Saturday, April 30, 2016

What I Learned in April

 Y'all know these are some of my favorite posts! Some of my biggest take-aways this month understandably came from our trip to New York! Here's what I learned this month:

1. Coconut oil has some amazing restorative powers. I've been using it for dry skin for awhile now but Minnie mentioned recently that it works great on cuts to really help them heal. Of course, with the kids it's nice to have Nesporin or something that will help prevent infection on hand but the other day when I cut myself on a tin can I put some coconut oil on it after I washed it really well and it worked wonders!

2. I am so oblivious to so much. This is one of those things that's not new knowledge, I've just realized the depth of it (it seems I always have one or two of those on these lists). Like, my mom was really upset one night when we were over at her house and I didn't even notice. It's funny because Graves is so emotionally in tune to other people and I tend to think he gets that from me...but maybe not. Another example is with a little girl we know. Peyton was discussing something very obvious about this child and I hadn't even picked up on it. In one way it's super annoying, but it another I think it has it's perks because it helps me not judge people as much.

4. Chewed gum is the frugal girl's glue dots.  
Rest easy, y'all, I'm not the one who actually made this discovery.  Annie came up to me awhile back and told me "I came up with a new game. It's called "Find and Make". You get a bunch of trash things that would likely be thrown away, such as my gum, and make a picture with it". Haha.

5. I totally figured out how to play the Sonic game.So here's the deal, this isn't going to really be that helpful if you don't enjoy eating out the way we've learned to. Basically, Peyton and I realized that we could enjoy eating out a lot more often for the same price if we were willing to split things or just go for a snack. The point became less about getting full and more about just enjoying the experience. So what if we're hungry again in an hour and need to eat something at home? It's still a fun treat! Anyway, with that in mind I realized that Sonic not only has happy hour in the afternoon; they have $.99 cent large drinks or slushes until ten in the morning. AND during happy hour you can get several different sides in a "snack size" (a couple of mozzarella sticks, a few onion rings, a tiny order of fries) for ninety nine cents as well. Totally worth two dollars for a fun, albeit non-nutritious, snack in my opinion!

6. You never know what will calm your soul.  
The other day Graves was loving on his best friend, General and I realized it's been ages since I've petted, let alone held, the cat. And y'all know it's proven that petting a cat lowers your blood pressure, right? I picked him up and snuggled with him a little and it did make me feel less overwhelmed and more relaxed.

7. Sleep heals and I need to be generous with myself about letting myself sleep when I can. The morning we were flying out of NYC I felt TERRIBLE. Like "I think I have the flu" terrible. But I went back to sleep for a few hours and woke up feeling....well not one hundred percent but about a million times better. Not only that, but while we were there I was just so physically tired that any time we were at our Airbnb I was pretty much sleeping. I didn't try to blog or read blogs or read books or organize my life or really do much of anything. It made me realize how often I don't allow myself enough sleep and how I should prioritize it more.

8. I should always pack like I pack when I'm pregnant. I don't think I've ever packed as lightly, especially for a week long trip, as I did this time. That's not to say I was truly minimalist in my packing, but it was decidedly different from usual packing practices. Typically, I like to bring a lot of options. This time I needed to figure out what would even fit and so I tried on everything ahead of time and basically packed enough for each day, keeping in mind what we'd be doing and where we'd be going and the weather. I added a couple of bonus options in case something didn't end up working or I just didn't feel great about it but I didn't pack two or three times more than what I could wear. It was so refreshing to embrace simplicity in this way!

9. Flying is so not my thing.  
I still can't say this is a definite because of the seven times I've flown in the last five years, I've been pregnant or had small children with me for five of them. And those are pretty big factors. But I do feel like it almost gets harder every time. During my pregnancy I've dealt with some dizziness and light headedness that I think is an inner ear thing (my dad has problems with this) and flying is SO rough with that. The pressure in my head during take off and landing was just incredibly intense. Ugh. In theory, I think it's so fun and I love looking out the window and I think I'd actually find it sort of relaxing if it weren't for the physiological stuff. I even took some medicine one the way back and it was still hard.

10. Besides the more external stuff, I think flying bothers me because I feel such a lack of control. I don't have a fear of flying but I do get anxiety about it. I mean, when you're on a car trip it's going to take a lot longer to go the same distance (obviously) but you have way more control of the situation. Like if I need to puke, I'm not in a confined space. I can get out of the vehicle that's transporting me at basically any time. It's just a lot more freedom.

11. My feelings about New York are sort of complex. I think the biggest take-away from the trip is that both places still feel very much, in decidedly different ways, like home
I was definitely expecting this to be the case but the first couple of days of the trip, I thought maybe the flame for our much loved city was sort of dimming. Nope. It just took a minute to get back into it.

12. Rating iTunes is very cathartic. Peyton likes to rate his music using the star system on iTunes and he sort of goes through phases with it when he has time (I'm not sure what small fraction of his library he's done). When we had down time in New York (and I was sleeping!) he did it a bunch. Anyway, on the plane ride back we did it together and it was such a calming, light, fun activity.

13. Lists are life-giving. I've always been a list person and love making them, but sort of counter-intuitively sometimes when life gets hectic I neglect the practice. I've gotten SUPER into them again. This is probably like what I mentioned with my planner awhile back and it's very possible I go overboard with it but it's helpful to me. The other day, I sat in the sun for an hour with the kids and did nothing but made lists. 

