One Month {for baby z}

Posted By on December 12, 2014

I know who I think he looks like!

I love that a silly idea I had, of sending monthly updates as Miss E grew to the husband while he was deployed, has turned into something that I can see so much growth in . . . growth in my sweet babies . . . growth in my attention to the finer details like typography . . . and growth in my ability to not use a stinkin’ flash! I can’t wait to continue comparing all of these guys as little Z grows as well.

Four By Four {random catch up as we do}

Posted By on December 11, 2014

One:

This four kid thing? Holy shit.

I don’t know if it’s because of the impeccable timing we managed to have, adding to the family just at the exact moment we entered another round of Terrible Threes, or the fact that this parenting while outnumbered stuff is just plain hard, but whoa. Tater has been putting both the husband and I through our paces every minute of every day. The amount of tears and thrash-about tantrums and poorly chosen battles that have been coming from him is absolutely insane. He alone is the source of 90% of our exhaustion. On the flip side, MJ seems to be thriving in the chaos, skipping between parents while batting her eyelashes and offering to help with whatever it is we could possibly need, and we’re just over here waiting for her to crash and burn. Miss E is completely enamored with her newest sibling, but is a leeeeetle pissed off about the lack of over-the-top holiday cheer going on in the house. Apparently suggesting that the cookies AND the lights AND the inside decorations AND the perfectly wrapped presents AND the Christmas dinner pirogi aren’t all going to happen was too much for her to handle. Traditions! We have TRADITIONS, MOM! We’re working on compromising, but it’s tough to explain to a seven year old that you really just want to say hell no to the thought of decorating cookies and go take a nap.

Two:

The week before I had the baby, Miss E came down with a cold. Congestion, wicked cough, general awfulness that sent me into despair over having sick kids in the house and my dad in town and him having to take care of them when I was gone and, oh yeah, bringing a newborn home to it all. As a bit of the icing on that cake, Miss E threw up, everywhere, the night before I went into labor. Which, yeah, that was super special.

By the time I left the hospital, all three kids were snotting everywhere and hacking like crazy. Yay germs all over the newborn! By the time my dad went home, he was sick as well. Over the last four weeks, we’ve all gotten a touch of it – even me, of course – and that takes having an infant to care for to a whole new level. Every time I swear we’ve kicked it, someone starts hacking in the middle of the night or runs a mystery fever or something equally as ridiculous.

And, we aren’t the only ones suffering from it.

One night, the husband was in the store buying cough drops for Miss E to take with her on a full day field trip. As he was checking out, he ran into her teacher. Smiling, he raised the bag up and said how he was actually buying them for her. She got a good laugh out of that, and hopefully appreciated not having to hear E cough for the entire bus ride there and back. As the story goes, she’s completely over hearing it in the classroom. Personally, I’m completely over feeling like the terrible mom sending her sick but completely not contagious kids to school.

Three:

In addition to the general crud, I was the luckiest of all lucky ladies and had a super special issue pop up that made me want to crawl into bed and never come back out.

We had nine people coming to town for Thanksgiving. On Wednesday morning, the day they all were going to begin the long weekend together at our house, I woke up feeling like someone had whacked me with a baseball bat between the legs. My back was killing me, my nerve down my leg was killing me and I could barely hobble around the house. For the next five days, I whined to the husband in whispers and grinned through gritted teeth while pretending it wasn’t that bad.

Finally, FINALLY, I got an appointment with my doctor on Monday morning. Cue a couple of nurses, two incredulous doctors, and a seriously painful procedure. Voila, I could walk without cursing.

Google Bartholin Cyst. And then thank all of your lucky stars if you had never heard of that before.

After that, shed a couple tears for me in sympathy.

(Seriously. Almost worse than childbirth.)

Four:

The baby. We cannot forget about the baby. No way.

ZZ. Sweet baby Z. The fairest of them all, a resemblance to even less of the family tree than MJ. And, as we’ve heard a million and one times already, he completes our rainbow of hair colors. In just the past four weeks, he’s become such a true baby and left the newborn stage in the dust. Already pushing at the feet of his 3 month pajamas, he is no longer content to be left with nothing to look at. Cats within reach are wildly swiped at and rarely does he stay on his stomach, doing his best to roll right back over each time. This is high on the list of my favorite stages, when they’re still so new but waking up a bit more each day.

We keep saying how he’s such an easy baby and savor inch every bit, knowing the real pain is right around the corner. I was thrilled one night when I checked the clock and realized I’d gotten a solid six hour stretch of sleep. In the morning, I was convinced I could fly, and wheee, every day would be a breeze if this was how wonderfully he was going to sleep. And then, the next night, he was up literally every hour.

