September 12, 2014

Finding Out & Telling Him

Baby Memories
The story of how we found out that we were expecting our newest little bundle of joy is one that I wasn't sure would happen at all. After being diagnosed with two separate conditions that are both known to cause fertility problems and trying for a time without success, I wasn't sure that my body could even conceive again. Truth be told, there were tears shed over the fact that I didn't know if I would ever be able to carry another child and the ache that I had to have another baby simply wasn't going away.

After trying unsuccessfully, I took yet another test. Against all the odds, I was hoping that somehow I was pregnant. The test was negative and I was crushed. I spent the day moping around the house and indulging my self-pity while ignoring the laundry pile and feeding my emotional need for chocolate. Truth be told, beyond simply hoping that we were pregnant, I had hoped to share the exciting news of another child with Jonathan, as we had a special date night planned for the next evening. I had even gone to the trouble of ordering a special card to tell him the news, with the hopes that I would be able to use it someday.

That evening, having used up the last of my stash of pregnancy tests, I dragged my butt to Target to pick up a few essentials, including more tests for the following month. I think I stood in front of the test section for a solid fifteen minutes, debating how many tests to buy. Should I be optimistic and buy the single test? The three-pack? Or should I embrace my emotional deluge from the day and buy the economy pack of tests?

Spoiler alert: I bought the jumbo pack. I was set for life. I would never run out of pregnancy tests again.

The next morning rolled around and I found myself feeling a little less desperate. Still, knowing that I wouldn't be able to share any exciting news with Jonathan on our special date was a little bittersweet. After debating for awhile, I finally justified taking another pregnancy test. I figured that since I was never going to run out of tests, I could stand to waste one just to be sure I wasn't pregnant.

I drummed my fingers on the counter for a full three minutes, unable to peek as I waited for the results. The three minutes seemed like an eternity and I finally looked. The first thing I saw in the digital window was the word pregnant. I literally didn't believe my eyes. I grabbed the test and examined the results window up close, convinced that it was a trick of the light and the words not pregnant would appear at any moment. Finally, I sat down in complete shock. In three minutes, my life had changed. I was no longer a mama to two little kids, but three. All those nights of praying and asking God to give us another child had not gone unheard. Our prayers had been answered and I held the proof there in my hands.

That night as the two of us sat alone at a quiet dinner, I gave Jonathan the card that told him he would be a father again. It was a sweet moment for the two of us, one that we'll both remember forever as we sat there, wondering about our baby and how our family would change in the coming months.

Looking back, it was the perfect way to find out that we are now a family of five. Jonathan and I got to enjoy our news quietly as a couple and I have enough pregnancy tests stashed away in my closet to have a whole herd of children after this one makes an appearance!

Just kidding, grandparents. Three is plenty for now!

September 11, 2014

The Newest Member of the Family

Adventures with Arthur
Adventures with Arthur
Adventures with Arthur
This morning after we picked what few apples were on our tree this year, the kids ventured over to the playhouse. A few moments later, I heard the telltale, Mommy! I have to show you something! It's so cool! Usually, this exclamation is followed by the display of a unique rock or maybe even a child that has discovered their ability to hop around on one foot. Today, however, this discovery came in the form of Arthur, Nathaniel's new best frog friend.

Arthur was gracious enough to join us for lunchtime at the kitchen table from his mason jar perch and the littles were entertained watching him hop around under his leaf. Admittedly, there were quite a few tears when we had to let him go, especially from a certain tender-hearted little boy who was sobbing because he was going to miss his froggie. After a few extra hugs from Mama and Daddy, we finally made it outside and left Arthur in peace with the promise that we would look for more frogs next summer.

The weather is definitely cooling off here in Minnesota and we're bundling up when we go outside with sweatshirts and jackets. The days of frog hunting are waning in favor of hot chocolate and impending snowstorms. It'll all be here so soon...

September 10, 2014

Keeping Them Involved

Keeping Them Involved
Keeping Them Involved
This pregnancy has been such wild ride so far; everything is different from my previous two pregnancies, but one of the biggest contrasts so far has been the kiddos! These little ones are old enough to really understand that there's a baby growing in my belly and it's been important to Jonathan and I that we include them in the excitement of this pregnancy since it's now public news.

That's definitely easier said than done. We tried a couple things to include them, one of which was taking them both with to our first ultrasound at 7 weeks. That was an EPIC disaster. To be exact, it was 50% of an epic disaster. Exactly half of my birthed children behaved for the fifteen minutes that we were in the ultrasound room, sitting still as a statue and quietly watching the technician. The other half… let's just say that Daddy excused himself and said child from the room pretty darn quick when fussing/squirming/screeching ensued. Think hyena on steroids and you'd have a pretty good picture of what went down that morning. The poor technician. I'll leave it up to your imagination as to exactly which minion of mine was to blame for the somewhat unsavory behavior.

