I GOT THIS

Having three kids has been… well, I can’t sum it up into one word. Except maybe “hard” ha!

But I am slowly, surely getting back to living life as we had known it (as much “living” as that is… some might say having your schedule -not to mention your mind- revolve entirely around very noisy, messy, emotionally unstable miniature people and being restricted from going out to party on Friday nights, traveling the world, or enjoying an uninterrupted hot cup of coffee while binge watching your favorite shows on a lazy Saturday is not exactly living the dream, but I don’t care. This is the life I chose and I love it (Ok, I love/hate it. It’s complicated.).

I’m proud of myself because two days ago I finally made my alone-with-three-children-to-the-mall debut. It started out rough because the whole time we were getting ready to leave, Baby was in the car seat wailing, but thank goodness, he fell asleep halfway through the car ride because Older Brother so generously held his pacifier in for him. He’s a sweetie when he wants to be! Actually his sweet streak continued through the whole time playing in the play area and eating his lunch. Of course I used bribery. I held McDonald’s (not even the food, just the happy meal toys is what he’s excited about) over his and his sister’s heads, and that did the trick. We made it through the three hour outing without a scratch! Woohoo!!

And to add encouragement to accomplishment (I’m coining a new term. This is the flip side of “add insult to injury”. Tell your friends.), yesterday, I got all three of my offspring to bed ON TIME, BY MYSELF (Appa had an errand). I started it all off with a desperate prayer, then I held my breath and dove in. I TRIED to put my 5 month old to bed first so I could then focus on the older two, but of COURSE he woke up 20 minutes after I put him down (it’s been this way for 2 weeks now. Lord help us.). Sooo, there I was having to deal with all three. Baby has also just been exceptionally fussy; always wanting to be held, but I had to just let him cry for a little while while I got my older two into pajamas and insured that they brushed their teeth. It had to have been a comical scene to an outsider. My 3 year old and 5 year old are rolling around every square inch of the bed and spilling over onto the couch, bookshelves, everything. Rolling over each other, laying on top of each other, whining, screaming. “That’s it! No stories!” I shout. Lights out. My baby in my arms is writhing around like a rabid beast. I am completely clueless as to what has gotten into him. All I know is he has a VERY serious case of ants in his pants! Finally, gradually, the chaos dwindles. I decide to start singing (hey, I’ll try anything!). I sing all my favorite songs in an attempt to distract myself from how frustrated I am and how my arms have begun to throb and my fingers have gone numb (remember, I’m still bouncing, patting and rocking my baby, changing his position sporadically). But I just stayed consistent and let my kids all work out whatever the heck they had to work out for 30-45 minutes, and then, finally, by the grace of God, they drifted off one by one. Man, talk about relief. *Insert emoticon of woman wiping sweaty brow*

And TODAY!! Oh my God, today I bathed ALL THREE OF MY CHILDREN. I even bathed!!! It’s been a great week.

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The sweet, sweet, gratifying image of a sleeping baby…

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????

I am sort of at a loss for words. A fitting title is not coming to me.

But to my point – do you want to see something so funny?!!

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No, I did not get into a fight.

That is a hickey!!

My five month old did it!!! I am on the floor laughing.

He was so fussy and wouldn’t sleep at his usual bedtime. I’m nursing him and rocking him and bouncing him. He’s doing everything but sleep. Chatting up a storm; going back and forth between giggling and whining or crying. Finally, he started sucking on my chin and I didn’t really think anything of it and just let him, cause I figured hey, if it calms him down…. and now I have this!!! I’m laughing my butt off. I swear parenting never ceases to amaze me… Every day is full of new surprises…

Deck the Halls

It’s Christmas!!!

Ok obviously it’s not. But pretty close. I swear time just goes by so fast that all the holidays just creep right up on me and again, before I know it, they’re gone.

Once it’s anywhere near entering the month of December, it’s basically Christmas already in parent-of-multiple-children time. Time just goes so incredibly fast when you’re a parent, it’s like…you do a couple loads of laundry, you wash 72 dishes, you split up three fights, and BOOM a whole week has passed. Theoretically, this should make it so that things feel easier because they’re over sooner, but no, this is not the case. Don’t ask me why it doesn’t work out that way.

