Friday, September 27, 2013

This week and last

So on my last photo dump, I posted a picture of the awesomely mismatched outfit Luke wore to church. Wouldn't you know, the very next week it happened again, only this time even MORE mismatched.

Unfortunately for your viewing pleasure, this past week he did good and wore a polo with khaki shorts.


Now that I think about it, it may have been the same polo.

Awww maaan.

Anyway, that same Sunday my girl was sitting next to me before she went to play in the toddler room, and I looked down at her sweet feet. For whatever reason those sweet fat feet struck my momma heart. There isn't much baby left in her at all, but I saw it in the way she was sitting.

Am I right?!

Over the past week and a half we've hit the tee ball games hard.

Luke has done great! This last game was his best yet- hit the ball off a pitch both times he's been at bat AND got a kid out on base. It's been so fun to watch him finally get baseball and improve each week. Right now, though, we are working at staying in position at relying on teammates when the ball doesn't come his way. Dude's been known to run across the whole field and dive for the ball.

That Saturday was one of the children's consignment shops' first day to have costumes out. No way am I paying $20 each for something the kids will wear for a total of 4 hours. Mom and I went to dig, and we walked away with a race car driver and lady bug costumes for my bigguns. I refused to get anything for Elyse since she'll only be days old on Halloween, but then I had to eat my words later last week. I found some ladybug pajamas in her size at Target, and now this?

It has me a teensy bit excited for my matching Halloween girls.

Last Saturday Luke's game got rained out, so we went to Corner Bakery for a muffin breakfast, to the store for groceries, and then were home the whole rest of the day.

Sunday I finally made Elyse some of her own burp cloths. The ones I had made for Evan still look great and will work perfectly fine, but I thought she could have a couple in the hospital that weren't a tad faded from multiple washes.

And that brings me to this week. It's flown by. In fact, I keep forgetting that it's Friday. How does that even happen? This Sunday is the shower my girlfriends are throwing me, and then Monday is a shower for Jacob and I at work. Not to mention I'm full term on Sunday! Whoo hoo! Tuesday my doctor called me to see what day I wanted to go ahead and book an induction just in case I'm still pregnant, and we settled on the 14th. Ya'll. That means in 2 weeks and 2 days my girlie will be here. I'm so excited! Plus her monthly stickers came in yesterday and there is one that says "brand new".

In two weeks she will be brand new!!! Aren't these the most lovely design you've ever seen? The "love" is an 8x10 print that I got for their room. It doesn't really match their colors, but I didn't care. When they don't want it in their room any more, I'm totally putting it in mine. It's a new favorite! (from Lucy Darling. Check them out!) Actually, now that I think about it, it will look better in my room. Maybe I'll just go claim it back anyway...

Monday, September 23, 2013

36 weeks

How Far Along: 36 weeks- holy cow I'm full term next week!! And probably only one more of these updates!

Size of baby: Size of a honeydew- length is about 18.5 inches and 5.8 lbs.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 136 lbs says the dr tonight

Maternity Clothes: Lets just say I've already retired some maternity clothes that I started out in.
Gender: Girl. Still a girl.

Movement: Giant baby is still moving a ton. She feels so long and low that when I sit down it's like her shoulder blades are in my hips, and there are feet in my rib cage.
Sleep: Still not great. I wake up at least 3 times to go to the bathroom. Plus, I'm up to 5 pillows in bed and I still have trouble getting comfortable.
What I miss: Feeling skinny. And sleeping.

Cravings: I've done terrible at staying away from soda like I normally can.

Symptoms: I still itch frequently, and the Braxton Hicks are increasing. I don't think I've had any real contractions lately, but I'm definitely kicking Operation Have a Baby into gear next week! Pregnancy insomnia has crept in too. I try and stay really busy during the day to tire myself out, but an hour or so after I go to sleep I wake up to pee and then I can't go back to sleep.

