Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Waiting on baby time...

Lately it feels as if my little world has shrunk down so small, I don't have anything interesting to write.  That all my brain & body are currently capable of is getting baby ready to enter the world.  A big enough job, to be sure, but one I should be well familiar with by now.  These last few days? weeks? are an even mix of marveling at what a woman's body can do, to nourish & bring forth new life, and impatience at the aches, pains & discomforts that go along with such a miracle.  Trying to find a balance between the desire to savor this last pregnancy & the urge to get it over with it already.  The best part of late pregnancy are the 2 hour guilt-free naps in the middle of the day.  The worst part is the waiting for something to happen.  I have never been great with surprises... I am a Virgo after all... I like plans.    For me it's the not knowing when or how this labor will go down that makes me a bit nutty.  Will my water break in the middle of the night like with Quinn?  Or will it be a long, slow, build up of contractions that become unbearable like with Remy?  Or, even more likely, some other scenario I have yet to experience?  Patience.  Yes, that's what I need to find... dear Santa, more patience please.

In the meantime I shuffle around like an old lady... well, an old lady that swallowed a watermelon is more accurate.  My nesting urges forcibly on hold while we sort out a few details around the house, am doing my best to keep up with our normal routines... drop kids off, do laundry, pick kids up, drive them places, feed them, love them, do it all again the next day.  At certain points along the way I find myself trying to figure out how I will juggle it all.  About how the new one will fit into it our little bubble.... tagging along until he is old enough to have his own need to be driven, picked up & the like.

Most of all, we just can't wait to meet him.


Catching up on pictures... from our rainy day zoo adventure...

Friends & neighbors threw us a sweet baby shower... thank you Judi, Judy & Sharon.  Amazing food, great company & lots of helpers when it was time to open presents.

 Inspector Remy is on the case...

And now, we wait some more...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

When it pours...

There have been times in my life when everything feels so very light.  When the sun shines in every corner & moments float by like dandelion fluff, unhindered by gravity, as things fall into place.  Magic & fleeting, I have learned to notice these moments and recognize how fortunate I am to experience them.

Then... there are those other times... when it feels like everything is falling down at once.  When the dark, gray clouds roll-in & it doesn't just rain, it pours.  Things beyond our control conspire to bring unexpected expense, unwanted change & swirls of uncertainty.  Gravity tightens its hold on all that it touches.  The logical, reasonable side of me understands that this is all just a part of being alive... the yin/yang, ebb/flow, give/take of the universe.  The emotional side?  Not so understanding.  It prefers a good wallow... passive, tearful, toddler-style tantrum ending in a grand pity-party.  It can be so easy to get caught in the why? trap.  Why me? Why now? Why us?

One of the first waves of accepting Quinn's Down syndrome sounded exactly like this... a great big bunch of why?s.  Having been through that swirl & come out the other side - better, stronger, wiser - helps us to face the other inevitable challenges that show up in life.  One of the biggest gifts of being Quinn's parent has been the re-defining of what it means to face a challenge.  It's not just slaying a dragon & living happily-ever-after.  It is facing that dragon & the next... & the next.  It is making a choice to move forward, no matter how hard it feels.  It is picking yourself up, leaving the pity-party, and confronting head-on whatever comes next.

The timing of this particular storm brings into sharp contrast what is important & what is not.  This week that focuses on gratitude & giving thanks is the perfect balance to the stormy days.  Our little family is happy & healthy.  Husband & I have found an even deeper level of in-love-ness and partnership.  Two little boys keep us laughing & in wonder of what we have created.  And a tiny boy in my belly grows bigger each day, the promise of new life bringing rays of brightness on darker days.  This is what really matters... a little blond head resting on my shoulder as I write this.  Snuggling close... oh wait... he is charming his way to ask if he can play a game on my iphone.  Little stinker has me pegged.

We don't know what is around the corner... or how exactly we will weather it... but weather it, we will.  In this exact moment we are grateful, giving-thanks & facing dragons together.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Big Fat Fall Picture Post

The days are getting shorter... literally and figuratively... and finding time to write has been beyond a challenge.  As my belly expands these last few weeks of pregnancy, it feels like our little world is getting smaller, the edges pulling tighter together, as we prepare our nest for the new boy.  Looking forward to those first sweet days of newborn fog... where day & night don't matter and time both flies by and creeps along depending on the moment.  Knowing this is the last baby makes it that much sweeter.... I know firsthand how fleeting this precious time can be. 

Fall has been a busy mix of school & routines and fun adventures.  Big brothers like to talk about the baby coming but have no idea how their world is about to be rocked.  Have been working on getting them to help each other with daily tasks in preparation for the many "please go fetch mommy a diaper/burpcloth/onesie" requests that are sure to arise.  Lately Remy has let me know he doesn't like it when I call him my baby anymore.  When I told him this morning that he will always be my baby, even when he is a grown-up man, he looked at me with his most serious face and said, "Don't talk like that Mommy.  It makes my brain all wiggly."  

Wiggly, indeed. 

The gray skies & light rains today are not keeping us from our planned adventure... we are bundling up, putting on rain boots & grabbing umbrellas to head off to the zoo.  Rainy days are one of the best times to actually see the animals out without any crowds to navigate.  And of course there is the hot cocoa afterward to take care of any chill.