You know how they say the days are long, but the years are short? Well these days, for me, it just feels like the days are short, the months are short, everything is short! Everything goes by at lightning speed. It’s like I’m watching a movie in fast forward; the days just FLY by me…

So basically I’m trying to really soak in this Christmas thing before it slips through my fingers. I was recently commiserating with my cousin: we both anticipate something we’re excited for being over before it’s even begun. I’ve just experienced so many exhilarating holiday celebrations, church events, vacations, roadtrips, you name it – all being over way faster than I wanted them to be, and really, really missing them all afterward. I suppose I’m exceptionally sentimental…I pretty much miss every person I ever meet in my life after I say good bye. At differing intensities, obviously, but I miss them nonetheless.

Back to Christmas- I decided to decorate more than usual this year and really ring in the holiday spirit. T and Y helped me dig out and prop up our tiny tree. It’s literally knocked over on the floor at least five times a day (they can’t help themselves). We threw lights and ornaments all over it and we taped up white streamers and hand made snowflakes (ah, childhood memories) from the ceiling. Last week, we went to a Breakfast with Santa hosted by the local high school and the kids took their first picture with Santa (oh, actually second time for T, but we did skip a few years). Included in that event were some fun games and ornament crafts we could bring home. Today or tomorrow, T and I are going to build our first gingerbread house at home. I have a cookie exchange on Saturday I’m super excited about and then, of course, the grand finale – getting together with my Chinese (dad’s side) aunts, uncles, and cousins on Christmas Day.

Agree? Disagree? Does Christmas pass by you too quickly? I’m starting to think there’s something to this jumping right into Christmas mode immediately after Halloween…

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Here’s our tree. Not the most shapely thing, but it does the job. (Yes, that pipe cleaner is an ornament, and no, those are not unidentified smudges on the walls; that’s your imagination.)

Still Chugging Along!

At long last, the Mama Bear has emerged from her cave…

It’s only been 4 months… That’s about a decent amount of time to recuperate after having a third child right?

I watched a video today about motivation being a myth. The speaker claimed that people in general don’t really get motivated; they do things despite being unmotivated. Message: Don’t wait around for “motivation” because it will never come. Today, right now, go and DO whether you feel like it or not. Whoa.

So here I am. I write because it helps me to feel more “me”. It makes me feel fuller, more fulfilled, more alive. It helps me to release and to relax. To allow the twists and bends and knots and chaos to slowly, quietly sort itself out. And secondly to (hopefully) keep my brain (somewhat) sharp. To salvage whatever nuts and bolts I still have left in there and keep them from getting tarnished and rusty. I swear with each child I lose a little more of my brain capacity. I saw an absolutely accurate descriptive image floating around online:

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It’s so true you just have to laugh because otherwise you’ll cry.

A few things have changed. Our kids outnumber us, my daughter is 3, I’m now a permanent size Medium (recently chucked my pipe dream out with all my old Smalls and Extra Smalls), my husband is changing jobs, he’s back in the gym, I became Assistant Pastor at my church, I have my first homemade Thanksgiving dinner under my belt, we have a new closet rod, I’ve turned over a new leaf and am cleaning more consistently (I’m basically Marie Kondo now! … Not really. But the first step is verbalizing! I’ll get there.). But essentially I’m the same ol’ same ol’. Just slightly more frazzled if that’s possible. Ha! Lord help me…

Deep breath. It’s ok. I got this. We got this.

Sometimes We Need to Let Go

7/28/17 10:30 am

Pregnancy is crazy. Emotional. Enlightening. Brutal.

But then again, is this very much different from life in general?

I stumbled upon a video on Facebook recently that really spoke to me and reminded me of our real purpose in life. We’re not meant to do this alone. We’re meant to depend on each other, and most importantly on God.

The Power of the Impossible – Blake Templeton

I try not to get too religious or preachy in my blog, but this is so close to my heart right now that I had to share it. One thing I would add on from my own personal beliefs is that we do have to take action and fulfill our “portion of responsibility” (Divine Principle, Sun Myung Moon), but from there, we have to have total faith that God will step in and bring us where we need to go; He will make possible whatever is the best outcome for us in any given situation.