Lots of learning in April =) Of course I'm linking up with Emily, per usual.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Babykins #3: Thirty Four Weeks

Pregnancy Highlights:
 How far along: 34 Weeks [Oh, I realized that I really need to finish up and post my THIRTY week "reflections" post since it'll be time for another one next week. I got super behind with the trip and actually just uploaded a month's worth of pictures from the DSLR today and that was mainly what I was waiting on. So third baby, right? A full month late.]
Size of Baby: (via BabyCenter) Babykins #3 is now about the size of a cantaloupe - she weighs in at about four and three fourths pounds and is eighteen inches. Her fat layers are filling out (AS ARE MINE) and her skin is getting increasingly smooth. Her central nervous system and lungs are continuing to develop. According to BabyCenter, most babies born from this point forward are completely fine if they don't have any other health factors. That's a nice thing to hear!
Total Weight Gain/Loss: twenty eight pounds as of my last appointment. That's two more pounds than I had gained with Graves at thirty nine weeks. Eeek.
Maternity Clothes: The dress I'm wearing isn't. I actually didn't buy very much maternity stuff and what I have, besides one pair of shorts, is mostly Winter. But, as you can see, this dress's days are numbered (as is the case with most of my clothes). Oh, scroll to the bottom for a bonus comparison shot!
Gender: It's a girl! 
Movement: She's so active.
Sleep: I've had a few rough nights but again this week it's mostly that I wake up feeling horrible and achy.
Cravings: I've been craving sweets a lot again. 

Symptoms: typical pregnancy stuff- my back and my FEET are hurting really bad. My feet actually haven't given me problems until this week. Even with all the walking we did in New York, they got sore but not as bad as they've been this week. I'm sure I've gained a good bit since then, though.
What I Miss: I said in Graves's post that what I missed was just being able to get around easier and how hard it was getting to do housework. Um...I didn't know what I was talking about. I'm way less mobile this time and I could feel my heart beating faster earlier just from walking around the house. It's funny because that and my sore feet made me wonder if the trip would have not been near as fun even just two weeks later. 
Best Moment This Week: Carrie and I went to dinner on Monday and it was such a nice break. I'm not sure if we'll try to squeeze one more girls' night in right before Sister Baby arrives but it was so nice to just have a light hearted evening with one of my very best friends.
What I Am Looking Forward To: Another thing I mentioned in Graves's post was that my Sunday school class was throwing me a shower. Well, this Sunday one of my precious friends in my new class at a new church offered to have a little celebration. I made it really clear that this is the third baby, we have one of each, we don't need A THING, ect. but she said she just wanted to bring refreshments and celebrate our special girl. Which was so sweet. Also, the kids' birthday party is next week. Once that's over, I still need to do a lot around the house but I really think those are the last two "events" that I'm just determined to make.
Comparison to Graves:
 One More Comparison:

same dress!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Letter to (Four Year and Eleven Month Old) Graves

 Dear Graves,

As I said in Annie's most recent letter, you've actually already had your birthday and turned five and Papa always writes your yearly letters on your birthday so hopefully he'll do that in the next month or so. In the meantime, I'm still a bit behind, so here's a catch up of some of the last bits of your year as a four year old! 

One fun thing we did recently was that we had a little birthday party for Midnight, Annie's stuffed owl. It was largely her thing but you had a great time baking and decorating and finding little trinkets around the house for her gifts.

A few weeks later we had a party for Sugar Pie (the unicorn Beanie Boo) and you got more involved that time. You and Annie got up that morning and immediately started crafting. Then y'all  packed the trunk of the Mazda full- paper crafts in gift bags, other stuffed animals, and already blown up balloons and we celebrated at my parents' house. Annie was so excited to include more guests that time. Oh, and Sugar Pie is the second to youngest Beanie Boo and you and Annie are working hard on helping her learn to walk and say new words. Annie said Midnight would have to be in charge of her flying lessons, though, since we humans have no idea how to so that. We didn't have any parties in April which I was kind of grateful for because we need to plan y'alls party! And in May, "Foxy" (y'alls youngest) and Papa have birthdays within a day of each other so Annie is planning a joint party. She's done a great job already of thinking up commonalities between Peyton and a baby Fox (apparently, they do have a lot of similar interests).

Also, before Spring even truly came the weather got so nice. After a few days of somewhat nasty attitudes, you and Annie were particularly delightful once the sun came back out and I can't help but attribute it to the abundance of sunshine and fresh air y'all got. It certainly improves my own disposition.

You are such a funny guy!

Awhile back you told me "That tummy is lookin' good today". Well, thank you, charming sir because half the people I encounter (okay, maybe mostly your maternal grandparents who obviously have no filters) seem genuinely concerned about my size. As an aside, you are doing better with accepting that the baby is a sister and you've gotten super excited about it again. As a further aside, you guys have been really sweet and understanding through this. One night I started throwing up and couldn't stop and Papa said he might need to take me to the hospital. I took a whole Phenergan (I only ever take half!) and it helped but it knocked me out! I could barely get off the couch until lunch. I'm so grateful you and Annie are such good sports. Y'all did paper crafts, played with homeschool manipulatives, planned upcoming Beanie Boo parties, and Annie pretended you were her puppy dog and trained you so he was as well-behaved as Louie (something I've yet to manage to do, haha!).

I can't do it justice just telling you about it but I took this hysterical video of you running through the yard screaming in your Moose Caboose jammies.  You said you saw a beetle and it "freaked you out".

Recently Papa told me about this conversation he had with you and Annie:
(speaking about Mr Popper's Penguins)
Me: Why do you think he was sent a second penguin (it said in the book because the first was likely lonely)
AP: Probably to mate, they usually do that
Graves: Yeah, to mate.

