Wednesday, May 30, 2012

{Family of Four...for just a bit longer}

To celebrate the Memorial Day Holiday (including a rare day off of school for Rob) and to spend some one-on-one time with the kiddos before turning their world upside down with a new baby, we headed out to Mesa Falls in the Targhee National Forest for a picnic and a little "hike." Unfortunately, we didn't have the warm weather many others were enjoying; instead, we had a drizzly rain. We managed to enjoy ourselves anyway; the kids loved their picnic, the lodge full of animal skins they could touch, and seeing the waterfall.

{Well...Little Bird enjoyed the waterfall in retrospect...not as much seeing it up close!}

{We couldn't get him out of his daddy's arms for a photo, but Squirrel was happy to oblige.}

{Such a cool place, where you can get awfully close to the falls and see the 
micro-climate that grows as a result of the waterfall's mists.}

Off to be induced in the morning! 
We'll see you on the other side! 



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dental Woes

About two weeks before my induction was scheduled, I got the kids in to see the dentist, since I knew it would be a lot easier before baby came than after.

They both did great, but Squirrel had lots of bad news--several cavities, two bad enough to require crowns. The crowns had to go on opposite sides of her mouth, so that meant two appointments to accomplish all the work, since my preference was to avoid sedation. We also decided to cram them into a week, so that it would all be done before her little brother arrived.

At her first filling appointment, she was great--happy, compliant, brave, the works. The only thing she did complain about was the taste of the novocaine jelly, and she squawked a quick "Ouch" once while they were numbing her with that big ol' needle. Later, after we got home and the feeling started to return, she complained that she was hurting, but after some ibuprofen and a little nap, and she was as good as new.

Her second appointment didn't go quite as well. She was onto us that time and knew what was coming. She definitely entered the office with a level of trepidation that hadn't been there the first time around. While she hadn't had the nitrous oxide the first time, they decided to try it the second time. However, I think it only added to her anxiety as she didn't like the nose piece it came in and freaked a little, like she was feeling claustrophobic. When it came time to actually numb her, I felt like pretty much the worst mom ever--there's nothing like having to witness your child screaming bloody murder because of something you are having them do, even if it's for their ultimate benefit.

I think, either because there were more teeth to take care of on that side, or perhaps because of her obvious anxiety, that they numbed her up WAY more than the last time. Luckily, they were as quick as they could be, and then gave her a nice long break to relax. Also, the dentist and his staff are completely awesome. They were so sweet and patient and helped her through every step of the way. He was also super quick, which was great for all of us.

She was really exhausted after, and drooling like a drunk bulldog. At lunch time, she didn't want to eat anything. I even tried to offer her a milkshake to get something in her. She just looked at me pitifully and said, "I cmmph cumph ma mumppp." (Translation: "I can't close my mouth.") She wept mournfully when her brother had the audacity to tell me that she was "talking funny," one half of her face falling to the side as though she were a master of facial contortion.

After a couple hours though, she started to feel better. Still drooling copiously, she began to shout that she was feeling better, feeling happy, and would in fact take me up on that milk shake offer (this kid never forgets about sweets--a likely cause of her predicament in the first place). And it is this part of the day that made it all worth it: as she danced around happily in my office, wearing an oversized bib to catch all that drool and singing about how much better she felt, I couldn't resist snapping this photo, showing half her face, all the way from her chin to the bottom of her eye, just as numb as could be, drool running down her chin and splattered across her bib.

I think this will make an excellent photo for when she brings a boy home from college someday...

Poor kid. She's back in business now, with two shiny silver crowns to show for all her suffering, which she will proudly show to any person, friend or stranger, who she can get to look in her mouth.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Baby Update! And some crafting...

We're almost there! Literally just days away from meeting our new addition!

Look at this super round belly. I am getting SO EXCITED to meet the guy taking up all this space!

The last few weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster ride, taking me through the emotional insecurity of my complications, the very real possibility of more job changes, and the impending early birth of baby number three. However, I feel pretty confident that I am handling things much better in the past couple of weeks. We are in the home stretch, and everything is looking good!

The only negative was yet another positive--this time for Group B Strep. I didn't have that one either with the other two pregnancies, but this guy seems to want to be the first for everything. Really, when the midwife told me, I just laughed and explained that there would be absolutely NO MORE tests for anything, because I was certain they would come back positive. At this point, I'm pretty sure they could test me for Bubonic Plague and it would come back positive! In the end though, it's just another nuisance, and I am really trying to put my trust in the Lord. Ultimately, every time over the past few weeks that I have had a meltdown, it has been because I have become frustrated at MY lack of control in the situation, because I have tried to prepare for every possible outcome as a way of managing something I ultimately cannot manage. When I finally accepted the fact that everything, including my life and the life of the baby, is in the hands of the Lord, I found a lot more peace. He has brought me through some serious struggles in the past, and every challenge He has brought me TO, he has also brought me THROUGH.

