Time to start thinking about Nora’s 3rd birthday … and all the fun that goes with it! Some of the random thoughts so far:
Fairy dress-up (find cheap formals at Goodwill or fancy fabric at fabric stores)
Presents that she’s requested or we’ve thought about:
Pink Legos (her request)
Hello Kitty watch (already have this … mwa ha ha)
Take her to Charming Charlie and watch her head explode let her pick out 1-2 things
One of the most fun things I’ve found about having a little girly-girl is painting her fingers and toes.
She’s been pretty well potty-trained since she turned 2 – we totally lucked out. She saw her big brother finally get it and decided to “get it” herself. Doing the #2 in the potty, though, wasn’t happening. Her brother was bribe-able with promises of a Leapfrog Leaptop “computer.” We tried that with Nora, but she just didn’t get motivated. Then it suddenly occurred to me: paint the child’s toenails.
It worked so well that she’s now graduated to fingers and toes with some extra sparkle. She was so excited to pick these colors out herself and then get them after she was successful at the potty. Seeing her tiny little hands and feet with pink nails is just about one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen.
So I wrote about my pregnancy with Jude when he was almost a month old. I meant to write about his birth for that first month milestone, but obviously that didn’t happen! A lot of other things did happen … we closed on the new house, we moved, we started unpacking and sorting and organizing, and now I’m back to work. Boo. So while I’m trying to not think about being back to work, I’m going to head back to December 25 and write up Jude’s birth story!
I tend to forget a lot about my pregnancies after the baby comes … maybe that’s partly why we have three kids, because of mommy amnesia? God’s way of getting us to go through the whole thing again. Anyway …
I did Project 365 while pregnant with Seth, so I have an almost daily pictorial record of that precious time. I did sporadic updates with Nora while I was pregnant, so I at least have that (and pictures, of course). I didn’t blog at all while pregnant with Jude, so there’s no real record of his belly time! I want to write down what I remember about the pregnancy so I can keep these memories before they all start to fade.
Due Date: 12/26/2012 Birth Date: 12/25/2012 (HURRAY, Jude!)
When we found out: Now that I think about it, I think we found out on the six-year anniversary of when we got engaged! It was either that day or the day after … so let’s say late April. I have a vague memory of my over-developed sense of smell hinting that I was pregnant. We were expecting and hoping it was true, but I’m always super-paranoid. We were trying to get pregnant, so I had stocked up on pregnancy tests at the dollar store. Man … why didn’t I learn about those earlier?! Took me until the third kid to figure that one out …
How we told people: A few people had to know sooner rather than later because my morning sickness starts early and goes hard fast. We didn’t know how to get the news out to all of our family at once, though, and we wanted to make sure that we were fair in letting grandparents and aunts and uncles know around the same time. There are just too many time zones to deal with, and Facebook makes it very hard to keep a pregnancy secret! In the end, I bought some digital clip art from Etsy and made this announcement:
Baby’s nickname: Since we don’t find out the baby’s sex, each of our kids gets a special nickname for the pregnancy. Seth was Bunny, Nora was Duckie, and Jude was our Baby Lamb or Lambie.
Special challenges: Horrible, awful morning sickness? check. I can now say it seems to be standard for my pregnancies. I’ve thought about naming each child “Zofran” after the anti-nausea medicine I live on four 4.5 months. Also, at about four months in (or less), I started developing excruciating pain in my hips and lower back. My OB and my chiropractor agreed that it was probably the hormone dump causing my joints there to over-loosen, and they were basically just sliding around and not staying in proper alignment at all. It was horribly painful for several months, then gave me a break, then started to come back, and then went away almost immediately after delivery. Go figure. My chiropractor became my best friend! Hey, at least it’s not the uncontrolled asthma I developed with Seth or the gall bladder issues I had with Nora!
16ish weeks – Baby Lamb. Please ignore the stupid hair.