Best Moment this week: Letting the kids pick out their presents for Elyse. It's so fun to watch them get excited for their sister to get here. Luke asks me frequently when she will come. My standard answer is that only God knows, not even Elyse. God will tell her when it's time and then she'll come. Except if she hasn't come by the date the dr says. I set an induction date and her time is limited. Ha! (I actually don't particularly want to be induced, but I don't want to be 39 weeks pregnant, SO. DONE. with everything, but the hospital be full and not be able to be induced if I can't handle it anymore. Better safe than sorry, right?) I didn't get to see my regular dr tonight, she was called on an emergency delivery. Another dr checked me: no dialation, nothing has shortened, and she's not even down low. Boo and boo.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Lonely vs. Contentment

I'm sitting here on my couch. It's a gorgeous day. The temp has finally dropped, the windows are open, my sweet home is filled with natural light and a cool breeze. After a morning of errands, my amazing children are playing nicely together in a tidy house and life feels peaceful.  I've got a Mercy Me station playing on the tv and their song "Bring the Rain" pulses around us. It occurs to me how applicable the lyrics are.

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through

I'm struck again with internal conflict I've dealt with for the last two years. This whole issue with my deep desire to share my life with someone vs the ever looming possibility that God is actually calling me to be single. Looking around, I don't understand why someone wouldn't want this life with me- it's beautiful and messy and loud and peaceful all at the same time. It's GOOD. But does the loneliness actually mean that I'm not content? Does my desire for more mean I'm not doing this trust thing right? Can you really be content yet lonely at the same time?

The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You

I don't believe my circumstances change who I am in God's eyes. Even if I don't always believe it in my heart, my head knows that God has seen the hurt and the pain, that He's not mad at me for getting pregnant or having a failed marriage.

Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times

If there has been anything to learn from the darkness of divorce and the pain of having another baby with an ex it's that I have no choice but to lean on Him. What else can I do? While I may hate that I've cried out to Him over and over again for things to get better, it really has never crossed my mind to turn my back.

So I pray
 Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

Right now all I can see ahead of me are the long years stretched out of trying to do this by myself. The idea of all that loneliness is so overwhelming. You wouldn't believe how painful it is to watch everyone around me have happy marriages, post statuses about how amazing their spouse is, have all that seems just out of reach for me. But what if that's the only way for me to keep my eyes on Christ like I'm supposed to? Will I still follow? Will I still praise Him no matter what? Even though I'm so disappointed?

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain

On days like today when the sun is shining and the air smells fresh and a breeze is blowing, it's much easier to say "what's a little rain?" But I know that another day is coming when there isn't peace. Heck it might even be this evening, when the kids are whining and my patience is gone and there isn't anyone to tag into the ring and let me slink away to a quiet corner. Will I be able to say "what's a little rain?" then?

So I pray
Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty

I hope so. I'm not naïve enough to say that it will be my answer 100%, but I think as long as it's a work in progress God will be satisfied.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Catch up on photos

So, going through my phone I realized there are a ton of pictures I've taken and not added to my online photo album for my kids to "enjoy" one day. (that's this here blog, people) Don't worry. I didn't add allll of them, just tried to select and combine the highlights.

I've talked about how tee ball has started, and we've had lots of practices. Lots. And a little girl has played at fields, cheered "GOOOO WUKE! GOOO BASEBALL!", and generally been really well behaved for the two year old she is at boring hour and a half practices 2-3 times a week. Some others of us have had a little bit of a harder time handling the practices.

But in his defense, I feel like 1 1/2 hours is a long time for a 5 year old to stay on task (not to mention the day he's already had at school or church, and that it's 100+ degrees out). And I have to say all these practices are doing something! His throw is getting better, he caught the ball in his glove last night, and his batting stance is getting more consistent! The first game is Monday and we are super excited!

When we aren't at practice, we've been doing church things and normal family things. Last Sunday Luke (as usual) picked out his own clothes. He knows he has to pick out a "button shirt" (oxford or polo) to wear to church, and he always pairs them with a pair of khaki shorts. Not this time. When he showed me his outfit with a "tada!" I cringed a little and told him that the shorts and the shirt didn't exactly go together. I then invited him to change his shorts, to which he replied "No fank you."

The same day Evan decided she was obsessed with her sunglasses.