In other funny news, you were looking at a picture of some kids on the front of a WeeSing book and you told me "This is Aubrey, Jude, Alaina, and Francie". The big girl (Ms. Carrie) and the papa are in a different part of the house. I love that Carrie was the "big girl" and that "Aubrey" had jet black hair in the picture.

You're also getting so creative. You found some empty Coke boxes one day and decided to be Santy Clause. You filled them with toys, set up a sleigh, found Annie some reindeer antlers, and then dressed yourself in a red gingham dress of hers and put on a white leotard for your beard. I love this age so much! I've been thinking recently about your and Annie's imaginations, especially now that yours has really started to develop. One factor among many, I think (and I think this is the case with AP's reading too) is just the sheer amount of time y'all have that you are allowed to choose how to use. Recently, I've noticed that in busier seasons Annie really struggles to "fit it all in" and often what she chooses for her few hours she has autonomy over is not what I'd prioritize (e.g. television shows). As with most things there are advantages and drawbacks (and I try to be very honest about those) but this is definitely, in my opinion, one of the perks of homeschooling. 

Also,  you got out this old man mask you have and the bath towel that was the closest to brown that you could find and made this pile and told me this was after the fight with Darth Vadar. It was Obi Wan Kenobi!

The other day while I was gone, Papa read Monsters Love Underpants to y'all and then for a craft y'all made construction paper underwear (that you use as bookmarks). You loved that! 

 You're so very sensitive, Buddy. One night Papa left you in the car to run in the house for a minute. You thought Papa had left you. You were screaming and sobbing and shaking and told us that you were "very afraid" because you remembered when Papa had told you that you couldn't sleep in the car because you might freeze. You told us you thought you were going to die. There was lots of extra snuggling that night before you fell asleep- bless your sweet heart.

As far as more serious things go, I forgot to mention it in your last letter, but Papa finally told y'all about the changes in his faith.  One night at Mickey and Minnie's you kept insisting everyone pray before dinner. It was a great opportunity to talk to you about not pressuring people to do something they don't want to do/are uncomfortable with and I'm so glad I was in a frame of mind where I didn't just start sobbing. I also reminded you that I NEVER force you or Annie to pray when y'all don't want to. It went well overall and I am trusting God to use this all for good in all our lives, but navigating this is difficult and exhausting to say the least.

You are the cutest, spunkiest, kindest five year old I know! We love you so much. 

Momma (and Papa)

P.S. Your little seersucker Easter outfit is a 4T. I love it so much!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Letter to (Six Year and Eleven Month Old) Ann Peyton

 Dear Ann Peyton,

You've actually already turned seven and Papa always writes your yearly letters on your birthday so hopefully he'll do that in the next month or so. In the meantime, I'm still a bit behind, so here's a catch up of some of the last bits of your year as a six year old!

I went on a little girls' trip with some of my friends to Nashville and you and Graves had a fun time without me. Papa worked the weekend so DeeDee and Grandpa Randy kept y'all and then on Friday and Monday, you had so much fun with him!

Another fun thing was that you planned this great party for your stuffed owl, Midnight, for her birthday.  True story. A friend asked me what our plans for the kids for Valentine's were. And I told her that, to be honest, we were in super planning mode for Midnight's birthday on the 15th. You decided we were legit having her a party. So most of my creative efforts went toward that.  The narrative that is this owl's life is incredible. So much of your mental energy is used on her. I think it was literally more important than y our own birthday to you.

On the day of the party you kept hiding Midnight's presents/cards from her in the laundry room. I'm so, so not one to bake. I burned myself and spilled the batter and that one side of the pan apparently wasn't greased well enough. BUT, you and Graves and I made Midnight a cake from scratch, complete with the make your own buttermilk using vinegar trick. The phrase Mickey used for you when you were still a toddler- "one with a strong determination of purpose"- continues to be one of the best descriptors of you to date- you iced those cupcakes with such precision. We also had little sliders with random toppings (Papa's idea!) for the party. You had pepperoni on hers and Graves had peanut butter!

Your card for Midnight was so beautiful. It said: "Happy Birthday, my little owl. Note: I love you. You are my little owl and you are so special." You are my little girl and YOU are so special. Grateful for every day with you, Annie!

One thing I discovered about myself from the party is that while I'm so not a crafty mom, I can be a creative mom. It doesn't need to look perfect to be fun and we had such fun doing this!

Oh and Midnight now has a "brother", Freeze. When you go your  Christmas money from DeeDee you told me IMMEDIATELY you wanted to buy another Walgreens stuffie with it. Originally, you had planned to buy one of the smaller animals because "they go in purses better" but then you realized Freeze and Midnight could share Midnight's clothes (some random doll clothes we founds in the attic and gifted to you for Christmas) and it was decision made. Of course, just like every member of this family besides me they still like to romp around in as little as possible.

The weather was so nice for February. After a few days of somewhat nasty attitudes, you and Graves were particularly delightful once the sun came back out and I can't help but attribute it to the abundance of sunshine and fresh air y'all got. It certainly improves my own disposition.

There were some tornado warnings and when there is one you always sleep in the tub. Ha! 

We did have a bit of sickness around here. You and Graves and I all had bad coughs and I threw up everything I'd eaten one day. You told me that you had figured out why you were coughing so hard that morning-- "there was so much dried up snot in front of my nose it was making it difficult to breathe". Well, of course.

You are so sweet and considerate. One morning Papa went to the grocery store, dropped off groceries, and ran to the library. He woke me up and asked me to put up the groceries but I stayed in bed a bit longer. I heard you say "Oh! We already had cream of chicken soup". I got up to go see how you figured that out and what you were up to. You were standing on the counter and said "I was putting these groceries up so you could sleep a little bit longer".

