Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How Fast Two Weeks Have Flown By

Wow! It seems like it was just a couple mornings ago we were headed in to finally have Benjamin. Instead, it's been two short weeks.  I've tried so hard to embrace each moment, for I know how fast it passes, and how quickly one forgets the little moments, the little noises, the tininess of a newborn's nose.  I often wish I could bottle the moments up.  Each time he smiles the split second before he falls asleep.  Each time Simon pats his back or kisses his forehead.

We're doing much better around here.  The boys are back at school, so we have a routine going.  Benjamin is sleeping through the night til 3:30 or so.  He'll eat and go right back to bed til 7:30.  I fell into the three hour schedule during the day subconsciously.  I've done it with the other three boys, and helped other moms with their babies.  It's become second nature.  And Benjamin has taken right to it.  I am ever so grateful.  And I find it much easier to function when I know what is coming next and when.

The big boys are doing well.  There are moments when I know they are taking advantage of my attention being so split, but for the most part they are falling back into routine.  There was even a moment tonight when all four boys were awake and happy.  Willy was doing some writing and I was finishing up some bible study questions. And it was relatively quiet.  I took a deep breath and just enjoyed the moment, grateful to finally have such a moment. It's all falling into place.

I have to say that the meals that friends have brought have made a big difference. So much goes on between three and five that the idea of dinner has been daunting.  Knowing that a warm meal was going to be served many nights without me having to plan or cook it has taken away some of the pressure.  I'm easing back into it, about every other night or so I'm taking care of dinner.  And I still have some meals in the freezer.  I am so grateful for those freezer bags full of meals I can just through in the crockpot in the morning and forget about.

Last week was also Thanksgiving and Ethan's SEVENTH birthday.  WOW! on that one also.  That kid is growing up so fast.  He is wanting to help me with nearly every meal in the kitchen.  If I'm in there cooking or baking, he is too. And I love it!  I love being able to share one of my favorite hobbies with him. It's time we have together, the two of us.  We're making memories that I know he'll hold close forever.

On to some pictures from the last week.

Wednesday morning snow surprise.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Grandma Dru and Grandpa Donica

Look at that hairline!

Oh my

Having a conversation with momma

Happy Birthday, Ethan!

Love how this cake turned out

He often looks like he is deep in thought.

Simon and I enjoying some tv time together. It seems like it's been so long since he's been able to sit on my lap and lean back like this.  I've missed this.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Week With Benjamin

Wow!  I can't believe Benjamin has been here a week already.  This time goes by so incredibly fast.  I try to capture all the amazing moments, but I know many will fade in time.  We are finally beginning to settle in some.  It's been a tough transition.  Going from three to four boys in this house.  I am fairly confident that all the moms who have four plus children lied to me when they said two to three was the hardest, after that it was a piece of cake.  I think it's a ploy to convince other moms to join the four plus club.  The chaos that seems to set in in the afternoons and evenings can be overwhelming.  But, we're getting there.  Everyone is getting used to the new normal for our house.

About his first week.  Well, he didn't really sleep for the first three days.  Only at 20 minute intervals through the day and night.  The first 24 hours we had no access to a pacifier.  And this boy likes to have something in his mouth to fall asleep with.  He spits it out soon after falling asleep, but needs it to get there.  And I was informed at 2:30am that the hospital no longer has pacifiers as part of their "baby friendly" policy.  Google it, I did at 3:00am after cooling down a little from the frustration of not being able to settle my newest baby to sleep.

Anyway, it wasn't until my milk came in that Benjamin began to sleep better.  He would sleep for 20 or so minutes, wake up a little, cry (this boy screams more than cries), and settle back down for another 20 minutes after some rocking or patting.  The first two nights at home he "slept" in his swing next to my bed.  Anyone who knows me well, knows how desperate for sleep I had to be for that to happen.  Now he's sleeping in his bed, in his room, for 2-3 hours at a time at nights.  And what a difference those intervals of sleep make when it comes to the overall atmosphere of our home.

We went in for a weight check on Monday.  He was down to 8lbs1oz from 8lbs10oz at birth. But color looks great, he's nursing really well, and has plenty of wet and dirty diapers that they aren't concerned.  He goes back on the 8th for his two week check-up.

The boys are all enjoying  him.  The bigs love to hold him every chance they get.  Ethan is very helpful around the house and more aware of things in general.  Simon is always excited to see Benjamin (Benbaby).  He tries to play with him some, and loves to help to burp him.  

Today Colton had an orthodontist appointment and Willy had another appointment.  I had to take all four boys out by myself.  And we managed to arrive early.  Granted some of the early was due to me having the time wrong, but we made it early just the same.  And everyone was happy without any problems in the waiting room.  It took a little advance planning on my end. Like getting across the parking lot with all four boys without someone getting hit by a car.  But we succeeded.

Benjamin's personality so far seems to match from what I gathered while carrying him.  He is very unique from the other boys.  He's picky in how he's swaddled, he seems generally happy, but when he's upset, he's very upset.  He is such a joy, though.  I love how he looks at me and just seems to know it's all okay.  And makes me feel that it's all okay.

Here are some pictures from the week.  I'll post his birth story soon.  It was a great labor and short delivery.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

38 weeks

Monday was officially 38 weeks for this little man growing inside. We're getting so close to meeting him. I'm hopeful he makes his appearance sometime next week.  I haven't enjoyed this pregnancy as much as I have the others. My body is older and this is pregnancy number FIVE in EIGHT years. Not to mention the three boys that we're chasing around. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be pregnant and have another baby, but I'm being honest in saying I'm ready for the next season of life.