Sara is teaching her bible class and told me later she wore them through most of class. As you can see they were back for service, lunch, home time, and practice that night. Have I ever mentioned I have quirky children? And I'm adding to the madness?

Ya'll. Some days it's nuts how much baby there is.

The kids' quirkiness doesn't stop with their actions. The conversations kill me too. The other day I realized that I forgot to brush Luke's teeth. I got him out of bed literally 3 minutes after tucking him in and leaving his room to head to the bathroom. He tells me as I'm putting tooth paste on his brush "Yes Mom! Now I get to know what it's like to be up in the middle of the night!"  He frequently talks about all the things he wants to do when he grows up, and once he asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I told him I wanted to be a momma. He said no, what REAL job did I want. I just stared at him.

Listening to my girl has become a real treat too. A couple of nights ago Evan decided that Baby needed to eat dinner with us, so she brought in Baby's highchair.

She took her chicken nuggets from her plate and put them on Baby's tray, the proceeded to feed Baby. "Da baby's got ta eat too. Good job Baby! All done, time fo nap." She then took Baby to the rocking chair in the living room and rocked her baby singing "Rock da baaaaaaby, when you cwose your eyes go to sweep..." It was the sweetest thing ever. I couldn't even be irritated she was still playing instead of sitting with Luke and I for dinner. (and don't judge my chicken nugget dinner. very rarely do I let them have chicken nuggets, but it was a Friday night and we were SUPPOSED to be eating at small groups, but Evan had a random isolated fever and I didn't want to risk it. I had NOTHING for us to eat.) She's also played dress up in some of my things that sit in the back of my drawers.

Hey. I won't be wearing anything like that for a long long time, so why can't someone have fun in them?

Life with a 2 year old and a 5 year old can be tough. They are both stubborn and ornery and opinionated in totally opposite ways. But what a fun time we have. They make me laugh. They bring me joy. Swell my heart with pride. They make me thankful for life.

Monday, September 9, 2013

34 Weeks

 How Far Along: 34 weeks

Size of baby: Size of a large cantaloupe- length is about 17.5 inches and 4.5 lbs.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: I'm now up to 134. Had a dr appointment today. I think I've hit the really depressing part- where the scale seems so high and knowing that I've still got at least a month to gain. I'll probably hit 140 before it's all said and done, and that's a lot for my little 5'2 frame. :(
Maternity Clothes: Lets just say I've already retired some maternity clothes that I started out in.
Gender: Girl. Still a girl.
Movement: Elyse isn't slowing down yet. I've actually gotten several really cool videos this week of her moving around, lumps of baby gliding under my skin.
Sleep: Terrible. Just terrible. When I lay down my left cheek slowly gets numb and then starts radiating pain down my leg. So I pretty much just toss and turn all night. On a non-pregnancy related note, Evan has woken up twice this week for whatever reason and cried to be rocked at about 2 AM. That's not helping.
What I miss: Feeling skinny. And sleeping.
Cravings: Not really any.

Symptoms: The itchiness continues. It's created a nice little mottled effect across my belly. The aching of my muscles and searing stretch of my skin continues also. I now remember why I called a truce at 39 weeks last time, I couldn't take the stretching any more. But, that's not an option yet. I've also had some real contractions, as well as an increase in Braxton Hicks. How did I know they were real as opposed to BH? My belly has always made a very specific shape when it comes to BH, and these were different. Plus I felt really nauseous during them and the pain was in a different spot. All of the above, plus hormones that have gone ca-razy and patience that are nonexistent make me a JOY to be around. I have to say, this last week of pregnancy alone has probably been harder than the last 8 months put together.
Best Moment this week: I hate saying that I really can't think of one, it makes me feel like I'm ungrateful or something, but this past week has been difficult enough to push all of it out of the way. I did try to get some belly pictures with Evan after taking my bimonthly picture (I always take it while they are napping, which is why I haven't had any "helpers" in the pictures like when I was pregnant with Evan. I left the tripod up till they were awake). Forever ago I'd seen a picture of a pregnant mom with her young daughter comparing the size of their bellies and when I found out I was pregnant this time I immediately thought of that picture and wanted one with my girl. Of course it didn't turn out quite like I'd hoped, but it was a 2 year old and a timer you have to get up to reset each time. one cried! I'll count that as a win anytime it comes to forced picture taking!