You are such a big reader and recently you got your own GoodReads account! You've been recording and rating the books you've read for awhile now. You even review your favorites- you dictate to me or Papa. Teaching you to type is on the agenda soon! Then you discovered the "currently reading" shelf on your own and started recording what page you're on. It is actually a nice feature because it occurred to me recently (as you were tearing up scraps of paper to use) that there aren't enough bookmarks in the world for your habit.

This was your first review, by the way: "I liked it and they started to be my favorite animal, especially since Uncle Michel has pet sugar glider. They're a little like flying squirrels. It was a little hard to read, but I kinda figured it out.  It teaches me a little about sugar gliders but not a lot, lot, lot!"

One of my favorite things lately was when you said "Now that's what I call so beautiful." in reference to a Walter Anderson turtle in the coffee table book we checked out from the library.

Also, our friend Darlene keeps finding these cool bird videos online for you and you absolutely love them. You're such an animal girl!

You also told me that "You know a lot of animals seem creepy because they're misunderstanded. Like bats. People think they're so scary and they're really not. They're really just shy little animals. People just don't understand." {heavy sigh} Also, as an aside, you have a favorite author now-- Gail Gibbons.

Lit tees went on sale and you picked The Origin of Species because of all the animals. Hahaha. Also, for what it's worth, I cannot look at you in it without thinking how grateful I am for the multiple science teachers I had at Prep who explained to me that being a faithful Christian and believing the data supporting evolution did not have to be mutually exclusive. I'm excited about helping you understand that as well.

I read Annie three chapters the other day and told her she'd have to wait until after rest time (which they now call break time "because nobody rests anymore but you, momma") for the final two. She was slightly indignant and subsequently finished the book herself and summarized it quite adequately (interjecting a bit of her own thoughts on it as well). [She's definitely not truly on a fourth grade reading level in every sense, but she did knock this one out of the park and I'm so very proud of her.] Book reports are next!

Speaking of science-ish stuff. You and Papa and Graves had this priceless conversation awhile back:
(speaking about Mr Popper's Penguins)
Papa: Why do you think he was sent a second penguin (it said in the book because the first was likely lonely)
AP: Probably to mate, they usually do that
Graves: Yeah, to mate.

I've been thinking recently yours and Graves's imaginations, especially now that Graves's has really started to develop. One factor among many, I think (and I think this is the case with your reading too) is just the sheer amount of time y'all have that you are allowed to choose how to use. Recently, I've noticed that in busier seasons you really struggle to "fit it all in" and often what you choose for your few hours you have autonomy over is not what I'd prioritize (e.g. television shows). As with most things there are advantages and drawbacks (and I try to be very honest about those) but this is definitely, in my opinion, one of the perks of homeschooling. Graves found some empty Coke boxes and decided to be Santy Clause. He filled them with toys, set up a sleigh, found you some reindeer antlers, and then dressed himself in a red gingham dress of hers and put on a white leotard for his beard.

It seems like you get so stressed and anxious on Papa's days off and like you can never have enough of his time and attention (which is ironic because you have WAY more time with her father than most six and seven year olds). You just really worried we won't fit in the things you want to do- and they're mostly small, easily doable requests. But a lot of times we do get to the end of the day and have neglected to fit them in. Last week, you even protested going to the Children's Museum (which you love!) because you were scared you wouldn't have enough time to play pretend at home with Papa. So, we're trying something that helps manage my days-- lists. We make a list of about five things you'd like to fit in and we try to accomplish them all. Often they're easy things, as I said- buying grapes from the store or playing action figures and often they are activities that are GREAT for you and your education (science projects or cooking activities) and it's nice to have the extra motivation the list gives us!

I'm not sure I've come out and clearly mentioned it in your letters but Papa finally told y'all about the changes in his faith (he's been dealing with a lot of uncertainty and at this point no longer identifies as a Christian). One night at Mickey and Minnie's Graves kept insisting everyone pray before dinner. It was a great opportunity to talk to him about not pressuring people to do something they don't want to do/are uncomfortable with and I'm so glad I was in a frame of mind where I didn't just start sobbing. I also reminded him that I NEVER force y'all to pray when you don't want to. It went well overall and I am trusting God to use this all for good in all our lives, but navigating this is difficult and exhausting to say the least.

On a happier note, I am so excited to see you as a big sister again! One night we were discussing where the baby would sleep and you suggested attaching a cradle to Graves's bed. "They would love that", you said. He's definitely more of a baby person and you and Papa like older children but in the past couple of months you've started hugging my tummy at least once a day and saying "love that baby". It makes me so, so happy.

Annie, you are such an intense and complex person but that's part of what makes you so amazing. I wouldn't change a thing about you! 

Momma (and Papa)

P.S. I got you a BIRD DRESS from Target for your Easter dress. It's a 6/6X.  I would have probably preferred something a little more traditional but I knew you'd love it. And you did. You had the biggest grin on your face when you put it on and I could tell you felt absolutly beautiful. Which is NOT the most important thing, but it's fun every once in awhile. You're also holding up your most recent favorite Magic Treehouse book and have Midnight right there with you. All your very favorite things!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Feelings On Visiting Our Old Home


I recorded all the details of our trip in my Weekly Happenings post and I'm going to just include most of the pictures there too (I actually didn't take a ton). But I wanted a little more space to write about what I/we felt while we were there. I meant to blog about it all in real time but I just had no energy for it while we were there. I crashed pretty hard whenever we had a down minute.

