Sunday, January 29, 2012

full of joy and gratitude

This morning as I kissed Wes goodbye for work, I had the sudden urge to write.  For the moment, everyone is still sleeping peacefully and all is well, so I thought I'd give in and write.

So much has happened since I've really blogged, I'm not even sure where to begin.  My heart feels like it is spilling over with gratitude, joy, peace, and awe about so many wonderful things in our lives right now.  It feels so good to experience that kind of contentment....being sick and treating it holistically, being out of our old place and finally moving forward with our lives has truly been a few of the scariest, most challenging experiences of our lives....but also some of the most rewarding by far.  Life just feels so rich right now.  It feels so right.  Like we are back where God me there is no replacement for that kind of peace and joy.

Spending three or four months in bed has a way of putting you so far behind in practically all areas of life: I haven't pulled out my camera since Christmas, uploaded photos since September, I haven't exercised much since learning I was pregnant, I've watched and let my family watch way too much television, the house has quickly fallen apart and everyone's forgotten what it's like to clean and pick up after themselves, etc.  Needless to say, January has been one of the busiest months because rather than resting after a busy Christmas, I've had to whip everyone (myself included) back into shape and back onto a solid routine.  Man alive, it was a lot of work.  There are still a few kinks to deal with, a few loose ends to tie up....a little more to do, but I feel like we are now "normal" busy and behind instead of so far behind I don't even know where to start.

Things are slowly seeping in as we make room for them.  The house is pretty clean at this point (thanks in part to Flylady and thanks in part to an amazing housekeeper), everyone's pretty well rested and back on the daily routine (with some improvements), we've had some time for more "fun" things - extra things - lately.  I had a massage and pedicure at a spa this week (Wes' Valentine's gift to me last year), this weekend we fed the ducks, made cookies, went for walks, played in the snow, had a movie/pizza night, I had a much needed girls' night with one of my best friends, Wes had some guy time at basketball (a new hobby he's decided to pick up), and read lots of books.  It's been so hard to stay in survival mode past Christmas for a bit, and even harder to ask for help when I need it, but I was thinking yesterday as we enjoyed a completely fun and relaxing Saturday, that it was sooo worth it!  It's so much easier for me to be "in the moment" when I am not overwhelmed with the chaos around me.  I feel peace when things are running at least semi-smoothly.  It's easier to find that "balance" we all look for, as well as the fact that my mind feels clear and refreshed instead of foggy and bogged down.  I feel grateful and inspired and motivated instead of overwhelmed, overworked, and overburdened.

Our family is in the process of undergoing many changes from big to small.  It feels like there's so much gong on I don't even know where to begin to share or explain it, but I will say that it's been a good thing, and everyone seems to be adjusting fairly well.

I am excited to see things continue to unfold.  I am in awe as I watch our boys all suddenly seem to grown up.  I am blown away when I realize that there is less than 18 weeks (give or take) to when little girl Stewart arrives and brings with her many more changes for the better to our family.

On to pregnancy news.  I am getting more and more excited and happy about my choice to go with a midwife/birthing center this time around.  It's starting to really sink in:  the approaching need for lots of "practice" for hypnobirthing relaxation, the need to prepare in every way for this big change and not spending a couple days in the hospital, but going home the same day I give birth (or the next morning if that be the case).  Every time I go visit my midwife, I feel more and more comfortable, excited, and relaxed about the upcoming joyful even that will be our daughter's birth.  I am excited for Wes to have the experience of "catching" our baby, excited and overjoyed to hold her the moment she enters the world, to soak in those precious moments when our brand-new baby girl arrives straight from heaven into a calm, peaceful, joyful environment surrounded only by a few intimate onlookers rather than armies of doctors, nurses, interns, etc.  I am so grateful that both baby and pregnancy have allowed me to qualify for such an experience with good health and a peaceful spirit.

My last appointment was Friday.  After having the best ultrasound I've ever had (I know how silly that sounds, but our experience seriously doesn't even compare to anything I've experienced before as far as an ultrasound goes.  I learned a lot, felt like I really got to know my little girl a little more, and enjoyed the process as the tech took the liberty of not only telling me repeatedly how beautiful our little daughter was, but explained in detail every part of the ultrasound and what she was checking, and how our little one was faring.), it was fun to cement i the experience by having - for the first time ever - the ultrasound results explained to me.  I had no idea how much they can tell from an ultrasound!  (Did you know they can estimate pretty accurately how big the baby's head will be at term?  I didn't.)  I love how my midwife turns having a baby from a medical experience into a family experience, involving everyone in a fun and loving way.  She is an amazing woman and I feel so confident in her abilities.  I love the way she wants to ask me questions, know my thoughts regarding pregnancy and birth, give me choices whenever possible (did you know you don't have to drink that icky stuff for the gestational diabetes test?!  It's actually more accurate to eat what you would normally eat for breakfast, not eat for two hours, and then have your blood drawn to see how your body is doing on your regular diet?  I know.....totally awesome.), and hear about every ache and pain and question, no matter how big or small, that I have.

I have had lots of good conversations with both my midwife and my best girlfriend (who will be acting as my doula) about labor and giving birth.  I have devoured my hypnobirthing book.  Interestingly enough, different parts have stuck out to me this time around....perhaps from not having to worry about focusing on how to explain and express our preferences but instead focus that energy into how to prepare for the big day.  I can actually visualize holding our wet, fresh baby close to my chest, watching her take in the world around her for the first time.  I am actually excited to see how different things will be, how differently a newborn will respond to such a different environment.  I have a feeling I will wish I'd learned about all of this much sooner!

