31 July 2013

Let It Be

I was getting ready to change out the quote
on our kitchen chalkboard the other afternoon
(thanks to some smudges from you-know-who),
setting out the bucket of chalk and a rag
when Max sweetly asked me,
"Mommy, will you color with me?"

My first instinct was to tell him no,
a long list of reasons scrolling through my head.
But then I stopped myself.
In the midst of all the chaos of the past few weeks -
the constant visitors, the change in routine,
the absence of Mommy and Daddy for a few days,
and now the presence of a new family member -
my precious little boy just wanted a few minutes
to color with his Mommy.
Was there really a good reason to deprive him of that?

So I said yes, and Max immediately dumped out
all the chalk and set to work on his masterpiece. :)

As he was diligently working,
I kept thinking how each day I have a choice to freak out about 
how the dust bunnies and laundry are piling up, 
how Max watched a little too much TV,
how I'm behind on writing thank you notes,
how I still haven't changed out of my pajamas (and it's 2:00),
how I am not quite in the groove of this two-kid thing yet -
I can accept that this is where I am right now.
(Which is quite a challenge for this Type A.)

So I decided to make myself a reminder out of Max's scribbles...

What I hope to be a daily reminder to just let things be
what they are for right now.
Because although I cannot imagine it today,
someday I will look back and long for these days.
So I am going to try to enjoy this season of life and all its craziness. :)

30 July 2013

A Boy and His Books

 I love that Max is a little bookworm. :)

Here he is after we just returned from the nearby public library,
ready to read all ten books we checked out!

When Max was just a bitty baby, I started a naptime routine
that included reading books before hitting the hay.
(Sometimes that meant reading for an hour because Mommy wanted to keep going. :))
It has been so fun to share my love of reading with him
and see how he is developing a love of books too.

But recently Max has decided that sleeping
is just not real high on his priority list. (Hooray for us.)

Instead, he would rather sit in his bed - or chair -
and "read" all the books on his bookshelf.

I'm a little torn about this.

On the one hand, I want him to sleep.
Because if Max doesn't get a nap, Mommy doesn't get a nap either!
And no nap = cranky Mommy. :(

But on the other hand, there are worse things he could be doing.
(For the record, he has had many mischievous moments.)
I mean, the kid just wants to read - right?

We have gone through many different tactics
to get him to stay in bed and go to sleep
(I mean, if the kid would just lay still for 5 minutes...),
but without much success.
I think Clay and I have finally accepted the fact
that most days at naptime and many nights when it's time for bed
Max is going to get out his books and "read"
for 30 minutes, an hour...sometimes more.

While it's frustrating that our two year-old will not reliably go to sleep,
it's also kind of cute when I go in to get him from a nap
and see him sprawled across a pile of books on his bed
and an even bigger pile on the floor. :)

26 July 2013

It Takes A Village

The saying goes, "It takes a village to raise a child."
But I think it takes a village to bring one into the world, too!

The past few weeks I have been so blessed by so many people
as we waited for our precious Miles to arrive.

To those of you who were so sweet to text or call
during the 10 days between my due date and Miles' arrival - thank you.
Your kind words were the encouragement I needed
to help me make it through the difficult days without going bonkers.

To my parents - especially my mom, who was with me every day
from my due date until Miles arrived - thank you.
Not only did my mom entertain [a very energetic] Max
while I had appointments, but she also tolerated my moodiness
and frustration in the last days. (I'm sorry for that, Mom.)
She stayed with Max while we were in the hospital
and welcomed us with a home-cooked meal when we were discharged.
In the few much-too-short days afterwards, my mom
was a HUGE help around the house and let me get a bit of rest.
We were all so sad to her and my dad go back to Wisconsin!

To Clay's parents, who dropped everything to drive into Fort Worth
and meet their newest grandson - thank you.
Jack and Karen were so sweet to bring Clay meals in the hospital
and to switch off with my mom watching Max.
They even entertained the kiddos one morning
so two tired parents could catch up on their sleep. :)

To our doula Jamie Hinton, who totally made the goal
of a natural VBAC a reality - thank you.
We really were so incredibly ignorant, it's almost embarrassing.
But Jamie helped educate us so we could make informed choices
throughout the last weeks of pregnancy, and I am totally
convinced that I would not have been able to birth a 10-pound baby
without medication had it not been for her calm coaching
and steady presence throughout my labor!