Back to my pregnancy – I’m due on Monday, so I have about 3 days. My son was born 6 days early and then my daughter was born 1 day early. Up until two days ago or so, I was obsessing over when this baby is coming and if I should do anything to help speed him along (not talking induction yet, but through “at home” methods of ripening). I’m not even sure why I felt such an urge for him to arrive faster. I guess something to do with getting more and more uncomfortable and stretched out and therefore being too impatient and harsh with my two children at home (the ones outside my belly). But then I had this realization. Why am I trying to rush things? This baby will come when he’s good and ready. I think God purposely made it impossible for a woman to know exactly when she will go into labor (medical interventions aside) as a reminder that we can’t control everything in our lives, and we shouldn’t want to. Some things are better left up to God, Nature, the Universe, whatever you like to call it. In fact, it’s incredibly refreshing to give up some of the pressure and expectation that you put on yourself to control everything; to make sure everything “goes right” (as if you always really know what’s right). Sometimes, things just won’t “go right”, and that’s okay. Life is in its entirety a learning process. We’re not meant to “solve” it or “win” as if it’s a game, but just to live every day learning and growing and bettering ourselves one experience at a time. And in turn, helping others.

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So, if you read the time stamp up there, you’ll see that I wrote that bit a couple days ago. I had it saved as a draft. That same day, at 2:20 pm, my water broke, kick starting my labor, and my beautiful baby boy was born 3 1/2 hours later. 

What are the chances! 

Anyway, here I am now in my cozy little room. My hospital stay has been lovely – as it always is. As a mom, it’s incredibly refreshing to be able to lounge around watching TV and ordering room service (albeit in the pain of recovering from childbirth) in peace and quiet and have someone ELSE wait on YOUR hand and foot for a change!

I’m basking in the glow of newbornness. His smell, his gentle sighs, the little quivers of his body and pouts of his tiny lips.

The wait is over! He came on his own time. Perfect, perfect timing.

Things I’m Going to Miss

So, I’ve been really trying to be present and appreciative and zen like; reminding myself to live in the moment and give my growing baby my undivided love and attention as often as possible.

This may be the last week I can really stretch my “appreciation” for this pregnancy though… As time goes on, I’m getting more and more to the point of “I’m so done!” Baby feels like he’s just going to drop right out.

But I want to be able to say I really cherished each moment (to the best of my ability in between pulling my hair out running after these other two) of this last pregnancy. So, every night, I take a few minutes to pray (My prayers tend to go like this, “Please help my children behave; please give me strength, patience, compassion, kindness, love, more patience…”) and read Scripture and try to get into Mommy/Fetus mode. To zone in and to connect. Tonight, I’m connecting through writing. Not thinking too deeply; just saying what comes to mind at this moment. With that, I bring you:

Things I’m not Going to Miss about Being Pregnant

  1. The stiffness/soreness in my neck and shoulders
  2. The extreme sensitivity of my right hip (I think it’s a pinched nerve type thing. Possibly sciatic nerve.)
  3. Pregnancy triggered hand eczema (started with my first pregnancy. Got it under control in this final pregnancy with diet restriction and creams! #Win!)
  4. Heartburn (all three, but I think my first was the worst)
  5. Lady issues (This is code because I don’t want to disturb anyone with TMI. Started with my second pregnancy but I have it TOTALLY under control in this pregnancy due to…PROBIOTICS! My God, this stuff is amazing. Absolute LIFESAVER)
  6. Aching bones in pelvic area especially when sleeping (and only being able to sleep on my sides! Argh!)
  7. Being swollen
  8. Having a sore butt and thighs after any drive longer than 30 minutes
  9. Not being able to bend down properly
  10. Numb wrists and hands (this is a totally new symptom that I never experienced in my other pregnancies. Started like 3 weeks ago and it’s super weird and disconcerting…hoping it goes away right quick after I have this little one!)
  11. Lumbering around like a cave man. So….heavy….
  12. Waddling around like a duck. I’m usually pretty good at avoiding this signature move, but as it gets this close, it’s hard to avoid…
  13. Feeling all the pressure of this growing being stretching me out and moving my organs out of the way. As a result, peeing all the time, stomach feeling smaller, lungs being restricted…
  14. Trying to keep two kids unharmed, fed, clothed, bathed, and behaved, while feeling all of the above. Especially bedtime OH MY GOD. We fell into the habit of all lying together until they fall asleep…(long story). But both want me to face them at the same time, they’re either fighting or totally distracted by everything, they take FOREVER to fall asleep, etc etc (I can’t wait for daylight savings again. The light seems to make a huge difference) ARGHH