 The first day we got there it was raining and a little cold and Peyton said "well, some of the romanticism of it is gone". And I thought that was the PERFECT way to articulate my emotions. I just didn't feel what I had expected to. We analyzed and hypothesized the various reasons for this, as you do.

I wondered if it was partly my "condition". The walking was hard, the not having many available easily accessible bathrooms was hard. Everything felt hard. Or harder. When we lived there, I almost always thought the city was hard, but worth it. The first day or so back it seemed like maybe it was hard and not worth it.

I also wondered how much of it was not having the children with us. Which seems...counter-intuitive. But  really so many of the things I found magical about Brooklyn, I found magical because I saw it first through their eyes. A lot of those things (greasy pizza and crowded playgrounds and Coney Island) would not have been so special if I wasn't seeing them through the eyes of a child.

I even wondered if maybe I had just curated an image of it. This is something I've thought about before but I gave a lot more thought to the first couple of days we were there. Maybe when we lived in New York I made up an image of us that I thought would get a lot of Instagram likes. I mean, I'm sort of sure I did to some extent. I think I do it in Mississippi, too. It's fun, and I think can be innocent if it's not taking too far, to figure out the image of yourself you want to share with the world and to work on crafting that image.

And maybe it wasn't even for was for me. Was it self-preservation? Was the picture of the city I loved so much one I needed to create just to survive? I had thought my first months back in Mississippi when I missed it so badly proved to me this wasn't the case. But I began to question it.

One of Peyton's theories was that things this far north weren't really blooming yet. I've gotten really into thinking more about seasons and their influence, but I was skeptical. 

Gradually, after so many conversations with dear friends we did remember how very magical a place it is. And toward the end of the week it got much warmer and the colors were so vibrant and we even saw a young couple just totally making out on the sidewalk and I remembered what a Brooklyn Summer looked like. It was a total one eighty from the first day or so.

On Sunday evening we went to Calvary and I weeped (in the best way) during the worship for the first time the whole trip. I was so grateful to be back but also for our home in the South. 

The very best part is that Peyton is dead set on how we can live some of the year in Mississippi and some Brooklyn as soon as possible. That's been a dream for a long time but it's neat to think it might be able to be a reality sooner than we thought. And it's really amazing to be SO on the same page about such a unique adventure.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Babykins #3: Thirty Three Weeks

Pregnancy Highlights:
 How far along: 33 Weeks
Size of Baby: (via BabyCenter) Babykins #3 now weighs in at about four pounds (which is the size of an average pineapple) and has passed the seventeen inch mark in length. Her skeleton is hardening so she doesn't look as much like a wrinkled little alien (BabyCenter's words, not mine!).
Total Weight Gain/Loss: twenty eight pounds as of my last appointment yesterday. That's two more pounds than I had gained with Graves at thirty nine weeks. Eeek.
Maternity Clothes: The dress I'm wearing in the picture isn't. I love stuff with an empire waist right now!
Gender: It's a girl! 
Movement: She's so active.
Sleep: It's okay. It actually hasn't been terrible but I've been waking up just feeling so sore and achy.
Cravings: Oh my gosh, I'm loving a good salad or sandwich (which right now mostly means it's from a restaurant, ha!)

Symptoms: The last night of the trip I was so sore and hurt EVERYWHERE. I was scared it was the flu. It was just the trip finally catching up with me.
What I Miss: The hardest thing about the trip was having to go to the bathroom all the time. After a lady at Subway told me no I got my script down: "Hi! I'm very pregnant and sort of in a desperate situation." I'm pretty sure the last sweet little Hispanic guy I said this to couldn't figure out if I needed his bathroom to teetee or give birth in. I have a hard time with this anyway, but I'll be relieved to not have the added pressure (no pun intended). Oh and at the Tenement Museum there was a mom and a daughter and the mom told the little girl to let me go ahead of them (so sweet!). Then she started to explain about how when you're pregnant the baby takes up all this space inside you and pushes your other organs around and puts pressure on your bladder and that kind of thing. It was sort of (really) nerdy but it was so something Peyton or I would do with our kids. 
Best Moment This Week: We had the best time in New York but it's also such a relief to be home. We have a good bit to do around the house to get ready for our girl, but the trip was the last big thing I wanted to fit in and worried a bit here and there I wouldn't be able to.
What I Am Looking Forward To: Like I've said before, I've gotten really into milestones this time. Just marking a goal and trying to "make it" there. I'm super excited about several that are coming up. First, the five week intervals are kind of a big deal to me, so I'll be so happy to hit thirty five and only have one more of those five week blocks to go. Then the next week will be thirty six and I'll be able to say I just have a month left. And then thirty seven is a big deal because it's (considered by some people) full term.
Comparison to Graves:

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Babykins #3: Thirty Two Weeks

