M & J Monday

I can't help it. I'm absolutely smitten with these two babes. How lucky am I that I get to call them mine?! 
Happy Monday!


Friday Favs

Another week in the books!

A quick run down of this weeks favorites.

1. Grandma Kathy came to town last Saturday!
Grandpa Dudding arrived on Wednesday, and has a couple more days here, too. I'm hoping we can snag a photo of the grandkids with Grandma and Grandpa before they have to head back to Iowa.

2. Someone set the external thermostat to "hell," and we've been baking away. Thank goodness for afternoons spent at the pool.
Julia and I are chomping at the bit to get in the water with the guys. A few more weeks and we should be good to go.

3. This pillow arrived this week.
The nursery is officially complete. I can't wait to finally share all the details of Julia's room next week!

4. This week Julia and I had our first shopping trip.
She was a shopping partner champ.

Have a great weekend!


What's In a Name // Julia Kay

After we had Marcus I was certain any other babies I might have would be boys. Scott and I quickly and easily came up with a second boys name basically days after Marcus arrived. We were set for Baby #2, whenever that may be.

Three years later you can imagine my surprise when we discovered we were pregnant, but this time with a girl. 

While we were elated that our newest addition would be a little girl we could not decide on a name for her. We went round for round with names, tossing so many out, I thought we would never land on a name we agreed upon. 

For some time I thought the little lady's name would be Charlotte. I adored that name (and still do). Scott? Not so much. When the Royals named the princess Charlotte, and we quickly realized a different name would be a good idea (because let's be real, there will be approximately 1,000 Charlottes in the graduating class of 2033). 

At one point one of us suggested Julia. The debate is still out as to just which of us was first to select the name. We kept at the name game, but inevitably kept coming back to Julia. We came back to that name so often we finally decided Julia was it. 

A quick name search told us Julia means 'youthful.' According to Nameberry.com, "Julia is an enduring classic. Julia has so much going for it; ancient roots but a modern, fashionable feel, simplicity and sophistication, and connections to both saints and celebs..." 
Precisely what we wanted. 

Julia's middle name was relatively easy for us to choose. In fact, we decided on the little lady's middle name well before she had a first name.
Kay is a tribute to both Scott's and my mom. My mom's first name is Kathy and Scott's mom's first name is Kathleen, but most call her Katie. We shortened both names and came up with Kay. 

While I'm not a fan of shortening Marcus' name to Mark (please, call him Marcus), I am actually a-ok with Julia being called Jules. 

And there it is: Julia Kay, and how her name came to be.  


The Family of Four Edition

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind - to say the least. Between the lack of sleep (because apparently Julia believes in partying all. night. long), the pain meds (that I've thankfully been able to toss this week), and having to keep things together during the day to run a functioning household, life is kind of crazy. We knew adding another little life would add a bit of chaotic fun, but holy moly... Can someone please just send me a nap? Or maybe more than one hour increments of sleep at night?

At any rate. Life is good, and we've been so fortunate to have so many willing and helping hands as we make this adjustment.

On to Friday's Top Five. Whew! It's been a while (like 7 months) since I've done one of these...

1. Scott's parents were so kind as to come stay with us a few days before Julia was born, and then stay an additional week after she was born.
I cannot express how grateful I was (am) that they were able to make the trip out to see us, and be here for Julia's birth.
They were also a Godsend in keeping our house running (watching Marcus, walking the dog, feeding the animals, prepping meals, the whole nine yards...) while Scott and I were in the hospital for three days.

2. Week one of preschool is in the books. Marcus loves it, and I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that I do, indeed, have a preschooler.
By the end of the week Marcus didn't even bother saying goodbye at drop off. He was off and playing almost immediately upon entering the school building.

3. I haven't purchased many clothes for Julia (thank goodness for those who have shopped for her). But, her bow game is strong.
I think I might have a problem...
It's totally ok for her to wear nothing but a bow and diaper, right?

4. This.
Marcus and I were unsuccessful in the breastfeeding department. The experience with Julia has been totally different. I haven't decided if I'll do a post on this particular subject, as it is such a personal one. But I'm loving the way things are going so far.

5. And this...
My heart and soul.

Have a great weekend!



Preschool. How is my baby old enough to be a preschooler? Somehow, someway, time has once again slipped right through my fingers, and my baby is now in school.

We've been talking about preschool for so long it didn't seem as if the day would ever arrive. And then I blinked.

Yesterday was the big day. Marcus was so excited the night before that he had a tough time falling asleep (I, on the other hand had no problem falling asleep - however, our resident newborn thought it'd be fun to party all night long).

