Nine years ago, come October, Ben and I took a mini-honeymoon/long weekend trip the Black Hills. Although we traveled to Africa two years after that, it was along with eight other couples, so we still have yet to take an actual honeymoon in the time since, and clearly we won’t be doing that any time soon because our hands, arms, and minivan are all now completely full with children and just going to the grocery store is an adventure, much less big travel.
Someday – for some milestone anniversary, we’ll take a really kick-ass trip somewhere (tropical), but this fall, I find myself reminiscing on the Black Hills weekend because there is no way that when we posed for this picture that we could have known how much and how presidentially our world would grow in the next nine years.
I’ve written in the last few months about our kiddos and our approach to naming them, but what I didn’t explain then is that this whole Presidential naming scheme came about so organically. I have always wanted four kiddos – from as far back as I can remember – and luckily for me, Ben never batted an eye at that. Raegan’s name was probably the first one I had in mind and when I later fell in love with the name Harrison and realized both came from the POTUS list, we decided that would make an easy(ish) way to narrow baby name choices as we navigated and expanded our roles as parents (turns out even a limited list doesn’t always make things easier!).
Being a SoDak girl who wanted four presidentially-named babies, it wasn’t hard to make the leap from our family to the one thing my home state seems to be known for – Mr. Rushmore. Apparently, according to my husband, there is a question floating around this (sports) world, in which someone asks, “Who’s on your Mt. Rushmore of…(pitchers or quarterbacks or what-have-yous)?” and the responder gets to pick their top four figures. Makes sense, eh? So now that we finally have our four, we have enough sweet faces to form our very own Welschies’ Rushmore! Perfect, right?
Well, not if you ask our oldest two POTUS people.
During our stay at MLH with TJ, both RL and HD decided to weigh in on our family planning plans. On Tuesday, when I was telling Raegan that later that day we’d be bringing Truman home and we wouldn’t have to come back to the hospital again, she stopped and gave me the biggest-eyed look as she asked (and pantomimed with hands at her tummy), “You mean, not until you grow another baby in your belly?!” And later, when we had pretty much the exact same conversation with Harrison, he too gave me a skeptical face, then smiled and said, “There’s still plenty of time for more, Mom!”
You see, they both still want their third girl in our family (I count as one of the three – whew!). They were so SO set on Baby No.4 being a girl that I thought there would be tears when they found out Truman was a “man” but they actually took the whole thing in (slightly shocked) stride and have totally been loving on him from Day One. They want to hold him and give him kisses and Lincoln wants very much to “pet” the baby all the time. Linky also can say “Truman” which is pretty much the cutest thing I’ve ever witnessed. And thank goodness for all this brotherly/sisterly love, because I don’t think my post-birth hormones could have handled a major fallout at this point!
But clearly the Littles are not quite willing to let go of the dream of another sister, because they just keep bringing it/her up. And you know what? Part of me is tempted. Super tempted, actually, because hello – for the first time ever, I didn’t have morning sickness, and if I could get that again, it’d be amazing, so why not go for one more? But then there’s the whole wonky back business and the INSANELY wonky sleep business and I can’t help but think OH HELLZ NO – four is four, and four is also both fantastic and final!
Of course we keep trying to tell the Bigs that even if we added another baby to our family that we couldn’t promise that it would be a girl. And let the record show that when I explained to Raegan, “That means you might end up with four brothers; would you be OK with that?” she did not respond (even though I bet she would be because she loves her brothers so), and we are so not going for 6+ kids in a quest to get a little sister!
Because I’m pretty sure (mostly sure? kind of sure?), we are in fact done, I’m going to break our rule of answering the “What would the name have been if….?” question that we’ve been avoiding ever since Lincoln’s birth two years, even though it feels sacrilegious to do so, and share with you what would have been our girls’ name (drummmmmmm rollllllllllllll, please) – McKinley (middle name will remain mum, just in case). But still – even if we do travel this road again, there’s no promise she wouldn’t be a Buchanan. 😉
So will there be a fifth face on our Rushmore? I don’t think that being less than five days out from the arrival of the fourth is a good time make that decision, so for now we’ll let the kids and ourselves focus on getting to know Truman instead.
And by the way, I don’t know how I didn’t see this coming, but it took Harrison less than two hours of being home from the hospital with Truman to say, “Hi, Baby Trumy! (rhymes with roomy)” and thus, a nickname, as well as a new brother, was born.