Things I’m Definitely Going to Miss about Being Pregnant

  1. The kicks! And punches and hiccups and somersaults. It’s the weirdest, coolest, unexplainable feeling…a little human squirming around inside. And trying to figure out: Is that a foot? An elbow? Is he making a snow angel?
  2. Trying (and failing miserably) to take the perfect video of all the exquisite, excited movements. I swear they can tell when you turn the camera on. It’s like they get stage fright.
  3. Certain enhanced body parts…
  4. Lounging around with my older two as they rub/pat my belly, feeling his movements and giggling; pillow talking with them about what the baby is doing and what he’s going to be like
  5. Never being really alone; having a little sidekick with me at all times
  6. The excitement; the expectancy. What will he look like? What will he be like? How will the dynamic in our family change? He’ll fit right in like a missing puzzle piece we never knew we had and bring an overwhelming sense of calm and joy to our family. Right? Right?!
  7. Looking at people with doe eyes and having them offer me their seat or to cut them in line hehe…
  8. The right to act completely b*tchy now and again and be excused…
  9. The extra warmth and compassion from my husband – more spontaneous meals out, more cuddling (his hands are definitely my favorite to have on my belly), more attention, more taking the kids out so I can relax, just all around more lovin’
  10. Watching the perfectly formed (well, after he gets past looking like an alien) tiny black and white skeleton bouncing around on the Ultrasound screen
  11. Baby showers! I had to plan my own for my first cause no one thought to throw me one… Skipped it for my second. But by my third, my two closest friends here in NJ decided to plan one! Yay! It was really small, but it was perfect. Just sitting around catching up with friends, eating yummy food, opening presents (Yay free stuff!), playing games, and overall relaxing and enjoying good conversation. Nothin else like it
  12. Hearing baby’s tiny, yet strong and reassuring heartbeat on the Doppler
  13. People being more understanding toward me (i.e. not glaring at me as my 4 and 2 year old whisk by almost knocking them over, but just smiling knowingly and forgivingly). Not everyone, though. Some people are just dang harsh!
  14. Having that ultimate feminine silhouette. Despite the general weight gain, pregnant bellies are just so cute and endearing! And one out of every 30 photos is actually quite flattering!! Not to mention – absolutely no expectation to have a flat middle for once – Yay! I can relax and not suck it in for 9 whole months!

There are so many fascinating, incredible experiences and stages in life. Everything has a beginning and everything has an end. It’s bittersweet, but in a way, comforting. I wish all of you strength and peace, appreciation and love for whatever you may be going through right now. Every situation, good and bad, presents an opportunity for growth and a lesson learned. Every single experience makes us more human.

Welp! It’s an hour and a half past my bedtime! Good night!

Caffeine

So I’ve never been much of a coffee person. At least not a habitual drinker. I partake in coffee for the sake of socialization. I’m a social drinker. I certainly enjoy a Mocha Frappachino or a cafe mocha every now and then.

That being said, I’ve never experienced much of a reaction to caffeine. Never in all my 27 years have I noticed it making me more alert or keeping me awake at night (or any time of day for that matter).

Until last night.

I suppose I miraculously discovered the magical threshold. Turns out I’d just never tried drinking enough coffee. Or enough on an empty stomach. Or enough while pregnant? There could be all kinds of contributing factors, but all I know is, after having a medium Frappe Mocha from McDonald’s (which honestly looked to me like it should have been called a large – what was that like 4 cups worth? At least 3…) around 4 pm, I could not for the life of me turn my brain off come 11, 12, 1 in the morning. I started to really worry that I was somehow starting to develop insomnia (which I’ve heard from friends can be really annoying and sometimes scary). I lay on this side, I switched to that side, I sat on the rocker, I turned on the AC, I turned off the AC, I took a break and browsed my phone for 10 minutes, then tried it all again, all to no avail. My mind was racing a thousand miles an hour. On top of that, my baby was excitedly performing a full on acrobatic routine in my belly. I started to worry that I had really messed him up… And then my worry continued on to other things…if I was really prepared for labor and delivery, if I would be strong enough, if I would have him prematurely, if something would be wrong with him, if something is wrong with me, Can I handle 3 kids? What am I gonna do? What if they all fight every night and NO ONE. EVER. sleeps?!! Luckily, as if on cue, my son woke up and came to my room and lay next to me. That was actually surprisingly comforting. Kind of snapped me out of my little panic attack. I held his hand and my anxiety dissipated. Of course I still couldn’t sleep… and just as I was finally drifting off a while later, his sister came to join us (*sigh… what else is new…), which woke me up again and got me started again on this seemingly endless cycle. I think I ended up actually falling asleep around 3 or something. Got a good 3 and a half hours in! Hooray!

All in all, a learning experience. I FINALLY get what all the fuss is about! I finally understand how powerful caffeine is and how it affects people. I’ve also resolved to NEVER do that to myself again.