Then yesterday morning Marcus woke before me, came to my room, woke me and asked if we could go to school. He was ready.
Me? Not quite as prepared.
The excitement from Marcus was obvious. He wanted to get this school business on the road. I managed to convince him that I needed a picture of his best buddy, Natasha, and him before they started their new adventure.
At drop off Marcus didn't even notice, or care, we were around. He immediately put his lunch box in his little cubby and was off to play.
As we were preparing to leave Scott had to call Marcus back to give us a hug and kiss. I quickly received one of each, followed by a "Bye, mom." And away he went.

I wasn't 10 steps out the door and I lost it. My baby was totally ready to go and I wasn't quite on the same page.

The morning passed quickly, and I couldn't wait for pick-up. For the last three and a half years I've spent almost every single day with my buddy, and I was more than ready to see his sweet face.

Marcus was thrilled to see us, and it was clear he'd had a great first day.
I wrangled my guys for a little first-day-of-school selfie.
And then we celebrated a successful day with a very necessary treat. Donuts!
My little man did such an awesome job and seemed to really love his first day of preschool. I'm sure the donuts were a nice bonus.

Lucky for him he gets to do it all over again today (except maybe we'll get ice cream instead of donuts).


M & J Monday

Just for fun, a little side-by-side comparison of Marcus and Julia.

On their birth days:
Marcus  ///  Julia
Marcus  ///  Julia
One week old:
Marcus  ///  Julia
I see some similarities, but there are so many differences. 

Happy Monday!


Julia :: One Week

It's kind of unbelievable a week has already passed since Julia made her entrance into the world.
We're running on little sleep, lots of coffee, and an abundance of snuggles and love.


Julia's Birth Story

Our bags were packed and we were on our way out the door. I kept going back to Marcus, hugging him, kissing him, telling him over and over how much Mommy loved him, and that the next time he saw me he'd see his baby sister, too. It was so much more emotional than I expected. 

As we made our way up the freeway the tears flowed freely. Knowing that our family of three was about to grow by one more was more than surreal. A moment I'd been waiting for for so long was finally here, and my emotions were monumental. Could I handle the c-section? Would it go more smoothly than with Marcus? So many thoughts swirled through my head.

Once to the hospital we checked in and got to our room. I changed into my gown and for about two hours we quietly waited, watching the monitor, noticing I was having small contractions. Surgery was quickly approaching and I prayed like I'd never prayed before, "Lord, please let this surgery go smoothly. Lord, please bring this baby girl into the world, healthy." 

Then it was time. A nurse took me to the OR where I was given a spinal block. Shortly after I was transferred to the OR table. I lie there, alone, looking around the bight, cold room listening to my doctor and nurses talk about every day things: their kids, what they wanted from the coffee shop after the surgery, plans they had for the weekend. And I just lie their hoping and praying Scott would come in soon. 

Moments before the incision was made a blue sheet went up over my abdomen and Scott entered, taking a seat by my head. Holding his hand he softly told me things were going well, I was doing great. And I couldn't help admit to him that I was scared, and again a few tears slipped down my cheeks. 

Before I knew what was happening my doctor said "We see her head. Scott get your camera ready and stand up."

Scott had a front row view of our daughter as she was introduced to the world. And unlike with Marcus, I didn't feel a thing. The entire procedure went exactly as planned. I couldn't believe it was all over.  

Then I heard her. Her loud incessant cries filled the room, and immediately filled my heart. I began to sob uncontrollably. She already had a firm grasp on my heart and I hadn't even laid eyes on her. 

Scott moved over to the table where our little lady went through the APGAR test, was weighed, measured, and wiped clean. 12:48 PST and she was really here. At 8 pounds 4 ounces, 20.5 inches long our baby girl was really here.

The nurse handed my sweet little lady over to me and Scott leaned in and whispered in my ear, "God has been so good to us. I couldn't imagine doing this with anyone other than you." All I could do was nod through the tears. 
I've been blessed beyond words.
Julia Kay Macke made her entrance loud, strong, and healthy as could be. 
Though she doesn't know it yet, she's completed our family, she's made us whole. 


M&J Monday

I figured it only fair that my babies get the spotlight on Mondays from now on. 
We are still figuring out this family of four business, but so far it's pretty spectacular. 


Week 39

Week 39.
The slowest and fastest week of all time.
The last of the updates, the last of the bump pics. It's crazy.
By the end of the day our family will have grown to four.
It's so surreal. 
Because I couldn't resist, a couple comparisons from my pregnancy with Marcus and M²:
On to the weekly update.

Size of Baby // My Pregnancy says M² is measuring about 20 inches long and weighs a bit over 7 pounds. I fully anticipate M² to weigh more than that - her big brother was 9lb 3oz... 