All the other 50 billion shots I tried to get are of her looking at the camera- the blinking light of the timer was much more interesting than her Buddha belly!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My Room Revealed

I know it's only been a year since I redid my room, but it's actually already gone through a bit of a shift in the last couple of months. When the rooms got switched and combined and revamped, there was just no where to put the rocking chair next to the crib. I couldn't get rid of it though because...newborn! rocking! Plus that rocking chair had been used in Luke's nursery as well, so how could I not rock my last baby in the same chair as her brother and sister? Since Elyse will be sleeping in my room until she can sleep through the night, I put the rocker in my room.
Yep. You read that right. I have finally broken down and am going to let a newborn sleep in the same room as me. ON. PURPOSE.
I know. I'm the girl who stopped using a monitor after two weeks because the baby was still too noisy.
Come on people. It's sleep when sleep is a precious commodity. And I can hear a baby crying down the short hall that is between my room and theirs just as well as I can through a monitor next to my head. Swearsies.
But, I cringe at the thought of trying to keep a newborn that is up every couple of hours next to a 2 year old who, albeit sleeps very heavily, was trying to rest. Plus there is the middle of the night diaper changes, (heaven help me) sheet changes, and of course feedings that could potentially disturb Big Sister.
So. To accommodate a cradle in my already cramped room, I moved the sewing machine out to the garage (*sad face*) temporarily and put the bookshelf on another wall. It's actually not terrible!  I've been sewing on the computer desk in the living room, and have learned I don't really need the closet door to swing all the way open.

The last big change you'll notice is... the bed frame! I've been itching for a new bed frame for a long time, but obviously have not been in a place to be able to get one. Until. Until I saw my friend Niki put one up on an online garage sale forum, and knew that it was perfect. It's black iron, and I LOVE it. It flows so well with what I've done with the rest of the place. It wasn't terrible to switch out either. I got Jacob to go with me to pick it up, then he and Luke put it together for me. You should have seen how proud Luke was to get to be the helper.

This little shelf is one I took from Jacob's house and painted it with leftover paint from the dresser and nightstand. One of the things I have on my tiny tiny registry are little storage cubes that will fit inside. I figured I'd need a place for a few jammies (we all know how newborn sized diapers leak), diapers, wipes, and burp cloths.

On the end of the bed is one of the blankets I've made for Elyse. It's just voile cotton on one side (with ruffles added. I couldn't help myself) and minky on the other. I'll probably end up tossing this one on the couch after she's done with it, I love it that much!

So now she's up to three blankets that I've made for her (chenille, minky, and minky). I know, I should probably stop. As long as I don't find any more lovely fabric that is just begging to be used for something.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Labor Day and First Day of Jr. K

This weekend was a long one. And not just because it was three days. Saturday morning we had tee ball practice at 9:00. The only bad part about it was that at 9 AM it was already in the upper 90's and climbing. Basically, we boiled. Also, Evan opened up the camera on my phone after I took a picture of the two of us, and I found nearly 100 selfies within a 2 minute time span.
After practice we ran to the store for Luke a new pair of cleats (he'd shockingly out grown his pair from the spring) and to Target for food. I don't think I've ever gone to Target as sweaty and stinky as I was. But, then we went home and spent the whole rest of the day there.
Sunday was church, and then Sunday night Luke had tee ball practice again. Mom and Dad didn't have small group on Sunday night, so Dad graciously offered to take him to practice for me. Afterwards we all met up for ice cream. Such a treat!
Monday dawned....rainy. Can you believe it? Luke had been begging for another bike adventure with Mom and Dad, and they'd made plans over ice cream to go yesterday morning. Of course.
One thing I learned on our rainy rainy morning was that I no longer am capable of entertaining two small children for hours on end. Especially small children who fight a lot while pregnant and already short on patience. There was lots of crying off and on. Mostly not because of me- they tend to play really rough with each other. We did play playdoh for a whole hour though. That was nice.