Note: Before you pounce on me, I know it’s not advisable to have that much caffeine on any given day while pregnant (I repeat; I did not know this medium would be such a large medium…). Up to this point, I have strictly abided by my midwives’ recommendations of no more than 2 cups of coffee a day, and I very rarely even have that. Caffeine from chocolate? Well, that’s another story…

Other note: If you think that cup is as funny as I think it is, you can find it here.

Third and Final Pregnancy Bucket List

Soon after I found out I was pregnant again, I created a list of things I wanted to do this pregnancy that I never got around to (or never had the energy to) during my first two pregnancies. Just for fun, I thought I’d share with you the items on that list:

1. Exercise every other day (eek! I’m definitely not exercising every other day at this point, but generally twice a week which is still better than what I did with my first two. *fistpump*)

2. Gain within 25 lbs and no more (ok let’s not talk about this…)

3. Limit sugar and wheat (they cause hand eczema breakouts and other annoying pregnancy symptoms. Oh and fat. Doin pretty good on the wheat, not as good on the sugar…)

4. Take Pinterest-worthy pregnancy announcement photos (Check!)

5. Take cute gender reveal photos (Check!)

6. Do daily Scripture reading (failing badly at this one)

7. Take progression photos – same spot, same angle weekly (haven’t missed a week!)

8. SPOIL myself – for once in my life (or recent life that is), buy something cute for myself and no one else, stop by Starbucks just because, let people help me, ASK for help, etc.

(Excluded all the other good stuff every expecting mom should do like get good sleep and take prenatals)

While we’re at it, just thought I’d add a few bullets on…

Things I’ve Never Wanted as a Pregnant Woman, Ever:

1. To have strangers rub my belly

2. To have photos taken of my naked belly (at least not to be shared by any public means)

3. To have children (including my own) poke my belly like I’m the Pillsbury dough boy

4. To have people who don’t know me give me instructions on how to behave during pregnancy

5. To put earbuds on my belly so my baby can listen to music (sorry if you’re into that! Just never made any sense to me)

6. To wear a two piece swimsuit anywhere past the first trimester (ok the latest was 16 weeks but that was with my first when I didn’t show much at all yet)

7. To hear how enormous I am/how I look like I’m due any minute or to be asked if I’m absolutely sure it’s not twins (for the record, I’m gonna get bigger, guys – a LOT bigger. Trust me; I’ve seen it happen.)

8. To have artwork done on my pregnant belly (no matter how famous or talented the artist)

9. To pop Tums every 4 hours, pee every 30 minutes, groan and moan when trying to get comfortable enough to sleep, pant up and down stairs, go on a sushi fast (God I miss sushi), watch obsessively and cry as stretch marks slowly develop, be exhausted by 4 pm, etc etc…

Sigh. Pregnant life.


Hanging in there at 32 weeks! So close and yet so far…

‘Bama!

Ok, it’s getting really bad how I’m posting things so far after they happen… Blame my at home business, blame overlapping toddler rearing and pregnancy… I dunno AGH! My blogging seems to go in waves of productivity and non-productivity…

So two weeks ago now, we took a little family trip to visit my older sister in law’s family in Auburn, Alabama. Beautiful state, but a bit too hot for me if I’m honest. Their April felt like what I’m used to back here in NY/NJ in June/Julyish. I’m pretty sure I literally got sunburned after only an hour or so every time I stepped outside (without sunscreen). Back in NY/NJ, I rarely wear sunscreen anywhere but my face unless I’m going to the beach. Not sure if this change is related to the difference in the ozone layer or what, but just something I noticed.

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Here’s baby girl, Aunt J, and I strolling to the community gym and pool in the apartment complex.

Besides being hot, though, Alabama is beautiful. I love any place that’s green and treeful (The Diane Dictionary: entry #412). Driving around and seeing farms and cows again was really nice. It brought me back to my North Carolina road tripping days.

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Swimming! Well, standing. I don’t know how to swim anyway. I just kind of putter around clumsily, gasping for air the whole time. #25weekspregnant

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One of my daughter’s favorite things to do is to feed me. I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing…

We didn’t plan anything extravagant while we were away. Spent a lot of time just relaxing. Besides working out and hanging out at the pool, we lounged around the house playing video games, cards, and Monopoly, watching tv, baking pies. My sister in law J and brother in law Y worked hard on planning my dream gender reveal photo shoot. Love you, guys!