Pregnancy Highlights:
 How far along: 32 Weeks. Two more months! (And I'm almost a week behind, so I'll have the next one of these up tomorrow, but we just got back from a wonderful trip to New York and I didn't blog one bit.)
Size of Baby: (via BabyCenter) Babykins #3 weighs 3.75 pounds, which is the size of a large jicama (a what??) and measures 16.7 inches long. She's still going to gain a third to a half of his birth weight, which is pretty scary to me right now! Um, try like TERRIFYING. Also, she's got toenails, fingernails and real hair!
Total Weight Gain/Loss: twenty five pounds as of my last appointment. I actually have a doctor's appointment today and it will be interesting to see. I ate a TON in NYC this past week but I also walked a TON.
Maternity Clothes: Actually, this is sort of fun this week. I got dressed for eight days in a row for the first time in...a LONG time. A really long time. Like maybe years. Anyway, on trips like this I usually way over pack but this time I tried on stuff ahead of time and I did bring a few extra options but not several options for each day like I have in the past. It was so nice because I felt really good about pretty much everything I put on. Sometimes less is really more and it really simplified things. Basically, I wore my maternity jeggings a lot with several different tops and sweaters (two that I wore more than once) and then some dresses and leggings.
Gender: It's a girl! 
Movement: She's super active. I know I keep saying similar things, and I don't know if my other babies truly weren't this strong or if it's just been so long, but she's a tough cookie. Sometimes, I'll touch my stomach and feel like this really hard little bump that I guess is a foot or something and then she'll move it. It's so crazy! I wish there was a better way to describe it because it's so surreal to me.
Sleep: Oh gosh, with the trip, I was so tired. I didn't blog at all and whenever I opened my email or Feedly or Facebook I'd just get tired and shut it and go to bed. One night Peyton said he thought someone was sawing into our apartment (it was a bit of a rowdy neighborhood) and he looked over and I was fast asleep, sitting straight up, snoring like a freight train. 
Cravings: We ate so much great stuff in New York- wonderful Mexican, these crepe things at our favorite brunch place, lots of good salads and sandwiches. It was amazing! One night I did I eat something I really shouldn't have (greasy pizza from our old favorite place), threw up violently and at length, and went to bed before the ten o'clock news.
Symptoms: I really had to work on being gentle with myself while also trying to fit in most of the things we want to do and see there. The other day I literally breathed so hard I moved the hair of the woman on the pew at church in front of me. I was out of breath basically from navigating church with Graves. It was pretty embarrassing. When I went to the hospital a few weeks ago, I mentioned to the adorable on call doctor, Dr. Jerome, that I was normally ninety five pounds and I had no idea how I could continue at this rate of adding stress to my body by carrying around a full quarter of my weight for the next ten weeks. She chuckled and said "welcome to how most Americans feel all the time". I laughed and thought how fortunate I am.
What I Miss: Memories keep flooding my mind. On Tuesday when we first got to Brooklyn I thought about how just before we moved we walked the eight mile round trip trek from our apartment to Ikea in Red Hook. That doesn't sound like a big deal to a lot of people, but for me it was HUGE. I was in the best shape physically (and probably the best place mentally and emotionally) of my adult life.I have been thinking a lot about how I want to again be gentle with myself but also get back into some sort of exercise routine once the baby is here and after the recovery period. 
Best Moment This Week: I'm still amazed by the kindness of New Yorkers. There were only a couple of times we got on a train without someone promptly hopping up to offer me their seat. While I was surprised not to be as sentimental as I thought I'd be, watching these folks take care of Sister Baby the same way they showed such gentle kindness to Annie and Graves for a full year and a half did make me tear up.
What I Am Looking Forward To: I had so much fun on the trip but I'm looking forward to easing back into our routine here (today is our first full day back). I'm sure it will take a good week to totally readjust. And then I'm ready to start getting things prepared for this girl since we don't have a lot longer!
Comparison to Graves:

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Weekly Happenings Post #365 (March 21-27)-- A Hospital Trip and Ressurection Sunday

 This was an interesting week. I made another trip to the hospital- and I so hope it's the last one until our Sister Baby is actually ready to make an entrance. Our Easter was super low key, but really nice. I was pretty reflective about it this year, with the changes in Peyton's faith, but I'll share those thoughts later.

The kids and Peyton got up on Monday and he got ready to go help his brother move. I got up after them and when Peyton left, I started a movie for them and got on the computer. I got my bath and I started feeling dizzy. Minnie called and I talked her and ate breakfast and then I straightened some and made the bed. I got stuff together for morning school while the kids played. I played with them a bit and then we did Graves's critical thinking and power cards and calendar time. We discussed the devotion we've been working through and made the Sea of Galilee with aluminum foil, plastic trees, and play dough. Annie cut out a bunch of fish and animals to add. I put up dishes and started some laundry and folded another load. I washed dishes and Graves had lunch and then the kids had rest time. Peyton got home a little after that and we had lunch and then he played with the kids. I laid down and texted with Minnie and Ellis and then got on Facebook to message someone who had a New York question. The kids were playing outside and I went and talked to Peyton in the sunroom and then fell asleep for a bit. I helped him get them ready for Graves's soccer game and they left and I mostly rested some more. I felt really bad and when they got home Peyton made waffles and we ate and got the kids to bed. Annie came back in the den after Graves fell asleep and wanted to do English so we did that and I sent an email to a friend and wrote a blog post.

Tuesday was the weirdest day. I woke up that morning after having slept terribly and realized that maybe what had me feeling so bad the day before was that I was having some Braxton Hicks contractions that were strong. The baby is super active and her kicks have gotten quite powerful, so I didn't really pick up on it at first. Well, I got up and got in the tub while Peyton ran to the grocery store for a few things with both kids. I got sort of dizzy but was feeling okay. I got ready and Peyton took his bath and we all headed to the Children's Museum after stopping at the library to make some copies. We stayed for about an hour and a half and then went to lunch at Primos. We mailed a letter and then drove to a park in Ridgeland because Annie wanted to visit a "new park". It was a really neat one. We came home and I felt awful. I started some stuff on the computer but I couldn't even do that. I basically laid down and didn't get up for a couple of hours. Peyton took the kids to the park near us to meet up with some friends who called last minute and I fell asleep for a bit. I got up and did a few things and they got home. I fixed the kids some leftovers for supper and started a post but felt awful. I basically got in bed and watched TV when the kids went to bed around nine. I was so uncomfortable and I took a long bath and tried to go to sleep. The pain got much better in the tub but then it just got worse. My friend Mallory was up and I talked to her and decided to wake Peyton up. We decided to go to Urgent Care and packed up the kids and got on the way a little after one. They dropped me off and ended up coming home which worked out well because I wound up staying there for like five hours. It turned out that was a little dilated and our girl is super low. But they didn't pick up any major contractions on the monitor and the tests came back with results that showed it wasn't preterm labor so I got an IV of fluids and got to come on home. I decided I might need to take my love affair with the massive River Oaks post partum mug to the next level. Whew.

