Sunday, May 26, 2013

Into the Unknown

3rd baby.  2nd pregnancy.  1st time at 32 weeks and 1 day.  

I delivered the boys at 32 weeks.  It's crazy to think that their newborn pictures is what She looks like right now.  Until I met them face to face all I could picture was something pink and alien-like, but in reality they were perfect, skinny, squirmy babies.  It's still hard to picture Katharine as an actual tiny baby in there...bony, pink, and alien-like is still easier to picture.  The boys are really into super heroes these days and I've decided that the ability to grow humans is quite the super-est of super powers.

This point forward is a game changer, territory I don't know.  What I do know is that in this last week the third trimester has reared its head...

My belly resembles a wave pool.  Sometimes she pushes so hard it hurts.  Sometimes she kicks so forcefully it tickles.

I'm out of breath.  All          the          time.

My hips hurt when I sleep on either side (yes, I have a fantastic body pillow) and I can't breathe right laying on my back, even on an incline. I guess frequent awakenings is nature's way of prepping me for what's to come.  Sigh.

My spirits are high highs or low lows.  I know my moodiness doesn't affect just me...my boys are troopers, although they probably think I'm crazy. If I can't finish my coffee a beast seems to rise within me.  "Reasoning" with three year olds is hard in itself; but "reasoning" with three year olds while pregnant and impatient takes the challenge to new heights.  And don't get me started on multiple attempts to potty train (1 boy done, 1 boy to go!) and dealing with human waste clean up...

Some days I'm a nesting, cleaning, organizing mad woman.  Other days it's all I can do to keep my eyes open. 

I caved and bought a box of iced strawberry Pop-Tarts the other day. 

I think I've given myself my last pedicure for a while.  Folded in half, trying to reach my toes around a big ol' belly has gotten tough.  But we're at the beach (!!!!!!!!!!), so it was necessary:) 

On the days I actually make it to the gym (hello, 0% motivation) it figures that to my right is the youngest, skinniest, prettiest girl in class.  She's also tan, toned, and in cute, fitted workout gear.  To my left is another girl talking about how her ..."prom was JUST six years ago.  Oh my gosh!  Trying saying, "15 years ago, sweetheart."  :)


Here's what is 100% safe to say to a pregnant woman: "You look great!"  
Not: "You're so big!"  "You're not little mommy anymore, you're big mommy!"  "Wow, that baby girl has really popped out!" "You're looking wider and wider these days!" "So how much weight have you gained?" "Wow, and you have two months to go..."

Baby Girl's room is done with the exception of decorating wooden letters to spell her name.  I've made these numerous times for friends' kiddos, but it's even more exciting to make them for my own little one.  Love. 

Certainly I'm forgetting what the the days are like with a newborn around, as I have intentions ambitions of making it to a few important events right around delivery time this summer.  But who am I to miss my niece's 1st bday; a friend's baby shower; and my gymnastics team's 20 year reunions?!?!?!  Aiming high and hopeful...

I'm hitting 'publish' as family vacation is in full swing with a different crew of friends this year, and we're ready for a week with a lot of bit of chaos and a little bit of relaxation.  The Pattersons also have twin boys and a baby girl on the way.  Who better to travel with than people with whom we share parallel lives!  Thankful, relaxed, and happy.










Thursday, May 23, 2013

See Mommy Go

image from http://beachdriveblog.com/2012/08/did-you-ever-see-spot-run-on-beach-drive.html
Remember the Dick and Jane books?  See Dick.  See Jane.  See Dick go.  See Jane go.  See Spot.  Run, Spot, run!  You get the idea.  My version goes a little like this...

See Mommy.  Mommy is energized and refreshed after the gym.  Hear Mommy convince children to run an errand and get a hair cut.  See Mommy drive to bank.  Hear Mommy talk to banker and close out old account.  Hear banker marvel over boys.  Hear Mommy ask Garrett if he needs to potty.  Hear Garrett say, "No."  See Mommy and boys leave bank.  See Mommy about to pull out of parking lot.  Hear Garrett say, "I need to go potty.  Poo poo."  See Mommy's private thought bubble say, "Really?!?!"  See Mommy quickly set up portable potty IN THE VAN.  Smell Garrett stink up van.  See Mommy pull up to dumpster and dispose of bag.  Classy Mommy.  

