Wednesday, February 29, 2012

33 Weeks

In keeping with my goal of maintain a positive outlook on our situation, here is my list of blessings for Week 33 of the pregnancy

1. I always forget how low a baby can drop until I feel aches and bruises in areas I never knew existed. The latest report from is that Kiddo #3 has dropped lower and it's a wonder (and a miracle)to the doctor that I'm not dilating further. The baby is doing just fine and so 'snug' in his place that we need not worry about him being breach. Kent teases me and says this may be the shortest birth of the 3 since all I need do is dilate completely and the kid will just drop out!

2. Isaac and Keila are awesome at clean up time! Forts are made daily in our home and no room or movable furniture is safe with the exception of the hallway and my bedroom. With it comes blankets and boxes, bedsheets and pillows strewed over every conceivable thing and I cannot begin to number the styles of 'homes' that have been created. It fills their time well and they really understand now that whatever they create, they have to put away. They've also learned to clean up right the first time and to do so cooperatively. Isaac directs Keila with hauling the boxes back to their rightful places while he folds blankets and lifts the heavier items. They're quite the team and I'm proud of them.

I didn't have the heart to have him take it apart so we'd have chairs at the table to eat so here they are enjoying lunch in their own home.

3. So grateful for the homemade meals that fill my freezer and my body and soul. I've tucked away a few recipes now that I can't wait to make myself once things are back to normal.

4. The presence of pain has a way of making you grateful for when it's not there. So I'm expressing gratitude that much of my pregnancy has been painless and I cannot wait till after this little one is born. Yes, I know I will be sleep deprived, but it will only be fatigue unaccompanied by constant pain. Perhaps that's the little ticket that will make the adjustment to 3 children seem much easier. Oh, and don't forget that I'll be thrilled to be able to take Motrin once again!

If I can hold out, just 3 more weeks, then we'll know things are safe for this little one.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

'Big Girl' Choices

With all that's been going on I have yet to really attempt potty training Keila. We tried it for a few days months ago but she was so anxious and held it in so that I was afraid she'd be in danger of a UTI. I backed off and we've haven't discussed it since. The funny thing is that lately she and Isaac have had to become more independent since I am unable to do many of the things I usually do. This has been a blessing in its own way as I've watched them grow and have a genuine sense of pride it what they can accomplish. Perhaps that's been what has spurred Keila on, but hte other day, she announced she wanted to use the potty. I took off her diaper and she toddled off to sit down. With Isaac, I always sat nearby to read a book or keep him entertained, but she loudly said, "Go away Mama, need pie-vacy" The next thing you know, i hear her yelling, "I pooped, I pooped. Ewwww ... I pooped!" I proudly wiped off her bottom and there were many declarations of yucky, bye-bye poo-poo and we sent it on it's way. She's repeat this a number of times now pleased that she's not so 'stinky' or 'messy'.

Just the other day we went to Costco where she saw the much coveted Pin-cess underwear. We bought a package (of course) and told her when she could put pee-pee and poo-poo in the potty she'd be able to wear them. It seems it's all the incentive she really needs and has since done the job nicely. There are days were she doesn't care too and I don't push it. She's terribly willful for one so young, but when she has a desire, you better bet nothing is going to get in her way. I have a feeling she'll get there on her own. I think she's trying to teach me a lesson in respecting her agency to choose.

Here she is enjoying her 'treat' for a job well done! That's my big girl!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Contracts and Contractions in Motherhood

I don't think there's a more intense psychology session than motherhood. There's something about the process of having a child that digs deep down into you being and makes you think and feel deeper than before. During that process you find yourself seeing the effects of guilt,unfulfilled needs, just plain weaknesses. On the other hand there is the power of forgiveness, the willingness to change and most of all, love that can make changes as big as tidal waves or are the gentle ripples that peacefully carry you through life.

