May 25, 2012

Finally an Update!

It's been waaay too long since I've updated this thing.  So at 5 in the morning, when my body has decided it will sleep no more, I've decided to finally do a little update post......

Baby #4 and me

- While I'm up before the sun today for no apparent reason, I must say, I have slept the best throughout this pregnancy than I have with my others.  I have 3 busy children to thank for that.  However, now at 36 weeks, comfort to fall asleep and an empty bladder are hard to come by, so sleep is getting harder to come by.

- Cravings: I eat watermelon like it's going out of style.  I prefer to eat it doused in lime juice.  We seriously go through 2-3 watermelons a week.  This is part of the reason that it's hard to come by an empty bladder!  Other than the watermelon, I love cookies and milk, cereal, and cheetos.  And with the help of those very healthy cravings (ahem!), I've packed on about 27 pounds to date.  I don't know what it is about cheetos, but those have been a consistent craving for all of my pregnancies.

- Still no name for baby boy.  Atleast we have a short list.  But depending on the week, if you ask me what his name will be, I'll give you a different answer.  Right now, we are between Henry "Hank" and Brooks for a first name.  Thomas as a middle name for both.  Though it could be something completely different, too.  Thoughts?  Opinions?

- Fears: Giving birth.  After having Ben naturally and suffering through the pains of back labor, I find my mind dwelling on it a bit these days.  I do plan to go natural again as I do think it is the right way to go for me, but fear of the pain of labor gets a little overwhelming these days as I creep closer and closer to my due date.

             Juggling it all.  This will be baby #4 for us.  I've been through growing pains with a new child's birth 3 times already.  Each time it is a struggle to learn a new normal and adapt.  Between the hormones and the healing and another person I'm now responsible for, I know I have a few emotional and tired months ahead of me.  And the fact that this baby will come in the summer is both brilliant and crazy of me (as if I had something to do with the timing!).  Good on the one hand that we don't have to be any where at any time.  Bad because I'll have 4 kids staring me back in my tired face all day, wondering what we're going to do next.  I am somewhat prepared.  Prepared as I can be.  The girls are signed up for a few summer things, and I've hired a college girl to help me out 2 days a week.

- Excitements: Witnessing God's miracle first hand.  Meeting this little one for the first time.  Seeing what he looks like.  Getting to know him.  Cuddling my curled up little ball of love.  Nursing.  Seeing my two girls and Ben be big sisters and a big brother.  Newborn smell.  Newborn noises.  Figuring out what his name will be.  Growing as a family.

All dressed up for her farmer program at school.
- Hattie will be a first grader at the end of next week!  Woah!  She has enjoyed school so much.  And overall, the decision to do public school has been a good one for us so far.

- Big milestones for Hattie this year: becoming a strong reader.  learning to skip and hula hoop.  learning to snap.  understanding the concept of addition and subtraction.  getting her ears pierced. losing her first tooth with presently, a very wiggly second tooth!

- She is a joy to raise!  Hattie is my straight-arrow, first-born who aims to please and wants to do well.  She is a great big sister, very tender and nurturing.  She is mostly obedient.  She is a thinker and artsy, a perfectionist.  Very internal verses external.  Things stick to her heart longer, which challenges me to be a more thoughtful mother.  She has the best appetite and will try anything I put in front of her.  She often says, "This is better than I thought it'd be, Mama." :)

Mary Ellen
At almost 4, she still loves the baby swings at the park.
- At 3, Mary Ellen wasn't quite ready to leave the nest, so I pulled her out of preschool early in the year and kept her home with me.  A very good decision for both of us.

- Big milestones for Mary Ellen this year: learning to color in the lines and her drawings are becoming more sophisticated.  Her people now look like people!  learning to dress herself and put on her shoes.  waking up dry at naptime (still working on nighttime!).  getting her first "real" haircut - just a good trim.

- Mary Ellen prides herself in being "the funny one."  Just yesterday she asked me, "Mama, who's the funniest in the house?"  "Who?" I asked.  "I am!" she proclaimed.  She is definitely more external than internal.  She acts more on emotion.  She's 3, afterall, so I am interested to see how much of her personality is her age or just truly who she is.  She is a performer - loves to sing and dance.  Loves to laugh.  Loves to pretend.  Plays very well by herself.  You don't want to cross her, though.  She's our firecracker!  She wants carrots and hummus every day for lunch.

One of the only recent pictures I have of him because the boy doesn't sit still unless he's confined.
- My baby boy who will soon be a big brother.  It has been such a joy having a son and seeing how different he truly is from his sisters.

- Big milestones for Ben this year:  So many!  At almost 19 months, Ben's talking up a storm.  He is learning new words every day.  Right now my favorite phrase he says is, "Doh doh door."  "Shut the door."  He is obsessed with opening and shutting doors.  Really he's obsessed with opening and shutting anything.  He loves repetition.  He loves reading books.  He knows where his eyes, nose, ears, tongue, and mouth are.  He calls his belly button a "bo-bo."  He is obsessed with MY belly button right now and loves to kiss it, though he has no idea what's growing inside :).  His favorite place to be is "ow-side."  He throws fits like his sisters never even dreamed of throwing.  Sean took him, without telling me where he was going, to get his first big boy haircut.  Goodbye baby hair with no pictures to show for it :(.  Hello, big brother haircut!  He loves peas.  And peanut butter on a spoon, not in a sandwich.  He loves roast and mashed potatoes with fresh green beans.  He hates most things from a can.  Smart boy who knows that fresh is better but makes it hard for mom on quick lunch days!

Wisdom From the Pope

“The inalienable dignity of every human being and the rights which flow from that dignity - in the first place the right to life and the defense of life - are at the heart of the church's message." Pope John Paul ended his address, saying: "In spite of divisions among Christians, 'all those justified by faith through baptism are incorporated into Christ...brothers and sisters in the Lord.'" Pope John Paul 2