See Mommy park van near Hair Cuttery.  See boys sit in haircut chairs.  See Mommy give boys two lollipops each to keep boys happy.  Smart Mommy.  Handsome boys.  

See Mommy check watch and realize it's lunchtime.  See Mommy shuffle boys to Martin's and load them in separate shopping carts.  See Mommy push and pull carts through salad bar line.  See 100 other people in the same line.  Hear Mommy stay very calm while asking (over and over) what boys would like to eat.  See Mommy let other (100) people go in front of us.  See Mommy pay for groceries and say, "Yes, their twins."  Mommy has to say that a lot.  See Mommy walk with a grocery bag in each hand and see boys each hold a pinky finger.  See Gavin fall.  See car quickly approaching.  Hear Gavin screaming.  See blood on Gavin's elbow.  See Mommy pick up Gavin in one arm, hold both grocery bags in other hand, and hear her tell Garrett to hold any finger he can.  See Mommy and boys shuffle back to car.  See Gavin start to slide down Mommy's side.  Hear Gavin scream louder.  See van doors open.  See boys climb inside.  See Mommy buckle up boys, clean Gavin's boo boo, wipe away tears, and cut salad bar fruit, and hand out sandwiches.  See boys eat lunch in backseat.  Hear boys say, "Mmmmmm!"  See Mommy drive home.  

See boys climb into bed for naps.  See Mommy go downstairs and sit on couch.  Hear Mommy take deep breath.  See Mommy start to eat her lunch.  Hear Mommy's phone ring.  See furniture delivery truck arrive.  Hear Mommy take another deep breath...

Mommy is not so energized and refreshed anymore.  Mommy is tired, but see Mommy go.  Mommy rocks.

P.S. Thank you to the man who, a few days later watched as I loaded the boys into the car, reasoned with them, handed them lunch, started a movie (because all hail holy nap time that needed to happen at home and not in the car), and load the stroller, and said, "Moms like you deserve a big reward.  I admire you!"  Make.  myday.  week.  month.  year.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Talking and Listening

Brotherly chit chat:)
My dad isn't a huge talker but he happens to be a great listener.  Sometimes people take offense to his quietness and think something is wrong, when really he just realizes that there are plenty of 'cooks in the kitchen' to fill the silence, so there's no need for him to chime in.  I know for sure I talk too much and need to work on my listening skills.  Now that I'm a parent this is even more important for me to improve.  When I was in college we read a book called How to Teach So Kids Will Learn, but these days I'm more interested in getting my hands on a copy of How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and How to Listen So Kids Will Talk.  I know, I know the boys are only 3, but I want them to be able to talk to me about things like I'm able to talk to my parents about things.  My friend Bethany recently posted this on her Facebook page and it's worth remembering as my kids get grow...
Shared by Discover Church: The Parent Investment Chart used in Sunday's message.
From the book Think Orange, by Reggie Joiner

After all, my aunt once said that she and her sons had some of the best talks just by taking walks in their neighborhood.  However big, little, important, mundane, exciting, hard, happy, or sad our conversations might be I want them to happen.  And I want my listening ears to be ready.