All these thoughts are not only the result of pregnancy hormones, but a more difficult pregnancy than I have experienced so far. The latest news from the doctor was a little disheartening. Despite slowing down ( no more carrying Keila, chores, cooking, mostly sitting or laying) I have begun dilating. The little guy has dropped some more and there are just too many contractions and they hold for far too long. After our OB Triage visit one night, Dr. DeSalvo put me on nifedipine to calm the uterus down. The drug itself is actually a blood pressure medication which has been shown to be the most helpful with preterm contractions. Unfortunately I already have very low blood pressure so it leaves me rather woozy headed but it works enough that I can actually sit upright with relatively few contractions.

The other night I was overwhelmed with guilt. The guilt that comes as you watch your husband finish a 10 hr day rush home to heat a sad meal, feed the kids, bath them and proceed to clean the house. There's the weight of watching my other little ones beg and plead to be held or for Mama to come and play. Inevitably there are fits and tantrums, expression of boredom, lack of understanding and the hurt that comes with it. It's hard to lay there and feel like you're really taking care of something when there are needs physically and literally crying out for you. The worst part is that I find myself battling the effects of depression that begins to weigh down as I am truly helpless to do anything about the situation.

I was so grateful for the encouragement offered from a friend who went through this her entire pregnancy. She reminded me that children are much more resilient than we think and are ever so forgiving. My house, my work do not define me and that this is for a very definitive amount of time. In the end, we'll have a wonderful being to add to our home.

So to better help me keep perspective for the next few weeks I'm hoping to list some blessings I receive each week because of this contract I've signed on to have bring another little one into this world.

1. Angels come in the most common forms and are everything. I'm grateful to those who have simply called and said, "Hey, I'm bringing by a meal" or "I can take your kids for a few hours". Whether they knew it or not, they were inspired.

2. I'm grateful for a husband who understands my neurotic behavior with order and cleanliness. Despite long days of work, he tries hard to keep the house up and running with no complaint.

3. My children are loving the opportunity to be Mama's little helpers. I can ask Isaac to fetch anything for me and his instant reply, "Gladly Mama!" Keila's little feet patter after him as she yells, "I help too!" They're also learning more skills than I would have had them do before. While attempting to fix some baked cheese sandwiches I had to sit mid-contraction and watched as Isaac proudly buttered the bread. Keila's constantly yelling "Messy!" with the toys strewed all over the floor and picking it up to dump it into the appropriate room. They have a sense of pride in their accomplishments and truly feel needed by me.

I've been glad that I've kept my camera nearby along with a stack of books and my water bottle. This is a very focused boy spreading butter on his grilled cheese sandwich. Intense isn't it?

At lunch Keila insisted on being a big girl and shelling her own pistachios. She spent a great deal of time chasing ones that flipped all over the room but she was so proud of herself!

4. I have more snuggle and playtime than ever before. We play card games, puzzles, read books, watch movies and sometimes we just talk.

I've been a rather independent soul these last 10 years but being forced into dependency has brought it's own share of blessings. I'm grateful and humbled by that.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Loving Lawyer in the Making

I'm amazed at how well our children know us at times and say just what we want to hear. Just the other day Isaac was out playing with a neighbor and ran up to his mom and I to ask for a bucket.

Me: "What do you want a bucket for bud?"
Isaac: "For rocks."
Me: "Well what are you collecting rocks for?"
Isaac: "Not for throwing, that's for sure!"

My friend laughed so hard and said Isaac was a lawyer in the making. When pressed a little further he would not give a direct response, perhaps he was afraid it would indict him later! Such a cutie ... I'll have to watch out when he gets older!

Here's him with his Valentine gift for us, it's a garland that says I Love You, all written by himself.

I'm reminded by how much this boy wears his heart on his sleeve. The other night we finished watching Tarzan for the first time. He sobbed into Kent's sleeve as he watched Kerchuk express approval and love for Tarzan before bidding him to care for the family after his death. His little shoulders shook and shook as he tried to suppress his tears gasping in between how sad it all was. As rambunctious, rough and tumble as he is, his heart is a big and soft as can be, solid as gold. How I love this little boy!

