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


It's a strange feeling to end a year in a different location and situation than you expected to be in. Not that any year is predictable, but at the beginning of 2017 I didn't really see our lives changing a ton. I sort of figured we'd get pregnant sometime this year, but I didn't really think we would move back to Fort Wayne (yet) and definitely wouldn't have predicted the road that got us here. Thankfully it's ending well, in a happy spot, but the middle portion of this year was fairly stressful and not one I would enjoy repeating.

Some highlights...

As with most years, our favorite weeks were spent in Florida and Michigan. The boys were great ages to travel and hang out at the lake/beach and we loved every minute of it.

Saying goodbye to our Fishers home at the beginning of June...

This house/neighborhood ended up being a huge gift. Safety and security that I needed a lot during that season. Great neighbors and new friends. So thankful. I know we're where we should be long term, but I look back so fondly at our time in this home and know there will be some element of missing our life there.

Getting pregnant with baby boy #3...

Henrik starts school at Blackhawk Christian...

In short, he loves it and is doing really well in the school environment. So thankful and trying to wrap my brain around sending him for full days this next year.

We moved into our very quaint home in the '05...

Henrik's performance of Caesar in his school Christmas play was not a true highlight, but I love this picture and how it represents the boy's brother relationship. Not for one second did Ira consider letting us get a picture of just Henrik. I think he sees himself as an extension of his older brother. And Henrik doesn't consider taking a picture with Ira without putting his arm around his little bro. There's lots of arguing as things with siblings go, and often they do their own thing, but overall their relationship makes me happy and hopeful for the future.

And seriously, they are so handsome. I'm their mom, but still, good looking boys for sure.

We had such a nice Christmas together. Henrik was very happy to receive the drone he had been asking for for months. Ira was most thrilled with a new stuffed dog, who he named Homer.

At Christmas we also gave the boys confetti poppers to find out the gender of their new sibling. Henrik had been hoping for a girl but quickly adjusted to the idea of "more boys?!" as he exclaimed upon seeing blue confetti. I'm pretty sure "more boys?!" encapsulates all of our reactions. :)

I would say I did fair with my overall goals for 2017. As usual, I didn't read as much as I meant to. We meant to establish regular one-on-one dates with the boys which also didn't happen. Despite that, lots of good happened this year. Lots of growth. Devin and I got to experience some challenging decision-making which we didn't do all that well but it taught us a lot about ourselves. Marriage-wise it was a pretty solid year with more ups and consistency than previous years. 

It was an eye-opening year for parenting. I realized just how much intentionality and energy it's going to take to do this thing well. And I'm starting to see some of the challenges we're going to have. I knew it was never going to be easy, but I think for awhile I focused (rightly so) on just getting kids to sleep, eat, and use the toilet that I forgot there would be a whole new stage after the toddler one. I also can see that it has the potential to keep getting so much more fun. Babies are sweet for sure, but getting glimpses of fun events and conversations with our kids makes me excited for the future. 

Goals for 2018...

Finish growing a human, give birth to that human, and feed that tiny human from my body multiple times a day for the rest of the year, while also caring for that tiny human's two older brothers and maintaining some sort of sanity in our home. Yep, that's about it.

One other goal I have pre-baby is to cook really well and often. After the baby there will be lots of reason for takeout and quick meals and easy but not quite as healthy food. Until then, I'd love to really feed my family well with lots of fresh, whole foods so I can feel good about where we are nutrition-wise when the baby comes.

I think that wraps up my thoughts year-end! Cheers to a new year!

Over halfway with Baby S

Thankful for a good report on the anatomy scan for Baby S. We're calling he/she "Baby S" because both our girl and boy names start with S...isn't that convenient? Baby is growing well, and actually a little ahead of schedule. The ultrasound was done at 20 weeks and 4 days, but baby was measuring at 21 weeks and 4 days. I'm trying not to assume that baby will come early...but it at least makes me think I probably won't go late?

Definitely still in the sweet spot of pregnancy. My blood pressure is super good and I didn't even gain any weight this past month, so the midwife was really pleased with all reports. My one area I'm slacking in is exercise. I've got to start with pilates and strengthening a few times a week, or I'll regret it when I get bigger! 

A 20 week picture with all 3 of my kids. :)