***
So on a few lighter notes, Gavin and I started off one of our recent mornings in just this way....talking.  I got up at 5:30 to hopefully get some things done before everyone else woke up.  At 5:50 Garrett woke up needing to use the potty.  By 5:53 Gavin was awake and asking to go downstairs, but our rule is that we don't start our day until 6:30am.  Garrett went off to snuggle with Joe, and Gavin and I laid on the couch in the dark in their room, chatting and recounting the previous day's events, plans for the day, the difference between dusk and dawn, and why he got so upset by the man that sat next to him on the park bench the day before.  Despite my desire to cross things off my to-do list in a quiet house, this was a much better way to start my day:)  And thanks to my understanding husband for eventually taking over until he left for work so I could indeed get everything done anyway!  Win win:)

Our mealtime conversations these days range from superheroes to which playground we'll visit next to why it's rude to put their feet on the table.  A few mornings ago the boys informed me that coming out of their milk cups was "bat milk!" and then it changed into "an oil explosion!" and that created a "volcano shadow!" on the ceiling, which had to be banished by the "monster claw!" and then a "rocket ship was coming!"  They're 90 mph nonstop.   

Recently we've discussed what Baby Girl will look like when she's born.  First their answer was a dinosaur.  Then for a while they thought a teddy bear.  Most recently they informed me that she might have brown hair and red eyes.  Or maybe orange eyes "because orange is kind of like red."  Or maybe she'll have pink eyes because their babysitter named "Ali likes pink!" 

Yesterday in the dressing room while trying on some bathing suits to dress this baby belly for two more months, the boys happily played with blocks.  And also kept saying, "Naked mama!"  "Mama's hiny!"  Sorry to the husband who was just outside the door waiting for his wife to model a few pairs of maternity pants.  Awesome.

While zooming an ambulance and a fire truck on their "town rug" the other day Garrett proclaimed "there was an accident at the beach" so he had to get there fast!  And Gavin was off to "get the ogre in the castle so he could take him to the ice cream shop!"
***

No joke, this is how fast and imaginative their brains work these days:)  Never a dull moment. I'd love to crawl inside their heads....certainly it would be like a loop-de-loop roller coaster ride.  But if I can't crawl inside to see things for myself, I'll keep my listening ears ready to absorb whatever they have to say.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mama's Day

This year's Mother's Day was one for the books....simple, low key, nothing fancy or expensive, good behavior, and a perfect balance of together time and alone time.  I'm recording the fact that the boys were fabulous so the next time I want to put them up for sale I can remember this.

My first Mother's Day I was just starting to get my head above water again.  The boys had been home from the NICU for just over a month, and even though the exhaustive nights were nowhere near their end, the fog had slightly, slightly started to lift.  We all had brunch together and that's about all I remember.  That and the fact that I look pretty tired and my hair is ugly-flat in most of the pictures.

As I try to recount my second Mother's Day I have to be honest that I don't have a clue what we did to celebrate.  I did find this cute picture, though, which was taken around that time of year.  Love to wake up to those faces!

Ah, as I looked through pictures I stumbled upon this....Mother's Day Brunch at my in-laws' country club , perhaps?  Love how both boys are without pants....hhhmmmm.

Last year's Mother's Day, was full of sweet treats but it was also exhausting.  We had everyone over to our house and I've since decided that mothers shouldn't entertain and cook for others on THEIR day.  Live and learn.  

This year's special day, started off a few days early when Mom and I had 'Girls' Night Out' with endless cheese and chocolate fondue.  It was delicious; we stuffed ourselves silly; and talked the entire time.  

Sunday began with coffee in bed (never mind that I left explicit instructions on how to make it...if you want something you gotta ask).  Then the four of us headed out to breakfast before venturing to the park for a little fishing.  It was more about the sunshine, cool breeze, crazy geese, and time together than catching fish, so thankfully no one was disappointed when nothing was biting.  Naps were short lived, but a few solo errands kept me unphased.  Joe and I got a few things accomplished around the house before he and the boys headed to Home Depot and the playground so I could relax touch up paint, move things to the basement, make progress in my online class, blog, and make dinner (don't worry, it was something quick and easy:)) at home alone.  The boys took us on a walk so they could splash their Jeep through mud puddles and even bedtime went smoothly, complete with me reading I'll Love You Forever as the boys snuggled close.  A blessed day indeed.
 