A few random pix from the past weeks...

On our way to a friend's birthday in early October the boys decide to dress up as cowboys just for fun.

Pumpkin patch adventure

Attempts at a three-shot of my boys thwarted by surly 3 year old...

Children of the corn-maze

Favorite stop.. a huge sandbox filled with dried corn.

Remy's attempt at making a "corn-angel"

Found behind his ear about a half-hour later!

In preparation for the baby we have been clearing out storage... one of the buried treasures was this Ferrari pedal car.

Cowboy Quinn ready for school on Halloween

At Quinn's school Halloween parade...

Remy was planning on being a fire-fighter but changed his mind right before school... meet spiderman with his fireman boots on...

The boys were very much into trick-or-treating this year.  They both got the knock/say trick-or-treat/get candy deal after the first house.  We thought we would be out for maybe 20 minutes, half-hour max... an hour later, with candy sacks overflowing, we finally wrangled them back home.

Remy decided on a costume change for the evening... pirate boy slept with his sword that night.

Off to the zoo with my favorite monkeys...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Retreat, Recharge, Return

Once upon a time, two very tired Mamas had the rare opportunity to run away from home. 
They woke up to find themselves, with no kids, schedules or responsibilities, in a very magical place...

View from our room

For three beautiful days they got to do a whole lot of nothing.  
Pedicures were had...

Facials & massages were enjoyed...
 And navels were contemplated...

A very magical place in a land not-so-far away

 Was it all just a dream?

Thank you families for keeping it all together on the home-front & for making this dream a reality! 
Hmmm... where shall we go next year?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

one hour sugar rush & ten things I love

Am stuck in the lab this morning... it is 1-hour glucose timed test day.  Yuck.  For anyone who has not had to experience this... you guzzle, college-beer-chug-style, the most sickly sweet drink in 5 seconds flat while a lab tech watches to be sure you consume every last drop.  Then you wait, in the lab under supervision, for one hour.  Then they draw your blood to see if your body is doing what it should to process the sugar.  With my two previous pregnancies I remembered the gross drink & the waiting, but totally forgot about the under supervision part.  My plans to sit in the sun surfing the net catching up on favorite blogs & editing a photo book thwarted... here I stay held captive in the basement with no wi-fi... what a drag.

So... it is the perfect time to think about 10 things I am loving right now:

~ My new ipad - best birthday present EVER.  Thanks babe!

~ This song by The Head and the Heart.  It has been a long while since I've fallen immediately in love with a song... but this one totally hooked me.

~ The amazing support our Down syndrome group has received for the Buddy Walk this year.  We surpassed our family goal of $500 and have so far raised $781!  A huge thank you to all who have donated already... your generosity & support mean so much to us.  There is still time to donate to Team Quinn... if you have a few bucks to spare... even $5 or $10... every little bit helps!  Click here to go directly to his fundraising page.

~ The way Remy snoozes every morning... we were beginning to think that maybe he was switched at birth due to his extreme dislike of chocolate.  But the snoozer gene is definitely ours.
First day back at pre-school

Quite the opposite of his brother... this one actually asks to go get his haircut.  He loves the attention & pampering.

Or perhaps it is more that he loves the lollipop at the end?!?

~ Making myself a priority by finding ways to fit exercise in on a regular basis.

~ Feeling this little guy inside me moving more & more.  I get nervous when he is quiet.  (Then I get nervous when he is moving "too much"!)  My mind so easily wanders to all of the things that can still go wrong.  He has started responding when I sing or rub my belly... his little kicks, pokes & rolls are so reassuring.  Our own secret messages that all is well & starting to get a bit crowded in there.  We are getting excited about actually meeting this new little person....getting closer every day.

~ Gathering pictures & ideas for the boys new room.  We are clearing out the back corner of the warehouse - a storage area for the past 10+ years - to make a larger room for the monkeys.  Littlest brother will take over the nursery.  Am looking forward to having more living space... much to husband's annoyance with giving up storage.  This is one of the many times that being an antique dealer & treasure collector comes in handy.  Aside from construction & paint, we have everything we need to make a sweet room for our guys.  A few sources of inspiration...

I really don't want bunk beds... but thought this was a really cool use of space.

Am in love with these colorful shelves & the bed set up.

Will definitely find a way to use blackboard paint somewhere.

Our stuffed animal rescue society is a bit like this one.

One of my all-time favorite songs... am thinking of getting a print of this... so sweet.

~ Quinn's passion for books & reading.  We had a special date last week & went to get his very own library card.  He loves to pick out his own books & use the machine to check them out himself.... beaming with pride as he carries his newfound treasures to the car.

~ Watching my boys be kind to each other.  They still fight like little puppies with one bone a lot of the time, but they can also crack each other up like no one else.  I love bearing witness to their deepening bond... it feels like such a gift.  Their imaginary games are lasing longer & becoming more detailed.  When I rounded the corner to check on them a few days ago I found this...

~ How very grateful I feel to have such a supportive, loving, nutty husband... a man who is not afraid of feelings or talking about them.  We are both far from perfect... but together we fit.  Each bringing our own strengths, foibles & perspectives to build the foundation of our little family.
Remy on his way to pre-school... lovin' riding in Daddy's "racecar".

Five minutes to go... turns out an hour flies by when you are thinking about all of the things you love!