Monday, February 13, 2012

A New Found Love?

I've never been one to feel very artistic. Give me a piano and some music, that's different, but have me arrange a visual of some sort and I"m sure to break out in a sweat. From prior posts you'll know I put off the decorating around the house until something happens to push me into it. (like replacing carpet suddenly called for painting walls before the deed was done!) This time it was the prospect of a third child. Forget the 'having the nursery decorated' business before a little one arrives. I'm typically much to busy cleaning and stocking up food for the sleepless days ahead to think much about beautifying. So my children have never had a bedroom of their own until the other one came along. I must say that the idea of a girl's room is much more appealing and was much easier to do than for Isaac.

I wanted something that Keila wouldn't outgrow in just a few years, but still have a dreamy childlike feel. Of course we painted pink ....

Can't believe how ugly the color was before! Eck!

I initially had an elaborate idea of a garden scene complete with actual picket fenced walls and individually painted plants, animals, etc. Yeah ... just a little too much for me. I know my limitations and the guilt it would induce when I never got around to it all. So instead we opted for a tree.

I wanted a tree that wouldn't look too uniform but I was afraid to draw on the wall and be left with marks that I'd have to paint over. My friend recommended masking it out with tape, the perfect solution!

I painted some spring leaves and for the final touch glued some silk flowers.

To ensure the room would hold it's appeal for all kiddos, the final instalment will be the 'princess' tent, housing all animal great and small (please may we reclaim Keila's bed!) and offering a cosy alternate when Mama is far to tired of the couch cushions becoming the latest fort. May this be the source of much entertainment in the long sleepless days ahead! Given all the many happens lately, it may be a while before it's up unfortunately.

I must admit, I was rather daunted with the idea of painting a tree and all, but it turned out to be a lot of fun for me. There's something therapeutic about something slowly taking form by hand for all to see.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Taking it Easy at 30 Weeks

My appointment yesterday with my doctor has revealed that Baby Boy #3 has dropped and is already putting pressure on the cervix. I did this with my pregnancy with Keila as well though not quite as early. (This is my perfect excuse for my laziness since I've been about 4 weeks along) According to Dr DeSalvo, it's more a function of age. There it is, confirmation from an outside source - I'm old! ;0) He jokingly told me that my 'condition was once known as elderly gravida (gravida meaning pregnant). To be more politically correct, it was changed to 'advanced' (to take away the image of a silver-haired dentures woman)but whatever the wording, I'm told to take it easy.

"Take it easy" is such a vague term for me. I've never been one to be still very long. Even when we had a working TV, my hands were cross-stitching or folding laundry during a show. I take a lot of pleasure in seeing things done whether it's in housework, cooking or with my children. Perhaps that's why we always take so many pictures, maybe it's my way of documenting how time was spent. I tried to take a positive spin on the situation - after all, no chores, no cooking - but just sitting or laying down is much harder than I thought. I've decided to term this short period as my time to learn the art of delegation and working on my control issues! ;0) We'll call it forced therapy!

I must say how pleased I am at my little family and how much they help out. Prior to this, Keila has been rather clingy and begging to be held at every turn. She seems to understand and has settled into climbing in and snuggling in my lap. Isaac is a angel, always willing to fetch things for me and help out extra with Keila. Between Kent's job (which has him on average 10hr/day) and scouting, he's dredged up the extra energy to do the daily cooking and weekly cleaning. So all in all our household looks like we'll hold up okay. I'm also grateful for dear friends and neighbors who act on inspiration and drop off a meal or offer to take my children when they're desperate for more than a sedentary mother can offer. I must say I'm grateful for my many, many blessings!

Enjoying tea time with my Snow White.

The little man hard at work providing that tea time for his sister.


My little angels at their pretend BBQ in the park. Can't ask for much more!