Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Q&A Time

We may have lost our minds, but hey, life's more interesting this way anyway.

We're pregnant! Again! For the last time! Most definitely! At least I hope so. I'm due March 1,2017 so we're anticipating a mid-late February birth.

Here are answers to your burning questions:

1. You do know how that happens, right?
Yes, actually, we do. Apparently we're pretty good at it, too, seeing as how this is the fourth time in six years. Or is that a question? Do you not know? Do you need me to explain it to you?

2. Was this planned?
Absolutely. I know how babies are made (see #1) and we planned every one of our children.

3. Is this the last one?
I really hope so. Surprisingly since I have so many planned kids, I hate being pregnant. Each child is basically a dedicated year of my life to misery and discomfort. And that's before we include all the breastfeeding. I figured out at one point that at the end of this pregnancy, over the preceding 7 years I will have been pregnant, post-partum, or breastfeeding for 4.5. I think that's enough. We'll take permanent measures next summer.

4. Are you hoping for another girl?
Honestly, yes, but another boy would be just as loved and welcomed.

5. You're probably going to move now, right? Your house is so small!
It's actually not. It's 2500 square feet. People forget we have a huge room upstairs that's mostly storage. We haven't quite figured out how things will be shuffled, but they will be. Asher spends most nights in a different room than Eden and Elijah anyway, and the baby will sleep in our room until he/she is probably about 4 months old. Plus I really hate moving. I did it a lot between 2001 and 2010 in various ways (into and out of dorms, switching rooms in Mom's house, moving into and out of houses and apartments) and there's nothing quite like being downtown at this stage of our lives. There's a house I love about a block away that was recently for sale, but at $300k, it's a teensy bit out of our price range. Plus, I hate the thought of ANYONE else living in this house. My current plan is to move out of it in a body bag.

6. Do you know what you're having?
People. I'm 12 weeks pregnant. No.

7. Will you find out?
Yes. In about 8 weeks or so.
Edited: We've decided to wait until our 29 week fetal echocardiogram to find out for various reasons. We don't fault anyone for having as many ultrasounds as they or their doctors want, but reading a few things online make us a little concerned about overexposure and since the fetal echo (see question 13) will be about an hour long procedure, we've decided to skip the 20 week gender ultrasound. All that said, if a reason arises and an additional ultrasound is deemed necessary, we'll do it. 

8. Will you tell us the name?
Nope. It was actually kind of fun not telling anyone what we had decided on and NO ONE COMPLAINED ABOUT EDEN'S NAME! It was great. We'll redo that.

9. Really? Not even family or close friends or ...?
I mean, you might get it out of my kids, but that's playing dirty. (And there's no guarantee they'll tell you the real one. Elijah has some doozies of suggestions.) We did tell a select handful of close friends and family with Eden, because we loved the name so much, but sadly, not everyone is on the list of close people we trust not to rain on our parade.

10. Do you have a name picked out yet?
Not really. We have a list of names we like, but it's hard to focus and narrow it down until we know a gender.

11. Will you have a shower?
Well, my Abilene baby showers have a notoriously low turn out, which is disappointing and embarrassing, especially since the wonderful people who have thrown me these showers have put so much effort into them. Plus this is my 4th baby in 6 years. I've pretty much got everything I need. We may have a diaper shower (a friend asked about doing that for me early next year) but we'll see. It feels greedy and uncomfortable to me to have another shower when I had three for Asher and one for Eden.

12. Are you having another home birth or a hospital birth?
We're planning for a home birth. I've seen the midwife twice, once for an establishing visit and then once to hear the baby's heartbeat. She couldn't find it at the first appointment because it wasn't quite 10 weeks yet, but the second time we heard it clearly and strong at 150.
Edited: this may change. We'll keep you posted. 

13. So Eden's heart didn't scare you off more kids?
Well....it almost did. But Eden's doing so incredibly well it almost feels like her whole situation was a fake out. She does have a serious heart condition and we do have to keep an eye on it and her growth and development, but...it's so mundane after the first few months of insanity its almost like it's nothing, if that makes sense. All that said, because of her heart, this baby has a 3% chance of having a heart condition as well, instead of a .009% chance every other baby has. That means we need to have a fetal echocardiogram between 25 and 31 weeks (during the holiday season) to check the baby's heart. We're still figuring out the ordering and scheduling of all that but once it's worked out, I'll report back. We're choosing to look at it not as 3% chance something is wrong, but 97% chance everything is perfect. Those are pretty great odds.
Edited: a fetal echocardiogram has been schedule for December 14, when I'm 29 weeks. I'll have to drive to Dallas the night before and stay in a hotel (woe is me) for the appointment at 930 in the morning. It'll take about an hour for the echo, then another hour or two for evaluation and the doctor's consultation with me. Luckily, we get our favorite cardiologist, Eden's primary cardiologist, to do the exam. Woo!