We did take a little drive down to Destin, Florida. Played on the beach, checked out some local eateries (I recommend Donut Hole and Boshamps Seafood and Oyster House!), rented a boat (Thanks, Dockside Watersports & Parasailing!). Silver Dunes Condominiums was lovely. The rooms were clean and well kept and having the beach literally a 2 minute walking distance from us was pretty perfect.

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3 1/2 hour drive. The kids did really well (playing, singing, using their gadgets, eating, sleeping) for about 3 hours…before all hell broke loose. I won’t post any pictures of that. 

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View from our condo

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Lookin out over the water

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My children seem to endlessly have dirty feet 

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Making our way to the beach

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Y and her doting older cousin

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Look at that crystal clear water!

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Cleanest, purest white sand I’ve ever seen

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Best buds. So glad they could be reunited. Just noticed that photobomb in the back. Who is that, Appa?

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BAM! Look at dat bellay!

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Splish splashing with the daddies

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So glad my husband thinks family vacations are important. They’re the only things he’ll really take time off for.

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My little angel. Hard to believe she’s not going to be the baby anymore soon!

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She’ll always be a daddy’s girl, though. She goes running to him instead of me a lot these days. Pretty adorable.

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T writing his name in the sand. What a studious boy trying to get in some practice while on vacation!

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Obligatory legs on the beach photo. Ignore my wonky toes

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I like shadow photos

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Wanna go back

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Boating!

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Me gazing adoringly at my daughter despite her quirkiness. Is she eating that mouse?? ALSO, Floridians are so friendly! Three people in the span of 10 minutes told me they loved my shirt/thought it was hilarious (“I grow people. What’s your super power?”). NY/NJans are not nearly as quick to speak to strangers let alone compliment them.

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Couple photo! Yay! This is probably 2 seconds before he collapsed from my monstrous weight on him.

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Back at the room. Whose idea was it to bring s’mores?! OMGGGGGGG 

We headed back to Auburn after a refreshing beachy weekend. Back in ‘Bama, we tried to use up the rest of our time as wisely as we could (time always goes too fast!!) despite being pretty exhausted already.

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Had to visit the Waffle House!

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Ice cream from Bruster’s Real Ice Cream! Free cones for shorties! They have a chart shaped like a giant ice cream cone that measures about 3 1/2 feet tall and if you’re shorter than that, you get a free mini cone! Too cute! 5 stars just for that.

I think this is about the point my phone ran out of memory to be honest. Always happens! One of my biggest dilemmas since becoming a mom.

Hope you enjoyed this brief glimpse into our lazy little getaway. Tell me about some of your favorite places to relax!

It’s a…

Hubby, myself, and our kiddos just got back from a little family vacay in Alabama! During our stay we also took a drive down to Florida and back to get our beach on in Destin. Shout out to Silver Dunes Condominums- beautiful facility right smack dab next to the water, so we could walk out there anytime we wanted. (Will post some more vacation photos in the next entry)

I find myself looking for little things to anticipate. I live off of things to look forward to. This was one example. My older sister in law’s family (including T’s best friend- his cousin S) moved to Alabama in the beginning of March and we’ve been missing them ever since and planning this little trip for some time. We were so blessed to have brother in law Y and sister in law J be able to travel out and meet us too! It was a mini family reunion! Y and J were gracious enough to help me carry out one of the things on my bucket list for this pregnancy. We are pretty sure this is our last and so I decided I needed to do some of the things I had wanted to do but never got a chance to during my other pregnancies. One thing was cute gender reveal photos! We kept it really simple and just did the balloons in a box idea that’s everywhere. Set up right outside of the house and had our two amateur photographers click away for about 10 minutes total. That’s about all we could manage! I gotta say photoshoots with kids have proved to be one of the most challenging activities I’ve endured as a parent. I don’t know if my kids happen to be squirmier than most or what, but if we continue to push and prod and bark “Sit down!” and “Smile!” and “Look here!” past the 10 minute mark, one or two meltdowns are almost certainly on the horizon. H has two children as well, so put the four of them all together…well, we ended up with a lot of tears.

Here are two of my faves (before things broke down):

 

With each of my pregnancies, I had a gut feeling what the sex would be. Mostly an instinctual thing, but I also had a few dreams. Side topic – does anyone else have really weird dreams when they’re pregnant? Like their baby popping out of their belly like in the Alien movie? Crazy hormones…

So, anyway, I did think it was a boy, but it was still really cool to hand the sealed envelope over to my brother in law and have my guess confirmed in the form of helium balloons!

Three months to go. I already feel enormous. But I shall make it through! I always do…