32 weeks with Baby S

I am getting so excited to meet this guy! Seriously, that moment when you're handed your baby that you just worked really hard to give birth to...there's nothing like it and I'm so excited to have that moment again. On the flip side, I realized the other night that if he comes when Ira did (38 weeks), I'll be meeting him in just over 5 weeks and that kind of freaked me out. Am I really ready to be a mom to 3 kids?!

I'm starting to think about birth some. I've been super laid back about it this time. No doula, no birth plan. Obviously we could get thrown a curve ball, but I've experienced two unmedicated births and have somewhat of a feel for the process. I know my body is very capable of doing all the work. And I feel pretty good about just rolling with it. Mentally I'm really committed to the process and I think that's the biggest key. Henrik was born at 41 weeks and Ira at 38, so I feel like I should anticipate anything within that range. I would love if he came between 39-40 weeks but obviously that is so not up to me.

I took these bump pictures at a hotel that had a pretty flattering mirror...I think I'm much bigger than this in real life.

That seems to be my theme of pregnancy right now...big and uncomfortable. Some days are a lot better/worse than others. Overall, I've continually felt further along than I am, which my midwife says she feels like is pretty common to hear from people on their 3rd or more pregnancy. I'm growing out of maternity clothes that I wore until the end with the other boys. I've already surpassed the weight I gained with the first two pregnancies...so that's fun.

I'm learning my limits or what I'll pay for later with back pain. It's really hard for me to not do something because I know physically I'll regret it, but I know this will be short-lived and I'll feel a lot better once he's born. Thankfully I'm sleeping well, even if I do have to keep tums nearby for my almost-nightly acid reflux.

I'm starting to get some baby clothes sorted for the first 9 months. And hopefully this weekend I'll have Devin pull the rest of the baby stuff down from the attic. Whew, round 3 here we come.

Ira is 3!

Ira turned 3 on February 22. 

I think he had a really fun day, starting with a special birthday breakfast and a new stuffed lamb waiting for him in his chair. Playing at auntie's house, a very long lunch at Chick-fil-a to play and eat. Grandparents over in the evening for his requested sprinkle cupcakes and presents. 

There's something so special about Ira. His demeanor, his easy smile, and fun-loving personality. Each year that goes by I just can't believe I get the pleasure of having this boy in our family. He continues to be so sweet-natured (with just the right amount of sass). He's the type of kid you want to take with you on errands because he makes them more fun. 

Ira loves stuffed animals. He loves dogs and would probably make a great puppy-owner someday if that was the type of family we were. He loves to pretend and imagine and can take the more ordinary objects and incorporate them into his own little world. He loves to talk. He's constantly asking questions, telling stories (mostly made up ones), and often I'll find him sitting with his toys or animals just talking. He loves to interact with people and has learned well from his older brother when it comes to conversing with adults. 

He usually gets roped into doing whatever Henrik wants to, but also has a mind of his own and his own ideas. He and Henrik really are such good buddies right now and play so well together. 

Ira is affectionate and loving. He is delightful and a joy to raise. We couldn't love him anymore.

3rd Trimester, 30th Birthday, 6th Anniversary

28 weeks pregnant! This is the time I allow myself to start planning and preparing for baby. Making a "before baby" list is on my to-do list this week. Some of it will be non-baby related and just house projects or random errands I want to get done before I have a newborn. Some of the items on the list will be things like getting out baby clothes/gear and getting his room ready, even though he probably won't use his room to sleep for several months. Mostly I'll just want to have things in really good order around here so I can feel peaceful about our environment before bringing in another human.

The other day I got super annoyed at Devin and snapped at him for absolutely nothing. Afterwards we both kind of looked at each other like "what was that?"...and my best answer was, it's the third trimester irritability. :) I'm definitely in a stage where I'm needing good sleep and it's better if I'm not on my feet all day long or I'll pay for it the next few days. Overall I still feel good, just lower energy, which always drives me nuts when I have a lot I want to do.

Also, I'm now in my 30s! My birthday week festivities were dampened substantially by influenza for me and the little boys. We made it through thanks to healthy Devin and tamiflu. It was not our best week though, let's say that. So my birthday felt like a...non-event. Which is kind of sad for 30, but Devin says we'll make up for it and go all out for 31. :) I did receive several really sweet and thoughtful cards and flowers and felt very loved by my people.

I have no issue with being 30. In fact, I had been feeling weird about being pregnant with my third kid and not being in my 30s yet. It just seemed time to close the 20s chapter of my life. And can I just say, how weird are your 20s? I mean, I started that decade as a very immature college student and finished it very much 'adulting' and doing the whole wife/mom thing. Lots of transition and new things. I'm thinking my 30s will be a little more stable, which actually sounds kind of nice.