14. How are the other kids taking it?
I think for Asher it's old hat at this point. Elijah keeps suggesting weird names. Eden....is 19 months old. She doesn't know.

15. Have you felt the baby kick?
Well, since I'm only 12 weeks, not really. I've felt a few little weird flutters that could just be gas, but might also be baby making him/herself known. I'll definitely start feeling stuff in the next few weeks. I'm already showing (of course, I started this pregnancy looking about 3 months pregnant, so people may not really notice for a while) and I'll just get bigger and bigger and more uncomfortable as the weeks go by.

That's all I can think of for now. If you have any questions I haven't answered, feel free to post them. ;-)

We're adding another book worm!

Edited to add: 

16: What's this baby's animal going to be? 
Well, we've got a bird, a mammal, and an insect. I suppose we should go with reptile or amphibian, but we're leaning towards another insect, a bee. It's gender neutral, which we like, and kinda sorta raises awareness that we need to save the honeybees...so there's that. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

My Not-so-Baby Boy

Asher is at a fun age. He has a lot of thoughts and opinions and questions and generally speaking, we can answer his questions. His favorite way to pose these questions is "Mommy, I have a question about life." Rarely does he ask something that isn't actually worth asking.

He's really into video games, so everything with him is percentages: his thirst is at 3%, his anger is at 100%, his interest is at 40%, etc. This makes for some interesting exclamations from him.

I have a very sensitive startle reflex. Like...if I'm asleep (I rarely get very deep asleep and even when I do if someone comes near I immediately wake up) and someone gets close, I gasp loudly (LOUDLY) and sometimes flail. It drove my college housemate nuts because we shared a bathroom and it was in my room, so she'd come in early in the mornings before I was awake and EVERY TIME I gasped and started. I don't actually always remember these events. The boys have learned to jump back when waking me up so I don't smack them. About a month ago, I was taking a nap and Asher ran up and poked me in the stomach. I gasped and flailed, smacking him in the face (not hard). He yelped in surprise and I asked what was wrong. After it was established that his hunger was at 4% (very hungry), I sat up and started to get my bearings to get him a snack. He asked me why I hit him. I said I didn't mean to, he just surprised me. He responded "yeah, I probably shouldn't punch you in the stomach when you're sleeping." Or ever, really.

When talking about getting ready for school, I'll ask him what he's looking forward to and his answer is always "playing on the playground." After Meet the Teacher tonight, it might be the computer room.

Meet the Teacher night tonight was interesting. I don't remember doing anything like that as a kid, but then all my teachers until 8th grade were my friends' moms and women I'd known a huge part of my life. So it didn't make a lot of sense. We stood in line to get into the cafeteria to get some paperwork we needed to fill out regarding pick up, then we went to his classroom and found his desk and filled out some papers for the teacher. One question was "What motivates your child?" I have no idea. Maybe she can find something, because I really haven't. Another was "What is your child's favorite school subject?" Asher answered "Playing."

After we filled out our papers, he explored the classroom and found some legos with letters on them to form words and settled in for some educational play. He abandoned the legos pretty quickly for puzzles. I approached the teacher. She needed a warning about Asher.

I started off with "I know a lot of parents think this, but Asher is really smart. He's been reading on a second grade level for about a year now. He can do some basic fractiony type math in his head. He's read The Invention of Hugo Cabret to himself several times this year. He started Harry Potter but gave up because there weren't enough pictures. It wasn't that it was too hard, he just likes pictures. He's very smart and so he sometimes gets a little bored and obnoxious and smart assy. So brace yourself. If you're reading something and he can see it, he will correct you if you skip a word or mis-say something. He'll read for the other kids and he'll read ahead."

She literally sat down and stared at me.

I also pointed out that he loves computers and he is literally the closest kid to the classroom computers. I said she'd probably have to keep an eye on him and make sure he didn't just get up and get on them. She might even want to move him across the room.

She said she'd find stuff for him to do, that this was going to be an interesting year. I sure hope so.

On the way home, I asked him if he was excited about school.
"Not that much."
"I said not that much....I'm 45% excited."
"Do you think that number will get higher or lower over the next five days?"
"Probably higher."

