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And then there were two.

New Year. New Baby. New Beginnings.

Rosalee Gene came into this world on December 1st, just in time for the holidays and a fresh start on a New Year. She was a nice round 8 pounds, 21 ounces and has given us the gift of being sleepy and laid back and easy because I think the Good Lord knew full well what having a two-year-old in the house looks like.

And because we are old school, we didn’t know we were going to be parents to another girl until I pushed my last push, heard the baby wail and the nurse declare it to be so.

We were surprised. I was certain I was carrying a boy and almost everyone who offered a guess was as well. So much so that we didn’t really settle on a girl name in advance, deciding that we would have to meet her first.

And so we have our Rosie baby, a sweet, easy going gift to this momma who needs to be able to set her down to prepare oatmeal breakfasts for the toddler and rush her to the potty at the turn of a second.

That’s right, my sweet and over-ambitious husband decided to use the short week he had off to be home with us to work on potty training the toddler, which only resulted in a half-a-dozen pee puddles on the floor and one recent incident where I stepped on a turd in my stocking feet.

And then he went back to work, leaving his wife alone to figure out how to explain patience to a toddler who suddenly needs applesauce the moment I sit down to breastfeed the baby who, frankly, has already exhibited more patience as a newborn than her older sister ever possessed.

Yes, this is our new normal, our fresh start, our new form of chaos. In my other life my New Year’s resolutions consisted of writing projects, professional development, learning a new skill and fitness goals, but today I can honestly say one of my top ambitions is to avoid stepping on one of my kids’ turds in 2018.

And maybe staying away from Edie’s leftover macaroni and cheese long enough to fit into something other than maternity leggings. Because if I learned anything from the two years spent with our first child, it’s to cut myself a little slack on things that don’t matter much in the grand scheme of living our lives together.

And bringing home a new life to the cold and snowy North Dakota ranch at the turn of a New Year has reminded me once again to appreciate the precious task I’ve been given—to simply take care, knowing full well now that in parenthood, nothing is simple.

But it is interesting. And often hilarious, if you can remind yourself that it’s ok to laugh at a dramatic, screaming toddler bedtime showdown that lasts until 2 am. Or an attempted family photo session where the two-year-old turned into an MMA fighter and the newborn peed in your husband’s hat.

Because the New Year reminds us that time is fleeting and reiterates my best parenting tip, which is “it’s all just a phase.”

And this is our phase, our new beginning, our squirmy, messy, poopy, naughty, sweet, adorable little dream come true.

Happy New Year Prairie Parents!


Written by Jessie Veeder

Jessie Veeder

Jessie is a singer/songwriter/writer and statewide columnist living on her family’s ranch near Watford City with her husband and daughter. She blogs at veederranch.com . Reach her at jessieveeder@gmail.com. (facebook.com/veederranch)

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