 Kind of the last thing you want to be doing at four in the morning. I'm was so ready for Sister Baby to be on the outside, but of course I knew that, at that point, she needed stay put another ten weeks.

I called them and Peyton loaded the kids up and picked me up and we drove through CFA at like six. We went by CFA on the way home and the chipper server was very curious about our story. We told her and she asked what else we had on for the day. Peyton told her just soccer practices and she smiled and asked if neither of us had to be at work and we told her he had the day off (we didn't mention that he had the week off because there's probably a time limit on these drive thru convos). But it did make me aware of yet another way I see God providing for us with our decisions for Peyton to be home more.We got the kids settled, ate our breakfast, and watched a show and fell back asleep. I actually slept really well until Graves got up around nine. I got him something to eat and then Peyton got up with him and I went back to sleep until about eleven. I took my bath, got on the computer, and had lunch.

It was so nice to get several consecutive hours of sleep that morning, which sadly hasn't been as frequent as I'd like. Coach P (as his soccer team calls him) was conducting P.E. class at the Schoolhouse in the Suburbs with the people who made multiple middle of the night car trips last night. Can't wait for this little girl to join our crazy!

I planned the day and then got busy on some dishes in the kitchen. Actually, it was a wreck. I did that and organized the freezer and fridge while Peyton went for a short (hour long) bike ride and the kids played outside.

Yoda and crew on a "boat" and some planets on a string!

He got home and I took a nap and had a snack and then we bathed the kids and got ready for soccer (that seems pointless but they needed baths). I took Annie to her practice and Graves and Peyton headed to theirs (they were at the same place just different fields). Afterward, we stopped at the library, ran by a friend's house to drop something off, and picked up a few groceries. I cooked fish and asparagus for supper and put up dishes. I also organized our everyday china cabinet that has no doors and then we ate. Peyton read to the kids and I cleaned up the kitchen. I sent an email to a friend and did English with Annie because she was begging to. We looked at birds on Facebook and I pretty much went right to bed.

Peyton and I got up really early on Thursday and chatted and then I fell back asleep. We got up and got ready for Book Buddies and Minnie got here and we left. We had to leave early for my doctor's appointment and only had an hour and a half and it seemed sort of stressful. Peyton dropped me off and I did my glucose test and had my appointment with the nurse practitioner and was out in an hour and a half. We were going to go eat lunch but I felt so sick from that sugary drink so we came home and regrouped a bit and then headed to CFA around two. We ate and let the kids play and then Peyton got ready for an extra shift they had asked him to work that morning. I got the kids settled for rest time and looked over some school stuff and then took a nap myself.

Bless this baby's heart. On Tuesday night when I was in the hospital she was the only one of the four of us who was up the entire time (from about 1:30 to about 6:00). She has such a hard time falling asleep and P didn't want to pressure her about it so he handed her the iPad and let her enjoy about four hours of uninterrupted screen time. At one point, he also handed her his phone and told her to wake him up if I called or texted. She went back to sleep when they came to get me but didn't sleep much past her normal wake up time and was a trooper at soccer practice that night. She stayed up until midnight doing the English schoolwork she requested because I couldn't turn her down, especially after having really neglected school the few days prior. Then she got up early Thursday morning to greet Minnie at the door when she came to keep them this morning while Peyton and I volunteered. She's been a bit of a "grumpitty grump" as she herself would say, but overall I'd say that's some incredible stamina I've never had. Maybe I can pump some bottles to hand off to her after the midnight school lessons?

Graves helped me wake up Annie and we actually just spent an hour visiting and playing. Annie told me all about what they had done with Minnie and Graves sang to me and pretended to be my little donkey =) I should really just be with them like that more often. I started fixing their supper (fish again because it was one sale) and they did kinetic sand. I straightened a bit and read some in Pippi Longstockings to catch up to where Peyton had read to. I got their supper ready and they ate and I finished reading. They cleaned up toys and I cleaned up the supper plates, did dishes, and started a load of laundry. I helped them brush and floss, read to them from the Bible and Pippi, and played with them some. I got them settled and got on the computer.

I Facebook messaged with a friend and started a post and then Peyton got home and I cooked the rest of the fish and we ate. We discussed our plans and schedule for the next week and I folded laundry. Annie joined us once Graves fell asleep. I finished my post and did a few things and then went to bed too.

