September 24, 2014

Weekend Mornings

Typical Morning
This past weekend between picking apples and house projects, I caught these two playing together on the couch. We've recently been making a big effort to really limit their TV time, and the resulting lack of Cat in the Hat and Rescue Bots has resulted in better playtime between the two of them.

Honestly, it's been a bit of a relief to see the two of them start playing together in a way that doesn't involve bludgeoning each other with Legos or running to a parent every two seconds tattling. For now, it seems like they've finally begun to learn to play together nicely while lounging around in their pajamas on the couch.

It's a breath of fresh air in the house to know that they can (and sometimes do) entertain themselves well without a list of suggestions from Jonathan or I. Evelyn can usually be found playing Mommy with her purple baby doll and Nathaniel has begun taking on the role of Daddy/Optimus Prime. Listening in on their playtime together usually goes something like this:

Nathaniel: Evelyn… where are you?

Evelyn: 'Thaniel, I'm in here! Will you hold my baby while I get her a bottle?

Nathaniel: Sure, Evelyn. Oh no!

Evelyn: What?!?

Nathaniel: The Decepticons! They're here!

Evelyn: Aaaaahhhhhhhh! Don't worry baby, I will save you!

Nathaniel: Let's get them! [Shooting noises]

It's always entertaining at our house, transformers or not. For now, this mama is just grateful that I have two children who will play together without trying to kill each other, especially for those moments when I really need a breather. And while I'm taking that breather… I'm usually listening to screaming about robots.

September 19, 2014

Fall is in the Air

Fall with Squishy Baby
Fall with Squishy Baby
This week has been a bit crazy around our house as we start thinking about fall and trying to adjust our expectations to less sunshine and more jackets. As for this little blog, things have been extra quiet the last few days because I'm currently working on a very exciting project that I can't wait to tell you all about as soon as it's finalized. Hopefully soon!

In between breaking out our boots and jackets, Evie and I snuck out once this past week to snap a couple photos. It was one of those times that we were rushing through, knowing that I had a meeting to be at shortly. Once we got home, I took the time to look at the photos we had gotten and I had to step back and laugh a little. Even those of us who love taking photos have our days where it just DOES NOT GO WELL. And this was one of those times.

Somehow out of the mess of photos, I managed to pull these two out of the wreckage but it was a good reminder for me that shooting with a time-crunch is definitely not one of my favorite ways to get pictures of our family. But at least we got a little time outside when it wasn't super chilly out… and as you can see, it's always a fun experience when we have "Squishy Baby" (Evelyn's all-time favorite toy) to join us.

So hopefully Evie and I will get out again soon to snap a few more pictures when we're not in a hurry. We want to soak in these last few days of warmth before the cold really sets in and we go into hibernation with our space heaters and blankets. These winters are pretty harsh and right now, we're holding onto our last bit of warm weather pretty longingly.

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!