I never realized what moms did until I became one.  I also never understood the depth of a mother's love until I felt the strength of it for my own children.  Some days I still don't know what I do, but I know it's busy and exhausting and rewarding and fulfilling.  Maddening and mundane creeps in sometimes too, and I understand why my mom sometimes said she wanted to run away.  I say the same thing on occasion these days.  But the good never fails to outweigh the bad.  Thanks, Mom, for all that you've always done for me.  Making yourself available has always been a priority and not gone unnoticed.  Love you more!

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Tiny Dancer

28 weeks (2 weeks ago); disregard dirty spots on mirror:)
Baby Girl,

You never. stop. moving.  Soccer goals?  Ballet kicks?  Back handsprings?  Volleyball spikes?  Boxing practice?  I'm not sure what's going on in there, but no doubt you'll be a mover and a shaker and ready to keep up with your brothers!

I've loved being pregnant (currently 30 weeks).  Even though my own reflection surprises me in the mirror and discovering cellulite behind my legs isn't fun and shopping for big booby bras (sorry Grandpa and Dad) isn't on my list of enjoyable things to do, I've loved growing you.  Of course there's been worry because that's natural, but more importantly there's been belly rubs, lots of good food, having fun with maternity clothes, not stressing over baby gear, browsing the aisles at Target to find items to fit in your room, gym time, easy-breezy doctor visits, comments from your brothers, LOTS of pokes and kicks, and a more level-headed-roll-with-it attitude.  Yes, I'm up multiple times a night to adjust and readjust pillows and visit the loo; yes, the back pain is killer; yes, the shortness of breath always catches me off guard.  But the excitement...it's growing:)  I'd like to admit that the newborn days are a fog, but they're not.  They're actually etched into my brain so well and stir up such anxiety that I just have to remember that everyone else figures out a groove and so will I.  And thank goodness for willing and helping hands nearby.  

Preparations have started on your room and uncharted pregnancy territory is around the corner since I've never been pregnant longer than 32 weeks.  Climbing temps are giving me a glimpse that this summer's heat might give me a run for my money, and moving/arranging furniture and reorganizing various rooms in our house proved to push me a little over the edge, as you've reminded me of your presence with a few painful contractions.  Thankfully your daddy and Nana and Pops are awesome and had dinner ready, a heating pad handy, and a perfect spot on the couch where I could prop up my feet for a bit the other night.  Guess it's time to pull the pregnancy card a little more often:)  Your brothers have already made it clear that they will not help with dirty diapers, but I am guessing that once they meet you they'll shower you with kisses and introduce you to their favorite stuffed animals.  But prepare yourself for monster trucks, drills, cement mixers, jeeps, and super heroes too.

So far you've been easy, a real delight.  My list of plans for us is getting longer and the time until we meet is getting shorter.  While I don't want to wish this precious (and last) time of just you and me away, I can't wait to meet my little girl.  Mothers Day is today and it fills me up inside to soon take on title: Mom of THREE.

Keep moving and shaking....your feistiness will prove helpful in wrangling your two big brothers.  After all, we both know who will be in charge around here anyway:)

Love you, 
Mom 

  

Friday, May 10, 2013

Awesomeness

Nesting is in full swing at our house, but not without its bumps (no pun intended:)) along the way...

Want to know how awesome it is to drive across town to pick up a carpet for Baby Girl's room, unload the boys from the car into the stroller, find perfectly colored said carpet, and then realize I don't have my wallet with me?  It's not even in the car.  It's on my kitchen counter.  At home.  Across town.  Not awesome.  And the poor sales associate who received the brunt end of my frustration after asking if she could help was probably less than pleased to have crossed my path that day as well.  

Want to know what's even more awesome?  When I happened to find a credit card in the bottom of my center console in the car I was psyched to think my trip was not for nothing.  But then I realized I had to call and activate the card in order to use it, which shouldn't have been a big deal, except that earlier that day I accidentally dropped my phone in a puddle and it was totally on the fritz.  Not awesome at all.  So, fuming and mad only at myself, the boys and I walked to the play area where the rest of the afternoon unfolded uneventfully.  