Luke was thoroughly impressed with my sculpture. When I asked him what he thought it was, he told me a turtle.

Okay then. I was going more for "cat" or something, but turtle it is.

I did manage to keep the tv off from 7 when they woke up to 4. I finally gave in and let them have pop corn and a movie. Peter Pan! And Luke loved it! After dinner Luke finally got to go on his bike ride. They didn't get to ride to the donut shop like originally planned (darn.), but at least he got to get out.
A big accomplishment was keeping this girl in panties! She went the entire morning without an accident. I put her in a pull up for nap, and some how she woke up dry. She did have a couple of small accidents in the afternoon, but nothing too terrible.

Yes, she's still wearing Luke's old undies. But actually, this works out for everyone. I don't have to stress about ruining new panties, and Luke finally gets 2T/3T undies moved out of his drawer (which actually still kinda fit him). Lets not get into the discussion that they can wear the same size underwear.
This morning was my boy's first day of Jr. Kindergarten!

"I'm gonna be a plane driver and a train driver." (what he went on to say and I couldn't fit was "..and a truck driver and maybe an army man. Probably not an army man. Just a plane driver. And train driver.")
Mom swung by on her way to school to get Evan and take her to Cindy's for me, but I did want a couple of picture with her before they left.

New back pack! And inside is his new lunch box! I think he was more thrilled with these two items than he was with actually going to school. We spent a couple of hours scouring the internet for the perfect lunch box. The day it arrived he opened it up and pointed to each corner, saying he wanted a sandwich, an apple, and a banana for his lunch.

"Mom, I have a real desk for my colors and pencils and zizzers!"

Here, I'm just about to leave. I'd already teared up. Oh, my baby. In that moment I don't think I could have been more grateful that he wasn't in a full on kindergarten class. I'm pretty sure I would not have been able to leave him in a class of 22 kids. My boy. On our way up to the school we talked about how Mrs. Steele was a very nice lady and I expected him to be respectful to her. He just sighed and said "I know Mom." As I got back into my car without him I wondered if I hugged him enough. Did I tell him how proud I was of him? That I loved  him? I'm sure if someone asked him he would huff and roll his eyes and again say "I know Mom." But I need him to know. I've got a great kid, and when all the other voices in the world tell him otherwise, I want him to remember.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Chenille Blanket

So way back a couple of years ago, I found a tutorial for an heirloom chenille blanket that I wanted to try out for the next friend that was pregnant. I never got around to making it for anyone, and it's probably a good thing because GOOD LORD did this blanket take more than I expect.

First it took a lot of supplies: 5 yards of fabric (1 1/4 yards of four different colors- 1 print, 3 flannels), two packages of bias tape for binding, 3 spools of thread (two for the lines, one coordinating the binding), and the chenilling tool.

Second of all, it took a lot of time. A. LOT. I don't think I've ever spent longer than two days on anything that I've made. The last project that took awhile was the car seat cover, and it was only a weekend ordeal. When I read the tutuorial, she said that it took her several hours to sew the channels across the entire thing, and I was thinking "They are straight lines! How could that take several hours and two spools of thread?!" Oh no. She was right. I estimate it took me about 6 hours to sew all the lines. I don't have 6 hours. I do, however, have 30 minutes here, 45 minutes there. Hence the reason it took me a solid week to sew this. Plus she said it took her about 30 minutes to cut the channels of flannel, where it probably took me about 2 hours. Plus, three different times I somehow managed to jump the stitching and cut through it, which made some pretty big boo boos, but I got them fixed (kinda).

Also before I started, I read a lot of the links in her comments of people who had tried it. Thankfully I read one where the girl talked about how it created a lot of fuzz and she was right! I'm so glad I knew to wash and dry it by itself. My washing machine had to be wiped out and the lint trap was completely full on the dryer.

One last thing- I found out I'm not so good at binding. Ha! I need to practice!

But it did turn out lovely. I can tell it will be really warm. Not sure if it will really be softer than the minky blankets I've made, but it will be cozy. Hopefully something Elyse will love for years to come!