarheels (his request) football uniform with a hard helmet online, and it arrived on the front porch the other day. He knows that there is some surprise for him in that box, and is dying to open it.... thus, why he says he wants to get up early in the morning. AND perhaps most importantly, Mimi scoured the country for golf shoes for a 4 year old, and she hit success! I can't wait to see this kid's face when he opens those shoes.
So, all this birthday reminiscing is mostly for me. It seems like yesterday and like forever ago that I became a mommy to this tiny, sweet, blonde haired, blue eyed baby. Wasn't it only yesterday that I couldn't believe that my baby was turning one? two? three? I mean, three is like a big kid, I thought. Then, what does that make four? I dunno, but it always takes me a while to get used to the fact that my baby is another year older. So, in keeping with my trip down memory lane, I pulled up a few pictures from the past 4 years.

Here is sweet Carter and his jaundiced self, right after coming home from the hospital.

And enjoying his first birthday cake. He's makes less of a mess now, but his love of cake and sweets only gets stronger.

Enjoying turning 2 in his Mr. Mischief shirt, no pants, and rain boots. That about sums up his stage as a 2 year old.

The morning of his third birthday. I honestly could swear that this was yesterday.

And here are the pictures we just took to go on his 4th birthday party invitation. And I just realized that he's wearing the same shirt that he was wearing on his 3rd birthday! Wow, we've gotten our money's worth on that Target shirt.

Oh, my sweet Carter, I have loved these 4 years so much. You have taught me more about life and parenting than I could have ever imagined. We've gone through the good, the bad and the ugly together. But you're still my boy, and always will be. And I'm still your girl. At least that's what you tell me every night as I tuck you into bed. Let's keep it that way. Okay, my boy?

Your girl

Monday, February 15, 2010

Thank you, iPhone.

Dear iPhone,

I want to thank you for always being there for me. I can count on you to be tucked in a special pocket inside my purse, in my pocket, or riding in the cup holder of my car. You don't know how much that means to me. Especially at times when I really wish I had my camera to document all the moments that I never want to forget. But alas, you have a camera built into you. You may not be my big, fancy Canon with detachable lenses, but Mr. Canon doesn't fit into my pocket like you do. So, Mr. Canon only joins us on special occasions. Thank you again for always being there when I needed you. So, in honor of you, Mr. iPhone, I present to you the wonderful photos you have given me over the past few months.

Your biggest fan, Kristen

What I saw one day last summer after I left Carter alone for a few minutes.

My boys (and their plaid shorts) at the Durham Bulls game.

What greeted us on our run on Isle of Palms back in September. Well, hello there, dead octopus.

My future golfer and his Mimi on the putting green.

Ready for pizza at Z Pizza!

Silly, silly boy.

Quiet time actually worked. Holy cow!

Look, Mom!

Setting up their train car kitchen chairs. Chugga, chugga, choo, choo!

Are you too big for the baby swing when your legs touch the ground?

Wiped out.

At his buddy John David's birthday party, Carter got his face painted like Batman. Very cool, until blue paint was rubbed all over my house.

My baby can ride a scooter, and he's only 1.5 years old! Clearly, the helmet is not made with a 1.5 year old in mind.

A date night out. Gotta document it.

Tyler and his best buddy Elliot.

My birthday roses from my dad. He's been sending me the number of roses to match my age since I was 6 years old. This was the 24th year! I'm getting old... and expensive for my dad.

My three hunky firemen at Marbles Museum.

Our favorite thing to do at the mall in the winter. Thank you, Sears.

Tyler's ready to drive this puppy!

Train ride at Northgate Mall. About 10 seconds after this photo was taken, the train "conductor" had to stop the train and let me pull a screaming Tyler out of the car.

He's ready for Hollywood!

Gotta love Wal-Mart adventures. How cute is this???

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I'm sorry, but...

if these aren't the cutest boys on Earth, then who is?

I couldn't help but snap the top picture this morning, when our lawn fertilizing company came to treat our yard. ANY time someone is working on the yard or any place viewable from our windows, the boys are glued to the windowsill. And this morning was no different. I was having to wrestle Tyler to change his diaper while the man pushed his cart back and forth in our yard, and I decided to give in and just let him watch diaper-less. So, yes, those are his little butt cheeks you see in the picture.

And the others show my silly active boys being the silly active boys that they are. Carter's decked out in his newest winter hat before he goes for a ride in the jogging stroller with Scott on a very cold winter afternoon. And Tyler's showing off last year's Halloween costume, which has proven to be one of their favorite dress-up outfits. The boys love to dress up in their football outfits and run like crazy people around the house "playing" football. A little boy in a football helmet can just melt my heart.

Never thought I'd say that.

Then again, never knew I'd say half the things that come out of my mouth these days. Oh, motherhood, how I love thee.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Children of the Corn

Near my parents' house in Cary, some genius family farmers decided to temporarily turn their farms (which happen to be surrounded by neighborhoods full of young families) into a corn maze and Fall family fun place. Each time we drove past it on the way to my parents' house, Carter asked when we could go. So, we finally did.

One Friday night, we went out for pizza with my parents and headed to the corn maze. We walked the corn maze, which turned out to be A LOT more difficult than we had expected. You were supposed to find 10 different stations throughout the maze, and I think we only found about 5 before we all tuckered out. Remember, we had a 3 year old, 1 year old, and a gimpy grandpa with us. We eventually had to yell up for help to the man atop the scaffolding who was in charge of watching out for lost people like us.

After the maze, we enjoyed a haystack play area, a moonlit hayride around a pond, climbing on some huge tractors, and digging in a sand pit with mini-tractors. The boys were absolutely filthy and exhausted when we left, but we all had blast. Thanks for taking us, Mimi and Dudaddy!

And we're off!
At each fork in the maze, Tyler would point to which direction he wanted to go. It was hilarious. We didn't know any better than he, so we just went with it.

But we ended up seeing lots of signs like this one.

We learned our lesson and will bring our BOB stroller next time. The kids were tired just a few minutes in, and we were totally lost and going nowhere.

Look, Mom! I'm on a tractor!

Get off my tractor, or I'll steal your glow necklace, Bubba!

Now, these are BIG WHEELS!

This one's a little bit more my size.

Green Acres Farm put on a pretty good gig. I was impressed, and so were these boys!