With the ultrasound behind us (thank you, Lord Almighty and amen), we attempted something far less stressful to include our littles- photos. We took our ultrasound pictures to Target and made a couple cheap copies, hanging one up in each of our kids' bedrooms. Honestly, we weren't sure if it was something they would like or if it would be ripped off their walls in half a second but we were pleasantly surprised. Letting them each have their own picture has been a great way to include them and to give them an avenue to ask questions about the baby and how he or she is growing.

The most challenging part of the whole experience has been the photo itself. Right now, we are out of the first trimester and our little baby inside of me looks nothing like that tiny blip on the screen that we saw at seven weeks. Explaining how much bigger the baby is now compared to the picture has been a little challenging, but we've been trying our hardest. Hopefully when we go in for our next ultrasound at twenty weeks, we'll get a couple more good shots that we can share with the kiddos!!

Until then, we're definitely open to suggestions. We want the littles to be included as much as they can be… how would you involve them? Feel free to share your ideas with us!! Happy Wednesday!

September 3, 2014

This Guy

First Day of School
Today, we found ourselves up at the crack of dawn (after oversleeping our alarms, oops), bouncing with energy and getting lunch packed into a brand new R2D2 lunchbox. It seems surreal that summer is already over and we're getting back into the swing of school, this year being three days a week instead of two.

This guy was beside himself with excitement that he got to start Pre-K4 today. Nathaniel was literally jumping up and down knowing that he would get to spend the day with his friends at school. Despite the jumping, we managed to wrangle him into his carseat and out the door in record time.

I have to admit, my mama heart ached a little sending him off to school. Don't get me wrong- I'm all for running errands with only one child to buckle into a carseat. The fact that I only have to make lunch for one child is practically enough to make me giddy and the knowledge that I'll only be responsible for wiping one child's bum on school days has me dropping to my knees and giving thanks. Yet, despite the excitement of the freedom of having a child in school, it marks another year gone. It's been one year since we first sent Nathaniel off to school and so much happened in that year for him and for us as a family. It's thrilling, but it's also bittersweet.

So for the sake of posterity, I had to share this picture of our four-year-old boy today. He was so excited he could barely stand still and once I finally released him from my bear-hug in the classroom, he took off like a shot to play with his friends. Happy first day of school, bud!

August 16, 2014

And Then There Were Five

Our Family of Five
There's been quite a bit of upheaval around our house these past couple months as we are preparing to meet the newest little member of our family, the sweet baby we will meet next March! We feel so blessed to be pregnant at this point, especially since it came against the odds for us. It's a tremendous joy and something that we attribute to lots of prayers being lifted up by us and on our behalf by friends and family.

The last few weeks haven't been easy on me as a mama. This pregnancy has been the most difficult so far with regards to feeling downright awful. I can smell everything and quickly became aware that smells that I previously enjoyed are now triggers that can cause me to lose my lunch (I'm looking at you, Tresemme shampoo)! It's been a roller coaster for us as a family since I'm often too tired to do much, but Jonathan has been stepping in to take on the role of Super Dad, which often takes the form of working from home so I can rest a bit more. It's been a treat for us to be able to spend a bit more time as a family, but I'm still longing for the days when I won't need Saltine crackers to make my way out of bed in the morning. A girl can only take so many of those.

So far, we've been blessed to have an ultrasound to see our little babe very early on and one of the most special moments for us has been listening to our little one's heartbeat on a doppler while we're relaxing at home. That happens to be a particular favorite of Nathaniel's as he comes running every time he hears me looking for those familiar sounds.

With regards to Nathaniel and Evelyn, we had a bit of a shock when Nathaniel questioned me out of the blue about being pregnant just days after we found out that we were expecting:

Nathaniel: Isn't there a baby in your tummy?

Mommy: Um… buddy, we're going to have to talk about that later. Maybe when we're not visiting Bubba and Grandma's house, okay?

Nathaniel: Why? Because then they'll know?

Mommy: What exactly will they know?

Nathaniel: About the baby.

Suffice it to say, we told Nathaniel right then and there. Most impressive of all, he kept the secret for nearly three weeks until we gave him the green light to tell some of our closest family members. Both he and Evelyn are thrilled that they have a baby brother or sister on the way and they've also registered their opinions with the parent committee for which gender they would prefer. Not surprisingly, one wants a boy, the other wants a girl!

Right now, we're just taking it as slow as we can, enjoying this time before life will change so drastically. These are fun days, despite pondering the question of purchasing stock in Saltines, and we're going to soak them up with the end of summer and lots of sunshine!