Peyton worked EARLY in Brookhaven on Friday but the kids slept pretty late and then we played in the bed some. I fixed Graves breakfast and he and Annie played and then had media time. I finished up another post and made my list for the day and looked at a few blogs. I ate breakfast and took my bath. The kids had a snack and I straightened a bit, put up dishes, collected and started laundry, washed dishes, and made up our bed. Annie did her spelling test and then we did morning school (Graves's critical thinking, power cards, some read aloud, a Bible story, and a craft where they made a mosaic cross). I fixed them lunch and texted with a couple of friend while they worked on their craft and ate lunch and then I changed over the laundry. They had rest time and I ate my lunch, read some blogs, and worked on a post. Peyton got home and the kids finished rest time. Annie and I had a snack and did math and Graves cleaned up their room. I helped him finish and we got ready and headed to my parents house. We had a fun visit and a great supper and Minnie had gotten the kids a few Easter happies. She got them some bath stuff and they wanted to take a bath right then so we did that and Peyton even got a little kayaking in.

 Graves recently announced that if we don't name the baby Avocado, he'll call her Mean Baby. Annie said "Bud, just because they choose the wrong name, that doesn't make her a mean baby". Minnie legit suggested we throw him a bone and name her Ava. And Annie is holding out for Daisy. Also, half the people I discuss it with don't believe me that Sally is a diminutive for Sarah. Who knew Daisy is a nickname for Margaret?? 

We got home around nine thirty and I got on the computer and finished up a post and read some more blogs.I folded a bunch of laundry, made some lists, ate a snack and went to bed.

Saturday was a fun, busy day. Peyton had taken off for the kids' soccer games and only had to work a couple of hours that night. Graves's got cancelled because too many kids from the opposing team were out of town and Annie's wasn't until the afternoon. Peyton and Graves got up around eight something and Annie and I got up around nine thirty. I took my bath, got on the computer, and had breakfast while Peyton went to the library. I went to the attic to get some plastic eggs, the kids went outside, and Peyton ran to to the store to get candy for the eggs and snacks for the soccer game.
Peyton got home and mowed the yard and I made the bed, started some laundry, folded clothes, organized a bit in the laundry room and put up dishes. I fixed the kids' lunch and got out their clothes for the game and then I ate my lunch and started doing some dishes. Annie took a quick bath because her hair was so oily from whatever was in that bath stuff from Minnie's the night before and then Peyton took one. I brought in their plates and towel from the picnic and we headed to soccer in the car and Peyton followed on his bike so he could ride it to my parents' after the game. We got there right on time and Peyton got there shortly after. I had fun visiting with another mom at the game and Peyton took a bunch of pictures. I also cleaned out my purse during the game, which had been on my to-do list all week, because Graves dumped a bunch of grass in it.

After the game we headed to Mickey and Minnie's house because Graves really wanted to fish. It was a short outing but we had fun and Peyton got a short bike ride in and met us there. We came home and the kids had snacks and unpacked the car and straightened and collected more laundry. Peyton took another bath and got ready and left for work. I had a snack, put up dishes, and folded some laundry and then played with the kids, read to them, and read them their Bible story. They cleaned up toys in the den and I went through a ton of Graves's clothes that he had taken out of his dresser and that had somehow become slightly damp.They ate supper and I folded more laundry and started a load. I got them in the tub for a quick bath and called Newks to order take-out but it was closed. Ugh. Graves had dumped more of the bath color things in the water and I had decided that it was another something they had already used up that made Annie so greasy but I had still told them specifically not to. I told him he'd have to get out early and then I realized he had a piece of dental floss in his mouth which I had also told him not do earlier. I made him get out and stay in his bed and not play for the rest of the night. Annie finished her bath and read some and Peyton got home. We ate super (Bagel Bites and frozen pizza) and did a little bit of planning. Peyton and AP did Spanish and I put up laundry, got everything together for church, and then took some pictures of some of the kids' new clothes.I got them all put up and got on the computer for just a minute and went to bed.

Sunday was Easter. We got up and got ready and dropped Peyton off and then had breakfast in the car. I did my make up and the kids listened to a Magic Treehouse book on tape. We headed to church. During Sunday School the kids talked about the Easter story and had an egg hunt. Then we headed to church and they did pretty well. Especially since they had bells they could only ring at certain times =)

 He is risen indeed!

We came home and the kids went through their candy and I unpacked our church stuff and changed clothes. They had their media time and I ate lunch and started washing one of the couch cushion slipcovers that had something on it and then I took their monthly pictures. They had lunch and I folded a ton of laundry and went through all Graves's clothes I had washed. I basically got his part of the dresser changed over for Summer and got the Winter stuff packed up to go to the attic (but I still needed to put it in the right box(s) up there). They had rest time and I took a nap but Graves kept needing things. I got pretty frustrated and ended up extending his naptime a bit. I had seen on IG where some (or all?) of the stories from the Storybook Bible have videos on YouTube and I let the kids watch the Easter one and an extra one because Graves really wanted David and Goliath. We read Pippi and then cleaned up Graves's eggs he had dumped out everywhere. I started cooking the kids some veggies for supper and we played while it was cooking. While they ate, I worked on a blog post and then did some dishes. I helped them brush and floss and then folded some laundry really quickly. We left and picked up Peyton and headed home. Graves fell asleep on the way there and Annie fell asleep on the way back but she woke back up once we got home. She and Peyton and I talked and I started planning the next week and sent three different emails. I read some blogs, worked on a post, put up laundry, and brainstormed a bit about our NYC trip that was coming up. I ate something, straightened a bit in the kitchen and unpacked Peyton's lunch bag and put up a few groceries he had bought, finished a post, and went to bed.

I'm actually only ONE post behind on these and that seems like a good place to press pause. Peyton and I are going to New York for a WEEK and I'm so excited. I'll probably blog a bit about my feelings on being there while they're fresh and maybe do a baby update, but I'm mostly going to take a break from this space and just focus on being present there and enjoying some uninterrupted time together before Sister Girl gets here!