I'm not a super sentimental mom. I didn't cry when I left him at the church nursery or at MDO the first times. I wasn't super upset the first night I spent away from him when he was 18 months old or the first night he spent away from me when he was 4 or 5. I haven't felt that way about any of the kids. I think being a SAHM who's also an introvert who doesn't really like being touched or touching, having that time away from my children who are all extremely touchy was just a relief. Plus, the people taking care of my children were people I knew and trusted completely and who sent me pictures and texts during the day and communicated with me at every pick up and drop off.

The closer we get to his first day of actual school, the more sentimental I get. Buying his school supplies and getting his uniforms and figuring out how to communicate with everyone at his school has taken my mind off the fact but still. Periodically I look at him and am just astounded that the tiny baby who drove me INSANE his first few weeks of life is now this gangly nearly 6 year old with all this attitude and opinions who is about to start actual school, not just MDO. He'll be spending 7 hours a day 5 days a week away from me and I won't know as much about what's going on as I've been able to in the past.

This is just what life is going to be like, I suppose. I'll adapt, but man. I didn't think this would hit me so hard. I mean, I'll still have two at home driving me nuts for the 4 weeks until CCF starts. I have a feeling I'll feel a little sentimental when Elijah goes off to school and more so when Eden does.

The early years of a child's life are SO hard in so many ways, but I'm not quite sure I'm ready for the next part. Though I am kind of ready to be done with the hard part, at least a little of it anyway. (And yes, I know each new stage brings new challenges. We'll deal with them as they come.)

New Baby Asher

Doing puzzles in his kindergarten classroom. He's 45% excited about it.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

I'm terrible at updating.


It's been a while. I know. Sorry.

We've been doing stuff. We had a wedding in Austin in late July and had a lovely weekend, relaxing at the beautiful Via Libre and visiting great restaurants and Deep Eddy Pool, as well as seeing some good friends get married. The kids did ok at the wedding, but it was Catholic, so fairly long. They ended up in a different part of the church with Austin while I witnessed the wedding. At least there was a room just for kids at the reception, and you know they had a good time because Elijah went home with a black eye....lol

We've been trying to get things together for Asher starting school soon. We have him enrolled at the Charter School, TLCA, which is just a few blocks away from us. Not being able to find any information online, I assumed they followed the AISD schedule so we were planning around that. Turns out that they don't follow AISD. They start six days earlier, so their Meet the Teacher night is a week earlier. And the school supplies list from last year is slightly different this year, so all the pre planning and shopping I attempted was for naught. Well, not all, but some. So we had to return some school supplies and get others. We also had to get his uniforms, a mesh backpack, and appropriate shoes (no characters). I THINK we have it all, but I have no idea how he's going to carry it all on the first day. My plan is to hopefully be able to go with him his first day, both to walk him in for the first time and to help carry in all his stuff (y'all it's so much).

Elijah is seriously bummed he can't go to school. He keeps telling people "I'm 5" because he knows you have to be 5 to go to school. The school secretary believed him at first because he and Asher are just a few inches and pounds apart. Unfortunately he'll have about three weeks before his school starts, so I'll try to do something special so he doesn't feel so left out. I've let him get a few school supplies just because it takes a little of the sting out.

He's going to miss his brother when Asher is at school. They play together all day and keep each other entertained so I don't have to. The family dynamic during the day is going to change a LOT.

Eden is 18 months old now and has entered the clingy stage where Mommy and Daddy are pretty much the only acceptable people. She talks ALL. THE. TIME. but I have no clue what she's saying. She's pretty earnest about it, though. For some reason, their room is super hot these days so she's frequently wandering the house in nothing but a diaper. She'll occasionally find her shoes, though, and bring them to me to put on. She doesn't care about wearing clothes, but if she can she wants to wear shoes.

Austin's doing well at work. Nothing too exciting to post there. He's got an interior office, so frequently he doesn't get my texts, so once in a while when we try to meet up for lunch or want him to bring something home, he doesn't see it until he's leaving for the day.

For now, we're mostly trying to just get by to the end of the summer. It's hot, I'm drained, the kids are a little crazy. We're keeping out fingers crossed that things will change for the better once school starts back up and we get into the swing of things again.

Then again, they might get crazier when we're trying to get a kid up and off to school every day by 8am and then picking him up at 3pm and keeping two others entertained in the interim. I'll try to report back in in less than a month but I make no promises. :-)