Cravings: It seemed like I craved everything, at some point in time! Let’s see … the highlights were: chicken chalupas from Chuy’s, Indian food (specifically saag paneer), Vietnamese grilled chicken and vermicelli, sushi … I think Jude should have a well-developed palate.
20 weeks – Baby Lamb
Weight Gained: I was doing so well until the last month, which may be a trend with my pregnancies. I had gained about 30 pounds and then – starting at about 36 weeks – I gained another 3-4 pounds PER WEEK. I was retaining water like a fiend! Gone were the wedding rings, gone were any shoes that didn’t allow for swollen-ness … ugh. I was probably at about 40 pounds gained by the time I went into labor. Still – I wore smaller clothes sizes and felt better overall than in either of my previous pregnancies! Go, Jude!
Halloween – Baby Lamb was the moon for Astronaut Snoopy’s moonwalk
Special moments: Sharing this pregnancy with Seth and Nora has been so neat. We told them once I actually started showing and we could find the heartbeat with the fetal doppler we have at home. Nora would ask to hear baby’s heart-beep, and we’d all gather up and listen to the little baby. Seth always wanted to kiss and hug “the baby” (my belly) and give the baby zerberts, and Nora had to do it too. (Ew.)
It was also really special to have the timing of this pregnancy. I was due the day after Christmas, and I was pretty positive we were having a boy. Even though I know December 25 isn’t Christ’s actual birthday, it was very interesting to experience Advent and the Christmas preparations at (theoretically) the same stages as Mary, but with the advantage of knowing how the story ends. And it got me through those very uncomfortable last weeks. My mantra became, “At least I’m not on a donkey or giving birth in a barn.”
Also very special: my mom moved in with us in June, and this was the first of my pregnancies that she actually got to be there for. Whether or not she enjoyed it is an entirely different story.
Low lights: Morning sickness until over halfway through the pregnancy. The excruciating back and hip pain that made walking almost impossible. (There went my exercise plan!) Mountains of stress beginning in the summer: major household changes, getting our house ready to sell, putting it on the market, my sweet cat died, selling our house and moving away from my babies’ nursery, moving to a rental house right before Thanksgiving (almost 9 months pregnant), and getting ready to move again to our newly-built home (with a 5-6 week old). At least there’s not a chance of hurricane evacuation like we had to do with Seth!
35 weeks – Baby Lamb
Preparations: You’d think that with the third baby I’d have a lot of this down, but there is seriously so much that you forget! I had to confine myself to Pinterest for nursery preparations since we knew we were moving. Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to be pregnant and full of nesting energy and not be able to prepare for your baby? Knowing the whole time that by the time you GET to prepare, your baby will be almost out of the newborn stage, your hands will be full with everything else, and your maternity leave will almost be over? It was all good reasons for this delay but this was one of many things that made me very jealous/envious while I was pregnant. (Bad Erin.)
Physically, I couldn’t do much. Mentally, I prepped for labor and delivery by using Hypnobabies again. I love my Hypnobabies. It’s self-hypnosis (“eyes open hypnosis and anesthesia” is kind of how they bill it) tracks that you listen to while pregnant to teach yourself to relax and also automatic cues for triggering the relaxation responses while you’re out of your usual mind in labor. If anything, it’s helped me have a positive and healthier attitude while pregnant, manage my stress a little better, and it did help me during labor. (More on that later.)
A lot of our preparations were for our kids: getting them used to the idea of a new baby, planting seeds of what having a baby in our house would be like, explaining how our new baby would come to our family, etc.
Bottom line: it was a good 40 weeks … no hospitalizations (Seth), no crazy gall bladder pain (Nora), and it wasn’t during the middle of summer! And Mr. Jude came one day before his due date instead of needing to come earlier (Seth) or just hanging out an extra week (Nora). What an excellent boy.
I obviously lost some steam in posting after Jude was born! I’m hoping to remedy that, but we’re still on a schedule of eating every two to three hours and very little sleep. I’m so grateful that my husband has had a slower couple of weeks and that my mom lives with us. It’s made this transition period easier!