Cravings // Just the usual. Grapes. Watermelon - which finding good watermelon was hard to come by this week.

Symptoms // All the Braxton Hicks, but no real contractions. Hence the scheduled c-section today.

Movement // Still lots of movement. We are to the point where the kicks and jabs are downright uncomfortable.

Miss Anything // All the things you can't have/do/eat/drink while pregnant. I've already put in a request for champagne and sushi to be delivered to my hospital room this evening.  

Sleep // This week was rough. After today I'm sure it isn't bound to get any better.

Clothing // I pretty much gave up on clothes this week. If it was comfortable I wore it. I didn't even care if half my belly hung out. 

Best Part of the Week/ Looking Forward To… //
By the day's end we will be holding our sweet lady. Doesn't get any better than that!

I also want to thank every single momma who read the Why I Won't Wait 40 Weeks post, and commented, emailed, or personally messaged me and shared her own repeat c-section stories. I cannot express how much comfort each and every message gave. It's made this decision a little easier and the guilt a little less. You are all such amazing moms, and I'm so thankful to know you all! 

Have a great weekend! 


Seaside Lagoon

Tomorrow is the big day. M² will be here! I have unofficially declared her arrival the end of our summer.

Looking back on our adventures I can honestly say Marcus and I made the absolute best of our last summer as a duo. We had a Summer Bucket List that seemed a little... lofty... when I first created it. But we tackled so many new things with gusto, I couldn't imagine our days spent any other way.

Yesterday we were able to squeeze in one last thing before our summer ends. We hit up Seaside Lagoon.
All the fun of the beach and a playground in one!
And located right next to the ocean - can't beat a place like this!
Marcus with his buddies.
Boys will be boys.
The last of our outings as just the two of us.
All. The. Emotions.
It was the best way to wrap up all our summer fun.

There were 24 total items I was hoping to see/do within a three month span. We managed cross off 22.

I can't help but think we kind of sort of crushed our bucket list. :)
Seaside Lagoon

Of all that we saw, did, and experienced, what was my favorite? Easiest answer of all time: spending the best summer ever with my little man.
For the remaining two items we weren't able to squeeze in, I think they'd make for mighty fine additions to our Fall Bucket List!

Here's to new adventures in the Fall as a family of four!


Why I Won't Wait the Full 40

This pregnancy is rapidly wrapping up, and right now I'm kind of all over the place, at least emotionally. Physically, not so much.

Each pregnancy is so personal, so different, so unique. From when and how an expectant mother announces her pregnancy, all the way to delivery day, it's all such an individual process. As with any pregnancy, every expectant mother has her ideals and beliefs of what is right and best.

With Marcus I had no choice as to how he would be delivered. Little Man was breech for most of my pregnancy. Though I tried every. single. thing. under the sun to get him to flip (chiropractic treatments and a failed cephalic external version), he was stubborn in his ways (just as he is today), and therefore I wasn't given the option to deliver any other way than c-section.

For weeks leading up to Marcus birth I was mentally prepared for his delivery.

At 39 weeks, on the dot, Marcus was born weighing 9 pounds 3 ounces, 21 inches long, healthy and perfect in every way.

I shudder to think just how big Marcus would have been had I waited to have the c-section at 40 weeks, or later...

As soon as I discovered we were pregnant with M² I made it very clear that I desperately wanted to try everything within my ability to have a VBAC. Throughout this pregnancy I've wished, hoped, and prayed that M² would be more cooperative than her big brother and maintain the proper head down position to actually attempt a VBAC. Thus far, M² has obliged, and I couldn't be more thrilled.

If M² doesn't come on her own by this Friday I've scheduled her for a c-section delivery. I will only be 39 weeks along. I can't tell you how many times I've heard from others how I need to wait the full 40, that I should wait until M² is ready, that she will come on her own terms. Both my doctor and I are concerned that should we wait the full 40 weeks (or longer) M² will be too big (neither of us anticipate M2 being a tiny baby) for a successful and safe VBAC.

While I know the odds of another c-section are pretty high at this point, I'm still not quite as emotionally prepared as I was with Marcus. For the past three months I've expected to skip a c-section delivery.

If a c-section is necessary I'd be lying if I said a piece of me isn't disappointed. We've gotten this far in the pregnancy with all the expectations that M² will be delivered the way I've been hoping and praying. If I have to go through with another c-section I can't help but already feel defeated, deflated, and that I've somehow failed.

I had my heart set on a VBAC, and my head isn't quite ready to accept that likely won't be happening.

I've been continually reminding myself that this is not about what others think. This is not about me. This is about bringing M² into this world healthy and safe.
And, I'll be doing that at 39 weeks, and not a day over.