Soon after I turned 30, our marriage turned 6. This past year was our best one yet I think. So far every year with Devin gets better. We communicate better and continue to make a great team. I have so much fun with him and am so glad to go through life with him...we're just a really good fit. 

My wonderful mother offered to come out and stay for a couple days to help me with some stuff post-flu, keep us company, and give us a great date night. Devin and I thoroughly enjoyed a night to ourselves. We ate really good food and laughed and had good conversation. You know it's a good date when it just leaves you wanting more! Thanks, mom!

Embracing the Season

Before winter really settled in, I had purposed (sort of subconsciously and to Devin) to embrace it and not wish it away. This is hard when you live in Indiana with all the gray, cold days. This was born more out of annoyance than anything else. Everyone raving about the coziness and the snow during the Christmas season, then as soon as the holidays pass, it's all "is it spring yet?" and "I'm so sick of this snow". This is tempting for me to do, but here's the thing...

When you're romanticizing something you leave out the reality that every season has. For instance, right now I can be tempted to longingly wait for a warm June evening when the sun is still shining at 9PM. In my perfect daydream, the boys are riding their bikes in the evening sun, Devin is grilling something yummy, and I'm sitting in a comfortable chair holding my new baby and sipping a really good beer (because I won't be pregnant!). What this daydream misses is the reality of things like bugs and humidity and possibly tired or hungry kids...maybe even a baby who is terribly fussy in the evenings instead of sleeping peacefully in my arms. 

I'm using the actual 'seasons' as an example, but I've been thinking a lot about wishing away other seasons as well. Like when our kids are in hard stages, it's easy to want to wish them away to when things get easier. Seasons when we have a lot on our plates or some added stress...quick, wish those away to more peaceful days. Oh life is kind of boring right now? Wish it away to a season that can include more travel or adventures. 

I've always been an anticipator and in a lot of ways I think that's an ok thing, but it's also set me up for a lot of disappointment. "Things will be better when..." is a thought pattern that really is just unhealthy and leads to unmet expectations. I'm also slowly learning that the mundane seasons tend to be the ones I look back on very fondly. And the really hard seasons can produce so much good if instead of wishing them away I embrace them and dig into whatever we're dealing with.

The last week has been spent in our home dealing with influenza. Thankfully Devin stayed healthy and could care for the boys while I was down. This event was definitely a tipping point for my positive, embracing attitude about winter (nothing like incredibly sick kids for several days to put those summer daydreams in full swing). And when I realize it's not even February yet I can feel a bit panicky. But I guess the point of all of this is that I feel so committed to pushing through. 

We are not in the easiest season in a lot of ways right now....we're dealing with some really frustrating/confusing things with one of our kids, there's winter and the lack of activity and vitamin D, pregnancy, several things happening at once that makes it feel like we're bleeding money, and then my 30th birthday activities all got canceled because of sickness. I definitely find myself thinking "what will happen next?" in a very pessimistic way. But, I'm committed to this season. I believe it holds something valuable for us and I refuse to miss what is here because I'm just waiting for what's next. So, if you find me complaining, feel free to hold me to that.

Henrik is 5

Wow, five years with our boy.

What to even say about a boy who is learning and changing so much right now. I have his preschool picture from the Fall hanging above where I'm typing and as I glance at it I can't help but think how much he's changed even in the last few months. I love to see him learn new things and ask good questions. He challenges me in about every way possible, which means he's also very good my own personal growth.

Henrik is bright, inquisitive, and extremely in tune with his surroundings and others. Like any traits, they have up sides and down sides. While his emotional intelligence is quite high for his age, it's also developing a self-awareness and insecurity of what other's think that I had hoped would still be a few years off. He loves people and interacting with adults. Quality time and affirmation seem to be things he can never get enough of. Thankfully his brother has turned into a good playmate! He has definitely latched on to whatever his dad does, so hockey is king.

Henrik has a strong justice side and maybe a little bit more black and white than I expected him to be. He often talks of wanting to be a police officer so he can put bad people in jail. He often wonders if God is pretend since his prayers aren't answered how he thinks they should be. His brain always seems to be turning and thinking through something.

Some favorites...

Color: blue
Show: Wild Kratts
Movie: Cars 3
Toy: "pull back hockey" (Playmobile NHL rink)
Treat: Fruit snacks
Meal: Spaghetti (same as last year)
Friends: Tripp
Place: Museum