I want to be sure to document some of the wonderful aspects of having nonbabies, so that when another baby comes along and we’re back to the intensity of that season, I can look back and say, “Okay good, I really appreciated that while I could.”
Because I do appreciate it. I love it, actually. There is a whole lot of freedom in our daily life these days, and I’m extremely thankful to have this stretch before gearing up for Baby.
I look forward to having a baby in our family. I’m very excited. (In a hesitant, don’t-come-too-quickly sort of way.) So it’s not that I won’t be thrilled when the time comes for life to turn upside down. But for the moment, for the next 5 1/2 months, I want to celebrate this season.
-We can read chapter books at bedtime (currently reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe).
-We can leave the house with little warning: no diaper bags, no feedings, no gear…just go.
-We can play board games as a family and fully expect that everyone will be engaged.
-I can get in the shower without even telling them. I just expect them to continue playing together.
-We can let the kids play outside without hovering over them.
-We can go on walks without a stroller. Today the kids and I walked a mile, with Charlie on the balance bike and Lillian on foot. So easy!
-I can ask the kids to do something and they will likely know what I mean and how to do it. And usually they listen. 🙂
-We can take trips or spend the night away from home, and it doesn’t mess us up too much. It’s more an adventure and less a hassle.
There are challenges in this season too, of course. And there will be unspeakable joys this winter with a wee one, of course. But I’m thankful for where we are right now. For these big kids I’ve got, for their growing independence, for the friendship between them, and for the joy in teaching their maturing minds. This is a sweet time.
After dinner last night, I watched through the kitchen window as Charlie rode his bike with no training wheels for the first time. I admit I had to wipe away a few tears. Charlie has always been our sensitive kid, uneasy with change and unwilling to try anything unknown. For the past year he’s been riding a balance bike (Lillian’s, actually. She currently prefers the teeny-tiny “Mickey Train.”), and he would have happily continued with that all summer. But Jeff was just sure he could handle his own bike, sans training wheels. I knew that one fall in the learning process could be incredibly traumatic for Charlie, so I was nervous and skeptical. Which is why I couldn’t stop the tears of surprise and pride and joy as I watched Charlie pedal away from Jeff with no trouble at all. Way to go, Cboy!
A bit later a new neighbor came over with her five kids to introduce herself. After I told her my name, she asked, “And are you expecting?” This is the first time a stranger has commented on my expanding belly. The first of many.
Then we walked to the park. And for the first time, I watched Charlie as he got going pretty high in the swing and then jumped out onto the sand below. I couldn’t believe his confidence! He’s growing up, and this seems to be a magical season of turning points for him. Maybe this will be the summer he puts his head underwater in the pool?
The past few months have been very hard, but very joyful. Hard because I’m exhausted, napping two and three times a day, nearly incapable of performing basic household chores. Hard because I’m nauseous most of my waking hours. But joyful because, of course, there’s a reason for feeling so yucky. Baby #3 will be arriving in mid-November!
We’re very excited to welcome this little one into our family, and there’s so much I could rattle on about! But for now, just a few things I’m so grateful for during these months of the crummies:
-A very kind and patient husband who allows me extra sleep and the occasional night off of kid duty
-Very thoughtful and generous friends and family who have brought meals or offered babysitting help when I’ve felt extra needy
-A gap between Lillian and this baby! Lillian has been surprisingly understanding when I tell her that Mommy needs rest because Baby makes me tired. I’ll lie down in bed for a nap, and she’ll sit next to me paging quietly through stacks and stacks of books. My kids have long outgrown their naps, but I’m thankful that they’re independent enough to allow me some rest.
-A flexible work schedule. I’ve kept busy, but not overwhelmingly so. This comfortable pace has been a gift.
-A great first appointment with an OB I’d never met. I liked her and immediately felt at ease with her. And we heard Baby’s strong heartbeat and had a quick look at the sono. Everything looked great!
I’m ready for this stretch of the pregnancy to be over, but I’m constantly reminded of how well I’m being cared for in the midst of it.
My dad is staying with us now, ready and eager to play nanny when Jeff and I head to the hospital. Today is my dad’s birthday — wouldn’t you agree that it’s the perfect day for Junebug’s arrival? We’re all so ready for this baby to make her appearance!
But we’ve definitely been enjoying a few pre-baby days with Gramps. We’ve been to the park, gone out to eat, played in the water table, journeyed downtown for a few hours at Lincoln Park Zoo, and just bummed around the apartment with choo-choos and cars and Legos. We’re having a great time, but we’re sure missing Nana!
Here are two videos from the past few days, and you can see more on my YouTube page.
Many of you know my thoughts on waiting until my baby’s birth to announce her name. (Mom, I know it’s killing you, but I promise you’ll know soon!) The problem is, all the nosy ladies passing by me in the grocery store and the restaurant don’t know said thoughts. And these bold, prying strangers are about to drive me batty. I think I need to just stay inside and avoid these people. Is it really that unusual for pregnant women to keep these things secret? It’s personal information! As Charlie loves to say, “C’mon, people!”
The conversation is always the same:
Little Miss Nosy: Oh, wow, when are you due?
Me: Next Monday!
LMN: Oh, that’s great. Are you having a boy or girl?
Me: It’s a girl. *sweet smile*
LMN: So sweet! Do you have a name picked out?
Me: *little white lie* We haven’t decided for sure yet.
[Usually the conversation can end here. Especially if I’m making an effort to walk away. Which isn’t difficult, as I’m usually chasing after Charlie. But today the store clerk wouldn’t let it drop.]
LMN: Oh, what names are you deciding between? *direct stare, piercing my soul*
Me: *stuttering, stammering, making up names*
I literally could not bring myself to say the name we’ve chosen. No way was I telling this stranger before even telling my baby! Let alone my own parents. I just couldn’t do it. So instead the conversation became unnecessarily awkward as I pulled a few names out of nowhere. But I was proud of myself for not telling her. It’s not news to tell yet.
All right, Katie, here’s for comparison’s sake.
Close to nine months pregnant with Cboy (“Carl”):
The day I went into labor:
Just a quick couple of pics for today.
For better or worse, Charlie has become my little kitchen helper. He LOVES dumping ingredients into the bowl, stirring anything that is stirrable, wiping down the counter, you name it. Whenever I’m standing at the counter or the sink, I’ll hear, “Tahtee huh Mommy!” (translation: Charlie help Mommy!), and within seconds, he’s pushing a chair over to the counter and climbing up. It’s irresistible, really.
Here he is snapping asparagus. I get the impression that he could do this all day, if only I would provide enough asparagus.
And here you see him meticulously placing the asparagus end in the “icky” pile. His brain is so methodical, it cracks me up. I got in trouble for trying to rescue a large stalk from the “icky” pile.
And now for a couple of belly shots. Nothing fancy or flattering, just proof that I’m huge. I’ve realized in the past few days that it’s incredibly difficult now to see my feet when I’m walking down stairs. This could be dangerous.
39 weeks. Yee-haw!