Speaking of eating every two to three hours, I just had to share this. Jude is my biggest baby, weighing almost nine pounds at birth and nine and a half pounds two weeks later. He lost about 8 ounces before we were discharged – very normal – and was back up over his birth weight a week later. The boy loves to nurse, is what I’m saying. He loves his milk, and although we are working on some latch issues that have made it very uncomfortable at times, I love nursing him just like I loved nursing Seth and Nora.
The other night I was sitting on the couch next to Will, who was holding Jude. It was around the time for Jude to get hungry again. Jude starts to wake up, then starts squirming his way down Will’s stomach and over his arm. We were laughing and then realized what Jude was doing … He was getting himself over to me and the milk source!
You can see the edge of my leg in some of the pictures. The determined little guy got his milk, of course. I’m sure there are many who will say it was just coincidence, but I prefer to think it’s the powerful attraction of mommy milk.
Our four-year-old son is very, very inquisitive, just like many kids his age. He likes to know how things work, he’s an observer and experimenter, and he takes things apart so he can mess with them and figure out what’s going on. He’s smart enough to take in information, digest it, and apply it appropriately to other situations. He’ll learn something, chew on it for a while, and then come back to you with follow-up questions that make you wonder what’s really happening in that brain of his.
For example, a few months back, his preschool class was learning about the planets in our solar system. One day he’s sitting at the table and asks, “Mommy, why do we live on Earth?!” From his inflection I could tell he wasn’t just asking how we ended up here, he was asking, “Of all the planetary choices we have in this galaxy, how and why did we end up on this one?”
I tend to answer him in what I hope is an honest and age-appropriate way. I don’t want to dumb down or falsify information for him because I respect his brain too much for that. Sometimes I don’t always think it through fully before my mouth starts, though.
“Mommy, is that magic?” “No, sweetie, that’s physics.” “What’s physics?” (Oh dear … um …) “Uh … it’s how different things in our world move together and against each other to make things happen.”
“Mommy, do drive and hide rhyme?” “No, because they don’t sound exactly the same. When they sound a lot the same but not exactly, that’s assonance.“ “Hmm … assonance.” (Mother-light dawning … Oh boy, thank goodness he said that word correctly.)
“Mommy, who is Saint Nicholas?” “He was a very nice man who lived a long, long time ago who loved God so much that he wanted to help other people and be nice to them by giving things to them.” (Oh crap — I answered for the actual Saint Nicholas, not thinking about Santa Claus. Did I just ruin Santa Claus’s story before we even started it?!)
He’s never brought up Santa Claus, we haven’t pushed it, and I’ve never wanted to force an idea on him. It’s one topic that I’ve felt is sort of awkward to work into conversation. I don’t want to push the idea of being good only so you get presents, I do want the holiday to be fun and for our kids to have great memories. I have no problem with talking about Jesus’s birth being the reason for Christmas and we celebrate by giving gifts because Jesus was God’s gift to us. Working the Santa connection, though, has been weird. The stories don’t flow well.
Tonight, though, I asked Seth (and Nora, our two-year-old), “Seth, do you think that Santa Claus brings presents to boys and girls?” Wide eyes and nodding. (Nora: “And he say ‘Ho ho ho!’” A week or so ago it was “He say ‘Ha ha ha!’”) “Do you hope that Santa comes to our house to leave presents for you and Nora?” More nodding. “Would you like to leave a note for Santa?” “Oh, YES!”
I guess it wasn’t that hard to start the tradition after all …
We stopped by the house to see what else had changed in the last week or so. The appliances are starting to be installed, the tile is installed on the floors and the back splash in the kitchen, and we have electricity! Supposedly we had carpet installed yesterday. Soon we’ll have final painting done, the cleaning, and then it will be time for walkthroughs and all that!!
Seth, though, is already completely excited about his favorite feature of the house: the game room. We’re pretty excited about it, too.