But, he’s cute, ridiculously cuddly and melts our hearts with every smile, so I suppose he can be forgiven for anything at all at this point.

{and now there are} Four

Posted By on November 23, 2014

Introducing (finally) . . .

 

Apparently it takes four times as long to finish anything once you welcome the fourth child into a home. Not that I’d ever complain, since all of my free time has been spent cuddling and inhaling that intoxicatingly sweet baby smell, but whoa. Whatever the husband and I did in our past lives to bring such an initiation period upon ourselves, we’d repent in a heartbeat. All of the big kids have been sick, hacking up lungs into the wee hours of the night, and a certain three year old has decided that right now is the best time to assert his very strong will and independence.

But still. Baby. Sweet, sweet baby that is so happy and easy and lulled to sleep by the sounds of chaos all around him.

On November 12th, I thanked my lucky stars that I had vigorously cleaned the house, packed lunches, prepped school clothes and braided unruly hair before going to bed the night before. At 3am, the husband jumped out of bed when I whispered his name and nearly sprinted to the car. I will always remember him impatiently waiting at the bottom of the steps as I painfully slithered down them, stopping for a contraction, and wanting to punch him for the level of impatience. My kingdom for a childbirth experience just for men.

A mere two hours later, I had a newborn on my chest and was high on that quick, not-a-chance-to-even-think-about-drugs, get-everybody-in-here-now kind of birth. He nursed like a champ and the husband and I watched the sun rise over the mountains out the hospital windows, marveling that it was all over, just like that again.

The heavy-weight of the family so far, he came in at 9lbs 6oz and was 21 inches long . . .

And we were nearly as shocked as when MJ was born, with all that red hair, to see that he has the blondest hair and lightest features we could imagine. After Tater with his shock of dark hair and crazy eyebrows and lashes, it’s quite the change.

Babies are awesome. Four kids in the house is awesome (despite the bumpy patches). And if the past 11 days are any sort of indication, this guy is going to be all sorts of awesome.

40.1 {what belly? oh! that belly!}

Posted By on November 10, 2014

(come out, come out, whenever you want . . .)

Lemondrops {and quiet, sunny mornings}

Posted By on November 8, 2014

Good morning, Saturday morning. Greetings from a sunny spot in the kitchen, next to a cup of hot tea with heaps of honey in it. I dare say that if I could carve myself an hour like this every day (ha!) I would write every word I possibly could.

************

There is a cupcake place here in town that has a famous claim that their lemon cupcakes will send women into labor. My entire family has rushed out on this chilly Saturday morning to bring some home. I mean, realistically, they’ve probably rushed out to pick their own favorites from the mouth watering display, but I do have to wonder if there is some sort of motivation behind trying every last trick at this point. I sent them off skeptically, as last time we tried this there was a full day between copious amounts of lemon cupcakes and the quick entrance of Tater, but I’m willing to take one – or two – for the team if they want to hold out hope.

Tomorrow is officially my due date. My father is here staying with us for middle-of-the-night childcare, which has thrilled the kids to no end. They love them some Papa time. Between him and the husband, though, I may be driven insane, as they question, nag and blatantly beg me to hurry this whole thing up. Apparently I’m not the only one around here that is completely over it.

The last few weeks have been nothing but a flurry of activity, as we rushed to cross each and every thing off of a massive Before Baby to do list. There were a couple “yeah right” tasks thrown on there and, surprisingly, even some of those are done. I suppose it would be called nesting at this point, but I’ll just stick to calling it insanity when I spent last Saturday painting all of our upstairs trim, touching up our bedroom paint and refinishing a crib.

Tossed in with all the to-do activities has been the routine of millions of lunches to be made, school work upon more school work, animals that cause nothing but trouble, and three sick kids. Tater had me worried this week, crossing my fingers he would hurry up and get better from the general crud that seemed to have settled in his head. He did, of course, aside from a leaky faucet for a nose. And he also shared graciously, allowing me to usher in that due date with a wicked sore throat, chills and a head that feels like it just may explode. Kids are so kind.

The house is quiet, save for the hum of all the chore laden machines humming in the background. Dishes are about ready to be put away and the laundry never folds itself. I’ve been sternly instructed to get my ass in gear and pack “at least something” that will serve as a hospital bag and I supposed I should go ahead with that in hopes the mythical cupcakes do indeed come through on their promise.