Baby is still kicking and dancing away, the NSTs show that he is very healthy, and my body has definitely been preparing itself for labor with lots of contractions and some dilation. It's Memorial Day Monday today, which means that I will be 37 weeks along tomorrow, and right now, the plan is to induce in two days (Wednesday). Of course, I have hopes that I won't have to be induced, that maybe, just MAYBE, this child will cooperate with me (even though that doesn't seem to be his favorite thing to do for me!) and come on his own tomorrow. Either way, I am working to find peace, and enjoy the time I have left with Rob, Squirrel and Little Bird before our lives are overtaken by the chaos of a new little being, the sleepless nights and demanding days, and learning how to be a family of five.

I've been making a few things for baby, as I love the feeling of wrapping my children in items handcrafted by loving, albeit amateur, hands.

I spent 50-60 hours making his crochet blanket. Squirrel and Little Bird each have crochet blankies, made by my sister, Traci, and my mom, respectively. They both attached to them around a year old, and still drag those things everywhere. This time, I feel like my own abilities have advanced enough that I was able to create something for him myself, and made this (if I say so myself) really beautiful basket weave blanket. I love the pattern and how it turned out. (If you want instructions, they came from here, with a bit of modification on the edging.)

I've also worked on creating several little pairs of crochet pants for him. They work as regular pants, but also as cloth diaper covers. I made them in a newborn size, as well as a REALLY tiny preemie size. I figure if he's too big for the preemie outfit (which really is ridiculously small--everyone that has seen it in real life usually lets out a squeal with an exclamation like, "Oh it's SO TINY!"), I can leave it at the hospital for another family that may need it. 

Whichever one fits will likely be his coming home outfit:  

I also had a super sweet and amazingly talented friend send me some gorgeous yarn she hand-dyed for another pair. I made these a bit bigger--about 3 month size--to make sure he gets to wear them, whether he's a tiny preemie or a monster gestational diabetes baby. I'm hoping to get a chance to dye some little tops in the rainbow colors and stencil them with fun designs.

I've also sewn up some receiving blankets, burp rags, cloth diapers and diaper covers. I know he won't really appreciate the gesture, but there is some sort of quiet joy I feel wrapping a baby in handmade goodness. It makes me feel connected to mothers through the ages, I think, to take something and turn it into something more for my child with just a little love, time, and work. It's the same type of feeling I get as I sit up in the late hours, rocking in the chair I will nurse him and feeling my child move within. There is a connection, yes, to my child, but also to a greater network of love and maternity, of the divine role of "mother." In these last days and weeks, I have been so blessed to find that connection and draw a level of peace and comfort that words cannot describe.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Little Ballerina

One of Squirrel's favorite things to do is dance. I swear this child even danced in the womb, and hasn't stopped moving since. She participates in ballet classes here in our little town and really enjoys it. She loves to dance, but I think that more than dancing, she loves an audience. For that reason, the most exciting part of the year for her is her ballet recital. I am amazed at the way she "turns on" for an audience and relishes the applause. This is her second year in ballet, and this year, the school put on selections from "Alice in Wonderland."

Squirrel's class got to dance as the "Sweets" in the Mad Tea Party.

I have to say, there was something about seeing her dance this year that stopped my heart. She seemed so grown up and graceful. I saw this year, in this little preschooler, the seeds of elegance and self-awareness. Part of that is probably that my new work schedule prohibits me from taking her to ballet class each week--a precious privilege now delegated to the babysitter--, so I don't get to see her growth, but part of it is that my wiry, clumsy preschooler is becoming a beautiful girl, and by the next time I blink, she'll be a young lady, and then a young woman. Oh, how I adore seeing her grow and bloom and blossom...but oh, how I cling to her precious innocence at each stage. She is lovely beyond measure, and as silly as it may seem, something like a little small-town ballet recital can so easily remind me how desperate I am to help her turn into the woman I know she can be. much apologies. She is about to have a birthday, I am about to have a baby, and all this makes me extra sentimental.

Without further ado, here are a few photos of my little "Sweet," the joy of my heart.

{That smile will win me over even when my sight is all but gone and 
all I have is a dim memory of its glimmer...}

{After the show}