And to my dear husband Clay, who has been so supportive
of, well, everything throughout this pregnancy - thank you.
He reminded me constantly that I was doing the right thing
in waiting for Miles to come on his own,
even when I felt like throwing in the towel (which was often!).
And although he was very overwhelmed by the labor process,
Clay was right there next to me whispering encouraging words the whole way.
I couldn't have asked for a better partner in bringing
another baby boy into the world!

When I think back on those two neverending weeks,
I see how richly God has blessed us
with so many people who care so much about our growing family.
We are so very, very grateful to each and every one of you!

23 July 2013

He's FINALLY Here!

We are so excited to announce the addition of
MILES CHRISTOPHER to our family!

He was born on Tuesday, July 16th at 10:40pm
after almost 8 hours of unmedicated labor.
MC weighed in at 9 pounds, 15 ounces and measured 21 inches long.
That's what almost two extra weeks of cookin' will do for you, folks. :)


Here he is just moments after being placed on my chest.
(Can you see the relief on my face?!!)

We are all smitten with our newest family member!

13 July 2013

41 Weeks...

Well, folks...after what seems like the longest week of my life,
here we are at 41 weeks (and counting):

If I had a dollar for every time someone said,
"Well, I didn't expect to see you here..." ;)

To most people, this is going past your due date.
However - and this is news to me! - you're not really considered
postterm until you reach the 42-week mark. Yikes! 

Let's just say I did not anticipate making it to this point in my pregnancy.
[It's kind of strange to remember how I experienced some of the same feelings right before Max was born.]
I had read and heard many things about VBACs,
and just didn't think it was in the cards for me to go this far.
But letting my body go into labor on its own will
give me a greater chance of success - unless there are complications.
Thankfully my biophysical profile earlier this week
revealed a healthy, albeit large (or so they predict), baby boy
with a perfectly hospitable womb environment.
(No wonder he doesn't want to leave - ha!)
So we will keep waiting and hoping he will make his arrival
without much, if any, assistance.
It is definitely not easy to wait - especially when waiting is not my strong suit to begin with!
But I have been so encouraged by so many of you to hang in there.
Your sweet words have meant so much to me 
and helped me make it through the past eight days! 
I am so grateful to be surrounded by such an amazing support system.

I go back to see the midwives on Monday
and we will see how things are progressing before making any more decisions.
Unless, of course, we have a baby by then. :)

Stay tuned!

07 July 2013

39 & 40 Weeks

Here's the bump at 39 and 40 weeks:

How far along? 40 weeks and 2 days.
(Yes, I am still pregnant.)

How big is the baby? About the size of a small pumpkin,
somewhere between 19 and 22 inches long and 6-9 pounds.

Are you in maternity clothes? Yes...

How do you feel physically? Pretty good, actually.
Last weekend was kind of rough as I was having quite a bit of
pain and swelling in my right leg. It also looked super-scary.
 We suspected a blood clot, so I went in last Monday for observation 
and an ultrasound of my leg which revealed no clots - thank goodness!
The next day I felt much better, and have continued to feel better each day since.

Sleep? Now that my leg is feeling much better,
it is infinitely easier to sleep. (Last weekend it was so tender to touch
that I couldn't stand to have it even rest on a pillow.)

Miss anything? I cannot wait for my
first post-baby margarita! Who's with me?!!!

Feeling movement of the baby? Yes, though mostly
what I'm feeling these days are what our doula calls "uterobics"
or intermittent tightening/ contracting in my abdomen.
They are not always the most comfortable thing,
but it means my body is getting ready for labor
(even if a little slower than I'd like) - which I'm totally okay with!

Food cravings? Not much.
Between the heat, the less space in my tummy
and the random tightening, eating just doesn't sound all that appealing.

Gender of the baby? BOY.

Mood/ thoughts? Waiting is so hard, y'all.
I've been technically waiting for this baby for the past 10 months,
so I don't know why one more week (maybe even two) is such a big deal!
With all the options I have to help get things moving along,
it is especially difficult to sit back and let things happen on their own,
which I know is what's best for this baby.
I am so grateful for our doula, Jamie, who has already
proved her worth in coaching Clay and I through decisions
about this birth. She reminded me the other day
that when I look back on this pregnancy,
these last few days/ weeks will not matter in the slightest -
but I will always remember the birth experience,
and we are holding out for the best possible scenario. :)

Still...here's hoping I don't have to post a 41-week pic!