A Sisterhood

Four years ago I wrote my very first post and hit the "publish" button. Never in a million years did I think that first archaic post would lead to so many opportunities, discoveries, documentations, and friendships.

I have a genuine love for this blog and the community to which it has brought me. There are women with whom I've never actually met in real life, but feel like I can truly call my friends. I've also had the wonderful experience of meeting some great ladies face to face. Blogging has certainly brought about so much more than I ever dreamed.

A huge thanks to Elizabeth from Chasin' Mason (blogging friend and real life friend), who was so kind to ask me to join in the Sisterhood of the World of Bloggers Award.

The rules are pretty easy:
1. Provide a link and thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer a few questions about yourself.
3. Nominate 5-10 bloggers that you love.
4. Include questions to be answered for the bloggers you nominate.
5. Include the award logo within your blog post.
So here it goes. Questions from Elizabeth:

1. What do you hope to accomplish with your blog?
Macke Monologues has made a few transformations since it's beginning. At first it was a way to keep family and friends in the Midwest updated on what Scott and I were up to in Southern California. Then there was a stint where I did a lot of food blogging. When Marcus came along the blog became a way to document our lives as a family. I have a feeling it will continue along that path, especially once M² arrives.

2. What have you learned about blogging since you started?
This space is a fluid one. I love that it is mine and it can be anything I want it to be.
After a small internal struggle, I learned I don't care if I have 10 or 10,000 followers, or if my posts are "pin-worthy." While I *love* meeting new bloggers and making connections "making it big" with my blog is not really a goal. This is my space to reflect on all the things my little family has done since I began posting - it's like a memory book of sorts. What I care about is that I write about what I love, and making friends along the way is a fabulous bonus.

3. Provide a link to your favorite blog post.
As of late, this post has been one I've read over and over: To the Little Boy Who Stole My Heart. I'm all over with emotion as we anticipate the birth of M², and I have needed to read and re-read that post to remind myself that everything will be ok.

4. Have you made virtual friends because of blogging? Have you met them "in real life"? 
I touched on this above. But to answer, yes. There are so many amazing ladies who have entered my life, all due to blogging. I've even been so fortunate as to have met several in real life. Of course, there are so many more I'd love to meet one day.

5. Does your family read your blog, and if so does this affect what you say or how you say it?
I began this blog primarily for family to read, so yes, a majority of them read it. However, I do tend to keep my language in check on the blog, some of my more colorful choice words I refrain from using. If you chat with me in real life you'll quickly learn I'm pretty prone to say, "Damnit," "Oh shit," and "What the hell?!" A. Lot.

6. What's your favorite thing to eat and drink in the summer?
This summer I have been destroying watermelon and grapes. They are just so cool, and sweet, and juicy. When I'm not pregnant I love a good cold glass of Summer Brew. But, this summer it's been pretty low key with plain old ice water.

7. Are you a nail polish fan? If so, what color and what brand are your favorite?
Nail polish isn't really my thing. With all the time I spend in the swimming pool nail polish doesn't really stand a chance. If I do actually apply any color it's usually something bright and fun on my toes and something light and fairly neutral on my fingers.

8. What is your go-to meal for dinner?
If I'm drawing a blank for meal idea (which happens weekly) Crock Pot Chicken Tacos are always clutch. We also grill a lot of turkey burgers and hot dogs.

9 What is your favorite holiday and why?
Hands down, Christmas. Between celebrating the birth of Christ, to spending time with family and all the traditions, to the magic that surrounds the holiday, it's just an unbeatable time.

10. What is one piece of advice you would give fellow bloggers?
It's pretty cliché, but write for you. Don't try to be someone you're not. Don't worry about the number of followers or page views or pins. When that happens bloggers tend to lose sight of their space, and that is pretty transparent to readers. Write because you love it, not because you think someone else will. Be you.

Join the fun if you'd like:
Courtney :: Sweet Turtle Soup
Crystal :: Hall Around Texas
Erin :: Homemade Happenings
Sara :: Running From the Law
Tayler :: The Morrell Tale

The questions:
1. What do you hope to accomplish from blogging?
2. What have you learned since you began blogging?
3. Provide a link to your favorite blog post.
4. Please provide a link to one blog you follow/read daily, and briefly tell why you enjoy that particular blog/blogger so much.
5. What is something you enjoy doing just for you?
6. Do you have a favorite quote or Bible verse? If so, please share, and explain why it's a favorite.
7. What is your favorite holiday?
8. What is one book you think should be on everyones "must read" list?
9. What is your go-to meal for dinner?
10. What is one piece of advice you would give to fellow bloggers?


Happy Marcus Monday!

This is the last Monday where my first baby is my only baby...
Happy Monday!