Well, I have little people crawling on my bed now as I type, so I guess it's time to save my thoughts for another day.  I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday.  Hugs!

Friday, January 27, 2012

january article on loyalty and dependability

Hey Everyone -

I know I've been busy for awhile, but I am excited to say that I am finally back to writing over at Power of Moms!  You can find my article here.  I am excited to FINALLY be feeling great and writing again.  Hopefully I will have more to say here as well as soon as I tie up the last of the loose ends left from spending 3 or 4 months in bed.  :)

Hint: there is a giveaway at the end, so be sure to comment!

Have a great weekend!  Hugs!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

mommy burnout

I keep hoping today will be the day I get to blog a little more.  Christmas week through now we've had pink eye run through all three boys, sinus infections, Hand-Foot-Mouth disease, and just the regular "post-Christmas grouchies".  On top of that, my hips have been SO sore recently that some days walking or standing is almost unbearable, and I can't sleep because they go numb when I lay in my bed.  On the upside, although I am still nauseous, but I'm only throwing up a few times a week and I can eat my normal, healthier diet again....I will definitely take the pain over the nausea!

I've had my hands a little full preparing, trying to sort through hand-me-downs (thanks Mom!), and figuring out what we need and when, but it has definitely made things more exciting knowing we have a little girl coming this time.  We can't wait to meet her and are so excited that we are going with the birthing center, so we will have lots of snuggle and alone time with her when she's fresh from heaven.  :)

I have so much to share and write. I have a list of blog posts with titles so I will remember what I wanted to blog about.  But I am going to keep this post short since I've still got three sick little boys to attend to and they are all stirring early this morning and need Mommy a little more than normal right now.

This Christmas blew right by, but we loved it.  We had to oust a lot of things we normally do, for various reasons, mainly being that I was too sick for some things, or Wes' schedule combined with all the things both our families do didn't allow for much immediate family time.  All in all, it was a wonderful, magical Christmas that was special in its own way, although part of me this year is glad to move forward and put all the "extra parts" behind us.  New Years was spent at home alone with sick kids, so it was fairly quiet, but honestly, that was just what we needed. Wes and I are tired. I do have my Word of the Year all picked out and I'm really excited about it, but I will share later since I have a lot of updates to do, and although I've thought about specific goals, I haven't had a chance to write them down yet.  (But let me tell you, this is an exciting and symbolic word, and I can't wait to share it!)

Something I did want to share was how much Jonah is growing.  When we took him in for his 16-month appointment, he wasn't walking or talking yet (which didn't really worry me because Micah was almost 18 months when he finally decided to walk, and he stayed pretty quiet and nonverbal until he hit 2 1/2 or 3.), and the doctor was concerned about how little he was doing.  He said he wanted to test him for autism and other learning and developmental disorders is he wasn't walking and talking by his next appointment in 2 months.  (This was at the same time Micah was going through his stint with the preschool, so I was starting to feel like a really terrible mother.)  Fast forward to now, 2 1/2 months later, and he's not only walking, he's running all over and having a fabulous time "toddlerizing" our house.  His favorite thing to get into:  the garbage can and kitchen cupboards, and pulling freshly cleaned, folded clothes out of the laundry baskets.  He was kept us very busy while he gleefully keeps busy.  (Thank goodness he didn't discover the Christmas tree until a few days before Christmas!)  Jonah has also turned into a little sponge lately.  I've been very casually teaching him a few signs for things to test the waters, and suddenly he knows every sign he sees and seems to learn them pretty quickly. His favorites are dog, more, and eat.  I need to pop him and myself in a little class or find a few books to teach him more.  He's also learned to identify lots of body parts: hair, ears, teeth, tongue, toes, belly button, fingers, and nose.  He loves to sing "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" and will attempt the actions by himself, to our delight.  Something the doctor really wanted us to work on was pointing, and although he isn't doing it yet, he's reaching for things and has attempted to make a pointy finger a few times, so I think we are on the verge of it.  Jonah still only says, "Mommy, Daddy, and tickle", but is motivated to say things and is just soaking in everything about the world around him, and his discoveries are so fun to share and be a part of (he spotted balloons at Walmart yesterday and thought they were so amazing.  He was reaching for them and babbling noises - even attempting the word balloon "baba" the whole time we shopped).  He's starting to really love books and little songs and playing and interacting with others.  He's continually discovering the world around him, and falling more in love with it in the process.  I love his fun-loving, humorous, joyful personality and am trying to soak in every moment because he's just beginning to leave the baby stage and it seems at times that he grows and changes by the minute.  I am so thankful he is still a "Mommy's boy" and that he loves to be held and snuggled when he's tired.  I love that sweet baby boy and I am so relieved and proud of the strides he is making.

Well, that's it for now.  I'm hoping to begin tacking the list of "posts to write" and get my articles for this month's value (it's a good one!) done for Power of Moms.  I will let you all know when they are up (there are lots of exciting changes in that area as well, but I will share later).  Right now I'd better arm myself with what I need to begin administering eyedrops to three VERY reluctant little boys (please share if you have any tips!).  Wish me luck!


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