We're pretty much ready for Benjamin. Bags are packed, there are meals in the freezer, and a package of diapers in the nursery. The boys are excited, though Simon has no idea what's about to happen. He's been part of the big boy club for about a month now. He spends most of his time following Colton and Ethan around, doing what they're doing. And they are doing pretty well in including him.

This fall has been busy, making this third trimester fly by. We've had a ton of fun, and still have a full calendar ahead of us. I'm so excited to meet this little guy, but I'm nervous about how the dynamics are going to change. Perhaps more nervous than with the other boys. It's going to be an adventure, that's for sure.

Here are a few pictures to wrap this up. Maybe the next post will be to introduce Mr. Benjamin.

38 weeks and enjoying fall wardrobe
 The Halloween haul from the boys this year.

 The blanket and canopy cover aunt Jamie made for lil Benjamin. So in love with this!
 3 am acrobatics starring Benjamin.

 The boys carving pumpkins. Simon refused to touch the pumpkin guts.

My Halloween costume this year.  My husband is quite talented.

Monday, October 6, 2014

34 Weeks and Catching Up

We've reached 34 weeks today!  Super crazy to think we are so close to meeting our newest lil boy.  Benjamin is by far the most active baby I've carried.  He moves for long periods of time, several times throughout the day and night. Yes, throughout the night.  I often lay awake, enjoying his acrobats for an hour so during the night.
I'm feeling pretty good most days.  It's usually not until the evening that the heartburn and soreness kicks in.  I'm tired much of the time. And with everything we have going on around here, my mind is mostly mush.  I really still enjoy being pregnant, but they are right when they say that each subsequent pregnancy is harder on your body, not mention it gets tougher as you get older.
We are making progress on Benjamin's room.  His name panels are almost finished.  We've put some stuff on the walls.  I haven't washed his clothes yet, but they are hanging in his closet.  I really need to sit down and make a few lists of things to pack for him and I.  I keep thinking about sitting down to do it, but then I get distracted. Hmmm...
Oh, and we took a trip to Labor and Delivery three weeks ago.  As I mentioned Benjamin likes to move a bunch.  Well, when he gets to moving for a couple hours at a time, I start to contract.  They are still Braxton Hicks contractions, but they get to be 3 minutes apart for several hours.  After a couple days of this off and on, we decided it was best to have all checked out.  Four hours in L&D, and it was decided he was going nowhere anytime soon. It doesn't happen as often now, but still every couple of days he gets a little crazy in there.

Here is a 34 week belly picture.  He's growing well in there, and is head down!

I say we've been busy.  We really have.  We are currently attempting the process of selling our house to an investor, who happens to own the house we want to buy.  There's a great lack of communication right now, so we're really just sitting around waiting for him to answer his phone.  But that is the plan.  And the hope is that we can move before Benjamin arrives. 
And Simon has decided he's ready to potty train.  I've never hidden the fact that I detest potty training, because I seriously do.  He seems to be really getting the hang of it, though.  This is not the time I would have chosen, but he was really having issues with dirty and wet diapers. 
Here are a bunch of fun pictures taken over the last month or so.  I thought this would be a quick way to catch up.
We hit up the corn maze yesterday.  This was Simon's first trip.  And it started with a two year old meltdown when he decided to run and hide in the corn.  After ten minutes or so of being taken out of the maze, we were able to enjoy it together.

Saturday evening we decided to head to a local park here to let the boys do some hiking.  Last time we were there, they wanted to, but Willy wasn't with us so they had to wait.

After hiking they had a bat flight viewing at the cave below these rocks.  This was so much fun.  The boys really had a great time watching all the bats. 

Piper is doing well here.  She's getting bigger, and still prefers me.  Most days I am very much in love with her.  Then there are days like today when she just has a hard time staying out of trouble.  But who couldn't love a cat this adorable?

Last week Ethan had a Clifford party at school. It was so much fun to spend an hour with just him in his classroom.

Aunt Jamie and Simon both celebrated birthdays the last week of September.  We decided to have a combined dinner for them. 

Daddy figured out how to put toys in balloons.

Ethan has been looking forward to this train show since May.  He has kept the flier in his room and has been watching the calendar.  The boy is seriously passionate about trains.  And I embrace it.  Reminds me of my grandpa.

We also had Benjamin's bear made. This bear has SEVEN hearts in it.  I love this tradition with our boys.  Each one has their special bear that everyone in the family at the time has put hearts in.  We've put hearts in for Lucas and Caleb in Simon's and Benjamin's.

Here is his finished bear.  I am so excited about the superhero theme!
Simon had a morning at the zoo with Willy and I for his birthday.  The boy is passionate about animals, and an hour at the zoo (there's not much there to spend more time), is his favorite outing.

Here's Simon finishing his birthday "doughnut."  Really it was a allergy free sugar cookie with allergy free icing.  He loved it!
I can't believe he is already two.  The time has gone by so fast, and we enjoy him so very much.  He adds an abundance of life and laughter to our family.  And I couldn't imagine not having him here.

He was worn out this day.  I embrace these moments, because they are so rare.

The three boys have enjoyed the cooler weather.  I think Ethan and Colton have finally "accepted" him as part of the tribe.  They play with him more, and let him join in on their fun more readily.  I love watching the three of them together.  And when they kiss and hug Simon good night, it just melts my heart.
Well, that kind of wraps up what we've been doing.  Time is ticking and Benjamin will be here soon.   I'm really enjoying this time with the boys before chaos returns, hopefully for not quite as long as when Simon was born.  
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