And that night after tutoring and Joe had the boys under control with dinner and bed, I traipsed back across down in the pouring down rain to get the damn carpet.  Mind you there wasn't a NEED for me to get it right away, but in my mind I had to just cross it off my list.  The solo time at the store afforded me the sanity and peacefulness to swallow my pride and apologize to aforementioned sales associate, actually buy the carpet this go round, and shop for other needed housewares.  In the end things did indeed turn out awesome and even Joe was pleased with my purchases.

Carpet pictured with other finds for the nursery...set up will begin this weekend!  Paper pieces will cover wooden letters to spell Katharine's name.





Monday, May 6, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up

We stayed busy this weekend, but also squeezed in lots of playtime around the house. All three of us will be happy to see Daddy on Monday for sure!  Here's what we've been up to...

Friday morning cartoons before I headed back to 3rd grade for the day.

Friday  night dinner with the running girls to celebrate Mrs. Donathan to be:)


Saturday morning pancake breakfast with friends. 

March for Babies walk with RAMOM!  Our team raised almost $2,000:)


And we topped everything off with dinner at Nana and Pops house...yum!  Here's hoping a nice weekend leads to a good week.  

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Text Talk

I just finished a pint of Ben & Jerry's; it only took me three sittings; and maybe in one of those sittings all I could find was a kiddie spoon.  It's all my dad's fault.  He brought it over.  I can't stay away from the homemade lemon pound cake either and the m&m's that are Garrett's potty training reward have dwindled at an alarming rate.  Guilty as charged and the gym is calling my name.

Teddy (THE Teddy that the boys eat, sleep, and breathe for these days) is missing.

I've recently discovered a patch (not just a few strands) of gray hair.  I always said I'd just roll with it when the time came, but I thought I'd be closer to 40, not 33, when it appeared.  Not sure what to do about this situation because I barely get my hair cut on a regular basis, let alone keep up with coloring it.  Damn.

And Joe just packed up his cowboy boots (who knew?!?!) and flew to Austin, TX for a guy's trip.  7 dads in TX for Cinco de Mayo weekend.  Not quite Vegas, but a sure good time nonetheless.  The first thing Joe said to me when I told him we were pregnant again was, "I guess I better get a guy's trip on the calendar."  A couple years ago when he found out we were expecting twins he said, "I guess I better buy a bigger truck."  Now you see how his mind works:)  Anyway, off he goes for some well deserved time away.

***

Have you seen this: Dear Mom on the iPhone

But even better, have you seen this response: In Defense of the iPhone Mom

I love both.  And more power to those that can keep all the balls in the air.  I, however, am not one of those people.  And in between the musings of everyday life I do indeed pick up my [ancient, non-Apple device] phone and send a slew of messages to my non-judging mommy friends.  I also pick up my iPad to quickly capture photos and videos that get sent to relatives far away.  Because let's face it, sharing keeps us connected.  It also keeps me sane, grounded, and normal feeling when others respond with similar scenarios.  Especially when a few of my latest messages read like this:

"I'm totally using this baby bump to justify my 'need' for french fries right now."

"A pregnant woman should not be looking at the Victoria's Secret catalog!"

"For the record, Ben & Jerry just won again and I haven't even made dinner.  I even hid snuck upstairs to enjoy it." (Um, this was round 2 with the same pint mentioned above...)

"FYI, when your husband cleans up poopy underwear upon waking up at 6:30am (bless him) make sure the glob of said $#@! has been flushed down the toilet and not left in the dirty undies before throwing them in the washing machine.  Um yea..."

***

Anyway, ahead of us is a long weekend of mommy/son time interspersed with some time for me in the classroom and dinner out with the running girls, a breakfast play date with buddies, and a fundraiser walk near and dear to our hearts.

Happy Thursday and feel free to text me with anything you too need to admit get off of your chest:)

Last Saturday's play date.  I can't even express how much I love this pic:)  Buddy bliss.





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